A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Entries from March 2014

Woodland Park Zoo plans to improve elephant exhibit, replace Watoto with a new Asian elephant

March 31st, 2014 by Doree

On Friday, Woodland Park Zoo quietly released its final plan to improve its elephant exhibit. (The zoo did not send out a press release, but posted it on its blog.)

The plan calls for the zoo to spend up to $3 million to send its African elephant, Watoto, to another zoo, and replace her with a new Asian elephant, and improve the indoor and outdoor elephant habitats.

The Elephant Task Force released its final report last October. The zoo’s Board of Directors and staff reviewed it and came up with the final plan.

The group Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants slammed that plan on its website.

The Seattle Times had an in-depth story on the plan on Saturday.

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Reminder: Community safety meeting tonight

March 31st, 2014 by Doree

Just a reminder that tonight (Monday) is a community safety meeting with members of Seattle Police Department, in the wake of last month’s murder in Greenwood. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at Taproot Theater, 204 N. 85th St. SPD offices will offer updates on the recent homicide, educate the community about the North Precinct’s resources, and talk about crime prevention, street safety and how-to’s of 9-1-1 usage.

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Live music, book exchange, comedy open mic in Phinney-Greenwood this weekend

March 28th, 2014 by Doree

Plenty of fun to be had in a rainy Phinney Ridge and Greenwood this weekend. Here are a few highlights; check out our Events calendar any time for more.

“Conflict & Harmony in the World of Sound organ concert from 7-8 p.m. Friday at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, 225 N. 70th St.

PNA Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Exchange from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Phinney Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N.

“SoulPlay” improve theater arts workshop for women, from 12-2 p.m. Saturday at the PNA, in the Brick Building.

Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., presents “In the Book Of” now through April 26.

At Couth Buzzard Books, 8310 Greenwood Ave. N., this weekend, the Comedy Womb presents its new monthly showcase, “A Comedy Open Mic at the End of the Universe,” starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday. See Seattle’s best amateur comics work on their material.

Open mics are the life blood of any comic, it is where we decide what is funny and what is not, and you, the audience, get to help. Come laugh and be merry. We also have three very special features: Jen Seaman, Parker Postyeni and Keith Carey! Hosted by one of the most dedicated comedians at the Comedy Womb, Meredith Flanders.

Show starts at 7:30pm. There will be a pass the hat at the end of the show to pay our featured comics. Support local artists!

On Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Bard-Poet Jim Page returns to the Buzzard for an intimate evening of original songs, jokes, and social commentary. Free. Donations encouraged. Home-baked food and drinks available for purchase.

Downtown Mountain Boys-resizedSeattle Folklore Society presents Downtown Mountain Boys in their CD release concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., in the Brick Building. Cost is $16 general, $14 SFS/PNA members and seniors, kids half price.

Seattle’s Downtown Mountain Boys are the Pacific Northwest’s most exciting and accomplished bluegrass band. Seen for years in such popular Northwest bands as Ranch Romance, Rural Delivery, Rainy Pass, and Who’s Driving?, veteran bluegrassers and recording artists Terry Enyeart (bass, lead and harmony vocals), Dave Keenan (banjo, fiddle, lead and harmony vocals), Don Share (guitar, lead and harmony vocals), Tom Moran (Mandolin), and Paul Elliott (fiddle), have come together to form a match made in musical heaven. Take three-part harmonies that send shivers up your spine, add dazzling instrumental firepower, and you have the sound of The Downtown Mountain Boys: an exciting combination of tight harmonies and red-hot picking; an entertaining, engaging, and witty stage show; and a repertoire that spans beloved standards and high-quality original material. Victory Review calls The Downtown Mountain Boys “The cream of Seattle- area pickers, top teachers, session musicians, and musicologists.”

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Bike found – suspected to have been stolen

March 27th, 2014 by Doree

Update: Ming says the bike has been returned to its owner, who said it was stolen from their basement months ago.

Earlier: Ming tells us this bike was found leaning against a neighbor’s garage in the alley between North 83rd and 84th streets, west of Greenwood. If it’s yours, email to arrange pickup.


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Garage sale Saturday to benefit MS Walk team

March 26th, 2014 by Doree

A group of families on NW 83rd Street are having a huge garage and bake sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to raise money for their MS Walk team, Team Zero Zebras. The sale will be at 344 NW 83rd St. Most of the items will be on the back patio.

The garage sale will go on rain or shine, with items from at least five families. Check out their Craigslist post with a long list of items and a bunch of pictures.

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Parks Department explains why it replaced swings at Woodland Park Playground

March 26th, 2014 by Doree

Several PhinneyWood readers emailed us recently, upset over the replacement of the swings at Woodland Park Playground, next to the zoo. The swings had been slated to stay while much of the rest of the playground was renovated. But then, suddenly, the old swings were replaced with new swings, which some readers felt would not work as well.

Here’s the new swing structure.


Patrick Donohue, Senior Capital Project Coordinator with Seattle Parks & Recreation’s Planning and Development Division, emailed us to explain what happened:

We had not planned nor expected to remove the existing swings as part of the Woodland Park play area renovation project. It was only during construction that it became evident that the new swing area ramp—which is needed to make the swing area ADA-compliant—encroached on the existing swings’ required safety zone. To comply with the safety standards of the Public Playground Safety Handbook by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, we needed to replace the existing swings.

Although the replacement swings look different, the belt swings are 12 feet high like the old swings, and will provide the same swing experience. The baby bucket swings did not comply with current safety standards and we replaced them with 8-foot high swings, which is the maximum height allowed for baby bucket swings and requires a smaller safety zone to comply with safety standards. This smaller safety zone allowed space for the ADA ramp.

Had we not replaced the swings and redesigned the swing containment area to provide mandatory clearance, it would have meant having no swings for several months past the April 22 opening date.

We regret having to replace the swings at Woodland Park but are confident that the new swings will give children a swing experience as good as the old swings gave.

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Parking on east side of Phinney Avenue from 61st to 64th streets restricted due to tree pruning

March 26th, 2014 by Doree

Parking is restricted on the east side of Phinney Avenue North between North 61st and 64th streets, as Seattle Department of Transportation crews prune trees. The parking restriction started today and goes through Friday.

Crews will work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, and they’ll remove any “no-parking” signs that are no longer needed at the end of each day.

The trees along the east side of Phinney Avenue North are larger than those on the west side, and are blocking sight lines and growing too near existing structures.

Proper pruning improves the structure of trees. Seattle Department of Transportation Urban Forestry crews prune approximately 3,000 trees every year in the city while also responding to emergencies and planting up to 800 trees annually.

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Memorial service for Ray Farbarik set for Saturday at UW

March 25th, 2014 by Doree

The memorial service for Ray Farbarik, who died after a serious skiing accident at Mission Ridge near Wenatchee last weekend, will be at the University of Washington’s Husky Union Building, South Ballroom, at 4 p.m. Saturday. The HUB is at 4001 NE Stevens Way.

A website has been set up with information on how you can help the family, from contributing to a college fund for his two daughters, to signing up to bring a meal to his family and helping them with yard work. There’s also a guest book where you can send your condolences.


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Hecho Mexican restaurant opens in Phinney Ridge

March 25th, 2014 by Doree

Hecho Mexican restaurant, in the former Carmelita space at 7314 Greenwood Ave. N., opened its doors today, according to its Facebook page. Co-owner Chris Navarra also has his hand in Phinney eateries Prost!, The Ridge Pizza, and Martino’s, to name a few. (The restaurant was originally going to be called Vecino.)

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