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


Entries from December 2014

UPDATE: FOUND — White cat missing from Green Lake might be in Phinney Ridge

December 31st, 2014 by Doree

Update Jan. 8: Tip has been found.

Earlier: Ted says his white cat named Tip disappeared from his Green Lake home on Dec. 26. Tip is an indoor/outdoor cat. Ted thinks Tip may have jumped into the Albert Lee Appliance delivery truck that was parked in front of their home that day. The truck’s next delivery was in Phinney Ridge near NW 73rd Street and 6th Avenue NW, so he’s thinking that if Tip did get into the truck, he may have jumped out here in our neighborhood.

Tip is a 2-year-old Birman, no collar or microchip. He is white, with a black tail that is white on the tip (hence his name). He also has a permanent eye infection that is very noticeable.

In this photo, Tip is on top of his sister.


If you’ve seen Tip, please call Ted at 206-295-3312.

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2 more LED holiday monkeys stolen from Red Mill overnight

December 31st, 2014 by Doree

Two more LED-covered metal monkeys were stolen from the roof of Red Mill Burgers overnight, making a total of five monkeys stolen from the neighborhood lighting display in the last month.

Mike Veitenhans, one of the lighting project organizers, tells us he filed a police report this morning. The first two monkeys were stolen from the trees in front of In the Red Wine Bar; the third was stolen yesterday from Red Mill.


Holiday monkeys on Red Mill Burgers and neighboring Starbucks in late November. Photo by Mike Veitenhans.

Since the thieves left behind the lighting controllers, he says the police believe the monkeys were stolen for scrap metal. Each monkey has only about $20 worth of metal.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association Business Membership Group and the Greenwood Arts Council came up with the lighting project as a tie-in to Woodland Park Zoo’s annual WildLights and a way to promote neighborhood businesses in a unique way. Each monkey has roughly $80 worth of materials and another $120 worth of volunteer time.

The monkeys – about 150 throughout the neighborhood – have been displayed since Thanksgiving week and will be taken down beginning Jan. 2 and stored until next year.

If you have any information about the stolen monkeys, call the PNA at 206-783-2244. Veitenhans says the stolen monkeys also can be dropped off at the PNA, no questions asked.

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Key exchange service, Keycafe, launches in neighborhood

December 31st, 2014 by Doree

A key exchange service called Keycafe just launched in Seattle, letting homeowners store their keys at a nearby café to give access to their homes to cleaners, contractors and visitors through vacation rental websites.

Keycafe is at 27 cafes in the city. Participating cafes in our neighborhood include Couth Buzzard Books, 8310 Greenwood Ave. N.; Beth’s Café, 7311 Aurora Ave. N.; and Take 5 Urban Market, 6757 8th Ave. NW.

Homeowners pay a monthly fee for the service. For security purposes, an RFID fob is attached to your keys, without your name or address attached or even stored anywhere at the café. The fob tracks your keys and sends you a text or email when they are checked in or out.

Through our key exchange service, homeowners can store their keys at a nearby participating café and then remotely assign access to whomever they need to let in. Homeowners digitally track their keys and know who has their keys or where they are stored. It is like having a digital lock without the need to install any hardware or download any software. The service has proved to be popular among users of vacation rental websites like Airbnb, especially with all of the traveling that goes on during the holiday season. Other users have let in cleaners, contractors and real estate agents.

The company is based out of Vancouver, Canada, and is also at cafes in New York and San Francisco.

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UPDATE: FOUND — Trixie the dog missing from Phinney Ridge

December 30th, 2014 by Doree

Update: Trixie has been found.

Earlier: Penny says her dog Trixie ran away from the dog sitter on Friday night. She was last seen around 3rd Avenue NW and NW 74th Street. If you have any information, please call 206-696-3710.


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Third LED holiday monkey stolen from local business

December 30th, 2014 by Doree

A third LED holiday monkey has been stolen from a neighborhood business, this time from Red Mill Burgers at the corner of Phinney Avenue North and North 67th Street. The first two monkeys were stolen from the trees in front of In the Red Wine Bar one block south of Red Mill.


Red Mill Burgers and Starbucks had several LED monkeys installed on their building in November for the neighborhood holiday lighting project. Photo by Mike Veitenhans.

This is the first year for the whimsical holiday lighting project, sponsored by the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Business Advisory Group and the Greenwood Arts Council as a way to bring attention to neighborhood shops and to Woodland Park Zoo’s annual WildLights. The project has received some great media attention.

The project received a City of Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s grant for materials; volunteers then bent the metal and attached the LED strips. About 150 monkeys were sponsored by businesses and individuals (including us) for $25 each. That money will be used to construct about 50 more monkeys next year. One of the project’s organizers, Mike Veitenhans, says the materials for each monkey cost about $100 and volunteer work to create them is about another $100.

If you have any information about the stolen monkeys, please call the PNA at 206-783-2244.

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No solid waste collections on Jan. 1, dump also closed

December 30th, 2014 by Doree

Seattle Public Utilities will not pick up garbage, yard waste or recycling on New Year’s Day. The South Recycling and Disposal Station in the South Park area also will be closed (the North Station in Fremont/Wallingford remains closed for renovation). If your pickup day normally occurs on Thursday or Friday, your waste will be collected one day later this week.

Don’t forget that you can recycle your Christmas tree and holiday greens for free through Jan. 11 if you subscribe to food and yard waste collection.

Multi-family buildings can put out one tree next to each food and yard waste cart per collection day at no extra charge during this time.

Trees should be cut into sections of six feet long or shorter, with branches trimmed to less than four feet to fit into the collection trucks. Sections should be bundled with string or non-plastic twine. Metal, plastic and ornaments in trees and wreaths must be removed.

Trees that are flocked and/or have tinsel or ornaments will be collected as extra garbage. Customers will need to cut the tree into three-foot pieces and each piece will be charged as extra garbage. Each unit of extra garbage costs $10.20. Plastic trees are not compostable.

Seattle residents can also drop off holiday trees and greens for free at Seattle Public Utilities’ South Recycling and Disposal station from Dec. 26, 2014 through Jan. 11, 2015. The tree sections must be cut to eight feet or less in length and the trunk must be four inches or smaller in diameter. The limit is three trees per vehicle. Only trees and wreaths without flocking or decoration may be composted free of charge.

The South Recycling and Disposal Station is located at 130 S. Kenyon St. The station is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, other than selected holidays.

For information on where to dispose of household hazardous waste, including station locations and hours, contact www.HazWasteHelp.org or (206) 296-4692.

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UPDATE: RHINO FOUND — Rhino the gray cat disappeared Friday; Sophia the black cat still missing since July

December 30th, 2014 by Doree

Update: Rhino has just been found at a PAWS shelter in Lynnwood.

Earlier: Francie’s gray cat, named Rhino, has been missing from North 84th Street and Linden Avenue North in Greenwood since Friday.

Rhino the cat has always been an outdoor cat who comes home to eat multiple times a day. Neighbors know him as well but no one has seen him. He doesn’t wear a collar (refuses) and isn’t micro-chipped yet.

If you’ve seen him, call Francie at 206-330-8801.

And Cynthia sent us a note to say that her black cat, Sophia, who disappeared in July from NW 65th Street and 2nd Avenue NW, is still missing. She is microchipped but has no collar; the tip of her right ear is cut off straight across. She is an indoor cat who got out of the house accidentally.

Most likely she will not approach anyone and will run away from anyone who approaches her. It would be great if someone sees her, they leave a little food out and call me…or just call me so that I may set up a humane trap to save her. She left at a weight of about 10 pounds but has most likely lost weight and may appear small. She has a small delicate head and green/gold eyes. We miss her desperately and want to have her safe at home. We continue to post signs and check the shelter, but someone is taking down many of our signs. Very sad and counter productive. Cynthia 206-459-5563.

Joshua for Sophie-resized

This photo is not of Sophia, but of  one of her housemates who looks very similar.

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News roundup: Tutors needed, our hot housing market, new rules on waste, scholarship workshop, tree manual

December 26th, 2014 by Doree

Phinney Ridge ranked as the 28th most competitive neighborhood in the housing market this year, according to Redfin, with almost half of all homes sold for above asking price. Redfin’s data shows that 141 homes sold in Phinney with a median sale price of $553,500 (10.2 percent higher than 2013). The average number of days on the market was seven; 30.1 percent were all-cash offers. Other Seattle-area neighborhoods in the rankings: Ravenna (#9), Wallingford (#15), Seward Park (#19), Education Hill in Redmond (#21) and Ballard (#26).

The City of Seattle is reminding everyone that new food waste requirements begin in the new year. Trash collectors will now scan your garbage cans to make sure you’re not throwing compostable food waste or napkins in the trash.

Organics – food, paper napkins, cardboard pizza boxes, leaves and grass – make up the largest component of Seattle’s waste. SPU estimates that 30 percent of the 317, 258 tons of trash that was disposed in the landfill in 2013 was compostable.

Seattle began biweekly curbside residential vegetative food waste collection in 2005. In 2009, Seattle required all residents to participate in food waste collection or backyard composting, and started collecting food and yard waste every week, including meat, fish and dairy. SPU estimates that businesses and residents have diverted nearly 400,000 tons of food from the landfill since 2005.

Today, more than 300,000 single-family, multi-family and commercial properties participate in food and yard waste collection. Seattleites divert more than 125,000 tons of food and yard waste from the landfill each year. In 2013, Seattle’s diverted 56.2 percent of its waste – 407,125 tons – from the landfill via recycling and composting.

The Seattle Public Library is holding a scholarship workshop for high school seniors at the Central Library downtown on Jan. 10-11. The workshop is for college-bound high school seniors who want to complete a Gates Millennium Scholarship application.

Help will be offered by the Scholarship Junkies team, Gates Scholars and Gates alumni at The Seattle Public Library, Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 4, Washington Mutual Foundation Meeting Room 1. Registration is required at http://scholarshipjunkies.org/gms. The registration page outlines eligibility for the GMS. Times and dates for scholarship help are as follows.

  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10
  • Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11

Students may sign up for one or both sessions. Before the workshop, attendees should save any files for their scholarship application via Dropbox, or email their files to themselves, so that the files are easily accessible. Scholarship applications will be due online by 8:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 14.

Seattle Department of Transportation has a new Street Tree Manual, which provides a detailed, one-stop tree care reference for residents, developers, contractors and tree service providers.

It explains the requirements and standards established by the 2013 Street Tree Ordinance, which was updated for the first time in 50 years.

Though it focuses on trees in the public right of way, the new manual is an overall guide on tree care and vegetation management. In it are specifics on city permitting, prohibited acts, pruning, planting, removal and protection during construction.

The updated Street Tree Ordinance (Seattle Municipal Code 15.43) requires that tree service providers working on trees in the right of way be registered with the city, and be familiar with its requirements and tree care standards. The new manual helps ensure that familiarity, while educating Seattleites on ways to preserve and build lush green neighborhoods. Future plans for the manual include translation into additional languages and neighborhood outreach.

The City of Seattle owns nearly 40,000 street trees and maintains them with two full time street tree crews. Property owners are responsible for maintaining any street trees in the public right of way adjacent to their property, unless identified as City-maintained, and the trees on their own property which impact public space.

For more information visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/forestry.htm or call 684-TREE.

The nonprofit Invest in Youth is looking for more tutors to provide free tutoring at Seattle schools, including Daniel Bagley Elementary by Green Lake. Tutoring sessions are from 3:50-4:50 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Participating in Invest in Youth requires a tutoring commitment of one hour per week (with several holidays) for the remainder of the school year. Upon joining the program, you will be paired with an elementary school student in 3rd through 5th grade and work with that same student for the rest of the school year, getting to know his/her strengths and weaknesses while tracking his/her progress from week to week. It is an extremely rewarding experience for both students and their tutors!

To learn more or to sign up to be a tutor, please visit: http://www.investinyouth.org/become-a-tutor/ or contact Alison Allen at: aallen@investinyouth.org.

Not able to commit to tutoring every week? We are always looking for substitute tutors to help us out!

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Grinch snips Christmas lights on railing

December 22nd, 2014 by Doree

Sally tells us someone snipped the Christmas lights on her porch railing at 6th Avenue NW and NW 82nd Street sometime Sunday morning.

Our front porch railing is lined with lights and someone snipped the wires with scissors in over a dozen places. We’ve been living in Greenwood over 5 years now and love it here but are getting tired of the malicious activity that seems to be common. We’ve also had our car stolen three times in front of our house. Thinking about installing a camera……


Did anyone else have lights snipped?

And speaking of Grinch-like behavior, two of the new lighted monkeys from our neighborhood’s lighting display have been stolen in the last few weeks. The most recent theft was of one of the monkeys hanging from the trees in front of In the Red Wine Bar on Phinney Avenue at 65th. If anyone  knows who might have taken them, please email us and we’ll pass along the info to the neighborhood lighting organizers.


A pink LED-wrapped monkey climbs the tree in front of In the Red Wine Bar last month.

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