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

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!