Seattle's Magnolia Neighborhood News Blog

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Local artist featured at West Elm

July 25th, 2015 by Sara


Magnolia mom and artist Julie Jacobson is having a big year.  In March, she (along with three other artists) opened Gray Sky Art Gallery at the Interbay Worklofts, and this month her work is the featured art at West Elm’s downtown Seattle store as a part of their Local Artist Program. A graphic designer by trade, Jacobson says:

I’ve been selling my paintings for over 10 years in local boutiques and galleries. I’ve also worked as a graphic designer for 20 years, both at design firms and running my freelance design business. This background definitely plays a role in my art. Each painting is a study in composition, color, and story. I try to combine little bits of lots of things into my pieces while still keeping it simple and clean. I like to layer hand drawn illustrations, small paintings I’ve done, my kids’ art, and found objects into one cohesive piece. I find it intriguing to combine these things and have them serve as a reminder that interest, beauty and amusement can be found in everyday objects.


Jay Battistelli, downtown Seattle West Elm’s Associate Manager explained the Seattle Local Artist Program to Magnolia Voice:

West Elm has created a space within our store for a local artist to display and sell their work each month. We really want to to be able to reach out here in our own community. West Elm doesn’t take a percentage of the sales- all money goes to the artist.

Right now they are booked up with local artists through January 2016. Pop into West Elm ( 2201 Westlake Ave Ste 100) now through the end of July to see or purchase Julie’s work, or head to Gray Sky Gallery for more information. Want to learn how to make art? You’re in luck! Gray Sky offers classes for youth and adults.




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Magnolia Village Tomorrow needs your help to envision a better Magnolia

July 23rd, 2015 by Sara


Magnolia has a distinct, village-like business district, as well as great businesses in various areas throughout the neighborhood. The Village is at a crossroads of opportunity due to changing demographics and attitudes regarding healthy, walkable, and active urban living.

The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce intends to develop a vision for the Magnolia Village accomplishing the following key objectives:

  • Define a collective vision for Magnolia
  • Actionable steps toward the collective vision, including funding strategies
  • Mobilize organizations and individuals to improve the Village

To get engaged with Magnolia Village Tomorrow, click here or stop by the Visioning Booth at the Magnolia Farmers Market every Saturday until the end of August from 10am-2pm.

This project is funded by a grant from the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods.


Sponsor (advertise with us)


Magnolia Elementary School given landmark status

July 22nd, 2015 by Sara


Photo by Steve Smalley

One of the questions we often get is “What is the plan for the old Magnolia School?” Or “That old school is just sitting there…what a waste!” Well, we are pleased to announce that on Wednesday, July 15 , Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board unanimously approved landmark status for Magnolia Elementary School ( 2418 28th Ave. West ).

According to the Magnolia Community Council, the  MCC had circulated a letter to members of the Board and spoke in favor of preservation and the need for the building to be used as a much needed school for the neighborhood:

In response to queries, the District has announced its intent to make necessary repairs, find funding and open Magnolia School for approximately 400  K-5 students. Their estimate is to expect this to take 2 to 3 years.

We will keep you posted as more details become available. Click here for more information.


Search for the Sun with Daybreak Star and the Library

July 22nd, 2015 by Sara

The Seattle Public Library is partnering with Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center to bring the Search for the Sun program to Magnolia. Magnolia Library Children’s Librarian Amy LaVare writes:

Children ages 3-7 can experience the worlds of plants, animals and different cultures through song and dance with collaborative storyteller Eli Rosenblatt. Learn more about the show and see videos of Eli at his blog.


Thursday, Aug. 20, from  1 – 2 p.m. at the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, 5011 Bernie Whitebear Way.

Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.


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Magnolia Community trail meeting

July 21st, 2015 by Sara

photo from Magnolia Community trail's FB page

photo from Magnolia Community trail’s FB page

All are invited to attend the first public meeting regarding the feasibility of the Magnolia Community trail connecting Magnolia Village with the marina and the soon-to-be-expanded Smith Cove Park. The trail is a community effort, supported by a City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund grant.

Meeting Information: Tuesday, July 28, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Parish and School, 3218 W Barrett St

Organizers say:

The Magnolia Community trail would allow easy access to the newly expanded Smith Cove Park and Elliott Bay Marina, which is currently inaccessible by foot.  For more information on the trail please click here.



Is Summerfest ending?

July 16th, 2015 by Sara

Magnolia Summerfest may be coming to and end. The annual family festival, which takes place August 1st and 2nd this year, may be the community’s last. Summerfest, which is organized by the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce and has been a part of the fabric of this community for over 30 years, is now facing a difficult financial hardship.

“We’re short just over $10,000,” said Doug Kaimakis, a volunteer on the organizing committee, “and we don’t have the resources to continue this level of subsidy going forward. If we don’t break even on this, it’ll be hard to justify doing it next year.”

The chamber raises funds through various events, like the recent “Vino in the Village” wine walk. Proceeds are shared with a number of chamber efforts, like Halloween Trick or Treat, Winterfest and Summerfest. “Summerfest is our biggest investment of time and energy, and something the community, especially the kids, seem to love.”

“We’ve always relied on the generosity of corporate sponsors, local businesses and involved individuals to make up the difference between hard costs and the fees we charge vendors. This year, we’re hoping the general community can help out.”

“We’ll have some donation stations at the event, but we also encourage anyone who can to send in a donation now. You can also stop by a number of merchants to make a direct donation, including Magnolia Mailbox, Umpqua Bank, Peoples Bank, Current & Furbish, Serendipity Café and Magnolia Garden Center.”

“Whether it’s $10 or $100, your combined donations could really make the difference.”

Donations can be sent to: Magnolia Summerfest, 3213 W. Wheeler St Box 42, Seattle 98199, or click here to donate.


A letter from the city in response to the encampments in Magnolia and QA

July 15th, 2015 by Sara

Last week, we posted this story about the Mayor’s plan for city-sponsored homeless encampments on QA and Magnolia.  Due to the  negative response, the Director of the Seattle Human Services Department has sent the following email:

Thank you very much for your message expressing concern with how an encampment could affect your neighborhood. While none of us believe that an encampment is a long-term housing solution, it is clear that with the current housing crisis, some action is needed to help provide people and families with a safe place to sleep and keep their belongings. This is why the Mayor, with unanimous support from the City Council, approved transitional encampment legislation in April of 2015. The legislation allows up to three encampments at a given time, to be located on property owned by the City, a private entity or a major educational institution in commercial or industrial zones. Council has also asked the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to conduct additional analysis to allow this interim use in all zones, including residential. Thus, the selection of three preferred sites, and four possible future sites were recently submitted to Council. Please see map:… The selection of these City-owned sites is the first step in the process. Selected operators must meet standards established in the ordinance. The Human Services Department (HSD) will work with the operators to develop management, operating, and fund development plans. Public health, safety, and security are foremost features of these plans as well as access to services that will assist encampment residents to move on to housing and employment. These plans are required to be submitted with the permit application to DPD for the interim encampment use. Per ordinance, the operator must meet with the community prior to applying for the permit. They are also required to form an on-going Community Advisory Committee, which will allow the community to raise operational issues and work with DPD, HSD, and the encampment operator to address concerns during the presence of an encampment in a neighborhood. Please see the FAQ for more details regarding the requirements for establishing an encampment… The legislation sets specific parameters on the types of City-owned property that would be available for hosting tent encampments. Within those parameters, the City has identified seven available properties. None of these proposed locations are final, however, it is unlikely that we will be able to locate additional City-owned sites suitable to the parameters of the legislation. Vacant City-owned sites are very limited. Encampments are permitted for up to one year with the potential to extend another 12 months after discussion with the community. It is possible that not all of the three City sites recently identified will be used—if a private property owner wants to work with an encampment operator to make appropriate land available for an encampment, that location would count as one of the three allowed sites. The City is establishing a more organized model for managing tent encampments and engaging individuals that are homeless and on our streets each night. Collaboration between DPD, Department of Neighborhoods, HSD, encampment operators, and the neighborhoods offers clear points of contact, operation expectations and standards, and more effective assistance for homeless individuals to exit homelessness. Please see HSD’s website for additional information:… Be assured that we will add you to a notification list and get back in touch with you once the date, time, and location of the community meeting has been set.


Don’t miss the Chamber’s Spaghetti Dinner 7/21 at 6:30 at the Magnolia Garden Center

July 14th, 2015 by Sara

All are invited to join Magnolia Chamber of Commerce for their annual Spaghetti Dinner, Tuesday, July 21st. Dine al fresco, surrounded by Magnolia Garden Center’s gorgeous flowers and trees at this year’s fundraiser.
This is a beautiful setting to share an evening with friends, colleagues and their special guest  – Councilmember Sally Bagshaw.

Tickets are $30 if purchased by Friday the 17th, and $35 after that. This is a fundraiser to help pay for the many events the Chamber sponsors, (especially Summerfest 8/1 and 2).
Click here for tickets and more information.

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Summerfest volunteers needed

July 7th, 2015 by Sara

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Magnolians! You don’t have to be a pirate or a clown to get involved with Seafair. The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce is looking for community-minded locals to lend a hand during their wildly popular Summerfest Parade and Art Fair.

For more information and volunteer descriptions click here. Or

The committee is also looking for art submissions. Cash prizes are awarded for different categories: painting, drawing, photography and sculpture welcome. For more information about participating in the art show, click here.



Buckle closes Barrett Street

July 7th, 2015 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley


Officially called a “heat bump” by the Seattle Department of Transportation, Barrett Street cracked up on the crosswalk at 34th Avenue which caused the city to shut down the roadway. Neighbors report drivers scraping the bottom of their cars when driving over the location.
With history of water drainage problems in the area, homeowners who spoke with Magnolia Voice wondered if that wasn’t part of the cause of the warping. They say the pooling of water in the area has existed for years.
SDOT says they hope to have a temporary asphalt fix perhaps as early as Tuesday. In the meantime a more permanent repair is planned.