Seattle's Magnolia Neighborhood News Blog

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Parents urge 4-way stop at unsafe intersection

September 18th, 2014 by Sara

UPBy reporter Steven Smalley
Parents have long known the dangers of sending their children to school or to the Pop Mounger Pool by way of the crosswalk at 32nd Avenue West and West Raye Street. Some call it the “Near Miss Intersection.” Now concerned neighbors are rallying parents to call authorities and urge new safety measures.
Adjacent to Catharine Blaine School, the pool (Seattle’s busiest), Albertson’s, Seattle Parks, and a toy/candy store, the east-west crosswalk is normally respected by drivers, and then again not, according to parents who spoke with Magnolia Voice.
“It’s not safe,” states Pat Craft, a Magnolia parent and author of a call-to-action letter located on the Blaine PTA website.
“This intersection needs a 4-way stop,” he writes. “Other methods have been tried, but no one feels safe here.”
Craft produced home-made signs placed at the crosswalk asking passersby to call the city.
Some local parents who contacted the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) say they did not receive a satisfactory response.
“I called the DOT,” states Angela Herndon, a Magnolia mother. “They said, ‘It does not qualify,’ there are federal guidelines for 4-way stops, and it does not qualify. I asked if they could put a flashing yellow light. And they said, it also doesn’t meet those guidelines.”
“I won’t let my children walk to school by themselves,” she continues. “The way I see it, half of Magnolia is coming from this side of the hill.”
Another parent was on the same wavelength. “My kids walk to school every day and it’s incredibly dangerous,” exclaims Cortney Anderson-Sanford, a Magnolia parent. “There must be some way we can put our brains together to make a solution happen. If it takes a child getting killed, that’s really the wrong way.”
“I’ve seen several near misses, and I have seen debris,” adds Paula Hlastala owner of Nifty Toy & Gift from her store at the very intersection in question. “I think a (4-way stop) would slow people down and get them to stop.”
Requests for a 4-way stop or yellow flashing light are just two suggestions purposed by Craft. “People have called repeatedly for something to be done,” he informs Magnolia Voice. “The city has done traffic counts in years past. They say, ‘We don’t have the tragedy statistics.’”
Telephone calls from Magnolia Voice to SDOT were not immediately returned.
“We’re done waiting,” says Craft. “I’m trying to bring the decision to a new outcome.”
He encourages people to bring additional pressure to bear and phone Brian Dougherty, SDOT transportation planner, Safe Routes to School, 206-684-5124.
Check out our exclusive full video story here


“Fill the Boot for MDA” tomorrow and Friday

September 17th, 2014 by Sara

Firefighters of Magnolia Fire Station 41 will help collect donations for the MDA Fill The Boot charity , September 18th and 19th on the corners of McGraw and 32nd & 33rd. Stop by with your donation and catch up with our neighborhood heroes.  Last time they were out, we got to check out the fire truck!

Money raised helps to find a cure for neuromuscular diseases. Click here to learn more about the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

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Sponsor (advertise with us)


Construction should start this spring…

September 17th, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley

Lots of questions about the status of the building and proposed new construction on 32nd Avenue West next to Ace Hardware and U.S. Bank. Plans are in the works for a 36,000 sq. ft., 4-story apartment building with ground floor retail space and underground parking. The architectural firm of Roger H. Newell is handling the approval process with the City of Seattle for property owner, Terry Yoshikawa. A staff member at Newell spoke with Magnolia Voice to explain the process and some of the expected outcomes. Plenty of good news to report. The Design Review with the city is complete. Now the firm is ready to submit plans for the building permit. The review process will take a few months. Construction could begin this spring. Keep your fingers crossed.  – Steven Smalley reporting

Lots of questions about the status of the building and proposed new construction on 32nd Avenue West next to Ace Hardware and U.S. Bank. Plans are in the works for a 36,000 sq. ft., 4-story apartment building with ground floor retail space and underground parking. The architectural firm of Roger H. Newell is handling the approval process with the City of Seattle for property owner, Terry Yoshikawa. A staff member at Newell spoke with Magnolia Voice to explain the process and some of the expected outcomes. Plenty of good news to report. The Design Review with the city is complete. Now the firm is ready to submit plans for the building permit. The review process will take a few months. Construction could begin this spring. Keep your fingers crossed.



Did you lose a chicken?

September 16th, 2014 by Sara

Natasha writes:

Anyone missing a chicken? One showed up at my dad’s house on the Interbay side of Queen Anne this afternoon, he’s keeping it safe until its owner is found. If you think it might be yours, please send me an email at with a description.


Magnolia schools update

September 11th, 2014 by Sara

Wondering what’s going on in and around Magnolia’s schools? Here’s the scoop:
It takes a village to run all of our events at Lawton Elementary.  We still need many more volunteers to make the “Back to School Bash” Friday, September 12th a successful event.  This is a great event for working parents that do not have the time to volunteer during the day.  No experience required, we welcome all new families to sign up as well.  The event will be held at the Lawton Elementary Playground and surrounding Lawton Park.  Click here to help:


Hi Mavericks. Sorry we got some wires crossed re: picture day – the wrong date and time was sent in the eNews. We sent out a correction yesterday afternoon, and put it on the website — but our for real, say cheese, get your hair+outfit ready picture day is FRIDAY, SEPT 12th. A copy of the order form and online order info is on McClure’s website. And the order forms should have come home w/ your student as well. Here’s wishing all smiles and no goofy looks at 2014 Picture Day. (there will be a picture makeup day in several weeks in case of absence or an unfortunate, aforementioned goofy look)

ps if you can help out, email CHEESE !!!!!
Thursday, Sept 11th, (tonight!!) New Family Orientation, 6:00pm, Cafeteria
Please join us in Catharine Blaine Cafeteria at 6:00pm on Thursday, September 11th.  If you are new to Blaine with a child in grades 1-8, please join us for an informational evening.  You’ll hear from our principal and learn about the Blaine PTA (Parent Teacher Association),  F.E.A.T. (Family Engagement Action Team) and other ways to get involved.  Please bring your questions and any paperwork you have not yet filled out.  We’ll help you get it all done.  Children are welcome but the event will be geared toward parents.

If you are planning to attend, please RSVP to F.E.A.T.’s New Family Coordinator, Sharon Paul, at  Thanks and GO TIGERS!

Spaghetti Dinner:
Fatima Fall Fest is coming up Saturday 9/27 from 6-9pm stay tuned for more info!

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Homeless housing project planned for Interbay

September 11th, 2014 by Sara


Permits are in place and construction about to begin on a 4-story complex to house homeless men and women with serious mental illness and/or addictions at 2202 15thAvenue West, according to Bill Hobson, director of the Downtown Emergency Services Center.

Currently a parking lot next to Seattle Pump and Equipment Co. and across the street from The Little Gym, the 97-unit building is the 11th such structure owned and operated by DESC. Construction is scheduled to start this month.
Although plans are not widely known, Director Hobson says all City of Seattle policy guidelines were followed. They consisted of written notification to all properties within 500 feet of the building; communications with the Magnolia and Interbay neighborhood associations, including the Queen Anne Community Council; and public meetings at the Queen Anne Lutheran Church and Seattle Center Armory.
Hobson says only four people attended the meeting at the armory.
“DESC goes beyond what we are required to do for neighborhood notification,” he tells Magnolia Voice.
Additionally, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development does not require a Design Review process for projects in this part of Interbay, he says.
Hobson goes out of his way to allay any fears about residents’ danger to the surrounding community.
“The overwhelming numbers of people who have disorders never commit a violent act,” he assures. “Over 95% of sexual assault over children is perpetrated by a family member or close friend. There is no association between pedophilia and mental disorder.”
When asked about the particular addictions of residents to powerful drugs, Hobson added insight. “It tends to be alcohol, occasionally crack,” he points out. “Alcohol is what they can afford. Heroin is an expensive addiction.”
He goes on to explain, “There are people who will have serious mental disorders. They will all be engaged in treatment relationships. There are 21 full time employees assigned. There will be someone on duty 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week.”
Neighbors will receive a telephone number with an invitation to call with any problem that might relate to the facility. DESC tracks and logs all calls.
“Eighty-eight percent of the phone calls we receive don’t have anything to do with the residents of the building,” Hobson reveals.
DESC operates over 800 units of housing in Seattle.
Obtain more information from their website or call them at 206-515-1525.

Rendering courtesy DESC


Join Magnolia Girl Scouts

September 10th, 2014 by Sara

It’s not too late to join Girl Scouts!  Magnolia’s Girl Scout Troop looks forward to welcoming new members.  Interested in Camping, First Aid, Community Service, Leadership, Nature or Cooking? Join the Magnolia Girl Scout Troop. They are a parent-run troop that focuses on outdoor skills and service projects.

They currently have Second and Third Grade Brownies, Fourth and Fifth Grade Juniors and 6th Grade Cadets.  They are looking to add Kindergarten and First Grade Daisies.

 The troop does a variety of activities and skills:

  • Fall and Spring campouts at GSWW campgrounds
  • Backyard campfire
  • Food drive benefiting the Ballard Food Bank
  • Caroling
  • Sponsor a girl from Kenya to help her go to school and get medical care
  • Sell Girl Scout Cookies
  • Pool (Mountlake Terrace) and Ice Skating (Highline Ice Arena) Parties
  • Camp-in at Catharine Blaine with movie and ice cream floats
  • All the scouts can build their own campfires
  • Outdoor skills (eg. map reading, letter boxing, rowing, knot tying, animal ID, etc)
  • Earn badges (pets, pottery, painting, hiking, etc)

Scout leader Jim Petersen writes:

Through the Girl Scouts, girls also have access to a wide variety of activities around the area, including Girl Scout Camp activities (like summer residential and day camps, archery, horseback riding, boating), council-wide activities (such as Archaeology and Rocketry science explorations), special events like Girl Fest at CenturyLink Field and Girl Scout Night at ZooLights, and community-sponsored (badge-eligible!) events like Girl Scout Rock and Geology Day at the Burke Museum and digital photography seminars at the Microsoft Store!

We meet approximately twice a month here in Magnolia at Catherine Blaine on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 7:30

 We are open to girls in K through 6th grade.  Our Sixth Grade Cadet Troop is expanding and is specifically looking for new members.  Many of the Cadet-level badges allow girls to explore areas of the world that they may already have a burgeoning interest in, such as digital photography, music, or starting a business.  Our troop is very hands-on, allowing girls to explore and build confidence through doing — all while having fun! Being part of the Girl Scouts teaches girls valuable life skills, from teamwork and leadership to outdoors.

If you would like more information or want to join, please email Jim Petersen at


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Hey Magnolia Moms- don’t miss the first Magnolia Moms meeting of the new school year!

September 9th, 2014 by Sara

School is back in session and so are the Magnolia Moms!

Our Story:

Magnolia Moms was founded in 1998 as a neighborhood outreach program for homeless or displaced mothers and children.  As busy mothers of young children, we find we have limited time to give back to our community, but by pooling our resources and organizing our efforts we can make a difference! We currently support a network of five shelters/charities that assist mothers and children in need.

We extend a warm welcome and an invitation to women interested in getting involved.  Members are not required to be affiliated with Our Lady of Fatima Parish or School, or live in the Magnolia neighborhood.  New members are accepted year round and can participate/volunteer at whatever level works for them.

What We Do:

We gather monthly Sept. through May to discuss issues related to our charities, update duties and activities, and to socialize.  We often have a guest speaker presenting on an interesting and relevant topic.  In addition, we also have a variety of ongoing projects and special events.

Our first meeting of the year is this Thursday, Sept.11th at 9:30AM at Our Lady of Fatima Parish Center.  Our guest speaker is Amy Lang, MA., a 3 time Mom’s Choice Award winner and featured in the Wall Street Journal, who speaks, teaches and writes about talking to kids about the birds + the bees in the Seattle area and around the country!

Bring a friend and spread the word, we would love to see you on Thursday!



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Still time to register for preschool!

September 6th, 2014 by Sara

Do you have a kiddo that is ready for preschool but still needs a spot in class? You’re in luck! These three Magnolia Preschools have just a few openings for the 2014-15 school year. (Sponsored post)
Creative Arts has openings in their 3 year-old class which meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.
At Creative Arts Preschool we believe that young children thrive in a safe learning environment that respects their unique developmental needs. With teacher facilitation and support during play, along with exposure to developmentally appropriate materials and activities, children develop an understanding of their world. They learn to solve problems, take risks, gain confidence and self-esteem, and develop empathy. These skills and attributes are the building blocks of social relationships, well-being, and future school success.
Creative Arts is at 3116 W Smith. For more information, click here  and or Facebook at Creative Arts for Children Magnolia.  If you are interested, please email the director, Polly Critchlow at

Bloom and Grow Preschool has openings in their Monday-Wednesday-Friday class which is for four and five year olds. They also offer a Pre-K extended day program for children who are going into kindergarten the following year. Children turning four by December 31st of this year are eligible to start this Fall on September 10th.

We provide a safe, nurturing environment that builds self-confidence and cultivates a love of learning through structured curriculum and creative play.  All classes follow a structured schedule, including crafts, story time, show and tell, tabletop activities, singing, snack, and free play time. The 4-5 year old class also includes writing, calendar time, and circle time. Children who stay for the extended PreK program follow related curriculum intended to prepare them for kindergarten.

Bloom and Grow is at 3051 W 28th St. For more information click here  and if you would like a tour call (206) 217-4867.


Magnolia Cooperative Preschool has classes for all ages ranging from Toddlers to Pre-K (ages 1-5).  They have openings in the following 4 classes: 2s, 2s/3s, 3s and Pre-K.

Based in the heart of Magnolia for more than 70 years, this is a place where children and parents come to grow and learn.  At Magnolia Cooperative Preschool (MCP), by focusing on social development, we have created a place where children are given the space and time to feel safe, gain self confidence, become bold and truly believe in themselves.  Our children enjoy sunny classrooms and an amazing private playground.  Throughout their school day students are nurtured by a dedicated experienced teaching staff.  Teachers encourage student imagination and curiosity as they learn through creative and cooperative play.

Magnolia Coop is at 3555 W McGraw St. Click here to learn more about enrollment.

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Sign Up: Volunteers needed to beautify our Front Doors

September 4th, 2014 by Sara


By Reporter Steven Smalley

Entrances to the neighborhood are about to get a grand makeover thanks to the Chamber of Commerce and others who are organizing an effort to improve the signs leading to our Oasis-on-the-Bluff. At the top of the Garfield Street Bridge and at the corner of 20th Avenue West and West Dravis Street, are actual welcome signs that have suffered through years of rainy weather and benign neglect. Thanks to the energy and donations from the good folks at Ace Hardware, Magnolia Garden Center, along with others, the welcome signs and environs are about to receive a thorough rehabilitation by way of rakes, shovels, and volunteers.
“Right now they have a lot of weeds. It’s overgrown and looks like no one cares,” observes Eileen Quackenbush of the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce. “We’re trying to beautify the entryways to Magnolia to show that it’s a welcoming community, and to show that we have pride in our community.”
Magnolia resident and experienced landscaper Keith Drechsel, conceived the notion to beautify the entrances to the area – an idea that was developed into the Front Doors Project. To incorporate the landscape design, volunteers are requested to come forward and add their labor to the effort in bringing the plan to life. Saturday, October 4 is the date to circle on your calendar when the work party kicks off. The goal is to complete the overhaul at two locations in one day.
“The City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has approved our grant request for $1,000,” reveals Greg Carnese of Leroux Apparel in the Village. “As of (last week) we raised about $1,900 – in addition to the grant monies from the city – in cash donations.”
On top of landscaping, there is talk of possibly acquiring new signs, but that would take an even bigger effort.
“I would love for a sign company to come forward to volunteer design and installation of a new sign for Magnolia,” adds Carnese. “That would be terrific.”
The Chamber sends a special thanks to Ace Hardware for providing tools, and the Magnolia Garden Center for their design expertise along with the plants that will constitute the finished layout.
“We would like to have additional donations to help maintain the landscaping,” requests Carnese. “They can be made by stopping by Leroux Fashions in Magnolia Village. People have stopped me on the street with a $20 bill saying, ‘We want you to do this. We’ve needed it for a long time.’”
Volunteers, let Greg Carnese know you’ll help out by dropping him a line:

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