Entries from March 2009
March 31st, 2009 by Gladys
The Seattle Department of Transportation confirms our report from last week that plans to change Nickerson Street are being reevaluated. Here is the official word in a message from project manager Eric M. Widstrand:
“Thank you for your interest in the Nickerson Street rechannelization project. This project is currently on hold as we evaluate how Nickerson Street would interact with the roadway network, via a systems approach, taking into account the north portal of the bored tunnel. We are coordinating with the Alaskan Way Viaduct project team to make sure that the overall mobility of the north end is taken into consideration before making a decision about Nickerson Street.
Our comment period is open until April 10th to give people time to comment about the project. Once we have received all comments we will send out a response to questions received. For more updates or to see a copy of the plans, please visit our website at: www.seattle.gov/transportation/nickerson.htm
The city backed off after numerous concerns were voiced by residents. The city originally proposed changing Nickerson from two lanes to one lane in each direction and adding bike lines.
Here is what Nickerson looks like now:
And here are the changes the city proposed:
We will continue to monitor and let you know if and when any decisions are made.
March 30th, 2009 by Abner
In our current economy, its nice to be able to recognize successful local businesses. PJ’s Paws and Claws in the Magnolia Village is celebrating seven years in business in April. PJ’s retail store opened in Magnolia Village in 2002. The store is a boutique and grooming salon for dog and cat lovers.
The month-long celebration features the return of PJ’s prize wheel. With any $30 retail purchase, customers can spin the wheel and win prizes, including dog and cat toys, gourmet chocolate and other fun gifts. They can also spin the wheel if they donate $5 or more to the Seattle Animal Shelter’s Help the Animals Fund. Last year the wheel promotion raised almost $400 for the fund designated to cover medical expenses for shelter pets.
Owner Patti Howell says “These seven years just flew by, while we were having fun with our furry friends and their families. It felt like only one dog year.”
Another great reason to visit the store is Jelly the cat, seen here peeking down from the ceiling. PJ’s Paws and Claws donates 5% of its profits to animal rescue and adoption agencies in King County.
Tags: PJs Paws and Claws
March 29th, 2009 by Gladys
Magnolia residents will see changes to home garbage and recycling services, including a new pick up day and increased charges, starting Monday (3/30). Information was mailed last week and the city called most homes to let them know about their new pick up day. If you need more information click here or call (206) 684-3000.
Households will see an increase in monthly costs for garbage pick up. for example, a house with a 32-gallon can will now pay $22.30 per month for garbage service compared to $17.65 last year
The new recycling changes include:
• Weekly food and yard waste collection for all single-family households.
• All food scraps can go in your food and yard waste cart, including meat, fish and dairy.
• More food and yard waste cart sizes.
• More paper, plastic and metal items can be recycled, including cups, deli trays, aluminum foil, and plastic plant pots.
• Glass bottles and jars go in your recycling cart – no more separating.
• Electronics, used motor oil, and bulky items can be collected through special services.
The goal is to divert 60 percent of all generated waste in the city to recycling or composting by 2012.
Tags: garbage rates
March 29th, 2009 by Gladys
The Seattle Department of Transportation has created a new website to give drivers current traffic conditions on main roads – like 15th Ave. The site, Seattle.gov/travelers, features color-coded roadways so you can decide which route to take. You can also check the city’s traffic cameras and see where trouble spots, like construction projects, might be. The traffic information is gathered from measuring devices embedded in the roadway, according to the press release sent out by the city.
March 29th, 2009 by Gladys
King County Metro Transit is counting down the days – and the passengers – until next Tuesday (3/31). That is the day Metro expects to welcome rider number 3 billion.
With an average of about 400,000 boardings each weekday, it would actually be impossible for Metro to pinpoint exactly which bus rider pushes the numbers over 3 billion. So they are inviting all Metro customers to participate in the celebration.
“We really want to thank our passengers,” said Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond. “Without them and their support over the years, Metro would not currently be one of the ten largest bus agencies in the United States and among the leaders nationally in ridership growth.”
To celebrate, Metro customers are invited to snap a photograph of themselves riding their favorite bus route to be included in a public photo gallery. People can also visit the Metro website to add their personalized electronic “footprint” illustrating how riding the bus can reduce carbon footprints. On 3/31 Metro staff will be greeting morning bus riders at select locations handing out “3 billion served” buttons.
Metro is estimating the timing of the 3 billionth boarding by counting all passenger trips since Jan. 1, 1973, when Metro Transit started. It includes data from buses, streetcars, electric trolleys, and special event service.
March 28th, 2009 by Abner
The Lawton community celebrated with a big event for teachers, students and parents who have been part of the school during its 100 years of serving the Magnolia community.
Lenora (Gaerisch) Rohde (on the left) attended Lawton through the 7th grade. She graduated in 1943 and her neice, Doreen (Gaerisch) Delano graduated from the sixth grade at Lawton in 1953. Both women were part of a large group of past students who attended the festivities.
Lots of current students were there too, to view the decade by decade exhibits prepared for the event.
These former teachers and PTA board members enjoyed the event that was sponsored by Office Max, Catering by Phyllis, Terra Bella Flowers and the Lawton staff and PTA.
Tags: Lawton centennial
March 28th, 2009 by Gladys
The World Wildlife Fund is asking people to turn off their lights tonight for Earth Hour, a world-wide event to raise awareness about global warming. Cities around the globe will flip the switch from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Seattle will join in with the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, Seattle Municipal Tower and the “City Light” sign at Fourth Avenue and Spokane Street going dark.
Organized by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour began in Syndey, Australia, in 2007.
Tags: Earth Hour
March 27th, 2009 by Gladys
Heron Habitat Helpers in Magnolia is a volunteer group restoring the habitat of the largest heron rookery in the city of Seattle.
They are looking for a volunteer to help with their newsletter:
We need a volunteer copy editor for the quarterly newsletter. News articles will be supplied by the board for the copy editor to edit and set up in newsletter and web based software. We are looking for someone who can make our newsletter snappy for the 21st century!
You can contact Kathy via email at email@example.com if you are willing to help.
The group also has a big Earth Day event and work party scheduled for April 18th. Check out the details in our events section.
Tags: Heron Habitat Helpers
March 27th, 2009 by Gladys
UPDATE: We just got more information from Seattle Police on our car prowl situation. There were 11 more reports in Magnolia yesterday which brings the March total of reported vehicles prowled to 40 as of today (3/27).
At our request, SPD reviewed the car prowls in Magnolia for the first 25 days of March compared to the same time frame last year. In 2009 there were 29 car prowls and in 2008 there were 11 reported.
Terrie Johnston from crime prevention explains:
Obviously the car crimes are up compared to last March, however, your numbers are still much lower than most other neighborhoods in the city. Please be aware that in the car prowls from yesterday (Thursday), the thieves rifled through many of the vehicles and took nothing, or only took quarters ($3.00 in one, and $5.00 in another). If teens are responsible, as some residents have suspected, they may be looking for I-pods and cash. What a shame that over $200 damage is done to a car, to get 12 quarters.
Please report anyone looking into parked cars, or trying door handles to 9-1-1. Stay on the line and watch where the suspicious people go. If you have any additional questions, please call me at 684-4741.
Johnston also tells us today that SPD patrol officers, burglary and theft detectives, community police team officers and the commanders of the West Precinct are all aware of this spike in property crime in Magnolia and will assign staffing levels accordingly. The majority of these crimes appear to be occurring between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
3/26 We have had a number of reports from Magnolia residents this week regarding a rash of car prowls. We checked with Terrie Johnston who works in crime prevention for the city to get a handle on the numbers.
Johnston reports that between March 1 and March 25 there were 29 car prowls in Magnolia. That means 29 cars were broken into over a 25 day period this month alone. Johnston cautions that these numbers are unofficial because not all crimes are reported. Car prowls are often under-reported because many people find the damage on the way to work and dont have time to call police. Many victims who don’t want to report the vandalism to their insurance company don’t report to the police either. The bottom line is that the number of car prowls in our area could actually be much higher.
Car prowls generally occur overnight and they take just seconds to commit. SPD says that thieves are targeting vehicles of all makes/models looking for GPS devices, cellular phones, purses, cash, laptops, I-Pods, cameras, luggage and garage remotes. Most stolen property is traded or sold on the street very quickly, lowering the chance of recovery. Thieves commonly break windows for entry, but many are also successful at defeating door and trunk locks.
Car prowls are expensive, inconvenient and aggravating for the victims. Here is what Seattle Police want you to do to protect your car:
Be consistent! Remove all valuables from your vehicle every time you park. Disable internal trunk releases per your owner’s manual. Audible alarms or other theft deterrent devices can be effective. Be observant! Report all crimes and suspicious activity to 911 immediately, even if you are not going to report the crime to your insurance company.
Johnston and patrol officers attended a large Block Watch meeting in Magnolia this week and they stress that neighbors sharing information can be a good tool to fight car prowls. You can call Terrie Johnston at 684-4741 if you want to schedule a Block Watch meeting for your neighborhood.
Tags: car prowls
March 26th, 2009 by Gladys
It appears that the city is backing off on plans to make changes to Nickerson Street. At a viaduct town hall earlier this week, representatives from the Seattle Department of Transportation said that changes to Nickerson are on hold until they can figure out how the whole north corridor system will work when the tunnel replaces the viaduct.
We first reported last month that the city was planning to reduce Nickerson to one lane of traffic each way and add bicycle and center turn lanes. At an open house earlier this month, many people expressed concerns over the plan and the comment period was extended to April 10.
Now the city is putting a halt to any changes, at least for now. SDOT confirmed that there will be no further action on Nickerson until they address tunnel access issues.
Tags: NIckerson Street
March 26th, 2009 by Gladys
UPDATE 3/27: About 50 anxious parents attended the meeting to learn more about the plan that will determine which school students will attend based on their home address.
School Board Director Michael DeBell said that students from Magnolia might end up being assigned to three different high schools. “A student will not pass one school to get to another. That just won’t happen under this plan,” DeBell told the small group. The focus will be on nearby schools,” he said. The big question for him is, “What should be the tie-breaker?” If there are 10 extra spots at one high school and 20 students want in, how do you determine who will go to that school? The key, he said, is to keep it simple. The school board will hold more public meetings and solicit feedback before finalizing the attendance boundaries this fall.
More coverage from our sister site myballard here.
Seattle Public Schools is working on a new student assignment plan which will reconfigure the boundaries of area schools. The biggest change will likely impact Ballard High, the high school of choice for many Magnolia residents.
“It is possible that the lines will be drawn so high school students will not be assigned to their closest high school, so, for example, some Ballard students could be assigned to Ingraham,” explains Anne Forester with the Loyal Heights PTA. “We want to ensure that students have the opportunity to attend their local high school.”
So far, no maps have been proposed, and Seattle Public Schools is actively gathering feedback from the public on the factors that should be considered in drawing the maps. A community forum is being held tonight (3/26) at the school library from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. All staff, families and community members are welcome.
March 25th, 2009 by Gladys
After weeks of speculation, Magnolia resident James Donaldson will announce on Thursday that he is running for mayor. The Seattle Weekly reports that Donaldson has made up his mind to take on incumbent Greg Nickels.
The former Seattle Sonic and WSU basketball player had previously declared his candidacy for city council before changing course. Donaldson told The Weekly “Dissatisfaction in our country and in Seattle is at a tremendously high level. In my heart of hearts, I couldn’t stand to see our current mayor waltz to a third term uncontested. He needs to be challenged.”
The Seattle Times also confirms that Donaldson is in the race. We will have more from Donaldson following his announcement.
March 25th, 2009 by Gladys
UPDATE: Karen says there were car prowls ten blocks away from the original report in her area too:
Last night, (probably aroud 2-3 am) some rotten vandals decided to break car windows on 26th Ave West. While I was cleaning up the glass around our car, one neighbor came over and said he had been victimized as well and had noticed 6 or 7 other vehicles further up the street and on W. Raye. I urged him to call in a police report on it. I am hoping the rest of the victims phone the cops too!
Magnolia Voice reader Jamie just sent us this email about a rash of car prowls in her neighborhood. She says that six car windows were smashed overnight:
Just wanted to send out a neighbor alert for all the folks that live on 36th Ave West. We know of multiple car break-ins and vandalism happening on this street. About a month ago one neighbor had their car window smashed and another had about $300 worth of stuff stolen out of their car.
Then early Friday morning last week my husband chased off a kid that was riffling through our car. We called the police and as we were waiting for them to arrive two groups of teenage boys “happened” to be walking by on their way back from hanging out at their friends house….this was at about 4 in the morning. We are fairly certain that the kid riffling through our car was their friend.
Now this morning at least six of my neighbors woke up to find that their car windows had been smashed in. When we spoke to the police last Friday morning he told us that he had been called to our street three times that week alone for car break ins.
I am wondering if other streets in Magnolia are seeing an increase in the amount of car break ins or if we are just really unlucky!
These break ins and vandalism are occuring between 3 and 5 am in the morning. So if you live on 36th and happen to be up at those hours you might peek out side and see if there is anything going on! Anyone interested in doing a 36th ave block watch???
We have heard from other readers recently who are concerned about car prowls being on the increase in Magnolia. We have asked Seattle Police to provide us with information about what is happening and will let you know as soon as we hear from them. In the meantime, be on the lookout and never leave anything valuable in your car.
Tags: car prowls
March 25th, 2009 by Gladys
Lawton Elementary School is inviting anyone who has been associated with the school over the past 100 years to attend a community celebration on Friday (3/27).
The Centennial Tea runs from 4p.m. to 6p.m. at the school and will include historical displays and the chance for students, parents and teachers to reminisce. The event will also feature musical performances, historical costumes and the chance to purchase old time photos of the school.
This picture shows the second building that housed Lawton school in 1930, courtesy of Seattle Public Schools and Magnolia Historical Society.
Here is the school today in its current home. For more information about the celebration, contact event chair Phyllis Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org.