Tunnel opponents submit signatures

UPDATE 3/30:  Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has asked a judge to rule on whether the city’s agreements with the state on the deep-bore tunnel designed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct are subject to referendum. 

In a media release today Holmes said:  “As City Attorney, I don’t vote on or veto ordinances, and I am personally neutral regarding the ultimate choice for replacing the viaduct. My obligations as City Attorney are to ensure that the City complies with the law and to look out for the best interests of Seattle and its citizens. To that end, I have filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment in King County Superior Court to determine whether Ordinance No. 123542 is subject to Seattle’s municipal referendum power.”

Supporters of an anti-tunnel referendum submitted 28,928 signatures to the Seattle City Clerk’s office Tuesday morning, trying to ensure the measure advances to a public vote.  One of the leaders of the effort is Magnolia resident Elizabeth Campbell who heads up the group Seattle Citizens Against the Tunnel.

From our news partners at the Seattle TimesThe referendum needs 16,503 valid signatures to qualify for the Seattle ballot. City Clerk Monica Martinez Simmons accepted the referendum petitions at 10 a.m. in her City Hall office.  King County Elections will verify the signatures.  Verification is expected to take at least two weeks. Meanwhile, the ordinance it is designed to put to a vote — involving agreements between the city and state to proceed on the deep-bore tunnel — is scheduled to take effect Wednesday.  That means legal action to block the referendum could come as early as Tuesday.

Women, Wine and Wellness Night

The Discovery Wellness Center is inviting women to learn about healthy lifestyles on Friday (4/1) from 6-8:30p.m. at 3655 34th Ave West.  The Women, Wine, & Wellness Night will feature local providers with a focus on healthy lifestyles including Village Yoga, Triune Pilates,  Xocai Healthy Chocolate,  Zumba by “Rock This Sway” and Wheeler Street Café.  You can purchase two tickets for $10.  There is also a raffle drawing for a weekend retreat to Salish Lodge & Spa.  All proceeds will be donated to a local women’s shelter.  More information here.

Airspace Party Wednesday

A reminder that the Magnolia Airspace Celebration is set for tomorrow (3/30) from  6:30 – 8:30 pm at Mulleady’s Irish Pub.  The Magnolia Community Club is throwing the party to honor the people who fought the changes in airspace over Magnolia. 

Tickets are $10 per person and all proceeds after food and beverage costs will be donated to Northwest Harvest.  There is still time to grab a ticket, click here for details. 

Lawton’s Field of Dreams auction

Team Lawton made a big showing at Safeco Field for the PTA’s Field of Dreams auction.  Families, staff and friends of Lawton hit one out of the park and helped the PTA double their revenue projections.  Auction items included a private party at Dale Chihuly’s boathouse, a trip to Chile (won by Lawton’s principal Christine Helm) and a spirited bid-off for Mrs. Dowd’s class auction project featuring the children’s art in the style of Picasso.  

The evening ended with auctioneer Ian Lindsey putting  "the shirt off his back" up for auction and since 4th grade teacher Mrs. Misner was the highest bidder, she became Lawton’s #1 Fan. 

The school sends a special thanks to the Field of Dreams auction committee who worked to pull off the event.  The Lawton PTA funds enrichment programs at the school along with funding for school support such as playground supervision, tutoring, volunteer coordination and classroom grants to teachers.

Thanks to Kimball Mullins for the photos!

Three cars stolen in Magnolia last week

Just got this note from Terrie Johnston in Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention.  She reviews the police incident reports on a daily basis and she noticed an alarming trend in our area:

Today upon reviewing the reported crime for Queen Anne and Magnolia, I noticed that in the past 7 days there were three vehicles stolen from Magnolia (Volvo SW; Toyota Highlander and an Acura Integra) and 4 vehicles stolen from Queen Anne (2 Subaru Legacys; KIA Rio; and a BMW).  This is in addition to a theft of a license plate on Queen Anne, and several car prowls.  I found that number of incidents to be abnormally high.  I phoned the Auto Theft Sergeant and he said  the number of Auto Thefts in Seattle are down, and have been decreasing steadily.  In fact, we are at nearly 1/3 of the number of Auto Thefts which occurred in 2005.  However, we agreed that there are some simple things we can do to try and prevent becoming a victim of auto theft. 

This sergeant reports that he uses a steering wheel locking device on every car he owns, and he uses the device, every time he parks his car.  These devices act as a good visual deterrent.  They are just one more thing the thief has to disable in an attempt to steal the vehicle. There are also a variety of locking metal devices that can disable everything from your gearshift, gas pedal, brake pedal, hood, tires, etc. 

Johnston also has these suggestions:

  • If you have a garage, use it.  Keep the garage and any other doors leading into the garage locked, and keep car doors locked inside the garage.
  • Since more than 2/3 of all auto thefts occur at night, consider installing motion-sensitive lighting around car ports,  driveways, parking spots on alleyways.   Leave your front porch lights on from dusk until dawn.  

Johnston says that cars are often stolen for parts and it can take an expert thief as little as seven seconds and one screwdriver to break into a vehicle, and less than one minute to drive away.  She encourages neighbors to watch for anyone in your area who is looking into vehicles or checking door handles to see if they are locked. If you see suspicious activity, call 911.

Seattle Met Magazine: Magnolia is best place to live

The Seattle Met Magazine is out with its list of the Top 20 Places to Live and Magnolia is on the list.  No big surprise to those of us who live here but still nice to be recognized.

Here is what they had to say:  “It’s hard to think of Magnolia as a best-kept secret, what with its name recognition, proximity to downtown, and stately homes. But that’s just how its residents think of it—and they like it that way. “It keeps us from being overrun,” says Julie Szmania, co-owner of the eponymous eatery in Magnolia Village.

Magnolians have watched fickle Seattleites hop from one hot neighborhood to another while their own little corner of the city has remained relatively unchanged. And that steady-as-she-goes status has helped the community built on wide streets and anchored by Discovery Park maintain a close-knit, family-friendly feel. Some even jokingly call it Mayberry R.F.D. “I wouldn’t quite go that far,” says Loree Schoonover, editor of the Magnolia Voice blog. “But it really is a charming small-town atmosphere five minutes from the city.”

The only drawback to all that quiet: It’s almost lulled portions of the commercial core—located on West McGraw Street—to sleep. Stubborn landlords are reluctant to pony up development dough to improve vacant storefronts, and skittish entrepreneurs won’t set up shop in the isolated enclave. The lack of retail action peeves people like Szmania, but not enough to sour them on Magnolia. “We may not be the most exciting neighborhood in town,” she says, “but we have great views, big yards, and it’s safe.”

Thanks to Seattle Met for the Magnolia Voice shout out.  You can check out the list of the other top neighborhoods here.