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 Times: The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Update 6:35 p.m. Seattle Fire confirms what we observed at the scene — the fire was caused by a blown transformer, which dropped a live wire against the side of the building. The wire hooked a metal box, which you can see in the far right of this photo, taken at 32nd Ave. and Lynn St.:
Update 6:25 p.m. We spoke to the couple who rents the unit that caught fire. “The transformer blew up over there,” said Joe, who lives in the four-story corner unit. He said he heard another explosion moments later, but there was no signs of fire. “I didn’t think anything of it,” he said, until he saw smoke coming out of the vents a few minutes later.
“All of a sudden, smoke starting coming up quick, and then the alarms went off,” he said. “Then I heard someone screaming, everyone evacuate, so we grabbed our dogs and got out pretty quick.”
Fortunately, everyone was able to escape safely.
“It was such an explosion, I mean the lights, it was beyond description,” said Joan, another resident in the building. “There were two of them. And then it sounded like something was being dragged. I thought someone had hit it.”
Update 6:15 p.m. Here’s a video we shot shortly after firefighters arrived:
UPDATE 5:45: We are told that power is now back on in the area around the fire.
UPDATE 5:20PM: Here is the latest from the scene. People living in the area heard a couple of loud booms that originated on the east side of the building. We are told that many people living in the area heard them too.
The residents who rent the unit say that a few minutes after the booms they saw smoke coming out of the vents in their townhome. The husband and wife and their two dogs evacuated. They were not injured but one of their dogs has a preexisting medical condition and is at the vet.
The fire was caused by a transformer explosion. City Light is checking all poles in the area. Wires that came down as a result of the explosion hooked on the side of the building. No word on why the transformer blew.
The fire was tough to fight because it was in the wall of the townhomes. Firefighters brought out saws and ladders to battle the blaze.
UPDATE 5:10pm: We are told that power is out in parts of the Magnolia Village as a result of the fire. Will have more information soon. Thanks to Steven Smalley for the photos from the scene.
UPDATE 5pm: There is very little smoke now as firefighters get the upper hand on this fire. It may have been caused by a blown transformer. No injuries have been reported.
Firefighters continue to work on the fire at the townhomes in the Magnolia Village. They say the fire was within a wall inside one of the units.
Smoke from this afternoon’s fire can be seen from in this shot by reader kkennell. We have crews on the scene and we will keep updating.
Updated: 4:45 Seattle Fire is responding to a fire at 3201 W. Lynn Street, near the Village.
These are brand new townhouses. Smoke is billowing from one of the units, which a woman on the scene says she’s renting. She tells us that a transformer blew just before the fire and she believes this has to do with electrical. There are wires down on the east side of the building and are up against the side of the building.
Seattle City Light is on scene. The call out was just after 4 p.m. to 2209 32nd Ave W, but the address was corrected once on scene. We’re on scene and will have more soon.
Magnolia Cooperative Preschool’s annual toy and clothing sale is this Saturday (3/26) starting at 9a.m. at the United Church of Christ at 3555 West McGraw Street.
This is a big and busy sale so get there early for the best selection. You will find lots of gently used baby and children’s clothes (baby-10 years, sorted by gender and sizes), toys, games, books, décor and general baby/kid gear, including large baby items like strollers, highchairs and car seats.
Most items go for half-price at 1:30 pm.
Because this sale gets so busy, organizers ask shoppers to leave young children at home.
An event that organizers are calling Magnolia Airspace Celebration is set for Wednesday (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.
Concerns were expressed when the FAA proposed changes that would have lowered the floor for flights over Magnolia from 3000 feet to 2000 feet above sea level. That would have resulted in larger planes flying lower and with more frequency over Magnolia. The Magnolia Community Clubcollected and forwarded 77 pages of petitions to the FAA in opposition to the proposal. After the public input, the FAA announced earlier this month that it was dropping the plan.
The opposition effort was championed by MCC Trustee Robert Bismuth and backed by King County Councilmember Larry Phillips who will both attend the celebration.
The MCC says: “To the best of our knowledge, this is an unprecedented accomplishment for a grassroots effort of this kind. We would like to celebrate the efforts of everyone who showed up for meetings, wrote letters, sent email, or made phone calls on behalf of this campaign and to honor our community leaders by extending our thanks over a glass of cheer and light snacks.”
Tickets are $10 per person and all proceeds after food and beverage costs will be donated to Northwest Harvest. Click here to purchase a ticket.
The Catharine Blaine School physical education team is hosting a family fitness night on Thursday (3/24) from 6:30-8:00 pm in the gym. The event is free and will feature lots of activity stations to get the whole family moving. There will be fun and prized throughout the evening.
Hempfest will be back in Myrtle Edwards Park this summer. The City of Seattle reached agreement with Hempfest organizers who had filed a lawsuit when the city tried to block the pro marijuana event.
City officials originally said that construction of the Thomas Stret overpass would not make it possible to hold Hempfest at Myrtle Edwards this year. Organizers tried to move to the Seattle Center but permission was denied for that site.
The City will now issue a permit for Hampfest 2011 to take place on August 19, 20 and 21 at Myrtle Edwards. The event will take place over three days, even though the request for a third day was denied last year. Hempfest organizers say they need a third day to spread out the crowd which attracts large numbers of people to the park each year. From the City Attorney’s Office today:
Planned construction of the Thomas Street Overpass project in Myrtle Edwards Park this summer created a potential conflict with the festival, prompting Hempfest to file a lawsuit. The City and Hempfest quickly reached a compromise where Hempfest agreed to postpone its request for immediate relief from the Court and the City agreed to solicit alternative bids for the project that would allow Hempfest to be held in the park. When the bids were announced on March 16, it was clear that the construction timetable would not interfere with the festival. The City and Hempfest then entered into a memorandum of understanding that will allow the festival to proceed at Myrtle Edwards Park in August 2011.
Over 40,000 people attend the annual event, causing lots of traffic congestion on 15th Ave West. Hempfest is the largest gathering of hemp and marijuana reform speakers in the world and features entertainment and a variety of vendors.
A recent car accident prompted estevens to share concerns about a traffic problem in our area in the forum. We wanted to bring it to the attention of readers:
Hello fellow Magnolia-ites. I was on my way home this evening and came to the intersection at 28th and Ruffner and witnessed a very scary car accident. I know that every day I have to drive through that intersection I pray that as I slowly creep out to see if I can cross 28th I don’t have a car slam in to me. Well the poor lady tonight, that did the same creep that I do every day, wasn’t so lucky. Thankfully no one was injured but the cars were totaled.
Of all the intersections I have crossed in my life that one is by far the scariest. I think that there has to be something we can do to petition the city to make that a 4 way stop. I can’t really think of any reason why that wouldn’t work. The traffic on 28th doesn’t ever seem to be to heavy so I really don’t think it would cause any congestion. All I know is that there is no way to safely see if there is a car coming especially since cars park on 28th completely impeding any visibility. My other concern is that there is no cross walk there and my daughter has to cross that street every day as her bus stop is on the south east corner of 28th and Ruffner/Manor Place. If any one else shares these concerns please help me come up with a solution to make our community a safer place.