Library needs your ideas

Do you check out books or DVDs from the Library? Do you come to the Library for story time, to use a free computer or listen to an author? Or do you come for homework help for students, Internet access, research, community events, job search activities, or online learning? The Seattle Public Library needs to hear from you!

The Library wants your input on priorities for improvement in four essential areas: hours, books and materials, computers and online services, and maintenance. Strategies for stabilizing Library funding will also be discussed. Please consider attending these community meetings and help improve your library system. For more information, visit and select “Libraries for All: A Plan for the Present, A Foundation for the Future,” or call 206-386-4636.
The community meetings are scheduled as follows:
•10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 7, Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Auditorium (206-386-4636)
•6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, Ballard Branch, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W. (206-684-4089).

If you cannot attend a meeting, you can visit the library online to share your feedback at For more information call 206-386-4636.

Car crashes through Dravus barrier

Late Christmas eve, residents below the hairpin turn on Dravus nearly received an unwelcome present when a car crashed through a metal barrier and bounded through the blackberry bramble before coming to a stop on the street below, just feet from homes.

Neighbors reported that late on Dec. 24, a car coming up the crest of West Dravus Street failed to navigate the hairpin turn at 30th Avenue West and crashed through the barrier knocking down a directional sign and wooden posts as it plowed through the bramble below stopping just short of homes on the street below.

A hubcap, broken plastic pieces and other fragments from the car were scattered on 30th Avenue West. One neighbor swept up the pieces in a pile. He was away on Dec. 24, but returned to see the mess. Another neighbor who lives directly below the crash site was thankful the car didn’t continue into his home, and was glad no one, including the driver, was hurt.

Graffiti cleaned up

The graffiti that two weeks ago defaced the back of the 76 station in the Village, has been cleaned up. Seattle police Detective Mark Jamieson said no arrests have been made.
SPD has a section dedicated to apprehending graffiti vandals. If you see this crime in progress, call 911. If graffiti appears in your neighborhood report it online or call (206) 684-7587. Click here for the online form.

Conservation crews rid park of poplars

Chris Stevens in a compact excavator, gathers up felled poplars. The waste will be taken out and mulched.

Poplar stumps are treated with a chemical that kills any potential of future growth.

If you’re out at Discovery Park you might notice crews doing what appears to be a little clear cutting.
Over at the south entrance, a two-man team at the Seattle Conservation Corps (SCC), led by Chris Stevens were isolating and downing non-native poplars, part of a year-long project that will continue through the new year.
The proliferating poplars kept native plants at bay so Seattle Parks and Recreation bring on the SCC to thin them out.
The survival instinct of the poplars is so strong, Stevens said, pointing to a pile he helped hew, that even felled branches or trunks will sprout in search of purchase.

Chris Stevens of the Seattle Conservation Corps says the invasive poplars are so tenacious that even felled branches could take root again.

The SCC is year-round employment program with the parks department that has an annual budget of about $4 million. Many of the SCC jobs involve urban forest restoration, repair of sensitive riparian areas, erosion control and the installation and maintenance of trails. The program also provides the homeless or troubled to learn new skills and get paid a living wage.

A poplar stands near Discovery Park's south entrance.

Gingerbread house show at Sheraton draws crowds

Hundreds of people lined up to get a chance to see a unique labor of love on display at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel downtown this weekend.
The hotel’s 19th Annual Gingerbread Village display was in full swing on Saturday where droves of visitors came to see gingerbread houses like no other. Architects in Seattle, including Magnolia resident Stacy Smedley of KMD Architects, donated scores of hours in making the super-sized gingerbread structures, and all to benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research International, an organization working toward curing type 1 diabetes. As visitors snaked around the velvet ropes, they dropped folded bills into a giant plexiglass donation box. Then, having waited an average of 30 minutes in line, took in the gingerbread views. The theme was trains and train stations. There were stations from Australia, New York City, New Zealand, England and even from the land of Misfit Toys.
Smedley’s was a scale model of Kings Cross Station in London, the one featured in the Harry Potter films. Smedley made sure to include a detailed, Google-like map of the famous city below the train station that was raised on a separate platform. Swooping in little loops above the city was Harry Potter himself straddling his broomstick.
The display continues through Jan. 1.

KMD Architects' Kings Cross Station.

Harry Potter in action. The model, designed by Magnolia architect Stacy Smedley, was a "treat."


Arcing power line found on ship at Pier 91

Around 2:20 a.m. Christmas morning, Seattle firefighters rushed to Pier 91 after reports of a ship fire. The first arriving engine company did not find any smoke or fire and instead discovered an arcing power line approximately 20 feet above the ship’s superdeck near the stern of the vessel. The power line was hitting against the side of the ship causing sparks to fly onto the decks below.
Firefighters were able to shut off the power to the 50-foot fishing vessel. Using Thermal Imaging Cameras or TICs, firefighters searched the vessel for any signs of fire below the deck. After thoroughly searching several decks of the vessel, firefighters did not find any fire aboard the ship. The ship was secured.
There were no reports of injuries and no one was aboard the ship at the time of the emergency response.