Updated Blaine school tours and Open House schedule

New and prospective Catharine Blaine parents can tour the school on the following dates:
  • K-5 Evening Tour/Open House: Tuesday, February 5, 6:30-8:30 pm


  • 6-8 Middle School Open House Tour: Thursday, February 7, 10-11 am


  • K-5 Open School Tour: Wednesday, February 26, 9:30-11:30 am


Questions? Please call the Blaine office at 206-252-1920

Doo you or don’t you scoop?

NOTE: I took several pictures of the subject matter and deemed them inappropriate at the last minute.

While at the park near Catharine Blaine last Sunday, I was struck by the vast amounts of dog feces.  There were more piles than I could count. Now, I know we are supposed to scoop the poop.  You know we are supposed to scoop the poop.  Here’s why…

The folks at Seattle.gov write

A single gram of pet waste, the size of a pea, contains 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Left on streets, curb strips and in yards and parks, pet waste can be carried by rainwater to storm drains and into our creeks, lakes and Puget Sound without treatment. It is one of the leading causes of bacterial contamination in our streams and causes other water quality problems just like livestock manure and fertilizer. There are bacteria and micro-organisms in pet waste such as Roundworms, E. coli, and Giardia that can make people sick if they’re ingested. Some can last in your yard for as long as four years if not cleaned up. Children who play outside and adults who garden are at greatest risk of infection. If pet waste is washed into the storm drain it ends up in lakes, streams or marine water, and people can accidentally swallow bacteria and other disease-causing organisms while swimming or playing in the water. These bacteria also end up in shellfish, and can make the people who eat them very sick.

GROSS. If that isn’t enough, there are laws in Seattle to protect our health and our environment which require pet waste to be picked up and disposed of properly.

SMC 9.25.082 (A) Allowing the accumulation of feces (civil infraction, $109.00 fine) (B) Not removing feces from another’s property (civil infraction, $54.00 fine) (C) Not having equipment to remove feces (civil infraction $54.00 fine)

SMC 9.25.081 (G) Keeping an animal in unsanitary conditions (criminal – animal cruelty, maximum $1,000 fine)

SMC 18.12.080 (C) In Parks: Failure to carry equipment for removing feces OR failure to place feces in appropriate receptacle. (civil infraction, maximum $54 fine)

I admit, poop scooping is the worst part of owning our almost 80 pound dog. But I will if you will.


Nikos Gyros Gives Back

By reporter Steven Smalley
This year is going to be different for Alexandra “Alex” Serpanos, owner of Nikos Gyros restaurant in the Village. In 2013 she is going to give back to the community with all of her heart. The famous sign in the window, “Never on Sunday” needs to be changed. “Now it’s almost always never on Sunday,” she says, blushingly.
The last Sunday of every month this year will be a day business is open, but not for business-as-usual. Beginning this past Sunday, 100% of all proceeds, including tips, will go to a different charitable organization chosen by the restaurant. January is designated for the Moyer Foundation’s Camp Erin, a bereavement camp for children. The camp is an opportunity for children who have lost someone to be around other kids in similar situations. The services are provided at no charge.
“I don’t have the final numbers. I know we did well. We also had customers who came to eat who wrote out nice checks,” Alex explains.
The last Sunday of each month this year, the restaurant will be open to serve breakfast, which is not their usual fare. All proceeds will be donated to charitable organizations.
“I felt good about it from the beginning. I was a little nervous because I had never done breakfast before. It went well, but we are ready for more volume,” she says. The charities designated to receive the proceeds from the restaurant’s efforts will change every month. Alexandra has spoken with organizations concerning foster children, senior citizens, women’s shelters, and food banks. In a message to the folks in Magnolia she asks, “There’s a lot of people in need. Please come in. You’re supporting a wonderful cause. I believe the more good you do, the more good that comes back.” Additionally, others are helping in different ways inside the restaurant during the event. “I had two high school students come in and serve. They were able to get service hours for their graduation requirement at school,” she says. To volunteer or help in any way, Alex suggests you call the restaurant at 206-285-4778.

One bank robber in custody. Two to go?

They may not have Magnolia’s most recent bank robber in custody that we know of, but it seems authorities have gotten one of the bad guys. Police blotter author Jonah Spangenthal-Lee writes “Police believe they’ve finally found an elusive bank robber famous for resembling that guy who sang about searching for his lost shaker of salt

 The Safe Streets Task Force has been after the 44-year-old Jimmy Buffett Bandit since September, when he first began his robbery spree. Police believe the man is responsible for at least nine different bank robberies in and around Seattle:

1. 9/7/12 Key Bank at 7307 35th Ave NE in Seattle

2. 10/2/12 Homestreet Bank at 8200 35th Ave NE in Seattle

3. 10/30/12 Peoples Bank at 3300 W. McGraw St. in Seattle

4. 11/5/12 US Bank at 4040 Factoria Blvd SE in Bellevue

5. 11/28/12 US Bank at 8702 35th Ave NE in Seattle

6. 12/13/12 US Bank at 17601 SE 272nd St. in Covington

7. 12/19/12 Wells Fargo at 9750 NE 117th Lane in Kirkland

8. 1/15/13 Wells Fargo at 1419 Marvin Rd NE in Lacey

9. 1/24/13 US Bank at 1019 8th Ave N in Seattle

Spangenthal-Lee writes “Margaritas will be hard to come by where he’s going.”

Police nabbed the robber last Thursday night.  Here’s what went down, according to the SPD Blotter:

After receiving a report of a robbery Thursday evening, police walked into a South Lake Union bank and found cash and a gun strwhat happened during the incident ewn across the bank’s floor, and a security guard holding down a masked robber.

Around 5:30 pm Thursday, a 44-year-old man—dressed in a ski mask and armed with a gun—walked into the US Bank near Westlake Avenue and 8th Avenue N., threatened to shoot a bank clerk, and demanded cash.

As the bank clerk was handing money over to the suspect, a bank security guard walked up behind the robber and knocked his gun (which turned out to be fake) out of his hand.

The suspect wrestled with the guard, and both men fell to the floor. The guard was able to overpower the suspect, and hold him down until police arrived and arrested him.

Photo from SPD Blotter


Car2Go parked2long

By reporter Steven Smalley

You may have seen the little white Smart cars with blue trim parked throughout the city. They were spotted here in Magnolia too, either on the road or at the curb. Daimler Corporation’s Car2Go automobiles are rented by the minute in nine cities in North America, including Seattle since December. Equipped with GPS, customers park their rental cars when they have concluded their ride, then the cars are located by computer to be assigned to the next driver as demand dictates. That is where our story begins.

One of the benefits of renting a 38-cent-a-minute Car2Go is customers do not pay for parking in Seattle. It is free at meters and residential areas around town. Daimler pays the city $1,330 per vehicle, per year for the privilege, according to published reports.  All of this looks good on paper until a car left in a 2-hour zone in the Village overstays its welcome. “We have a Car2Go that’s been parked out front since Monday at 2 o’clock,” says the bar manager at one of the restaurants. At the time of this report it had been there five days with no tickets on the windshield, according to the manager. “It’s Friday afternoon. It’s a big day for restaurants and bars. And we’re missing one parking place,” she points out.  When a customer service representative was contacted by Magnolia Voice, they asked if the business had called the phone number on the rear of the car to complain?  “We were curious to see how long they would actually let it sit,” came the reply from the restaurant manager.  Later, Magnolia Voice spoke with a Car2Go spokesperson who was contrite.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have created, but would certainly encourage any concerned business owners or residents to call us if they do have any questions about a specific car.” She continued, saying they, “Have a system in place for ensuring cars do not sit for long periods of time.” Then added, “They can always call the phone number on the back of the Car2Go if they have a question or would like more information. With cities growing,” she asserts, “There is a great need to look at ways to reduce traffic and parking congestion, reduce emissions, and find ways to help residents and businesses maintain a great quality of life…Car2Go helps to address that.”

According to the Village business, the Car2Go is now gone.

More about Car2Go can be found on their website here.


Big turnaround in 2012 for Magnolia & Queen Anne housing market (sponsored story)

(This is a sponsored story written by John Madrid, Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate).

What a difference a year makes … sale prices continue their climb and time on market continues to drop. It is definitely turning into a seller’s market.

For the 10th out of the last 12 months the median sale price for single-family homes sold on Magnolia & Queen Anne met or exceeded the sale price for the same period a year prior. Much of this trend can be attributed to a decrease in the supply of new listings in 2012 compared to 2011.

In addition to a shortage of inventory, record low interest rates, continued strong hiring by Amazon, Microsoft and a slew of smaller to midsize companies and a general belief that the market has hit bottom has resulted in strong appreciation for most Seattle home owners and sellers in 2012.

The median sale price for single-family homes sold in 2012 on Magnolia & Queen Anne was $565,000 compared to $527,500 for 2011, an over 7% increase. The average time on market decreased to 51 days for 2012 from 60 days in 2011.

A less than a 3 month supply of homes is generally considered a Seller’s market while 3-6 months in inventory is considered a “balanced” market. The overall supply of Magnolia & Queen Anne homes averaged around 2.7 months of inventory for 2012 versus a 4.2 month supply for 2011.

Expected trends for 2013 include continued low interest rates and inventory as well as multiple offers situations for competitively priced homes in popular neighborhoods including Magnolia & Queen Anne with their great walkability, popular schools and proximity to downtown.

More stats on other Seattle neighborhoods can be found here.

Tip: Even in a strong home Seller’s market amazing photos and professional marketing materials (including a custom website and full color two sided flyers) can result in a quicker sale and the best sale price.

John Madrid is a Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate – University Village and is a 2005-2012 Seattle Magazine “Five Star” Agent. His clients include both home buyers and sellers. He can be reached at 206-498-1880, john@live206.com or www.live206.com.

(Statistics are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed. All information should be verified to the users own satisfaction.)