Frank discussion about teen drug and alcohol use and prevention at Ballard. H.S. next week

Next Tuesday evening, Northwest Seattle Coalition for a Drug-Free Community presents “It’s not MY kid!”, a public release and discussion of the latest data from the Ballard High School and surrounding Middle School Student Health Survey.  The forum will also include tips on guiding your teen around drug and alcohol influences:

Every two years, the state conducts a survey among 8th, 10th and 12th grade students that assesses health and risk behaviors. Lisa Sharp from the Seattle School district will present an analysis of the Seattle School’s newest data, including interesting information on kids’ attitudes towards marijuana and alcohol use.  Afterwards, Frank Couch from SAMA (Science And Management of Addiction will speak to us about how to coach your kids through this landscape, and how to clarify family rules and expectations. Questions and open discussion afterwards. Join us…and pass the word along!

Tuesday May 7th
Ballard High School Library 1418 NW 65th St
 7:00 – 8:30pm

 For more information, contact NW Seattle Drug-Free Communities Coalition.

Seattle Animal Shelter hosts “Cool City Pets” event

By Ruth Whyman

UW News Lab

The Seattle Animal Shelter welcomed members of the public to its monthly “Cool City Pets” events Saturday, April 20, where visitors could get acquainted with many of the small animals available for adoption.

“Cool City Pets” or “critters” included hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, snakes and even a turtle named Amanda; all animals perfect for apartments and inner-city homes where dogs and cats might not be a viable option. Visitors were able to view and handle animals in a safe, enclosed environment.

The shelter also offers a pet loss support group. It has met every Thursday since one volunteer lost her pet in 2007 and realized that an outlet for people to openly express their grief could be beneficial.

The organization boasts around 400 volunteers and 32 full-time staff.

Sis Odland, a Seattle local, had heard about “Cool City Pets” and went to check out the event. She acknowledges the all-round great work the shelter and its staff does.

“Without [the volunteers] these animals wouldn’t have a home. … They’re all really amazing people.”

Critter Team Lead Killy Keefe has volunteered at the shelter for five years and considers herself a full-time adoptive parent outside the shelter also.

“My life revolves around this place,” she said. “I’m here every day. It’s an addiction.”

The staff’s hard work does not go unrewarded. For every animal they find adoptive parents for, the return rate is a mere 4 to 5 percent, arguably a result of the lengthy adoption process (which includes two interviews) to make sure prospective parents are a proper match for a given animal.

Mavis is a 7-month-old pit bull who came in terribly malnourished after receiving insufficient care as a puppy. She is now “super snuggly and cute,” according to Kara Main-Hester, who has been the volunteer and fundraising manager at the shelter for four and a half years. Even so, she remained in a small percentage that didn’t find the perfect match for adoptive parents.

This is one of the many unfortunate situations the staff has to deal with.

While standing in the doorway of the “critters room,” a dog was led by whose food allergies had gone untreated before being admitted to the shelter. He had been shaved of most of his fur, revealing a red, inflamed rash.

When it comes to animal abuse and seeing distressing cases, “It’s always hard to get your head around,” Main-Hester said. But she insists that “It’s a great place to work. … If I ever have a stressful day and need a break, I come and have a cuddle with a dog.”

As sad as a story might begin, ultimately the animals end up happy, healthy and waiting for love.

Main-Hester weighs in on making the decision to adopt a pet. “Think carefully about your current lifestyle. … Ask yourself what you are willing to do. … Be horribly honest with yourself.”

If you decide to adopt an animal, you’re not just making their day but that of the shelter staff, too.

“Any time you have an animal that finds a home it’s a good deal,” Hester said. “It’s just the right thing to do.”



(RUTH WHYMAN is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.)


Man tries to open front door…but the door doesn’t belong to him

And in the completely bizarre and unnerving category-this was emailed to us over the weekend:
A strange guy came to our front door tonight just before 10 PM and tried to open the door. We live on Magnolia Way West, near Magnolia Bridge. He didn’t knock or ring the door bell. We talked to him on our intercom and he sounded intoxicated. He asked where Magnolia was and I said, “You are in Magnolia.” I asked what he wanted and he just mumbled unintelligibly. He wasn’t claiming to be selling magazines or anything like that, as reported in other parts of Magnolia.
He asked where downtown Magnolia was, and I encouraged him to walk towards W. Galer, hoping he would leave. He was at our door for 10-15 minutes. We called 911 and reported him to the police. While we were on the phone, he finally began walked to W. Galer. He then turned west and continued walking towards the Village. Moments later we saw a police car go in his direction.
My wife thought he was a black guy, but he looked light-skinned to me. It was difficult to see him through our door glass. He was probably 5’10”, slender, and was wearing a black shirt. He may have had a long grey goatee. Again, it was difficult to get a good look at him.
I think he was drunk or on something and I doubt he could remember how to get back to our house even if he wanted to. Very bazaar.
Once again, lock your doors… even when you are home! Please email us at with your experiences and sightings, no matter how large or small.

Lawton students art up at Magnolia Manor Park

By Monica Wooton

Over 60 pieces of art done by last year’s fifth grade classes of Ms.Ulmer and Mr. Hubbard, under the direction of Don Rockwell, Seattle Mural Artist and classroom volunteers LuAnn Mitchell and Monica Wooton were hung on a the north fence along a walking path at Magnolia Manor Park this past week. Bees, birds and butterflies and other park themed work adds an artistic touch and a fun aspect to the Park. The fifth graders raised money to get the artwork hung as well as did there own pieces. Plan a visit to the park, let your dog play in the new off leash area or walk around to the brand new P-Patch and for sure, take the art walk!


Are you heading to Springfest this Friday night?

Rain or shine, it’s time again for Springfest in the Village.  This annual event means the shops stay open a little bit later, and we get to enjoy art, live music, sips and snacks in the heart of Magnolia!  Here’s a preview of tomorrow night’s festivities:

See you there!

Nikos Gyros gives to senior center

By Steven Smalley

Photo by K. Kennell

The final Sunday of the month is upon us this weekend, which means Nikos Gyros, the Greek restaurant in The Village, serves Magnolia in a different way. In addition to their usual menu, Alexandra “Alex” Serpanos, the restaurant’s generous owner, dishes up brunch and gives 100% of receipts, including tips, to a community organization. The recipient for April is the Ballard Senior Center, which serves Magnolia, Queen Anne, and Ballard.

“I knew she was interested in older people, so I went and asked if she would do one for the Senior Center and she said, ‘Yes,’” reveals Kay Kennell, a volunteer for the center. “It’s really quite a remarkable place.”
Open Sunday 11a.m. to 4p.m., Nikos Gyros employees volunteer their time and take no pay for the day, instead donating it to the cause.
Run by King County, the Ballard Senior Center serves 2500 different people every month. With only 30% of their budget covered by the county, 70% must be raised to support programs as diverse as sewing classes and language education. Anyone over 50 can visit and enjoy services. Membership is not required. Lunch, made from scratch, is served daily.
Serpanos says she is surprised by how many people stop by and not only have a nice meal, but also give checks too.
“We encourage everyone from Magnolia to go to Nikos and patronize the event,” says Kennell.
Students who need community service hours are invited to call, as well as others who want to volunteer. Their telephone number at Niko’s Gyros is 206-285-4778.
The Ballard senior center is located two blocks north of the Hiram Chittenden Locks.