Seattle's Magnolia Neighborhood News Blog

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Magnolia crime report

April 15th, 2014 by Sara

The sun is out and property crime appears to be on the rise.  We receive several emails per day about car break-ins and other odd happenings.  Here are some highlights. Please remember to lock your cars, secure your homes and set your alarms!
First, a very brazen car break-in caught on video (click on the link below). Our tipster writes:
Dear neighbors,
Again we did not lock our cars last night. This time our iPhone charges were taken. Maybe you know those people? We live on 43rd Ave W and Bertona. The recording is from April 14th, 3:10am.
Please be sure to contact the police if you know the stars of this video…
And another one from the first week of April:

Hi, we live near Lawton park/school and had our SUV broken into overnight. Garage door opener and sunglasses were taken. Our garage door was opened, but nothing taken from inside. Luckily, they did not enter our home from inside the garage. Posting so that others in the area are aware and can be extra careful.

Finally, this crazy incident from the 11th:

Around 10:30 this evening, my husband was parked on the street at Met Market and as he came out of the store, a dark gray Prius drove by and an occupant hurled an orange at our car, actually breaking the front driver side light. It was driven by a teen male, with at least one other passenger. Of course, they drove away too fast for him to follow (which was probably a good thing because he is PISSED). Maybe you know who it is? I don’t expect them to contact us and fess up but I sure do think their parents should know about it.

Happy Spring!


Beer and Whiskey Walk Friday, April 25th from 6-9pm

April 14th, 2014 by Sara

Have you bought your tickets Magnolia’s first-ever Beer and Whiskey Walk? Wander the village and try delicious beers and whiskeys, while listening to live music by Goldbar.
Tickets are $25 in advance online here, or $30 the night of at Umpqua Bank.
Check in is at Umpqua bank at 6pm where you will receive your 10 tasting tickets (additional tickets may be purchased for $2 each) and walking map. Grab your friends and make a night of it!
*This is 21 and over event.


Want to design the Summerfest poster?

April 14th, 2014 by Sara

Calling all artists! Magnolia Summerfest is coming round again soon. They are looking for submissions for entries for the poster contest. The deadline is May 15.  Winner will receive their image on the poster and promotional materials for the event as well as a free booth at the Summerfest Festival (August 1 & 2). For more information and to submit digital images of art work for consideration, click here.

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This bud’s for you

April 11th, 2014 by Sara

Click here for video!

By reporter Steven Smalley


Legal marijuana – you knew it was coming.
Retailers can sell to consumers beginning in July, according to published reports. What you may not have considered is where the pot will grow – from seedling to salable commodity. Someone must cultivate it somewhere. Get ready…Seattle’s first state-sanctioned grow site – Sea of Green Farms – is located here in Magnolia.
“The reason we ended up in Magnolia is that we were told this is one of three places in all of Seattle that we could grow as much as we want to grow. We want to have 7,000 square feet,” reveals Bill Leeds, Capitol Hill resident and co-owner of Seattle’s first legal marijuana grow operation. “It’s because we are not located within 1,000 feet of anything to do with children, and this is a commercial neighborhood. Not only commercial, it’s also industrial.”
Leeds’ motivation to embark on a controversial new business in retirement is related to boredom and a fear of death around the corner, just as the golden years begin, he says. He has seen too many friends retire and then just as quickly, pass away.
“I thought there’d be a little money to be made and I thought it’d be a fun thing to do in retirement,” he revealed. There was no uncertainty of his future success. “You don’t know what the Fed’s are going to do. You don’t know what the state’s going to do. I never had a doubt it was going to work,” he insists.
Fear not, citizens of Magnolia. Leeds isn’t selling to individuals, only to retail stores that are already lining up to buy from him. Leeds says the phone rings 4-5 times a day with requests to provide them merchandise.
“We’re strictly growers and processors,” he emphasizes.
When asked about the reported high taxes placed on the weed, he explains the burden is not on growers. “There’s a lot of taxation, but it’s going to be paid by the retailer and by the consumer. Up to as much as 75%,” he explains.
As for product quality, “I’m not a smoker, but everyone says it’s nothing but good,” he declares.
Would he ever sell to a larger concern? His answer came without hesitation. “If a big company were to walk in and offer to buy us out, we’d be glad to do that if the price was right. We’d just go someplace else and start over again and rebuild,” he said.
Finally, Leeds wants his Magnolia neighbors to know they have nothing to fear from his secluded grow operation. “I just want you to know that you, your family and your children are safe,” he reassured.
Click here to view Magnolia Voice video story.


Student carwash raises money for landslide survivors

April 10th, 2014 by Sara

Blaine 5th Grade teacher Terri Jenkins has much to be proud of. After talking with her students about the Oso landslide, they decided they wanted to do something to help. She writes:

So, we brainstormed many ideas and decided upon a carwash and bake sale. We were hoping to raise about $500.00. Rather than having it at school, we decided to have it at Bernie’s Automotive where there would be more traffic because it’s on a main arterial. Bernie’s graciously donated their water, lot, carwash soap and sponges. With the help of many parents and about 45 energetic fifth graders, we surpassed our goal. We raised $ 2329.62! All of this will be going to the victims of the Oso landslide.

Well done!


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Magnolia real estate tidbits

April 8th, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
Lots of real estate chatter around the water cooler…actually Starbucks (remember when they had a water fountain?). Here are a few odds & ends for your casual consumption.
The most thought-provoking phenomenon revolves around the amount of housing inventory on the market – a desirable market it seems for newly-minted Amazon employees dreaming of a life away from South Lake Union.

At last check there were 34 homes for sale in Magnolia, not including condos. A typical average number of houses on the market is closer to 70-80 units, according to real estate sources. Of those 34 homes, 20 are listed at over $1 million. That leaves 14 homes in Magnolia available for under a mil. Supply & demand anybody?
On another front…we hear there’s a tear-down for nearly $750,000…homes in great shape just across the street sold for $800,000. Yeowza. Get ‘em while they’re hot….
Here’s the scoop on the construction encompassing two lots just behind the United Church of Christ. This reporter spoke with the owner who tells us, “I want to build as big a home as I can.” Looks like he’s about to get it. It’s a one-level, Spanish/Mediterranean-style home of 4,100 sq. ft. with a 4-car garage off the alley in the back.
Currently a Magnolia resident living in a three-story home on the north end, the owner wants a place that doesn’t require walking up and down so many floors. Look for the huge piles of dirt covered with black plastic near Bank of America. That’s the place. The home’s foundation is already poured.


Kite flying weather-paragliders take to Magnolia bluff

April 6th, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
In a brief window Friday, the clouds parted and the sun shone magnificently to provide superb conditions with which kites, flown by youngsters, might have taken flight in years past. Today is different. The kids are in school while adults dominate the skies.
Just above Magnolia’s western hilltop, one catches a quick glimpse of a flying wing with a man hanging just below it. It’s a startling, yet colorful apparition. Turns out our bluff provides ideal conditions to launch paragliders – billowing canopies with tethers similar to those used with parachutes – holding the enthusiast aloft.
Noah Briller, a healthcare professional who lives in Ballard, and Jake Pratt, a Magnolia resident employed by an outdoor retailer, were spotted with their gear perched above the spot where the bluff gave way in 1996 destroying several homes. The view is spectacular and the winds near perfect.
Participants concede it takes years of experience and practice before one can launch from an area such as the Magnolia bluff. Fear of injury perhaps isn’t as present in flyers as in observers.
“I’ve had more friends in the mountain biking community hurt themselves worse then my friends who are paragliders,” Briller reveals.
On this day, it was a light breeze which brought out the fly-boys. Winds perpendicular to the bluff collide with the hillside and then rise above it, creating updrafts which give the paragliders enough lift to stay in the air for more than two hours. These same currents make landings tricky, although the flying wings are maneuverable enough to allow a gentle touchdown – if you know what you’re doing.
It must be a rush, right? “It’s smooth. It’s calm. It’s quiet. It’s not like base jumping or skydiving where you’re in it for the adrenaline,” notes Briller. “If my heart rate is getting up, I’ve done something wrong.”
While standing around observing conditions with several paragliders gazing across Elliott Bay, the incoming weather shifted from glorious to ominous. Showers were evident in the distance and drifting in their direction.
“We’re not going,” declared Pratt. The perfect environment suddenly deteriorated. The sunny spring day was no more.  Any anxiety in these situations? “Yes, we’re all afraid of heights.”
For further information on the sport contact the U.S. Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association here.

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Donate blood at OLF tomorrow

April 6th, 2014 by Sara

Monday, April 7
Our Lady of Fatima Church Hall
3218 W Barrett

1:00pm to 7:00pm

Sponsored by the Magnolia Knights of Columbus
For more information contact Doug Gehrke at 206-282-4400.

How often do you donate blood? Why? Regular donors offering 3-6 gifts per year are the foundation of a stable Regional Blood Supply. Your offering is an investment in your personal wellbeing as well as the health of our community. 

Visit for new ID policy info or to print your Donor Card.

You make a difference. Whenever you contribute and whatever you give… thank you for sharing your life.

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Two ways to help out this weekend

April 4th, 2014 by Sara


Friends of the man who was injured during the KOMO news helicopter crash are raising money to help with his medical expenses. This weekend, all are invited to a “‘Pop Up Basement” (or garage) sale to support Richard Newman at Magnolia Lutheran’s Luther Hall.

The group is hoping to raise $2,500.00 to contribute to Newman’s expenses. Family friend, Tomackie Kim writes:


We are hoping that the community can come out to support Richard and his family by donating items on Friday and Saturday and shopping on Saturday 4/5 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Magnolia Lutheran Church located at 2414 31st Avenue West. We will be accepting as donations and selling: small furniture, houshold appliances, books, sporting goods, gently used and current clothing, craft items, holiday items, toys and all other reasonable garage sale items.  (Please no large sofas, TVs or florist vases).

Shop, donate or both! No matter what, you are helping out.


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McClure Mixer this weekend

April 4th, 2014 by Sara


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