Seattle's Magnolia Neighborhood News Blog

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Sending a Kindergartner to Blaine next year? Don’t forget to register!

April 23rd, 2014 by Sara

If you have a child headed for kindergarten at Catharine Blaine next year, the time to register is now.  Only 61 kinders are currently signed up and staffing decisions are based on enrollment numbers.

Click here to go to the Seattle Public Schools website to get started, or for more information.

From Blaine’s website:

We are excited to announce that Jump Start will be back at Blaine this year! Jump Start is a program that was started last year as a step to help Kindergartners and families feel excited and ready for school.  We want to invite incoming Kindergartners to participate in this FREE four day program from June 23 – 26, 2014 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

During Jump Start, your child will become familiar with the school building, meet new friends, learn school routines, play games, practice new skills, and get to know some of the school staff.  Registration will be limited to 50 students to ensure that we can provide a positive, small group experience.  To allow those new to our community the best opportunity to get to know Blaine and learn about Kindergarten, priority will be given to families who are new to Blaine prior to current Blaine families.

We will be mailing registration information to students who are registered with the district to attend Blaine in the fall. You do not need to call the school to register. Please register your child with Seattle Public Schools if you have not done so to be included in this wonderful program! More information about how to register can be found here.  

We hope to see your child at Jump Start this June! 6/23/2014 (9:00 AM – 12:00 PM)


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Consternation over Discovery Park permits

April 22nd, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
A handful of email messages pour into the offices of Magnolia Voice designed to generate attention relating to permit applications made to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development regarding the historic officers’ homes in Discovery Park. Folks are upset.
Permits will request the separation of 22 historic homes, now privately owned, from their physical structures (duplexes +1 single unit) and legally attach them to the land on which they sit, according to spokesman from the City of Seattle.
Emailers want to draw attention to the perception that contractors will then attempt construction at some point on or near the historic area. Others say it will not happen. No construction will ever take place without permission from the Landmarks Preservation Board, they explain.
According to the City of Seattle, the purpose of the permits is to allow fee-simple ownership. Fee-simple is: “The highest form of estate (ownership). The property owner is entitled to full enjoyment of the property, limited only by zoning laws, deed or subdivision restrictions or covenants,” according to published legal definitions.
One park faction wants the public alerted to what they feel is an attempt by builders to begin the construction process. Others think construction is an impossibility, given constraints by the homes’ historic status.
The legal attachment of buildings to the land will give future homeowners a legal description of the property, as explained by the city’s spokesman. No new construction is proposed, he said.
In keeping with the vaunted Seattle Process, a disagreement has materialized – one fraught with bureaucratic minutia and journalistic land mines.
For the sake of brevity, the following are portions of correspondence on this issue. The initial submission to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray by Julia Allen, Board of Trustees for Friends of Discovery Park, whose letter entitled, “Privatization and Historic Guideline Process – Fort Lawton Historic District,” is excerpted. In rebuttal, Monica Wooten, past-president of the Magnolia Historical Society, and participant in the Fort Lawton Historic Guidelines process, states her opposing views.
Julia Allen: Discovery Park is the largest piece of parkland that the City owns…Within the center of Discovery Park is the 97 acre Fort Lawton Landmark District.  And within that, is 11.5 acres of private in-holdings with 26 homes….
Friends of Discovery Park has been concerned and involved with the transfer of the 11.5 acres of Navy property to private hands….
Monica Wooten: While the privatization of the historic homes at Fort Lawton was not the first choice for many of us during the long time-period [over 4 years...] that this was transpiring, it became abundantly clear: that though Friends hoped to change the course of this, they were unsuccessful. They were unable to pull together the parties and the money to stop the privatization….
Allen: …We sadly and reluctantly “accepted” that these homes and these 11.5 acres were going to be in some kind of private ownership. There was absolutely nothing we could do about it, so our next strategy was to try to mitigate the impact that the residents of these homes would have on the Park.
But in the end, all of our comments and requests went unheeded by the Department of Neighborhoods and the Landmarks Preservation Board.  They never even acknowledged the unique location of this Landmark District completely surrounded by City parkland, and they did nothing to protect the Park from adverse influences by the occupants of the private in-holdings. Instead they claimed there was no difference between the Harvard-Belmont Historic District on Capitol Hill and the Fort Lawton Historic District in Discovery Park.
Wooten: This is simply not true. Friends of Discovery Park were a consistent and outspoken partner in the process. Their suggestions were certainly heard, considered, and many were incorporated into the Final Guidelines. The Park was constantly on all of our minds throughout the process as was the intent to protect the Park from resident’s behaviors that would interfere with the Park’s Master Plan of quiet and solitude; and, preserve the history of these homes.
There have been residents living in the homes decades longer than the Park’s existence. There already existed a Historic District within the Park (that is not well-maintained and that remains a concern and an issue of the Magnolia Historical Society). And, you should rest assured: the Guidelines were fairly arrived at and represent a good set of restrictions that, in my mind, will not allow change to houses, the Park or its use in any significantly adverse way. The integrity of the Master Plan was upheld by the Guidelines.
Allen: Now the properties are going to be sold to a private developer who has plans to subdivide them into 22 individual lots. That will be 22 different owners with their 22 different ideas and interpretations and their 22 different adversarial attorneys. No one can seriously dismiss the detrimental impact this will have on Discovery Park.
Wooten: Again, this is untrue. The division comes as a natural part of setting up private residences. These private residences will be formed into a Home Owner’s Association in which the Guidelines will be part of the leading principles and conditions of living there; limiting litigation on issues and upholding the principles of the protections they set up.
It is my sincere hope that as we enter the reality of the privatization of the property the groups that have been involved and have interest in history, preservation and Discovery Park will continue to work together to make this a most positive collaboration that preserves history, respects the Master Plan of Discovery Park and ushers in a new era with grace.
Allen: Please consider this “last ditch 11.9th hour” request to ask that you, as Seattle Mayor, take the necessary steps to stop this impending sale, and to move to acquire ownership of these private in-holdings for the citizens of Seattle.  Only by doing so can we ensure that Discovery Park will remain the crown jewel of Seattle parks, now and in perpetuity.


McClure PTSA hosts Dr. Laura Kastner tonight

April 22nd, 2014 by Sara

All are invited to the McClure PTSA meeting tonight to hear Dr. Kastner’s presentation HARD WORK: Building Success with Good Habits, Wisdom and Grit. 


The first 62 meeting attendees will receive her most recent book (Wise-Minded Parenting: 7 Essentials for Raising Successful tweens and teens) for FREE. Here’s the schedule of events:
6:00-6:30 Social time and PTSA business (budget, board elections)
6:30-8:30 Dr. Kastner presentation
HARD WORK: Building Success with Good Habits, Wisdom and Grit
Laura Kastner, Ph.D
When we envision our parenting experience after infancy, we think of cuddling with our children, enjoying books and puzzles and teaching them life skills. And then reality ensues, and we also experience rudeness, non-compliance, and down-right defiance of your reasonable rules. Yes, that is normal child development. How much should you prioritize respect, manners and chores? And how do you improve their homework and achievement habits? You know you’re supposed to give them wiggle-room for mistakes and moodiness, but still-how do you implement strategies that truly engender cooperation?
In this presentation, Dr. Kastner will review some of the “best practices” in parenting that have emerged over the last fifty years of research and highlight recent research in the field which are game changers. For instance, did you know that compared to IQ scores, self-control is twice as predictive of success in adulthood? And that trying to discipline a child in the midst of an extreme outburst will backfire, worsen your relationship and lead to poorer outcomes in their development? And if you don’t know a whole lot about the science of emotions, you’re really missing the boat!
Come join us for a stimulating discussion about wise-minded parenting strategies and the predictors of success in adolescence. Dr. Kastner will present highlights from her new book, Wise-minded Parenting, and answer your questions about any aspect of parenting adolescents.
For more information, click here  and here.
DR. LAURA KASTNER is a clinical psychologist who has conducted research, maintained a clinical practice and presented numerous workshops for parents. She is a clinical professor in both the psychology department and the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington. In addition to her academic articles in the fields of child, adolescent and pediatric psychology, Dr. Kastner has co-authored four books:  The Seven Year Stretch:  How Families Work Together To Grow Through Adolescence, Houghton-Mifflin, 1997; The Launching Years:  Strategies for Parents from Senior Year to College Life, Three Rivers Press, 2003; Getting to Calm:  Cool-headed strategies for parenting tweens and teens, ParentMap, 2009; and
Wise-Minded Parenting: 7 Essentials for Raising Successful tweens and teens, ParentMap, 2013.
Dr. Kastner is frequently interviewed in the media and presents lectures to the public on a wide-range of family and child development topics in settings across the United States. She and her husband of 28 years have two grown children.
McClure Middle School
1915 1st Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119

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Frightening occupied home burglary

April 20th, 2014 by Sara

An MV tipster wrote on April 19th:

A friend of mine in Magnolia was robbed last night around 4:30am. The scariest part is that they were home asleep, both boys asleep…and the dad’s brother, his wife, and two boys were there asleep. Their car was in the car port and their second car was parked out front. Both couples woke up to the noise but figured it was the other couple doing something. The two year old woke up and started crying…the people took off then….they got in through their backdoor which is less than 30 feet from their boys room and their room.

They took all laptops, ipads, car keys, phones, and were trying to take the tv off the wall. She also heard them going through the medicine cabinet.

I don’t know much else but if you have an alarm, make sure you set it. ALL the time.

She wrote again the next day:

They came back last night and took her car even though she got it re-keyed.

A very scary incident. We are glad they are all unharmed.




April 20th, 2014 by Sara

Reader Mona sent us this rainbow picture

Thanks, Mona!

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Egg Hunt this Saturday

April 16th, 2014 by Sara


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.


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.