Magnolia public safety meeting

All are invited to a focus group to gather Magnolia’s community perceptions of public safety and the performance of our police department. The focus group will be held in the West Precinct Community Meeting Room, on July 26th at 6pm, and will run for about an hour.

Contact Chase Yap at with questions.

Summerfest fundraising starts young in Magnolia!


Doug writes:

Two of our neighbors’ girls, Maggie (11) and Vivian(9) Jones, along with their friend Joie Ciro (9) decided to have a Summerfest fundraiser out on Magnolia Blvd… They sold lemonade and Fudgsicles, and dropped by an envelope with $45.26 a little while ago. Awesome, for sure especially when we learned they won’t even be here for Summerfest.

summerfest 1 summerfest 3

Summerfest organizers say there is much to do.  If you’d like to donate to the most-anticipated event of the summer, click here.

Are you ready for triplexes?

Single-family neighborhoods, such as Magnolia, are under siege, according to Magnolia Voice readers who asked for help revealing plans by the City of Seattle. In a nutshell, proposals to reduce regulations which would allow backyard living structures, smaller set backs, and no additional parking requirements are coming to Magnolia and the rest of Seattle if Councilman Mike O’Brien and Mayor Ed Murray get their way, according to critics.
Michael Plunkett, a Magnolia resident, and former Edmonds City Council member who sits on the Magnolia Community Council as its land use chairman, had a conversation with Magnolia Voice to explain what homeowners may not understand. He speaks as a private citizen and not as a representative of the community council. The following exchange is edited for length and clarity.

Magnolia Voice: What is the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda?
Michael Plunkett: HALA is basically 65 recommendations. It isn’t one big piece of legislation moving forward. The council and the mayor grab pieces and run with it. Two sections that are really starting to get interest are councilman O’Brien’s rewriting of the code for backyard cottages [mother-in-law units]. And some people’s effort to put triplexes, duplexes, and stacked flats in single-family neighborhoods.

MagVo: What are O’Brien and the city Council trying to do?
MP: They will change the regulations for existing zoning ability – to add a backyard cottage. Technically it’s a “Detached Dwelling Unit.” Euphemistically it’s a Backyard Cottage or a “Mother-in-Law.” [The City] wants to change the existing code in association with that.

MagVo: A detached dwelling unit is a separate building? What does the city want to do?
MP: In the existing code it says one of the people living on this lot has to be an owner. Councilman O’Brien wants to take out the ownership requirement. Right now if you put in a detached unit, you must provide parking. O’Brien wants to take out the parking requirement. Normally if you want to put in a detached unit there would be setbacks. O’Brien will reduce those to almost nothing. Also under the proposal, not only can you have a detached unit, you could have an attached unit.

MagVo: You could have a building in your backyard plus a mother-in-law in your basement?
MP: Yes. Plus you don’t have to be owner-occupied.

MagVo: There could be a renter in the house, a renter in the backyard, and a renter in the basement?
MP: Yes, AND provide no parking. In essence, a rentable triplex. Under their proposal there would be approximately 120,000 homes around Seattle that could become triplexes. The Magnolia Community Council wrote a letter to the City Council saying we support backyard cottages. We support them using common sense existing standards – parking, setbacks – because livability counts. The Magnolia Community Council opposed Councilman O’Brien’s proposal to create triplexes in single-family neighborhoods.

MagVo: The HALA proposal says single-family homes are unsustainable. Explain that.
MP: I’ll try. Some people believe single-family neighborhoods are racist. Some people believe single-family neighborhoods are exclusionary. Some people believe single-family neighborhoods have no right to exist. HALA has latched on to that and decided to run with it. The HALA proposal does have a remedy for all of these “evils” they see in single-family neighborhoods, i.e., duplexes, and triplexes, and backyard cottages.

MagVo: What about Seattle’s housing crisis? Is this a legitimate attempt at a solution? Don’t people move into a single-family neighborhood because they want to be in that environment?
MP: That’s the rub. People who buy in a single-family neighborhood expect it to be a single-family neighborhood. If you buy multi-family neighborhood you expect it to be multi-family. The question: Is this a solution? No, it is not a solution.

MagVo: Why isn’t it a solution?
MP: According to the City of Seattle’s Department of planning and development, Seattle has a capacity for 225,000 more units without any re-zoning. According to King County’s development report, in surrounding urban cities there are another 225,000 units of usable capacity. King County’s report says outside of the urban areas there are 27,000 acres zoned residential that are unused. Using existing capacity will meet demand. You don’t have to destroy single family neighborhoods to meet the need.

MagVo: Councilman O’Brien and the City Council indicated changes to these regulations would have no environmental impact whatsoever, thus not requiring any environmental impact studies. Isn’t involvement by neighborhoods a big part of the State Environmental Policy Act?
MP: The neighborhood community councils – Magnolia, Queen Anne, Wallingford, and others in the south – are opposing the changes in regulations to their single-family neighborhoods. So now the mayor and the City Council are ending the district councils. The other day the mayor said we have come to the end of the district councils. The district councils’ representatives to the city will no longer exist. They will no longer have a representative at an official city body. What the mayor and City Council are doing, they want to put in, what they are calling, a council that is more “representative.” They will be hand-picked. The mayor says he will redirect funding. The district councils are history. In place of it the city will create their own neighborhood input entity. They’re using “diversity” as a cover – that district councils aren’t diverse enough. The city will be able to say this committee supports backyard cottages, duplexes, triplexes, and stacked flats. It’s just a shell game.

MagVo: What has happened to the neighborhood focus?
MP: The Council does not like the opinions of the neighborhood. Wallingford is fighting tooth and nail, not just Queen Anne. Wallingford is pushing back hard. They put hundreds of people in these meetings. Wallingford is referred to as an “urban area.” Magnolia is not. Queen Anne is not. In Wallingford, two blocks off of the commercial district are single-family homes. In an “urban area,” everything becomes multi-family and height goes up. They feel it more than we do.

MagVo: Queen Anne is asking for donations to appeal the proposal. What do you want neighbors here to do? Write emails to city officials? Do people even know what’s going on?
MP: The duplex, triplex, stacked flat proposal for single-family neighborhoods has not come to the forefront. The neighborhoods haven’t seen the worst of it.

Councilman O’Brien’s office was contacted by Magnolia Voice for comment. We received no reply.

Magnolia Community Council’s Michael Plunkett

Magnolia Community Council’s Michael Plunkett

Apartment fire leaves a neighbor in need

Many heard the sirens on June 13th. Magnolia resident, Nancy Hoffman, lost everything in the fire that blazed through her apartment on 34th Ave W, across from Met Market.

Rochelle from Magnolia writes:

Please consider supporting (Nancy). Her apartment on 34th…is totaled. Nancy is in ICU at Harborview. She has lost her 3 beloved kitties to the fire. Her dog is in emergency care.

Nancy has spent her life caring for others as visiting Registered Nurse for the elderly. It will be very hard for her to start over when all has been lost. (There is) a GoFundMe campaign for Nancy:

Any help from the community would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your compassion and generosity. The community in Magnolia is so supportive!

Magnolia Voice spoke to City of Seattle Fire Lieutenant Harold Webb.  He said the call of a reported kitchen fire came in at 2:20am.  When firefighters arrived, there was smoke showing from the unit.  Webb said “They found the occupant still in the apartment and trapped in a bedroom.” Firefighters got the fire under control and she was able to walk out. Webb said the cause of the fire is “unattended cooking.”

Free Shakespeare in the Park…Discovery!

GreenStage celebrates its 28th season with Shakespeare in the Park plays Cymbeline and The Merry Wives of Windsor. This summer, they will perform at Discovery Park.  Admission is free, just bring a blanket and a picnic! GreenStage recommends arriving 20 early minutes to find the best patch of grass. Follow their yellow signs around Discovery to find the “stage”. Click here for more information and a full list of GreenStage’s performance spots.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

by Ken Holmes | posted in: Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare in the Park |

Directed by Daniel Wood

Sir John Falstaff arrives in Windsor somewhat short on cash, and decides his best remedy for the situation is to marry a rich woman. He sets about courting the married Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, sending identical letters to each. The merry wives quickly figure out Falstaff’s game, and while they’re not at all interested in his advances, they lead him on in order to play a series of jokes and indignities on him. Meanwhile, three suitors compete for the hand of Page’s daughter, Anne. Who will win? And what of the others in this tale of love and marriage, jealousy and revenge?


Pictured: Paul Shapiro as Falstaff, Nicole Vernon as Mistress Ford, and Erin Day as Mistress Page. Photo by Ken Holmes

Fri, July 29 @ 7:00 pm at Camp Long

Sun, Jul 31 @ 3:00 pm at Discovery Park



by Ken Holmes | posted in: Cymbeline, Shakespeare in the Park |

Directed by Vince Brady

Pity poor Imogen! Her dad, King Cymbeline, banishes her love Posthumus from the kingdom because he wants her to marry royally and produce a proper heir. The Queen, her stepmother, wants her own son Cloten to marry her and plots to kill both Imogen and Cymbeline in a power grab. Posthumus, in Italy, makes a really dumb bet that leads to lots of trouble. Palace intrigue, treachery, murder plots, and deception challenge the characters of Cymbeline who, with the help of two surprise players, overcome mistrust and jealousy to live happily ever after. Except the Queen and Cloten, who as bad guys get what they deserve.



Pictured: John Bergeron as Iachimo, Katherine Jett as Imogen, Eric Hampton as Posthumus and Warren Haney as Cloten. Photo by Ken Holmes

Sat, Jul 30 @ 7:00 pm at Camp Long – West Seattle

Sun, Aug 7 @ 3:00 pm at Discovery Park


Take summer to the MAX


“Magnolia’s place for creative arts exploration and expression – A place where creativity, imagination and the arts flourish, where all are welcome. A safe place to encourage, nurture and develop the artist in each of us.”

The Magnolia Art Experience (MAX), a non-profit organization, presents a small summer sampling of classes for the public. During the summer they will be developing a more comprehensive class schedule for the fall quarter launch.

Upcoming events for MAX:

  • Summerfest parade on August 6
  • Some Saturdays the Magnolia Farmer’s Market with our art table
  • MUCC/MAX Benefit Talent/Variety Show September 18th.
  • October 15th book launch THE TRAIN TO ORVIETO by novelist Rebecca J. Novelli.

If you have ideas or suggestions for fall classes or you would like to be an instructor of a class please let them know by August 1st. Classes will be held at Magnolia United Church of Christ (MUCC). Summer listings:

Introduction to Watercolor

Instructor: by Nancy Gellos

Learn foundational watercolor techniques and experiment with materials and different approaches to achieve the look and feel you want in your painting.

Instruction, hands-on exercises and open discussions give you the opportunity to explore various techniques from set-up to painting. You will walk away with awareness of what to do and how to do it.

Teenagers to Adult

Number of students required: Minimum 4/ Maximum 8

Students receive instruction, try hands-on exercises, and discussions give students opportunities to explore various techniques from setup to painting. They will walk away with awareness of what to do and how to do it. This class is appropriate for teenagers to adults. Number of students required: Minimum 4 / Maximum 8

WORKSHOP DATES: Two-day Workshops

Workshop 1 Dates: Sat & Sun, July 16-17th, 2016 from 1:00-4:00 pm.

Workshop 2 Dates: Sat & Sun, August 20-21st, 2016 from 1:00-4:00 pm.

COST: $100 – ($75 per student plus supply fee $25 to instructor)

Introduction to Encaustic

Instructor: Colleen Monette

Encaustic (Greek: enkaustikos: meaning to burn in) the lost art of painting with hot, pigmented beeswax. Learn the basics and practice techniques of this ancient art form.

  • Learn the history through PowerPoint, safety, materials / tools needed with and demos of techniques.
  • Students will practice techniques and complete up to three pieces.
  • Students can expect to leave the workshop having learned the basics and the history of encaustic art.
  • Number of students required: Minimum 4 / Maximum 6

What to bring: bits of ephemera – instructor will contact students for additional items to bring.

What to wear: Students should wear comfortable clothing and a closed-toe shoes.

WORKSHOP DATES: Saturday, July 9th, 2016 from 1:00-5:00 pm

Saturday, August 20th, 2016 – 1:00-5:00 pm

COST: $90 ($65 per student plus $25 kit fee to instructor)

Gallery space for artists who would like to show their art is available there as well. Call Scott Ward at 206-696 2671 for more information.

To enroll in a summer class or for further information please email or call Ruth Becket at or 206-298-2979.




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