Seattle's Magnolia Neighborhood News Blog

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City to provide free activities for Seattle students during May 19 teacher walk-out

May 12th, 2015 by Sara

Wondering what to do with your school kid during the teacher walk-out?

Seattle Parks and Recreation has announced it will open and staff drop-in activities at 21 designated community centers (INCLUDING MAGNOLIA!) for Seattle Public School students from kindergarten to 8th grade in response to the May 19 teacher walk-out. The free program will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19 and will include supervised recreation activities, with an anticipated supervision ratio of 20 children to 1 adult leader.

“We’re willing to open Seattle’s community centers for parents needing daycare on May 19,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Our programs for school age kids offer educational and fun options during the summer and school vacations. It just makes sense for Parks for to step up during this exceptional circumstance.”

Due to space limitations, eligible students will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. All students must have a completed registration form. Registration forms can be obtained at open community centers, at the community centers the day of the drop-in service, or printed here. To hold a spot at a center register in advance click hereA registration formstill must be brought to the community center on the 19th.

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Associated Recreation Council will staff these sites. Parents are asked to drop off eligible children by 9:00 a.m. Spaces for parents who have pre-registered will not be held past 9:00 a.m. Once signed in, children will only be released to the authorized contacts listed on the registration form (identification is required).

Send your student with a sack lunch sign up  asap!


The drop-in activities will be available at the following community centers:

  • Alki, 5817 SW Stevens St.
  • Ballard, 6020 28th Ave. NW
  • Bitter Lake, 13035 Linden Ave. N
  • Delridge, 4501 Delridge Way SW
  • Garfield, 2323 E Cherry St.
  • Hiawatha, 2700 California Ave. SW
  • High Point, 6920 34th Ave. SW
  • Jefferson, 3801 Beacon Ave. S
  • Loyal Heights, 2101 NW 77th St.
  • Magnolia, 2550 34th Ave. W
  • Magnuson, 7110 62nd Ave. NE
  • Meadowbrook, 10517 35th Ave. NE
  • Miller, 330 19th Ave. NE
  • Northgate, 10510 5th Ave. NE
  • Queen Anne, 1901 First Ave. W
  • Rainier, 4600 38th Ave. S
  • Rainier Beach, 8825 Rainier Ave. S
  • Ravenna-Eckstein, 6535 Ravenna Ave. NE
  • South Park, 8319 8th Ave. S
  • Van Asselt, 2820 S Myrtle St.
  • Yesler, 917 E Yesler Way

Parks’ Teen Centers will be open 2:30-8:00 p.m. in order to provide some daytime drop-in activities for teens. Geographically located Teen Centers are Meadowbrook, Garfield, and Southwest. Click here.


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Is this your dog?

May 12th, 2015 by Sara

20150508_132904Stephanie writes:

This sweet girl was found on McGraw today (Saturday). If you know this dog, please contact the VCA Magnolia Animal Hospital.

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Sponsor (advertise with us)


Girl Scouts and Carleton Park Garden Club beautification project

May 12th, 2015 by Sara

GS Magnolia Park Cleanup event Girl Scout Troup 41157

GS Magnolia Park Cleanup event  (Girl Scout Troup 41157)

Some Magnolia Girl Scouts have been hard at work. In concurrence with Earth Day on April 22, the 4th graders of troop 41157 kicked off their Gardener Badge.  They visited a local garden, learned about native plants and are experimenting with planting seeds.
In addition, the Carleton Park Garden Club is sponsoring the troop’s Native Plants Badge.  4th graders learned how to identify native trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns, and ground cover realizing the importance of native plants in how they use less water and are better suited for and thrive our gardens.
Girl scouts planted individual peat pots with native wildflower seeds and took them home to water and observe for 2 weeks.  These pots were then planted by the red flower sculptures at the Gateway to Magnolia Park last Wednesday, May 6th, near the practice fields.
Girl Scouts show the native wildflower sprouts they planted from seeds. These sprouts were planted at the Magnolia Gateway park entrance

Girl Scouts show the native wildflower sprouts they planted from seeds.

The Girl Scouts and representatives of the Carleton Park Garden Club worked together on a beautification project by clearing debris, digging up invasive weeds and planting their peat pots of native wildflowers.


Members of the Carleton Park Garden Club (left to right) Gretchen Taylor, Kathy Carr, Shirley Clemans, Sonny Sine, Mollie Albrecht, Sarah O'Neill Members of the Carleton Park Garden Club (left to right)
Gretchen Taylor, Kathy Carr, Shirley Clemans, Sonny Sine, Mollie Albrecht, Sarah O’Neill

Thanks for making our neighborhood even more beautiful!

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Historical perspective: Magnolia- Smith the man and the continuing legacy Smith’s (Smith) Cove Park

May 7th, 2015 by Sara

By Monica Wooton

Interim President, Magnolia Historical Society

Though not as well-known or talked about as Arthur or David Denny, Henry Yesler or Doc Maynard in regard to Seattle’s early history, Dr. Henry A. Smith, Magnolia’s first Euro America pioneer, was quite a contributor to the newly establishing city in the 1850’s. He is the namesake for Smith’s (Smith) Cove on Magnolia bringing with him in his westward migration a vague vision for trains that would someday occupy that place.

Smith was 22 when he went west by wagon from Ohio. Demonstrating medical and common sense, Smith brought cholera medicine with him, knowing that the disease was prevalent on the wagon trains. To his credit, his instincts and humanitarianism is said to have saved many lives. He was originally headed for “California Gold Country” to utilize those skills and perhaps strike it rich there. He brought with him his mother and sister.


The most “official” portrait  used for Dr. Smith.  UW Special Collections  #UW 18650.

The most “official” portrait used for Dr. Smith. UW Special Collections #UW 18650.

According to Magnolia: Memories & Milestones, in the chapter “Magnolia’s First Pioneer”, it was during that trip that some important information was passed on to Smith: “The Northern Pacific Railway announced plans to extend to the Puget Sound…”- a highly undeveloped part of the west. Smith did not miss the implication of the potential cash reality of railroads.

In a change of plans, Smith decided to travel from Portland to the Puget Sound in a small canoe. Some accounts say a gruff friendly pioneer named L. M. Collins told Smith to pack his duds promising “in three days’ time I will land you in the Garden of Eden…” Paddling along the south bluff of Magnolia, Smith saw a bay flanked on both sides realizing it had good possibilities for trains and docks. And, there he staked a donation claim of 160 acres in 1852.

In 1862, Smith married Miss Mary Ann Genevieve Phelan, and established a residence by Grand Boulevard (now West Dravus Street) and 15th Avenue West, as well as a medical practice, with an infirmary built on the side of his home. He was an avid gardener growing plenty of fruits, vegetables and raising animals.

He practiced medicine treating new settlers and Native peoples, farmed, and dealt in commerce, government work, and Republican politics. He was not one to seek the spotlight and worked quietly about his business. His daughter Ione Smith quotes him as saying, “No sir, I never dabbled in politics. It is true I represented King County five different times, and I was the first Superintendent of Schools King County ever had, but I never asked a man to vote for me in my life, and I never sought office. I didn’t like politics and I didn’t like to hold office, but Lord bless us when I found myself at Olympia. I did the best I could…”

As the Smiths prospered, his wife Mary Phalen Smith gave birth to seven daughters and one son. The family left Seattle to buy and develop Smith Island to the north. He began a series of experiments to reclaim tidelands as he had read they had done in Holland. Smith published articles on the subject. He also was a published writer whether it was poetry on the beauty of Puget Sound, his interpretation of the most famous Chief Sealth speech, or agricultural practices.

He left a plentiful collection of written work behind when he died some published in the Seattle Star newspaper—many under the pen name of Paul Garland. He was one of the wealthiest men in Seattle, the first Superintendent of Schools, and was one of the men who thought the Cedar River Watershed would provide the best water source for Seattle.

More than 40 years after Smith staked his claim and bought up thousands of more acres in Smith’s Cove the Seattle, Eastern, Lakeshore Railway Company did reach Seattle and settled there. The railroad and great shipping piers Smith subsequently also envisioned became a reality. He sold 9,550 acres of this land for $75,000. Because of his wealth, Smith was the largest taxpayer in King County for years.

When his wife died leaving her young and large family behind, Smith devoted himself to the care of the children in the home they referred to as: The Ranch. It was sold dilapidated and abandoned nearly 20 years after the Smiths resided there, in a tax sale, for a little more than $1,000 (on land near the soon to be the Interbay Dump). His daughter Ione Smith in a speech, recorded many memoires of her father, their family life, including the tragic death of Smith’s only son gone off to Alaska to explore over the protestations of the elder Smith ironically since Smith himself had begun his early life in exploration. These are retold in Magnolia: Memories & Milestones.


An interesting painting of  Smith’s property done most  likely by artist Emily Inez Denny,  daughter of David and  Louisa Boren Denny  The scene is noted for its  naive style yet showing  contemporary transportation.  Note: the steam  engine train. “The  encroachment of industrial  society is indicated by the  ravaged portion of land in  the foreground.” The idealism  of the setting is also  evident. Interestingly the house structure   is very much like the actual photo of it in   it's dilapidated state.  Museum of  History and Industry  Archive # 878/3.

An interesting painting of Smith’s property done most likely by artist Emily Inez Denny,daughter of David and Louisa Boren Denny  Note: the steam engine train. “The encroachment of industrial society is indicated by the ravaged portion of land in the foreground.” Museum of History and Industry Archive # 878/3.

The economic depression of 1893 devoured Smith’s large land holdings: his city block, island, buildings, and other property. 10 lots on Queen Anne Hill is all that was left of his holdings. He had an orchard, a vegetable patch, and flower garden. He died in 1915, at age 85, allegedly of influenza. “I would like to live a little longer, there is so much to be learned and I know so little.” Ione quoted him after he died.


2827 15th Avenue West, “The Ranch”, had seen  busier, happier days. The  Smiths were gone at the  time this picture was  taken. Museum of  History and Industry  Archive #SHS 4322,  circa late 1940s.

2827 15th Avenue West,“The Ranch”, had seen busier, happier days. The Smiths were gone at the time this picture was taken. Museum of History and Industry Archive #SHS 4322, circa late 1940s.

Today, Smith’s (Smith) Cove is the site of a new shoreline park development and Friends of Smith Cove Park (FoSCP) are inviting the public to participate in a series of public meetings on the design. In 2016, Seattle parks will utilize $6 million dollars voted by the public to build it. For more information on the project, the citizens behind it and the first public meeting to be held May 15, at Magnolia Lutheran Church, at 7pm click here.



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Memorable Mom’s Day brunch

May 7th, 2015 by Sara

A guest post from our friend Shaun Myrick


This weekend, it’s all about mom.  Mother’s Day is here and for so many of us, it’s a day to show mom how much she is loved.  It’s also a day for friends and family.

I love throwing a beautiful and fresh brunch for Mother’s Day.  Brunch doesn’t have to be a big “spend all day in the kitchen” thing.  If you know me, you know that I like to keep gatherings stylish yet casual.  Here are some ways you can create a memorable brunch without relying on burned store-bought waffles, bacon and weak coffee.

A good Mother’s Day brunch can be extra special if it’s homemade, and the menu doesn’t have to be hard to prepare to have that “wow” factor.  Mom can relax all morning in sweats if she wants, sipping a nice cup of coffee or tea.  Get the kids involved and have them prep the day and set up.  Set a nice spring-inspired table with lots of tulips or mom’s favorite flowers as the theme.

Squeezing fresh oranges rather than buying orange juice is a nice and frankly, simple touch.  Plus, for the grown ups, add some sparkling wine and voila! You’ve got that quintessential brunch staple, the Mimosa.

Eggs Benedict is a classic brunch meal and I’ve come up with a healthier — and easier to prepare version that is sure to be a hit.  Kids love to assemble the ingredients on the English muffins.  And guess what?  My version eschews the Hollandaise sauce — it’s a foolproof Eggs Benedict recipe where you won’t have to scramble because, “The sauce is broken.”

Whatever your plan, just remember to make this Sunday memorable and special for mom.

How good is that?

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Offerings to garden statue concern homeowners

May 7th, 2015 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley


It started inauspiciously at first. Offerings of fruit and other food items appeared at the feet of a Buddhist statue located in the flowerbed of a Magnolia home. The statue, originally brought to the U.S. by the shipping captain father of the homeowner, is the depiction of Guanyin, the east Asian deity of mercy. The Buddhist goddess, associated with compassion, is also revered by Chinese Taoists as an immortal, according to  The sculpture has sat in the same Magnolia garden for the last 15 years.
Originally, it was merely meant as a yard decoration and homage to the family patriarch. A simple yard ornament for more than a decade has transformed into, seemingly, a place of worship, much to the apprehension of the homeowners.
“It was brought over to America either from Taiwan or Japan by my late father in the mid-60s,” reveals Alan Hollinger, a practicing Buddhist along with his wife, Lanna. “I put it in the front yard next to the spruce tree. I figured it would bring us some good luck.”
Not only are fruit and other food now left behind – such as a box of Larry the Cable Guy Corn Muffin Mix – messages on plastic placards are also placed on the grass. Friendly missives that read, “Sunshine, laughter, and friends are always welcome,” and “Friends are the flowers of the gardens of life,” sit on the ground next to orange oval plates that extend to visitors well wishes for a good life.

bud 2
“The first time I felt good about it,” explains Lanna, a native of Thailand. “I’m curious to know where [the visitor] comes from. Maybe China?”
Then the offerings, messages, and plates began to accumulate. Once-a-week stops are common.
“We are at a loss knowing what to do with all of the stuff that’s left.
It’s sort of piling up,” Alan says. “It’s been going on for a couple of months now.”
Mr. & Mrs. Hollinger accept these gestures with the kindness in which they are intended – as long as it doesn’t get out of hand.
“There’s something a little bit creepy about it.” Alan offered. “Our daughter has seen what seems to be an elderly Asian gentleman come up to the Guanyin. At this point, it’s all we know.”
It’s okay if he comes again. I just want him to clean up the previous offerings. It’s messy,” Lanna says.
Finally, Alan tells Magnolia Voice he hopes this doesn’t turn into something big.
“If it’s one or two individuals, that’s fine. If it expands, we don’t know what we’re going to do,” he says.


Catharine Blaine Father Daughter Dance gets a makeover

May 6th, 2015 by Sara

What started as a persuasive essay by Blaine 4th grader Francis Vann  became a school dance tradition reboot.  For years, the Catharine Blaine Father Daughter dance served as a lovely tradition and fund raiser for the 5th grade camping trip to Islandwood.

Miss Vann wrote her essay urging Blaine to change the Father Daughter Dance to a Family Dance.  Because of her family configuration, she had felt excluded from the Father Daughter dance in past years, and she knew some other girls did as well because they weren’t part of a father daughter ticket.

With support from Principal, Heather Johnson, and School Counselor, Mike Anderson, the fourth grade parents who coordinate the event every year decided to change the name of the dance, reduce the cost, and make sure all who want to come feel welcome.

The Spring Fling Dance will be held this Friday, May 8th from 6:30 to 9pm.  K-8 students from all schools are encouraged to attend and bring the special grownup of their choice.  In keeping with the tradition of this dance in past years, the Spring Fling will still be a dress up event with music (DJ Ray), special treats, light bites and prizes. Photographer Dani McDonough will be on hand providing keepsake memories.

For those who wish to continue the former tradition, it can remain a father daughter dance.  For those girls who don’t have a father in their lives, or whose father isn’t available that night, or for the boys who are interested in dressing up and coming to a dance with a parent or special grownup, all configurations are welcome.

The Spring Fling Dance is open to the community – not exclusive to Catharine Blaine families – and is a fundraiser for Catharine Blaine 5th grade camping trip to Islandwood.

Tickets are $20 per child/special grownup/family configuration in advance or $30 at the door. Buy your tickets here


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Are you ready for a disaster?

May 4th, 2015 by Sara

Do you know what to do in a crisis? What if we have a big earthquake and Magnolia became an island? The Magnolia Community club is sponsoring a discussion about how we can work together during a disaster, whatever the cause:

Learn how our community can help each other in an emergency. Find out about Block Watch, SNAP, and Emergency Preparedness, share your ideas. We’ll have door prizes!

All are invited.  The meeting is from 7-9 pm Thursday, May 14th at Catherine Blaine School. Call Carol at 206-691-1298 with questions.

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Have you seen Penny?

May 3rd, 2015 by Sara

MV reader Cindy writes:

A four-month old, tri-colored female Australian Shepherd puppy jumped out an open car window in Ballard near Mud Bay on 15th this evening. Her owners are desperately looking for her. She is wearing a purple harness. If seen or found, please call 206.715.5868. Her name is Penny but may flee if approached so please call the number if spotted.


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UPDATED-Delivery company “hijacks” Nikos Gyros

April 29th, 2015 by Sara

By reporter Steve Smalley
UPDATED 5/3/15- UPDATE: A follow up with the Seattle/King County Health Department raised questions about the need for health permits for private companies that deliver food. Since delivery firms employ an emerging business model, definitive rules are still under discussion, according to a spokesman for the agency.
However, it is required that these new delivery entities present themselves to the Public Health Department, explain their methods of operation to officials, and then it would be determined through existing rules whether permitting is required, if any. This would apply to permits for the business itself and for individuals who may need food handler cards.
There are repercussions for those who fail to contact Public Health: “Businesses that are found to be operating without a permit where a permit is required are subject to closure and upon obtaining a permit, pay an added penalty,” according to a written statement provided to Magnolia Voice.
In the meantime, administrators within Health will endeavor to contact other municipalities across the country to gather information on how they regulate such delivery firms so officials here might make recommendations to lawmakers, according to the Health Department spokesman.
EARLIER-The call comes into the restaurant asking owner Alex Serpanos why prices of Nikos Gyros delivery are higher than prices inside the restaurant? That’s a problem – Nikos doesn’t have delivery. Nor are there any arrangements with delivery companies. That revelation was only the beginning.
“They said, ‘Well, yes you do have delivery. We saw it online,’” explains Serpanos.
Revelation number two: Nikos doesn’t have a website.
“When you go on Google and you put in Nikos Gyros, there’s a website, and you click on it, and it says, NikosGyros.(net),” Serpanos reveals. “It has our family history, photos of the restaurant, a menu, but not with our pricing. We searched a little bit and found it was a company called Order Ahead. We contacted the phone number and it was a company out of San Francisco. We have no agreement with this company. They were delivering our food.”
When she asked Order Ahead to take down the unauthorized website, they refused, according to Serpanos. “I feel violated,” she said.
“It looks like ours. It smells like ours. It reads like ours, but it’s not ours,” she continues. “It misdirects the customer. They think it’s actually our restaurant. [Customers] would call the number, place an order, then [Order Ahead] would deliver our food to the customer without our knowledge or permission. They are misrepresenting Nikos Gyros.”
Then came revelation number three.
“We found a delivery service called Postmates that had our name on it too, without our permission. I think this is happening to other businesses without them knowing,” she said.
The website “app” for Order Ahead has listed over 400 Seattle restaurants.
Pursuing the matter further, Magnolia Voice contacted the Washington Restaurant Association, an umbrella organization for all similar establishments, including family-owned companies such as Nikos. Anthony Anton, Chief Executive Officer and former restaurant owner, had plenty to say about the situation at Nikos Gyros.
“This is identity theft,” he begins. “A restaurant’s reputation is critical to their success. They have the right to choose when they partner with a company, particularly when they’re using your brand to their advantage. You have the right to protect your name, your honor, and your reputation. You can’t use people’s brand, or art, or liability without a relationship. That is critical to a restaurant’s success.”
Following his conversation with Magnolia Voice, Anton wasn’t finished. He called Order Ahead and spoke with their representatives who then agreed to take down the unapproved website.
“I don’t know how Google allows them to hijack my company,” Serpanos asked, after spending an hour on hold with the search engine company before hanging up.
The last word though came via Serpanos’ phone call to the Seattle/King County Health Department who said they were investigating other delivery companies, but didn’t have Order Ahead on their list. We can assume they do now.
Anton summed up how many feel about Magnolia’s little Greek restaurant. “Nikos Gyros is one of the landmarks of the community,” he proclaimed.
Attempts by Magnolia Voice to obtain comments from Order Ahead, Postmates, and other food delivery companies were unsuccessful.