Seattle's Magnolia Neighborhood News Blog

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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.


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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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Help design dog park logo- win M’s tickets

April 3rd, 2014 by Sara

The Magnolia Manor Park Off-Leash Area is having a contest for a new logo. Proceeds from the sale of hats and t-shirts with the new logo will improve the dog park to provide a great environment where four-legged friends can play and their two-legged friends can relax under a new shelter.
The park, located at 3500 28th Ave West (28th Ave West and W Grover St), is one of the most popular and widely utilized off-leash areas in Seattle and is funded and maintained by volunteers including Friends of Magnolia Manor Park and Citizens for Off Leash Areas.  Every third weekend volunteers flood the park and work together to keep the park a great place for the dogs.
They are looking for a logo and/or phrase that is unique to the park and created by one of the many people who love the park.
Please submit your ideas to the Magnolia Manor OLA Facebook page by May 1 2014.
The winning design will receive a “Key” to the Magnolia Manor Park OLA, 2 Mariner tickets, and their own t-shirt!

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Tug fire at Fishermen’s Terminal

April 2nd, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
A column of black smoke billowing from the bow of a 100 ft. tug boat, Sampson Mariner, was clearly visible from the Ballard Bridge this afternoon as firefighters scrambled to stop the blaze.
The fire was apparently contained within a storage compartment below deck which held supplies of paint, according to Kyle Moore, spokesperson for the Seattle Fire Department.
“We started putting water on this fire and realized the best way to put it out was to close up the compartment and just smother it,” he explained. “(The tug crew) tried to put the fire out themselves, but were unable to, so they called the fire department.”
More than a dozen pieces of fire equipment were on-scene including a fire boat, ladder trucks, and medic units.
With the fire quickly extinguished, all that was left for personnel was the mop up.
Everyone on the tugboat was able to safely escape the burning vessel.
Fire investigators were called to determine the exact cause. Witnesses report welding was the suspected cause of the blaze.

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Stinkin’ up the place

April 2nd, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
Something has folks in Pleasant Valley, the area in the middle of Magnolia between the two hills, holding their collective noses – enough to generate complaints to Magnolia Voice.
“A foul odor in the air,” with brisk winds blowing NNE, had a few neighbors saying, pew Sunday night about 9PM, according to a news tipper. He and neighbors suspected the stench came from the King County West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant just up wind. Incidentally, this is the same plant at which a man took a tumble, allegedly with the aid of a few beers, into the goo ten days ago, reported here on Magnolia Voice.
Checking in with the spokesperson for the plant found no reports of aromas out of the ordinary. “(The engineers) did not find anything that would lead them to believe the system was not operating properly,” she stated. “They did not find an odor issue or system issue that would have created odors.”
Now comes a published report about strong smells in other areas around metropolitan Seattle. Officials in those locations also held the sewage treatment plant in their area blameless. After some head scratching it was noted an extremely low tide was probably the culprit. Tide flats generate odiferous conditions when exposed to the air after water recedes for the first time in a while.
For their part, King County Wastewater strongly suggests you call the Odor Control Hotline when a stink is detected and the plant is suspected. At first whiff, immediately call 206-263-3840.

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Fishermen’s Terminal Celebrates 100 Years

April 1st, 2014 by Sara

Photo credit Robin Pitt

A full slate of activities is planned to celebrate the centennial of Fishermen’s Terminal this year.

The centennial will be a focus of Maritime 101, a new event that will run through April and May. Maritime 101 is sponsored by the Port of Seattle and a wide range of maritime industry partners. Key activities include:
- A guided walking tour of Fishermen’s Terminal, Thursday, May 8, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
- Stories of the Sea, stories and songs by real mariners, Thursday, May 8, 8 – 10:30 p.m., Highliner Pub & Grill, Fishermen’s Terminal. Sponsored by the Port of Seattle and Seattle Propeller Club. Presented by Northwest Seaport.
- Vigor Industrial Seattle Maritime Festival Harbor Open House, Saturday, May 10, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Pier 66, downtown waterfront. See tug boat races/parade of ships and enjoy boat tours of Elliott Bay.
- Vigor Industrial Seattle Maritime Festival Family Fun Day, Sunday, May 11, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., South Lake Union Park. Enjoy food, fun, kids’ activities, historic vessels and boat tours of Fishermen’s Terminal and Lake Washington Ship Canal.

More information will be available at, when the website launches later this month.


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