Seattle's Magnolia Neighborhood News Blog

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UPDATE- 2/19/14-Possible child luring incident this morning

February 18th, 2015 by Sara

2/19/14, 12:39pm

Parents are breathing a sigh of relief.

The reported attempted child luring yesterday was a misunderstanding between a parent and transportation provider that had indeed been contracted with the school.  According to the Seattle Police Blotter:

Police have made contact with the individual in this case and verified that he is a transportation provider with legitimate business at the school. Both he and his employer were very cooperative with police throughout the contact and officers are confident that no crime occurred. There will be no further investigation at this point.


Police are investigating reports of an attempted child luring earlier this morning in Magnolia.  Below is the email that many Lawton parents and staff received earlier today:

Dear Lawton families and staff,
I want to share with you information on a recent event that was reported in our community. This morning, while waiting at the bus stop, a student and her mother were approached by a man in a gold mini- van. He said he was from Seattle Public Schools Transportation and had been sent to pick up the student. The mother immediately pulled out her cell phone to take pictures of the van; at this point the man sped off.  Police were notified, took a report and description and are now investigating.  Safety and Security, Transportation, and police were notified as soon as the school received the report from the student’s parents.  A picture of the van and the driver is attached on the second page of this letter.
The safety of our students is our top priority for Lawton Elementary School. You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times, as well as not talking to strangers or getting into their vehicles. Having these conversations, especially with younger children, can be difficult. We encourage you to be sensitive to your child.
Dorian Manza Lawton Elementary School

More tips and information can be found on the Seattle Police Department website.


Time for private security patrols in Magnolia?

February 14th, 2015 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
Property crime has increased so much in some Seattle neighborhoods, residents choose to pay the price and hire security patrols to help stop theft. Magnolia might be next.
For the last seven years, for example, the Laurelhurst community found their endeavor to operate private patrols with off-duty Seattle police greatly diminished the rate of property crime, according to Brian McMullen, Laurelhurst Community Council trustee and crime prevention coordinator, as outlined HERE by Magnolia Voice.
With KOMO 4 News reporting an 800% increase in Magnolia’s year-to-year property crime levels, some in the neighborhood think we should consider the same private patrol program to help stem the tide here. Heading up the initial effort is a Magnolia native with years in law enforcement and private security, Army veteran, Joe Villarino.
“I live here. I was raised here,” he states. “I was a security director in Florida and did high-profile security work in California – across the street from Disneyland.” It’s possible to have paid security in Magnolia if enough people are interested, he says
“My main goal is to get this community involved,” he explains.
Villarino, an affable man wearing an Army 101st Airborne hat, says the response following a quiet initial announcement was more than expected. Thus he begins a journey to explore the possibilities of private police patrol in Magnolia. The goal was research when he visited security administrators in Windermere, Whittier Heights, and Laurelhurst.
“Laurelhurst has 350 neighbors subscribed,” Villarino says. “It’s about $250 a year. I’m trying to model the association after the other neighborhoods that have them.”
Staffed by a company called Seattle Security, patrol units are operated with off-duty police personnel in uniform driving their own vehicles and carrying service weapons. Equipment includes actual police radios in communication with the 9-1-1 emergency system. Numbers of shifts and patrol levels need to be determined.
“My sister got her car stolen twice,” he reveals. “Now I realize we have a big issue here in Magnolia.”
The first public meeting to discuss the patrols is Saturday, February 21 at noon inside the Magnolia Library at 2801 34th Avenue West.
“I need to find dedicated individuals who love this neighborhood willing to volunteer,” Villarino says. “I’m searching to see who would fill key leadership positions.”
In the event expected attendance levels exceed the library maximum, a alternate venue will be announced here on Magnolia Voice.
Check out the new patrol website HERE, then email Villarino at so he can get a headcount.
To show your interest, he asks everyone to attend the meeting February 21.
“This is a great place to live,” Villarino says. “I love it.”


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Fiery car crash on Thorndyke

February 13th, 2015 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
There was a strange one-car wreck tonight off of Thorndyke Avenue and West Blaine Street. About 8:30p.m. multiple firetrucks were on the scene for a “heavy rescue” of a burning BMW 4-door sedan. Tire tracks could be seen in the adjacent park about 300 feet through the grass leading to a tree where the car crashed, burst into flames, and rolled into a gully.
Magnolia Voice was on the scene and spoke with an eyewitness whose wife helped the burning driver from the car. She did not want to speak on the record. But her husband did.

“I was walking my dog and I heard a car speeding-going very fast,” explains “Rick,” who lives next to the accident scene with his wife. “This car had entered the park (and drove) around the log boom and was going at a high-rate of speed. It hit the tree and there was a BOOM. It  spun around and went into flames. (The driver) was in the fire and screaming.”
Rick continues his story. “My wife convinced him to come out of the car and into the park. His jacket was on fire. She ripped that off him and got him to lay down. The police I talked to said he smelled no alcohol.”
The man was described as 25-30 years of age. The driver was alone in the car.
“His face was cut up and my wife said his heart was beating like a hummingbird,” he said. “She was really worried he was just going to die right there.”
Then Rick described the words the driver repeated several times, “He said, ‘I love her. I love her.’”
A reader reports the driver was taken to Harborview Medical Center.DSC03997


Magnolia school news

February 11th, 2015 by Sara

Here is a peek into what our kids are up to…

Fatima’s Middle School Information Night

All interested parents of incoming 6th, 7th, or  8th grade students are welcome to attend Our Lady of Fatima School’s Middle School Information Night Monday, February 23rd, at 7:00 p.m. in the school library. They are located at 3301 W Dravus St; please enter via the door that opens to the school/church parking lot.) Highlights include a presentation by Principal Susan Burdett and the opportunity to meet middle school faculty and current Fatima school parents, and the chance to learn about the curriculum and extra-curricular activities, and take a school tour.
Questions? Contact Michele Kellogg in the school office at 283-7031.

Lawton’s World Culture Evening Thursday 2/12 from 6-8pm

Doors open at 6pm for Lawton’s World Culture Celebration where the school will be transformed into various countries of the world. This is a family event for students to tour with his/her family.  Come and see all the countries that each child at Lawton has been learning about.  They will have passports for each student to fill out as well as sibling passports.  A Taiko Drumming Demonstration will be held at 7:40pm.

Blaine Math Night to be held 2/24 (which does not equal 1/12)

Families are invited to join in MATH NIGHT (a free Catharine Blaine event) on Tuesday, February 24th from 6-7:30pm.  This year families will work together to complete a “Math Pursuit” (a bit like TRIVIAL Pursuit), where each piece of the pie represents a strand of the Common Core state standards.  While racing around the school, students will get to choose from a variety of math problems at various levels.  In addition, the cafeteria will be open as well with a myriad of hands-on math activities families can complete together. Please note: This event has been intentionally planned so that families with one parent and multiple children can enjoy together.  Each of the six open classrooms will have math problems for each level, and families can travel together to visit as many of the classrooms as they’d like.

If you or your middle school student would like to help as a Math Night volunteer (from 5:45-7:45pm), please email

The McClure Mixer and Auction

The McClure Mixer and Auction is coming up and there are many ways to contribute: from donating an item or service for the auctionpurchasing tickets and attending the auction to donating wine for the wine toss and of course raising your paddle.

The McClure Mixer is March 14th, from 7-11pm at the Queen Anne Community Center. Please purchase tickets by February 28th for catering purposes.  Buy Mixer tickets! 


Magnolia’s hidden gem

February 9th, 2015 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley

With the expansion of Windermere Real Estate into the offices previously occupied by Magnolia Travel, transformations alter the three-story Building-Without-a-Name in the Village. Check out Windermere’s bright new sign in front to see how things are progressing.

As always, change is inevitable, unless you’re Annie Pond, long-time building tenant and owner of Magnolia Custom Jewelry. She hums along making wearable art, for one person at a time – just the way she likes It – without a physical alteration in sight.

For the last 22 years Pond has been the neighborhood’s lone jeweler who designs, repairs, and sells some mighty fine pieces.

“It’s primarily custom design jewelry that people come in for,” Pond explains. “They can’t necessarily find something that’s mass produced.”

Perhaps a touch difficult to locate (3214 West McGraw Street), you may have noticed her little space if you walked past it on the way to the Magnolia Mailbox which is located just across the hall. Pond usually sits in the front section of the office with her head barely visible above the high desk that greets customers. A peek through the window reveals a kind face and a warm smile.

“We’re right at the end of the hallway,” she says during a recent visit by Magnolia Voice.

A big downtown jewelry store this is not – nor does she want it to be. Although, friendly she is.

So, how does a woman from Centralia receive her initial exposure working with gold and precious gems?

“I got started in high school,” she reveals. “They had an art class. From there I helped out in a local jewelry store.”

Around the world of jewelry she then traveled, from retail and manufacturing, to repair, which gave her myriad skills to turn sketches into masterworks. But it’s the human touch that sets her apart.

“Annie does great work. And I’m so happy about the jewelry I bought from her,” confesses Mary Kay Brown, a Magnolia resident who happened by the shop. “From the first time you meet her, everybody loves Annie. And they always come back.”

Pond emphasizes, “You want to trust someone with your possessions that mean the most to you. Jewelry is emotional. I absolutely love every aspect of it.”

Located behind the partition in the back is the workshop where the magic happens; where it all comes together.

“Nothing gets sent out to another jewelry store,” Pond explains. “I do everything myself.”

Beginning with a design on paper, a wax impression is made which leads to the final piece.

“I want to take that and turn it into something spectacular that they will love,” she says. And if a special diamond or colored stone is requested, but not on hand, “I could get that for you. The sky’s the limit – diamonds, rubies, to emeralds to sapphires.”

“Let’s be honest, nobody wants to drive downtown,” Pond says. “You don’t have to, I am right here in Magnolia.”

With Valentine’s Day coming up, a stop in the Village to meet Annie might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Another business burglary – this time it’s Paw Spa

February 7th, 2015 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
Once isn’t enough for rip-offs in the Village, it seems. Following a burglary in December, Magnolia Paw Spa (3111 West McGraw Street) gets hit again this week with the perpetrator entering through the same back window.
“They came in, took some money out of the till, and this time stole our iMac computer,” reveals Jason Hall, co-owner of the animal grooming business. “I’m almost positive it’s the same person. We have an alarm system, but of course the one day out of 100 that we don’t set it….”
It wasn’t so much the loss of the computer that had Hall worried, as much as the loss of data in it.
“I’ve been able to remotely lock and erase the contents on it, so there’s no danger of any information getting into the wrong hands,” he explains.
As for the future, Hall indicates he is now more vigilant and has beefed up security…again.
“We are installing some floodlighting back there and security cameras,” he says.
The apparent increase in crime in Magnolia hasn’t passed his notice.
“Just from talking to people, there seems to be a lot of property crime in Magnolia,” Hall points out. “It’s quite a common occurrence. I think it’s a trend in Seattle as a whole. We had our cars prowled several times and packages stolen off of our front porch.”
With this latest break-in, emotions are running high.
“I feel violated. I feel angry,” he says. “We don’t want to be an easy mark anymore.”


Who, What, When, Where, How and Why

February 6th, 2015 by Sara

John Maynard reporting.
Yes, I could have written about the intrepid soul who resides under the Howe Street bridge…or the gigantic new construction down at the obscure end of 46th Street West. Bye-bye view for some of the homes on Magnolia Lane. But no, I’m using this space to promote Valentine’s Day Swede-Hearts Ball at the Swedish Club on Dexter, on (gasp) Queen Anne.
A few weeks ago I warned I would be-spoil this blog space with blatant pandering for my party band The Turdles.
So, not to detract from your complaining about a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot call from the one on second down, but please feel free to add this blog thing I do to your list of gripes.
However, in mitigating my guilt, there WILL be many Magnolians gracing the crowd. Hope you’ll be one of ‘em. And be sure to say hi. Click here for tickets.
Hope you can make it.
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Sponsor a flower pot in the Village

February 2nd, 2015 by Sara

Have you noticed the gorgeous flower pots in the Village?  In the past, each one has been sponsored by a Magnolia company or organization.  This year, There are seven up for grabs that are being offered to the community for sponsorship!  Put your family name on it, a beloved pet, or your favorite team, perhaps (Too soon?)

Your name will be engraved on a metal sign, and sponsorship lasts for a year.

You can help beautify our neighborhood for $130 per flower pot. Please email Jenni Sandmeyer at asap if you would like to sponsor a pot.

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Hawks pride

January 29th, 2015 by Sara

Kudos to this Magnolia homeowner- you are all in!

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New Fire Station 20 opens its doors to the public this Saturday

January 29th, 2015 by Sara

From Laura at our sister site Queen Anne View

Fire Station 20The newest and greenest Fire Station in Seattle is hosting an open house this Saturday, January 31st. The construction of Fire Station 20 at 2800 15th Ave W is now complete, and the Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27, welcome Queen Anne and Interbay neighbors to check it out.

Whether you have future fire fighters in your household or you are interested in the latest sustainable building practices, the event is sure to be a hit. Just swing by on Saturday between 11am and 1pm to check out the new facilities and meet local Queen Anne fire fighters.

Fire Station 20 interiorFire Station 20 is the most sustainable fire station in the state of Washington, and the first in the state to attain LEED Platinum certification – the U.S. Green Building Council’s certification program recognizing best-in-class green building strategies. The station meets 2015 energy reduction guidelines of the Architecture 2030 challenge, and the materials and features not only earn enough points for LEED Platinum certification, those points outnumber all other stations with Platinum status.

SFD signSustainable features of Fire Station 20 include: ultra-low flow plumbing fixtures, drought-tolerant landscaping, efficient irrigation systems, infiltration garden filters, LED light fixtures, ground source heat pump, and a rooftop solar panel array. It also has a recovery system for heat exhausted from the building and an energy management and control system to maximize efficiency.

Fire Station 20 will house Engine 20 and a crew of four firefighters. The new facility features an extra bay to accommodate an EMS unit if needed in the future.

Learn more about the newest, greenest Seattle Fire Department station on Saturday, the event is free and open to all.

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