Seattle's Magnolia Neighborhood News Blog

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Front Doors – The finished look

October 15th, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley

The work is done, and the Front Doors that open onto our neighborhood are completed. The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce is rightly proud to announce the wrap up of the welcome sign improvement project with appreciation all around.

The Chamber’s Eileen Quackenbush extends her gratitude to the 20 volunteers who put their time and energy into hours of hard work. ”Thank you to everyone who was there with sleeves rolled up and shovels in hand,” she says. Quackenbush still needs one bit of help to complete the work at the Dravus Street location. She requests someone with a pick-up truck come forward and lend their bed for a load of bark needed to finish the job. Anyone interested should write to:
Then everyone get set for the next Magnolia Chamber event, Halloween in the Village, October 31, 4-6p.m.


Dive deep into the brain at the free”Perfect Storm” seminar

October 15th, 2014 by Sara

A sponsored post

All are invited to attend “The Perfect Storm” seminar, presented by Dr. Clem of Discovery Wellness Center.  The focus of the evening will be on potential causes of neuro-developmental disorders such as autism, ADHD, seizures and sensory integration disorder, with a specific emphasis on the role of the brain and central nervous system.

This free seminar teaches attendees exactly how the brain and neuro-development are supposed to occur, and where it goes wrong with spectrum disorders and developmental delays. Most importantly, the seminar provides attendees with direction and an understanding of how to get their child’s nervous system balanced and healthy again, and enhance and improve their child’s function and development-no matter the disorder.

Dr. Clem plans to spend a lot of time on in-utero constraint and birth injuries, which he feels is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of caring for kids on the spectrum. In his practice Dr. Clem finds that a majority of his spectrum patients have some degree of birth injury, resulting in subluxation and abnormal neurodevelopment.

He will also review extensively what he calls the “3Ts/5Ds” concept of neuro-developmental disorders, where the 3Ts (traumas, toxins, and thoughts) create a neurological “storm” of dyskinesia, dysafferentation, dysautonomia, dysponesis, and disconnection… and how that is often a sure-fire recipe for autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and more.

CLICK HERE to register for “The Perfect Storm” seminarWednesday, October 29th at 7pm at Discovery Wellness Center, 1631 15th Ave W. Suite 114 (in the Interbay Worklofts by Whole Foods). Can’t make it? Schedule a time for Dr. Clem to present “The Perfect Storm” to your group. Call 206.283.7033 or



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Sponsor (advertise with us)


Fender-bender on the bridge

October 15th, 2014 by Sara

Reader Thyra sent these photos of a two-car accident on the Magnolia Bridge, right around 2:30 this afternoon:

Reader Allison adds:

“Head on
One lane getting by
Police directing ”

Reader Erin writes:

“Doesn’t look severe”

Thanks for the tips!-

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Help find Moby

October 14th, 2014 by Sara

Wendy writes:
Moby disappeared from Montavista Pl W a bit north of McGraw on Monday, September 29th. He is a black and white tuxedo (all black on his back, white belly and lower legs and a cute white streak up his nose) short haired cat with a Halloween collar that is black with spider webs on it. He has a round tag that is blue on one side and white/writing on the other. Moby is also microchipped.
Unfortunately, he is a bit skittish (though very sweet) but he loves food so could likely be lured inside with food. We really miss Moby and hope he is home with us soon! Any help/information is greatly appreciated!
If you think you see Moby please call 703-298-8097


Emerson Street closure: Traffic update

October 14th, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley

Good news and bad news on the commuter front for those dealing with the shut down of the Emerson Street overpass. Although there is plenty of consternation among drivers during rush hour(s), there is a glimmer of hope for some.
Let’s start with the good, because you probably already know the bad. First, Emerson is not a total loss. If you’re leaving the north end of Magnolia for a trip downtown, take Emerson. It’s a straight shot to 15th for the trip south. Even the stop sign at the overpass is covered, so you don’t need to hit the brakes. Drive right through and turn right on 15th. You’re on your way to town.
Coming off the Ballard Bridge for a trip to Magnolia? Southbound drivers turn right on Emerson for smooth sailing to Fishermen’s Terminal and beyond.
Even drivers on Nickerson under the Ballard Bridge get a pass to downtown Seattle. The crater-filled road to 15th is open.
Also, in the good news column, the morning Magnolia Voice visited the Emerson construction location, all lanes of 15th were open both directions. Not sure how long that will last.
Now the bad news: Dravus stinks. The choke point begins at the Arco station and heads east. Cars going both directions on 20th make turns to Dravus heading past QFC. That has traffic backed up the hill on Dravus. Add to that cars making ugly left turns and bicycle traffic, and you have a recipe for flared tempers and honking horns. “Takes forever. Ridiculous,” said one man.
Equally as bad are those who need to get to Ballard. You can slug your way through Dravus to 15th or take the Garfield Street Bridge. So far it’s tolerable.
Now to close, a few calm words from readers:
“Okay city planners…or whom ever got the permission to dig up part of the street by the old 7-11…it is hard enough these days to get into or out of Magnolia on Dravus Street and now tonight you had the outside lane blocked off and traffic going west backed up the hill on Queen Anne. Please give us a break, it’s hard enough to get out of Magnolia right now.”
And one more:
“I was wondering why they have police officers directing the traffic mess in Interbay during the commute home, but not in the morning?  I went through this morning just trying to get to work and some people were running red lights just to turn onto Interbay.  I think they need to bring the officers in during the morning commute as well.”
That’s just a sample. Let us know your thoughts:


Front Doors get new life

October 9th, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
Photography by Gretchen Taylor
Magnolia’s Front Doors earned their day and a thorough shining as two volunteer crews of 16 people converged on the welcome signs at two ends of the neighborhood.
With saws and shovels, plus the help of Magnolia businesses and neighbors, the overgrown and unkempt signs at the top of the Garfield Street Bridge and at the corner of 20th Avenue West & West Dravus Street, were trimmed, weeded, and replanted.
Of special note – perhaps you barely perceived the brown sign with white letters beckoning, Welcome to Magnolia, among the brush and blackberries on Dravus Street near the railroad tracks. Now with the help of a small brass plate found affixed to the post, it’s understood this sign to be an old Eagle Scout project by Jason Rudolf from Boy Scout Troop 85 in 1989. Jason would be proud to see his Eagle effort now restored with the help of a little paint, and a much put-your-back-into-it effort.
“This was a bigger project than anyone thought,” explains Greg Carnese of the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce.
Even though he admits to an ambitious schedule, Carnese was still thrilled to see the progress. “I’m ecstatic,” he proclaimed.
Although too numerous to mention, kudos go to many. Special recognition belongs to Chuck and Margaret Flaherty, owners of the Magnolia Garden Center, for the scores of donated plants and all design work for the new and improved Front Doors.
There was plenty of gratitude on the street as well. Volunteers report folks coming over to give encouragement and appreciation. “One lady stopped and gave us a plate of chocolate chip cookies,” said a worker.
In view of the fact that it’s not completed, the project will take an additional Saturday to finish up, says Carnese. Saturday, October 11 is the day chosen to wrap up both locations. There is still room to do your part. Drop Greg Carnese a line to and let him know of your intentions.

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Village business hit by thief

October 9th, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
A Magnolia Village establishment was the victim of a quick, grab & dash robbery Tuesday as an unknown person entered Sonny & Maria’s Nail Salon on 32nd Avenue and made off with a bank bag full of cash, checks, and credit cards.
“My mom was here by herself,” explains “Maria,” owner of the shop. “She walked to the to the bathroom very quickly. When she came back to the front, the bank bag was gone.”
The satchel full of receipts is kept in a drawer near the front door, she said.
“When I saw my bank bag was gone I thought, ‘Oh my God.’ I’m so sad,” she tells Magnolia Voice. “When a customer pays, we always open the drawer and put the money in the bank bag.”
Police were called and a report made.
“Police said lately the Magnolia neighborhood has a lot of crime and problems with theft,” she continues. “Even my customer told me her home was robbed two weeks ago. The thieves broke in and stole a bunch of jewelry. Her next door neighbor was broken into too.”
Although the perpetrator was not seen, a quick investigation around the neighborhood by Magnolia Voice found a witness to suspicious activity at the same time as the robbery.
“About 9:25 I saw a man in his 30’s, 6 foot, slender build, walking on 32nd,” reveals Mike O’Donnell, owner of Magnolia Karate Academy. “He circled the block a couple of times and then walked through the alley. He was looking in the windows. Something wasn’t right. He didn’t have a purpose circling the block like that.”
“Yesterday I didn’t even want to work. I felt really sad, so I shut down,” Maria explains. “What can I do? I’m just glad nobody got hurt.”


Bill the Butcher doors shut

October 9th, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley
“Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are closed until further notice,” reads the small sign on the front door of Bill the Butcher on 34th Avenue West near Metropolitan Market. Six Seattle-area locations are all closed, according to published reports.
A visit to the Magnolia shop found the store dark with a singular employee leaving in his car. He spoke briefly about the success of the individual location, but surmised there were financial problems at corporate headquarters.
A few customers stopped by to find the entrance locked.
“My wife wants me to stop here whenever she has steaks,” remarked Bob Andre, a weekly shopper. “I like the people down here. They treated me well.”
“It tastes better. Everything about it is better,” said another regular, Jeff Nash, who also came by to shop.
Calls to Bill the Butcher corporate offices by Magnolia Voice were not returned.
The publicly traded company was experiencing financial difficulties, according to published sources, with losses of $3.2 million on sales of $1.3 million.


Giant pumpkins command attention: Let the parade begin

October 7th, 2014 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley

Oh, the sightseers – especially at Halloween. A front yard full of huge pumpkins is a tourist magnet for Windermere real estate agent and monster green thumb, Greg Shaw.

In the middle of Magnolia (29th & West Tilden Street), cars crawl past his home with everybody’s eyes on the prize – a dozen 600 lb. pumpkins side-by-side on the lawn among the corn stalks, winter cabbages and ornamental flowers. Astonished drivers stop to get a long look before a beep-beep from behind gets them moving again. It’s a nightly affair at Shaw’s house.
“At first I wanted to avoid being the Pumpkin Man,” he confesses. “I thought it might take away from my credibility.”
After 35-years of Charlie Brown-sized pumpkins in a patch on his lawn, he got over that fear. The obvious question for Shaw, how’d you get started?
The beginning was one look at 800 lb. behemoth would-be jack-o’-lanterns grown by a record-holding farmer. Shaw paid handsomely for the beginning of his dream: Two pumpkin seeds for $35 each originating from a contest winning specimen. His landscaping experience did the rest, and the seasons passed.
“I saw this pumpkin patch and it took my breath away,” exclaimed Linda Hunter, a neighbor. “It looks like mountains. Giant pumpkins. I’m amazed someone can grow this in their front yard,” she said.
“I love that somebody would use their land like this,” says Pat Hetland, as she walked past. “I just think it’s a fantasy-land. It’s gorgeous.”
No matter who happened by, they all had the same astonished reactions. “I think it’s incredible. It’s like a Cinderella pumpkin wonderland,” gushed Alison Dasho.
And so it is.


Just Shred it- October 11th

October 3rd, 2014 by Sara

The Rotary Club of Magnolia hosts it’s 3rd annual Just Shred It Saturday, October 11, from 10 AM to 1 PM. Just Shred It will be held in Szmania’s parking lot at the corner of West McGraw and 34th Avenue West. The paper is mulched and then recycled. All neighbors are invited to bring their important papers to be commercially shredded:

- Get rid of all those old tax records (Any older than 2006)

- Protect your identity, don’t throw old credit card receipts in the recycle.

- Clean out your old files.

- Save time and effort.

- Donations go to Magnolia Rotary Foundation which returns 90% of its income to the Magnolia Community.

The CINTAS shredding truck is available first come first serve, a $10 donation per box is suggested. For more questions call:

Bryce McWalter, Rotary Club of Magnolia, 206-283-2037 or email:



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