News Blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge Neighborhoods


Entries from March 2010

Break-ins hit TV as Laurelhurst reports 2 cases

March 30th, 2010 by hillaryu

Tensions over burglaries were amped Tuesday night by a local TV news report on the recent string of View Ridge burglaries that have occurred while residents were in their homes, the most recent occurring early Sunday.

Not to stoke the fires but the Laurelhurst Blog also is reporting that since January their neighborhood has had two burglaries that occurred while residents were home asleep. The blog gave no further details but said they were similar to the View Ridge burglaries.

In a two-minute report on KING-5 TV Tuesday night, the reporter describes neighbors feeling fearful and wary of opening their door in the middle of the day.

Police continue to advise homeowners to make sure they lock doors and windows and use their security systems if they have them. Burglars are known for taking the path of least resistance and will try many doorknobs and windows before finding one that opens.

Having said that, a review of Seattle Police statistics shows that burglaries are actually down in the North Precinct the first two months of this year compared to last year. It should be noted, however, that the area as defined by the North Precinct extends well beyond Northeast Seattle and goes as far east as Ballard and north to neighborhoods such as Haller Lake and Bitter Lake.

Specific statistics for View Ridge and Wedgwood were not available, nor were statistics regarding how many break-ins occurred while residents were home.

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Just in time for spring break: 'Bikes for Books'

March 30th, 2010 by hillaryu

So it’s Tuesday and perhaps the kids are staying pretty busy so far. But how about the rest of the week of this spring break (for Seattle Public Schools, anyway)?

Here’s an idea: Beginning Thursday through June 3, Seattle Public Library is hosting the

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Coupon on its way for a free

March 30th, 2010 by hillaryu

Check your mailbox this week for a coupon for a free “Green Kitchen Kit” which should arrive in your CurbWaste and Conserve newsletter. The kits, which feature an EcoSafe Kitchen Collector (shown at right) and compostable bags for storing food scraps, a food scraper, a CFL light bulb and a reusable shopping bag can be picked up starting April 15 at several Neighborhood Service Centers including the University NSC (4534 University Way NE) and Lake City (12525 28th Ave. NE, second floor).

“Green Kit giveaways are part of Compost Days, April 15

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Another View Ridge break-in while family sleeps

March 28th, 2010 by hillaryu

View Ridge residents are sending out another Block Watch Alert after another home was broken into — again while a family was inside sleeping.

The break-in occurred early Sunday (between 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.) near the intersection of 49th Avenue Northeast and NE 70th Street, the alert said. Entry was made through a door, the alert goes on to say, that had not automatically locked when closed.

Computers and other office equipment, car keys and alcohol were taken. An unlocked car on the street also was entered. No word on whether anything was taken from the car.

The family that was victimized is asking neighbors to check their garbage for anything that might have been disposed of nearby.

The break-in comes a month after several View Ridge break-ins last month in which the burglar(s) entered while people were in their homes.

The Block Watch group that sent out Sunday’s alert also reminds residents to:

–Use your alarms if you have them
–Leave porch lights lit at night
–Light the interior of your home when you are not there
–Call 911 if you experience any theft
–Alert neighbors if you experience any theft

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New Mariner needs ideas for charitable efforts

March 28th, 2010 by hillaryu

Our partner the Seattle Times has a story about new Seattle Mariner Chone Figgins who, fresh off signing a four-year, $36 million contract, donated $5,000 to relief efforts in Chile.

A nice move by the second baseman, no doubt, but a curious dollar amount to build a story around, given that it’s comparable to a family with a household income of $180,000 making a contribution of $100.

To be fair, however, the story goes on to say that it’s just a start and that Figgins has created a new charitable foundation called “Get Figgy with It.” Because many charities started by professional athletes never get off the ground and many close due to poor management and lack of attention, perhaps this is an opportunity for Mariner fans and others in the community to be of some help.

Specifically, how about offering a few ideas on where Figgins’ foundation can direct its efforts? Northeast Seattle has a ton of organizations either based here or with strong ties here. For starters:

North Helpline offers a food bank and emergency services.
Children’s Home Society offers a wide-range of services for families in need.
Ronald McDonald House offers housing and other services to families staying in Seattle while caring for a seriously ill child.

Ryther Child Center offers services for troubled kids and teens.
Seattle Children’s has a foundation to support care efforts and research as the region’s top pediatric medical facility.

NEST helps area residents stay in their homes as they age.

Seattle Audobon Society supports conservation and restoration efforts focusing on birds and ecolife.

Other ideas?

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Before you walk it or bike it, map it

March 26th, 2010 by hillaryu

Never have we had so many tools to plan a walk or bicycle ride. Now if we could just get the weekend weather to cooperate.

Your best bet for a weekend walk or ride is Saturday (63 degrees, partly cloudy predicted) with Sunday less desirable (54 degrees, 80 percent chance of rain).

If you’re planning a walk, you might want to check out the Northeast Seattle Trails map, which lists parks, bathrooms and other important sites. (Incidentally, Wedgwood is rated the 56th most walkable neighborhood in Seattle by Walk Score. Does that seem low to anybody? View Ridge comes in at 72 — a small price to pay for having all those hills and being able to look down on Lake Washington.)

If you’re planning a bike ride, you might want to try Google’s new mapping feature. Just go to Google maps, and click “Directions” and then select “bicycle” for your mode of travel (you also can choose “by public transit” or “walking”). Those smart guys at Google apparently take into account the best bike routes to help you avoid hills and high-traffic streets.

For instance, the map above shows their recommended route for getting from Magnuson Park to the center of Wedgwood without plowing up NE 70th Street, one of the most difficult bike rides in the city with an elevation climb of 370 feet in eight blocks. Or just knock yourself out and head up NE 70th Street for a little training ride — after all, awaiting less than 20 blocks way is Top Pot Doughnuts.

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Maple Leaf's version of 'The Big Dig'

March 26th, 2010 by hillaryu

Our partner site Maple Leaf Life has a post on the huge, interesting and expensive ($27.4 million) project in which the Maple Leaf Reservoir is going underground.

When it’s all done, the new reservoir will hold 60 million gallons in two concrete tanks. With everything covered, what to do on top? A park of course, a big one with great downtown views. It’s one of four such projects across the city that will result in increased security of our water system and 76 acres of new park space.

After the new Maple Leaf Reservoir is up and running (projected for 2012), the city plans to decommission the Roosevelt Reservoir on NE 75th Street. No firm dates are available on when this will happen or what then will happen with the property — but the possibilities are intriguing given the huge site and great location.

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City's 1st public composting toilet needs name

March 25th, 2010 by hillaryu

Move over Wedgwood Rock, there’s a new iconic symbol in the neighborhood: the city’s first public composting toilet.

Recently installed at the Picardo Farm P Patch, it encompasses much that is important to Wedgwood residents, namely sustainability and forward-thinking. And it’s got it all, solar-powered ventilation, waterless hand sanitizer, handicap-accessibility (including a new ramp made of tightly packed gravel) and even a little notoriety, getting written up by several blogs in the area.

The only things missing are its first “deposits” (as a sign currently taped to the toilet humorously points out) — and a name.

Both items, however, will be taken care of on Saturday, April 3, when the P Patch kicks off its spring season. Rent’s Due Ranch will sell plant starts, garden tours will be given and voting for a name for the new loo will take place, followed by a dedication ceremony at 12:30 p.m. and a training on its use and maintenance.

The toilet, which replaces a tippy port-a-john at the P Patch, was purchased in part with a $15,000 City Neighborhood Matching Fund grant through a process managed by the P-Patch Trust. It’s the M54 Trailhead, manufactured by Clivus Multrum.

“The M54” isn’t much of a name, though. Neither is “the Clivus Multrum.” How about “the Vault?” Or “the Depository?” Other ideas?

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The scoop on empty parcel at 75th and 25th

March 24th, 2010 by hillaryu

Several folks have messaged to inquire about the empty lot at the northwest corner of NE 75th Street and 25th Avenue NE.

Well, here’s the scoop: It’s for sale for $1.3 million.

That might seem like a lot, especially considering the most recent King County assessment put it at $799,000. But about 18 months ago it was listed for $1,500,000. The current listing has the exact address as 2418 NE 75th and says, “Excellent area, prime for retail or development into townhomes, condominiums, commercial, mixed use, etc.”

The agent for the property, Jeremy Laukkonen of Swanberg Realty, says townhomes with commercial on the bottom are the most likely possibility. But he says that, of course, hinges on the housing market continuing to bounce back. It’s zoned as NC1-30 (3 stories or 30-foot height limit, commercial) and is 9,400 square feet and, as you know, in a pretty great, highly visible location.

The equipment you see on the site is to cleanup the soil and groundwater since it formerly was used as a service station (Roosevelt Auto Repair from 1988-2007) and a Texaco gas station before that. The equipment injects air into the ground to assist in the breakdown of petroleum compounds. Cleanup began almost a year ago.

So there you go. Now the questions are who will buy it and what will go there?

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Car-bike accident near Burke-Gilman is a reminder

March 24th, 2010 by hillaryu

Biking season has begun, which means it’s time for drivers (cyclists, too) to exercise extra caution out there.

The latest reminder, unfortunately, came this morning on the Burke-Gilman Trail at NE 65th Street when a bike-car accident resulted in a 57-year-old female cyclist being taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Seattle Fire Department.

A firetruck, an ambulance and two police cars responded to the scene at 8:20 a.m. No further details are available at this time.

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