News Blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge Neighborhoods


Entries from April 2010

Term limits on p-patches? Interesting discussion

April 21st, 2010 by hillaryu

The Capitol Hill Seattle blog has an interesting story — with reader feedback — on reports that the City of Seattle is looking at the possibility of putting term limits on p-patches.

Growing wait lists, along with the fact that many p-patchers have controlled their plots for many, many years, are driving the discussion.

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How it pays to be a reader of the Wedgwood View

April 21st, 2010 by hillaryu

You already were reaping the benefits of being a reader of the Wedgwood View — staying “in the know” about your neighborhood. Well, starting today being a reader also will save you money.

See the bottom of this post for how you can save on tickets in a special offer from Seattle Musical Theatre at Magnuson Park, which proudly is presenting the Northwest premiere of “110 in the Shade,” May 7 through 23.

Here’s what SMT says about the show:

This gem of a musical, based on the 1954 play “The Rainmaker” (and later the 1956 film that starred Katherine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster) is considered by many to be the finest work of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, who wrote “The Fantasticks.”

The scene is July, 1936 in the drought-ridden community of Three Point, Texas. Languishing in the unrelenting heat, Lizzie Curry – too smart and too witty for her own good – ponders her future as an old maid. Her farther and brothers have tried to scare up some husband material, but the only likely prospect isn’t cooperating. Enter handsome Bill Starbuck, a charming con man who claims he can bring much needed relief — rain — within 24 hours. His arrival sets off a series of sizzling events.

Loaded with haunting music and lively dancing, “110 in the Shade” delivers a great evening of musical theatre. Tickets are $25-$35.

For more information and directions, visit

SPECIAL FOR WEDGWOOD VIEW BLOG READERS: Call the box office at 206-363-2809 and mention the code “BLOG” to receive $10 off ANY performance. Please limit 4 tickets at this price.

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Big changes for local restaurants

April 21st, 2010 by hillaryu

Restaurants in Wedgwood, View Ridge, and all across Seattle will have to make a big change starting July 1.  That’s when an ordinance will require all single-use packaging and food ware to be compostable or recyclable.  Restaurants and food service businesses will also have to put up new bins for customers to sort their trash.

Today, Seattle Public Utilities invited Wedgwood View to Safeco Field for a look at how the Seattle Mariners are already implementing the program.  All food vendors at the stadium have switched to compostable products and bins have been set up on all levels so fans can sort the trash after they’ve finished eating.  Safeco hopes to have a recycling rate of over 70 percent.

“Our beer cup looks like plastic but it’s made of corn.  Our knives, forks and spoons look like plastic but they’re also made of corn.  They are heat senstitive, so if you have a spoon in a hot food item, it will bend.  That’s something fans will have to get used to,” said Scott Jenkins with the Mariners.

Restaurants will face added costs from the new ordinance, and some have pushed back against Seattle Public Utilities.  The Washington Restaurant Association says most restaurants in Seattle are interested in using more sustainable practices, but they have questions about cost and customer safety.  SPU says many businesses, like Taco Del Mar which made the switch the eco-friendly ware back in 2008, are more than willing to make the change.

“The restaurants are responding really well,” said Dick Lilly from SPU.  “It’s a big change so it’s going to take some working out.  The products are getting better and less expensive.”

The city’s new composting requirements follow a ban on styrofoam last year.  You can read more about the program here.

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What programs should Seattle schools save?

April 20th, 2010 by hillaryu

The hits to education just keep on coming. Already $26 million in the hole for next year, Seattle Public Schools must come up with another $6 million in cuts, according to a Seattle article. This comes after $34 million was cut last year and $31 million this year. All on an annual budget that comes in around $430 million.

In response to this, the school district is having a community meeting tonight and you are invited. It’s from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Roosevelt High School, 1410 NE 66th St. The district will give an overview of how schools are funded and strategies to close the funding gap for next year. They also want to know what programs are most important to you and what they should protect.

More conversation on this at the Save Seattle Public Schools blog.

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Give your ideas on youth at View Ridge CC meeting

April 19th, 2010 by hillaryu

Come to the View Ridge Community Council meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, April 20) to give your ideas on how to help ensure that all Seattle children receive a rich and well-rounded education (both in and out of the classroom) and that they are well-prepared to be responsible citizens.

Everyone is invited to this “community caucus,” which begins at 7 p.m. at the Sand Point Community Methodist Church, 4710 NE 70th St. in Perry Hall. It’s part of the Seattle Youth and Families Initiative.

Bring your friends, neighbors and, most of all, your ideas. To get a feel for what sort of ideas have come up at other community caucuses, check out the initiative’s blog.

You also can get a look at the scope and timeline of the project.

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'Beers for Birds' trivia night at Fiddler's Inn

April 17th, 2010 by hillaryu

TRUE / FALSE: Crows are known to drop hard-shell nuts onto a street and wait for passing cars to drive over them to crack them open so they then can have a quick snack? See answer below.

If the answer is second-nature to you, you might want to head over to Fiddler’s Inn on Tuesday, April 20 between 7-9 p.m. for “Beers for Birds” trivia night presented by the Seattle Audubon Society.

Billed as an entertaining evening of trivia and a fundraiser for the Audubon’s conservation and education programs, the event also will include a raffle. For $5, you can get a chance to win such prizes as theater tickets, dinner at Café Flora and a weekend away at The Bishop Victoria Hotel in Port Townsend.

Raffle tickets can be purchased ahead of time at Fiddler’s Inn or Seattle Audubon. You don’t have to be present to win.

Oh and the answer: True. Similarly, along the coast, crows drop mussels and other shellfish on rocks to crack the shells and expose the flesh for a snack. Source: The excellent “Learn about Birds” section on the Seattle Audubon site.

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Caught in the act? Developing burglar story

April 16th, 2010 by hillaryu

Details are sketchy but reports are circulating in View Ridge this afternoon that a burglary attempt was foiled — and an alert neighbor grabbed a license plate number.

A black vehicle — the same one used in a pull up, load up and drive off last week? — pulled into the driveway of a house near View Ridge Elementary this morning, according to the report.

The vehicle appeared just after the person living there had left, prompting speculation that the house was being watched. However, the house had an alarm, which went off and alerted a neighbor who saw two fleeing would-be burglars, the report said.

And here’s the best part, the neighbor was able to get a license plate number.

The Wedgwood View has put in a call to police but no word back yet. If you know about the incident, you can contribute by sending email to the Wedgwood View at

UPDATE 4/17: The attempted burglary was at a home near the intersection of NE 77th Street and 43 Avenue NE. This is a very short block and a half away from a very similar break-in on April 8. In that crime, a white van was used but it also was on a week-day morning after family members had left.

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Seattle Audubon’s Birdathon starts this week

April 14th, 2010 by hillaryu

Thanks to Mai Ling at our partner site Maple Leaf Life:

Whether you’re an experienced birdwatcher or you simply enjoy viewing our feathered friends flit through the neighborhood, your chance to get outside and spend some time with the birds for a good cause is coming soon.

From April 15 to May 31, people of all ages are invited to participate in the Seattle Audubon’s 22nd annual Birdathon, a fundraiser that challenges participants to spot the most bird species during a single day.

“Apart from being a fundraiser, it’s a great chance to get outside and be a part of the community,” said Emiko Blalock, Seattle Audubon’s development manager.

Participants choose one day within the time frame to count as many bird as they can, and they have the option of joining Birdathon field trips throughout the region, which are especially helpful for beginner birdwatchers, Blalock said.

Although there is a small fee to participate in the walks, all the money collected also is part of the fundraiser for Seattle Audubon’s conservation programs.

And, of course, there are prizes for whoever counts the most birds or raises the most money, and then some.

“This year it’s pretty exciting because we have a grand prize drawing,” Blalock added. Anyone who raises at least $250 is entered to win two round-trip plane tickets on Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air.

Hint hint, “The odds are really good right now,” Blalock added.

You can sign up for the Birdathon online, or if you’d prefer a paper Birdathon packet, contact Leah at 523-4483, ext. 16, or

Interested in the area field trips? There will be two walks in Northeast Seattle:

  • The Seattle Audubon Nature Shop invites beginners to its location at 8050 35th Ave. N.E. for the North Seattle Neighborhood Walk at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 24. This trip will start in the classroom with pictures and bird skins, focusing on basic bird identification and their habitat needs before hitting some of the neighborhood hot spots. For more information, contact Seattle Audubon Conservation Director Matt Mega at 523-8243, ext. 38. Donation is $15.
  • Explore some of Seattle’s best birding hot spots, including Magnuson Park, the Montlake Fill, Foster Island and the Arboretum, without using a drop of gasoline at the Bike and Bird Magnuson Park to the Arboretum, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 25. The tour starts at the shelter west of the boat launch parking lot at the Northeast 65th Street entrance, located on the right at end of the drive into park. The route is nearly level and about 4.5 miles each way. Bring your bike, helmet, binoculars, snacks, and dress for the weather. Donation is 15.

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Three ways to ease your Tax Day pain

April 14th, 2010 by hillaryu

The state legislature just passed several tax increases and now federal income taxes are due. You look like you could use a free taco.

Get that and more with a few freebies designed to ease your Tax Day pain:

Free taco from Taco del Mar: The Roosevelt location is at 1033 65th Ave; (206) 729-0670. Oh there’s one catch, you need to give up your email address in order to get the coupon for the taco.

Free Starbucks brewed coffee: Just bring in a reusable mug to the Starbucks in Wedgwood on 35th Avenue NE or any other location. It’s part of the coffee giant’s sustainability project.

Free Cinnabon cupcakes: OK, they are just the “bites” but you get two and they’re free between 6 and 8 p.m. Northgate Mall has an outlet.

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Burglars pull up, load up and drive off — twice

April 13th, 2010 by hillaryu

NE Seattle blockwatches are calling on neighbors to be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles near homes after two daytime burglaries in which burglars parked their vehicles in house driveways, kicked open doors and then loaded up vehicles to make off with tons of items, including TVs, other electronics and jewelry.

On Monday in the area of NE 60th Street and 52nd Avenue NE, a black SUV was parked in front of a house around noon, the report said. Acting as though they were movers, the burglars used pillow cases and sheets to conceal items as they loaded them into the vehicle, said the report.

Taken were two TVs, a laptop, an Xbox, Nintendo DS, computer games, new clothes in a bag, numerous purses, a vacuum and jewelry, including a wedding ring.

Last Thursday, a home in the 7300 block of 44th Avenue NE was broken into between 10:30-11:30 a.m. A “nice-looking, clean white van” was pulled into a driveway in a car port, blocking the view of a side entrance door, said the victim. Burglars kicked open the door and loaded up the van, taking a 52-inch flat screen TV, iPods, cameras, other electronic equipment and jewelry, she said. They also used sheets and pillow cases, she added.

A neighbor saw the van but thought it was someone at the house doing work, she said.

The woman said electronic items were cleanly disconnected. The only mess, she said, was that items were pulled out of top drawers and off the tops of closet shelves. The woman said her husband believes they were looking for firearms.

A patrol officer and a detective, who spent more than an hour at the house, were unable to find any fingerprints at the scene, she said. She said police also told her that her case was similar to another burglary in the Laurelhurst-Windermere area.

The two crimes come after a rash of middle-of-the-night burglaries at homes with family members present. In addition, a third case was reported on NE 57th Street near 35th Avenue NE in which three kids were seen leaving a house with a flat screen TV and other electronics.

While NE Seattle seems to be experiencing a spike in burglaries, Seattle police say there is no indication of that, though they are looking for connections among the cases.

“The reality is that we live in a big city and we do have burglaries,” said Mark Jamieson, spokesman for Seattle Police. “Especially in highly residential areas where there are mostly all homes and not a lot of businesses.”

Diane Horswill, crime prevention officer for SPD’s North Precinct, said it’s possible that there seems to be more burglaries because the same incidents are being referenced multiple times in the media. Overall, the North Precinct is down for burglaries in the first two months of this year compared to last year.

However, stats aren’t kept for specific neighborhoods and View Ridge, in particular, appears to be experiencing a spike.

The North Precinct has seven detectives assigned to investigate burglaries but the North Precinct is about half of the city, including both Northwest Seattle and Northeast Seattle. Jamieson said that so far he’s not aware of extra detectives being assigned to the NE Seattle cases. Nor is he aware of whether any extra efforts are being made in crime prevention or community outreach.

“It’s way too soon to know whether these are related or not but detectives are looking at all of the cases,” he said. “The best thing people can do is lock their windows and doors and make these types of crimes as preventable as possible.”

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