News Blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge Neighborhoods


Entries from July 2011

Update on North Helpline food bank – which will be at the outdoor movies Thursday

July 31st, 2011 by Support Staff

The North Helpline food bank raised $126 and received 66 pounds of food at the Maple Leaf Summer Social last week.

It will have a table Thursday evening at Magnuson Park’s outdoor movie (this time it’s Top Gun). Seating’s at 7 p.m., movie starts at dusk.

The food bank, which serves northeast Seattle including Maple Leaf and Wedgwood, is struggling to meet vastly increased needs with decreased donations.

North Helpline will be onsite at the Seattle Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park next Thursday, August 4th, collecting food and meeting and greeting our neighbors. Look for our booth and bring a can or two of nonperishable food along if you can!

Admission is $5.00. There will be trivia, interactive games and prizes. North Helpline will also be raffling off a $50.00 gift certificate to COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria in Maple Leaf. For every two cans of food a person brings, they will receive a raffle ticket. No limit on the tickets so bring all the cans you can! The drawing will be held Friday, August 5th and the winner will be notified by phone.

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Get ready for Seafair fly-overs

July 31st, 2011 by hillaryu

The Blue Angels are coming to town Monday for Seafair and there’s a special military show Wednesday over Elliott Bay.

August 1: 8:10 a.m. Blue Angel no. 7 aircraft arrives
August 1: 12 and 1:30-3 p.m. Blue Angel no. 7 conducts media flights
August 2: Blue Angel team arrival along with other air show aircraft
August 3: 12 p.m. Blue Angel media flights
1:45-2:30 military aircraft fly over the Parade of Ships on Elliott Bay
August 4: Air show practice flights:
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
August 5: Air show practice flights:
1:30 p.m.- 3 p.m.
August 6: Air show performance: 1:30-3 p.m.
August 7: Air show performance: 1:30-3 p.m.
August 9: Mid-morning, Blue Angel team will depart

The military aircraft fly-over on Wednesday includes EA Prowlers, P3 Orion’s, and Harrier jets – all known to be loud and flying low.

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Reminder: Vote for the Magnuson Community Garden

July 31st, 2011 by Support Staff

We posted six weeks ago about the Magnuson Community Garden’s bid to win one of five $4,000 grants from DeLoach Vineyards, an organic winemaker.

This is the last day to vote to support that bid.

To vote, go here and find the Magnuson garden (second from the left on the top row).  It takes less than a minute.

Here’s a report Friday from a gardener at Magnuson:

Only the top five split the prize money — currently, we’re 150 votes down in 6th place! We need *everyone* to rally hard now and bring our $4,000 share home to Seattle! Please vote *daily* for Magnuson: top row, 2nd column (see link). It only takes a moment to vote: just your email, name, see box to opt out/in of mailings, and hit the submit vote button. That’s all. (FYI, I’ve voted hundreds of times, chose to get mailings, yet have only received three emails, one being a subscription offer for Organic Gardening Magazine — so don’t worry about spam, etc.)

It’s been a back-and-forth struggle between us and a garden in San Francisco — and they’re working very hard to hold onto that final spot. We need to work harder! You can do it Seattle — ask your friends & family to vote daily as well. Only a few days left! Thank you all!

— Brad Johnson, Magnuson P-Patch gardener

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Who is participating in National Night Out this Tuesday?

July 31st, 2011 by Support Staff

National Night Out is almost here – Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 6-9 p.m.

We posted on National Night Out, the neighborhood block party with a crime-fighting goal, at the beginning of the month, and gave directions to register your block online, allowing you to close your street to traffic so neighbors can safely meet and mingle.

But we heard only one response, from a reader who preferred the Second Amendment. And the city’s Night Out map, as of this weekend, shows scant response here, though registering on the map is optional.

Who’s closing their street this Tuesday?

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A plea for food bank donations – you can make them at Wednesday's Maple Leaf Summer Social or right here in Wedgwood

July 25th, 2011 by Support Staff

Make time this week to make a donation – food or money – to the North Helpline food bank.

One way would be to head over to the Maple Leaf Summer Social this Wednesday. (Here are photos from last year’s festivities.) But there are plenty of places to donate right here – last month the Wedgwood Ale House took in over 45 pounds of food for North Helpline.

The social runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, Roosevelt Way Northeast at about Northeast 82nd Street. Among the 40 or so tables will be one with donation barrels for and information about North Helpline. The food bank also had a table at this month’s Wedgwood Art Festival.

The food bank, which serves northeast Seattle including Maple Leaf and Wedgwood, is struggling to meet vastly increased needs with decreased donations.

A plea last month brought in enough food to meet demand, but only temporarily.

“Today, my food bank manager conducted an inventory review and while we will get through the next few weeks, things look dire thereafter,” Amy Besunder, director of North Helpline, emailed today.

“In just 24 months we have seen a 63% increase in our client base and in August, a new (Seattle Housing Authority) building for 100 low-income families will open on our block. We are looking forward to having more affordable housing for struggling families, but I am definitely losing sleep in terms of thinking about my food stock and increased demand.”

She listed her needs for the next few months, and what it would cost if the food bank had to buy the food instead of getting it through donations.

  • 140 cases of Apple Juice $1,277
  • ½ Tomato Sauce and ½ Diced Tomatos @ 70 cases each $1,747
  • 140 Cases of Pork and Beans $2,218
  • 70 Cases of Tuna $1,277
  • 1/3 Chicken Noodle Soup, 1/3 Tomato Soup, 1/3 Vegetable Soup 140 Cases in total at $2,100
  • 140 Cases of Ramen Noodles at $840
  • 140 Cases of Spaghetti $2,436
  • 140 Cases of Mac & Cheese $1,344
  • 100 Bags of 50# Rice $2,150

Total: Over $17,000. “Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of money to spend so if you can get the word out that those are our needs, it would be great,” Besunder said.

Don’t want to lug food to the park? You can donate at the North Helpline, 12736 33rd Ave. N.E., or at barrels at these businesses:

  • Walgreens Drug Store,14352 Lake City Way N.E.

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City Council votes to license medical marijuana dispensaries

July 22nd, 2011 by Support Staff

This post is from our sister site Queen Anne View.

The Seattle City Council has taken steps toward legalizing medical marijuana in the city this week, voting Monday to establish a municipal licensing, regulation and taxation system for medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are opening all over Seattle, including one on Lake City Way in Wedgwood and  another down the street in Maple Leaf.

The licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries and co-ops would fall under a new state law going into effect today, Friday July 22, which would make medical marijuana dispensaries illegal. From Reuters:

The 8-0 vote in favor of the measure comes nearly three months after Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law a new measure allowing cities to regulate and license production, processing and distribution of medical marijuana on a limited basis.

That statute, which takes effect on Friday, requires storefront dispensaries and other medical pot suppliers to reorganize themselves as small, cooperative ventures serving up to 10 patients. These “collective gardens” are confined to growing 45 plants total but no more than 15 per person.

This vote is a ground-breaking move for Washington, and is the farthest any city in the state has gone toward legitimizing medical marijuana usage. Dispensaries and co-ops citywide would benefit from the licensing decision.  including many in Ballard. From

“They’re not kicking the can down the road and having somebody else deal with it,” [Dockside Co-Op owner Oscar] Velasco-Schmitz says. “They realize that there is a need for medical cannibis within the community, and they’re taking steps to be able to provide that for the community in a safe manner.”

While Seattle has taken measures to license medical marijuana dispensaries, such businesses are still in violation of federal law. If signed by Mayor Mike McGinn, the proposed ordinance would require medical marijuana businesses to comply with city codes, governing everything from plumbing to public nuisance complaints. From Reuters:

Seattle officials backing the proposed city ordinance say more than 25,000 of the city’s 600,000 residents use cannabis for medical reasons. They argue that regulation will bring more order to the burgeoning supply chain.

“We’re saying, ‘You’re already here, now we need to regulate you,’” Seattle Councilwoman Sally Clark said.

Clark told Reuters that some 80 medical marijuana dispensaries have sprung up in Seattle over the last few years, but of those, only about 50 have officially registered with the city. The mayor is expected to sign the ordinance as early as Tuesday. Once signed, the measure would go into effect in 30 days.

But not all medical marijuana proponents are praising the decision. Medical marijuana attorney Douglas Hiatt told The Seattle Times he’s planning to sue the city to block the action. “He says marijuana remains illegal under both federal and state law, and the city does not have authority to regulate an illegal substance,” according to the Times.

And while we’re on the topic, check out these recent stories on the gray area that exists in the world of medical marijuana and the Wallingford Cannabis Farmer’s Market.

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Wedgwood council also declines to sue over strip club

July 21st, 2011 by Support Staff

Saying a “technicality” would likely make any legal action unsuccessful, the Wedgwood Community Council announced Wednesday night it would not pursue a suit against the city over permits for Pandora’s Adult Cabaret.

Like the Maple Leaf Community Council, which also declined to sue, the Wedgwood council believes the city improperly issued permits for the strip club at 8914 Lake City Way N.E., on the line between the Maple Leaf and Wedgwood neighborhoods.

In a post on its website Wednesday night, Per Johnson of the Wedgwood council noted that city requirements make the issue complicated. “The case that we would be required to make before a King County judge would be difficult to explain in this format.

“So, in an attempt to keep our explanation simple, we decided that while we felt confident in presenting a strong defense of our contention with the city’s inaccurate interpretation of the code, we felt equally strong that we would not be given the chance” due to contention over a 21-day time limit on such suits.

Therefore, we unfortunately determined that this technicality would likely prevent us from ultimately being successful in court.

We are encouraged that the owner of Pandora’s Adult Cabaret reached out to us earlier and has told us that he would like to be a valuable part of the community. We will continue to work with the owner if/when issues arise to resolve them amicably.

The council also released an emailed letter it received Tuesday from Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s office. The letter again declines to revisit arguments over the strip club’s permits.

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Seattle Parks offering day-long walks from park to park

July 21st, 2011 by hillaryu

Seattle Parks Department’s’ Lifelong Recreation Sound Steps Walking Program aims to get walkers aged 50 and over moving by hosting three full days of walks to highlight Olmsted-designed parks, on Aug. 4-6.

This walk…highlights the historic Olmsted park plan and some improvements made possible by the voter-approved 2000 Pro Parks Levy and the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy.

Thursday, August 4: Meet at Seward Park’s Caffe Vita (5028 Wilson Ave. S). The walk proceeds from Seward Park to Capitol Hill by way of Genesee Park, Jefferson Park, Cheasty Blvd, Mount Baker Park, and the many other parks along Lake Washington Blvd.

Friday, August 5: Meet at Victrola Coffee (411 15th Ave. E). Walk from Capitol Hill to Ballard, by way of Volunteer Park, Interlaken Blvd., the Washington Park Arboretum, the University of Washington campus, Ravenna Park, Green Lake Park, and Woodland Park.

Saturday, August 6: Meet at Aster Coffee (5615 24th Ave. NW). Walk from Ballard to Queen Anne by way of Discovery Park, Magnolia Blvd, Kinnear Park, and Queen Anne Blvd.

Total distance for each day is between 12 and 13 miles. Each day will begin with coffee at 8:30 a.m. and will include stops for lunch, afternoon cold drinks, and an early dinner. The walk itself is free, but you’ll need to pay for your own food and beverages. Although many rest stops are included, the walk pace is moderately brisk.

People can join the walk for one, two, or all three days. It’s one way, so walkers should plan to use Metro, or have an accommodating friend or family member to deliver them each morning and pick them up later in the day.

To join the group for this unique opportunity to experience Seattle’s Olmsted parks on foot, please respond by Tuesday, August 2 to Mari Becker at or 206-684-4664.

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Maple Leaf council decides not to pursue suit against strip club

July 20th, 2011 by Support Staff

The Maple Leaf Community Council at noon today announced it will not attempt a lawsuit against Pandora’s Adult Cabaret.

The strip club opened this month at 8914 Lake City Way N.E., on the line between the Maple Leaf and Wedgwood neighborhoods, and the community councils of both wrote the city to say they believe the club’s permit was improperly issued. The city disagreed.

The issue has generated considerable discussion, with well over 200 comments on the Maple Leaf Life and Wedgwood View neighborhood blogs and their Facebook pages. Meanwhile the club’s doors opened, and the club posted on its own Facebook page: “Ladies- We need dayshift Entertainers! We’ve had customers everyday this week waiting for us before the club opens at 1pm, need more girls so we can start opening at 11am! The money’s been fantastic, just need more of you!”

Both the Maple Leaf and Wedgwood councils considered a lawsuit, but in a vote on Tuesday evening the executive committee of the Maple Leaf council said “no” by a 4-3 vote as “Executive Board President Joshua Newman proposed the following motion: ‘I move that MLCC should cease exploring or considering a lawsuit against the City of Seattle over the permitting of Pandora’s Strip Club.’”

In today’s email David Miller, a member of the executive committee, explained that due to timing issues, including a 21-day time limit on lawsuits, success seemed unlikely.

“That 21-day period passed before anyone in our community learned of the issuance of the permit,” Miller wrote, and although courts have made timing exceptions that might apply, “filing a lawsuit after July 25 would almost certainly erase any remaining (slim) possibility legal action against the City’s decision would be heard on the merits.

Since community individuals and businesses have inquired about legal action, we felt it important to quickly communicate the MLCC Executive Board’s vote so individuals and businesses can make their own decisions in the few days remaining before July 25.

We will continue to work with other community councils, Maple Leaf residents, and Maple Leaf businesses concerned about ongoing activity at the location of the adult cabaret.

(In a related matter, the strip club opening up the street at the former Rick’s, 11332 Lake City Way N.E., now has a new name: DreamGirls at Ricks.)

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KUOW features Meadowbrook's Sue McGann

July 20th, 2011 by hillaryu

If you caught our post in late May about Meadowbrook resident Sue McGann and her commitment to helping the South Park community safely grow its own food via Marra Farm, you can learn more about McGann and the nonprofit farm she manages via a story broadcast earlier this week on KUOW.-FM/94.9

You can either listen to the story by Carol Smith or read the transcript: “Farming Along the Duwamish.”

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