News Blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge Neighborhoods


Entries from December 2011

Ring in the New Year with the Polar Bear Plunge!

December 30th, 2011 by hillaryu

With the weather calling for clouds and a high of 48 degrees and a low of 41 on Sunday, Jan. 1, participants of the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach are in for a more balmy day for a dip in Lake Washington than we’ve seen in years past (last year the lake measured a frigid 41 degrees!).

Photo courtesy of Seattle Parks and Recreation

Registration begins around 11 a.m. at the city beach at 9300 51st Ave. N.E., and the swim begins at noon. Afterward, there will be refreshments for the brave swimmers, who also will receive a 2012 Official Patch of Courage if they make it neck-deep in the lake. Need a little extra room? The Polar Cub Club, just before the big polar bears plunge, offers a chance for younger folks or people who need a little bit more room to take the plunge.

Parks offers a few tips for enjoying a fun, safe swim:

  • Come early, and carpool or take the bus.
  • If you have heart problems or other serious medical concerns, we recommend you consult your health care professional before taking the Polar Bear Plunge. If you don’t go in the water, come and watch!
  • Don’t drink alcohol – it doesn’t warm you up, and it accelerates hypothermia.
  • Don’t stay in the water for longer than 15 minutes – you lose body heat 25 times faster in water than in air.
  • Don’t take off your outer clothing until you’re ready to get in the water, and remove wet clothing before getting into dry clothes.

The Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach was the first official event of its kind in the Seattle area. Janet Wilson, the aquatic center coordinator at Meadowbrook Pool, started the event Jan. 1, 2002. About 300 people participated in that first Polar Bear Plunge, and since then the attendance has soared to more than 1,000 brave bears of every age. The plunge has inspired other, similar events in the Seattle area.

Witnesses to history will, at each participant’s request, record the names of the bold souls who complete the mission by signing the Polar Plunge memory book.

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Area food bank donations down by 31 percent

December 14th, 2011 by Support Staff

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn went to the North Helpline food bank this morning to donate food and to ask for public support of the area’s food banks, where need is up 30 percent but donations down by 31 percent in the last four years, according to a report to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“As the holidays approach the need is especially acute,” said McGinn. “But food banks and food programs need your help throughout the year.”

North Helpline, at 12736 33rd Ave. N.E., serves much of north Seattle, including Maple Leaf, Wedgwood and Viewridge.

The most needed items include protein (canned tuna, chicken, peanut butter), canned fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, grains (pasta, rice, macaroni), meals in a can (canned stews, chili), soups (beef stew, chili, chicken noodle,), and multigrain cereal (Cheerios, Cornflakes, Grapenuts, Raisin Bran).

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Gerry Pollet new 46th District Representative

December 6th, 2011 by hillaryu

By Doree Armstrong

The Metropolitan King County Council yesterday unanimously appointed Gerry Pollet to the vacant Washington State House seat in the 46th Legislative District. Pollet fills the seat formerly held by David Frocht, who was appointed to fill the Senate seat of Scott White, who passed away suddenly in October.

Gerry Pollet, center, was sworn in on Monday.

The 46th District includes portions of Greenwood.

From the press release:

“Gerry Pollet was the first choice of the Democratic Precinct Committee Officers in the 46th District to represent the people of the 46th in the state Legislature,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “Gerry will bring to the legislature a long history of service on behalf of the 46th District, local Democrats, and the state of Washington, and his leadership on environmental issues such as protecting the Columbia River.”

Per the State Constitution, precinct committee officers nominate and submit three names to the Council in the event of a vacancy. The Democrat precinct committee officers of the 46th submitted Pollet’s name as the preferred candidate, along with the names of Sylvester Cann and Javier Valdez.

“I commit to promote education, transportation, and protecting our environment and social services during these difficult budget times. I will hit the ground running, and will be accessible and accountable to the people of the 46th,” said newly appointed Representative Pollet. “I greatly appreciate the support of the Council, and I look forward to working with our local governments and my colleagues in the legislature to address the challenges facing our state.”

Pollet is a co-founder and the Executive Director of Heart of America Northwest, a leading citizens’ group working for the cleanup of Hanford. An attorney, Pollet received his law degree from the University of Washington, and teaches in the university’s public health program.

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