News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Entries from October 2010

Are noise panels on the Ship Canal Bridge working?

October 30th, 2010 by master

Now that all those noise panels are up on the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge, have you noticed any difference? WSDOT says it just finished its first tests, and the results are mixed. They sent crews into the field last week and took noise measurements at 18 locations. WSDOT says the numbers show the panels are working as well as predicted in about a third of the locations, but not as well as predicted in the majority of the locations. The biggest noise relief came on the west side of the bridge. You can check out the noise measurements here.

WSDOT photo

WSDOT will continue to take noise measurements once each quarter and then annually for 3 years. 700 noise reducing panels were put in place as part of a $7 million pilot project with money allocated by the state legislature.

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Trick-or-treat map for Wallingford and N. Seattle

October 29th, 2010 by master

Wondering which of your neighbors will be giving out candy this Halloween?  Ballard resident John Tynes created a trick or treat map to show which homes in the neighborhood will open their doors to trick or treaters Sunday night.  Since it was such a great idea, the map has been expanded to include Wallingford and North Seattle.  Before Sunday rolls around, you should see a lot more blue dots outside the Ballard area.  Just click here to see the current map and follow the directions on the left column to add your house (Google account required to edit map).

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What happens to liquor store if initiatives pass?

October 29th, 2010 by master

Two liquor-privatization initiatives, 1100 and 1105, are on the ballot this election season (Nov. 2 is the deadline — have you mailed in your ballot?). If either initiative passes, the new state-run liquor store at 118 NE 45th St. would close, but not right away.

Washington Liquor Control Board spokesperson Brian Smith told us via email, “Should one or both initiatives pass, the Wallingford store will close. The Liquor Control Board leases, not owns, all store properties. So, we’d need to break the lease and close shop, likely by June 2011.”

That closure would coincide with other stores beginning to sell spirits. Any business that currently sells beer and wine could apply for the new license. Smith said that “the Liquor Control Board would likely grant a spirits license to an existing licensee (beer and wine) if they are in good standing. The Board would consider rejecting if the local authority (typically the city mayor) objected, if their existing license was in jeopardy due to public safety violations (selling to a minor, etc.) or similar reasons.”

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Guys: Join Spin and grow a 'stache for Movember

October 28th, 2010 by master

Starting next Monday, November 1, you may notice that formerly facial-hair-free gents about town will be sporting mustaches. They may be making more than a fashion statement — they could be using their follicles to raise money for prostate cancer as part of a month-long international mustache movement called Movember.

Local barbershop owner Spyridon Nicon (everyone knows him as the Spin in Spin’s Barbershop at 4501 Interlake Ave. N.) and his newest barber, Todd Bridges, are assembling a team to start the month clean-shaven and end it with a neatly trimmed or big ‘n’ bushy “mo” (this event started in 2003 in Australia, where “mo” is a nickname for “mustache”). Along the way, they’ll raise money and awareness of men’s health issues throughout Movember. The funds raised through Movember’s US campaign benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Movember raised $42 million last year worldwide.

Spyridon “Spin” Nicon and Todd Bridges, before they start growing their Movember mustaches. We’ll check in with them next month for a progress report.

Spin just heard about Movember a couple of weeks ago from Bridges, and he and his staff and clients are gung-ho to grow mos. He has seven guys on the team now and is looking for fresh recruits. Spin and the gang will be in Fremont tonight to sign up participants at the Movember Pub Crawl, which starts at Norm’s (460 N. 36th St.) at 6 pm, then works its way through Ballroom (456 N. 56th St.), 9 Million in Unmarked Bills (3507 Fremont Pl.) and Red Door (3401 Evanston).

Joining the team is not an easy sell. “I’m hearing from lots of clients that they just can’t quite commit to the quest — job, wife, presentations, events, etc.,” said Spin. “I understand where they’re coming from, but I also believe that’s all the more reason to do it. The moustache makes the statement and starts the conversation, and hopefully that conversation leads to greater awareness of men’s health issues, and a donation to the cause.”

Spin said that the barbershop is a perfect rallying point for Movember: “Men’s issues, men’s grooming, lots of conversations.” Bridges added that he’ll give “a great deal” on haircuts to anyone who donates or joins the team.

To join Spin’s Movember team or make a donation, visit his Movember page.

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Hey Principal Aramaki, you just won $25,000!

October 28th, 2010 by master

It’s tough to keep a secret from the principal. But during an assembly this morning at John Stanford International School, Principal Kelly Aramaki got what may be the surprise of his life. In front of the entire school he was awarded with what’s been called the Oscar of teaching, the Milken Educator Award.

The award for excellence in education is given by the Milken Family Foundation, a leader in education and medical research. In addition to the recognition, Aramaki also received $25,000. As you will see in the video below, he was truly stunned to win the award.

For those of you who don’t know, Wallingford’s very own John Stanford International School offers a dual language immersion program to its K-5 students in Spanish and Japanese. There are also some students from foreign countries who learn English. During today’s assembly, third grade students performed Jai Ho, the Bollywood dance made famous in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” while other students performed songs.

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Wallingford gets its new LED streetlights

October 28th, 2010 by master

Updated October 30: Seattle City Light spokesperson Mike Eagan told us that by Nov. 7, all the streetlights in the city south of 65th will have been replaced with LEDs. “There are some exceptions where additional electrical work was needed, more than just replacing the fixtures,” he said. “The city north of 65th will be done next year.”

Original post:

We’re seeing the streets of Wallingford in a whole new light lately — literally. This week our block got a makeover when Seattle City Light installed new LED (light-emitting diode) streetlights that cast an immediately noticeable brighter, whiter glow in front of our house.

The Wallingford installations are part of a citywide upgrade to LEDs that began this summer. A July 2010 press release about the new streetlights explained their benefits:

“We are entering a new era in street lighting,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “LEDs use 40 percent less energy and last three times longer than the high-pressure sodium lights that have been the standard for the past 30 years. That means better reliability, less maintenance, a longer life cycle, and lower operating costs for our customers.”

City Light will install 5,000 LED streetlights in residential neighborhoods this year and a total of 40,000 during the next five years. The 2010 installations will take place from the Ship Canal to 65th Street. The utility also started pilot projects to test LED streetlights on arterial roads.

The LEDs being installed generate a white light that is comparable to moonlight. This enhances peripheral vision and depth of field, making it easier to see small objects in the road and reducing the color distortion caused by the amber glow of existing high-pressure sodium lights. Finally, the LEDs provide better control over where the light is directed, reducing spillover into home windows and the night sky.

Here’s a demonstration of the difference between the old high-pressure sodium lights and LED ones:

If your street has gotten its new LED lights, what do you think of them?

(Photo courtesy Seattle City Light)


Plan your Halloween in Wallingford

October 27th, 2010 by master

After capturing the “Best Trick-or-Treating” crown for two years in a row (so says, Wallingford has quite the reputation to uphold. Hope you’ve stocked up on treats for the big night! Aside from the candy deluge, there are plenty of events to satisfy every taste this All Hallows Eve.

Friday, October 29
Halloween Safety Workshop for kids:  Join the School of Oom Yung Doe and Seattle Police Dept. at 4pm! Treats and demonstrations of martial arts skills. (4319 Stone Way, 285-9789)

17th Annual Blood Drive at Archie McPhee: Donors get a free gift. Noon to 6 pm, (1300 N. 45th St., 297-0240.)

Halloween Salsa at Selena’s Guadalajara Mexican Family Restaurant: Fri. night DJ, live music Sat., costume contests both nights. 10 pm – 1 am, $10. (1715 N. 45th Street, 632-7858.)‎

Saturday, October 30
Meridian School’s Fall Festival: Noon to 3pm at Good Shepherd Center. Food and games for kids of all ages, pumpkin painting, more. (4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., 632-7154.)

Halloween at Om Culture: Family Ecstatic Dance from 3 to 5pm. In the evening, 7:30-9:30pm, is live music and family-friendly playtime. 9:30pm-3am will be live music, dancing and costume party. See the Om Culture website for all the details. (2210 N. Pacific Street, 829-9969.)

Halloween Hoopla Haunted House at Wallingford Boys & Girls Club: Carnival games, a scary haunted house, Frankenstein’s Lab, cake walk, arts and crafts, candy, food, for all ages, come in costume, 6-9 p.m.; $1 (1310 N. 45th St., 547-7261).

Bandolero in Tangletown: Halloween and Dia de los Muertos Costume Party on Saturday from 9pm till close. They’ll have Espolon Tequila specials and award a $200 Bandolero gift certificate for best costume and $100 Bandolero gift certificate for second-best costume. (2253 N. 56th St., 633-5828.)

Sunday, October 31
Many businesses along N. 45th and at the Wallingford Center will participate in “Green Halloween” this year.  Trick or treating at N. 45th St. businesses will start at 3pm and go till 6pm or later.

Halloween celebration at Wallingford Center: The fun will run from 3 to 5pm. They’re also hosting a food drive and would like to get non-perishable donations (1815 N 45th St.)

Fainting Goat Gelato: Free scoops of gelato for kids from 5pm to 8pm (1903 N 45th St., 327-9459)

Not A Number Cards & Gifts‘ Costume Contest for Kids & Adults: Photos taken throughout Trick or Treat, 3-7pm; winners selected end of evening. Special political category! (1905 N 45th Street, 784-0965.) or

Crave Halloween treats that aren’t of the “fun size” variety? Trophy Cupcakes at Wallingford Center offers up a spooky spread of sweets: “Adorable sparkly pumpkins, spooooky black cats, creepy spider webs and even yummy mummy cupcakes will delight your favorite ghosts and goblins Halloween week.” Trophy also will host its 2nd Annual Cupcake Costume Contest. Stop by the shop dressed like a cupcake and receive a free cupcake and a chance to enter for the first prize of two dozen cupcakes.

If Dia de los Muertos is more your style, pick up Pan de Muerto at Essential Baking (1604 N. 34th St., 545-0444), which describes the bread on its website: “Our lead baker, Javier Mejia, bakes this traditional Mexican sweet loaf made with eggs, butter, and flavored with anise. A specialty for Day of the Dead festivities when deceased friends and loved ones are remembered and celebrated.”

Know of more Wallingford celebrations that we’re missing? Post them in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Have a Happy Halloween!

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SDOT to fix "lake" on Burke-Gilman Trail

October 26th, 2010 by master

Cyclists know that in a decent rain, like the ones we’ve has recently, a “lake” forms where the trail crosses Meridian Ave. N., in front of Urban Surf. Publicola recently ran a story on the problem.

We stopped by the area yesterday and talked to Seattle Department of Transportation’s North End Asphalt Crew Chief, Steve Hoyos. He told us that cyclists and pedestrians won’t need to wait long for the dip in the trail to be fixed; if he gets a traffic control plan this week, work should start on Monday, November 1.

SDOT will divert people off the trail (bikes will go to Northlake Way via a temporary asphalt trail, pedestrians will be directed up to N. Pacific/N. 34th St.), and the project should be complete in a couple of weeks. Hoyos estimated 10 working days to dig out concrete, pour new concrete and put asphalt on that. “The work’s not that big a deal — it’s the rerouting that’s a big deal,” he said.

Signage will be up shortly to warn cyclists and pedestrians of the impending detours.

Thanks to Robby Delaware for the tip!

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Significant cuts for Green Lake Community Center

October 25th, 2010 by master

Despite the efforts of many neighborhood residents, Wallingford doesn’t have a community center. The closest one is at Green Lake, which because of budget cuts is going to scale back services significantly.

Our sister site My Green Lake today received  information about the mayor’s proposed 2011 city budget from Christopher Williams, Acting Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation.

“I would like to start by making it clear that the 2011 budget proposal does not result in closure of the Green Lake Community Center,” said Williams.  “In fact it, and proposals for several other centers, enables us to keep the doors open at all community centers, some with limited hours.”

According to Williams, the Green Lake Community Center was chosen to be a limited-use site because the Ravenna-Eckstein and Northgate Community Centers are nearby and because small classrooms at the Green Lake facility place limits on programming.

What exactly will the impact be if the Green Lake Community Center becomes a limited-use site?

Williams said that the following programs would continue:

  • Age 3-5 Pre-K School
  • Adult basketball leagues
  • Table Tennis (fee-based programs on Saturday and Sunday)
  • Adult and youth pottery
  • Tot play space in the gym (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • Drop-in basketball (evenings)
  • Drop-in volleyball (evenings)

The following programs would be moved:

  • Teen programs will relocate to Northgate Community Center
  • Creative Dance will move to Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center
  • Tot Dance, Yoga with Baby, and music classes for tots and pre-K (Katy Webber’s classes) will move to Northgate Community Center
  • The following programs would be canceled:

  • Drop-in chess (Parks staff are working on finding another location for it)
  • Ballet
  • Private music lessons
  • Tot sports
  • Karate
  • African dance
  • Youth fencing
  • Indoor soccer for tots
  • Kempo
  • Adult yoga
  • Hula
  • As well, there would be limited hours of drop-in time for teens and seniors, and interaction with professional staff would be limited to drop-in hours.

    Evans Pool and Green Lake Park would continue to operate as usual, although there will be reduced maintenance at the park if City Council adopts the mayor’s proposed budget.

    Read more about the proposed changes at Green Lake Community Center on My Green Lake.

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    Quiznos Sub closed on N. 45th in Wallingford

    October 22nd, 2010 by master

    It appears that the Wallingford Quiznos Sub, at 2530 N. 45th St., has closed. The door is padlocked and the phone has been disconnected. We were unable to reach anyone at Quiznos headquarters for comment, but the eatery has been on the market for many months.

    Thanks to Wallingford resident and avid Tweeter Jacqui Kramer for the tip. She also Tweeted recently that the Payday Loans, in the same complex of shops, had closed.

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