News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Entries from October 2010

Zoo news: flamingos die, no Pumpkin Prowl, more

October 22nd, 2010 by master

There’s been quite a lot of news at the Woodland Park Zoo in recent days. Here are some stories from our sister site PhinneyWood:

Adult flamingo and two chicks die at zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo reports that one of its adult flamingos and two newborn flamingo chicks have died. The chicks hatched on Oct. 3 and 9.

From the zoo’s press release:

The older of the chicks was found dead this morning in the exhibit, and the younger of the chicks was discovered missing Sunday night.

Both parents of flamingos are involved in rearing their young, and this year’s chicks were being raised under the care of their parents, not by the zoo staff. The younger chick was left in a vulnerable position under the sole care of its mother following the unexpected death of her mate last Friday. A necropsy revealed that this adult bird died of a fractured vertebra and internal health issues. The cause of the injury has not been determined.

The older chick was thriving under the care of its attentive parents and was showing increased signs of mobility and natural flamingo behavior. It is not known what led to its death.

One of the flamingo chicks eating last week. Photo by Dennis Dow, Woodland Park Zoo.

Three flamingo eggs remain in nests at the exhibit, and are expected to hatch soon.

Zoo’s Pumpkin Bash bigger and better in wake of Pumpkin Prowl cancellation

The Woodland Park Zoo’s annual Pumpkin Bash is set for Oct. 30-31, with special treats for the animals, live entertainment and daytime trick-or-treating. But the annual three-day, nighttime Pumpkin Prowl has been canceled because it didn’t raise enough money to cover costs.

According to the zoo, some of the Pumpkin Prowl activities, such as the trick-or-treating, are being rolled into the Pumpkin Bash.

Pumpkin Bash features: a repertoire of animal behavior as hippos, bears, elephants, birds, and other animals crunch, smash or stomp on the orange gourds; trick or treating in the zoo’s West Plaza; “Thriller” dance performances by Roosevelt High School (Sunday only); demonstrations by Alpha Martial Arts (Saturday only); imaginative and fun presentations by Killer Science; face painting (additional fee); up-close animal encounters; meet ‘n’ greets with the zoo’s penguin and meerkat mascots; programs in Zoomazium’s indoor nature play space; and discovery stations to explore animal life.

Photo by Lori Veres, Woodland Park Zoo.

Pumpkin Bash is from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 31. Click here for a full schedule of when each animal gets their Halloween treats. Pumpkin Bash is included in zoo admission. Special discount for this event: one child 12 and under in costume is admitted free with a paid adult. Bring your own trick-or-treat bags. The zoo’s current winter hours are 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily.

Help design sensory garden at the zoo

The Sensory Garden Advisory Committee is holding a meeting on Saturday to start developing a sensory garden next to the Woodland Park Zoo. A sensory garden is a broad term for an area that can be therapeutic for the deaf, blind or those with autism. For example, it may have flowers with strong scents, highly textured plants, a rain garden or a reflexology path.

The meeting is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Norse Home, 5311 Phinney Ave. N. Read the full story.

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Have unused toys? Donate to CoolMom Toy Sale

October 22nd, 2010 by master

With the holidays coming up, parents are probably looking to weed out some toys before more come into the house. Here’s one option, courtesy of reader Kimberly, that gives you the opportunity to shop too:

It’s time for the 2nd annual CoolMom Toy Sale on Nov 13, 9:30-1:30 at the Wallingford Boys and Girls Club (1310 N 45th). We are now collecting used toys to be sold at the sale. When you donate, you get a $5 (maximum) credit towards toys at the sale & the great feeling of recycling your toys! Our collection bins are at:

* John Stanford International School (N. 42nd Street entrance)
* PCC Green Lake
* Greenwood Elementary
* PCC Fremont
* PNA – foyer of blue building
* Small Faces Child Development Center – 9250 14th Ave NW

If you have a larger item to donate like a climber or a bike, please email Brooke at and we can arrange pickup.

Please bag up your items and put your name and phone number on a slip of paper in the bag so you will get your credit.

The bins will be there through Nov. 11, so please clean out your closets and feel the joy of purging. Our sale benefits CoolMom and FamilyWorks.

More info here:

This toy sale/swap is hosted by the Greenwood/Ballard CoolMom Group, which meets the third Thursday of every month at Greenwood Center in Greenwood.

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Weekend: Pears & apples, pancakes, wild weather?

October 21st, 2010 by master

Today’s supposed to be the end of a stretch of beautiful weather. Perhaps you’ll have time to pick some apples or pears, but what to do with them? Friday night you can get plenty of great ideas, help cook up a delicious autumn dinner, and get to know some of your neighbors at the monthly Wallingford Community Kitchen.

On this month’s menu will be:
* Northwest Apple Salad – a great twist on the classic Waldorf
* Pear & Jack Cheese Savory Strudel
* Apple Walnut Gorgonzola Tart
* Curried Winter Squash & Apple Soup
* Lemon Ginger Pear Crisp

If just those words made your mouth water, buy your tickets now for the evening, which runs 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Wallingford Senior Center in the Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Room 140).

Much more information is here.

Want to start those Halloween festivities with the kids? Join the Pumpkin Flashlight Hunt up at the Green Lake Community Center. It’s Friday, 7-8 p.m. for ages 4-11 and it’s free.

Rain or shine, come hunt for coins and candy outside near the Green Lake Community Center! Arrive no later than 6:45 p.m. at the gym. Bring your own bag to collect goodies and a flashlight to hunt with. Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather – come in costume and bring a friend! Kids will be separated into age appropriate groups.

On Saturday, join the free P-Patch tour. The Department of Neighborhoods opened more spots yesterday. Be sure to register here.

On Sunday the Senior Center will host another culinary event, its celebration of community with an autumn pancake (and French toast) breakfast. Stop by anytime between 9 a.m. and noon. Cost is a low, low $5 for adults $5 and $2.50 for children.

A big storm may arrive Sunday, says weather guru Cliff Mass, or it may not. Regardless, it couldn’t hurt to use the weekend to prepare for winter, right?

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Meridian Market equipment auction on Thursday

October 20th, 2010 by master

After closing up shop in early September, it looks like Tangletown’s Meridian Market (2201 N. 56th St.) will be no more. Tomorrow morning all the equipment in the store will be auctioned off.

Anyone in the market for deli cases, an espresso machine, a panini grill, cash registers, or any of the other items you’d need to run a restaurant, coffeehouse or deli should stop by tomorrow at 10 a.m. for the auction (preview is 8 to 10 a.m.)

More details and all the items for auction are listed on the auctioneer’s website.

Thanks to Anita for the tip.

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Wallingford school walkathon seeks sponsors

October 20th, 2010 by master

Did you know there’s a new elementary school in Wallingford? In September, McDonald Elementary School opened with just 60 students in the Lincoln High School building (4400 Interlake Ave. N.), where it will be housed for two years while the permanent building at N. 54th and Latona is renovated.

The school is holding its first and most important fundraiser this Friday, Oct. 22 — a walkathon to raise money to hire teachers assistants.

McDonald parent Jen Longtin told us that they’re particularly interested in attracting sponsorship from local businesses. Some of the benefits are listed on the McDonald PTA website. All contributions are tax deductible.

In addition to parents and teachers, Katie Follett and other members of the UW track team will cheer on students at the event. Follett held the world record for the 1500 M while at the UW, and is now training for the Olympics.

You can find much more information about the walkathon and McDonald School on the PTA website.

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Green Lake Comm. Center toddler space closing

October 20th, 2010 by master

Parents and caregivers of wee ones know that once the cold, wet weather arrives in Seattle (and it always does!), there are precious few indoor play options where toddlers can burn off some energy. Now one of those options, the toddler play space at the Green Lake Community Center, will close because of budget cuts. From our sister site My Green Lake:

On Nov. 4, the Parks Department will begin converting the entire second floor of the Green Lake Community Center (7201 E Green Lake Dr N), including the large room occupied by the Toddler Play Space, into offices.

On Sept. 27, Mayor McGinn presented his 2011 City of Seattle budget recommendations to City Council.  If the Council accepts his recommendations, the Green Lake Community Center will lose six FTE staff and will operate under “Limited-Use Status.” 28 Parks Department staff members will be moving into the Green Lake Community Center.

Although final decisions about the 2011 city budget have not yet been voted on by City Council, the Parks Department needs to begin converting the space now, should offices be needed in January 2011.  Katie Gray, Parks Department North Recreation Manager, says that if the City Council’s budget does not necessitate moving offices into the Green Lake Community Center, the work will be reversed and the second floor rooms will once again be available for classes and the Toddler Play Space.

Read more details, including where the toddler equipment will be located for limited hours, on My Green Lake.

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Wallingford No. 1 for trick-or-treating

October 19th, 2010 by master

For the second year in a row, Zillow has named Wallingford the best neighborhood for trick or treating in Seattle. They’ve also named Seattle as the number one city to trick-or-treat in the nation, so we’ll go ahead and extrapolate that Wallingford has the best trick or treating in all the land.

Zillow used hard data to compute this honor: “The Zillow Trick-or-Treat Housing Index was calculated using four equally weighted data variables: Zillow Home Value Index, population density, Walk Score and local crime data from Relocation Essentials. Based on those variables, the Index represents cities that will provide the most candy, with the least walking and safety risks.”

Local trick-or-treaters, pre-sugar rush

Our non-empirical evidence would back up Zillow’s assertion. We’ve seen trick-or-treaters with a pillowcase full of candy on Halloween in Wallingford. Combine trick-or-treating at neighborhood businesses with surrounding homes, and the kids get quite a haul.

Rounding out the Top 5 neighborhoods for trick-or-treating in Seattle were Ballard, Queen Anne, Roosevelt and Ravenna.

A bit more about the allure of Halloween — or any time — in Wallingford from Zillow:

In 2009, Wallingford topped Zillow’s Trick-or-Treat list, and the same is true for 2010. Wallingford has earned the honor of the No. 1 Seattle ‘hood to trick-or-treat, and ranked in the top 20 percentile for all metrics included in the Zillow Index. The family friendly neighborhood is a witches brew of stately craftsman homes, enticing sidewalk cafes, and eclectic shops. Residents get in the Halloween spirit with costume swaps, pumpkin-carving contests, and even a local haunted home. Heck, this top-rated trick-or-treat location may even convince Green Lake moms and kids to venture over to Wallingford!

Other high-ranking sweet spots in the Zillow Index are San Francisco, Portland, San Jose and Denver. See the rest of the Top 20 here.

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Crime prevention coordinators face layoffs

October 19th, 2010 by master

Unless the budget changes, three of the seven crime prevention coordinators in Seattle will lose their jobs. As for the remaining four coordinators, including the one serving Wallingford, no one is sure if they’ll be forced to cut back on their hours or cover larger areas to fill the holes.

Crime prevention coordinators, civilian employees in the Seattle Police Department, work directly with residents doing everything from setting up block watches to going door to door to warn about recent crimes. They’d been part of the police budget up until last October, when the positions then became paid for with federal grant money that runs out in the spring.

With the help of the nonprofit Common Language Project and communications students at the University of Washington, we take a closer look at what the loss of these coordinators could mean to our neighborhoods.

Continue reading “Crime Prevention Coordinators Face the Budget Axe”.

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More design options for new transfer station

October 18th, 2010 by master

Five more design options for the new North Transfer Station have been unveiled.  Those five, along with four previous designs that have been tweaked, will be looked over later this week during a stakeholder meeting of community residents, businesses and station users.

Current transfer station

The new station will be constructed on the current site at 1350 N. 34th Street after the old facility is demolished, probably sometime in 2012.  Today, a crew from Seattle Public Utilities took us on a tour of the location to talk about challenges they face at the current facility and what they hope to accomplish with the new one.

“I think what the residents want is a station that’s going to be a good neighbor,” said Bill Benzer, SPU project manager for the new station.

The current transfer station was built in the 1960’s with the single goal of collecting garbage.  Today, the station now has to deal with recyclables and yard waste.  Long lines can sometime form on 34th Street as customers wait for their loads to be weighed.  Neighbors are also forced to deal with noise, and even worse, the odor.  One nearby resident told us the smell gets worse every year.

“You never get used it,” she said.

Now that food scraps are mixed in with yard waste, another problem has surfaced– crows.

“They’re grabbing all the oranges and pumpkins and all that stuff out of there and dropping it in neighbors’ yards,” one crew member told us.

The pit

To stop the crows and to help contain the noise and odor, the new station will be enclosed with a ventilation system and quick opening doors to let customers in and out.  The weigh station could be moved further into the site to avoid lines.  And while Seattle Public Utilities wants to make sure the new facility looks nice, they also need it to be functional.

“Over time our waste handling needs may change.  There may be more items that we want to try and recover and the way to do that is to put it all on a flat floor so you can pick things out, move things to different piles, and they can be sent to different facilities,” said Benzer.

Some of the newly unveiled designs, including the one below, show a separate building for recyclables.  The Wallingford Community Council has said it would only support a design that doesn’t call for the east side of the property to be used as a recycling operation.  They also want to preserve the industrial buffer zone and to have a public park built at the corner of 35th and Woodlawn Ave.  In the end, SPU tells us the design will be shaped by community input.

“We are certainly looking for a building that fits in with the neighborhood,” said Benzer.  “Part of this design program is to get the layout…but to also get into some aesthetics. We’re envisioning some nice grounds with perimeter landscaping.”

To see all of the design concepts under consideration, click here.  The next transfer station stakeholder meeting is set for this Thursday, October 21 from 5pm to 8pm at the Institute for Systems Biology (837 N. 34th Street).

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Have you seen Fifi the ceramic boxer?

October 18th, 2010 by master

Neighbors near the corner of N. 46th St. and Densmore may have a nagging feeling that something is missing — it’s Fifi the ceramic boxer, who’s watched over the corner since 2003. Owner Jessica noticed on Thursday that Fifi was gone and hoped that she’d be found quickly. “Someone made off with her a few months back, but dumped her a couple blocks away and some Friends of Molly Moon saw her and brought her back to me,” Jessica told us.

As of this morning, Fifi’s still gone. A couple people have suggested that fraternity members may have stolen her as a prank, and Jessica would like people to keep their eyes open for Fifi beyond Wallingford.

Jessica also shared Fifi’s provenance:

My sister-in-law bought her in Chinatown, NYC, and shipped her in a giant box from there in…2000?  2001?  I remember getting really excited opening the box, then realizing what it was (my brother and I essentially grew up in a boxer kennel, our mother raised, bred, showed and continues to rescue boxers) and that it was a huge prank.

Jessica will celebrate her 40th birthday this weekend and would love her dear Fifi to join in the party. If you’ve seen Fifi, let Jessica know at jtrupin [at]

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