News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Entries from August 2011

Host families needed for exchange students displaced by Irene

August 31st, 2011 by master

International Student Exchange is looking for host homes for several exchange students after Hurricane Irene hit the east coast.

A host family is needed for a High School Foreign Exchange student for the 2011/2012 school year. We are helping those areas in which the hurricane affected, and there are many students in need of a loving host family who will now be coming to Seattle. A potential host family is needed for a boy from Germany who speaks German, French and English, enjoys basketball, soccer, swimming, martial arts, and baseball, and plays the drums, or a girl from Brazil who is very outgoing, cheerful and calm girl, she loves cooking, reading, playing volleyball, soccer and riding horses, or a boy from Vietnam who likes playing volleyball, dancing hip hop, and going to the theater, he is an A student is excited about learning about the American lifestyle, or a girl from Thailand, who loves camping, bowling, shopping, travel and baking. She loves spending time with her cat and enjoys animals, or a boy from China, who loves reading and collecting things, he enjoys school activities and going to the movies, swimming and playing ping pong, or a boy from Brazil who likes bowling, playing soccer, camping and loves younger children, he volunteers to help take care of children, or a boy from South Korea who likes soccer, swimming, bowling, he is a black belt in Taekwondo, also enjoys music and plays the clarinet, or a girl from Spain who is a likes to spend time with her family, playing tennis and basketball, reading and playing the piano, or a boy from Thailand who likes fishing with his dad, playing golf, basketball and soccer. He loves animals and hopes to be a veterinarian when he gets older or a girl from China interested in swimming, music and watching sports. She can’t wait to meet her new American family.

Students come with good English skills, full health insurance and their own personal spending money, and mainly the desire to be a member of an American family. We ask our families to provide a bed (shared room is okay with similar age range) and meals eaten with the family. Host families do not need to have teenagers of their own; young families as well as empty nesters are excellent high school student hosts this year.

For more information about the students and the program, contact Jamin Henderson by email or phone at 360-661-0552.

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The Small And Simple Projects Fund Accepting Applications Sept. 1

August 30th, 2011 by master

By Sean Keeley

The 2011 Small and Simple Projects Fund, a program of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, will be open for applications beginning on Thursday, September 1 for the fall cycle. The fund is open to all eligible applicants and project types.

In recognition of Emergency Preparedness Month this September, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) and Seattle Office of Emergency Management (OEM) encourage community members to apply for funding to help them organize and engage their neighbors and plan for emergency and disaster situations.

The deadline for the Small and Simple Projects Fund for awards up to $20,000 is Monday, October 17 by 5 p.m. Community members can also apply to the Small Sparks Fund for awards up to $1000 with applications accepted year-round. To learn more, visit

Two workshops have been scheduled for community members to learn more about the NMF program and emergency preparedness project ideas. The workshops will be held from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the Ballard Public Library (5614 22nd Ave NW); and on Thursday, Sept. 15 at The 2100 Building (2100 24th Ave S). All applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a workshop.

Community members are also encouraged to contact a Neighborhood Matching Fund Project Manager before applying at 206-233-0093 or For those applying for emergency preparedness projects, contact the Seattle Office for Emergency Management at or call 206-233-5076.

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More changes coming To Aurora

August 30th, 2011 by master

By Sean Keeley

We’ve seen a lot of new and improved features on Aurora Avenue recently, including radar speed signs and earthquake retrofits. According to a recent blog post by SDOT, there’s still a lot more to come.

The post outlines a whole bunch of impending improvements and changes in the area, while some of them will take place right in our own backyard.

Further south, SDOT is preparing to implement a series of safety improvements centered around the Aurora Bridge. New signage will be installed warning drivers to expect merging traffic prior the Fremont Way and Halladay Street entrances. This project will include improved directional signage to the Queen Anne neighborhood and minor tree trimming to improve the visibility of these signs. Channelization improvements will be implemented concurrently on southbound Aurora at the Fremont Way and Raye Street entrances to Aurora. At Fremont Way, a solid white lane line will replace the existing dashed lane line and extend 200 feet south of the point where the two roadways become one. Since it is illegal to cross a solid white lane line, this new configuration will allow drivers entering Aurora to get up to speed before making lane changes. At Raye Street, a new edge line will be installed to provide drivers with better sight lines when entering Aurora. Coupled with the recently completed improvements at Halladay Street (for drivers entering and exiting northbound 99), the roadway around the Aurora Bridge will certainly funtion better.

I know the current set-up can cause some uneasiness when it comes to merging traffic heading onto the bridge so it sounds like these changes could help.

Read more about SDOT’s Action Plan here.

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New transportation plan for Seattle Public Schools

August 24th, 2011 by master

After the implementation of the Student Assignment Plan, Seattle Public Schools is also changing the way elementary and K-8 students get to school.

The transportation map for McDonald Elementary. Orange is the walk zone, yellow the bus zone.

The new neighborhood-based transportation system is expected to streamline bus routs for attendance-area students and get kids to their neighborhood school in 25 minutes or less. This change will also save an estimate $4 million by using fewer buses and less gas. “With more efficient routing, buses are less likely to encounter the traffic delays that occur on longer routes, so families will find departure and arrival times to be more reliable,” said Tom Bishop, SPS transportation manager. “In addition, the more streamlined routes will also benefit the environment by taking up to 80 buses off the roads and reducing the district’s carbon footprint.”

Students within the transportation zone, but outside the walk zone for a school will be eligible for district-provided transportation. There are an estimated 3,600 elementary students who live outside the new transportation zones. They will still be eligible for the following transportation:

  • Students who live within a half of a mile from the Transportation Zone boundary can walk to a yellow bus stop within the zone. Seats will be allocated on a space-available basis.
  • Community stops will be created so students can catch a yellow bus near an attendance area school and take it to another school.
  • Students who are no longer eligible for transportation will receive a guaranteed assignment to their attendance area school, if requested.
  • School bus routes will be assigned later this summer once all the students assignments are complete. Families should expect a letter later this month, prior to the start of the school year.

    For more information and to see the transportation zone for your school, click here. FAQ can be found here (.pdf)

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    Roosevelt HS Thriller Club booking now for October

    August 22nd, 2011 by master

    Halloween is just two months away (candy is already on store shelves!) and the Roosevelt High School Thriller Club is looking to strut their stuff in full zombie attire at your event.

    Photo courtesy the RHS Thriller Club

    The group of about 20 high school students performs Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance and is looking for haunted houses, schools, parties, fall festivals or trick or treat events that need entertainment, the president of the club Margaret Kahn tells us. They are available Friday afternoons, evenings and weekends all October.

    “Because of increased demand last year, we will be charging $25 a performance,” Kahn says. “This is a negotiable price and very open to change, but we find it in our best interests to ask for a small stipend in return for entertainment you will not regret hiring!”

    They also teach the dance and each year perform worldwide simultaneous Thriller dance that has broken world records.

    For more information or to book the group, email Margaret Kahn.

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    Fire quickly extinguished on Burke Ave.

    August 20th, 2011 by master

    Firefighters responded to Burke Ave. N. just off 50th St. this evening — nearly parking on the ladybug — for a fire in a home. The fire reportedly started in the microwave, but crews were able to quickly extinguish the blaze.

    Earlier today, a house fire on 46th near Fremont Ave. damaged a home and created long traffic backups in the area. Our sister site Fremont Universe has that story. (Thanks Marina for the Burke Ave. photos!)

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    Job fair this weekend for area painters

    August 18th, 2011 by master

    The economy may be down, but Reed Painting Company (MyWallingford sponsor) is growing. “Our work load has increased tremendously and we are in need of hiring a few great people to add to our team,” Cole Palea with Reed Painting tells us.

    They are holding a job fair this Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. to hire for various positions from trainees to painters. Those interested in showing off their skills can stop by the shop (3668 Albion Pl N.) Applicants will be asked to perform a skills test which could include everything from folding a drop cloth to painting a wall, door or trim piece, depending on the position you’re applying for.

    Breakfast is on Reed, so come hungry. They’re serving up bacon and eggs. More information on the job fair can be found here (.pdf.)

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    Wallingford near the top of the Walk Bike Ride Challenge

    August 17th, 2011 by master

    Wallingford is a relatively small neighborhood compared to others in the city, but only three are ahead of us in the Walk Bike Ride Challenge.

    As of August 5, Wallingfordians have saved more than 4,000 miles by ditching their cars in favor of the bus, a bike or their own two feet. That amounts to 317 trips that have been switched since the challenge started at the beginning of last month.

    The Walk Bike Ride Challenge is put on by Seattle Department of Transportation. Citywide, more than 1,200 people are participating, with more than 150,000 miles of driving saved and more than 75 tons of pollution avoided.

    This round of the Walk Bike Ride Challenge runs through the end of the month. Participants have the chance to win prizes like an electric bike, iPad, hotel stay, and more.

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    Wallingford wading pool open three days longer

    August 16th, 2011 by master

    The cool weather this summer has forced Seattle Parks and Recreation to not open the Wallingford wading pool for a few days. This means, they’re going to extend the season from August 21st to August 28th.

    From the press release:

    Because of budget reductions, Parks stretched its summer program budget by planning for a longer season at the wading pools with the most attendance, and a shorter season for those with lower attendance rates, thus keeping as many wading pools open as possible.

    The Wallingford pool will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on August 24th, 25th and 26th.

    The pools will open on these dates if the weather forecast is for sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s. The wading pool hotline is updated each day by 9 a.m.: 206-684-7796.

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    Goddess Festival fills Meridian Park

    August 15th, 2011 by master

    By Christy Wolyniak

    Although few masks were seen, Wallingfordians and friends shifted through Meridian Playground to enjoy local food, art, and craft vendors in support of 13 nonprofits.

    Comedy groups and musicians interchanged between three stages, while others hula-hooped, played a game of volleyball, slack-lined, or were busy getting a feather in their hair or face painted. ‘Buckateers’ walked throughout the park with buckets or baskets asking for donations.

    “I love Seattle [for this reason]. There’s a family thing going on; both kids and adults are here. [The atmosphere] is really relaxing. Everyone is chilling in the park and everyone is so nice,” said Scarlette Vesper, Peddling Gypsies crafter of handmade silks and feather accessories.

    Hitchhiked from Pennsylvania, Elias Scalise found new friends at the Goddess Festival. Scalise used his drawing skills to draw portraits of vendors in exchange for their craft. He planned to feather his hair and get his face painted as he worked on his first portrait.

    “It’s time for a festival of this caliber to be on the north end of Seattle,” said Casey Cassinelli, who dressed in full toga apparel as Hermaphrodites, attracting picture opportunities from festival-goers.

    Not every Wallingfordian felt compelled to dress in tribal garb, but the ones who did added a unique vibe to the festival.

    “I would say about two thirds [of people] threw on t-shirts and came out, while one third dressed up and [are doing] their own thing,” said Wallingford resident, Jake Were.

    Three young boys with painted warrior faces practiced their Oom Yung Doe on the sidewalk, a martial arts and self-defense art. For a decorated Dillon Ballesteros, the face paint booth was the most fun.

    “There’s a good variety of music here and it’s free which gives a really good feeling,” said Oom Yung Doe instructor, Greg Martin.

    Electric guitar prickled through the park from the Hecate stage while smooth jazz by Ari Joshua & Friends serenaded an audience at the Aradia stage.

    “I expected to see more goddesses on stage,” said Wallingfordian, Eimear O’Neill. “But I love seeing the park being used for community purposes.”

    A few ‘goddesses’ were spotted playing volleyball, while other festival-goers danced to music.

    “[This event] empowered everyone [and brought out] the goddess in each and every one of us,” said Nancy Shuttleworth, sister-in-law of Tara Shuttleworth. “[Raising money for nonprofits was] my dream, and it still is my dream, but for this year, the festival helped benefit 13 nonprofits by getting their name out there. They received promotion from The Stranger, 300 posters were distributed, and 3,000 handbills were handed out,” said Shuttleworth. She hopes to scale back next year in order to effectively benefit nonprofits.

    The day of festivities ended with a full moon ceremony with Rev. Judith Laxer of Gaia’s Temple as fluid notes from the Haiku-Chi band lifted Wallingford in a community of celebration.

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