Magnolia bridge vandalism

A Magnolia Voice reader took these photos of damage done by vandals at the top of the Magnolia Bridge.  The ‘Welcome to Magnolia’ sign and  a utility box and the concrete barriers along the bridge were all tagged.  A ‘Do Not Enter’ sign was broken off and knocked to the ground.


The damage has been reported to the City of Seattle.   Our reader says:  The graffiti tagging is an ongoing, irritating problem in Magnolia and Interbay. And while the city does a great job of quickly painting over tags that are reported, that doesn’t slow down the tagging. Some taggers even say they appreciate getting a new "clean canvas" where they can tag again. Do taggers ever get caught? The news media never reports that taggers were caught or prosecuted.

Give blood on Friday

The Bloodmobile will be in Magnolia on Friday (9/2) and they are looking for donors.  They want to create support through the Labor Day weekend which is  a time of need for donated blood. 

The Bloodmobile will be on 32nd Ave West by Albertsons from noon to 6p.m.  It will be closed from 2-3p.m.  You can even reserve a time to donate here.  
If you have questions, please contact Cecily Nagel via email at or give her a call at 206-444-2959.

Disaster drill in Discovery Park

Public safety agencies around Puget Sound will practice coordinating rescue efforts in a series of aviation drills on Saturday September 10 and one of them will be in and over Discovery Park.   This is the first regional exercise that coordinates all regional aviation assets in preparation for a natural disaster. 

The scenario for the exercise assumes landslides, flooding and road washouts caused by heavy storms and 20 inches of rain. In Discovery Park, a Washington State Patrol (WSP) Cessna will circle the park and use its onboard thermal imaging camera to locate an injured patient. The Seattle Fire Department’s Helicopter High Rise Rescue Team, upon learning of the injured patient, will board a King County Sheriff’s helicopter and lower a rescue hoist to pick up the patient off a hillside near the lighthouse.

Other aviation exercises will take place simultaneously in Snohomish County.

Also participating in this drill are Central Pierce Fire and Rescue, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Police, WSDOT, Seattle Emergency Operations Center, Bellevue Police and Fire, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

Medical Marijuana in Magnolia

By reporter Steven Smalley

Seattle’s Best Alternative Care, Magnolia’s new cannabis dispensary at 2820 Thorndyke Ave. West, has completed its fourth month of operations with improvements to the building, and an extended selection of medicinal marijuana, previously unseen.  Here is an update to our previous story.

Along with added video surveillance, air conditioning, and leather couches, the formerly empty display case in a back room now contains an assortment of cannabis buds and cannabis infused food items both referred to as “meds” by the owner, Maria Mendoza.

Magnolia Voice was granted access to view the medical marijuana which is stored inside numerous Mason jars.  Photographs of the room were not allowed.  With labels displaying names such as Jack Frost, Sour Diesel, and Purple Nice Guy, there are jars of medicinal cannabis sold by the gram.

There are changes on the outside as well including the large SBAC printed on the glass door.  This gives no hint to the nature of the  business inside,  a promise Mendoza made and has kept since she opened the dispensary.

SBAC allows patients to purchase the medicinal marijuana only if they possess cards issued by authorized physicians. No off-the-street sales of the drug is permitted.  There is no marijuana or cash kept on the premises overnight.

Wine tasting at Farmer’s Market

The Magnolia Farmer’s Market is one of only 10 markets in the state to be awarded the opportunity to offer wine-tasting.  The first event is this  Saturday (9/3) from 10a.m. to 2p.m.  There will be wine tasting for the rest of the market season which runs through October 8.  Klickitat Canyon Winery will be sampling their estate grown Merlot, Chardonnay and Muller-Thurgau.

A special pilot program introduced in the Washington State Legislature allows local vintners and microbreweries to provide limited sampling of their Washington wines and microbrews. The Magnolia Farmer’s Market  was randomly chosen for the opportunity in a drawing held at the Liquor Control Board in Olympia.   

Bike the Bluff

Magnolia’s annual Bike the Bluff fundraising ride is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 10.  This popular neighborhood event includes a variety of routes for cyclists of all ages. You can pick a 4.5 or 6 mile course and both will start and end on the Catharine Blaine playground.  There are also scenic detours that can add distance for those looking for a challenge or a virtually flat 2-mile-round-trip sidewalk route for the youngest of riders.

Registration is available here or on the day of the event beginning at 9:30. The course opens at 10:00 am and closes at 2:00 pm.  Riders 12 and over are $20, riders 11 and under are $15 and a family registration is $40.  Alpine Hut has donated services to make sure bikes are road-worthy and Cascade Bicycle Club will provide helmet fitting by trained volunteers. Helmets are required for all riders.

Proceeds from Bike the Bluff will help send Catharine Blaine School’s incoming fifth-graders to a four-day environmental science camp on Bainbridge Island.

Magnolia race is on

As we first reported, Magnolia will have its own fun run and walk this fall.  The city of Seattle has now approved the event and the inaugural Run the Bluff is set for October 9.  You can get more information and register here.

There will be a 12K and a 5K run/walk course. The event will also have a free kids dash along with bouncy houses at the finish line.  Runners will follow a course through Magnolia, including a stretch along the bluff.  Early registration is $40 for the 12k and $30 for the 5k. Day of entry is $45/$35.  The post-race celebration area will include a beer garden and an exhibitor and sponsor booth area. .

Run the Bluff will benefit Successful Schools in Action, a non-profit organization providing after-school programs for schools in the Magnolia and Queen Anne communities.

The race will start and finish at the Magnolia Playfield in Magnolia at 2518 34th Avenue West.   The full race course map has not yet been posted.

Volunteer training for Seal Sitters on Saturday

When a seal or sea lion makes its way to one of our beaches, Seal Sitters is one of the first to be called. With pupping season in full swing, rookeries and pups have already started visiting Seattle beaches.

“Golden,” an injured sea lion at Golden Gardens in 2010 who died days later.

On Saturday morning, Seal Sitters is hosting a new volunteer training session at the Discovery Park Visitor Center from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Robin Lindsey with Seal Sitters says that September and October are the busiest time for the organization.

“Sparky,” a seal pup in 2010 that was rehabilitated. Photo courtesy Marilyn, a volunteer with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

From the Seal Sitters website:

We’ll be discussing the workings of the NW Marine Mammal Stranding Network and protocol for responding to marine mammals on shore, seal and sea lion biology, life in a harbor seal rookery and the challenges posed when pups (and adults) visit our largely urban beaches.

If you are interested in participating, please RSVP here. You can learn more about volunteering here.

New bank with a twist opening in Village

by Reporter Steven Smalley

The new bank in the Magnolia Village (in the former home of Hollywood Video next to Bartell Drugs) at 2236 32nd Ave West is getting ready to welcome customers. 

Portland-based Umpqua Bank opens its doors to the public August 31 but not before some promotional efforts around the Village.  Don’t know if everyone got one but there were flowers on doorsteps in our neighborhood  from Umpqua last night.

Umpqua prides itself on offering amenities you don’t see in traditional banks. Starting with print-reducing video monitors showcasing product information, financial tools, and community events, the lobby also features a video screen that spells out volunteer efforts by employees who are given 40-hours per year by the bank to spend in service to the community. 

There is a Computer iCafe with internet access where you can surf and hang out and local companies are spotlighted inside the bank each quarter.  Of course, they also do regular bank stuff, like home loans and checking accounts.

In the lobby of each Umpqua branch there is a phone where you can press one button and call the bank president in his office. Magnolia Voice took them up on the offer and got a nice person on the other end who said the president was out, but would take a message for him. Can’t say we didn’t try.

Bank manager Alexis Atkins says Umpqua is, “Different from any bank I’ve worked with,” and calls it more of a meeting place for customers than a traditional bank. She goes on to explain how the entire staff is trained by the Ritz Carlton organization, known world-wide for their exceptional customer service. 

The public is invited to Umpqua’s Back-to-School Extravaganza on September 6 from  9a.m.– 6p.m. at their Magnolia Village location.

Interbay tapping sewer lines for heat and energy

Interbay will be testing a new technology that captures heat from sewer pipelines and redistributes the energy to nearby buildings, under a pilot project proposed today by King County. 

From the media release:

Under the Executive’s proposal sent today to the Metropolitan King County Council, the County’s Wastewater Treatment Division would partner with a private Seattle-based company, FreeHold Group LLC., to build a district energy system that would extract heat energy generated inside the Elliott Bay interceptor and use it for heating and cooling in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood. The interceptor is a major pipeline that carries wastewater from downtown Seattle to the West Point Treatment Plant.

District energy systems produce energy from a central plant that can be piped underground to nearby buildings, replacing the need for boilers, furnaces, or air conditioners.

“I was pleased to advocate for this innovative clean energy idea after learning about it last year during a walking tour of Interbay with FreeHold Group LLC,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, who represents Interbay on the King County Council. “This project will be a win-win, bringing clean energy to Interbay businesses and a return on investment for county ratepayers.”