Library needs your ideas

Do you check out books or DVDs from the Library? Do you come to the Library for story time, to use a free computer or listen to an author? Or do you come for homework help for students, Internet access, research, community events, job search activities, or online learning? The Seattle Public Library needs to hear from you!

The Library wants your input on priorities for improvement in four essential areas: hours, books and materials, computers and online services, and maintenance. Strategies for stabilizing Library funding will also be discussed. Please consider attending these community meetings and help improve your library system. For more information, visit and select “Libraries for All: A Plan for the Present, A Foundation for the Future,” or call 206-386-4636.
The community meetings are scheduled as follows:
•10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 7, Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Auditorium (206-386-4636)
•6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, Ballard Branch, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W. (206-684-4089).

If you cannot attend a meeting, you can visit the library online to share your feedback at For more information call 206-386-4636.

Car crashes through Dravus barrier

Late Christmas eve, residents below the hairpin turn on Dravus nearly received an unwelcome present when a car crashed through a metal barrier and bounded through the blackberry bramble before coming to a stop on the street below, just feet from homes.

Neighbors reported that late on Dec. 24, a car coming up the crest of West Dravus Street failed to navigate the hairpin turn at 30th Avenue West and crashed through the barrier knocking down a directional sign and wooden posts as it plowed through the bramble below stopping just short of homes on the street below.

A hubcap, broken plastic pieces and other fragments from the car were scattered on 30th Avenue West. One neighbor swept up the pieces in a pile. He was away on Dec. 24, but returned to see the mess. Another neighbor who lives directly below the crash site was thankful the car didn’t continue into his home, and was glad no one, including the driver, was hurt.

Graffiti cleaned up

The graffiti that two weeks ago defaced the back of the 76 station in the Village, has been cleaned up. Seattle police Detective Mark Jamieson said no arrests have been made.
SPD has a section dedicated to apprehending graffiti vandals. If you see this crime in progress, call 911. If graffiti appears in your neighborhood report it online or call (206) 684-7587. Click here for the online form.

Conservation crews rid park of poplars

Chris Stevens in a compact excavator, gathers up felled poplars. The waste will be taken out and mulched.

Poplar stumps are treated with a chemical that kills any potential of future growth.

If you’re out at Discovery Park you might notice crews doing what appears to be a little clear cutting.
Over at the south entrance, a two-man team at the Seattle Conservation Corps (SCC), led by Chris Stevens were isolating and downing non-native poplars, part of a year-long project that will continue through the new year.
The proliferating poplars kept native plants at bay so Seattle Parks and Recreation bring on the SCC to thin them out.
The survival instinct of the poplars is so strong, Stevens said, pointing to a pile he helped hew, that even felled branches or trunks will sprout in search of purchase.

Chris Stevens of the Seattle Conservation Corps says the invasive poplars are so tenacious that even felled branches could take root again.

The SCC is year-round employment program with the parks department that has an annual budget of about $4 million. Many of the SCC jobs involve urban forest restoration, repair of sensitive riparian areas, erosion control and the installation and maintenance of trails. The program also provides the homeless or troubled to learn new skills and get paid a living wage.

A poplar stands near Discovery Park's south entrance.

Gingerbread house show at Sheraton draws crowds

Hundreds of people lined up to get a chance to see a unique labor of love on display at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel downtown this weekend.
The hotel’s 19th Annual Gingerbread Village display was in full swing on Saturday where droves of visitors came to see gingerbread houses like no other. Architects in Seattle, including Magnolia resident Stacy Smedley of KMD Architects, donated scores of hours in making the super-sized gingerbread structures, and all to benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research International, an organization working toward curing type 1 diabetes. As visitors snaked around the velvet ropes, they dropped folded bills into a giant plexiglass donation box. Then, having waited an average of 30 minutes in line, took in the gingerbread views. The theme was trains and train stations. There were stations from Australia, New York City, New Zealand, England and even from the land of Misfit Toys.
Smedley’s was a scale model of Kings Cross Station in London, the one featured in the Harry Potter films. Smedley made sure to include a detailed, Google-like map of the famous city below the train station that was raised on a separate platform. Swooping in little loops above the city was Harry Potter himself straddling his broomstick.
The display continues through Jan. 1.

KMD Architects' Kings Cross Station.

Harry Potter in action. The model, designed by Magnolia architect Stacy Smedley, was a "treat."


Arcing power line found on ship at Pier 91

Around 2:20 a.m. Christmas morning, Seattle firefighters rushed to Pier 91 after reports of a ship fire. The first arriving engine company did not find any smoke or fire and instead discovered an arcing power line approximately 20 feet above the ship’s superdeck near the stern of the vessel. The power line was hitting against the side of the ship causing sparks to fly onto the decks below.
Firefighters were able to shut off the power to the 50-foot fishing vessel. Using Thermal Imaging Cameras or TICs, firefighters searched the vessel for any signs of fire below the deck. After thoroughly searching several decks of the vessel, firefighters did not find any fire aboard the ship. The ship was secured.
There were no reports of injuries and no one was aboard the ship at the time of the emergency response.

Mayor’s letter orders police reform

The following is a post from Mayor Mike McGinn’s blog:

The people of Seattle deserve a police force that fights crime in a way that is fair and equitable. We deserve a police force that is well trained and accountable for its actions. We deserve a police force that is respectful and professional in all areas, and worthy of the community’s trust. Meeting these demands requires a police department that is continually learning and improving, willing and able to implement reforms.

That means we must listen to criticism from everyone with a stake in the success of the Seattle Police Department. We have heard from the public and now the federal government that more must be done. We agree. Let us be very clear: we are committed to reform.


Menchie’s coming to Magnolia

Menchie’s, a national frozen-yogurt chain with locations in Queen Anne, University Village and West Seattle, is adding a fourth Seattle location in Magnolia.
The former Pet Pros location in the Village along West McGraw Street will house Menchie’s. No word yet on length of lease nor when the actual opening will occur. The Voice will post that information soon.
Thanks Troy for the tip.

Shoppers spending more this year in the Village

Greg Carnese of Leroux chats with customer Jim Harkins. Harkins has spent more on the holidays this year than he did last year. Photo: Steve Smalley

Story by Steve Smalley
The holiday shopping season winds down, but enthusiasm in the Village is up as the final few days until Christmas approach.
The Magnolia Voice spent a few minutes with businesses and customers taking a few temperatures to find out how the season is fairing.
Anna Beard, owner of the Upper Crust Bakery said business is picking up. “It’s going like gang-busters for me. Everybody’s ordering the holiday items. We have extra cookies and pies. We do all kinds of stuff at Christmas, not just one thing.”
Over at Leroux Fine Apparel, owner Alex Smith was positive as well.
“It’s much better than last year,” she volunteered. “People are buying. Last year they cut back.”
“The economy touches everybody in some way. We’re thankful for our loyal customers,” she continued. “Saturday will have a little rush. Then people leave town. Overall, people are aware of the need to support local businesses. We’re grateful for that.” Smith has owned Leroux for 28 years.
Jim Harkins, a Magnolia resident and Leroux customer was upbeat as well, spending a little more this year than last.
“I come in here every Christmas and shop for my wife. I make it a point to support the local guys.”
Turn the corner and find he stylists at Laurie’s Village Salon hard at work grooming their customers.
“It’s steady and busy as always,” said Jacquie LeClech, with scissors and a bit of hair in-hand. “Business is strong. We get new clients as people move to the Magnolia area. I already have half of Saturday booked, with more last minute requests expected.”
Laurel Anderson, a Village shopper, confessed to spending more this year than last. Her first year in Magnolia found her supporting the locals as she always does.
“That’s real important,” Anderson said.

WinterFest collects 800 pounds of food

November’s WinterFest Food Drive brought in 800 pounds of food and supplies and more than $630 in cash, according to Magnolia Chamber of Commerce member Patti Howell, who owns PJ’s Paws and Claws. There are still merchants collecting funds through Christmas.
Of the 18 merchants participating, PJ’s collected the most food at 120 pounds. Szmania’s collected nearly half of the proceeds at $308.
“This was the first WinterFest ever, so we’re getting a pretty good response from the community,” Howell said. “We want to make it an annual event.” And maybe even more. Howell mentioned a tentative plan for a SpringFest in April. Details on that are to come. The chamber meets again on Jan. 9.