Seattle Parks releases spring programs in north Seattle

Barb Wade from Seattle Parks and Recreation has shared the following list of brochures for the spring Parks program, including drop-in sports, fitness, and toddler classes. (Thanks to My Green Lake for compiling the list!)

Adult drop-in sports, including basketball, dodgeball and volleyball:

Adult fitness opportunities:

Toddler classes and play rooms:

The full brochure, including all spring 2012 programs at the community centers and pools in northwest Seattle, is available in PDF format here.

Magnolia Little League Parade tomorrow

Snapshot from last year's parade

At 8:30 tomorrow morning around 1,700 Little-Leaguers and parade-goers will start assembling for Magnolia’s annual Little League parade.  The parade begins at 10:30, and lasts about an hour.  Escorted by Seattle Police, the teams will march east on W  McGraw Street from Westmont Way W. to 32nd Avenue W; turn left and  head north on 32nd to W Smith Street and finish at the Magnolia Playfield.
Metro bus service will be rerouted off W McGraw between 34th Ave W and 31st Ave W during the parade, and will travel instead on alternate streets, depending on the route, destination and direction of  travel.
Please send us your 2012 parade pictures and anecdotes here!
Thanks to Kym N for the photo

‘Microhouse’ open house this weekend

by Meghan Walker

Local architecture group Microhouse will host an open house this weekend to showcase their microhouse designs. Microhouses are small detached homes that share a lot with a primary residence. Sunday, April 1, Bruce Parker from Microhouse as well as Carlisle Classic Homes and ANR Landscape Design will be available to answer questions. The open house will be at 3448 36th Ave W (alley side) from 1 – 4 p.m.

Microhouse in Magnolia, photo courtesy Bruce Parker

Parker says the microhouses offer families a basic need: an ability to, “accommodate multi-generational living in a comfortable way that enables both proximity and a degree of separation.” He says that because they are a new construction, they can, “incorporate universal design features that will enable those with mobility impairments to live comfortably.” Parker adds that people who need more space, especially those accommodating extended family, will most benefit from having a microhouse on their property. Although, he says they also get calls from people who would like a place where they can live while renting out their main house.  To learn more about microhouses, or “backyard cottages,” visit the Microhouse site.

Help find local woman, missing since last Tuesday

UPDATE- As we told you yesterday, Heather Braaten of Ballard went missing on March 20. There has since been a wide-spread effort to find her, and a search party will meet this morning (March 30th) at 9 a.m. at the lower Woodland Park baseball field at 50th and Green Lake Way.

A local family is asking for your help. Magnolia Voice spoke to Leo Schmitz who said his daughter Heather, a married mother of two children, disappeared on March 20th, around 3pm.

We will update this story as information becomes available.

Decision on Smith Cove

By reporter Steven Smalley

It took years of wrangling for all involved to finally bring an end to the question of what to do with the land at Smith Cove following the installation of a 1.9 million-gallon underground sewer overflow tank – it’s one big park. “Most people think you can’t fight city hall,” declares Elizabeth Campbell, Magnolia community activist and long-time opponent of a land swap desired by the Port of Seattle. “It’s very satisfying,” she said, speaking of the outcome that puts aside any ideas of trading properties. “It’s a difficult road that’s taken many years.”
With pressure from King County, the City of Seattle, and the Magnolia community, the Port has agreed to accept payment for land just south of the Magnolia Bridge  which currently holds some miscellaneous equipment and fishing nets. Figuring out the price the county will pay is still in the works.

King County Council Member, Larry Phillips had a big hand in the effort to construct a park atop the entire “lid” covering the overflow tank. The adjacent property will also be incorporated into a park, with design decisions to be determined. “This has been a long-held dream for me to get to this point,” Phillips says. “It’s very rewarding and satisfying to know it will be a park opportunity for the communities of Queen Anne and Magnolia. It’s going to be great.”

The county must first buy the land from the Port, build the overflow tank, then sell the land to the city which will then build a park covering what is currently two separate parcels. The County is slightly behind schedule building a tub intended to hold runoff water from storms that overwhelm the waste-water system 4-5 times per year. These overflows pour raw sewage to into Elliott Bay, causing pollution.

As a result of this decision, Seattle City Council Member Sally Bagshaw, who was also pivotal in negotiations, envisions a hiking trail from Lake Union and Queen Anne that will wrap around and come out at the Elliott Bay Marina. She was steadfast against the land swap. “I’m thrilled three governments came together to do the right thing. This decision puts more property into the hands of the citizens,” says Bagshaw. “The new leadership at the Port  is a breath of fresh air. They deserve a bouquet.”

Along with the fabrication of the overflow vessel, corresponding pipes leading to it require additional construction and placement.



Tent City leaves SPU

From our friends at Queen Anne View

Tent City 3 left its temporary home at Seattle Pacific University earlier this week, after 90 days in residence.

Tent City 3 is a community working to help decrease the number of people on the street by providing transitional housing. In 2002, Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr signed a consent decree giving the encampment an ongoing permit. Today, Tent City 3 offers shelter for up to 100 men, women, and couples.

A number of activities surrounded the SPU campus stay, including an on-campus forum “Growing Up Homeless”  and “Homelessness: A Crisis of Affordable Housing.” Students volunteered by cooking meals, holding multiple clothing drives (including one just for socks), and starting knitting groups.

Tent City 3 now resides at St Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Capitol Hill, where it will remain until mid-June.

Median in full bloom

All of the hard work has paid off- spring has sprung in this magnificent median.

Thanks, Jennifer and Sue!

photos by Steven Smalley

Enfield appoints Dr. Gerrans as Lawton’s new Principal

In a letter to the Lawton community, Interim Superintendant Dr. Susan Enfield announces that Lawton’s Interim principal, Dr. Gerrans, will be the schools new principal.  She goes on to say:

…Dr. Gerrans stepped into the role of interim principal in October and has developed collaborative relationships between the PTA and the Building Leadership Team, including creation of a new mission and set of core beliefs for Lawton, helping guide the community. Dr. Gerrans also created a unique experience for teachers to learn from each other via “Lawton Walks,” where teachers have time to observe colleagues teach, and come together to learn in teams.

Nancy Coogan, Executive Director of Schools for the central region, conducted the community input process on Dr. Gerrans’ performance as interim principal. Feedback included discussions with staff, families, and community, as well as a survey of staff, parents/guardians and the community.  Individuals also submitted feedback through email.

Before coming to Lawton at the start of the 2011-12 school year, Dr. Gerrans taught grades 1-4 in the Renton School District since 2003. This past year, he completed his administrative credentials through the UW Danforth Educational Leadership Program, serving as a principal intern at Concord International School and Kennydale Elementary School. Before going back to school to become a certified teacher, Dr. Gerrans worked at the management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company as a strategy consultant and was a research assistant while earning his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon in computational electromagnetics.

Dr. Gerrans has many plans for Lawton’s future, including developing a strong and integrated arts program in partnership with the PTA. To ensure high-quality interventions are in place to help students that are struggling, Lawton is planning implementation of a small-group instructional block for each grade level in the coming year.  This will create a structure for focused interventions as well as rigorous enrichment opportunities for those students that have mastered core-level content.

I know Dr. Gerrans will continue to work with all of you to ensure success at Lawton Elementary.



Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools


Stroll around Magnolia on National Walking Day

Seattle Parks and Recreation joins the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day by hosting walking events at more than a dozen parks on Wednesday,  April 4th, including one in Magnolia. The 30 minute walk begins  at the Magnolia Community Center at 9:30 a.m.  On this day, along with people throughout the U.S., Magnolians of all ages can lace up their tennis shoes and come together to help fight heart disease, the nation’s No. 1 killer.

…Physical inactivity is a huge national problem. Seventy percent of Americans don’t get enough exercise, which means we’re at greater risk for heart disease, stroke and other blood vessel diseases. Start now with Seattle Parks and Recreation and the American Heart Association to walk, to be more active, to be healthy. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The quote is especially apt for anyone wanting to start a regular exercise program. This National Walking Day marks offers the opportunity to make a commitment to healthy living and fighting heart disease and stroke.

Parks staff will lead the walk. Click here for more info, including how to download a National Walking Day toolkit.

The Criminal was a smoker

A robbery case that dates back to last September has been solved.  The smoking gun?  A cigarette butt.  Sounds like a tv crime drama, but it happened right here in Magnolia.  Detective Mark Jamieson explains:

On September 18th,  a man discovered an unknown male suspect inside his parked truck  in front of his residence in the 2400 Block of Thorndyke Place West.  The suspect had been rifling through the victim’s truck, picking up various items.  The victim, who was carrying his 1 year old daughter at the time, confronted the suspect.  The suspect apologized for  prowling his truck, but continued to take items.  The suspect jumped out of the victim’s truck wielding a knife, and threatened to stab the victim.  The suspect then ran to a nearby SUV and sped away, colliding into two parked cars as he sped off.  The SUV was later determined to be a stolen vehicle.

The SUV was later recovered and processed by the Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) detectives.  Ultimately, a cigarette butt located inside the stolen SUV yielded DNA, which was matched to a suspect.  That suspect also matched the physical description given by the victim.  A photo montage was  presented to the victim and he positively identified the suspect from the photo lineup.

Earlier this month, detectives learned that the suspect was already in King County Jail for a different crime.  He was interviewed and later re-booked for the September robbery.  To learn more about forensics and the work of the crime lab, click here.