Got an hour? Blood donors needed during holiday season

Puget Sound Blood Center  has issued an urgent appeal for blood donors to take just one hour between now and January 5, 2014 to give blood. The number of people visiting donation centers and mobile drives goes down by 30 percent or more during the holiday season – with high schools and colleges on break, and people busy with vacations, family gatherings and social events. PSBC serves 75 hospitals throughout the Puget Sound region and needs to collect 900 donations every weekday to ensure a stable supply of blood components. Patients having major surgeries, organ transplants, receiving trauma care or cancer treatment can quickly deplete the supply during the holidays.

”We’re asking people to schedule just one hour…to donate blood,” said David Leitch, director of donor and volunteer resources for PSBC. “That will carry us through the holidays so we can avoid an emergency shortage down the road if blood supplies become depleted, especially if we’re hit with snowy weather.”

There is a specific need for O-negative blood donors: ’universal donors’ whose blood can be given to patients with any other blood type. There are 11 donor centers in Western Washington.  Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Click here to make an appointment, or call 1-800-398-7888.


Celebrate the New Year at Targy’s and help raise funds for Magnolia’s Finn

With Laura at our sister site Queen Anne View

Targy’s Tavern is ringing in the New Year with a triple-threat of DJs to help fuel a fundraiser for a good cause. Join them on New Year’s Eve for Targy’s Bumpin’ & Thumpin’ New Year’s Eve Ball to celebrate and help out Finn, a 3 year old Magnolia boy with leukemia.

If you were psyched about the 80s Dance Party that Targy’s hosted in the summer, then plan on attending this one too! The same three DJs that spun tunes for the 80s party are back at it again, this time celebrating the changing of the calendar and looking back at music’s past.

DJLeroy-Tomas-MikeJDJ Leroy, DJ MikeJ, and DJ Thomas – all local DJs from Queen Anne and Magnolia – will be playing “old school hits from the 80s and 90s, mixed with some modern top 40 dance hits” starting at 9:30pm.

In addition to the music, there’ll be a champagne toast at midnight to celebrate the New Year. Plus, Targy’s will be raising money for a good cause – helping out 3-year old Finn and his family in their battle against leukemia.

Finn’s mom Kate says “I feel so much gratitude.  It is so hard to put into words. We are so grateful. He is our child, but it is so touching to see the whole community taking care of him.”


Nikos Gyros announces grand total for their Year of Giving Back

By reporter Steven Smalley

Alexandra “Alex” Serpanos, owner of Nikos Gyros in Magnolia Village, concluded her Year of Giving Back with the final fund-raising event this past Sunday. During the previous 12-months, Alex has broken her “Never on Sunday” promise to raise funds for the community by donating 100% of her restaurant’s take, including tips, to a different charitable organization each time. All employees contribute their labor as well.

“I want to thank the community for supporting us in our endeavor over the year,” says Serpanos from her Christmas Eve sick bed, sporting a 101° temperature. “Not only the organizations and charities were grateful, but the people who came in to lend support were appreciative and supportive as well.”
Serpanos is pleased to announce the grand total raised for the year comes to $17,000. These are funds given directly to the charities.
“I would love to eventually do it again at some point, but it’s a good start,” exclaimed Serpanos.
Nikos Gyros is located across the street from Umpqua bank in the Village and is open six-days-a-week. (Almost) never on Sunday.

Nifty celebrates 6 months in Magnolia

Thanks to super fun toys and a great “candy bar”, Nifty Toy and Gift is thriving after 6 months in our neighborhood.  Owner Paula Hlastala says the biggest challenge since opening her doors “has been letting people know we are here. We’re not the gym anymore, and we’re not an office. Magnolia has such a wonderful small-town quality, but people have their routines, their “loop”, and sometimes it’s hard to attract attention for something new.”

Step inside the unassuming façade and find that the shop holds many surprises (for instance, bacon and mustache-scented candles).  A new neon sign, participation in community events, and the fact that Nifty stocks the Rainbow Loom, have helped direct people to the colorful little shop on the corner of 32nd and Raye. Older kids have been pleased to discover “it’s not just for babies” like some assumed.

There’s still time to visit before Christmas for some last-minute holiday shopping. Regular store hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday, noon-5pm. Nifty is usually closed Mondays, but will be open this Monday December 23rd 11am-6pm. They will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But…owner Paula says if the store hours do not fit your schedule, just contact her at or 206-858-6671 to arrange a private shopping appointment.

Be sure to check out their sticker club (if you have returned 5 date stamps for your $2 in credit, you are eligible for a special gift the week between Christmas and the New Year. Select a mystery prize, and inside, find a special treat or store credit, up to $20, just for being such a valued customer). And, the first 100 Magnolia Voice readers will receive a special gift if you mention MV when you visit the store!

henry mural at Nifty




Ruined tires make for a crummy holiday

We received the following emails over the weekend:

There has been someone going around putting nails into tires around 32nd and 33rd and Government Way in Magnolia.  Many of our neighbors are upset because their cars have flats.  It’s always the driver’s side front tire that they vandalize.  Can you post on the Voice to ask people to be vigilant?


Early on Sunday, 2 cars parked back-to-back on 33rd, just off Government Way, had screws pounded into their left front tires, in the exact same place. Vandalism occurs in this are on a regular basis, and requests for stepped-up police presence appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Residents in the area should …check their tires before driving off.
-Frustrated Govtwayguy

Snow day!

All Seattle Public Schools are operating two hours late this morning. The District’s already scheduled one-hour early dismissal is still in effect. Buses are operating on snow routes/regular routes. There are no door-to-door transportation services, and no preschool or head start today. You can find out more here:

“Snow routes” means that buses only run on roads that are maintained by the City that receive snow removal. You can find more information on snow routes at the City of Seattle’s Department of Transportation Winter Weather page.

Send us your snow pics!

Tagging in Magnolia

It seems like there has been an uptick in tagging in our neighborhood lately.  I noticed this particularly horrible assault on nature last week while walking home from school with my little guys:

While we most likely can’t restore the tree to it’s former glory, the City of Seattle has a new “Find It, Fix It” service request mobile smartphone app that offers mobile users one more way to report selected issues (like graffiti) to the City of Seattle:

With Find It, Fix It, reporting an issue is as easy as snapping a photo with your smartphone, adding detailed information, and hitting submit. The map’s “drag and drop” feature or the phone’s own technology can be used to pinpoint the location.
Android users can download the app from the Google Play Store and iPhone users can download it from the App Store.

The app offers the following service request categories:

  • Abandoned Vehicles: report vehicles parked in a public right-of-way more than three days.
  • Graffiti: report graffiti, including what it is on — parking meter, utility pole or building — so it gets automatically routed to the appropriate department for response.
  • Pothole: report a pothole.
  • Parking Enforcement: make an inquiry regarding a parking concern.
  • Other Inquiry: this miscellaneous category is for making an inquiry or request, which will be processed by the City’s Customer Service Bureau. Mobile users should choose this category to provide feedback.

The app also provides a link to, the mobile version of the City of Seattle’s website. Once you download and use Find It, Fix It, feel free to submit feedback using the app’s “other inquiry” category, found under the “New Request” icon

Here is what it looks like:

Screen shot of the Find It, Fix It mobile app home page.

Let’s get to work, Magnolia!

Help Abby find her way home

1 year-old Abby was lost on December 15th in Magnolia.  She is an Orange/Black Tortishell mix. She weighs about 10 lbs.  Abby is very friendly and playful. 

If You find Abby, please call (206) 284-9861.





Plans to block the road to the lighthouse

By reporter Steven Smalley
The public process started in earnest last night as the Seattle Parks Department and King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division pitched their proposal to construct a gate across Discovery Park Boulevard in order to keep unauthorized cars from the lighthouse area of West Point. A room-filling crowd of about 60 turned out to hear various agency employees describe different parts of the project to a mixed audience of mostly detractors.
Without providing actual statistics, it was explained how illegal activities such as campfires, graffiti, abandoned stolen cars, and gunfire, along with a sizable number of illegally parked vehicles, make the situation intolerable at the sewage treatment plant, particularly during peak summer season.
Although eight permit-only parking spaces are available, with an additional two spots for people with disabilities, policies requiring permits issued by the Parks Department, are largely ignored. Overflowing numbers of cars unlawfully parked – at times upwards of 30 vehicles – block fire lanes and emergency access. Currently, to qualify for a parking permit, one must be older than 62, in a family with children younger than eight, or without the ability to otherwise walk to the beach.
Acting in a combined approach, Seattle Parks Department and King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division devised a plan, not yet approved by the Parks Commission, to place an automatic gate with 24-hour remote monitoring to block the road leading to the lighthouse 1.5 miles east of the beach. Not all details are complete.  Initial plans call for the barrier to be closed after 5 p.m. and other times when the Visitor’s Center is not open. Parks is exploring a reservation system to allow retrieval of permits after hours. Additionally, for quick pick-up and drop-off of lighthouse visitors, a separate permitting process is being considered. Even a possible shuttle service was discussed as an option.
Parks personnel pointed to the Master Plan, written in 1974 and updated in 1986, when the suggestion was made for more parking at the beach. Presenters said locating more spots there would be impossible.
Following the formal presentation, a lengthy question & answer process began utilizing a moderator to keep order. Much conversation revolved around suggestions the city consider alternatives to the gate. Questions were raised whether enough parking citations were issued, whether fines were expensive enough, and whether cars should be towed to “motivate” drivers, particularly repeat offenders. According to replies from presenters, unless there is an official request from Parks personnel, Seattle Police are a rare sight because of the distance from their normal zone of operation. When the question was asked how many illegally parked and ticketed vehicles were actually towed from the lot, “none” came the answer. This resulted in suggestions the Parks Department begin towing vehicles to make a strong point. Presenters reminded everyone only police are authorized to have cars towed.
Some audience members voiced concerns the agencies had already made a decision and were going forward with the gate no matter the desires of the community. Presenters strongly suggested this was not the case. They said other alternatives would be considered before final approval is requested.
A tentative schedule was outlined with dates for the next phase of operations. In January, a proposal will be presented at a Parks Board hearing, followed by the board’s recommendation to the Park Superintendent in early 2014. Assuming Parks approval, pre-design and final design get underway in Spring 2014, with construction beginning in the summer.
Public comments are ongoing. To have your say, click here or email Adair Muth at King County Waste Treatment Division:



Magnolia families needed as homestay hosts

The American Homestay Network (AHN) is looking for Magnolia-area families to serve as “homestay” hosts for an upcoming tour of Chinese and Japanese students coming to Seattle during January and February for 3-5 weeks to attend programs at Seattle Pacific University. These students will be studying English and learning about American culture, while living with American families and experiencing  “American life” firsthand via homestay.

Magnolia resident, and AHN host Tessa Cook has participated in AHN homestay programs in the past and shared some of her experiences with Magnolia Voice: 

MV: What is your background in homestay?

TC: 13 years-during which I’ve hosted about 15 students from places including Japan, South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and most recently Thailand with our student Jinjuta.

MV: How do you make international students feel welcome in your home?

TC: I will take them for a picnic in Discovery Park… or bake some corn muffins so the house is warm and welcoming.  Sometimes I will take them for a bike ride to the Ballard Locks and look at the salmon ladder.  Of course most of my students want to go to Starbucks so I will take them there on the first day too.

MV: What are some of your best memories or funny stories about hosting?

TC: One favorite memory I have is when we had two South Koreans staying with us and we invited my daughter’s friends and their families over and the girls (around 10 of them in total) had the best time together – spelling out words with their bodies (sounds weird but – oh the laughter!) Another funny memory…is when we went to the park and my daughter accidentally stood in a wasps nest and our student Kayo was a protective big sister chasing the wasps away and batting them with her handbag.

MV: What has surprised you the most about being a host?

TC: How attached I have gotten to my students, and the really good feeling I have when I see them attaining independence and autonomy (with a little help from me).  I started out doing this with one daughter – and now have two more daughters and many, many friends.   Also, it is so life enhancing to learn the nuances of a culture that you would not know until you live with someone day by day.  It is a good feeling when you are cued in to the culture as well – e.g I had a student (probably Kayo – my first student) who asked me for a hair gom?  I found out that a hair gom is a hair elastic – then when I had my later students ask me for a hair gom I recognized immediately what they were asking.

MV: How do you plan to celebrate the upcoming holidays with your family and students?

TC: Last year for Christmas Yoshiko was staying with me – and we went over to my friends who are from Iraq for a beautiful lunch.  We had Yoshiko (Japanese) and me (New Zealand), Iraqi (both Christian and Muslim), and also Iranian people.  That was a really amazing gathering!

MV: Tell us about a special outing, meal, or other experience with your international student that has made a strong impression on you and your family.

TC: I had a student from Japan – Ayuka – and she was very young – probably only sixteen years old.  I cooked many Japanese dishes for her and her mother was so grateful that she Fed-Ex’d me a parcel filled with about six different types of Japanese ingredients and a Japanese cookbook.  I was super excited!

 More details about the American Homestay Networks programs:

  • AHN host families will receive between $375-$500 per student to provide a shared room (two students) or a private room (one student) and meals (self-serve breakfast and lunch, and a prepared dinner with your family) for the students.
  • Host families must be within 45 minutes by public transportation to SPU’s campus.
  • AHN’s professional approach to homestay makes hosting easy for local families, providing student/host matching technology, pre-arrival online training for students and hosts, 24×7 professionally managed support line, and local representatives to address any on-site host or students needs.   
  • AHN also has longer hosting opportunities (which pay $660-$775 per month) with students from many different countries, so this can be a test run for any families looking for a unique cultural experience. More information about what it takes to be a host and how to apply can be found at, or call 888-268-1903.

Thanks to Jaime for your help with this post!