News blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge neighborhoods

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Compost Days Discounts and the Big Garden Give

March 25th, 2015 by hillaryu

Compost Days is back! The month-long effort thanks local residents for diverting over 375,000 tons of food, food-soiled paper and yard debris from landfills through curbside composting.

To celebrate this achievement, from March 15th through April 15th, Compost Days is offering the biggest discounts of the year on Cedar Grove compost, and get 25% off kitchen food scrap containers and compostable bags at all Fred Meyer stores.

Your purchase of Cedar Grove compost results in a compost donation to schools and gardens feeding our community!

Additionally, for the second year in a row, Compost Days will contribute free compost to local schools and 120 gardens with the “Big Garden Give” – a community compost drive. You can help! For every bag of Cedar Grove compost purchased during the campaign, one bag of compost will be donated to school-based garden programs and community gardens.

Last year’s Compost Days “Big Garden Give” campaign resulted in a total of 1,119 yards of donated compost to community and school gardens — enough to fill nearly 450 standard pick-up truck beds. Donated compost also helped two new gardens get started – Seattle’s Reunion House, a senior housing community, and the Marysville Arts & Technology High School.

For more information, visit the Compost Days website.

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Volunteer Opportunity at the Seattle Audubon

March 24th, 2015 by hillaryu

Seattle Audubon Society is currently looking for volunteers for the Finding Urban Nature (FUN) program.

FUN introduces 3rd and 4th grade students to the interconnections between producers, consumers, and decomposers in the schoolyard habitat. Volunteers lead small groups of students through hands-on outdoor lessons.

Four lessons in the spring and four more in the fall give students a chance to fully explore the schoolyard habitat, proving that nature is around us no matter where we live, work, and play. We serve 12 Seattle Public Schools located throughout Seattle.

-The FUN program relies upon 120 volunteers each school year. 50 volunteers are still needed to meet their needs for the spring 2015 program!

  • Volunteers devote about two hours a week for four weeks in the spring and/or fall.
  • Volunteers lead a group of 4-6 students through each lesson with the support of the school’s FUN Team Leader and classroom teachers.
  • No previous teaching or science background is required – and volunteers often report that they have as much fun and learn just as much as the students do!
  • Apply as soon as possible to be a part of spring FUN starting in April!
  • Training sessions will be held on March 24th, 28th, and 30th. Reply NOW to get more information and to sign up for a training session!

For more information, contact:

David Garcia at (206)523-8243 ext. 11

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Free Dental Services for Children

March 22nd, 2015 by hillaryu

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Nathan Hale Urban Farm Early Spring Networking and Planning Party

March 22nd, 2015 by hillaryu

Please join the Nathan Hale Urban Farm on March 29th to learn about the farm, with a Permaculture Twist! They are looking for community involvement to help create, install, and maintain the garden and mentor our youngsters in permaculture principles and practices.

MARCH 29, 2015
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Greenhouse north of Jane Adams Middle School
11051 34th Avenue, N.E, Seattle, 98125

Free dinner will be served!

Please RSVP by clicking here.

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Local Teacher’s New Fantasy Novel Tops Amazon Best Seller List

March 20th, 2015 by hillaryu

Two months after its release in December, Stephen Merlino’s fantasy novel, The Jack of Souls, hit #1 on Amazon’s Children’s Science Fiction / Fantasy Coming of Age Best Seller list. The novel also climbed the Sword and Sorcery list to #8, behind the Harry Potter series.

“I’m ecstatic to see The Jack of Souls on a list next to Eragon,” said Merlino. “I may young as Paolini, but I’m sure I worked as hard—and probably for longer, I have to admit. These characters have been with me for years.”

The Jack of Souls is the story of an outcast rogue who must break a curse laid on his fate, or die on his nineteenth birthday; it’s a story of magic, mischief, and the triumph
of tricksters. Along with the roguish protagonist, the novel features strong female characters and a subplot from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Merlino plans to release books two and three in the series in August and December.
“Then the second trilogy begins!” says Merlino. “They call that ‘Aggravated Trilogy,’ but I don’t apologize. I love series.”
Stephen lives blocks away from his alma mater, Roosevelt High School, where he fell in love with fantasy and science fiction in the classroom of Jerry Elarth. That love bloomed into college and graduate work in English, which he now teaches at Mountlake Terrace High School.

To learn more about Stephen, visit his website.

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Think it’s too late to get a flu shot?

March 20th, 2015 by hillaryu

Post by Gloria Arand, MD, Pacific Medical Centers


Despite decreases in activity, it appears that this year’s flu season will be sticking around as we head into spring. With physician visits in Washington related to flu like symptoms above the national baseline, my patients are asking what they can do to avoid getting sick, how to know the difference between a cold and the flu and if they should still get the flu shot, following recent reports that the vaccine is not effective against all influenza viruses circulating this flu season.
Let’s look at the difference between colds and the flu (or influenza) to provide some answers on how to
stay healthy.

  • Influenza is a respiratory virus (or really a family of viruses) that infects our noses, throats and lungs and thus can cause many of the same symptoms of typical cold viruses, such as fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, headache and fatigue. Like cold viruses, influenza is generally spread when an infected person transfers viral droplets through coughs, sneezes or talking. The difference is that influenza also has the ability to make people seriously ill or even kill.
  • Unless otherwise advised by your doctor, everyone 6 months of age and older should receive the flu vaccine if you haven’t yet this season.
  • Even though the vaccine might not be as effective against all viruses circulating this flu season, it
  • can still provide protection against getting sick and is likely to reduce the severity of illness if you do get the flu.
  • Past vaccinations from other flu seasons won’t protect you from getting sick.
  • Contrary to the popular myth, flu vaccinations do not cause actual influenza illness. You may, however, experience mild reactions to the vaccine as your body recognizes its presence and begins to create antibodies. These may include low grade fever, body aches, headache, and soreness at the site of injection.
  • If you get the flu, wait until you’re fever free for at least 24 hours before returning to regular activities.

Unfortunately, the influenza vaccine does not protect you from getting sick from all of the other respiratory viruses that circulate during winter and spring. Fortunately, practicing safe hygiene can reduce your chance of getting or spreading other respiratory infections this season. This includes regularly washing your hands with soap and water, disinfecting heavily used furniture and items, not touching your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding contact with
others who are sick.

Gloria Arand, MD, specializes in pediatrics at Pacific Medical Centers’ Northgate clinic. Pacific Medical Centers is a private, not-for-profit, multispecialty health-care network of nine clinics in Beacon Hill, Canyon Park, Federal Way, First Hill, Lynnwood, Northgate, Puyallup, Renton and Totem Lake. For more information please visit Pacific Medical Center’s website or call 206.517.6700.

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Give Rides to Change Lives!

March 19th, 2015 by hillaryu

87-year-old Geraldine Mensink does not know what she’d do without Volunteer Transportation. When she decided it was time to give up her keys two years ago, the program saved her from feeling helpless and stuck. She uses the service regularly to get to appointments and says, “I love all of the volunteer drivers! They are wonderful.”

Since 1975, Senior Services’ Volunteer Transportation drivers have accumulated “miles and miles” of positive impact throughout King County. Using their own vehicles, volunteers pick seniors up, take them to their doctors and drive them home again—offering valuable transportation with a personal touch. Clients of the program often refer to them as their “heroes,” “guardian angels” or “life-savers.” In a very tangible way, volunteer drivers make a difference in the lives of vulnerable members of our community.

Volunteer Transportation currently faces the grim reality that it cannot serve all seniors in need of rides to important medical care. More volunteer drivers are needed! If you have a reliable vehicle, a clean driving record and some weekday availability, this is the role for you. Visit the program’s blog to read more of its stories; contact Hilary at (206) 748-7588 to find out more; or fill out an online volunteer driver application to sign-up. Help more seniors like Geraldine get “on the road” to improved health and peace of mind!

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Garden Lovers’ Book Sale

March 13th, 2015 by hillaryu

Love gardening, plants, trees, flowers or growing food? Can’t pass up a bargain?

Then you won’t want to miss the 10th annual  Garden Lovers’ Book Sale of used books at the Center for Urban Horticulture.

This important benefit for the Elisabeth C. Miller Library funds the purchase of new books and magazine subscriptions.

Beautiful art will also be for sale from the Pacific Northwest Botanical Artists.

This public event is free.

April 4, 2015
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, 98105

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Playdates at Assumption-St. Bridget School

March 12th, 2015 by hillaryu


All children who are 3, 4 or 5 and an accompanying grown-up are invited to play, explore, and learn in our new prekindergarten classroom.

Events take place in St. Benedict Hall in Assumption Parish, 6201 33rd Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115.

3/11 LEGOS, LEGOS, LEGOS

10am – 11am

Children are invited to participate in Lego challenges, build structures from their imaginations, furnish the classroom dollhouse, paint with Legos, and more.

3/23 MAGNET DISCOVERY

10am – 11am

Young scientists are invited to use magnets in water, sand, paint, and other media all the while making and testing hypotheses. Please bring items that you hypothesize may be magnetic!

4/15 LIGHT AND COLOR

10am – 11am

Children will explore light and translucency as well color mixing through building and art activities.

4/23 SCULPTURES AND STRUCTURES

10am – 11am

Children will create with building materials, recycled materials, clays, and more all the while exploring textures and shapes.

5/4 INVENTION WORKSHOP

10am – 11am

Young innovatorss will have a variety of materials and tools available to create new inventions, innovations, and solutions.

5/19 WATER!

10am – 11am

Children will construct with pipes to direct water flow, use water to create art, and investigate how water behaves and changes in our world.

For more information, visit their website.

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Rain City Symphony, a Winter Performance

March 10th, 2015 by hillaryu


March 18, 2015
7:30 p.m.
University Christian Church
Dr. Teresa Howe, conductor

Rain City Symphony is a non-profit orchestra dedicated to nurturing the appreciation of music.

Amateur musicians are provided an orchestral experience in a supportive atmosphere.

All performances are complementary.

Music will include:

Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61 (1845-46)

II. Scherzo: Allegro vivace

III. Adagio espressivo

Gustav Holst (1874-1934), The Planets (1914-16)

I. Mars, the Bringer of War

IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity

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