News blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge neighborhoods

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SAVE THE DATE – Hands On! A Community Skills-Share Fair

November 30th, 2016 by hillaryu

Submitted by Sustainable NE Seattle

February 11, 2017 all day
Location: Meadowbrook Community Center (NE 105th and 35th Ave NE, Seattle)

Once again Sustainable NE Seattle is collaborating with Meadowbrook Community Center to offer their Annual ‘HANDS ON!’- A Community Skills–Share Fair.

What is a skills fair?

A day of sharing practical skills with neighbors – they will have short workshops on a wide variety of skills.

Right now they are looking for instructors; calling out to all of you who may have a skill you want to share. They also need volunteers for things like making soup for lunch, day-of help, signing up sponsors, and general organizing and outreach. If you can help, let them know as soon as you can! Email them here.

The Fair is FREE. No need to register although some classes have size limits, it is first come, first served.

This year they will have some new offerings as well some classes they have had in the past. Stay tuned for specifics. They will post THE WORKSHOP SCHEDULE once it is filled.

Lunch provided with TBA guest speaker.

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Confused by Health Insurance Lingo? You’re Not Alone.

November 14th, 2016 by hillaryu

By Melinda Hews, Executive Director of Health Insurance Exchanges, Group Health.

The open enrollment period for health insurance, which began on November 1, can be a stressful time for many people. Finding a health insurance plan is an important decision, but wading through dense literature with acronyms from EOB to PPO and terms such as “coinsurance” and “copay” can often be confusing.

A recent survey of conducted by PRR Research on behalf of Group Health found that among 1,000 Washingtonians, 60 percent could not correctly identify the definition for “coinsurance” and 40 percent didn’t know the proper definition of a “deductible.” Beyond not knowing these terms, the study found that many of the respondents believed they had an understanding, but instead were wrong. Nearly half of the people surveyed chose the wrong definition for “copay,” while less than 6 percent acknowledged that they were “not sure” of the definition.

This means that efforts need to continue to help people better understand health insurance, even people who believe they’re already up to speed.

Group Health offers robust online resources, easy-to-understand instructional videos, and interactive quizzes designed to help consumers select a health insurance plan that aligns with their personal needs and the needs of their family. Anyone, not just Group Health members, can find the online resources at:

While health insurance terminology may be confusing, the survey showed that people generally like talking to their doctors and feel comfortable talking with their doctors about their health. The study showed:

  • Doctors are the people who Washingtonians are most likely to talk to about their health. Respondents are more likely to talk about their health with their doctor than with their family, spouse/significant other, or friends.
  • More than 80 percent of respondents feel comfortable talking to their doctor about their weight, energy, eating habits, and exercise habits, while less than 60 percent feel comfortable talking to their doctor about sex.
  • More than eight-out-10 respondents agreed with Group Health that being healthy is about more than keeping your body in good working order; it’s about being human and living your life every step of the way.
  • Of the health insurance terms we tested, knowledge of deductibles was highest: 65 percent chose the correct definition.

Open enrollment season also marks the beginning of the flu season. Keep yourself healthy by getting a flu shot today at Group Health’s CareClinic location at Bartell Drugs at the University Village. CareClinic is a walk-in clinic open to anyone regardless of insurance carrier and are staffed by Group Health board certified clinicians. They are a convenient and fast way to be treated for many minor injuries and illnesses. Learn more about Group Health Cooperative online.

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Seniors Need Your Help!

November 12th, 2016 by hillaryu

Getting to the doctor’s office is a daunting task for many seniors in the Wedgwood and View Ridge neighborhoods. Poor vision or medical conditions prevent them from driving; limited mobility makes it impossible to take the bus; taxis come with prohibitive costs; and loved ones have full-time jobs that render them unavailable to help. So who do they turn to? Fortunately, volunteer drivers can fill the gap. Volunteer Transportation is a program of Sound Generations, a non-profit organization working to help seniors remain safely independent and connected to their communities. Every week, there are a growing number of older adults in need of transportation but not enough volunteers to do it all, especially for those needing to go to medical centers on First Hill. It is heartbreaking to know that for many, the only barrier to accessing medical care is just a ride.

Help make a huge difference in the lives of seniors near you by becoming a volunteer driver. This opportunity is extremely flexible, allowing volunteers to pick the days, times, frequency, and areas they wish to drive. Help more seniors get “on the road” to improved health and peace of mind by becoming a volunteer today!

For more information contact Kailan at 206-748-7588 or or visit their website.

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Join United Way’s Free Tax Prep Campaign in the Fight Against Poverty

November 10th, 2016 by hillaryu

Volunteer at your neighborhood tax site.

Every year in Washington State, low-and-middle income individuals and families struggle to pay the bills and keep food on the table. Tax time can make an unstable situation even worse. Not only is Washington’s tax system the most regressive in the nation, but predatory tax preparers can exploit people’s confusion around taxes, charging upwards of $300 for a tax return.

Maria, a single mother of two making $30,000 a year, has regularly had to choose between education, car repair, and dental care. But during the last tax season, she received a $3,000 refund, secured by Free Tax Campaign volunteers at absolutely no cost. This meant she didn’t have to choose between meeting only some of her basic needs.

Last year, the campaign helped over 21,750 community members file their taxes, bringing $29.1 million back to the community in tax refunds! This year, we’re hoping to make an even bigger impact but to do this, we need your help. Join our talented team of volunteers, receive training that boosts your skills, and help reach the people who need it most. No experience needed!

Find a Free Tax Prep location in your community and get involved:


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Best cities for trick-or-treating

October 30th, 2016 by hillaryu

According to our friends at Zillow, Seattle is the #9 best city to trick-or-treat in. And guess what?! According to their data, Wedgwood is one of the top five best neighborhoods for trick-or-treating in Seattle!

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“Starry Night” Film at the Seattle Shorts Festival

October 28th, 2016 by hillaryu

View Ridge neighbor, Paxton Farrar will be showing his film at the Seattle Shorts Festival (Nov. 11-13 at SIFF Film Center). The film is inspired by his family fly fishing trips to Eastern Washington, and his love of astronomy and cosmology. Paxton says he wants to be the scientific community’s go-to filmmaker!
The story is set against a backdrop of a family drama, one that fans of BILLY  ELLIOT or OCTOBER SKY might enjoy. It follows the arc of a dispirited teenager, resigned to a life of rural isolation and poverty to a young adult impassioned with the possibility of controlling her own destiny.
Learn more here.

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Save the Date: Roosevelt High School Jazz Nutcracker

October 27th, 2016 by hillaryu

Tickets are on sale now for Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s Jazz Nutcracker performed by the Roosevelt Jazz Band.  Performances are held in Roosevelt High School’s Performing Arts Theatre (1410 NE 66th Street – Seattle) and are scheduled for Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 7:30pm and Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 2:00pm.  Tickets are available here:

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Ravenna Springs Community Council: Public Meeting

October 23rd, 2016 by hillaryu

Wednesday, November 2
6:45 p.m.
Blakely Manner

The Ravenna Spring Community Council has identified restoring more routes going east-west as a priority. They have a public meeting scheduled with metro transit reps in November and are inviting the surrounding neighborhoods to learn more and voice their concerns. Click here to see the event poster with location and additional details: 2016-10-14 Bus Mtg Flyer.

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What’s for Lunch?

October 23rd, 2016 by hillaryu

By Kathleen Bradley, Registered Dietitian, PacMed

It’s that time of year again! Seattle-area kids are back at school, and both parents and kids are busy adjusting to new schedules for the school year. Healthy eating habits in children are important for their well-being, growth and mental development. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly one in three school-age children and adolescents in the United States is overweight or obese, and only half of all children ages 2 to 17 meet federal diet quality standards. A growing body of evidence suggests that the school food environment plays a key role in influencing childhood dietary behaviors and weight status. Since meals consumed at school often account for half of a child’s daily calorie intake, it is important to ensure that students’ lunch options are healthy, nutritious and delicious.

Schools work hard to provide students with as much learning time as possible. But that often limits the time available for lunch. According to our state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the average time available for students to eat lunch in the public school system is 20 minutes. Even with school schedules restricted by contracts and teachers under increasing demands to boost instruction time, parents can play a powerful role.

So how can parents provide a meal that meets not only nutrition recommendations but also tight time restraints? The key is to keep it simple and practical. Providing lunches that include a good quality protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and foods that are whole-grain rich will help keep students full, focused and on the go.


Protein rich foods generally take longer for the digestive system to break down and can help students to stay fuller for a longer period of time. Younger kids often prefer fewer ingredients in a meal, so it’s okay to keep things simple. Great sources of simple protein rich foods include hard boiled eggs, deli meats, and dairy products. For sliced meats, focus on lean cuts such as turkey, ham or chicken. Choose low-fat sources for dairy products, such as low-fat string cheese and pre-portioned yogurts. Note that Greek yogurts can contain up to twice the amount of protein compared to regular yogurt. Simple vegetarian protein sources include nuts, seeds, nut butters/spreads, beans, and legumes. So think of including packs of mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, edamame, nut butters, or hummus in the lunch sack.


Whole grains, fruits and vegetables provide a great source of not only vitamins and minerals, but also fiber. Fiber is another food component that takes longer for the digestive system to break down and will help students feel full for longer. Providing a variety of fiber-rich options in your student’s lunchbox gives choosy kids enough options. When looking for whole-grains, make sure each serving has at least 3 grams of fiber. Whole-grain breads, pita pockets, chips, or tortillas wrapped into a sandwich are simple ways to incorporate these nutrients into your student’s meals. To keep fruit and vegetable sources simple, try whole or precut versions like veggie sticks, fruit cups, and sauces like apple sauce.

Pack something frozen

Food safety is an important thing to keep in mind when packing foods from home. It’s worth looking into insulated lunch bags and freezable cooling packs to keep your student’s food fresh and at the proper temperatures. Local stores such as Fred Meyer and Safeway sell a great variety of these products. To avoid adding extra bulk to lunch box, try freezing water bottles, yogurts or juices the night before to act as a cooling pack that will thaw just in time for lunch.

If you’re interested in learning more information and tips like these, make an appointment with a dietitian, nutritionist or your primary care provider.

Kathleen Bradley is a Registered Dietitian at Pacific Medical Centers in its First Hill and North Sound clinics. Pacific Medical Centers is a private, not-for-profit, multi-specialty health care network with 150 primary and specialty care providers. Its ten locations are in the Puget Sound neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, Canyon Park, Federal Way, First Hill, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Northgate, Puyallup, Renton and Totem Lake. To better serve its patients, PacMed plans to open a clinic in Lacey in 2016. Pacific Medical Centers serves patients with commercial insurance, retired military and their families, family members of active-duty personnel, as well as the underserved in our community.

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Become an ambassador for Seattle Musical Theatre

October 15th, 2016 by hillaryu

Seattle Musical Theatre is looking for volunteers:

With all of the entertainment options out there, combined with experiencing many of them in the comfort of your own home, it becomes more and more of a challenge to engage today’s audiences in the power of a live theatrical experience. However, we at SMT know the secret to our success- You, or Patrons! Without your support, feedback, and desire to come and support the offerings we share with you, we would not be here for our 39th season! It’s your passion for musical theatre that spreads throughout the community and allows for us to have the opportunity to introduce new generations to this truly unique style of theatre!

We want to ask for your support again by inviting YOU to be a part of our new volunteer program, the SMT Ambassadors! Our Ambassadors are willing and desiring to share the message and culture of SMT with their family, friends, co-workers; basically, all those that they encounter in their travels throughout our community. Do you enjoy talking about theatre? About musicals? Do you like to share your opinion on shows? On what we are doing here at SMT? On what we are working to become in the future? Then, the SMT Ambassadors are for you! We will provide you with the tools you need to share our information, spread our culture, and ignite the passion for musical theatre in new audience members!

We are asking interested Ambassadors to contact our Volunteer Program Manager, Gayle Hunsberger. Gayle will give you additional information, as well as feedback on what you can do to help us spread the word about SMT to our community!

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