News blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge neighborhoods

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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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MOD Apartments Open House – 10/26

October 12th, 2016 by hillaryu

The MOD Apartments (located in the heart of Wedgwood) will be hosting a special Community Open House Event from 4:00 – 7:00 pm on Wednesday, October 26th.
Featuring free tasty bites from local food trucks, lively music and self-guided tours of the building’s newly-renovated apartment homes — designed to protect the building’s original character.
Feel free to RSVP to if you’d like to join the celebrations at this community landmark located at 6559 35th Ave NE.

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Are You Ready for Cold and Flu Season?

October 9th, 2016 by hillaryu

By Dr. Akiko Hall, PacMed

The excitement of the start of the school year, football season and fall activities can be quickly dampened by a cold or flu. Every parent dreads their child getting sick; it means missing work and school and, more drastically, requiring a visit to the doctor. Worst of all, it may mean that your whole family winds up getting sick. Luckily, I have some prevention tips to help keep you and your children healthy this cold and flu season.

Cold vs. Flu

First, a little refresher. Colds and flu are caused by viruses, not bacteria. There are hundreds of different viruses that cause colds; flu is caused by the influenza virus. Antibiotics won’t work to treat colds or flu because antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses.

Viruses are easily spread between people who spend significant time in close contact such as those in schools, daycares and offices. They’re typically spread by contact with an infected surface such as a doorknob or drinking fountain handle or person-to-person by direct contact. Most viruses are not airborne.

It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a cold and the flu. Both can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough and fatigue. In general, however, flu tends to hit harder, have higher fever and include body aches and nausea.


While this all may sound like bad news, you can do a lot of things to help prevent you and your family from catching a cold or flu this season.

  • Hand washing: Although you’ve heard it many times before, it bears repeating: good handwashing is the number one way to protect yourself from getting sick. Scrub for at least 20 seconds to stop those nasty germs from spreading.
  • Flu vaccine: The flu vaccine adds a layer of protection. Everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot. While it won’t keep you from getting a common cold, it will help protect you from the flu. What’s new this year is that nasal sprays are not recommended because they have been determined to not be effective enough to fight this year’s flu strain.
  • Avoid people who are sick: This helps to prevent the spread of germs. If your child is sick, they should stay home from school. Encourage them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the crook of their elbow instead of their bare hands.
  • Sleep: Your body needs good sleep for a healthy immune system. Toddlers/preschoolers should get 11-13 hours a night, young school-age kids need 10-12 hours, “tweens” 9-10 hours and teens 8-9 hours. And don’t neglect yourself! Try to clock in 7-8 hours every night.
  • Eat well: One of the easiest ways to keep you and your children healthy is to maintain a well-balanced diet of healthy protein, some carbs, limited fat and sugar, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. A proper diet will help rebuild cells and give you energy and essential vitamins needed for a strong immune system.

Treating a Cold or Flu

So, you’ve followed this to a T—and someone still gets sick. At this point, all you can do is help manage symptoms and support the immune system in doing its job. Despite our best efforts, we’ll all catch a virus at some point, kids more often than adults: they average a whopping 6-8 colds a year.

Aches and fevers in older infants and children can be treated at home with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). Be sure to check the label for the proper dosing. If a fever is greater than 100 degrees and lasts longer than a few days or if other symptoms are severe, you should make an appointment to see your child’s doctor.

Keep your child home from school until the fever has subsided. A mild cough and/or sniffles may persist for several days, but it is okay to go back to school as long as they’re generally feeling better.

To recap, ensure you and your family wash their hands, get their flu shot, avoid others who are sick, eat well and get plenty of rest. If you follow these simple tips, you can prevent or minimize family members from getting sick this cold and flu season.

Dr. Akiko Hall is a pediatrician at the PacMed Canyon Park clinic in Bothell. Learn more at

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September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

September 12th, 2016 by hillaryu

We are so lucky to have a wonderful Seattle Public Library branch right in our backyard.


September is Library Card Sign-up Month and The Seattle Public Library wants every Seattle resident to know about all the new and innovative services available for free with a card.

“The Library is much more than books,” said City Librarian Marcellus Turner. “You can check out a Wi-Fi hotspot, get tech help, attend a business workshop in Spanish, download movies and music, get help filing your taxes and receive librarian assistance 24 hours a day. Signing up for a Library card is easy and it’sfree.”

The Library has six unique cards to choose from. Sign up on-line or visit any Library location.

The Library registered nearly 10,000 people for Library cards last September and is working to surpass that number this year with a widespread “With My Library Card I Can” campaign. The Library currently has more than 375,000 cardholders.

From left to right: Library Foundation President Ross Baker, Library Board President Theresa Fujiwara, Library Friends President Carmen Bendixen.

Leading the campaign to highlight all the ways the Library benefits children, teens and adults are: Theresa Fujiwara, president of The Seattle Public Library board of trustees and Beacon Hill resident; Ross Baker, president of The Seattle Public Library Foundation and Wedgwood neighborhood resident; and Carmen Bendixen, president of the Friends of The Seattle Public Library and Green Lake resident.

Fujiwara, Baker, and Bendixen are the faces and voices promoting the many ways the Library empowers every resident and improves the quality of life in our city.

Each one recognized the value and importance of the Library at an early age, which contributed to their desire to support the ongoing work of the Library in their current leadership roles.

Fujiwara grew up within walking distance of the Columbia Branch. “The Columbia Branch was my second home,” she said. Fujiwara said her role model for reading was her mother. “She was a book worm. She never had enough books. I think it just rubbed off on me.”

Fujiwara said the vital role of the Library became even more apparent to her after graduating from college and becoming a social worker. “If you are a community organizer, you are always thinking of the logistics of getting people together and organizing,” she said. “What I witnessed in my work was that libraries were these natural gathering places – they provided a sense of belonging and an opportunity for groups to come together and network and have a collective voice.”

Fujiwara, who helped establish Seattle’s Asian Counseling and Referral Services early in her career, said that what inspires her most about the Library is how it makes all people feel welcome and comfortable. “Immigrant and refugee parents can come into the Library and see people just like them – there are no divisions of people, or income – it is the most democratic of places. You don’t have to meet anyone else’s agenda. The Library is always there to help you navigate and help get you what you need.”

Fujiwara, who also worked with immigrant and refugee communities for the Annie E. Casey Foundation after stints under Mayors Norm Rice and Paul Schell, is currently associate vice president for community services at United Way of King County.

The Library Board president said the books that have been most important and influential to her are rooted in ethnic studies and social justice, such as “A Testament of Hope: The Writings and Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” and “America is in the Heart,” by Carlos Bulosan.

Baker, head of the Library Foundation, grew up on Beacon Hill. His first experience with The Seattle Public Library was at his elementary school, where the bookmobile would visit. “It gave us all a sense of empowerment and joy when it arrived,” he said. Baker supplemented those visits by regularly using the Beacon Hill Branch – which at that time was located in a former grocery store. “I felt like I read every book in the branch. I gravitated toward biographies and nonfiction,” he said. “And it was always a treat to be able to come to the Central Library.”

Baker said he always participated in the children’s Summer Reading Program and is “very happy” the Library now has an adult summer reading program.

Baker, an attorney who works as the public policy director for Virginia Mason Medical Center, is an avid reader and founder of a popular nonfiction book club. “The book club has about 30 participants and I get a lot of great reading recommendations from my branch librarians,” he said. He enjoys attending Library author programs, noting memorable readings by Walter Mosley, David McCullough and Isabel Allende. He also has used the Library’s database for genealogy research.

Before he joined the Foundation Board, Baker was instrumental in the 1998 Libraries for All campaign that resulted in new or improved library buildings, as well as the 2012 Library Levy. “I believe fund-raising for the Library is important because the Library provides educational opportunities for all the city’s residents and readers,” he said. “It stimulates your creativity and teaches you so much – even how to fix things in your home or car!”

Baker said he encourages everyone he knows to get a Library card. “A Library card gives you free access to so many online resources that are currently being offered for a fee,” he said. “The Library has subscriptions to myriad databases and services – such as newspapers – that would cost a person hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year.”

Bendixen grew up on the rural Olympic Peninsula, using the Timberland Regional Library. “There was a little library a couple of blocks from my elementary school, and our class would walk to the library to check out books once a month,” she said. “I went through books like tissues.”

She regularly used school libraries in high school and college. “They were my sanctuaries,” she said. While attending Willamette University in Oregon, she had the opportunity to work in the university library one summer. “It was a great job – I got to process all the new periodicals, so I’d be the first to see all the new issues,” she said.

After attending graduate school in Philadelphia, she came back to Seattle to work as a transportation planner. “One of the first things I did was get my Library card from The Seattle Public Library,” said Bendixen, who frequents the Green Lake, Greenwood and Central libraries. “I knew the Library was a great place to explore resources and get to know more people.” That’s how she ended up getting involved with the Friends. “I had some free time on the weekends and began volunteering at the Central Library FriendShop.”

She did Friends committee work before becoming the Friends president, and helped on the 2012 Library Levy campaign.

Bendixen said she is thrilled when her friends tell her how much they love the Library. “I have a friend who is a real techie, who I thought would not be much of a Library user, but he is a big e-book user and appreciates the fact The Seattle Public Library is so welcoming and is always innovating with new programs,” she said.

Bendixen said she reads both print and e-books and checks out movies all the time. “I’m in a movie club, so I’m always seeing what the Library has available through streaming and services like Hoopla,” she said. She also enjoys browsing the Library’s digital collection of historical Seattle photos.

“Having experienced the way that libraries affect a rural community, I have a renewed sense of appreciation of the resources they brought to me as a young person,” she said. “By seeing how many books, music, periodicals and other materials were available, even though it was a tiny collection compared to what The Seattle Public Library has, it gave me an idea of the wider world. This idea of possibility, when combined with how often the library served as a community gathering space – and not just for a neighborhood but a whole town – I can see now that my family and I were very lucky to have such a resource.”

For more information about services of The Seattle Public Library or its support groups, call 206-386-4636, or visit

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Help Wedgwood and John Rogers students have FUN!

September 12th, 2016 by hillaryu

Finding Urban Nature (FUN) is Seattle Audubon’s free environmental education program in Seattle Public Elementary Schools. FUN is an environmental education program that introduces students to the natural world in their own schoolyard habitats through observation, discovery, and scientific inquiry. Volunteers work with small groups of 4-5 students for 4, one-hour lessons, over the course of 4 weeks. The program needs volunteers at Wedgwood and John Rogers Elementary Schools. Please respond as soon as possible to be a part of FUN training in October.

Contact or 206-523-8243 ext. 12 if interested. A background check is required.

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Wedgwood Community Council Hosts Community Picnic

September 10th, 2016 by hillaryu

Our friends at the Wedgwood Community Council are hosting a community picnic on Saturday, September 17th from 4-8 p.m.

The Community Picnic is a free event but you will want to bring money for buying from one of the food trucks, and for a donation to start or renew a membership to the Community Council.

More info on the event can be found here.

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Free Toilets from Seattle Public Utilities

August 31st, 2016 by hillaryu

Submitted by Arleen N.

Would you like to save money and the environment?  Seattle Public Utilities Water Conservation Program can help you do both!  Partnering with Sound Generations Minor Home Repair program, the Water Conservation Program will install water-saving toilets in your home and recycle your old toilets at no charge to you.  To be eligible, you must receive a Seattle Public Utilities water bill, live in the home you own, have toilets that were installed before 2004 and meet income guidelines.

Interested?  Call Sound Generations at 206-448-5751 or visit to get started!

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Prime Now: Amazon Offers Superfast Delivery from All The Best Pet Care in Seattle

August 29th, 2016 by hillaryu

Last week, Amazon Prime Now, the company’s one-hour delivery service, began offering superfast delivery of pet supplies in the Seattle area from All The Best Pet Care.

“All The Best Pet Care was Seattle’s first ‘health food store for pets’ in 1985 and we’ve been at the forefront of innovation for dogs and cats ever since,” said company founder Susan Moss. “Every food, treat and toy is carefully vetted to make sure it meets our exacting standards. We are locally owned and family run, and honored to partner with Prime Now for free 2-hour delivery in our community.”

In Seattle, Prime Now offers tens of thousands of items from Amazon in addition to local restaurant and grocery delivery. Amazon is excited to expand the service to include this special offering. Through Prime Now, 1-hour delivery is $7.99 and 2-hour delivery is free.

Prime members can download the Prime Now app, available on iOS and Android devices, and will be notified when the service is available in their zip code. Prime members can also shop on

Customers in Seattle already love using Prime Now for all of their pets’ essentials, and Amazon is thrilled to expand the product offering with All The Best Pet Care.

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