News blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge neighborhoods

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Brown Bear Car Wash 57th anniversary

August 20th, 2014 by hillaryu

Brown Bear Car Wash will add sparkle and shine to thousands of cars and trucks this Thursday (August 21) with free car washes at its 21 tunnel wash locations as it celebrates its 57th anniversary. Hours for the special one-day event are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (hours vary by tunnel wash location). The closest location to our neighborhood is at 14312 Lake City Way N.E.

For the past eight years Seattle-based Brown Bear has provided over 200,000 free washes on the company’s anniversary and Veterans Day. Last year’s anniversary event alone generated 27,223 complementary washes.

“We blend hard work, pride and a lot of fun into an event that benefits our customers and the environment. It’s a fitting way to say ‘thank you’ to our customers who have supported us over the past 57 years,” said Brown Bear founder Vic Odermat.

Odermat started Brown Bear in Seattle with one location at 15th Ave West in Seattle. Brown Bear now owns and operates car washes throughout the Puget Sound area and Spokane.

The family-owned company, through its parent company, Car Wash Enterprises, Inc., owns and operates a total of 41 car wash facilities in Washington State as well as a large network of gas stations and convenience stores. It is one of the largest privately held car wash chains in the U.S. and is widely recognized within the industry as being a leader in the environmental movement.

For locations and hours of Brown Bear’s automated tunnel wash sites in the Puget Sound area visit their website.

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University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry

August 18th, 2014 by hillaryu

Story by Wendy Cone Dore, Center for Pediatric Dentistry

One of the most common childhood health issues is their dental care — having cavities affects their health, nutrition, ability to focus and absenteeism. Nearly 50% of school-age children have at least one cavity.

The University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry is right in your neighborhood — right on Sand Point Way at Magnuson Park.

The clinic can serve all children, and also offers a focus on and trained dentists to serve children with special needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorders and Down syndrome. Because parents can bring all of their children at one time, it becomes a ‘normal’ family experience, less frightening for the children, and a positive place. As partners with Seattle Children’s, and with a state-of-the-art facility, we are able to offer the full range of care for children’s dental needs – from exams and fluoride to sealants, fillings or dental surgery.

The Center also has staff available to help with transportation, translation (120 languages) and insurance as needed. We welcome children on Apple Health — since our focus is on helping children thrive. We provide care for children from 1-18, and up to age 20 if the child has special needs.

Current recommendations are that children begin seeing the dentist by their first birthday. The Center’s dentists are all specialists in pediatric care.

One of the most important things a parent can do is to bring their child to the dentist and be sure they have a healthy, happy smile to start the school year.

For more information, visit The Center’s website.

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Sing with Northwest Girlchoir!

August 17th, 2014 by hillaryu

Help your daughter, granddaughter, neighbor, or friend experience the joy of singing throughout the year as part of Northwest Girlchoir. Spaces are available in all our choirs for the choir season starting September 8th.

1st and 2nd graders can join our Prep Choir, and girls entering 3rd through 12th grades can audition to be part of Fresca, Amabile, Vivace or Amore.

Choirs rehearse once or twice a week, depending on level, with weekday afternoon rehearsals and multiple performance opportunities throughout the year.

Northwest Girlchoir offers outstanding musical learning opportunities, with professional conductor-teachers in a nurturing environment.  Their performances in Seattle and on tour feature a diverse mix of classical works, contemporary choral pieces, and music from around the world. They are in our 42nd year of providing girls and young women a transformational experience through music education and artistic excellence.

The next audition dates are Wednesday, August 20 and Monday, August 25 from 12:00-6:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact check out their website.

Financial Aid is available at all choir levels.

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3rd Annual Maple Leaf Pop-Up Market

August 11th, 2014 by hillaryu

Sunday, August 17th
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
9127 Roosevelt Way NE (Blue Saucer Parking lot)

Join 30 vendors selling their wares! Goods range from fine art photography, handmade jewelry, leather goods, metal art and face painting to cannoli’s and gourmet popcorn!

They hope to see you there!

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Windermere Collecting Donations for “Kicks for Kids” Sneaker Drive

August 10th, 2014 by hillaryu

Windermere offices in the greater Seattle area are serving as collection centers for the company’s “Kicks for Kids” sneaker drive for low income youth. Beginning August 1, new or gently used sneakers in kid’s sizes 1-9 can be dropped off at any Seattle area Windermere office. You can also bring them to the Windermere Summer Splash event on Saturday, August 16 at Green Lake, where Gentle Giants Moving Company will collect the sneakers and deliver them to King County Boys and Girls Club, and Mary’s Place, in time for the first day of school.

“Studies show that when kids feel good about their appearance, it improves both their self-esteem and their performance in school,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate. “We think every child deserves to start the school year on the right foot, so with the public’s help, we’re determined to make that happen for as many kids as possible.”

The two-week Kicks for Kids sneaker drive will end on August 16 at the Windermere Summer Splash event at Green Lake. Together, with partners Seattle Parks and Recreation and the George Pocock Rowing Foundation, this free, daylong event will celebrate summer fun and healthy activities for families.

Highlights of the Summer Splash event include live entertainment, kid-friendly activities, food booths, free giveaways, and the opportunity to try out rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. There will also be a Junior Rowing Race, as well as a Corporate Cup Regatta that will see some iconic Seattle companies face off.

The local Windermere in Wedgwood is located at 8401 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115. Their phone number is (206) 522-9600.

For more information about the Windermere Summer Splash event and Kicks for Kids sneaker drive, please visit: their website.

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New Preschool in NE Seattle

August 10th, 2014 by hillaryu

Written by Wedgwood Resident, David Simonton

A group of Wedgwood parents have formed a new cooperative preschool for northeast Seattle families. The New School will operate out of the Lake City Community Center in the space being vacated by the Laurel Academy while it searches for a permanent home. The school is currently accepting applications for Fall 2014 enrollment, and will host an open house on Monday, August 11, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The parent group teamed up with Montessori educator Erica Chandler and music teacher Amy Ferguson (of Three Dragons Academy in the U District) to blend elements they said were seldom found in one school: a Montessori approach and environment, a curriculum enhanced with music, art and field trips, the parent engagement of a cooperative, and a non-profit organizational structure.

The school accepts kids from 2 1/2 to 6 years old (potty trained through pre-K), and operates Monday through Friday, with options for early drop off and late pick up. For more information, you can visit their website or send an email.

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2014 Residential Valuation Notices Mailed to Wedgwood/Bryant Property Owners

August 7th, 2014 by hillaryu

On July 31st, King County Assessor Lloyd Hara’s office mailed the 2014 property valuations to all residential property owners in Area 45 – Wedgewood/Bryant located in Northwest King County. Area 45 residential property values generally increased by +12.0% but individual property values might vary. The Assessor’s Office will continue to mail out more than 600,000 residential and commercial valuation notices to taxpayers throughout the rest of King County between August and October.

Residential property is assessed each year at 100 percent of its true and fair market value in money, which is defined by Washington State law as the amount of money that a willing and unobligated buyer is willing to pay a willing and unobligated seller. Residential values are determined based on multiple sales of similar properties.

The King County Assessor’s Office annually revalues all properties and conducts a physical inspection on each property once every six years. The last physical inspection of the Wedgewood/Bryant area was conducted in 2007.

“Continuing the 2013 trend, property values are increasing across King County as we emerge from the Great Recession,” said Assessor Lloyd Hara. “In 2013, we saw a residential increase in 76 out of 86 residential areas in King County and we expect to see continued growth in residential values for 2014.”

Assessor Lloyd Hara would like to remind all property owners to carefully review the information contained in the valuation notice. If you feel a mistake has been made in valuing your property, it is recommended that you contact the Assessor’s Office directly before filing an appeal at 206-296-7300 or via email.

Property owners can review their property information online using eReal Property and review our Area Reports on the Assessor’s homepage at or with the Assessor’s staff to make sure an error has not been made. King County allows 60 days from the valuation’s postmark date to file an appeal with the King County Board of Equalizations.

Some low-income seniors, disabled veterans, or disabled persons retired because of a disability might be eligible for a property tax deferral or exemption. The King County Assessor’s Office encourages you or those you know to contact our office to determine eligibility.

For King County taxpayers who need advice and assistance on property tax related matters, including appeals, contact the King County Tax Advisor at 206-477-1060 or by email.

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35th Ave Plan – Public Comment Being Accepted

August 7th, 2014 by hillaryu

Last Thursday, the 35th Ave Committee unveiled proposed streetscape guidelines and zoning recommendations for the 35th Ave NE business district. The public workshop was well attended and those who attended provided excellent feedback.

Despite the good turnout, they wanted to make sure that anyone who wanted to provide feedback on the recommendations would have the opportunity. So, they’ve uploaded the presentation and the zoning/streetscape recommendations for everyone to review and provide feedback on.

They are accepting public comments through Friday, August 15th, after which time they will review the feedback and adjust the proposal accordingly before finalizing it.

Check out the plans on their website.

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“The Tin Horse” Author Event

August 6th, 2014 by hillaryu

Piece Written by Wedgwood View Reader, Peggy Sturdivant

A mother lode of Jewish history, “so juicy that the setting became a character in its own right.”

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 13th the NE Branch Library, along with Secret Garden Books, presents Janice Steinberg from San Diego author of prize-winning novel The Tin Horse. Steinberg is a longtime dance critic, former public radio reporter, mystery writer and Nia dance enthusiast whose first character-driven novel, The Tin Horse was published by Random House last year.

Of the setting in the pre-World War II Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles Steinberg says, “when I started to do research for The Tin Horse, I wanted to write a novel “starring” a minor character fromThe Big Sleep, the noir classic by Raymond Chandler. The character was a keenly observant woman who worked in a Hollywood bookstore; unnamed, she was identified as “an intelligent Jewess.“ Ergo, my character had to be a Jewish woman living in L.A. in around 1940.” As Steinberg said, “I had no idea that my search for her Los Angeles would lead to a mother lode: a piece of Los Angeles and Jewish history so juicy that the setting became a character in its own right. The research encompassed years but the first draft was written on Vancouver Island. (Steinberg’s in-laws are Seattleites).

When Steinberg looked for an agent, no less than Jonathon Frantzen’s agent took on the novel and sold it to Random House. Its since been published in six languages and been an “O” Magazine pick for March 2013. The Tin Horse recently won a San Diego Book award for fiction. In her library appearance Steinberg will read from the novel but also discuss the writing process.

Books will be available at the event through Secret Garden Books. To learn more about the book, visit The Tin Horse website.

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3,000 people attend the 2014 Wedgwood Arts Festival

July 30th, 2014 by hillaryu

On one of the hottest weekends that we’ve had so far, over 3,000 people attended the 2014 Wedgwood Arts Festival at Our Lady of the Lake on July 12th and 13th. It was the largest festival to date.

Here are some great facts about this year’s event:

  • Event organizers conducted surveys with the artists and 92% said the festival was worth their time and money, which is great for the community and local vendors
  • The support from the Our Lady of the Lake staff was great and they have already invited the festival to return next year; the new space enabled the festival to grow 50%! This year they had 77 artists, up from 46 last year.
  • There were 8 bands playing live music – including 2 nationally touring bands.
  • With the new location, the event was able to group the food vendors together and give them better access to reliable electricity. Food vendors included Veraci Pizza, Athena’s Greek Food, Patty Pan, Seattle Espresso, Half Pint Ice Cream and Tastyz Sno Cones & Kettle Corn

The Wedgwood View received several inquiries about why the event was moved to Our Lady of the Lake. The organizers promptly wrote back:

“There are many reasons why we moved the festival, but mostly it was because:

  1. We received a lot of feedback from patrons with disabilities that last year’s location was not easily accessible to those using wheelchairs and walkers
  2. Logistically we needed more space and electrical access in order to grow the festival”

To view photos of the event, check out their Facebook page.

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