News blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge neighborhoods

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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.

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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 www.spl.org.

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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 FUNvolunteer@seattleaudubon.org 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 www.seattle.gov/util/FreeToilets 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 www.primenow.com.

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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Helping Hands School Supply Drive – Few More Days Left

August 27th, 2016 by hillaryu

Submitted by: Anjelica A.

To disadvantaged children, school supplies are more than just tools: they represent either moments or normalcy, or awkward and embarrassing conversations. Every child should have the chance to walk into their classroom with confidence.  That’s the idea behind Helping Hands, a school supplies drive that was the brainchild of chiropractor and nutrition coach Dr. Mimi Jackson.

“I spent a couple years teaching,” says Dr. Mimi.  “I remember what it was like as a teacher to see, just, inequality between kids.  And the number that that did on their confidence.  Now that I’m a doctor and a business owner, it’s really important to me to be involved in the community.”

All August long, Dr. Mimi’s wellness clinic, She Wellness, is collecting new school supplies to be donated to a local school.  For a list of school supplies or for updates, visit the Helping Hands Facebook event page.  For every $10 or $10 worth of supplies donated, She Wellness will offer a voucher for a free consultation and exam.  Questions can also be directed to the office by phone (206.259.8882) or email.

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Pyramid’s Beer-infused Cupcake Competition

August 14th, 2016 by hillaryu

Submitted by Deanna

IT’S BEER FOR DESSERT! Craft beer is a perfect ingredient for sweets, so Pyramid Alehouse is teaming up with NAMI Seattle, a non-profit mental health organization, to host a fabulous beer-infused cupcake competition!

FREE l FUN l LIVE MUSIC l BEER GARDEN l BAKED GOODS l GAMES l GIVEAWAYS

Cupcakes from Cupcake Royale, Brown Sugar Baking Company, Bakeirlly Help us crown the Best Seattle Cupcake ! Taste Test the three cupcakes for $10.00 or for $15.00 receive the pairings of beers used in each recipe, proceeds to benefit Nami Seattle. Supplies Limited, So get here early!

All bakeries will also have non-beer infused baked goods available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds to be donated to NAMI Seattle.

For more information, click here.

Pyramid Alehouse (1201 1st Avenue South, Seattle WA 98134)

Saturday August 13th 12-4 pm

Free entry. Baked goods are for sale. $0-$15

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Wedgwood Businesses and Residents Encouraged to Buy, Register AEDs

August 13th, 2016 by hillaryu

Submitted by Natalie B.

We all know the importance of CPR, but an even better, more effective solution to restarting a heart is an automated external defibrillator – or AED.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the #3 killer in Americans, with a survival rate of about 10 percent, killing more than 300,000 Americans a year. Fortunately, AEDs can increase one’s survival rate by 70-80 percent.

Having an AED around ensures your ability to help someone in an emergency until first responders arrive. However, AEDs only work if you can find them. By registering an AED, 911 dispatchers can match a victim’s location to the nearest AED. For every minute without treatment, survival of sudden cardiac arrest decreases up to 10%. Knowing where the nearest AED is can save time – and most importantly, a life.

Wedgwood business owners and residents are encouraged to purchase and register their AEDs through King County’s website, www.kingcounty.gov/aed.

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Seattle Parks and Recreation invites input on design of new Lake City park

July 27th, 2016 by hillaryu

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) invites the Lake City community to an Open House on Thursday, July 28 for the design development of a new park in Lake City. Join SPR planner and ELM Environment’s designers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 12501 28th Ave NE, just north of the Lake City branch library, or from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the Lake City Farmer’s Market, NE 125th St. & 28th Ave. NE, to learn about the new park and provide design input.

SPR purchased the property located at 12510 33rd Ave NE 98125 in 2010 with funding from the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy, to provide additional open space for the Lake City community. The events on July 28 are an opportunity for the community to participate in the design and are the first public events for the new park. To provide additional feedback the community is encouraged to participate in this survey.

Funding for this park project is provided by Seattle Park District to preserve open space in urban areas throughout Seattle. Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation, including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

2016 is the first full year of implementation and will include funding to tackle the $267-million major maintenance backlog, improve and rehabilitate community centers, preserve the urban forest, perform major maintenance at the Aquarium and Zoo, perform day-to-day maintenance of parks and facilities, provide more recreation opportunities for people from underserved communities and programs for young people, people with disabilities, and older adults, develop new parks, and acquire new park land.

For more information or for meeting notification translation please visit their website.

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Magnuson Park Wading Pool will remain closed for the 2016 summer season

July 27th, 2016 by hillaryu

Because of damage to the Magnuson Park Wading Pool caused by an illegal fire last spring, the wading pool will remain closed for the 2016 summer season.

There is damage to the concrete and the sump/drain cover. While Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) has identified replacement products, the process of getting the necessary work permits will take about six weeks, which is when this summer offering would normally end (August 28). Parks will complete the necessary work in the off-season.

SPR regrets the closure, and thanks the public for their patience. The nearest operating wading pools are:

  • Dahl Playfield, 7700 25th Ave. NE, open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. through August 18
  • Green Lake Park, N 73rd St. and W Green Lake Dr. N, open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. through September

There are also operating sprayparks at:

  • Ballard Commons Park, 5701 22nd Ave. NW, daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. through September 5
  • Northacres Park, 12800 1st Ave. NE, daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. through September 5

The lifeguarded beach at Magnuson Park is open daily (weather permitting) from noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through August 28. The beach offers life jackets for smaller children and people who do not have basic swimming skills.

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