News blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge neighborhoods

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Art&Soul Studios Mixed Media Parent-Child Art Class

January 12th, 2016 by hillaryu

Help support a new local business and enjoy making portraits, sculptures, paintings and more! This 45-minute parent-child art class will introduce you and your little artist to new ways of making art. Water tables help make clean up easy and fun and all of our materials are non-toxic and washable. To make clean up even easier, we provide smock’s for both the adults and the children. Our parent-child art class is a place to come and let go of the worries, stresses and lists of everyday life.  We encourage you to get down on your child’s level and enjoy quality time making art, with the one you love most. Our early childhood art classes and programs are developed to support collaborative art making, as well as provide tools to make sure that each child’s emotional and physical needs are met within the art experience. We believe in creating community through a creative outlet!
Dates: 2/4/16-3/10/16 every Thursday
Time: 10:30-11:15
Ages: 2-3-year-olds
Price: $150 for 6-week class

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How well do you know your vitamins?

January 6th, 2016 by hillaryu

Written by: Katherine Figel, RDN, CD

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) currently recommends eating nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  On average however, we are usually eating closer to two servings per day. Given the reality of our ever growing to-do lists and busy schedules; well-rounded, home-cooked meals aren’t always an option. Additionally, our weather in the Pacific Northwest is filled with gloomy, rain-stricken days making vitamin deficiency a hot topic at any primary care clinic.

So where do you begin? Here are some tips on identifying which foods are rich in these nutrients and how to incorporate these foods into your meal and snack times to reach your daily needs.

Calcium

A major player in skeletal health, calcium also helps out in the circulatory system and with cell signaling. Calcium is found in dairy products (i.e. milk, yogurts and cheese) fortified juices, canned salmon and some plant sources such as tofu. Try making tuna melts with salmon instead of tuna or enjoy plain-low fat yogurt with fresh fruit for a mid-morning snack.

Vitamin D

This vitamin, like calcium plays a key role in bone health. There is also growing evidence supporting vitamin D’s role in preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Vitamin D is in milk and some yogurt and can also be found in eggs, mushrooms, and some fortified foods. While Vitamin D can also be synthesized from exposure to sunlight, don’t count on getting much from our cloud-stricken Seattle weather. Starting your day with a hardboiled egg or having a glass of milk instead of your midday soda can help.

Potassium

Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and is crucial in muscle and cardiac function.  Bananas usually come to mind when we think of potassium but many people don’t realize that lots of other nutritious foods are also rich in potassium. These include beans, potatoes, plain yogurt, and fruits and vegetables.

Fiber

Fiber is a non-digestible nutrient found mostly in plant sources including whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Fiber can be thought of as a “Renaissance Man” as it has a vast number of health benefits. Fiber can also help support colon health, blood sugar balance, decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, and help to support a healthy weight. Next time you’re at the Wedgwood Ale House, try switching your favorite sandwich bread or wrap from refined bread to whole grain! Quinoa is a particularly high fiber grain which can be used in exchange for rice. Snacking on fruits and vegetables in between meals can also help to bump up the fiber. Bonus? Fiber helps you to feel full longer, so you may be able to resist that mid-afternoon candy bar.

Multi-vitamins

Taking a multivitamin can always help to increase nutrient intake as well. However, most dietitians recommend trying to get these nutrients from your foods versus from a supplement. If you do choose to take a multivitamin be cautious so as to avoid potential vitamin toxicities, particularly from vitamins, A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are fat-soluble meaning that your body can not easily excrete excess amounts thus increasing the risk to potentially overdo it.

At the end of the day following a balanced diet, complete with all the necessary nutrients will help you to feel your best. If you eat a varied diet, you do not need to stress about filling your vitamin quota but each of the above suggestions can be found at the Wedgwood QFC or other local grocers. If you’re interested in learning more about proper nutrients, make an appointment with a dietitian, nutritionist or your primary care provider to see which vitamins are right for you and your lifestyle.

Katherine Figel, RDN, CD, is a dietitian with the Nutrition team at Pacific Medical Centers. She sees patients at the PacMed Canyon Park, Northgate and First Hill clinics. Learn more at www.PacMed.org.

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January Northeast Story Times

January 3rd, 2016 by hillaryu

Baby Story Time

(For infants up to 12 months)

Wednesdays, January 6, 13, 20, 27 at 12:30 p.m.

Toddler Story Time

(Geared for ages 1-3)

Thursdays, January 7, 14, 21, 28 at 10:15 & 11:15 a.m.

Preschool Story Time

(Geared for ages 3-5)

Tuesdays, January 5, 12, 19, 26 at 10:30 a.m.

Pajamas & Puppets

(All Ages)

Wednesday, January 27 at 7:00 p.m.

What do I do? This book/CD/DVD is broken!

Kids’ materials get a LOT of love. Sometimes that love results in torn pages, broken cases and scratched discs. If you check out something and get it home to discover that it is damaged, please let a library staff member know when you return it. They’ll take you at your word if your family was not responsible for the damage, and it helps them know what they need to repair or replace. If your child did perchance get overly fond of that book, many wounds can be mended, but please let our wonderful mending volunteers do the repair. It’s also a great opportunity to talk about how to treat library materials gently so other families can enjoy them too.

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Give the Gift of Tools

December 16th, 2015 by hillaryu

Looking for a great gift that supports a community organization? Give the gift of a membership to the NE Seattle Tool Library.

The Tool Library aims to inspire participation in community projects and pursue sustainability through fun projects like backyard gardens, home energy improvements, food preservation, and water harvesting. They also offer classes and host community events to advance and celebrate our wonderful and unique community.

With over 3,000 tools available to lend, they have everything you might need for your next project!

Learn more about memberships and their services on their website.

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Volunteering for Seattle Musical Theatre’s “She Loves Me”

December 6th, 2015 by hillaryu

Come join Seattle Musical Theatre as a Front of House volunteer for their December show She Loves Me: As a parfumerie store readies itself for the Christmas rush, a store clerk and a salesgirl are constantly at odds, but are unaware that they are conducting an anonymous romantic correspondence. This charming musical is adapted from the Jimmy Stewart film The Shop Around the Corner and the basis for the 1998 movie You’ve Got Mail. Musical gems include “Twelve Days ‘Til Christmas,” “Dear Friend” and “Ice Cream.”

Teens 16 and older may volunteer unaccompanied.  They ask those 12-15 to be accompanied by an adult.  Volunteers are asked to arrive an hour and 15 minutes before the show to receive assignments (Will Call, ushers/ticket-takers, concessions, etc.) and stay 10-15 minutes after to help collect programs for recycling and check the auditorium for trash.  Total time commitment is approximately 3.5 hours, and in thanks for your assistance you see the performance and get a soda or water from concessions for free.  Free parking is available on the street or next door at the Magnuson Park Community Center.
The specific dates they still need help are:
Dec. 19    12:45-4:15 p.m.    Need 5 people
Dec. 19     6:15-9:45 p.m.     Need 5 people

They are also in need of people with MAST licenses to serve at our wine bar.  The dates still open are:

Dec. 11     6:15-9:45 p.m.
Dec. 12    12:45-4:15 p.m.
Dec. 17     6:15-9:45 p.m.
Dec. 18     6:15-9:45 p.m.
Dec. 19    12:45-4:15 p.m.

They are located inside Magnuson Park on Sand Point, sharing Building 47 with the Magnuson Park Community Center.  Our address is:7120 62nd Ave NE Seattle, WA 98115

If you are interested or have any questions, please e-mail volunteer@seattlemusicaltheatre.org, call 206-363-2809, or check out their online sign-up at: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0f44a4a82aa5f49-sheloves

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7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Medicare Plan

December 4th, 2015 by hillaryu

By Dr. Marc Mora, Group Health
A couple decades ago, there weren’t a lot of choices when you reached age 65 and became eligible for Medicare. Most U.S. citizens enrolled in Original Medicare, the health plan that’s provided by the U.S. government. The decision-making process was pretty easy.

Those days are long gone. In recent years, the Medicare marketplace has exploded with choices. Wedgwood and View Ridge residents making these decisions or helping senior family members and friends sift through their options are likely well aware the deadline for selecting coverage for 2016 is fast approaching—you have to make your decisions by Dec. 7.

How do you decide which plan best meets your health care needs, preferences and budget? Here are 7 things to consider.

1. Decide how much health care coverage you want.

If you’re only looking for basic, no-frills coverage, Original Medicare takes care of that. It’s the combination of Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). To get help paying for prescription medications, you’ll also need to enroll in a Part D (prescription drug) plan. A Medigap (supplemental) plan is another way to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered by Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, combine Parts A and B, and often Part D. These plans are an alternative to Original Medicare and may include vision, hearing and dental benefits, as well as health and wellness programs that aren’t offered by Original Medicare.

Even if you don’t use many health care services or prescription medications at the moment, keep in mind that even the healthiest person can experience an unexpected illness or accident, and costs can add up fast. Prepare for the unknown as you choose a plan, just in case.

2. Review plan costs.

Look carefully at the costs of each plan, including premiums, deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Then look a little further. How much will you pay for X-rays, outpatient surgery, inpatient hospital care, and other services you may need? Is there a yearly limit on what you pay out-of-pocket? What makes the most sense given your health and financial situation?

3. Find out if your doctors are on the plan’s network.

With Original Medicare, you can see any doctor who accepts Medicare. With most Medicare Advantage plans, you’ll need to use doctors, hospitals, and other facilities in the plan’s network. If you’re considering a Medicare Advantage plan, check the provider directory to see if your doctor is in the plan’s network, or consider whether you’re willing to switch doctors. Also find out if you can see a non-network doctor if you choose, and how much it will cost.

4. Check out prescription drug coverage.

Each health plan that offers prescription drug coverage will include a drug formulary, which is the list of medications the plan covers. Are the medications you’re currently taking on the list? How much will you pay for brand-name drugs, and how much for generic drugs? Does the plan require that you get prior authorization, or meet other requirements, before your medications are covered? And are network pharmacies conveniently located for you?

5. Notice if extra benefits are included.

Check to see if the plan provides fitness or dental benefits, vision care, or hearing-aid coverage. You won’t find that coverage with Original Medicare, but it’s often included as part of Medicare Advantage plans.

6. Consider what’s covered when you travel.

With Original Medicare, you can travel anywhere in the U.S. and its territories and get the medical care you need from almost any doctor or hospital. Medicare Advantage plans may not cover your care in the U.S. outside of the plan’s service area, with the exception of emergency care. Both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans must cover medical care outside the U.S. in a few, limited instances. Also, some supplemental insurance, like Medigap plans, provide coverage for foreign travel. Check each plan carefully to see what rules and costs apply.

7. Check the plan’s quality rating.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services evaluates the quality of Medicare Advantage plans every year and their ratings give you an apples-to-apples way to compare plans. A 5-star rating indicates the highest rated plan, and a 4-star rating means an above-average plan. You’ll find the most up-to-date star ratings on the Medicare Plan Finder tool at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan or you can call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Dr. Marc Mora is chief medical officer at Group Health. He received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the University of California – San Francisco School of Medicine. For more information about what the different types of Medicare plans do and don’t include, visit www.medicare.ghc.org/understanding-medicare.page.

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Bought New Electronics on Black Friday? Donate Your Old Electronics this Holiday Season

November 30th, 2015 by hillaryu

Did you buy a new laptop, cell phone or other new gadgets on Black Friday? Start the holiday giving season early by donating your old electronics to InterConnection, a local Seattle nonprofit.

InterConnection has been focused on providing access to technology to underserved communities for over 15 years. Your donation will help low income families and charities around the world gain access to technology.

It’s free, easy, and safe. Here are a few other good reasons to donate:

Donating Computers Helps the Greater Good

Your donation helps others get connected. Each week at least twenty low income families and 40 charities receive refurbished computers from InterConnection.

The Environment will Thank You

Electronics reuse is more earth-friendly than recycling. In fact, reusing computers is 20 times more energy efficient than recycling.

It’s Safe and Secure

All data is destroyed with industry leading software and hard drives are crushed.  Devicesthat cannot be reused are sent to certified recyclers.

It’s Tax Deductible

By donating to InterConnection, a 501c-3 nonprofit, you can add it to your annual giving reports.

Make a difference this holiday season by helping someone in our community get connected.

Donating is simple. InterConnection offers 3 different ways you can donate.

Here’s How to Donate:

Mail it in: InterConnection will give you a pre-paid USPS shipping label.  Just put your device(s) in a box, attach the label, and mail it. Get the label here.

Drop it off: InterConnection has over 30 convenient drop-off locations around the Puget Sound area.  Find a Drop-Off Location

Schedule a Business Pick-up: Businesses with five or more computers can schedule a free pickup from InterConnection by calling (206) 633-1517

Learn more about InterConnection on their website.

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North Seattle Baseball Open House

November 28th, 2015 by hillaryu

Come check out North Seattle Baseball at their NEW facility.

Saturday, Dec. 5
12:30-4:00 p.m.

It may be cold outside, but things are heating up inside at North Seattle Baseball! Come learn about the north end’s premier youth baseball league at their Open House.

It’s your chance to:

  • Meet NSB board members and coaches;
  • Grab a complementary hot dog and drink (while supplies last)
  • Explore the new-and-improved North Seattle Batting Cages facility;
  • Find out what they’ve got planned for ballplayers this spring at NSB, and register on-site!

This event is open to all – new and returning families – or just those who wish to check out the area’s only indoor batting cage facility!

North Seattle Batting Cages (home of NSB) – 12550 27th Ave NE, (next to Slate Crossfit)

More information can be found on the NSB website.

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Neighborhood Safety Resources – Traffic Safety Store

November 21st, 2015 by hillaryu


By: Tyler Maroney, Traffic Safety Store

If you are like most homeowners in Wedgwood or View Ridge, you probably use your garage as a prime storage area. Your bicycle, your children’s sporting equipment, and that television you “plan on fixing,” all seem to wind up there. As winter approaches, however, you may find yourself storing more items for longer lengths of time. This can really add up, creating hazards for you and your family that are easily overlooked.

These simple tips can minimize dangerous clutter, keeping you and your family safe. For a full checklist, see this guide to Accident Proof your Garage.

  1. Avoid potential for tripping and slipping. Does your canoe keep rolling onto the floor? Use industrial hooks or a rope-and-pulley system to hang it from your walls or ceiling, along with the bicycle and other large items. Store sporting equipment and smaller garden tools in separate, labeled containers to condense their volume and maximize floor space. Now that the garage floor is cleared, clean up any oil or stains then stock upon kitty litter to absorb future leaks
  2. Prevent potential fires, chemical spills, or electricity issues. Label all combustible materials. Make sure they stay in tightly sealed containers to prevent a spark from igniting the vapors. Always unplug power tools after use and use outlet covers to prevent electrical accidents. Keep an unexpired fire extinguisher within arm’s reach. Take extra precaution by keeping poisonous materials inside locked drawers. Even if you don’t have children, you never know what a neighbor’s child might get into.
  3. Have a safe garage door. If you have a manual door, be sure it uses a counter weight not a coil. An automatic garage door should stop or reverse upon contact with an object. Install an automatic light that switches on as the door opens.

For more tips on making your home safe, visit the Traffic Safety Store website.

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Handel’s Messiah by Northwest Chorale – a benefit for NW Harvest

November 19th, 2015 by hillaryu


Saturday, December 5 @ 6:30 pm
University Christian Church
4731 15th Ave NE, Seattle

Northwest Chorale is a group of civic minded individuals who enjoy gathering to rehearse and perform great works of music. Come see them perform December 5th at University Christian Church, 4731 15th Ave NE, Seattle.

There is no admission charge but 100% of your donation dollars goes to Northwest Harvest. Visit their website for more information.

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