Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Entries from December 2008

Space Needle fireworks locked and loaded

December 31st, 2008 by Cory Bergman

As is customary, a dozen technicians worked two and half days wiring the Space Needle for the New Years fireworks show. Now, let’s just hope it doesn’t backfire like last year when a computer glitch stopped the fireworks for several minutes. If you shoot a photo of the fireworks extravaganza, please send it to us at And Happy New Years!

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Slow Real Estate in Queen Anne

December 31st, 2008 by Miss Kitty

Recently the national media reported that home sales declined dramatically last month and housing prices posted their sharpest decline in four decades as a rapidly slowing economy discouraged many potential buyers from tip-toeing into the market.  

This trend was also seen in the Seattle area as reported in the Seattle Times   as people are waiting and looking for the “bottom” of the decline and wondering what the government will do with interest rates.

Seattle, Portland and Atlanta recorded their first double-digit annual declines in October, with Seattle down 10.2 percent, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of existing single-family home prices.

According to Brian Marshall of ReMax, on Queen Anne, the market has also slowed with longer “days on the market” (DOM) for houses. In November there were 100 homes in the “active” category with only 13 homes selling.  The economy and the season are both contributors to this.

Sales of existing homes declined 8.6 percent last month, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.49 million, according to the National Association of Realtors, a trade association. The median price of a home fell 13 percent in November, to $181,300 from $208,000 a year ago. That was the lowest price since February 2004.  The New York Times has lots of charts and graphs giving us a look at the national trends.

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Governor delays Viaduct decision again

December 31st, 2008 by Miss Kitty

Governor Christine Gregoire was due to make a decision on the Viaduct by the end of the year, but she has delayed the verdict until next month. “As a result of the continued overwhelming response and input on replacement options from stakeholders, we have asked our respective transportation teams to continue their review,” she said in a joint statement today with King County Executive Ron Sims and Mayor Greg Nickels. This isn’t the first delay, and some hope this could mean that the tunnel option may still be in play.

A view of the proposed elevated viaduct.

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Chocolopolis is a 2008 Food Highlight

December 30th, 2008 by Miss Kitty

Once again our local Queen Anne store Chocolopolis has been mentioned in the Seattle PI as a food highlight in 2008.  According to food writer Rebekah Denn, 

Chocolate is the new coffee: Do you detect some notes of cherry in your bar of single-origin Madagascar? No? That’s OK, it tastes great anyway. Bolstering the impressive city landmark that is the Theo Chocolate factory, we now have Chocolopolis, a Queen Anne store dedicated to fine chocolates from around the world.

Chocolopolis offers every Thursday from 5:00 – 9:00 pm a taste of 5 chocolates from different origins.  You can not go wrong with chocolate! 

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Blue Sky Smiling on Me

December 30th, 2008 by Miss Kitty

It’s an interesting business concept to enter into a very traditional industry, and revolutionize it.  That’s what Blue Sky Cleaners seems determined to do.  In late December, Four Seasons Cleaners owner Dick Pakko announced that the company has merged with Blue Sky Cleaners.  Customers received a personal letter giving details and assurances that it would be “business as usual” with no interruptions in service.  According to Dick,

Blue Sky Cleaners will enhance our continued free pick-up and delivery service using alternative-fuel vehicles, experienced cleaning and delivery professionals and three additional convenient locations.

We heard about the opening of Blue Sky Cleaners in October which did lead to speculation about how this might affect Four Seasons Cleaners.  The Seattle PI reports that the purchase jump-starts Blue Sky’s fledgling business, giving it two retail outlets [one in Queen Anne and the other in the Interbay] plus the extensive pickup and delivery routes Four Seasons maintained, mostly to downtown business and residential areas.

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Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree

December 29th, 2008 by Miss Kitty

What do we do with you after the holidays? Here’s the info from Seattle Public Utilities:

Between December 26 and January 11, Seattle residents can recycle their trees and greens for free. All residents can recycle up to three trees at Seattle’s Recycling and Disposal stations.
The tree sections must be cut to eight feet or less in length, and the trunk must be four inches or smaller in diameter. Only trees without flocking or decoration may be disposed of free of charge. You need to cut the tree into 6-foot-long or shorter sections, with branches trimmed to less than 4 feet. You should bind the tree with sisal string or twine.

And what do you do with all the lights? Do you have a suggestion for the “best way” to organize and store the strands? No, no, no! Do not even think about throwing them away and just buying new ones next season.

Try this:
-  Cut the wrapping paper rolls into two or three sections depending on the length of the roll.
-  Pull the outlet end of the light strand through the wrapping paper roll and out the other end.
-  Begin to coil the Christmas lights around the wrapping paper roll, continue coiling until you have wound it in its entirety. Plug the other end of the lights into the outlet. This will help to keep the lights secure.
If you have any extra bulbs, place them in a small bag and secure the end.
-  Tuck and tape the extra lights inside the wrapping paper roll for safe keeping.

Other ideas are welcome! Leave them here!


Last Day for City Team Ministries

December 27th, 2008 by Miss Kitty

As reported earlier by the QueenAnneView several weeks ago, Sunday, December 28th, is the day that the CityTeam Ministries is expected to close its doors after 106 years of service to the city of Seattle.   As Julie Stephenson, director of Northwest programs for CityTeam, said,  “Barring a “holiday miracle it just doesn’t look like we’ll be able to pull it together.”  A full letter to the community is posted to the CityTeam website.

Like other bloggers in town, we’ve been watching for any late breaking developments, but the situation does seem final. According to the Seattle Times, it appears that the Mayor’s Office has made appeals to the California headquarters of CityTeam Ministries to keep the shelter open temporarily.  No word has been given on this.

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Rain could lead to some flooding

December 26th, 2008 by Miss Kitty

What can we expect on this day after Christmas?  Major sales!  As reported in the Seattle PI, many retailers opened before 6 a.m., offering 50 percent to 75 percent off on toys, furniture, electronics and clothing. J.C. Penney opened at 5:30 a.m. – the earliest post-Christmas opening in the chain’s history – and offered customers more than 100 “doorbusters” until 1 p.m, including 75 percent off Christmas decorations. The chain even made wake-up calls to customers who signed up online. Downtown retailers were also ready to go!

More precipitation today, however, a slow warming trend should melt much of the snow from the past week.  Be aware of the hazardous driving conditions caused by snow and ice-clogged storm drains.  There is a flood watch warning being issued for parts of Western Washington.



Stop the Snow!!!

December 25th, 2008 by Miss Kitty

Update 2:27 pm:  Snow falls again on Queen Anne.  The main roads around the city are in good shape as the snow has melted and the plows have come through.  Even the hill on Queen Anne Ave. has been cleared of snow and is open for traffic.  

Do be careful on the side streets.  The ruts and slush create extremely slick surfaces for driving.  The worst ever!  Some people took time to enjoy the holiday at Starbucks, one of the few places open in Queen Anne.  Also open is El Diablo, another great place to walk to in this weather.

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All the Best for the Holidays!

December 25th, 2008 by Miss Kitty

Season greetings, happy holidays, and Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

We, at the Queen Anne View, would like to wish the best of 2009 to our readers and neighbors on Queen Anne.  This blog was started in late September as a way for us to share information that affects our daily lives and perhaps provides a source of entertainment.  The QueenAnneView is the “baby” of the 5 blogsites that includes myballardphinneywoodmagnoliavoice, and fremontuniverse. We work together to bring you news from the places where you live.  

In the short time that we’ve been up, it’s been extremely rewarding to meet the business owners of Queen Anne.  We are amazed by their dedication to their businesses and the passion they have for serving the residents of this neighborhood.  Like them, we, too, look forward to bringing you more posts each day.

In case you wondered, we are all volunteer bloggers, some from the news industry, others from the PR world.  We all know that good news is often overlooked when the media likes to report on issues that are controversial or sensationalized.  The stories about the “heroes” around us often missed.

But with your help, we hope to cover those stories. (OK, we like the breaking new, too! )  Keep sending those stories and photos to


More Snow Falls on Christmas Eve

December 24th, 2008 by Miss Kitty

Update: 2:10 pm:  Neighbors tell me that it is hopping on the top of the Avenue, making it difficult to find parking or to move about.  Shoppers are getting in their last minute groceries and preparing for more precipitation to come.  Our KING5 weatherguy Rich Marriott has this to say,

“Warm air finally made its way into western Washington this morning bringing a mix of rain and snow showers. However an upper level disturbance will swing inland late tonight.  This will draw down some cooler air once again. This should result in another round of snow mainly from about Midnight to 7AM on Christmas Day around Puget Sound but a few hours earlier along the south Coast. “

Update: 6:50 am:  It’s been snowing since 4 a.m. or so, and it looks like we have a half inch to an inch of new accumulation so far. Doppler shows we still have more to come. “Christmas Eve will feature a one-two punch,” says KOMO’s Scott Sistek. “Around mid-morning, a stronger storm comes inland to our north.” Total accumulations will be 1-4 inches, and then it will switch to rain. The concern this afternoon: urban flooding, because many of the storm drains are iced over (if you have one near your home, you might want to try to clear it.) Metro has updated their schedule for the day, an I-90 is closed right now near Mercer Island due to an accident, but the other highways and freeways are moving well. 

Here’s a tip from Matt, the Engineer, about walking

Be very careful if you need to walk down the hill. I tried three different sets of stairs, starting with the ones by the view park. They are unusable – they started out with packed snow that became rounded with use and now are frozen and slippery. The only route I found was the Counterbalance, which has divots from ski boots (it was covered in skiers yesterday). It’s still slippery, but is much better than the stairs.


Garbage may have to wait until next week

December 24th, 2008 by Miss Kitty

The City of Seattle just put out a press release explaining that garbage and yard waste pickup was postponed on Tuesday “due to dangerous road conditions.” Collectors will attempt another go at it Wednesday – if road conditions improve. “Customers missed today should leave their containers out tomorrow,” explains Seattle Public Utilities. “If materials are not collected tomorrow, then customers should bring in their containers until next week.”

It really doesn’t look good for garbage collection in Queen Anne.  The latest from Seattle Public Utilities here.  They say that If garbage is not collected today, customers will have to wait until next week. In addition, due to the Christmas holiday, Thursday and Friday customers will be delayed one day. Thursday customers will be collected Friday and Friday customers will be collected Saturday assuming the roads are clear.

If your garbage is missed for this week, you can set out double your normal amount of garbage at no additional charge next week. If you are missed two weeks in a row, you can also take your waste to Seattle’s Recycling and Disposal Stations, where it will be accepted at no charge.

Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) web site and call center (206-684-3000) will be updated with the most current collection information. Customers can also be sign-up for CurbWaste E-News service alerts.

It’s not just garbage at our homes that is piling up, but around the city.


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