Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Entries from November 2009

New school boundary maps approved

November 19th, 2009 by Thea

Just after 11 p.m. last night, the Seattle School Board unanimously approved the new boundary maps which will change the way Seattle children are placed in schools. The vote stretched into the night as directors added amendments to the plan, slightly adjusting boundaries here and there. For Queen Anne, the boundaries remain the same from last round of changes. Under the new plan Queen Anne and Magnolia residents, who up until this point have not had a designated high school, will be within the Ballard High School assignment area, a point which has been controversial for many Ballard residents who live past the north boundary at 85th St. and will now be sent to Ingraham.

“Many families would’ve liked to have seen the boundary for Ballard to be further north than 85th St., especially those communities, North Beach, Blue Ridge, Olympic Manor, which now largely attend Ballard High School,” explained Seattle Schools Director Peter Maier. “I wish it would’ve been possible…but there simply isn’t the capacity at Ballard High School to do that while we’re serving the entire city.” The updated maps and address look-up tool will be available here by next week.

From here, a transitional plan will be developed, taking into consideration sibling grandfathering, transportation and educational programs for schools that will reopen, like Old Hay, which is slated to reopen as a K-5 Montessori option school in fall 2010 at Lincoln for an interim period while they prepare the school to reopen under a new name in 2011.

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Support the UN Climate Change Conference by donating – rather than tossing – your used media

November 18th, 2009 by Thea

Eco Encore, a Seattle-based nonprofit that re-sells donated books, CDs, DVDs and software online to raise funds for 14 environmental organization in the Pacific Northwest is throwing the Ton of Books used media drive in conjunction with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen next month.

Throughout November Eco Encore has been collecting used books, CDs, DVDs and software from people in the Seattle area in the hopes of getting a ton, or 2,000 pounds, by Monday, November 30. After assuming an average weight for books, CDs and DVDs at 12, 4.6 and 3.6 ounces respectively, Eco Encore estimates that it needs 2,667 donated books, 6,957 CDs, or 8,889 DVDs to reach their goal. To anyone who doesn’t want to see their unwanted or outdated media end up in a landfill, they say, why not donate it and do something small to reduce both waste and carbon emissions?

Eco Encore

“Eco Encore timed the Ton of Books used media drive to coincide with COP15 for two main reasons. The first is to help promote the seriousness of global climate change. The second is to give people, in Seattle and worldwide, a tangible way to express their desires for a better environmental future with a simple means to contribute to the solution,” the organization announced in a press release at the beginning of the month.

Donations are being accepted at 27 partner locations around Seattle, including Queen Anne Books and Center School in Queen Anne, the Magnolia Community Center, and RE Store in Ballard. You can also drop off donations at the Eco Encore offices in Pioneer Square.

Eco Encore will be adding up to total donations from the Ton of Books used media drive and posting it to their website by Monday, December 7, the first day of COP15. They will also be sending a letter with the names of everyone who contributed to the drive to Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. If you make a donation, be sure to include your contact information so you can be included in that letter.

Since October 2002 Eco Encore has diverted an estimated 25 tons of paper and plastic from local landfills by shipping over 26,000 media items to 51 countries worldwide.

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School Board to vote on student assignment today

November 18th, 2009 by Thea

Just a reminder, the Seattle School Board is voting on the new student assignment boundaries today, Wednesday, November 18. As part of the Student Assignment Plan approved back in June, the district was given the green light to redraw boundaries around each school based on addresses rather than preference.

Before the final vote, the Board will heard public comment on the assignment plan from 13 community members, including one Franklin student. Get the agenda here (.pdf). View the recommended motion from the Seattle Public School Staff here (.pdf), and the proposed amendments to the plan, which will also be voted, here (.pdf). The School Board meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the John Stanford Center, located at 2445 3rd Avenue South.

Under this new plan all Queen Anne and Magnolia students would be assigned to Ballard High School, and Old Hay would be reopened as a K-12 Montessori option school. There would be no more district-wide open enrollment, and students would instead be assigned to schools based on where they lived. If you looked at a prior version of the plan, be sure to check the most updated draft (.pdf), as some of the elementary school assignments in Queen Anne have changed. Click here to enter your address and view your school assignments.

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Pine tree falls on house

November 17th, 2009 by Thea

One of our readers, Greg, wrote in reporting that a tree has fallen through a house at 4th Ave W and W Fulton St. Greg says his wife called him to tell him the news. He wrote,
It was a huge pine tree and the house is pretty much destroyed.

I’m not in Queen Anne at the moment, but am working on getting more details and a picture as soon as I can. If anyone has any more information, or happens to mosey on by and snap a picture or two, email us a Thanks!

Update: KIRO7 sent over these photos.

Fallen Tree, courtesy of KIRO7

Their reporter, Chris Legeros, said the Evergreen was more than 100 feet tall and had a split trunk.

Fallen Tree, courtesy of KIRO7

One part of the fallen tree hit home, located a few blocks above Seattle Pacific University at 4th Avenue W between W Fulton and W Armor. Luckily no one was hurt.

Thanks to Chris Legeros and Megan Unger at KIRO7 for the photo. Thanks to Greg for the tip!

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Get a QA Farmers Market poster while they last

November 17th, 2009 by Thea

qafmaposterRemember that cute poster the Queen Anne Farmers Market had pinned up all over the neighborhood this summer? The memorable artwork with two red beets on it was by local artist Elizabeth Mullaly. And evidently it was so popular that the market staff had to order more several times. Not only did Queen Anne-ers buy up every last poster and loyally put them up in homes and shop windows, but according to market chair Julie Whitehorn, orders were even coming in from cities outside Seattle.

“The art is local but the appeal is clearly universal,” she wrote on the market blog yesterday.

The market is planning to have a new poster designed every year so that the beautiful artwork can be collected in a series. If you’re interested in getting this year’s poster, they are going for $15 each at Queen Anne Frame, and according to Whitehorn there are still a few left. For the hardcore collector, there are “archival quality” signed and numbered prints available for $100. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit market.

(Image courtesy of Julie Whitehorn and the Queen Anne Farmers Market).

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Seattle City Light preps for coming storms

November 17th, 2009 by Thea

Yesterday the National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the Puget Sound area, and more rain and wind is expected to arrive late on Wednesday to early Thursday morning. In preparation of the coming winter weather, Seattle City Light has sent out reminders to residents on how to best prepare for the possibility of power outages. And given that the wind caused one of the recent power outages on Queen Anne, these tips might come in handy.

City Light encourages residents to assemble “preparedness kits” including enough food and supplies to last a family three days, a hand-crank or battery-operated flashlight and radio, fresh batteries, a survival blanket, a first aid kit, tissues and hand sanitizer. See a kit checklist here, at

“Our crews are ready so that if either of these storms causes any outages, we can restore power as quickly as possible,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said in a press release yesterday. “Even so, we want our customers to be prepared in the event of an outage.”

If you do experience a power outage, City Light says you should:

  • Make sure not go near any downed wire. Wires should always be assumed to be “live” and dangerous. If someone seeks a downed wire, they should call (206) 706-0051;
  • Not use a barbecue grill or generator inside the house or in a garage that is attached to the house. Do not use a grill or generator near a home air intake vent or near windows;
  • Not use fossil fuel burning auxiliary heating sources;
  • Know how to manually override electric garage doors, security doors and gates;
  • Have a land line phone or fully charged cell phone available – cordless phones won’t work when the power is out;
  • Unplug electrical appliances if the power goes out so that when the power comes back on, there won’t be a surge that could damage sensitive electronic equipment;
  • Use battery-powered flashlights – not candles or oil lamps;
  • Close doors, windows, curtains, and unused fireplace dampers to retain heat if there is an outage.

Queen Anne has had a long string of blackouts due to underground cable failures over the last couple of months. And with last week’s outage, came the announcement that City Council approved a 13.8 percent City Light rate increase to start in January 2010.

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Battery St. Tunnel lane closure canceled

November 17th, 2009 by Thea

SDOT has canceled the closure of the southbound lanes of the Battery St. Tunnel that had been planned from today, Tuesday, November 17 to Friday, November 20. They did not give a reason, but just said that the needed railing repair would be rescheduled.

But remember, through Wednesday, November 18, the center, northbound lane on the Viaduct will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Virginia St. to the Western Ave. off-ramp so that crews can replace a damaged crash cushion. Look out for added traffic.

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Recycle, reuse & compost to win $50k for QA

November 16th, 2009 by Thea

Team up with your neighbors to reduce waste, and you could win $50,000 toward a community improvement project in your neighborhood. CleanScapes and Seattle Public Utilities are challenging neighborhoods to compete in a season-long competition to reduce, reuse and compost, to see who can win the $50k prize.


The neighborhood collection area with the largest percentage decrease of tons between Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 wins and the Community Council (in our case, the Queen Anne Community Council) for the winning area will choose community improvement project from a list of options – including pocket parks, public benches and neighborhood entrance landscaping – to be installed and maintained by CleanScapes, the city’s contracted garbage and recycling service. Get the details here (.pdf).

And in the spirit of waste reduction, there will also be a Food + Compostables event tomorrow, Tuesday, November 17 at Center House in Seattle Center. From 8:30 a.m. to noon there will be a vendor fair with exhibitor booths for compostable products, recycling collection bin manufacturers, local distributors and retailers, and panels featuring food service and property manager industry representatives. Get more information on the workshops and panels here (.pdf).

Happy composting!

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Prepare yourself for windy weather

November 16th, 2009 by Thea

Our sister site, Phinneywood, snapped a picture of a tree this morning, which fell into two houses on the 100 block of 78th St. No one was hurt.

But don’t be suprised if you experience an extra gust or two heading to work. Windy weather is reportedly in the cards for the next couple of days. says, “In the greater Seattle-Tacoma-Everett areas, south winds will increase to 30 to 40 mph with gusts to near 60 mph after midnight on Monday and will continue into Tuesday morning.” Heavy rain is supposed to come along with the high winds. Cliff Mass says in his weather blog that, “We will see huge amounts in the Olympics and northern Cascades, some Olympic slopes getting more than 10 inches.” As you’ve probably noticed, it’s already raining in Queen Anne.

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Queen Anne Library hours cut, open 5 days a week

November 16th, 2009 by Thea

In September May Nickels announced his proposed 2010 capital budget plan for the City of Seattle, a plan which significantly cut Seattle Public Libraries funding. This proposal would have limited resources and branch hours at locations all over the city. However, our news partner, the Seattle Times, is reporting that the Seattle City Council budget committee recently restored $863,000 from the proposed $2.8 million cut to the 2010 public libraries budget.

That means 11 library branches – Ballard, Douglass-Truth, Lake City, Rainier Beach, Southwest, Beacon Hill, Broadview, Capitol Hill, Greenwood, Northeast and West Seattle – and the Central Library downtown will be able to operate seven days a week. However, the Queen Anne Public Library (and neighboring Fremont), along with 13 other branches were not as fortunate. Those 15 libraries will, as of the new year, only be open five days a week, operating on 35-hour weeks rather than 60.

Currently the Queen Anne Library is open 50 hours a week and closed on Sundays. As of January 1, on Monday and Tuesday the library will maintain the current hours of 1 to 8 p.m. On Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday that library hours will change to 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (before Wednesday and Thursday the hours were 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday). Under the new schedule the library will be closed on both Friday and Sunday.

Get more information on the budget cuts here. You can read more about the City Council’s latest decision here.

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QA Movie Guild presents “Unnatural Causes”

November 13th, 2009 by Thea

The Queen Anne Movie Guild is showing “Unnatural Causes,” a health care documentary that poses the question “Is inequality making us sick?” tomorrow, Saturday, November 14 as part of their Second Saturday Movie Series.

“This is a story about health, but it’s not about doctors or drugs. It’s about why some of us get sicker more often and die sooner and what causes us to fall ill in the first place,” the Guild wrote in a press release this week.

The screening begins at 7 p.m. at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church, the pink building located at 1616 Fifth Ave W, next to the Queen Anne Library (entrance on W Garfield St.). After the film there will be a discussion with special guest Dr. George Counts, a Queen Anne resident and member of the Seattle-King County Health Department board. There will be free refreshments courtesy of the Queen Anne Peet’s Coffee and Tea.

The QA Movie Guilde is a volunteer-based group of Queen Anne residents committed to bringing independent documentaries to the community. Read up on the film here.

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Airplane noise meeting last night

November 13th, 2009 by Thea

Over fifty Magnolia residents met with representatives from Alaska Airlines, Boeing Field and SeaTac airport in a community meeting last night regarding the increased airplane noise that has affected their neighborhood, as well as Queen Anne and Ballard.

Attendees were able to voice opinions and speak with Airport Director Robert Burke, officials from the airlines and an FAA representative, who all said they were committed to investigating various ways – through new technologies or varying flight paths – to decrease noise.

Get the full story at our sister site, Magnolia Voice.

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