Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Entries from January 2010

McClure pilot project bolsters bill to fund energy cost saving improvements for WA schools

January 27th, 2010 by Thea

McClure Middle School, located at the top of Queen Anne hill, was originally built in the 1960s, and like many other schools in the Seattle School District, it is currently on a long wait list for a remodel. In the meantime, however, McClure has a long list of structural demands needed to improve both the conditions for the staff and students, and energy costs incurred by the district, that cannot wait. According to 36th District Rep. and Queen Anne resident Reuven Carlyle, the building is often so cold, many of its 600 students wear their coats from class to class.

This is one of many reasons why last year Carlyle worked to help secure $1 million in state funds for McClure Middle School to undergo energy efficiency upgrades, a pilot project that he says has laid the groundwork for new legislation that, if passed, will fund energy and cost-saving improvements for schools and universities statewide, creating 38,000 jobs in the process.

“The money was a pilot project to show the value proposition of this core idea that has been embraced nationally as a way to create high wage jobs while improving the energy efficiency and reducing utility costs for public agencies like schools nationwide,” Carlyle wrote to us in an email last week.

So far, part of McClure’s $1 million award has been used to fund an energy audit of the building, identifying energy cost-saving improvements that will also be covered under the funding. According to Carlyle, construction has already been approved and is set to begin sometime in late spring or early summer. And although this pilot project is not connected directly to House Bill 2561, which passed through Washington’s House of Representatives just last week, Carlyle says it serves to positively reinforce support for a public policy initiative that has the potential to save money, promote sustainability and benefit communities throughout the state.

“This pilot didn’t create this larger legislation but it showed the idea on the ground in a public school. It played a modest but important role because it showed how a community-based model can work on the ground for real schools,” he wrote. “The value proposition of conducting an audit and then making decisions about how best to improve both the school and reduce costs work together. The model worked and McClure helped to show it.”

Bill 2561 would raise $850 from a state bond and allocate it to clean energy construction projects to improve schools and universities across the state, in so doing, creating 38,000 “well paying jobs,” according to Carlyle. The funds would support energy audits and structural upgrades including the installation of energy efficient windows, weathering, roofing and insulation improvements, and solar energy projects, to name a few–-projects that are “all related to energy efficiency–the most economically efficient way to reduce costs,” Carlyle said.

If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Gregoire, it will be put to voters on the November ballot.

“I’m really proud of the small but important role that the McClure project has played in the larger development of this bold energy efficiency and jobs program. This bill has a long way to go before being enacted into law but this is the first critical step,” Carlyle wrote.

(Reuven Carlyle is a sponsor of QueenAnneView).

→ 32 CommentsTags: , , , , ,

Renovation Celebration at Uptown Met Market

January 27th, 2010 by Thea

Metropolitan MarketIf you’ve been by the Lower Queen Anne Metropolitan Market (100 Mercer St.) lately, you may have noticed they’ve made a few upgrades (including a wellness and nutrition center, expanded products, a recipe kiosk, and a gelato bar). And over the last few days the newly refurbished local market has been holding tastings for shoppers as they walk through the store as part of their month-long Renovation Celebration.

The market will be running fun, celebratory events through Tuesday, February 16. Check out their upcoming schedule of tastings, parties and book signings:

On Friday, January 29 and Saturday, January 30 from 4 to 8 p.m. Met Market is hosting Guest Chef Row, where shoppers can “sip, sample and savor their way through the store”, tasting 25 different culinary creations. Details on the schedule for each night here.

Other events:

Meet the Ranchers – Thursday, January 28, from 4 to 7 p.m. Painted Hills Farms, Gabrielle and Will Homer will be sampling New York Strip Steak with a Dijon Demi-Glace.

Book signing with Kathy Casey -Thursday, February 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. Meet Chef Kathy Casey, author of Sips & Apps: Classic and Contemporary Recipes for Cocktails and Appetizers! Chef Casey is an expert at balancing flavors and textures, recalling the cocktail-hour glamour of the past.

Super Bowl Tailgate Party – Saturday, February 6, from 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, February 7, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Calling all Romantics! – Thursday, February 11, from 4 to 7 p.m.; Friday, February 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, February 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. Taste chocolates from local favorites like Fran’s, Dilettante, Theo’s and Cadeaux Chocolates, plus gelato, cookies, fudge and sparkling beverages for your Valentine as well!

For a list of their almost daily in hours tastings, see the full Renovation Celebration schedule.

Comments OffTags: , , , ,

Discovery Park looking for volunteers to plant trees

January 27th, 2010 by Thea

Discovery Park is looking for volunteers to plant trees and heal habitats this Saturday, January 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The park will provide plants, tools, gloves and guides. Volunteers are asked to bring energy and enthusiasm. If you’re interested in volunteering, it’s recommended that you pre-register here or call (206) 386–4250. Meet at the Discovery Park Visitor Center at 1:00pm.

(Thanks to MagnoliaVoice for the tip!)

Comments OffTags: , , ,

Seattle libraries to offer free tax help

January 27th, 2010 by Thea

Although still a couple of months away, tax time is quickly creeping up around the corner. For those who need help filing their taxes, The Seattle Public Library, United Way of King County and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) are offering free tax preparation services at eleven Seattle library branches. Trained volunteers will be available through April 11 to answer questions and help prepare personal tax returns. Business tax returns are not eligible for the free service. The  Queen Anne branch hours are as follows:

Queen Anne Library (400 W. Garfield St) – Mon, Feb. 1 through Mon, Apr. 12

  • Mondays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Other nearby branches offering this service include the Central Library downtown and Ballard branch. For a complete list of times and library branch locations, click here.

Comments OffTags: , , ,

New neighbor to host bake sale for Haiti Saturday

January 26th, 2010 by Thea

Martha Downey recently moved to Queen Anne from View Ridge, and for her housewarming she’s decided to host a bake sale in her new neighborhood to raise money for those those in need in Haiti. A student at SCCC, Martha believes it is important to help not only those in your community, but other around the world as well. She wrote,

I chose to do this fundraiser because I finally feel old enough and able enough to do good for people outside of my community, and it has affected people I interact with daily (I have a classmate whose whole family is either in or from Haiti) and I wanted to give back and feel like I made an impact instead of just sitting back and watching it happen.

Martha and a couple friends will be set up outside the closed Peet’s on Queen Anne Ave N and Boston St. (the same spot kids from Coe Elementary held their bake sale last weekend) this Saturday, January 30 from 12 to 4:30 p.m. (or until they run out) selling homemade goodies.

As for the charity the proceeds will be going to, Martha says she’s still deciding between UNICEF and the Red Cross. If you want to help Martha with her bake sale or make a donation, contact her via her Twitter page.

Comments OffTags: , , ,

Citizens Budget Conference 2010 this Sunday

January 26th, 2010 by Thea

Want to discuss the 2010 budget one-on-one with city departments and representatives? This Sunday, January 31 you’ll get your chance at the Citizens Budget Conference 2010 (.pdf) from 12 to 5 p.m. at Seattle Center’s Center House.

The conference will include overviews of the budget by Mayor McGinn and the City Council Finance & Budget Committee Chair Jean Godden, a Q&A with city agencies, and time to chat with city department representatives one-on-one at their individual tables. Download the full agenda here.

This event it sponsored by the City Neighborhood Council and Seattle Center, in cooperation with the City Council, Mayor’s office, Budget Office and Department of Neighborhoods.

Comments OffTags: , , , ,

Lunch 2.0 comes to Queen Anne tomorrow

January 26th, 2010 by Thea

Lunch 2.0 Seattle is having a networking event in Queen Anne tomorrow, Wednesday, January 27, hosted by Uptown’s own BuddyTV. If you’re interested in getting a free lunch while networking with some of Seattle’s best and brightest in the world of start-ups, then swing by 190 Queen Anne Ave N, Suite 250, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow. Speakers include Andy Liu, co-founder of BuddyTV and writer of, and Neal Freeland, head of marketing at Buddy. RSVP here.

(Thanks to Bruce for the tip!)

→ 25 CommentsTags: , , , ,

Free tasting at Chocolopolis Thursday

January 26th, 2010 by Thea

Chocolopolis is having a tasting with Marie-Francoise Barnhart of Claudio Corallo Chocolate on Thursday, January 28 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Learn about Claudio’s unique chocolate making process, starting with the cacao trees on his farms on the islands of São Tomé and Principé off the western coast of Africa. Get a healthy dose of antioxidants while sampling his cacao beans and tasting his dark chocolate.

This event is free and open to the public at Chocolopolis’s Upper Queen Anne store, located at 1527 Queen Anne Ave. N. Yum!

Comments OffTags: , , ,

No nearby ballot drop box for special election

January 26th, 2010 by Thea

Ballots are due for the special election next Tuesday, February 9, but don’t plan on swinging by a ballot box to cast your vote – many of them won’t be there. In the past Queen Anne residents have been able to drop off their ballots at the nearest ballot box at the Ballard Neighborhood Service Center, located at 5604 22nd Ave NW, however this time around there will be no drop box.

Because of the tight budget, drop boxes in all but two locations in the county have been eliminated. “King County had to make some hard choices to balance the 2010 operating budget,” King County Elections Director Sherril Huff said. “This included cuts to all departments in services that citizens want and depend on. As a cost savings measure, Elections was asked to reduce the number of ballot drop boxes as well as the operational hours of accessible voting centers.”

If you want to drop your ballot off in person, you’ll need to go to the King County Administration Office downtown, at 500 4th Ave (shown above), or the King County Elections headquarters at 9010 East Marginal Way S, Tukwila. King County also has three accessible voting locations, one at Union Station (401 S. Jackson St) which will be open Monday, February 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, February 9 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A first class stamp will allow you to mail your ballot in, but don’t forget that it has to be postmarked by February 9 to count. (Here’s the voters’ guide in case you’ve misplaced yours .pdf)

(Thanks to MyBallard for the tip!)

→ 472 CommentsTags: , , , ,

Rep. Dickerson spearheads ‘safe baby bottle bill’

January 26th, 2010 by Thea

36th District Representative Mary Lou Dickerson (D) is the primary sponsor of a bill which calls to ban the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from bottles, cups and other containers that young children drink from. It also calls for a ban of BPA from sports bottles, which pregnant women use. (Bill text here. pdf)

The state house vote was nearly-unanimous yesterday to ban the chemical, moving the bill on to the State Senate. “I’m proud we united 95 to 1 to protect babies and young children from BPA-laced food containers,” said Dickerson (D-Seattle). “The strong support for this bill reflects the overwhelming evidence that kids need to be protected against this very toxic substance.” Representative Bruce Chandler (R-Granger) was the lone nay in the House. Two representatives were excused from the vote.

After the first reading in the State Senate today, the bill has been referred to Health & Long-Term Care. If this bill passes, Washington state will be the third state to ban BPA, following Minnesota and Connecticut.

Comments OffTags: , ,

Fundraiser in Queen Anne & Magnolia a scam?

January 26th, 2010 by Thea

Over the weekend a QueenAnneView reader wrote in, after having been approached and asked to donate money to a seemingly worthy fundraiser, concerned about its legitimacy–benevolent neighborhood donation or fraud? Derek wrote on Sunday, January 24,

This evening a couple middle aged folks were wandering around asking for $10 donations, to go toward a family that lives somewhere in the neighborhood. Allegedly, a 3 year old fell out a window around Christmas time. Now the family is in need of financial support for the “medication” the girl needs to be on. I asked several questions, the woman was pretty quick to answer most of them. The only thing I thought was strange was that I offered to write a check to help and she didn’t know if she could accept a check. She was going to ask somebody and get back to me in fifteen minutes. She never came back. There would be absolutely no reason the couldn’t accept checks, right?

Derek wasn’t sure if he was being paranoid, and wondered if any other Queen Anne residents had had a similar encounter. As it happens, a reader of our sister-site, MagnoliaVoice, was asked to make a donation to the same cause just last night. Katherine wrote to Magnolia Voice,

This evening around 7:30 a man rang my doorbell to solicit funds for a Magnolia family. The man was selling stuffed animals that he said were donated, for $10. He said the fundraiser was for a Magnolia family whose child fell out of a three story window. While I am all for supporting Magnolia families in need I am not convinced that this isn’t a scam.

Neither QueenAnneView or MagnoliaVoice have heard any reports about a 3-year-old that fell out of a window around Christmas – on Christmas Eve, according to what Derek was told. Does anyone know anything about this story? Please comment below with any information you may have.

→ 8 CommentsTags: , , , , ,

Like nature? Volunteer as a Discovery Park docent

January 26th, 2010 by Thea

Do you love taking walks through the wilderness? Could you spend hours exploring a museum? Do you enjoy talking to other people about what you’ve learned? If yes, this just might be the perfect job for you! Discovery Park in Magnolia is looking for volunteer park docents to lead programs and guides through the park.

Docents lead many of the programs here at Discovery Park, including teaching school groups, tots, families, seniors, and more! We provide our docents with extensive training in Northwest natural history and interpretation techniques so they can feel comfortable venturing into the world of education at a park. Docents are the reason that Discovery Park is able to provide so many educational programs to the public. They are able to help children touch their first sea star or hear a red-winged blackbird by the ponds. They teach the importance of our natural world through games, sensory activities, and FUN!

Through the program, volunteers participate in two 6-week training sessions (one beginning in February, the other in August) including field training, natural history lessons and hands-on activities to prepare each docent for leading public educational programs. In return, docents commit to leading 12 programs over the course of the following year.

Applications to become a volunteer docent are being accepted through the end of January. Training for the Docent Class of 2010 begins Wednesday, February 24. For more information contact Docent Coordinator Kristin Benshoof at 206-386-4236 or or download an application.

(Thanks to Phinneywood for the tip!)

→ 9 CommentsTags: , ,