Canlis continues community giving in New Year

Earlier this month the iconic Queen Anne restaurant Canlis celebrated its 60th anniversary with a community wide challenge. In the days leading up to the celebration, brothers Mark and Brian Canlis had a little fun giving away chances for people to dine at the famed restaurants at 1950s prices—they signed 50 menus from 1950 and hid them throughout the Seattle area, releasing daily clues to the hiding places (which usually required some pretty quirky knowledge of Pacific Northwest history) via the @Canlis Twitter account and the Canlis Facebook page.

The restaurant held a private dinner party celebrating its 60th on December 12, and invited 230 local influential non-profits, private foundations, artists, business leaders and politicians, who all are making a positive impact on the Seattle community, to attend. Focusing on the importance of community giving and generosity, the restaurant used the evening as an opportunity to “give a gift to the city”, a $500,000 Matching Campaign for non-profit organizations in which Canlis will match up to $500,000 in gift certificates purchased from the restaurant for donation to any non-profit organization in the city.

“Alice and I are so proud of our sons for continuing the Canlis legacy of community philanthropy and choosing to celebrate our 60th birthday with those who are making a difference in this community,” Chris Canlis, son of Canlis founder Peter Canlis, said to the crowd. “The people in this room are the revolutionaries—the influencers who are defining Seattle in a new way: by its generosity.”

“Generosity is not a financial word,” said owner Mark Canlis. “The Matching Campaign is the third leg of the stool: the model invites the people of our city to partner with businesses in order to support Seattle’s non-profit movement.”

“Every person has been given something they can be generous with,” he said as he introduced Canlis’ own giving campaign.

And that’s not all. Today, Friday, December 31, the 50 winners from the menu hunt are taking part in another local scavenger hunt, this time for a grand prize of dinner for life at the restaurant.

In the spirit of generosity, these participants will be competing for the opportunity to give this dinner for life away every year to a person or charitable organization that embodies the spirit of philanthropy.

The crazy-costumed menu finders are Tweeting their way through the hunt. Follow that here.

City Light finds two more energized streetlights

During continued inspections of 20,000 metal streetlights and connected equipment throughout the city, Seattle City Light discovered and repaired two more streetlights giving off contact voltage this week, the utility announced in an inspections update released yesterday. No one was injured in either case. Here are the details of each instance:

  1. Tuesday night, Power Survey Co. (PSC), one of two contractors hired by City Light to help inspect all 20,000 metal streetlights and associated equipment, discovered a faulty streetlight near the intersection of Second Avenue and James Street. Old wiring had deteriorated, sending about 35 volts of electricity into a nearby mailbox, parking meter and bike rack. City Light crews immediately cut power and made repairs.
  2. About 10 a.m. Wednesday, a customer called City Light to report a suspicious streetlight in her Blue Ridge neighborhood. The woman’s dog had yelped when it approached the pole and a friend’s dog had shied away from it.

A City Light crew responded immediately and measured 48 volts of electricity on the pole near the intersection of NW Blue Ridge Drive and NW 100th Street. Workers determined that the photo cell that turns the streetlight on and off had melted, shorting out the pole. They cut power and completed repairs by 12:30 p.m.

City Light began a systematic inspection of metal streetlights citywide after a Queen Anne dog, Sammy, died due to stray voltage on Queen Anne Ave N on Thanksgiving day. While originally believing the incident to be isolated (caused by a pinched wire and improper grounding), it was later discovered that the city lacked proper inspection records at that site and at others around town. As of last week City Light had identified and repaired six energized streetlights, including the one that killed Sammy. The two sites discovered this week brings that total up to eight.

City Light is contracting with two other companies to complete the inspections. On Tuesday Power Survey Co. completed inspections in about 20 percent of the Downtown area, while the Davey Resources Group has so far inspected 125 streetlights around Seattle Center/Lower Queen Anne. Last week City Light crews completed inspections in Seattle Housing Authority developments, including those in High Point, GreenBridge, New Holly and Rainier Vista. No other potentially dangerous sites were  identified.

Got potholes? Report them to the city

This story first appeared on our sister site My Wallingford.

In the spring, Seattle’s rain encourages blooms and beauty, but in the winter that wetness brings on the season of potholes. Is it our imagination, or are the hazardous holes particularly prolific this year?

If you see a pothole, be sure to report it to the city, either online or by phone (684-ROAD). The “Pothole Rangers” should be out to fix it soon, but keep in mind they’re very busy, as KING-5 reported a couple of weeks ago.

Where to view New Year’s Eve at the Space Needle

If you’re planning to stick around Queen Anne to celebrate New Year’s this year, then there are plenty of places you can go for a prime view of the fireworks at the Space Needle at midnight.

Photo courtesy of the Seattle Center.

Here are just a few places you can ring in the New Year, for free, around the neighborhood.

Center House, Seattle Center—Ring in 2011 with the rocking sounds of The Machine, and witness the fireworks up close and personal.

For many years, The Machine has been playing around the Pacific Northwest, offering the best PARTY music in town. When you come and see The Machine, you will only hear DANCEABLE, FUN, PARTY rock and roll, AND you will have a great time.

Kerry Park—Climb up to Kerry Park, Seattle’s quintessential viewpoint (211 W Highland Dr.) to see the city skyline, Elliott Bay, and of course, the fireworks at the Needle. But remember, Kerry Park is a small space and likely to be packed, so get there early to scope out a prime viewing spot.

The South Slope—If you’re looking to have a more low key New Year’s, while still enjoying the festivities, you can have your own private viewing party from a number of sites along the south slope. Just drive around and pull over anywhere you have a clear view of the Needle. Advantages: these viewing spots are likely to be less crowded, and offer you a quick way home if you live nearby.

From the Water—If you’re lucky enough to own a boat, or know a friend who does and are comfortable battling the cold and wind, the view of the fireworks will be picturesque from Elliott Bay. Ahoy matey!

Wondering what’s in store for New Year’s at the Needle? Check out this footage of the 2010 New Year’s fireworks show, courtesy of PJtheFey.

While the weather today left the possibility of snow open, the forecast predicts mostly sunny skies on Friday, December 31, with a high of 40 degrees, a small chance of precipitation, and an overnight low of 28 degrees. So wherever you plan on watching the fireworks, the skies should be clear.

Have a favorite—and free—place to catch the fireworks? Comment below to add them to our list. Happy New Year!

SDOT prepares for slippery streets & possibly snow

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is preparing for the possibility of snow and ice on city streets again tomorrow. The forecast, which outlines temperatures just above freezing overnight tonight, could bring up to one-half inch of wet snow and the possibility of an additional inch of snow Wednesday morning.

Seattle skyline/view from Kerry Park under cover of snow, November 22, 2010.

The city is taking extra precautions so as not to have a repeat last month’s snowpocalypse, which left many city streets icy and dangerous.

After 10 p.m. tonight SDOT crews will proactively apply salt brine in roadway areas where frost or black ice is prone to develop, especially on bridges and other elevated structures around the city.

Starting at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning (Wednesday), SDOT spreader trucks will be prepositioned throughout the city, ready to spread rock salt on major arterial streets (primary snow routes, Levels 1 and 2) for the morning commute if conditions warrant.

SDOT’s snow plan calls for plowing when there is more than one inch of snow accumulated on roadways, which is not part of the forecast at this time.

Despite the potential for snow, University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass says the likelihood that we’ll see a repeat of the snow and severe ice that blasted us on Thanksgiving week is low. He writes on his blog:

This is a VERY, VERY different situation than November 22nd. You will not see a powerful arctic blast associated with strong high pressure in British Columbia and a major coastal low over SW Washington. Temperatures will be far more marginal. Far less icing potential. But there COULD be some interesting wrinkles….like a chance for Puget Sound Convergence Zone snow.

Cliff estimates that “where precipitation is heavy enough, some snow showers could reach the surface, but nothing substantial.”

If the Convergence Zone is stronger than forecast then more snow could hit the Puget Sound lowlands. However, forecast temperatures are predicted to peak near 40F on Wednesday. This looks marginal to me…only heavy precipitation and the cooling associated with it…something that is not predicted… could bring several inches of snow to Seattle.

We will continue to monitor the evolution of this event, but right now it does not look serious event near sea level. Eastern suburbs could get few inches. Not an icing situation during the day…

Read more on SDOT’s winter weather response plan and to view a map of snow routes here.

Queen Anne musician makes Spin/KEXP top 10 lists

Local musician and Queen Anne resident Fences (lead vocals/guitarist Chris Mansfield) has made a number of year-end music top 10 lists with its self-titled debut LP, including Spin’s “10 Best Albums You Might Have Missed This Year,” and KEXP’s staff and volunteer Top 10 Albums of 2010 list.

Spin recommended the song “Girls with Accents”, and said this about Fences’ music:

With his sorrowful, self-deprecating, and charming pop-folk songs with catchy keyboard melodies and lyrics about squandered love, Fences, aka Seattle troubadour Christopher Mansfield, found a fan in Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara, who signed on to produce his self-titled debut. “Everything that Chris writes, melodically and lyrically, has that rare balance of patience and urgency that I love in honest, haunting pop songs,” Quin told SPIN. Agreed.

Fences, which classifies itself as a combination of grime, pop, and shoegaze, played a live show at the KEXP studios here in Seattle this morning, where they performed tracks from their album alongside a new song, “Oh Father.” Listen to that performance streaming here.

Fences is going on tour with Against Me! and Cheap Girls this January and February. Check show dates here.

Photo courtesy of Fences’ Facebook page.