40th Annual NW Folklife Festival kicks off today

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which for many Seattleites is synonymous with the city’s annual Northwest Folklife Festival, now in full swing at Seattle Center.

The festival, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, chose to have a Bulgarian theme for the 2011 festival, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find all of your favorite cultural, ethnic, musical and artistic events, alongside a few new ones. One of the elements new to the festival this year is the “Indie Roots” stage, which according to The Seattle Times, intends to highlight “kinship between traditional folk music and Seattle’s burgeoning “neo-folk” indie movement”.

Also new to the festival this year: a Living Green Courtyard, located in the Alki Court on the northeast corner of Seattle Center. For more information watch the following news clip about the garden:

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday. Check out  The Seattle Times lineup preview here. The full festival schedule can be found at the Folklife festival website here.

Parking is always packed around the festival, so it’s recommended to carpool or take public transportation when possible. Metro will be offering cash-only shuttle service to and from the festival on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Other routes will operate on holiday schedules on Sunday and Monday. More information on the Folklife shuttle here.

Stop Requested film shooting in Queen Anne today

Crews are working on film Stop Requested, described as a a metaphysical thriller, have set up shop in Queen Anne, shooting at 2912 3rd Ave N for most of the day today, according to the film’s PR contact Rose Gunson. The film is being made by local production company Abundant Productions.

Check out this video about the film, or read the synopsis below.

Stop Requested from Lorraine Montez on Vimeo.

From the Stop Requested website:

The ride of your life starts now

Stop Requested is a metaphysical suspense thriller. Jess has problems. Haunted by her past and sensitivity to the spiritual realm that she attempts to silence with prescription drugs, she is paralyzed by the mere thought of human contact. Enter Benjamin, an intense, unusual individual who invades Jess’s life with the claim that he is there to help her help herself, and he won’t leave until she does. As Jess experiences more and more intense manifestations of her spiritual gifts (who is singing a hymn in her shower at 3:33 a.m.?) we begin to realize that her fate places her squarely in the middle of an age old debate between Order and Chaos, and that the battle for souls must play itself out in the lives of seemingly ordinary people.

The film is currently fundraising to cover the costs of pre- and post-production through online funding platform IndieGoGo.com. They hope to raise a total of $20,000 ($13,000 for pre-production and $7,000 for post). You can read about how these funds will be used, or make a donation here.

Two recent car prowls reported in Interbay area

Car prowls are not an uncommon occurrence for Queen Anne-ers, but one reader, Kevin Smith, has noticed an uptick in incidents in the Interbay area recently. He writes:
Last week, my work truck was broken in to, the back door lock and latch was completely destroyed. Nothing was stolen, no tools, ladders, nothing. I think the prowlers were after spooled wire. Coming out to my truck this morning, I saw that another vehicle was broken in to. This time, it was a Chevy HHR work vehicle, belonging to a security (construction) company. I can only assume that they were after wire also with this break in, but I didn’t go close enough to the rig to see inside.
Kevin says both prowls happened on 14th Ave W, right next to Gilman Drive W. And according to the Seattle Police Department’s neighborhood crime map, in the last week alone there have been four reported care thefts, and another four prowls in the Queen Anne area. Remember to keep an eye out for suspicious activity in the neighborhood to help prevent you and your neighbors from becoming a prowl target.

Bartell Drugs will ‘Stock the Pantry’ to feed kids

Summertime means that kids who depend on free school meals might not have access to food. Bartell Drugs is turning to the community to help “Stock the Pantry” to feed kids. The third annual food drive starts Monday at all Bartell Drugs locations, including the two in the neighborhood, at 1929 Queen Anne Ave N and 600 1st Ave N.

The two-week drive “focuses on replenishing food bank, meal program and school food stocks in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties during summer months–when families that normally depend on free or reduced-price school meals may struggle to provide healthy meals at home,” the press release states.

Food donations benefit Northwest Harvest. “In 2010, over 450,000 children (almost half of all students) across the state were eligible for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch during the school year,” said Shelley Rotondo, executive director of Northwest Harvest. “Of those children, only nine-percent participated in a summer meal program last year due in part to transportation issues, the availability of feeding sites, and other factors. This really highlights the need for a summer food drive that benefits children.”

Units respond to hazardous material spill at Foss

Regular tipster Silver has just informed us that multiple emergency units are responding to a hazardous material spill at Foss, located at 660 W Ewing Street. According to the police scanner, a container of hazardous material is smoking. Units are working to contain it now. There is no more information at this time, but we’ll update this story as soon as we know more.

Queen Anne Farmers Market 2011 season prepares to kick off next week, under new management

Even with the sparse rain drops falling sporadically around town today, it seems spring has finally arrived, and with that comes, at long last, the opening of the Queen Anne Farmers Market season, which will kick off just one week from today, on Thursday June 2 until Thursday, October 6.

The market, which has always been under the wing of Queen Anne Neighbors for Responsible Growth (QANRG), is under new management this year after a disagreement arose between the QANRG and the market’s former director Julie Whitehorn, who has managed the market for the past two years. After many months of uncertainty, Whitehorn and the QANRG were unable to resolve the dispute and opted instead to go their separate ways rather than see the market suffer. Read Whitehorn’s resignation letter here (.pdf), and the QANRG’s press release introducing the market’s new staff team here (.pdf).

Still despite the changing of the guard, QANRG says the market will maintain many of the same staff members, volunteers and vendors from prior seasons, keeping consistent with the community that has grown around the market over the last four years.

“This year’s market builds on a successful 2010 season that saw customer attendance increase by 94 percent and the growth of a dynamic vendor roster of 64 farmers and prepared food vendors. In its fifth year as the fiscal sponsor, QANRG remains steadfastly committed to creating a sustainable market that can continue to serve the community for years to come,” QANRG President Scott Smith said in a statement released last month.

The market’s new manager, Jamie Collado, brings with her more than nine years of experience working in the local food scene managing restaurant operations, and has a particular interest in health and nutrition. While completing her preceptorship with Seattle Nutrition Action Consortium, Seattle and King County Public Health, she taught healthy eating classes for local teens, putting her undergraduate and graduate education in nutrition and exercise to work.

In addition to adding some new faces, this year’s market will also report to the QAFM Steering Committee, a group made up of former market staff, volunteers, and community members who will be charged with the task of overseeing market operations, community outreach and planning for the market’s long-term sustainability. (Read more about the steering committee in the QANRG press release linked above).

The new market also has a brand new website to match, but ther than that, very little will be changing at the market itself. Held at its usual spot on West Crockett Street between Queen Anne Ave N and 1st Ave W, the market will be extending its hours by a half-hour, going from 3 to 7:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. every Thursday through October 6. And each week the market will still be packed with great local vendors, live music, cooking demos, book signings, and more fun events. Check out the list of vendors scheduled to appear at the market this year here.

Want to get involved in the QAFM? Information on how to become a market sponsor by making a tex-deductible donation can be found here.

The QAFM is also still looking for volunteers for the upcoming season for everything from staffing the information table, to donating professional services such as web design or photography. If you’ve got a skill you’d like to share with the market, or would simply like to donate your time, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Decker at 206-854-0143 or YouMakeQAFMGreat@qafma.net.

We’ll give you the sneak peek at what’s on the agenda for the market’s grand opening next week, but in the meantime don’t forget to ‘like’ the market on its new Facebook page, and follow it on its new Twitter account.