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Queen Anne Helpline receives grant and ramps up for winter holiday season – how you can help!

November 11th, 2014 by Laura

Helpline logoIt’s been a while since we posted news on our local Queen Anne Helpline. The annual Gala held every October was missed due to my short leave-of-absence from Queen Anne View. However, thanks to Queen Anne residents and businesses, the Helpline raised a record $144,000 at the event, exceeding its goal of $120,000. A big thank you to Queen Anne residents and businesses who attended!

In other happy Helpline news, our local Upper Queen Anne Safeway nominated the Helpline for a $1,000 grant from Hunger Is – a program where the Safeway managers nominate a local charity and customers contribute during a month-long fundraiser. The funds from the grant will go to the Helpline’s Weekend Food for Kids program that serves 5 schools in both Magnolia and on Queen Anne. Thank you to our local Safeway and customers!

Now, on to the cold weather that’s moved into our area… it’s a sure sign of winter and the holiday season. There are several ways you can help our neighbors in need via the Helpline’s program:

Thanksgiving Groceries for Seniors:

The Helpline is partnering with All Saints Church to collect and deliver Thanksgiving groceries to seniors. Senior housing managers, churches, and other agencies identify low-income seniors who have no access to a Thanksgiving meal, and the Helpline has a goal of providing 100 bags of Thanksgiving food.

To reach this goal, the Helpline will purchase perishable items for the program, and is asking for donations of non-perishable items – any and all donations are welcome. If you’d like to help, fill a bag with food from the list below and call the Helpline at 206-282-1540 to arrange to drop off:

• Can of vegetables (corn, green beans, etc.)
• Package of mashed potatoes
• Package of stuffing/dressing
• Can of cranberry sauce
• Can/jar of gravy
• Box of instant oatmeal
• Package of cookies
• Shelf-stable milk
• Cans of individual serving juice

If you’d like to help with the perishable items, like Thanksgiving turkey breast, rolls, butter, etc., you can donate Safeway gift cards or cash to the Helpline. Contact the Helpline at 206-282-1540.

Queen Anne Helpline Tree Lot – Volunteers!

It’s already that time of year! The Helpline is seeking volunteers for the annual Christmas Tree Lot. You can sign up to be a volunteer cashier at the Tree Lot on the Helpline’s web site.

Other ways to help:

QAH Food BankFinally, a reminder that you can donate coats, clothes, blankets, and toiletries to the Helpline. With the cold weather upon us, take a look in your closet and if you have coats or warm clothes that need a new home, give the Helpline a call to set up a drop-off time. If you travel a lot and have unopened hotel soaps and toiletries taking up space in your bathroom cabinet, they’re perfect for the Helpline too.

You can also donate to the Helpline when you shop at Amazon.com via AmazonSmile . All you have to do is make your Amazon purchases via this link, and Amazon donates .5% of the purchase price to the Helpline.

If you’d like to donate your time, check out the volunteer opportunities on the web site.

Regardless of whether you donate money, time, or household items, it’s all for a good cause. Help out the Helpline this year!

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Uptown Alliance meets Thursday, agenda includes 2015 nominations

November 11th, 2014 by Laura

uptownThe Uptown Alliance meets this Thursday, November 13th at 7pm in the Commuity Room at the EXPO Building (100 Republican St). The agenda has quite a few items on it this go-around, including nominations for 2015 officers.

Here’s the agenda:

7:00-7:05  Welcome and introductions

7:05-7:15  Update on Uptown UDF (TBD)

7:15-7:45  Future planning concept for Denny Way and Aurora Ave area

7:45-8:30  Freight Master Plan Update

8:30-8:45  Topics of concern

8:45-9:00  Nominations for 2015 officers

Plus, an update on the Uptown Parklet and the November 19th Uptown Art Walk in Counterbalance Park. This meeting will be the last one for 2014. The next meeting will be January 8th, 2015.

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A&J Meats looking for new butcher; seafood and wine merchants remain open

November 9th, 2014 by Laura

A week ago, we posted on the retirement of A&J Meats owner Rick Friar. With his retirement comes the closing of A&J after 63 years. When I stopped by this week, I asked about the future of the A&J building, owned by Rick, at the corner of Queen Anne Ave N and McGraw St.

A&J signsAccording to Rick, they’re currently looking for a butcher to take over the business or move into the space. Ideally, they’d like to keep the space an operating butcher shop. No confirmation yet on possible tenants for the butcher portion of the spot, so stay tuned.

As for Wild Salmon Seafood, they have a lease that runs through the end of December, so they’ll be selling fresh seafood at the location until then – or perhaps beyond.

McCarthy & Schiering Wine Merchants have a 2 year lease on their space in the A&J Building, so they’ll be around for the near future.

The good news is that we may get a butcher, and in the meantime, you can still get seafood and wine without leaving the neighborhood. Plus, a reminder – A&J Meats will be open through November 29th, so get your Thanksgiving orders in asap via phone (206-284-3885) or stop by in-person.

Local businesses thrive due to loyal neighborhood support, let’s keep them on Queen Anne for the long haul!

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John Hay parents’ concerns prompt SPS community meeting on Interagency Recovery School

November 9th, 2014 by Laura

QA High GymLess than a week ago, we posted on the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Interagency Recovery School that’s planned for the old Queen Anne High School Gym. Work was being done at night, which prompted several email tips to Queen Anne View, asking what was happening to the Gym.

When SPS responded to our inquiries, it was news to residents and John Hay Elementary parents. The alternative high school will be located directly across from John Hay Elementary, with the location generating concern from John Hay parents.

QA High School Gym mapConcerns include not only the proximity of recovering addicts to elementary school students – the SPS statement noted that students are committed to being sober – but also the use of SPS property.

Like many Seattle schools, John Hay Elementary is overcrowded. It has two large portable classroom units in the southwest corner of the playground, and could have used the Queen Anne High School Gym space if it’d been available.

After we posted the article on the Interagency Recovery School, there were many reader comments and suggestions for contacts. Parents contacted SPS and Sue Peters, our local Queen Anne SPS board member. According to the John Hay PTA, they received a response after 3 days of inquiries to SPS.

SPS will host a community meeting in December – something that likely wouldn’t have happened without the heads up on the school and the involvement of the John Hay PTA. The original decision was made without a review by SPS (it was added at the last minute to a meeting this past Thursday, November 6th).

Sue Peters is reviewing emails and forwarding them to the Interim Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for Facilities. She has asked for more information on the development and why the community wasn’t engaged early on in the process.

Part of the mission statement for the Interagency Academy program is “partner with community-based organizations and agencies” and one of SPS’ three goals is “Strengthen school, family and community engagement” – neither of which has happened (yet) with the Interagency Recovery School.

We’ve contacted SPS to find out when a date for the community meeting is confirmed. When that information is made available, we’ll share it on the blog. In the meantime, if you have comments, questions, or concerns, here are the people to contact:

Sue Peters, Queen Anne SPS Board Member 

Interim Superintendent Nyland 

Assistant Superintendent of Facilities Flip Herndon

Stay tuned for more information on the proposed community meeting.

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Car prowls continue to rise with 87 Queen Anne reports in October

November 8th, 2014 by Laura

How many car prowls did Queen Anne have in October? A whopping 87 by our count of Seattle Police Department reports. That’s up from September, when we had  just over 60 car prowls. Now, that we’re closing in on 90, what’s next? Triple digits?

The Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat has published a follow-up to his car prowl article. You may recall the original piece – his car was prowled, he tracked and found the suspects, SPD did nothing. Turns out that the suspects are repeat offenders and were featured on Washington’s Most Wanted this past week.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

My brazen car prowlers turn out to be state’s ‘Most Wanted’
By Danny Westneat
Seattle Times staff columnist

Last week I wrote about how the police mostly ignored my family’s repeated calls to come and bust a vanload of car prowlers that my 14-year-old daughter had tracked using an iPhone app. The thieves were so brazen they held up our stolen stuff in plain view. But we were told by police dispatchers to go home and file an insurance claim.

As it turns out, these weren’t just any car prowlers. They were Washington’s Most Wanted!

… It turns out all three had warrants out for their arrests. Police believe they may have smashed into hundreds of cars stretching back to May.

Last week, as the thieves coincidentally were being arrested, the “Washington Most Wanted” TV program planned to air a feature on them.

You can read the full story here – and, if you’re wondering how we’re doing on car prowls for October, we’ve pulled the map and included it below.

When counting, we include south of the Ship Canal to Denny Way, and Elliott/15th Ave W to Lake Union with Broad St as the northeast border.

Reminder: SPD only logs reports of car prowls where something of value was taken – if your car is empty and rummaged through, it doesn’t hit the SPD map. But, if anything is taken, even spare change, report it online so it hits the database.

QA Car Prowls Oct 2014

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Teenage suspect robs woman on her way to work near Seattle Center

November 7th, 2014 by Laura

A woman was robbed on the street earlier this week on her way to work near the Seattle Center. The victim was on her regular route to work, and was approached by a white male, around 20 years old, 5-8” with a slim build. He threatened to slap her, then took her earbuds.

According to the police report, the incident occurred at 7:32am on Tuesday, November 4th at a location near 4th Ave and Broad St. The report states that she was near a business with a security guard, and that business name is not made public (Pacific Science Center, Space Needle, EMP, etc – all located near the location):

Robbery 4th and Broad map

Here are the details from the SPD report – some details are redacted, including the location landmark/company:

[Victim] stated that while she was walking to work through the (on the west side of the [redacted]) she was approached by an unknown male (WM, 20yo, 5’8″, slim build, blue rain jacket w/hood). The unidentified male stated, “I’m going to slap you!” and proceeded to walk towards her.

[Victim] began walking backwards while the suspect closed distance and shoved her back. [She] spilt her coffee and stumbled. The suspect then grabbed her headphones (green ear bud style) off her head and ran off southbound towards Denny Way. [Victim] screamed for help and was joined by a security guard from the [redacted].

The report goes on to state that the victim was not injured and had never seen the suspect. She was on her regular route to work and in her description of the suspect stated: “he did not look homeless” and “looked like a bored teenager.”

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Seattle Public Schools opening Interagency Recovery School in old Queen Anne High Gym

November 4th, 2014 by Laura

QA High GymWe’ve had several readers email us in the past few weeks asking about the construction activity at the old Queen Anne High School Gym. We’ve been in contact with Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to find out what’s happening with the building and we now have information from SPS on plans for the location.

The building at the corner of 2nd Ave N and Galer St has been getting an interior makeover to convert the space into classrooms for a Seattle Public Schools Interagency Academy school.

QA High School Gym mapAccording to SPS, the Interagency Academy is “a network of small, alternative high schools spread out across Seattle designed to support students who need different supports than comprehensive schools offer.”

The Queen Anne High School Gym will house the Interagency Recovery School. It’ll move into the building this month, starting with about 10 students.

We received the following statement from Seattle Public Schools:

Interagency Recovery School

Interagency Recovery School is a small campus designed to support high school youth who are committed to recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. Students have self-selected to attend Interagency Recovery School and have expressed commitment to actively work toward their academic and personal goals while attending school in a clean and sober environment.

Recovery School students come from all over Seattle, representing all races, religions and socioeconomic statuses. These are everybody’s kids who have made hard, mature choices to change their lives. More than anything, they need the support of their community as they walk this difficult road to recovery.

The school site, located in the old gym of the Queen Anne High School building, will offer the support of specially trained teachers, a chemical dependency professional, other support staff, and peers who are also committed to recovery.

The school will open in November with an estimated 10 students and will grow based on need and available resources. As its students are clean and sober, the school upholds a strict no tolerance policy with drugs and alcohol. Students found to be under the influence or in possession of drugs or alcohol will be transferred out of the school to another support service.

Interagency has partnered with King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division to offer this needed program. NAVOS is also providing a full-time staff member at the school to support students, funded by King County Mental Health.

A 2012 Seattle Times article on the Interagency Academy program described it as “a unique and little-known slice of the city’s public-school system for students who were expelled from or otherwise not making it in regular schools.” You can read more about the program in the Seattle Times article and on the SPS Interagency Academy web site.

If you have questions about the Interagency Recovery School, contact information for SPS is listed on this page.

UPDATE: per comments below, if you have concerns about the Interagency Recovery School’s location across from John Hay School, you can contact Sue Peters, the Queen Anne School Board member via email at sue.peters@seattleschools.org.

The John Hay Elementary PTA has also been informed. You can reach them via email at info@johnhaypartners.org

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Bid farewell to a Queen Anne institution as A&J closes its doors after 63 years

November 3rd, 2014 by Laura

A&J Building nightDuring yesterday’s Seahawks game, we received an email from a reader who let us know that A&J Meats is closing after 63 years in business on Queen Anne. A true Queen Anne fixture, the butcher at 2401 Queen Anne Ave N draws loyal customers from both our neighborhood and beyond.

I was already planning to head to A&J after the game to pick up something for dinner. They close at 6pm and I got there as they were closing up for the night. However, true to their exceptional customer service, they offered to get me anything I needed.

A&J Closing SignIt’s that type of customer service that will be missed by many Queen Anne residents. Rick and Julia, A&J’s owners, have decided to retire and close the business at the end of this month. Rick’s been working in the family business since age 11, so it makes sense for him – but it’s going to be a big loss for our neighborhood.

A&J opened for business on Queen Anne in 1951 at the corner of W McGraw St and 6th Ave W.  Rick’s father, Jerry Friar – the “J” in A&J – started the market with a business partner. He moved A&J to its current location on the corner of Queen Anne Ave N and McGraw St in 1972. Rick took over the business in 1989. Now, 25 years later, he’s ready to retire the family business.

The shop will be open through the Thanksgiving holidays, and I was advised to let readers know to get holiday orders in asap – so if you’ve been putting off ordering a fresh turkey, rib roast, or whatever else graces your Thanksgiving table, do it today.

In an online world, A&J has always remained old-school, so get your orders in via phone (206-284-3885) or stop by in-person (note: they’re closed on Mondays). Either way, be sure to say goodbye to the great staff at A&J and wish them well in their next endeavors.

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New Little Free Library brings Queen Anne tally up to 23

November 2nd, 2014 by Laura

Two weeks ago, we posted about a new kid-focused Little Free Library that was number 22 on our map. As always, we put out the call to readers to keep an eye out for LFLs we may have missed – and, a tip came in that day about another LFL (thanks, Justin!).

It took a while to get this LFL posted as the Fall weather just wasn’t cooperating for a trek to track it down. But, we’ve finally captured it on the map and uploaded it to our LFL gallery.

This LFL helps fill in a long-empty gap on the southwest side of the hill. Its paint matches the steward’s house, and per a reader on Facebook, the artwork is a Coast Salish Native American design. Plus, it sits next to a very-cool lamppost. You can find this LFL at the corner of 3rd Ave W and W Lee St:

LFL 3rd Ave W and Lee

And, as always, a call to readers – if you spot a Little Free Library that isn’t on our map, or add one of your own, let us know! The current map is below, and photos of all 23 LFLs are in our LFL gallery.

LFL Map 110214

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The Seattle Times covers the frustrating problem of car prowls

November 1st, 2014 by Laura

September 2014 Car Prowls

Queen Anne car prowls in September 2014

We all know that car prowls are an every night occurrence on Queen Anne. There are so many in our neighborhood (and across the city), that some months we have trouble keeping up with the counts – and those are just the ones that can be reported to SPD.

In September, we had over 60 car prowls and a repeat prowler caught on video by a Queen Anne resident – but nothing has happened to cut down on the nightly rounds of our local car prowlers. (note: we had several media requests resulting from this post, but nothing came of them)

As noted before, you can report car prowls online, but the report requires that something of value be taken. It’s almost like you have to leave spare change in your car so you can report something of value to log the statistic with SPD. It’s not enough that someone entered your car and rummaged through it, they have to take something too.

But, even if something is taken, it often seems that nothing is done. Now, car prowls are getting bigger attention. The Seattle Times has an article on car prowls that describes the issue with car prowls, calling them a “growth industry” that SPD allows to thrive.

Car prowling seems to have become a full time job for many criminals. It’s easy to do, hard to get caught, and the penalty is… well, read the Seattle Times article for a first-hand account of tracking a car prowler and SPD’s response.

Here’s an excerpt, go to the Seattle Times for the full article – and check out the comments, there are hundreds:

Police allow car break-ins to become a Seattle growth industry
By Danny Westneat, Seattle Times

If your car is broken into and your stuff stolen, don’t bother calling the police. They won’t come even if you track down the thieves yourself.

Excerpt:

In the past two weeks, there were an astonishing 426 smash-and-grabs reported in Seattle. A few years back, we did a front-page story about how car prowls had become the city’s top crime, with 370 in a two-week period. My thieves — unlike me — are working in a growth industry.

Seattle police, I get that this is petty crime. It’s on me for leaving stuff in the car. There also was no proof who did the smash-and-grab, so even if you had come, it would have been tricky to charge them with anything.

But it doesn’t take a detective to see how punting an entire crime category over to the insurance industry could cause these types of nuisance crimes to spiral out of control. One warning sign: In Seattle, the more serious car thefts are up a whopping 44 percent this year versus last.

Can we at least start making these thieves feel a little heat? Especially when they’re served right up for you in a silver minivan?

You can read about Danny’s frustrating experience with a car prowl in the full article. And, in the meantime, the only thing it seems we can do is double or triple check that our cars are locked every night. And, leave nothing of value in your car, unless you want to be able to file a report.

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Halloween on Queen Anne Ave photo album now posted!

November 1st, 2014 by Laura

Halloween 14 QA Fire mainYesterday morning it sure felt like it was going to be a dreay (spooky?), soaking day for trick-or-treaters.

The forecast I saw at 8am said the rain wouldn’t be letting up in the Seattle area until 6pm or later. But, the rain moved NE and we were spared for Halloween on Queen Anne Ave and had near-perfect Fall weather!

Now, the rain did return during house-to-house trick-or-treating, but the kids who braved it were likely amped up on sugar already and didn’t care…

Photos from yesterday’s trick-or-treating event are now posted in an online album. If you have photos to share, please let us know!

Halloween 14 Crowd2

And, thanks to our great merchants for getting into the Halloween spirit! They all got into the Halloween spirit with costumes, plus free Sparkfly photos at Cupcake Royale, live band Banda la Grande de San Juan at Mezcaleria Oaxaca, and crossing guards to keep everyone safe!

Click on the photo of the Le Reve crew below to go to the photo album:

Halloween 2014 Le Reve

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Keep Halloween happy by making sure pets are safe

October 31st, 2014 by Laura

Henry QACC dogHappy Halloween! In addition to watching out for trick-or-treaters as they traverse our neigbhorhood, pet owners should be vigilant about Halloween candy and pets. Most people are aware of the danger of chocolate to dogs, but since our four-legged friends often eat whatever they can get their paws on, take note that sugar-free items are not necessarily safe.

We had a reader write in to let us know of the sad passing of their Pug – he ate a small amount of xylitol. While often labeled as “not for pets”, this sugar substitute is toxic in dogs. According to VCA Animal Hospitals (which includes our own Queen Anne Animal Clinic), “xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs.”

Xylitol is found in sugar-free gum, candies, breath mints, baked goods, cough syrup, children’s chewable vitamins, mouthwash, and toothpaste. As a warning to other pet owners, regardless of the sugary holiday that’s upon us, be sure to keep chocolate and sweets away from pets.

To keep pets safe tonight, check out these tips from Seattle Animal Shelter:

  • Don’t leave your pets out in the yard on Halloween. There are too many stories of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen or even killed pets on this night.
  • When going out trick-or-treating, leave your pets at home. Pets can be easily excited by the Halloween activity.
  • Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. Store treats in a high cabinet secured with a lock or child-safety latch.
  • Watch out for the ‘lethal wagging tails’ or curious kittens near lit pumpkins and other flames. Pets can knock them over and cause a fire or burn injuries to your pet and people.
  • Don’t dress your animals in costumes unless you know they love it. If you do dress them up, be careful not to obstruct their vision as even the sweetest dogs can get snappy when they can’t see what’s going on around them.
  • Keep your dog(s) in a separate room during trick-or-treat visiting hours, as too many strangers in strange garb can be scary for a dog. If you are having an indoor party, keep pets in a room where they won’t be disturbed or frightened by costumes.
  • Make certain your pet is wearing a pet license in case your cat or dog darts out through an open door.

If your pet escapes tonigh, we can post your “lost pet” notice. Just be sure to include:

  • pet’s name
  • pet’s description – the more detailed the better (not just the breed – a description)
  • pet’s photo – now’s the time to take a pet “mug shot” for missing flyers
  • your contact info – how you want people to contact you
  • where last seen – cross-streets (e.g. near Boston St and 1st Ave N)
  • for street names, note if streets are W or N streets (e.g. 2nd Ave W)
  • relevant info on pet’s behavior (e.g. “skittish of people”, “loves other dogs”)

Let’s keep Queen Anne pets safe tonight and all year!

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