Thursday, November 10, 2011


Did anyone else happen to see the spectacular moonrise we had tonight?

Here is a photo of the moon peeking over Lake City Way.

Free burgers for active military and veterans on Friday

Did you serve your country in the U.S. military?

Well, tomorrow our neighborhood Dick's Drive-In will honor you with free burgers from 10:30 a.m. until closing.

The tradition goes back to co-founder Dick Spady's own days in the military.

You will need a military or Veterans ID, or be in uniform to receive your tasty burger.

Which grocery stores in our neighborhood will carry liquor?

With the passage of Initiative 1183, where will residents of our neighborhood get that key ingredient for their holiday cheer?

And perhaps more concerning for some, where will the folks that hang out in front of the post office or lurk in hiding spots —and usually sip from a tall boy— get their now more accessible warming drink?

The apparent passage of 1183 has ended Washington State's near 80-year liquor monopoly. The results of the vote will likely shutter our own state-run liquor store on 15th Ave NE.

Liquor sales will shift to stores with more than 10,000 square feet. And as we know from the large number of shopping carts ditched regularly in our neighborhood, one does not have to go too far to find a large chain grocery store.

One thing that cannot be debated is that it can be difficult to purchase liquor at a state-run store.

The store on 15th Avenue NE closes at 7 p.m., and at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and major holidays.

Safeway is open 24 hours.

Also, state-run stores have a 94 percent compliance rate for selling to minors. The private sector, which can now only sell wine and beer, has a 77 percent compliance rate.

So where can we expect to see a new liquor aisle on June 1, 2012?

Grocery Outlet —3020 Northeast 127th Street— said they are over 10,000 square feet and meet the requirements but will not carry liquor. They currently carry a selection of wine and beer.

Safeway —12318 15th Ave. NE— said they will carry liquor in all of their stores in Washington State. They also helped bankroll Initiative 1183.

QFC —1531 Northeast 145th Street— said they have not received official word from their Kroger corporate offices yet but assume they will carry liquor

Fred Meyer —13000 Lake City Way Northeast— also part of the Kroger chain, contacted Thursday, also said no decision has been announced.

But considering the significant profit margins a grocer can make from liquor sales it is likely we will go from one liquor store in our corner of Seattle to at least three in our immediate area.

20 years in the neighborhood for Two Dog Yoga

This Saturday, November 12th, stop by Two Dog Yoga and enjoy a family-friendly event, celebrating the studio's 20th anniversary. There will be dancing, crafts, a raffle and of course yummy food. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

After Work Walks

Meet up with fellow walkers on Monday at 7:00 p.m. at the Lake City Playfield. We plan to take a few laps around the track after dinner. Bring your owners too. They need exercise.

See more neighborhood events on our Calendar page.

Election results leave one unanswered question

After all the election results came in last night, one election remained unanswered on all the marked-up and mailed-in ballots.

Did the Seattle Drum School win?

Signs from our neighborhood music school on 15th Ave NE popped up all over Seattle in recent weeks. The signs were actually a stealthy and rather effective marketing ploy by the school.

Contacted Wednesday a representative of the school said, "you are welcome to write us in for any [public office] you want."

A sign on 15th Avenue NE

Significant wind storm forecast, prepare now

The National Weather Service has issued a "Special Weather Statement" for potential gale force winds in Western Washington during the day on Friday.

What does that mean for us? Potential power outages, downed trees, dangerous power lines on roads, potential for flooding.

Here are two important things to remember:
  • Stay away from downed power lines —call 911 to report downed lines

  • Only use a generator outdoors —this includes not using in a garage or carport

Just like clockwork, every year when we have a significant windstorm someone in Seattle finds themselves and their family being treated by medics for carbon monoxide poisoning. Don't let that be you or your neighbor.

Here is a useful map that shows where power outages are located in Seattle. (But if you don't have power you likely will not be viewing the website.)

Following the jump are some tips from Seattle City Light and an instructional video on preparing for weather events:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

LED streetlight installation complete

You may have noticed a much more blue light on the streets of our neighborhood at night. That's because the old amber hue sodium vapor street lamps have been replaced with new and highly efficient LED lamps.

Installation of some 18,000 new lights is complete on residential streets from 65th Street to 145th Street. The low energy lamps installed so far are expected to save the city $900,000 annually in electricity costs. (That could buy a few blocks-worth of sidewalks.)

The installation began in September and completion of this phase of the city-wide conversion was on November 7th (Zone 4 in map).

Arterial streets still use the old style street lamps but a pilot project is underway with a higher-power LED to illuminate arterial streets.

Should you ever see a street light not functioning properly —new LED or old sodium vapor—you can report it here.

Election day today

Don't forget today is election day. As always there are elections that affect our small corner of Seattle. Let your voice be heard.

Ballots must be postmarked by the end of the day so get to the Lake City post office by 5:30, their last pickup deadline.

Ballots can also be left in a King County Elections drop box until 8 p.m. tonight. Our nearest box is at the Lake Forest Park City Hall, 17425 Ballinger Way NE.

More on how to return your ballot here.

Abandoned grocery carts to provide food for needy

The abandoned grocery carts that we so often see scattered in our neighborhood are being adopted for a unique holiday event to collect food for the North Helpline Food Bank —and turned into works of art.

Carts will be decorated by neighborhood organizations such as nonprofits, block watch groups, businesses and other neighborhood groups. The decorated Art Carts will serve as food donation stations while displayed at local businesses and at the annual Lake City Chamber Holiday in the Park event on December 7th at the Lake City Mini Park (see flyer below).

The decorated Art Carts will be judged at the December 7th event with two awards given out — the People's Choice Award and the Judges Choice Award.

Carts will be rounded up and distributed by volunteers to participating organizations on November 12th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lake City Mini Park.

The Olympic Hills neighborhood has plenty of stray carts on our roadside pathways begging to be turned into art, so maybe a few entries from our community organization would be appropriate —and fun.

If you would like more information or want to volunteer please email

Aside from this unique and innovative event, grocery carts are expensive and businesses will usually come retrieve them. Here are contact numbers for our neighborhood grocery stores.

Bartell Drugs   206-362-7571
Fred Meyer     206-440-2433
Grocery Outlet  206-971-0192
Safeway 206-306-0504