Friday, December 18, 2009

The latest "challenges" of the Living Building and Site Challenges

I had a few minutes to catch-up with Bill Fenimore today, now that he's back from vacation. Quite a bit is going on!

Jason, a member of our site committee who works for Vulcan, will be meeting with Bill right after Christmas to set-up a performance audit. This will give us a benchmark to work from for energy efficiency. Jason and Jack have also formed a sub-committee for consultation when questions of particular products or methods arise, to vet them for compliance with the LBC/LSC. This will help Bill negotiate his way around the day-to-day work steps he's orchestrating.

The big ongoing project is the slate roof on the Brick Building. The build-back of the roof is close to half done now, but the overall project is well past the halfway mark, since all the removal and prep had to be done first of course. Three workers were roped-up on top today!

Bill gave me a souvenir solid copper nail from the project. I'm still amazed you can hammer a copper nail into that old wooden substructure, but these guys are the experts! (Still, I wonder how many of these they bend!)

The slate on the three sides facing the campus will all be the original ones that were in good condition. Some new ones had to be bought to replace cracked ones, of course, but to minimize the visual impact, these will be blended-in with the originals on the west side where they won't be seen from the rest of campus. All the old vent caps are being re-used, and just needed a fresh powder-coat. Thanks to a local business, Seattle Powdercoat, for the expert work. The powdercoating is so resistant to rust it's rated for below-ground use! So the metal parts up there should last a good, long time.

And speaking of the roof, right underneath it is the attic, which needs insulation! The attic space needs to be kept warm, so the insualtion can't just lie on the attic floor, it has to attach to the underside of the roof, so a soy-based spray-on open-cell foam is the material of choice. Work will start on that when the roof is done, since it covers the underside of the roof and you want the vibration of the work roof to be over when the foam goes on. Puget Sound Energy's stimulus money will pay for about half the cost of insulating the attic, which will save a lot of energy in the long run, of course.

Insulation's an issue up in the blue building too. The exterior walls aren't insulated and that's going to get done over the Holidays, when the building is little-used, if the contractor can do it, and Bill says he thinks they can! Rather than the standard drilling and plugging of large holes in the outside wood siding, like you see done on some older homes, our beloved blue building will be insulated from the inside, with holes high on the interior walls, which can then be patched and never seen again, unlike the fairly obvious plugs in exterior siding, that usually just get more obvious with weathering.

And finally good news on building interior lighting. The Community Hall now has both audience and stage lighting with new LED fixtures. The entire hall can now be lit as well or better than before with the equivalent energy of a couple of 100W incandescent bulbs! The next big thing will be a "Daylighting" project for one of the classrooms, performed in part by the Integrated Design Lab of the UW. This demo project will apply all the methods the Lab recommends and gauge the results in one room, so that if adjustments are needed, the work on the rest of the buildings will encorporate the best practices we determine in the test. We're lucky many of the classrooms have lots of big bright windows so we think with new fixtures and controls and new paint on the ceiling, an ideal lighting arrangement can be found, partly automatic to take account of available daylight, and partly manual based on the occupants' needs.

I'll touch base with Bill again after the first of the year, and I'm sure you'll join me now in wishing him a Happy Holiday and in thanking him for his hard work and diligence in handling the ongoing upgrades in progress! Thanks, Bill!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Join the GSC Board of Directors

The Greenwood Senior Center is seeking individuals to join its Board of Directors. Help set the direction of a dynamic program which directly affects our lives as we age. For more information and to apply contact Cecily Kaplan at or Jeanne Barwick at People of all ages are encouraged to apply.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Taproot Theater Live at NSCC

Christmas often harkens back to the old days. Today, nostalgia for an old fashioned holiday fills the airwaves, sweetened by songs of candy canes and gingerbread men. In the 1940’s the airwaves were also crackling with radio plays, and many families gathered round to listen to the dramas read live on the air.
The most recent production from The Taproot Theater, It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play transforms the theater at North Seattle Community College to a radio station complete with audience applaud signs and actors bustling about as they read their lines. Forced to scramble for a new venue after the recent arson fires in Greenwood, Taproot has worked some holiday magic to bring this production to the stage. Originally Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol had been slated for production during the holiday season. Fortunately, It’s a Wonderful Life lends itself well to a short production period since actors read from their scripts as they naturally would if they were involved in a true radio drama. Solid acting talent by all performers strengthens this performance, particularly Jesse Notehelfer who graces the stage with both her singing voice and thespian skill.
As always, Sarah Burch Gordon outfits the company in both eye catching and historically appropriate costumes. In this instance, the actresses sparkle with festive forties style. The sound effects for the radio play are performed live by Eric Riedmann. He does a fabulous job of making the sounds lively and entertaining to watch.
Younger audiences unfamiliar with the Frank Capra movie, may find it difficult to keep up with the rapid introduction of the assorted characters in the play. However most adults, particularly those with a penchant for A Prairie Home Companion, will find this production high on their list of must sees this season.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Make A Difference This Holiday Season

What signals the arrival of the holiday season to you? A wreath on the door, carols on the radio, sales at the mall? For me it's the Phinney Neighbors in Action Giving Tree project. It's our family tradition to find tags for boys who wish for Legos (even though our son is now in college) and girls who want the things my twin daughters have always liked. After we shop together we go home to wrap our gifts and hope that they will light up a face on Christmas Day.

Each year I work with local agencies to plan how our community can help serve their clients during the holiday season. This year we committed to providing over 400 gifts for adults and children of all ages through six local organizations.

Children ranging in age from infants to teens have requested gifts through Broadview Emergency Shelter, Childhaven Therapeutic Childcare Program, and FamilyWorks Food Bank. Client families make a specific gift request for each child and we make a commitment to fulfilling these wishes. At Whitman Middle School, counselors work to provide gifts for students and their older siblings.

Children have often selected toys from catalogs or parents have asked for practical gifts like clothing. Most requests should fall in the affordable $20-$30 range, although some may be more or less. Most toys are widely available at Fred Meyer or Target or at the Toys R Us at Northgate. If you choose to buy clothes, please get a gift receipt in case an exchange is needed.Many teens request gift cards to Fred Meyer, Target, or local movie theatres. Think back to your own teenage years and I believe you’ll appreciate the need for kids this age to make their own choices; shopping is half the fun! To make it easier, the Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Co-op is selling Fred Meyer gift cards at the reception desk of the Phinney Neighborhood Center (6532 Phinney Ave N). A small portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the preschool AND you can fulfill a wish in one easy trip.

This year we’ve added two new agencies to our list of partners: Dorothy Day House, a permanent supportive housing program for formerly homeless women and the Cate Apartments, a nearby program of the Low Income Housing Institute which provides stability for previously homeless families.

Gift requests for Dorothy Day House residents (adults) are available at the Greenwood Senior Center (525 N 85th St), while all other agency gift tags (primarily for younger children and teens) are on a tree at the Phinney Neighborhood Center (6532 Phinney Ave N). Feel free to visit either location and check out a tag, then make a wish come true.

Please return all gifts by Saturday, December 12th to the location where you picked up the tag.

With your help, we’ll be amazed once more at the generosity expressed in our neighborhood!

by Judith Wood, PNA

Monday, November 30, 2009

PNA Winter Festival & Crafts Fair

1981 - The year Lady Diana Spencer marries Charles, Prince of Wales. Nolan Ryan sets a Major League record by throwing his fifth no-hitter. It's also the year of the first IBM PC, the first running of the London Marathon and the first PNA Winter Festival and Crafts Fair.

This year, the most popular Phinney/Greenwood holiday event returns to the Phinney Neighborhood Center (6532 Phinney Ave N) for the 29th time on Dec. 5 & 6. As in the past, the event is expected to attract over 4,000 people from the greater Seattle area.

The fair features a diverse array of crafts from 115 artists, hundreds of musicians and dancers on two stages, a quilt raffle, a bake sale, and lunch items.

For the first time, childcare will also be available during the event.

The fair is open from 10am – 5pm on both days and the price of admission ($4 for adults, $2 for PNA members, and a can of food – children 12 and under are free) supports PNA programs such as the soup kitchens, before- and after-school childcare, the Greenwood Senior Center, the tool library, the art gallery, as well as community projects for neighbors in need and local food banks. Tickets are available on the day of the event at the Phinney Neighborhood Center (6532 Phinney Ave N).

For more information, visit the PNA website.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The "challenge" of the Living Building and Site Challenges

Bill Fenimore, PNA Director of Facilities, talks about ongoing renovation work

Work continues this week on the Brick Building slate roof rehab. The original slates that were in good shape are being re-installed on the west side facing the campus, while the new slates purchased to replace damaged ones will me mixed-in with the originals when they are re-installed on the east side later, which lessens the visual difference. Also, the metal flashing and vents were removed, sand-blasted and powder-coated with a colored coating to match the roof, and when re-installed should both look good and be impervious to rust. This "antique" slate roof is really a long-term investment, and will pay-off handsomely over the next... hundred years at least! Not to mention its fire resistance. Sustainability is an old-fashioned concept, it turns out. (Read more about slate at Stories In Stone.)

The other current challenge involves new lighting for the Community Hall in the basement of the brick building. This project was in the works from some time before the Living Building Challenge was taken-on. The good news is that rather than going with less efficient technology of a year ago, Bill's found new LED lights that will greatly reduce energy consumption, and are a pleasing color too.

Bill's email address is:

Stay tuned as we continue to keep you updated on the ongoing "nuts and bolts" of the PNA renovation! And thanks to all the contributors to the Capital Campaign for making it possible!

Friday, November 20, 2009

PNA Hires New Executive Director

The PNA Board of Directors is pleased to announce that they have just hired Lee Harper to replace Ed Medeiros as the new PNA Executive Director. Lee is currently the Executive Director of the Northshore Senior Center and was formerly Assistant Director of Solid Ground (previously the Fremont Public Association).

In applying for the position, Lee noted: “The PNA’s community building mission resonates deeply with me - creating community is one of my core values and it underlies everything that I do. It would be a privilege to work with the organization and for my community, realizing a dream from years ago to lead this vibrant organization into the future."

Ed will be retiring at the end of January and Lee will join the staff in mid-January. Celebrate Ed and meet Lee at a fundraising roast on Jan. 10 and the annual membership meeting on Jan 23. Mark your calendars now! (Invitations to the roast will be in the mail soon.)

Look for an interview with Lee Harper in the upcoming edition of the Phinney Ridge Review.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Phinney Center Site Development Underway

We reached a major milestone in February of 2009 when we purchased the Phinney Neighborhood Center site and buildings, which our organization has leased since 1981. Now that the purchase has been finalized, we launched a large scale effort to completely renovate the two buildings and redevelop the site to better serve our community.

In order to create a modern community center which is not only functional but also serves as a model for sustainability and ecological self-sufficiency, we have embraced one of the most comprehensive environmental challenges – the Living Building and Site Challenge. By doing so, the Phinney Neighborhood Center became the first project in Washington State to take on this challenge.

As of August, the first project is already underway. The roof of the PNA brick building (lower building on Dayton Ave) is being rebuilt in a sustainable way. Over 90% of the original slate will be re-used and each tile will be re-installed with new copper nails.

Bill Fenimore, our Facilities Director, reported today at the Site Committee meeting that progress on the slate roof renovation is well underway despite the inclement weather, with the north gable end and now part of the west side being re-installed by the contractors, who Bill says are beginning to refer to it as 'their roof.' Here's a picture taken from the top floor of the Blue Building earlier today.

Future site development projects include elevators and access ramps for both buildings, landscaping and improved pathways between the two buildings, new hillside playscape for kids, expanded lobby, earthquake retrofitting, new outdoor lighting, rainwater management, and zonal heating and cooling – just to name a few.

PNA Winter Beer Taste 2009 Recap

Beer Care was dispensed to all at the 22nd Annual PNA Beer Taste. The sell-out crowd seemed to have a great time and many of the guests voted for their favorite beers. The winners were: 1st place – Two Beers Jive Espresso Stout, 2nd place – Naked City Hoptari, and 3rd place – Georgetown Superchopp. Thanks to the breweries who donated their beer, the volunteers, our sponsor - the 74th Street Ale House, and everyone who came out to support the PNA. It was our best beer taste yet! Save the date for next year’s Winter Beer Taste on November 13, 2010 and buy your tickets early so you’re not left out in the cold – beerless. Beer Care scrubs are still for sale for $15. If nothing else, you could be a Beer surgeon for Halloween!

View this year's photo gallery:

Seattle Beer News Article

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Volunteers Needed For Upcoming Events

We're looking for volunteers for several upcoming events. To get involved, please contact or call (206) 783-2244.

  • Food Drive at Woodland Park Zoo for the PNA Soup Kitchen – Canned goods and volunteers needed - Saturday, Nov. 21. Please contact Judith at or (206) 783-2244.
  • Donate pies or juice for the Soup Kitchen Thanksgiving – Wednesday, Nov. 25
  • Winter Festival & Crafts Fair – Dec. 5 and 6 – Many jobs still available! Please contact Judith at or (206) 783-2244 or click here for our online volunteer application.
  • GSC Alternative Gift Market seeks volunteers Nov. 23 – Dec. 14. Contact for more info.

Detailed Descriptions

Woodland Park Zoo Turkey Toss to benefit the PNA Soup Kitchen program this Saturday, November 21. Big cats, wolves, piranhas, primates and other zoo denizens will be getting an early Thanksgiving treat on Saturday, November 21. Raw turkeys will be provided to several species who will, no doubt, exhibit interesting behaviors as they tackle this unusual snack. Zoo visitors are invited to bring non-perishable food donations for the soup kitchen. The PNA Soup Kitchen Program serves three meals each week to between 150 and 250 members of our community. Two of these meals are provided directly across the street from the zoo at St. John United Lutheran Church; the third is located in Ballard. Donations of non-perishable juice, jam, canned fruit, beans, vegetables, chili, ketchup, and powdered creamers are especially needed. You may drop off your items at the South Entrance to the zoo anytime from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday. We’re still looking for a few volunteers to receive and box donations as they come in. If you can help out for a 1½ hour shift on Saturday, please contact right away.

The Winter Festival & Crafts Fair is one of the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s biggest fundraisers and a fun community event. It takes over 150 volunteers giving countless hours to put on a successful event, and we need your help. Please fill out a volunteer interest form (link here) and return it to the PNA as soon as possible. There are many jobs available, including lots that are fun to do with a friend or family member, so consider signing up together! This is also a great event for teens who need to accumulate community service hours for school. Most volunteer shifts are for 2-3 hours, although we’ll be happy to set you up with more work if you want it! Please contact or (206) 783-2244.

GSC Alternative Gift Market
A meaningful, short-term, volunteer opportunity for the holidays! The Greenwood Senior Center is holding its second annual Alternative Gift Market and we need your help! An Alternative Gift Market provides people with the ability to designate charitable gifts in the name of their relatives, friends and associates through featured humanitarian projects. Instead of buying a sweater for the holidays, people can donate money in the name of their loved one to purchase a bicycle ambulance for community health workers in Southern Africa.

We need volunteers to design, construct, and run the booths for each of the twenty-five represented organizations. Volunteers have the opportunity to educate themselves about the organization and answer questions for interested market shoppers. The Alternative Gift Market offers a great way to meet others interested in humanitarian issues locally and globally, and engage in a meaningful project that raises thousands of dollars for vital organizations worldwide. The time commitment is flexible and volunteers are able to partner up and divide duties accordingly.

The fair is on Monday, December 14th from 1-8pm. We will have drop-in workdays at the Greenwood Senior Center where you can pick an organization to represent and help with construction of the displays:

Monday, November 23, 12-5pm
Monday, November 30, 12-5pm
Monday, December 7, 12-5pm

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the alternative gift market, feel free to Contact Emily at the Greenwood Senior Center: (206) 297-0875 or Thanks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Web Development and IT Volunteers Wanted

The Phinney Neighborhood Association is seeking volunteers to help with the development of a new PNA website and the implementation of a Salesforce CRM database. See descriptions below for details.

Web Developer
We are looking for an experienced web developer to help implement a new design for the PNA website ( The ideal volunteer could devote as much as 10 hours/week over the next 2-3 months to help execute and build the backend. You would work in collaboration with PNA staff and other volunteers who have been working on a digital marketing strategy, content, and overall design of the new site.

IT Consultant
We are seeking a database volunteer with Salesforce expertise to help consolidate and integrate several different database functions with our new Salesforce program. If you are an IT professional and have experience integrating Salesforce and complex databases, we could use your help.

Please contact Alex Eckardt at 206-783-2244 or for more information.

Click here to learn more about the Phinney Neighborhood Association.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

PNA Day of the Dead 2009 Recap

Although persistent rain and wind forced cancellation of the candlelight procession Friday night, the weather did not seem to dampen the spirits overall at Dia de los Muertos at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Plenty of people showed up to add their own mementos to the community altar, decorate sugar skulls, make paper flowers, and enjoy warm and spicy hot chocolate. The poetry, music, and dance performances were captivating, as well as the varied pieces in the Day of the Dead gallery exhibit. The art and altar will be up through the end of the month, so you’ve still got time to come by and take it all in.

View this year's photo gallery:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Beer Care For All

An ambitious goal to be sure, but one that the Phinney Neighborhood Association has been working towards for 22 years now.

The PNA's annual Winter Beer Taste is back for its 22nd installment and this year's motto "Beer Care For All" guarantees that you will have options. Beers from 28 breweries to be exact, including several favorites brewed especially for the PNA Beer Taste and a wide variety of beers that you normally wouldn't find in Seattle.

Look at Jürgen Knöller for example. The owner and brewmaster of Bayern Brewing will haul his delicious beer in an old-fashioned wooden keg all the way from Missoula, Montana just to offer you a taste of his brew. A true Bavarian!

The event will take place this coming Saturday (11/14) from 7-10pm at the Phinney Neighborhood Center (6532 Phinney Ave N).

Additional information:
Event info
Breweries on tap
Buy tickets

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day of the Dead Celebration

Join the traditional Mexican celebration of life and death at the Phinney Neighborhood Association's Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) procession and festival Friday, Nov. 6.

In Mexico, Día de los Muertos is a festive and family-centered event, traditionally held on Nov. 1st (Day of the Little Angels) and 2nd (Day of the Dead or all Soul's Day in Christian tradition). Día de los Muertos celebrations emphasize life and death as part of the same cycle and regard death on friendly and intimate terms.

According to beliefs rooted in pre-Columbian traditions, on Dia de los Muertos, the veil between life and death is at its thinnest and the dead can be lured back to us through the scent of marigolds and the temptation of offerings of favorite food and drink.

The PNA's celebration begins with music and dancing by VamoLa!, a drum and dance ensemble, in the parking lot of the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., at 6:15 p.m. The group will lead participants in a candlelight procession at 6:30 p.m. After the procession, there will be an art show, performances by the Aztec Dancers of the Salinas Family and Trio Lucero del Norte, poetry readings by Los Nortenos, sugar skull decorating, a community altar and hot chocolate.

For more information, check the Phinney Center website or call (206) 783-2244.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Yes it's the senior center but this ain't your grandma's bingo.

The last Friday of the month, ten months out of the year, the Greenwood Senior Center hosts Bingo Karaoke. It's a hilarious evening that combines 10 games of bingo with several rounds of talented (and not so talented) karaoke performances on the side and attracts a crowd that ranges from young, hip, singles to seniors in their 80s.

Don't believe me? Check out this YouTube video from a recent Bingo Karaoke evening.

Tomorrow, Oct. 30, is their last of the year. Combine that with Halloween the next day (and an excuse to come in costume) and Bingo Karaoke has become THE place to be.

Just $10 gets you eight Bingo games - all with the chance to win $30. You can take your chances and buy additional cards for two special games that could add up to lots more winnings since winners split the pot with the "house." Beer, wine, chili, hot dogs, jalapeno poppers, popcorn and cookies are available for purchase for just a few more dollars.

The fun begins at 7 pm at the Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N 85th St. Parties of 8 or more are asked to reserve a table by calling (206) 297-0875.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

GSC Casino Night

Vegas comes to Greenwood on Saturday, October 24. The Greenwood Senior Center will be transformed into the GSC GRAND for a night of casino entertainment. It's the GSC's largest fundraiser of the year so open your wallets to support this amazing program.

You can try your luck at Roulette, Black Jack, Craps, Caribbean Stud, and other Vegas-style games. All games are run by professional dealers. Tickets are $35 and will buy you $30,000 in casino chips which you can later exchange for raffle tickets. High roller tickets are also available for $100.

Of course, it wouldn't be Vegas without Elvis! The King himself will provide all-night entertainment.

Doors will open at 6pm and the evening will kick off with a silent auction. The GSC will serve delicious food, wine, and beer.

For more information check out the GSC Web site at

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Join the PNA Board of Directors!

The Phinney Neighborhood Association Board of Directors is currently recruiting new Board members for the upcoming year. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Lori Oliver, Vice President of the PNA Board, at

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Music in the 'Hood

Looking for something to do in the 'hood Saturday nights? The Seattle Folklore Society hosts weekly folk concerts featuring musicians from around the country – right here at the Phinney Neighborhood Center.

This Saturday, Oct. 17, a Vermont-based group, Woods Tea Co., will perform at 7:30 p.m. The SFS website notes that the group performs "bluegrass, Celtic tunes, sea chanties and folk songs with ease and skill." They draw "on a wide variety of musical experience and expression, employing as many as a dozen different instruments from banjos, bouzoukis, and bodhrans, to guitars and tin whistles."

(According to Wikipedia, a bouzouki is a stringed instrument with a pear-shaped body and a very long neck and a bodhran is an Irish frame drum.)

Upcoming concerts will feature Tret Fure, Dunava, Mary Flower and The Canotes. Ticket prices range from $14 – 17 and can be reserved online.

An out of the neighborhood note: next month, SFS will host a concert with the beloved Northwest duo Reilly and Maloney at the Maple Leaf Lutheran Church in Meadowbrook.

Look for more information at the SFS website.

For those people looking for dancing with their music, SFS and the Emerald City Contra dancers host weekly contra dances in Friday nights at the Phinney Center. For more information, check the Emerald City Contra website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PNA seeks new Volunteer Coordinator

The Phinney Neighborhood Association is seeking an experienced Volunteer Coordinator. The VC recruits and manages volunteers to support PNA programs and collaborates with community partners to increase volunteerism. In 2008 over 1,000 volunteers gave nearly 27,000 hours to the PNA. The position is for 15 hours/week beginning in January 2010, with up to 30 hours of transition between mid-November and mid-December. Visit for a full job description. To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to by October 30.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Enchanted April Opens at the Taproot

Playing at the Taproot Theater 204 N 85th Street, through October 24.
As the crisp autumn winds blow, and the leaves swirl through the city, Taproot Theater’s current production, Enchanted April, provides theatergoers a welcome dose of spring warmth. Set in post World War I England and Italy, this play not only showcases the strong talent of the performers, but also provides a reflection on the times. Many young men have died in the war, while their loved ones cope with the grief. Women in England have just been granted suffrage, and are beginning to stretch their wings of independence.
Thus begins the story of Lotty Wilton, and optimistic wife of an enterprising young solicitor. Tired of the dreary London rain, which was a very loud sound effect, Lotty comes across an advertisement for an Italian country villa for rent in the month of April. She convinces a reluctant acquaintance from church, Rose Arnott, to join her in this adventure. However, between the two women, they can’t quite afford the rent of the villa. They advertise for two more single ladies to join them and the only two to answer the ad are the upright and uptight Mrs. Graves, and the seemingly carefree socialite Lady Caroline Bramble. Both comedy and touching drama ensue as each of the women is transformed by their travel experiences.
Charity Parenzini, artfully plays the cheerful and sweet Lotty without being overly saccharine. Equally strong is Nikki Visel, as Rose Arnott, who makes a dramatic evolution from a “sad Madonna” to a vivacious wife. Kim Morris, as Mrs. Graves, skillfully embodies a stuffy, yet lonely Englishwoman, and the glamorous Anne Kennedy seems to effortlessly slide into the role as a sullen sophisticate. The men of the company provide the essential glue, filling in the gaps and holding everything together.
Sarah Burch Gordon, has done an exceptional job with costumes for all characters. The fabrics are luxe, the lines of the clothing perfectly reflect the time period and Gordon has a keen attention to detail down to the earrings and shoes. Gin Hammond as the dialect coach, assures that the player’s British accents are consistent and authentic.
One again, The Taproot Theater has brought to the stage a production that inspires and transforms the audience.
For ticket information and details go to

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's Mystery Week, Do the Gumshoe!

Here it comes folks, Phinney/Greenwood's best new tradition.
It's Mystery Week! August 7-16 (Like all the best weeks, it has two weekends!)

Sleuth out all the great mystery games and prizes at

5k Gumshoe Sleuth Walk
Minigumshoe: scavenger clue-hunt in local businesses
Eatsy Street: neighborhood picture puzzler
Video Contest: What's so mysterious about Phinney Greenwood?

I'll be at the Mystery Book Exchage at the Phinney Center on Saturday (10am to 1pm) swapping my old mystery books for 'new' ones.

After that, it's a mystery where in Phinney/Greenwood I'll be next.

See you in the street!


City Fruit needs volunteer pickers

Spread the word, friends and neighbors:
Phinney City Fruit needs Volunteer Pickers!

Let the Harvest Season Begin! Plums, pears, and apples are starting to ripen. We are already picking half a dozen trees a week, and looking forward to more.

It usually only takes an hour or so to pick a tree. Picking fruit and delivering it to our donation partners is a small gift with big rewards, not to mention its really fun.

Please contact Jen Mullen to find out more about helping to pick fruit in Phinney and Greenwood, or to donate the bounty of your own fruit trees to neighborhood food banks, soup kitchens and community organizations!


Jen Says:

Please join us for a Volunteer Orientation for the Phinney-Greenwood Fruit Tree Harvest program on Tuesday, August 18, 5:30- 6:30 pm at the Greenwood Library (8016 Greenwood Ave. N.). We will review all the information you'll want to know for harvesting and sharing fresh fruit in the Phinney-Greenwood neighborhood this summer/fall!

Please RSVP to let me know if you can attend the orientation.

Thank you!

Jen Mullen
Harvest Coordinator
Phinney City Fruit
h- 206.352.9580

Smoke on the Mountain Extended

Scroll down to see review of Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming. This show has been extended through August 22.

Post-Penguin Parade Auction

After gracing the streets of Seattle, the penguins will end their march as they migrate to the gallery at the Greenwood Collective 8537 Greenwood Ave N, Suite 1, for a silent auction on August 14. All decorated penguins, and many of the artists who created them, will gather in one space to be admired during the Greenwood Art Walk. All proceeds from the sale of the penguins wil benefit Woodland Park Zoo’s field conservation program. Woodland Park Zoo supports 38 wildlife conservation projects in 50 countries worldwide, including the Humboldt Penguin Conservation Center at Punta San Juan.
This auction is free and open to the public.
Attendees bidding a minimumm of $1000 have the opportunity to become immortalized on an anchovy marker at the new penguin exhibit at the zoo. Generous auction winners who bid a minimum of $1,000 for wildlife conservation will also receive their name (or that of a family, friend or loved one) etched onto an ornamental anchovy, inspired by the favorite food of the Humboldt penguin. These etched anchovies will be embedded into a shoal of schooling fish at the new west entry plaza near the penguin exhibit. The west entry is set to open in 2010.
For details on this event, contact Julie Law / The Greenwood Collective / 206-913-2835 /

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Taproot Theater Delivers Once Again

Once again, the Taproot Theater presents a performance filled with inspiration and hope to audiences in its comfy Greenwood venue. As with many of Taproot’s plays, the scenery is well crafted, but minimalist, relying on the strength of the performers to transport patrons to another place and time.
“Spoke on the Mountain Homecoming”, is set in the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in post World War II, North Carolina. Like an old heirloom quilt brought out of the chest for an airing, the Sanders family is back onstage for installment three of their saga. Since I had not seen either of the first installments, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to pick up their story where it left off, however this performance, filled with down home warmth, certainly stands on its own.
As the play progresses, each character presents a monologue; an individual patch in the quilt, stitched together with bluegrass and gospel songs. It is truly impressive to watch the performers switch from guitar to mandolin, to ukulele, harmonica and accordion, all topped off with brilliant percussion delivered by the character June (Jenny Cross). Cross also artfully and gracefully signs the majority of the songs, however I wasn’t quite sure how ASL was meant to incorporate into the production. Near the end of the performance her character quips, “Maybe someone there will be able to understand my signing,” in reference to moving to a new congregation.
Each character is equally gifted with not only brilliant musical ability, but also strong dramatic aptitude. Body language such as eye rolling or smirking from Uncle Stanley (David Anthony Lewis, demure smiles from the pregnant June (Jenny Cross) or awkward enthusiasm from Reverend Oglethorp (Kevin Brady) convey talent beyond the delivery of the spoken word. Denise (Candace Vance) showcases her beautiful soprano voice with a solo, and backs up the other performers with piano and accordion., her twin brother Dennis (Brent Ashton) plays a mean bass. The Sanders family just couldn’t put on a show without the musical leadership of Burl, (Edd Key), and his sweetly self-righteous, scripture quoting wife Vera (Theresa Holmes).
Performances run through August 8. For tickets and more information visit their website

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Beer Taste

The PNA's annual Summer Beer Taste is this Saturday from 4 - 7 pm in the lower parking lot of the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Tickets are $25 or $30 (depending on whether or not you're a PNA member) and get you ten tastes from a choice of 39 different microbrews!

Sounds like a great way to spend a sunny summer afternoon in the neighborhood.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

PNA Gallery Show this Friday Evening

Artists Reception July 10 7:00-10:00 p.m. in the Blue Building Second Floor gallery, no charge.
When the summer heat eventually shines upon us, many yearn for an escape to the beach. There is something to be gained in the cooling, and soothing properties of the water and watching the waves endlessly break on the shore. July’s featured artists, Scott McDougall and Kathleen McHugh, have elaborated on the theme of water and taken it to two very different yet equally mesmerizing directions.
Scott, a self-taught artist, originally from California, has lived in the Seattle area for over 25 years. His poster art has been used to promote many local events, such as the Fremont Fair, and HempFest among others. Branching out from commercial art, Scott has created a series of stunning paintings called Wavescapes, that capture the split second moments of waves along the shore as the light comes through them and they glide back into the sea.
Paired with these wave images are captivating paintings from Kathleen McHugh’s mermaid series. Kathleen, a BFA graduate from Cornish Institite of the Arts, is featured in the book "Contemporary Artists of the World 2008-2009" which was presented at "Artexpo Las Vegas 2008". This show is comprised of oil paintings, acrylic paintings, pastel drawings and gouache/pastel drawings. The artist comments, “I tend to work thematically-something will grab my attention and I will keep ruminating about it
and working out where it leads me by creating art.”
Stop by the gallery after shopping at the farmer’s market and expose yourself to some of the amazing artists in the Puget Sound community.

Friday, June 19, 2009

PNA Facebook Group

The PNA's Facebook group has grown phenomenally this week. We went from 150 to 188 (last time I looked) members in the last week! That's the most growth the group has had in a week EVER!

Wouldn't it be way-cool (as we used to say in the olden days) to break the 200 member mark this weekend.

Perhaps you didn't know the PNA even HAD a FB group. As one of our new FB group members wrote on the "wall": "I had no idea that the PNA is SOOOO hip to even be here on FB!!!! :) LOVE it!"

So, hey, if you're already on FB, consider joining the PNA group like, right now, that way you can keep up with all the goings on around here and even share information with other PNA Facebookers!

If you're not a member of FB or the PNA.... well what can I say?

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Arts for the Family

During those dog days of summer, families can escape to the Taproot theater to view child actors present plays as part of their summer camp experience. In addition to escaping the heat, children will be able to observe other kids just like themselves up on stage putting on a show. How inspiring! The summer line up at Taproot includes productions such as Disney’s High School Musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I, Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors and more. Performances take place on Friday afternoons July 6, July 17, July 31, August 7 August 28, at two locations: the Taproot Theater and Ballard Church 1460 NW 73rd. All performances start at 3:00 with doors opening 15 minutes prior. Donations will be taken at the door for the camp scholarship fund. For more information check out their website.

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Foreign Student Host Families Needed

Brian Crawford, the Washington Programs Coordinator with ANDEO - International Homestays, sent me this email which I want to share in its entirety with you. Perhaps some of us can help solve this situation.

I’m emailing because I’m hoping that you might know people in or around Seattle who would like to have the same fun you will be having this summer! We are in need of 8 more host families to host Spanish boys from June 29th – July 27th! This could be a fun experience for your family and theirs to host at the same time! If you have anyone that you could forward this email on to, that would be wonderful! I’ve included a little more information about the program below:

The boys are between 14-17 years old and they are mostly from the North and South of Spain! They enjoy everything from sports to musical instruments to skateboarding and skiing! They have been studying English for at least 4-5 years so they are able to easily communicate with you! They are traveling to the US to improve their language skills, but also to learn about American culture! Your student would be treated as another family member; doing chores, biking around the neighborhood, going to summer camp, participating in family vacations or meeting friends – all of which helps them to get a sense of what it’s like to live in the US.

We match families with students based on age, gender, nationality, and shared interests. So if your family goes hiking on the weekends we’d match you with a student who loves hiking too! The students put together an extensive dossier, which your family would be able to see before you decide if you would like to host him. We ask that host families provide 3 meals a day for your student. The teens are covered by health insurance and bring their own spending money and are prepared to pay their own way for things such as movies and museum entrances. The students can share a bedroom as long as they have their own bed and are sharing with someone who is similar age and the same gender.

If you would like more information, please feel free to give me a call at 206-455-0022! You can also find more information, or apply to host, at our website

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Friday, June 19: Chef Poppy Tooker from New Orleans comes to the Phinney Farmers Market!!

Nationally famous chef Poppy Tooker has been featured on numerous TV shows and documentaries, including Savoring the World and Simple Living, the History Channel’s Holiday Foods episode of “America Eats” and a “Throwdown” with Bobby Flay, where her famous seafood gumbo proved unbeatable on the popular Food Network show! Poppy will be cooking up a big pot of gumbo at Phinney, showing shoppers how to use our own seasonal farm ingredients to make a fantastic, richly-flavored stew (and yes, samples will be given out). This FREE event is not to be missed! Friday, June 19, at 4 pm, at the Phinney Farmers Market, 67th and Phinney Ave N. Copies of Poppy’s new cookbook will also be available for purchase.

The Phinney Farmers Market takes place every Friday through Oct 2 from 3 to 7 pm, in the lower lot at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 67th and Phinney Ave N. The market is operated by the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance. For more info, see

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Class Schedule Available!

The schedule of summer classes being offered at the PNA is now available on line as a pdf file. Go here.

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PNA in the news!

For a lovely photo essay of our Home & Garden Tour last weekend visit

The website "Serious Eats" headlines a photo of the Phinney Farmers Market in a roundup story of local markets.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Around the World in 80 Days

The economic woes of late have many of us rethinking summer vacation plans. However, at the Taproot theater one can escape the summer heat for a two hour trip around the world. Taproot's most recent production, Around the World in 80 Days, takes theatergoers on an amazing trip through time to the marvels and morality of the Victorian age. Once again, Taproot producers lean on versatile and captivating actors to engage the audience. In this performance, five very talented actors transform into a cast of more than thirty through the use of simple props and dramatic skills.
Although the performance can be enjoyed by patrons of all ages, (I was seated next to a nine year old boy), some parents may want to note there is a brief scene in an opium den and use of alcohol. The zany excitement of the story left us cheering on the protagonist, and hoping he would achieve his goal of completing his around the world journey in eighty days.
Performances run through June 20.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Opening Day at Phinney Farmers Market

Thanks to phinneywood for a great piece on opening day last Friday!

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Farmers Market T-shirts are In

Order Your New PNA Farmers Market T-shirt or Shopping Bag on line!

Click here for details!

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March for Health Care Volunteers Wanted

Judith Wood, PNA's Director of Volunteer Programs asked me if you might be interested in helping out with this.

The PNA is a co-sponsor of the May 30 March for Health Care. We're hoping to recruit a few volunteers to act as "peacekeepers" during this event. A peacekeeper is a person that works in a team to keep the crowd marching together, to make sure to stay within the limits, not leaving people behind and making sure the crowd flows without too many gaps. Peacekeepers must attend a training on May 21 or May 26 from 6-8 pm or at 10 am the morning of the march. To volunteer, please contact for training details. For more info about the event visit their web site.

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PNA Upcoming Celebration in BNT

Did you see the article about us in the Ballard News Tribune? Well, it seems we're gonna have this party and...

Phinney Neighborhood Association to celebrate building purchase
By Robinson Newspapers Staff
May 21, 2009

The Phinney Neighborhood Association purchased the former John B. Allen Elementary School from the Seattle School District earlier this spring, becoming the official owner of the Phinney Neighborhood Center and they want to invite the community to celebrate that milestone with them on June 28.

The Phinney Neighborhood Center bills itself as an independent, non-profit community center run by and for the Phinney-Greenwood neighborhood.

On Sunday, June 28, the center will host a community party complete with live music, aerialists, jugglers, chalk art, the Bubble Man and more. The party begins at 2 p.m. in the center’s parking lot at 6532 Phinney Ave. N.

At 3 p.m., the festivities will move into the building where local dignitaries will “toast” the PNA and cake and cookies will be served. There will also be a photo display featuring the center and its programs and activities, as well as materials and information about plans for upgrading and improving the center buildings and site.

If it rains, activities will be moved inside.

more here

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Judith Wood, PNA's Director of Volunteer Programs, just sent me this:

"We had a great work party out in Heart of Phinney Park last Saturday. The weather cooperated and more than 30 volunteers turned out for a major garden make-over. After 10 years, it was time to shift some things around, replace plants lost to frost, trampling, or drunk drivers, and generally spruce things up a bit. We dug, we weeded, we planted and divided, and spread six yards of mulch. It was a great effort by neighbors, UW students, and members of both the PNA and Mars Hill Church, who generously underwrote the cost of mulch and new plants. Organizers George Suriya and Travis Boyd even hosted a fantastic barbecue lunch under the tower for all of us."

View a slide show of the work party here.

If you'd like to get in on the fun, contact to become a volunteer gardener at the Phinney Neighborhood Center.

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Call to Artists: 2010 Gallery Exhibitions

The Phinney Center Gallery is currently accepting submissions for the 2010 gallery season by visual artists working in 2D or 3D media for individual or group shows.

Click here for details.

The deadline is Monday, June 15th

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Walking the Artwalk

My weather request fulfilled, I set out with my big black lab, to check out the Greenwood/Phinney Artwalk. Nearing Greenwood, I glimpsed the line out the door at Makeda coffee, and felt a volt of pleasure knowing this Artwalk was sure to be well attended. I picked up my map, shocked to see so MANY venues and headed south on Greenwood. The next stop showcased performing art as well as visual art, with mimes doing dance at SPACE A Design Collective. At Metropolis, the crowd gathered around an artist at work. Her original artwork makes an appearance on beautiful cards carried at the store. The high quality of art available to view at the many merchants along Greenwood testifies to the depth of the art community in our area. There were just too many individual artists to mention, all producing amazing work.

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How are Seattle & New York City Exactly Alike?

They are tied for last place on the "2009 Mercer Quality of Living Survey" of the world's top 50 cities offering the best quality of life.

Yeah, right… and Greenwood is exactly like TriBeCa? NOT!

That's right: Seattle is LAST! According to this ranking the Quality of Life here is worse, much worse, than it is in such cosmopolitan paradises as: Portland (48), Calgary (25), and Perth (21).

OK. I admit it has been a long, long time since I've been to Calgary but I ask you can a city whose idea of fun is running a pack of stampeding horses through town have a higher Quality of Life than we do? I mean, pirates are classier than horses, right? RIGHT?

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Friday, May 8, 2009

I didn't even know there was a Beer Week

As part of Seattle Beer Week (May 7 - 17) Northern Lights (NL) Brewers will be at the Park Pub which is hosting a post ArtWalk Party Saturday, May 9.

Great beer and cheap food in a happy hour that lasts from 5-8pm at the Park Pub (6114 Phinney Ave N). There'll be at least four Northern Lights beers on tap, including a cask of their delicious Winter Ale, and you can watch the Mariners on the projector.

Swag, give-aways and free NL pint glasses for the first 20 people who order a NL beer.

$1 From every NL beer poured that night will be donated to the Greenwood Senior Center.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Votes are In!

Thank you to all the artists who submitted their work and to everyone who took part in the voting. Be sure to stop by the Phinney Neighborhood Center between May 15 and 29 to view all nine entries on display. The winning design was created by Sandy Nelson.

T-shirts and canvas shopping bags will be available for sale online just as soon as we have finalized some details of the design and color selection. Items will be ready for pick-up at the Phinney Neighborhood Center in time for opening day of the Phinney Farmers Market on Friday, May 29!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

ArtWalk this Friday in the 'hood

The shops along Phinney and Greenwood will be a feast for the eyes this weekend at the Greenwood ArtWalk.  Friday from 6-9pm is opening night so put your walking shoes on and view the variety our neighborhood has to offer. Be sure to head north of 85th to see the amazing showings at the Sip and Ship 8560 Greenwood Ave N.

Another amazing showing is at the Urban Light Studios 8537 Greenwood Ave N, across the street from the Sip and Ship. A little tricky to find, but worth your time. Their shows are well thought out and maximize the use of space and light.

Sip and Ship has secured two local artists: Jewelry maker, Julie Cechony creates necklaces, earrings and other baubles, and artist Chris Nelson creates one of kind art inspired by Ming Dynasty artist Bada Shanren.

Urban Light Studios presents “Night Asia ” Photography by Kevin Law: Bland concrete expanses give way to rainbows of glowing color, movements of people and machine exaggerated as comets of lights coming and going. From the twinkling red lights of Tokyo to the floating billboards of Shanghai, the scenes are simultaneously spectacular and bizarrely serene. Through the use of long exposures, the dimension of time is added to these images, allowing the frenetic pace and startling beauty of the modern Asian metropolis to be re-created in "Night Asia."

Another unusual treat at this show, we will be showcasing living orchid arrangements which juxtapose sweet delicate orchid plants with salvaged and organic contrasts.

When: May 8 - June 5
Opening Reception: May 8 & 9 during the Greenwood-Phinney Annual ArtWalk Fri. May 8, 6-9:30pm Sat. May 9, 12-5pm
Regular Gallery Hours: 12-6pm Wed.-Fri or by appointment Where: Urban Light Studios & The Greenwood Collective Underground 8537 Greenwood Ave N Seattle, WA 98103
More Information: (206) 913-2834,

>>Back to main blog page

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's all over now, Moulin Rouge

The auction is over. It's a quiet day around the Big Blue Building as people sort out the remains of the party. Whew!

If you weren't there you can get a look in the blog this morning.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The B-17s

Hey! Did you see this in the morning paper?

"Boeing B-17 carries wartime memories for former pilot
Former Boeing B-17 bomber pilot Hank Hendrickson, 88, relived his World War II service Monday as he took to the skies in a refurbished B-17 called the Liberty Belle — this time as a passenger."

Well, if you're the highest bidder at the PNA Auction this Saturday you and a friend can take a ride on a B-17 yourselves! Here's the sort of thing you'll see:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bingo & Karaoke

No, Bingo & Karaoke are not the names of your neighbors dogs! They are the ingredients of a night of crazy fun & wild laughter on the offing the fourth Friday of each month at the Greenwood Senior Center on 85th (halfway between Aurora and Greenwood).

If a picture is worth a thousand words, here's a jillion words describing last Friday nights event.

There's more to see! Follow the link...

>>Back to main blog page