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.