Monday, December 10, 2012

What Is Next For You?

By Sandy Watchie Stamato

It’s almost time to celebrate the New Year: A time of renewal and, for many hope for a better tomorrow. Yet, have you noticed how three weeks into January all those good intentions go awry?

Why is it so hard to change? Who wouldn’t love to lose those irritating 10 pounds, get that new “perfect” job or meet your soul mate? What’s the hang up? Why is it so hard to change?

Why is changing so hard?
Our brains are geared to resist change. It’s a survival thing – a chemical reaction. When we want to make a change in our life, it’s fraught with the unknown and all of this causes anxiety and fear. Our reptilian brain comes to the rescue and tries to save the day. “CHANGE bad. Cookies GOOD” and there goes our diet plans.

But there’s hope
One of the most effective means for circumventing our reptilian brain – so we can be open to changing and tapping into what really lights us up – is the practice of gratitude. 

What does gratitude have to do with change? It’s nearly impossible to feel anxious and fearful when in a state of gratitude. The feelings of gratitude create a very profound shift in our brains and create a sense of abundance, expansiveness and possibility. 

We are able to make different decisions and move forward with more ease. Possibility, curiosity and excitement abound in a grateful mindset. It truly is the antidote for anxiety and fear. This opens the door to making lasting changes in your life.

Let’s use the example of looking for a new job. Practice being grateful for your current job and you’ll be surprised at what pops up. You may end up loving the job you have or, be much more receptive and curious when job applying. 

Try this experiment
Take the time to write three SPECIFIC things you’re grateful for everyday. Go into great detail about each person, place or thing. Identify the highlight of your day.  (A complimentary two-week gratitude journal is available at Try it for two weeks. Then you can thank me!

Solar For Your Home?

By Bill Thorness

Are solar panels right for your roof? Answer that question, learn how solar energy works, and access a group discount at a Solarize Seattle: Northwest educational workshop coming to the PNA in January.

The workshop is Saturday, January 26, 10-11:30 am at the Phinney Center. Local clean energy nonprofit Northwest SEED will present the workshop as part of the Solarize Washington program.
Solarize is a community-led effort that simplifies and streamlines the process of going solar. The Northwest Seattle campaign is offering free workshops, free solar site assessments, discounted pricing, and help understanding the tax benefits, incentives and financing available. The limited-time campaign intends to install 150 solar systems Northwest Seattle by summer of 2013. 

Solarize is an innovative group purchase program that helps residents and businesses tap into more affordable solar energy. It is funded by Seattle City Light, managed by the nonprofit Northwest SEED, and supported by seven community organizations, including PNA.

Solarize Seattle: Northwest is the sixth campaign in Northwest SEED’s Solarize Washington program. Previous campaigns have been in Queen Anne, Magnolia, Northeast Seattle, Stanwood, Camano Island and Mukilteo. Together, they have added 139 solar systems to the regional electric grid, totaling more than 600 kilowatts of solar electricity capacity and investing $3.8 million in our local solar economy. 

To sign up for the workshop or to get more information about Solarize, visit and fill out the brief "Bring Solarize to me" form. If you can't make the January 26 workshop, others will be held throughout Northwest Seattle neighborhoods during winter and early spring. Let your neighbors know about this program to help us achieve our goal of 150 solar roofs in Northwest Seattle!

Learn more at

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Western Swing Honky Tonk Concert & Dance

Titans of Twang

Saturday, November 24 - 7:30 - 10PM

Phinney Neighborhood Center

Community Hall (lower bldg)

The Seattle Folklore Society presents a post-Thanksgiving dance/concert with two great bands: The Jangles and The Titans of Twang. The Jangles specialize in Western Swing (also called Texas Swing) while The Titans of Twang favor Honky Tonk and Country. Both bands feature strong vocals and their music is perfectly suited for dancing or listening.
The Jangles are, Mike Faast/lead vocals/guitar, Paul Anastasio/fiddle, Roger Ferguson/guitar/fiddle, Lance and Laurie Haslund/vocals/bass/ukulele, Toby Hanson on accordion and Mark Drake on drums.. You’ll enjoy their hot picking and three part harmony western swing. The Titans are an all-star band with a big sound: steel guitar, electric & acoustic guitar, harmonica, bass, and drums. They are Lisa Theo, Kim Field, Bob Knetzger, Terry Kingen, Bill Shaw, Robin Cady.
Come enjoy some classics from the old-school country/western duet tradition, then kick up your heels and dance off that Thanksgiving dinner! If you’re not a dancer, there will be seats for you to enjoy wathching the musicians and the dancers! $15 ($13 SFS/PNA, seniors, students; $7 youth 6-17)
More info & reservations: or 206-528-8523

The Jangles

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An Elevator in the School House

An Elevator in the School House

a short story by PNA volunteer Charles Forsher inspired by the construction of the Blue Building elevator
Ten year old Susan Bower of Phinney Ridge had been one of those struck down, and had lain on top of her bed sweating profusely as well as being in a delirium. Mrs. Bower had been sitting in her grandmother’s rocking chair in the same room keeping a vigil, and unable to sleep reciting prayers for her daughters recovery all through the night before, the illness beyond the help of aspirin. 
Mrs. Bower was quite exhausted now, her Gibson Girl appearance frazzled, but having a confidence her daughter would live. Patience now was what the grown woman needed.  About the tenth hour of the morning little Susan Bower suddenly took two deep breaths and then opened her eyes. Her mom half shrieked and then loudly summoned ‘papa’.
The husband entered his daughter’s bedroom. He was a burly man, hair parted down the middle and sporting a handle bar mustache. He walked over to his daughter and looked down at her sternly, then to his wife, who was standing next to him.
“The fever’s broken, Ellie.” Mrs. Bower nodded, breathing a sigh of relief. A two car train of the Seattle Everett Interurban rumbled by outside on Greenwood Avenue.
 “Oh papa! It was so strange!”
 “What was strange my child.” Mr. Bower asked as he looked back down at his daughter, her voice softening his heart.
“I had gone back to the school house, where I knew I would be safe, and entered by the north side. Everything looked different in a way, much older somehow, and there was an elevator in the schoolhouse.
“You were in a delirium my child!” Mr. Bower insisted lovingly.
“Honestly, papa. It was so real, all of it, and it made no sense. The door to the elevator was not made of glass like the one in the department store downtown; mama’s favorite.”
 Mrs. Bower nodded her head, agreeing with Susan. “That’s your favorite part of our shopping.”
“Besides the street car ride!” Susan added, color returning to her cheeks.
“Oh mama! The door to the elevator in the schoolhouse was made of polished steel! It slid open and some strangely dressed children walked out. I became so frightened that I fainted dead away!”
 Mrs. Bower started to swoon, but her husband came to her rescue.
“Now Susan, you know the schoolhouse doesn’t have an elevator.”
Mr. Bower reached down now and picking up the pitcher of water on the small table next to Susan’s bed, then picked up the tin cup that had been placed next to the pitcher, and poured some water into it. The small chain of Mr. Bower’s pocket watch lurched as the man bent down and offered his daughter the cup. Susan didn’t realize how thirsty she was, and quickly drained the cup of its contents. Then Susan settled back, pushing her head against the many pillows her parents had provided, a few days before at the onset of the symptoms.
“Papa, do you think there will ever be an elevator in the schoolhouse?”
 The burly man put down the pitcher and the tin cup handed back to him by his daughter, reflected on her question, and then smiled.
“Surely my daughter, in the Age rockets really carries men to the Moon and back!”
At that the Bower family had a good laugh.

Friday, October 5, 2012

They Keep The Food Coming--Meal Program Volunteers

Planning menus, procuring food, preparing dishes and serving meals: this is the ongoing work of hundreds of volunteers who support the PNA's meal programs. They work on different teams at different sites, but they all warmly welcome and nourish the community. The PNA is grateful for the reliable, time-honored support of many dedicated volunteers at these meals.

Greenwood Senior Center Lunch Program: The daily lunch program at the GSC is possible only with the dedication of our fabulous weekly volunteers: they plan and shop, prep and serve, and best of all, clean up after each meal! Together, they offer a three-course, balanced meal from a variety of cuisines – and all on a budget. Special thanks to Neil Banta-Blacker, Esther Dean, Inga Ilich, Fannie Jin, Cindi Kozai, Keiko LaPoint, Maria Marabella, Candace Mathes, Chet Nachtegal, Suzie Paulson, Dixie Rae and the many more volunteers who aren't afraid to cook up a storm.

Hot Meal Program: Committed volunteers such as Anne and Dick Harrison, Ida Hamilton, Jack Herndon, Jim Osness, Janet Recher, Sharon Swift, Tom Vincent, Hilde Wilson and dozens of other committed volunteers have formed a dependable, compassionate community that is the foundation of this program.

Together they serve more than 350 meals weekly at three meal times. These competent and caring people move comfortably through their kitchen space, fluidly sharing responsibilities and welcoming and training newer volunteers.

"While it's rewarding to be helping out, it's most inspiring to work with long-term volunteers who have so much dedication to service," reflects one volunteer. Another says, "It is a joy to work with such a fun, dedicated, skilled, caring group!"

Thank you to all of the reliable volunteers who support the meal programs!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Do unto others: The Platinum Rule?

As a mother of a preschool aged son, I have been reflecting on what values I most want to instill in our family ethic. What were the seminal values of my own upbringing? Respect for authority, helping wherever possible, neighborliness, frugality, work before play. These were the expectations in my New England-based family, and thankfully I mostly agree with them, because they are deeply ingrained in who I am and how I live today. I couldn’t completely eschew them if I tried.
The Golden Rule is one of those values. Of course we should treat others the way we’d want to be treated, right? To me, this was axiomatic—until recently, when the PNA encouraged me to attend a workshop about leading in a multicultural organization. My attendance, along with two coworkers, was part of my work with the PNA Cultural Engagement Workgroup, focused on social justice and equity issues in our community. The training was led by two fabulous presenters from Cultures Connecting, which provides professional development to help organizations enter into conversations about race, culture, and social justice. The facilitators challenged us to consider that to respectfully connect with people from cultures other than our own, we need to take the Golden Rule and make it even better. Instead, they said, we should consider trying to do unto others as they would have done unto them! I later learned that the business management sector has named this concept the Platinum Rule.
It’s important to me that my son learn to feel empathy for others. We talk a lot about feelings, and I’m helping him learn to name his own and others’. Often I have asked, after he yanks my carefully folded laundry and tosses it onto the floor (or some such destructive act), “How do you think you would feel if someone took apart your train set and threw it all over the floor (or some such analogy)?” I’m honestly not sure if this is even a legitimate parenting technique. But now I wonder, does this feedback miss the point entirely? Does this help him imagine how I am feeling? And more importantly, am I taking the opportunity to imagine how he is feeling? Separated in our different stages of life and brain development, we will never really know. But the journey is in trying to imagine.
Putting myself in other people’s shoes at home, at work as Volunteer Coordinator, and in the greater community involves carefully listening to their words and paying close attention to their body language. It also requires a level of understanding of the ingrained cultural values they might hold and the family history in the background—and how they may differ from my own cultural values and history. I realize that I still have a lot to learn about the diverse cultures of the people I live and work alongside in Seattle and the community we build at the PNA. The more I can learn about our community’s multicultural history and the ethics different groups tend to impart on their children, the more empathy and respect I can hope to share. My son at age 3 is wired to observe with exquisite sensitivity the reactions that follow after his every attempt to communicate with someone (these are not always as vexing as knocking the laundry on the floor). Can I as an adult, well marinated in white, middle-class, Puritan-based, college-educated culture, be so attentive and learn so astutely from my interactions with others?
I’m proud to be part of an organization that openly seeks to be inclusive and welcoming to people from all backgrounds. The Cultural Engagement Workgroup regularly hosts events featuring works such as Seattle in Black and White, Put This on the Map, and Looking Like the Enemy. These books, films, and discussions have expanded my awareness of how others in my community may view themselves and why they may hold different values than my own. Each event brings people together to exchange perspectives openly and honestly and leaves me feeling better equipped to try to treat others the way they may wish to be treated.
Many people are fearful of conversations about diversity, race, power, and inequality. Beyond the jargon of politically correct or taboo phrases, the fear of insulting someone or being judged, and the specter of deeply rooted social inequities, the heart of this work for me is learning and deep empathy. If I expect my son to respect all people equally, I have a lifelong journey of learning the Platinum Rule along with him.
If you’re interested in the work we are doing to be more culturally competent and inclusive, we welcome your input or resources. Please comment here, visit our webpage, or contact the Cultural Engagement Workgroup chair.
Ali Saperstein, PNA Volunteer Coordinator

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Help Students Be Spiffy!

Headed to the store to buy a few things for a child you know who is headed to school in a few weeks? Consider buying a few extra things to help a child in need start the school year off on the right foot, too.

Phinney Neighbors in Action is hosting its annual Back to School Donation Drive from now through mid-September. Whitman Middle School has asked mainly for newly purchased school supplies such as flash drives, highlighters, 2" binders, pencils and erasers, and colored pencil or pen sets. Treehouse has asked for newly purchased jeans, hoodies, t-shirts, and backpacks.

Having snappy new supplies and clothing goes a long way to help a child start the school year feeling confident and ready to learn and make friends.

Donations can be dropped off in the Blue Building of the Phinney Neighborhood Center through mid-September. 

Thanks for your generosity!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wipe Out Graffiti in Greenwood!

Graffiti is a growing concern in Greenwood.

A community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 6/19, 7-9 pm at the Greenwood Senior Center. Join us to discuss the problem, brainstorm solutions, and plan an initial neighborhood paint-out party this summer.

Seattle Police Officer Penelope Fulmer will discuss the connection between graffiti and other crime. Local business and property owners, neighbors and concerned citizens are all welcome.

To join the effort, sign up online, email, or just show up to the meeting!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Sculpture Coming to Heart of Phinney Park

Local artist Matt Babcock will be installing a new sculpture in the Heart of Phinney Park this Friday, May 25th. The sculpture's pedestal is located in the Heart of Phinney Park, in front of the Francine Seders Gallery. The sculpture, titled Curtsy, will replace his current sculpture titled Samaras. Both sculptures are for sale. If interested, please contact Pamela Jaynes, the Arts Coordinator at 
Sales benefit the Phinney Neighborhood Association Arts Program and the local artist who created the work.
For more information on the artist, see

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Greenwood Elementary School Garden

Greenwood Elementary School is breaking ground on a beautiful and inviting community and school garden and they are looking for your participation. Bring your green thumb and passion! Groundbreaking will take place on Saturday, April 28, at 9 am. There will be a community meeting with refreshments at 9:30 am and work parties from 9 am to noon and 1-3 pm.

Greenwood School Garden goals are to create a garden so all children at Greenwood Elementary can participate, partner with local food banks and senior centers, teach students about contributing to their community, and create a space that will become a popular locale for school and neighborhood events.

Phase 1 Garden Project Includes:
• Six natural cedar raised beds that students can participate in assembling.
• Cedar garden shed and cedar fence and trellis.
• A central "outdoor classroom" complete with benches and tables for student learning.
• Cedar-chip-lined pathways to suppress weeds and reduce mud.
• Compost spinners and worm bins.

This garden will grow with the ideas you bring. The project is sponsored by the Greenwood School PTA, Seattle School District and the Seattle City Department of Neighborhoods. Community members can contribute as a volunteer, donor or sponsor. Follow the project at

For questions or more information contact Jessyca Poole or Stephanie Magill at

Friday, April 13, 2012

PNA Superstar Volunteer - Jeanne Barwick

“Jeanne is one of the most community-minded people I have ever met,” states Cecily Kaplan, Director of the Greenwood Senior Center. As an active participant in the local community, Jeanne Barwick was invited to join the Greenwood Senior Center Board of Directors in 2005 by Jim Moore, a longtime leader at the Center. Jeanne, who has owned and managed Mae’s Phinney Ridge Café for 23 years, believes community volunteer work is good for business, good for the community and good for the soul.

Over the years, her work with the Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce, the Phinney Neighborhood Association and the Greenwood Arts Council brought her a certain degree of recognition among the locals. Now, all of that has changed. Now, whenever she finds herself out and about in the neighborhood, she is not necessarily recognized as “Mae,” but more often as the “Bingo Lady” from the Senior Center!

“I love it!” says Jeanne with a warm smile and a mischievous glance.

Ed Medeiros, former Executive Director of the PNA, loves to tell stories about the first couple of times Jeanne stood in front of a crowd in her role as Chamber President. “She was so nervous and shy!” It seems she’s found her comfort in the role of “Jeanne, Jeanne the Bingo Queen” on the last Friday of the month at The Greenwood Senior Center. Until recently, Lauren Sisto (aka “The Sisto Kid”) shared the stage and Marilyn Shulman is the “Karaoke Queen.”

“So many wonderful volunteers have made this event a very successful fundraiser for the Center. Fundraising has never been so much fun!” Jeanne says.

Jeanne has generously shared her creativity and incredible energy with the Greenwood Senior Center, bringing vitality to events like Bingo Karaoke Night and projects like the Alzheimer’s Café.

Jeanne’s partnership in supporting one of the Greenwood Senior Center’s most exciting new programs, The Alzheimer’s Café, has been truly amazing. Center staff are grateful to Jeanne for her willingness to open her doors for this monthly gathering, held the second Tuesday monthly from 3:30-5 p.m.

The Phinney Ridge Café had been a long-time fixture on the Ridge when Jeanne Mae Barwick moved to Seattle from her native Wisconsin. Jeanne took one look at the homey neighborhood diner and fell in love. Her enthusiasm, warmth and calm demeanor add the perfect ingredients for the success of the Alzheimer’s Cafe.

“Her monthly menu varies but the offerings are always simple, delicious comfort foods that mark the season. We could not ask for a better venue or host for this event.” says GSC Social Worker Carin Mack.

If you haven’t met Jeanne, she’s hard to miss! Her cheerful demeanor and genuine smile can be found often at Mae’s Phinney Ridge Café, a great spot for a family celebration or a get-together with friends, as well as monthly at the Greenwood Senior Center’s Bingo Karaoke Night. A big thank you to Jeanne for all that she has done at the Greenwood Senior Center, the Phinney Neighborhood Center and our entire community as a whole.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dialogues with Cloth by artist Peggy O'Heron

Peggy O’Heron
The work of local artist Peggy O'Heron is featured in the Phinney Center Gallery this month. The opening reception is Friday, April 13th from 7:00-9:00 pm. To learn more about the artist, see her artist statement featured below.

April 2012
The spark of my artist-self ignited when I took leave from my business to raise my family. As I knitted a baby sweater for my young daughter, I discovered a deep and dormant desire to make art. Today, time in my studio is a daily meditation and it’s where I experience my most authentic self. I look through the lens of my history and examine our humanness with an insatiable curiosity. In the peacefulness of solitude, I strive for intimacy - with my materials and with myself.

This body of work began as a question - How can I capture the essence of relationships and the tone of conversations on the surface of a piece of cloth? I use the simple marks of circles, squares and grid patterns all uniquely expressed by hand-made tools and hand-mixed colors. The process of building multiple layers of mark and color is exciting to me. The marks and colors and an expanse of white silk take on identities and converse with one another. These dialogues--dye to cloth, circles to squares, light to dark, thread to mark and ultimately self to self--are punctuated with hand stitching.

I welcome you into these conversations. I hope you are intrigued, engaged and delighted.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Phinney Center Update - Renovation Plans Move To High Gear

By Bill Fenimore

The planning for renovation of the Blue Building is moving into high gear, with the expectation that the work will begin in the latter half of this summer. Our intention is to focus our efforts on the most important pieces of this project – safety and accessibility. Once we start, the contractor will be on site for approximately 14 weeks and the Phinney Center will remain open. At the end of this process the temporary partitions will come down to reveal a new elevator to provide access for all.

In addition to an elevator, we will have a new outdoor plaza on the ground level and a new staircase, creating an entry path that is wider and more welcoming. On the main floor we have already revealed the glass partition walls that had been previously covered and that will help define the foyer and elevator lobby.

On the third floor, we will be creating a closet for new rolling art walls. Until recently the gallery walls hung from temporary beams that have been functional but not beautiful. For the first time in many years, we can see the arches that define the space without the extra beams intruding. We are also planning significant seismic improvements to the building.

I am also happy to report that the spirit of the Living Building Challenge continues to inform our decisions. We are not in a position to seek certification but are looking at each decision we make through that lens. We plan to provide a new heating system for the common areas and we are considering replacing our aging natural gas furnace with a heat pump that will burn no fossil fuel as it provides heat.

Another example, just completed, is the replacement of the carpet in Room 6. We found a PVC-free carpet, Shaw Ecoworx tile, which the Re-store had salvaged. Shaw’s local rep, Laurie Staley, generously provided Shaw’s latest innovation, Lok dots, which take the place of gallons of adhesive. Shaw has been a leader in the field of sustainability and the chance to work with them was very satisfying. We also partnered with the Northwest Ecobuilding Guild who provided expert craftsmen to help do the work. Have a look the next time you are at the Phinney Center.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What motivates YOU to Create CHANGE?

By Marie Bolla

Protest. OCCUPY. Change. Alter a system that institutionally causes pain.

Have you ever seen a post on Facebook urging you to re-post, call a senator, or “like” an organization so you can help make a difference? How emotionally upset do you get before it causes you to say, “Forget it! I’m calling my Representative or Senator’s office immediately!” Perhaps you make the call and realize that’s not enough. A rally is in order. You surf the net and before you know it, you find yourself somewhere on Second Avenue on your lunch break, after organizing your friends (or the city) to stage a protest against a poignant and personally painful issue. How often does this really happen?

What cause motivates you to draw the line between resting on a comfortable couch at home, and getting out of your house on a rainy afternoon to attend a town hall and state exactly how you believe our city needs to change its system? What issue causes you to protest? Picket? Demonstrate?

Our Community is exploring this idea through a Phinney Reads event on April 4th. We’re featuring the book, “Seattle in Black and White: the Congress of Racial Equality and the Fight for Equal Opportunity.” In the 1960s, co-author Maid Adams, along with many of Seattle’s citizens, made the life-altering decision not to allow things to continue as they were. They staged a protest against obvious racism in the Central District which allowed grocery store owners to not hire African-American employees. Racism also allowed realtors to be “busy” when non-whites wanted to purchase a house. Drawing the line, these activists, along with dozens of neighbors-- and shopping carts-- fought against society and government to ensure that they, too, had the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The Civil Rights Era may have been named for the 50s and 60s, but we still face Civil Rights issues today. Racism still exists, along with issues like marriage equality, accessibility for all citizens, housing for our indigent population and income disparity – has anyone heard of the 99%???

What name shall we call this movement?

I don’t have the answers, but we can look back to the work of CORE, and those who lived through the experiences of “Seattle in Black and White” and be inspired towards change.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action: PNA Village Is Rolling Out the Services!

The PNA Village team has been working diligently in preparation for the initiation of delivering services to members beginning April 1. The team, ably led by Chair Ed Medeiros, consists of steering committee members and PNA/GSC staff who will see the result of their work over the past two years come to reality. Additional team members include our first staff person, PNA Village Coordinator Janice Dilworth, and AmeriCorps member Joanna Wright.
“I am so impressed with all the groundwork that has been laid over the past two years by Ed Medeiros and the 20 plus volunteers on the steering committees. We are also very fortunate to have the support of the PNA and GSC staff. Most importantly, I’m excited to see how this Village takes off with the PNA community behind it” says Janice, who has been working closely with the Advisory Board and steering committee members, who have been meeting for two years, to help ensure a successful launch of services.
The past few months have been full of preparation for the April 1st launch date. The PNA Village was officially launched Saturday, January 21, at the PNA Annual Meeting. Village volunteer Frank Flannigan gave an overview of the aging-in-place program and answered questions. We signed up our first member at the meeting! Over the next several weeks volunteers and staff worked diligently to find areas for promotional pieces and developing a training presentation for in-home Village informational sessions.
In February, we welcomed our first office support volunteer who joins us every Monday to enter data into our database and other administrative tasks. The first group of volunteers have been undergoing training, which includes a core training for all volunteers, and specialized training for the Handy Helpers, as well as for the Drivers. Our Volunteer Committee continues to provide key support throughout the training and screening process. Another group of volunteers have been hard at work recruiting and vetting the businesses who will participate in the Village's Business Referral program. Other steering committee members have been assisting with marketing, outreach, membership campaigns, data requirements, funding and governance.
All of this operational work should be seamless to our members when in April we begin delivering services to our members. If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about the Village, sign up for your free one-on-one consultation with members of the PNA Village Board, Ed or Jean-Loupe, who will be happy to discuss any aspect to you. Call ahead to reserve a time, (206) 783-2244. If you are interested in becoming a part of the team, we would love to have you! Visit the Village website for current volunteer openings:

Friday, March 30, 2012

PhinneyWood Business Update

Hello And Goodbye
Longtime Anchors Close While New Businesses Open
By Lisa Craze

We’re saying goodbye to old friends and greeting new ones in the neighborhood early this year.

Many of us are sad to see our good friends at the Greenwood Market go. The market closed its doors to make way for the expansion of the Fred Meyer Store. The Town and Country chain, which operated Greenwood Market, was confident it could find new jobs at its other stores for almost all 50 employees. Greenwood Market was well known for its generosity in the community. It sponsored the Winter Festival at the Phinney Neighborhood Association every year, and since 1999, contributed more than $15,000 to the PNA through their 1% Giveback Program. (Ballard Market is still participating in the program and Greenwood Market receipts are still being accepted for now.)

Fred Meyer on 85th St. is also temporarily closed to allow for the store’s long-awaited expansion. Doors are expected to re-open sometime late this fall.

Among the new businesses in the neighborhood is The Ridge Pizza at 72nd and Greenwood Ave N. Owned and operated by a group of friends, including the owners of Prost! and the Nickerson Street Saloon, The Ridge Pizza is a family-friendly place which also has a full bar. The Ridge’s 14 signature pizzas are all named after local businesses and organizations. Three of those are also designated as "Charity Case Pizzas." Whenever you order "The Zoo," "The Firefighter" or "The Community Center," a dollar goes to the organization for which it is named.

418 Public House at 418 NW 65th St is also new to the neighborhood. The menu is heavy on traditional as well as unique Mexican dishes, and vegans and vegetarians will appreciate the options that may not be on the menu. All you have to do is ask. Happy Hour is from 4-6:30 pm with food and drink specials. The 418 Public House website promises regular Monday night trivia as well as special Jazz and Funk nights.

Emerald City Orchids at 716 NW 65th St. recently added a café. They’re serving sandwiches and salads for lunch as well as an assortment of pastries and espresso beverages.

It’s also good to see that Gainsbourg, 8550 Greenwood Ave N, has re-opened after a fire last year. The funky French bistro atmosphere returns, as do the two happy hours a day and the diverse selection of drinks and small plates.

Many parents in the neighborhood have called on the services of Janet Klinger Photography to give a special sparkle to portraits of their families. Since many of her clients request her to work on location, Janet has closed her studio space, but is still very much in business and in demand. Her offices have moved to her home, and when a studio is required, she is renting space at remote locations such as the Phinney Neighborhood Association.

Friday, March 23, 2012

More about Hunger

This will be my last post for Hunger Action Week. Yesterday I attended the Food Lifeline Partner Conference along with Michael Gregory, our Hot Meal Program Coordinator. Along with United Way Hunger Action Form I participated in last week, I feel like I have really learned a lot. I wanted to share some of the information and links that I gathered.

Did you know that Washington is the 13th "hungriest" state in the country? Food insecurity is not an abstract concept for many of our neighbors. In the past year food banks and meal programs have recorded a 30% increase in the number of senior adults seeking food assistance. As the population ages and the economy shrinks, this is one of the most sobering effects.

Visit Food Lifeline for lots of great information, including tangible ways to help. Advocacy is a great means of getting involved and they have current info on state and federal budget measures under consideration. A few emails or phone calls to your elected officials can make a big difference. Take a look at the hunger map and check out The Big Waste, chronicling some basic problems with our food industry.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

“Meal Programs” versus “Soup Kitchens”

In recognition of Hunger Action Week, we would like to share an article put together by the Meals Partnership Coalition, a group of 70 Seattle-area organizations that work to serve more than 5,000,000 no-cost meals per year to community members who would otherwise go hungry.

There are many terms used to describe the organizations that serve prepared food to people in need. Two common terms are “soup kitchens and “meal programs.” But what do they mean? In 1802 the first American soup kitchen intended to feed the needy was opened by the Humane Society of New York City and was widely accepted as needed to support those who struggled with hunger. From the 1820’s to the 1920’s soup kitchens lost popularity in the United States with the rise of the view that social programs just perpetuated poverty and need. Then the Great Depression hit. During the 1930’s soup kitchens served millions of people to help stave off hunger in our country. A soup kitchen was traditionally just that, a kitchen that served soup and bread to those needing food support. After the Great Depression many social programs were established which once again were instrumental in the loss of popularity of soup kitchens until the 1980’s.

During the 1980’s many people in need were not receiving enough support from government benefits and once again no-cost meal programs were needed to meet the hunger needs of our community. When meal programs became a popular method of providing nutritional support during the 1980’s many groups and organizations recognized the importance of creating and serving more nutritionally sound meals. Since the resurgence of these important programs, changes in American eating habits have occurred and a movement to recognize the importance of nutritionally dense and balanced meals has become widely recognized. Gone are the bowls of soup and pieces of bread. Today those basic items have been replaced by a serving of lean protein, vegetable, fruit, and dairy; a complete balanced meal. Based upon the changes we have seen in how and what is served within free meal programs there is now
a movement to change the name of this important resource from “soup kitchen” to “meal program.”

You can support the PNA Hot Meal Program with cash contributions, donations of food or supplies, by volunteering, or with a special gift such as a commercial coffee grinder, which would help us make be the best use of donated coffee beans.
Click HERE to learn more about how to get involved!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Comfort and Joy Gift Drive 2012

Celebrate Spring by contributing a special-occasion surprise for a child in need at Broadview Emergency Shelter. All newly purchased, unwrapped items will be appreciated, but the items below are most in need. Return gifts to the Phinney Neighborhood Center by Friday, April 13.

Bouncer Seats, Bath Toys, Exercise Mats, Shampoo/Body Wash, Learning Toys, Similac Advanced Formula

TODDLERS: Ages 1-2
Disposable Diapers & Pull-ups (sizes 3-5), Learning Toys
Dora, Diego, or Elmo Toys, Convertible Car Seats, Umbrella Strollers


Dress-Up Clothes, Remote-Control Vehicles, Car or Truck Playsets, Action Figures (non-violent), Doll House People (multi-ethnic), Baby Dolls (multi-ethnic), Booster Car Seats, Card Games, Art Supplies (markers, sidewalk chalk), Sticker Sets and Coloring Books, Toy Cash Register with Play Money, Duplo or Lego Building Kits, Dictionaries

PRE-TEEN: Ages 10-12
Video Games (all systems), Lego or K’nex Building Kits, Journals, Outdoor Toys (jump ropes, kickballs, bubbles), Art Supplies (beading materials, drawing pencils and pads, fancy markers), Dictionaries, Calculators

TEEN: Ages 13-18
CD Boom Boxes, Dictionaries, Video Games for Wii, Journals, GED Study Guides, Gift Card to Movie Theaters, Target, Ross, Fred Meyer, Barnes & Noble, or Visa, Calculators, MP3 players, Rechargeable Batteries

We Need the Silver Haired Set

Seattleites cherish living in a city of neighborhoods.  Each pocket offers a unique life style and connection to our community.  Neighbors passionately organize to cultivate and maintain a keen sense of place.  By doing so our neighborhoods give meaning to the word home. 

An integral component of a neighborhood’s unique sense of place is its ability to inspire delight. Delight can come from the ease of accessibility to high quality dining, groceries, schools, parks, gardens, community centers or even vistas.  Delight can be derived from a chance meeting or conversation with neighbors at a local coffee shop or bookstore.  A connected and cared for community cultivates a neighborhood’s propensity to inspire delight.    

In an age where households are strapped with ever more financial burdens, for many, time is short at hand.  Every one of us who loves our neighborhood wishes we could give more to it, but often can’t prioritize that over other pressing concerns.  In this moment I look to our elder generations as hidden gems that can tie our community together.  It is our gradually silvering population of baby boomers and beyond that we must strive to keep invested in our communities.  These are the neighbors with a bit more time, experience and inherent patience to dedicate to our places.  These are the neighbors that know what it was like before the world got so connected and rushed. They have the steady hands to shape our open spaces and keep our community cared for and vibrant.  They are a resource we must never undervalue.   

Exploring avenues to grow the engagement of our silvery stateswomen and men should be high on every neighborhood’s agenda.  Developing programs that assist our elders with aging in place is critical to keeping them connected and supported.  Take a look at the PNA Village program, sign up to volunteer or become a member.  If you’re not close to the retirement age, stay connected to your neighbors who are.  If you were born before Kennedy was President, don’t forget your neighborhood, it needs your wisdom and any help you can give.   

David R. Wellington
MBA Candidate
Foster School of Business, Class of 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Long-term lane closure coming to southbound SR 99/Aurora Avenue North

Drivers face increased congestion for the next six weeks on southbound State Route 99/Aurora Avenue North approaching downtown Seattle. Anticipated backups begin March 6 when crews building the SR 99 tunnel narrow southbound Aurora from three lanes to two between Republican and John streets, just north of the Battery Street Tunnel.

The lane closure is scheduled to last through at least mid-April and will give crews space to relocate utilities buried up to 15 feet beneath the westernmost lane of the roadway. Relocating the utilities will allow crews to begin building the SR 99 tunnel’s north portal, which will be located near Harrison Street between Sixth Avenue North and Aurora.

As a result of the lane closure, King County Metro Transit will begin detouring buses that use this section of southbound SR 99/Aurora Avenue North at 9 p.m. Monday, March 5. More information will be available soon at King County Metro’s Alert Center.

Drivers can find regularly updated traffic closure information for downtown Seattle on the construction traffic update.

Hunger Action Week

Are you interested in learning more about hunger in our community? United Way of King County has put together a great selection of educational and advocacy events to raise awareness of hunger issues in the greater Seattle area. Click the Hunger Action Week link above for more information. To get involved right here at the PNA, check out our Hot Meal Program or contact us about providing food for a local women's shelter.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Five Minutes Could Mean $1 Million

Exciting and unexpected news! The PNA still might have a chance at the $1 million grant from the Heritage Capital Project Fund that we didn’t get last year. We just got word that the Senate included the PNA’s renovation project in the Senate Capital Budget – 2012 Supplemental –along with 14 other projects. Here’s the link (see page 21 for projects) This was absolutely unexpected, given where the state budget is at.

Now we need to convince the Senate to keep it in the budget AND encourage the House to add it to their budget, which had nothing in it. Over the next few days, the Senate and the House will be “horse trading” and your action now will help to make sure we do not get traded out of the final budget.

Is it a long shot? YES

Do we need the $1 million? YES

With this funding we could complete our current project and explore other projects, like an elevator for the Brick Building.

Is it worth 5 minutes of your time to potentially get $1 million? YES

Please call your state representatives and senators by Friday March 2. Calling is better than emailing. Current indications are that the legislative session will end as scheduled next week – and we understand that much will be decided this weekend. So if you’re going to call, you really need to do it in the next couple of days – the sooner the better!

If you need the phone numbers for your representatives, here is link:
To Your Senators
• Thank you for funding the Phinney Neighborhood Association project through the Heritage Capital Projects Fund in the Senate Capital Budget.
• Thank you for your support of heritage preservation and the jobs it creates in our district. (remember, construction starts this summer!)
• Please “hold the line” at the $5.9M mark in their negotiations with the House in the next few days.

To Your Representatives
• Thank you for your support of the Phinney Neighborhood Association project and the Heritage Capital Projects Fund as you begin discussions with the Senate.
• Please support funding for the Fund at the level recommended in the Senate Capital Budget ($5.9M).
• Would you be willing to tell Hans Dunshee and Judy Warnick that your constituents are in support of the Heritage Capital Projects Fund?

Thank you for helping the PNA!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ellies Paul - Noted Songwriter in concert this Saturday (March 3rd)

At the time of writing, tickets are still available for the March 3rd concert 
- Ellis Paul, one of the leading voices in American songwriting. Opening for Ellis 
will be Charlottesville-based singer/songwriter Peyton Tochterman.

Ellis Paul is a critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter, poet, guitarist, pianist and 
troubadour originally hailing from a potato farming family in northern Maine and now 
living in Charlottesville, VA. Ellis was a principle leader in the wave of musicians 
that emerged from the Boston folk scene, creating a movement that revitalized the 
national acoustic circuit and helped ignite the folk revival of the 1990's with a 
literate, introspective, and intimate folk-pop style.
Advance tickets for Saturday, March 3rd through Brown Paper Tickets: or by phone 24/7 at 1-800-838-3006.
General Admission: $16, $2 off for SFS & PNA members and seniors, kids $8
Check for day-of-show availability at the door at
Sponsored by the Seattle Folklore Society