Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Mini-B Passive House showcases efficiency at the PNA

Neighbors and visitors to the Phinney Neighborhood Center might be wondering why a small house showed up in the lower parking lot last weekend. No, we haven’t decided to build a mobile home community in our parking lot to bring in extra revenue—it’s the Mini-B Passive House, demonstrating super-efficient building techniques at the PNA for the next 6 months—starting with an open house on January 15.

Designed by Joseph Giampietro, Certified Passive House Consultant, and built by students at the SCCC Wood Construction Center, the Mini-B is one of the first Passive Houses built in the State of Washington. At the end of the demonstration period, the house will be sold to become a backyard cottage.

What’s a Passive House anyways? You may have heard of its granddaddy, the passive solar house, a technique developed in the 70’s in the US, but largely abandoned here because of cheap energy in the 80’s and concerns about indoor air-quality. The Germans took the idea to the next level, building a house so well-insulated and air-tight that it takes advantage of body heat and waste heat from appliances, as well as sunshine—hence “Passivhaus”. Meanwhile, they solved the indoor-air quality problems with a heat-recovery ventilator, which transfers heat from outgoing stale air to incoming fresh air, providing great indoor air quality without losing heat. The result is a very comfortable home that uses up to 90% less energy for heating than a traditional home. Over 20,000 projects have been completed in Europe, from row houses to swimming pools.

Now Passive House is coming to the US in a big way. Just a handful of projects have been completed to date, but a surge of new projects is on its way, accompanied by newly certified professionals and increased awareness. The techniques aren’t limited to just new homes, or even homes that are going for the Passive House certification. Adding insulation, improving framing techniques, eliminating “thermal bridging,” and sealing air leaks are all core components of Passive House design that can be used in retrofits and any new construction. In fact, the Mini-B uses mostly standard building materials and only uses materials available to any homeowner.

Passive House occupants say their homes have a special feel—no drafts, no cold walls, exceptionally quiet. When you visit the Mini-B at the PNA, you’ll be able to see some of the special building techniques, like the air sealing around the windows. More importantly, you can feel the comfort difference in this house—and know that it saves a lot of energy.

Visit the Passive House:

1/15 10am-1pm: Open House with architect Joe Giampietro.

1/30: Home Design and Remodel Fair, featuring a presentation with architect Joe Giampietro on Passive House design ,and Open House all day.

If you know a professional or student group who would like a tour, or you would like to stay updated about Mini-B tours, email, or call 206-783-2244.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teach English or Spanish Classes

Teach English or Spanish classes and support our Language Exchange program. Wednesdays from 10am to 12noon. Start: as soon as possible. More information: Katie at 206-297-0875 or

Enseñe o una clase de español o una clase de inglés y apoye a nuestro programa de Intercambio de lenguajes. Los miércoles, de las 10 de la mañana al mediodía. Empezando tan pronto como sea posible. Para más información: Katie al 206-297-0875 o al

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Support Non-Profits At The Local Giving Fair

The Greenwood Senior Center will host the 2010 Annual Local Giving Fair on Saturday, November 13, from 10am-4pm. The GSC is located at 525 N. 85th St.

Join us for this exciting and important pre-holiday community celebration! The Greenwood Senior Center is happy to hold the 2010 Local Giving Fair on November 13, from 10am-4pm, where over 25 Greenwood and Seattle-based non-profit organizations will showcase projects that address a range of social justice, environmental, and human rights issues within our community. At the Local Giving Fair, attendees have the opportunity to make donations in support of these community projects and learn about other ways to become involved with the organization. Gift Cards are included to let your family and friends know that you made a donation in their honor.

The Local Giving Fair is a festive and family-friendly event where people can chat with neighbors, enjoy delicious treats and refreshments, and listen to local musicians perform. Everyone is welcome. Come celebrate the true nature of the holidays and support Seattle together.

Please visit the Greenwood Senior Center’s website for more information and a list of participating organizations:

Questions? Contact Emily at the Greenwood Senior Center: (206)297-0875 /

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Phabulous Phinney Pig Out

Help fight hunger by “pigging out.” On Thursday, Oct. 14, you can support the PNA soup kitchens simply by eating out at one of 25 neighborhood restaurants, pubs and coffee shops who will donate a portion of their proceeds that day. Eat early, eat often – breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, coffee – it all counts.

Here’s a list of participating businesses:

74th St. Ale House, 7401 Greenwood
Baranof, 8549 Greenwood
Barking Dog Alehouse, 705 NW 70th St
Carmelita, 7314 Greenwood
Fatty's Corner Pizzeria, 10410 Greenwood
Fresh Flours, 6015 Phinney
Gaspare Ristorante, 6705 Greenwood
Green Bean Coffeehouse, 8533 Greenwood
In The Red Wine Bar, 6510 Phinney
Kouzina, 8403 Greenwood
Mae's Phinney Ridge Cafe, 6412 Phinney
New’s Noodles, 8576 Greenwood
Oliver's Twist, 6820 Greenwood
Park Pub, 6114 Phinney
Pete’s Egg Nest, 7717 Greenwood
Picnic, 6801 Greenwood
Pig ‘N’ Whistle, 8412 Greenwood
Prost!, 7311 Greenwood
Red Mill Burgers, 312 N 67th
Romio's Pizza, 8523 Greenwood
Santa Fe Cafe, 5910 Phinney
Stumbling Goat Bistro, 6722 Greenwood
Tangerine Thai, 5914 Phinney
Wingdome, 7818 Greenwood
Yanni's Greek Restaurant, 7419 Greenwood

For more info, click here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A New Vison of Elder Culture

Starting Wednesday, Oct 6, join the Phinney Village Book Group for a discussion on elder culture.

The PNA Phinney Village is a program concept for aging in place in our neighborhood and a key ingredient in the planning and success is a new vision of aging. Let’s begin to look at this vision by exploring some books that allow us to form a positive, inspiring, shared ideal of becoming an elder. These books will include: Theodore Roszak’s The Making of an Elder Culture and Studs Terkel’s Coming of Age.

The Book Group will meet at 5:30 pm the first Wednesday of each month at the Green Bean coffee house. The group will inspire and motivate us to talk about our hopes for our own aging in community.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Talk with national Environmentalist Bill McKibben

Join the Citizen's Climate Lobby on Saturday Oct. 2nd, at 9:30 am for a little breakfast potluck and a 10 am conference call with Bill McKibben at the Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N. 85th St.

CCL is using the conference call to kick off the " Million Letter March" to push for legislation for climate change. Great discussions and action planning will follow.

Guest Speaker Bill McKibben is an American environmentalist and writer who frequently writes about global warming and alternative energy and advocates for more localized economies. In 2010 the Boston Globe called him "probably the nation's leading environmentalist" and Time magazine described him as "the world's best green journalist.

In 2009 he led the organization of, which coordinated what Foreign Policy magazine called "the largest ever global coordinated rally of any kind," with 5,200 simultaneous demonstrations in 181 countries. The magazine named him to its inaugural list of the 100 most important global thinkers, and MSN named him one of the dozen most influential men of 2009.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Help End Hunger

Help end hunger by volunteering with the Mayor’s End Hunger Food Drive to benefit the Greenwood Food Bank. Volunteers needed all day Saturday, September 25, in three hour shifts helping to collect and deliver food donations from the following participating stores: Greenwood Market, Shoreline Central Market, Greenwood Safeway, and Greenwood PCC. Read more in this Ballard News Tribune article. Contact Erin Pankow at (425) 212-2951.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to School Donation Drive

The back-to-school season is upon us and students need your help. Phinney Neighbors in Action is collecting new school supplies for Whitman Middle School students and new clothing for foster children served by Treehouse.

To learn more visit

Friday, July 9, 2010

Perfect Conditions For A Cold Beer...

Summer is finally here and so is the PNA Summer Beer Taste.

The beer taste will take place on Saturday, July 10 from 4-7:30pm in the lower PNA parking lot (adjacent to the Brick Building).

The lineup of beers sounds mouthwatering to say the least and I can't wait to pick my 10 samples tomorrow.

Click here for a complete lineup.

See you tomorrow @ 4pm (after the PNA World Cup match)!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Farmers Markets Win Again

Article by Chris Curtis from the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance:

Friday, June 11, 2010

FUN Art Event Tonight!

Free Life Center is a large-scale freestanding artist installation crafted from salvaged building materials. The one-room structure emanates the artist' homespun aesthetic and their commitment to a high level of DIY craftsmanship and it is full of art, video, color, sound and love.

Portland-based artists Mark Warren Jacques and Seth Neefus are vagabond dreamers hosting community events, musical performances and more within the walls of this mobile Free Life Center. The three month tour kicks off at URBAN LIGHT STUDIOS in Seattle, Washington on Friday, June 11, 6-10pm.

"From the structure itself, to the art, inspiration, collaborations and experiences of their newest project, Mark and Seth hope to spread ideas that can lead to a more healthy, happyand creative free life." - Leslie Miller, Pacific Northwest College of Art

WHERE: URBAN LIGHT STUDIOS, 8537 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

WHEN: Friday, June 11, 6-10pm (During the Greenwood-Phinney art walk)

Monday, June 7, 2010

PNA Home & Garden Tour

The PNA’s Home and Garden Tour returns this Sunday, June 13, 11am - 5pm. The event features five remodeled homes and five urban gardens in the Phinney/Greenwood neighborhood. This year’s homes feature basement remodels, kitchen remodels, second story additions, solar panels and a bocce court. The gardens include native and exotic plantings, ponds, waterfalls, unique patios and hardscapes. Plenty of ideas and inspiration to embark on your own projects.

The tour is self-guided and you can view the homes and gardens by walking, biking or driving (keep in mind that parking may be difficult). Slip-on footwear is recommended as participants must remove their shoes before entering each house. Tickets cost $12 for PNA members and $15 for the general public and are available online ( or at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Babes-in-arms are free, and tickets for children ages 2-12 cost $5.

Online tickets must be exchanged for the Home and Garden Tour brochure at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. The ticket brochure includes a map, addresses and a brief description of each home or garden.

For more information contact or visit

Thursday, June 3, 2010

PNA Hiring PNA Kids! Supervisor

Click here for a complete job description.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Our Farmers Market is Back!

The Phinney Farmers Market season kicks off Friday, May 28 from 3-7 in the lower parking lot of the Phinney Neighborhood Center! Not only will there be plenty of fresh produce and other tasty local foodstuffs, but there will be bubbles for the kids and music from the Canote Brothers - super-sibs of old time tunes and musical fun for all ages. Whether you're hankering for wood-fired pizza, pastries, African specialties, or sweet treats like ice cream or chocolate truffles, come prepared with an appetite and your wallet. If you need extra cash for those irresistible extra few items (like fresh flowers for your sweetie) don't forget there is a solar-powered ATM at the top of the stairs between the two parking lots (for a nominal fee).

by Judith Wood
PNA Program Director

Friday, May 14, 2010

Art Walk this Friday in the 'hood

Perfect strolling weather continues tomorrow for the Phinney Greenwood Art Walk. Nearly fifty businesses in the neighborhood host varied artists working in a variety of media. In addition to the visual delights, Friday's fun included members of the Ballard High school marching band, guitarists, amazing nibbles and beverages to accompany them. ArtWalk continues Saturday, May 15. Get out, meet your neighbors and enjoy some locally created art.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

15th Annual Greenwood/Phinney ArtWalk

Put on your walking shoes. The 15th Annual Greenwood/Phinney ArtWalk will be held on Friday, May 14, from 6-9pm and Saturday, May 15, from noon to 5pm.

This year the ArtWalk features more than 100 artists in 60 businesses along Greenwood and Phinney Avenues between 59th and 87th Streets.

This year's map:

Friday, April 16, 2010

PNA Kids! Summer Art Camp

PNA Kids! has put together a very exciting Art Camp this summer for kids ages 8 to 13 years old that will be held at the Phinney Center. We have selected a group of five creative and dedicated instructors who have dreamed up classes that will inspire your kids.

Our own Henry Chamberlain will be leading two classes “Drawing Faces and Animals” as well as “Creating Comics.” Henry has a BFA in painting and a number of his comics and illustrations have been published.

Instructor Peter Lewis is passionate about having people learn at an early age the basics of film and video editing. He will be offering the class “Making Movies."

We also have Sara Morgan who will be teaching “Working with Mosaics.” Her background includes large art installations, art workshops for kids, and writing and illustrating children’s books.

Rebecca Dickinson will get your kids to paint like the masters in her class “Discovering Famous Artworks.” How about using a q-tip for learning Seurat’s pointillism technique?

Finally, David Lasky will be leading “Discovering Watercolor,” a unique medium that he loves - and loves to teach.

If you have a budding artist in the family, here’s your chance to let them spread their creative wings. Check out the online brochure or stop by the Phinney Center to pick up a hard copy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

GSC To Host Forum On Hispanic/Latino Immigration - Participa en un foro de inmigración hispano/latina!

Immigration Forum

Are you interested in learning more about Hispanic/Latino immigration issues? Would you like to find out myth versus fact in regards to immigration?

Participate in a Hispanic/Latino Immigration Forum. Come to the Greenwood Senior Center on April 19th at 12pm. The forum will consist of a panel of representatives from some of Seattle and Washington’s Hispanic/Latino-focused organizations: One America, Washington Community Action Network, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and Casa Latina. We will be discussing four main issues in addition to fielding audience questions, time permitting. The issues addressed will be in regards to A) History and Push-and-Pull factors of immigration; B) The effect immigration has on home countries; C) Issues surrounding immigration/immigrants in the US; and D) Presence of Hispanics/Latinos in the workplace. The forum will travel down social, political, and economic avenues and will prompt healthy conversation within the community, helping people to see the full spectrum of the benefits and effects of Hispanic/Latino immigration.

For more information please contact Marianne at 206-297-0875, ext 31.

Foro de inmigración

¿Está interesado en aprender más sobre el tema de inmigración hispano/latino? ¿Le gustaria saber más sobre algunos mitos y hechos respecto a inmigración?

Participa en un foro de inmigración hispano/latina. Venga al Greenwood Senior Center el 19 de abril a las 12pm. El panel del foro incluye representantes de algunas de las organizaciones que atienden a la comunidad hispano/latina en Seattle y Washington: One America, Washington Community Action Network, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, y Casa Latina. El foro cubrirá cuatro temas principales, respondiendo además algunas preguntas de los asistentes. Los temas tratados serán en respeto a A) La historia y algunas factores de la inmigración; B) El efecto que la inmigración tiene en el país de origen; C) Cuestiones sobre inmigración a los EEUU; y D) La presencia de hispanos/latinos en el lugar de trabajo. El foro investigará cuestiones sociales, politízales y económicas y provocará conversación respetuosa adentro de la comunidad, ayudando a la gente ver el espectro entero de los beneficios y los efectos de la inmigración hispano/latina.

Para mayor información, llame a Marianne al 206-297-0875, ext 31.

Upcoming Kaleidoscope Dance Company Show Features Local Dancers

Since its inception in 1981, The Creative Dance Center and its performing arm, Kaleidoscope Dance Company, have been lead by founder and artistic director Anne Gilbert. Located just north of the Phinney-Greenwood neighborhood in the Haller Lake area, Creative Dance Center strives to make dance accessible and enjoyable for a broad spectrum of people. Classes are offered for infants through adults, using the latest brain research to help integrate the movements of the body with the functions of the brain.
Kaleidoscope is a modern dance company with dedicated members that range in age from eight to fifteen. Arthur Stamey-Mills, a seasoned 13 year old, notes that “ Dance is like talking, you can be fast or slow, connected or alone, harsh or gentle with your movements.”

Kaleidoscope has performed locally at school assemblies and community concerts as well as representing the United States at dance and child international conferences around the world. Many dancers in this troupe hail from the Greenwood- Phinney area and have been dancers at Kaleidoscope for many years.
One of the choreographers, Mary Kay Vadino, resides on the Ridge as well. She has been featured as a guest choreographer for over fifteen years, and her latest spring piece for the May performance features interpretations of water and the forms that water can take. She hopes that viewers will come away with the idea that we should all be more fluid and adaptable in our approach to life. Other than her own piece, Vadino points out that the upcoming show “is a nice showcase of different styles and musical choices. Some are lyrical and some are theatrical.”
She enjoys being a part of the Creative Dance Center since the young dancers in the company have a clear understanding of music and dance concepts. They easily project what the choreographer is trying to accomplish and Vadino welcomes student input as part of the creative process. “The kids help with problem solving given the space and time we work with, “ notes Vadino.
The upcoming Kaleidoscope In Concert Spring Concert Series will be held at the Broadway Performance Hall on Capital Hill, May 7, 8, and 9, 2010 . The Creative Dance Center is located at 12577 Densmore Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98133 (206) 363-7281 Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets.
Their website with the complete listing of current classes is:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wine Taste 2010 Recap

Thanks to all participating wineries and wine tasters for a successful 20th Annual PNA Wine Taste! The event grossed over $11,000 for PNA programs and activities.

And the winning wines were....
  • 1st place favorite red wine was a tie between Hestia 2007 Columbia Valley Meritage and Guardian Cellars 2006 Gun Metal.
  • 2nd place favorite red was Elevation Cellars Monolith.
  • 1st place favorite white was Northwest Totem Cellars 2007 Late Harvest Viognier.
  • 2nd place favorite white was Airfield Estates 2008 Unoaked Chardonnay.
Thank you to our presenting event sponsor, Ballard Market and co-sponsor Picnic.

Thanks also to Ballard Market for the crab cakes, Bill Drummond and the Wine Taste committee for the fabulous hors d’oeuvres, the great music provided by Live Wire, coffee from Starbucks, bread from Essential Baking Company, PNA volunteer cookie bakers, and Terry Lundmark for the Poster Design.

Save the Date for next year’s 21st Annual PNA Wine Taste on February 26, 2011.

Monday, March 8, 2010

PNA Village — Aging In Place Visioning Workshop

“Villages” are membership-driven organizations that coordinate access to affordable services including transportation, health and wellness programs, home repairs, social and educational activities, and other day-to-day needs enabling individuals to remain active, independent and civically connected to their communities throughout the aging process. They are community based organizations that address the rapidly growing demand among elderly to remain socially connected and fulfill their needs related to aging in a setting of their choice.

You may have already attended a Village informational meeting and know quite a good deal about the Village. You most likely have your own reasons for your interest in the Village and are ready to begin planning for the years ahead. For these reasons, we want to invite you a PNA Village Leadership Visioning Meeting on Saturday, March 20th, from 9am to 12pm at the Greenwood Senior Center. We need your participation and input, coming from your personal experiences, your creativity and your diverse interest to help outline the process to develop the structure and the concept of our unique Village. This will be an interactive opportunity to participate in the beginning conversation of how you want the Village to look and to be. By coming to this meeting you will directly have a hand in a program that will help to ensure your health and well-being long into your life.

If you are interested in participating in this visioning process, please RSVP to Marianne Rupp at, 206-297-0875, by March 15th. The Greenwood Senior Center is located at 525 N. 85th Street in Greenwood.

Click here for more information

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

20th Annual PNA Wine Taste

The annual PNA Wine Taste is back! As every year, it offers a great opportunity to compare terrific wines while socializing with friends and neighbors. The event includes your choice of ten tastes of wine, fabulous hors d’oeuvres from Bill Drummond Catering and swinging jazz music performed by Live Wire.

This year we'll feature wines from Airfield Estates, Animale, Eaton Hill, Masset, Milbrandt, Northwest Totem Cellars, Portalis Wine Shop, Two Mountain Winery, Ward Johnson, Windy Point Vineyards, Yamhill Valley Vineyards, Zerba, Elevation Cellars, and more.

As an extra treat, our presenting sponsor, Ballard Market will offer tastes of their delicious crab cakes.

Tickets cost $25 for PNA members and $30 for the general public; designated driver tickets are $10. Tickets are available at the Phinney Neighborhood Center OR click here to order your tickets online.

20th Annual PNA Wine Taste
Phinney Neighborhood Center
6532 Phinney Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
Saturday, February 27, 2010
7:30 - 9:30pm

Higher Purpose in Life Benefits Healthy Aging

Every Wednesday morning at nine, Ida Hamilton is busy setting up the first course, which includes doughnuts, cookies, breads, and other foods at The Phinney Neighborhood Association Soup Kitchen. Hamilton is a volunteer at the soup kitchen located at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northwest Seattle. It feeds hundreds of people every week. Hamilton, who is 90 years old, rarely misses a Wednesday at the soup kitchen. She also volunteers at her church. “I like to help people, which is what I have done all my life. I was a nurse and my life is helping people,” smiles Hamilton....

Read the full article:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Site Development Update from Bill Fenimore

Bill Fenimore, Facilities Curator (Director, actually), sent this detailed outline of ongoing work as part of the upgrades to the site.


1. Lighting

A. Community Hall
  • New power and controls are in place
  • Alternate system for special events in all LED
  • Paid for by 4Culture grant
  • I am refining the new system to meet the needs of the concerts and dancers
B. Classroom demonstration project (This is intended to be a proof of concept that justifies the decision to upgrade the remaining classrooms)
  • Integrated Design Lab at the U of W did analysis and a report and proposal that I am hoping to begin to implement
  • We would install new fixtures and controls paid for by auction “Fund an Item”. My goal is a finished room in time for this year’s auction if we can manage it. These lights would be highly energy efficient and sense the light level outside and modify their output. They would operate at several levels of output controlled by users. We are hoping that Brian Kemly (Kemly Electric) will help us on this by supplying the fixtures at his cost.
  • We are considering an option to pursue added funding through SCL for louvers to bounce light off the ceiling
  • This project will include new ceiling paint.
C. SCL Quick Lighting Upgrades to change out remaining inefficient fixtures other that the classrooms.
  • This contract is being finalized and will be executed in the next 2 months
  • Does not address classrooms in either building (as described above, we are going to incorporate advanced controls and day lighting technology)

2. Weatherization

A. Walls in the Blue Building are now insulated, tested and repairs completed, paint to follow
B. I have pricing for the ceiling (floor of attic) of the Blue Building but this decision is contingent on finalizing a plan to protect the water pipes in the attic.
C. Contract finalized with PSE for insulation in the ceiling of the Brick Building attic. Ventilation analysis will be necessary.

3. Interim upgrades to Controls Heat and Ventilation that I am considering (this is a wish list)

A. Honeywell remote thermostats for central administration of room temperature in Blue Building
B. Should develop analysis of existing heating controls in Brick Building
C. Separate H/V for Community Hall
D. Heat pump to replace electric heating in Red Room could be subsidized by SCL
E. Analysis of all potential to utilize existing ductwork

4. Blue Building Sewer

A. Sewer project is completed
B. Bodine construction is providing the repair at their cost.

5. Weather envelope Blue Building

A. Roof is in good repair and maintainable
B. Painting, caulking and sill repair is now annualized maintenance (lead paint abated in 2001-2002)
C. Gutters are deteriorated, but maintained
D. The single pane double hung windows should be up-graded and then tested with a blower door.

6. Weather envelope Brick Building

A. Roof on Brick Building is nearing completion
B. Repairs to the sheet metal fascia will be accomplished in house
C. Restoration of the exterior wooden brackets is not part of the weather envelop but necessary for the architectural integrity of the building
D. Brick is in fair condition with the exception of the Fan Room which is extensively deteriorated (due to the deterioration of a steel lintel)
E. Chimney was lowered and restored after the 2001 earthquake
F. Windows will be difficult to upgrade but will need restoration

Also, some interesting infrared images were taken during the survey for insulating the Blue Building...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Great Divorce Extended


Playing to sold-out houses, Taproot Theatre Company has added a performance of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce on Tuesday, February 16, at 7:30 p.m. Receiving its regional premiere at Taproot Theatre under the direction of Scott Nolte, The Great Divorce has captivated audiences with its fantastical and imaginative story, colorful characters and philosophical ideas.
First produced Off-Broadway in 2007 in an adaptation by George Drance and The Magis Theatre, The Great Divorce brings to life C.S. Lewis’ 1940s allegorical novel. One drizzly afternoon our author embarks on a supernatural voyage with a cast of eccentric, humorous characters that bear a remarkable resemblance to us. Theatrical, imaginative and thought provoking. It’s a bus ride from hell to heaven that, in the grand C.S. Lewis tradition, leaves you breathless and wanting more.
The Great Divorce runs Wednesdays through Saturdays through February 27, plus the added performance on Tuesday, February 16. Tickets are available through Taproot Theatre’s box office at 206-781-9707.

Taproot Theater reopens with "The Great Divorce"

Taproot Theater reopens with The Great Divorce
Reflecting the promise of the phoenix on a neighboring mural, the Taproot Theater has risen from the ashes of a devastating fire on October 23, and reopened with a production of CS Lewis’ “The Great Divorce.”

“The Great Divorce,” features the narrative of a journey through hell to heaven. Originally adapted for the stage by George Drance and the Magis Theatre Company, the Taproot production features ten talented actors portraying 25 varied characters.

When asking friends to accompany me to Taproot productions, I’ve often found them to be a little reticent. One finally asked me whether the theater had any religious affiliations. I explained that, while many of their plays were family friendly and in terms of theater, fairly safe, I’d never felt an overtly religious tone expressed in any of the theater’s productions.

However, this most recent play felt uncomfortable and evangelical. No subtle message here, the point of the piece was hammered into the audience, like it or not. I found the particularly disappointing, since the recent publicity about the reopening of the theater presented an opportunity for the local playhouse to capture a new audience, not scare them away. Of all the plays I have seen at the Taproot, this was far and away the most overtly theological.

I have enjoyed many Taproot plays for the consistent high quality of the acting, the gorgeous costumes, and intimate feel of the theater without feeling that the productions were meant to be preachy. And I will return to the Taproot where I hope to rediscover the positive and uplifting productions that make me feel inspired, not beaten down.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Special Thanks To Two Local Businesses

Red Mill Burgers

In celebration of their 15th anniversary on Phinney Ridge, Red Mill is donating 15% of their profits for 15 days (January 15 – 30) to the Phinney Neighborhood Association, the Greenwood Senior Center and the Greenwood Food Bank. They are also selling commemorative T-shirts, designed by employees, for $15 each. Profits from the T-shirts will also be donated.

312 North 67th St
(206) 783-6362

HomeStreet Bank

The Ballard branch of HomeStreet Bank recently awarded their Great Neighbor, Great Business award to the Phinney Neighborhood Association, Cancer Lifeline and Sip and Ship. The awards were presented at a special reception at the bank in late January. Branch manager Maggie McKelvey noted that “The businesses were selected based on community partnership, being a great employer, and providing an exceptional customer environment.”

8050 15th Avenue NW
(206) 783-6380

Inspiration At The Home Fair

The PNA is hosting its 13th annual home design and remodel fair on January 31, 2010. The event runs from 10am-4pm in the Blue Building of the Phinney Neighborhood Center (6532 Phinney Ave N).

The fair will feature 95 exhibitors, presentations, door prizes, and consultations by City of Seattle permit specialists. A strong emphasis will be placed on green building, green remodeling, and sustainable living.

If you're in the early stages of dreaming and scheming, you'll find plenty of inspiration talking to architects and contractors and looking at photos of completed projects. If you're at a more concrete phase of project planning, you can meet builders and suppliers who could take you to completion.

Consult with City of Seattle permit specialists to get a full understanding of your project needs. Not ready to tackle the house? Spend time with some landscape professionals for ideas on how to spruce up the exterior.

Conservation organizations, home energy auditors, earthquake retrofitters, consultants and trades people will provide information to help you save money and resources and increase the safety and comfort of your home.

Several short presentations will be given that day as well. Click here for a full presentation schedule.

2010 Home Design & Remodel Fair
Phinney Neighborhood Center
6532 Phinney Ave N
January 31, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Home Fair volunteers still needed!

Please contact if you can help with any of the following jobs:

Friday, January 29:
- Setup from 5-6 pm

Saturday, January 30:
- Setup from 2-5 pm
- Greeter/Info Booth from 5-8 pm
- Check-in help from 5-8 pm

Sunday, January 31:
- Parking Assistant from 8:15-9:45 am
- Refreshment Distribution from 11 am-1 pm
- Staff PNA/Well Home Program booth from 9:45-Noon or 11:45 am-2 pm
- Clean-up (VERY important!) from 4-6 pm