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: