Canlis continues community giving in New Year

Earlier this month the iconic Queen Anne restaurant Canlis celebrated its 60th anniversary with a community wide challenge. In the days leading up to the celebration, brothers Mark and Brian Canlis had a little fun giving away chances for people to dine at the famed restaurants at 1950s prices—they signed 50 menus from 1950 and hid them throughout the Seattle area, releasing daily clues to the hiding places (which usually required some pretty quirky knowledge of Pacific Northwest history) via the @Canlis Twitter account and the Canlis Facebook page.

The restaurant held a private dinner party celebrating its 60th on December 12, and invited 230 local influential non-profits, private foundations, artists, business leaders and politicians, who all are making a positive impact on the Seattle community, to attend. Focusing on the importance of community giving and generosity, the restaurant used the evening as an opportunity to “give a gift to the city”, a $500,000 Matching Campaign for non-profit organizations in which Canlis will match up to $500,000 in gift certificates purchased from the restaurant for donation to any non-profit organization in the city.

“Alice and I are so proud of our sons for continuing the Canlis legacy of community philanthropy and choosing to celebrate our 60th birthday with those who are making a difference in this community,” Chris Canlis, son of Canlis founder Peter Canlis, said to the crowd. “The people in this room are the revolutionaries—the influencers who are defining Seattle in a new way: by its generosity.”

“Generosity is not a financial word,” said owner Mark Canlis. “The Matching Campaign is the third leg of the stool: the model invites the people of our city to partner with businesses in order to support Seattle’s non-profit movement.”

“Every person has been given something they can be generous with,” he said as he introduced Canlis’ own giving campaign.

And that’s not all. Today, Friday, December 31, the 50 winners from the menu hunt are taking part in another local scavenger hunt, this time for a grand prize of dinner for life at the restaurant.

In the spirit of generosity, these participants will be competing for the opportunity to give this dinner for life away every year to a person or charitable organization that embodies the spirit of philanthropy.

The crazy-costumed menu finders are Tweeting their way through the hunt. Follow that here.

City Light finds two more energized streetlights

During continued inspections of 20,000 metal streetlights and connected equipment throughout the city, Seattle City Light discovered and repaired two more streetlights giving off contact voltage this week, the utility announced in an inspections update released yesterday. No one was injured in either case. Here are the details of each instance:

  1. Tuesday night, Power Survey Co. (PSC), one of two contractors hired by City Light to help inspect all 20,000 metal streetlights and associated equipment, discovered a faulty streetlight near the intersection of Second Avenue and James Street. Old wiring had deteriorated, sending about 35 volts of electricity into a nearby mailbox, parking meter and bike rack. City Light crews immediately cut power and made repairs.
  2. About 10 a.m. Wednesday, a customer called City Light to report a suspicious streetlight in her Blue Ridge neighborhood. The woman’s dog had yelped when it approached the pole and a friend’s dog had shied away from it.

A City Light crew responded immediately and measured 48 volts of electricity on the pole near the intersection of NW Blue Ridge Drive and NW 100th Street. Workers determined that the photo cell that turns the streetlight on and off had melted, shorting out the pole. They cut power and completed repairs by 12:30 p.m.

City Light began a systematic inspection of metal streetlights citywide after a Queen Anne dog, Sammy, died due to stray voltage on Queen Anne Ave N on Thanksgiving day. While originally believing the incident to be isolated (caused by a pinched wire and improper grounding), it was later discovered that the city lacked proper inspection records at that site and at others around town. As of last week City Light had identified and repaired six energized streetlights, including the one that killed Sammy. The two sites discovered this week brings that total up to eight.

City Light is contracting with two other companies to complete the inspections. On Tuesday Power Survey Co. completed inspections in about 20 percent of the Downtown area, while the Davey Resources Group has so far inspected 125 streetlights around Seattle Center/Lower Queen Anne. Last week City Light crews completed inspections in Seattle Housing Authority developments, including those in High Point, GreenBridge, New Holly and Rainier Vista. No other potentially dangerous sites were  identified.

Got potholes? Report them to the city

This story first appeared on our sister site My Wallingford.

In the spring, Seattle’s rain encourages blooms and beauty, but in the winter that wetness brings on the season of potholes. Is it our imagination, or are the hazardous holes particularly prolific this year?

If you see a pothole, be sure to report it to the city, either online or by phone (684-ROAD). The “Pothole Rangers” should be out to fix it soon, but keep in mind they’re very busy, as KING-5 reported a couple of weeks ago.

Where to view New Year’s Eve at the Space Needle

If you’re planning to stick around Queen Anne to celebrate New Year’s this year, then there are plenty of places you can go for a prime view of the fireworks at the Space Needle at midnight.

Photo courtesy of the Seattle Center.

Here are just a few places you can ring in the New Year, for free, around the neighborhood.

Center House, Seattle Center—Ring in 2011 with the rocking sounds of The Machine, and witness the fireworks up close and personal.

For many years, The Machine has been playing around the Pacific Northwest, offering the best PARTY music in town. When you come and see The Machine, you will only hear DANCEABLE, FUN, PARTY rock and roll, AND you will have a great time.

Kerry Park—Climb up to Kerry Park, Seattle’s quintessential viewpoint (211 W Highland Dr.) to see the city skyline, Elliott Bay, and of course, the fireworks at the Needle. But remember, Kerry Park is a small space and likely to be packed, so get there early to scope out a prime viewing spot.

The South Slope—If you’re looking to have a more low key New Year’s, while still enjoying the festivities, you can have your own private viewing party from a number of sites along the south slope. Just drive around and pull over anywhere you have a clear view of the Needle. Advantages: these viewing spots are likely to be less crowded, and offer you a quick way home if you live nearby.

From the Water—If you’re lucky enough to own a boat, or know a friend who does and are comfortable battling the cold and wind, the view of the fireworks will be picturesque from Elliott Bay. Ahoy matey!

Wondering what’s in store for New Year’s at the Needle? Check out this footage of the 2010 New Year’s fireworks show, courtesy of PJtheFey.

While the weather today left the possibility of snow open, the forecast predicts mostly sunny skies on Friday, December 31, with a high of 40 degrees, a small chance of precipitation, and an overnight low of 28 degrees. So wherever you plan on watching the fireworks, the skies should be clear.

Have a favorite—and free—place to catch the fireworks? Comment below to add them to our list. Happy New Year!

SDOT prepares for slippery streets & possibly snow

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is preparing for the possibility of snow and ice on city streets again tomorrow. The forecast, which outlines temperatures just above freezing overnight tonight, could bring up to one-half inch of wet snow and the possibility of an additional inch of snow Wednesday morning.

Seattle skyline/view from Kerry Park under cover of snow, November 22, 2010.

The city is taking extra precautions so as not to have a repeat last month’s snowpocalypse, which left many city streets icy and dangerous.

After 10 p.m. tonight SDOT crews will proactively apply salt brine in roadway areas where frost or black ice is prone to develop, especially on bridges and other elevated structures around the city.

Starting at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning (Wednesday), SDOT spreader trucks will be prepositioned throughout the city, ready to spread rock salt on major arterial streets (primary snow routes, Levels 1 and 2) for the morning commute if conditions warrant.

SDOT’s snow plan calls for plowing when there is more than one inch of snow accumulated on roadways, which is not part of the forecast at this time.

Despite the potential for snow, University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass says the likelihood that we’ll see a repeat of the snow and severe ice that blasted us on Thanksgiving week is low. He writes on his blog:

This is a VERY, VERY different situation than November 22nd. You will not see a powerful arctic blast associated with strong high pressure in British Columbia and a major coastal low over SW Washington. Temperatures will be far more marginal. Far less icing potential. But there COULD be some interesting wrinkles….like a chance for Puget Sound Convergence Zone snow.

Cliff estimates that “where precipitation is heavy enough, some snow showers could reach the surface, but nothing substantial.”

If the Convergence Zone is stronger than forecast then more snow could hit the Puget Sound lowlands. However, forecast temperatures are predicted to peak near 40F on Wednesday. This looks marginal to me…only heavy precipitation and the cooling associated with it…something that is not predicted… could bring several inches of snow to Seattle.

We will continue to monitor the evolution of this event, but right now it does not look serious event near sea level. Eastern suburbs could get few inches. Not an icing situation during the day…

Read more on SDOT’s winter weather response plan and to view a map of snow routes here.

Queen Anne musician makes Spin/KEXP top 10 lists

Local musician and Queen Anne resident Fences (lead vocals/guitarist Chris Mansfield) has made a number of year-end music top 10 lists with its self-titled debut LP, including Spin’s “10 Best Albums You Might Have Missed This Year,” and KEXP’s staff and volunteer Top 10 Albums of 2010 list.

Spin recommended the song “Girls with Accents”, and said this about Fences’ music:

With his sorrowful, self-deprecating, and charming pop-folk songs with catchy keyboard melodies and lyrics about squandered love, Fences, aka Seattle troubadour Christopher Mansfield, found a fan in Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara, who signed on to produce his self-titled debut. “Everything that Chris writes, melodically and lyrically, has that rare balance of patience and urgency that I love in honest, haunting pop songs,” Quin told SPIN. Agreed.

Fences, which classifies itself as a combination of grime, pop, and shoegaze, played a live show at the KEXP studios here in Seattle this morning, where they performed tracks from their album alongside a new song, “Oh Father.” Listen to that performance streaming here.

Fences is going on tour with Against Me! and Cheap Girls this January and February. Check show dates here.

Photo courtesy of Fences’ Facebook page.

Sen. Kohl-Welles to hold talk on Haiti Wednesday

Washington state 36th District Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles is holding an informal discussion about the situation in Haiti, what is being done to create a positive future, and ways individuals can get involved and help for the Queen Anne community on Wednesday evening.

Nearly one year after January’s devastating earthquake, Haiti is struggling under the weight of a cholera epidemic, political violence, and massive dislocation.  Yet, despite all of this, there is hope for a bright future in Haiti.

This will be an opportunity to learn about the underlying causes of Haiti’s current situation, ranging from public health to infrastructure, agriculture to trade policies, and more.  Speakers from NGOs, government and within the community will be presenting from their own personal experiences and their organization about working and volunteering in Haiti, and will offer their insights and answer questions in informal discussions.

A number of presenters will be sharing their personal experiences working in Haiti, and answering questions from the community. The following will be in attendance:

  • State Rep. Eileen Cody and Dr. Jane Simonsen, Haiti Relief Program of Group Health
  • David Eller, World Concern President
  • Erin Murphy, Seattle Against Slavery
  • Phillip Thompson, Seattle Univ., Engineers Without Borders

Representatives from Puget Sound Health Partners, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), and other organizations will also be present.

The discussion will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 29 at the home of Sen. Kohl-Welles and Alex Welles, located at 301 W. Kinnear Pl. (the corner of 3rd Ave W in Queen Anne).

The event will include refreshments and light fare, and there will be opportunities to donate to the presenting organizations. For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Devon  Jenkins at or 206-424-6049.

Metro buses running on reduced service this week

Metro buses are running on a reduced schedule this week. “The reduced weekday schedule features more bus service than on weekends, but somewhat less service than on normal weekdays,” the website states. During this week, some school-oriented routes have been canceled and other routes have individual trips canceled. You can see a list of affected bus routes here.

On Saturday, January 1, Metro will run on a Sunday schedule. Metro will be back to normal on Monday, January 3rd.

Customers help nab robber at Kidd Valley

Two customers jumped into action when an attempted robbery went down last night at the Kidd Valley on Lower Queen Anne.  Just before 9:30 p.m. witnesses say a former employee of the restaurant walked in and headed for the back of the building.  He then turned out the lights in the restaurant and removed money from an unlocked safe.  When he came out from the back, he was wearing a mask and ordered everyone to “get down.”

Accoring to Seattle Police three customers, including a father and adult son, tripped the robber and fought to hold him down until police arrived.  The son had some minor abrasions on his face and hands from the struggle, and the suspect also sustained some injuries that sent him to Harborview.   The 56 year old suspect was treated at the hospital and then booked into jail for investigation of robbery and an outstanding warrant.

City offering free tree-cycling until January 9

Now that Christmas has passed, the city is offering free curbside “tree-cycling” until January 9th for customers who subscribe to curbside food and yard waste collection.

Trees and greens need to be cut into sections of no more than six feet with branches trimmed to less than four feet to fit into the collection trucks. Sections of trees should be bundled together with string or twine. Apartment and condo residents can put one tree next to each yard waste bin with no extra charge.

Flocked trees or trees with tinsel on them will be collected as extra garbage. These trees must be cut into three-foot pieces and each piece will be charged as extra garbage. (Just a reminder that starting on January 1, each extra unit of garbage will cost $8.10.)

Residents who don’t subscribe to food and yard waste collection can drop trees and greens at the North Recycling and Disposal station (North 34th Street and Carr Place N) from December 26th through January 9th. Tree sections must be cut into sections eight feet or less with trunks four inches or smaller in diameter. One vehicle can drop off three trees.

As for the other post-holiday items on your throw-out list, Seattle Public Utilities wants to remind the community that all that wrapping paper is recyclable, even if it has some tape on it. You can also recycle clean paper and plastic cups, as well as aluminum foil and foil trays without food residue.

You’ll probably have extra recycling this time around, so put extra in a cardboard box and set it next to your recycling container (don’t put it in plastic bags). Flatten extra cardboard boxes.

And all food leftovers should go in your yard waste bin to be composted, not put in your garbage can.

Leftover fruitcake isn’t garbage anymore! According to SPU, 30 percent of Seattle’s garbage is made up of food waste. Put your leftover fruitcake, Christmas ham, nutshells, pumpkin pie, paper napkins, pizza boxes and other leftovers in your food and yard waste cart to make compost for local parks and gardens. For tips on storing and carrying scraps from kitchen to cart go to Consider donating non-perishable food to your local food bank.