America’s Got Talent casting call for season six

Have you got a talent you’d like to share with the world? NBC reality TV show America’s Got Talent wants to hear from you!

America’s Got Talent is casting for the sixth season of its variety talent show, and while auditions are not taking place in Queen Anne, we thought a few of you in the neighborhood might have a talent you’d like to take to the stage.

Auditions are taking from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. February 19 and 20 at the Tacoma Convention Center. For more information on pre-registration and uploading a video go to

Metro changes for Queen Anne riders begin Feb. 5

Starting Saturday, February 5, Metro will make routing and bus stop changes for approximately two dozen bus routes serving downtown Seattle due to the long-term construction in downtown Seattle and SODO. Some of these changes will affect bus routes in the Queen Anne area.

While all the schedule and route revisions are listed here, an easy way to figure out how these changes might affect you is by using Metro’s Trip Planner. Enter a travel date of February 5 or later to find the updated service.

Here are the highlights of the February changes for bus riders in the Queen Anne area:

  • Route 16: The northbound Route 16 and 66 trips to Northgate will leave from new bus stops at the downtown Seattle ferry terminal. Route 16 will leave from the bus stop south of Marion St and Route 66 from the bus stop south of Madison St.; The route will serve the blue/green northbound bus stops on 3rd Ave north of Pine St and south of James, Madison and Union streets.
  • Route 18: On weekdays, the southbound Route 18 trip to downtown Seattle will leave three minutes later; Route 18 will move to 3rd Ave between Broad St and Edgar Martinez Dr S. The route will serve the yellow/red northbound bus stops on Prefontaine Pl S south of Yesler Way and on 3rd Ave north of Pike St and south of Columbia and Seneca streets.
  • Route 19: On weekdays, the northbound trip to W Magnolia from S Jackson St & 4th Ave S at 6:04 p.m. have been deleted.
  • Route 24: The northbound trip to W Magnolia from 4th Ave & University St at 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and the southbound trip to downtown Seattle from Magnolia Blvd W & W Emerson St at 11:57 p.m. Saturday and 11:58 p.m. Sunday have been deleted.
  • Route 26: Route 26 to East Green Lake will serve the blue/green northbound bus stops on 3rd Ave north of Pine St and south of James, Madison and Union streets.
  • Route 28: Route 28 to Broadview will serve the blue/green northbound bus stops on 3rd Ave north of Pine St and south of James, Madison and Union streets.
  • Route 45: The southbound trip to Queen Anne from Brooklyn Ave NE & NE 50th St at 3:24 p.m. Also, the 4:04, 4:26 and 5:17 p.m. trips to Queen Anne will be revised to leave at 3:59, 4:39 and 5:19 p.m. have been deleted.
  • Route 81: Route 81 Night Owl will move to 3rd Ave between Broad St and Pike St; it will continue to operate on 2nd Ave south of Union St.

You can find out more information about the construction and bus route changes here. For information about all the services Metro provides, visit Metro Online or call Metro Customer Information at (206) 553-3000.

Final workshop for Department of Neighborhoods Large Projects Fund matching grant Wednesday

If you’re planning on applying to the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods for a Large Projects Fund matching grant up to $100,000, the final workshop to learn more about the process is from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave S.

Large Projects Funds are used by community groups for major neighborhood projects such as new parks, P-patches, and renovating existing parks and playgrounds.

Led by Neighborhood Matching Fund project managers, participants will learn about the revised 2011 Large Project Fund guidelines, project proposal development, community match requirements, and coordination with other city departments. The deadline for the Letter of Intent is Monday, February 14.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) program supports projects initiated, planned, and implemented by community members in partnership with Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Every award is matched by neighborhoods’ or communities’ resources of volunteer labor and donated materials, professional services, or cash. Since it was created 22 years ago, NMF has awarded nearly $47 million with a community match of more than $68 million. Projects have involved 85,000+ volunteers who have donated more than 566,000 work hours.

For more information (or to request an interpreter), email or call 206-684-0464.

City adjusts parking rates, Uptown sees decrease

After announcing that it would be reviewing the Seattle Department of Transportation’s new pay parking rates around town yesterday, the city and SDOT released adjusted rates today that will be rolling out across Seattle over the next two months.

See a larger version of the map here. (.pdf)

The new rates originally announced two weeks ago were set to bring down prices from $2/hour to $1.50/hour in Lower Queen Anne’s Uptown neighborhood, and to $1 to $1.25 in the area known as the “Uptown Triangle”—between Denny Way, Aurora, and Broad Street. (The $1 rate was set for short-term parking between 2 and 4 hours, while the $1.25 rate was for long-term parking up to 10 hours at a time).

The new rates didn’t lower parking citywide however, with many neighborhood retail districts seeing rates increase as high as $4/hour. This, alongside SDOT’s plan to extend pay parking hours from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in a number of the city’s thriving nightlife districts–Uptown, the Commercial Core, Belltown, Pioneer Square, Chinatown/International District, Broadway, Pike-Pine, and the University District–fueled a strong backlash from community groups and neighborhood and city business associations calling for a review of the plan before implementation.

In response the city made modifications to its initial rate change plans. From SDOT:

Based on a thorough review of the City’s rate-setting approach, rates for 2011 will go up in four neighborhoods, down in 11 neighborhoods and will stay the same in seven others as compared to 2010 rates. This will result in 73 percent of paid spaces having either no change or a rate reduction.

The new rates in Uptown will stay at the initial decreased price of $1.50/hour, however in the Uptown Triangle area SDOT opted to further drop rates to $1/hour for both short-term and long-term parking stays.

The city says the new changes should allow it to achieve its goal of having one to two open parking spaces per block on average.

“We’ve taken a critical second look at our data and methodology for setting parking rates,” SDOT’s director of Traffic Management Charles Bookman said in a press release. “These modifications are a reflection of the mayor’s and City Council’s commitment to data-driven policies to make it more likely for motorists to find an open spot on the street.”

From SDOT:

In adopting the 2011 budget, the Seattle City Council directed SDOT to set rates to achieve an average of one or two available spaces per block in each neighborhood. During its review process, the department revised its methodology for achieving such on-street availability to more closely align with this policy direction. Most significantly, SDOT adjusted its target occupancy range to 71 percent to 86 percent, instead of the previously used 58 percent to 78 percent, which better corresponds to the seven parking spaces per block found on average in paid parking neighborhoods. The plan to extend paid parking hours for the nine neighborhoods with active nightlife and high evening parking demand, announced on January 14, remains unchanged.

Once the new rates have been in place for awhile, SDOT will collect data to determine if the new rates were successful in achieving SDOT’s goals. View the adjusted parking rate changes citywide by neighborhood here (.pdf).

Group submits petition to FAA regarding airspace over Magnolia, Queen Anne & Ballard

The Magnolia Community Club reports that it has collected and forwarded 74 pages of petitions to the FAA  in opposition to the proposal to lower the Class B airspace over Magnolia and parts of Queen Anne and Ballard.

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Well over one hundred people showed up at a Community Club meeting last November to express concern about the proposed change that would cialis price lower the floor from 3000 feet to 2000 feet above sea level.  That would mean larger planes flying lower and with more frequency over the community.

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The FAA will accept written comments (in triplicate) until Monday, January 31.  If you would like to submit your comments, click here (.pdf) for contact and procedural information.


City prepares for Neighbor Appreciation Day, asks what makes your neighbors so great?

Seattle’s 17th annual Neighbor Appreciation Day is Saturday, February 12 and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods wants to hear what makes your neighbors so great. Post your good neighbor stories here and read what others are saying about what makes their neighborhood special.

Neighbor Appreciation Day is Seattle’s annual day to reach out to neighbors, create new bonds, and express thanks to those who help make your neighborhood a great place to live. Hundreds of people across Seattle will come together on February 12 (and the week of) to celebrate. To learn more about Neighbor Appreciation Day, click here. There you will find ideas, tools, e-greeting cards, and a listing of events.

The Department of Neighborhoods is gearing up for Neighbor Appreciation Day by offering a number of ways for community members to get involved, including sending a Neighbor Appreciation Day e-card to your neighbors. You’ll have a choice of two cards designed by Seattle Public Schools students. This card was drawn by 4th grader Angel Corpuz from Dunlap Elementary.

Other ways to get involved: Community members are invited to host their own Neighbor Appreciation Day event in their neighborhoods. Read more about ideas for events, how to plan them, and where to post them, here. Want to share your pictures of NA Day events after the fact? Add them to the Neighbor Appreciation Day Flickr album.

Donate blood at Peet’s Coffee in Interbay Saturday

The Bloodmobile is coming to Interbay from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 29 at the Peet’s Coffee & Tea in the Interbay Urban Center, located at 1827 15th Ave West (across from Brown Bear Car Wash).

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All donors can enjoy a free massage from the staff at Magnolia Chiropractic & Massage, who will be there for the entire duration of the blood drive. Donors will also receive free refreshments from Peet’s Coffee. For more information, or to reserve a time propecia price slot, email Walk-ins are also welcome.

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City puts revised parking rates under review

Two weeks ago we reported on SDOT’s announcement that it would be implementing changing parking rates and extended pay hours all around Seattle, including a $0.50 to $1/hour decrease (paired with an increase in pay hours from 6 to 8 p.m.) in Lower Queen Anne. Many around the city, and here in QA, were displeased. And you weren’t alone.

A number of residents and community groups citywide have spoken out against the parking rate changes, particularly in the areas where hikes will push rates to $4/hour. On Monday a collation of local organizations wrote a letter to City Council voicing their concerns and urging them to revisit the methodology behind the rate hikes.

We do not believe that increasing meter rates to $4.00 per hour Downtown, or $2.00 per hour in neighborhoods such as Fremont and the University District, is consistent with the policy objectives established by the City Council nor do we believe the proposed increases are supported by SDOT’s study. Further, charging for on-street parking until 8 pm in some neighborhoods will directly impact many restaurants that bring pedestrian-scale vitality to our business districts.

The results of SDOT’s study demonstrate that occupancy levels in most Seattle neighborhoods fall below the threshold of 78% established by SDOT for a majority of the day. SDOT has indicated that their recommendation to increase rates is based on the occupancy levels at the point in the day when demand is greatest (“peak period”.) Setting all day rates based on the one hour of the day when demand is greatest is the equivalent of the Seattle Seahawks charging Super Bowl ticket prices for regular season games. We believe this approach is fundamentally flawed and will discourage people from parking in neighborhood business districts.

We urge the Council to look closely at the study methodology and the basis for raising rates. The proposed increases in meter rates are not in keeping with the letter or spirit of your policy direction and will have harmful impacts on the viability of small businesses in Seattle. Consider for a moment that under this proposal Seattle would have some of the most expensive on-street parking of any city in the country.

Groups represented in this letter included the including the Downtown Seattle Association, Fremont Chamber of Commerce, Belltown Business Association, Greater University Chamber of Commerce, Washington Restaurants Association, and Seattle Business Association. Read the full letter here (.pdf).

It seems the city was listening to these groups and neighborhoods, many of which would be facing a new $4.00/hour parking rate. According to a report by The Seattle Times, the city is putting these revised rates under review before making them official. From the Times:

At a lunch-time forum at City Hall, Councilmember Tim Burgess said the City Council has asked for a review of a parking study used by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to set the new rates.

Mike Estey, SDOT manager, said staff were “scrubbing the numbers, the data and methodology” in the wake of criticism that the rates would hurt small businesses and were based on peak-occupancy, not typical parking availability.

No word on what changes might be in order and whether or not this affects Lower Queen Anne/Uptown specifically, which was facing decreased rates in the new plan. At least for the time being you can expect parking to stay at the same-old $2/hour rates  at the foot of the hill.

Free tax help at Queen Anne library starts Feb. 2

As tax time approaches, Seattle Public Libraries is once again getting ready to roll out its tax assistance program. The Seattle Public Library, AARP and United Way are teaming up to offer free tax preparation services at 11 branches around town now through mid-April.

The Queen Anne branch, located at 400 West Garfield Street, will be offering free tax help from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday, starting this coming week on on February 2 through April 13. Assistance is offered at a first-come, first-serve basis. No appointments are necessary.
A free, quality, volunteer-run tax assistance, preparation, and e-filing service. The program is operated by the AARP Foundation and the IRS in collaboration with the Seattle Public Library. The service is confidential, there are no membership- or age requirements. Volunteers are IRS-certified. More information
If Wednesday doesn’t work with your schedule, tax services will be offered at the downtown Central Library branch on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and the Ballard branch Mondays and Thursdays. Find more information on when tax help services will be offered at other Seattle Public Library branches here.

Pacific Northwest Ballet to lose 17-year veteran

Ballet dancer Stacy Lowenberg has announced her retirement at the end of this season, ending a 14-year career at Pacific Northwest Ballet in the Seattle Center. Her last show will be June 12, the final PNB performance of the season.

“I think it’s just a good point in time to make a career change,” said Lowenberg. “It’s been an awesome long journey, and I feel humbled that I got the chance to dance this long.”

Lowenberg joined PNB as an apprentice in 1994 and has been dancing for them ever since.

“I’m going to miss it so much, everyone I work with and moving my body all day long and doing something that as a little girl I dreamt of doing.”

Lowenberg, who lives in Fremont with her husband, said she was ready for a change and plans on pursuing different interests, like Pilates and choreography. She began teaching Pilates a few years ago after getting certified and has been working on her own choreography, with seven pieces produced to date. She also plans to take dancing lessons with her husband, which she says she’s never had the energy to do after dancing all day, and to learn to ski, which she’s never been able to do due to the prohibitions of being a professional dancer.

A new work of Lowenberg’s choreography will be shown in the Seattle Dance Project’s upcoming “Project 4,” opening this Friday at The Erickson Theater on Capitol Hill. She will also be dancing in PNB’s performance of Cinderella opening February 4.

From Pacific Northwest Ballet:

Her works have been shown at McCaw Hall, Bumbershoot, Meydenbauer Theatre and on film for the Beijing Olympics. (The Beijing choreography was danced in Seattle before the 2008 Olympics.) Ms. Lowenberg has choreographed for Ballet Theatre of Des Moines, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, PNB Choreographers’ Showcase, and Ballet Bellevue.