Two Queen Anne residents train to climb Mount Rainier for ALA’s Climb for Clean Air

Two Queen Anne residents are busy training to climb Mount Rainier this summer as part of a group tackling the mountain to raise money for the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific.

Susannah Rowles (left) and Lisa Reid (right) prepare for their climb during one of their weekly training sessions.

Susannah Rowles and Lisa Reid can be spotting training together on the slopes and stairs of Queen Anne hill most Wednesday evenings, as they prepare to climb Rainier this July.

The climb is more than just a fun and adventurous fundraiser for the two, however. For Reid, whose mother suffers from lung disease, it’s personal. Both Rowles and Reid are asking for donations to support the climb and the American Lung Association. On her fundraising page, Reid talks a little bit about her mother’s condition and why this climb, her first, is so important to her:

Outside of the physical and mental accomplishment that comes with reaching the summit, I am excited to be supporting a worthwhile and personal cause. Ten years ago, my Mom was diagnosed with a genetic condition, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, that can lead to emphysema.  Her body does not make enough of the alpha-1 protein that protects the lungs from damage. As soon as she was diagnosed she took action and receives intravenous medication weekly to minimize further deterioration. Although she continues to pursue the right steps, she has lost a large percent of her ability to breathe and may never regain it. The work of the American Lung Association can help people with my Mom’s condition by improving their quality of life.

In the four months leading up to the climb Reid and Rowles hope to raise a considerable amount of money to help support the climb, and the education, research and other services ALA offers. Reid, with a funding goal of $3,750, has already raised $1,967.50, more than half of what she hopes to. Rowles, with a goal of $4,500, has raised $1,269 so far.

To support Reid and Rowles check out their personal climb pages here – Lisa Reid and Susannah Rowles. The two will also be planning a fundraiser here in Queen Anne as the climb gets closer. We’ll keep you posted on when and where that event will take place as the date nears.

Find out more about the work of the American Lung Association in Washington State here.

QACC transportation meeting discusses West Mercer Place alternatives

The transportation committee for the Queen Anne Community Council met last night at Queen Anne Manor and discussed SDOT’s five alternative plans for West Mercer Place.

Transportation Chair Glenn Avery led the discussion, giving an overview of each plan to the group. The illustrations of alternative No. 1 and No. 2 can be seen here, No. 3 and No. 4 can be seen here, and No. 5–Elliot Avenue West left-turn lane extension with the alternatives summary–can be seen here. The committee went on to discuss the plans in terms of reduction in travel time and cost.

West Mercer Place resident Fred Freeburg questioned the lack of mention of anticipated westward traffic growth on Mercer from I-5. All the discussion thus far had focused on eastward traffic growth, a point the committee members agreed with.

“The problem is every truck going to the waterfront off of I-5 is going to come down that straight shot on Mercer,” said Freeburg. “Open up Mercer to two-way and we have a freeway going west and nobody has said anything about it.”

The need for lights and pedestrian crossing, particularly at Fourth Avenue West and West Mercer Street, and a sidewalk on West Mercer Place were also discussed.

The five alternative plans were unveiled to the public at SDOT’s open house held March 15 and will be presented by representatives of SDOT at next Wednesday’s monthly Queen Anne Community Council meeting. The meeting, to be held downstairs in the activity room of Queen Anne Manor at 7:15 p.m., will focus on transportation issues, said Avery.

Public comments and questions regarding the Mercer West Project are welcome at the upcoming meeting. The council discussed earlier in the month the problem of lack of speaking time at the February meeting and steps will be taken to allow more time for public responses.

Another committee topic was the recent Port of Seattle freight mobility meeting attended by Avery. Discussed at this meeting were road diets proposed for Airport Way and East Marginal Way and the importance of freight and freight mobility for the local economy. All five Port of Seattle commissioners were in agreement that a road diet should not be imposed on Airport Way and East Marginal Way, said Avery. The next Port of Seattle Commission meeting will be held Tuesday, April 5 at Pier 69.

Seattle Men’s Chorus at McCaw Hall this weekend

The Seattle Men’s Chorus will be singing up a storm at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall this weekend. And this particular concert has a unique historical context—entitled “Falling in Love Again,” this show uses a wide variety of music to evocatively highlight the lives of gay men in German before and during the Nazi era.

From the Seattle Men’s Chorus:

Act I, Life is a Cabaret, brings to life the free-wheeling high spirits of the pre-war Weimar period with outrageously entertaining music by Kurt Weill, Kander and Ebb (Cabaret), and songs made popular by German icon Marlene Dietrich.

Act II presents Jake Heggie’s For a Look or a Touch, a poignant look at two gay lovers torn apart by the Holocaust. Starring guest baritone Morgan Smith, staged by Intiman Theatre’s Andrew Russell, and featuring the full Men’s Chorus, this thought-provoking, ultimately uplifting musical drama is a soaring tribute to the strength of the human spirit.

There will be two performances of Falling in Love Again, the first at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, and the second at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 3. Tickets range from $20 to $55, depending on which show you attend. More ticket information here.

Learn more about the history behind Falling and Love Again, and get insight into the music that makes up the concert here.

Traffic expected due to Amazon meeting at KeyArena today

Up to 7,000 people are expected to attend the “ All Hands” meeting at the KeyArena today, Thursday, March 31. Attendees will be arriving and departing via shuttle buses between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Drivers should expect added congestion around the KeyArena and Lower Queen Anne due to the event.

Last chance to give to Zaw School Days fundraiser

Today is the last day of Zaw’s month-long School Days fundraiser, and it looks like the race for which school will win is pretty close.

Our last week of fundraising shows John Hay Elementary in the lead with a mere $5 donation with Queen Anne Elementary coming in a very close second. Coe comes in third with McClure and St. Anne’s tied for fourth place.

Want to help your school win the grand prize (an Ultimate Pizza Party auction item courtesy of Zaw), as well as help them raise more dough? Customers can tell Zaw which school they’d like to make a $5 donation to in their name on all orders over $20 for the rest of the day today.

Help Coe & cut waste by recycling old electronics

It’s time to start digging through those overrun cupboards and drawers searching for old and long unused cell phones and small electronics. Coe Elementary’s community charity committee Coe Cares is putting on another fundraiser, this time benefiting both the school and electronics recycling–or rather, “upcycling”–non-profit UpCycle4Hope.

Upcycling is the process of converting useless electronics into useful items again, creating a second or even third chance at life for these devices. Through upcycling, old electronics get saved from being thrown away, or forgotten about in drawers and closets.

UpCycle4Hope, with a motto of “a second life for electronics,” collects small wireless devices including cell phones, laptops, netbook computers, digital cameras, games and gaming consoles, iPods, DVD players, and even CDs, and either refurbishes them for re-sale or, if beyond being salvaged, disposes of them in an environmentally friendly way.

Electronic waste is the most quickly growing waste concern worldwide. The average life span of a cell phone is only eighteen months. On average 130 million cell phones are retired annually in the U.S. alone. Therefore, cell phone recycling is imperative. Nationwide, it is estimated that less than 10% of retired cell phones are recycled or reused. The remainder litter closets, drawers, and unfortunately landfills.

From 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 10 outside the Upper Queen Anne Starbucks Coe Elementary students will be collecting used cell phones, Blackberries, iPhones, laptops, laptop and cell phone batteries, satellite radios, digital cameras, iPods, iPod docking stations, digital picture frames, and other small electronics (nothing too heavy to ship cost effectively) to send to UpCycle, which will then clean, test, repair, recycle and sell the donated items. Coe will then receive 70 percent of the profits from the sale of the items collected through the drive.

For more information on Coe’s electronics recycling drive, or for more information on getting involved in the Coe Cares committee, please contact committee chair Stacy Lawson at 206.999.6274.

Host families needed for foreign exchange students

International Student Exchange is looking for host families for students studying English for the 2011/2012 school year. Here are the details:

A host family is needed for a High School Foreign Exchange student for the 2011/2012 school year. A potential host family from Queen Anne is needed for students coming from the following countries: Germany, Brazil, Sweden, Spain, Vietnam, Austria, Denmark, South Korea, China, Norway, Belgium, Thailand, Japan and France.

Students come with good English skills, full health insurance and their own personal spending money, and mainly the desire to be a member of an American family. We ask our families to provide a bed (shared room is okay with similar age range) and meals eaten with the family. Host families do not need to have teenagers of their own; young families as well as empty nesters are excellent high school student hosts this year.

For more information about the students and the program, contact Jamin Henderson at 360-661-0552 or

Watch Easy Street muralist Glenn Case recreate Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy on time lapse video

Glenn Case has been the official Easy Street Records muralist for the past seven years, painting building-height replicas of album covers along the record shop’s outer wall, only to do it all over again ever six to nine weeks as new albums dropped.

His most recent creation–two panels for the release of Pearl Jam’s VS and Vitalogy Deluxe Expanded Edition today–took him the better part of a week to perfect. You may have spotted Case high on a ladder, chipping away at the murals outside Easy Street (and trying to beat the rain) a couple of weeks back.

If you missed Case in action, you can catch the project from start to finish (encompassing some 30 hours of work) condensed down into a one minute and 36 second time lapse video.

Case, 39, moved to Seattle after graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1996. One of the first jobs he had after arriving was working as a set designer with the Seattle Repertory Theatre, something he still does for various venues on occasion, when his schedule allows.

Though Case will be covering up his own work in a couple months’ time, he says he doesn’t mind the long hours he puts in, even for such short-term exhibitions.

“I never think in those terms, because I’m just out here until it’s done,” Case said. “It’s been a long process of doing what I do and getting recognized as an artists. This has been a great stage for me.”

Nowadays Case splits his time between churning out impeccably detailed murals for Easy Street, as well as custom-made signs and works commissioned for commercial businesses, homes, children’s murals, airplane hangers–you name it. One of his most interesting projects involved painting a bathtub to depict a lounging woman holding a martini, in the nude, in, of course, waterproof paint.

According to Case, all of his Easy Street murals are best viewed from across the street, in front of the entrance to Met Market. So if you happen to be walking by and want to check out his work, the corner of Mercer Street and 1st Ave N is the prime viewing location.

“I basically paint in a real impressionistic style,” he said. “It’s best for people at the market to see it… as you get a block away, all the dots and lines blend into something else.”

As you can imagine, between seven years of musical murals, alongside his other commissioned projects and his own work, Case has developed quite a backlog of pieces. Though doesn’t have a website, you can check out more of his work on his Facebook Page, Seattle Murals. Case also has a show of his own art at the Crepe Cafe in Ravenna, showing through the end of the month.

Plan a Spring Clean event in your community

It’s that time of year again – Seattle’s annual Spring Clean event is coming up in April and May. And as part of the preparations for the citywide clean-up, the city is looking for community organizations and members to set-up community service events in their neighborhoods.

From the Spring Clean website.

Spring Clean provides opportunities for citizens to clean up Seattle’s public open spaces of their choice with city support, including planning assistance, gloves, safety vests, disposal bags, transfer station passes, and waste disposal. Typical volunteer projects include litter pick ups, invasive plant removal, storm drain stenciling, graffiti removal, and general area beautification.

To find out about participating events, or start your own, contact Gretchen Muller at If you’d like to register your own event with the city, fill out this sign-up form (.pdf) and send it to Gretchen. More information here.

Four cars stolen in Queen Anne last week

Yesterday we received this note from Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention officer Terrie Johnston. She reviews the police incident reports on a daily basis, and while doing so noticed an alarming trend over the last week in our area:

Today upon reviewing the reported crime for Queen Anne and Magnolia, I noticed that in the past 7 days there were three vehicles stolen from Magnolia (Volvo SW; Toyota Highlander and an Acura Integra) and 4 vehicles stolen from Queen Anne (2 Subaru Legacys; KIA Rio; and a BMW).  This is in addition to a theft of a license plate on Queen Anne, and several car prowls.  I found that number of incidents to be abnormally high.  I phoned the Auto Theft Sergeant and he said  the number of Auto Thefts in Seattle are down, and have been decreasing steadily.  In fact, we are at nearly 1/3 of the number of Auto Thefts which occurred in 2005.  However, we agreed that there are some simple things we can do to try and prevent becoming a victim of auto theft.

This sergeant reports that he uses a steering wheel locking device on every car he owns, and he uses the device, every time he parks his car.  These devices act as a good visual deterrent.  They are just one more thing the thief has to disable in an attempt to steal the vehicle. There are also a variety of locking metal devices that can disable everything from your gearshift, gas pedal, brake pedal, hood, tires, etc.

Johnston also suggests a few other tips for keeping your cars safe from prowls and thefts. “If you have a garage, use it. Park your car in there!” she writes. “Keep the garage and any other doors leading into the garage locked, and keep car doors locked inside the garage.”

According to Johnston, two-thirds of all auto thefts occur at night. Because of this, installing motion-sensitive lighting around car ports, driveways, parking areas and alleyways may help deter thieves from targeting those cars. She also recommends that residents leave their front porch lights on from dusk until dawn.

Cars are often stolen for their parts (including airbags). It can take an expert thief as little as seven seconds and one screwdriver to break into a vehicle, and less than one minute to drive away.  Please be vigilant for strangers on your block, trying door handles, looking into vehicles.  You can call 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity.