Three options for a Christmas Tree in the CD

I know it’s hard to believe, but Christmas 2010 is now less than a month away. For those of you who are planning to do some traditional holiday decorating with a recently-live tree (no judgements please), here’s the options that we saw on our weekend trips around the neighborhood:

1. The Capitol Hill Alano Club has their annual tree-selling fundraiser up and operating in the vacant lot at 22nd & Madison (former home of Deano’s, across from the Safeway):

2. The Umojafest Peace Center is selling trees again this year too, at their headquarters at 24th & Spring:

3. A third tree lot is set up in the Grocery Outlet parking lot at MLK & Union:



Happy tree trimming!

Seattle Marathon tomorrow – Lake Washington Blvd closed

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the Sunday after that holiday is the traditional date for the Seattle Marathon.

And once again this year the route will be taking the runners around the border of our neighborhood, heading east on I-90, south on Lake Washington Blvd to Seward Park, and then back north along Lake Washington, through Leschi, through Madrona, and over to Madison and the arboretum via Madison Park.

Lake Washington Blvd will be closed from 7am until 3pm to make room for the runners. 

Good luck to any participants from the CD!

Shots Fired at a bus at 23rd & Jackson

Police are responding to a report of shots fired near the Starbucks at 23rd & Jackson.

According to police radio traffic, a witness saw several men shoot at a northbound Metro bus, apparently at someone who was a passenger.

There are no victims right now, but police have found damage to the glass of the northbound bus stop at that intersection.

The gun-wielding suspect is described as a black male, 5′ 8″, late teens/early 20s, wearing a black knit cap with a brim, and a black Northface-type jacket.


Volunteers pitch in to prepare Mann school for new life

This weekend scores of volunteers gathered at the old Mann school building, formerly home of the Nova program, and went to work with shovels, tillers, floor buffers, and paintbrushes as they prepared the school for new programs targeted towards high school dropouts.

As we reported earlier in the year, the school district has leased the property to the Work It Out project, a community organization that will offer education and job training resources to at-risk youth ages 16-21 who have dropped out of school.

Hundreds of volunteers have been working for the past several weekends to clean up and refurbish the almost 100 year old at 24th & Cherry.

This past weekend, volunteers from Seattle University were hard at work in the east yard of the property, cleaning out old plants and vines and tilling the soil to support the school’s garden. Work It Out’s Dariush Shafagh told us that plans are to grow food to use in the school’s self-sustaining kitchen, and use the experience to teach program members how to cook.

Inside the building volunteers from Seattle Bean were putting finishing touches on new paint, donated by Microsoft, and cleaning the floors with heavy old 1950s-era floor polishers.

There’s one more weekend of work planned for November 27th and 28th, leading up to the school’s open house and fundraiser on December 1st.

Classes are scheduled to begin in January 2011.

Seattle U students clean up the future garden at the Mann school


Planning to drive? It’s gonna be rough going

If you’re planning to drive to work today, we’ll start by telling you not to. Our commuting plan to downtown today includes a lot of walking, and bundling up since it’s about a 40 minute trip in snow for any point west of 23rd Avenue.

But if you insist on driving, be prepared with the city’s 2010 Winter Weather Map:


It shows that Jackson Street west of 23rd is the only street that is guaranteed to be bare and wet at all times (we haven’t made it over there to verify if that is the case).

23rd Avenue is a Level 2 roadway, where supposedly one lane in each direction will be bare and wet. We have checked that out and it appears to be close to its goal. A northbound lane is slushy with pavement visible, and southbound is a bit worse but cars are making it fine on the flat stretches we’ve seen.

We recommend avoiding all other hilly roadways such as Union and Cherry until more is known about the current conditions. 

And of course it may be very difficult to even reach a plowed roadway from your house. Most side streets are solid sheets of ice with only a light layer of snow on top of them.

Be careful!

Icy roads bring many bus cancellations, metro urges commuters to stay home

The snow that fell throughout yesterday has turned into ice as overnight temperatures hovered in the lower 20s.

Metro has been doing a pretty good job of sending out updates as the conditions have affected their service. They’ve been warning repeatedly that some routes may be cancelled today due to inaccessible hills and other blockages along their routes, and is “urging people to stay home and off the roads if at all possible.”

Here’s the updates right now for the Central District:

  • Route 48 is rerouted via 10th Ave E. and the University bridge, no longer serving Montlake or any of the stops along the hill on 24th Ave E.
  • Route 8 is not serving MLK or Madison St. stops, and is instead running on Broadway to Jackson.
  • Route 2 is following the route 3 snow route via Jackson, Broadway, Jefferson, and Cherry, with no service on Union. Additionally, it is stopping at 34th Avenue and not going downhill to the lake on Madrona drive.
  • Route 3 & 4 will still be running their snow routes via Jefferson, Broadway, and Jackson to 3rd Avenue, with no stops on First Hill or James St. 
  • Route 14 is on its snow route with no service east of MLK to Mt. Baker.

Also note that the special Route 90 is in operation several times per hour, so if you’re heading downtown and see that, you can hop on for a looping trip downtown via Jackson.

See Metro’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Snow hits the CD, but buses still running

We were relieved this morning when we woke up and saw there was none of the predicted snow on the ground. Then we got on the computer, got cleaned up for work, and looked out the window to see heavy snow falling and already sticking to the ground.

So far there’s just a trace, but temperatures are down around 28F, well cold enough to see accumulations if it keeps on like this.

So far the buses are still running, although with chains and on snow routes to avoid steep slopes.

Our #3 bus was only a few minutes late, and the #48 was spotted heading north towards the UW.

Refer to to see if the snow routes will affect your trip. The #3 and #4 routes are skipping first hill and harborview stops, instead traveling south on Broadway from Jefferson, west on Jackson, and then north on 3rd Avenue.

Use this as your open snow thread as things develop throughout the day.

Snow Watch 2010

We just looked out from CDNews World HQ and saw several white flakes of snow beginning to fall from the gray sky above. The temperature is still hovering around 38F, which seems to make it unlikely that any snow will stick.

Weather blogger Cliff Mass says that the rain shadow of the Olympics will prevent any large accumulations here in the city today, but that a stronger disturbance expected tomorrow could increase our chances for measurable snowfall.

Stay tuned, and reminisce back to 2009 when we were stuck in the neighborhood for days due to ice and snow that stuck around for much longer than usual.