Dine out for literacy Thursday night

Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program is hosting its annual restaurant benefit, Dish Up Literacy, on Thursday. Eat at Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ or 12 other Seattle restaurants, and 20-percent of the proceeds will support literacy programs for children in need.

According to Page Ahead, 61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for children.

Page Ahead operates on one simple and astounding fact: growing up in a house with books is the foremost predictor of academic success in childhood—and a child who succeeds in school will remain there. Page Ahead is dedicated to helping children in need succeed in school by developing strong reading skills.

Participating restaurants include:

  • Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ (Ballard) *dinner only
  • Hopvine Pub (Capitol Hill)
  • Tutta Bella (Columbia City, South Lake Union, Stone Way, Issaquah)
  • Carmelita (Greenwood) *dinner only
  • Barrio Restaurant (Madison Park)
  • Rusty Pelican Café (Wallingford)
  • Casa d’Italia (Wedgwood)
  • Fiddler’s Inn (Wedgwood)
  • Ten Mercer (Queen Anne)
  • Barrio (Bellevue)

Small Faces alum win first-ever Wirta Scholarships

Two alumni of Small Faces Child Development Center are the recipients of the first-ever Lynn B. Wirta Scholarships. Jane Pendras-Verdon, winner of the Alumni Scholarship, and Kelsey Gray, winner of the Staff Scholarship, will each receive $500. Both women currently work at the school as an Assistant Teacher and Associate Teacher, respectively.

From the release:

The Wirta Scholarship, named in honor of Lynn B. Wirta, is open to current Small Faces staff and alumni students. Lynn B. Wirta was employed at Small Faces for 30 years, 25 of which were as the Director. In that time, she developed an accredited program for children where social, emotional, physical and intellectual skills could be creatively nurtured through purposeful play. In addition to the children, Lynn encouraged staff to continue their adult education specifically in the Early Learning field. Upon her retirement in 2009, a scholarship fund was established to assist students who continue post high school education in Early Learning, Elementary or Special Education.

Cancer patient and dad raising money & awareness

This summer we introduced readers to an inspirational 9-year-old Loyal Heights Elementary student who is fighting cancer.

Owain Weinert rides in the Seattle Livestrong Challenge.

Owain Weinert was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) earlier this year, but the disease didn’t stop him from riding in Seattle’s Livestrong Challenge. He had originally signed up to do the entire ride, but had to cut it short after his diagnosis.

Owain’s dad, Alex, emails us that his son raised nearly $4,000, riding 14 miles just two days after a chemo treatment. The Livestrong folks interviewed Owain, bringing his story to the attention of Lance Armstrong, who tweeted it to his 2-million plus followers. (See third tweet down.)

Owain is now in what’s called “long-term maintenance,” a lower intensity chemo treatment that consists of one chemo pill each day with a chemo injection once a month, his dad tells us. His hair started growing back less than two weeks ago, a huge milestone. “Along with this, he’s regaining some of his physical strength,” Alex tells us, “It will be a long road, but he’s definitely getting stronger every day.”

With his son in recovery, Alex Weinert is now on a campaign of his own to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. This weekend he’ll ride 200 miles from Seattle to Portland, to raise money for Pablove Across America. Alex has reached his financial goal of $2,500, but for him it’s not about the money. “My goal is to get as many DIFFERENT donors as possible to build up awareness,” Alex writes, “I am asking for ‘buy me a latte’ type donations for the ride, but hope to reach as many people as possible.” If you’d like, you can donate here.

Metro Transit making changes to Ballard routes

In order to save money, preserve bus service and operate more efficiently, Metro Transit is making changes to its service. Some of those changes include Ballard routes.

Linda Thielke with Metro sent the following alert for routes serving Ballard:

• Route 17 – There are routing changes in downtown Seattle for both northbound and southbound trips.

• Route 28 – On weekdays, the southbound express trip to downtown Seattle from Aurora Avenue and North 143rd Street at 5:34 a.m. will be discontinued. Also discontinued are all shuttle trips operating between Aurora Avenue and North 143rd Street and between Fremont Avenue North and North 34th Street.

• Route 46 – The westbound trips to Golden Gardens from Fremont Avenue North and North 34th Street at 11:33 a.m., 12:33 p.m. and 1:33 p.m., and the eastbound trips to Fremont from Golden Gardens at 12:10 p.m., 1:10 p.m. and 2:10 p.m. will be discontinued.

• Route 75 – On weekday evenings and all day Sunday, service frequency between Ballard and Northgate will improve from 60 minutes to 30 minutes. Seventy-nine trips per week between Ballard and Northgate and 109 trips between Northgate and the U-District will be added.

“Unfortunately, due to reduced sales-tax revenue for transit, Metro also had to eliminate some trips on designated routes,” Thielke writes, “These trip reductions were chosen to minimize the disruption for bus riders whenever possible.”

All service changes can be found here. The changes will begin this Saturday, October 2nd.

Mayor releases proposed 2011 budget

Update 12:45: In today’s 2011 City of Seattle Budget Address, Mayor Mike McGinn has spelled out the finance proposal for next year.

Under the proposal, the Ballard Community Center will run on reduced operating hours. The Mayor’s plan calls for drop-in hours to be reduced from 53 hours per week during the school year and 46 hours per week in the summer to 15 to 20 hours per week year round.

The proposal also calls for the Sound View wading pool to be open three days a week again next summer, similar to 2010. The Gilman wading pool will be closed again next year, under the proposal.

Seven of the 13 Neighborhood Service Centers will be closed if the Mayor’s budget is approved. The Ballard NSC will be one of the six to remain open.

The City Council will spend the next two months reviewing the Mayor’s proposed budget. There will be three meetings for the public to voice their thoughts and concerns. The first meeting will be this Wednesday, September 29th, at the Northgate Community Center Gym (10510 5th Ave NE). If you’d like to speak, sign-in is at 5 p.m. The meeting begins at 5:30.

By Washington State law, the council must adopt a balanced budget no later than Dec. 2nd.

To see more of Mayor McGinn’s proposed budget, click here.

Feedback sought for landscaping at Ballard Locks

Most of the property that the Corps of Engineers manages at the Locks and nearby Ship Canal is on the National Historic Registry. The property on the south side of the Locks near the fish ladder is not.

The Corps is in the very initial phases of determining how to manage the property from here on out and possibly how to get it on the National Historic Registry, according to Andrea Takash, Public Affairs Specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

From the Army Corps of Engineers’ website:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District is seeking public comments regarding a draft report on an evaluation and management proposal for the Corps’ property on the south side of the Locks near the fish ladder.

The South Entry Landscape report is available on line for review. Please click here. The Corps is accepting comments on the document through Oct. 15. Comments may be sent to southentrycomments@usace.army.mil and should reference the “South Entry Draft Evaluation and Management Proposal Plan” in the subject line.

You can read the report here (.pdf). There is a public open house tomorrow evening, Tuesday, September 28th, to provide information about the report and answer questions related to proposals. The open house will be held between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the Chittenden Locks Visitor Center. The public is invited to drop in anytime to meet with Corps of Engineers staff.