Exchange students need new host homes after hurricane

International Student Exchange is looking for host homes for several exchange students after Hurricane Irene hit the east coast.

A host family is needed for a High School Foreign Exchange student for the 2011/2012 school year. We are helping those areas in which the hurricane affected, and there are many students in need of a loving host family who will now be coming to Seattle. A potential host family is needed for a boy from Germany who speaks German, French and English, enjoys basketball, soccer, swimming, martial arts, and baseball, and plays the drums, or a girl from Brazil who is very outgoing, cheerful and calm girl, she loves cooking, reading, playing volleyball, soccer and riding horses, or a boy from Vietnam who likes playing volleyball, dancing hip hop, and going to the theater, he is an A student is excited about learning about the American lifestyle, or a girl from Thailand, who loves camping, bowling, shopping, travel and baking. She loves spending time with her cat and enjoys animals, or a boy from China, who loves reading and collecting things, he enjoys school activities and going to the movies, swimming and playing ping pong, or a boy from Brazil who likes bowling, playing soccer, camping and loves younger children, he volunteers to help take care of children, or a boy from South Korea who likes soccer, swimming, bowling, he is a black belt in Taekwondo, also enjoys music and plays the clarinet, or a girl from Spain who is a likes to spend time with her family, playing tennis and basketball, reading and playing the piano, or a boy from Thailand who likes fishing with his dad, playing golf, basketball and soccer. He loves animals and hopes to be a veterinarian when he gets older or a girl from China interested in swimming, music and watching sports. She can’t wait to meet her new American family.

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 by email or phone at 360-661-0552.

Reminder: Zoo Doo postcards accepted starting tomorrow

Gardeners have been anxiously awaiting the time when they can send in their postcards for a chance to buy the much coveted “Zoo Doo” or “Bedspread” composts from the Woodland Park Zoo.

A steaming pile of Zoo Doo. Photo courtesy Woodland Park Zoo.

Well, the time is now. Send in a postcard from Sept. 1-23 to request your compost (you can request both Zoo Doo and Bedspread, but separate postcards are required and only one postcard per person is eligible for each drawing). Entry cards will be selected randomly for as many entrants possible. “Dr. Doo” will contact the lucky drawn entries only.

Send a standard postcard to Dr. Doo, Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th St., Seattle, WA 98103. Include the following information:
-Day and evening phone numbers
-Preference: Zoo Doo or Bedspread
-Amount of Zoo Doo or Bedspread you’d like to purchase (anything from a garbage bag to a full-size, pick-up truck load)
-Weekday or weekend preference for pick-up

Pick-up dates for Zoo Doo or Bedspread begin Oct. 1 and end on Oct. 17. Winners load their own compost, but Dr. Doo will provide shovels. Costs: pick-up truck 8×4 bed – $60; 6×4 bed – $45; 6×3 bed – $35. Limit one full truck per person. Garbage cans: $8 to $10 depending on size; bags $4 to $6 depending on size. Two-gallon and pint-sized buckets are available anytime at the ZooStores for $14.95 and $4.95, respectively.

Nearby: Fremont PCC employee disappears

Family and friends are looking for any information about the disappearance of Fremont PCC employee Jeff Johnson. Johnson often works the early morning shift to open the store but on Friday, August 26th he never made it to work. . Friends and family have begun posting flyers all over town hoping someone might know where Johnson is.

Leo writes in with some details about Johnson:

At 6′ 2″, 200 pounds,a walrus mustache, and friendly as the day is long, Jeff is hard to miss. The flyer has details about his truck including the license plate number. I think it said he was in his fifties. He usually parks his white pickup in the Fremont neighborhood while working at the store. He has worked for PCC for quite a while. Anyone having info can contact Fremont PCC or other number on the flyer. Everyone hopes he is okay.

Johnson’s white Dodge pickup truck was found by Seattle Police on Sunday morning, August 28th at Carkeek Park. His wife left the following comment on our sister site Fremont Universe:

He has not visited the park to my knowledge very often if ever. He is also not disabled etc. We think the truck was dumped there, but are not sure whether it was Fri, Sat or Sun am. The truck was found by seattle police Sun @10:00 am. Also not sure when gates are open and closed each day and if that happens on a regular basis. Any info about the park in that regard would be helpful. Thanks for your concern.

She writes again in comments:

On Sunday the 28th about 15 people from PCC and otherwise ,walked the park looking for him there. I not sure if he is there, but if you happen to be at the park and would be aware of his image from the picture and could look around that could not hurt. Thank you for your offer of help. Any thing you can do would be helpful at this point.

According to our news partners, The Seattle Times, there are no signs of foul play at this point. Investigators are asking anyone with information about Johnson’s whereabouts to call the Sheriff’s Office tip line: 425-388-3845.

Seattle Public Schools closed today

Just one week before school starts, Ballard High School is closed today. So are all other Seattle Public Schools.

A spray-painted “CLOSED” sign covers the official Ballard High School sign.

For the first time ever, district employees will be taking a furlough day because of budget cuts to K through 12 education. “That means our teachers and principals will have one less day to get ready for school, and later in the year, our students will lose a half day of school,” Interim Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield writes in a letter (.pdf) to the Seattle delegation. “I appreciate the willingness of our labor partners, specifically the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and the Principals’ Association of Seattle Schools (PASS), to come to the table and negotiate these furlough days, rather than forcing us to absorb an additional $4 million in cuts as a result of the Legislature’s decision.”

Just a reminder that the Seattle Public Library system is also shut down this entire week due to budget cuts.

Thousands take advantage of Free Car Wash Day

Once again this year, Brown Bear Car Wash cleaned thousands of cars during their annual Free Car Wash Day.

The line at Brown Bear in Ballard during last week’s Free Car Wash Day.

Last week during the sixth annual Free Car Wash Day, they washed a total of 26,523 cars at their 20 tunnel locations. “Brown Bear founder and owner Vic Odermat said each location averaged 111 washes per hour over a 12-hour period with no mechanical failures,” the press release states. That brings the six-year total to 132,163.

“The pace was fast and furious and it’s a tribute to our team that we were able to serve so many customers,” said Odermat. “It’s our way of saying thank you to the communities we serve, and hopefully we introduced new customers to the kind of service and value we deliver year round.”

Bad Albert’s: ‘We’re BACK!!!!!!!”

Bad Albert’s is back! Well, almost.

The sign in the window says it all: “Bad Albert’s Re-Opening Soon!” The Facebook page has also been updated with “We’re BACK!!!!!!!” Although the sign goes on to send people to their website for more information, there aren’t anymore details. The phone number on the site is disconnected and no one was there when we stopped by. We’ll post more when we learn more.

Bad Albert’s closed in July. Former owner Steve Katsandres said a combination of the economy and health issues forced him to make the tough decision. (Thanks Heather for the tip!)

Aaaarrgh! Golden Gardens playground is now official

By Karen Watson

The community came out to celebrate Seattle’s newest playground last night at the dedication of the nautical themed play space at Golden Gardens.

Although open since the second week of August, this was the official Parks and Recreation Department kick off event. Dozens of kids took full advantage of the clear skies and fair weather, taking turns at the helm of the pirate ship jungle gym and even fending off pretend pirate attacks.

Local band Watch the Sky entertained the crowd with sea shanties and Celtic music.

The Pirates of Treasure Island were a definite hit with the youngest Ballardites, handing out balloon swords and lessons in how to talk like a pirate.

Sue Goodwin, Recreation Director for the Seattle Parks Department, acted as master of ceremonies, cutting the ribbon and taking the time to thanks all those involved in the playground’s development from planning to building. A kite making station and healthy snacks were also provided by Parks and Recreation.