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Local Author Among Amazon’s Best Seller List

March 30, 2015 7:59am

Photo via Stephen Merlino

Local author Stephen Merlino’s novel just topped the fantasy section of Amazon’s Best Seller List. Released in December, the fantasy novel, The Jack of Souls, hit #1 on Amazon’s Children’s Science Fiction/Fantasy Coming of Age Best Seller list.

The Jack of Souls is the story of an outcast who must break a curse laid on his fate, or die on his nineteenth birthday; it’s a story of magic, mischief, and the triumph of tricksters. Along with the roguish protagonist, the novel features strong female characters and a subplot from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Last summer, The Jack of Souls won the Fantasy category of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Annual International Literary Competition.

A former Greenlaker, Merlino is an English teacher at Mountlake Terrace High school. Merlino plans to release books two and three in the series in August and December.

For more information, go to stephenmerlino.com.

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Rules of the Road: 5 Do’s and Don’ts at Green Lake’s Trail

March 20, 2015 7:57am

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For anyone who has visited it, Green Lake Park is one of many treasured gems of Seattle. The 323 acre park of lush greenery, peaceful waters and abundant wildlife is why we choose to live, play and spend our time here all year round. But as anyone who has visited on a sunny day knows, the park can get crowded.

Today marks the first day of Spring. And as we mark that occasion, it seems as good as time as any to revisit some park trail do’s and don’ts. The Seattle Parks and Recreation maintains its formal courtesy code, but here are five quick ones from us:

1. Feet in the inner lane, wheels in the outer lane. This is by far, in my humble opinion, the  most lost etiquette on the trail. Throughout the pathway look for helpful markers to remind you. Feet in the inner lane, wheels in the outer.  “Feet” can be defined as runners, walkers, furry friends, even strollers. “Wheels” can be defined as bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, and so on. But did you also know that the Parks Department has recommended directions? That’s right. Wheels should go counter clockwise while walkers and runners are recommended to go in the clockwise direction.

2. Pass with courtesy. Especially on crowded days, this can be tough. But really, just take notice of your surroundings and be courteous of those trying to get by. If you want to pass, stick to the left and try to make your next move known. Speed up and slow down as necessary. If you see someone who wants to pass, be courteous and make room for them.

3. Groups? Be mindful of your space. Along that same note, if you’re in a twosome, threesome, foursome or more, be wary of how much space you’re taking up. Nobody likes that group of six who string themselves across the entire trail. The park is big and there’s room for everybody, just be mindful and break up the group as needed. Travel no more than two abreast.

4. Dog owners – leash up and pick up. One thing to love about Green Lake is that the park is entirely dog friendly and, for the most part, the people are as well. Let’s each try to do our part to keep it this way. Dog owners, this is good to keep in mind if your dog has an extendable leash and gets in someone’s path. The Parks Department has a standard length requirement of 5 ft. Make sure you do your part and pick up after your pups. If you stop so your dog can sniff another, step aside so you don’t interfere with anyone behind you.

5. Bicyclists, slow down. The Parks Department has a “Bicycle Use Policy” that dictates bicycles will be operated a “safe speed,” especially when passing other users. The department has a strict 10 mph maximum. Yield to pedestrians and use the outside lane only.

Happy trails, Greenlakers!

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Meet Green Lake Artist Steve Reddy

February 26, 2015 7:25am
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Sketch by Steve Reddy

Playful, whimsical, perspective bending and jam-packed with detail… this is, in a nutshell, the art of Steve Reddy. They do indeed require some careful looking. But, be patient and you will be rewarded!

Steve is also a Green Lake resident and I reached out to him to learn more about his great sketches.

SG: What are some of your favorite places/subjects to sketch in Green Lake?

Steve: I’m drawn to dense detail. I don’t draw the lake, sunsets, trees, that sort of thing, as I feel they’re already nice to look at. I try to find things that need my help: a tangle of telephone lines, a dilapidated building, mismatched plastic chairs in a school computer lab. Homeowners commission me to draw their houses, place of business, studios, etc. and I love doing that.

SG: How long does it take on average to do a sketch?

Steve: The grayscale is all done on location and takes about an hour. Longer if I’m chatting with friends, reading the paper, eating and drinking coffee. It’s a very relaxing, meditative experience that I don’t rush. I usually apply the color later in my studio while listening to music and multitasking so it’s hard to generalize how long it takes. Maybe two hours of actual work time.

SG: How do you go about making a sketch in Green Lake?  Do you have a location in mind, or are these spontaneous?

Steve: I make mental notes (sometimes literal notes in my journal) about possible locations that I come across. I always have many more plans for drawings than time to make them. I carry my materials in my satchel in case I see something “draw-worthy.” I get commissions to draw private homes and businesses. Sometimes it’s a planned outing with my partner who also sketches, or I’m meeting up with the Seattle Urban Sketchers for a sketch-crawl.

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Sketch by Steve Reddy

SG:  I saw on your website you did a whole series dedicated to Green Lake coffee shops, love it!  What is it about these places that attract you as an artist?

Steve: Coffee shops are perfect winter subjects because the locations are cluttered with a lot of things to draw. Also, there are chairs and hot coffee and snacks if I get hungry. I can sit as long as needed, with or without earbuds, rain or shine. When the weather is nice, I prefer to draw outdoors.

SG: Besides your website, where else can we find your art (plug your book Steve!)?

Steve: The second edition of my book, Now Where Was I? An Illustrated Journal, will be republished this summer along with the sequel, This Is Then, That Was Now. I will be letting everyone know where and when to get it on my website, stevenreddy.com.

Thanks Steve!

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Green Lake Librarians Share Their Picks for Highly Anticipated Books for 2015

January 12, 2015 7:51am

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So maybe running isn’t on your New Year’s resolution list. But is reading? We asked Green Lake Branch Teen Services Librarian Marty Hendley and Children’s Librarian Joanna Trefethen what books they were anticipating to be good reads in 2015.

Here’s their list:

Adult Titles

Purity – by Jonathan Franzen
Franzen has been very hush-hush about this new novel. The only information that has really been released is the title but it promises to be yet another epic story of family relationships.

Our Souls at Night – by Kent Haruf
Haruf died last year at age 71. His wonderful gentle read, Plainsong, explored the relationships among disparate characters in the small town of Holt, Colorado. This book (also set in Holt) promises many touching moments as the relationship of Addy and Louis, two elderly inhabitants, takes shape.

Water Knife – by Paolo Bacigalupi
This is an adult novel by the author of the excellent Teen novel, Ship Breaker. Dystopian adventure set in a world where water is more precious than gold. Bacigalupi is pretty much guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

 

Teen Titles

The Rest of Us Just Live Here – by Patrick Ness
The author of the Chaos Walking Trilogy is back. Ness says of this book, “I wanted to write a novel for anyone trying to live a normal life in a world gone mad… for anyone who needs to find out that there are many different kinds of extraordinary.”

All the Bright Places – by Jennifer Niven
A debut novel that is garnering comparisons to The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park, this book is described as a “ compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

 

Children’s Titles: Picture books

Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Life –  by James Dean, Kimberly Dean
Fans of Pete the Cat will delight in this amusing look at quotes from people like Abraham Lincoln and Einstein that are accompanied by Pete’s witty responses .

This Is a Ball by Beck Stanton –  by Matt Stanton
If you loved Press Here this new offering will continue to amaze and delight. Everything you read in this book is going to be wrong, but don’t worry because the kids are going to love setting you right!

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise – by Sean Taylor
Hoot Owl is no ordinary owl. He is a master of disguise! Dressed as a carrot he waits to no avail for an unsuspecting rabbit. Delightful tongue-in-cheek narration and comic illustrations will amuse adult and child alike. And, of course, Elephant and Piggie, the best friends from the popular Readers series by the fabulous Mo Willems will have a new book out in 6/15–I Will Take a Nap!

 

Children’s Titles: Chapter books

Shadow Scale by – Rachel Hartman is a sequel to the multiple star reviews, outstanding, NYT Bestselling Teen Fantasy book, Seraphina. This is a fantasy adventure with a strong female heroine features humans, dragons and a half dragon that can steal into people’s minds and take them over.

The Terrible Two by – Jory John and Mac Barnett (published 1-13-15)
Fans of the Wimpy Kid books will like this laugh out loud story full of fun and mischief.

Listen, Slowly by – Thanhha Lai
The second novel by the National Book Award winning and Newbery honor author of Inside Out & Back Again. A humorous yet poignant story set in the present day of a girl who takes the most frustrating, enlightening, and profound trip of her life.

The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence – by Stan Lee and Stuart Moore
Stan Lee, Creator of Marvel Comics has ventured into the world of prose and come up with a brand new, magical, super-powered adventure.

All The Answers – by Kate Messner
Ava finds an old pencil that gives her factual answers but can’t predict the future. It is great for acing a test among other uses but not all answers are ones she wants to know and the more it is used the shorter it gets. What happens when it’s gone?

While some of the titles are coming later this year, be sure to check online or in the Green Lake Branch so you can put a hold on these books as they become available.

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Greenlaker Clarke Gray Wins Award

December 17, 2014 6:30am
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Photo via Parkways blog

Ever wonder about that small brick building that houses concessions and the Green Lake Boat Rentals? Years ago Clarke Gray built it in exchange for a 10-year concession agreement. Clarke also brought small row boats, paddle boars, sail boats and paddle boards to the lake through the boat rental service, which I don’t have to tell you, is a very popular activity during the summer!

With all of these Green Lake firsts it only makes sense that Clarke would get a little recognition, which is exactly what happened this past week when the Seattle Parks Department honored him with a Denny Award, specifically the Making a Difference Award.

The Denny Awards are named after David T. and Louisa Denny, who donated land for the first Seattle park in 1884  and what is now known as Denny Park.

According to the Parks Dept Parkways Blog, Clarke has been working with the Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Green Lake community for almost 40 years.

“Beyond his successful business, Clarke has built community goodwill by offering many free hours of use of his equipment for the regattas at the lake and for summer camps for kids. In addition, he has allowed Parks’ Small Craft Center at Green Lake and the Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center on Lake Washington to borrow and test his boats. He eventually sells the water craft to the City at cost,” according to the Parkways blog.

Clarke has also provided his boats for rescue efforts in several potential drownings at Green Lake.

Let’s hear it for Clarke! Thanks for adding so much to the Green Lake community!

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Gary the Green Lake Grinder

October 8, 2014 5:36am

FullSizeRender-1You’ve probably heard him. He’s been coming to the lake for years and sharing his music from an unusual looking cart.

What is this called?

“It’s a crank organ,” said Gary Harding, aka the Green Lake Grinder. “Just don’t call it a hurdy gurdy machine. Those hurdy gurdy guys get fussy about that.”

Gary can often be found outside the Green Lake Small Craft Center throughout the year. A Greenwood resident, Harding is a former music and ethnomusicology teacher who has taught in several schools including Green Lake Elementary.

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While you can tell he enjoys to play his organ for all, he may often break into song, which is exactly what he did when we spotted him. He plays for free, but accepts tips where the proceeds goes to World Vision to help several families – learn more here.

So next time you hear the hand crank organ, stop by to say “hi” to Gary. He may even serenade you with his enchanting voice.

Charming side note: I also stumbled upon this great sketch someone posted of him last year on Flickr. You can tell Green Lakers love the Green Lake Grinder.

And you can hear Gary in action via his recent segment on Evening Magazine.

 

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The Shed Boys

August 28, 2014 6:07am
Photo via Glenn Brooks

Photo via Glenn Brooks

Reader Kimberly emailed us about what appeared to be an impromptu Green Lake performance last week by a bluegrass band called the The Shed Boys. She wanted to know more about these performers and asked us to check it out.

So here’s the scoop:

The Shed Boys are a local bluegrass band who have performed at Green Lake for several years. Two of the band members are former Greenlakers and continue to meet about once a week during the summer to play their progressive and traditional bluegrass.

The Shed Boys are: 
Ben Bauermeister, fiddle and vocals
Adam Rauch, bass and vocals
Glenn Greenwood, guitar and vocals
Stan Wentzel, mandolin and vocals

Word on the street is the Shed Boys plan on performing on September 2nd around 7:30, somewhere around the lake. (Just let the sound of bluegrass guide you!)

If you spot something around the lake that you think is interesting and would like us to find out more, email us at seattlegreenlaker@gmail.com.

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Meet Contributor Susan Rouser

June 30, 2014 6:18am

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Susan Rouser is an events & lifestyle contributor for Seattle Greenlaker.  A recent transplant from the Midwest she brings a fresh perspective to the neighborhood. Susan works in marketing and was the former social media voice to Flo, the Progressive insurance lady, yes, that one. Seattle Greenlakers, meet Susan.

How long have you lived in Green Lake?
Just a few months! My husband, 16-month-old daughter and I relocated to Seattle from Cleveland earlier this year, and were so lucky to find an adorable home close to Green Lake. We absolutely love the neighborhood and community so far.

What’s your favorite thing about living here?
The lake, of course! We’re there pretty much every day, taking our daughter to the playground, or going for a jog around the lake, or taking our dinner to the park for a picnic and people watching. We also recently discovered the fenced dog park, which our Shar Pei mix Tucker loves.

You’re a runner. What do you listen to when you are jogging around Green Lake?
My favorite running music is Girl Talk! It’s super upbeat and fun, which keeps me moving in that last mile.

Can you share any hidden gems that you’ve found in the Green Lake area?
We’re still new to the neighborhood, so we’ve loved just getting to know the tried and true favorites! We adore Duke’s for a quick bowl of chowder and Mockingbird Books for their great kids’ books and daily 11 am storytime. I’ve also recently become completely obsessed with PCC’s prepared foods, specifically the smoked mozzarella pasta salad.

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Ask a Greenlaker: PCC’s Terry Richburg

June 11, 2014 7:00am

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When I first met Terry Richburg, Produce Clerk at Aurora PCC, he had cut half of a juicy mango and plopped it right into a kid’s little hand. The kid was surprised the mom was pleasantly amused. Richburg has worked for PCC Natural Markets for five years. A greater Green Lake resident for more than 16 years, he spends quite a lot of time here. Even though Richburg doesn’t have any kids of his own, he’s got a way with kids. We chatted with him to find out more about his background and of course pick his brain about the world of fruit.

terry_pccHow did you learn about fruit? 

My former PCC co-worker Nathan Koepp. He was really passionate about it and I learned a lot from him.

How do you pick out a good piece of fruit? 

Appearance, feel and touch. There’s a normally a bright, glow to it. It’s hard to explain, but you gotta go by the feel.

What’s up with giving kids free fruit?

It’s a PCC policy. Every kid receives a free piece of fruit every time they shop.

I see kids having a bad day and the worst thing is to see a kid cry. So I say ‘hey, you know what I got? Some new fruit. You gotta try this plum!’ All of the sudden they are just calm.

Kids come in and just want candy. I give them fruit and the kids and parents just love that.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the neighborhood? 

The people. The people are just so friendly. They make time to talk to you and you don’t find that anymore. When you do, it’s an awesome thing.

Any hidden gems in the produce section that may surprise people? 

The Diva apple. It’s got the perfect name.

Disclosure: PCC Natural Markets is an advertiser on Seattle Greenlaker.

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Green Lake’s “Un-Bakery,” Jodee’s Desserts

May 30, 2014 7:11am
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Photos via Jodee’s Desserts

Whatever you do, don’t let the name fool you.

“My freezer is my oven, that’s what I like to say,” said Jodee Capo, as she sat at a table in her storefront on a rainy Sunday. “We’re an un-bakery.”

Her un-bakery, Jodee’s Desserts, offers a variety of raw, fresh-blended, organic desserts. She sells raw, vegan cheesecakes, raw chocolates and truffles, gluten-free and vegan cookies, fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, and even savory lunch options like vegan soups, gluten-free sandwiches and fresh breads.

Jodee’s menu has choices for every allergy you can think of: wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and low-glycemic, all made from fresh, quality ingredients. There is no baking involved with any of the products Jodee makes, and she also dehydrates many of her treats at a low temperature, under 118%, which helps lock in enzymes, oxygen and other nutrients.

“Whenever someone new comes in, I always ask them to taste it first,” said Jodee, as she passed me a slice of vegan key lime cheesecake (and no, she wouldn’t tell me what was in it). “There’s so many preconceived notions about words like ‘gluten-free’ or ‘raw.’ I want you to taste the ingredients before you judge.”

Continue reading…

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