Fruit in yard of ‘Fig King’ ripe, ready for picking

Bill Farhat profiled in The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine

Bill Farhat profiled in The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine

Last year Lake City resident Bill Farhat was profiled in The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine. The publication named Farhat the “Fig King.” The native of Lebanon has a yard described by The Times as “ringed with grape leaves, planted with Persian plums and packed with his prized fig trees.”

Well the fruit of all Farhat’s labor is ready —early this year— and the Fig King is ready to share his backyard bounty. He is asking $4 per pound for the delicious figs from his 35 trees. You can read more from Farhat below.

Last summer, I was lucky enough to be called the “fig king” by The Seattle Times magazine, which wrote a feature story on me—as well as a video blog.

I have 35 trees in my backyard. (I’d probably have more, but there’s no more space).

I’m writing today because I would love to share my Desert King figs with others in the Lake City and surrounding community. They are ripe!

They are 10 days early this year, due to our incredible warm weather. Come get em! (If you want to plant a tree in your own backyard, I can help you with that, too).

I sell figs for $4/pound. Email or call 206-363-0121

If you stop by and get some of his figs, make sure to let us know how you dished them up in the comments section below.

Matthews Beach closed due to bacteria in water


( photo used with permission)

Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed Matthews Beach to swimmers because of elevated levels of bacteria in the water. The beach park regularly attracts geese and other waterfowl. The beach is also adjacent to Thornton Creek, which is know to have dangerous levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

The beach closure comes at a time of year when many would be enjoying the cool waters of Lake Washington.

From Seattle Parks:

On a recommendation from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed Matthews Beach Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Routine weekly water quality testing revealed that the bacteria levels in the water were too high for swimming.

The water will be tested again on Monday and the beach could re-open as early as Wednesday, Aug. 6. For updated information, please visit

Speed humps installed in front of Olympic Hills Elementary


As part of a an effort to make the walking and biking route to Olympic Hills Elementary School safer, speed humps were installed by the Seattle Department of Transportation on NE 130th Street in recent days.

The speed humps are intended to slow traffic in the immediate vicinity of the school. The Safe Routes To School program and a grant from the Washington State Department of transportation also recently completed a segment of missing sidewalk on the route to the school along NE 130th Street. Previously students were regularly seen walking to school in the street.

Although many streets in the area of the school still lack sidewalks, the recent additions show government officials are paying attention to pedestrian safety in the neighborhood. The topic of pedestrian safety has been the dominant topic of public meetings in the Lake City area for decades.

More speed humps and other traffic calming measures are planned for a stretch of 27th Avenue Northeast, NE 127th Street, and 25th Avenue Northeast as part of the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways project to make roads more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.

Free Kids’ field trip to the Lake City Emergency Hub

Lake City kids and parents – are you Emergency Ready?

Join the North Seattle Family Center and the American LC HUB FieldtripRed Cross this Monday, July 28th, for a special walking field trip to Lake City’s own Emergency Hub!

An emergency expert from the American Red Cross will teach kids basic first aid, how to react in a natural disaster, and explain how a pillowcase can help you out in an emergency.  Pre-registered kids will also receive a backpack with a safety starter kit.

To register for the field trip, call the North Seattle Family Center at (206) 364-7930.


SalmonFest Coming Soon!

LogoSalmonFest Seattle is almost here and there’s really, truly something for everyone at this year’s revamped Lake City street festival. Events run Friday, August 1st through Sunday, August 3rd. Where to start?


Market goers sample salmon sauces for the upcoming Salmon Bake

Market goers sample salmon sauces for the upcoming Salmon Bake

Salmon! This year’s salmon bake features a new salmon supplier. Loki Fish Co. is locally-owned and known for it’s sustainable harvesting and direct-marketing of wild fish. Festival organizers also field-tested three exciting new sauces at the Lake City Farmers Market this month, polling market-goers for their favorite to be used alongside the Loki salmon this year.

Salmon Bake
(Lake City Community Center, 12531 28th Ave NE)

  • Friday, Aug. 1st – 12:00pm-6:00pm
  • Saturday, Aug 2nd – 12:00pm-6:00pm
  • Sunday, Aug 3rd – 12:00pm-5:00pm


Music!  This year’s main stage line-up includes a wide array of music, from big band swing to folk music, acapella, rock, gospel and more, including Pacific Northwest favorites Reilly & Maloney. Visit the SalmonFest site for the maintstage entertainment schedule.

salmon masks

Kids make salmon masks in preparation for SalmonFest

Entertainment!  The weekend kicks off Friday evening with a contra dance at the Lake City Community Center. If you’ve got youngsters, don’t miss famed Reptile Man on Saturday, Aug. 2nd at 3:30pm. Look for other performances likely to captivate audiences young and old – including ballet and martial arts.

Art Show!  This year’s street festival is also expanding to include a juried art show. Artisans will share a range  of wares from fine wood and metal working to wearable art and delicate baked goods, like those from Thumbprint Baking Co. Visit the SalmonFest site for a list of vendors.

Street Festival
(along 125th between Lake City Way & 25th Ave NE)

  • Saturday, Aug 2nd – 10:00am-6:00pm
  • Sunday, Aug 3rd – 10:00pm-5:00pm

Old favorites, like the Seattle Gymnastics tumbling area and classic car show will be back. But new traditions are joining the festivities – including a beer garden hosted by Elliot Bay Brewery.


Clowning aroundParade!  For long-time residents, no need to worry, the traditional Pioneer Days Parade is still the highlight of Saturday’s events. And as always, any child or family can dress up and participate in the Kiddie Parade.

Pioneer Days Parade, Saturday, Aug. 2nd
(Lake City Way between 125th and 135th)
Kiddie parade 6:00pm
Main parade 7:00pm


Animals!  The new Sunday addition to the street festival provides fun for pet owners, with the Petalooza. The Palooza Stage will feature dog contests, K-9 demonstrations and high fashion doggie wear. Bring your pets and come enjoy the day!


SalmonFest 2014 Street Map

National Geographic brings free ice cream, conservation pledge to NE Seattle


Update: The location of the National Geographic Ice Cream truck was changed to Magnuson Park. It is still scheduled for 1 p.m.

As part of a way to inspire the next generation to explore and protect their world, a National Geographic-sponsored ice cream truck will make a stop in Northeast Seattle on Friday, July 25th.

From the vegetable oil-powered vehicle, three recent college graduates will hand out free ice cream and encourage youngsters to take a pledge of conservation.

The truck will stop at the Seattle Audubon Society, 8050 35th Ave NE, Magnuson Park at 1 p.m. Details via a National Geographic press release are below:

On a mission to inspire the next generation to explore and protect their world, three recent college graduates will be driving a biodiesel ice cream truck across the country this summer, giving out free ice cream to children and encouraging them to take a conservation pledge. Caleb Kruse, Cameron Kruse and Jordan Fatke will embark next week on an Ice Cream Expedition and will be filming a documentary about how conservation is seen from a child’s point of view. The expedition received funding from a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant, and the trio is partnering with National Geographic Kids to spread the word and share the journey digitally with kids around the world.

The Young Explorers will drive a retrofitted ice cream truck that runs on vegetable oil across 33 states. Sharing a free scoop of Magnolia Tropical Ice Cream as a conversation starter, the team will make stops at parks, museums, aquariums and other venues to talk to children about the importance of exploration and ways to help preserve natural areas. They will also encourage children to sign a pledge to explore and protect a place that is meaningful to them, such as a local pond or a backyard garden. Magnolia will be donating all of the ice cream for the trip, and the available tropical flavors will be avocado, mango, guava and a mix of purple yam and coconut.

Lake City Summer of Fun

Summer of Fun

A community wide effort is underway this summer in Lake City to make Fun available for Free to families. Eight Lake City-based social service agencies have been collaborating all year and recently received a $15,000 grant from United Way King County’s New Solutions Program to create a “Summer of Fun”. The result for the community is a jam packed summer of free crafts, games, reading, camps, meals and more for youth and teens this summer throughout Lake City.

At the North Seattle Family Center, every Monday and Wednesday youth and teens can learn a new skill like sign language or emergency safety skills at the Lake City Emergency Hub. Wednesdays are arts & crafts days. Next Wednesday July 23, families can learn to make their own candles. Fridays are family field trip days to different locations throughout the city like the Zoo, Aquarium, and Green Lake.

This past week families stomped out that beat with Introduction to Drill Team on Monday with Coach Renee. Tuesday they got out of the sun and went to the see the Lego movie at Northgate. Wednesday was a full house for a Card Making and Rubber Stamp craft.  And on Friday, Lake City families headed on a field trip to the Woodland Park Zoo! All activities are free for families. Advanced registration is recommended by calling the Family Center at (206) 364-7930.

Hunger Intervention Program (HIP) is again offering summer meal sites at four popular spots in the Lake City/NE Seattle area. Here kids and teens 18 and under can not only get a free meal every Monday through Friday, they can also take part in games and activities. All of the meals are made fresh by HIP’s volunteers and even feature produce from the Lake City Farmers Market like fresh blueberries and blackberries generously donated by Hayton Farms. No advanced registration is needed to participate in the summer lunch program. Just show up! Check out each week’s menu and specific site locations and times on HIP’s blog.

Nancy Pew, children’s librarian leads story time every Tuesday at the Lake City Court lunch site.

This year HIP’s meal sites at the Lake City Community Center and Lake City Court are also offering an afternoon snack from 3- 3:30 pm. Thanks to special funding, parents can enjoy a lunch at these two sites while their kids eat as well. Also at HIP’s meal sites, you can find Lake City’s own children’s librarian Nancy Pew, who is sharing her infectious love of books and reading each week.

Many Lake City kids are off at summer camp this month thanks to the University YMCA, which offered generously discounted weekly camp rates to Lake City families this year. The Y is also providing free transportation to youth from Lake City to the camp sites at Magnuson Park.

STEP Event -- Play in the Park July 21stTen North Seattle teens are building up their leadership and job skills by participating in Seattle Parks & Recreation’s Student Teen Empowerment Program (STEP). These teens applied and were selected from Lake City and other north end neighborhoods to participate in the 6 week long program. You may have seen Lake City’s STEP team already hard at work with several projects, including their first activity held Monday June 21st at Virgil Flame Park. The STEP team will also be working on a mural at Lake City Court and a multimedia project to capture the ideas of Lake City’s teens on their vision for Lake City.

As we promised, it’s a jam packed summer! To stay informed on upcoming activities, check out our calendar for all of the Lake City Summer of Fun listings.



Go to the Head of the Line at the SalmonFest Salmon Bake!

Grill from LCLBuy advance tickets for yourself, your family or your employees and go to the head of the ticket line when you arrive for your Wild Salmon Dinner August 1-3!  We are featuring wild salmon from Loki Fish Co., a local, family owned and operated company.

Salmon Bake Menu

Alder Smoked Wild Salmon
with Lemon Balasamic Sauce available

Traditional or Asian Cole Slaw
Festival Baked Beans
Potato Roll & Butter
Ice Cream
Coffee or Cold Beverage

Adults $10
Seniors $9.50
Fish Only $6
Hot Dog Plate $6

Tickets available at Lake City Community Center, 12531 28th Avenue NE through August 31, 2014 and at the Lake City Farmers Market August 24, 2014. For more information, please call 206.362.4378 or email

Armed, masked man robs Rick’s at DreamGirls strip club

The Seattle Police Department reported on their Blotter website that a masked gunman robbed Rick’s on Lake City Way on Friday. From the Blotter:

Just before 10:30 AM on July 4th, the suspect approached the manager of Dreamgirls club as he was standing outside the business—which had not yet opened—in the 11300 block of Lake City Way.

The suspect pulled out a handgun and forced the manager to let him inside the business, where the suspect ordered the manager and a custodian to lay on the floor as he ripped phone lines out of the club’s walls and stole a large amount of cash.

The suspect—described as a white male wearing all black clothing, gloves, sunglasses and a bandanna over his face—then fled the scene in a blue or gray SUV.

If you have any information about this case, please call the SPD Robbery Unit at (206) 684-5535