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Women in Business: Voula’s Offshore Cafe

It’s no secret that Voula Vlaho loves her customers.  She’ll tell you so herself on days when, stepping out of semi retirement, she shows up at Voula’s Offshore Café on Northlake Way, within sight of Lake Union. voulas1

“I just love to be with people,” says Voula, a spry, compact woman with salt and pepper hair. She’ll give you a maternal hug and point to the wall papered with pictures of her many customers and their children. She believes you have to love your customers. That, she insists, is “Greek philosophy.” She invites customers to call her “mama.”

Known for Greek specialties, good food and generous portions, Voula’s café celebrated 30 years at 658 NE. Northlake Way on Sept. 11. The celebratory … Continue Reading »

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What’ll It Be, Honey? Memories of the Dog House

I read Bethany Jean Clement’s recent article about the Hurricane Café’s impending close with a heavy heart. Old Seattle is about to lose another landmark.  Final day for the Hurricane Café at Seventh and Bell is set for Jan. 1, 2015. Acorn Development (an affiliate of Amazon) will be tearing down the nearly 100-year old building to make way for yet another slick skyscraper.dog house 2

About the only thing that won’t be lost during the demolition are customers’ memories of the Hurricane’s last two decades and — even before that – stories from the Hurricane’s predecessor, the Dog House.

Let’s first be clear about the Dog House’s place in old Seattle, pre-World’s Fair, pre- WWII, even pre-Viaduct. It was in the 1930s, … Continue Reading »

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Celebrating Yesler Swamp

On Sunday, dozens of neighbors and volunteers brought crockpots full of baked beans, bowls of potato salad, trays of summer fruits and vegetables and loaves of bread to share. Cheering along with the Cajun band Folichon, they were celebrating the completion of the first phase of the Yesler Swamp boardwalk. Yesler 8

The swamp, a wooded wetland, is a natural treasure that has suffered neglect and misuse for years. It is now being restored through the efforts of an inspired group of dedicated workers, the Friends of Yesler Swamp.

They, along with their partners, have contributed thousands of volunteer hours – more than 3,000 in 2014 alone – to remove invasive species, plant native trees and shrubs and construct … Continue Reading »

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Gender Wage Gap: A Report Card

It’s taking time, more time than anyone would like, but we’ve rolled up our sleeves and are laying the ground work necessary to address the region’s jumbo-sized gender wage gap.Report Card Blank[4]

Last year, the National Partnership for Women and Families reported that the Seattle area has one of the widest wage gaps in the nation: on average, women make 73 cents for every dollar men earn.  City leaders, responding to a request from the Women’s Commission, studied our own gender wage gap and learned we’re not off the hook:  the City’s gender wage gap is 90 cents on the dollar and much worse in certain departments.

As chair of the Seattle City Council’s first committee to oversee the … Continue Reading »

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Women in the Workplace: Marination

What do you do when the world hands you a lemon? Folk wisdom says you make lemonade. The Marination duo had a different answer: Make Hawaiian-Korean tacos.Marination3

Marination is a crazy, runaway success story that co-owner Kamala Saxton likes to talk about.  The story began five years ago when Kamala and co-owner Roz Edison, had some financial reverses, like many of us who weathered the Great Recession.

Roz and Kamala became acquainted while both were working in educational programs in Boston. Kamala, a one-time Seattleite who grew up in Hawaii and California, has degrees in education and public policy and a professional background at the Gates Foundation. Roz, who was born in Greece and has lived in Romania, is Chinese and Filipina and … Continue Reading »

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