News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Fifth student killed in Aurora Bridge accident

September 27th, 2015 by Sara

North Seattle College has learned that another student has died after succumbing to injuries sustained in the multi-vehicle accident on the Aurora Bridge that occurred on Thursday, Sept. 24. This student now makes five students in all who have lost their lives as a result of the devastating accident.
Out of respect for the family and their wishes to maintain privacy during this difficult time, the college will not be releasing the student’s identity.
“On behalf of our college, we offer our deepest and most sincere condolences to the family for this tragic loss. The aftermath of this accident has tested the faith and resolve of the North community like no other in recent memory, and we have tremendous grief and sorrow. But this terrible accident has also shown me and so many others that our community is incredibly strong and resilient, and by pulling together in this way, we will become stronger. We appreciate the support that has been extended to our campus from this city and throughout the world,” said Warren J. Brown, Ed.D., president of North Seattle College.”
President Brown will hold a media briefing on Monday, Sept. 28.

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Horrific accident on Aurora Bridge kills 4

September 24th, 2015 by Sara


Photo from Mark Ralstom/AFP

This morning around 11:15, a Ride the Ducks vehicle crashed into a charter bus carrying 45 North Seattle College staff and students on the Aurora Bridge. Lieutenant Sue Stangl from Seattle Fire has confirmed four people were killed and twelve were in critical condition.  Many of the most critical were rushed to Harborview.

SDOT says given the nature of the crash, traffic will be impacted on the bridge (and throughout the city) through the evening.

Ride The Ducks announced it was suspending operations for the rest of the day. It’s not clear what caused the accident, although an eyewitness told King 5 news he saw what appeared to be a wheel pop off of the Duck vehicle, right before the horrific crash.

Bloodworks Northwest is asking for additional donations. Click here to help.

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The Seattle Public Library launches ‘Booktoberfest’ in October

September 20th, 2015 by Sara

This October, The Seattle Public Library is kicking off the Library’s first Booktoberfest—a celebration of books and beer at venues all over the city. Coming soon to a pub or Library near you, the events will include Librarians’ Revenge Trivia Rounds, ‘Ales from the Crypt: Spooky Stories ‘n Suds, Bookish Happy Hours and more. Everyone is invited to grab a pint and get bookish!

Librarians’ Revenge Trivia Rounds – Match wits with librarians on bookish and library themed trivia.


Beer Basics and Home Brewing – Learn all you need to know to begin brewing beer at home from Fremont Brewing Company’s Education Director.


Bookish Happy Hour – Grab a beer and mingle with fellow book lovers as you discuss what you’re currently reading and your favorite books.


The James Franco Review, with Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Leija Farr – Join LitCrawl, The James Franco Review, and Seattle Public Library for an evening of poetry from diverse voices featuring inaugural Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Leija Farr.


Flight of Fancy – A Literary Cider Flight – Taste a sampling of hard ciders at Capitol Cider as librarians suggest books to pair with each.


Late Night at the Library: Spooky Stories in the Stacks – Enjoy spooky stories told after hours at the Library. For adults and older kids.


Beer-themed 1930s Movie Matinee – Watch “The Public Enemy,” a Prohibition-era story of two Chicago thugs involved in the illicit trade of black market booze. Also showing The Three Stooges in “Three Little Beers” and Looney Tunes in “Buddy’s Beer Garden.”


‘Ales from the Crypt: Spooky Stories ‘n Suds – Love scary stories? Love beer? What about scary stories under the influence of beer? Come gather round the beer taps to hear chilling tales of the macabre consequences of bragging under the influence, and of the grim and ghastly fate that awaits those who chug spoiled beer! Each reading features the same tales and will last about 45 minutes.


For more information, visit the Booktoberfest page, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

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Brown Bear celebrates 58th anniversary with free car washes tomorrow

August 26th, 2015 by Sara

For the past nine years, this family-owned business has offered free “Beary Clean” tunnel washes twice a year. Last year’s anniversary event generated 26,437 free washes, bringing the combined total of complimentary anniversary and free Veterans Day washes to over 225,000.

Adding to the fun, this Thursday only, one lucky customer will be selected to receive free car washes for a year: an annual membership to Brown Bear’s Unlimited Wash Club. Enter to win by taking a photo of your newly washed vehicle and posting it on Twitter (@brownbear) or Instagram (@brownbearcarwash) with the hashtag #FreeCarWashDay.

Founder Vic Odermat started Brown Bear in Seattle with one location at 15th Ave West in Seattle.  Brown Bear now owns and operates a total of 43 car washes throughout the Puget Sound area and Spokane. 

For locations and hours of Brown Bear’s automated “tunnel wash” locations in the Puget Sound area click here.

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Ballard Bridge lane closures on Saturday, Aug. 29

August 26th, 2015 by Sara

It’s clean-up time for the Ballard Bridge. The Graffiti Rangers plan to remove graffiti from the underside of the bridge on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 7:30 a.m. until no later than 3:30 p.m. Sidewalks will remain open, but the right-hand lanes, both southbound and northbound, will be closed to accommodate the equipment.


To reach this area, SDOT crews will provide their U-BIT (under bridge inspection unit) which is positioned on the deck of the bridge and has an arm that can bend around and under the bridge. There is a bucket at the end of the arm to carry a person to work or inspect the underside of the bridge.

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Make your own mini park!

August 26th, 2015 by Sara

PARK(ing) Day happens once a year, on the third Friday in September, and is an opportunity for Seattleites to temporarily turn on-street parking spaces into public places. This international event raises awareness about the importance of a walkable, livable, healthy city and helps people re-think how our streets can be used.There are just three days left to submit your applications for PARK(ing) Day 2015. Applications are due THIS FRIDAY, August 28th, so don’t delay!

PARK(ing) Day is the perfect time to make your dream mini-park a reality. On September 18th, groups from all around Seattle will be designing and installing temporary on-street pop-up parks to help generate a conversation about healthy, sustainable, and livable cities. What sort of park do you want to see in Seattle? Parks can be spaces for reflection, creativity, solace, and play. PARK(ing) Day 2014 was their biggest one yet with over 50 pop-up parks installed throughout Seattle, and they want this year to be even bigger!

To apply, first pick the parking space you’d like to use and then fill out the simple, FREE application available on SDOT’s website. Check out SDOT’s guidelines for easy-to-follow tips about planning your pop-up park. Be sure to get your applications turned in to by this Friday, August 28.

For additional information about Seattle PARK(ing) Day, including application requirements, click here.

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“Crime, Camping & Consequences” panel discussion

August 13th, 2015 by Sara

The Fremont Chamber presents:

“Crime, Camping & Consequences” Panel Discussion, Wednesday, September 16th at 8am at Giddy Up Burger.

Join the Fremont Chamber along with Panel Members:
City Attorney Brendan Brophy,
Councilmember Mike O’Brien (not yet confirmed),
A representative from the Seattle Police, and
Sola Plumacher from Human Services, City of Seattle

The discussion will focus on tools  and resources for business to deal with the issues related to encampment and long term RV parking. Trash, parking as well as safety and business visibility for your customers.

“We all know that homelessness is a huge concern in the City of Seattle, this meeting will not focus on how to solve homelessness, but more it will help business owners, to access City resources to mitigate the effects on your environment from people who are camping in cars and RVs near your place of business.”

Cost: $5 Members (includes NSIA and FNC members), $10 Nonmembers

Location: Giddy Up Burger 4600 Leary Way NW 98103 Seattle WA


Join Fremont Rotary

July 28th, 2015 by Sara

If you are considering becoming a Rotarian, and you enjoy meeting upbeat and creative people, give the Fremont Fun Club a try! They meet at Hales Brewery — yes, the world-famous micro-brewery — after work on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Why meet for breakfast when you can meet for beer?

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2015 Fremont Wiffle Ball Classic

July 17th, 2015 by Sara


Saturday, August 29, 2015*
Playfield north of B.F. Day Elementary School
Linden Ave N & N 41st St

* Please note the change in date to before Labor Day.

BENEFICIARY: Fremont Chamber Community Grants Fund
SPONSOR: Fremont Chamber of Commerce

DETAILS: $250 per team*, with each team guaranteed two games. Teams are made up with a minimum of six players at a time and each player will receive a classic t-shirt. Additional team roster members can play for $20 each and they will also receive a t-shirt.

*Early registration ends July 20, cost for teams goes to $300 after July 20, and individual player cost goes to $25.

Bring a team/corporate banner to post on our outfield fences!

Team “Captain” Meeting is on Tuesday, August 25 — all teams must send a representative to that meeting. Rules to be reviewed and draw for team play order.

Three fields of play! Home run derby! Stadium announcers! Batter Walk- Up Music! The Universe Trophy! Refreshments! Rules? You bet.


We have added sponsorship opportunities in 2015, T-Shirt sponsor, Universe Sponsorship and Planetary Sponsors will help make this fun Fremont Chamber a fun event and raise money for the community grants fund. Contact Jessica

Our planning committee has met and we want to emphasize that this is a FUN tournament.  Those that take it too seriously or don’t laugh enough shall be penalized!  Also, we have revised the rules to address a couple of areas:

1.  If the game is tied after 5 innings, one extra inning will be played.  If the score is still tied, a hit off will ensue.

2.  Reasonable speed for Pitching.  You should always pitch commensurate to the batter’s capabilities.  Violators will be promptly penalized. 

See the copy of the 2015 rules for all the details….

Official Fremont 2015 Wiffleball Championship Rules


Early registration is $250 per team of 6, with a $20 fee for additional players. Early registration ends on July 20, 2015. Registration will be $300 per team there after with a $25 additional player fee. All teams must register by August 25th. Register by August 14 to be guaranteed each player receives a T-shirt. 

Roster for Game Play:

Will be posted at least one week before the event.


James Wagner 253.439.9483 or
Jessica Vets, 206.632.1500 or
Frank Costa 206.675.7371 or

*Note that you can add teammates to an existing, registered team up to August 28

Note: you can register a team with just your contact information or with up to 10 teammates in one registration. Teams over 10 people will need to have additional players sign up on thier own. Teams that are forming can sign up with only one person listed and add teammates up to August 14, 2015

All teammates must be registered by August 14 (to guarantee a T-Shirt) Any sign ups after August 14 will be included in play but will not be guaranteed to recieve a T-shirt nor, be guaranteed in any program or other printed material. 

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CSA cooking class at the Book Larder

July 17th, 2015 by Sara

Do you love the idea of a getting a CSA box, but feel overwhelmed by what to do with unfamiliar vegetables? Do you admire unusual ingredients at the farmer’s market, but walk away because you aren’t sure how to cook them? Are you curious about how a chef decides what to do with abundant seasonal produce?

Join Chef Kyle as he cooks from an Oxbow Farm CSA box. Each week he’ll make up a menu based on what’s in the box, with a few easy to get additions to complete the meal. Book Larder is a Friday pickup location for Oxbow Farm’s Oxbox program. So you can register for their program, sign up for a class, pick up your box, and go home armed with ideas of what to do with all that lovely produce.

The class is limited to 10 students and includes 2 course lunch and light dessert. Class reservations are non-refundable.

RSVP here.

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Don’t miss The Ugly Duckling at the Palladium this weekend

May 14th, 2015 by Sara

StoryBook Theater will perform a family-friendly version of The Ugly Duckling Saturday, May 16th at Hale’s Ales Palladium with two shows at 3pm and 5pm. The show won a national unpublished playwriting contest sponsored by the AATE and a snippet of it was performed at the Kennedy Center in July of 2006:
Life isn’t quite what it’s quacked up to be for an unfortunate, young duckling. Bullied by family and friends for looking different, this unlucky, but plucky ducky decides to leave home for something better. On his own, this poor little bird’s goose seems to be cooked…or is it?
Ugly Duckling is recommended for ages 3 and up. Tickets are $11 and available here, group discounts are available over the phone. Hale’s Ales Palladium is at 4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle.

Since 1998, StoryBook Theater has introduced young children in the Puget Sound area to live theater with original, interactive musicals written especially for 3-10 year olds and their families. StoryBook Theater shows are hilarious, 55-minute musicals filled with music, laughter, whimsical costumes and quirky characters, guaranteed to delight the entire family.



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Want to be our new editor?

May 13th, 2015 by Sara

We need a new editor! Cara is sailing the high seas.

Are you a writer? Do you live in and love Fremont? This is a paid job!

Please send your resume and a brief note to


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Craving more Creativity? Artist’s Way Classes Now Enrolling

April 27th, 2015 by Cara

The Seattle Artists Way Center is currently enrolling for Spring/Summer classes. Two sections are available:

Fridays: May 8 – July 31st – 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Mondays, May 4 – July 27, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is an international bestseller on the subject of creativity. Whether you identify as an artist or not, this book and class can be an incredibly useful resource to tap into your creative side which can benefit many areas of your life. The 2 hour a week 12 week long class will take students through the 12 chapters with an emphasis on the accompanying chapter exercises and additional creativity exercises and strategies (i.e. meditation tools). This material can work with anyone, no matter how dormant or energized their creative life may be, and can enhance their ability to be more fully and genuinely themselves.

Classes will take place at the Windows Art Gallery (4131 Woodland Park Ave. N)
Find out more:


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It’s a bird, It’s a plane, It’s a book that makes bedtime cool!

April 25th, 2015 by Cara

Local Phinney Ridge author Sara Crow struggled to get her three sons to take off their superhero costumes for bedtime. Considering this a problem many parents may relate to, it became the perfect inspiration for a children’s book. Sara assured her kiddos that even superhero’s have to sleep, hoping that the sentiment would calm their energetic imaginations.


Author Sara Crow lives in Phinney Ridge with her husband and three boys.

Even Superheroes Have to Sleep focuses on that very idea, that even after an eventful day of saving the world and escaping evil, we all must take a nightly break and rest ourselves for the next day of adventure. Rhyming prose featuring a pirate, a princess, and a superhero are paired with creative and colorful illustrations. The end result makes this book the perfect bedtime story for any boy or girl.

Even Superheroes Have to Sleep is currently available on Kickstarter. Crow plans to self publish the book with the help of the crowdfunding site.  “After writing the book and finding an established, published illustrator – I wanted to focus on getting the book into children’s hands not have it sit in a stack on a publishers desk” she stated.

To support Even Superheroes Have to Sleep please click here.

Contributed by Calla Ward

Even Superheroes Have To Sleep is now a Kickstarter project

Even Superheroes Have To Sleep is now a Kickstarter project

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Fremont Adjusts to Seattle’s New Minimum Wage

April 24th, 2015 by Cara

Ashley Portilla, founder of District Fabric in Fremont, found herself at a crossroads when setting the employee wages at her newly opened business. Even one and a half years ago, talk of a $15 minimum wage for Seattle was in the air. Portilla decided that to attract good employees, she wanted to pay well, and made the choice to pay above the $15 an hour proposed wage, and well above Seattle’s then-minimum wage of $9.32.

When Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance went into effect April 1st of this year small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, like Portilla’s, were required to start paying their employees $11 per hour. This is the first phase-in of the new wage over the next few years.

Fremont hosts a variety of businesses, including many restaurants and cafes along Fremont Avenue. Seattle’s new minimum wage law will affect different types of businesses in different ways. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Fremont hosts a variety of businesses, including many restaurants and cafes along Fremont Avenue. Seattle’s new minimum wage law will affect different types of businesses in different ways. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Phil Megenhardt of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors acknowledges that “Fremont is home to a diverse business landscape.” There’s light industry, manufacturing, headquarters for Google and Adobe, and many restaurants and cafes. There are also small businesses that add to Fremont’s famous quirky character according Megenhardt.

“You’ve got all these people existing together in a very thriving neighborhood,” he observed.

Fremont has been wrestling with the new minimum wage since it was proposed over a year ago. In March 2014, businesses owners, members of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and Seattle City Council Member Sally Clark met at Fremont’s Red Door  to discuss the proposed change in wages, and how it might affect the many small businesses in Fremont.

At the meeting, president of the Washington Restaurant Association Anthony Anton said that businesses’ voices were being forgotten in the rhetoric around the $15 minimum wage, and pointed out that most restaurants in the WRA are small businesses with 20 employees or fewer.

Many small boutiques like the kind Portilla owns will not be affected by the change in law, because many of them already pay above $15 an hour, according to Megenhardt.

It’s the other types of businesses — the ones people walking through the neighborhood are less likely to notice — that may be most affected by the new wage law, said Megenhardt. One example is the Foss Maritime shipyard.

“On the light industry side, the challenge you’re facing is that a lot of the industry businesses in Fremont are competing on a global level. These guys are building ships that they sell all over the world,” Megenhardt said.

These types of industries will have to compete with lower overseas wages.

Another industry sector that is more likely to be affected by the wage increases are the service industries, including restaurants, cafes and barbershops. Megenhardt projects that prices will increase.

“The service industries are going to see that affect their pocketbook directly,” Megenhardt said.

Courtesy of the Yellow Dot Cafe's Facebook

Courtesy of the Yellow Dot Cafe’s Facebook 

Before the new change in minimum wage, the Yellow Dot Cafe started off its seven employees at $10 an hour and increased pay based on merit, according to manager Mary Malone. As a restaurant, the Yellow Dot can continue paying its employees $10 an hour under the new law as long as their total earnings, including tips and/or health benefits, add up to $11. Next year, the minimum wage will go up to $10.50 an hour with the total minimum compensation at $12. This will continue each year until 2021, when both minimum wage and minimum compensation will be locked in at $15 an hour.

The Foss shipyard in Seattle. Courtesy of The Herald of Everett.

The Foss shipyard in Seattle. Courtesy of The Herald of Everett.

Malone said she hopes by the time this happens, the Yellow Dot will be thriving and have several new locations opened.

“[Otherwise] we’re going to have to raise our prices, and the customers aren’t going to like that,” Malone said. “If it had jumped straight to $15, we wouldn’t be able to stay open.”

Exactly how Fremont businesses will have to phase in the new minimum wage depends on the size of the business.

Large employers, such as Foss Shipyard, are required to pay $11 in minimum wage, to be increased over the next two years to $15. That is unless these businesses pay toward their employees’ health benefits, in which case wages will be phased in over three years, and reach $15 in 2018.

By Chetanya Robinson, UW News Lab

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The 13th Annual Literacy Source Breakfast

April 23rd, 2015 by Cara


Literacy Source invites you to join in for the 13th Annual Literacy Source Breakfast: Celebrating the Ripple Effect of Education at 7:30 am at Seattle Pacific University on Tuesday May 5th, 2015.

Well-known librarian, author, and literary critic Nancy Pearl will speak again this year and share her top ten book lists. Guests will also hear from Literacy Source students during the organization’s largest annual fundraiser.

Literacy Source began twenty-eight years ago with an emphasis on Adult literacy instruction in the North Seattle area. Since that time they have grown to offer a variety of programs in addition to Adult Basic Education such as English as a Second Language, citizenship classes, and a high school diploma program. With their expanding programs Literacy Source has also expanded their reach. In addition to offering classes at the Center in Fremont they partner to provide offsite classes at correctional facilities, schools, community centers, and churches throughout Seattle.

Register to attend or be a table captain for the 13th Annual Literacy Source Breakfast by clicking here.

For more information, contact or call 206.782.2050

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