News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from August 2008

A dumpster-free Fremont? Maybe.

August 31st, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

To curb drug use, drug dealings and other crime in alleys, Mayor Greg Nickels is proposing a dumpster-free downtown. Starting in the spring, the downtown area may test a program that will replace trash bins with colored plastic bags for recycling and waste. The plan is to then expand to other neighborhoods such as Fremont. Businesses have concerns that range from cost ($5 a bag) to the mess caused from rodents and birds. Police, on the other hand, tell the Seattle Times that it makes the alleys safer, “from a public perspective, it looks safer. They can see what they’re walking into.” Lt. James M. Fitzgerald says.

A dumpster and assorted trash right across from the Rocket.

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Beautiful overhead photo of Fremont

August 30th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

Sean212 uploaded this spectacular photo to the Fremont pool.

Snapped from the Aurora Bridge. See a larger version here.

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Band writes song about Aurora Bridge suicide

August 29th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

When the Seattle band Massy Ferguson releases their upcoming CD, Cold Equations, it will feature a song called “The Ride” about a friend who jumped from the Aurora Bridge in 2006. “Don’t let it stall on Fremont Falls/just go, finish it out,” the song says, which musician Ethan Anderson said urges people not to give into the bridge. “I guess we’re asking people to press on,” he told the PI. Massy Ferguson will donate all proceeds from the song to Crisis Clinic, a local suicide prevention organization. The Tractor Tavern will host the band’s CD release party on September 13th at 9:30 p.m.

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Asteroid Cafe plans to close

August 27th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

With an $8,000 a month rent and monthly bills piling up, the owner of the Asteroid Cafe can’t keep up. The neighborhood Italian joint on Fremont Ave. and 36th St. will close its doors as soon as this week. “I have enough for payroll, but not enough to pay vendors and I’m three months behind on my taxes,” Marlin Hathaway told the Seattle Times. But things might not be as bad as they seem. A potential buyer has stepped forward that could bail Hathaway out if everything works out. We’ll keep you updated…

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Fremont Oktoberfest tickets on sale

August 25th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

The Fremont Oktoberfest is quickly approaching (it’s in September, not October, natch), and tickets have gone on sale. This year, there are a few new twists to Fremont’s annual event including the Miss Buxom contest (“all contestants must be dressed up in funky, fun German attire”) and the BMX keg jump. Sounds like a party. As always, there’s a full line-up of bands, a comedy show, the Brew HA-HA 5K Run and Walk and lots and lots of microbrews. Mark your calendar for September 19-21st, and get your tickets here.

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Fremont house saved, to be moved 10 blocks

August 24th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

That former bed-and-breakfast on Palatine in Fremont will be saved from demolition crews and moved to a new lot. Musician Steven Flynn scrambled to secure the financing and permits to move the home to his own lot 10 blocks away. He’s also tearing down his small, flimsy home to make room for the new arrival. The developers were scheduled to demolish the home a week and a half ago, but they cooperated with Flynn to make it happen. The move will take place 2 a.m. on September 7th.

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Nana’s Soup House coming to Fremont

August 18th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

Nana’s Soup House, a popular soup and sandwich joint in the U-District is packing up and moving to Fremont. The gal who answered the phone told us that the owner is closing the current location the end of August and hopes to open in Fremont by the middle of September. The new space is located just across the street from Taco Guaymas. 

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Parking in Fremont may cost you

August 18th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

After the Seattle DOT conducted a couple of parking studies in Fremont, they confirmed what many of us already know – there’s never any parking in Fremont. The two studies, done in 2005 and 2008, found that the majority of blocks were more than 75% full most of the day. Now the city wants to change the parking structure in the neighborhood. They’re proposing 2-hour paid parking in the core of the business district, 10-hour parking on the outskirts and residential parking zones. A map of the proposed changes is here. Whether you’re for the changes or against them, the city wants to hear from you by October 3. Call or email project manager Stephanie Parkins at (206) 684-8186 or (Thanks Theresa for the tip!)

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Memorial grows at chopped Fremont tree

August 17th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

A week ago, workers severely trimmed a weeping popular tree in Fremont, days after the tree received “Heritage Tree” status from the city of Seattle.

The tree lives on the border of two properties. One side is owned by Patricia Halsell, who nominated the tree for Heritage status. The other by business owner Dan Cawdrey, who ordered workers to cut down the massive branches on his side of the property because he said he was worried someone would get “hurt.” The branches hung over a pay parking lot.

This weekend, a memorial of candles, flowers and messages is growing around the base of the tree. We spoke to Halsell and another neighbor, who said Cawdrey worked quickly to trim the tree after he learned it was nominated.

For his part, Cawdrey told the PI that he loves trees and was sorry, but “let’s move on… the tree is still here.” Perhaps not for long. The Seattle city arborist says it may not survive the drastic trimming.

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Big crowd for J.P. Patches statue unveiling

August 17th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

Hundreds of Patches Pals flocked to Fremont today for the unveiling of the J.P. Patches statue, “Late for the Interurban.”

There were lots of people who grew up in the Seattle area who loved watching JP Patches during the show’s run on KIRO from 1958 to 1981.

Governor Gregoire, Congressman Jim McDermott, King County Executive Ron Sims were among the politicians on hand for the ceremony.

The crowd was filled with Patches Pals who wore red noses to honor JP (chris Wedes) and Gertrude (Bob Newman).

The statue was designed by a local artist Kevin Pettelle. And… here it is…

JP and Gertrude were mobbed by the crowd as they unveiled the statue while the news media and the rest of us tried to get a photo of the pair. The permanent statue is located just east of the Waiting for the Interurban statue on 34th Ave in Fremont and is a collection site for donations to Children’s Hospital.

Hours after the ceremony crowds were still milling around and taking pictures at the statue.

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Via Tribunali opening soon in Fremont

August 16th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

The popular pizzeria Via Tribunali on Capitol Hill and Queen Anne will soon open a Fremont restaurant, according to a liquor license posted outside an empty space along Fremont Ave. N. at 43rd, right next to Cafe Vita. It will also be next door to Rialto, a new Italian restaurant.

Via Tribunali specializes in wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizza. We’ve eaten at the Capitol Hill location a couple times, and the pizza is excellent.

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Murals popping up around Fremont, Ballard

August 14th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

You may have seen one of the new murals appearing around the neighborhood over the last three weeks, like this one on 45th and Leary.

There’s also one at 15th and Holman Road. On the Triangle Lounge in Fremont. At the Episcopal Bookstore along Stone Way. At Walt’s Automotive on 45th in Wallingford. One in Sodo. And this one on 49th, just east of the Ballard Bridge.

It’s all the work of talented artist Ryan Henry Ward, who took a quick break from his work to pose in front of his latest mural. He said he would whip up a mural for just about any business that asked for one. And in many cases, he’s doing it for free. (Although he said the Triangle paid him in beer.) “We think it looks terrific and brightens the commercial portion of our street,” writes John from the Episcopal Bookstore. (See photos of that mural here.)

When we caught up with Ward, he was even painting a mural on this truck. He said he’s doing it to get his name out there, as well as discourage graffiti. If you like Ward’s work, you can see his paintings at the Orange Splot Gallery in Fremont. And if you’d like to contact him about a mural, email him at After all, Ward says his goal is to paint 50 murals in different neighborhoods across Seattle. (Thanks John for the tip!)

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Sunday is J.P. Patches day

August 13th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

A statue honoring Chris Wedes, better known as the clown who has entertained generations of Seattle-area kids, is being unveiled at a celebration from 1-3 p.m., Sunday, in Fremont.

Any kid living in Seattle from 1958-1981 grew up watching J.P. Patches and his sidekick Gertrude on TV. When J.P. and Gertrude make an appearance these days, it’s amazing to watch people 40+ years old act like giddy kids all over again.

In recognition of the pair’s impact on Seattle history, supporters have been working since 2005 to raise funds for a statue of J.P. and Gertrude. The statue sculpted by Kevin Pettelle, “Late for the Interurban,” will be unveiled next to Fremont’s “Waiting for the Interurban” near the north end of the Fremont Bridge. The event will no doubt be made all the more poignant by the fact Wedes is battling blood cancer.

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Musician trying to save Fremont house

August 11th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

A keyboardist for the Seattle band Jr. Cadillac, Steven Flynn is working against the clock to save a house in Fremont from the wrecking ball.

Developers are slated to demolish the home as early as Wednesday, and Flynn is trying to secure enough financing to move it ten blocks away, reports the PI. The house is 100 years old and has an interesting history: it was recently Gypsy Arms, a bed-and-breakfast complete with an S&M dungeon in the basement.

The plot of land along Palatine just up from 36th is sandwiched between townhouses, and that’s exactly what developers are planning to build there. In fact, there are new townhouses springing up all over this part of Fremont. We’ll update you on what happens in Flynn’s quest to save the home.

Related: Ballard woman’s efforts to recycle a house

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Paseo to expand to Ballard

August 11th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

We saw on Ballard Gossip Girl as well as on our own Ballard Twitter page that Paseo plans to open tomorrow in Ballard. Sure enough, we dropped by and talked to some folks who were working hard with last-minute preparations.

Paseo will open at 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Gordo’s old location along Seaview. The Cuban sandwich shop will feature the same tasty menu from its highly-praised Fremont location. How good is Paseo? They usually win every “best sandwich in Seattle” contest, and it’s not uncommon to see long lines outside their Fremont location at lunch.

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