News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood

 

Entries from October 2009

Discuss proposed school assignment plan tonight

October 14th, 2009 by Heidi

Let your opinions be heard on the proposed student boundary map!  There is a meeting tonight at Ballard High School from 6:30-8:30pm where the community can address the school district with any questions and concerns regarding the plan. 

This map outlines the proposed boundary changes for Fremont’s elementary and middle school areas.

This is what the changes for high schools looks like.

Click here to view the current maps and for a link to look up all schools by address, with a larger view of the maps.

The School Board will vote on the proposed boundaries on November 18.  If approved, the changes will take effect in phases for students entering kindergarten, 6th grade and 9th grade in the 2010-2011 school year.

You can find an overview on the new student assignment plan, as well as a complete list of upcoming community meetings here (.pdf).

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Rescue crews respond to suicide attempt

October 14th, 2009 by Geeky Swedes

A man jumped off the Aurora Bridge and was pulled from the water about 7:30 this morning, and early reports are he may survive. Medics began treatment near the Adobe buildings, and they took him to Harborview Medical Center. This is the third reported suicide attempt from the Aurora Bridge in just over a week. Yesterday, a Fremont Universe reader told us a man jumped to his death, and we reported last week about another suicide from the bridge.

Suicides are a big issue for Fremont — especially for the hundreds of people who work in the Adobe complex under the bridge. The state is preparing to build a suicide barrier on the Aurora Bridge beginning early next year. (Photo by WSDOT of a mock up panel installed as a test on March 29th.)

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Fremont Chamber hosts candidate forum tonight

October 13th, 2009 by Heidi

The public is invited to hear from candidates running for Seattle Mayor, City Attorney and City Council at a forum and debate tonight.  The event is sponsored by neighborhood and business groups from Fremont, Wallingford, Green Lake, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge and the U District and moderated by Fremont Chamber of Commerce President Marko Tubic.  The event is free and begins at 6pm at Lincoln High School (4400 Interlake Ave N). 

More information can be found here.

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Petition to keep Fremont library open

October 12th, 2009 by Heidi

Correction: The public hearing at City Council Chambers is on Monday, October 26th at 5:30pm.

Members of Friends of Seattle Public Library will be petitioning outside the Fremont Library today from 1:00-2:30pm.  The group is trying to raise awareness to the proposed cuts to Seattle’s library system, which already saw a week-long furlough back in August to save money. 

Mayor Greg Nickels announced his proposed 2010 capital budget plan for the city last month.  In an effort to address a projected $72 million revenue shortfall, this includes a 37 percent cut to the Seattle Public Library budget from the 2009 budget.  The new cuts would mean reduced staff, resources and hours year round.  The Fremont Library and 20 other branches would also be closed on Fridays and Sundays. 

Friends of SPL Vice President Jennifer Johnson-Fong writes:

The proposed operations budget will impact all of our communities and neighbors who are relying on our libraries for computer access, job search resources, educational support, gathering spaces, programs and librarian assistance.

There are two upcoming public hearings to address the issue.  One is this Wednesday, October 14, at 5:30pm at the Northwest African American Museum (2300 S. Massachusetts St).  The next is on Monday, October 23, at 5:30pm at City Council Chambers (600 4th Ave).  RSVP to advocacy@friendsofspl.org if you can attend either meeting. 

More information can also be found on Friends of SPL’s blog.

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Elvira, costumes and a Halloween fashion show

October 9th, 2009 by Heidi

Halloween is just three weeks away, and this year it’s on a Saturday.  That means lots of trick-or-treating and parties on the horizon so it’s time to start thinking about what costume to wear.  Fremont Studios staged the first Halloween Costume Fashion Show presented by Halloween Express last Sunday.  We took lots of pictures to get your creative juices flowing.

Forest Faerie

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, was the special guest of honor. 

Baby Monkey & Banana

The first act of the show featured more than 50 family-friendly ideas.

Vampire, Devil & Hell Dog

Even four-legged family members were included.  I’m not sure if devil dogs are supposed to be this cute, though.

Ketchup & Mustard

This pretty much looks like my refrigerator.

Lucky Charms & Trix Rabbit

Anyone for a bowl of cereal?

Oktoberfest Guy & Girl

This couple is fresh from Oktoberfest.

Beer Keg

This keg actually works!

Elvira tattoo

Elvira met with fans (and signed this tattoo of her) after the show. 

We couldn’t possibly post all of the pictures from the fashion show so we created a Flickr account where you can see more.  

If you’re all dressed up with no place to go, bring your dolled-up self to the BOO Costume Extravaganza at Fremont Studios on Halloween night.  Click here for more information or to buy tickets.  Happy Halloween!

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Adopt-a-Drain and keep your hood from flooding

October 9th, 2009 by Heidi

The fall season is here, which means rain is right around the corner.  The combination of wet weather and fallen leaves is the perfect recipe for flooding so Seattle Public Utilities is looking for volunteers to join their Fall Clean.  As part of their Adopt-a-Drain program, SPU will lend you all the cleaning supplies you need to help keep your neighborhood drains clear of debris.  That includes rakes, bags, gloves, shovels, brooms and dustpans.   

You can pick them up during the following times and places:

  • October 24 and 31 from 9am to 12pm at Seattle Public Utilities’ warehouse (3633 E. Marginal Way South)
  • October 28-29 from 10am to 1pm at Seattle Municipal Tower in downtown Seattle (on 6th Ave between Columbia St and Cherry St)

To reserve your supplies, call 206-233-7187 or email adoptadrain@seattle.gov.

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Fremont Bridge says “Call Me”

October 9th, 2009 by Heidi

Permanent signs have been put up on the Fremont Bridge, enticing passers-by to call it.   The opening celebration of Kristen Ramirez’ public art project may be over, but ”Bridge Talks Back” will ring on through April 2010. 

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Over the summer the artist set up a voice message line inviting residents to tell their favorite stories or memories about the bridge.   She then created an audio composition made of portions of some of those messages, combined with various sounds from the bridge.  You can hear that recording 24/7 by calling 1-800-761-9941. 

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Proposed Student Assignment Plan released

October 8th, 2009 by Heidi

The Seattle School District released its proposed school assignment boundary map on Tuesday evening, drawing some mixed reaction.  The Student Assignment Plan (.pdf), which was approved in June, gave the district the go-ahead to outline boundaries around each elementary, middle and high school.  Under the proposed plan, students would be designated a school based on their home address.  District-wide open enrollment would no longer be an option. 

This map outlines Fremont’s proposed elementary and middle school attendance area. 

This is how the proposed high school boundaries look.  You can click here to look up all schools by address or to see a larger view of the maps. 

The district’s plan is a return to a school assignment system that keeps students in their neighborhoods.  In doing this, not only would children be closer to home, they hope to save money by reducing the number of buses required to transport students across the city.

B.F. Day Elementary School Principal, Susan McCloskey, likes the proposed changes.  “I like the idea of parents knowing where their kids are going to go to school.  This will really simplify the process.”  In addition she says, ”I love the fact that if you’re in BFD right now, you get grandfathered in until you graduate from 5th grade.  Siblings are the issue.” 

Other concerns have been raised that the boundaries could impact the socioeconomic and racial diversity in schools, as well as have an effect on class size.  Principal McCloskey adds, “The only thing I’m worried about is I don’t want to lose that diversity, because right now we have two buses coming from the South end and the Central area.  I don’t know how that will shake out when the whole plan gets in place.  We’ll have to see.”

There are several public meetings scheduled where communities can discuss and comment on the student assignment plan.  The next meeting in our area is on October 14 at Ballard High School from 6:30-8:30pm.  A complete list of meetings can be found here

The School Board will vote on the proposed boundaries on November 18.  If approved, the changes will take effect for students entering kindergarten, 6th grade and 9th grade in the 2010-2011 school year. 

Let us know if you’re affected by these changes in the comments below…

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Volunteers needed at Fremont Peak Park

October 7th, 2009 by Heidi

Friends of Fremont Peak Park are planning a work party to get the park prepared for winter and they can use as many hands as they can get.  On Saturday, October 17, from 10am-1pm, rain or shine, volunteers are needed to help plant, weed and mulch for cooler weather.  Coffee, snacks, gloves and tools will be provided but feel free to bring your own cup or garden tools.  They could also use lots of extra buckets.

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If you’d like to sign up to help, RSVP to info@FremontPeakPark.org so they can get an idea of how much coffee and snacks to buy.  If you can’t work, but would like help in another way, snack donations are also welcome!  Just email the same address above to let organizers know.

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Another suicide attempt from Aurora Bridge

October 6th, 2009 by Geeky Swedes

Medics responded to a person who jumped from the Aurora Bridge around 2 p.m. today.  There’s no word on whether the person survived.  Construction on the barrier on Aurora Bridge, designed to prevent suicides, is scheduled to begin in January or February.

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Paseo to be featured on Travel Channel

October 6th, 2009 by Heidi

A video crew from Travel Channel shot a segment at Paseo today for an upcoming series on the cable network.

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The name of the show is currently called ”101 Places to Pig Out”, but the producer says it could possibly change to ”101 Places to Chow Down” or something along those lines.  It’s scheduled to air sometime in November, around Thanksgiving.  We’ll keep you posted when we find out an exact date.

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They’ll be shooting at another Seattle hot spot, Beth’s Cafe (73rd and Aurora), tomorrow.  If you’d like to watch, or possibly get plucked out of the crowd for the show, stop by between 9am-1pm.

(Thanks for the tip, Jeremiah, and for making me stuff my face on TV!)

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Taggers target homes and cars

October 4th, 2009 by Heidi

Vandals tagged several homes and cars with graffiti late Friday night or early-morning Saturday.  Neighbors in the 400 block of N. Bowdoin Pl woke to find their property damaged with what appears to be the same word.

Graffiti car

Two cars had graffiti spray painted onto their trunk lids.  The owners were eventually able to remove the paint with solvent. 

Graffiti
One home was marked in two places, on both the front steps and a retaining wall.  Another home had their wood porch tagged.  The incident has since been reported to the city.  (Thanks for the tip and photos, John!)

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4th annual pet blessing at Fremont Troll

October 4th, 2009 by Heidi

A small group of pet owners gathered at the foot of the Fremont Troll today for the 4th annual St. Francis Day Pet Blessing.  The ceremony is in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, who is known as the patron saint of animals and the environment in the Catholic church. 

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Abbess Karen Ward of Church of the Apostles led the ceremony, which included a short reading and prayer, followed by a song and sprinkling of the animals.  She says, “It’s completely appropriate to bless pets since they bring so much happiness to people.” 

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Maddy brought her 2-year-old ferret, Pockets, for its first blessing, adding, “How much more Fremont can you get, blessing your pet ferret at the Troll?”

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Today also marked the church’s first drive-by pet blessing.

Church of the Apostles will be doing a special St. Francis Day blessing at tonight’s worship service if anyone missed this afternoon’s ceremony.  The service begins at 5pm at the Fremont Abbey.  Animals of all kind are welcome.

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My Ballard wins national award

October 4th, 2009 by Heidi

We’re proud to announce that our sister site, myballard.com, just won the very first Community Collaboration award at the 2009 Online Journalism Awards Banquet last night.  They beat fellow nominees LA Times and Miami Herald to win what is equivalent to an Emmy Award in television. 

OJA Committee Co-Chair Anthony Moore said, “We continue to be impressed by the way journalists are pushing the envelope and serving the public interest at the same time.”

Judges commented about the site:

My Ballard is exactly what newspapers are trying to do with hyperlocal content.  And these guys do it.  There was no site that fulfills the sense of community collaboration better.  It’s the literal definition of the category.  It’s extremely useful for the neighborhood and because it lists cool places to go, it works for others.

Congratulations to the Geeky Swedes, Cory and Kate!

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Police investigating series of car prowls

October 3rd, 2009 by Heidi

We received an email from one of our readers this morning about a rash of early-morning car prowls in Fremont.  It seems that police are investigating several car break-ins in the area of Linden Ave N, between 41st and 43rd.  According to the police scanner, Silver says:

It sounds like the car prowler was surprised in the process of breaking into someone’s car. He left a red backpack and a bike behind.  In the backpack were found dirty clothing and drug paraphernalia, as well as a Visa card.  Somewhere in the area a brown leather laptop bag with a shoulder strap was recovered. The bag contained disks, but no laptop. It’s owner was located.  I only heard part of the description of the suspect: white male, 5′ 9″ with mid length dark, wavy hair.  There were no K-9 units available city-wide, this morning, so police did an extensive search on foot of the area between 41st and 43rd on Linden ave N. I’m sure that neighbors were wondering what was going on.

Containment of the area has since been opened up.  We’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

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Fundraiser for Fremont’s only public school today

October 2nd, 2009 by Heidi

If you see kids hanging outside B.F. Day Elementary School all day, they’re not skipping class.  Today all 16 elementary classes will spend a class period doing laps around the playground to raise money for their school. 

BF Day

B.F. Day is the oldest continually operating elementary school in the Seattle School District, and Fremont’s only public school.  Walk-n-Roll is an annual walkathon that funds enrichment programs for the school and is often used as a general ”rainy day fund” wherever needed. 

From 9:15-2:45, kids in kindergarten through 5th grade will have one-hour time slots to walk around a course on the playground designated by organizer Carolyn Kelley.  They’ll be wearing punch-card necklaces so the more laps they make, the more punches (and more money!) they’ll raise.  

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Kelley has been in charge of the event since its inception 11 years ago, when her son was a kindergartner at B.F. Day. (The above picture is from the very first Walk-n-Roll - thanks, Carolyn!)  Even with no kids left at B.F. Day, Kelley has continued the tradition.  She says,

I can’t imagine fall without this event.  We benefited so much from the loving care provided our small family that it is the least I can do.

If you’d like to help support the school, you can send checks to: B.F. Day Elementary School, 3921 Linden Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103.  You can also call Carolyn Kelley at 206-252-1750.

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