News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from January 2010

Bizarre standoff closes Leary Way

January 31st, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

A man with a gun walked into the 7-Eleven on Leary Way and 47th St. on Saturday night, sparking a strange standoff that shut down traffic in the area.

It began just before 11 p.m., and customers and employees were able to escape. A SWAT team and negotiator were called, and they watched as the gunman danced around the store, cleaning and exercising. Finally, at 1:40 a.m., the man put on his jacket and exited the store with his arms in the air. has more coverage and photos from the scene.

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Artist wanted to design 46th Street mural

January 29th, 2010 by Heidi

A project that recently received a Small and Simple Neighborhood Matching Fund award from the City of Seattle is seeking an artist(s) to design a mural for a wall that literally bridges the neighborhoods of Fremont and Wallingford.  The 46th Street Mural Project is looking for a design that will “bring a positive visual message to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists traveling under Highway 99 (Aurora Ave.) at N. 46th St.” 

The wall is located on the north side of the underpass at N. 46th St. and Aurora Ave N.  The space is described as “a long wall divided in to 3 sections that taper on both east and west ends– mural design also to include 9 columns that stand in front of the mural wall”. 

  • Dimensions–approx. 4500 sq. ft. total (see pictures + diagram)
  • West section: approx.1000 sq. ft.
  • Middle section: approx.1300 sq. ft.
  • East section: approx.1200 sq. ft.
  • 9 columns: approx. 100 sq. ft. ea.

Once a design is selected, Urban Artworks will serve as project manager and do the actual painting of the mural.  At this time, the 46th Street Mural Project is only looking for an artist to design the wall.

Professional artists with previous experience creating outdoor murals are preferable, but all may apply. Artist will be required to be present at the community meeting (early in the process) and dedication (at the completion of the mural) unless distance is prohibitive. If this occurs, an alternative plan will be discussed with the 46th Street Mural Project Steering Committee. The artist must be available for consultation pertaining to the execution of their design throughout the process.  

More information and specifics about the selection process can be found on the group’s Facebook page.  Artist applications are due by February 19.  Anyone interested in applying should submit work samples, resume and references to  The project is slated to begin in May.

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Pedestrian dies after being hit crossing Aurora

January 29th, 2010 by Heidi

A male pedestrian attempting to cross Aurora Ave N near NE 45th St last night was hit by a vehicle heading south on Aurora.  According to the SPD Blotter, the man was crossing west on Aurora when he was hit by a Chevrolet Blazer shortly after 8 p.m.  Fremont Universe reader Jakey wrote in the forum that he witnessed medics performing CPR on the man in the road before he was taken to the hospital.  The man was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he died from his injuries.  Southbound lanes of Aurora were closed as officers investigated the scene.  The driver of the Blazer showed no signs of impairment and was interviewed and released.  Traffic Collision detectives will continue the investigation.

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First organic daycare in WA opens in Fremont

January 28th, 2010 by Heidi

A new all-organic center for childcare and early learning recently opened in Fremont, and it’s believed to be the first facility of its kind in the state.  Our Beginning (123 NW 36th St) opened its doors on January 4 and its aim is to be green and organic with everything – from the paint that went on the walls to the food that goes into the kids’ bellies.  The daycare focuses on children 6 weeks to 5 years old and follows the Reggio Emilia approach to development and education.  Curriculum is based on the needs of the children enrolled there.  

King5 aired this story on Our Beginning yesterday: 

The daycare is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  A full-time chef prepares and provides a fresh, organic breakfast, lunch and snack every day.  To find out more about enrollment procedures, click here

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High Dive hosts Helping Haiti benefit concert

January 27th, 2010 by Heidi

HighDive_HaitiBenefitA benefit concert at High Dive (513 N. 36th St) this weekend is raising money to aid Haitian relief efforts.  Helping Haiti @ The High Dive features performances from local bands Lights from Space, The Good Luck Number, The Stevedore, Fred Roth Revue featuring Steve Fisk, and Eric Branner.  There’s a $7 suggested donation at the door.  100% of the door fees and 30% of bar sales will go to the American Red Cross.  Doors open at 7 p.m.  Music begins at 8 p.m. 

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Get free tax help at Seattle libraries

January 26th, 2010 by Heidi

You still have a couple of months left but tax time is quickly creeping up around the corner.  For those who need help filing their taxes, The Seattle Public Library, United Way of King County and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) are offering free tax preparation services at eleven Seattle library branches.  Trained volunteers will be available through April 11 to answer questions and help prepare personal tax returns.  Business tax returns are not eligible for the free service.  The nearest branches for Fremont residents are in Ballard and Queen Anne and hours are as follows:

Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) – Mon, Feb. 1 through Thurs, Apr. 15

  • Mondays, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Queen Anne Library (400 W. Garfield St) – Mon, Feb. 1 through Mon, Apr. 12

  • Mondays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For a complete list of times and library branch locations, click here.

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Rep. Dickerson spearheads ’safe baby bottle bill’

January 26th, 2010 by Heidi

36th District Representative Mary Lou Dickerson (D) is the primary sponsor of a bill which calls to ban the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from bottles, cups and other containers that young children drink from. It also calls for a ban of BPA from sports bottles, which pregnant women use. (Bill text here. pdf)

The state house vote was nearly-unanimous yesterday to ban the chemical, moving the bill on to the State Senate. “I’m proud we united 95 to 1 to protect babies and young children from BPA-laced food containers,” said Dickerson (D-Seattle). “The strong support for this bill reflects the overwhelming evidence that kids need to be protected against this very toxic substance.” Representative Bruce Chandler (R-Granger) was the lone nay in the House. Two representatives were excused from the vote.

After the first reading in the State Senate today, the bill has been referred to Health & Long-Term Care. If this bill passes, Washington state will be the third state to ban BPA, following Minnesota and Connecticut.

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Plant removal scheduled on Burke Gilman Trail

January 25th, 2010 by Heidi

Seattle Parks and Recreation will begin removing invasive plants along a section of the Burke Gilman Trail on Monday, February 1.  The plants being removed are in an area between Meridian Ave N and Latona Ave NE on the north end of Lake Union.  The removal is part of the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop plan that was completed in 2009 (see map on the right or click here for a larger view).  The 6-mile loop aims to improve access to Lake Union, as well as better connect adjacent neighborhoods, downtown, University of Washington and the Burke Gilman Trail.  Although the trail may narrow in places where plants are being removed, the trail will stay open while work is being done. 

To view the loop’s Master Plan, click here (.pdf).

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“Chowdown Countdown” features Paseo tonight

January 24th, 2010 by Heidi

You might remember that back in October a production crew from the Travel Channel spent a day shooting a segment at Paseo’s Fremont restaurant (4225 Fremont Ave N). 


At the time, the producer told us it was for an upcoming series that was supposed to air around Thanksgiving.  I kept checking in to try and pin down an air date but the schedule appeared to have been postponed.  


At last I’ve discovered the show has launched.  The 5-part weekly series is called “101 Tastiest Places to Chowdown“.  Paseo will be featured in tonight’s episode counting down numbers 40-21.  The show airs at 10 p.m. on the Travel Channel (Channel 36 on Comcast) but will re-air many times after that.  You can also catch up on numbers 101-41 in reruns beginning at 7 p.m.      

Unfortunately, if the show makes your mouth water for a Carribean sandwich, you’ll have to wait another week to get one.  Both Paseo locations in Fremont and Ballard are still closed for vacation.

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Homegrown popcorn helps Haitian relief efforts

January 22nd, 2010 by Heidi


For more than a week we’ve been  hearing of all the different ways local businesses are supporting relief efforts in Haiti.  Homegrown Sustainable Sandwich Shop (3416 Fremont Ave N)  is another one doing what they can to raise money. 

Chef Rob Milliron has created a   homemade organic Creole popcorn that they’re selling for five bucks a bag.  A first batch quickly sold out so he’s whipping up another round that will be ready for sale   today.  This time 100% of sales from the popcorn will go to the American Red Cross (last time proceeds went to the Yéle Haiti Earthquake Fund – it’s their way of “spreading the love”).

The Creole seasoning on the popcorn includes ingredients such as chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, oregano and sweet basil.  Chef Rob describes the flavor as “spicy and smoky, but also sweet”.  Grab a bag while you can!

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Movie shooting in Fremont on Friday

January 21st, 2010 by Heidi

A feature film that shot at locations in Ballard last week will be doing some work in Fremont on Friday.  

Neighbors and businesses were notified that “Late Autumn” (listed as “Full Autumn” on IMDb) will be shooting scenes in the area on Friday, January 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  A location manager tells me film trucks will be at Gas Works Park and plans include filming a “Ride the Duck” boat travelling across the Fremont Bridge.     

Variety says the film is a Korean remake of Lee Man-hee’s 1966 drama “Full Autumn” and stars Wei Tang (“Lust, Caution”) and Bin Hyeon.  It’s about a woman (Tang) who is released from prison to attend her mother’s funeral and along the way meets an escort (Hyeon) on the run from a jealous husband.  Filming is expected to wrap in early February with a target for release at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in May. (Thanks to Terri for the tip!)

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The budget, marijuana & cell phones top ‘telephone town hall’

January 21st, 2010 by Scott Eisen

State representatives Mary Lou Dickerson and Reuven Carlyle (both D-36th District) held a “telephone town hall” Tuesday evening Jan. 19 to discuss the important issues facing Olympia this legislative session. About 30,000 constituents district-wide were called to enter into the conversation, although the exact number who made it on the line is not known. Questions ranged from Dickerson’s controversial legalization of marijuana bill to broader issues including education, taxes and transportation.

The town hall worked as a sort of large conference call. Everyone on the call could hear the questions and answers, and if so inclined, could enter into a queue to ask questions themselves.

While the focus of most questions was the economy, Dickerson’s bill (HB 2401) to legalize marijuana for those who are 21 and older may prove to be the most contentious issue facing the Legislature. On Wednesday, Jan. 20th, an executive session was scheduled, but no action was taken in the House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness. The importance of this bill to Dickerson was expressed clearly in her opening remarks.

“The bill itself will generate $300 million worth of income that will go to pay for drug and alcohol treatment prevention services,” Dickerson said.

Carlyle, who stated that he supports some form of marijuana decriminalization, focused on the hot topic of cell phone use while driving a car. This would become a primary offense with the passage of a bill that Carlyle is sponsoring. The bill would make the use of a cell phone that is not hands-free, as well as texting or emailing, a primary offense.

The overwhelming theme of the meeting, however, was the budget: how to fix it and how it would affect other government services. With a projected $2.6 billion deficit facing the state, Carlyle spoke on the biggest problem at hand.

“Once again, we’re faced with some very serious questions about not only how to balance [the budget], but what’s the right thing from an equity, fairness and really a progressive approach to how we look at our funding in this state,” Carlyle said.

A couple questions from callers dealt with the potential for an income tax. Despite both representatives noting that an income tax has never received much support outside of Seattle, they talked about their belief in some sort of progressive tax, but with different approaches.

Carlyle made it clear that while he favors an income tax, his support is contingent on the lowering of other taxes such as sales and property. Dickerson, on the other hand, focused on a specific type of income tax known as the “millionaire’s tax.”

“It is a tax on high income earners,” Dickerson explained. “I have heard different scenarios on this, but it could raise hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars that we could use for education and basic health and human services.”

Education was also a big issue, with concerns about special-needs students attending colleges and universities, as well as how to make in-state universities more accessible to students graduating from in-state high schools. Serving on the committee of higher education, Carlyle addressed these questions and talked about a big priority in the Legislature known as “Reach to the Top.”

“The Obama administration has been very aggressive about setting the stage for education reform and Reach to the Top is how that’s playing out,” Carlyle clarified. “Reach to the top is a K-12 funding effort to have states compete for dollars.”

The other big issue of the evening was funding for transportation. Both reps talked about their desire to improve connections between downtown Seattle and Ballard, as well as work on linking transportation between the bus system, light rail and passenger cars.

Those who were unable to get on the call for the town hall, or have follow-up questions, may phone or email these representatives: Carlyle, (360) 786-7814,; Dickerson, (360) 786-7860,

(Contributor Scott Eisen is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.)

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Rosie Thomas presents new film at Fremont Abbey

January 20th, 2010 by Heidi

Tickets are still available for singer/songwriter Rosie Thomas‘s new film “All the Way From Michigan Not Mars” tomorrow night at the Fremont Abbey (4272 Fremont Ave N). 

Using intimate live performances with fellow songwriters Sufjan Stevens and Denison Witmer as a pathway, All the Way from Michigan Not Mars is a meditative exploration of Rosie Thomas’ work as it connects to her as a human being. Often raising more questions than answers, the film is a lyrical examination of Thomas’ quest for an expression of truth and her unique brand of performance; combining songs of plaintive melancholy with sharpwitted banter and Sheila, her bizarre stand-up comedian alter ego.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m.  Doors open at 7:00.  Tickets are $10 and available online or at the door.  There will also be a Q&A with Rosie after the movie followed by a few live songs.  Rumor has it that Rosie’s alter-ego Sheila Saputo may also make a guest appearance.

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March 1 is last day for Zoo’s Night Exhibit

January 20th, 2010 by Heidi

Despite local efforts to keep the Night Exhibit open, the Woodland Park Zoo is moving forward and closing it on March 1. 

Night Exhibit Ryan Hawk

(Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo)

According to a press release issued by the zoo, they needed to reduce their annual expense by $800,000 to $1 million for 2010. 

“Like everyone else in the region and the nation, the zoo also has been hit by the economy and we, too, need to trim expenses to allow us to operate sustainably over the long term,” said zoo President and CEO Dr. Deborah Jensen. “No one at the zoo is happy about closing an exhibit. We know our visitors feel a strong emotional connection to the zoo and each visitor has a favorite exhibit or animal they feel especially connected to. We are touched by the outpouring of support the community has expressed on Facebook and through emails, but we need to make sound, responsible decisions to help prevent a budget shortfall.”

It’s possible you may still get to see some of your favorite nocturnal creatures, though.  Several of the animals housed in the Night Exhibit will transfer to other exhibits within the zoo.  A pair of two-toed sloths will head over to the Tropical Rain Forest.  The Rodrigues Fruit bats (pictured below), tamanduas (South American anteaters) and springhaas (small Southeast African rodents) will all relocate to the Adaptations Building.  And a three-banded armadillo will be used as a presentation animal for the zoo’s up-close education programs.

Rodrigues Fruit Bat Ryan Hawk

(Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo)

Remaining animals will be transferred to other zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).  Three pygmy lorises will live in an exhibit off-view from the public so they can continue to participate in the zoo’s Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding program.  The hope is that they will return to view in the future.

A Facebook group banded together to try to save the Nocturnal House from closing but Jensen says funds raised could only provide a short-term solution.  She adds, “We can’t accept donations to keep the exhibit open but we would be very pleased to accept donations to help make modifications to existing areas for the Night Exhibit animals that will remain at the zoo and to support their long-term care, as well as for the evaluation of the building to determine its long-term operation.”

Donations can be made online to the “Nocturnal Animal Fund” or you can mail them to: Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th St., Seattle, WA 98103.

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Sales of Theo Chocolate help Haitian relief efforts

January 19th, 2010 by Heidi


Theo Chocolate is helping  victims of the Haiti earthquake by donating the proceeds from sales of some of their most popular chocolate bars.  One hundred percent of sales from both Theo’s 45% Classic Milk  and 70% Classic Dark chocolate bars will go to the relief organization CARE.  The support will first help CARE provide 600,000 PUR tablets to people, which purifies and turns contaminated water into safe drinking water.  Monies raised after that will then be prioritized according to other needs. 

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Lane closures on Fremont, Ballard bridges

January 19th, 2010 by Heidi

The Seattle Department of Transportation is making repairs to several area bridges this week.  This Wednesday, January 20, crews will be doing maintenance work on the Fremont Bridge from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  The northbound, right curb lane will be closed during that time.  In Ballard, crews will be completing guard rail repairs on the Ballard Bridge on January 20-22 and January 25-26.  The southbound, right lane will be closed from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on each of those days.  

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