News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from June 2010

Red, White & Dead Center of the Universe: Zombie takeover Saturday for the world record

June 30th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

While the rest of the country celebrates our country’s independence this weekend, Seattle honors its dead – its walking dead – in the second annual Red, White & Dead event. Seattle can lay claim to the “Zombie Capital of the World” once and for all in the “Dead” Center of the Universe.

This is your warning to NOT be freaked out by the sometimes very convincing zombies that will take over Fremont on Saturday by the thousands. Yeah, that’s right – enough for 3 “Resident Evil” movies! The goal is to outdo the Brits, who hold the zombie walk Guinness World Record through the Big Chill Music Festival in England.

2009 Zombie Walk

“Look out British, the Zombies are coming!” said Eric Pope of Seattle Zombie Walk, a group that helps organize the walk. “Seattle had 3,894 zombies turn out last year for the walk to set a record, but England later edged us out with 4,026. We’re back to reclaim the title, and I hope to see 10,000 zombies roaming the streets, so Seattle will hold the title for good!”

From noon to midnight Saturday at Fremont Outdoor Movies (3501 Phinney Ave. N.), there will be an attempt to beat Guinness Book of Records with most “zombies” in one location. 3,575 are expected, but as Pope mentioned, the record could be broken – again.

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., zombies will dance and walk on sidewalks in Fremont, with North 35th Street closed from Phinney Avenue North to First Avenue NW.

Pre-register online for $3, or pay $5 at the door.

In addition to the attempt at the record and the shuffling dancing and walking that goes with channeling zombie, this year’s festivities will also include a huge Thriller Dance, Zombie fashion show, musical performances, special guests and all time Zombie classic, George A. Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD. And more: a blood drive, canned food drive and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the local non profit organization, the Seattle International Film Festival in support of their new film center that will be at the Seattle Center.

From Fremont Outdoor Movies:

This year also marks the “Year of the Zombie” and Seattle seems to be the center of attention, as 2010 marks another first for Seattle with ZomBcon, the world’s first Zombie Culture Convention infecting Seattle on Halloween weekend at the Seattle Center and Experience Music Project with over 100 Exhibitors, 10 interactive fan workshops, panels, a SIFF-curated film series, and Halloween Masquerade , Zombie Prom party. We plan to have a collection of experts, authors, filmmakers, historians, celebrities and all the gear and fan fare for the Quintessential Zombie fan.

We’ll be there, and we’ll post the gruesome photos here on Fremont Universe.

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Fremont could lose crime prevention coordinator

June 30th, 2010 by Doug Alder

The people who work directly with our neighborhood in preventing crime could soon be out of a job. The six civilian crime prevention coordinators for the Seattle Police Department, including North Precinct coordinators Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen, have been told they’ll lose their jobs next spring when grant money runs out.

Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen.

The crime prevention coordinators work directly with residents doing everything from setting up block watches to going door to door to warn about recent crimes. They’ve been part of the police budget up until last October, when the positions then became paid for with federal grant money. That ends on March 31 of next year.

“We are the link between the community and the police department,” said crime prevention coordinator Terrie Johnston from the west precinct. “Patrol officers are often promoted or transfer out. We’re the ones in people’s living rooms and churches.”

Johnston and her fellow coordinators have logged hundreds of community meetings over the past year. She worries that officers and precinct bosses won’t be able to give residents one on one attention if the crime prevention coordinators are let go.

“When we’re gone, who will take the time?”

Councilmember Tim Burgess, who chairs the Public Safety and Education committee, tells us his office is closely tracking the issue as it heads toward the mayor and council. If you’d like to voice your opinions, here’s a link to the mayor and City Council.

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Fremont Fire Benefit Concert: folk singers, family, neighbors

June 30th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Nectar was the site of a benefit concert Tuesday night for the family of the victims who died June 12 as a result of a fire no more than 5 minutes from the downtown Fremont venue.

At the door were posters from the Fremont Fire about the fire, the 4 children, their aunt, and their families, and the fund set up through Bank of America, Seattle Children’s Fire Fund. (Walk into any branch and make a donation to that fund.)

Fremont Fire posters

Allecia Clemons, who did not know her neighbors until the tragedy, felt compelled to organize this event as well as a potluck fundraiser 2 days after the accident. She doesn’t know how much money was raised, but she gave the jar directly to the family. She estimated it was several hundred dollars. Thousands more have come in through direct donations at the Fremont Fair (more than $1000) and the memorial funds, such as the “Waterways Employee Memorial Fund,” established by Waterways Cruises, the employer of the childrens’ mother Helen Gebregiorgis, the late Eyerusalem Gebregiorgis, and their father. The company seeded the fund with $5,000. Donate through any Chase Bank branch.

About 40 people, including Daniel Gebregiorgis, the brother and uncle to the victims, showed up to the event, which focused on folk singers organized by Allecia Clemons (pictured below), the next door neighbor of the family that perished in the blaze. The other acts on the bill included: Rose Laughlin (who grew up with Clemons in West Seattle), Ann Fiser, Michael Trew (who performed with Autumn Electric), Clallum Country and Allecia Clemons and the Sexy #’s.

Allecia Clemons

“Helen lost her belongings, but also her children. She can replace her belongings,” said Clemons, who knows what it’s like to lose everything (in the way of material possessions), having been the victim of such a fire when she was 19.

Suggested donations of $10 were taken at the door, where people could also buy $5 raffle tickets. The raffle prize was a donation from six-time Grammy winner John Legend, who provided 4 tickets & backstage passes to his concert at the Puyallup Fair in September.

The first few singers, with their melancholy and contemplative ballads, reflected the more somber mood of the events that brought everyone together last night.

Rose Laughlin Rose Laughlin

Ann Fiser
Ann Fiser

But Michael Trew and Autumn Electric picked up the pace, injecting an infectious, rollicking beat and energy that would fit in with any Seattle pop/indie bill.

Michael Trew & Autumn Electric

Joined by many friends, Daniel Gebregiorgis stayed mostly on the second floor of Nectar overlooking the first floor. Hipsters upstairs; a crunchier, older crowd downstairs; but all there to support the family. Many others would have made it, Clemons said, but the tragedy is still too fresh.

“I just got a phone call from a neighbor in the apartment complex. She can’t make it tonight. It’s too hard. Most of them are still traumatized,” said Clemons, who said the fire has brought them together. “The constant reminder of seeing that building is hard.”

The morning of the fire, Clemons and her neighbors ran to try to help, but once they got to the apartment, they ran into flames “as big as the door. There was no way to get out – or in.”

She hopes this will be the first of many fundraisers, with the ultimate goal for Clemons to raise enough money to buy a condo – in Fremont – for Helen Gebregiorgis.

Another concert fundraiser is scheduled at Nectar on July 13, this one in partnership with Kube 93.3 FM and local mainstream and hip hop artists.

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Persimmon Cafe closed, Hunger moving in

June 29th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Our avid and observant readers have alerted us to this: The Persimmon Cafe, once a fixture for cozy brunches on the upper part of Fremont Avenue North, is no more. In its place, a restaurant (aptly, let’s hope) named Hunger is set to whet appetites and woo new customers at 4256 Fremont Ave. N.


According to Hunger’s web site, it’s due for a soft opening (friends and family) on July 17, with an open house to the public between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

There’s already a review on Yelp.

Looking at the dinner menu, we’d like to try the “Grilled Chermoula Prawn Bruschetta” or the paella, because there’s nothing that says summer like a good paella (sorry we missed the 2nd Annual Seattle Paella Cook-Off at the Treehouse Bar and Grill on Leary Way the other day!).

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Fremont Fire Benefit Concert Tuesday

June 28th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

In the aftermath of the tragic fire that claimed the lives of 4 children and one adult on June 12, the Neighbors of Fremont have organized a benefit concert to raise money for the family of the victims.

Tuesday night at Nectar (412 N. 36th St.), Allicia Clemons & The Sexy #’s will be joined by Rose Laughlin, Ann Fiser, Clallam Country and Michael Trew to perform for the benefit. The show begins at 7 p.m., for 21 and over. $10 suggested donation and $5 raffles.

Clemons was the next door neighbor of the victims.

If you can’t make the show, you can still make a donation through any Bank of America branch to the “Seattle Children’s Fire Fund.”

UPDATE: Another way to donate to the family is through the “Waterways Employee Memorial Fund,” established by Waterways Cruises, the employer of Helen Gebregiorgis, the late Eyerusalem Gebregiorgis, and their father. The company seeded the fund with $5,000. Stop into any Chase Bank branch in person to make a donation.

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“Twilight” draws big crowd to tonight’s Fremont Outdoor Movies

June 26th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Fans of the undead (as envisioned by Stephenie Meyer) waited patiently under a brightly burning sun (yay!) to attend the first of this season’s screenings at the Fremont Outdoor Movies: “Twilight” – the cinematic sensation based on Meyer’s imagined world of vampires and werewolves set in Forks, WA.


Tonight’s event also has several extra special bonuses: a featurette of the latest in the “Twilight” movie series, “Eclipse” (due out Wednesday) and an appearance by two of the vampires in the movies, Nikki Reed (Rosalie, one of the Cullen sisters) and Elizabeth Reaser (Esme, the Cullen mother).

Twilight line

They waited for hours to attend the screening, which is scheduled to start around dusk (naturally) – about 9:30 tonight. At 6:30, the audience was still waiting outside, with a line down the block (35th Street – the cinema is located at the corner of 35th and Phinney). They waited in line with all kinds of portable and patio chairs, blankets, sleeping bags, pizzas (very popular food selection tonight), pillows – and even posters of the “Twilight” stars. Some children had “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” written on their faces.
Twilight poster

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Fire department hosts Fremont community meeting

June 26th, 2010 by Doug Alder

The Seattle Fire Department has scheduled a community meeting in Fremont to discuss the deadly fire on June 12. Chief Gregory Dean will be in attendance, along with fire prevention educators who will review steps on how to prepare for a fire emergency in your home. The meeting takes place Thursday, July 1 at 6:30pm at the Fremont Baptist Church at 717 N. 36th Street. For more information, contact the fire department’s public information office at 206-386-1463.

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Faulty part blamed for engine failure during Fremont fire, replacement effort underway

June 24th, 2010 by Doug Alder

The reserve fire engine that malfunctioned and couldn’t pump water when it arrived at the deadly Fremont fire on June 12 had a faulty part. That part, a transmission pad, is now being replaced on 10 other engines as a precaution.

Officials say despite the engine’s failure and the short delay in getting water on the fire, it wouldn’t have made a difference in the blaze that claimed five lives.

UPDATE, 6/25: From the Seattle Fire Department:

After more than 39 hours of diagnostic and field testing, the consultant and emergency vehicle technicians were able to replicate the problem that occurred on June 12. They isolated the problem to a worn transmission control keypad. The keypad controls the vehicle’s transmission which engages the pump.

The consultant advised on recovery procedures if the pad does not engage on first attempt. The Fire Department has put together a set of written instructions for firefighters on how to “reboot” the system if necessary. The instructions will include the normal procedures for putting the engine in to pump and instructions for what to do if the engine will not go in to pump. They will be put in the cab of every engine in the department.

“Overall this particular device has performed very reliably over the years. But with this latest failure, we will redouble our efforts to maintain the reliability of our vehicles,” added Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean and Acting Director of Fleets and Facilities Fred Podesta.

All Seattle Fire Department vehicles receive a daily, weekly and monthly operator check and are on a six month preventative maintenance schedule.

The consultant is Mike Thorn of Oregon Apparatus Repair, Inc. He will provide a written report on his findings next week.

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Support FamilyWorks Food Bank – with Rock, Paper, Scissors

June 24th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

If you’ve ever settled a bet, an argument or who gets to do X chore using the tried and true method of rock, paper, scissors and you end up mostly on the winning end, why not try your luck tonight at the LTD Bar and Grill (309 N. 36th St. in downtown Fremont) at 6 p.m.?

The Fremont Rotary is hosting The Second Annual Center of the Universe Rock Paper Scissors World Championships as a way to kick off our belated summer and bring public attention to the needs of local hungry families and our local food bank. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the FamilyWorks Food Bank.

To sign up, just send an email to $10 donation to get in on the competition. $5 donation or non perishable food donations accepted at the door to hang out and enjoy the fun.

Here are some pointers on how to win. Find out more about the World Rock Paper Scissors Society, “Serving the Needs of Decision Makers Since 1918.”

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Lane of Fremont Bridge closed until 3 today

June 24th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Some traffic issues today, if you’re planning on using the Fremont Bridge:

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Roadway Structures crews will perform maintenance work on several bridges in north Seattle this week. This work is subject to change in the event crews are called to other locations for unplanned emergency work. In addition, there are closures on a WSDOT bridge and a King County bridge adjacent to the Seattle city limits.

For Fremont, that means one curb lane of the Fremont Bridge will be closed at a time for about three hours each to repair the bridge deck. The work is scheduled for today, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Collaborative Poem from Fremont Fair

June 24th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Words, when thrown together by complete strangers, can sometimes result in “something new” that reflects their own experiences: lost love, reactions to our spastic spring/summer and of course, Solstice.

On Saturday, June 19 at the Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade, local “Teacher/Writer/Word Nerd” Taylor Houston – who also runs the Writer’s Cramp at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center – set out a blank canvas at the Fremont Abbey Arts for All tent and asked anyone and everyone to add a line to a Collaborative Poem. Each writer was asked to read a few lines back and use the images, ideas, and associations generated by the lines written previously by other authors to continue the poem.


About 20 writers of all ages and backgrounds added lines to the poem (15 of the authors who gave their names as listed are shown after the poem). Houston said, “the result is a rich mix a whimsical imagery mixed with tones of longing and nostalgia.” See for yourself:

Let! the Sun Shine

The Frost gone,

the rain splashes gently growing trees

our heart are warm and full…

My face gets wets I catch the ball

And in the stillness of the solstice I stop

to hear the sound of your footsteps approaching softly

against the sunny pavement! Oh, summer.

We love your warm caresses

Pots and lids of honey morning dew SPILT

Fun for everyone who doesn’t get hurt.

Press on regardless

The end is the beginning of something new

That something is breakfast…fruit loop pancakes!

Hurry before I give in and eat something else!

Eat something else–Like an Elephant–Yikes!

But save some berries for me.

Berries are the sweetest when gathered at dawn

A full moon Champagne Sunset lights my darlings eyes.

I must avert my gaze before our eyes

Get lost in each other’s stare

Just the blue haze of memories between us

Lasting long enough till autumn comes

And then floundering two bits in the careless wind of time

Winter is almost here, feel the breeze far and near

So soon the sun becomes less and less and the evening flame dies too soon.

– Authored by Linh, Bob, GM, Scott, Tom, Kateri, Terrance, Julianne, Rose, Moreah, Chantra, Chris West, Ashish Singru, Ani SeShetler, Lauren Marshall, and a few anonymous authors.

This is Writer’s Cramp first such project, and hopes to stage other similar projects at future Seattle events. Writer’s Cramp is a writing class that meets Thursday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Fremont Abbey, 4272 Fremont Ave N. in Seattle. The class is open to adult writers of all levels and interests. For more information, please see the web site or check the events listing at Writer’s Cramp is also on Facebook and Twitter (@writerscramp1).

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Stars of “Twilight” kick off Fremont Outdoor Movies this Saturday

June 23rd, 2010 by Doug Alder

Two of the stars of the Twilight movie series will appear at the 2010 opening night of the Fremont Outdoor Movies this Saturday (6/26). “New Moon” will be the featured presentation, with actresses Nikki Reed (Rosalie Cullen) and Elizabeth Reaser (Esme Cullen) doing a special meet and greet.

Doors open at 6pm and the screening starts at dusk (around 9:30pm). The screening is free and wristbands will be available for the event beginning at 11:00am at the Fremont Outdoor Movies box office, located at 3501 Phinney Ave North underneath the outdoor movies screen.  An exclusive never before seen clip from the upcoming Twilight series movie “Eclipse” will also be shown.

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Woman wakes up to find stranger sleeping in her living room

June 23rd, 2010 by Doug Alder

Around 8am on June 19, a woman in the 4600 block of 3rd Ave NW woke up to see that the front door of her condo was wide open.  She then saw a man sitting in a chair in her living room.  She grabbed her keys and cell phone and ran out of the condo to call 911.  Officers later confronted the man inside the condo, only to find he was asleep.  The man had broken the window on the woman’s car, grabbed the remote control to the garage door, and broke in the house.  He told officers he thought he was at his friend’s house.  Officers talked to a woman who lived in the condo next door who admitted she and the man had been out drinking at some Fremont bars but had gotten separated.  The man was taken into custody.

Meanwhile, a quick trip to the grocery store ends on a sour note when two people returned home to find a burglar had struck.  On June 19 about 9pm, one of the residents saw a man walk by the side of the house in the 600 block of NW Bright Street.  The residents left a short time later for the store and came back to find the home was burglarized.  The basement door had been kicked in and items had been stolen from all three levels of the house.  One of the victims told officers the man she’d seen earlier walking by the house appeared odd and she believes he could be the person responsible.  That man is described as white, late teens to early 20’s, blond hair, slim build, wearing a black hoodie.  Police were able to lift fingerprints from the scene.

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Kylie’s Chicago Pizza “Breast Friends” Fundraiser Wednesday

June 22nd, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Eat in or carry out from Kylie’s Chicago Pizza (3601 Fremont Ave. N. #101) Wednesday, and 50 percent of the day’s sales will go toward a group participating in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day walk.

Owner Lance Brough said, “A couple of months ago I was approached by some regular customers about supporting their participation in the Susan G. Komen 3 day walk. I suggested we could do what we are doing tomorrow, where we have a day when we donate a portion of the sales to their fundraising.”

Brough said the customers, who live in Queen Anne, have been coming to the restaurant since it opened seven months ago. Kylie\'s Chicago Pizza

“It was just something I was looking to do to support the community, we have done few other things, giving away pizzas and gift certificates to Fremont events, but this was the first thing that was participation driven,” said Brough, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor. “We are a new, small restaurant but we will be doing it for all sales tomorrow, so dine in or pick up, 50% of the money will be going to research a cure for breast cancer.”

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Prepare for road closures Saturday

June 22nd, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

More than 25,000 runners are expected to hit the streets during Saturday’s Rock’n’Roll Marathon. The race will have a major impact on drivers from Tukwila to north Seattle.

Both directions of Highway 99 will be closed at 39th Street to the north and Diagonal Ave. S. to the south starting at 5:30 a.m. All southbound lanes are expected to open at 1:15 and the northbound lanes of the viaduct at 4 p.m. with the stretch from the viaduct to 39th St. opening at 2 p.m. One northbound lane will be open for local traffic only, between Roy St and Queen Anne Drive.

The course map of the marathon can be found here (.pdf). A list of the road closures available here (.pdf).

Saturday is also the annual Greenwood Car Show from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Greenwood Ave. N. will be closed from N 67th St. to N 90th St.

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The view of the parade from Wallingford

June 20th, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

Our friends at our sister blog in Wallingford have posted photos from the end of the Solstice Parade at Gas Works Park.

The big highlight — besides the naked cyclists, of course — was this giant inflatable ball that bounced around Gas Works after the parade.

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