News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from August 2010

Man attacks bar patrons with broken glass

August 31st, 2010 by Doug Alder

A fight inside a Fremont bar left several people with cuts after a man broke a bottle or glass and attacked them with it.  It happened just after midnight this past Saturday (8/28) at a bar (the name is redacted in the police report) in the 300 block of N 36th Street.

Police say the attacker got into a physical altercation with some people inside the bar, and then used the bottle or glass to hit multiple victims.  Some of the injured were taken to the hospital.  Officers arrested the suspect, who had been placed in a choke hold by security until police arrived.

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County studying options for trolley buses

August 31st, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

While driving around Seattle, it’s hard not to notice the overhead wire that runs above about 70 miles of pavement in and around the city. King County Metro Transit has a fleet of 159 electric trolley buses that operate along those lines, which had 19.7 million boardings on its routes in 2009 – about one-fifth of Metro’s total average weekday ridership.

Photo courtesy of King County Metro Transit

Fremont riders are amongst the trolleys’ many riders with routes 44, which stops at North 45th Street and Stone Way.

The county needs to replace all 159 existing vehicles by 2015, with an order deadline at the end of 2012.

King County Executive Dow Constantine has sent the King County Council a plan for a proposed evaluation in its imminent replacement of this fleet. It focuses on the technology of electric trolleys and diesel-electric hybrid buses, with a goal toward finding the most fuel-efficient, best value for the system. The Trolley Bus System Evaluation is expected to continue through the middle of next year. It will explore the costs, impact on the environment, funding opportunities and legal issues.

Metro plans additional public meetings for discussion of the evaluation as results become available. The next one is in Mount Baker on Sept.13.

Metro has already conducted a preliminary evaluation of several potential propulsion systems, including electric trolley, diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, compressed natural gas, electric battery, and hydrogen fuel cells.

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Troubled hotels on Aurora up for auction

August 30th, 2010 by Doug Alder

A few months ago, we told you about a plan to put some Aurora Avenue hotels up for sale as part of a plea agreement over tax violations.  Now, we’ve learned both the Italia Hotel and the Isabella Hotel in the 4100 block of Aurora will go on the auction block September 10. 

Photo of both hotels from Google street view
The Puget Sound Business Journal reports the asking prices are $1.15 million for the Isabella and $650,000 for the Italia.  It appears there are no non-profit groups who want to use the properties as low-income housing and that the hotels will be torn down and redeveloped.

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Man finds female burglar in his home

August 30th, 2010 by Doug Alder

A Fremont man returned home to find a stranger inside his house.  It happened around 2pm this past Wednesday (8/25) in the 200 block of N. 45th Street.  As the man came into the home, a woman came down the stairs with bags and purses.  The woman told him she knew his wife and was supposed to be there, but couldn’t remember the name of his wife.  As the man started to call police, the woman begged the man not to turn her in.  She started taking stolen items out of the bags and purses and offered several apologies.  She then asked the man for food.  He gave her $5 and asked her to leave.

After she left the home, the man called police and gave them a description.  Officers thought it might be a woman they were familiar with.  They later found her at a bus stop at 46th and Phinney.  The homeowner identified the woman and police arrested her.

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Neighbors finish turtle street mural

August 29th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Neighbors who live in and around the intersection of 41st Street and Interlake Avenue North woke up early — some prodded by their excited children — to finish a project that has connected them: a sprawling sea turtle street mural that will not only be a beautiful addition to their neighborhood but also, they hope, a deterrent to speeders.

As the neighborhood is on the flight path to Seatac airport, passengers will get a bright surprise if they happen to look down at the right time. They’ll see this:

Finished turtle

“I’m relieved, but grateful to all the people in the community,” said retired Boeing engineer Bill Lindberg, who has lived in the neighborhood for almost 25 years and who spearheaded the project. “It proved to me how people come together in a community. It takes some coordination and effort. But everybody wants to contribute.”

Lindberg met many new neighbors in the petitioning process set up by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), which required the approval of neighbors who live along streets adjacent to the intersection.

Dozens of volunteers painted until about 7 p.m. last night and started again this morning around 9 a.m. Painting finished with the black outlines at about 4:30 p.m. Neighbors enjoyed a barbecue afterward, while kids jumped off their energy in a giant Blues Clues bouncy ball set-up provided by Brian Eaton, a firefighter who worked a 24-hour shift yesterday and spent all day today painting alongside his wife Kathy and their two young sons, Cooper and Mason, who all painted yesterday.

Turtle overall

Painting process
Cooper Eaton waits for more paint from Michael Sauer, pouring into a container held by Bill Lindberg

Kate Gengo (shown below) moved to Seattle from her native New York city and has lived in the neighborhood for four years. As a single woman, she hasn’t had too many opportunities to get to know her neighbors, who tend to be busy families. But getting involved with the project has changed that.

Kate Gengo

“This is the only way I’m able to meet my neighbors on a personal level,” said Gengo, who is studying to be an elementary school teacher. She is an avid gardener who has chatted with folks on their way to Wallingford Park as she’s worked outside.

Working side by side with her neighbors and their kids on the mural has been a memorable experience for her.

“I love to see kids problem solving, how they think creatively,” she said.

Adults tagged female progeny with special praise.

“The little girls work from dawn to dusk,” said Rachel Marcotte, the artist who came up with the design and who oversaw the chalking and painting. “They’re focused. Workaholics!”

Halle Sauer, 8, who was the first to think of making the design a turtle and who helped paint the turtle’s head and shell, as well as a leaf, has already given the new neighborhood pet a nickname: “Bubbles.”

Marcotte said its real name is “Arthur William,” in deference to Lindberg’s name.
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More turtle mural photos

August 28th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

The sun came out strong Saturday afternoon as volunteers from the neighborhood continued to turn the intersection of 41st Street and Interlake Avenue North into a massive turtle mural.

Families worked side by side in adding paint to the chalk outlines made earlier today, after hours of sweeping, cleaning and pressure washing to make the street canvas as pristine as possible.

Painting will continue Sunday.

Kathy & Mason

Kathy & Mason

Kathy Eaton, (pictured above painting with her 4-and-half-year-old son Mason wearing a turtle on his shirt) has lived in a house on the corner of this intersection for 7 years with her firefighter husband, Mason and older son 7-year-old Cooper. She’s glad for the project that has connected so many of her neighbors, who also hope the mural slows motorists down.

“We see a lot of cars go speeding down this intersection,” she said. “I’ve seen some bikers hit.”

Rebecca & Rachel
Rebecca Aldrich (left) & her mother, turtle artist Rachel Marcotte, a botanical and wildlife illustrator with a degree in design, share a light moment as they mark areas that need to be painted white

Wendy Sauer and younger daughter Halle fill in spaces between the lines with white paint

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Street intersection transforms into a colorful turtle mural

August 28th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Our sister site, My Wallingford, gave us the heads-up about the turtle street painting today and tomorrow at the intersection at Interlake and 41st Street, in an area that overlaps Wallingford and Fremont, just a block east of Stone Way.

The streets are officially closed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow.

Turtle sketch

Today, the process of turning a street into a mural began in earnest, with dozens of neighbors organized by retired Boeing engineer Bill Lindberg joining Maple Leaf artist Rachel Marcotte (pictured below directing Lindberg, upper right corner) at 6 a.m. this morning to sweep years of leaves and dirt away from the intersection. Marcotte’s son-in-law, Kevin Byers, operated a pressure washer to clean the surface afterward. By 10 a.m., Marcotte and other artists, including her jewelry-making daughter Rebecca Aldrich, were outlining the design with chalk. Later, they will chalk in the colors that can be filled in by volunteers, paint-by-numbers style. The painting will take place this afternoon and tomorrow.

Rachel and Bill

The Neighborhood Traffic section of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has provided oversight and coordination to help bring this street mural to life, including approving the quick-drying, water-based and non-toxic highway paint that will be used for the mural. Grit will be mixed into the paint to make it more durable. The mural is funded in part by the city’s Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund and will be repainted annually — though it won’t be as labor intensive as this initial work.

Rachel Marcotte

Neighbor Michael Sauer rose early with his wife Wendy and their two daughters, 8-year-old Ella and 6-year-old Halle, to help on the project, which has brought the neighbors together.

They came onto the project a few months ago after taking a walk past the ladybug street mural at 49th Street and Burke. They commented on it to Lindberg, saying it’d be a good thing for their own neighborhood and Ella said, “What about a turtle?”

From her initial suggestion, Lindberg moved forward.

“We were all kind of gung ho. Bill listened and his response was, ‘Let’s do that!'” Sauer said.

“Bill knows how to break a huge thing into smaller tasks,” Marcotte said.

“The purpose of this is to acquaint neighbors to each other better and make children feel pride in something they’ve helped create for the community,” said Lindberg, who’s lived in the neighborhood since 1986.

While it’s a coincidence that the design chosen was a turtle, neighbors do think it is a fitting image for the intersection and hope it encourages drivers to ease up on the gas pedal.

“We noticed people slowed down at the ladybug,” Sauer said. “At times during the day people just fly through here. I’m surprised there are not more accidents. In our minds, we feel it’ll make a difference.”

Rebecca Aldrich
Rebecca Aldrich (right)

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Intersection closed today and tomorrow

August 28th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Over the weekend, a turtle will take over the intersection of Interlake Avenue N and N 41st Street — at least in chalk, on the pavement.

The intersection will be closed from 9 a.m. to approximately 7 p.m. today and tomorrow.

The Neighborhood Traffic section of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has provided oversight and coordination to help bring this street mural to life this weekend, which has been months with the making in planning by the neighborhood and Bill Lindberg, the resident who spear-headed the project, and the artist, Rachel Marcotte. The mural is funded in part by the city’s Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund.

In order to prepare the “street canvas,” on Saturday the street will be pressure washed, brush scrubbed and then the design will be chalk out-lined. On Sunday the artwork will be re-chalked, painted and dried. At least 50 neighbors are expected to lend a hand to the work effort.

We’ll be there in a bit and show you the work in progress.

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Seattle’s Technology Board in search of new members

August 27th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Readers, we think you’re among the pool Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Council need to tap into as they seek candidates for the Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) for terms beginning in January.

Members would help shape city technology and city government telecommunications policies.

The City seeks five new members who reflect a broad range of diversity, professional and community experience. Here’s the information they sent us:

The 10-member board advises City officials on issues of community-wide interest relating to telecommunications and technology, including broadband, digital divide issues, open government and community technology applications, online public engagement, and cable television.

Members serve a two-year term, must reside in Seattle and serve without compensation.

Participation in the CTTAB requires attendance at monthly meetings (second Tuesday of each month) and participation in at least one sub-committee that meets monthly. Board members also attend and participate in infrequent relevant public meetings and events.

To be considered, send a letter of interest and a resume outlining your experience by September 28, 2010 to In keeping with the City’s “Paper Cuts” program, electronic submissions are preferred, though paper applications will also be accepted.

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Seattle Art Walks web site links 13 neighborhoods

August 27th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata has launched Seattle Art Walks, a neighborhood resource web page highlighting 13 art walks throughout Seattle.

Art Walks map

The web site includes a map of Seattle surrounded with links to neighborhood-sponsored art walks. Fremont First Fridays are among the 13 art walks. The others include: Ballard, Upper Queen Anne, Belltown, Pioneer Square, West Seattle, Greenwood-Phinney, Wallingford, Madison Valley, Capitol Hill, Central District, Chinatown-International District and Georgetown.

Licata, long time chair of the Seattle City Council committee overseeing arts, highlighted the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ Creative Vitality Index. This 2007 data ranked Seattle’s overall creative vitality at roughly six times the national average.

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Aurora Bridge closures continue Sunday

August 26th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

WSDOT’s work on the Aurora Bridge continues and drivers who plan on crossing it this Sunday could face closures, this time going both ways.

This Sunday crews will continue work to remove and replace more than 1000 rivets and bolts for the construction of a safety fence to deter suicides. Drivers can expect additional closures for rivet removal in September. Crews are working Sundays because rivet busting is too noisy to do at night. Nearby residents can expect to hear construction noise from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Aurora Bridge illo

  • From 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 29, crews working for WSDOT will close two of three northbound lanes to remove and replace rivets on the east side of the bridge.
  • From 1:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. all six lanes on the bridge and the southbound Fremont Way on-ramp will be closed while crews move construction equipment to the west side of the bridge. WSDOT scheduled this brief full closure at 1:30 p.m. to help southbound traffic heading to Sunday’s Mariners’ game.
  • At 1:45 p.m. crews will reopen all northbound lanes and one southbound lane.
  • Two southbound lanes and the southbound Fremont Way on-ramp will remain closed until midnight while crews work on the west side of the bridge.

    If that’s not confusing enough, WSDOT has these suggestions on what to do to avoid closures and delays:

    • Taking southbound SR 99 across the bridge before 1:30 p.m. Another option is using southbound SR 99 after 7:30 p.m., when delays caused by the closure will be very short.
    • Taking northbound SR 99 across the bridge after 2:30 p.m. Drivers also should consider using northbound SR 99 in the morning before traffic volumes increase.
    • Checking traffic conditions before hitting the roads. Check SR 99 traffic and I-5 traffic and tune into to radio traffic reports.

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    Fremont LoveFest Sept.11

    August 26th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

    Coming up soon, on September 11: Fremont LoveFest, a music festival that also promotes a message of unity and environmentalism in 55,000 square feet of open space along the Fremont canal.

    Fremont LoveFest

    Enter at Solsticio’s Doorstep, 1100 N Northlake Way, right under the Fremont Bridge, along the canal from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $22 through Brown Paper Tickets or 1-800-838-3006.

    Music from Brazil, the Middle East, Jamaica, and many other countries, representing rock, reggae, soul, acoustic, funk, indie, and world beats will fill the ears of attendees as they learn from organizations such as General BioDiesel, ROAR of Washington, TerraPass and the Clean Water Foundation in this merged and dynamic statement of unity, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

    While all ages are invited to the festival, there will be a beer garden for those 21-and-above with ID. Proceeds from the beer garden will benefit ROAR of Washington, which stands for “Referrals, Opportunities, Advocacy, and Resources” for the homeless and disadvantaged while they seek education and employment.

    Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe headlines a festival with instruments as varied as saxophones, a didgeridoo, tubas, assorted drums, an organ, Persian violin, and birds. Denson’s saxophone has been heard on Lenny Kravitz albums “Let Love Rule,” “Mama Said” and “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” He’s also known as the co-creator, saxophonist, flutist, and singer for The Greyboy Allstars.

    The updated lineup also includes Flowmotion, Air 2 A Bird (Gabriel Teodros & Amos Miller), and Luc & the Lovingtons alongside Tubaluba and Christopher of the Wolves. Others who were already on the bill: Toussaint, Eduardo Mendonca-Show Brazil, and Raquy and the Cavemen, Clinton Fearon and the Boogey Brown Band.

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    Repairing the scene of a tragedy

    August 25th, 2010 by Doug Alder

    “The sad feeling is every day.”

    That’s how a next door resident describes constantly seeing a burned out Fremont townhome unit where a young woman and four children died in a fire on June 12.  Now we’ve learned the Seattle Housing Authority, which owns the property, is planning to make repairs to the unit.

    The scene now at 334 NW 41st Street in Fremont

    Yellow tape still surrounds the front of the townhome and plywood covers the windows.  One resident next door tells us there’s been no sign of repair work since the fire.  Another neighbor across the street tells us at least one family in the townhome complex has moved out in the wake of the blaze. 

    According to the construction permit, the damaged unit will be repaired to its original configuration.  We’ve put in several requests for more information from the Seattle Housing Authority, but they have not provided any additional details. 

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    Three burglaries in one day

    August 24th, 2010 by Doug Alder

    Seattle Police are investigating three different burglaries or burglary attempts that happened this past Friday.

    On 8/20, the first burglary attempt was reported around 4:45am at a business in the 400 block of N 34th Street.  As an employee arrived for work, a man came out from behind the bushes.  The employee later saw that a plate glass window had been shattered.  The burglar wasn’t able to get inside.

    On that same day around 11:30am, someone reported that a bicycle had been stolen from a duplex garage in the 4200 block of Phinney Ave.

    Finally, residents in the 3800 block of Fremont Ave reported that someone crawled through a partially open window between 9am and 10pm.  The burglar took cash and jewelry.  Officers were able to obtain usable fingerprints in that case. 

    Just a reminder that you can track crime in the neighborhood with the new Seattle Police crime map.  Registration is required to view police reports.

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    Oktoberfest advance tickets now on sale

    August 24th, 2010 by Doug Alder

    Fremont’s Oktoberfest is still one month away, but advance tickets for the big event are now on sale.  $20 will get you inside, a souvenir tasting mug, and five tasting tokens.  Advance ticket holders also get to cut in line ahead of people purchasing at the gate where prices will be $5 more.  This year’s Oktoberfest runs September 24 – 26.  You can find more information here.
    DSC_0712 (2)

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    Library closes next Monday for one week

    August 23rd, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

    This is the last week to get things done at the library before budget cuts force the entire library system to shut down until after Labor Day. The Fremont Library (731 N. 35th St.) and all other Seattle Public Libraries will close on Monday, August 30th and reopen Tuesday, September 7th.

    During the closure most library services will be unavailable:
    * No materials will be due and no fines will be accrued.
    * The last day to check out Library items before the closure is Sunday, Aug. 29.
    * No book drops will be open. Do not leave books and materials outside Library locations during the closure. Book drops at branches that are open on Sundays, which includes Fremont, will close at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29 and reopen at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7.
    * Limited access to the online catalog. Patrons will be able to search the catalog and check their Library record but will not be able to place holds on items. No staff will be working to process the thousands of books and materials that customers normally put on hold.
    * Limited access to the website ( The online calendar, databases, downloadable books and media, digital special collections, podcasts, SPL Mobile app and blogs will be available, but other online information and features will not be available. No staff members will be working to maintain the site or troubleshoot problems.
    * No Library computers will be available. You will not be able to reserve a computer for the week the Library system is closed.
    * No access to Wi-Fi.
    * No book group kits will be sent, received or returned during the one-week closure. Kits will be sent to libraries as usual on the last Wednesday of the month, Aug. 25. Kits not available then will be sent as soon as possible after Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6.
    * No programs or events in Library meeting rooms.
    * No TeleCirc, the Library’s telephone circulation service.
    * No Quick Information telephone service.
    * No Text a Librarian, e-mail a librarian or chat with a librarian.
    * No Mobile Services.
    * No parking in Library garages. The Central Library, Capitol Hill Branch and Ballard Branch garages will be closed.

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