News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from September 2010

Buckaroo Tavern’s last day

September 17th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Fans of the Buckaroo Tavern: you have until 2 a.m. to say goodbye to this beloved Fremont establishment, which will close its doors at 4201 Fremont Ave. N. after last call tonight.

We told you Wednesday that the Buck’s countdown to closure was nigh and we shared with you this page, that chronicles the history of the 72-year-old neighborhood watering hole in words, photos and a video, with the help of the nonprofit Common Language Project.

Comments and memories have been coming to us via Twitter, our web site and in e-mail. Below is a photo of the Buck captured by photographer William Anthony, a former “Fremonster” who lived here for 6 years. He also recently took a gallery of photos of the recently completed 46th Street Mural.

Photo courtesy of William Anthony Photography, Inc.

“Despite the 2 a.m. Harley and Triumph revving, I enjoyed going to the Buck,” Anthony said, “I was never a regular. But I always respected it as a fixture in the community. It’s a living time capsule and it’s sad to see traditions end.”

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Zoo offers half-price admission to Storm fans this weekend

September 17th, 2010 by Doree

In honor of the Seattle Storm winning the WNBA Finals last night, the Woodland Park Zoo is offering half-price admission to fans on Saturday and Sunday.

Show a ticket stub at the admission gate for any game to the conference finals or finals held in Sept., including games on the road, or wear any Storm apparel such as a jersey, t-shirt, hat, and get half price off the admission fee. The discount applies to each person of all ages presenting a ticket stub or wearing Storm apparel. The discount offer is one-time only and may not be combined with any other discount or offer.

The zoo is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. this weekend. Admission is $16.50 for adults (ages 13-64), $11 for children 3-11, and free for kids 2 and under.

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Write a novel in a month with help from Writer’s Cramp

September 16th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Even though I write for a living, the idea of writing a novel is daunting. Even my longest pieces don’t come close to a novel. (My editors might disagree.)

But I’ve signed up to do something that is a little crazy, given my schedule, but I like the challenge!

The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an international event in which participants commit to writing a novel (about 50,000 words, the word count for a short novel) during the month of November.

Our city has a lot of writers in its midst.

Seattle ranks first for word count (more than 38 million), average number of words (more than 30,000) and number of donations (almost 13,000).

Fremont’s own Writer’s Cramp is participating in this year’s challenge. Tonight’s class (6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.) begins the first of a six-week focus on the event at WC’s usual place, Fremont Abbey, 4272 Fremont Ave. N. (Caffe Vita across the street is the overflow spot.)

The “local word jock” who teaches the classes, Taylor Houston, writes:

Writer’s Cramp is gearing up for the main event by focusing on fiction writing. Classes will include readings and discussion on writing plot and setting, crafting characters, adding dialogue, and related topics. We will also spend time just getting our brains and pens warmed up by doing lots of loosely directed free-writing. It’s all in good fun, and any writer should find the activities fun and interesting, even if he or she is not writing a novel this November.

Classes are $5-$10 per session (donation) or $30 for the six weeks.

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Whirled Peas part of free P-Patch tour

September 16th, 2010 by Doug Alder

The Fremont-Whirled Peas garden is well known in our neighborhood.  Now, residents from other parts of Seattle will get a chance to see it for free. The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is offering a free van tour of P-Patch locations all over the city. The one in the northwest will be held October 23 from 1pm to 3pm.  The tour includes Whirled Peas, Hazel Heights, Greg’s, Good Shepherd and Ballard P-Patches. Meet at the Greenwood Neighborhood Service Center, 8515 Greenwood Avenue.  Space is limited, so register early online.

Whirled Peas P-Patch

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The Buck’s final days

September 15th, 2010 by Doug Alder

The sad countdown has started at Fremont’s famous Buckaroo Tavern.  This Friday (9/17), the landmark bar and gathering place will close its doors for good, at least at its current location on Fremont Avenue.  As the “last call” party continues (the bar officially closes at 2am Saturday), we look back at the Buck with the help of the nonprofit Common Language Project and students of the University of Washington’s Special Topics in Communication class.  Be sure to check out the video that runs down the list of the Buck’s colorful customers. 

Continue reading “Buckaroo Tavern to pour its last drink after 72 years”


Community weighs options for new transfer station

September 15th, 2010 by Doug Alder

Community leaders have narrowed their choices among the 7 options for the new transfer station on North 34th Street in Wallingford. During a meeting last night, stakeholders selected their top picks.

Community members look over 7 design proposals

The new station will replace the current North Recycling and Disposal Station at 1350 N 34th (seen below). After the old station is demolished, the new one will be built on the same site. Each of the 7 proposed designs offered a different option on how to use the property.

Current transfer station

The Wallingford Community Council recently sent a letter to Seattle Public Utilities supporting only one of the 7 proposed designs. That design is Concept 3 (below), which currently doesn’t call for the east side of the property to be used as a recycling operation. It preserves the industrial buffer zone and the council is urging that a public park be built at the corner of 35th and Woodlawn Ave.

Concept 3

Jessica Vets, a stakeholder representing the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, spoke with us as other members of the panel tried to narrow their choices.

“My number one take is I want to connect retail, I want to connect businesses,” said Vets. “People come across the Fremont Bridge and they have no reason to turn right. I want them to want to turn right. What are we doing to make it pedestrian friendly, to make it when people go by they don’t go ugh, there’s the transfer station?”

At the end of the night, concepts 6 and 7 were eliminated, and options 1 and 5 were merged into one. The group also came up with a few new ideas that will be put into consideration at the next meeting of the stakeholders on October 21.

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Extra incentive for Oktoberfest volunteers

September 15th, 2010 by Doug Alder

The folks at Fremont Oktoberfest say they still need volunteers for the late shift (starting at 7pm) on Saturday, September 25.  As an added bonus, you’ll receive two extra drink tickets.  By the way, a volunteer meeting is set for Thursday (9/16) at the Adobe Conference Center, 701 N. 34th Street, from 6pm to 7pm.  Click here to learn more about volunteering.


New North Transfer Station plans

September 14th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

If you’re interested in seeing the latest designs for the new North Transfer Station, go to the stakeholder meeting tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Institute for Systems Biology, 1441 N. 34th St.

Seattle Public Utilities invites the public to review and comment on the initial design concepts, and to listen to additional design ideas. The goal is to narrow down the options from seven to one over the course of four meetings.

Concept 1: Base Scenario

More information about rebuilding the transfer stations can be found here.

Back in May, we reported about some concerns about the North Recycling and Disposal Station (NRDS) that had to do with traffic issues.

This is part of the planning process in rebuilding the transfer station, which is at 1350 N. 34th St. Ir was originally built as a garbage transfer station (pre-recycling) in the mid 1960’s. SPU states, “It was designed to treat all materials as waste and to transfer it all to a landfill.”

The station was not designed to handle the influx of yard waste and recycling that comes into the station in addition to garbage. Each of these materials is managed separately and transported elsewhere. SPU’s current facility, it says, does not provide adequate square footage or circulation for current or future recycling, and solid waste transfer operations.

They are other problems, too: equipment breakdowns and inadequate odor and noise control.

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Parking spaces in Fremont being turned into a park, but only for a day

September 13th, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

Temporary parks will be popping up all around Seattle, including one in Fremont, this Friday (9/17) for a global event called “PARK(ing)” day.

A 2009 “PARK(ing) spot in Greenwood.

The event, sponsored by Feet First, allows people to “grow” parks out of parking spots. “The average city dedicates about 20 percent of its public land to the movement and storage of automobiles, including roads and parking,” the press release from Feet First states. “PARK(ing) Day shows city residents what urban space can look and feel like when more public land is allocated for parks, art, recreation, social interactions, and other people-centric pursuits—rather than vehicles.”

You can find the one replacing 2 parking spaces at the intersection of Fremont Place and Fremont Avenue from 9am to 5pm on Friday. Other “PARKs” around the city can be found here.


3-alarm fire burns fishing boat on Ship Canal

September 12th, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

A 100-foot vessel from the early seasons of the TV show Deadliest Catch burned for more than an hour along the Ship Canal early this morning.

Nearly 100 firefighters battled the three-alarm blaze at a dock along the Queen Anne side, both from the dock and on the water. When fire crews arrived, they discovered the Arctic Dawn engulfed in flames, sending a huge column of smoke across the water into Ballard. The only person on the boat, an engineer, escaped the flames unharmed. There were no reported injuries.

My Ballard, which covered the fire, has more on the story here.

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Fly to “Lullaby Moon” & play among the stars

September 11th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

Some enchanted evening it was at Gas Works Park Friday night as hundreds — perhaps thousands — filled the big hill facing Lake Union to enjoy an annual, free tribute to the new bella luna: “Lullaby Moon.”

Despite clouds covering up that moon, the hill lit up, in this imaginative production created by Lucia Neare and shared with families who brought kids, dogs and sleeping blankets to see the show. Light poured from spotlights cast upon performers costumed as owls, horses, cats, rabbits and clocks.

Time ticked by quickly as they and other dancers dressed in top coats and top hats, and horn musicians in white pajamas, treated the audience to song and dance numbers such as “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” set amidst a white dreamscape.

LM Tuxes

The production made full use of the picturesque backdrop of Lake Union with floating beds, sailboats and a riverboat bringing to shore the costumed creatures. People in the audience waved to the Ducks tours going by, as well as boats that stuck around to watch. They sang along with “That’s Amore.”

Solo Clock

Performers sauntered in and out of the crowd, curtsying and dancing during the numbers and in-between. They also gave away white paper windmills to eager children, who didn’t need to blow for them to spin.

Clocks on horses
Close-up of Clock on horse

When you wish upon a star, this is the kind of production you get, one that sticks with kids (and adults) long after the evening is over, the stuff of sweet dreams. Sleep tight, and good night.

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“Lullaby Moon” returns to Gas Works tonight

September 10th, 2010 by Marina Gordon

If you saw “Lullaby Moon” at Gas Works Park or elsewhere throughout the city last year, you know not to miss the free show when it returns Friday evening. If you missed this hard-to-explain performance — which creator Lucia Neare calls a “wonder” — join hundreds (perhaps thousands) of others at Gas Works at 7:00 p.m. on September 10. There isn’t a bad seat in the house.

From Neare’s website:

Return to a world of wonder in Lullaby Moon 2010. Please wear white and bring a sleeping bag or blankets to keep cozy. Those with early bedtimes are welcome to attend any part of the festivities.

Lullaby Moon 2010 is a free, large-scale, site-specific public performance celebrating the new moon. The spectacular continues the joy and mythology of the 2008-09 series that enchanted thousands of Seattle residents. Lullaby Moon celebrates our precious place in the Milky Way galaxy and the promise inherent in everyone’s dreams.

You can see pictures and read much more about previous “Lullaby Moon” performances here. The images in this post are from last year’s Gas Works show and were taken by Mary Witter. Dozens more are on her Flickr page.

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Fremont Inn declared a “chronic nuisance”

September 10th, 2010 by Doug Alder

Seattle Police have apparently had enough of one Aurora motel.  The Fremont Inn, formerly the Thunderbird Motel, sits at 4251 Aurora Avenue.  This week, SPD along with the city attorney’s office served a letter of intent with the motel’s owners saying the city plans to pursue the Chronic Nuisance Property ordinance against them.  The property owners have seven days to respond and correct the nuisance or the city can take legal action.

Image from Google street view map

Over this past summer, police say they’ve responded to multiple complaints at the motel including cocaine and heroin use, assault, and a gun incident.  You can read the letter sent to the property owners here.

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Reaching the summit: a woman’s climb for life

September 9th, 2010 by Doug Alder

Kristina Southard is a self-described tough cookie. During her world travels to remote areas, she’s had guns pointed in her face and was even inside a taxi that was almost overturned by rowdy crowds during a strike.

“I’m not somebody you can easily blow on and have fall over.”

But nothing could have prepared Southard, who now lives at the border of Fremont/Phinney/Ballard, for the life changing news she got in 2006 during an annual exam at the doctor.

“I actually had a huge lump on my neck that I had never even seen.”

While that lump ended up being nothing, it prompted a series of tests that helped doctors find something much more serious– myelodysplasia, also known as pre-leukemia, that required an immediate bone marrow transplant.

“I said are you honestly telling me that I have something terminal.. that conventional chemo modes won’t even work? It can’t be happening to me.”

Given only a few months to live without a transplant, Kristina immediately turned to her estranged sister who lived overseas. After putting their differences aside, her sister got tested and was an identical match. But just before the transplant, more devastating news came in.

“She had nutritional issues and they weren’t able to harvest enough stem cells from her to keep me alive. I seriously thought about buying a one way ticket down to the islands.”

But instead of giving up, Kristina and her doctors turned to the national bone marrow registry where they found a man who would not only save her life, but would later become a friend. Bruce Miller from Michigan was at first a faceless donor. But today, he keeps in touch with Kristina and even paid a visit to her Seattle home this summer.

“We don’t have a lot in common, but we have the most important thing in common. My life, his blood.”

Today, Kristina is in remission and just set her sights on a lofty goal. With members of Team Survivor Northwest, a group of women who’ve survived cancer, Kristina scaled Mount Adams this summer. But she wasn’t just climbing for herself, she was climbing for a woman named Bernadette Foubert.

“About five months after my transplant, I met Bernadette who was diagnosed with exactly the same condition as me. We became friends and I became her mentor to let her know she could get through this.”

As Bernadette’s condition grew worse, Kristina decided to climb Mount Adams for her friend. Five days before the climb, Bernadette passed away. Kristina took a picture of Bernadette with her to Mount Adams and put it on the back of her jacket when she reached the summit.

“All I could think about was how Bernadette should have been there with me. I cried my eyes out. But being up there, I also knew it was the end of one portion of my life and the beginning of another.”

Kristina wanted to share her story in hopes of inspiring other people going through the same thing.

“I want to live and I refuse to relinquish anything.”

Kristina Southard started a blog to document her journey before, during, and after her transplant. You can read it here.

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Coming soon: Doggy Style Hot Dogs

September 8th, 2010 by Marina Gordon

This unassuming storage space in the northernmost section of the Big Wheel auto parts store on Stone Way will soon house Wallingford’s newest culinary addition: Doggy Style Hot Dogs. (But it’s close enough to Fremont, we think you’d be interested, too.)

First, about the name: Doggy Style co-owner Mike Kniaziuk told us the name was inspired by a friend’s grandchild, who called hot dogs “doggies,” not by its less wholesome connotations. “It was embarrassing going to City Hall to get the license, but 99 out of 100 people loved it. You get a lot of smiles,” Kniasiuk said. “It wasn’t provocative thinking to start. Mainly people think the name’s cute.”

Now, for the hot dogs. Kniaziuk doesn’t want to sample another one for a long time, he said, because he and co-owner Odie Haylock have “tried them all.” They settled on Bavarian Meats’ frankfurters with natural casings, and plan to sell an “East Coast-style” dog on a New England split-top bun (West Coasters, you may need to see a picture). Kniaziuk, who’s from Boston, was surprised that Seattleites weren’t familiar with the split-top bun. These will be buttered with garlic butter and fried, then offered up in a slew of variations that are being fine-tuned. Prices will range from $3.75 to $5.25, Kniaziuk projected.

This eatery is a side business for Kniaziuk and Haylock, who own a drywall and construction company. “Things are getting slow, and everyone has to eat,” Kniaziuk reasoned and consulted with a friend who owns hot dog stand on the East Coast. Haylock remembered an espresso stand in the spot long ago (Jump Start Espresso was there for less than a year 10 years ago), so they approached Big Wheel’s owner about leasing the space.

Kniaziuk hopes to open Doggy Style by the end of the month and plans for hours to be Monday through Saturday, 11 to 7. We’ll be sure to let you know when the opening day is set — they’ll be giving away free hot dogs.

Thanks to Dominic for the tip!

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Woman threatened at Aurora bus stop

September 8th, 2010 by Doug Alder

A woman says a man who appeared to be holding a knife threatened her as she waited at a bus stop. It happened about 9pm this past Friday (9/3) in the 4600 block of Aurora. The woman says she noticed the man was grinning at her before he pulled out a sharp metal object and charged at her. She ran away toward a large group of people for safety. The man then ran into traffic on Aurora on jumped on the dividing median before running into the bushes.

Police later found the suspect hiding in the bushes with two other men. He told police he ran into traffic because he’s a “pyro” who loves excitement. After searching the man, officers found a four inch metal shiv that appears to have been made from a broken spoon. The suspect was arrested for harassment.

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