News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from April 2011

Bilingual Classes Being Phased Out

April 18th, 2011 by Geeky Swedes

A few years ago, changes were made to the English Language Learner (ELL, formerly ESL) program in Seattle Public Schools. These changes have taken non-native speakers out of one classroom and put them in the traditional classroom with native English speakers. Our sister site, MyWallingford, has more on these changes and how they’re affecting students and teachers at Hamilton International Middle School.

Read: Final bell for self-contained bilingual classes

→ No CommentsTags:

Caffé Vita’s Zoo Special Reserve Benefits Woodland Park Zoo

April 15th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Now when you stop by Caffé Vita for your daily cup of coffee, you can help save an animal’s life. Not too shabby.

For every bag of Zoo Special Reserve purchased at Caffé Vita, $1 will be donated to Woodland Park Zoo. The farmers who grow this coffee promote biodiversity by setting aside over forty percent of their land as a nature reserve, which protects the habitats of native tropical animals and birds such as gray foxes, armadillos, anteaters, parrots and butterflies. The Zoo Special Reserve coffee beans were sustainably farmed using innovative systems of composting, recycling and water conservation under the belief that healthy, organic soil and diverse shade cover produces superior coffee.

Zoo Special Reserve is sold in 12-ounce bags of whole beans for $13.95 at all six Caffé Vita locations in Seattle, though the easiest one for you to get to would be the Fremont location at 4301 Fremont Avenue North.

Caffé Vita will continue to work with Woodland Park Zoo this summer when they travel to Papua New Guinea to help improve community livelihoods while protecting biodiversity and the habitat of the endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo.

→ 1 CommentTags: , ,

Evanston Space Project Coming To Fremont

April 15th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

We noted last week that the Rocket Apartments were on their way out and something new would be replacing them. Originally, owner Brian Regan has envisioned a hotel in that space but those plans went by the wayside.

Instead, Regan is envisioning the Evanston Space Project, an office/retail space not unlike Regan’s current Fremont building, the Fremont Space Building.

This new building will include 121 office spaces, five retail spots and over 100 parking spaces in an underground garage.

Regan is still working on financing to make the building happen, but has the building permits ready to go once he’s set. As such, there is no timetable for the project.

→ 6 CommentsTags: ,

Celebrate Record Store Day At Fremont’s Jive Time Records

April 15th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Saturday, April 16th, is Record Story Day around the nation, the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music.

Here in Fremont, Jive Time Records will be celebrating with special deals and giveaways:

Join us this Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16 for our annual Record Store Day Sale! ALL records, CD’s and DVD’s at Jive Time will be 20% off with new arrivals added throughout the sale! Our Sidewalk Sale (weather permitting) will feature an additional 1000 bargain priced LP’s and CD’s!

Plus: spend $25 or more and receive this limited addition, hand-screened poster while supplies last!

Check out this handy-dandy list of events going on at record stores all over Seattle, including a special concert by The Head and the Heart at Ballard’s Sonic Boom at 3 p.m.

Poster: David Day Design

→ No CommentsTags: ,

Aurora Traffic Safety Patrol Catches 677 Violations

April 15th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

This article was originally written by Thea Chard at Queene Anne View

Beginning at approximately 7 a.m. and running through the rest of the day on Thursday, April 14, Seattle Police Department and Washington State Patrol officers conducted a major safe driving enforcement patrol along Aurora Ave N.

Over the course of the day patrol officers tracked a total of 677 violations, wrote up 509 citations, clocked 331 speeders and doled out 198 warnings to drivers, according to the SPD Blotter. These numbers include 62 people caught driving while talking on their cell phones, 80 driving without insurance, 23 without a license, and a total of six who were arrested and charged with DUIs. Here’s the breakdown of violations, and subsequent tickets, for the day:

Tickets issued for the following violations:

Aggressive driving – 19
DUI Arrest – 6
Negligent Driving – 2
High speed – 66 in a 40 MPH zone
Cell phone – 62
No insurance – 80
No Operators License – 23
FTY to Pedestrians – 1
FTY Right of Way – 2
Unsafe Lane Change – 21
Follow to close – 2
School zone – 8
School zone (speed van) – 42
Bicycle – 2
Inattention – 2
Defective Equipment – 8
Illegal turns – 16
Signs Obey – 15
No seatbelt – 30
Vehicle License – 5

While SPD did dish out quite a lot of tickets along Aurora yesterday, officers say the primary aim of the patrol was safety. “The overall goal of the Aurora Avenue emphasis patrol is to promote safe driving behavior, not necessarily to write tickets. Tickets are however, a product of traffic law enforcement,” SPD said in a statement.

What do you think? Did the patrol help remind the public to drive safely along Aurora, which has an extremely high collision incident rate, or was it just an excuse for officers to hand out more tickets in a shorter amount of time? What do you think SPD and the city could do to make Aurora safer?

→ 3 CommentsTags: ,

Spring Forward With The Neighborhood Fitness Festival

April 14th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

If you’re going to get fit, May’s the month to get the ball rolling. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. It also includes National Women’s Health Week (8-14th), National Employee Health and Fitness Day(18th) and National Senior Health and Fitness Day (25th). Oh, and its Bike Month just for good measure.

For  25 years, Sound Mind & Body Gym has been dedicated to the health and well-being of the Fremont community. The gym continues that tradition by hosting the first Fremont Fitness Festival. The festival is a 12-week program consisting of personal training sessions, nutrition consultations and invitations to  participate in various Fremont business specials.

To participate, you need to contact Kelly Risenhoover at Sound Mind & Body Gym (email, call, stop by) to sign up for an initial fitness assessment on May 1st,  4th,and 7th. The cost to participate is $15 plus tax and includes a  T-shirt for participating. Over the 12 weeks you’ll be able to take classes, work with a trainer, start a walking group, play a  sport — whatever it takes for you to reach your fitness goals in a safe  and healthy way. At the end of the program, celebrate at Sound Mind & Body Gym with all of your new friends and show off your achievements.

Fitness assessments will be designed based on The President’s Challenge Physical fitness test—visit for details.

For more information on the Fitness Festival, visit the website, follow along on Twitter as well as Facebook.

→ 3 CommentsTags: , ,

Portage Bay Goods Moving To 35th Street

April 13th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

The spot left vacant when Fremont Place Books closed its doors isn’t staying vacant for very long.

Portage Bay Goods, currently located at 706 N 34th Street, is moving at the end of April to 621 N. 35th Street. They’ll officially be open for business at the new store on May 6th. That’s also the date of May’s Fremont First Friday Art Walk.

PBG will be holding a ‘Big Ass Moving Sale’ from April 22nd-29th as they prepare for the move. Find out more about Fremont’s fun, irreverent gift shop at their website.

→ 1 CommentTags: , ,

Major Traffic Enforcement Patrol On Aurora April 14th

April 13th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

I know you always drive safely on Aurora Avenue. You always stay focused, drive calmly, don’t chat on your cell phone while driving and certainly avoid drinking and driving. We’re on the same page with all of that. I just want to make sure you know to REALLY do all of those things (or not do those things, as the case may be) on Thursday.

The Aurora Traffic Safety Project will be performing a “safe driving enforcement patrol” on Aurora Avenue North all day.

On April 14th beginning at 6:30 am and running all day and evening, the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol and Washington Liquor Control Board will be conducting a major traffic enforcement patrol to deter aggressive and distracted driving on Aurora. Specifically the patrol will focus on the behaviors we know are contributing to collisions, injuries and deaths along Aurora such as speeding, following too close, unsafe turns, DUI, cell phone usage and other in car distractions.

More than 50 Seattle Police Department personnel will be participating including motorcycle and squad car units, the aggressive drivers response team and the DUI squad. Joining SPD will be six patrol units from the Washington State Patrol and three teams from the Washington Liquor Control Board. A unified command center will be established at 125th and Aurora.

The April 14th patrol is part of the Aurora Traffic Safety Project – a two year effort to improve safety through engineering improvements, increased enforcement, and educational outreach. Between April 2005 and March 2008, 1,581 collisions occurred on Aurora between the Battery Street Tunnel and N 145th Street – that’s nearly 46 collisions per month. Since the start of this project in 2009, collisions on Aurora have been reduced by more than 20 percent.

For more information about the Aurora Traffic Safety Project visit

→ 1 CommentTags: , ,

‘Beyond Naked’ Follows Those Who Dare To Go Bare In Fremont Solstice Parade

April 13th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

When discussing the Fremont Solstice Parade with a group of people, the conversation will eventually veer towards a specific question.

Would you?

Would you get naked, slather yourself in paint, hop on a bike and ride publicly through town as thousands of onlookers cheered you on?

There’s a new documentary in the works right now that follows four intrepid individuals who answered “Yes.”

Beyond Naked Trailer from Dan McComb on Vimeo.

Beyond Naked explores what happens when four first-time participants accept a challenge to ride naked in the 2011 Fremont Solstice Parade, Seattle’s annual celebration of summer and self-expression. The film will also explore our deep-rooted fear (and awkward fascination with) nakedness and what we can learn about ourselves when we dare to drop trou.

I chatted with the film’s director, Dan McComb, about the project, how it’s being filmed and what he’s hoping to get out of the experience.

FremU: What is Beyond Naked about and where did the idea come from?

DM: If you ask someone on the street whether they’ve heard of the Fremont Solstice Parade, the frequent reply is: “You mean the naked bikers?” How is it that a rogue group of loosely organized, unpaid individuals have managed to become synonymous with the parade? And why here, when cities like San Diego have blocked rides from starting by threatening participants with arrest?

As the title implies, we hope this film (in addition to being a lighthearted adventure) can shift the conversation about artistic nudity from one focused on whether people should be allowed to be naked in public, to a deeper exploration of self-expression, artistic license and personal freedom.

I became fascinated with the Fremont Solstice Cyclists in 2003, when, after much arm-twisting from my friends, I accepted a challenge to ride naked in the parade with a group of about 60 other cyclists. It was a scary, exhilarating and transformative experience that made a lasting impression on me. Last year, an estimated 650 cyclists rode, and if the weather’s good this year, some organizers predict as many as 1,000 cyclists.

I attended Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School last year, where the legendary director told me: “if something fascinates you, you must do it.” I gave myself two additional requirements for finding an idea for my first feature-length film: It had to be about something I have a personal connection to. And it had to be reachable within walking distance of my house in Fremont. As I watched last year’s Solstice Parade with Herzog’s words ringing in my ears, I realized this was my story.

Jeff Hedgepeth is one of the brave souls featured in Beyond Naked.

[

→ 12 CommentsTags: , , , ,

The Round 71 Tonight At Fremont Abbey

April 12th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Have you been feeling a little square lately? Tonight’s your chance to smooth out those corners and get rounded again.

The Round 71 takes place tonight, starting at 8pm (doors open at 7pm) and features the usual eclectic mix of artists, musicians, poets and more.

Musical Guests:

Seattle singer-songwriter Shelby Earl (watch a video here)

John Lennon Songwriting Award winners OK Sweetheart, who have a new album out. (watch video here).

Portland’s Kasey Anderson (watch video here).

Live Artists:

Eric Newman, who will be doing live pottery.

Malia Sleight, who will be doing live sculpture.


A collection of Youth Speaks poets.

Tickets are $8-10 at the door, or you can purchase on Brown Paper Tickets for as low as $7.

The Round is also raising money via Kickstarter for the very first Round Compilation Album.

We plan on taking some of the best live recordings from the always unique & collaborative ROUND performances over the years, and making them available to everyone!  Many songs are completely unique recordings with rare (and sometimes improvised) instrumentation.  Some even feature the Seattle Rock Orchestra as well.  You’ll probably even quite literally hear yourself singing along in one of the songs.  We can’t absolutely guarantee who will make the cut, but we do promise it’ll sound great!

Head on over there to find out more and donate if you can.

→ No CommentsTags: ,

Asphalt Removal On Dexter Ave. Has Begun

April 12th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

SDOT let us know in February about the upcoming changes to Dexter Avenue intended to help ease congestion caused by car, bus and bicyclist overlaps as well as improve the pavement condition by repaving the street.

That work began Monday as SDOT’s contractor began grinding and removing the existing asphalt pavement on Dexter Avenue North between Fremont Avenue N and McGraw Street.

During the work, one travel lane in each direction will be open on Dexter. There will be parking and loading restrictions near the work zone as well as periodic cross-street and driveway interruptions.

Paving will commence in April. Drivers and bicyclists are urged to seek out alternative routes when possible. For more information on this project, visit the SDOT web site.

→ No CommentsTags: , ,

Delve Into Seattle’s Past With MOHAI’s Now And Then Exhibit

April 11th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

You know that bridge above from the way it is on the left. There was a time not too long ago, however, when it looked a lot more like the image on the right. If you’re a regular reader of Seattle Times Sunday magazine, you’re used to seeing Paul Dorpat’s popular ‘Now And Then’ column, featuring the contrasting images of old and new Seattle like this one.

This past weekend, the Museum of History and Industry unveiled a “Now and Then” exhibit, styled after Dorpat’s column. The exhibit include the work of Jean Sherrard and Berangere Lomont and features photos of four locales: Seattle, Washington State, the Wallingford neighborhood and Paris.

The exhibit runs through June 3, 2012. Now and Then tours at the University of Washington are scheduled for April 17, May 15 and May 18. Check the MOHAI calendar for more information.


→ No CommentsTags: ,

Made Your Seattle Restaurant Week Reservations Yet?

April 8th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

This Sunday, Seattle Restaurant Week (technically, 10 days–April 10 to 14 and April 17 to 21) kicks off. Have you made your reservations yet? 35th Street Bistro and Chiso are the Fremont eateries on the final list of 100+ restaurants that will dish up 3 courses for $28. The price has risen $3 per meal since last year.

You can find menus for all participating restaurants at the bottom of their pages on the Seattle Restaurant Week site.

Seattle Restaurant Cooperative, which includes Wallingford restaurant Tilth’s Maria Hines among its restaurateurs, came up with the idea of Restaurant Week as an event that included all types of restaurants, not just the higher-end ones.

During the ten day promotion, Seattle Restaurant Week is holding a daily contest on the their website. Winners receive $50 gift certificates to Seattle Restaurant Week restaurants. Enter here for a chance to win!

H/T: MyWallingford

→ No CommentsTags: , ,

Goodbye Nana’s Soup House, Hello Korner Kitchen

April 8th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

The building still looks like Nana’s Soup House. The menu still looks like Nana’s Soup House’s menu. The interior still looks like Nana’s Soup House’s interior.

But it ain’t Nana’s Soup House anymore. It’s Korner Kitchen!

Under new management, the baked potato and soup purveyor has merely changed names. New owners Yen Khong & Jia Zeng won’t be altering anything else about the local favorite.

You can continue to visit the Nana’s website for menus, ordering and any other information.

→ 1 CommentTags: ,

Fremont Troll Meets His Maker

April 7th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

No, I don’t mean that metaphorically. Don’t worry, he’s doing just fine.

I mean he literally came face to face with his maker, Steve Badanes, during this KING 5 Evening Magazine newscast. For those who don’t know the history of the Troll, it’s a good refresher. Also, learn who’s nose was used as a model for the Troll’s.

→ 1 CommentTags:

Seattle Seeking ‘Tree Stewards’

April 7th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Preserving Seattle’s tree canopy is a goal of the city’s (Mayor Mike McGinn spoke about it here) that can sometimes be controversial.

The city is actively looking for tree ambassadors. According to Jana of the city’s Office of Sustainability:

Seattle’s urban forest needs your help! Seattle has a goal to reach 30% canopy cover by 2037, growing from our current 23%. To meet that goal, we need to plant and care for 200,000 net new trees in residential areas; residential areas make up 67% of Seattle. To help meet this goal, we are recruiting Tree Ambassadors who can serve as local neighborhood advocates for our urban trees.

You will work in teams of 2-3 people to develop projects for your neighborhood which could include tree walks, invasive species removal workdays, and/or tree plantings. No previous tree experience necessary, only a desire to learn and a passion for urban greenery. You may apply individually or as a group.

Tree ambassadors are volunteers who, after being trained, work 5-10 hours a month, according to the city.

There’s an individual application here, and a team application here. You can also find them on the city’s Tree Portal page.

via MyBallard

→ No CommentsTags: ,