News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood

 

Entries from July 2011

North 34th St paving project starts today

July 18th, 2011 by Geeky Swedes

We received this notice from the Seattle Department of Transporation:

The Seattle Department of Transportation is paving N 34th Street from Fremont Avenue N to Stone Way N. Beginning Monday, July 18th crews will be repairing the roadway’s underlying base layer, sidewalks and curbs in preparation for final paving in late July.

During this work one lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction on N 34th Street. There will be parking and loading restrictions in the work zone as well as periodic cross-street and driveway interruptions.

Drivers should expect increased truck activity, reduced speeds and flaggers periodically stopping traffic. Please use caution and expect some delays.

More information on this project can be found here.

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Harvest Neighborhood Fruit With Lettuce Link

July 15th, 2011 by Geeky Swedes

The fruit will soon be ripening on neighborhood trees and Lettuce Link wants to make sure none of it goes to waste.

Lettuce Link is looking for trees to harvest and volunteers to pick the fruit.

From the Lettuce Link website:

There are lots of ways to help out! We need volunteers who can do one or more of the following:

  • “Scout” trees ahead of time to see if the fruit is ripe
  • Harvest at scheduled work parties
  • Be on-call to harvest fruit in their neighborhoods
  • Provide garage space for storing ladders, picking buckets, and/or fruit
  • Deliver fruit to food banks and meal programs
  • The volunteer application is available here (.doc) and 90-minute volunteer orientations are on Tuesday, July 19th at 6 p.m. at the Douglass-Truth Library (2300 E Yesler Way) and on Thursday, July 21st at 6 p.m. at Solid Ground Wallingford (1501 N 45th St.)

    To RSVP, or if you’d like to volunteer but can’t make it to an orientation, please contact Molly at fruitharvest@solid-ground.org or 206-694-6751.

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    Watch The Womens World Cup Finals In Fremont

    July 15th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    The American team’s run through the 2011 Womens World Cup has been about as improbable as they come. The team barely qualified. They lost two friendly matches before the tournament started. In the World Cup, they lost to Sweden, needed a 122nd minute equalizer to force penalties against Brazil, and were outplayed for most of their game against France.

    And yet, here they are. The USA women’s soccer team will go for their third World Cup championship on Sunday against Japan at 11:45am.

    If its anything like the Men’s World Cup last year, folks are going to want to watch that game surrounded by other soccer fans. And Fremont has a few options for you…

    The Dubliner is offering up some tasty drink specials on Sunday, including $4 Bloody Marys, $3.50 Pints, $3 Well Drinks as well as a full menu and Happy Hour food specials till 10pm.

    George & Dragon will have the game on as well so you can enjoy a full English breakfast while you watch.

    Norm’s is inviting folks to swing by and watch the game with them. Doors open at 11am and, as usual, you can bring your dog to watch with you.

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    Have You Seen Sturgis?

    July 15th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    Flyers up all over Fremont are asking if you have seen Sturgis, a pit bull that’s been missing since July 11th.

    According to the flyer, he was last seen heading towards the Trader Joe’s in Ballard and those with any information should call 206-679-1381.

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    Hotel Hotel Grand Opening Party Pictures

    July 15th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    Fremont’s new upscale hostel, Hotel Hotel, hosted its grand opening party last night as it officially opens for business today. Tons of folks stopped by to check out the fancy, new digs. It was great to see so many of the area businesses involved as well. Pie was serving mini-pies, Flying Apron was serving food as well and Bluebird Ice Cream was out front with their cart.

    (Incidentally I spoke with the Bluebird folks and they’re looking at an early-August opening right now).

    Check out some photos from the event, which included circus performers, a DJ and a dude wearing a giraffe head for some reason. Then again, when do you ever need a reason to wear a giraffe head?

    [Read more →]

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    Mayor McGinn Announces Plan To Change Seattle Nightlife Hours

    July 14th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has announced a proposal for changing state policy to allow cities to allow extended service hours for Seattle nightlife. The plan is part of Seattle’s comprehensive Nightlife Initiative, which aims to maintain public safety and provide businesses with greater flexibility to adapt to the market demands of residents and visitors.

    In a nutshell, McGinn’s plan is to stagger closing times at certain bars and clubs to ease the strain on police resources. As it is now, Seattle Police can be stretched thin at 2am when every bar & club lets out, especially in certain areas such as Belltown and Pioneer Square.

    Plus, there’s only so much our local superheroes can do.

    “We’ve talked to the public, we’ve talked to businesses, we’ve talked to neighbors, and this is something the community wants us to do,” said Mayor Mike McGinn

    The City Council will hear the resolution in committee on July 19th and a vote to follow soon afterward. The rule change application will be submitted to the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) by August 31st. The LCB then has 60 days to decide whether to initiate the rule making process, Mayor McGinn hopes to have extended service hours implemented in Seattle in 2012.

    Whether or not this will affect much in Fremont remains to be seen. There are certainly areas of the city where such an initiative is more pressing, though that doesn’t mean we won’t see changes to closing times here as well.

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    Hotel Hotel To Open It’s Doors Doors On Friday Friday, Grand Opening Party Tonight

    July 14th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    Fremonsters have been watching the space above Pie, Dubliner and Frame Up Studios with great anticipation ever since it was announced that an upscale hostel was going in. Construction has been ongoing for a while now but Hotel Hotel (3515 Fremont Ave. N.) will officially open its doors to the people of Fremont, or more likely the people who want to visit Fremont, this Friday.

    As you can see, they’re still putting the finishing touches on the place but things will be good to go come tomorrow.

    According to the website, rates are $28/night for a single bed in a shared room, $79/night for a King bed with a shared bathroom and $99/night for a Family Room with private bathroom or King bed with private bathroom.

    The hostel also rents bicycles ($10 for 3 hours, $20 for the day) and sells cameras for out-of-towners who want their very own photo of the Troll.

    Hotel Hotel will be kicking things off with an opening party tonight between 6-9pm featuring “circus performers, music, beverages, snacks and more.”

    For more information, check out the contact page on their website.

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    City Council Committee Approves New Street Food Measure, Will Vote Next Week

    July 13th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    The city of Seattle moved one step closer to a new kind of street food community on Wednesday when the City Council land-use committee unanimously approved a measure that would allow mobile vendors to park in designated spots citywide.

    Currently, vendors have to work out deals with local business owners, which is why you always see food trucks in parking lots or outside local companies. The new guidelines would allow for street food carts to park in specific spaces throughout the city on their own.

    With the new legislation would come changes to street food vendor rules as well.

    These called for increased parking fees; upping the buffer between sidewalk vendors and business entrances/exits (from 10 to 15 feet) and schools (now 1,000 feet, before it was 200 feet); and notification of nearby property owners. Previously vendors were to notify all owners within 100 feet of their site; now they will have to inform owners on each side of the street as well as those on the adjacent block when the slinger is situated on a corner. The legislation dictates no more than two merchants are permitted per block; if there is little or no commercial activity, that number could increase.

    Not everyone is a fan of the proposal. Many restaurants are against the measure as an increase in street vendors could leads to a decrease in customers for them. See the full details here.

    The City Council is expected to consider the bill on Monday, July 18.

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    Hundreds Voice Their Concerns About Metro Bus Cuts

    July 13th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    Depending on who you ask, 400-700 people showed up for last night’s Metropolitan King County Council committee meeting to discuss the proposed cuts in King County Metro bus service.

    The main issue of the discussion was the $20 car-tab fee for each of the next two years that is being considered. Without it, Metro says it would need to cut service 17 percent by eliminating some routes and reducing trips.

    State lawmakers gave county officials the authority this year to charge an extra $20 for car tabs — which would provide $50 million over two years — to help Metro. When combined with reserve funds, it’s enough to largely maintain existing service, Metro says.

    The next step for King County’s nine-member council is to either put it to a vote in the next election or a “supermajority” of six members could enact the new fee without going to the voters.

    Unfortunately, only four County Council members attended the transportation committee hearing (Bob Ferguson, Larry Gossett, Joe McDermott and Larry Phillips) while five did not. The four who did attend were have already come out in favor of the fee.

    There will be one more public hearing on July 21 in Burien at the City Council Chambers, followed by a vote from the King County Councilmembers, scheduled for July 25.

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    Seattle Considering Licensing Medical Marijuana Operations

    July 13th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    On July 22, a new state law will make medical marijuana dispensaries illegal. However, Seattle is trying to do just the opposite and attempt to license medical marijuana dispensaries and co-ops. It would be a ground-breaking move for a Washington city and Fremont-based dispensary Dockside Co-Op would be one of the beneficiaries:

    “They’re not kicking the can down the road and having somebody else deal with it,” [owner Oscar] Velasco-Schmitz says. “They realize that there is a need for medical cannibis within the community, and they’re taking steps to be able to provide that for the community in a safe manner.”

    Of course, even if Seattle’s measures pass, dispensaries would still violate federal law.

    What do you think? Is it time for medical marijuana dispensaries to be full licensed by the city and state?

    And while we’re on the topic, check out this story on the gray area that exists in the world of medical marijuana and this one on the Wallingford Cannabis Farmer’s Market.

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    Tan & White Cat Found In Fremont (Updated)

    July 13th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    Update: Owner and cat have been reunited! Hooray for everyone. Here’s Bob resting comfortably.

    Original: Flyers up all around Fremont today trumpet the good news that someone’s lost cat has been located. The only question is…whose cat is it?

    The cat was found at 1 am on July 12th. It has mostly light & dark tan coloring, white paws and a white face. The tail has dark tan rings, the eyes are hazel with a green tint and the cat is wearing a collar adorned with a white skull pendant and bell.

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    Man Attacks Parents With Baseball Bat In Fremont, Arrested By Seattle Police

    July 12th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    As you read about in our live updates, a Fremont man attacked his parents with a baseball bat Tuesday afternoon, leading to a stand-off with Seattle Police when he barricaded himself in the house. The stand-off, which began at roughly 3:00 pm ending around 5:30pm when the SWAT team surrounded and stormed the house in the alleyway between Evanston & Fremont Ave. at 41st St.

    The 52-year-old suspect is known to police for previous incidents and is described as a schizophrenic. As someone who lives in the neighborhood (right around the corner, to be exact), I can confirm that four police cars were parked on 41st St at Fremont Ave, last week due to an incident involving the man.

    The parent’s were able to escape without any major injury and were seen waiting outside of the taped-off area, awaiting the outcome of the arrest.

    No word yet on charges but the arrest seems to go off without any issues or problems. At least 15 police cars, two fire trucks and a SWAT van were present at the scene.

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    Large Police Presence On 41st Street Over Disturbance, Standoff

    July 12th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    Update (5:35): Police leaving the alley, taking off their protective armor, wishing each other well. Looks like their job is done.

    Update (5:31): “We got him.” The suspect is in police custody.

    Update (5:25): Just heard a loud bang. Might have been a percussion grenade. Sounds like they’re going in. KIRO says the police have entered the house.

    Update 5 (5:10): SWAT van just showed up and police are getting suited up in full gear, vests, rifles, helmets, etc. Spoke with a witness who said the issue has been ongoing with the man for “five years.” Witness overheard the negotiator trying to talk the man out of the house but the man was unresponsive.

    Update 4 (4:55): A fire truck just showed up. Presumably to break down the door as the man is reportedly still inside.

    Update 3: KIRO has the details on the man and what he did.

    Seattle police and a SWAT team are on the way to a home in Fremont where a man attacked his parents with a baseball bat, the Seattle Police Department said.

    Police said they are familiar with the 52-year-old man who suffers from schizophrenia. Police said they dealt with the man once before and he hid from officers in the attic of the home.

    Update 2: Annie chimes in on Twitter

    Word on the street is a mentally disturbed man has barricaded himself in house.

    Update: Spoke with a witness after the fact who fills in some of the details.

    “I got home, had to park around the corner because there’s roughly 13 cop cars. Walked back to the apartment, saw a couple of cops with rifles going into the alley. I asked someone who was outside what was going on, they told me there’s a paranoid schizophrenic who lives there and he’s had some kind of episode.”

    Original: At this moment, there are approximately 13 cop cars surrounding the alley between Evanston Avenue & Fremont Avenue on 41st Street according to an eye witness. Many of the officers are armed with assault rifles and shields as they prepare to enter a house in the alleyway.

    We’ll keep you posted on updates, though please chime in if you’re in the area with pics/updates as well.

    [Read more →]

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    Abandoned Aurora Motel May Become Low-Income Housing

    July 12th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    The Fremont Inn has seen better days. Ever since Seattle Police Chief John Diaz declared the Inn, a.k.a. Thunderbird Motel, a chronic nuisance property in 2010, things went from bad to worse. It fell into disrepair, was foreclosed on and bought by Chesterfield Mortgage Investors, Inc.


    Image from Google street view map

    Now a group called Catholic Community Services wants to turn the former site into a property for low-income, previously homeless people.

    If the Catholic Community Services plan goes forward, the dilapidated motel, built in 1956, would be replaced by a four-story building with more than 70 units.

    The Fremont Chamber of Commerce has voted to write a support letter, and the Wallingford Neighborhood Council has also generally supported the idea, Wise said. The organization is working on applications for state housing trust fund money and city and county construction dollars.  That would be followed by requests for service dollars, though that’s indicated in the initial application.

    A decision on supporting funds is expected this fall, Wise said.

    CCS already runs the nearby Aloha Inn in this manner, where residents work 15 hours each week in exchange for room and board.

    For more, check out SeattlePI’s story.

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    Reminder: Metro Transit Meeting Tonight On Proposed Bus Service Reductions

    July 12th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    Don’t forget tonight’s public meeting on proposed bus service cuts by Metro Transit in the wake of severe budget problems. Judging by the comments on the original post and on Facebook, you’re concerned. And I don’t blame you.

    Metro Transit is asking the King County Council for a temporary $20 annual surcharge on licensed vehicles as a stop-gap measure to maintain bus service. Metro has announced that if the council doesn’t approve the surcharge, it will have to cut up to 600,000 service hours – or 17 percent of current bus routes – in 2012 and 2013.

    According to Metro’s proposal, routes 5, 26 and 28, which serve Fremont, will be hit hard.

    Routes 26 and 28′s normal service, which runs along 36th Street, would be eliminated. The 26 & 28 Express would be reduced or revised.

    Both the Local and Express service on Route 5, which runs along Fremont Avenue North, would be reduced or revised.

    Tonight’s meeting takes place at the King County Courthouse, Council Chambers, 516 Third Ave.

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    Time To Enroll Your Kids In Seattle Public Schools

    July 12th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    Fremont parents can enroll their kids in Seattle Public Schools (SPS) today at the Wallingford QFC (1801 N 45th St) or tomorrow at the Crown Hill Safeway (8340 15th Ave. NW). SPS is traveling around to nine different locations around the city for the “Community Resources on Wheels” tour.

    At the event which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., parents can register kids for preschool, elementary, middle or high school and get information on a variety of Seattle-area resources for families. Just look for the yellow school bus.

    From SPS:

    Parents and caregivers who plan to enroll their student in school should bring the following: Birth Certificate (K-1st grade only); immunization information; current proof of Seattle residence (utility bills, lease, DSHS; shelter/transitional housing letter); admission form (parents can fill out in advance at seattleschools.org or it will be available on the bus) and photo ID of parent/guardian.
    For more information, click here or call the SPS Service Center at 205-252-0760.

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