News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from September 2011

City Funding Available For Seattle Artists

September 29th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs is accepting applications for the 2012 CityArtist Projects program that supports Seattle-based individual artists working in the visual, literary and media arts.

CityArtist Projects is an annual funding program that provides support to individual Seattle artists to develop and present new, in-progress or remounted works taken to the next stage. Funding is offered to artists in clusters of disciplines in the visual, media and literary arts and performing arts in alternate years.

Priority will be given to quality art projects that focus on public benefit defined as community impact and access. Projects will be rated on their ability to address at least one of these four elements: engage new audiences, develop partnerships, create access through education and public awareness opportunities and/or present in non-traditional venues.

Artists can apply for set awards of either $2,000 or $4,000. Projects must be presented between May and December 2012 and include a public presentation.

A link to the online application is available at The application deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011. For more information, contact Irene Gómez at or (206) 684-7310.

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Fremont Oktoberfest By The Numbers

September 29th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

The Fremont Oktoberfest was a big success last weekend. How do I know? Cause the numbers don’t lie…

Here are a few fun facts from the weekend…

  • 20,000 people gathered in the Tasting Garden to taste over 100 beers.
  • 5,000 guests of all ages entered the Oktoberfest Village where over 500 Zucchini Cars were raced in the Kids Area
  • 42 dogs entered CityDog Magazine’s Cover Dog Model Contest during Sunday’s Fremont Dogtoberfest.
  • 1,000 runners raced in the Fremont Oktoberfest 5K and finished in the Pyramid Breweries Village Beer Garden
  • Our 1,000 amazing volunteers poured 157,561 beers in the Tasting Garden, meaning… they collected 157,561 tokens and tapped over 550 kegs of beer

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Early Enrollment For Seattle Public Schools Starts Next Week

September 29th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Incoming kindergarteners and students of all grades who are new to Seattle Public Schools can get a head start on the enrollment process for next year starting on Monday. Early Enrollment goes through Jan. 31, 2012.

SPS enrollment facilitators will be at several Seattle Public Library locations and neighborhood community centers from Oct. 3-25 to help parents fill out forms and answer questions. You can also enroll your child during Seattle Public Schools’ Family and Community Symposium on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Garfield High School (interpreters provided).

Early enrollment allows families to avoid long lines during the busy spring and summer enrollment periods. While early enrollment does not impact where a student is assigned to school – under the new student assignment plan, assignment is based on the student’s home address – it is offered as a convenience to families, enabling them to get the enrollment paperwork completed ahead of time.

In addition, families who have students enrolling early – as well as existing students – will receive their school assignment notification in early 2012, prior to the Open Enrollment period in the spring. Students may apply to attend a different school of their choice during Open Enrollment.

The nearest enrollment events to Fremont are:

The full list of all early enrollments sites is here.

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How Mayor McGinn’s 2012 Budget Could Affect Fremont

September 27th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

The Mayor has released his proposed 2012 budget (.pdf) to the Seattle City Council and Fremont will be affected if it is passed as is.


Earlier this year, the Seattle Department of Transportation decided to keep parking rates at $1.50 in Fremont to make sure parking was accessible. The goal was to have one or two available spots on each block at a given time. After doing research, the good news is that it looks like the $1.50 per hour rate is doing well here and will not go up (click here for pdf.).

Nearby in Ballard, proposed changes for 2012 include raising the rates in the core of Ballard back to $2.00 per hour.

Light Rail:
The Mayor is proposing a one-time use of $1.5 million “for planning related to high capacity transit in the five corridors identified in the Transit Master Plan.”

Here is a look at the light rail corridor from Ballard  through Fremont to downtown, as mentioned in the Transit Master Plan.

Community Centers:
From the proposed budget:

Under this recommendation, community centers are clustered into five geographic groups (Northeast, Northwest, Central, Southeast, and Southwest), with each team managed and programmed in a coordinated fashion, with partially or fully restored hours at the current limited use community center sites (Alki, Ballard, Green Lake, Laurelhurst, and Queen Anne).

We are continuing to sift through the proposed budget (.pdf) and will update this as we learn more.

There will be two public hearings about the 2012 budget. The first is October 4th, the second is October 26th. Both hearings are at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers (City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue). If you’d like to speak, sign in time is 5 p.m. The city council will be voting on the final budget in November.

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Fremont Coffee Shops Approach Wi-Fi Access Differently

September 27th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

By Mwiza Kalisa

Some coffee shops provide Wi-Fi to customers for free, but Fremont Coffee Company is trying something different.

Last year the company introduced a Wi-Fi code system that lasts up to three hours. Despite the time limit, the system is working well for the company and its Wi-Fi users.

Assistant Manager Brandon Mills says that the current passcode system is reliable. “I know there are things, like support, that go along with the system we have which is helpful,” he said. “If there’s ever a problem, there are people to get a hold of to ensure that our customers are happy and connected.”

The company has gone through three different Wi-Fi systems. In previous years customers could purchase a four-hour passcode which was administered by the coffee shop. At one point free Wi-Fi was provided to the neighborhood, but many customers complained about the poor service. “It crashed all the time and there wasn’t anything we could do about it,” Mills said. “Now it’s a better system all together.”

Grady Lemoine, a PhD student at UW, has seen the company go though the three systems over the years. Lemoine, who is a regular, typically spends 2 to 3 hours at the coffee shop. “This is the one that has worked best of the three,” he said. “It’s a small price to pay for Wi-Fi that is reliable.” When Lemoine goes over the three hours he says that the baristas are happy to provide a new code.

Caffé Vita, Starbucks and Caffé Ladro are among coffee shops that offer Wi-Fi with a purchase. “People like that we have Wi-Fi, it fills up quickly,” said Holly Walter, manager of Caffé Vita. Some have gone to different lengths to use the Wi-Fi service. Although it doesn’t happen often Walter says there are days when people pull up in their cars. “It’s like going to a restaurant and [only] ordering water,” she said.

“We’re here to make good coffee,” Walter added. “Internet is a bonus.”

Photo: Mwiza Kalisa

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Washington Poison Center Wine Tasting Fundraiser Oct. 7

September 27th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Mr. Yuk and Tracy Taylor of KING-5 News will be the hosts of the annual wine tasting to benefit the Washington Poiston Center. Guests will taste wine from around the world, sample hors d’oeuvres from Kaspars, and celebrate the winner of the annual award for a business that makes a difference in poison prevention, Umpqua Bank. There also will be a silent auction.

The event takes place at Fremont Studios on October 7th between 6:30 and 9:30 pm.

The Poison Center notes that it is more important than ever to get people to attend this year’s fundraiser because of unexpected budget cuts. Normally, 53 percent of its calls concern children younger than 5. This number is starting to edge up to nearly 60 percent.  Additionally, the calls from adults are becoming more serious in nature, which is problematic since poisoning is the No. 1 cause of accidental death in Washington state and has been since 2006.

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Help Bring Some FUN (Finding Urban Nature) To B.F. Day School

September 27th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

For almost 15 years, Seattle Audubon has provided the Finding Urban Nature (FUN) program for free at B. F. Day School and other schools around Seattle.

The FUN program introduces 3rd and 4th grade students to producers, consumers, and decomposers in their schoolyard habitat and how they depend on each other to survive.  Volunteer guides take a small group of up to six students outside to learn about their schoolyard habitat, first hand. Each classroom receives four different lessons in the fall and four more in the spring.

This year, B.F. Day is a looking for some volunteers to help with the program. Volunteers do not need any previous experience and training will be provided.

You can learn more about the program at their website. To find out how to become a volunteer, email the Elementary School Program Manager at

-Photo by Susan Yates

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Pecado Bueno Wants You To ‘Sin Well’

September 26th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

It was just weeks ago that Italian restaurant Rialto moved out of its long-time spot at 4307 Fremont Ave N. And almost as soon as they were out, work began for the new tenant.

That would be Pecado Bueno, which plans on opening sometime very soon (Fall 2011). According to their placeholder website, they’re not just here to serve food. They’re here to redefine the entire battle of Good vs. Evil (kinda)…

Sin, was it worth it? Can food be worth the wrath of god, Eve felt so, and haven’t we all tasted something that just might be worth a little wrath of god?

Organic, local, free range, no hormones & sustainably harvested products into the best tacos, burritos, enchilada etc. The best tasting items with the right ingredients cooked simply and correctly. Not to mention a Tequila bar…

Want to get a sneak peak (or sneak taste, as it were) of what Pecano Bueno is all about? The restaurant is hosting The Fremont Abbey Arts Center for a pre-grand opening party and benefit:

Our new neighbors across the street, Pecado Bueno, are throwing us a pre-grand opening dinner party full of delicious organic & natural Mexican food, drinks, and you! Apparently even beer and margaritas are included and the food is sustainable and hormone free. Bring your friends and your appetite.

RSVP here if you’re interested in attending. The event is 6-9pm, suggested donations are $10-15 and all proceeds go to help Fremont Abbey.

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Gay & Lesbian Slow Ride Speed Dating Event In Fremont

September 26th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Gay and lesbian cyclists looking for a date will have a chance to meet other bike lovers on Tuesday, October 4th.

Fremont cycle boutique, Hub and Bespoke, will host the second “Slow Ride Speed Date” event for local singles. Participants will pair up for 3-minute bike rides on a pre-set path through the Fremont neighborhood.

Riders will note the individuals they are interested in on provided booklets, and Hub and Bespoke will later notify each person of any matches.

The first speed date event in August was a success according to Hub and Bespoke co-founder, Aldan Shank.

“There were several matches and everyone said they had a great time. We’re excited to do it again, this time for our gay and lesbian friends.”

Shank says the event offers bike-riding singles a chance to meet people with similar interests and values.

Anyone interested in participating should email Spots are limited, and a bike is required. The event will start at 5:45pm at the Hub and Bespoke shop (513 N 36th St) and will conclude with a friendly mixer at a neighborhood venue. More details available on the Hub and Bespoke blog.

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Come Geek-Out In Fremont This Week

September 26th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Join Fremont Techie’s next Thursday for the September Meetup of the Fremont “Geek” Group,  monthly techie Meetup.

This month’s meeting takes place Thursday, September 29, between 7 – 9pm. This monthly meeting is a place for “Geeks” in Fremont to meet, network, share resources and get referrals in a relaxed social setting. The Group meets on the last Thursday of every month.

Meeting location is at the History House (790 N 34th St.) in the sculpture garden. There will be free wi-fi at the event, so feel free to bring a laptop, smart phone or other geeky devices. Pizza and beverages provided.

The event is free, donations to the Fremont Chamber will be accepted at the door.

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Oktoberfest Time In Fremont This Weekend

September 23rd, 2011 by Sean Keeley

Break out the lederhosen, Fremont Oktoberfest is finally here.

September 23rd – 25th, the Fremont fall tradition returns with plenty of beer, brats and entertainment to keep you busy all weekend long.

Here’s what you can expect all weekend long…

Tasting Garden – Tasting Garden admission include a 5oz tasting mug and tasting tokens to sample over 80 microbrews and german beers.

Buxom Beer Garden – Once you are done with your tasting and ready to sit down with a “Buxom” beer, the Tap House Grill Buxom Beer Garden is the place for you.

Musical Entertainment – Check out the line-up of musical acts that will be performing all weekend.

5K and Street Scramble – It’s a race to the beer garden in the 9th annual Fremont Oktoberfest 5K. Or if you’d rather take an “amazing race” around Fremont, the Scramble is for you.

There’s also plenty of fun going on in the Oktoberfest village or in one of the many lounges set up throughout. There’s even lots of activities for your pooch on Sunday, or “Dogtoberfest,” as you just knew they would call it.

For more info on the events, tickets and anything else, visit the official website.

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What’s New, Fremont? Taiji, Soup, Mulching & More…

September 21st, 2011 by Sean Keeley

A look around the neighborhood to catch some of the stories falling through the cracks…

Friends of Fremont Peak Park are hosting a work party on Sunday, October 2nd from 10 am to 1 pm. Get ready to do a little planting, a little weeding and some mulching (as well as having some fun). RSVP to

The Korner Kitchen checked in to let us know that their Fall/Winter menu will include Baked Potato Soup, Vegetarian Chili, Corn Chowder, Tomato Basil, White Chicken Chili, Red Chili, Southwest Chicken Fiesta, Country Mushroom & Sour Cream.

Incoming cookbook store The Book Larder gets previewed in the Seattle Weekly this week.

Eng3, a company that has developed new ways to improve how the human body responds to damage from free radical buildup, has recently moved into a facility near Fremont (4041 Roosevelt Way NE). Go say hi sometime.

Karin Collins Taijiquan & Qigong has a ton of new classes going on, including Balancing the Heart Qigong class, the Beginning Yang Style Long or Short Form class or the Taiji Workout—a great way to cross-train, work out & meditate all in one. Also, check out this video of their recent Taiji Retreat in Bandon, OR.

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WSDOT Sends An Aurora Bridge Progress Report

September 21st, 2011 by Sean Keeley

No doubt you have seen Massana Construction crews hard at work under the Aurora Bridge.  WSDOT thought it was time for a project update to let you know what’s going on and how long it will be happening.

To refresh your memory, contractor crews are working on phase three of a three-phase plan to retrofit the Aurora Avenue bridge to make it better withstand earthquakes. This current phase wraps support columns with FRP (fiber reinforced polymer), a specialized wrap that conforms to the unique cruciform (“+”-shaped) style for the columns that support the bridge.  In short, it allows Fremont to keep the look and feel of the historical period while satisfying the safety and earthquake needs that come with a modern structure.

If you are in the area, take a look at the column across from the Troll on 36th Street on the southwest corner. Crews just did a test section to see how it looks. It appears to have worked well. Now crews will wrap the other 14 columns on the north end and four columns on the south end with this specialized wrap.

We will be on this end of the bridge into early next year.

However…..we will suspend work and move our equipment for the Troll’s birthday on Halloween. We hear a lot of you Fremont folks like to help the Troll celebrate in costume. Maybe we’ll join you, dressed as a safety cone!

Images: WSDOT

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Nine Day Alaskan Way Viaduct Closure Coming

September 21st, 2011 by Sean Keeley

I know this isn’t specifically Fremont-related but something tells me you’re going to be affected one way or another…

Nearly 110,000 cars travel across the Alaskan Way Viaduct each day. Next month, those drivers will be pushed onto other streets as Washington Department of Transportation crews demolish the southern end of the Viaduct.

Starting on Friday, October 21st, the Viaduct will be closed for nine full days.

“The nine-day closure of the viaduct will significantly affect traffic across the Puget Sound region,” said Matt Preedy, WSDOT Alaskan Way Viaduct deputy program director. “We realize that not everyone can completely change their commute. But for those who have a choice, options such as vanpooling, carpooling or other forms of transportation can help you avoid long delays.”

Northbound closure details:

  • Northbound SR 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and South Royal Brougham Way will be closed around the clock from 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, to 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 31.
  • Northbound SR 99 between the South Royal Brougham Way on-ramp and the Battery Street Tunnel will be open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and for special events at CenturyLink Field.
  • Southbound closure details:

  • Southbound SR 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge will be closed around-the-clock from 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 to 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 31.
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    Moving Planet Bike Ride This Weekend

    September 20th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    This Saturday, September 24, is Moving Planet day, a worldwide rally to recognize and find solutions for climate change. In Seattle, the Cascade Bicycle Club is hosting a bike ride at 11 a.m. from the Wallingford Center to South Lake Union, where riders will find a bonanza of:

    …tasty food trucks, Undriving, music, Lake Union walks, a mini-boat regatta, climate phone apps, giant puppets, workshops on Moving Beyond Coal and Moving Beyond Oil with Earth Ministry, Sierra Club and Climate Solutions, hands-on classes on skateboarding with Skate Like A Girl, eBikes, bike hauling with Haulin Colin, Seattle Electric Vehicles, stand-up kayaking and much, much more. (from Cascade Bicycle Club)

    The event at South Lake Union is a event. is a grassroots environmental organization, working to educate people about climate change. The group is named 350 because the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 392 ppm, and climate scientists say that number needs to drop below 350 ppm.

    Moving Planet will last from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To learn more about specific events on tap, visit the website or Facebook page.

    Update: A group of kayakers will also be making their way to South Lake Union from Gas Works Park. If interested, contact to let them know if you’re joining. From the flyer, “Be prepared for lots of boats on South Lake Union. We will hug the west shore and each at the park, return at your convenience.”

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    Today is PARK(ing) Day

    September 16th, 2011 by Sean Keeley

    Around the world, people are celebrating PARK(ing) Day, where artists and community members temporarily transform parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces. According to Feet First, “Fifteen on-street parking spaces across Seattle, from Rainier Valley to Fremont neighborhoods (Bitters Co & Hub and Bespoke), will be occupied by public parks for the day between the hours of 9:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m.” Here is a map of Seattle’s participation.

    From the Seattle Department of Transportation:

    This year, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Latino City Employees with the help of Feet First are creating a park to raise awareness about important issues like creating a walkable, livable, healthy city and to kick-off the Latino Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15). We will have lawn games, chairs, music, and information about the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, SDOT services, and events to celebrate the Latino and Hispanic Heritage Month. Downtown employees and residents are invited to bring a lunch and join us on Fifth Avenue between Columbia and Marion in front of the Bank of America building between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

    PARK(ing) Day was started in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio. Last year, more than 800 “PARK” installations popped up in more than 180 cities in 30 countries on six continents. To learn more, visit the PARK(ing) Day site.

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