News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from April 2009

Arrests made in restaurant robbery

April 30th, 2009 by master

Three people have been arrested more than two weeks after a restaurant was robbed in the 400 block of N 35th. Police say that on April 15th at about 2 a.m., the night manager was closing up when two males and a female came in. They had bandanas over their faces, baggy sweatshirts and one of the suspects had a handgun. They forced the manager to the back office and tied him up before robbing the place. The manager called 911 after the trio left. Detectives tracked down and arrested a 29-year-old man in the U-District on April 29th. The man gave up information about the accomplices, a 22-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl. Both were both arrested. The to men were booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Robbery. The girl has been released to her mother.

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3 ‘probable’ swine flu cases, school closes

April 29th, 2009 by master

Updated: Public health officials report three “probable” swine flu cases in Seattle, one being an 11-year-old boy who attends Madrona K-8. My Ballard reader Jennifer said the school started notification calls late Wednesday alerting parents of the possible case. “It is important to know that the student did NOT attend school during the time that he would have been contagious,” a message on Seattle Schools’ website explains. “Out of an abundance of caution, Madrona K-8 will be closed for 7 days.” All other schools remain open. Public health is not revealing where the other two ill people work or live, only to say it’s in the City of Seattle. All three people are improving. More details and swine flu information in this press release from public health, and we’ll keep you updated of any impact here in our neighborhood.

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Penguins on the March – call for artists

April 27th, 2009 by master

Glitzy, bedazzled and dressed up penguins will soon be marching through Seattle. In anticipation of the new Humbolt Penguin exhibit at Woodland Park, the zoo is looking for artists of all ages and artistic talents to help decorate 22-inch fabricated penguins. Applications must be submitted by this Thursday, April 30th. Artists have the month of May to create their penguins before they start “migrating” from the Space Needle through Fremont, Ballard and Greenwood-Phinney to the zoo during the month of June. The Greenwood Collective will be offering free penguin painting workshops. You can get more information here.

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Fremont to get more ‘green bike lanes’

April 24th, 2009 by master

As more and more people jump on their bikes, the city is working to make it easier for them to get around Seattle.

As part of the Bicycle Master Plan, Seattle is adding 35 miles of bike lanes and 20 miles of signed bike lanes. Fremont is on the list of neighborhoods to get “green bike lanes” like the one just south of the Fremont Bridge. These lanes are to give drivers a visual indication that the bike lane is there. They are put at conflict areas where bikes and cars cross. Nearby, Wallingford is getting more “sharrows” which are double arrows and a bicycle painted on the road to warn drivers that bikes and cars are sharing the road. Greenlake is also getting “sharrows” and “green bike lanes.”


Lenin poems read in Fremont

April 17th, 2009 by master

The “Art on the Ridge” program at the Phinney Center tonight has been cancelled, so the scheduled readings of The Lenin Poems has been changed to the Lenin Statue in Fremont, at 7 p.m. The Lenin Poems idea was conceived by poet/artist A. K. “Mimi” Allin (aka The Poetess at Green Lake) as a way to find out what Fremont residents think of the giant Lenin statue in front of the Space Building.

Read the full post from PhinneyWood earlier this week.

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Fashionistas to descend on Fremont

April 16th, 2009 by master

Over the next few nights, Seattle’s fashion-forward elite will strut the catwalk. Seattle Fashion Week starts Thursday night at Fremont Studios. The event includes an Independent Designers Showcase on Thursday, Friday night is the Urban Retailers show and Saturday is the grand finale with the Couture Finale Fashion Show. All the shows are for those 21 and older and start at 7 p.m. For ticket information click here.


McPhee’s prepares to move a bazillion things

April 11th, 2009 by master

For 10 years, Ballard residents have been able to stroll down to Market Street and buy everything from a giant shrunken head for $250 to hundreds of tiny treasures for $19.95 a quart at Archie McPhee’s, the wonderfully wacky, tacky store that caters to our inner child.

But, they lost their lease, so McPhee’s is packing up and heading to Wallingford, and they’re saying goodbye to some of the store’s larger fixtures that just won’t fit in the new space. Shelving, racks, an old dentist’s chair, a life-size medieval archer and a custom-built pop-up cake that did a booming business as a rental – all are for sale.

“Usually it’s a hairy man in a coconut bra jumping out of the cake,” Shana, the store manager, explains of the cake that’s now for sale for $1,500. “It’s usually more funny than saucy.”

So, once the big items are sold, how in the world will Shana and her crew pack up the estimated 10,000 different items for the 2.4-mile move to the corner of 45th and Stone Way?

Since they’ll be consolidating from two buildings into one about the size of their main building in Ballard, they’ve had to pick only the finest fixtures for the new store. And they’re packing up their storeroom behind building number two and sending it all up to the main office and warehouse in Mukilteo, where their parent company, Accoutrements, conducts its wholesale and shipping business.

McPhee’s just got the keys to their new building, a former liquor store, on April 3, so first they’ll start painting inside and out. They’ve already painted all the pegboard in four vibrant colors: pink, orange, turquoise and green. “It’ll be nice and bright,” Shana says.

Shana and her staff made a diagram of the new space and spent hours moving around little pictures of fixtures and products, trying to make it all fit.

They numbered all the displays and have packing boxes with corresponding numbers, so they can put items into a numbered box and unpack it on the right display in Wallingford – meaning no rubber chickens or Jesus action figures should go astray.

Some displays may be moved without taking items off – if it has wheels they can just wheel it up and into a truck. For others, they will literally just take the steel peg full of products off the pegboard, put the whole thing into a box, then pull it out and put it on its new fixture.

One thing they haven’t quite figured out is how to display the employee-decorated ceiling tiles from their second building.

“The ceiling is not the same at the new store, but we’ll figure out a way to display them. All the staff was very concerned about taking the ceiling tiles,” Shana says.

The move will start happening as soon as the painting is done, but Shana can’t nail down a time frame. She says they’ll stay open in Ballard and start moving fixtures and product slowly until there’s more stuff at the Wallingford store than in Ballard. Then they’ll close for hopefully just a day or two to move the cash registers and the rest of the inventory, before putting out the welcome sign in Wallingford.

“A lot of people will be very happy because we’re going to be very cramped, much like we used to be in the old space on 35th and Stone Way,” Shana says. “Believe me, it is going to be crammed. It’s going to be crazy. As we say, it’s going to be luscious.”

Oh, and the medieval archer? He’s all yours for just $599.

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Events for Friday and the weekend

April 3rd, 2009 by master

Some notable events happening tonight and into the weekend…

  • The Fremont First Art Walk runs this evening, 6 to 9 p.m. Among the exhibits is an exhibition featuring 22 artists’ interpretation of the old Bridge Motel and the new homes that replaced it. (Photo above by Todd Bates.)
  • Up on the Ridge, the Phinney Neighborhood Association is hosting “Reptile Man” Saturday at 10:30 a.m. It’s part of an educational series called “Ridge Romp,” and the kids can see (and even touch) snakes and other reptiles.
  • Saturday night in Fremont, the folks who bring you the Solstice Parade are throwing a fundraiser called the Carnival of the Sun, with music, drinks, performances and a sneak peek into this year’s parade. It runs 7 p.m. to midnight on April 4th at 716 N 34th St. $10 entry.

For live music, check out the calendars for the Tractor Tavern, Sunset Tavern, The Bit Saloon, High Dive, Conor Byrne, Egan’s Ballard Jam House and Nectar. As always, check out our events calendar. And if you have an event to add, just email us at and we’ll post it in the calendar.

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Power project to disrupt traffic, parking

April 3rd, 2009 by master

Over the next four months, Seattle City Light crews will be replacing the wooden power poles that line both sides of the Ship Canal with stronger steel poles. They’ll also replace the high voltage lines. Explains City Light:

It will involve a number of trucks and staging of equipment on both the Queen Anne and Fremont sides of the canal, primarily near Warren Ave. N. along Nickerson St. on the Queen Anne side and Phinney Ave. N. by N. 34th on the Fremont side. There will be safety buffer areas beneath the towers during the time workers are overhead, including occasional closures of a portion of the Burke-Gilman Bike Trail.

City Light said the $444,000 project will result in short-term traffic and parking disruptions as well as “very little interruption of electrical power,” and residents will be warned in advance with specific details. We’ll pass them along as we receive them here at Fremont Universe.

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The gateway to Fremont in 1961

April 3rd, 2009 by master

The Seattle Municipal Archives has some very cool old neighborhood photos, like this one looking toward Fremont from the Fremont Bridge in 1961.

Ah, simpler times. You can see the Fremont Tavern on the left, where Peet’s Coffee is today. And the Chicken Basket Cafe on the right. Here’s it is today:

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