News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from August 2010

Man attacks bar patrons with broken glass

August 31st, 2010 by master

A fight inside a Fremont bar left several people with cuts after a man broke a bottle or glass and attacked them with it.  It happened just after midnight this past Saturday (8/28) at a bar (the name is redacted in the police report) in the 300 block of N 36th Street.

Police say the attacker got into a physical altercation with some people inside the bar, and then used the bottle or glass to hit multiple victims.  Some of the injured were taken to the hospital.  Officers arrested the suspect, who had been placed in a choke hold by security until police arrived.

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County studying options for trolley buses

August 31st, 2010 by master

While driving around Seattle, it’s hard not to notice the overhead wire that runs above about 70 miles of pavement in and around the city. King County Metro Transit has a fleet of 159 electric trolley buses that operate along those lines, which had 19.7 million boardings on its routes in 2009 – about one-fifth of Metro’s total average weekday ridership.

Photo courtesy of King County Metro Transit

Fremont riders are amongst the trolleys’ many riders with routes 44, which stops at North 45th Street and Stone Way.

The county needs to replace all 159 existing vehicles by 2015, with an order deadline at the end of 2012.

King County Executive Dow Constantine has sent the King County Council a plan for a proposed evaluation in its imminent replacement of this fleet. It focuses on the technology of electric trolleys and diesel-electric hybrid buses, with a goal toward finding the most fuel-efficient, best value for the system. The Trolley Bus System Evaluation is expected to continue through the middle of next year. It will explore the costs, impact on the environment, funding opportunities and legal issues.

Metro plans additional public meetings for discussion of the evaluation as results become available. The next one is in Mount Baker on Sept.13.

Metro has already conducted a preliminary evaluation of several potential propulsion systems, including electric trolley, diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, compressed natural gas, electric battery, and hydrogen fuel cells.

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Troubled hotels on Aurora up for auction

August 30th, 2010 by master

A few months ago, we told you about a plan to put some Aurora Avenue hotels up for sale as part of a plea agreement over tax violations.  Now, we’ve learned both the Italia Hotel and the Isabella Hotel in the 4100 block of Aurora will go on the auction block September 10. 

Photo of both hotels from Google street view
The Puget Sound Business Journal reports the asking prices are $1.15 million for the Isabella and $650,000 for the Italia.  It appears there are no non-profit groups who want to use the properties as low-income housing and that the hotels will be torn down and redeveloped.

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Man finds female burglar in his home

August 30th, 2010 by master

A Fremont man returned home to find a stranger inside his house.  It happened around 2pm this past Wednesday (8/25) in the 200 block of N. 45th Street.  As the man came into the home, a woman came down the stairs with bags and purses.  The woman told him she knew his wife and was supposed to be there, but couldn’t remember the name of his wife.  As the man started to call police, the woman begged the man not to turn her in.  She started taking stolen items out of the bags and purses and offered several apologies.  She then asked the man for food.  He gave her $5 and asked her to leave.

After she left the home, the man called police and gave them a description.  Officers thought it might be a woman they were familiar with.  They later found her at a bus stop at 46th and Phinney.  The homeowner identified the woman and police arrested her.

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Neighbors finish turtle street mural

August 29th, 2010 by master

Neighbors who live in and around the intersection of 41st Street and Interlake Avenue North woke up early — some prodded by their excited children — to finish a project that has connected them: a sprawling sea turtle street mural that will not only be a beautiful addition to their neighborhood but also, they hope, a deterrent to speeders.

As the neighborhood is on the flight path to Seatac airport, passengers will get a bright surprise if they happen to look down at the right time. They’ll see this:

“I’m relieved, but grateful to all the people in the community,” said retired Boeing engineer Bill Lindberg, who has lived in the neighborhood for almost 25 years and who spearheaded the project. “It proved to me how people come together in a community. It takes some coordination and effort. But everybody wants to contribute.”

Lindberg met many new neighbors in the petitioning process set up by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), which required the approval of neighbors who live along streets adjacent to the intersection.

Dozens of volunteers painted until about 7 p.m. last night and started again this morning around 9 a.m. Painting finished with the black outlines at about 4:30 p.m. Neighbors enjoyed a barbecue afterward, while kids jumped off their energy in a giant Blues Clues bouncy ball set-up provided by Brian Eaton, a firefighter who worked a 24-hour shift yesterday and spent all day today painting alongside his wife Kathy and their two young sons, Cooper and Mason, who all painted yesterday.

Cooper Eaton waits for more paint from Michael Sauer, pouring into a container held by Bill Lindberg

Kate Gengo (shown below) moved to Seattle from her native New York city and has lived in the neighborhood for four years. As a single woman, she hasn’t had too many opportunities to get to know her neighbors, who tend to be busy families. But getting involved with the project has changed that.

“This is the only way I’m able to meet my neighbors on a personal level,” said Gengo, who is studying to be an elementary school teacher. She is an avid gardener who has chatted with folks on their way to Wallingford Park as she’s worked outside.

Working side by side with her neighbors and their kids on the mural has been a memorable experience for her.

“I love to see kids problem solving, how they think creatively,” she said.

Adults tagged female progeny with special praise.

“The little girls work from dawn to dusk,” said Rachel Marcotte, the artist who came up with the design and who oversaw the chalking and painting. “They’re focused. Workaholics!”

Halle Sauer, 8, who was the first to think of making the design a turtle and who helped paint the turtle’s head and shell, as well as a leaf, has already given the new neighborhood pet a nickname: “Bubbles.”

Marcotte said its real name is “Arthur William,” in deference to Lindberg’s name.
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More turtle mural photos

August 28th, 2010 by master

The sun came out strong Saturday afternoon as volunteers from the neighborhood continued to turn the intersection of 41st Street and Interlake Avenue North into a massive turtle mural.

Families worked side by side in adding paint to the chalk outlines made earlier today, after hours of sweeping, cleaning and pressure washing to make the street canvas as pristine as possible.

Painting will continue Sunday.

Kathy Eaton, (pictured above painting with her 4-and-half-year-old son Mason wearing a turtle on his shirt) has lived in a house on the corner of this intersection for 7 years with her firefighter husband, Mason and older son 7-year-old Cooper. She’s glad for the project that has connected so many of her neighbors, who also hope the mural slows motorists down.

“We see a lot of cars go speeding down this intersection,” she said. “I’ve seen some bikers hit.”

Rebecca Aldrich (left) & her mother, turtle artist Rachel Marcotte, a botanical and wildlife illustrator with a degree in design, share a light moment as they mark areas that need to be painted white

Wendy Sauer and younger daughter Halle fill in spaces between the lines with white paint

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Street intersection transforms into a colorful turtle mural

August 28th, 2010 by master

Our sister site, My Wallingford, gave us the heads-up about the turtle street painting today and tomorrow at the intersection at Interlake and 41st Street, in an area that overlaps Wallingford and Fremont, just a block east of Stone Way.

The streets are officially closed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow.

Today, the process of turning a street into a mural began in earnest, with dozens of neighbors organized by retired Boeing engineer Bill Lindberg joining Maple Leaf artist Rachel Marcotte (pictured below directing Lindberg, upper right corner) at 6 a.m. this morning to sweep years of leaves and dirt away from the intersection. Marcotte’s son-in-law, Kevin Byers, operated a pressure washer to clean the surface afterward. By 10 a.m., Marcotte and other artists, including her jewelry-making daughter Rebecca Aldrich, were outlining the design with chalk. Later, they will chalk in the colors that can be filled in by volunteers, paint-by-numbers style. The painting will take place this afternoon and tomorrow.

The Neighborhood Traffic section of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has provided oversight and coordination to help bring this street mural to life, including approving the quick-drying, water-based and non-toxic highway paint that will be used for the mural. Grit will be mixed into the paint to make it more durable. The mural is funded in part by the city’s Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund and will be repainted annually — though it won’t be as labor intensive as this initial work.

Neighbor Michael Sauer rose early with his wife Wendy and their two daughters, 8-year-old Ella and 6-year-old Halle, to help on the project, which has brought the neighbors together.

They came onto the project a few months ago after taking a walk past the ladybug street mural at 49th Street and Burke. They commented on it to Lindberg, saying it’d be a good thing for their own neighborhood and Ella said, “What about a turtle?”

From her initial suggestion, Lindberg moved forward.

“We were all kind of gung ho. Bill listened and his response was, ‘Let’s do that!'” Sauer said.

“Bill knows how to break a huge thing into smaller tasks,” Marcotte said.

“The purpose of this is to acquaint neighbors to each other better and make children feel pride in something they’ve helped create for the community,” said Lindberg, who’s lived in the neighborhood since 1986.

While it’s a coincidence that the design chosen was a turtle, neighbors do think it is a fitting image for the intersection and hope it encourages drivers to ease up on the gas pedal.

“We noticed people slowed down at the ladybug,” Sauer said. “At times during the day people just fly through here. I’m surprised there are not more accidents. In our minds, we feel it’ll make a difference.”

Rebecca Aldrich (right)

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Intersection closed today and tomorrow

August 28th, 2010 by master

Over the weekend, a turtle will take over the intersection of Interlake Avenue N and N 41st Street — at least in chalk, on the pavement.

The intersection will be closed from 9 a.m. to approximately 7 p.m. today and tomorrow.

The Neighborhood Traffic section of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has provided oversight and coordination to help bring this street mural to life this weekend, which has been months with the making in planning by the neighborhood and Bill Lindberg, the resident who spear-headed the project, and the artist, Rachel Marcotte. The mural is funded in part by the city’s Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund.

In order to prepare the “street canvas,” on Saturday the street will be pressure washed, brush scrubbed and then the design will be chalk out-lined. On Sunday the artwork will be re-chalked, painted and dried. At least 50 neighbors are expected to lend a hand to the work effort.

We’ll be there in a bit and show you the work in progress.

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Seattle’s Technology Board in search of new members

August 27th, 2010 by master

Readers, we think you’re among the pool Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Council need to tap into as they seek candidates for the Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) for terms beginning in January.

Members would help shape city technology and city government telecommunications policies.

The City seeks five new members who reflect a broad range of diversity, professional and community experience. Here’s the information they sent us:

The 10-member board advises City officials on issues of community-wide interest relating to telecommunications and technology, including broadband, digital divide issues, open government and community technology applications, online public engagement, and cable television.

Members serve a two-year term, must reside in Seattle and serve without compensation.

Participation in the CTTAB requires attendance at monthly meetings (second Tuesday of each month) and participation in at least one sub-committee that meets monthly. Board members also attend and participate in infrequent relevant public meetings and events.

To be considered, send a letter of interest and a resume outlining your experience by September 28, 2010 to In keeping with the City’s “Paper Cuts” program, electronic submissions are preferred, though paper applications will also be accepted.

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Seattle Art Walks web site links 13 neighborhoods

August 27th, 2010 by master

Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata has launched Seattle Art Walks, a neighborhood resource web page highlighting 13 art walks throughout Seattle.

The web site includes a map of Seattle surrounded with links to neighborhood-sponsored art walks. Fremont First Fridays are among the 13 art walks. The others include: Ballard, Upper Queen Anne, Belltown, Pioneer Square, West Seattle, Greenwood-Phinney, Wallingford, Madison Valley, Capitol Hill, Central District, Chinatown-International District and Georgetown.

Licata, long time chair of the Seattle City Council committee overseeing arts, highlighted the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ Creative Vitality Index. This 2007 data ranked Seattle’s overall creative vitality at roughly six times the national average.

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