News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Entries from February 2015

Fremont Abbey Arts Center Opens New Venue in Ballard

February 28th, 2015 by master

The non-profit arts organization Abbey Arts celebrates the opening of a new community venue in NW Ballard it is curating. The new space, known as the Ballard Homestead is located on Jones Ave NW just north of NW 65th Ave. Built in 1923 the new nonprofit venue has been renovated to “host to a variety of distraction-free acoustic concerts and cultural events for people of all ages and incomes.”

This cozy new home-like venue will be host to many small concerts including bluegrass, acoustic, folk and family events. With a beautiful new space, the Seattle community can enjoy a show in an intimate setting with a great full sound. There are many opportunities to bring the young ones along as well. The downstairs area features a living room filled with games like foosball, pool shuffle ball, corn toss, air hockey, creative arts making and more.

The Opening Night will take place March 7th with a celebration from 4-9pm including performances, details below. Abbey Arts will curate events and performances at the Ballard Homestead. Upcoming events are listed on the Abbey Arts website or the Ballard Homestead Facebook page. Folk artist Kris Delmhorst will perform at the Ballard Homestead on March 13.

On March 7th all are welcome to stop by and enjoy music, arts and fun activities at the Ballard Homestead.


4-6p Family Fun & open house with tours, live music, art making, games. (FREE)

7-9pm Acoustic music & arts performances ($5-10 donation)

 All ages, all incomes.

6541 Jones Ave NW in Ballard. Free street parking and lot 1 block east on 23rd.

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A “Wake” Up Call for Fremont

February 27th, 2015 by master

3631 Linden Ave N

Last Saturday’s “Wake for Fremont’s Affordable  Rental Houses” invited community members to mourn and learn about the increasing number of rental and historic homes being demolished in Fremont. Despite the tempting sunshine, guests assembled at the Fremont Baptist Church filling approximately half of the pews. Guests were invited to dress in mourning attire and touches of black throughout the crowd including several black hats and a boa showed both a serious and playful approach.

Organizer Leo Griffin opened with the ground rules, “Be civil, be brief, and be respectful of grief.” Griffin’s open welcome and lack of microphone lent a casual atmosphere to the proceedings. He delivered a brief “sermon” explaining why organizers chose to host a wake rather than a more traditional civic gathering. Griffin noted the increasing number of single family homes being “scrapped for increased density” in a neighborhood that had provided affordable rents for more than fifty years. He observed there is little protection for current low and middle cost housing, concluding “the neighbors are upset.” The wake intended to mourn the historical homes already lost in the process and discuss an important community issue.

Concerns ranged from the affect on Fremont’s property values and taxes to losing an eclectic neighborhood that singles of all ages, families, and retirees can afford. As with other Seattle neighborhoods Fremont has already exceed growth targets set forth in the Urban Village Strategy. Those tracking the changes in Fremont estimate the area is currently losing two historical houses a month. Griffin feels Fremont is not fighting for the “right” kind of growth and acknowledges this is not an issue neighbors can solve themselves, that is where the Fremont Neighborhood Council comes in. He concludes that it is a “difficult and emotional issue” which will be reflected on throughout the wake.

Next, readers took turns reading profiles of the historic homes being mourned. Griffin kicked things off, “I am 3625 Linden Avenue N, I was built in 1890.” 

3625 Linden Ave N

Each description included the address, estimated year built, and a summary of residents. Some houses had extensive records and stories about residents, others remained a mystery. The first six houses presented, referred to as the “Linden Ave Six” are currently impacted by a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Appeal filed by the Fremont Neighborhood Council.

The next speaker, Fremont Neighborhood Council member and resident since 1973 Toby Thaler is on the organization’s Land Use Committee. One of his tasks is to make heads or tails of the proposed land use action notices which are increasingly common signage in Fremont. While reviewing the notices for three proposed projects on Linden Ave, a block from the Fremont Troll and the Fremont Baptist Church, Thayer noticed all together the projects would replace a whole row of houses built between 1890 and 1950. Upon further investigation he became increasingly concerned about the impact these projects would have on Linden Ave and the neighborhood.

One project will demolish two homes, both built before 1902 with eight town house units and a surface parking spot for each unit. The project next door will demolish one house from 1950 and another built in 1900 with a 3-story structure containing 35 residential units. The last project will demolish two homes built in 1906 to build another 3-story structure with 35 residential units.

The last two projects caught Thayer’s eye as the plan to add 70 residential units, where there were previously 10 units, does not include any additional parking. The projects were also not subject to a design review. All three projects are currently delayed by the SEPA appeal although only one project is directly being appealed. Thayer continues to pursue the SEPA appeal for the Fremont Neighborhood Council, there is a hearing tentatively scheduled for March 2nd.

Clearly familiar with the appeal and a long-time member of the Land Use Committee, Thayer spoke confidently, informing the new and familiar audience members about the appeal. He expressed concern that the “cumulative effects will overwhelm the neighborhood.” Despite speaking frankly about the appeal process Thayer also touched on the emotional aspects of the issue. He passionately stated, “if we had real neighborhood planning we wouldn’t have to be at a wake for these houses.”

Following the SEPA update the readings resumed. Volunteers presented nine more historical houses for a total of 15 examples. Six houses have already been demolished. The last historical building introduced was not a house but the former Fremont Tile Company Building located on the corner of N 35th Street and Evanston. Currently the building is a two-story structure containing retail space and apartments. This will be another significant upcoming project proposed for Fremont. Currently under design review, the project proposes demolishing the 100 year old building and replacing it with a six-story structure containing 45 residential units and retail space on the ground floor.

Fremont Neighborhood Council President Stephanie Pure reading 3635 Phinney Ave N (to be demolished)

Following the presentation comments were welcomed from the audience. Current and past community members stood up and expressed outrage, despair, and anger over recent changes in Fremont. Others offered encouragement, appreciation for the organizers, and suggestions of additional resources. The crowd appeared largely sympathetic but concerns varied from affordable rents, the character of the community, and the fate of Fremont’s historical houses.

The upcoming municipal elections were mentioned, development and increasing rent are expected be a campaign issue, and several City Council candidates were present. Current Speaker of the Washington House of Representatives, Frank Chopp attended and spoke briefly at the end of the wake. In addition to currently representing the area, Chopp is a resident of Wallingford and the former executive director of Fremont Public Association (now Solid Ground). A representative for Nickel Bros, house relocation specialists or a self-described “house adoption agency”, attended to assess the plausibility of saving the “Linden Ave Six” by relocating the homes in lieu of demolition.

The Fremont Neighborhood Council is eager to hear about any cases of tenant relocation or possible demolition (especially before a house is demolished while records are still available). The group intends to keep tracking the changes and following proposed projects. Members of both the Fremont Neighborhood Council and Fremont Historical Society expressed a desire to see Fremont’s history and diverse community be carried on as Fremont continues to grow.

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Fremont Integrative Health Center Open House 3/1

February 26th, 2015 by master

The Fremont Integrative Health Center with Dr. Pujari hosts an Open House this Sunday March 1st between noon and 2:30pm. Located at 3601 Fremont Ave N in Suite 412 the Health Center offers acupuncture, massage, and integrative health care.

Come meet our talented and varied natural health practitioners and enjoy some healthy refreshments with us!

We welcome you to tour our beautiful space and learn about the many services we offer, ranging from Massage by Intuitive Bodywork, to Bio and Neuro-Feedback, Reiki, Mental Health Counseling, Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy and more!

Sample surprisingly healing snacks and take home the recipes, courtesy of one of our Naturopathic Doctors!

Enter our raffle when you arrive to win a gift certificate for our wide range of natural health services!

Some of our practitioners will be offering 15-minute sample treatments for a suggested donation of just $10! Come find the healing potential of a modality you may have not considered in the past.


You can also visit the Fremont Integrative Health Center’s Facebook page for more information.


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Crisis Clinic at Northgate Seeking Volunteers

February 26th, 2015 by master

Crisis Clinic, a non-profit organization based in Seattle that “connects people in physical, emotional and financial crisis to services that will be of help” is seeking volunteers for several programs. Since 1964 when community members came together to provide support for those in crisis, Crisis Clinic has grown and evolved to serve youth and adults in Seattle-King County, WA including King County 2-1-1.


 Crisis Clinic offers telephone-based crisis intervention and information and referrals to community services for youth and adults in Seattle-King County, WA. We offer emotional support to those in crisis or considering suicide through our 24-Hour Crisis Line. For youth we offer Teen Link, a teen answered help line. King County 2-1-1 offers information and referrals to community services based on our database of more than 5,000 services. The Washington Recovery Help Line is a state wide service offering emotional support and linkage to substance abuse, problem gambling and mental health services to anyone in Washington State. Our Washington Warm Line is a peer-answered help line for people living with mental illness.

Crisis Clinic serves as a lifeline for over 250,000 individuals and families in crisis each year. Join our caring, compassionate community of volunteers by helping:

  • Answer calls on the 24-Hour Crisis Line, WA Recovery Help Line, or WA Warm Line
  • Respond online via Crisis Chat
  • Supervise youth volunteers with Teen Link
  • Make quality assurance calls for King County 2-1-1

To hear more from our volunteers, you can watch our short video on Vimeo: “Crisis Clinic: 50 Years Helping Lives on the Line.”

Volunteer benefits include:

  • The opportunity to truly make a difference and help save lives
  • Professional training and supervision
  • Variety of schedules to meet your needs
  • Convenient Northgate location with free parking and close proximity to public transit
  • Caring community of Crisis Clinic staff and volunteers to support you!

To learn more, please call Crisis Clinic at (206) 461-3210 ext. 697 or visit our Volunteer page online at:

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The Pocket Theater presents Phil Schallberger: ULTRA SHOWBERGER

February 25th, 2015 by master

The Pocket Theater presents Phil Schallbeger of Portland, OR in Ultra Showberger on Saturday February 28th at 8:30pm. The show is a  “hyper-absurd solo comedic performance by Phil Schallberger. Mixes old theater advertisements, hair-brained Swiss futurism, questionable puppetry, and powerpoint-t.v. in to a very unique, very loved comedic experience.”
Fremont Universe previously featured The Pocket Theater during the organization’s nomadic era presenting shows at venues throughout Seattle including Fremont’s West of Lenin. Since then The Pocket Theater established a home of its own on Greenwood Ave N and N 84th Street where performances, classes, and workshops take place.

Show Description – Ultra Showberger is one of the most fast-paced, absurd, semi-sensical shows around. The show combines powerpoint, chaos, and games for a very unique and hilarious experience. Performed entirely by Phil Schallberger, the show is a completely anti-biographical collage of broken characters and questionable “puppets” that will defy expectation with an aesthetic described as “catastrophically and inspirationally cheap”. This-one-of-a-kind show will only be here for a single night before evaporating into the ether of memory, so don’t miss out!

The Pocket Theater is located at 8312 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle. Performances are $10 online and $14 at the door. Online sales close at 4pm on the day of show.


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Climb for Clean Air Free Info Meeting at the Fremont Library Tonight

February 24th, 2015 by master


At 6pm this evening the American Lung Association hosts a free info meeting about the Climb for Clean Air program. The meeting will take place at the Fremont Branch of the Seattle Public Library on N 35th Street. The Climb for Clean Air is in its 25th year and will take place from June 15, 2015 – August 6, 2015. The info meeting will cover the information below and more.

Climb For Clean Air is an exclusive mountaineering training and fundraising program designed to give you the training, technical support, and guide services you need to summit these magnificent mountains safely. Climb For Clean Air is open to people of all levels who are ready to take on the challenge of summiting a mountain.

Funds raised by participants will support the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific’s mission of saving lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.  As part of your training, you will receive personalized, one-on-one, fundraising support.

Image from Climb For Free website

This event is open to people of all skill levels who are ready to take on the challenge of summiting a mountain.  . We will provide you with training hike opportunities to insure you’re prepared to summit the mountain.  These are led by previous Climb For Clean Air participants who will offer guidance every step of the way. Most participants will be novice climbers who want to achieve this dream in a team setting with no prior climbing experience. Together, your team will train, motivate one another and provide important advice to make your climb as fun as possible.

On your climb, you will be led by highly trained professional alpine guides from Timberline Mountain Guides (Mt. Hood & Mt. Adams) or Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (Mt. Rainier).

Event Statistics:

  • Over 1,400 climbers have participated with us
  • Raised over $5 million for the American Lung Association
  • Celebrating 28 years in 2015

Find out more or

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PSBJ Features Latest Fremont Development Project

February 24th, 2015 by master

Earlier this month the Puget Sound Business Journal published an article about the new office building project which will include retail spaces and an underground parking garage. The project site is located along N 34th Street and Troll Ave N

As this development affects several businesses and organizations including the popular Milstead Coffee, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, and the History House we will continue to share and provide coverage as the project progresses.

Read the full article, “It’s back to the future for Seattle property developer with a golden touch” by Marc Stiles

CoU Limited Liability Co. sketch. Retrieved from PSBJ


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Free Tax Help Available At Select Library Branches

February 23rd, 2015 by master

The Seattle Public Library, United Way of King County, and AARP offer free tax assistance at 10 Seattle Public Library locations. At each location trained volunteers can help answer tax questions and complete personal (no business tax returns) tax returns. Most of these appointments are available only on a Drop-In basis.

The SPL highly recommends checking the Tax Help Calendar before visiting a location.

While the Fremont branch is not one of the locations hosting tax assistance here are the branches closest to Fremont that are:

Ballard Branch

Feb. 2 through April 13

  • 2:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. Monday
  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Thursday
Greenwood Branch

Feb. 3 through April 14

  • 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday
Queen Anne Branch

Feb. 4 through April 15

  • Noon – 4:45 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday


Required Documents

To receive tax help, bring the following documents:

  • Photo identification (required)
  • Social Security cards for everyone listed on the tax return
  • Tax form SSA 1099 (Social Security benefits)
  • Medicare card (if Social Security number is followed by an “A”)
  • Official documents on Social Security Administration letterhead
  • Last year’s tax return, if available
  • All tax-related documents, such as W-2s and 1099s. Be prepared to provide information about health care coverage for each person on the return.

Photocopies or computer print-outs of any of these documents will not be accepted.

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StoryBook Theater presents Cinderella at Hale’s Palladium

February 22nd, 2015 by master

StoryBook Theater will perform a family-friendly version of Cinderella next Saturday March 7th with an all local cast. This is the group’s first performance at Hale’s Ales Palladium with two shows at 11am or 1pm. A second Seattle show will take place on Sunday March 8th at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

In Cinderella, Cinderella dreams of going to the ball to see the castle and meet the prince, but her jealous stepmother makes her daydream a living nightmare. With the help of her zany Fairy Godmother, and in true StoryBook style, Cindy and her plump pumpkin race to make her wish come true!

Since 1998, StoryBook Theater has introduced young children in the Puget Sound area to live theater with original, interactive musicals written especially for 3-10 year olds and their families. StoryBook Theater shows are hilarious, 55-minute musicals filled with music, laughter, whimsical costumes and quirky characters, guaranteed to delight the entire family.

Cinderella is recommended for ages 3 and up. Tickets are $11 and available here, group discounts are available over the phone.

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Tomorrow: A Wake for Fremont’s Affordable Rental Houses

February 20th, 2015 by master

This Saturday February 21st the Fremont Neighborhood Council and the Fremont Historical Society invite members of the community and any interested parties to an unconventional wake. Organizers hope the mournful event, to be held at the Fremont Baptist Church, will draw attention to the decline of rental houses in the neighborhood. The event can be followed on Twitter under #FremontHouseWake.

A Wake for Fremont’s Affordable Rental Houses

The Fremont neighborhood will be hosting a wake for Fremont’s Affordable Rental Houses on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. at Fremont Baptist Church, 717 North 36th Street, Seattle. Over the last two years the Fremont neighborhood has lost a great number of the neighborhood’s rental houses, many of which were older homes built before the 1930s. This event will spotlight more than a dozen of these homes that have been demolished or are planned for demolition. This event is sponsored by the Fremont Neighborhood Council and the Fremont Historical Society.

Join with neighbors to mourn this loss of historical heritage, housing diversity, green space and affordability. Learn the details of the housing inventory that has been demolished and the stories of the families that lived there. Find out how you can contribute to upcoming efforts that stop this loss of affordability.

“Neighbors are concerned about the changing face of Fremont,” said Fremont Neighborhood Council President Stephanie Pure. “This is an opportunity to draw attention to this issue. The Fremont Neighborhood Council has taken the unusual step of filing a SEPA (State Environmental Protection Act) appeal on one of the projects. We encourage residents to come hear about that appeal.”

“The Fremont Historical Society (FHS) is dedicated to building awareness and appreciation of the history of a unique and early Seattle neighborhood”, said Judie Clarridge, volunteer, Fremont Historical Society. “We think it is important to tell the stories of these houses and the people who lived in them. Fremont has been fortunate that many historic buildings have been preserved and are in use today, but residents are concerned that the current pace of new construction may mean the loss of older houses and commercial buildings that give Fremont its character and economic diversity. We think this event will be a good opportunity for discussion on this important issue.

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