News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Breaking: Gasworks Park Attack Foiled

September 2nd, 2017 by Sara

From our friends at Safe Seattle:

Safe Seattle community member Bob MacDonald writes that he witnessed and intervened in an attack on a woman in Gasworks Park this morning, at about 8 AM. This incident has been reported to the Seattle Police Department.

MacDonald saw a young woman entering the grassy area on the west side of the park from Northlake Way. She was walking through the area when she was accosted by a shirtless and shoeless man who was acting erratically, as if he were under the influence of drugs. As MacDonald says:

“I was about 20 yards away when I first began observing this incident. The attacker appeared to be trying to steal the woman’s backpack. When she wouldn’t let go, he pulled her closer and then grabbed her around the waist with both arms and tackled her to the ground. He then pinned her down and threatened her with some kind of object or weapon. I couldn’t see what it was.

At this point an employee of a rental bike company who’d been loading bikes onto a truck approached me and asked if anyone was going to call 911. He said, ‘I don’t think they know each other.’ Then he left.

I called 911 and continued to observe. A man from the Parks Department drove a white pickup truck out to the middle of the grassy area where the attacker and victim were struggling, and this caused the attacker to break off and confront the Parks guy, who had gotten out of his truck. I think the craziness of the assailant took the Parks guy off guard because he retreated back into his truck and left.

The attacker then went back to the victim and began shouting at her, swinging the backpack he was carrying and grabbing at her. He did this for about five minutes while I followed and talked to 911. He physically attacked her again in the grassy area to the east of the parking lot and I intervened and drew him away. A couple witnesses shouted for her to run and find some people to be around, but instead she went east out of the park and followed the trail along Northlake Way where it leads into some overgrown brush.

The attacker followed her back in there, and I didn’t want to pursue him at first because of the chance he’d corner me. But the 911 dispatcher told me the police were still two minutes away, and I didn’t want to let the victim out of my sight, so I decided to go down that path after them. When I found them, the attacker had the woman on the ground, just out of sight of the road. And now he was actually hitting her in the head. She started screaming as I approached. When I was about five feet away, the attacker noticed me and jumped up and came at me, trying to threaten me. I stepped around him and got between them and told the woman to go back into the park and find some people to help, which she did. The last time I saw her, she was running over the grassy hills to the east of the parking lot headed back into Gasworks Park.

I turned and left the brushy area and the attacker followed me out into the roadway (Northlake), threatening to fight me. I don’t think he really wanted to fight someone who would fight back, because at one point I almost threw a punch at him and I think he knew it. I said something like, “She’s gone now, dude; it’s over,” and he realized I was right and just turned around and walked east on Northlake.

He sat down on the curb next to the street and a University cop pulled up and walked over to him. The suspect immediately launched himself at the cop. They struggled briefly and the attacker broke free and fled. The cop caught up with him within one block. The cop deployed his Taser, but it failed. The cop then grabbed him and got him down and at that moment two other University police cars showed up and it took all three cops to get this guy subdued. SPD arrived within minutes and the man was arrested.”

Photo courtesy of Bob MacDonald

According to MacDonald, the victim left the scene and was being sought by police for questioning. MacDonald reported that he had heard she was located a few blocks away.

The Parks Department employee who intervened left the scene in his truck, and was being sought by police for additional details.

This incident happened in broad daylight at a popular Seattle park. MacDonald told me that several people witnessed the attack at various times during the 10 minutes it was ongoing. He counted six people standing and watching at one point, and he estimated that 20 people in total saw what happened, or parts of what happened. Besides those two individuals and the single Parks Department employee, who intervened briefly and then left the scene, no one else intervened. MacDonald told us that if just one other person had stepped up with him to confront the attacker, the outcome would have been very different.


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Join Occupy Seattle For Thanksgiving At Gas Works Park

November 23rd, 2011 by master

Don’t have any plans this Thanksgiving? Why not join the 99%?

Occupy Seattle has announced that they will host a community Thanksgiving potluck on Thursday at Gasworks Park at 2:00pm until 6:00pm.

We celebrate the community we have created, the kindness and support we have received, and the hope we are inspiring by our work to shine the light on economic injustice. We gather as a community in support of Occupy Seattle and Occupy Wall Street. There is room for everybody at this Thanksgiving table, all 99% of us!

You can RSVP and claim a dish to bring at this site.

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2011 Fourth Of July Fireworks: Gas Works Park Getting Ready

July 3rd, 2011 by master

50,000 people will be descending on Gas Works Park tomorrow for the fireworks display. So you better believe they’re taking today to get as much set up as possible. I swung by and snapped a few photos of the pre-festivities.

Lady Liberty is in place, the banners and stage are set up and the fireworks barge is stationed for the big show.

If you’re planning on attending the 2011 Fourth of July festivities, check out MyWallingford’s guide of things to know before you go.

Meanwhile, if you’re in biding your time in Fremont, swing by Bliss and Dream, both of whom have some buy-two-get-one-free tank and tee deals going on.

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Your 4th of July Gas Works Park primer

July 1st, 2011 by master

Thinking of crossing over the neighborhood line to celebrate the 4th at Gasworks? Our sister site, has a primer of what to expect, what not to bring and a timeline for the day.

The soggy 2010 Fourth of July festivities. Thankfully this year is expected to be much nicer!

Click here for all the information.

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Celebrate Earth Day At Gas Works Park

April 19th, 2011 by master

Earth Day is this Friday, April 22nd. A celebration intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the natural environment, there will be plenty of events going on around the world as well as right here in Seattle.

One of the events is happening right around the corner in Gas Works Park. The Sierra Club, CoolMom, Earth Ministry, Washington Environmental Council and Climate Solutions are hosting a free community Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 23rd between 11am and 3pm there.

The event will celebrate Washington’s anticipated transition from coal-power while highlighting the need to support the E.P.A. in its efforts to protect people across America from the dangerous pollution associated with coal burning and to make sure we do not export coal to other countries where no E.P.A. exists.

The event will feature bands, food, speakers and a make-your-own-kite activity. For more information on the event and Coal-Free Washington, visit their site or check out the event’s Facebook page.

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Family 4th At Lake Union Needs Your Help

February 15th, 2011 by master

Last year the Family 4th at Lake Union was saved thanks to donations from Seattlites and local companies from the area. Over $500K was raised and the fireworks show that followed was considered one of the best ever by many.

The success of last year’s fund-raising doesn’t mean this year’s celebration is all set, however. Although 68 percent of the event budget has been secured, another $162,000 needs to be raised by March 1st in order for the 2011 show to go on.

If you’re interested in helping, there’s a couple ways to do it.

You can make a donation directly to Family 4th at by March 1st (site may load slow due to increased traffic).

You can also show your support and encourage others to join the campaign by downloading one of the Family 4th widgets to your website or blog.

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Parts of Gas Works Park to be closed starting Sept.27

September 21st, 2010 by master

UPDATE from Seattle Parks & Recreation on 9/23: “Most the parking lot will be open and available; the workers will fence off only the area where they will be working.”

Enjoy Gas Works Park while you can, because parts of it and its parking lot will be closed to the public for several weeks starting Sept. 27, as Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) continues an ongoing study of offshore sediments, remnants of the contamination left in Lake Union’s sediments by the manufactured gas plant and other industrial facilities that once operated at the site.

(There is a reason it’s called Gas Works Park! See photo below.)

From the park’s “History” section:

This 20 acre point on Lake Union was cleared in 1906 to construct a plant to manufacture gas from coal – later converted to crude oil. Import of natural gas in the 1950’s made the plant obsolete. The city acquired the site for a park in 1962. The park was opened to the public in 1975. The boiler house has been converted to a picnic shelter with tables, fire grills and an open area. The former exhauster-compressor building, now a children’s play barn, features a maze of brightly painted machinery.

The environmental testing will account for heavy equipment drilling of groundwater monitoring wells, and that is scheduled to take place weekdays during daylight hours. While it’ll be noisy at times, Puget Sound Energy’s contractor will monitor sound levels. Vehicles will be coming and going during the testing.

Visitors to the park will still have access to the snack bar and restrooms, but they will be restricted from areas where drilling activities are taking place and areas where equipment is stored.

The City of Seattle (under the lead of SPU) and Puget Sound Energy are studying the park and the adjoining lake bottom to gather information needed to clean it up. SPU said, “the investigation and subsequent cleanup of contaminated offshore sediments is expected to take several years.”

More information about this cleanup is available on the Washington State Department of Ecology’s website.

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Fly to “Lullaby Moon” & play among the stars

September 11th, 2010 by master

Some enchanted evening it was at Gas Works Park Friday night as hundreds — perhaps thousands — filled the big hill facing Lake Union to enjoy an annual, free tribute to the new bella luna: “Lullaby Moon.”

Despite clouds covering up that moon, the hill lit up, in this imaginative production created by Lucia Neare and shared with families who brought kids, dogs and sleeping blankets to see the show. Light poured from spotlights cast upon performers costumed as owls, horses, cats, rabbits and clocks.

Time ticked by quickly as they and other dancers dressed in top coats and top hats, and horn musicians in white pajamas, treated the audience to song and dance numbers such as “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” set amidst a white dreamscape.

The production made full use of the picturesque backdrop of Lake Union with floating beds, sailboats and a riverboat bringing to shore the costumed creatures. People in the audience waved to the Ducks tours going by, as well as boats that stuck around to watch. They sang along with “That’s Amore.”

Performers sauntered in and out of the crowd, curtsying and dancing during the numbers and in-between. They also gave away white paper windmills to eager children, who didn’t need to blow for them to spin.

When you wish upon a star, this is the kind of production you get, one that sticks with kids (and adults) long after the evening is over, the stuff of sweet dreams. Sleep tight, and good night.

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“Lullaby Moon” returns to Gas Works tonight

September 10th, 2010 by master

If you saw “Lullaby Moon” at Gas Works Park or elsewhere throughout the city last year, you know not to miss the free show when it returns Friday evening. If you missed this hard-to-explain performance — which creator Lucia Neare calls a “wonder” — join hundreds (perhaps thousands) of others at Gas Works at 7:00 p.m. on September 10. There isn’t a bad seat in the house.

From Neare’s website:

Return to a world of wonder in Lullaby Moon 2010. Please wear white and bring a sleeping bag or blankets to keep cozy. Those with early bedtimes are welcome to attend any part of the festivities.

Lullaby Moon 2010 is a free, large-scale, site-specific public performance celebrating the new moon. The spectacular continues the joy and mythology of the 2008-09 series that enchanted thousands of Seattle residents. Lullaby Moon celebrates our precious place in the Milky Way galaxy and the promise inherent in everyone’s dreams.

You can see pictures and read much more about previous “Lullaby Moon” performances here. The images in this post are from last year’s Gas Works show and were taken by Mary Witter. Dozens more are on her Flickr page.

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Tour de Fat Saturday at Gas Works Park

July 30th, 2010 by master

Only one lucky Seattleite (or someone who lives in the area) will receive “a New Belgium, fully-loaded, hand-crafted, Fort Collins-built commuter bike” on stage in the closing ceremony of the Seattle stop of the 13-city Tour de Fat in return for taking the leap of donating his/her gas-guzzling vehicle to benefit a nonprofit; but more than 4,000 people and their families are expected to descend on Gas Works Park for the full day of events, including a bike parade.

The ride is free, but a $5 donation goes toward bicycle and environmental charities – and you receive a beer in return for your token that’s good for next year’s tour too.

Image courtesy of New Belgium

So, the last thing you want to do is drive your car in the surrounding streets. Bike! But if you do, try to print out this form and drop it off at the registration tent so you don’t have to wait in line.

Here’s the schedule, starting at 9 a.m.:

9: Bike Parade Registration
10: Bike Parade
11: Performances Begin
1:30: Funeral procession for the car belonging to the Car-for-Bike Trade volunteer
3:30: Car-for-Bike Trade Celebration
4: Curtain Closes

On the web site, New Belgium lays out “The Ten Commandments of the Tour de Fat.” We think No.4 is especially apropos for a neighborhood that hosts the Solstice Parade:

Thou shall come as a participant not a spectator: It’s a costumed celebration of human-powered transportation. Muscles not motors, coasters, v-brakes and rotors. Come in your favorite alter ego, because when everybody’s weird, no one is.

Maybe next year, you too can see if you can take the plunge and apply for the trade and extol the virtues of why you think you could go car-free on video.

The chosen few become shining examples pro-bike commuting culture:

By agreeing to trade your polluting car for a new bike and committing to sparkle motion, human-powered transport, on stage at Tour de Fat, you become an inspiration to the congregation and beyond. Your vehicular cleansing is filmed, as are your car-free trials and triumphs over the following year, causing thousands to idolize your efforts and begin commuting by bike (we hope).

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