Roosevelt house fire being investigated as arson (PHOTOS)

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An early morning house fire in the Roosevelt neighborhood is being investigated as an arson.

From the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Line:

[SFD crews were] dispatched at 2:09 am to a house near 8 Avenue NE and NE 72 Street for a report of a porch fire that extended to the roof. Firefighters quickly extinguished the visible flames but worked for about an hour aggressively digging out the hidden fire located in the attic void spaces. The home owner discovered the fire and was out of the building by the time firefighters arrived.

After the home was extinguished, fire investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set on the front porch, and the case was turned over to the Seattle Police Department’s Arson/Bomb Unit.

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Investigators also estimated $100,000 in damage to the house and its contents, with an additional $5,000 damage to the home next door where the siding had begun to melt.

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If you have any information which could aid detectives in their investigation, please call the SPD Arson/Bomb Unit at (206) 684-8980.

Todd Byers, in yellow, talks with neighbors as they  survey the damage to his home on the morning after the fire.

Todd Byers, in yellow, talks with neighbors as they survey the damage to his home on the morning after the fire.

Two deaths at Ravenna retirement home prompt homicide investigation (UPDATES, PHOTOS)

 

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An Ida Culver House Ravenna resident (seated) leaves the facility during the police activity for the calm of a local restaurant across the street.

We became aware around 4 PM of a large police presence around Ida Culver House Ravenna (2315 NE 65th Street). A man and an elderly female resident and been both found dead in a room inside. Police are now investigating the incident as a possible murder-suicide.

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Homicide detectives stand in the inner courtyard of Ida Culver House Ravenna.

From the SPD Blotter:

Police received a report from the man’s family around 2 PM that the man had left his Ballard home after indicating he was contemplating suicide. A short time later, police received a second call from the family indicating the man may have headed for his elderly mother’s assisted living facility in the Ravenna neighborhood, with plans to harm her.

As police headed to the facility—located in the 2300 block of NE 65th Street—nursing home staff went to the elderly woman’s room to check on her, and found the bodies of a man and an elderly woman. The King County Medical Examiner will formally identify the bodies.

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A King County Medical Examiner readies herself for the scene as locals gather outside Ida Culver House Ravenna.

More info when we have it.

***

UPDATE (5:36 PM): Added pictures from the scene.

UPDATE (Tuesday evening): Yesterday we talked with Nicole Francois with Ida Culver House Ravenna about the incident. She told us that counselors have been made available to staff and residents onsite, and “every day is a bit better for our community.” Francois also shared with us a statement from the president of Era Living:

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of our remarkable residents.  Our hearts go out to the family that is affected by this tragic event.

We are working in cooperation with the Seattle Police Department as they investigate the death of a resident from this single and isolated incident.”

- Eli Almo, President and CEO, Era Living

The names of those who died have not yet been released by the medical examiner’s office to us. Francois was unable to release similar information; however, she was able to say that the Ida Culver Ravenna resident was in an independent living unit at the time of the incident. In general, the family and friends of residents are strongly encouraged to visit their loved ones in retirement communities like Ida Culver. Depression due to feelings of isolation is a major concern. And unless staff is informed of issues between residents and potential visitors, there is usually no reason to prevent such meetings.

Francois also told us that there will be a private memorial service for the resident sometime this week, for family and friends. If residents feel moved to pass along condolences, they can be sent along to Ida Culver House Ravenna, 2315 NE 65th Street, Seattle, WA 98115.

Your Busy Weekend in Northeast Seattle: July 18-20

Looks like things are about to cool down. Friday’s forecast calls for clouds moving in and 78 degrees. Those clouds might bring a few showers Saturday and Sunday with the high reaching 69.

FRIDAY, July 18

  • Get your dance on with the kids and nature.
    • The Not-Its plays at 7:00 PM followed by Off the Hook, a Rolling Stones tribute band at 8:00 PM. Magnuson Community Center Family Concert Series (in amphitheater next to the Children’s Garden), 7:00 PM. Free.

SATURDAY, July 19

The Oralea BONUS event: 

SATURDAY, July 19 & Sunday, July 20

  • Pick your weight in raspberries.
    • Biringer Farm Raspberry Fest (21412 59th Ave NE, Arlington, WA), 9:00 AM-6:00 PM. Chicken dance, antique tractor display, pony rides, face-painting, and more. Free entry with items for purchase.

RaspberryPicker

 

Anything else to add? Garage sale? Fundraiser? Lemonade stand? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll add it to the post!

Want to promote an upcoming NE Seattle weekend happeningEmail us ahead of time, or use our online comment form to tell us about it.

We publish these Busy Weekend posts at noon on Thursdays.

Your Moment of Ravenna Zen: Dark Side of the Top Pot

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At certain angles, the heavy glass doors of the Wedgwood Top Pot make a rainbow connection with the sun.

Your Busy Weekend in Northeast Seattle: July 11-14

Forecast calls for high-80s on Friday and Sunday with 90 degrees on Saturday. Let’s make popsicles! For dinner!

SR 520 will be closed from 11:00 PM on Friday, July 11th until 5:00 AM, Monday, July 14th. And on Saturday morning, the annual STP (Seattle to Portland) bike ride starts. From 4:45–7:30 AM waves of 500 to 900 cyclists will be leaving the UW’s E-1 parking lot every 10 minutes, heading south on Montlake, west on Pacific, north on Brooklyn, and west on Campus Parkway to cross the University Bridge.

FRIDAY, July 11

  • Enjoy some local art outside, festival-style (day 1).
    • Wedgwood Art Festival, Our Lady of the Lake (8900 35th Avenue NE; new location this year), 10 AM-5 PM. 65 booths of fine art, 8 musical acts, 6 food vendors, 2 puppet shows, and more.
  • Watch a Meaningful Movie, and learn about public disclosure law and GMO labeling

SATURDAY, July 12

  • Enjoy some local art outside, festival-style (day 2).
    • Wedgwood Art Festival, Our Lady of the Lake (8900 35th Avenue NE; new location this year), 10 AM-5 PM. 65 booths of fine art, 8 musical acts, 6 food vendors, 2 puppet shows, and more.
  • Build your CD, DVD, or Atari game collection.
    • Yard sale5752 25th Ave NE, 7:00 AM-2:00 PM. Kitchen items, clothing, household containers, classical guitar, mandolin with case, capos, etc.  
  • Hunt for bargains at your neighbor’s house.
    • Yard sale, 6322 22nd Ave NE, 9:00 AM.  Kid stuff, home stuff, etc!

SUNDAY, July 13

  • Hunt for MORE bargains at another neighborhood sale.
    • Moving sale, 6827 19th Ave NE, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM. Cash Only. Dishes, Pottery Barn bedding, furniture, lamps, artwork, etc. 

MONDAY, July 14

  • Watch a classic film by a master director while surrounded by books.
    • Hitchcock by the Decades, University Branch of SPL (5009 Roosevelt Way NE), 6 PM. Second film of the series of five is Notorious,” produced in 1946, run time of 101 minutes. FREE.

***

Anything else to add? Garage sale? Fundraiser? Lemonade stand? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll add it to the post!

Want to promote an upcoming NE Seattle weekend happeningEmail us ahead of time, or use our online comment form to tell us about it.

We publish these Busy Weekend posts at noon on Thursdays.

Your Busy Weekend in Northeast Seattle: July 3-7

The weekend forecast sounds beautiful with Saturday and Sunday hovering around 80 degrees.

A large convention at Husky Stadium this weekend you all might want to be aware of, traffic-wise: 35,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses will be meeting at the stadium on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Event activities run from 9 AM-5 PM. Access and egress to the Stadium will be handled in much the same way as other large events like basketball and Commencement.

Don’t forget to grab your holiday weekend reads from the Northeast Branch BEFORE July 4th, as all branches are closed on Independence Day.

THURSDAY, July 3

  • Shop at a local farmer’s market for dinner, then have a seat and eat.
    • Lake City Farmer’s Market, at NE 125th Street and 28th Avenue NE. Open Thursdays from 3-7 PM through October 2. In-season, Washington-produced foods and farm products, ready-to-eat foods, and more. Live music, special events, and activities for kids scheduled during the season. North Helpline food donation table (for shelf-stable items).

FRIDAY, July 4

  • Parade your red, white, and blue down 18th Ave NE! 
    • Meet at 7041 18th Ave NE, 11 AM, with decorated kids, bikes, or trikes for the Annual 18th Ave Fourth of July Parade. Bring a dish to share at a potluck afterwards. Drinks and paper goods provided for $1 donation per family.

SATURDAY, July 5

  • Sip some local wine at your neighborhood wine shop. 
    • Free tasting of 8 Bells Winery wines (Ravenna White 2011, Roosevelt Red 2011, Cabernet Sauvignon David’s Block 2011, and Sangiovese 2011) at McCarthy & Schiering Wine Merchants, 6500 Ravenna Ave NE, 11 AM-5 PM. The winemaker will be on-hand during the first part of the tasting.
  • Say hello to the lifeguards, back on duty for the summer. 
    • Magnuson Park Beach, Matthew’s Beach, and several other sites around the city. Check out the free mid-day and evening swim lessons for kids, too!

Monday, July 7

  • Watch a classic film by a master director while surrounded by books.

*** Anything else to add? Garage sale? Fundraiser? Lemonade stand? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll add it to the post! Want to promote an upcoming NE Seattle weekend happeningEmail us ahead of time, or use our online comment form to tell us about it. We publish these Busy Weekend posts at noon on Thursdays.

Road safety improvements coming to NE Blakeley Street / Union Bay Place NE

Some well-known traffic trouble spots near University Village are getting some overdue attention next month.

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is in the process of designing the following safety improvements to the Union Bay Place NE/NE Blakeley Street area (projected to begin construction as early as August 2014):

  • 25th Ave NE & NE Blakeley Street: Modified signal timing and intersection design. New bicycle leaning rails* (allow cyclists to wait for light change without dismounting, placing one foot on the rail).
  • 30th Ave NE & the Burke-Gilman Trail: Raised pedestrian crosswalk and repaired sidewalks approaching this crosswalk along 30th Ave NE between NE 50th Street and Union Bay Place NE.
  • Union Bay Place NE between NE 45th St & 30th Ave NE: New paved and painted pedestrian pathway along both sides.


View Safety Improvements to NE Blakeley St and Union Bay Place NE in a larger map

This work is funded by mitigation from the University Village and the Village QFC as well as Pedestrian Master Plan improvements. You can read more about the mitigation funding of this project on page 17 of this SDOT analysis of QFC’s 2012 land use application (208 KB PDF) to expand the store and build a parking garage.

The pedestrian improvements are part of SDOT’s Sidewalk Development Program and funded by the voter-approved Bridging the Gap levy. The Program’s 2014 projects include these new sidewalk connections:

Questions?  Contact Maribel Cruz with SDOT at 206-684-7963 or maribel.cruz@seattle.gov.

***

*We are looking into the bicycle leaning rails to find out more about them (and see if these will be the first ones installed in Seattle).  We will update the post as we learn more!

Your Busy Weekend in Northeast Seattle: June 26-30

This weekend looks to be partly cloudy and mid- to high-60s, with a chance of showers on Saturday.

Your friend and mine, the SR 520 Bridge, will be closed 11 PM on Friday, June 27 until 5 AM on Monday, June 30. We keep hoping that WSDOT will ask everyone to help break a Guinness World Record for simultaneous picnicking on days like this, but no such luck. Yet.

Oh, and there’s this little 40-year-old party called Pride.

THURSDAY, June 26

  • Shop at a local farmer’s market for dinner, then have a seat and eat.
    • Lake City Farmer’s Market, at NE 125th Street and 28th Avenue NE. Open Thursdays from 3-7 PM through October 2. In-season, Washington-produced foods and farm products, ready-to-eat foods, and more. Live music, special events, and activities for kids scheduled during the season. North Helpline food donation table (for shelf-stable items). Today: Free Thermos water bottles.

FRIDAY, June 27

  • Celebrate the Fourth AND Nature.
    • Annual 4th of July Ice Cream Social and Concert, Magnuson Community Center (amphitheatre, next to the Children’s Garden) 6:30-8:30 PM. Family-friendly hands-on nature fun in the garden, ice cream social and music in the amphitheater.  Bring a blanket and dinner for a picnic in the amphitheater or Children’s Garden. $1 per person for the ice cream. Music by the Weavils (Bluegrass/Americana music).

SATURDAY, June 28

  • Clean up a community space with the community.
    • Hunter Farm Gathering Place work party, 7744 35th Ave NE from 9 AM-noon. General maintenance to be done, including weed pulling, power washing, and garbage picking-up. Bring gloves and beverages/snacks to share.
  • Build a playground for community kids with the community.
  • Start to build next year’s vegetable garden, today!
    • Seed Saving workshop, Northeast Seattle Tool Library (2415 80th Avenue NE). 6:30-8:30 PM. Taught by Caitlin Moore (The Urban Food Warrior and Co-Director of the King County Seed Lending Library), workshop covers basic concepts, vocabulary and techniques. FREE.

SUNDAY, June 29

  • Swim Green Lake on a 1/2 mile or 1 mile race course. 
    • 10th Annual Green Lake Open Swim, Green Lake Community Center (7201 East Green Lake Dr N), first race starts at 9 AM. Last day to register on-line is tomorrow, Thursday, June 27th.  Register in-person on Sunday at Green Lake Community Center, 7:30-8:30 AM. Adult, non-refundable registration fee is $45.

The Oralea BONUS event:

MONDAY, June 30

  • Discuss coal dust with John Incardona, Research Toxicologist, Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

***

Anything else to add? Garage sale? Fundraiser? Lemonade stand? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll add it to the post!

Want to promote an upcoming NE Seattle weekend happeningEmail us ahead of time, or use our online comment form to tell us about it.

We publish these Busy Weekend posts at noon on Thursdays.

 

Vehicle theft leads to hit and run, and ends with foot chase (UPDATES)

At approximately 12:40 PM on Tuesday, June 24, Seattle Police and Fire staff responded to a motor vehicle accident (MVA) call at 12th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, next to the Roosevelt Light Rail Station construction site.

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What was unusual for this particular MVA was the large number of police vehicles near the collision site (at least nine, by our quick count). Turns out that this incident was a hit-and-run by a stolen vehicle, Seattle Police told us via twitter. A witness to the incident said that after the collision, the suspect fled south.

South of the collision area, on the east side of 12th Avenue NE (pictured above) medics were treating an adult male while officers looked on.

We’ll post more details below when we get them.

UPDATE (1:49 PM): We have confirmation by the SPD that the “suspect was detained by Seattle residents while officers arrived.”

UPDATE (Wednesday morning): Q13FOX had a story on the incident during their 11 PM newscast. You can read the summary and/or watch the video here.

UPDATE (Thursday morning): On the afternoon of the incident, we reached out on twitter on the off chance of contacting someone involved in the subduing of the suspect after he fled the stolen vehicle. A man named Shawn (last name withheld by request) replied, not only with his narrative of the events but a very thoughtful setting of his role that afternoon.

We have yet to see an official narrative of the incident from the Seattle Police Department, but the description of the event that Shawn has shared with us matches what other witnesses at the scene observed.

Here is the account, in Shawn’s words, from two separate emails received on Wednesday:

If you’d just like my recollection of events, I was overlooking the intersection there, on the NE corner of 2nd level of the Whole Foods shopping plaza.  I was on break from work at the time, when I heard a loud screech followed by a massive crunch of metal.

I hurried down the stairs located on the NE corner there and looked over to my left to see a car pretty much flipped into incoming traffic.  I began running toward the car to check on the victims when I realized that people were yelling STOP HIM at someone.

I looked over across the street and saw a young guy in a red T shirt and baggy jeans running down the opposite sidewalk.  I shouted, Hey you, stop, and he didn’t acknowledge me or the other people shouting similar things.

It was at that point I shouted at him again, Hey, you, stop right now, and started chasing after him.  I ran across the street and onto the opposite curb; he wasnt a great runner and I caught up to him near the SE corner of the Whole Foods on the opposite side of the street.  He actually tripped himself up mostly, and kind of ditched it into the bushes there along with his bag… I slid him off the bush and onto the ground and tried to get control of his arms.

At that point the level of rational thought I had put into this move was literally zero, and it was about then that he started getting really squirrelly with his left arm, trying to pull it away and use it as leverage or reach for something.  He actually did pull it completely out of my grasp at one point and it was all I could do to keep it pinned underneath him, afraid what he might try to pull out.

Fortunately that was the moment that the driver and another Good Samaritan ran up and helped get better control over him; I kept shouting at onlookers to call the cops not sure if any of them actually had or not.  I was very concerned about the well-being of the driver, who probably should not have been running after this guy after such a serious crash; he was being treated after I finished giving the cops a statement and I was glad to hear he ended up being pretty much ok.

It only took about 5 minutes or so for the cops to show up, by which time we were all wrapped up pretty good with the guy, who was resisting and shouting the whole time.  The cops knew who to go for right away (a small relief) and they pulled us apart and took him into custody.

That was about the point I realized I was probably going to be late back into work, and asked the cop after giving my contact info if he could write me a note for my supervisor.  He gave me his card, and said just give them this, if they have any problems at all, call me.

That was pretty much it.  Tbh I didn’t think about it at all, if I had, I probably would have done nothing.  But I was worried he might try to carjack someone or worse and it just kind of happened. :3

I didn’t even realize it was a stolen car at the time, I just saw him running from an accident that he caused and no one moving in the victims car.

[...]and I just don’t really want any undue attention for such a minor incident.

Ultimately, the only thing I’ve really taken away from this and other similar events is that sometimes we are at the right time and the right place, in life, to affect change or do the right thing.  And in those rare moments, it’s better to go with your gut reaction and act rather than forever wonder ‘what if’.  Being trapped in a box alone with that question can be a deadly curse.

I would just add that we each have far more power than we think, and I truly believe we are all responsible for making the world we live in into the world we’d imagine for ourselves and our loved ones.

On Tuesday afternoon, one man was booked into King County Jail for vehicle theft. We are watching for more documentation on the case (in King County District Court) and will continue to add updates here.

Wade into water fun at local parks

Summer is here! And so is the Seattle Parks and Recreation wading pool/outdoor swim/spraypark season.

Here’s the schedule for Northeast Seattle (and nearby) locations:

Wading Pools:

    • Dahl Playfield (7700 25th Ave. NE): June 24-August 18, Tuesday through Thursday, noon-7 PM
    • Green Lake Park (N 73rd St. & W Green Lake Dr. N): June 21-September 1, daily, 11 AM-8 PM
    • Magnuson Park (7400 Sand Point Way NE): June 21-August 24, daily, noon-6:30 PM

Summer Beaches (swimming allowed when lifeguards are present on weekdays noon-7 PM and weekends 11 AM-7 PM):

Sprayparks:

    • Northacres Park (12800 1st Ave. NE): May 24-September 1, daily, 11 AM-8 PM

Wading pools are filled when the day’s temperature has been forecast to be 70°F (21°C) or higher. If you want to double-check with Parks & Rec before loading up the picnic basket, there’s a Wading Pool Hotline you can call (updated daily by 9:30 AM): 206-684-7796.

The city-wide Wading Pool and Spraypark Schedule can be found here (small PDF; lots of Comic Sans).