Archives for February 2013

Demolition begins along NE 63 St in Roosevelt; 6-story apartments to come (UPDATE)

From Jim O’Halloran this morning (of Roosevelt Land Use fame), some breaking construction news. As in: Four houses along NE 63rd Street in Roosevelt are about to be broken.

Implements of demolition along NE 63rd St between Roosevelt Way NE and 12th Ave NE. Photo by Jim O'Halloran

Implements of demolition along NE 63rd St between Roosevelt Way NE and 12th Ave NE. Photo by Jim O’Halloran

Four single family homes are making way for a six-story building containing four live/work units and 108 residential units. There are to be 70 parking spaces underground.

The project’s page on the city’s Department of Planning and Development site shows that the demolition permits were issued last November. But the permit for the “Shoring & Excavation of site for future building construction” was issued yesterday, Wednesday, February 27.

UPDATE (12:57 PM): From Jim via email, “A scant four hours later…”

The "after" shot, photo again by Jim O'Halloran.

The “after” shot, photo again by Jim O’Halloran.

Fifth, possibly sixth purse snatching yields an arrest in Roosevelt (UPDATES)

At 1:29 PM this afternoon, KIRO 7 alerted us to some Seattle Police Department information indicating a fifth local robbery. And now it appears that there has been an arrest, prior to during a sixth attempt.

View Robberies by knifepoint in February (6) in a larger map

From the Seattle Police Department’s twitter feed:

And this one, from half an hour later:

Screen grabs from KIRO’s Chopper 7 live feed of the arrest scene (near NE 71st St and 12th Ave NE; via twitter)

We will update this post with more information as we get it. BIG THANKS to our friends at KIRO 7 for their help today.

UPDATE (2:56 PM): The SPD Blotter has a post up now, with all the info known up to today, including the newest robbery, which happens to have been the very first:

The first robbery was reported on February 2nd, by a 91-year-old woman, who said a man armed with a knife had stolen her purse as she was walking up the steps to her home near NE 75th and 39th NE.

UPDATE (4:59 PM): Here is the recorded live feed from KIRO’s Chopper 7 during the arrest of the suspect (Flash required):

UPDATE (6:44 PM): Tonight’s KIRO 7 News segment on today’s attempted purse snatching and arrest (Flash required):

NE Seattle daylight robber strikes again; victim unharmed (UPDATE)

On the Wedgwood Community Council Facebook page today, someone mentioned yet another daylight robbery had taken place. We called the North Precinct of the Seattle Police Department and learned that this was indeed true.

View Robberies by knifepoint in February (4) in a larger map

From Terrie Johnston at the North Precinct:

[A]t 2:45 pm today in the 7000 blk. of 35 Ave. NE an elderly developmentally disabled female was walking home from Safeway and the suspect ran up behind her and grabbed her purse from over her head. He then ran off eastbound. No weapon seen, no suspect located. Description of the suspect was white male, 20s, 5;8” and skinny.

No knife or other weapon seen this time, but the rest of the robbery sounds just like the others: Skinny, tall male comes up to older pedestrians from behind, during daylight hours, and takes off with personal belongings.

As we walked through the neighborhood while on the phone with Terrie, she gave us a lecture, and said, “Swivel your head like a great horned owl.” We advise all of you to do the same.

The description of the suspect (combining details from this and the first two attacks) is: White male, 20-30-years-old, 150-180 pounds, 5’8″ to 5’10” in height (described as being tall and skinny), seen wearing dark clothes that cover his head and face during the robberies.

All four attacks (February 14, TWO on the 20th, and 25) remain active and on-going investigations. Anyone with information about these incidents or who may know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect(s) is asked to call 911 or Seattle Police and refer to the appropriate incident. Anonymous tips are welcome.

Previously: Our post about the first two attacks. And the third. And safety tips on the Personal Safety page of the Seattle Police Department’s website.

UPDATE (Tuesday, February 26): KING 5 TV’s Chris Daniels visited the scene of Monday’s robbery on Monday night, and filed this report:

Jazz, Malls, and Signs of Spring – Ravenna Blog Sunday Edition

Third robbery at knifepoint; this time in Roosevelt (UPDATE)

The Seattle Police Department Blotter is reporting that a third robbery at knifepoint occurred on the afternoon of Friday, February 22.

HOWEVER, we have learned from the full police report with narrative for this incident that it actually took place on Wednesday, February 20 — the same day as the attack near NE 65th Street and 36th Avenue NE. MORE BELOW in the UPDATE.

View Robberies by knifepoint in February (3) in a larger map

Around 2:15 PM, a 50-year-old woman was walking southbound on the eastside Roosevelt Way NE near NE 72nd St when she felt a tug on her purse (strapped around her body diagonally). She shouted and grabbed it back, and then:

At that moment the suspect circled around her and she saw that he was holding a silver-colored knife in his hand. Seeing the knife, the victim let go of her purse and the suspect ran off with it eastbound on NE 72nd Street and remains at large.

The victim was not injured. Unfortunately, there is no suspect description available. Description now below, in the UPDATE.

Descriptions of the previous robberies can be found in this earlier post.

UPDATE (Monday, February 25): The narrative from the full police report is now available (PDF; registration required).

The victim reported the crime by calling the police non-emergency phone number on the day that the crime occurred (Wednesday, February 20). She was interviewed by an officer later in the week, on Friday, February 22. All of this is according to the full police report posted online today.

This would mean that the initial Seattle Police Department Blotter post on this robbery (“On February 22nd at approximately 2:15 p.m. …”) is also incorrect.

So, according to the full police report, at about 2:15 PM on Wednesday, February 20, the victim, was talking on the east side of Roosevelt Way NE on the 7200 block and was headed south. Her black crochet purse, worn diagonally across her chest, was tugged on from behind. The victim yelled out, “Hey, hey, hey!” as her bag came away from her body, and she grabbed it. The suspect, holding the other end, came around to her front, holding a silver knife that he had apparently used to remove the purse from her body. Upon seeing the knife, the victim let go of her purse, and watched it and the suspect run off eastbound on NE 72nd St.

The victim circled around the block, hoping to find her purse discarded somewhere along the route, but had no luck. She left the area and then called the non-emergency police number to report the incident.

She described the suspect as “white male, 16-20 years old, 5-3, 130-140lbs, stocky build, broad shoulders, short dark hair, clean shaven, wearing a pull-over hooded black sweatshirt (with the hood up around his head), black sweatpants with zippers on the ankles, and dark sneakers.”

Then, about 45 minutes later, a woman was robbed at knifepoint near NE 65th St and 36th Avenue NE.

Wednesday afternoon area robbery by knifepoint is second in less than a week (UPDATES)

This Wednesday afternoon, we were forwarded an email by a concerned resident regarding a robbery by knifepoint that occurred a week ago, on Thursday, February 14, a block from Bryant Elementary School, during school hours.

On Wednesday evening, the Seattle Police Department’s Blotter website posted information on a very similar crime, having occurrred near the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library, around the same time of day, but on Wednesday, February 20.

There have been TWO robberies by knifepoint during daylight hours in our neighborhood within six days of each other.

View Robberies by knifepoint in February in a larger map

1st Assault, at NE 60th St and 32nd Ave NE, around 2 PM, on Thursday, February 14

The victim was taking an afternoon walk from his home and noticed a suspicious male near a home under construction on the 3400 block of NE 62nd st. The male followed the victim from there until 35th Avenue NE and then passed him, while talking on his cell phone.

When the victim reached the corner of NE 60th St and 32nd Ave NE, the suspect came up behind him, used a knife to cut the victim’s pants where his wallet was located, and yelled, “Give me your f—ing wallet.” The victim tried to prevent the suspect from robbing him, and was thrown against a concrete retaining wall. The suspect then ran down a nearby alley with the wallet.

The victim sustain a few scratches to his right arm, and hit his head on the wall. Seattle Fire Department units responded and treated his minor injuries.

The victim did not see the face of the suspect, but described him as a white male in his thirties, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 180 lbs. He was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, and blue jeans. The victim described the knife as a folding knife with a black handle and a thin three-inch blade.

The police report for the first robbery by knifepoint is available on the city’s website (PDF; registration required). Bryant Elementary School The “Bryant Teaching Team” sent out an email to parents on Tuesday, February 19 about the incident. [Correction note: We have been told by parent volunteer who sends out email on behalf of the Bryant Elementary School PTSA that the school itself did not send out any emails to parents about this incident. CORRECTION UPDATE: The email was sent out from a preschool in the area.]

2nd Assault, in the 6500 block of 36th Avenue NE, around 3 PM, on Wednesday, February 20

From the SPD Blotter post:

Preliminary investigation indicates that the 65-year-old female victim had just gotten off the bus and was walking north on 36th Avenue NE on the east side of the street when she was attacked from behind by an unknown male suspect wearing a black mask, black hoodie and jeans.

The suspect forcefully grabbed the victim’s purse in an attempt to steal it.  As the victim attempted to retain her purse the suspect pulled out a knife and cut the purse straps and in doing so cut the victim’s hand.  The suspect fled the scene on foot with the victim’s purse, running northbound on 36th Avenue NE and then westbound on NE 68th Street.

The victim was treated for her minor injuries by Seattle Fire Department staff, then was driven home by a patrol officer.

The suspect in this assault is described as “an unknown race male in his 20′s, 5’9″ tall, 150 pounds, thin build, and was last seen wearing a black mask over his face, a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head, and gray pants.”

We will be in contact with staff at the North Precinct on Thursday and will add further updates to this post.

UPDATE (Thursday, February 21): The PTSA of Bryant Elementary School sent out an email today regarding this recent criminal activity, and included the following safety information:

Seattle police have provided the following safety tips aimed at keeping you and your students safe when walking in our neighborhood. They are also available on the Seattle Police Department website.

  • Pay close attention to your surroundings; avoid “automatic pilot.”
  • Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
  • Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.
  • Stick to well-lit areas.
  • Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
  • If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
  • Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
  • Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.

More safety tips beyond these are located on the Personal Safety page of the Seattle Police Department’s website. Recommended reading.

UPDATE (Friday, February 22): The police report for the robbery on Wednesday afternoon is now available (PDF; registration required).

The victim, a 65-year-old woman, got off a bus at 35th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, and walked east along 65th. She walked to 36th Avenue NE, turned left, and headed north along 36th Ave NE on the eastside sidewalk.

She was attacked from behind. The male suspect grabbed her purse, which the victim then attempted to hold on to. The suspect then cut the straps of the purse with a “box cutter,” cutting the victim’s hand in the process. He ran north on 36th with the purse before turning left on NE 68th St.

The victim described the suspect as “5’08 to 5’09 in height with a slim build, approximately in his twenties but she was unable to determine his race. She said she thought he was armed with a box cutter due to the small size of the blade.” He was also described as wearing a black mask, and black hoodie, and black jeans.

A person across the street saw the attack occur, and described the suspect in a similar way. This witness thought that the suspect was a white male, but was not sure due to the mask and hood.

A second witness in a residence north of the location of the robbery saw the suspect running away from the scene, toward NE 35th St, wearing all black.

The victim was treated at the scene by Seattle Fire Department staff, and advised to have her laceration stitched up at a hospital.

Both attacks (February 14 and 20) remain active and on-going investigations.

Anyone with information about these incidents or who may know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect(s) is asked to call 911 or Seattle Police and refer to the appropriate incident. Anonymous tips are welcome.

Hungry for a business opportunity? Three Ravenna restaurants for sale (UPDATE)

As we mentioned in our newly returned Sunday Edition, there were some local restaurant sale mysteries we were puzzling over. Then, on Monday afternoon, we had a break-through: There were not TWO Ravenna restaurants looking to change hands, but THREE.

The first local restaurant for sale is the Pied Piper Ale House (2404 NE 65th St).

The family friendly pub and Geeks Who Drink pub trivia spot has been closed with no explanation since the end of 2012. Then, this week, we learned from a follower on twitter who spoke to the Pied Piper manager on what happened to be their last day of business (the end of December, either the 27th or 28th).

Here is the listing for the location, with the name included in the picture, leaving no mystery:

Commercial Brokers Association listing for the Pied Piper Ale House (click to read the full listing)

Commercial Brokers Association listing for the Pied Piper Ale House (click to read the full listing).

The second closure is a long-time Ravenna neighborhood fixture: Casa D’Italia* (2615 NE 65th St).

We were first alerted to this closure via a Craigslist post just last week, which included the ominous line, “We are no longer able to run the restaurant due to family issues but the restaurant has great potential for the future.”

Since then, three more Craigslist posts have popped up: Two on Saturday, February 16 (one showing the furniture for sale, the other listing other fixtures), and a final one on Monday, February 18, stating that the location is for lease.

We visited the location Monday evening, and found this note on the door:

To all our guests,

On February 16th, we made a family decision to close Casa D’Italia. We would like to thank everyone for your support throughout the last 12 years. We will be keeping our website running so check us out at to keep up on our next venture and find out where Anthony is cooking next.

Again, thank you for your support.

God bless,

– The Donatone Family

Turns out the closure seems fast because it was.


We’ve reached out to the family for more information, and will update this post if we hear anything back.

UPDATE (Thursday, February 28): From Angeli Donatone, wife of Chef Anthony (via email):

Yes, it was a sudden closure but one that had been looming for awhile. Like so many others, we have been affected by the changing economy, both personally and professionally. It was a challenge for us to say good-bye to Casa D’Italia, which grew in 11 years to be like family for so many. We trust that when one door closes, many others will open, and it is with this blind faith that we made the decision to close.

Our lease had been month-to-month for many years, and we felt the deferred maintenance on the building was catching up with it, and didn’t want this to become a liability to us, an independant family-run business. We are so proud of the community that was built and all of the fans of “Casa” “Anthony’s” or “the two tomatoes” among other nick-names…Please thank the neighbors for sharing their lives with us. We also have referrals for some great Italian caterers…They may contact us via our website where we will post updates to our whereabouts.

The third local restaurant sale is more of a mystery.

The listing states a location of the Ravenna neighborhood, but is not any more specific. In fact, interested parties are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before learning of its location.

Our only clues are in the description, which includes the following:

[E]xposed timber beams and soaring 18′ ceilings. Opened August 2011 after extensive remodel. 1,760 SF (restaurant) plus 220 SF (on site office and storage room). Seats 60 including 18 counter seats in bar area.

Craigslist ad for the mystery restaurant (click to read the full listing).

Craigslist ad for the mystery restaurant (click to read the full listing).

We have our guesses. We’ve been told we’re wrong (by a friend of friends of the owner), but with an NDA on the table, all bets are off.


*Casa D’Italia was the Ravenna Blog’s very first paying customer, in terms of advertising. We will always have a hyperlocal place in our heart for them, and we wish them the very best in the future.

Rumblings in Sisleyville, local restaurants on the move – Ravenna Blog Sunday Edition

It’s back! Let us know if you missed it, and we’ll keep putting out the Sunday Edition in the future.

Spring AND Summer Parks and Recreation Brochure now available

Yes, it is only February 15, but it’s time to think about signing you and the kids up for spring and summer activities at community centers and pools across Seattle.

Spring/Summer 2013 Parks and Recreation Brochure, Northeast Seattle (click to download the 3.1 MB PDF)

Spring/Summer 2013 Parks and Recreation Brochure, Northeast Seattle (click to download the 3.1 MB PDF)

Registration for spring quarter classes starts March 12.

Registration for summer camps starts April 4.

And registration for summer quarter classes starts May 21.