43rd and 46th Democrats hosting District 4 forum Wednesday night (LIVE COVERAGE)

Tonight, Wednesday, April 29, the 43rd and 46th District Democrats are hosting a forum for the current slate of Seattle City Council District 4 candidates: Jean Godden, Rob Johnson, Michael Maddux, and Tony Provine.

The forum is being held at Roosevelt High School (1410 NE 66th Street).

From the Facebook event page:

You will have an opportunity to mingle with all of the candidates running for office between 6:30pm and 7:00pm; the main program begins at 7:00pm. Come to hear more from the candidates, their positions on important issues to our legislative districts/District 4, and get to know what they stand for.

The moderator for the event is Sarah Anne Lloyd, one-third of the Seattlish trio of “mouthy broads” who have been covering Seattle politics, news, and events since 2013.

We will be there, typing as quickly and accurately as we can, and you can follow along our live coverage below.

UPDATE (6:50 PM): Here’s tonight’s agenda…

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Northeast Seattle Link Connections open house (LIVE COVERAGE)

The University of Washington and Capitol Hill Light Rail Stations are now just one year a way from opening to trains and passengers. How is transit going to get you to those stations?

Ahead of the University Link light rail extension opening in the spring of next year, King County Metro is proposing a slew of changes to Northeast Seattle Metro routes to better integrate service with the next link in the light rail chain: the University Link.

Tonight, Thursday, March 26, from 6-8PM at University Heights Center, Room 209 (5031 University Way NE), King County Metro holds their last open house meeting about these proposed changes (previous open houses were held on Capitol Hill on March 19 and the Eastside on March 25).
 
You can see the changes proposed (and the two alternative route change plans) here on King County Metro Online. Additionally, the Seattle Transit Blog has an overlapping, interactive map illustrating the differences (more on this below).
 
We will be at the open house, and plan to provide live coverage below this post.
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The question for Northeast Seattle transit users regarding proposed route changes appears to be (generalizing here): Are we willing to trade in under-performing routes and stops for increased frequency?

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We asked around, and this Metro stop sign, with the daisy logo in the lower left corner, dates to at least the mid-1990s. (Stop #38000, west-bound on NE 65 Street and Ravenna Ave NE).

 

For example: Could you imagine life without the good ol’ 71 Express? It’s tough, especially for residents in Wedgwood and View Ridge where service would be reduced. But what if it were replaced by a heavily revamped Route 16 that arrived every 15 minutes (instead of the 71’s 30 minutes) and created an enhanced east-west transit corridor from Green Lake all the way to Sand Point Way? Are residents willing to walk a little further for changes like these?

More on the map I mentioned above: For a visual, flipbook-style look at present service and proposed changes, we recommend checking out the map found in this Seattle Transit Blog post. Hover your cursor over the map image found there, then click and hold the vertical white line. Move the line left and right to see the changes.

The Seattle Transit Blog posted their take on the changes proposed for Northeast Seattle routes earlier this month. If one is looking for more detail about the proposed changes (and what the differences between Alternate 1 and 2 mean), their post is a good read. Included in the post is a list of route-by-route changes for riders wondering what their new alternatives would be.

UPDATE (6:39 PM): Alternative 1 Montlake Triangle Vicinity Routes map:



District 4 candidates forum (LIVE COVERAGE)

On Wednesday, March 18, the District 4 Seattle City Council candidates will once again meet before a live and local audience.

A forum is being held at Sand Point Community Church’s Perry Hall (4710 NE 70th Street) from 7:30-8:30 PM. Candidates have previously met before District 4 residents on two occasions (before the Eastlake Community Council and the Roosevelt Neighbors’ Alliance). 

Candidates participating include: Rob Johnson, Taso Lagos, Michael Maddux, Tony Provine, and incumbent Jean Godden.  

Nancy Bolin (with the View Ridge Community Council) will moderate the event, sponsored by Hawthorne Hills Community Council, View Ridge Community Council, Laurelhurst Community Club and Ravenna-Bryant Community Association.

Wednesday night’s event is the last scheduled one for the current candidates before the Northeast District Council forum on Wednesday, June 17. 

We will be attending this event and will provide live coverage below (as reception at the venue allows).

Ol Faithful Brewing Company prepares to erupt in Ravenna

Walking around the corner of NE 55th Street and 26th Avenue NE, you’d never guess someone’s dreams were about to come true.

But just behind/under Carl’s Foreign Car Services, that is exactly what is happening.

Old Faithful Brewing's future front door with patio (after the wood gets hauled away, of course).

Old Faithful Brewing’s future front door with patio (after the wood gets hauled away, of course).

Tommy and Elise Ortega are in the midst of turning what used to be an old motorcycle shop into a neighborhood craft brewery. A patio will grace the front of the establishment, while the indoor seating will include a view of the brew equipment currently being installed on a sunken platform in the floor. Brother-in-law Bud will be running the front of the house.

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Interior of the Ol Faithful Brewing space, currently under construction (photo by Old Faithful Brewing Co, used with permission).

More about the Ortegas’ vision for Ol Faithful (via email):

We plan on having the locals decide what they want on some taps, perhaps by having a large chalk board, or something of that nature. We also plan on having some locals help with some brews that were elected by the community. We plan to engage the neighborhood, not only by providing craft beers, but being part of the ongoing development of it. Volunteering, sponsoring, and being actively visual to the community.

The name, Ol Faithful, comes from the couple’s name for their home — a Craftsman in Fremont built in 1907:

We think our house has been faithful to all it’s prior owners (its a very old house, I can’t believe its still standing), so we named the house [Ol Faithful]. Seeing how we always brewed there, it was easy to just transition the name to the brewery. (now we just need a new name for our house)

You can see some of the Ortegas’ past brews here on Untappd, a social media site and app for beer appreciators.

Ol Faithful Brewing Company is aiming to erupt open this summer.

Press conference regarding Sisley property fines (LIVE COVERAGE, UPDATES)

The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association shared some intriguing news this morning, regarding the approximately $3 million in fines owed to the city by a certain well-known local landlord.

The city attorney’s office is holding a press conference on Friday, March 13, on the northwest corner of NE 65th Street and 14th Avenue NE to provide details on how “the City is moving forward decisively in dealing with the $3 million-plus legal judgment owed by the Sisleys.”

You can read the whole press release here.

Once we secure arrangements for our youngest intern, we plan on attending the event and providing live coverage below.

UPDATE (Friday, March 13): This is the ordinance the mayor will transmit to the city council next week regarding the seizure of some of the Sisleys’ properties to create a park.  Click on any image to see the full size version.


 

UPDATE (Friday, March 13, 1:40 PM): In addition to the above ordinance being presented to the City Council next week, the mayor’s office put out a press release regarding the plans to seize two properties belonging to Hugh Sisley. Here are the main points of the plan (from the press release):

Should the judgments, interest and penalties related to the violations remain unpaid, the city will seek to have the properties seized by the King County Sheriff and sold at auction. Murray intends to transmit an ordinance to the City Council next week that allows the city to purchase the two properties at 1322 and 1318 NE 65th St.

The city intends to bid on the properties at auction, using a credit bid based on the $3.3 million owed the city by the Sisleys, in order to build a new city park for the neighborhood.

If the supplemental proceedings that allows the city to collect more than $2 million in penalties have not concluded prior to the auction, the city will use a $1 King County Conservation Futures grant, in addition to credit based on the judgments and interest owed the city.

Roosevelt's Jim O'Halloran (center) speaks with Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes (left) and City Councilmember Jean Godden (right) before the press conference.

Roosevelt’s Jim O’Halloran (center) speaks with Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes (left) and City Councilmember Jean Godden (right) before the press conference.

While those residents gathered at the press conference were pleased with the actions the city plans to take, many were dismayed that none of them (as of yet) involved tearing down any dilapidated buildings. The parcels the city is zeroing in on for this first seizure have both been vacant for years.

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View from 14th Avenue NE/NE 66th Street south to NE 65th Street.

Once the date of the City Council meeting is known, we will post that information here.

Here they come to snuff the Rooster (crane)

Aww yeah*.

One of the two large cranes gracing the downtown Roosevelt skyline is moving on.

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The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association has received word from the developer of the Rooster Apartments (902 NE 65th Street) that their contractor’s large construction crane is coming down on Saturday, February 28th. “NE 65th street will be shut down in front of the Rooster from 6am to 6pm. Traffic control will be on site detouring traffic around the site.”

Occupancy of the approximately 195-unit apartment building is still scheduled for the first week of August, says the developer (Lake Union Partners), with one of the first floor tenants, a fourth Portage Bay Cafe, opening this summer as well.

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*Headline and first sentence by Alice in Chains, of course. Probably the last time we’ll use it. Probably.

Shop local, get a chance at touring new UW Light Rail Station

In February 2014, when Capitol Hill Light Rail Station construction started severely disrupting Annapurna Cafe  — a business which choose to remain in place and open while others around it shuttered or relocated due to the station construction — Sound Transit cooked up a contest with Annapurna to encourage diners to drop in.

Banner near the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station construction site advertising the Sound Transit/Annapurna  contest in February 2014. (Photo courtesy Capitol Hill Seattle)

Banner near the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station construction site advertising the Sound Transit/Annapurna contest in February 2014. (Photo courtesy Capitol Hill Seattle, used with permission)

From the contest details by Sound Transit:

When you eat at Annapurna Café, 1833 Broadway, you can enter to win a Sound Transit walking tour of the U-Link tunnel-from Capitol Hill to the University of Washington.

To be eligible, you must spend at least $10 at the Annapurna Café and fill out an entry form at the restaurant. You can enter every time you visit. You must be at least 18 and able to walk the entire 3-mile concrete-lined tunnel.

The fine folks at Capitol Hill Seattle also went along on the tour, and you can watch some footage of their travels below.

What does all this have to do with Northeast Seattle in the year 2015?

Lucky us, Sound Transit is holding another contest involving businesses located near our Roosevelt and University District light rail construction zones. This time, the prize is a tour of the University of Washington Station — open to all in early 2016, but open for winner(s) (sans trains) in the second half of 2015.

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Also, lucky us, entries can be found not at just one local business but two dozen: 10 near the future University District Station, and 14 near the future Roosevelt Station. And we only need to spend $5 at these businesses to receive an entry form.

More details from Sound Transit:

To be eligible, you must spend at least $5 and complete an entry form at one of the participating businesses. You can enter every time you visit. You must be at least 18 years old.

A drawing will be held in May 2015 to select the winners. You will be notified by email or phone. No entry form information will be sold to an outside party and this prize has no cash value.

You can see the full list of participating local businesses here (Cedars! Pies and Pints! Toronado! Brooklyn Avenue Dental!).

If you win, you can compare the current, finished University of Washington Station to these pictures we took in a 60% finished station, back in January 2013.

90% design open house time for Roosevelt Station (UPDATES, LIVE COVERAGE)

It’s been a good while since the last Roosevelt Light Rail Station meeting — October 2014 for the last construction open house, April 2012 for the 60% design open house. But that certainly doesn’t mean the station construction site hasn’t been busy.

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One of the plexiglass viewing windows on the south side of the Roosevelt Station construction area. The walls of the station box were formed first, underground. Since then, the soil in the box has been steadily removed. The two tunnel boring machines put in at the Maple Leaf Portal to the north will emerge from the far side of this pit.

The Roosevelt Station box excavation has come a long way since those meetings, and both tunnel boring machines are steadily making their way south from the Maple Leaf Portal. The first of the two, Brenda, is due to arrive in Roosevelt sometime this spring*.

And just what is this station going to look like in the future, when the boring machines are long gone and all this construction is over? We’ll find that out soon.

Sound Transit is holding the 90% design open house on Wednesday, February 25, in the Roosevelt High School commons (1410 NE 66th Street). Open house time is 6-8 PM, with a presentation starting at 6:30 PM.

From the open house press release:

At the meeting, you’ll see:

  • Updated station design graphics
  • Latest designs for station art
  • Station and tunneling construction update
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The view west from Roosevelt High School’s “front porch.”

In the past, we’ve provided live coverage of these meetings, usually  the same post as the meeting announcement. We plan on doing the same for this meeting as well, if the smart phone reception strength permits; however, our current provider seems to have trouble getting through the thick walls of Roosevelt High School, so live coverage might not be possible.

Whatever happens with cellular service, we will be taking notes during the meeting (just as if we were doing our usual live coverage) and readers will find our observations available here, once we get back home to HQ.

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*We’re waiting for a more exact date from Sound Transit, and we’ll update “spring” when we’ve got it. Early 2015 for sure, though.

UPDATE (7:08 PM): We’ve heard from Kimberly Reason with Sound Transit who says the agency isn’t saying boo about an arrival time right now, “not even general windows.” Hopefully it’s safe to say that Brenda will likely arrive before 2021, though.

UPDATE (Tuesday, February 24): An update on the project from Sound Transit today contained the following tunnel boring machine location information:

The first of two tunnel boring machines is expected to arrive at the Roosevelt Station site within the next few weeks. Launched in July, it’s currently working its way through the ground just a couple blocks north of the excavation site. It’s already traveled more than 7,400 feet from the Maple Leaf portal.

The other tunnel boring machine is following a parallel path for a future southbound tunnel. It was launched November 2014 and has traveled more than 1,500 feet to just north of NE 85th Street.

UPDATE (Friday, February 27): The slides from Wednesday’s presentation have been posted. Click the image below to download the 14.9 MB PDF.

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South entrance of the Roosevelt Light Rail Station, as seen from the SE corner of NE 65th Street and 12th Avenue NE (Toronado corner). Click to download the 14.9 MB PDF of the presentation.

 

NE 65th Street bakery location to rise again as Sod House Bakery

Not long after the Ravenna Blog was born, the front doors to Morning Star Bakery (2114 NE 65th Street) closed and the business went full wholesale. If one wanted one of their soft pretzels bespeckled with salt, one had to trek away from the business district location to the nearest PCC.

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The old Morning Star Bakery double Dutch doors will swing open once again to customers in April.

We’re pleased to report that these doors will once again open to customers this spring.

Sod House Bakery and Bonniecake (also known as New Renaissance Cakes) will be sharing the space, and hope to open their joint retail venture the first week of April.

Sod House Bakery

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A peek inside the Sod House Bakery farmers market case (photo courtesy Sod House Bakery).

Evan Radick and Nina Faccone got their start selling their wares at local farmers markets, including the nearby University District Farmers Market and the more distant West Seattle Farmers Market*. They have now ceased their market stand for the time being while their first brick and mortar operation is completed.

Evan tells us that the Ravenna bakery will be open five days a week to start (Wednesday-Sunday, 6 AM-2 PM) with plans to work up to seven days a week with additional staff. Along with the usual farmers market selection, Sod House Bakery will have challah and brioche breads available. A full selection of breads will become available as proper equipment is acquired and recipes are tested.

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Tables (tables!) being assembled inside the new Sod House Bakery space.

Alongside the sweet stuff, espresso and drip coffee will also be available, made with Seven Coffee Roasters beans.

Bonniecakes

Bonnie Lyons has been making custom wedding cakes for some time now (as New Renaissance Cakes), working out of a commercial kitchen in Lower Queen Anne. But with the owners selling the kitchen’s building, it was time to move on. Rents being what they are these days, sharing a space was financially attractive, and with the lack of product overlap with Sod House Bakery’s offereings, the match feels like a good pairing.

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Detail of hand-made fondant Dogwood flowers on a custom wedding cake. Cakes in the case for the new bakery will not be so intricate. (Photo courtesy Bonniecakes.)

Bonnie tells us her cakes are “made from all ‘whole ingredients’ and baked from scratch. No margarine or canned frosting or cake mixes. The cakes are definitely not low calorie, but they are made from all ‘real food’ ingredients.” Flavors include:

Chocolate Ginger Cake – Chocolate cake layers filled with Dark Chocolate Ginger Mousse, ganache, and iced with ginger buttercream.

Coconut Cake – White Cake layers filled with coconut white chocolate mousse, pastry cream, and iced with buttercream.

Luscious Lemon Cake – Lemon Cake layers filled with lemon curd, lemon white chocolate mousse, and iced with cream cheese icing.

Hearty Carrot Cake – Carrot cake layers filled with cream cheese icing and iced with cream cheese buttercream.

Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Cake – White Cake layers filled with White Chocolate Mousse and pastry cream and iced with cream cheese icing.

Gluten-Free Dark Belgian Chocolate Cake – Gluten-Free chocolate cake layers filled with dark chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache and iced with chocolate buttercream.

Bonnie will be continuing her custom wedding cake business in the new Ravenna space, as well as providing 6-inch and 9-inch cakes to the bakery’s pastry case. Cake by the slice will also be available.

You can watch the interior transformation of the space on the Sod House Bakery Instagram feed.

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*Thank you to our friends over at the West Seattle Blog who first shared this tasty news with us.

Watch this space: Old Pied Piper/Eggnest space finally leased again?

Patty’s Eggnest and Turkey House (2404 65th Avenue NE), closed and empty since fall, has a couple subtle signs about it that may indicate the space has been leased once again.

For one, the large neon green FOR LEASE sign has been removed from the window.  The other sign is a small, partially torn sticker found on the inside of one of the doors.

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Even with the upper-righthand corner of the sticker missing, the phrase “that has been leased” is intact.

Unfortunately, no liquor license actions have popped up for the address —  one of the ways to catch a new restaurant in the making.

Here’s hoping something tasty moves in soon. (And that they accept debit cards again.)