When the wind blows, the power goes

Just after 9 PM on Thursday night, residents in the area started reporting power outages.

Also at that time, folks reported hearing booms and seeing flashes in the direction of the Northeast Branch of the library. A look at the Real-Time 911 page showed Engine 38 checking out a “transformer fire” at 3536 NE 70th Street at 9:03 PM.

Here’s a screen grab of the Seattle City Light outage map in our area, image taken at 9:19 PM:


UPDATE: Power started coming back on in homes about an hour later (here at HQ, 10:09 PM).

Bank robbery suspect IN CUSTODY after Monday attempt

First there were reports of two SPD patrol cars heading east on NE 75th Street at 20th Avenue NE, then a sighting of four patrol cars “lined up” in the area of Top Pot Doughnuts (near NE 70 Street and 35th Avenue NE).

The next bit of information I’m usually looking for after a Wedgwood bank robbery is a notice from Seattle Public Schools that a shelter-in-place is occurring while officers search for the suspect.

Instead, the Seattle Police Department twitter feed shared this bit of happy news:

More info when we get it.

UPDATE (12:48 PM): News chopper spotted hovering in the area.

Another day, another bank robbery (UPDATES)

At 9:30 AM, UW Police Chief mentioned a bank robbery had occurred near University Village.

The Seattle Police Department’s later described the incident and the suspect:

Officers searching for bank robber after holdup in 4700 blk 25th NE. Susp: w/m, 30s, 6’2, heavy set, clean shaven, blu/green beanie&scarf

Suspect in 4700 blk 25th NE bank robbery displayed a handgun before fleeing bank. Police now searching area for suspect.

If you see anyone matching this description, call 911.

UPDATE (10:06 AM): Two local elementary schools are sheltering-in-place: Bryant and Laurelhurst.

By our count, this is the third shelter-in-place in three weeks for Bryant Elementary, all due to local bank robberies.

UPDATE (10:27 AM): The shelter-in-place has been lifted both schools as of 10:25 AM.

Another bank branch robbed, local schools shelter in place (UPDATES)

Just before noon on Thursday, October 30, a resident on NE 75th Street spotted three SPD vehicles high-tailing it east towards Wedgwood.

They were heading toward a bank robbery on the 7300 block of 35th Avenue NE.

Police are looking for a white male in his 50s, 5-feet, 4-inches tall, 135 pounds, wearing a black coat with a grey hoodie, jeans, and a cap (reads “Grizzly” in white stitching). The suspect is possibly armed.

Picture taken of the suspect inside the bank, via Seattle Police.

Picture taken of the suspect inside the bank, via Seattle Police.

If you see anyone matching this description, call 911 immediately.

UPDATE (12:13 PM): Schools in the vicinity of the bank robbery are sheltering in place (no one outside the buildings, outside doors locked, inside business as usual). These schools are: Eckstein Middle, Thornton Creek Elementary, View Ridge Elementary, Bryant Elementary, and Wedgwood Elementary (reported by Principal Doug Ouellette on twitter).

UPDATE (12:25 PM): Lockdowns at the previously mentioned schools was lifted at 12:15 PM.

UPDATE (12:32 PM): The previous bank robbery on 35th Avenue NE happened almost exactly two weeks ago, one block up the street from today’s. The descriptions of both suspects appear to be the same, but we have no confirmation from Seattle Police that this was the same individual in both cases.

UPDATE (2:36 PM): Seattle Schools has corrected their earlier list of schools that had sheltered in place this afternoon: View Ridge Elementary was not affected and did not shelter-in-place.

Bank robbery near NE 75th Street and 35th Avenue NE (UPDATES)

Just before noon on Thursday, neighbors reported seeing multiple Seattle Police Department patrol cars in the vicinity of NE 75 Street and 35th Avenue NE.

We have since learned that Seattle Police were responding to a bank robbery in the area.

Via the SPD Twitter feed:

Police searching for bank robber near
7500 blk 35th Ave NE. Susp is white male, 50s, 5’3, denim jacket/jeans, black hat, may be armed.

Seattle Public Schools had local schools in shelter-in-place mode around the same time as police arrived on the scene. The list of schools includes Eckstein, Bryant, Thornton Creek, View Ridge, and Wedgwood.

UPDATE (12:35 PM): Unconfirmed as of yet by SPD, but attention seems to be on the coin store Chase Bank on 35th Avenue NE just north of NE 75th Street.

Here is an image from KIRO’s Chopper 7 which could be heard hovering over our area earlier:

Also, the shelter-in-place was lifted at local schools moments ago.

UPDATE (2:18 PM): The Seattle Police Department Blotter has a post up now about the robbery. Unfortunately, it does not contain the words “in custody.”

If you have any information on today’s bank robbery (in the 7500 block of 35th Avenue NE), please call the police at 625-5011.

UPDATE (2:31 PM): University Prep (8000 25th Ave NE) was in “modified lockdown” from 12:15-12:35 PM.

Your Busy Weekend in Northeast Seattle: September 13-19

High of 79 for Saturday, 83 for Sunday.  This is the summer that never ends…it just goes on and on, my friend…

Go, fight, win: The Huskies play the Fighting Illini this afternoon (1 PM kickoff). Watch out for the traffic after, friends. Especially the residential street speeders!


SATURDAY, September 13

  • Get your car washed, fight cancer.
    • 4th Annual Light the Night Car Wash to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, NE 70th Street and Sand Point Way NE (across from Magnuson Park), 8 AM-2 PM. Donations accepted.

SUNDAY, September 14

  • Party in the watershed.
    • Thornton Creek Alliance 20th Anniversary Celebration and Concert, Cromwell Park (18030 Meridian Avenue N in Shoreline), 1-4 PM.  Meet at the headwaters for a concert in the park.  Music by the Thornton Creek Band.  Bring a blanket and a picnic — ice cream and cake provided!  Children’s activities, meet your neighbors, learn about restoration efforts, meet community partners.

MONDAY, September 15

  • Get fit, for free! (For one week, anyway.)


Anything else to add? Garage sale? Fundraiser? 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.

Public School First Day of Class Eve power outages (UPDATES)

If your VCR is blinking “12:00″ when you get home tonight, this is why:


Around 3:30 this afternoon, Seattle City Light customers along NE 75th Street from Roosevelt to View Ridge lost power. About 3700 customers were affected, with the cause listed as “Tree” on the city’s power outage page.

Then, about an hour later (after partial restoration to the earlier affected area), a large wedge-shaped swath north of about NE 80th Street between Lake City Way NE and Lake Washington also lost power. About 8,600 customers are affected in this area, with many traffic signals on Lake City Way and other arterials out.

Seattle City Light has crews dispatched and estimates the time of restoration to be 7:20 PM. Cause for this second, larger outage is also listed as “Tree.”

An online weather station in the Bryant neighborhood registered four gusts of wind above 20 mph after 2 PM. The barometer continues to fall as well, so we may be in for more blustery weather.

UPDATE (5:43 PM): Seattle City Light saying on twitter that many customers should start seeing power back in the next 45 minutes.

UPDATE (10:08 PM): A brief yet heavy rain around 6: 20 PM knocked out power to another small group of homes. SCL saying at this time that approximately 482 customers are still without power. Estimated restoration time for this group — 34th to 46th Avenues NE on the west and east, and NE 110th to 97th Streets north and south — is after midnight, possibly 2 AM.

Northgate Link update: Big Red crane work on Sunday, UW campus monitoring work

Roosevelt Station

Roosevelt Station construction site at 3:30 PM on Friday, August 15, 2014. (Click to visit the current view.)

Roosevelt Station construction site at 3:30 PM on Friday, August 15, 2014. (Click to visit the current view.)

1. Capitol Hill Station’s big red crane has been disassembled and the pieces trucked up to the Roosevelt Station construction site. Assembly has already begun during normal construction hours; however, Sound Transit will be adding a Sunday work day this weekend, on August 17, to put together the crane’s jib and hoist it into place.

Work will occur during daylight hours and start at 9 AM. And you should totally go check it out when it’s being hoisted because it’s gonna be something to see.

2. As soon as Monday, August 18, construction crews will start work installing a drainage line from the construction site to a sewer line in NE 67th Street. This project is expected to take up to three weeks, with work occurring between 8 AM-5 PM on weekdays.

Crews will work westward starting from just east of Roosevelt Way NE on NE 67th Street. Roosevelt Way will be reduced to one lane from 9 AM-3 PM for approximately two days during the first week of work.

Once the work has traveled to the west side of Roosevelt Way, the sidewalk and parking lane on the south side of NE 67th Street will be closed during work hours. Access to residents and businesses will be maintained, but minor delays during work hours should be expected.


U District Station

U District Station construction site at 3:30 PM on Friday, August 15, 2014. (Click to visit the current view.)

U District Station construction site at 3:30 PM on Friday, August 15, 2014. (Click to visit the current view.)

The Northgate Link tunnel boring machines are not yet near the University of Washington campus, but a whole bunch of monitoring equipment is about to arrive.

Sound Transit will start installing equipment for 16 monitoring sites around the UW campus over the next couple months, starting here in August. The equipment will monitor the ground, utilities, and buildings located above the light rail alignment during tunneling on campus.

If you’re on campus during this work, here’s what you can expect:

  • Hours: Activities between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Drilling Activities: Drilling into grass, asphalt or concrete, removing ground material and installing the monitor. Drilling will sound similar to a truck running with occasional hammering sounds. The vacuum truck will make noise while soil material is being removed (during the first few feet of drilling at each location). Drill rigs and support equipment may be temporarily stationed on streets or parking lots overnight during this work.
  • Equipment: Drill rig, trucks, traffic signage and cones, vaccum trucks, ladders
  • Access: Pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist traffic will be maintained. Some locations may require temporary lane or sidewalk closures. There may also be impacts to street parking. Traffic cones, No Parking signage, roadway signage, and flaggers may be used when travel lanes or parking areas are affected during this work.
  • Stickers on buildings: Building monitoring stickers, called structural settlement points, are 3″x3″ stickers that crews affix to the outside of buildings and check regularly for any movement.

Between the U District Station up on Brooklyn and the University of Washington Station down on Montlake, nearly one mile of tunnel will pass under the university’s campus. TBMs are expected to arrive at the U District Station in late 2015.

Public comment meeting TONIGHT on potential Theodora redevelopment (LIVE COVERAGE; PHOTOS)

On Thursday, August 14, representatives from the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development will be collecting public comment on the land use application to redevelop the Theodora Apartments (6559 35th Avenue NE). The meeting is being held at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Avenue NE) from 7-8:30 PM.

Prior to the meeting, at 6:40 PM, the Theodora Rescue Committee and their supporters will be marching from the Theodora to the RECC.


Land Use Application information

The owners of the Theodora, the Volunteers of America (VOA), have agreed to sell the property to Goodman Real Estate, a private real estate developer. The apartment building is one of two buildings that the VOA owns in Western Washington and has been used as housing for low income elderly and disabled people. In redeveloping the Theodora and converting the building from low income senior housing, Goodman intends to:

“alter and change the use of existing two story, 62,937 sq. ft. 113 room congregate residence (The Theodora) to a 64 unit apartment building and to allow a 35,361 sq. ft. addition for new apartments (45 units) for a total of 109 units. Parking for 56 vehicles will be located below grade.”

Additionally, Goodman is seeking landmark status for the building. The Landmarks Preservation Board will be considering the nomination at their meeting on Wednesday, August 20, at 3:30 PM in the Seattle Municipal Tower (700 5th Avenue, 40th floor, Room 4060).


Additional information

Tenants With Disabilities Filing Suit Over Sale Of Seattle Apartment Building (KPLU, July 3, 2014)

Ravenna-Bryant Community Center information on Theodora sale and redevelopment (various posts from 2013-current)

Permit and Property Records and Documents for Project #3017233 (includes public comments already submitted)


We’ll be providing live coverage of the meeting below, starting just prior to 7 PM.

UPDATE (Friday, August 15): First, a few pictures from last night.


Marchers from the Theodora Apartments arrive at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center around 7 PM. The banner reads “GOODMAN REAL ESTATE BACK OFF OUR HOMES.”


Peter Metzger, a member of the Theodora Rescue Committee, speaks at the public comment meeting. Metzger held up part of Goodman’s landscape plan, which includes the removal of trees on the present Theodora property. Then he held up the Seattle Times A section from Thursday (same day as the meeting) whose cover story was about Seattle’s dwindling tree canopy.


Another speaker (this one with Real Change) takes his turn. In the background, Jerry Sudor (with the Department of Planning and Development) writes down parts of of all speaker’s comments. Carly Guillory (seated; also DPD) looks on.

Below are the notes that Sudor took during the public comment period (not in chronological order, however). Click on any of the images to view the larger, readable version. The full phrase on the last on the last sheet (partially blocked by a reporter’s shoulder) is, “Portland/Bellevue better keeping trees.”

Theodora_comments1 Theodora_comments2 Theodora_comments3 Theodora_comments4 Theodora_comments5 Theodora_comments6 Theodora_comments7

Now We Are Six (Years Old)


Happy birthday to…us!

Six years ago today the Ravenna Blog was born. The site started out with questions and observations about the neighborhood (a lost cat flyer and free stuff in an alley was among our first posts) and has become many local residents’ first source of information about Northeast Seattle events, power outages, and the answer to “Why is there a helicopter hovering over my house?”

This is also a good day to thank all of YOU for reading and asking questions and sharing your kale jokes and telling us about events and all that jazz. Really: THANK YOU.


Top Stories of the Past Year

Here were the most-read stories on the Ravenna Blog between August 8, 2013 and today:

1. AM Shooting at NE 55th Street and 26th Avenue NE, September 10, 2013

2. Shooting behind U-District Safeway, March 26, 2014

3. Dozens of guns stolen from home near Roosevelt High School, January 14, 2014

4. So, about those boarded up houses at 15th and 65th…, May 5, 2014

5. Mark Mullan sentenced, November 15, 2014

Our all-time most-visited post (since we’ve been keeping track) is still our behind-the-scenes tour of the University of Washington Light Rail Station at 60% completion, from January 2013.

And my favorite picture that I took this year was from the live fire exercises up at NE 68th Street and 32nd Avenue NE on May 16:


Three hours of taking pictures of fire fighters with a 35-pound toddler on my back. I’m still sore, but it was AWESOME.


Annual Pledge Drive Section

If you enjoy the Ravenna Blog’s coverage of local news and events, consider saying thanks with some financial support.

How about six bucks for our sixth birthday? That’s the cost of one smoothie from the new juice bar at Roosevelt Whole Foods, spent instead on homegrown local news coverage.

*click* one-time, anytime donation *click*

Last year’s birthday support was spent on a photography class at North Seattle College. And if that’s not the gift that keeps on giving…


…then I don’t know what is.


UPDATE (11:25 AM): If you thank us, we’ll thank you. Here are the folks who have helped fund the site today lately:

Donna DeShazo

Andres Salomon

Kristi Coulter

John Eddy

Ulysses Hillard

Doug Plummer

Brad Mohr

Jeremy Holmes

David Katz

James Simmons

Per Johnson

Deborah Casso

Stephanie Jewett