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:

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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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.”

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Northgate Link update: Capitol Hill’s big red crane a-comin’

Capitol Hill Station's big red crane is on the move northward to start work at Roosevelt Station. (Photo by Capitol Hill Seattle. Used with permission.)

Capitol Hill Station’s big red crane is on the move northward to start work at Roosevelt Station. (Photo by Capitol Hill Seattle. Used with permission.)

Roosevelt Station news

A big ol’ tower crane used to help construct the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station is finished with its job on Broadway and is shortly headed north to the Roosevelt Station construction site. Sound Transit plans to start delivery of Big Red* early Sunday morning on August 10. Due to the size of the loads, the crane parts must be delivered at night to minimize traffic disruptions and such.

Delivery times are as follows:

  • 2-6 AM on Sunday, August 10
  • Midnight-3:30 AM on Monday, August 11 through Wednesday, August 13.

Residents may hear “intermittent truck noise” as the crane parts arrive and are off-loaded at the construction site.

From CHS’s pre-crane-removal coverage:

The Krøll 1800 (Capitol Hill’s is the metric model) was set up with its enormous 250-foot jib about 100 feet off the ground. The model can be as tall as 200 feet. It can lift more than 30,000 pounds at full extension and more than 130,000 when operating at a shorter radius, according to the manufacturer.

Some pictures of Big Red’s assembly can be seen here. The crane was installed at the Capitol Hill Station construction site back in late January, 2011.

Visit Sound Transit’s Roosevelt Station project page here.

*My nickname for the crane. It is big and red, after all.

U District Station news

The U District Station construction site is a busy one. Look for this trend to continue in August.

1. The L-shaped pedestrian pathway between NE 43rd Street and Brooklyn Ave NE (around the NW corner of University Manor) is complete! But it has business hours: 7 AM-6 PM, Monday through Friday. Outside of those hours and on weekends, your options for getting around the construction site are:

  • 12th Avenue NE to NE 42nd Street or NE 45th Street
  • Brooklyn Avenue NE to NE 42nd Street or NE 43rd Street
  • University Way NE to NE 42nd Street or NE 45th Street

2. Drilling along the shoring walls is almost complete! Only the south shoring wall is left (currently 75% finished), and expected to finish up by the end of August.

3. Station excavation has already started on the north end of the site. (Brenda IS on her way, after all.) Trucks are hauling station box dirt and such off-site down Brooklyn Avenue NE. More on station box excavation:

As crews dig down, they will install long nails, called tie-backs, into the soil to secure the underground station walls. Crews will also be installing long metal beams, called struts and wales, across the top and sides of the box. These braces hold the soil during station excavation. Crews will dig until they reach about 95 feet below ground. Excavation will be ongoing through spring 2015.

Visit Sound Transit’s U District Station project page here.

Rollover collision near northbound I-5/Lake City Way exit

Shortly after 3 AM, Seattle Fire Department units responded to a rollover collision near or on the I-5 offramp to Lake City Way.

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Via scanner, we’ve learned there are six patients: Three patients with life-threatening injuries and three with non-life-threatening All six have been transported from the scene to area hospitals in stable and with non-life-threatening injuries, the fire department said via twitter.

The collision has the two right lanes of I-5 blocked, with traffic slowly moving through on the left. We expect northbound traffic on I-5 through the area to be impacted for some time as the collision is investigated.

You can see current highway conditions and the I-5/LCW WSDOT camera here.

UPDATE (7:06 AM): Washington State Patrol has more information on this incident:

Power outage in south Ravenna as tree downs power lines (PHOTOS; UPDATES)

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Some wild weather this Saturday morning took a toll on the local electricity infrastructure.


View Downed tree causes brush fire, power outage in a larger map

Just before 10 AM, just after some heavy rains had fallen over the area, a tree on a hillside near NE 50th Street and Ravenna Avenue NE became unstable. The tree, or part of it, fell against some power lines and ignited a fire that was first reported as a house fire, but was downgraded later to a brush fire. Downed lines could be seen in the trees on the hillside as well as in the road below it.

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The affected hillside is just to the south of the Raven View Apartments (5001 25th Avenue NE). This section of Ravenna Avenue NE is a dead end, and residents south of the downed lines were unable to use the road until the scene was deemed safe by Seattle City Light crews.

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As a Seattle City Light crew worked to move the lines from the road, the downed lines on the hillside ignited another small brush fire.

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The ensuing outage affected about 2,000 customers. The estimated time of restoration is 2:41 PM, but some residents of the area have reported lights coming back on already.

UPDATE (1:21 PM): Seattle City Light reporting that power is coming back for another round of residents:

UPDATE (2:08 PM): Seattle City Light has updated the estimated power restoration time to 5:45 PM, over three hours later than the original estimate.

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Here is a picture of what Seattle City Light crews are up against as they make repairs at the incident site (picture taken from Ravenna Avenue NE looking southwest toward where the tree or tree limb downed some of the lines). The conditions at the scene are anything but ideal for SCL crews: Lots of tall, wild greenery and trees on a hillside, with the lines on the uphill slope.

UPDATE (5:22 PM): Seattle City Light says, “[c]rews have restored about 1,000 customers from the NE Seattle outage. About 850 homes and businesses remain out. Crews still working.”

UPDATE (5:43 PM): All but 57 Seattle City Light customers have power restored. Estimated restoration time for the remaining residents and businesses is 10 PM as remaining fixes require the replacement of the downed lines.

Northgate Link update: Brenda now 500 feet closer to Roosevelt

Today’s Northgate Link Extension news from Sound Transit includes a tunnel boring machine (TBM) update.

Maple Leaf Portal/tunnel boring news


View TBM Brenda’s current position (as of July 31, 2014) in a larger map

Sometime today, Thursday, July 31, TBM Brenda will have chewed her way through 500 feet of Maple Leaf soil on her way south to Roosevelt Station. Another TBM now being assembled at the Maple Leaf Portal will start carving the southbound light rail tunnel sometime in October.

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I’m guessing Brenda is a bit dirtier these days.

Roosevelt Station news

Station box wall construction now complete, the main work at the Roosevelt Station construction site is now the *excavation* of said station box. Crews are digging down about four feet at a time, removing soil from the station box area, pausing to stabilize the station walls that have been newly revealed, and then digging some more.

The station box needs to be fully excavated by the time Brenda arrives, sometime in early 2015.

And now for some NE 65th Street detour news:

In mid to late August, drivers heading past the Roosevelt Station site on NE 65th Street during the day may be detoured due to a project to install water lines under the road at the intersection of NE 65th Street and 12th Avenue NE. The signed detours will be in place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Westbound drivers can expect detours via 12th Avenue NE, NE 70th Street and Roosevelt Way NE and eastbound drivers can expect detours via 12th Avenue NE, NE 75th Street and 15th Avenue NE. Only one direction of travel will be detoured at a time.

These detours combined with the work on the Rooster Apartments on the west side of Roosevelt Way NE are making travel on NE 65th Street through the Roosevelt neighborhood a pain for all concerned (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc.). We urge all travelers in the area to have some patience and practice grace-filled egress in the area.

U District Station News

This week, crews are digging holes in which to place piles that will make up the southern wall of the station: 76 holes, each between 50 to 105 feet deep. To help speed this work along, crews are now on site on Saturdays AND using two drill rigs.

NE 43rd Street east of Brooklyn Avenue NE is still closed to motorists, but what are you doing driving around in that area anyway it is a mess.

Northgate Link webcams

If you’re sitting near internet and wondering how construction is doing at any of the above locations, there’s a webcam (or three) for that:

Each page also has a “Stream Time-Lapse Movie” button on the left-hand side, for those who appreciate more action than a live shot once every 15 minutes.

20140731_SaturdayConcretePourUPDATE (2:17 PM): Just into the Ravenna Blog inbox is a Roosevelt Station construction alert for Saturday.

Saturday morning concrete pour at Roosevelt Station construction site

On Saturday, Aug. 2, construction crews working for Sound Transit will begin work at 7 a.m. for a concrete pour. Residents may notice noise from truck engines.

Crews will do everything within reason to keep noise to a minimum.

Why is this concrete pour happening on Saturday?

High demand for concrete resulted in limited schedule availability for the concrete pour at Roosevelt Station. Doing the work on Saturday morning will help keep the project on schedule by at least two weeks.

Bull Moose Festival this Saturday!

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Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Festival is back! Let’s show the Moose some love and head over to our next door neighborhood’s community party which this year is celebrating aspects of sustainable living.

When: Saturday, July 26th, 11:30 AM-7:30 PM

Where: NE 68th Street and Roosevelt Way NE  Festival Map

Food, music, beer garden, dog show, fashion show, raffle, and more!

In fact, you can print out a raffle card and start getting stamps at participating neighborhood businesses ahead of time. You’ll win a small prize just for submitting your completed raffle card and will be entered in a drawing for $25 prize from the same businesses for things like spa services, food, and fair-trade goods.

You can also donate your unwanted textiles in any condition at the festival. Clothes for the Cause turns these recycled donations into funds which will go to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association. Just bring them in a tightly closed plastic bag to keep them dry.

The annual-ish festival is coordinated by the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association.

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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.

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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.

UPDATE (Friday, July 25): The names of the deceased were published in today’s Seattle Times: Annie McClure, 83, and William T. McClure, 57. The woman’s death, due to a gunshot wound to the head, was ruled a homicide. Her son took his own life in the same manner.

UPDATE (Sunday, July 27): An obituary for William McClure is now online.