RBCA Spring Community Meeting on May 5 (LIVE COVERAGE)

IMG_6178.JPGTonight, Tuesday, May 5, the Ravenna Bryant Community Association will hold their spring community meeting. The meeting is being held at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Avenue NE) from 7-9 PM.

These expanded-from-their-usual-board-meeting events tend to feature more widely-relevant speakers and a round of board member elections, and that’s just what’s on the agenda for tonight (from the RBCA website):

Guest Speakers:

Seattle Police Assistant Chief Steve Wilske
Commander of Patrol Operations

Capt. Dick Reed & Lt. George Bray
Seattle Police Department’s 9-1-1 Call Center

Followed by:
Election of 2015-16 RBCA Board Members
Community Announcements


We’ll be there, providing live coverage below.

UPDATE (7:11 PM): Agenda and nominees for the 2015-2016 board:


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).

Two slices of local pizza news, from Zeeks and Mioposto

When the news hits your eye and it’s all pizza pie, that’s AMORE

Zeeks Pizza


Last October, we were saddened to report that Zeeks Pizza’s Ravenna location (2108 NE 65th Street) had stopped serving individual slices of pizza at lunchtime:

Not eZEEK_Lunch Specials_MAY2014nough foot traffic to keep the quality of the product where the company likes it, is the reason we heard.

HOWEVER, starting Wednesday, May 7, our Zeeks on 65th will start offering special lunch deals on weekdays, from 11 AM to 2 PM (dine-in only):

Small pizzas (up to 3 toppings): $10 (normally $11.45 and up, depending on toppings)

Small Signature pizzas: $12 (normally $16.95 and up)

Breadsticks: $4 (normally $5.95)

Add a half salad: $3

Add a fountain drink: $1

We were happy to learn that Zeeks responded to customers’ desires for more lunch options at our location. And while it’s not as simple and fast as the individual slices were, your pizza will be made for YOU, be super hot, and provide you with a leftover slice or two for an afternoon snack.


When Taverna Mazi closed (we believe it had been up for sale since at least February of 2013; also, apparently haunted?), its corner location in the more Bryant-y area of the neighborhood was snapped up quickly. The windows were covered up on the inside, and work began.

The news that Mioposto had taken the spot for its second location (the original location opened in the Mt. Baker neighborhood in 2006 ) was well reported in foodier circles (Seattle Met magazine’s “Nosh Pit,” Eater Seattle, and Seattle Weekly, to name a few), but on the local front, things are pretty quiet.


Move along, pedestrians. Nothing to see here. Yet. (Photo taken on April 26, 2014)

The new location has its own Facebook page now, but there’s not much going on there yet, either.

So far, the only sign on the establishment is the public liquor license application:


This is all well and good, but we’re HUNGRY. And we’ve heard good things about this place. They’re even going to be open for all three meals. BREAKFAST PIZZA, people.

Eater claims an open date of June 12 for Mioposto II. And while we’d never put money on a new restaurant opening on the day it claims it will open, we’re gonna get up extra early that day just in case.

Seattle Fire to conduct “live fire” training at old CHSW site on May 13-16 (UPDATE)

We’ve learned from our friends at the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association that the new owner of the old Children’s Home Society of Washington site (3300 NE 65th Street) has offered the use of some of the old structures on the grounds to the Seattle Fire Department for “live fire” exercises.

Three single-family homes on the site will become the training grounds for Seattle Fire recruits who are in their last weeks of training. These training exercises, which include “practice such as cutting holes in roofs, dragging fire hose lines inside,” and, in the case of the house at 6556 32nd Ave NE, actual fire, are scheduled for May 13-16.

6556 32nd Avenue NE, one of three single-family homes on the north side of the old CHSW property.

6556 32nd Avenue NE, one of three single-family homes on the north side of the old CHSW property.

Before homes are selected for training exercises, they must be evaluated and tested for household hazardous materials (ex. asbestos). From an email provided by the RBCA from Eric Evans with Polygon Northwest (the new owners of of the old CHSW site):


Notice of Fire Department Training (click to enlarge)

This environmental investigation has been completed and a certificate from a professional hazardous material contractor has been provided to the Seattle Fire Department evidencing that the homes are free of any such materials. With these certificates in hand, the homes are now being disconnected from the existing overhead and underground utilities consistent with the underlying demolition permits that the City has issued for these single family homes. The homes are scheduled to be disconnected on Monday, 4/28 with the work being completed by Seattle City Light, Garner Electric and BDZ Construction.

After homes are selected and deemed safe for training exercise purposes, the neighborhood is notified and Seattle Fire Department staff begin preparing the buildings for the drills.

During the first week of May, Captain Brian Maier will be making the rounds in the neighborhood around the site, informing residents of the upcoming training exercises. On Tuesday, May 6, Seattle Fire Department staff will begin the training preparations, which include delivering port-a-potties and prepping the training homes. Then, on the morning of the following Tuesday, May 13, the recruits arrive and drills begin.

Neighbors with questions about the training exercises are asked to contact Captain Maier at 386-1771, or via email at allen.maier@seattle.gov.

For more information on vacant buildings and the training opportunities they provide for Seattle Fire staff, visit the Seattle Fire Department’s Vacant Buildings Wanted! page.

Page 29 from the Early Design Review #2 presentation of Bryant Heights (click to enlarge)

Page 29 from the Early Design Review #2 presentation of Bryant Heights (click to enlarge)

For more information on what is going up once the old CHSW buildings go down, the RBCA has a small update on Bryant Heights in their post about the SFD training exercises. You can download the latest design plans for Bryant Heights here (35 MB PDF).

And for more information on the Children’s Home Society of Washington’s long tenure at 3300 NE 65th Street, head over here to HistoryLink.org.


UPDATE (Tuesday, May 13): Sue Stangl of the SFD tells us the recruits will be doing room fires on Tuesday through Thursday (two fires, lunch, two more fires), starting around 7 AM each day. And then, on Friday, “they will strip the roof and then start the house on fire for a complete burn down.”

UPDATE: The training has definitely started!

Welcome to the 2015 Seattle City Council District Games (UPDATE)

Earlier in April, the City of Seattle finally released the official 2015 map of the Seattle City Council Districts. The reason for the map and the new way of electing our city councilmembers being (via seattle.gov):

In 2013, Seattle voters passed a measure amending our city’s charter to establish City Council districts. In 2015, voters will elect seven out of the nine City Council members by district. The remaining two positions will be elected “at-large” (city-wide) in positions 8 and 9.

Our Ravenna neighborhood is located in Council District 4, along with Bryant, Roosevelt, View Ridge, Sand Point, Windermere, Laurelhurst, Hawthorne Hills, the University District, Eastlake, half of Wedgwood, most of Wallingford, and a touch of Fremont — which is why it is so great to finally have a city-approved map with hard boundaries.

Northern portion of the Council Districts map. Click to open the interactive version.

Northern portion of the Council Districts map. Click to open the interactive version.

Within the interactive map above, Seattle residents can search for their address to find out which Council District they are located in, or just zoom in and around to see what neighborhoods are located in which districts.

On Wednesday, March 12, Crosscut held an event called “Mapping Seattle’s New Political Landscape,” where contributors Ben Anderstone and Knute Berger talked about Seattle’s newly created City Council Districts.

While we did not attend, we did follow along on twitter. Here’s what the duo had to say about our District 4, in one slide:

As for how City Council races will be scheduled in the future, the City Clerk’s office lays out the following timeline:

In 2015:

  • All nine Councilmember seats will be up for election and the transition will occur during that city election
  • Seven districted Councilmembers will be elected to four-year terms
  • The remaining two at-large Councilmembers will be elected to a two-year term

In 2017:

  • Seven districted Councilmembers will be elected to four-year terms*
  • The two at-large seats will be elected to four-year terms
  • The at-large Councilmembers will from this point forward be on the same election cycle as the Mayor and City Attorney

Then in the fall of 2022 (and every ten years thereafter), “a five-member Districting Commission will be created to redraw the district boundaries.”

Current City Councilmember Jean Godden has already tossed her hat into the ring for the newly created District 4 seat (she’s a View Ridge resident). But so far, at the time of writing, and with the filing deadline being over a year away, only current CMs have filed for reelection.


One of Councilmember Tim Burgess’s legislative aides, Alex Pedersen, made a suspicious move earlier in April: His monthly “4 to Explore: A Northeast Neighborhoods Newsletter,” published online or sent via email since August 2013, showed up in paper form in the Seattle Times. When asked if he’s considering running, fellow Council District 4 resident Pedersen told us (via email):

We hear a lot from interest groups but not enough from families because they are busy working to get by. So the newsletter highlights not only important neighborhood issues, but fun stuff that will be engaging and relevant each month.

I support Jean Godden and she’s aware of the newsletter :)

The deadline for getting on the ballot in 2015 is Friday, May 15, 2015, so District 4 residents have plenty of time to decide to run. You can track all the City Council candidates running in the 2015 Primary here, on seattle.gov.

And to all present and possible future Council District candidates, I say: May the odds be ever in your favor.


UPDATE (10:07 AM): Serendipitously, Crosscut’s Knute Berger has a piece out just this morning about this very topic: “New survey offers tips for implementing Seattle’s new city council districts.”


* Correction: We accidentally repeated the “Seven districted Councilmembers…” line in both lists. Thank you, Tony Provine, for alerting us to this error.

Car strikes local convenience store; driver injured

Just after 1:30 PM on Wednesday, April 16, Seattle Fire and Police units responded to a car-into-building call at the Wedgwood Mart (6236 35th Ave NE).


A man in a silver Lexus had a seizure (per Seattle Fire PIO Sue Stangl), and ended up driving up over the sidewalk along 35th Ave NE and into the convenience store’s parking lot, coming to rest on the front sidewalk of the store and against a brick pillar.


A witness who called 911 on the convenience store’s phone told us that the car struck a small tree in the parking strip before it struck the building. She also said that the shopkeeper was standing just to the left of the car’s final position and was nearly hit as well.


The witness also said that first responders broke a window of the vehicle to gain access to the driver. The adult male driver was later removed from the vehicle, conscious and alert from our vantage point, and was taken to a nearby hospital in an AMR ambulance.


Above, an officer stands nearby the vehicle as it is prepared to be towed out of the parking lot. Traffic nearby was impacted only briefly as the tow truck entered and exited the lot.


After the damaged car was removed, it appeared as though very little damage was done to the convenience store.

Heavy police activity in area Thursday afternoon (UPDATES)

Not long after 3 PM on Thursday afternoon, Seattle Police Department officers with a K-9 unit began searching yards in the area of 25th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, assisting the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office with a robbery case.


Cops in the hood and helicopters overhead

A neighbor in the area got a picture of a group of officers searching along 26th Avenue NE.


Cops in the hood and helicopters overhead

As officers searched, streets were blocked by SPD patrol cars. Southbound 25th Avenue NE was blocked for a time, then officers moved eastward.

KIRO’s Chopper 7 was in the area for some time, and we snagged a couple screenshots from the live feed:


This (fuzzy) shot is of the K-9 unit searching down an area street.



And this shot is of a white van on the 2100 block of NE 61st Street that may be related to the case. Police were calling for a tow truck for this vehicle (per scanner) during the time when all the other activity was happening in the area.

We’ll update this post when we have more information.

UPDATE (4:33 PM): MyNorthwest.com is reporting that the suspect is Timothy Lussier, a convicted felon being sought by Everett police in connection to an armed robbery in July.

A violent offender task force tracked [Lussier] down to the Kenmore area Thursday, where he fled in a stolen car.

“There was a brief pursuit that followed and the suspect then ditched the stolen vehicle in the Ravenna area,” Ireton [with the Sonohomish County Sheriff’s Office] said.

Lussier is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, call 911 immediately.

Picture of Timothy Lussier (Washington's Most Wanted)

Picture of Timothy Lussier (Washington’s Most Wanted)

UPDATE (4:52 pm): The Everett Herald describes Lussier as being 6 feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds. He is 35 years old.

UPDATE (11:37 PM): Lots of folks, ourselves included, reported hearing hovering helicopter noise again this evening, starting around 10 PM.

Turns out it was air support courtesy the King County Sheriff’s office, looking for the suspect. But they didn’t find much:

35th Avenue NE business district survey ends this Sunday — take it now!

Members of the Wedgwood Community Council and Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, together with other neighbors and local business owners have combined to form a group working on a neighborhood plan for 35th Avenue NE.

And part of that plan involves asking users of 35th Avenue NE what they think of the place, so the group has put together a survey.

If you find yourself on 35th Avenue NE on a regular (or even irregular basis), no matter where you live, your input is requested, and appreciated.

The survey has 31 questions, and takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

Click the image above to take the 35th Ave NE Business District survey (through July 14th)

Click the image above to take the 35th Ave NE Business District survey (through July 14th)

Learn more about the 35th Avenue NE neighborhood planning group/process here.

Common themes to residents’ NE 75th Street safety concerns revealed


SDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator Jim Curtin (in white) talks to a group of residents about NE 75th Street concerns at the April 25 meeting at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. Current Department of Neighborhoods Northeast District Coordinator Jenny Frankl also attended (in blue).

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Coordinator, Jim Curtin, sent an email to the NE 75th St email listserv this week, summarizing the input shared by neighbors about NE 75th St.


Those attending the community input meetings were directed to describe street safety issues on Post-It Notes and stick them directly to maps of the area around NE 75th Street. The red stickers also indicate residents’ trouble spots.

Curtin’s email said “[h]undreds of comments have been collected through three public meetings and we’ve received more than 100 emails, letters, and completed comment sheets.”

The common themes of these comments have been:

  • Channelization improvements were requested along segments of NE 65th Street, NE 75th Street, 25th Avenue NE, 35th Avenue NE and Banner Way NE and at several signalized intersections.

  • Speeding is a problem along the NE 75th Street corridor and along segments of nearby arterial streets.

  • The eight schools in the area increase pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle volumes twice a day. Speeding on non-arterial streets during drop-off/pick-up hours is a problem near schools. Many students walk and bike to school and student safety is a priority for residents. New construction at Thornton Creek Elementary will likely change traffic patterns.

  • There is a strong desire to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety throughout the area. Suggestions included adding more and improving existing marked crosswalks, constructing sidewalks, adding bicycle facilities to NE 65th Street and NE 75th Street, and improving signal performance for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Improve access to parks throughout the area and reduce speeds on adjacent streets Improve existing traffic signals to reduce turning movement conflicts with pedestrians and bicyclists and improve traffic flow.

  • Encroachments in the right-of-way limit pedestrian mobility and reduce visibility for all.

  • Congestion is an issue along several corridors during peak hours. This often leads to cut through traffic on non-arterial streets.

  • Existing parking restrictions should be reviewed and existing parking laws should be more strictly enforced. New parking restrictions are needed in a couple of locations.

  • Increased enforcement efforts are needed area-wide to address speeding, distraction driving, impaired driving, and pedestrian and bicycle safety issues.

  • Educational efforts should focus on behavioral issues like impairment, speeding, and distraction with more information about student, pedestrian, and bicycle safety.

Next week, a map of geographically-specific concerns and suggestions will be sent out to the listserv, Curtin said. You can request to receive future NE 75th St Road Safety Project emails here.


Chief Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang (white, center) and Safe Routes to School Coordinator Brian Dougherty (navy, right) listen to residents concerns and take notes at the RECC community meeting held April 25.

After the map is complete, SDOT’s next steps in the NE 75th St Road Safety Project involve combining this public input with the already existing Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans and traffic data. Options for future improvements will then be developed and presented to the community in July.

Bike-to-School Day ride and rally at Bryant Elementary (UPDATES, VIDEO)

Wednesday, May 8 was Bike-to-School Day, and Bryant Elementary School students and family turned out in force.

Participating cyclists started their ride to school at the Wedgwood Top Pot Doughnuts, who provided morning treats. About 40 minutes later, and under Seattle Police escort, the group headed south on 35th Avenue NE toward Bryant Elementary (on NE 60th Street).

Once at school, everyone gathered on the playground for a rally and press conference. Speakers included:

    • Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. José Banda
    • Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
    • Seattle School Board President Kay Smith-Blum
    • Cascade Bicycle Club Education Director Julie Salathé
    • Bryant Elementary School Principal Kim Fox

And Ravenna Blog was there! Taking lots of pictures.


 View from the Top Pot driveway off NE 70th Street as families gathered.


Lesile Loper (AKA The Bike Fairy) in blue, next to Seattle Schools Superintendent Dr. José Banda in bright green. On the left in red is Michele Solis with her son, Linus (who I think had just taken a bite of a powdered sugar doughnut).


 Overflow bike parking at the Wedgwood Top Pot along 35th Avenue NE.


 This pink beauty was the first bike here this morning, as you can see in the tweet below:



Clint Loper (Walk.Bike.Schools co-founder, Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board member, father of Bryant and Eckstein Middle School students, and husband to The Bike Fairy) was handing out these smiley bike pins. (The eyes are the wheels, get it?)


A gaggle of bikers walks their rides through the crosswalk at NE 70th St and 35th Ave NE.


KOMO TV morning photographer Fred Veinfurt let a few kids check out his camera gear while he was on scene with reporter Kelly Koopmans. Here’s Fred and his “students” from another angle:



Many of the kid’s bikes were decorated. This one is even sporting a Seattle Children’s Bike to Work Month seat cover.


 GIRLS RULE indeed.


Another view from the NE 70th Street side of Top Pot, as the crowd swelled (in numbers and with doughnuts consumed).


Here, Clint Loper (in black, with the bullhorn) thanks Bike to Bryant attendees for coming, and Top Pot Doughnuts for supporting the cause.


Seattle Bike Blog‘s Tom Fucoloro (center) interviews Car Free Days‘ Anne King (right) while Robyn Ellis (behind the camera) records the conversation.


Members of the Seattle Police Department line 35th Avenue NE and look for the start of the ride.


The front row of riders get a briefing just before heading out onto 35th Avenue NE. Cascade Bicycle Club Education Director Julie Salathé is in the yellow jacket at right.

A *lot* of riders, no?! For contrast, here is the first Bike to Bryant Donut ride:


And they’re off! Banda and The Bike Fairy lead the way.


A number of Cascade Bicycle Club members were along for the ride, wearing red, white and black wool cycling shirts. The rider on the yellow bike here happens to be Kathy McCabe, Deputy Director of the Cascade Bicycle Club.


Cyclists of all ages and sizes, heading to school.


No worries: Her dad had the other wheel. (Two unicyclers in the family!)


 Cyclists fill the streets while the media lines the sidewalks.


The Seattle Bike Blog people-powered news van on its way to the rally.


Back of the pack. Clint, armed with his cowbell, is on the far left.


And Michele Solis and her moving sculpture-style ride brought up the rear.

The Cascade Bicycle Club has a video of the start of the ride, as well as a sped-up version of the route to school:


One the primary school peloton arrived at Bryant Elementary, everyone cruised around to the playground behind the school for the Bike to School Day rally.


Ready to ring, or tweet, at a moment’s notice.


 Bryant Elementary School Principal Kim Fox addresses her students.


Cascade Bicycle Club recorded Superintendent Banda’s speech, and you can view it below:


This is Brian Dougherty, the Safe Routes to School Coordinator with the Seattle Department of Transportation, dressed for the occasion.


Here, a KIRO TV photojournalist gets an exclusive with The Bike Fairy.


I took a picture of this balance bike, thinking it was an ancient family heirloom. Talking to the family that owns it revealed that the bike was only about two years old — it gets USED.


 Councilmember Sally Bagshaw spoke to the crowd as well.


And here’s Seattle School Board President Kay Smith-Blum speaking to the kids from the podium, the younger ladies literally hanging on her every word.


Shots from the PACKED bike racks behind Bryant.


Who doesn’t love a miniature vanity license plate?


Tim King of Bike Free Days tallied the kid’s bikes at the end of the ride:



UPDATE (Thursday, May 9): Here’s Q13FOX’s coverage of the event (not embedded here due to its autoplay feature).

And here is the video of the event that the Seattle Bike Blog put together. Includes an interview with Car Free Days’ Anne King:

And here’s KIRO TV’s coverage, including the video of the event once it reached Bryant Elementary: