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.

20150315-103054.jpg

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.

Holmes Sisley press conference1

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.

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.

FullSizeRender-2

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

stand2

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.

FullSizeRender

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.

cake32

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.

__________________

*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.

IMG_4915.JPG

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.)

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 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.

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.

Theodora_exterior1

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).

Theodora_exterior2

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.

Theodora_comment_meeting1

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

Theodora_comment_meeting2

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.

Theodora_comment_meeting3

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

Two deaths at Ravenna retirement home prompt homicide investigation (UPDATES, PHOTOS)

 

IdaCulverMS5

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.

IdaCulverMS3

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.

IdaCulverMS1

A King County Medical Examiner readies herself for the scene as locals gather outside Ida Culver House Ravenna.

More info when we have it.

***

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.