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).

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.

Here they come to snuff the Rooster (crane)

Aww yeah*.

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


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.


*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.


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.


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

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.


*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.


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.


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.

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.


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:

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.


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!


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.