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.

Women of NE Seattle Schools Kickball Tournament this Sunday (UPDATE)

[Cue “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor]

For about eight years now, women with kids in various north end schools have gathered to challenge each other in the ultimate contest of playfield supremacy: KICKBALL.

At 4 PM on Sunday, June 8, some of these glorious ladies of wisdom will face each other once again at the lower View Ridge Playfield (4408 NE 70th St).

At this time, we know that Bryant, Eckstein, Roosevelt, Thornton Creek, Laurelhurst, Assumption, and Wedgwood schools have teams (UPDATE: View Ridge Elementary also has a team). The team from Laurelhurst Elementary is returning as the previous tournament’s champions. CAN THEY KEEP THE GOLDEN KICKBALL TROPHY IN THEIR POSSESSION???

"I think the trophy reflects the level of sophistication of this event," says Terrie McCoy. (Photo provided by Terrie McCoy)

“I think the trophy reflects the level of sophistication of this event,” says Terrie McCoy. (Photo provided by Terrie McCoy, trophy by the Barker Sherman family.)


More information about the tournament from Terrie McCoy, who has kids at Roosevelt and Eckstein (via email):

The general idea is that teams consist of women from each school, mothers, guardians, staff, etc. Each school has one team but rosters have varied from the minimum of 9 to as many as ~25. Kids cheer and often provide coaching tips but do not play. A group of Bryant/Eckstein/RHS dads have barbequed in the past and families from all schools have brought money to pitch in for the refreshments. Several of those dads are not available this year but I think we have at least one Wedgwood dad ready to bbq. With 8 or more teams we have two round robin tournaments with the winners of each playing in a championship game. Games typically consist of 3 innings. The quality of trash talk tends to be better than the quality of kickball so I encourage people to bring their thick skins.


[Cue “The Final Countdown” by Europe]

AM Shooting at NE 55th Street and 26th Avenue NE (UPDATES)

On Tuesday at 8:35 AM, Seattle Police and Fire units responded to a shooting at approximately 26th Avenue NE and NE 55th Street.

View AM shooting at NE 55th St and 26th Ave NE in a larger map

Above: Tweet by KOMO News Radio reporter Jon Repp from near the scene of the shooting (looking east down NE 55th Street).

A man was shot in the wrist and femur (per scanner), and transported to Harborview Medical Center. His condition is unknown at this time.

There was some confusion early on about the make and model of the suspects’ vehicle, but SPD is now calling it a “newer black Toyota Corolla,” per scanner.

We’re awaiting word from SPD on descriptions of the suspects.

Nearby Bryant Elementary School went into “shelter-in-place” mode: Students were allowed inside and school continued as usual.

Assumption-St. Bridget is in “modified lockdown at this time.

Metro routes using NE 55th Street (30 and 74) are affected:

UPDATE (9:52 AM): Some more information from media at the scene:

We’re expecting homicide detectives to be at the scene for some time, and that parts of NE 55th St and 26th Ave NE will also be closed for some time.

The Seattle Fire Department has said over twitter that their medics transported “an approx 30yo male from 2610 Ne 55th St to HMC with 2 gunshot wounds. Patient critical with life threatening injuries.”

UPDATE (10:05 AM): The Seattle Times has more information on this morning’s shooting from SPD’s Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, including:

  • Victim (now said to be in his 50s) was “apparently targeted.”
  • Victim was shot at from a dark sedan occupied by what were described by witnesses as “two African-American men in their late teens or early 20s.”

KIRO reporter Natasha Chen (above) took some video of Sgt. Whitcomb speaking near the incident site:

UPDATE (11:20 AM): Picture of the scene from the Seattle Police Department:

UPDATE (1:14 PM): The Seattle Times is reporting that the victim works at Manning & Son Upholstery (2610 NE 55th Street). He and is son (recently brought on to learn the trade, reports Alexa Vaughn) were on their way into the upholstery shop when the shooting occured.

Joel Moreno, a reporter at KOMO News, is reporting that the victim is in surgery.

UPDATE (2:33 PM): KING 5’s Elisa Hahn reports via twitter that the victim is out of surgery and in ICU. His condition is listed as serious.

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:

Wednesday afternoon area robbery by knifepoint is second in less than a week (UPDATES)

This Wednesday afternoon, we were forwarded an email by a concerned resident regarding a robbery by knifepoint that occurred a week ago, on Thursday, February 14, a block from Bryant Elementary School, during school hours.

On Wednesday evening, the Seattle Police Department’s Blotter website posted information on a very similar crime, having occurrred near the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library, around the same time of day, but on Wednesday, February 20.

There have been TWO robberies by knifepoint during daylight hours in our neighborhood within six days of each other.

View Robberies by knifepoint in February in a larger map

1st Assault, at NE 60th St and 32nd Ave NE, around 2 PM, on Thursday, February 14

The victim was taking an afternoon walk from his home and noticed a suspicious male near a home under construction on the 3400 block of NE 62nd st. The male followed the victim from there until 35th Avenue NE and then passed him, while talking on his cell phone.

When the victim reached the corner of NE 60th St and 32nd Ave NE, the suspect came up behind him, used a knife to cut the victim’s pants where his wallet was located, and yelled, “Give me your f—ing wallet.” The victim tried to prevent the suspect from robbing him, and was thrown against a concrete retaining wall. The suspect then ran down a nearby alley with the wallet.

The victim sustain a few scratches to his right arm, and hit his head on the wall. Seattle Fire Department units responded and treated his minor injuries.

The victim did not see the face of the suspect, but described him as a white male in his thirties, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 180 lbs. He was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, and blue jeans. The victim described the knife as a folding knife with a black handle and a thin three-inch blade.

The police report for the first robbery by knifepoint is available on the city’s website (PDF; registration required). Bryant Elementary School The “Bryant Teaching Team” sent out an email to parents on Tuesday, February 19 about the incident. [Correction note: We have been told by parent volunteer who sends out email on behalf of the Bryant Elementary School PTSA that the school itself did not send out any emails to parents about this incident. CORRECTION UPDATE: The email was sent out from a preschool in the area.]

2nd Assault, in the 6500 block of 36th Avenue NE, around 3 PM, on Wednesday, February 20

From the SPD Blotter post:

Preliminary investigation indicates that the 65-year-old female victim had just gotten off the bus and was walking north on 36th Avenue NE on the east side of the street when she was attacked from behind by an unknown male suspect wearing a black mask, black hoodie and jeans.

The suspect forcefully grabbed the victim’s purse in an attempt to steal it.  As the victim attempted to retain her purse the suspect pulled out a knife and cut the purse straps and in doing so cut the victim’s hand.  The suspect fled the scene on foot with the victim’s purse, running northbound on 36th Avenue NE and then westbound on NE 68th Street.

The victim was treated for her minor injuries by Seattle Fire Department staff, then was driven home by a patrol officer.

The suspect in this assault is described as “an unknown race male in his 20′s, 5’9″ tall, 150 pounds, thin build, and was last seen wearing a black mask over his face, a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head, and gray pants.”

We will be in contact with staff at the North Precinct on Thursday and will add further updates to this post.

UPDATE (Thursday, February 21): The PTSA of Bryant Elementary School sent out an email today regarding this recent criminal activity, and included the following safety information:

Seattle police have provided the following safety tips aimed at keeping you and your students safe when walking in our neighborhood. They are also available on the Seattle Police Department website.

  • Pay close attention to your surroundings; avoid “automatic pilot.”
  • Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
  • Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.
  • Stick to well-lit areas.
  • Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
  • If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
  • Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
  • Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.

More safety tips beyond these are located on the Personal Safety page of the Seattle Police Department’s website. Recommended reading.

UPDATE (Friday, February 22): The police report for the robbery on Wednesday afternoon is now available (PDF; registration required).

The victim, a 65-year-old woman, got off a bus at 35th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, and walked east along 65th. She walked to 36th Avenue NE, turned left, and headed north along 36th Ave NE on the eastside sidewalk.

She was attacked from behind. The male suspect grabbed her purse, which the victim then attempted to hold on to. The suspect then cut the straps of the purse with a “box cutter,” cutting the victim’s hand in the process. He ran north on 36th with the purse before turning left on NE 68th St.

The victim described the suspect as “5’08 to 5’09 in height with a slim build, approximately in his twenties but she was unable to determine his race. She said she thought he was armed with a box cutter due to the small size of the blade.” He was also described as wearing a black mask, and black hoodie, and black jeans.

A person across the street saw the attack occur, and described the suspect in a similar way. This witness thought that the suspect was a white male, but was not sure due to the mask and hood.

A second witness in a residence north of the location of the robbery saw the suspect running away from the scene, toward NE 35th St, wearing all black.

The victim was treated at the scene by Seattle Fire Department staff, and advised to have her laceration stitched up at a hospital.

Both attacks (February 14 and 20) remain active and on-going investigations.

Anyone with information about these incidents or who may know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect(s) is asked to call 911 or Seattle Police and refer to the appropriate incident. Anonymous tips are welcome.

Ravenna-area public school tour dates for new kindergarteners

The first day of the 2013-2014 school year is still months away, but open houses at area elementary schools for incoming kindergarteners have begun.

What follows is a list of schools in the Seattle Public School District that Ravenna neighborhood students can attend, and the dates and times of their upcoming open houses. We are happy to include information for local private schools if it is available — just let us know in the comments below.

To search for your address’ specific attendance area schools, enter your home address into the Seattle Public Schools address look-up tool. And if you are curious about the transportation zones around these schools, they can be found here (listed as 2011-12 school year; Thornton Creek and Jane Addams not available).

Wedgwood Elementary (2720 NE 85th St)
Thursday, January 24, 6:30-8 PM

The tour will start in the cafeteria with an introduction by the principal of Wedgwood lasting 10 to 15 minutes, followed by parent volunteers escorting families around the building. At 7:15 pm, families will reconvene in the cafeteria where the principal will field questions for 15 to 20 minutes before closing. Please note Wedgwood will not be hosting tours during the school day in order to minimize disruptions and maintain a quiet, distraction-free learning environment for our students. If you have any questions about daytime visits, please contact our Administrative Secretary, Joann Sparks at 206-252-5670 or

Ravenna Blog staff will be attending.

Bryant Elementary (3311 NE 60th St)
Thursday, January 31, 6:30-8 PM

No RSVP necessary.

Green Lake Elementary (2400 NE 65th St.)
Tuesday, January 29th, 6-7:30 PM, in the library

6:40-7:15 pm – TOUR OF SCHOOL
7:20-7:30 pm – CLOSING IN LIBRARY

For questions, please send an email to Caroline.

Thornton Creek School (7711 43rd Ave NE)
Thursday, January 31, 7-8:30 PM, and MANY daytime tour dates

The daytime tours will start off with a brief introduction about the school from principal John Miner, followed by a brief question and answer session. Parent volunteers will then lead small groups in touring the school and visiting some classrooms. The evening open house will include a brief welcome from the general and special education kindergarten teachers, an introduction to the school from principal John Miner, and a question and answer session. Visitors will also have an opportunity to tour a few classrooms and talk with current parents.

Ravenna Blog staff will be attending the evening open house.

Jane Addams K-8 School (11051 34th Ave NE)

Evening Sessions will start in the auditorium:
Wednesday, February 13 at 6:30 PM for All grade levels
Thursday, February 28 at 6:30 PM for Middle School information only

Morning Sessions will start in the Library:
Wednesday, February 13 at 8:30 AM
Thursday, February 21 at 8:30 AM
Wednesday, February 27 at 8:30 AM
Tuesday, March 5 at 8:30 AM

Pinehurst K-8 School (11530 12th Ave NE)

No information on school tours at this time.


Disclaimer: This is our first real foray into the World of Public Schooling with children of our own (Intern No. 1 will be attending kindergarten this fall). We appreciate any and all information, encouragement, and/or advice you more experienced Northeast Seattle parents may be willing to share with us as we start the journey. We, personally, have not attended elementary school in…a long time, and a few things may have changed between then and now. A few.

Shooting at Cafe Racer in Roosevelt (UPDATES)

UPDATE (Thursday, May 31): Around 10 PM last night, the suspect and a fourth victim at Cafe Racer were reported to have both died of their injuries. Here is the AP story.

As of this morning, the only survivor of the shootings at Cafe Racer, Leonard Meuse, has had his condition upgraded from critical to serious. He is expected to recover.

UPDATE (5:46 PM): Many news outlets, including this one, had erroneously reported that the suspect had died of his injuries. He is, in fact, alive and continuing to receive treatment at Harborview (via the Seattle Police twitter feed).

UPDATE (5:02 PM): Seattle Police has confirmed that the suspect in the Cafe Racer shootings has died from his self-inflicted gunshot wound. Reported in error.

And they also confirm that the shooting at 8th and Seneca this morning is connected to the suspect.

More on all of that in the Seattle Times (“Suspect in Seattle slayings kills himself”).

And also at the Seattle Times, some good news: The chef at Cafe Racer, who was among those shot this morning, is doing well.

UPDATE (4:34 PM): Just as we were receiving reports of officers arresting someone in the vicinity of 47th Ave NE and Roosevelt Way NE, there are now reports that the suspect in the Roosevelt shootings was found in West Seattle. When approached by officers, he then turned the gun on himself. Police are saying that this individual was suspected in the shootings in Cafe Racer, but are not commenting on his condition at this time.

More detail from the tail end of the Mayor’s news conference by Assistant Chief James Pugel: Plain closed officers in West Seattle recieved images of the suspect as they were patrolling. One officer identified the suspect and called in uniformed officers to assist. Suspect saw the uniformed officers closing in, knelt down in the street, and shot himself in the head.

Our friends at the West Seattle Blog will have more information on this latest shooting (37th Ave SW and Raymond St) at their website.

UPDATE (4:12 PM)Assistant Chief of the Seattle Police Department, James Pugel, spoke during the Mayor’s live conference this afternoon. Below is the summary:

Just before 11 AM, two 911 call came in: One saying shots fired at 59th and roosevelt, the other transferred to fire, “Dual distpatch” occurs, and both police and fire are dispatched to the scene, arriving at the same time. Police find five people down inside, and no suspect on scene. Two victims were dead at the scene, the others were triaged and transferred to Harborview. Dectectives, gang units, homicide and robbery, UW police, SPD officers on loan to the FBI all showed up to the scene. The area was canvassed, and a K-9 unit was called in. Evidence recovery is ongoing. Pictures from the scene have now been release. He has not been positively identified yet. The 8th and Seneca shooting call comes in around a half hour later.

UPDATE (2:42 PM):Seattle Police department reports that another of the shooting victims has died. Speculation online is that the victims are members of the band God’s Favorite Beefcake, but this is unconfirmed at this time.

UPDATE (12:56 PM):More to add to suspect’s description (via Casey McNerthney’s twitter feed):”New detail about North Seattle shooter: police say his black and white has a white collar. Has dark shirt over it.”

UPDATE (12:30 PM): Vis Casey McNerthney’s twitter feed: “Police telling Ravenna residents to stay inside, not open their doors as search for shooter is nearing second hour.”


Seattle Fire and police responded to a shooting at Cafe Racer (5828 Roosevelt Way NE) right around 11 AM.



Two of the five shooting victims have died, both male. Three other victims include a woman, all of whom have been transported to Harborview Medical Center. The Associated Press reports that all three are in critical condition (12:37 PM, via twitter).

Suspect is still at large. His description is “Suspect is a wht man, 6’1, very thin, curly light brn hair, wearing a white & brn plaid shirt, a long sleeve shirt, and dark pants” via the Seattle Police Department Twitter feed.

Area schools and community centers are on lockdown or operating normally with doors locked.

Updates can be found at the links below, and on our twitter feed, as news develops: