43rd and 46th Democrats hosting District 4 forum Wednesday night (LIVE COVERAGE)

Tonight, Wednesday, April 29, the 43rd and 46th District Democrats are hosting a forum for the current slate of Seattle City Council District 4 candidates: Jean Godden, Rob Johnson, Michael Maddux, and Tony Provine.

The forum is being held at Roosevelt High School (1410 NE 66th Street).

From the Facebook event page:

You will have an opportunity to mingle with all of the candidates running for office between 6:30pm and 7:00pm; the main program begins at 7:00pm. Come to hear more from the candidates, their positions on important issues to our legislative districts/District 4, and get to know what they stand for.

The moderator for the event is Sarah Anne Lloyd, one-third of the Seattlish trio of “mouthy broads” who have been covering Seattle politics, news, and events since 2013.

We will be there, typing as quickly and accurately as we can, and you can follow along our live coverage below.

UPDATE (6:50 PM): Here’s tonight’s agenda…


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.

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.


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]

So, about those boarded up houses at 15th and 65th…

With Tuesday’s Ravenna-Bryant Community Association spring community meeting roster including City Attorney Pete Holmes, we thought we’d take the opportunity to assemble some reading material about one Hugh Sisley.

We don’t know how much Holmes will be able to say about the city’s plans for collecting the three million dollars in fines owed by Roosevelt’s most well-known landlord. But we do know that there are strong feelings running very deep about Mr. Hugh Sisley, and providing a more focused review of the situation (in terms of current, property-related events) wouldn’t hurt.


Graffiti on one of Hugh Sisley’s properties. The words on the right read. “I [heart] urban decay.”

The following information focuses on Sisley’s properties in and vision for his corner of the Roosevelt neighborhood, his position as a landlord in the area, and his relationship with the City of Seattle.


We’ve spent a few weeks over at the King County Parcel Viewer, looking up publicly-available property information for the map you see below. The cool-colored markers (and accompanying brown shapes) are properties where the primary taxpayer is listed as either Hugh Sisley, Hugh and Martha Sisley, or the Roosevelt Development Group.

View Properties around Roosevelt High School in a larger map

For more information about the map, including the description of the all symbols used, please open the map in a new window.

We will continue to add to it as we find more owners of multiple properties in the area.


Seattle Weekly articles

Earlier this year, the Seattle Weekly published a duo of articles on Mr. Sisley and his dealings (or non-dealings) with the city in terms of his housing-code violation cases and fines:

Seattle Weekly (January 10, 2014) “The Reign of Seattle’s Most Notorious Landlord Could Be Coming to an End

The 86-year-old is facing a record $2 million fine that continues to increase at the rate of $1,600 a day, plus 12 percent interest. And now, after years of foot-dragging of its own, City Hall is finally moving to collect the debt. As officials launch a new initiative approved by the City Council to inspect every rental unit in town, City Attorney Pete Holmes is planning to recover what the stubborn rental king owes by confiscating prized Roosevelt properties held by the penny-pinching millionaire.

And then, a follow-up, just 10 days later: “Hugh Sisley’s Slumlord Tab Now $3 Million, City Says After Recalculation.”

Sisley, whose property is concentrated in the Roosevelt neighborhood, has amassed close to 200 code-enforcement cases dating to the 1980s, according to city records. Among them are violations for faulty wiring, unsafe conditions, insect infestation, junk storage, emergency situations, and unfit vacant buildings subject to demolition.


RR Hardware, on 15th Avenue NE. “Total chaos envelopes the customer who bravely ventures into this 1940’s holdover,” says one reviewer on Yelp.



For a glimpse at Hugh Sisley’s vision for Roosevelt, we need only get on the internet and time travel a bit.

Although hughsisley.com is no longer up and running, the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has some snapshots stored from the days when it was. Here is the full archived selection, but we’ll point out a couple links to the two different forms the website took while it was live:

View of the progress (and the lack thereof) along NE 65th Street. Taken at 15th Avenue NE looking west.

View of the progress (and the lack thereof) along NE 65th Street. Taken at 15th Avenue NE looking west.

As the Sisleys’ attorney Jeff Grant says in the first Seattle Weekly article mentioned above, “That’s really the story of Hugh and the Roosevelt Neighborhood today. Progress.” This sentiment is echoed strongly on the pages of the old hughsisley.com.


Old Fruit Stand block project


Roosevelt High School standing in the background between two of Sisley’s properties on the NW corner of 15th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street.

The Roosevelt Development Group, which has long-term leases with the Sisleys on many of their properties, is currently working with architectural firm GGLO on a project on one of the three small blocks just south of Roosevelt High School (in orange on the map below).

View NE Seattle Large Development Tracker in a larger map

Project #3013244 at 6505 15th Ave NE is described as a “seven story, 220 unit residential building with 8,000 sq. ft. of retail use at ground level. Parking for 267 vehicles will be located below grade. All existing structures to be demolished.”

Roosevelt High School stands in the background between the two buildings proposed for the Old Fruit Stand block. This view is looking north from NE 65th Street through the half public, half private plaza area. Taken from page 30 of the February 3, 2014 design proposal (click to download; 17 MB PDF).

Roosevelt High School stands in the background between the two buildings proposed for the Old Fruit Stand block. This view is looking north from NE 65th Street through the half-public, half-private plaza area. Taken from page 30 of the February 3, 2014 design proposal (click to download; 17 MB PDF).

The project is currently in the Review phase, and has been presented twice at Northeast Design Review meetings (Early Design Guidance meeting on August 6, 2012, and a Recommendation meeting on February 3, 2014).

You can view the project’s current permit activity and associated documents here. The design proposal presented at the February 3, 2014 meeting can be downloaded here (17 MB PDF).

At this time, initial information has been collected for a new construction permit, but not a demolition permit.


A graffito adorns a previously graffitied spot on the recently officially shuttered Funtiques (1512 NE 65th Street). We believe it is missing a question mark.

Design Review Board meeting on the old Fruit Stand blocks (LIVE COVERAGE)

Tonight, Monday, February 3, the Northeast Design Review Board will meet to decide the next steps for the development of the “old Fruit Stand block” just south of Roosevelt High School.

The meeting takes place at 6:30 PM at the University Heights Community Center (5031 University Way NE, Room 209). There is a public comment period during the meeting, but it is only 20 minutes in length and not for Q&A-style discussions.

Ravenna Blog will be in attendance and providing LIVE COVERAGE below, starting around 6:30 PM.

Page 12 from the Roosevelt Development Group's Design Review Recommendation presentation. Click the image to download the entire presentation (17 MB PDF)

Page 12 from the Roosevelt Development Group’s Design Review Recommendation presentation. Click the image to download the entire presentation (17 MB PDF)

The Roosevelt Development Group will be presenting their preferred project design (by Seattle architecture firm GGLO) for 6505 15th Avenue NE (Project #3013244) to the Northeast Design Review Board at tonight’s meeting.

Three different design schemes were presented during the early design guidance meeting on August 6, 2012. (You can find the notes from that meeting here.) Tonight’s recommendation phase design is the third of those three designs and features:

    • Approximately 221 dwelling units, in a mix of multi- and groun- level configurations;
    • 7,500-square-feet of ground-level commercial space;
    • 175 parking stalls, accessed from 14th Avenue NE;
    • Overall height of 7-stories (building heights ranging from 55 to 75 feet, depending on the slope of the property)

Jim O’Halloran, past Roosevelt Neighborhood Association Land Use Chair, had this to say about tonight’s meeting and the current design plans:

“Now that a zoning decision for the high school blocks has been made, and that a reasonably attractive building has been designed for the site with some engagement from the Community, let’s get on with it; build the building.  If for any reason the project will be further delayed, then it is important that the existing decrepit building structures be removed without further delay.  Allowing this sore spot to fester without near term improvement would surely undermine RDG’s relationship with the Community.”

Dozens of guns stolen from home near Roosevelt High School

A resident of the 6800 block of 15th Avenue NE, just northeast of Roosevelt High School, reported a robbery at his residence on Friday, January 10, while he was at work. Among the stolen items were “20-25 handguns and 20 rifles and shotguns.”

View Burglary on Friday, January 10 in a larger map

In the police report narrative for the incident, the victim states that he left for work at 9 AM and returned around 2 PM and “found someone had gone through his house and stolen multiple items.” The victim had locked the house upon leaving in the morning, but had not set the alarm as he is in the process of moving. No forced entry into the house was found; however, the garage door can be opened by hand. This is how the victim believes the burglar both gained access and left.

Among the stolen items reported by the victim were near a dozen watches, cash in various places around the house as well as larger amounts in two small bags in the kitchen, and dozens of guns:

He said he had about 20-25 handguns and 20 rifles and shotguns. He could not name all the makes and models of the guns but said he would get them and send them in on a victim follow up. He stated that many of the handguns were from his Dad and Granddad and were from World War I and II. He said missing were a Colt .45, Webbly .357, Colt Huntsman .22, Luger, Walther, several Smith and Wesson to name a few. He stated he also had an AR-15 for one of the long guns. All the guns and handguns were in a closet in the bedroom or in drawers in a built in closet.

Also reported missing were 5-7 gym bags.


Thank you to Michael Hawthorne of KOMO News for bringing this incident to our attention.

Roosevelt Station Construction Open House (LIVE COVERAGE)

From 6-8 PM on Wednesday, October 23, Sound Transit will hold a Roosevelt Light Rail Station Construction Open House in the Roosevelt High School Commons (1410 NE 66th St.).

The presentation portion of the event starts at 6:30 PM. Topics include:

  • Learn more about upcoming construction activities and schedule
  • Speak with Sound Transit staff
  • Meet the contractor

Our live coverage of the event will start around 6 PM. Follow along below, neighbor!

Bicycle Master Plan Draft open house at Roosevelt High School (LIVE COVERAGE)

On Thursday, June 13, the city will hold its last Bicycle Master Plan Draft open house at Roosevelt High School (1410 NE 66th St, in the cafeteria) from 6-7:30 PM.

We will be covering the event LIVE, right here.

There are a plethora of Bicycle Master Plan Draft pieces, and you can see them all here, on the Project Library homepage. For for Northeast Sector Map specifically, you can find that here (4.5 MB PDF).

Jazz, Malls, and Signs of Spring – Ravenna Blog Sunday Edition