Public School First Day of Class Eve power outages (UPDATES)

If your VCR is blinking “12:00″ when you get home tonight, this is why:

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Around 3:30 this afternoon, Seattle City Light customers along NE 75th Street from Roosevelt to View Ridge lost power. About 3700 customers were affected, with the cause listed as “Tree” on the city’s power outage page.

Then, about an hour later (after partial restoration to the earlier affected area), a large wedge-shaped swath north of about NE 80th Street between Lake City Way NE and Lake Washington also lost power. About 8,600 customers are affected in this area, with many traffic signals on Lake City Way and other arterials out.

Seattle City Light has crews dispatched and estimates the time of restoration to be 7:20 PM. Cause for this second, larger outage is also listed as “Tree.”

An online weather station in the Bryant neighborhood registered four gusts of wind above 20 mph after 2 PM. The barometer continues to fall as well, so we may be in for more blustery weather.

UPDATE (5:43 PM): Seattle City Light saying on twitter that many customers should start seeing power back in the next 45 minutes.

UPDATE (10:08 PM): A brief yet heavy rain around 6: 20 PM knocked out power to another small group of homes. SCL saying at this time that approximately 482 customers are still without power. Estimated restoration time for this group — 34th to 46th Avenues NE on the west and east, and NE 110th to 97th Streets north and south — is after midnight, possibly 2 AM.

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.

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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.

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

BOOM in the neighborhood – lousy March weather strikes (UPDATES)

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At about 4:26 PM on Saturday afternoon, the weather turned TOO EXCITING near Ravenna Blog HQ. Lightning struck a tree just a couple hundred feet away, sending bark flying, hearts pounding, and causing a small power outage.

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Engine 16 stopped by to check things out briefly. A light smell of wood smoke hung in the air, and a homeowner nearby mentioned a cracked window.

Power was lost the instant the lightning struck, but the outage looks to be a small one, affecting around 60 households.

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Good to see you, too, Seattle City Light!

UPDATE (5:37 PM): On that lightning strike/power outtake just north of Green Lake:

UPDATE (6:15 PM): Estimated time of restoration for the Ravenna outage is around 1:30 AM, but you should check back here later for updated information.

Hot fashion trends out, hot sandwich shop in on the Ave (UPDATE)

This post is for you, neighborhood living UW students and staff.

Normally for new restaurant tips, we hit up the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s New Liquor License Actions web page for King County. But this time we happened upon one while browsing for construction permits for our NE Seattle Development Tracker page.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop appears to be renovating the old Pitaya clothing space at 4520 University Way NE (here’s the project page with the DPD).

Google Street View of 4520 University Way NE and a few extra storefronts to the north.

Google Street View of 4520 University Way NE and a few extra storefronts to the north.

Potbelly currently has three shops in Seattle — two downtown and one on First Hill. They’re a national chain based in Chicago, Illinois with nearly 300 locations.

The Wikipedia summary of Potbelly’s offerings says:

Potbelly’s menu features a variety of sandwiches that are all served hot on regular or multigrain wheat bread. All sandwiches can be ordered “thin-cut” style, in which one third of the bread is cut out. Potbelly began offering salads in February 2007. The menu also includes soup, shakes, malts, smoothies, and cookies. Most restaurants feature live music from local musicians during the lunch hours.

You can read all about Potbelly’s Promise, Story (they started as an antique store?), Menus, and more at their website.

UPDATE (Tuesday, March 18): The Potbelly twitter account told us that they’ve got a couple new stores coming to Washington: One in Issaquah, in addition to this one on the Ave. The opening date for the Potbelly in our area is listed simply as “Summer 2014″ so far.

NE Seattle YARNPOLCALYPSE is nigh (UPDATES)

Knit one, purl two, REPENT: For Northeast Seattle may be losing two independent yarn stores.

Acorn Street Shop, 2818 NE 55th St

Current Acorn Street Shop owner Karen Aho is retiring, and selling the shop. They’ve had some nibbles, says the shop on twitter, but as of this writing, there are no official takers. May might be the store’s last month if no buyers come forward.

Interested in owning your very own yarn store?* Contact Karen at acornstreet@msn.com.

Acorn Street Shop in early 2012.

Acorn Street Shop in early 2012.

More about the store from the Acorn Street Shop “About Us” page:

Acorn Street Shop was established in 1979 and began as a New England country store in nearby University Village Shopping Center. Soon the needlework department took over and Acorn Street became a full-fledged needlework shop. The shop has been under current ownership since 1986. In 1992, the business moved to its present location, just north of the U-Village, and the needlework merchandise has expanded to fill the old building up to its 15 foot ceilings!

Weaving Works, 4717 Brooklyn Ave NE

“Oh, if Acorn Street Shop closes, it will be sad. But there’s always Weaving Works down in the University District.” BUT FOR HOW LONG. The Weaving Works building is to be torn down and redeveloped into “a seven-story, 56 unit apartment building with 3,600 sq. ft. of retail commercial space at grade.”

There is no date set yet for the demolition, but the permit was filed on January 30, 2014.

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Rendering of the proposed development at 4717 Brooklyn Ave NE. Click the image to download the entire proposal (8.2 MB PDF).

The most recent design proposal for the site (available above) was presented to the Northeast Design Review Board on July 15, 2013. It was passed unanimously. You can read the board’s full report from the meeting here (249 KB PDF).

We’ve contacted The Weaving Works for more information about the store’s future, and will post a reply here if/when we know more.

UPDATE (Wednesday, 7 PM): Good news about the future of The Weaving Works, via their twitter account:

UPDATE (Monday, March 17): In the latest Weaving Works newsletter (PDF), the store announces that their annual Mother’s Day sale will be more of a Moving sale (to help make the move easier); however, they’re still keeping the new location under wraps.

Acorn Street Shop also holds an annual Mother’s Day sale.

____________

*Best possible place to work, in the event of an earthquake.

Officer-involved collision in Roosevelt (PHOTOS, UPDATE)

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Looking west down NE 75th Street from Brooklyn Avenue NE toward the scene.

Shortly before 2 PM on Sunday, December 29, Seattle Fire Department units responded to a two-vehicle collision on NE 75th Street at 12th Avenue NE. A red sedan and a Seattle Police Department cruiser had collided and both come to rest near the northwest section of the intersection.

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Close-up of the collision scene, looking west on NE 75th Street.

According to Seattle Fire Department PIO Lt. Sue Stangl, all three people involved (one officer in the patrol car and two people in the red sedan) were transported to hospitals with minor injuries. The officer was transported to Harborview, which is standard procedure for the Seattle Police Department.

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Looking north down 12th Avenue NE.

Detours were in place to reroute traffic as investigators processed the scene, but at least some Metro bus routes were unaffected.

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Close-up of the two vehicles looking north down 12th Avenue NE.

UPDATE (8:58 PM): We heard from a resident close to the scene that NE 75th Street reopened to traffic just before 6 PM. And, prior to that, a neighbor brought the officers directing traffic some cookies.

Mark Mullan sentenced (UPDATES)

UPDATE (6:18 PM): Adding in the evening’s TV news coverage of the sentencing today, when it becomes available.

Q13 FOX News (no embedded video here due to autoplay).

KIRO 7 News’ footage on the story from their 5 PM newscast.

Latest school boundary proposals for NE Seattle could spell big changes for local students (UPDATES)

The latest round of potential school boundary changes drawn up by the Seattle School District will be presented to School Board members this Wednesday, November 6. And for many Northeast Seattle families, there are some big differences to be spotlighted:

  • Under these new changes, if accepted by the School Board on November 20, students across the street from Eckstein Middle School would no longer be attending there. Instead, all students currently attending Wedgwood Elementary would begin attending Jane Addams Middle School.
  • North Seattle Accelerated Progress Program (APP) middle school students would be moved from Lincoln Hamilton into Eckstein.
Proposed Northeast Seattle  middle school boundaries. If accepted, most of these changes would be implemented in 2015.

Proposed Northeast Seattle middle school boundaries. If accepted, these changes would be implemented in the next two years.

The documents outlining these proposed changes were last updated on October 31, and released the next day, at 7 PM. On a Friday night. So many families in the affected areas may just be hearing about them.

Wedgwood Elementary PTA President Terri Green has weighed in about these proposed changes, in a message that started circulating over the weekend. It reads, in part:

SPS boundary changes as they impact the Wedgwood community

On Friday, November 1 at 7 pm, SPS released a third iteration of their plan they think may be final to address growth boundaries. There are major modifications which will significantly impact your children and our community in two ways:

  1. Starting next school year, ALL Wedgwood students would be assigned to the new (as yet unopened) Jane Adams Middle School (6-8), even kids who live across the street from Eckstein.
  2. Former Wedgwood students currently attending Eckstein will be moved to the new Jane Adams Middle School for 7th and 8th grade. (Part of the Northend APP middle school program is proposed to move into Eckstein.)

A full copy with details of the plan is available on-line here. This plan was devised after community feedback to the previous October 16 proposal. No major changes were proposed for our school at that time and thus there was no call to action. Now our community needs to respond quickly if we wish to impact this process before it is too late.

Green goes on to say a Call to Action meeting is being held at 6:30 tonight, Monday, November 4th, in Wedgwood Elementary School’s library. (We will be attending, and will provide LIVE COVERAGE below, if possible.)

Green will also be attending Wednesday’s School Board meeting (4:15 PM at the John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Ave S), but families should contact School Board members themselves before then. The Seattle School District is divided into seven parts, each one represented by an elected member. The representatives whose areas are affected by these changes in North/Northeast Seattle are:

In addition to expressing thoughts/concerns to School Board members, parents should also email feedback to GrowthBoundaries@seattleschools.org, the official Seattle School District boundary plan address. Put your school or issue in the subject line.

For the full list of information about these proposed changes (including the data used to create them), visit the Seattle Public Schools — Growth Boundaries page.

UPDATE (12:09 PM): Thanks to some commenters on Facebook, we have learned the APP @ Lincoln PTA’s official stance on the proposed changes to their program:

PTA Responds to New Boundary Proposal

On Friday evening, the Seattle Public School district released their latest proposals for updating school boundaries. The district will present this proposal to the Seattle School Board on Wednesday, November 6th. If you would like to speak directly to the board regarding this proposal at the meeting, you may, but you must call the district and sign up on Monday (11/4) morning.

The SNAPP PTA maintains its position that splitting the APP Middle School and co-housing with attendance area schools is not in the best interest of our community or helpful with the overcrowding in the north end. Although many APP MS students come from the Whitman and Eckstein reference area, putting APP in these schools would only serve to further crowd them and keep reference area kids out.

You can read the entire APP @ Lincoln PTA statement here.

UPDATE (Tuesday, November 5, 7:52 AM): Correction/Clarification from elementary school APP parent and Roosevelt resident Elena Waite :

Current APP middle school students do NOT attend Lincoln- in the North, they go to Hamilton and will continue at Hamilton in the proposed plan, for now, as well as Eckstein and then Whitman. I would also like to note that APP has advocated for its own Middle School site – at Wilson Pacific and never advocated to be at Eckstein as we know that school is already crowded as a neighborhood school.

UPDATE (Tuesday, November 5, 7:03 PM): Those that emailed Seattle School Board Member Harium Martin-Morris received the following email in return, outlining an amendment Martin-Morris plans to introduce at Wednesday’s meeting.

I am writing in response to your email regarding the November 1st version on the Growth Boundary Plan. As written, I do not support the plan and along with Director De Bell will be offer an amendment that will go back to the previous version of the plan with the following changes:

* Assign NE APP students to the new James Addams Middle School starting in 2014
* Have a maximum of 3 classes per grade level at James Addams Middle School
* Assign others APP to Hamilton until Wilson Pacific Middle School is online. At that point Hamilton would also go to the 3 classroom per grade and all others go to Wilson Pacific

That would mean that the middle school and elementary attendance areas in the NE would go back to October 16th revision with some minor changes basis on community input.

Regards,

Harium Martin-Morris

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NOTE: While most local residents probably assume (correctly so) that most Ravenna neighborhood students attend Bryant Elementary, many in the North Ravenna area (including those here at Ravenna Blog Headquarters) are located within the Wedgwood Elementary attendance area. In fact, the boundary for Wedgwood itself is planned to expand further into Ravenna in the coming years (reflected in the image above).

APP students are scattered throughout neighborhoods, and all currently attend school at old Lincoln High School in Wallingford (see Elena Waite’s note above). Lincoln was closed in 1981, and is used as an interim location for Seattle schools and programs.