If you HAVE to drive in snowy Northeast Seattle, here’s how (UPDATE)

Whether you’re putting your trust in the National Weather Service or UW Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Cliff Mass, there’s no denyin’ that there’s gonna be more snow in the next couple days.

In case you need to travel to and/or from Northeast Seattle during the snow, you’ll want to know which roads are being kept clear by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews, and which are not.

NE portion of SDOT's snow route service map - click to enlarge

To the right is a portion of SDOT’s snow map, focused on Northeast Seattle (full map here; 810 KB PDF). There are three different street service levels assigned to those arterial streets which are the busiest, connect neighborhoods with downtown, are used by transit and public safety agencies (police, fire), and reach schools and hospitals.

These different levels are to let users know which routes are being serviced and what conditions to expect. They are not prioritized — road servicing is ongoing at all levels as needed.

The different levels as shown on the map are:

Level 1 (yellow) -ALL lanes bare and wet
Level 2 (blue) – ONE lane each direction bare and wet
Level 3 (green) – Curves, hills and stopping zones treated

You can find Seattle’s Winter Weather Readiness and Response Plan here, which includes road treatment descriptions, facility and fleet information, links to city communication tools, and more.

As for tips on how to drive in the snow, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has a few to read, or watch on YouTube.

Take Winter By Storm’s website has lots of checklists you can use to be fully prepared both on the road and at home.

And then there’s PEMCO Insurance’s “The right way to abandon your car in a snowstorm.” You may want to print that one out to stick in your glove compartment, just in case.


UPDATE (Wednesday, 9:43 AM): City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw just tweeted out a great link for those us us curious about road conditions in Northeast Seattle AND citywide.

SDOT's Winter Weather map page (static screengrab taken Wednesday morning) -- click to go to the site

SDOT’s Winter Weather map shows which streets have been treated and/or plowed, and how long ago they were last serviced.

Different parts of the city can be selected from a dropdown menu at the top-right of the page (“Select Neighborhood”). Different road service levels are shown in different colors, as well as the different types of service (liquid de-icer vs. plows with and without salt spreaders).

Nifty map aside, we recommend drivers check out road conditions locally for themselves before heading out.

Room & Board to open in newly vacated U-Village Barnes & Noble space (UPDATE)

The Seattle Times announced today that Minnesota-based modern furnishings maker Room & Board would be moving in to the recently vacated Barnes & Noble space at University Village (2623 NE University Village St).

Room & Board will take up just over half of the building’s available space, and will be located on the second floor. The opening is slated for this fall, says the Seattle Times.

No word yet on what the leftover 19,000-square-feet will be occupied by, but the decision to split the space up comes as no surprise — this plan was revealed as a possibility back in October when the bookstore’s closure was first announced.

The University Village Barnes & Noble opened in 1995 after the Lamonts department store’s lease expired in 1994 — in a manner baring a slight resemblance to Barnes & Noble’s own issues-about-leases exit from the upscale outdoor mall. Lamonts had operated in the U-Village for 26 years, replacing the Rhodes Department Store before it.

What do you think, folks? Room & Board a good fit for the old space, or were you secretly hoping for The Return of Lamonts?


UPDATE (Friday, January 13): The print edition of today’s Seattle Times had an artist’s rendering of what the Room & Board might look like (provided by Room & Board), as well as a picture of the same corner of the building (taken by Seattle Times photographer Ken Lambert) while it was occupied by Barnes & Noble.

Man and woman seriously injured in Ravenna Park attack (UPDATES)

A man and a woman were both beaten with a baseball bat early this morning in Ravenna Park. Police have not yet located the two suspects, and the investigation is ongoing.

We heard the news first from a resident of the area (via twitter direct message sent at 3:50 AM; kept anonymous due to privacy concerns), who said:

…police and medics congregated at 55th and Ravenna PL after a fight broke out. In the park. As officers arrived, two men emerged from the south end of the park saying that someone had beaten one or both of them with a bat.

View Ravenna Park in a larger map
View Larger Map

Just before 9 AM, Detective Mark Jamieson with the North Precinct of the Seattle Police Department, posted the following on the SPD Blotter:

On January 12th, at approximately 3:30 am, a citizen called 911 after hearing yelling and someone crying for help inside the southeast corner of Ravenna Park (approximately NE 55th Street and west of 25th Avenue NE). As officers arrived in the area, two victims, a 41 year old male and a 54 year old female, emerged from the wooded area. They had been beaten with a baseball bat multiple times. Both victims had head injuries as well as other injuries to their bodies. According to the victims, the suspect is a known male who they had a dispute with earlier. The suspect, described as a black male armed with the baseball bat, was accompanied by a white male. There is no further description of the white male. It appears that the suspect with the bat did the attack.

The Seattle Fire Department transported the couple to Harborview Medical Center with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.

A K9 team attempted to locate the suspects within the large wooded park, but was unable to find them. The investigation is open and ongoing at this time.

We will update this story here when more information becomes available.

UPDATE (11:24 AM): Talked briefly on the phone and via email with Terrie Johnston, Crime Prevention Coordinator for the North Precinct. The first suspect is a regular denizen of the park, described as a black man in his late 30s-early 40s, wearing a black trench coat, a black backpack, black boots, and carrying a baseball bat. The second suspect is a white male adult. There was a fast response by multiple SPD units who established containment of the area quickly. Unfortunately, the K9 track produced neegtive results.

When I asked about the current state of Ravenna Park and if there were any additional concerns for park users and residents of the area, Johnston said this event wouldn’t stop her from using the park. She advised that users keep up their usual level of alertness though the park. Via the email:

As always, be aware of your surroundings, carry a cell phone to call 911 should you see anything suspicious.  Trust your gut feelings, if someone gives you a bad feeling, avoid them, leave and report them if appropriate.

UPDATE (12:58 PM): Kirotv.com has video of their report from their mornings newscast, as well as a slideshow of photos taken while police and fire crews were in the area.

Grinches steal Grinch, vandalize parts of Candy Cane Lane (UPDATES)

UPDATE (4:47 PM): The Candy Cane Lane community found themselves a new Grinch on eBay this afternoon. And KING5’s Allen Schauffler will be reporting on the vandalism tonight at 5 PM. We’ll link to the footage here when it becomes available.

UPDATE (7:49 PM): Here’s the segment on the Candy Cane Lane vandalism from tonight’s KING 5 News at 5:

Candy Cane Lane was visited by real life Grinches late Saturday night. At least two of the decorated homes’ had decorations destroyed, among them inflatable Grinch at the entrance to the annual neighborhood light show.

[ABOVE] The Gross family’s Candy Cane Lane display, featured in last year’s Seattle Times piece on the neighborhood’s annual light display, is now missing its centerpiece.

We talked with Candy Cane Lane resident Tracey Sconyers on Sunday night about the vandalism. Her “Toy Shop” home has often been the target for some late night redecorating shenanigans — names added to the “Naughty List,” the reindeer placed in compromising positions — but never theft and destruction.

“This was a very different level of vandalism that happened,” she said. “They were out to destroy things.”

Sconyers herself happened to be up late Saturday night, as her daughters were having a sleepover with some of their friends. Around midnight, after the light show had been turned off, she heard some “unusually mean” talk about the street coming from outside her house.

Looking out the window in her front door, she could see three or four people, older than high school age, walking by, “trash talking the street.” These individuals even walked onto the porch of a neighbor’s house before getting into a white stretch SUV-style limo that had been seen driving down the lane during the light show a couple hours before.

No vandalism had occurred at that time. But Sunday morning, many of the Sconyer’s home’s decorations had been destroyed or stolen. And the inflatable Grinch, a local holiday icon for many local kids and their families, was missing. All that was left of him in the Gross family yard near the entrance to Candy Cane Lane where some shredded pieces of fabric and bare wires.

It is not known whether the white limo’s occupants are to blame for the incident, but the coincidence is a tough one for Sconyers to ignore.

The show must go on

After a successful community sale earlier in the year, the neighborhood has enough money to replace missing or destroyed decorations; however, the Grinch was around 10 years old, and came with the house.

If anyone happens to own a festive inflatable Grinch, the neighborhood is very interested in replacing the one that was destroyed. Otherwise help in the form of donations to Northwest Harvest are greatly appreciated.

Candy Cane Lane (NE Park Rd) is open now through New Years Eve. Hours for the lights are 4-11 PM, and until midnight on Christmas Eve and New Years.

This year, the area elementary school-aged girls have created the “Candy Cane Club” and will be passing out candy canes on the weekends. Warm drinks can be purchased at the nearby neighborhood grocery store, Boulevard Grocery, at Ravenna Blvd and 20th Avenue NE.

Donations for Northwest Harvest are collected at the exit of the lane.

Burglar(s) along NE 65th Street shatter glass, take nothing (UPDATE)

UPDATE (Friday, December 9): Wedgwood Top Pot Doughnuts (6855 35th Ave NE) was hit the same night and in a similar fashion (door glass smashed in, store rifled through, little to nothing taken) as the other two break-ins, an employee of the store told us today. We were also told that the estimated cost to replace the broken, super-thick all-glass door is $3,000.


The alarm at Bagel Oasis (2112 NE 65th St) was tripped Tuesday morning around 3 AM. When owner Peter Ryan arrived, the double-paned safety glass of one of his front doors was found scattered all the way to the bagel case at the other side of the store.

Someone had entered the store, but nothing was taken.

A couple doors down, at the Crepe Cafe (2118 NE 65th St), a pane of glass in the door was found broken, as someone had made an attempt to unlock the door from the outside.

But the door remained shut. And nothing was taken.

Cheryl Olmstead, general manager of the Crepe Cafe, didn’t seem too surprised by the burglary attempts. December turns out to be popular month to break into businesses in the area, she said, citing many examples.

But one specific Christmastime burglary attempt in particular stands out to Ryan: Five years ago, when he and his son arrived at his store to find the burglar still on the premises. They could give Phoenix Jones a run for his money, in our humble opinion.

Should anyone have information that leads “to the arrest of knucklehead who threw a rock through the front door and broke in last night,” Ryan is offering up free bagels per week for a year. Call the Seattle Police Department’s non-emergency line at: (206) 625-5011.

A lost white cat appears! Is he yours? (UPDATE)

UPDATE (Tuesday, December 13): We’ve just heard the good news from Anthony (via email): “Just an update, we got in touch with the owners of the white cat last night! He is from a home around 56th and 12th. Thank you again so much for posting that on the blog!”


Readers Anthony and Julia may have found your lost kitty (via email, emphasis ours):

We were just opening the door to leave the apartment and the crafty little guy just snuck inside! We’re on the 1300 block of NE Ravenna [Blvd], so just across from Cowen Park. He’s an all-white adult male, extremely curious and friendly to humans, which leads us to believe he might belong to someone (no collar or microchip, however). We think he may have been missing for a while because he was a bit dirty and had a minor infection around one of his eyes. I have attached a photo that we took. We had to take him into the Seattle Animal Shelter, because our lease doesn’t allow for pets, but we really want to find his owners who must miss him very much!


Anthony and Julia live in the neighborhood nexus of the Ravenna, Roosevelt, and University District neighborhoods, so Lost White Kitty could be from any one of those.

North Link Light Rail update post up at Roosiehood

We’re occasionally known to do a little writing for the site next door in Roosevelt, Roosiehood. Especially when it concerns that subject near and dear to all our hearts: North Link Light Rail*.

Head on over there now to read our latest update on the North Link Light Rail project, including Sound Transit’s potential plans for a new tunnel portal location between Roosevelt and Northgate Stations.

* Roosevelt does get the station, after all.

University Branch of the Seattle Public Library closed temporarily (UPDATES)

Via the Seattle Public Library twitter feed: A 99-year-old sewer line serving the University Branch (5009 Roosevelt Way) is broken, and the library is closed until further notice.

There is no damage to the library building itself, but there is no water or sewer service at this time. Repairs are underway, and holds will be extended due to the closure.

According to the University Branch’s website, a reopening date has not yet been determined.

UPDATE (Thursday, December 1): University Branch website now says, “The branch will reopen at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Holds ready for pickup at the University Branch now will expire Saturday, Dec. 10.”

Holds ready for pickup at the University Branch now will expire Saturday, Dec. 10.

UPDATE (Nov. 25, 3:33 PM):
Via the SPL twitter feed: University Branch will not be open on Saturday. Bookdrop is open and holds have been extended to 12/3.

Rally and march near Montlake, University Bridges this afternoon (updates)

This afternoon, the 99% are coming north of the cut.

A rally and march are planned for the University of Washington area, starting at 3:30 this afternoon.

From Working Washington’s facebook page for the event:

On November 17, people from across the area will converge at the functionally obsolete Montlake Bridge to demand our political leaders build bridges to good jobs, not make more cuts. This is part of a national day of action for jobs that’s happening in dozens of cities across the country.

The schedule of events today appears to be:

3:30 PM – Gathering at the grassy area just west of the intersection of Montlake & Pacific

4:00 PM – Rally

4:30 PM – March

One possible route the march could take we’ve gleaned from the website The Stand, a project of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC) and its affiliated unions. The Stand describes the march route as starting near the Montlake Bridge, but ending at the University Bridge to the west, due to “safety concerns cited by the Seattle Police Dept.”

A call to the front desk at the North Precinct reveals no final march route plans in place at the time of this writing; however, the officer on the phone said “they’re having a big summit on it right now.”

Capitol Hill Seattle echoes the march route move to the University Bridge, citing a Thursday Day of Action itinerary (at the bottom of the post).

UPDATE (12:14 PM): The Seattle Times’ Today File confirms the move to march to the University Bridge instead of to Montlake, citing the information on The Stand’s website that we mentioned earlier.

View November 17th rally and march in a larger map

UPDATE (12:21 PM): The Seattle Department of Transportation has sent out the following traffic advisory (via email):

SEATTLE  An Occupy Seattle rally and march today has the potential for creating major delays on all arterials leading to and from Ship Canal bridges during the afternoon commute.

The rally is scheduled to take place between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. on the University of Washington campus and then is expected to march west on NE Pacific Street to the University Bridge at roughly 4:30 p.m. The demonstrators plan to block the bridge during the afternoon rush hour so their presence will likely cause traffic delays throughout the afternoon commute until after 6:30 or 7 p.m. Demonstrators may also block the Montlake Bridge during that timeframe.

Seattle Police Officers will be on hand to minimize traffic congestion but the blockage of any one bridge could impact other nearby Ship Canal bridges. Commuters should allow additional time for detouring to another route. Motorists who must get to the University or Children’s hospitals should plan for extra time to reach their destination.

The protests could be very disruptive to transit service this afternoon. For information or questions about transit service, please call Metro Transit customer service at 206-553-3000, and sign up to receive Transit Alerts at www.kingcounty.gov/metro/alerts.

UPDATE (2:44 PM): The Seattle Department of Transportation has a network of traffic webcams across the city, and there just happens to be one at Montlake Blvd NE @ NE Pacific St (first picture revealed after you click the camera indicated by the picture below).

This rally and march is part of a larger “Mass Day of Action” planned for today, with events happening all around the country.

Two fatalities, three serious injuries after crash on 110th and Lake City Way (updates)

UPDATE (Tuesday, December 6): SUV driver has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, one count of vehicular assault and one count of reckless endangerment. (Seattle Times)

UPDATE (Thursday, November 17): The Seattle Times’ Today File reports that the SUV driver has left the hospital, for jail.

UPDATE (Tuesday, 2:09 PM): The Seattle Times reports that the man driving the SUV in Sunday’s crash was charged in 2009 with vehicular homicide.

UPDATE (Monday, 6:32 PM): The Seattle Times’ Today File has information about the victims of the crash.

UPDATE (Sunday, 7:38 PM): More info on the Seattle Police Department Blotter here, including news that the injuries to the people taken to Harborview were non-life-threatening. Also, the accident detour will last until approximately 9 PM.


Just after 4 PM on Sunday, November 13, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee (via SeaCrime on twitter) mentioned a “[b]ad accident with possible fatalities on 110th and Lake City Way.”

View Fatality accident at 110th and Lake City Way in a larger map

Since then, as details have come in, the story has turned even more tragic.

KING 5 News is reporting that two people have died at the scene, and three others have been taken to Harborview Medical Center.

Police say one car was stopped when another vehicle, an SUV, hit the car from behind.

The car caught fire as it was pushed down the street. Two people in the car were dead at the scene.

The male driver of the SUV was transported to Harborview Medical Center with life threatening injuries

Two girls in the back seat of SUV were also transported to Harborview with serious injuries.

The Seattle Times reports that the injured girls were a 10-year-old and an 20-year-old woman 11-year-old girl.

Updates will be available here at KING5.com and on The Blotter on seattletimes.com.