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Entries from January 2009

Bank robbery suspect nabbed

January 30th, 2009 by Cory Bergman

A 34 year-old man was arrested Friday in connection with Monday’s bank robbery at the Key Bank on lower Queen Anne.

The FBI says that the US Marshalls Fugitive Task Force arrested the Granite Falls man heading east on I-90 just outside Spokane. “We got some tips on Monday night after the photos were broadcast. A detective on our task force did some good investigation, identified the suspect and got an arrest warrant,” says Robbie Burroughs of the FBI.  It probably made it easy to identify the man since he failed to wear a mask.  Duh?

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Genki Sushi has upscale environment

January 30th, 2009 by Miss Kitty

Update:  A special report to the Seattle PI gives us an inside glimpse into Genki Sushi.  The decor of this restaurant is upscale, which is deceptive given that the restaurant is located by the new QFC.  The entrance to Genki is challenging, but definitely worth the effort.

Genki Sushi has opened in Lower Queen Anne at 500 Mercer St. Suite 2B.   This is the newest site for the Hawaii-based chain that brings a base of fans who are already familiar with the restaurant.  This popular sushi chain won’t officially announce its opening until late January, but people have figured out that the restaurant has been open since mid-December. The goal of Genki Sushi is to serve quality sushi at affordable prices.

In 1968 a young Japanese sushi chef had a vision to create a modern sushi restaurant, one that used a unique contraption in the restaurant business – a conveyer belt.  While this style of restaurant has existed in Japan for 40 years, only recently has the concept been introduced here in Seattle.  The conveyer belt is a novelty that makes it more efficient – and certainly more fun – for sushi to be delivered to your table.

 Genki Sushi offers happy hour prices from 3-7 pm and 10 pm to closing with special prices for sushi, sake, beer, and a daily special cocktail.

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Fund your ideas for neighborhood improvements

January 30th, 2009 by Miss Kitty

From now until Feb. 27th, you can submit an application with the city to request funding for small-scale (up to $90K per project) street or parks improvements. The Bridging the Gap transportation levy passed by voters in November 2006 includes $4.5 million every three years for the Neighborhood Street Fund Program; this funds the Large Projects which were applied for in 2007, will be designed in 2008 and will be built in 2009. 

One project is the Queen Anne Pedestrian Improvements – Queen Anne Ave N. at W Galer St and W McGraw St.  More information will be released as it becomes available.

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Boyfriend accused of stabbing QA woman

January 29th, 2009 by Miss Kitty

Earlier this week, the Queen Anne View reported that a domestic violence incident occurred on Sunday morning in lower Queen Anne resulting in multiple stab wounds received by a young woman.  In court papers presented to King County Superior Court, Heidi Gardner, told police that she feared her live-in boyfriend was going to sacrifice her life in some kind of religious ritual. As reported in the Seattle Times, 

While she was sitting on her bed petting her dog, (Oumar) Lam pulled a pillowcase over her head and sliced her throat with a serrated kitchen knife, court documents said. He then forced her toward the living room and the altar as she tried to fight him off, charging papers said. He then stabbed her several times. Gardner was able to call 911 from her cellphone, according to court documents.

Lam kept repeating, “Die, die and go alone, you have to go by yourself,” according to court documents.

Gardner underwent emergency surgery and remains hospitalized.  Lam will be arraigned on Feb. 8

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Attachmate CEO sentenced to 10 days in jail and $157,000 in fines

January 29th, 2009 by Miss Kitty

A story out of Colorado holds a local tie to Queen Anne. The CEO of Queen Anne-based software corporation Attachmate, 1515 Dexter Ave. N., Seattle, who pleaded guilty to charges of criminal mischief and animal cruelty, was sentenced to 10 days in prison and ordered to pay  $83,000 to his neighbor, $70,000 to charities and $4,000 to the sheriff’s department.  

Jeff Hawn, who lives in Austin, Texas, and owns a ranch in Fairplay, Colorado was found guilty of shooting 16 of his neighbor’s prize bison and hiring others to kill another 16 bison in February and March of 2008. According to the Rocky Mountain News, the story seems to be one of feuding neighbors and trespassing bison. (Do you remember the song from the play Oklahoma, “Oh the Farmer and the Cowman should be Friends?”)

Jeff Hawn serves as Attachmate’s chairman, president and CEO, determining overall corporate direction and setting the company’s business and acquisition strategies.  

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Dick’s Restaurant celebrates 55 year anniversary

January 27th, 2009 by Miss Kitty

In the early 1950′s, a burger, shake and fries was already an American classic. But people who hungered for this classic meal usually had to sit down and wait. When 29-year old Dick Spady and his partners went to the local banks during the summer of 1953, seeking a loan to build their first restaurant, the bankers politely showed them the door. But Dick and his partners never gave up, and on the morning of January 28, 1954, the first Dick’s Drive-In opened for business on N.E. 45th Street in the Wallingford District of Seattle.

This Friday, Cokes are discounted to a dime on Friday and Dick’s will host a nostalgic concert by The Nowhere Men (a Beatles cover band) at 7 that evening at its Queen Anne location, 500 Queen Anne Ave. N. According to the Seattle Times

“Three days after we opened, it snowed and we had to close,” said Spady, 85, in a phone interview. “We were just trying to survive.”

The mini empire of five restaurants has done more than that, thriving as a favorite for locals for more than five decades, but also gaining a well-deserved reputation for being a model corporate citizen. Workers earn above minimum wage, and those who stick around are eligible for health care. High school students can apply for generous scholarships. Donations to charitable organizations flow as freely as Coke from the soda machine.

From reading through some of the fondest memories that former employees have of working at Dick’s, it is clear that Dick Spady and his managers were intent on giving their workers opportunities to go to college and develop their careers.  They set a tone for their business philosophy that has endured for 55 years.  Congratulations, Dick! You can watch an interview with Dick on the Seattle Channel.

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Magnolia resident Larry Phillips enters King County Executive Race

January 27th, 2009 by Miss Kitty

It is not a surprise, but today King County Councilmember Larry Phillips announced that he was running for King County Executive this year.  Pledging a “fresh start” for King County, Phillips has not aggressively pointed out differences between himself and fellow Democrat and incumbent King County Executive Ron Sims.  Only on rare occasions will someone in the same party challenge an incumbent, so it will be interesting to see how the race develops.  The Seattle PI states that one point of differentiation between the two lies in transportation, a hot button for the Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Ballard residents.

Phillips has been a steady and staunch advocate of Sound Transit and its light rail program, while Sims publicly reversed his long-held advocacy of light rail before the 2007 vote on a rail-and-highway tax package. That package was defeated, but a transit-only measure was approved by voters in Novermber 2008.

Larry is a resident of Magnolia, attended Queen Anne High School and the University of Washington. He also earned a Juris Doctor degree from Willamette University College of Law in 1976, graduating with honors and finishing in the top ten percent of his class.

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Whole Foods to open in late 2009

January 27th, 2009 by Miss Kitty

Officials of Whole Foods Market and developer TRF Pacific today announced that Whole Foods Market will be open by Christmas 2009 at the Interbay Urban Center

At a news conference held at the site of the store this morning, John Clougher, the company’s president for the Pacific Northwest region, told a crowd of reporters and other interested parties that Whole Foods has worked out its differences with the developer. The lawsuit filed last fall by TRF Pacific against Whole Foods has been dropped.  Clougher called the problems ‘a little bit of a dust up.’

Whole Foods will now use 38,000 square feet for their store and will look for another retailer to sublease the remaining 22,000 square feet.  The drawing below shows Whole Foods on the right and the available retail space is on the left in beige. 

The Interbay Whole Foods will offer a salad bar, hot bar, chef’s case, all-natural sandwiches, coffee shop and other amenities, such as cooking classes and demonstrations. The high end grocery store will employ about 150 people. The store will focus on the company’s commitment to promoting healthy eating and simple foods. 

“Each store is designed and operated for the needs of the specific community it serves.  The Interbay Whole Foods Market will have an interactive healthy eating center with chefs, a new Whole Values section, an expanded bulk foods section and a new sandwich bar that is unlike anything we have in our other stores,” said Clougher.  He said the store will feature lots of foods to go, citing the location on busy 15th Ave West.

 

As we reported back in September, construction stopped at the store site when Whole Foods wanted to lower the square footage of the store.  TRF then filed a $68 million lawsuit against Whole Foods for violating the lease.   Today, both sides are pleased with the new agreement and construction is set to resume right away.

“Our strong ongoing partnership helped us bring this agreement to fruition despite the challenging economy,” said Doug Exworthy, TRF Pacific managing member.  “This is a win-win-win, not only for our two companies but for Interbay and the surrounding neighborhoods as well.”

In addition to Whole Foods Market, four other retail spaces have been leased at Interbay Center to Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Subway, Interbay Cleaners and Verizon Wireless.  There are no dates set for opening those stores but Peet’s is expected to open before Whole Foods. 

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Whole Foods “secret” is out

January 27th, 2009 by Miss Kitty

According to a report in the Seattle Times this morning, Whole Foods in the Interbay has settled its lawsuit with developer TRF and will restart its plans to open its Interbay location later this year.  Whole Foods will utilize the 38,000 sq ft. space for its operations and will find a sub-lessor for the other 20,000 sq. ft that had been originally designed for their use.  More information will be posted after the press announcement being held today at the Interbay Urban Center at 11:00 am.

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Two Queen Anne bank robberies

January 26th, 2009 by Cory Bergman

Updated: The FBI is looking for two separate suspects who robbed two Queen Anne banks this afternoon. The first was the Key Bank across the street from Dick’s on Lower Queen Anne.


Police spokesman Jeff Kappel says that the robbery happened about 2 o’clock this afternoon. The suspect is a white male in his mid-30′s with a scruffy beard. He’s about 5’8″ with a medium build and was wearing sunglasses, a blue cap and a blue jacket. No word on how much money he got away with.

The second robbery was at the U.S. Bank on Nickerson, near SPU. The suspect was a man 35 to 40-years old. Similar to the Key Bank robbery, the suspect used a note. A commenter below said a portion of the campus was locked down immediately following the robbery. There was also a third robbery, with a third suspect, in the University District. (Photos from the FBI).

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Announcement regarding Whole Foods Tuesday

January 26th, 2009 by Miss Kitty

There is a big announcement regarding the the Interbay Urban Center set for Tuesday (Jan 27) at 10a.m. This is the retail center, 1819 15th Ave. W., Seattle,  where construction stopped on the Whole Foods Market after a battle between the developer and Whole Foods led to a lawsuit.

Now officials of developer TRF Pacific are telling us that they will share future plans for the currently vacent retail center tomorrow but won’t give up any further details until the announcement.

It is a likely bet they have good news to report or they would not be holding a news conference. Speculation is that a deal has been worked out for Whole Foods to decrease the square footage for the store and another retailer will take over the extra space. The fact that they will be unfurling a 16 foot banner at the announcement makes us think that they likely have another retailer on board and hopefully an opening date for Whole Foods.

Our sister site Magnolia Voice was the first to report last September that the Whole Foods project at Interbay was in trouble when TRF filed suit against Whole Foods for breaching the lease. Whole Foods was originally set to open last Thanksgiving but construction on the site stopped completely in September. Two other retailers, Subway and Interbay Cleaners, have space in the center but don’t plan to open until they know what is going on with the main tenants. Pete’s Coffee was also expected to open there.

In a report a few weeks ago, Magnolia Voice reader Adam shared this information in comments:

I also know that Whole Foods will be occupying that space in the smaller format come late summer. I work for another national retailer that has agreed to occupy the 20k or so sq ft that Whole Foods didn’t want. I know that everyone has been tight liped about it all because of thw lawsuit and negotiations. I am hearing that it will all be settled and announced by the end of Jan.

Looks like Mark may be right. We will be at the announcement tomorrow to bring you the latest details.

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Woman stabbed in Lower Queen Anne home and suspect picked up

January 26th, 2009 by Cory Bergman

Update:  According to the Seattle PI, Seattle police on Sunday nabbed a 30-year-old man suspected of cutting his girlfriend’s throat and stabbing her at their residence on Ward Street, the department reported.

A terrible domestic violence incident to report. A woman was attacked in her apartment in the 600 block of Ward St. on Sunday morning by her boyfriend, police say. Investigators say the man stabbed her and slashed her throat. Police arrived a short time later, broke down the door and arrested the suspect. The victim is in Harborview Medical Center in intensive care.

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