Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Entries from September 2009

Power fully restored on QA, city looking into cause

September 28th, 2009 by Thea

Last night at around 9 p.m. power went out for around 10,000 people in Queen Anne and Magnolia, the third blackout on the hill this week. For several hours thereafter power slowly came back on, and was finally restored to the remaining 280 without around 5 a.m. today, according to Seattle City Light official Roberto Bonaccorso.

According to the city, the outage was caused by a “faulty cable,” but City Light is currently looking into whether the blackout was related to the power outages on Saturday and last week and is expected to release a statement later this morning.

We received an anonymous tip that a fire at 8th and Galer has knocked out power in at least two blocks in all directions last night, and several readers reported seeing a “bright flash” outside, before losing power. The Seattle Fire Department was called to 812 W Galer St at around 9:33 pm for a fire in a single family home. Bonaccorso at Seattle City Light has said he will be looking into whether or not the fire was related.

One of our readers, OB, who lives on 7th & Galer witnessed the “bright flashes” and commented on last night’s story. They wrote,

I live at 7th and Galer, and it was hairy around here last night. There was a flash and a bang at about 9:10 p.m. – I went to the window and looked out and there was another flash and bang – and a pause – and then a really LOUD flash and bang. The lights went out and then came back, went out again and then came back again, then went out for good. I think there may have been more than three flash-and-bangs, but I’m not sure.

One transformer apparently blew right out of the ground, on the west side of 8th a couple of houses north of Galer. The police taped it off and people were gathered around staring at it in awe and taking pictures. I’m guessing that was the really LOUD bang I heard!

The power came back on here at 4:40 this morning.

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Power is out for 10,000 in Queen Anne and Magnolia, may have been caused by fire

September 27th, 2009 by Thea

Update 1:30 am: City Light now says all but 280 customers have been restored. The outage was caused by a “faulty cable.”

Update 11:59 pm: A reader commented,

Power is back up here at W. Roy & 1st, but I have a friend who lives on Olympic Way W. & 10th and it’s still out up there.

She has a view of Magnolia and says it looks “lit up”.

Update 11:48 pm: Seattle City Light says crews have restored power to most of the 10,000 originally affected, but 1,417 still don’t have power in Queen Anne and Magnolia. They say the outage was caused by a faulty cable. The boarders of the affected area remain the same.

Update 11:44 pm: Power reported back on at Aloha between 2nd and Warren and at 13th Ave W. ColinAC says the fire blew three transformers and caught a Queen Anne basement on fire. He has video here.

Update: 11:32 pm: Power back on W Prospect, according to a reader.

Update 11:22 pm: Silver writes,

Now the fire department is getting multiple false alarms from the area near 15th W and 4th Ave West. They believe that these may be related to the power outages.

Update 11:15 pm: Seattle City Light now says 6,827 in Queen Anne and Magnolia are experiences power outages, caused by a faulty cable. As of no there is no time estimation for when power will be back on.

Update 11:01 pm: Summer D reports that power went back up at 11, but only for a few minutes and is now down again. She’s at 4th and Mercer.

A lot of people have said the power is flickering. Peggy Fitzgerald writes,

Power just sputtered on at 10:58 then off a minute later. My husband said he saw massive flashing in the sky by the PI sign -electrical arcing. He said it was bright enough to be
reflecting off all the buildings to the south. It stopped when the power went off again.

Also the outage stops at mercer. Another bright flash as it tried to restart again and I’m hearing fire engines again  to the south.

Update 10:25 pm: An anonymous tip says a fire at 8th and Galer has knocked out power in at least two blocks in all directions.

Seattle City Light has just sent out a press release stating that crews are responding to two power outages affecting 10,666 customers in Queen Anne and Magnolia. The causes of the outages or the estimated times for restoration for both are unknown.

The first outage affects 6,656 customers in Queen Anne. The boundaries are: West Barrett Street to the north, West Harrison Street to the south, Taylor Avenue North to the east and 11th Avenue West to the west.

The second outage affects 4,010 customers near the Magnolia neighborhood. The boundaries are: West Emerson Street to the north, West Mercer Street to the south, Taylor Avenue North to the east and 32nd Avenue West to the west.

Silver posted in our forum,

Just heard on my scanner: ten to fifteen minutes ago a transformer blew outside the house at 812 W. Galer. About ten minutes after that, residents noticed smoke in their basement and called it in.

When fire arrived on scene they radioed the dispatcher that there was a smell of smoke in the area. Now they are getting reports that other basements in the area are smelling like smoke.

They also linked a map of the location of the fire.

One of our readers says they saw a flash before the power went out. Summer D writes,

Power went out at 9:20pm on 4th Ave W and Mercer. Bright flash in the sky, couple of surges, then poof.

The outage seems to be pretty extensive this time. Peggy Fitzgerald writes,

Have no power on 2nd West by Kinnear and Prospect. It appears to go down the hill to the
water. Bartells and Met Market both have no power. QFC over near Mercer is closed too.

9:50 pm: Four readers have reported yet another power outage on Queen Anne tonight.

Apparently power went out around 9 p.m. and is reported down at 5th Ave W just north of Howe, 11th & McGraw, Queen Anne Ave, Comstock and Prospect. Sirens were heard racing up the hill at 9:40.

There is no information on Seattle City Light‘s website or informational hotline (206-684-7400) as of now. While waiting to talk to a representative to report the outage I was disconnected and told their customer service center was closed (hours 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

The number provided for electrical emergencies is (206) 706-0051. As there have been no reports of the outage so far, if you have any further information (and have a power supply) please comment or email us at and maybe we can figure out how far this outage extends.

Thanks to Josh Pollock, Megan Muir, Anna Petrocco and Stephanie Ellis-Smith for tipping me as soon as you lost power!

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Power restored after 12,000 homes went dark

September 26th, 2009 by Thea

Update 2:07 pm: Still no word from Seattle City Light on what went wrong this morning. According to City Light officials, the outage was only supposed to affect those who had been notified in advance by the city, within the boundaries of Queen Anne Ave., Taylor Ave., Denny Way and Mercer St. between midnight this morning and 8 a.m. Many readers who live outside this outage zone have said that their power went out at around 9 a.m., well after the city repairs were scheduled to be done, affecting a much larger area between W Barrett, W Harrison, Taylor N and 15th Ave W.

Although power is back on, the Seattle City Light website and hotline (206-684-7400) have not yet been updated with information on what caused the extended outage.

Reporting this outage without power myself proved a particular challenge. Thank you to all the readers who wrote in (especially Jon, Jennifer, Josh and David), as well as everyone who commented on the story. I’ll keep you posted as more information is available.

Update 1:33 pm: Power is up, but Comcast service is down for many, including myself.

Update 12:56 pm: David Clinkston says power is still out at 1st Ave W and Kinnear. Jennifer Smith says power is back on at 4th Ave in Uptown.

Several readers have written in to report power outages beyond what City Light anticipated yesterday.

Jon Boyce says the power is out on 9th Ave W.

Jennifer Smith writes,

So much for the borders the city gave us.  I’m over on 4th west on Lower QA and after several surges all the power is out on my street.

Josh Pollock says the power is also out on 5th Ave W just north of Howe. He got the scoop from the city too! Josh writes,

Seattle city light says the cause of the outage is unknown. Multiple crews working on it. Affects 12000 customers. Affected area is from W Barrett on the north to W Harrison on the south, from Taylor N over to 15th Ave W.

Thanks to Jon, Jennifer and Josh for the tips! Sorry for the delay, my power is also out.

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The Queen Anne-er’s Weekend Calendar

September 25th, 2009 by Thea

There’s loads to do around the city and on the hill this weekend!

Saturday, September 26 events and festivities:

Tomorrow is The Smithsonian’s Museum Day 2009. Print your admission ticket here, and check out participating museums in Seattle for free! EMP|SFM is one of the many places you can enjoy for no cost all day tomorrow!

Don’t miss free public art/performance at the Fremont Bridge from 1-4 p.m. tomorrow. You might just catch a show while you’re on the way to one of the free museum excursions!

The Fishermen’s Fall Festival is also happening tomorrow, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Fisherman’s Terminal. Bring your sea-faring appetite and sense of adventure!

Seattle Pacific University students will be volunteering on two sites in Queen Anne (and several more around the city) from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. tomorrow as part of their CityQuest orientation program. Details here.

The Seattle AIDS Walk kicks off at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill.

Check out the Sustainable Ballard Festival from noon to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, in – you guessed it – Ballard.

The Saint Demetrios Greek Festival is another all weekend event in Montlake, Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 7 p.m.

Tomorrow is also the last day to get ridiculously cheap goods as the Upper Queen Anne Blockbuster, which will officially close its doors for good at 9 p.m. on Saturday.

And don’t worry about tomorrow morning’s scheduled power outage. If you haven’t been notified by the city, you won’t lose power.

Sunday, September 27 events and festivities:

Sustainable Ballard Festival, noon to 5 p.m. and Saint Demetrios Greek Festival noon to 7 p.m.

Mayoral candidate Mike McGinn is hosting a town hall meeting at the Magnolia Community Center at 4 p.m. Sunday. Information here.

And don’t forget, there’s a Seattle Seahawks game against the Chicago Bears at 1:05 p.m. at Qwest Field. 70,000 are expected to attend, so look out for pre and post-game traffic!

Have a happy weekend! And remember there are traffic-causing lane closures starting Monday.

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Upper Queen Anne Blockbuster closing tomorrow

September 25th, 2009 by Thea

It’s been a month-long of slashed sales at the Upper Queen Anne Blockbuster, which will close its doors for good tomorrow.

They’re closing at 9 p.m., and according to an employee, everything is marked down as low as it’s going to get. DVDs are down to $1.99 each and posters are 90 percent off. So if you have any last minute bargain shopping to do, don’t forget to stop by in the final hours!

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Which pie took the cake?

September 25th, 2009 by Thea

The Queen Anne Farmers Market’s 1st Annual Blue Ribbon Pie Contest last night was such a hit, the judges, pie-makers and market goers couldn’t simply stop the festivities when the market closed down at 7 p.m.

With 19 pies to choose from, pie masters/judges Jon Rowley and Kate McDermott (of Art of the Pie) began rigorously reviewing each pie one by one against a set of 25 criteria. According to Rowley, they used the County Fair guidelines and then “turbo charged” the contest by adding a few categories of their own.

Spending anywhere between five and ten minutes scrutinizing each pie, by the time 7 p.m. rolled around the judges weren’t even halfway done. And rather than hurry along the meticulous reviewing process, the judges and crowd of eager onlookers carried on by flashlight.

It was poetic pie-making magic. Literally. While contestants and onlookers waiting tirelessly for nearly two hours, local poet Evan entertained the crowd with pie-themed poems that were humorous, appetite-inducing and left the crowd salivating as they starred longingly at the judging tables.

In keeping with this literary theme, one of the pies even had a “pie-ku”:

Lemon sunshine and

Darkest blueberries eclipse

With sage, lavender

Though every pie maker was a winner (they all received “1st Prize” ribbons), the top three scores were awarded prizes. The 2nd runner up was a nectarine blackberry pie by Neil Robertson, scoring 112 points, and awarding him a $25 gift certificate to Chow. The 1st runner up was a Montmorency cherry pie, by Frank Gerber (pictured right) scoring 117 points, and winning him a one year subscription to edible Seattle.

But in the end it was Pham-Duy Nguyen‘s black strap rum peach pie that took the cake, so to speak, as Best in Show with 119 points, winning her a $100 gift certificate to Betty and a chance to serve as a judge in next year’s Blue Ribbon Pie Contest.

After the final scores had been tallied, the judges proudly told the crowd of participants that they were all part of the “great American pie renaissance.” They did each taste 19 pies in two hours. That’s quite a pie revival if you ask me!

And props to the two pie-makers who stepped up to the plate at the last minute (the morning of the competition, three people dropped out. Two wait-listed participants were notified at noon and managed to get their pies to the market by 5 p.m.) That’s dedication!

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Saturday is Free Museum Day

September 25th, 2009 by Heidi

Spend the day at the museum - or perhaps, museums – for The Smithsonian’s Museum Day 2009.  On Saturday, receive FREE general admission to any participating location by downloading and showing this Admission Card

The EMP|SFM is one of the many places in our area that you can visit.  They will be showing two screenings of the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary “Soul of a People: Writing Americas Stories” in the JBL Theater.  In celebration of Museum Day, they’re also launching a new photo policy which will now allow visitors to take pictures in galleries and exhibitions (without flashes, of course).

For a list of other Museum Day museums, click here.

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Stuck at the Fremont Bridge this weekend? At least you’ll have entertainment

September 25th, 2009 by Thea

If you venture off the hill tomorrow and end up stopped at the Fremont Bridge, you’re in for a treat while you wait! After a summer-long residency at the bridge, artist Kristen Ramirez is showcasing her public art display “Bridge Talks Back: A Sound Artwork” this Saturday.

Between 1-4 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, September 26, can enjoy a choreographed performance every time the bridge opens. A sound collage will blast over the bridge’s sound system (including clips of boats, birds and bells) and one hundred volunteer performers and musicians will be participating live (there will be 16 different horn players located in each of the structure’s four towers).

Get the back story here, at Fremont Universe.

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Reminder: scheduled power outage Saturday morning will affect only those notified by City Light

September 25th, 2009 by Thea

Just a reminder, Seattle City Light will be shutting down power at Seattle Center and some of the surrounding areas tomorrow, Saturday, September 26 from approximately midnight to 8 a.m., to attend to “urgent repairs” needed to the area’s electrical distribution system, caused by last week’s surprise power outage. (The cable/splice failure that occurred in an electrical vault at 5th Ave. N. & Mercer St. that caused the outage last Wednesday needs to be fixed).

Power will be turned off in the general area from Queen Anne Ave. on the west to Taylor Ave. on the east, and from Denny Way on the south end to Mercer St. to the north. Seattle City Light emphasized that not everyone within these boundaries will lose power.

Mike Eagan from Seattle City Light emailed me to reiterate that those who will have their power shut off have already been notified by the city. He writes,

Only those businesses who received written notification directly from City Light will be affected.

So if you haven’t heard from City Light, your power should be unaffected by the scheduled outage.

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Lane closures in the coming week

September 25th, 2009 by Thea

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced today that there will be lane closures on both the Aurora Bridge and Alaskan Way Viaduct next week, beginning on Monday, September 28.

On Monday, September 28, through Friday, October 2 crews will be repairing a damaged guard rail on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, closing down the right northbound lane between College and Massachusetts each day from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Also on Monday, September 28 SDOT will be repairing an expansion joint on the Aurora Bridge. The southbound left lane will be closed for approximately two-thirds of the length of the bridge, and the northbound left lane will be closed prior to the bridge deck.

Both work zones will cause traffic congestion, so expect longer commute times on both bridges.

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Mike McGinn is hosting a town hall next door

September 24th, 2009 by Thea

Seattle mayor hopeful Mike McGinn has been hosting a series of town hall meetings around the city recently, and this weekend he’s going to be in Queen Anne neighboring community Magnolia.

On Sunday, September 27 at 4 p.m. McGinn will be at the Magnolia Community Center, located at 2550 34th Ave W. One of five town halls this week, they are an opportunity to meet the mayoral candidate, ask him questions, discuss any concerns you may have and get together with your neighbors. McGinn is expected to announce more campaigns in other neighborhoods next week.

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Fishermen’s Fall Festival at the Terminal Saturday

September 24th, 2009 by Thea

Head over to Fisherman’s Terminal this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Fishermen’s Fall Festival, a free day of fishy festivities celebrating the return of the North Pacific Fishing fleet.

Events include a salmon and halibut fillet demonstration, lutefisk aating contest and survival suit race. But don’t worry, there’s something to do for all ages. Kids can enjoy miniature wooden boat building, fish prints, oyster art, and a trout pond. Although the event is free, for $7.50 you can tour the Sea Star from the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Proceeds will go to the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial.

Check out the full story, with event schedule, at Magnolia Voice.

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