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Entries from January 2011

Lower Queen Anne couple help catch robber

January 26th, 2011 by Thea

One of our readers wrote in with a report of a robbery that took place on Monday, January 24 at approximately 9:20 p.m. in a Lower Queen Anne apartment building, on W Olympic Place and 1st Ave W. Josh and his wife came home that night to find that someone had broken into their car, which was parked in a secure garage in their apartment complex. The couple acted fast, calling police, and together were able to apprehend the robber. Josh wrote:

We pulled up with our other car right next to it and noticed someone sitting in our driver’s seat in the car. We just ran upstairs (he didn’t know we owned that car as well) and called the police. They showed up and we took them to the garage and he was no longer in the car but we noticed him coming down the stairs and into the elevator (this area requires more security access) while the police were searching around our vehicle. We gestured to the police and told them he was going up the elevator and we (my wife, myself and the police) ran up the stairs to meet him in the lobby but he already booked it out of the building and was nowhere to be seen.  A girl standing outside the elevator said she saw someone leave the building so the police split up in different directions. My wife and I stayed in the lobby and I thought I saw him walking down the curve on Queen Anne Way from the lobby window and I ran outside and told the police and they headed in that direction where they caught him right outside the Piece of Mind smoke shop.

According to Josh, police found the couple’s Pioneer car stereo on the suspect, who he says spend the night in jail. The incident report outlined two felony offenses: residential burglary and possession of stolen property, both of which the suspect completed before being caught.

“The police did a great job of getting to our apartment really quick (like in 2-4 minutes after I phoned 911) and helping us get that guy. They were super helpful and friendly,” Josh wrote. “He also stole another car stereo (not sure if it was from our building)…he probably broke into our car because our rear passenger side window doesn’t close all the way.”

Car prowls are not uncommon in Queen Anne, especially at the foot of the hill, which is closer to downtown and generally has more commuter traffic going through the neighborhood. A look at the Seattle Police Department interactive crime map shows 13 car prowls in the neighborhood in the last week alone. This incident serves as a reminder to keep on the lookout for suspicious activity.

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Rep. Carlyle assumes vice chair of Higher Education Committee, aims for ‘genuine reform’

January 26th, 2011 by Jesus Chavez

Rep. Reuven Carlyle of Seattle’s 36th district began the new legislative session and his second term in Olympia as vice chair of the Higher Education Committee this month.

“What I hope to do is to really bring about some genuine reform in our education system—in K-12 and higher education,” said Carlyle. “I have four young children, and that’s the heart and soul of who I am and why I ran for office.”

Carlyle has worked on the committee during the last two sessions, but this is his first in a leadership position.

The state’s education system is moving in a troubling direction that warrants immediate and profound action, according to Carlyle. He said this area of state government distresses him the most and characterizes the shift of funding from the state to the students as “a disaster waiting to happen.”

“The state is retreating from its obligation to open the doors of access to higher education, and it’s going to become more and more elite and privatized,” Carlyle said. “But there’s many of us giving it all we have fighting tooth and nail to try to educate the public about the value of changing course and really being much more aggressive about allowing everybody to access higher education, not just a small segment of society.”

Photo from Carlyle’s Facebook page.

Carlyle will also serve as a member of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. This is his first time serving on the committee, which is especially critical given the state’s current economic woes.

 

“Our economy is going through the most extraordinary structural change in generations,” Carlyle said. “This is a time to break down old clichés and old stereotypes about state government and about taxes and services and to really honor the will of the public to rebuild our state.”

From Washington’s House Democrats website:

In the December special session, $588 million of the $1.6 billion budget deficit for the current budget cycle was addressed. How to address the remaining amount is the Ways and Means Committee’s first problem, before moving onto the projected $4.6 billion shortfall in the two-year budget starting in July.

“It’s time we thoughtfully lay out our state’s priorities and do our best to fund them,” Carlyle said.  “I’ll be challenging colleagues to start fresh with our budgeting, and put dollars where we can unleash opportunity and the entrepreneurial spirit in our state.”

Also serving on the Ways and Means Committee are Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, both representing the 36th district.

Carlyle will continue to serve on the Technology, Energy and Communications Committee, and hopes to use his voice to bring technological efficiency to the state infrastructure. The current session will run from Jan 10 to April 24.

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Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson introduces bill to legalize marijuana to ease budget shortfall

January 25th, 2011 by Cory Bergman

36th District Representative Mary Lou Dickerson is once again calling on the state legislature to legalize marijuana. House Bill 1550, which was introduced this morning, would legalize the use of cannabis for adults age 21 and over.

Rep. Dickerson says that legalizing marijuana could generate $400 million per biennium for the state. “Subjecting cannabis to a licensed, regulated system would not only improve public health and safety, it would generate hundreds of millions of dollars for health care at a time when Washington’s budget is being decimated,” said Dr. William Robertson, founder of the Washington Poison Control Center.

Under the bill, cannabis would be sold through state liquor stores with growers applying for a license through the Liquor Control Board. The LCB, according to a press release, has a 96 percent success rate in preventing alcohol sales to minors.“Drug cartels and black-market dealers have made it easier for kids to get cannabis than alcohol,” Dickerson said. “The Liquor Control Board has a proven track record of shielding kids from its products. I’m confident our bill will break the back of cannabis crime-syndicate profits and make it possible to preserve vital health services across Washington in these very difficult budget times.”

In 2010, Dickerson submitted a similar bill, HB 2401, which didn’t make it past the Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness.

House Bill 1550 is not to be confused with legislation introduced this year by 36th District Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles concerning medical marijuana reform (Senate Bill 5073 and House Bill 1100). Read more about these bills here.

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Uptown Triangle planning meeting Thursday

January 25th, 2011 by Thea

The area bounded by Denny Way, Broad, and Aurora, squeezed between the Seattle Center and South Lake Union, has been called by many names, but is probably most known as the “Uptown Triangle.” Some like to call it the “the lost triangle.”

The 36-acre area just southeast of Queen Anne, highlighted in pink above, is currently filled with wide roads and industrial buildings. But over the last year the Uptown Alliance and representatives from the Queen Anne Community Council have been working to get the city to redevelop the area, alongside development plans already in the works for the nearby Mercer corridor and deep bored tunnel projects.

In September QACC Land Use Regulation Commission and Planning chair Craig Hanway presented the City Council’s Committee on Built Environment with a plan (.pdf) to fix up the space. From the report:

A 36 acre area in Seattle’s Uptown Urban Center [is] surrounded by a vibrant community, rich with jobs, public amenities and cultural assets. However, the Triangle remains neglected and underutilized. It’s time to heal the scars created by Broad Street and the “Mercer Mess”.

At 12 p.m. on Thursday, January 27 Hanway and Uptown Alliance and QACC transportation chair John Coney will present the recent planning recommendations for the Uptown Triangle in a public forum.

With ideas on everything from building bike lanes and parks, mixed-use retail and apartment complexes, and promoting connections between the urban centers of Lower Queen Anne, South Lake Union, and downtown, Hanway and Coney envision creating a more residential, family friendly, transit-served, bike and pedestrian friendly neighborhood with its own identity. The ultimate goal of the Uptown Triangle development project is to create a vibrant urban community that serves as a crossroads between the high-tech, telecommunications, and arts and global health hubs that surround it.

Some of the early ideas being considered for the Uptown Triangle include:

  • Adding a major bicycle route to John Street;
  • Running streetcar lines on Thomas Street, 5th, and Republican;
  • Envisioning Thomas Street as a café-lined thoroughfare with ground-floor retail;
  • Townhouses on John Street, Taylor, and 6th;
  • Diversity of housing types and affordability;
  • Transit and walkable links to Denny Park and the Seattle Center;
  • Using trees and green space to offset the urban environment at the Harrison Street portal to the SR 99 tunnel.

Thursday’s meeting will take place at GGLO Architecture, at 1301 First Avenue, Suite 301 (located on the north side of the Harbor Steps, across from the Seattle Art Museum). The QACC and Uptown Alliance are eager to hear comments from the community about the plan. For more information, contact John Coney at 206-283-2049.

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SSIA hosts elementary math workshop for parents

January 25th, 2011 by Gladys

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Successful Schools In Action presents an elementary math workshop designed specifically for parents and guardians.  This is designed for parents who may be feeling frustrated or ineffective when helping their children with their math homework or who want to learn more about the elementary math curriculum.

The workshop is on Wednesday, February 2 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
at Catharine Blaine. You’ll learn specific strategies and techniques
for helping your child with math and about additional resources and cialis canada pharmacy materials to supplement and support math instruction for your child. There are two levels, K through 2nd grade and 3rd through 5th grade, each led by two expert teachers. The workshop fee is $15. For more information or to register click here. You can also email  lisamoore@schoolsinaction.org with questions.

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KeyArena could change its name in 2011

January 24th, 2011 by Thea

The KeyArena may be getting a new name this year. The Seattle Center announced Friday that it is seeking a new naming rights partner for the event hall, after KeyBank’s contract expired on December 31, 2010. The facility, which hosts concerts, sporting and other events, and is home to the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, has worn the Key’s name for 15 years.

Seattle Center says it is in the midst of discussing naming opportunities with a number of interested parties, but are not yet ready to announce a successor. The facility will keep the name KeyArena until a new naming rights partner is selected.

“KeyBank has been a wonderful partner over the past 15 years, and we hope to continue to explore opportunities with them in the future,” said Seattle Center Director, Robert Nellams in a press release. “There’s very strong interest by local and national companies that recognize this kind of title sponsorship opportunity doesn’t come around often. The 2011 event line-up, capital improvements and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, The Next Fifty, make this naming opportunity very appealing.”

Despite the difficult economic climate, the KeyArena has had quite a year. From Seattle Center:

KeyArena earned the top spot on a 2010 year-end industry list (Venues Today) of the best concert venues in the northwest. It also made it to Pollstar’s worldwide top 50 venues and stadiums list, ranked on ticket sales, for the first time ever. The number of events at KeyArena also saw a significant bump from 2009 – a 26% increase in events and a 40% increase in concerts. By year’s end, gross ticket sales exceeded $17.5 million (not including WNBA Storm and Seattle University Men’s Basketball games).

KeyArena 2011 calendar is already out-pacing last year’s schedule. This year’s lineup will include Seattle University men’s basketball games, the 2010 WNBA Champions Seattle Storm (their season starts on June 4), and the Rat City Rollergirls. Some new events debuting at the KeyArena this year include the Professional Bull Riders, UFC Fight Night 24, at Street League Pro Skateboarding. Touring shows in 2011 will bring Eric Clapton, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, and the Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil to the venue.

See the full list of confirmed events at the KeyArena in 2011 here.

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FOLKpark hosting rummage sale to benefit Lower Kinnear Park, looking for community donations

January 24th, 2011 by Thea

Friends of Lower Kinnear Park (FOLKpark) and the Uptown Alliance are hosting a rummage sale next month to raise money for the redevelopment of Lower Kinnear Park, an effort that has been several years in the making by the FOLKpark community volunteers. (Peruse our past coverage of FOLKpark’s work to redesign and clean up Lower Kinnear Park here).

While the rummage sale won’t take place until the last weekend of February (Friday, Feb. 25 through Sunday, Feb. 27), but FOLKpark is already collecting donations to be sold at the sale. The rummage sale will be held at 512 1st Ave N in Lower Queen Anne. Community members who’d like to donate their old stuff to FOLKpark for the rummage sale should contact Jean Sundborg at 206-283-6140 and arrange a time to bring their donations to the sale site.

FOLKpark is also looking for volunteers work the days of the sale, and in the weeks coming up to the event, helping to prepare. If you’d like to volunteer, reach out to FOLKpark via its Facebook page, or by calling the number above.

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Pedestrian struck, seriously injured by car on Denny

January 24th, 2011 by Thea

At approximately 6:48 p.m. on Sunday, January 23 a pedestrian crossing the street mid-block in the 100 block of Denny Way was hit by a Toyota traveling eastbound on Denny Way, according to a report by the Seattle Police Department released today.

The pedestrian sustained “serious head injuries” and was transported to Harborview Medical Center by the Seattle Fire Department. From SPD:

The driver of the Toyota was evaluated at the scene for any signs of impairment, but did not exhibit any signs of any intoxication.  The driver was interviewed and released from the scene.

SPD Traffic Collision Investigation Sqaud detectives are continuing the investigation into the collision.

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City asks neighborhood businesses to host electric vehicle charging stations

January 24th, 2011 by Doree

[Editor's note: This story first appeared on sister-site PhinneyWood.com.]

The city’s Office of Economic Development is asking businesses to host an electric vehicle (EV) charging station for customers.

Charlie Cunniff, with the OED’s Seattle Climate Partnership, told a recent Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce meeting that any business with a parking lot could host one parking spot with a plug-in. Cunniff says the business could promote it as a benefit for customers to charge up while shopping.

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a $115 million grant to Phoenix-based ECOtality to manage the EV Project, installing 15,000 charging stations in 16 cities in six states, including Washington. ECOtality, which has been in the electric vehicle charging business for 20 years, matched the government grant, for a total of $230 million for this pilot project.

“The electric vehicles are here, it’s not the future, and there needs to be a charging infrastructure for people to charge outside their homes and at their homes as well,” Dan O’Shea, Washington State sales manager for ECOtality, explained. “Within the next three to five years, 80 percent of all car manufacturers are going to have at least one electric vehicle.”

O’Shea, who lives in Phinney Ridge, says his company plans to install about 2,000 EV chargers from Olympia to Everett. About 900 of those will be in the homes of people who agree to have their data shared as part of the pilot project, to help the DOE determine where to install additional chargers, and to understand the habits of EV drivers.

“Western Washington and Seattle are an important part” of the project, he said.

A Blink residential electric vehicle charger.

About 1,200 chargers will be publicly available at short-term parking lots where customers would typically park from one to three hours, “where you’re going to be doing your topping off of your battery,” O’Shea explained.

The public charging stations will be what’s called Level 2 chargers, at 220 volts. (Level 1 is a normal household 120 volt system.) Level 3 chargers, called a Fast Charger (with 480 volts) will be installed at fueling stations and other easy-access places such as convenience stores.

A Level 2 charger for commercial locations, such as parking lots.

O’Shea says Level 2 chargers would typically take four to eight hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. But, “a Fast Charger will take your battery from zero to 80 percent full in 26 minutes,” he said.

Fast Chargers have two ports, so two cars can plug in at one time, however, they charge sequentially. So the first car will be charged, then it will automatically start charging the second car.

“They’re very forward looking, very modern looking. Size wise, they’re very manageable,” he said. “It looks like a giant iPod Shuffle. They have touch screens, interactive screens.”

A Fast Charger with two portals.

Customers will have several ways to pay for the electricity, including the project’s Blink network, where you can use a special pre-paid card or your cell phone.

“It’s very data-rich,” he said of the Blink network. “You’ll have a Blink smart phone app that will tell you everything you need to know about your car, and where the chargers are, and it will even allow you to reserve a charger.”

To install an EV charger at your place of business, O’Shea says you need to own the parking lot. The EV Project will give you a free charging unit, plus a $1,500 cash grant toward the cost of installation. You must use one of the EV Project’s four approved contractors. Installation may cost more than $1,500 depending on whether you have an appropriate electrical panel, how far the panel is from the charging spot, and any extra work that needs to be done.

O’Shea said a typical installation would take about half a day. If cutting or trenching need to be done, it may take a few days and would cost more.

“The EV project is here to do everything we can to provide you with chargers and either a free or low-cost installation,” O’Shea said.

Businesses that want to provide a dedicated charger just for their employees will have to pay for the cost of the charger and the installation themselves.

While each business pays for the electricity, they also receive a percentage of the fees that drivers pay. O’Shea said those fees are designed to cover the cost of electricity and routine maintenance. He said the fees are not set yet, but may run about $1.25 to $2.50 per session.

To put the fees in perspective, O’Shea said a Nissan Leaf has a 3.3 kilowatt charger; at 10 cents per kilowatt hour, it would cost 33 cents to charge for an hour. He says on average, an EV owner will pay about $250 a year to charge their car, viagra online pharmacy versus an estimated $1,500 a year in gasoline for a regular car.

O’Shea said business owners should think about the possible benefits of hosting an EV charger by determining the profile of their typical customer.

“You want to attract that person to your business, keep them there for an hour or two, plus you’ll receive revenue that will offset your costs,” he explained.

O’Shea expects the first commercial installations to begin in February. “I need to get 1,200 of them in the ground by the summer.”

If you’re interested in installing a charging station at your business, contact Dan O’Shea at doshea@ecotality.com, or 206-920-1477.

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Where is QA on a Saturday night?

January 22nd, 2011 by Thea

Where do Queen Anne-ers like to hang out on a Saturday night?

Apparently at the Molly Moon’s ice cream truck that’s been hanging out in Upper Queen Anne five nights a week all month long. The truck is parked outside Pizza Hut, at 2231 Queen Anne Ave N, until 10 p.m. tonight (it is in QA from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from noon to 10 on Saturdays and Sundays).

Molly Moon’s is testing out Queen Anne as a possible location for its third store. Over the next month the local ice creamery will be deciding between QA, Ballard and Madrona.

Want Molly Moon’s to come to Queen Anne? “Like” the official “Bring Molly Moon’s to Queen Anne” Facebook page—the number of fans each neighborhood brings in will be a determining factor in which hood will be home to the new shop. As of 8 p.m. Saturday Queen Anne’s Facebook page is in second place with just 367 ‘likes’. The Ballard page is leading with 532 ‘likes’ and the Madrona page is in third with 173 ‘likes’. Want Molly Moon’s in QA? Vote here.

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Kitten adopt-a-thon at All the Best Pet Care Sunday

January 21st, 2011 by Thea

All the Best Pet Care, at 2127 Queen Anne Ave N in Upper Queen Anne, is hosting a kitten adopt-a-thon event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday, January 23.

All of the kittens (and the store’s resident cats) up for adoption are from non-profit, no-kill animal shelters, and are looking for permanent homes. All have passed recent health checks, are spayed/neutered, have tested negative for FIV and feline leukemia (FeLV), are de-wormed, flea treated, and are up to date on their vaccinations.

The adoption fee for one kitten under one year of age is $125, or $200 for a pair. Adult cats may be adopted for a fee of $100 each, or $150 for a pair. One hundred percent of the adoption fees go to the shelters to support their rescue work.

For more information on adopting a kitten or cat, and adoption procedure at All the Best, refer to the adoption section on their website.

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Seven Hills concludes final public meeting before breaking ground as early as March

January 20th, 2011 by Jesus Chavez

The City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development held the last public design review meeting of the Seven Hills Apartments development project last night at the Queen Anne Community Center.

Emerald Bay Equity’s design was approved, although the board offered various recommendations regarding certain details of the façade’s appearance. This concluded the review and recommendation process of the long stalled project.

As mentioned is yesterday’s post about the design review meeting, the developer had originally planned for the project to house medical offices above the ground-level retail, but opted to change out the office space for residential apartments due to the economic downturn. The property was temporarily put up for sale by Emerald Bay Equity in April of last year.

Construction at 1919 Queen Anne Ave. N. is slated to begin as early as March, according to Emerald Bay Equity principal Joe Geivett, who has seen this project through six screenings by the City of Seattle and the Queen Anne Community Council. He said the building will take approximately a year to complete.

The four-story building will be primarily dedicated to one-bedroom apartments, with a total of 57 units on three floors. The first floor will be dedicated to retail stores and restaurants, and two levels of parking will be provided below ground.

Artist rendering courtesy of Emerald Bay Equity.

“It’s a little more modern, but I wouldn’t call it a modern building,” Geivett said. “I think the building fits in real nicely with that block.”

Much of the interaction between the board and the members of Emerald Bay Equity revolved around aesthetic details, such as the mosaic of the ground floor and the contrast of color tones.

“The great thing about these developers is they take recommendations really seriously,” said Design Review Board Member Jill Kurfirst. “You can tell they have thought about what you said and are really trying to follow through.”

Public turnout was low – only one person attended who was not associated with the board or Emerald Bay Equity. The meeting was improvised in the game room of the community center after a room mix up prevented the use of originally scheduled room 3.

The design review proposal can be viewed here.

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