Seattle Police Chief finalist community forum

Mayor Mike McGinn is hosting a community forum on Wednesday, June 2, where the three Seattle Police Chief finalists will discuss their experience and answer questions from the public.

Mayor McGinn began looking for a new police chief back in January, after former Chief Gil Kerlikowske left his post to take a presidentially appointed position as the nation’s Drug Control Policy Director. Narrowing down the list provided by the 26-member Police Chief Search Committee, McGinn has settled on the final three: Rick Braziel (.pdf), the current chief of police in Sacramento; Ron Davis (.pdf), the chief of police in East Palo Alto, California; and Interim Seattle Police Chief John Diaz (.pdf).

The forum will begin at 6 p.m. in Seattle Center’s Rainier Room. It will be moderated by Search Committee Co-Chairman Charles Rolland and will have opening remarks by Mayor McGinn. Each candidate will give a five-minute presentation, followed by a half-hour of discussion, in which audience members are encouraged to submit questions. Various community representatives will also be present with prepared questions for the candidates, and translators will be available to help anyone who needs assistance.

If you can’t make it to the meeting, the event will be streamed live online at both the Seattle Channel and Mayor McGinn’s blog.

Mayor McGinn is expected to make a final decision sometime in June, subject to the Seattle City Council’s confirmation of his police chief appointment.

Fatal collision on Aurora this morning takes one life

At approximately 7:25 a.m. this morning, Monday, May 31, a Toyota Camry carrying two 24-year-old men crashed while traveling southbound on Aurora Ave N. According to the SPD Blotter:

As the vehicle entered the 1700 Block of Aurora, it failed to negotiate the right curve and left the roadway colliding broadside with a light pole on the west side of Aurora.  The impact caused the Toyota to rollover at least once and it came to rest on its top.  The light pole broke off at ground level and fell across two lanes of Aurora.

Seattle Fire Department crews were able to extract both men and transport them to Harborview Medical Center. The passenger later died. The car’s driver was treated and released from the hospital, only to be booked into King County Jail for Investigation of Vehicular Homicide.

The wreckage was cleared and the roadway reopened at around 11:15 a.m. this morning. Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS) detectives are continuing their investigation into the crash.

String of burglaries in Queen Anne and Magnolia this weekend, two suspects arrested

The Seattle Police Department has arrested two suspects after a string of burglaries in Queen Anne and Magnolia this weekend. According to the SPD Blotter, officers from the West Precinct “responded to an unusual number of occupied burglary/prowler/alarm calls on Queen Anne Hill” beginning at around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 30. No suspects were located at the time, but SPD said “there was evidence that the crimes had occurred.”

Then, a few hours later, at around 5:50 a.m. a homeowner in the 3000 block of 38th Ave W in Magnolia confronted two suspects who were attempting to break into his home. The victim immediately called 911 and gave officers a description of the two suspects. While setting up a containment area, two officers saw one of the suspects, a 19-year-old, and arrested him. He was later questioned by detectives and booked into King County Jail for Investigation of Residential Burglary. A second suspect was located by a K9 officer, who found the juvenile male suspect, later positively idenitified by the victim, hiding in the bushes a half a block away. He was arrested, questioned, and later booked into the Youth Services Center on the same charge.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the juvenile suspect used a car key stolen in a previous burglary last week to steal the vehicle they used to commit the burglaries on Queen Anne and Magnolia this morning.  Officers located the stolen vehicle after the homeowner saw one of the suspects attempt to start the car as part of their getaway.  When they couldn’t get the car started, they fled on foot.

According to SPD, detectives are working to see if these two suspects are connected with any other crimes.

Dog helps end burglary spree from Queen Anne to Magnolia

A black lab named Ben helped stop a burglary early this morning at a home in the 3000 block of 38th Ave West in Magnolia.  Now, it appears the suspects in that case are also responsible for a series of burglary calls early today around Queen Anne.

KING 5 led their 5pm newscast with the story tonight, interviewing the Armantrout family. They told KING their dog started barking at two teenage burglars who were trying to pry open the back door. The homeowner chased the teens on foot. Seattle Police later caught both of them. Investigators believe the suspects were involved in a series of break-ins and alarm calls early today. Most of the calls came from an area on Queen Anne near McClure Middle School. Photo courtesy of KING 5.

Queen Anne mother & daughter co-star in “The Sound of Music,” opening Sunday

Beaven Walters is a Queen Anne resident, stay-at-home mom to two children, and a local singer and actress. Her six-year-old daughter Sophie is a kindergartner at St. Anne’s School. And this mother-daughter team will be performing together in the Kitsap Forest Theater’s production of “The Sound of Music”, produced by the Mountaineer Players, which opens this Sunday, May 30. Beaven is playing the leading role of Maria, and Sophie, in her first musical production, is cast as the youngest of the Von Trapp children, Gretl.

“Although this is Sophie’s debut show, she has been participating in dance classes since the age of 2, singing in the school choir, and taking piano lessons. Although acting and singing are her favorite parts of participating in this show, the unique outdoor theatre setting has made this little nature lover even more thrilled to be a participant,” Beaven wrote.

Beaven’s past performance credits include the role of Martha Jefferson in the Seattle Musical Theatre’s production of 1776, and regional performances with the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Northwest Savoyards, and Burien Little Theatre. This is her third time performing in “The Sound of Music,” and her second time in the lead role–but it’s her first with Sophie at her side.

“[This is] the most special due to sharing the stage with my daughter, a dream of mine that I never though could come to fruition.  I am thrilled to have this opportunity and so excited for people to get to the chance to see this exceptional cast in such a magical setting,” she wrote.

The Kitsap Forest Theater will be showing “The Sound of Music” through June 20. Productions are scheduled for this Sunday and Monday, with 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday shows over the next three weekends. For more information, or to buy tickets, check out the Kitsap Forest Theater website.

And for those interesting in catching a show, Beaven has a little advice: “Those taking the Seattle/Bremerton ferry should shoot for the 11:00 sailing to allow plenty of time for a picnic and the walk down to the theatre. Bring a low chair or cushion and dress in layers to make the experience even more enjoyable. The hills are alive!”

Community mourns death of a neighbor

We’re sad to report that an active and well respected Queen Anne community member and Seattle businessman took his own life on Tuesday evening in Magnolia’s Discovery Park. As first reported by our sister site, MagnoliaVoice, a jogger came across the body of Shaun Murphy on a bench along the south bluff of the park. Police recovered a suicide note left behind at the scene.

There will be a memorial service for Shaun on Wednesday, June 2 at 11 a.m. at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, located at 1411 1st Ave West in Queen Anne. Shaun’s family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Crisis Clinic and its suicide prevention services in Shaun’s memory. There will also be a donation fund for the Murphy family in coming days. Information on how to donate will be available early next week.

Murphy, a renown businessman, was the founder and principal of Working Spaces, and lived with his wife and children in Queen Anne. Since MagnoliaVoice first reported on the story two days ago, the comments have become a tribute to his memory. Many friends and neighbors have written in to express their sorrow and send condolences to to the Murphy family. We invite those who wish to share stories about Shaun or send condolences to his family to do so here as well. One of Shaun’s employees has asked us to keep comments posted on QueenAnneView and MagnoliaVoice so that they could be compiled and given to his wife and three children.

Get free tickets to SIFF at Starbucks this afternoon

As a follow-up to last week’s “We Love You Fridays” Mariners ticket giveaway, Starbucks is giving customers who stop by their neighborhood Starbucks after 2 p.m. today, Friday, May 28 a free ticket to the 36th Seattle International Film Festival.

Both the Upper and Lower Queen Anne Starbucks locations are participating in the event. Though there is no purchase necessary, according to Starbucks, there will only be about 100 vouchers at every participating store, so try to get there early!

Seattle’s beloved SIFF opened last week and will showcase 382 films from 67 countries between now and June 13. The Starbucks voucher is only redeemable for select films, but there are still plenty of options.

Starbucks vouchers in the coming weeks: On June 4 its a voucher for a free weekday admission at the Seattle Art Museum. On June 11, you’ll get free weekday admission for one child at the Seattle Aquarium.  And on June 18, you’ll get free admission to selects shows of the new Broadway production of “Burn the Floor” at The Paramount. Details here.

Who wants Molly Moon’s to visit Queen Anne?

This just in from our sister site MyWallingford: boutique ice cream shop Molly Moon’s is looking to expand beyond its two stores in Wallingford and Capitol Hill this summer. That’s right, Molly Moon’s has decided to ride the Seattle mobile food wave, and has taken to the streets on four wheels!

Molly and her crew first hit the road with their Salted Caramel, Scout Mint, Theo Chocolate, and many other flavors this month to serve ice cream-deprived areas. The Molly Moon’s ice cream truck will make its maiden stop far from Puget Sound — at this weekend’s Sasquatch Music Festival at The Gorge.

But next week the truck rolls back into town, and Molly wants to know where it should make its first Seattle stops. As Queen Anne is a prime summer spot for tourists and Seattleites alike–thanks to the Seattle Center, EMP and Pacific Science Center for all landing within a few blocks of one another–we suspect we just might get a little Molly Moon’s ice cream action. But it never hurts to make a suggestion! Add Queen Anne and other suggested hot spots to the growing list on Facebook or send Molly a tweet. Yum!

Councilman Rasmussen opposes Nickerson road diet, neighbors form pro-diet support group

Over the last couple of weeks the proposed W Nickerson Street “road diet” has become a hot topic in the Queen Anne community. This week supporters of the plan to restructure Nickerson between Warren Ave N and 13th Ave W from two lanes in each direction to one, adding a middle turn lane and bicycle lane, found reinforcement in the recent release of an SDOT report indicating the positive effects of a similar “road diet” implemented along Stone Way N in Wallingford two years ago.

Citywide politicians have also been getting involved in the debate, including Mayor Mike McGinn who supports the plan, and Councilman Tom Rasmussen who this week said came out in opposition of the diet, which he says should be delayed until projects at other high-volume corridors including Mercer Street and the Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel are completed in 2016. From our news partner, The Seattle Times:

Peter Hahn, the new transportation director, said he had authority to carry out the $200,000 makeover without further council or mayor actions — and if it failed, the road diet could be easily reversed.

Rasmussen says he heard an immediate outcry from neighborhood and Democrat groups. Nickerson is one of only two east-west streets directly feeding Ballard industries. Meanwhile, angry drivers tell the Times that bicyclists should use the Ship Canal Trail, a block away.

According to the Times, Seattle has completed some 24 “road diet” lane reductions citywide since 1972, and Mayor McGinn is pushing hard to continue the program.

The mayor, a longtime environmental activist, announced the Nickerson road diet May 11, as part of a re-emphasis on walking, biking and transit projects. One goal is for lower car speeds to improve pedestrian safety; the street passes through Seattle Pacific University.

Although SDOT says the road diet on Stone Way N has increased safety by significantly lowering the number of collisions between cars, bicycles and pedestrians along the stretch, Rasmussen said the council may work to stop the project by:

a) pass a budget proviso withholding road-diet money, b) pass a recommendation for or against the plan, or c) watch what happens, perhaps adding language repealing the road diet if things went bad.

Meanwhile, community members in support of the plan have organized a support group, Supporters of the Nickerson St. Road Diet, to counteract the recently formed 15th Ave W Coalition. Founder Charles Redell sent this letter out to community members today:

I first read about the 15th Ave. W Transportation Coalition earlier this week on Magnolia Voice. The fact that Magnolia Community Council wrote a letter against the proejct in which it claimed to represent 24,000 Magnolia residents got under my skin because I fully support the road diet for Nickerson. After reading the Stone Way Road Diet study and talking to a few people about the safety issues for bike rider and pedestrians on Nickerson St., I decided to start Supporters of the Nickerson St. Road Diet to see if we can get a group of people together to make it clear that many, many people in these neighborhoods of all stripes support this plan.

The Google group was created two days ago and is getting coverage in a few outlets already. People are joining the Facebook group and we are planning efforts to get the word out about the benefits this road diet will bring to the area. Among them are a safer street for pedestrians and bike riders, increased business opportunities for local, small businesses and a more livable neighborhood overall.

All supporters of the Road Diet are welcome to join and take part.

We’ll keep you posted as this discussion continues.

Tiny’s Organic returns to Eat Local today

Eat Local is welcoming back visiting produce stand Tiny’s Organic to both their Queen Anne and Burien stores beginning today, Thursday, May 27.

Also on Thursday May 27th, you have a chance to meet the farmers from Tiny’s Organics,  from 11:00am to 1:00pm in Burien and 3:00pm to 6:00pm in Queen Anne.

Queen Anne customers also have the opportunity to participate in Tiny’s Organic CSA program, which will bring fresh, organic produce to customers all summer long. Pick up is every Wednesday at Eat Local, or one of Tiny’s many other pick-up spots. For more information, check out Tiny’s website.