Pet killed by coyote on Sunset Hill

We’ve seen a rash of new coyote sightings over the last few days, and one Sunset Hill neighbor says she discovered the remains of either a cat or a small dog in her front yard.

“There was a coyote seen on our block a few days ago,” Amy told us in an email. She said she lives near NW 80th St. and 30th Ave. NW, and the remains were “surrounded by tufts of white fur and blood.” (She sent us some photos, but we’ll spare you the graphic details. This photo shows the coyote’s tracks in her front yard.)

Over in the My Ballard Facebook group, Neighbors near the Loyal Heights Playfield also reported seeing a coyote in the area a few mornings ago. It was on NW 75th St. between 19th and 20th.

Coyotes are known to attack and eat small animals for food, and cats are particularly vulnerable. “People with small dogs and cats may want to be extra careful,” Amy said.

High-speed collision on Holman Road

A fast-moving car narrowly missed other drivers and ricocheted off a tree on Holman Road just after 4 p.m. on Friday, a witness says.

My Ballard reader Mike captured this photo right after the car hit the tree. He said the occupants appeared to be OK, and they took off on foot shortly after the crash.

“Amazingly they didn’t hit anyone coming the other way,” he said. “Hug your loved ones people, this car came out of NOWHERE and could have killed multiple innocents.”

We are contacting Seattle Police to learn more details.

All but one Ballard-area legislator voted to exempt themselves from public records law

Touting transparency as the reason for the vote, Washington state legislators raced through a bill — with no floor debate — that exempted themselves from the voter-approved Public Records Act.

The bill (SB 6617) retroactively blocks the release of prior public records — including past communications and meetings with lobbyists — and it restricts which records lawmakers are required to release.

In January a Thurston County judge ruled that legislators were required to follow the Public Records Act, which they argued did not apply to them. The lawsuit originated from a group of media companies — the AP, Seattle Times, KING TV and others — that argued state lawmakers were not in compliance. The legislature appealed the judge’s ruling.

Then with little warning, legislators overwhelmingly approved the bill which effectively overrides the judge’s ruling. Among legislators in our Ballard and Fremont-area districts, only Sen. Reuven Carlyle voted against it. He was also one of the only legislators to comment on the bill.

“I voted against the open records SB 6617 bill not in criticism of the authors,” Sen. Carlyle wrote on Twitter. “But in a belief that [the legislature] required more deliberative time to craft a responsible solution with full public participation.”

Open government groups blasted the bill and the closed-door process to race it to a vote.

Representatives Frame, Tarleton, Pedersen, Macri and Sen. Copp all voted in favor. Since the bill was approved by an overwhelming majority, it cannot be vetoed by the governor.

The price tag was $599,950, but this Sunset Hill home sold for…

This very average home in Sunset Hill — listed as a “1950’s charmer that needs some cosmetic updates” — sold for a little bit more than the asking price of $599,950.

It sold for $1.15 million. That’s 91.7% more than asking.

But forget the house, let’s look at the property. Located at 8370 Loyal Way, it spans 6,000 square feet. A quick check of the zoning map (.pdf) shows the property is just inside the “Lowrise 2” or L2 zone. “A mix of small scale to multifamily housing such as townhouses, rowhouses and apartments are encouraged,” explains the city of Seattle in its definition of LR2.

The home is right next door to an existing 3-story apartment building, which is next door to the Caffe Fiore and Cocina Esperanza building. Both businesses plan to re-open soon.

Location, location, location.

(Thanks to Andrew Kim for helping us track this down. He was not involved in the sale.)

Story about a Norwegian flag in Greenwood is heard around the world

A few days ago, the Seattle Times got a hot tip. A Greenwood resident said she saw “a Confederate flag flying in front of a house” at N 92nd St. and Palatine Ave. N.

Times reporter Erik Lacitis checked it out, and…

“That’s a Norwegian flag,” said the Norwegian-American man who lives there. “It’s been up there since the start of the Olympics.”

Oops. Unlike the file photo we’re showing in this story, the flag was hanging down on the pole, untouched by the wind.

To her credit, the woman who sent the Times the tip admitted her error and revealed her name, best-selling author Rebecca Morris. But now she’s the subject of stories around the world.

The Times story blew up on social media, and it’s been picked up by the Daily Mail (which believe it or not, is the world’s most popular “news” site) as well as TIME, Sports Illustrated, Breitbart, Russia Today and even the Norwegian channel TV 2.

Not everyone thought it was funny — including some who pointed out it’s not illegal to fly a Confederate flag — so the Seattle Times had to close its comments on the story due to the volume of messages that violated its terms of service. A quick look at Morris’ Facebook page shows a few angry comments, as well.

But one Norwegian resident took it all in stride in a message posted on Facebook.

“The flags are very alike,” he said. “Everyone can do this mistake.”

The story still sits on the top of Seattle Times’ list of most read stories.

Police arrest burglary suspect in Ballard

Police arrested a burglary suspect in Whittier Heights early this morning thanks to some old-fashioned police work and a homeowner armed with a surveillance camera.

It all started when the homeowner, watching a surveillance camera several blocks away, saw a man enter a detached garage near a home under construction in the 800 block of NW 67th Street.

Police responded and saw the suspect running away. “The suspect managed to elude officers by running in between houses, over a fence and into a pond,” explains SPD Detective Mark Jamieson.

That’s when officers discovered a suspicious vehicle with a possible accomplice inside, Jamieson said. “Officers contacted the occupant in the driver’s seat and identified him after he denied any involvement. Officers left, but kept an eye on the vehicle,” he said.

Sure enough, Jamieson said the suspect returned to the vehicle a short time later, and they drove off. Police pulled them over near 11th Avenue NW and NW 70th Street (below), and officer discovered the burglary suspect in the back, covered with blankets, he said.

“Officers were able to compare the physical description of the suspect with the video images provided by the homeowner,” Jamieson said. “The 32-year-old suspect was arrested for the burglary and was later booked into the King County Jail. The driver of the vehicle was identified and released.”

(Thanks to Zach for the photos and tip. We blurred the identity of a man in the photo, as it’s unclear if he’s the suspect or the driver who was not arrested by officers.)

Repair work to disrupt traffic on 8th Ave.

Here’s a traffic advisory for folks who take 8th Ave. NW to and from Holman Rd. in Crown Hill — and for people who live in the neighborhood.

The intersection of 8th Ave. NW and NW 95 St. will become the site of an emergency sewer repair beginning this Monday and lasting five weeks or more, according to Seattle Public Utilities.

Traffic will be restricted to one lane on 8th Ave. NW — with a flagger maintaining order — and the intersection will close from time to time.

NW 95th St. will be closed between Dibble Avenue NW and 7th Ave. NW, and there will be no access to 8th Ave. NW from NW 95th St. Traffic will be detoured around the site, but local access will be maintained, SPU said.

Help the city decide how to spend $3 million

The city of Seattle has received over 1,000 ideas for small-scale improvements to parks and streets, and now it needs help sifting through them all. At stake is $3 million allocated in this year’s budget for the best ideas.

Here’s how it works: The city is holding several meetings in each council district. During these meetings, each district narrows down the list to 8 to 10 ideas. Then those ideas will be put up for a community vote, and a city steering committee will choose how much of the $3 million is allocated to each of the districts.

Got it? Ok, here’s the list of meetings in our district below. In each meeting, neighbors will evaluate ideas that are in close proximity to the meeting’s location (so pick your closest spot.).

“These meetings are simply conversations with neighbors about submitted project ideas in your community,” explains the city. “Participants will discuss the projects in small groups and then individually score ideas based on physical need and community benefit.”

February 23, 6:15 – 8:15pm
Crown Hill Community Center – 9250 14th Ave NW

March 1, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Ballard Branch Library – 5614 22nd Ave NW

March 6, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Fremont Branch Library – 731 N 35th St

March 28, 6 – 8pm
Greenwood Senior Center – 525 N 85th St

For more information, you can visit the Your Voice, Your Choice website here.

Artist painting mural on New Seasons building

Updated: The back of the New Seasons grocery store — along 11th Ave. NW at NW Ballard Way — now features a mural that’s being painted by Seattle artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer.

Among the Ballard imagery is the Leif Erikson statue, the Ballard Bridge and Bergen Place Park.

New Seasons tells My Ballard they commissioned Wakuda to incorporate local elements from the community, and they’re excited by his unique, Japanese-inspired art. You can see photos and video of Wakuda at work on the mural on his Instagram account.

You may have seen Wakuda’s work around the Seattle area. For example, he painted the mural on the old KEXP building as well as inside the radio station’s new facility at Seattle Center.

Meanwhile, New Seasons appears to be getting closer to opening. We peeked inside and the store is equipped with shelves and register counters. New Seasons says they still expect to open this spring, and the mural should be complete by the end of the month.