Man arrested in string of Ballard burglaries

Updated: We’ve noticed extra police presence in Old Ballard over the last day or so, and sure enough, police have made an arrest. The man believed to have burglarized Cugini Cafe, Romanza, Kitchens ‘n Things and Hattie’s Hat is now in custody. Seattle Police say they received several 911 calls on Wednesday afternoon from people who spotted a man who matched the description at 20th and Market.

“They arrested him in front of Angelo’s Salon near the Well’s Fargo bank,” said “Bella’s Boutique” in comments in our earlier post on the burglaries. “I witnessed the arrest and I was happy to see him leave Ballard in a cop car tonight!” said “Cafe Cuglini” in another comment. “I hope we all learn from this — if we stick together as a community we will prevail!” Cuglini Cafe had captured the suspect on a security camera, and local TV stations and My Ballard posted his photo on Monday. Turns out, the 46-year-old man has a fugitive warrant out of Missouri. (Thanks Benton for sending us an email tip!)

Details on garbage, tree recycling, yard waste

The city today released this schedule to help clear up remaining confusion about garbage, recycling and yard waste collection:

See it full-screen here (pdf). Yard waste pickup resumes next week, and collectors will pick up extra amounts for free through the 16th. Meanwhile, you can recycle your Christmas tree now through January 11th as long as you follow the requirements on cutting it down to size. And finally, if the wind blew away your garbage can, here’s how to get a replacement. More info than you ever thought you’d need to know on SPU’s website, or you can call 684-3000.

Mayor reverses course, says salt OK for snow

In a press conference today, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced the city will now allow the use of salt to clear snow and ice during major storms:

“After reviewing our de-icing practices, I’m ordering the Seattle Department of Transportation to start using salt in emergency situations. When more than four inches of snow are predicted or when extreme weather is expected to last more than three days. We will use it on hills, major arterials, bus routes, routes to hospitals and emergency facilities.”

The mayor’s office has been under fire in recent days for the city’s response in clearing snow-packed roadways. Nickels previously had said salt was too harmful to the environment to use on Seattle roadways, opting for sand instead.

A plow at work along 80th St. on Dec. 21st.

Viaduct decision delayed, tunnel back in play

Updated: Governor Christine Gregoire was due to make a decision on the Viaduct by the end of the year, but she has delayed the verdict until next month. “As a result of the continued overwhelming response and input on replacement options from stakeholders, we have asked our respective transportation teams to continue their review,” she said in a joint statement today with Ron Sims and Greg Nickels. And the tunnel option is getting a second look. A key Gregoire adviser told the Seattle Times that a deep-bored tunnel is “probably the most viable option” assuming the costs pencil out. “The interest in the tunnel has led us to take some additional time to study it right,” said Ron Judd.

A view of the deep-bored tunnel option. The tunnels would have two lanes in each direction and would extend from approximately Harrison Street (seen here) to S. Royal Brougham Way (below).

This scenario also includes a pair of north and southbound one-way streets using Alaskan Way and Western Avenue. See more photos here and a map of the project here (pdf). While Elliott/15th Ave. would connect to the surface streets, it would not be accessible from the tunnel. Your thoughts, good for Ballard?

Last week: Two members of Ballard council push for elevated solution
Earlier: Governor narrows down Viaduct options to two finalists

New Thai restaurant opens on 20th Ave.

From the owners of Phuket on Queen Anne comes Uma, a new Thai restaurant in Ballard that just opened in Thai Cafe’s old location on 20th Ave.

Uma opened on Monday with a remodeled interior. It’s still awaiting a liquor license and only accepts cash for the time being. We have yet to give it a try, but if you do, please post your thoughts in comments below…

Weather delays Golden Gardens Drive reopening

It’s been over a year since a big chunk of Golden Gardens Drive tumbled down the hill after record-breaking rainfall. It’s been closed since then, and repair work was scheduled to be completed this month.

But now SDOT says the weather is delaying the reopening until mid-February at the earliest. “The extreme cold front that was present during much of the month of December has delayed construction of the remaining items required to open the roadway: completion of the asphalt ridge (channels drainage) and the roadway shoulder along the west side,” says SDOT. “This remaining work is temperature and weather sensitive and cannot be completed until the cold and inclement weather has passed.” (Thanks Boxcar for the tip!)

Burglar hitting local businesses, says cafe owner

A business owner in Old Ballard says she was burglarized during the Farmers Market on Sunday. Kylee Harris, the owner of Cugini Cafe, tells My Ballard that a man came into her shop and went back into a private office around 3:45 p.m. She says one of her employees confronted the man, who locked himself in the bathroom and escaped out the window. Surveillance video, seen here in this KING 5 story, shows the man with something hidden under his jacket, and money bags were left empty in the bathroom. Harris tells us this isn’t the first store to be hit by the same suspect: Romanza, Kitchens ‘n Things and Hattie’s Hat have also been targeted. “The scary thing is he’s so bold and has been confronted by so many people, but he keeps showing up,” Harris says.

Last week: ATM stolen from the Lockspot Cafe

Still waiting for a UPS delivery?

Writes SeattleRichardson in comments on the garbage pickup story:

I’ve been waiting on a package from UPS that says via their tracking that it’s been in Seattle since the 26th and it’s still not been delivered! They can only claim the “weather” card for so many days.

Well, our friends at the WestSeattleBlog spoke with UPS, and they said they’re making good progress. “Today in one particular Seattle facility, they’ve gotten through half, meaning they unloaded half the trailers, sorted those (packages), and put them out for delivery,” said a UPS media representative, adding they expect to be caught up by the end of the week. But… UPS will not be delivering Wednesday and Thursday, due to New Years. So if you don’t get your package by tomorrow, you’ll have to wait until Friday or later.

Update: UPS now says they’ll be delivering on Wednesday