Two suspects captured in police search

10:50 p.m. Two suspects fled a reported stolen vehicle in the vicinity of 65th St. and 14th Ave., triggering a widespread search to find them. Police brought in the Guardian One helicopter and a K9 unit, and a few minutes later, both suspects are in custody — one captured on 11th Ave. near 64th St.

“Had to go inside my house because the cops started flashing lights at me, as if i was a suspect!” writes CaliBallard84 in comments.

The helicopter could be heard across Ballard, as well as the large number of police units responding from around North Seattle. (Thanks Silver for the tip!)

Also: As an interesting aside, Guardian One was also flying over the U District tonight after boaters bumped into a “unknown object” under the Montlake Bridge that they believe may have been a body.

West Woodland’s new playground, rain garden dedicated

West Woodland Elementary at 5601 4th Ave. NW dedicated its improved playground and new rain garden this morning. Here’s the student choir singing.

And here’s Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith shaking hands with West Woodland Principal Marilyn Loveness.

The refurbished playground includes play equipment and a running track made of porous asphalt. The students helped plant a rain garden of native shrubs and plants to divert runoff from the city sewer system. The rain garden will be incorporated in the fourth- and fifth-grade curriculums.

Thanks to Sheila for the photos!

A look at LIHI’s original Urban Rest Stop

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is planning an Urban Rest Stop at their proposed low-income housing facility at 2014 NW 57th St. Urban Rest Stops are restrooms with shower and laundry facilities.

For more details about the rest stops, here’s a piece by the Seattle Channel on the recent 10-year-anniversary of the original location at 1924 9th Ave.

LIHI is hosting a meeting this evening at 6:30 p.m. to discuss their proposed facility. The meeting will be held in Conference room A at Swedish Ballard.

Small oil spill at Fishermen’s Terminal

The Department of Ecology is responding to a report of a small oil spill originating from Fishermen’s Terminal and extending into Salmon Bay. The department told KIRO 7 that it looks to be “tens of gallons,” and investigators have yet to determine where it’s coming from.

An aerial view from KIRO’s helicopter (above) shows a sheen on the water at the Terminal. We’ll update as we learn more.

Update: Department of Ecology spokesman Larry Altose says the spill is diesel fuel and hydraulic oil that likely originated from one or more commercial vessels, but investigators have yet to pinpoint the source. The spill is very small, but workers in the marina are attempting to clean up whatever they can.

Fund set up for car crash victim’s family, memorial scheduled

Although many people in Ballard didn’t know Andy Kotowicz, many are asking how they can help his daughter and wife after the tragic crash that took his life last Thursday night.

Kotowicz was an executive at Sub Pop Records. He had just picked his daughter up from daycare and was headed home when a car smashed into his Subaru at the intersection of 15th Ave NW and NW 75th St, pushing it underneath a truck. Kotowicz was in a coma until he was taken off life support on Saturday night, surrounded by his immediate family.

The memorial service for Kotowicz will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1 at Town Hall (1119 Eighth Avenue. Directions and parking info here.)

A fund has been set up to help the Kotowicz family. Please make checks payable to the Andy Kotowicz Family Foundation.

They can be mailed to:
Andy Kotowicz Family Foundation
c/o Sub Pop Records
2013 Fourth Ave., 3rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98121

Or checks can be delivered to Sound Community Bank at one of the locations listed here.

The folks at Sub Pop have written about their friend. You can read about Kotowicz here.

Library fines go up November 1

The Seattle Public Library will raise fines and fees on Nov. 1, to help offset budget cuts.

  • The daily fine for an overdue book, CD, or DVD will change from 15 cents a day to 25 cents a day. Maximum per item late fee: $8.
  • The daily fine for an overdue interlibrary loan (an item borrowed from outside The Seattle Public Library) will change from 25 cents a day to $1 a day. Maximum per item late fee: $15.
  • The daily fine for an overdue reference resource will change from 15 cents a day to $1 a day. Maximum per item late fee: $15.
  • The charge to print from Library computers will change from 10 cents to 15 cents per page.

The library will also send all accounts with a balance of $25 or more to a collection agency, and it will add a $12 charge when the account is sent to collections. For library account holders who are 12 or under, their parents will be notified when accounts becomes delinquent.

Meeting for proposed low income facility

Wednesday evening is the community meeting for the proposed Low Income Housing Institution (LIHI) facility at 2014 NW 57th St.

The vacant lot at 2014 NW 57th St.

As we reported earlier this month, LIHI is proposing to build an affordable housing facility for families and individuals. The building would include 40 to 60 units made up of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. The annual income of residents would be no more than $51,360 for a four-person household and $41,100 for a two-person household. Twenty-percent of the units would be set aside for homeless families.

“Our priority would be to house the working people in Ballard and we will work with you on reaching out to people who need affordable housing in Ballard,” Sharon Lee, the director of LIHI told the Ballard District Council earlier this month, “We think it’s very important to have people who work in Ballard be able to afford to live in Ballard.”

Along with the housing, LIHI is proposing an “urban rest stop” for homeless people to take a shower, wash clothes and use the bathroom. There will also be other auxiliary services such as nurses and other health educators.

Wednesday’s community meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at Swedish Ballard (5300 Tallman Ave NW) in Conference Room A. Sharon Lee will be speaking as well as Ronni Gilboa from LIHI. Debbie Thiele from the City Office of Housing and Chris Libby from GGLO, architects, will make short presentations. After the presentations, there will be time for questions.

West Woodland Elementary to dedicate new playground and rain garden

The public is invited to the dedication of the new West Woodland Elementary (5601 4th Ave NW) playground and rain garden on Wednesday morning.

Students working on the new rain garden at West Woodland Elementary.

Sheila Bacon Cain emailed us:

Playground improvements include a running track and new play equipment. The track is made of porous asphalt that significantly reduces rainwater runoff. The rain garden – an eco-friendly bioretention area that diverts runoff from the city sewer system – features a number of native shrubs and plants and will be incorporated into the curriculum of fourth and fifth grade students.

The playground improvements were funded by the Seattle School District’s Businesses Technology and Academics Department and a matching grant from the city’s Department of Neighborhoods. The rain garden was donated by Seattle Public Utilities.

The hour-long dedication starts at 9 a.m. at the new playground. Speakers include City of Seattle Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith, Seattle School Board member Michael DeBell and West Woodland Principal Marilyn Loveness. The West Woodland student choir will perform, and alumni from the class of 1933 will be in attendance.

Estrella Family Creamery shut down by FDA

A MyBallard reader writes, “At the Farmers’ Market in Ballard, I noted that the Estrella Family Creamery didn’t have cheese for sale, but rather a bunch of notices that they’d been raided by Federal agents(!?) What’s the story behind this?”

Our news partner, The Seattle Times, is reporting that Estrella Family Creamery was shut down by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last Friday for fear that some of the cheese may be contaminated with the bacteria called listeria. The FDA does not have the authority to issue recalls, but oftentimes a business will issue one at the request of the federal agency. In this case, according to the Seattle Times, the creamery declined.

Earlier this year, Estrella issued several recalls after the Washington State Department of Agriculture found listeria on cheese samples. “We very aggressively went after the problem,” co-owner Kelli Estrella told the Seattle Times. All the cheese aging in that particular cave was destroyed and production stopped while they improved the facility, the Times reports.

Here is the entire article by the Seattle Times: Estrella Family Creamery shut down by FDA after bacteria found

(Photo of the sign hanging at the University Farmers Market from Jon Rowley @oysterwine via Twitter)