Man killed in late night shooting in Ballard

Updated: The Tacoma News Tribune is reporting the victim is Robert Baker, the brother of Budda Baker, the UW football star and now Arizona Cardinal. Budda Baker posted this statement:

“On behalf of the Baker Family we want to thank everyone for their generous outpouring of love, support, and prayers during this extremely difficult time at the passing of our dearly beloved son, brother and husband, Robert Baker. We ask that you respect our family’s privacy in this difficult time. – The Baker Family”

Earlier: Just before 2 a.m. this morning, police raced to the 4900 block of NW Leary Way — near Cedar Room and Shelter Lounge — for a report of a shooting. They discovered a 29-year-old man with a gunshot wound a block away at NW 49th St. and 17th Ave. NW.

“Officers performed CPR until relieved by Seattle Fire. The victim was pronounced dead while being transported to the hospital,” says Detective Mark Jamieson.

Bryan Orendor told My Ballard he was outside Shelter Lounge with his girlfriend and two friends when he heard the shots.

“I heard 3 booms which sounded like fireworks,” he said. “As a second passed, a couple more shots went off and I grabbed my girlfriend and told my buddies to run and get inside Shelter now, there is an active shooter around the corner. As we ran inside, we ducked behind the bar, and I just remember everyone crying and yelling ‘lock the door, lock the door!'”

A large number of officers searched the surrounding blocks, clearing buildings looking for the suspect. (Silver posted updates in the My Ballard Facebook Group last night.) But so far, the suspect remains at large.

Investigators arrived and processed the scene for evidence, taping off the immediate area.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact the SPD tip line at (206) 233-5000.

This is Ballard’s second homicide in a little more than a week. Last week officers discovered a gunshot victim inside a camper at 15th Ave. NW at north end of the Ballard Bridge.

(Top photo courtesy of KING 5’s Doug Dillon, who has a few more photos here. The video above is from KOMO’s Dan the Truck Guy.)

Remembering Edith Macefield with balloons

A few days ago, a rumor surfaced that demolition crews were planning to tear down Edith Macefield’s old house. After we reached out to the Ballard Blocks developer, My Ballard broke the news the house was here to stay.

“We have no plans and no intention to demolish this house,” said Craig Ramey, managing director of Regency Centers. In fact he said the plan is to update the house and make it a part of the Ballard Blocks I and II shopping experience.

What was initially planned as a somber event to watch the demolition turned into an Earth Day celebration of Edith Macefield and her famous house.

This morning people stopped by the house to attach balloons — the Macefield house was rumored to help inspire Disney’s “Up” movie — to show their support and remember Edith’s refusal to move.

Seattle artist Akira Ohiso even created a cool digital drawing of the event (from this photo):

Regency Centers said it’s entertaining ideas on what do with the house, ranging from a community space to a flower shop. Commenters on My Ballard have suggested a coffee shop (“Edith’s”), museum, playground, art studio, writers residence or a music studio.

(Photos courtesy of @dlaferte, @motherofgeminigirls and @seattledrawn on Instagram).

Big Ballard turnout for Record Store Day

It’s not easy being a record store in the age of Spotify and Pandora, but Ballard is lucky to have some of the best in the city.

David Mayden posted this photo in the My Ballard Facebook Group of the long line outside Sonic Boom Records this morning. With lots of special releases, giveaways, entertainment and Top Pot Doughnuts, Sonic Boom always puts on a big event for Record Store Day. Lil Woody’s even made a Sonic Boom Burger to commemorate the occasion.

Over in Old Ballard, Bop Street Records is holding a big sale — including thousands of LPs for $3 or less — and live music by Slow Skate at 3 p.m. and Proud Wonderful Me at 5 p.m.

No more wrench in Crown Hill

After a century in business, Crown Hill Hardware closed down in December with plans to sell the property. A couple days ago, the wrench mural was painted over — one of Crown Hill’s most recognizable landmarks at the corner of NW 80th St. and 15th Ave. NW.

“The wrench was cool, to me, for many years,” writes My Ballard reader Kurt, who sent us the photos. “Perhaps it did its job of keeping taggers at bay, who tend to not spray over existing art. I kind of hoped it would live on somehow. Wishful thinking in a neighborhood and city where everything old gets glossed over.”

No word on what’s coming to the corner next.

Man injured in stabbing in Loyal Heights

Updated: Seattle police and fire treated a 35-year old man with a stab wound near the corner of NW 80th St. and 24th Ave. NW just before 11 a.m. today. The injury was not life-threatening.

“The victim told officers that he was stabbed by an unknown male in the shoulder while he was standing outside of his house, located in the 8300 block of 24th Avenue Northwest,” said Detective Mark Jamieson. “The victim stated he ran away after the assault and met officers at the corner of NW 80th and 24th NW.”

Officers responded to the home, but did not find a suspect. “The occupants of the house stated that they were unaware of any disturbance that may have occurred outside,” Jamieson said.

The man was transported to Harborview Medical Center.

Narrowing down the Ballard light rail routes as decision time nears

Sound Transit has been busy boiling down thousands of public comments to find the best light rail route into Ballard. Even though light rail is YEARS away, the decision on the specific route — which will be Ballard’s largest development project since the Ballard Locks — will be made early next year.

At this week’s advisory board meeting, Sound Transit rated 7 routes into Ballard — some over a bridge, some through a tunnel — by 25 different criteria.

Let’s start by showing the routes (click for larger):

And the ratings for each of the routes (click for larger):

The “ST Representative Project” is Sound Transit’s initial proposed route, running down Elliott and 15th Ave. NW, traveling over Salmon Bay on a “movable bridge” (which opens for ship traffic) and moving into an elevated station at 15th and Market. As we’ve been reporting, this route has been widely controversial — mostly for traffic and business disruptions — and Sound Transit is using it as a “baseline” in the evaluation, giving it half circles across the board in the ratings.

While all of the 6 alternative routes avoid traveling down 15th Ave. north of Dravus St., they vary widely. One proposal puts the Ballard station as far west as 20th Ave. NW and Market. Another at 17th Ave. NW and Market. Two proposals have the station in the industrial area at 14th Ave. NW and NW 51st St. The proposed routes range from a fixed bridge or movable bridge to a tunnel.

In the presentation — which is available here in a .pdf deck — Sound Transit looked at each alternative, crunched the ratings and presented “alternatives with more potential” vs. “alternatives with greater challenges.” Here it is (click for larger):

The tunnel options scored high on reliability and minimizing impact on Fishermen’s Terminal, but low on engineering constraints and costs. And that bumped them down the list, leaving the fixed bridge and movable bridge options in the top three: 1) Fixed bridge just to the west of Ballard Bridge to station at 15th and Market 2) Fixed bridge north of Fishermen’s Terminal to station at 17th and Market 3) Movable bridge a block east of Ballard Bridge to station at 14th and 51st St.

The advisory group meets next week (April 24th from 5-8 p.m.) to see which alternatives to take off the table — and which to favor. The goal is to come to a top-level recommendation they’ll forward to the leadership group and the Sound Transit Board. Then they’ll decide by early next year where Ballard’s light rail line and station will be located. For more information on the project and the timeline, visit Sound Transit here.

(Our thanks to West Seattle Blog for help on this story).

Ballard Blocks developers plan to keep Macefield house, ‘excited about possibilities’

Thursday update: Now that we’ve reported the house is staying, there’s a new Facebook event, “No Demolition Day,” scheduled for Saturday between 9 a.m. and noon. “Come tie a balloon to the fence to show your support,” explains the event listing. “Balloons and markers will be provided!”

Update: While rumors fly about the fate of the Edith Macefield house (see below), Ballard Blocks developer Regency Centers told My Ballard this afternoon that they’re keeping the house.

“We have no plans and no intention to demolish this house,” said Craig Ramey, managing director of Regency Centers.

In fact, Ramey said they’re exploring ideas to update the house and tie it into Ballard Blocks II, which is under construction. Some of the ideas include turning it into a community and event space, a pop-up space for local eateries and a flower shop. He said they’ll reach out to the community in the coming months for more ideas.

“We’re excited about the possibilities,” Ramey said.

A new PCC is under construction in Ballard Blocks II, right across the street from Macefield’s house. Further to the east, the second phase of Ballard Blocks II will include offices, retail, a child care facility, a bakery and a restaurant.

Do you have ideas for Macefield’s home? Leave them in comments, and we’ll keep you updated.


Earlier: A Facebook group dedicated to the Edith Macefield house has posted an event claiming the home will be demolished this Friday at 6 a.m. The rumor even sparked a story on KING5.com.

We’ve been keeping a close eye on the famous house at 1438 NW 46th St., and a city document search shows that no demolition permit has been issued. At least yet.

“No permits have been filed for demolition,” confirmed Bryan Stevens with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections in an email to My Ballard. “For small structures, they are often fairly simple permits to obtain. So it’s possible one could be submitted later today or tomorrow morning and be issued by Friday.”

A demolition permit is required before a property owner can demolish a structure, and work must begin after 7 a.m.

But this just could be another rumor, and there have been many since Macefield passed away in 2008. However, previous attempts to save the Macefield home — by transporting it or turning it into a landmark — have all failed to raise enough funding. So the end could be near.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this link — and you can, too — and we’ll let you know if a permit is issued. We’ve also reached out to the Ballard Blocks property managers for more information.

For those new to the neighborhood, Edith Macefield refused to sell her home to the developers of Ballard Blocks, who proceeded to build a retail complex around her. Her fight was believed to inspire the Disney movie “Up”, which explains the balloons that visitors often leave at the house.

Tiny houses camp for homeless women coming to Whittier Heights

Volunteers have begun work preparing the City Light lot at 8030 15th Ave. NW for the city’s first sanctioned homeless camp for women.

The Whittier Heights Village for Women will feature 20 tiny houses operated by the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), the same group that has organized tiny houses for the Nickelsville sites. The existing City Light building on the lot will be refurbished as a community space with a kitchen, bathrooms, showers and laundry.

When the camp opens in May, LIHI staff will be on site around the clock “to supervise and keep the village clean, organized and safe,” according to the nonprofit group. LIHI will also provide a case manager to work with camp residents with the goal to transition them into permanent housing.

The site is bordered by Homestreet Bank to the north and Duo apartments to the south. The old Pancake House restaurant (soon to become Crown Hill Broiler) is across the street to the west. The only entrance to the camp will be on 15th Ave., not the alleyway behind it, which backs up to a residential area to the east.

LIHI plans to open the camp on Mother’s Day, May 13th. If you’re interested in helping put the camp together, contact LIHI via this page.

Ballard’s other sanctioned homeless camp, Nickelsville, moved to Northlake last month.

(Our thanks to Tyrel for the tip.)

Several cars collide on the Ballard Bridge

Update: Lanes have been reopened nearly three hours after the crash.

Earlier: All lanes of the Ballard Bridge closed after 12:15 today after several cars collided.

Police are re-routing traffic through the exit and on-ramp on the north end of the bridge. Traffic is backed up in both directions. Check our traffic cameras for the latest conditions.

Heavy rain has been moving through Seattle for the last couple hours.

No word on any injuries.

Police investigating fatal shooting of a man found in a camper

Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting death of a 79-year-old man who was found in a camper parked at the north end of the Ballard Bridge on 15th Ave. NW.

Engine 18 was dispatched a report of an unresponsive man yesterday at 6 p.m. When medics first evaluated the body, it appeared he had died several days ago of natural causes, SPD said. But when the medical examiner arrived, “a single bullet hole was discovered on the body,” explains SPD’s Mark Jamieson. “A cursory search of the camper did not reveal a discarded weapon.”

Investigators were called to the scene to process the camper, looking for evidence. The case has been assigned to homicide detectives, who ask anyone who may have any information on the case to please contact the police department.

A year ago, a woman was killed in a stabbing in an RV in the 900 block of Leary Way, about a half mile away from this latest incident.