Mayor calls for removal of Lenin statue

In the wake of Charlottesville, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has called for the removal of one of Fremont’s quirkiest landmarks: the Lenin statue.

Murray said in a statement today that the city “should remove all these symbols” that represent hate, racism and violence, including “both confederate memorials and statues idolizing the founder of the authoritarian soviet regime.”

Here’s his full statement:

“In the last few days, Seattleites have expressed concerns and frustration over symbols of hate, racism and violence that exist in our city. Not only do these kinds of symbols represent historic injustices, their existence causes pain among those who themselves or whose family members have been impacted by these atrocities. We should remove all these symbols, no matter what political affiliation may have been assigned to them in the decades since they were erected. This includes both confederate memorials and statues idolizing the founder of the authoritarian Soviet regime. Both are on private property, but I believe the confederate memorial at Lake View Cemetery and the Lenin statue in Fremont should be removed. We should never forget our history, but we also should not idolize figures who have committed violent atrocities and sought to divide us based on who we are or where we came from.”

Yesterday a small group of protesters inspired by Trump supporter Jack Posobiec gathered in front of the statue to call for its removal.

Murray concedes that Lenin stands on private property, so the statue is not the city’s legal domain — in effect, Murray is making a request. The statue is owned by the family of Lewis Carpenter, a teacher who discovered it in Poprad, Slovakia in 1989 and shipped it to Seattle, according to

Carpenter died several years ago, and the statue has been positioned prominently along N 36th St. “temporarily for viewing and sale.” The price tag is $250,000.

State Senator Reuven Carlyle disagrees with Murray. “This statue is distinctly not showcased in Fremont to celebrate the murderous, painful regime,” Carlyle writes. “It is instead installed as a testament to its defeat and the victory of open ideas through the medium and sometimes painful juxtaposition of art itself.”

Lenin is often decorated with red paint on his hands, signs and holiday lights. Explains “This sculpture is placed here in the Artist’s Republic of Fremont, as a symbol of an artistic spirit that outlasts regimes and ideologies, and as tangible proof that art does outlive politics.”

Scenes from the Solstice Parade

As is customary, a group of naked cyclists swung through Ballard on a warm-up ride. Here they are in Old Ballard…

Then at 1 p.m., the cyclists kicked off the Fremont parade in style…

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Trump was everywhere…


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#resist even in times of celebration. #fremontsolsticeparade

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Thousands of people came to watch…

#solsticeparade #freemont

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Glad I came to this

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A few creative costumes…

Love you too, Seattle 🌞#fremont #solsticeparade #seattle

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#fremontsolsticeparade #solsticeparade

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I'm a parade gal

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Help set a world record in Fremont

Our neighbors to the east are trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records by having the largest zombie walk on record.

A scene from the zombie walk 2009

The zombies are coming to Fremont.

This Fourth of July weekend, thousands of Seattle’s undead return to feed on brains, beers and mobile food to represent the Emerald City to shuffle their back into the history books to reclaim the Guinness World Record for “Largest Gathering of Zombies.” New Jersey currently holds the official record with 4,093 Zombies set back in October 2010.

The only way to avoid being consumed by the undead…join the fun and dress up like one as well. If you want to help break the record, 4,095 zombies must be present at Fremont Studios (3501 Phinney Ave.) on Saturday, July 2nd, 2011 starting at 2pm.

For more information on the event, click here.

Is it Ballard, Lower Phinney Ridge or Frelard?

It’s been a debate for decades: where do you draw the boundaries for Ballard? Is the area between 3rd and 8th Avenues, frequently referred to as Lower Phinney Ridge, really part of Ballard? How about closer to the water, where it’s sometimes called “Frelard?” The issue came up unexpectedly when the Ballard District Council considered updating its bylaws, which currently designates the area between 3rd and 8th Avenues from 72nd St. all the way to the Ship Canal as part of Ballard. But a new amendment proposed drawing the line at 8th Ave., instead. Here’s the area in question highlighted in blue:

During the debate than ensued, the Ballard Historical Society was asked for guidance. “We’ve determined that it’s undetermined,” was the response. What about planning boundaries? They overlap and provide no clear guidance. “We can always go back to the original city of Ballard,” joked someone else. Finally, the council voted to update its bylaws but keep the old, wider definition of Ballard, at least for now. “Long live East Ballard!” exclaimed a member of the audience as others applauded after the vote.

Parking in Fremont may cost you

After the Seattle DOT conducted a couple of parking studies in Fremont, they confirmed what many of us already know – there’s never any parking in Fremont. The two studies, done in 2005 and 2008, found that the majority of blocks were more than 75% full most of the day. Now the city wants to change the parking structure in the neighborhood. They’re proposing 2-hour paid parking in the core of the business district, 10-hour parking on the outskirts and residential parking zones. A map of the proposed changes is here. Whether you’re for the changes or against them, the city wants to hear from you by October 3. Call or email project manager Stephanie Parkins at (206) 684-8186 or (Thanks Theresa for the tip!)