About Tom Fucoloro

As former editor of CDNews, Tom still helps out with coverage now and then.

Med Mix damaged in fire


Seattle Firefighters responded early Monday morning to a fire at 23rd and Union’s Med Mix.

The call went out around 2:15 a.m. and the response was large. The fire was under control by the time CDNews arrived at the scene shortly afterwards.

Firefighters could be seen inside and there was a ladder leading to the roof of the standalone building on the corner, once the home of Philly’s Cheese Steak.

We will update when we learn more.

UPDATE: A Seattle Fire spokesperson said the damage was limited to the outside of the building and that blaze is being investigated. There were no injuries in the incident.

UPDATE #2: Building owner Ian Eisenberg responds via Facebook:

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 9.19.14 AM

Guilty plea in murder of Justin Ferrari – UPDATED



The King County Prosecutor’s Office just issued a press release that Andrew Patterson has pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the May 2012 shooting death of Justin Ferrari.

He faces 15 to 22 years in prison. King County Prosecutors will recommend 19.25 years. He will be sentenced August 23.

Patterson, who just turned 21, was arrested July 19, 2012, after a heavy police search. Court documents gave an intimate look into how detectives built their case against him.

What started as an argument escalated quickly into tragedy as Patterson pulled a gun and fired shots, police documents said. Justin Ferrari was driving his van through the intersection at exactly the wrong time and was struck in the head.

His parents and children were in the van with him when it happened. His children sought safety in a nearby restaurant while his father held him until he died. Continue reading

19th and Union, 20th and S Charles projects on Neighborhood Street Fund short list

One proposal would make crossing Union safer at 19th Ave

One proposal would make crossing Union safer at 19th Ave

The city’s Neighborhood Street Fund allows community members and groups to compete for grants they believe will make their streets safer and more accessible to more people.

Of 86 submitted projects, only five or six will likely receive funding. The projects with the best chance in the Central District include a safer crossing for people walking across Union at 19th Ave, an improved crossing of 19th Ave leading to the often-forgotten Pike St Staircase, a sidewalk improvement at Dearborn and Rainier Ave and two crossing improvements on 20th Ave S near Judkins Park (S Charles and S Norman Streets).

The projects were among eight originally submitted for the CD (see below for more details). The Bridging the Gap Oversight Committee is now working to pick their top choices, a decision they will likely make in early August. Details from SDOT:

The Bridging the Gap (BTG) Levy Oversight Committee has begun their final review of projects submitted through the Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) Large Project program.  Funding for the program comes from the nine-year BTG transportation levy adopted by Seattle voters in 2006.  The levy provides $4.5M every three years to select, design and construct larger neighborhood projects identified by the community.

Applications for the third and final round of funding for the NSF projects closed in December with more than 86 possible projects submitted from neighborhoods all across the city.  Each District Council reviewed projects from their districts and forwarded their top three to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) for further refinement of the projects. Over the past few months SDOT staff has worked with the project applicants to ensure that their projects meet construction and design standards.  In the end, 38 projects will be reviewed. The types of projects submitted ranged from new sidewalks, bike lanes and crossing improvements, to lighting and signal improvements.  It is anticipated that 5-7 projects will receive funding. Continue reading

Help name the upcoming 19th and Madison Park

Concept image from the 19th and Madison park's blog

Concept image from the 19th and Madison park’s blog

The details of the upcoming 19th and Madison Park are still being determined, but one thing is clear: “New Park at 19th and Madison” is a terrible name for a park.

So the Parks Department is now looking for community ideas for a name. You can submit your idea and explain why in an online survey. Deadline to submit is June 22.

From the park organizers:

It’s time to name the park! (New park at 19th and Madison is getting to be kind of a mouthful after all). So come on- give the Parks Department your best suggestions!

Please submit suggestions for a park name by June 22.

Criteria the committee consider in naming parks include: geographical location, historical or cultural significance, and natural or geological features. A park may be named for a person no longer living (deceased a minimum of three years) who made a significant contribution to parks and/or recreation.

We will collect all names and then put selected names up to a vote to garner community support. We do not have the final say on the name of the park.

School safety speed camera coming to Yesler Way outside Bailey Gatzert Elementary

We have got to take a better Bailey-Gatzert stock image...

We have got to take a better Bailey Gatzert stock image…

You shouldn’t speed anywhere you drive, but you’re gonna want to be extra super careful to stay below the limit near Bailey Gatzert Elementary School.

After installing the cameras in four school zones around the city late last year, the cameras have caught 16 percent fewer speeders than when they were first turned on, suggesting that people have learned to slow down because of the cameras. Only four percent of people who have received a ticket have sped again and received a second, according to the mayor’s office.

Since speed is a big factor standing between a tragedy and a close call, the cameras are increasing safety near school, the mayor said in a press event Tuesday.

The city is using revenue from the $189 tickets from the first school zone cameras to fund the new cameras.

More details, from the mayor’s office:

Today Mayor Mike McGinn announced five new locations for future school zone speed cameras at locations across Seattle. The existing school zone cameras have led to a combined 16 percent reduction in citations for speeding across the four schools.

“The public has been clear that we need to do more to protect children as they travel to and from school,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “The data shows that the existing cameras are helping improve safety near schools by reducing travel speed and cameras should be installed at additional schools.”

“Increasing safety in our school zone and beyond continues to be a high priority for me and for our school community,” said Sherri Kokx, principal of Nathan Eckstein Middle School, a potential location for future school zone traffic cameras. “School zone cameras are one more tool that can help increase safety.” Continue reading

Times: 2013 Juneteenth International Festival in Pratt Park


ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES. Used with permission.

The 2013 Juneteenth International Festival was this weekend at Pratt Park. The Seattle Times’ Erika Schultz captured the photo above of Hollywood St. James at the celebration.

The festival was the 30th annual Seattle celebration of emancipation. Organized by the Central Area Chamber of Commerce, this year’s festival expanded its scope to include many international cultures.

Do you have photos from the festival to share? Comment below of email [email protected].

DPD approves Horace Mann renovation + two-story addition

Image from a Landmark Nomination document

Image from a Landmark Nomination document

The Horace Mann building is on track for a major renovation and addition. The Department of Planning and Development approved Seattle Public Schools’ plan, which will get the building ready for the return of the NOVA alternative high school.

NOVA has been housed in the old Meany building near Miller Park since 2009. But with voter approval of the BEX IV schools levy in February, the District now hopes to reopen Meany as a middle school and get Horace Mann back in shape.

Meanwhile, a group led in part by Wyking Garrett of Umojafest PEACE Center have been pushing for more community space and programming in the Horace Mann building. From the More 4 Mann campaign:

Our vision is for Horace Mann to be a hub of dynamic programming and activities, focused on positive education, culture, youth and community economic development outcomes that honors our heritage in the Central District. Consistent with the vision of what every school should be, we want Horace Mann to become a place where our children’s education, dreams and community intersect.

Details on the project, from the Determination of Non-Significance document:

Continue reading

After years of delay and change of ownership, 23rd and Union development could start in August

23rd and Union Final Rendering

Concept image courtesy of Lake Union Partners

The fenced-in, weed-filled vacant lot on the southwest corner of 23rd and Union may not stay that way much longer. An already approved but stalled six-story building is now set to break ground as early as August.

Formerly owned by Jim Mueller, the property and approved building design were sold to Ian Eisenberg, who also owns property on the northeast corner of the intersection including the car wash, Med Mix property and the building that houses the Neighbor Lady.

Eisenberg and the Lake Union Partners will build and maintain ownership of the building, which should open its doors in fall of 2014.

“The interesting thing—and fun thing for us—is to understand who the neighborhood is,” said Scott Roberts of Lake Union Partners. “I’m sure we can contribute to the next hopscotch.” Hopscotch CD ended at 23rd and Union Saturday.

The planned building includes 92 apartments, 74 underground parking stalls and 4,000 square feet of retail space. The developers are lobbying to identify a restaurant for the larger corner retail space, they said. No retail tenants have been officially lined up yet.

Leasing of rooms will start three or four months before the building opens in fall 2014. Rent rates are not yet available.

The new owners do plan a few tweaks to the design, mostly geared toward improving the pedestrian environment, they said. They want to give the retail storefronts “more of a residential feel.” Continue reading

Man killed by security guard identified as Brandon Williams

20130528-193557.jpgThe man shot and killed Tuesday evening in the parking lot of the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks has been identified as Brandon L. Williams, 29.

Williams died after being shot in the torso, according to the King County Medical Examiner. Police are investigating the shooting as a homicide.

The security guard told police that Williams and a group of people were fighting in the parking lot on the east side of Starbucks just after 7 p.m. The armed guard, who is contracted to work the area and was on-duty, approached the group and told them to leave.

As some in the group separated and began leaving, Williams allegedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at the people he had been fighting with. He then allegedly turned the gun on the guard, who fired and critically injured Williams.

After being shot, Williams stumbled to the north side of the Starbucks, where he collapsed.

There were at least six bullet casings marked on the ground at the scene. It is unknown whether Williams ever fired his gun, which was found near the spot where he collapsed.