Author Archive

FCC Board Sez: Support Your Local News Sites

March 31, 2010

In March 2010, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce leadership decided to back off growing their own blog – this one – and urge membership, visitors and YOU – to visit the two neighborhood news blogs for Fremont.

Fremont has been fortunate to be chosen by two outstanding news sources for coverage. provides great breaking news coverage, as well as a neighborhood forum, info on the restaurants and tech companies of the neighborhoods, a photo gallery and a calendar.  Produced by Next Door Media, this neighborhood news blog welcomes news items from all Fremonsters at offers a wealth of information on the history, people, events, art and organizations that make Fremont what it is.  Written by long-time Fremonster, Kirby Lindsay (that’d be me), this site also has a comprehensive community calendar.  Additions to the calendar, or heads up about area activities, can be sent to

The Fremont Soapbox will continue to provide a forum for  Fremont Chamber of Commerce members, but for  news and notices about the area – support your local news sites!


The Art, And A Gallery, Of The Walk

March 31, 2010
Too Much Fun On The Art Walk by Melanie Masson

In the 3rd Floor 'gallery' of the Space building during the First Friday Art Walk - photo by Melanie Masson

Last fall, when Renaun Hochstein moved into the Space Building (at 600 North 36th Street), her predecessor in the office space, LaRae Lobdell told her about the Fremont First Friday Art Walk. Lobdell, who had organized the event for three years, held shows in her space and reportedly asked Hochstein, ‘Hey, I do this, would you be interested?’ When Lobdell described it as a great way to get involved and meet people in the neighborhood, Hochstein agreed.

Will Dieterle, who also recently leased an office in the building, wanted to participate as well – and agreed to help Hochstein find artists and share host duties. They collaborate on their shows, and have learned to curate art from doing it.

How to Choose Art

Dieterle selects some pieces based on message, he explained. For March, the show’s theme was “entropy” and the transition of order into chaos. He wants to avoid repetitive messages, or choices of art styles. “I tend to know a lot of photographers,” he admitted, but he works “to get representations of many styles.”

Hochstein described her approach to finding works as a social endeavor. “I’ve gotten them by paying attention to what is out there,” she explained. She attends gallery shows, graduate shows and exhibitions. When she likes the work she’ll set herself to getting contact information for the artists. “It starts to take on its own…one leads to another,” she explained.

The display space they use self-selects certain kinds of works. In the third floor hallway of the Space building viewers “can’t stand back,” Dieterle admitted, so they “can’t do large scale frescoes.” The building wasn’t built to display art and “the way pieces are lit can be important,” Dieterle acknowledged, so they “pick art that has a liveliness to itself.” With awe, Hochstein mentioned the lessons she’s learned from the artists, and “how artists choose to hang their work.”

“I’m new to it,” she admitted. Neither she nor Dieterle have practical experience as curators, or in gallery work, but they’ve successfully jumped into the Art Walk, with gusto and the strong desire to support art, artists and community.

And Then Comes The Day Job

“What I like about the Space Building,” Dieterle admitted, “is it’s surrounded by lots of businesses.” He particularly enjoys its “fantastic central location,” and the other tenants, and “the diversity of talents and people makes for an exciting community.” Dieterle has a design business, doing websites and branding, but his current passion is art inspired., a website, will host a Seattle arts calendar of events – as well as serving as an arts community building tool. The ultimate goal, Dieterle explained, is to “make it more compelling for people to go out and experience art.”

Hochstein chose to locate in the Space because of the “good energy” there. She has worked in advertising agencies, and studied graphic design at the University of Washington. Upon her return to Seattle she decided to launch her own freelance graphic design business, called Renaun Design. She enjoys the building, “the community is nice,” she said, and how it is “perfectly ideal” for art. The Art Walk helps her network and be social. “By being a host, it forces you out there,” she explained, “you interact with people you never would have otherwise.”

For their next show, on April 2, Dieterle and Hochstein will have cellists from the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra and paintings by Shano Mulhall. To come see, and hear, the art, stop by the Space building (at 600 North 36th) and if the door isn’t open – ring the intercom for either Suite 329 or Notebleu. See you there!

For their next show, on April 2, Dieterle and Hochstein will have cellists from the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra and paintings by Shano Mulhall. To come see, and hear, the art, stop by the Space building (at 600 North 36th) and if the door isn’t open – ring the intercom for either Suite 329 or Notebleu. See you there!

©2010 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.   

B.F. Day Tile Mural: Volunteer Opportunity?

March 29, 2010
Portion of Tile Wall at B.F. Day

First Installment of B.F. Day Tile Wall, dedicated April 1995 - photo by Larry Wales

The corner of North 39th Street and Fremont Avenue can be landmarked by a tile mural that stands beside it, declaring the name of the school hidden by greenery behind it – B.F. Day Elementary.  The mural not only marks the location of the school, but also the artistic talents, interests and passions of a generation of students.

That opportunity, for graduating students to literally put their mark on the wall, may end.  According to Julie Trout, B.F. Day visual arts teacher, “I am not sure if I will continue it this year due to a reduced schedule.”  The wall began with a volunteer effort, and when asked if a volunteer effort could help, Trout enthusiastically stated, “that would be great!  I’m not sure I can do it alone again.”

From Plain Concrete

The official program from the tile mural opening ceremony, dated April 18, 1995, listed Veronica (MacKinnon) Truffat and Dave McKay as the representatives of the Fremont Arts Council, and principal artists.  Truffat also gave credit to Steve Roach, who created many of the tiles in the classroom and in his Fremont shop, Aruba Tile.

“It was community art at its finest,” Truffat explained, “everybody was so enthusiastic!”  One long, rainy day, Denise (Fogleman) Henrikson helped McKay, who passed away soon thereafter, work under a blue tarp to install the white tiles that “so the name would pop.”  Truffat and McKay created the original design, and the vine tile frame – imprinted with the names of people and businesses that paid to support the project.  For inspiration, Truffat explained, “a plain, unattractive and really prominent concrete wall had to have the name of the school – and had to involve the school and the Fremont artists.”

To Instructional Tool

Robin Kinney Robbins has been at B.F. Day for 25 years.  She recalled the whole school getting into that first installation – the kids made tiles or pieces to be incorporated.  For four years Robbins worked at the school as the art teacher, and she got to carry on the project, with each year another panel installed and “each year a tile goes up for each 5th Grader that graduates,” Robbins explained.

Under her leadership, “the tiles were symbolic of what the child wanted to be or do,” Robbins described.  Students made their tile by hand, rolling it out for a bisque firing by Robbins.  The student would draw their design on paper, then pencil it on a fired tile before painting the design and covering the work in a glaze.  Robbins would then do a glaze firing, in the school’s kiln.

“We would spend a couple of months on it,” she admitted, and try to involve parents and members of the Fremont Chamber, “it’s quite a challenge to decorate a vertical wall.”  Yet, Robbins proudly stated, “most students that graduated from B.F. Day have a tile on that wall.”

When she inherited the project last year, Trout took a different tack.  She taught the students about mosaic work, world art, and mandalas – then each child made their own.  “I really want kids to find the joy in creating,” Trout explained, and this project “is part of the bigger picture of opportunities for the kids to create.”

Comes a Historic Landmark

Truffat identified the long-term joy behind the wall.  “I love to show friends,” she admitted, “I’ll make them guess which one is mine,” and they usually can.  “That’s the nice thing about tile, it holds up real well,” Truffat said.  It will hold up, if installed.

This year Trout had her hours cut back and won’t have time to create a panel with the graduating class, “we would need volunteers to come in and work with the kids, or help to install it, or donations of mosaic material.”  If you can help, contact Trout by e-mail or leave a message for her at 206/252-6010.  “This is one of our great public schools,” Robbins enthused.  Wouldn’t it be great to show it some great community support?

©2010 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.

Suprise Sale at Seattle Tilth – This Saturday! (March 26)

March 26, 2010

Did you know about the surprise sale this weekend? Now you do! Spread the word…

HALF OFF Bare Root Fruit Trees, Shrubs and Veggie Starts Come to Seattle Tilth’s Second Chance Edible Plant Sale this Saturday, March 26, 2010.  Bare root fruit trees, fruiting vines and cane fruit need good homes.  These plants are left over from our sale on March 20 and are available on a first come, first served basis on Saturday only.

Also available are an assortment of perennial herbs and cool season veggie crops that are ready to plant. Prices are discounted 40-60%! You can get bare root trees such as apples, plums, cherry, Asian and European pears for $10; caneberries, cranberries, quince, kiwis, and grapes are $10; organic veggie starts are $1.50 and herbs are $2.

If you missed our new spring sale last weekend or still need more plants, this is your chance.

Seattle Tilth’s Second Chance Edible Plant Sale

Sat., March 27, 2-4 p.m.

4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., Seattle 98103

Behind the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford

Visit our website for a full list of plants and prices.

All proceeds support Seattle Tilth’s educational mission.

About Seattle Tilth:  Begun in 1978, Seattle Tilth is a regional organization with learning gardens in north, central and south Seattle, and in the City of Issaquah, offering classes and programs that serve adults and children throughout King County. Seattle Tilth’s mission is to inspire and educate people to garden organically, conserve natural resources, and support local food systems in order to cultivate a healthy urban environment and community.

A Note on Communication with the Fremont Neighborhood Council

March 25, 2010
The Fremont Neighborhood Council now has four ways for you to contact us and provide input:

1. Attend monthly meetings at History House, 790 N 34th @ 7:00 pm on the fourth Monday of each month (except April when the Annual meeting will be at Fremont Baptist Church and December, when no meeting is scheduled.)

2. Visit our website  for information and send us email at

3. Provide comments at out blog at

4. Become a fan of Fremont Neighborhood Council at
Our goal is to have 2-way communication between the Neighborhood Council and the residents of Fremont.   We look forward to seeing you at upcoming meetings, especially the Annual meeting on April 26, 2010,  and hearing from you via email, blog, or FaceBook as noted above.

Juggling With Moisture

March 24, 2010
Fyodor Karamazov Manipulates Objects at 2007 Moisture Festival

Tim Furst a.k.a. Fyodor Karamazov and the cigar boxes at the 2007 Moisture Festival - photo by John Cornicello

The title ‘producer’ of the Moisture Festival requires the ability to juggle many hats, but not always literally.  This year, Tim Furst, one of the five founding producers, booked over 100 acts for 36 Comedy/Varietè shows.  He also does lighting design, and will oversee the lighting during the Festival.  He did take a break from one duty.  “I will not be performing this year,” Furst reported.

Furst spent “twenty odd years” with the Flying Karamazov Brothers, before he retired.  He still performs solo, in his persona as Fyodor Karamazov, and fill-in with the troupe, now based in New York, in an emergency.  It can take 6 months to train a new, replacement “brother.”  Yet, he said he doesn’t miss the travel or regular performances.  “I like spending more time at home,” in Fremont, he admitted, “and having dinner with friends.”

Behind The Stage

He also keeps busy with Moisture – or it keeps him busy.  Furst met the other Festival producers – Ron Bailey, Maque daVis, Simon Neale and Sandy Palmer – through Fremont, and Oregon Country Fair.  He described the 40-year-old summertime festival as a place vaudevillians gathered and exchanged ideas, talents and tricks each year, but “it has become less and less a gathering place.”  The event doesn’t cover transportation, so only performers already on the West Coast attend.  Performers aren’t paid so they won’t give up a lucrative gig to attend.  Today, performers that once depended upon this gathering to stay connected can use electronic means – whether on the West Coast, East Coast or in Europe.

“One of the goals of Moisture Festival, as far as I was concerned,” he explained, “was to get together, hang out, see what others were doing, collaborate…”  The social happens, but the producers also have experimented with the formula, according to Furst.  At Moisture, “all performers get a share,” he explained, like a performer’s cooperative, and this way, “you don’t have to negotiate with every single act.”  Also, the Festival funds travel expenses, and makes sure no one loses money by coming.

Furst also described some more subtle ways, they make the Festival attractive.  “If you feed the performers they are happy,” he explained, “even if you don’t pay them a lot.”  Festival volunteers put out food, and organize dinners – with food donated by friends of the Festival including Peter Glick of Roxy’s Diner and Tom Bennett – that provide opportunities to gather.  Also, friends of the Festival open their homes so performers can stay in spare bedrooms, apartments or a sailboat.

Not On the Stage

For their 5th Anniversary, Festival producers invited back all the acts that had appeared so far.  According to Furst, out of 125 invites, 123 returned.  In this, the 7th year, the warm response continues – from acts they know and acts they don’t.  As a result, they “ask those who performed for several years to take a year off,” Furst explained, and this is “self-imposed exile.”

Furst originally learned to juggle during coffee breaks, to pass the time.  As Fyodor Karamazov, he does what he called ‘object manipulation,’ a form of juggling.  “Juggling is a broad term,” he explained, and when used, “most people think of toss juggling.”

Furst manipulates cigar boxes or “meteors,” two objects connected by a rope (of Chinese origin).  In Moisture shows, his meteors have been light wands, although he can do fire or bowls of water.  He explained, when juggling with moisture, “if you do it smoothly the water stays in the bowls.  If you make the slightest error, you get very wet.”

©2010 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited. 


March 23, 2010

Starting April 1, 2010, children are invited to read books for a chance to win a bike, according to a press release from the Seattle Public Library system.

The Seattle Public Library will host the “Bikes for Books” reading program, which runs from Thursday, April 1 through Thursday, June 3.   A celebration and prize drawing will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at the Fremont Branch Library, at 731 N. 35th St.

“Bikes for Books” is open to children in first through third grade. Participants are allowed to enter their names for the drawing once for every three books they read between April 1 and June 3. Each entry will require a short oral book report to a librarian. One girl and one boy each will win a bike, helmet and lock.  Winners must be present to collect their prizes.  All participants will receive certificates of accomplishment.

“Bikes for Books” is sponsored by the Masonic Doric Lodge No. 92 in Fremont.  The goal of the program is to inspire children to read.

For more information, call the Fremont Branch at 206-684-4084.

Wallingford Prepares, And Fremont Benefits

March 22, 2010
Disaster Backpack Sample from Wallingford 2010

Backpack Kits for Wallingford Community Volunteers from March 2010 - photo by K. Lindsay

Recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chili, Japan and Sumatra might turn some thoughts towards preparedness, considering that we live in an earthquake zone.  Mary Heim, and members of the Wallingford Community Preparedness Project, want to turn those thoughts into practical action.

Four Layers of Preparedness

Most of us know the need for personal and family preparedness.  Also, for our businesses.  Simple steps to prepare can be done daily: store water, assemble first aid kits for home, the car, work – and the kids’ schoolbag – and establish an out-of-area contact.  Talk about and practice your plan with family, co-workers and employees.

“Secure your house,” Heim sternly stated, or your business.  After a disaster, this will be the first focus.  Once loved ones are safe and secure, we can focus outward.  The triangle diagram Heim uses describes the next level as SNAP/Block Watch Preparedness.

The City SNAP, or Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare, program trains neighbors so communities can be better prepared.  “Get to know your neighbors,” Heim suggested, to find out their skills – nursing, construction, security, etc. – and identify the most vulnerable – elderly, youth, etc.

From tending to immediate neighbors, Heim hopes volunteers step up to her level – Neighborhood and Community Preparedness.  After that comes the last – City Preparedness.  The Office of Emergency Management works hard to organize a strong system of police, fire and aid response.  Yet, in our city, with a complex network of vulnerable bridges, dependence upon City services may be unwise.

Neighborhood & Community Preparedness

“The planning we’re doing is at this community level,” Heim explained.  The Preparedness Project seeks to connect neighborhood blocks together.  “If someone at B.F. Day Elementary School needs something, maybe someone at John Stanford International School has it,” she demonstrated.

Heim attended a SNAP training on Queen Anne, where she met others doing preparedness at the community level.  Since then three pilot projects – in Wallingford, Queen Anne/Magnolia and West Seattle – successfully petitioned the Seattle City Council for a one-time $7,000 grant to purchase equipment and do outreach.  City staff document the best practices among these pilot groups and help guide other communities, like groups organizing on Capitol Hill and View Ridge.

“Basically, I stole it all,” she said, “we benefitted from all they did.”  Heim has worked closely and learned from the Queen Anne/Magnolia mapping project and the West Seattle work with radio communication, and HAM radio operators.

Heim bought radios with the grant money, designed portable information kiosks and outfitted her volunteers with backpacks that include materials they might need like a binder of instructions, maps, notebooks, the radios, rechargeable batteries, a hand-crank flashlight, mechanical pencils, glow sticks, utility tape, a whistle, pocket knife, a neon security vest, etc.

“The priority is to take care of home, block and then the community level,” Heim pointed out.  Within the community will be a number of central locations and, “we’re going to use [these] hubs as rallying points.”  On April 3, a bicycle group, SpokesPeople, will host a ride among the designated hubs.

In interests of covering their whole area, the Preparedness Project identified hubs that overlap into Fremont and other neighboring communities – near B.F. Day (and Fire Station #9), Gasworks Park and West Woodland.  Fremonsters, and Greenlake neighbors, can get involved to work at these hubs – as we may well gather at these prepared sites during disasters.

Volunteers are desperately needed, for training, to make the Project work. “I need enough volunteers so the bench is five or six people deep for each of the hubs,” she explained, as not all trained volunteers may be available or accessible when disaster strikes.

“The more we can get it in front of people, that they need to prepare themselves,” Heim explained, “the better off we all are.”  As horrible as tragedies can be – the recent serial earthquakes, Hurricane Katrina, September 11th or the 2008 Seattle snowstorms – they can provide warning about the need to prepare.  Fremonsters, and all interested, are invited to attend a monthly meeting of the Wallingford Community Preparedness Project on 4th Tuesdays (next one March 23) from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Wallingford Community Senior Center at the Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Avenue North).

©2010 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.

Moisture Spreads Farther Afield – Thanks To Fremont!

March 20, 2010

RB strums his stuff in 2007

Ron Bailey as a performer for Moisture Fest 2007 - photo by John Cornicello

Moisture Festival

(MF) can be very difficult to describe.  In its 7th year, the Comedy/Varietè show, with vaudevillian aspects, inspires delight and excitement in those who’ve experienced it, and bewilderment in those who say, “Moisture what?” 

In November 2009, Festival organizers published a book of Moisture (available at Fremont Place Books) with a sample of the ump-teen-illion incredible images taken by their three official photographers – Michelle Bates, John Cornicello and Mark Gardiner.  At a January Fremont Chamber of Commerce meeting, Ron Bailey, MF Development Director and Founder, explained that the book works well to explain the show to the uninitiated.

Still, the best way to find out why fans get gleeful as Moisture nears is to attend a show.  In 2010 Moisture has moved into more venues, with over 100 dancers, jugglers, musicians, magicians, strippers, singers, comics, clowns, contortionists, aerialists, bubble blowers, and general miscellaneous performers.  Haven’t gotten tickets to Moisture yet?  What could you possibly be waiting for?

A Venue Near You

For the first time, Moisture Festival will travel to Open Space for Arts & Community (18870 103rd Ave SW) on Vashon Island and the Georgetown Ballroom (5623 Airport Way S).  “Both of those places have large artists’ communities,” Bailey explained, and in Georgetown, “the neighborhood business district found enough sponsors to support the event.”  Bailey also stated, at the January Fremont Chamber Board meeting, that the model set by members of the Fremont business district is one that other communities have followed.

On March 26 & 27 Moisture will stage three Varietè shows on Vashon, with tickets available to purchase on-line, and through Vashon’s Books By The Way.  On April 2 & 3, the last weekend of the Festival, Moisture moves to Georgetown for three Varietè shows.

Fremont remains home for a majority of Moisture.  From March 18 – April 4, Hale’s Palladium (4301 Leary Way NW) will convert into a boisterous Big Top.  Since 2005, Mike Hale has generously made his one-time keg storehouse available – and Moisture organizers have repaid this generosity by steadily improving the space.

According to Bailey, the Festival offers “the best of both worlds – the funky Hale’s Palladium and the classy ACT.”  For, in addition to the old-world circus charm of the Palladium, since 2007 ACT – A Contemporary Theatre (7th & Union), in Downtown Seattle, has welcomed Moisture Festival’s Liberty Burlesque.  “It’s kind of cool for the artists to be in a real theater,” Bailey commented.

The Festival kicked-off their 2010 season at the Falls Theater at ACT on March 11, with Varietè and Burlesque shows.  Liberty Burlesque returns there on April 1, 2 & 3 (tickets available through the ACT box office.)

When a Show Becomes More 

Additionally, Moisture Festival has collaborated with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) for three select screenings.  At the SIFF Cinema (321 Mercer Street) at Seattle Center, Moisture Festival will host the West Coast premiere of the documentary “Dirty Martini & The New Burlesque” on March 29.  Director, Gary Beeber, and his subject, Miss Dirty Martini, will be on hand for the show.  They will also offer the ventriloquists’ documentary, “I’m No Dummy” on March 30 and “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” on March 31, each with a special live Festival performance.  Tickets can be purchased through the SIFF Box Office.

Also, every year the Festival schedules special fundraising shows.  This year they will raise money, on March 19 at 10:30p.m., for recording the fantastic final CD from now-disbanded Circus Contraption, (expect a few special Circus guests!)  On March 20, at 3 p.m. at Hale’s, proceeds go to a scholarship fund for SANCA (School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts), Seattle’s own non-profit circus school.  The annual “Aerlift” aerial fundraiser, presented by The Aerial Army of Love takes flight Wednesday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.  Finally, 15% of proceeds from the 3 p.m. show on March 27 at Open Space goes to Vashon Youth & Family Services.

For those new to Moisture, never before have there been so many great opportunities to get the habit.  For those who already familiar with this marvelous mayhem, do not delay!  Tickets go quickly, and then the chance for Moisture is gone for another year…

©2010 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.

Fremont Fair Transistion Report for March 2010

March 18, 2010
Jessica Power Points at The Ballroom, Feb 2010

Jessica Vets led a community discussion on the 2010 Fremont Fair in February - photo by K. Lindsay

Sign-ups for vendors, and non-profits, is going swimmingly.  If you want a booth at the 2010 Fremont Street Fair, contact Sean Hunter at 206/632-1555 x0, today!

Quality entertainment is also being sought.  If you think you know of some, or have some, contact the Bold Hat Productions office at 206/633-0422.

The Fremont Fair will be the most community orientated its been in years – but only if you get involved.  Contact JessicaVets, at 206/632-1500 or, if you want to be a part of this exciting event!