Author Archive

No Quiet on the Chamber Front

March 17, 2010
Marko & Pat Get Silly w/GS Cookies Feb '10

FCC Pres Marko Tubic & Board Member Pat Carr feed one another some of the scrumptious Girl Scout cookies served at the February Chamber meeting - photo by K. Lindsay

The most recent Fremont Chamber of Commerce (FCC) Board of Directors meeting, held February 24th, covered a wealth of information, and confirmed, for anyone that still needed convincing, that there is a whole lot going on in this community. 

So Many Things To Do

The meeting began with a surprisingly brief report on the Fremont Street Fair, now the responsibility of the Chamber, until Phil Megenhardt, of Bold Hat Productions (the company actually producing the Fair for the FCC) arrived late.  He filled in details, including the possibility of FairRewards kiosks being located throughout the fairgrounds.  The 2010 Fair now a web site, poster art, entertainment and vendor sign ups.

During his report, Megenhardt also mentioned other Fremont events Bold Hat will produce this year including Hop Scotch (April 24 & 25) and a geocaching event for Groundspeak on July 4th.  He also initiated a discussion on capacity methods and mediation for the Chamber fundraiser, Fremont Oktoberfest (September 24 – 26).

Discussion of upcoming events brought up others, with first being the Red, White & Dead Zombie Walk on July 3rd.  Suzie Burke mentioned the upcoming 10th Anniversary celebration of the Rotary Club of Fremont, to be held at Theo Chocolate.  Anne Helmholtz invited all to the Literacy Source breakfast on May 5 at Seattle Pacific University.  Also, Solid Ground will hold their luncheon on May 21stFremont Abbey Arts Center will hold an event, still to-be-determined, in the Fremont Village (Upper Fremont) on May 1, and a fundraiser for the arts program at B.F. Day Elementary School on April 24th

Yet More Ways To Make Trouble

The Marketing/Membership committee seeks volunteers for the new FCC Ambassador Program.  This program encourages Chamber members to get out in the neighborhood for distribution of information on Chamber programs, the neighborhood, and the volunteer’s own business, or cause.  FCC President (and Edward Jones representative) Marko Tubic, who has done this in the past, has raved about how connected it made him feel to our community.

Following a report by FCC Executive Director Jessica Vets on the previous month’s activities (“we’ve had more meetings than ever before,” she stated,) the Board discussed hiring a work/study student to assist Vets.  The Board agreed, having seen how, in only her second year, Vets has seriously built up the Chamber, and Fremont’s activity level.

Jon Hegeman gave a Troll Report that had nothing to do with the sculpture.  He has encountered a comic, costumed performance troupe, Big Nazo that includes mountain trolls.  Hegeman would like to contract with the “absolutely mesmerizing” Rhode Island based company to create Fremont’s own troupe of articulated, troll costumes.  “Fremont culture needs to be reanimated,” Hegeman stated, and this troupe, “has Rock Star possibilities.” 

The meeting ended with a request from the Chamber web master (Pat Carr) for testimonials for the web site, and from a Chamber blogger (yours truly) for everyone to check out the blog.  While electronic monitoring of the Chamber may fill-in blanks, the best way to learn what is going on is to attend an FCC Board meeting.  Held on the last Wednesday of each month (next one on March 31st) at 8 a.m. at History House (760 North 34th St), the meetings are open to the public and everyone, awake, is welcome!

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


Bus Stops Along Route 28 To Close April 4th

March 16, 2010

Rider Alert on North 36th St

Metro Rider Alert for Route 28 in March 2010 - photo by K. Lindsay

According to a sign posted, in March 2010,  at the Route 28 bus stop on North 36th Street (at the foot of Dayton Avenue), bus stops will be removed for better spacing along the route. 

For this stop, riders are recommended to go to the stop at North 36th Street and Phinney Avenue or at Fremont Avenue and North 34th Street.   For riders who already hike a distance to get to this stop, the inconvenience is extreme – possibly even a deterrant to ridership.  For vehicular traffic, removal of this (and potentially, other stops) can mean the addition of on-street parking spaces.

Please comment about this change to, and put “Route 28” in the subject line.

Dance…And So Much More

March 15, 2010
Karin Stevens Dancing

Karin Stevens dances in 2009 - photo by Rob Kunkle

On March 19 & 20, at 7:30p.m., Karin Stevens Dance presents a spring performance in the Great Hall of the Fremont Abbey Arts Center (4272 Fremont Avenue North.)  The show includes six new dances choreographed by Karin Stevens and performed by the members of her company.  Stevens has also chosen to showcase the considerable talents of several other artists, many of whom she met through the Abbey, and her work there as Dance Curator. 

Islamic Baroque?

Craig van den Bosch is Art Curator for the Abbey, and has been collaborating with Stevens, and her dancers, on a large project since last fall.  Inspired by the Islamic Muqarnes Domes and geometry, the dance performed will be set to a piece of re-imagined music by composer Antonio Vivaldi.

van den Bosch reworked the music.  “I’m trying to create the same feel and time frame for the dancers to follow,” with a visual dialogue.  van den Bosch has wanted to create this with previous works, in electronic composition, painting and sculpture, but has been unable until now.  As he said, “what has been eluding me is the dance component.”

Stevens has incorporated Islamic geometric patterns – triangle, square, hexagon and numbers 3, 4, 6 – into the floor patterns and the shapes of the bodies of her dancers.  “It’s pretty complex and complicated,” Stevens acknowledged.  Yet, as van den Bosch stated, “I’m excited to bring this collaboration together.” 

Improvised Dance & Music?

Stevens also met Mack Grout through the Abbey, although Grout described their first encounters as a need to “accommodate each other.”  Stevens’ dance company and Grout’s piano lessons used the same rehearsal space.  Grout, a musician, teaches music and plays jazz professionally around the Seattle area; “to make it these days you have to do all these different things.”

“It felt so natural to do music for people dancing,” he said about two original pieces he wrote for this show.  One took inspiration from chorale music while the other has “open, free chord changes.”  A jazz trio – Grout on piano, Brad Gibson on drums and Devon Lowe on bass – will perform the pieces live, along with interludes between each dance.

The show closes with a piece entirely improvised, by both the dancers and musicians.  “It’s really just fun,” Grout admitted.  At the trio “thought we would need all these cues, but it works best when we think of [the dancers] as part of the band.”  In rehearsal, they’ve done a few test improvisations and as Grout enthused, “it’s completely different every time!” 

All At The Arts Center

The show also features the 1st Cello Suite in G Major by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed live by cellist (and Abbey public relations manager) Emily Ann Peterson, an original compostition – And You Shall Renew the Face of the Ground – by local composer Dave Chapaitis, and Tabula Rasa Part 1 by Arvo Part.

“The artistic work is exhilarating,” Stevens stated about putting the show together, but it’s “a lot of balls to juggle.”  As Dance Curator, “the delight is in the relationships at the Abbey,” she admitted, but challenges remain, like trying to devise a riser system for the Great Hall.  For this performance, though, Stevens won’t perform – due to the advanced state of her pregnancy.  She still keeps going, she admitted, “I don’t know what I’d do without my husband these days.”

Tickets to the shows, either on March 19 or 20, will be available for purchase at the door – and start at $15 for general admission, $12 for those under 25 years old, and $7 for those under 12.  With only two shows, it is much safer to order tickets in advance from Brown Paper Tickets.  “I’m super excited about it,” Grout advised, “and I think people will enjoy it!”

-by Kirby Lindsay, for

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

Gain An Investment Perspective

March 11, 2010

At the upcoming Fremont Chamber general meeting, held on St. Patty’s Day (March 17) at 8a, attendees can gain perspective on what is coming up for investors for 2010. 

Presented by Marko Tubic, of Edward Jones, this meeting can give answers to every kind of question on what to expect in the coming year.  Also, attendees get a delicious continental breakfast from Essential Baking Company.

Finally, this meeting will be held at the Institute for Systems Biology, a world-class research institute that integrates many sciences including biology, chemistry, physics, computation, mathematics and medicine.   Get a glimpse of the ground-breaking work being done right here in Fremont, and inside the newest (and last) building in the Adobe complex, at 837 North 35th St.

To RSVP for the March general meeting, contact the Chamber office at or 206/632-1500.

Why Natural Medicine?

March 10, 2010
Susan Moore at Dragonfly Mar 10

Susan Moore, a practioner at Dragonfly Holistic Healing, is one of the many outstanding naturopathic healers in Fremont - photo by K. Lindsay

The human body has “a natural drive toward health,” Dr. Deborah Epstein pointed out, and natural medicine supports that drive for wellness.  Fremont has a growing number of naturopathic and natural medicine practitioners, who practice a variety of methodologies.  When considering health care options, why not go natural? 

Holistic Healers

Susan Moore L.Ac., a specialist in Japanese Acupuncture, is one of eleven practitioners at Dragonfly Holistic Healing (760 N. 34th St).  Moore listens “to the whole story” when setting out treatment for a client.  Following the holistic model of natural medicine, she seeks out the root cause rather than treating only the exhibiting symptom in her clients.

Through listening, and a holistic view, Moore can more easily solve complex problems – the ones that “seem difficult to unravel.”  She takes time.  “We all want the quick fix,” she acknowledged, “and some do find that in natural medicine.”  Yet, her approach is more likely to succeed if the symptom actually disguises a deeper issue.

“Naturopathic really shines with chronic problems,” explained Deborah Epstein, N.D., a state-licensed physician with Lumina Health Naturopathic Medicine (4459 Fremont Ave N, #2.)  Her treatment room may resemble a conventional doctor’s office, yet her approach sounds much the same as that of Moore.

For Dr. Epstein natural medicine is about “restoring the basis of health.”  She likened natural medicine to “adding light to a dark room.”  Metaphorically, a symptom can be like a warning light on your car’s dash, and pharmaceutical medicine treats the problem by unscrewing the light bulb.  “Most people come in when they’ve been to doctors to no result,” Dr. Epstein explained.  She will evaluate the whole person – their eating, sleeping, contact with nature, and their outlets for love, laughter and light – to see “what are the obstacles to regaining health.”

Natural medicine has many different modalities, and Moore quickly referenced yoga, massage, talk, acupuncture, naturopathy, meditation and movement therapy.  In her acupuncture practice she will help identify issues and “if someone is not responding,” to treatment, she explained, she can refer them to another modality/practitioner.

“There is a lot you can do to prevent illness,” Moore explained.  Natural herbs act as tonics and nourishment.  “Nutrients, instead of manipulating symptoms,” Dr. Epstein explained, “it’s safer to go with things that nourish the system.”  Moore describes natural medicine as “a way to happiness, because we’re taking care of ourselves,” and its methods, “puts our health care in our hands.” 

Naturopathic & Allopathic In Harmony?

According to Martin Cahn, M.D., a general practitioner in Fremont (at 3601 Fremont Ave N – 206/545-9300), before 1890 anyone could call themselves a doctor.  As regulations, and definitions, took hold in the West, allopathic methods became conventional while chiropractic and naturopathic practitioners were shuffled aside. 

Dr. Cahn practices allopathic medicine because “I have a scientific mind.  I like to go down to scientific principles.”  He described naturopathic principals to be as old as medicine, and “regular doctors have been cribbing from naturopathic doctors all along.”

“When I first started out, I think there was an antipathy toward other practices,” he said, but with Bastyr University, and growing awareness, “people have realized we have a lot more in common than we don’t.”  Ultimately, “I think the emphasis is on different things,” Dr. Cahn said, “I’m using things that have been more scientifically tested.” 

Natural medicine can also provide preventative options, like the ‘Holistic Wellness Packages’ offered through Dragonfly, including ones for treating colds and flu, or fertility/nurturing.  Dr. Epstein regularly gives talks on a variety of topics including ‘Finding Food Sensitivities’ on March 10 and ‘Time for Spring Detox’ on March 18.  Check their websites for more information – and other methods to restore health.

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

46th Mural Needs Your Input

March 9, 2010
Artists and their Canvas Mar 10

Susan Brown, Todd Lown and Kristin Ramirez listen beneath a photo of their potential "canvas" at the 46th Street Community Meeting - photo by K. Lindsay

On Tuesday, March 2nd, a group of concerned community members gathered at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center to discuss the 46th Street Mural – and met the artists who will submit final mural designs.   Artists Kristen Ramirez, Susan Brown and Todd Lown will submit designs for  north wall (and pillars) of North 46th Street where it passes underneath Aurora Avenue/Hwy 99.

At the end of a lively discussion about what attendees did and did not want in the mural – and what they see when use the underpass (on foot, bicycle or cars) – the 46th Street Mural organizers asked for everyone to go to the on-line survey they’ve created.

Designs by each of the chosen artists will be made public soon, and be subject to a vote by the community to choose the most popular one.  The plan currently is to paint the mural – using volunteers from the community and members of Urban Artworks – in July/August of 2010.  For more information check out their page on Facebook, or contact them at

– by Kirby Lindsay, of

Why Volunteer For Moisture?

March 8, 2010

The Moisture Festival Gang circa 2007


Some of the volunteers that made Moisture happen in 2007 - photo by John Cornicello

Moisture Festival, the one-of-a-kind Comedy/Varietè extravaganza born in Fremont, generally leaves attendees reeling in wonder.  Jugglers, aerialists, bubble-blowers, contortionists, singers, magicians, musicians, clowns, and several indefinable ‘whatevers’ (not to mention dancers, strippers, comedians, etc. in the burlesque shows) come together each spring for this amazing vaudevillian showcase.

According to a Festival Founder, and its Development Director, Ron Bailey, but for the hundreds of volunteers that work together the show would not go on.  “The thing that is really blowing my mind is how it is all volunteers,” he stated, “the whole thing would not work if you had to pay everyone.”

Veterans To Novices

Tom Bennett attended the Festival in its first year – in 2004 under the Big Top on a U-Park lot in Fremont – and he’s volunteered every year since.  (According to Peter Glick, of Roxy’s Diner, he also provided invaluable help last year feeding the volunteers.)  Bennett values the mentoring he’s gained from Bailey who, according to Bennett, “has this infectious way of making this magic happen.”  He also values what the Festival has to offer.  “This style of entertainment is very important,” he explained.  The last Great Depression had vaudeville, and the Festival has, “a spirit that I really want to be part of.”  As he stated, “I want to make sure this style of entertainment continues.

Cathy Larson admitted she not only had never before volunteered for Moisture Festival, she hadn’t volunteered much before at all.  As she filled out her requests for shifts (volunteers see the shows they ‘work’), she explained, “I came to Moisture Festival two years ago, and I just thought I want to be part of this.”  Larson does have a tendency that is particularly Moisture-esque, “I enjoy dressing up,” she admitted, “just get dressed up and be silly with it.”

Jack House first found the Moisture Festival through a website asking for volunteers.  He already had volunteered at ACT (one Festival venue) and altruistic reasons partially lead him to volunteer, including “giving back to the community.”   He also likes to put his free time to constructive use, and get in for free.  “It’s a way to see people display these talents,” House explained, “people who do crazy things.”  He’s worked 3 or 4 years for Moisture, as security, ticket booth and general schlepper – along with helping paint the ticket booth.  “My favorite,” he acknowledged, “was security.  Best seat in the house!”

Never Been To Never Missed

Sulaiman Fulton never before has volunteered for the Festival – and he’s never before seen it.  His girlfriend, a vaudevillian, brought him along and, according to him, he’s most willing!  He’s loved learning about the growing vaudeville community.  “It’s still kind of underground,” he mused, but “it’s wonderful!  It’s a lot of fun.”  Fulton likes the “new feeling” of it all, and the welcoming attitude he’s encountered.  “Everyone is understanding,” he stated, and “urges you to express yourself more.”

Nathan Arnold will volunteer this year, since he won’t be performing.  “I’m not a big enough drip to precipitate this year,” he explained.  Arnold stated that he doesn’t currently have an act professional, or polished, enough to go on stage with other Festival performers.  As to why he continues to participate, he explained, “I’ve been part of this whole Fremont Arts Council community,” where several Festival producers met, “for 15 years, and I just like being around my friends.”

For those without friends among the Festival crew, yet, the Festival atmosphere has proven most conducive for creating them.  To volunteer, contact Shanika Davis, Volunteer Coordinator, about shifts and shows still available.  Still not convinced?  Go to the Moisture Festival website to buy tickets and find out what the fuss is all about.

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

Meet the Health and Wellness Community

March 4, 2010

On Monday, March 8, at 6p.m. all Health & Wellness practioners in Fremont – and those who want to be in Fremont – are invited to gather at Nalanda West, Fremont’s Buddhist Temple for a get together hosted by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.

This evening will give everyone in every area of self-care: massage, exercise, yoga, medicine, acupuncture, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, chiropractic, physical training, nutrition, counseling, aromatherapy, nursing, Chinese medicine, physical therapy, etc. a chance to meet and greet one another, and build our network.

To RSVP, or ask questions, contact Jessica Vets at the Chamber – or

Dusty Strings Gets Kids Jammin’, and Expressin’

March 3, 2010
Steel Pan Drum Lesson

A student studies his steel pan lesson - photo by Erie Jones

In March Dusty Strings  will begin two new, six-week classes as part of their ‘KidsJammin’ program.  Designed for kids ages 8 – 12, these hands-on classes, offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, focus on music fundamentals – rhythm, melody, harmony – in an encouraging and inspiring environment.

Dusty Strings, the world-famous acoustic music shop located in underground Fremont (3406 Fremont Avenue North), already offers a full schedule of classes and workshops for adults.  KidsJammin’ can open the world of music to a currently under-exposed population.  “It’s the older generations that really use Dusty Strings,” explained Tai Shan Kesecker, one of the instructors.  KidsJammin,’ she said, can “show the kids the opportunity of the music.” 

Ensembles – Erie Jones

On Thursdays, starting March 11, from 4:30 – 5:30p, Erie Jones, a Seattle Public School music teacher, will instruct on ensemble work.  “Kids that have experience are welcome, as well as kids without experience,” Jones invited.

Jones incorporates a variety of musical types (jazz, world music, folk, classical, etc.) into his class.  Students experiment with a variety of instruments including hand drums, steel drums, 1 or 2 octave marimbas, guitar, recorder, baritone ukulele, etc.  Those who have their own instruments can bring them along, and plenty more will be made available from Dusty Strings and Jones’ own collection.

“More and more formal research,” Jones allowed, “shows that kids that engage with music grow the math and language sections of their brain.”  Yet, Jones wanted to focus on the even more intangible benefits of learning music and performing including self-confidence, outlets for expression, creativity and engaging both left and right sides of the brain.  Ensemble work most especially demands students learn to cooperate and utilize teamwork skills.

Songwriting – Tai Shan Kesecker

On Tuesdays, starting March 9, from 4:30 – 5:30p, Kesecker will teach songwriting and, “all about getting in touch with the inner child.”  For children still building communication skills, songwriting provides a great outlet and a new way of “expressing the emotion that is inside of you,” Kesecker explained.

Classes begin, Kesecker described, with a listening session and discussions of “what exactly is going on in a song.”  Through free write, improvisation, repetition and jamming, the students learn about lyrics, melody, form and arrangement.  “Song writing is both sides of the fence,” she described, “words and music.”

“A lot of kids sing,” Kesecker explained, “in the car, doing chores, etc. and have a lot of melodies in their heads.”  The class will help capture these songs, “and when it’s original, I find kids work on [music] almost three times as hard.”  Song writing, she said, “gives [students] a sense of pride and ownership – and teaches they can go outside the lines.”

To register for KidsJammin’ classes, or find out more about Dusty Strings, check out their website or give them a call at 206/634-1662.  Better still, wander down the stairs and take a look around – you’ll never be disappointed!


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

Aurora Safety Barrier Construction Update

March 2, 2010
Arial shot of Aurora Bridge by WSDOT

George Washington Memorial Bridge a.k.a. Aurora Bridge 2002 photo by WSDOT

Greg Phipps of the Washington Department of Transportation sent out an update on contruction plans for the safety barrier for the Aurora Bridge.

Based on early conversations with the contractor we expect that preliminary construction will start in Spring of 2010.  Preliminary construction involves verifying the location of rebar in the bridge deck and then drilling holes in the deck at locations where the fence will be bolted.  Once preliminary work is completed, and approved by our bridge engineers, the contractor can submit their order to the fence manufacturer.

Our contract allows double lane closures in one direction overnight and single lane closures during the day between the morning and afternoon commute.  The number of lanes closed is based on traffic volumes. We can close more lanes at night because there’s less traffic.  However, our contractor may be able to install the fence with fewer lane closures than are allowed in the contract. We should know more details in the next few weeks.

Construction noise is an uncertain factor right now. We know the work will be noisy, especially the drilling I mentioned earlier. If the contractor can work during the day, the noise won’t have as much of an effect on those near the bridge as it would have at night when people are trying to sleep.  We have noise variances from the city of Seattle for night work and will notify bridge neighbors before it begins, and will take all reasonable steps to minimize noise. Again, we will know more about the extent of night work in the next few weeks.

For more information, subscribe to the e-mail update mailing list at the Washington Department of Transportation web site.