News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Failed attack at Gasworks- stay safe!

September 2nd, 2017 by sarawilly

From our friends at Safe Seattle:

Safe Seattle community member Bob MacDonald writes that he witnessed and intervened in an attack on a woman in Gasworks Park this morning, at about 8 AM. This incident has been reported to the Seattle Police Department.

MacDonald saw a young woman entering the grassy area on the west side of the park from Northlake Way. She was walking through the area when she was accosted by a shirtless and shoeless man who was acting erratically, as if he were under the influence of drugs. As MacDonald says:

“I was about 20 yards away when I first began observing this incident. The attacker appeared to be trying to steal the woman’s backpack. When she wouldn’t let go, he pulled her closer and then grabbed her around the waist with both arms and tackled her to the ground. He then pinned her down and threatened her with some kind of object or weapon. I couldn’t see what it was.

At this point an employee of a rental bike company who’d been loading bikes onto a truck approached me and asked if anyone was going to call 911. He said, ‘I don’t think they know each other.’ Then he left.

I called 911 and continued to observe. A man from the Parks Department drove a white pickup truck out to the middle of the grassy area where the attacker and victim were struggling, and this caused the attacker to break off and confront the Parks guy, who had gotten out of his truck. I think the craziness of the assailant took the Parks guy off guard because he retreated back into his truck and left.

The attacker then went back to the victim and began shouting at her, swinging the backpack he was carrying and grabbing at her. He did this for about five minutes while I followed and talked to 911. He physically attacked her again in the grassy area to the east of the parking lot and I intervened and drew him away. A couple witnesses shouted for her to run and find some people to be around, but instead she went east out of the park and followed the trail along Northlake Way where it leads into some overgrown brush.

The attacker followed her back in there, and I didn’t want to pursue him at first because of the chance he’d corner me. But the 911 dispatcher told me the police were still two minutes away, and I didn’t want to let the victim out of my sight, so I decided to go down that path after them. When I found them, the attacker had the woman on the ground, just out of sight of the road. And now he was actually hitting her in the head. She started screaming as I approached. When I was about five feet away, the attacker noticed me and jumped up and came at me, trying to threaten me. I stepped around him and got between them and told the woman to go back into the park and find some people to help, which she did. The last time I saw her, she was running over the grassy hills to the east of the parking lot headed back into Gasworks Park.

I turned and left the brushy area and the attacker followed me out into the roadway (Northlake), threatening to fight me. I don’t think he really wanted to fight someone who would fight back, because at one point I almost threw a punch at him and I think he knew it. I said something like, “She’s gone now, dude; it’s over,” and he realized I was right and just turned around and walked east on Northlake.

He sat down on the curb next to the street and a University cop pulled up and walked over to him. The suspect immediately launched himself at the cop. They struggled briefly and the attacker broke free and fled. The cop caught up with him within one block. The cop deployed his Taser, but it failed. The cop then grabbed him and got him down and at that moment two other University police cars showed up and it took all three cops to get this guy subdued. SPD arrived within minutes and the man was arrested.”

Photo courtesy of Bob MacDonald

According to MacDonald, the victim left the scene and was being sought by police for questioning. MacDonald reported that he had heard she was located a few blocks away.

The Parks Department employee who intervened left the scene in his truck, and was being sought by police for additional details.

This incident happened in broad daylight at a popular Seattle park. MacDonald told me that several people witnessed the attack at various times during the 10 minutes it was ongoing. He counted six people standing and watching at one point, and he estimated that 20 people in total saw what happened, or parts of what happened. Besides those two individuals and the single Parks Department employee, who intervened briefly and then left the scene, no one else intervened. MacDonald told us that if just one other person had stepped up with him to confront the attacker, the outcome would have been very different.


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Fireworks photos from Wallingford

July 5th, 2011 by master

While thousands of people converged on Gas Works Park for the fireworks, many others gathered in the streets of Wallingford to catch a glimpse of the light show.

Cheryl Jones sent us this photo from her 45th Street studio.
Photo Credit: Northern Lights Photography

Marina snapped these two photos from Wallingford Ave.

There seemed to be a lot more people out watching the fireworks compared with last year. Of course we’re pretty sure the weather had something to do with that. Hope you had a great Fourth!

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Your guide to the 4th of July in Wallingford

July 1st, 2011 by master

Expect Monday to be extremely busy around Wallingford. It’s estimated that 50,000 people will be descending on Gas Works Park for the annual fireworks show.

The soggy 2010 Fourth of July festivities

  • The park opens at noon, with a playfield (Euro-Bungee and Climbing Walls, Face Painting, Kite Making, Wacky World: Inflatable Play Center and Kickball) and beer garden.
  • At 6 p.m.,streets from N. Northlake Way to N 40th Street will close to all but those needing local access.
  • At 8 p.m. The Dusty 45s perform
  • The 25-minute fireworks show starts at 10:10 p.m. followed by an encore performance by the Dusty 45s.
  • The park closes at 11 p.m.
  • If you are planning to go to Gas Works, do not bring:
    * Personal Barbecues
    * Alcohol
    * Fireworks
    * Pets
    * Weapons
    * Tent Stakes

    While the above items are prohibited, One Reel (the producer of the show) is asking people to bring nonperishable food items to donate to Northwest Harvest. The donations can be made at the entrance to the park.

    If you’d rather watch the fireworks from somewhere in the neighborhood, tune in to 97.3 KIRO FM at approximately 10 p.m. for the simulcast of the fireworks soundtrack.

    Need more information? Click here

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    Sunny Saturday for Earth Day celebration

    April 25th, 2011 by master

    By Ivana Cheong

    On Saturday, April 23, the sun shone brightly at Gas Works Park. Families and friends gathered to enjoy the warm weather, while the Washington Environmental Council, Climate Solutions, Sierra Club, CoolMom, and Earth Ministry hosted an Earth Day celebration.

    The event highlighted the Coal-Free Washington Campaign, a movement to phase out coal power in Washington State and transition into renewable energy sources. According to the Sierra Club, the TransAlta coal plant in Centralia is the largest source of global warming pollution in Washington. To help educate the public, the event featured speakers from different organizations, such as City Councilman Mike O’Brien, State Representative Marko Liias, and Andrew Rose of Sierra Club.

    Andrew Rose of Sierra Club addresses the crowd

    “Since we are the Evergreen State, we should champion environmental causes more like this one,” said one of the attendees. “More people need to realize that they can help out on many levels. We got to lobby, call our representatives, or just spread the awareness and be educated. Otherwise, the corporations will just roll over right on top of us.”

    In addition to the speeches, guests also enjoyed a free barbecue, live musical entertainment, and kite-making activities.

    Moon Girl performs

    According to Robin Everett, the event’s organizer, the next step in the campaign is to reduce coal exports. “There has been a good chance to keep the neighborhood involved, with events like this,” said Everett. “But we’ve got a long way to go and we have to all work together to keep the campaign moving forward.”

    For more information on the campaign, visit

    Ivana Cheong is the My Wallingford intern and studies Communications at the University of Washington.

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    Fireworks update: final fundraiser April 25

    April 19th, 2011 by master

    Thanks to our sister site Queen Anne View for this story.

    By Jesus Chavez

    A fundraiser for “Family 4th at Lake Union,” Seattle’s only Independence Day fireworks celebration, will be held on Monday, April 25 at Jillian’s Billiards Club on Westlake from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

    “Over the Top” will be the final fundraising event by the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and non-profit organization One Reel to raise the remaining amount needed, as well as a community celebration in honor of the continuation of the fireworks show.

    One Reel, who has sponsored “Family 4th at Lake Union” for more than two decades, has raised more than 80 percent of the $500,000 budget, and the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce is calling on its members to raise the additional $90,000.

    One Reel announced in January that the July 4 fireworks show would indeed take place, which would not be possible if it weren’t for donations from Seattle’s business community and public.

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    Tour de Fat rolls into Gas Works

    July 31st, 2010 by master

    A parade of hundreds of cyclists (many costumed) on bikes of every stripe cruised from Gas Works Park through Fremont and back to power up the Tour de Fat.

    Tour de Fat is a traveling carnival and beerfest that New Belgium Brewing stages each summer in cities across the country to promote travel by bicycle and sustainability. This event was co-sponsored by Bicycle Alliance of Washington and BikeWorks.

    One of the most popular areas was the art bike corral (“Rideable Art-icles”), where anyone willing to don a helmet could take a spin on whimsical welded contraptions.

    The day culminates with a car-for-bike swap, with great fanfare. See that story, “Wallingfordian Trades Car for Bike at Tour de Fat.”

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    Wallingfordian trades car for bike at Tour de Fat

    July 31st, 2010 by master

    Wallingford businesswoman Mrs. DeGroot wanted to change her lifestyle, so she traded in her 1997 Volvo for a bike at Gas Works Park this afternoon.

    Mrs. DeGroot, an etiquette consultant who runs Wallingford Charm, rode into a cheering crowd on top of a circus car at Tour de Fat, an annual cycling event at the park. Moments later, she signed over the Volvo to charity and jumped on a brand-new Black Sheep commuter bike.

    The cycling crowd, as you might imagine, was ecstatic. (Watch our video below.)

    “It makes me really happy,” she told us after riding away with the bike. “You know, it’s time, because I’m going to be 60. And I’m just downsizing and want to change my lifestyle. So I just think it’s just a cool thing — an opportunity. Some people have opportunities that don’t take them. So I just took it.”

    Mrs. DeGroot, who only goes by her last name, gave the license plate frame from her Volvo to one of the event organizers. He said he wanted the frame — which says “What Would Mrs. Degroot Say?” — to put on one of the Tour de Fat tour vehicles. Tour de Fat is run by New Belgium Brewing in Colorado best known for its cycling-inspired beer, “Fat Tire.”

    “The bike is sweet, there’s no denying that,” said Mrs. DeGroot, who said she’s looking forward to her switch from driving to cycling. “I’m going to do it with purpose and pride, I’m going to make a serious effort.”

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    Seattle Met mag's Gas Works shoot on newsstands

    June 23rd, 2010 by master

    You may recall that Seattle Met magazine recently arranged for a “flash mob” cover shoot at Gas Works Park to grace its “100 Things We Love About Seattle” issue. The July issue is available now on newsstands and online.

    In addition to flash mobs, Seattle Met loves 99 other things about Seattle, including a few in Wallingford:

    43. We Heart Butterfat: Molly Moon’s Ice Cream “proudly reports that it’s upped the butterfat content of its already uberrich product—from 14.5 percent to a whopping 19—making it the highest-butterfat ice cream you can buy in Seattle.”

    62. We Take the “Independent” in Independent Radio Seriously:
    “Broadcasting out of an attic in Wallingford [but soon to move to the Central District], Hollow Earth Radio, an all-volunteer, online-only station has, since 2007, fed our ears 24-7 with punk, metal, and surf music.”

    66–70. Fancy Restaurants Serve Family Dinner on Sunday: “Business-savvy meets down-home nostalgia in a win-win trend: The Sunday Supper. Upmarket restaurants prop up their least popular day by setting out a family-style repast, which diners enjoy in a casual context for an old-fashioned tab … Joule dishes up BBQ, and Avila puts on all-you-can-eat multicourse feasts.”

    Get to the whole list here, and (forgive the flagrant self-promotion) see a slideshow of the Gas Works event, courtesy of My Wallingford, here.

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    Flash mob makes magazine cover at Gas Works

    June 6th, 2010 by master

    If you heard a helicopter circling Wallingford Sunday afternoon, it was for an unusual photo shoot at Gas Works Park.

    More than 200 people arrived to take part in a flash mob while a photographer for Seattle Met Magazine circled high above in the chopper.

    Dressed in red, participants stood in the shape of a heart making various poses — from arms spread wide to hands forming hundreds of hearts. The photo will be used for an upcoming cover of the magazine to illustrate “Things We LOVE about Seattle.”

    This photo was snapped from an iPhone on the helicopter and emailed down to organizers on the ground. (Not the actual cover photo, but a camera phone pic from afar — thanks Seattle Met for giving it to us!)

    The flash mob was organized by Flash Mob Seattle, the folks behind the recent “Glee” and Michael Jackson flash mobs here in Seattle. “Seattle Met saw our ‘Glee’ flash mob and they had this brilliant idea to have a flash mob cover on their magazine for next month,” said Egan Orion, explaining they just had a few days to pull it all together. “The idea of being on a cover of a magazine, that’s cool.”

    “I’ve never been to an event with this many people in this massive form,” said Charlie, who was standing at the point of the heart. “It was a lot of fun.”

    When the Seattle Met magazine hits bookstands, we’ll let you know.

    Plus: See more photos of the shoot on My Wallingford’s Facebook page

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    Sunday: 'Seattle Met' flash mob cover shoot

    June 4th, 2010 by master

    Way, way back in the day, people wanted to be on the cover of “Rolling Stone.” This may not be quite as glamorous, but you don’t have to do much more than show up at Gas Works Park on Sunday to be part of a flash mob for the cover of “Seattle Met” magazine.

    Flash mob organizer Egan Orion (who also orchestrated the “Glee” flash mobs a couple of months ago) posted this event on Facebook:


    Seattle Met Magazine wants us to be on their next cover! They’re renting a helicopter to take the shot, and we’ll be holding signs that say “LOVE” to help spell out their cover: “Things We LOVE about Seattle.”

    This is the first time a flash mob has done the cover of a magazine! Be part of history and hang out in a city park with hundreds of your flash mob friends.

    WE WON’T BE DANCING, just smiling for the camera. Each individual will be in the photo credits for the cover shot, either in the magazine (if we’re able to, even at 4pt type) or in a supplement or on their website…

    The shoot is scheduled for 2:00 to 2:30 on Sunday, June 6. Find updates and RSVP on this Facebook page.

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