The city of Seattle issued a demolition permit Friday for the former Ballard Denny's, a final step in allowing the property owner to move...

The city of Seattle issued a demolition permit Friday for the former Ballard Denny’s, a final step in allowing the property owner to move forward with plans to replace the structure with condos.

Last month, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board gave clearance to tear down the building on Ballard’s gateway intersection: 15th Avenue Northwest and Northwest Market Street.

The board previously had declared the building a landmark but then ruled that preserving it would result in an unreasonable financial hardship on the owner, BCC Mikie Ballard LLC, an offshoot of the Benaroya Co.

The city once had plans to tear down the building for a station serving the ill-fated Seattle Monorail Project. Benaroya purchased it as project surplus for $12.5 million with the idea of tearing it down.

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A coalition of Ballard residents, along with aficionados of midcentury “Googie” architecture, lobbied hard to preserve the boarded-up restaurant, which was built in 1964 as a Manning’s Cafeteria.

No timetable for the demolition has been set, said Louis Richmond, Benaroya spokesman.


Police investigating shooting death

One person was shot and killed in SeaTac on Friday night, in an incident King County sheriff’s deputies are investigating as accidental.

Deputies went to a call of shots fired in the 2600 block of South 130th Place about 9:30 p.m. and found the victim dead, said Sgt. John Urquhart. No other details were immediately available, but Urquhart said, “Preliminary indications are it’s accidental.”


Worker injured by motorist on I-405

A highway worker was injured slightly Friday afternoon when he was grazed by a passing motorist on an Interstate 405 onramp in Kirkland, and the state Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to watch out for workers in highway work zones.

The DOT maintenance worker suffered cuts to his elbow and was treated at Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Kirkland. His name was not released.

A DOT spokesman said the man and another worker were on the shoulder of the Northeast 70th Street onramp to northbound I-405 when he was grazed by the passing car.

In the weeks ahead, DOT has a number of road projects scheduled.

“This incident is a stern reminder for motorists to be observant and careful” as they drive through work zones, said DOT regional administrator Lorena Eng.


Teen nearly drowns at Lake Meridian

A 14-year-old boy nearly drowned Friday night at Lake Meridian Park on Kent’s east hill, Kent fire officials reported.

The boy was swimming with friends when he began to struggle, then went underwater and did not come back up. Divers from the Renton Fire Department and Valley Regional Fire Authority responded and found the boy beneath about 15 feet of water, pulled him out and started CPR. He was flown to Harborview Medical Center, where his condition wasn’t immediately known, fire officials said.

Rescuers estimate the teen was underwater for a total 29 minutes.


Comments sought on gray-whale hunt

The deadline for public comment on the Makah Indian tribe’s proposal to hunt gray whales has been extended to Aug. 15.

The tribe wants to hunt up to 20 gray whales on the outer coast of its reservation at Neah Bay, between December and May, killing up to five whales every year for four years.

Anti-whaling advocates object to the hunt, which is allowed under the tribe’s treaty with the U.S.

An environmental-impact statement has been prepared by the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the public can review it

Written comments may be submitted to Steve Stone, NMFS Northwest Region, 1201 N.E. Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232. Or send comments by fax to 503-230-5441, Attn: 2008 Makah DEIS; or by email to with a subject line reading 2008 Makah DEIS.

Juneau, Alaska

Governor seeks to offset energy costs

Gov. Sarah Palin is proposing to give nearly every Alaska resident $1,200 to offset high energy costs.

The $769 million energy relief plan released Friday also proposes suspending the state’s fuel tax of 8 cents a gallon for a year for motorists.

Palin says the state can afford to help residents with energy costs that, in some cases, are double or triple the national average.

With oil prices at record highs, and a new tax law in place for nearly one year, the state’s treasury is bursting with revenue.

Seattle Times staff and news services