Daily news blog for Seattle's University District neighborhood

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Global Visionaries Takes Action for the ‘Miss Representation’ of Girls

April 13th, 2015 by Nico Lund

Global Visionaries, a Seattle-based non-profit working to empower youth to be global leaders, launches a film and lecture series centered around social justice and global issues.

The Visionary Viewings Film & Lecture Series is a community engagement and fundraising initiative organized by GV’s Youth Board. Each month from January to June, each team will select and present a film and speaker on a topic.

“You Can’t Be What You Can’t See”

Miss Representation interweaves stories from teenage girls with provocative interviews, to give an inside look at the media and its message. The film’s motto, “You can’t be what you can’t see,” underscores an implicit message that young women need and want positive role models, and that the media has thus far neglected its unique opportunity to provide them.

Social Action = Change

The film includes a social action campaign to address change in policy, education and calls for socially responsible business. GV has partnered with Young Women Empowered for this film and the event has been prepared by young women from GV’s youth board program.

Bring every woman and girl you know for a very powerful message about social justice for girls.

When: Sunday, April 19 4:30-7:30pm
Where: UW Savery Hall
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets
For more information, check out their Facebook Page

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What’s up with the Minimum Wage Increase? Know Your Rights!

April 1st, 2015 by Nico Lund

Sawant and labor is launching an independent outreach to educate workers on the new wage law

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File

WHAT: Press conference unveiling new bus ad announcing minimum wage increase, with action at low wage workplaces immediately following

WHERE: Westlake Park, 4th and Pine

WHEN: Thursday, April 2, 11:15am

WHY: A coalition including Councilmember Sawant, 15 Now, Teamsters 117, Unite HERE Local 8, IBEW 46, and Casa Latina is launching a bus ad campaign to educate workers about the minimum wage increase that features a wage theft hotline.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant is concerned that there is not enough information for workers regarding their the new wage increase and how to deal with employers. In a statement, she said:

“On Saturday I talked to low wage workers at fast food chains and some of them were unaware that the minimum wage was going up and what they should be earning starting April 1. The city has not done enough to educate workers about their rights under this law, so I have contributed $10,000 from my solidarity fund to help fund a bus ad campaign along with labor unions and grassroots organizations that fought for $15.”

Jess Spear of 15 Now is worried that “the city’s outreach has been insufficient.  We have to learn from the failures of the paid sick leave enforcement, which focused on educating employers and did not aggressively enforce the law.  The city’s outreach on the new wage law appears to be focused on educating employers, not workers.”

Immediately following the press conference Councilmember Sawant and other coalition members will be going to low-wage workplaces in downtown Seattle including McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Target to talk directly to workers about the new wage law.

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Quick…Go Help Envision the Future of Public Transportation!

March 31st, 2015 by Nico Lund

WHAT: Public Transportation Visioning Event
WHEN: Tuesday, March 31, 6-8 p.m.
WHERE: Seattle Central Library
1000 Fourth Ave, downtown Seattle (map)

Just saw this and wanted to spread the word!

You’ll hear some visionary speakers and get an opportunity to share your own ideas about the future of public transportation in our region.

This event will kick off a community dialogue about a long-range plan for Metro Transit.

6-6:45 p.m.  Small group discussions: equity and access, innovations and technology, integrating transit modes, and more

6:45-8 p.m.  Speakers:

  • Jarrett Walker, Author of Human Transit
  • Rebecca Saldaña, Executive Director, Puget Sound Sage
  • Mark Hallenbeck, Director, Washington State Transportation Center, University of Washington
  • Moderator: Rita Brogan, Washington State Transportation Commissioner

For more info: check out King County Metro

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East West Moves South: Veteran Business in Roosevelt Has New Location

March 31st, 2015 by Nico Lund

Whichever directional you are existing at, East West Bookshop wants to direct you to its new location across the street!

After 26 years as an anchor business in the Roosevelt neighborhood, East West Bookstore is “movin’ on up!”

This landmark University area business is Currently located at N.E. 65th & Roosevelt and will not be moving far, just feet away at a new upstairs location at Roosevelt Square, just above Whole Foods Market.

The grand re-opening and New Location Celebrations happen on May 1st and 2nd, with festivities both evenings beginning at 7:00pm.

As one of Seattle’s most popular destination bookstores, East West Bookshop will continue to bring seekers great books, meaningful gifts, and dynamic workshops and programs to support their journey of mind, body and spirit through community.

In the meantime, they are advertising some moving specials on their Facebook Page going on now until their relocation at the end of April.

WHAT: East West Bookshop Move & Grand Opening
WHEN: Friday, Saturday May 1st & 2nd. Two Evenings of Celebration, starting at 7pm
WHERE: Upper Level Roosevelt Square 6407 12th Ave NE
For more information call: 206-523-3726 or email tickets@eastwestbookshop.com

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U-district Local Author Has a Best Seller

March 31st, 2015 by Nico Lund

If you are a regular at local coffee joints such as the U-district Herkimer, Cafe Racer and even the cafe at the Burke Museum, you may have been sitting next to a Amazon.com bestselling author.

Stephen C. Merlino must have gotten some sort of inspiration with the last name Merlino (get it…Merlin-O ?). Regardless, his fascination with the fantasy genre seems to have begun at an early age.

As a kid, growing up in our gray and rainy state, he spent the dreary months indoors reading the likes of J.R. Tolkein and other wizard heavy stories. As he grew up, his passions evolved to include Shakespearian drama and Chaucer, which eventually lead him to a trip across England with a backpack.

Merlino finally returned to Seattle after studying Shakespeare at the University of Reading. He now lives close to the UW and teaches teens at Mountlake Terrace High School.

Merlino plans to release books two and three in the series in August and December. “Then the second trilogy begins!” says Merlino. “They call that ‘Aggravated  Trilogy,’ but I don’t apologize. I love series.”

His book — The Jack of Souls — is the story of an outcast rogue who must break a curse laid on his fate, or die on his nineteenth birthday; it’s a story of magic, mischief, and the triumph of tricksters. Along with the roguish protagonist, the novel features strong female characters and a subplot from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Check out this super fun trailer animated by local artist Luke Shea!

You can find the book at your local bookseller such as Third Place Books or find it the eBook on Amazon

Read reviews on Amazon,  Goodreads

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Suddenly Kicked-Out of Home of 25yrs & On Disability: Where is there to go on $660 a month?

March 30th, 2015 by Nico Lund

When one property investor was asked this question he responded with “Oh, there’s lots of places for people on disability to go.”

Image Courtesy of the Seattle Weekly

But is there? One resident decided to investigate if that is really the case. After a longtime resident of her apartment building took his own life after learning that the new owner of their building was kicking him out, she found out what really can happen to the people who fall through the cracks.

As the University District witnesses increasing changes to its housing landscape, it’s now more than ever important to open a dialog about the consequences in the name of progress and improvements.

The Seattle Weekly recently published an open letter to a building investor written by Janice Harper, a resident of a West Seattle apartment building recently sold by its ‘mom & pop’ owners to a property investor.

After reading this article I was moved to approach the Weekly to request permission to share this important letter with the U-district Daily’s readership. It’s a poignant  story that opens up the issue of the disconnect between progress, gentrification and the daily struggles of everyday people trying to carve out a life in our city.

I am sure many of you know someone, or you are someone who struggles to make ends meet day to day, pay the rent and survive. What if the rug beneath your feet was suddenly pulled out from under you without due warning, where would you land?

Here is the first part of Harper’s open letter. For the full story, please go visit the Seattle Weekly and read it!

Beachwood Apartments in West Seattle.Photo by Kyu Han Used here by permission from the Seattle Weekly

Dear Landlord,

Last week they took Bill’s body away. You never knew him. He’d lived here for over 25 years, a quarter-century that saw him slowly decline from an excited young man who loved James Joyce, the Seahawks, and a good bottle of beer to a decrepit old man who hobbled on crutches and still loved James Joyce, the Seahawks, and a cheap case or two of beer.

Bill’s life wasn’t worth much; no one in their right mind would have ever hired him, and few would think to rent to him. He was just this side of homeless, but our landlords, Eve and Charles, couldn’t throw him out. They knew he had no options, so year after year, they let him stay on, even though he couldn’t pay any rent. They’re good-hearted people who had bought the building as an investment, inheriting him from the previous owners, like a quirk in the building you grow to love even if it makes you grumble and groan.

Bill got by on about $660 a month in disability, some food stamps, and the security of his single small room. He was always happy to see his neighbors, always had a small gift to share, whether a poem he had written, a recipe from his mom, or a flower he’d picked on his walk. He drove us crazy, and we drove him places after bus service was cut in our neighborhood. Year by year, Bill lost what little he had—his ability to walk; the bus that took him to museums, parks, and the grocery store; most recently his food stamps. But he always had his little room, so he felt safe and secure in this unsafe and insecure world.

Until the day Eve and Charles told us they were putting the property up for sale. Who could blame them? The building is a century old and so much work went into maintaining it, especially for a couple of people who, also, are aging. But it’s prime real estate, right on the water with a view that would make even Donald Trump drool. So we had a good idea of what would happen after the sale went through. Skyrocketing rents and a landlord we’d never see, much less ever know.

Our fears were fanned by a recent Seattle Times article noting that old “mom and pop” buildings are being bought up by investors who are raising rents in our area by as much as 130 percent. Another article noted that rents in Seattle are increasing faster than almost any other place in the country. In the last five years, rents have gone up 32 percent in Seattle, a trend that places our city second only to New York. That’s good news for you, as a landlord, because it means that investing in buildings like ours will bring you a steady flow of passive income. All you had to do is come up with a down payment and a management company to collect our rents. As our monthly rent checks roll in, we will provide you with the money to pay your mortgage, your taxes, your insurance, and your maintenance, and likely secure a considerable income for you as well.

Read the full Letter by Janice Harper Here.

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Barney Frank @ University Book Store-March 30

March 25th, 2015 by Nico Lund

Come meet Mr. Barney Frank.

Apparently– a source says– he is America’s smartest, feistiest, and funniest politician. Show up and see for yourself.

Frank is described as a “disheveled, intellectually combative gay Jew with a thick New JerseyMassachusetts accent” who has “become one of the most effective politicians of his time?” He has written a book called Frank:A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage. It’s an autobiography.

The book offers a guide to how political change really happens. Frank is the first member of Congress to voluntarily come out as gay and has been a major player in the struggle for personal freedom and economic fairness for more than four decades. This is an opportunity to hear him in conversation with Eric Liu (Citizen University), and rumor has it, the Mayor will be there!

When: March 30, doors open at 6, starts at 7pm
Where: University Temple United Methodist Church
Cost: $27 – each ticket admits 2 and includes a copy of Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage
Tickets can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets.

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Calling all Compassionate People: You Really Could Save a Life!

March 24th, 2015 by Nico Lund

Plain and Simple, Crisis Clinic is in Need of Volunteers

Sarah Bolton, Crisis Line Volunteer

Crisis Clinic serves as a lifeline for over 250,000 individuals and families in crisis each year.

Crisis Clinic is asking for caring, compassionate and community minded individuals to consider joining their team. By being available to answer calls on the 24-Hour Crisis Line, WA Recovery Help Line, or WA Warm line, you could be saving someone’s life!

“I look forward to coming into my shift each week knowing I will help people feel less lonely, scared, angry, or suicidal,” says Sarah Bolton, a volunteer on the 24-Hour Crisis Line. “I also love the staff and other volunteers I work with. I’m on a shift full of veteran volunteers that have been there for many, many years and each one of them comes in with a smile, a good joke, and a positive outlook. I couldn’t ask to volunteer for a better organization.”

What would you be doing, you might be wondering? Here is a snapshot of what you might be volunteering to do:

  • Answer calls on the 24-Hour Crisis Line, WA Recovery Help Line, or WA Warm Line
  • Respond online via Crisis Chat
  • Supervise youth volunteers with Teen Link
  • Make quality assurance calls for King County 2-1-1

Here’s a short video:Crisis Clinic: 50 Years Helping Lives on the Line

Crisis Clinic: 50 Years Helping Lives on the Line from Crisis Clinic on Vimeo.

Volunteer benefits include:

  • The opportunity to truly make a difference and help save lives
  • Professional training and supervision
  • Variety of schedules to meet your needs
  • Convenient Northgate location with free parking and close proximity to public transit
  • Caring community of Crisis Clinic staff and volunteers to support you!

To learn more, please call Crisis Clinic at (206) 461-3210 ext. 697 or visit their Volunteer page online at: http://www.crisisclinic.org/volunteer.

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Connection, Grief, Loss & the Cosmos: A Performance Installation 2 years in the Making

March 24th, 2015 by Nico Lund

Prepare yourself for a performance that will move from campy sci-fi to the eloquence of the requiem in one evening

Two years in the making, this all-female cast of contemporary ballet dancers explores themes of grief, loss, connection, and re-construction through the imagery of the cosmos.

Using live opera and live, original music accompaniment, this show promises to be a full evening of performance installation, concert dance and aliens.

Coriolis Dance has attempted to create an experience of audience movement,
performance installation, visual art, live music, and concert dance as way to explore space—both metaphorically and physically.

Using  the cosmos as a unifying theme behind this series of vignettes, Coriolis has created a piece “in which audiences encounter sardonically vamped up alien women of sci-fi camp, the detached forces of mass, charge, and rotation that create black holes, and  wili-like preying mantis women who grieve into the void.”

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? I think this might be a must see! But get your tickets now, this might be a sell out performance.

Co-artistic Directors Natascha Greenwalt and Christin Call’s work began in 2012 as Insofar, as the landscopic field report, a duet about two quirky alien researchers who encounter malaise and a deadly virus while discovering an uninhabited planet.

In May of 2014, Insofar was performed to a sold-out audience. Call and Greenwalt have since developed the work into a new piece, still containing part of the original duet.

Here is what you need to know to go!

What: Unfixed Arias

Who: Choreographed by Coriolis Co-artistic Directors Natascha Greenwalt
and Christin Call. Musical direction by Jackie An and original music by
Jackie An, Daniel Brigman, Taylor T. Merisko. Original lighting design by
Amiya Brown, additional lighting by Dani Norberg.  Animations by Stefan

When: April 10-12, 16-19, 2015.  Pre-show performance installations at 7p,
show at 7:30p. No late seating.

Where: Open Flight Studio, 4205 University Way NE – Seattle WA – 98145

Cost: $20 online at brownpapertickets.com, $25 at door.  Limited
seating, advance tickets recommended**

**Pre-show performance installations will open at 7pm, with the show beginning at 7:30pm.  No late admittance and seating will be limited **

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π π π 3.14 is PI day π π π

March 13th, 2015 by Nico Lund

Did you Know that March 14th is actually Pi Day. It’s also Pie Day!

If you are wondering what this Pi day is all about, it perhaps because you fell asleep that hour in your middle school math class.

π is a number represented by the greek symbol you see here–π—

It is is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. . . and often shortened to 3.14.

I tried to find some local bakeries in the U-distict that were having Pi day specials, but alas, we don’t have many places that specialize in pie or π in our hood. However, I did speak to the friendly folks down at Pizza Pi Vegan Pizzeria, and they have a special Pi day menu for you to celebrate this mathy holiday.

Afterwards, you can go run the Pi Day Dash.

Race starts at 9:26 at Magnuson Park in Seattle and will consist of a 3.14 mile run or walk inside the park! Check out There. will. be. Pie. for more details.

So, go on, enjoy π, pie and all other types of circular goodness tomorrow!

Bon Ap-Pi-tit!

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