Daily news blog for Seattle's University District neighborhood

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Locals create new “Seattle” movie to premiere at UW

March 11th, 2016 by sarawilly

Seattle’s an amazing city, right? We all know that. But surprisingly, not all of the outside world does. A group of filmmakers, including Director of Photography & Fremont denizen Dan McComb, have set out to change that with “We Make Seattle,” a community funded short film highlighting why Seattle is the ideal home for creative workers and entrepreneurs. Watch a teaser here.

Bryan Zug and Scott Berkun were inspired by questions raised at a Startup Roundtable hosted by Mayor McGinn in 2012. “I overheard many entrepreneurs asking the Mayor to help promote the vibrancy of the city to the world and I thought: wait a second! Why are we asking the government to do this? We’re entrepreneurs! We’re makers! Shouldn’t we do this ourselves?” That night he asked his friend Bryan, who runs Bootstrapper Studios, to help, and “We Make Seattle” was born.

The pair teamed up with Dan and set out to make a video profile of Seattle that highlighted the energy and quality of life in the city, which has been rated the #1 tech city in America by The Atlantic yet still is not considered by outsiders to be a destination for creative enterprises.

They raised funds through Kickstarter and with the support of over 250 backers and several local companies, including Tableau Software, Zillow, Filter, and more. The project was truly a grassroots effort–Scott and Bryan love Seattle and saw a way they could help attract new businesses with their combined skills.

It’s also a community film because they are making all the footage available for reuse, and are encouraging institutions, businesses, and residents to share and embed the video wherever they like. The pair are also developing a website with additional regional job finding, business building, and relocation resources.

All are invited to premiere “We Make Seattle” beginning at 6:30pm on March 24 at UW Startup Hall.

1100 NE Campus Parkway
University of Washington

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Join Mayor Murray to discuss homelessness 3/2

February 24th, 2016 by sarawilly

Seattle Channel, Seattle CityClub and Crosscut are hosting a Civic Cocktail March 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Tom Douglas Palace Ballroom. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will join us to discuss equity and growth, working with a new city council and the city’s homelessness crisis. Then, a panel including Seattle city council member Mike O’Brien and Daniel Malone, Executive Director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, will further discuss homelessness in Seattle.

Date/Time: March 2, 2016 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: Tom Douglas Palace Ballroom (2100 5th Ave).

Click here for more information.

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Name the new baby gorilla!

February 24th, 2016 by sarawilly

Photo from Woodland Park ZooPhoto from Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo needs help naming its new baby gorilla. The winner will receive a variety of great gifts from the zoo, including a chance to visit the gorilla up-close!

To enter, participants must choose a female name from the African languages of Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo, and submit an entry form via mail, online here, or by dropping it off at any ballot box located on zoo grounds between now and Monday, February 29.

One winner will be selected by a judging panel of zoo staff to take home the Grand Prize:

  • One 1-year annual Woodland Park Zoo membership for one family
  • One ZooParent gorilla adoption
  • One opportunity to join a gorilla staff member for a private meet and greet for up to five people at the public viewpoint of the gorilla exhibit once the baby is on view (arranged at a mutually agreeable time)
  • One framed photograph of the newly-named gorilla infant

For official rules and terms of participation or to submit an entry online, click here.  More about the little cutie from Woodland Park:

The baby gorilla was born on November 20, 2015 to mom Nadiri and dad Vip. “Nadiri is a first-time, inexperienced mom,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “Knowing that, we planned for different outcomes while she was pregnant, including the need for human intervention.”

Nadiri gave birth naturally but did not show strong maternal skills initially; as a result, staff immediately stepped in for the safety and welfare of the baby and to allow the new mom to rest. Since her birth, the zoo’s gorilla and veterinary staff have been providing 24/7 care for the unnamed baby gorilla behind the scenes in the gorillas’ sleeping quarters in a den next to Nadiri.

Multiple times a day, the mom and baby gorilla spend time together in the same den. “During recent sessions, the two have lain just inches apart, played and eaten together. The close proximity is a good sign they’re comfortable together and getting to know each other,” said Ramirez.

The baby gorilla remains off view where she is growing and thriving. “She’s developing normally; introductions are progressing slowly but steady,” said Ramirez. Currently, there is no time frame for when the baby will be on exhibit.

In the meantime, zoo staff is excited to officially give the baby gorilla a name. “As an ambassador for her species, an authentic regional name helps share the story of her counterparts in the wild,” said Ramirez.

The baby gorilla’s father is 37-year-old Vip, who has sired six other offspring with three different females at the zoo. He currently lives at the zoo in another group with two females.

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Ballard teen missing: Have you seen Stone Fennell?

February 15th, 2016 by sarawilly

From our friends at Phinneywood.com

Stone Fennell, a 16-year-old Ballard resident, is missing. He was last seen in Crown Hill late on Friday night, wearing dark blue jeans and a black or dark grey jacket with a black baseball cap. He is 5’10” and 215 lbs.

Stone-Fennell-missing-2-12-16-resized

Seattle Police are searching for a 16-year-old boy who was reported missing.

Stone Fennell disappeared from his home on Crown Hill. He was last seen at about 10:30 p.m. Friday.

Police say family is concerned. They say the disappearance is out of character.

Fennell is 5-foot-10, 215 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

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Dinosaurs at the Burke Museum

February 2nd, 2016 by sarawilly

Dino Day and Free Dinosaur Lecture
This March, dig into dinos with the Burke Museum! Discover the ancient lost continent of Laramidia and the remarkable dinosaurs that lived there at a free public lecture with paleontologist Dr. Scott Sampson—better known as “Dr. Scott the Paleontologist,” host of the hit PBS KIDS series, Dinosaur Train. Also see newly collected Triceratops and duck-billed dinosaur fossils on display for the first time, along with dozens of other prehistoric plants and animals at the Burke’s most popular annual event, Dino Day!

Dino Talk: Dinosaurs of the Lost Continent
with Dr. Scott Sampson
Friday, March 11, 2016, 7 pm
Kane Hall 130, UW Campus
FREE FOR ALL
Seating is limited, pre-registration recommended at
burkemuseum.org/events
For more than a century, paleontologists have collected spectacular dinosaur fossils from the Western Interior of North America. Only recently have we learned that most of these dinosaurs existed on a lost continent called “Laramidia.” About 96 million years ago, exceptionally high sea levels flooded central North America, resulting in a north-south oriented seaway extending from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. This shallow sea isolated life-forms on the eastern and western landmasses for most the next 26 million years. Although a small continent only one-fourth the size of today’s North America, the Western landmass Laramidia was home to a variety of dinosaurs including horned, duck-billed, dome-headed, and armored plant-eaters, as well as giant tyrannosaur meat-eaters and smaller raptor-like predators.

Find out more about this lost continent and its dinosaurs with Dr. Scott Sampson—better known as “Dr. Scott the Paleontologist,” host of the hit PBS KIDS series Dinosaur Train. A book signing will follow.

Lecture sponsored by Nathan Myhrvold and Rosemarie Havranek.

DINO DAY
Saturday, March 12,

10 am – 4 pm
Burke Museum

Included with museum admission; FREE for Burke members and UW Staff, Students, and Faculty with UW ID

See hundreds dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures from the Burke’s collection that once lived on the lost continent of Laramidia, from giant Triceratops to tiny two-legged crocodiles! Also meet paleontologists and talk to them about their research around the world.

Additional activities:

  • Uncover a fossil in the Dino Dig Pit
  • Watch scientists prepare a large Triceratops skull
  • Crack open fossils with the Stonerose Interpretive Center
  • Dress up in dino-gear and give your best roar
  • Draw your own dinosaur or have a professional illustrator draw one for you

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Seattle Parks and Rec presents design for new waterfront park in the U District

February 2nd, 2016 by sarawilly

Community invited to provide input

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to review the design for the development of a new park at 1101-1137 NE Boat Street on Portage Bay on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at the Bryant Building, 1117 NE Boat Street.   Please join Seattle Parks and Recreation and the design team from Walker Macy at 6:30 pm. Families, students, and neighbors are encouraged to attend and participate in the design.

Seattle Parks and Rec and the design team have incorporated community feedback from previous meetings into the design.  This meeting is an opportunity for the community to learn more about the project and provide input on the final design.

Seattle Parks and Rec purchased the Bryant marina site (1101-1137 NE Boat Street on Portage Bay) from the University of Washington in 2014.  The goal for the park project is to provide upland and shoreline/water-related recreational experiences for all ages and abilities. The development will include remediation of site contamination, building demolition and potential partial re-use of building elements and shoreline enhancement. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2017 and completed in 2018.

For more information about the Portage Bay park project click here or contact David Graves, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at 684-7048 or david.graves@seattle.gov.

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Ballard High School “Soap for Hope” drive

January 25th, 2016 by sarawilly

Do you have an extra bar of soap at home, or maybe a spare toothbrush? The Soap For Hope drive at Ballard High School is collecting various hygiene items which will be distributed to people facing hardships in Ballard, Queen Anne and Magnolia communities. They need:
-bars of soap
-bottles of shampoo and conditioner
-razors
-toothbrushes
-toothpaste
-lotion
-lip balm
-rolls of toilet paper
*all items must be unopened
Wednesday Jan. 20th – Friday Jan. 29th
Drop items off at BHS Main Office and Library (1418 NW 65th St)
Questions? Email addison.baker@nullhotmail.com

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UW’s Forefront backs effort to engage gun dealers and pharmacies on suicide prevention

January 25th, 2016 by sarawilly

Story from Deborah Bach, UW News and Information

Patty Yamashita was a vivacious, sweet, high-energy woman who balanced a career as an IT manager with a steadfast dedication to her family. She worked long hours but was always home to put dinner on the table and read a bedtime story for her children.

“My mother was my hero,” said her son, David. “Usually a boy or man would say that their father showed them the way in terms of growing up and how to live and how to conduct yourself in the world, but my mom really showed that to me.”

Patty and David Yamashita Photo courtesy of David Yamashita

But in July 2014, Patty, who had struggled with mental illness for several years, ended her life by overdosing on prescription medication.

“Never in a million years would we have guessed that she would make the decision she did,” said David, 29.

Patti Yamashita was one of 1,111 Washington residents who died by suicide that year. Nearly 70 percent of suicides in the state involve guns, poisonings and drug overdoses, and suicide prevention experts say many of those deaths happen in homes where guns and medications are not safely stored.

Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, based at the University of Washington School of Social Work, is working closely with Rep. Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines) on new legislation aimed at reducing these tragedies. The bill, which has support from gun owners, would engage firearms dealers and pharmacists to raise awareness about suicide and the need to restrict access to guns and prescription drugs for those at risk of attempting to kill themselves.

House Bill 2793 would:

  • Create a Safe Homes Task Force led by the UW School of Social Work that would develop suicide prevention messages and trainings for gun dealers and owners, pharmacy schools and firearm safety educators
  • Incorporate suicide prevention messaging into firearm safety brochures and safety training
  • Require the state Department of Health to develop a “safe homes partner” certification for firearms dealers and offer tax credits for those who become certified
  • Direct the Department of Fish & Wildlife to update safety brochures to include information about suicide awareness and prevention
  • Test the effectiveness of combining suicide prevention training and distribution of secure storage devices and medication disposal kits in two Washington communities, one rural and one urban, with high suicide rates

Jennifer Stuber, Forefront’s co-founder and faculty director, said the legislation has support from numerous stakeholders, including the Seattle and King County public health department and the Washington State Pharmacy Association, and was developed in close consultation with the National Rifle Association and the Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation. The buy-in from gun owners, she said, makes this legislation unique.

“Gun owners are excited about the bill, and they want to help with suicide prevention,” said Stuber, an associate professor at the UW School of Social Work. “The suicide prevention movement has needed this so desperately. This is a message that’s coming from the very people it needs to come from.”

Nearly 80 percent of firearm deaths in Washington state are suicides. In 2014, 49 percent of suicides in Washington involved firearms, while poisonings from prescription medications and other substances accounted for 19 percent.

“The consequences of suicide are devastating to families and the figures are alarming,” Orwall said in a release, noting that Washington’s suicide rate is 14 percent higher than the national average.

“But it is the nation’s most preventable form of death, and we all have a role in averting it by forming partnerships and working together to raise awareness and limit access to lethal means.”

Forefront co-founder Jennifer Stuber Enrique Garcia photo

Stuber, who lost her husband to firearm suicide in 2011, said the legislation is intended to target people at risk of suicide as well as other gun shop and pharmacy customers.

Customers would see educational messages displayed, and employees would be trained to talk with them about suicide risk and the importance of securely storing guns and prescription drugs.

“People think that the big risk of storing firearms safely is about someone breaking into your house and using them to commit crimes,” she said.

“But the very real risk is within your own home. If you’ve got kids in your home, if you’ve got someone who’s depressed in your home, if you’ve got someone who’s depressed visiting your home — those are the kinds of risks that people aren’t aware of.”

The bill, whose companion bill is sponsored by Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, is scheduled to go before the House Judiciary Committee on Jan. 26. Forefront has helped support the passage of five other suicide prevention bills in the past four years that require training for mental health workers, doctors and nurses, and require middle and high schools to implement screening, training and suicide response plans.

Forefront volunteers will be speaking about the legislation at its third annual suicide prevention education day in Olympia on Jan. 25. More than 50 supporters, most of whom have been directly impacted by suicide, are expected to attend. The group will hold a ceremony on the front lawn of the state legislative building at 10:30 a.m. that will feature a temporary memorial with 1,111 mini tombstones representing the Washington residents who died by suicide in 2014.

Patty Yamashita, who loved animals and was a skilled cook and baker, grew up in Seattle’s Rainier Valley. Despite attending community college for just a few semesters, she built a successful career in the tech industry, working for companies including Nintendo and T-Mobile. She juggled work and family with seeming ease, but was an alcoholic who managed to hide her drinking from her family.

In 2009, Patty underwent treatment for alcoholism, and shortly afterward was laid off. Over the next three years, as she applied for job after job, her mental health began to unravel, David said. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression and became increasingly unstable. She was having trouble managing her medications — forgetting them one day, taking a double dosage the next — so David and his father kept them locked up, carefully dispensing her daily dosages.

In early July 2014, David took his mother to a pharmacy to refill her prescriptions, then dropped her off and went golfing. He forgot to lock up her medications, not fully realizing the desperate state his mother was in. By the next morning, Patty lay in a hospital bed, unconscious. She died a day later with her family by her side.

David has been working with Forefront for a year and believes the proposed legislation could save lives by increasing awareness and facilitating conversation about mental illness and suicide.

“I think the stigma around suicide obscures the fact that recovery from mental illness does happen,” he said. “I wish my mom would have lived to know that.”

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Neighbor Appreciation Day Saturday, February 13

January 19th, 2016 by sarawilly

Celebrate Seattle’s annual Neighbor Appreciation Day, a special day set aside to reach out to neighbors, create new friends, and express thanks to those who help make your neighborhood a great place to live. Residents, community groups, and businesses across Seattle will join together on Saturday, February 13 (and the week of) to celebrate.

A few ways to celebrate Neighbor Appreciation Day:

  • Plan an activity for your neighborhood such as a block party, potluck, or work party. Our website provides ideas, tools, resources, and templates to help you organize an activity. If the event is open to the public, you can post it to our events calendar.
  • Attend one of the many community activities listed on the events calendar. Many Seattle Fire stations along with pools, community centers, and neighborhoods are hosting celebrations and work parties.
  • Take your neighbor to a FREE Seattle University Redhawks basketball game. Visit this link and use Promo Code “NEIGHBORDAY” to receive tickets. For questions call 206-398-4678.
  • Share a “great neighbor” story or tell us how you are celebrating using #neighborday. Post it to our Facebook page.

Join Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and thousands of community members in celebration of what makes Seattle great – our neighbors! Click here for more information or contact Wendy Watson at wendy.watson@seattle.gov.

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Extended lane closures start in two weeks along SR 99/Aurora Avenue North

January 4th, 2016 by sarawilly

A one-mile stretch of road will narrow to two lanes during peak commutes.

Drivers and commuters should plan ahead for construction work that will reduce both directions of State Route 99/Aurora Avenue North by one lane between the Aurora Bridge and just north of Mercer Street. The median lanes in each direction will close for four to five weeks starting Monday evening, Jan. 18.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation need access to the median lanes to build four large sign foundations for the future SR 99 tunnel. This work was originally scheduled for spring 2015 but changed to January 2016 to lessen the traffic disruption. Winter months typically see lower traffic volumes.

“These signs require sturdy, concrete-encased pedestals along with communication lines, power lines and traffic sensors, which is why the construction work in the median will take at least four weeks,” said David Sowers, deputy administrator of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. “We understand this will inconvenience drivers and commuters, and we are working closely with King County Metro and the Seattle Department of Transportation to minimize traffic impacts as much as possible.”

During the first phase of this two-phase project, when the median lanes are closed, the southbound bus-only lane will open to all traffic. Drivers should use caution since buses will travel – and stop – in the lane with other vehicle traffic.

Closure details:

Jan. 18 through mid-February
• Median lanes close in both directions between the Aurora Bridge and Highland Drive, north of Mercer Street
• An additional lane will close at night and during several weekends including Jan. 23-24

Mid-February through early March
• Median lanes reopen. Northbound traffic returns to normal pattern
• The southbound curb lane near Comstock Street will close for approximately three weeks
• An additional southbound lane may close at night

WSDOT encourages drivers and bus riders to plan ahead as additional congestion is expected on Aurora Avenue North. Consider alternative travel modes such as ride-sharing or carpooling, or traveling in off-peak times. Keep informed by using King County Metro’s rider alerts or trip planning tools as well as WSDOT’s travel tools and SDOT’s travelers information page.

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