Daily news blog for Seattle's University District neighborhood

U District Daily header image 1

Things You Should Know About Your Cat: Cat Behavior 101

June 24th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Cat Behavior 101: What Your Cat Wants You to Know

If you have a new cat, thinking of getting a cat, or perhaps a cat with behaviors you just don’t understand, this is a class not to miss

PAWS Cat City is offering this brand new, free training event designed to help explain some of the mysteries behind cat behavior.

Tue, Jun. 24, 2014 7:00pm — 8:30pm

Add this to Calendar

Led by Steph Renaud, Supervisor at PAWS Cat City, it’s the perfect introduction for any cat owner wanting to understand why their cat behaves as he or she does, and get tips for building a better relationship.

Topics will include body language, the ideal home environment, sources of stress, the importance of play and litter box problems. This event is perfect for any cat owner or cat lover that wants to learn how to better communicate with their feline friends.

Places are limited so please register early to avoid disappointment.


Feel free to do some advance reading on cat behavior in their Resource Library.

Class Information can be found at PAWS Cat City
5200 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite B, Seattle, WA 98105


June is Adopt-a-Cat month, a national campaign by the American Humane Association. PAWS is celebrating too and, every Thursday in June, cats over three years old have their adoption fees waived! Meet cats at PAWS looking for forever homes.

Comments Off   Share

U-District Increased Height & Density Report Proposes Changes You Might Have Something To Say About

June 20th, 2014 by Nico Lund

The Comment Period For the U-District Urban Design Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) Will End June 23

You are invited to comment on the Draft EIS which evaluates impacts of several possible Comp Plan and Land Use Code amendments, including changes that could alter height and density for the U-district.

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has the documents up on their website for the public to view.

Click Here for Draft EIS Documents

The DPD website lists the objectives of the proposal to include:

  • Better integration of land uses with the neighborhood’s future light rail station
  • Development standards to accommodate a greater variety of building types
  • Support for equitable communities with a diversity of housing choices

The public comment period for this Draft EIS is April 24 through June 23, 2014. For questions, or to submit comments, contact project manager Dave LaClergue at (206) 733-9668,dave.laclergue@seattle.gov, or

City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development
Attn: Dave LaClergue
700 5th Ave., Suite 2000
Seattle WA98124-4019

Comments Off   Share

Sponsor (advertise with us)


Advice on Navigating the Hillary Clinton Book Signing Tonight!!

June 18th, 2014 by Nico Lund

From Seattle Refined, a blog in partnership with Komo News…here is a great post on how to navigate the Hillary Clinton Book Signing happening tonight:
Navigating the Hillary Clinton event at UW on Wednesday

Clinton will be signing copies of her new book at the University Bookstore at 5 p.m. this Wednesday. (Image: AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Navigating The Hillary Clinton Event At UW On Wednesday

By  Published: Jun 16, 2014
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be signing copies of her new book Hard Choices this Wednesday, June 18th, at the University Bookstore. We anticipate hundreds of people showing up – here’s what you need to know to get in, get signed, and get out!

1. She is only signing copies of Hard Choices that have been bought that day, June 18th, from the University Bookstore (in person, no online orders). No other memorabilia will be allowed in for signing, and no one without a book gets through.

2. Copies of Hard Choices bought at the Bookstore will come with an event entry wristband, which is your ticket into the signing at 5 p.m. There are limited copies available, aka a limited amount of wristbands available. The Bookstore opens at 9 a.m. – get there early to ensure you can buy a copy ($38.33 with tax) and get yourself a wristband.

3. No matter how much your Mom wants you to pick up a copy and get it signed for her, you can’t! One book per person, one signature per book. In fact, you can’t bring anything else in with you – all bags will be checked.

4. Parking is going to be even more awful than usual, so we highly suggest either getting dropped off or taking a bus. If you’re going to park in their lot, there’s a flat fee of $25 for three hours or more. They’re provided a map of all possible parking locations.

Good luck!

Comments Off Tags: , , ,   Share

June is Adopt-a-Cat Month: With Fee’s Waived, it’s a Purr-fect time to Adopt!

June 5th, 2014 by Nico Lund

photo credit: PAWS Cat City


PAWS* (The Progressive Animal Welfare Society) joins the American Humane Association to inspire Washingtonians to consider cats as an ideal companion.

PAWS has announced that they are offering a unique special on cat adoptions in June; Adoption fees will be WAIVED for every cat over the age of three every Thursday in June.

We adopted a cat at Cat City back in December and it has been such a fun journey watching her settle into our family. Cats have such unique qualities to offer us as well as they keep themselves engaged working themselves up about squirrels, crows, and unfortunate bugs that end up buzzing around the window sills. Furthermore, cats are great insurance against any rodent problems in your basement! Stop into to Cat City and you won’t  be able to help but fall head-over-heels in love with a bundle of cuddly cuteness!

“Our adult cats offer so much love and companionship to cat lovers looking to either start their fur-families or expand them.” said Kay Joubert, Director of Companion Animal Services at PAWS. “Cats are the most popular pet in Seattle, which is why we opened Cat City in Seattle to complement our companion animal operations in Lynnwood.” Joubert said this special adoption program in June would help adult cats find their “forever homes.”

The University District has it’s own adoption location at Cat City (5200 Roosevelt Way NE).  There is also The Companion Animal Service shelter in Lynnwood at 15305 44th Avenue West. Hours and more information can be found online at www.paws.org.

*PAWS is a champion for animals–rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, sheltering and adopting homeless cats and dogs, and educating people to make a better world for animals and people.

Comments Off Tags: , , , , , , ,   Share

City Wide Annual Night OUT is Aug. 5th: Register Now!

May 23rd, 2014 by Nico Lund

It’s the 30th Annual Night Out on August 5th.

Did you Know that the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has a fund to support your event and activities?

It’s time to meet your neighbors! Yeah, those people that live next door to you, across the street, and that nice person who always throws your paper up onto your porch on his morning walk with his dog…the one who’s name you don’t know.

You know that cool looking couple that passes by on their evening run, or that elderly woman always working in her garden rain or shine. This is your chance to put names to faces and create that community vibe you are always craving. This could even be your chance to find out who lives in that haunted looking house with the over grown blackberries!

The Small Sparks Fund provides matching dollars for neighborhood-initiated projects that promote community engagement. Community groups can request up to $1000 to help fund Night Out planning efforts and activities such as outreach efforts, educational fairs, bike parades, and neighborhood cleanups, to name a few.

The deadline for applications is Monday, June 23 at 5:00 p.m., but you must register in its web-based application system by June 20 to apply.

For information on the application process, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallsparks.htm or call 206-733-9916.

Night Out is a national Crime Prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite communities. To learn more about Night Out, visit www.seattle.gov/police/Nightout/.

Comments Off   Share

Strong ROOTS Help Homeless Youth

April 28th, 2014 by Nico Lund

As with many non-profit organizations, the need for volunteers is great. If you have been looking for a way to get involved with helping young people, here is a great opportunity. Located right here in our very own U-district, you’re just a step away from making a difference.

ROOTS was the first overnight shelter in the city specifically designed to meet the needs of homeless young adults, and is one of the only co-ed shelters in the city, providing an integral piece of the continuum of care for homeless persons in King County.

Here’s how you can Help:

Become a Dinner and Shelter Prep for ROOTS!

Having a place to receive a nutritious meal and shelter for the night can make all the difference in the lives of our guests at ROOTS!
Volunteer crews help prepare healthy meals, as well as set up shelter (typically helping to get clean bedding ready for use in the shelter) for our guests! When guests are able to eat nutritious food and get a good night’s rest, their bodies and health is maintained – which on the streets can mean the difference between life or death.

Come make a difference in someone’s life!

Note: please be punctual to this project, but not early. At times, staff is not ready for volunteers – even if you are 10 minutes early.

For more information, Check out their website

Comments Off   Share

Plan Accordingly this Weekend: SR 520 closed Early hours of Sunday

April 24th, 2014 by Nico Lund

If You Need to Get to the Eastside Early Sunday Morning, Plan a Detour into Your Drive


The Washington Department of Transportation reports that construction crews will close all eastbound lanes of the floating bridge and highway from midnight to 5 a.m. Sunday, April 27, between Montlake Boulevard and 108th Avenue Northeast.

What are they Doing?

During the closure, crews will pave and restripe lanes to create a safe area for continuing their work on the Eastside Transit and HOV Project.

What else?

A single lane of eastbound SR 520 between 92nd Avenue Northeast and Bellevue Way will remain closed until 11 a.m.

Drive Safely and Get to your Destination Happy!

Comments Off   Share

Here we Goat Again: Ruminants Feast on Ravenna

April 16th, 2014 by Nico Lund

If you have exited north I-5 at 65th recently, chances are you may have noticed the goats!

Goats chomping away at the blackberry bramble next to I-5

Rent-a-Ruminant, owned by Tammy Dunakin, brings goats into the city to help clear away vegetation by eating it! These goats will eat balckberries, ivy, and other invasive species.

Ruminants are mammals that are able to acquire nutrients from plant-based food by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion, principally through bacterial actions…The word “ruminant” comes from the Latin ruminare, which means “to chew over again”.

Dunakin and her herd come from Vashon Island and with the help of Pearl the herding dog, they can clear an otherwise hard to clear area pretty efficiently.

It’s a pretty sweet life. Dunakin camps nearby in her trailer with Pearl and jokes that she is an “urban nomad.” At the end of the day, these goats are doing some great work and loving it. On the Rent-a-Ruminant website it’s stated that the goats are not slaughtered when they are unable to work they are re-homed and retired to chomp to their hearts content with a loving family.

For quite a few years, the Seattle Department of Transportation has been renting the goats from Dunakin to clear the toughest areas deemed too dangerous or inaccessible for humans to work in. It’s a win win all around!

It is quite the treat to stop by and watch these 'kids' working. They are quite friendly too, and will come over to the fence to say hi.

Dunakin's herd has got some real personality. This guy was showing off his stuff. "Hey kid, get back to work!"

Comments Off   Share

Don’t Let the Cuteness Fool You: Buy Chocolate Not a Bunny for Your Kids This Easter

April 15th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Last May, during a elementary school ultimate frisbee practice at Cowen Park, the game was halted due to a mysterious furry white creature hopping through the bushes.

When I picked up my daughter from practice she told me what happened and then asked if I thought it was a wild bunny. I said, “no, it was probably abandoned.” Then she said, “mama, we have to go save it!’ We turned around, went back to the park and found the derelict bunny and brought him home.

Just so you know, bunnies are very cute, but unless they are raised correctly, they can be very hard to handle and not very cuddly. The bunny we brought home fit into the latter category and try as we might, and many scratches and bites later, we realized he would do better in a home with someone who had a lot of bunny experience and could rehabilitate him.

Nilly, as we called him, was a beautiful white rabbit, the quintessential white rabbit from Alice and Wonderland. When you see bunnies, they really are irresistibly sweet and furry, but they are a pet that requires very specific care to ensure a healthy and happy rabbit. Unfortunately, many parents, boyfriends, partners and such think that a bunny would be a super cute gift, but it often ends with either a very sick rabbit, or in the case of Nilly, one that is abandoned to become raccoon food at the park.

According to Rabbit Haven, a non-profit that cares for unwanted bunnies and educates the public about rabbit care, every year “thousands of tiny baby rabbits are purchased for Easter gifts.” From their website, they have a list of reasons why this should be avoided.

  • Rabbits are not toys to be set up in a kid’s room only to come out when the child FEELS like playing. The rabbit needs a family to live with who loves them. They need room to play and be themselves.
  • Rabbits are not always cuddly and do not always like to be hauled around. They are affectionate, enjoy running and playing on the ground and use litter boxes.
  • Rabbits can become frightened when held or confronted by prey animals, like the family dog or cat. THEY NEED LOVING, GENTLE CARE.
  • Rabbits need to live indoors to be safe from diseases and predators.
  • Rabbits are not low maintenance pets. They require as much work as a cat or dog. Rabbits have high social needs and often want another rabbit as a companion.
  • Rabbits are not good first pets for a very young child. Kids lose interest quickly, and rabbits need continual love and support for a lifetime.
  • Rabbits can live 10 years, sometimes longer.
  • Rabbits need medical care from an Exotics vet. Spay or neuter can cost $150 or more, and rabbits require routine veterinary care. Rabbits have special diets and housing needs.
  • Rabbits cannot be set “free” out of doors- it’s a death sentence. They are usually killed by predators within 72 hours, suffering terribly.

If you or someone you know is considering getting a bunny, please pass this information on. As with any pet, one should always inform themselves on the pro’s and con’s of what they are getting. All species and breeds of pets have unique needs and dispositions.

Make sure you are informed before you bring any pet into your home.

Here is a great list of things to consider before getting any pet:

  1. Don’t buy a pet on an impulse
  2. Shop around for the right kind of pet for you or your household
  3. Consider Adoption
  4. Make sure your chosen pet (breed, species) fits your lifestyle
  5. Make sure your chosen pet (breed, species) fits your home environment
  6. Be clear about Why you want a pet
  7. Make sure this is a good time in your life to own a pet
  8. Consider lifespan of pet that you feel will match your needs
  9. Make sure you can meet a specific pets needs
  10. Make sure you know what breed, species is the right type for you or your household
  11. Nilly Vanilly liked his pal Spiral better than us from the get-go. He has since been happily re-homed where he was bonded with a female (spayed) companion

Comments Off   Share

Why Are Students Falling Out of Windows?

April 9th, 2014 by Nico Lund

There seems to be an epidemic of young people, especially university students, falling out of windows as of late.
Unfortunately, drugs and/or alcohol seem to be involved in many of the cases.

Some Recent Cases:

  • April 8, 2014, a University of Washington student is found critically injured outside a Fraternity house after apparently falling three stories out a window.
  • March 23, 2014 a student at a UNC in Charlotte fell out of  a dorm window to his death.
  • January 21, 2014, a 19-year-old Penn State student suffered  injuries after falling from a second-floor balcony.
  • September 2013, a 19-year-old University of Minnesota student dies after falling from a 6th floor window.

…and the list goes on.

In this most recent case of the the critically injured UW student, there was alcohol reported on the scene, but the Seattle Times reported that  UW Police Chief John N. Vinson said “we don’t know what happened yet, and I hesitate to speculate.” The student was taken to Harborview Medical Center and has been reported to be in serious condition.

The question that needs to be addressed is how to get the word out to this vulnerable population of young people to pay attention to safety hazards when they are out partying, or hanging out with friends.

It’s entirely possible that some of these kids are living on their own for the first time and are just not making informed choices as to placement of furniture and beds in proximity to windows. Another problem is the overcrowding on balconies during parties or gatherings. That’s how the Penn State student fell; after navigating his way through a crowd, he was apparently stepping on chairs and other furniture and he stumbled over the balcony.

Mistakes are made, especially for an age group that is notorious for risk taking, but these unfortunate mistakes could be prevented with some good old common sense. Here are a few tips I modified to speak to college aged kids from The National Safety Council on Window Safety:

Windows play a vital role in home safety, serving as a secondary escape route in the event of a fire or other emergency, but they can also pose a risk for a fall if safety measures are not followed. Follow these guidelines to prevent window-related injuries in the home:
  • Keep windows closed and locked when not in use
  • Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a fall, they are designed to provide ventilation, not to prevent a fall from a window
  • Keep furniture, or anything guests can climb, away from windows
  • If you notice someone is intoxicated and in dangerous proximity to a window, take measures to protect them by guiding them away, or close the window.
  • Make sure nothing is blocking or preventing a window from being opened in the case of an emergency

Comments Off   Share