News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


Entries from June 2010

U-District could lose crime prevention coordinator

June 30th, 2010 by master

The people who work directly with our neighborhood in preventing crime could soon be out of a job.  The six civilian crime prevention coordinators for the Seattle Police Department, including North Precinct coordinators Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen, have been told they’ll lose their jobs next spring when grant money runs out. 

Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen.

The crime prevention coordinators work directly with residents doing everything from setting up block watches to going door to door to warn about recent crimes.  They’ve been part of the police budget up until last October, when the positions then became paid for with federal grant money.  That ends on March 31 of next year.

“We are the link between the community and the police department,” said crime prevention coordinator Terrie Johnston from the west precinct.  “Patrol officers are often promoted or transfer out.  We’re the ones in people’s living rooms and churches.”

Johnston and her fellow coordinators have logged hundreds of community meetings over the past year.  She worries that officers and precinct bosses won’t be able to give residents one on one attention if the crime prevention coordinators are let go.

“When we’re gone, who will take the time?”

Councilmember Tim Burgess, who chairs the Public Safety and Education committee, tells us his office is closely tracking the issue as it heads toward the mayor and council.  If you’d like to voice your opinions, here’s a link to the mayor and City Council.

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NE 45th Viaduct demolition photos

June 29th, 2010 by master

We’re two weeks into the closure of the NE 45th Street Viaduct and construction crews appear to be making a good deal of progress.  These demolition photos from SDOT show exactly what was under the street surface we’ve been driving on– wood that isn’t nearly as sturdy as it used to be.  Built in the late 1930’s, the viaduct is one of the City’s last timber-supported structures.

The west approach to the viaduct is being replaced, which will keep the road completely closed until September 10.  You can track the project here.

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Man attacked, knocked out for hours

June 26th, 2010 by master

A man called police after saying he’d been attacked while walking in the 4700 block of 21st Ave NE.  According to a police report that was just released, the attack happened about 2am on June 19.  The victim says another man was walking toward him on the sidewalk.  Instead of walking past him, the victim says the man punched him in the face.  The victim was knocked unconscious for several hours.  When he woke up, his cell phone and $15 were missing.  The man didn’t report the attack until four days later, but says he went to the hospital to be treated for facial injuries.  The victim says he had never seen his attacker before.

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Fight breaks out as city council tours The Ave

June 24th, 2010 by master

Members of the Seattle City Council got a first hand look today at some of the problems along The Ave during a walking tour focusing on safety issues.  In fact, a pushing and screaming match broke out across the street as they talked with local merchants.  We were there as University Police quickly moved in to calm down the fight over a broken iPod.

University of Washington Police respond to a fight during the City Council’s tour.

“We get a lot of weird people doing things like that,” the owner of Gargoyle Statuary said of the altercation. “On our block is a lot of the drug selling.  They’re not here all the time but they’re running back and forth.  You see it all day.”

Councilmembers take a walking tour of The Ave.

Councilmembers Tim Burgess, Sally Bagshaw and Sally Clark, all members of the council’s Public Safety and Education Committee, took part in the tour that stopped in front of several businesses along University Way to hear the problems facing the neighborhood.  One common message was the need for more police.

“Something bad will happen and people will perceive that The Ave is unsafe,” said a manager for Pagliacci.  “There will be an influx of police officers.  But then things will calm down, police will go away, and it starts over again.”

Business owners voice their concerns over drug dealing, panhandling, and graffiti.

Other businesses owners pointed to graffiti and aggressive panhandling.  There was even talk of possibly diverting commercial vehicle and bus traffic off The Ave to help cut down on noise, or even making The Ave a pedestrian boulevard.  But some worry that could only make things worse for businesses trying to survive.

“It’s a great community, it’s a vibrant community, but it certainly has its challenges,” said a representative of the University Bookstore. “We’d like to see some of this behavior leave.”

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Rash of vandalism on UW campus

June 23rd, 2010 by master

University of Washington Police have seen a spike in vandalism over the past few days.  Five cases of vandalism were reported on Monday and Tuesday at Eagleson Hall, Gates Hall, Condon Hall, and a parking lot.  UW Police tell us the vandalism involved tagging or graffiti, but they don’t believe the cases are related because the tagging was done in different ways.

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$5.88 pizza? MOD opens in U-District

June 23rd, 2010 by master

MOD Pizza, which already has locations in Downtown Seattle and Bellevue, has just opened a new store in the U-District at 1414 NE 42nd Street.  If you aren’t familiar with MOD (which stands for Made On Demand), every one of their pizzas is $5.88 regardless of how many toppings you add.  The place makes its own dough and sauce each day and offers more than 25 toppings.

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Celebrity chef and author hits U-District Pagliacci

June 22nd, 2010 by master

Anthony Bourdain, the chef, author, and host of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations,” was spotted in the U-District this afternoon. Pagliacci Pizza sent out a tweet that Bourdain just ate at their University Pizzeria.  He’ll appear later tonight at the Moore Theater to read his latest book “Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook.”

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Lines down, traffic rerouted near U Village

June 22nd, 2010 by master

Thanks to a tip from Silver about some problems in the area of NE 50th and 20th NE.  Some lines are down and traffic is being forced to go various ways.  The issue has been ongoing since at least 7:30am today.  We’ve found out the lines belong to Qwest and we’re trying to get more information.  We’ll pass along any new details.

1:45pm update:  Qwest tells us that a tall vehicle snagged four aerial lines hung between two buildings, pulling the cables from their clamps and down across the road. It has impacted traffic, but there are no service disruptions as the cables themselves weren’t cut or damaged. No word on when the work might be completed.

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U-District targeted for program helping seniors stay in their homes

June 21st, 2010 by master

A new nonprofit in Seattle is helping the elderly stay in their homes by creating a virtual village.  Our newspaper partners at the Seattle Times just did a profile of NEST (Northeast Seattle Together).  NEST ensures that seniors continue to live safely in their own homes and neighborhoods instead of moving into nursing homes or senior living facilities.  Members will pay an annual fee of $600 for neighbors to help with everyday tasks like garbage and lawn care.  Volunteers are also stepping up to help in their neighborhoods as well.  The U-District is just one of the neighborhoods that NEST is reaching out to.  You can read the Times story here.

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Forza Coffee opens in U-District

June 19th, 2010 by master

Three Tacoma police officers, including one who responded to the Forza Coffee shop where four Lakewood officers were gunned down last November, have teamed up to open a new Forza in the U-District.  The store officially opened this morning at 8:14am, the same time the Lakewood officers were shot.

The new U-District store is located at 5101 25th Ave NE just north of U Village.  Several officers from the Seattle Police Department came to the grand opening to donate a medal in honor of Officer Tim Brenton who was slain last Halloween.  Photo from Forza Facebook page.

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