News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


Entries from January 2011

Neptune says goodbye

January 31st, 2011 by master

The words on the marquee say it all.  The U-District quietly said goodbye to the Neptune Theatre we all knew yesterday.  Sunday was the last day the Neptune operated as a movie house.  The Seattle Theatre Group has taken over the lease and will turn the facility into a live performance venue.  Our partners at the Seattle Times were there for the last show.  Thanks to Jeff for the photos.

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The Shoe Zoo is going out of business

January 30th, 2011 by master

We just received the following email from the owner of the Shoe Zoo near U Village letting us know the store is going out of business. A sale on all remaining merchandise started today.  The Shoe Zoo is located at 2920 NE Blakeley.

Well, it is with a very heavy heart, that after 23 years of taking care of the best customers I could ask for, I must announce, that starting today, we will begin our last sale ever – our going out of business sale. This was a very tough decision to make, but one that had to be made. I can’t give an exact date of how long we will be here, but I must sell everything in the store. You name it, it’s for sale. I will start by making all merchandise 30% off. Hopefully, you can help me get the word out. Please tell everyone you know, who has kids, the news. I would really appreciate it. If this store has made a difference for your families over the years, please come in and pick up a few pair of shoes. Please be sure to use any credits, or gift certificates as soon as possible.

Image from Google street view

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City asks judge to shut down strip club

January 27th, 2011 by master

A little more than a month after Jiggles Gentlemen’s Club (5220 Roosevelt Way) opened its doors, the city wants it closed down.

Although the club owner, Bob Davis, told us when the club opened that he had obtained all the necessary permits, the city says otherwise. In a press release, the city attorney’s office claims the club violates the city’s zoning and building codes and has asked the King County Superior Court to close it down. “According to the City, operation of the strip club violates a zoning buffer requirement because it is located within 800 feet of a school, child care center, community center and public park,” the release states.

Publicola has the entire complaint filed in King County Superior Court here.

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Big plans for McDonald Elementary

January 20th, 2011 by master

Recently, 100 parents met with the McDonald Elementary School principal and Seattle Public Schools representatives to learn more about plans to create an international, language-immersion program the school.  A good chunk of the U-District is assigned to McDonald.

When the decision to make McDonald an international school was announced last month, fall 2012 was the target date to begin language immersion for kindergarteners. McDonald principal Cheryl Grinager surprised parents with the news that the goal now is for language immersion to begin in two tracks — Spanish and Japanese — for kindergarten and first grade students in fall 2011. Other aspects of international education would be added the next year.

The future home of McDonald International Elementary School, at N. 54th and Latona. It will open in fall 2012; students are currently at Lincoln High School (Interlake and N. 44th).

Grinager said this speedier schedule was possible because McDonald could collaborate with nearby John Stanford International School. Tours of JSIS with Grinager and JSIS principal Kelly Aramaki have been scheduled for prospective McDonald parents on March 2 and March 16 at 9:30 a.m.

Seattle Public Schools Manager of International Programs Karen Kodama, who was the founding principal when JSIS became the city’s first international school, gave a lengthy presentation about international schools that included information similar to the background on this .pdf document.

Kodama also showed expansions plans for international schools throughout Seattle. There are now 6 such schools, and her plan is to create 12 in three sectors of the city (North, South and West Seattle). South and West Seattle international schools offer Mandarin and Spanish; North Seattle international schools will continue to offer Japanese and Spanish.

Bree Dusseault, a Seattle Public Schools executive director, told the group that she was 99 percent sure that McDonald would be approved as an international school. At a work session on Jan. 12, the board recommended reducing the number of new international schools in this year’s budget from three to one; Dusseault and Kodama both said they think McDonald will be that school.

The school board is scheduled to finalize its decisions in mid-February. Open enrollment for Seattle Public Schools is March 15-March 31, 2011.

Some parents were concerned that their children might not be a good fit for language immersion, wherein students learn math and science in Spanish or Japanese. Kodama said that it’s appropriate for most children, but that there would be an alternate school available to families who opted out of McDonald. Grinager told us this morning that B.F. Day Elementary would be the alternative school, as it is for JSIS.

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Random pepper spray attack reported

January 19th, 2011 by master

A woman says she was randomly targeted on a U-District street by another woman carrying pepper spray.  It happened in the early morning hours this past Sunday (1/16) in the 4700 block of 12th Ave NE.  Here’s the full police report:

On today’s date and approximate time victim called to report an assault that occurred this morning at 0230 hrs. The unknown suspect had used pepper spray to assault the victim.  The victim said she was walking home north bound in the 4700 block of 12th Av NE. As she approached her apartment building she said she heard a “spraying” noise behind her. When she turned in the direction of the noise she was hit in the face with what she believed to be pepper spray. The described unknown female suspect had approached her from behind, never said a word to her, and sprayed her with the pepper spray. C/V believed the suspect had done this before by her relaxed demeanor. The suspect was seen getting into the passenger side front seat of a four door black sedan. C/V had called her roommate who had come down to assist her. C/V works at on University Wy and said she did not have any confrontations at work. When asked if she had any issues with her personal life she replied, “No.” No emergency personal responded to the original incident.

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Designs for Brooklyn light rail station

January 18th, 2011 by master

If you’re interested in design options for the future underground Brooklyn light station in the U-District, an open house is set for Thursday, Jan. 27. You’ll have the chance to check out two underground station design options, entrance locations and construction plans. The open house will be held at University Heights Center from 6 – 8 p.m.

The future station will be located on Brooklyn Avenue between NE 43rd and NE 45th streets. You can read more about the project here.

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New express bus route

January 17th, 2011 by master

Thanks to our sister site My Green Lake for this story.

A new Sound Transit Express bus route now connects Green Lake, the U District, Overlake and downtown Redmond.

Route 542 begins at the Redmond Transit Center and operates along the SR 520 corridor, with stops at Redmond City Hall, the SR 520/NE 51st Freeway Station, the Overlake Transit Center, Yarrow Point Freeway Station, and Evergreen Point Freeway Station.

Including Montlake Boulevard, the route makes six on-street stops in the University District before ending at the 65th Street Park-and-Ride in east Green Lake.

Service runs every 15 minutes in both directions on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

According to Sound Transit, the new route responds to the expected increase in demand for transit across the SR 520 bridge when tolls start this spring.

The route 542 map, fares, and schedule are available here.

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U-District parking rates set at $2 an hour, pay hours extended

January 14th, 2011 by master

You’ll soon have to pay for on-street parking after 6pm in the U-District.   Today, SDOT unveiled its new rate structure for parking across the city.  Parking will cost $2 an hour in parts of the U-District.  Paid parking will also be extended by two hours in the U-District to 8pm Monday through Saturday.  The changes in rates and hours will be phased in across the city between February and September of this year.  You can read more about the plan here.

Click here to see full map

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Door to door, "locked out of my house" scam

January 12th, 2011 by master

An interesting story from the northern stretch of Roosevelt Way. This tale of a current urban scam was sent in to our sister site Maple Leaf Life this week:

I live by Roosevelt & 75th. Around 1:30 today a man claimed that he and his boyfriend were new to the neighborhood and they were locked out of the house. He said his boyfriend worked for Microsoft and he worked for UW. He needed $3 to pay the locksmith, but his wallet was in the house and he was on his lunch break. I thought $3 was manageable so I gave it to him. Then he said he needed $13 and I said I didn’t have cash, but that my boyfriend would be home soon and I could ask him.

He said he would be right back with my cash. After thinking about it, I realized that the locksmith would have waited for him to get his wallet out of the house for payment. Or the locksmith would have billed him. Nonetheless, I was bilked out of a small bit of cash, but I thought I send a heads up to you since we’re in the same neighborhood.

In a similar incident in Green Lake, the man supposedly locked out asked for $75.   Thanks to Mike at Maple Leaf Life.

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PAWS Cat City opens Thursday in U-District

January 11th, 2011 by master

The new cat pad in the neighborhood is almost ready for visitors.  On Thursday (1/13) PAWS Cat City is opening its new digs at 5200 Roosevelt Way.  The new location is a “colony” cat adoption center.  That means instead of cages, cats and kittens live in open rooms where they’re free to lounge or roam.  This gives you the opportunity to play with the cats before adopting.

Cat City originally made its home in the Greenwood neighborhood.   The new U-District location offers more parking and a larger space.

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