News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


Entries from November 2011

Free wreath making event taking place this Saturday

November 30th, 2011 by master

The popular wreath making event at the U District Farmers Market is back. You can pick up free boughs, ribbons and ornaments at University Heights Community Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 1. The boughs are trimmings from Seattle Public Utilities’ Ceder River Watershed. U District businesses are supplying the decorations. You can also get free cider courtesy the UHCC and Farmers Market. This is the events sixth year.

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Saturday morning Montlake Bridge maintenance could get noisy

November 29th, 2011 by master

If you live near the Montlake cut your Saturday morning could get a bit noisy. The Washington State Department of Transportation will perform routine maintenance on the Montlake Bridge starting as early as 7 a.m. on December 3. Most of the noise will come from the equipment maintenance crews use to suck up all the gunk that built up over the year beneath the movable parts of the bridge. The work should be wrapped up by 11 a.m.

If you’re planning to drive over the bridge Saturday morning you should also be ready for a little delay. The bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction starting as soon as 6 a.m.

Here’s the exact schedule:

Saturday, December 3
  • 6 – 7 a.m.: Left lane closed in both directions on the bridge
  • 7 – 9 a.m.: Cleaning begins on north end of the bridge (away from the more residential southern end) using a large vacuum-type truck
  • 9 – 11 a.m.: Cleaning begins on the south side of the bridge
  • 11 – 11:30 a.m.: All lanes of the bridge reopen

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Library closed after 'issue' with sewer line

November 28th, 2011 by master

The U District branch of the Seattle Library (5009 Roosevelt Way NE) is closed temporarily “due to an issue with the side sewer line,” according to the press release.

The branch will remain closed and all events canceled until at least Saturday, Dec. 3. Depending on repairs, the branch’s closure may extend beyond that date.

During the temporary closure, the University Branch book drop will also be closed.
University Branch patrons can visit nearby Library locations for library service. The nearest branches are:
· Fremont Branch, 731 N. 35th St., 206-684-4084
· Green Lake Branch, 7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N., 206-684-7547
· Greenwood Branch, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., 206-684-4086
· Wallingford Branch, 1501 N. 45th St., 206-684-4088
For up-to-date information on the temporary branch closure, Library patrons should visit the University Branch Web page of the Library’s website.

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Light rail station construction could be a difficult neighbor

November 18th, 2011 by master

Sound Transit presented its latest construction plans to a crowd of more than 100 people last night at the recently polished Neptune Theater.

Check out the animated video the agency put together. It shows a 360 degree view of what the footprint of construction will be on the neighborhood.

The questions from the audience were mainly concerns over access at next door buildings, vehicle and pedestrian routing  and common construction disruptions like noise, lights and dust. The most vocal attendees were also the neighbors most likely to feel the impact of years of construction. The University Manor Apartments are so close to construction that the roads just to the north and west of the building will be closed for most of the project. Sound Transit will funnel bikes, pedestrians and people coming and going from the building through a ten foot wide path between Brooklyn Avenue NE and an alley on the east side of the building.

While most issues were localized, the agency also showed slides that explained how construction trucks will get to and from the site.  Through all project stages, trucks will use the NE 50th Street on- and off-ramps at I-5. Drivers will take their haul through the one-way couplet of Roosevelt Way NE and 11th Avenue NE during demolition and add Brooklyn Avenue NE during excavation and construction.

You can run through the presentation to see how Sound Transit plans to roll out construction. A couple more design open houses will happen next year as will demolition of buildings at the site. Excavation won’t start until 2013. Service is scheduled to begin in 2021.

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Rally and march at Montlake Bridge Thursday afternoon

November 16th, 2011 by master

Getting in and out of the U District will slow to a crawl at rush hour this afternoon, especially if you commute across the University and Montlake bridges.

A rally and march in support of National Day of Action for the Occupy Wall Street movement is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The rally will begin at 4 p.m. at the plaza at the corner of Montlake Blvd NE and NE Pacific Street. The crowd will then march to the University Street Bridge and the Montlake Bridge at 4:30
Marchers plan to block traffic on the bridges. Needless to say, you’ll want to find an alternate route or  give yourself extra time. If you’re in the neighborhood and don’t have to get anywhere in a hurry, you could also just join the march.

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Early morning apartment fire

November 16th, 2011 by master

Our news partner, Seattle Times, reports on an early morning apartment fire and Brooklyn Avenue NE and NE 50th Street.


U-District residents want to put an end to 'Brooklyn Station' name

November 14th, 2011 by master

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet”

Image courtesy Sound Transit

Sound Transit has been calling the future light rail station planned for the heart of the University District ‘Brooklyn Station.’ But to some University District residents the name just plain stinks. To help keep the Brooklyn moniker from sticking, at least one member of the University District Council plans to be outside Sound Transit’s open house Wednesday night to hand out fliers in support of changing the name.

The purpose of the 6 p.m. meeting at the Neptune Theater is for Sound Transit to show off the latest station designs and explain how its construction could affect the surrounding streets, businesses and residents. Changing the station name will have to wait. The Sound Transit Board will take up the matter as soon as next summer. Meanwhile, Sound Transit will continue to take suggestions. “We have heard a lot of interest in U-District Station,” said Sound Transit Spokesperson Bruce Gray. “For the time being, we’ll continue calling it Brooklyn Station as a placeholder.

Brooklyn Station open house
6 – 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 16
Neptune Theatre
1303 NE 45th Street, Seattle

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Cooking up your own Top Pot Doughnuts

November 13th, 2011 by master

Story by Candace Winegrad

Many Seattle residents go into a Pavlovian response when someone mentions Top Pot Doughnuts. Visiting any of their seven locations is a treat unto itself — but what if you could enjoy Top Pot Doughnuts without leaving your kitchen?

Amateur bakers and doughnut enthusiasts alike will rejoice at the release of “Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker,” a cookbook from brothers Mark and Michael Klebeck, the founders of Top Pot.

The company, which opened its first location on Capitol Hill’s Summit Avenue in 2002, has gained notoriety on the West Coast for their delicious, handmade doughnuts — President Obama even paid a visit to the Fifth Avenue store last month.

It was only a few months ago that Chronicle Publishing approached the brothers about releasing a cookbook.

“They wanted to talk about doing a book that would be not so much the recipes that you find in [our] stores, but take our recipes and adapt them for home use,” said Mark Klebeck at a University Bookstore appearance Thursday evening.

And since most of us don’t have baker’s equipment lying around our kitchens, the recipes were modified for easier production.

“When you look at this book, it’s very much the stuff you have at home right now, you just have to buy some oil and fry it up,” said Michael Klebeck.

The brothers teamed up with food writer Jess Thomson, who sent out the modified recipes to about 30 testers all over the country. The result?

“They’re actually better than the ones that come out in our shops because these are [from] pure scratch,” Mark said.

The “hand-forged” recipes used in the book and in the shops are a result of the Klebecks’ initial inexperience with baking. Both brothers studied design and had prominent interests in building. They decided to build a coffee shop and ended up creating about fifty doughnut recipes in one month with no prior baking experience.

“We thought we should do something that makes us stand apart…’how about doughnuts?’” Mark explained. “The doughnuts appealed to us because we had built the [shop] in that 1940s style, and it’s such an Americana breakfast food. We thought this could be the beginning of something really special—blending our artistic style of building and having an item that could stand alone.”

And stand alone, they most certainly do. “Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker” is available in Top Pot stores, and at booksellers everywhere.

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UW Farm looking for bike donations

November 8th, 2011 by master

A recent expansion of the UW farm has created a bit of transportation problem for student volunteers. The two farm sites, one on the campus and the other at the Center for Urban Horticulture, are a half an hour apart. To help student farmers get back and forth quickly, the farm is creating a community bicycle system. To help build the system, the farm is looking for rideable and working bike donations.

If you have a bike that you can donate, please email Ross at

For more information about the farm check out their blog at

A student farmer rides a donated bike between UW Farm sites

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Two proposed developments could add dozens of new apartments to U District

November 8th, 2011 by master

The neighborhood’s design review board for building projects in the U-District is mulling over a couple of proposed apartment buildings that could bring dozens of new units to the western boundary of the neighborhood.

Tonight, Design Review Board members heard from the designers of a project at 4558 Seventh Avenue NE that would add approximately 24 apartments on six floors. Neighbors who chose to spoke were mostly positive about the building’s conceptual designs which would have a heavy concrete and steel look. The plans also call for an unusual construction method that uses a lot of pre-fabrication then hauling the pieces into the site for quick assembly. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get some good pictures of that construction if it gets built.

A couple of weeks ago, the board also heard from the designers of another proposed building further south on Seventh Avenue NE at 4029. That one would pile 70 to 78 apartments into five stories. This project was met with a lot more skepticism from the nearest neighbors. Most nearby homes are townhouses and homeowners worry the building would block light and views. The design review board made a point of asking the designers to come up with creative ways of minimizing those impacts. We’ll see how that goes.

If they get through the city’s permitting process, both projects should go to construction in the spring.

You can learn more about the project and get the design review pack on the city’s website at:

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