News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


Is the U-district Safe? A week of Crime, Accidents and Mayor Ed Murray

February 25th, 2015 by master

Amid Shootings, attempted abductions at gunpoint, and collisions with metro busses, the U-district has unfortunately been keeping local law enforcement busy.

Living the city life comes with a lot of nightlife options, walkability, and public transit, but when these perks become threats it’s time to look at more safety measures to ensure that we get a chance to enjoy where we live.

It’s been a busy week in the Udistrict! Some highlights include:

Around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb 22, Police officers were called after reports of shots being fired in a parking lot outside a U-district nightclub near 8th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street. Three people were reported being taken to area hospitals with life threatening gunshot wounds. This is the same area that another man was shot in the leg back in January.

Also, on Sunday night around 10 PM near the University of Washington, detectives were called to investigate a report that an armed man tried to abduct a woman at gunpoint as she was walking home along NE 55th street near 15 Ave NE. Luckily the would be abductor was startled by people walking by and the woman was escorted to safety where she could call 911.

And in other tragic news, a motorcyclist incurred life threatening injuries in a collision with a Metro bus on NE 55th and 15th Ave NE in the Monday morning commute.

This seems to be a wake-up call to our neighborhood that we need to be more diligent about knowing our surroundings, keeping homes secure, and with increased traffic, be more vigilant on the road.

All these happenings occurred just after Mayor Ed Murray did his Community Safety Walk know as “Find it, Fix it” on Saturday in the Udistrict. These walks, one of many he will do, are to help identify safety issues present in the built environment of Seattle’s neighborhoods as part of his Summer of Safety Initiative.

With the “Find it, fix it” App, Murray is hoping citizens will report issues by snapping photos with a smartphone, adding detailed information, and hitting submit. With this easy reporting app he hopes that more awareness to their surroundings will help neighborhoods clean up trouble spots and help people feel better about where they live. When people love their neighborhood it thrives.

So, how can you help our neighborhood and yourself stay safe?

Check out the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Page on the Website.

The University of Washington has this page to help students with safety issues. also encourages residents and business owners to report criminal behavior, get involved in programs like Block Watch and Night Out, and talk to your neighbors.

Of course, living in the city, there is always the chance that crime, accidents and other unnerving incidents will feel a little too close to home. We would love to hear what you do to feel safe in our city, advice for people and any other resources you want to share in the comments!

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Cafe Racer shooting victims remembered this weekend

June 2nd, 2012 by master

A gathering of friends, patrons and neighbors is planned for 12:30 p.m. today outside Cafe Racer.

Meanwhile, a memorial fund is now established for one of the victims:

A memorial trust has been established for Donald Largen, a 57-year-old saxophone player and urban planner who was killed Wednesday in the Café Racer shooting. Donations are needed to fund funeral expenses and support his surviving partner, Glenna Wilson.

Donations are welcome in any amount and can be made at any Bank of America location to the Donald B. Largen Memorial Trust Fund. All proceeds will be used to cover funeral expenses, with the remainder going to Wilson, Largen’s partner of 22 years. Separate funds are being created for the other shooting victims.

Paul Zemtseff, a close friend of the departed, said funds are strongly needed and appreciated. “Don was a brutally honest man who could argue with the best of them yet could be convinced to change his mind. I will miss all his superb, clever (and often bawdy) jokes that he never had a chance to share with us. Whenever they came to dinner, it was always like the first time. He was consistently the most gracious and thankful guest. He lived a very conscious life and will be missed – most by his sweetheart Glenna, who has lost her other half. We will all so miss your great big heart.”

Largen was a Seattle native who graduated from Shorecrest High School and the University of Washington. He worked as an urban planner while simultaneously pursuing his love of music, regularly playing at cafes and friend’s houses whenever possible. He loved Costa Rica and visited as often as possible with Glenna. He was a resident of the Roosevelt neighborhood and was a regular at local establishments such as the Café Racer, Latona Pub, Big Time Brewery and Café Allegro.

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Neighborhood continues to mourn Cafe Racer shooting victims

May 31st, 2012 by master

Tonight, another large crowd of mourners gathered outside Cafe Racer to mourn the victims of Wednesday’s shooting. As the sunlight began to fade a procession of mourners, led by Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders, slowly made its way through the northwest section of the U District. The procession steadily grew as neighbors joined in until the large group of hundreds stopped on Roosevelt Avenue NE just outside the doors of the cafe.

A procession of mourners grows as neighbors join in along the route.

For the second night, a crowd gathers outside Cafe Racer to mourn the victims of Wednesday's shooting.

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Cafe Racer neighbors, friends mourn shooting victims

May 30th, 2012 by master

An impromptu memorial is under way on NE 59th Street tonight as Cafe Racer neighbors, patrons and friends gather just a few houses away from the scene of today’s deadly shooting on Roosevelt Way NE. Details of the shootings and manhunt are below.

Neighbors and friends of Cafe Racer gather just a few houses away

Cafe Racer on Roosevelt Way NE at NE 59th Street

Mourners play New Orleans style jazz outside Cafe Racer.

Mourners leave flowers, candles and cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer to honor those killed at the Cafe Racer

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