News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


After the UW Threat, Citizens Question What it Means to Be Alert

November 4th, 2014 by master

When stories in the news about threats and scary happenings get too close to home, it’s hard not to feel an emotional response.

"With the Vigilance Committee in the East End: A Suspicious Character" from The Illustrated London News, 13 October 1888

In our schools and public places, we wonder what we can do to be alert and aware without giving into paranoia and fear? With so many more high-profile violence cases in the news these days what should we do to be more prepared?

Since it’s hard to definitively define what a real threat is, it makes it hard to know when to report something as suspicious activity or not. These days threats can come by email, text, forums, craigslist and more. People often question whether or not something is an actual threat or not, or if they do see something that seems out of the ordinary, scary or threatening, they don’t know what to do?

On the SafeCampus website it states:

If you see behavior that makes you or others concerned, report the behavior to SafeCampus by calling 206-685-SAFE (206-685-7233). Behaviors of concern could signal someone is in distress or may be prohibited behaviors as defined by UW policy. Remember to always call 911 if you need assistance from police, fire, or emergency medical personnel.
The bottom line is that it is great to be aware of your surroundings, be mindful of what’s going on and think about safety, but don’t live in fear.

Even though law enforcement can never be 100% successful in preventing tragedies like the one in Marysville, they are getting better at assessing and de-fusing threats.

The SPD lists what suspicious activity may look like, and if you have any information or see anything out of the ordinary please contact law enforcement as soon as possible by dialing 911.

Luckily, the suspect in the most recent threat to UW campus has been arrested. We can only hope that future threats are dealt with as successfully.

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Husky Stadium roof tumbles down in demolition

December 20th, 2011 by master

If you were near Husky Stadium today, you may have heard the incredible sound of the south stadium overhang crashing down:

It’s all part of the ongoing demolition of much of the facility to make way for a new $250 million stadium, which is scheduled to reopen in summer of 2013.

You can keep track of the work at the stadium via these live webcams.

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Traffic alert for Saturday

June 8th, 2011 by master

If you aren’t attending Saturday’s graduation ceremonies at the UW, you’ll want to keep clear of Montlake. 40,000 people are expected at Husky Stadium. Gates open at 12:30 with the ceremony starting at 1:30pm and ending around 4:30.

Expect heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic surrounding the stadium between noon and 6 p.m. SDOT anticipates congestion on I-5 through the University District and on SR-520.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., Seattle Police will set up traffic controls closing Montlake Boulevard between NE Pacific and NE 45th streets to through traffic to help move cars parked in the stadium lots out of the area after the ceremonies. Traffic approaching the closure will be detoured around the area. This restriction, which is similar to traffic routing for Husky football games, will be in effect until approximately 5:30 p.m. Southbound traffic headed for the UW Hospital should take 15th Avenue NE to NE Pacific Street. Those traveling northbound to the hospital may travel across the Montlake Bridge and will turn left on NE Pacific Street. However, motorists are urged to avoid the Montlake Bridge if possible and take the University Bridge or I-5 (Ship Canal Bridge) instead.

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New home for Husky track and field

May 30th, 2011 by master

Now that the track around Husky Stadium will be removed to make way for stadium improvements, the athletic department is making plans for the track’s new home. A land use application has been filed with the city to allow the relocation of the track to the IMA sports field No.2. The project includes bleacher seating for 2000, two buildings totaling 3,000 sq. ft. containing restrooms, concessions and storage, 7,585 cu. yds. of grading and the removal of up to 100 parking spaces in Lot E1, all in an environmentally critical area.

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Michael Young selected as next UW president

April 25th, 2011 by master

It’s official.  The University of Washington Board of Regents has picked Michael Young, president of the University of Utah, to be the next president at the UW.  Young, 61, has been president of the University of Utah since 2004. You can read more from our news partners at The Daily.

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New UW president will be named Monday

April 22nd, 2011 by master

The University of Washington is expected to announce its choice for the person to lead the school on Monday. Our partners at the Seattle Times report that University of Utah President Michael Young is on the shortlist for the job.

Former UW president Mark Emmert left the school last fall to become president of the NCAA.

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Small spill evacuates UW building

December 17th, 2010 by master

5:25 p.m. The Seattle Fire Department, wearing hazardous materials suits, has evacuated part of UW’s Henderson Hall to investigate a “small release of Fluorine gas” in a lab. There are no reports of any injuries.

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$57,000 bells for sale at the UW

December 3rd, 2010 by master

By Ravi Venkataraman

The UW Surplus Store — repository for old desks, technology and knick-knacks — has a unique sale coming up. It’s auctioning off eight large, change-ringing bells, similar to those in Gerberding Hall at the moment, as a sealed bid item.

The price tag? Bidding starts Dec. 15 at $57,000. Highest bid takes the bells. 

Photo of bells from UW

The fully bronze bells and the wheels, clappers and headstocks that are used to mount the bells for change-ringing, were a donation from the town of Writtle, located in Essex, United Kingdom. The same donor as the Gerberding bells, Gordon Peek, was responsible for bringing the bells to UW. (These are the bells that ring every Friday from 8:30 – 9 p.m. in the university’s Red Square. If you’re interested, you can ring them too!) 

“The bells were originally intended to be installed in Gerberding, but as the project proceeded it turned out the weight of the bells made the project extremely expensive, so instead the UW installed a lighter ring,” said Candice Douglass, Director of Marketing and Communications for the College of Arts and Sciences, “Thus, the heavier bells became surplus.’”

The largest of the bells being sold weighs more than half a ton. The heaviest bell at Gerberding Hall is approximately 450 pounds less than the bells being sold. Due to the weight difference, both sets of bells are tuned to different notes and sound different since they are used for different purposes. Both sets were also tuned in different places; the Gerberding bells originate from Royal Eisjbouts Bell Foundry in the Netherlands, and the Surplus Store bells are from Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London.

“If you listen to the bells, you would likely declare that some sets of bells are more musical than others. The bells that are part of the auction have been modernly tuned, so they should have a good tonal quality,” said Douglas.

You can find full details on the bidding process here.

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Standing tall: New ‘W’ sculpture installed at 45th and Memorial

November 18th, 2010 by master

by Tiffany Vu

Passersby may have noticed something different about Memorial Way: the 7-foot-tall bronze ‘W’ that now stands at the entrance off of Northeast 45th Street.  But what’s gone unnoticed is the cost.

UW Landscape Architect Kristine Kenney said that the sculpture was funded by members of the UW Alumni Association (UWAA) and is expected to cost a little more than $100,000. The project is a part of the 1960 class gift.

“I thought it would be a nice way to celebrate the new branding for the university [and] the fact that [the W] is symbolic of what the university stands for,” Kenney said.  She is speaking of the “Washington Way” branding campaign, which seeks to pair words like “Discovery” with “The Washington Way.”

Betsy Troutman of the UWAA said that the Class of 1960 still needs to raise “a couple thousand dollars” to cover the costs, partly because additional pilings needed to be installed around the concrete base to hold the statue’s weight.  The sculpture replaces a somewhat humbler boulder carved with the words “UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON,” which Kenney said was frequently obscured by growing shrubbery. That old sign will be moved to the pedestrian entrance at Northeast 43rd Street and 15th Avenue Northeast in the coming months.

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Frat house intruder caught in the act

November 4th, 2010 by master

A man with a long history of burglarizing fraternity houses was tackled early Tuesday morning inside the Pi Kappa Phi house at 4530 17th Ave NE.  Our news partners at the Seattle Times report the arrest may end a string of thefts that had the entire house on edge since the start of classes.

Members of the frat recently set up a video surveillance system and spotted a man coming in the house around 4am Tuesday.  They pinned him down until police arrived.  The man reportedly had more than $2700 in his pockets.

The Times says the intruder, 44 year old Moises Madrid, was first arrested back in 2000 after being found in the basement of the same frat house.  Court records show he’s been found in four other frat houses in the years following that first incident.

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