Annual Clean Up this Saturday; 45th Annual Street Fair next Sat & Sun

A few ways to love the University District coming up…

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Meet your neighbors THIS SATURDAY, May 10, in the NW Parking Lot of the University Heights Community Center (NE 52nd and Brooklyn Ave NE) for the Annual U-District Clean Up. A continental breakfast will be available before you head out for some raking, sweeping, painting-out of graffiti, removing of litter, planting, and/or landscaping. Whew!

If you work up an appetite and pizza is your thing, lunch is provided afterwards. And a “trash contest” might just score you four tickets to Bumbershoot, among other prizes. Register for this good work here. 45thOn45th Celebrate your hard work getting the Ave into tip top shape by joining the longest running street fair in the nation the following weekend, Saturday, May 17, 10 AM-7 AM and Sunday, May 18, 10 AM-6 PM.

The free, open-air University District StreetFair centered at NE 45th Street and University Way NE features:

  • Hundreds of artisan vendors (such as clothing and jewelry, pottery and painting, candles and lotions, and food items, oh my!)
  • Food courts (at 42nd and 47th Streets) and food truck corral (43rd Street) and beer garden (at 41st Street)
  • Two large stages (schedule here but location to be announced) and scattered buskers of all types
  • Kids’ area (arts and crafts, various ongoing activities, and the kids stage schedule includes Zumba, Taiko Drummers, and Magic with Uncle Stinky)
  • Face painting, henna tattoos, balloon art, etc!

The Street Fair will close University Way NE between NE 50th Street and NE Campus Parkway from 2:30 AM on Saturday to 2:30 AM on Monday. Bus rerouting has not yet been announced, but we’ll post an update when it is. You can also check here for yourself.

The University District Street Fair began 45 years ago and was conceived by the late Andy Shiga, founder of Shiga’s Imports (located just south of the University Bookstore), and dedicated peace activist. The fair was created in an effort to to promote peace and heal community divisions during the height of the Vietnam War protest era (HistoryLink.org article). 

Brenda the Boring Machine rededicated at Maple Leaf Portal (PHOTOS)

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On Monday, April 28, the first of two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will carve the underground portion of the Northgate Link Extension was dedicated at Sound Transit’s Maple Leaf Portal site.

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This was the last close-up opportunity for Brenda as the TBM is readied to start her journey underground to Roosevelt Station in June.

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Brenda is not Big Bertha’s younger sister. No. Brenda is a veteran TBM, having already carved the paths between between Capitol Hill and the downtown transit tunnel wall in 2011-12.

She looks pristine on the outside now, but…

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…on the inside, you can see Brenda’s experience.

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Here’s where Brenda will start her journey: The Maple Leaf Portal, where the elevated light rail track leading south from the Northgate Station will head underground.

The right side of the wall pictured above is the southbound tunnel starting point where Brenda will shortly be moved to and start boring into in June. (Here’s Brenda starting to chew on the wall at the Capitol Hill Station a few years ago.)

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The TBM’s 21-foot-diameter cutter head (the large green and yellow disc on the front of the TBM) is covered with teeth and holes, turns at a rate of 0.1 to 2.5 revolutions per minute, and can excavate an average of 40 feet of tunnel per day.

It’s also great for posing with.

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View inside the cutter head. Here the tailings that have passed through the openings in the cutter head will fall, be carried out by this red screw conveyor, and moved through the body of the TBM.

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This is the “trailing gear” that follows behind the TBM. It carries equipment for the boring machine and helps carry the spoils away from the machine. Altogether, the TBM and the trailing gear stretch out to the length of a football field.

As the TBM and the trailing gear carve the route to Roosevelt and beyond, supply trains will ferry equipment from the outside world down into the tunnels. Chief among their cargo will be the pre-cast concrete segments that compose the finished walls of the tunnel as well as provide a surface for the TBM to propel herself forward.

It is these supply trains, running along on metal rails down in the tunnels, that were judged responsible for the noise and vibrations experienced by residents in Montlake back in November 2011.

Good news for those living and working (and attending the UW) above the Northgate Link Extension tunnels: Vehicles equipped with rubber tires will be used this time around for underground deliveries.

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Worm’s perspective of the cutter head.

Sound Transit has a great little video showing how tunnel boring machines work. It includes a cross-section graphic of the machine in action, as well as footage from previous excavations.

And here’s where we pause the photo essay to share with the Roosevelt neighborhood some potentially great news.

The old plan for tunneling south was for Brenda to dig one side of the route to Roosevelt Station, be trucked back up to the Maple Leaf Portal, and begin digging the other side of the route. Then a second TBM-to-be-named-later would join her in Roosevelt, where the pair would start their journey south to the University of Washington Station. Muck from the tunneling would travel up to the Maple Leaf Portal site and be hauled away there for Brenda’s solo drilling, but would be hauled out of Roosevelt Station for the remainder of the project.

Sound Transit’s Bruce Gray tells me that this may no longer be the case. Via email:

In the new plan the Contractor has proposed two TBMs going from Maple Leaf.  The performance of the tunneling and the muck haulage will be closely monitored during the initial drive from Maple Leaf to Roosevelt.  If all goes well, the two machines will continue on to UW with spoils removal and haulage continuing from Maple Leaf the entire time.  If the new proposal does not perform as planned there could still be muck haulage and/or a third TBM launched from Roosevelt in order to meet the project schedule.

What this would mean for the Roosevelt neighborhood is that after the dump trucks bearing away the soil from the station excavation are gone, they’d be GONE. Muck from the entire Northgate Link Extension would come out the Maple Leaf Portal and be hauled away there.

Again, this new plan is not a given. And it’s going to be a while before anyone knows the contractor’s final decision. Once Brenda gets digging in June, it will take her 10-12 months to reach Roosevelt Station (via Sound Transit’s Gray). If the second TBM launches from the Maple Leaf Portal five months later in October, the pair won’t see each other in Roosevelt until August 2015 at the earliest.

To be continued…

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Hey, Roosevelt: Remember when you rallied to bring light rail closer to the neighborhood’s core at 12th Avenue NE (over a station closer to I-5 on 8th Avenue NE)? On January 27, 2005, the Sound Transit board agreed with you, and the Roosevelt Station Alignment was chosen. Here, some stickers from that campaign pose with the machine that’s making it a reality.

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A fragile bottle of dedicatory Washington apple cider sits in the shade along with TBM-signing Sharpies and commemorative pins.

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The assembled crowd listens to officials during the dedication.

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Sound Transit Board Member and City of Everett Councilmember Paul Roberts, and 46th District Representative Jessyn Ferrell, share a laugh during the dedication speeches.

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Councilmember Roberts anoints the cutter head with a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage.

Then the signing began. Gathered participants were encouraged to write on the machine.

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Some just signed their names.

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There were a few drawings. And more than a few children’s names.

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Stephen’s self-translated message read: “wish tunnel boring success!”

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Representative Farrell’s signature joins the others on Brenda’s flank.

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“Go straight. Go on-line. Go safely.” writes this Sound Transit staffer, as photojournalist Josh Trujillo also takes a picture.

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A selection of signatures and good wishes for Brenda’s journey.

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Sound Transit workers at the site wanted to get back to work, but didn’t mind standing around for a picture or two.

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Members of the Sound Transit Northgate Link team pose en masse.

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Onward.

Welcome to the 2015 Seattle City Council District Games (UPDATE)

Earlier in April, the City of Seattle finally released the official 2015 map of the Seattle City Council Districts. The reason for the map and the new way of electing our city councilmembers being (via seattle.gov):

In 2013, Seattle voters passed a measure amending our city’s charter to establish City Council districts. In 2015, voters will elect seven out of the nine City Council members by district. The remaining two positions will be elected “at-large” (city-wide) in positions 8 and 9.

Our Ravenna neighborhood is located in Council District 4, along with Bryant, Roosevelt, View Ridge, Sand Point, Windermere, Laurelhurst, Hawthorne Hills, the University District, Eastlake, half of Wedgwood, most of Wallingford, and a touch of Fremont — which is why it is so great to finally have a city-approved map with hard boundaries.

Northern portion of the Council Districts map. Click to open the interactive version.

Northern portion of the Council Districts map. Click to open the interactive version.

Within the interactive map above, Seattle residents can search for their address to find out which Council District they are located in, or just zoom in and around to see what neighborhoods are located in which districts.

On Wednesday, March 12, Crosscut held an event called “Mapping Seattle’s New Political Landscape,” where contributors Ben Anderstone and Knute Berger talked about Seattle’s newly created City Council Districts.

While we did not attend, we did follow along on twitter. Here’s what the duo had to say about our District 4, in one slide:

As for how City Council races will be scheduled in the future, the City Clerk’s office lays out the following timeline:

In 2015:

  • All nine Councilmember seats will be up for election and the transition will occur during that city election
  • Seven districted Councilmembers will be elected to four-year terms
  • The remaining two at-large Councilmembers will be elected to a two-year term

In 2017:

  • Seven districted Councilmembers will be elected to four-year terms*
  • The two at-large seats will be elected to four-year terms
  • The at-large Councilmembers will from this point forward be on the same election cycle as the Mayor and City Attorney

Then in the fall of 2022 (and every ten years thereafter), “a five-member Districting Commission will be created to redraw the district boundaries.”

Current City Councilmember Jean Godden has already tossed her hat into the ring for the newly created District 4 seat (she’s a View Ridge resident). But so far, at the time of writing, and with the filing deadline being over a year away, only current CMs have filed for reelection.

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One of Councilmember Tim Burgess’s legislative aides, Alex Pedersen, made a suspicious move earlier in April: His monthly “4 to Explore: A Northeast Neighborhoods Newsletter,” published online or sent via email since August 2013, showed up in paper form in the Seattle Times. When asked if he’s considering running, fellow Council District 4 resident Pedersen told us (via email):

We hear a lot from interest groups but not enough from families because they are busy working to get by. So the newsletter highlights not only important neighborhood issues, but fun stuff that will be engaging and relevant each month.

I support Jean Godden and she’s aware of the newsletter :)

The deadline for getting on the ballot in 2015 is Friday, May 15, 2015, so District 4 residents have plenty of time to decide to run. You can track all the City Council candidates running in the 2015 Primary here, on seattle.gov.

And to all present and possible future Council District candidates, I say: May the odds be ever in your favor.

 

UPDATE (10:07 AM): Serendipitously, Crosscut’s Knute Berger has a piece out just this morning about this very topic: “New survey offers tips for implementing Seattle’s new city council districts.”

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* Correction: We accidentally repeated the “Seven districted Councilmembers…” line in both lists. Thank you, Tony Provine, for alerting us to this error.

Help Sound Transit develop light rail station symbols

What single image would you use to represent the Roosevelt Light Rail Station? Or rather, what three adjectives and three landmarks you would use to describe the station area?

Sound Transit is developing “pictograms” to identify the new transit stations that are opening in 2016 and beyond. You can help by completing their Pictogram Questionnaire, open now through Monday, April 14.

First section of the Sound Transit Pictogram Questionnaire (click to start the survey).

First section of the Sound Transit Pictogram Questionnaire (click to start the survey).

From the survey:

Pictograms are intended to be station identification symbols for non-English audiences, primarily those that use a non-Roman based alphabet. To be effective, Sound Transit’s Link light rail station pictograms must meet these requirements:

  • Simple in form, and are an easily recognizable symbol
  • Readable at many scales; including signage, print material, online and mobile devices
  • Are individually distinguishable and read as a family

The pictogram may reflect the nature of the environment: neighborhoods, landmarks, geographic locations and may include points of interest around the stations.

Existing station pictograms — Westlake Station all the way south to SeaTac/Airport Station — were developed from points of interest around the station and in the community. Those points of interest were connected like stars in a constellation, and an image representing the station was developed.

The International District Station is a dragon. Pioneer Square is a ship. SoDo is an anvil. Westlake is… a tiara? I’ve always been curious and a little confused by these pictograms and admit to being pretty amused by this extremely thoughtful process (which we’ve heard that Sound Transit is NOT continuing for the new stations). Check out the “Stellar Connections” brochure explaining these transpo-constellations (1.1 MB PDF).

The University Link extension (Capitol Hill and University of Washington stations) are expected to open in the first quarter of 2016). The Northgate Link extension (U District, Roosevelt, and Northgate stations) are expected to be open for service in 2021. Approximately 8,000 daily riders are projected to board the train by 2030. 

The other station on the pictogram survey is Angle Lake Station, set to open in 2016 south of the SeaTac/Airport Station at S 200th St.

Shooting behind U-District Safeway (UPDATES)

Around 5:12 PM, Seattle Fire and Police responded to a shooting on the south side of the Safeway at Brooklyn Avenue NE and NE 50th Street in the University District.


View Shooting behind Safeway in U-District in a larger map

According to information heard over police scanner, some suspects fled the scene in a black Hyundai SUV, traveled through the Roosevelt neighborhood, and attempted to get onto I-5 northbound. The vehicle was spotted and stopped by multiple officers on I-5 just north of Lake City Way. A gun was recovered by officers from the SUV.

Another suspect may have fled the area by a Route 70 Metro bus, getting off on Eastlake near Hamlin.

We’re adding more info as we get it.

 

UPDATE (6:11 PM): The SPD Blotter has been updated with the following:

Seattle police took five people into custody Wednesday evening following a shooting in the University District, which left one man with serious injuries.
Just before 5:15 PM police received several reports of gunfire near NE 47th Street and Brooklyn Avenue NE.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found a man in his 30s with a single gunshot wound lying on the ground near an alleyway.

Medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center with serious injuries and officers began searching the area for several vehicles, which had fled the scene moments after the shooting.

Officers performed two high-risk stops—one on an SUV on Interstate 5 near Lake City and another on a vehicle near 85th and Aurora—and detained five people in connection with the shooting.

6:15 PM: Reports on the scanner of finding bullet damage to the nearby Chevron Station and at least one vehicle (van belonging to University Seafoods and Poultry).

6:38 PM: We’ve heard from a parent that University Child Development School (5062 9th Ave NE) was on lockdown during the incident.

6:43 PM: The Seattle Fire Department reports that the “[p]atient is 40yo male with single gunshot wound in critical condition at HMC.”

And the SPD Blotter post includes this update: “Police arrested the suspected gunman on I-5…and have detained two other people. The other individuals stopped by police have been identified and released, and detectives continue to investigate the incident.”

 

6:56 PM: The Daily of the University of Washington’s Joshua Bessex just shared another picture from the scene with even more bullet evidence:

Friday, April 4: The Seattle P-I has obtained the narrative from the incident and has written up the details here: “Felon fresh from prison shot man in U-District.” Robert E. Montgomery has been charged with first-degree assault and unlawful gun possession, and remains jailed on $150,000 bail.

Hot fashion trends out, hot sandwich shop in on the Ave (UPDATE)

This post is for you, neighborhood living UW students and staff.

Normally for new restaurant tips, we hit up the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s New Liquor License Actions web page for King County. But this time we happened upon one while browsing for construction permits for our NE Seattle Development Tracker page.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop appears to be renovating the old Pitaya clothing space at 4520 University Way NE (here’s the project page with the DPD).

Google Street View of 4520 University Way NE and a few extra storefronts to the north.

Google Street View of 4520 University Way NE and a few extra storefronts to the north.

Potbelly currently has three shops in Seattle — two downtown and one on First Hill. They’re a national chain based in Chicago, Illinois with nearly 300 locations.

The Wikipedia summary of Potbelly’s offerings says:

Potbelly’s menu features a variety of sandwiches that are all served hot on regular or multigrain wheat bread. All sandwiches can be ordered “thin-cut” style, in which one third of the bread is cut out. Potbelly began offering salads in February 2007. The menu also includes soup, shakes, malts, smoothies, and cookies. Most restaurants feature live music from local musicians during the lunch hours.

You can read all about Potbelly’s Promise, Story (they started as an antique store?), Menus, and more at their website.

UPDATE (Tuesday, March 18): The Potbelly twitter account told us that they’ve got a couple new stores coming to Washington: One in Issaquah, in addition to this one on the Ave. The opening date for the Potbelly in our area is listed simply as “Summer 2014″ so far.

NE Seattle YARNPOLCALYPSE is nigh (UPDATES)

Knit one, purl two, REPENT: For Northeast Seattle may be losing two independent yarn stores.

Acorn Street Shop, 2818 NE 55th St

Current Acorn Street Shop owner Karen Aho is retiring, and selling the shop. They’ve had some nibbles, says the shop on twitter, but as of this writing, there are no official takers. May might be the store’s last month if no buyers come forward.

Interested in owning your very own yarn store?* Contact Karen at acornstreet@msn.com.

Acorn Street Shop in early 2012.

Acorn Street Shop in early 2012.

More about the store from the Acorn Street Shop “About Us” page:

Acorn Street Shop was established in 1979 and began as a New England country store in nearby University Village Shopping Center. Soon the needlework department took over and Acorn Street became a full-fledged needlework shop. The shop has been under current ownership since 1986. In 1992, the business moved to its present location, just north of the U-Village, and the needlework merchandise has expanded to fill the old building up to its 15 foot ceilings!

Weaving Works, 4717 Brooklyn Ave NE

“Oh, if Acorn Street Shop closes, it will be sad. But there’s always Weaving Works down in the University District.” BUT FOR HOW LONG. The Weaving Works building is to be torn down and redeveloped into “a seven-story, 56 unit apartment building with 3,600 sq. ft. of retail commercial space at grade.”

There is no date set yet for the demolition, but the permit was filed on January 30, 2014.

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Rendering of the proposed development at 4717 Brooklyn Ave NE. Click the image to download the entire proposal (8.2 MB PDF).

The most recent design proposal for the site (available above) was presented to the Northeast Design Review Board on July 15, 2013. It was passed unanimously. You can read the board’s full report from the meeting here (249 KB PDF).

We’ve contacted The Weaving Works for more information about the store’s future, and will post a reply here if/when we know more.

UPDATE (Wednesday, 7 PM): Good news about the future of The Weaving Works, via their twitter account:

UPDATE (Monday, March 17): In the latest Weaving Works newsletter (PDF), the store announces that their annual Mother’s Day sale will be more of a Moving sale (to help make the move easier); however, they’re still keeping the new location under wraps.

Acorn Street Shop also holds an annual Mother’s Day sale.

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*Best possible place to work, in the event of an earthquake.

Water main breaks between University Village and the NE 45th Street viaduct (UPDATE)

Updates appear at the bottom of the Storify window — hit the blue “Read next page” button below to view them.

Joint work on the NE 45th St Viaduct starts next Monday

We can’t let Sand Point Way NE have all the lane closure fun, can we?

The Seattle Department of Transportation sent out an advisory this week about upcoming work on the NE 45th St Viaduct that will cause various lane closures from August 5-19.

Structures crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will close one lane at a time on the Northeast 45th Street Viaduct starting next week to repair an expansion joint. They will start on the outside, westbound lane and progress to the opposite side of the roadway. When the eastbound lane is closed, eastbound traffic will be shifted to temporarily use one of the westbound lanes, providing one lane in each direction. The closures will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. from August 5 to August 19.

But on the bright side, it’s good to get this work done before the UW students come back to town, right?

Spoke & Food: Bike to dinner for good on July 30

How about we take a timeout from bicycle infrastructure matters, and get back to basics: It’s fun to ride a bike. Especially in the summer. ESPECIALLY to go meet friends for dinner, at a local joint.

Thanks to our own sponsors in the last year, the Ravenna Blog was able to help sponsor another great local thing: The fourth annual Spoke & Food evening of dining and bikes!

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From the Spoke & Food website:

Participation is easy. All you need to do is to bike to and from one of our participating host restaurants on the evening of our event. Invite your friends or family to meet you, bring your neighbors, pack up your kids or go at it alone.

Each of our participating host restaurants have agreed to donate 20% of ALL of their patron revenues from the evening of the event directly to the local non-profit that we select each year.

 

Dine at any of the participating restaurants listed on the Spoke & Food website from 5:30-9:30 PM on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013, and 20% (or more) of your dinner bill will be donated directly to the Bike Works non-profit.

TWENTY different restaurants around Seattle are participating this year, two of which are in our neck of the woods:

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50 North

5001 25th Ave NE #100;

just south of the Burke-Gilman Trail at 25th Ave NE

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Vios Cafe & Pub

6504 20th Ave NE;

inside Ravenna Third Place Books

 

From the Bike Works About page:

Bike Works is an innovative organization centered around bicycles that combines youth development, community engagement, bicycle recycling and a social enterprise bike shop to help build a sustainable and healthy community.

We’ll be stopping by these locations on the night of the event to check in, and perhaps to nosh.