Seeking New Board Member

 
 

The U District Partnership Seeks Qualified Candidates for Board of Directors Position

The Board of the U District Partnership (UDP) is recruiting candidates to fill a vacancy on its Board. Qualified candidates must have resided in the U District in either an apartment or condominium for a minimum of three years with the intent to continue living in the District for the foreseeable future.

Requirements for to be a Board member include: a belief in the UDP mission and a commitment to support its goals; regular attendance and participation at Board meetings (usually meeting once a month on the third Tuesday at 11:30) and a commitment to prepare for those meetings using materials that are distributed beforehand; active participation in at least one committee; and a willingness to serve as an ambassador for the U District and the UDP.

Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest, which includes address, phone number and email address, to Mark Crawford, UDP Interim Executive Director at mark@udistrictpartnership.org by October 15, 2018.

Mission: The UDP serves all who work in, live in, and visit the U District by fostering and sustaining a vibrant, diverse, and healthy neighborhood for the common good.  

  

 
 

Work at the UDP

 
 

Current Job Opening

Part-time Office Manager

The U District Partnership is seeking a part-time office manager (approximately 15 hours per week). Position may work morning hours M-F with some additional hours on weeks when there are multiple Board meetings to support. This is a small office – employing 4-6 regular employees with occasional seasonal hires. Apply on Indeed.com here.

 
 

New Cleaning Contractor for the U District

 

The UDP has selected Elm Grove as the new cleaning company for the North and South Cleaning Areas starting on September 1. You will see Elm Grove staff working in the same purple UDP vests our Ambassadors and Beautification team members wear. We appreciate the seventeen years that Recology provided neighborhood cleaning services.

Elm Grove will provide the following services:

-        Seven day a week cleaning of the South Cleaning Area

-        Two day a week cleaning of the North Cleaning Area

-        Litter and leaf removal for sidewalks and streets

-        Graffiti on a case-by-case basis

-        Removal of stickers and illegal postings

-        24-hour biohazard removal (hypodermic needle removal, human waste pickup, and body fluid cleanup). To report a biohazard, email s.elmgrovellc@gmail.com or call 206-371-4486. Elm Grove is trained to ensure safe disposal of these dangerous items.

-        8 hours of pressure washing per month throughout the cleaning areas as scheduled by our office; call Marcus Johnson at (206) 547-4417 to schedule additional pressure washing for a fee

-        Snow removal and salt application

Elm Grove has worked on other cleaning jobs in the U District since 2017. Owner Oliver Campos says, “We’re excited to be working in the U District again. It’s a great atmosphere.” Campos stresses the availability of the Elm Grove team: “We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365. We can dispatch any time.”

To learn more about the cleaning services within the BIA Cleaning Areas, contact Marcus Johnson by phone (206) 547-4417 or by email marcus@udistrictpartnership.org. Anyone is welcome to join the U District Partnership on our monthly BIA Walk where we walk the cleaning area with our contractor and other stakeholders. We meet at the UDP office (4507 University Way NE, Suite 209) on the third Friday of the month at 9:00 am.

 
 

Eric Lawson Joins

UDP Board

 

Eric Lawson will join the UDP Board starting on September 1, 2018. As Assistant Dean for Advancement at University of Washington, Eric leads the “Be Boundless” campaign to resource the college's strategic vision, manages the portfolio of the campaign's highest prospects, and invites investment in key educational outcomes. On a personal level, he is a graduate of University of Washington and notes, "I work in the U District and spend quite a bit of time on campus and its surrounds in my free time. I used to drive the "Street Links" van, an after-hours mobile human services vehicle that served homeless youth in the U District." We are excited that Eric will bring his fundraising skills and commitment to the community to the UDP board.

 
 

U-District, Let's Go!

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Getting U Around

The transportation landscape is changing in the U-District, with the recently-passed rezone and addition of Sound Transit’s Link light rail Northgate Link Extension.  When you see a new building being constructed, your bus being rerouted, the addition of a new bike lane, or you are simply interested in learning how to improve your commute, rest assured that you have help navigating those changes.  

Next year, Transportation Choices Coalition (TCC) is launching a new program called U-District, Let’s Go! The program is working in collaboration with the Seattle Department of Transportation, U District Partnership and other community groups. U-District, Let’s Go! is planning events and opportunities like workshops, to help connect people working, living, and visiting the U-District with transportation resources.

The program will offer free individualized commute plans to people working in the U-District. They are also connecting employers with commuter services for their employees like ORCA Business Passport and ORCA Business Choice which are employer sponsored benefits and ORCA LIFT, a reduced transit fare program. Additionally, the program wants to gather feedback to help drive policy and planning improvements like more bus services, improved wayfinding and safer crossings.

"We are thrilled with the opportunity to share all the great ways to get around the U-District. With great stores to shop at and fabulous eating joints, the U-District has something for everyone. " says Carla Chavez, TCC's Deputy Director.

“U-District, Let’s Go is a perfect opportunity to have an expert help you and your employees navigate the changing transportation landscape in the U-District and make best use of an array of available resources.” Says Chase Landrey, Community Engagement Coordinator with U District Partnership.

Get involved today! While they are currently busy building their website and designing marketing materials, it's not too early to join their mailing list. To do so, contact Miriam Castro, program manager for U-District, Let’s Go! through her email.

 
 
 
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University Seafood & Poultry

 

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UDP BUSINESS FEATURE: University Seafood & Poultry

By Eliot Mueting March 2017

 
 

In the late 1920s on the corner of University way and NE 47th St University Seafood and Poultry opened it's doors. Almost 100 years later and just a few from it's original location University Seafood and Poultry's door is still open serving up some of highest quality seafood along side some of the most rare and obscure cuts of meat that can only be found in the U District.

 
 

I sat down with Dale Erickson current owner operator of University Seafood & Poultry and his grandson Andrew to ask about the past present and future of their long time family business. The story for the Erickson's begins in 1945 when Dale's father was working down at the waterfront when a close friend of his lost his son in WWII and had decided to retire to California and offered to sell the business to him. Since the begining the store has been about close personal connections, to this day University Seafood has about 8 employees, including Dale's grandson Andrew and a group of guys who have an average tenure of 20+ years working in the shop. The crew at University Seafood is a family first.

 
 

When I asked Dale about how is it that his business has been able to remain so successful for so long he, attributes the longevity to two qualities, their stedfast dedication to extreme quality and variety as well as their flexibility to adapt to change. Every morning University Seafood buyer heads to SeaTac airport to meet the fresh seafood brokers and gather new stock, constantly rotating their inventory to meet customers changing demands. 

"If we acquire something and it sells out we will get it agin, if it doesn't sell out we won't" says Dale, "If someone comes in and asks for some really strange cut, we probably have it.".

These two mentalities leads to University Seafood keeping one of these most diverse selections of meat found anywhere in the city.

"We have Fresh Wild Stealhead only available from the Pacific Northwest Native American reservations, we have Bronzini from the mediterranean, and fish from all over the world" Dale explains.

What many don't know is that University Seafood is one of the only places you will find in Seattle that keeps; salmon, swordfish, mackeral, tuna, iguana, alligator, llama, python, camel, beef, venison, duck, pheasant and more all for sale everyday.

 
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When discussing University Seafoods' legacy Andrew Erickson puts it into perspective best.

"I plan to stick the coarse, focus on quality, the reputation we have is something that you can not buy. No one says anything if you are doing it right but it can all be lost if you do it wrong."

"There is no other place I would rather be than working here, with my Grand Father, it's in my blood."

We at the UDP look forward to many more years to come with University Seafood and suggest if you haven't yet, to stop by University Seafood and say hello to Erick, Andrew and the rest of the crew.

 

 

Gargoyles Statuary

 

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UDP BUSINESS FEATURE: Gargoyles Statuary

By Eliot Mueting February 2017

Passion and enthusiasm are contagious, when you walk into Gargoyles Statuary on The Ave your senses are immediately invaded and you know you have arrived at a place full of both. Gargoyles provides an experience and one that can only be found in the U District.  

 
 

The heart beat of this sanctuary flows from owner and operator Gayle Nowicki and her 5 employees. Since 1992 this shop has been selling statues, figurines, charms, lanterns, taxidermy, incense, candles, original and local art from the all the world's regions, religions, and mythologies. The staff at Gargoyles find themselves playing the roll of tour guide more so than merchant as passerby and long time customers step into their world. Gargoyles celebrates the macabre and the seemingly subversive by telling the stories behind the objects they market for sale, often changing first time visitors perception from idea of the store being a "scary" place to one that sees it for what it is, a wonderful, welcoming and completely unique shopping destination. It's true the brand of Gargoyles as a place is so strong that few people fail to notice their extravagant window displays typically full of decorative skulls, skeletons and dragons and one could see how before you ever went into the store and hear Gayle describe the true meaning behind the pentagram or a particular dragon figurine, someone could see the dark incense wafting entry way as "scary".

 
 

I sat down with Gayle to hear about the past, present and future of Gargoyles Statuary. Gargoyles was first opened in 1992 by a pair of graphic artists who sold statues and beads out of their location on NE 45th just west of the alley that bisects the 4300 block of University Way NE in the space currently occupied by Slate Coffee Roasters. One year later the shop moved to its current location and shortly after a Valentines Day fire in 1995 that broke out in the store (which is still celebrated to this day with Gargoyles Cremation sale)  Gayle Nowicki assumed ownership. From her constantly engaged demeanor and smile it is obvious that Nowicki loves what she does, and this makes shoppers love it too. 

"I love challenging and changing people's minds" says Nowicki "People have a perception of Gargoyles before they ever come in, and when they leave, they leave with that idea of what this place is completely transformed."

As the driving force behind the neighborhood's longstanding 3rd Friday of the month Art Walks Gayle's fierce passion for the product she provides extends to her love and connection to the community around her.  This is prevalent in her boasting of how 75% of their statues, which total well into the 100s of unique pieces, come from materials sourced within 100 miles of her store.

"We are constantly searching, featuring and engaging with the local artist community"

Gayle continues to collaborate with other businesses in the neighborhood. One piece of excellent synergy she has been involved in is providing the Neptune Theater with it's iconic faces of Neptune along the building's facade.

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Like other businesses located in the U District, Gargoyles enjoys the proximity to the University of Washington and its constant churn of new students. One of the things that brings Gayle the most joy is when alumni return to the neighborhood after years away and remark about how glad they are to be back in Gargoyles. 

Today Gayle attributes some of her success to her robust social media presence and her ability to access a larger market that way. In the future Nowicki hopes to grow Gargoyles web presence even larger and perhaps expand her shop to include cafe like amenities enhancing her shops' ability to continue to serve as a sanctuary for all people curious enough to stop by.

If you have never been inside Gargoyles you ought to stop in, say hello to Gayle and her team and prepare to have your day transformed.

 

Scarecrow Video

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UDP BUSINESS FEATURE:
Scarecrow Video

by Eliot Mueting January 18th 2017

Walking through the doors of Scarecrow Video is pretty impressive, you've got to see it to believe it, a recent account of a father and son walking into the Roosevelt Way storefront for the first time only to have the young child pause in the door way, gaze up and down the vast interior of the space and exclaim "Dad! it is a movie castle!" describes the feeling best.

The sights of Scarecrow Video are awe inspiring and they can only be found in the U District.

Founded in 1988 Scarecrow video now holds claim to over 128,000 unique titles one of the largest collections of its kind. In 2014 the changes in technology that have shifted the market place for video rentals has lead to the reconfiguration of Scarecrow Video to a Non-Profit entity with a mission to:

" Scarecrow Video is dedicated to championing the indispensable role of film arts in community, cultural, and civic life

We are committed to: building film literacy, ensuring full public access to the largest privately held video and physical media archive in the United States, advancing cultural and educational enrichment through community-based programming, and supporting the arts capacity of civic groups, educational institutions, and nonprofits in the Puget Sound area."

U District Partnership staff sat down with Scarecrow's Kate Barr to discuss the past present and future of the movie mecca.

Scarecrow does not aim to compete with services like Netflix (even though Netflix's streaming library in North America is roughly 1/20th of the size of Scarecrow's) and Kate suggests that there is plenty of room for the both to exists and continue to provide access to movies to people everywhere. However the proliferation of online streaming services paired with the importance of the physical collection and the strength of community that Scarecrow maintains has made the transition into a non-profit inevitable. 

Now the work of Scarecrow has become growing their community by communicating the importance of Scarecrow to the world at large. While looking for new ways to ensure that the collection can continue on and provide the breadth of perspective and variety of stories being told. Without Scarecrow what happens to the over 15,000 VHS titles they still keep because they never made the jump to DVD or onto popular streaming services.

"What doesn't get watched and what does and who is making the decisions on what we get to watch?"

Asks Barr while articulating the message of why Scarecrow ought to be supported, preserved and cherished. 

One avenue Scarecrow has identified as a way to get their message out there is through educational programs. Scarecrow now boasts programs that include:

  • Senior center outreach showing films and facilitating the post showing discussion.
  • Children's hour at the U District Library drawing kids into a film and engaging them on themes.
  • Producing videos with in house Scarecrow editing team to create clips under 10 minutes long exploring topics like Special Effects in Film vs Trends in Technology and Science Fiction.

Due to the critical importance of story telling to our cultural history Scarecrow is hoping to grow and expand these programs. The collection Scarecrow holds is an amazing resource and they are constantly looking for ways to exploit it.

For more information check out Scarecrow's website and if you have never been to the Movie Castle yourself you ought to stop on by.