Archive for the ‘news’ Category

SoDo’s Favorite Bar To Reopen TODAY!

Hooverville Fire - Billy and Todd share a moment
Right after the fire in Hooverville Bar [by divide via our Flickr Pool]

Fans of Hooverville rejoice! According to their website; A Bar Called Hooverville reopens today at 2pm after months of remodel following a fire that gutted the place. Just about everyone I work with in SoDo is heading over there this afternoon to enjoy a drink to welcome Hooverville back.

While I can’t make it tonight, I will soon. Welcome back Hooverville. I’m sure many glasses will be raised to you in the coming weeks.

Hooverville is located at 1721 1st Ave S. and is open daily from 2pm until 2am

SU ends capital campaign, begins

su library
Artist’s rendition of the Lemieux Library after completion, courtesy Seattle University

On Thursday morning, Seattle University president Stephen Sundborg, SJ, announced the close of SU’s six-year long capital campaign. Over 21,000 donors exceeded the original goal of $150 million, giving the 110 year old academic institution the necessary funds to offer new scholarships to students, academic programs and professorships, a fitness complex, an arts center and more, including the $56 million Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons which are scheduled for completion next fall.

The successful campaign was focused on four main areas: scholarships, academic enhancements, facilities, and initiatives centered on the Jesuit university’s Catholic identity. More than 7,500 students are enrolled in Seattle’s largest private university which has eight schools offering graduate and undergraduate programs and was ranked as one of the top ten universities in the West by US News and World Report. (They also have some excellent sports teams.) Of the funds raised, $43 million are allocated to student scholarships and $44 million for academic programs and initiatives.

Since I’m a neighbor of SU, I can always take a short walk down the street to check out the progress on campus, but anyone curious to see how construction is going can check out their Library building webcam, which includes a link to construction bulletins for all the projects on campus. If you’ve never actually visited the university, however, I highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful campus with a lot of interesting architecture and landscape design, and the university hosts many events open to the public from sports to shows like Bloody Henry, a puppet show celebrating the 500th anniversary of “mass-murdering monarch” Henry VIII of England that plays weekends from September 25 through October 24.

The PAX Pox

video games ruined my life by poopoorama [flickr] via our group pool [#].

In case you missed it, Seattle’s premier gaming expo was ground zero for an outbreak of swine flu (or what Wired is calling H1Nerd1).

Penny Arcade, the organization that hosts the event, has a list of outgoing flights that had passengers with confirmed cases of the flu.

In addition, the University of Washington just issued an e-mail that two probable cases of H1N1 have been reported to the campus health center, originating from a particular sorority house. The University will be monitoring the flu outbreaks on campus, but officials are encouraging students and staff to take necessary precautions.

And since this flu is hitting everyone from gamers to sorority girls, be sure to wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick, and keep up to date with new info on the swine flu from King County.

5th best college city in US? It’s us

Ankneyd’s shot of UW from the Seattle Metblogs Flickr pool
ankneyd uw

Thanks to the Puget Sound Business Journal, I discovered today that a survey compiled by economics survey team analysists at the American Institute for Economic Research reveals that out of 360 metropolitan statistical areas, Seattle ranks fifth in the nation as the best place to go to college.

Seattle is ranked in the “major metro category” and came in behind NYC, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, DC and was ranked positively in the “cost of living” category. Well, sure, Seattle seems so much more “affordable” when you compare it to those over-overpriced cities, doesn’t it? I think Seattle’s colleges and universities offer excellent educational opportunities, but you’re not going to get them at bargain pricing. Other advantages to going to school in Seattle are “entrepeneurial activity” and “city accessibility”.

On the “small college town” list, Bellingham, WA was ranked 20th in the nation, coming in first in the “entrepeneurial activity” category.

Civil War veteran gets his own grave at last

To be fair, Charles Wesley Cooley has had his own grave, and for quite some time now. The US Civil War veteran was buried at the old pioneer Western State Hospital more than a century ago, so he’s a little beyond any of this. However, a volunteer group dedicated to restoring identities to patients buried in numbered graves in the old cemetary is making sure that his name gets remembered by honoring him at his gravesite on Saturday, September 12.

“At the time, society thought it was doing these patients a favor – shielding their identities from the ‘shame’ of mental illness,” said Laurel Lemke, who chairs the Grave Concerns Association behind the cemetery restoration. “Today, we believe we are righting an historic injustice by giving them back their names and histories.”

Western State Hospital Chaplain John Johnston will preside at the 1 pm ceremony, which will include a Fort Lewis color guard and 4th US Infantry Company C Civil War re-enactors.

Cooley’s descendents – family members from California, Oregon, Seattle, Everett and Goldendale – have been invited, including two great-grandchildren in their 70s and Hans Becker of Newport Beach, Calif., who will talk about his research into Cooley and his life story.

Becker contact Lemke this spring trying to locate “Chester” Cooley’s website. Lemke found it – at Marker Number 200. The numeric marker will be replaced Saturday with a bronze marker that includes Cooley’s name and service record: Company G, 49th Infantry Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, part of the “Buckeye Vanguard.”

Cooley, who enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private in Ohio on Aug. 18, 1861, and fought throughout the war was mustered out as a full sergeant in Texas after the war ended. His service saw him take part in some of the most dangerous and well-known battles of the war, including Shiloh, Chickamauga, Franklin, Nashville and the campaign to capture Atlanta. After the war, his family moved from Missouri to Goldendale in Klickitat County in Washington state. He became ill in 1889 and was taken to Western State Hospital twice over the next two years where he died in 1891 and was buried with only a plot number to mark the location of his remains.

Saturday is the fourth family-initiated event that Grave Concerns has arranged since the group began replacing markers in 2004. After being featured in previous stories, Grave Concerns has received an increased number of inquiries from families hoping to find patients’ graves. In October, 55 additional name markers will be placed in the cemetery.

Cooley will have the first military marker in the cemetery, which is across Steilacoom Road from today’s hospital. It was closed to burials in 1953. Cooley’s official bronze marker was provided by the federal government, and the Mountain View Cemetery of Lakewood provided the concrete setting, honor flag and guest book for the family.

Brief Updates from MBHQ

You’ve no doubt by now noticed that the sites got a bit of a re-design and some things got changed around last week. We wanted to highlight two changes to make sure everyone knows what changed.

The first and biggest is COMMENTS! Registration is no longer required to post a comment on any post. Of course if you already have an account you can still login to ensure your comments are attributed to you, but those who don’t can now post a comment without any long term commitment. Also, on the right you can see some of the recent comments so you’ll always know what the active discussions are. This was the most requested thing we’ve heard from people since our last redesign and we’re excited to see where it leads.

The next change is also something that was heavily requested, and that is a change to the ADS on the sites. You’ll immediately notice fewer of them, but what might not be as obvious is those smaller square ones to the right are specific to this city only and are being sold for a flat rate for a period of time rather than a confusing CPM/traffic/network model. Depending on the city, these range from $7-$175 for a full week. If you purchase one, during that time your ad will be the only one in that spot and will show on every page. We set these up both to make it easier for smaller local businesses to get their ads on our site, and also to help us bring in ads that relate better to our local audiences. Also, keeping these sites online is expensive and every little bit helps.

There are a bunch of other things we changed but we’ll leave those to you to investigate and take advantage of. Hope you like it, and we look forward to seeing you in the comments!!

The folks at MBHQ

Seattle Library Closure

Hallway of Books by Faeryboots. From our Flickr pool.

Hallway of Books by Faeryboots. From our Flickr pool.

In case you are not quite the bibliophile that I am and haven’t already heard, all Seattle Public Library (SPL) branches will be closed Monday, August 31st through Monday, September 7th, due to budget cuts. The official statement is HERE. And when they say closed, they mean closed: no book drops will be open; the online catalog will be down (excuse me while I go hyperventilate into a paper bag); neither TeleCirc nor the Information line will be available; no mail will be received; no book club books will be sent. For all intents and purposes, the library system will cease to exist.

On the bright side, no items will be due and no fines will accrue on past due items. Cold comfort.

It’s unfortunate that SPL has to shut down at a time when usage is way, way up. According to Friends of SPL, visits to SPL locations went from under 7M per year in 2004 to over 12M last year, and climbing. Visits were up 7% in May 2009, over May 2008, and circulation was up 11% for the same month. In addition to an increase in the number of requests and visits, the amount of material people check out is also up: 20% between 2007 and 2008. This trend is reflected in my own household: since beginning our Book Buying Abatement Program, in January 2007, nearly every book that enters our house is from the library, and we also borrow music, videos, and DVDs, instead of renting or purchasing. Apparently, we’re fairly typical.

If you have books on hold waiting for you or items due, take care of it before Monday, or Sunday if your local branch is closed Sundays. And if you happen to be down at the Southwest branch, the crazy woman weeping hysterically and refusing to leave Sunday evening… will be me.

Coming Soon: “Mega-Quake”

Topping this morning’s list of panic-inducing headlines, apparently we could be in for a 9.0 earthquake soon. Apparently scientists have found evidence that a major slip in the Juan de Fuca plate could take place closer to Seattle/Tacoma that originally thought, which increases the amount of shaking we would be in for. A 9.0 earthquake here could result in a tsunami that may potentially reach Japan.

Cue mass exodus here.

Today in Seattle History: We get a library (sort of)

The first public lending library in Seattle didn’t officially open until the spring of 1869, but it was on this date, August 7, back in 1868 that the library association that would someday become the Seattle Public Library was formed. Every two weeks until the library opened the group got together for singing, reading and speeches. The group also spent $60 for the library’s first books.

The very first librarian for the future-SPL was Sarah Yesler, community activist and partner in philanthropy with her husband Henry Yesler.

Much has changed since 1868 but the library remains a fun place to go in Seattle, with branches throughout the city offering books, magazines, movies, computers, and more. Over the course of this weekend alone, you can take your young kids to a free concert about bugs at the Magnolia branch, get tutoring for your pursuit of US citizenship at the Central branch, learn nature printmaking at the Northeast branch, play chess at Rainier Beach branch or share your work at a poetry open mike at the Green Lake branch.

Thanks to HistoryLink for historical info.

metro’s top tips for especially uncomfortable bus rides

photo by danny ngan [flickr] via our group pool [#]

Since only 30% of the buses in its fleet are air conditioned, Metro brings you this sure-fire tip should you find yourself on an “especially uncomfortable” trip that will likely be “hot, especially when they are crowded”:

Remove jackets and sweaters you wear in air conditioned buildings before you board the bus. [#]

The county has another page of sensible strategies for not dying out there; some (visit a movie theater) more fun than others (avoid alcohol). [kingcounty]

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