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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 10:31 am
Erratic Man Back In The Area Again
Laurelhurst Blog - Last August, September and October, an the Laurelhurst Blog staff posted about an erratic man (pictured above in October) seen in Laurelhurst and other nearby neighborhoods scaring adults and children with his unusual behavior.This included yelling at people, screaming obscenities, banging on car windows while people were stopped at lights, making inappropriate comments in front of children, harassing and scaring people and turning on water faucets full force in front of homes and walking away thereby leaving some houses with the potential of flooding if the residents were gone all day.There were numerous comments posted at the time, on NE Seattle Moms Yahoo Group detailing their interactions with the male and where it occurred.SPD Officer Strong, informed the Laurelhurst Blog in October, that the individual was arrested.  It appears he is back out on the streets again.. Comments are again being posted on the NE Seattle Moms Yahoo Group about encounters with the individual:1/26:He's definitely back in the area. Just had an interaction with him, 7:15am at 58th Avenue NE and NE 70th Street. He was walking down the hill headed to the Burke Gilman, covered in a sleeping bag. Wondering if he is sleeping at the church by View Ridge Elementary?  He asked for money, and when I shared I had no cash he became belligerent. Said he works for a living and has saved the world so why do I still hate him?   He turned north on the Burke Gilman. 1/22:This is the same man that was all around NE Seattle last spring and summer.  Throughout that time, many NE SeattleMoms listserve members reported seeing him behaving as described here.  I saw him myself.  I don't believe he ever did more than yell--and he was suspected of turning on people's outdoor water because he was spotted in the vicinity of water spickets/irrigation systems turned on and left on. 1/22:I saw him around 8:00 pm on Monday evening near Ravenna Park. He was walking in the middle of the street, I was arriving home in my car. He became enraged, screaming obscenities and yelling, and seemed so angry and fixated that I decided to not park in front of my house but call the police from the end of the block. Definitely the same guy.  1/21:I just wanted to send a message that I saw this man yesterday (Tuesday, 1/20) walking towards City People's at about 11:30 a.m.  A bicyclist happened to ride pass him and he became enraged and was yelling and screaming at her and using a lot of profanity.  Just want wanted everyone to be aware in case you happen to see him.   1/21:By about 2:30pm yesterday, he was walking toward Ravenna Park on NE 60th still yelling obscenities. I didn't get a chance to report it.  Read more...
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 -- 10:15 am
Recent Laurelhurst Elementary School Graduate Gives Opinion On Factory Farms
Laurelhurst Blog - The Laurelhurst Blog received this email:My name is Lyla Cain, and I am an 8th grade student at Jane Addams Middle School. I am writing because I am doing a civic engagement project for my English teacher, which entails writing an essay about an issue of society and displaying it publicly in order to attempt to make a difference.  I chose to present my essay by sending it to you in hopes that it would be posted and read by the people of Laurelhurst. I chose this blog because even though I technically live in Bryant, I went to Laurelhurst Elementary and I feel very connected to the neighborhood so I thought that it would be a good audience to reach. An Animal-Lover's Thoughts on Factory FarmsThere is always going to be that sector of people who buy all their food organic, free-range, non-GMO, etc., no exceptions, and we tend to brush them off as hippies. However, as over-the-top as they may seem, they have the right idea. Why? Because many of the products that aren't guaranteed to be organic come from or are supplied by factory farms. Most of you have probably heard about factory farms, whether it was from the news, a hysterical animal-loving friend (don't worry, I'm one of those), or the internet. Some of you are probably experts on the subject, so by all means let your attention wander. The rest of you: let me explain. A factory farm is a mass producer of animal products that raises huge numbers of animals together in close quarters and focuses on the money, not the animals. They have a huge impact on the environment, our health, and the lives of their animals. The point this essay is meant to instill in you is that we should not support factory farming practices by any means.             The first reason is that factory farm animals' lives are not exactly luxurious. They are treated very poorly and end up crippled and sick. At birth, baby animals are allowed a short period with their mothers, much shorter than in the wild. They are then whisked away to be sorted, male and female, and crammed in with the other younglings. For more sentimental animals like cows, this causes much stress in both mothers and offspring. They grow up away from any adult animals, and as soon as they are old enough, they are made to constantly produce. Hens are exposed to light constantly to keep them laying. Sows are kept pregnant continually. Cows are literally milked for all they are worth, and the milking machines cut them and sometimes electrocute them. When they aren't producing, the animals have to stay in a cramped and unhealthy living quarters. Most animals' legs and feet are crippled by the concrete and grated floors, and they tend to be aggressive in close quarters, attacking and injuring one another. They also become ill with pneumonia and other diseases from so much close contact and poor hygiene. In fact, most of the animals are sick by the time they are rea Read more...
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 -- 9:58 am
KIRO Report On Laurelhurst Security Patrol And How To Subscribe
Laurelhurst Blog - KIRO TV recently did a report on the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Security Patrol (below) and the Security Patrol was also mentioned in an article in the Seattle Times in November.The Security Patrol is coordinated by the Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC), and covers the entire neighborhood area south of Sand Point Way from Mary Gates Way to NE 55th Street. Subscribing to the patrol can be done by regular mail or by going on-line.A uniformed, off-duty Seattle Police officers patrol the neighborhood approximately six nights/days a week for five hours each shift.  The annual cost per family is $200 per year.  The officer carries a police radio and police firearms and drives an unmarked personal vehicle. The officer monitors incoming 911 calls and responds to neighborhood calls, vacation checks, while on patrol as well as working with the official response from the on-duty police officers. LCC said that "the success of the patrol depends on neighbor participation -- the more families that subscribe, the more coverage the patrol can offer."To subscribe send a check payable to LCC or go on-line. For more information contact Crime Prevention Co-Chair, Brian McMullen, at 206-367-9325 or email is the KIRO TV report:  Seattle neighborhood says paying extra for police curbs crime<<video>>By Joanna SmallSEATTLE --  With the highest property crime rate in the nation, some Seattle communities are taking protection a step further than neighborhood watch.The second Saturday of every month, long-time Laurelhurst resident Dixie Jo Porter cleans the park she worked hard to get built. "This is our sixth year of having it fully planted," she tells us, putting her broom down for a moment to talk to KIRO 7.  Most of the time, there's a whole slew of neighbors who join her. "There's a lot of activism in this neighborhood.  It's different than it was in 1947," she says. Laurelhurst is busier now, and with crowds come crime.  So seven years ago in the true spirit of this "active" neighborhood, a group of residents decided to buy extra police protection -- off duty Seattle cops in uniform, with their duty weapons, but in their personal cars. "Based on that, we got some real positive results.  We saw the car prowls decreased, and in the New Year, we decided to expand it to half the neighborhood," Brian McMullen explains.  Then, he says, they expanded to the entire neighborhood by 2009. McMullen runs the program and says it's quadrupled in size -- now about a quarter of the people who live there pay $200 a year for officers to patrol Laurelhurst specifically, almost every night of the week. "These are the notes they make," says McMullen, flipping through a folder.   "These are the cards when they are looking for suspicious people," Read more...
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 -- 9:44 am
NEST Supporting Elderly Having Informational Meeting Tomorrow
Laurelhurst Blog - NEST (Northeast Seattle Together)  which supports Northeast Seattle elder neighbors through a network of volunteers and vendors, is having an informational meeting on how the organization works at 10am at Magnuson.The information says:Learn how NEST is creating an engaged, friendly, and safe community to support NE Seattle residents as they grow older in the homes and neighborhoods they love. Meet some of our members and volunteers, and find out why we're so excited about NEST! Refreshments served. Free and open to the intergenerational, volunteer-driven non-profit organization that supports people to continue living in the homes and neighborhoods they love.Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.    Go here for more information. Read more...
Monday, January 26, 2015 -- 1:53 pm
Local Birding Expert Writes Tribute To Human And Avian Sea Hawks
Laurelhurst Blog - Connie Sidles, is a local birding expert who maintains a blog documenting the many types of birds, including beautiful pictures, at the nearby Union Bay Natural Area, also known as the Montlake Fill, and is also author of Fill of Joy and Tales from the Montlake Fill.Connie published a post today with a "tribute to our own Sea Hawks (both the human and the avian ones," she told the Blog Staff. Go Seahawks!       Much as we love our Seahawks team (and hard as we hope they will win this coming Sunday), we in Seattle are privileged to host a real sea hawk: the Osprey. Ospreys come to us from South America, migrating here to eat our fish and raise their young.We have a special pair who nest at NOAA in nearby Magnuson Park and who come to Union Bay on spring and summer mornings to hover over the water as they look for fish. When they see one, they fold their magnificent wings and plunge into the water, talons extended. Look for our Ospreys to return in a few months. In the meantime, we can root for their human counterparts.Here is a poem for both our Sea Hawks:Fly high, bright eagle of the sea and sky. With twelve beats of your wings, you have stolen our hearts away. Read more...
Monday, January 26, 2015 -- 1:47 pm
NW Wind And Solar Workshop Tomorrow At Community Center
Laurelhurst Blog - NW Wind & Solar and Sustainable NE Seattle are hosting a free community workshop tomorrow from 6-7:30pm at the Laurelhurst Community Center. The workshop will teach attendees about how solar works, state and federal incentives, how to determine if their roof qualifies for solar and more.  Participants will be eligible for a community discount on new solar PV system.   Register by on-line or by phone at (866) 376-5272. Go here for more information. Read more...
Friday, January 23, 2015 -- 3:03 pm
Chloe Bistro Closes (Next Door To Epic Barber Shop)
Laurelhurst Blog -   Chloe Bistrot (3515 NE 45th Street), which opened in June of 2010, closed recently.  It was owned by Laurent Gabrel, who also owns Voila! French Bistrot and La Cote Creperie in Madison Park.  Gabrel had completely remodeled the space from the previous restaurant, Enotria, which was there about a year and closed in February of 2010. And before that the popular Union Bay Café was in the space for many years until it closed in June of 2007.The 2,300 square foot restaurant was up for sale for $129,000 for several months around September of this year and was listed in BizBuySell, Business Week and LoopNet, advertising it as sub-lease with "low, low, low rent." and "great potential for growing much much more $$$s "A frequent diner at Chloe told the Blog Staff that the restaurant broke its lease which was supposed to go until 2020 because the restaurant was "going belly-up." He added that he had heard that the landlord does not want another restaurant in that space. He also added that he believes that Epic Barber, next door, will be expanding into the back area of the former restaurant, where the chef office used to be. There are two signs on the space - one a "For Rent" sign giving a phone number, and the other listing the details of various spaces available in the building. Read more...
Friday, January 23, 2015 -- 10:23 am
Laurelhurst Running Group Starting On Saturdays
Laurelhurst Blog - The Seattle Gym (3811 NE 45th Street) is starting a Laurelhurst Running Group, led by two ex-professional track runners, Kal Broderick and Erica Moore, on Saturdays from 9:30-11am.  Most the running will be in the neighborhood. The sessions, open to non-members as well, will include trainer led warm-ups, drills, run, post-run strengthening, core, and stretching inside the Gym.  Erica said "We will also be there to provide knowledge about running form, strides, warming up, injury prevention."She added:We came up with the Running Group idea because we are both personal trainers, love working with people on health and well-being, bringing people together, and have lots of knowledge and skill in the way of running and/or training for something specific. For more information go here. Read more...
Thursday, January 22, 2015 -- 2:37 pm
Shoreline Improvement Work Has Begun On 51st Avenue Street End Next To Laurelhurst Beach Club
Laurelhurst Blog - Shoreline beforeProject in progress photos:     Shoreline Street End improvement work at the 51st Street NE street end site, next to the Laurelhurst Beach Club, began this week. SDOT mailed out postcards (pictured above) to the area neighborhoods.The work will focus on increasing views of Lake Washington and public access for community members with the following improvements:Creating a level area with a bench Removing overgrown vegetation to increase visibilityEnhancing access to the water with timber stepsRemoving two parking spaces nearest the site to accommodate new bicycle racks and pedestrian access to the siteThe Laurelhurst Blog Staff talked to the architect and Seattle Parks representative (pictured above) who said several neighbors have already given positive feedback saying that the improvements "opened up their views."  The Seattle Parks representative said that there will be several paths leading to the water, including an ADA trail, a picnic table, shrubs, burms and other design features making it user friendly. SDOT says about the project and eight others that were selected as SDOT capital improvement projects to be completed by the end of 2015: The Shoreline Street Ends Program works to preserve and improve public access to our waterways, with projects focused on Seattle's 149 public streets that end on waterfronts.  Street ends are selected for improvement based on a prioritization scheme that came out of a 2009 analysis that examined gaps in shoreline access, open space, and accessibility.  A landscape architecture firm is designing all nine Shoreline Street End capital projects. For  more information go here or contact the Laurelhurst Community Club. Read more...
Thursday, January 22, 2015 -- 8:37 am
Yesler Swamp Work Party On Saturday
Laurelhurst Blog -     The Friends of Yesler Swamp is having a work party on Saturday from 10-3pm to work on the eastern part of the Yesler Swamp trail near the Beaver Lodge in mitigation zones W8 and W9, in partnership with UW Students, who make up the Community Engagement Committee.  Friends of Yesler Swamp are partners with UW students in restoring Yesler Swamp and engaging the community in educational events.  The students are committed to working for two years to preserve, protect, and maintain Yesler Swamp. Yesler Swamp, located in Laurelhurst, is bordered by NE 41st St. and Surber Drive, is maintained by a group of volunteer neighbors, who have been publishing many interesting new posts on the history of Yesler Swamp, including historic photos, videos, source notes and more. They work party invitation says:Volunteers should meet at the Yesler Swamp trail sign at eastern Center for Urban Horticulture parking lot (3501 NE 41st Street) at 10:00 am. If arriving later than 10:00 am: Follow the sidewalk along 41st and then take a right on Surber, then look for the trail down below the sidewalk on the right. Take that trail, then take a left towards the eastern part of the swamp and you will run into us. You can also give Carolyn Foster a call at 360-773-5228 when you arrive at the Center for Urban Horticulture and she will come meet you. Please come for any amount of time that works with your schedule--every bit helps!  Help restore Yesler Swamp!Refreshments will be provided.       Read more...
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 -- 1:39 pm
Laurelhurst Elementary School Students Initiate Petition In Support Of Keeping Playground Free Of Additional Portables
Laurelhurst Blog -    Two students, Stella and Skylar and  at Laurelhurst Elementary School, have initiated a petition for students fand children in the neighborhood to sign, in support of no additional portables on the North and South playgrounds. The Department of Neighborhoods (DON) is currently reviewing the applicants to be on the City's School Design Departure Advisory  Committee, to help with deciding if up to four more portables in total, should be added to the two and already small South playgrounds.Seattle Public Schools (SPS) has requested a zoning departure that, if approved, would permanently increase building lot coverage to up to 45%, significantly above the current limit of 35%, allowing the addition of up to four new portables, resulting in significant loss of playground space at the school.One of the student's moms, circulating the petition, told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff that the students "have really taken an active leadership role among their peers and are excited to be involved in this issue."She added: Most kids are concerned about possible portables, they say they want their play-space, and worry about where they will play.  The students see the kids playing fliers and other games every day on the spaces that have been proposed for portables.   My daughter thinks it's important for kids to have plenty of room for fun and exercise so they can focus better in the classroom.  The playground already feels small for the number of kids using it.  The girls have seen petitions before at Target and the grocery store and thought it was a pretty powerful way tell the school what the kids want and need. The students, along with a group of friends will be standing on the corners outside the school grounds before and after school (at the intersections near the school at NE 45th Street and 47th Avenue NE and NE 47th Street and 47th Avenue NE) before and after school explaining the situation, showing the proposed diagram of portables placements, and having the petition available. The students put together information which they are also showing to the kids on their clipboard which says:We are LEAPS (Laurelhurst Elementary for Active Playground). We are information you that Seattle Public Schools is planning to put four portables in the places that you love to play in! The space is going down to 45%. This is very bad and we are trying to STOP it.We are asking for your help to do your part. Did you know that: Studies say that if you reduce the area of playground space then it will cause more injuries because you have less space to play and you do not want to come home with a hurt knee. Every day kids use the space to play and be healthy, plus you don't want big ugly portables in front of our beautiful school! Laurelhurst already has the smallest Read more...
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 -- 1:00 pm
Increased Construction Activity At Children's Hospital This Month
Laurelhurst Blog - Children's Hospital has detailed various construction activities taking place this month in their Construction Blog:This month, multiple projects are taking place at Seattle Children's as we continue to expand and improve our facilities. As a result, you will see an increase in construction activity around the hospital campus.The projects include relocation of our ophthalmology clinic located on the southeast portion of our campus, construction of an exterior porch and patio in conjunction with the new Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit,  and build out on three floors in the Forest zone. With these projects, we expect higher truck traffic on NE 45th Street and an increase in deliveries on our service roads, particularly the drive that runs from the bus layover space along the south side of our ambulatory care, parallel to NE 45th Street.  There will also be one day of crane activity, specific date not established yet, in the southwest portion of our campus. This week we are making repairs to an exterior wall along the southeast side of our campus. This water proofing work will be completed today.  Additionally, you might hear roto hammering and drilling that will occasionally operate. The roto-hammering will take place this week - 60 to 80 holes will be drilled and they take 30 seconds each.  There will also be a concrete truck delivery sometime this week, day and time not established yet. All of this work will occur during normal business hours. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have questions please contact the construction pager line at 206-469-5860. We greatly appreciate your patience as we continue to make improvements at Seattle Children's. Read more...
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 -- 10:41 am
Laurelhurst Garden Featured In Seattle Times
Laurelhurst Blog - Here is an article recently published in the Seattle Times featuring a garden in the 3000 block of West Laurelhurst Drive:Laurelhurst garden is a study in grace with subtle color and good geometryJason Morse of the landscape architecture division of AHBL took his-and-hers desires and melded them into an elegant design that pleases both homeowners. By Valerie EastonSpecial to The Seattle TimesPREV 1 of  NEXT MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMESTextural contrasts of tightly clipped boxwood, feathery astilbe, a glossy-leafed magnolia and the whorls of dwarf Hinoki cypress foliage play out against the home's gracious façade.MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMESAn arbor leads into the front gardens. A yew hedge screens out the street. Landscape architect Jason Morse was inspired by one of the home's old doors to repeat its oval motif in the fencing that flanks the arbor and runs along the front of the garden.MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMESShades and layers of green predominate to create a serene feeling; an urn in the center of one of the bluestone-paved garden rooms holds tiny violas. The plants were installed by Kemper/Iversen Ltd. SBI Construction acted as general contractor; paving is by Gardenstone Masonry.Related Map DataMap data ©2015 GoogleMap DataMap data ©2015 GoogleMap data ©2015 GoogleTerms of UseMapSatellite45°Labels OLD HOUSES hold many charms, but their aged landscapes are rarely among them. It was difficult to even glimpse the facade of John and Tina Jacobs' 1928 Georgian Revival home through the overgrown bushes shrouding the house."You had to fight your way through the shrubs to get to the front door," says Jason Morse of the landscape architecture division of AHBL. Morse had designed the Jacobs' garden in Broadmoor years ago as his first professional project. They hired him again a few years ago to work his stylish magic on their Laurelhurst front garden.There were challenges. A steep slope slanted toward the house from the street. The narrow strip of lawn along the front of the house was perpetually soggy from water draining down the hillside toward the lake.Tina's vision for the garden, and the home's architectural symmetry, guided Morse's design. She wanted a front yard that was dry and welcoming, and offered a better view of the house. Because Tina's kitchen sink looks toward the street, she pictured garden rooms to be enjoyed from the inside out. Tina loves subtle colors and simple lines. And she wanted plants that look good even when they aren't blooming.Then there were John and Tina's differing aesthetics. John likes formal gardens; Tina prefers a more casual look. By enclosing looser plantings within layers of hedging, Morse created a garden that pleased them both. Floppy-leafed hostas and the pale-pink flower spikes of astilbe soften the garden's geometry. A taller hedging of yews offers screening from the street and textural contrast to the shorter, tightly clipped boxwood hedges. Read more...
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 -- 10:41 am
Changes in Garbage Rules And Fines Starting In July
Laurelhurst Blog - Seattle Public Utilities recently published this information:Changes in Garbage Rules:  Starting this year, the City of Seattle will no longer allow food or compostable paper, including pizza boxes, paper napkins and paper towels, in the garbage.  Organics -- food, paper napkins, cardboard pizza boxes, leaves and grass - make up the largest component of Seattle's waste. SPU estimates that 30 percent of the 317, 258 tons of trash that was disposed in the landfill in 2013 was compostable.  Recyclable items, such as paper, uncontaminated cardboard, bottles, cups, jars and cans are currently prohibited from the garbage. SPU will start enforcing the law on July 1, 2015.  All commercial, single-family and multi-family garbage containers that would be found to contain more than 10 percent recyclables or food waste by volume would face penalties of Seattle municipal code.  Single-family properties whose garbage contains more than more than 10 percent recyclables or food waste by volume would receive a notice on their garbage container and a $1 fine would be levied on their bi-monthly garbage bill.Multi-family and commercial properties whose garbage contains more than 10 percent recyclables or food waste by volume would receive a warning notice. Upon the third notice, the property would receive a $50 fine.Go here for more information.(photo courtesy of SPU)           Read more...
Friday, January 16, 2015 -- 8:30 am
Car Break-In On 51st Avenue NE
Laurelhurst Blog - The Blog Staff received this email:I live in the 4400 block of 51st Avenue NE and my car was broken into on the night of December 29-30.   A small amount of money (coins), bag of cards (library cards and coupons) and a pair of prescription sunglasses were taken.  The sunglasses were very expensive.  They were Maui Jim, progressive spectrum, polarized, tortoise brown color.  They will be no use to the thief's.   I reported the car break-in to 911 non emergency line and filed a report with a case number.  Please contact me if you hear of the recovery of any of the items.  . Read more...
Friday, January 16, 2015 -- 8:17 am
Still Time To Subscribe To laurelhurust Security Patrol
Laurelhurst Blog - The Laurelhurst Community Club recently published this information in their recent newsletter:Still Time to Subscribe to 2015 Security Patrol LCC's Private Security Patrol, now in its seventh year, is highly praised by subscribers. Its continued success depends on neighbor participation. The patrol boundaries cover the entire neighborhood area south of Sand Point Way from Mary Gates Way to NE 55th Street. Coverage is planned for six days/nights a week; hours will vary depending on funding.The annual cost per family is $200 for the period ending December 31, 2015. To participate, please either use LCC's secure online payment option (preferred) at www.laurel­, or send your $200 check payable to LCC Laurelhurst Community Club, PMB #373, 4616 25th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98105. If you pay by check, please be sure to include your name, address, email, and emergency contact information.   If you have questions about the LCC Private Security Patrol, please contact Brian McMullen, Crime Prevention co-chair, at 206-367-9325, or email Program ben­efits were detailed in the November newsletter and are listed on LCC's website.   Read more...
Thursday, January 15, 2015 -- 10:40 am
Car Break-In And Other Suspicious Activity Near Center For Urban Horticulture
Laurelhurst Blog - The Laurelhurst Blog received this information.On Monday, January 12th, I was walking around the Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street), near the garbage can area.  UW police were patching a broken back window in a woman's SUV that she had parked in a stall next to the rubbish bin area. Someone broke the window and took her laptop and books.She left her car there from 11-2pm.I arrived on the scene as the UW police were taping cardboard to her back window. Police said to always call on anything suspicious and they had been called to many in our area. I am sure there is a report as police were there.Also 2 weeks ago very early in the morning, I tried to get a photo of a young man who seemed to be snooping around the Center for Urban Horticulture buildings and the UW garden area to send to the Police. The police said to be careful about that because of obvious risk.  But I pretended to be taking photo of my dog but the guy  ran off.Additionally, in the fall, two young men tied up their rented canoe to my neighbors bulkhead and came on my property jumping on a very weak bridge and kicking off a wooden barrier I had built.  They came onto my dock until I ran out and and got the number of the canoe they had rented.  I called the UW canoe office and reported this. I didn't call campus police, but after talking to the campus police on Sunday, I will call in the future to report anything.      Read more...
Thursday, January 15, 2015 -- 9:01 am
No Water Access At Magnuson Off-Leash Area
Laurelhurst Blog - Seattle Parks and Recreation sent out this news release: Access to water temporarily closed at Magnuson Off-leash Area Toxic algae scum spotted in Lake Washington  As a precaution, Seattle Parks and Recreation has temporarily closed access to the water at the Magnuson Park dogs off-leash area.   Toxic algae has been found in accumulated scum in Lake Washington along the shores of the off-leash area. Toxic algae blooms are most common in the summer and fall, but can occur any time. King County Department of Natural Resources collected water samples and submitted them to the State Toxic Algae Program. The information was reviewed by Public Health - Seattle & King County. Tests have revealed that the toxins are currently found in the scummy algae that accumulate in some places along the shore. In general, people and pets should not wade or play in the lake where the scum has accumulated and dogs should not drink from the lake in these areas. If there is water contact for a pet, it is important to rinse well to remove all algae. Out of an abundance of caution, Parks closed beach/water access in the off-leash area until it is deemed safe for dogs to swim and play in the water. For more information on toxic algae and symptoms of toxic poisoning, please visit Washington Department of Health toxic algae website.  And Brian Judd, Manager of Seattle Parks and Recreation also shared this information:Because of the nature of the algae blooms (they move based on wind and lake conditions), it is very difficult to determine the extent of the bloom at any location for any given time. This poster has a link to which is the location to go and see the most recent samples and locations. It gets updated when new samples come in. Until this issue is resolved, it is very important to keep your pets away from the dog beach and the water. Algal blooms that are toxic can poison animals, wildlife, and people. If your pet has been exposed to the water at the dog park, please make sure that they do not lick their fur and rinse them with clean water. Then, rinse your hands and any exposed skin. Blooms appear as foam, scum, or streaks on the surface of water and can be green, blue, red, or brown in color. Dogs that are exposed to toxic algae can show severe signs within minutes to hours. Watch for signals such as low energy, weakness, not eating, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, stumbling, paralysis, seizures, or tremors. If your pet becomes ill, call your veterinarian immediately. Also, please report animal poisonings to your local health department. You can also notify the Washington Department of Health at: 360.236.3330.  Read more...
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 -- 10:31 am
Contact State Reps Before Tomorrow's Meeting To Require City To Give Public Notice For Small, Skinny Home New Construction
Laurelhurst Blog -  House at 4812 NE 40th Street built on small side yard oringially part of home next door "It could happen to you with no warning" was one Laurelhurst resident's comment when a tall, skinny home was built in 2012 on the 4800 block of NE 40th Street. The house, southeast of Laurelhurst Park, sits on a piece of property only 30 feet wide, which was segmented out of a larger one only 80 feet wide leaving only three feet in between the houses.Nick,  a Laurelhurst resident, who lives near a tall, skinny house, wrote a Blog post about his experience with the new construction home right across from him, titled, There Goes The Neighborhood -- And Yours May Be Next. Dan Duffus, a developer, is well-known around the city for building these tall skinny houses on very small lots, of which the houses are  modern in style, towering over the established homes beneath them and don't fit in with the character of the neighborhood.Tomorrow at 1:30pm in Olympia, State Representatives Pollet, Tarleton, Ryu, Santos and Gregerson will be introducing the legislation (HB 1084) at the state level, trying to force the City of Seattle to provide the surrounding neighbors with official notice when the Seattle Department of Planning and Development is considering allowing a developer to build a new, full-size home in the backyard or side yard of an existing home.A number of Laurelhurst residents have joined a multi-neighborhood Seattle wide movement called One Home Per Lot, to fight small, skinny homes.The group sent out this information about tomorrow's meeting:Tomorrow is a very important meeting. We will be sending a representative to speak and encourage others to attend and testify. If you can't attend, please take a minute, before Thursday, to send an email (and / or call) in support of the legislation. Email or call each of the members of the House Local Government Committee (and copy Representative Gerry Pollet). Emails are found below."Small-lot housing" still has neighborhoods all across the city fired up. And the notification issue is an especially contentious element. As you may recall, in May of last year, the Seattle city council passed a new set of building codes for small-lot homes that included a notification requirement. However, it only applies to the smallest of undersized lots (those under 3,200 square feet) and does not include lot boundary adjustments (another way developers build on undersized lots). In that same piece of legislation, the city council also promised, in writing, to study the notification issue further. It's been eight months since that promise, and still no results.   When Representatives Pollet and Tarleton proposed similar legislation last year, professional lobbyists for the building / development industry were the only people to speak -- and they were obviously very critical of the idea of notifying the nei Read more...
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 -- 10:03 am
Master Pruner Series Starting Tomorrow At Center For Urban Horticulture
Laurelhurst Blog - UW Botanic Gardens' Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street) is starting a series of classes called "Master Pruner Series: Trees I with UW Botanic Gardens and Plant Amnesty" with the first one tomorrow from 9:30-11:30am. The information says: The science and biology behind tree pruning with minimal injury to the tree.  Discussion will include compartmentalization, bark, branch collar ID and more. The instructor is Bess Bronstein.The cost of each 2-hour lecture is $35 or $30 for PlantAmnesty Members. : $25*Early Bird Special: Register for the full series by January 8th, for just $300 (Savings of $5 per class). PlantAmnesty Members pay $246. REGISTER ONLINE, email: or call 206-685-8033 to register. Read more...

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Meany Hall for the Performing Arts- University of Washington Campus
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