Friday, June 22, 2018

Comment On New Plans For Big Events At UW Husky Stadium

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) published this information in their recent newsletter:

Comment on New Plans for Big Events at UW Husky Stadium  
The UW has prepared the required draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for its updated Husky Stadium Transportation Master Plan (TMP).  
In it, the UW offers no specific incentive plans to further reduce its impacts on the mobility of surrounding communities during large events and continues to dump all of the attendees onto existing transit routes. Its underlying assumptions are untenable. Regular bus routes and light rail are already running over capacity.  
The excess demand of adding approximately 22,000 riders to existing routes within 30 minutes of a major event’s completion would take at least two hours to clear. The TMP offers no new specific incentives for car share availability, no added boat shuttles, no improved sidewalks, and no bus pull out in front of Husky Stadium along Montlake Blvd. where Metro #78, Metro #65, Children’s Hospital shuttles, and Connector buses stop.  
These transit vehicles block all traffic in the lane, result in gridlock for other vehicles, and create unsafe boarding conditions for riders.  
The March issue of the Laurelhurst Letter featured key points LCC wanted  included and analyzed in the EIS.  
View the TMP EIS on the UW’s website. Send written comments to: Julie Blakeslee, University of Washington, Box 352205, Seattle, WA  98195-2205 or email: jblakesl@uwa.ed.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

May Neighborhood Crime Reports - Private Security Patrol and Seattle Police Department

Below are two separate reports for May crime activity in the neighborhood.

The first is the Neighborhood Private Security Patrol activity report (subscribe here) provided by the Laurelhurst Community Club.

The second is the Seattle Police Department crime report for Laurelhurst.

Laurelhurst Private Security Patrol Report:
LCC Crime Prevention Board Member hasn't submitted a report for the month 

Neighborhood Seattle Police Department Report:
5/1   9:38am  3800 block of Surber Drive NE

5/5  11:13pm    4100 block of 43rd Avenue NE

5/8   12:15am  5100 block of NE Latimer Place

5/8   3:36am  4100 block of 43rd Avenue NE

5/25   12:23pm  3900 block of NE Belvoir Place

5/26  7:28pm  4100 block of 43rd Avenue NE

5/27   8:31am  3500 block of 43rd Avenue NE

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Join SUN Park Weed and Sweep Brigade

SUN Park

The SUN Park Team, which oversee the upkeep of the small corner pocket park located at the corner of NE 47th Street and 47th Avenue NE, invites the neighborhood to it's monthly "Weed and Sweep Brigade Work Parties" on the second Saturday and Wednesday from 9:30-11:30am. 

"Stop by with your favorite garden tool to keep the park in shape," a volunteer told the Laurelhurst Blog.
The SUN Park location, planned, funded, developed, and maintained by Laurelhurst neighbors, was originally part of the site of a large 1920's Bungalow style house.   A developer purchased the property, demolished the home, then divided the original lot into three parcels.  Two houses were built on the subdivided lots. 

In 2007, the Sun Park group, along with many in the community, attended a meeting along with City representatives, to save the third parcel, on the corner, from being developed. 

The plot of land was purchased by a group of Laurelhurst neighbors and friends, through donations to the Cascade Land Conservancy (now Forterra, a nonprofit 501.c.3 organization whose mission is to conserve great lands and create great communities) in order to preserve the small open space from development and create a community park and native plant garden.  

In 2009, SUN Park, named for Saving Urban Nature, was finished and was completely funded by private donations. 

The Friends of SUN Park maintain the plantings which include a variety of trees, shrubs, ferns, perennials, and groundcovers native to Western Washington. Identification markers provide information on the plants and "the ways in which their use represented the
first ‘grocery store’ and ‘pharmacy’ for local Native American cultures," a volunteer told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff.
One of the Friends Of SUN Park gardening volunteers added:
SUN Park serves as a demonstration site for those interested in growing native
plants and learning more about the plants indigenous to the region. Gardening
with these plants creates a more nature landscape, promotes wildlife habitats,
and requires less maintenance.
To support SUN Park, contact Dixie Porter at or 206-383-0147  or Janice Camp at 206-849-5778.

Enjoy "great nature nearby" one of the volunteers told the Laurelhurst Blog.

Go here for more information.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Three Eaglets In Eva And Albert's Nest

Here is a recent post from the Union Bay Watch Blog published by Larry Hubbell, long-time local photographer and birder.

Here also is an in-depth article about Larry and his work.

Monty, Marsha and...
Is this Monty or Marsha?

If you have not seen last month's post regarding the new pair of Bald Eagles in Montlake, you may want to take a moment to catch up. The post was titled, New Neighbors. Click on the green highlighted title if you would like to see how they built their new nest in Montlake.

I must admit, I have paid significantly less attention to my old favorite eagle pair, Eva and Albert, since Monty and Marsha built their nest quite close to my home. This week I just happened to notice that Eva and Albert have not two but three healthy-looking eaglets in their nest. 

As luck would have it, Peter Reshetniak, President of Raptor Education Foundationsent me a link to his beautiful video which documents that Eva and Albert have three young in their Broadmoor nest. Click Here to watch his wonderful update.

Identifying individual eagles might seem frivolous, but my assumption is that to truly appreciate and learn about our new neighbors we must first figure out how we can recognize them. 

In the earlier post regarding Marsha and Monty I mentioned noticing a difference in their 'eyebrows'. I have tried for years to see physical differences in Eva and Albert, other than size, but I have never felt very secure in identifying them. This could be partially due to the height of their nest. Even with closer access to Monty and Marsha's nest my progress has been a slow and humbling process, but I think I am finally making headway.

In this photo from January, the smaller Monty is sitting in front. Clearly, he has less of an overhang above his eye. Marsha's 'eyebrow' hangs down above and slightly in front of her eye. If you look back at the first two photos in this post, which were taken in late May, you can clearly see Marsha's distinctive eyebrow. The fact that the difference has been consistent for a number of months increases my willingness to rely on the distinction.

Of course the flip side to the issue is, can we also see a consistent distinction for Monty? Here is a similar photo of Monty in May and we can see that his eyebrow has remained fairly horizontal and without the slight downward protrusion, like Marsha's.

Here is another example, with their heads in the shadows, it is less obvious that Marsha is the closer bird. However, there is just enough of a difference to tell them apart.

One of the things this distinction has taught me is that Monty spends much more time on the nest than I had expected. While this tiny distinction is sometimes helpful it is not always a functional distinction. For example, when the eagles are in the air they seldom slow down and allow me to examine their eyebrows.

Although in this case, when Monty was just leaving the nest, I did get a clear look at his eyebrow. As luck would have it, there is currently another notable distinction between these two eagles. 

On Monty's right wing, just beyond the halfway point, Monty is missing one of his feathers. In this photo there is just a tiny gap through which the sky is visible. It takes at least two years for an eagle to replace all their feathers, so while Monty is regrowing this feather we will have a larger personal indicator.

This photo from January shows Monty has been missing this feather for a few months. The missing feather is near the border (I think of it as his elbow) between his primary and secondary feathers. I believe Bald Eagles have ten primary feathers. If my counting is correct Monty is regrowing his third or fourth secondary feather.

Occasionally I get lucky. Here is a photo of Monty in-flight with both his partially missing feather and his horizontal eyebrow on display.

Of course the next question is how do we identify Marsha in-flight. This photo from late in May shows that she is regrowing two secondary feathers on her left wing. One near the mid-point and one is closer to her body.

This photo from early March shows that she has been missing these feathers for a few months. Being able to identify them individually also helps us to learn the boundaries of their territory. Previously, I have had to watch the eagles until they returned to their nest to identify them.

For nesting Bald Eagles it seems like their most consistent challenge is defending their eggs, and then their young, from crows. 

Sometimes they see the challenges coming, and sometimes they don't.

Monty seems to react to the crows a little more than Marsha. I wonder if her indifference is somehow due to her larger size or just a generally calmer personality.

If I remember correctly, Monty was a bit upset by the crows in this photo.

Still, when Monty returns to the nest Marsha can also get a bit vocal.

The most exciting Marsha and Monty moment in May was getting to see the head of a young eaglet (or two) in their nest. A kind and generous neighbor allowed me access to their strategically placed deck, which enabled this special and unique view.

These young eaglets create some new challenges for us. Will we be able to identify the individual young birds? What will be appropriate names for Monty and Marsh's offspring? Luckily, we do not have to worry about protecting and feeding the young.

In this photo, we see Marsha returning to the nest with baby food.

By the way, if you have an extra few minutes you might want to read these wonderful posts regarding, Valuing Nature and Decoding the Audio Mysteries.

Have a great day on Union Bay...where nature lives in the city!


Wood Duck Update:

Off the top of my head, I can no longer count the number of Wood Duck ducklings that have been reported in the last week. This is a great time to be visiting the shores of Union Bay.

This duckling was already wandering around on its own, which makes it helpful to be able to tell the difference between a Wood Duck... 

...and a Mallard duckling. Not counting their size, Do you see a key difference? Answer below.

What species of butterfly is this? Is it native to Union Bay?

Western Tiger Swallowtail: Yes, it is a native. Click on the name to learn more.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Tomorrow Children's Hospital Next Phase Of Development Update

Tomorrow night from 6-8pm, the SAC (Standing Advisory Committee), made up of representatives of Children’s Hospital and surrounding neighborhoods, will hold its 21st meeting in the Ocean CafĂ© of the hospital.

The SAC advises the City and Children’s Hospital on issues related to the design and construction of new buildings and other projects under the City approved Children’s Hospital Major Institution Master Plan.

Agenda items include:
  • New member introductions
  • 2017 MIMP Annual Report
  • Forest B Update (new 8-story building to be built over next 2 years)
Public comment will be at 7:05pm. All SAC meetings are open to the public. Those interested in any of the topics on the agenda are encouraged to attend.

Friday, June 15, 2018

UW Gardens June Plant Profile: George Washington Elm