Friday, July 19, 2019

Tomorrow Seattle Police North Precinct Picnic






The Seattle Police North Precinct Picnic will be held tomorrow at the North Precinct (10049 College Way North) from 1-4 pm, which serves Laurelhurst and other northeast neighborhoods.

The event is sponsored by SPD and the Seattle Police Foundation and is an opportunity to meet officers from the precinct, the SWAT team, and the Arson Bomb Squad (ABS).

The picnic will have a variety of activities including storytime, music, kids activities, and a chance to see various specialty units, SWAT and ABS vehicles and equipment.

The information says:
The annual picnics held at precincts throughout Seattle is a project designed to facilitate positive community and police interactions across the city. Picnics in the Precincts provide an opportunity for each precinct's surrounding neighborhoods to come together and enjoy an afternoon of celebration with the officers that protect their families and businesses. Businesses financially support the event through donations and community groups assist in the planning and execution of each picnic.  
The first Picnic at the Precinct was held in September 2004 at the East Precinct. Since then, the Picnic in the Precinct program has grown to include all five precincts. Thousands of Seattle residents enjoy food, music, and an opportunity to learn about and interact with many of the Department's units, including K-9, Mounted Patrol, Bomb Squad, and SWAT.​ 

For more information go here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Union Bay Water Deemed Safe



The Laurelhurst Blog received this information from Seattle Public Utilities regarding the possibly contaminated water at Union Bay:

SPU received word today that it is safe to resume water activities. Results back this morning from the latest water samples show that it’s safe to swim and pursue other water activities.

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) also told the Laurelhurst Blog:

LCC spoke with the SPU incident response team today, and the test results are "zero, zero and a minimal amount of animal bacteria" that is normal from local birds (all those geese). They tested the area and the pumping station system twice and now considered all clear and safe for any use. 
No "official" report has been posted yet on what happened.  Their "best guess" is that the pumping station overflowed, which triggered the SPU alarm. Around that same time, there was an isolated heavy rain shower centered around Union Bay/South Laurelhurst. Likely, it caused a rush of runoff water which caused an overcapacity situation for the localized pumping station.  
All is good now, so enjoy the weekend in, and on the waters of Union Bay.
Save Union Bay Association (SUBA) also reported that they had a meeting with SPU several days ago regarding the sewer overflow which dumped into Union Bay. Their tests, at the time, revealed contaminated seepage. SPU recommended to SUBA that homeowners and Union Bay users not swim until the bacteria was back to acceptable levels. 

SUBA added "Too much development they fear, with old infrastructure that does not have the capacity to handle the extra sewer flows."

Seattle Public Utilities reported yesterday to the Laurelhurst Blog that their crews responded to a sewer overflow on July 15th about midnight in the neighborhood.

SPU added that the "sewer pump station located in the 3000 Block of West Laurelhurst Drive NE was inundated with water to a point where the two pumps could not keep up. Tis caused a release of wastewater though an overflow pipe to nearby Union Bay for about thirty minutes." 

SPU crews took samples at Union Bay yesterday and had advised that neighbors avoid water contact in the area of the overflow until samples were analyzed.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Avoid Water Contact Immediately In Sewage Overflow Area Of Neighborhood

Seattle Public Utilities sent this information to the Laurelhurst Blog:
 
Seattle Public Utilities would like to let you know that our crews responded to a sewer overflow on July 15th about midnight in Laurelhurst.   
The sewer pump station located in the 3000 Block of West Laurelhurst Drive NE was inundated with water to a point where the two pumps could not keep up. This caused a release of wastewater though an overflow pipe to nearby Union Bay for about thirty minutes.  
We’ve heard from some Laurelhurst residents that there was a short-term heavy rain event at the time. SPU is investigating the cause but we haven’t confirmed yet if that contributed to the overflow.  
Yesterday, SPU crews took samples at Union Bay. At this time, we are advising people to avoid water contact in the area of the overflow until samples can be analyzed.  
We should have results from initial sampling by mid-day tomorrow.  Public Health-Seattle and King County will review the samples and determine when the water is safe for swimming. We will share updates.  





Tuesday, July 16, 2019

All About The Ospreys Nesting At The Union Bay Natural Area

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
.


Osprey - Hope

Three young Osprey preparing for their first flights from the nesting platform in 2016.


The osprey pair nesting on the platform at the Union Bay Natural Area (UBNA) has had seven young between 2016 and 2018. Five of their young successfully learned to fly and left the nest. Sadly, the two from 2018 did not survive.

This Spring has been filled with equal measures of anxiety and hope. Would the adults return? Will they successfully raise young in 2019? Will the young learn to fly e.g. fledge? It has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Happily, the adults Chester and Lacey have returned. By early May, their preparations for nesting certainly appeared to be headed in the right direction.

You can read about their April efforts and find a link to last year's story by Clicking Here.

On May 9th, the female, Lacey, was sitting on the nesting platform and loudly begging her mate, Chester, for food. A male Osprey often brings food to its mate, especially when they think the female may be interested in mating or is incubating eggs. When the eggs hatch this responsibility grows dramatically. The males must then supply the bulk of the food to feed the young. 
During the previous three years, by May 15th, Lacey has settled lower in the nest and appeared to begin the incubation process. Given this perspective, it was not a surprise to see Lacey at the nest site and still not incubating on May 9th. Maybe her 'early' begging was an attempt to reacquaint Chester with his future responsibilities.
Chester who was sitting right overhead ignored her calls for almost ten minutes.
Finally, after a shivering shake, Chester appeared to come awake to Lacey's expectations. A few moments later he flew out over the bay and began searching the water for fish.
Sadly, May15th has arrived and passed and I have seen no sign of incubation at the nesting platform. However, there have been a number of interesting Osprey developments. Curiously, Chester and Lacey do not appear to have abandoned the area. As of earlier this week, they are still hanging around their traditional Union Bay territory. If they are constructing a new nest somewhere nearby I have not seen it. On the positive side, another pair of Osprey have established a new territory just a quarter of a mile to the north.
This part of the story started with a new nest being built above the Intramural Activities (IMA) field in 2018. In this July 2018 photo, the new pair's initial nesting attempt was evident. However, the new nest was not complete in time to lay eggs last year.

By May 8th, 2019, the new nest was much larger and both Osprey were actively involved. Here, the male is landing and the female is mostly hidden behind the crossbar. They traded off sitting in the nest, almost as if they were already on eggs, and the male brought the female food! (If I had the skill to accompany my posts with music, this is where I would cue in Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.)
One of the challenges, when watching four unique, and occasionally interacting Osprey, in close proximity, is trying to keep them straight. The brown necklaces on the females versus the pure white chests on the males helps distinguish them. Knowledge of their respective territories also helps but they do not always respect the invisible boundaries. 
Luckily, the markings on their foreheads are unique. Here we can see that the markings on this male's head are distinctive from the markings on Chester's head (in the following photo).
Since the male Osprey is primarily in charge of providing food for the family, and since the Steward on a ship is the officer in charge of provisions, I am suggesting we call this particular Osprey, Stewart. I certainly hope he can live up to his name and provide his mate and their future young with all the fish they require.
Chester completing his meal above UW Baseball Field - June 8th, 2019.
After Stewart landed at the IMA nest the female picked up her food and retired to a nearby tree to eat.

Luckily, the necklace on her chest has larger and darker spots when compared with Lacey's. In addition, her forehead, specifically the area between her eyes, is much lighter. The photo below helps to at least partially display these distinctions. You will find the differences are reinforced further in future photos.
Given that this female is now the only female Osprey near Union Bay who is currently incubating eggs naming her, Hope, seems like an obvious choice.
Lacey on the UBNA platform - May 9th, 2019.

Last year, occasionally a third Osprey would visit Chester and Lacey's nest. Prior to 2018, whenever an Osprey flew anywhere close to their nest it was rapidly chased away. I suspected the third Osprey was more acceptable because it may have been one of their offspring - possibly one of the three in the first photo above from 2016.

Theoretically, it takes young Osprey two years, after their initial, first-year migration south, to mature and then return north to establish a breeding territory. I am wondering if the third Osprey, from 2018, might also be one of the new pair of Osprey who are nesting on the IMA light pole.

Last week, I saw two interactions that seemed to reinforce this idea of a family relationship. One example was when a second female approached the pair sitting on the IMA light pole. The response from the two resident Osprey was not particularly aggressive.

As the second female (I suspect it was Lacey) attempted to land on the light pole the male, somewhat reluctantly, hopped over and escorted her away from the nest. During the chase which followed it seemed like Stewart was going through the motions but not very concerned about the situation. This was all seen from a great distance so I was not able to establish the identity of the individual birds with great certainty.

Later, while Chester was eating on the northwest light pole above the UW Baseball Field (see the last Chester photo above), Hope (above) could be seen and heard begging from the northeast light pole above the same field.

This attracted the attention of Lacey, who suddenly appeared and bumped, Hope, off the light pole. Like the previous example, this interaction did not appear to be highly aggressive. It seemed more like a point was made without anyone getting hurt.

I have no doubt about the bumped female being, Hope, because of the obvious darker marks on her necklace. Lacey's motivation seemed fairly obvious. I suspect she did not want another female begging for food from her mate, especially while sitting in Lacey's territory. (Food deliveries among breeding birds are often consummated with mating.)

Finally, this photo of Lacey, immediately after the bump, clearly displays her more delicate necklace and helps to reinforce my identity assumptions. 
I find the interactions between the two pairs of birds extremely interesting. Also, I wonder why Chester and Lacey have chosen not to incubate eggs this year. If Bald Eagle harassment was the motivating factor then I would expect Chester and Lacey would relocate to a safer place and establish a new nest. However, they appear to be staying on in their UBNA territory, and apparently are defending it, at least from other Osprey. It makes me question whether the local Bald Eagles are truly the issue.
I am very curious to see if young Osprey will successfully fledge from the new IMA nest. I am excited by the prospect of Stewart providing a sufficient supply of food and I am also enthused that Chester and Lacey may provide a buffer between the new nest and the Bald Eagles who traditionally hunt above Union Bay. I also wonder if and how Chester and Lacey may interact with new youngsters from the IMA nest. I wonder if the Ospreys comprehend the concept of grandkids. Will they all be one big happy family? I sure hope so!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Children's Hospital Construction Activity This Week




Children's Hospital has begun construction activity in preparation for the new Building Care, Forest B, Phase 2 of the expansion, planned to open in Spring of 2022. 
The 310,000 square-foot addition will add an eight-story building and will includes diagnostic and treatment facilities, primarily out-patient cancer and others) labs, new state-of-the-art operating rooms, 20 inpatient beds, and a lobby. There will be two floors of underground parking and sterile processing. This will bring SCH bed total to 409, up from 200 before its expansion 2012 plan. 
The helicopter landing pad has already moved temporarily to the roof of Forest A (176’), now known as Friends of Costco Building, Phase 1 of the expansion. The landing pad will be active for the next four years, until Building Care is completed Noise is expected to be louder than the former ground-based helipad. When Forest B is complete, the helistop will moves to its permanent location on top of the Friends of Costco Building (same height).
The Hospital posted this information on their Construction Blog about specific construction activity this week: 

  • Install rebar and pour concrete for curbs, walls, footings, columns, and pads/slabs
  • Install framing, sheeting, seismic joint, flashing and windows for exterior mock-up
  • Install drains, plumbing and electrical
  • Backfill excavated areas
  • Install scaffold
  • Install waterproofing for walls
  • Form pilaster
  • Activities south of Forest A (near the loading dock and NE 45th Street): excavation; install “lagging” to prevent cave-ins during earthwork; grade for footing; install rebar
  • Internal and external activities on River level 6: remove ceiling tiles; core drill for new vent location; move vent piping; patch roofing
  • Internal and external activities on River level 7: demolish siding; relocate downspout; saw cut and demolish parapet; drill and install rebar
  • Internal activities on L1 of Forest A (Friends of Costco Building): install seismic restraints; replace ceiling
Construction noise will be generated throughout the week. The noisiest external activities will be the concrete work, which will occur all week. The noisiest internal work will be the drilling. Expect heavy truck traffic, primarily from concrete trucks. Construction activity is weather-dependent and subject to change based on conditions.

Call 206-987-8000 or email construction@seattlechildrens.org with questions.

Friday, July 12, 2019

June Laurelhurst Real Estate Summary





Kim Dales has provided this neighborhood real estate activity report for the month of June:


5029 46th Avenue NE
Mid-Century Modern home currently for sale


June of 2019 and 2018 were quite similar in several ways. To start with, the number of sold homes in 2018 was 7 and 6 in 2019. The median sale price was slightly less in 2018, $1,500,000, compared to this June's median sales price of $1,524,000.  The biggest difference between this and last year in June was cumulative days on market. Last June the average days on market was 37, this year it was only 15, which is excellent news.

In April I mentioned a change in the excise tax calculations effective in June of 2020. Here is more comprehensive breakdown of what this will mean if you are planning to sell in 2020 based on your sales price range: Washington State Excise Tax Cheat Sheet


  ACTIVE LISTINGS 

Address
List Price
Beds/
Baths
Year
Built
Sq.Ft
Price
p/sq.ft
4606 NE 47th St
$939,000
3/1.75
1942
1,500
$626.00
5029 46th Ave NE
$1,025,000
3/1.75
1963
1,670
$613.77
4276 NE 50th St
$1,098,000
4/2.5
2019
2,045
$536.92
3826 46th Ave NE
$1,282,000
4/2
1927
2,520
$377.06
4840 NE 40th St
$1,360,000
5/2
1927
3,600
$377.78
4545 49th Ave NE
$1,365,000
4/3.5
1950
2,520
$541.67
4559 NE 41st St
$1,770,000
4/3.75
1988
3,160
$560.13
3800 44th Ave NE
$1,875,000
4/3.25
1941
3,880
$483.25
3732 47th Pl NE
$1,970,000
4/3
1930
3,950
$498.73
3920 NE 38th St
$1,795,000
4/3.25
1940
3,450
$520.29
4503 48th Ave NE
$2,150,000
5/3.5
2015
4,133
$520.20
4541 46th Ave NE
$2,265,000
5/3.5
2017
4,070
$556.51
4515 51st Ave NE
$2,265,000
4/2.25
1940
4,200
$539.29
3613 NE 42nd St
$2,349,950
5/4.5
2019
4,402
$533.84
3011 E Laurelhurst Dr NE
$2,775,000
4/3.5
1908
5,380
$515.80
4804 NE 40th St
$2,990,000
5/4
2019
4,700
$636.17
3151 W Laurelhurst Dr NE
$3,250,000
4/3
1940
3,090
$1,051.78
5020 NE 45th St
$4,450,000
5/5.5
1969
6,430
$692.07
4208 55th Ave NE
$4,650,000
4/2.5
1957
3,230
$1,439.63


CONTINGENT IN JUNE

Address
List Price
Beds/
Baths
Sq.Ft.
CDOM
5058 Nicklas Pl NE 
$1,395,000
4/2
3,480
31


PENDING INSPECTION IN JUNE

Address
List Price
Beds/
Baths
Sq.Ft.
CDOM
*3409 W Laurelhurst Dr NE
$1,350,000
3/2.25
3,000
6
* listed and under contract in June

PENDING IN JUNE

Address
List Price
Beds/
Baths
Sq.Ft.
CDOM
4319 NE 45th St
$1,095,000
4/2
2,200
6
*4553 NE 41st St
$1,475,000
3/3.25
2,760
3
*4316 NE 44th St
$1,495,000
5/2.5
3,060
4
3855 44th Ave NE
$1,550,000
3/3
2,550
52
*3536 45th Ave NE
$1,585,000
5/2.5
2,570
0
*3920 NE 38th St
$1,795,000
4/3.25
3,450
16
4117 50th Ave NE
$1,799,000
5/3.25
2,860
48
4810 NE 40th St
$1,898,000
4/3.25
2,930
57
4707 49th Ave NE
$2,198,000
5/4
3,382
100
4518 52nd Ave NE
$2,350,000
4/2.75
3,380
29
*4727 NE 36th St
$3,100,000
5/3.5
4,130
8
*listed and under contract in June


SOLD IN JUNE

Address
List Price
Sale Price
CDOM
Beds/
Baths
Sq.Ft
Price
 p/sq.ft
Date Sold
4737 49th Ave NE
$995,000
$1,010,000
6
3/2
2,000
$505.00
6/17
3818 46th Ave NE
$1,475,000
$1,450,000
11
4/2.5
2,490
$582.33
6/25
4202 51st Ave NE
$1,575,000
$1,498,000
24
3/3.25
3,450
$434.20
6/6
3511 NE 43rd St
$1,395,000
$1,550,000
4
4/2.5
2,830
$547.70
6/27
4511 55th Ave NE
$1,825,000
$1,750,000
16
3/3
2,570
$680.93
6/12
3322 43rd Ave NE
$2,300,000
$2,225,000
29
4/3.25
3,570
$623.25
6/12
Averages

$1,580,500
15


$562.24


Median Sales Price = $1,524,000
CDOM = Cumulative Days on Market