Monday, August 19, 2019

Laurelhurst Blog Staff On Vacation

The Laurelhurst Blog staff will be on vacation this week and will return to posting on Monday, the 26th.

In the meantime, please keep sending in your informative emails and we look forward to responding.

Happy Summer!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Wednesday Children's Singer At The Park






The Summer Series at the Laurelhurst Park continues on Wednesday at 11am with Eric Ode.

The information says:

Eric Ode is a national award-winning children's singer/songwriter, a widely published author and poet, and an engaging entertainer.   
His upbeat, high-participation programs are bubbling over with fun, interactive music and include stories, skits, poetry, props and puppets.

The show is $5 per family for up to 4 people, and $2 for each additional person. The show will be outdoors weather permitting, so something to sit on is encouraged.


(photo courtesy of Community Center)



Thursday, August 15, 2019

Baby Osprey Near NE 45th Street

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
.



Rama - The Young Osprey

This is Hope, feeding her new nestling. I am estimating the little bird is around 3 weeks old. Given the height of the nest, it took a while for the small bird's head to become visible to those us below.
I am thinking the best name for this young bird is, Rama. Rama has both Hindu and Hebrew meanings, some of which may even seem appropriate. However, none of these definitions are my reason for suggesting this particular name.
By the way, this is apparently Hope's first successful nest and therefore her first parenting experience.

It might seem disappointing that Hope and her mate, Stewart, apparently have only one hatchling. However, on the positive side with just one in the nest, there will be no sibling competition. This young bird should get all the food it needs.
Even though the nest is near N.E. 45th Street, probably a quarter-mile north of Union Bay it does not seem to create any real issues for Stewart. I have read that Osprey can successfully nest many miles away from their fish supply.

After Rama hatched out, my friend Ronda and I were both surprised to see Hope restart her nest building forays. I looked it up in Birds of North America (citation below) and apparently, this is a common behavior among female Osprey. 

However, it does require a certain level of skill to safely add a four-foot-long forked branch to an active nest.

Apparently, this is a skill which Hope is still developing.

She ended up with the branch hooked under Rama's partially-grown left wing. Immediately, I started to worry. Would Rama get tossed out of the nest? Would the young Osprey be able to duck if the stick popped free? I remember as a child hearing, 'Be careful with that stick! You could put somebody's eye out.'

Since our local Osprey winter in Mexico, I often entertain the idea of giving them Spanish names. Since the Spanish word for branch is, Rama, it seems like a fitting name to me.

Two days later, on Thursday, I encountered another Osprey with a branch. When I first saw Chester, the male from the Union Bay Natural Area pair, he was calling loudly and circling above the University of Washington (UW) Baseball Field, with the branch in tow. Moments later he landed just north of their normal nesting platform. I wondered if he was intending to deliver the branch to the nest. (We still do not know for sure why Chester and Lacey did not attempt nesting this year.)
While Chester sat on the snag another male Osprey came south turned in a half-circle, around Chester, and then headed back north. I could not see the markings on the head but given the proximity and the lack of reaction from Chester I suspect it was Stewart.
The other day Ronda mentioned reading that second-year, male Osprey often return to the area near their parent's nest to set up their own territory. Since Stewart and Hope first attempt to build a nest was in 2018 that would imply the Stewart might actually be one of the two males from Chester and Lacey's original Union Bay brood in 2016. This also might help explain why Chester's reaction to Stewart was so low-key. You can read more about 2016 brood in the post called 'The Un-Snipe'.

After a few minutes to rest, Chester took off with the branch. Initially, he appeared to be headed toward the nesting platform, but if so he overshot.

Chester headed out over Union Bay before circling back as he rose higher into the air. The circling continued.

For close to five minutes he continued to circle and rise, circle and rise. He must have been well over a thousand feet in the air. I could barely see him with my naked eye and I could no longer see the branch, without help from my camera and lens.
Once he reached a sufficient height Chester began diving, straight down.

The dives were followed by momentarily turning horizontal. The gravitational pull on the long branch must have been quite strong when he hit the bottom of each dive.
None the less, Chester held on to the stick and used his speed to turn vertical. He stayed in the vertical position for so long I suspect he almost came to a stop. Then he repeated the same 'J' dive over and over as he approached the ground. Click Here to see a similar process recorded in a video by Martin Muller - from the Urban Raptor Conservancy.

Ultimately, Chester returned to one of the UW light poles which he had been circling earlier.
I checked the time stamps on my photos. He held on to the same branch for over fifteen minutes. Most impressive was that after resting on the dead snag he carried the branch in the air non-stop for over seven and a half minutes, while either climbing or diving. 
Last year, I watched him do a similar set of dives, which at the time I called an Air Dance. (Apparently, it is more often referred to as a Sky Dance.) Click Here to read that story. The previous air dance was different in a number of ways. It was in the Spring instead of Summer. He was carrying food not a stick and it was done directly in front of Lacey. It was clearly part of their annual courtship process.
This time, I did not notice Lacey in attendance, we are past the courtship time of year and he was carrying a stick not food. I am really uncertain what the Branch Dance was all about. However, male Osprey who have a nest which fails, like Chester and Lacey, are said to sometimes build a new nest in the area before heading south for the winter. I hope the fixation on the branch, and the display over Union Bay, indicates Chester will try nest-building somewhere close.
Flashing back to Rama and Hope, she ultimately wiggled the branch out from under Rama's wing, without doing any apparent damage.
Hope then turned and placed the branch on the east side of the nest. It sure is wonderful to see another young Osprey growing up near Union Bay, especially since Chester and Lacey will not have young of their own this year. Hopefully, this summer the fish will be plentiful and next year we end up with two successfully nesting pairs of Osprey.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Neighborhood Businesses Burglarized



The Laurelhurst Center complex (3700 block of NE 45th Street), which includes Ravenna Homeopathic, the Wax Bar, the Frame Shop and Jaks, were reportedly burglarized in the early morning of August 6th.

The property manager reported that the burglaries happened between 2am and 3:30am. All businesses were reportedly re-keyed after the burglary. 

Ravenna Homeopathic told the Laurelhurst Blog:
The burglary took place in the middle of the night. Security cameras showed a man breaking into one of the businesses.  He had a baseball cap pulled low on his face, gloves and pulled up a mask as he went by the camera. We have no information to identify them.

The Frame Shop told the Laurelhurst Blog that they had minimal loss and no damage. And added "It was more of an annoyance."

And another of the business owners told the Laurelhurst Blog staff, "I hope these guys are caught soon. We are so tired of this madness."

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Summary From LCC's Recent Annual Meeting

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) published this information in a recent newsletter:
Neighbors Gather for Annual Meeting
 It was a full house as neighbors met at the Laurelhurst Community Center for the Annual Meeting to hear Spencer Howard, Historic Preservationist and LCC’s expert talk about Talaris preservation. 
As is obvious by overlaying Quadrant Homes proposed development of the site that includes 67 single-family residences, neither the landmarked landscape design nor all of the buildings would be preserved and protected as required. National standards are applied to landmarked properties and must be adhered to throughout any redevelopment. Mr. Howard provided a detailed analysis of the proposed impacts including removal of 37 to 63 percent of trees. 
Mr. Howard also noted that Quadrant does not yet own the property. There still has not been any official design review and the full Seattle Landmark Preservation Board has not weighed in. Quadrant reps have said each lot would be individually prepared and the entire property would not be bulldozed – actions inconsistent with landscape preservation. 
The second speaker was Queen Anne Community Council president Martin Henry Kaplan, who spoke briefly and passionately on the consequences of duplexing and triplexing of single-family zones. Seattle City Council voted unanimously to largely deregulate accessory dwelling units. No ownership will be required, opening up an array of concerns including land speculation. 
The third topic of the evening was a brief overview of LEAD – Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion. This relatively new approach allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders to community-based services instead of jail and prosecution. The program was developed and launched in Belltown in 2011. The initial successes have been very encouraging, and the program is expanding as funding becomes available. This is a project of the SPD North Precinct and UW. For more information contact LEAD Seattle, King Co. Project Director: Tara Moss, Tara.Moss@Defender.or, 206-392-0050. 
The meeting also included the election of trustees Katherine Burk, Emily Dexter, Colleen McAleer, Jim Rupp, Connie Sidles, Jan Sutter, and Stan Sorcher. Trustees Robin Chalmers and John Temple retired. 

Monday, August 12, 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: 
    • Activities south of Forest A (near the loading dock and NE 45th Street): install pipes and electrical pathways; saw cut concrete; demolish concrete and excavate trench
    • Install rebar and pour concrete for walls, footings, columns, and slabs
    • Install “lagging” to prevent cave-ins during earthwork
    • Backfill
    • Install electrical pathways
    • Install decks
    • Waterproofing for walls
    • Activities on River level 7: install framing, sheeting and roof drains
Call 206-987-8000 or email construction@seattlechildrens.org with questions.

Friday, August 9, 2019

SR520 Traffic Closure Update


WSDOT published this information:


There is a horizontal green band that reads Rest of the West News. Above it is the letters W S D O T. An oval on the right reads state route 520.

Montlake Project construction underway this week with nighttime off-ramp closures

If you travel through Montlake on SR 520, you may have noticed more construction activity this week on the SR 520 Montlake Project. Just like any good home improvement project, crews are starting with an important first step: preparing the work site.
What does this mean for you? If you have any nighttime journeys planned on SR 520, please be aware that the westbound SR 520 exit to Lake Washington Boulevard is closed nightly this week, through Saturday, Aug. 10, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
In addition to the overnight ramp closures, this week you may see crews:
  • Installing fencing, erosion control, and water-treatment facilities at the Montlake work site
  • Removing trees and vegetation near SR 520 to allow construction of initial project elements
Much of this work is to prepare for a major traffic shift (pdf 2.3 mb) later this fall, when crews will move eastbound traffic onto the West Approach Bridge North, which currently carries westbound-only traffic. This temporary shift will enable crews to replace the old, 1960s-era west approach bridge with a seismically stronger, three-lane bridge for eastbound-only SR 520 traffic.
We expect the Montlake Project to last approximately four years. Over the course of the project, short-term closures of on- and off-ramps at Montlake Boulevard, as well as lane closures on SR 520, will be required. Crews will often work at night and on weekends to avoid disruptions to daytime commuters and provide a safer work zone for both workers and the travelling public. Our nighttime work will comply with the noise limits and operational requirements spelled out in a Major Public Project Construction Noise Variance granted by the city of Seattle. 
Please visit and bookmark our SR 520 Construction Corner to find up-to-date information on SR 520 construction. The site includes an interactive construction map that shows the specific location and duration of near-term work, along with any associated road closures. The Construction Corner also describes our responsibilities and protocols for limiting the effects of our construction.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

July Laurelhurst Real Estate Summary


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


3800 44th Avenue NE



July has been an interesting month in Laurelhurst, with more listings (19) than last year (15). The average days on market from year to year have almost doubled: 16 cumulative days on the market (CDOM) last July, compared to 30 CDOM in 2019.

Also, the median sales price has gone down $206,261.00. The median closing price in July 2018 was $1,726,261 versus $1,520,000 this July. It is hard to know what is driving this 12% decrease.

Of the 11 homes sold in July, only 3 exceeded their listing prices. It feels like buyers are being more selective and taking their time. We are also seeing offers below listing prices more frequently as buyers have more choices.

With that said, if you are thinking about selling your home, meet with a Realtor and discuss the market analysis, along with a list of items that will help prepare your home for the market.


 ACTIVE LISTINGS 


Address
List Price
Beds/
Baths
Year
Built
Sq.Ft
Price
p/sq.ft
4606 NE 47th St
$799,950
3/1.75
1942
1,500
$533.30
4278 NE 50th St
$999,950
4/2.5
2019
2,045
$488.97
4838 NE 41st St
$1,050,000
4/2.75
1942
2,340
$448.72
4310 43rd Ave NE
$1,275,000
4/2.75
1926
2,981
$427.71
4545 49th Ave NE
$1,365,000
4/3.5
1950
2,520
$541.67
5051 50th Ave NE, #10
$1,450,000
3/2.5
1986
2,706
$535.85
4559 NE 41st St
$1,750,000
4/3.75
1988
3,160
$553.80
3920 NE 38th St
$1,795,000
4/3.25
1940
3,450
$520.29
3800 44th Ave NE
$1,875,000
4/3.25
1941
3,880
$483.25
3732 47th Pl NE
$1,895,000
4/3
1930
3,950
$479.75
4503 48th Ave NE
$2,150,000
5/3.5
2015
4,133
$520.20
3613 NE 42nd St
$2,349,950
5/4.5
2019
4,402
$533.84
3828 49th Ave NE
$2,350,000
5/4
1928
4,010
$586.03
4114 42nd Ave NE
$2,465,000
5/4
2019
3,838
$642.26
3011 E Laurelhurst Dr NE
$2,636.250
4/3.5
1908
5,380
$490.01
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



PENDING INSPECTION IN JULY


Address
List Price
Beds/
Baths
Sq.Ft.
CDOM
5029 46th Ave NE
$1,025,000
3/1.75
1,670
26
4840 NE 40th St
$1,360,000
5/2
3,600
49


PENDING IN JULY


Address
List Price
Beds/
Baths
Sq.Ft.
CDOM
3826 46th Ave NE
$1,225,000
4/2
3,400
81
5058 Nicklas Pl NE
$1,395,000
4/2
3,480
49
4541 46th Ave NE
$2,215,000
5/3.5
4,070
49



SOLD IN JULY


Address
List Price
Sale Price
CDOM
Beds/
Baths
Sq.Ft
Price
 p/sq.ft
Date Sold
4319 NE 45th St
$1,095,000
$1,125,000
6
4/2
2,200
$511.36
7/8
5036 47th Ave NE
$1,200,000
$1,200,000
8
4/1.75
2,840
$422.54
7/3
3409 W Laurelhurst Dr NE
$1,350,000
$1,350,000
58
3/2.25
3,000
$450.00
7/23
4553 NE 41st St
$1,475,000
$1,470,000
3
3/3.25
2,760
$532.61
7/12
4316 NE 44th St
$1,495,000
$1,500,000
4
5/2.5
3,060
$490.20
6/12
3855 44th Ave NE
$1,525,000
$1,520,000
52
3/3
2,550
$596.08
7/19
3536 45th Ave NE
$1,585,000
$1,600,000
0
5/2.5
2,570
$622.57
7/15
4810 NE 40th St
$1,989,000
$1,875,000
57
4/3.25
2,930
$639.93
7/9
4707 49th Ave NE
$2,198,000
$2,172,500
100
5/4
3,382
$642.37
7/2
4518 52nd Ave NE
$2,425,000
$2,350,000
29
4/2.75
3,380
$695.27
7/15
4727 NE 36th St
$3,100,000
$3,070,000
8
5/3.5
4,130
$743.34
7/9
Averages

$1,748,409
30


$576.93



Median Sales Price = $1,520,000
CDOM = Cumulative Days on Market