Friday, February 5, 2016

Workshop Tomorrow On Monitoring Mayor's Plan For Increased Housing In All Seattle Neighborhoods, Including Allowing Backyard Cottages

Tomorrow from 9:30-noon, a workshop will be held by an advocate group monitoring the Mayor's housing plans.

The workshop called, Seattle Fair Growth Citywide Advocates Workshop, will review draft documents on mission, positioning statement and some recommended next steps.

On December 9th, 2015, advocates from 22 neighborhoods and 16 organizations, concerned about what HALA, (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda), the 2035 Comprehensive Plan Changes and Upzones the Mayor and this City Council have planned for all Seattle communities, including Laurelhurst, will have on livability and affordability, met to discuss what is happening and how residents and groups can work together​.  

The information says about tomorrow's event:
Your input, alignment on a plan and support for action is needed. The workshop is another step toward formalizing a citywide action alliance for affordability and livability.

The meeting will be held at University Christian Church (4731 15th Avenue NE).  For more information or to RSVP, contact Nancy Bocek at or 206-632-7760.

Also, last month, the City held an Open House on encouraging Backyard Cottages, which are small dwelling units on the same lot as, but physically separate from, a single-family house.  Having a cottage, the Mayor claims, provides new housing throughout Seattle and gives homeowners an opportunity to earn extra income and remain in their homes.

At the open House, Councilmember Mike O’Brien and the Office of Planning & Community Development ((OPCD), informed Seattle residents about the barriers that frequently deter or prevent homeowners from building a cottage.  The public was also given the opportunity to provide input and feedback regarding potential to solutions to encourage more of these units.

Councilmember Mike O’Brien and OPCD have proposed easing the restrictions on accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs) to encourage more of this kind of housing, resulting in Duplexing Single-Family Neighborhoods.  

 The following Code changes have a been proposed: 
·           Removing the off-street parking requirement for ADUs;
·           Removing the requirement that the owner must live on the property;
·           Modifying certain development standards including height and square footage restrictions and setback requirements; and
·           Considering how to help streamline the process for getting financing and permitting.
For more information, go to the backyard cottages website or contact: Nick Welch, Office of Planning and Community Development, at

The Laurelhurst Community Club Board (LCC) has written many letters to the City regarding this long debated issue.
One recent letter said:

LCC has reviewed the Mayor’s proposed ordinance that would legalize detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs) citywide, the Director’s report, the guide to backyard cottages in southeast Seattle and other materials.  Over the past few years, we have participated in focus groups and public forums on the issue. 
LCC believes that the proposal falls short in providing adequate protections to single-family neighborhoods, that it will result in loss of open space and trees and will create added parking problems and congestion.   
The proposed ordinance should be amended to prohibit conversion of detached garages and sheds into DADUs
This is important due to the lack of adequate parking in most neighborhoods and the fact that the Code allows eight unrelated people to live in the combined dwellings.  With conversion of a detached garage into a DADU, there will be no place for the homeowners to park, other than on already congested streets. 

Seattle should legalize DADUs citywide. DADUs should only be allowed as conditional uses.  Under the proposed ordinance, DADUs, as well as currently authorized attached accessory dwelling units, are allowed outright in single-family zones.  A conditional use permit for these units should be required.  This process would give neighbors notice of the proposed change and an opportunity to appeal DPD’s decision—important in light of the potential impacts of each conversion or development of new units. 

The proposed ordinance should be clarified regarding the square footage that is allowed for DADUs.  DADUS are limited to 800 square feet. 
The DADU proposed ordinance should reconsider the effectiveness of allowing tandem parking.  Tandem parking should not be allowed for DADUs or ADUs.
The DADU proposed ordinance should address the ineffective provisions relating to parking waivers. There is currently no requirement to provide notice to neighbors of parking waiver requests.  Neighbors should be given notice of waiver applications and an opportunity to comment—as they should be given notice of DADU and ADU applications. 
The proposed ordinance for DADUs and ADUs should require permanent owner occupancy.  The current requirement is six months and DPD may waive the requirement for three years for good cause such as job dislocation, sabbatical leave, education or illness.  Homes with DADUs and ADUs should be truly owner-occupied on an ongoing basis, other than for good cause for short periods.  Without owner-occupancy, the family home with an accessory apartment becomes a commercial investment. 
DPD should enforce the owner occupancy requirement.  Because legalizing DADUs citywide is essentially duplexing single family neighborhoods, it is particularly important that DPD have the tools to enforce the owner occupancy requirement.  With no such requirement, homes with DADUs and ADUs essentially become dwellings with absentee landlords.  Many absentee landlords do not take care of their rentals in the same manner that an owner living in the home would do.   This is unfair to homeowners who maintain their homes to comply with the Code and the character of the neighborhood.
            The proposed ordinance should provide more accountability and monitoring.  

DADUs should be mapped and photos taken similar to what has been done for those legalized in southeast Seattle.  We agree that these supplementary reporting requirements would help DPD and the Council to track the development of backyard cottages over time and determine whether any related changes to the Land Use Code may be needed in the future.      
            A six-month grace period for existing illegal DADUs should be added to the legislation with substantial penalties for non-compliance with Code requirements.  The goal here should be to ensure habitability, safety and Code compliance as soon as practicable.  Inspections should be mandated for existing illegal DADUs.
            Existing illegal DADUs should be included in the cap of 50 DADUs per year.  Including these illegal units and maintaining a reasonable cap will help regulate the pace of DADU development during the first few years of the program and ensure that changes occur gradually and that Council is able to respond to emerging issues.
            The maximum height of a DADU should be 18 feet with a roof pitch similar to the main house
Living space below grade should not be exempt from the 800 square footage limit.  This will avoid the problem that has occurred in southeast Seattle where there is a huge 1400 square foot DADU where that structure is out of scale.
            It is a misnomer to call detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs) “backyard cottages.”  The proposed ordinance should honestly reflect what the units are—detached accessory dwelling units.

UW Botanic Gardens December Plant Profile Of The Coffin Tree

Each month the UW Botanic Gardens' Newsletter, E-Flora, posts in detail about a specific plant, among many other interesting posts about events and general information.

This month's featured plant is the Coffin Tree or Taiwania cryptomerioides
Here is the posting:

February Plant Profile: Taiwania cryptomerioides
Coffin Tree Photo

One of the best conifers and most unusual for foliar effects in February is Taiwania cryptomerioides, the Coffin tree. The common name comes from the practice of some native peoples in its natural range using the trees for making coffins. A tree is chosen at birth to be carved into a person’s coffin in old age. Learn more about this beautiful tree, and use our newly upgraded interactive map to find where in the Arboretum our eight trees are located.

Coffin tree branches

While there is an abundance of early blooms, bright bark and fragrance elsewhere in the Arboretum this time of year (particularly in the Winter Garden and Camellia Collection), winter is also a time to appreciate conifers.  One of the best and most unusual for foliar effects in February is Taiwania cryptomerioides, the Coffin tree.  We have three accessions totaling 8 trees in the Arboretum. 

There are two from 1969 (Accession #315-69 A&B), four from 1996 (Accession #119-96 A-D) and two in the old nursery from 1974 (Accession #465-74 B&C).  The 1969 accessions are just south of the main Sequoiadendron grove just off Arboretum Drive E, and the 1996 plantings are at the Newton Street entrance in the Pinetum.  Using the interactive map on our website is a great way to easily locate plants.

From a distance Taiwania cryptomerioides looks a little in habit like a young western red cedar or false cypress.  But closer in its visual affinity to Cryptomeria becomes more apparent, hence the specific epithet meaning “resembling a Cryptomeria,” or Japanese cedar.  The Coffin tree is the only species in the genus Taiwania and hence is known as a monotypic genus.  The common name comes from the practice of some native peoples in its natural range using the trees for making coffins.  A tree is chosen at birth to be carved into a person’s coffin in old age.   The grove in the Pinetum is part of the ½ mile long interpretive trail, and selected specimens along the route feature information about the tree and its uses in small interpretive panels.

Coffin tree grouping

In older forests, trees with trunks up to 10 feet wide are not uncommon.  However the species is listed as Vulnerable to extensive logging in its native range.  Populations 500 years ago were much more robust and widespread.  The species is long-lived, and some older populations in Taiwan are now protected.

Ornamentally the tree has much to offer.  Perhaps most striking is the array of blue-green needles along the somewhat drooping branches.  They look sharp and stiff, but are surprisingly soft and flexible.  The textural effect is outstanding, and the narrow shape accentuates the somewhat weeping effect.  It is most attractive throughout the winter and spring seasons, and new growth is a brighter blue.  Like many conifers, older foliage does turn a brownish yellow before dropping, and this is usually most noticeable in late summer and early fall.  It does best in full sun.  In its native lands, it grows in mid to upper elevations in areas of summer and autumn rainfall but drier winters.  Despite this, it seems to do very well for us with our dry summers and wet winters.

Coffin tree needles

Next time you are in the Pinetum or near the giant Sequoias along Arboretum Drive, be sure to look for this species.  The ones at the Newton Street entrance are probably easiest to find, and if you haven’t been to this minor entrance from the Montlake Neighborhood, you’ll notice is reached from a quiet street end.

Common name:  Coffin tree
Family:  Cupressaceae
Location:  Grids 19-4E in the Sequoiadendron section, Grids 33-7E and 34-7E in the Pinetum at the Newton Street entrance
Origin:  Taiwan, northern Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma) and Yunnan, China.  Populations elsewhere in south-central China are believed to have been introduced.
Height and spread:  A large tree, that can reach over 200 feet in the wild.  It is fairly narrow in youth, and in cultivation is slower growing.  Considered the largest tree native to Asia
Hardiness:  Cold hardy to USDA Zone 8

Coffin tree with sign

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Some More Yesler Swamp History Courtesy Of The Friends Of Yesler Swamp

The Friends of Yesler Swamp, located in Laurelhurst, has published a variety of posts regarding the history of Yesler Swamp, including history of the area from settlement, sawmill, town of Yesler, historic photos, videos, source notes and more.

The website says:

Most people know that Henry Yesler once ran a mill in downtown Seattle at the foot of what we now call Yesler way. But what does Yesler Swamp have to do with the famous Seattle pioneer? Find out the answer to this and lots more.

Here is one of the excerpts from their Blog about a canal that was built and resulted in draining too much water from Lake Washington leaving leaving a fringe of cattail marsh and today is the unmanaged wildlife area to its west.


Throughout Seattle’s early history, the pioneers dreamed of digging a canal to connect Lake Washington to the waters of Puget Sound. In the early days, the only route to Lake Union from Lake Washington was the narrow ditch through the isthmus of land between the two lakes. Timber logged on the shores of Lake Washington and the mountains to the east had to be hauled by hand or dragged by horsepower.

One of the many engineering challenges to building a canal between the lakes and Puget Sound was devising a way to lower Lake Washington to the level of Lake Union, allowing ships to pass from the fresh water lakes through a channel to the salt water.[38]

On September 1, 1911, after many years of debate and planning, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of a 75 foot ship canal that would extend from Lake Washington through Union Bay, to Lake Union and on to Puget Sound. A set of locks would permit the Corps of Engineers to control the level of Lake Washington and permit ships to pass into Puget Sound. The Cedar River was to be diverted into the southern end of Lake Washington to provide a constant flow of water through the locks.[39]

After four and a half years of construction, the ship canal was completed. On August 26, 1916, the Chittenden locks were closed, and the waters of Lake Washington gushed through the Montlake Cut into Lake Union on its way to Puget Sound.

“Cutting away the coffer dam at the Montlake Cut,” University of Washington, Special Collections UW2382

By October 1916, Lake Washington had dropped 8.8 feet. When the level of Lake Washington fell, the edges of Union Bay – including Yesler Swamp – were drained of water, leaving a fringe of cattail marsh. The last remnant of this original cattail marsh created in 1916 can be seen today in Yesler Swamp and in the unmanaged wildlife area to its west.[40]

Photo by Jean Colley

But the lowering of Lake Washington caused a problem for Yesler’s mill: the millpond where log booms were stored was left high and dry. To permit continued water access to Yesler’s mill, a channel or mill run was dredged. Jim Thompson remembers a mill run deep enough to accommodate a tugboat, stuffed with logs four to five feet in diameter and over 100 feet long.[41]Today the old mill run forms the lagoon in Yesler Swamp that is home to water fowl and great blue heron.

City's Permitting and Planning Offices Re-Organize Under New Name And Director logo

Several months ago, Mayor Murray signed an executive order yesterday calling for an all-new Department of Planning and Development under a new name. The long-time Director, Diane Sigamura, retired after 37 years in the position.

It is now called Seattle Department of Construction & InspectionsAnd DPD's City Planning division is now the Office of Planning & Community Development. Nathan Torgelson is Director overseeing both Departments.  City planners from the DPD, and the departments of transportation, parks and housing all work together in the new OPCD office.

The group has been working on several new initiatives. One is implementing a new system, called, Accela,  that will better track all permitting, code compliance, and property management processes.

"This is a huge and important undertaking for the department and will improve the efficiency in which you can track permits," Torgelson said.

The completion of the registration phase of the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO) program and implementation of new tenant protections is also underway

Torgelson commented that "we are now a city of more renters than homeowners. Our goal is that these initiatives will improve the conditions in Seattle’s rental stock"

The Mayor said about the re-organizations that the new departments will act as "a single entry point to address community concerns and will work closely with the Department of Neighborhoods to gather input and ideas from neighbors."

Murray has said that Seattle is currently the country’s third-fastest-growing city and is on trac to permit 9,000 new housing units this year, 30 percent more than in 2014.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

LCC Not Satisfied With Children's Hospital Emergency Response Protocol Document Recently Released Following Psychiatric Patient September Escape As Schools Not Notified Among Other Lingering Worries

site of incident last September
of home break-in
committed by escaped
Children's Hospital psychiatric patient

A Children's Hospital psychiatric patient escaped from the hospital last September when the power failed and he proceeded to be able to leave the hospital and walk into the neighborhood, breaking into a home in the 4300 block of 53rd Avenue NE and barricading himself in there for almost five hours.

As the Laurelhurst Blog reported, the teen-age patient finally came out of the home when his mother arrived and reportedly asked him to come out. The owners of the home where the patient broke in had left the house for one hour to go grocery shopping and returned to find the ordeal happening in their home.

This incident, turned more serious when it was learned, that weapons were possibly in the home, resulting in about four SWAT vehicles racing to the affected area blocking it off and not allowing residents to return to their homes for many hours.

Nearby families and those with children at the neighborhood schools were alarmed to learn that the initial call from the Hospital to the Police did not get broadcast over the Police scanner so that Public School District Security who monitor activity around public schools was not able to inform the Principal at Laurelhurst Elementary School. And Villa Academy reportedly found out about the incident from a parent.  
The Blog Staff received many emails following the ordeal, asking what types of psychiatric patients are housed at the hospital , why the nearby schools weren't notified to go into a lock-down and why the Hospital security staff was not authorized to apprehend the escapee?

A resident, who was directly affected by the incident,  worried what might have happened if the house had been occupied at the time of the invasion, and whether this incident could have ended tragically.   

She added:
Incredibly, Hospital staff just watched as the escapee entered the back yard to break into the house, and did nothing to prevent it. What if the escapee had then attacked the occupants?  Would they just stand by and also let that happen?  

If the Hospital is going to expose the surrounding community to this type of risk, they need to employ security staff who are trained and authorized to prevent crimes and fully protect the community when potentially dangerous patients escape from their custody.
Last November, the Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) were able to finally meet with  representatives from the Hospital including Todd Johnson, Vice President, Facilities and Supply Chain, as well as several Public Relations and Community outreach people and two Psychiatric Department doctors. 

The three LCC attendees asked for the facts of the incident and to learn about their emergency protocols. 

LCC provided this meeting summary to the Laurelhurst Blog Staff:

Right during and after the incident at the Hospital, LCC activated our 'standing committee" that was required by both entities in the Settlement  Agreement, and requested a meeting on emergency protocols.

At the meeting we did obtain the facts, and with that, we expressed serious concern for lack of information given to local schools, supposedly via the Seattle Police. 
LCC suggested a more direct response to the two nearby schools,  at a minimum directly from the Hospital. The Hospital said they "would get back to LCC."  The schools denied that any contact  was made at the time of the incident.

In January the Hospital sent LCC the general information (pasted below) regarding the special unit and protocol. 
LCC believes this explanation is not acceptable as it does not address the need for immediately notification from the Hospital, but rather solely from the Police.

LCC formally asked both Schools what is the most effective method for the Hospital to notify them so that LCC can draft an inclusive letter to the Hospital from the community.   
Villa responded right away, but the Principal at Laurelhurst Elementary has yet to respond to LCC with a formal response.  LCC can’t understand the delay with the Laurelhurst principal with such a serious matter and tasked with keeping her students and staff safe.  
Because of this delay, the formal  LCC response to the Hospital is held up due to the Principal's non-response and LCC has given her another 2 week deadline.  "Let's hope the principal replies," LCC told the Blog Staff.  
Thus, it may take until the end of February to have both a response from the school and then to hear back from the Hospital.  
If not, LCC will draft a letter  without the School's input as we are not satisfied at all with The Hospital "emergency response" which just bumps it to the Seattle Police, which is very understaffed, especially in NE Seattle.

Here is the information posted in the most recent Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) Newsletter:

Emergency Protocol at Children’s Clarified
After the alarming September incident where a psychiatric patient left the hospital and broke into a home, LCC met with Children’s representatives and asked them to clarify their protocol for dealing with this type of emergency. While this is still a work in progress and LCC will provide more feedback, Todd Johnson and Children’s staff updated the protocol, the highlights of which follow, as well as an explanation of their Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit.  
LCC strongly advocates that the protocol include notifying LCC and nearby schools of any breach of security or serious incident that could impact the neighborhood. 
Here is the information LCC and the Laurelhurst Blog Staff received from Children's Hospital: 
Seattle Children’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (PBMU) is a 41-bed, acute care psychiatric facility providing care for children and adolescents throughout the Pacific Northwest. PBMU staff and providers evaluate and provide inpatient treatment for children ages 4 – 18 who have emotional, behavioral and neuropsychiatric disorders. Young adults (up to age 21) who have developmental disabilities may also be considered for admission. 
The PBMU is not a juvenile correctional facility and does not offer forensic services. Youth who have or are suspected of committing violent crimes, and/or are in need of forensic or competency evaluations, are not admitted to Seattle Children’s PBMU. These youth are served by the state of Washington in state-run facilities (e.g., Child Study and Treatment Center and Echo-Glen Children’s Center).  
Some of the more common reasons for admission to the unit include mood and anxiety disorders, suicidality, disruptive behavior disorders, eating disorders (e.g., anorexia/bulimia), and autism. The PBMU is also invested in treating children with unique medical problems. Youth may be admitted on a voluntary or involuntary basis. 
The model of care in the PBMU emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to evaluation and treatment, and care includes helping patients build appropriate skills, providing support and education for parents, medication evaluation and adjustment, connection to community resources, and medical nursing services as needed.   
The PBMU environment is highly structured. Daily activities include group therapy and an educational program where patients engage in academic schoolwork The average length of stay in the PBMU is about a week. The vast majority of children and youth served on the PBMU return home and immediately reintegrate back into outpatient care and community school settings. 
What steps are typically taken and what additional steps will be taken when a patient leaves hospital grounds?
When any patient under medical supervision leaves hospital grounds, a Code Pink is called. Outlined below is our Code Pink Protocol:
  1. A Code Pink is called as soon as the patient has left property.
  1. Security Services will call 911 immediately once a patient has left campus.  The Seattle police assume primary responsibility of patient safety and recovery once the patient has left campus.
  1. Security Services will attempt to keep the patient in sight at all times to help insure their safety and to serve as a location support for the Seattle police.
  1. Security officers and Code Purple team responders will attempt to de-escalate the patient and gain their cooperation in returning to main campus.
  1. Security officers will and have physically intervened and restrained patients who attempted to walk/run into crowded streets.
  1. As a result of the September 28th, 2015 incident, officers have been advised to consider physical restraint and intervention should a patient appear to be attempting entry into a private dwelling/private residence.
Q and A
Q: So Seattle Children’s security staff will call 911 once a patient has left campus?
A: Yes – this to obtain optimum support and to keep the patient safe.
Q: Security team members will have the discretion to restrain a patient should said patient appear to be attempting entry into a private dwelling?
A: Yes – officers may choose to intervene physically.
Q: Will the Seattle police assume primary responsibility in taking the lead once a patient has left the hospital campus?
A: Yes
What are Seattle Children’s protocols for ensuring doors remain locked and /or are monitored during fire testing, actual fires or other catastrophic events?
If the fire/life safety system “thinks” there’s a fire (as signaled by the operation of a pull station, smoke detector, or water flowing through a sprinkler head), then alarm/strobes will sound and the doors will unlock.   We mitigate against false alarms by placing pull stations inside of secure staff-only areas and employ a dual action sprinkler system.
If there is a fire drill in which the pull station is activated, then the doors open as previously described.
If there is a power loss, the access control system is powered by the emergency generators.  When transitioning from city power to generator the battery backup for the access control boards and locks will keep the doors locked.  The auto operators would not work during this transition time, but the magnets will continue to hold.
If there is a seismic event, the doors remain locked unless a pull station or sprinkler head is activated.
If there is a “Code Grey” (Bomb Threat) or other emergency, the doors remain locked unless a pull station is activated.


Storytime Saturday At Center For Urban Horticulture

cover art

Miller Library, located in Laurelhurst at the UW Botanic Gardens (3501 NE 41st Street)  is holding a story time on Saturday with the theme of "Year Round Book Story Program" from 10:30-11:15am.

The information says: 
How are you feeling? This time, all our books are about feelings-having them, sharing them, describing them.  
After the stories, make a special card for someone you love.

Books to be read are: 
HOW ARE YOU PEELING? by Saxton Freymann
A TREE FOR EMMY by Mary Ann Rodman
SHARING OUR WORLD by Ian Reid and others

Storytime is geared towards children ages 3 to 8. All ages and their families are welcome.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Laurelhurst Parent And Entrepreneur Teaching Kids Manners Class Thursday

Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman, a Laurelhurst mom, who owns a creative children's apparel line, called Totally Me Artful Wear by MiMi Bug. has branched out into teaching manners classes.  She has developed a table manner curriculum and teaches it at schools, organizations and stores.

She has also designed her own dishware and specific table manner dishes, which are sold at Metropolitan Market. In addition, Ming-Ming, who has been a pharmacist for 17 years, wrote a book called, MiMi Bug's Day with Friends, available in  Seattle toy shops, gift stores and local markets. The line’s name comes from her Chinese nickname, “little bug,”

On Thursday Ming-Ming is holding a manners class on Thursday from 4-5:15 at Satsuma (8511 35th Avenue NE) in nearby Wedgwood.

Ming-Ming told the Blog:
The class will be fun and interactive vovering how to greet, carry good conversations, set the table and handle tricky foods. and everyone will enjoy mealtime more because your kid(s) will practice good manners learned! 

Here is more information:

Are your kids the picture of etiquette at the dinner table and when meeting and engaging with grown-ups? If they're like mine, they could use a few pointers!
Let Miss Mimi share the power of Magical Manners with your kids at this drop-off class.

Class Outline: 
  • Kids arrive and are greeted by Miss Mimi and are invited to help set the table in a fun manner that teaches independence.
  • Kids will enjoy a delicious snack while using their Magical Manners*
  • Kids will learn how to handle menu pitfalls - Don't like fish or olives? Miss Mimi will show you what a polite guests does!
  • Now you try! Kids will host their own event and discover their new found Magical Manners
  • Graduation
Kids will receive:
  • Valuable table, conversation and etiquette skills tailored to their developmental stage
  • Table Setting place mat from Mimi Bug, Miss Mimi's dishware collection
  • Graduation certificate
  • Kids leave ready to test their new Magical Manners and help set the table at the next family meal.
Kids can also choose to purchase one of four discounted Mimi Bug Dishware  styles featuring Miss Mimi's MimiBug Collection: MiMi Please + Thank You; GoGo Small Bite + Chew Right; BeBe Try Not to Slurp...; DraDra Mouth Full Up. 

Go here for more information and to shop Ming-Ming's items.


Final SR520 Concept designs For ‘Rest of the West’ Online

SDOT recently published this information about the ‘Rest of the West’ portion of SR520 stretching from I-5 to Lake Washington:


Montlake design

The final conceptual designs for SR 520’s planned improvements from I-5 to Lake Washington are now posted on our website. The “West Side Final Concept Design Report,” developed by WSDOT in collaboration with the city of Seattle, also includes a summary of public comments on the designs. 
Following legislative passage of the Connecting Washington transportation-funding package in 2015, the SR 520 program is now fully funded for construction. That means WSDOT is moving ahead to build planned SR 520 improvements in Seattle, including a new Portage Bay Bridge, two community-connecting highway lids, and new bike and pedestrian connections.  
Construction for the “Rest of the West” will take place in phases. We’ll share the latest design and pre-construction information as the project moves forward.

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Neighborhood Crime Report

Here are reports of crime provided by Spotcrime which links back to the Seattle Police website:

1/1   12:12pm    4200 block of 51st Avenue NE

1/15   5:56am  3600 block of  NE 43rd Street

1/15   12:03pm  3700 block of  NE 42nd Street

1/15   9:59pm   5100 block of 47th Avenue NE

1/22   5:33pm    4500 block of 49th Avenue NE
1/25    1:58pm  3800 block of 48th Avenue NE

Free Tax Help At Northeast Library Branch

Free Tax Help

The Northeast Branch (6801 35th Avenue NE) of the Seattle Public Library, is offering free tax help Friday and Saturdays through April 16th from 1-5pm.   

The information says:
The Seattle Public Library and , AARP, are working together to offer free tax help. Trained volunteers will be available to answer questions and prepare personal tax returns.
This service is free and available to individuals. The free service is not available for business tax returns.
IRS reproducible forms are available for photocopy (15 cents per page) at all Library locations. Please call your branch to find out if print forms are in stock. Most IRS forms are available online at 
Due to federal budget cuts, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is unable to provide the Library with certain tax forms and instruction booklets. Most IRS forms are available online. Black-and-white prints of the forms can be printed from Library computers for $.15 per page.  
Go here to see the list of documents required to receive tax help as well as: 

- Social Security Card
- Tax form SSA 1099 (Social Security benefits)
- Medicare card (if Social Security number is followed by an "A")
- Official documents on Social Security Administration letterhead

 Photocopies or computer print-outs of any these documents will not be accepted.

Drop-in tax help is offered on a first come, first served basis.

For more information go here.