Thursday, October 20, 2016

Attempted Break-In On West Laurelhurst Drive

The Laurelhurst Blog received this information:

On Wednesday night, 10/19, at 9:30 pm, two people tried to break into our house on the 3100 block of West Laurelhurst Drive.   
They came from the street, around the side of our house, down two flights of stairs, jumped a gate and then up two flights of stairs to the top deck.     
They threw a rock through our double-paned glass door which set off our alarm.  Fortunately, the alarm scared them away.   
They were then seen going down the side of our next door neighbor’s house and also two doors down.   
The police came very quickly but didn’t find anyone.  Our surveillance cameras caught two figures but it was too dark to identify them.

STEAM Science,Technology And More Event At NE Library On Sunday

STEAM Sunday at the Northeast Branch
The Northeast branch of the Seattle Public Library (6801 35th Avenue NE) is having a special event called "STEAM Sunday" from 2-3:30pm.  

The information says:
Tweens and teens ages 9 to 15 are invited to drop in for activities arranged by teen volunteers around science, technology, engineering, art and mathematical (STEAM) themes.

For more information go here. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Laurelhurst Community Club Prevails on Recent Talaris Ruling

This information was published in the most recent Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) newsletter: 

LCC Prevails on Talaris Ruling
On September 23, LCC attorney Peter Eglick, Richard Hill representing Talaris (4000 Properties), and the City Attorney’s office came before Judge Marianne Spearman to decide if Talaris would be granted another “stay” (delay) for their LUPA (Land Use Petition Act) and suit against the validity of the City of Seattle’s Landmark Board’s authority to govern buildings and sites.  
These cases are intertwined, which has complicated the speedy resolution required by law for deciding land use issues. Mr. Eglick was methodical and decisive.  
The Talaris owner has asked for and been granted several stays. If another three-months delay had been granted by the court, 1,000 days would have been spent to settle this case. The law spells out a maximum of 30 to 45 days.
The amount of time elapsed indicated that the Court would no longer have jurisdiction, because the time limit had been egregiously exceeded.  
Mr. Eglick cited another case and ruling to support his argument. He stressed before the court that LCC is not the entity driving up litigation, fees, and delays, but rather 4000 Properties.  
The Judge noted the eight previous stays that she granted and asked why it would take another three months for the Academy for Precision Learning to figure out their finances. She ruled “enough,” and lifted the stay. No more delays will be permitted. 
The Judge ordered that LCC and Talaris work out a new LUPA appeal schedule, which they quickly did. It filed September 30.  
This ruling is good news for LCC. Now if Talaris wants to continue its suit against the City of Seattle over its Landmark Board authority, LCC will not be part of it. It also reinforced LCC’s status as a party of record in the Talaris land use process. 
To learn more about the Academy for Precision Learning  concept plan go here.  The concept is available on the Laurelhurst Community Club site here. 

Classical Music Concert Sunday at St. Stephens Church

St. Stephen's Church.(4805 NE 45th Street) is having another Philharmonia Northwest on Sunday at 2:30pm.

Philharmonia Northwest Orchestra is celebrating their 41st season was started in 1976.  It was established by Frances Walton  whose policy was to "perform standard and non-standard repertoire for chamber orchestra, filling an unoccupied niche in the Seattle musical scene. The orchestra has performed music from Baroque to world premieres all over the city and the Northwest region," their website says.

Sunday's concert featues Matt Drumm playing: Rossini: La gazza ladra overture, Ney Rosauro: Concerto for Timpani and String Orchestra and Hayden: Symphony No. 103 ("Drumroll").

The information says:

We ring in our new era with the loud snare drum roll of Rossini’s La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) overture. The drum theme continues with our very own percussionist, Matt Drumm, performing a romantic timpani concerto by Brazilian composer Ney Rosauro, described as “[a] unique work that explores the lyrical potential of the timpani.” Haydn’s famous “drumroll” Symphony No. 103 concludes the concert.
For more information and to buy tickets go here.
    (photo courtesy of Facebook)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

WSDOT's SR520 Construction October Meeting Summary

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) provided these meeting notes from the October 5th SR520  monthly SR520 construction meeting at the Graham Visitor Center, which was largely attended by Montlake neighbors.  Toff Harrison from WSDOT ran the meeting.

LCC said:

WSDOT explained  how the timeline of construction would occur from the summer of 2017 when the West Approach Bridge North (WABN) is slated for completion through to Stage 1, which is the West Approach South Bridge facing Madison Park and the Montlake Interchange(2018-2023), then Stage 2 through Montlake Interchange to I-5 connections (2020), and finally adding a type of second bascule (draw) bridge across the Montlake Cut (2024-2027). The final phase is estimated to finish in 2028 in its completed form.

Several concerns that took most of this meeting included:

1. Why are the Montlake convenience store and gas station being removed?
WSDOT said because underlying sewer alignment that must join at that point makes it a steep connection-too high and three entrance points would have to be closed due to safety issues which may make the businesses non accessible for business  
2. The long process is of top concern with piles of staging for Montlake neighbors.
WSDOT said that the process is staged due to cash-flow constraints, and they need to preserve the staging areas.

3. Question about lighting of new portion.
WSDOT said that the new sections have lighting low to the surface, facing inwards and low wattage
Question about why WSDOT can't fix current excessive lighting.
WSDOT said it's complicated, and  they are working on it, but need to keep lights on" because people are using the shared use path  (yet it is NOT connected) 

 4. WSDOT said the final designs are yet to come and more public outreach will be had before the bid goes out for construction.

The overflowing room still had concerns about the loss of their central market and gas station and will pursue it since it was not  in the Preferred Alternative that was approved in the Record of Decision (ROD) by Gov Gregoire, but added as a separate, "re-evaluation" submitted at a later date.

5. Question about the traffic back ups as they are now, especially on the off ramp coming from Seattle into Montlake. 
Bernard Van de Kamp, representative  from the City of Seattle said the reason for that is that "there are too many cars trying to use it" (Brilliant observation).

WSDOT information to stay informed during WABN construction:
  • Call the 24-hour construction hotline (206-708-4657) with pressing questions or concerns.
  • Email WABN staff with your questions about the project or construction activities.
  • Join us for our monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Graham Visitors Center.
  • Visit the SR 520 Orange Page for the most up-to-date information on closures and construction impacts.
  • Visit the WABN project website to find general information about the project.
  • Follow us on Twitter @wsdot_520 to get key news and updates about the SR 520 program.
The West Approach Bridge North project is the next funded construction phase of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program.

UW Botanic Gardens October Plant Profile Of Phacelia

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 lacy phacelia, blue tansy or purple tansy as commonly called or Phacelia tanacetifolia. 
Here is the posting:

October 2016 Plant Profile: Phacelia tanacetifolia

Phacelia is a quick-growing, cold- and heat-tolerant flowering plant that is native to the Southwest United States. It is used in agriculture both as cover crop and as an attractant for beneficial insects. As cover crop, Phacelia gets about four feet tall and has deep roots that capture and hold nutrients and increase soil organic matter. At the UW Farm, we mainly use Phacelia as an insectary plant. Its long curvy inflorescences of bell-shaped flowers buzz audibly on sunny summer days, boiling with pollinating and predatory insects that benefit our food crops.

Phacelia can be sown directly on the edges of your vegetable (or ornamental) garden, but also does well when planted indoors and transplanted out. It survives in temperatures as low as 18 degrees, and grows in a wide range of soil types. It will promptly re-seed itself after it has finished flowering, but is easy to weed out if unwanted.

Family: Boraginaceae
Common Name:  lacy phacelia, blue tansy or purple tansy.
Location: UW Farm at the Center for Urban Horticulture, Mercer Court Apartments, and McMahon Hall Terrace
Origin: Native to southwest United States

Monday, October 17, 2016

Learn About Children's Hospital Next Building Phase At Tomorrow's Meeting

Tomorrow from 6-8pm, the SAC (Standing Advisory Committee), made up of representatives of Children’s Hospital and surrounding neighborhoods, which 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, will hold its 16th meeting in the Auditorium on the1st floor (River 3 entrance) of the hospital. 

Public comment will be at 7:30pm.

Agenda items are:

  • Five Year Strategic Plan 
  • Preview of Forest B Development
  • Review of SAC Roles and Responsibilities
  • Review Major Institution Plan
  • Five-year strategic plan
  • Timeline for SAC review of proposed development Children’s

All SAC meetings are open to the public. Those interested in any of the topics on the agenda are encouraged to attend.

For more information about the meeting contact Maureen Sheehan at 206-684-0302 or 

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

Children’s to Begin Next Building Phases

LCC members of Seattle Children’s Standing Committee – Brian McMullen, Jeannie Hale, Stan Sorcher and Colleen McAleer – attended a September 22 meeting where the SCH team presented plans for upcoming developments.
CEO Jeff Sperring, M.D., who has been there for a year, is getting up to speed and is planning to make changes. One of their new “brilliant goals is to bring medicine closer to where they live” – a suggestion LCC made six years ago! SCH is finally expanding north into Everett – a 35,000 s.f. multi-specialty clinic and urgent care facility on the Providence Everett Colby campus opening in 2018. The new Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic 2.0 will service families, approximately 35,000 s.f. with room to grow, and may open in 2020 or 2021. SCH is currently looking for a site from Rainier Valley to Kent. SCH Bellevue operations are also very full.
Building Cure, a new cancer drug infusion center, will be built downtown next to their research building. This facility will manufacturer SCH’s unique, successful infusion products, tailored for each patient. Underground parking will be included.
The newest building in Laurelhurst will be a 293,000 s.f. addition to the campus. Named the Forest B Building, it will be located on an existing surface parking lot at an angle to Building Hope, the newest structure. Forest B will house a Hematology/Oncology clinic and infusion center along with 10 new operating rooms. Three floors of parking (241 stalls) will be added under the new building. The hospital cafeteria also will move to the lower level of the Forest B Building, closest to NE 45th Street. 
The new front entrance of the hospital will be on 40th Ave NE, not Sand Point Way. The helistop will move to Building Hope temporarily and later will be located on the roof of the Forest B Building. The Hartman Building will become an outpatient diabetic care facility with construction starting in early 2018 and completion in 2020-21. 
LCC subcommittee members had many questions and concerns to be addressed. SCH representatives will present their plans at a public LCC trustee meeting early in 2017. The date will be announced.  

Free Tour Of Center For Urban Horticulture Structure And Grounds On Wednesday

UW Botanic Gardens’ Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street) is holding a free "Green Building and Garden Tour"  on Wednesday from 2:30-3:30pm.    

The information says:

We will look at the design features that make the Center for Urban Horticulture structure, opened in 1984, environmentally friendly, including solar power, sustainable building materials, and natural features such as rain gardens. 

We will also tour the surrounding gardens, including the Soest perennial beds, the Fragrance garden, the McVay Courtyard and more. 
The Center for Urban Horticulture is part of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens. It includes a 16-acre landscaped site with buildings and gardens, and the 74-acre Union Bay Natural Area, which provides publicly accessible wildlife habitat (more than 200 bird species have been sighted there) and an outdoor laboratory for UW research.

Merrill Hall was the first certified “green building” on the UW Seattle campus, and houses the UW Botanic Garden headquarters, the Elisabeth C. Miller Library and the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium.

RSVP Online, by phone (206-685-8033) or by email (

Friday, October 14, 2016

More Recent Car Break-Ins And Prowlers Try To Use Garage Door Opener To Access Home

The Laurelhurst Blog received this information from neighbors:
On 10/8, sometime after midnight someone broke into our car on NE 43rd Street at 37th Avenue NE. Nothing was taken, but all our paperwork, car registration, etc. was all strewn about. The most concerning part is that the garage door opener was in our car.  Be sure to always lock your car, even when parked in your driveway. 

Our car was broken into on Friday night. This car prowl thing is getting obnoxious.  
Our car on NE 41st Street was broken into.  I think it's really unfortunate that the patrol isn't working and would love to have it improved. 
On Friday evening, 10/7 a prowler went through my unlocked car, parked in an ally between 42nd and 43rd Avenues NE, removing everything from the glove compartment and center console are and leaving all my papers nicely in a stack on the passenger seat. The prowler, unfortunately, stole my garage door opener off the car visor and tried to open my garage door down, which also serves as a remote for activating all the lights  inside my house. We were awakened by the lights going on and off inside the house and attempts made to open the garage door. The following day I found the remote light switch in a nearby neighbor’s yard. 
We live on 38th Avenue NE and my husbands car has been broken into for the fourth time. The most recent time was on Monday, 10/10, between midnight and 2am.  This time they took tools and a little bag that had lose change.  

On Monday, 10/10, we found a yoga block in our driveway on NE 43rd Street near 37th Avenue NE. One of our cars I left unlocked evidently. My guess is they dropped the yoga block taken from another car.  The yoga block has since been claimed by a neighbor.  They took the cables to charge our cell phones, seem to have looked at a tool to break the window in an emergency but didn't use it on our other car. 

Unfortunately, it seems our neighborhood is a target for this activity. We have motion detector lights and live on a busier neighborhood street, yet my car was rifled through as well when I accidentally left it unlocked overnight. Obviously, remembering to lock our cars is key.  But, we also have a private security patrol in our neighborhood that is seemingly doing nothing to help. Can we work with them to step up patrols? I wrote to the person that Laurelhurst Community Club Board Member who manages the Patrol, asking how we can help improve it and did not receive a positive response.  Basically he said that he helped provide pictures of recent burglars to the police and that was it. Seems like a major waste of time/money/resources that so many people are paying for with the expectation that it is protecting us when in reality it's not.  
Our locked car has been broken into twice in the last few months. Where is the security patrol that we are paying for? Why aren't they reacting to car prowl calls? Instead, it seems they mostly "remove people from the park" or "secure window" as is documented in some of the Blog's crime reports. Isn't there a way for the Patrol to be more effective and provide more value in our neighborhood?

"Nature Walk" Storytime At Center For Urban Horticulture Tomorrow

Miller Library, located in Laurelhurst at the UW Botanic Gardens (3501 NE 41st Street)  is holding a storytime tomorrow with the theme of "Nature Walk" from 10:30-11:15am.

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

information s

Three great books about nature walks will be our starting point. After the stories, map an area where you would like to take a nature walk: your backyard, a favorite park, the Amazon rain forest, or wherever your imagination takes you.

Books to be read are:
THE CROW FLIES by Gail Hartman

The next storytime is November 5 and the theme is "Fall Colors."