Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Neighborhood Birding Post

Connie Sidles, is a local birding expert who maintains a blog documenting the many types of birds, including beautiful pictures, at the nearby Union Bay Natural Area, also known as the Montlake Fill, and is also author of Fill of Joy and Tales from the Montlake Fill.

Here is her most recent birding post:

In honor of those who serve   


We are freer than birds,
for they must obey their DNA
while we are free to choose.
But we pay a price for that.
Today we remember who paid.

Restricted Parking On 40th Avenue NE Near Hospital This Week

Children's Hospital has put up ‘No Parking’  along 40th Avenue NE as they are moving construction trailers down this street to their new location in the Forest service parking lot.

The information says:
This trailer mobilization is part of our upcoming build-out of the level 3 Forest Zone.  
If you have any questions, please contact us through the construction pager at 206-469-5860.  
We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Eaglets in 520 Bridge Nest

An interesting post from the Union Bay Watch Blog:

Union Bay Watch

A new pair of eaglets were barely visible in the Broadmoor nest, on Monday

Last year the 520 eagles, commonly called Eva and Albert, appeared to spend time on the eggs but no eaglets arrived. It is reassuring to once again see new life in the nest.

Happily, the eagles not only overcame last year's failed attempt, but also do not appear stressed or distracted by the 520 construction. They are even still hunting from the old 520 light poles.

The eaglets appear to be approximately 2 weeks ahead of schedule, when compared to this June 2nd photo from 2012.

It is interesting to note the condition of the young eaglet's wings. The initial "feather" covering looks more like soft warm fur. Warmth is important given the wind and exposure in the nest. The eaglets will grow and change rapidly over the next few weeks. By Independence Day the eaglets will look a lot more like the parents, although it will be four or five years before they are fully mature with white heads and tails.

On closer examination you can see the cores of new feathers beginning to extrude from the wings. These wings are not yet capable of flight, so it is critical that the young birds remain in the nest. The nest is about hundred feet above the ground. Even though the grass on the golf course looks soft, the eaglets would be unlikely to survive a fall. 

Albert watches when Eva returns with a fish. The waters of Union Bay are providing plenty of food for the growing family.

The young have apparently learned to eat on their own, as Eva did not parse out pieces as she has done in previous years.

She dropped the fish and flew to a perch just above the nest. Most of the time one or both of the parents remain in the nesting tree to protect the young. Crows have been the only creatures seen observing the nest. The crows are noisy, but they stay out of reach of the parent's beaks and talons.

On Tuesday evening, the nonstop parenting process continued.

Someone passing by remarked that the young eaglets look a bit like dinosaurs. The resemblance is amazing.

We are very lucky to share our city, and our planet, with these incredible creatures.

Eva must be able to tell the eaglets apart. I wonder if she has names for them? We cannot know her thoughts, but the mothering instinct is obvious. 

The 520 eagles had two eaglets in 2012, one in 2013 and apparently none in 2014.

Check Out Seattle 2035 Plans

The City of Seattle recently sent out this information for the city's growth plan:

Have you checked out the Seattle 2035 Draft EIS?

You have 30 days left to review and submit your comments. The Draft EIS looks at four different ways that Seattle could grow over the next 20 years, and the potential impacts to the built and natural environment. Comments on the Draft EIS must be submitted by June 18, so be sure to get your comments in soon.

We have great news! The Seattle Channel will be showing the open house live on the web! Tune in and you'll be able to participate in our interactive poll.

It starts at 6:00 p.m. on May 27. Click here to watch it live.

Want to learn more and provide your feedback? Here's what to do:
Follow us!
Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on the upcoming events and the latest project news!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Damage To Median On "Boulevard" At 43rd Avenue NE Repaired By SDOT Yesterday

damage to Boulevard median
last month


 Area repaired yesterday

Yesterday afternoon, a neighbor living on the "Boulevard" at 43rd Avenue NE and NE 45th Street, reported that SDOT was repairing the damage to the median caused by a large vehicle turning the corner with limited space last month.

The  neighbor said:

Good news!  SDOT is repairing the 43rd Avenue median. I saw the trucks and went out there and thanked them. The man I spoke to said he was going to speak with a supervisor about possibly paving over the part that gets driven on by buses and trucks. 

The Laurelhurst Blog posted last month about the damage as described by another neighboring resident who lives near the area:
Looks like a large truck or construction vehicle ran over the north west portion, at the intersection of NE 45th Street and 43rd Avenue NE, of the median taking out a huge chunk of grass and leaving it in a very bad state.  

If anyone knows who this is, please speak up as they need to pay for the repairs - replacing the grass, etc. 
We take great pride in keeping the median looking nice and this is really too bad.

 Comments to the Laurelhurst Blog following that post said:
Vehicles can't make the turn due to cars parking on the corner, usually Children's Hospital employees, who then walk to work across the street.  
This type of damage happens a lot with trucks like Amazon Fresh, FedEx, UPS, random Contractor, school bus or a random car that can not make the turn. This latest was a school bus. 
Every time someone drives over the median I fill in the hole and work to clean it up. If we want to fix it we need to add drainage for this grass and add no parking signs.   
I have lived on the Boulevard for 40 years and this type of damage has happened very frequently over the many ears.  Large trucks turning the corner off NE 45th Street must dodge parked cars and have no where else to go on that narrow street. 
Care of the median is very inconsistent.  Once the city abandoned the care of the medians things went downhill quickly.  Plants died for lack of irrigation and the median became overgrown.  The City finally agreed to once again irrigate the median periodically.  And now some of us are paying to have the median mowed.  However the beds are filled with weeds and trash; northern beds are the worst.  For a while I paid my gardeners to periodically weed and clean up some of those beds but grew weary of shouldering that burden alone.  I think it is a shame that Laurelhurst residents are not banding together to keep our main entrance attractive. 
Regarding the damage to the median on 43rd Avenue NE at NE 45th Street, this is the result of Children's employees and construction staff parking in front of our house.  We see numerous big delivery trucks drive up on the median--FedEx, UPS, school buses, big dump trucks, you name it - because it's a tight squeeze for them to get through if cars are parked there. Sadly, this is nothing new. Perhaps you can request that Children's have their landscape crew repair and maintain it.

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) said that the Boulevard along 43rd Avenue NE is SDOT property.  LCC added that "neighbors have banded together to do the mowing and maintenance and neighbors on the southern most segment have been most active., and many neighbors on the northern portion are older and have not been as active or organized."

Jim Sawyer, Children's Hospital Director of Security said that staff and contractors are not allowed to  park on neighborhood streets and to call Hospital Security to report a violator at 987-2030.
He added:
Children's Hospital Security actively tickets the streets and attempt to respond to all complaints within an hour. This is a priority for our patrol and enforcement team. We patrol and ticket the streets regardless of whether we receive calls or not. IF one of our neighbors calls we have and will give their concern priority response. It again is a priority for our team.
There are no assigned  parking areas in the neighborhoods - all assigned areas are on hospital property or in one of our designated off site lots. 
I will note that we advise staff there is NO cut off street distance-all street parking is unauthorized. By cut off distance we mean-if an employee were to ask “If I park a mile and a half away and walk in-is that OK”? If-when we field these questions we answer NO-you need to park in your assigned area if you drive-there is no amnesty so to speak if you park a greater distance away. 
If an employee is a repeat offender it becomes a  serious performance issue which could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.


Boomerang Lands In Tall Tree At Park

The Laurelhurst Blog received this email:
A few weeks ago we lost our orange, blue and white boomerang in a tree in Laurelhurst Park, in the large trees lining the east side between the two stair entrances on 48th Avenue NE.   
My 6-year-old son asked that I email the neighborhood to make sure everyone keeps an eye out for it if it falls on a windy day.  It is stuck up pretty high.   
If anyone happens to find it, we'd love to have it back as it was a birthday gift.  It's orange, blue & white.
Please contact if you have any information.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Older Man Yelling Late Last Night On 55th Avenue NE, NE 41st Street And East Laurelhurst Drive

The Laurelhurst Blog received this email from a resident on East Laurelhurst Drive NE near 46th Avenue NE:

Last night around midnight, an older man, who appeared homeless, appeared outside of our house screaming incoherently about midnight.   
When we opened our door to see what was going on, he yelled at us and seemed very agitated, as well as threatening.  Police were called but I haven't heard if they were able to locate this person.   
The 911 incident report map, shows several calls last night from 55th Avenue NE to NE 41st Street to East Laurelhurst Drive.  He was awfully loud, literally screaming, so I doubt we were the only ones that heard him.   
Police never came to our home.  I think they may have gone to a neighbors house, a few doors down, as we heard something around 2am.

911 incident report map calls potentially relating to same incident:
5/21/2015 12:06:00 AM
CAD Event Number: 15000166393
Final Call Type Category: HAZARDS

5/21/2015 1:58:00 AM
CAD Event Number: 15000166433
Final Call Type Category: DISTURBANCES

5/21/2015 3:52:00 AM
CAD Event Number: 15000166291
Final Call Type Category: DISTURBANCES

Runoff Now Feeds Prairie Rain Garden at Center for Urban Horticulture

UW Botanic Gardens’ Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street) , located in Laurelhurst, popular for bird watching and walking, recently posted this interesting information in their newsletter:

Runoff Now Feeds Prairie Rain Garden at Center for Urban Horticulture
by UWBG Communication Staff
Malcolm Howard standing in the prairie rain garden in its first spring after planting, looking west across the Union Bay Natural Area.

What to do about muddy puddles caused by rain runoff in the middle of a trail used by hundreds of people every day? Could a garden solve the problem?

Masters of Environmental Horticulture graduate student Malcolm Howard choose this problem area as his MEH project. He explains how the site was chosen: “The rain garden was placed along the trail to intercept runoff from the nearby parking lot. Instead of water ponding on the trail after rains, the rain garden helps retain this runoff and convey the remaining water under the trail.”

The prairie rain garden was installed just south west of the parking lot that is on the west side of Merrill Hallat the Center for Urban Horticulture. The trail leads to the popular Union Bay Natural Area where visitors enjoy watching birds and feeling immersed in a wild place.
What does Malcolm expect to accomplish with the Prairie Rain Garden? “I hope that the garden can help improve trail conditions, while displaying some interesting native prairie plants for people to enjoy and learn about.”

The Prairie Rain Garden received a small project grant from the UW Sustainability Fund in January 2015.

Prairie Rain Garden Summary with plant list.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why Is Talaris No Longer Cutting Their Grass?


The Laurelhurst Blog has received many complaints about the overgrown grass at Talaris.on NE 41st Street.

And the Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) has also received inquiries about why suddenly the grass is no longer being maintained. 

Patients at the nearby dental office on the backside of their property have complained that they look out the big picture windows "onto a mess."

Nathan Rimmer,  one of the representatives for Talaris owner, Bruce Mc Caw under the name 4000 Property LLC, said  "Talaris cut back on some site and building maintenance last fall to help relieve the annual operating loss.  Landscaping was part of that."

LCC has said: 
LCC continually receives messages about the lack of maintenance of the areas of the Talaris property that abut the neighborhood.  The lack of maintenance has been a problem and we’ve heard from many neighbors about it.   
Neighbors take great pride in our community and it is stressful when a large property owner does not have the same commitment. 

LCC has sent email to the property representatives asking what their plans are to address this issue and is awaiting a response. And the Laurelhurst Blog sent email over two weeks ago and is also anticipating an answer.

Comments received from neighbors:
I imagine you've been hearing from more than one neighbor about the lack of care being given to the field at Talaris that runs along NE 41st Street. The lawn has become very overgrown and is not being cared for. That beautiful piece of land is becoming an eyesore. If you have any knowledge of what their plan for upkeep is, I would love to hear just looks as though they haven't mowed the grass in weeks.  It makes me wonder if their plan is to let it grow wild given that some areas on the property have been mowed. 
Is it too much to ask that Mr. McCaw mow the lawn on 41stAs a responsible owner I feel he should maintain the property and certainly he has the fund to do so. 
Has Talaris suddenly stopped mowing to get back at the neighborhood for not wanting their huge development? Certainly they have the financial resources to do the mowing with such a big development looming. And certainly McCaw has the funds - to say they don't is an insult to the neighborhood, as it is completely not true.  
We have noticed that the lawn is no longer being regularly attended to, as it used to be.  Some areas are mowed while others aren't in an irregular manner which looks very odd, almost like a Mohawk.  
Talaris has always been well-maintained over the many, many years and neighbors have always enjoyed the  beautiful grounds and until several years ago actually going onto the campus to enjoy the grounds. Never has it been  unkempt with no care to being a good neighbor and maintaining the grounds. especially as it is now.  The Laurelhurst community prides itself on being considerate of its neighbors, in word and in deed by owners and businesses maintaining their public facing areas. Certainly Talaris can afford moving their grass! 
I noticed it as well-very overgrown- a jungle out there. Why has the lawn maintenance suddenly stopped. It looks awful!
We are wondering why Talaris is not mowing the "play field" grass.  I would like to believe it's because of the nesting eagles, but one never knows with those folks. 
It is curious why Talaris hasn't mowed the grass in weeks.  It makes me wonder if their plan is to let it grow wild given that some areas on the property have been mowed. 
The lawn mowing at Talaris seems to have stopped since it looks really overgrown on the 41st side, except around the two entrances so it’s very odd looking.  
We hope that Talaris as one of our business neighbors will do its part to maintain its property just as we do with our homes. The hospital maintains its property That is what a neighborhood is, having respect for neighbors by  maintaining ones property, whether it be a private residents or business.

Urban Forest Symposium At Center For Urban Horticulture Today

UW Botanic Gardens: 2015 Urban Forest Symposium

UW Botanic Gardens’ Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street) is holding the 2015 Urban Forest Symposium all day today.

The information says:
From clean water and air to healthier minds and bodies, we know that trees have significant value, but they never seem to get the credit they deserve. Attend this year’s urban forest symposium to learn the best methods for quantifying the worth of our urban forests, and how to communicate that value to decision-makers and the public. 
Presenters will share the latest research on storm water benefits and tools used to quantify them, introduce a new online portal to assist in identifying areas in cities that can have the greatest health savings through expanding tree canopy, and discuss how to leverage the multitude of benefits to engage new supporters. 
Presentations will be relevant to those working in the fields of urban forestry, landscape management, policy, budget analysis, natural resources, tree care, arboricultural consulting, sustainability, urban planning, landscape design, landscape architecture, municipal management, and tree advocacy.

The cost is $85, additional $15 for lunch, and there is online Registration or call 206-685-8033.