Friday, October 19, 2018

Hospital's New Helipad Landing On Top Of Newest Building Now In Use Till 2022

This week, Children's Hospital new helistop landing was activated. The new temporary
location is on the rooftop of Forest A, now known as Friends of Costco Building, until Building Care is completed in 2022.

The helicopter landing pad will sit at 176 feet. The hospital has advised that noise will likely be louder than it was with the former ground-based helipad location of the last 5 years, near the Emergency Room.

A couple of weeks ago Airlift Northwest conducted two test flights to the new helistop location. The test flights included one daytime and one evening landing and takeoff, along with simulation work by Seattle Children’s personnel on the rooftop.

The Laurelhurst Community Club,said in a recent newsletter:

Children’s Helistop 
Seattle Children’s Helistop has been located on the ground level since the early 1990s. It accommodates the transport of sick children by helicopter directly to the hospital or to landings at a UW sports field on east campus. Twice a year, the number and type of landings are reviewed by an independent committee of professionals and LCC. In the six months from January to June 2018, there were 73 landings, 61 at SCH and 12 at the UW field, compared to 54 in 2017 and 53 in 2016 for the same period.  
As part of the latest expansion by SCH, the helistop location will change to the top of the Friends of Costco Building (Forest A) on October 17. EIS predictions suggest noise will be more intense for some Laurelhurst residents, since the prior ground-level location sheltered the noise. 

Lighting will be as low as permissible; however, each patient transport takes a minimum of 20 to 45 minutes. Noise likely will be louder than the ground-based helipad. When Forest B is complete, the helistop moves to its permanent location on top of Forest B (same height). Noise levels will remain increased at nearby residential sites in Laurelhurst. LCC will continue to monitor and work with SCH on any issues that may arise with the new location.
In early 2022, the helipad will be permanently moved and located on top of the Forest B building, currently  under construction.  The new eight-story building will include diagnostic and treatment facilities, labs, new state-of-the-art operating rooms, 20 inpatient beds, and a lobby. Two floors underground are for parking and sterile processing. This will bring SCH bed total to 409, up from 200 before its expansion 2012 plan. 

Outside surface parking at that location will be eliminated and 323 parking places will be located under Forest B, a net increase of 137 spaces. There will be exits to Penny Drive and 40th Avenue NE, an already heavily congested route and which serves as the main entrance to Laurelhurst for fire, police and emergency vehicles. 

For more information go here. 

Saturday Free Car Seat Safety Check At Children's Hospital

Saturday from 10-1pm at the Ocean Parking Garage, Seattle Children's Hospital will be offering free car seat safety check.   It is first come, first served and no appointment is needed.
The information says:  
Child passenger safety experts will check your child in a car seat or booster seat, check your car's seat belts, and answer any questions you may have. 
  • what type of safety seat or seat belt fits your child best
  • how to properly install your child’s safety seat into your car
  • how to secure your child in the safety seat or seat belt
  • how to safely secure your child in the car.
Call 206-987-5999 for questions or more information. 
Or visit these additional resources:    Seattle Children’s Car Seat Program 206--987-5999
Safety Restraint Coalition 425-828-8975 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

All About Barred Owls

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.

Young Owl Feathers

Earlier this week I was attracted by the sound of an irate crow near the mouth of Arboretum Creek. As I crept closer to the commotion I spotted this owl. The sleepy predator was obviously the object of the corvid's disaffection.

It has been roughly three months since we watched this young Barred Owl leave the confines of its original home. You may read the story in the June post named, An Owlet Adventure
In late July, I spotted this pair near the mouth of Arboretum Creek. Clearly, the larger bird on the right is an adult and most likely female. In *Birds of North America it says that female Barred Owls can weigh 30 to 40 percent more than their mates. I wondered if the bird on the left was her mate or her offspring. After comparing this picture with the following photos I am thinking he is most likely her mate.
When the owl which I was watching this week shivered, I caught this rather unusual photo showing its feathers all askew.
A moment later, the feathers fell back into place. Even so, there was an unusual 'ruff' of feathers sticking up around the owl's head.
As the owl began waking up and looking around, these next few photos show little wisps of downy feathers momentarily sticking out at odd angles.
I do not remember the day being especially windy. In any case, I have never seen a whole clump of feathers stick out like this with a mature Barred Owl. There are other clues which I believe indicate this bird's immaturity. 
When the bird flew to a nearby perch the collar or ruff around the head stood out even more. 
The fact that the owl landed on a branch having a 45 degree angle also makes me think it was young. Adult owls have a strong preference for horizontal branches. I suspect a flat perch enables the owls to have a wider radius of attack and therefore increase their odds of a successful attack.
For example, from this perch any potential prey on the owl's right side would have extra time to escape while the owl attempted to navigate around the branch.
The next perch the owl chose had the same type of drawback. However, this angle of observation provides another clue regarding the bird's age. Birds of North America refers to the work of A.C. Bent when it states that in their first few months, young Barred Owls replace most of their body feathers - but not their wing or tail feathers. 
This information is helpful because the light barring on young tail feathers is more buff colored - instead of white. By next Spring the buff coloring should be gone.
I suspect the extensive personal grooming may be partly due to all the young downy feathers needing to be removed.
Certainly, this resulting pose is not common among adult owls.
Feathers sticking out in multiple directions reinforces my conclusion.
One year I watched and heard four young Barred Owls in Arboretum begging their parents for food. This year there was only the one successful fledgling. I never heard it begging. Maybe the two-to-one ratio of parents to offspring helped keep this bird very well fed. It is reassuring to know that this bird has survived the summer and is well on its way toward maturity.
As I prepared to leave, the young owl moved to a more horizontal branch closer to the stream and assumed an active hunting stance. I suspect that by next Spring, when the parents begin to focus on raising a new brood, this young bird will have been totally on its own for a number of months. Hopefully, its growing maturity will help this bird survive the challenges of winter.
Have a great day on Union Bay...where nature grow's up in the city!

Recommended Citation

Mazur, K. M. and P. C. James (2000). Barred Owl (Strix varia), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Bent, A. C. 1938b. Life histories of North American Birds of Prey (Part 2). Orders Falconiformes and Strigiformes. Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus. (170):viii-482.
Going Native:
Without a well-funded Environmental Protection Agency, it falls to each of us to be ever more vigilant in protecting our local environments. Native plants and trees encourage the largest diversity of lifeforms because of their long intertwined history with our local environment and native creatures. I have been told that even the microbes in the soil are native to each local landscape. My hope is that we can inspire ourselves, our neighbors and local businesses to respect native flora and to support native wildlife at every opportunity. I have learned that our most logical approach to native trees and plants (in order of priority) should be to:

1) Learn and leave established native flora undisturbed.
2) Remove invasive species and then wait to see if native plants begin to grow without assistance. (If natives plants start on their own, then these plants or trees are likely the most appropriate flora for the habitat.)
3) Scatter seeds from nearby native plants in a similar habitat.
4) If you feel you must add a new plant then select a native plant while considering how the plant fits with the specific habitat and understanding the plant's logical place in the normal succession of native plants.

My intention in my weekly post is to include at least one photo each week and visually challenge us to know the difference between native and non-native lifeforms.



What species are these hoppers? Are they native to Union Bay?

More Roadwork At Busy 5 Corners Intersection

SDOT published this information about traffic delays at 5 corners:

Overview of upcoming work as of 10/18/2018
  • Zone A (between NE 45th and NE Blakeley streets):
    • As early as Thursday, October 18, crews plan to stripe a small portion of NE 45th Pl near NE 45th St to ensure the busy 5-way intersection is clearly marked   
    • There are no lane marking changes to this part of the project corridor, so new striping will match what was on the street before we started construction. Striping is weather dependent.
    • One lane of traffic in each direction will remain open 
    • Expect limited turns to and from the intersection. Uniformed police officers will direct traffic around the work area.
You can find more background about this project on our webpage, including how the new street design will better organize the street to improve safety for everyone. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dog Missing From Talaris Conference Center


The Laurelhurst Blog received this information from Jordan, Operations Manager at the 
Talaris Conference Center (4000 NE 41st Street):

We had a guest have a small dog go missing on our property around 3:00 today.  Please have neighbors be on the look out.  
Below is more information: 
Name: SANTA 
Last seen: Talaris Conference Center on 10/17/2018 
Wearing:Red collar and army shirt 
Breed: Chihuahua / Pomeranian mix 
Return to 4000 NE 41st Street (Talaris) 
Phone number on tag is a Chinese number. So call 206-268-7000. 

Lifelong Recreation Offering Variety Of Classes and Events

The Laurelhurst Community Center is offering free drop-In Mah Jongg on Mondays from 12-3pm. 

The activity is sponsored by Seattle Parks Lifelong Recreation for residents 50 years and older.

The program offers a variety of fieldtrips, classes, nature walks, events, social programs, art classes and fitness classes.

Go here to see the list of offerings and for more information. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Keep Sidewalks Clear

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) recently published this information in a recent newsletter article:

Is Your Sidewalk Clear and Safe for Neighbors?

The dark and rainy season will soon be here all too soon. Walkers, joggers, dogs, and children on bikes and scooters frequently need to dodge overgrowth that encroaches on sidewalks. Do your shrubs or hedges sprawl across the walk or overhang the sidewalk’s edge? Do tree branches droop causing passersby to duck? Plantings grown so tall that drivers can’t see past them? If so – with autumn quickly approaching – it’s time to get out the pruners.  
City Code requires property owners keep adjacent sidewalks, roads, and alleys clear of all obstructions. This means shoveling snow in the winter, raking leaves in the fall, and repairing damaged sidewalks. Encroaching shrubs and hedges must be cut back, and a minimum eight-foot clearance must be maintained above sidewalks (14 feet above roads and alleys). Vegetation that obscures an intersection at a distance of 30 feet should be trimmed.

The Laurelhurst Community Clubformerly the Laurelhurst Improvement Club, has been a long-standing neighborhood entity, serving the community since 1920.  

LCC maintains a website which states:

LCC was established to foster the improvement and beautification of the neighborhood. LCC seeks to identify and address community concerns and to provide a forum to promote solutions by working with the community at large, other civic organizations, and government.
 LCC publishes a hard copy newsletter ten times a year (2 issues are combined), called the "Laurelhurst Letter" which is mailed to about 2,800 households. Costs of the newsletter are off-set in part by neighbors opting to pay $60 annual dues as well as revenue from newsletter advertising.  

Tomorrow Magnuson Bird Walk

Seattle Parks' Lifelong Recreation program for ages 50+ is having a bird walk at Magnuson tomorrow 9-11am with leader Emily Bishton, Naturalist and Master Birder. The cost is $15.

The information says:
Fall Migration Bird Walk 

Spot fall migrants and winter arrivals, including Pacific Chorus Frogs heading back to the wetlands. 1-2 miles walk on level trails.  
Meet at the sidewalk right next to the Boat Launch, just north of the E-2 parking lot on Lakeshore Drive.  
Proceeds donated to the Magnuson Children's Garden. 

Go here to register for class #18549.

Monday, October 15, 2018

This Week Hospital's Existing Shuttle Hub Canopy to Be Relocated

Children's Hospital posted this information about additional work to prepare for the upcoming  Building Care construction:

Existing Shuttle Hub Canopy to Be Relocated

As part of the work to modify the Emergency Department (ED) drop-off in preparation for Building Care construction, the existing canopy at the former shuttle hub (located near the ED parking lot) will be relocated to the west side of the Friends of Costco Building (also known as Forest A). 
Preparation for the canopy move will take place this week and will include grinding and sawing. Then, on Saturday, crews will move the canopy using a crane and two trucks with counterweights.  
Vehicular and pedestrian access to the ED will remain open during this project, although the existing ED driveway and the pedestrian walkway from 40th Avenue will be blocked for approximately 30 minutes on  Saturday while the canopy is moved.  
Flaggers will assist with traffic control. Construction noise associated with this project will be generated from 8-6pm weekdays and  9-6pm on Saturday.  
Call 206-987-8000 or email with questions.

Children's Hospital recently posted on their Construction Blog that the upcoming Forest B expansion has a name: "Building Care." The building recently completed, Forest A, along NE 45th Street, was named "Building Hope" and recently changed to Friends of Costco Building.

The Blog post said that groundbreaking for Building Care is scheduled for fall 2018, with anticipated completion in 2021.

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) published information in their recent newsletter about Children's Hospital's plans for the newest building, "Forest B," which will be located on the existing surface parking lot near the Emergency Room, at an angle to Building Hope.

The LCC October newsletter article said:

Children’s Forest B Plans Take Shape 
Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH) has applied for approval of its June 2008 Master Use permit #3028028 for Phase 2 of its expansion, Forest B. Their EIS addendum evaluates a range of changes and impacts from the original project data and plans that will affect bordering neighborhoods. LCC has worked with SCH in its development of the Master Plan and will continue to do so in a cooperative relationship seeking outcomes that both meet the hospital’s needs and address neighborhood impacts. 
The build out will add an eight-story structure and 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. Two floors underground are for parking and sterile processing. This will bring SCH bed total to 409, up from 200 before its expansion 2012 plan. 
Outside surface parking at that location will be eliminated and 323 parking places will be located under Forest B – a net increase of 137 spaces. There will be exits to Penny Drive and 40th Ave NE, which is already heavily congested and is the main entrance to Laurelhurst for the nearest fire and emergency vehicles. To relieve construction, shuttles would shift north to an internal loop road exiting to Sand Point Way NE. 
The helicopter landing pad will move temporarily to the roof of Forest A (176’). Lighting will be as low as permissible; however, each patient transport takes a minimum of 20 to 45 minutes. Noise likely will be louder than the ground-based helipad. When Forest B is complete, the helistop moves to its permanent location on top of Forest B (same height). Noise levels will remain increased at nearby residential sites in Laurelhurst. LCC will continue to monitor. 
LCC has always supported and will continue to support the need to transport critically ill children via helicopters at the helistop. In 2015, there were 111 landings (44% more than predicted in the original EIS); in 2016, 85 landings, more than anticipated using 2007 projections and with fewer beds. 
The biggest change in the Construction Plan for Phase 2, Forest B, is the sheer number of trucks per day that will impact the streets around the building site, particularly, along 40th Avenue NE. The original proposal was 27 to 84 trucks daily for seven to 10 months. Now the plan proposes to shorten the schedule to four months, but that would be 94 trucks per day. SDOT will need to evaluate such a change to ensure that 40th Avenue NE can remain open for neighborhood egress and emergency vehicles. 
LCC will continue to work with Children’s to address issues.  The scheduled opening of the new building is planned for the summer of 2021.

Todd Johnson, Children's Hospital Vice President, Facilities and Supply Chain, told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff: in July:
Forest B will be approximately 300,000 square feet (about the size of Forest A) and eight stories tall, within approved Major Institution Master Plan guidelines. During construction, we may add a temporary construction driveway on Sand Point Way.  Construction will generally be five days a week and there will be activity after hours. 

Forest B will be a diagnostic and therapeutic building designed to support the sickest children in our region and will also be home to 20 new cancer care beds (only new beds in the project) on the top floor under an approved certificate of need to the State of Washington (a formal process to gain approval for additional beds).

The new building will also have a new outpatient clinic space for cancer and cardiac care; a new infusion center; new large, state-of-the-art operating rooms and support spaces; a clinical laboratory and inpatient pharmacy and a work space for physicians and others caring for patients in the building.   
There will be approximately 300 underground parking spaces.  The Hospital shuttles will move to the north end of the site.  The circulation of shuttles, bicycles, pedestrians and cars will be better separated.   
We will make deliberate connections to the bus stops and Burke Gilman Trail crosswalk.  We are working with Transpo Group to better understand how to optimize the flow of traffic on and around our campus.
There will be a landscaped plaza and circulation area in front of the new building.  Existing landscaping around the construction site will be preserved and/or replaced and enhanced. 

We intend to utilize the existing entrances/exits on 40th Avenue NE and Sand Point Way and will continue to use the Penney Drive entrance as the primary means for entering and exiting.  The Phil Smart Way connector will remain in place.  

The hospital determined it needed additional facilities based on growing patient volumes, innovation-driven program growth (in areas such as immunotherapy and neurosciences), and the functional obsolescence of some of the oldest buildings on campus.  

We expect a certificate of occupancy in mid-2021.  We then will then commission building systems, clean, install furnishings and equipment, and complete staff training.  We should be ready to care for patients in late 2021 or early 2022.