Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Large Boulder Blocking Sidewalk For Last Few Months


We have received several emails about a large boulder that has been blocking the sidewalk in the 4100 block of 55th Avenue NE.

The boulder rolled down from the nearby property and was never put back in place, a resident told us. Someone put cones around it and it has been left like that for some time, causing a safety hazard for those who are not able to use that portion of the sidewalk and have to walk into the street.

One email said:
We don't understand why one of the large boulders from the rockery at the residence remains on the sidewalk almost fourth months after rolling there. Why hasn't the rock been removed and put back in place?
Another email said:
We are concerned about the boulder on the sidewalk and other boulders that could also possibly roll down from the rockery at the residence on 55th Avenue NE.  
They don't seem very secure and could injure pedestrians who rock near there.  
Also having the sidewalk blocked by the boulder causes a safety hazard as pedestrians have to walk into the street.  
When will it be removed? And why is it taking so long?
SDOT's website says regarding a property owner’s responsibility for streets and sidewalks:
Streets and sidewalks are for everyone's use. They add value to private property by providing access to the property and a way to get to other places in the city. 
Owners are responsible for maintaining part of the public right-of-way next to their property, including the sidewalk and planting strip. 

A Laurelhurst Community Club Board member said to use the DPD form and list code violation as the problem and  DPD will forward it onto SDOT as SDOT doesn't have their own form.  The phone number is 206-615-0808.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jump Rope Show Tomorrow At Community Center

The Laurelhurst Community Center (4554 NE 41st Street) is continuing its Kids Summer showtime series tomorrow, with a Ropeworks Jump Rope Show at 11am.

The information says:


Rene Bibaud, a Five-Time World Jumping Champion, Artist and Coach of Cirque Du Soleil, will do an interactive jump rope show.   
Her company and jump roping school, Ropeworks in Seattle, has a special focus on youth motivation and fitness. Rene tours annually, performing to over 100,000 youth.

The Community Center will have two more Kids Summer shows as part of it series, this and next month and each event is $5 per family, for up to 4 people, and $2 per additional person. 

The entertainment is intended for families with tots/elementary age. The shows may be outdoors weather permitting, so bringing a blanket is encouraged.

For more information call (206) 684-7529.

Pelagic Birding Class At Audubon Society Tonight

The Seattle Audubon Society is holding a class tonight and next Tuesday from 7-9pm, called "Pelagic Birding" with Mike Donahue, Gull Expert and Pelagic Guide.

Cost: $50 members, $65 nonmembers  (Pelagic boat trip is paid separately through Westport Seabirds)
The information says:
The west coast of North America offers some of the best opportunities to see seabirds anywhere in the world. The rich waters 20-40 miles offshore support a diversity of species-albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and jaegers-that spend much of the year in the waters far offshore at the edge of the continental shelf.  
If you've heard about pelagic birding but wasn't sure what was involved, this is the class for you!  The class lectures will cover the diversity of seabirds that are found offshore, focusing on natural history and identification, as well as how to prepare for a pelagic trip.  Then practice what you have learned with the optional one-day pelagic boat trip that departs from Westport, WA.

There will be an optional field trip with the instructor with 
Westport Seabirds, which can fill up quickly. They have set aside 10 spaces for registered class members on their August 16 trip.  If you cannot make the August 16 trip, other dates are available independently through Westport Seabirds at the website listed below. 
Contact Mike Donahue directly at 206-290-8294 or to hold one of these spaces on the August 16 trip after you register for the lecture. For more information on the field trip go here.

For more information go here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Single Key Found On Chain

We received this email:
On Friday, July 18, I found what appears to be a house key, probably carried by a child around his/her wrist.   
It was found on the NE corner of 47th Avenue NE and NE 54th Street.  

Please contact for more information.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Neighborhood Birdist, Connie Sidles, Offering Informal Bird Walks

Connie Sidles, latest book,  Second Nature: Tales from the Montlake Fill 

We recently received an email from a Blog reader asking about Connie Sidles and her bird walks. 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.

The Blog reader email said:
Does Connie ever do bird walks or may people join her even the early morning walks?  I look forward to her notes on the blog that you regularly publish.

Connie responded saying:
Dear Laurlehurst Blogger, Please feel free to let people know that they can email me to arrange for times when we can walk around the Fill together. If I get overwhelmed by demand, I will probaby set up a neighborhood walk schedule. But if it's just a few people now and then, I'm glad to lead personalized walks.

Connie can be reached at

SAT Preparation Class At Talaris Starting Sunday

We received this email about an ongoing SAT course starting Sunday being taught at Talaris from 3-7pm through September 28th:

My name is Anna Sczaniecka and I am teaching a 10-week SAT course at the Talaris Center.  The class will meet on Sundays from 3pm-7pm July 20th-September 28th, which means students will be ready in time for the October SAT.   
The first two hours will provide students focused instruction on the Math, Reading, and Writing sections of the SAT.  At 5pm, the students will receive a 20 minute break (to use the restroom, go outside, or eat a light snack).  The remainder of the time will be spent playing games intended to help students learn vocabulary words and memorize key concepts. 

The students I have worked with over the years have seen their scores increase 50-150 points per section, but it has been a real challenge making people aware of this opportunity. 
For over the last twelve years, I’ve been helping students prepare for the SAT, ACT, and AP exams and editing their college application essays. The students I’ve assisted have gained acceptance into Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Columbia, Notre Dame and other top notch schools of their choosing.  I’ve worked with students of all levels, including students with disabilities such as dyslexia and ADD as well as students aiming for a perfect score.

For more information go here.






Thursday, July 17, 2014

Laurelhurst Resident Starts Free Plant Sharing Business

Foxgloves currently available through

Dina, a long-time Laurelhurst resident, recently started a free neighborhood plant sharing exchange business called, serving Laurelhurst and other nearby neighborhoods.

Dina told us her new business, which she says is her third career, is "a way for neighbors to give their extra plants to neighbors who want them...and it's free. 

" is a hub designed to connect neighbors who have extra plants to give to neighbors who want them. My website is designed to serve any neighborhood anywhere in the world.  So far, we have members throughout the city as well as nationally and internationally," she added.

Recently about 100 beautiful, blue bearded iris from a member in Windermere (valued at $1,500) went to a happy home in Laurelhurst", Dina said.

She writes:

I've gardened all my life: in childhood first as a chore and then as a source of fresh food; in adulthood for pleasure, exercise and home upkeep. My second career as a plant biologist began with plant anatomy, segued to physiology, development and morphogenesis, and culminated with studies in genomics.
As a gardener and biologist, I’ve always shared plants with friends and neighbors.  It just seems natural to give them away rather than throw them away. My own garden is full of stories about the people with whom I’ve shared these marvelous living creatures. 
Last year, I was in our neighborhood City People’s Mercantile and a woman was buying a Bergenia. We struck up a conversation and rather than buying one $14.99 plant, she came to my house and I gave her 50 of them for free! She was happy and so was I as I had way too many.  
A short while later, I needed some bamboo poles. I couldn’t buy the black bamboo poles I wanted, but got connected to Syd in Wallingford who wanted to get rid of some.  Driving home with 50 bamboo poles, I added up the material shared and the disposal costs avoided and figured that these two exchanges were worth over $1,550. 
I began to think - why not make connections I had had, possible for everyone?  Could I figure out a comfortable, safe way that neighbors would enjoy sharing plants with each other while honoring everyone’s need for privacy?  
I began to dream about a website that would list plants, not the people, just the plants, so that the plants, and the stories they tell, could connect neighbors who have them to neighbors who want them. I founded Plant-Share LLC in April 2014 and began designing and building in May 2014. 
To participate, you join by giving contact information and telling your preferences for how and where you want to share. 
We list your plants and when a neighbor wants your plants, we connect you using your contact preferences.   
If  you're interested in a plant on our Plants! page or an item in the Garden Garage, click on View Details and you can order it. 
All items come from neighbors.  So far we have about 75 plant species, from grasses to groundcovers and over 20 items in the Garden Garage, which are all easily searchable by species, color, ease of growth, habit, or name.  
The website also includes a Blog, a Plant Finder page for those who need help with plant identification, finding a plant for a tricky spot, and a page for Member Stories and Fun Factoids. 
Conceptually is not new, it just taps into the enduring human adventure of sharing life through plants and the stories they bring to our seasons. I hope makes sharing easier, our stories more plentiful, our neighborhoods stronger, our connections to life all the richer.

For more information go here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Audubon Society Annual Open House Tomorrow


Tomorrow night from 4-7pm is the second Annual Seattle Audubon Society Open House (8050 35th Avenue NE) with  demos, food, and more.
The schedule posted says:

  • Check out more than 50 binoculars and 15 spotting scopes to choose from in the Nature Shop
  • Learn more about volunteering and the benefits of being a member
  • Explore what our programs have to offer the community and you
Want to learn more about butterfly gardening in Seattle? Summer is a great time to start thinking about what to plant this fall.  
Join us as we welcome David Droppers and his presentation "Gardening for Butterflies in the Puget Sound Region" and stick around to ask your questions!
For more information go here.

Report Of Possible Homeless Person Near Center For Urban Horticulture

Following our post about an unusual person several residents encountered near the UW Botanic Gardens’ Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street)  on June 17, we received several similar emails.

One said:
I've ridden my bike through there to and from work at the UW daily for the past two years. Only once, about a month ago, have I seen someone alarming on the trail.  
The fellow last month, who was hiking out around 8am, had the appearance, wet pants and disheveled appearance, of of being homeless and having slept somewhere in the swamp.  I hope no one is settling in there.

Connie Sidles, 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, said: 
You might consider writing a post for your blog suggesting that people call 911 right away. The police (both city and UW) usually respond quickly to any on-campus threats

And Fred Hoyt, Associate Director, UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences College of the Environment, said:
Thank you for forwarding this bit of information along to us at the UW Botanic Gardens.  At this time, we have not received any reports of people acting in a strange or threatening manner.  You could check with the Campus Police to see if they have had any reports that we are unaware about.  
It is good that the person(s) who contacted you did so in order that others are aware.  The advice we give to our faculty, staff, students, and visitors is if you are in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, call 911. 

The Laurelhurst Blog Staff sent email to UW campus police several weeks and never received a response.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ice-Cream STEM Event At Northeast Library This Week

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Thursday from 3-5pm, the Northeast Library (6801 35th Avenue NE) is having a teens event, called "Teen Re-creation drop-in," as part of its summer learning STEM program.

The information says:
Need some space and support for your digital projects this summer? Drop in for help, ideas and snacks! For ages 12 and up.

And on Saturday a special event for kids called "We all scream for ice-cream" will be happening from 11-12 for ages 3 and up.

The information says:
Join us for an ice cream story time! Cool off with a quick ice cream or sorbet that you make yourself.

Through August 31, the Seattle Public Library’s free school-age through teens summer of learning  program “Zone In!” will feature a new focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math skills, funded by Google, The Seattle Public Library Foundation and U.S. Bank.

All Seattle Public Libraries received “science kits” donated by Google, which contain fun building materials, to help children practice their science and engineering skills.

The Library is also helping teens and tweens improve their digital media skills, such as art, activism, robotics, 3-D printing, computer programming, music, history and photography.

The Northeast branch summer schedule for children is
here and for teens/tweens is here.
(photo courtesy of  SPL website)