Wednesday, February 19, 2020

This Week Master Pruner Series At Center For Urban Horticulture

The UW Botanic Gardens’ Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street) is holding a couple of pruning classes this week as part of their yearly Master Pruner Series:


Japanese Garden Pruning - THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20th  9:30 – 11:30AM

Master Pruner Series: Japanese Garden Pruning
Master Pruner Series: Japanese Garden Pruning
This class will cover pruning Japanese upright maples (fan pruning), Japanese laceleaf maples (shell pruning), pruning pines (cloud pruning) and shearing masses of lower story plants.  Cost: $35. Taught by Bess Bronstein

Shrubs III: The Puzzlers and Consequences - THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20th  12:30 – 2:30PM
Master Pruner Series: Shrubs III: The Puzzlers and Consequences
This class teaches how to prune rhododendron, hydrangea, callicarpa, Viburnum bodnantense and abelia. Included in this two-hour slideshow are basic pruning techniques techniques, common pruning mistakes and corrective pruning.  Cost: $35.  Taught by Ken Tuomi.

Go here for more information.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Children's Hospital Construction Activity This Week


 













Building Care, also called Forest B, of Phase 2 of Children's Hospital expansion is underway and the new building is planned to open in Spring of 2022. 

The 310,000 square-foot addition will add an eight-story building and will 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. There will be two floors of underground parking and sterile processing. This will bring SCH bed total to 409, up from 200 before its expansion 2012 plan. 

The helicopter landing pad moved temporarily to the roof of Forest A (176’), now known as Friends of Costco Building, Phase 1 of the expansion. The landing pad will be active until Building Care is completed. Noise is expected to be louder than the former ground-based helipad. When Forest B is complete, the helistop will moves to its permanent location on top of the Friends of Costco Building (same height). 

Lights were added, recently, to the horizontal swing arm (boom) portion of the tower crane to increase safety for helicopter landings. These are in addition to the lights at the end of the boom and on the crane operator’s cab. The additional lights will help the helicopter pilots in identifying the location of the boom when landing or departing the helipad in the dark. While the lights are visible from the ground, they are not bright enough to interfere with any neighboring properties. As a reminder, the tower crane is scheduled to remain onsite through August 2020.

The Hospital posted this information on their Construction Blog about specific construction activity this week: 
    • Erect structural and support steel
    • Install decking
    • Pour concrete for walls, curbs, slabs, stairs and duct bank
    • Install fireproofing
    • Install mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment
    • Paint concrete
    • Build exterior panels
    • Set stairs
    • Set elevator machines
    • Frame walls and doors
    • Install sprinkler system
    • Build concrete block walls
    • Set air handling units
    • Install rain leaders
    • Install natural gas line (see Feb. 7 Construction Blog post for details)
    • Internal activities in River building: install pipes for pneumatic tube system extension


Call 206-987-8000 or email construction@seattlechildrens.org with questions.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Fire Pit To Be Removed

Seattle Parks Department published this information on January 24th about removal of the Laurelhurst Park firepit. Parks did not inform the Laurelhurst Community Club about their decision until February 10th, when a representative attended LCC's Board meeting. Neighbors are just starting to find out this week.



Parks public relations post:

Saying goodbye to the Laurelhurst Fire Pit
January 24, 2020 by Christina Hirsch




Seattle Parks and Recreation will be removing the Laurelhurst Fire Pit in the coming weeks. Over the past 5 years, we have seen an increase in more aggressive fires and unattended fires. Staff have also reported fires being ignited by youth under the age of 18 without adult supervision as well as users burning trash or unclean wood. In addition, neighbors have complained each summer about the smoke and the use of the pit, including issues around trash and alcohol bottles being left in the area. 
We are sad to see the fire pit go, but we want to be responsive to the community’s concerns as well as the health and safety concerns noticed by our staff. 
Do you have fond memories of the Laurelhurst Fire Pit? We’d love to see pics of how you’ve enjoyed the fire pit over the years! Please share pictures or your favorite memories by tagging “SeattleParks” on Twitter or “Seattle Parks and Recreation” on Facebook. 

The Laurelhurst Blog contacted Christina copying several others Parks employees on the email and said:
We have some questions about your 1/24 Parkways post:
  • Is this the only communication to the public about this? What if someone doesn't read Parkways? Neighbors are just finding out about this. 
  • It appears that Parks is keeping this quiet as no one knows about this and just wants to quickly and quietly remove the firepit.
  • Who made the decision? 
  • Were any neighbors contacted or the Laurelhurst Community Club?
  • When will the firepit be removed? 
  • You said  - "Over the past 5 years, we have seen an increase in more aggressive fires and unattended fires" - what is the evidence of this - can you please let us know how to access this information
  • You said "neighbors have complained each summer about the smoke and the use of the pit" - what is the evidence of this - can you please let us know how to access this information
  • You said "we want to be responsive to the community’s concerns as well as the health and safety concerns noticed by our staff" - where are these concerns documented?
  • What are the "health concerns? 
  • When are staff at the park? Our Blog staff is there throughout the day and have only seen Parks personnel cleaning the bathrooms and picking up trash at the garbage cans around the park. The Blog Staff has on occasion seen garbage around the pit. There seems to be 1-2 calls to the Fire Department over the last 2 years.
  • If people have "fond memories" why would you ask them to share pictures on Twitter? It seems contradictory

Christopher Williams, Superintendent of Parks, mistakenly replied all to the email, but didn't remove the Laurelhurst Blog on the email and he said: Let’s huddle today CW."

Rachel, Parks spokesperson responded:
Thanks for reaching out. Both community members and staff who have worked at Laurelhurst community center have expressed concerns over the years of the dangerous activity that happens at the fire pit. In response to these concerns, we proposed the removal of the fire pit, but first wanted to hear from community about this change. 
We have shared this information on our blog, on our website (both Laurelhurst park page and Laurelhurst CC page), on twitter, and Facebook. We met with the Advisory Council at Laurelhurst Community Center on Feb 3, and at a Community Club meeting on Monday (2/11).
Rachel is incorrect, the information is not on the LCC website, the last time the Laurelhurst Blog checked, and LCC told the Laurelhurst Blog that they just found out the decision the same day as their recent LCC meeting which occurred on Monday, February 10. 

The Laurelhurst Blog found a post on Park's Twitter and Facebook, but not until 3 days after their Parkways post.

The Laurelhurst Blog sent another email to Rachel saying:
LCC learned about the removal just before their Monday meeting.  Neighbors don't read any of the social media you have put this very important news on. The Advisory Council is comprised of members that are your staff and a few neighbors and neighbors don't attend that meeting.
Why didn't you contact us to publish the info? There is no info on the LCC site - at least on their first page. There are many more ways you could have gotten the word out - sent an email out through LCC's Constant Contact resource, but none have been done, only information published on your Parks site, of which very few people read. 
Also why hasn't Cara, Laurelhurst Community Club Recreation Coordinator, sent out information?  

Rachel responded:
We are still continuing to hear out community on this proposed changed and do not yet have a date for removal.
Today the Laurelhurst Blog sent another email:
We are following up as we have not received a response. We look forward to hearing from you with specifics in response to our questions.  
Rachel responded today saying:
We have no timeline for removal, and please direct folks to email us with any concerns. The best place to do that is pks_info@seattle.gov.

The Laurelhurst Blog responded:
We are directing ourselves to you with our concerns!  Please answer our questions. Thank you.

And no response has been received again.

Comments on the Parks Department Facebook page said:
I saw people using it for the first time last summer and it was so idyllic. Neighbors having a little evening fire making s'mores. Sad to see it go. 
This is outrageous. Utter failure of leadership starting with Jenny Durkin. 
It's always sad that a few can spoil it for hundreds of others

The Laurelhurst Blog also contacted Cara, Laurelhurst Community Center Recreation Coordinator, who said;
Rachel, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Communications Manager, will be able to answer your questions regarding the fire pit.  
Mike Wayte, a long time Laurelhurst resident has started an on-line petition saying:
A vocal minority has the parks department closing down the fire pit in Laurelhurst Park. Please sign this petition to save the fire pit! 
In 2007, the fire pit was in jeapordy of being removed, and LCC supported the recommendation of some neighbors to remove it. Seattle Parks' Royal Alley-Barnes presented her plan at an LCC meeting for the removal and recommendation of replacement with a portable unit. LCC suggested that the Community Center Advisory group have an opportunity to weigh in on this decision. 

A group of neighbors were very vocal against removal of the fire pit  asked for a formal public process to weigh in on the final decision. The group said that there was lack of public input and that there a certain uniqueness of the urban fire pit as well as a decades-long history and tradition of the fire pit.


In response to whether arks Public Involvement Policy, LCC stated, at the time, that Parks formal public involvement policy applies to proposals to 1) acquire property, 2) initiate funded capital projects or 3) make changes to a park or facility, LCC added that it's unclear whether the policy applies to the situation of removing and/or replacing the fire pit.

LCC also added, at the time, that citizens certainly have the right to ask for additional public process. But whether a public meeting is held is up to the Parks Superintendent
.  

The Laurelhurst Blog has received many emails from neighbors against the removal of the fire pit. Here are some of the comments: 
We have lived in the neighborhood for decades and have just learned about Parks' decision. Why wasn't the community notified via an on-line communication that neighbors read, such as this Blog, or LCC. We don't know anyone that reads "Parkways." Parks seems to have made this decision and is doing their best to not let anyone know. Doesn't Parks represent the neighborhood and its interests? 
We are very disappointed with Parks that they would act alone without any communication to the neighborhood to close this gathering spot which has been used for generations. Where is the evidence that Parks is referring to in their Parkways post?  
We have used the firepit through many generations of our family and were surprised to hear that suddenly it is being removed. Seems it would be due diligence to provide statistics on all that Parks is saying about its concerns - health, etc. We have never heard of these types of concerns over the many, many years we have lived in the neighborhood. 
It really seems that Parks is acting completely on their own and keeping all the information under the radar so that no one finds out, regardless of whether neighbors agree with the decision or not. 
It is really upsetting that Seattle Parks and Recreation that serves and promotes community has made their own decision with no neighbor input and on top of that, has not used any social media that people actually read to get the word out widely.   
Can there not be a public input process on this important decision? It appears that Parks has made the decision completely by themselves without publishing any specific information that they refer to in their Parkways post.  Does it really exist or is it just lip service and a PR spin? 

Other neighbors said:
We are glad to see that the firepit will be removed. In the summers mostly, groups hang out there till quite late, after the Park has formally closed. We have never heard of any safety issues ever or unattended fires, but we will be glad that it will be quiet in the park. 
I walk the park every day and have seen garbage around the firepit and always pick it up. The debris from the fire is never outside the firepit and we don't have concerns about fires that are not put out. But it seems that sometimes there are groups who may not be managing themselves well at the fire pit. So maybe it is a good idea to remove it.

Parks Department contacts:

Rachel Schulkin: Rachel.Schulkin@seattle.gov or (206) 684-8020
Christopher Williams, Superintendent: Christopher.Williams@seattle.gov
Cara Brown: Cara.Brown@seatte.govGeneral
Parks general email: pks_info@seatte.govAssociated Recreation Council (ARC): www.seattle.gov/Parks/Arc

To sign Mike's petition go here.
.  
Please contact the Laurelhurst blog at laurelhurstblogger@gmail.com with comments or information you receive from Parks Department representatives.



Thursday, February 13, 2020

Tonight Houseplants 101 Class at Center For Urban Horticulture



At 6:30pm tonight, the UW Botanic Gardens’ Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street) is having a class called "Houseplants 101: The Art of Growing Plants Indoors." The cost is $15.




The class information says:
Learn the do's and don'ts of indoor plants. Instructor Tassy de Give, author of Rooted in Design, will discuss how to choose the right plant for your indoor environment and troubleshoot potential plant problems. 
Whether you are a first time plant owner, or are looking to expand your knowledge of your existing collection, Houseplants 101 will give you the know-how and guidance for improving the life of your plants. 
Environmental factors, plant identification, and general care techniques will be discussed. The lecture will also include an in-depth Q&A section so be sure to bring any plant questions as well as photos you want identified.
For more information and to register go here.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Winter Classes At Community Center With Availability


Laurelhurst Community Center winter program registration is currently open. Here are the programs at the Community Center with space available.

Register online, in-person at the Community Center Monday through Friday 9-2pm or by calling 684-7529.


MUSIC FOR TOTS - PARENT-CHILD MUSIC PROGRAM
Ages 6 months - 5 years

Let your little ones learn music and release their inner diva at the same time! Children will learn musical skills while playing and interacting with each other and their parents. Grown-ups wear comfortable clothing. Siblings up to 6 months can attend free. Seasonal CD and songbook included.

#26598 1/8-3/25 W 9:30-10:30 a.m. $171
#26599 1/8-3/25 W 10:30-11:30 a.m. $171


EMERALD CITY FLOORBALL
Ages 3-11

Experience the newest, fastest, most fun, all-inclusive, and safest version of off-ice Floor Hockey through the sport of Floorball. Come learn the fundamentals and enjoy this great
game taught by an off-ice hockey expert.

#26589 1/28-2/29 Sat 4-5 p.m. $126


CORE AND MORE: BREATHING INTO EASE YOGA
Ages 18 and Older

Using props we make the classic yoga poses accessible to all.  Each week will focus on a different area of the body that can carry stress. We will also explore how to use MBSR breath work to release areas and change postural habits off the yoga mat.

#26586 2/20-3/26 Th 10:45 a.m.-Noon $144


CORE AND MORE: DRILLING DOWN PILATES/YOGA
Ages 18 and Older

This interdisciplinary class is a Pilates informed Hatha Yoga for those seeking balance and stability in their back, and abdominal core. This course features light weights and isometrics and is also easy on the joints.

#26588 2/20-3/26 Th 9:30-10:45 a.m. $144

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Children's Hospital Construction Activity This Week

 













Building Care, also called Forest B, of Phase 2 of Children's Hospital expansion is underway and the new building is planned to open in Spring of 2022. 

The 310,000 square-foot addition will add an eight-story building and will 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. There will be two floors of underground parking and sterile processing. This will bring SCH bed total to 409, up from 200 before its expansion 2012 plan. 

The helicopter landing pad moved temporarily to the roof of Forest A (176’), now known as Friends of Costco Building, Phase 1 of the expansion. The landing pad will be active until Building Care is completed. Noise is expected to be louder than the former ground-based helipad. When Forest B is complete, the helistop will moves to its permanent location on top of the Friends of Costco Building (same height). 

Lights were added, recently, to the horizontal swing arm (boom) portion of the tower crane to increase safety for helicopter landings. These are in addition to the lights at the end of the boom and on the crane operator’s cab. The additional lights will help the helicopter pilots in identifying the location of the boom when landing or departing the helipad in the dark. While the lights are visible from the ground, they are not bright enough to interfere with any neighboring properties. As a reminder, the tower crane is scheduled to remain onsite through August 2020.

The Hospital posted this information on their Construction Blog about specific construction activity this week: 
    • Erect structural and support steel
    • Install decking
    • Pour concrete for walls, curbs, slabs, and stairs
    • Install fireproofing
    • Build exterior panels
    • Install roofing and waterproofing, will generate odors
    • Set stairs
    • Install mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment
    • Paint concrete and plywood
    • Frame walls and doors
    • Seal concrete
    • Build concrete block walls
    • Install rain leaders
    • Install storm drain pipes and catch basins
    • Install underground piping
    • Internal activities in River building: install pipes for pneumatic tube system extension


Call 206-987-8000 or email construction@seattlechildrens.org with questions.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Tonight Laurelhurst Community Club Board Meeting




Tonight at 6:30pm, the Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) is holding its monthly Board meeting, open to all neighbors, at the Laurelhurst Community Center in the Fireside Room. 


Here is tonight's agenda:

6:30pm Welcome 
Removal of the Laurelhurst Firepit, Cara Brown, Community Center Coordinator and Justin Cutler, Seattle Parks and Recreation Director

ADMINISTRATION
· Minutes
· Calls/Concerns from Neighbors · Treasurer's Report
· Announcements

7:20

· Metro Planning Changes for Bus Routes

· Crime Prevention/ Public Safety

· Helicopter Landings Update

· Talaris Update

· Tree Ordinance Update

· Centennial Celebration Planning


8pm Adjourn

Friday, February 7, 2020

More Car Prowls Around Surber, One With Keyless Entry

The Laurelhurst Blog received this information from several neighbors:

We have had a number of car break ins around Surber Drive NE. Our car has keyless entry and our key fob puts out a signal so you can open the car and push button start it without inserting a key. Unfortunately, our car was opened by someone using a relay which could hack into the signal from the key fob and they were able to enter the car without making a sound. Since that time, we have learned from other neighbors to keep our keys in a special box that blocks the signal. 
There have been many car prowls over the last few months in the area of Surber Deive. Some cars have been entered electronically by hacking into the signal from fobs for keyless cars. Protect your fob by placing it in a pouch or box that has RFID blocking capability. 
Our locked cars that were parked in the vicinity of 42nd Avenue NE were broken into. Another car on our street had its rear window smashed and rifled through. the inside was a mess.
Our car was broken into the alley off of 40th Avenue NE near Talaris.
Our unlocked car was rummaged through several times in one month and nothing was stolen on 55th Avenue NE. We did a test and left left our car unlocked again twice in the last several months and again our car was rummaged through. This tells me that there is someone out there scouting our street every night searching for unlocked cars.

Other car prowls have been reported on NE 33rd Street, NE 41st near the park),  NE 36th Street, 47th Avenue NE and NE 38th, East and West Laurelhurst Drive, NE 33rd Street, NE 38th Street.

Here are SPD's car prowl prevention tips:  

  • Don't leave any items in plain view in your vehicle. Even in a secure garage.
  • Take all valuables with you when you park.
  • Remove or hide anything that a car prowler might mistake as something worth stealing.
  • If valuables must be left behind, hide them out of sight several blocks away before parking.
  • Disable internal trunk releases per your owner's instruction manual.
  • Audible alarms or other theft deterrent devices can be effective.
  • When you exit or enter your parked vehicle, stop and take a look around the area.
  • Before leaving your parked car, always remove the keys, roll up the windows and lock the car.
  • Make a habit of locking your garage door and car doors.
  • If possible, store your car in a closed and locked garage.
  • If your car is stored in a carport or parked near your house, leave your exterior lights on throughout the night.
  • If you park on the street, choose a well-lit, open space even if it means adding additional street/yard lighting & trimming back trees/bushes that block your view of your vehicle.
  • If you park your car in a dark or isolated area, consider the City Light Area Lighting Program, which permits additional light fixtures to be placed on existing poles. The cost is less than $5 per month per light. Call (206) 684-3000 for more information.
  • Consider replacing the light fixture closest to your car with a motion detector unit. Motion detectors are a good psychological deterrents since the normal assumption of a person seeing a light come on is that someone has seen them. Additionally, the light makes the prowler or thief more visible.
SPD says that if your car is broken into, file a report by calling the non-emergency number at 206-625-5011or online.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Neighbors Tackle Weeds Off NE 41st Street



Several months ago, several neighborhood volunteers helped remove grass and weeds from the median island at the base of the NE 41st Street hill. 

The Laurelhurst Community Club reported that the strip hadn't been thoroughly weeded for many years. 

LCC said in a recent newsletter:
While LCC hires a maintenance service that uses a Weedeater on it once a year, it’s not in the budget to do what really needs to be done. The goal was to do some extensive work so that regular, affordable maintenance could be covered through LCC’s annual dues collection and supplemental donations to the landscaping fund. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

This Week Center For Urban Horticulture Classes



Nearby Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street) is having several classes this week: 


Native Plants 101: Gardening with Native Ephemerals & Understory Plants - Monday 6:30 – 8pm

Native Plants 101: Gardening with Native Ephemerals & Understory Plants
Find out what native Puget Sound plants are first to grow and flower in the spring and how to incorporate them into your garden!  This class will cover some of the native blooming flowers and plants that you can grow in your shady garden spot that will brighten up your yard early in the year, from Bleeding Heart to native Trillium and Vanilla Leaf.  Taught by Anna Carragee and Joel Bidnick



Gardening with the Seasons: THURSDAY, 7 – 8:30PM
Gardening with the Seasons: Winter
Though it seems there isn't much to do in the garden over winter, dormant season tasks can set the stage for a good gardening year.  When weather keeps us indoors, we can plan ahead for tasks and garden changes to be done in the months ahead. When the weather is nice enough to spend time outdoors, it can be amazing how much we can actually take care of now. This session will cover dormant season pruning and transplanting for specific plant types, winter weeding and garden care, best tools and practices, and planning ahead for the new growing season.