Friday, December 2, 2022

November Neighborhood Crime Activity - Multiple Car Thefts, Burglaries and Assaults

Below is the neighborhood Seattle Police Department crime activity report for November including:
  • 7 burglaries
  • 7 car thefts
  • 3 assaults

11/3     11am  4000 block of NE 45th Street

11/4   11am  4700 block of 41st Avenue NE

11/5   12am    3100 block of East Laurelhurst Drive NE

11/5     4am  3100 block of East Laurelhurst Drive NE

11/5     8:45pm   4700 block of 41st Avenue NE

11/8   3:28am     3700 block of 41st Avenue NE

11/8    4:30am   4400 block of 38th Avenue NE

11/8    7:30am    4400 block of 38th Avenue NE

11/8  12:28am    3700 block of 41st Avenue NE

11/16   noon  4100 block of 42nd Avenue NE

11/16   1:27pm    5000 block of 39th Avenue NE

11/16   3pm   4100 block of 42nd Avenue NE

11/18   8:53pm   4100 block of 42nd Avenue NE

11/18    11:53pm   4100 block of 42nd Avenue NE

11/18   11:53pm  4100 block of 42nd Avenue NE

11/19     10:32am   4500 block of West Laurelhurst Drive

11/21     8:30am     3600 block of 43rd Avenue NE

11/21   11:30am     3500 block of West Laurelhurst Drive

11/21     3:02pm   4100 block of 42nd Avenue NE

11/22   12:37am    3500 block of West Laurelhurst Drive

11/22     10:06pm    4500 block of 51st Avenue NE

11/27    11:06pm   4400 block of 43rd Avenue NE

11/28   1:39am    4200 block of 43rd Avenue NE

Thursday, December 1, 2022

All About Fruit-Eating Birds

Here is a recent post from the Union Bay Watch Blog published by Larry Hubbell, long-time local photographer and birder.

A Frugivore Test

The Fall provides an ephemeral beauty. One moment the leaves are bursting with color and the next they are on the ground, turning brown, replenishing the soil and providing food, shelter, and warmth for a variety of small creatures. Leaves tend to follow a fairly fast path around the circle of life. 

Fruits and nuts also fall from trees but they have the potential for much longer lives. I find it mind-numbing to wonder how many times a seed molecule might become part of a new tree, and then be transferred again into a new seed and then into another tree, and so on. Surely, the odds are slim for this process to be repeated infinitely, but it seems technically possible.

However, the seeds in most fruit do not become trees. Often when the fruit is consumed by other species, the seeds do not land in a fortuitous location, and the fruit molecules involved take a much shorter ride along the swifter side of the circle of life. 

This post focuses primarily on some of our local fruit-eating birds. Not only do they help enable the life cycles of fruit trees, but their own lives, and life cycles, are also enabled by the fruit they consume.

In this post, your challenge is to determine which of the six bird species shown are frugivores. 

Note: For our purposes, any birds that eat fruit are frugivores. It does not matter if they are part-time fruit eaters - since fruit is seasonal this is the most likely situation.

All six species have been photographed near fruit in the last month.

Some are common birds. 

Some are not seen so often.

Of the species shown above, three belong to the Thrush (Turdidae) family, two are Warblers (Dendroica) and one is a Waxwing (Bombycilla). All are winter residents in our area. (For the advanced birders a secondary challenge is, Which of these species does not breed locally?)

In the same order they were presented the six species are:

1. Varied Thrush
2. Townsend's Warbler
3. Cedar Waxwing
4. American Robin (also a Thrush)
5. Hermit Thrush and
6. Yellow-rumped Warbler

To be totally open and consistent it is the foods listed for each species in All About Birds that have been used to objectively determine whether we consider them frugivores. 

Your primary challenge is to determine from memory which of these species are not known to eat fruit. You should make your mental list before proceeding.


Spoiler Alert! 

The following photos will show many of these species eat fruit.


American Robins are the most commonly seen of these Fall frugivores.

In the Spring, you will often see them sporadically sprinting across lawns, sometimes stopping to listen, and then snagging, stretching, and securing worms, to take to their young.

Their similarly-sized cousins, the Varied Thrush, tend to raise their young in forested areas. In the Spring, while American Robins may be searching for worms in Western Washington cities, Varied Thrush are more likely to be found in the forests of the Olympic or Cascade Mountains, looking through the leaf litter for insects. 

In the Fall, some of them come to the cities. However, they are bashful. When you find a fruit tree full of feeding Robins look closely at the birds on the far side of the tree, sometimes, you may see a Varied Thrush.

In the same Fall fruit trees, small flocks of Cedar Waxwings can occasionally be found. 

It is obvious they are attracted to the fruit, but how they decide when and where to feed is a mystery to me. Unlike the Robins, they are not likely to feed until the fruit is gone. On the whole, they feed more briefly, return less frequently, and flock more tightly.

Of the three Thrush mentioned the Hermit Thrush, true to its name, is the least likely to be seen. It is also the smallest in size and roughly three times smaller in weight. Visually, they are closer in size to Song Sparrows than to the other two Thrush. However, their shape is clearly quite similar to their larger cousins.

Their size has a logical impact on where they can be seen. Since Thrush prefer to eat fruit whole they tend to be found feeding in trees with the smallest of fruit.

Curiously, Cedar Waxwings are similar in weight to the Hermit Thrush, but they appear to be able to eat larger fruit. Their bills seem longer and apparently able to open wider. They may be just better adapted as frugivores.

The last frugivore in our group may be the most surprising of all, the Yellow-rumped Warbler. By weight, they are about half the size of the average Hermit Thrush. (On the other hand, they can be as much as fifty percent larger than the Townsend's Warblers - which is the only other winter Warbler found in Western Washington.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Hospital Helipad Moves To Permananet Location


This week, the new new helipad on top of the Forest B building, also referred to as "Building Care" became active. 

Last year, the helicopter landing pad moved to the roof of Forest A (176’), known as Friends of Costco Building, during Phase 1 of the expansion. The landing pad was active until this week when Building Care was fully completed. With the last location, noise was louder than the former ground-based helipad used for decades. 

The Laurelhurst Community Club,said in a newsletter at the time:

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 2013the Hospital's helistop was located in the southwest corner of the parking area while construction was underway.

For any questions or concerns about the helipad, contact

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Jean Amick, Neighborhood Advocate Has Passed


Jean Amick, long time resident, recipient of several City Good Neighbor Awards and one of the co-chairs of SUN Park passed on Novemer 18th. She lived on the Boulevard with her husband, Russ. And her daughter, Christi Nagle, lived a few houses away, with her family.

In March 2007, Jean became involved in saving a piece of land from development on the corner lot at NE 47th Street and 47th Avenue NE. She and a group of Laurelhurst neighbors and friends, through donations to the Cascade Land Conservancy, purchased the corner.  She and Dixie Park were co-chairs for the Sun Park Committee.

Originally there was a large 1920's Bungalow style house on this corner property. A developer divided the lot in three parcels and 2 houses were built on 2 of the lots. The Sun Park folks, along with many in the community, attended a meeting along with City representatives, to save the third parcel from being developed. And it was turned it into a beautiful pocket park called Saving Urban Nature (SUN). 

The "Mulch Bunch" of neighborhood volunteers (as Jean Amick called them) still regularly have Saturday morning work parties sprucing up Sun Park.

Jean was involved in numerous neighborhood projects over many decades. She worked on the installation of cameras at "Five Points" - the busy intersection of Mary Gates Memorial Drive NE, NE 45th Street, NE 45th Place and Union Bay Place NE.  In August of 2008, three cameras were installed at "Five Points" after the Laurelhurst Community Club voted unanimously to support neighbors requests as well as more than 400 petition signatures,  In 2011, the lights were removed.  In 2013 the law was changed to two arterials only.

In 2017, a small working group of concerned  North Seattle neighbors, including Jean, worked worked with the 520 Bridge Project Team on the issue of the overly bright SR520 bridge lights and solutions on dimming them. In 2019, LCC trustee McAleer and former trustee Jean Amick attended the results presentation in February.

In 2021, Laurelhurst Community Club recognized Jean, and several other neighbors at its Annual meeting.  LCC wrote in a newsletter:

Jean exemplifies a great neighbor as she cruises the streets on her bike spreading cheer by sharing a smile, dropping off a bouquet of flowers, sharing an archived newspaper article, or snaring you into joining her to “Weed and Sweep” at SUN Park. Jean championed the park’s vision by bringing neighbors together to purchase the land and transform it into a beautiful green space for all ages to experience. Jean is also an avid birder and provides colorful habitat for local and rare bird species that frequent her sidewalk garden. 

Jean was also recognized as  a Good Neighbor in 2009.

Here is what one neighbor said about Jean:

Jean Amick was our passionate neighborhood leader.  Jean and her husband, Russ, raised their family here. 
She was a big supporter of our public schools and responsible for SUN Park along with her pal Dixie Porter.   
She was still riding her bike around the neighborhood months ago as she usually did. Jean was a member of  the Laurelhurst Beach Club Fattie Flee, an avid group of lake swimmer. 
We looked forward to the Amick’s Ice Cream Social on Webster Pt. every summer. “You bring the toppings!" 
Jean had a renown sense of humor with twinkling blue eyes,  and was not shy to ask neighbors to do the duty! 
Jean had attended a neighborhood meeting just a short time before she headed to the Poconos, her favorite place to spend time all her life, even to the end, surrounded by family.  
She will be terribly missed!

Another neighbor wrote:
Our dearest Jean Amick died on Thursday surrounded by family. She was such an amazing woman! I am so saddened by this news. May she Rest In Peace.

Here is information posted on the Laurelhurst Community Club website about Sun Park:

History of SUN (Saving Urban Nature) Park

SUN stands for Saving Urban Nature. In 2007 SUN was the vision created by Jean Amick and Dixie Jo Porter through the purchase of a small city corner lot from a developer who planned to replace one old original farmhouse and its remaining orchard with three large new homes.

Funded in part by a $15,000 neighborhood grant, neighbors and community members participated in a design process ­–as well as tireless fundraising – from which a unique native plant garden was designed and built. In need of an “official” overseer, the property was deeded through an agreement with the Cascade Land Conservancy, then renamed Forterra, with the hope that SUN Park would become acquired by Seattle Parks and Recreation at some point in the future.

In August 2019, Friends of SUN Park gifted this beautiful green space to Seattle Parks and Recreation. In addition, a significant maintenance fund raised by SUN volunteers over the years was turned over to Parks for the purpose of future acquisitions. Friends of SUN Park works closely with Parks to ensure its continued care and enjoyment for all.

Condelences can be sent to:

(photo courtesy of Twitter)

Monday, November 28, 2022

Fleeing Car Crashes In Neighborhood

(photo courtesy of Kiro 7)

 Information from Seattle Police Department Blotter:

Detectives Investigating Friday Afternoon Shooting and Car Crash in Laurelhurst Neighborhood

Police arrived in the area within moments and spotted a grey Toyota sedan fleeing the area. Officers briefly followed the vehicle before it crashed at Northeast 41st Street and Mary Gates Memorial Drive. Three occupants bailed out of the car and fled the crash on foot leaving behind a rifle in the car.

Officers searched the surrounding neighborhood and arrested two of the suspects and continue to search for a third person.

The victim told officers that this all began as a fight disturbance a few days ago and has continued to escalate resulting in a shot being fired today.

Detectives with the Gun Violence Reduction Unit are taking over the investigation and will work with prosecutors as the case moves forward.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Laurelhurst Blog Staff On Vacation

The Laurelhurst Blog staff will be on vacation and will resume posting on November 28th.

In the meantime, please keep sending us your informative emails, story ideas and comments. We look forward to responding upon our return.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Tonight SUBA Meeting

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

SUBA Annual Meeting November 17tt (Zoom )

Save Union Bay Association (SUBA);s Annual Meeting will provide an update on the progress made in the past year managing invasive aquatic plants in Union Bay. A representative from Aquatechnex will describe the treatments used, the outcomes, and the plans for 2023. There will also be reports on other SUBA business.  For questions, please email Susan Holliday, president, SUBA Board of Directors, at saveunionbayassn@ or  go here. 

Several yeras ago LCC commended (SUBA) for their 47 years stewardship of the waters in Union Bay saying:    

With its active programs, SUBA has effectively restored the quality of water in the bay over these past six years through various applications of environmentally safe, in-water and targeted herbicide treatments.  
Since the new treatment plans were implemented, Union Bay waters have been clear, safe, and milfoil free, even as warmer climates have created toxic conditions elsewhere in the area. There were no reported toxic blooms in Union Bay in 2017, and recreational water users – swimmers, kayakers and boaters have seen a vast improvement in their ability to navigate through clearer water throughout the summer. Fish habitat continues to be enhanced, and their ability to thrive is central to the health of the entire ecosystem in Puget Sound.  
SUBA’s on-going methods to reduce the non-native water lilies is also critical as it provides more natural light and open waters that native fish need for navigation. LCC supports the work of SUBA in its next new multi-year grant cycle for these treatment programs from the Washington State Department of Ecology, the State Department of Natural Resources, and its partnering with the University of Washington Athletics and student activities programs for the in-water maintenance.  
LCC also commends the more than $20,000 in donations by SUBA’s members, primarily Laurelhurst shoreline homeowners, that are used to co-pay for these treatments, benefiting all public users of Union Bay.  
LCC also supports SUBA’s work in protecting Union Bay from other harmful impacts, such as those from the new SR520 bridge replacement. SUBA’s efforts to prevent harmful open barging of toxic waste debris, halt the non-permitted dredging and the attempt to increase night time noise variance have worked to protect the most vulnerable wildlife species, and the humans whose habitat is Union Bay.  
SUBA’s resource of the Aqua Technex in-water maps that identify locations of the invasive weeds for both current, and future records of Union Bay is a public asset. They are especially important for documenting potential adverse impacts from the construction of the new SR520 bridge.  
LCC supports the request from SUBA to WSDOT that additional mitigation may be needed for the removal of any new invasive in-water plants brought in by the SR520 construction processes of the West Approach Bridge North (WABN), and its remaining phases, and will partner on those efforts.  
Many thanks to SUBA president Susan Holliday, board members Steve Sultzbacher, John Impert, John Jacobs, and Colleen McAleer, and members for all you do for the restoration and continued vitality of Union Bay, and its efforts to protect its delicate ecosystem. SUBA is a 501-C-3 nonprofit organization.  
Please support matching funds for this important work. Send tax-deductible donations to: SUBA Treasurer Steve Sulzbacher, 4115 Surber Drive NE, Seattle, WA 98105

The Union Bay Natural Area (UBNA) is an undeveloped, 74-acre nature reserve and outdoor research laboratory on the north end of Lake Washington’s Union Bay, which provides publicly accessible wildlife habitat (more than 200 bird species have been sighted).

For many years, the land served as Seattle’s largest garbage dump, the Montlake Fill. After the landfill was closed in 1966, work began to restore the site to a more natural environment. The land, just east of the University of Washington (UW) campus, is now owned by the University and managed by the College of the Environment.  

Go here for more information.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Neighborhood Turkey Trot On Thanksgiving


The 11th Annual Laurelhurst Turkey Trot, open to all ages, is happening on Thanksgiving Day. Participants should meet at 8:45am at the northeast corner of Laurelhurst Park near the overpass. No pre-registration is required.

The information says:
Join your family  friends and neighbors for a very casual and informal 5K Fun Run/Walk that zig zags through Laurelhurst following a course map given at the start. Last year over 400 runners and walkers
Bring your family, dog, or pet turkey and be prepared to burn some calories and have good time before the Thanksgiving stuffing.   
It’s become a neighborhood tradition and gets bigger every year. Last year we had over 300 runners and walkers take part in the Laurelhurst Turkey Trot! 
We are collecting donations of non perishable food for the University Food Bank or cash/check donations. 
Everybody that finishes within 45 minutes will receive a raffle ticket for the pie raffle, donated by Metropolitan Market. 
We are looking for volunteers! If you do not want to do the Turkey Trot, but interested in volunteering to help coordinate or direct traffic, please contact Brian Larson at 206-681-0826, or e-mail at

Katie, a Laurelhurst native, said she got the idea for a Turkey Trot from when she lived in Glen Ellyn, a small town, outside of Chicago for a few years before returning to the neighborhood. The town has of local events, including their Annual Turkey Trot.

And eight years ago, Kate's husband, Brian, suggested they host a fun run, which they mirrored after the Glen Ellyn event. One hundred neighbors showed up for the walk also filled an SUV full of food donations for the Food Bank.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Update On Eagles At Talaris

Here is a recent post from the Union Bay Watch Blog published by Larry Hubbell, long-time local photographer and birder.

Talaris - Eagles

The Talaris property at 4000 N.E 41st Street, Seattle, WA has been the nest site for a pair of Bald Eagles for more than a decade. I have taken to calling them Talia and Russ because these names, when said in that order, sound similar to Talaris. 

The following sign, facing NE 41st St, informs those who pass by that the property is soon to be subdivided and developed.

The next photo shows the representation of the plan as displayed on the sign. It clearly says the plan may vary. However, nothing I have come across, so far, indicates major changes to the plan. (Note: This is a quick post due to time constraints as mentioned below.)

The Bald Eagle's nest is located in the southwest portion of the property - approximately halfway between the houses numbered 31 and 30. (Specifically, the nest is in the clump of Cottonwood trees immediately above the final "n" in the word "Representation" in the artwork.)

This photo is from the June 16th, 2022, Preliminary Arborist Report. 

On page two of the report it states 226 trees to be removed, i.e. 52% of the 436 trees on the property. (The removal of so many trees is counter to our citizen's best interest and desires. Click Here for proof) 

The red circles, in the photo above, indicate failing or dead trees and the blue circles indicate trees in poor condition. The location of houses (in the prior artwork) to the poor quality trees does not appear to be coincidental. 

Although, as you will see a poor quality tree, from a human perspective, may actually be a very high quality tree from nature's point of view. Today, I am focusing on the Cottonwoods in the lower left, that surround the Bald Eagle nest.

Cottonwood branches are easy to break even when the tree is alive. In fact, all but one of the many dozens of branches I have seen Bald Eagles collect for their nests have been cottonwood branches. 

Generally, the eagles focus on breaking off smaller live branches near the tops of the trees. I do not believe it is simply an issue of easy access as I have seen Bald Eagles breaking off cottonwood branches quite some distance from their nests. I believe their primary motivation is the ease with with the branches break.

Similarly, the majority of Western Washington Bald Eagle nests I have seen have been built in cottonwood trees. The trees tend to branch out near the top third of the trunk creating ideal nest sites. However, this also contributes to the trees more top heavy than many other tall local trees.

It is also important to note that, Populus trees (which include Cottonwoods) are one of the top four genera of trees that support caterpillars in our area. (Click Here to read more about their value.) This makes cottonwoods a keystone species. In other words, the caterpillars that the trees support may be the most important early food source, for the majority of all birds that nest and raise young in the city. 


After writing this post I remembered hearing about how bees utilize cottonwoods trees. A search led me to this interesting website which mentions benefits for bees and humans

Nature is amazing!

Finally, dead cottonwood trees are highly attractive as potential nest sites. If a woodpecker, like a Northern Flicker makes its nest in a Cottonwood snag the next year many different creatures may reuse the nest (although not at the same time). Squirrels and Wood Ducks are great examples. I have even seen a Pileated Woodpecker open up an old Northern Flicker nest, in a Cottonwood, to create a place to sleep during cold weather.

I agree, that Cottonwoods are not great trees to have near your house. From what I have seen around Foster Inland if a cottonwood tree dies, especially if it is girdled by a beaver, the whole tree is likely to fall within a few years. The logs along the far shore are most probably dead cottonwoods.

With all this in mind my suggestion would be to situation new housing in the Talaris property almost any where but the southwest corner - where the Cottonwood grove and the Bald Eagle nest are located. This would be better for the Bald Eagles, Northern Flickers, many secondary nesting creatures, and via supporting caterpillars, virtually all nesting birds in the area. (This last piece of logic would also put a premium on saving the trees in the genus Quercus, Prunus & Betula as they are also extremely supportive for caterpillars.) Plus, this would be the safest approach for the future residents of the property, not to mention being highly beneficial in terms of access to nature. The current approach seems to be unaware or unconcerned with these possibilities. 

In the publicly accessible information on the project, that I found, it barely mentions saving a few of the Cottonwoods. Plus, it seems mostly concerned with the risk associated with disturbing the Bald Eagles. 

It assumes the nesting Bald Eagles are habituated to the noise of traffic on NE 41st St. and so unlikely to take issue with activities beyond 120 feet. Specifically, the Ecology Report, dated August, 9th, 2018, in Appendix C - "Management Recommendations for Bald Eagle Nest" states, 

"In conclusion, the subject Bald Eagle nest is unlikely to be impacted by project activities outside a 120-foot distance buffer as long as the landscape buffer (trees) within this area and the on-site wetland is maintained. However, to satisfy the City of Seattle and shield the applicant, obtaining an Eagle Incident Take permit is highly recommended. No other mitigation, site development alternatives, or ongoing management practices should be necessary." 

In fact, the permit mentioned implies that if the nesting Bald Eagles are disturbed no one has to be concerned or take responsibility. In my opinion, this is not a logical approach. Living in harmony with nature is a responsibility we must all share whether we are developers, neighbors or more remote citizens of Seattle.

As a citizen of Seattle, I believe my (and our) only option left is to state our preferences. The online link where we can file public comments regarding this project will only accept input until: 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Attack In Field Across From University Village

 The Laurelhurst Blog received this information:

At 7:30am on Saturday, November 12th, an attack  occurred in the open field across from University Village. 

A neighbor was playing with his dog when a 6’5” white male with a beard started making barking noises at the dog.  The man then went into the woods, returned with a log and started to lunge at the neighbor.  The neighbor was able to outrun the attacker.  The attacker ran away towards the University Village. 

Police were called but were unable to make an arrest because the attacker did not actually touch the neighbor.  The attacker ran away towards U Village.  

From the physical description of the person, this attacker appears to be a different assailant than the one who pushed other neighbors to the ground while walking on the Urban Horticulture grounds last month.

Here is inforamtion about the CUH attack:

At 2pm on August 31 at the entrance to the Center For Urban Horticulture, a  neighbor and friend were chased by a man wielding a stick yelling that he was going to kill them.  Running at full speed, he pushed our neighbor to the ground. The man was Caucasian man, in his early 20’s, clean-cut student-look.


The UW police were called and showed the neighbor a photo of the man who came through a closed gate and showed up in a another neighbor's pool a week earlier at 7am.  This photo didn't match the CUH male.   

Here is information directly from the person who was attacked in August:

A  ellow Laurelhurst neighbor and I were walking in the Horticulture Center when a guy chased and attacked us.  He looked very clean cut and we originally thought he was a UW student.  He looked to be about 22 years old. We heard him yelling, but thought he was yelling at a friend.  
All of a sudden he said he was going to kill us.  He charged towards me running at full speed.  I thought he was going to punch me but he just shoved me really hard onto the ground.  I wasn't very hurt..  It was just scary.  
I called UW Campus Police and we went back to the site but he was gone.