Thursday, March 31, 2016

SR520 Grand Opening This Week-End, New And Old Bridges Both Closed All Week-end

Grand Opening poster for event April 2-3

The  SR 520 grand opening celebration is Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. Both the old and new floating bridges will be closed to traffic on both days.  
The information says:

Visitors can stroll across the car-free roadway.  The celebration will feature family-friendly and accessible interactive STEM-focused exhibits and displays showcasing the science, technology, engineering and math involved in building the world’s longest floating bridge.   
There will also be a chance to take in the first views of the lake from the new bicycle and pedestrian path and the opportunity to win prizes- including two round-trip tickets for either domestic or international flights.   

Grand Opening attendees will have the opportunity to explore the large floating structure on foot, while enjoying the fare from local food trucks.  
At 7:30am, before the Bridge opens, there will be a 5K or 10K run/walk on the new floating bridge presented by the Virginia Mason Heart Institute. Go here to register.
At 10am there will be an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Shuttles will be available at the University of Washington leaving from the Montlake Triangle, near the new U-Link light rail station. Montlake Boulevard between SR 520 and Husky Stadium will be closed to traffic from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday, April 2, for the fun run/walk.
For more information about the Grand Opening events or accessing the event, go to the website. 

Garden Lovers Book Sale Friday And Saturday At Center For Urban Horticulture


The 10th Annual Garden Lovers’ Plant Sale starts tomorrow at Miller Library in the Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street), with a preview from 5-8pm for $25 in advance and $30 at the door.  The sale on Saturday from 9-3pm, which is free.

The information says:

Come and select choice titles on garden design, plant selection, horticulture, edibles, and pest control among others.  Stock your shelves with gently used gardening books. 
The tips, inspiration, and vital information contained in these books will keep you inspired and on track as you plan and enjoy your garden this year. 
Bring your own bags or boxes to load up on great deals. All proceeds benefit the new materials budget for the Miller Library.

 Go here for more information.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Annual Spring Egg Hunt A Success

It was another great turn-out this year for the annual Egg Hunt. Several hundred children hunted for over 4,000 eggs, Cara Brown, Coordinator, Laurelhurst Community Center, told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff. The Bake Sale was also a success raising funds for community center programs and scholarships.

Cara said:
A big thank you to all our volunteers and staff for taking the time to come and help make our event a success!    
This event relies largely on a great group of volunteers, some veterans and some new, and of course our hard working staff as well. 
We hope everyone enjoyed the event and look forward to next year!

Spring Pre-K Classes Offered At The Community Center

Registration is underway for Pre-K classes at the Laurelhurst Community Center.

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

The Spring Brochure lists all classes and programs at Laurelhurst, Magnuson and Ravenna-Eckstein Community Centers.


PARENT AND CHILD    Ages 6 Months-4 Years
Let your little ones learn music the easy/fun way, and release your own inner diva at the same time! Based on the idea that music is a language, children aged newborn through 5 years get the opportunity to learn basic musical skills while playing, moving, and interacting with each other. $10 material fee per quarter, payable to instructor.
Instructor: Charlotte Thistle Archer
3/30-5/4 Wed 9:30-10:15 a.m. $78
5/11-6/15 Wed 9:30-10:15 a.m. $78
3/30-5/4 Wed 10:30-11:15 a.m. $78
5/11-6/15 Wed 10:30-11:15 a.m. $78
3/30-5/4 Wed 11:30-12:15 p.m. $78
5/11-6/15 Wed 11:30-12:15 p.m. $78


Instructor Charla Jennings carefully crafted lessons will enhance body and spatial awareness, basic movements, and creative impressions. Ballet tights and shoes are required for all pre-ballet and ballet classes. No program 5/30.

Age 3
3/29-5/3 Tue 12:30-1:15 p.m. $72
5/10-6/14 Tue 12:30-1:15 p.m. $72

Ages 4-5
3/29-5/3 Tue 1:15-2 p.m. $72
5/10-6/14 Tue 1:15-2 p.m. $72

In this class you and your child will explore fun clay projects together! You will learn basic hand-building techniques such as  pinch pot, coil, and slab. You and your child will also have the chance to create projects on the pottery wheel.
Instructor: Liang-Yin Chen
4/1-5/6 Fri 9:30-10:30 a.m. $114
5/13-6/17 Fri 9:30-10:30 a.m. $114

This recreational program offers a variety of fun activities such as art, Zumba®, drama, cooking, tumbling, sports, music, dance, seasonal activities, and more! Enrichment activities are developed to create learning experiences and social experiences through play,
projects, and activities. Program follows the Seattle Public School calendar.

Monthly M-F 1:30-3:30 p.m.
4-5 days: $250/month; 3 days: $192/month;2 days: $128/month; 1 day: $64/month

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hands-On Court to Limit Talaris Delays

This information was posted in the most recent Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) newsletter:
Hands-On Court to Limit Talaris Delays
A February 26 decision by a King County Superior Court judge indicates that LCC may finally be gaining some traction in addressing a lawsuit the Talaris site owner filed about the property in 2013.
In November 2013 the Talaris (former Battelle) site was designated as a landmark by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. That was supposed to commence a relatively short interval (several months) in which “controls and incentives” would be negotiated by the Board staff with the property owner.  
Shortly after the designation, in December 2013, 4000 LLC, the Talaris site owner, filed a lawsuit against the City challenging the landmark designation and the Seattle Landmarks Ordinance as a whole. 4000 LLC then immediately asked the Court, with the City’s cooperation, to put its lawsuit on “hold,” supposedly to allow for settlement negotiations. Laurelhurst Community Club managed to persuade the Court to grant it intervener party status despite the stay (hold).  
In doing so, LCC pointed to its longstanding involvement in protecting the community’s interests in the site, illustrated by site use restrictions LCC obtained from Battelle after the Club had won a significant Seattle Hearing Examiner appeal about the site.  
LCC believes the 4000 LLC lawsuit has no merit. By filing but not pursuing it over three years, 4000 LLC is holding it over the City’s head, apparently as a means of extracting concessions. The stay of the lawsuit also makes it difficult for the Club to raise community concerns. These include the exclusionary fenced security zone that the current owner has created despite Club warnings that it violates the binding site use restrictions.  
4000 LLC has at various times indicated that a private school is undertaking a feasibility study concerning the site. Single-family residential development with clustering and potential commercial use have also been mentioned. Meanwhile, there has been a noticeable over-all decline in property maintenance, as its fate remains unresolved. 
The Court recently granted yet another three-month stay of 4000 LLC’s lawsuit. But, for the first time, rather than just signing off on paper, the Court required that the parties appear in open court.  
LCC was represented at that February 26 hearing by its counsel, Peter Eglick, with LCC president Jeannie Hale and vice president Colleen McAleer also in attendance.  
The Court asked 4000 LLC some pointed questions. These suggested that LCC had struck a chord in pointing out that the current pattern of repeated stays cannot be indefinitely extended.  
The Court ultimately allowed another three-month extension (it would have been only two months but for scheduling issues among the lawyers), but included the requirement that the parties appear again in May to report in person. LCC believes that this new hands-on approach by the Court will significantly advance the process.  
For more information about the Talaris redevelopment go here.

Blood Drive Tomorrow At Community Center

Tomorrow from 11-1:30pm Bloodworks Northwest is holding a blood drive at the Laurelhurst  Community Center in the parking lot, as their inventory is very low, Wendy, Donor Resources Representative, told the Blog Staff.  No appointment is necessary.

The information says:

  Facts for this month’s collection:
·         Bloodworks Northwest (BWNW) have seen 600 donors less in March than they did last year (MTD)
·         BWNW typically see an 8% drop in donations at the end of March due to finals, spring break, and Easter.
·         Between the current decrease of donations in March (8%), the expected drop due to spring break & Easter (8%), and a 2-3% decrease due to the Zika deferral, BWNW could be facing an 18% drop in donations which is over 1000 donations.  

Your gift can dramatically alter the outcome of personal emergencies and change the course of lives. It only takes 45 minutes of your time to make a big difference in someone’s life.
Donating blood takes less than an hour. It’s easy to do, nearly painless, and you can give blood six times a year. Yet fewer than five percent of the people who are able to give blood actually do so—and most of them give only once a year.

For more information, go here.

Monday, March 28, 2016

New Neighborhood Shorter Bus Route To Light Rail Station Starts Today

Warning notices put on all
existing Metro 25 bus stops.
This alert was on NE 45th Street in front of Pro Robics
new bus stop and signage eastbound on NE 45th Street


new bus stop on Mary Gates Memorial Drive in front of Talaris

The new Metro Bus Route #78 started its weekday service today and runs from about 6am-6pm.  

The route begins and ends in the Children's Hospital turn around on NE 45th Street.  It then turns left onto 42nd Avenue NE, then right onto NE 41st, and stops in front of Talaris. This stop is located at the southeastern-most point of the Route 78 pattern in order to place it near the greatest number of former Route 25 riders.

The bus then veers to the left staying on NE 45th Street and stops in front of Burgermaster.

Next, it proceeds up the NE 45th Street hill through the UW campus and makes two stops along Stevens Way. 

Those connecting to Light Rail exit at the top of the new Rainier Vista plaza, which provides an improved lighted walkway straight down the hill and onto the Montlake overpass leading to the entrance of the Link Light Rail Station.

The total time estimated time from Children's Hospital to the Light Rail is about 25 minutes.  The bus route runs a continuous loop all day with no layovers.
After going through the UW, the bus crosses 15th Avenue NE to NE  Pacific Place Triangle and then stops at a new bus stop in front of the HEC Ed Pavilion. Passengers can exit there as well for the Light Rail station. Exiting at this stop instead of the one at Rainier Plaza adds about 8 extra minutes of travel time.  
The bus then travels northbound  on Montlake Boulevard and turns right at the 5 way intersection from NE 45th St onto Mary Gates Memorial Drive, the first stop on the way back to Children's Hospital.  
This stop is a companion stop for the existing stop on westbound 45th at Union Bay Place. So passengers who board the Route 78 at one stop can deboard at the other. This pair of stops is well-situated to use existing pedestrian infrastructure (crosswalks, sidewalks) to facilitate access to and from the stops. These stops are convenient for those living at the UW's Laurel Village multi-family housing complex.

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) has voiced their concerns about the dangerous location of this stop a the busy corner of Mary Gates Memorial Drive and NE 45th Street and has suggested Metro move it onto Mary Gates Drive.

One nearby neighbor said about this but stop:

Metro should move this stop down the road south at least about fifty more yards. Right now if it stays where it is, it is just an accident just waiting to happen with cars and pedestrians at such an extremely bus intersection.
After Route #78 ends for the day, Route #65 will come from the Light Rail Station along Montlake Boulevard heading north, and stop in front of Seattle Children's Hospital on 40th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street.  This route operates more frequently than the #78 as well as on Saturdays. 

Route 65 and 75 will serve the edge of Laurelhurst, coming about every 15 minutes until about 12:30 am and 1:30am respectively.

Two bikes fit inside each train and two outside. The Light Rail station is planning for 80 bike storage facility.  

There is no official place to drop off passengers by car, nor is there any official Light Rail parking. 
Metro considered the ridership on the previous Route 25 when determining the routing of the Route 78. The new Route 78 hours of operation most closely align with the highest ridership hours of the previous Route 25. 

Then, Metro determined stop locations based on the routing of new Route 78, the locations of existing stops, potential high-ridership locations, and safe pedestrian facilities like crosswalks and sidewalks.

Metro requested three new stop locations for the new route and SDOT approved. Metro notified by mail all adjacent property owners, including those in Laurelhurst.
Go here to see the full Metro Bus Route #78.  And full service change details can be found on Metro's website here. 

Here is in-depth information about the history and planning of the new route.


Roosevelt High School Orchestra Children's Concert Tomorrow

The Roosevelt High School orchestra, the feeder school for Laurelhurst and other NE neighborhoods, is having an " April Foolz Children's Concert" tomorrow at 7pm in the school Theater.

The information says:
Please join us for this fun-filled evening of music performed by all three RHS orchestras -- Concert, Chamber and Symphony.   
The highlight of the evening will be Symphony's performance of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, narrated by RHS senior Jason Dan.   
Please also invite your friends and neighbors, especially those with young children.  This concert will be a great introduction to the joy of music for our younger friends.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Bold And Brazen Thieves Hit Several Times On 46th Avenue Near School

A few weeks ago, burglars broke into the Seattle Community Church, on the corner of 46th Avenue NE and NE 45th,  and stole thousands of dollars of electronics and musical equipment.

The thieves had special equipment to open the windows without causing any damage and then close them when they got into the church. The thieves took items out and stored them in a nearby shed, then a white van pulled up and loaded all the items and took off. 

The security cameras showed at least one face of a Caucasian male between 20-30 years old. 

The Church has installed even more cameras and more security in all areas of the church.

A car belonging to a neighbor living near the church was also broken into the same night. 

And a resident returning home from his birthday dinner, just a block north of the same Church, discovered his house had been broken into.

Here is his account of what happened:
Our house on the 4700 block of 46th Ave was robbed last Wednesday the 16th  around 9:30pm.
It appears that they first tried to get in through the back basement entrance by attempting to pry the lock with a screwdriver.  The bulbs to the backyard motion lights were unscrewed so they were able to do this work in the dark.  They also tried to get in through the back patio doors with a screwdriver, but failed there too.   
The front door was kicked in and they pushed the sectional sofa against it to give them a head-start in case I came home.  What I found interesting is that they also delicately propped a dining room chair on top of the couch so that it would fall and make noise when I shoved open the door.  The next day I found a set of my keys in the backyard by the entrance to the garage.  None of the keys from that set work at our house, so they just dropped them there. 
The burglars only had enough time to go through a few rooms, but did end up stealing two laptops. 
I’m fairly certain the burglars were in the home when we pulled up because our speaker system was partially dismantled but then left there, and the back door was wide open but our indoor cats were still inside. 
The police officers showed up about 20 minutes after my call, and were surprised by how bold the thieves were by kicking in the front door to the house.  The front entrance is in plain view from the street and there aren’t any obstructions (fence, bushes, etc.).   
Anybody walking by or looking at my house from the street or sidewalk would have clearly seen them trying to break in.  
I did not have an alarm system, although I was in the process of researching the best system and service!  That will be installed shortly.

The Laurelhurst Blog alerted the Laurelhurst Community Club Crime Prevention Board Member who said, " We’ve alerted the officers to focus on the area of 45th and around the school." 



Unique Theater Show At Roosevelt Tonight

The Unified Drama Department at Roosevelt High School (1410 NE 66th Street), the feeder school for Laurelhurst and other NE neighborhoods, is having a special show tonight, called "Voices 2k16" at 7pm.

Tom Ledcke, Director of the Program and a special education teacher at Roosevelt who has a background in theater, told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff:
Unified Drama is an inclusive theater environment that fosters respect, compassion, and community for students with learning exceptionalities.   
Students with a wide range of ability ( Deaf and hard of hearing program, Autism) are performing stories from their daily lives in a typical high school.Students have written  their stories to relate their experience and challenges they face on a daily basis.
Unified Drama is in its second year for students with and without learning challenges. I wanted to give my students the opportunity to experience putting together a show and performing. we are focusing on Social stories that target social perspective.  
All of the students are from the RHS map including Laurelhurst. the show will run a little over an hour. the show is not part of the Drama dept. but we have a good reciprocal relationship. Students from Nathan Hale are also joining us

Donations will benefit the program and all proceeds and/or collections, net of expenses will be held in trust by Seattle Public Schools until disbursed to (Unity Club), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization 

The Seattle Public Schools website says of the program:
Roosevelt is collaborating with the Unified Drama program at Nathan Hale on the production. The show is a series of vignettes, some monologues, some group sketches, some songs. It opens with the Nathan Hale students performing the caterpillar and tea party scenes from “Alice in Wonderland.”
Unified Drama draws together students of all abilities, including those in special education and some who are not, in “an inclusive environment that fosters respect for every voice and all abilities.”  
It was created by Brittney Edge-Leonard, a special education instructional assistant at Hale with a passion for the theater, at the urging of Hale Assistant Principal Jolene Grimes. Tom Ledcke picked up the idea and started a club there. 
“This is a wonderful example of a program that honors the district’s commitment to educating every student,” said Wyeth Jessee, Seattle Public Schools’ Executive Director of Special Education. “We’re trying to change the culture and the mindset so that everyone sees these students not as children with disabilities, but as children who have many gifts and abilities. We want to educate the whole child.”

(photo courtesy of SPS website)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Annual Spring Egg Hunt On Saturday At Park

The annual Spring Egg Hunt is coming up on Saturday starting at 10am sharp at Laurelhurst park for ages 12 and under.

The invitation says:

Follow the bunny for an EGG-citing time at Laurelhurst Park!  Be sure to bring your basket to scramble for eggs and special prizes.   
Visit with your friends and family at our coffee and donuts fundraiser after the hunt. 
Please help support our canned food drive by bringing non-perishable food.   
If you’re interested in volunteering for this event, please call Cara at 206-615-0617.

SR520 Bridge Replacement Update

This information was recently sent out:

Banner Image


SR 520 WABN project hits key milestone

After a busy week of nighttime work, crews installed 12 girders on the solid, bridge columns for the SR 520 West Approach Bridge North Project. The 150-foot long girders were delivered to the construction site where crews used two large cranes to lift and place them into position on Lake Washington.
Check out pictures of this major operation on the WSDOT Flickr website and a new time-lapse video of crews setting the first three girders. Overall, crews will install a total of 353 girders. 



Update on timetable for ‘Rest of the West’ projects

As you may know, the remaining, not-yet-constructed improvements to SR 520 in Seattle – we call them “the Rest of the West” – received full funding last year when the Legislature passed the Connecting Washington transportation package. Because the funding was spread out over a number of years, these SR 520 improvements will be built in phases. WSDOT is now preparing for construction of the first phase. 
Expected to begin in 2018, the next phase of SR 520 construction is planned to include: 
  • The West Approach Bridge South. This is a parallel structure to the West Approach Bridge North, now under construction and scheduled to open to traffic in summer 2017. 
  • The new Montlake interchange and lid. These improvements will provide a new mobility hub with transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safe and comfortable travel connections, and public open space.

Future project phases of the Rest of the West are planned to include:
  • A seismically stronger Portage Bay Bridge to replace the existing, hollow-column bridge, which is vulnerable to earthquakes.
  • A community-connecting highway lid between 10th Avenue East and Delmar Drive East.A new, second bascule bridge across the Montlake Cut.
  • A 30-foot-wide, landscaped bicycle and pedestrian shared-use path over I-5, as well as a new reversible direct-access ramp between SR 520 and the I-5 express lanes for buses and carpools.
  • A new, second bascule bridge across the Montlake Cut.
Stay informed!
We’ll keep you informed in future email updates and postings on our project website as we move closer to the start of construction for the Rest of the West. And we’ll be sure to let you know about open houses we’re planning and other opportunities for you to view design updates and to hear about WSDOT’s contracting process and construction plans

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Another Coyote Sighting (With Pictures) At Union Bay Natural Area

Recently, the Laurelhurst Blog has posted several times about coyote sightings, especially near the Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street).

Here is another neighbor's account of another sighting just a few days ago:
On the morning of March 21, I was down running with my dogs in the Arboretum doing the loop when I saw these guys.  I've heard tell that coyotes were there, but was skeptical until now.  Of course not another person came by so I could point them out. I've sent you pictures. 
Here are other coyote sightings from neighbors published in past posts:

On January 26, I just saw a coyote running south on 42nd Avenue NE turning west on NE Surber Drive heading towards Yesler swamp about 7pm last night.  I had a clear look at it it was very definitely a coyote.  My wife reminded me about us hearing a coyote howling a few days ago after hearing a siren. No photos as it was too dark. I am certain it is a coyote. It was very skinny with long legs, maybe 30 lbs. I got the impression it is quite young. Light brown with long nose and pointed ears.  My wife and I heard it ululating in response to a siren a few days ago. It sounded like it was just south of the Urban Horticulture Field House. 
On January 26, I saw a coyote running south on 42nd Avenue NE, turning west on NE Surber Drive, heading towards Yesler Swamp, near the Center for Urban Horticulture. 
On January 8th, I saw a Red Fox that ran across my path this morning  on the main trail through the Union Bay Forest.  I was on my bike and he went across the trail in a shot. No time to get out my phone.
Here is information on living with urban coyotes.

Seattle Jewish Theater Company Performs 'Morning Star' Sunday At NE Library Branch

The Seattle Jewish Theater Company performs 'Morning Star'

The Northeast branch of the Seattle Public Library (6801 35th Avenue NE) is having a free showing of 'Morning Star' performed by the Seattle Jewish Theater Company Performs on Sunday from 2-4pm.

The information says:

The Seattle Jewish Theater Company presents the comedic drama, “Morning Star,” written by Sylvia Regan and directed by Art Feinglass.   
The award winning play follows a family of Jewish immigrants in New York City from 1910 to 1931. The family’s struggles epitomize the immigrant experience as they encounter the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, World War I, the Great Depression and the labor movement. 

For more information go here.

(photo courtesy of SPL)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring Youth Classes Offered At The Community Center

Registration is underway for youth classes at the Laurelhurst Community Center.

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

The Spring Brochure lists all classes and programs at Laurelhurst, Magnuson and Ravenna-Eckstein Community Centers.

Here is a list of the youth classes:

Ages 5-6

Get ready for some fun! Gather your friends to play in our coed indoor Nerf soccer league. Kids can be placed on teams as single players or teams can be formed by coaches. Registration packets are available at the community center and must be filled-out in person. Maximum of 10 players per team. Teams practice one night a week at Laurelhurst Elementary School Gym starting week of April fourth, and games are on Friday evenings beginning April 22. No games 5/27 and 6/10.

4/22-6/17 Fri 5-9 p.m. $60


Join our instructor, Charla Jennings, during her carefully crafted lessons that will enhance body and spatial awareness, basic movements, and creative impressions. Ballet tights and shoes are required for all pre-ballet and ballet classes. No program 5/30. Instructor: Charla Jennings

Ages 6-7
3/28-5/2 Mon 5-6 p.m. $72
5/9-6/13 Mon 5-6 p.m. $60

Ages 8-9
3/28-5/2 Mon 6-7 p.m. $72
5/9-6/13 Mon 6-7 p.m. $60

Ages 5-12

Private piano lessons are 30 minutes long. They are offered to ages 5-12. However, students who are already established with the instructor may continue beyond age 12. Lessons are taught with child-friendly methods that explore compositional development and theoretical analogies along with basic techniques and exercises. The instructor, Ms. Bedwell, holds a Master’s in Music Composition and has taught piano for more than 12 years. No class 5/30 or 7/4.

4/4-5/2 Mon 3-8 p.m. $135
5/9-6/13 Mon 3-8 p.m. $135
6/20-7/25 Mon 3-8 p.m. $135
8/1-8/29 Mon 3-8 p.m. $135
4/6-5/4 Wed 3-8 p.m. $135
5/11-6/8 Wed 3-8 p.m. $135
6/15-7/20 Wed 3-8 p.m. $162
7/27-8/31 Wed 3-8 p.m. $162  


Missing Persian Cat Around 48th Avenue NE And NE 47th Street



The Laurelhurst Blog received this information:

Our cat has gone missing since the evening of 19 March around the area we live at  48th Avenue NE and NE 47th Street. 

"Shadow" is a black, grey and white Persian male with a lion type cut, fluffy mane, legs and tail, black face and paws, no front claws.  Hhis tongue typically sticks out of the front of his mouth. 
He is very friendly but most likely scared.  
Shadow was seen and almost captured on March 19th on the corner of 50th Avenue NE and NE 47th Street. 
I have some very distraught children.  I’m not so happy either and would like to find him asap.  
Please call, email or text Daniel Lipson at 206-327-0301 or