Monthly Archives: September 2009

Seattle schools plan for H1N1, plan to hold off on closures

This report was written by Neighborlogs intern Lucas Anderson

Health officials say it is only a matter of time before Seattle’s elementary schools face outbreaks of illness from the H1N1 flu virus. Last year’s outbreaks that closed multiple Seattle schools including Capitol Hill’s Stevens Elementary are still on the minds of Public School officials as the new school year begins. This school year, according to Seattle Public School’s David Tucker, prevention is the priority.

Over the summer, King County Public Health (KCPH), in coordination with the Center for Disease Control, finalized a plan continuing and strengthening current school programs that are already in place, such as weekly absentee rate reports, every-day monitoring, and extra attention for at risk students that are “medically fragile.” Tucker said that families are the first line of defense. “If a child is sick, then the parents need to make sure the child stays home,” said Tucker.

Cases of H1N1 have been reported in the area through summer but officials are bracing for an increase as school begins. King County Health spokesperson Hilary Karasz said symptoms for those already sickened by the virus appear to be mild and on the scale of the typical seasonal flu. The big difference with H1N1, though, is the level of immunity in the community. Because it’s a new virus, fewer of us have developed immunities to it and so, Karasz explained, more of us are going to get it. “It’s a strong reminder to wash our hands and stay home if we’re feeling sick,” Karasz said.

When school began last week, schools sent home notes to parents informing them of the risks and things to look out for. Part of a CDC provided “Toolkit” for H1N1, it also included fact sheets for parents, teachers, students, and an FAQ. Also, the county health department recommended that a sick note from a doctor for teachers or students with flu-like symptoms not be required for students or staff to allow them to be able to remain at home until they are healthy.

As for school closures this year, Tucker reiterated the CDC guidance of “keeping schools open to the greatest extent possible.” He added that the process will be different than last year, with closures at the bottom of the check list.

Seattle’s school plan includes two different strategies for approaching an outbreak depending on the severity compared to last spring.

For same severity as Spring 2009:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Separate ill students and staff until they can be sent home
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • More frequent cleaning using regular products
  • Early treatment for high risk students and staff
  • Consider selective school dismissal

For increased severity compared to Spring 2009:

  • Active screening
  • High-risk students and staff stay home
  • Students with ill household members stay home
  • Increase distance between people at schools
  • Extend the period ill persons stay home
  • School dismissals

Tucker added that if any closures are needed, they are done in conjunction with KCPH, and do not rest solely on SPS.

Thanks to Lucas and Capitol Hill Seattle for this post.

Pete Holmes, city attorney candidate, at Louisa’s today

Pete Holmes, candidate for Seattle City Attorney, will be having a “meet and greet” event at Louisa’s Cafe Bakery today from 5:30 to 7 p.m. For more information on Holmes’ candidacy, check his web site at

Holmes is also schedule to appear at a house party event in Eastlake on Wednesday, Oct. 14. For more information, contact Chris Leman.

Get cookin’ for Eastlake Zoo’s Chili Cookoff

One of the fun parts about writing for Eastlake Ave. is I’m getting to meet all these amazing people who live in the neighborhood and I’m finding out about great events (like the Eastlake Movie Night) that I didn’t know about before.

Case in point: I was at Tako Truk last night and Howard from the Eastlake Zoo came by. The Zoo is preparing for their 32nd Annual Chili Cookoff in October. How could I have missed this for so many years (and I first lived here almost as many years ago as the cookoff has been around)?

Here are the details:

  • First prize is $100.
  • It’ll cost you $15 to enter your chili. That gets you a tasting bowl and a ballot and a chance to win. First 15 paid entrants also get a free chili cookoff t-shirt.
  • One gallon of chili minimum per entry.
  • For $8, you get a tasting bowl and a ballot but you don’t have to enter any chili. In other words, anyone can come taste and vote.
  • The people’s ballots determine the winner.
  • The event runs from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3, but: You have to present your chili by 5:30 p.m. to be eligible for the prize.
  • Sign up at the Zoo Tavern, 2310 Eastlake Ave. E.
  • Official rules are the the Zoo’s web site under the “Events” section.
  • And, most important: All proceeds benefit the Northwest Harvest Food Bank.

How’s that for a fun Eastlake event that also benefits a good cause? See you on Oct. 3!

Stop and take a look at Eastlake’s public art: ‘Dreamboats’

Seattle has a good program for funding public art. The 1% for Art ordinance was enacted in 1973 and has helped the city pay for a large collection of art in public spaces.

Several pieces of that city-funded art are on Eastlake, as well as lots of art that has been created and contributed for the love of the neighborhood. Where is all of it located?

We all walk by (or, in the case of the “Cornerstones” pieces, walk over) our public art every day. Sometimes, familiarity leads us to stop actually seeing the art that is all around us. Sometimes, you just need to slow down and take a look at what’s right in front of you.

In that spirit, I’m going to put up some posts about Eastlake’s public art. First up, the three “Dreamboats” shelters located on Eastlake Avenue E. at E. Roanoke, E. Lynn and E. Boston (see the map in the photos with this post).

The three fiberglass kayak shelters were created in 1997 by artists Linda Beaumont, Stuart Keeler and Michael Machnic. Beaumont’s web site explains the thoughts behind the pieces:

The three golden kayaks link the busy street with the lake shore, to Eastlake’s history as a Native American site, and to Lake Union, the body of water, center of the city, and passageway to Puget Sound and Pacific.

The three are titled “Rest” (at E. Roanoke), “Read” (at E. Lynn) and “Respect” at E. Boston. The titles, Beaumont’s site says, “imply choices for the passing public.”

  • “Rest” has a mosaic bench where you can rest and look up at the images on the kayak and read the words on the bench. Look close at the coins embedded in the cement at the base (there’s a photo of one with this post).
  • “Read” has selections from a Native American story about the invention of the paddle and also includes a place to hang posters and fliers (although it isn’t being used much for that).
  • “Respect” acts as a trellis for native plants.

At night, all three structures are illuminated, which can be a helpful guide in steering your way home.

The Seattle Times’ Robin Updike wrote about “Dreamboats” and several other Eastlake art pieces in 1997:

Public art works best when it is located in a place where lots of people can enjoy it, when it makes you pause a little and reflect, or when it’s a charming, unexpected surprise, like a bouquet of flowers arriving on your desk for no particular reason at all. These new Eastlake projects are all of those things.

And on this bustling city thoroughfare, a neighborhood road that was never meant to be as full of traffic as it is, the projects are also gifts to pedestrians, those stalwarts who walk to work, or to the bus stop or to the University District, rather than add another vehicle to the road.

What’s your favorite piece of Eastlake public art? Do you know of anything special or hard to find? Put it in the comments and I’ll include it in a future post.

Next up: The “Cornerstones” artwork, with a map showing where all the stones are and what’s on each one.

Changes: KIRO Radio to move "TBTL" to podcast-only

Did you happen to pass by KIRO Radio’s studios today and see the poster boards taped to the exterior of the building? 

The station is making a change to its night-time programming and “TBTL” hosted by Luke Burbank and Jen Andrews is moving to a podcast-only delivery.

Some of their fans, nicknamed “tens” left a few symbols of support outside the station today.

The final on-air show is this evening from 7 to 10 pm on 97.3 FM.

Tako Truk update

Tako Truk was open tonight and will be open tomorrow and Saturday (front door of the 14 Carrot Cafe, 2305 Eastlake Ave. E.) from 6 p.m. until the food runs out (and tonight they were done by a little after 9 p.m.). This weekend is your last chance to have Bryan greet you at the door.

Cormac says this is “probably” the last three-night weekend for the popular (and temporary) Eastlake eatery. Next weekend, he says they’ll do Thursday and Friday (Sept. 17 and 18) and “maybe Saturday.” And they’ll probably do the weekend after that, he says, but only Thursday and Friday (Sept. 24 and 25).

See last week’s post for the complete story.

Get yer Coco Piggy while it lasts! I’m wondering: Can you freeze a taco? … Nah!


Cabbie assaulted, two arrested at south end of Eastlake Ave.

The Seattle Police report that a cab driver was assaulted in the 1100 block of Eastlake Ave. E. at 3:04 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10.

Officers saw a young male suspect run from the scene when they arrived. A young woman stayed behind. Officers caught the man a short distance away.

The cabbie said he had picked up the pair a block away. He asked if they had money and they said “no.”

When the cabbie turned around, the woman began hitting him in the head and the man started to hit the cab door with his skateboard.

Police report both suspects were under 21 and both appeared intoxicated. The young man was booked into King County Jail on minor in possession of alcohol, property damage, theft and obstruction charges. The young woman was booked for assault.

Welcome to our Forums!

Welcome to the Forums at Eastlake Ave.

Feel free to chat and discuss (be nice!) and discourse on anything and everything. Of course, we’re hoping you’ll focus on issues relevant to Eastlake but feel free to range broader if the mood strikes you.

Click the New Thread button to start a new Forum topic.

– Curt

New to the site: Classifieds and a Forum

THURSDAY UPDATE: We have one classified ad! Way to go Propadata Films!

You’ll notice two new links at the top of the Eastlake Ave. home page: Classifieds and Forum.

We had a request several weeks ago for classified ads. Thanks to our host site, Neighborlogs, for implementing this feature. It’s popular on the Capitol Hill Seattle blog and I hope it will be here. You’ll find several categories to place your ad under. Don’t find a home for your ad? Let me know and I’ll add a new category.

The best thing is: Our ads are FREE!

Forums are a place to chat and debate issues of interest to the neighborhood and beyond. We ask that you keep things civil and on topic.

Click the links and explore. If you have problems or suggestions, let me know.