Monthly Archives: May 2010

TOPS Students Share Writing at Seattle Public Library May 26

Three students from The Option Program at Seward (TOPS) will join more than 40 young writers on stage at the Seattle Public Library 6 p.m. May 26.  Marianna White, Olivia Liu and Seth Lambert-Vail will read poetry and prose crafted under the guidance of writers-in-residence Merna Hecht and Matt Nienow. Thanks to Seattle Art and Lectures’ Writers in Schools (WITS) program, Hecht and Nienow conducted creative writing workshops with students at TOPS during intensive residencies.  

Chosen for their outstanding creative writing, Marianna, Olivia, and Seth will read their works before a crowd of over 300 people during the WITS end-of-year reading and celebration. This free event is open to the public and celebrates the best student writing over two evenings. Elementary and middle school students will read at 6 p.m. May 26, and high school students on May 27 at 6 p.m. at Seattle Public Library.

The Writers in the Schools (WITS) program matches a local, creative writer with a school district to design lesson plans that follow the curriculum, goals, and standards of the classroom, engage students in writing and build self-confidence. The program aims to invigorate both students and teachers with fresh ideas and encouragement.

Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program, founded in 1994, believes that through working collaboratively with classroom teachers and professional, published creative writers, students are empowered to become authors of their own lives. WITS writers-in-residence provide a meaningful role model for every student. Since 1994, the program has served 67,500 K-12 public school students and 1,200 teachers in the Puget Sound region. Parents and teachers interested in bringing WITS to local schools should contact Rebecca Hoogs, Seattle Arts & Lectures Director of Education Programs, at or 206-621-2230 x18. For more information about the WITS program, visit

Holiday change at the Franklin tree: It’s going to be Memorial Day soon

Lolita Gray has been decorating for the next holiday on the calendar: Memorial Day.

The tree in the front yard of the home at Franklin and Hamlin where Lolita and her husband, Glenn, have lived for almost 50 years is sporting patriotic colors in anticipation of Memorial Day (see photos). There are flags, garland, pinwheels, mylar balloons and even a tractor, all sporting red, white and blue. Even the safe crossing figure has a balloon.

And, at night, there are lights.

I count on Lolita’s tree to remind me what holiday is ahead. Her creativity is one of the best things about living on Franklin.

As I posted in February, the tree has its own Facebook fan page: The tree on the corner of Franklin & Hamlin. You’ll find more photos there and lots of good wishes for Lolita.

Marjorie Nelson wrote about Lolita and Glenn in the Eastlake News three years ago (check page 5 of the PDF).

Lake Union shoreline work party is today (Saturday)

There’s a work party tomorrow (Saturday) from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. along the Lake Union shoreline to help clean up and fix up the area.

The work party is sponsored by the Eastlake Community Council in partnership with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. People are needed to help weed, remove debris, empty trash cans, water the native plants and put wire mesh around trees to protect them from beavers.

Chris Leman, ECC vice president, advises that you should bring gloves and sturdy shoes. Some gloves and tools are available to lend. Chris says:

“We urgently need donations of hoses, nozzles, soaker hoses and sprinklers, which can be left in the tool hutch at 1609 Fairview (by parked cars, near the trash cans), or phone and we’ll pick up from you.”

The event is part of the annual Lake Union Sweep and there’s a cookout and party to follow in the South Lake Union Park.

If you’d like more information, contact Chris at 206-322-5463 or

Weekend events: UDist Street Fair, Beat the Bridge

Two weekend events will cause busy streets and a closed bridge near Eastlake:

  • The 41st University District Street Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. SDOT says that the following streets will be closed from 12:10 a.m. Saturday morning to midnight Sunday: University Way NE between NE 50th Street and NE Campus Parkway; NE 47th Street, NE 43rd Street, NE 42nd Street, and NE 41st Street between 15th Avenue NE and Brooklyn Avenue NE.
  • Nordstrom Beat the Bridge run is Sunday starting at 8:30 a.m. Montlake Boulevard NE between NE 44th Street and NE Pacific St. will be closed at 7:30 a.m. to stage the runners. The University Bridge goes up at 9 a.m. and stays up for approximately 5 minutes. Be ready for traffic congestion in he University District area due to the race.

Crime update: yacht burglary, car prowl; tips on crime prevention offered

Cecilia Grevson of the Eastlake Community Council’s Safety Committee has forwarded crime reports from Terrie Johnston, the crime prevention specialist in the East Precinct. Recent incidents include:

  • A yacht under construction in the 1100 block of Fairview Avenue N. was entered through a glass door on Sunday, May 9. High-end electronics were taken and there was damage to wood floors where flat-screen TVs were mounted. Johnston reports that the owner is still itemizing the loss. A Seattle Police detective is investigating. Although this area is more South Lake Union than Eastlake, it’s not that far away from Eastlake’s water front so be careful and watch for suspicious activity, Johnston says. Call 9-1-1 if you see anything suspicious.
  • The 2000 block of Franklin Avenue E. was hit on Tuesday, May 11. A car was prowled and two bikes were stolen from a bike rack.

Johnston tells Cecilia that there are several things you can do to protect yourself from being a crime victim:

  • Keep windows locked. If you need to have a window open, “pin” the window by putting a short dowel in the track to prevent it from being opened all the way. The opening should be no more than four inches wide.
  • Keep doors locked, even when you’re home.
  • Keep curtains or blinds drawn in rooms where you have expensive electronics.
  • Make sure doors and windows are locked when you go on vacation. Tell neighbors that you’ll be gone. Put some lights on a timer so it will look like you’re home.
  • Keep shubbery trimmed so burglars won’t have a secluded area to enter.

Johnston says to report suspicious activity to 9-1-1. She is also doing home security surveys. Contact her at or 206-684-4741.

The Annual National Night Out crime prevention event is coming on Aug. 3. If you’d like to set up a party on your block, contact Johnston or check out the SPD’s website.