Monthly Archives: July 2010

UPDATE: No paving or lane closure on 10th Avenue E. this weekend

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. No lanes will be paved or closed this weekend.

This just in from SDOT: The contractor’s plans on this have changed. They won’t be paving this weekend but will be doing work on underground utlities on 10th between Roanoke and Miller. Two lanes will be open. No traffic will be detoured.



Weekend paving on a portion of 10th Avenue E. will bring some detour traffic from Capitol Hill down onto Boylston Avenue E. and make travel from Capitol Hill to Eastlake more complicated.

During the work, 10th Avenue E. will be closed northbound between a location just south of E. Miller to E. Roanoke.

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will close a lane on the west side of 10th Avenue E. at 7 a.m. Saturday and begin digging up pavement about 8 a.m. They hope to reopen the lanes by noon on Sunday, if not sooner.

During the closure, northbound traffic will detour from Broadway to E. Roy, then to Belmont E., Lakeview Boulevard E. to Boylston and then to Roanoke.

Controversial Eastlake garden will get a trim

The war of the roses may be nearing an end.

An Eastlake garden that drew a complaint and the interest of the City of Seattle’s zoning department will be trimmed to comply with city rules.

Mary Hansen, who owns the garden at the corner of E. Lynn and Minor E., met Wednesday afternoon with Tom Braderick, a city zoning inspector, and other city personnel (KOMO TV even came by) to see what she’d have to do to bring her colorful corner into compliance.

The complaint alleged that the height of her plants had created a line-of-sight issue at the busy corner. City rules require that all plantings within 30 feet of a corner be no higher than 24 inches.

In KOMO’s report, Braderick says the problem isn’t the flowers:

“We find this a very beautiful corner. What we do take issue with is any dangerous situation that is created with your green thumb.”

The verdict? Roses along the street needed to be trimmed as did roses and some other plants hanging over the sidewalk and the street.

Hansen says that pruning has been done and she’ll be doing some more. She’ll be meeting with Braderick again in a few days to see if her work has brought the garden into compliance.

When I stopped by last night, the roses had definitely been trimmed and the message board Hansen had put up asking passersby to sign a letter of support had been removed.

To see our previous coverage of the controversy, click here.

And here’s the video report KOMO aired:

High speed chase ends with car crash at Eastlake playground; suspect caught

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. Video of the crash scene has been added.

A high-speed chase across Capitol Hill ended around 6:45 p.m. this evening when a vehicle crashed into the northwest corner of the playground at Rogers Playfield.

Amazingly, there apparently was no one on the piece of playground equipment the car came to rest against. No one was injured.

The suspect in the chase was caught shortly after the crash.

Our affiliate news source, Capitol Hill Seattle, reports that the chase began at Bellevue and Pike after officers stopped the car’s driver. The car, followed by half a dozen police cars, raced down 10th, then west on Roanoke over I-5 before the car jumped the sidewalk, went down a rocky embankment and landed next to the playground equipment.

Witnesses said the suspect fled the car and started across Rogers Playfield before doubling back. Officers captured him a short time later.

Officers at the scene would only say the chase was “the result of an ongoing investigation.” Capitol Hill Seattle was monitoring police radio and reports:

According to East Precinct radio transmissions, the missing person investigation involves a woman reported missing to the Washougal police department a few days ago. When he was pulled over, the suspect told police he had just received the car from the woman but a plate check revealed that plates from another vehicle had been swapped onto the car. The suspect sped away east on Pike at 6:44 PM before heading up 15th Ave.

In fact, the plate on the front of the vehicle didn’t match that on the back.

Police quickled cordoned off the area and searched the vehicle, removing some items.

Tow truck drivers maneuvered the vehicle out between playground equipment and several large trees about 7:45 p.m. and towed it away, with several police cars following close behind.

Thanks to Justin at Capitol Hill Seattle for sharing his reporting on this story.

Dogs and their owners in Eastlake

I am amazed at how many people have dogs in Eastlake.   But what amazes me even more is how many dog owners will walk their dog onto my property so the dog can go to the bathroom.  I am not talking about the edge of the lawn, I am talking about the middle of my lawn and sometimes right next to my house. And this happens when I am outside watching them.  Out of respect alone, people should not do this.  There are also issues of liability.  

I like dogs but I think people should not step onto another person’s property so their dog can find the perfect place to relieve themself.     The majority of the time owners clean up after their dogs but I have to pick up dog poop about once a week in my lawn.   And, I am always dodging poop on the grassy  curb areas.

I am curious to here how others in the neighborhood feel about this.

Popular Eastlake garden in trouble with the city, may have to be trimmed

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. Links to a story by KOMO News was added.

One of the best known and most popular gardens in Eastlake is in trouble with the City of Seattle and part of it may have to be trimmed.

Mary Hansen has spent the last three years planting and growing her garden on the northwest corner of E. Lynn and Minor E. What was a nondescript corner of grass and a couple of shrubs is now a profusion of trees, vegetables and colorful flowers. People in the neighborhood may not know Mary but they do know her garden. The Seattle Times featured it and Mary’s house in an article in April.

But sometime in the last few weeks, someone complained to the city’s Department of Planning and Development that the height of the garden in the planting strips on Hansen’s property violated city zoning codes and created a line-of-sight issue for cars turning at the corner. It’s the second time the garden has drawn the scrutiny of city zoning inspectors because of its height.

In a letter dated July 16, a city zoning inspector informed Hansen that, under city zoning codes, any vegetation within 30 feet of the corner can be no taller than 24 inches high. Vegetation can’t overhang the sidewalk unless it is at least eight feet up, the inspector said, then added:

“Even following these guidelines you are creating a very real and dangerous corner with your vegetation. Many people would not consider this neighborly.

“Please prune to develop the best line of sight from the corner as possible above and beyond the city requirements.”

The letter notes that the inspector is “required to send you a $150 citation without warning for all future complaints.” A second complaint would bring a $500 fine, he says.

In a report aired Friday (see below), KING 5 news quoted Planning and Development Customer Service Manager Bryan Stevens as saying the city isn’t opposed to gardens but has to enforce zoning codes.

“It’s beautiful landscaping, but it really is an issue of public safety at the intersection,” Stevens told KING 5.

Hansen posted the city’s letter at the corner and asked passersby to sign a letter of support “if you agree this garden creates community rather than danger (as the city contends).” She says she has collected several full sheets of names. Wednesday night, she brought the issue to the attention of the Eastlake Community Council.

“The garden isn’t the problem,” Hansen says, “the traffic is.” She notes that traffic speeds down the hill on E. Lynn, creating a dangerous situation at the corner. Many of those signing her letter of support have written in agreement.

Don Bliss, a resident who lives diagonally across the intersection from Hansen, agrees. “A stop sign here wouldn’t hurt,” he says.

Bliss likes what Hansen has done with the garden. ”I’ve watched this corner get better and better,” he says.

Hansen would like to see something done about the traffic speeding downhill on E. Lynn.

“My plan is to have something come from this,” she says of the zoning issue. “I hope we can all benefit from this.”

She’d like to see a four-way stop at Lynn and Minor. She plans to contact the Seattle Department of Transportation to see what can be done.

Hansen was planning on working on the the roses on the Lynn Street side of her lot this weekend, moving some bushes and reducing the height of others. She will be meeting with the zoning inspector who sent her the warning letter on Wednesday to find out what exactly she has to do to be in compliance. She’s hoping she won’t have to take out any of the plants on the Minor E. side of her lot.


  • KOMO 4 News had a report on Saturday that includes video.
  • KING 5 news reported on the controversy on Friday:

Fabled walking fish, Mayor McGinn and more to be featured at Aug. 14 community event

We have more details about the big Eastlake community celebration event set for the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 14. The event will celebrate the new shoreline and green street at Wards Cove and the completion of the new plots at the Eastlake P-Patch.

The event will be from noon to 5 p.m. on Fairview Avenue E. from E. Hamlin to the P-Patch and Fairview Park. That stretch of Fairview will be closed during that time.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will stop by about 2:30 p.m. to participate in ribbon cuttings for the beach, shoreline and street at Wards Cove and the 24 new plots at the P-Patch.

Wards Cove will be celebrating the redevelopment of its Seattle base. Gone are buildings that housed fishing equipment during the winter. In their place is an office building, a marina, new houseboat slips and a green street in the 2800 block of Fairview E. that includes the beach, new pathways and sidewalks, and natural landscaping that helps slow and clean storm runoff.

The event includes the return of the historic Eastlake “walking fish” art, this time as an art competition. Neighborhood businesses and residents are encouraged to decorate a plywood walking fish before the event and enter it. The creators of the winning fish will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Eastlake business of their choice. If you’d like to decorate a fish, contact Kathleen at 206-789-5668.

(I don’t know much about the walking fish. You can see an example of the fish in a photo from the Eastlake Community Council archives that is attached to this post. If you know the history of the fish, please feel free to post it in the comments below.)

Other activities at the community celebration include:

  • A pet parade (gather at 12:30 p.m. at the Washington Employers parking lot at 2940 Fairview E.)
  • Live music
  • Non-profit educational booths
  • Antique cars and trucks
  • P-Patch tours
  • A display on the history of Wards Cove Packing Company

A new essay on the history of the houseboats by will be shared. Bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy in the park. There will also be food available for purchase.

Now open in Eastlake: Tamura Sushi Kappo

I haven’t had a chance to stop by, but both Nancy Leson from the Seattle Times and Jason Sheehan at the Weekly report that Eastlake’s newest restaurant, Tamura Sushi Kappo, has opened at 2968 Eastlake Ave. E. (in the Ruby Condos building, across from the Eastlake Bar and Grill).

Chef Taichi Kitamura owned Chiso and Kappo in Fremont before moving to Eastlake. The restaurant opened this past Sunday.

Leson had a $60 tasting menu at the new Eastlake restaurant and concluded: “Dinner was delightful, as was the company on both sides of the sushi bar.”

Patrons at the restaurant can either order omakase, where the chef decides what you’ll be eating, or pick and choose. Sounds delicious!

ECC sponsors 3 summer events; ‘Up’ to be screened for movie night

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. The Aug. 14 event will feature space for non-profits.

And we have a movie!

The Eastlake Community Council voted Wednesday evening to show “Up” as the feature at the Eastlake Movie Night on Aug. 21. The film features the voices of Ed Asner and Christopher Plummer and tells the story of an elderly man and a young boy who fly to South America in a house lifted by helium-filled balloons.

The film will be screened on the Rogers Playfield lawn the evening of Aug. 21. 

Although the community council will be funding Movie Night, they are still looking for sponsors. Businesses or individuals are encouraged to help out. Sponsors will be listed on the event poster. The ECC also is looking for a sound system and a computer projector (3,500 to 5,000 lumens) to show the film. 

If you can help, e-mail

The ECC is also sponsoring Eastlake’s Night Out event on Aug. 3. The anti-crime event will run from 6-9 p.m. on Yale E. between E. Boston and E. Newton.

The City’s Department of Neighborhoods has contributed $1,000 to help fund the Eastlake event. Cecilia Grevson, who is one of the organizers for the Night Out, says there will be food (hotdogs, grilled oysters, vegetarian chili, watermelon, ice cream and more), music, kids games, emergency preparedness information and visits from fire and police officers.

If you’d like more info on the Night Out, contact Randy Wright at 206-255-1648 or Judy Schoen at 206-406-5529.

The third event on the summer agenda will be a community celebration and block party on Aug. 14 on Fairview between Hamlin and Fairview Park. The event will run from noon to 5 p.m.

The event will have music, an appearance by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, antique cars and booths featuring local non-profits. Eastlake residents are encouraged to bring their own picnic and dine out with their neighbors.

The community council board also discussed the Eastlake News, the ECC’s quarterly publication. The long-time editor of the paper has had to give up the post and the board has been looking for someone to take over editing and design duties. Chris Leman reported that a former Eastlake News editor has indicated she would be willing to take on the job again. The board agreed to spend up to $800 on computer design software for the new editor to use in producing the paper.

Get ready for another noisy weekend of I-5 Ship Canal Bridge repairs

The Washington State Department of Transportation says that maintenance work on the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge will continue this weekend.

Two of the northbound lanes will close at 3 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday and reopen at 9 a.m. each day. Two lanes will remain open at all times.

The big noise begins at 4 a.m., WSDOT says. If you’d like earplugs, contact Mike Murphy at 206-440-4699. You can find current construction information at the WSDOT website.

Ailing tree in Eastlake’s Hamlin Street End Park needs your help

Neighbors of the Hamlin Street End Park are raising money to have a damaged eucalyptus tree located in the park pruned in hopes of reviving it.

Ruth Kunath lives near the park and, along with Barbara McPherson, has adopted it and looks out for it. She says they have been working with Joshua Erickson, an arboriculturist with the City of Seattle, to have the eucalyptus tree assessed. The tree was damaged by winter cold.

Kunath says the city offered to remove the tree and replace it with a new, indigenous tree. But, Kunath says, the city agreed to let the neighbors attempt to prune, reshape and restore the tree “in hopes it recovers.”

She adds:

“Eucalyptus tree are typically long lived in the perfect climate. The tree is approximately twenty years old, young in ‘eucalyptus years,’ and has a graceful, high canopy over the park.”

Right now, Kunath and another neighbor, April Boyd, are soliciting bids from tree pruning companies and raising donations from the community to pay for the work. They estimate it will cost approximately $400-$500 for the pruning.

They don’t have a formal non-profit organization to do this, Kunath says. Donation checks will be written directly to the tree pruning company.

If you’d like to donate, contact Kunath at She’ll have the details on the pruning company and where to send your donation.