Monthly Archives: June 2011

Week’s Eastlake police/fire reports include 4 auto thefts, armed robbery, lots more

UPDATE: This post has been updated since it was first published. Details on the June 11 armed robbery have been added. A June 12 armed robbery report appears to have been incorrect and may have been a database error. It has been removed.

It was a busy week for police and fire calls in Eastlake and Portage Bay. There were four auto thefts reported and, more alarming, an early morning armed robbery:

  • June 7: Property destruction, 2900 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 11:51 a.m.
  • June 7: Theft, 2000 block of Franklin Ave. E., 7:43 p.m.
  • June 7: Transformer fire, 1800 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 8:30 p.m.
  • June 8: Auto theft, 2800 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 4:01 p.m.
  • June 9: Noise disturbance, 2200 block of Franklin E., 1:04 a.m.
  • June 9: Suspicious person, 2000 block of Fairview E., 9:11 a.m.
  • June 9: Residential burglary, 2700 block of Fairview Avenue E., 5:38 p.m.
  • June 10: Residential burglary, forced entry, 2300 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 6:08 a.m.
  • June 10: Trespass, 200 block of E. Galer, 9:44 a.m.
  • June 10: Felony arrest, intersection of Fairview E. and Fairview N., 5:53 p.m.
  • June 11: Auto theft, 1500 block of Franklin Ave. E., 6:17 a.m.
  • June 11: Drug sale (marijuana), 3100 block of Broadway E., 7:14 a.m.
  • June 11: Armed robbery, 200 block of E. Garfield, 6:18 a.m.: The victim reported he was driving his car out of his parking garage. He saw the suspect apparently trying to break into a white truck parked on the east side of Franklin. As the victim drove up, the suspect stood in front of the victim’s vehicle, holding what appeared to be a sawed-off shotgun wrapped in a red vinyl bag. The suspect pointed the weapon at the victim and told him to get out of the car. The victim did, the suspect got in and drove off. The victim told police his wallet, credit cards and ID were in the car. No word on a description of the suspect.
  • June 11: Theft, 2200 block of Yale Ave. E., 11:49 a.m.
  • June 11: Burglary, unoccupied structure on residential property, 2700 block of Harvard E., 2:49 p.m.
  • June 12: Auto theft, 3100 block of Portage Bay Pl. E., 1:29 p.m.
  • June 12: Auto theft, 2300 block of Franklin E., 2:57 p.m.
  • June 12: Auto recovery, 2300 block of Franklin Ave. E., 4:38 p.m
  • June 12: Disturbance, 2000 block of Minor Ave. E., 9:11 p.m.
  • June 13: Auto theft, 100 block of E. Blaine, 11:03 a.m.

See the complete map at

Eastlake roundup: Urban Oasis closes; preparedness meeting; Louisa’s loves kids; more

Here’s a roundup of recent Eastlake news:

Urban Oasis Salon closes: The Urban Oasis Salon, 2209 Eastlake Ave. E., has closed. Annette Lance, who owned the salon, said it was just getting too expensive to keep it going.

“I was putting all my money into the salon,” she said. “It was a sad day when I had to close.”

Lance has moved to a new salon, Skin Sense, on Queen Anne. You can get in touch with Lance by calling the Urban Oasis phone number: 206-328-8161.

Public meeting on preparedness: The Eastlake Community Council is sponsoring a public meeting on preparedness at 7 tonight (Monday, June 13) at TOPS@Seward School, 2500 Franklin Ave. E. Topics will include preparing for emergencies, crime prevention and Seattle Police plans for the Fourth of July. Seattle Police officers are expected to be at tonight’s meeting to discuss the Fourth. 

Louisa’s loves kids: Louisa’s Cafe Bakery was among the kid-friendly Seattle restaurants profiled last week by the Seattle Times’ Nancy Leson in her All You Can Eat blog. Leson noted that dining out options are much broader for today’s kids than they were when she was a youngster. 

Alcena Plum, owner of Louisa’s, recently made Wednesdays into Family Night. Kids’ items are half-off and there are toys, art and games for youngsters. For mom and dad, there are $5 glasses of wine. 

NYTimes loves Tako Truk guys’ new restaurant: Madison Park Conservatory, the restaurant launched by the Tako Truk guys — chef Cormac Mahoney and Bryan Jarr — received favorable comments in a New York Times piece on Sunday.

Frank Bruni, former New York Times restaurant critic, ate at restaurants in Seattle and the San Juans. He called Madison Park Conservatory “an excellent recent arrival to the shores of Lake Washington.” Bruni said he had an “unforgettable brunch” at the restaurant.

Mahoney and Jarr operated Tako Truk, a street-food, summer-only eatery, out of the kitchen and front door of the 14 Carrot Cafe in 2009.

CHS reports string of burglaries along 10th Ave E., Broadway on Friday

Our news partner reports a string of burglaries from 10th Avenue E. to north Broadway, just up the hill from Eastlake, on Friday.

Three of the break-ins were residential burglaries. The fourth was an unnamed business in the 2400 block of 10th Avenue E. near the Roanoke Tavern.

Police reports have yet to been filed on the incidents. Read the whole CHS story here.

Eastlake may feel traffic impact of UW graduation Saturday

Commencement exercises at the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium on Saturday afternoon may impact traffic in Eastlake.

The actual commencement runs from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., but SDOT is warning that traffic snarls may be felt between noon and 6 p.m. SDOT’s press release says: “Anticipate congestion on I-5 through the University District and on SR-520.” Avoid the Montlake Bridge, SDOT advises, and take the I-5 Ship Canal or University bridges instead.

A total of 40,000 people are expected to attend the event. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

According to SDOT, Seattle Police will close Montlake Boulevard between NE Pacific and NE 45th streets to through traffic starting at 3:30 p.m. as traffic starts to move out of the Husky Stadium parking lot. This is similar to traffic routing for Husky football games. Cars that approach the area will be routed around it.

If you’re trying to get to the UW Hospital northbound, go across Montlake Bridge and turn left onto NE Pacific. If you’re coming southbound, take 15th Avenue NE to NE Pacific Street.

Traffic restrictions will be in effect until 5:30 p.m.

Stinky corpse flower blooms at UW but it won’t last long

A rare (and large and smelly) corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) is blooming at the University of Washington’s Botany Greenhouse.

The flower bloomed Wednesday evening. The smell, which has been compared to rotting meat, is past its peak but the giant flower lingers at the greenhouse, which is just off the Burke Gilman Trail and is a short walk from Eastlake. 

In the video, greenhouse manager Doug Ewing, who spent Wednesday night monitoring the plant, explains how the smell aids the plant in its reproduction process. The noise you hear in the background in the greenhouse is equipment being used to measure the smell. 

The flower probably won’t last past Saturday. The greenhouse will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. If it’s closed, you can see the flower through the glass. You’ll find at map on the UW’s website.

The Seattle Times has a story and photos about the corpse flower.

For more information on the corpse flower, see the plant’s website. There’s also more information on a Facebook page maintained by UW Biology.

Eastlake art/pub crawl: Would you attend? Would you participate?

The Eastlake Merchants Association had its monthly meeting Tuesday after work. While attendance wasn’t as big as some of their meetings, the business owners who were there did discuss several interesting topics, including the possibility of an Eastlake art and/or pub crawl event.

The merchants group has been talking about the possibility of some sort of event involving businesses in the neighborhood almost since its first meeting in January of last year. One of the observations made at that first meeting was that Eastlake’s business district runs for a long distance, all the way from the University Bridge in the north to Zymogenetics in the south. It’s a long way to walk and there are places where gaps in the storefronts can make it difficult to motivate people to keep moving to the next group of businesses. Plus, traffic on the street can be intimidating and parking a challenge.

In addition to events to help tie the business district together, the merchants association has also discussed banners and door decals to help customers make the connection.

At Tuesday’s meeting at Kristos Eastlake, Dominic Wood from Kristos suggested creating an Eastlake pub crawl and art walk event this summer. Kristos has teamed up with Artifakt Signature Gallery to do art evenings at the restaurant. The next event is Saturday when artists Ryan Henry Ward, Jeremy Gregory and 179 will be exhibiting. There will also be drink specials and DJs providing music.

The group kicked around ideas, including possibly staging a neighborhood-wide event in August. How might it work? they asked. Maybe participants could be given a card that would be stamped at each restaurant and business they visited. Get enough stamps and you’d be entered in a drawing. Maybe have art at each stop. Maybe restaurants could offer a special drink or food item for purchase. Include all businesses, not just restaurants.

Nothing was settled but lots of ideas were considered.

I said I’d post about the possibility of an art/pub crawl here and ask two questions:

  • If you own an Eastlake business, would you participate in such an event? (And if you did participate, what would you be willing to do?)
  • If you live in Eastlake (or just like to visit), would you participate in an art/pub crawl?

Post your answers in the comments with this post. Ask questions and offer your opinions. If you’d be willing to help make this event happen, post that also.

This week’s Eastlake police reports include a car theft, DUI and more

Seattle Police reports from Eastlake for the week include a car theft, an assault, a DUI and more:

  • May 30: Car prowl, 2900 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 4:30 p.m.
  • May 31: Fraud, credit, 2200 block of Boylston, 12 p.m.
  • May 31: Theft, 2600 block of Boylston E., 3:30 p.m.
  • May 31: Car prowl, 900 block of E. Allison, 9 p.m.
  • May 31: Driving under the influence, 2800 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 10:01 p.m.
  • June 2: Property damage, 100 block of E. Hamlin, 9:25 a.m.
  • June 4: Assault, 1800 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 10:27 p.m.
  • June 5: Auto theft, 3000 block of Fuhrman Ave. E., 8:30 p.m.
  • June 6: Property found, 1100 block of Fairview E., 1:50 p.m.
  • June 6: Domestic violence arrest, 3200 block of Fairview Ave. E., 6:27 p.m.: A domestic violence call that began in north Seattle ended with an arrest here, according to a Seattle Police Department spokesperson. The information indicated the suspect was at an address in the 3200 block of Fairview E. Police had information that the dispute was a fairly violent assault, so they arrived armed and in force (see reader note below). The incident ended peacefully with the suspect’s arrest.

To see the complete map, go to

Ailing Eastlake eucalyptus tree showing signs of life, but it may not be enough

A cold-damaged eucalyptus tree in Eastlake’s Hamlin street end that was given a professional pruning last summer in an effort to save it is showing a few signs of new growth.

The bits of growth are coming amidst mostly brown leaves hanging off the tree. Joshua Erickson, an arborist with the City of Seattle, says that the growth on the trunk, while it may look encouraging, is a sign of stress. The professional tree pruner who worked on the tree last August reached the same conclusion.

“It sounds very typical of a declining eucalyptus,” Erickson said in an email this morning. Erickson said that, ultimately, the tree will have to be removed, although he doesn’t know when that might happen

“Obviously we want to remove it before it becomes a safety issue, but it could take several years for it to get to that point (not that it should wait that long),” he wrote. ”Based on the dieback it showed last year, I don’t think there was anything anyone could have done to help pull it through.”

Erickson said he’ll inspect the tree to see how it’s doing and what the next steps might be. The city had said last year that it would replace the tree if it needs to be removed.

Ruth Kunath and April Boyd, who both live near the tree, raised money from 19 neighbors last year to pay to get the tree pruned in an effort to save it. In an email, Kunath said the ultimate decision on the tree’s fate rests with the city.

“The final responsibility is theirs,” she writes. “The city was cooperative enough to let us try pruning, yet I am unsure of the degree of success. … I cannot tell if our attempt at pruning off old growth ’saved the tree,” prolonged its ill health, or it is in recovery mode.”

Kunath said she had solicited ideas for a replacement tree last year. Those included liquidambar, katsura, dogwood, magnolia or anything with ”dappled shade.” She isn’t sure what trees the city has in its tree inventory.

She says there was also talk of finding a carver to make art out of the eucalyptus branches, but adds, “as carved art is a subjective view, such an effort would take considerable coordination.”

Eastlake’s quiet resident, Gates Foundation, leaves the neighborhood

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. Details of how to register for tours of the new Gates Foundation campus have been updated.

One of Eastlake’s most famous residents, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is celebrating its move to a new campus near Seattle Center this week.

The foundation, which focuses on world health issues, will be holding a public open house at its new headquarters on Saturday, June 4.

The largest private foundation in the world, the Gates Foundation kept a low profile in Eastlake. The foundation’s staff moved into a former SeaFirst Bank check processing facility at 1551 Eastlake in 2000. There was never a sign on the building to announce the famous tenant within. 

Melissa Milburn, a spokesperson for the foundation, says the organization’s low-key nature was the result of wanting to focus more on “the work and on the people doing the work on the ground – our grantees and partners.” As the importance of advocacy grew, she says, the foundation became more public, doing interviews and raising its profile. But it never made a big deal out of its presence on Eastlake.

The foundation later added a third floor to the 1551 Eastlake building.

As the foundation grew, it also added offices in four other buildings near 1551 Eastlake E.:

  • Near the 14 Carrot Cafe in the 2300 block of Eastlake Avenue E.
  • In the former AT&T wireless building at 617 Eastlake E.
  • In the former Onvia building at 1260 Mercer St.
  • In the Hart Crowser building at 1700 Westlake Ave. E.

On Friday, it appeared that Gates Foundation staff was mostly moved out of 1551 Eastlake. A crane had hoisted a dumpster to the roof and the sound of workers dumping left-behind items into it could be heard.

The move of the Gates Foundation will leave a significant amount of office space open and available in Eastlake. The building at 1551 Eastlake is about 100,000 square feet. It was announced last fall that the Puget Sound Blood Center would be leasing approximately 45,000 square feet of that space. The rest is presumably still available.

There’s no word on possible tenants for the other buildings where the foundation leased space. Gates Foundation staff who would know how much space was occupied by the foundation between the five buildings were busy setting up for Saturday’s open house and weren’t available Friday.

Registration has closed for Saturday’s open house at the new foundation headquarters at Seattle Center. Registration will reopen at 10 a.m. Saturday at the new campus for one-hour time slots to visit the new campus between noon and 4 p.m. 


  • The Seattle Times previewed the new Gates Foundation buildings in this story, which also includes several photos.
  • The Times reported on a reception for 1,000 community leaders at the new building on Thursday evening.
  • has a slideshow from the Thursday evening.
  • John Cook at reports that Bill Gates wrote the checks for the new campus, but Melinda Gates was the vision behind it (it cost $500 million).
  • David Bley writes on the foundation’s blog about the new campus (includes a slideshow).