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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eagle's Perch

The Greenlake Bald Eagle perches atop Duck Island in golden light. 
Good way to spot fish or trouble.

Bald Eagle keeps watch over Duck Island at Seattle's
Greenlake Park

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wild Weather, Spectacular Skies at Greenlake and North End

Varieties of weather today made for some amazing sights today in the "north end". 

Greenlake did not disappoint today. A fabulous rainbow entertained hundreds of walkers and shutterbugs. 

Could this be a good omen of good tidings for the upcoming New Year? We all need some hope!

A fabulous "Double-rainbow" was electrifying entertainment today
at Greenlake. Every color was visible in the "Rainbow Color Order",
even violet.
The sun broke through the clouds and lit up the lake. 
Afternoon sunbreak lights up Duck Island and shoreline
But that wasn't all.......

After a short shopping trip in my neighborhood QFC grocery, I was greeted with another spectacular sky.

As if on fire! 
A beautiful sight can appear anywhere.

But then, we were treated to a hail storm! What's next Seattle, Unicorns?
Popcorn snow on my front porch.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cool Spider Photographed at Kubota Gardens

This spider is fascinating from this angle. She looks scary from this close, but she's more scary to other bugs who fly by.

Unknown spider seen at Kubota
ph credit - Michael Oxman
If you know the name of this one, let us know and we will add to the post.

According to the "Abstract" of: An Annotated Checklist of the Spiders of Washington by Rodney L. Crawford
from the Burke Museum 
A checklist is presented of 760 spider species currently known from Washington State; 393 are first verifiable records from Washington, 14 are first records from the United States, and 4 are first records from North America.
The Burke Museum has an extensive collection of spiders and other insects.  It is located at the University of WA campus and is a great place to visit during this holiday week with the family.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Two Ducks Wish You a Happy Holiday

Hope you and yours are having a lovely holiday season! 
Two Ducks at Beaver Pond Natural Area
Ph Credit - Bob Barta

These pair of mallards were seen by former Shoreline resident Bob Barta at Beaver Pond Natural Area in Northgate neighborhood. This is the park formerly known as Thornton Creek Park #6 at 8th NE between NE 105-104th Sts. A beaver clan has transformed this park into an amazing urban wildlife refuge. 

It's a great place to do some bird and wildlife watching during this holiday season.

Bob and Ingrid Barta now live at Alijoya Senior housing at Thornton Place and enjoy visiting the park frequently. Thornton Creek is the largest watershed in Shoreline and Seattle. Beaver Pond NA is located near the headwaters of the South Branch of Thornton Creek.

Happy Holdiays everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bags: Darn, Forgot to Bring Mine!

So, the conundrum is: 

Single use bags?
Ban them?
Bag Fee?
Paper bags?

Reuseable bags?
 • Remember to bring?
 • Forgot mine?
 • Always have one?

Answer - the Chico Bag 
Holiday promotion page from Chico Bag site
(no - I do not work for Chico Bag)

As many readers may know, banning "single-use bags" is the latest trend.  Seattle City Council just voted to ban them UNANIMOUSLY. Edmonds, Mukilteo and Bellingham have also banned them.

We've all seen photos or heard the stories about innocent wildlife dying or seriously threatened by the "single use plastic bags" which are so numerous they are almost uncountable. 

People for Puget Sound and many other groups have championed the ban passed in Seattle and other local cities. 

Well, many of us face the problem of getting to the store check out or hopping out of our vehicle and 
"Doh! Forgot my bag, DARN!" 

I have many, many (dozens)  of beautiful reusable bags, in my broom closet and all over my office and full of books and papers.  It seems like you pick one up every time you attend a public meeting! For FREE!
My broom closet FULL of beautiful, reusable bags!
But fortunately, at one of these wonderful meetings, I was given a free Chico-Bag! And now I'm "hooked" (literally). I even bought one when I saw it for sale. I always have it hooked to my purse. 
So, I always have it with me, and virtually never have to resort to a single use plastic bag. (I know I'm not that virtuous, but this really works!!!)  Try one! They are cheap, handy, durable, hold a lot of groceries, and small when curled up in their little pouch. And they are CUTE! 

So now Shoreline - How about it? A few years ago, several of us on the City Council suggested trying it. We were told by staff, we should wait till Seattle does it so as not to penalize our small businesses. So NOW Seattle, Edmonds, Mukilteo, and Bellingham have done it. 

Yesterday, Shoreline/LFP PATCH Blog did an informal poll. Banning the bags is now at 57%. Granted it's not a scientific poll, but there does seem to be support for the idea. 

Here is the recent press release on the "Bag Ban" passed by Seattle City Council from 

Environmental Groups Applaud Seattle City Council for their Leadership on Bags

Bag ordinance passes:  plastic bag ban, 5 cents on paper bags. goes into effect 7/1/12

Seattle. The Seattle City Council today unanimously passed the Seattle Bag Ordinance (Council Bill 11734).  This vote was applauded by the coalition of environmental groups – Environment Washington, Surfrider Foundation, People For Puget Sound, Sierra Club, Zero Waste Seattle, and others – who have been working to develop grassroots support for the ordinance.
Special praise goes to Council Member Mike O’Brien for his leadership on the bag ordinance and the phone book opt-out ordinance last year.
“This ordinance to ban plastic bags is part of a larger Zero Waste initiative that also includes a ban on styrofoam, citywide residential organics composting, and providing our residents and businesses with a chance to stop unwanted yellow pages deliveries. These are all concrete steps towards reducing unnecessary waste in Seattle,” said O’Brien.  “We are saving the city money and we are reducing impacts on the environment.  Building towards our waste reduction goals are also a key part of our overall efforts to be a carbon neutral city by 2050.”
The Bag Ordinance passed by Seattle City Council bans thin single-use plastic bags at checkout stands.  The ordinance includes a pass through fee of 5 cents for paper bags.  .
The Seattle bag ordinance has the same requirements as the Bellingham ordinance passed in July.  Edmonds and Mukilteo have banned plastic bags and did not include a 4 cent carry-through fee.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Good News on Forest Preservation at North Creek

A 35 Acre stretch of Urban Forest next to I-5 in Bothell is now preserved! 
Brian Zemp (Boy Scouts); Joy Johnston, Bothell Public Information Officer; Jim Freese, Friends of North Creek Forest

A non-profit organization, which formed to preserve the unique chunk of forest, wedged between a suburban  neighborhood and I-405, has succeeded in a remarkable preservation success.  This is an outstanding accomplishment for a local non-profit. It was overall a ten-year effort.

With efforts by individuals, families, and other partners, the group preserved this unique forested area that hosts North Creek, an important salmon stream to prevent development that could have consume this property.

The effort sets a great example for other cities in the region for preserving precious open space. 

Congratulations to Bothell and Friends of North Creek! 

Friends of North Creek is celebrating an early Christmas. 

The Seattle Times covers the story -

Friends of North Creek has a blog with the full story and the account from the last few years of their efforts.

"Merry Christmas Bothell"

We are grateful to announce Bothell now owns 35 acres of North Creek Forest. The deal was completed at 2:00 PM today. Please see Bothell's press release HERE.

This phase of conservation started 10 years ago when a group called Help Our Woods sought to save the forest. Many of Friends founding members were associated with HOW. They raised the funding for wildlife and wetland studies that have been very important for getting the first King County Conservation Futures grant 2 years ago. Matching funds for that grant could not be sustained with the recession.

In 2010 one family (Robinson) purchased 6 acres in the center of the forest. That energized many of us. A gift of $3000 from one of our members enabled us to hire Woody Wheeler, a conservation consultant (see 
Conservation Catalyst). After several meetings we decided to pursue a new direction and strategy. Friends of North Creek Forest grew out of HOW and had it's first official meeting on February 23, 2011.

In two months we assembled our promotional materials, web site and other infrastructure, obtained key endorsements and applied for a Snohomish County Futures grant. We only had 5 days between learning of the grant and the deadline for application. We worked hard on it, pausing only to ask the Bothell City Council for permission to make the application. By the end of April we won $200,000. The forest also attracted the attention of Representative Derek Stanford and six days after winning the Snohomish grant we won another $200,000 for the Department of Commerce.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mysterious Big Red Duck

A gigantic red duck has arrived on Greenlake's Duck Island 
Mysterious Red Duck nesting on Duck Island

It is unknown how or why or what species. All the other ducks seem to be ignoring it, and so are the humans.

All the other ducks are heading the other direction?

Please advise.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Forrest Sargent, Fircrest Resident New Photography Show

A Fircrest School resident, Forrest Sargent is celebrating the season with a new photography show at a Bellevue Gallery. 
Forrest Sargent

Forrest has Autism, but has made great progress while living at Fircrest and is able to express himself through his photography.

The show is titled "The Light Within". 

Forrest Sargent's Art Photography is on display at Stargazers. You can meet
this amazing soul on Sunday, December 18th from 12-2pm and stop in anytime
to see his transformational art. (Through Winter)

(In Bellevue, WA)

Parakeets Are Back in Mapleleaf!

From Maple Leaf Life Blog -

Scarlet-fronted parakeets
(Aratinga wagleri)
Scarlet-fronted parakeets, courtesy Dennis Paulson
Lynda emails that Maple Leaf’s resident Scarlet-fronted parakeets returned on Monday.
“I heard and then saw three of our Scarlet-fronted parakeets flying over my yard at 12th Avenue Northeast  and Northeast 90th Street about 9:30 this morning.
“Why any bird would want to migrate for the winter to the north and higher elevation (from Seward Park) I don’t know, but I’m glad they still are around to do it.” 
 The parakeets, while a semi-tropical species, seem to find the habitat in Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood good habitat. Apparently, they've also frequented the Seward Park area. 

The "Waldo Woods" on 15th NE has been noted even  in Wikipedia as habitat for the "parrots".
Local birders  Simone Lupson-Cook, a birder and Maple Leaf resident and Dennis Paulson with Seattle Audubon  have confirmed these sightings.

Solar Installations in the Last Quarter Now Surpass 2009 Levels

So why not celebrate? 

An article titled 

"Record US Solar Quarter at 449 MW Installed"

A great Q4 is expected as well, but uncertainty looms. "Greentech solar" states  -
A record-setting third quarter is in the books, with the U.S. installing 449 megawatts of PV, more than the U.S. installed in all of 2009. The total solar installed this year in the U.S. is already over one gigawattaccording to a recent report by SEIA® and GTM Research. The 2010 U.S. total was 887 megawatts.

But, there is still a worry about the upcoming threat to investment in Solar from the federal government.

Well, in addition to the good news from the SEIA and GTM Research, the report cautions that "the U.S. solar market faces substantial market uncertainty with financing and political risks, including the looming expiration of Section 1603 Treasury Program."
But, in general it sure sounds like a hopeful sign to have such a significant increase in solar installations.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Today's Sunrise at Paramount Park

A Paramount Sunrise! Rise and Shine!

Sunrise over Paramount Park Natural Area
December 13, 2011
Sometimes it pays to wake up and look out the window!

Greenlake - A December Afternoon Walk

At Greenlake in Seattle, people can enjoy a vigorous walk, run, stroll, bike or skate. According to some stats, it is possibly the most widely used park in the state. 
Walking south towards the bathouse. Winter sunshine is
a joy!

On a near winter's sunny day, it is just a beautiful place to enjoy. People of all ages and many kinds of birds are out, even on a cold Monday afternoon.

Bright and almost blinding sunshine make it a
happy habitat for some Hooded Merganzers.

Historically, Greenlake was created in the early part of the 19th century. It was also the site of an Inter-Urban Trolley stop.
Vintage, hand colored postcard labeled Greenlake. 
photographer unknown

The boat rental/fishing dock at Greenlake make a lovely destination even on a winter day.

Famous fishing dock at NE side of Greenlake
Fishing Dock is a familiar desitnation
On a beautiful day, the just over 3 mi walk is envigorating and satisfying on so many levels. It is a popular exersize  destination for thousands of users weekly.
Hooded Merganser makes her way across the cold waters, as
seen from the East side near pool

Last sunny rays creep over the hillside near West parking area.
A guaranteed way to lift your spirits and get some moderate excersize is a brisk walk around Greenlake.

Recommend another local blog called My Greenlake for more news, history and images about that neighborhood.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Melinda Wellsandt Glass Artist - House Show, A Beautiful Way to Show Your Work

Glass Artist, Melinda Wellsandt is holding another House Gallery Show this Sunday, 12/11.
Melinda Wellsandt in her home based gallery
Melinda's show is a spectacular array of glass art. Her holiday show is based in her home in a Colombia City neighborhood.

Home-based art or craft shows are a great way for artists to host sales and keep the costs down.

Mary-Melinda Wellsandt

4305 South Ferdinand
Seattle, WA 98118


It's an old gray farmhouse sitting high on the SE corner of 43rd and S. Ferdinand Street.

Melinda uses a unique techniques of decoration of her glass ware, which involves glass etching, sandblasting and meticulous hand painting.

This is a reminder that the last day of my holiday shows is this Sunday, Dec. 11th, from 10 am until 3 pm. Last week I had shoulder-to-shoulder shoppers around the bargain areas, and people went home after sipping, nibbling, and visiting with bags of lovely things. THIS Sunday there will be even lower prices on most of the pieces so even if you came last Sunday you may want to swing by again... just sayin'!

It's worth a trip to Colombia City, (a beautiful, historic neighborhood in South Seattle) to support a local artisan and find unique gifts for your holiday list.

It's also a great example of a time tested sales technique for home-based artists. Open up your home artists, and hold a sale!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

One Sparkling Fall Day at Paramount Park

An autumn stroll in Paramount Park Natural Area yields some lovely, sparkling scenes amidst the colorful native vegetation, and ponds habitat.

Upper Pond on Paramount Park's Nature Trail
Paramount Park is a jewel in Shoreline's Park system. It is hidden and offers varied habitat and ecological diversity. It is the largest wetland in Shoreline (except for Echo Lake), with over 6 acres identified. It also hosts Littles Creek, a tributary of Thornton Creek, meadows, upland forest groves, trails and many types of trees and understory.
Lower Pond has different characteristics
The two major ponds shown were created by our organization, Paramount Park Neighborhood Group, in 1998, and habitat elements were added in 2001- 2007. These projects were done with partnerships and grants from King County Waterworks, City of Shoreline, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, and local volunteers, including school classes.
Reflections are one special bonus from the ponds,
but they serve many important purposes, including habitat
water retention, water quality and so much more
Just north of the trail towards the ponds is another natural wetland
area that hosts numerous old stumps and "snags". These are essential
elements of a really healthy wetland. Dead wood provides valuable
wildlife habitat.
Passive Recreation and individual uses for the community is just one more value provided by Paramount Park. This type of recreation is actually the largest usage in our parks, far greater than sports teams. This park provides opportunities, for walking, biking, hiking, nature study, photography and art, birding and picnicking.
Sun sparkles through the fall canopy
Paramount Park offers many delights including this huge double cottonwood, which changes it's look with the seasons.
Huge double Cottonwood dominates the
center of Paramount Park
Come visit Paramount Park any time of year for a true natural experience in one of our city's lovliest places. You can enter the park via NE 147th at 8th, or walk in on NE 148th, Ten Ave NE at 152nd, or 152nd and 11th NE.  It is an important headwaters for Thornton Creek, the largest watershed in Seattle and Shoreline.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gerry Pollett to Be Next 46th District Rep

Gerry Pollett and volunteers get ready for last night's meeting'
or 46th District Democrats

Last night, at the Olympic View Elementary School, the 46th District Democrats selected their next State Representative, longtime activist Gerry Pollett.
Gerry Pollett with Sen David Frockt, Rep Phyllis Guiteirrez-Kenney
and his young son after being selected by the majority of Democratic PCO's in 46th Leg District

In a packed room of PCO's, members and visitors, witnessed the newest chapter in the story of the section as prescribed by state law. The 105 (PCO's) Precinct Committee Officers had been called to make this nomination and selection, because of a vacancy caused by the sudden death of Senator Scott White. This selection is of interest to Shoreline/LFP voters, since the redistricting process, may split the 32nd LD and send all voters E of I-5 into the 46th.
105 PCO's lined up to register for the process at the 46th Dist meeting

Gerry Pollett is a longtime activist, environmental social justice champion. He is an attorney, and leads the Heart of America NW, and public advocacy organization for Hanford Clean-up. He ran for the St Rep seat in 2008, ironically against Scott White.
Javier Valdez (center) and Sylvester Cann
and KC Dem Delegate exchange greetings.
In the final count, Cann and Valdez came in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
There were 8 candidates vying for the seat last night including, Javier Valdez, Sylvester Cann, Sarajane Siegfriedt, Rene Murry, Gabe Myer, Dusty Hoerler, and Tony Provine. According to the 46th District and King County Democrat rules, there were three votes to narrow down the field and ensure the backing of the PCO's. In the final round, Gerry Pollett was the victor with 57 votes, and Sylvester Cann was second with 48 votes.

Tony Provine, Non-profit activist
The candidates each gave 5 minute presentations before the voting began. Gerry Pollett stood with over 30 supporters and gave his presentation.  But, all of the candidates gave very impressive pitches to the delegates.  Below are images from the evening:
Candidate, Sarajane Seigfriedt, longtime KC Dems
volunteer and lobbiest with supporter
Dusty Hoerler, Labor Activist

Gabe Meyer, former Muni-Leage Chair

Renee Murry, Greenwood activist and candidate
An amazing outcome, after a long process unfolded. Gerry Pollett prevailed after 3 ballots and will be formally selected by the King County Council this Monday.