Stretch of 35th Ave NE to be closed for six months as Thornton Creek ‘reshaped to prevent chronic flooding’


Seattle Public Utilities share the following information on Wednesday about a coming six month closure of 35th Avenue NE next to Nathan Hale High School.

Beginning as early as May 5, part of 35th Avenue Northeast will be closed for approximately six months while the city’s longest creek is reshaped to prevent chronic flooding and restore habitat for threatened salmon and other species.

For years, the confluence of the North and South branches of Thornton Creek, just east of 35th Avenue Northeast, has been prone to flooding. High waters have frequently inundated nearby homes, Nathan Hale High School and Meadowbrook Community Center and closed the road to traffic.

To fix the problem, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will remove an undersized culvert under 35th Avenue Northeast and realign the existing creek channel through a new two-acre flood plain. The wider channel and flood plain connection will help native fish habitat by spreading out and slowing the peak flows of Thornton Creek.

Additionally, the project will construct a new bridge under 35th Avenue Northeast slightly north of where the creek currently runs.

To perform the work, it will be necessary to close a section of 35th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast 110th Street and Northeast 105th Street, for about six months. 35th Avenue Northeast will be open only to local access traffic, including access to the Meadowbrook Community Center from the south.

Traffic will be detoured from 35th Avenue Northeast to Lake City Way Northeast via Northeast 110th Street and Northeast 95th Street. Detour signs will be in place prior to the closure.

Southbound Metro buses (Route 64 and 65) will be detoured to Lake City Way Northeast via Northeast 110th Street and Northeast 95th Street. Northbound Metro buses will be diverted to Sandpoint Way Northeast via Northeast 95th Street and Northeast 110th Street. As the closure date approaches, more information will be found at

Historically, the Thornton Creek Confluence Reach was 170 acres of partially forested wetland that included most, if not all of the low-lying property now occupied by the Meadowbrook Playfield, Nathan Hale High School and Meadowbrook Pond west and east of 35th Avenue Northeast.

SPU is working with federal scientists (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries Science Center) to measure project performance by comparing existing conditions with post-construction changes in flood plain storage, habitat conditions and biological response (abundance and diversity).

Along with the ecological benefits of restoring stream and flood plain processes to the Thornton Creek Confluence Reach, the project will reduce the City’s operating costs at nearby Meadowbrook Pond by reducing the frequency of dredging needed at the Pond (currently averaging every three to five years).

Learn more about Seattle Public Utilities’ Thornton Creek Confluence Project by clicking here.

Vigil planned for 17 year-old student struck by car, killed in NE Seattle

Sandhya Khadka was the only child of her parents.  Sandhya left Nepal in the past year to come to Seattle and to attend school.  Her dream was to become an accountant. (courtesy photo)

Sandhya Khadka was the only child of her parents. Sandhya left Nepal in the past year to come to Seattle and to attend school. Her dream was to become an accountant. (courtesy photo)

Sandhya Khadka, a native of Nepal, left her home country in the past year to come to Seattle where her father lives. She came to the U.S. to attend school. Her dream was to become an accountant.

That dream abruptly ended on Monday morning when 17 year-old Khadka was struck and killed by a truck, while on her way to school at the intersection of NE 115th Street and 5th Avenue NE in Pinehurst.

She was hit by the truck while crossing 5th Ave NE, on her way to catch the 41 bus to get to school and work at North Seattle Community College.

The Seattle P-I reports:

A green Ford Ranger headed south about 8:20 a.m. on Fifth Avenue Northeast hit the pedestrian while she was crossing west at the intersection of Northeast 115th Street.

Seattle Fire Department medics responded and declared the girl, 17, dead at the scene.

A drug recognition expert evaluated the pickup truck driver, per protocol, but determined the driver was not impaired. The driver was released at the scene.

On Thursday night, a candlelight vigil is planned for the young girl, the only child of her parents. The family would appreciate your attendance.

The vigil will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of NE 115th Street and 5th Avenue NE in Pinehurst.

Her father, Sahadev Khadka, lives in Seattle and her mother is in Nepal.

Sandhya’s family will have some extra candles, but encourage those who join them to bring candles with them. They hope to honor Sandhya and to “create awareness so that no other young person has to die again.”

Remember, what you put in that drain does go somewhere


Now that weather is warming, people are cleaning winter grime off their cars and pressure washing the moss off of their homes.

But remember, all that chemistry you are including in the wash solution does not just disappear once it goes down a drain. Often it will drain into our urban streams and lakes.

A neighborhood resident that lives near Lake Washington sent us this photo Monday. It shows foam from what appears to be soap coming out of a culvert, about to enter Lake Washington.

A resident uphill was later discovered to be using a pressure washer.

Northeast Seattle’s Thornton Creek is among Seattle’s most damaged streams, with dangerous levels of fecal coliform bacteria discovered in the water. And much of the runoff from our community drains into Lake Washington and in some areas into the creek. You can read more about the damage to Thornton Creek here in this post.

EarthCorps organizes vounteers for Jackson Park Trail cleanup


Volunteers gather up ivy and invasive species along the Jackson Park Trail.

Local volunteer groups, including Girl Scouts and area church members, joined with EarthCorps members and the Green Seattle Partnership to clean up and restore areas around the Jackson Park Tail on Saturday.


A side trail from the Jackson Park Trail to the Jackson Park P-Patch is shown.

The community-based group Friends of Jackson Park Trail has been working hard to maintain the new urban trail and improve the health of the forest with monthly cleanup events every third Saturday. But their efforts were joined by dozens of new volunteers during the April 12th cleanup.

The Jackson Park Trail includes approximately 2.2 miles of off-street trail along the perimeter of the publicly-owned Jackson Park Golf Course. About 50 bird species have been seen along the trail that features an area along Thornton Creek.

EarthCorps has started a program to manage volunteers helping along the trail. Their first year of work in 2014 will include removing invasive plants and later planting native plants in the wintertime.

EarthCorps supplied gloves, tools, water, light refreshments and volunteer education during the work party.

Another pair of Earth Day weekend work parties have been organized for April 19th and April 22nd.

You can find more volunteer opportunities at the park by checking here.

Lake City Starbucks moved into trailer during remodel


The Starbucks Coffee on Lake City Way near NE 120th Street has moved into a small trailer as the store kicks off a major remodel.

The coffee shop can be a buzzing spot some evenings, with dozens of people camped in the location’s comfortable chairs, doing school work, using the Wi-Fi or socializing.

But the seating area is now a few outdoor chairs under umbrellas in what used to be the parking lot. A chain link fence surrounds the store as construction crews take over the location.

Walk up and drive up service continues at the location, but the comfortable atmosphere is now a construction zone.

The project is expected to take about two months.

Meeting to discuss relocating bus stop in front of Romio’s scheduled for April 16th


The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and King County Metro Transit (Metro) are seeking community feedback on a proposal to relocate the bus stop currently in front of Romio’s Pizza. SDOT and Metro will present this proposal at the North Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s public lunch meeting, April 16th, 1pm at the Elliott Bay Brewery on Lake City Way.
This proposal responds to outreach from the Lake City community to the City of Seattle and King County regarding loitering and safety concerns at the northbound bus stop on Lake City Way in front of Romio’s Pizza.

This led to conversations between SDOT and Metro with representatives of the North Seattle Chamber regarding bus stop relocation. SDOT and Metro recognize that relocating the stop could improve access to transit and pedestrian safety as well as alleviate the loitering and safety concerns highlighted by the Chamber.

At the meeting on the 16th, SDOT and Metro will discuss the factors that influence selection of bus stop locations, including:

• Stop spacing (Are stops placed at regular intervals along the corridor?);
• Transfer points (Are stops placed to facilitate transfers to intersecting routes?);
• Lane position (Do buses stop within a travel lane, or do buses pull out of traffic to stop?);
• Lighting
• Adjacent businesses
• Shelter
• Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
• Pedestrian safety
• Law enforcement
• Art

Metro and SDOT want to coordinate effectively with business and community interests, as they assess whether relocating the stop will alleviate some of the concerns that have been raised with the current location. Please encourage everyone you can to attend this meeting.>

Family Center Open House

North Seattle Family CenterThe North Seattle Family Center recently relocated to the Lake City Professional Building. This Thursday, April 10th, you’re invited to join the center in celebration of their new space and Parent-Child Home Program.

Thursday, April 10th, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Lake City Professional Building
2611 N.E. 125th St., Suite 145

Enjoy complimentary refreshments, door prizes, and fun activities for the kids. There will also be program information on hand and an opportunity to register early for the center’s Summer Youth and Family Programs.

RSVP’s appreciated, please call (206) 364-7930 or via e-mail at

Lake City Farmers Market at Risk

SignThe Lake City Farmers Market will open June 12 for its 2014 season, Thursdays 3-7:00 pm through October 2. However, 2014 may be the market’s last season in Lake City.


The Lake City Farmers Market was founded in 2002 by the non-profit Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance (NFMA), with help from the Lake City Chamber and volunteer community stakeholders. The market thrived through 2008, but as the economy fell the market saw a precipitous drop in shopper counts and vendor sales. Since then, market growth has remained flat.



A vendor awaits customers at the Lake City Farmers Market in 2013. (FFLC photo)

Last year, NFMA redesigned the market layout, reactivated the park, added new farmers, and expanded the vendor mix as part of a remediation plan to improve market performance. However, the shopper counts and sales to farmers remained flat. In contrast, other NFMA markets saw significant growth in 2013.

Other concerns about the Lake City location compound the issue. Repeated theft of market equipment and squatting in the market shed and parking lot raised safety concerns for staff throughout the 2013 season. Unless shopper attendance, sales to farmers, and staff safety improve in 2014, the market will be re-located in 2015.

The NFMA has undertaken remediation efforts in other neighborhoods with success. Collaboration with community volunteers and the local business association helped Columbia City’s market thrive despite an adjacent development project. In Magnolia, significant sponsorships, hours of on-site volunteer help and a relocation helped the Magnolia market grow by 25%.



A Lake City market vendor sorts greens during the 2013 season. (FFLC photo)

How Can You Help?

  • Complete this Lake City Farmers Market survey (it only takes a few minutes) to help volunteers assess what’s happening at the Lake City market
  • Distribute market signage, fliers, and posters
  • Attend and shop at the market & encourage others to do so
  • Outreach to community groups to advertise the Fresh Bucks (SNAP incentive) program
  • Organize community groups to come to the market each week and put on free kids and cooking events
  • Help with live music booking for the market each week


*Update: To volunteer with the market, please contact

Pancake Breakfast Saturday, April 5th, to benefit Sacajawea Elementary

Hot pancakes are served up at the Lake City Community Center (photo courtesy of LC Lions Club)

Hot pancakes served at the Lake City Community Center (photo courtesy of LC Lions Club)

The Lake City Lions Club is hosting a Pancake Breakfast at the Lake City Community Center this Saturday, April 5 from 9:00-11:00 a.m.  This fundraiser will benefit Sacajawea Elementary. All money raised goes directly to the school, which plans to use the money to offset the cost of science camp for 4th & 5th grade students.


The Lions Club hosts similar events for all Lake City-area elementary schools throughout the year, including: Olympic Hills, Sacajawea and John Rogers. The Lions provide the venue, food and all the cooking. This Saturday, look for 3rd and 4th graders from Sacajawea to also be hard at work, as they’ve volunteered to help bus tables and serve as waitstaff.


Breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, juice and coffee. Each school sets their own prices, so the cost varies with each event, but typically ranges around $8 for adults and $5 for children.