Category Archives: Weather

Fruit in yard of ‘Fig King’ ripe, ready for picking

Bill Farhat profiled in The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine

Bill Farhat profiled in The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine

Last year Lake City resident Bill Farhat was profiled in The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine. The publication named Farhat the “Fig King.” The native of Lebanon has a yard described by The Times as “ringed with grape leaves, planted with Persian plums and packed with his prized fig trees.”

Well the fruit of all Farhat’s labor is ready —early this year— and the Fig King is ready to share his backyard bounty. He is asking $4 per pound for the delicious figs from his 35 trees. You can read more from Farhat below.

Last summer, I was lucky enough to be called the “fig king” by The Seattle Times magazine, which wrote a feature story on me—as well as a video blog.

I have 35 trees in my backyard. (I’d probably have more, but there’s no more space).

I’m writing today because I would love to share my Desert King figs with others in the Lake City and surrounding community. They are ripe!

They are 10 days early this year, due to our incredible warm weather. Come get em! (If you want to plant a tree in your own backyard, I can help you with that, too).

I sell figs for $4/pound. Email or call 206-363-0121

If you stop by and get some of his figs, make sure to let us know how you dished them up in the comments section below.

Matthews Beach closed due to bacteria in water


( photo used with permission)

Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed Matthews Beach to swimmers because of elevated levels of bacteria in the water. The beach park regularly attracts geese and other waterfowl. The beach is also adjacent to Thornton Creek, which is know to have dangerous levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

The beach closure comes at a time of year when many would be enjoying the cool waters of Lake Washington.

From Seattle Parks:

On a recommendation from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed Matthews Beach Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Routine weekly water quality testing revealed that the bacteria levels in the water were too high for swimming.

The water will be tested again on Monday and the beach could re-open as early as Wednesday, Aug. 6. For updated information, please visit

Wind gusts bring down large tree branch across 35th Avenue Northeast

A branch is shown after it fell on 35th Avenue Northeast. (LCL photo)

A branch is shown after it fell on 35th Avenue Northeast. (LCL photo)

A tree branch fell onto a van during gusty winds on Friday. The end of the branch landed on the van with a woman and dog inside. They were uninjured but the van had some dents and scratches from the tree.

The branch was first reported about 11:45 after it fell near Northeast 123rd Street.

The traffic impact from the branch was minimal as 35th Avenue Northeast is already closed south of there for the Thornton Creek project near Nathan Hale High School.

Saturday night windstorm knocks out Comcast service to thousands in Lake City

20140216-132320.jpgA broken fiber optic cable knocked out Internet and cable to thousands of customers in Lake City during a wind storm Saturday night. As of 11:30 am on Sunday, a representative from Comcast was unsure how long it would take to restore service, reported the Seattle Times.

Vice President of Communications for Comcast Steve Kipp told the Times in an email:

“Our repair crews could not begin their work until this morning because, due to safety reasons, they had to wait for Seattle City Light to complete its repairs first.”

So if you were hoping to watch a movie on Netflix during this gloomy day you may be out of luck. (Yet if you are reading this, then you have some kind of Internet service.)

Perhaps today is a good day to grab an old fashioned book or newspaper and curl up with a cup of tea.

Lake City Way becomes Lake City Bay in global ice melt scenario

HERE (Click image to see full map)

A clipping from Jeffrey Linn’s Islands of Seattle map shows the hypothetical Lake City Bay and Thornton Bay, the result of the melt of all global ice sheets. (Click image to see full map)

You may have seen this map being shared in the last few days on social media.

Jeffrey Linn has created a unique look at Seattle. His “Islands of Seattle” shows what our city would look like if polar ice sheets all melted, raising the sea level —significantly.

While not something that is expected to happen in the next few millennia, a climate event of this magnitude, and the topography of North Seattle, would change Lake City Way into Lake City Bay. Cedar Park would become Cedar Heights Island and much of the Thornton Creek watershed would be underwater.

From Linn’s post on the University of Washington’s The Whole U blog:

This map is based on real-world information—I created the Seattle sea levels from publicly-available LiDAR data, rendering the rise of the seas in 10-foot increments for the animation, starting at the current shoreline, and ending with the 240-foot level. The Islands of Seattle poster was rendered at 240 feet of rise, which is roughly what would happen if all the world’s ice sheets melted.

Now this extreme event is not something to cause you to worry that your yard may be underwater in thousands of years. But it is an interesting look at what our small slice of the globe could look like in the distant future.

Linn said in his post:

I don’t know how long it would take for this to happen. One estimate says roughly 5,000 years. If this is accurate, then our descendants living with this level of sea rise would look back on our time in the same way that we might look back on the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt. The time of the pharaohs would be closer to us than the time of the Seattle Archipelago. So, although we should all be very concerned about the effects of climate change, including the resulting sea rise, don’t base your next apartment rental decision on this map.

You can view Linn’s map in much more detail here on his site.

Winter shelters coming to NE Seattle churches, North Helpline in need of donations

Shelters for area homeless men and women will return to Northeast Seattle churches starting on December 3rd when an winter shelter is scheduled to open at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. The shelter will rotate to four other church sites in the area through March 16th. Contact the individual churches for volunteer opportunities. The rotation schedule is below.

NorthHelplineIn this season of dropping temperatures, giving, and thinking about those less fortunate, North Helpline has also put out a list of items needed for the organization to distribute to low income and homeless people. The list is below. Items can be dropped at North Helpline, 12736 33rd Avenue NE, Tuesday – Friday from 9 am-4 pm or Saturday from 8:30 am-1 pm.

  • Toys for birth to elementary school age
  • Gifts for middle school and high school age
  • Coats
  • Hygiene items
  • Baby formula, baby food, diapers, and other baby supplies
  • Small-size turkeys

North Helpline also has a $75,000 fund-raising goal so you can donate  money onsite or online, here via their website.

Strong winds knock down tree onto power lines at NE 125th Street, Roosevelt Way


A tree fell on top of power lines at the intersection of NE 125th Street and Roosevelt Way in Seattle’s Pinehurst neighborhood. (photos by Joshua Trujillo,, used with permission)

A large tree fell onto power lines at the intersection of NE 125th Street and Roosevelt Way in the Pinehurst neighborhood. The tree in the roadway completely closed Roosevelt Way and limited traffic on NE 125th Street to two lanes after it fell. The tree and closure was causing backups in the area.

Seattle City Light was not reporting outages related to the downed lines, which bent the poles supporting the stop lights over the intersection. The lights were still functioning, even though they were just feet from the ground.

More photos below:

Continue reading

Rotating Winter Shelter coming to Lake City Baptist

Lake City Baptist Church will begin hosting a winter homeless shelter starting next Wednesday, February 27th and running through March 15th. The shelter is for adults only and will be providing services between 7 pm and 7 am. The services include dinner, sleeping quarters for the night, and breakfast. Union Gospel Mission will be providing sleeping cots and staff to assist.

Rowen Headington and Hannah Olufs from the church are the contacts. Neighborhood group Douglas Park Cooperative asked what the community can do to volunteer hours and resources. Rowen indicated they may need help with cooking oatmeal and coffee around 5am. We will report back with more specifics on how members of the community can volunteer and what supplies they will need when we get more information.

Lake City Baptist Church on 125th and 25th
Eating / sleeping quarters on lower level of church

KOMO News: Rotating winter shelter for homeless coming to Lake City, Shoreline

On Sunday KOMO News published a story about a temporary, rotating winter homeless shelter run by Union Gospel Mission coming to churches in Lake City and Shoreline.

And according to the KOMO story the coming shelter is a surprise to some in the Lake City community —even after previous shelter plans that surprised the community prompted vows of more transparency with future shelter plans. People contacted for the story learned of the plan from the KOMO reporter.

The plan, according to the KOMO report, is part of a request by the Lake City Task Force on Homelessness to bring the rotating shelter to three area churches, beginning on Monday, January 7th.

The schedule for the shelter is below:

  • Jan 7 – Jan 27, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 14514 20th Avenue Northeast, Shoreline
  • Jan 28 – Feb 17, Seattle Mennonite Church, 3120 NE 125th St., Seattle
  • Feb 17 – Mar 15, Lake City Baptist Church, 2441 Northeast 125th Street, Seattle

From the KOMO story:

According to [Paul] LaRose [of Union Gospel Mission], shelter organizers took concerns made by neighbors and business owners last year and came up with a different way to run the temporary shelter this time around.
“We are only offering an overnight shelter, from 7:00p.m. to 7:00a.m., primarily for people of Lake City. Last year that’s what we tried to do but people were being referred by hospitals, like Harborview, and clinics when they were released. Someone would send them to Lake City, or the eastside Bellevue shelter, this year we don’t expect it to be like that,” said LaRose.
Mike Duke, owner of the Grocery Outlet in Lake City, says he understands people need help, and initially he allowed those staying at the shelter last year to use his store’s restroom. But he says his business ended up losing so much inventory they were forced to put locks on the bathroom doors. 
“We had a terrible problem with panhandlers in the parking lot being really aggressive. Shoplifting was our biggest problem. We lost $28,000 in inventory during the quarter the shelter was open which was way over our normal amount and as soon as it shut down our loses went back to normal levels,” said Duke.

You can read the entire KOMO report here.