Coyote Wallingfod

4691000944_8e2778ee6a_zKeep an eye on your cats and chickens, coyotes are afoot in Wallingford!

On the Wallyhood Forums, Rob Cranfill says:

A buddy of mine, who’s an outdoorsy, level-headed kind of guy, said he just saw a coyote running down the street in Tangletown – around 7PM. 

Taildragger confirms:

My wife & I and two of our neighbors saw two of them last night. One was running down the sidewalk on 57th and the other rounded the corner at 57th and Kensington.

And Penelope emailed to say she had seen them, as well.

Apparently, urban coyotes are not an uncommon occurrence. There are over 2,000 coyotes in the greater Chicago area, for example, and West Seattle and Ballard both have reported coyotes recently, as well.

They’re not dangerous to humans, but have been known to eat pets, so make sure they’re in at night (and don’t feed them outside).

On related note, there was an interesting article in the New York Times a couple weeks back on interbreeding between species: Should You Fear the Prizzly Bear? I had always thought, based on my high school science reading, that by definition, different species couldn’t interbreed and produce fertile off-spring.

Turns out, that’s just not the case. Despite the fact that “coyotes diverged from gray wolves one million to two million years ago, and dogs from wolves roughly 15,000 years ago,” they’ve begun interbreeding in response to the pressures from human expansion into their territories. In New England, “an unlikely predator has crept back into the woods…what some have called the coywolf. It is both old and new — roughly one-quarter wolf and two-thirds coyote, with the rest being dog.”

Crazy.

(Photo by g’pa bill).

BOB Stroller Heists

BOB_Duallie_Stroller_ReviewWe’ve heard a couple reports of BOB strollers stolen off porches in Wallingford over the past few days. Nathan says:

I wanted to report that our BOB Duallie Revolution (double) stroller was stolen off of our porch last night. It has a lock on it as well as a soccer ball and a shovel set.

And JC posted in the Wallyhood forums:

Our blue BOB stroller was stolen off our front steps in the middle of the night! Our house is fully fenced and higher off the street and I had put the stroller up on the steps temporarily. I usually store it in the garage, was planning to put it back but forgot. The worst part is that I had put the garage door opener in the stroller’s cup holder so that I could close it right after I put it back in the garage. Our front gate was pulled partially closed, but not latched completely – a sign to me that they were trying to be very quiet. I also have two yappy dogs who usually bark at any noises they hear and they didn’t bark all night. So these people were SNEAKY and BOLD. Ugh! I’m so annoyed right now! If you happen to see an abandoned blue BOB stroller around 43rd and Burke today, let me know. Highly unlikely, I know. 

Finally, Darla writes:

Just want to warn neighbors that last night, we had a couple of porch robberies on Burke near 43rd.  My neighbor had a stroller stolen and my grocery delivery was taken. Most likely this was around 3am. In a disconcerting twist, two empty Amazon bags were returned to my porch in the broad daylight during the only (brief) period I was out of the house today.  

We also lost our BOB stroller from our porch earlier in the year, and we’re not alone. This is happening frequently.

41K9z9+DadLMichelle tells me she saw two groups of homeless people (most recently, two guys, one girl, all in early 20′s) in the Fremont area who were using a blue BOB stroller to pack up and move their belongings around. That’s an awfully expensive item for someone living on the street.

My advice: grab yourself a cheap cable lock (like this one for $6 from Amazon) and put an i-hook in the wall on your porch to lock your stroller up. I’m guessing if you can make it at all difficult for them, they’ll move on, rather than spend time making noise trying to undo the i-hook or cut the lock.

PS No, mom, I will NOT buy burglar alarm, but thanks for asking.

Comings and Goings

Mike Ruby writes:

Patty’s EggNest appears to be closed. New management has reopened the espresso store next to Julia’s. Don’t know if they are keeping the old name. The workmen doing the remodel of the Babalu tell me it is going to be a nail salon – as if we really need that. Rodda Paint and Morgans Plumbing are being replaced by an apartment house – will probably close about March. 

Mike followed up with the owners of Patty’s, and learned that it will re-open under the same ownership as Salud Bistro.  Patty’s had a complicated ownership structure among siblings and cousins, so perhaps that led to the change. 

The restaurant is gutted at the moment. We’ll watch for its grand réouverture.

Get Your Sh*t Together

Lead from Solid Ground sent in this announcement:

Solid Ground invites you to Get Your Sh*t Together at our FREE one-hour estate planning presentation open to all, regardless of age, gender, or income, on September 24th at 7pm at The Auditorium at the Woodland Park Zoo.

Featuring nationally-renown speaker and founder of GYST.org, Chanel Reynolds, and James Spencer, of Spectra Law.  Materials will be provided and there will be time for Q&A at the end.

Free parking, food, and childcare provided.  Space is limited and RSVP is required.  To RSVP please email Leah at [email protected].

Please join us for this important topic and take the fear and worry out of estate planning so you can focus on the important stuff in life!

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Wallingford Wurst Festival Tomorrow!

wurst-festival1Yikes, this one slipped up under the radar*. Tomorrow, Friday Sept 19 and Saturday September 20th, is the 30th annual Wallingford Wurst Festival at the St. Benedict School.

…the festival started as a small fundraiser for the school. Today the festival brings more than 10,000 visitors to the Wallingford neighborhood in one weekend. The Wurst Festival features rides, an array of delicious foods, games for kids of all ages, craft booths, homemade sweets, a book sale, a Biergarten, a raffle, plus live entertainment on an outdoor stage.

All these activities and there’s no charge for admission. So come celebrate community in a family-friendly neighborhood environment, and meet your neighbors, alumni and friends you may not have seen in a while.

FOOD

Did we mention food? Of course there’s bratwurst and sauerkraut, but also grilled salmon, sweet corn, baked potatoes with all the trimmings, pasta, Caesar salad, Filipino food, burgers and a kid’s lunch at booths and in our covered outdoor restaurant. At the indoor cafe, folks can enjoy beverages with a homemade desserts. Or swing upstairs to have a snack with your beer in the Biergarten.

FUN

Spend all day experiencing the thrills of our rides. Stroll around the grounds and see the finery of more than 60 craft vendors. Take a chance with a raffle ticket. Reminisce with the old photographs in the Alumni Room. Search the Book Shop for interesting titles. Check out the games in our Fun Zone, and maybe even take away a prize or two. Sit back and watch the musicians and dancers on the outdoor stage or stick around after 9 p.m. and dance to the band in the Biergarten.

Scroll to the bottom of their web site for a list of the musicians and times. Acts include Dudley Manlove and Caspar Babypants.

(Thanks Danae for the heads up!)

Progress at 4th Ave

As you may remember, back in 2010, Jeff Garfield, owner of Bedrooms and More (a Wallyhood sponsor) bought the blighted scar at the corner of 4th Ave NE and 45th Street (see New Wallingford Landmark Coming).

4thAvePrior to that, the property had held a single-story retail space, but that was knocked down to make room for condos. When the economy tanked, the condo project was canceled, and Wallingford ended up with a big square of ugliness welcoming visitors at our eastern border. Jeff stepped in with grand plans.

That was 2010, and things have been moving slowly since then, but the good news is that they have been moving. Brady Gustafson spotted that applications have been accepted for review by the city this past June and July, with the proposal described as a “four-story structure containing one residential unit, 4,860 sq. ft. of office and 13,312 sq. ft. of retail, with parking for six vehicles”. As of July, it’s permitted to “establish use as office, retail, and dwelling unit and construct mixed use building with attached parking.” That’s two floors of retail, one of office and a top floor residential.

Jeff explained the delay:

This has been a long, complicated and expensive journey. A little over two years ago we put everything on hold. The first design looked quite sterile and museum like – Nice, but not fitting for what we do. I was also wrestling with whether we really needed such a building, me being of retirement age and seeing that this was going to be a long and somewhat risky project. With three sons, wife, daughter-in-law all working and the arrival of two grandsons, it became a reality that this would be a legacy building and more important.

A redesign to wood and homier feeling made me more comfortable and the last year or so has been spent working with the City to finalize everything. Our original builder, who had built our current building almost 30 years ago, bowed out but recommended a new builder. We are getting close but have not received permits from the City yet. Our hope is that those permits will come in October.

I like wood and homey.

Boarding Houses and Density

DR2012-6_pdf__page_1_of_6_Cheri writes:

I’d like to see a discussion about the provision in the zoning code that allows boarding houses in single family zones. Up to eight unrelated adults can live in a single family house. This allows investors to buy houses in single family zones and rent the rooms individually. Ironically, one of the tests for a house being a boarding house is that bedrooms do not have private bathrooms or cooking spaces. Therefore, a minimal amount of retrofit is required for maximum profit. No review is required for the increased density this creates in the neighborhood.

At a minimum, there does not appear to be an equal amount of scrutiny for increased density through this method as opposed to others (ADUs, etc.). Increased density has impacts on neighborhoods, which is why review processes are in place elsewhere. This seems to be a gaping hole in the zoning code. I’d be interested in hearing what others think.

Cheri sent along the Department of Planning and Development’s Director’s Rule 6-2012, which “clarifies the distinction between a single family dwelling unit and a boarding house for the purpose of applying the Seattle Building Code (SBC).”

Footprint-WallingfordFrom my perspective, density isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be a good thing: density fosters locals businesses to serve the growing number of residents, which makes the neighborhood more walkable and more interesting.

I also feel that the focus on “boarding houses” may carry a hint of unconscious classism, since it invokes “working poor” imagery, at least for me. If we were strictly worried about density, I would expect more of an outcry over the “aPodment” ultra-efficiency apartments such as the Footprint Wallingford. It’s 40 units of tiny, less than 300 sq ft apartments stacked 5 stories high in the heart of Wallingford.* That’s some density!

 

* I’ll admit to being a bit of a bad reporter here. I’m sure this was Footprint property (as articles like this can attest), but now there’s no mention of it on Footprint’s web site, nor any other obvious listing of it anywhere else. I’m writing this at 10:30 pm for publication in the morning, so I’ve done all the research I can for now, but maybe someone can let me know what’s happening with this property, and I can update this story?

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