Scramble for eggs this Saturday

[in our best monster truck voice]: SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY!

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center Spring Egg Hunt starting line in 2011.

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center Spring Egg Hunt starting line in 2011.

This Saturday, April 19, at 10 AM SHARP, Seattle Parks and Recreation is holding Spring Egg Hunts all over the city. You can see the full, city-wide list on their website, but here are the hunting grounds closest to our area:

NORTHEAST

April 19 Spring Bunny Trail
Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center [6535 Ravenna Ave NE], 10 a.m., Ages 12 and under

April 19 Spring Egg Hunts
Nathan Hale Stadium [10750 30th Ave NE], 10 a.m., Ages 1-11
Laurelhurst Park [4554 NE 41st St], 10 a.m., Ages 12 and under

NORTHWEST
April 19 Spring Egg Scramble
Green Lake Community Center, 10 a.m., Ages 3 and under
Green Lake Community Center, 10:30 a.m., Ages 4-7
Green Lake Community Center, 11 a.m., Ages 8-10

Another option in NE Seattle is Calvary Christian Assembly’s annual Easter Egg Hunt at Cowen Park (5849 15th Ave NE). From the CCA website:

Registration begins at 11:30 am. We partner with Roosevelt Neighborhood vendors for this event that features 3 age-specific egg hunts as well as crafts, games, prizes, inflatables and more! Want to help? We will need people to donate candy and work at the event.

For all of these events, you’ll want your kids to bring baskets with which to carry their ovate loot.

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Ravenna Blog publisher posing with the largest holiday decoration in NE Seattle (outside of Candy Cane Lane).

Spring and Summer Parks & Rec brochures are now available

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Spring classes, and summer camps and classes, special events and pool schedules all await you the latest Seattle Parks and Recreation brochure. Hard copies are available in local community centers, but you can also download an e-edition right here (5.1 MB PDF).

Registration for summer camps has already begun, but registration for other types of classes starts on Tuesday, March 11.

 

Soup Swap 2014 set to simmer on January 25

Seemingly endless days of drizzle and 45°F temperatures are best fought with good neighbors and hot soup. Soup Swap 2014 is being held on Saturday, January 25 from 3-5 PM at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Avenue NE). Participants bring labeled quarts of frozen homemade soup and leave with a different set to enjoy at home.

Ravenna Blog's Soup Swap haul at the 2013 event -- brought four quarts of Pasta e Fagioli, came home with an assortment of yum.

Ravenna Blog’s Soup Swap haul at the 2013 event — brought four quarts of Pasta e Fagioli, came home with an assortment of yum.

Here are the details:

1. MAKE a BIG batch of soup.

2. FREEZE your soup in QUART sized containers.

3. BRING your frozen soup to the RECC on January 25, and swap ‘em for others!

A+ labeling job on this batch of Curried Lentil and Squash Soup

A+ labeling job on this batch of Curried Lentil and Squash Soup

We’ve created a Soup Swap 2014 Facebook event page for those that would like to RSVP and/or chat about the event.

For more how-to Soup Swap info, check out this page at the National Soup Swap site.  Our post on Soup Swap 2013 includes a video of a group who have been swapping for quite some time.

Loaves of Ravenna and Wedgwood bread from Grateful Bread, waiting to be given away in a contest.

Loaves of Ravenna and Wedgwood bread from Grateful Bread, waiting to be given away in a contest.

And what is a soup meal without a little bread on the side? We’ll be bringing a few loaves of Grateful Bread’s Ravenna and Wedgwood breads to give away at the event.

The Soup Swap 2013 spread (complete with kale bouquet) waiting to be divvied up by participants.

The Soup Swap 2013 spread (complete with kale bouquet) waiting to be divvied up by participants.

You need not be from Ravenna or even Northeast Seattle to participate! Soup Wizards from across the Puget Sound region are welcome to attend.

Take the PLUNGE on New Years Day at Matthews Beach (UPDATE)

UPDATE (January 1, 2014): Jordan Stead, a photojournalist with the Seattle P-I, was at the PLUNGE this afternoon. Now we can enjoy the action while staying DRY:

One year ago, one of the Ravenna Blog interns (whose birthday happens to be New Year’s Day) really really really wanted to do the Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach please mom please.

So we went. He got his five-year-old toes wet, and I was proud of him.

The 2014 Polar Bear Plunge is coming up on Wednesday, January 1, at Matthews Beach (9300 51st Ave NE). People dressed in swimsuits and wooden Viking helmets and costumes will run into the cold, cold waters of winter Lake Washington to celebrate the coming of a new year…and win a Patch of Courage for submersing themselves up to their necks.

Participants may start registering on-site at 11 AM, with plunging to take place at noon.

More information follows, as well as pictures from the 2013 Polar Bear Plunge.

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It’s cold out, but it’s a festive atmosphere.

The history of the Polar Bear Plunge (from the Seattle Parks and Recreation’s PBP event website):

The Polar Bear Plunge was the first official event of its kind in the Seattle area. Janet Wilson, Aquatic Center Coordinator at Meadowbrook Pool, started the event off on January 1, 2003. About 300 people participated in the first Polar Bear Plunge; since then the attendance has reached nearly 1,000 brave bears. The plunge has inspired other, similar events in the Seattle Area. At this family event, wear a costume, enjoy warm beverages, and receive a Patch of Courage if you immerse yourself.

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Not even Waldo himself could stay in hiding from this event.

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Why, YES, even children can participate. Kids (as well as folks who might need to take things a little more slowly and/or carefully) enter the water before the rest of the huddled, shivering masses. Above is as far as the birthday boy got, which I still found impressive.

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After the Polar Cub Club has had a turn, the cold, shivering masses line up along the shore from one end of the park (looking south, here)…

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…to the other (north view). Lifeguards are on duty.

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The event is rather popular for local photographers/media folks, too. (Though they tend to be dressed to stay dry.) In the foreground here is Josh Trujillo (Seattle P-I).

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And at noon, everyone not simply spectating heads into the lake!

Some hints and safety tips for Plungers (adapted from the PBP website):

1. Come early/Carpool/Take the bus: Parking is limited! Plan your trip with the Metro Trip Planner.
2. If you have heart problems, consult your health care provider BEFORE taking the plunge.
3. Don’t drink! Alcohol does NOT warm you up, and actually accelerates hypothermia.
4. Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
5. Do NOT remove your warm clothing until swim time, and DO remove wet clothing before getting back into dry clothes.

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I’m not sure if the woman on the left was a zombie BEFORE she went in, or just after.

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After the plunge, participants are treated to the Official Polar Bear Plunge Beverage: HOT TANG. Sounds gross, but is actually quite tasty. Think Hot Apple Cider, but with faux orange flavor instead.

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The Burke-Gilman Trail cuts through Matthews Beach Park, and is another excellent way to get to the park without a car. Great way to get warm after the plunge, too, by cycling or hoofing it home on the trail.

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Ravenna Blog Intern #1 enjoying his HOT TANG.

The Polar Bear Plunge has a Facebook page if you’d like to learn more about the event, or see more of last year’s crazy people participants. The number of people willing to jump into 46°F water in January while barely clothed is impressive.

For those who might appreciate more of a warm-up before plunging into winter lake water, there is a Resolution Run 5K and Polar Bear Dive down at Magnuson Park, also on January 1. Registration is limited to 2,500 crazy people.

Seattle Parks & Recreation winter registration is open!

The weather outside is frightfully cold, at the moment. But your local community centers are nice and warm!

Head inside your local community center or pool to pick up a copy of the Winter 2014 course brochure for Northeast Seattle, or download it here (3.04 MB PDF).

Seattle Parks and Recreation 2014 Winter Brochure for Northeast Seattle (click to download; 3.04 MB PDF)

Seattle Parks and Recreation 2014 Winter Brochure for Northeast Seattle (click to download; 3.04 MB PDF)

The Northeast Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities covered in the above brochure are:

Community Centers:

  • Laurelhurst (4554 NE 41st St)
  • Magnuson (7110 62nd Ave NE)
  • Meadowbrook (10517 35th Ave NE)
  • Northgate (10510 5th Ave NE)
  • Ravenna-Eckstein (6535 Ravenna Ave NE)

Pools:

  • Helen Madison (13420 Meridian Ave N)
  • Meadowbrook (10515 35th Ave NE)

Course registration began on Tuesday, December 3, so hurry up and register today before “Hip Hop Tots” fills up!

Are you ready to huddle up? Husky Football traffic is coming. (UPDATE)

After nearly a two year absence (and $280 million dollars), University of Washington Football is back with us in Northeast Seattle.

The countdown to the first game on Saturday night has a motto: “Retake Montlake.” But residents in the path of 70,000+ spectators leaving the stadium area may take that slogan to mean “Retake Montlake, and 25th, and 45th, and 520, and residential streets used as a shortcut and…” etc.

The traffic plan for game days this year is similar to the one used in the past. But additional restrictions on parking in certain areas may be new to you.

Traffic Plan for Game Days

From the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Husky Game Day page:

  • The Washington State Department of Transportation will operate the Montlake Bridge under a modified schedule which will keep the bridge in the down position (open to vehicles and pedestrians) approximately two hours and thirty minutes before the start of the game and up to three hours after the game concludes.
  • Seattle Police officers will staff intersections before and after the event in the immediate area to help facilitate safe vehicle and pedestrian flow.
  • Lane and traffic restrictions to help control traffic flow will also be implemented throughout the area.
  • At the conclusion of the game, Montlake Boulevard NE will be closed to through traffic between NE Pacific Street and NE 45th Street until the traffic volumes exiting the stadium parking lots subsides.
  • All northbound traffic crossing the Montlake Bridge, excluding emergency and permit holding vehicles, will be re-routed westbound on NE Pacific Street.
  • Southbound traffic traveling toward Husky Stadium will also be detoured away from the stadium.
  • All traffic exiting stadium parking lots along Montlake Boulevard NE will be routed northbound.
  • Pedestrian traffic is given precedence for the first 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game by Seattle Police officers to help move the crowds safely away from the stadium.
  • At the conclusion of the game, NE 25th Street between Montlake Blvd NE and NE 75th Street becomes one-way northbound for approximately two hours.

Astute observers may note that there is no new traffic plan component for the newly redesigned NE 75th Street itself.

Reminder: NE 75th Street’s rechannelization was designed for the other 358 or so days of the year. As were all the other streets leading to and from Husky Stadium. We should all expect congestion on local roads when those other seven or so days of the year roll around, and 70,000 people all try to go home at once.

But having said that, should residents have comments/observations for SDOT about the massive traffic exodus (on NE 75th Street or elsewhere), we can leave them at this number: 684-ROAD.

Additional Restrictions on Parking

To ease parking congestion in popular areas of the city, SDOT has set up Restricted Parking Zones (RPZs) that allow residents to park for longer periods of time than visitors.

New to you, however, may be the RPZs around Husky Stadium: the Game Day RPZs  –  set up in Zones A, B, 1, 6 and 20 to specifically maintain parking for residents in the area on game days.

Zone A: Montlake / Husky Game Days

Zone B: Ravenna/Laurelhurst Husky Game Days

Zone 1: Montlake

Zone 6: University Park (NEW)

Zone 20: Ravenna/Bryant

This year, SDOT added Game Day restrictions to RPZ 6 (University Park). This area is directly south of Ravenna Park to NE 50th St, and between 15th Avenue NE and Ravenna Ave NE (down Ravenna all the way to NE 45th Street)

SDOT map of RPZ 6. Click to see the map in color (PDF)

SDOT map of Restricted Parking Zone 6 (University Park). Click to see the map larger and in color (4 KB PDF).

Below is a picture of a couple parking signs posted in RPZ 6. The green one on the top is probably familiar to you. The red one on the bottom, however, is new.

Pair of RPZ signs near NE 51st Street and Ravenna Ave NE. Photo by Jef Jaisun.

Pair of RPZ signs near NE 51st Street and Ravenna Ave NE in the University park (RPZ 6). Photo by University Park resident.

What this means for Saturday, for example, is that vehicles without a RPZ 6 decal or guest pass are NOT ALLOWED TO PARK in this area between 4 PM and 11 PM (three hours before the 7 PM game, and two hours after).

That’s seven straight hours of no parking for any vehicles without a RPZ 6 decal (or guest pass).

And this restriction does include those cute little Car2Go vehicles (answers apply to all Game Day RPZs):

The new restrictions have at least one resident of RPZ 6 very concerned. This individual lives in an area of the zone known as the Ravenna Springs neighborhood. Via email (name withheld until we get permission to use it):

These new restrictions were pushed through by several members of UPCC. Those of us who live on Ravenna Ave below 55th and have been following the “process” are extremely unhappy with it. We happen to live on the last street in Zone 6, and have pretty much nothing to do with the UPCC neighborhood up the hill. In fact, we’re the independent Ravenna Springs neighborhood.

On the Friday morning following Thanksgiving night, when friends and family are visiting and there is normally no parking enforcement, restrictions will begin at 9am! The only way you won’t get a $50 ticket is to have a Zone 6 permit or a guest pass. Problematic because guest passes cost an additional $30 and are limited to one per household.

UPDATE (10:41 AM): For more information on the city’s Restricted Parking Zones and how to obtain RPZ decals and guest passes, visit SDOT’s Restricted Parking Zone Program Online Permitting page.

Let the games begin.

Long-time local kids coach, Liz Isaacson, hangs up her whistle (GUEST POST)

We here at the Ravenna Blog have the good fortune to live just up the street from a freelance journalist, Scott Johnson. Unfortunately, he’s got two small kids just like we do, and that makes it hard to make him write for us. Just not good for sitting and thinking and writing, the presence of the small children.

But where kids and news collide, Scott is there! (With his camera, too!)

Liz Isaacson won’t be roaming the playfield outside of Ravenna-Eckstein Center next week – or next summer, for that matter.

While that might not seem to mean much to local parents, these two words will:  Coach Liz.

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Coach Liz Isaacson (left) teaching a soccer class at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. Photo by Scott Johnson.

After 35 years in the profession, the past seven of which included time teaching soccer, Tee-ball, and other sports to young kids at Ravenna-Eckstein, Coach Liz is hanging up her whistle.

“I still can’t believe it,” she said after one of her final classes coaching soccer earlier this week. “I woke up this morning and almost started crying.”

The popular youth coach who grew up playing sports in the shadows of three older brothers decided this was the right time to get out of the game.

“My body’s telling me it’s time,” she said. “My mind wants to keep coaching, but my body just won’t let me do it anymore.”

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Coach Liz teaching Drew Johnson how to defend against a pack of girls at soccer practice. Photo by Scott Johnson.

Kids and parents hoping to say a final goodbye to Coach Liz before she goes back to being Liz Isaacson can attend a retirement party in her honor Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Northgate Community Center. Cake, snacks and games will be provided.

And if Coach Liz can’t hold back anymore, maybe even a few tears.

 

Scott Johnson is a stay-at-home father of two and freelance writer who counts The Associated Press, USA Today, The Sports Xchange and SportsPress Northwest among his part-time gigs. He lives in the Ravenna neighborhood with his wife, Erin, and their children, Drew and Molly.

Green Lake Way North Safety Improvements Open House

If you’re a regular reader of the Ravenna Blog these days, you’re into road safety improvements. (Seems to be all we post about on here lately, anyway.)

This next project is a bit out of our normal coverage area, but that doesn’t mean we don’t ever drive there.

On Tuesday, August 20, from 6:30-7:45 PM, the Seattle Department of Transportation is holding an open house about proposed safety improvements on Green Lake Way North (between N 50th and N 55th Streets) at the Green Lake Branch of the Seattle Public Library (7364 E Green Lake Dr N). The presentation portion begins at 6:45 PM.

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More details (via email):

Green Lake Way North is currently a four-lane street that borders the east side of the Woodland Park Playfields and provides access to Green Lake from the south. The Seattle Department of Transportation is proposing changes to make the street safer and more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to walk and ride bikes, as well as safer for drivers. The changes will reduce speeds, and improve pedestrian and bicycle access.

The proposal includes installing a new center turn lane, reconfiguring the street to provide one travel lane in each direction with bicycle lanes on both sides of the street, and improving pedestrian crossings. A new stop sign will be installed at West Green Lake Way North. Traffic signal operations at Green Lake Way North and North 50th Street will be improved by removing one block of parking on the north side of North 50th Street.

For more information on the project, visit SDOT’s Green Lake Way Safety Improvements page.

NE 65th St Town Hall at Ravenna-Eckstein CC (LIVE COVERAGE; UPDATE)

On Monday, August 12, from 6:45-8 PM, Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle Department of Transportation will hold a town hall-style meeting at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE).

City officials will be on hand to to address residents’ and area business owners’ concerns about the Bicycle Master Plan Draft Update and the potential role NE 65th Street may play in it.

Our live coverage of the meeting will begin below, around 6:45 PM.

UPDATE (Thursday, August 15): The Seattle Channel has posted their video of the event, and you can watch it right here (Flash required):

 

 

Town Hall on Monday, August 12 to address NE 65th St/Bicycle Master Plan concerns

The time to comment on the Bicycle Master Plan Draft update is over.

Or is it?

According to the Cascade Bicycle Club’s blog, the Seattle Department of Transportation “received more comments on the NE 65th Street protected bike lane than any other project proposed in the draft Bicycle Master Plan Update.”

Not a surprising observation to hear, especially after a less-than-stellar open house on the BMP Draft on June 13 at Roosevelt High School, and a “small business owners/residents meeting” held on June 23 at the Varsity Restaurant on NE 65th St.

We think it is a fair point to make, for all sides of the issue of NE 65th Street’s place in the BMP Update, that there is a lot of confusion around the issue.

Which is why we are grateful to see that a neighborhood town hall regarding NE 65th St and the Bicycle Master Plan Update is being held at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6353 Ravenna Ave NE) on Monday, August 12, from 6:45-8 PM.

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Click the image above to view the Neighborhood Town Hall invitation in full.

 

If you yourself are not able to attend this meeting, and/or would like to read about it after the fact, the Ravenna Blog will be providing live coverage of the events. We’ll post the link here on Monday the 12th.

If we may be so bold: If you are planning on attending the meeting, please consider taking an alternate mode of transportation than your usual. The journey might give you some insight into the concerns of others in the area.