Piano Playground named Finalist For Parent Map Golden Teddy Award

April 24, 2017 10:10pm

Piano Playground, a piano school based in Green Lake, has just been named a finalist for the 2017 Parent Map Golden Teddy Award.  One of five finalists to win as the best after-school enrichment program in the Puget Sound, Piano Playground will enter the final round of voting April 24 through April 30 to name the winner of the award.

To vote for Piano Playground, go here.


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Proposed Law Would Require Homeowners To Be Licensed Before Renting Out Their Homes For Short Term Rentals

April 24, 2017 11:08am

This just in … Councilmember Tim Burgess has proposed revisions to the way Seattleites can list their homes for  short-term rentals. This could affect you if you Airbnb or VRBO your home.

Here’s three things you should know about the proposed changes:

1- The proposal would require a license for short term rentals that would provide proof that the unit being rented is the “operator’s primary residence or one additional unit, proof of liability insurance that covers the short-term rental use, a local contact number for guests, a signed declaration that the unit meets building and life safety codes, and basic safety information posted for guests in the unit.”

2- The proposal does not affect or limit the amount of time a homeowner can rent their home for a  short term rental.

3- You can still comment on this proposal by emailing:

Here’s the full press release from the city.

Revised Short-Term Rental Legislation Advanced

14-day public comment period begins

SEATTLE – Councilmember Tim Burgess (Position 8, Citywide) announced revised short-term rental legislation today, which would address regulations for a growing industry that includes companies like Airbnb and VRBO.  Following Council consideration of an earlier draft in 2016, Councilmember Burgess worked with neighborhoods, renters, hosts, and affected companies to develop updated legislation to meet the underlying issues of affordability in Seattle and the ability of people to rent out their own property.

Under the revised proposal, anyone may provide their primary residence and one additional unit as a short-term rental, without limitation of nights per year. The proposal requires that all short-term rental operators obtain a City regulatory license. This license will require proof that the unit being rented is the operator’s primary residence or one additional unit, proof of liability insurance that covers the short-term rental use, a local contact number for guests, a signed declaration that the unit meets building and life safety codes, and basic safety information posted for guests in the unit.

Councilmember Burgess said, “Under my revised proposal, a family can still rent out their home when they go on a weekend vacation, or a homeowner can rent out their second property to help pay the mortgage.  All this while preventing a mass turnover of existing rental housing stock into short-term rentals.  I think we’ve struck the right balance, and I look forward to more review in the weeks ahead as the Council considers this ordinance.”

The revised proposal also requires that all rental platforms have a short-term rental platform’s license from the City, and establishes a process for the enforcement of licensing requirements.

The City Council is currently scheduled to consider the updated proposal at a meeting of the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods, and Finance Committee in early June.

Today, the City of Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI) published a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for the proposed legislation regulating short-term rentals in the City of Seattle. Comments regarding this DNS or potential environmental impacts may be submitted through May 8, 2017. Comments may be sent to:

City of Seattle, SDCI
Attn: Christian Ghan
P.O. Box 94788
Seattle, WA 98124


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If a Tree Falls in Green Lake Park Can You Bring it Home?

April 20, 2017 5:05am

When a tree falls in Green Lake Park can you bring it home? We’ve received this question several times so we asked the Parks Department. Turns out, the answer is no. Sadly, it’s actually against the Seattle Municipal Code.

While that is likely to be a bummer for quite a few Greenlakers, did you know that whenever a tree is taken down or falls (like the large tree pictured above) that the Seattle Parks Department plants two to replace it? Read the full story here.


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Local Startup POGO Looking For Neighborhood Ambassadors

April 19, 2017 6:04am

Pogo, a startup that connects families that carpool, is looking for community ambassadors to help get the word out to the neighborhood. You may remember we wrote about them last year after they received a large chunk of change to launch their app.

Co-founded by Greenlaker Melissa Lehman, the company is also launching a new feature May 1 called Community Rides that will connect parents in need of a ride for their child with another parent who has an extra seat. The POGO technology matches the common routes of families who also go that direction. To find out more about POGO or to sign up to be an ambassador, go here.


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What To Do If You Find Hateful Graffiti

April 17, 2017 8:36pm

Today, a Facebook post on one of the Green Lake neighborhood groups described a woman’s experience when she discovered a stall door at Evans Pool covered with swastikas, the word “nazi” and other offensive terms. The woman who posted the story (and several photos) identified herself as ‘one of the only Jewish families in the neighborhood.’ She said she saw the swastikas while at the pool with her young daughter this past weekend. The heartbreaking story had dozens of neighbors chiming in to offer condolences and words of support for her and her daughter.

We contacted the Parks Department to confirm if the graffiti was taken down. They said that they closed off that area until the painters finish the work- which is being done this week.

Sadly, similar stories popped up in the news today with swastikas spray painted on a few cars in Edmonds and on Capitol Hill recently.

If you see graffiti like this anywhere, please contact Seattle Police through this link or by call 206-684-7587.

Also send this information to the Southern Poverty Law Center who tracks reports of hateful and intimidating incidents through their #reporthate monitoring program.


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Green Lake Open and Closed Report

April 14, 2017 6:32am

There’s a new nail salon in Green Lake. Bonjour Nails & Spa, formerly Century Nails, had its grand opening in March. Open 7 days a week, Bonjour does mani/pedis, waxing, eye lash extensions and several other services.
6900 E Green Lake Way N Suite F1, (206) 524-6444.

The Triumph dealer on Aurora and Winona Ave has had paper on its windows for several weeks. What gives? Turns out they are staying put but doing some remodeling.


Green Lake Games is officially out of Green Lake, because they lost their lease, but appears to still be available online. Will they find a new location in Green Lake?

Allegra Pizza (formerly Amante Pizza) (7208 East Greenlake Dr N) has now shuttered as well.


As we reported last Fall, Little Big Burger was due to open in Green Lake any day now… but when? We’ve sent emails to the owners and have not heard yet. Originally slated for Green Lake Village near PCC this Spring, the Green Lake location was supposed to be the first of 10 to open in the Seattle area.


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How Do You Get Rid of Those Creepy Crawly Pests Around Green Lake?

April 13, 2017 5:58am

Did you read the story recently that spiders could theoretically eat every human being on earth in one year? I did and it gave me the heeby jeebies. Especially when I think about the spring cleaning I need to do to my backyard soon to open up our patio and prepare for more time outdoors.

So we asked a local expert, Chris Parker, who has lived in the Green Lake area since 2008 for some advice on controlling pests of all varieties. Chris owns Parker Eco Pest Control, which offers a greener approach to taking care of pests.

Seattle Greenlaker: What kinds of pests are involved in your most frequent Green Lake pest calls?

Chris: As we move into the second quarter of the year the sunshine is making it warmer and the flowers are beginning to bloom. This means creepy crawlies like ants are finding their way into kitchens and spiders are crawling out of cracks and crevices. But our most common pest control calls are about rodents. Year-round, mice and rats seem to hold constant in terms of numbers; nesting in walls during the winter months and being more active during the warmer months.

Seattle Greenlaker:  Is anything unique about Green Lake and pests than the other neighborhoods you service?

Chris: Green Lake is a great climate for insects and rodents because of the ample greenspace combined with lots of human activity. It’s also home to many, many rain gardens. Seattle Public Utilities subsidizes rain gardens through the RainWise program in an effort to divert rain water and keep our waterways clean. Due to the topography, most homes in the Green Lake area qualify for the program. While these rain gardens are highly beneficial to the city’s infrastructure (and attractive too!) they’re also havens for pests. These rain gardens provide food, water and shelter for creepy crawlers and rodents alike.

Seattle Greenlaker: How do you normally “take care” of them?

Chris: At Parker Eco Pest Control we use a combination of physical interventions, eco-friendly products, and education. Physical interventions include things like destroying nests, sealing entry points around the home, and laying traps in strategic places. Some of our green products include vinegar sprays, mint-scented repellents, borax similar to what you might find in your laundry room, and my favorite – diatomaceous earth (a mineral that kills insects but is completely safe for human consumption). Educating our customers is one of the most important ways to control pests. Simple steps like wiping down your counters more frequently, storing your food in air-tight container and trimming plants within a foot of your home’s exterior can make a big difference.

Seattle Greenlaker: What makes you an eco pest control service?

Chris: Eco-friendly pest management means we’re employing all means of pest control techniques before jumping straight to harsh chemicals. The technical name for this approach is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). A lot of pest control companies use chemicals as the default solution, which can pollute ground water, ponds, rain run-off, and even impact the homeowner and their families. When chemicals are required we opt for the lowest impact option possible, starting with eco-friendly products and escalating to federally regulated products only when needed.

Seattle Greenlaker: With so many neighborhood alleys do you have recommendations on how to keep rats and other pests out of the neighborhood?

Chris: The stereotypical alley full of rats is somewhat true. Alleys have food, cozy nesting spots, and standing water. If your neighborhood is experiencing high numbers of pests there are a few simple things you can do. Hose your garbage bin inside and out every month and sprinkle a bit of borax inside. Make sure the lids fit tightly and consider a bungee cord (especially if you suspect raccoons). Also make sure the storm drains are working properly to reduce standing water. Clutter is a pest’s best friend. Wood piles, lawn clippings, and junk in general make for great nesting spots. By eliminating food, water and shelter from the vicinity, you’ll send a message to any pest that they’re not welcome in your neighborhood.

Seattle Greenlaker:  Okay, I’m going to get super specific on a creepy crawly that we have seen at our house and I bet other Greenlakers have too. Every year we have to de-spider the area next to our kayaks and every year we see a spider that looks like a black widow. We’ve gone online and found that there is a black widow look a-like that is far more common. Have you run into these things before? Are they common here?

Chris: Being worried of poisonous spiders is a common feeling that isn’t totally unfounded. Here in Washington we have two poisonous spiders, the black widow and the hobo spider. Both the black widow and hobo spiders are rare to find in Western Washington are more commonly found in Eastern Washington. That being said they do still live in our area. If you find what may be poisonous spiders I recommend wearing gloves, vacuuming them up, and applying preventative treatments before you re-storing your items. For items like clothing, a tightly sealed plastic bag will do just fine. For bigger items like boats, try filling some old pantyhose with cedar chips and placing the bundles inside. Make sure to replace once a month for best results.


Thanks for the advice Chris!


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How To Take Amazing Photos at Green Lake

April 6, 2017 9:48pm


Photo by Jenn Ireland

It’s almost summer which, for many of us, means more time spent at Green Lake. But for all of its beauty, Green Lake can be hard to capture in a photo – the glare of the lake, the rays of sunshine (they will come back!) and well, the crowds. So we asked a local expert, Jenn Ireland, owner of Bar Dub Studios, for some advice. Jenn spends quite a bit of time in Green Lake taking senior high school and family photos for her clients. She says Green Lake is one of her favorite spots in the city.

Seattle Greenlaker: Why do you take photos at Green Lake?

Jenn: There are so many reasons I shoot senior photos here! The diversity of available backgrounds is a big one. Within a very short walking distance I can shoot in the woods (Woodland Park), in an urban environment with walls, doors and concrete stairs (Aqua Theater), and out on the docks with the lake as my backdrop. Also, it may seem silly, but I love the access to clean restrooms! My clients always come to their session with multiple outfits and need a place to change, so having that is key!

Jenn Ireland

Seattle Greenlaker: What’s your favorite time to take shots at Green Lake?

Jenn: About 3 hours before sunset is typically when I start my sessions.

Seattle Greenlaker: Can you give us tips on how you get those beautiful shots?

Jenn: It’s all about the light and knowing how to use it to your advantage. I do each senior shoot in a similar order so that I can take advantage of the best lighting in each spot. For example, in the woods, I shoot earlier when the sun is still high enough to make streaks through the trees. I wait until the end of my session to shoot on the docks because the lower sun reflects off the water and creates a few magical minutes where my seniors are perfectly lit against a darker background of trees and shoreline (I use the docks on the south side of the lake, in between the golf course and the Aqua Theater).

Seattle Greenlaker: How do you take photos and make it look like its a quiet day at Green Lake, when in reality the park is crowded?

Jenn: Really, really great question. There are definitely crowded spots I LOVE to shoot in (for example, on the west side of the lake there is a large stretch of trees right on the water that erupt with color in the fall). To combat this problem, I’ll have my client stand at the water’s edge and I’ll do the same and shoot along the shoreline. It’s all about the angle and how you position yourself when you are trying to avoid something in the background (aka the crowded Green Lake walking path 5 feet away full of hundreds of people). I also always use a longer lens for these shots (which for me is an 85mm), stand back further from my subject (about 10 feet), and change my angle and position until there is nothing distracting behind my subject.


There you have it! And if you capture some beautiful shots, be sure to share it with us on Facebook or email.


Disclosure: Jenn Ireland is the owner of Bar Dub Studios and an advertiser for Seattle Greenlaker. 


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Audubon Society Hosts Neighborhood Flyways Symposium April 6

March 29, 2017 10:22am

You might be surprised to know that Seattle, a city known for being ‘green’ is falling short in that very area. Specifically in its tree canopy. That matters for several reasons, but most of all for migratory birds that use the city’s trees to rest and refuel. Seattle Audubon Society developed a 4-year Neighborhood Flyways campaign and is hosting a free event at Seattle Town Hall with some pretty dynamic speakers and conversation.

The free symposium will include speakers from the Seattle Audubon Society, the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Utilities, the Nature Conservancy, Seattle Parks Foundation, and Urban Forest Carbon Registry. Discussion topics range from urban forestry opportunities and challenges; Seattle’s density policies and tree ordinances; environmental justice and community engagement; restoring urban and natural habitats for birds, wildlife, and human communities; and more.

2:00-4:15 Introductory presentations
4:15-5:00 Social time, snacks and networking
5:00-6:00 Panel discussion and audience
6:00-7:00 Define advocacy priorities and next steps

April 6: 2 – 7 p.m.

The event is free, registration is required here.


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Could This Solve Our Problems On The Green Lake Path Bike Lane? 

March 27, 2017 12:03pm

If you use the Green Lake Path, especially the bike lane, you may have experienced the congestion that occurs here, especially on sunny days. This guy has a brilliant idea. Hard to get angry with someone who is politely singing. And just in case you want a little friendly reminder of the rules of the Green Lake path, please feel free to share this with a friend.


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