520 Weekend closure Friday night to Monday morning

20130531-122657.jpgImage: WSDOT Flickr stream

It’s time for another weekend closure of the 520 floating bridge. The highway will close from 11pm on Friday, May 31st until 5am Monday morning — from Montlake Blvd to I-405. Getting across the lake will take extra time on I-90 so be sure to plan ahead. Crews will use this closure to divert lanes through Eastside construction zones and begin work on the westbound transit stop at Evergreen Point.


520 Bridge Eagles have a New Baby Eaglet!


This year’s eaglet is growing at a faster pace than last year’s eaglets. Not having to share your food appears to provide a big boost in calories. Check out the baby photos over at Union Bay Watch.

Last year the eaglets did not learn to fly until August. Will this bird fly by July 4th? We will just have to watch and see.

Free lecture: ‘Activism and Advocacy in the Arboretum’ to discuss 1960s R.H. Thomson freeway fight, Thursday May 23

20130520-224158.jpgHome on 26th Ave E in Montlake demolished in the early 1960s for the (never built) R.H. Thomson Expressway. Image: Seattle Engineering Archives, via the Montlake Community Club.

What do Saul Alinsky, the Black Panthers and the Arboretum have in common? The successful grassroots campaign that stopped the R.H. Thomson Expressway from carving up East Seattle neighborhoods in the 1960s and 1970s. A Thursday lecture hosted by the Arboretum Foundation will discuss the movement in detail. RSVP info below.

Remembering the Grassroots Campaign That Shut Down the R.H. Thomson Expressway

Advocacy on behalf of the Arboretum is one of the key components of the Foundation’s mission. Please join us at the Graham Visitors Center this Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m. to hear Franklin Butler tell his compelling story of activism from more than 40 years ago, when he joined with other citizens of Seattle to help preserve the Arboretum we know and love today.

Butler was a student at UW in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when state and city officials were proposing to construct a new freeway, the R.H. Thomson Expressway, through the eastern edge of the city of Seattle. If built, the expressway would have run right through many city neighborhoods, as well as through the west side of the Arboretum, destroying much of this Seattle landmark.

As part of a larger grassroots movement, Butler and several other students decided to oppose the project. They sought help from famed community organizer, Saul Alinsky, who came from Chicago to train the students in activist techniques. Radical groups such as the Black Panthers and the Students for a Democratic Society joined their campaign.

The infamous “ramps to nowhere” in the Arboretum – soon to be permanently removed as part of the upcoming 520 bridge replacement – are evidence that the campaign led by Butler and other local activists was a success.

Don’t miss this chance to hear Franklin Butler’s first-hand account of what happened.

Space is limited, so please RSVP soon to save your place. To RSVP, email Rhonda Bush or call her at 206-941-2550.

20130520-225343.jpgProposed S.R. 520/R.H. Thomson Expressway interchange in the Arboretum. Image: UW Special Collections

Another 520 Bridge pontoon heading this way

20130515-215724.jpgImage: Montlaker

The second cycle of new 520 Bridge pontoons that floated out of Aberdeen last month is now on the move, with the first tugboat delivery to Lake Washington expected this afternoon between 3-6pm. The surreal sight of a 360-foot-long concrete box floating through the Ballard Locks and Montlake Cut could make tonight’s rush hour commute more interesting than usual. The other new pontoons are, for the time being, heading to various moorage sites around the state, as crews are still working to fix the cracks in the first cycle pontoons delivered to Medina last summer.


Drivers, boaters and residents around Lake Washington should be on the lookout for State Route 520 bridge pontoons moving through the lake this month.
Contractor crews will float one pontoon through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard between 3 and 6 p.m. this afternoon, Wednesday, May 15. A pontoon already on the lake will be moved from its current staging location to another location on the lake, making way for a pontoon from Aberdeen to use that staging area when it arrives on the lake later this month.

Two of the six pontoons recently constructed in Aberdeen have been towed to a moorage site in Tacoma and a third is on its way later this week. The final two pontoons from the second cycle of pontoons built in Aberdeen will remain moored in Grays Harbor until they are needed for bridge construction.

On Lake Washington, crews will prepare four pontoons from the first cycle built in Aberdeen for additional modifications recommended by an expert review panel in February. The Washington State Department of Transportation is coordinating with floating bridge contractor Kiewit/General/Manson, A Joint Venture, to finalize the details and timeline of the work.

Montlake Music and Arts Happening, Sunday May 19th

20130515-055359.jpgPainting by Montlake artist James Sutherland, whose work is shown in many galleries and other venues in Seattle and beyond. Some of his small works will appear in the All Montlake Music & Arts Happening.

Walk on over to the Montlake Community Center Sunday, May 19
For the First All-Montlake Music and Arts Happening. It’ll be swinging at 1618 E. Calhoun Street from 2:00 to 5:00.

You just can’t afford to miss this opportunity to:

BE AMAZED by the artistic talents of 30 of your neighbors, from poets to painters to photographers, block printers and crayon wielders; from sculptors to fine furniture makers to carvers, bonsai artists, & jewelry makers; from henna and fiber artists, to quilters, and knitters. (Montlake Elementary School students will display art and do art demos for you too)

HUM ALONG with tunes from your talented musical neighbors: The Gilbert & Sullivan Society; The Jazz Hands; Mother Pluckers Ukulele Band, D.J. Wilson; Jonathan Dubman; The Montlake Strings

GREET old neighborhood friends and MEET new neighbors who’ll become friends.

ENJOY REFRESHMENTS from your fine Montlake businesses: FUEL; CAFÉ LAGO; MONTS MARKET,

VOTE to elect your next Board for the Montlake Community Club

DONATE to the MCC for yearly projects undertaken on your behalf

We just can’t think of a good reason for anyone to miss this new All-Montlake event. Come early. Come in the middle. Come near the end. Come for the whole time or come for part. Come rain or shine. Come by yourself or come with a bunch. Just be there!

Painting by James Sutherland.

Nesting on Union Bay

ImageI created my own nest in this tree. Can you guess what kind of bird I am? Would you like to visit me in the Arboretum?

Find out more at Union Bay Watch. Also, the 520 eagles have been patiently sitting on their Broadmoor nest this spring, so more eaglets could hatch any day now.

20130505-222202.jpgImages: unionbaywatch.com