Seattle recently enacted a couple of ordinances which will make it easier to opt out of yellow page phone book deliveries. These ordinances provide for stiff penalties for companies delivering unwanted directories to your home if you have opted out. Seattle has contracted with Catalog Choice, an outside agency for this service. Catalog Choice handles junk mail as well. They do require creating an account to manage which phone books (if any) you wish to receive. More information is available at Seattle Public Utilities. SPU maintains a Frequently Asked Question page as well with the answers to a lot of potential concerns.
You have to take the initiative to opt out of the delivery. Many folk already just drop their phone books in the recycle bin the day they are received. Opting out solves not only the immediate problem of unwanted yellow pages, but also the overloading of the recycling operation, and reduces the waste of forest resources. Your opt-out selections must be made 30 days in advance of the scheduled delivery for them to be honored. The Dex deadline for opt-out is May 16th.
The web site for Catalog Choice is slow today (May 5th) due to the extremely high percentage of Seattle residents who wish to opt out or otherwise manage their yellow pages deliveries. The ordinances are not popular with the phone book companies, and some are mounting a First Amendment challenge to them as noted in this article on the PI. Update: As of May 10th, 105,000 Seattle households have opted out per this article.
Crown Hill residents are eligible to receive free trees for their yards through the City of Seattle’s reLeaf program. Only a limited number of trees are available, and Crown Hill is not the only eligible neighborhood, so make sure to submit your request as soon as possible. Here are a few things to note about this program:
Trees must be planted in yards, not as street trees. Do not plant under power lines.
Recipients of trees will also receive a watering bag and a free bag of compost.
To obtain trees (maximum of four per household) you must attend a planting and care workshop on December 12. It is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Crown Hill Center, 9250 14th Ave NW
A limited number of the following species are available: Italian prune, Douglas fir, western red cedar, Katsura, and Red oak (the same as the big oak at the Crown Hill Center on the corner of 95th and 13th). The prune is smaller and the shore pine is medium-sized, but the others can become larger trees. For this reason you will need to be selective about planting locations.
The short application form is due Nov. 22, but since this is a first come, first serve program, it is likely that you will need to submit your form sooner if you want a tree.
In addition to households, businesses, schools and churches are also eligible (no parks).
Seattle City Council recently passed an ordinance easing many restrictions on agricultural activities on residential lots within the City. You can see the full ordinance as incorporated into the Seattle Municipal Code here. On a recent walk (prior to the passage of the new ordinance) around four blocks in Crown Hill I saw seven chicken coops already in existence, several with more than the previously allowed three chickens. Those “scofflaws” (or maybe they’re just forward thinkers) will get a reprieve under the new ordinance as the number of allowed chickens will increase from three to eight. Roosters which were previously allowed are no longer permitted.
Here’s an opportunity to get some free trees from the city of Seattle. The city Department of Neighborhoods (DON) administers the Tree Fund to enhance the urban forest. Since 1972 the city estimates that Seattle’s urban forest tree cover has decreased from 40% to 22%. Trees play an important part in holding back stormwater surges, reducing erosion, retaining carbon, absorption of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and improving the aesthetic qualities of the urban environment. And we’ve lost some very large and some very old trees in Crown Hill in the last several years.
The DON Tree Fund has planted more than 20,000 trees in 15 years. This year’s program requires a group of neighbors living on a block or street get together and agree to plant between 10 to 40 trees. Each participating house can then choose a fruit tree.
Full details are available at the tree fund web site. Applications are due by August 16th, 2010.
Create an equitable transportation system for all by providing more affordable travel choices
Focus on the places where people want to be and add qualities that make them want to stay
Prioritize right-of-way space to emphasize walking, biking and riding
The initiative emphasizes the transportation choices we make each day and encourages us to walk, bike, take public transit more often to: 1) save money; 2) improve our health; 3) improve the health of our communities.
The city wants your input and has scheduled a series of meetings:
City Fruit works neighborhood by neighborhood to help residential tree owners grow healthy fruit, harvest and use what they can, and share what they don’t use with others. www.cityfruit.org
Donate fruit . . . If you have more healthy fruit than you need and would like to donate some of your harvest, contact Jen Mullen, Harvest Coordinator, at email@example.com or (206) 352-9580.
Help harvest fruit . . . If you would like to help pick fruit and deliver it to food banks and community centers, contact City Fruit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need fruit . . . If you or your organization need fruit and can’t afford to buy it at the market, contact City Fruit.
In the last round of project submissions for the Bridging the Gap Levy funds, the Ballard District Council recommended three Crown Hill Projects for funding. The three projects are: 1) Walkway along 13th Ave NW from NW 90th to Holman Road, plus walkway along 90th from 13th Ave NW to 14th Ave NW; 2) Walkway along 13th Ave NW from NW 95th to NW 100th; and 3) Walkway on 18th Ave NW from NW 85th to NW 89th. It is estimated there will be approximately $340,000 to spend within the entire Crown Hill/Ballard area.
On Wednesday, May 19th, 2010, the Seattle Department of Transportation released their preliminary cost estimates for the three projects. The first two projects (originally submitted in 2007) come in at $994,000 and $480,000 respectively, and the third project (submitted in 2009) comes in at $480,000. You can see all the projects costed out by SDOT on their website.
Clearly any of the three projects, as estimated by SDOT, exceed the Ballard District’s fair share of the pot city-wide. The estimates are for traditional sidewalks, rather than less expensive walkways or paved paths, and there is the possibility that some of the cost of the walkway on 18th could be offset by funds available for Combined Sewer Overflow abatement (that project location is in the North Beach CSO area).
What’s next? The Ballard District Council will reconvene its committee to look at the projects, and possibly change the scope so that one or more can be built within the allotted funds. Then a final recommendation will go forward in June. The recommendation will go forward to the city-wide Bridging the Gap oversight committee to assess which projects will be built over the entire city. The oversight committee’s recommendations will then be forwarded on for approval by the Mayor and City Council.
In August 2009 we published a tree survey questionnaire here. We got quite a few responses, but we’re looking for more. Our grant proposal is currently being reviewedhas been approved for funding by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. If approved, We will contract with an arborist to survey the neighborhood for trees, but Crown Hill is a large area to survey, and we can ensure the trees we think are significant are looked at by the arborist by identifying as many as possible ahead of time. We’ll be sponsoring a neighborhood walk in September 2010, and publishing a push-pin type map (similar to the one below) showing the trees. Please take a look around and submit trees you think are significant whether they are in your yard, a neighbors yard, a public space. UPDATE (May 2010): Our grant proposal was approved for funding by the DON. The questionnaire is still open, so take a look at the updated map below and submit more trees. Thanks
Crown Hill neighbors are urged to join the Earth Day event on April 17 in our neighborhood. Carkeek Park is setting up teams that will fan out on our streets surrounding the park and do three things: (1) stencil on storm drains the caution about dumping waste, (2) distribute one-page flyers to homes regarding pet waste, and (3) pick up trash along roadways and in public spaces.
What’s up with stenciling drains? There are over 100 storm drains in the Piper’s Creek watershed that send stormwater through the Park and into Puget Sound. Runoff from roads and gutters contributes lots of gunk to Puget Sound every year. Studies show that marking storm drains with the message “Dump No Waste, Drains to Stream” doubles community awareness.
Come to the Park’s Environmental Education Center at 8:30 a.m. to get matched up with a 3-5 person team, pick up supplies, and get your assignment of streets to cover. Just a few hours of work, then an Earth Day celebration with pizza at noon. Bring work gloves and remember to dress for all sorts of weather.
It is helpful if you register in advance by calling 386-9154 to help Park staff figure appropriate numbers of stencils, trash bags, etc.
Enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning following Thanksgiving, 11 Crown Hill residents walked to Carkeek Park to check out the annual chum salmon return to Piper’s Creek. Doug Gresham, a wetlands ecologist and CH resident, provided expert commentary on the life cycle of salmon and the restoration project in Piper’s Creek.
City Fruit will be hosting two Summer Fruit Tree pruning classes in Seattle this summer. These are hands on classes taught by some of the most experienced teachers in the area. To register: click on the link of the class you want to attend (These link to the class registration at Brown Paper Tickets). You can also send a check, with the name of the class and your contact information to City Fruit, PO Box 28577, Seattle 98118. Cost is $15 for City Fruit members, $20 for non-members. After registering, you will receive confirmation and the address of the class. If you can’t afford a class but really want to learn, email us at email@example.com.
Aug 14 Summer Pruning, South Seattle. 10:00 am – noon. Summer pruning discourages excessive new growth and “can be used to slow down overly vigorous trees or trees that are too large” (P. Vossen). It is most effective between June and late September. This class mixes lecture with hands-on demonstrations in a south Seattle urban orchard. Bill Wanless is co-owner of brooke/wanless gardens, specializing in pruning of small trees, shrubs and vines. He is an ISA-certified arborist with 20 years’ field experience.
Comments on Bill’s last class: “Bill knew what he was talking about, had a nice demeanor, and seemed to really enjoy pruning.” “He made sure we covered all of the relevant content and answered our questions.” “Clear explanations. Good hands on demonstration.” “He knew the subject well.”