Plus, there's a heron party coming soon and you're all invited.
May 25, 2023 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

48º | Occasional showers | 56% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:57 a.m. | Sunset 4:31 p.m. | High tides 10:32 a.m. and 12:16 a.m. | Low tides 4:31 a.m. and 6:31 p.m.

🌲 Branching out
A red cedar in Seattle, WA
Trees like this red cedar in the Central District is part of a four-tiered system under the new rules. | Photo via @lizwas
You may have heard that something big is sappening right now — the Seattle City Council just passed new tree protection legislation (very PNW of us). This ordinance institutes changes to a Seattle code that hasn’t been amended since 2009.

Why now? Well, you might remember that lawmakers floated a tree protection proposal in 2022 that generated chatter. And this April, a newly released report about Seattle’s declining tree canopy prompted Mayor Bruce Harrell to announce new actions and lay the framework for legislation.

Digging into details

Here’s what the new ordinance does, per a City Council brief:
  • Expands protections to cover up to 175,000 city trees.
  • Creates a mandate that new developments must include street trees in their plans.
  • Expands the Trees for Neighborhoods program that helps residents plant trees in their yards and community.
  • Adds penalties for unregistered tree service providers.
  • Requires developers to pay a fee that helps to plant and maintain other trees in areas that lack sufficient canopy if they remove a tree.

Tiering up

The previous city code protected ~17,700 trees. But the new ordinance looks to increase the number 10-fold by revamping the categories that protect different trees from removal.

In the new four-tiered system, the highest level of protection goes to Tier 1 — heritage trees — which can’t be removed unless they’re really hazardous. It also dictates:
  • Trees that are 24 inches or wider in diameter (Tier 2) can’t be removed unless there’s a construction exception or emergency (the threshold had been 30 inches before).
  • Trees between 12-24 inches in diameter (Tier 3) can be removed for development, but can’t be removed for any other reason in most city zones.
  • You can’t remove more than two trees between 6-12 inches (Tier 4) over a three-year period in most city zones.
This bill will now go to Mayor Harrell’s desk for signing. If he approves, it will be implemented 60 days after.
Thursday, May 25
  • Can AI Power Up Progress? | Thursday, May 25 | 6 p.m. | Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle | $5-$20 | Economist Simon Johnson examines ways in which new tech like ChatGPT might impact prosperity gaps.
  • Nordics in Hollywood: “Notorious” | Thursday, May 25 | 8:30-10:15 p.m. | National Nordic Museum, 2655 NW Market St., Seattle | Free | The Nordic Museum’s summer-long outdoor film fest kicks off with a Hitchcock classic starring Ingrid Bergman — bring your own chairs.
Friday, May 26
  • “Les Misérables” | Friday, May 26 | 7:30 p.m. | The Fifth Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., Seattle | $50-$150 | “Do you hear the people sing?” It’s the iconic, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical touring in Seattle.
  • Fruit Bats | Friday, May 26 | 8 p.m. | The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle | $30 | Former Shins member Eric D. Johnson fronts this influential indie band that is now eight LPs deep.
Saturday, May 27
  • Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth | Saturday, May 27-Sunday, May 28 | 1:15-2:15 p.m. | Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle | Free with admission | This docent-led tour will teach you about the global textile made through resist dyeing.
  • Seattle Sounders FC vs. New York Red Bulls | Saturday, May 27 | 7:30 p.m. | Lumen Field, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle | $32-$445 | It’s a big matchup as the Sounders jockey for position at the top of the Western Conference standings.
Sunday, May 28
  • Mountain Dog Meetup | Sunday, May 28 | 9-10 a.m. | Dog Yard Bar, 1546 Leary Way NW, Seattle | $16 | Bring your Bernese, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, or similar breeds (including mixes) to meet other big fur babies.
  • Roxhill Cleanup | Sunday, May 28 | 1-3 p.m. | Roxhill Park, 850 SW Roxbury St., Seattle | Free | Get your hands dirty at a restoration work party in West Seattle.
Monday, May 29
  • Memorial Day Ceremony | Monday, May 29 | 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. | Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle | Free with admission | After a performance of the Boeing Employee Concert Band, US Marine veteran Michael Reagan will deliver a keynote address about his Fallen Hero Portrait Project.
Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes
  • We’re beaking out — the Commodore Park heron colony now has 73 nests, continuing a decade-long growth trend. Heron Habitat Helpers is hosting a Heron Chick Birthday Celebration on Saturday, June 3 that is free and open to the public — it will have telescopes. (My Ballard)
  • Hunters Capital is gearing up to build a residential development on the 400 block of 15th Avenue East in Capitol Hill. Plans call for a five-story mixed-use building with ~150 apartments and 116 underground parking spots on a lot shared by a Rudy’s Barbershop and a ShopRite. (Capitol Hill Blog)
Coming Soon
  • Longtime comfort food favorite Skillet Diner is opening a new location at Pike Place. The restaurant, located at 1301 Post Alley, will be the biggest of Skillet’s five locations with a bar, dining room, and patio. It will also have a takeout window designed like an Airstream trailer.
  • 77,000. That’s how many workers were downtown per day during the first week of May when Amazon started bringing some of its employees back to the office. That number is double what it was in 2021, but still well below the pre-pandemic peak of 220,000 daily workers in January 2018. (Puget Sound Business Journal)
  • Seattle restaurateur Gary Snyder — who co-owned beloved Columbia City restaurant Geraldine’s Counter — died at the age of 57 from lymphoma. A celebration of life for Gary will take place on Thursday, July 6 at Geraldine’s Counter.
  • Ready for some football? The Seahawks announced their 2023 preseason schedule, which begins at Lumen Field against Minnesota on Thursday, Aug. 10. They’ll also be at home against Dallas on Saturday, Aug. 19 and at Green Bay on Saturday, August 26.
  • The Seattle Department of Transportation has made improvements in South Park to address the neighborhood’s chronic flooding issues. Workers have repaved 1.63 miles of roads, added new sidewalks, installed drainage infrastructure, and planted new trees.
  • Local filmmaker Lady Scribe earned a $40,000 grant to helm the second season of Crosscut Origins. The filmmaker will tell the story of Black artists, entrepreneurs, and elders getting priced out of Seattle in her five-part docu-series broadcasted and streamed by Cascade Public Media. (Crosscut)
  • Looking to change up your commute, Seattle? Vanpooling is an affordable rideshare option that saves time and money. Use King County’s Fare Schedule calculator to see how vanpooling’s cost-saving services really can make the commute better.*
  • Pop quiz: What’s the body’s most abundant protein? The answer: Collagen. NativePath’s Certified Grass-Fed Collagen Powder is made from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows and contains 18 grams of protein per serving. Start incorporating it daily to support skin elasticity, joint health, bone strength, and muscle growth and maintenance.*
Smoke shows
A barbecue platter with ribs, mac 'n' cheese, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes with gravy.
Etta’s Big Mountain BBQ shifted from seafood into smoked meats and dry rubs. | Photo via Etta’s
Are you fired up yet? Whether you’re organizing a backyard barbecue or want a restaurant to do all the work, Seattle has no shortage of great options.

Beast and Cleaver, 2362 NW 80th St. | It’s all about local farms + whole animal butchery at this quaint Ballard shop that features premium cuts like dry-aged ribeye.

Rain Shadow Meats, 1531 Melrose Ave. | From leg of lamb to Painted Hills beef, there’s no shortage of grill-ready items — you can also get a monthly butcher’s box subscription.

Etta’s Big Mountain BBQ, 2020 Western Ave. | Restaurateur Tom Douglas’s former seafood destination now serves items like smoked brisket and pulled pork sandwiches.

Outsider BBQ, Various locations | You can find this pop-up at local breweries specializing in Central Texas-style barbecue with Turkish flavors.

And don’t forget about that sauce from local makers like Leon’s BBQ Sauce, Murder Hornet, Hot Jawn, and Friendly Fire.
Which other Seattle athlete should have a breakfast item?

Megan Rapinoe of the OL Reign on the soccer pitch

Megan Rapinoe will make her final World Cup run.


Photo by Jane Gershovich/OL Reign

On Monday, we were eating a giant bowl of JuliO’s — the cereal from Mariners star Julio Rodríguez — and wanted to know which Seattle athlete should get a breakfast item next. The leading vote-getter was Megan Rapinoe of the OL Reign. We suggest the Megan Frappaccino or Rapin-oats.
The Wrap
Gabe Guarente headshot Today’s edition by:
From the editor
After my JuliO’s eating frenzy, I wanted to thank the reader who reminded us that Seahawks star DK Metcalf once had a breakfast drink named after him — the Decaf Metcalf, inspired by a mispronunciation on Monday Night Football.
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