News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Dinosaurs have arrived at Woodland Park Zoo

April 5th, 2011 by master

By Tyler Steele

Yesterday morning, Woodland Park Zoo staff began unloading life-size animatronic dinosaurs for their latest spring and summer experience, “Dinosaurs. Real Close,” to debut April 30.

All the way from McKinney, TX, the seven-species exhibit has a total of 10 dinosaurs that once roamed North America during the Mesozoic period.

Styracosaurus. All photos by Tyler Steele.

“I’m so happy because I’ve been waiting for these guys for almost a year!” said zoo Capital Project Manager Monica Lake, with her arm around a Styracosaurus.

“They move, make incredible noises,” she added, followed by her own version of a dinosaur snarl for effect. “And there’s a dino they can climb on and ride.”

Woodland Park Zoo’s Capital Project Manager Monica Lake shows off the rideable T-rex.

“Summer is a big time for us, and we like to give back,” Public Relations Coordinator Rebecca Whitham added while standing in front of the giant rideable Tyrannosaurus rex. “Kids love dinosaurs, and families will get a kick out of this!”

Other dinosaurs to be included in the exhibit are a 19-foot-tall Brachiosaurus, Dilophosaurus, baby T-rex, and even a nest of Edmontosaurus hatchlings, all coated with colorful polyurethane foam skins for better movement and realism.

Edmontosaurus hatchlings.

“There’s a lot that goes into the whole exhibit,” said Prehistoric Display Advisor Robby Gilbert of Billings Productions, the company that makes these robotic dinosaurs.

He said that the process starts with chicken wire and clay molds, followed by permanent fiberglass casings for easier replication and ends with welders who fuse the entire air-driven pneumatic structure together.

“We need the process to be as safe and problem-free as possible,” he explained about the reason behind air-driven pneumatic technology.

The zoo and Billings Productions have partnered in part to educate the public about the connections between dinosaur adaptability and preserving the environment for the future of the planet’s existing creatures.

“Dinos thrived for millions of years because they had amazing adaptations,” Whitham said. “They didn’t make it, but if we’re good to our earth then animals will have a better chance.”

To advertise for the exhibit, a baby T-rex will be trucking around hot spots in the Seattle area. See where he’s going next on Woodland Park Zoo’s Twitter feed, which will detail his journey around town this week.

This baby T-rex will travel around town in one of Woodland Park Zoo’s white trucks to promote the “Dinosaurs. Real Close” exhibit.

The exhibit will be $3 per day (in addition to regular zoo admission). It runs April 30 through Sept. 5.

Tyler Steele is our sister site PhinneyWood’s intern. He is a journalism student at the University of Washington.

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Scenes and news from the season's first snow day

November 22nd, 2010 by master

9:00 p.m.: More people out tonight than we might have expected. The bars are doing good business and people inside seem cheerful. We saw people “skating” on the icy streets and children on sleds. The main streets (N. 45th, Meridian Ave., Wallingford Ave.) are sheets of ice (see pictures below), and every gust of wind whips snow off the roofs and onto the street.

An icy Wallingford street tonight. Note the bicyclist in the background.

Panorama of Wallingford Ave. and N. 45th St. tonight. Click for larger version.

8:20 p.m.: From Seattle Public Schools:

Due to weather conditions, all Seattle Public Schools and facilities will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 23. This means there is no school for students or staff and all activities will be canceled. The central office at John Stanford Center will also be closed.

5:45 p.m.: Roads have stayed fairly clear in Wallingford today (if slow on N. 45th), but downtown and the highways are another story. Click on the SDOT cameras to see why you should just stay home if you’re there already.

We’ve added some pictures of snowy fun in Wallingford parks.

Here’s a panorama of Wallingford from UW Tower that Jeffrey Linn created. Click for larger version.

11:45 a.m.: Woodland Park Zoo will close at 3:00 p.m. today. That earlier accident on the Aurora Bridge has been cleared.

9:30 a.m.: All southbound lane and two northbound lanes blocked on Aurora Bridge.

9:15 a.m.: Looking for a couple snow essentials? Stone Way Hardware has snow shovels, Tweedy and Popp has four snow shovels and some saucers available. Bartell’s has snow shovels and sleds available, but not in large quantities.

The Wallingford Boys & Girls Club is closed today. Boys and girls around the neighborhood are enjoying a snow day, though. Angele sent this picture of her kids and their “snow baby”:

8:20 a.m.: Snow’s coming down harder now and starting to turn icy where it’s packed down on the streets and sidewalks. Drive and walk carefully.

N. 50th and Meridian at 8:00 a.m.:

7:30 a.m.: The morning has begun with a dusting of snow on the ground and light but steady flakes falling.

Buses are on snow routes. We saw a 26 (with tire chains) running down N. 45th St. this morning. Check for your route here. If you use the app One Bus Away, it will not have accurate information for snow routes.

Here’s the corner of N. 45th and Wallingford Ave. this morning:

Middle schools and high schools will dismiss at 12:35 p.m. today, based on forecasts for heavier snow this afternoon and falling temperatures.

We’ll continue to update this page throughout the day.

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ZooTunes: Jewel, Jimmy Cliff, Levon Helm, more

April 24th, 2010 by master

The Woodland Park Zoo has announced the 2010 lineup for its popular ZooTunes series. Tickets go on sale May 3 at 8 a.m. at Metropolitan Markets. For much more information, go to the ZooTunes site.

June 2: Jewel with Radney Foster – $28

July 29: Great Big Sea – $22

June 30: Steve Earle with Joe Ely – $21

July 14: Carbon Leaf – $24

July 18: The Round 62 featuring Star Anna, Damien Jurado and more – $15

July 21: Jimmy Cliff with  Trevor Hall – $24

August 3: Mary Chapin Carpenter / Shawn Colvin – $24

August 11: The Levon Helm Band with Joe Pug – $26

August 25: John Hiatt and The Combo – $22

August 29: Herbie Hancock and The Imagine Project – $27

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Enter to get some popular Zoo Doo

February 25th, 2010 by master

The annual Spring Fecal Fest is here again. The popular Zoo Doo has been piling up and the “Prince of Poo” is ready to get rid of the “most exotic and highly prized compost in the Pacific Northwest,” as the zoo calls it.

Photo courtesy Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

To enter for a chance to buy some of this steamy Zoo Doo or Bedspread (similar to Zoo Doo, but with higher amounts of wood chips and sawdust), send in a postcard from March 5 through March 20.

More details on how to enter right here.

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