SPENDING YOUR MONEY: In ‘issues’ phase, City Council budget sessions raise questions about remote bridge openings & more

(WSB file photo by Christopher Boffoli)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Tomorrow (Tuesday) the City Council continues the next phase of discussion how, and whether, to change the budget officially presented by Mayor Tim Burgess three weeks ago.

Tomorrow’s sessions, at 9:30 am and 2 pm, will be highlighted by the Seattle Police Department budget (afternoon) and the city’s spending plan to respond to homelessness (morning).

Today, the council also met in morning and afternoon sessions. This is the stage of the budget where City Council staffers “identify issues” – such as, new proposed spending – and also mention the first round of council proposals for additions/changes.

The centerpiece was the Department of Transportation budget. Here’s the document in which the issues and possible changes are outlined:

(If the embedded version doesn’t work for you, see it here in PDF.)

When we first browsed the proposed city budget after it went public three weeks ago, one of the items that caught our eye was a proposal for a pilot program to enable remote openings/closings of one of the city’s five swing bridges. The proposal said they hadn’t yet determined which one – whether it would be the Spokane Street Swing Bridge (aka West Seattle “low bridge”) or somewhere else – but said the pilot project would cost an estimated $3 million.

During today’s briefing, the bridge proposal was first on the list of “issues,” 13 minutes into the meeting:

From the budget meeting briefing paper:

Remote Bridge Operations Pilot

The Proposed Budget includes $3M of Commercial Parking Tax revenue to implement remote operations for one of Seattle’s moveable bridges (to be determined). This project will allow SDOT to open and close the bridge from a central operating location. SDOT currently operates 5 moveable bridges with on-site operations; collectively, these bridges open approximately 15,400 times a year. The funding will provide for additional cameras, sensors, communication equipment, a remote operations center, and bridge modifications. The project will require approval from the U.S. Coast Guard, which regulates SDOT’s bridge operations.

Remote operations will not change the job requirements for Bridge Operators, and the pilot project is not anticipated to reduce operating costs as a stand-alone project. SDOT anticipates that if all 5 bridges were remotely operated, SDOT could save $1M per year through centralized staffing resulting in reduced labor costs. Full implementation to fully achieve these savings would require significant future funding, which is not currently identified.

Councilmember Rob Johnson was the first to call this into question, saying that theoretically spending $15 million over the next few years to convert all bridges to remote operation, and therefore saving $1 million a year, would be “spending a lot of money to save a little money” and “inconsistent” with budgeting philosophy.

Among the other SDOT issues, council staffers raised some concerns about the scheduling and funding for upcoming RapidRide lines including H for Delridge. From the briefing document:

The Move Seattle levy anticipates leveraging significant grant and partnership contributions for congestion relief projects, including seven bus rapid transit (BRT Corridor) projects identified in the levy. The Proposed Budget advances design on the Madison BRT, Roosevelt RapidRide, Delridge RapidRide, Rainier RapidRide, and Market/45th RapidRide projects. The total assumed grant and partnership contributions for these projects is $209M which is about 80 percent of the overall project costs.

Given the uncertainty with federal transportation funding under the current administration, Council may wish to consider a SLI asking SDOT to report on federal funding opportunities and present options for delivering the seven BRT Corridor projects in time for 2019-2020 Budget deliberations. Options could include revising project delivery schedules, reducing scope across projects, or prioritizing corridors for available funding.

Other SDOT issues include revenue from red-light and school-zone cameras. No new ones were installed this year but SDOT is reported to be reviewing 10 locations (not identified in the budget documents) for possible installation next year.

In the section of the briefing addressing changes proposed by councilmembers, one proposal of note was from Councilmember Mike O’Brien – who chairs the council committee dealing with transportation – would spend $200,000 to study what might happen when the future Highway 99 tunnel opens, with tolls, leading to “diversion” (some drivers not using it because they don’t want to pay):

This funding would support consultant studies to understand the implications of SR-99 diversion and explore options, such as congestion pricing, to help manage impacts to local streets and transit travel times.

Also proposed for addition to the budget, $500,000 for pedestrian improvements in South Park, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Herbold and Lorena González. Several speakers in the public-comment period of the morning meeting also asked for spending to safely connect South Park and Georgetown.

In today’s afternoon meeting, councilmembers were briefed on issues/proposals for the Seattle Public Utilities budget (see the document here) and for the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (see the document here). Here’s the video – no public commenters, so the discussion started off the top:

Key issues included money earmarked for the Seattle Police North Precinct and the new proposal by Councilmembers O’Brien and Kirsten Harris-Talley for a “head tax” that they say would only affect the top 10 percent (in gross revenue) Seattle businesses, raising more money for efforts to reduce homelessness.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: Herbold described the process in her weekly e-mail/online update last Friday. That includes this calendar with the full budget-process schedule. The next phase starts next Monday: “Proposals for the next set of meetings, from October 23 to 25, will need to be have specific funding amounts; they will also need three Council sponsors, by a 2 p.m. deadline on October 19.” So if there’s something you want to see in next year’s budget but haven’t seen so far, contact the council – council@seattle.gov. And in the meantime, each of the budget committee meetings has a public-comment period, so if any of the departments interests you and you can make it to City Hall for that meeting, you can sign up to speak. There’s also one more nighttime public hearing about the budget in general, set for 5:30 pm November 1st.

PHOTOS: Orcas’ West Seattle visit

With the help of texters/callers/commenters, we tracked orcas through the area this afternoon. And tonight Gary Jones shared photos from Alki Point! Passing ferry passengers got the best view:

The Kitsap Transit foot ferry, too:

Gary said the orcas were spread out over a distance, headed north when he photographed them around 5 pm.

According to Orca Network, they were likely Southern Resident Killer Whales.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Sandbags show up

Thanks to the texter who sent that photo of sandbags outside Delridge Community Center, a traditional pickup spot for those who live in flood-prone areas of West Seattle – particularly along nearby Longfellow Creek (which flooded in a big way 10 years ago). Meantime, the approaching storm now looks to be the rainiest on Wednesday and Thursday, so you have a little more time to clear your storm drain(s) and take other preparatory steps.

FOLLOWUP: Why did it take so long to clear traffic-blocking vehicle off Viaduct? The traffic

(October 2nd photo by WSB reader Brian)

Two weeks ago today, a crash on the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct sparked a van fire that resulted in more than two hours of morning-commute trouble. We brought you updates during our morning traffic coverage that day. As noted there, the vehicle that burned was a van belonging to Cupcake Royale, which said its driver was unhurt. The fire, while briefly big, as the photo above shows, was out before too long – SFD was dispatched at 6:14 am and the last engine left at 7:13, according to the incident log – but the burned van blocked a lane on the Viaduct for another hour and a quarter.

Given the commitment to clear key routes quickly, we asked what happened. Seattle Police, which handles incidents on the Viaduct though it’s a state structure, pointed us to the Department of Finance and Administrative Services, which oversees the city’s towing contract. FAS deputy communications director Cyndi Wilder researched it for us:

Initially, it appeared to be a breakdown in communication that caused the towing response time. However, we’ve reviewed information from SPD and Lincoln Towing’s dispatch data, and we determined that the response time to clear the incident was due to delays in retrieving the flatbed truck SPD requested.

SPD had requested three tows, which included the request for a flatbed truck. The City’s tow contractor, Lincoln Towing, dispatched two line trucks to the scene and sent a third to Lincoln’s Aurora Avenue North location to pick up the flatbed truck. The line trucks arrived on the scene at 6:58 a.m. and 7:05 a.m. Due to heavy traffic to pick up the flatbed truck and return to the incident scene, the flatbed did not arrive at the scene until 8:15 a.m.

Although Lincoln Towing’s response times met the performance standards of the towing contract (excerpts from the contract are below), we are working with Lincoln Towing on ways to improve response times for future incidents. When special equipment is requested (like a flatbed truck), we’ve asked Lincoln Towing to reach out to its subcontractors to determine if they have the requested equipment in a location where they can respond to the scene more quickly.

Here are the excerpts Wilder provided from the city’s towing contract:

5.a.ii- Minimum Performance Standards

With an officer standing-by or inside the Downtown Traffic Control Zone (DTCZ), Vendor will respond within 30 minutes when a Class A tow truck is needed to perform a tow. When a Class B, Class C or Class E tow truck is needed to perform a tow, Vendor will respond within 60 minutes.

7.a.ii-Exemptions to Minimum Performance Standards

……The following subsections describe situations when the City will grant an exemption
Two or more Tow Trucks Requested to One Impound Site: When two or more tow trucks are requested at one impound site, the first arriving tow truck will be held to the response time standard. SPD will grant an exemption for each tow truck arriving, provided the second tow truck arrives at the location of the impound within 60 minutes.

Back in 2015, after the notorious “fish-truck crash” blocked southbound 99 for nine hours, a variety of policy changes were recommended. Looking back at that, we’re seeing fodder for another followup.

DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY: Southwest Precinct dropoff on October 28th

Just in from Jennifer Burbridge, Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator – the date’s set for the next Drug Take-Back Day:

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and anonymous means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse and medications.

The SW Precinct’s DEA Drug Take-Back Day will be on Saturday, October 28th, from 10 am-2 pm at the SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster).

Whatever you need to drop off, just take it to the precinct lobby – right off its parking lot along SW Webster, east of the south Home Depot entrance – that day.

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: SW Roxbury/8th SW reopens after car fire

1:44 PM: Avoid SW Roxbury/8th SW for a while – it’s going to take some time to clean up after that car fire. After hearing the first engine at the scene call for backup, we went over to check it out. SFD tells us no one was hurt.

2:46 PM: Just heard via scanner that most of the intersection has reopened (sounds like eastbound Roxbury is the exception). Heading back to check in person.

4:05 PM: Finally made it over. Now open all ways.

WEST SEATTLE WHALE-WATCHING: Resident orcas in the area

1:04 PM: Thanks to Kersti Muul for the tip that resident orcas have been heading southbound – we just checked Orca Network for updates and they were seen from Bainbridge Island not that long ago. So we are sharing this heads-up. If you see them off West Seattle, please let us know – best way is via our 24/7 hotline, text or voice, 206-293-6302 (or comment below) – thank you!

2:51 PM: ON reports they were seen headed this way from the north side of Elliott Bay as of about 10 minutes ago.

4:20 PM: Thanks for the update – just got a text that three orcas were seen passing Weather Watch Park!

4:35 PM: And Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail just called to say they’re off Emma Schmitz Overlook, visible WITHOUT binoculars. We’re headed down in hopes of photos.

5:13 PM: And … oh well. The orcas turned around and headed back north before we got to the shore.

SEATTLE PUBLIC SAFETY SURVEY: Now ready for your replies

Do we have enough police officers? What do you think of the police force? Have you been a victim of crime? Are people in your neighborhood likely to intervene if they see potential criminal activity? Those are the types of questions you’ll be asked when you reply to this year’s Seattle Public Safety Survey. It’s now open and available online in 11 languages. It’s managed by Seattle University, which continues to have graduate students interning as research analysts in SPD precincts. This is the third year for the citywide survey – you can see last year’s results here.

P.S. If you don’t have time to take the survey now, you can use the “Share This” link below to e-mail yourself (or anyone else!) the link to this story.

West Seattle Monday: Read, build, meditate, more…

(Fall colors in Admiral – thanks to Al for the photo!)

CITY COUNCIL BUDGET DISCUSSIONS: If you’re tracking the ongoing process of the council reviewing and in some cases amending the city budget – a process that this year is being led by our area’s Councilmember Lisa Herbold – there are two Budget Committee meetings at City Hall today, at 10:30 am and at 2:30 pm. (600 4th Ave. – also live at seattlechannel.org and Cable Channel 21)

AFTERNOON BOOK GROUP: 2-3 pm at Southwest Library. This month, the book is “NW” by Zadie Smith. All welcome! (9010 35th SW)

TINKERLAB: 4-5:30 pm at Delridge Library – this week, make a helicopter! “Join us for Tinkerlab, fun all ages programs that show you how to use science, technology, engineering and math to experiment and create amazing inventions.” Free. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

MONDAY MEDITATION: 7-8:30 pm at Sound Yoga (WSB sponsor), the Monday-night meditation series continues. Tonight’s focus: “Overcoming Procrastination.” Details here. (5639 California SW)

FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Library. Free – bring kids of all ages. (35th SW/SW Raymond)

MONDAY QUIZ: Free, all ages, with prizes! 7:30 pm at The Skylark. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

NEW DATE: North Delridge business-survey results revealed next week

One week from today – on Monday, October 23rd – you’re invited to hear the results of last summer’s Delridge Business Survey, a collaboration between local organizations (right) who sent out volunteer “ambassadors” to talk with North Delridge business owners and entrepreneurs:

Calling all Delridge businesses and interested community members!

Please join us for a (rescheduled) mixer and to hear the results of the Delridge Business Survey that finished in August 2017.

Meet at Ounces Taproom and Beer Garden (3809 Delridge Way SW)
Monday, October 23rd
5:30 pm — Mixer
6:00 pm — Presentation of Results

This is a chance to meet business leaders working in North Delridge and hear about challenges and opportunities for businesses in this neighborhood. We need your feedback to start prioritizing how we can work together to grow the local economy and support Delridge businesses.


(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported so far in/from West Seattle, and no road-work or event alerts.

HALA UPZONING: What Tuesday’s city meeting in West Seattle is asking you to do

While the next major step in citywide HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) upzoning is not expected until the final Environmental Impact Statement comes out next month, you’re being asked at a West Seattle meeting this Tuesday night (October 17th) to weigh in on what ultimately is a proposal to override parts of three local neighborhood plans to pave the way for upzoning.

The city wants to put language in the Comprehensive Plan affecting parts of the West Seattle Junction, Morgan Junction, and Westwood-Highland Park Urban Villages, to remove language that calls for protection of current single-family zoning in those areas. The HALA upzoning proposals so far already had called for changing those areas in urban villages, but that raised a conflict with parts of the existing neighborhood plans which were included when the comprehensive plan was recently revised. So the proposed “comprehensive plan amendments” are an attempt to replace the existing language, and they are asking for opinions at Tuesday night’s meeting – 6-7:30 pm at High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW), “open house” format before and after what’s described as a short presentation at 6:30 pm.

The city’s materials for the meeting are now available online, and while they offer an option for writing your own language, they very specifically suggest not saying you want to preserve any particular kind of zoning, single-family or otherwise. From the last page of the document:

Policy Language to Avoid

Direct references to specific zones. New policies should avoid references to all specific zoning
designations in a neighborhood plan policy. General discussion of housing types, land uses, scale, and
character effectively communicate a neighborhood’s vision.

Protection. The Comprehensive Plan’s goals and policies focus on shaping and guiding change for the future. Policies that emphasize protecting or preserving existing conditions limit our ability to reach these goals.

Superiority of single-family housing or zoning. Policies that connote the superiority of single-family housing compared to other types of housing should be avoided. Terms calling for maintaining qualities such as “integrity” of single-family areas should be avoided.

Here’s what they do want you to focus on, if you want to suggest your own comprehensive-plan language:

Examples for Revised Policies

Focus: Character and scale. Modify the policy language to focus on maintaining compatibility with or complementing the character and scale of single-family housing areas, rather than calling for preservation of single-family zoning.

Focus: Location and development pattern. Modify the policy language to describe the preferred general pattern for land use or urban form. This can include identification of certain areas that are relatively more appropriate for certain kinds of development.

Focus: Housing choices. Modify the policy language to emphasize housing choices or opportunities, such as housing for families or ADA accessible units.

Since the meeting document includes pages for other neighborhoods outside West Seattle, with the current language and suggested replacements, we’ve broken out the local pages below, each one with three city-suggested options plus the possibility of crafting your own. First, for the West Seattle Junction:

Next, for Morgan Junction:

And for Westwood-Highland Park:

If you can’t get to Tuesday night’s meeting – which, as previously previewed, is also addressing “backyard cottages” (a citywide issue, not just urban villages) – here’s how you can still participate, with the city taking comments on this through December 8th – use seattle2035.consider.it.

P.S. Again, the urban-village-specific pages above are taken from the full city document prepared for upcoming meetings. You can see it, including an introductory page, in its entirety by going here.


Thanks to Michael Schutzler for tonight’s sunset view above, and Danny McMillin for this morning’s crescent-moon view below:

Savor the clarity while you can – the National Weather Service warns that a “wet and windy pattern will develop over Western Washington starting Monday night and will continue through the upcoming weekend.” That’s from a “hydrologic outlook” alert that, as @WestSeaWx warns, might be followed by other alerts if the pattern continues to develop that way. So – as noted in this WSB report back on Monday – it’s a good time to get your fall/winter storm readiness routine going … at least, keep everything charged, keep flashlights handy, and as the NWS suggests, check your nearest storm drain(s). (The weather isn’t supposed to start turning until late tomorrow night, so there’s still time.)

MORE DUMPED ITEMS: Purse and photos; lined-up shoes

After the three bicycles we showed last night, more reports of dumped-and-possibly-stolen items.

Someone dumped those items – including photos and a purse – in Salle‘s yard-waste bin. The photo at right has a frame from the Museum of Flight and is dated November 2015.

After a different discovery, Darin sent this photo:

Darin explains, “Very odd shoe collection on display just off 41st Ave at the Northeast corner of 41st and Alaska. Many still have store’s security tags on them.”

Any of the aforementioned items potentially yours? Let us know.

P.S. The next West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is just two nights away – the focus is on neighborhood concerns – bring yours! – Tuesday night, October 17th, 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct .

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Fauntleroy Fall Festival 2017, from birds to bouncy toys and beyond

2:24 PM: If you’re not already here, you have until 5 pm to get to this year’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival – an awesome autumn all-ages celebration that’s under way on both sides of the 9100 block of California SW (around Fauntleroy Church and Schoolhouse). Above, Ladybird the Eurasian Eagle-Owl is one of the birds here as part of a new festival participant – The Falconer – find her and the other birds with their handlers in a garden area behind The Hall at Fauntleroy‘s courtyard. Here’s the schedule of everything that’s happening:

(Or see it here in PDF.) The Cake Walk (and cake-decorating judging) inside The Hall is not to be missed. Just a few entries:

You can vote until 3 pm, when the winners will be announced; then the Cake Walk is 3:15-4:15 pm, with your chance to win a cake! Back outside, over in the church parking lot – music, bouncy toys, birdhouse-making, salmon-hat making, pumpkin-painting …

Seattle Fire and Police are there too:

2:44 PM: This is a festival with something for the very littlest visitors, too. Like “Baby Dino Lake” for 4 and under:

And for those bringing babies/toddlers, there’s a diaper-changing station inside Fauntleroy Children’s Center on the north side of the schoolhouse. It’s not all kid stuff, though. We’ve been enjoying awesome jazz by the Jump Jazz Trio behind the schoolhouse:

And the West Seattle Big Band plays inside The Hall starting at 3.

3:11 PM: Bronwyn Edwards‘ ferry cake won the “experienced” category in the cake judging. And now, the cake walk is under way:

Speaking of food, vendors (all listed here) include Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor) with sliders:

Back over in the church lot, you still have time to paint a pumpkin:

4 PM: Final hour of the festival has just begun. Still lots of people having lots of fun. Music outside…

…where it’s mixing with the hammering of birdhouse-makers. Inside, it’s the big sound of the WS Big Band:

Jim Edwards directs the WSBB, and the vocalist in our short clip is Sarah Ackers. As you arrive/leave, you might notice the donation stations … this is an all-volunteer, all-community event, and if you can spare a few $, those donations help it stay free and fun every year. They’re also collecting socks for people in need:

That bin is by the walkway up to Fauntleroy Church on the south side of the lot.

5:04 PM: Festival’s over! Spectacular afternoon. We expect to add a few more photos later. (added) From the back lot – the ponies and the petting farm:

We couldn’t leave without one more look at the birds:

VIDEO: Hayrides and treats @ Forest Lawn’s Fall Festival

The painted pumpkins are guarding the treats at the Forest Lawn Cemetery and Funeral Home (WSB sponsor) Fall Festival, on until 3 pm on this sunny afternoon. The main attraction: A horse-drawn carriage for hayrides:

The rides are looping around the cemetery, but the carriage is loading outside the Forest Lawn building at 6701 30th SW, steps away from the treats (including caramel apples and popcorn) and beverages. All free!

Memorial next Friday for Greg Ericson, 1950-2017

Family and friends will gather next Friday (October 20th) to remember lifelong West Seattleite Greg Ericson. Here’s the remembrance being shared with the community:

Greg Ericson passed peacefully at home surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with cancer on October 10th.

He was born January 14th, 1950, and grew up in West Seattle where he resided his entire life. He graduated from West Seattle High School in 1968, and shortly after launched a successful real estate business. Greg was an incredible handyman and businessman, who built houses from the ground up and could fix absolutely anything. He met the love of his life Sue in 1980, and they had three children which were the light of Greg’s life. He was above all a family man, and also enjoyed rounds of golf, Monday nights with his buddies, playing practical jokes, boating around Puget Sound, tending to his plant collection, cooking, and traveling all over the world, especially to visit his favorite country, Italy.

Greg was an incredible husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend, and will be deeply missed. He has left behind his wife Sue, his daughters Nicole (Scott) and Noelle, son Nolan (Amanda), grandchildren Emily and Owen (and another grandson arriving in November), brother Bill, aunt Sister Imelda, and many nieces, nephews, and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Olga and Bill, & sister Dini.

A funeral mass will be celebrated in Greg’s honor on Friday, October 20th at 11:00 AM at Holy Rosary Church, 4210 SW Genesee St. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutchinson, or a charity of your choice.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

West Seattle Sunday: Fall Festivals @ Fauntleroy & Forest Lawn; Ski Swap; more!

(Fall colors of the Farmers’ Market kind – photo by Sean O)

Today’s a day to celebrate fall! Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – after a traffic alert:

PAVING REMINDER: The closure of SW Edmunds is scheduled to continue at 40th SW for repaving, until ~5 pm today.

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm – see what’s fresh this week in the heart of The Junction. (California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon)

WEST SEATTLE SKI SWAP, DAY 2: Shop 10 am-4 pm for skis, snowboards, and all your winter-gear needs. Presented by Mountain to Sound Outfitters at American Legion Post 160 next door. (3618 SW Alaska)

WEST SEATTLE ULTIMATE FAMILY FRISBEE: All ages welcome, 10 am at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point. (34th SW/SW Myrtle)

FOREST LAWN FALL FESTIVAL: Noon-3 pm at Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Cemetery (WSB sponsor), as previewed here, free family fun including “hay rides, face painting, balloon artist, pumpkin decorating, photo booth, caramel apples & popcorn, giant games for kids.” We’re told most of the activities will be in the Forest Lawn parking lot next to their main building, but the hay rides will go around the cemetery across the street. (6701 30th SW)

FAUNTLEROY FALL FESTIVAL: If you’re bringing a cake for the Cake Walk, drop it off between noon and 1 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy. The festival officially runs 2-5 pm. Our first preview is here; you can see the full entertainment/activities schedule and food lineup in our second preview. You’ll find everything in and around Fauntleroy Church and Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. And bring socks to donate to the collection drive for people in need. (Both sides of the 9100 block of California SW)

SILENT MOVIE WITH LIVE MUSIC: “Phantom of the Opera” with Dennis James and Connie Corrick, 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall. Details including ticket info, in our calendar listing. (7904 35th SW)


Last year, the goats … next weekend, you!

One year ago, goats took on the 22nd SW/SW Henderson slope – “before” photo above, “after” photo below:

Next Saturday (October 21st), volunteers of all ages – with community-service credit available for students – are invited to a followup cleanup. The photos and announcement are from Sara Dominguez:


Last year, through a neighborhood grant from the city, about 50 goats from Vashon came over to clear out blackberry and ivy from an overgrown area by the stairs at 22nd and SW Henderson St. Then community members worked to clear out the trash, lay down geotextile, and spread mulch to deter future overgrowth and negative activity that seems to increase with it. It is time to finish the laying of the textile on part two and mulching with donated mulch from the city.

WE NEED YOU (and your toes protected in sturdy shoes and hands protected by gloves if possible) to help lay the textile and spread the mulch. We’re hoping to get most of it done in one day and have a tool trailer with shovels and wheel barrows for the day. Please come on by from 10-4 to make it happen.

A certified Seattle Public School Teacher will be on hand to help students earn their community service hours and sign forms if they are in need of fulfilling their 60 hours. Come one, Come all.

When: Saturday, October 21st, 2017 10 am-4 pm

Location: Stairs leading up from 22nd and Henderson

Clothing required: Closed toed shoes, heavy pants (jeans better than leggings), raincoat/pants for the weather, and gloves would be helpful

For students – “six possible service Hours to be earned (and followup dates if you would like to continue with the project and earn more.” Contact srframe1@seattleschools.org for more info.

Last year’s goat-enhanced cleanup was a followup to the Westwood/Roxhill Find It, Fix It Walk (WSB coverage here) two months earlier.

DUMPED BICYCLES: Recognize any of these?

Three bicycles found around West Seattle:

IN MORGAN JUNCTION: This one turned up on the patio at Peel and Press (6503 California SW; WSB sponsor), reports Chris:

IN ARBOR HEIGHTS: This was spotted at 42nd SW/SW 98th:

IN THE JUNCTION: Guy, who reported another found bicycle recently, also discovered the one below, with flat tires, in the alley between 44th/45th and Edmunds/Alaska.

If any of these might be yours, let us know. (And if you’re missing a bicycle you don’t see here or in a previous Crime Watch “found bicycle” report, check the WSB Lost and Found [non-pets] forum section – we’ve noticed a few recent “found bike” posts there.)

Put a ‘V’ into B-I-N-G-O … by volunteering!

Of all the ways to volunteer … ever done it as a bingo caller? That’s just one of the roles the Senior Center of West Seattle is looking to fill, after some recent turnover, and really, it can be good for you, even if you THINK you don’t have the time:

The power of volunteering has been documented for the last 2,500+ years; however, a slew of recent research is shedding even more light onto its surprising benefits. Science now proves what great leaders and philosophers have known for years. Here are five benefits of volunteering:

-Volunteering time makes you feel like you have more time

-Volunteering builds bonds and creates friends

-Experience improved health and well-being

-Learn new skills

-Know that you can make a powerful difference

The Senior Center of West Seattle has several exciting volunteer openings:

– Receptionist, Thursday afternoons 1-5 pm

– BINGO Caller! Fridays 10:30-2:30 pm

– Stop N’ Shop Thrift Shop, Saturdays 10-1 pm

– Café & Kitchen, various openings!

If you are interested in making a difference in your community, and working to enhance the lives of our local senior community, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Sara, at 206-932-4044 x8, or email her at sarah@soundgenerations.org.

Been to the Arboretum lately? New interpretive signs installed

Something new to see at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Arboretum! The photos and announcement were sent by Arboretum volunteer Marie McKinsey:

Until last month, only a few aged markers identified the gardens and habitat of The Arboretum at South Seattle College. But with a generous grant from the West Seattle Garden Tour, five new interpretive signs are now installed. 

The colorful new signage illustrates some of the Arboretum’s top features, with information on its history and decades of student-designed plantings. They mark the garden’s redwoods, the movement of the Arboretum’s wildlife, and the outstanding Coenosium Rock Garden, the Arboretum’s collection of rare and dwarf conifers.

David Olszyk, president of the American Conifer Society Western Region, said, “This is a beautiful melding of the obsessive collector and the artist. This place is truly a work of art.”

Terrie Shattuck, a former Arboretum intern and graduate of South’s Landscape Horticulture program, created graphics and text for the signage, which SeaReach Ltd of Oregon fabricated.

Members of the Arboretum’s advisory committee prepared the signage for installation by Brett Cureton. And the West Seattle Garden Tour’s gift made it all possible.

 The Arboretum at South is a public botanical garden destination, and people enjoy it all year — bringing the kids, walking the dog or just taking time out. Find the Arboretum at South Seattle College at the north edge of campus, 6000 16th Ave SW. It is open every day.

UPDATE: Hundreds drop off recyclables @ West Seattle Junction event

10:25 AM: Until 1 pm, you can drive up, ride up, walk up to drop off your recyclables in the 42nd SW (south of SW Oregon) lot in The Junction! It’s off to a fast start, Lora Swift of the West Seattle Junction Association tells us – more than 100 vehicles went through in just the first hour. But they’re using the entire lot, lots of room, no line. Go here to see what they’re taking and not taking before you go.

1:30 PM: Unofficial count of vehicles dropping off recyclables at today’s event, which is now over – 362, per Lora, who was there along with others volunteering from the partner organizations that presented it, also including the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. She’s expecting to find out the turned-in tonnage next week – so stand by for another followup.

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