West Seattle, Washington
(Part 1 of 3 unedited segments comprising tonight’s candidates’ forum in White Center)
It’ll be the wee hours before we finish the full story, but for election-watchers, we wanted to let you know we’ve written a very quick first summary of tonight’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council-presented candidates’ forum in White Center’s Greenbridge neighborhood, featuring both candidates in each of our area’s open-seat races: King County Council District 8 and 34th District State House Position 2. That quick summary is up right now at partner site White Center Now. We also recorded the forum on video in its entirety – nothing artistic, we’ll warn you, but in case you want to see/hear for yourself, we’re putting it on the record in three unedited segments comprising the entire 2 1/2 hours – what’s embedded above is Part 1. ADDED 11:19 PM: And here’s part 2:
12:47 PM: And part three:
Again – full story to come!
(We hear from Tilden School’s fifth-graders from time to time. Tonight – they explain their recent forest-restoration project.)
By Tilden School’s Fifth Graders
Special to West Seattle Blog
On October 8th, our fifth-grade class joined Nature Consortium’s Restoration Project Director Mark Tomkiewicz (aka Buphalo) and Restoration Project Coordinator Lizzie Petrin in the West Duwamish Greenbelt here in West Seattle. Nature Consortium is a nonprofit organization “whose mission is to connect people, arts, and nature,” and Buphalo and Lizzie spent a whole day teaching us how to be stewards of the environment through hands-on habitat restoration activities. Even though the word “green” is in “Greenbelt,” and it is green, this West Seattle forest is unhealthy and needs our help.
The West Duwamish Greenbelt is covered with both invasive and native species. Common invasive species include Himalayan blackberry, evergreen blackberry, and English ivy. Our class picked up trash and ripped out invasive species, so we could plant native species, specifically western red cedars. When native species grow near invasive species, they can be killed, but we can save native species by removing invasive plants and planting native ones.
The western red cedars we planted are young coniferous trees. Mature coniferous trees are not currently in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, but if they were, we would gain many benefits. One of them is carbon reduction. You might ask why, and the answer would be under the bark. Coniferous trees do a great job of capturing the carbon dioxide we produce. The Pacific Northwest actually holds the top ten carbon-storing forests in the U.S., according to the Wilderness Society. If you cut down the trees that hold the carbon, it is released into the atmosphere to contribute to global warming as greenhouse gas.
Even though the West Duwamish Greenbelt has few evergreen trees, the forest is still green. It’s a common misconception that since it’s bright and green, it’s healthy. That’s not the case. Invasive species can be green, and they kill off the more important coniferous trees! Also, most of the green, mature trees in the Greenbelt are short-living and deciduous, thus not storing much carbon and allowing invasive species to take over. Coniferous trees are long-living (some over 1,000 years), store much more carbon, and stay green and oxygen-producing all year round. So, here’s the proper conception of a thriving forest: if it’s a green forest in winter, chances are it’s a healthy forest!
The West Duwamish Greenbelt is a large watershed whose naturally-filtered water should drain right into the Duwamish River, one of the most polluted rivers in the U.S. However, because West Marginal Way and industrialized land stand between the Greenbelt and the Duwamish River, the healthy water from the Greenbelt cannot flow directly into the toxic river. If it could, it would help clean up the river, creating a healthier, salmon-filled waterway.
Even though we may have only made a small dent in the giant wall of ecosystem-destroying forces, our effort to stop the reign of pollution and invasive species will lead to a better world. We have begun to improve our future and that of generations to come. With year-round opportunities to volunteer with Nature Consortium, we all can save the West Duwamish Greenbelt by fighting for native species and against invasive species.
The citizens’ advisory group set up at the suggestion of neighbors upset about the possibility of a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) control facility digging up Lowman Beach Park has finished its months-long work to suggest and review other options. At its last meeting three weeks ago, the consensus was that its preferred alternative would be a storage facility under the south parking lot at Lincoln Park. It didn’t come without controversy – that’s technically outside the Murray Pump Station-feeding “basin,” for which the county had originally proposed three other options, and the advisory group rep from Fauntleroy, Vlad Oustimovitch, removed himself from the voting, saying his area wasn’t truly represented, with everyone else who was voting living outside the area they were targeting. The county doesn’t have to accept the recommendation, but wants the community to hear about the proposal, so a meeting is now set for November 1st. Read on for the official news release, which also mentions the group’s four runners-up:Read More
Four months ago, we reported that the state liquor store in The Junction might move. We’d checked back a time or two since then, only to be told, no further progress on decisionmaking. But now that’s changed. After e-mail from Kyle, who spotted a “for lease” sign (which we subsequently photographed), we checked back with the Washington State Liquor Control Board, whose spokesperson Anne Radford now confirms the store WILL move:
The lease at the current location expires in the spring. We plan to relocate the store to a nearby location at that time.
Dates and the new location are currently under negotiation, so I don’t have any additional details at this time.
“Nearby” location certainly opens a lot of possibilities. We’ll keep checking back; thanks for your help keeping an eye out, too. The state previously had said the lease was set to expire next February, if not renewed. As you’ll likely recall, West Seattle’s other state liquor store moved relatively recently too; after closing in Morgan Junction in September 2008, it reopened on the north side of Westwood Village this past March.
(SDOT photo of Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project work, taken and provided last week)
Early warning just in from SDOT:
The contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation to widen the Spokane Street Viaduct (the raised roadway that connects I-5 to the West Seattle Bridge) tentatively plans to close the westbound lanes of the viaduct on Wednesday night.
Crews plan to work from 10 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27 to 5 a.m. on Thursday, October 28 to stripe the roadway and install a temporary barrier in preparation for widening the easternmost portion of the Spokane Street Viaduct.
During this work, traffic from southbound I-5 that would otherwise take the Spokane Street Viaduct will instead be directed to the Forest Street exit to access surface streets. Traffic from northbound I-5 and westbound traffic from Columbian Way will be detoured to surface streets at Sixth Avenue South.
At yesterday’s Alaskan Way Viaduct project-related South Portal Working Group meeting, SDOT reiterated that the Spokane Street Viaduct project is on schedule. The next key component to open will be the new 1st Avenue South on-/off-ramp on the westbound side, expected to be done by next fall.
When Pacific Science Center downtown had a media sneak peek for its new “Harry Potter” exhibition today, some local students got a preview too – Dano Beal‘s second-graders from West Seattle’s Lafayette Elementary School were front and center. Their teacher is known for classroom themes, and we’re told it’s currently decked out as Hogwarts. PSC’s Stan Orchard shared the photo. The exhibition officially opens this Saturday (here’s the info page on the PSC site).
(Photo of this morning’s fog just over The Bridge, courtesy Rick)
Even famous forecaster Cliff Mass cautions, in bold type no less, “I don’t want to get anyone excited.” But there’s a possibility of noteworthy wind in the forecast this weekend, he and other weather experts say, and since that sort of weather has been known to lead to trouble around here, we just want to give you a friendly heads-up; even if this possibility doesn’t pan out, it’s not a bad idea to make sure you’re ready just in case, as we get further into the fall. Here’s what Cliff wrote about the POSSIBLE wind; the National Weather Service‘s forecast discussion mentions it too.
Thanks to MargL and Todd for the tip – a solar-powered sign showing approaching vehicles’ speed has just gone up on southbound 35th SW (which has been dubbed “I-35” along much of its length) near 100th (map). Signs like this are part of SDOT‘s Arterial Traffic Calming Program – read more about it here.
Just 5 months after adding a retail storefront to their wholesale/catering operations, West Seattle’s Heavenly Pastry and Cake has decided to go back to wholesale/catering only. Co-owner Michael Stein e-mailed this morning to say this note is now up on the door of their location on California just south of Admiral:
Heavenly Pastry and Cake is making a few changes. Our retail shop will be closed as of today.
We will continue baking here, however, for your special orders and our catering and wholesale customers.
Ordering our delicious Pretzels, Cakes, Scones, and other treats is easy, at (206) 420-2780; or online, at www.heavenlypastry.com
Thank you for your support, and we look forward to seeing you soon!
One new enterprise that’s under way – Stein points out they’re making pretzels for Dante’s Inferno Dogs, the popular hot-dog purveyor that’s best known in more-northern Seattle neighborhoods.
(Opposite of this morning’s fog – Tuesday’s sun over the Duwamish, by Danny McMillin)
Quick look at tonight’s highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: Both candidates in both major local races (King County Council, State House #2) are expected at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council candidates’ forum at Greenbridge YWCA, doors open 6 pm … School events: Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) welcomes prospective students/parents to Open House night, 6:30-8 pm … Seattle Lutheran High School also has an Open House starting at 6:30 pm … At Chief Sealth International High School, it’s International Baccalaureate Night, 6-8 pm, to learn about the college-prep program … The big annual Bordeaux, Bites and Boogie event for West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is at Herban Feast‘s Sodo Park, 5-10 pm … The Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (WSB sponsor) screens movies tonight and tomorrow at West Seattle’s Admiral Theater (full Admiral schedule here) … Two neighborhood councils meet tonight: 6:45 pm at Westside Presbyterian Church, it’s the Genesee Schmitz Neighborhood Council, 7 pm at Alki UCC Church, it’s the Alki Community Council – follow the GSNC and ACC links for agenda highlights.
Two major milestones are ahead next week in the move to find out if a deep-bore tunnel really will be the replacement for the Central Waterfront section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, according to presentations Wednesday to the project’s South Portal Working Group. That’s the group that has been overseeing the south end of the project, and how it ties to transportation systems feeding West Seattle and vicinity. One week from today, on Thursday, October 28th, the two companies still working on proposals to design and build the tunnel are scheduled to present their proposals, which should kick off a six-week evaluation process. The next day, Friday, October 29th, a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be out (as explained here), reviewing potential effects of the tunnel (and other aspects of the project) will come out, kicking off a similar-length public-comment period that will include an open house in West Seattle: Mark your calendar for 6-8 pm Tuesday, November 16, at Madison Middle School. Lots more new Viaduct-related info from the meeting, after the jump:Read More
Toplines from Wednesday night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center: As she had done earlier this month for West Seattle’s other district council – Southwest – city Department of Neighborhoods director Stella Chao came out to talk about the city-budget proposal’s potential effects on her department, and to listen to local concerns. Other agenda items included the two local projects – both in the council’s coverage area – still in the running for Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund money, and how you can show support next Monday, plus the upcoming Gathering of Neighbors – read on:Read More
Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
It’s been a busy week of environmentally-related meetings for West Seattle and its neighbors. The night after Sustainable West Seattle‘s forum on the Duwamish River (WSB coverage here), a “Community Forum on the Public Health Issues of Neighborhood Trucking” was convened, primarily for the Georgetown and South Park communities, but potentially of interest to other local areas with notable truck traffic.
Held at the Georgetown campus of West Seattle-headquartered South Seattle Community College, the forum consisted of three separate panels offering information regarding diesel pollution in the Georgetown and South Park neighborhoods. Listening to the panels were Seattle City Councilmembers Mike O’Brien, Tom Rasmussen and Nick Licata as well as Port Commissioner Rob Holland, as well as an audience of approximately 40 people.