Two quick weather-related notes: First, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has canceled the burn ban in King County. Second, the National Weather Service is still predicting much-colder weather to sweep in toward the end of the weekend, and the Special Weather Statement alert remains in effect, but they’re still being cautious about any possible lowland snow. Mountain snow, however, does seem like a sure thing for Sunday, so if you are eastbound for the holiday weekend, an early return might be in order.
As of 2 pm, King County will be under a Stage 2 burn ban, elevated from yesterday’s announcement. Here’s what the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says that means:
*No burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.
*No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.
*Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.
*It is OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 2 burn ban.
This might not last too long – breezes up to 15 mph are in the forecast for tomorrow, and possible rain on Thursday night.
You’ve probably noticed, maybe even felt the effects of, the stagnant, murky air. It’s just led the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to announce a Stage 1 burn ban for King County as of 2 pm today. Here’s how the agency explains that type of burn ban:
*No burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.
*No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires, and the use of fire pits and chimineas.
*Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.
It is OK to use natural gas, propane, pellet and EPA-certified wood stoves or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.
The photo and report are from Friends of Morgan Junction Parks‘ Barry White:
Friends of Morgan Junction Parks concluded a productive first year this morning with the first phase of a restoration project at the Juneau/Fauntleroy triangle. [map] Volunteers dug out some weedy and deeply buried street trees and applied fresh mulch. A considerable understory of ivy that ran throughout the land was removed, and a maze of dead, low-hanging branches was pruned out to bring much needed light into the interior.
We wish to thank the many volunteers who turned out this year at Morgan Junction Park, the triangle park next to Thriftway, and the Juneau triangle. We’ll start up again in spring with some planting parties at all three sites. Thanks to Morgan Community Association for their backing and to the folks at Seattle Parks and SDOT for the tools, mulch, and plants. It’s been a great year.
You’ll find more photos – and other info about FoMJP – on the group’s Facebook page.
Thanks to Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections for sharing the photo from their work party at the East Duwamish Waterway Fishing Pier, along the bike trail to/from downtown. He says some new volunteers showed up and they “got a lot done. Hoping to keep it going. Shared some donuts with the people fishing.” You can keep up with WSBC’s activities – from volunteerism to advocacy and beyond – via westseattlebikeconnections.org.
When Katie sent a short note asking us to add to the calendar two meetings later this week to see if there’s community interest in forming a West Seattle Toy Library, we thought it sounded like news. So we asked for more details. She explained:
There are no other toy libraries in Seattle. They are very popular in the UK and Australia. The USA has a National Toy Library Association that affiliates with toy libraries in other major cities. They are not as popular in the US as they are in other countries around the world but I think that should change. The recent interest to be green and teach sustainable practices to our kids should extend to the realm where they live: toys.
I was tired of buying toys that my toddler would play with for 10 minutes and then toss aside. I want to teach her what it means to recycle in a meaningful way and I want her to learn to treat things with respect so it can be used in the future. I was looking for something that we could do as a family, and so I google searched toy libraries in Seattle. Much to my amazement and annoyance, there isn’t one. So. I guess we’ll have to start one. The tool library has been a major source of inspiration for me and I am looking for other families who want to jump on the bandwagon and get this thing going!
The meetings are 7-8 pm this Thursday (November 21st) and 3-4 pm this Saturday (November 23rd), both at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). Come to one to talk about “what a toy library is, overview of function, & opportunities for participation.”
The next greenway projects in West Seattle are set to include a stretch through Highland Park/South Delridge, and tomorrow night is the chance for residents and businesses in the area to find out what’s proposed and share their thoughts. For this greenway, SDOT is working with Seattle Public Utilities to make this a project that improves area drainage – with raingardens in spots – as well as walking/biking safety. See the map here, along with details on tomorrow’s open house (and other background on the project), 5:30 pm-7:30 pm at the Salvation Army building (9050 16th SW).
JUNCTION CLEANUP: Thanks to René from the recently revived Junction Neighborhood Organization for sharing the photo from their community cleanup in The Junction today; they started from Junction Plaza Park at 42nd/Alaska, picking up trash and clearing storm drains in the area.
NORTH DELRIDGE CLEANUP: Tomorrow (Sunday) morning, Lisa from the North Delridge Neighborhood Council Beautification Committee invites volunteers to help clean up and clear leaves from the path at the north end of Delridge Way SW, across from Skylark Café and Club. Meet at Skylark at 10 am; bags and gloves provided, but if you have one or more rakes and/or safety cones, please bring them along!
West Seattle businesses: Architect, photographer collaborate for regional Green Building Slam presentation tonightNovember 16, 2013 at 2:00 am | In Environment, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 2 Comments
A presentation tonight at a regional event celebrating green-built projects will feature the work of two West Seattle businesses, one of which has added a new specialty as a result. Here’s their announcement:
LD Arch Design is pleased to announce that a Green Lake net-zero remodel project will be featured in the Northwest Eco Building Guild’s 10x10x10 Green Building Slam (tonight, November 16th). The Slam is an opportunity to see exciting new green building projects – it is a fast-paced evening with ten projects, ten minutes, ten slides each. More information and tickets can be found at the NW Eco Building Guild’s website.
The slides will feature some of the beautiful photos from Holli with an i Photography, which is how the story of collaboration began. Parie Hines (of LD Arch Design) has long been a fan of Holli Margell’s work, and approached Holli to see if she would be interested in architectural photography. The resulting photos have a uniquely warm and approachable feel to them. And Holli discovered in the process that she enjoys photographing people in their homes.
So Holli with an i Photography has a new opportunity for portraits called “Home Sweet Home” which focuses on photographing people in their home or garden. Parie’s own “Citrus Manor” home is the model for the new package, which can be found on Holli’s website here.
LD Arch Design is a WSB sponsor. There’s more information about tonight’s Green Building Slam, happening at the UW, here. In addition to that event, by the way, Holli with an i Photography is participating in the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Gift Show that continues today and tomorrow.
ADDED 11:43 AM SATURDAY: Parie tells us the event was moved to a larger venue so tickets are still available – check out the links above. But if you can’t get there, she says, “The 10 projects are on display at the AIA gallery downtown, and there will be
a reception on Tuesday the 19th at 5 pm. The projects will be on display until January 6th.”
Two updates on West Seattle salmon:
FAUNTLEROY CREEK: Two weeks after this fall’s salmon watch began, volunteers report the first sighting. Creek/watershed steward Judy Pickens shared the word that Dennis Hinton had spotted one from the ferry dock, watching the creek mouth. He then elaborated:
Saw the single spawner from the dock at 2:30 pm. Went back down to the ladder with daughter’s dog, Blazer. We watched at the culvert until 4 pm to see if any fish had ventured up the creek. Saw no fish. But saw two river otters approaching the culvert about 4 pm. I’ll bet they can smell the coho coming. Blazer barked and scared the otters away. But bet they’ll be back to get the first pickings.
LONGFELLOW CREEK: We’ve reported twice on spawners spotted in the eastern West Seattle creek. “Diver Laura” James has gone in with a camera for a closer look – some of it was heartening, some not so much:
The newly formed West Seattle Green Space Coalition invites you to its meeting tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon. From Mary Fleck:
Tomorrow, 11/9/13 at 3 pm, West Seattle Green Space Coalition will meet at High Point Library. All are invited. Seattle City Light’s surplus substations have great potential benefits for West Seattle neighborhoods. WSGSC is working to find best solutions and to coordinate efforts of neighbors. Please join us! Bring a used book for our book exchange.
The library is at 35th/Raymond. We first reported on the coalition’s formation back in September; the surplus substations mentioned in the announcement include half a dozen in West Seattle, with the city currently formulating its plan for their future.
Pre-construction meeting details what to expect in Lowman Beach area as Murray CSO-reduction project ramps upNovember 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm | In Environment, Utilities, West Seattle news | 11 Comments
Just over four years ago, King County reps first came to Fauntleroy for meetings with neighbors about two projects to reduce combined-sewer overflows from two area pump stations. Now, many meetings later, both of those projects are on the verge of construction, and last night at Fauntleroy Church, the Murray project – named after the Lowman Beach pump station to which it’s tied – was discussed in detail with neighbors, in a pre-construction briefing. Ahead, some of what neighbors and Lowman Beach/Lincoln Park users alike should know about the impending three years of construction:
We’ve heard about these planting plans at recent community-council meetings, and now we have official details from SDOT – 100 new street trees will be planted along Fauntleroy Way SW across from Lincoln Park, and along California Avenue SW in Morgan Junction, starting next Tuesday. Read all about them here.
(2011 photo by Danny McMillin)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“The Duwamish really needs our help.”
So began this month’s Sustainable West Seattle community forum about our city’s only river.
How can you help? One way is through simple personal action, particularly when it comes to reducing/preventing stormwater/runoff-pollution, a campaign crystallized at Tox-Ick.org, whose champion “Diver Laura” James emceed the forum. She told those in attendance that just days earlier, she had spoken about it to 800 high-school students outside West Seattle.
Another way: Realize that the process of determining a cleanup plan for the river – so polluted in spots, it’s a “Superfund” site – is the process of determining whether it can be “A River for All.” That’s the vision of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, whose coordinator James Rasmussen spoke at the forum, recapping the comment period just concluded on the Environmental Protection Agency‘s proposed cleanup plan for the river – a plan which would leave 62 percent of the river “under monitored natural recovery, which basically means, ‘we’re not going to do anything with it’.”
DRCC, however, wants to “kickstart that with enhanced natural recovery,” and is very intent on “source control” – addressing the source of pollution, present and future as well as past – being part of the plan.
That “circle of life” included multiple types of new arrivals during the annual “drum to call the salmon home” event at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook tonight, the eve of the annual watch for coho spawners.
It’s always an all-ages affair, but this time the span included at least four babies. And it included newly arrived West Seattleites – as it wrapped up, a departing family revealed they had just moved here from Texas. Now, the wait is on for more arrivals – the salmon themselves, should they take up the invitation extended by more than 50 who came to drum, sing, and move:
They even came for humor – creek/watershed steward Judy Pickens, who emcees the event year after year, was among those with a joke to tell:
(Sample joke: Why did the salmon cross the creek? To make a deposit in the bank.) Early on, Judy recounted the story of the event’s origins 19 years ago, when “three of us ventured down to the mouth of the creek” and ceremonially made some noise attempting to imitate the slapping sound of the female coho’s tail, creating the space for her eggs. Last year set a record, with 274 spawners counted, more than 100 above the previous record, set in 2001.
(2011 photo from Fauntleroy Creek, courtesy Dennis Hinton)
Last year, volunteers watching Fauntleroy Creek counted a record number of returning spawners – 274! What will happen this fall? You can help find out. From creek/watershed steward Judy Pickens:
Salmon Watch 2013 on Fauntleroy Creek will get under way October 28 with veteran watchers. As soon as they start seeing spawners, though, any and all new volunteers will be welcome to join. That will most likely be on or about November 1, when high tides will be in the 12-foot range. To get on the “I’m interested” list, email email@example.com.
Right before Salmon Watch begins, it’s time to call the salmon home, with the annual gathering at the creek overlook (across Fauntleroy Way from the ferry dock and up the embankment), 5 pm this Sunday (October 27). All welcome, all ages; bring a drum if you have one, but it’s not mandatory since there are also songs and chants to which you can add your voice. Judy says that this year for the first time, there’ll even be salmon humor. Be there!
In the wake of Saturday’s semi-annual Duwamish Alive! cleanup day, you have the chance tomorrow night to join in a discussion about the river’s future – not just the bigger cleanups that are happening now and in the future, but also the vision for what it should be. Sustainable West Seattle is convening the conversation, to be moderated by “Diver Laura” James, who shared the photo above from the start of Saturday’s cleanup (including kayaks loaned for the occasion by West Seattle’s Alki Kayak Tours). Reps from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition will be there too, as well as other organizations with a stake in the river’s future, but this isn’t just about the experts – it’s about you. Come to C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) Monday night, 7-9 pm.
Thanks to “Diver Laura” James for sharing photos from today’s fall edition of Duwamish Alive! cleanup, more than half a dozen work parties on and around the waters of the Duwamish River.
If you missed the chance to help out today – the next Duwamish Alive! events will be in the spring, and you can watch the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for numerous community-cleanup opportunities between now and then.
When the crew we photographed at work on SW Oregon west of California SW today is done, The Junction will have seven fewer trees. But West Seattle Junction Association director Susan Melrose tells WSB they will all be replaced. We had seen the tree-removal notices on two SW Oregon trees last week, noting “poor health” and “poor form”:
Then came a tip today from Eddie, who noticed the removal work in progress. There’s also a tree in front of West 5 that’s being taken out, and pear trees that – as mentioned in our coverage of September’s Southwest District Council meeting, which was attended by Seattle’s city arborist – weren’t thriving either. Melrose says the crew will grind down the stumps both for these trees and others that have fallen down recently, and will mulch the tree wells; replacements will arrive next spring, though the species hasn’t been finalized yet.
View Duwamish Alive! October 19th, 2013 in a larger map
Twice a year, you can roll up your sleeves and help the Duwamish River by joining in one of multiple volunteer events on and along the river and in its watershed, from West Seattle to South Park to Tukwila. The autumn edition of that big event – Duwamish Alive! – is 10 am-2 pm next Saturday (October 19th). You still have time to sign up to help at one of the sites shown on the official map – just go here ASAP.
Admiring the fall colors this weekend? A visit to the past-and-future school site on Genesee Hill (50th SW/SW Genesee) might be in order – to pay your respects to that American Elm honored as a “Best in City” tree in PlantAmnesty‘s Heritage Tree program. Karen Lyons shares the photo and the news:
I belong to a group that is trying to save some of the fine trees on the school’s 6.2 acres. I’m the group’s botanist so I volunteered to take a tree survey last year and found a magnificent American Elm! The majority of American Elms in the US were wiped out by Dutch Elm disease. Somehow this tree is either immune (making it valuable for research) or has escaped the disease. I later contacted the Heritage Tree committee and they sent a group of 6 investigators to measure and take samples of the Elm. That was a few months ago. On October 1st I received this letter naming this tree and awarding it as “Best In The City”. It will be spared!
District documentation verifies that the tree will not be taken out during the construction of the new school – from last month’s summary of the newest design changes: “The steep hillside on the site will be fully protected, as will the significant and exceptional trees on the hillside (including the old elm near the center of the site).” The district expects to start construction next spring; the current Schmitz Park school program is expected to move into the new school at mid-year 2015-2016, while the district proposes to turn the current Schmitz Park building into an early-learning center.
Since we first told you about the Halloween-costume swap coming up tomorrow at City Mouse Studio and Store in The Junction, proprietor Donna has made a change: Even if you haven’t already dropped off a costume to swap, you can just bring your gently used kids’ costume(s) to the store starting at 10 am tomorrow and swap on the spot. Have a greener Halloween and join in! (P.S. Did you see Donna on KING 5 this morning? Our friends there spotted the story here and reported from her store at 4218 SW Alaska to share the news about National Costume Swap Day. If a clip turns up online, we’ll link it here.)
Quick note so you can prepare: PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) has a free recycling event Saturday (October 12th), 9 am-4 pm, with SBK/Green Century Recycling. The company’s home page has a list of what they take. Set a Facebook reminder here.
Is your closet home to one or more Halloween costumes from years – and sizes – past? City Mouse Studio and Store in The Junction has your Halloween solution – proprietor Donna is participating in National Costume Swap Day on October 12th, as part of the “Green Halloween” movement: “As per their website, swapping half the costumes kids wear at Halloween would reduce landfill waste by 6,250 tons, equal to the weight of 2,500 midsize cars!”
Here’s how the costume swap will work: From now through October 11th, drop off gently used kids’ Halloween costumes at City Mouse (4218 SW Alaska) – which is open Tuesdays-Saturdays 10-6 and Sundays 10-5 – and get a token to use to pick up another costume there on Saturday, October 12th, starting at 10 am.
OCTOBER 10 UPDATE: Donna says you can also just bring your swappable costume on Saturday morning and swap on the spot, rather than making two trips.
The former residences on the site of the future underground sewer-overflow-storage tank across from Lowman Beach Park have all now been demolished. Our photo is from last weekend, looking south into the site from the corner of Lincoln Park Way and Beach Drive (map). Today, King County Wastewater Treatment Division has sent an update, saying this phase of the work will wrap up this week:
King County’s contractor has cleared the structures from the Murray CSO Control Facility project site. Crews are now backfilling the foundations with soil and installing plastic along the site’s eastern slope to maintain the site’s stability. The site will then be seeded with grass to reduce runoff and dust prior to the start of facility construction later this year. The contractor expects to complete the major remaining work by Friday.
Parking on the east side of Beach Drive Southwest is expected to be restored for the weekend. Project fencing will be returned to the edge of the site, reopening the sidewalk on the east side of the roadway to pedestrians and bicyclists. Street and sidewalk cleaning activities could create temporary access issues to these areas, and could extend into early next week.
A new West Seattle-wide effort to preserve and advocate for open space – as a balance to “high-density development” – is in its formative stage, we learned from Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council reps tabling outside the Farmers’ Market today.
The spark is the current Seattle City Light process to decide the fate of former substation sites, including six West Seattle properties. GSNC is advocating in particular for the open-space prospects of the one at 49th and Dakota. But they believe the entire multi-site process should be put on hold until the community has a chance to try to rally resources to keep at least some of the sites as open space. Today, they were collecting signatures on a petition asking City Light and the City Council to delay decisions until at least 2015. And they’re forming the West Seattle Green Space Coalition to advance this cause and related issues – here’s how it was explained atop the petition sheets:
There are two dates coming up soon that you’ll want to make note of, if you’re interested in fighting for green space:
-Next Saturday (September 28th), a formation meeting for the Green Space Coalition, 4:30 pm. (We’re verifying the location and will update the story with final word – update, High Point Branch Library, 35th/Raymond.)
Four things we didn’t want to wait until tomorrow morning to mention again:
RECYCLE ROUNDUP: The fall edition of Fauntleroy Church‘s twice-yearly “drop off your not-curbside-friendly recyclables for free” event with 1 Green Planet, 9 am-3 pm Sunday, 9140 California SW – see the list of what they’ll take by going here.
POLICE HORSES: Tomorrow afternoon brings the first-ever open house at the Seattle Police Mounted Patrol HQ on the east side of Westcrest Park in Highland Park (8600 8th SW), 1-5 pm, demonstrations at 2 & 4. Sgt. Jim Scott wants to make sure you know that this is INDOORS – so even if the rain starts early (more on that below), don’t worry, they’ve got you covered. Literally.
EQUINOX SUNSET WATCH: Tomorrow afternoon, fall arrives with the Autumn Equinox. That means sunset tomorrow night is a special event with Alice Enevoldsen of Alice’s Astro Info (and monthly Skies Over West Seattle reports here on WSB), gather at 6:30 pm at Solstice Park east of north Lincoln Park – details here. (Cloudy or sprinkly, be there anyway. If it’s raining hard, Alice says it’s off. Which brings us to …)
WEATHER ALERT: The National Weather Service has tweaked its “special weather statement” for tomorrow – for this area, about half an inch of rain is likely, and it’s expected to get windy, with gusts up to 45 mph. That’s all supposed to pick up in the afternoon – likely while the Seahawks are playing. (Sound familiar?) No lightning in the forecast right now, though.
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