Just in case you aren’t a devoted reader of the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin - this week’s editions contain these half-dozen West Seattle items of note:
‘DETERMINATION OF NON-SIGNIFICANCE’ FOR DELRIDGE SEWER-OVERFLOW PROJECTS: While you’ve heard a lot about the county projects to reduce combined-sewer overflows at pump stations at Lowman Beach and alongside the Fauntleroy ferry dock, remember that the city is doing some work too. Its upcoming Delridge-area projects – described here – have been declared to be environmentally “non-significant.”
WESTSIDE SCHOOL’S NEW SITE: Key approvals are in on the land-use application for Westside School (WSB sponsor) to create its new campus on the Hillcrest Presbyterian site at 34th and 104th. (We have a message out to the school inquiring about the project timeline.)
ALKI ROWHOUSES: An application has been filed to build a 2-unit structure and 3-unit structure, both described as “rowhouses,” at 3008 Alki Avenue SW (a lot that stretches to SW Stevens on its south side). The notice says comments will be accepted through October 18th.
FAUNTLEROY LOT-SPLITTING DECISION APPEALED: A city decision approving division of a lot in an “environmentally critical area” of Fauntleroy, in the 3900 block of SW Henderson is being challenged by a neighbor who contends the split could have environmental and view ramification if, as he expects, a house is built on the split-off lot. The city Hearing Examiner will hear the appeal on October 9th.
DESIGN REVIEW: As first reported here last week, the apartment/retail project at 4435 35th SW will return to the Southwest Design Review Board on October 10th; here’s the notice. The bulletin also mentions “streamlined design review” – no public meeting, but comments are being taken, as with all development projects – for a four-unit townhouse project at the corner of 41st and Oregon.
This Saturday (September 21st), you’re invited to take the West Seattle Solar Tour – nine installations open to the public between 11 am and 2 pm, part of the citywide solar tour (see the Google Map here).
And while no doubt all the stops will be interesting, one will be extra special, a tribute to a young West Seattleite gone too soon, Ben Huppe. His dad Bob Huppe explains:
Our son, Ben, designed this installation before his untimely death last summer in an auto accident (reported here).
Following his death, we had the solar panels installed before his memorial service as a tribute to his dedication to alternative energy. Here is a picture of him from last summer at a solar energy fair on Vashon Island, where he was working for Artisan Electric:
Our small solar installation made over 60% of our electrical energy over the last year. It will fully pay itself off within 7 years and then still will increase my home value at resale. This would be as if your kitchen remodel could generate money to pay for itself while you were living there.
Here’s the map for Saturday’s West Seattle tour stops – you’ll see Bob Huppe’s home listed on 46th SW.
Before the rain returns, consider what you can do to reduce the chance it will sweep poisons into Puget Sound, from your home, your vehicle, or other aspects of your life. We recorded part of “Diver Laura” James’s presentation at Sustainable West Seattle‘s community forum on Monday night, as a refresher course. What to do, and what not to do, is really pretty simple – in addition to what’s in our clip, other advice toplines are ahead:
There’s the recycling you put out at the curb … and then, there’s the recycling you have to save up for either a run to the transfer station or … the twice-yearly Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church. When we put out a “save the date” announcement about the latter event coming up next Sunday (September 22), the list of what 1 Green Planet will accept wasn’t available yet, but now it is – so if you’ve been saving stuff in the basement/storage room, or planning to do some sorting/cleaning this week, go here to see what you’ll be able to drop off for free on Sunday, 9 am-3 pm at 9140 California SW (map).
More recycling means less trash and lower bills, says City Councilmember Jean Godden, announcing a proposal (see the full text here) to require businesses to recycle more than just paper and cardboard:
Councilmember Jean Godden introduced legislation today to require that Seattle businesses recycle glass, plastic, tin, and aluminum, effective July 2014. Six months of educational outreach to businesses would be conducted before the requirement takes effect, with one-and-a-half years before the use of civil infractions for enforcement. Councilmember Godden also directed SPU to streamline the process for business owners to convert to comprehensive recycling, allocating $150,000 for business engagement.
Read on for the rest of the announcement:
If you spent today doing some pre-fall cleaning – we did! – you might be happy to hear that Fauntleroy Church has set the date for the next edition of its popular twice-yearly Recycle Roundup: Sunday, September 22nd, 9 am-3 pm. That’s when nonprofit 1 Green Planet will bring big empty trucks to the church at 9140 California SW and drive them away full of West Seattleites’ recyclables. Keep an eye on the church website for details on what they’ll accept (no charge – just drop it all off!).
The photo was shared by Brenda, who reports:
Look what I found this morning! Local Admiral resident Danni and her dog Trinny sprucing up the pathway along Admiral Bridge! ” Good” is happening here in our community too!
It’s an important time of year to do anything you can to clean up walkways, storm drains, etc., because whatever’s not cleaned up will head into storm drains, and this video made last week by “Diver Laura” James reminds us what happens from there:
P.S. Several neighborhood councils will have community cleanups in the weeks ahead – watch here for the dates/times as we get them.
Once upon a time, not that long ago, evergreen forest blanketed our peninsula. Now, aside from green havens such as the West Duwamish Greenbelt, Schmitz Park, Lincoln Park, etc., it’s a tree here, a tree there. But if you have room for a conifer – or more than one – the city can match you up with trees looking for good homes. It’s part of the Trees for Neighborhoods program we mentioned recently; Katie Gibbons contacted WSB again today to say, “We’re down to two tree species and we’d love it if more West Seattle folks adopted some conifers. Currently, we have Austrian pine and Oriental spruce available. Both are large conifers reaching an approximate height of 40’ and a spread of 25’ at maturity. We recommend that these trees be planted in yards as they do get quite large and are usually not appropriate as street trees.” The two species they have are the Austrian Pine (left) and the Oriental Spruce. Interested? Free trees, watering bags, planting/maintenance training, and more are offered by Trees for Neighborhoods – go here to apply, and/or send questions to email@example.com.
Several groups have taken West Seattle beaches under their wing lately and organized cleanups – but none quite like this one. In late July, an Eastside company called Tirebuyer.com announced volunteers from its staff planned to come clean up West Seattle beach spots marred by washed-up tires, apparently on the suggestion of a company employee who lives here. It sounded almost too publicity-perfect to be true – but they’re now sharing pictorial proof, including the photo above (note the edge of the overlook at Luna/Anchor Park) that we’re republishing with permission. Their tire-removal tale is here, and they’re planning to try it again soon; if you know of a beached tire that needs removal for recycling, e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
From left, Karina, Mike, and Nicholas were among the more than 50 all-ages participants in this morning’s Alki cleanup organized by Seal Sitters in honor of “The Year of the Seal.” The trash take wasn’t quite as big as it might have been if Friday hadn’t brought the first rain in more than a month, but Seal Sitters’ Robin Lindsey told us enthusiasm was running high – she shared this photo from the briefing that began the day, as Puget Soundkeeper’s Kathryn Davis spoke to volunteers “about the dangers of marine pollution and how we can help,” as Robin described it:
(Photo courtesy Seal Sitters)
Robin says Seal Sitters extend their thanks to the volunteers who came to help “from all over Seattle.” She’s published more about the cleanup on Blubberblog – including the startling number of discarded cigarette remnants they found!
Congratulations to the dozens of volunteers who joined the Surfrider Foundation at today’s Alki Beach cleanup. “Diver Laura” James, who joined in an underwater cleanup while other volunteers were on the sand and atop stand-up paddleboards, shares the top photo. Surfrider shared the next photo, by Heather Brincko, showing singer Vicci Martinez doing her part – before entertaining cleanup participants with a post-cleanup concert at Cactus:
The cleanup, also sponsored by Barefoot Wine, removed 50 bags of trash “and a watercooler full of cigarettes” from the beach, according to a report sent by organizers.
You can help! 2 beach/water cleanups ahead: Sunday with Puget Soundkeeper; August 3 with Seal SittersJuly 18, 2013 at 8:48 am | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 4 Comments
West Seattle’s waters, beaches, and marine life need your help – so here’s heads-up on two cleanups with which you can help:
THIS SUNDAY MORNING: 9-11 am next Sunday (July 21), Puget Soundkeeper Alliance will be teaming up with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering to clean up any fireworks debris found following the Saturday night fireworks show off Beach Drive. They are looking for help from kayak AND shore-patrol volunteers, and will be removing “summertime trash” along the way. It starts at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook (4503 Beach Drive SW). Just show up – with or without a kayak; Puget Soundkeeper Alliance will be providing staff, trash grabbers, and bags; Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes will have pastries, coffee, and fruit for volunteers.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 3RD: Seal Sitters, along with the Alki Community Council and Seattle Parks, is organizing a cleanup in honor of the marine mammals killed or otherwise harmed by trash at sea – from Sandy the seal pup (strangled in April 2012 by derelict fishing line; archived Seal Sitters updates here) to the Arroyos gray whale (whose necropsy in April 2010 revealed a stomach full of trash) and many others. This cleanup will be on Alki Beach, 9 am-noon on August 3rd, as part of Seal Sitters’ “Year of the Seal: Sentinels of the Sound.” They’re requesting RSVPs so they know how much supplies to bring – e-mail email@example.com. More information here.
Almost three years ago, when we toured the then-newly built facility that Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor) was about to move into, we reported on its environmentally friendly features – including the potential for adding solar-power system in the future. Now, that future is here, with a 9.6-kilowatt system being installed – Swedish Automotive shared the photo with that news, and, as noted in a detailed report on their website, with the hope of more to come. See more photos in this album linked from the Swedish Facebook page.
Thanks to Heidi for sharing the photo and word of what Mountain to Sound Outfitters‘ Adventure Day Campers are up to, out on the water: She says they “haul(ed) in a derelict rope from Puget Sound onto Alki Beach.” The camp, by the way, is for 11- to 15-year-olds.
Thanks to Tom Erler from Restoration Logistics LLC for sharing the photo of their work today with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance at Lincoln Park. As previewed here Sunday, it’s a creosote cleanup – he says they’re “removing at least 2 tons worth of creosote & pressure treated debris from Lincoln Park beach. Work started at 7:30 and (is) continuing until mid-afternoon.” (There was a similar cleanup at Lincoln Park last year, too.)
Historical side note pointed out by a reader regarding the creosote industry in the area in general: The enterprises of the Colman family, whose many local contributions included Lincoln Park’s popular outdoor Colman Pool, included a creosote company that was founded downtown and, as noted in this HistoryLink article, later moved to West Seattle. Under later ownership, it eventually became a Superfund cleanup site and is now home to Jack Block Park and adjacent Port of Seattle container facilities.
ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: One more photo from Tom Erler:
He says that by the time they were done, the removal totaled closer to 4 tons!
On behalf of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, West Seattle’s “Diver Laura” James sends word of a major creosote cleanup planned all day tomorrow (Monday, June 24) on the beach at Lincoln Park, 8 am-5 pm. Soundkeeper is a partner in the cleanup “with the Department of Natural Resources, Seattle Parks & Recreation, and Restoration Logistics, with funding from the Department of Fish & Wildlife,” according to the official announcement, which continues:
Creosote (is) a toxic potion of chemicals created by the distillation of tar. It is commonly used to preserve and waterproof the wood used for dock pilings, telephone poles, and fence posts. Unfortunately, many of these creosote pilings wash up on beaches where they mix with regular drift wood. While in the water, creosote leaches into the marine environment and mixes with sediments where it can enter the food chain. On the beach, creosote can seep out and affect both wildlife and human health.
Creosote is a phototoxin, meaning it becomes more toxic when exposed to sunlight and higher ambient temperatures. It is also present in high amounts, at approximately 7 pounds per cubic foot of wood. Creosote contains toxic PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. PAHs are known carcinogens and are associated with other human health risks as well. (The removal project is intended) to get creosote-treated lumber out of the environment, away from beachgoers, and dispose of it properly in a landfill.
If you encounter creosote treated lumber on a beach near you, we want to hear about it! Call our pollution hotline 1-800-42-PUGET or fill a pollution report out online. Your efforts will help us direct future cleanup projects. However, it is important to be careful- avoid contact with treated logs whenever possible and always wash skin exposed to creosote with soap and water.
Parkgoers, be forewarned – tomorrow’s removal work will include “a work crew with heavy machinery and hard hats removing all the big creosote logs,” Laura adds.
Last fall, city reps came to eastern West Seattle for three meetings on plans for reducing sewage overflows in Longfellow Creek, including potential raingardens and other types of “natural drainage.” The plans have evolved since then, Seattle Public Utilities is announcing this week, and they want your input on the next decisions that have to be made. For starters, SPU’s Susan Stoltzfus tells WSB, “further modeling and analysis” has shown the city that “the sewage overflows can be mostly controlled by making improvements to the existing storage tanks along Delridge Way and diverting some of the flow to King County’s system.”
That said, they are still pursuing “natural drainage” to help protect the creek “from polluted stormwater runoff which, even without sewage in it, can be more harmful to the health of the creek and the creatures that live in it.” And the new plan is for this to be installed along the route of a future greenway – a road improved for pedestrian/bicycle safety – that has yet to be chosen. If you live in the area – the city wants to hear from you.
(Click image for larger version you can zoom in on)
The map above shows the alternatives. SPU says everyone along the potential routes will get a survey in the mail asking what they think about the idea of a greenway and raingardens in their neighborhood – and a public meeting is planned, July 9th at Highland Park Improvement Club. (HP Action Committee has already announced that this meeting will be a substitute for what otherwise would have been its regular monthly meeting in late June.)
Information about the new proposals will be up on the city website within a few days, we’re told. In the meantime, if you live on one of the greenway routes, watch your mailbox – and if you have any interest in the project, plan to be at the July 9th meeting.
P.S. One greenway already is in the works, in North Delridge – SDOT published an update this week – and the city says it might be a candidate for after-the-fact natural-drainage projects.
Not that West Seattleites need incentive to recycle – just look at the success of local dropoff events – but if you join in an upcoming “competition,” you might just help our peninsula win bragging rights. The Seattle Public Library and Call2Recycle will have battery-collection boxes in place for five days at six libraries around the city, from June 22nd (this Saturday) through June 26th, including the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch at 2306 42nd SW. Two days after the collection period ends, Call2Recycle will weigh the six neighborhoods’ contributions, and declare the “winner” Seattle’s Greenest Neighborhood. Here’s what they’ll accept:
Drop off all types of household batteries (weighing up to 11 pounds each), including both single-use batteries and rechargeable batteries commonly found in laptops and digital cameras. Obsolete cellphones can also be dropped off at the libraries for recycling.
The recovered materials, according to Call2Recycle, will be “used to create new batteries, concrete additives and a variety of stainless steel products.” (The organization’s website says it’s a nonprofit “funded by battery and product manufacturers committed to responsible recycling.”) There’s even more info online here.
On the edge of the West Duwamish Greenbelt, Seattle’s largest remaining contiguous forest, the Nature Consortium rallied staffers, volunteers, and community members to a Saturday celebration. At the heart of it was a mayoral proclamation held above by NC’s Monica Thomas (right), with founder/executive director Nancy Whitlock: It was “Soundway Day” (proclamation closeup here) in honor of the years-in-the-making rescue and restoration of WDG land once earmarked for homes and roads. It was also a chance for the group to hold its annual “Golden Shovel” presentation recognizing an exceptional volunteer – this time, Tim Jaureguy:
We recorded video of the official presentation, following some words on behalf of Soundway, and recognition for two others before and after the giving of the “Golden Shovel”:
Funding for the party was part of a grant related to the ongoing work at the site; Marination (WSB sponsor) brought the food, and NC brought plenty of activities, including art for the smallest attendees:
This is a big summer for Nature Consortium – not only bringing back the Arts in Nature Festival (August 10-11 at Camp Long), but also, recruiting a successor to Whitlock, who recently announced her plan for a sabbatical. She told us Saturday that the executive director job is scheduled to be officially posted July 1st.
P.S. The Nature Consortium could use YOUR help in the West Duwamish Greenbelt – just about any time. Here’s how to join in.
The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition reminds us that today is the deadline for commenting on the EPA’s draft cleanup plan for the Duwamish River on West Seattle’s eastern border, and shaping a plan that will affect lives in this area for decades to come – from cleanup jobs to the health of the river and the people who use it. If you can spare a few minutes to have a say, all the links you need, from the plan to the comment form to DRCC’s opinion, are at this link.
Six months ago, we reported on a first-of-its-kind plan for remodeling and reselling three vintage West Seattle homes instead of tearing them down. Now, the Westwood Village-vicinity homes dubbed “The Triplets” are done and listed for sale, with their first public open house today (Sunday). We stopped by for a sneak preview Saturday. Here are two of them:
All three are in the 8800 block of 24th SW – from north to south along the east side of the block, Clara, Zelda, and Louise, as named by Green Canopy Homes, which “re-envisioned” them with financing from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission‘s Sustainable Energy Trust Lending Program. It’s all about energy efficiency – but “The Triplets” have been updated in far more than that aspect, from the entries…
(WSB photo from June 2012)
It’s become an annual tradition for West Seattle Windermere and the WS Junction Association to offer a chance for you to recycle unwanted electronics AND get old documents shredded, all at the same time, same place. 10 am-1 pm this Saturday (June 8th) is the time, the 42nd SW parking lot behind Windermere (south of SW Oregon) is the place. P.S. Wondering what recyclables they’ll accept? Here’s the list.
(Outfalls in our area – blue = ‘controlled,’ pink = ‘uncontrolled’)
The city has yet to finalize a plan for keeping its combined-sewer overflows out of local waterways – but once it decides on an option, West Seattle will be affected, one way or another, as this “community guide” shows – with options including at least half a million gallons of overflow storage to be built somewhere in eastern West Seattle. As part of the current environmental review of the options, the city has a “scoping” open house tomorrow to which you’re invited. It’s been advertised here and elsewhere as “The Plan to Protect Seattle’s Waterways“; it’s a chance to review the potential alternatives, and ask questions/offer comments in person. It’s downtown, 4:30 pm-6:30 pm Monday (June 3rd) in the Bertha Knight Landes Room on the main floor of City Hall downtown. If you can’t go, you can comment by e-mail, as long as your comment’s in by June 20th – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (Or – here’s a survey.)
P.S. Just in case you wondered, two things:
#1 – This is separate from King County’s combined-sewer-overflow-reducing plans, which in our area include the planned storage tank across from Lowman Beach Park and “green stormwater infrastructure” in Westwood and Sunrise Heights. The county’s plan involves reducing overflow at two of its pump stations on the southern West Seattle shore; the city’s plan involves reducing what gets to its more-numerous outfalls both on Puget Sound and on other waterways including Longfellow Creek and the Duwamish River.
#2 – If this sounds a bit like déja vu – there was a previous round of “scoping” in 2011 (as noted here). But since then, the city negotiated an agreement with higher authorities regarding past pollution, and the results of that changed the potential plan a bit, as explained in the “community guide.”
What was long just another stretch of asphalt in the Highland Park Improvement Club parking lot is now a brand-new rain garden, after today’s planting party gave it the finishing touches. As explained on the HPIC website (where you also can see the Rain Dog Designs vision for the garden), “every little bit helps” to get toxic runoff water out of the drains that run right into the Duwamish River and Puget Sound. (You can find out about possibilities for your own little corner of West Seattle, by checking with RainWise.)
If you have passed Highland Park Improvement Club along SW Holden lately, you probably noticed some of the asphalt lot dug up, close to the sidewalk. This is the long-planned HPIC rain garden, close to completion, as part of a partnership with Sustainable Seattle and King County. This Saturday (June 1st), you are invited to join in finishing and planting the new community-designed garden, which will help keep toxic stormwater runoff from making its way into local waterways. The official event announcement adds that it’s a chance for you to get inspired to do something similar:
On that day, HPIC will also be the host to many other ways that you can get involved at home. Join us for the Yards in the Neighborhood Tour:
• Take part in the planting of the rain garden
• Embark on a short, self-guided walking tour to learn about rain gardens and see demonstrations of green infrastructure
• Meet RainWise contractors learn about incentives and reimbursements for installing rain gardens and cisterns
• Visit booths and see demonstrations
• Learn five easy take-home actions to help the Duwamish River!
This is all happening 10 am to 1 pm Saturday at 12th/Holden, free of charge, everybody welcome, no minimum time commitment – stop by for a few minutes or all three hours, help plant if you can (or just cheer everybody on!).
(2011 photo by Danny McMillin, via the WSB Flickr group)
Just two and a half weeks remain in what began as a three-month public-comment period for the Environmental Protection Agency‘s proposed Duwamish River cleanup plan. June 13th is the deadline to have a say on how Seattle’s only river should be cleaned up after decades of pollution, and one more public hearing (with two sessions) is coming up this week. As the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition has led the way in pointing out, there are distinct differences in the ways the cleanup can be approached, and your comment(s) can be something as simple as a description of your priorities. The official plan document is here – you can read it in its entirety, or just check the “executive summary” a few pages in, if that’s all you have time for. DRCC’s recommendations are here, along with other assistance they offer for commenting.
HOW TO COMMENT: This week’s two-session hearing is at 2 pm and 6 pm Wednesday (May 29th) at Town Hall downtown, 1119 Eighth Avenue (map). You can also comment online via this web form, or e-mail email@example.com.
The winning “Environmental Issues Slam” team from Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) – mentioned here a month ago – has decided what to do with their winnings. The team calling itself “Drastic Plastic,” whose presentation covered plastics pollution in the world’s oceans, won the right to choose a charity for a $1,000 donation from the Washington Foundation for the Environment, and voted to give it to Sound Experience, described by EW’s Amy French as “an educational sailing organization with a program that educates schools/youth about plastic pollution in Puget Sound … Sound Experience has a unique partnership with UW-Tacoma to research microplastics in Puget Sound. As shown in the photo Amy shared, Sound Experience’s education/outreach coordinator Megan Addison visited EW this past week to receive the ceremonial check from the students; she’s shown with them and history teacher Tim Owens. Amy adds, “The winning team of students have also been invited by Sound Experience to participate in some plastic clean-up on board their vessel.” The slam participation followed a schoolwide effort that was part of EW’s Sustainability Program.
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