West Seattle, Washington
The fridge and bed frame are just some of the items dropped off in the early going at the fall 2017 edition of Fauntleroy Church‘s twice-yearly Recycle Roundup. Until 3 pm, you can drive up, ride up, or walk up to drop off your recyclables, free – as long as they’re on the list – in the church parking lot at 9140 California SW. The crew from 1 Green Planet is again filling truckloads, fast – they’ll get you through in mere moments.
Until 9 tonight, there’s a party in Fauntleroy’s Endolyne business district – the grand-opening celebration for Treo Organic Salon. It’s in the 45th SW/SW Wildwood corner space where Salon Fauntleroy closed earlier this year, next to The Original Bakery and two doors down from Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor). Treo’s proprietor is Sarah Griffiths:
Sarah explains, “We are partnered with Green Circle Salons which allows us to recycle used foil, hair clippings, and much more, reducing our waste by 85-95%. We also work with a new charity every year donating a portion of all sales and services to the cause. This year we are working with the White Center Food Bank. We will happily take food donations on their behalf as well.” That includes at tonight’s party.
2:06 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “heavy rescue” response to 40th SW and SW Thistle [map] on the Gatewood/Fauntleroy line for a report of a box truck hitting a house. We’re on our way to find out more.
2:23 AM: SFD is working to free the driver from the truck.
2:36 AM: Firefighters have cut the driver, a man believed to be in his late 20s, out of the truck. Medic unit will take him to the hospital. SFD says he is in ‘stable’ condition. No one hurt in the house; a neighbor tells us the residents apparently weren’t home.
2:57 AM: Firefighters have patched a spot on the corner of the house where the truck stopped. Some of the SFD units are leaving.
3:15 AM: We just left too – but first, once we were able to get closer, saw more of what happened, a story told by torn-up shrubbery and fencing: The truck appears to have gone onto the wrong side of the road just east of 40th SW….
then westbound across 40th and into/through the side yard, behind shrubs and fencing, of the house east of the one that it finally hit, also crossing an alley in the process:
Via scanner, SFD has just cleared the scene, and when the truck is towed, the Department of Construction and Inspections will have to check the house to see if it’s safe to inhabit.
One more reminder that Fauntleroy Church‘s twice-a-year Recycle Roundup is now just two days away – 9 am to 3 pm Sunday (September 24th). Drive up, ride up, or walk up to drop off, free, whatever the Recycle Roundup partner 1 Green Planet is accepting (scroll through the list above, or see the PDF version here). As always, the church – which is at 9140 California SW [map] – advises that lines are shorter in the early going.
(UPDATED THURSDAY AFTERNOON with slide deck from meeting)
(WSB video of Vashon meeting)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Ferry riders’ frustrations resulting from months of seeing vessels leave Fauntleroy during peak hours with space remaining, and a long line of vehicles still waiting, boiled over into everything from angry words to constructive suggestions at the first of this week’s two public meetings.
Last night’s meeting brought a standing-room-only crowd to Vashon Island High School to talk, and hear, about the Triangle Route and what has been, and might be, done about its challenges.
In one of the WSF presentations/speeches that began the meeting, WSDOT assistant secretary Amy Scarton, who is in charge of WSF, noted that their system is “very safe and generally efficient,” and that “ridership is growing … I know you guys feel that … 2016 ridership is highest that it’s been since 2014, and 2017 ridership is even higher … But … we’ve had a tough summer. I admit that, I own that.” She mentioned ferries going out of service for maintenance/repairs as short as 12 hours and as long as 2 months. “We are working hard every day to get those boats back in service as quickly as we can.”
She also insisted that “these dialogues are extremely important,” because management “is not going to know the best thing for your community” until they hear it directly from community members. She noted that the attempts to fix the Triangle Route dated back to her predecessor, and led to community conversations and creation of the Triangle Route Improvement Task Force. “I think as long as we keep this dialogue we can come up with some stuff to make this route even better.”
The dozens who spoke before meeting’s end certainly had a lot of “stuff” to suggest. More about that shortly, but first:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Is there really anything the Triangle Route Improvement Task Force can do to improve the route?
One task-force member asked that question about midway through the task force’s most-recent meeting at Fauntleroy Church, wondering aloud, “What is (Washington State) Ferries hoping to get out of us continuing to meet – because maybe we’re done.”
There was no direct answer for that but the indirect answers could be heard throughout the meeting, including toward the end, when time was opened for public comment, and several of the Vashon residents in attendance stood up.
While WSF changed its Fauntleroy terminal processing procedures in mid-June, hoping to get drivers through the tollbooths more quickly, frustrated Vashon residents have been pointing out that many boats are still leaving with empty spaces – and not because there are no vehicles left to load.
WSF says a major part of the problem is that the Fauntleroy dock holds 80 waiting cars, but the route is running 120-vehicle-capacity boats. Expanding the dock, in the midst of a single-family-residential zone, has long been considered to be out of the question.
Riders contend that problem could be transcended somewhat if WSF had portable scanning equipment that could be used by terminal staffers, so that those with tickets didn’t have to stop at the booth to be scanned.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, we should note that WSF plans two community meetings this coming week – the one on Vashon, Wednesday night, is likely to be particularly contentious. (Times and locations are at the bottom of this page.) Now – here’s how last Thursday’s task-force meeting unfolded:
With the weekend in view, it’s time for some previews of big events – starting with the 2nd-Time Sale, both days this weekend. The photos and preview are from Judy Pickens:
One of the largest sales in the 23-year history of the 2nd Time Sale is shaping up at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California Ave. SW). Bargains on nearly everything imaginable will overflow Fellowship Hall on Saturday, Sept. 16, 9 am – 4 pm, and again on Sunday, Sept. 17, 11:30 am – 2 pm. Cash or checks only at this “clean, culled, and organized” fundraiser for the church. Special items include this new ready-to-party diner jukebox with CD, FM, and MP3 capabilities:
Several pieces of Melissa and Doug play equipment await new homes in the toy section:
P.S. Next weekend, the church hosts a different kind of recycling event – the one where you bring stuff instead of buying it – the Recycle Roundup is a week from Sunday.
A few notes from last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse:
FERRY UPDATES: Gary Dawson, longtime Fauntleroy rep on the Ferry Advisory Committee and also a member of WSF’s Triangle Route Task Force, briefed the FCA board. He wasn’t at the most recent Task Force meeting, but caught up recently with other members. And he looked ahead to the next meeting of the Task Force, coming up tomorrow (Thursday), 4:30-7 pm (Fauntleroy Church, 9140 California SW), as well as the public meetings planned on Vashon (September 20th) and in Southworth, with people furious that boats continue to leave without being filled. He also noted that WSF has been short on boats due to unplanned maintenance issues. and had an update on turnover on the task force – especially among its Vashon membership; without Vashon representation, he thinks WSF should consider discontinuing the Task Force.
FAUNTLEROY FALL FESTIVAL: The popular annual event is coming up on Sunday, October 15th (details forthcoming). While the festival’s organizer couldn’t be at the meeting, she sent some updates: A falcon will be among the new attractions. New Fauntleroy business Wildwood Market will be a food vendor, with mac and cheese. The tamale vendor will be back. So will the cake walk, pumpkin painting, and birdhouse-making. They’re still looking for festival sponsors – and volunteers.
FAUNTLEROY TRIANGLE: 14 more planters are on the way to various areas in and around the newly reconfigured triangle in Fauntleroy’s Endolyne area. The planters and their dirt are to be provided by the city, while FCA is accountable for the cost of the plants. The owner of the building in the heart of the triangle has been donating the water to keep the plants hydrated in that area. FCA has a few other issues with how the area is working, but SDOT says other items are on hold because they are concentrating right now on “corridor” projects.
SURVEY: Every other year, the FCA surveys the community, both to find out what’s on residents and businesspeople’s minds, and to let those people know about FCA. It’s soon going to be survey time again, so they’re opening discussions about what they might ask and how they might get the survey out to the largest number of people. In the past, they’ve used postal mail as well as online.
MEMBERSHIP: A board business item included running through who had paid dues – FCA is one of the few local groups that collects them – and who had not. About a third of the membership on the rolls is behind. The bills should have arrived in spring with the newsletter. Also, a concern was raised about whether they’re reaching new prospective members who move into the area.
NEW BOARD MEMBER: Kris Ilgenfritz was introduced as the newest member of the FCA board.
NO CRIME BRIEFING: Though SPD had been on the agenda, they were not in attendance, so there was no update on local crime trends this month.
Got a little spare time this holiday weekend? See if you have anything to drop off at the upcoming fall edition of Fauntleroy Church‘s legendary Recycle Roundup. Above (or here, in PDF), you can see the list of what 1 Green Planet will (and won’t) be accepting this time around. When the big day arrives (Sunday, September 24th), just walk/ride/drive into the church parking lot at 9140 California SW, 9 am-3 pm, and drop off your item(s). It’s free, though of course the church’s Green Committee will gladly accept donations to help cover their costs for this twice-a-year community event.
Seattle Police are at 37th and Cambridge, south of Fauntleroy Park, where they and SFD responded to an “assault with weapons” call – but they found no evidence that the purported victim who called it in had been assaulted at all, with or without weapons. He showed signs of intoxication and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
From Washington State Ferries:
On Wednesday, August 16, the Vashon 5:45 am to Fauntleroy and the Fauntleroy 6:10 am return to Vashon are cancelled due to overnight repairs to the propulsion system of M/V Issaquah, requiring sea trials in the morning. The Issaquah will return to service with the Vashon 6:40 am sailing to Fauntleroy upon successful completion of sea trials. We apologize for any inconvenience. Updates will occur as more information becomes available.
2:37 PM: A three-car crash at 44th/Director [map], north of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, is sending at least one person to the hospital, we’re told at the scene – the driver of the red vehicle, which hit a pole. Police are also looking into a report that vehicle may have been involved in an earlier hit/run crash at 35th and Barton; we’re heading off to check that scene.
2:49 PM: The photo above is from 35th/Barton; the white car visible between the fire engine and police cars is the one struck by a hit-run driver suspected of involvement in the aforementioned crash. No serious injuries, we’re told.
5:44 PM: Thanks to the person who texted about this: A tree limb fell on a car on the north end of Lincoln Park’s north parking lot; that entrance is closed right now.
A Seattle Parks rep at the scene told us no one was injured and that the car was not seriously damaged. He said it happened about an hour ago and that a crew is en route.
We don’t know if this is one of the ~90 Lincoln Park trees identified for pruning/removal, as reported here earlier this summer; that work is expected to start soon.
8:20 PM: Just went by the parking lot. A Parks crew is wrapping up removal of the downed limb. The north entrance to the north lot is open again.
One year ago today – on August 7th, 2016 – it was a heartbreaking, yet enlightening day on the Fauntleroy shore just south of the ferry dock: A 39-foot-long juvenile female humpback whale came into the shallow waters early that Sunday morning, stranded and died. Volunteers worked to see if anything could be done to get her back out to sea, but within just a few hours, she took her last breath; then the situation became more of an investigation and finally a towing operation.
Some sampling/testing was done right on the beach after the tide went out, as noted in our 12 hours of coverage, but no formal necropsy report ever emerged. Humpbacks are no longer rare in Puget Sound – that was part of the education that this one left as her legacy, reminding those paying attention that they are increasing in numbers – up and down the entire West Coast, in fact. And since then, we have indeed had many humpback sightings (like this one off Fauntleroy in June).
One of the many experts, local and otherwise, who came to the scene a year ago (as shown in our photo gallery) was John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research Collective, well known for its whale research. We contacted him recently, looking ahead to the anniversary, asking if further information had become available. His reply:
We did get some information back but (it) did not add too much. Jessie Huggins, our stranding coordinator, indicated: “The necropsy observations of severe internal damage from the live stranding event, malnutrition, and parasitism were confirmed by histopathology. There were small amounts of biotoxins detected in the feces (both domoic acid and saxitoxin) but are considered incidental (not high enough levels to have contributed to the stranding event). The exact cause of the live stranding remains a mystery”
On the second morning after the whale’s death, West Seattle-based Global Diving and Salvage towed her carcass to a spot off Blake Island for a quiet burial in about 400 feet of water.
The humpback was the first whale to strand and die on a West Seattle beach since a gray whale in The Arroyos in April 2010.
(Draft version of the poster you’ll see promoting advance ticket purchases)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The pilot project might not have looked or felt different to individual ferry users. But in the big picture, a big difference was made, WSF said.
The task force, meeting Tuesday at Fauntleroy Church, also heard even bigger news: WSF expects to start selling tickets by phone before month’s end.
A guest as the meeting began was State Sen. Sharon Nelson, introduced by WSF’s government-affairs liaison John Vezina as representing “two-thirds of the Triangle route.” She gave the committee members a general message of support.
She began by saying that WSF’s work with legislators had become so much more collaborative in recent years, and that she thought putting together a task force about this route “made so much sense.” She talked about the diverse ridership and promised “I will support you every which way I can … I know there’ll be hiccups. … We’re in this together. … We’ll see how the implementation goes.”
She left “to catch the 5:10.”
Two seasonal salmon milestones have just been reached at Fauntleroy Creek, Judy Pickens reports:
On Wednesday, Fauntleroy Creek volunteers hosted the last of 700+ students who visited Fauntleroy Park over the past five weeks for salmon releases.
They brought 1,800 coho fry reared since January in area schools through the Salmon in the Schools program.
This week also marked the end of monitoring smolts migrating out to Fauntleroy Cove. Since mid-March, twice-daily checking of upper and lower traps documented that 32 coho smolts had survived their year in the creek, up from 19 in 2016. They’ll put on weight in nearshore habitat, then head to open water before returning to spawn in two years.
The next big seasonal event: Volunteers will watch for returning spawners this fall. Seven showed up last year – after zero in 2015, 19 in 2014, zero in 2013, and a record 274 counted in 2012.
Last night’s Taste of West Seattle at The Hall at Fauntleroy raised more money for the West Seattle Helpline than any of its predecessors – that’s the word today from Helpline executive director Chris Langeler, who says the tally is $70,000 “and still counting!” We stopped by for a few photos. A highlight of The Taste is the chance to vote on your favorites.
The team from The Westy (photo above) won Best Pour; in the other two voting categories, Best Taste went to Fresh Bistro, and Best Sweet went to repeat winner Stuffed Cakes. Other scenes from The Taste:
This year’s title sponsor was Metropolitan Market, also dishing up tomato and freshly pulled mozzarella on garlic crostini for Taste-goers, who get unlimited food and drink for the price of admission, which goes to help Helpline provide emergency assistance that often keeps people from becoming homeless. The event of course is powered by volunteers – like Frances:
If you were looking for fine wine at The Taste, you would have found Viscon Cellars – below, Susan Viscon and Ben Viscon:
Back to the food – Christie, Ruth, and Leslie from Dream Dinners brought Gaucho Pork Tenderloin with peach salsa:
And from Endolyne Joe’s, Andrea and Jon-Paul were there with pulled-pork sliders:
Delia and Cheryl from Pecos Pit, meantime, were serving up Frito Pie:
More than 40 food and beverage providers participated this year. There was music, too – piano player Derek Richards:
Helpline director Langeler has words of gratitude: “”We are so grateful for the restaurants, the volunteers, our sponsors, and everyone who joined us last night for the 12th Taste of West Seattle! We raised enough funds to help more than 200 families stay safely housed while they recover from crisis. We are so lucky to be part of our wonderful West Seattle community–thanks to everyone for supporting the West Seattle Helpline! See you at Taste 2018!”
(Of the participants mentioned above, The Westy, Metropolitan Market, Viscon Cellars, Dream Dinners, Endolyne Joe’s, and Pecos Pit are WSB sponsors.)
Two Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry-route notes tonight.
3-BOAT SERVICE TO RETURN WEDNESDAY: Washington State Ferries is putting the new ferry Chimacum into service early to help alleviate the current boat shortage. It’ll go onto the Seattle-Bremerton run so that Sealth can become the third boat on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. This is scheduled to happen first thing tomorrow morning.
TRIANGLE ROUTE IMPROVEMENTS: WSF’s Hadley Rodero shares an update on last week’s four-day test of tollbooth changes as part of the Triangle Task Force project:
We completed the pilot from May 15-18 as planned. After direct observation and a preliminary review of the data, we are cautiously optimistic.
On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, we saw smoother operations and what we believe to be more efficient use of the dock under your recommended procedures (more to come once we look at the numbers). Last Wednesday was tough for customers and staff alike, with long wait times and space left on boats. We think this was due to several factors. We didn’t communicate as well within the pilot team or use the dock as efficiently as other days. There was an unexpected mix of traffic (lots of Vashon at an unusual time). Customers are still learning the process (had to back a lot of people up because they tried to pull past the tollbooth). We also had the typical disruptions such as a car parked in the ferry line after “no parking” time, and a large truck blocking two holding lanes with a poor parking job.
Overall, customer feedback was mixed. Some people said they liked it, others disliked it, and there were a lot of people wishing for the by-pass.
Next steps: We’re reviewing the data and collecting another round of baseline data when things are back to “the old way” this week. We aim to have an official conclusion and next steps within a week.
The community task force on the Triangle project also has set its next meeting dates – open to the public, so if you’re interested:
June: Tuesday, June 6, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
July: Wednesday, July 12, 4 – 7 p.m. (terminal site visit and walk-through)
August: Thursday, August 10, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
September: Thursday, September 14, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
All except July 12th will be at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall (9140 California SW).
Thanks to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for sharing the “group hug” photo by Jean Sherrard from today’s centennial celebration at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse! The building housed Fauntleroy Elementary School until 1981 and is now home to Fauntleroy Children’s Center on the north end, The Hall at Fauntleroy on the south end, and other community organizations and small businesses inbetween. Watch for video from today’s celebration on the SWSHS website soon.
P.S. Next chance to be in a photo like this is another centennial – West Seattle High School is also celebrating its 100th anniversary, and this year’s All-School Reunion will include a “group hug” photo – 6:30 pm (gather at 6) Saturday, June 3rd – more info here.
Double trouble for Washington State Ferries on a sunny Sunday afternoon: The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on an emergency 2-boat schedule, and the cross-Sound situation was already stressed with the Seattle-Bremerton run down to one boat. Fauntleroy traffic is currently reported to be backed up about two hours, Vashon one and a half.
4:32 PM: Thanks to the texter who reports a crash involving a motorcycle rider in Fauntleroy. Seattle Fire units are logged as responding to a crash in the 4300 block of Brace Point Drive. We’re told they’re in the westbound lane. A witness tells us the rider is sitting up, alert, and talking with medics. But avoid the area if you can.
4:37 PM: All SFD units have now cleared the scene.
Thanks to Fauntleroy Creek steward Judy Pickens for the top photo and report (and headline!):
Today’s salmon release in Fauntleroy Park was the last for retiring fifth-grade teacher Tim Hannah. He’s spent most of his 28-year career at Alki Elementary and initiated the Salmon in the Schools rearing project there in 1992.
(Photo courtesy Karisa MacLachlan)
Alki’s release was No. 13 for Fauntleroy Watershed Council volunteers, with six more to go. By the end of the month, an estimated 750 students will have enriched the creek with about 2,200 coho fry.
After that, the next seasonal touchpoint for Fauntleroy Creek and its salmon happens this fall, when volunteers watch for spawners.
With less than one week left to buy tickets for West Seattle’s biggest annual celebration of food and drink, the Taste of West Seattle‘s lineup has been revealed.
Backstory: The Taste of West Seattle benefits West Seattle Helpline, whose work basically comes down to preventing people from becoming homeless, by providing emergency help. It’s happening 6 pm Thursday, May 25th, at The Hall at Fauntleroy, and you have to buy your ticket(s) by next Tuesday (May 23rd). From Helpline:
The Taste of West Seattle is a local, community-based food fair and is the largest event of its kind in West Seattle. This year’s Taste will feature food and drink from 40 different restaurants, breweries, wineries, coffee shops, bakeries, chocolatiers, and more – all from right here in West Seattle! Check out the restaurant lineup below:
BAKED. Custom Cakes
The Beer Junction
Beveridge Place Pub
Brookdale Admiral Heights/WS
Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe
Dream Dinners, West Seattle
Dolcetta Artisan Sweets
Elliott Bay Brewing Co.
Harry’s Chicken Joint
The Lodge Sports Grille
Locöl Barley and Vine
Pecos Pit-West Seattle
Prost! West Seattle
Salty’s on Alki
Schooner EXACT Brewing Co.
Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes-Catering and Events
West Seattle Cellars
All proceeds from the event go directly to the West Seattle Helpline’s emergency assistance and homelessness prevention programs. These services stabilize and support individuals and families in West Seattle who are recovering from a crisis or unexpected hardship.
(Eight of the participating venues – Dream Dinners, Endolyne Joe’s, Metropolitan Market, Pecos Pit, Salty’s on Alki, Viscon Cellars, The Westy, and Zeeks Pizza – are WSB sponsors.)