West Seattle, Washington
Last Sunday, our daily preview included the first photo we’d seen of Fauntleroy’s famous white geese and their babies. We didn’t know if they were roaming or ensconced somewhere – but apparently it’s the former, as Eric just sent these photos showing how he and neighbors took care to herd the family safely across Fauntleroy Way by the ferry dock. If you go through that area, PLEASE be extra careful! You can see Eric’s photos – and read the captions – by clicking the Steller image above, and then using the arrows that are toward the center of the display that should open after that.
10:44 AM: If you’re wondering about the big Seattle Fire response at Fauntleroy Church right now: It is categorized as an automatic fire alarm. Scanner reports indicate sprinklers went off, possibly because of an electrical fire. We are en route to find out more.
10:56 AM: Church member Peter Yanacek, who also posted this in comments, says the fire was in the library, and happened during the Music Sunday service; everyone is reported to be safe outside.
SFD has dispatched its investigator. Our photographer just called in and said the sprinklers discharged “a lot of water,” according to SFD, so that will require cleanup.
11:06 AM: Church attendees are being allowed back in to get their personal items. The church also has put out a call for wet-dry/shop-type vacs that they could use with the cleanup. The co-housed Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) is closed, we’re told, for water cleanup, and they don’t yet know if they’ll reopen later today.
3:33 PM: Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski sent this to her church’s congregation:
This morning, during our worship service, we experienced a small fire in our fourth floor library. The fire was accidentally caused by a child (who was not physically harmed, but who is quite emotionally upset). The sprinkler system worked as it should, and the fire was contained to a very small area within the library.
Water did soak walls and flooring on the fourth floor outside the library, office floor below (outside of offices), lobby, and one bathroom in the narthex as it came through the ceiling.
A big thank you to all of our volunteers who jumped right to work cleaning up what water we could before the professionals arrived this afternoon. Bless you, bless you, bless you!
Our annual meeting will be rescheduled and we will be in touch with that new date within the next few days. If pieces of Music Sunday are able to rescheduled, we’ll also let you know that.
The fire was small, and we are a strong, healthy church. All will be well!
As we rejoice in that wellness, let us remember to pray today for those who are not well, notably those involved in the horribly tragic loss of life in Orlando. Let us pray for those lost, their families, LGBTQ families everywhere and a world in which so much hate still exists and is allowed to fester.
And to those prayers, I ask a smaller, but special additional prayer — for one very scared child and her family today, who need to know us as their church family. Love is so powerful, and I thank God for a church that loves well and adds love to a world in such desperate need of it.
5:28 PM: We stopped by a short time ago. The water cleanup continues:
A professional cleanup crew is on site now, but Rev. Bilinski says they are thankful for the many volunteers who pitched in earlier today.
5:42 PM: The Fauntleroy Y will reopen tomorrow.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
On the city’s Shoreline Street Ends map, it’s “SW Barton Street.”
To the community that has cared for it since 1999, it’s Cove Park, a small strip of public beach on Fauntleroy Cove, immediately north of the state-ferry dock.
For three years earlier this decade, it was off-limits, until the Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project was complete – a project that turned Cove Park into a staging area.
Preparing for the project, King County – which runs the pump station – bought the 68-year-old beachfront bungalow next to Cove Park and its 14,000-square-foot (counting tidelands) lot for $950,000 in 2008.
Community members say they were told the little white house would be somebody’s home again, once the project was over. Now, a different possibility has the little white house at the core of a tug of war, one that could be heard in the impassioned voices of those who spoke at a recent community meeting.
After two and a half weeks, Washington State Ferries says it’s giving up on new “procedures” that were intended to speed up loading at the Fauntleroy dock, but caused new problems instead. This afternoon’s announcement:
On Monday, May 23, WSF instituted new ticketing procedures at the Fauntleroy ferry terminal in order to address several problems identified by the passengers, ferry advisory committee members, and WSF. Over the past three weeks, we have learned from passenger feedback and direct observation that the new procedures were not working. Based on this experience, we are suspending the change and returning to the ticketing procedures that were previously in place starting on Friday, June 10.
Passengers with pre-purchased tickets will be waved through the tollbooth, and their tickets will be scanned on the dock. Passengers who do not have tickets must stop to buy them at the tollbooth. We recognize that this solution does not address the underlying difficulties at the Fauntleroy Terminal, including limited vehicle capacity, challenges with consistent fare recovery, and an outdated schedule designed for smaller vessels and lower traffic volume. These factors create conflict between maintaining the schedule and filling the boats.
Going forward, we will reach out to and communicate with stakeholders as we explore options to improve service within the constraints of our system. Thank you to all of our customers for your patience. We heard you, and we apologize for the disruption and inconvenience this change has caused.
7:54 AM: Seattle Fire is already scaling back what was a “full response” to a possible house fire in the 9000 block of 39th SW [map] – it’s reported to be a “small electrical fire” that’s already out.
8:05 AM: Our crew is at the scene and confirmed that description of what happened. Remaining fire crews are making one last check of the attic at the house to be sure nothing’s smoldering. No injuries.
(Photo courtesy Michelle Taylor: Taproot students attend to a bag dispenser in Fauntleroy Park)
What Fauntleroy Creek/Watershed volunteers did in 2004 and 2008, students from Taproot School are doing now, according to watershed/creek steward Judy Pickens:
Continuing concern about pet waste left in Fauntleroy Park prompted students at Taproot School to take on the 2016 Poop Study.
The study documents the number and location of pet waste along a segment of trail in Fauntleroy Park that’s popular with dog walkers. After a baseline count earlier this spring, the students are reaching out to dog owners with information about why picking up after their pet is important and making compliance easy with free bags.
Located in the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse Community Center, Taproot School makes almost daily use of the park as an extension of classroom learning for its 27 (K-5) students. Run in 2004 and again in 2008, the study initiated by the Fauntleroy Watershed Council aims to reduce the level of fecal coliform bacteria that Fauntleroy Creek conveys into Puget Sound.
Students will do a second count in July and a third in September, then compile their report, with an emphasis on what more they recommend doing to get dog walkers to scoop.
Thanks to Joel Schoenberg for the photo from today’s low-low tide:
This is the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock right at the lowest point of today’s low tide. The pilings are completely out of the water. The other side of the dock where the ferries meet the dock was much deeper, of course. The ferry employees said that the biggest problem is actually that there isn’t enough water for the propellers to provide enough thrust, especially the reverse thrust needed while docking. So slowing down while docking becomes difficult and they risk slamming into the pilings instead of gently docking. Luckily our ferry fleet can float in just 12 feet of water.
If you can get outside at midday, it’ll be -3.2 feet – same as today – again tomorrow, at 12:24 pm.
From Washington State Ferries:
Starting Monday, May 23, all vehicles except motorcycles and bicycles must stop at the tollbooths at the Fauntleroy Terminal to purchase and/or redeem tickets. Motorcyclists and bicyclists will continue to be processed near the Terminal building at the west end of the dock.
To speed up the loading process during peak travel times, a bypass lane will be provided for pre-ticketed vehicles only (no sales). New signage has been installed in front of and on the toll booths to indicate when the pre-ticketed bypass lane is open, in addition to providing other important information. Please pay attention to signs and watch for instructions from WSF staff at the Fauntleroy Terminal.
Please note that as a safety precaution, WSF will not allow passengers to be dropped off or picked up at the terminal when the pre-ticketed bypass lane is open. Passengers can be picked up/dropped off in the load zone just south of the Terminal on Fauntleroy Way during these times. Customers with disabilities that prevent them from using the walkway at the terminal should notify WSF staff upon arriving at the terminal that they will need a closer pick-up/drop-off point.
This change is being implemented to speed vehicle processing and loading times. Thank you for your cooperation!
Toplines from Tuesday night’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting:
HOUSE OR PARKLAND? FCA talked about the proposal presented last month by Seattle Parks’ Chip Nevins, a potential trade between the city and county, involving the house next to Cove Park north of the ferry dock – 8923 Fauntleroy Way SW – which the county had bought to use as a construction office and staging area during the Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project, but no longer needs. It’s on a 35-foot-wide strip of beach just beyond the sign in the photo below:
FCA had understood that it would revert to single-family-house use, for which it’s zoned, after the project, though they haven’t yet discovered if that commitment is in writing somewhere. Nevins presented a proposal in which the county would trade it to the city in exchange for a street vacation giving it street-end land that’s part of the pump-station site. If the home site became parkland, it could expand Cove Park, a community-maintained sliver of beachfront.
Many details are yet to be worked out, including gathering of community feedback, with a public meeting set for May 24, 6:30 pm, at The Hall at Fauntleroy.
The FCA board decided not to take a position. But they do want to get out some information to clarify issues, questions, and misperceptions, and plan to publish it on the FCA website soon. For one, they think there may be a lack of awareness of the park that’s already there, possibly related to its below-street-level location as well as the fact it was closed for three years during the pump-station upgrade. They’re also concerned about the economic ramifications of turning the site into parkland and taking it out of the tax base. The property had sold for almost a million dollars before the project.
ENDOLYNE TRIANGLE WORK: Quick update on this, two months after SDOT’s Jim Curtin had come to the FCA board meeting to talk about the changes to be made to this area on the east side of the Endolyne business district. Marty Westerman, who’s been point person on the project, said Curtin told him the work will be done by the end of June; as the result of an informal vote at the end of last month’s FCA board meeting, the painted curb bulbs on the street will be brick red.
11:02 AM: Three weeks ago, much discussion was sparked by our report on the potential fate of a beachfront house just north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock and community-maintained Cove Park. A Seattle Parks rep had come to the monthly meeting of the Fauntleroy Community Association (which we routinely cover) to talk about a potential decision ahead: The house, purchased by the county for office and staging use during the now-concluded Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project, might be available to the city “almost free” in a trade involving right of way. Chip Nevins from Parks’ acquisition division promised there would be a community meeting before any decision was made. And today, we’ve confirmed that public meeting is set for Tuesday, May 24th, 6:30 pm, at The Hall at Fauntleroy (south end of historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, at 9131 California SW).
Even before confirming the meeting plan today with Parks – which says a formal announcement will go out later today – we got early word of it from neighbor Claudia, who has created a website about the site and the impending decision.
4:18 PM: Here’s the text of the official Parks flyer for the meeting, which we just received:
Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to learn about the opportunity, and first step in a process, to expand Cove Park through a land swap with King County. This property, 8923 Fauntleroy Way SW, with 35 feet of beacjfront property, is immediately to the north of Cove Park in West Seattle, which lies just to the north of the Fauntleroy Ferry dock. Seattle Parks and Recreation planner, Chip Nevins, will present the proposed project, answer questions and gather community input about the proposed trade.
In 2015 King County Wastewater Treatment Division finished the upgrade to the Barton Pump Station,
next to the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal, to accommodate West Seattle’s growing population. As part of the
construction of the new pump station, King County acquired the property just to the north of SW Barton
Street, which was used as their temporary construction offices. Now that the project is finished, King
County no longer needs the property and is proposing to trade it to the City in exchange for the vacation of the portion of the SW Barton Street right-of-way where the pump station is constructed.
Chip Nevins presented this idea to the Fauntleroy Community Association in April. Seattle Parks and
Recreation encourages the community to come to this meeting and learn about the proposal.
West Seattleites were clearly not going to let the rain keep them away from the Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church last Sunday. Judy Pickens reports a big haul:
West Seattleites braved Sunday’s downpour to bring 11.5 tons to the spring Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church for responsible recycling by 1 Green Planet. It was one of the largest collections since the church’s green committee started the roundup in 2010. The fall roundup will be Sunday, Sept. 25.
Last fall’s RR brought in 9 tons, following a 10-ton day last spring.
At Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW), the rain’s not stopping the twice-yearly Recycle Roundup, on until 3 pm today. We stopped by in the first hour and found people dropping off everything from an old TV antenna to an exercise cycle.
There’s no charge to drop off your recyclables as long as they’re on the list; the church’s Green Committee coordinates this every spring and fall with recycler 1 Green Planet and will of course accept donations to cover their expenses, but that’s totally voluntary. They have one request: Please DON’T wait until the end of the day – after 2:30, there can be a long line.
(WSB photo from past Recycle Roundup)
Getting ready for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day (three weeks from today!) and realizing not everything is sellable, even at the low-low-low-make-an-offer level? Or, just de-cluttering in general? One more reminder – tomorrow is the spring edition of the twice-annual Recycle Roundup in the Fauntleroy Church parking lot at 9140 California SW. 9 am-3 pm. Drop your recyclables off for free, as long as they’re on this list (which also points out what the church Green Committee‘s Recycle Roundup partner 1 Green Planet definitely WON’T take). One more thing: The earlier you can get there in that six-hour window, the better.
(WSB file photo)
Another big West Seattle event for de-cluttering is getting close – just five days until this Sunday’s spring edition of the Recycle Roundup that Fauntleroy Church‘s Green Committee presents twice a year. Here is the official list of what you can drop off (and what you can’t) in the church parking lot at 9140 California SW 9 am-3 pm Sunday (April 24th). No fees. If you have questions even after checking the list, it includes contact info you can use to ask the church’s event partner, 1 Green Planet. Otherwise – just show up!
That flyer (PDF version here) shows what will, and won’t, be accepted at the next Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy UCC Church, now just a month away. Judy Pickens sent it along with the early reminder – 9 am-3 pm on Sunday, April 24th, you’ll be able to drop off your recyclables for free, as 1 Green Planet sets up at the church parking lot (9130 Fauntleroy SW) for the day, as they do twice yearly, in partnership with the church’s Green Committee.
SIDE NOTE/QUESTION: If you are – or know of someone who is – planning a SHREDDING event this spring, please let us know as soon as you can – we are frequently asked if one is coming up, but haven’t received any announcements yet.
Get to know more of your West Seattle neighbors’ smiling faces:
The Hall at Fauntleroy was filled with community members and community spirit on Tuesday night during the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual Food Fest membership meeting. The local food-and-drink participants are of course a big draw – Nate and Pedro were there from Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor):
Donna Lawson from Stuffed Cakes, too:
Will and Georgia from Giannoni’s Pizzeria:
Also there, Tuxedoes and Tennis Shoes from DSquared (the new brand for the many-layered food business that began at The Hall), Bird on a Wire, Original Bakery, Unsweetened Tooth, Daystar, The Kenney.
FCA’s new slate of leaders paused for a photo:
Mike Lantz-Dey continues as president. Departing board members were Gordon Wiehler and Debbie Kerns (who will, however, continue coordinating the Fauntleroy Fall Festival):
Other community groups/organizations included the Seattle Nature Alliance:
Rebecca and Mark represented. Also there, Fauntleroy Creek steward (among other community roles) Judy Pickens and Fauntleroy UCC pastor Rev. Leah Bilinski:
Other organizations represented included the West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor), Seal Sitters, The Whale Trail, RainWise, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), Morgan Community Association, ArtsWest, and the city Department of Neighborhoods, represented by neighborhood district coordinators Kerry Wade and Jenny Frankl:
Plus SPD, which brought the Mobile Precinct:
That’s Community Police Team Officer Clayton Powell inside. Inside, we caught him on camera with Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith and Seattle University research assistant Jennifer Burbridge, who’s been working with the precinct on neighborhood issues for many months now:
From here – get more involved with your community council! If Fauntleroy is the neighborhood where you live or work, check out FCA meetings on second Tuesdays, 7 pm, at historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW) – watch fauntleroy.net in the meantime for updates.
(WSB photo from 2015 Food Fest)
If you live, work, and/or play in Fauntleroy, its community council invites you to the annual Food Fest membership celebration on Tuesday (March 15th). As is usual every March, that was the hot topic at the monthly Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting this past week – though not the only topic.
The event on Tuesday is FCA’s annual membership event, with local food-and-drink establishments participating in order to celebrate community as well as entice attendance. It’s at The Hall at Fauntleroy, starting at 6 pm, and will include officer elections (in a festive atmosphere). Come renew or start your FCA membership, while enjoying free samples from more than half a dozen local food/drink establishments, and learning about community businesses/organizations. Bring a food-bank donation too!
ALSO AT FCA – NEXT STEPS FOR EX-SUBSTATION: When the City Council gave City Light the OK to dispose of its surplus ex-substations, the FCA was given a year to come up with a plan to purchase it; if that doesn’t happen, the city will sell it on the open market, as it’s doing with the former Andover substation on Pigeon Point and the former White Center substation in Highland Park. FCA informally met with some neighbors recently and reported that most would like to see it become a greenspace, but some would be OK with housing. FCA is currently trying to rustle up funding for a landscape consultant to evaluate the site.
ENDOLYNE TRIANGLE: Following up on last month’s discussion of plans to calm traffic around the “triangle” in the Fauntleroy/Endolyne business district, FCA’s Marty Westerman says SDOT’s Jim Curtin told him the work is just awaiting two consecutive warm, dry days. As for the planters that are also in the works for the triangle, a neighborhood discussion will determine their configuration and maintenance plans.
FAUNTLEROY SCHOOLHOUSE: Vicki Schmitz-Block reported on a recent daylong retreat that included not only the board but also building representatives, working on a new long-term business plan for the historic schoolhouse. One of its major tenants, the Fauntleroy Children’s Center, has a fundraising auction coming up March 19th.
The Fauntleroy Community Association usually meets second Tuesdays in the schoolhouse conference room – but don’t miss the March 15th Food Fest mentioned above!
Traffic-calming changes ahead for the Fauntleroy/Endolyne Triangle in Fauntleroy were unveiled at a briefing that preceded last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting. The Triangle is a confusing, sometimes dangerous multi-point series of intersections between 45th, Wildwood, and Brace Point, and SDOT‘s Jim Curtin came to the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse to review plans with community members. “Transforming the triangle,” is how he described the changes, a long time coming, discussed in forums including FCA’s 2014 community gathering about traffic and a walking tour last year with then-City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.
Features shown in the schematic design include back-in angled parking on the south side of the commercial heart of the triangle, two painted curb bulbs along the Brace Point Drive side of the triangle (paint colors haven’t been chosen yet), and a bicycle corral in front of Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor), where a parking space needed to be removed anyway to improve visibility from the parking lot south of the restaurant.
One point yet to be worked out: The stop sign on the northeast edge of the area. The city wants to remove it; community members want to keep it. Curtin plans to bring out city traffic engineer Dongho Chang for a firsthand look, at the behest of FCA. As for the timeline overall, the work could be done in one day, March or April. It’s funded because some other area projects have come in under budget, Curtin said.
Then it was on to the board meeting in the schoolhouse’s smaller conference room, led by vice president David Haggerty:
ANNUAL MEETING/FOOD FEST: Next month, FCA throws its biggest party of the year. Lots has happened since last time, as Marty Westerman pointed out – Cove Park is open again and better than ever, Endolyne Triangle is being beautified (as part of the work mentioned above) and made safer, the Fauntleroy Fall Festival is getting more support from FCA than ever – so there is much to celebrate. This is also a time for residents to come renew their FCA memberships. The group works on a variety of advocacy issues and even has welcome bags for new area residents. Along with local restaurants and food purveyors (including Tuxedoes and Tennis Shoes, which has its exclusive event venue in the schoolhouse), the meeting also brings out local-interest organizations to distribute information.
As part of the annual meeting, officers will be elected. Haggerty is not planning to run for re-election as vice president. A few other positions are open.
CITY LIGHT PROPERTY: FCA has been given a year to come up with a way to buy the former substation property at 46th SW and Brace Point Drive. Surveys were distributed to about 60 neighbors and almost half turned them back in; a team of four talked with other neighbors. Most support keeping it as greenspace; a few were interested in housing: “I feel like we got a good read now and what folks around there want. Now we have to try to figure out the next step … I don’t know how many (neighbors) would actually be willing to pull out their wallets.” Still a work in progress.
SEATTLE PUBLIC UTILITIES PUMP STATION PROJECT: We had just heard about this, before the meeting, and we’re gathering information from SPU. Some work will be under way to upgrade a pump station that’s on the south side of the Fauntleroy ferry dock, timeline TBA, and it will encroach to some degree on the small parking lot on the southeast end of the dock – more info to come.
NEW FAUNTLEROY UCC MINISTER: The group spent a few minutes talking with recently arrived Rev. Leah Bilinski at the meeting’s start. In her fifth month leading Fauntleroy UCC Church, she’s continuing to work on getting to know Fauntleroy and Seattle.
10:30 AM: Police are searching for a burglar in Upper Fauntleroy. He was interrupted while going through a garage in a house on California SW south of SW Sullivan – this is near WSB HQ and we found out about it when three SPD cars arrived down the street. Officers told us the burglar bolted eastbound between houses to the north of the break-in location and dropped some of what he had stolen. No description yet.
2:35 PM: According to neighbors, there’s a partial description – 20s, 5’7″, stocking cap with snowflakes or stars on it.
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant is vacating its longtime Fauntleroy-area location (9214 45th Avenue SW) after this Sunday.
Jose Prieto and Maria Rodriguez say they were unable to negotiate an extension of their lease with property management, after nearly 13 years near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, and were forced to seek alternatives for continuing operations. The husband-and-wife restaurant owners looked at Morgan Junction as a possibility, but ultimately decided paying a third more rent was more than their business could handle.
“It’s sad, you know,” says Prieto. “I have all my regulars. I even have people who come all the way from Lynnwood and Des Moines. It’s a really great neighborhood. We hurt, you know?”
Prieto says he has no idea what the current property owners have planned for the space, but is already working hard to reopen in a new Federal Way location as El Mariachi (29100 Pacific Highway S.).
Before they leave West Seattle, however, Prieto plans to say goodbye to the neighborhood by running Happy Hour specials all weekend long, offering buy-one-get-one-for-half-off entrée deals, and opening earlier than their normal 12 noon Sunday start time to accommodate those who want to watch the Seahawks-Panthers playoff game.
“Hopefully, we’ll clear out all our food and be out of here after Sunday,” says Prieto. “We’ll open up and start fresh down there. Our goal is to be open March 1st.”
(Photo by Ben Ackers, from last year’s cookoff, as Pam Goldfine‘s chili got checked out)
The annual Fauntleroy Chili Cookoff is next month and the call for chefs is out now, peninsula-wide. From Judy Pickens:
The fifth annual Fauntleroy Chili Cookoff invites area residents to apply for the competition. If you think your vegetarian or meat chili recipe is award-winning, email Adam Moomey (email@example.com) for details. The Saturday, February 13, cook-off will heat up at 6 pm in Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy Church.
(That’s the Saturday after the Super Bowl, so you can practice on your party guests if you enter!)
Seattle Public Utilities crews are at 47th SW and Brace Point Drive right now, making emergency repairs after a water-line break. We contacted SPU and went to the scene for a look after two nearby residents contacted us wondering about a sudden drop in water pressure. The crew at the scene told us they hope to be done in half an hour or so. This could be affecting water pressure as far north as Willow and Fauntleroy, SPU says.
P.S. If you get discolored water because of, or after, this – here’s the SPU advice on that.