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PHOTOS, VIDEO: Fauntleroy Fall Festival fun, 2016 edition


2:50 PM: The Fauntleroy Fall Festival might be the only place you’ll hear a Prince cover with ukuleles:

The Back Porch Apostles are playing in the Fauntleroy Church/Y parking lot right now, which is one of the centers of activity during the festival, continuing until 5 pm. Lots of kid activities in the lot, including an annual favorite – making salmon hats, in honor of nearby Fauntleroy Creek:


On the north side of the lot, Seattle Fire Engine 37 from Sunrise Heights was visiting, along with the local Seattle Police Mobile Precinct:


Another center is The Hall at Fauntleroy on the other side of the 9100 block of California SW. Inside – more music plus the cake-decorating contest, to be followed by the cakewalk. We were totally surprised to see the cake on the left:


(3:40 pm note – the truck cake on the right won the “advanced” division!) More festival updates to come – here’s the schedule of what’s happening, where, and when, and here’s the list of food/drink available for purchase (everything else here is free).

3:30 PM UPDATE: Some of the festival activities are hidden gems – you have to wander into the church lobby to find the West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ “instrument petting zoo”:


In the Vashon Room of The Hall at Fauntleroy, meantime, it’s cakewalk time!


And on the east side of The Hall, the West Seattle Big Band will be playing at 3:45 – lots of room to dance!

4:09 PM UPDATE: Evidence of that last statement:

The WSBB plays until 5 pm, when the festival wraps up. It’s always musically abundant – in addition to offering the instrument “zoo,” as mentioned above, the WSCO had a Brass Sextet (plus percussionist) performing in the church’s fellowship hall:


Thanks to Toni Reineke (third from the left) for sharing that photo. One more festival center we haven’t mentioned yet – outside Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, to the west, pony rides, music, a playground, and a petting zoo with goats among other fuzzy friends:



The festival is a collaboration between community groups, institutions, organizations, and business, running on volunteer power and donations. If you would like to donate and missed the chance at the festival, just go here.

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SUNDAY! Fauntleroy Fall Festival schedule & food list

(WSB file photo)

Just hours to go until this year’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival – tomorrow (Sunday, October 23rd), 2-5 pm, at venues on both sides of the 9100 block of California SW (Fauntleroy Church/YMCA/Schoolhouse; here’s a map). Tonight, we have two things you might be wondering about in advance – the activity schedule, and the food!

Here’s the schedule:

Activities are free. The only things you need to bring money for – entirely optional – are the food and drink offerings. See the list here (PDF) – vendors this year are Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor), Tuxedoes and Tennis Shoes Catering, Stuffed Cakes, Bird on a Wire Espresso, and The Tamale Guy. Plus, the Fauntleroy Church Youth Club will be having a bake sale.

COUNTDOWN: Fauntleroy Fall Festival this Sunday!

If it’s not already in your weekend plan … we need to talk about the Fauntleroy Fall Festival. Again this year, it’s three busy hours of all-ages fun in the heart of Fauntleroy – in and around the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, in and around the Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) and Fauntleroy Church across the street, this Sunday (October 23rd), 2-5 pm. Here’s just part of what you’ll find:

*Pumpkin decorating
*Other crafts
*Birdhouse building
*Climbing wall
*Pony rides
*Music (including West Seattle Big Band in The Hall at Fauntleroy at 3:30 pm)
*Cake contest and cakewalk

About that last one – you can enter! Here’s how:

The decorating contest has three categories: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Cakes can be any shape or size but should have either a Fall, Halloween, or West Seattle theme. They can be very simple to very elaborate, baked and decorated by an individual, or a parent and child, a family, or a group of friends.

Cakes should be brought to the Vashon Room on the day of the festival, between 12 noon and 1 pm. Voting will begin at 1:30 and continue until about 3 p.m. Once the votes have been tallied, prizes will be awarded for each category. (Who votes? You do, along with other Fall Festival guests.) And then the Cake Walk begins! The Cake Walk continues until all the cakes have been given away. If you do not want to enter the Cake Decorating Contest, you can bake and donate a cake for the Cake Walk.

The Vashon Room is at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW). Everything’s free except the food items you’ll find available for purchase.

P.S. One great way to get there is RapidRide C Line, which drops you off in the middle of the festival.

@ Fauntleroy Community Association: ‘Quick’ response to oppose City Council park-camping proposal; first word of WSF meeting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Fauntleroy Community Association board vows “quick” action to let the City Council know it’s against proposed legislation that could change the rules about camping in city parks (the subject of this much-commented-on WSB report last Friday). That was one of the major topics on its agenda last night:

CAMPING IN PARKS? FCA’s jurisdiction includes Lincoln Park, and that made the proposed legislation a major topic at tonight’s meeting. Several members, said president Mike Dey, had asked whether FCA would consider “getting involved” as an organization, and if so, what would the response be, and that’s how it ended up on the agenda.

One attendee said she had never come to a neighborhood meeting before, until she saw this was on the agenda. “This is something that I’m passionate about, I cannot have my kids’ safety” (jeopardized). She said that her job brings her into contact with families experiencing homelessness, but a park is not the appropriate place for anyone to live.

All it does is degrade neighborhoods AND people, said one FCA board member. It’s going to perpetuate the problem.

“It’s not a solution, it’s a nightmare,” said another one.

“What if we did a survey, and put data” behind the response? suggested another member. Unfortunately, time’s running out, the point was made.

Is this an issue on which to burn political capital? was one question. Public opinion seems overwhelmingly against it. But is the council listening? Most didn’t think so: “I’m scared to death they’re going to approve it.”

After a further short round of discussion, the FCA board voted unanimously to draft and send a letter expressing opposition to the ordinance. “We will respond, and will respond quickly” was the promise.

The discussion happened at mid-meeting, but even before the meeting began, it was the major topic of discussion. Referring to the incident earlier in the day in which Seattle Police shot and killed one of two people in a reported knife fight near the clearing of “The Jungle” on Beacon Hill, one person said, “Hoping this doesn’t happen at Lincoln Park.”

Another expressed interest in acquiring a tent “because I am ready to go camp outside the mayor’s office.”

The agenda is now up for the 9:30 am Friday meeting at which the City Council’s Human Services and Public Health Committee is scheduled to consider the proposal, but as of this writing (11 am Wednesday) the updated version of the legislation is not yet available online. (Added 12:28 pm: There are multiple reports that the committee will not VOTE on Friday. But the meeting is still scheduled.)

Next hottest topic:

FERRY UPDATES: This briefing by Gary Dawson, FCA’s point person on Washington State Ferries-related issues, brought first word that WSF is planning public meetings to talk about the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route’s issues. Read More

Fauntleroy Church Recycle Roundup: Sunday’s results, and 2017 dates

September 27, 2016 12:31 pm
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 |   Environment | Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

(WSB photo from midway through last Sunday’s Recycle Roundup)

Another big harvest for the fall edition of the Recycle Roundup free-dropoff event in Fauntleroy this past Sunday. Judy Pickens has the numbers, and the dates for next year:

Sunday’s fall recycle roundup at Fauntleroy Church brought in 9.25 tons for responsible recycling. The crew from 1 Green Planet unloaded just over 400 vehicles. The church’s green committee will host the 2017 roundups on Sunday, April 23, and Sunday, September 24.

When April gets closer, we’ll remind you, of course, especially once the “what will and won’t be accepted” list comes in.

HAPPENING NOW: Fauntleroy ‘Recycle Roundup,’ until 3 pm


Just stopped by Fauntleroy Church to see how the fall Recycle Roundup is going. You have until 3 pm to drop off recyclables for free – provided they’re on this (long) list of what 1 Green Planet is taking this time. Most memorable item we spotted during a quick look – a vintage copper “Combination” GE refrigerator/freezer.


The church is at 9140 California SW (you can’t get there directly from the main stretch of California – if you head west on Barton from 35th, the road becomes California for a short stretch before the Endolyne business district). It’s busy right now (a few minutes past noon) but they have enough help to keep everyone moving through quickly.

COUNTDOWN: Recycle Roundup this Sunday @ Fauntleroy Church

Thanks to Judy Pickens for the file photo and reminder: You have five days to get your recyclables ready to drop off at Fauntleroy Church:

The fall Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church is this coming Sunday, September 25, 9 am to 3 pm in the church parking lot (9140 California SW). The list of what you can bring for responsible recycling (and what not) is here. Plan to avoid coming at the last hour, else you may have to wait several minutes for the crew from 1 Green Planet to unload your recyclables. The twice-yearly event is free but the church’s Green Committee won’t turn down a donation.

Last spring’s RR brought in 11.5 tons of recyclables.

SATURDAY: Second-Time Sale in Fauntleroy

September 16, 2016 6:03 pm
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 |   Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

One of this weekend’s big events is for people who love to shop. The photo and reminder are from Judy Pickens:

Above, Janie Menaul wrestles a floor lamp into shape to check that it’s complete and working. She and a host of other volunteers are preparing for the 22nd annual 2nd Time Sale this weekend at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW), and it promises to be one of the biggest ever. Saturday 9 am – 4 pm with a bake sale and free delivery of large items; Sunday 11:30 am – 2 pm. Cash or check only for thousands of clean, culled, and organized bargains.

Judy adds that the church is currently “hiring a building and grounds custodian to handle routine maintenance and support such special events” – details are here.

@ Fauntleroy Community Association: Burglaries; transportation; schoolhouse centennial…

September 13, 2016 10:42 pm
|    Comments Off on @ Fauntleroy Community Association: Burglaries; transportation; schoolhouse centennial…
 |   Fauntleroy | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

From tonight’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting:

BURGLARIES UP: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith brought a crime update. Burglaries are on the rise in Fauntleroy, he said. In August, there was one a week, and while that might not sound like much, it’s an uptick they’re taking seriously. If you see anything unusual/suspicious happening, he stressed – there or anywhere else – call 911. Car prowls, meantime, are down slightly, and “crimes against persons” have dropped by more than half.

ENDOLYNE TRIANGLE PROJECT: As reported here, SDOT has completed the work, long requested by community members, first described at last xx’s FCA meeting. FCA’s Marty Westerman said the final product is about 90 percent of what the group and other community members suggested; questions remain about the layout of the parking spaces alongside the commercial building in the heart of the triangle, and he’ll be contacting SDOT point person Jim Curtin for a walkthrough. Otherwise, Westerman said the transition seemed to have gone smoothly.

OTHER TRANSPORTATION ISSUES: Information is still being gathered regarding who’s parking in the neighborhoods; the most recent survey was done after school started, to see if parking usage is affected by the number of West Seattleites who go to school on Vashon. Findings will be presented next month … FCA’s ferry-issues point person Gary Ewing said he’s been involved in discussions resulting from the huge recent backups, to “brainstorm” ideas about better traffic flows. No conclusions on that yet.

SCHOOLHOUSE CENTENNIAL: One of next year’s biggest events in Fauntleroy will be the historic schoolhouse’s centennial, with a celebration planned on Sunday, May 21, 2017, starting right after services at Fauntleroy Church, since the congregation includes many alumni from the old Fauntleroy School. The committee working on the celebration is seeking a small city grant to pay for refreshments and some other incidentals; they’re working on activities including an old-fashioned school carnival. The event will start with a ceremony and speakers, with the lineup almost set. Find out more about the centennial plans here.

The Fauntleroy Community Association meets second Tuesdays most months, 7 pm @ Fauntleroy Schoolhouse – check fauntleroy.net between meetings for updates.

FOLLOWUP: ‘Return’ of the Fauntleroy fish


The Fauntleroy fish-ladder overlook hasn’t been the same since the fish were stolen from its art installation in June of last year. But new fish are arriving, thanks to the artist. The photo and report are from Fauntleroy Creek steward Judy Pickens:

Artist Tom Jay brought a big drill to begin installation of new coho and cutthroat sculptures at the fish-ladder viewpoint (upper Fauntleroy Way SW & SW Director). The original aluminum fish were stolen in June 2015. This time, Jay built the sculptures using several techniques that have proven to protect art from such vandalism. His “Stream Echo” installation at the viewpoint dates from 1998, when the city built the fish ladder and applied 1% of the construction cost to public art. The new fish will be duly welcomed at the annual salmon drumming on Sunday, October 30, at 5 pm.

The overlook is across Fauntleroy Way (and up the embankment) from the ferry dock.

About the helicopter: Just checking out ferry traffic

September 2, 2016 4:24 pm
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 |   Fauntleroy | Helicopter | West Seattle news

If you were seeing/hearing the helicopter hovering in the Arbor Heights/Fauntleroy vicinity – no, nothing going on, just TV checking on the ferry traffic as the holiday weekend gets under way. Most recent report from Washington State Ferries was that Fauntleroy had a one-hour wait, not unusual for a summer Friday. You can see the “live” cameras at and near the terminal by going here.

UPDATE: Heavy-rescue response in 9400 block 37th SW


11:32 AM: A sizable Seattle Fire “heavy rescue” response is headed to the 9400 block of 37th SW [map]. It’s a report of a car crashing into a garage.

11:46 AM: Our crew is at the scene and has been told no one is hurt. All SFD units are leaving except Engine 11. We’re waiting to talk with SPD to get details.


12:03 PM: Here’s what happened, according to police: The driver came down the Roxbury dead-end at 37th and veered off through the trees, onto residential property, clipping one structure and coming to a stop after crashing into a freestanding garage. They’re talking with the driver, who is unhurt.

ONE MONTH AWAY! Fauntleroy Church ‘Recycle Roundup’

August 24, 2016 4:30 pm
|    Comments Off on ONE MONTH AWAY! Fauntleroy Church ‘Recycle Roundup’
 |   Environment | Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

This is your early reminder: Start collecting your recyclables for the fall edition of the Fauntleroy Church Recycle Roundup. It’s a month away – 9 am-3 pm Sunday, September 25th. Courtesy of Judy Pickens, we have the latest list of which items they will and won’t be able to accept. If you haven’t participated before, it’s a free drive-up/ride-up/walk-up event in the church parking lot at 9140 California SW.

FAUNTLEROY WHALE FOLLOWUP: Towed, sunk by Global Diving and Salvage crew

8:40 AM: We’re at the Fauntleroy ferry dock, where a crew from Global Diving and Salvage is getting ready to tow away the carcass of the 39-foot juvenile humpback whale that died on the beach here Sunday (WSB all-day coverage here; photo/video followup here). First, it had to be evaluated:


The whale has been out of view, submerged, since a Washington State Ferries “shore gang” tied it to floats Sunday night and towed it to a spot along the dock where it’s been secured since then.

As we reported last night, Global – which is based in West Seattle – got the call on Monday that its assistance would be needed to dispose of the whale, which is to be sunk in Puget Sound rather than taken to a beach to decompose. Its 62-foot landing-craft-type vessel Prudhoe Bay – also known for bringing the Seafair Pirates to Alki Beach each summer – pulled up just after 8 am:


Global Diving and Salvage executives tell WSB they’ve assisted with whales before – including the fin whale that turned up at Seahurst Park in Burien in 2013.


9:13 AM: The crew has secured floats – and therefore, the whale – to the Prudhoe Bay, and is sailing away from the dock, headed for a “pre-approved” sinking site. (We’ve added video atop this story, and will be adding more photos later.)


4:27 PM UPDATE: Just talked with David DeVilbiss from Global, who confirms the whale has been “respectfully” sent to its final resting place “in about 400 feet of water.” Location not specified, but we’ve noted that MarineTraffic.com showed the Prudhoe Bay off Blake Island most of the day. DeVilbiss adds that a marine biologist was on board and able to get more information about the whale that couldn’t be gathered on the beach – underside markings, for example.

AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Humpback whale strands, dies south of Fauntleroy ferry dock

(SUNDAY NIGHT TOPLINE: Juvenile humpback whale stranded and died this morning south of Fauntleroy ferry dock, towed off beach this evening, to be sunk Monday)

(Video added 9:24 – you can hear the whale still trying to breathe)

FIRST REPORT, 7:58 AM: In just the past few minutes, we’ve received multiple messages about what people describe as a whale in trouble south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock.

One texter says Washington State Ferries has contacted NOAA; before that, we advised the first person to contact Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, which deals with more than seals, at 206-905-SEAL. Some have texted images including the photo and video above. On our way for a firsthand look.


8:27 AM: We’ve just arrived at the dock, as has Robin Lindsey of Seal Sitters. This is definitely a humpback whale – Robin describes it as juvenile. It’s raised its fluke out of the water and has been heard trying to breathe, but it’s in very shallow water. Photo added. The tide is going out – we’re an hour past the highest tide of the day already. It can still be heard breathing, loud chugging sounds. We can’t recall a stranded whale in West Seattle since the gray whale that died in The Arroyos in 2010.

8:43 AM: Robin says cetacean experts are on the way. Since the tide is going out, volunteers will guard the beach and as the tide goes out, will use buckets and towels to keep the whale hydrated if needed. It’s definitely still alive – it spouted a few minutes ago and we could feel the spray.

9:27 AM: The whale is still breathing – we’ve added a short video clip atop this story. The fence along the ferry-dock walkway is lined with spectators.


We’ve also talked with Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales, a local whale researcher who we first met at the Arroyos whale stranding six years ago. He also told us that Cascadia and NOAA are on the way.


If you come to this area, please remember that the beach south of the ferry dock is private. There might be a call for volunteers later, if needed to keep this massive animal – a juvenile, but still massive – hydrated, so check back. We’ll be here for the duration. A WSF employee tells us she first saw it around 6:40, almost an hour before we started getting tips.

9:43 AM: As the water gets shallower, more of the whale’s head is visible, and its fluke is at the surface. Haven’t heard it breathe for a while now, sorry to say.


10:08 AM: Hogan and another whale expert are out with the humpback now, pouring water on it to keep it hydrated. (Video:)

We still haven’t heard it breathe for a while.

10:38 AM: Another view, from the beach:


We have crews both on the beach and on the dock. On the beach, NOAA tells us they’re still evaluating the situation and what to do next. For an overview of where this is happening – from the upper Fauntleroy Way bluff east of the dock, you can see the spectators and the entirety of the ferry dock:


The agencies/organizations on hand now include NOAA, Cascadia Research Collective (their stranding coordinator Jessie Huggins), MAST, as well as Seal Sitters and Killer Whale Tales.

10:56 AM: Sad news from our crew on the beach. Jessie from Cascadia says the whale has died, probably within the past half-hour. What happens next, has yet to be decided; when the gray whale stranded and died in The Arroyos in 2010, it was eventually towed away for a necropsy.


11:09 AM: More of the whale is becoming visible (photo above) as the tide continues to go out (low tide is at 2:29 pm, not a major low-low tide, it’ll be 2.0 feet).


Meantime, it’s raining, which has thinned the spectator crowd.

11:50 AM: On the beach, the experts/responders are continuing to strategize what to do next, who is available to help, and other logistics.


“We’re formulating a plan.”

12:12 PM: Cascadia Research Collective’s website includes a report on a June humpback death in Bremerton. It includes some context on these whales’ presence in Puget Sound, increasing in recent years. Meantime, researchers and responders plan to measure it soon. Among those represented here is MaST, which received the skeleton of the Arroyos gray whale.

12:38 PM UPDATE: Measuring it now. 11.9 meters long – about 30 feet. The measurements are in painstaking detail – each fin, each eye, etc.

1:04 PM UPDATE: Now on to tissue samples, to start the process of figuring out what led this whale to strand and die.


Low tide won’t bottom out for another hour and a half, so they have lots of time to work.

1:45 PM UPDATE: Just talked extensively with Lynne Barre from NOAA Fisheries and John Calambokidis of Cascadia. Here’s the video (low-res since we’re in the field):

Main points: The whale is bigger and older than first suspected – now they’re saying 39 feet long, and a few years old – still a juvenile, as reproduction begins around 5 years of age. They don’t know yet whether it’s female or male, nor have logistics decisions about its disposition been made. As we mentioned earlier in the story, Cascadia notes that humpbacks are becoming more common sights again in Puget Sound – and that’s part of dramatic population growth up and down the West Coast. This one, they say, clearly was emaciated, and that’s the flip side of the dramatic population growth – more whales seeking food.


P.S. Washington State Ferries asked us to remind you to please help them keep traffic flowing as they get to Sunday afternoon peak ridership/traffic here at Fauntleroy – if you’re watching from the fence on the dock, leave room for passengers to come and go; if you’re driving off the boat, please don’t slow down to gawk (we’ve seen a lot of that). WSF might also wind up helping move the whale – they’re checking around to see what kind of equipment they might have available at Eagle Harbor.

2:50 PM: Beachfront homeowners loaned volunteers and responders shovels so they could dig under the fins a bit, to prepare for floating the whale off on the evening high tide.


(The blue-shirted volunteer in our photo is David Hutchinson from Seal Sitters, a frequent WSB photo contributor.) Orange buoys are being secured to it, as well. And Robin from Seal Sitters tells us they’re finally getting close to figuring out vessel(s) that will be able to help get this off the beach at high tide tonight.

3:14 PM UPDATE: WSF’s Hadley Rodero is here on the beach and tells us they’re sending a team to help, with a vessel, so they can assist in getting the whale floated off the beach; it will be secured to the terminal overnight, which gives Cascadia/NOAA/etc. some time to figure out where to take it after that.


Obviously WSF has a stake in this because if not attended to, it could just float into the path of their vessels. Their team is not likely to arrive before 5 pm or so.

3:44 PM: New developments: For one, “Diver Laura” James is here with her 360-degree setup, to get a better look at the scene. (We’ll share her images when available.)


For two, the biologists/responders have decided to do some necropsy work right here, right now – they’re focused on the side that is not so visible from the dock – where there’s already been more extensive sampling (removal of part of its eye, for example) – but if you’re squeamish, this is not the time to come sightsee. This line of spectators apparently is not:


We by the way will put together a gallery tonight with many additional photos.


The experts/responders tell us they will decide tomorrow whether to sink the whale or tow it away for more necropsy work.

4:55 PM: The whale is female – the necropsy team found an ovary.


6:12 PM: The “shore gang” from WS Ferries has just arrived. (Thanks to WSF for the photo above – we’re still on the beach too but their photo’s better than ours.) With high tide approaching – 11.2 feet just after 9 pm – the whale is now fully back in the water again.

6:40 PM: John from Cascadia has been on and next to the whale (video above), securing it to some large floats brought by the WSF crew.


On shore, we’ve been talking with Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail, who, like other marine-mammal advocates here, has spent the day answering questions from so many curious people – the humpback will have an educational legacy, at the very least. The Seal Sitters volunteers/responders who have been here since early this morning also say the chance for so many people to learn more about whales has been important.

7 PM: As we Periscoped live (see the video above), the WSF crew has towed the whale over to the dock, where it will remain, tied to buoys and the dock, overnight. Tomorrow, NOAA tells us, the whale will be towed further out and sunk – there are designated spots where that’s allowable under state law, maybe as close as Blake Island, but they won’t decide until tomorrow. Now everyone who’s spent the day on the beach – researchers, responders, advocates, and local residents – is packing up; the Seal Sitters have taken down the beach-blockade tape. We have many more photos and are planning a separate gallery later with the toplines of this full day of coverage; thanks again to the people who let us know first thing this morning what they were seeing, almost 12 hours ago now.

(EARLY MONDAY NOTE: Sorry that the comments section on this closed itself around mid-afternoon Sunday – we’ve been unable to reopen it. But we published a separate photo-gallery followup that seems to be working properly, if you have something to say.)

UPDATE: Fire call near Fauntleroy ferry dock

1:22 PM: Second full-response fire call of the day – this time, in the 8800 block of Fauntleroy Way SW, which is across from Lincoln Park. More to come.

1:28 PM: The address has been updated – further south – and is closer to the ferry dock.

1:32 PM: Still waiting to hear from our crew, but the call has closed. (Added) They arrived just in time to talk to the incident commander, who says it was smoke from a “cardboard box in the back yard.” All over, units gone.

Beachfront parkland or beachfront home? Seattle Parks recommends moving ahead with county-to-city transfer of 8923 Fauntleroy Way SW

IMG_2979 (1)
(WSB photo, from April – Cove Park at left, 8923 Fauntleroy house & beach at right)

A month and a half after a community meeting (WSB coverage here) on whether to take over a King County-owned beachfront home at 8923 Fauntleroy Way SW, the Seattle Parks recommendation is in – they support moving ahead with a swap of sorts that would in effect expand Cove Park next to the Fauntleroy ferry dock. Here’s the news release we just received:

After considering public comments, input from a public meeting, and City policy, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) has recommended that King County Wastewater Treatment Division move forward with the street vacation request which would involve the transferring of the King County owned property located at 8923 Fauntleroy Way SW to the City of Seattle. Having made this recommendation, the next step in the process involves King County Wastewater Treatment Division applying for a street vacation. This is one of many steps in the process prior to the Seattle City Council making a final decision on the street vacation and taking ownership of the property.

In 2015, the King County Wastewater Treatment Division finished an upgrade to the Barton Pump Station by the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal to accommodate West Seattle’s growing population. To build the new pump station, King County acquired the property just to the north of SW Barton Street for use during construction. Once the project was finished, King County began the process to surplus the property. With the City expressing an interest in the property, this raised the possibility of trading the Fauntleroy Way SW property to the City for a partial vacation of SW Barton St. (under the county’s pump station) which the County is interested in obtaining.

This potential trade is not solely an SPR issue, but rather a City issue that needs the input of multiple departments for an adequate review. The comprehensive City review required by a street vacation application will help provide the information necessary to fully inform the public, address unanswered questions, and lead to an informed decision by City Council.

The street vacation process will be run by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and will include plenty of opportunities for further public input and dialogue.

For more information on this proposal, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/cove_park/addition.htm or contact Chip Nevins, SPR, at chip.nevins@seattle.gov or 206-233-3879.

The possibility of Seattle taking over the county-owned house and 35-foot-wide strip of beach (aerial map here) was first explained publicly at April’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting (WSB coverage here).

PHOTOS: Happy 75th, Colman Pool!

After many previews, today was finally the day to party:

(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand)

Colman Pool on the shore at Lincoln Park is now three-quarters of a century old. Opening day was July 4th, 1941. Among those who gathered to celebrate the milestone, members of the Sears family, with a third-generation pool operator now on board:

The story is told in detail by Judy Pickens in the newest Fauntleroy Community Association newsletter: Mark Sears is retiring from 43 years at Colman Pool, most of them in the operator/grounds caretaker role previously held by his dad Norm Sears. And his successor is daughter Maya Sears:


She has already been with Seattle Parks for a decade, including as the manager of its wading-pool system (which includes a pool just a short stroll uphill from Colman). This morning’s party celebrated the pool’s present and future, as well as its past, in many ways. More of its history was presented by speakers including Jean Carroll, one of the first two people to swim in Colman Pool, practicing on July 3rd, 1941, to be part of the celebration the next day:


Last weekend, we featured Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals‘s video of her memories.

Also today, a diving demonstration:


A demonstration of “fancy diving” also was part of the 1941 opening celebration, according to a clipping in this KUOW story; another 1941 participant listed in the clipping was Gary Gaffner, that year’s “King Neptune” (and a descendant of a member of the Denny Party), who spoke today as well:


Back in the water, members of the lifeguard staff demonstrated the rescue skills they all have but hope never to have to use:


A lifelong aquatics professional who knows those skills well, Coy Jones, was today’s emcee:


Two “mermaids,” Essie and Cyanea, took a turn performing:


At noon, the party made way for the first swim session of the day, after former lifeguards and current and former pool staffers shared their memories open-microphone style.

There’s so much more to the history of Colman Pool – you can read a bit in Lori Hinton‘s West Seattle 101 essay, and more in HistoryLink.org‘s page about Kenneth Colman, who presented the pool to the city in memory of his father Laurence Colman. Colman Pool is only open part of the year, for obvious reasons – its preseason weekends start before Memorial Day, and by late June it’s operating 7 days a week, until Labor Day, which will be followed by one post-season weekend this year, according to the official brochure. If you’ve never been … don’t miss it.

West Seattle wildlife: Caution, Fauntleroy goose family crossing!

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.

UPDATE: Small fire evacuates Fauntleroy Church during service

(Photo courtesy Peter Yanacek)

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.

(WSB photo)

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.

On the Fauntleroy shore, big questions about the future of a little white house

IMG_2979 (1)
(WSB photo, from April)

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.

Read More

‘We heard you’: Washington State Ferries cancels disruptive ‘procedures’ at Fauntleroy dock

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.

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