West Seattle, Washington
Just mentioning in case you saw the Seattle Fire units and/or heard the sirens: What was briefly a “full response” dispatch to the 4500 block of SW Director in Fauntleroy has been scaled back to one engine. Instead of a house fire, it turned out to be a problem with a food smoker.
As the day came to a close, Seattle Public Utilities crews were on both sides of the Fauntleroy slide – up on the dead-end section of California SW where part of the road itself washed away late last night (WSB coverage here), and down on the SW Cambridge street end, which is what you see in the next two photos, sent by Jeff VanGilder:
SPU spokesperson Katie McVicker told WSB they still don’t know why the 2-inch water line broke. Two customers were without water this afternoon, with others on California SW likely experiencing lower-than-normal water pressure, but SPU expected service to be fully restored tonight. As for the road, we asked SDOT’s Sue Romero:
SPU is taking the lead on the cleanup efforts. Currently, the west side of the street is impassable due to damage, however, there is enough room to keep one lane open to allow local access to residents. SDOT is continuing to support SPU efforts. We are working to add sand bags to divert any surface water from the undermined/washed out area.
We will continue to monitor the anticipated weekend rain. There is a possibility that we may need to close the road to vehicle access if the road is further undermined. If that occurs, we would assess and determine if it would be possible to provide pedestrian access to homes. Any final restoration and mitigation measures proposed by SPU’s team will be reviewed and approved by SDOT.
And then there’s the question about safety of structures in the area.
Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections spokesperson Wendy Shark said inspectors had been sent to check out “buildings” in the slide area, but by day’s end she hadn’t heard back on whether they had needed to take safety action, so that’s information we might not get before Monday.
9:25 AM: If you’re driving in Fauntleroy, be aware of this slide on Fauntleroy Place at Cloverdale (45th headed north becomes this street – here’s a map):
Thanks to Christopher Bell for the photo. We’re checking with Seattle Public Utilities about the report that this is the result of a water-main break.
11:10 AM UPDATE: From SPU’s Ingrid Goodwin: “SPU crews responded this morning to a break in a 1-inch plastic water service as well as a mud slide on Fauntleroy Place. A couple of truckloads of material slid from a green belt area into the roadway. SPU landslide engineers are performing a site evaluation of the hillside and water crews are working on the cleanup and repair. Water is back on for customers who were impacted.”
EX-SUBSTATION SITE: The group looking into buying Seattle City Light‘s former Fauntleroy Substation site at 4520 Brace Point Drive has not yet come up with the funding to do that; the city is offering it at $250,000. City Light has given them a little more time, community members were still talking before the holiday season about the possibility of bringing in some major donors.
SCHOOLHOUSE CENTENNIAL: Fauntleroy Schoolhouse turns 100 this year, and the big party is 11:30 am-3:30 pm on Sunday, May 21st. If you went to Fauntleroy Elementary at the schoolhouse, organizers are looking for photos and other memorabilia – you’re invited to loan or donate it. Here’s one photo already awaiting the event:
If you have something of interest for the celebration, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org – they’re also seeking memorabilia from longtime schoolhouse tenant Fauntleroy Children’s Center.
CRIME UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith brought the newest stats. Car prowls are still the biggest problem – 11 in the past four weeks. Also of note, five larceny-level thefts and two stolen cars.
MEETING CHANGE FOR NEXT MONTH: Since the second Tuesday in February is Valentine’s Day, the board is switching its meeting to Wednesday, February 15th (still 7 pm, at the schoolhouse, 9131 California SW).
Last week, we reported on SDOT’s online survey looking ahead to 2017 work on the much-used SW Thistle stairway east of Lincoln Park, and nine other stairways around the city. That led to a variety of questions, and today we have answers, thanks to a comment from, and followup e-mail exchanges with, project manager Greg Funk. First:
Funk sent those photos in response to our question about when it was built. While he hasn’t found the exact date, he says records show that it “was approved in May 1945” and that the photos show “the stairway was close to being done in February 1948.”
He also notes that the Thistle stairway includes historical materials: “The stairway is constructed of concrete slabs that used to be the base for the old streetcar, and the R/R tracks were cut up into sections for the rail posts and painted white. The slabs are stacked on top of each other with a brick spacer to give a roughly 6-7 inch rise.”
Since Funk’s comment mentions what sounds like extensive work – “The stairs will be updated so there will be more consistent run rise and upgraded rail on both sides” – we asked what will happen to those historical materials: “If we can, we will build over the existing stairway – it saves on disposal cost, and that’s the plan for this location. Old rail will be cut and scrapped.” (No lighting changes, he says, in case you were wondering.)
As for the project timeline and duration: “It will be closed for about 2-3 months; we have not set a date, but we want to try and be done before summer kicks in, as this is a heavily used stairway.” (Among those who use it – the project manager himself.)
P.S. He says that next year, they’ll get word out earlier about the stairway-work list for 2018 – you should see that list by next March. And if you haven’t responded to the stairway survey for 2017, it remains open through Friday.
(WSB file photo)
If you use West Seattle’s longest stairway – along the SW Thistle right-of-way, east of Lincoln Park, west of Northrop Place – you might have noticed some markings along its top section this fall, suggesting plans for future work. In fact, SDOT is planning “improvements” on the 61-year-old stairway next year. It’s the only West Seattle stairway on the map/list of 10 citywide slated for SDOT work in 2017. If you use the stairway, here’s a survey open until December 30th, asking what you would like to see done, and what the city should know before its project begins.
(Live WSF webcam photo from Fauntleroy dock)
As part of the process of fixing problems plaguing the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth (aka “Triangle”) ferry route, Washington State Ferries promised last month that it would put together a task force. Today, WSF has taken the next step – calling for volunteers:
WSF is now seeking volunteers for the Triangle Improvement Task Force. The task force is the citizen advisory group that will be charged with:
· examining the situation on the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth ferry route
· recommending “quick wins” to improve service by summer 2017
· coming up with recommendations for the long term
The task force will begin meeting in January and will consist of nine volunteers, three each from the Fauntleroy, Vashon and Southworth communities. For more information on the process and to apply to be a task force member, please visit our volunteer application page. Applications for volunteers are due Dec. 27, 2016.
9:39 PM: A big Seattle Fire “heavy rescue” is headed to the 8800 block of 41st SW in Fauntlee Hills (map), for a report of a “car on its side with people trapped.” More shortly.
9:58 PM: Photo added. Most SFD units were canceled shortly after dispatch but others remain, with police.
10:07 PM: 41st SW is blocked by the crash scene, which is on a residential street. We are told the man driving the car was the only person in it; he will be going to a hospital by private ambulance to be checked out. He hit a parked car, police tell us.
Thanksgiving afternoon means it’s time for free community dinners. We stopped by the longest-running of them all, presented for the 18th year by the Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering division of DSquared at The Hall at Fauntleroy. Big turnout right from the start:
Volunteers and staffers are serving up a full turkey-and-sides dinner (with vegetarian options too):
And while this dinner is for everyone, in need or not, those seeking an extra helping hand are welcome to pick up some donated warm clothing in the hallway before heading on out:
The Fauntleroy dinner continues until 3 pm at 9131 California SW (south end of the historic schoolhouse). Also this afternoon, as noted in our Thanksgiving-info list and Holiday Guide, you’re welcome to free dinner at the South Park Senior Center until 2 pm (8201 10th Ave. S.) and at the West Seattle Eagles‘ aerie 2-5 pm (4426 California SW).
By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog
Spawning season on Fauntleroy Creek closed on Friday with a total of seven coho spotted by salmon watchers.
The season began several days earlier than in years past, near dusk on October 20. Five vigorous fish entered the spawning reach across Fauntleroy Way SW from the ferry terminal, but darkness fell before any redd-building or spawning could be observed.
No more arrived until a single male on November 5 and another single male the following day. The 50 area residents who took advantage of four hours of “open creek” that afternoon with salmon watchers got to see “Wally” lazing in the fish ladder.
Watchers gave him a name because he defied the spawn-and-die-within-24-hours pattern that has been the norm. A week after entering the creek, he still had the energy to make a run up the fish ladder and was visibly deteriorating when last seen last Monday (November 14).
“Seven spawners isn’t a lot but it’s seven more than last year,” noted veteran watcher Dennis Hinton, “and during our watch, nearly 70 people got to see these amazing fish close to home.”
The season’s robust return of coho to Puget Sound defied the state’s warning that not enough eggs would be available for this school year’s Salmon in the Schools program. Most of the 71 participating schools in Seattle rear coho – and will start doing so again in January. Thanks to the return, the Fauntleroy Watershed Council was able to freeze carcasses from the Soos Creek Hatchery so that many fourth- and fifth-graders in West Seattle can have a captivating lesson in biological systems during classroom dissections this winter.
3:40 PM: Two more traffic alerts:
FERRY ALERT: Washington State Ferries sends an alert that traffic headed for the Fauntleroy terminal is expected to be heavier than usual because boat trouble has suspended the south Vashon Island run (Tahlequah-Point Defiance). So far, WSF tweets, it’s already a one-hour wait. The south Vashon run isn’t expected to resume before tomorrow.
BRIDGE ALERT: SDOT has just sent word that one lane will be closed on the Spokane Street Viaduct side of the West Seattle Bridge all day tomorrow: “From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, November 18, travelers can expect the eastbound left lane of the Spokane St Viaduct to be closed between 1st Ave S and 4th Ave S while crews conduct roadwork repairs. This work is to implement a permanent repair on a temporary patch crews did earlier this week.”
9:36 PM UPDATE: WSF says the Tahlequah-Point Defiance run will be back in service (with M/V Tillikum) on Friday, so the Fauntleroy terminal will be back to its usual volume.
Dee Miller‘s metal garden art is part of what you’ll see at the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show, which just opened its three-day run for 2016, in the Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy Church.
We stopped by just as the show was about to open tonight. Another participating artist is Apple Cox, with paintings and cards – husband Bill Cox was filling in at her booth:
The full list of artists who are showing and selling is on the church website here.
Admission to the show/sale is free. It’s on until 8 pm tonight, then again 10 am-4 pm on Saturday and 11 am-2 pm on Sunday.
Traffic flow at the Fauntleroy ferry dock emerged as the top issue for people who participated in Washington State Ferries’ three recent meetings about what’s called the “triangle route.” We covered the start of the Fauntleroy meeting a week and a half ago; now we have the document WSF put together with all the comments it received at all three meetings, which it says were “the starting point for a community process to develop solutions by summer 2017.” Read the 400 comments from 120 people in this document:
(If you can’t see the embedded Scribd version, here’s the PDF version.) No time to go through the document? WSF’s summary:
… We received a diverse range of ideas, opinions and questions. Many of the themes we heard varied by community. For example, many comments from Vashon Island asked about a bypass lane on the Fauntleroy dock and revised ticketing procedures. Many comments from Southworth asked about specific schedule changes. And a large portion of Fauntleroy’s comments dealt with neighborhood parking.
Importantly, there was one area of broad agreement between routes: Improving traffic control, safety, and the flow in and around the Fauntleroy terminal. The feedback includes many different ideas on how to achieve these improvements.
Over the next two months, WSF will assemble a public task force to review these comments and available data, with the goal of identifying “quick wins” to improve service by next summer and exploring strategies for longer-term solutions. The task force’s meetings will be open to the public, and one of the first things they will consider is the feedback gathered at WSF’s listening sessions.
If you would like to be notified about updates, please sign up for notifications at WSFComms@wsdot.wa.gov.
Problems on the route came to a boiling point over the summer when vehicles headed for the Fauntleroy dock backed up past Morgan Junction, and when it was noted that ferries were leaving without full loads to try to stay on schedule.
Six days after the annual Fauntleroy Creek gathering to call the salmon home, another has shown up. And you’re invited to the creek Sunday afternoon. From Judy Pickens:
Patience rewarded long-time Fauntleroy Creek volunteer Dennis Hinton with another coho spawner more than two weeks after he spotted the first five. No. 6 entered the creek Saturday afternoon and moved upstream toward 45th Ave. SW.
On the chance that rain, ideal creek conditions, and high tides will bring more in, volunteers will be at the creek between noon and 4:00 Sunday afternoon if area residents want to try their luck. Come to the fish-ladder viewpoint (SW Director & upper Fauntleroy Way SW) and a volunteer will invite you down.
Find out more about Fauntleroy Creek here.
Some candy collected last night raised concerns for a group of local families and they have reported it to police just in case. There’s no official warning and no word of illnesses, but it’s information the families wanted to share. They told WSB they were trick-or-treating in the Fauntleroy area last night, came home, and ate some candy. The candy included small boxes of Milk Duds; those candies, they say, left behind a numbing sensation, like topical anesthetic. The candy also smelled a little like cough syrup, they told us. They met with police today and turned over candy for testing. Results might take a long time, they were told, so they’ve circulated the word in their neighborhoods and let us know too – again, just in case.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:28 PM: Just got the word from Judy Pickens — salmon drumming at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook (SW Director & upper Fauntleroy Way) is a go for 5 pm. Judy adds, “In the event of rain, come to the green house below the viewpoint and we’ll drum briefly from the porch. The spawners we know to be in the cove will surely hear!” See you there.
Gathering to sing and drum coho home to Fauntleroy Creek moves to a covered porch. pic.twitter.com/9jP62GGiSX
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 31, 2016
8:38 PM: Adding video and photos.
About 30 people gathered on and around the porch to listen to Pickens tell the story of the salmon along with a few rounds of drumming and singing led by Jamie Shilling.
While no coho have been seen in the creek since five ventured in (and apparently out) briefly almost two weeks ago, Pickens told the gathering that some have been seen circling the mouth of the creek in Fauntleroy Cove. “The intent (of the singing/drumming) is to honor the determination of these fish to get to fresh water.”
Volunteers are watching the creek, and if any spawners are seen, the locations will be noted with ribbons, and then those spots will be checked early next year for possible hatches. A few months later, hundreds of local students will visit to release 2,000+ salmon they’ve raised from hatchery eggs, as part of the Salmon in the Schools program, which Pickens and husband Phil Sweetland shepherd locally. The program was in danger earlier this year but as reported here recently, has been spared.
5:14 PM: Just under way in The Hall at Fauntleroy (west side, not the side closest to the street) – Washington State Ferries officials, including the woman at the top – WSDOT Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith – are gathered to listen to concerns about the “triangle route,” Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth.
“We are not here with a predetermined solution in mind,” Griffith says – they are hoping to hear ideas for solving some of the route’s problems, including the massive traffic backups that happened multiple times this past summer. After opening remarks (update: low-res video added, above), the staffers are taking up positions around the room so that participants can circulate. You’re welcome to stop in any time before 6:30 pm; The Hall is at 9131 California SW, not far from the Fauntleroy dock. WSF already has had two meetings near the other terminals on the route, so this is the third of three. Whatever they hear at this meeting will be transcribed and published on the WSF website as a first step; then a task force “blend(ed) across the three communities” will be formed as a second step “to work through the problems,” according to Griffith.
5:21 PM: We counted 22 people here for starters; more are trickling in.
34th District State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (photo added above) is also here, as is a representative for 34th District State Sen. Sharon Nelson.
Twelve days after a little boy was rushed to the hospital with a serious injury suffered during the October 14th windstorm, we are hearing for the first time from his family. We had a short followup last week, and then today received this:
Dear West Seattle Community,
We are a local family and the parents of the 4-year old boy who was injured by the falling tree in Fauntleroy Park on October 14. We have so appreciated the kind words and thoughts on the West Seattle Blog and from our local community that we wanted to update you all on his status. We have tried to maintain his confidentiality, but we felt compelled to share more information, especially since we now have positive news to share.
Our boy suffered serious injuries, including a fractured skull, brain injury and broken femur. He was stabilized by the Seattle Fire Department, transported by Medic One, treated at Harborview Medical Center ED and Pediatric ICU, and is now in in-patient rehabilitation at Seattle Children’s. Thanks to the fantastic care of numerous providers, and to the love and support of his family, friends and community, he has made great strides in his recovery. He is a sweet, tough, energetic little boy and we are happy to report that he is talking, eating, smiling and playing. We are hopeful that, in time, he will make a full and complete recovery.
We are enormously fortunate to live in a city with quality emergency care. SFD and Medic One were quick to arrive and professionally assess, stabilize and transport our boy. HMC was hands-down exceptional from start to finish; we now understand why it is a nationally renowned Level 1 trauma center. And Children’s is, well, Children’s – we could not ask for a better place for our boy to recover and improve. Collectively, they saved his life, his body, his brain and his spirit.
Our boy has a long way to go, though, so we appreciate the continued hopes, thoughts, prayers, meditations, words, rays of light and all other ethereal forms of support the people of West Seattle have so kindly shared. Please know that, even if you do not know his name or address, he and we receive them all.
We remain deeply grateful for the love and compassion of our wonderful community.
(October 2015 WSB photo)
Even before this Sunday’s annual gathering at Fauntleroy Creek to call the coho home with singing and drumming, there’s hope of spawners – creek steward Judy Pickens reports that “we saw 5 coho in the spawning reach late Wednesday (October 19th) but nothing since. Our cadre of watchers continues to monitor for more and we could well get them, as their usual arrival time is about October 30th.” And that is Sunday, when you are invited to join the 5 pm gathering at the fish-ladder viewpoint (SW Director & upper Fauntleroy Way SW).
2:50 PM: The Fauntleroy Fall Festival might be the only place you’ll hear a Prince cover with ukuleles:
Prince tribute with ukuleles at Fauntleroy Fall Festival… pic.twitter.com/uMOk2ivuCC
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 23, 2016
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” 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 businesses, running on volunteer power and donations. If you would like to donate and missed the chance at the festival, just go here.
P.S. Some of the festival faces – first, Fauntleroy Creek watershed steward Judy Pickens, who’s a legend with the salmon hat-making:
Festival partner Fauntleroy Community Association:
The D Squared/Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes/Hall at Fauntleroy team:
And Lonjina Verdugo from Wildwood Market, soon to open in Fauntleroy:
Next event in Fauntleroy – gather to drum and sing the coho home to the creek, 5 pm next Sunday (October 30th) at the fish-ladder overlook across from the ferry terminal.
(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.
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:
*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.