West Seattle, Washington
(Draft version of the poster you’ll see promoting advance ticket purchases)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The pilot project might not have looked or felt different to individual ferry users. But in the big picture, a big difference was made, WSF said.
The task force, meeting Tuesday at Fauntleroy Church, also heard even bigger news: WSF expects to start selling tickets by phone before month’s end.
A guest as the meeting began was State Sen. Sharon Nelson, introduced by WSF’s government-affairs liaison John Vezina as representing “two-thirds of the Triangle route.” She gave the committee members a general message of support.
She began by saying that WSF’s work with legislators had become so much more collaborative in recent years, and that she thought putting together a task force about this route “made so much sense.” She talked about the diverse ridership and promised “I will support you every which way I can … I know there’ll be hiccups. … We’re in this together. … We’ll see how the implementation goes.”
She left “to catch the 5:10.”
Two seasonal salmon milestones have just been reached at Fauntleroy Creek, Judy Pickens reports:
On Wednesday, Fauntleroy Creek volunteers hosted the last of 700+ students who visited Fauntleroy Park over the past five weeks for salmon releases.
They brought 1,800 coho fry reared since January in area schools through the Salmon in the Schools program.
This week also marked the end of monitoring smolts migrating out to Fauntleroy Cove. Since mid-March, twice-daily checking of upper and lower traps documented that 32 coho smolts had survived their year in the creek, up from 19 in 2016. They’ll put on weight in nearshore habitat, then head to open water before returning to spawn in two years.
The next big seasonal event: Volunteers will watch for returning spawners this fall. Seven showed up last year – after zero in 2015, 19 in 2014, zero in 2013, and a record 274 counted in 2012.
Last night’s Taste of West Seattle at The Hall at Fauntleroy raised more money for the West Seattle Helpline than any of its predecessors – that’s the word today from Helpline executive director Chris Langeler, who says the tally is $70,000 “and still counting!” We stopped by for a few photos. A highlight of The Taste is the chance to vote on your favorites.
The team from The Westy (photo above) won Best Pour; in the other two voting categories, Best Taste went to Fresh Bistro, and Best Sweet went to repeat winner Stuffed Cakes. Other scenes from The Taste:
This year’s title sponsor was Metropolitan Market, also dishing up tomato and freshly pulled mozzarella on garlic crostini for Taste-goers, who get unlimited food and drink for the price of admission, which goes to help Helpline provide emergency assistance that often keeps people from becoming homeless. The event of course is powered by volunteers – like Frances:
If you were looking for fine wine at The Taste, you would have found Viscon Cellars – below, Susan Viscon and Ben Viscon:
Back to the food – Christie, Ruth, and Leslie from Dream Dinners brought Gaucho Pork Tenderloin with peach salsa:
And from Endolyne Joe’s, Andrea and Jon-Paul were there with pulled-pork sliders:
Delia and Cheryl from Pecos Pit, meantime, were serving up Frito Pie:
More than 40 food and beverage providers participated this year. There was music, too – piano player Derek Richards:
Helpline director Langeler has words of gratitude: “”We are so grateful for the restaurants, the volunteers, our sponsors, and everyone who joined us last night for the 12th Taste of West Seattle! We raised enough funds to help more than 200 families stay safely housed while they recover from crisis. We are so lucky to be part of our wonderful West Seattle community–thanks to everyone for supporting the West Seattle Helpline! See you at Taste 2018!”
(Of the participants mentioned above, The Westy, Metropolitan Market, Viscon Cellars, Dream Dinners, Endolyne Joe’s, and Pecos Pit are WSB sponsors.)
Two Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry-route notes tonight.
3-BOAT SERVICE TO RETURN WEDNESDAY: Washington State Ferries is putting the new ferry Chimacum into service early to help alleviate the current boat shortage. It’ll go onto the Seattle-Bremerton run so that Sealth can become the third boat on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. This is scheduled to happen first thing tomorrow morning.
TRIANGLE ROUTE IMPROVEMENTS: WSF’s Hadley Rodero shares an update on last week’s four-day test of tollbooth changes as part of the Triangle Task Force project:
We completed the pilot from May 15-18 as planned. After direct observation and a preliminary review of the data, we are cautiously optimistic.
On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, we saw smoother operations and what we believe to be more efficient use of the dock under your recommended procedures (more to come once we look at the numbers). Last Wednesday was tough for customers and staff alike, with long wait times and space left on boats. We think this was due to several factors. We didn’t communicate as well within the pilot team or use the dock as efficiently as other days. There was an unexpected mix of traffic (lots of Vashon at an unusual time). Customers are still learning the process (had to back a lot of people up because they tried to pull past the tollbooth). We also had the typical disruptions such as a car parked in the ferry line after “no parking” time, and a large truck blocking two holding lanes with a poor parking job.
Overall, customer feedback was mixed. Some people said they liked it, others disliked it, and there were a lot of people wishing for the by-pass.
Next steps: We’re reviewing the data and collecting another round of baseline data when things are back to “the old way” this week. We aim to have an official conclusion and next steps within a week.
The community task force on the Triangle project also has set its next meeting dates – open to the public, so if you’re interested:
June: Tuesday, June 6, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
July: Wednesday, July 12, 4 – 7 p.m. (terminal site visit and walk-through)
August: Thursday, August 10, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
September: Thursday, September 14, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
All except July 12th will be at the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall (9140 California SW).
Thanks to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for sharing the “group hug” photo by Jean Sherrard from today’s centennial celebration at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse! The building housed Fauntleroy Elementary School until 1981 and is now home to Fauntleroy Children’s Center on the north end, The Hall at Fauntleroy on the south end, and other community organizations and small businesses inbetween. Watch for video from today’s celebration on the SWSHS website soon.
P.S. Next chance to be in a photo like this is another centennial – West Seattle High School is also celebrating its 100th anniversary, and this year’s All-School Reunion will include a “group hug” photo – 6:30 pm (gather at 6) Saturday, June 3rd – more info here.
Double trouble for Washington State Ferries on a sunny Sunday afternoon: The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on an emergency 2-boat schedule, and the cross-Sound situation was already stressed with the Seattle-Bremerton run down to one boat. Fauntleroy traffic is currently reported to be backed up about two hours, Vashon one and a half.
4:32 PM: Thanks to the texter who reports a crash involving a motorcycle rider in Fauntleroy. Seattle Fire units are logged as responding to a crash in the 4300 block of Brace Point Drive. We’re told they’re in the westbound lane. A witness tells us the rider is sitting up, alert, and talking with medics. But avoid the area if you can.
4:37 PM: All SFD units have now cleared the scene.
Thanks to Fauntleroy Creek steward Judy Pickens for the top photo and report (and headline!):
Today’s salmon release in Fauntleroy Park was the last for retiring fifth-grade teacher Tim Hannah. He’s spent most of his 28-year career at Alki Elementary and initiated the Salmon in the Schools rearing project there in 1992.
(Photo courtesy Karisa MacLachlan)
Alki’s release was No. 13 for Fauntleroy Watershed Council volunteers, with six more to go. By the end of the month, an estimated 750 students will have enriched the creek with about 2,200 coho fry.
After that, the next seasonal touchpoint for Fauntleroy Creek and its salmon happens this fall, when volunteers watch for spawners.
With less than one week left to buy tickets for West Seattle’s biggest annual celebration of food and drink, the Taste of West Seattle‘s lineup has been revealed.
Backstory: The Taste of West Seattle benefits West Seattle Helpline, whose work basically comes down to preventing people from becoming homeless, by providing emergency help. It’s happening 6 pm Thursday, May 25th, at The Hall at Fauntleroy, and you have to buy your ticket(s) by next Tuesday (May 23rd). From Helpline:
The Taste of West Seattle is a local, community-based food fair and is the largest event of its kind in West Seattle. This year’s Taste will feature food and drink from 40 different restaurants, breweries, wineries, coffee shops, bakeries, chocolatiers, and more – all from right here in West Seattle! Check out the restaurant lineup below:
BAKED. Custom Cakes
The Beer Junction
Beveridge Place Pub
Brookdale Admiral Heights/WS
Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe
Dream Dinners, West Seattle
Dolcetta Artisan Sweets
Elliott Bay Brewing Co.
Harry’s Chicken Joint
The Lodge Sports Grille
Locöl Barley and Vine
Pecos Pit-West Seattle
Prost! West Seattle
Salty’s on Alki
Schooner EXACT Brewing Co.
Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes-Catering and Events
West Seattle Cellars
All proceeds from the event go directly to the West Seattle Helpline’s emergency assistance and homelessness prevention programs. These services stabilize and support individuals and families in West Seattle who are recovering from a crisis or unexpected hardship.
(Eight of the participating venues – Dream Dinners, Endolyne Joe’s, Metropolitan Market, Pecos Pit, Salty’s on Alki, Viscon Cellars, The Westy, and Zeeks Pizza – are WSB sponsors.)
In a week and a half, on Sunday, May 21st, the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse celebrates its centennial. Part of the celebration will be a “group hug” photo like the ones organized in each of the past three years for the Log House Museum totem pole (2014), the Alki Homestead rescue (2015), and the Admiral Theater renovations (2016). Unlike those three, this one will not have hundreds of elementary schoolchildren in attendance – and while alums of the former Fauntleroy Elementary (1917-1981) have been invited, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society says everyone is invited to be in the photo. Here’s a video invitation:
The photo – to be taken by Jean Sherrard of “Now and Then” fame from a 26-foot-high Pacific Rim Equipment Rental scissor lift – is set for 11:30 am on May 21st, right after a flag-raising ceremony and a few brief speeches, and then the centennial celebration will continue until 3 pm, with a variety of activities – find out more here, and set your calendar to be there and celebrate an important part of West Seattle history!
That two-page flyer explains a test that Washington State Ferries will conduct with tollbooth procedures at the Fauntleroy ferry dock next week – Monday, May 15th, through Thursday, May 18th. It’s the next step in the process we’ve been covering since January, when WSF chose a citizen task force to help come up with “quick wins” aimed at reducing traffic backups and other delays, especially headed outbound from Fauntleroy in the afternoons and evenings. When the task force finished its first round of meetings in late March – as reported here – those “quick wins” were announced as a two-part plan, changing tollbooth procedures so four vehicles could be processed each minute instead of three, and a big public-information campaign to make sure everyone knows what’s going on (including encouraging ferry users to buy advance tickets).
They also agreed that the proposed changes should be tested in May before potential official implementation in June. So that’s what will happen next week – as detailed on the flyer above. WSF spokesperson Brian Mannion tells WSB that “WSF’s internal implementation team (comprised of experienced terminal staff, vessel crew and supervisors on the route), will be on site all this week to discuss the changes with WSF workers, drivers and passengers” before the test project starts next Monday.
10:44 AM: Above, that’s Fauntleroy Creek volunteer Dennis Hinton with students from Genesee Hill Elementary, one of more than a dozen schools releasing salmon fry into the creek this spring. Before release season is out, creek steward Judy Pickens tells WSB, volunteers will have worked with about 750 students from all over our area. This is all a followup to a big day in January when volunteers delivered salmon eggs to local schools, who started learning about the life cycle by nurturing them until the fry are set free. More photos later!
11:54 AM: Added:
Shortly after arrival, there’s always a briefing. And of course, the stars of the show are along for the ride:
The GHES students also got to meet EarthCorps volunteers who are working this week in nearby Kilbourne Ravine:
From left, above, are EC’s Nathan, Imani, and Ellen.
Outside Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW), the spring Recycle Roundup is in its second hour, with a steady stream of people dropping off items to be recycled through nonprofit 1 Green Planet. You’re invited to do the same – no charge – until 3 pm today. The friendly folks at the church Green Committee, who coordinate this twice a year, are hoping you can go sooner rather than later, so everyone can be processed as quickly as possible and there’s no last-hour backup.
P.S. Here again is the list of what you can and can’t recycle there today.
Another Friday afternoon/evening backup for drivers headed to the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. (One texter told us the line was past the Lincoln Park gas station by quarter past 3.) This time, though, it had official observers:
Washington State Ferries sent this explanatory announcement earlier in the afternoon:
Beginning at 3:00 pm (today), a team of WSF staff members will be at Fauntleroy terminal to observe traffic conditions and collect baseline data. Today’s traffic and data observation is the beginning of WSF’s internal process to help implement a series of “quick win” recommendations created by the Triangle Improvement Task Force citizen advisory group. The task force’s recommendations aim to speed up vehicle processing through the tollbooth. WSF and the task force aim to launch a pilot program this spring and roll out final changes in time for start of the summer schedule (June 25, 2017).
Since the meeting we covered, WSF has published the official report on how it plans to make the “quick wins” happen – see it here (PDF) and embedded below:
None of those changes have been made yet – today’s “observation” was a preparatory step, so the hours-long backup this afternoon/evening was the result of current procedures that have yet to be changed. We’ll continue to cover this, including updates when WSF decides how and when to start the “pilot” program.
Are you ready for the Recycle Roundup? The twice-yearly free dropoff event presented by Fauntleroy Church‘s Green Committee is this Sunday (April 23rd), 9 am-3 pm. So we’re reminding you again, in case you still have sorting to do. Here’s the list of what they will and won’t be accepting this time; here’s a map to the dropoff spot (9140 California SW).
(UPDATED 3:06 PM with SDOT response on details of parking-change notification and sign installation)
Parking restrictions along a mile of southbound Fauntleroy Way, mostly alongside Lincoln Park, are expanding. We found out about that at last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting – but NOT because of any official briefing or other involvement; members, in fact, voiced displeasure with the idea.
Instead, the notification arrived as it had for some other area residents – via an SDOT-sent postal-mail postcard. (We asked SDOT this morning for a digital version – [added] see the PDF version here.) The postcard says that what is currently a 3-7 pm weekday prohibition on parking in the ferry-waiting zone, between SW Fontanelle and the terminal, will expand to 2-7 pm, and new signs will be installed soon.
(ADDED 3:06 PM: SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero tells WSB, “These mailers went out last Thursday and Friday (4/6 and 4/7) and were mailed to residents along Fauntleroy Way SW from SW Fontanelle to SW Barton St, and 1-2 blocks west. Sign installation is scheduled to begin tomorrow.”)
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 18, 2016
(August 2016 video showing one example of the problem the task force is hoping to fix)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In hopes of averting another summer of ferry-traffic-related misery from Morgan Junction to the Fauntleroy ferry dock, the Triangle Improvement Task Force has finished its first phase of work with two potential “quick wins,” finalized at the volunteers’ fifth meeting last night:
#1 – Speed up the average Fauntleroy tollbooth processing rate during pm peak hours, from three vehicles a minute to four vehicles a minute.
#2 – Make sure as many ferry customers as possible know what’s being done and how they can help.
As they reviewed the plans, the task-force members got a surprise visit from Washington State Ferries’ new leader, assistant WSDOT secretary Amy Scarton, who took over last month after the retirement of Lynne Griffith, who was in charge when the task-force idea was hatched.
More on her visit later. First: Read More
Electing a board for the year ahead is part of what happens at the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual meeting. So the board gathered for our photo last night (the list is at our story’s end). The event had a triple-digit turnout, in part because of its other identity – the annual Food Fest, with samples from local providers. Ahead, photos from the night: Read More
On the first day of spring, if you’re thinking “spring cleaning” … we have some information that might help. Just in, the list of what will and won’t be accepted at the spring edition of the always-popular Fauntleroy Church Recycle Roundup – see it here (PDF). The free-dropoff event is set for 9 am-3 pm Sunday, April 23rd (9140 California SW).
The Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual membership meeting – known as the Food Fest because of samples from local businesses – is Tuesday, and this week’s FCA board meeting brought lots of news ahead of it.
WHO’LL BE AT THE FOOD FEST: First, an update tonight from FCA president Mike Dey – Mayor Ed Murray and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold have confirmed they’ll attend. It starts at 6 pm Tuesday (March 21st) at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW); free, but FCA invites members old and new to be ready to renew/join ($25/year).
DAYTIME RPZ REJECTED: Last fall, FCA asked SDOT to study parking in the existing Residential Parking Zone east of the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, where parking is currently restricted to permit holders between 2-5 am. The group’s concerns included Washington State Ferries employees parking in residential neighborhoods during the day and car-share vehicles. One week ago, SDOT replied to say its study found “not enough blocks meet the minimum threshold to make the requested changes to the existing RPZ.” Its letter said that they needed to find at least 10 blocks/20 blockfaces where parking was 75 percent occupied during their study; they found “approximately 6 blocks (7 blockfaces) that met the 75% threshold.” Read More
Thanks to Judy Pickens for the photo and report:
Some 140 members of Fauntleroy Church, United Church of Christ, left the sanctuary shortly after arriving Sunday morning for the congregation’s first “worship without walls” event.
Adults, children, and youth headed to four service projects: Packaging at Food Lifeline for area food banks, creating art kits for the parent-child home program at Southwest Youth & Family Services, assembling education supplies for distribution by Church World Service to refugee camps [photo], and training for Friend to Friend America’s program linking West Seattle volunteers with lonely elders.
According to education director and event coordinator Karyn Frazier, the morning was “a way to act out our love all at once by engaging in worshipful service in the wider community.”
P.S. In case you’ve been wondering, the church’s next Recycle Roundup is April 23rd – when it’s closer, we’ll publish the list of what will and won’t be accepted.
Seattle City Light has just gone public with its next round of locations for utility-pole replacements, in Gatewood, Upper Fauntleroy, Highland Park, and Burien. Embedded above (and also available on the SCL website) are five 2-page flyers for different areas, each one with its own map(s) – note that what you see above is the first of FOUR map pages, one every other page, so be sure to scroll through or check the SCL website directly; below, the announcement from SCL:
Starting in mid-to-late March 2017, Seattle City Light’s contractor, Magnum Power LLC, will be replacing aging utility poles in parts of its service territory. This project will enhance electrical reliability by replacing older poles in the system. The installation of new poles, wire and equipment relocation is an important investment in infrastructure.
Crews will be working in the following areas:
· SW Elmgrove St to SW Sullivan St (east of California Ave SW)
· SW Holden St to SW Southern St (west of 35th Ave SW)
· SW Thistle Street to SW Henderson St (west of 35th Ave SW)
· SW Kenyon St to SW Trenton St (east of Delridge Way SW)
· SW 122nd St to SW 126th St (west of 1st Ave S)
Highlights from the project:
· The entire project is anticipated for completion by the end of 2017. Daily work hours are from Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Crews may be working in other areas before transitioning to these construction areas.
· The new poles will be placed alongside pre-existing poles. They will meet standard heights and widths required for overhead power line construction. This may mean that poles in your area will be slightly taller and approximately two inches wider than existing poles.
· Once the electrical equipment is relocated, it may take several months before the other companies with utilities on the existing poles make their transfer(s). We will continue to monitor/coordinate these efforts as needed to facilitate the removal of old poles.
For more information, customers can contact:
· Percy Schlimm, Sr. Electrical Service Representative at email@example.com or (206) 386-1735.
· Kevin Knutz, Magnum Power Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 904-8318.
SCL says that if you’re affected, you’ll be getting all this information directly, too. (This round includes our area of Upper Fauntleroy, we notice, so we’ll be watching to see when the direct customer communication arrives.)
ADDED NOON WEDNESDAY: For the record, our notice arrived via postal mail this morning.
By Dennis Hinton
Special to West Seattle Blog
Volunteers turned out Saturday morning for state-approved emergency work to check bank erosion in lower Fauntleroy Creek. Over the past four years, erosion had chewed away a section of path used by hundreds of schoolchildren in the spring and salmon watchers in the fall.
The Fauntleroy Watershed Council spent nearly a third of its bank account on supplies and called on creek lovers to pull ivy and anchor coir logs to force flow away from the eroded bank. The council unsuccessfully sought grant funding two years ago, before the problem became severe, and plans to try again this spring to fund what has become an even larger scope of work.
“Starting in the late 1990s, the City of Seattle got behind restoration of its urban creeks and, in partnership with residents, accomplished a lot,” said longtime Fauntleroy Creek advocate Judy Pickens. “Over the past few years, the city has pulled back, making maintaining natural drainage systems a challenge borne to a great extent at the neighborhood level.”
As the mile-long Fauntleroy system illustrates, urban creeks convey more than a lot of water. “They’re also rich outdoor classrooms, science labs, urban respites, and close-at-hand examples of the value of protecting habitat,” Pickens said. “We’re doing all we can to avoid losing this urban creek to the impact of development and shifting city priorities.”
Last May, volunteers with the watershed council hosted a record 764 students, who released 1,795 coho fry as part of the Salmon in the Schools program. In October and November, volunteer salmon watchers documented seven coho spawners in the reach just repaired.