Explore astronomy on the ground – at Highland Park Spraypark!

August 22, 2014 at 4:45 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Story and photos by Alice Enevoldsen for West Seattle Blog

West Seattle’s own Highland Park Spraypark boasts an opportunity to bring science and math into the end of your summer vacation, painlessly and, in fact, pain-relievingly: while enjoying the cooling sprinklers. The entrance is on SW Cloverdale St and 11th Ave SW, just north of Highland Park Elementary School, and it’s open through Labor Day, 11 am-8 pm.

Depending on your kids’ interests and ages, pick one of the challenges below, don some clothes you don’t mind getting wet, and do the activity with them. If they’re a bit older (especially in the teenage range) and are embarrassed by your presence, you can give them one of the advanced challenges and maybe they’ll be tempted by a snack through Seattle’s Summer Food program, Kids and Teens Eat Free, located in the same park.

Challenge 1: Scavenger Hunt

Find all the planets!

Each planet is a circle of a different color, and has a bronze inlaid symbol identifying it nearby.

That’s an example – the Mars circle and its bronze symbol.

Teacher/Parent/Caregiver hint: The planets are not presented in order, and many of the circles are concentric, as if the planets are stacked on top of each other.

The designers of this spray park chose that this representation of our solar system would not label Pluto, the Sun, or moons and asteroids, so your scavenger hunt is for only eight objects. Here’s your cheat sheet for which symbol identifies which planet:

(NASA.gov image)
Note that the spray park uses a different symbol for Uranus:

Challenge 2: Measure the Planets

Optional Supplies:

Measuring tape, ruler, or string (you can also measure with footsteps, arm lengths, or the height of a certain child if you want).

A paper to chart measurements (print this)

Pencil or pen

Even the littlest kids can help measure the planets, but their measurements will not be accurate. Playing at measuring is a great skill for preschoolers and toddlers anyway. Older kids can be prompted to measure more and more precisely. If you have a mix of ages, bring enough rulers or tape measures for each age-group.

Measure the diameter of each planet, and record that measurement on a chart – get it here as a PDF.

How close is this model to being to scale?

How big would the Sun be, if it was to scale with these planets?

I have not finished my own measurement of the planets, so I’d love it if you’d post your findings below.

Teacher/Parent/Caregiver hint: This is the part where kids will get wet, so come prepared and revel in the coolness. If you measure in footsteps or anything other than a standard unit and you want to compare to a scale model of the solar system you’ll have to measure your child’s foot in inches at some point and multiply.

For instance, if Mercury is 5 footsteps across, and your kid’s foot is 7 inches long, then Mercury is 5 footsteps x 7 inches per footstep = 35 inches across.

When you get home, use this Solar System model calculator to see if this model is actually to scale, or not.

On the screenshot below, I’ve outlined in red the parts you need to complete the activity, comparing numbers to a scale model:


First, set the solar system calculator up by putting in the diameter you measured of one of the planets.

Second, click “Calculate.”

Third, read the values in the second-to-last column and compare them to the rest of your measurements.

Challenge 3: Be Creative

There are lots more circles on the spray park than just the eight marked as planets. If you wanted them to represent objects in our solar system, what would they be?

What do the spraying features represent? Are they related to imaginary or real features on the planets?

(Some of the extra circles in the spray park)

Teacher/Parent/Caregiver hint: This is an exercise in creativity, as well as some free-form learning about the planets. You can find plenty of space books at the library to fuel the imagination and learn some of the known features on each planet.


Use Thinkzone’s Solar System Calculator to calculate a scale model of the solar system (full disclosure: This is my dad’s website; clearly, I come by my geekery honestly!)

Who is Alice?

Alice is many things and works and volunteers for a few different notable organizations, but the suggestions and opinions put forth in this article are her own and no-one else’s. You can find more about astronomy at www.alicesastroinfo.com.

Highland Park Elementary’s neighbors learn of its challenges, offer help with solutions: ‘Tell us what we can do’

August 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 35 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Just before the end of last school year, a member of the Highland Park Elementary School PTA made a pitch to the nearest community council, the Highland Park Action Committee.

Peter Weiss told HPAC’s May meeting that he wanted to organize a 5K to bring the PTA and the school not just money but awareness. HPES, he explained, is the lowest-performing elementary school in the entire district.

That was jaw-dropping news to many, if not most, in the room. Just supporting an event would not be enough. A community conversation was called for.

The conversation began in earnest this past Tuesday night.

Though most community groups skip midsummer meetings, HPAC and the HPE PTA set a date, issued an invite – and the room was full.

We counted more than 50 people.

At the front of the room, along with Sol Mendez from the HPE PTA and HPAC co-chairs Carolyn and Billy Stauffer, were school and city leaders – among the former, new HPE principal Chris Cronas and the district’s regional executive director of schools Israel Vela; among the latter, Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

More questions than answers emerged. But it was one of those events where the event itself was the triumph, for starters, rather than any single declaration or promise made.

Click to read the rest of Highland Park Elementary’s neighbors learn of its challenges, offer help with solutions: ‘Tell us what we can do’…

You can help! Community support meeting Tuesday for Highland Park Elementary

August 11, 2014 at 11:51 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 4 Comments

The new school year is less than four weeks away, and there’s a push to muster support for one local school that needs it more than ever, Highland Park Elementary. If you can help – or want to at least find out how to – you can do that tomorrow night. For the basic story, here’s the invitation that Highland Park Action Committee co-chairs Carolyn and Billy Stauffer wrote to district, city, and other leaders:

(HPAC’s) role is to affect positive change in our neighborhood, and we have historically been active in bringing together a voice for our neighborhood, which has faced many challenges.

We hosted parent Peter Weiss at our May community meeting, who came to speak with us as a member of the Highland Park Elementary PTA. In discussing his ideas with us to organize a 5K as a fundraiser for the school, the community learned about the state of affairs for our local school – Highland Park Elementary is ranked last in the Seattle Public School System.

Some of our members were brought to tears with this news, exhausted by what feels like yet another blind eye turned towards our community from our leaders. We write to you in response to a request that night from the community to get some answers as to why our school is doing so badly and what the plan is for improvement. We have since discussed this idea with the PTA and have formed a partnership in our efforts. We, along with incoming PTA president Sol Mendez, would like to invite you to a meeting to discuss the school, and answer some questions from our community.

And that invitation is for you too. Come to the Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden) tomorrow night (Tuesday, August 12th), at 7 pm. HPAC says the RSVPs so far include HPES’s new principal Chris Cronas, school-board member Marty McLaren, and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

ADDED TUESDAY: HPAC co-chair Carolyn Stauffer says the school district’s executive director of schools for this area, Israel Vela, also has RSVP’d.

West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘Home invasion’ robbers get away with thousands

July 23, 2014 at 12:52 am | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

12:52 AM: Police are searching for two people suspected in a reported ‘home invasion’ situation in Highland Park. Scanner-monitored information indicates shots were fired – with at least one casing found – but the victim was not reported injured and no medic crew has been summoned. This happened near 10th and Trenton (map); police, including a K-9 team, are looking for a woman and man who might be known to the victim. More info if/when we get it.

2:09 AM: Still no word of arrests. Robbery Unit detectives are joining the investigation.

NOON UPDATE: We’ve obtained the report from SPD. It says the victim told police he recognized the woman, by voice, as his wife, who he hasn’t (otherwise) seen in a month – both robbers, the report says, were wearing ski masks. The male robber fired two rounds, according to the victim, including one into the floor after tying him up and leaving him in the bathroom. The female robber, the victim said, demanded to know where “the money” was, and though the victim denied having any, she said she knew better, and eventually, according to the victim, they made off with $22,000 in cash.

Update: Highland Park duplex fire, nobody hurt; caused by ‘improperly discarded smoking materials’

July 9, 2014 at 12:21 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(UPDATED THURSDAY with fire’s cause, damage estimate)

(WSB photo by Katie Meyer)
12:21 PM: Now there’s another fire call in Highland Park – this one for a house in the 7500 block of 11th SW (map). First crews on the scene are seeing smoke.

12:26 PM UPDATE: Fire crews say the house is fully engulfed in flames. Per scanner, they’re saying they’ve been told no one is inside. It’s a duplex and they report the fire is “knocked down.”

(This photo and next by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
1:10 PM UPDATE: WSB’s Katie Meyer confirms from the scene that everyone got out OK, including a cat and dog. Firefighters are still working to figure out how the fire started.

2:04 PM UPDATE: Also from the scene, WSB’s Christopher Boffoli reports that SFD plans to keep a crew there on “fire watch” in case it rekindles.

ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore says the investigation determined the fire was caused by “improperly discarded smoking materials, discarded into a couch. The damage estimate is $60,000 to the structure and $10,000 to the contents.”

Update: Industrial fire in ‘bin of metals’ in Highland Park

July 9, 2014 at 12:01 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(Seattle Fire Department photo via Twitter)
12:01 PM: The big Seattle Fire response is for an industrial building in the 7000 block of Highland Park Way SW, near the intersection with West Marginal Way SW. SFD describes it via Twitter as a machinery fire and says all employees have been evacuated.

12:05 PM: Per scanner, the fire is declared “tapped.” The address checks to Pioneer Industries/Human Services. Firefighters are working to ventilate the building because of the smoke.

12:57 PM: SFD says the fire was “limited to a bin of metals” and that the “smoking bin” is being taken out of the building.

1:25 PM: SFD also has tweeted a picture of the aforementioned bin:

You can help! Girls on the Run expanding to Highland Park Elementary

June 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm | In Highland Park, How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

Even as the school year ends today, planning is under way for the next one starting in September – and that’s what this call for volunteers is all about: Girls on the Run is on its way to Highland Park Elementary for 2014-2015.

HPE is starting Girls on the Run at our school starting in the fall. Girls on the Run is an after-school program that uses the power of running to give girls the tools to celebrate their bodies, honor their voices, recognize their gifts, and activate their power!

The program is open to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade girls. Both girls from HPE and from the surrounding community who do not have GOTR at their home school are encouraged to join. We are looking for volunteers to coach our girls. The commitment would be one or two times a week Starting September 29th and running through December 8th. Minimum age is 16. If interested please contact Holly Briscoe, the site liaison for HPE. hollybriscoe@hotmail.com

Update: Police response in Highland Park starts with stolen-car crash

June 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

2:09 PM: If you’re noticing a heavy police presence in Highland Park right now, here’s what’s going on (per scanner, though we have a crew arriving in the area): A car reported as stolen crashed through a fence on 11th SW; at least one person ran from the car and was caught by a citizen on 12th SW. Some confusion over the latter location ensued, briefly, but has been resolved.

2:31 PM UPDATE: Adding photo of the crashed car – which, from the plate and appearance, is this one tweeted by SPD just this morning:

(No word so far whether it was stolen in WS or elsewhere.)

The suspect was taken to the Southwest Precinct.

First Sunrise Heights/Westwood, next Highland Park? County update on roadside-raingarden (and other) possibilities

June 2, 2014 at 11:56 am | In Environment, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(Click image for full-size flyer also showing the South Park area and the explanatory legend)
With two major combined-sewer-overflow (CSO) reduction projects under way in West Seattle, the King County Wastewater Treatment District is looking ahead to its next one, in Highland Park and South Park. The most-recent HP Action Committee meeting got an update from KCWTD’s Kristine Cramer and John Phillips.

In addition to possible “roadside raingardens” along some streets in the area (highlighted above in yellow) – like the ones going into more than a dozen blocks of Sunrise Heights and Westwood – they also are looking at permeable (porous) pavement in some parts of the area, and possibly a runoff-control project using part of one of the Seattle City Light “surplus” ex-substation sites.

Click to read the rest of First Sunrise Heights/Westwood, next Highland Park? County update on roadside-raingarden (and other) possibilities…

Happening tonight: Sanislo end-of-year party, and more!

May 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

A busy morning got in the way of our usual calendar-highlights roundup, so we invite you to just visit the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar directly to see what’s up. One spotlight event – what we believe to be the first “end-of-school-year party” in West Seattle, though school has a few weeks to go. From Sunshine, the announcement of the Sanislo Elementary PTA‘s End of the Year Party tonight:

Please join us as we get together to celebrate another successful year at Sanislo.

Where: Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden St

When: TONIGHT (Friday, May 23rd) 6 pm-9 pm

Adults only; beer and wine will be sold. 50/50 Raffle and a wine cellar raffle. Feel free to bring finger food to share, a bottle of wine ($10 or more) for the wine cellar raffle. Open to the public, cash only!

(The last day of the Seattle Public Schools year, by the way, is June 19th.)

West Seattle weekend scene: Highland Park, Uncorked!

May 17, 2014 at 9:55 pm | In Highland Park, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Thanks to Donna for photos from the early going of tonight’s Highland Park Uncorked! – the sold-out fundraiser at historic Highland Park Improvement Club. Note the decoration in the foreground of the top photo! It might be best described as a collaborative wine tasting event, as explained here – everybody brings a bottle of their favorite $15-or-less wine, and, under wraps, they’re distributed to the tables. Tasting, voting, noshing, and raffling ensue.

We’ll update later when the winners, and the fundraising estimate, are announced. If you haven’t been there – HPIC is both a community organization and an almost-century-old hall that serves as a community hub, and continues to avolve (the recent “de-paving” out front is just one example). This year’s HP Uncorked! sponsors included WSB.

Highland Park Action Committee: HPIC ‘greening’ update; more

March 28, 2014 at 9:18 am | In Environment, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

The “de-paved” lot outside Highland Park Improvement Club was a major topic at this week’s meeting of the Highland Park Action Committee, which convenes at HPIC. As work continues on greening the HPIC grounds following last Saturday’s work party (WSB coverage here), two events are ahead: Boeing employees will volunteer at a work party on April 19th; a week later, on April 26th, the site will be a Sustainability Stop on the annual Northwest Green Home Tour, with co-hosts including Sustainable Seattle and Stewardship Partners, and a chance to look at nearby RainWise installations too. Find out more about the tour here (scroll way down that page to see HPIC, “stop #11″; two West Seattle homes are on the tour too).

Two more toplines from HPAC’s meeting, ahead: Click to read the rest of Highland Park Action Committee: HPIC ‘greening’ update; more…

Video: De-paving party at Highland Park Improvement Club

March 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm | In Highland Park, How to help, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:12 PM: Until 3 pm, you are still welcome – actually, we’d say encouraged! – to join the volunteers busy right now with something you just don’t see that often, captured for posterity in our 15-second Instagram video clip above: De-paving! The historic, nearing-a-century-old Highland Park Improvement Club is greening its grounds (with help from Sustainable Seattle) and taking out old asphalt to (un)pave the way for that; HPIC’s Rhonda Smith told us more about the rendering shown in our preview the other day, with not just a reconfiguration but also new planting planned next month. A donated catered lunch is on the way and work will continue today until 3 pm – just go stop by at 12th/Holden. As Blair Johnson quipped, as is done during so many volunteer work parties, they’re removing invasives – just that in this case, it’s invasive asphalt.

(P.S. We’ll be adding photos later tonight.)

ADDED 7:42 PM: As promised:

They were starting toward the south side and moving north – lots of square footage to de-pave!

A trailer filled up with pieces of removed asphalt:

The de-paved area won’t all be greenery and dirt – see the plan here. Part of the HPIC lot already had been “de-paved” for a raingarden, and this is a continuation of the theme.

Break it up! Help Highland Park ‘de-pave’ this Saturday

March 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm | In Highland Park, How to help, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Having a rough week? Saturday brings a volunteer project that might be a way to get out your frustrations. It’s happening at Highland Park Improvement Club, where a “greening” is under way, as envisioned in the plan above. Here’s what’s happening Saturday, for the next step toward that “greening”:

We’re building an oasis in the asphalt – a courtyard, replacing a portion of the parking lot with permeable pavers and more gardens. So we have some asphalt that needs to be ripped up and taken away. Bring your muscles and whatever you need to vent this Saturday and help us hoist chunks of asphalt outta here. The asphalt will be prepped, scored and ready to rumble into a big Dumpster that will cart it away.

We will start at 10 am till however long it takes. Lunch will be provided and activities for all ages. And yes, there will be beer and other refreshments after all that hard work.

HPIC is at 12th/Holden.

5:10 PM UPDATE: A little advance depaving is going on today – Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Carolyn Stauffer just shared this photo:

Just a start!

Reminder: Guardian One helicopter visiting White Center Heights Elementary this afternoon

March 13, 2014 at 10:28 am | In Helicopter, Highland Park, West Seattle news, White Center | 2 Comments

One more early warning – as first noted here last week, White Center Heights Elementary is due for a special visit by the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One around 1:25 this afternoon, as part of a special project kindergarteners have been working on. The North Highline Fire Department will be there too. WC Heights is at 6th SW and SW 100th, so Highland Park’ers might notice this too.

4:24 PM NOTE: We’ll publish a separate story here later but photos and video are up right now, if you’re interested, on our partner site White Center Now.

Neighbor Appreciation Day tomorrow: 3 fire stations to tour

February 7, 2014 at 11:05 pm | In Highland Park, Sunrise Heights, Triangle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Neighbor Appreciation Day at Station 37, photographed in 2011 by Cliff DesPeaux for WSB)
Going through football withdrawal? There’s lots to keep you busy this weekend. One thing we’re reminding you about quickly right now: Three West Seattle fire stations are open for tours 11 am-1 pm Saturday as part of the city’s Neighbor Appreciation Day: Station 11 in Highland Park at 16th/Holden, Station 32 in The Junction at 38th/Alaska, and Station 37 in Sunrise Heights at 35th/Holden. It’s your chance to get an up-close look WITHOUT having an emergency in your neighborhood!

‘Nothing decided yet’: Ideas for Mayor’s Neighborhood Summit @ Highland Park Action Committee

January 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Seattle’s new mayor has promised a “neighborhood summit” within his first 100 days in office. No date is set yet, not even a format, but the person who’s organizing it came to the Highland Park Action Committee‘s January meeting to talk about possibilities. That leads off our report from the meeting Wednesday night:

Click to read the rest of ‘Nothing decided yet’: Ideas for Mayor’s Neighborhood Summit @ Highland Park Action Committee…

Highland Park to talk about Mayor Murray’s ‘Neighborhood Summit’

January 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Highland Park Action Committee just shared a preview of tomorrow night’s meeting, and one topic is of interest even beyond HP and vicinity:

… We’ve invited Kathy Nyland to come speak. She was recently “borrowed” from city council staff to help Mayor Murray’s office coordinate a Neighborhood Summit. We’re going to hear what she’s up to and share our thoughts about what this could look like and how Highland Park and Riverview can participate. We’d like Mayor Murray to be aware of the concerns our neighborhood may have, so please join us to learn about this effort and provide feedback to her.

We trust other community councils are participating in this planning in other ways, but this is the first we have seen with a specific agenda item about it. HPAC plans a 6:30 pm potluck, 7 pm meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, January 22) at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th and Holden).

West Seattle scene: Cheering the Hawks in Highland Park

January 11, 2014 at 8:05 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

Highland Park has no sports bar/lounge where you can go for a big game like today’s Seahawks victory over the Saints – or a small game, for that matter – but the Highland Park Improvement Club transformed itself into a viewing venue – same way it morphs into the pop-up Corner bar one night a month. Members and neighbors gathered to watch today’s game – and yes, there was at least one Saints fan in the crowd:

That’s Mike in the Saints jersey and Jim in the Seahawks jersey. By now, of course, you know who won. The Seahawks stay home to host the NFC Championship next Sunday, 3:30 pm, vs. either Carolina or San Francisco, depending on who wins those teams’ faceoff tomorrow; tickets for the January 19th game go on sale this Monday at 10 am.

Update: Emergency response in Highland Park

December 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

5:52 PM: An assault-with-weapons response rushed to the 1500 block of Holden. A man is reported to be there with a ‘knife wound to the buttocks’ that is believed to have happened somewhere else. More to come.

6:01 PM: Now radio traffic suggests it wasn’t a stabbing after all.

6:22 PM: No police/fire left at the scene by the time we got there.

You can help! Highland Park Neighbors’ Sunday invitation

December 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm | In Highland Park, How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Can you spare some time Sunday afternoon to give the gift of time? Craig Rankin shared the photo and the call for volunteers:

A small informal group called the Highland Park Neighbors have just received a Small Sparks grant for the “Kenyon St Right-Of Way Beautification Project.” The $1000 grant from the City of Seattle /Department of Neighborhoods will be used to purchase plants for the space, which has been an on-going restoration project for just under two years. The sloped area, which is used locally by students and bus riders willing to climb/descend the steep “social trail,” is partially planted and mostly mulched. Most of the grant will go toward purchasing native bare-root plant stock to be planted in the spring.

The first official work party will be this Sunday between 12 pm and 3 pm. There are 10 yards of mulch to move via 5 gallon buckets. If you would like to join the fun, please bring some gloves.

That’s John Gray, moving mulch, in the photo Craig shared. Here’s a map to the area.

Followup: Charges filed in ‘My Gun’s Bigger’ Highland Park robbery attempt

December 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

Three men are now charged in what’s been dubbed the “My Gun’s Bigger” robbery attempt at Highland Park’s Morning Star Market. Seattle Police announced the arrests on November 26th, three days after the clerk scared the would-be robbers away, and we got word of the charges today. Read on for the story they tell:

Click to read the rest of Followup: Charges filed in ‘My Gun’s Bigger’ Highland Park robbery attempt…

West Seattle Crime Watch: Outgunned Highland Park suspects nabbed

November 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Remember the Saturday night Highland Park robbery attempt thwarted by a clerk who said he had a bigger gun? Tonight Seattle Police say suspects are now in custody, after the distinctive getaway car was spotted following a street robbery in South King County. This is all explained on SPD Blotter.

Highland Park/South Delridge greenway followup: Missed the meeting? See the maps

November 21, 2013 at 9:26 am | In Delridge, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

If you live in Highland Park/South Delridge but didn’t get to Tuesday night’s open house about the greenway proposal – the maps shown that night are now linked on the city website, and you might want to take a look, particularly to see where new stop signs and other features are being proposed. See the maps here; see the background explanation, including how raingardens will tie in along part of the way, here. (Note that on the north end, the plan goes a bit further north than Highland Park, including a stretch of SW Myrtle by Sanislo Elementary – the plan there includes two blocks of repaving.) The official project website includes a comment sheet that was available at the meeting – you can still download it and send it in; the deadline is December 10th.

Update: 1,100 customers lose natural-gas service in South Park & Highland Park

November 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm | In Highland Park, South Park, Utilities, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(WSB photo: Crews mobilizing in South Park)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:39 PM: Just in from Puget Sound Energy:

A natural gas regulator is having some problems in the Highland Park area in West Seattle. More than 1000 customers are currently without natural gas service. There is no safety issue. Work is under way to fix the problem. Once the gas-system pressure is operating normally, PSE personnel will go door-to-door to inspect the meters and gain entry to re-light furnaces, water heaters and other gas equipment. Most of the customers affected are residential. This situation is not due to a natural gas leak. There is no escaping natural gas.

We’re hearing about some customers out in South Park, too, and are asking PSE about that.

3:06 PM UPDATE: PSE’s Ray Lane tells us the bulk of the outage IS in South Park, though some are affected in Highland Park too. Here’s his latest update:

Approximately 1,120 PSE customers in the South Park area are without natural gas service due to a suspected problem with the gas system pressure equipment.

This means there is not adequate gas pressure in the system to operate equipment, such as furnaces, water heaters and other appliances. The situation is not due to a natural gas leak.

PSE is on site to correct the problem. We have 28 technicians in the field and will be working to shut down gas service to impacted customers. This allows us to reintroduce gas into the system safely. We anticipate having all customers shut off by 8:00 p.m. Once we have tested and stabilized the system, PSE personnel will need to enter homes and businesses to relight equipment. This may not occur until late in the evening. Customers wanting gas restored overnight should leave a front exterior light on. Service crews will be available all night and through tomorrow morning until all customers are restored.

As in any situation, call PSE or 911 immediately if you smell leaking natural gas. For updates, follow us on Twitter.com/PSEtalk or call 888-225-5773. PSE representatives will also be able to answer customer questions at the South Park Playfield at 8th Ave S and South Sullivan Street.

Happening now: Highland Park Improvement Club holiday bazaar

November 9, 2013 at 11:26 am | In Highland Park, Holidays, West Seattle news | Comments Off

The first big weekend of bazaars means the holiday season is off and running in West Seattle! At historic Highland Park Improvement Club, the bazaar that’s under way until 3 pm includes artists and crafters including Deloris (above). Vendors’ tables are full of gift possibilities like these (who WOULDN’T want Darth Vader on their wallet?):

Among the vendors, historic HPIC itself – with the all-new Highland Park hoodies!

(Added: Found out post-publication, they’re screenprinted by local Rain City West!) Even if you’re not in the shopping mood, go learn more about raingardens:

At right in that photo is Jo Sullivan from King County Wastewater Treatment Division, which is in the early stages of a green-stormwater-infrastructure project for Highland Park and vicinity and, at left, Hannah Kett from Sustainable Seattle, which has been working on other raingarden projects in the area. (If you need new inspiration for considering/supporting raingardens – think of the Longfellow Creek coho salmon, often killed by polluted stormwater runoff. The more runoff you keep out of the system via raingardens (etc.), the more you keep out of local waterways.)

Haven’t been to HPIC? Find it at 12th/Holden (map).

‘Tis the season to snag a spot at HPIC’s holiday bazaar

October 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm | In Highland Park, Holidays, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Chilly storm moves through, a little ice from the sky … In the holiday mood yet? Highland Park Improvement Club hopes so – Christie Sjostrom is organizing this year’s Holiday Bazaar for Saturday, November 9th, 10 am-3 pm, and looking for vendors, $20/table, $15 for HPIC members, handmade arts/crafts only (no commercial items) – e-mail her ASAP to snag your spot, csjostrom@hotmail.com.

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