(Photos courtesy South Seattle College)
This just might be the final “back-to-school” day of the year in West Seattle. It’s the first day of fall quarter at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), headquartered at 6000 16th SW on Puget Ridge. SSC spokesperson Kevin Maloney tells WSB that more than 5,000 students are enrolled, including 103 13th-Year Promise Scholars, and that students “were greeted this morning with breakfast bars, coffee, and a warm welcome by staff members scattered throughout campus.” Those staffers include Computer Science instructor Ravi Gandham:
The fall quarter, which includes 55 instructional days, ends on December 16th; winter quarter starts January 4th.
P.S. A “Welcome Fair” is scheduled for noon-2 pm Thursday by the Clock Tower (which is shown in the top photo).
(UPDATED SUNDAY NIGHT with video/info from post-show awards – scroll down)
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
11:33 AM: That ’57 BMW Isetta is one of the more unusual cars you’ll see today at the eighth annual West Seattle Car Show, rebooted to a brand-new location in the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). The cars span the decades – going back even further, here’s a 1947 Buick Super 8 convertible:
A 1972 Cadillac Eldorado:
Trophies will be announced and awarded at 3 pm – and if you come to the show by 2:30 pm, you can vote on the People’s Choice award:
Along with the cars, you’ll see trucks, bicycles, and this mini-hydroplane showing off a 1959 Mercury Mark motor:
The West Seattle-based Nibbles food truck is here with its “Southwest fusion” flavors:
(So far, the mini-donut truck is a no-show.) You’ll find beverages inside the Northwest Wine Academy – including some of their award-winning wines:
While the fog and clouds are starting to lift, it’s also a great day for hot beverages, and you’ll find coffee there too. Again this year, Swedish Automotive and West Seattle Autoworks (both WSB sponsors) organized the show. Come say hi – our booth is next to their table on the east side of the show, where you can buy a raffle ticket that will benefit the SSC Automotive Tech program as do proceeds from the registration fees. A DJ’s playing hits old and new, and the clouds are starting to lift – we see the sun starting to break through to the south. More to come!
1:02 PM: Yes, the sun did break through, and we’re seeing a couple spots of blue sky. A hula-hooping competition’s happening right now:
At 2 pm, a live band is going to play – the Disco Cowboys. More of the vehicles that are here:
That’s a 1967 bike with a 1960 sidecar. Here’s a 1963 Comet:
Don’t miss the interiors. This 1967 Pontiac GTO is particularly showy:
1:30 PM: One more hour to vote for the People’s Choice, an hour and a half until the awards – now that the Seahawks game is over, you have time to get here and see setups like this 1974 VW van and its accessories:
Someone who just stopped by the booth to say hi described the turnout as an “eclectic mix.”
That’s a 1957 Plymouth and its mini-counterpart. And we have the first full-on sunbreak of the day!
Sunbreak! West Seattle Car Show continues until 3 pm. pic.twitter.com/iI5SSxztuf
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) September 13, 2015
While you’re here wander over to the SSC Automotive areas on the southwest side of the lot – where you’ll see these trucks:
And you’ll find the occasional backstory like this one!
1:58 PM: Lots of spectators in Seahawks jerseys showing up now. Come on down – still time to see it all.
We’ll have coverage of the awards a bit later – but first, we have to do a little reconnoitering to get downtown for the Seattle Public Schools strike briefing at 3, but half the team will be back here at the show shortly.
ADDED: From the final hour, a bit of Disco Cowboys video:
They had an attentive fan up on his feet and dancing for just about the entire set:
Winners and a few more show scenes still to come.
ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: First, the awards ceremony – the announcer was Todd Ainsworth from co-presenting West Seattle Autoworks (which is about to celebrate its 5th anniversary!), still in his outfit from the Disco Cowboys performance:
The list, transcribed from our video:
Best in Show and Best Muscle Car – 1971 Plymouth Road Runner Super Bird
People’s Choice – 1957 BMW Isetta (the little blue car shown at the top of this story)
Green Car/alternative fuel – Ford C-Max
Best Custom (5 or more modifications) – 1955 Chevy
Best Motorcycle (and the only motorcycle at the show) the 1971 Norton w/ sidecar
Best Import – 1955 MG
Best Modern Car (1990 or newer) – 2008 Corvette
Best Classic (1965-1989) 1968 Olds Cutlass
Best Pre-Antique (1964 or older) 1957 Caddy
A few more photos to come!
One more reminder before we get to the weekend: It’s time for the eighth annual West Seattle Car Show this Sunday – but don’t look for it in the usual place; it has a brand-new home, on the campus of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). When it was announced earlier this year that The Junction was no longer available, car-show fans weren’t willing to take “no show” for an answer, and some suggested SSC. Turned out to be a perfect fit because of not only room to roam but also, the campus is home to a well-regarded Automotive Technology program (which is the beneficiary from proceeds of the show, organized again this year by Swedish Automotive and West Seattle Autoworks [both also WSB sponsors]). You’ll be able to tour the program’s home on the north end of the campus during show hours 10 am-3 pm on Sunday, along with another one of SSC’s gems, the Northwest Wine Academy. Wine and beer also will be available for purchase, as will food from local trucks Nibbles and Mini The Dough-Nut. As for the cars (and motorcycles), you can still register on show day – load-in starts at 8 am, and the application is downloadable from the official West Seattle Car Show website. As one of the show co-sponsors, we hope to see you there on Sunday – look for the college’s north entrance, 6000 16th Avenue SW on Puget Ridge.
13 days until the first time you can enjoy the West Seattle Car Show at its new home at South Seattle College – Sunday, September 13th, 10 am-3 pm. Still time to register your vehicle if you want to show off, and there’s still time to sign up as a sponsor of the show, we’re reminded by the organizers at Swedish Automotive and West Seattle Autoworks (which, like SSC, are both WSB sponsors). They wanted to shout out to the sponsors who are signed up already – Advance Auto Parts, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Tom’s Automotive, WebCami, George Butterfield of Berkshire Hathaway Northwest HomeServices Real Estate, West Seattle Health Club, and us here at WSB. To inquire about sponsoring the show, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org – to register your vehicle or motorcycle, go here for the application. And if you just want to make plans to be there, mark your calendar … no tickets needed, because the West Seattle Car Show is free to see. You’ll get to explore some of SSC’s signature points of pride, too, including its strong>Northwest Wine Academy and Automotive Technology program, which is the show’s beneficiary. See you there!
FOLLOWUP: Specially trained K9 helps police find guns in Puget Ridge case; suspect remains in juvenile detentionAugust 26, 2015 at 3:31 pm | In Crime, Puget Ridge, West Seattle news | 14 Comments
3:31 PM: New information today on the arrest we reported Tuesday in connection with two Puget Ridge domestic-violence assaults, including the one that brought the Guardian One helicopter to the area on Friday. Just published online by SPD’s Jonah Spangenthal-Lee:
A specially trained ATF K9 helped officers track down three pistols hidden by a 17-year-old suspect after he attacked his girlfriend Tuesday afternoon in West Seattle.
The victim, who is also a juvenile, called police around 1:50 PM and said her boyfriend had just choked her into unconsciousness at her home and fled. She also told a 911 dispatcher the suspect had left the house carrying three handguns. Earlier in the week, he had threatened to shoot the victim and, on Tuesday, had reportedly pointed a gun at her as he fled through a wooded area near her home.
Medics treated the victim at her home as police began searching for the suspect. Officers found the 17-year-old near 18th SW and SW Juneau St and took him into custody. Police discovered he was no longer carrying the handguns, and began searching the neighborhood to try to find where he’d stashed them.
Officers were able to call in the assistance of an ATF K9, Allegra, trained to search for guns and shell casings. The dog tracked down the suspect’s three guns in a wooded area. One of the guns had been reported stolen.
Police booked the suspect into the Youth Service Center for investigation of felony domestic violence.
Previously, we had reported the recovery of one gun. Meantime, we’ve been following up on the suspect’s status via the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; he was due in court this afternoon for a detention review and probable-cause hearing. We’ll update this story when we get the results of that hearing.
4:09 PM: We’ve just received that information. The KCPAO says a judge found probable cause in the case and ordered that the suspect remain in detention; prosecutors have until Friday to file charges. The probable-cause document says the suspect had returned to his 17-year-old girlfriend’s house yesterday to get his belongings when they started to argue; she told police later that she was trying to call 911 when he slapped the phone out of her hand and choked her until she lost consciousness.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch cases to report:
PUGET RIDGE ARREST: Thanks to the texter who sent the photo of police in the 18th/Juneau vicinity this afternoon. That’s where they arrested a suspect in what was described as a felony domestic-violence assault; it appears to be the same suspect sought in a similar case last Friday (WSB coverage here). We will be following up with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office tomorrow. After arresting the suspect, police were searching for a gun he might have cast aside; they subsequently reported finding a gun along a staircase in the area. The victim was checked out by SFD medics.
NORTH ADMIRAL CAR PROWL: This is a reader report from James:
This happened on the corner of Atlantic Street and California in the North Admiral District at the Park Hamilton apartments. Between the hours of 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on August 25th. my car had both passenger side windows blown out and a laptop and iPod was stolen. Neither were clearly visible and the car was parked in a parking space and not on the street. Estimated damage including theft was around $2,200.
Unfortunately, parking lots and garages are no more immune to car prowlers than the street – while we haven’t received a reader report, and it’s not on the official log yet, we also heard a dispatch very early this morning for a car break-in inside a parking garage at one of the Junction’s newer buildings.
9:46 AM: Thanks for the tips that Guardian One is up over Puget Ridge, with police on the ground near 18th and Dawson. SPD media relations tells us they’re looking for an assault suspect in a suspected case of domestic violence.
10:02 AM: Our crew reports the helicopter is still up and while there’s a significant police presence in the area, including K-9, Dawson (which takes a much-used turn through that area, between Puget Ridge and North Delridge) remains open.
10:48 AM: Guardian One has moved on, but no arrest is reported yet.
11 AM: Commenters have been asking about whether the closest schools that have Kindergarten Jump Start this week – Pathfinder, Sanislo, and Arbor Heights at Boren are each about 1 mile away – were in lockdown or shelter-in-place; some say they received notice that Pathfinder was, but Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Stacy Howard tells WSB, “We’ve just told them to lock their front doors. No shelter-in-place.”
(ADDED: SSC photo of City Light crew member on campus)
Just out of the WSB inbox:
South Seattle College’s West Seattle Campus will close today, August 11, at 4 p.m. due to a power outage. All classes for this evening have been cancelled.
The Georgetown and New Holly South Seattle College campuses, however, will remainopen on their regular schedule.
Shortly before 11:30 a.m. today, a transformer blew on the West Seattle campus’ north parking lot causing a brief power outage. A loud “boom” that was caused by the transformer was heard at the north end of the parking lot. No injuries were reported.
To fix the transformer, Seattle City Light will need tp shut down all power on the West Seattle Campus to make the necessary repairs. Regularly scheduled hours for the West Seattle Campus are expected to resume tomorrow, August 12.
Call it a human- and wind-powered celebration of flight:
The garden’s at the north end of South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). Admission is free for everyone up to age 17; $3 donation suggested for adults. The festival continues with demonstrations, entertainment, and more, as well as kite-flying (buy one if you don’t have one to bring!), until 6 pm.
(WSB photo from 2014 Seattle Chinese Garden Kite Festival)
The Blue Angels and other Seafair Air Show participants won’t be alone in the sky this Saturday – as you might already have seen in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, it’s also the third annual Kite Festival at the Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge. More than 500 people visited the garden on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus for last year’s festival; it’s happening 2-6 pm Saturday (plenty of time to arrive AFTER the Blue Angels’ 1:40 pm-ish show if that’s already in your plans). Bring your own kite OR buy one at the festival; enjoy kite-flying demos, kite-painting for kids, courtyard entertainment, and refreshments. 17 and under get in free; $3 suggested donation for adults.
Two people were held up at gunpoint and assaulted late last night on Puget Ridge. We’ve just obtained the police report, which says they were walking to a residence when a group of people confronted them near 17th and Myrtle around 11 pm (map). The first robber “had some type of pistol and pointed it at both victims,” demanding, “Give me everything you’ve got.” The second one is quoted in the report as saying, “I’m gonna take your purse,” while reaching out to take one victim’s purse; that victim tried to resist by pushing the robber, who pushed her back and took the purse. All the while, the first robber had been “speaking with (the victim) and taking items from him (wallet, cell phone, day pack),” and then said, “Is that all you have?” When the victim said it was, the robber hit the victim in the right eye. The robbers then walked away, along with several other people who had accompanied them but did not participate in the robbery/assault. The victims called police from the house they had been headed to, a few blocks further north on 17th. According to the police report (and our followup question to SPD), the only descriptions provided were “black male” and “black female, 5-7.”
(WSB photo from June 2014 Field Day)
By proclamation of the governor, it’s Amateur Radio Week in our state – and it will wrap up this weekend with a big event that you’re invited to visit, Field Day on the south end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. The West Seattle Amateur Radio Club is one of the groups that’ll be participating. Here’s the official announcement:
Members of the Puget Sound Repeater Group (PSRG) and the Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 27 – 28, 2015 South Seattle College (behind Olympic Hall) in West Seattle. Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.
For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.
It’s still almost three months out, but summertime roars by, so you might want to start planning now to participate in the 2015 West Seattle Car Show, which, as announced here earlier this month, will be at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) – 10 am-3 pm on Sunday, September 13th, with load-in at 8 am and awards at 3. Co-presenters Swedish Automotive and West Seattle Autoworks (also both WSB sponsors), with the help of Webcami, have the application form up now at westseattlecarshow.com (the rest of the website will be launched soon), so you can download it and send it in before the summer gets busy.
Signups just started for popular free classes at the Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge – the next session of the Community Chinese Corner:
Experienced Chinese teachers and student assistants lead these fun classes for all ages. Learning activities include talking about food, playing cards, and painting. Co-sponsored by the Seattle Chinese Garden and the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington. The sessions are free, but donations are welcome. Go here for more information.
The classes will be held alternate Tuesdays, March 24-June 30, 4:30-6 pm in the Chan Center at the garden, which is just north of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). You can register online by going here. (2012 photo by Pollyanna Wang)
That’s poet/author Lawrence (Larry) Matsuda, reading his work at the Wing Luke Museum in 2011. This Thursday, he will keynote a special event at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) – and the announcement includes an invitation for you:
On Thursday, Feb. 12, South Seattle College will host a Japanese American Day of Remembrance event featuring keynote speaker Lawrence Matsuda.
A noted author, Matsuda will hold two speaking sessions in the Olympic Hall Auditorium (OLY 120) at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
This annual event commemorates the anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorizing the evacuation and incarceration of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast; most of whom were U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. The order, known as Executive Order 9066, was signed on Feb. 19, 1942. In Washington State alone, nearly 13,000 people of Japanese descent were sent to detention centers, including Seattleites who were sent to Camp Minidoka near Hunt, Idaho.
Matsuda was born in an Idaho internment camp and spent the first three years of his life there. His latest book, “Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner,” is a collection of poetry that was inspired by the experience of those 120,000.
During both sessions, Matsuda – who earned a Ph.D. in education from the University of Washington – will share personal narratives from Minidoka survivors and pilgrims, and perform excerpts from “Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner.” Additionally, signed copies of the book will be available for purchase.
This event is free and open to the community.
Olympic Hall is at the south end of the SSC campus, which is at 6000 16th SW.
Here’s the photo op we mentioned earlier – South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) students and staff gathered this morning to show their Seahawk-fan spirit! That’s our photo above; the college says its own “official” version will be on the SSC Facebook page later this afternoon. While there, our photographer put 2-year-old Mia on the WSB Instagram feed:
ADDED 2:26 PM: More photos:
We’re continuing to collect West Seattle Seahawk-spirit notes – including where to watch on Sunday – here.
(Photos/video courtesy South Seattle College)
A student’s inspiring story keynoted tonight’s recordsetting “Gifts from the Earth” fundraiser at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). Above, David Yama spoke to the sold-out crowd of 300. Here’s the full recap by SSC’s communications director Kevin Maloney:
South Seattle College announced tonight that the annual Gifts from the Earth fundraising event raised nearly $215,000, a new record in its 12-year history. Proceeds from the event benefit South’s Foundation in its mission to support South students and programs with scholarships, internships, emergency funding, tutoring, and more.
“Gifts from the Earth is an inspiring event where philanthropists and our sponsors come together for the common goal of supporting South students in their pursuit of a higher education and a fulfilling career,” South Seattle College President Gary Oertli said. “Their support has an enormous impact on our students’ ability to realize their dreams.”
South’s supporters started their night with a silent auction accompanied by appetizers and wines crafted by South’s Culinary Arts, Pastry and Baking Arts, and Northwest Wine Academy students and alumni. Next, the sold-out event moved to the Jerry M. Brockey Center, where guests enjoyed a multi-course meal created by 15 celebrity Northwest chefs (including South alumni). Students from the college’s culinary, wine and Hospitality Management B.A.S. programs helped the chefs prep, cook and serve.
A highlight of the evening came after dinner and a live auction, when South student David Michael Patrick Yama shared his story of emerging from poverty to succeeding in college with the help of a Foundation scholarship:
“I sought out a Foundation scholarship because I needed more money, but money was the smallest thing it gave me,” said Yama, who hopes to obtain a doctorate in biomedical engineering. “The greatest thing it gave to me was validation. Validation that I belong here, that I could succeed in school.”
Gifts from the Earth is made possible by the support of the following sponsors: Food Services of America (title sponsor), Boeing, Union Bank, Rebar and Associates, McGranahan Architects, GM Nameplate, QBSI, Interbay Food Company, WSECU, Vigor Industrial, The Gene Colin and Susan Janus Charitable Fund, Pedersen’s and Ferguson Construction.
(Watch SSC’s Facebook page for a photo gallery next week.) The college is headquartered on West Seattle’s Puget Ridge.
More than two dozen Puget Ridge neighbors of all ages hit the streets this morning for a community cleanup. Thanks to Amy Hallmon for sharing photos.
Something cool happening in YOUR ‘hood? Please let us know so we can share the news peninsula-wide!
(Added: WSB photo of SSCC parking lot by ravine where the girls were found)
1:56 PM: Police are looking for two girls, ages 4 and 10, in eastern West Seattle, and their family has asked us to get the word out too. The older girl has brown hair, wearing pink sweats and a pink orange jacket; younger girl has blonde hair, wearing a bright orange or blue (reversible) jacket and bright pink pants. They left their house without permission more than an hour ago and might be in the greenbelt behind Sanislo Elementary, their family says. If you see them, please call 911.
3:01 PM: Per scanner – just found, near South Seattle College.
3:26 PM: We have also confirmed with police in the area, that they are OK and safe. Medics were called to check them out just to be sure.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
Culinary students at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) were working on this gingerbread house well into Tuesday evening – after having already put more than 100 hours of work into it – with instructors including Christopher Harris (left). This morning, college spokesperson Kevin Maloney says, it’s scheduled to be picked up for delivery to Costco‘s corporate offices, where it will be on display in the travel area.
ADDED: Here’s the SSC report with full details on the gingerbread project.
Nobody’s hurt, according to police, but a three-car crash at 16th/Myrtle is causing some traffic trouble – as you probably know, that’s on the road to/from South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) and not far from Sanislo Elementary. If you don’t absolutely HAVE to head that way, you might consider waiting a while. Tow crews are on the way.
A new distinction for the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Arboretum will be celebrated tomorrow, and you’re invited. SSC shared the photo above and this announcement:
On Saturday, October 11, the Coenosium Rock Garden feature at South Seattle College’s Arboretum will be inaugurated as an American Conifer Society (ACS) Reference Garden, with a dedication ceremony running from 1-3:30 p.m.
The celebration starts with welcome messages from Seattle Colleges Chancellor Dr. Jill Wakefield and Van Bobbitt, lead faculty member of South’s Landscape Horticulture program. To follow, special recognition will be given to individuals who helped make the Coenosium Rock Garden possible. The feature is known as one of the largest dwarf conifer collections in the United States. The inauguration will wrap up with remarks from David Olszyk, president of the ACS Western Region, followed by refreshments and tours of the Coenosium Rock Garden.
South’s 5-acre arboretum, established by the South Seattle College Foundation in 1978, functions as a living laboratory and outdoor classroom for the college’s Landscape Horticulture students. Professional horticulturists, hobby gardeners and other college programs are often found exploring the free garden sanctuary as well.
(WSB photo, taken this afternoon)
Fall quarter starts tomorrow at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). According to the official announcement, changes for fall include a new Bachelor’s Degree program, Sustainable Building Science Technology, a “90-credit degree program (that) offers industry professionals a pathway to becoming a skilled Building Science Professional. The program emphasizes upper-division coursework that focuses on the complexities of building science, energy codes, building codes and facility management.” Also: What were known as the International Programs at SSC are now under the umbrella of the renamed Center for International Education, which moved to a new space on campus over the summer, housing services ranging “from aiding international students … to Study Abroad programs and international staff/faculty exchange opportunities.”
P.S. Registration for SSC classes is still open, even with school starting tomorrow – here’s the info on that.
A big police response on Puget Ridge late last night had a lot of people wondering what was going on; we’ve just obtained the police report with details. A man and woman were arrested for investigation of burglary at a house in the 5200 block of 18th SW (map) where, the report says, they used to live. The landlord’s son told police the former tenants were evicted two weeks ago and did not have permission to be in the house.
Police were called around 11 pm when the landlord found out the in-house security system had detected intruders. Its live video feed was obstructed (later, police discovered the camera on the floor), but two voices were heard. Both alleged intruders were inside when police arrived and came out when ordered to. They told police they had gone back into the house – which they claimed was unlocked – looking for mail they were expecting, though, when asked by an officer where the mail should have been, they said it would have been in the mailbox across the street from the house. Meantime, police discovered one of the suspects was the subject of two arrest warrants, for theft and assault, and they found drug paraphernalia in the house and in possession of one suspect, so the man and woman were arrested and booked into the King County Jail.
Here’s a reason for you to come visit one of West Seattle’s semi-hidden treasures – the Seattle Chinese Garden Kite Festival continues until 6 pm.
We just left the garden; it’s breezy and beautiful. It’s just past the horticulture zone on the northernmost end of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge.
Admission is free; bring your own kite or buy one at the garden – also, as noted on the SCG home page, you can enjoy “kite flying demonstrations, displays, and kite painting.”
This weekend, planes and helicopters hold the spotlight. Next Saturday, a simpler, nature-powered form of flight will be celebrated here in West Seattle, during the Seattle Chinese Garden Kite Festival. In case you haven’t seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar yet, here’s the invitation:
Come fly a kite at the Garden’s ridge-top site! Bring your own or buy one at the festival for a fun afternoon with family or friends. Activities for all ages include kite flying demonstrations, displays, and kite painting. Put your own creative stamp on one you paint yourself — materials provided. The festival also includes music and dance performances, Chinese painting demonstrations — and a dim sum booth by Hong Kong Café.
Admission is free. The Chinese Garden is on the north edge of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, on Puget Ridge at 6000 16th SW.
“This is not your grandfather’s amateur radio service,” points out the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club, inviting you to stop by Field Day on the south side of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus any time before 10 am tomorrow. What’s Field Day, you ask?
Every June hams across the country take their radios outside and run them free of the electric grid. Joining with members of the Auxillary Communications Service (amateurs who work with Seattle Department of Emergency Management) and the Puget Sound Repeater Group, West Seattle Amateur Radio Club members will operate radios and communicate with other hams around the world from West Seattle. We operate using power we generate including solar panels and batteries. We build our stations in the 24 hours prior to the event
Yes, you’ll see that big antenna in our top photo – with which they’ve even been talking to the International Space Station – but then there’s smaller equipment:
(The water bottles, we were told, are just for counterbalance.) The club explains further:
As a group, some of us just built our own software defined radios. The only analog part of these radios is the antenna connection. We are deploying a wide area microwave network and in doing so are learning mesh networking and how to offer services across our homebrewed internet. Knowlege like that will make hooking your printer up a snap next time. We routinely use digital modes that allow effective communication using 1/1000th the power needed just a decade ago. While some of us still employ large antenna arrays for worldwide communication, it is now possible to work the world with a very modest station.
We peeked in the main tent, and found Jeff:
Anyone you find will be happy to talk with you (as well as with whomever they’re transmitting to and receiving from). Outside, talking to Curt, we were reminded that amateur-radio operators are deeply involved in emergency preparedness – and in other tasks that need close communications coordination – even on the sidelines at the West Seattle Grand Parade (watch for them July 19th).
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