West Seattle, Washington
Just got the news, and that photo, from a proud Laura James – best known here as “Diver Laura,” who has often shared video of amazing underwater sights as well as news of cleanups on sea and shore: She won the Cox Conserves Heroes award, which means a total of $10,000 for Sustainable West Seattle, her chosen nonprofit! We first told you in June that she was a finalist in this year’s contest. Then, voting ensued – till one week ago – and today, Laura was announced as the winner. (She was the only West Seattleite among the finalists, who are all shown here; the other two will each earn a $2,500 grant for their chosen nonprofit.)
(Laura with Cate White, Sustainable WS Tox-Ick fighter)
ADDED 9:49 PM: We asked Laura for a comment. Her reply:
A huge thank you to KIRO 7, Cox Enterprises and the Trust for Public Land for helping fight the Tox-Ick Monster! Many many thanks to my Friends and Family – Facebook or otherwise – who voted, My dive buddies who make the dives possible; a special thank you to Kelle Fitzpatrick for nominating me; and West Seattle Blog for your relentless support! I could not have done it without all of you!
“Tox-Ick,” you might recall, is the “face” of the Sustainable WS toxic-runoff-fighting campaign (read about the “monster” here and about simple actions YOU can take to fight it).
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: Here’s the official announcement, now published on the Cox Conserves Heroes website.
(Photo courtesy West Seattle Tool Library)
As its third year of operation gets under way, the nationally renowned West Seattle Tool Library is adding mobile service – and you can take a peek firsthand during tomorrow night’s “Ask an Expert” event at the WSTL. Here’s the Tool Library’s official announcement:
The West Seattle Tool Library is pleased to announce that we are going mobile. Thanks to a few generous sponsorships and the ongoing support of our growing 700-plus member community, the tool library has purchased a trailer and refurbished it to serve as a mobile extension of our well-loved collection of tools.
The new mobile unit, sized seven- by 14-feet, will be stocked with a variety of the most popular tools. The trailer will allow for members who do not have a vehicle, who need a tool that doesn’t fit in their vehicle or simply want the convenience of having it delivered, to do so for a fee of $10 each way. The mobile tool library will also be available to community groups who are working on a project and need a large number of tools on site.
Members will be able to request a pickup or delivery by contacting the library by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (206) 317-4671.
“This mobile unit will dramatically increase accessibility to the West Seattle Tool Library for a number of our neighbors who, for one reason or another, can’t always make it down to the tool library itself during open hours,” said Patrick Dunn, tool library founder. “It’s a really exciting opportunity to reach out to the community and ensure that everyone has access to the tools they need to take on projects of all sorts.”
The bright red unit, which resembles a horse trailer and was purchased in used condition and refurbished to a pristine state by Tool Library Director Micah Summers, will be officially rolled out to the public Thursday night, July 12, at the Tool Library’s regular DIY community meetup and “Ask an Expert” night. It will then be on display at the GreenLife exposition (part of West Seattle Summer Fest ) this weekend in the West Seattle Junction.
Held at the tool library’s permanent location in the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way, the “Ask an Expert” event runs from 6-8 p.m. and offers area residents an opportunity to bounce project ideas off fellow DIYers and receive advice from experts in a variety of home improvement and sustainability fields.
The mobile unit was made possible by grants from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the West Seattle Garden Tour and other donors.
The West Seattle Tool Library officially opened its doors in June of 2010, offering free community access to a variety of more than 100 tools out of a small storage closet. Just two years later, that modest collection has grown to over 1,500 mostly-donated tools, serving a membership of around 700 people from a renovated workshop space at Youngstown.
The tool library also hosts a wide range of educational classes and workshops, a fixer’s collective and social events geared toward the Do-It-Yourself community. Besides Summers, an intern and a number of volunteers help keep the library open and humming on weekends and Thursday nights.
You can check out the WSTL inventory via its website – wstoollibrary.org.
ADDED: Another reason to go!
Also visiting the Tool Library this Thursday evening are the folks from ‘Spark Truck.’ Out of Stanford Design School, they’ve created a mobile unit filled with 3d printers, laser cutters, and other tools to help promote hands-on making and design to youth. They’re currently on a nationwide roadtrip.
Congratulations to Laura James, also known as “Diver Laura,” whose underwater adventures and sea/land volunteer work – like “The Great Battery Roundup of 2012” – are often featured here on WSB. She is one of the finalists for this year’s “Cox Conserves Heroes” award, and online voting is open now. Here’s what’s at stake, from the Cox/KIRO TV announcement:
A total of $15,000 will be donated to local environmental nonprofits on behalf of the finalists. By being a finalist, each individual has secured a $2,500 donation for his or her nonprofit of choice. The finalists are now competing for an additional $7,500 – bringing the total donation on behalf of the winner to $10,000. The winner will be chosen through an online public vote.
(West Seattle has had a finalist once before – Fauntleroy Creek steward Judy Pickens in 2008.)
A busy few days for Sustainable West Seattle – with two events in three days. Monday night, the group brought a powerful lineup of energy education and experts to the monthly SWS Community Forum at the Senior Center of West Seattle. Above, Craig Jones from Sustainable Works, which specializes in energy audits and retrofits. Energy audits are also big for Community Power Works, whose Greta Hutchinson was on hand:
Now that winter’s finally past – just might be the right time to evaluate how to make your home more energy-efficient for next year. Or even do something more dramatic – go solar!
Ahead, our photos from the SWS/CoolMom tea party on Saturday:Read More
Spring cleaning? Sorting through things in preparation for WSCGSD? Maybe you have mugs and/or glasses you never use, just cluttering the cupboard. Sustainable West Seattle would be happy to put them into service:
Sustainable West Seattle is excited to announce that we are creating a reusable dish collection. Our goal is to create a large collection that can be used for events, like parties, so that disposables will not need to be used. We are currently accepting donations of mugs, drinking glasses and wine glasses. Donations must be in good condition and not have any chips or sharp edges. Our current goal is to collect 100 mugs, drinking glasses, and wine glasses.
Donations can be left at the following locations:
*West Seattle Tool Library – 4408 Delridge Way SW – Thursdays from 6-9 pm, Saturdays from 9 am-2 pm and Sundays from 1-5 pm
*Think Outside the Car event on Saturday, April 28th, from 10 am-2 pm at Westside School playground – 34th and Holden Street
*Sustainable West Seattle table at the West Seattle Farmers Market on May 6th
After the collection has been established, we hope to lend it out to other groups in West Seattle to reduce the amount of disposables used in West Seattle.
One more time, tomorrow night at West Seattle High School, you can find out how to fight the Tox-Ick Monster – a mythical creature born of toxic runoff – and do a double good deed. If at least 50 people show up for the presentation, Sustainable West Seattle will contribute $1,000 toward a rain-garden project at WSHS. Cate White explains, “The school’s student-led Earth Service Corps is coordinating the rain garden project with other local nonprofits including Stewardship Partners and Sustainable Seattle. Rain gardens are an excellent first line of defense against the polluted runoff that threatens the health of Puget Sound and its most emblematic wildlife: salmon and killer whales. The students’ aim is to turn the rain garden into a permanent feature that can be used for science education for years to come. Please help them attain their vision.” Just show up at WSHS at 7 pm Thursday (March 22) – free pizza, too.
Our photos are courtesy of diver/photographer Laura James, who was there as Sustainable West Seattle‘s toxic-runoff-fighting Tox-Ick Monster presentation brought in a big crowd at Sanislo Elementary on Thursday night – beating, Laura says, the 50-person goal, which means that an environmental project at Sanislo gets a $1,000 donation. Everybody who came was a winner – free pizza, free native plants:
And you can join the fight too – next chance, 7 pm March 22nd at West Seattle High School, which also gets a $1,000 grant if at least 50 adult community members turn out for the presentation!
Free time this week? 2 workshops at the nonprofit West Seattle Tool Library both have room: “Power Tools 101: Lose Your Fear, Not Your Fingers” at 6 pm Tuesday – register online here – and “Introduction to Indoor Winter Gardening,” 7 pm Wednesday (promising a kickstart on your spring gardening too), with online registration here. The Tool Library is on the east side of >Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).
(Photo courtesy Laura Elfline)
On the second Thursday every month, the West Seattle Tool Library invites do-it-yourselfers to not just come check out tools, but come get free expert advice on projects/ideas you might be pursuing or considering – now or in the future. And tomorrow’s the January edition. From the announcement:
Our coaches have expertise in a variety of areas, including solar power, water harvesting, green architecture & building, permaculture, and urban gardening. This month’s lineup includes experts from: Mighty House Construction, Urban Land Army, Solar Epiphany, LD Arch Design, Alki Bike and Board, as well as members of our community at large
These open and informal community meetups offer an opportunity to bounce project ideas off fellow DIYers and maybe receive some advice in the process, if you like. It’s also a great time to show off what you’ve been working on. You bring your inspiration and your inquiring minds. We’ll bring the experts and the pizza! See you there!
The Tool Library is on the northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.
As of a little more than an hour ago, Sustainable West Seattle was already on its fifth box of Christmas lights brought in for recycling at its West Seattle Farmers’ Market booth. Till 2 pm, you’ll find them there – along with the meters comparing LED lights to incandescent:
Just around the corner from the Farmers’ Market, the Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB) Belgian-mule-drawn carriage rides (free!) – we caught up with them as they headed north on 44th before turning onto Alaska by the market:
The carriage rides continue till 3, as do take-it-yourself Santa photos at City Mouse. One Farmers’ Market reminder – NO market the next two Sundays, since it’s Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, BUT there’s a special nighttime edition at Junction Plaza Park this Thursday (December 22), 5-8 pm. (Sustainable WS plans to roast chestnuts, providing leader Christina Hahs’ test run tonight goes well!)
4:23 PM UPDATE: Got the final tally from the Christmas-lights-recycling collection:
That photo’s courtesy of Chas Redmond, who staffed the SWS booth today with Hahs (in the photo) and Patrick Dunn (best known as award-winning manager of the WS Tool Library). By 2 pm, he says, they had filled the pickup-truck bed with boxes of ready-to-recycle lights, and they had finished the old-vs.-new lights comparison: “The results of our demo showing the electricity draw of conventional, incandescent mini’s and the LEDs – with a string of 100 LED lights and another string of 75 incandescent mini lights running for three hours, the LED lights drew 3 watts and the incandescents (even though there were fewer) drew 300 watts – roughly 1 watt/hour for the LED string and 100 watts/hour for the incandescent string.” One more sustainability P.S. – for Christmas-giving/stocking-stuffing, the Tool Library is suggesting gift memberships (raffle ticket included!).
Twice a month, you’ll find Sustainable West Seattle at the WS Farmers’ Market. Tomorrow, they’ve got a special seasonal mission – accepting your no-longer-needed (or no-longer-usable) holiday lights for recycling. We’re filling a bag to turn in …
As explained on the SWS website, you should be able to find their booth fairly easily, since they’re also promising a demonstration comparing the power-usage difference between LED lights and the old-fashioned type. As always, the Farmers’ Market is 10 am-2 pm Sunday, 44th/Alaska. And remember the special nighttime Farmers’ Market coming up this Thursday, 5-8 pm; after that, no market for a few weeks, since the following two Sundays (12/25 and 1/1) will be holidays.
(WSB photo by Tracy Record)
It’s been almost two years since our first report that Sustainable West Seattle was starting a tool library. It’s been going strong for a year and a half now, drawing users, generating buzz (Popular Mechanics!), and tonight, winning a big award. Sustainable Seattle, celebrating its annual fundraising gala and awards dinner at the Duwamish Longhouse, honored the West Seattle Tool Library for Sustainability in Innovation in a Social Environment. Accepting the award were (from left) Micah Summers and Patrick Dunn. Haven’t been to the tool library ever – or, lately? It’s open Thursday nights, so you can drop by tomorrow, 6-9 pm (it’ll be another session of Ask the Expert, too, till 8). It’s on the northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.
P.S. Here’s who else was nominated for the Sustainable Seattle awards.
THURSDAY P.P.S. Click ahead for full list of winners, just received:Read More
Santa’s not the only one with a workshop this time of year. In fact, the West Seattle Tool Library has four planned for the holiday season, teaching you skills that can result in homemade gifts:
Introduction to Holiday Canning
Nov. 29th, 7-9 PM
Learn how to preserve your harvest. We’ll cover all the basics of using a hot water bath canner. Each participant will get to take home a few jars of what we can in class.
Instructor: Christina Hahs
Cost: $20 plus $5 for materials
Introduction to Backyard Booze
Dec. 6th, 7-9 PM
Learn to use fruit and simple ingredients to make homemade specialty liqueurs such as Fig Bourbon, Rumtopf, Cranberry Spice Vodka, or Pineapple Rum.
Instructor: Vanessa Primer
Introduction to Jewelry Making
Dec. 13th, 7-9 PM
Learn the basics of beading and wirework. Techniques learned include crafting clasps, wire wrapping and beading to begin creating a bracelet or necklace to complete at home.
Instructor: Jill Sundberg
Cost: $20 plus $5 for materials
Introduction to Soapmaking
Dec. 20th 7-9 PM
Homemade soaps make great gifts! Join us as we demonstrate the basics of traditional soap making using all-natural herbs and essential oils. These are tried and true, simple methods you will be able to use at home. If there’s enough time, this class will also cover the basics of making bath salts, scrubs, teas, and oils.
Instructor: Vanessa Primer
Cost: $20 plus $5 for materials
The West Seattle Tool Library and Community Workshop are in the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center at 4408 Delridge Way on the east side of the building. (Its regular hours are Thursdays: 6 pm till 9 pm; Saturdays: 9 am till 2 pm; Sundays: 1 pm till 5 pm.) For more information, contact Kate Kaemerle at 206.743.4468.
P.S. Speaking of handmade gifts – you’ll be able to trade for some at tonight’s Sustainable West Seattle Barter Fair, 4-8 pm at Camp Long Lodge. Read more about it here (and comment on the SWS site if you’re planning to participate!).
DONATION DEADLINE COMING UP FOR TOY SWAP & SALE: We’ve mentioned before that CoolMom‘s Toy Swap ‘n’ Sale is coming up November 12th (Fauntleroy Church, 9 am-2 pm) … and if you’d like to get a credit to apply toward whatever you buy, the deadline for donations is this Tuesday. Donation locations, and more info about the Toy Swap ‘n’ Sale, can be found on the CoolMom website.
WEST SEATTLE BARTER FAIR: A unique way to find gifts – and share potential gifts – right after Thanksgiving. The date is set, 4-8 pmNovember 26th. From the Sustainable West Seattle website:
Join us for a fun and unique “money free shopping spree” geared toward the holiday shopping season on ‘Green Saturday’, the day after “Black Friday”. We’ll be enjoying a potluck at the same time, so bring a gift to share!
This unique event will be held in an equally unique setting — The Lodge at Camp Long. The object of the Barter Fair is to promote more meaningful gifting of products through exchanging services, or items made from raw materials
The “Money Free Shopping Spree” is gift trading. Categories include: Services, Art Crafts, Home Crafts, Food Crafts and Salvaged/Refurbished Items.
If you know what you will bring to trade, they would love to hear from you in the comment section on the SWS site.
(Photo of 2009 event, courtesy Eat Local Now!)
If you still haven’t bought a ticket to Eat Local Now! – the annual local-food dinner celebration that also serves as a fundraiser for local groups including Sustainable West Seattle and CoolMom – here’s one more reason: Getting home from West Seattle tomorrow, the first Viaduct-less weekday, is likely to be more of a challenge than actually getting out of WS in the morning. But if you attend Eat Local Now! at Sodo Park at 6 pm tomorrow (Monday), you should have a much easier time finding your way home in the mid-evening without traffic-jam entanglements (it’s on 1st Avenue South, so you can either head to the “low bridge” afterward or to the 1st Av. S. Bridge). We’re told tickets remain (buy online here) – read on for some highlights!
This time next Monday night, hundreds of people will be abuzz about another fabulous edition of the annual local-food celebration, Eat Local Now! It’s happening that night, October 24th, at Sodo Park, which is owned by West Seattle-founded Herban Feast, and there are organizers/beneficiaries from this side of the bay, too, including Sustainable West Seattle and CoolMom. Chef/author Greg Atkinson – acclaimed for his work at Canlis and IslandWood – will speak, and will sign his new book “At the Kitchen Table: The Craft of Cooking at Home.” The cuisine for Eat Local Now! will be prepared by Herban Feast’s award-winning Chef Dalis Chea. There’s lots more to do than just chow down – a cash bar will offer locally/sustainably produced wine, beer, and fresh cider; a silent auction will tempt you with fun things to bid on; and informational displays will share new knowledge about the local-food scene. Buy your ticket on the official Eat Local Now! website, or call 800-838-3006.
The photos from tonight’s Sustainable West Seattle-presented “Don’t Feed the Tox-Ick Monster” event at Pathfinder K-8 School are courtesy of Laura James – yes, undersea Laura! – who reports that the community rose to the challenge: Get at least 40 adults into the room, and the night’s prize (each of these presentations feature prizes) goes to a runoff-reducing cistern for Pathfinder’s Earth Project. Laura says the final count appeared to be more than 70! Maybe it was the free, donated Proletariat Pizza …
If you haven’t yet learned the secrets of fighting the Tox-ick Monster, you have two more chances – November 12th, in Spanish, at St. James Annex in South Delridge, and November 19th at Alki UCC – times, addresses, and more information here.
(This is what “Tox-Ick” looks like – diver Laura James‘ photo of a WS storm-drain plume)
You can do all three in the span of a single hour next Monday night at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point – here’s the official announcement from Sustainable West Seattle:
Help Pathfinder School win $1,000 toward a rainwater harvesting system for its Earth Project!
Sustainable West Seattle will be giving its “Don’t Feed the Tox-Ick Monster” presentation at Pathfinder K-8 Monday, Oct. 10 from 7-8 p.m. and is challenging Pathfinder to bring a crowd.
The challenge: If 40 or more adults show up to learn about protecting Puget Sound, then Sustainable West Seattle will donate $1,000 toward the school’s Earth Project. To help encourage turnout even further, free pizza will be provided. Pathfinder is located at 1901 SW Genesee St.
The latest video from diver/videographer Laura James just came in overnight – with another vivid reminder that what comes down, must go out, into the waters around us: She’s continuing to chronicle outfalls off West Seattle shores, and discovered rain runoff right off central Alki Beach, parallel with 55th/56th SW. The pipe in her video, Laura says, is in water that’s only about 20 feet deep at high tide. (Photos here.) And as you will see at the end of her clip, it’s yet another reason to take the time to learn how not to feed the Tox-Ick Monster. Been to one of Sustainable West Seattle‘s presentations yet? If not, next one’ s less than two weeks away, with prizes again awaiting those in attendance – 7 pm Monday, October 10, at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point.
The economy and its troubles affect us all. Will it get fixed? Or should it be radically reinvented? Two hours of wide-ranging discussion comprised last night’s Sustainable West Seattle community forum, titled “Sustainable Alternatives to Growth Economics,” and in case you weren’t able to go, we got it all on video. (That’s SWS’s past president Bill Reiswig with the introduction, as the video begins. Background info is here.)
Local diver Laura James is documenting what we’ve been warned about but can’t see … what’s pouring into Puget Sound, beneath the surface, carrying debris and toxicity from what’s on the surface, ashore. The video above was shot near Alki, part of Laura’s project to document all the runoff-carrying pipelines around West Seattle. She shares the video just as Sustainable West Seattle is kicking off its campaign against the Tox-Ick Monster, starting with a presentation – with prizes! – today, 2 pm, West Seattle Christian Church in The Junction (southeast corner of 42nd/Genesee). And if you’re still not convinced it’s a battle you need to join, here’s a different look at Laura’s work – part of an upcoming documentary with a broader look at threats to Puget Sound:
P.S. If you just can’t get to today’s presentation about fighting Tox-Ick … you have other chances this fall, all listed here.
Look out at the blue water of Puget Sound today. Think about what you don’t see … the poisonous pollution that threatens the lives that depend on it (including ours). There are easy ways you can help, and Sustainable West Seattle is going to spend the fall showing you how not to feed the Tox-Ick Monster! Here’s their announcement, with a list of presentations you can attend – not just to listen and learn, but also to win prizes:
Sustainable West Seattle is taking on a monster of a problem in Puget Sound with a new campaign that empowers citizens to curb toxic runoff.
The group is hosting a series of free educational events, September – November. Audience members will be eligible to win up to $1,000 in prizes like water cisterns, landscape consulting, car-wash gift certificates, oil changes, bus passes, and more.
Toxic runoff comes from many everyday sources, including soap, paint, fertilizers and herbicides, and even dog poop. According to the Department of Ecology, toxic runoff is the No. 1 threat to the health of Puget Sound. Each year, 14 million pounds of pollutants wash from our streets and driveways directly into our rivers and streams, and ultimately into the Sound.
“Most people I talk to think that polluted runoff from our streets and driveways go to facilities to remove contamination,” said Cate White, leader of Sustainable West Seattle’s toxic runoff outreach group. “However, that isn’t true. Most runoff is not treated. Our campaign helps people understand how they can reduce that flow of toxic runoff.”
Keep watch for the ominous Tox-Ick: A Monster of a Problem for Puget Sound posters in your community. “The Tox-Ick Monster is the group’s emblematic metaphor for what toxic runoff is doing to our communities, which is robbing us of our salmon, our orcas, our shellfish economy, and our health,” said Corbet Curfman, designer of the character. The posters will alert the public to the next educational event and opportunity to win pollution-prevention prizes.
Events will be:
– Sunday, Sept. 11. 2 pm, West Seattle Christian Church, 4400 42nd SW ($1,000 prizes)
– Saturday, Sept. 24, 10 am, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW ($1,000 prizes)
– Monday, Oct. 10, 7 pm, Pathfinder Elementary School, 1901 SW Genesee ($1,000 prizes)
– Saturday, Oct. 22, 1 pm, Roxhill Elementary School, 9430 30th Ave SW ($1,000 prizes)
– Saturday, Nov. 12, 2:30 pm, SPANISH PRESENTATION, White Center Community Cultural Center (aka St. James Annex), 9421 18th SW ($500 in prizes)
– Saturday, Nov. 19, 4 pm, Alki United Church of Christ, 6115 SW Hinds ($500 in prizes)
In addition to the community outreach meetings, a new Web site is (up) at www.tox-ick.org as well as new Facebook and Twitter profiles.