West Seattle, Washington
Golden pre-sunset light filled the LIncoln Park shelter where Sustainable West Seattle members and friends gathered for the group’s summer picnic tonight. They ate and talked and relaxed – and stopped for a few minutes to honor a hero:
With SWS’s Patrick Dunn (left), that’s South Seattle Community College‘s Michael Ryan (right), the college’s Dean of Culinary, Pastry, Wine, and Landscape/Horticulture, among other things. “All the good stuff,” he smiled. “My worst day at work is better than most people’s best day!” As SWS announced last week, Ryan was chosen the group’s 2011 “Sustainability Hero,” for championing so many sustainability-related projects, including the West Seattle Tool Library and Community Orchard of West Seattle. (Added: Video of his acceptance, and Dunn’s introduction:)
After speeches and applause, it was back to celebrating a perfect summer night, and even enjoying Puget Sound:
That’s Greg Whittaker from Alki Kayak Tours and Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor), who brought paddlecraft for picnickers to try out. (Tomorrow night, by the way, is the big event his businesses are co-sponsoring with Alki Crab and Fish at Seacrest – a standup-paddleboarding movie’s local premiere following the Tuesday night SUP races; details here.) Meantime, watch Sustainable West Seattle’s website for details soon on their September program; the third Monday of the month is their usual night for community forums/gatherings.
Two reasons to get to The Junction if you’re not there already:
Outside and inside West 5 till 4 pm, it’s “Brunch for Boobies” fundraiser day for the 3-Day for the Cure walkers who comprise Team Tracy – including namesake Tracy Dart, fourth from left. These women are so busy raising money (and awareness!) before the big event, tirelessly, you might wonder if the inspirational-and-intense walk itself (September 16-18) will feel in comparison a tiny bit like a stroll in the park. Anyway, if you can’t make it to West 5 today, you can donate here.
If you’re not up for three days on your feet, but maybe a little more foot-powered exploring around West Seattle, go to the WS Farmers’ Market before 2 pm:
That’s Chas Redmond at the Sustainable West Seattle booth, where you can get the new West Seattle Walking Trails map.
(Side note: Make your walks, bike rides, bus trips, etc., count even more by signing up for West Seattle In Motion!)
Second from left in the back row, photographed at South Seattle Community College‘s 2010 “Earth Day Every Day” event, is SSCC’s Dean Michael Ryan – who’s just been announced as Sustainable West Seattle‘s 2011 “Sustainability Hero.” SWS’s Patrick Dunn says Dean Ryan will be officially honored at the group’s annual community picnic next Monday at Lincoln Park, and you’re invited – full details here. Click ahead to read the details of Dean Ryan’s achievements and why SWS chose to honor him with this award:
Sustainable West Seattle enthusiastically recognizes Michael Ryan, Dean of Hospitality and Service Occupations at South Seattle Community College, as its 2011 Sustainable Hero of the Year. During his tenure with South, Michael Ryan has passionately pursued sustainability through the consistent development of programs and innovations, many of which would have been nearly impossible without his leadership and guidance.
Most notably, Dean Ryan was an essential supporter in the creation of successful programs such as SSCC’s Students for Sustainability, The West Seattle Tool Library, and The Community Orchard of West Seattle. All of these programs were able to find a home at South due to Dean Ryan’s commitment and passion not only for the environment but also for community building and sustainable innovations in the community college system.
In his work with the Culinary Arts Program at South, Dean Ryan helped to introduce sustainable practices into every aspect of their food service curriculum. Among other sustainable achievements, the program now composts their food waste and recycles paper, plastic, and canned goods. It also works with a local company to process its waste oil into biodiesel.
In light of all of these successful achievements and his commitment to carry on these pursuits, Sustainable West Seattle feels fortunate to be associated with the work of Dean Ryan. We’re proud to have him as a part of West Seattle’s sustainable community and we hope that sustainability at South Seattle Community College continues to thrive through his leadership and advocacy.
Dean Ryan will receive The Sustainable Hero Award during Sustainable West Seattle’s Annual Community Picnic at Lincoln Park on Monday, August 15th, 7-9 pm.
(WSB photo from Day 2 of West Seattle Summer Fest, 7/9/11)
A month ago at West Seattle Summer Fest, we took that photo of Sustainable West Seattle‘s Cate White talking about ways to reduce toxic runoff – a top pollution problem in Puget Sound. Tonight, SWS has announced a grant that will help them educate even more community members about how to reduce the problem. Here’s the full text of their announcement:
Sustainable West Seattle has been awarded a $20,000 grant from The Russell Family Foundation to help community members restore Puget Sound.
The group will be building an in-depth community outreach program aimed at helping educate local citizens about the sources of toxic runoff in the West Seattle area. Toxic runoff from sealed surfaces such as paved streets, sidewalks and rooftops is the number one source of toxins entering Puget Sound each year. Pollutants include motor oil, pesticides, fertilizers, grease, paint, heavy metals and dog poop. This toxic mix threatens human health, the economic vitality of the region, and the survivability of the Sound’s most emblematic species: salmon and orcas.
The grant from The Russell Family Foundation will enable Sustainable West Seattle’s volunteers to teach hundreds of our neighbors about simple actions they can take to reverse the damage to Puget Sound and restore it to health.
“We think once the public becomes more aware of how much toxic runoff enters our local waters each year, they will be motivated to take very simple steps to help reverse this damage,” said Cate White, Sustainable West Seattle Board Member and leader of the toxic runoff grassroots team.
Sustainable West Seattle will be scheduling presentations at several West Seattle Community Centers. At each presentation $1,000 in prizes will be raffled to audience members who pledge to personal actions to reduce polluted runoff. Prizes will include water cisterns, organic compost, native plants, car wash certificates, bus passes, and more!
If you are interested in having Sustainable West Seattle visit your church, synagogue, or other community center, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Events will be scheduled for late summer through the autumn.
(Photos by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
One of the eight local nonprofits benefiting from today’s West Seattle Garden Tour (on till 5 pm, not too late to get tickets!) is the West Seattle Tool Library at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). WSB contributor Ellen Cedergreen visited last Thursday night and found out from the Tool Library’s Micah Summers (above) that they’re featured in Popular Mechanics as among the “top 10 ways to help the earth.” The Tool Library has added a weekly 6-9 pm opening on Thursday nights (with special guests on second Thursdays, to offer advice to do-it-yourself’ers) as well as every Saturday and Sunday – more ahead:Read More
(2009 aerial by Long Bach Nguyen; click to see a larger version)
Is it better that our spectacular green-surrounded-by-blue peninsula remain a well-kept secret (to most), or is it time to reach out to the outside world and actively invite “sustainable tourism” to West Seattle? That was at the heart of a lively discussion during Sustainable West Seattle‘s community forum last night. You can see and hear what happened in our hourlong unedited video recording – click the image to go to the video clip:
If you don’t have time to watch (or listen, with it playing in the background) click ahead for the toplines: Read More
We have the scenery. We have the activities. We’re even about to have lodging. Is “sustainable tourism” another way to boost West Seattle’s economy? (And what constitutes “sustainable tourism,” anyway?) That topic’s on the table for tomorrow night’s Sustainable West Seattle community forum, and you are invited both to come hear about the idea and to share your thoughts. Guests include Greg Whittaker of Alki Kayak Tours and Mountain to Sound Outfitters, Patti Mullen of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and Heidi Siegelbaum and Steve Gersman of Calyx Sustainable Tourism – tomorrow, 7 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon)
(Fixers’ Collective founder Greg Kono taking a break from the clock-radio challenge)
Story and photos by Christy True
Special to West Seattle Blog
The first meeting of the West Seattle Fixers’ Collective was lightly attended but productive, as members tried to bring a broken clock radio and an espresso maker back to life.
The collective plans to meet Thursday nights (but not weekly) at the West Seattle Tool Library workshop at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. It’s a new venture for people interested in prolonging the life of the things they own, learning how things work, saving a few resources, or who just love to tinker. It is modeled on a Fixers’ Collective in Brooklyn, New York.
The small crew that gathered Thursday night dissembled a clock radio that would
no longer turn on after it was dropped on the floor.
On Thursday night, while making the rounds for West Seattle Art Walk, we checked out the new day/time for Ask-An-Expert coaching at the Tool Library – second Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 pm, to coincide with WSAW nights. On hand during our visit were (photo from left) Solar Epiphany‘s Eric Thomas, Mighty House Construction‘s Laura Elfline, visiting Realtor Alice Kuder (of Savvy Seattle Women fame), Mighty House’s Doug Elfline, and Tool Library boss Patrick Dunn. Ask-An-Expert is an informal drop-in arrangement, free, so watch for the next one on Thursday, July 14.
Before then – this Saturday, in fact – you are invited to help the Tool Library celebrate its first anniversary. Here’s the official announcement:
From a few donated tools in a storage closet at SSCC to a new dedicated space at Youngstown complete with a full tool storage area and a 500 square foot community woodworking shop, the Tool Library has come a long way in a short time with the help of dedicated volunteers. More than 230 members have signed up to use the collection of more than 1,000 tools, most donated by the community.
Tool Library First Anniversary schedule:
10:00 am: Community Welcome with Coffee & Pastries
10:30-11:30 am: Beyond the Basics: Power Tool Tips and Safety (meetup.com link)
11:30 am-12:30 pm: One-on-One Large Shop Tool Instruction (For Class Attendees)
1:00 pm-4:00 pm: Fixers’ Collective, Inaugural Meeting (meetup.com link)
In celebration of its one-year anniversary, the Tool Library has special offers on the use of the new community woodworking shop.
Click ahead for details on those offers:Read More
RECYCLED OIL AT WEST SEATTLE AUTOWORKS: This option has gotten to be so popular at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor; 35th/Webster) that they’re now making it their “primary service choice,” adding: “Along with making it our primary oil, we will be giving customers a $10 rebate form to be used on their next service! This will help us to further reduce our dependence on imported oil and ‘close the loop’ in the recycling circle.” If you’re wondering how motor-oil recycling works: “The oil is re-refined down to a clear, clean base stock from used motor oil and blended with a synthetic base and an additive package – making it compliant with all current API standards. Recently, Valvoline announced it will also be offering a re-refined blend soon so we are excited to be ahead of the curve and bringing this opportunity to our customers!” You can reach WSAW at 206-257-5344; online at westseattleautoworks.com.
FIND OUT TONIGHT ABOUT PROTECTING THE SOUND: Here’s another way you can take action to protect our environment – keeping toxic runoff out of Puget Sound is the subject of Sustainable West Seattle‘s next community forum, tonight. It’s not just a presentation about a problem; they’re promising information on how you can take everyday action to be the solution. 7 pm, Camp Long Lodge – more details here.
West Seattle Tool Library director Patrick Dunn welcomed the well-wishers and manager Micah Summers wielded the scissors as the Tool Library’s new location officially opened for business – as in, borrowing – this morning. The Tool Library moved from one “ridge” to another – from its original location at South Seattle Community College on Puget Ridge, to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Delridge. One major feature of the new space – an area for workshops and tool-use lessons:
This morning, that space was home to a regular Tool Library feature, a Saturday morning “Ask The Expert” session with local sustainability specialists. And a cheery whiteboard in the new space lays out the rules for Tool Library users old and new:
The Tool Library will celebrate its first anniversary this June. And they’re still accepting donations – as we mentioned earlier today, if you see this before 3 pm and take one to the Sustainable West Seattle tent at the West Seattle Nursery open house, you get $5 off a WSN purchase. Regular hours at the Tool Library remain 9 am-2 pm Saturdays, 1-5 pm Sundays (so if you haven’t been to the new location yet, you can check it out tomorrow!).
EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week, we showed you the scenes at the West Seattle Tool Library locations old and new, as the old location at South Seattle Community College closed for good Sunday afternoon, while the new one at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center was readied for its grand opening tomorrow. This afternoon, the Tool Library’s director is sharing a report and photos of what they had dubbed “The Great Tool Migration”!
(This photo by Patrick Sand for WSB, showing the exterior of the new Tool Library space, taken last Sunday; other photos courtesy Patrick Dunn)
By Patrick Dunn, West Seattle Tool Library director
Special to West Seattle Blog
The Great Tool Migration of 2011 has officially and thankfully been completed. Through the kind help of a number of West Seattle Tool Library volunteers and their trucks, our entire community tool collection is now down at our new location at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
Though it was certainly a tough job, moving a collection like that with a bunch of environmentally-minded folks has its advantages. Due to a biodiesel truck in our fleet, our convoy smelled a lot like french fries the whole day. That always helps to take the edge off.
After the Migration (and a greasy lunch), the crew spent most of the evening just staring at the collection, trying to make it smaller so that we could put it all away in time for our Grand Re-Opening. We have no idea how we crammed so many tools into the Tool Library’s previous storage closet up at SSCC.
At least at our new space, we won’t need advanced math and engineering degrees to find room for everything. The new home at Youngstown actually quadruples our square footage. While we have one section set up for tool storage, which will effectively serve as The Tool Library, we’ll also have a separate, 500 square foot room dedicated to serve as a community workshop and makerspace.
The Tool Library’s Grand Re-Opening will take place tomorrow (Saturday) from 9 am-2 pm. By then, we’ll not only have all the tools organized for proper viewing and rental, but we’ll also have the workshop opened up for tours.
In addition to seeing the space itself, those visiting our Grand Re-Opening can also take part in our monthly Ask an Expert series from 10 am to Noon. The series serves as a meetup for DIYers, tinkerers, and really anyone who’s taking on a project or even just thinking about taking one on. Into that motley crew, we throw a bunch of local experts on topics such as solar power, green building and architecture, and urban gardening to help our visitors with the finer details of their plans.
To top it off, The Grand Re-Opening will also host a demonstration by a local engineer who has turned a pressure washer and a few spare parts in to a computerized tile milling machine.
So whatever draws folks out, The Tool Library would love to see everyone on Saturday. The official opening ceremony will take place at 11 am. As always, coffee and pastries will be provided.
It wasn’t even remotely as emotional a closure as another one in West Seattle a few hours earlier, but the original location of the WS Tool Library shut down at 5 pm Sunday. Right before 5, we found Micah (photo right) in the old location at South Seattle Community College; a few minutes later, we found Patrick (photo left) in the new one at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. The “tool migration” happens later this week, but in the meantime, Patrick and others are still putting finishing touches on the new space – the room where we photographed him will host workshops and training in tool use (so you can not only borrow tools, you can learn how to use them), while the storage area will be right next door; this is on the northeast side of Youngstown. For full details on the move, and next Saturday’s 9 am grand opening, check out the official news release here.
GREENLIFE AT WEST SEATTLE SUMMER FEST – APPLY NOW! SWS is also now taking applications for exhibitors at its GreenLife expo that will be part of West Seattle Summer Fest again this year, co-hosted by West Seattle Nursery. SWS says this will be its one and only “annual sustainability festival” for this year. Full details are on the SWS website as well as the application form. Summer Fest (with co-sponsors including WSB) is set this year for July 8, 9, and 10 in The Junction.
The overfishing crisis was on the menu, and the marquee, for Sustainable West Seattle last night, launching their new periodic film series. The cautionary film based on the book “The End of the Line“ was on screen, and then sustainable-seafood star Chef Hajime Sato, proprietor of Mashiko in The Junction, was onstage. If you don’t want to eat endangered fish, he pointed out, bluefin tuna is far from the only thing to avoid:
This summer will mark two years since he gained fame for not just advocating “sustainable sushi” but dedicating his acclaimed restaurant to it. But, he said, “I’m not telling you to stop eating everything; if we protect certain species, they are coming back.” Another video clip after the jump:Read More
Every other Sunday, you’ll find Sustainable West Seattle at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market – always with a different demonstration, something sustainable you can work into your life if you’re not doing it already. Today, it was worm composting – worms and all, as well as an example of six-months-in-the-making compost. (Here’s composting how-to’s from Seattle Tilth.) Tomorrow night, SWS hopes to see you at the Admiral Theater for an evening focusing on sustainable fishing – including a talk with Mashiko proprietor Hajime Sato, and a screening of the film “The End of the Line“:
For more details about the evening ($5 suggested donation), here’s an update on the Sustainable WS website. At the booth today, we also talked with SWS’s Patrick Dunn, Christina Hahs and Chas Redmond about the upcoming West Seattle Tool Library move. Before they get to the April 9th grand reopening in the new location at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, April 3rd will be the last day at the old location, followed by the tool “migration.”
Timing was perfect for Sustainable West Seattle‘s transportation-focused community forum last night – this is another pivotal time for our region, trying to envision the future through a cloud of present-day problems, like budget cuts that threaten transit even as more people try to move away from cars.
The main room at the Senior Center of West Seattle held a sizable crowd for the forum – but in case you weren’t there, we recorded the entire forum on video, two hours broken into three pieces of about 40 minutes each, all included in this story. Top clip has SWS’s Brian Allen introducing the event before introductory remarks from each panelist: West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, moderated the forum and answered questions, as did panelists Chris Arkills, the transportation expert on King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s team; Martin Duke from Seattle Transit Blog, Brice Maryman from SvR Design, and Peter Hahn, director of SDOT. (As you’ll hear Rasmussen joke, Hahn would’ve been excused if he had been fidgety, with his department having triggered its Snow/Ice Plan.) For the second 40 minutes, the panelists quizzed each other a while, then moved on to answering audience questions:
The clash of economic reality and transportation needs was a recurring theme – Arkills, for example, had dire warnings of looming Metro cuts, if “a sustainable funding base” is not found. And then there were those who just wanted help cutting through the thicket of information to find out what’s really happening with major projects right now:
You’ll have more opportunities ahead to speak out about transportation in our area – for example, as King County’s Arkills reminded attendees, Metro will start a new process this fall of opening the entirety of West Seattle’s bus-route network for discussion – looking ahead to the RapidRide era that’ll start in fall 2012, do other changes need to be made to serve the peninsula better? As for the city, Mayor McGinn mentions a West Seattle light-rail line now and then – will that turn up on the ballot sooner rather than later? And watch the City Council – SDOT’s Hahn said part of the Transit Master Plan will go to Rasmussen’s committee this Friday (watch here for that agenda). Also watch the community-association meeting announcements we feature here, since agencies like WSDOT, SDOT and Metro often make the rounds of those meetings with presentations on current and future topics.
(P.S. We don’t know yet how soon they’ll turn it around, but Seattle Channel was on hand recording last night’s forum on video, too.)
Two news items from Sustainable West Seattle tonight:
(Tool Library @ SSCC last Saturday, photo courtesy Heather P. Brincko)
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY MOVE: We just heard this mentioned at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting (toplines to come), and SWS’s e-mail update says it’s official – the West Seattle Tool Library is moving from South Seattle Community College to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. SWS says the move will happen in April: “The new location will quadruple our space and provide both a larger storage room for the tools and also a great community workshop space.” They need lots of community volunteer power, too – email@example.com if you can help.
HIGH-POWERED PANEL FOR TRANSPORTATION FORUM: Roads, buses, bicycles … Transportation topics are perennial hot potatoes on the peninsula, with our unique challenges. Want to hear directly from the movers and shakers? Put your question/concern to them in person? Here’s your next chance. Sustainable West Seattle‘s next Community Forum, coming up next week, has a high-powered panel, just announced: City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (who chairs the Transportation Committee) will facilitate; also from the city, SDOT director Peter Hahn; from the county, King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s transportation specialist, Chris Arkills; from the transit-planner perspective, Brice Maryman of SvR Design; and from the transit user perspective, Martin Duke from Seattle Transit Blog. The forum’s at 7 pm Tuesday, February 22nd, at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon in The Junction). Full details here.
Till 5 pm, you are invited to join the celebration at City Mouse Studio and Store (WSB sponsor), the new name of Donna Ryan‘s photography studio and kids’ shop in The Junction (4218 SW Alaska). That’s Donna on the left with Laney; in the middle, Michelle and Ava, and at right, Aubrey and Oliver (the latter four were among the well-wishers stopping by at the same time we did this morning). Treats – as you can see in the photo – and prizes too. Earlier this morning, the West Seattle Tool Library welcomed visitors to another round of Ask An Expert:
(Photo by Heather P. Brincko)
From left to right: Joshua Brincko from International Studio, visitor Christie, Laura Elfline and Doug Elfline from Mighty House Construction). You don’t have to wait for the next Ask An Expert to visit the Tool Library – its regular Sunday hours are 1-5 pm, so you can drop by and check it out tomorrow (here’s where to find it).
The latest edition of the Seattle Channel show “CityStream” (which you can watch above in its entirety) showcases a whole lot of sustainability-minded West Seattleites – the first story is about Sustainable West Seattle (including the West Seattle Tool Library) and the final one is about “green cleaning,” with the spotlight on CoolMom. (By the way, have you seen their new website at coolmom.org?)
Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
About 30 people gathered for Sustainable West Seattle‘s monthly Community Forum on Tuesday night at Coffee to a Tea with Sugar in the Alaska Junction (the event’s original venue, the Senior Center of West Seattle, was unavailable at the last minute).
Although the group’s “volunteer fair” format couldn’t happen Tuesday night because of space/time limitations related to the venue change, it was a busy night of “annual reports” for 2010, and guest presentations from the West Seattle Wildlife Habitat Project and the Salish Sea Trading Co-op.
Highlights on what’s been accomplished – and what’s coming up, plus the lineup of new SWS leadership, ahead:Read More
Continuing our look ahead to the post-holiday week: Volunteering opportunities like tabling at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market – where Micah Summers (above) led a home-brewing demonstration yesterday – are part of what Sustainable West Seattle will discuss at its monthly Community Forum tomorrow night (6:30 pm Tuesday, Senior Center of West Seattle, California/Oregon). Lots of other projects you can get involved with, including the forthcoming SWS film series. Other planned presentations include the West Seattle Wildlife Habitat Project and the Salish Sea Transport Co-op.
Stopping by the Sustainable West Seattle table at West Seattle Farmers’ Market today, we got the word on the program that will start the group’s new film series: “The End of the Line” (trailer above), exploring the effects of overfishing, with a bonus guest speaker: Chef Hajime Sato, proprietor of Mashiko, the West Seattle restaurant that now serves only sustainably caught seafood. The screening is set for 7 pm March 21st at the Admiral Theater. SWS’s Chas Redmond says they’re hoping to offer film screenings quarterly. Before then, you can catch up with SWS at its January and February community forums – at 7 pm January 18th, it’s an update on the West Seattle Wildlife Habitat Project, a local tourism initiative, and volunteer opportunities; at 7 pm February 22nd, the focus is on an ever-hot topic, “West Seattle’s Transportation Future.” (Those two community forums will be at the Senior Center of West Seattle, California/Oregon.)
Still time to get over to Camp Long Lodge and join in the Sustainable West Seattle Money-Free Shopping Spree. There you’ll find a SWS leader doing double duty today – Stu Hennessey not only is participating in the spree, which is part of “Green Saturday,” he’s also been a leading local advocate for “Small Business Saturday” (his Alki Bike and Board was among the West Seattle businesses featured in TV coverage). The “Shopping Spree” is a chance to exchange handmade items or service offerings, without money, to get holiday gifts – you’ll also find Steve Tracy there with his metal creations:
And this quilted wall hanging is the work of Lin Sierra:
Camp Long Lodge is at 5200 35th SW – look for the trademark Seattle Parks striped sign along 35th.