Another West Seattle ‘brush fire,’ this time SW of The Junction

July 5, 2015 at 9:49 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | No Comments

Just before our side trip to investigate the no-longer-a-mystery music, we stopped by the latest West Seattle “brush fire” call, 5000 block of Erskine Way, just southwest of The Junction. The top photo was sent by Janet, who said neighbors attacked it even before firefighters could get there. Engine 32 was there and already wrapping up by the time we arrived:

(WSB photo)
While firefighters couldn’t find the source, neighbors believe fireworks were to blame for starting it (around 7:40 pm). The flames swept across a grassy embankment just north of the Erskine roadside. No structures damaged, nobody hurt. But this one brought in several tips – thanks as always (206-293-6302 text/voice any time).

If you heard the music but couldn’t figure out the source…

July 5, 2015 at 9:29 pm | In Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway, West Seattle news | No Comments

In the past couple hours, we started getting questions about music/beats audible in north West Seattle for hours – maybe from the beach. Nothing on the calendar; we finally went down to look, nothing in view, but from the Seacrest vicinity, we could hear the beats in the distance. The answer finally came when we put out the open question on Twitter: @SDOT and @romabit pointed out the Dirtybird BBQ concert event in SODO, which had been under way since early afternoon. Just in case you wondered too … now you know.

West Seattle 4th of July aftermath: The mess left behind

July 5, 2015 at 7:06 pm | In Environment, Holidays, Safety, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Still a few hours of light left … so if you haven’t been out patroling your neighborhood, and/or your nearest park, consider this:

Karen Allan made that, explaining:

When my kiddo was little, I used to say “In this town, what’s on the ground is swept into the Sound.” So if you see bits and pieces of the things that went bang, pop, and KABOOM on your block, please consider sweeping them up. Grab a bucket, broom and perhaps a neighbor and make a little outing out of it.

Here’s some of what Karen found near 29th and Othello:

She added, “Unfortunately, there is a lot more fireworks debris in the storm drains that I can’t
get to. It will all end up in the Sound with the next big rainfall.”

Some of the holiday-leftover trash and debris was already near the Sound in the first place: . We also heard from Chris Porter, who lives near Lincoln Park and spent time there this morning to help clean up. It wasn’t just fireworks debris he found:

The spectacular fireworks last night are only secondary to the enormous disaster of trash left behind the next day. I spent this morning picking up as much fireworks debris and trash as I could. I have forgotten about what happens to parks after summer holidays.

East to west, north to south, many other West Seattle neighbors were also out today, cleaning up the mess somebody else left behind. Travis Houston sent photos from Riverview Playfield:

We also stopped by Riverview before neighbors were done with their herculean cleanup:

Crossing the peninsula over to Alki, Kim sent the next photo, saying this was what just one small part of Bar-S Playfields looked like before she got to it with her broom:

Even in the unincorporated area where fireworks are legal on the 4th of July, the “legal” time period expired 18+ hours ago … but we’re still hearing dispatches on the scanner, including a fireworks call at Highland Park Elementary a short time ago and “brush fire” calls around the city (see photos in earlier reports here, here, and here).

2 weeks until West Seattle Garden Tour 2015. Get ticketed!

July 5, 2015 at 5:44 pm | In Gardening, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo by Clay Swidler)
Exactly two weeks from today, nine local gardens will be open to ticketholders who can wander all they want during the all-day self-guided West Seattle Garden Tour (with co-sponsors including WSB), 9 am-5 pm on Sunday, July 19th. You can take care of the ticketing right now so you’ll be ready to go when tour day arrives. In West Seattle, buy yours at West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon) or Junction True Value Hardware (44th/Edmunds); online, you can get ticketed at Brown Paper Tickets. Along with admission to all nine gardens, your ticket includes award-winning spotlight lecturer Phil Wood‘s talk about residential-garden design at 12:30 pm on tour day at The Kenney (WSB sponsor). Bonus: As always, the tour’s net proceeds help local nonprofits (see this year’s list here).

Congratulations! West Seattle Little League’s 13-year-old All-Stars win District 7; state tournament is next

July 5, 2015 at 4:18 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

Thanks to West Seattle Little League president Michael Grienauer for sharing the photo and the big news:

The 13-year-old team from West Seattle Little League (WSLL) won the District 7 championship. The WSLL team went undefeated in regular-season play and in the All Star tournament as well. They beat the team from South Highline National Little League 6-4 to take the crown. With the win, they earned their place in the Washington State All-Star tournament, which starts next week in Port Orchard.

Players and coaches in the photo above:

(Left to right) Ben Trigg, Coach Mike Messinger, Eli Markham, Konrad Gerhardt, Manager Rick Southall, Dylan Pool, Jackson Grienauer, Isaac Patchen, Dominic Taylor, Will Holmes, Adam Chin, Justin Murphy, Coach Mike Murphy, Cole Stephenson

You can check on the tournament bracket here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Classic rainbow bike stolen by grab-and-go thief

July 5, 2015 at 11:39 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Be on the lookout for that stolen bike – maybe tossed aside somewhere by now:

July 4th, 11:55 pm. Corner of alley at 59th & Stevens. Devastating theft of 1-of-a-kind 1977 Free Spirit bike. Distinct rainbow colors and banana seat. Male, early 20s, snatched it and took off toward beach. Owner heartbroken, offering reward.

Here’s what’s up for your post-holiday West Seattle Sunday

July 5, 2015 at 9:57 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

(July 3rd Alki low-tide photo by Laura Goodrich, shared via the WSB Flickr group)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

KITTEN ADOPTIONS: Until about noon, Friends of the Animals Foundation is at Next to Nature in The Junction. (4543 California SW)

FARMERS’ MARKET IN THE STREET: 10 am-2 pm, shop the West Seattle Farmers’ Market on California SW between Oregon and Alaska. Today’s market includes music 10 am-noon (north end) with West Seattleite Brigid Blume of West by Midwest. Also – King County Master Gardeners are there to answer your questions. And of course, fresh, local food. P.S. **Next** week (July 12th), the market will be back in its old 44th/Alaska spot because of West Seattle Summer Fest; then it returns to the street July 19th and beyond.

WADING POOLS & SPRAYPARK OPEN TODAY: Delridge (12-6:30 pm) and Lincoln Park (11 am-8 pm) wading pools, Highland Park Spraypark (11 am-8 pm) – addresses and full citywide schedule here.

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: Open again today, 1 pm-4 pm, with U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers to show you around; be there by 3:40 pm for last tour. (3201 Alki SW)

LOW TIDE, WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: Just before 2 pm, the tide’s out to -1.6 feet, and it’s the last chance until mid-month for you to find Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists out at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park beaches – 12:45-3:15 pm today.

MUSIC & COFFEE: Becky Shepard performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)

West Seattle 4th of July 2015: Night notes

July 4, 2015 at 11:23 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 69 Comments

(Video sent Saturday night by Bradi, with the sound of fireworks in Roxhill area)
11:23 PM: Throughout the day, we’ve published standalone reports on incidents including “brush fires” blamed on fireworks. For the rest of the night, barring a major incident, we’re going to do what we did last year – keep a rolling log of what we’re hearing on the scanner and/or from reader reports. Earlier links, for starters:

*Sylvan Way brush fire, blamed on fireworks thrown from car
*Gatewood tree burned, blamed on fireworks

And remember, if you find or lose a pet, the WSB Lost/Found Pets page is the place to check first – if there’s no match, e-mail us info (and a photo if available), editor@westseattleblog.com – it’s been a very busy night there already.

11:55 PM: Shortly after this comment about traffic on Admiral leaving Alki, we’re hearing police trying to catch a hit-run suspect described as driving erratically on eastbound Admiral (didn’t catch the cross-street).

12:14 AM: In the Alki area, police are checking out a report that someone was being yelled at about their fireworks by a neighbor, with an implied threat of a weapon.

12:54 AM: Just heard Engine 37 go by – the 911 log says it’s en route to a “dumpster fire” at Lincoln Park.

2:37 AM: Since last we wrote, another “brush fire” call – 4800 block of 45th SW at 1:30 am.

8:55 AM POSTSCRIPT: If you were one of the many caring neighbors out cleaning up debris this morning and took any photos, please consider sending: editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks.

1:16 PM: We’re still collecting debris photos for a followup later today. Meantime, we just received this photo of the aftermath from the aforementioned 1:30 am brush-fire call:

The photo was sent by the homeowner’s parent. “Hard to believe it wasn’t intentional as it was a large fountain-type device thrown into the bushes next to her van, and there were no other fireworks in the area.”

REPORT #2: See the 2015 West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade, start to finish!

July 4, 2015 at 11:15 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(WSB video/photos unless otherwise credited)
Every year we record the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade, start to finish – and this year was the longest! The hotter-than-normal temperature didn’t dissuade hundreds of kids and their families from walking and rolling along the route – as you can see above. Before the half-mile stroll through North Admiral, paraders were treated to the national anthem as sung again this year by Leilani Nitkey:

At the end, that’s this year’s parade emcee Josh Sutton from the West Seattle YMCA and parade coordinator Jackie Clough from Alki Party Treasures (APT and the Y are both WSB sponsors). Hi-Yu royalty spoke briefly – mentioning upcoming events including the Concert in the Park at Hiawatha with the West Seattle Big Band (7 pm Tuesday, July 14th) – and then carried the banner as the parade began:

The goal for many: Be as red, white, and blue as you can!

This also was definitely an occasion for shades:

Even better, a parade in which it was cool to have your OWN shade:

Helmets were fashionable as well:

(Thanks to Marilyn for that photo)
For some, the parade was so relaxing, a nap was in order:

Others bravely marched along:

You could get a sense of the parade’s scale, looking along the final leg of the route leading to Hamilton Viewpoint Park:

A cooling view of Elliott Bay awaited:

(Thanks to Laura Frampton for that photo)
In the park, the classic sack races awaited:

Fun even for some of those who took a tumble:

Coordinator Jackie had guest emcees for the races – we showed you two in our first report. Another community leader who helped out, Merica Whitehead from Nature Consortium (WSB sponsor):

Seattle Fire‘s Engine 29 was there for mini-tours, after helping lead the parade:

And so were Seattle Police officers:

Concessions were provided by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, which did a booming business:

We’ll mention it one more time – this is a community-presented parade, and the costs for insurance, among other things, are considerable; if you can chip in to help cover the costs (including helping make sure the parade returns next year), you can do it online.

(And if your family had fun being part of the parade – you might consider joining in the West Seattle Rotary-presented Kiddie Parade before the West Seattle Grand Parade in two weeks; meet at California/Genesee at 10 am Saturday, July 18th.)

UPDATE: Report of shooting at Delridge Playfield, but no victim or evidence found

July 4, 2015 at 9:34 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 2 Comments

9:34 PM: Police and fire are rushing to the Delridge Playfield/Community Center park area to investigate a report of a possible shooting. They haven’t yet found the reported victim, though. We’ll update as we get information.

9:39 PM: Still no evidence of a shooting or victim, so the SFD response has been canceled.

West Seattle 4th of July fire watch: Roadside fire blamed on thrown fireworks

July 4, 2015 at 8:53 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news | 37 Comments

Since our last report on “brush fires” this kindling-dry 4th of July, another call, this time just east of High Point. Bryce sent the photo and reports, “Small brush fire on Sylvan Way by Forest Lawn Cemetery. Car threw fireworks out the window. Couple people stamped it out before fire crew arrived.”

2 weeks before West Seattle Grand Parade, Hi-Yu float shown off in Burien

July 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm | In West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival, West Seattle news | No Comments

This morning, West Seattle Hi-Yu royalty led the 4th of July Kids’ Parade in North Admiral; hours later, they rode on this year’s Hi-Yu float in Burien’s Independence Day parade. The photo is from Jim Edwards, who co-coordinates the West Seattle Grand Parade, in which you’ll see the float (and others!) two weeks from today. As we reported back in January, this year’s float/theme “Around the Sound” incorporates elements of designs proposed by then-Senior Court Queen Lorelei McFadden (who competes for the Miss Seafair title later this month) and Junior Court Queen Emily Cain.

West Seattle 4th of July scene: ‘This Place Still Matters’

July 4, 2015 at 6:03 pm | In Alki Homestead, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | No Comments

With the first phase of the Alki Homestead‘s restoration under way, the years of uncertainty about its future are receding further into memory. But today, there was a tribute to one moment along the way: Five years ago on the 4th of July, a big group photo outside the landmark log building proclaimed “This Place Matters” and to underscore their belief that its future eventually would brighten. Today, during the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s annual picnic at the Log House Museum – the Homestead’s old carriage house – there was a break to take an anniversary photo, with participants of all ages affirming that “This Place Still Matters.”

Today’s group was not big in size but was certainly big in heart. The top photo is our take from the sidewalk; an official photo from across the street was taken by Jean Sherrard, who was also the photographer five years ago, as well as four weeks ago when a thousand students came to the Homestead for the photo dubbed a “group hug” (WSB coverage here). A copy of that was part of today’s photo too:

The Homestead also was feted today in the choice of main dishes for the SWSHS picnic – fried chicken!

P.S. Another step in its path to restoration will come next Friday, when the Architectural Review Committee of the city Landmarks Board will look at the newest plans during its 8:30 am meeting on the 40th floor of the city Municipal Tower downtown.

West Seattle 4th of July fire watch: Gatewood tree burns

July 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Since midnight, the Seattle Fire Department 911 log shows two “brush fire” calls in West Seattle (out of a total of six citywide today). Above, the aftermath of one of them, shared by Dennis, who wrote, “Someone with fireworks didn’t like our tree. 12:35 last night. Be careful, folks, it is REAL DRY out there … this is what can happen.” He’s in the 3600 block of SW Othello in Gatewood; the other “brush fire” call so far, about 12 hours later, was in the 8100 block of 14th SW in Highland Park.

West Seattle 4th of July scene: Fireworks-viewing stakeout

July 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

If you’re planning to watch the Lake Union fireworks from Harbor Avenue and haven’t already staked out a spot, don’t wait too much longer – this creative setup was just one of dozens of viewing stations we noticed while driving from Alki along Duwamish Head and past Don Armeni and Seacrest a little earlier this afternoon, some along the street like this, others on the grass in the parks, with and without tents. As noted on our 4th of July info page, the Seafair-presented show at Lake Union is scheduled to start at 10:20 pm.

3rd annual ‘Little STP’ bicycle ride in West Seattle: You’re invited!

July 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(2013 photo courtesy Don Brubeck)
One week from tomorrow, you’re invited to ride Seattle to Portland … without even leaving West Seattle. It’s the third year for the “Little STP,” and Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections shares the invitation:

Sunday, July 12, 9:30 am
Start at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, California Way SW at Palm Ave SW

Have you ever wanted to do the Seattle to Portland bike ride? Or even wanted to do the 1-day STP? And never trained for it? Or remembered to sign up in time? Here is your big fat chance!

Do it in 2 hours easy, and end up at a huge finish line party! Same day as Sunday of the big STP.

West Seattle Bike Connections / WS Spokespeople will be riding again from SW Seattle Street in the Admiral neighborhood to SW Portland St in Gatewood, and back north to Summer Fest at the West Seattle Junction, for a fabulous finish-line party. After an hour or two there, participants can ride home independently, or ride with a group back to Hamilton Viewpoint.

Family-friendly! Easy pace. Cascade Bicycle Club-trained ride leaders.

7 miles south to SW Portland and back north to Summer Fest and GreenLife at the Junction. (10.3 full round trip if you go back to the Hamilton Viewpoint start.) Route is mostly on quieter residential streets along the ridge parallel to California Avenue SW. Some hills but less than most West Seattle routes.

More details on our website and Facebook page under Events and at meetup.com/cascaderides/events/223587628

REPORT #1: West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade 2015

July 4, 2015 at 10:16 am | In Fun stuff to do, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments


10:16 AM: Just a quick note to let you know – in case you’re not already here – that the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade has just begun, traveling through part of North Admiral, starting at 44th/Sunset (map), heading west, then south, then east along Atlantic, across California, and finishing at Hamilton Viewpoint Park. Immediately post-parade, that’s where you’ll find fun family games (sack races, etc.), concessions, and more. Traffic reminder: Police stop vehicles on California while the parade crosses, so be aware of that – we plan to update when the parade gets to that point. Until we’re back at HQ, watch for photos on the WSB Twitter and Instagram feeds. Happy 4th!

10:39 AM: California just reopened at Atlantic – the parade has finished crossing. Now it’s on to the post-parade festival at Hamilton Viewpoint.


(Above & below – guest emcees for the sack races included City Council District 1 candidates Shannon Braddock, above, and Chas Redmond, below)




12:10 PM: Just back from the festivities – added a few of our social-media clips/photos here; report #2 will be up later today with video of the entire parade, before/during/after photos, and more.

West Seattle 4th of July 2015: What you need to know

July 4, 2015 at 7:51 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo by Yuri Levchenko, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
Again this year, we have your 4th of July info all in one place – the West Seattle 4th of July page. That includes the 10 am Kids’ Parade (bring diapers for WestSide Baby!) and noon Log House Museum picnic (including the 1 pm Homestead photo), plus today’s transit changes, and a few notes about watching fireworks tonight.

(Photo by Ann Anderson)
WEATHER & WATER: The National Weather Service still has a “heat advisory” in effect; Delridge, Hiawatha, and Lincoln Park wading pools are open today, as is Highland Park Spraypark – see the hours and addresses here. Also open: Outdoor Colman Pool on the shore at Lincoln Park – see the schedule here. (Indoor Southwest Pool is NOT open today.)

UPDATE: CR-V flips after driver hits parked pickup on Delridge Way; crash caught on passing car’s dashcam

July 3, 2015 at 11:18 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 8 Comments

(Thanks to Andy for the photo)
11:18 PM: A multiple-vehicle crash in the 6500 block of Delridge Way SW (map) is drawing a sizable police/fire response right now. One of the cars is reported to have rolled over.

11:27 PM: Police are diverting traffic on Delridge at the scene. No serious injuries reported, so far.

11:41 PM: Thanks to Merissa for this photo:

Meantime, WSB’s Christopher Boffoli is at the scene now and sent this:

(This photo and next two are by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
Christopher reports police are taking one person into custody, the driver of the flipped CR-V, who hit the parked white pickup that you see in Christopher’s photo.

11:49 PM: Police tell Christopher the driver is in custody for investigation of DUI.

He was alone in his vehicle and unhurt.

Meantime, a tow truck arrived quickly and got the CR-V right-side-up. The scene likely will be cleared before too long.

1:28 AM: The crash was captured on the dashcam of a car whose driver was headed in the opposite direction – southbound – when it happened. That driver, Paul Hamaker, uploaded the video to YouTube and sent us the link. It is briefly in view – mostly the CR-V rolling, debris flying onto the street – about 2:20 into the three-minute clip he posted from the dashcam he says he bought less than a week ago. The clip ends after he pulls over, so we asked what happened next; he said he “stayed at the scene for about 10 minutes and talked to the driver and a few witnesses, glad that everyone is OK. Was quite startling to see that happen in front of me.” He also said, “It was great to see many folks come out of their houses and run to the scene to help.”

FOLLOWUP: Congratulations to AMNO & CO for big win at international ROV competition!

July 3, 2015 at 9:42 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

They’re back, and they won! The local trio AMNO & CO, who’ve been sharing their stories of international marine-tech competition here for the past few years, won first place in their division this year. Alex Miller (above right) – who’s one-third of AMNO & CO, along with (from left, above) Nicholas Orndorff and Clara Orndorff - shares the details, and a challenge:

We are pleased to let you know that at last week’s Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International 2015 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition, AMNO & CO received first place in the Ranger (predominantly high school) division.

This competition included 31 Ranger teams from over 10 different countries.

The international venue at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada was very unique in that were three different tanks, including a flume tank with current, a tank with waves, and a tank covered with a layer of ice. In each of these tanks, there were a set of separate mission tasks, faced by scientists and industry professionals working in the corresponding extreme environmental conditions in the Arctic.

While AMNO & CO had practiced extensively in swimming pools, piloting in the unusual competition conditions posed unique challenges. In the ice tank, the team had issues with buoyancy due to an EGADS solution (ethylene glycol, aliphatic detergent and sugar) which was dissolved in the water. In addition, bubbles stuck under the ice sheet, as well as the ice sheet itself, obscured visibility.

In the flume tank, the team struggled to keep their vehicle in their designated station, as the ROV with its large surface area was greatly affected by the current. Despite these difficulties, the team used quick problem solving skills and well-practiced driving in order to confront the issues.

High scores in AMNO & CO’s poster, presentation, and technical report were also important contributors to their winning overall score. This communication element of the competition serves a very important role, honing speaking and writing skills as well as allowing teams to connect with members of the industry, who serve as competition judges, getting a feel for what a marine-technology career really entails.

In addition to the overall first-place Ranger division award, AMNO & CO also received awards for excellence in safety, and design elegance.

For the team, this was the culmination of six years participating in the MATE Pacific Northwest Regional event and four years competing in the MATE International Competition, which is held at a different location each year.

AMNO & CO would like to encourage other teams to get started in the Seattle area: MATE is a great competition that fosters independent thinking, creativity, and a diverse fusion of different branches of engineering which must be integrated individually. Feel free to contact AMNO & CO at facebook.com/AMNOandCoROV or amnoandco@live.com for more information.

UPDATE: Rescue response for crash on Lincoln Park Way

July 3, 2015 at 7:29 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 11 Comments

7:29 PM: Big Seattle Fire/Police response just starting to arrive at a reported rollover in the 7000 block of Lincoln Park Way.

7:42 PM: The emergency response is just east of the Murray CSO Project. Traffic is getting through but please avoid the area – we’re on the side of the road half a block east and people are speeding downhill, only seeing the flashing lights when they’re almost to the scene. The car we’re seeing is upright; we’re trying to find out more about why it was a rescue response.

7:49 PM: The crash involved two cars; the one you see in our photo was tipped on its side, but bystanders managed to get it uprighted before emergency crews arrived, we’re told. No serious injuries.

8:05 PM: SFD had already left the scene before we did, and police were starting to clear, so it’s OK to use Lincoln Park Way – but slowly.

Abandoned seal pup ‘Little Dipper’ rescued from West Seattle beach, now in wildlife rehab

July 3, 2015 at 6:24 pm | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 17 Comments

When you’re out on the shore this holiday weekend, be mindful of the creatures with whom we share it, those that can’t speak for themselves. Robin Lindsey from Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network shares the story of “Little Dipper” the rescued seal pup:

Harbor-seal-pupping season is now underway in South Puget Sound, as well as the outer coast beaches and other inland waters. Since many readers will be out enjoying our waterways and beaches this holiday weekend, please stay well away (100 yards) from harbor-seal haulouts, now filled with pregnant females and moms with newborn pups. Offshore rafts, log booms and docks may also have moms with pups resting on them – or a pup alone. A pup who is alone is not necessarily abandoned! Please don’t interfere or the adult may not return.

Human (and canine) disturbance is truly a matter of life and death for these tiny pups who are still nursing and too young to forage for themselves. Read my post “Fourth of July no picnic for wildlife” about how you can help keep wildlife safe this holiday and throughout the summer and fall months of pupping season.

Last Friday afternoon, Seal Sitters MMSN rescued a newborn harbor seal pup from the beach at Lincoln Park and transported him to PAWS Wildlife Center for health assessment. The pup had first been sighted onshore by Colman Pool early Thursday morning. The reporting party said that she witnessed the pup being scared from the beach by people approaching too closely. When Seal Sitters first responder Lynn arrived, there were 4 illegally off-leash dogs nearby. After she cleared the beach of people and dogs, the pup finally returned to rest on the sand. He had been frantically trying to climb up onto one of the old cement piers off Point Williams to rest, but did not have the strength. Lynn established a large perimeter of yellow tape.

Because it was truly an urgent situation for this still-nursing pup, estimated to be only a few days old, Seal Sitters diverted Park visitors around the opposite side of the pool via the sidewalk loop Sadly, we had a few people who were incensed at this mild inconvenience and questioned Seal Sitters MMSN’s authority to do so. As a member of NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network with a binding agreement to respond to all marine mammals, dead or alive, we do indeed have the authority to safely divert the public away from a harbor seal (or other marine mammal) on the beach. All marine mammals are protected from harassment and disturbance by Federal law, the MMPA and Washington State law. Thankfully, there were hundreds of people who were thrilled to help an animal in need simply by sharing the shore and giving them the little bit of space they need.

We hoped desperately that the pup’s mom might return for him, after waiting for the disturbance around her pup to subside. However, over 2 days’ time and with no evidence of a mom, the emaciated pup’s condition was worsening in extremely hot temperatures (photo taken early Friday afternoon) and it was obvious the pup was abandoned. The decision was made to transport him to PAWS.

Please read my post for more info about the pup nicknamed Little Dipper, who is doing well in rehab.

Trying to protect a newborn pup in a busy urban area is incredibly challenging and is almost always a recipe for disaster. Any pup born in our area at this time would still be nursing. However, we can still have pups born as late as early September (October in Hood Canal), so there will be a mix of weaned pups and newborns using shoreline habitat as the season progresses.. If you see a pup onshore, PLEASE stay back, keep people away, keep dogs away and leashed – and call the stranding network immediately in hopes mom will not abandon her pup.

Robin and the Seal Sitters corps are full of hope for Little Dipper; last month, they dealt with a heartbreaker, a premature pup who turned up on Alki Point and couldn’t be saved.

P.S. If you have questions for Seal Sitters, and/or are interested in volunteering, look for them at the West Seattle Summer Fest Community Tent on Friday and Sunday afternoons during the festival (July 10th and 12th) – we’ll be previewing the full community-group lineup as our Summer Fest countdown continues in the days ahead.

West Seattle scene: Powered-paragliding pair cooling off, aloft

July 3, 2015 at 5:15 pm | In Seen around town, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Every so often, we get a sighting of a powered* paraglider flying over West Seattle shores – here’s our photo from April, and a reader pic from February. Then today – a double sighting! Thanks to Gary Jones for photographing this pair’s Alki flyby. Must be at least a few degrees cooler up there!

*Added “powered” per comment discussion – thanks as always.

West Seattle 4th of July 2015: Fireworks plea; pet protection

July 3, 2015 at 3:34 pm | In Pets, Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 7 Comments

Two more 4th of July notes:

FIREWORKS PLEA: The photo is from Shelly, who found fireworks debris while running through Lincoln Park the morning after the 4th last year. She warns, “The park is extremely dry now and it wouldn’t take much to set the whole park on fire.” She is hopeful people will heed that and obey the fireworks laws this year – the park is far from the only place that’s full of dry grass, brush, shrubs, and trees. And just as we were writing this – the National Weather Service has just extended the “heat advisory” AGAIN, continuing through Sunday night.

Speaking of fireworks laws, we already published the official reminder from Seattle Police a week and a half ago, but are sharing it here one more time, as conveyed by Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores:

The Seattle Police Department and Seattle Fire Department would like to remind the public that fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle. The possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited. Fireworks offenses are gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

Fireworks pose a fire hazard to property and present a safety risk to those who use them. Every year the Seattle Fire Department responds to fireworks-related fires and injuries. The holiday-related fires and injuries are preventable.

On the 4th of July, 911 centers become overloaded with non-emergency fireworks calls. DO NOT call 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency and need immediate help from police, fire or medics. Unnecessary 911 calls block people with real emergencies from reaching 911 and getting help.

Any fireworks-related fires or injuries should be reported directly to 911. Other fireworks violations may be reported by calling the Seattle Police non-emergency number at 206-625-5011.

Listening to the scanner the past few nights, fireworks calls *are* broadcast, so those lighting fireworks shouldn’t assume they’ll never get caught.

PROTECTING PETS: Another side effect of fireworks – they tend to scare pets, which means that invariably, we get many more lost-and-found pet reports to publish on the WSB West Seattle Lost/Found Pets page. We hope you won’t need to use it, but if you do lose or find a pet, please e-mail a description, phone number, and photo if available (if not, just be sure the description is detailed) to editor@westseattleblog.com. The Seattle Animal Shelter, meantime, has published information on how best to protect your pets at this time of year.

Reader report: Update on bicycle rider recovering from Delridge crash

July 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm | In Delridge, Safety, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photo from June 19th)
Two weeks ago today, a woman riding her bicycle southbound on Delridge at Dakota was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after, according to witnesses, a driver in a Nissan sedan hit her. Many have asked how she’s doing, but although we’ve continued trying to follow up, official information remains scant; then, overnight, we received this reader report via text message:

Cyclist injured on Delridge/Dakota has progressed to trauma rehabilitation. She suffered multiple injuries but her body is intact and she has a good chance of significant physical recovery. Full recovery from brain injury and neck ligaments will be determined in the months ahead but the medical staff have been great and with the cyclist are working hard. Thanks for the concern, the medics/police/public for helping at the scene, and the witness accounts in the blog.

SPD’s Traffic Collision Investigation Squad was sent to the scene of the crash, as is customary when someone suffers life-threatening injuries (or worse). Results of its investigations usually aren’t available for weeks or even months, but we will continue checking with SPD periodically.

Three West Seattle 4th of July 2015 notes: Page; picnic; parade!

July 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

Three notes as we look ahead to Independence Day:

PAGE: Check out the WSB West Seattle 4th of July page – your one-stop shop for what’s happening tomorrow. That includes not only fireworks info, activities, practical details like transit changes, but also restaurants/coffee shops that plan to be open, provided they’ve reached out to let us know – we just need a quick note, editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

PICNIC: If the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s membership/”friend-making” picnic wasn’t already on your list, here’s one reason to think about stopping by:

(2010 photo by Jean Sherrard)
On the 5th anniversary of that group photo taken in front of the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge to underscore that “This Place Matters,” those in attendance at tomorrow’s picnic will walk over for a new group photo, another commemoration of the fact that restoration is finally under way. That’s happening at around 1 pm Saturday; the picnic starts at noon and continues until around 3 pm, with SWSHS providing fried chicken in honor of the Homestead (long known for that dish) and lemonade – just bring a side dish to share. The picnic’s at SWSHS headquarters, the Log House Museum, 61st/Stevens.

PARADE: Bought your diaper donation yet? The local families served by WestSide Baby will be thrilled with whatever you can bring to the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade to give. Full parade details here – if you’re planning to be part of it, show up at 44th/Sunset by 10 am tomorrow. (The diaper dropbox will be at the blue house by the start of the route; also look for the donation boxes where you can chip in to help cover parade costs – voluntary but appreciated!)

1 week until West Seattle Summer Fest 2015! Countdown begins…

July 3, 2015 at 11:29 am | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

West Seattle’s biggest event of the year is now just one week away: West Seattle Summer Fest, the three-day street festival in the heart of The Junction!

The West Seattle Junction Association presents the festival, with co-sponsors including WSB, and over the next week we’ll be previewing more of what you’ll find when you go. Today, some basics:

DAYS/HOURS: Friday, July 10, 10 am-6 pm; Saturday, July 11, 10 am-6 pm; Sunday, July 12, 11 am-5 pm (on Friday and Saturday, music/beer gardens run later)

MUSIC SCHEDULE: See it here (as originally announced in May)

GREENLIFE SCHEDULE: The sustainability zone at the south end of the festival (California north of SW Edmunds) has posted its schedule, with events ranging from info you can use to make your daily life more sustainable (including backyard poultry at 1 pm Saturday and , to discussions of development (featuring District 1 City Council candidates, 2 pm Saturday) and bicycling’s future (4 pm Sunday)

SUMMER FEST FOR KIDS: Basics here – more info in our next countdown update.

PET JUNCTION: Just north of SW Oregon, including pools to keep your pup(s) cool

T-SHIRTS: Love the Summer Fest logo? Come to the Info Booth at California/Alaska to buy a shirt!

WHERE IT’S HAPPENING: If this is your first Summer Fest since moving to West Seattle – California SW closes for festival setup between SW Oregon and SW Edmunds around 6 pm Thursday night (July 9th, which is also West Seattle Art Walk night and has some informal “Summer Fest Eve” elements – more on that coming up) and stays closed to motorized-vehicle traffic until late Sunday night (July 12th). Most of the block between Oregon and Genesee is closed too – that’s where you’ll find the stage and beer garden – but Oregon stays open to through traffic. Festival admission is free, but bring $ for kid rides, food, shopping. See you there!

P.S. – ABOUT THE FARMERS’ MARKET: (Added in response to Eric‘s comment below) For Summer Fest Sunday only, it’ll be back in its old spot, the lot on the southeast corner of 44th/Alaska. Same hours as always, 10 am-2 pm. (Then, after Summer Fest, as of July 19th and beyond, the market goes back to California SW between Alaska and Oregon.)

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