West Seattle, Washington
(UPDATE: Due to technical trouble with the Seattle Foundation’s new site earlier, GiveBIG is extended until midnight Wednesday night)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:56 AM: Until midnight tonight, your donation(s) to local nonprofits can go further during the Seattle Foundation‘s annual GiveBIG event.
If you’ve donated on GiveBIG day in the past – this is important: This year, they’ve changed how it works, if you want to help multiple organizations/groups – instead of going to multiple individual special donation pages, just go here and add as many recipients and donations as you want, and the total payment will be a single transaction.
But you CAN go to individual pages – the GiveBIG-specific donation links (not the same links as years past) for the locally helping/locally based organizations on the official list are below. If we’re missing anyone in WS/WC, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add.
· Alki United Church of Christ
· Arts Corps
· Association of Latino Professionals For America
· Blue Earth Alliance
· Camp Fire Central Puget Sound
· Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association
· Denny-Sealth Performing Arts
· Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group
· Duwamish Rowing Club
· Duwamish Tribal Services
· Empower Mentoring Program
· Environmental Coalition of South Seattle
· Explorer West Middle School
· Fauntleroy Children’s Center
· Friends of All-City Band
· Friends of the Animals Foundation
· Furry Faces Foundation
· Gender Diversity
· Highland Park Elementary PTA
· Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence
· Holy Rosary Parish School
· Irish Reels Film Festival
· Killer Whale Tales
· King County Library System Foundation
· Kol HaNeshamah
· Legal Counsel for Youth and Children
· Northwest Center
· Opera On Tap Seattle
· Our Lady of Guadalupe School
· Plumbers Without Borders
· Pongo Publishing
· Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation
· Reel Grrls
· SafeFutures Youth Center
· Seattle Adaptive Sports
· Seattle Glee Clubs
· Seattle Green Spaces Coalition
· Seattle People of Color Salon
· Seniors Creating Art
· Shine Bright
· South Seattle College Foundation
· Southwest Seattle Historical Society
· Southwest Youth and Family Services
· STEM K-8 PTA
· Technology Access Foundation
· The Cabiri
· The Kenney Foundation
· The Mission to Seafarers – Seattle
· The Nature Consortium
· The Phffft Company
· the Service Board
· The Village of Hope
· The Whale Trail
· Totem Star
· Transitional Resources
· Twelfth Night Productions
· Vivace Chamber Players
· West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network (link takes you to Seattle Neighborhood Group; write WSBWCN in the comments)
· West Seattle Community Orchestras
· West Seattle Food Bank
· West Seattle Helpline
· WestSide Baby
· Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation
· Wheelchairs for Nigeria
· Whit Press
· White Center Community Development Association
· White Center Emergency Food Association [WC Food Bank] · YES Foundation of White Center
· YMCA of Greater Seattle [then write in West Seattle to designate for local Y] · Young Shakespeare Workshop
Again, you can also go here and start entering organizations’ names – if they’re part of GiveBIG, they’ll show up in the dropdown, and if you want to donate to more than one, just use the button on the form to keep adding.
P.S. At least one special event locally as part of GiveBIG – you can support the White Center Food Bank (which is in the GiveBIG system as the White Center Emergency Food Association) via Dine Out For Hunger, with four popular WC spots donating part of today’s proceeds – info here.
ADDED 4:26 PM: GiveBIG has now extended until midnight Wednesday night, after tech trouble with the Seattle Foundation’s new website led to slowness and crashing. Meantime, we’re adding a few more local nonprofits who’ve let us know they belong on our list.
Tonight we know the locations where King County Elections is proposing to add more than three dozen fixed ballot dropboxes, including West Seattle (where the last one was removed more than five years ago), White Center, and South Park. Each would get one dropbox before primary voting starts in mid-July, if this plan is approved. Read the full news release here.
Toplines for our area:
In West Seattle, the location would be High Point Library (35th/Raymond); in White Center, it would be the White Center Library (the address listed in the county report is for the current one on 16th, though the new one on SW 107th is scheduled to open soon, so we’ll be doublechecking on that tomorrow). The South Park Library is proposed for a dropbox by the November general election. A 132-page report including how and why these locations (and the others around the county) were chosen – and why some other locations were not chosen – can be seen here.
The county says it will spend $239,695 to have the boxes made, wrapped, and installed. Assuming approval is received from the King County Council and all property owners, this would put 91.5% of the county’s population within three miles of a dropbox, the county says. A public hearing is planned before the County Council’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee at 9:30 am Tuesday, April 26th, in the council chambers downtown.
Three quick restaurant notes:
MIOPOSTO STARTS BRUNCH NEXT WEEKEND IN ADMIRAL: As you plan ahead for next weekend (and beyond), you’ll have a new brunch option in West Seattle. Starting next Saturday, Mioposto in Admiral (2139 California SW; WSB sponsor) opens weekend mornings at 10 am for brunch/breakfast. Until now, it’s been dinner only. The brunch menu isn’t posted yet but you might consider the brunch menu from their Bryant location to be a taste. (Between now and then, you’ll want to dine at Mioposto on Tuesday, April 5th, if you are a fan of public-radio station KPLU; in the effort to raise enough money to prevent its sale and big changes, Mioposto is donating 30 percent of its proceeds at all three locations on Tuesday.)
MORE BREAKFAST IN THE JUNCTION: Highstrike Grill at West Seattle Bowl (39th SW/SW Oregon) sends word it’s expanding its breakfast hours; as of April 14th, it’ll be serving breakfast 7:30 am-2 pm Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
FRIED CHICKEN ON THE WAY TO WHITE CENTER: From our partner site White Center Now – the WC space where the bricks-and-mortar Charlie’s Buns just closed after six months (98th just east of 16th SW) already has a new tenant: Bok a Bok, “Korean fried chicken and biscuits,” to be opened by Chef Brian O’Connor, a veteran of the Seattle restaurant scene, who also has another WC plan once that’s up and running. (Added Monday: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli reminded your editor here that Chef O’Connor has a past WS connection – he was on the team that opened The Swinery in 2009 and is at right in the top photo in our story about it.)
1:01 AM: Lots of questions this past half-hour about a helicopter just south of the city/county border. Flight-tracking showed it was Guardian One but there was little discussion on the scanner and no reports of ground activity, so we didn’t know what it was up to until this tweet just after it left the area: “Assisted White Center patrol on person with a gun call in 18 Ave SW. Led patrol in to person in front yard of house. Subject is detained.” That would be a King County Sheriff’s Office case and we’ll follow up later this morning.
ADDED 5:14 PM: We finally have additional information to share. From KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West: “Around midnight, we responded to the area of the 10400 block of 18 Ave SW for a report of a suicidal man who possibly had a gun. We contacted the man in the area and did not locate a gun. The man was transported to a hospital for a mental-health evaluation. The man is a 66 year old living in the vicinity.”
(Also published on partner site White Center Now)
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog/White Center Now co-publishers
Just because White Center (and vicinity) voters said no to Burien doesn’t mean they’re ready to say yes to Seattle.
That was abundantly clear during tonight’s standing-room-only annexation “conversation” at Dubsea Coffee in Greenbridge, barely a block south of the city-county line.
Some in attendance loudly voiced skepticism and outright distrust of the city’s motives and even suitability.
Others asked simple questions about what changes annexation would bring.
The city’s longtime point person on annexation, Kenny Pittman, led the discussion, saying he wanted to offer “basic information” and answer questions, and promising more meetings and “outreach.”
He’s been working on the annexation issue for 12 1/2 years, he told the crowd of 50+, which included White Center community advocates and entrepreneurs.
He recapped why it’s on the front burner now – as first reported on our partner site White Center Now, Governor Inslee has signed a Legislature-passed bill that will divert millions of sales-tax dollars to Seattle to cover the costs of taking on the added residents and acreage.
Early on, he said annexation isn’t going to happen overnight:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Will Seattle finally ask voters in White Center and the rest of still-unincorporated North Highline to let themselves be annexed?
The answer to that question now rests with the fate of a bill making its way through the Legislature, approved by the State Senate in late January, heard in a State House committee last Friday, and headed for an executive-session discussion in another committee this Wednesday: SSB 5964.
It boosts the amount of state sales tax that can be diverted to the city to cover the cost of annexing (read the full text here).
An update on the bill was part of a briefing the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council received from the city’s longtime point person on annexation, Kenny Pittman. He spoke during WWRHAH’s February meeting, which was focused on the status of the Westwood-Highland Park Residential Urban Village and how neighboring White Center might play into it if annexation happens.
While the city waits to see if the bill gets final legislative approval this year, the annexation proposal is on hold with the King County Boundary Review Board, which would have to give its blessing before the proposal could go before voters, as would the Seattle City Council, which has had major turnover – four of its nine members – since giving approval to an early step in the process last summer.
With the city updating its Comprehensive Plan now, via the Seattle 2035 process, WWRHAH is not content to just let this all play out and then wonder how Westwood and White Center might become part of some sort of coherent planning process later. So this month’s discussion was intended as something of a jump-start. WWRHAH, explained co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick, wants to create a joint plan that includes White Center: “Something for people to vote on!”
That underscore: If there’s a chance White Center and vicinity might become part of Seattle within a few years, why wouldn’t planning already be under way, since the city is close to launching its vision for the next 20 years?
The answer seemed to be, in part, that the planning still might be inadequate on this side of the city/county line.
On partner site White Center Now, we’re covering the investigation of a shooting death in White Center’s Greenbridge neighborhood. The victim was found in the street just after 9 pm at the intersection of 9th SW and SW 100th. Not many details yet but we just talked at the scene with King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West and that’s part of our coverage.
A touch of sorcery on the track tonight at Southgate Roller Rink, during the Harry Potter-themed “House Cup” bout between Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby and visiting Cherry Bomb Brawlers.
Good crowd at the rink as the skaters faced off – as is a roller derby tradition, the names on their shirts (and the refs’) were not to be missed:
On the sidelines, baked goods and raffle tickets were sold to raise money for the medical bills of the Brawlers’ beloved “Coach SmartAss,” who died recently after battling cancer.
We will update later when we get the results.
Saturday night brings the second bout of the season for Southside Revolution Junior Coed Roller Derby. The Cherry Bomb Brawlers from Spokane are visiting, and it’s more than a bout – the Brawlers’ coach Ti “SmartAss” Marchand” lost her battle with cancer days ago, and they’re raising money both to cover her bills and to help another coach’s mom. Southside team manager Pamela McCarty sends the reminder:
THE HOUSE CUP, DOUBLE HEADER BOUT! Come watch the Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby positional and full-contact teams mashup with Cherry Bomb Brawlers and Friends. Bout 1 at 5:45 pm will be Southside Revolution Cadets & Friends Mashup. Bout 2 at 7:20 pm will be Southside Revolution Rebels, Cherry Bomb Brawlers, Mob City Misfits and Seattle Derby Brats.
This is a HARRY POTTER THEMED BOUT. The teams will be sorted into their ‘Houses’ at the beginning of the bout with the ‘Sorting Hat’ as per standard with all students of Hogwarts. The team with the most points will win the HOUSE CUP!
Doors at 5:15 pm, 1st Bout at 5:45 pm. $10 General Admission Adults, $5 Children 6-12, Children under 5 are free.
This is at our area’s only roller rink, Southgate, in White Center,
In West Seattle (and vicinity) Crime Watch:
THANKS FOR THE TIPS: Received a few about a sizable law-enforcement presence at 15th and Roxbury this past hour. Headed that way and found King County Sheriff’s Office deputies had converged on the gas station at the southwest corner of the intersection. They were searching what one deputy told us was a stolen car; we’ll be following up on our partner site White Center Now.
ADMIRAL BURGLARY: Tyler e-mailed this weekend to share the word about this:
On Wednesday at exactly 12:44 am we had a person enter our property at 53rd and Admiral and break into our garage, stealing wire and several small tools. They then moved a camera out of the way and tried to gain access to a small basement window. They were on site for over 20 minutes.
The house is being sold, so there was no one home and only various tools on site. Police report filed Thursday.
Suspect was wearing black jeans and hooded sweatshirt also in black. He knew there were cameras as face was covered. Had a distinctive large rectangle style back back with straps.
MORE HIGHLAND PARK MAIL THEFT: Shirley in Highland Park wants her neighbors in the 11th/12th/Barton vicinity to “please be aware that there is a lot of mail being taken and thrown on the ground and or put in other mailboxes. On my dog walk this am I found some of my neighbor’s mail in my paper box. This afternoon walking the dog, I found another neighbor’s mail in the alley … Also noticed several mailboxes open along the way.”
STOLEN MAIL FOUND IN SEAVIEW: A reader “found someone’s mail from Ballard (Friday morning) dumped at the corner of 44th SW and SW Graham.” They planned to take it back to the Post Office but added, “I just wanted to let people know to be watchful for thieves using our neighborhood like this.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Last June, we checked in with what’s now the area’s only standalone aquarium store, B & D in White Center, after a reader expressed concern for its future. At the time, its owner told us he would “hang on” as long as he could. Recently, multiple readers wrote to tell us it didn’t appear he would be hanging on much longer. We found out they’re right.
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog and White Center Now
Citing a continued “rising costs and lower sales,” the owner of B & D Aquarium says the 44-year-old White Center business will be closing shop for good at some point in the coming weeks.
“You can’t keep losing money every day and stay open,” says P.D. who opened his aquarium-hobbyist shop at 35th and Roxbury in 1972.
Though a sign hanging from a corner of the shop declares that December 31st would be the last day for business, P.D. is still open because he’s trying to liquidate as much of his stock as he can before he’s is forced to vacate the building. In addition to the deep discounts he’s offering on everything in the shop in what the owner calls his “indoor yard sale,” he’s been giving freebies to his loyal, long-time customers to help things come to a close as quickly as possible.
Though B & D was unable to continue to compete, price-wise, with the offerings of online retailers or big-chain pet stores, P.D. and his staff have long been well-regarded by local hobbyists for their expertise, which will the biggest loss to local hobbyists.
“What we’re getting from the customers is that they don’t want us to leave, because they don’t know where they’re going to go,” says Kelly Greer, who has worked at B & D for nearly 30 years. “Their next options are in Burien or Kent.”
Facing the loss of such knowledge and willingness to help, several customers have apparently decided to give up the hobby altogether, knowing how difficult it would be to replace what they’ll lose when B & D finally shutters its doors.
“Yeah, we’ve had about a dozen people give up their tanks because we’re going out of business,” says P.D. “They want to give their tanks to us, but I’ve got a couple-hundred tanks to get rid of already.”
Because they’ve already stayed open beyond what they’d originally planned, P.D. doesn’t know when the true final day will arrive. Though he’d prefer to be able to close shop because he’s successfully cleared his on-hand stock, he knows he’ll likely have to stop before he can liquidate everything completely.
As for his own future?
“I’ll have to start wearing shoes, get a haircut, and look for a job.”
Until they finally close, B & D will continue to open at 10450 15th Ave SW (next to the White Center Eagles) Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Phone service has been disconnected, so you won’t be able to call to see whether they are still there.
Story and photos by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
“Welcome to Taradise.”
That’s the greeting you’ll see when entering our area’s newest restaurant/bar.
“Tara” is for proprietor Tara Scott, who’s celebrating the grand opening today for her Taradise Café in what used to be Marv’s Broiler at 9808 16th SW in downtown White Center.
Here’s the special attraction for West Seattleites:
Tara herself, for one, is a Charlestown alum, and has several others on staff.
She tells WSB she’s really excited to have the permission to use some of the Charlestown’s recipes. Her permanent menu is still being finalized, so we don’t have the full lineup, but she mentioned the curried chicken salad, the pancakes, and the clam chowder, for openers.
We asked about the Montana Potatoes, by the way, and she said she has plans for them too – likely under the name Idaho Potatoes, since that’s where she’s from. The restaurant will serve breakfast all day as well as a full lunch menu and rotating dinner menu.
While Taradise Café has a bar – and two pool tables! as well as darts and TVs for sports-viewing – the restaurant is open to all ages. The hours for starters will be 6 am to midnight Sundays through Wednesdays, then 6 am to 2 am Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Family factored into Tara’s decision to open a restaurant now. She explained that she has wanted to do it for a while but needed to wait until she could devote more time and attention to it – one key factor, her youngest child is now at an age where some self-sufficiency is starting to emerge.
So if you’re looking for some place to celebrate New Year’s Eve, the grand-opening/NYE Party is on until 2 am at Taradise. This date holds significance for the location, the proprietor adds, because Marv’s Broiler opened on New Year’s Day in 1976.
One way to start the New Year off fresh – end the old year by doing a good deed. The White Center Food Bank is asking for help on New Year’s Eve:
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR INVENTORY HELP DECEMBER 31!
Are you available to help weigh and count the inventory of the White Center Food Bank? We start at 9 am and go until it’s done (usually before 2 pm). We will need 5-10 people who can lift 40 pounds. Other tasks that morning include counting and recording. If you can help with this important yearly task, contact Audrey Zemke at email@example.com or 206-762-2848.
The WCFB is headquartered at 10829 8th SW.
We start this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup with a story that’s still developing:
GUNFIRE & SEARCH: For the second consecutive afternoon, police are investigating gunfire, with no injuries reported. This time it happened at or near the Seamart store at 16th and Holden. Police we talked to there say that one person was reported to have left on foot northbound afterward while a vehicle described as a green SUV – in which the shooter reportedly was riding – headed south.
What’s believed to be that vehicle has turned up in downtown White Center, on 16th south of Roxbury, but police are still looking for the person believed to have been driving. We’ll update with anything else we find out about this incident.
All that happened as we were putting together a roundup with other reports from the inbox, so on with those:
CAR PROWL ON VIDEO: Mike‘s surveillance camera caught what happened early Monday morning on the street outside his home in the 6300 block of 41st SW:
Mike is a firefighter and says the thief/thieves “got some of my Firefighting gear. Brand new boots (still in the box) and gloves worth about 500. Some DVDs.”
ANOTHER CAR PROWL: Bill says this happened last night near 41st and Barton in Upper Fauntleroy:
After removing Christmas tree from car at 8:30 pm 12/14, I forgot to lock the vehicle. Approximately at 1 am on 12/15, just before going to bed, I was in the kitchen getting a drink. I looked out to where my car was parked, I noticed a pick-up truck suspiciously parked in the middle of the street next to my vehicle. I went out to my car noticed that the driver side door was ajar, and the contents of my glove compartment and middle console compartment were dumped on the seats. Some personal items, a pair of Nike sunglasses ($75) and a tray of coins/change < $5.00. The prowler sped off when he saw me, but I got a pretty good look at the vehicle and have reported its description to the police.
CAR PROWL/HOUSE BREAK-IN CONCERN: Mia at 42nd and Findlay writes, “Over this past weekend, we experienced our 3rd car break-in (we’ve also had a couple home break-ins in the past 5 years). Fortunately, we didn’t have any valuables inside the car, but we’re very worried that we are being watched, or, rather, there is a very shady crew combing our streets on a regular basis.”
(First 3 photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
‘Tis the season for .. roller derby! We stopped at our area’s only roller rink, Southgate, last night during the first bout of Southside Revolution Junior Coed Roller Derby‘s second season. The theme – as you might have seen in the preview we published – “Skate Wars,” playing off this coming week’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” premiere. Note the ref’s handle:
Southside Revolution’s two teams faced off with their counterparts from the Kitsap Derby Brats (in red) from the other side of the Sound. The theme carried on into a bake sale during the bout:
After the younger “positional” teams – Southside Revolution Cadets (ages 8-12) and the KDB Rawkettes – bouted, the older “full contact teams” took the floor:
They are the SSR Rebels (ages 12-17) and the KDB Bomb Squad. Thanks to team mom Lashanna Williams for the photos above and below this line:
Lashanna confirms Southside Revolution won both bouts. (Added – from coach Pam – scores were: SSR Cadets 282 – Kitsap Rawkettes 212, and SSR Rebels 342 ~ Kitsap Bomb Squad 90.) The team launched last year and practices at Southgate.
P.S. For photos of the halftime “Star Wars” costume contest (and more from the bouts), see photographer Jeff Jackson‘s set.
You’ll be able to find out this Saturday (December 12th) at Southgate Roller Rink in White Center, when Southside Revolution Junior Coed Roller Derby hosts a “Star Wars“-themed bout just days before Episode 7 premieres. Doors open at 5:30 pm; tickets at the door will be $10 adult, $5 ages 6-12, kids 5 and under free. From the announcement:
Bout one is Southside Revolution’s Cadets battling it out with the Kitsap Derby Brats Rawkettes. The second bout will find the Southside Revolution’s Rebels facing off with the Kitsap Derby Brat’s Bomb Squad.
The game of roller derby is played on quad roller skates with “jammers” scoring points by passing the opposing team’s “blockers.”
Come in costume for a chance to win two opening day tickets to the movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Southgate is at 9646 17th SW.
One more day to make sure hundreds of local families can celebrate the holiday with a traditional meal … First, the White Center Food Bank needs more turkeys, and you can bring them by 8:30 am-7 pm on Wednesday. If you can spare some time, they also need help distributing food Wednesday afternoon/evening:
Volunteers needed Wednesday, 4:30-8 pm. It’s holiday distribution time again at the White Center Food Bank and we are currently short volunteers for the afternoon/evening of November 25 to pass out food to clients. We get set up at 4:30 pm. We distribute food from 5:00 to 7:30 pm and then clean up. Families welcome. If you can help, please call Audrey at 206-762-2848 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
WCFB is at 10829 8th SW.
Our phone video is the first look at post-cleanup freedom for 13 of the birds captured at the oil-contaminated White Center stormwater-retention pond. A team from PAWS just brought them back to the area and joined state and county reps in opening the carriers and watching them go free. We first reported on the pond problem a week and a half ago; last Friday, the state announced that a WC food-manufacturing business, La Mexicana, had taken responsibility. They say the pond is now clean enough for the birds to return to it safely, but they were released this morning across the street at Steve Cox Memorial Park. As you can see in the video, all 13 brought back by PAWS this morning were mallards; crews have captured 78 in all, a mix of mallards and Canada geese. Four birds did not survive, including two that were euthanized, according to the state Ecology Department.
ADDED 2:20 PM: A few more photos and additional information about today’s release and the cleanup:
Ecology spokesperson Larry Altose says oil-recovery efforts wrapped up at the pond yesterday, as contractor National Response Corporation removed the last cleanup materials. NRC’s subcontractor Focus Wildlife captured the oiled birds and, Altose says, “housed and treated the birds at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society Wildlife Center in Lynnwood,” where, he adds, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife “supplied a bird rescue trailer to provide extra space for the effort.”
Of the 61 birds still in treatment after today’s release, he adds, 27 are mallards and 34 are geese. All four of the birds that died were mallards. A WDFW spokesperson confirmed that this is the largest bird-rescuing operation in our state in some time, in terms of spill recovery.
Meantime, as for the birds released today …
… they were last seen taking a few test flights around the field. If you see oiled or distressed birds, WDFW asks, call 800-22-BIRDS, but don’t “approach or handle the wildlife,” the state asks, adding that “WDFW asks dog and cat owners in the area to keep their pets under control, as oiled birds are less able to escape from animal attacks.”
P.S. In addition to reporting to the state, the federal EPA also tells us they are interested in information about environmental violations – here’s how to report them. (You can also call the local office directly at 206-553-8306.)
2:23 AM: Some West Seattleites saw one or more flashes and heard booms about the time more than 4,300 homes and businesses lost power south of here – parts of White Center, Shorewood, Boulevard Park, also a pocket of the southeastern edge of WS at Olson/Myers. We’re covering it on partner site White Center Now but thought we’d mention it here too, because of the sights and sounds. No official word on the cause yet but Seattle City Light says crews are headed toward its Duwamish Substation.
3:39 PM: Most have been back on for some time but City Light spokesperson Scott Thomsen says about 10 percent of those originally affected remain out – he also updated us on the cause: “A tree fell into wires, which caused a fault current that was big enough that it damaged some of the wire. So crews have been working to replace the damaged wire. There are about 450 customers still out. We estimate having them back in service around 4:15 pm.”
(WSB photo from last weekend, as wildlife rescuers capture an oiled Canada goose)
One week after a neighbor noticed oil contaminating a stormwater-retention pond in White Center, the state Ecology Department announced that a food company has taken responsibility. La Mexicana says it was transporting oil that accidentally spilled and will pay the costs of cleanup and wildlife rehabilitation; 51 birds have been captured for cleaning and treatment, says the state, and one had to be euthanized. Full details of the state’s announcement are on our partner site White Center Now.
As promised, we went back this morning to the White Center stormwater-retention pond where the state and its contractors are cleaning up what’s believed to be a cooking-oil “spill” (yes, as has been pointed out, it could also have been intentional dumping) and rescuing oiled birds. The Canada goose caught while we were there late Saturday was the first bird captured for cleanup, a state Ecology Department spokesperson told us today, right before they caught a second one:
(Aside from a honk of protest, the goose didn’t resist.) Oiled feathers impair a variety of vital functions for birds, as explained here, including waterproofing and temperature regulation; we learned at the spill scene yesterday that rescued birds would be warmed on site and then transported to PAWS for rehabilitation. We expect to find out more tomorrow about where the investigation of the spill stands and how the birds are doing.
(Photo added 5:32 pm, looking southward over the pond, toward SW 102nd)
FIRST REPORT, 3:09 PM: Wildlife experts are hoping to help more than a dozen birds struggling with oiled feathers after a spill in a White Center pond. A reader texted us this photo:
King County has sent this news release:
Crews are responding Saturday afternoon to an oil spill that was discovered in a King County stormwater retention pond in White Center.
An estimated 20 to 50 gallons of what is believed to be cooking oil was found floating in the pond, which sits along 13th Avenue Southwest at Southwest 100th Street in unincorporated King County. Lab analysis of the oil will determine its exact composition.
Employees with the Water and Land Resources Division (WLRD) of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks were at the pond this morning, along with Washington Department of Ecology spill response personnel, to assess the spill and determine its source.
An oil-spill response team from NRC Environment was also on site this morning to contain and clean up the oil from the pond. A crew trained in cleaning wildlife was on its way to the pond to capture and clean the estimated 20 waterfowl that appeared to have been in contact with the oily water.
Stormwater system experts with WLRD will look into how the oil got into the retention pond, which accepts runoff from the surrounding neighborhood and helps clean stormwater runoff before it continues downstream to Hicklin Lake.
Shorelines along the White Center pond system have been a focus of cleanup efforts we’ve covered on partner site White Center Now, but usually the problems have been on the shore, not in the water.
5:17 PM UPDATE: We’re just back from the scene, where we talked with a Department of Ecology rep; others on the scene include NRC (spill response) and Focus Wildlife, the contractor there to help with the birds. While we were there, they captured one Canada goose that had been wandering in busy SW 102nd on the south side of the scene, apparently unable to fly because of the oil.
They found out about the oil because of a nearby resident who watches the area and often photographs birds; they haven’t traced the source yet but because of its smell and consistency, they’re fairly certain it’s cooking oil. What looks like a white boom around the edges of the pond is actually absorbent material intended to soak up anything that can’t be cleaned up.
The responders were going to work until it got dark and then return at first light tomorrow. The rescued birds were going to be warmed in a truck on site, and then taken to PAWS for rehabilitation. Besides the wandering goose, we saw a group of ducks milling on the sidewalk along the pond’s western side; the Ecology rep said they’d been there all day.
Most of the oil, he added, was on the north end of the pond.