West Seattle, Washington
(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
ORIGINAL 10:08 PM REPORT: WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli is at the “fire in single-family residence” call at 30th SW/SW Bataan (a High Point street so new it’s not even on Google Maps, but we did find this). He says it’s a fairly sizable fire, lots of smoke visible, no flames. Photos and more info shortly.
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
10:22 PM UPDATE: From Christopher at the scene: “Firefighters from several companies seem to have the blaze extinguished. The building that was on fire is unoccupied new construction. Firefighters seem to be taking down a ceiling on the first floor of the structure to expose the source of the fire.” He adds that the house that caught fire appears to have been close to completion, but not done yet, with stickers still on the windows. From the scanner — the incident commander is going to start clearing some units to leave the scene. Also, the online fire-call log has revised the address to 6423 30th SW (map). Christopher also confirms, nobody hurt. 10:50 PM UPDATE: Seattle Fire spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen has now released an update: First firefighters on the scene saw flames through the house’s windows; the fire was mostly concentrated on the second floor – still no word on the cause or the dollar amount of the damage, till investigators can get in and look around.
(photo by Tony Bradley)
11:50 PM UPDATE: In her latest media update, Vander Houwen says fire investigators have determined this was an accidental fire, caused by an electrical-wire problem. Damage is estimated at about $50,000.
As reported here a few days ago, this Thursday, the city Parks Board will get a briefing about the proposal to run the Elliott Bay Water Taxi year-round from Seacrest “temporarily,” till its permanent home is found. This is the next step toward final Parks approval of the plan, which then would enable county-funded dock improvements to be built later this year, to be in place for year-round operations to start in early 2010. The “briefing paper” that will be presented to the board is available online now; it says Parks staff recommends approval of the plan, and recaps “overwhelmingly supportive” reaction at the Alki Community Center open house last month (WSB coverage here), while mentioning a few more points:
*Final decision expected from the King County Ferry District by the end of June
*Project then would go out to bid in July
*Construction should be done sometime in December
*Divers’ ongoing concerns about Seacrest will be addressed – the briefing paper says:
Some divers would like to see mitigation at the park for increasing water-taxi service at the site. They have always had safety concerns about the shared use at this site, but we are anticipating that the improved dock configuration will be much safer for the divers as it moves the water taxi boat further from the diving area. A group of divers is going to work with King County Councilmember Dow Constantine on assistance in providing some amenities for divers at the site. In the past few years, a diver shower and safety buoys have been added as mitigation at Seacrest.
Public comment is not scheduled to be taken on this item at Thursday’s Park Board meeting (7 pm, parks HQ downtown); a public hearing is set for March 12, with a vote on March 26, and Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher getting the final say after that. Side note: This week’s Parks Board agenda has another item likely to be of wide West Seattle interest — a proposal for changing parks’ operating hours — that “briefing paper” is online now too, and we’ll write about it shortly. (Side note in another direction: While checking links for this item, discovered the King County Ferry District has a “blog” site now, and it was running a web poll asking what you think county-run passenger-ferry service should be called — Water Taxi? Water Bus? Foot Ferry? Passenger Ferry? The poll appears to be closed as of this writing, though.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Autism is treatable, and health insurance should cover that treatment.”
That’s how Allison Dennis summarizes her quest, which — on the night we spoke in her Upper Fauntleroy living room earlier this week — had just taken her to Olympia, to try to change a local legislator’s mind.
Allison’s preschooler son Jack is autistic, diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS, in semi-short).
He is getting therapy – which can make a huge difference for those with autism – but it comes at a significant cost. Allison and other parents and advocates are trying to get the state to change the rules about which treatments insurance companies must cover and when, but they are facing an uphill fight.
We know some folks still don’t regularly check the WSB Forums, so we’re taking a moment to remind you about the Freebies, Deals, Sales section. Among the latest posts: PDieter is putting a Weber grill on CL tomorrow, but giving WSBers a chance at it first; on the other side of the seasonal-item spectrum, “old skis” are in search of a “new home.” Got something you’re selling – offering for free – or discounting (businesses are welcome to post the latter)? Looking for something? Just start here.
Also from the “coming up” file – The man whose office is in charge of what happens to criminals after they’re arrested is scheduled to be in West Seattle this Thursday, at the South Delridge/White Center Community Safety Coalition meeting. Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg‘s last major public appearance in the West Seattle/White Center vicinity was four months ago, at the “Public Safety in Peril” town-hall meeting (WSB coverage here) that he, Sheriff Sue Rahr, and others held to discuss then-looming budget cuts. So what’s happened since then, and how is it affecting the task of keeping criminals off the street since they’re caught? You can find out firsthand on Thursday night at St. James Place, 9421 18th SW (map); the meeting starts at 6 pm with free dinner, as always, and continues till 8 pm – Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s Office reps are always on hand to update crime trends in the south WS/WC area too.
This Wednesday night is the first of six in a row with Fauntleroy Church inviting you to come share conversations about community – and what it really means in this much-changed day and age. The series starts with a showing of the well-received “The Fauntleroy Story” documentary (first covered here last July) and continues with a lineup of featured speakers that even includes your WSB co-publishers, as well as more-notable souls such as “Neighbor Power” guru Jim Diers and Church Council of Greater Seattle executive director Michael Ramos. As you can see on the flyer above, each evening will begin with “simple supper” (by donation) at 6 pm, followed by the forum at 7. Read on for the full text of the official news release about the series:Read More
From the West Seattle Weekend Lineup (click here to hop directly to the Sunday list):
OSCAR PARTY: When the big show starts, so does the fun at Talarico’s, including picking the winners and movie trivia, with prizes, 5 pm.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, 44th/Alaska in The Junction. The latest “fresh sheet” isn’t on the WSFM website but we have it from e-mail – read on:Read More
Jeff Hogan of West Seattle-based Killer Whale Tales, who brought us first word of the big orca group that passed through on Friday, shares that photo of L-pod whales along with an update on his adventures as they headed north:
I got the opportunity to go out on the “fecal follow” boat with our friends from NOAA Fisheries after (watching from West Seattle shores) … We caught up with the 40+ members of L Pod at the Kingston Ferry terminal and stayed with them for nearly three hours as the whales moved northwards. The scientists I was with were trying to collect fecal samples, (yes..poop!) as well as fish scales left over from predation events.
The scat samples will allow the scientists to measure and determine a variety of things, including hormonal levels in the individual whales. These levels can be used to determine many systemic problems in the individual whales, like stress, illness or even something positive like pregnancy in females.
Check out this link to find out more (May 2008 KING5 story).
The prey samples collected will help to narrow down what these animals are eating throughout the year. Right now it looks like their diet is nearly 90% salmon, and mostly Chinook or King in the summer and Chum in the winter. The DNA recovered in the samples can also identify exactly which stream those salmon come from and can help to steer recovery of those specific runs.
By the time the orcas had moved to northern waters, three Seattle TV stations had recorded aerial video; here are links to those 3 clips – KOMO (4), KING (5), KIRO (7). Find out more about the “southern resident” orcas here.