day : 04/04/2009 13 results

Labor of love: Who’s digging in at those “work parties”

April 4, 2009 11:56 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Every Friday in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup, we include listings for Saturday morning work parties at West Seattle’s greenbelt treasures, from well-used parks to tangled greenbelts. So who are the intrepid volunteers who show up to help tend what so many of us take for granted? We sent a new WSB contributing reporter out this morning to meet one group and find out how much progress they’re making.

By Jonathan Stumpf
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The first Saturday of every month is like most at Lincoln Park: Dog-walking, jogging and baseball make up the bulk of activities in this 135-acre urban forest. But among the shrubbery and trees, a group of individuals — the Friends of Lincoln Park — are performing an activity that is vital to the park’s future: the removal of invasive plant species.

The Friends of Lincoln Park is a volunteer group led by West Seattle resident and trained forest steward Sharon Baker. For three years she has been leading individuals into Lincoln Park to help with the removal of invasive plants like English holly and ivy, Himalayan blackberry, Stinky Bob, nipple-wort and clematis, with hopes of reclaiming the forest for the native plants.

Today, nine volunteers are on hand for this work party to help with removal of Stinky Bob and blackberry in the north end of the park. While Baker is not a botanist by trade, she did take an intensive course on plant identification through the Native Plant Society. “I know enough to be dangerous in the park,” Baker says. This knowledge is passed along to her group of dedicated volunteers—this is the first event for only one volunteer—and they begin ripping the blackberry and Stinky Bob from the undergrowth.

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The night before its season launch, see the Water Taxi’s new look

We just couldn’t wait till tomorrow morning — went to the downtown waterfront tonight to get photos of the new trim and new logo on the newly rebranded King County Water Taxi. Tomorrow, of course, you can see it in person …

… free rides all day, and while the big party at Seacrest Pier (map) is noon-2 pm (with the fireboat Leschi scheduled for a spray show around 12:45), the Water Taxi sails its full schedule on day 1, which means you should see its first arrival at Seacrest around 8:45 am. P.S. If you’re trying to remember what the Water Taxi USED to look like, here’s a WSB photo from last fall:


Talking with King County Council Chair Dow Constantine at the Gathering of Neighbors today, we’re pretty sure he mentioned a new look for the shuttle buses too, so we’ll be watching out for that tomorrow morning as well. ADDED 11:07 PM: Well, we don’t even have to wait till tomorrow for THAT – turns out the King County Ferry District has a Flickr stream with an entire sequence of photos of the shuttle-bus rewrapping — see it here (as well as more pix of the Water Taxi’s new look).

This Morgan Junction storefront won’t be empty much longer

Thanks to Mike for letting us know that storefront in the 6500 block of California SW (map), the former home of Aaron’s Bicycle Repair, has swapped its “for lease” sign for a “coming soon” sign — Pilates Westside, says the sign. The company on the business license for that name and this address trace to this local Pilates instructor; we’ll be trying to track her down to find out more. (The bike shop, you may recall, moved a few doors south to the former liquor-store space; we checked recently with the Liquor Control Board to find out if it had secured a replacement West Seattle location yet, and the answer was no.) Morgan Junction’s the hot place to be, not only with this new business moving in, but with Zeek’s Pizza (opening in about a month, reiterates its website) and Feedback Lounge getting closer to opening a few blocks north, and construction well under way on the new park just north of the always-jumping Beveridge Place Pub. (Morgan Junction-area residents and businesspeople, by the way, are reminded that the Morgan Community Association‘s next meeting is 7 pm April 15th at The Kenney.)

Mystery Seaview Samaritans: Possum rescued from the road

Out of the WSB inboxDeb Barker tells the story:

We had a bit of drama on 48th Ave @ SW Graham this afternoon with a sick or wounded possum lying in the middle of the busy roadway. Two strangers stopped to tend to the critter, getting it into a box, duct taping the box together and getting it into my car. (I was running back and forth setting up traffic cones, calling animal control, fetching gloves, tape, etc). I am hoping that my fellow rescuers read the West Seattle Blog so that they know that the critter was delivered to Seattle Animal Control on 15th West, and they were going to have PAWS take it. (I offered to take the possum to Lynnwood, but it sounded like PAWS was enroute anyway). Also, I have the sweatshirt and blue strapping ties that the rescuers left behind.

But most importantly, I want to thank both of the rescuers for taking time out of their day to stop and offer comfort and aid to a small creature. I’m sorry that the drivers along this street were mostly idiots who couldn’t be bothered to slow down while you crouched in the middle of the street protecting the possum. You are my heros – I am so honored to have met you – THANK YOU!!

Let me know if you’d like your belongings returned – the Blog will know how to reach me.

And indeed we do – e-mail us at (other contact methods here).

Yet more scenes from today’s Gathering of Neighbors

That’s just one of the young performers from Youngstown Arts Center who drew a cheering crowd in the Chief Sealth/Boren cafeteria during today’s Gathering of Neighbors; just feet away, we had a ringside seat for the dancers, rappers, poets, and other performers, including the Inner City Ensemble:

What today’s event was truly about was the people. The people who came to find out more about West Seattle organizations and businesses – and the people who are busy making this an incredible community to call home – people like Chief Sealth students Sara Schendel and Sam Westler:

They are two of the students who’ve been working for months with Cooper Elementary students on a project in the adjoining greenbelt; they’re now working outdoors just about every weekend and are inviting you to join their next work party – 10 am-2 pm next Saturday (4/11) on the south side of Cooper. See our previous Gathering of Neighbors coverage here; we have yet more to tell you about — more great community events and news picked up during conversations today (thanks again to everyone who took the time to chat with us!) — coming up later.

Want to be part of a new West Seattle P-Patch? Deadline’s here!

From the WSB inbox, an update on the P-Patch plan in The Junction, and the above photo, with a call for action RIGHT NOW, if you are interested:

Friends of West Seattle Genesee P-Patch

Urgent! We need your help now! West Seattle has been an under-served community for p-patches, and in recent years has lost two of them. There are currently more than 100 West Seattle residents on a wait list for a p-patch plot. There are also no city-run p-patches north of SW Edmunds St. Here is a great opportunity for West Seattlites to come together and volunteer to help local residents in need of a plot. Currently, West Seattle p-patchers must seek sites outside of our area. We are looking for volunteers for the following tasks, especially if you already have the tools and know-how:

Demo a small section of concrete sidewalk and reclaim a few more square feet of garden space.

Build a hogwire fence (we will secure the materials).Haul away shrubs and brush in your truck.General labor such as digging, tilling, and taking out shrubs, brush, and 3 trees.

If you have a group of young ones that you can lead in making garden stepping stones or would like to build short sections of picket fence panels, I want to hear from you!

This is the final weekend before the opportunity for you to contribute to your community through this project closes. Please contact me as soon as possible at or call me at 206-280-5015. Aaron, Genesee P-Patch coordinator.

Crash at 35th SW/Marine View Drive

Checked out a “medic response, 6 per” call to 35th SW/Marine View Drive (map) – just one vehicle left at the scene and no traffic trouble, but we then got a note with more to the story: Apparently a bicyclist was involved in the collision too and was taken to the hospital. We’ll let you know if/when we are able to find out more.

Gathering of Neighbors updates: Council leaders, and more

City Council President Richard Conlin has just spoken to the crowd that’s here in the cafeteria with us and some of the other participants at the Gathering of Neighbors (music and treats are back here too, all free) — the photo above is from a few minutes earlier, when he stopped to talk with Highland Park Action Committee leaders including chair Dan Mullins (left) – all the fun here is continuing till 3 pm at Chief Sealth @ Boren. Also from the HPAC booth – a collage display that Dina Johnson put together:

Lots of other neighborhood groups here too – we spoke with Andrew Mead of the High Point Neighborhood Association, Cindi Barker and Chas Redmond from the Morgan Community Association, we’ve also seen Matthew Slye with the Admiral Neighborhood Association, and Junction Plaza Park (where we chatted with Junction Neighborhood Organization president Erica Karlovits – they’ll be at the Farmers’ Market again tomorrow too – pledges of volunteer help are going well, now it’s time to chip in a few dollars to make the park happen):

We have talked to so many other cool people who are here – Larry Carpenter of the Alki Community Council just stopped by, the city’s Neighborhood Service Center reps Stan Lock (based in The Junction) and Ron Angeles (based in Delridge) are here, as are the Southwest Precinct’s Community Police Team officers – we’ve seen Officers Adonis Topacio and Ralph Wilson so far. Music is big here too – we’re next to the Glee Club, and Toni Reineke with Westside Symphonette has a table in the hallway:

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce organized this along with Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) so they’re here in force too – stop by the Chamber’s table and get one of their West Seattle Community Resource Guides:

Be sure to fill out the survey too; there’s a dropbox on our table. Also just dropping by: County Council Chair (and Executive candidate) Dow Constantine, who you will see emcee’ing the King County Water Taxi kickoff tomorrow at Seacrest, noon-2 pm (don’t forget the fireboat Leschi will be there at 12:45 – weather’s looking good so far).

1:32 PM UPDATE: Still an hour and a half to get down here to the Gathering of Neighbors. Music and food here in the cafeteria – lots of giveaways along the way – at the Stor-More (WSB sponsor), among other places:

Other WSB sponsors here include Ventana Construction (which is having another one of its free workshops next week):

Eagle Electric, too:

And Fitness Together:

We’ve picked up a few more stories along the way and will publish them in a bit – it’s 3 pm now, time to fold up and head back to HQ.

From the Gathering: Two updates – paving and parks

April 4, 2009 11:39 am
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 |   Gathering of Neighbors | Transportation | West Seattle parks

From the Gathering of Neighbors (continuing till 3 pm at Chief Sealth @ Boren, find us in the cafeteria, where free food’s available too!), where so many of the people we talk to often for WSB news stories are also here:

FAUNTLEROY PAVING UPDATE: Jessica Murphy from SDOT just stopped by our table. We asked if there’s word yet on whether the Fauntleroy Way paving project will stretch past California (see our previous report) – she says the bid was awarded a week ago and it WILL cover the full stretch, all the way to SW Holly. She’s here with updated flyers.

PARKS LEVY COMMITTEE UPDATE: Pigeon Point’s Pete Spalding (above with wife Kerry Hughes) is here too, on behalf of the PP Neighborhood Council; he is one of three West Seattleites on the new committee overseeing how the money from last fall’s Parks Levy will be spent, and he tells us there will be a series of four public meetings citywide next month to get your thoughts on how to use the levy’s “Opportunity Fund” — dates aren’t set yet but will be soon, and he says one WILL be in West Seattle. So if there’s a park project you’d like to see happen (the Delridge Skatepark would be one proposal, since money to build it got cut out of this year’s budget)

More to come – including photos from the event!

Where to find us at Gathering of Neighbors

April 4, 2009 10:21 am
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 |   Gathering of Neighbors

Once you come in the doors of Chief Sealth @ Boren, be sure to follow the signs to the cafeteria. Lots of great people to see and meet along the way – we’re in the cafeteria (where some special events will be happening too) – once you enter the cafeteria, we’re on the left side, red-covered table, two laptops, right next to the Seattle Glee Club. (Free food, music, and other special events will be happening in here too – it’s a little crowded in the hallway but make your way back here and find the fun.) Already had our first today-only-discount West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day signup and the event hasn’t even officially started yet! See you here. (We’ll post some in-progress reports as the event unfolds, too.) 11:25 AM UPDATE: Not even half an hour in, and we’ve already had four signups, including two groups!

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2009 signups begin!

garagesaledaysmalllog5.jpgCome see us at the Gathering of Neighbors (11 am-3 pm, Chief Sealth @ Boren) for a special one-day, in-person discounted signup fee, or sign up online right now by going here. Garage Sale Day isn’t one big sale, but many sales all over West Seattle, big and small, all brought together on one map, promoted around the region by your friendly neighborhood WSB team — it’ll be the 5th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, our second year coordinating it. Saturday 5/9/09, 9 am-3 pm, is the big day. If you don’t have a place to sell your own stuff, by the way, get in touch with Lora @ Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) – she’s going to open her courtyard as a group-sale spot (and if anyone else is interested in doing that, please contact us to coordinate – Contests this year too – still finalizing the details (last year we had “best sign” and “most unusual sale item”) and prizes. Five weeks from today, mark your calendar, sign up now … last year we had more than 145 sales, but remember, there are 60,000 people in West Seattle, hundreds of thousands of more in the city limits, plenty of shoppers to go around! (Hope to see you at Gathering of Neighbors even if you’re NOT signing up … full participant list here.)

Got gardenable land? Need some? Urban Land Army needs YOU!

Let no potential garden go ungardened! Gatewood gardener Sandy from Urban Land Army sends word of the new project Land Link, which is looking for YOU: To contact us with questions:

Sandy adds, “I will also be starting a series on the Urban Land Army blog next week called ‘Grow It Yourself: The First Season.’ From my Gatewood test garden, I’ll walk people through how to grow 5 vegetables and 5 herbs – from ripping out the lawn to seeding and harvesting and preserving. Complete with photos, video, and fun reading!”

Details: Conner project Design Review #4, and the reason for #5

(from left, DPD’s Michael Dorcy, board members Vlad Oustimovitch, Christie Coxley, Deb Barker, Joe Hurley, David Foster [standing])
Thursday night, after a 3 1/2-hour meeting of the Southwest Design Review Board — the fourth on the Conner Homes two-building California/Alaska/42nd project — ended with a decision to have a fifth meeting, we published a quick summary. What follows here is the long version — who said what and why, and what that fifth meeting is for.

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

That mockup from one of the previous meetings on the Conner project — in which participants took the basic mass of the western building and imagined some different form and flair — is part of the reason why Design Review Board members want architects to come back one more time: This building, particularly its uppermost section, still doesn’t resemble what they’re hoping to see at the most prominent corner of the business district that is the heart of West Seattle.

Thursday night’s three-and-a-half-hour meeting settled the other remaining major issues, including whether that building would keep its residential entry on California as proposed and would keep its parking-garage entry/exit on 42nd as proposed (answer to both: yes).

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