West Seattle, Washington
As reported here in March, that city-owned parcel at Manning and Admiral just north of The Bridge, known for its big sequoia, is no longer proposed to be sold off as surplus property – City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen helped facilitate a deal for the Parks Department to take it over. As he mentioned when first announcing that, a public meeting will provide your big chance to have a say in what happens to it and what you’d like to see done with it – and that meeting is set for next Tuesday, 7 pm, Hiawatha Community Center. The city originally bought the 14,400-square-foot site as bridge right-of-way in 1961.
The daily update from King County Public Health came in a little while ago, so for everyone following the saga, the latest is: Six more potential cases, one of which was already suspected – three from Seattle: a 12-year-old and 14-year-old who haven’t been hospitalized, and an 80-year-old who has been, but is now out of the hospital. Read on for more details in the official news release:Read More
WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli took an amazing flight today and is sharing that video as well as photos and a story – he says you might have heard the rumbling since the plane was flying over this area too:
Photos and story by Christopher Boffoli
The large vintage plane you might see over the skies of West Seattle this weekend is a newly restored World War II era B-17 “Flying Fortress” named the Liberty Belle. The bomber will be making flights through the weekend from Boeing Field and can be seen up close behind the Museum of Flight.
These Boeing-designed planes were best known for their bombing runs from England to Germany throughout the War and were famous for their ability to withstand damage from both enemy fighters and from flak guns on the ground and yet continue to fly. Still, the bombing runs were incredibly dangerous. Of the 12,731 B-17s built, exactly 8,007 were lost in combat and almost 25,000 airmen died.
Casualty figures were extremely high during the first few years of the War, until the Allies eventually were able to design longer-range fighter escorts to protect the planes from the Luftwaffe. By studying B-17s that crash-landed, the Germans were able to learn how to exploit the weaknesses of the aircraft. But the sheer number of successful bombing missions by Flying Fortresses had a devastating effect on the German war machine.
The crews of the B-17s were able to defend themselves with .50 caliber machine guns mounted at several positions on the aircraft, including a tail gunner and a man in a turret on the belly of the fuselage. The planes were not pressurized and the long flights could be very loud and cold. The airmen wore electric flight suits to keep warm in temperature that could reach 50 below. Some crew members were killed when their oxygen tanks froze at high elevation. The name Flying Fortress was apparently coined by a Seattle Times reporter in the early 40’s. The moniker caught on and Boeing eventually copyrighted it.
The B-17 in town this weekend, the Liberty Belle, was built in 1945 in Burbank, California under contract by the Vega Aircraft Corporation, a part of Lockheed. Because it was completed at the end of the War, this B-17 never saw combat. It was initially sold for scrap but was rescued by a collector who then sold it to engine maker Pratt & Whitney which used it for many years to test engines. It was eventually sold to private collectors, changing hands a number of times over the years. While on display at an air museum in the 1970’s it was damaged by a tornado. The current owner spent more than $5 million meticulously restoring the B-17 to flight condition. Fewer than a dozen B-17s are still airworthy.
Much of the aircraft is in original condition, through some modern avionics and navigation equipment has been added. The Liberty Belle was actually flown to England last year, following the same route and landing at the airfields used by the B-17’s during the War.
The story of Christopher’s flight, ahead:Read More
Not quite parade weather right now but at least these marchers have hats! If you saw them in the north end of The Junction about an hour ago – but didn’t know what they were there for – maybe you missed the listing in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup, where we mentioned the Body Bar day spa’s first-anniversary bash, east side of California just north of Genesee. The party kicked off with Ingraham High School’s Drum Line, photographed by Lora Lewis from Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor), which was on the “parade route” toward the Body Bar:
The Body Bar party’s continuing till 8 pm, with food, beverages, music, and free chair massages.
Just posted at partner site White Center Now, the latest on the church cat that survived a vicious attack.
UPDATE – If you’re looking at this on Sunday, we’ve got a short update in our Sustainable West Seattle Festival running coverage – see that here
Update on the Skillet saga: Bil Hood at Seattle Lutheran High School just told WSB that the school will let Skillet Street Food try their parking lot (on the northeast edge of The Junction, 41st and Genesee; map) tomorrow, and Skillet’s agreed. If you’re just joining this saga now – Skillet takes its Airstream trailer to neighborhoods around the city to cook, sell and serve semi-gourmet food, and announced a few weeks back that it wanted to come to West Seattle for a few hours on Sundays. A parking spot near the West Seattle Farmers’ Market was announced, then rescinded. Skillet wound up making its West Seattle debut in the courtyard near Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) last Sunday, with what proprietor Josh Henderson described as its most successful opening day ever; then on Thursday, Hotwire’s Lora Lewis announced that her landlord had rescinded permission for Skillet to be there. SLHS then made contact with Skillet, and they’ve agreed to give it a try tomorrow. One important note from SLHS: You won’t be able to park IN the lot – so walk up as a side trip from your Sunday visit to the rest of The Junction, where the Sustainable West Seattle Festival will be under way 10 am-3 pm tomorrow in addition to the Farmers’ Market 10 am-2 pm.
9 am-3 pm next Saturday, May 9th, it’s the fifth annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day (second year WSB has coordinated it; it was created by a now-defunct nonprofit community group, Megawatt, which organized it the first three years). Mapmaking is in its final throes as we speak – some copies will be available at the WSB table near the main stage at tomorrow’s Sustainable West Seattle Festival, and then it’ll be available online for you to view/print no later than Monday morning) and it looks like the unofficial final count is 183 SALES! Soon as we get that map done, we’ll talk more about the highlights and specifics. Remember there are contests — with prizes! — again this year, for “most unusual item” and “most creative sign,” but you will have to send us your photo(s) afterward to enter (email@example.com). Help get the word out: Print this poster and tack it up at work, school, telephone pole. We’ve distributed some but the more the merrier!
Eric Shalit sent us this photo late last night; things were a little busy then but we want to share it now. It’s his son Max Shalitmontagne and date Fiona, “heading off to the Garfield High School Senior Prom … on a tandem bike (courtesy of Aaron¹s Bike Repair).” They rode from West Seattle to Pacific Science Center for the occasion. Eric adds, “Max is 100% car-free by choice. He rides about 200 miles a week, commuting and having fun. Max loves cycling!”
(photo added 10:47 am from Furry Faces hanging-basket sale, courtesy Lora at Hotwire, who notes Teri from Furry Faces has two canopies to keep shoppers/basketmakers dry!)
They include fundraising rummage sales for West Seattle Montessori School (WSB sponsor; sale is at the nearby American Legion Hall) and Arbor Heights Elementary, a barbecue at West Seattle Thriftway to raise money to fight breast cancer, Furry Faces Foundation‘s hanging-basket plant sale in the Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) courtyard to benefit animal rescue, the Rainbow Girls‘ car wash at White Center Albertson’s, and the West Seattle Lions Club‘s sock hop at the Seattle Lutheran High School gym to benefit a scholarship fund. More information on all those events – and what else is happening today/tonight – click here to jump directly to the Saturday section of the West Seattle Weekend Lineup.