West Seattle, Washington
(photo courtesy Eilene Hutchinson)
Years of hard work — neighbors’ efforts, volunteers’ coordination — culminated in a celebration today at Alki Bathhouse, as Alki was officially certified by the National Wildlife Federation as Community Wildlife Habitat. But that’s just the beginning, as volunteer Mary Quackenbush pointed out – next, a campaign to have all of West Seattle certified – so wherever you live in West Seattle, listen up later this year for how to get involved with that. “It’s really easy,” Mary said. But in the short run – it was time for the Alki community to celebrate – including project chair Dolly Vinal:
She received the certificate from NWF representative Courtney Sullivan – listen to the hearty round of applause echoing around Alki Bathhouse:
The NWF rep explained in this video clip — with some amazing numbers — what an achievement it was for Alki to get to this point, six years after launching the project:
Before the ceremony ended, other key team members who helped make the certification reality came forward – note in the foreground, one of the Alki Wildlife Habitat Project’s special touches, gourds like those hung at Seacrest Pier for the purple martin, as coordinated by Alki Kayak Tours‘ Kara Whittaker:
Making the rest of West Seattle a wildlife habitat might not be that hard, considering that groups from all over the peninsula were represented at today’s celebration — Friends of Lincoln Park (here’s our story on one of their recent work parties) had Cathy Davis and Sharon Baker on hand:
Sharon shared a card from the Healthy Parks, Healthy You project that notes you can burn 340 calories in an hour by digging, gardening and mulching – whether at a work party (listed weekly at greenseattle.org) or in your own yard. On the flip side of the calorie count, it wouldn’t have been a party without cake – this was donated by Alki Community Council vice president Randie Stone:
City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (who chairs the council’s Parks Committee) joined the party too, receiving a certification sign for his own Alki-area property, joking that it might have been designated as wildlife habitat because he doesn’t mow enough and it just looks wild:
Next step – before that West Seattle-wide effort gets under way (likely in fall, Mary said, given the prime planting conditions then) — there’s a work party planned for next Saturday, 9 am-noon, at Seacrest, to get more mulching done on a native-plant area there that’s part of the AWHP.
Thanks to Kim and Jordan Petram of Fauntleroy for sharing these photos of a baby owl and its parents in Lincoln Park tonight – Kim says they were spotted in the trees “north of the north parking lot.”
Looking at birdweb.org – we’re thinking these are barred owls (experts, please weigh in)? Also note – Camp Long naturalists often lead owl-watching walks in Lincoln Park; check the newly issued summer brochure (registration starts Tuesday) or the online signup system SPARC for upcoming opportunities.
We have information tonight on a police response that turned some heads in the Admiral District early this afternoon. Thanks to the folks who called and e-mailed to ask about it; at the time we got those notifications, we went to check it out in person, but police were gone. However, SPD media-unit Officer Mark Jamieson looked into it for us later and says a suspect “wanted on a warrant” was spotted in the 4300 block of Admiral Way around 12:38 pm; “a foot chase ensued, and the suspect ran eastbound toward the 7-11, then witnesses thought he may have run toward the (gas) station, possibly into a laundromat. Additional officers came to the area to assist with containment, so that explains the number of cars. Suspect was located and arrested for outstanding misdemeanor warrant out of Snohomish County. It looks like he may have been caught near the Admiral Theater.”
From the sun-splashed courtyard on the north end of the South Seattle Community College campus, stretching into several rooms of the adjacent Horticulture Building, today’s first-ever West Seattle Edible Garden Fair drew hundreds to learn more about how to “grow your own groceries,” as the promotional slogan went. We visited in the final hour; organizer Aviva Furman from Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle said they’d had a great day. Same thing we heard from many participants – like Sandy Pederson from Urban Land Army:
She’s posing there in front of her Land Link map (explained here) but ULA also presented the “Bucket Brigade” container-gardening table, so popular they ran out of plants and soil, after making dozens of container gardens! Of course, urban farming isn’t just about the plants: Thinking about livestock? Even if you have a small yard, you can keep up to three goats:
Chewee and Amanda were having a bit of a food fight when we stopped by. What they eat, we were told, comes from the Seattle Urban Farm Cooperative, whose mission is “to satisfy demand for local, organic feed and supplies for urban farmers”; check them out on Facebook. Back now to the concept of growing your own: Need some help? These guys have just gone into business:
Shannon and Jason Mullett-Bowlsby are known as The Shibaguyz (on Twitter, @shibaguyz), the Lazy Locavores and the Urban Farming Project (contact info here) – not only are can they consult on your urban-farming project, they’re also having an heirloom tomato sale the next two Saturdays (May 30 and June 6; watch for more info here – more than 1,000 plants, they told us!). Now, you can’t grow plants really well without good soil, so Carrie’s hints about worm composting were invaluable:
She said keeping a worm bin, like the one in the photo, is a lot easier than you might think (here’s info). Bottom line, besides growing tastier, affordable food, edible gardening is also a matter of increased self-sufficiency – which is why it synergizes so well with the display Deb Greer and Karen Berge set up:
That’s a map of the neighborhood-gathering places around West Seattle designated just in case of major emergency. The website they maintain to get out information about West Seattle preparedness, as part of this effort we’ve been covering, is down at the moment but we’ll link it here when it’s back. (Yes, Deb and Karen are gardeners too, and were even giving out samples of organic carrot seeds.) In addition to the outdoor displays, there was a busy slate of simultaneous indoor presentations all day long (as listed here). It all wrapped up just an hour and a half ago.
The Garden Center at SSCC, by the way, adjacent to today’s fair setup, is open 11 am-3 pm every Saturday.
We promised we’d let you know as soon as we found out what last night’s helicopter-over-Alki police search (original WSB coverage here) was all about – and Seattle Police media-unit Officer Mark Jamieson has just provided details: At 2:12 am, a call came in from the 3000 block of 59th SW, where somebody saw “two males” who “hopped a fence,” followed by the sound of something crashing. A few minutes later, Seattle Public Schools security answered an alarm at nearby Alki Elementary, and then came a report that the possible suspects were seen running westbound on Stevens (just west of the school). The helicopter was available, so it, and K-9 officers, joined the search. The suspects were described as 2 white males, around 16 years old, wearing dark clothing. Around 3:05 am, the search was called off; police went back to the school and found a broken window on the south side of the school, but it hasn’t been determined yet whether entry was actually made and whether anything was taken.
It’s West Seattle’s first car show this summer — happening right now at Southwest Community Center, and a few nonmotorized vehicles are on display too:
Bluegrass band Pickled Okra is entertaining:
And for kids, there are carnival activities including a bouncy house:
This continues till 5 pm on the east and south sides of SWCC – take note there’s a track meet at adjacent Southwest Athletic Complex, so parking is a bit crunchy.
The crosses are going up on the graves at Forest Lawn (map), preparing for Memorial Day, when American Legion Post 160 presents West Seattle’s annual community service. It’s scheduled for 2 pm on the rolling hills of the cemetery. (Here’s our coverage, with video, from last year.) Crosses and flags are placed on the graves each Memorial Day weekend by volunteers including local Scouts.
That’s Colman Pool, the saltwater swimming facility on the Lincoln Park waterfront, opening today for its always-too-short summer season – it’s the first of three “pre-season weekends,” so after today/Sunday/Monday, it’ll be closed till next Saturday – full schedule here.
Other major highlights today include the first-ever West Seattle Edible Garden Fair, 9:30 am-4 pm at South Seattle Community College — here’s the full schedule; presentations start at 10 am – all FREE (and don’t forget to bring garden supplies, tools, books to recycle – scroll down here for details on that).
And on Alki, a big party to celebrate the community’s National Wildlife Federation certification as a Community Wildlife Habitat. Events and activities center around the Alki Bathhouse, 11 am-3 pm with a ceremony scheduled at 1 pm.
We were just about to post this when the police search broke, but now that it seems over, did still want to let you know about this … Thanks to the folks who e-mailed over the past few days to make sure we knew that the “next page” link at the bottom of the WSB home page wasn’t working. It broke when we tweaked some code to lay the groundwork for the new “Announced” page the other day – but it took a few nights of work to figure out why it broke, and how to fix it. All appears well now, but again, we very much appreciate the heads-up (firstname.lastname@example.org) when you notice something’s wrong – you may find trouble before we do.
ORIGINAL 2:47 AM REPORT: Heard Guardian One over our house a few minutes ago, heading north – and in fact, we’ve just received a few notes and a call that the chopper is searching over Alki, and that there’s a ground search too. Haven’t heard exactly what happened but “two white males that jumped (a) fence” are being sought, and the chopper has reported not seeing any hot spots “around the building.” The caller said she’s seeing the activity close to the Alki Tully’s. More as we get it. 2:55 AM: We should mention, for potentially a bit of reassurance, there have been no aid calls in the area, so nothing injurious related to this; we’d been listening to the scanner even before the first phone call of the chopper over Alki (plus several Twitter and Facebook reports too) and hadn’t heard anything dramatic. 3:05 AM: Sounds like Guardian One is “clearing out.” If we’re not able to get any details on the incident here in the wee hours, we’ll update – as always – whenever the details DO become available. 4:05 AM: **NOT** related that we know of, but if you’re still awake in the Alki area after all this, there’s now a fire engine responding to 62nd/Alki for a “rubbish fire” (as real-time 911 puts it). 12:19 PM UPDATE: Just got the details from SPD media officer Mark Jamieson: A break-in or attempted break-in at Alki Elementary. Will post all the details in a separate item in a few minutes. No arrests.