day : 13/07/2009 12 results

WSB exclusive: Hundreds of waterproofing leaks found at Myrtle, Beacon Reservoirs; “membranes” now being dug up and redone

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

West Seattle Blog has learned that Seattle Public Utilities has ordered waterproofing work dug up and redone at two newly covered city reservoirs — Myrtle Reservoir here in West Seattle (photo) and Beacon Hill Reservoir — because of hundreds of leaks discovered in the “membranes” applied to both projects.

To get to the membranes, the grass, dirt and “drain rock” over the reservoirs must all be removed, which is happening right now. SPU says it has not finished calculating the costs of the additional work but will front the money to the contractor until it is decided – potentially in court – who is to blame for the leaks, which SPU emphasizes do not pose any health risk.

In the case of Myrtle Reservoir, the transfer of part of the site to the Seattle Parks Department, for construction of a park on the newly created open space has been delayed a year already — we reported delays here and here — in June of last year, in fact, the site was seeded, the same month we were told “final acceptance testing” was planned.

Now, though, SPU says that because the waterproofing is being redone, the transfer to Parks may not happen before the end of November.

The waterproofing problems recently came to our attention because of questions from neighbors who live near Myrtle Reservoir. Several e-mailed WSB in the past week to ask why the Myrtle site was being “dug up again.” Today, SPU spokesperson Andy Ryan confirmed the problem to WSB and provided more information on what happened, how it was discovered, what’s being done and what happens next. (We also have spoken with another SPU manager and with the state Health Department.)

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West Seattle Summer Movies on the Wall season starts Saturday!

That’s the trailer for “The Princess Bride,” which kicks off the West Seattle Summer Outdoor Movies on the Wall series (co-sponsored by WSB) this Saturday night in the courtyard between Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) and Dr. Wolff. Bring your own chair/blanket and a few dollars for concessions and the raffle, all benefiting nonprofits, but otherwise, this movie and the five that follow are FREE! This 1st showing is sponsored by Dr. Wolff, Dr. Horowitz, Lady Di Pet Chaperone (WSB sponsor), Hands to Paws Animal Massage and Dream Dinners (WSB sponsor), which is serving Barbecue Pork Sliders before the movie and providing a $100 gift certificate for the raffle. Also: BACHELORS STILL NEEDED! Each movie this summer has a pre-show activity and this Saturday it’s a Dating Game – two more bachelors needed to play along with bachelorette Kerry (originally explained here). Movie starts at dusk – you’re welcome to come early and stake out your spot, enjoy concessions and meeting your neighbors. Full movie-series lineup here!

Traffic alert: Lower Spokane St. detour at night this week

If you will be using lower Spokane Street 7 pm-5 am for any or all of the next five nights, note that the westbound traffic will be detoured into the currently closed eastbound lanes between 1st and 2nd (map) because of utility work related to the ongoing construction project. Police will direct traffic. SDOT adds, “Eastbound local access between 1st and 2nd will continue to be provided as needed.”

Followup: City Council unanimously passes bridge resolution

(Seattle Municipal Archives photo of The Bridge while it was being built)
As previewed here last week, the City Council voted today on a resolution to give the West Seattle Bridge a “secondary name” in honor of the late City Councilmember Jeanette Williams, who fought to get key funding for its construction. Thanks to Brian Hawksford in the office of City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – who worked for and with Ms. Williams for many years and sponsored today’s resolution – for confirming it passed unanimously, 9-0. Williams’ son Rusty Williams, who is running for City Council this year, thanked the council for honoring his mom. Also today, a proclamation was read in honor of tomorrow’s 25th anniversary of the opening of the high bridge, six years after a freighter smashed into and shut down the drawbridge that preceded it. Read on for the full text:Read More

Election 2009: Hunter says he’d kill West Seattle’s Water Taxi run

State Rep. Ross Hunter is the second candidate in a week to include changes to King County Water Taxi plans as part of a proposal for what he would do if elected King County Executive. Last week, State Sen. Fred Jarrett said he would scuttle plans to expand Water Taxi operations; today, according to West Seattleite Mike Seely writing in the Daily Weekly, Hunter says he would drop the West Seattle-downtown run altogether. Here’s the story. (Hunter and Jarrett are running for the open seat against Water Taxi champion and King County Council Chair Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Larry Phillips, former TV anchor Susan Hutchison and three others; the August 18th primary election will narrow the field to two – could be any two, since it’s now a nonpartisan office. Follow the links here to find out more about all the candidates.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Playground purse-snatching reported

Out of the WSB inbox, Jennifer reports a theft at the Gatewood Elementary playground around 11:30 this morning – read on for her report:Read More

Reminder: Fauntleroy Way road work just revved up again

Quoting one driver’s frustrated note a short time ago on Twitter, “Seven minutes to get through Fauntleroy and California!” (map) That’s because as previewed last week, the Fauntleroy Way road-rebuilding work has revved up again today. At the aforementioned intersection, this means traffic’s down to 1 lane each way, and it also means you can’t use the north entrance to West Seattle Thriftway during work hours:

(The store’s west and east entrances are open as usual.) As per the city bulletin from last week, grinding work is also happening on the eastbound lanes further north along the road-rebuilding stretch, which runs all the way to SW Edmunds. The official city project-info/overview/updates page is here; the project is expected to continue into October, but the Fauntleroy/California work that started up again today is supposed to be done by the end of the week, “weather permitting,” per SDOT.

Michelle Babb, MS, RD: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor

July 13, 2009 12:15 pm
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 |   Health | West Seattle businesses | West Seattle online

Today we’re welcoming a new sponsor, Michelle Babb, MS, RD, a Bastyr graduate and adjunct professor who consults on finding optimum health by improving nutrition. New sponsors are always offered the chance to share information with you regarding what they do; Michelle says, “Clients seek me out because they’re looking to change their lifestyle to address their health issues and restore vitality. They’re often very frustrated and worn out with traditional methods for weight loss and disease prevention, and they don’t know where to turn. Most people need a little information and a lot of motivation. I encourage them to make small, but meaningful changes and build up to an optimal diet and I provide support every step of the way. I also use therapeutic diets when warranted, and my patients commonly report feeling better than they have in years. Once they start seeing and feeling the results of restoring balance to the body through good nutrition, exercise and relaxation, that becomes its own motivation.” Michelle says that if you’ve been trying to lose weight or have been diagnosed with a digestive problem, she can work with you to find the right foods. She’s also in touch with naturopaths, medical doctors, acupuncturists and chiropractors to create a whole plan for better nutrition and health. Find Michelle Babb, MS, RD, online at We welcome her to the WSB sponsor lineup, listed in full here along with information on how to become part of it.

Next step in “Soundway” land transfer: Hearing date set

We’ve been reporting on the process of transferring the “Soundway” property in the West Duwamish Greenbelt to the city Parks Department, long after the site (32 acres that are mostly south of South Seattle Community College) was platted into streets that were never built. Almost a month after the Seattle Design Commission gave its blessing to the plan (which they have to do with all “street vacation” proposals), today’s Land Use Information Bulletin confirms that a public hearing is now set before the City Council Transportation Committee: 9:30 am August 4th. The council must give final approval before the status of this land can be changed from “public right-of-way” for potential roads. Once that happens, it will be leased (explained in our June report) to the West Seattle-based Nature Consortium, which works on forest restoration in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. (If you can’t be at the hearing, the public notice explains how to comment by e-mail or postal mail.) P.S. For a closeup look at part of this site, take the Nature Consortium’s free guided hike this Friday, 1 pm (RSVP to or 206.923.0853).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car break-in, with an aftermath tip

Out of the WSB inbox a little while ago, from Kara, a car break-in report that ends with a tip we haven’t heard before – read on:Read More

Another Seafair “invasion”: West Seattleites’ Green Lake win

On the same day the Seafair Pirates stormed Alki (WSB coverage with video here), two West Seattle families were storming Green Lake for a prize-winning appearance in the Seafair Milk Carton Derby. We got the word late Sunday night from Admiral resident Sherri Chun, who also shared photos:

Here we are – West Seattle’s entry in the Seafair Milk Carton Derby on Green Lake, and winner of the Seattle’s Child award for best family boat. I don’t know if there were others, but we officially represented West Seattle’s finest milk cartons! Alki Mail and Dispatch was our unofficial sponsor, contributing hundreds of milk cartons to the effort, along with numerous other West Seattle families.

We are officially the Zarkowski and Scholten families. On the boat are Corey Zarkowski, Oscar Scholten, me, and Weston Scholten. The second picture is the night before the race – all loaded up and ready to go (Roger Scholten, Zelma Zieman, Sherri, and Paul Zarkowski).

Here’s that second photo:

Full Milk Carton Derby results are here. This is the second weekend Sherri has made news – she is also organizer of the Admiral 4th of July Kids’ Parade (WSB coverage, with video, here). Regarding that event, we asked her if the donation drive in conjunction with this year’s parade and postparade activities brought in enough to ensure they’ll continue next year — she replied, “We did GREAT on donations for the Admiral Kids 4th of July Parade, so yes, there will be a parade next year! A big THANK YOU to the community for making it happen!”

Rolling through West Seattle (& beyond) for Tour de Watertower

July 13, 2009 1:32 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | Transportation | West Seattle news

While most of West Seattle’s attention was on Summer Fest and/or the rain for most of Sunday, another event spun through the peninsula: Tour de Watertower, with a route including two of West Seattle’s water towers. Gatewood bicyclist Tom Furtwangler, who writes the new-ish site, shared photos and a report:

I stopped by my local water tower at High Point [Myrtle Reservoir] to catch some of the Tour de Watertower bicycle racers as they came past their first stop.

Tour de Watertower is an urban bike race organized by Go Means Go. While ten thousand cyclists (were) on their way to Portland in the STP this weekend, (Sunday)’s water-tower race was a more modest affair, with 25 registrants running a 33-mile urban course that includes seven water towers. Racers started from Capitol Hill in two-minute intervals to race the clock around the course. The first two stops were in West Seattle at High Point and Charlestown.

Minding the High Point stop was West Seattle artist Karl Addison, and as we chatted between racers, we agreed we were impressed with the diversity of cyclists attracted to this event. Then I cycled down to Morgan Thriftway and back up the hill and was grateful I wasn’t racing around to six more water towers!

Tom also shared this Google map link for all the stops. The results are published on Go Means Go – 22 of the 25 registrants finished, in times ranging from 2 hours, 19 minutes, to 3 hours, 42 minutes.