West Seattle, Washington
(February 2008 photo by Jim Clark)
Guy Smith of Alki Point has been watching brant geese come and go since he moved there in 1993. His personal observations together with source data from Ducks Unlimited (DU), Washington Brant Foundation, and Audubon field guides have led to the following story. Guy knows that his perspective is weighted toward Alki Point and he apologizes to those readers whose favorite brant watching beaches are not recognized by name in the story.
By Guy Smith
Special to West Seattle Blog
Sometime during the week of Thanksgiving this year, as happens every year, you should see the first of “our” brant geese return from their nesting grounds in the Arctic. Our brant will winter along Beach Drive, Alki Point, and other West Seattle tidelands before leaving again in May.
During the first week of every May, the bulk of the local brant geese population leaves the western shores of Alki bound for their breeding grounds in the Arctic. They travel with other Pacific brant, or black brant, and are nicknamed for their under-bellies which are noticeably darker than those of their Atlantic brant cousins.
These small tidewater geese of about 3 pounds hang around far past the time when you would expect them to leave, with the weather having been warmish for a long spell. But they have always waited this way.
In a Crime Watch roundup on Tuesday, we included Stephanie‘s note about husband Patrick‘s stolen van. Tonight, she sends word it was found:
2 friends of ours called this morning to say they were travelling south on Hwy 99 and think they saw Patrick’s stolen van. We went down there; sure enough, there it was on the side of the road. They left a handwritten note on the washers “Out of Gas”. We still had to have it towed because the ignition was messed up when they hotwired it. So glad we put the word out. I hope they had to walk in the rain.
To get any closer to the winemaking process than this, you’d have to go tour Chelan, Napa or Sonoma: Right at the award-winning Northwest Wine Academy in the center of the South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) campus, there’s a Pre-Thanksgiving Wine Tasting and Sale event under way right now (till 8 pm). Lots of visitors (and buyers) when we visited just before 6 – and along with bottles of student-made, award-winning wine, they’re selling gift baskets too:
By the way, if you’d rather relax in a quieter atmosphere, the brightly lit winemaking room in the top photo is only one of the rooms where the event’s happening – there are others, some with low lights and candles. (To find the Wine Academy, use this campus map – look for the building marked WWB; to find the campus itself, here’s a Google Map.)
The arrival of the latest School Beat e-newsletter from Seattle Public Schools provides another reminder: This year for the first time, all elementary and K-8 schools in the district are closed for the entire Thanksgiving week — parent/teacher conferences Monday-Wednesday, holiday break Thursday-Friday. In School Beat, the district says, “The new schedule will be less disruptive to student learning while also providing greater consistency and predictability for families.”
New on the market for $2,895,000 – the parcels south of The Junction that former Fauntleroy Place (Whole Foods) developers BlueStar were at one time going to develop as a residential/commercial project called Spring Hill (no relation to the renowned Junction restaurant). When we reported on foreclosure proceedings involving the site (5020-5030 California SW) back in June (second half of this story), that’s the same amount a bank was pursuing as an opening bid. Property records show Shoreline Bank owns the three parcels that comprise the site, and the listing mentions a land-use permit is pending; here are details on the originally proposed project, from its last Design Review meeting 14 months ago. More recently, part of this site was mentioned at the Fairmount Springs community crimefighting meeting we covered last month – there were complaints of transient/squatter/drug-house activity involving one of the vacant buildings long scheduled for demolition till the project stalled.
From Samantha Bowes at the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor), that photo and this update:
Today the West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA recognized its volunteers with an appreciation luncheon. By year-end, more than 1,300 people will have given more than 23,000 hours of service in programs, fundraising, and board work with the Y right here in our community. The YMCA could not serve more than 10,000 people in West Seattle & South Park if it weren’t for these incredible volunteers who give generously of their time and talent.
Pictured: Fundraising volunteer Jack Oneal, wellness program volunteer Joan De Vrieze, and fundraising volunteer Tish Hesse at today’s volunteer appreciation luncheon. (Joan will also be performing tonight with West Seattle Civic Ballet in a performance of The Dollmaker at the Fauntleroy YMCA, part of YMCA Family Programs.)
And just steps from the Fauntleroy YMCA, at Fauntleroy Church, setup for the Fauntleroy Art Show/Sale is under way right now:
That’s watercolorist Kathy Johnson from Studio by the Sound, busy setting up her booth when we stopped by a little while ago. The show/sale opens at 6:30 tonight.
The weekend before Thanksgiving is a great time to give – or to receive, if you are in need – tomorrow morning there’s a turkey/grocery giveaway at Eastridge, and local food banks are gearing up for the holiday – if you are able to give, both the West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank continue facing high demand, and if you can’t make it during the hours they’re open, look for special benefits, like the Beer Church Turkey Bowl (co-sponsored by WSB) tomorrow night – bring WS Food Bank donations, 6 pm at West Seattle Bowl. One more chance to give – the bloodmobile’s at Mars Hill in West Seattle on Sunday, all welcome – the holidays are a time when the blood supply gets dangerously low. Meantime, other weekend events include the Square 1 Books (WSB sponsor) sale and other business open houses, two puppet shows, Family Science Night, the first big holiday pancake breakfast (presented by the West Seattle Lions); final two performances of “The Diviners” by Twelfth Night Productions (WSB sponsor), native storytelling and hiphop at the Duwamish Longhouse, a free business seminar … More than 50 events/activities in all, brought to you by Skylark Cafe and Club:Read More
If you’ve been worried about H1N1 flu – a bit of good news from King County Public Health – the number of cases is on the decline. KCPH just sent a news release with the newest info – read on:Read More
The West Seattle Weekend Lineup is in the works, but first, from the WSB Events calendar (where you’ll find a long list of things happening today and beyond), three sales starting/happening today/tonight: First, day 1 of the 2-day anniversary sale at West Seattle’s independent book store Square 1 Books in Jefferson Square – 15% off everything. The doors just opened and Square 1’s open till 6 pm; sale continues tomorrow, 10 am-5:30 pm. Second, South Seattle Community College‘s increasingly renowned wine program invites you to the Pre-Thanksgiving Wine Tasting and Sale this afternoon/evening – 4-8 pm – here are full details on the wines they’re featuring (note: both Square 1 Books and SSCC are WSB sponsors). Finally, the Fauntleroy Art Show and Sale opens at 6:30 tonight at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW; more details on Facebook).
One more note from the Alki Community Council, following last night’s meeting (here’s our wrapup of other items): In time for holiday shopping … there’s another chance to buy bricks or a plaque at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, to support its maintenance fund. The announcement is shared by David Hutchinson:
As you may know, the Seattle Statue of Liberty Plaza Project disbanded as of the September 19th Time Capsule Celebration. Seattle Parks and Recreation has recently concluded an agreement with the Alki Community Council allowing the Council to sponsor the sale of additional engraved bricks and Tribute Plaques. The ACC will also be the organization working with the community to coordinate the future maintenance of the Plaza with Parks.
We are happy to announce the sale of a limited quantity of engraved bricks and Tribute Plaques. The Alki Community Council is currently working on getting a 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Code designation. At the present time however, any donations will not be tax deductible. All bricks sold will be 4 x 8 inches. A “family or individual” brick will be priced at $100, while a “business or organization” brick will cost $250. These are the same prices as in the first two sales. You can download a brick order form, a brick sale FAQ, and a catalog of standardized symbols that can be engraved on your brick by going to www.sealady.org . Funds raised by this sale will be turned over to Seattle Parks & Recreation to supplement the existing maintenance fund and used to support approved ACC-sponsored events that benefit the Plaza.
For information on ordering bricks or any related questions, please contact Eilene Hutchinson at:
For information on the available Tribute Plaques, please contact Libby Carr at:
If you are interested in more information on the Alki Community Council and its activities, please contact secretary Paul Carr at:
That’s one alternative for 4435 35th SW (map) – the proposed 100+-unit residential/12,000-sf commercial project on the Redline-and-south site – shown for the first time at Thursday night’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting, but not in the online packet. It’s the one that won the most attention – as an option that would feature a little more than 100 condos, over two stories of commercial frontage. More on the meeting ahead:Read More
The Admiral Theater invites you to help choose a free movie for the holidays. Dinah from The Admiral sends the pitch:
We would love to host a free holiday movie for our neighbors and want your suggestions! Last year we showed, the perennial favorite, A Christmas Story. Please suggest something you can’t see on TV i.e. (It’s a Wonderful Life). Maybe it’s a charming foreign Christmas film or maybe it’s Naughty Santa. The only thing we can’t do is play something that’s currently out in
the theaters. You can either e-mail me at email@example.com, or fill out a slip and put it in our Christmas box at the theater and let me know what you’d like to see on our big screen! Admission is free but we ask that you bring some needed donations for our food banks! We will announce the film the first week of December and we will show the film on Saturday, December 19th at noon!
Next time you go to the movies at The Admiral, also look for their candy contest – a suggestion box of sorts where you can suggest a type of candy you’d like to see make a comeback.