day : 06/03/2010 11 results

Fairmount Ravine cleanup: “Camp” cleared; unusual discoveries

Those are most of the 20 volunteers who teamed up for the 18th annual Fairmount Ravine cleanup under this morning (a few had to leave before they wrapped around 11 am, when we dropped by). As usual, volunteers cut and pulled piles of ivy away from trees – the ivy is what you DON’T see on the trees in this photo:

And they picked up what amounted to a hill of trash:

The cart you see in that photo was apparently used by people who had been camping under the bridge, according to cleanup organizer John Lang. He spotted signs of the encampment earlier in the week – including a dog – and asked police to make sure the area was clear before the cleanup. He says they found dozens of cans of dog food while cleaning up today, and planned to take it to the West Seattle Food Bank (which offers pet food to clients with pets, when available). By the way, today’s volunteers included a group of high-school students – from West Seattle HS, Kennedy and O’Dea.

Update: Fireworks over Elliott Bay – for Farmers Insurance event

(photo added 9:33 pm – see explanation below)
ORIGINAL 8:44 PM NOTE: First we got various reports of noise in the Admiral District that sounded like fireworks. Apparently there are fireworks over Elliott Bay off the downtown waterfront. Trying to find out why!

8:58 PM: A brief report of a possible reason, turned out to be somebody’s joke. The Local Notice to Mariners issued by the Coast Guard mentions Farmers Insurance‘s 100th anniversary as an Elliott Bay event – but we can’t find any link to fireworks – so that might not be it – still checking!

9 PM: Via Twitter, KIRO confirms it’s the Farmers’ Insurance party. They are apparently celebrating at the Space Needle – which would have a great view of the bay!

9:15 PM: For our fellow info-geeks, here’s the aforementioned “Local Notice to Mariners.” Note that it mentions the Farmers Insurance party and a narrow evening time window, but doesn’t specify fireworks. Citywide media did not get advance alert, either, in case you were wondering.

9:33 PM UPDATE: Adding a photo e-mailed to us by Emory E.; accompanying note says Emory is 13 and took the photo from Hamilton Viewpoint. Meantime, THANKS AGAIN to everyone who sent word of this while it was happening – phone, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook. That’s why we had something up fast – when YOU share word of something like this happening, that helps inform others who are wondering too – we didn’t hear/see it ourselves because HQ is in south WS. Here are all the ways to reach us, 24/7.

10:12 PM: One note for absolute clarity: Per the news release we found, this is Farmers New World Life Insurance celebrating its centennial – not the entire Farmers Insurance Group, which acquired Mercer Island-headquartered New World Life in the ’50s.

1:10 PM: Found out from a citywide-media friend that one website has turned up with an advance mention of the fireworks: City of Seattle Special Events. We’re linking it to the list of calendars at the bottom of the WSB Events calendar so we will be able to check it regularly ourselves!

Camp Long’s list of March programs

March 6, 2010 5:37 pm
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 |   Announcements

From Sheila Brown at Camp Long – the list of March program highlights:

Nature Programs – Animals

Explore the wonderful animal life all around us. Fascinating facts and features of animal life whether crawling, swimming, flying or walking.

Salamander Search
Ages 1 and older
Search in the pond and under logs in the woods for both our Long-toed and Northwestern Salamanders. Also Red-backed and Ensatina salamanders. Beetles, slugs and other critters will be found too! Please register by March 19
Instructor: Stewart Wechsler
Course #49145 March 20 Sat 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Adult Fee $8.00, Child Fee $6.00

Camp Long Owl Hoot
Ages 4 and older
Join us for a dusk-to-dark owl prowl through Camp Long’s woodland. Early winter is courtship time! Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. Please pre-register by March 19/10
#49137 March 20 Sat 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Adult Fee $8.00, Child Fee $6.00


Third Saturday Free Walks in SouthEast Seattle
Ages 1 and older

Why would anyone call a park a dead horse? When you learn the history of this incredible place you will understand. Wear shoes that can get muddy and bring your binoculars! Find out how you can help keep this place and advocate for our finned friends, the Coho.
Location: Lakeridge Park
Course #50816 March 20 Sat 2 – 4 p.m.
Activity Fee $0.00


Third Saturday Free Walks in SouthWest Seattle
Ages 1 and older

The Swamp Lanterns should be poking their heads out from their loooong winter’s rest. Don’t miss the first wildflower of spring! Enjoy the sight and SCENT of bright yellow “Swamp Lanterns” in one of the best kept secret hiking spaces in West Seattle.
Location: Fauntleroy Park
Course #50821 March 20 Sat 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Activity Fee $0.00

Nature Walks – Preschool/Tots
Immerse young ones in the great outdoors and let them explore the wonders of nature. Most classes require adult participation.

Spring is Here! (2-3yrs)
Ages 2 – 3
Adults, explore the wonders of nature with your Tots. Discover life in the pond, forest, field and meet new friends. Please arrive 10 minutes before class time and wear weatherproof clothing. Up to two children can be registered with one adult. No strollers please. $7.00 for one adult with one child. $3.50 for each additional person. Pre-registration required by March 11.
Location: Outdoor Space – North of Colman Pool
Course #49149 March 16 Tue 10 – 11 a.m.
Activity Fee $7.00

Volunteer Opportunity
Camp Long Third Saturday Work Parties FREE
All ages, families
Leave your family legacy at Camp Long by helping to restore a patch of native habitat in the park, building trails or maintaining amenities. Make some new friends while preserving a future for ourselves and native plants and animals. Register by calling 423-0762.
March 20 Sat 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

West Seattle weather: “Chance of snow” in the forecast – really!

(March 7, 2009, photo by Pam from Nerd’s Eye View)
Didn’t believe it till we saw it in the National Weather Service city forecast – Monday night and Tuesday morning might bring some snow. Might not have been so double-take-worthy if not for the almost-summerish weather today – but flashing back to a year ago, we did have a snowy Saturday on March 7, 2009. Snow or not, it’s definitely supposed to be cooler and stormy early next week (as the “forecast discussion” elaborates).

“Jason McKissack Act” finalized in Legislature, goes to governor

Two days after the State Senate passed it, the State House has unanimously “concurred” on changes the Senate made, and so the “Jason McKissack Act” – guaranteeing health benefits for catastrophically injured public-safety personnel like the former West Seattle officer – now goes to the governor. (That tip – and lots of previous info on this story – came from law-enforcement advocate Renee Maher, profiled in this Seattle Times [WSB citywide-news partners] story today).

Go see the stars! West Seattle stargazing party planned tonight

Just got word from Alice Enevoldsen that since it’s turned out to be such a beautiful, clear day, she’s going to be at Solstice Park tonight for anybody interested in stargazing. Full details on her Alice’s Astro Info site.

Kayakers help rescue sailboater off Alki Point

Thanks to Mark Ahlness for sharing photos of, and info about, the “water rescue” call off Alki Point earlier this afternoon. He wrote, “Shortly after noon on March 6 we spotted a guy in a small swamped sailboat being towed to shore, just south of the Alki Lighthouse … Coast Guard, Seattle police boat also responded, but it was the couple in the kayak that got him in. Medic crews were waiting on land.” The photo above shows the police boat approaching (USCG was out of the picture to the south) as the boat was being towed; this one shows everybody safely on shore:

West Seattle scenes: Eagles; blossoms; more Water Taxi dock pix

Another double-eagle sighting! This time, in Arbor Heights. Thanks to John for the photo from 104th/California. Then from SW Dawson … Nick sends a photo so full of cherry blossoms, they take up the whole frame:

And while we were out enjoying the sun, we stopped by Seacrest for more of a look at the newly complete King County Water Taxi dock, after getting Alki Kayak Tours‘ photo of the “finger piers” yesterday. Here’s a look down the ramp to the dock:

Then a view of the full dock:

And the gangway that’ll take you to the boat, which will pull up perpendicular to the dock (and can be boarded from either side) rather than nosing in alongside, as in years past:

Less than a month now till opening day, Monday 4/5.

Honk Fest West: Street party ahead – plus, seeking more venues

March 6, 2010 12:18 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news

That’s one of many videos you can find on YouTube from last year’s Honk Fest West – which didn’t include West Seattle, but this year, as previously reported, it will. Just heard from organizer David Stern, who says more than 20 marching bands will be in The Junction for Honk Fest West on April 11th (other parts of the city earlier in the weekend). They’ve got a permit to shut down California SW that day between Alaska and Oregon, he says, and while bands will play in the closed-to-traffic street, they’re also still looking for other places the bands can perform – if you have a suggestion, please e-mail

West Seattle’s “Walking on Logs”: Time to step up and help

Just about a week ago, before Girl Scout Cookie sales kicked off, we took that photo a local troop decorating the Walking on Logs sculptures at the Fauntleroy end of the West Seattle Bridge and picking up trash around them. This “gateway to West Seattle” area needs more help, on a more regular basis. You may not be aware that its upkeep has been largely a labor of love for one longtime West Seattleite who has given so much to the community over the decades – and now needs to pass on the torch, or in this case, the broom, the grabbers, etc. Good news is, an organized effort is about to be born – here’s the announcement from Nancy Driver:

Are you a fan of Walking on Logs? Are you interested in helping to maintain and preserve this West Seattle welcome symbol? If so, please join us at a meeting on Tuesday, March 23rd, 5:30 p.m. at the meeting room at the High Point branch library at 3411 SW Raymond Street (intersection of SW Raymond and 35th Avenue SW).

The statues and surround have been maintained for the past decade or more by local hero Earl Cruzen. Earl is 89 now and it’s time for others to take over upkeep of the statues and the grounds directly surrounding them.

The purpose of our meeting is to begin the process of creating a feasible long-term solution for upkeep of the statues and the landscaping in the area immediately surrounding them. If you are seriously interested in helping find and create a solution and have time and/or resources to contribute, please join us at the meeting. We hope not only individuals, but community groups (particularly those groups that regularly use the statues to advertise their causes) and local businesses will join us in this endeavor.

Hope to see you there. Nancy Driver on behalf of Earl Cruzen

A year and a half ago, Nancy spearheaded a massive cleanup effort that went from Walking on Logs up to the 35th/Fauntleroy end of The Bridge – Earl was honored with a plaque that day – here’s the wrapup report on that huge effort. But more-regular commitments would reduce the need to organize something that massive. So the High Point Library (map) is the place to be at 5:30 pm Tuesday, March 23.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Parcel-protection reminder

From Cari:

I live in the Westwood neighborhood and wanted to send a quick note to warn folks who order merchandise from online retailers like Sometimes, when you select standard shipping options, you don’t get a signature option…so the package is left on your front steps. And, sometimes, someone else helps his or herself to your stuff. I had a package stolen (Wednesday) between 1:30 and 4:30 from my front doorstep, and now instead of the stuff I have been eagerly waiting for, I have a police report number. Just wanted to get the word out to remind folks to be careful – and keep a look out. For me, that meant monitoring my tracking info…and while I missed the delivery by a few hours, I never expected it to be stolen so quickly.