day : 28/03/2010 10 results

West Seattle Whale Watch: 2 more looks at Saturday’s visitor

Two more video views of the gray whale that amazed West Seattle whale-watchers on Saturday (no sightings today, although grays were spotted in other areas of central Puget Sound, including off north Seattle shores, and this one could have been among them): First, nighttime views from photojournalist Cliff DesPeaux, who spent several hours at Jack Block Park late last night/early this morning, the last West Seattle sightings before whale-watchers called it quits for the night. Next, from John at Gypsy Soul Productions, who shot this video as the gray whale meandered around the shore by Harbor West (the condos built on pilings over the water):

If you’re interested in whale sightings and not already on the Orca Network e-mail list, sign up here – they send a daily/nightly roundup of sighting reports, often with photos, not just orcas – you’ll often see news about grays and humpbacks, too.

West Seattle weekend scenes: Bake sale, baseball auction, raffle

Before the weekend ends, a few photos of events previewed in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup: First, those are the West Seattle Camp Fire Girls who sold baked goods outside CAPERS in The Junction on Saturday to raise money for the fight against hunger. Next, auction-browsing at Saturday night’s benefit for the West Seattle High School baseball and fastpitch teams:

And from Greg Whittaker at Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor) – the grand-prize winner in the raffle to raise money for the new West Seattle Snowsports Council, as the M2S three-day sidewalk sale wrapped up this afternoon – Leo Morales won the Atomic Sugar Daddy raffle:

Other winners listed by Greg, who added a special thank-you:

Salomon Shoes: Lauren Grosskopf
Burn Helmet and Pow Gloves #1: Chad McCollum
Burn Helmet and Pow Gloves #2: Jesse Nokez
Giro Helmet and Uvex Goggles: Nancy Minoms
Smith Helmet and Smith Goggles: Kiel Winslow
Salomon Fish Jr Skis: Cory Brown.

Thanks for all the participation and support of the West Seattle Snowsports Council!

Westside School to move into old Hughes School in Sunrise Heights

Thanks to WSB Forums member “String Cheese” for the indirect tip on this, via what started as an inquiry about a “rumor.” Not a rumor, turns out: According to the website for local independent Westside School, it’s reached a deal to lease and move into the vacant Hughes School property in Sunrise Heights (map). Westside’s current campus is on Highline Public Schools-owned property on 28th SW, a few blocks south of the city/county border. Even before learning about this, we’d had an inquiry out to Seattle Public Schools to ask about future plans for Hughes – which is in its second school year of vacancy, after 2 years as temporary home to South Lake High School – and Genesee Hill, in its first school year of vacancy after Pathfinder K-8 moved to Cooper. Turns out the district had a request for proposals out earlier this year (all due March 3rd) for leasing not only Hughes and Genesee Hill, but also Fairmount Park, in its second year of vacancy. Both Westside and Seattle Public Schools are out for spring break this week, but we’ll be seeking to follow up with both, including finding out whether the district received lease proposals for the other two vacant schools. Meantime, the Westside website says they’re hoping to move into the new location this fall.

“This is not a moment to gloat”: Health-care rally in South Park

Hundreds of people had packed the big event room at the IAM Local 751 Hall in South Park by the time Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Governor Chris Gregoire, U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee and Brian Baird and others took the stage for a rally this afternoon celebrating the recently signed health-care legislation. We were there for the first hour; the speakers we heard were taking care not to sound too triumphant – Sen. Murray said, “This is not a moment to gloat; this is a moment to build on.” Rep. Inslee said, “This isn’t the beginning of the end; this is the end of the beginning,” though he also took the opportunity to get in a dig at state Attorney General Rob McKenna‘s plan to sue to overturn the legislation:

Also among the speakers, the 11-year-old boy who was with President Obama when he signed the legislation, Marcelas Owens:

Not on the stage but seen in the crowd and mentioned from the podium – West Seattle’s Rep. Eileen Cody, a nurse by profession who focuses much of her legislative work on health-related issues, and former Gov. Mike Lowry. As for counter-protesters – there was a cordoned-off area outside marked “Free Speech Zone Area,” but no one was there (we should note, it was raining ferociously by then). Photo (added 9:01 pm):

Video: South Park Bridge closure opponents’ rally

March 28, 2010 5:15 pm
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 |   South Park | Transportation | West Seattle news

Chanting “save our bridge,” shaking noisemakers, waving pom-poms, and drawing honks from passing drivers, dozens of people concerned about the upcoming permanent closure of the South Park Bridge lined its southern half for a while this afternoon. They were hoping to be seen by some of the politicians who were on their way to South Park for a rally celebrating the recently signed federal health-care legislation (separate story on that event coming up). We don’t know if they were indeed seen; shortly after we shot that video, it started to rain – hard – and some of the participants left (though we did notice some staying, undaunted, with umbrellas). The bridge closure is set for 7 pm June 30th; last week, reps from multiple agencies were summoned to start talking about coordination of resulting traffic and public-safety issues (WSB coverage here), while the highlight of the funding search was the Seattle City Council‘s declaration it would support the county’s quest for money (WSB coverage here). ADDED 10:55 PM: Noemie Maxwell has posted her story about today’s rally on Washblog, with lots of photos – see it here.

Traffic alert: Alaskan Way Viaduct is open again

March 28, 2010 3:09 pm
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 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct

As often happens, the Alaskan Way Viaduct has reopened early after its semiannual inspection. WSDOT just sent the news.

West Seattle wildlife watch: No whale so far; plus, seal necropsy

Two wildlife notes: First, as of this writing, no new sightings reported this morning of the gray whale that captivated people along the West Seattle shore (our reports from yesterday are here and here, and a stunning overnight photo from is here). Susan from Orca Network (which tracks other types of whales too) posted some observations on its condition in this WSB comment. If you see it – please share the news – here’s how. Meantime, Robin from Seal Sitters has published a touching and sad update on the death of “Sea Star,” the nickname given to the harbor seal that turned up on Alki Friday – read it here.

Happening now: Westwood (and beyond) community cleanup

The sun’s been making appearances this morning – as it did when we stopped at the Southwest Library about half an hour ago to see the volunteers gathering for the Westwood Neighborhood Council/Friends of Southwest Library community cleanup along 35th SW. They still have supplies for more, so you’re welcome to go check in at the table just north of the library (SW Henderson, east of 35th SW) to pitch in and help, between now and 1 pm. As you can see from the photo, all ages welcome!

West Seattle Sunday: Cleanup, cooking demo, “Godspell,” & more

March 28, 2010 7:54 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

VIADUCT REMINDER: Closed, and scheduled to remain that way until 6 pm. Sometimes the Sunday leg of the work ends earlier; if so, we’ll report it here as well as Twitter and Facebook.

CLEANUP ALONG 35TH SW: Join Westwood Neighborhood Council and Friends of Southwest Library; meet at the library at 10 am. More here.

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm as always; two special events today – a chef demonstration at 11 am, and a family seed-planting activity – details, and the fresh list, here.

“GODSPELL” AT TIBBETTS: New WSB sponsor Tibbetts United Methodist Church is presenting the musical “Godspell” today instead of its regular 10 am service.

WHILE YOU’RE IN THE JUNCTION: Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy (WSB sponsor) has a special information/demonstration event noon-4 pm today, “Thriving in Menopause.” Among the offerings – free chair massage! More details on the Pharmaca West Seattle website. (And note there’s a $10-off-$50-purchase Pharmaca coupon on the WSB Coupons page.)

SOUTH PARK BRIDGE RALLY, SENATORS’ VISIT: In nearby South Park, residents worried about the scheduled permanent closure of the SP Bridge on June 30th, with no plan yet for money to build a new one, plan a rally starting at 2 pm, before a long list of political leaders arrives in their community at 3 to talk about health-care reform. Both events are open to all – details here.

FROM THE SUSTAINABLE WEST SEATTLE WEBSITE … we have word of an event targeted to urban farmers and food organizers, but open to all – the Harvest Collective‘s “finger-food potluck” at Big Al Brewing in White Center, starting at 4:30 pm. SWS has details here.

More in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Windy, wet conditions likely tonight

It’s not an advisory, “watch” or warning yet, but it’s a Special Weather Statement – a storm system on the way is likely to make things pretty windy and wet around here tonight. Here’s what forecasters are expecting. 10:55 AM: The “special weather statement” expired but here’s the latest forecast – wind possible past 30 mph at times tonight – not horrific, but we’ve lost power with less, so just a heads-up.