West Seattle, Washington
We’re midway through our nightly series of Disaster Preparedness Month updates – each night a specific topic and/or tip. This week, we’ve been reminded that there is no more important reminder than: IT’S UP TO YOU. You can choose to ignore the topic and take the risk that a big quake, long power outage, or other crisis will catch you dangerously unprepared – or you can take a step here, a step there, toward really being ready. The whole point of personal/family preparedness is the knowledge that authorities will be overwhelmed, at least in the beginning, and potentially unable to help everyone who needs it, so you have to be ready to take care of yourself and your family for at least the first few days. Preparedness leadership is happening on a one-by-one basis too; the West Seattle Be Prepared website isn’t a government or other-institution project, it’s the work of citizen volunteers (who discussed it at this week’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting). The Emergency Communication Hubs – featured on the WSBP website – were planned by volunteers, at least one for each of the nine West Seattle neighborhoods that has a hub so far; they started getting the word out two years ago, with neighborhood-info tabling events at each of the ones that were in place by then. And then there’s the person-to-person aspect: That’s the heart of the “3 to Get Ready” campaign that the city is promoting on WSB and elsewhere this month – take 3 preparedness steps yourself, and teach three others. (Go here to get started with that, and be sure to follow the “register for prizes” link too for fun freebies.) Tonight at the Alki Community Council meeting, ACC member Penny stood up and offered her fellow members a few words of advice, as she has done at other meetings – this time, she shared that she’d learned rollaway luggage might be a more convenient way to keep your readiness kit than a soft carry bag, and she noted that whistles – recommended as potential signals for help – are readily available at Junction TrueValue. Got a favorite tip? Share it here – or at least share it with somebody you know, person-to-person.
While heading back to HQ after tonight’s Alki Community Council meeting (story to come), spotted this banner outside the Saigon Boat Café, the pho/sandwich restaurant that’s been closed for two months (here’s our Feb. 18 report on King County Public Health closing it for lacking a permit and “approved … plans”). The closure came less than a month after it opened. But tonight, that banner’s up, and if you can’t quite read the right side, the date it lists is 4/16/2010 — tomorrow. (The restaurant’s in a renovated house at 2632 Alki.)
Need gardening supplies, now that the weather’s getting really nice? That’s just some of what you’ll find at the big St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church rummage sale, starting tomorrow. This is a four-day sale – tomorrow and Saturday, then again the following Friday and Saturday (April 23-24), 9 am-3 pm each day, in the parish hall. Church volunteers have been working tirelessly for days to get everything organized. St. John’s is next door to West Seattle High School (map).
That gives us another excuse to mention that the 6th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day is a little more than three weeks away – 9 am-3 pm, Saturday, May 8th. It’s the third year with WSB sponsoring/coordinating the event, and the cool part about it is that WSCGSD is what YOU make of it – as many sales, big and small, around the peninsula, as West Seattleites decide to have! We collect the info and a small fee (depends on whether it’s an individual, group or block sale) to cover mapmaking and promotion – and do our best to tell the world, so that our area is full of happy shoppers and sellers on sale day (and hopefully lots of visitors also stopping for food and beverages in West Seattle’s many fine venues, etc.). Registration runs one more week – we’re shutting it down as of next Thursday night so we can make the map and have it ready for distribution (online and hard copy) a week in advance. You can sign up your sale by going here.
Last update for the night on the gray whale that beached and died at The Arroyos on Wednesday afternoon: The whale is out of sight now, with high tide having just arrived, and night about to fall – the clip above is from a little more than an hour ago We just talked by phone with NOAA’s Kristin Wilkinson, who’s in charge of where the whale goes next. She says the people in the boat in our photo were there to “secure” the whale’s carcass so it won’t move up and down the beach with the tides. Once she has a location where it can be taken for examination, it’ll be towed, but they haven’t figured out yet where they can take it. We’ll be checking with her again in the morning. For one more view of the whale as it looked when it was exposed on the beach at low tide earlier today, here’s video by Christopher Boffoli:
Residents in some parts of West Seattle will come home today to find a surprise like that – 2 bags of free Cedar Grove Compost along their curb, maybe leaning against their streetfront garage. It’s the kickoff to a six-week-long giveaway promotion with Cedar Grove and Seattle Public Utilities – even if you don’t find the free compost outside your home, you’ve got another way to pick yours up – more on that shortly. Cedar Grove is made from recycled Seattle yard waste – yes, the stuff you put out on the curb in the big bin, or huge paper bags. Besides the residential dropoff, they also delivered a huge pile to the Delridge P-Patch on 25th SW. Before all this, there was a promotional show-and-tell this morning at the south-of-Admiral home of avid recyclers and gardeners Kirsten, Matt and Harrison Whittemore, who posed for WSB with cat Swaggr (note the nicely mulched garden behind them):
They are avid recyclers and gardeners. If you don’t have free compost bags waiting outside your home, you can get a coupon by going to cgcompost.com, redeemable at locations including the South Transfer Station in nearby South Park; if you don’t want to use your free bags, donate them to the White Center Food Bank, which serves part of West Seattle and can use the compost for edible gardening.
The weekly roundup of traffic alerts and closures around the city is out – and if you drive late at night, you’ll want to know in particular about the ramp closure from the West Seattle Bridge to northbound I-5, midnight-8 am Friday night/Saturday morning and midnight-8 am Saturday night/Sunday morning, to be repeated the following two weekends. Here’s the entire long, long list of various closures and changes.
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)
If you heard the sirens about an hour ago – here’s what it was all about: A “fire in residence” call that crews made short work of, in the 6500 block of 39th SW (map). Heading back from a visit to the Arroyos whale, Christopher Boffoli caught the callout and checked it out for WSB. As his photo shows, there was a fair amount of smoke, but the fire itself was relatively small, and nobody was hurt: He talked to one of the residents who was home when it started: “She said she heard a crackling sound coming from the kitchen and went up to find black smoke coming out from under the kitchen sink. She ran and got the neighbors who tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher. They said they thought they were successful but the fire sprang back to life. They’re not sure how the fire started but it was believed to have been electrical and possibly the garbage disposal.”
As first reported March 12, Metro has been considering changing a stretch of Route 22 through Gatewood, to run along California SW between Ida and Thistle, then eastward on Thistle. They’ve just sent word that they decided not to make the change after all, “based on the comments … received from residents and transit riders and further review by (SDOT). … While we are no longer proposing a routing change, Metro will continue working with (SDOT) to find ways to improve bus operations and safety along 41st Avenue—especially the crossing at SW Holden Street.”
(scroll down for the latest photo/info/video)
We’re back on Arroyo Beach in far south West Seattle right now, along with TV crews, watchful neighbors, and whale experts (plus one news chopper overhead). Jeff Hogan tells us that the gray that beached and died here yesterday afternoon is a female, about 30 feet long, “sub-adult,” and emaciated. NOAA has reps here too and will try at high tide to tow it away so it can be necropsied elsewhere, but if that’s not possible, they may have to do a “limited necropsy” here. NOAA tells us the number of gray whale deaths hasn’t risen to an alarming level yet; this one may be the first found dead in West Seattle waters since 1999 (here’s an article we found about what was happening that year). Here’s a wider view of what’s happening here, looking toward Vashon from our spot beneath a residential bulkhead:
The tide is still receding, with low tide at noon, so nothing’s going to change here for some hours. The whale is cordoned off with a yellow-tape perimeter. We did a video walkaround before that tape went all the way up and will add that shortly. We asked Hogan if there is any way to tell if this (or any of the others that died recently) is the one that West Seattleites watched a few weeks ago – he said photographs would have to be used to make the comparison. 11:32 AM: An impromptu field trip from Westside School just dropped by and drew immediate TV attention:
The rain is falling more steadily now. Again, nothing major is expected to happen here until the tide’s in later – high tide isn’t until 7:15 this evening. ADDED 1:44 PM: Finally able to upload the video walkaround we mentioned earlier:
Here are our previous stories:
–First report from the beach, shortly after the whale died
–Nighttime look after the tide went out
Perhaps the most amazing sight is the whale’s baleen (what’s in their jaws to filter food out of muddy shallows) – a photo shared with us by “D” has a clearer look – click ahead (ALSO AHEAD, LATEST UPDATES):Read More
This week two West Seattle businesses announced they’re leaving their storefronts but want to be clear they are NOT closing their businesses:
AUTHENTIC HOME, which specializes in paint and interior design, will continue to sell their exclusive paint line not only online but also through resellers (listed here); proprietor Kathy Banak is also continuing to book color/interior design consultations at 206-937-3070 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And she says new products are in the works. (Saturday is AH’s last day at its storefront north of The Junction.)
SOLD HOME DECOR is leaving its storefront on 35th SW across from Southwest Library, and just announced a big sale of the used furniture in its showroom there. But proprietor Maria Groen also notes that – as was her focus before – she will continue to offer real-estate staging/consultation and redesign/interior-design consultation. Her contact info is online at soldhomedecor.com. The store’s last day in Westwood is April 25th.
One more West Seattle biznote – a challenge of sorts:
RED CUP ESPRESSO’S EARTH DAY CHALLENGE: Red Cup owner Tricia DiBernardo says her solar-powered Junction coffee shop has adopted the West Seattle-based Nature Consortium in honor of Earth Day, and they’re encouraging you to volunteer with and/or donate to the nonprofit that’s devoted to restoring the West Duwamish Greenbelt, the largest contiguous forest left in the city. She says Red Cup (4451 California SW) has volunteer sign-up sheets for NC, and if you sign up, you’ll be entered to win a T-shirt or hoodie with the group’s cool logo. DiBernardo adds, “This is a wonderful non profit that we would love to support and hope others will also. All of us Red Cuppers have signed up to volunteer as well as about a dozen or so customers .. but we need more people!”
(Alki photo from Wednesday, courtesy Chas Redmond)
POLICE LEADERSHIP AT ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: What’s the outlook for a safe spring/summer at the beach? Southwest Precinct Capt. Joe Kessler and Lt. Norm James will be at the Alki Community Council meeting tonight to talk about it. 7 pm, Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds). P.S. The spring issue of the Alki News Beacon is available online – get it here.
FREE COMPOST: A six-week giveaway of Cedar Grove compost – recycled Seattle yard waste – starts today. You can find a coupon here for two free bags; some West Seattle neighborhoods will actually find the free compost delivered curbside to their homes (if you don’t want it, just leave it and it’ll be picked up) – those neighborhoods got advance notice in the mail.
WEST SEATTLE RESERVOIR PARK DESIGN: The Seattle Design Commission gets a look this morning at the newest “design concept” for the added park area created by the undergrounding of West Seattle Reservoir next to Westcrest Park. The presentation is scheduled for 10:30 am in the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall downtown. (And a reminder, the next public meeting about the park plan is a week from Saturday.)
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER AT HIAWATHA: Thanks to Tim McMonigle from the West Seattle Soccer Club for sending word that the next two WSHS home soccer games have been moved to the brand-new field at Hiawatha next to the school. The Wildcats play Nathan Hale today and Ingraham a week from today, both games at 3:30 pm.
TRAIN FOR THE WEST SEATTLE 5K: Six weeks till the second annual edition of the West Seattle 5K (co-sponsored by WSB), which again this year will kick off a Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets “car-free” day on Alki, May 23rd. Starting tonight at Alki Community Center, a running coach leads a training course for beginning runners to get ready for the WS 5K. Call 206–684–7430 to ask about registration for the class.
SPEAKING OF REGISTRATION: One week left to sign up for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – sales large and small all around the peninsula on May 8, 9 am-3 pm, in a one-day celebration of person-to-person recycling, neighbor-meeting, whatever you love about holding and/or visiting garage/yard sales. Register your individual/group/block sale by next Thursday – here’s where to start.