West Seattle, Washington
Just a little encouragement as we enter the final week of Disaster Preparedness Month. Even the pros work to prepare. The scene above is from the Joint Training Facility in the southeasternmost corner of West Seattle – scene of the Fire Muster competition featured here on WSB earlier tonight. That’s an area of the site used for search/rescue training – just last month, Christopher Boffoli shot this video of firefighters participating in monthlong training exercises:
Telling the story in that clip is Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen, who explained that firefighters go through that training annually. But what about you and your family-preparedness plans – how often should you review? At least “every few months” seems to be the consensus. Set a day and time and hold everyone to it. You could alternate practicing earthquake drills, fire evacuation plans, and going over the information about where you would all meet if you weren’t together when disaster struck (this is where West Seattle has an advantage, with the Emergency Communication Hubs – be sure everyone knows “your” location). Don’t just make a plan once, or pack a kit, and forget about it until you realize rustily – oops – should have practiced.
Got questions about this or other preparedness issues? Great place to ask: West Seattle Be Prepared group on Facebook.
Erin sent this tonight:
Just saw a coyote walking and then running between 48th and 50th on Graham St. [map] He disappeared into a private yard. Just wanted to send out the warning to small-pet owners!
Yes, we know they are relatively common, and certainly no cause for hysteria – here’s info on “coexisting with coyotes” – but every so often, it’s worth the reminder, for newcomers, or people who just haven’t heard about it before. (Then there’s the occasional cautionary tale like this one from Shorewood, too.)
We’ve tallied up the signups for the sixth annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, coming up in two weeks – Saturday, May 8, 9 am-3 pm – and it’s another record: 200 sales, even though we didn’t offer postal-mail signups this year. On WSCGSD, you’ll find the sales all over the peninsula, on the map that we’ll have available for download (and a limited number of preprinted hard copies, pickup locations TBA) next Saturday – from individual sales, to organizations, to entire blocks, plus locations with multiple participants (Hotwire Coffee [WSB sponsor], C & P Coffee, Highland Park Improvement Club). The soon-to-open West Seattle Tool Library is participating too – but instead of selling, they’ll be accepting tool donations at 4 locations scattered around West Seattle, and also sending teams out on a Tool Library Scavenger Hunt to find and buy tools at participating sales. We’re organizing the list now as we start making the map, and we’re seeing a variety of block and business sales too – some of the many highlights include a block sale at what participants describe as “the neighborhood squished between the West Seattle Bridge and Avalon Way.” We’ll be highlighting many more in our nightly updates between now and sale day – meantime, one thing you can do to help is to make sure your co-workers, friends, relatives, anybody interested OUTSIDE West Seattle knows about the big day too – we’re advertising in regional publications and sending announcements, but nothing beats word of mouth, and you probably know garage-sale lovers who’d be excited to spend the day in shoppers’ paradise. When we finish the official poster in a day or two we’ll post a link here too so you can print one out for posting at work etc. if you can. Thanks! Keep an eye on WSB, as well as westseattlegaragesale.com and the WSCGSD Facebook page, for updates.
Story, photos and video by Jonathan Stumpf
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
That’s Chris Ballew, aka Caspar Babypants, and his band performing a selection of tunes culled from his three albums, including the audience favorite and anthemic singalong “Little Broken Truck,” at a sold-out benefit concert this morning for the South Seattle Community College Parent Cooperative Preschools scholarship fund.
While today he spends more time playing to legions of adoring kids (and parents), Ballew – now a West Seattleite – came to fame as front man for Presidents of the United States of America, post-grunge, modern-rock darlings of Seattle during the mid-1990s.
The sold-out concert at the Jerry Brockey Center on the SSCC campus attracted more than 550 people — each paying a $5 cover.
All proceeds directly benefited the Mary E. Phillips Scholarship Fund that provides tuition assistance to co-op students. Over the past year, the fund awarded $9,700 to families in need. Co-op Parent Education Instructor Judy Hall tells WSB that scholarship requests have increased over the past year because of the economy.
Thanks to Jay Kelly for sending the link to the video he just posted on YouTube, with highlights of another event we featured in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup, the West Seattle High School talent show – multiple performers, less than five minutes! The show was held at the WSHS Theater last night. (Anyone else with clips? We’d be happy to add links, and school news of all kinds is always welcome – westseattleblog.com/contact) ADDED 11:53 PM SUNDAY: Marie sent us a note pointing out this link to three boys’ cover of “Baby,” crowd singalong and all. ADDED 1:28 PM MONDAY: The winners were Vicious Puppies Crew – and ArtsCorps directs us to this clip from their winning performance:
Thanks to WSB Forums member HMC Rich for sending the photos, one of which he headlined “What a catch.” There’s probably also a joke in here about “dumpster diving” – in this case, the dumpster itself apparently did the diving. We don’t know HOW it wound up in the water at Alki, but there it was – right off the heart of the boardwalk near 62nd/Alki – requiring expert intervention:
Rich says, “Seattle Parks and Ken’s Towing fished it out.”
A long day of competition for more than 200 Fire Cadets/Explorers – future firefighters, as the city called them in the announcement – has wrapped up at the Joint Training Facility in southeastern West Seattle. We dropped by toward the start of the day, first as the participants rallied along with the pros they work with – then as the competition began. It’s not all about simulating dragging people heroically out of burning buildings – here’s the stuff most fire scenes are made of, under-appreciated yet vital – hooking up to the hydrant:
Other skills in which they competed included mass-casualty triage, search and rescue, and a Combat Challenge Relay, described by the city as “four-member teams … carrying a hose bundle up the tower, hoisting a section of hose, search and rescue, and repositioning a charged hose line.” Cadets and Explorers are 14 to 21 years old. ADDED 12:25 AM SUNDAY: Our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times covered the event too.
Out of the WSB inbox:
Our boat was stolen sometime in the middle of the night [Friday night/today]. It is a blue and white 20 ft SeaDoo Utopia Jet boat on a trailer.
The boat was stolen near Lincoln Park on 46th Ave. SW between Thistle and Rose streets [map]. Please report this if you see this boat on land or on or near the water. A police report has been made.
Got a note this morning from someone wondering what was happening with all the activity around that Admiral District home. Answer: Green-shirted volunteers from Rebuilding Together Seattle, working as part of the group’s 20th annual Spring Rebuilding Day – one of more than 25 projects around the city, with 1,000+ volunteers (staffers from Greenpoint Technologies in Kirkland supported the West Seattle work). RTS is a group that donates volunteer help for repair/cleanup-type projects so that people dealing with challenges such as disabilities or low income can stay in their homes. You can find out more, including how to volunteer for future events, by going here.
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli, added 12:50 pm)
11:37 AM: Christopher Boffoli checked out the call in the 8400 block of Delridge (map). Big response but ultimately a very small fire: Fire Department crews at the scene told him that “improperly extinguished smoking materials” outside the building burned into the crawlspace. ADDED 12:50 PM: Added photos. Christopher reports, “The firefighters told me this could have been a much different story. You could actually see on the ground outside of the building where cigarette butts had ignited the mulch (below) and smoldered right into the building’s crawl space. They said it looked like it had been burning for a while and if that fire had spread to the evergreen bushes above and/or if it had been at night when people wouldn’t have so readily smelled and seen the smoke, that it might have been a much bigger fire. They said the landlord was coming out to repair the door the SFD broke down to get in and that they were going to encourage him to provide a receptacle outside for people to put their cigarette butts into.”
10:18 AM: We’re at Southwest Community Center, where more than 100 people are at the third public meeting for the West Seattle (Westcrest) Reservoir Park project. First big announcement: An artist has been chosen for the art project that will be at the new park site – David Boyer, from Reno. He makes kinetic sculptures that move in the wind, according to Parks reps (there’s more info about his work at his website). Project manager Susanne Friedman also sought at the start of the meeting to dismiss rumors that the project would take away part or all of the Westcrest Off-Leash Area. She also said the city arborist has turned thumbs down on a disc-golf course in the park’s forested area, though that doesn’t rule out disc golf elsewhere on the site. Now they’re about to unveil the current design concept alternatives, which will be discussed in small groups afterward.
11:07 AM: Attendees are now marking up their thoughts on black/white printouts of the three park-design concepts that have been shown. Key features of all three include a community garden area – which might or might not be a P-Patch site – plus an “expanse” of lawn atop the new reservoir lid, and one option would move the Off-Leash Area’s small/shy dog area, though it was stressed again in response to a question, NOTHING will be taken away from the dog park – one option even calls for an added trail to connect with it. Unless something dramatic happens when the small groups “report back” shortly, our next update will be a full report on the meeting, the discussion, and what’s next, later. 12:45 PM: One addition first – we’d asked for the graphics from the meeting as soon as we could get them, and the project team provided them on a flash drive so we could download them – here’s the “short form” of the presentation, with all three design concepts plus the project priorities. They’ll be broken out individually in the aforementioned full report later. ADDED: We’re adding highlights of the hearing incrementally:Read More
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After 20 years without their own building, the Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation finally has one.
Friday was WSUU’s first full day of owning the former Gatewood Baptist/Seattle International Church building at California/Othello (map).
Congregation leaders and members didn’t waste a minute of Day 1. At 9 am Friday, a group was on the site whacking weeds that were starting to get out of control, and when we visited to speak with church leaders between 5 and 6 Friday night, another work party was busy tidying up the church’s side yard along Othello, looking for all the world like they weren’t likely to leave before dark (if then):
The building needs work inside too before the first scheduled service in 4 1/2 months – but the Westside Unitarian Universalists couldn’t be more excited – read on:Read More
(Photo courtesy Windermere West Seattle in The Junction)
From the West Seattle Weekend Lineup list for today, one-of-a-kind events: 9 am-4 pm at the Joint Training Facility on the southeastern edge of West Seattle (map), you’re invited to come watch the Fire Muster, with 200 Fire Cadets/Explorers, ages 14-21, competing – it’s explained here. 10 am at Lincoln Park‘s south beach, Restita DeJesus of the Seattle Wushu Center in West Seattle will lead a free observance of World Tai Chi/Qigong Day, no experience required … 11 am at Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park (map), a blessing will be offered for the Salish Sea – the Northwest’s waters – with local healers joining in; more here … As previewed again last night, the West Seattle (Westcrest) Reservoir Park project’s third public meeting is at 10 am at Southwest Community Center (map), with the first look at the design direction that’s being taken following earlier meetings … Got something to shred? Do it at the free “Spring Clean” event offered this afternoon by Windermere-Fauntleroy (details here) … LOTS more, including the second/final day of donation dropoff before the first-ever Lafayette Sports Swap tomorrow – the full list is here. (ADDED 10:44 AM: Windermere in The Junction says they have the shredder truck right now – till noon – drop off in the parking lot behind their office – they shared a photo of the truck which we’re adding atop this story.)