West Seattle, Washington
The forecast and “special weather statements” warned it would get wintry – and it just did. Via Twitter, Diane reports 10 minutes of snow in Admiral. We got sleet – enough to briefly whiten the car top/hood and part of the street (iPhone photo at left) – here in Upper Fauntleroy. Kim says it was just rain in The Junction. The latest weather predictions suggest the best chance of bonafide snow is Wednesday night/Thursday. Here’s the newest “special weather statement” detailing the potential timeline; here’s the latest analysis, and some recent sightings, from Cliff Mass. And if you’re still confused about the difference between hail, sleet, graupel, snow, and other types of frozen precipitation – maybe this’ll help.
Remember Michael Merta, whose anti-litter letter was published here three weeks ago? He’s mustered some support and is now – with one local leader’s encouragement – inviting you to join in a cleanup, among other things. Here’s his update:
About three weeks ago I wrote an open letter about the worsening problem of litter in the Seattle area. I’ve received many responses to that letter from other concerned citizens since then. I have still not heard back from any of the city, county, or WSDOT officials that I complained to, about their plans if any, to deal with the problem.
I have been contacted by King County Councilman Joe McDermott’s office, and they have asked me to organize a cleanup through the Facebook page that I created around this issue.
The Councilman’s office has contacted Waste Management to provide support, tools, and supplies for the effort, and we are tentatively planning it for Saturday March 5th between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Please see the Facebook page for further details, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It is unclear to me, and it is also unclear to officials in Councilman McDermott’s office, just who is responsible for routine litter patrol, and in which areas of town. There may be areas where indeed, no agency is currently responsible. Since I first complained about this to the various agencies, there has been no litter removed from the sites I’ve identified. It seems as if our local government does not have the resources, or has not allocated the resources to solve this problem, so we as citizens need to figure something out here.
Obviously, one cleanup event cannot solve this problem. In my opinion, it’s going to take a comprehensive effort involving frequent citizen cleanups, state and local government organized cleanups, increased fines, and increased code enforcement. A kind of full-on campaign, we could call it “Keep Seattle Beautiful.” I’d like some help with getting such a campaign started. We could all start by writing about our concerns to our local politicians. mayormcginn.seattle.gov, Dow.Constantine@kingcounty.gov
In a city that prides itself on being “green” and environmentally friendly, it seems we have allowed plain old litter to make a comeback. Today, as I was driving across the First Avenue bridge (one of the areas I first complained about) I noticed someone decided to drop off an old couch on the side of the road (see photo above). Funny thing about litter, you leave it there and it seems to multiply.
Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Walking through Fauntleroy Park one day last fall, Steve Hodson was surprised to hear the sound of chainsaws. Walking toward the south ridge of the park, he came upon a tree-cutting company taking down trees and dropping the debris on a recently restored hillside, crushing the new vegetation.
Hodson, who has been a park steward for many years, pointed out to the tree-cutters that they were dropping debris on a newly restored site.
(Photo by Eilene Hutchinson)
Over the weekend, Alki’s David Hutchinson shared a photo of the debris tossed onto the Alki park and shore by the wild wind-whipped waves (second-to-last image here). Tonight, he sends word of a cleanup at the plaza – and the latest on brick sales, which help pay for maintenance:
Today, volunteers from the Alki Community Council removed sand and other materials deposited on the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza by Saturday’s windstorm. The ACC agreement with Seattle Parks & Recreation makes a commitment to provide volunteer work parties to help with the maintenance of the Plaza. Parks will be replanting the landscape beds surrounding the Plaza in the coming months making use of funds from the sale of bricks and plaques the ACC has turned over to the City. Only 90 additional bricks are available and orders received by April 1st will be installed by Parks in late May or early June. Orders received after that date will be installed in the fall. Go to www.sealady.org or e-mail email@example.com for additional information.
(Hope Lutheran’s first-place drama team; photo from Facebook, used with permission)
Another West Seattle school with something to celebrate: Hope Lutheran School is back from its annual trip to the regional Lutheran Elementary Schools Tournament (LEST) in Portland, a three-day competition in sports, arts, and more, with some big honors. For one, Hope won the Service Award for its recent food drive (here’s the recap published here) – 7,100 pounds of food collected for local food banks, more than a third of the entire total of all participating schools! Hope also won the Drama Award, first place for “The Audition.” Individual achievements included Alex Okabayashi, 2nd place in spelling among fifth-graders, chess players Isaiah Dowding Albrecht (4th place for sixth-graders) and Ryan Okabayashi (5th place for seventh-graders), and more:
Music Blue Ribbon performances
– Hope Vocal Ensemble (video here)
– Aaron Abeyta – clarinet
– Cooper Honeyman – piano
– Kassandra Krohn – piano
– Samantha Hood – vocal
– Taylor Phelps Young – 4th place 25-yard freestyle, 4th place 25 yard backstroke
– Haley Beebe – 4th place 50 yard breaststroke, 5th place 50 yard freestyle
– Lanee Hagen – 2nd place 50 yard freestyle, 5th place 50 yard backstroke
– Gratia Doerr
– Sean Glavin
– Tyler Ayala-Turner
– Abby Fitzpatrick
Thanks to Mike Jensen for sharing the Hope LEST recap; 19 schools from five states participated this year.
The narrow-Y intersection of Avalon, Yancy, and 30th, south of the Luna Park business district (map), has long been a frustration, and danger, to pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and bus riders. But there’s a glimmer of hope. A resident who’s been talking with the city about getting a signal there, Liz Johnson, sent first word that the city agrees the intersection needs help. Liz shared this from city traffic engineer Valerie Lee:
SDOT recently completed a signal warrant study for the intersection of SW Avalon Way, 30th Avenue SW and SW Yancy Street. The study results showed this intersection met the MUTCD* manual signal warrant 1.
SDOT will put this location on our warranted signals location list. Every year, more signals are warranted than we have funding to build. Towards the end of each year, all warranted locations compete for the following years’ new signal fund.
At the end of 2011, SDOT will consider the traffic volume, pedestrian volume, and collision history as well as the cost of the signal to determine which of the warranted locations will receive a new signal in 2012.
*The MUTCD is the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a federal document that defines the national standard for municipalities to follow when installing any traffic control devices.
We checked with SDOT about the length of the waitlist; Marybeth Turner from the communications team tells WSB, “Our Traffic Management Division reports that we now have 15 traffic signals on the list. We are usually able to install 2 to 4 new signals each year, depending on the funding available.” This is the same intersection that got pedestrian flags almost three years ago. (P.S. For comments, the city has this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Photo by Mark Pierson)
It didn’t happen last time – but just in case it does this time, you should know the National Weather Service issued another “special weather statement” late last night warning about the chance of snow showers this week. Cold air and incoming systems suggest this might happen any time between tonight and Thursday, and snow or no snow, it’s going to be cold, with lows possibly in the 20s Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights.