West Seattle, Washington
(WSB photo from March 2010 Fairmount Ravine cleanup)
With an announcement we received tonight, there are now three notable cleanup events scheduled for next Saturday. The newest one happens just once a year, in the Fairmount Ravine, where neighbors already have noted lots of trash as well as spray cans from graffiti vandals:
Fairmount Ravine Preservation Group will sponsor the 19th Annual Spring Cleanup and Reforestation of Fairmount Ravine, Saturday March 19th. Gather at 8:30 for delicious Tully’s coffee and hot cocoa along with donuts. Cleanup is usually completed within two hours. Meet your friends and neighbors at the top of the ravine (Forest St. and Fairmount Ave., just east of Hiawatha Park). Beware that currently there is utility construction at this intersection. You can walk through the intersection but need to park nearby. Wear boots and gloves. Bring a pruning saw if interested in removing ivy from trees.
We extend a special invitation to those who use the ravine to access the waterfront; please donate an hour of your time to keep this greenbelt healthy and pristine. More info – call John at 932-5151.
(The aforementioned intersection is the one where a sinkhole revealed a big pipe problem. Underground work has wrapped up, tipster Craig tells us, but there’s still road repair ahead.)
The other two cleanups next Saturday both have been announced here already – Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s Adopt-A-Street quarterly cleanup, meeting at 9 am Saturday (3/19) at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), and the first effort of what was dubbed “Clean Up Your Act Seattle” when we reported it here six weeks ago, but has since changed to “Keep Seattle Beautiful” – they’re focusing first on South Seattle, meeting at 8111 First Avenue South (map), between West Seattle and South Park, 10 am next Saturday (here’s the Facebook event page).
(Photo courtesy West Seattle Family YMCA)
Got a 3- to 10-year-old who would like to play T-ball or baseball? Registration is open now for the West Seattle Famliy YMCA (WSB sponsor) programs, all co-ed and designed to teach the basic skills – batting, catching, and throwing – while promising “equal chances (for all children) to bat, run bases, and play in the field.” There’s one practice during the week and one game (on Saturdays, for all but the 3-year-olds); practices start the week of April 25, and the season runs May 7-June 25. You can register in person at the Triangle or Fauntleroy locations of the Y – or online, by going here. (P.S. The Y also needs volunteer coaches. If you are interested, call sports director Matt Schlede at 206-937-1000 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks to Gatewood-residing photographer and pilot Long B. Nguyen for sharing that photo of West Seattle taken as wind buffeted our peninsula (and elsewhere) the other night – click the photo to see a larger version. (Nothing extraordinary in the forecast for the next several days, by the way – mostly rain.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
If you’ve seen the agenda for next week’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, you might have noticed this item:
Discussion on Medical Marijuana Dispensary @ 5214 Delridge Way
There isn’t one there now, but word circulated in the neighborhood this past week that one was planned for that address, which has been undergoing renovations for months. It’s the same spot that evokes unpleasant memories for longtime community members, since it was long home to Delridge Vacuum and TV, whose license was revoked by the city two years ago after ongoing controversy about everything from the nature of the business to its street-front appearance, plus a criminal investigation.
After hearing about the reported dispensary plan, we tried to confirm it. We attempted to contact the property’s owner, including a visit to the site, but were told he was unreachable till next week; a broker representing at least one space at the address told WSB the space she represented hadn’t been rented yet. A check of the DPD records for the address only mentions a salon, office and live-work unit.
Then we checked today with Southwest Precinct leadership, who say they have word the plan may have changed.
Two and a half years ago, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – then the chair of the council’s Parks Committee – stood next to then-dusty Delridge Playfield, holding a sign campaigning for the Parks and Green Spaces Levy that has now paid for the field’s all-new turf. (Here’s the story we published that day.) Less than an hour ago, he joined acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams in dedicating the $3 million-plus levy-funded project – Williams threw out a ceremonial disc, while Rasmussen tossed out a ceremonial ball. The field has been happily welcomed by local athletic organizations involved with sports including disc, softball, baseball, lacrosse, and of course, soccer:
That’s West Seattle Soccer Club president Bill Fry (center) with Jack Chilcott and dad Howard Chilcott – WSSC co-sponsored today’s dedication celebration along with DiscNW. (added) Local organizations were there with info tables – North Delridge Neighborhood Council (whose next meeting is at 6:30 Monday night in the Delridge Library) and Southwest Youth and Family Services, whose headquarters is next to the field:
Student musicians from the acclaimed Chief Sealth International High School drum line played (video to come), but of course the star of the show was the field itself:
Before the year’s out, another dedication is likely nearby – groundbreaking is expected later this month for Delridge Skatepark, just a block north.
ADDED SATURDAY NIGHT: Click ahead for two video clips from the Saturday dedication:Read More
Robin Lindsey from Seal Sitters says they’ve been enjoying a rare sighting — an elephant seal on a private beach in West Seattle. It’s actually her second visit in the past month or so, Robin explains, while sharing the photo above:
Abby was molting on this same stretch of beach in early February for several days, but finally returned to the water after a huge windstorm one night. Seal Sitters received a call yesterday afternoon from a waterfront homeowner that the huge seal (estimated to be around 350-400 lbs) was on her beach. We rarely see elephant seals around West Seattle, but there has been some breeding activity at Race Rocks off Victoria, BC, over the past number of years. There have been occasional elephant seal pups molting onshore near Port Gamble and Port Townsend. Since we are seeing them more often.
You can see video of Abby on the Seal Sitters “blubberblog” – just go here.
From left, State Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon and State Sen. Sharon Nelson are leading a “Town Hall” meeting at High Point Community Center right now. Rep. Fitzgibbon opened by saying “The biggest challenge in Olympia right now is the budget,” and Rep. Cody warned, “Everyone’s going to feel the pain.” We’ll make notes here as this goes; you have time to get here if you’d like to be part of it – 34th just north of Myrtle, till 11:30 am. More than 100 people are here.
In-progress updates, topic by topic:
BUDGET OUTLOOK/JOBS: The next revenue forecast from the state is expected next Thursday, and the legislators say it’s expected to get uglier. As Sen. Nelson put it, the average recession since the Great Depression has lasted 18 months; this one is 36 months old, she said, and we’re “still scraping bottom.” She says that of the 195,000 jobs lost in our state so far, barely a tenth have been recovered. She also noted that our state’s unemployment-insurance fund is still healthy, unlike some states. And later, while answering a question, she talked about meeting with people who are directly feeling “the pain we are causing” by having to cut, and she declared, “This budget will be immoral, no matter how we look at it.” Moments later, asking a question from the audience, an attendee named Anastasia said, “This whole budget-cutting thing is insane.”
IF YOU ARE UPSET ABOUT THE BUDGET TOO … Rep. Cody remarked toward the end of the event that she’s hopeful they’ll see more “enough is enough” rallies in Olympia because so far, in her view, “people don’t seem to be all that upset about the cuts.” This Thursday, there’s a rally about tax loopholes, Rep. Fitzgibbon noted.
TRANSPORTATION: Rep. Fitzgibbon noted that legislators opposed the governor’s proposal to create a regional district to handle state ferries: “They’re part of the state highway system.” He said major challenges will include helping local transportation agencies like Metro Transit find ways to find additional funding to avoid deep service cuts as traditional revenue sources run short. (11 am note – Interestingly, we are an hour into this event and there has not been a question about transportation yet … 11:30 update: STILL no transportation questions.)
EDUCATION: Sen. Nelson is vice chair of an education committee in the Senate. She talked about decisions that have to be made regarding early-learning programs, and also about higher-education funding – fielding a question about South Seattle Community College, she said there will be some cuts to community colleges, even though “We know they are the ones right now helping folks get back to work” (because of retraining programs). Rep. Fitzgibbon said that further tuition increases are “a dangerous road to go down” and could price more people out of college. The legislators were asked toward meeting’s end about “common core standards” for education; Rep. Cody says she supports it – “If we don’t adopt them and join together (with other states), the textbooks we buy are determined by California and Texas.” She acknowledges there are questions because of the math standards that are being proposed.
ENVIRONMENT: Sen. Nelson recapped the recent vote to crack down on the state’s one coal-burning energy plant, in Centralia, and also noted with regret that she had not been able to get enough votes to pass her proposal to get toxins out of children’s toys. She said she will keep trying.
HEALTH CARE: Rep. Cody, a nurse by trade, has long had an emphasis in that. She said they are working on funding to keep 60,000 more people from losing basic insurance that currently is provided through the state.
WORKPLACE SAFETY: Rep. Fitzgibbon mentioned a bill to make sure dangerous conditions in workplaces are fixed faster. Sen. Nelson discussed the “compromise” regarding workers’ compensation insurance – which results in relatively speedy settlements to get people off insurance – saying that in her opinion, it creates “a two-tiered system … where the poor get poorer” if they cannot hire a lawyer to get a better settlement in case of serious injury. She also says that there are Democrats siding with Republicans on even more-major changes that she says the Washington Business Association is pushing for.
INCOME TAX? Asked by one attendee if a temporary income tax could be implemented to help with the budget, while saying, not really, Sen. Nelson pointed out that the 34th District is one of only five out of 39th that voted in favor of 1098, the income-tax measure.
LEGISLATORS’ SALARIES, AND HAVE THEY FACED CUTS? Answering that question, Rep. Fitzgibbon said their salaries are set at $42,000 and it’s been frozen for a few years. Rep. Cody added that they have dealt with cuts in everything from their travel to printing/postage to staff budgets.
11:37 AM UPDATE: Sen. Nelson reiterated that it will make a difference if people attend the aforementioned rally this coming week – and that it’s important for people to contact them with questions and issues. (Though replies may take a while – Rep. Cody answered a written question earlier in the event by noting that her legislative assistant already has answered 1,800 e-mails this year and “a few hundred more” come in every day – “We’ll get to you, it just might take a while.”
7:01 AM: We’re on our way to a house fire in Gatewood, 4100 block of SW Southern (map). Per the scanner, initial crews are calling it a basement fire, and saying it’s under control. More to come.
7:14 AM UPDATE: Just added a photo. Per the scanner, the fire is tapped – firefighters are focusing on looking for spots of “extension,” where the fire might have moved from the basement, where they believe it started. Investigators have been summoned to help find out how it started. No report of any injuries.
7:22 AM UPDATE: Our crew at the scene just talked with firefighters. They confirm no injuries – the people who were home got out OK – the only big concern is a dog that might have been in the house at the time; they’re looking for the dog. Some of the fire units already have been released from the scene.
ADDED 8:05 AM: Photo of the actual house. Investigators are still en route.
(Shared by Kolus Photo – juvenile bald eagle photographed along the Beach Drive shoreline)
Not only do you “spring forward” tonight – you’re going to need wings to get from event to event, today and tonight. But it’ll all be worth it. Here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME KICKS IN TONIGHT (2 AM SUNDAY): This is the “spring forward” half of the old “spring forward/fall back” saying – at 2 am Sunday, it becomes 3 am Sunday, as we move into Daylight Saving Time.
FUNDRAISING GALAS: Doors open for Pathfinder K-8‘s annual auction at 5 pm, Brockey Center at SSCC (more info here) … At Kenyon Hall, doors open at 6:30 pm for the West Seattle Community Orchestras’ first-ever fundraising gala – dining, dancing, music, fun – a few tickets are left; info’s here.
DELRIDGE PLAYFIELD CELEBRATION: 12:30 pm-2:30 pm, join the party officially dedicating this newly renovated field – music, speeches, refreshments, soccer, and disc games are planned for the festivities.
GARDENING: Class, lunch and work party at and for the Community Orchard of West Seattle, starts at 10 am, topic “Annual Planting” – details and RSVP info here. Not only is that all happening on the north side of the South Seattle Community College campus, so is the Community Harvest Seed Swap and Sale, 2 pm-4 pm, lots more information online at www.gleanit.org/seedswap2011.html
ASK AN EXPERT AT THE WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY,: Also at the north end of SCCC, Ask-an-Expert at the West Seattle Tool Library, for the Do It Yourselfer! 10 am-noon, north end of South Seattle Community College campus (6000 16th SW) – details on the Facebook event page
WALK OR PARADE FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY: The Sound Steps St. Patty’s Day Walk rounds the track at West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW) at 10:30 am (register at 10 am, walk up to 3.1 miles). Families welcome! … Downtown at 12:30 pm, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade includes West Seattle-area participants (“Divine Marigolds” production, Denny International Middle School musicians, Holy Family School reps) – get the route map and other info here.
SEE A SHOW! Second and final performance of Lafayette Elementary‘s “Music Man Jr.” at 7 pm at West Seattle High School Theater (3000 California SW); ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) is in the first weekend of “Distracted,” 7:30 pm.
MEET YOUR LEGISLATORS: Town Hall meeting with the 34th District’s delegation to Olympia (Sen. Sharon Nelson, Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon) at High Point Community Center, 10-11:30 am
CLASSICAL CONCERT: Music Northwest presents Low Notes: Music for Cello and Horn, 7:30 pm at SSCC’s Olympic Hall.
CRYSTAL-ART EVENT: At Alki Arts, 2-7 pm, details here
LAST WEEKEND OF GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SALES: Find them at local stores – (details here including link to find the sale nearest you)
Recognize that dog? That’s Larry from “Larry Gets Lost,” scampering around Roxhill Elementary School in West Seattle. The drawing is the result of a recent Roxhill visit from an author/illustrator who works on the “Larry Gets Lost” series, John Skewes, who attended high school on Vashon with Roxhill’s bilingual-instruction assistant Judith Kimmel-Ramirez – seen here introducing him to students:
While visiting Roxhill, Skewes worked with first through fifth graders on illustration techniques and “graciously gave his time to inspire students to think about a career as an illustrator,” as Roxhill’s head teacher Christopher Robert put it.
You can see the “thank you” drawing from Roxhill’s students by going here. The popular series includes “Larry Gets Lost in Seattle,” with part of the proceeds benefiting the West Seattle Food Bank, according to the LGL website. The next book in the series doesn’t stray too far from here – it’ll be “Larry Gets Lost in Portland.”