day : 06/10/2011 12 results

West Seattle holidays: Highland Park bazaar seeking vendors

Yes, here in early October, it’s already time to think “holiday season” – at least, if you’re planning a major event. So the organizers of the popular annual holiday bazaar at Highland Park Elementary asked us to get the word out that they are ready to sign up vendors. Their event is set for 10 am-3 pm on December 10th, with a bake sale and big raffle (including donations from local businesses and bazaar vendors). If you’re interested in being part of it, e-mail (please do NOT contact the school directly).

Free civic-skills-training class on October 13th in West Seattle

October 6, 2011 8:54 pm
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 |   Announcements

Want to learn how to not just speak to those in power, but to get heard? A free civic-skills-training class is coming up next week in West Seattle. Here’s the official announcement:

For all those wanting make their voice heard in government and impact laws passed in Washington State Legislature and the Seattle City Council, Seattle Free School, in partnership with Knowledge As Power, will provide a free hour-long civic skills training across Seattle. The High Point class is on Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 4:30pm at the High Point Branch Library. The address is 3411 SW Raymond St. Seattle, WA 98126. The training will be given by Sarah Schacht, the executive director of Knowledge As Power, a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on helping citizens engage more effectively in the lawmaking process. Register here if you’re interested in attending. The class is free and open to the public.

With the ever-increasing amount of communication legislators have to sort through, it can be difficult to get your voice heard. Knowledge As Power provides effective techniques and free technology for civic involvement so that the citizens of Seattle can become more informed, engaged, and effective at any level of government. After an overview of how the legislative process works, the nonpartisan training is focused on providing techniques to effectively communicate and influence the decisions of lawmakers. Reel Grrls, a Seattle nonprofit shares their experience: “Sarah helped our youth learn concrete ways to get their voices heard in government. Her training was practical, engaging and energizing — our youth left the workshop feeling like they can make a difference.” Register here if you’re interested.

Some techniques covered in the class include crafting effective advocacy emails, engaging in follow-up communications, and using simple technology tools to track legislation and make messages personalized and effective.

Knowledge As Power is a 501c3 nonpartisan organization established in Seattle with the goal of helping citizens become politically engaged, empowering them to influence the lawmaking process.

Register for the civic skills class online, through Seattle Free School.

Built here by Vigor, new ferry Kennewick now on sea trials

(Photos by Stuart Isett for Vigor; click to see larger image)
Unless you’re a crew member, you won’t get to see a view like that on board a state ferry. Well, unless you happen to be out on sea trials this week with the new state ferry Kennewick, built at Vigor (formerly Todd) Shipyards on Harbor Island. Kennewick was moved to Everett a few months ago for the final phase of work before it is delivered to Washington State Ferries, and that’s where it is ported for these trials, though as you can see in the background of this photo, it’s also sailing in waters near here:

(Click to see larger image)
According to Vigor’s communications director Steve Hirsh, “Our engineers said today’s first run was ‘very successful.’ We’re still looking at delivering Kennewick to Washington State Ferries by the end of October – ahead of schedule and under budget.” Kennewick is the third 64-car Kwa-di Tabil-class ferry; the first two are on the Port Townsend-Whidbey Island run, but Kennewick will be assigned to Point Defiance (Tacoma)-Tahlequah (South Vashon). replace one of them, the Chetzemoka, which will move to Point Defiance-Tahlequah. (Thanks to LB for pointing out this article about WSF’s change in the plan that is still outlined on its own website.)

2 transit notes: Avalon lane work next week; master-plan talk

AVALON WAY BUS LANE: SDOT has just announced the schedule for its work to put in the northbound bus lane, southbound bike lane, and other changes in the Luna Park business district, ultimately to benefit the RapidRide bus service that starts in about a year, but also meant to be in place before The Big Viaduct Closure. The work is planned for next week, starting Monday; full details here.

TRANSIT MASTER PLAN OPEN HOUSE: Something to say about our city’s transit future? SDOT just announced open houses around the city to talk about the draft Transit Master Plan; on October 26, there’ll be one 6-8 pm at the West Seattle Eagles‘ hall, 4426 California SW.

Viaduct closure countdown: New maps, info from 2 meetings

(Click for larger version)
“We are 16 days away” from the 9-day Alaskan Way Viaduct closure – partial closure northbound, full closure southbound – declared Matt Preedy, WSDOT’s deputy program director, at not one, but two meetings of West Seattle interest on Wednesday – the South Portal Working Group (citizens’ advisory committee that is convened roughly quarterly) and the Southwest District Council (reps of various community councils/organizations/institutions, mostly from western West Seattle). And now that it’s Thursday, we are 15 days away. From those meetings, we have more tidbits on how you are supposed to get around during the closure – which is scheduled from 7:30 pm Friday, October 21st, till 5 am Monday, October 31st (unless it ends early, which is apparently a real possibility). New maps are part of what’s new – the northbound bus plan above, for starters. Read on for more of the latest:Read More

West Seattle coyotes: Sighting near the beach

Alki’s Larry Carpenter forwarded this one:

A neighbor in the 32xx block of 64th Ave SW sent me this this morning:

“At the start of my run this morning at 5:30 am, I saw a coyote chasing a collared yellow tabby cat down 64th towards Beach Drive. I followed them and after some time, was finally able to scare away the coyote. The cat was scared and hid under the rocks at the beach – I couldn’t get it to go home. Just thought that our neighbors may want to know that there is a determined coyote around Alki trying to eat cats!”

And remember, whether you love them or hate them – or something inbetween – “scaring away” is exactly what you want to do if you see a coyote, even if it’s not chasing potential prey or threatening you. Our state’s Fish and Wildlife Department explains why, and offers other advice.

Cleaning up the Duwamish River: City begins ‘Slip 4’ work

October 6, 2011 2:05 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle news

(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
We went to the east shore of the Duwamish River this morning for a city-led event marking the start of a major phase in pollution cleanup: The city is beginning cleanup at Slip 4 (location explained/shown here), described as one of five major “hotspots” that “collectively account for about half the chemical contamination on the river.” The city’s official news release (read it here) explains that this was a “pier and berthing area for industrial vessels” where “storm drains and emergency sewer overflows historically were routed.” Contaminants there include PCBs, metals, and petroleum products. The city bought the site to convert to habitat, and will be removing contaminated sediment/soil, “capping” the dredged site with clean sand, gravel, and rock, and demolishing an old concrete pier. Mayor McGinn, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition‘s James Rasmussen, and others held a media briefing there this morning.

(DRCC advisor B.J. Cummings and coordinator James Rasmussen with the mayor pre-briefing)
Here’s Seattle Channel video of the entire briefing:

This part of the cleanup is expected to be completed early next year. P.S. You can do your part to help the Duwamish heal and stay healthier – the annual fall Duwamish Alive! multi-site cleanup/restoration event needs plenty of volunteers, and it’s just nine days away, Saturday, October 15th. Here’s how to be part of it. And to stay in touch with cleanup plans and efforts, DRCC’s site has the latest – find it here.

Heads up! Co-workers’ show of support for West Seattle man

(Click to see larger image)
Sandy Watkins from Arbor Heights shares the photo and what she offers as a “feel-good story about (her) husband,” Tony Watkins:

On September 1, 2011 my husband was diagnosed with stage 4, non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He works as an assistant service manager at BMW Seattle in downtown. They have been very supportive of Tony during this difficult time. Tony started really losing his hair this past week and decided to shave his head. He went into work today and 23 of his co-workers had shaved their heads in support of Tony. … I thought it was pretty neat. Tony is 4th from the left in the lower row.

ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: Just found out that our friends at KING 5 followed up on this. You can see their story here.

Fixing West Seattle school overcrowding: 2 possible reopenings

At tonight’s community meeting in West Seattle about Seattle Public Schools “capacity management” – mostly dealing with overcrowded schools – you are likely to hear about the possibilities that the district is already circulating, to deal with overflowing elementaries on the peninsula. And they include this tentative proposal for West Seattle: Reopen Boren on Delridge (originally a junior high) and “possibly reopen” Hughes in Sunrise Heights (originally an elementary), to handle a projected surplus of up to 1,100 elementary-age students in the next several years.

That might be something of a surprise to those who thought the former Fairmount Park Elementary, closed four years ago, was the most likely building to be reopened. Boren is in its second year of emptiness, after most recently serving as Chief Sealth International High School‘s temporary home for two years, through June 2010; Hughes is in its second year as the leased, renovated home of independent Westside School (WSB sponsor). We contacted West Seattle’s school board rep (and board president) Steve Sundquist for some context, and have also just spoken with administrators at Westside – read on:Read More

West Seattle Thursday: Dine Out to Remember; tacos for charity; school-capacity meeting; more

October 6, 2011 9:59 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Old pier near Jack Block Park, by LikeOnATree, from the WSB Flickr group pool)
A sampling of highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

CHEESE CEREMONY: 3:12 pm, 100-pound Stilton cheese will be cut at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) as part of the “For the Love of Cheese” festival.

HELP LAW ENFORCERS’ FAMILIES: Tonight is the annual Dine Out to Remember Our Fallen, with local participants contributing part of tonight’s dinner proceeds: Puerto Vallarta, Duke’s on Alki, Talarico’s, Rocksport. There’s also a silent auction at Puerto Vallarta. Proceeds help WAStateCOPS, which assists the families of fallen officers.

TACO THURSDAY, FOR CHARITY: Taco Thursday at Alki Tavern, 5-10 pm, with proceeds this week benefiting Family Promise of Seattle and the West Seattle Food Bank. Organizers say Chris Carpenter, the newly appointed regional director of Church World Service, will be there between 6:00 and 7:00 pm “to enjoy some tacos and shoot the breeze with us about hunger, homelessness, and whether the Huskies’ defensive line is for real.”

BROKEN? DON’T TOSS IT – FIX IT! The Fixers’ Collective @ the West Seattle Tool Library (at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW), 6 – 8 pm. Love to tinker? Come check out the group.

SCHOOL ‘CAPACITY MANAGEMENT’ MEETING: Meeting about Seattle Public Schools “capacity management” – how to deal with school crowding – Madison Middle School, 6:30 pm (more info here – detailed preview coming up shortly on WSB).

ROXHILL ELEMENTARY OPEN HOUSE: It’s tonight at 6:30 pm, after an event during which Roxhill Elementary School‘s staff and families will get to try new school-lunch menus the district is testing (staff at 5, families at 5:45), including “butternut squash curry with chicken, served over couscous.

BE ROYAL! Evening informational session for prospective West Seattle Hi-Yu Senior Court candidates, details here. 6:30 pm at Prudential Northwest offices in Jefferson Square.

WINE TASTING: The weekly West Seattle Cellars (6026 California SW) wine tasting runs 5:30 to 8 pm. Tonight, wines from Languedoc-Roussillon and beyond, with Joelle Hand, of Cavatappi.

DRAMA AT CHIEF SEALTH: “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” presented by the Chief Sealth International High School Drama Club, 7 pm, CSIHS Little Theater, free.

Citywide weekend traffic alerts: What’s ahead Friday-Sunday

October 6, 2011 9:30 am
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

The traditional weekly edition of “traffic alerts around the city because of big events this weekend” is out. Nothing traffic-affecting is expected in West Seattle this weekend, but in case you’re going to be off the peninsula and don’t like traffic surprises – read on for SDOT‘s newest list:Read More

West Seattle HS PTSA kickoff: School year off to ‘smooth’ start

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Busy year ahead at West Seattle High School – and some accomplishments already.

That was the bottom line of Tuesday night’s first general meeting of the WSHS PTSA, with more than 30 people in attendance, including, true to the name, parents, teachers, and students.

Administrators too, like second-year principal Ruth Medsker and assistant principal Michael Kelly.

“It feels a lot nicer to be starting the second year and have some systems in place,” Medsker said, declaring that the new school year had opened “smoothly” – thanks in part to the Link Crew program deployed for ninth-graders and upperclassmen mentors (here’s our September story about it). “The ninth graders this year are much more confident, no really ‘lost’ kids, they started the year off well.”

As of Tuesday night, WSHS had 998 students enrolled, according to Medsker. She said that’s even more than the total number of potential high-school students in its “collection area”; Chief Sealth (which had 1247 students as of a week earlier) has a “collection area” potential-student population twice the size of the one available to WSHS. Medsker said they recruited students from outside their region. Activities are booming too – a freshman football team has been added and some of the clubs are “huge.”

She and Kelly noted two numbers have dwindled to almost nothing, and that’s a point of pride too – the number of “kids under the influence at school” was 1, compared to 46 the first month of last year; “violent confrontations” among students have virtually evaporated this year. Medsker also offered praise to her staff, which she says “really does want to engage and do hard work.”

“It feels good,” observed Kelly.

“It does feel good,” Medsker agreed. Her next “coffee chat” for interested parents, by the way, will be November 20th, and they will discuss results of the WSHS “climate survey.”

Many more time-specific events were announced during the meeting:Read More