day : 02/04/2012 10 results

Sunrise Heights/Westwood ‘bioswales’: County insists they won’t be Ballard Raingardens Redux

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

After two community meetings in the past five days, residents of Sunrise Heights and Westwood know exactly which planting strips the county is eyeing for potential “bioswales” to keep rainwater from causing combined sewer overflows (CSO) at Barton Pump Station, miles downhill – specific spots along the 31 blocks identified in early March.

They also know how the county hopes to keep them from “ponding” during all but the heaviest rains – through a complex underground “underdrain” system.

But some remain skeptical that the “green stormwater infrastructure” project will not be Ballard Roadside Raingardens, The Sequel, though the project manager insists it won’t.

The ghost of that problem-plagueed city project has long loomed over this county plan, despite reassurances, promises, and explanations of how the two situations differ. There were more of those Wednesday night at the first gathering inside Westside School (the second meeting was Saturday at High Point Community Center), even as project manager Mary Wohleb tried to keep Ballard from being the proverbial elephant in the room.

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From White Center Now: Burien annexation vote in November

We’ve spent the past 2 1/2 hours in Burien City Council chambers on behalf of partner site White Center Now – covering a big story: November has just been set as the date for White Center (and environs) residents to vote on whether to be annexed by Burien. We chronicled the meeting on WCN – as you can read here.

West Seattle Helpline finds new Clothesline HQ, needs rent $

April 2, 2012 8:39 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Helpline finds new Clothesline HQ, needs rent $
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Back in February, West Seattle Helpline put out the call for a new home for its Clothesline clothing bank. It’s found a new home, executive director Tara Byrne says – in the Admiral District, close to West Seattle High School, more accessible to bus lines, more conducive to expanded hours. However, there’s a bit of a downside, as explained in this excerpt from a donation-seeking letter they’re circulating:

In West Seattle we have the only clothing bank that offers 3 free outfits, a pair of shoes, and a coat to each family member in need. Our Clothesline is on track this year for giving out $68,000 worth of clothing to families in need in West Seattle so that they do not have to decide between groceries or coats for the children.

As excited as we are about helping our neighbors, the West Seattle Helpline needs some help from you. We found out last month that our rent-free space will soon no longer be an option for our Clothesline program. The good news? We found an excellent location to better serve our neighbors in West Seattle and we have amazing clothing on the racks for families. The bad news? Rent is no longer free.

Our goal is to raise $6,600 to cover rent for the next year at our new Clothesline space. How can you help?
$20 keeps the Clothesline open for 1 day …
$138 keeps the Clothesline open for 1 week …
$275 keeps the Clothesline open for 2 weeks …
$550 keeps the Clothesline open for 1 month …

You can donate through their website at (see the button on the right sidebar) – where you will also find ticket information soon about Helpline’s big “Taste of West Seattle” fundraiser, coming up May 17th.

Mourning Lou Tice, founder of West Seattle-based Pacific Institute

A memorial is planned April 13 for Lou Tice, founder of the Harbor Avenue SW-headquartered Pacific Institute, which announced his death today:

The Pacific Institute is saddened to report the passing of its Chairman and co-Founder, Lou Tice Sunday evening, April 1st, after a brief illness. Surrounded by his wife, Diane, and loving family and friends, Lou spent his final days challenging those around him to carry on with his life’s work – educating and empowering individuals all around the globe to an ever-greater commitment toward making “a better world.”

A memorial service celebrating the life of Lou Tice is scheduled for Friday, April 13th, at 10:00 am at St. Edward’s Catholic Church, 4212 S. Mead St., in Seattle.

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Metro reveals final proposals for September bus-service changes

After two drafts, Metro says it is done with the final proposal for changing bus service this fall in connection with the launch of RapidRide C Line service in West Seattle. What we’re publishing here is their official news release; we’ll be reviewing the actual proposal (see the links on the right side of this page) in the hours ahead to look for more details:

In recent months, we’ve heard from nearly 10,000 transit customers about our proposals to restructure bus service to be more productive and meet the needs of more people. That public input has helped shape the final September 2012 plan being submitted to the Metropolitan King County Council next week. This plan is aimed at being equitable, fair, and balanced regionally using the limited resources available.

Most of the final recommendations support the launch of the RapidRide C and D lines that will connect downtown Seattle to Ballard and West Seattle starting on Sept. 29. For that reason, the changes primarily affect service in Seattle and adjacent communities. Some of the revisions, such as the recommended changes to the routes 10, 11, 12, 123, and 125 will also improve the flow of buses through downtown Seattle, which will produce significant efficiencies for Metro’s overall system.

Not all of the changes originally proposed for this September will be part of the final plan. Some are being postponed for now, but could happen in the future. Several ideas needed further review and analysis.

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Update: Car fire in garage under Beach Drive condo building

April 2, 2012 4:25 pm
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 |   West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

(SFD units on Beach Drive – the building involved is not shown; it’s on the water side)
4:25 PM: Within minutes of the call, crews reported “tapped fire” and started dismissing some of the units that had been sent – so not a big fire, but we’ll be there soon to find out more.

4:38 PM UPDATE: Still working to find out what that small fire actually was, but one thing we can tell you: Until the remaining fire crews clear, Beach Drive is all but impassable at the scene, near Andover, about a block south of Cormorant Cove.

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
4:58 PM UPDATE: Our crews at the scene have learned this started as a car fire in the garage beneath the building (which is on the water side). It was already being extinguished as fire crews arrived; some smoke got into the building above, which is being ventilated. No injuries. The car’s owner told WSB’s Christopher Boffoli she was driving it earlier today and everything seemed fine. Investigators will be checking to see how the fire started. Traffic is still blocked at that section of Beach Drive, including a southbound Route 37 bus, with most of its passengers electing to get off rather than wait.

Plea bargains for Lincoln Park attacker Duane Starkenburg – in both cases against him

Just as he was about to go to trial – with jury selection to start within a day or so – Duane Starkenburg has struck a deal in both cases against him. He is the Gatewood man charged a year ago with attacking women joggers and then charged last fall in a years-old child rape case (he has been in jail since his arrest in that case). The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says that Starkenburg has pleaded guilty in connection with both cases:

(He) pleaded guilty to two counts of Assault Second Degree and one count of Assault Third Degree with Sexual Motivation for assaulting three women joggers in West Seattle’s Lincoln Park in 2010 and 2011. In each assault, Starkenburg would grab a female jogger and plant his face into the victim’s buttocks.

He also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of Child Molestation Second Degree for sexually assaulting a girl who was 9 or 10 years old, an incident that occurred approximately ten years ago and was recently reported. The total sentence range is 103 to 130 months in prison. Prosecutors will recommend 116 months when Starkenburg is sentenced on April 13 before Judge Sharon Armstrong at the King County Courthouse, 2:30 p.m. in courtroom E-847.

(That would be 4 months short of 10 years.) The original charges against Starkenburg were: In the Lincoln Park attacks, two counts of indecent liberties and one count of attempted indecent liberties; in the other case, child rape. That case was to be tried at some point after the completion of the trial that was to start this week in the jogger-attacks case.

(Photo from February 2011 hearing by Mike Siegel/Seattle Times, republished with permission)

Satellite-tracked seal pup Sandy found dead, tangled in line

(January 2012 photo by Robin Lindsey)
Just in from Robin Lindsey of West Seattle-based Seal Sitters:

I am so sad to report that West Seattle’s rehabbed seal pup “Satellite” Sandy was found dead yesterday, entangled in fishing line near the Edmonds fishing pier.

This just serves to remind us of the many dangers that seal pups and other marine mammals face with fishing line, lures and nets. Pups are attracted to fishing piers and docks because those structures create a climate where tiny fish thrive – the very fish that make up a good portion of a seal pup’s diet. When fishermen dump bait at boat launches and fishing piers it only compounds the dangers for pups – and frustrations of fishermen when pups and adults steal bait from their lures. With discarded lines and lures abundant around popular fishing spots (such as Colman Pool at Lincoln Park), we can all help by picking up any debris on the beaches and in the water. The waters of Washington are littered with derelict fishing gear and nets and it is estimated a minimum of 50,000 animals die yearly.

Had Sandy not been fitted with the id and satellite tags, her death would most likely never have been reported. We are encouraging divers to document any animals they find entangled in fishing gear – do NOT try to remove the animal or the gear itself. Dead or alive, it is against Federal law to touch a marine mammal without authorization. Additionally, removing net and fishing gear is extremely dangerous. Please e-mail photos and lat/long to Seal Sitters and we will forward to the appropriate person for entry into a database. I have added some links of interest regarding marine debris and derelict fishing gear removal in my post (on Blubberblog).

It was just two months ago when Robin reported that Sandy had been released and was being tracked.

From cameras to checkstands: KING team @ Admiral Safeway

If you watch KING 5 Morning News, you’ll recognize anchor Mark Wright at left, traffic reporter Tracy Taylor (in red) in the middle, and reporter Jake Whittenberg at right – they’re visiting Admiral Safeway right now, for a fun(draising) bagging battle on behalf of Special Olympics and Easter Seals, part of the company’s monthlong disabilities awareness/fundraising campaign.

10:56 AM UPDATE: Look who won!

Tracy’s partner in victory was Erika Swanson from Bear Creek Safeway on the Eastside. We have photos of them – and the other competing duos – after the jump:

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West Seattle Monday: Singing; cooking; bagging…

Alki Impressions… from Laura James on Vimeo.

If you work off-peninsula and get homesick sometime today – or just need a brief break for beauty – check out Laura James‘ lovely video montage of West Seattle beauty, shot this past weekend. (Yes, that’s “Diver Laura,” but this is all above water.) Meantime, we start the day with highlights from the spruced-up WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

ROAD WORK TRAFFIC ALERTS: Late-night/early-morning drivers, note that the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed 10 pm-5 am tonight (and the following two nights), which also means you won’t be able to get to the West Seattle Bridge from I-5. The city explains it all, here.

SAFEWAY KICKS OFF MONTHLONG FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN: This morning at 10 am at Admiral Safeway, according to company spokesperson Sara Osborne, three members of the KING 5 Morning News team – Mark Wright, Tracy Taylor, and Jake Whittenberg – will each “team up with a Special Olympics athlete/Safeway employee to see who can bag groceries the quickest and most carefully, and each team will walk away with money to donate to local Easter Seals and Special Olympics programs.” (2622 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE COOKING CLUB: Got recipes involving olives? Make one (or more) and take it to the West Seattle Cooking Club meeting at 3 pm at Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW).

HEARTLAND TURNS 2: Five nights of special events marking the Heartland Café/Benbow Room second anniversary wrap up tonight with a 21+ event that even includes free fried chicken 6-8 pm – details here.

FAMILY STORY TIME: 7 pm tonight, with the children’s librarian at the Seattle Public Library‘s High Point branch (35th/Raymond) – details here.

TEAM TRACY KARAOKE AUCTION: Fundraiser for the fabled 3-Day Walk breast-cancer-fighting team at Skylark Café and Club. Bid on singers – the highest bidder picks the song. Bidding starts at 7, singing starts at 9 with Karaoke Kelli.

WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY REGISTRATION: Scheduled to start today – watch for the announcement (and link) this afternoon or evening, soon as we’re sure all systems are go. The 8th annual lots-of-garage-sales-all-over-the-peninsula extravaganza is 9 am-3 pm May 12th.