West Seattle, Washington
(Photo courtesy Karen Hinkey)
Longtime WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli continues to make an international splash with his acclaimed “big food/little people” art-photography series “Big Appetites.” Just back from a huge art expo in Toronto, Christopher is talking to audiences here at home in West Seattle, too. Today Christopher visited Alki Elementary for “Master Artist” presentations to two groups of students, and says he had a great time: “I guess some of the classes are going to be making their own photographs with tiny figures and food so some of the kids were really excited about it and had great ideas about what to shoot.” He also reports some of the youngest students found some of his images most humorous. Artists volunteering for presentations like this are helping make up for arts-funding shortages at school.
And as of a few days ago, Christopher is displaying work in a West Seattle gallery for the first time, with images including this one:
ArtsWest is showcasing Christopher’s work and that of two other artists in “A Feast for the Eyes: Food in Art,” a group show running through December 15th, with a reception next Thursday, November 8th (West Seattle Art Walk night) and an informal “artists’ talk” on December 13th – both events are 6-7:30 pm.
A message for you from Gatewood Elementary students, forwarded on their behalf by teacher Darren Radu (who also shared the photo):
We are 4th grade students of Team Mt. Si at Gatewood Elementary. Our big goal is to have a positive effect on the systems in our world. We’ve been studying the electoral system and watching the election. Did you know that many people who can vote forget to or choose not to? Today we did some service to encourage people who think that it’s not important to vote. What happens in elections affects all of us because the people who are elected make big decisions and create our laws.
We walked from Gatewood to Morgan Junction while we were holding up our signs. We did a bunch of chants like, “when I say vote, you say ‘for America’!’. We chanted: “Vote! For America!” A lot of people honked and waved at us as we marched and chanted. People were interested in what we were doing. Many people told us that they already voted and we cheered for them.
We made signs and showed people that we kids care about the election. We can’t vote because we’re all little, but we’re encouraging our elders to vote. We think it’s a shame that not everybody votes who can. If we could vote, we definitely would!
We hope that you can help us spread the word about why voting is important.
The 4th Grade Students of Team Mt. Si
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
They are mysterious, majestic – and largely unprotected. Now the status of the Giant Pacific Octopus has come to light – harsh light – because of an incident here in West Seattle, but it’s a light that might also lead the way to overdue protection.
WSB Forums members have been talking about it for a day, divers’ discussion boards have been spreading it like wildfire, and citywide media has picked it up too – an outrage-sparking saga from the popular diving area off Seacrest – known as Cove 2 – involving someone “harvesting” an octopus that was originally reported to be a female guarding eggs.
If you haven’t heard about this yet – here’s a basic version of the original report, on a personal website. The citywide media reports include one from our partners at The Seattle Times today, and a story by KING5.com last night.
While some of the discussion has centered on the alleged braggadocio of the diver who took the octopus – and someone claiming to be him has been posting in the WSB Forums thread, denying that it was a female – others have focused on this question: How can this be made illegal, so that it can’t happen – legally – again? That’s what we looked into
Right now, state Department of Fish and Wildlife rules say it’s legal to “harvest” an octopus (if licensed, and per a daily limit) just about anywhere – except for Marine Protected Areas (here’s a map). As the map shows, there are some in West Seattle – Schmitz and Richey Viewpoints off Beach Drive. The state law regulating protected areas is here.
The first person from whom we heard about this, award-winning environmental advocate and diver Laura James, expected a petition drive to be started to designate the popular diving area off Seacrest as a protected area.
And that’s one way to make it happen, we found out when we called WDFW to ask what is required to get an area designated as a protected area. Spokesperson Craig Bartlett provided a raft of information – and told us that the department is also looking into the issue. Bartlett noted that in his 13 years with the department, he didn’t realize till this came up that the octopus is unprotected.
According to Bartlett, “There are two ways citizens can petition the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for a change in fishing rules: 1) fill out a petition form at http://www.ofm.wa.gov/reports/petition.pdf and send it to the commission or 2) attend a commission meeting and testify during a public comment period.” There’s a meeting coming up next Thursday and Friday, he notes – the calendar is here, and the agendas for both mornings show public-input periods. (You would have to go to Olympia, however.)
We also have asked Seattle Parks for comment on the possibility of protecting the waters at Seacrest; since it’s a city park, it seems as if they might have some jurisdiction. We’ll add that reply when we get it.
10:07 PM UPDATE: As Diver Laura (James) has pointed out in comments, a petition is now up and running online – find it here.
New information this afternoon, following up on a story we published last night on our partner site The South Park News: Construction of the new South Park Bridge has hit a snag, and completion will be delayed at least several months.
First word came from King County Roads’ Jay Osborne at last night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, which we were covering for our other partner site, White Center Now; asked by NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin for an update on the bridge’s timeline, he said there had been some trouble with its foundation, and that “conversations” were under way to figure out how that would affect the schedule.
This afternoon, we talked with King County Department of Transportation spokesperson Jeff Switzer, who says the foundation work did indeed take longer than the contractor expected – particularly the sinking of the caissons through the hardest layer of riverbed – and that means instead of a fall 2013 completion, the bridge won’t be ready until sometime in 2014. The county is awaiting a revised construction schedule, and in the meantime is discussing how to financially help businesses and others affected by the extended period of bridgelessness. It’s already been two and a half years since the old bridge was taken out of service. In the meantime, Switzer says, demolition will start soon on what’s left of the old bridge.
In the first two hours of the first of five West Seattle days for a King County ballot-dropoff van, about 60 ballots already had come in, according to the team at the van today – Skyler, Cindi, and Kayleigh. They are in the same spot as last time – along the West Seattle Stadium driveway (enter off northbound 35th, shortly before Avalon) – and will be there till 5 today and again 10 am-5 pm tomorrow through Monday, then 7 am-8 pm on Election Day (Tuesday). You can drive up and hand them your ballot, or park, walk up, and put it in the box yourself. They say the pace so far today was much busier than the first day they were here before the August primary. If you want to drop off a ballot somewhere else – close to where you work, for example – here’s the full list countywide.
Earlier this year, we noted that a vacant lot at 4731 40th SW (map), toward the east edge of The Junction, was up for sale. We’ve just learned that the city is planning to buy it as potential parkland, with levy money specifically targeted for securing more open space in urban areas before it’s all gone. And, it so happens that the site is directly across the street from the future west side of the 4755 Fauntleroy Way megaproject. The city is wondering whether you think this site makes sense as a park. First, background from Chip Nevins of Seattle Parks:
The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy allocated $24M to the acquisition of neighborhood parks in areas of the City that were experiencing significant growth and had a lack of park space; West Seattle Junction was one of the 18 urban villages identified in the Levy. Partly in response to DPD’s West Seattle Triangle UDF [Urban Design Framework], Parks has been looking for a property close to the Fauntleroy/Alaska junction to serve the new and proposed developments in that area. We recently got the vacant property at 4731 40th Ave SW under contract and are in the process of doing our due diligence on the property. One aspect of the due diligence is to make sure that the property makes sense as a park as it relates to the people, properties and projects around it.
This is the time for the city to take a close look at that, as the project goes to its second Early Design Guidance public review next Thursday (here’s our most recent report, with updated renderings). Nevins would like to hear what you think, along these lines:
I am looking for thoughts about whether this site makes sense. And if it does make sense, comments about how the design of the project at 4755 Fauntleroy SW could be changed to improve the functionality of a park at that location (which ideally would be mentioned at the EDG meeting).
Three ways to offer your thoughts on this: 1. Comment on this story. 2. E-mail Nevins directly – firstname.lastname@example.org. 3. Talk with him before or after the 4755 Fauntleroy Design Review Board meeting next Thursday (it starts at 8 pm, at the Senior Center of West Seattle, California/Oregon).
It takes a peninsula to build a playground. That’s Mike Shilley from Highland Park, one of the first volunteers getting to work in Westwood’s Roxhill Park this morning, as the “community build” of the new Roxhill Castle play structure begins.
Over the next several days, hundreds of volunteers will work in shifts – but even if you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late to join them.
You can just show up at the site (across Barton from Westwood Village), or you can check out the newest information at the community site for the project, roxhillcastle.wordpress.com.
(Today’s sunrise; photo by Don Brubeck)
What a beautiful start to the day! Lots going on – here’s just part of it:
ROXHILL CASTLE: Time to build a playground! The rain has stopped in time for Roxhill Castle volunteers to get going at Roxhill Park. See the latest message for volunteers, here. They’re planning to work till 8 pm tonight – and then continuing tomorrow; you can show up and join in, too!
BALLOT-DROPOFF VAN: Haven’t sent in your ballot yet? Today is the first of five days with the King County Elections ballot-dropoff van staked out at West Seattle Stadium. Schedule’s in our calendar listing.
‘FIRST FRIDAY’ – HELP THE HELPLINE: The Rotary Club of West Seattle invites you to come hang out at The Cask in The Admiral District 5-7 pm and bring gently used coats, gloves, scarves to donate to the West Seattle Helpline – details here.
CORNER BAR AT HIGHLAND PARK IMPROVEMENT CLUB: It’s the hottest ticket in town … first Friday of the month, 6 pm, HPIC turns into The Corner Bar. Dia de los Muertos is this month’s theme. 12th/Holden; be there!
BUTCHER-SHOP BASH, TO HELP WHITE CENTER FOOD BANK: ‘Meat the Live Butcher’ opens soon in South Delridge, and will cater a pre-grand-opening party tonight at the White Center Eagles’ HQ, as a benefit for White Center Food Bank. 6 pm; details here.
WINE TASTING #2: Bin 41 in The Junction, 6-7:30 pm, “Fall Favorites with Joelle.”
REMINDER ABOUT TOMORROW NIGHT’S TIME CHANGE: Saturday night/Sunday morning is “fall back” time – one hour. So when it’s 2 am Sunday, it’ll be 1 am Sunday.
But before then … more for today/tonight, on our calendar!
(SDOT camera looking at northbound 99 @ Lander; West Seattle Bridge cams not working currently)
6:05 AM: An early-morning crash at 1st and Seneca involving a Seattle Police vehicle is blocking the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s Seneca offramp, so among other things, that means a bus reroute, says Metro:
Metro’s Friday AM commute is underway and starts off with Routes 21E, 55, 56E, 57 & RapidRide C & D Lines temporarily rerouted and using 4 Av S into Downtown Seattle due to blockage at the Alaskan Way Viaduct off ramp.
6:42 AM UPDATE: The ramp has now reopened – and Metro says buses are back to their normal routing.
9:47 AM UPDATE: We can of course share your photos from the commute, too, any time – just got this West Seattle Water Taxi view with today’s wonderful sunrise, from Jennifer:
From sunrise/sunset colors, to crowded/uncrowded buses, to weather/traffic scenes, share a photo any time.
3:43 PM UPDATE: There’s a backup on the southbound Viaduct – a truck didn’t make clearance under the lid, according to a photo sent to us by Riley:
5:26 PM: Metro just tweeted that more RapidRide C Line evening runs are coming:
Big gaps between RapidRide buses downtown? Yep. That’s why we’re phasing in more evening C Line trips starting Nov. 5 and 13. Stay tuned.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) November 3, 2012