West Seattle, Washington
Back in November, we reported on West Seattle Office Junction – local entrepreneurs Christine Bartels and Stefan Hansmire (above) working to find a space on the peninsula to set up a co-working enterprise, someplace that at-home/telecommuting, or otherwise office-less, workers could use, not just as a working space, but as a place to collaborate with and enjoy the workday company of others.
The Junction space they were close to leasing at the time didn’t work out – but after an extensive search, they have locked down a brand-new multi-level unit just south of the Junction, and tomorrow (Monday, April 1st) is opening day. It’s a space with a view:
We photographed Stefan, Christine, and the view from West Seattle Office Junction’s rooftop deck during an open house they had last Thursday night for those who have been participating in co-working meetups and other events while the quest for a permanent location has been under way.
For opening day tomorrow, you are invited to drop in – for a few minutes, or even a few hours – free, to give the space a try. It’s a free day for everyone. West Seattle Office Junction is at 5230 California SW, unit B (map). See many more photos in their gallery here – the WSOJ website also includes information on amenities, membership levels, and rates here, chronicles of meetups and other events along the path to WSOJ becoming reality, and more.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Crowded buses on busy routes, service cuts on non-busy routes.
But what’s happened with Metro since last fall is nothing compared to what is looming if politicians can’t get the money mess straightened out, with two sources of funding about to expire.
Tomorrow (Monday) morning, Metro’s general manager Kevin Desmond plans to meet the media to offer specifics on what the transit service believes it will have to do if its next big budget shortfall isn’t solved. The briefing will come in advance of a Metro report going to the King County Council tomorrow “outlining routes at risk of cancellation or reductions … unless Metro can obtain a stable revenue source.”
The specifics will go beyond what Desmond told two groups of politicians earlier this month – politicians who say it’s up to the Legislature to empower them to rustle up more money.
The first problem is the scheduled end of “mitigation funding” – $32 million the state gave the county to make up for the transportation complications posed by the Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct projects.
What is believed to have been stolen from a Fauntleroy porch today wasn’t a package – just something left for friends, by friends. David is just hoping to get the items back:
Some friends left a Trader Joe’s paper grocery bag on our front porch this afternoon (in the 8400 block of) Fauntleroy Way SW (directly across the street from Lincoln Park, just north of the southern parking lot) and the bag was stolen from the porch. It’s terribly frustrating because the bag didn’t contain much except a couple of kids’ books and kids’ sunglasses (both Easter presents), and my prescription glasses (which I have no backup for). Nothing of value to anyone but me and my family. Hopefully someone might come across the contents (maybe dumped in the park?) and could return to them to us. My phone number is 206-349-5477.
When we first reported two months ago on the new Seattle Police surveillance camera/wireless-mesh-communication system – after readers noticed cameras installed, unannounced, along Alki – SPD had expressed hopes of activating the system by March 31st – today.
Now that the date has arrived – in case you were wondering, we’ve verified it will come and go with no decision yet on when the system stretching from Fauntleroy to Ballard might be activated.
Mayor McGinn first said on February 11th, in a response to WSB, that “the system will not be operated without a thorough public vetting …” While he did not set specific criteria for that “vetting,” so far it has consisted of a briefing before the Seattle City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee on February 20th (WSB coverage here), a briefing at the Alki Community Council‘s February 21st board meeting (WSB coverage here), an SPD-led briefing/Q-A session at Alki Bathhouse on March 12th (WSB coverage here, with video of the entire meeting), and a similar session one week later at Belltown Community Center.
We were not at that March 19th meeting, but privacy/technology activist Phil Mocek, who has closely followed and researched this, recorded and published its audio:
Grant/equipment-related documents he had sought through a public-disclosure request also are now available online.
With no updates since the March 19th meeting, we checked with the mayor’s office at week’s end to see the status of a possible decision. Spokesperson Aaron Pickus replied, “SPD is still putting together additional public meetings.”
The system was described as “port security” in the original May 2012 City Council discussions of the $5 million federal grant that’s paying for it, but in interviews and discussions over the past two months, police also have talked about other ways they, Seattle Fire, and others plan to use the camera system in developing public-safety situations. They also said for the first time at the Alki meeting on March 12th that images from the cameras would be made available to the public online – likely with a frame refreshing every two minutes or so.
For now, along with awaiting SPD word on the “additional public meetings,” we also are awaiting the department’s documentation of protocol for the cameras’ operation, as mandated by new city rules the council approved earlier this month. SPD had said those rules were being drafted by a “steering committee.” Its membership has not been disclosed; Mocek’s public-disclosure request regarding its membership is still awaiting fulfillment.
(Photo by Robin Lindsey)
It’s a beautiful day on the water and a beautiful day for wildlife watching – if you keep your distance, and that’s a required-by-law 100 yards. Robin Lindsey from Seal Sitters shared the photo and asked us to help get that reminder out – please don’t get so close to those sea-lion-laden buoys on the bay:
It was like a flotilla out there yesterday and lots of watercraft around them today, too. While it is tempting to get closer, people need to remember that all marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Sea lions and seals need to rest and regulate their body temperature. That is exactly what a huge Steller sea lion bull and a jostling gang of sea lions, mostly male California sea lions, are doing on the buoys. Our Eastern stock of Stellers are considered “threatened,” while the Western stock that lives in Alaska and Russian waters is indeed “endangered.”
Watercraft violating this federal law are being photographed and the images are being sent to NOAA’s Office for Law Enforcement. A Steller bull is a huge animal, weighing up to a ton, and if provoked could leap off and injure someone. It is only common sense that a kayaker not get within feet of the buoy as they were doing yesterday. Alki Kayak Tours is doing a great job of informing their renters to steer clear of the buoy, but others may not be aware that getting too close not only causes undue stress on the animals, but is a violation of the MMPA and punishable by fine.
We want people to get out on the water and enjoy wildlife – from a respectful distance.
Want to know more about marine mammals? Here’s the Seal Sitters’ resource-links page.
Around the town on Easter, from your cameras and ours ….
Every year, somebody gets Peeped – last year, a home near Lowman Beach; this year, it’s the Lorentz home in North Admiral! They shared the photo of what the Easter Bunny did after he came in through the chimney …no, wait. 1900 block of 41st SW, if you won’t believe it till you see it firsthand.
On Alki, the Easter Bunny seems to have an engine along with the bunny ears and bunny nose:
Thanks to Lisa Ruiz for sharing that photo. Whatever form the Easter Bunny took, s/he was busy at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor):
The annual C & P Easter-morning egg hunt drew dozens — little kids went first. Over at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, the egg hunt was ongoing, but we did drop by the info booth as participants recycled the plastic eggs:
Steps away, the crew from Blue Geisha Tattoo painted faces, and arms:
And then there’s the Easter Weasel – featured on the WSB Facebook page.
Thanks to “Diver Laura” James for sharing video of researcher John Calambokidis‘s harbor-porpoises presentation from the latest in The Whale Trail‘s series of talks, this past Thursday night at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor). Another good turnout – click the image to see a larger version of this panorama:
This was the third in TWT’s new series of events, also featuring other local advocates (such as Laura, for tox-ick.org and Puget SoundKeeper Alliance, and Seal Sitters – whose David Hutchinson is in the panorama, standing by a camera, of course). We’re checking with TWT’s Donna Sandstrom to see what’s next on the schedule; you can also watch the Whale Trail calendar for future additions.
Though the West Seattle/South Seattle expansion of Car2Go‘s car-sharing service wasn’t supposed to start officially until tomorrow, its white-and-blue Smartcars are already here. Thanks to everyone who reported sightings; WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams found this one in the Alki area early today. And if you check the company’s Seattle availability map (thanks to Sue for sharing the link), you’ll see them listed from Duwamish Head to Lincoln Park. Car2Go’s expanded “home area” does not include all of the peninsula – that map is part of this update we published earlier this week. P.S. If you have questions, Car2Go tweeted that it would have reps at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market today – we haven’t been there yet to check but will be stopping by shortly.
(Photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
This Easter Sunday began clear and cool, with early services including the traditional joint sunrise service on the sands of Alki Beach, organized by West Seattle’s three UCC churches – Admiral, Alki, and Fauntleroy.
(Photo we tweeted Saturday from the corner of Delridge and Dakota)
Happy Sunday! Today is Easter; tonight is the seventh night of Passover. Calendar highlights:
Easter begins with two 6:30 am outdoor sunrise services, and continues at churches all around the peninsula. Here’s the list we’ve put together.
Many churches precede or follow today’s services with Easter-egg hunts, and our list includes three others:
West Seattle Farmers’ Market – 10 am-1 pm, with more eggs hidden hourly
C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) – 11 am
Village Green Perennial Nursery – 1 pm
LIBRARIES ARE OPEN: Regular Sunday hours, at your friendly neighborhood Seattle Public Library branch.
LIVE MUSIC AT C & P – Kaley Marie, a Denny International Middle School 8th grader, will sing country songs at the coffeehouse 3-5 pm – her own as well as others. Her proud grandma Polly says this is Kaley Marie’s first big public performance.
LIVE MUSIC @ SKYLARK – Multiple bands @ 3 pm, Holly Figueroa at 8 pm. Both shows are all ages; schedule and cover/no cover info here.
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