month : 03/2013 351 results

Signup time for West Seattle spring, summer festivals

(WSB photo from West Seattle Summer Fest ’11)
Yes, it’s technically winter, as this morning’s icy windshields reminded us. But the sunshine also stirs daydreams of spring and summer, and West Seattle’s wonderful annual events. Here are three that are already signing up vendors/exhibitors/etc.:

SEATTLE SUMMER STREETS ON ALKI, MAY 19TH: Once again this year, after the West Seattle 5K closes Alki and Harbor Avenues 9 am-11 am, a shorter stretch of Alki SW will remain closed to motorized vehicles the rest of the day for Seattle Summer Streets, till 5 pm. SDOT is soliciting sponsors, vendors, exhibitors, and activities; apply online here.

WEST SEATTLE SUMMER FEST, JULY 12-13-14: Vendor and music applications for The Junction’s annual festival are linked from the right side of its home page.

ALKI ART FAIR, JULY 20-21: Artist/vendor applications are available – find the links here.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: March’s first Monday, with new alerts for drivers/riders

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
5:58 AM: The weekend closures are over – both the Viaduct/99 and Delridge/Trenton closures ended earlier than expected – but now we have a few new ones to share, as the week begins:

*Bicycle riders – an alert for the entire week, from SDOT:

(This) week, bicyclists using the trail under the low-level Spokane Street Bridge will be rerouted to the north side of Southwest Spokane Place daily from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will perform landscaping work in the area.

*Some followup work to the earthquake-safety improvements under the Fauntleroy Expressway end of the West Seattle Bridge is planned this week. Exact times/locations hadn’t yet been set when we heard from SDOT consultants at week’s end, though.

P.S. – Next weekend, the Spokane St. Interchange/I-5 project closes a ramp that does NOT directly affect West Seattle traffic – northbound I-5 to 6th Ave. S.

7:25 AM: Just checked outside and noticed serious windshield ice, a reminder that winter’s not officially over yet.

11:15 AM: If you’re heading northbound on 99 in the next few hours, take note of this last-minute advisory:

This past weekend during their inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Washington State Department of Transportation found a slight problem with the pavement around an expansion joint northbound. A crew will close a lane today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. northbound between Royal Brougham Way and King Street in order to make the repairs. Motorists should slow down and use caution passing by the work zone.

Books? Textbooks? Share them globally with Rotary’s help Saturday

Ready for spring cleaning – including reading material you don’t need any more? The Rotary Club of West Seattle invites you to donate it next Saturday:

The West Seattle Rotary Club, along with many Rotary Clubs across the United States, is accepting donations of gently used or new books that will be sent to underserved communities in South Africa and other southern African nations. Books for all ages are welcome, for example:

§ Picture/story books (pre-K and up)
§ Teen and adult fiction
§ K-12 textbooks in sets of 10 or more (world history is okay; U.S. history is discouraged)
§ Current professional books (medical books, international law, etc.)
§ Encyclopedia sets (less than 20 years old)
§ Magazines – National Geographic, Smithsonian (please, no news magazines)

Your donation will be gratefully accepted on Saturday, March 9th, between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at 3925 SW Alaska Street (the empty used car lot on the southeast corner of SW Alaska Street and 40th Avenue SW – just west of the Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home at 3909 SW Alaska Street).

Cash donations of any amount are also being accepted to help with the cost of shipping the books to Africa. Make checks payable to: “District 5030 Service Fund” and send to: West Seattle Rotary, 6523 California Avenue SW, PMB 315, Seattle, WA 98136.

If you have any questions, you may contact Rotarian Martha Sidlo at (206) 933-8008.

Update: House-fire call in 9800 block 35th SW

12:14 AM: A caller driving by told 911 about seeing smoke and possibly flames at a home in the 9800 block of 35th SW (map), so Seattle Fire Department has a full response on the way. First unit on the scene isn’t seeing anything, though. 35th SW is closed between 98th and 100th while firefighters investigate.

12:59 AM: Call’s closed, which means the crews have cleared from the scene.

City transportation director in West Seattle for Q/A this Wednesday

March 3, 2013 11:30 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Got questions about potholes? Parking? Paving? Sidewalks or lack of them? Crosswalks? Bus bulbs? The man who’s in charge of the Seattle Department of Transportation – and therefore in charge of the streets, sidewalks, city-owned bridges (both West Seattle bridges over the Duwamish included) – will be in West Seattle for Q & A this Wednesday. SDOT director Peter Hahn is guest speaker at the Southwest District Council‘s monthly meeting at 6:30 pm Wednesday (March 6), Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle, adjacent to SW Pool). The public’s welcome, so if you have a question, concern, idea, kudo, be there and speak up.

Skies Over West Seattle, March ‘Year of the Comet’ edition

EDITOR’S NOTE: For everyone who’s wished they had advance alert of an upcoming meteor shower/eclipse/etc. – and/or wondered “What’s that bright ‘star’ up there?” – this is for you – the second edition of our new monthly feature by West Seattle’s own Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen, famous for her solstice/equinox sunset watches among other things.

By Alice Enevoldsen
Special to West Seattle Blog

Last month I encouraged you to remember to look up on clear nights (we do have them!) and enjoy our “regular” night sky. This month we have a couple of exciting events that are potentially visible from here in West Seattle. Again, be ready to take advantage of what clear skies we do have, because many March nights are too cloudy for stargazing, and you’ll have to turn to airplane-spotting or cloud identification for your nocturnal hobby.

Comet PanSTARRS!

We are incredibly lucky here in West Seattle. We have a flat Western horizon, which is where you’ll be looking for Comet PanSTARRS just after sunset. I’ve attempted to mock up a little local finding guide image for you here (editor’s note, updated image substituted 3/9/13).

(Placement of Comet PanSTARRS from West Seattle, March 2013. Background image of the Olympics © 2011 Jason Enevoldsen, used with permission)

This is just a guide: I overlaid some planetarium program imagery on a scaled photo of the Olympics. I did my best, but to really find the comet you’ll need an accurate finder chart which includes stars ( has one). At first, in early March, you’ll need binoculars to pick the comet out of the bright post-sunset sky. Toward mid-March it should be brighter, and possibly as bright as the middle stars of the Big Dipper. This would make it easily visible without binoculars. Comets are notably unpredictable though, almost as unpredictable as Seattle’s weather in March.

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West Seattle traffic update: Delridge/Trenton intersection open

March 3, 2013 5:59 pm
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 |   Delridge | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

No need to avoid the Delridge/Trenton intersection tonight – the city says it reopened early, and the adjacent section of Trenton that was closed for prep work is open too. The detour that’s in place for southbound Delridge between Trenton and Henderson remains in place while the repaving project continues Phase 1; as reported here Friday night, Phase 2 is expected to start in about two weeks.

West Seattle weekend scenes: Mystery messages materialize

Last night, Kristina told us about that photo via the WSB Facebook page:

At Lowman Beach this morning, there was a sign “I surrender” on a log – someone went to some trouble to letter the sign, and to cut the groove into a log to attach the sign, and I wonder what it’s about. … Who put it there? What does it mean? It’s beautiful and thought-provoking and I am appreciative: thank you.

Reminded us of a stenciled message we noticed on a Lowman Beach log and showed here almost six years ago. But apparently it’s not just a Lowman phenomenon – Kristina then e-mailed this afternoon to say she came across this today in the Schmitz Park area:

Clues, anyone? Seen others?

Hey, Matt Damon! Chief Sealth International High School pledges to join your strike – and invites you here

Actor Matt Damon says he’s on strike – and with the video you can watch above, Chief Sealth International High School students say they’re ready to join him. Haven’t heard about his strike? Watch *his* video:

With that recent “news conference,” Damon and his did his best to make sure you know that 2.5 billion people don’t have access to something you likely take for granted – toilets.

Since Damon is looking ahead to World Water Day on March 22nd, and Chief Sealth is too – with their third annual World Water Week full of lessons and events March 18-22 – they’re thinking their suggestion that he come here should be an irresistible invitation, says social-studies teacher and WWW ringleader Noah Zeichner. Especially given their specific focus – sanitation and wastewater. So they’ve submitted their video to his website, and sent photos like this one and this one to the #strikewithme feed he launched via Instagram. They hope he will come to Sealth to share the stage with Jack Sim, the activist nicknamed “Mr. Toilet,” who is coming all the way from Singapore to be the keynoter for WWW at Sealth (you are invited too), 7 pm March 19th at the school auditorium, admission free.

As Sim points out in this short video profile of Sim, it’s a taboo topic – and that’s killing people, as taboos too often do. So he talks about toilets, and the Sealth students are doing the same, as is Matt Damon. Will he take them up on their invitation? Stay tuned!

(P.S. A fundraiser continues, to help foot the bill for World Water Week costs and the 9th-grade WEST Project – check it out here.)

West Seattle Sunday: One less traffic alert – Viaduct not closing

March 3, 2013 6:03 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Sunday: One less traffic alert – Viaduct not closing
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Just a reminder as the day begins – as noted in our coverage of Saturday’s crash on the bridge, WSDOT says the Alaskan Way Viaduct/99 will NOT be closing this morning after all; they did all the inspection/maintenance work on Saturday. (But if you were going to take 99 further north, note that a section is closed from the Western Avenue exit northward for a running event, until 11 am.) The ramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge to southbound I-5 *is* closed and scheduled to remain closed till early Monday, and that goes for the Delridge/Trenton intersection too.

Calendar-wise, it’s a relatively quiet day – see for yourself here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 7-11 incident; stolen van

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports:

First, happening right now, police have taken someone into custody from a Metro bus stopped in Fauntleroy, after an incident at the 35th/Barton 7-11. We’re not clear from scanner reports whether the store was robbed or the clerk assaulted by an armed person, or both; we’re following up. (Sunday morning note: Official information isn’t available yet, but one commenter offers a report.)

Also in Crime Watch, a stolen vehicle to watch for: Tod says his work van, white and bearing the company name Leibold Communications on its door, with a ladder rack on its roof, was stolen from Fauntleroy/Brandon last night. Call 911 if you see it.

Third West Seattle sewage problem in 3 weeks: Barton Pump Station overflow

10:07 PM: Another West Seattle beach has or will soon have a warning sign up about a sewage problem. We first got a reader tip tonight about sewage overflowing at the Barton Pump Station in the 5 pm to 7:30 pm vicinity, and as we were about to seek verification, an announcement came in from King County Wastewater Treatment Division with this news:

An undetermined amount of wastewater overflowed from a blown cap on a pipe north of the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal at about 7 p.m. To stop the leak, crews temporarily shut down one of the pumps to slow flows and reduce pressure in the line. The system resumed normal operation, though the cause of the overflow is still under investigation.

Crews initiated cleanup this evening and reported the overflow to health and regulatory agencies. Employees will make additional assessments, post the beach as closed, and take water quality samples when daylight resumes.

In response to our followup question about when it started, KCWTD spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson says she can’t confirm the start time but “we got a report from a State Ferry employee who said he noticed it at dusk, but the stop time sounds correct.” The beach on the north side of the dock is already off-limits to the public because of the pump station’s ongoing upgrade project, but there are residential beaches to the south of the dock and immediately north of the pump-station work.

This is the third recent sewage problem along West Seattle shores: Just a week and a half ago, Murray Pump Station, about a mile north, had an overflow estimated at 18,000 gallons when it lost power during a Seattle City Light outage in the vicinity; also last month, pipe problems at the over-water Harbor West Condos building led to leakage estimated by Seattle Public Utilities at around 30,000 gallons.

ADDED 11:13 PM: We should also note that it is the second problem the county has reported at this particular pump station in less than a week. The previous one – which was NOT reported to have caused an overflow – was a power outage last Wednesday.

West Seattle’s Transitional Resources receives RealNetworks grant, too

March 2, 2013 9:43 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle’s Transitional Resources receives RealNetworks grant, too
 |   Luna Park | West Seattle news

After publishing the news earlier this week that West Seattle Helpline received a $10,000 grant from the RealNetworks Foundation, we found out Helpline wasn’t alone: Transitional Resources, headquartered in the Luna Park neighborhood, has received one too. Above are TR’s CEO Darcell Slovek-Walker and RNF’s Kevin Johnson. A TR spokesperson tells WSB, “This grant will go so far in helping us expand our onsite chemical-dependency services to provide intensive substance abuse help to our clients. We are so happy to see their support for the organizations in West Seattle who are doing so much for the community!”

West Seattle pets: Celtic Swell costume contest on St. Patrick’s Day eve – for people, too

March 2, 2013 5:36 pm
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 |   Holidays | Pets | West Seattle news

St. Patrick’s Day is on a Sunday this year – two weeks from tomorrow – and that means an entire 3-day weekend of revelry at The Celtic Swell on Alki – featuring a costume contest for “Pets and Their People.” It’ll run 2-4 pm on Saturday, March 16th, per the announcement we received today:

Labs dressed-up like leprechauns! Shar peis with shillelaghs! Bulldogs boasting bagpipes! There’s no telling what you’ll see when Alki’s Celtic Swell Irish Pub hosts its first annual St. Patrick’s Day “Pets & Their People” Costume Contest featuring a free photo booth and prizes to benefit the Seattle Humane Society. The family-and-pet-friendly event is a must-do for everyone seeking festive and memorable St. Paddy’s Day fun.

Guests are invited to dress up their pets (and themselves) in St. Pat’s day garb, mug it up Irish-style in the Celtic Swell’s free photo booth, and win incredible prizes donated by some of the area’s favorite local businesses. Participation is free with all donations benefiting the Seattle Humane Society.

With two Siberian Huskies of his own, Celtic Swell owner Gareth Hughes says the costume contest and the cause felt like a natural fit for the Swell. “This year marks our 9th annual Paddy’s celebration, so we wanted to try something a little different! I can’t think of a better way to get the entire family in on the fun of St. Paddy’s day and give back to invaluable community organizations like the Seattle Humane Society who work tirelessly to promote positive change. Judging from the tremendous positive response we’ve received already, I’m confident this will become a cherished family tradition for years to come.”

Today’s announcement also includes a schedule of other events at Celtic Swell that weekend – see the full list here (PDF). The pub’s on Alki Avenue SW, just east of 61st SW, across from Statue of Liberty Plaza and Alki Bathhouse.

West Seattle traffic alert: Crash on eastbound WS Bridge; pressure lessens as 99 reopens early

March 2, 2013 3:16 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle traffic alert: Crash on eastbound WS Bridge; pressure lessens as 99 reopens early
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
3:16 PM: Thanks to everybody who’s texted and tweeted about this: A multiple-vehicle crash on the eastbound bridge around the 1st Avenue South Exit is backing up traffic – compounding the challenges of the Viaduct and southbound I-5 ramp closures. One texter says it appears to be “in the left lane eastbound right after 1st Ave. S. exit.” No other details yet – just getting the warning out for starters. Note that the Viaduct closure is scheduled to end at 5 pm, so the exit to northbound 99 should open then (another 99 closure is scheduled 6 am-noon tomorrow).

3:48 PM UPDATE: Some are asking about the low bridge. This camera’s the only view we have – it shows the west entrance to the eastbound low bridge, in the background, and has been looking fairly backed up:

4:17 PM: The high bridge is still backed up but the low bridge looks to be in better shape (one commenter on Facebook said it appeared to have marine traffic going through earlier).

4:26 PM: Some of the pressure’s being taken off with the slightly early reopening of Highway 99 – all cameras show the exit from the eastbound bridge has been reopened, and traffic is moving on Viaduct/99:

Thanks again to everyone who helped with updates (as long as you can do so safely – no texting/calling if you’re driving, please, we can wait to hear till you get where you’re going!) – 206-293-6302 any time.

6:26 PM UPDATE: We just read the fine print on the later WSDOT confirmation that 99 was open: They are now saying the previously announced Sunday morning closure is no longer needed – not the 99/Viaduct stretch, anyway; there IS still a 6 am-11 am closure planned *north* of Battery St. Tunnel for the Hot Chocolate run.

Update: Cleaning up Constellation Park with the Beach Creeps

(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
1:22 PM: Those are a few of the two dozen-plus people who were already getting to work on the beach at Constellation Park about an hour ago, with more arriving for the Beach Creeps Bicycle Club Beach Cleanup. It’s not that the beach is full of typical trash – more insidious, to beach and sea life, lots of styrofoam pieces and particles have washed up, and getting some of it out from where it’s mixed up with rocks and driftwood is a key objective. Still time for you to join, since they’re there till 3 – just check in at 63rd/Beach Drive (by the octopus sculpture that’s embedded in the sidewalk). Full report later.

4:54 PM: A closer look at the cleanup as it unfolded, from WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams:

(This photo and all others below are by Nick Adams for WSB)
As they arrived, volunteers were given what they needed, and sent off to work on the rocky beach:

Rachelle Kauffman worked under and between the driftwood:

Sticks made the best tools, as 7-year-old Cooper Guidry also found out:

The cleanup volunteers got some big pieces of debris of the beach, like the one Kris Blazina is hauling away:

Picking up the little things – like bits of styrofoam – mattered a lot too, though:

That’s part of what Scott Pietz was up to:

Background, dark sweatshirt, that’s the club’s publicity chair Michael D. Adams helping scour the shore:

This area of West Seattle shoreline is especially precious because it holds a marine-reserve area.

The cleanup was organized in the span of just a week:

Over the week, it went from a casual idea among friends, to an official capital-e Event that even had to get on the Parks Department radar, for a permit, and also trash pickup.

SUNDAY NOTE: In a just-posted comment, Willis from the Beach Creeps reports more than 40 people signed in as part of the event, and the group is thinking about sequels.

Happening now: Prudential Northwest Realty food drive in West Seattle, till 2 pm

Photographed outside West Seattle Thriftway this morning, that’s broker Chris Hanley and granddaughter Enna Ernst, volunteering for the Prudential Northwest Realty Food Drive, which continues till 2 pm outside Thriftway and Metropolitan Market-Admiral. At either store, you can drop off donations of nonperishable food, money, or other essentials (like diapers!) to benefit the West Seattle Food Bank. (Our standard disclosure, when mentioning sponsors: Prudential NW Realty, West Seattle Thriftway, and Metropolitan Market are all WSB sponsors.)

Happening now: West Seattle Girl Scouts’ cookie sales, Day 2

Thanks to Girl Scout Troop 43774 for sharing a photo from their cookie-sale station outside West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) – they’re there till noon, but other Scouts will be there later too (all the way till 8 tonight), and other stores and sites are hosting cookie sellers as well. You can find them all – dates, times, places, troops – via the Cookie Locator. This is day two of cookie-selling season, which continues through March 17th. P.S. See the sign for “Operation Cookie Drop”? Here’s what that’s about.

West Seattle Saturday: Traffic alerts; community cleanups; food drive; music; more

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Big day ahead – with three road closures to remember, and a multitude of reasons to stay on the peninsula and avoid two of them! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

TRAFFIC ALERTS: Three closures today you need to know about: Alaskan Way Viaduct/99 both ways between the bridge and Battery Street Tunnel, till 5 pm (and again 6 am-noon Sunday); eastbound bridge ramp to southbound I-5, all weekend; Delridge/Trenton intersection, all weekend.

LINCOLN PARK INVASIVES CLEANUP: 9 am to noon, Friends of Lincoln Park will be clearing blackberry canes, ivy, maybe even holly and laurel. Meet at the kiosk in the north parking lot, Fauntleroy and Rose – if you get there late, “check the kiosk map (in the North lot) to see where we are working. … Dress in NW layers for warmth and dryness with sturdy shoes or boots. Long sleeves are recommended. Bring gloves and hand clippers if you have them, but we have extras. Bring a water bottle.”

REALTORS’ FOOD DRIVE: West Seattle’s Prudential Northwest Realty (WSB sponsor) team members are holding their annual food drive, 10 am-2 pm, at West Seattle Thriftway and Metropolitan Market-Admiral (both also WSB sponsors), accepting food and cash donations for the West Seattle Food Bank.

NORTH DELRIDGE BEAUTIFICATION: Join the North Delridge Neighborhood Council‘s March cleanup at Greg Davis Park, 10 am-noon. Just wear comfortable clothes – everything you need will be provided.

FOREST RESTORATION: First of three chances to join the SSCC Ecological Restoration class and others in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, 10 am-2 pm, details here.

HOMEMADE BRIGADE: At Freshy’s Coffee in the Admiral District, arts and crafts bazaar, 10 am-4 pm.

CLEAN UP CONSTELLATION PARK WITH THE ALKI BEACH CREEPS: Today’s the day, noon-3 pm (or join the Beach Creeps Bicycle Club in a ride from El Chupacabra on Alki at 11:30 to get to the cleanup site, 63rd SW and Beach Drive) – details in our final preview from yesterday.

CRAB FEED: Alki Masonic Lodge 152 is raising money for outreach with a crab feed tonight, 5-8 pm, 40th/Edmunds; see the calendar listing for contact info to check if tickets are still available!

EAGLES’ FOOD BANK BENEFIT: Dinner at 5:30, live music at 7:30, at the West Seattle Eagles‘ HQ in The Junction, to benefit the West Seattle Food Bank. Details in this Facebook invite.

YOUTH ARTS SHOWCASE: Original songs by young artists, 6 pm at Youngstown Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), details here.

FOLK MUSIC MARATHON … of live performances to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall (7904 35th SW), details here.

GUITAR MASTER SERIES: Joel Tipke with special guest Ben Arthur, 9:30 pm at Feedback Lounge (6451 California SW; WSB sponsor).

‘ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW’: The classic midnight movie is screened at midnight, first Saturday night of just about every month, at Admiral Theater.

… lots more for today/tonight; just browse the calendar!

‘Sleeping With Siri,’ the movie: Film festivals ahead for West Seattleites’ short

That’s the trailer for what West Seattle writer Michael Stusser calls the “digital-detox documentary” he made with fellow West Seattleite Marty Riemer – a short film that’s about to make rounds on the film-festival circuit. It’s part of the work Stusser did for his much-discussed Seattle Weekly story “Sleeping With Siri,” about the tech takeover of our lives. As described on the YouTube page for the trailer you can watch above:

Inspired by a high school’s “Digital Blackout” campaign, where students went without Facebook, e-mail or texting for an entire week, journalist Michael Stusser explores both sides of the technological divide in “Sleeping with Siri.” Jumping first into the digital madness with a Techno-Gorge, Stusser explores every single technological opportunity available, 24 hours a day, Foursquaring at every location, Skyping in the car and Tweeting, Pinning and “Liking” everything in sight. He then dropped out entirely for a second week, with no computer, e-mail or social networks, availing himself of the now lost icons of a by-gone era, including phone booths, land-lines, libraries, paper maps and letter writing.

So far, Stusser says, they’ve made it into festivals including the Big Easy International Film and Music Festival March 22-24 in New Orleans and the American Documentary Film Festival in April in Palm Springs. Will we see it on a big screen in Seattle? Stusser says they’ve applied to SIFF.

Delridge repaving project update: Closure this weekend; Phase 2 expected in 2 weeks

(Delridge repaving project, photographed earlier this week by Long Bach Nguyen)
As of minutes ago, the Delridge/Trenton intersection was scheduled to close for the weekend, as the Delridge repaving project continues. This means you’ll be detouring in both directions, as shown on this map:

According to project spokesperson Bob Derry, with whom we spoke when the work started on January 10th, the first phase, Trenton to Henderson, is on target to last about two months as expected. He told WSB today that SDOT is currently projecting that Phase 2 – between Trenton and Thistle – will start in about two weeks, around March 15th. The entire $6.7 million project, repaving a mile and a half of Delridge Way in phases between Roxbury and Orchard and improving the stormwater system beneath much of the road, is expected to last most of the year.

ADDED 7:19 PM: We just got a text asking about noise. This is the official “construction notice” for this weekend’s work with details of what’s happening and when. Looks like the noisiest work may go on till 10 pm.

Marination ma kai: Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor

The weather’s warming, the days are lengthening, and one of our newest WSB sponsors is waiting for you at Seacrest on the West Seattle waterfront. Here’s what Marination ma kai proprietors Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison (L-R in the photo) want you to know about their restaurant/bar as they head toward their first spring and summer here:

“There are two things we hear about every single day: our service, and our food. People are a little surprised that a $2.50 taco can be so tasty, and that the gal who served it to them remembers their names from last time. I don’t know how we’re changing lives, but I do know that the world can be a tough place to navigate, and everyone can have a bad day, but when you come to Marination you can count on a friendly face saying nice things and genuinely caring about this one moment in time. It’s the one part of the day where people know they are going to have an overall good experience, even if it’s just for a few minutes. We hear about it a lot. It never gets old. It’s pretty humbling, actually.

“For us and our employees, we choose to keep coming back because no matter how gray and rainy Seattle gets it’s always warm and fuzzy at any one of our locations. And that’s including the truck! We’re a really happy crew, we love being around each other. That love and happiness is definitely reflected in our grub. We’re lucky because we’ve cultivated a really strong clientele of folks who are extremely comfortable telling us directly when our rice is undercooked, or something’s amiss with the pork, and we are all over it immediately. The two things we care about the most in our company are propping up our community through various involvements and donations, and keeping our menu fresh, tasty, and affordable. So I guess if someone asked ‘why you?’ we’d ask if they are down with building a strong community and with eating great food for cheap, and if so, then that’s why. West Seattle is such a strong and awesome neighborhood community. We can’t get enough.”

Find out more about Marination ma kai – including hours (which will change with the seasons) and menu – on the Web, here. Marination is on Facebook, too, and on Twitter. And/or just go to 1660 Harbor Avenue SW (map) and investigate the food, drink, view, and general aloha, firsthand.

We thank Marination ma kai for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

West Seattle schools: Chief Sealth students visit North Delridge rain gardens

(Photos courtesy Karrie Kohlhaas)
In the months ahead, rain gardens will be part of at least two government-led projects in West Seattle. A private project that’s already in place in North Delridge continues to draw interest – including a school field trip for which Karrie Kohlhaas was the neighborhood liaison today. She shared photos and this report:

This morning, Chief Sealth International High School brought 25 ninth-graders on a tour of the Rain Garden Demonstration Cluster on 25th Ave SW between Brandon and Findlay (10 rain gardens in the front yards of 10 neighbors on 25th).

The students have been learning about storm water and how it impacts the environment and nearby waterways. Students visited Longfellow Creek before walking 25th Avenue to learn about rain gardens for the first time.

I met with students and teachers to explain how a rain garden works and to show them the different types of plants in a rain garden. We talked about why someone might want to plant a rain garden — how it can both absorb excess water in the winter and be a low maintenance landscaping in the summer and most importantly how it filters toxic pollutants before the water makes its way to local waterways like nearby Longfellow Creek.

As expected, some of the students were more interested than others. I told them that this might not be so fascinating right now, but when they have a home one day, they may stop and think about planting a rain garden instead of grass, which is not beneficial to the environment. They are finding out about grass alternatives much earlier than I did. I only discovered rain gardens a couple years ago. I told them they are way ahead of the curve.

Since we installed 10 rain gardens on our block in 2011, we’ve had many visitors. Many gardeners, a local Muslim school, curious West Seattle and Delridge neighbors, and even people who heard about the project on NPR and PBS in other states have made our block part of their visit to Seattle. I’ve enjoyed spreading the word about rain gardens and the benefits to homeowners, the environment, and the community.

If anyone wants to come check out the gardens, they are welcome to walk the block. It’s a great example of neighbors and non-profits working together to improve the community. While here, you can also see the street improvement on our block, where we collaborated with SDOT and Stewardship Partners to augment a drainage solution in the street by adding, yep, more rain gardens as well as native plants in the planting strips up and down the block. This spring will be a great time to come and check it out when everything is blooming and budding.

Here’s a map to the neighborhood.

ADDED SATURDAY: Chief Sealth social-studies teacher Noah Zeichner tells WSB that this was one of 10 “field experiences” taken by ninth-graders on Friday as part of the multidisciplinary WEST Project (Water, Ecology, and Sustainability Team). The destinations also included:

• Renton Water Treatment
• Cedar River Water Shed
• Water 1st
• Seattle Biomed
• Duwamish Boat ride
• Solid Ground
• Rainier Urban Farms and Wetlands
• Urban Gardens with Composting
• Gates Foundation Visitor Center

Local and global water issues continue to be a focus at Sealth, and this year’s World Water Week is coming up – at which time, among many other activities, students will present their projects to students at adjacent Denny International Middle School. More on WWW coming up in another WSB story this weekend – meantime, here’s previous coverage, including a note about this year’s keynote address, to which the community’s invited.