day : 02/06/2013 10 results

Monday: Open house seeking your opinion on reducing waterway pollution

(Outfalls in our area – blue = ‘controlled,’ pink = ‘uncontrolled’)
The city has yet to finalize a plan for keeping its combined-sewer overflows out of local waterways – but once it decides on an option, West Seattle will be affected, one way or another, as this “community guide” shows – with options including at least half a million gallons of overflow storage to be built somewhere in eastern West Seattle. As part of the current environmental review of the options, the city has a “scoping” open house tomorrow to which you’re invited. It’s been advertised here and elsewhere as “The Plan to Protect Seattle’s Waterways“; it’s a chance to review the potential alternatives, and ask questions/offer comments in person. It’s downtown, 4:30 pm-6:30 pm Monday (June 3rd) in the Bertha Knight Landes Room on the main floor of City Hall downtown. If you can’t go, you can comment by e-mail, as long as your comment’s in by June 20th – e-mail (Or – here’s a survey.)

P.S. Just in case you wondered, two things:

#1 – This is separate from King County’s combined-sewer-overflow-reducing plans, which in our area include the planned storage tank across from Lowman Beach Park and “green stormwater infrastructure” in Westwood and Sunrise Heights. The county’s plan involves reducing overflow at two of its pump stations on the southern West Seattle shore; the city’s plan involves reducing what gets to its more-numerous outfalls both on Puget Sound and on other waterways including Longfellow Creek and the Duwamish River.

#2 – If this sounds a bit like déja vu – there was a previous round of “scoping” in 2011 (as noted here). But since then, the city negotiated an agreement with higher authorities regarding past pollution, and the results of that changed the potential plan a bit, as explained in the “community guide.”

Update: Crash in Highland Park; 7 taken to the hospital

(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
4:10 PM: Multiple ambulances are being called to 12th and Holden in Highland Park for a crash. We’re on our way to find out more.

4:16 PM: Per radio communications, 2 vehicles, 7 patients, at least two seriously hurt. Large emergency response in the area so stay clear TFN.

4:30 PM: Our crew on the scene says the vehicles are a van and an SUV. Multiple SFD medic units and private ambulances there. Photo added. The wrecked vehicles are on the south side of Holden, about 100 yards west of 12th.

4:45 PM: Seattle Fire’s public-information officer is on scene, so we’re expecting some additional information from our crew shortly. The 12th/Holden area has long been flagged by the Highland Park Action Committee and other area advocates/neighbors for safety concerns.

4:56 PM: The Traffic Collision Investigation Squad will be coming to work on this, which means the area is likely to be closed at least a few more hours. If you are heading west on Holden, you will have to detour onto 12th; if you are heading east on Holden, you will have to detour onto 13th.

5:11 PM: SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl confirmed to us and other media at the scene that seven people were taken to Harborview Medical Center – two of them children – but none is believed to have life-threatening injuries. In all, she says, the first crews arriving at the scene were told that 10 people in all were in the two vehicles; one had to be extricated (cut out) of the wreckage.

Though some at the scene reported smoke, neither car caught fire, she said.

5:32 PM: Briefing video added (and shortly afterward, two more photos). We’ll check on SW Holden’s status in a few hours – please let us know if you see it reopen sooner (via comments here or text/voice 206-293-6302, our 24/7 line) – thank you.

9:37 PM: Drove by to be sure SW Holden had reopened – it has.

ADDED 8:16 AM MONDAY: Seattle Police have published a summary on SPD Blotter. The only information beyond what we’ve already reported includes the vehicles’ directions and the fact neither driver is believed to have been impaired:

… At about 3:52 pm on Sunday, it is believed that a Hyundai Santa Fe was travelling westbound on SW Holden. At the same time, a Dodge Caravan was travelling eastbound on SW Holden. For reasons still to be determined, while the cars were mid block, they collided head on.

Seattle Fire responded and treated the three adults and two small children that were in the Santa Fe. All the occupants were transported to Harborview Medical Center. Two of the adults suffered serious, but non life-threatening injuries. The two adults (one man and one woman) in the Dodge Caravan were also transported to Harborview, one with serious but non life-threatening injuries. The three young children in the Caravan were evaluated at the scene by Seattle Fire, but they did not have to go to the hospital.

As is routine in serious collision investigations, a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officer responded to the hospital and evaluated both the female driver of the Caravan and the male driver of the Santa Fe for any signs of impairment. It was determined that neither driver had any signs of impairment from drugs and/or alcohol.

Lighthouse centennial, report #2: Rear Admiral Keith Taylor’s final weeks as district commander

Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

Before the Alki Point Lighthouse opened for this year’s summer season of weekend public tours Saturday afternoon, which also happened to be the 100th anniversary of the day the building officially opened, one of the people who live on its grounds presided over a commemorative ceremony: Rear Admiral Keith Taylor, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard‘s 13th District.

Not only did he speak about the lighthouse and its history, he told us in a conversation afterward, but also about the watch that is kept around the clock by the USCG in this region, and about his pride in the people who keep that watch. In relating the past – including the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the Revenue Cutter Service (here’s an official USCG historian slide deck) – to the present, RADM Taylor says he likes to say, “We helped the Pacific Northwest grow up.” (Lighthouses became part of the USCG’s accountability in 1939.)

This month has significance for RADM Taylor far beyond the lighthouse centennial: Before this month is over, he will turn over command of the 13th Coast Guard District to his successor. He’s retiring, 30 years after he began his service following graduation from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and two years after becoming commander of this 4-state district.

The district includes 4,400 miles of coastline, more than 600 miles of inland waterways, and a long list of stations and vessels that you can peruse here, as well as on the official fact sheet (which reveals this is the centennial year for the district itself). Hundreds of thousands of vessel journeys, dinghys to cruise ships and beyond, are made in the region’s waterways each year.

One datapoint of potential interest to sky-watching West Seattleites: No Coast Guard helicopters are based in Seattle; they’re based in Port Angeles. You may see the distinctive mostly-orange helicopters here fairly often, but when they head home, they’re flying northwest to the shore of the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. Aviation, by the way, figures prominently into Adm. Taylor’s background; his past assignments include serving as commander of the USCG’s Air Station Miami. He also has served as the Coast Guard’s Chief Financial Officer and in other USCG-wide leadership roles.

For decades, it has been tradition for the USCG 13th District’s commander to live on the Alki Point Lighthouse grounds (the last lighthouse keeper retired in 1970). Adm. Taylor has kept with that tradition; he told us he and his wife hope to stay in the Seattle area after his retirement. The other residence at Alki Point also is usually home to a USCG officer and family; its next residents are moving in soon, Admiral Taylor mentioned.

As for the lighthouse itself, he says it’s vital to the safety of local waterways and he doesn’t see that changing any time soon.

The District 13 change of command ceremony, he said, is scheduled for Friday morning, June 28th, at the USCG station at Pier 36 on the downtown waterfront; we’re expecting more information as it gets closer.

Meantime, free lighthouse tours are scheduled to continue at Alki Point 1-4 pm each Saturday and Sunday through the end of August.

Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry update: Klahowya back

June 2, 2013 3:03 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

Heads up for Washington State Ferries travelers – and drivers in the terminal areas – on this sunny weekend afternoon:

The Klahowya is out of service for necessary repairs. The 2:25 pm Southworth to Vashon and Fauntleroy sailing and the 3:20 pm Fauntleroy to Vashon are cancelled. The two-boat schedule begins when the 3:30 pm Vashon to Fauntleroy sailing becomes a direct 3:35 pm Vashon to Southworth sailing. The 2-boat schedule will in effect for the remainder of the day. Updates will occur when more information becomes available.

You can check the route’s status – and get the 2-boat schedule – here.

6:11 PM UPDATE: WSF says Klahowya is back in service.

Underwater filmmaking, behind the scenes, with ‘Diver Laura’

You’ve seen the work of West Seattle’s award-winning “Diver Laura” James – a filmmaker, photographer, writer, environmental activist – here and elsewhere over the past few years. Now, we get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to get those views; much more complicated than simply jumping into the water with a camera. The video above tells that story as part of a profile of Laura’s work, made for the Puget Sound Starts Here campaign by another local filmmaker, Matthew J. Clark. Some beautiful scenery above the water, too (look for the Seacrest sequence) – Laura says it was shot in mid-April.

West Seattle schools: Denny musicians’ Disneyland success

Young musicians from West Seattle are showing their stuff at Disneyland this weekend, and gaining recognition for it, reports Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark:

It is an honor to share with you that the Denny International Middle School senior band, senior orchestra, and jazz band musicians are performing this weekend at the Disney Magic Music Days in Anaheim, California. Mr. Pimpleton, Ms. Shaffer, and other Denny staff and volunteers are with nearly 100 students as they perform. Our scholars are having a great time and earning some prestigious awards. So far, we have been presented with a 1st place and overall top Jazz Band, 2nd place Middle School Orchestra, and 3rd place Middle School Concert Band awards! Congratulations, Dolphins! Thank you to our staff and volunteers!

P.S. After they return, the orchestra’s final concert of the year, along with Denny singers, is this Wednesday night.

SIDE NOTE: Thanks to ALL local school staffers, volunteers, parents, and others who have helped us update tens of thousands of people in the West Seattle community and beyond with news of many local schools/students’ activities, honors, open-to-the-public events and more, again this year. We appreciate hearing from any and all schools in the area! Whether it’s an upcoming event announcement, an invitation to cover something at/involving your school, or photos/info on something that’s already happened, is the place to send it (and if you have questions on how or what to send, same address – thanks!).

Tree trouble in Westwood: Big branch falls on road

Thanks to WSB contributor Keri DeTore for the photo and word of that big tree branch down at 29th and Henderson in Westwood. She says it took down some kind of utility wire, but otherwise, it didn’t appear other damage had been done. We’ll check back to see how soon it’s cleared away.

11 options for your sunny (so far) West Seattle Sunday

June 2, 2013 9:29 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Sunday sunshine! Your options include:

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm today and every Sunday in The Junction. (44th/Alaska)

OPEN HOUSE: While you’re in The Junction, today’s the day for the 10 am-3 pm open house at the new West Seattle Women’s Health and Midwifery, as mentioned here (second item) (4727 44th SW, Suite 207)

FURRY FACES FOUNDATION PLANT SALE: Again today, 10 am-4 pm, the animal-advocacy group’s plant sale offers hundreds of plants of all types. More info in this WSB Forums post; you can also take part in a pet-food drive (food or cash). (3809 46th SW)

HAIRCUTS FOR HEALTH CARE: 10 am-3 pm benefit at VAIN salon in The Junction – details in our calendar listing. (4513 California SW)

BENEFIT CAR WASH: Relay for Life‘s Team Bulleavers are raising money 11 am-2:30 pm at Alki Auto. (2504 Alki SW)

FRIENDS OF THE ANIMALS’ CAT ADOPTION EVENT: Noon-3 pm at Next to Nature in The Junction, Friends of the Animals Foundation has cats and kittens available for adoption – details in our calendar listing. (4543 California SW)

LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: Open today and every Thursday-Sunday, noon-4 pm, for you to enjoy and explore local history. (61st/Stevens)

SEA LIFE, FROM GLASS: Watch artist Justin Bagley at work! Noon-4 pm at Avalon Glassworks – details in our calendar listing. (2914 SW Avalon Way)

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE: Didn’t go on centennial day yesterday? Free tours continue 1-4 pm today, and every weekend afternoon through August. (Just north of where Alki Avenue and Beach Drive meet)

FREE BIKE REPAIRS: DIY Bikes is teaming up today with the West Seattle Tool Library – bring your bike for free repairs. 1-5 pm. (4408 Delridge Way SW, northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center)

GRETCHEN’S GRAINS: This West Seattle-founded company (featured here last year) is demonstrating how to use its frozen, organic, pre-cooked grains – see for yourself at PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) 4-7 pm today. (California/Stevens)

3 West Seattle community centers offering QuickStart tennis

June 2, 2013 8:35 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

Kids 7-10 years old have the chance to learn tennis this summer at three of West Seattle’s city-run community centers. The announcement:

QuickStart Tennis is intended for beginning youths with little to no playing experience. QuickStart Tennis is unique and fun because kids learn the game playing with smaller rackets, smaller courts, low pressure and foam balls. They play fun games and do exciting drills. Practices are twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays starting June 24th. Practice times are 6-7 pm for 7-8 year olds and 7-8 pm for 9-10 year olds. In late July, there will be FUN matches against other teams.

QuickStart Tennis runs for 8 weeks and concludes on Wednesday, August 14th with a FUN PLAY DAY. Cost is $35 per child and equipment is included. Teams will be forming at local West Seattle community centers: Alki Community Center, Delridge Community Center, and Southwest Teen Life Center.

You can sign up via any of those three centers. Questions? Jeannie Shek – jeannie.shek@seattle.gov206-684-4764

Triumphant return: West Seattle Baseball honors WSHS visitors

June 2, 2013 2:33 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

As a big day of playoff games got under way Saturday morning for West Seattle Baseball, they paid tribute to the West Seattle High School baseball team that just finished its season as the #2 3A team in the entire state. As Greg Slader, who shared the photos, notes, “Many of the high-school players played their first baseball at the Peewee Fields by Riverview. Even Coach Velko was once a baseball player in the West Seattle league.” Above, that’s WSHS Coach Velko Vitalich with some of his players, receiving a commemorative baseball from West Seattle Baseball president Eric Olson. And here’s WSHS third baseman Cameron Slader talking to those on hand:

The WS Baseball schedule shows playoffs resuming next week.