West Seattle, Washington
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ever wish for advance alert of an upcoming meteor shower/eclipse/etc. – and/or wonder “What’s that bright ‘star’ up there?” Here you go! It’s our 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
August might be your peak month for stargazing, depending on the time you have available. Whatever your reason for finding time to view the beautiful August skies, take advantage of it, and don’t miss the Perseid meteor shower next weekend. The only thing working against you is the late sunsets and early sunrises. First:
Hey! What’s That?
Venus – in the W just after sunset
Saturn – medium-low in the SW after sunset
Arcuturus – high in the W
Jupiter – low in the E before sunrise
Capella – low in the NE after midnight
Let’s talk about Aurorae (“Northern Lights”)
I’ve been tweeting very wishy-washy Aurora alerts over the last couple months. I wish I could be more specific for you, but the Aurora is one of those sky phenomena that is less predictable – just like comets.
The Aurora is so unpredictable is because it is caused by an interaction between the Earth’s magnetic field and the solar wind.
(WSB photo: Participants in 2011 Arts in Nature Festival ‘Species Parade’)
West Seattle’s next festival is six days away: As promised, Nature Consortium is bringing back the Arts in Nature Festival after a one-year hiatus. It’s next Saturday and Sunday (August 10-11) at Camp Long. The schedule is online – use the tabs on this page to see each individual day/venue. Saturday begins with Caspar Babypants at 11 am at the lodge; after that, he and Kate Endle will be in residence at Cabin 4 as part of the ongoing “Museum of Sound.” Headliners Cloud Cult will perform at the lodge at 7 pm Saturday and 2 pm Sunday. The always-popular Species Parade is set for 1 pm Saturday and 11:30 am Sunday in the meadow. And those are just a few items from the long list of festival events. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the first Arts in Nature Festival; admission is free, but a donation is suggested, $10 individual/$25 families.
In the foreground, that’s “Sparkle” the seal pup, the first one spotted this season by Seal Sitters – and its appearance on an Alki-area platform these past few days unfortunately is cause for an urgent reminder instead of a happy announcement, because of boaters getting way too close. Seal Sitters’ Robin Lindsey estimates the pup to be just a few days old, which means if its mom is scared away, its life is at risk: “It is imperative that people STAY BACK from this platform (both in the water and on shore) to lessen the risk of abandonment and death for this pup, shown here with a larger yearling. There was a steady stream of boaters getting much closer than NOAA’s 100-yard recommendation, causing the adult seals to flee into the Sound.” Robin reiterates that “human interference truly is a matter of life and death for all seal pups their first year of life – and most certainly the first 4 weeks when they are nursing on mom’s rich milk, unable to forage on their own. We are documenting all violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and sending photos to NOAA’s Office for Law Enforcement and WDFW Enforcement for investigations – neither of which takes harassment of wildlife lightly. Boaters need to stay back from rafts, docks and buoys with resting seals and sea lions. For boater guidelines, go here.” Robin shows and tells even more of the story on Blubberblog.
P.S. If you see a seal pup – or a marine mammal of any kind, alive or dead – ashore in the West Seattle area, please call Seal Sitters at 206-905-SEAL (206-905-7325). Elsewhere – find info here.
3:46 PM: Police have closed the entrance to the eastbound bridge at Fauntleroy; crews are responding to an aid call further east of that point. We don’t know how long it’ll last, so for now, if you’re about to head east, use the Delridge entrance, which appears to be open (not sure about Admiral but we’re checking). Thank you to the person who texted first word of the shutdown! 206-293-6302 any time, day or night (but only when you can text or call safely and legally).
4:03 PM: Thanks to LT for confirming the Admiral entrance remains open as well as Delridge – so use either of those until Fauntleroy reopens (the image above is SDOT’s “live” camera).
4:09 PM: It’s open again.
A local student has taken aim at archery fame – and seems to be right on target, in a big way. Her family shares this report and the accompanying photos:
West Seattle 9-year-old and Schmitz Park Elementary student Addison “Archer Addy” Nachtrieb placed 4th in the Nation at the US National Field Archery Championships, just two weeks after taking 1st in the State Target Archery Championships while setting a new state scoring record that hasn’t been broken since 2001!
Addy rose at 6 am every morning during the National Championships to practice for 45 minutes, then competed for 27 hours over 5 days, and shot 682 arrows through miles of hills in 80-degree weather in the hills just outside of Darrington, Washington. More than 350 archers from around the country made the trek to the Washington Cascades to compete for the National Cup. After days of shooting in Addy’s first Field Nationals Competition, the finals pitted her against a group of 11 year olds, Serena from Iowa, ranked 9th in the world and 5th in the nation; Tara from Arizona, ranked 4th in the nation; and Brianne from Montana, a two-time indoor and outdoor National archery champion.
Making the rounds at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market this morning, Peter Steinbrueck became the third mayoral candidate in five days to visit the peninsula. He brought along what seemed like an armada of supporters – they staked out the corners by the market, offering literature to passers-by (we were hit up twice in each direction) even as the former city councilmember mingled. No soapbox speeches, just handshakes and on-the-fly chats. His visit follows incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn‘s coffeehouse chat yesterday (WSB coverage here) and State Sen. Ed Murray‘s Wednesday night event at the Masonic Temple (WSB coverage here). Any of the other six candidates (here’s the online voters’ guide for all 9) headed this way before voting ends Tuesday night? Let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you haven’t voted yet – whoever you’re voting for – the West Seattle and White Center ballot-dropoff vans will be back tomorrow and Tuesday.
(This photo & next, by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
If you are going to – or are already at! – Lake Washington for Seafair‘s grand finale, the hydroplane races and air show, here are a few of the West Seattle side notes we’ve found so far. Above, it’s the Miss Beacon Plumbing, whose team again got a helping hand this year from South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) – actually more than one helping hand, as you’ll see in this story on the SSCC website. We visited the hydro pits in the early going this morning to get that photo while Miss BP was out on a testing run. The hydro didn’t come to the SSCC campus for work this year as it did last year, but SSCC students were out working on it elsewhere in the city earlier this week.
Meantime, also seen this morning in the Stan Sayres Pits – the Miss Fox Plumbing bears the logo of a West Seattle-based business, Sea-Way Marine:
And while we don’t know if he’s gotten a chance to drive today, we found out from our friends at My Edmonds News that West Seattle resident Jesse Robertson has been out on the course this weekend – see their story about him here.
P.S. Yet another reminder that the I-90 bridge closes 1:15-2:40 pm for the Patriots Team’s turn in the air show.
ADDED 2:30 PM: Another Fox Plumbing hydro bears the Sea-Way Marine logo – Jim Clark shares this Friday photo of the Formula 1 boat:
The Formula 1 finals are scheduled for 4:20 pm today, right before the H1 Unlimited finals – the full schedule is here.
(WSB photo: U.S. Coast Guard crew just off the Alki promenade on Saturday)
Welcome to a sunny Seafair Sunday! (Added 1:05 pm: And happy 223rd birthday, U.S. Coast Guard – just a coincidence we ran that photo today, didn’t hear about the birthday till now!) Again today, we start with two FYIs, followed by highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
TRAFFIC ALERT IF YOU’RE HEADED EAST: The I-90 bridge is scheduled to close one last time, 1:15-2:40 pm today, for the Patriots Jet Team’s performance during this year’s final Seafair airshow.
NO LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: Again today, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will NOT be opening Alki Point Lighthouse for tours, because of a “heavy task load” for Seafair. Tours are set to resume next weekend (1-4 pm both days).
Now, highlights from the calendar:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Summer produce is at its peak, and you can buy direct from growers at the market, 10 am-2 pm. (44th/Alaska)
PETER STEINBRUECK CAMPAIGN STOP: Another mayoral candidate is visiting West Seattle today; Peter Steinbrueck‘s campaign says he’ll be at the Farmers’ Market around 11 am. (44th/Alaska)
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: Going to Alki to enjoy the sun? Take a side trip to the home of West Seattle history, open noon-4 pm on Sundays (and Thursdays-Saturdays). (61st/Stevens)
COFFEE AND MUSIC: Enjoy live music with Zombie Plowboy 3-5 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor); more in the calendar listing. (5612 California SW)
CLAUDIA NYGAARD AT KENYON HALL: The award-winning Nashville-based musician will be in West Seattle at 7:30 pm tonight at historic Kenyon Hall; details in the calendar listing. (7904 35th SW)
Even more happening today – check the calendar!