West Seattle, Washington
That’s a WSB file photo of the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One – which helps in other jurisdictions too, including Seattle – and next Thursday afternoon, you just might notice it over south Highland Park and Greenbridge. White Center Heights Elementary PTA president David Sonsteng sent early warning of the plan. Kindergarteners are “working on their community-helpers module in class,” he explains, so Thursday (March 13) 1:25 pm-2:25 pm, they will “get to meet some of these community helpers.” In addition to Guardian One, they’re scheduled to meet KCSO Deputy BJ Myers (who’s based out of the downtown WC storefront office), a fire engine from the North Highline Fire District, and an ambulance from AMR. We’ll remind you again that day, but if you might be anywhere near the area, store away the info. (The school is at 10015 6th SW.)
Tomorrow’s the day that Democrats from West Seattle, White Center, Vashon/Maury Islands, and the rest of the 34th Legislative District are invited to caucus – “the first step in the journey toward the all-important 2016 election,’ per the 34th District Democrats‘ official caucus call. Registration starts at 1 pm at the Evergreen Campus, 830 SW 116th in White Center (map). While they aren’t voting on candidates – too soon for that – the “first step” includes electing delegates to June’s statewide convention, and collecting resolutions and platform issues for next month’s countywide convention. (State Republicans are not caucusing this year.)
How rainy is it? In the late afternoon, West Seattle-based environmental advocate “Diver Laura” James – whose specialties include stormwater-runoff education – caught these maxed-out sewer covers at the east dead-end of Yancy between West Seattle Athletic Club and Longfellow Creek (map).
The National Weather Service has two alerts out for our area – a Special Weather Statement that warns the rain “has led to an increased threat of landslides in Western Washington … The threat will increase tonight into midday Sunday as heavy rain affects the area. Several inches of rain over the past several days has increased soil moisture to high levels across Western Washington,” and a Flood Watch that speaks for itself. Here, by the way, is the runoff’s outfall to Longfellow, as noted by Laura:
To find out how to minimize the toxicity of what’s in runoff water, check out tox-ick.org. You can also check this real-time map to see which marked outfalls have combined-sewer overflows happening right now, the same kind of overflows that city and county projects under way now are aiming to reduce.
P.S. The NWS says the official gauge at Sea-Tac has collected almost four inches of rain in the first week of March – ending yesterday.
Two meetings in the next four days will deal with the six ex-substations City Light is getting rid of:
GREEN SPACE COALITION TOMORROW: Can’t make meetings on weeknights? The West Seattle Green Space Coalition, working on the future of six City Light-owned ex-substation sites in our area, invites you to its meeting tomorrow afternoon:
The West Seattle Green Space Coalition will meet Sunday, March 9 at 3:00 pm at the West Seattle (Delridge) Public Library. Topics will include follow-up on the WSGSC’s March 5th meeting with representatives from Seattle City Light and Tom Rasmussen regarding SCL’s project to decide within months what to do with former substations that have sat idle for decades, including ones in West Seattle. We made good progress on how to work with the City to come up with best ways to give the Neighborhoods more time to keep these open spaces for the community.
Here’s our report on the Wednesday tour mentioned above. Then on Wednesday:
CITY COUNCIL ENERGY COMMITTEE: A briefing on the ex-substations is on the agenda for the 9:30 am Wednesday (March 12th) meeting of the Energy Committee, chaired by Councilmember Kshama Sawant. Mary Fleck from the WSGSC is among those who will be participating. You can see the city’s slide deck here, including this slide outlining what happens next:
The Wednesday meeting is in council chambers at City Hall downtown; there will be a public comment period.
1:08 PM: Thanks to Diane and Keith for the tip: Police and fire are blocking 37th in Admiral, near Hinds (map), in the aftermath of a crash. Diane reports a private ambulance has arrived – no medic unit was dispatched, indicating no life-threatening injuries – and that there’s debris in the street. So if you have to get around in that area, avoid 37th for a while.
2:16 PM UPDATE: The road’s open again, Diane reports. And Keith sent photos that we’re adding – in the one immediately above this paragraph, he says the car in the background by the ambulance also was damaged. Both mention one person transported by ambulance.
Students from Middle College High School (based at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center) are doing it – and you can do it too! Deborah Vandermar from the High Point Neighborhood Association shares the photos and an update on Keep High Point Green:
Keep High Point Green (KHPG) is a project that evolved last year as a community response to High Point’s need for weed control and its commitment to sending only clean water to Longfellow creek by avoiding the use of herbicides. HP Open Spaces Association assigned 30 plots including park beds, roundabouts, and parking strips to the The High Point Neighborhood Association (HPNA) for maintenance.
KHPG has been organizing teams of neighbors in and around High Point into teams to weed and providing ongoing classes that include garden analysis, plant selection and garden design. These classes are conducted by green gardening experts such as Vera Johnson of the Village Green Perennial Nursery and Janice Nyman, Architect and Landscape Designer.
The HPNA won a grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods to cover child care, translation, and outreach so that all members of the High Point Community can be engaged. Seattle Public Utilities partnered with KHPG to produce a film about weeding featuring Garden Hotline teachers Katie Vincent and Justin Maltry. It will be on SPU’s YouTube site shortly. Other projects include a large garden fence mural by YELS in Hip-hop style.
Our first team of gardeners, students from Middle College High School, started Thursday at Morgan & Sylvan. In spite of the cold and rain, they were enthusiastic and began the conquest of vetch that has taken over the south west corner of Commons Park.
Anyone can join a gardening team in High Point. Classes, tools, mulch and plants are free. Volunteer opportunities include bringing snacks, taking pictures, working with kids, fixing fences, outreach, doing research for theme gardens and more.
For more information, contact Deborah at 206-225-5627 or email@example.com. And check out more about the Middle College HS students’ work here!
The city’s trying to find a way for Seattle families to have access to affordable, voluntary “Preschool for All,” and wants to hear from you about how it might work. 6-8 pm Thursday (March 13th) you can come to a West Seattle meeting – with free dinner and child care – to share your thoughts and ideas. It’ll be at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW); here’s the official flyer, listing some of the specific topics they want to talk about. The child care is for ages 2-8 and if you’d like to take advantage of it, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of children you’ll be bringing and their ages.
(Male Anna’s hummingbird, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Happy Saturday! Notes and events:
TRAFFIC ALERT: I-5 expansion-joint work continues; tonight until Monday morning, WSDOT is closing up to 3 northbound collector-distributor lanes downtown. The main lanes remain open, as do exits (follow the link to see a map), but this could still lead to some backups.
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME STARTS TONIGHT: OK, technically tomorrow (Sunday) morning, 2 am.
ADMIRAL ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP: 9 am, join the Admiral Neighborhood Association outside Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) and spend a few hours helping beautify your community. Perks, too, as noted in our preview. Young helpers welcome too. (41st/Admiral Way)
INTERNET BASICS, 1 & 2: Know someone who isn’t quite Web-savvy? This class might be just what they need. 11 am-12:30 pm at the High Point Branch Library. Call quick to see if there’s still room – registration is required. Details in our calendar listing. (35th/Raymond)
DUWAMISH RIVER, THE FIRST 15,000 YEARS: 1-3 pm presentation by geologist Devin O’Reilly, sharing how glaciers, volcanoes, earthquakes & humans have shaped the river. Free; more information here. Duwamish Longhouse. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)
By Tracy Record & Katie Meyer
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
For the first time in the two weeks a King County Superior Court jury has spent hearing the case in the second-degree-murder trial of Lovett “Cid” Chambers, they have heard his voice.
As is standard in a criminal trial, the defendant is in the courtroom for all on-the-record proceedings, so the 15 jurors (including three alternates) have seen Chambers (at right, WSB courthouse-hallway photo from Wednesday) day in and day out. But he has not been on the witness stand. Thursday afternoon, before the trial went into recess until Monday (March 10th), prosecutors played parts of the video recording made during the hours he spent in a Seattle Police interview room – sometimes alone, sometimes with SPD personnel – after the January 21, 2012, shooting by Morgan Junction Park that left 35-year-old Travis Hood dead.
The video playback came while Detective Cloyd Steiger was on the witness stand. It happened in two somewhat lengthy stretches – the first was mostly quiet, in which Chambers appeared to be resting on a chair in the corner. (The jury watched on the wide-screen monitor used to show evidence; the defense, and gallery, were in view of a laptop screen from which the video was being played back.)