West Seattle, Washington
“This is not your grandfather’s amateur radio service,” points out the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club, inviting you to stop by Field Day on the south side of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus any time before 10 am tomorrow. What’s Field Day, you ask?
Every June hams across the country take their radios outside and run them free of the electric grid. Joining with members of the Auxillary Communications Service (amateurs who work with Seattle Department of Emergency Management) and the Puget Sound Repeater Group, West Seattle Amateur Radio Club members will operate radios and communicate with other hams around the world from West Seattle. We operate using power we generate including solar panels and batteries. We build our stations in the 24 hours prior to the event
Yes, you’ll see that big antenna in our top photo – with which they’ve even been talking to the International Space Station – but then there’s smaller equipment:
(The water bottles, we were told, are just for counterbalance.) The club explains further:
As a group, some of us just built our own software defined radios. The only analog part of these radios is the antenna connection. We are deploying a wide area microwave network and in doing so are learning mesh networking and how to offer services across our homebrewed internet. Knowlege like that will make hooking your printer up a snap next time. We routinely use digital modes that allow effective communication using 1/1000th the power needed just a decade ago. While some of us still employ large antenna arrays for worldwide communication, it is now possible to work the world with a very modest station.
We peeked in the main tent, and found Jeff:
Anyone you find will be happy to talk with you (as well as with whomever they’re transmitting to and receiving from). Outside, talking to Curt, we were reminded that amateur-radio operators are deeply involved in emergency preparedness – and in other tasks that need close communications coordination – even on the sidelines at the West Seattle Grand Parade (watch for them July 19th).
Our annual West Seattle 4th of July info page is now up with the local holiday basics, including special events and transportation changes. We expect additions and updates in the days ahead, especially from local food/beverage establishments that plan to be open – just e-mail us the basics, email@example.com. The page is here, and you’ll see it on the navigation tabs beneath the sunset-photo header on every WSB page through next Friday night.
(UPDATED 9:13 PM with 15 more photos, including 3 more aerials!)
(That photo and next 2 are by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
More than anything, their annual Alki arrival is about the kids. And the photo ops. And more kids.
And the occasional politician.
LOTS more photos and video to come, of course. And though a cloudburst has dampened things post-landing, the beach festivities are scheduled to continue for a few more hours – the sun might just make a comeback.
P.S. Before they landed, the pirates tell us, they took time to remember last year’s Captain Kidd, the late Rusty Harper, with a wreath thrown toward the briny deep of Puget Sound.
ADDED 3:01 PM: Thanks to Alki photographer David Hutchinson for the next three views of the Pirates’ boisterous beach approach:
Still adding more. The Pirates will be back in West Seattle for the Grand Parade on July 19th, by the way … if not sooner.
ADDED 9:13 PM: So much more to see. Here’s the crowd on the ground:
(That photo and others from here are by WSB’s Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)
Here’s another view from the sky:
(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
Even with all those people, there were some singular moments – like this pirate fan who wanted to be first out in the water to greet them:
Others were more content to sit and wait … and sit some more:
The clouds menaced:
One pirate was ready:
Another just stuck with the sword:
And then there were some modern, uh, weapons:
Back up on stage, was this the key to the city?
Or maybe the ignition key for Moby Duck?
All over the beach, people were making new friends, like this possible future Hi-Yu candidate who posed with royalty:
This one too:
All the while, the battle for Alki raged … we think:
Some watched from a distance:
(That photo and next by Long Bach Nguyen)
And one last look at that crowd – note the pole-vaulting east of Alki Bathhouse:
Tomorrow, the Pirates will be part of the Pride Parade downtown.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Exactly one week has now passed since one of the four “Walking on Logs” sculptures was discovered missing, but there’s still no word of breakthroughs in the case.
The theft was discovered when volunteers from the Walking on Logs Landscape Restoration Group and Kiwanis Club of West Seattle arrived at the site alongside the Fauntleroy end of the West Seattle Bridge last Saturday morning for cleanup and weeding. (Here’s our first report, from last Saturday night.) The sculpture was severed above the foot that had balanced atop a “log,” as shown in our top photo (from Friday), leaving behind these three:
It’s not the first public-art theft in West Seattle; the Rotary Viewpoint Park totem-pole heist of 2009 comes to mind, as do years of vandalism/theft incidents targeting the original Alki Statue of Liberty.
But the Dancing on Logs site has had other challenges. First, some history: The four bronze “dancing children” by renowned artist Phillip Levine of Burien were installed in 1996. Following up on the installation’s history and context over the past week, we learned that Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, interviewed Levine on video just last month, out at the sculpture site, with traffic whizzing by. He and Levine agreed that this unedited interview could be published as part of our followup:
He talks about location as well as the inspiration for the “sheer joy” exuded by the sculptures’ pose. (You can see more of Levine’s work here.) Eals also recorded video of each of the sculptures – starting with the one that is now gone (also visible behind Levine during much of the interview above):
Eals then photographed Levine with Earl Cruzen, who made the Murals of West Seattle project happen – that’s what the statue was part of, confirmed Calandra Childers of the city Office of Arts and Culture, noting that “the whole project was funded from matching-fund grants from both King County and from Department of Neighborhoods. SDOT allowed the artwork in the right of way with the understanding that the community would maintain the artwork.”
In Eals’ May photo below, that’s Levine at left, Cruzen at right, and the now-stolen sculpture at top left:
Cruzen, now 93, took care of the sculptures’ site often singlehandedly until four years ago, when Nancy Driver of Fairmount spearheaded the organization of what became the Walking on Logs Landscape Restoration Group, as reported here in March 2010. Volunteer cleanups organized since then have not drawn much response. Driver got a few volunteers from the Kiwanis Club for the one last Saturday.
The theft of one of the sculptures might lead to renewed attention for the site’s plight. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has long been accountable for giving permission for nonprofits to display messages there, and board president Nancy Woodland tells WSB:
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has been calendaring the Walking on Logs decorations for years. Local non-profits schedule time to dress the statues to promote activities that support the local community. The Chamber is now committed to stepping up that involvement to help support the dedicated work of others including Nancy Driver, the Department of Neighborhoods, SDOT, and SPU to maintain the site. We’re exploring all options for involvement but are hopeful that our membership of business owners will step in to help with clean-up efforts bi-annually at a minimum. This is a first impression of our amazing community and we want to help make it a good one.
Right now, though, the search is still on for the missing sculpture. Here’s another look:
(WSB file photo by Christopher Boffoli)
If you have any information about what happened to it and/or where it is, you can call 911 – mention case number 14-198308 – or contact the Southwest Precinct at 206-733-9800. Its burglary/theft detectives are handling the case, according to the SPD spokesperson with whom we last checked.
What you should know about today, primarily from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
(WSB photo: SDOT crew working on California just south of Fauntleroy)
TRAFFIC ALERTS – ROAD WORK TODAY: Paving work is scheduled all day at California/Fauntleroy, 7 am-7 pm; two lanes of northbound I-5 are scheduled to be closed all weekend at the West Seattle Bridge, and the Highway 520 bridge is closed too.
(added) BUS ALERTS: The California/Fauntleroy work includes bus reroutes – Rapid Ride between Fontanelle and California; Route 128 between Graham and Morgan – Metro sent them as e-mail alerts on Friday.
(WSB photo: Relay-ers on the track, 8:30-ish this morning)
RELAY FOR LIFE CONTINUES: You’re welcome at West Seattle Stadium as the all-night cancer-fighting fundraiser Relay for Life of West Seattle continues, including a fire truck scheduled to visit at 8 am, the kids’ parade at 10, a “dance party” at 10:30, and the closing ceremony at 11:30 am. Here’s our story from its start last night. (4432 35th SW)
‘WEST SEATTLE: LET’S TALK’: City reps from the Department of Planning and Development, Department of Neighborhoods, and SDOT will be at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 9:30-11:30 am, for what’s described as an open-house-format meeting – we’ll update on Twitter when we’re on site.
(added 10:21 am) We’re at the event now – there were a few minutes of remarks including DPD and DON’s directors, Diane Sugimura and Bernie Matsuno. But the emphasis is on one-on-one conversations (below, Sugimura speaking with attendees shortly after we walked in):
DPD director Diane Sugimura is among the city reps here. Open house until 10:15, then brief remarks. pic.twitter.com/Nd1YBnCfpT
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 28, 2014
(They are now convening informal chat groups toward the back of the room, upstairs at the SC.) If you just can’t make it, watch for our report later and followups with the information the city departments are sharing via boards on easels. Sugimura said basically, growth won’t stop, but they’re hoping to hear from people around the city – starting with this meeting in West Seattle – about how to accommodate it. (California/Oregon)
SEAFAIR PIRATES’ LANDING: On Alki, with events centered in the Bathhouse vicinity – including live music starting at 10, Seafair Pirates (watch the bay!) expected sometime after 11:30, vendors, kids activities, and general revelry continuing on into the mid-afternoon. (added) Hi-Yu royalty too:
More details in our preview from last night. (60th/Alki)
HIAWATHA YOUTH FAIR: 10:30 am-3:30 pm at Hiawatha Community Center, presented by West Seattle Wildcats Junior Football and Cheer organization. Details in our preview from last night. (2700 California SW)
LOW TIDE WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: Not mega-low but low enough (-1.4 feet just after noon) for beach exploration, with volunteer naturalists at Constellation and Lincoln Parks 10:30 am-1:30 pm.
CAT/KITTEN ADOPTIONS: Two opportunities in West Seattle today (and tomorrow) – Friends of the Animals Foundation at Next-to-Nature in The Junction (4543 California SW), 11:30-3:30 pm (details here); Kitty Harbor just north of the West Seattle Bridge at 3422 Harbor SW, noon-5 pm (info here).
FIELD DAY AT SSC: Amateur-radio operators are set up from noon today until 10 am Sunday in the field on the south side of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus and welcome your visit – details here. (6000 16th SW)
LIVE MUSIC TONIGHT: See our calendar for listings at venues including C & P Coffee Company, The Cask, Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsors), Kenyon Hall, Benbow Room, Skylark.