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?” This should help. It’s our periodic feature by West Seattle’s own Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen, famed for her solstice/equinox sunset watches, among other things.
By Alice Enevoldsen
Special to West Seattle Blog
Happy summer, everyone! I, like many, did not enjoy our recent heat wave. I’m Seattleite to my bones, and temperatures outside 50-80°F send me searching desperately for relief. Lucky us, hot days make for comfortable stargazing nights. You’ll often hear me advocate for the winter skies, because they’re so pristine (whenever we can see the stars through the clouds), and the long nights give you lots of things to see. The benefit to summer skies is that you don’t have to bundle up, and you’re probably thrilled to spend an hour or two with an excuse to just relax in the cool night air, and we do (believe it or not) have more clear nights in summer.
Hey, what’s that?
Mars and Spica — This pair, a star and a planet, have been giving us quite a show every night in the West as soon as it begins to get dark, around 10 pm. If you’ve seen something in the sky and wondered what it was, I’m betting it is these two. Spica is a brilliant white, and Mars has a blush of a tan or salmon color to it.
You may be inexperienced at noticing the different colors of the stars, so this is a perfect chance to push yourself a little further. Go out tonight – if we get a break in the clouds – and look at this pairing. First, just try to decide if they appear to be the same color or different colors. Then, keep observing and start thinking about what you would name those two different colors. Try looking away at some other stars and then bringing your eyes back.
Another major difference to watch for in the pair is that Spica will twinkle, and Mars will not. Planets don’t twinkle (an easy way to remember this is that the song doesn’t go “Twinkle, twinkle little planet …”).
The clouds have lifted and Eclectic Approach is playing outdoors as scheduled on the east lawn at Hiawatha in this year’s first concert of the Admiral Neighborhood Association-sponsored series, reports ANA president David Whiting. Metropolitan Market (a series sponsor, as are we, and a WSB sponsor) is there with brownies, he adds. Official start at 6:30, music at least until 8, have fun!
In spring 2012, we reported on activist Elizabeth Campbell‘s proposal for a new monorail company, to be called the Century Transportation Authority, CenTran for short, with a line running from Ballard to West Seattle, like the last monorail proposal. Haven’t heard much about it in the interim, but today, PubliCola reports that Campbell has gathered enough valid signatures – just under 4,600 – to get this on the Seattle ballot in November. If voters say yes, CenTran’s website says, it would start out with a $5 license-tab tax to raise money to plan the monorail system.
Last night at The Hall at Fauntleroy inside the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, potential investors gathered to find out more about the crowdlending push intended to bring in the final half-million dollars needed for fixing up the nonprofit-owned building. As mentioned in our preview, the Fauntleroy Community Service Agency is working with Bellevue-based social-investment facilitator Semble. FCSA’s Kevin Wooley explained that the project’s only been up on the Semble website a week, and they’re already more than halfway to their goal.
Wooley told the ~30 people in attendance that most of the money would go toward the ongoing roof-renovation project, and they hope to raise it within a month in order to get the roof work finished before the rainy season. A few other jobs are included, all work that FCSA promised would be done after its purchase of the former Seattle Public Schools property four years ago. Semble reps explained at the gathering that it’s an investment, not a donation, and interest will be paid – information on the project’s Semble webpage (see it here) includes the prospectus, FCSA financials over the past three years, and the interest rate, all of which you can take into account before deciding whether to become a lender.
That flyer is just in, courtesy of Pete Spalding, one of the organizers of next month’s Delridge Day festival. It’s a new addition to the celebration – an outdoor movie in the Delridge Community Center park the night before Delridge Day. That means at 9 pm Friday night, August 8th, you’re invited to the free screening of “The Lego Movie.” Then on Saturday, August 8th, 11 am-3 pm, the Delridge Day festival takes over the park; the music lineup is already out:
11:00 Bill Wolford – world music, alt folk
12:00 Ellis Brothers – jazz
1:00 The Slags – rock and reggae
2:00 Roo and the Few – Americana
The park is at Delridge/Genesee, south and west of Delridge Skatepark. More festival details to come.
As reported here yesterday, the Port of Seattle‘s Terminal 5 in West Seattle is going mostly idle, with a modernization project being planned. But our regular daily search of city permit applications turned up a project proposed for part of the site, potentially of interest to northeast-facing West Seattle: Burlington-Northern-Santa Fe is reopening the permit process for a proposed 80-foot-high radio-transmitting tower between two of its tracks at Terminal 5, close to the corner of Harbor and Spokane. A construction permit for the “tripod-style” low-power tower was originally issued in 2006 (the map above is from a related notice), but it wasn’t built; when a permit extension was sought in 2009, the document included a notation that the railroad company and port were having “property and indemnity discussions.” That extension was granted but expired in 2011; the railroad has just applied for a new construction permit – here’s the city-website page.
The original site plan notes, “Antennas mounted to this freestanding antenna tower will be mounted with as little projection from the tower structure as is feasible. External conduits, climbing structures, fittings, and other projections from the external face of the support structure will be minimized to the extent possible.”
(US Navy photo: USS Constellation in Elliott Bay during Seafair, 1996)
Advance notice for everyone who is interested in what passes our shores: The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Constellation is scheduled to be towed from Bremerton one week from today (Thursday, July 31st), which means you’ll be able to see it – at a distance – from Alki Point southward. Its eventual destination will be Brownsville, Texas, where it will be broken up. It’s been mothballed in Bremerton for almost a decade, after being decommissioned in 2003 and then towed here from San Diego, following 42 years in service. A time for its departure hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ll be watching in the days ahead.
SIDE NOTE: One day before the Constellation’s move, active Navy ships participating in the Seafair Fleet will be visible from even more of the West Seattle shore. Here’s our recent preview of the July 30th Parade of Ships.
ADDED: Just noticed that the Kitsap Sun now reports this isn’t likely to happen until sometime the week of August 4th.
Four food/drink notes today, starting with two venues getting new looks:
(In-progress photo courtesy Mind Unwind/Treehouse Lounge – see the ‘after’ view tonight)
GROUND-FLOOR ‘TREEHOUSE’: Krystal Kelley from Mind Unwind at 2206 California SW in The Admiral District says its Treehouse Lounge is reopening at 4 pm today after a big change – more like an exchange: The lounge will now be on the ground floor, while Mind Unwind‘s adult art classes (etc.) will be on the second floor. The work’s been under way for about two weeks. “Many people have been walking by worrying that the art gallery is going away, it isn’t…in fact, it is becoming even more robust.” It’ll reopen with 4-10 pm hours Tuesdays-Saturdays, serving “specialty sake cocktails, wine, and beer,” plus, Kelley adds, “Food service will be coming in September. We are 21 and over until we introduce food, then we will be family friendly.”
BLACKBOARD BISTRO: South of Admiral, Blackboard Bistro is scheduled to reopen tomorrow after 4+ days of renovation work (extra Wednesday-Thursday closures following BB’s usual Monday-Tuesday days off). The restaurant is in its fifth year at 3247 California.
DINE OUT TUESDAY FOR SPOKE & FOOD: The annual dining-out fundraiser encouraging people to ride their bikes to dinner is next Tuesday (July 29th), 5-10 pm, and two local venues are on the list this year – Marination ma kai (WSB sponsor) at Seacrest, and Proletariat Pizza in White Center. The Outdoors For All Foundation gets 20 percent of the proceeds on Spoke & Food night; here’s the official citywide flyer.
SPEAKING OF BIKING AND DINING … A new tour launched on Alki this month combines both. Taste Seattle Food Tours, owned by West Seattleites Felicia Watson and Roen Ako, is now offering bicycle tours at 11 am Fridays and Saturdays with stops at five beach-area eateries, starting at Marination and ending at another WSB sponsor, Salty’s. They invite locals and tourists alike to try it out; you’ll find more information on their company’s website.
Thanks to Myrtle for sharing the Wednesday afternoon double-rainbow view! Perfect promise of more summery weather returning – in time for tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show, and more:
SAVE LIVES: Be a blood donor – today, with the Bloodmobile at the Clock Tower Plaza on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, 10:30 am-4:30 pm, with a 12:30 pm-1:30 pm break. More in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)
MISSIONmoto CELEBRATION: Afterschool program celebrating its success with youth rebuilding a classic motorcycle, 3 pm at Southwest Youth and Family Services – details in our calendar listing. (Delridge/Alaska)
‘SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA’ KICKOFF: Summery weather is scheduled to return just in time. 6:30 tonight on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center, it’s the first of this year’s six Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, with sponsors including WSB. Free and fun – bring dinner, family, friends, chair/blanket, and enjoy the music of Eclectic Approach. P.S. Little ones? Note that Caspar Babypants is up next week, on 7/31. (2700 California SW, but on the Walnut side)
EVEN MORE … for today/tonight, if you check our calendar!
(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Summery weather is returning, the forecasters say; we’ll see how it goes on the roads, trails, and waterways as the morning unfolds. A few notes:
SATURDAY NIGHT VIADUCT CLOSURE: If you’ll be out Saturday night, remember that the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed 5:30-7:45 pm for the Seafair Torchlight Run – check out this SDOT roundup for details on that and other weekend traffic alerts around the city.
SOUND TRANSIT SURVEY: Four more days to answer the newest survey in Sound Transit‘s Long-Range Plan Update, and let ST your thoughts on light rail for West Seattle. Here’s the survey link; here’s our coverage of last week’s ST presentation at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly lunch.
5:45 PM: Crash reported on northbound 99 at Seneca, if you are heading toward downtown. That said, we are on northbound I-5 right now almost to downtown and it’s fairly sluggish.