West Seattle, Washington
(Photo by Carrie Sapp)
After the Southern Resident Killer Whales came through last Friday, the experts noticed someone missing in other regional sightings – baby L120, first calf born to the local orcas in two years. No one wanted to announce her death until word came from orca experts – and now it has, shared in a news release via Orca Network:
The Center for Whale Research has confirmed that baby L120, only about seven weeks old and the third known offspring of a 23-year old Southern Resident orca known as L86, was not with his or her mother when she and other members of L pod were photographed recently in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research said, “L86 was seen and photographed on Friday, Saturday, and Monday, all without L120.”
L120 was the first newborn Southern Resident offspring seen since August 2012. In February of that year the the body of L86’s second offspring, 3-year old female L112, washed up at Long Beach Wash. with indications of death by severe acoustic trauma.
Research conducted in recent years has shown that Southern Resident orcas depend almost entirely on chinook salmon for sustenance, with a diet of chum salmon during fall months when chinook are especially scarce.
This orca clan has suffered episodic food deficiency for many decades, as chinook salmon runs were depleted by habitat destruction, excessive harvest and dams from Alaska to California. They were also routinely shot at for decades and over 50 were captured or killed for theme parks during the 1960s and 70s, followed by wanton disposal of persistent toxins into Puget Sound that continue to impair fetal development and immune responses, especially when the whales can’t find sufficient food.
“We haven’t treated these magnificent orcas well at all. As a society we are not successfully restoring this orca community despite the many warnings and legal declarations. Our challenge is clear: bountiful salmon runs must be restored and protected or we won’t see Resident orcas in the Salish Sea in coming years.” said Howard Garrett of Orca Network.
The loss of her second baby must be especially traumatic for L86, but knowing this young orca will never grow up and reproduce is painful for all who care about this precariously dwindling extended family. Now down to only 78 members, the Southern Resident community is at or below their numbers in 2001 when alarms rang with such intensity that they were eventually listed as endangered under the ESA in 2005.
Tuesday night, the Junction Neighborhood Organization meets – and it’s not just a chance to hear and talk about projects and issues in the area, it’s also a chance to help your neighborhood be prepared! From Ellen West:
Earlier this year, JUNO committed to joining with West Seattle Be Prepared and to create a Emergency Communication Hub in the Alaska Junction area. We’ve approached Hope Lutheran, who will partner with us on hosting the Hub location. So now we’re ready to form the Hub team and start training with the other West Seattle Hubs. Please come to the next JUNO meeting on Tuesday, October 21st, 6:30 at the West Seattle Senior Center, 4217 SW Oregon, to become a volunteer for this important work! For more information, please e-mail Ellen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lyric soprano Vicky Oxley and mezzo-soprano Linda Rough are the Opera Belles, and their 10-song “Parade of Operatic Hits” was the perfect note to end a sunny Sunday in Fauntleroy. With accompanist Hartwig Eichberg, they sang the music of nine composers in a house-recital benefit for Southwest Youth and Family Services, whose director Steve Daschle was their opening act, explaining Delridge-based SWYFS’s community work to help thousands of people every year, in multiple ways:
Susan Lantz-Dey from the SWYFS Board hosted the recital and a wine/cheese reception preceding it.
P.S. The song in our clip is an original Opera Belles arrangement of “Voi Che Sapete” from Mozart‘s “Marriage of Figaro.”
Looking at options for next school year? Three more events are coming up fast:
HOPE LUTHERAN MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 6:30 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, October 21st), families interested in the middle grades at Hope Lutheran School are invited to an open house – details in our calendar listing. (42nd/Oregon)
SEATTLE LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: West Seattle’s only independent high school invites you to come meet staff and students, 7-8:30 pm this Thursday night (October 23rd) on campus, 41st/Genesee.
WEST SEATTLE EDUCATION FAIR: This is also happening at SLHS, but it’s for families with kids going into pre-K through 8th grade. One week from tomorrow – Tuesday, October 28th, 6:30-8 pm – come to the SLHS gym for this informational event (sponsored again this year by WSB). 10+ local schools spanning those grades will be there to talk with you; we’ll have the final list when it gets a bit closer.
Is your school’s open house in our calendar? If not, e-mail us ASAP – email@example.com
Three months after burglarizing three homes in one day, 33-year-old Jason Wyman has pleaded guilty. We reported on his spree back in July, when he was charged with breaking into two houses and a guest house within blocks of each other in Gatewood and Upper Fauntleroy; in two of those cases, people were home when he walked in through an open or unlocked door.
According to court documents from his plea hearing last Friday, Wyman is also suspected – but has not and will not be charged in – two other local incidents in July, a burglary at a business in the 7200 block of West Marginal Way SW and a theft at a business in the 7300 block of Delridge Way. Court documents list more than 40 property and drug crimes on his record, dating back to 1996, when he was 15. (The photo above is from 2002, which the state Department of Corrections says was the last time he was in their custody.) In the plea agreement, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recommends that he get a prison-based Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA) sentence of three years, which would include mandatory substance-abuse treatment, followed by three years of community custody (probation). He’s eligible for that, according to court documents, because these are non-violent offenses and he hasn’t had a DOSA sentence in at least 10 years (if ever). He is scheduled for sentencing on October 31st before King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North.
Whole lot of digging going on around the city these days. Two new views:
TUNNEL-MACHINE RESCUE: WSDOT says digging has officially begun for the pit they’ll use to pull up the Highway 99 tunnel machine’s cutting head for repairs – the photo is a screengrab from one of their live construction cameras. Tons of info in this update. The pit will be 120 feet deep, which is twice as big as the West Seattle pit we’re updating next:
OVERFLOW TANK PIT, HALFWAY THERE: Last Wednesday night, in our coverage of the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting, we reported the county’s update on the excavation by Lowman Beach: They’re halfway to what’s expected to be a 60-foot-deep pit for the million-gallon Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project storage tank. (It’s known as Murray after the nearby street, which also is namesake for the pump station beneath the southeast side of Lowman Beach Park.) So we went over for a look (map). We’re also checking on whether the delayed start of the extra digging sessions on Saturdays means a delayed end date.
ADDED 3:28 PM: According to county Wastewater Treatment Division spokesperson Doug Marsano, “Crews are making good progress – they’re over 40 feet down now (about 2/3rds of the way) – but the rains forecasted for this week could hinder their progress. Currently, the project team expects to work 2 more Saturdays, extending into early November.”
(WSB photo, March 2014)
Last spring’s first-ever group consignment sale benefiting West Seattle Co-Op Preschools was wildly popular – and organizers are doing it again. News for shoppers and would-be consigners, from Erin:
West Seattle Co-Op Preschool system is very excited to be hosting a kids’ Consignment sale on November 8th from 9-1 pm at the West Seattle VFW Hall to help fund scholarships for families in need.
We are also in need of consigners, anyone can consign at this sale. The seller can set their own prices and will make 65% of the asking price and the host will take 35%. The consigner will be paid for the sold items when they pick up their unsold items at the sales conclusion on November 8th.
This sale will be a great thing for families to make some money with their gently used bay/kids gear and to buy low-cost, good-quality items for their kids; for the school system to be able to continue providing scholarships for families who might not be able to afford preschool otherwise; and to bring the community together! For more information: www.westseattlepreschool.org
(Eyes in the sky? Sunday clouds/fog photos by James Bratsanos)
Welcome to the brand-new week! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FLU SHOT CLINIC: 2:30 pm-7 pm, flu shots are available at West Seattle High School. Students won’t be turned away for lack of insurance; adults need insurance or $28 fee. Details here. (3000 California SW)
MAKE AN ECLIPSE VIEWER WITH ALICE: Partial solar eclipse on Thursday, and here’s hoping the weather will allow us to see it. You of course do NOT want to harm your eyes by looking directly at the sun, so you need a special viewer, and tonight at 6:30 pm at High Point Branch Library, your child/teen is invited to work with Alice Enevoldsen – your NASA Solar System Ambassador, also known for Alice’s Astro Info, and Skies Over West Seattle – to make one. (35th/Raymond)
WSHS-SEALTH VOLLEYBALL: Big match at 7 pm tonight at the West Seattle High School gym – the Wildcats celebrate their senior players while hosting Chief Sealth International High School, and it’s a special event to support cancer awareness, as previewed here last week. (3000 California SW)
NORTH HIGHLINE FIRE DISTRICT: If you live in White Center or elsewhere in the unincorporated area, you’re invited to a hearing about the voter-approved “benefit charge” to help fund the North Highline Fire District. The hearing will be part of tonight’s NHFD board meeting, 7 pm at the district’s HQ. (1243 SW 112th)
Plus a reminder:
WEST SEATTLE HALLOWEEN GUIDE! Check out the annual WSB page where we’ve scared up your full list of spooky fun, from now to November 1st, all in one place, launched over the weekend. If you have a community event that’s NOT in the guide already, please send us info about it ASAP – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
The hottest local political race isn’t on the November 4 ballot you should have received by now – and won’t even be decided for another year.
Four candidates are now running in City Council District 1, which includes West Seattle.
This morning, Amanda Kay Helmick, chair of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, is announcing she’s in the race.
She joins Chas Redmond, David Ishii, and Tom Rasmussen, the only member of the current City Council living in the District 1 boundaries, which were set when city voters approved Charter Amendment 19 last year, changing the council from nine at-large members to seven by-district and two at-large.
Along with chairing WWRHAH, Helmick co-founded the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, which launched in September 2013 as the WS Transit Coalition and expanded its focus weeks later while emerging as an early voice against proposed Metro cuts.
Helmick also represents Delridge on the City Neighborhood Council, which she says needs to be strengthened and empowered. She is an eight-year West Seattleite whose full bio is on her newly launched website. From her official announcement:
“We have multiple and disconnected plans, and no one in the city is talking about how these plans overlay and affect the people of Seattle,” Helmick said of the city’s current transportation and land use initiatives. “I want to empower the under-served communities of West Seattle and South Park and give them a voice in these plans.”
(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:41 AM: So far, today’s traffic trouble is all far north of the city. After more rain overnight, it’s still a challenge elsewhere, though, so take care. So far for this week, no major traffic alerts, but we do have one note: This is the last week of the 7-day schedule on the West Seattle Water Taxi; one week from today, the weekday-only fall/winter schedule begins (preview it here).
8:58 AM UPDATE: If you are headed for southbound I-5, you might want to wait or find an alternative – a crash by Boeing Field has drawn a major emergency response.
One more neighborhood meeting to recap from this past week, before the new week arrives: The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council. Guests included Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, but the crime/safety discussion was subdued compared to concerns over proposed changes in the city’s Neighborhood Matching Funds – a key source of funding for community-initiated projects, often involving parks or roads: