West Seattle, Washington
ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:02 PM SUNDAY: Most of the time when we mention a city councilmember’s visit to West Seattle, it’s in connection with a meeting or a walking tour, staples of an elected official’s life. But Councilmember Mike O’Brien came here this morning for something entirely different:
He was among those who participated this morning in the latest round of “kayaktivist” training in advance of the on-water demonstrations planned when Shell‘s Arctic-offshore-drilling rigs get to Terminal 5. The activist coalition that’s organizing them has been leading kayak training with Alki Kayak Tours at Seacrest, roughly twice a week for the past few weeks. Our partners at The Seattle Times covered this morning’s session too, and photographer Ken Lambert went out on the water for this photo he tweeted:
— Ken Lambert (@SeaTimesFotoKen) May 4, 2015
The Times’ story with Ken’s photos is here. O’Brien chairs the council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee, which on Tuesday will consider a resolution that voices opposition to Arctic offshore drilling and urges the Port of Seattle to reconsider the lease with Foss that is bringing the Shell rigs here. The first to arrive in Washington waters, the drilling platform Polar Pioneer, is still in Port Angeles; a Chamber of Commerce webcam there still has it in sight; live image here, and here’s a screengrab from earlier today (used with the PA C of C’s permission):
No date set for its expected tow to Terminal 5; the other drill rig Shell has said it hopes to use in the Arctic Ocean this summer, the drillship Noble Discoverer, left its latest stop, off Honolulu, more than a week ago and is not back in MarineTraffic.com range yet. The only Shell ship to visit Terminal 5 so far, the icecutter Aiviq, is back there now after some time in Port Angeles. As announced in mid-April, the anti-drilling coalition has set May 16-18 for a “festival of resistance” starting with a kayak flotilla.
ADDED 8:42 AM MONDAY: Regional news orgs are reporting that Mayor Murray announced at a breakfast event today that the city has determined new/renewed permit(s) will be needed before Shell’s rigs can come here. We’re working to find out more and will have a separate story soon.
Just about six weeks left in the Seattle Public Schools year, and that means some PTAs/PTSAs are meeting soon for the last time until fall. Holly Briscoe tells us that the Highland Park Elementary PTA has its last meeting of the year tomorrow night – Monday (May 4th) – starting with a potluck dinner 5:30-6 pm, then continuing with business including electing next year’s board. All welcome. HPES is at 1012 SW Trenton.
The rooftop of the Stevens Crest Apartments on the southeast corner of 61st/Stevens in Alki is the latest battleground for concerns over the installation of cell-phone antennas in local neighborhoods. City approval for 12 new antennas on that rooftop has been appealed, with the city Hearing Examiner scheduled to consider the case in July, and before that, opponents who have formed a group called “Stop Alki Cell Towers” have announced a community rally at the beach for next Thursday (May 7th).
We mentioned the opposition to the proposed antennas back in March, when it was one of the issues that community members brought to Mayor Murray during his coffee-conversation stop after a Junction/Triangle walking tour; we also noted that an online petition had been launched. Here’s the “appeal statement” that has been filed with the city; nearby residents say they are worried about health risks, proximity to Alki Elementary (3 blocks east – here’s a map), noise, and visual effects. To the latter point, the following document from the online project file shows simulations of what Verizon and its project team say the antennas would look like if/when installed:
The installation also requires an equipment room – “supporting BTS (Base Transmission System) radio equipment” – in the building basement, according to other documents in the online file, apparently on the parking level, which is beneath three levels of apartments in the building.
Meantime, here’s what “Stop Alki Cell Towers” spokesperson Barb Morgen says about the plan for Thursday’s protest:
The group will be hosting an information rally and demonstration on the beach near the Bathhouse at Alki Beach Park on Thursday, May 7 at 7 pm,
immediately following the PTA meeting at Alki Elementary School. Parents, kids, neighbors and all who use Alki Beach Park are welcome to join us. We will be making S’Mores for the kids, sharing information on the proposed towers, and how everyone can help with the group’s appeal to Seattle DPD to stop the towers from being built. The rally and demonstration will end with replicas of the 12 cell towers being burned in protest, in a fire pit at Alki Beach.
The construction-permit application for the antennas has not received final approval; the review is on hold until there’s a decision on the aforementioned appeal.
EDITOR’S NOTE, ADDED WEDNESDAY: Alki Elementary’s PTA tells us they do NOT have a meeting this Thursday – their next meeting is a week later, on May 14th, and is entirely unrelated to this topic – so we have struck that part of the group’s announcement, above.
3 notes from the northwest side of 35th/Roxbury:
PEOPLE’S CHOICE UPDATE: More than two months ago, we told you about DPD documents indicating the People’s Choice Marketplace medical-marijuana access point, currently in the 9400 block of Delridge, was planning to open at 9451 35th SW. They didn’t answer our inquiries about it, but now a big banner’s up. By the way, for those who asked about the legalities of medical-marijuana storefronts (this is right across the street from Northwest Patient Resource Center on the northeast corner of 35th and Roxbury) near schools – with the charter school planned at the southwest corner – we talked to the City Attorney’s Office a while back and they basically told us that due to the mostly unregulated nature of dispensaries, this isn’t necessarily a conflict. But that was before a new law passed the State Legislature this year, so it’s all yet to be worked out, apparently.
CANNA HEALTH GONE: Immediately north of this spot, the medical-marijuana-authorization provider Canna Health is gone. But that freestanding building isn’t empty …
NEPENTHE MASSAGE’S NEW LOCATION: Nepenthe Massage, which used to be between The Junction and Morgan Junction, is now open in the former CH spot (9447 35th SW), according to a sign out front as well as its website.
FIRST REPORT, 2:40 PM: As of just before 2:30, the low bridge is out of commission because of a “technical malfunction,” per SDOT. Updates as we get them.
2:59 PM: SDOT says a crew is on the way.
3:50 PM: Just walked out onto the bridge. SDOT truck visible beneath it but crew not in sight.
Bridge is stuck “closed”; no perceptible gap in the deck. Some bicyclists are choosing to squeeze through gap in gates and cross anyway; alternatives are Water Taxi, C Line, or 1st Ave S Bridge.
4:21 PM: SDOT says the low bridge is now working again, after about an hour and a half.
More of your neighbors reaching out across the globe to help survivors of the 7.8-magnitude Nepal quake that killed more than 7,000 people. Just got word of this:
7-11 at Admiral Junction started a Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund to be assured that timely help is reached to Earthquake victims in remote villages far away from Kathmandu City. We are requesting our community to donate as little or much they are able to. This store has already collected over $800 from its customers in the last few days and hopes to raise more to buy basic food and tents to victims in the rural areas where time is running out and no aid has yet reached. The money raised is wired daily to the volunteers in Kathmandu who will deliver directly to the victims in need at the earliest possible time. If you want to know more about this, please feel free to contact Kap at 7-11 at the Admiral Junction, West Seattle. Thank you in advance for your kindness.
The store is at 4312 SW Admiral Way.
Two weeks until a big day at Alki Beach, May 17th:
(Photo from WSB archives)
WEST SEATTLE 5K WALK/RUN: Are you signed up yet? Easiest way to do it is online, rather than standing in line the day it happens (and the fee is lower, too). This is the 7th year for the biggest 5K at the beach every year, raising money for West Seattle High School students via the WSHS PTSA. As usual, the WS5K will start at 61st/Alki around 9 am, first heading eastbound on a round-trip route to and from Anchor (Luna) Park, finishing at the same spot where it started. WSB is again among the sponsors and we look forward to seeing you there. Here’s where to sign up online.
REMINDER, NO ‘SUMMER STREETS’ – BUT ‘ALKI DAZE’ IS ON: The road will close to motorized vehicles during the 5K as always, but then it’ll reopen rather than staying partly closed for the rest of the day, because, as first reported here a month ago, after seven years, SDOT is NOT presenting a “Summer Streets” (originally “Car-Free Day”) event. But, as we told you on April 15th, a group of Alki residents decided to step up to organize a celebration:
The events, which organizers say will be held without closing the street, are listed on the poster, including gatherings on Saturday night as well as live music, a bike parade (1 pm) and bicycle “drag race” (3 pm) on Sunday afternoon (again, this is also May 17th). You’ll also find a Facebook event invite here, to keep up with updates.
Photo by Bill Bacon)
Happy Sunday! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PROFESSOR @ PEACE LUTHERAN: Starting at 9:15 am, a guest presenter today at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood:
Professor Patrick Henry, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Literature at Whitman College, will be a guest presenter at Peace Lutheran Church (39th and SW Thistle). Dr. Henry will give a special presentation on the community of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, who, along with neighboring villages, offered safe haven to Jewish refugees during WW2, saving thousands of lives.
The schedule for his presentations – all of which are open to the community – is in our calendar listing. (39th/Thistle)
NORTH DELRIDGE TREE WALK: 10 am, meet Tree Ambassador Patrick at Greg Davis Park to tour neighborhood green spaces and learn some Cottage Grove history. Free, all welcome. (26th/Brandon)
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, with plants, new produce, more. (44th/Alaska)
(added) BASEBALL GEAR DONATION DRIVE: A local father and son are collecting bats and gloves in good condition to take to Nicaragua this summer, 11 am-3:30 pm at Hiawatha Playfield. (2700 California SW)
FREE CUPCAKE & CENTURYLINK 1-GIG INFO: 11 am-3 pm at Cupcake Royale in The Junction, CenturyLink has a drop-in info session about its 1 Gig service, with a free cupcake for everyone who stops by, while they last.
(WSB photo, added after event began)
Note: CL is sponsoring WSB to promote this event. (California/Alaska)
FRED LAUGHS: This time around, the Kol HaNeshamah “FRED Talks” series presents “fun, frolicking, female-focused comedy,” with Connie Burke and Jake Fawcett. 3 pm – more info in our listing. (6115 SW Hinds)
LIVE MUSIC AT C & P: Max García Conover & The Ghost of Paul Revere perform at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)
YOU’LL FIND EVEN MORE … on our calendar.