West Seattle, Washington
For the fifth time in less than a year, Puget Sound’s Southern Resident Killer Whales have welcomed a baby. The Instagram-shared photo above and news release below are from the Center for Whale Research:
Today there was another new baby in the L pod! L91 was first seen near Sooke, BC this morning with a very newborn calf, confirmed a few hours later by Mark Malleson off Victoria, BC and CWR staffers, Dave Ellifrit and Melissa Pinnow, and by colleagues Drs. John Durban, Holly Fearnbach, and Lance Barrett-Lennard.
These latter colleagues happened to be in the area conducting a sequel to CWR aerial measurements of all of the SRKW’s (Southern Resident Killer Whales), this time with a very sophisticated hexacopter (Unmanned Aerial System – UAS, or drone). The measurements were accomplished on the US side of the border as Dave and Melissa took numerous identification photographs from the research vessel “Orca” at a respectful distance. The new calf is designated L122, and is the fifth new baby to come into the population since December, 2014. The mother and baby and other L pod whales spent the afternoon and evening in Haro Strait ‘fishing’, and by day’s end were joined by J and K pod members.
In the forty-year history of ORCA SURVEY, a long-term photo-identification study of this whale population, the greatest number of calves born in a year was 9 in 1977, and there were none born that survived in 2013 or 2014. We hope this year’s ‘baby boom’ represents a turnaround in what has been a negative population trend in recent years.
The four babies born in the previous nine months:
*J52 in March
*L121 in late February
*J51 in mid-February
*J50 last December
(Photos by Cameron Harris – USA Baseball, republished with permission)
Toward the left of that photo, #5 on the USA Baseball 18U National Team, is West Seattle High School senior Morgan McCullough, gesturing “#1” with both hands right after he and his teammates won the WBSC World Cup tournament in Osaka, Japan this weekend. We wrote on Saturday about the team making it into Sunday’s title game; Team USA was victorious over the host team, taking the USA’s third consecutive title, 2-1. McCullough, who is due home late tonight, started the game at playing second base and batting leadoff, drawing a walk to get on base early on:
His mom Jane Muxen McCullough says, “This is something he has been working for since he first picked up a bat.” We asked her what he had to say about the victory, and she relayed this quote: “It was the best experience of my life with the best teammates I could imagine. Representing the USA, the team felt we had targets on our back. We embraced that feeling and stuck together as a unit, and because of that we are gold medalists.” Morgan is the only Northwest resident on the team, whose roster you can see here.
Thanks for the tips that resulted in these four West Seattle business notes:
PARLIAMENT TAVERN NOW OPEN: In the space vacated by Vidiot, which is now next door in the former Benbow Tavern space at 4210 SW Admiral Way, Parliament Tavern opened this weekend.
MARDI GRAS DONUTS REOPENS: Fans were sad to see a “closed until further notice” sign up recently, but a texted tip and WSB Forums topic reveal the famous-for-its-beignets donut shop at 9828 16th SW in White Center has reopened.
CHOPSTIX ABOUT TO REOPEN: When last we wrote about Chopstix, north of Morgan Junction at 5905 California SW, it was promising an August 15th reopening. That came and went but now the sign on its door says it’ll be open this Wednesday (September 9th). We have a feeling it’s likelier this time – its website now sports the “grand reopening” menu for what will now be called Chopstix BBQ.
NEXT DOOR … The same tipster who texted the Chopstix update points out that Juneau Street Market, next to Chopstix, has somewhat conflicting notes on its locked doors, one saying it’ll be closed TFN, one saying it’ll reopen September 12th (next Saturday) after remodeling.
P.S. We have a really long watch list right now of in-progress restaurants and for-lease spaces we’re tracking – checking the locations, permit records, etc., as often as we can, but just wanted to say again, tips are very much appreciated if you spot signage, progress, etc., before we do – email@example.com – thank you!
One last score to report from the first weekend of local high-school football: The Chief Sealth International High School Seahawks were on the road against the Garfield Bulldogs, at Southeast Athletic Complex on Saturday night. Final score: Garfield 48, Sealth 13. Next up for the Seahawks: Another road game, vs. King’s Way Christian in Vancouver (WA) at 6 pm Friday. (Thanks to Mel for the photo!)
Two reader reports to share:
ALLEY VANDALISM ALERT: A neighbor near this alley between the 3200 block of California SW and of 44th SW wanted to warn people about that knocked-over-by-vandals portable toilet, the contents of which subsequently spilled onto the alley. It’s a busy alley, the neighbor says, used by residents and their pets, but no cleanup yet.
ILLEGAL OFF-ROADING: From a Riverview resident, who’s asking neighbors to be watchful:
This afternoon, I was out walking when at least four young kids on dirt bikes rode down 12th Ave and into Riverview Playfield. As I walked, I noticed they were going up and down to the Pee-Wee fields. There were families in the park at the time. These are kids that are too young to have drivers licenses, on vehicles that are not licensed for street use, riding not only on the street but into parks and greenbelt where they are not allowed. One was carrying a shovel.
On the walk back, I saw two ride through the pee-wee fields and into the greenbelt, NE of 12th & Holly. I could also hear a shovel being used. I called 911 and reported it. They seemed responsive, but I don’t know if the kids will be there by the time the police get there. Also, they can easily scatter, so likely will get away. The thing to do would be to have a few police officers up in the Riverview Playfield parking lot waiting and then have an officer approach from the utility road off of West Marginal Way. The kids would ride back toward the parking lot and home.
I would like to encourage my neighbors and anyone using the park to call 911 if they see anyone going on dirt bikes into the greenbelt. You aren’t even supposed to be in the greenbelt on a bicycle, let alone a dirt bike. They were riding on crushed rock trails that Parks is working on, likely causing damage to them. Nature Consortium has had plantings destroyed by these kids on their bikes.
The forest in that area is part of the West Duwamish Greenbelt, which the NC works year-round to restore.
Concerned about safety/crime prevention in Admiral, particularly at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, where a robbery three weeks ago led to a shooting miles away? Want to be among the first to find out how SDOT has changed the SW Admiral Way Safety Project plan in response to community feedback? Those are just two of the topics on the agenda for tomorrow night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, as you can see on the flyer embedded above. All are welcome at the 7 pm Tuesday (September 8th) meeting at The Sanctuary at Admiral (northeast corner of 42nd SW and SW Lander).
(1st two photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
11:43 AM: Volunteers of all ages were out cleaning up paint vandalism at Schmitz Park Elementary this morning – two days after we published reader reports about vandalism there and at Madison Middle School, blocks away. The first person to mention it, Nathan, was organizing an army of volunteers but then found out the district had sent a pressure-washer-equipped crew out first thing this morning:
As Nathan put it in this comment, “The district got the really big stuff cleared, but we have a crew of kids and adults really making the place shine.” He was hoping some volunteers would make it to Madison by day’s end, too.
ADDED 5:02 PM: Thanks to Sean for sending this photo:
Sean points out that the young signmaker’s message is: “No Graffiti.”
ADDED 10:44 PM: Thanks to Mark for sharing photos from Madison Middle School, where volunteers indeed showed up in force:
In the photos, he notes, are “Superheroes: Helen Schlacter, Mary Schlacter, Anne Wainwright, Hayden Wainwright. A few other families helped out earlier in the day.”
From just-hatched octopus babies to an iridescent nudibranch, the sea life in the video above comprise just a tiny corner of the window on the undersea world that “Diver Laura” James has provided to so many in recent years. And it’s an adjunct to what else she and fellow volunteers have done in local waters – cleanups and environmental education, too. That all made her Scuba Diving magazine’s monthly “Sea Hero” for August, one of what the magazine describes as “everyday divers who make an extraordinary difference.” In case you haven’t seen it in the print edition, the story is now online – read it here. Her videos are part of what she talks about in the interview:
People protect what they love, but they must know it to love it. I remind myself of this when the weather is cold and the visibility is low. All the creatures, great and small, are worth filming and sharing, and that next bit of video I shoot may make the difference for one elected official, or inspire one little kid.
She also talks about the tox-ick.org toxic-runoff-reduction campaign – take a look at 7 things you can do, especially important as winter (and inevitably more rain) approaches, washing what’s on the streets and in your yards right into Puget Sound.
(Photo tweeted by Jim, who says it was taken from Duwamish Head with the help of binoculars)
For the holiday, we’re combining the what-you-need-to-know notes with what’s scheduled for today. First, the former:
No daily traffic/transit roundup, since most people are off. You can see area traffic cams and get info (including a link to the city map with travel times) on the WSB West Seattle Traffic page.
*Metro Transit is on a Sunday schedule
*West Seattle Water Taxi is on a Sunday schedule
*Sound Transit Route 560 is on a Sunday schedule
*Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is on a Sunday schedule
‘PARKING HOLIDAY’: No pay stations on city streets in West Seattle, but if you’re outbound, no charge in the neighborhoods that do, because this is a “parking holiday.”
TRASH/RECYCLING PICKUP: If you are a Monday customer, it’s a normal pickup day.
SEATTLE PARKS: Here’s the citywide Parks lineup for what’s open/closed, including the last day of operation for outdoor aquatic facilities (wading pools are weather-dependent, keep in mind, so the one in Lincoln Park might not be open after all, but Colman Pool and Highland Park Spraypark *will be*).
LIBRARIES: All Seattle Public Library branches are closed today.
Now, a few event notes for today:
LABOR DAY PICNIC/FLAG RAISING: 11 am-3 pm at Alki Masonic Center, you’re invited to a potluck picnic (bring a dish to share) and flag-raising ceremony (noon) – details here. (40th SW & SW Edmunds)
LAST CHANCE TO TOUR THE ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE: 1-4 pm, the Coast Guard Auxiliary hosts one last day of tours at the historic lighthouse before the season ends. Last tour at 3:40 pm. (3201 Alki SW)
WEST SEATTLE HI-YU MEETING: 7 pm at Admiral Congregational Church, all members urged to attend to talk about logistics for the year ahead. (California SW & SW Hill)
Have a great holiday! And if you see/hear news … 206-293-6302 text/voice if it’s happening now, firstname.lastname@example.org if it’s not urgent.
Another update from the Seattle Education Association, the union that’s voted to strike against Seattle Public Schools on Wednesday if there’s no deal by then: In the late-night update published on its website, SEA says mediated talks will continue today (Labor Day), and reports more progress: “After (Saturday)’s victory on guaranteed recess, today district negotiators today agreed to increase pay for certificated and classified substitutes, and to addressing the sub shortage in general.” The district itself has not issued any public updates this weekend.
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