West Seattle, Washington
No helicopters at this earthquake drill – it was all about the people. Neighborhood Emergency Communication Hubs around the city “activated” today, including the one behind Neighborhood House’s High Point Center.
We previewed this one earlier in the week – “citizen actors” were sought to help, and organizers tell us more than 70 volunteers showed up. But it wasn’t the stereotypical drill where volunteers were splayed out on the grass hamming it up, pretending to be hurt – in this case, they were asked to show up with a specific request for information or help, and work their way through the hub setup. In some cases, they were assessed for the skills they could offer:
That’s Lynda, who has first-aid skills and multiple language skills – both of which would be useful in case of catastrophe. And of course, there was a radio tent too:
The High Point hub was in communication with other hubs around the city, as would happen in a real disaster. The hubs are meant to be places where neighbors can help neighbors, knowing that if something major happened, the official rescuers would be stretched too thin to come to the rescue immediately, if ever.
So be sure to know where your nearest hub is (see the map above) – just in case. And if there’s not one near you, consider volunteering to organize one – West Seattle’s newest hub, by Hope Lutheran in The Junction, had an info-table today just to start raising awareness:
The Seattle Police Department is now accepting applications for the 2016 fall SPD Community Police Academy. The Academy will start on Thursday, September 8th and will meet once a week for eleven consecutive Thursday evenings, 5:30 – 9:30 pm, ending on Thursday, November 17th, 2016. Participation is free.
The Community Police Academy is an eleven-week program designed to educate community members about the operations of the Seattle Police Department, while also giving the Department an opportunity to obtain valuable feedback from the community. The purpose of the Community Police Academy is to increase understanding between the Seattle Police Department and the community members of Seattle through education and interaction.
Community participants will become familiar with various facets of the Seattle Police Department and gain insight into law enforcement’s role in the criminal justice system and the daily work of police employees. With increased understanding, Seattle’s community and police can work together and achieve realistic solutions to neighborhood problems relating to crime, fear of crime, and neighborhood decay. It is hoped that increasing community awareness will respond to some of the myths and images of law enforcement and provide a realistic view of police procedures.
If you are interested in applying, please go here. When filling out the application, please include a copy of your Driver’s License. Space is limited and applications are processed on a first come, first serve basis. The application deadline is Friday, July 29, 2016.
To apply, you have to be at least 18 years old.
If you went to the overlook at Jack Block Park expecting to see nonstop activity during today’s aerial-rescue drill, you would have been disappointed. But every so often, helicopters did take off – during the span of about half an hour, we saw the military chopper above, as well as the Airlift Northwest medevac helicopter below:
On the otherwise mostly empty expanse of T-5 – popular with drills since it’s closed as a cargo terminal while the port prepares to expand its facilities and capabilities – land-based emergency vehicles were in view, including a Seattle Police Mobile Precinct larger than the van-style one based at the Southwest Precinct.
Seattle Fire led today’s drill and tweeted a photo of the big show (which came after we had already left to check out the Myers/Olson car flip) – rescuers hoisted on a platform:
Air platform used to transport rescuers including search dogs during regional drill at Terminal 5. pic.twitter.com/yzNwq0wjfC
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 11, 2016
(You might also have seen some of the aerial activity in southeast West Seattle – while covering the aforementioned crash, we spotted the same military helicopter over SFD’s Joint Training Facility.) This was part of Cascadia Rising, the weeklong regional drill – years in the planning – practicing scenarios based on the 9.0 megaquake that scientists think will hit someday.
This morning we also stopped by the grass-roots Emergency Communication Hubs drill that happened citywide, including a West Seattle location, and that report’s coming up.
(WSB photo, July 2012)
Whenever you see an otter in West Seattle – it’s a river otter, not a sea otter, even if you see it splashing and diving in saltwater Puget Sound. Here’s how to do more than just gawk at them:
Woodland Park Zoo is reaching out to the community to become otter spotters to help collect information on North American river otters, which are virtually unstudied in Washington waters.
Anyone can participate in the new community science project and become an otter spotter. Information and an otter spotter form can be found at www.zoo.org/conservation/otterspotter. Otter spotter tips and etiquette, and how to distinguish a river otter from a sea otter are included.
“This is a great opportunity for our community to get directly involved in science in our backyard. The more reports of sightings we can collect, the more data we’ll have on the range and behavior of river otters,” said Michelle Wainstein, Ph.D., a local ecologist and conservationist, and the field scientist for the project.
The zoo also is launching a new field study, River Otters of Western Washington: Sentinels of Ecological Health, which will focus on otter population biology and the contaminant loads in their scat along the length of the Green-Duwamish River. This river in particular traverses a diverse mosaic of habitats, including wildlands and parks; agricultural, industrial and residential areas; and the highly contaminated Lower Duwamish Waterway.
The Green River flows from undeveloped Washington wildlands through increasingly urbanized areas to become the Duwamish River—Seattle’s major industrial corridor since the early 1900s. According to Wainstein, river otters are an important species in aquatic ecosystems because they can serve as sentinels, telling us about the health of their local environment. Wainstein and the project team hope to determine if river otters are found along the entire 80-plus miles of this important waterway. …
North American river otters are amphibious members of the weasel family and live in water systems all over Washington state. Their habitat ranges over most of North America in coastal areas, estuaries, freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Otters prey on what is readily available and easiest to catch, with a primary diet of fish, crayfish, amphibians and birds.
All otter species are considered threatened while five of the 13 species are endangered due to water pollution, overfishing of commercial stock and habitat destruction. …
Its spring-release celebration is part of today’s multi-venue “Spring at South” event on campus, inviting you to explore semi-hidden treasures including not only the NWWA but also the Seattle Chinese Garden, and nearby, the SSC Garden Center, where you’ll find frequent sales of student-grown and -propagated plants:
While the plant sale’s over for today (watch our calendar for the next one!), the SCG is having an open house until 5 pm, and the spring release/wine tasting event at NWWA continues until 7 pm, with tastings, appetizers, prepared by SSC’s much-lauded culinary program:
There’s also a food truck – Seattle Mamak, Malaysian street food – on the patio. And you can view art in the NW Wine Academy building and the Chan Education Center by the entrance to the Chinese Garden. SSC is at 6000 16th SW – use the northernmost entrance, which leads to a large parking lot, with NWWA toward its east side, the Chinese Garden on its north side.
12:13 PM: Big “heavy rescue” callout headed to Olson/Myers – avoid the area for a while. We’re en route to find out more.
12:24 PM: Just arrived in the area – car flipped in outside downhill lane. SFD still on scene. No major injuries reported; no other vehicles involved. Traffic is getting by both ways. This happened atop the exit to NB 99/509 but vehicles are getting around.
12:37 PM: Photos added.
Welcome to the weekend – here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
KIDS’ FISHING POND: The West Seattle Sportsmen’s Club presents its annual free fishing pond for kids, 8 am-11 am at Seacrest Pier. Fishing equipment provided; the pond’s stocked with trout; more info here. (1660 Harbor SW)
EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION HUBS’ DISASTER DRILL & OPEN HOUSE: 9:30-11:30 am at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, local volunteers – you’re invited to show up and help as a citizen actor! – will be rehearsing a quake scenario as part of the weeklong “Cascadia Rising” mega-quake drill. (6400 Sylvan Way SW) … Also this morning, the newest hub in West Seattle will have an “open house” info table so you can learn more about it, 9 am-noon – if you’re in THe Junction, stop by Hope Lutheran Church and find out more. (4456 42nd SW)
HELICOPTERS’ DISASTER DRILL: As previewed here again last night, a daylong drill will include helicopters flying to and from West Seattle’s Terminal 5, as part of the weeklong “Cascadia Rising” mega-quake drill. You can watch from the overlook at Jack Block Park.
SPRING AT SOUTH: Explore South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) and vicinity during the all-day event “Spring at South” – with trail walks in the surrounding West Duwamish Greenbelt, an open house at the Seattle Chinese Garden, wine tasting at the Northwest Wine Academy, photography exhibits, and more – see the schedule and highlights in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)
PLAY GAMES! Not really beach weather as of this writing, so explore indoor fun with a big schedule of Saturday events at Meeples Games (WSB sponsor), from Family Game Day (11:30 am-3 pm) to Bridge Night (7 pm-10 pm) and more. (3727 California SW)
MASTER GARDENERS’ POP-UP CLINIC: Gardening/plant question? Special chance to talk with Master Gardeners at the Delridge P-Patch, 10 am-2 pm, as previewed here. (5078 25th SW)
P-PATCH PIZZA: At the Barton Street Community Garden and P-Patch in Westwood, the masonry oven will be fired up today, and you’re invited to come: “Enjoy the garden and an opportunity to explore the use of traditional community ovens as well as masonry oven cooking techniques. We’ll be baking fresh pizzas! Neighbors are invited to bring favorite toppings and cheese to round out flavors. Volunteers are welcome.” Noon-3 pm – or if you want to help with the oven, even earlier: “Join us to build and tend the fire for the pizza oven (9:00 am and onward). This informational and fundraising event is open to all.” (34th SW/SW Barton)
NO LIGHTHOUSE TOURS TODAY: The Alki Point Lighthouse is NOT open for tours today, but will be back to its weekend 1-4 pm schedule tomorrow.
TALK WITH YOUR SCHOOL-BOARD REP: As the school year draws to a close, your next chance to talk with and hear from your elected local rep on the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors, Leslie Harris, is 3-4:30 pm today at High Point Library. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
FROM RUSSIA TO GATEWOOD: The St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble performs a free concert at Peace Lutheran Church, including folk songs and liturgical music, 4 pm. (39th SW/SW Thistle)
REALFINE/RUDY’S PARKING LOT PARTY: 5-10 pm in The Triangle, Realfine Coffee and Rudy’s Barbershop are hosting a free parking-lot party with “local music, art, drinks, and more!” (4480 Fauntleroy Way SW)
And a transportation reminder:
NO BRIDGE CLOSURE TONIGHT: The next overnight closure of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge for the Fauntleroy Expressway earthquake-cushion re-replacements is tomorrow (Sunday) night, 9 pm-5 am.
THE REST OF THE LIST … for today, tonight, tomorrow, and beyond, is on our complete calendar.