West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The humpback whale that stranded and died south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock on Sunday will spend one more night tied to floats nearby.
Tomorrow morning, West Seattle-headquartered Global Diving and Salvage will send a vessel and crew to Fauntleroy to take the 39-foot juvenile female humpback on her final journey.
We talked tonight with Global vice president David DeVilbiss, who said they got the notification around midday today to “go ahead and take care of the whale” – too late to finalize logistics and make it happen before tomorrow morning.
He says they’re likely to use the Prudhoe Bay, which gets a spotlight each summer as it delivers the Seafair Pirates to Alki Beach. That’s also what Global used to tow away the fin whale that washed up at Seahurst Park in Burien three years ago. While it was taken to a relatively remote spot to decompose, this whale will be sunk in an unspecified area of Puget Sound that’s approved for the procedure.
DeVilbiss says that “involves towing it out and weighing it down with benign weights – basically, concrete blocks,” then cutting it loose to sink. It’s not as simple as it might sound – the whale’s carcass bloats with gases, so they’ll need to make sure the weights are enough that it won’t just float back up again.
No specific time is set for the tow – the crew will start work relatively early, preparing the boat and materials, before heading to Fauntleroy.
One more followup – the newest information on the investigation into why the whale died. Here’s what Cascadia Research Collective, whose biologists John Calambokidis and Jessie Huggins were among the experts and responders on the beach, is saying so far. They report that the “limited necropsy” done at the beach “revealed poor nutritional condition, multiple internal parasites, and internal injuries associated with the beaching event. The animal also had some killer whale bite marks on the jaw, and killer whales had been reported in the area the previous day. Samples will be submitted for a variety of analyses to determine if there were any other conditions that contributed to the stranding.”
This was the first time a whale had stranded on a West Seattle beach in six years, since the gray whale – also a juvenile female – that died in The Arroyos in April 2010. While her exact cause of death was not determined, the necropsy drew worldwide attention for turning up plastics and other trash in her stomach (here’s that report, also from Cascadia Research).
If you are a renter – or own rental property – you’ll want to know about new rules passed by the City Council today. They were sponsored by our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. Read the related documents; here’s the announcement:
Council unanimously adopted comprehensive tenant protection legislation today. Currently it is illegal to discriminate against a prospective renter whose primary source of income is a Section 8 voucher. The legislation adopted today expands that legal protection to include people who receive alternate sources of income such as a pension, Social Security, unemployment, child support or any other governmental or non-profit subsidy. It also creates a new First- come, First-served screening process that will seek to help address discrimination in housing across all protected classes.
According to the Seattle’s Renting Crisis Report from the Washington Community Action Network, “48% of individuals who pay for rent with Social Security Disability Insurance or Social Security retirement income said that discrimination prevents them from having successful rental applications.”
Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park), the legislation’s sponsor said, “When the Seattle Office for Civil Rights conducted secret shopper fair housing testing relating to applicants who applied for housing using Section 8 vouchers, 63% of applicants were shown different treatment, which is already illegal. Today we’re expanding those protections, and I expect this new law will have positive impacts for renters.”
The legislation adopted today is aimed at making the housing application process more objective as a tool to mitigate unconscious bias and ensure the city investments in addressing our affordable housing crisis and homeless crisis are effective.
The source of income discrimination proposal was developed following recommendations from the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda task force. Council further amended the proposal to provide further protections:
FIRST REPORT, 5:22 PM: Fire and police are at a crash reported at Delridge/Genesee. Avoid the area for a while if you can; we are on the way to check.
5:36 PM: Delridge is blocked between Oregon and Genesee. Buses are being rerouted – 50, 120, 125.
5:42 PM: Police tell us at the scene that a pedestrian has been taken to the hospital. And they say four vehicles are involved.
5:54 PM: Update: One driver hit the pedestrian; the other 3 vehicles belong to witnesses. The victim is a 15-year-old boy; his injuries are not life-threatening. Possible broken arm. Delridge should reopen soon.
5:59 PM: Delridge is now open again.
Thanks to Woody’s Aeroimages for the heads-up via Twitter – Amazon‘s first-ever Prime Air jet is doing a photo shoot over the city, and we hear it’s been spotted over West Seattle. The 767-300 flew during Seafair; here’s more about it from GeekWire.
The redevelopment pace continues to intensify north of Morgan Junction. City files show two early-stage proposals on adjacent sites in the 6000 block of California Avenue SW, next to a site that already has a project in the works:
30 APARTMENTS PROPOSED FOR 6016 CALIFORNIA SW: This two-story building is currently home to businesses including the legendary Rick’s (Psychic) Barber Shop. The proposal would replace it with a 30-apartment building; the site plan shows 10 units on each of three floors, no offstreet parking (none is required because it’s on the RapidRide C Line route).
County records show this building was built in the early ’50s on a 7,500-square-foot lot currently zoned NC2-30, same as the subject of our next item:
7 UNITS PROPOSED FOR 6022 CALIFORNIA SW: This is currently home to the one-story retail building housing City Nails. The proposal is for what’s become a common mix on lots like this one – three live-work units facing California, two townhouse units behind it, and two single-family houses behind them, on the alley. Five off-street parking spaces are in this plan.
Again, these are early-stage proposals – the businesses remain open, and the permit process has a long way to go. Just to the north of them is 6010 California, which we wrote about in May. It’s proposed for three live-work units and four townhouses, replacing an almost-century-old single-family house.
Two more stolen vehicles reported overnight – if you see either one, call 911.
STOLEN WORK TRUCK: From Mardi – “At 4:40 am, our 2016 Ford F-150 was stolen from our parking spot on our private road, Seola Lane. The quad-door truck is white with royal blue decals that say Multi-M Construction all over it. We live real close to Arbor Heights, White Center, and Burien. Please keep an eye out.”
STOLEN FROM OWNER’S WORKPLACE: Someone stole Robby‘s truck from in front of his workplace, West Seattle Produce (4722 Fauntleroy Way SW), sometime between 9 pm Sunday and 7 am today. It’s a 1994 white Jeep Cherokee (looks like this photo), plate 165-ZXN.
11:03 AM: Right next door to temporary Fire Station 32, SFD crews are checking out a gas leak reported at/near the Broadstone Sky building in the 4700 block of 40th SW. Thanks to Justin at Sound and Fog for the tip – he’s on the building’s ground floor and had been told to clear out while they check it out.
11:37 AM: At the scene, SFD was packing up, telling us Puget Sound Energy had just taken care of it. So things should be getting back to normal.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
MAKE AN OLYMPIC MEDAL: 2 pm at Delridge Library, first- through third-graders are invited: ” Local artist Amaranta Sandys explains the Olympic Games, then shows you how to make a shiny Olympic medal using air dry clay, letter stamps, textures and found objects.” Free but you have to register – our calendar listing shows you how. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
MINECRAFT BOOK WORLDS: 3 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, this too is a free event for first- through third-graders: “Build your own Minecraft world based on your favorite book while exploring topics in the Minecraft virtual sandbox with educators from SPIN.” Registration required – link’s in our calendar listing. (2306 42nd SW)
SOUTH DELRIDGE CRIME/SAFETY/POLICING FOCUS GROUP: 6 pm at the Southwest Precinct, it’s the South Delridge/Delridge Triangle area’s turn to talk with researcher Jennifer Burbridge about crime/safety/policing issues. (2300 SW Webster)
SUMMER READING: Get some going with the evening book group at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 6:45 pm. This month’s book is “The Bartender’s Tale” by Ivan Doig.
INDOOR TENNIS? MEETING TONIGHT: 7 pm at Fauntleroy Church‘s Fellowship Hall, the community group advocating for an indoor tennis center at the site of the currently outdoor courts west of Southwest Pool invites you to come hear and talk about the next phase of the study, as previewed here last Thursday. (9140 California SW)
YOU CAN HELP: 7 pm tonight, PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) invites you to one of its periodic work parties to “package bulk foods purchased with PCC Food Bank Program donations from PCC shoppers.” More info in our calendar listing. (2749 California SW)
TRIANGULAR JAZZTET: See and hear them at 7 pm at Parliament Tavern in The Admiral District. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:50 AM: Good morning! No incidents in or from West Seattle so far.
ROAD WORK REMINDER: The lower Spokane Street project just east of the low bridge is scheduled to start this week. Here are the newest details, published here last Friday.
7:37 AM Trouble on northbound I-5 downtown – a crash with lane closures at Mercer.
7:57 AM WSDOT says crews are finishing clearing that scene now.
10:12 AM: As commenters mention, trouble on the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct right now – a stalled vehicle.
WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli and Patrick Sand; reader contributions credited below
From shortly after the first text message came in early Sunday morning, until a Washington State Ferries crew finished a short tow early Sunday evening, we covered here how hundreds of people, responders and spectators, dealt with West Seattle’s first stranded whale in six years. We shared many scenes of the day in photos and video, but we have more to show – telling the story, really, of the people as much as of the whale (including, added 6:56 am, “Diver Laura” James‘s 360-degree video): Read More