West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Puget Sound’s boundless beauty might be its ultimate undoing.
But it’s not too far gone – yet.
That was the message heard by and shared among more than 100 people during a recent boat tour that used the Sound’s beauty as a backdrop for a message that grows increasingly urgent: Restore more of its nearshore.
That’s the part you might not even think twice about as you gaze at the spectacle of the water, sapphire under sunshine, silver under showers.
We hear a lot about the water itself – pollution we can reduce, like combined-sewer overflows and toxic runoff. But what’s next to the water matters too. The beach, or what’s replaced it; the bluffs; those comprise the nearshore. So does what’s on the beach, the rocks, the bluffs … NOAA Fisheries Service explains it, plainly, here.
Another term that mattered on the tour: WRIA 9 – a zone you’re in, but might not ever have heard mentioned.
WRIA stands for Water Resource Inventory Area. Zone 9 is the Duwamish-Green Watershed … as in, the Duwamish-Green River, which runs south from West Seattle.
With that area of focus, those who were aboard (listed here) included elected officials from South King County as well as representatives from advocacy groups, businesses, and government agencies.
For the second day in a row, we’ve received a Crime Watch reader report of a Toyota Prius stolen in West Seattle. First Arbor Heights, now Fairmount Springs (Fauntleroy and Graham): “Charcoal gray Toyota Prius, Chico State sticker on rear window. WA license 474-YNG.” 2008 model, per @getyourcarback. Owner says usage of card(s) that also were stolen might suggest it is or has been in the Westwood Village vicinity. Call 911 if you see it.
3:57 PM: A second major fire call is working right now, this one in the 5600 block of West Marginal Way SW [map]. In this one, we’re hearing by scanner, there is some concern about propane tanks – stay away from the area.
4:04 PM: Per scanner, this fire is reported to involve containers on a barge. The response includes at least one SFD fireboat.
4:13 PM: The response has been upgraded to include “hazmat” so you will see and hear even more units heading to it. We have just arrived in the area. West Marginal Way is NOT blocked off – the fire units are all on the east side.
4:24 PM: The additional responders are arriving now and West Marginal is filling up – not sure how long it is going to remain open. We’ve added a photo of firefighters getting water on the burning container(s).
4:28 PM: Media crews are being kept back a ways for obvious reasons. Via scanner, it’s reported that the fire is believed to have started in garbage inside the container(s).
4:40 PM: Still an active firefight. We haven’t heard of any injuries but no one is providing official information to us or other gathered media yet, either. Meantime, the Coast Guard is helping keep vessels away from the fire zone; one of our crews is going to go see if any of this is visible from anywhere else along the river.
4:51 PM: Just got a briefing from SFD’s Lt. Harold Webb (video added below), who says basically half the city’s firefighting force is here.
…including Chief Harold Scoggins.
Even more units are arriving now. No injuries, we’ve confirmed. What they’re doing now, Lt. Webb says, is trying to cool off the burning containers so they can get a chance at taking them apart and figuring out what caught fire.
He mentioned the same thing we had heard via scanner – they’re not entirely sure what’s in the containers but garbage is believed to be at least part of it.
5:21 PM: Thanks to Andrea for the photo above – looking toward the fire scene from Highland Park – and Stacy for the tip that boat traffic is being kept out of the area, so if you’re looking to head south on the Duwamish River from the West Seattle Bridge vicinity, you won’t be able to, TFN. Looking toward the fire scene from the east shore of the river, Patrick Kelly shared this photo via Twitter:
Lots of firefighting foam in the water.
5:43 PM: Some units are being dismissed as this winds down. Scanner discussion also indicates the exclusion zone on the river will be reduced.
6:53 PM: We just went over to check on how the wrapup is going. More SFD units left, including the last one (Engine 29) that was still parked along West Marginal Way. Lt. Webb, currently serving as public-information officer, was about to leave too, and told us they would still have a presence on site for a few hours. Forklifts are continuing to pull containers off the barge where the fire started:
8:29 PM: SFD says “spontaneous combustion of garbage” is what sparked the fire.
3:51 PM: Firefighters are at a house near 34th SW and SW Findlay, with investigating unit Marshal 5 on the way to investigate a fire there.
4:12 PM: We stopped here briefly on our way to the big call on West Marginal Way (separate story). Toplines: Small fire on a deck, now out; house was undergoing remodeling; no one home when it happened; no one hurt.
West Seattle’s Chelan Café was the starting point this morning for a poker-run motorcycle ride to the Labor Temple downtown – but not a direct route: The ride stopped at multiple local union halls along the way. Leading the ride, if you didn’t recognize her in our video clip of the departure, was West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, riding with husband Bob Combs:
As previewed here on Saturday, the ride had five stops planned, from the International Association of Machinists hall in South Park to the Deep Sea Fisherman’s Union in Ballard, before arriving at the annual picnic at the Labor Temple.
Herbold participated last year too – but this was her first since being elected last November to the City Council (whose two-week summer recess ends tomorrow, by the way).
(Added late Monday afternoon – photo by Trileigh Tucker)
2:11 PM: Just got a report from Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail that orcas – transients, not the Southern Residents – are headed southbound toward Alki Point. And she says they’re reported to be close to this side of the water.
2:44 PM: As of a few minutes ago, an Orca Network sighting report had them near the Vashon ferry.
3:14 PM: Just tweeted by @corybe – the video below, showing the orcas still heading southbound, closer to the Vashon shore, seen from the Fauntleroy-bound ferry:
— Cory Bergman (@corybe) September 5, 2016
1:38 PM: Burglars are still targeting local storage units in the Luna Park area. Most recently, we’ve had multiple reports of break-ins at Public Storage on SW Avalon Way; today, we have word of a break-in at nearby Stor-More (WSB sponsor) on SW Yancy. The victim says it happened late Friday night:
They broke into only our unit, apparently. We had a really good lock on the door but they cut the hasp — so essentially, they cut *around* the lock. They went through almost every box and threw stuff around and took jewelry and a few antique silver ornate serving platters. Mostly stuff they could sell easily.
Searching Tweets by Beat for the incident number (2016-320931), we noticed another burglary report this weekend (different incident #) for an “unoccupied structure on residential property” in the same block.
6:08 PM: As noted in comments, there are reports now of multiple break-ins at Stor-More this weekend. We’ll be following up on these and the PS break-ins, with police and with company reps, to see if we can find out about plans for increased security.
Back-to-school season continues this week. Not too late for you to sign up to provide extra help to kids for whom it will make a world of difference:
(Photos courtesy Invest in Youth)
Looking for a way to give back to your community?
Invest in Youth is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that provides free tutoring to local elementary students across the city.
Become a tutor this fall! We are looking to pair volunteers with about 100 students at Roxhill Elementary and five schools outside West Seattle (Daniel Bagley Elementary, Madrona K-8, Thurgood Marshall Elementary, Beacon Hill International School).
Tutoring begins the first week of October, runs through May and takes place once every week at each school.
Each tutor is matched with the same student for the whole school year, and the pair works together on things like playing math games, reading stories or working on homework, for one hour each week. Educational materials and activities, training and support, and heartfelt appreciation are provided at every session.
For more information or to apply to be a tutor, please contact Erika Chen at email@example.com or visit our website.
Can’t commit to the full school year? Become a substitute tutor or share this with your friends who might be interested.
(One of the hardest-working birds, taking a break. This is a male Anna’s Hummingbird – photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Welcome to Labor Day 2016!
Area traffic cams and info (including a link to the city map with travel times) on the WSB West Seattle Traffic page.
*Metro buses are on a Sunday schedule
*West Seattle Water Taxi is also on a Sunday schedule
*Sound Transit Route 560 is on a Sunday schedule too
*Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is on its “regular summer Sunday sailing schedule”
‘PARKING HOLIDAY’: No pay stations on city streets in West Seattle, but if you’re heading off-peninsula, you should know there’s no charge in the neighborhoods that do have them, because this is a “parking holiday.” (SDOT also notes that time limits are not enforced on holidays.)
TRASH/RECYCLING PICKUP: If you have Monday pickup, it WILL happen today.
SEATTLE PARKS: Most facilities are closed for the holiday, with the exception of Colman Pool (last day of the 7-day-a-week season) and Highland Park Spraypark (last day of the season), and West Seattle Golf Course.
Event notes for today:
POKER RUN MOTORCYCLE RIDE: Join City Councilmember Lisa Herbold and the labor community on a ride to area union halls, starting from West Seattle’s Chelan Café at 8:30 am – registration at 8 am – details in our preview. Scooters welcome too. (3527 Chelan SW)
LABOR DAY PICNIC/FLAG RAISING: 11 am-3 pm at Alki Masonic Center in The Junction, you’re invited to the annual potluck picnic (bring a side dish to share) and flag-raising ceremony (at noon) – details are in our preview. (40th SW/SW Edmunds)
GLASS BLOWING: 11 am-5 pm at Avalon Glassworks (which is open regular hours, 10 am-6 pm, today): Glass artist Sean Welch will be making glass apples to benefit White Center Food Bank. (2914 SW Avalon Way)
LAST DAY FOR TOURS AT ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE: 1-4 pm, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary invites you to the season’s last day of tours at historic Alki Point Lighthouse before the season ends. Be there by 3:40 pm. (Alki SW/Beach Drive SW)
If you see/hear news … please let us know – 206-293-6302 text/voice if it’s happening now, firstname.lastname@example.org if it’s not urgent. Thank you!