West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“These are our neighbors.”
One of the participants in Saturday’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce-presented forum on homelessness used that simple statement in the hope of debunking various myths about people experiencing it.
The almost-two-hours event also addressed frequently asked questions, such as where the city’s homelessness-related spending is going.
The speakers were, in order, Sola Plumacher from the city’s Human Services Department, which oversees its homelessness-related spending and initiatives; Michael Maddux, a local activist/advocate (who is also a City Council staffer but made it clear he was participating as a private citizen); Paul Lambros, executive director of nonprofit housing provider Plymouth Housing; Annie Blackledge, executive director of The Mockingbird Society, which is focused on ending youth homelessness and advocating for foster children. The Seattle Police Department was planning to send a speaker but canceled at the last minute. Introducing the forum was Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis; emceeing it, Chamber government-affairs chair Rik Keller. We recorded it all:
If you weren’t there and don’t have time to watch, here’s how it went:
On this Earth Day, congratulations go out to the local students who competed in this year’s Environmental Slam, presented by the Washington Foundation for the Environment this past Thursday night at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Each team gave a five-minute presentation about a local/regional environmental issue and what people can do about it. Above is West Seattle High School senior Annie Means, overall winner, whose presentation was about trash trouble in Seattle city parks. Her prize: $750 to be donated to the environmental group of her choice. She’s heading to Whitman College next year and was pronounced by the judges as “our activist of the future.”
The audience was brought into the presentation by the People’s Choice winners, “Killer Whales or Killed Whales?”, by these Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) students:
The presenters: Violet. Avery, Shona (who played a killer whale), Julia, and Frances. They had interview questions for Shona and orca-related quiz questions for the audience (also involving the salmon on which orcas depend.)
Also from Explorer West, Sofia and Peter with “Another One Bites the Coal,” looking at coal’s impact on Puget Sound:
Explorer West students Cece and Faye presented “Fleeced,” about microfibers in the food chain:
“Rescue” was the presentation from Explorer West’s Paloma, Ruby, and Grace, focusing on the importance of animal rescue and adoption:
A team from Madison Middle School competed, too: Tim, Ethan, and Staten examined how pollution affects Puget Sound:
The rules, judges, and full list of participating schools (including two from outside West Seattle) are on the event webpage. Explorer West teacher Tim Owens, who’s on the WFFE board, coordinates the slam.
The photos and report are from Jan Roberts at the West Seattle Food Bank:
Hurray for Arbor Heights Girl Scout Troop 45165, who went above and beyond today hosting a pet-food drive outside Petco in The Junction! In response, the West Seattle community generously gave pet food, pet supplies, and cash to support the West Seattle Food Bank Pet Pantry.
The donor above gave his total savings of $40 from his piggy bank to our furry friends in need.
These two stopped by with pet food, smiles and wags!
Pet food is also among the items accepted at the WSFB (35th and Morgan). The number of households visiting the food bank is up dramatically, we heard today, so whatever you can spare is welcome – and you are also invited to the WSFB’s big Instruments of Change fundraising dinner/auction on May 12th – details and a link for tickets are here.
200+ sales are signed up already for the 14th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day on Saturday, May 12th! And if you are planning a sale but haven’t signed up yet – don’t wait much longer, because Thursday night (April 26th) is the registration deadline.
Right after that, we start making the printable and clickable versions of the map/list so they’ll be ready a week in advance (starting May 5th) here on WSB and at westseattlegaragesale.com.
Ready to register? Go here! (Be sure to have your up-to-20-words “ad” ready highlighting what you’re selling, any unique items, any extra hours, etc.)
WSB readers have had a great track record lately for finding stolen vehicles shown/featured here (most recently, the red Nissan Pulsar was spotted and recovered in the Admiral Bartell Drugs parking lot). So maybe you will be able to help John get his motorcycle back. Here’s the motorcycle, a red 2011 Honda CBR 600RR:
And here’s a security photo of a pickup truck leaving with the motorcycle this morning in the 4800 block of California SW in The Junction:
John says the pickup appears to be a red 1980s Toyota. SPD incident # 18-141400 – call 911 if you see the motorcycle or have other info about the theft.
P.S. If you are anywhere in that area and have a security camera, check your video when you can – maybe you caught the truck too and can see its plate #.
Two hours down, four to go for the spring Recycle Roundup, coinciding this year with Earth Day. The Fauntleroy Church Green Committee partners twice a year with 1 Green Planet, which has multiple trucks on site to collect a long list of recyclable items (see it here). No matter what the weather, every year hundreds of West Seattleites drop off tons of recyclables, but it’s a bonus that this year the sky’s clear. Recycle Roundup continues until 3 pm, but organizers hope you will NOT wait until the last minute, as the lot (9140 California SW; map) doesn’t have much room for a queue.
Coast to coast and around the world, the Earth Day Groceries Project is celebrating its 25th anniversary today. It was founded by now-retired teacher Mark Ahlness at Arbor Heights Elementary, where he and students posed with some of the bags they decorated in 2010:
Mark shared this year’s official news release with us:
On April 22, 2018, the Earth Day Groceries Project will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Starting out in 1994, with 43 schools participating, the activity has grown and brought together thousands of schools and millions of children and grocery store shoppers worldwide in an annual event on Earth Day.
Here’s how it works. School children decorate paper shopping bags from a local grocery store with inspirational Earth Day messages and artwork. The bags are then returned to the store, which uses them to bag groceries for shoppers on Earth Day, April 22. Students become teachers in their communities.
*“Thanks to Kroger…our students have the opportunity to do their part along with our school’s white paper and newspaper recycling program to show that they care about the environment” – S.L. Lewis Elementary, College Park, GA
*“Our efforts were written about in the local newspapers and carried on 3 local TV stations. The third graders were even proclaimed “Home Town Heroes.” – Kunkel Elementary, Middletown, PA
*“On the trip to deliver the bags back to the grocery store, we cleaned the neighborhood sidewalks and boulevards.” – Victory School, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About the project website: At earthdaybags.org, interested schools can find information on how to participate, helpful tips, video presentations, desktop/phone backgrounds, award certificates, and more. Participating schools are asked to send in a report describing the effort at their school.
Visitors to the website can read through thousands of amazing stories and pictures from schools and children who care about the celebration of Earth Day. From all over the world. For the past 25 years.
We don’t have a list of local participants for this year so we don’t know if there are any local stores where you can get a special bag today, but thought you would want to know that a West Seattleite-founded project has continued going strong far beyond the peninsula.
From a reader reporting anonymously:
(Friday) sometime between 12:00-1:30 pm, in the South parking lot at Westcrest Park, my car was broken into – no sign of forced entry and nothing obvious taken – except for my wallet, from the glove compartment. I was playing with my son for about 20 minutes at the small play area there in front of the lot, and did take passing note of a sketchy looking man hanging out listening to his radio and possibly reading a newspaper in a beat-up old-model white pickup truck.
After 20 minutes, we walked the dog into the dog park, then played for an hour or so at the Westcrest playground and then returned to the car around 1:45 pm. I noticed my wallet was gone only when I went to grab it before heading into a store around 2 pm. I then started receiving text alerts about suspicious charges about 15 minutes later. The thieves racked up over $11,000 or charges at Apple, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and other stores, all at Southcenter – within probably 20 or 30 minutes, before their charges started being declined and I was notified. While filing a police report, I was told by the officer that it is relatively common for thieves to use signal-boosting devices for RFID key fobs to mirror the correct frequency to a vehicle and thereby gain entry without any apparent sign of forced breaking and entering. These devices can work over a fairly sizable range: the playground we were at near this parking lot would be well within range. I had no idea such a thing existed and hopefully others can learn from my mistake:
1) Westcrest parking lot, in the middle of the day, as per other reports on here, is still a high car prowl, sketchy place.
2) Be aware of suspicious looking car-sitters and remove all valuables from your car. The glove box is the first place they target after any visible purses on seats.
3) Thieves can essentially gain entrance to your vehicle if you have a keyfob and hang out relatively near your vehicle for a while. Consider getting an RFID blocking device and place your key in it.
Regardless of whether they’re using an electronic device, car prowlers can work quickly, we’ve heard from police and victims time and time again, without those nearby, even in busy areas, being aware of what’s going on.
(Pelagic Cormorant in breeding plumage, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Here are the highlights of what’s up for your Sunday, including Earth Day events (if you’re leaving the peninsula, remember the NB I-5 alert):
RIDE FOR MAJOR TAYLOR: This fundraising bicycle ride will go from White Center to Tacoma to Vashon to Fauntleroy and back to WC, starting at 8 this morning – full details in our preview. (11050 10th SW)
EARTH DAY EDITION OF RECYCLE ROUNDUP: Don’t need it? Not selling it at West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day? Is it on the “accepted” list? Take it to Fauntleroy Church, 9 am-3 pm, where 1 Green Planet is waiting for you. No charge, though $ donations are welcome. (9140 California SW)
EARTH DAY WORK PARTY AT AVALON/HARBOR: Maybe you go through here to get to Alki … to get to the bridge … from the bridge … to Luna Park businesses … or all of the above! Today, spend a little time to do a lot of good, 9 am-11:30 am, as previewed here. Just show up! (Meet across from 2918 SW Avalon Way)
EARTH DAY AT WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Langley Fine Gardens is back for the gardening season starting today with their fabulous Vashon Island-grown plants. That’s just part of what you’ll find in the street in The Junction, 10 am-2 pm. (California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon)
EARTH DAY POTLUCK @ DRAGONFLY PARK: 11 am-2 pm, come meet your neighbors, bring something to share, maybe even help out a bit with keeping the park beautiful. More info here. (28th SW/SW Yancy)
(added) PET FOOD DRIVE: We got late word from Arbor Heights Girl Scout Troop 45165 that they’re hosting a pet-food drive outside Petco in The Junction, 11 am-2 pm. Bring cans, boxes, bags, etc. so the furry friends of people in need don’t have to go hungry. (41st SW/SW Alaska)
WESTSIDE BABY’S COMMUNITEA: New location downtown for WestSide Baby‘s big benefit (with co-sponsors including WSB), 2 pm at the Sheraton downtown. (1400 6th Ave.)
‘TWELFTH NIGHT’ FINALE: Today’s 3 pm matinee is your last chance to catch Twelfth Night Productions‘ performance of “Twelfth Night” at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Details and ticket info here. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
LUCY COOKE – ‘THE TRUTH ABOUT ANIMALS’: Town Hall is back at Westside School (WSB sponsor), 6 pm: “With excerpts from her book ‘The Truth About Animals,’ filmmaker Lucy Cooke takes us on a worldwide journey to observe the bizarre behavior of animals in the wild.” More details and ticket info here. (10404 34th SW)
‘THE PORTABLE DOROTHY PARKER’ FINALE: 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall, the end of the three-night Pacific Northwest premiere run of “the labor of love by playwright Annie Lux, director Lee Costello, and actress Margot Avery.” (7904 35th SW)
SEE WHAT ELSE IS ON THE CALENDAR … for today/tonight/beyond, by going here.
12:55 AM: Seattle Fire has sent a midsize fire response to the 900 block of SW Holden after a caller reported some kind of possible fire across the street from their home, according to radio communications. So far, the units on scene aren’t seeing anything. We’re monitoring.
1:10 AM: Nothing found – SFD has left and the call is closed.