West Seattle, Washington
By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog
Fresh paint, matching furniture, and planned décor are not the norm for families traumatized by homelessness. Those fortunate enough to find shelter get accustomed to make-do accommodations.
Not so the new library at the Mary’s Place shelter in White Center. It’s bright, comfortable, and inviting – whether a parent wants to read to her kids, enjoy a book himself, use a computer, or simply take a break to rewind.
A busy week of painting, assembling, and stocking culminated this past Saturday when the third Libraries for All project opened to Mary’s Place residents. Spearheaded by high-school senior Alina Guyon, a West Seattle resident, the project attracted help from several other volunteers, plus donations of books and laptops. The $5,250 in funding for expenses came from All the Sky Foundation.
Mary’s Place had an assortment of children’s books when Alina offered to create a real library. Starting with donated books (many from West Seattle), Alina enhanced the 250-square-foot room with computers so residents can search for jobs and stay connected with key people in their lives. The emphasis on children now includes kid-friendly DVDs.
“When families are trying to survive, education is set aside until the most pressing things in life are figured out and this break in a child’s education can create a long-term problem,” Alina said. “Having access to a library can help that child step back into school and stay at grade level.”
The 24-hour White Center Mary’s Place opened in June 2017 with a capacity of 70 adults and children. It is one of four full-service family centers that the nonprofit operates in the greater Seattle area.
Mary’s Place residents and members of Girl Scout Troop #40890 (photo above) helped stock the shelves with about 1,000 well-organized books. Knowing that loss and damage are inevitable, Libraries for All will replenish the supply as needed. The Mary’s Place staff will manage the library, use the projector to show movies, and maintain the computers.
The first Libraries for All project was for residents of a refugee facility near Kampala, Uganda, and the second was for children in a red-light district of Kolkata, India. Alina is weighing options for Project #4. Read more at libraries4all.com.
Now with its greatly enlarged collection of books, White Center Mary’s Place has put out a call for volunteers willing to read with children. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-621-8474.
Three reader reports tonight in West Seattle Crime Watch, plus crime-prevention advice:
APARTMENT STORAGE UNIT BREAK-IN: From Erik:
On Sunday, July 1st at approximately 10:00 am, 2 very large black cases were taken from a secured storage unit at Youngstown Flats in West Seattle (4040 26th SW). The person/persons who took the bags would have had to enter the secured building, get through the locked storage room door and cut through the top portion of the storage unit. The 2 bags taken contained optical frames. They also took branded MCM and Calvin Klein gifts. If anyone saw anything, please reach out to SPD or myself at email@example.com.
CAR PROWL: From Adam – “Car prowled last night, 50th Ave SW.” (4500 block)
PAINT VANDALISM: Another in the series of recent paint-on-car vandalism incidents, this time from Stephen:
My car was also vandalized on Friday night, right outside of The Westy [35th south of Kenyon]. Definitely the same color of paint.
We cropped the photo as we usually do, but this one, unlike the others we’ve seen, was a recognizable symbol – the circled A (for anarchy).
CRIME PREVENTION ADVICE: The latest bulletin from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner focuses on preventing a particularly prevalent type of burglary:
As you may have heard before, in the SW Precinct we have recently seen an increase in burglaries of outbuildings – including sheds and garages. In order to hopefully decrease these incidents – we wanted to make sure that we are providing our community with the best prevention techniques possible. Provided below is some information about what a burglary is, as well as ways we can help prevent these types of incidents.
Please keep in mind that I do offer free safety/security assessments- and if you are interested in this- you can contact me directly.
What is burglary? How is it different from theft?
-Burglary is defined by the Seattle Police Department as: when someone enters physical property (including a garage or shed), not his or her own, without permission, with the intent to commit a crime
-Theft is defined as: whenever property is taken
For law enforcement, there is a difference between burglary and theft and when you report a crime to 9-1-1 the language you use makes a difference! The Seattle Police Department distinguishes between two types of burglary- residential and non-residential. Residential burglary refers to the theft occurring in a dwelling, other than a vehicle (such as a private home or apartment) and non-residential burglary refers to the theft occurring in a commercial or non-residential building (such as a grocery store or clothing store).
How can we prevent burglary? Specifically, to out-buildings (such as sheds and garages)?
-All exterior doors should be strong enough to withstand force and should be secured with a deadbolt lock that has a minimum one-inch throw
-Try not to leave valuables (such as packages, electronics or cash) in plain sight through windows or doors
-The main entrance door to a home/apartment should have a door wide-angle (180 degree) viewer/peephole
-Make the home/business appear as if there is someone there by leaving lights, music and/or televisions on
-Install lights to be specifically directed and focused on entry points and vulnerable areas
-Secure and lock all windows and doors when leaving the premises- even if you plan to return within a short amount of time!
-Do not leave a spare key out
-Secure and maintain yard, patios and outdoor spaces- making sure you trim back all concealing shrubbery
-Check to ensure all garages and sheds are consistently locked with a sturdy lock
-Take inventory lists and photos of belongings in sheds and garages to ensure you know if something is missing
-Check sheds and garages regularly in order to report a burglary as quickly as possible
Another very important prevention technique for residential property crime is getting to know your neighbors and starting a Block Watch. Block Watch is one of the most effective crime prevention tools. Block Watch brings residents and law enforcement together to improve safety and prevent crime. Safety improves when neighbors watch out for each other by reporting suspicious activity and in progress crimes to 9-1-1. Crime prevention occurs when the opportunity for crime is removed and neighbors work together towards a safer neighborhood. If you are interested in setting up a Block Watch for your area, have questions and/or would like to learn more about this program- please feel free to contact me.
Jennifer’s contact info, plus other resource links, are in the PDF version of her newsletter.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 3, 2018
This is free, and kids are welcome – the West Seattle Art Nest is in fact here with activities for any young attendees who are interested. Just bring your own blanket or chair. If you can’t make it to this one – the series continues for each of the next three Monday nights, 7:30 pm at Delridge/26th. More video, plus photos, when we’re back at HQ.
8:07 PM: The broadcast from Benaroya has begun, and we’ve moved on, but a beautiful night full of music continues at the park. And before leaving, we heard something we hadn’t heard before – the live musicians return when the Benaroya broadcast concert goes to intermission, so it’s not too late to head to the park for in-person music as well as the live audio feed.
9:23 PM: Photos added; another clip
to come added:
Tonight’s musicians were Caitlin Beare and Brian Schappals on clarinet, Abbey Blackwell on bass, and Emerson Wahl on drums. Their program had a big helping of jazz.
We just took that photo of the mini-farm that’s known as the High Point Market Garden, after the city Department of Neighborhoods sent word of the opening date for its farm stand – Wednesday, July 11th, 4 pm-7 pm, and every Wednesday thereafter through September 28th. The stand sells fresh-picked organic produce from the garden, tended by nearby residents. As the DoN announcement adds, the stand “accepts EBT cards and participates in Fresh Bucks, which double consumers’ SNAP dollars when they choose to spend them on fresh fruits and vegetables. … The High Point Farm Stand will again host ROAR, the mobile farm stand that sells produce to neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food.” It’s at 32nd SW and SW Juneau (map).
We’ve received multiple inquiries about dead/dying bumblebees, particularly along California SW from The Junction to Morgan Junction. One of the people who noticed was local naturalist (and more) Kersti Muul, who provided the photos. We investigated a similar phenomenon a couple years ago, and recalled it wasn’t a case of spraying – as most assume when they happen onto the bees – but was traced to a particular kind of tree. Kersti, also an arborist, subsequently noted the trees in question are lindens:
Other parts of the nation/world have noted this phenomenon. Last fall, the New York Times wrote about researchers looking into it; they hadn’t entirely solved the mystery.
Not all bees are susceptible to this, as noted in this one-sheet from Oregon. The dead bees Kersti saw/collected are almost all yellow-faced bumblebees, of the species Bombus vosnesenskii. That Oregon document also reminds us that lindens are the trees that draw so many aphids, their secretions drip onto cars parked beneath them (it’s not the sap making those little spots, it’s the bugs). But you don’t want to spray those trees to kill the aphids – because that will kill other insects, such as bees, too.
One more reason to stay on the peninsula and spend the weekend of July 13-14-15 at West Seattle Summer Fest: The next major “Revive I-5” closure of northbound I-5 is planned for that weekend. WSDOT is stepping up the awareness-raising starting today and e-mailed us to be sure West Seattleites know about it. This time, they’re being clearer in advance about what will be closed and what will be open. Though the one-line description will be “Northbound I-5 closed at the West Seattle Bridge,” you will be able to exit onto the westbound bridge if you are approaching from the south, and you will be able to use the exit from the eastbound bridge to get to eastbound I-90, or the collector/distributor offramps to James/Madison Street, continuing back on to I-5 post-closure-zone. “One of our key messages is that you still can get to and from West Seattle during the closure,” Tom Pearce, the project’s lead communicator, assures us. Here’s the full explanation of what’s happening, where, and when.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“50 years is enough.”
That’s the simple reason Gregor Terjung gives for the decision to close his West Seattle Junction gift shop, Terjung’s Studio of Gifts.
He and wife Gloria Terjung took over the storefront at 4547 California SW in 1968, after 10 years of previous ownership. Their lease runs through this October, and they’re planning to stay open until then – depending on how long the merchandise lasts! – but they wanted to make the announcement now so you’ll know they’re having a big sale during West Seattle Summer Fest (July 13th-15th).
They aren’t selling the business itself, just closing it. Daughter Gail Spores – who’s been working there 40 years – doesn’t think anyone would buy it, given how the retail business continues to shift more and more onto the internet.
In the meantime, all these years, the shop has been a family labor of love as well as livelihood.
Just one major calendar highlight for today/tonight (the full list of what’s going on is here): The first of four free Music Under the Stars mini-concerts at Delridge Community Center park! This is the third year that the Seattle Chamber Music Society has presented this free outdoor classical-music series, perfect for a picnic dinner. It starts at 7:30 pm with live music by a student ensemble and continues at 8 pm with live audio from the SCMS’s Summer Festival at Benaroya Hall. (Tonight, SCMS tells us, “The ensemble is a quartet of UW grad students. They will be performing a variety of music, combining in various ways as the UW Grad Clarinet Duo, UW Jazz Trio, and the UW Clarinet and Bass Duo.”) As shown in the photo, you’ll find the event north of the community center, toward the west side of the park (Genesee/26th is the best locator). See you there!
9:04 AM: Big Seattle Fire response for a natural-gas leak at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. Per scanner, it’s related to construction work and it’s toward the north side of campus. Puget Sound Energy is reported to be on scene too. We’re on our way to find out more.
9:09 AM: The response is being downsized.
9:20 AM: Our crew just arrived. The gas-line break is just north of the clock tower on campus. SSC buildings remain evacuated until PSE and SFD determine everything is OK – no estimate yet how long that’ll be.
9:54 AM: We just went back to check; SFD has cleared and people have been allowed back into the SCC buildings.