West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Many point out that Earth Day isn’t really about saving the planet – it’s about saving those who live on it, ourselves included.
Some are in more imminent danger than others. In particular, the Southern Resident Killer Whales, whose plight was the focus of this month’s Orca Talk, presented by The Whale Trail.
Their population remains at 75, only four above their historic low of 71. “If they go below 71, no one can say whether they’ll come back.”
That was the somber reminder from both TWT founder/executive director Donna Sandstrom and the Thursday night event’s featured guest, retired marine-mammal expert Dr. Tim Ragen. He opened with toplines on his background, including working on the Marine Mammal Commission in D.C. 2000-2013. More recently – in “retirement” – he’s spent time focusing on other species in danger,from Hawaiian monk seals to Florida manatees.
Addressing the status of the SRKWs, Dr. Ragen explained that the number 75 doesn’t tell the whole story.
Another levy will be on the August 6th ballot: The Seattle Public Library levy. Councilmembers voted unanimously today to send it to voters. (The item comes up 25 minutes into the video above, Seattle Channel‘s recording of this afternoon’s council meeting.) They expanded the original $210+ million proposal by about $2 million to add one weekly operating hour for each of the city’s 26 library branches as well as adding extra support for children’s programming. You can read the documents, including the amended levy text, by going here. The levy plan was announced last month; it would follow a seven-year levy that expires this year. The August ballot also will include a vote on the King County Parks levy, as reported here last week.
Last week, former Seattle deputy mayor and longtime civic advocate Bob Royer died at 75. He wasn’t a West Seattleite so we didn’t make note of it – many regional publications did a great job of that – and then we heard from West Seattle historian, writer, and journalist Clay Eals. He reminded us of the event shown in the video above – a panel discussion in The Junction in 2014, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the opening of the high-level West Seattle Bridge, part of a monthlong series of events presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which Eals led at the time. Read more about it – and see some historic bridge video! – here. You can see/hear Bob Royer in the video starting about six minutes in (running for about 12 minutes) and then again for about seven minutes starting at one hour, 14 minutes in. Eals recalls, “It was fascinating local history, yes, but history that came alive in a lively manner. And anyone who knew Bob is mourning the loss of his energy and wit.”
The peninsula’s biggest party of the year, West Seattle Summer Fest 2019, is in view just over the horizon – July 12, 13, 14 – and the plan is taking shape now, so you have to take action fast if you want to be part of any of this:
COMMUNITY GATHERING TENT: Nonprofits and neighborhood/community groups are invited to apply for a free spot on the lineup, so Summer Fest visitors can stop by to find who you are and what you do. There may be two tents this year but even all those spots will fill up fast, so don’t wait, go here to sign up.
NEW STAGES! Summer Fest 2019 will bring more ways than ever for people to perform or present, including a Community Stage in Junction Plaza Park and a Wooden Instrument Stage at the south end of the festival zone. That’s in addition to the Main Stage at the north end. Interested in a spot on any of those stages? Here’s how to apply.
PARTNERSHIP/SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: While the West Seattle Junction Association presents Summer Fest, countless community sponsors/partners help make it possible. (WSB is among them.) These opportunities remain open until May 19th; this one-sheet (PDF) has more info.
From the east side of the 4700 block of Fauntleroy (between Alaska and Edmunds):
WORK ABOUT TO START: Thanks to Binh for sending the notice circulated in the area of the two-building 4722 Fauntleroy Way project, saying work is finally about to start. The notice from Compass Construction says they’re expecting to get going on the 300-plus-unit project in the first week of May. (This is the former West Seattle Produce site.)
NEW NAME FOR NEWLY COMPLETE PROJECT: When 4754 Fauntleroy (100+ apartments and live-works on the former Capitol Loans site) was in the planning stages, the project team used the name The Foundry. Driving by this afternoon, we noticed the almost-complete project has a sign up, bearing a different name: The Huxley. We’re asking the developer if that’s a tribute to anyone in particular (The Whittaker, across Fauntleroy, you’ll recall, was named for the legendary climber, who has West Seattle roots). According to The Huxley’s website, its units – described as “luxury apartments” – range from 437 to 1070 square feet, with rents from $1,505 (for the income-restricted 1 bedrooms related to the project’s participation in the Multifamily Tax Exemption program) to $3,050.
After two Q&A forums, District 1 City Council candidates will appear in the first debate-format event of the campaign tomorrow night. It’s the second event presented by the 34th District Democrats, but this time it’s not part of a regular meeting – it’s a standalone event – nor is it at the group’s usual event venue. All are invited to attend, 6:30 pm Tuesday (April 23rd) at Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School (9615 20th SW). Four of the five current candidates (the field’s not final until “filing week” in mid-May) are participating – Jesse Greene, incumbent Lisa Herbold, Brendan Kolding, and Phil Tavel – same as the 34th DD’s forum on April 10th (WSB coverage here).
Should Metro be free when we have major snow, as was the case back in February? At least one King County Councilmember thinks so. Announced today:
Legislation is being filed this morning by King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles that would allow for free Metro transit during snow emergencies. The measure comes in response to a massive storm that devastated roads and highways across the region earlier this year.
“This past winter our region was hammered with one of the worst snow storms the region has seen,” said Kohl-Welles. “Cars skidded out of control or got stuck, pedestrians struggled to gain footing and slipped on sidewalks, and too many of our most vulnerable citizens were left stranded. Free Metro fares will keep people safe and is the right thing to do.”
Here’s the proposed legislation (PDF); we’re checking with our area’s King County Councilmember Joe McDermott to see what he thinks of the proposal.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
DINE OUT, HELP SEATTLE LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: Dine at Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant in The Junction today – lunch and/or dinner – and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Seattle Lutheran HS Seniors’ Graduation Celebration. Open 10:30 am-11 pm. (4727 California SW)
GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE: If you can donate blood, take note that the Bloodmobile will be at the Masonic Center in The Junction 12:30 pm-3 pm. (4736 40th SW)
LOW TIDE: Good time for beachwalking if you can – low tide is out to -1.4 feet at 1:47 pm. (Chart)
LIBRARYLAB, EARTH DAY EDITION: 3:30 pm-7:30 pm, drop in at Delridge Library:
The Seattle Public Library is partnering with Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Utilities to host an extra special LibraryLab on Earth Day at the Delridge Branch (we’re taking over the whole library that day!). We will be learning about ecosystems by exploring the one in our backyard. Learn about the history of the Longfellow Creek Watershed restoration project, play games, use microscopes to look at samples of stream water, try an art activity, look at huge maps of the watershed and get information on current restoration projects and how you can get involved. This is an all-ages event and free (of course).
(5423 Delridge Way SW)
OPEN MIC NIGHT: 7:30 pm is when signups start at Parliament Tavern. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
PEEK AT THE WEEK AHEAD … via our complete calendar.
Maybe you have the perfect idea for this school project! Sent by Adrienne Ollerenshaw:
The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Small Sparks Matching Fund awarded Louisa Boren STEM K-8 funding to install a buddy bench and repaint the blacktop games on the school playground. A buddy bench is a bench where a child can sit if they need a friend. Others will see them and invite them to play.
The school is requesting artwork ideas from school and community members for under the buddy bench. Sketches can include up to four colors. If you would like to submit an idea, email drawings with your name and email address, to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop them off at the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 (5950 Delridge Way SW) front office before Friday, April 26th. There will be a design selection meeting at Delridge Library (5423 Delridge Way SW), April 27th, from 12:00-12:30, where community members are welcome to come and help select artwork for under the bench.
The art would be a painting on the playground blacktop, 6′ x 6′ maximum, “that promotes friendship, kindness, acceptance, and love.”
6:55 AM: Good morning! Here’s what you need to know as the week begins:
AVALON PROJECT: This is week 2. SDOT’s plans for this week (and a bit beyond) are in this update.
BEACH DRIVE REPAVING: This is scheduled to start Wednesday south of Weather Watch Park, as announced Friday.
SPRING BREAK: Local Catholic schools are out this week.
SEE TRAFFIC TROUBLE? If we’re not already reporting it, and if you’re not driving, tips appreciated at 206-293-6302, text or voice – thank you!
Another incident that started as a big response but was very quickly downsized – a Seattle Fire callout in the 9200 block of 17th SW. It’s now described in radio communication as a “porta-potty fire” and SFD’s investigator is being sent to the scene.
12:47 AM: Harbor Avenue is blocked north of the bridge because of a crash. It was initially reported as 2 vehicles, one possibly flipped, but a short-lived “rescue extrication” callout was almost immediately downsized to one engine.
1:03 AM: Harbor has reopened.