West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tree advocates who helped save “Luma“ are branching out.
Tonight in West Seattle, they led a “gratitude gathering” that drew more than 40 people to pay tribute to two Douglas Firs that are among 16 trees planned for removal on a Gatewood lot where a house is to be built.
Organizer Sandy Shettler of Tree Action Seattle said they’re not sure these two can be saved as was “Luma” – she hasn’t even contacted the builder who owns the lot to plead the case – but she doesn’t want to see them go without at least a round of awareness-raising.
The trees – measured at diameters of 43″ and 27″ – are on a 4,200-square-foot lot in the 4100 block of SW Southern that, records show, had the same ownership as the house to its east until last year, when the house got a new owner, followed this past April by the separate sale of the lot to a West Seattle builder.
Shettler says she and her group were not there to vilify the builder and that they are not against housing – but they are against losing more “exceptional” trees to do it. (The Tree Action Seattle website declares, “The future is about housing and tree equity for all. Housing vs trees is a false dichotomy of the Old Way of unintelligent planning and short term profits for the few. We reject this limited thinking and embrace housing and tree equity for all.”) She says this project was cleared because the trees couldn’t be spared without the house being less than 15′ wide at one spot, but she contends the city has many homes that don’t fit the criteria, and showed a roughed-out sketch of how this lot could hold a home and accessory dwelling unit while sparing the two big trees.
Losing trees like these, lot by lot, is an ecological crisis, Tree Action Seattle contends. Leaders were joined in speeches tonight by West Seattle wildlife biologist Kersti Muul, who stated flatly, “If we don’t have trees, we don’t have whales” – trees cool and clean the air by the waterways that raise the salmon Southern Resident Killer Whales in particular need to eat.
While the two Gatewood trees may not be next to a salmon stream – though Fauntleroy Creek is only about a mile away – they are important to birds, she added, showing a photo of a mating pair of Merlins that she found nesting in the area seven years ago, with their offspring seen nearby ever since. Her photo even appeared in the book “Magical Merlins” by Bruce A. Haak; she sent us this photo post-event:
The Merlins need tall evergreens for nesting – “mostly Douglas Firs.” She offered one more point for contemplation: “We have wants, Wildlife has needs.”
We recorded her remarks as well as those of the Tree Action Seattle leaders:
Shettler said they’ve been hearing from so many local people about doomed trees, she’s planning a West Seattle section on their website. (Friday update: That page is now live.) They’re also fighting for changes in the city’s new tree ordinance, which they say actually reduces protection possibilities for exceptional trees by giving the city less leeway in considering their fate. They’re hoping to make this an issue in the seven City Council campaigns and urged attendees to ask council candidates – Rob Saka and Maren Costa in District 1 – where they stand. “Our best hope is the new council.”
As the setting sun cast a golden glow on the trees, the “gratitude” part of the gathering began; Tree Action Seattle brought a basket of flowers and created a mandala on the pavement for people to pause to contemplate the trees and offer thanks for their existence.
Some then left; many of those who stayed gathered for a group photo.
WHAT’S NEXT: The newest version of the tree-removal notice filed today for this site says removal might start as soon as a week from tomorrow. Unlike the “Luma” saga, Shettler didn’t expect “direct action” in this case, but each spotlight shone on a situation like this, she said, could plant a seed of inspiration for housing plans that spare trees.
First – a reminder that Highland Park Corner Store‘s first-ever “Pouring West Seattle” event – six local wineries at one venue – is just two days away. Details are in our preview from a week and a half ago. You can get discount advance tickets for the 4-7 pm Saturday (August 19th) event – while they last – by going here.
Second – tickets have just gone on sale for the next West Seattle Wine Walk in The Junction. It’s happening 5-9 pm Friday, September 29th, at merchants all over The Junction. This twice-yearly event routinely sells out in advance so you might as well get in on it early by going here.
Sent by Christine:
Just want to get the word out that we have had an increase in criminal activity on the 3200 block of 44th Ave SW. (Tuesday) night someone entered our garage and stole a men’s bicycle, a cordless drill, a blower and hedge trimmer, two skateboards, and the batteries and chargers to the garden tools and drill. Two other neighbors have had similar incidents in the last two weeks. We are filing a police report. Just want others to be aware and to keep doors locked.
Just in from organizers – the final two glass floats have been found, so the second annual West Seattle Glass Float Hunt is over. The scavenger-hunt-style search for a total of 100 floats was a collaboration of the West Seattle Junction Association and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, with the floats hand-blown in West Seattle by Avalon Glassworks. Last year, a grant covered the cost; this year, money from sales of bridge-closure “Reunited” T-shirts provided the funding; WSJA executive director Chris Mackay told us today they’re hoping for a grant so they can do it again next year, and maybe even broaden the invitation beyond the peninsula, so float-hunting becomes a reason to visit West Seattle. P.S. We’re told the last one found was found today near the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse.
4:40 PM: Thanks to Kelsey for the tip. SW Charlestown is blocked at 46th SW right now because of a crash. Avoid the area.
4:43 PM: Apparently no serious injuries – the one SFD engine that responded has closed out the call.
8:32 PM: SFD says crews evaluated two men, a 41-year-old with no reported injuries and an 18-year-old with minor injuries; neither was taken to a hospital.
Almost a month after state and city reps met with Arrowhead Gardens residents< for an update on the encampment across Myers Way from the senior-living complex, it's still there, but the state says progress is being made toward "resolving" it. WSDOT circulated another update out this afternoon, saying that 18 of the 52 known residents “have moved into housing options with the assistance of service providers” and others are expected to do the same “in the coming weeks.” Outreach workers are continuing to work with people at the site, WSDOT says. However, that’s required law-enforcement presence, the update adds, explaining:
Many of you will notice a Washington State Patrol presence at the site this week. As you know, the encampment gets visitors that don’t live onsite, but do affect the dynamics from a safety perspective, so service providers in coordination with WSDOT and WSP requested a law enforcement presence as a safety measure and deterrent.
The update reiterates, “This encampment remains our top multijurisdictional priority site to address as part of the Right of Way Safety Initiative and the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Washington State Patrol, the state Department of Commerce, King County Regional Homeless Authority and the City of Seattle are working together to finalize a site resolution plan.” No timeline mentioned. Shortly after last month’s meeting at Arrowhead Gardens, crews did some cleanup at the site (photo above), including removal of unauthorized fencing and an inflatable pool that had inspired incredulity from observers.
Meeples Games (3727 California SW) is looking for help in solving a theft that happened Tuesday night:
These two individuals were (first) seen outside Meeples; they seemed to be acting a bit strange. So one employee told the other to be on the lookout for them. The two came into the store separately and looked at different areas of the store. They seemed to be causing a distraction from the other person so that one could look at products. The one in the darker clothing with the Target bag was stalking the Magic the Gathering product and slowly started putting Magic the Gathering product into his Target bag. They both asked questions about expensive Magic the Gathering cards and when the one in the darker clothing went to purchase a deck box, the employee behind the counter noted to him that his Target bag wasn’t that full when he came in and asked to see a receipt of purchase for the items. He left immediately. They weren’t seen in any vehicle, at least from what our employees noticed.
If you have any information, the SPD incident number is 23-234751. You can also contact Meeples’ owner Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One week has passed since a city hearing examiner told Seattle Public Schools that it has to “revisit” the plan to rebuild Alki Elementary with no off-street parking. But we don’t know yet how that “revisiting” will be done. The district has said only that it’s “reviewing” the decision, which was in favor of an appeal filed by nearby residents, following the city’s decision to grant nine zoning exceptions for the project (the appeals of six of the other eight were rejected). So we checked with the city’s permitting authority, the Department of Construction and Inspections. SDCI spokesperson Wendy Shark tells us that “they are having their first meeting to determine next steps” by the end of this week, so they should know next week how they’ll be proceeding. Meantime, we just went by the site, and at least from 59th, it appears idle after a second burst of demolition earlier this week.
Highlights for today and tonight!
GLASS FLOAT HUNT: As of early this morning, two remain unfound! (Backstory here.)
NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY SALE: Celebrate – and help raise money to fight cancer – by shopping the storewide 25%-off sale at Discovery Shop West Seattle (4535 California SW), 10 am-4:30 pm.
SPRAYPARK OPEN: Daily operations continue through Labor Day at Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), 11 am-8 pm.
SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS: Here’s the list of local sites where free food is available for kids on weekdays this summer, 11:30 am-1 pm lunch, 2-3 pm snacks.
HIAWATHA WADING POOL OPEN: Noon-5:30 pm. (2700 California SW)
LINCOLN PARK WADING POOL OPEN: Noon-7 pm. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
COLMAN POOL OPEN: Also at Lincoln Park, noon-7 pm – here’s the schedule of sessions.
DROP-IN ASSISTANCE: Neighborhood House has resources to help with a variety of things – noon-1:30 pm today, drop in to talk about utilities. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome to this weekly 1 pm gathering. Email email@example.com to see where they’re playing today.
FAMILY HEALTH FAIR: 4-6 pm with resources including school supplies, at Greenbridge Plaza (8th SW/SW 99th).
HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: Also at HP Corner Store, meet up at 6:30 pm for a 3-mile run!
Update: just got word that this event has been canceled
LEARN ABOUT SENIOR LIVING: Village Green West Seattle (2615 SW Barton; WSB sponsor) hosts this discussion, featuring other local facilities and services so you can learn about senior-living options. RSVP info is in our calendar listing.
WEST SEATTLE TIMEBANK: Picnic at Lincoln Park with the West Seattle Timebank, 6-8 pm – specific location and other details are in our calendar listing. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
TREE VIGIL: Gathering at 7 pm at 41st/Southern in Gatewood near two trees that are reportedly slated for removal – details here.
THURSDAY NIGHT CORNHOLE: Go play at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), 7 pm.
Look ahead any time with our calendar!
As the start of school approaches, so does the start of fall activities, including music! Endolyne Children’s Choir asked us to share this announcement:
Calling all young voices in West Seattle! Embark on a musical journey with Endolyne Children’s Choir this Fall.
Unleash your inner star as we harmonize, uplift, and create unforgettable melodies together. Dive into the world of music theory and fine-tune your performance skills, all while immersing yourself in an atmosphere of fun and community.
We’re thrilled to introduce the latest additions to our esteemed teaching staff: the gifted Clara Dorst and the talented Dylan Petersen. Under the expert guidance of music director Megan Booth, this dynamic trio is set to orchestrate an unforgettable experience for our singers.
Mark your calendars – registration is open until August 28th. Secure your spot now and let your voice soar with Endolyne Children’s Choir!
The registration page has more details, including registration schedules.
6:02 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, August 17th.
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Metro – regular schedule – check here for advisories.
Water Taxi – regular schedule.
Washington State Ferries – 2-boat service. Check Vessel Watch to see where the boats are.
SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
High Bridge – the main camera:
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
1st Ave. S. Bridge – alternate route across the river:
Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander.
BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed shows whether the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
If you see trouble on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities). Thank you!