West Seattle, Washington
Dr. Kenneth Beck wants to take you on a “Paleo Tour” of Alki – paleo as in paleontology. Even if you think you know everything about Alki’s history, his tour will almost certainly teach you something new – about something old.
Dr. Beck is a retired research scientist whose deep academic background (read about it here) includes paleontology and archaeology studies. And now he’s decided to put that to use: “I saw that few people in West Seattle knew anything about how West Seattle ‘got here,’ and that was sad. We live on one of the most interesting outcroppings in the world!”
He says the tour “will involve the ‘Adventurers’ in discovering fossils for themselves! Imagine that. Fossils from the Eocene Epoch (50 million years ago). Then, fast forward to 900 CE (AD), the Vikings were invading Ireland, the Classical Era was ending in India, and Alki rose out of the depth more than 25 feet in one of the grandest of grand earth-shattering quakes!”
The guided lecture/tour will cover two miles in two hours, on e-scooters or e-bikes (bring your own or rent one on Alki), not included in the $40/person honorarium (kids under 10 are free). You’ll meet Dr. Beck at Spud Fish and Chips (a part of Alki’s more-recent history). And this is by appointment only – he says he’ll offer the tour year-round, at low tide. You might see subtle sights like this, which he says is a fossilized clam:
If you’re interested, email him at email@example.com.
Some fall high-school sports start up even before the first classes of the year. High-school football season is about to begin. Tomorrow night (Friday, September 1st), West Seattle High School plays a home game at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle), 6 pm, vs. Columbia River (from Vancouver, Washington). Chief Sealth International High School was scheduled for a season-opener on the road at Foster High School in Tukwila, but the Metro League schedule page says the game’s been canceled and that CSIHS instead is playing at Bellingham, 1 pm Saturday (September 2nd). You’ll also see/hear football at West Seattle Stadium, where O’Dea – which plays its home games there – will play Union at 7 pm Friday.
Most local students who aren’t back in class already will return next week. If you’ve just moved here – or are rethinking your K-5 student’s plan for next year – independent Tilden School (WSB sponsor) wants you to know they still have a few spaces at each grade level. As noted here last month, Tilden has a new head of school, Dr. Jorge Olaf Nelson, and is looking ahead to the new school year with excitement. They’d be happy to give you a tour, even amid all the preps for the start of school – here’s how to contact Tilden School via email or phone. The campus is on the north edge of The Junction, at 4105 California SW.
Another change in south Morgan Junction: We noticed a big COMING SOON sign while passing 6971 California SW, and stopped to check out the sign next to it that explained what’s “coming soon.” The Fine Baking Co. is on the way to the middle space in the building (where massage clinics have been located in recent years). Via the email address on the window sign, we contacted baker Chely Smithgall, who told us:
I’m a home baker with a cottage food permit; since I had such a great turnout and feedback from people I decided to open up my storefront! So excited about it!!!
I do cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, personalized printed cookies and treats; they can be ordered or just come to buy at the store.
Not sure when we will get permits and all that, but hoping to be able to open before holidays – hopefully October!
You can see some of her creations here.
3:19 PM: Thanks for the tip. Washington State Ferries says M/V Issaquah had to go out of service for “necessary unscheduled vessel maintenance,” so the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is currently down to one boat. WSF says that “engineers are on board (Issaquah) working on the issue.” Meantime, M/V Kittitas continues the #1 schedule; you can check Vessel Watch for its location.
3:41 PM: WSF now says it’s a “steering issue” and they’re still working on it.
6:16 PM: No ETA for a fix yet. WSF says the wait at Fauntleroy is now up to 3 hours for drivers
That’s the first live seal pup of the season reported to Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network – a season that normally begins in June. The report and photo are from Seal Sitters’ David Hutchinson:
Just a reminder to your readers that we are still in harbor seal pupping season, which in our part of Puget Sound typically runs from June – September. The 2023 season has gotten off to an unusually slow start on our West Seattle beaches. Yesterday, Seal Sitters had our first response to a live pup on a local beach. Volunteers watched over this vulnerable young seal from mid-afternoon until dark. These animals are protected by federal law and if you come across one onshore, we ask that you keep back, keep people and pets away, and call the Seal Sitters’ hotline at 206-905-7325. Operators are on duty 7 days a week from 8 AM – 8 PM. If you call outside of those hours, please leave a message including the type of animal and its location.
Resting on a beach is normal behavior for harbor seals but the young pups haven’t learned to be discriminating about where they do this. You may encounter them on any of West Seattle’s public or private beaches. It’s particularly important that dogs are not allowed to run off leash on our beaches. While harbor seals are quick and graceful in the water, they are pretty slow while moving on land and would have trouble escaping from a curious dog. Even a small injury can quickly become infected and could be fatal for pups with developing immune systems.
Please note that the accompanying photo was taken with a telephoto lens from behind the tape perimeter. These photos are taken to provide a closer look at the animal to see if there are any external wounds or other signs of poor health and for ID purposes.
Thank you for sharing the shore with our marine wildlife neighbors!
WSDOT has just announced that the long-in-the-works clearing of the encampment on the east side of Myers Way is imminent:
After two months of state partners actively working with service providers, local partners, law enforcement and neighbors, WSDOT crews posted a notice to vacate the encampment at Myers Way this morning. Service providers with KCRHA (REACH and PDA/CoLEAD) have offered services and housing that would reasonably match the needs of the people on site. Over 80% of those who were staying at the site have been matched with shelter or housing that will work for them; many have already moved to those accommodations. Outreach workers will continue to help everyone who has accepted housing to move off site over the next several days. Next week, WSDOT will begin cleaning and repairing the site, removing excess vegetation and making other modifications at the site to help prevent resettlement.
Two weeks ago, in its previous update, WSDOT had said that one-third of the known 50+ people on the site had moved into housing. The last community meeting about the situation was in July, around the same time WSDOT said RVs and other vehicles needed to be removed before they blocked off access. (As is clearly visible to passers-by, some remain.) Three months have passed since West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold said the city and state – both of which are property owners in the area – were working on “resolution” of the encampment situation, following incidents including a murder. Even before that, Arrowhead Gardens residents across the street had been pleading for something to be done, citing crime and safety concerns at their senior-living complex.
This year, the Taste of West Seattle – benefiting the West Seattle Food Bank – returns in its original format, one big event with dozens of food/drink purveyors offering “tastes” to attendees. Original venue, too – The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW). WSFB is now selling tickets for the Taste of WS, which is set for Thursday, September 28th. $125 VIP tickets get you in first, at 5:30 pm; $75 general admission starts at 6 pm. Here are the participants the WSFB has announced so far:
Aroy Mak Thai
Dolcetta Artisan Sweets
Elliott Bay Brewing Co.
Papa Tony’s Hot Sauce
Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que
The Good Society Brewing Co
The Locöl Kitchen & Bar
Tuxedos & Tennis Shoes
…and more to come!
It’s a 21+ event, and usually sells out, so if you’re interested, go here to get your ticket(s).
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
TALK ABOUT THE TRANSPORTATION PLAN: As reported here, SDOT has released a draft Seattle Transportation Plan and is seeking community comments in myriad ways. Another pop-up chance to comment and/or ask questions is 11 am-noon today at High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond).
SPRAYPARK OPEN: Daily operations continue through Labor Day at Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), 11 am-8 pm.
LOW-LOW TIDE: Out to -1.9 feet at 11:39 am.
WADING POOL CLOSED: Because the temperature is expected to stay below 70, Seattle Parks will NOT open its wading pools – including Lincoln Park, the last one open in West Seattle – today.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where they’re playing today.
HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: Also at HP Corner Store, meet up at 6:30 pm for a 3-mile run!
DISCUSS! You’re invited to The Bridge (6301 California SW) 6-8 pm for this conversation:
Are you concerned about the high cost of housing, widespread homelessness, and transportation problems?
Join Seattle YIMBY, Seattle Subway, and others in a friendly, convivial atmosphere to share ideas and solutions to these interrelated issues and how we can create a more affordable, inclusive, and well connected Seattle.
Full announcement is in our calendar listing.
THURSDAY NIGHT CORNHOLE: Go play at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), 7 pm.
BENEFIT FOR KATIE: As previewed here, Southgate Roller Rink (9646 17th SW) is hosting a benefit for manager Katie’s fight with cancer, 8:30-11 pm.
Look ahead any time with our calendar!
Two reports from Kersti Muul: Transient orcas, northbound, about half an hour ago, and a gray whale, also northbound. Both sightings were reported north of the north end of Vashon Island. Let us know if you see them!
6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, August 31st.
WEATHER AND SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Chance of showers, high in the mid-60s. Today’s sunrise will be at 6:26 am; sunset will be at 7:51 pm.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Remember that some are back in class already, so don’t be surprised to see School Zone beacons flashing in some areas. Our full list of start dates is here.
Water Taxi – regular schedule. On Labor Day, the West Seattle Water Taxi and its shuttles will run on the Sunday schedule.
Washington State Ferries – 2-boat service. Check Vessel Watch to see where the boats are. The Triangle Route will be on its weekend schedule Monday
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!