West Seattle, Washington
(Recent video of salmon spawners in Longfellow Creek by Betsy Bertiaux)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Don’t be depressed, be optimistic.”
That was the advice of one panelist during a West Seattle discussion of Longfellow Creek – its status, its future, its challenges. He was only speaking about one of the latter, but his advice was an appropriate exhortation for all in attendance.
The attendance itself was cause for optimism – all the chairs set out in the Duwamish Longhouse‘s main hall, and some of the benches around the room, were filled with people there “to learn about and celebrate Longfellow Creek,” as Elizabeth Rudrud of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society said in her introduction. Its Log House Museum has been hosting an exhibit about the creek, and one of the reasons for the November 8 gathering was to springboard off that.
Sharon Leishman of the Duwamish Alive Coalition also said she was heartened “to see this many people interested in our wonderful creek,” one of only two salmon-bearing tributaries in the Duwamish River watershed.
Photojournalist Tom Reese began his presentation with an update on those salmon – that day, he said, Longfellow Creek had seen “at least 17 live adult coho spawners,” and he had also noted three dead ones, as well as “about 40 baby salmon living in the creek almost a year now.” He declared, with wonder, “There are salmon spawning in the city of Seattle less than four miles from the Space Needle!” But most of the salmon who make it into the creeik die before thy can spawn because they’ve been poisoned (more on that later).
Still, it’s better than the years in which Longfellow – which Reese imagined had once been a “magnificent salmon stream” – was a “ditch, an open sewer,’ barren of salmon for perhaps half a century. Now the creek is “back from the dead” and the salmon are arriving each year, even though, as Reese described, “to get to Longfellow Creek they have to choose to go into a pipe that travels 2/3 of a mile underground” before daylighting.
He held the audience in rapt attention as he showed photos and video of the salmon, other wildlife, and the human-made features along Longfellow Creek, like the fishbone bridge. If you haven’t been to the Log House Museum to see his images in the Longfellow exhibit, don’t miss it.
The human influence on the creek was at the heart of the next speaker’s presentation. Seattle Public Utilities‘ Katherine Lynch spoke of impervious surface covering more than half the Longfellow watershed – and that has resulted in overflows like this.
Four reader reports via email and text:
EARLY MORNING CAR BREAK-IN: From an anonymous reader:
I would like to report a theft gang that worked our street early this morning
North Admiral, 1800 block of Sunset Ave SW
05:20 AM on 11/18/2023
2 pedestrians (one on sidewalk, one on the street) plus one white van driving slowly behind them
They broke into a car and stole items from the trunk.
HIT-RUN KIA: In case you saw the downed sign today and wondered what happened – here’s what a reader texted late last night:
We just saw and heard a white or silver Kia Soul swerving around; they hit and knocked down a pedestrian crossing sign at 37th SW and SW Brandon St. They were being closely followed by a dark-colored, older pickup truck and we could hear their tires squealing for quite a while down the road.
THREE STOLEN KIAS FOUND IN 1 PLACE: Stolen cars turn up in a wide variety of places. But here’s word of a hot spot: Two stolen Kias reported here this past week were found – with a third – near 17th and Barton. Both John (Kona) and Tina (Sedona) told us theirs were two of the three (and we’ve updated those stories).
ABANDONED-POSSIBLY-STOLEN BICYCLE: Sent by Karen:
Wondering if anyone is missing this bike or recognizes it? It was left behind the guardrail at the Dead End on SW Dawson and 36th Ave SW yesterday morning (11/17) around 11:25. A neighbor noticed a male kid/teenager leave it there, disappear from view briefly, then reappear and head away on a different bike (perhaps one that was stashed or stolen from nearby). I’ve shared the photo with our neighborhood and no one recognizes it.
We photographed Ariel Cook and her assistant (aka mom) at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, where they were collecting food for the West Seattle Food Bank two weeks ago. Ariel will be back tomorrow, again collecting nonperishable food for WSFB, inspired by her work as a fellow with Farmlink, a nonprofit founded by college students to work on food rescue, food insecurity, farmers’ rights, and related issues nationwide. If you missed it in our story earlier this month, here’s the presentation Ariel assembled to explain the food-insecurity problem here, and why WSFB needs more help than ever:
You can bring just about any kind of nonperishable food to donate – except meat and dairy. Financial donations for the WSFB are welcome via this link. After tomorrow, the Farmlink booth will be back at the market one more time, on December 3rd.
Have some time to spare tomorrow and/or beyond? The West Seattle Bee Garden in High Point would love your help:
Work Party dates
Sunday, November 19th, 10 am-12 pm (this is a make-up for the one cancelled recently due to stormy weather)
Saturday, December 2nd, 10 am-12 pm
For these events, our focus is on weeding and other garden clean-up. We may begin some relocating of some plants to make room for new plantings in the late winter/early spring. Dress for the weather and bring a water bottle. A small snack will be available.
We expect to meet for the first time in early January to discuss what and where to install some new plants. So exciting! We’ll discuss keystone native plants, berries for more picking and eating engagement, other pollinator friendly plants as well as conduct research to identify plants suitable in the face of climate change. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be added to the Plant Committee communications.
Lastly, we are trying to grow our volunteer support for the garden – email email@example.com
For Sunday morning’s work party, just show up! The Bee Garden is on the north side of High Point Commons Park, Lanham/Graham.
Though today was the biggest holiday bazaar day of the season, there are more to come, including one at Village Green West Seattle (2615 SW Barton; WSB sponsor) that has room for more vendors – here’s the announcement:
Village Green West Seattle is hosting a local Festive Holiday Fair. We are looking for 5-6 more local artists, candle makers, quilters, glass makers, ETC., to come and set up shop at our community. This event is open to the public; it will be on Wednesday, December 6th, from 12-3 pm. Local vendors/artists, please reach out to Corinne at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206.937.6122 to reserve your spot.
The holiday spirit abounds at the Peace Lutheran Church Holiday Bazaar in Gatewood, happening both days this weekend in the church’s gathering hall (enter off 39th just north of Thistle). Lots of treats, too:
You’ll also find a table with fair-trade coffee, chocolate, and tea for sale. Jewelry too:
And you or someone on your gift list can combat cold feet with these slippers:
We also noted plants, poetry books, and suet for your backyard birds. The bazaar continues until 3 pm today and will be open tomorrow too, noon to 3 pm. Proceeds are benefiting local nonprofits including the Westside Neighbors Network Shelter (and thanks to bazaar organizers for sponsoring WSB this week to get the word out).
Josephine Delellis‘s “steampunk” creations – lots of gears! – are among the unique handmade items filling the rooms and hall of the Arrowhead Gardens Welcome Center right now during this year’s Holiday Bazaar. There are treats for people and pups, too, and preserves – or maybe you need something to stay warm, in which case Gail Jackson‘s hats and scarves might be just right.
Mary Hostetter‘s wreaths are not to be missed (we bought a glorious purple one a few years ago and it’s a holiday fave:
Mary Wood‘s colorful creations caught our eyes too:
Arrowhead Gardens is at 9200 2nd SW, at the end of the SW Roxbury corridor just before the hill that takes you to Highway 509. The Welcome Center is on the east side of the complex. The bazaar (one of the events featured in our WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide) is today only, continuing until 3 pm.
If you could use a little holiday help in getting a turkey on the Thanksgiving table, now’s the time. Above, Eastridge Church started its annual giveaway at 9 am – 40 volunteers giving out 700 turkeys and tote bags of groceries, according to Pastor Craig Mathison:
Just walk up to the front of the church at 39th/Oregon. Meantime, the West Seattle Food Bank‘s annual drive-up/ride-up turkey distribution has just started in the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor):
The Food Bank tells us demand is “way up” this year:
If you can’t get to either event this morning but you need pre-Thanksgiving food help, the WS Food Bank’s headquarters at 35th/Morgan will be open noon-7 pm Monday, 10 am-2 pm Tuesday and Wednesday.
11:17 AM: The WSFB just called to let us know they’re out.
Today brings the first major wave of holiday-season events, so we’re breaking the preview lineup into two parts – first, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:
EASTRIDGE CHURCH TURKEY GIVEAWAY: Hundreds of turkeys and bags of groceries available outside the church at 39th/Oregon, starting at 9 am, continuing while they last. This is a walk-up distribution. Details here.
HOLIDAY BAZAAR AT MASONIC CENTER: 9 am-4 pm, annual bazaar at Alki Masonic Center. (4736 40th SW)
PEACE LUTHERAN HOLIDAY BAZAAR: First day of two-day bazaar, 10 am-3 pm at 39th/Thistle:
Arts and Crafts
Fair-Trade Food Gifts
Children’s crafts (10-2 today only)
Hot lunch (11-1 today only)
Proceeds benefit church programs and benefit…
West Seattle Food Bank
White Center Food Bank
Westside Neighbors Network Shelter
ADMIRAL CHURCH CHRISTMAS MARKET: Old World-style Christmas Market at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill), craft fair, bake sale, other food and beverages, 10 am-4 pm.
THANKSGIVING FUNDRAISER & FIRE-CIDER PARTY: 10 am-noon, meditation, healing, and fire-cider-making at Bend N Move (3850 Delridge Way SW).
WHITE CENTER LIBRARY GUILD BAZAAR/BOOK SALE: Secpnd day of two-day bazaar and book sale at White Center Library – 11 am-4 pm. (1409 SW 107th)
Now, the rest of what’s up today/tonight, from the year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FREE GROUP RUN: Get your weekend going with this weekly West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW) group run, All levels welcome. Meet at the shop by 8 am.
SW HOLDEN NATURAL DRAINAGE SYSTEMS: As previewed here, you can talk with the project teqm at 17th/Holden 10 am-noon, now that they’re “mid-design” on this runoff-reducing, traffic-calming plan.
SSC GARDEN CENTER: Fall is planting season, and you can shop for student-raised plants at the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) Garden Center, open 10 am-2 pm on the north end of campus.
FREE WRITING GROUP: 10:30 am in West Seattle, registration required – see full details in our calendar listing.
FAMILY READING TIME: Every Saturday at 11 am at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW).
PLAY GAMES! The South Park Library invites you to drop by and celebrate International Games Month, 11 am-3 pm. (8604 8th Ave. S.)
RECONNECT SOUTH PARK: Have you heard about the community campaign to remove the section of Highway 99 that bisects South Park? This event is a chance to catch up and/or get involved. Organizers explain, “This gathering is the first step in exploring options to getting to a shared vision for the 44 acres that occupy the 1.2 miles of Highway 99.” 12:30 pm mingling with food, 1 pm discussion, at Concord International Elementary School (710 S; Concord)
BURGERS & BEATS: Saturday night food and music at Revelry Room – burgers start at 6, DJs at 9. (4547 California SW, alley side)
ALL-AGES OPEN MIC: 7-10 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way)
FUNDRAISING DANCE PARTY: Help raise money for a high school in Kenya by dancing with Stella’s Stars to the music of Beatles tribute band Flaming Pies, 7 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle. (4217 SW Oregon)
‘GREAT NIGHT’: Saturday night program for young adults 18+ to hang out 7 pm-midnight, at Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle).
LIVE MUSIC AT THE SKYLARK: The Retromancers, The Mrs. Bill Larsens, Pirate Radio, doors 7 pm, music 8 pm, $10 cover. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
LIVE MUSIC AT POGGIE TAVERN: West Seattle rock band Legal Issues plays at 8:30 pm. 21+. (4717 California SW)
Planning a concert, open house, show, sale, event, meeting, seminar, reading, field trip, fundraiser, class, game, Halloween or holiday-season happening, or ? If the community’s invited, get your event on our calendar! Please email info to email@example.com – thank you!