Environment 1512 results

FOLLOWUP: Mayor sends multifamily, commercial construction natural-gas ban to council

Last month, we reported on Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s announcement that she planned to pursue a ban on natural-gas usage in many types of new construction. On Wednesday, while we were focused on windstorm aftermath, her office announced that the proposal has been officially sent to the City Council. Note, this is for new multifamily/commercial construction and major remodeling of larger buildings, NOT existing gas usage. Here’s the announcement:

Following the State Environmental Policy Act process, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced that she has transmitted to City Council the proposed update to the energy code that would further electrify buildings using clean energy and restrict fossil fuels for most building use. By updating its energy code, the City will restrict the use of fossil fuels in new commercial and large multi-family construction for space and most water heating in order to cut down on the significant emissions contributed by the building sector. Space and water heating account for most building gas use according to City and national data.

“2020 and 2021 will be remembered as years of crises, and as we recover, Seattle can create a more equitable city with green buildings. It is up to Seattle and other cities to make the bold changes necessary to lower our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Durkan. “Business as usual will not get us to a future where all Seattle residents, especially our Black, Indigenous and people of color neighbors who are unfairly burdened by environmental inequities, enjoy a healthy and prosperous future. Electrifying our buildings is an important step in the many actions needed to curb climate pollution.”

The proposed Seattle Energy Code update includes the following key changes for commercial and large multifamily buildings:

Eliminates all gas and most electric resistance space heating systems
Eliminates gas water heating in large multifamily buildings and hotels
Improves building exteriors to improve energy efficiency and comfort
Creates more opportunities for solar power
Requires electrical infrastructure necessary for future conversion of any gas appliances in multifamily buildings

In 2019, Mayor Durkan issued an Executive Order committing the City to new actions that will support the goals of Seattle’s Green New Deal. In addition to requiring that all new or substantially altered City of Seattle buildings operate without fossil fuels, City departments will work with the Office of Sustainability & Environment to develop a strategy to eliminate fossil fuel use in existing City buildings, improve data collection and sharing on Seattle’s climate emissions, and engage stakeholders like the philanthropic community, business community, labor community, non-governmental organizations, health care community, county and state agencies, state legislators, and tribes to achieve the goals of the Green New Deal.

The proposed energy code amendments will eliminate most direct carbon emissions from new commercial and multifamily buildings. Requiring these changes at construction is the most economical opportunity to transition to clean electricity. Without the proposed code changes, the City expects that greenhouse gas emissions from buildings to be at least 12% higher by 2050.

Since 2017, the City has also helped approximately 600 households convert from dirty, inefficient heating oil to clean, energy-efficient heat pumps. The City will convert more households to electric heat with the goal of eliminating heating oil use by 2028.

The City also requires Building Tune-Ups to help building owners identify ways to reduce energy and water costs. Through tune-ups, building owners find operational efficiencies and low- and no-cost fixes that improve building performance and can reduce building emissions 10-15% on average. Seattle’s largest buildings have completed 450 tune-ups to date, reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the city and saving money on their energy bills.

The Seattle Energy Code impacts new construction and substantial alterations of commercial and 4+ story tall multi-family buildings. The proposed code changes were recommended for approval late last year by Seattle’s Construction Codes Advisory Board (CCAB), an advisory body tasked with reviewing changes to technical codes for construction.

The City of Seattle is receiving technical support in developing the energy code from the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. Seattle is one of 25 cities participating in the Climate Challenge, a program to significantly deepen and accelerate their efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for their residents.

With City Council approval, code updates will become effective in the spring of 2021, along with the full suite of Seattle building code changes in line with the statewide building code updates. For more information about the proposed energy code updates, including the proposed code language, visit the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections energy code web page.

We’ll follow up when it appears on council agendas (which you can always preview here, once they are published).

VIDEO: The Great Battery Roundup continues in West Seattle waters

Elliott Bay is a little cleaner and safer tonight thanks to the “Great Battery Roundup.” Above and below are the video and report shared by “Diver Laura” James as her project continued:

We showed up, we dove, we got the lead out!!!

Dive 4 of the Great Battery Roundup 2021 was a brilliant success; we were able to fully remove 8 derelict batteries from the wreckage of the “Honeybear” at a very popular dive site (near Seacrest).

These batteries were found in the hull of the wreckage, as time and tide had finally eroded away the body of the vessel, leaving only hull remnants and debris field. Upon inspection of the debris field, we could readily make out the ‘power banks’ for the vessel, 6 (turned out to be 8) large marine batteries, mostly hidden under a rotten deck hatch.

Dive 1, we removed the deck hatch and exposed the remaining unseen batteries.
Dive 2, we tested a battery run to shallow water
Dive 3, we moved ALL the batteries we could find currently from the debris of the wreckage and moved them into the ‘freshwater lens’ area (up where the water would be less salty from the influx of river water) to encourage any squatters that the batteries are no longer reputable living quarters, and move on.

Dive 4 was delayed slightly by some excessively snotty weather, but when the storm cleared up, our endeavors were greeted by a brilliant blue sky and calm waters. We were able to remove all the batteries liberated from the wreckage! Batteries ranged in weight from 40 lbs to >65.

We ran out of time to get them to Seattle Iron and Metal Corp, so will be taking them in for recycling tomorrow but I’m so thrilled that we were able to remove them with minimal fuss and a bit of elbow grease. Huge thanks to everyone who made this possible!

We have at least one more VERY large marine battery to remove but it’s buried pretty deep in the sediment directly out from the riprap wall in about 20′ deep water, so it will take some excavation. Volunteers are welcome, both shore support and underwater (but you have to be certified and comfortable diving in our chilly emerald sea).

Donations for the project can be made to Sustainable West Seattle.

Salmon in the Schools carries on in West Seattle, despite the pandemic

(WSB photos)

Despite the disruption in school operations, the pandemic isn’t stopping the Salmon in the Schools program. Local volunteer organizers Judy Pickens and Phil Sweetland obtained hatchery eggs this week for participating teachers, and arranged a distanced pickup from their home near Fauntleroy Creek, into which fry will be released this spring.

Stopping by while we visited for a photo were Rita Gazewood, first-grade teacher at Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Claudia Rodriguez, preschool teacher at The Cove School. In “normal” years, volunteers led by Phil and Judy deliver the eggs to schools.

This year, Judy tells WSB, “The eggs are destined for eight tanks – four elementaries, three preschools, and the volunteer who rears fish for schools that have crop failures. Some teachers and their tank volunteers have moved their tanks into garages and others have arranged access to their tanks in school buildings. All will be following COVID protocols to keep themselves safe while engaging students remotely in the rearing process. If all goes well, at least 1,300 coho fry will be ready to release into upper Fauntleroy Creek in May. They will have the habitat to themselves as we had no spawning last fall to produce ‘home hatch’ in the lower creek.”

VIDEO: Third dive in ‘Great Battery Roundup’

This week, “Diver Laura” James has been taking us along on an underwater cleanup odyssey off Seacrest, her continuation of the “Great Battery Roundup,” a project begun nine years ago. Her video above and report below chronicle how things went on this New Year’s Day:

What better way to start off the New Year than doing some good for our shared oceans! I can’t thank my dive buddies enough for coming out and sharing this dive!

We were able to remove not 6 but 8 batteries from the debris of the Honeybear wreckage in cove 2. All 8 are now up in the freshwater lens intertidal zone in preparation to be moved up into the shallow shallows on one of our king tides and then removed from the water and taken to West Seattle business Seattle Iron and Metals Corporation’s recycling facility.

Looking at the tides, we should be able to manage that over the next few days. If you dive cove 2 in the meantime, yes, there is a herd of batteries on the far side of the cove at the base of the riprap.

Huge thanks to Lamont Granquist for his epic camera skills and Michael McGoldrick for his excellent lighting! (and the intrepid sea lion who joined us)

Donations for the project can be made through Sustainable West Seattle.

Diver Laura’s previous two reports are here and here.

Another way to recycle your Christmas tree

As noted earlier this week, you’re supposed to cut your tree into 4-foot lengths before taking it out to the curb. Don’t want to do that? You can take it to the transfer station. Or – an added option that just landed in the WSB inbox today, requiring a trip south:

Scout Troop Christmas Tree Recycling, January 2 & 3

January 2, 2021 – January 3, 2021
9 am-4 pm
Burien Eagles, 920 SW 150th Street

Local Scout Troop 375/8375 will be holding the annual Christmas Tree Recycle the weekend of Jan. 2 & 3, 2021. Bring your tree to their recycling station at the FOE Burien Eagles Lodge parking lot, located behind the Countryside Café (map). No flocked trees please. Suggested donation $5

P.S. You can recycle your lights too – here’s how.

VIDEO: Second dive for ‘Great Battery Roundup’ in West Seattle waters

How are you planning to spend your New Year’s Day? “Diver Laura” James will be under water, continuing the Great Battery Roundup. We featured her prep dive earlier this week, and the work continued on New Year’s Eve. She sent the video above and report below:

Removing derelict batteries from the debris field of boat wreckage in one of the most dove sites in Puget Sound: The “Honeybear” sunk decades ago due to disrepair; it was a cabin cruiser and it has since rotted away almost to the core. The decking degraded to the point where we could see the ‘house batteries’ for the boat. On dive 1 we removed the decking; (on Thursday_ we moved the first battery, preparing to pull it from water and take to Seattle Iron and Metals Corporation, a metal recycling facility. (Today) we will hopefully remove the remaining 5 from the debris pile. Volunteers are welcome, both shore support and underwater (but you have to be certified and comfortable diving in our chilly emerald sea). Donations for the project can be made to Sustainable West Seattle.

HELPING: Start the new year with a community cleanup

Earlier this year, we introduced you to Jessica, who was organizing a monthly volunteer cleanup at Alki. She’s renewing her call for volunteers as 2021 starts, with the first cleanup set for this Saturday (January 2nd):

ALKI BEACH AND NEIGHBORHOOD CLEANUP
1st Saturday of every month, 10 AM to 2 PM

Pick sticks and buckets provided – RSVP to reserve one. Feel free to bring your own. Supervised kids welcome. Behaved dogs welcome off beach. We spread out to cover most surface. Stay as long as you desire; go as far as you would like. The goal is to collect the garbage before it enters the beach and ocean. We can gather after for a distancing coffee if time allows. We meet at 10 am outside, between Blue Moon Burgers and 56th on Alki Ave SW

If you can’t make it Saturdays, consider starting your own group that meets another day. Looking forward to meeting you.

To RSVP or ask a question, text Jessica at 206.769.6330.

VIDEO: Getting ready for ‘Great Battery Roundup 2021’ underwater in West Seattle

Nine years after launching an initiative to remove abandoned batteries from local waters, West Seattle’s “Diver Laura” James is at it again. She sent the video above, from a preparatory dive, along with this update:

Back by popular demand, I bring you the first steps for our Great Battery Roundup 2021.

The ‘wreck’ of the Honey Bear has decayed enough that we have recently noted some big marine batteries buried in the remains that made up her power banks … we went out and I removed obstructions and gained access to the batteries in preparation for removal.

We will be out doing these dives over the next few weeks and hope to remove the batteries, bring them into shallower water so that the tide can encourage any residents to leave, and then once they have seen a few tide cycles, pull them fully and take them to Seattle Iron and Metals Co. and drop them off for recycling. They appear to be the larger marine batteries, in the 65-lb. range but will know more when we bring them to the surface.

“Cove 2” is in the Seacrest vicinity; the batteries are believed to have been dumped back when a marina was there.

Ready to recycle your Christmas tree?

If and when you’re ready to take down the tree – here are this year’s guidelines, from Seattle Public Utilities:

The nearest transfer station is South, in west South Park at 130 S. Kenyon, open 8 am-5:30 pm seven days a week (closed on New Year’s Day).

ORCAS: State commission sets limits on commercial Southern Resident Killer Whale-watching

(Photo by David Hutchinson, from January visit of Southern Resident Killer Whales)

It’s not the only threat to endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, but vessel noise is a danger that can be reduced, and it will be, after a vote Friday by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission. Limits on commercial whale-watching are the culmination of work that Gov. Inslee‘s Southern Resident Orca Task Force started more than two years ago. Among the members of that task force was Donna Sandstrom, the West Seattleite who is executive director of The Whale Trail, a nonprofit that evangelizes and facilitates land-based whale watching. She tells WSB, “It’s not the year-round suspension the whales need, but it is a huge step forward and a significant reduction in noise and disturbance compared to the status quo. A big win for the orcas.” Just before the pandemic stopped in-person gatherings, in fact, The Whale Trail’s midwinter gathering last February (WSB coverage here) focused on the noise issue and the task force’s recommendation of restrictions on vessels watching the Southern Residents. The problem is that noise disrupts their ability to use echolocation to find the salmon they subsist on – salmon that themselves are already scarce. Work to increase the salmon supply and reduce water pollution is vital too, but neither of those can be implemented quickly, while noise reduction can. Here’s the slide deck from the meeting, including the restrictions (“Option A”) approved by the commission (with one “no” vote from a commissioner who wanted tougher rules):

As pointed out in the slides, thousands of comments were received, the majority in support of strong restrictions. The commission was tasked with making a decision on rules by year’s end, as required by the Legislature; Sandstrom notes that the bill setting the stage for that was sponsored by 34th District State House Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon of West Seattle. This is unlikely to be the last word on the vessel-noise issue; some commissioners expressed concern that private vessels, not covered by the new rules, will rush into the void, for example. And they acknowledged that more stringent rules may be needed in the future, but this is “a starting point.” The rules will not apply to any other whale-watching done by the commercial vessels, only the endangered resident orcas, who number 74, perilously close to their historic low.

DEVELOPMENT: Mayor wants to ban most gas use in multifamily, commercial construction

Just announced by the mayor’s office:

Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced new steps to further electrify buildings using clean energy and ban fossil fuels for most building use. By updating its energy code, the City will ban the use of fossil fuels in new commercial and large multi-family construction for space and most water heating in order to cut down on the significant emissions contributed by the building sector. Space and water heating account for most building gas use according to City and national data. These actions come as new City data show building emissions have been steadily increasing in past years. …

After years of notable progress in reducing climate pollution, Seattle’s most recent greenhouse gas inventory shows that Seattle’s overall core greenhouse gas emissions – emissions from our waste, transportation, and building energy sectors – increased 1.1% since the last report. The largest greenhouse gas emissions increase was the buildings sector, which increased 8.3% between 2016 and 2018, a significant jump. Major factors contributing to the increase in building emissions are new buildings with fossil gas space and water heating, colder winters, warmer summers, and a growing population and workforce. Residents and businesses will be able to view additional data and visualizations by visiting the Office of Sustainability and Environment site. ….

The proposed Seattle Energy Code update includes the following key changes for commercial and large multifamily buildings:

-Eliminates all gas and most electric resistance space heating systems
-Eliminates gas water heating in large multifamily buildings and hotels
-Improves building exteriors to improve energy efficiency and comfort
-Creates more opportunities for solar power
-Requires electrical infrastructure necessary for future conversion of any gas appliances in multifamily buildings …

In 2019, Mayor Durkan issued an Executive Order committing the City to new actions that will support the goals of Seattle’s Green New Deal. In addition to requiring all new or substantially altered City of Seattle buildings operate without fossil fuels, City departments work with the Office of Sustainability & Environment to develop a strategy to eliminate fossil fuel use in existing City buildings, improve data collection and sharing on Seattle’s climate emissions and engage stakeholders like the philanthropic community, business community, labor community, non-governmental organizations, health care community, county and state agencies, state legislators, and tribes achieve the goals of the Green New Deal. …

The Mayor will transmit legislation to City Council at the end of the year. City Council will discuss the legislation, and with their vote of approval, would allow code updates to become effective in the spring of 2021, along with the full suite of Seattle building code changes in line with the statewide building code updates. For more information about the proposed energy code updates, including the proposed code language, visit the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections energy code web page.

You can read the full announcement here.

EXPLORING: Take the Green-Duwamish Journey!

(Photo courtesy DRCC)

Bundle up and get out! Looking for somewhere to explore that’s not far, but isn’t your same old familiar neighborhood path/park? The Duwamish Alive! Coalition and Green River Coalition have an invitation for you:

This fall, Duwamish Alive! is encouraging community members to take the self-guided Green-Duwamish Journey of discovery. The Green-Duwamish Watershed is one of the most interesting places to explore, especially now with the river alive with salmon and wildlife. Take the journey, visiting interesting locations that tell the unique story of this area, its geology, history, ecology, and its peoples over time. Many are nearby in West Seattle and Tukwila.

*Walk on land that held a 3,000 year old Duwamish Village
*Visit an active Duwamish Longhouse, gaining a deeper understanding of the Duwamish peoples
*Experience salmon returning to their home to spawn at the end of their life’s journey
*Visit innovative projects addressing our environmental challenges,
*Stand on a rock outcropping older than Mt. Rainier, left by the last glacial age
*Understand the area that made Seattle and this region what it is today

Download your free guidebook and student packets at DuwamishAlive.org for journey information on locations, fun activities, and an eco-pledge raffle, to experience our river in a new and deeper way. Journeys are planned individually, to accommodate schedules, interests, and Covid safety protocols. Locations are all easily accessed, offering easy walking; most are ADA-accessible and marked with signage.

This is a great activity for families and complement classroom learning with free downloadable student learning packets from NATURE VISION covering Ecological Impacts, Water Quality, Human Systems, Invasive Plants, Ecosystems, Watersheds, and Humans and Water for grades K-12. Each packet includes both a teacher and parent/caregiver overview and daily student science lessons which connect to our watershed’s and community’s health.

Questions? Email info@duwamishalive.org.

FOLLOWUP: 14 tons of recyclables at West Seattle Junction event! Here’s the breakout

(WSB photo, September 26th)

Two and a half weeks ago, hundreds of West Seattleites descended on the big recycle/reuse/shred event in The Junction. So many that most of the participants maxed out. Today, the totals are in, and Lora Radford from the West Seattle Junction Association shared the report – 14 tons!

The numbers were collected by Waste Management, which says the haul is more than double any of their other similar events around the region. Meantime, Radford is still hoping another household-goods collection event might be possible this fall, since that was the category that maxed out quickly, so stay tuned.

FOLLOWUP: City’s new electric-vehicle fast-charging station now open in West Seattle Junction

West Seattle’s newest electric-vehicle fast-charging station is open – on 39th SW just south of West Seattle Bowl. Construction started six months ago but, like so many things, was slowed by the pandemic response. We’ve been following up with Seattle City Light to check on the progress, and got word today that the two-charger station is now open:

Details on the cost and how to use them are in this FAQ. Some fast facts are also part of its listing on the PlugShare map. This location was chosen a year and a half ago, after initial consideration of a site at Don Armeni Boat Ramp.

Duwamish Tribe now offering ‘ecotours’

(Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, WSB file photo)

On this Indigenous Peoples’ Day, you might wonder about ways to support the Duwamish Tribe. They’ve recently announced a new offering through the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center in West Seattle: Ecotours:

The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center is continuing our education programs, and keeping safe protocols in place to protect our communities from COVID-19. Masks are required, and we stay outdoors physically distanced at all times during the tour. Group size is limited to four people to keep with CDC guidelines suggesting groups be no larger than five people.

Visit us to learn about and walk through Hah-ah-poos Duwamish Village right on the river across the street from the Longhouse. We can talk about the history of the village site, the history of colonization in the general area of King County, some traditional food sources, and traditional ecological/land stewardship practices.

Email: tours@duwamishtribe.org to schedule a tour, or fill out the form at www.duwamishtribe.org/ecotours.

Let us know in your email, or in the website form, if you have accessibility needs. We will do our best to accommodate, but there are some limitations to the trails and paths at Hah-ah-poos (T-107 park).

It is the mission that of all the programs at the Duwamish Longhouse be self-sustaining. We recommend that our tour participants donate $10-25 per person, but know that we will not turn anyone away for financial reasons so long as we have availability.

P.S. Wondering whether the Port of Seattle will change the name of the park to honor its history as the Hah-ah-poos village site, as supported by the tribe? The port says its park-naming announcements will happen October 27th.

YOU CAN HELP: Volunteer for Fauntleroy Creek’s 2020 Salmon Watch

(2019 photo of coho schooling in Fauntleroy Cove, by veteran watcher Anne Samenfink)

The orcas are here because the salmon are here. Only a few salmon-spawning creeks remain in the city, and one of them will be under volunteer observation again this fall. Want to help? Here’s the announcement from Judy Pickens of the Fauntleroy Watershed Council:

If you’d like to experience coho spawners up close, consider joining Salmon Watch 2020 on Fauntleroy Creek starting Monday, October 19. Individuals and family groups may sign up to watch near the fish ladder (across from the ferry terminal) during the five daylight hours after high tide. A veteran watcher will provide training during your first shift.

This all-outdoor activity is well suited to physical distancing but you’ll need to have a mask at the ready. To learn why West Seattleites eagerly get wet and cold to document fish, contact Judy Pickens at judy_pickens@msn.com.

Here’s Judy’s wrapup report from last year, when 19 spawners were counted.

13,000-gallon gasoline spill on Harbor Island

The U.S. Coast Guard has sent information about the early-morning gasoline spill that brought a multi-agency emergency response to Harbor Island. The USCG says it happened at Shell‘s facility around 4:45 am, and that it was blamed on a pump failure. According to the Coast Guard, the spill was contained before it got into the waterway:

It was reported the tank lined up to feed the pump that failed had 160,749 gallons of gasoline at midnight. Approximately 13,825 gallons of gasoline had been reported released mixed with free-standing water in primary and secondary containment.

There is no report of gasoline in the nearby Duwamish River at this time, and it has been reported the source has been secured.

Coast Guard pollution responders from Sector Puget Sound’s Incident Management Division are currently on scene monitoring the cleanup efforts of the responsible party and a Coast Guard Station Seattle 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew is underway monitoring the surrounding area.

Other responding agencies included SFD, SPD, Ecology, and National Response Corporation Environmental Services.

UPDATE: Busiest West Seattle Junction recycling event ever

11:22 AM: The West Seattle Junction free recycle/reuse/shred event is more than halfway through – and though the volunteers routing everyone couldn’t give us an in-progress count, it is without doubt the busiest one they’ve ever had. As noted in comments on our morning preview, the Northwest Center truck – household items and clothing – filled up very quickly. Organizers say NW Center isn’t able to send a second truck but they’re trying to see if they can get one for next week. (This is the nonprofit that used to have a daily truck in The Junction, but hasn’t been able to staff that during the pandemic.) Other than that, when we were there a short time ago, we were told everything else still has capacity, including electronics recycling with Friendly Earth:

And a shredding truck (four boxes max):

Plus household batteries and Styrofoam:

This continues in the parking lot off 42nd south of SW Oregon until 1 pm, as capacity allows.

12:22 PM: Electronics recycling is now maxed out, per commenters (thank you!).

SATURDAY: Get ready to recycle/shred at West Seattle Junction event!

Tomorrow’s the day – 9 am to 1 pm, the West Seattle Junction Association parking lot off 42nd SW, just south of SW Oregon, will be your dropoff center for recyclables, reusables, and shreddables. (And take note, that lot closes at 9 pm tonight for preparation – please don’t park there after 9 pm, or you’ll be towed.) It’s drive-up, ride-up, walk-up – masks required – and all the info you need about how it’ll work and what you can and can’t bring is here, as well as on this flyer:

This is your one big chance for “beyond the curb” recycling this fall, as the Fauntleroy Church-sponsored Recycle Roundup is on hold until next year, so if you have unwanted/unneeded items stacked up from quarant-cleaning, don’t miss this!

MORE RECYCLING: Plastic-film dropoff on Saturday

We’ve already told you about the big reuse/recycle event in The Junction on Saturday (info here if you’re catching up). Now we’ve learned of one other recycling-dropoff event that same day – Ridwell invites you to bring plastic film (including plastic grocery bags!) to a dropoff event in Admiral:

The local recycling service Ridwell will be in West Seattle on Saturday, September 26th for a free community event to pick up all your plastic film. The community is trying to reach their goal of 50,000 pounds of material saved from landfills by the end of 2020 and we’re already over halfway there!

Date: Sat. Sept. 26th

Time: 1-4 p.m.

Where: PCC West Seattle parking lot, 2749 California Ave. SW

What: Ridwell will be in West Seattle to collect and recycle your plastic film including plastic bags, bubble wrap, shipping envelopes, and more.

Here is a list of What We Take

This event is open to members and non-members to drop off overflow plastics for free. If you’re not a member yet, stop by and see what we’re all about.

RSVP for the free recycling event here.

DELRIDGE PROJECT: Neighbors fighting to save big street trees by Youngstown Cultural Arts Center

(WSB photos)

Though the Delridge repaving-and-more project has always included plans to remove some trees, the big ones outside historic Youngstown Cultural Arts Center were not supposed to be among them. As our photo shows, those trees are as tall as the century-old building. But plans changed – and neighbors are pushing back.

We found out about the tree-removal plan from neighbor Scott Squire, who explained, “Residents here consider these trees critical to our quality of life, providing as they do shade, dust capture, sound deadening, and perhaps above all, visual interest/aesthetic relief from the loud, dusty (and now torn-up) street.”

We contacted SDOT‘s project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth to find out why plans changed. He acknowledged, “During the design stage of the project, these 5 trees were not planned for removal. While working at this location, the tree roots were exposed and this is when we discovered the conflict that would require us to remove them.”

He explained the “conflict” this way: “While working in the field near the Youngstown Cultural Center, our contractor discovered that the roots and bases of these trees conflicted with the new curb line. As a result of this conflict, the trees would likely need to be removed. We’ve attempted to work around the trees in order to preserve them for the community, but we found that our solutions in the field would cause the trees to become unstable and pose a danger to the community.”

But, Ducksworth says, neighbors’ pushback has the city trying to figure out if the trees can be saved after all: “We’re continuing to hear from the nearby community about how important these trees are to them and are presently looking at a design change to attempt to preserve them. We hope to know if a design change is possible in the coming days. With that said, there is a risk the trees will need to be removed. This is why we needed to post the tree removal notices. Notices typically go up 2 weeks prior to a removal. This timeline gives the community adequate time to comment; which people are doing now, and we thank them for that. If we can keep the trees, the notices will come down.”

If you’re interested in commenting, the project email is DelridgeTransit@seattle.gov, and the Urban Forestry contact on the notice is shane.dewald@seattle.gov.

THIS WEEK IN THE JUNCTION: T-shirts, bingo, recycle/reuse/shred

As the new week begins, three reminders from the West Seattle Junction Association:

(One of the three available designs)

T-SHIRT DEADLINE: Don’t have one of those contest-winning West Seattle Bridge T-shirts yet? The next round of orders is about to go in. Monday (September 21st) is the deadline for getting in on it. Go here!

JUNCTION BINGO: Are you playing yet? As explained here, there are two ways to play. One involves a live drawing you can watch online, and the next one is 7 pm Wednesday (September 23rd). Keith Bacon, host of the All Ways West Seattle podcast, is the guest caller, live from Talarico’s.

REUSE/RECYCLE/SHRED EVENT: This Saturday (September 26th) is the big day, 9 am-1 pm, The Junction Association and partners are presenting the big event. Here’s what you can and can’t bring to recycle/donate; if you’re interested in shredding, there’s a 4-box limit. Whatever you’re bringing, face coverings are required, even while you’re in your car. This is happening in the WSJA parking lot off 42nd SW, just south of SW Oregon.

SMOKE: Air Quality Alert extended again; cancellations continue

(Wednesday photo by Suzanne Murray)

Dare we hope that this will be the final extension? The National Weather Service, in consultation with other regional agencies, has extended the Air Quality Alert, this time until 10 am Saturday. Some cancellations/closures continue – city parks are still closed today, Seattle Public Library curbside service is canceled today, and the twice-weekly BLM sign-waving at 16th/Holden is canceled again today too, per organizer Scott.