West Seattle, Washington
The monthly West Seattle Art Walk in The Junction is 6-9 pm tonight; organizers have posted the flyer (with map and list of participating businesses, buildings, and artists) online here. The folks at Ginomai also wrote us to make sure you know they have a “great free parking lot” at their place on the north end of the Art Walk route (42nd/Genesee); for this month’s Art Walk, they are featuring five artists from the Senior Center in the Ginomai community room.
Also tonight — from the WS waterfront, you might notice a big contingent of paddlers heading out from Alki Kayak Tours at Seacrest around 6:30. The Surfrider Foundation, People for Puget Sound, and others are heading out in kayaks and on boards to call attention to their push for federal $ for what they say is a necessary component of oil-spill prevention in Puget Sound — a full-time rescue tug stationed at Neah Bay, to cover the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. (The WS waters we enjoy here, ultimately come from there. A near-catastrophe happened there in 1991 and can happen again.)
Warning for Fairmount Playfield users: The city plans to use herbicide there next week to stamp out an infestation of Japanese knotweed. This is somewhat noteworthy because it’s a pesticide-free park; the city says there’s no way around having to poison the knotweed. Having seen the city’s photo (right), we believe these are the plants we only half-jokingly refer to each summer, upon sight of them in public places, as “the triffids.”
Just south of the ferry dock, work has begun in earnest on a project Fauntleroy Creek stewards call “the reach to the beach.” Over the next 2 weeks, with the help of EarthCorps, they are working to transform the last stretch of FC into something more natural. Judy Pickens tells us major work won’t start till tomorrow, but we noticed a definite difference between the view of the beach this afternoon (first photo below) and yesterday (second photo below):
The coho salmon of Fauntleroy Creek need all the help they can get, after a disappointing year; here’s hoping this project does the trick. By the way, the FC fish ladder on the other side of Fauntleroy Way celebrates its 10th anniversary next year!
Catching up from the weekend, we have another work-party report from one of West Seattle’s treasured greenspaces: Lina Rose from EarthCorps says 10 volunteers joined her and forest steward Kirsten Rohrbach to clear almost 1000 square feet of invasive weeds from the Thistle Street Greenspace along Longfellow Creek, including clearing space around young cedar trees planted along the creek trail. Lina sent photos; first one shows what it looked like before they dug in:
Next, volunteers in the middle of their work:
No “after” photo – you’ll just have to go see for yourself (Thistle Street Greenspace is one of those places we’ll admit is on our “haven’t been there but must go soon” list; it’s easy to find, just off Thistle east of Chief Sealth HS). Next work party there is September 22nd; other Longfellow Creek sites have monthly work parties, listed here (and also always included in our weekly West Seattle Weekend Lineup posted every Friday morning).
If you share our night-owliness, you may be happy to hear the weather looks promising for tonight’s big (well, technically, tomorrow morning) lunar eclipse. (The height of the excitement, according to NASA, is between 2 and 4 am. You’ll probably see us out looking for the latest-available latte before Ladro closes at 11ish, or is anyone open later?) Since it’s a full moon as well, that brings tidal extremes; we were down by the water for some low-tide sights this morning. First photo, a starfish hugging one of the pilings at Seacrest; second, a NOAA ship passing Alki (
with the help of NOAA Ship Tracker, we think it’s Miller Freeman, but aren’t 100% sure thanks to reader Frank @ NOAA for informing us it’s the Okeanus Explorer):
Our websearch for WS news turned up the following quote in this story from Spokane. We’re scratching our heads because honestly, even with the condos and townhouses, we still think WS is far from a horror story.
“My vision of Spokane Valley is not to look like West Seattle in 30 years,” (Spokane) Councilman Rich Munson said
Every week in our West Seattle weekend lineup, we include the “work parties” that are set up each month at sites that are among our area’s most precious natural treasures. For example, the Brandon Street Natural Area, which is a section of the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail, where Jay Mirro leads the monthly events and is hoping to see a few more folks turn out today. He writes:
Brandon Street Natural Area is just west of the corner of 26th and Brandon Street (2 blocks west of Delridge). We work from 10-2. Volunteers can expect to pull weeds and wheelbarrow mulch. It is a family friendly day of work along a beautiful day section of the trail by Longfellow Creek. Folks should bring water and a lunch.
Nice day to work outdoors, too, with the cloud cover. Drop by & be a hero. If you’re wondering first, what’s a work party really like – Lina Rose from EarthCorps wrote us with a recap and some pix from the West Duwamish Greenbelt event last weekend; like the one today at Brandon Street, it involved a lot of mulch:
Click ahead to read Lina’s recap (including what this work will enable volunteers to do next time), see more pix (including one that might answer questions such as “gosh, would I really fit in at one of those work parties?”), and find out about an event next weekend:Read More
Updates on two sites we last mentioned two months ago, both with pix. First set, the doomed south Beach Drive trees. Left photo below is from June; right photo from this weekend, when we noticed the chopping had begun:
Next set, Erskine & Dawson, the former “Thor’s Towing” property, soon a new home. Old structures seen in June at left; right photo is courtesy of WSB reader Luckie (in the week since she took it, construction has begun):
Last weekend we drove past Me-Kwa-Mooks and saw a space roped off on the street in front, marked RESERVED FOR UDALL BUS TOUR. We were in something of a rush to start with; then we got sidetracked by something and completely forgot to look up what it was all about. Then this just appeared at the P-I site. How cool of them to side-trip to WS to help remove The Evil That Is Ivy.
Tonight’s sunset, from Alki, where the sand runs out on the eastern edge. How much might global warming/climate change/whatever-ya-wanna-callit alter our WS shorelines? The National Wildlife Federation is out with a new report attempting to answer that, while examining potential effects on other shoreline habitats around our region. Channel 7 tv news came out to Alki to do its summary of the NWF report and even traveled south of the point to cast a suspicious eye on the pilings-propped Harbor West complex, but we can’t find that clip online, yet. You can read the entire NWF document for yourself, however (and note the WS photo on page 13, taken by WSB reader/chasBlog blogger Charles Redmond). Bottom line? Maybe a 2-foot rise around here, so it sounds like Beach Drive waterfront houses are safe, for a century or so, at least.
We’ve confessed before that food-waste recycling is the one type of recycling we just haven’t quite gotten on board with yet. Looks like we’re going to have to; reports this morning (Times here, Weekly here) say we’re all going to be paying for pickup in less than 2 years. We hate paying for something we’re not using. Like the basic cable channels we don’t watch. Wish tv channels could be purchased a la carte. But we digress. So, we’ll get with the program. Maybe Sustainable West Seattle has advice! (More on the city’s “zero waste strategy” here.)
Seattle City Light still hasn’t posted a peep about the power outages on this side of WS Friday night & Saturday morning, but King County has posted a press release noting the bigger outage caused an overflow at the Murray Street pump station @ Lowman Beach. NOON UPDATE: Warning signs (photo below) are still up at Lowman.
Now, serious business: King County hosts a community meeting for south West Seattle folks (others welcome too, of course) to find out more about the improvements in the works for the Barton (near the Fauntleroy ferry dock) and Murray (at Lowman Beach) pump stations, all in the interest of avoiding future CSOs (combined sewer overflows) which now total 14 million gallons a year just at those two stations. Learn more @ 6 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy.
Last but by no means least, the Westwood Neighborhood Council summons all who are interested in the huge upcoming (right after next school year) Sealth HS/Denny MS project — 6:30 pm, SW Community Center.
Just noticed this P-I article that mentions two WS Democratic (yes, we know that’s kind of redundant) politicians — State Senator Erik Poulsen and King County Councilmember Dow Constantine — are reportedly thinking about running for State Commissioner of Public Lands. Dow C has a re-election run to get through first, later this year; Erik P just got re-elected last year and holds his current office till 2010.
City leaders have decided not to build another transfer station in Georgetown, good news for the folks there who’ve been fighting it; but they’re telling all of us, in order to really make sure we don’t need it, we’ve got to throw away even less trash than we do now.
6-8 pm @ Southwest Library – all are welcome at the next meeting of SWS, which describes itself as “a newly-formed group of West Seattle citizens who want to make a difference locally, working within our neighborhood to become more self-reliant while using fewer natural resources.”
Five months after we posted about a landowner’s application for a permit to chop down more than a dozen trees (and surrounding greenery) on a steep slope over Beach Drive — below a house on Atlas — the decision’s in.
It says in part “this … will result in adverse impacts to the environment,” but since those “impacts” are “not expected to be significant,” the greenery removal gets the green light. (The decision mentions one public comment of concern was received, focusing on slide risks in the area; appeals are also possible on decisions like these, and the city site explains how.)
Over the next four days (Wednesday through Saturday), we’ll see the lowest tides of the summer (yes, we’re aware summer technically is still about a week away) — all -3 feet or lower, with the absolute lowest a -3.8 on Friday morning (check the full tide chart here). Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists will be out on Friday (and over the weekend) at Lincoln Park and south of Alki Point; one of our favorite low-tide spots is Lowman Beach, one of the areas where submerged structures start to emerge, as seen this morning:
Next Monday, if you’re out for a walk on Alki around 9-something am, watch for a woman heading out into the water. No, not a polar-bear swimmer … a County Public Health employee. We’ve seen her the last two Mondays –Ã‚Â today, wading quite some distance from shore –Ã‚Â taking water samples, then returning to her official county government car. Trying to find out where we can see the test results!