Environment 1678 results

West Seattle waterfront, pre-dawn

Looking around YouTube to see what people have posted from WS lately, found this.

Plug in to a free movie tonight

February 22, 2007 7:05 am
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 |   Environment | Transportation | WS culture/arts

On the heels of yesterday’s biodiesel-mania, this seems to fit into a bit of a theme. Tonight at Camp Long, you can check out a free screening (donations welcome) of “Who Killed the Electric Car?”, with guests on hand from FlexCar, GreenCar, and the Seattle EV Association.

Priming the pump

February 21, 2007 1:56 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle news

The Times reports on this morning’s biodiesel-mania at Admiral Safeway. A member of the WSB posse managed to pop by for a photo. That’s Hizzoner on the right, amid the throng.)


New place for WS drivers to veg out

Look for hubbub around the Admiral Safeway gas station sometime today. The P-I says a “news conference” is planned, with no less than Hizzoner on the guest list, to show off the station’s new biodiesel (fuel from veg oil) offering. We noticed it on the sign yesterday:


Where the snow belongs

January 15, 2007 9:16 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle weather

Can’t resist sharing another beautiful photo, taken from Alki, sent to us by Bob Bollen. The Olympics’ most distinctive peaks, The Brothers, completely white … would rather see the rest of the season’s snow there than down here!


Chop chop chop

After months of watching land-use applications, we’ve noticed they mostly fall in the categories of “build something new,” with the occasional “put antennas on building.” However, a couple hit the city site a few days ago (but dated 12/4, so it’s not windstorm backlash) for a plan to “remove vegetation,” including more than a dozen trees (center of the photo below, just to the left of the street light), on a lot over Beach Drive. The house on the property is on Atlas so one of the applications is for that address; the other application has a Beach address even though that part of the lot is steep slope, inhabited only by the birds. Seems too steep to safely get rid of the trees and brush without a major mudslide threat, but does the city ever say no to these things?


Thumbs up for what’s down below

January 2, 2007 7:45 pm
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 |   Environment

The city decision is in for the 53rd Avenue wastewater pump station upgrade @ Alki. We’ll confess to not knowing enough about the project to be able to say how many more steps remain before the work will start … but we’ll be looking to find out. According to this handout from last summer’s public meeting, once the work starts, it’ll last (gulp) more than a year and a half.

This is sad

The Fauntleroy Community Council reports zero coho returning to their creek, for the first time in more than a decade. The watershed watchers cite possible reasons ranging from global warming to tribal fishing.

Fauntleroy’s fish

October 22, 2006 9:56 am
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 |   Environment | Fauntleroy | Wildlife

The annual salmon drumming at Fauntleroy Creek, 5 pm today, isn’t just another event. If you are relatively new to WS, you probably haven’t heard how this creek made a comeback. It’s easy to drive by or use the Fauntleroy ferry dock without ever knowing about the charming little creek overlook area (and its spectacular spring hedge of Darwin’s barberry) right across the street. It’s been six years now since the restoration, which brought inspiring success, but over subsequent years, heartache too. It’s a little beacon of hope that we haven’t lost (or destroyed) everything that’s pure and true and original about our beautiful home, so the salmon need every ounce of energetic encouragement you can give them by joining the welcome-home party tonight.

Yeah, but what can I do about it?

That question is answered at the end of this heartbreaking story from today’s P-I.

If you’ve been here more than a few years, even if you have never gone below the water’s surface, the idea of dwindling marine life won’t surprise you. Even around WS, we don’t see what we often saw in the ’90s — “rafting” California sea lions off Alki, diverse and numerous bird sightings south of Alki Point including surf scoters and buffleheads.

Not to say it’s all gone. But it’s going. Maybe not irreversibly, though — there are success stories out there, such as the brown pelican and the gray whale, when those in power dare to do something.

Safe from the saws

September 23, 2006 4:58 pm
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 |   Development | Environment

Maybe the city is a little bit serious about saving trees after all. Walking down a section of Cali Ave between junctions last night, we noticed two trees in the parking strip by a teardown-to-townhome project at Cali & Spokane — each with a plywood fence around its trunk, each with its trunk marked by a big bright green flyer with this admonition — PROTECT TREE! (I’d like to get a sheaf of those flyers and run around tacking them on just about every tree in sight.)

Cutting edge

September 16, 2006 4:06 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle politics

Second week of Hizzoner’s “We (Heart) Trees” campaign — seen any less cutting lately? Not me. I got spitting mad traveling the switchbacks over Lincoln Park on Friday, watching tree “service” crews kill two big beautiful trees that had been among the few surviving the onslaught of oversized houses suddenly “infilling” the formerly green area. All of which led me to laugh semi-ruefully at this odd little piece from the P-I today.

Sparkling sands

September 9, 2006 1:05 pm
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 |   Environment

Alki should look a bit cleaner after today — We went down for a walk this morning and bumped (west of the Bathhouse) into a volunteer cleanup sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation, part of a nationwide event today. Their tent grabbed my attention with big black lettering “OCEAN BEACH CLEANUP” — we love Ocean Beach in San Francisco, and Ocean Beach in San Diego, but hadn’t heard of an “Ocean Beach” around here. Ocean Shores, yes; Ocean Park, sure; not “Ocean Beach.” Guess they meant “saltwater.”

I think that I shall never see, a dichotomy as lovely as a …

(Apologies to Joyce Kilmer.) As someone absolutely passionate about being a truly green greenie — as mentioned before, if you looked at our house from Google Earth, you would barely see its roof amid all the trees and shrubs we’ve allowed to grow around and over it — I’m skeptical about Hizzoner‘s new “WE (HEART) TREES” campaign, lovingly (and mostly uncritically) previewed in the P-I and Times this morning. One even more fabulous way to slow tree loss would be to apply tougher standards to the rampant infill that’s under way in areas like ours. On the slopes over Lincoln Park, in the past few years, we’ve seen acres of greenery fall to developers’ backhoes (here’s just one example), replaced by oversized houses (do 2 or 3 people really need 3.5K sf?). How about we save a little more greenspace than just what’s left in our parks? Dare to look at an “undeveloped” lot and consider that maybe its highest and best use is to stay “undeveloped.” There’s more to “environmentally critical” than streams and wetlands.

All together now …

… let’s shout it together so it can be heard all the way across the water, from Vashon to Bainbridge to Magnolia … WHERE DID THE SUMMER GO? (Did you notice how early it’s getting dark? Sigh …)

Here are three things you might want to add to your to-do list, since within a few weeks you won’t be able to do them again till sometime next spring:

-Ride the Elliott Bay Water Taxi. It goes on hiatus at the end of this month.

-Go swimming (or sunbathing) at Colman Pool. A week from Sunday is its last day of operation this year. There are few sights sadder for us Lincoln Park walkers than the fall/winter plywood up over the CP plexiglass.

-Enjoy a demonstration at the West Seattle Farmers Market. The market itself is supposed to stay open every Sunday through mid-December, but the demos on its calendar only run through September (this Sunday, fresh tomatoes! yum!).

The sidewalk less taken

For all the times you’ve driven over The Bridge, have you ever taken a good look at the waterway it spans?

Over the weekend, we did. On a whim, after leaving the house with the intention of walking straight to Summer Fest, we redirected ourselves all the way to what’s most commonly called the “Low Bridge,” which has a well-protected sidewalk/bike path along its south side. Walking that path provides a fine view of the waterway and everything on it, including the Harbor Island Marina, where I would love to be able to keep a boat someday … From the Low Bridge, you also get a better appreciation of the sleek structure of the “high bridge” (which, according to this HistoryLink.org page, just passed its 22nd anniversary, a day before our walk!).
If you want to try this adventure, you don’t have to do what we did (trudge all the way from home) — there are places to park not too far from the access path.

Smooth as … not quite silk

Old news perhaps to those of you who spend a lot of time on Alki … we walked on the beach for a while at midday today while waiting for a table at Duke’s, and were shocked to see it groomed … flat, grooved, even. I’ve never seen the sand at Alki that way. Maybe some post-Fourth of July sprucing up?

It’s not ALL set to be paved over …

July 1, 2006 7:35 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle parks

Got an e-mail from someone wondering what’s up with the empty lot at the northwest corner of 42nd and Alaska. I remembered something about the city acquiring that lot as parkland, so I checked around and indeed, a park is still in the works for that site, known as “Junction Plaza” — timely question since, according to this city news release, city leaders want your ideas on exactly what to do with it; they’ll be at the Summer Fest in two weeks with a booth featuring the latest scoop.

Hot enough for ya? 1

June 25, 2006 8:38 am
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 |   Environment | WS miscellaneous

– As of 7:53 it was 70 degrees at Alki Point.

– At 9:30 it was 70 at Boeing Field.

– Compare and contrast with Miami, FL where it’s 75 now on the way to a high of 86.

What are you doing to stay cool today?

Almost good as new

June 10, 2006 8:57 am
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 |   Environment | West Seattle beaches

One last personal loose end from the Great Pipeline Project of ’06 is now tied up … we ventured back to Cove Park last night, along the way to a recreational ferry ride.

Almost two months ago, our first peek at the beloved little park in the middle of all that work was almost too much to bear. It left me with a dystopian image that festered in my mind long after that night. And even once we saw last month that Lincoln Park was back to near-normal, I was a little scared about what we’d see at Cove Park — such a fragile little spot to start with.

Surprise! The art path survived; the beach is drift-log-laden again; the only major noticeable change is the absence of a runoff ditch between the logs — always thought that was tied to Fauntleroy Creek, maybe not.

Next thing to be worried about: the long-heralded pump station “upgrade” at Lowman Beach, another spot we cherish. It’s still in the works, according to this King County doc. Looks like there was organized opposition last year and some reassurance … have to keep an eye on it now. If anyone even suggests disturbing those two beautiful huge trees at Lowman, I swear, I’ll pull this kind of stunt myself.

Go paddle yourself

Surprise — the sun’s out. Forecast still insists it won’t be for long, but I have faith I can at least get out and pull weeds for a while. If you’d rather do something else environmentally friendly that also happens to get you out on the water, Cami from ever-trusty AlkiNews.com tells us Alki Kayak Tours over at Seacrest Boathouse is offering demos on Eddyline Kayaks till 3 pm today. (I personally think West Seattle needs a few more businesses with “Tours” in their name — why not show off our beauty? — so I don’t mind the occasional plug!)

Warming up to Al

June 2, 2006 9:40 pm
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 |   Environment

About a month before Al Gore was elected Vice President in 1992, West Seattle Blogger Spouse and I shoehorned ourselves into an outdoor crowd at the UW to watch him speak. This was supposed to be some sort of appeal to Them Young Voters; what passed for local music royalty pre-grunge, the Wilson sisters, opened for him, as I recall.

I remember the sunshine and the energy. I don’t remember being terribly impressed by him. But Al Gore ’06 is a different guy. See for yourself in “An Inconvenient Truth,” aka “the Al Gore movie” or “the global-warming movie.” We just got back from shoehorning ourselves into an indoor crowd downtown to see it.

Cool thing is, it’s not what you’d expect. It’s not a huge scarefest full of “Day After Tomorrow” disaster-rama-style effects — it’s heartbreaking pictures, and impressive charts, and a whole different side of the ex-Vice President. Best thing, it ends with zillions of bits of advice on how you can do something about the problem. Chances are, here in our blue peninsula amid a blue city, you might be doing something good already. (Here at WSB World HQ, we’ve “planted trees. Lots of trees” and we “recycle” — abundantly — so now we just need to give City Light a call as per the credit-sequence exhortation and ask if they use “green energy.”)

Also advised, “tell everyone you know to see (the) movie.” So that’s what I’m doing here, with a link to Saturday showtimes, and a link to the tie-in site. If you’ve got an environmentalist bone in your body, it’s a lot more satisfying than, oh, say, “Over the Hedge.”

The other side of the tree-protest story

May 24, 2006 3:19 pm
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 |   Environment

From today’s Herald.