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Draft schedule revision for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry route goes public

Above and here (PDF), you can see the proposed new schedule for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route of Washington State Ferries. WSF has just released the draft for public comment, a week before starting a round of community meetings about the proposal. The accompanying message, via WSF spokesperson Hadley Rodero:

Over the past two years, WSF has engaged in a robust community process and has worked with the Triangle Task Force, local FACs, and the public to develop a draft schedule that considers customers’ needs and priorities. The result of these efforts is a draft sailing schedule that focuses on the afternoon peak commute westbound from Fauntleroy and adjusts eastbound sailing times in the morning from Southworth to better serve commuters. The draft schedule also aims to provide reliability, increase capacity, and regularly fill all sailings when a third 124-car Issaquah Class vessel begins serving the route.

In response to feedback from community members, King County Metro and Kitsap Transit staff, and WSF vessel and terminal employees on the timing of a schedule change, the new schedule will be implemented on March 31, 2019 at the beginning of the spring schedule. This will allow our transit partners to better align their schedules with ours and it will allow us to start the new schedule before the busy summer season.

We hope to hear from you or see you at a public meeting!

The first meeting is at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) one week from tomorrow – 5 to 7 pm Tuesday, October 23rd. You also can comment via e-mail – WSFPlanning@wsdot.wa.gov – deadline November 9th. It’s been two months since the Triangle Task Force got a look at two draft-schedule options (WSB coverage here). That group isn’t scheduled to meet again until next month, and will get a look at the feedback that’s starting now with the release of this proposal.

Ten topics tackled @ Fauntleroy Community Association

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Community group meetings are often excellent ways to learn a little about a lot of things – and not just about what’s happening in the group’s home neighborhood. So it went at the October board meeting of the Fauntleroy Community Association on Tuesday night, with 10 topics of note:

BUDGET MEETING WITH COUNCILMEMBER HERBOLD: FCA president Mike Dey said City Councilmember Lisa Herbold convened representatives of at least a dozen neighborhoods a night earlier to talk about the budget. They are being invited to sign on to a letter supporting increases in fines/fees to support SDCI monitoring vacant buildings proactively. Also discussed: Funding for paving. SDOT might delay some West Seattle repaving (Roxbury and part of 35th) until 2023 because the Avalon repaving is going to stay on track (Delridge repaving also is in the works); Herbold wants support for pressing to keep all the repaving on track. Dey said they also talked about the need for more police but Herbold felt that would be tough because of the back pay in the new police contract; he said Herbold suggested that they should focus on recruiting now and depending on how that goes, come back in the second half of the year and talk about more staffing.

SCALE HALA MHA EIS APPEAL: The citywide coalition challenging the environmental impact report for Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning has raised almost $200,000 and needs about $20,000 for the lawyers who are handling the appeal, to which FCA is a party. The Hearing Examiner’s ruling is due before Thanksgiving.

HISTORIC BUILDING? There’s talk of investigating a landmark designation for the commercial building that holds Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor), the Original Bakery, and other businesses. They’ll be talking with Historic Seattle. The 1926-built building is more significant for its history than its architecture. The idea is in a very early stage.

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Calling all cake bakers!

(WSB file photo)

Less than two weeks until the Fauntleroy Fall Festival – time to start planning your cake, if you’re up for baking one! From Judy Pickens:

The judging of decorated cakes and an old-fashioned cake walk are popular activities at the Fauntleroy Fall Festival, this year on Sunday, October 21, 2:00-5:00 pm, and cake donations are needed for both. Demonstrate your creativity by decorating a cake with a fall, Fauntleroy, or West Seattle theme. Judging will be by level of difficulty and both adults and kids are encouraged to enter. If decorating isn’t your thing, simply bake and frost a donation for the cake walk. It can be just one layer, a small sheet cake, or a cluster of cupcakes. Plan to bring your creation to Fellowship Hall in Fauntleroy Church by 1:00 pm on festival Sunday.

The festival happens in and around the church and schoolhouse, across the street from each other (and there’s a crossing guard during the festival!) at 9131 and 9140 California SW.

Ferries’ future: ‘Citizen team’ organizing as Triangle Route schedule change nears

(WSB photo, Fauntleroy ferry dock, this morning)

As we’ve been reporting in coverage of the Triangle Route Task Force advisory group, Washington State Ferries is preparing for the first major change in years to the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth schedule. The new schedule hasn’t yet been finalized; the task force got a look in August at two possible options, and a proposal will be out soon for public comment. With that as a backdrop, a new community group is organizing, and sent us this announcement:

Everybody has an opinion on how to fix the triangle route ferry schedule — lots of discussion and controversy. It’s not just about the time the boat is moving. It’s total time including the annoying wait in a ferry line while congesting and polluting the dock neighborhoods.

So, how would life be different if you knew a boat would leave at least every 30 minutes from the Fauntleroy dock throughout the day? Ferry waits would be dramatically reduced. On average, ferry users save an hour a day — an hour now mostly spent congesting and polluting the Fauntleroy dock neighborhood.

How could it be possible? The answer is so counter intuitive that you will laugh. Every boat should stop at every dock on every triangle route run, from early morning to evening. A group of Vashon commuters has completed over the last 18 months a professional, thorough process engineering ferry efficiency study. It shows that clearing the Fauntleroy dock of both Vashon and Southworth cars every 30 minutes is feasible and would reduce dock area waiting cars by 50% while creating 20% more departures. That’s a fact-based prediction based on detailed ferry observation, data collection and analysis.

You would be right to say “prove it.” We couldn’t agree more. We need the legislature to approve funds and direct WSF to test the concept with a pilot project. We need to be positive and professional with WSF and Olympia or nothing will happen.

We have put together a citizen team to make this happen. Want to help too? Email us at
ferrycommunities@gmail.com and we can work together for positive change.

WSF is planning public meetings for schedule comment starting later this month, including a 5-7 pm meeting October 23rd at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW).

RESULTS: What Fauntleroy’s fall Recycle Roundup added up to

Big haul last Sunday for the latest Recycle Roundup! Judy Pickens just sent the results:

Despite its being a Seahawk Sunday, the September 23 Recycle Roundup collected 13.5 tons of recyclables – in the top three since Fauntleroy Church teamed with 1 Green Planet in 2010 for this event. An estimated 475 vehicles came through the line to offload all manner of things now on their way back to the resource stream. Watch for the next roundup in April.

YOU CAN HELP! Fauntleroy Creek’s fall salmon-watching starts soon

September 26, 2018 1:57 pm
|    Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! Fauntleroy Creek’s fall salmon-watching starts soon
 |   Fauntleroy | How to help | West Seattle news | Wildlife

(2012 WSB photo)

Last year, four salmon spawners were spotted in Fauntleroy Creek. But each fall, hopes run high and anything can happen – it’s only been six years since 274 showed up in 2012. Right now, watershed stewards are seeking more volunteers to help keep watch. Here’s the announcement from Judy Pickens:

Whether or not coho spawners come into Fauntleroy Creek always depends on their having survived saltwater conditions. If they do come in, watchers need to be on duty to document them.

This year’s watch will start October 22 and continue until mid-November or until no more spawners have come in for one week.

Spawners are most likely to be present in the fish-ladder area during the five hours after daytime high tide, so the watch window varies day to day. Using a simple form, volunteers document activity for a half hour. Written details and a brief training session will be provided to new watchers.

Children are welcome with a parent, and teens may watch on their own. For questions and to sign up, email judy_pickens@msn.com or call 206-938-4203.

HAPPENING NOW: Fall 2018 Recycle Roundup

September 23, 2018 11:38 am
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 |   Environment | Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

Things are moving fast at the fall Recycle Roundup in the lot at Fauntleroy Church! Multiple trucks/trailers from 1 Green Planet and lots of help. Just drive/ride/walk up before 3 pm and give them your recyclables – first look at the list (PDF) to see what they are and are not accepting this time. Free! The church has been hosting these events since 2010 and they always leave the peninsula tons lighter.

READY? Fall Recycle Roundup, one day away

September 22, 2018 2:32 pm
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 |   Environment | Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

“Spring cleaning” is what you hear about most often – but tomorrow’s Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church brings you an opportunity to start fall with some cleaning too. 9 am-3 pm on Sunday, the church parking lot (9140 California SW) welcomes you to drop off items for 1 Green Planet to recycle. The list of what will and won’t be accepted is here. No charge, though the church accepts donations if you want to help support the twice-yearly Recycle Roundups. Rain or shine!

HAPPENING NOW: Find out about Washington State Ferries’ future

Just a few blocks uphill from Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy terminal, you can drop in until 7 pm at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) to find out about/comment on the WSF Draft Long-Range Plan. Among the easel displays, the ferry of the future:

The proposed plan would have three 124-car hybrid-electric ferries serving Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth by 2029. Other big changes on this route would include a second slip at Southworth by 2026. The long-range plan – which is supposed to look all the way ahead to 2040 – also covers climate change:

And it covers budget woes – with one board saying the system only has half the funding it would need to make it’s proposed plan reality. If you can’t make it to this open house, you have until late October to comment via this online open house. The so-called Triangle Route, meantime, has a much nearer-term change in the works – a new schedule for the first time in a long time (here’s our most-recent report on that process). We just got the schedule for three meetings specific to THAT proposed change:

-Fauntleroy, 5-7 pm October 23 (Fauntleroy Church)
-Vashon, 6-8 pm October 24 (Vashon Island High School)
-Southworth, 5:30-7:30 pm October 25 (Harper Church)

COUNTDOWN: One week until fall Recycle Roundup

September 16, 2018 1:35 pm
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 |   Environment | Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

(WSB photo from April’s Recycle Roundup)

One week from today is not only the first full day of fall, it’s also one of two days each year that the Fauntleroy Church Green Committee invites you to a Recycle Roundup! We thought you might appreciate a reminder in case today’s weather is keeping you indoors. 9 am-3 pm on Sunday, September 23rd, you can ride, drive, walk, roll up to the church parking lot (9140 California SW) and drop off items for 1 Green Planet to recycle. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the list of what they are (and aren’t) accepting this time. It’s free (though of course the Green Committee appreciates donations to help it keep offering these events every fall and spring) – see you there!

WEEKEND: Wall-to-wall shopping @ 24th annual 2nd Time Sale

September 14, 2018 11:11 am
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 |   Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

We just stopped by Fauntleroy Church to preview this weekend’s 2nd Time Sale and we can tell you firsthand, the Fellowship Hall is wall-to-wall with gently used stuff in great shape, lovingly arranged by volunteers and ready for you to shop. Among them, Judy Pickens, who explains:

This huge community sale began as a one-day spree for bargain shoppers in the church parking lot, then moved indoors in 2010 so everything could be under cover and well organized. Donations throughout the year from members and friends of the congregation enable volunteers to sort for quality and make sure items are clean and in working order. Proceeds benefit the mission of the church and leftovers benefit nearly a dozen local charities. All sale areas are wheelchair accessible and free delivery of large pieces is available upon request.

Cookware, art, jewelry, Halloween and Christmas decorations, toys, puzzles, bikes, even two telescopes!

Go see for yourself tomorrow and/or Sunday. Sale hours are 9 am-4 pm Saturday, 11:30 am-2 pm Sunday (with half-price time for whatever’s left in the final hour).

Washington State Ferries’ future: Dates set for Long-Range Plan meetings, including one here

September 1, 2018 10:09 pm
|    Comments Off on Washington State Ferries’ future: Dates set for Long-Range Plan meetings, including one here
 |   Fauntleroy | Transportation | West Seattle online

By the end of the year, Washington State Ferries is under orders to deliver its next Long-Range Plan to the state Legislature. First, WSF will make the draft version public soon, in time for a round of open-house meetings in the communities it serves. The dates and locations are already set, including one here in West Seattle – Monday, September 17th, 5-7 pm at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW). The new Long-Range Plan is supposed to cover the ferry system’s future through 2040.

COUNTDOWN: Get ready for fall Recycle Roundup

August 28, 2018 9:49 am
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 |   Environment | Fauntleroy | West Seattle news

(WSB photo from April’s Recycle Roundup)

Time to start getting your recyclables together for the fall Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church. Judy Pickens sends the reminder that it’s set for 9 am-3 pm Sunday, September 23rd – drive, ride, walk to the church lot (9140 California SW) with your recyclables and drop them off with 1 Green Planet. Here’s the newest list of what they will and won’t be accepting – free of charge (though donations are always welcome to help the church’s Green Committee continue presenting the twice-yearly Recycle Roundups).

2 draft possibilities unveiled for changing Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry schedule

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The task force originally convened to tackle trouble on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth state-ferry route is now reviewing two draft options for the route’s first schedule change in a long time.

The drafts were unveiled when the Triangle Route Task Force met Wednesday in Fauntleroy, its last meeting until November. It was a joint meeting with members of the route’s three Ferry Advisory Committees, some of whom also are on the task force. The drafts are one of the last steps until a proposed new schedule is goes out for public comment this fall, aimed at finalization by the first of the year and implementation next June.

Ferry system boss Amy Scarton sat in on the start of the meeting; she opened it by thanking everyone for their service. “This route is so unique,” she said, with its own task force “to work on solutions.” She said she had spent an hour earlier in the day with the UW researchers who are studying some issues on the route. She also listed some of the unique factors of the route, from the Southworth growth to the Fauntleroy dock’s renovation needs. “You can’t really find a silver bullet but there are a lot of ideas to throw on the table.”

The presentation was led by WSF service planner Justin Resnick, who said he had joined WSF just four months ago from elsewhere in WSDOT. He noted that the task force had reviewed some individual daypart possibilities in recent months and now he’s “stitched together” some possibilities into full-day options, which he stressed are “in no way set in stone.”

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THINK HOLIDAYS! Fauntleroy Fine Art and Gift Show entry deadline approaching

August 14, 2018 2:03 pm
|    Comments Off on THINK HOLIDAYS! Fauntleroy Fine Art and Gift Show entry deadline approaching
 |   Fauntleroy | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(By Apple Cox, past and future show participant)

Not to rush you out of summer mode too soon – but some holiday planning does happen before summer’s end. So we’re sharing this announcement sent by Judy Pickens:

Aug. 31 is the deadline for artists and artistic crafters to apply to be in the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show Nov. 9-11. The 11th annual event hosted by Fauntleroy Church is open to artists working in any medium (glass, metal, paper, paint, resin, etc.) and crafters should display a high level of creativity and quality.

Show participants must live in or have studio space in West Seattle or on Vashon. For details and the application form, visit www.fauntleroyucc.org, email fauntleroyfineart@gmail.com, or call 206-932-5600.

FERRY BACKUP UPDATE: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run returns to 3 boats

6:43 PM: Friday afternoon ferry backups in Fauntleroy are regular occurrences but today’s has been far worse than usual – there’s an extra problem: The Washington State Ferries run between here, Vashon, and Southworth is down a boat. The WSF bulletin says, “Vessel #2 M/V Sealth is out of service until further notice due to problems with the number one engine. Vessel maintenance crews are assessing the problem. All vessel #2 departures are cancelled. #1 Cathlamet and #3 Kitsap are following the regular schedule for #1 and #3 departures.” One tipster reported a backup on Fauntleroy Way all the way to Fairmount Park.

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: The third boat returned as of 5:35 am, per WSF.

GRATITUDE: Neighbor helps find wandering woman

From Fauntleroy Church:

On Sunday, July 29th, an elderly women in our congregation wandered away after worship and found herself lost in Fauntleroy Park. After searching every nook and cranny of the church building and grounds, we turned to the Seattle Police for assistance in finding her. Just as the police arrived, she returned on the arm of Phil, the kind neighbor who found her alone in the park while hiking with his dog, Chester. She had gotten confused while looking for her ride. We are tremendously grateful for Phil and Chester. Thank you for bringing her back safe and sound.

UPDATE: Fauntlee Hills house fire blamed on ‘oil staining rags’

(WSB photos)

1:57 AM: A full Seattle Fire response is headed for a house fire reported in the 8600 block of Fauntlee Crest SW [map]. Updates to come.

2:02 AM: First crews arriving say it’s a fully engulfed 2-story house and they’re calling a second alarm. Side note – this is a difficult area to reach, up a hillside dead-end. It’s close to our HQ … but there are dead-ends here on top of the hill too.

2:14 AM: Via scanner, scene commander reports most of the fire has been “knocked down” – and she is referring to the dead-end street as she instructs some of the extra units on where to locate. No report of any injuries; the initial report of this mentioned that the residents were evacuating.

2:21 AM: Added a photo just sent by our crew. SFD is canceling most of the second-alarm units.

2:29 AM: SFD is reporting that the last spots of fire were in the attic – our crew confirms that firefighters are aiming water that way right now – and the fire’s just been declared “tapped.”

2:53 AM: We’ve talked to the SFD public-information officer on scene. (video added)

Both people who were home got out OK; no injuries to anyone. They got their two cats out OK too.

3:26 AM: They’re continuing to dismiss crews from the scene, but at least one will remain, on “fire watch” as is usually the case at sizable fire scenes, for some hours to come.

12:10 PM: SFD has announced that its investigator determined the fire to be accidental, “caused by spontaneous combustion of oil staining rags. Fire started on the deck and spread to the main living area. Total estimated loss is $500,000.”

TRAFFIC ALERT: 3-hour wait at Fauntleroy ferry dock

Long waits on summer Friday afternoons at the Fauntleroy ferry dock aren’t unusual … but we seldom hear a Washington State Ferries warning about a three-hour wait, so we’re mentioning it here. They say events at Lincoln Park are contributing to the backlog.

IT’S BACK: Fauntleroy ‘stench’ returns; here’s how to deal with it


(WSB file photo of Fauntleroy Cove, looking toward Lincoln Park)

The infamous Fauntleroy “stench” is back, reports Judy Pickens from the Fauntleroy Community Association:

Since the early 1980s, rotting sea lettuce in Fauntleroy Cove has generated hydrogen sulfide gas (aka “the stench”) in the heat of summer. It inexplicably stopped about nine years ago and residents and visitors could breathe easy. Now, even after weeks of relatively cool weather, it’s back.

With hot days ahead, the following advice is offered to newcomers and long-term residents wanting to enjoy summer despite the stench:

– Keep a tide table handy or bookmark a table online so you can anticipate when low tide will be; sea lettuce emits the gas when low tide leaves it stranded on the beach.
– Close all windows and skylights when you first notice the acrid smell.
– Stay indoors until the air seems fresh again.
– Use a fan to blow out your bedroom before sleeping; the invisible gas is heavy and needs a push.
– Leave home for awhile if the smell is especially strong.

Remember: It’s not simply the smell of saltwater. It’s a noxious gas that can cause itchy eyes, headache, and nausea.

And the midday low tide is low indeed these next six days – here’s our favorite chart. P.S. Here’s a little more backstory.

From community survey to crime stats @ Fauntleroy Community Association

June 13, 2018 6:44 pm
|    Comments Off on From community survey to crime stats @ Fauntleroy Community Association
 |   Fauntleroy | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

Toplines from last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting:

COMMUNITY SURVEY: Every two years, FCA surveys the community to be sure the group is in tune with what people care about, among other reasons. This time, 430 responses came in – upward of a third more than the 300 responses from last time. The hottest topics were traffic/parking, followed by HALA upzoning and police/crime-related issues. Crime was the top topic of concern last time around. In fourth place, environmental stewardship, which fell from number two in the previous survey. Overall, the survey yielded a wealth of information, including how much community members value events such as the Fauntleroy Fall Festival, and the FCA board will develop an action plan to address community concerns.

POLICE UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith was in attendance for the last time, as his retirement is imminent, and the board told him he would be missed. He said both property crime in general, and auto thefts in particular, are way up in the Fauntleroy area vs. this time last year. Auto thefts totaled 6 by this time last year but are at 15 so far in 2018. He said the precinct is actively working on both issues.

One issue brought up: Plant vandalism along Fauntleroy Way between the south parking lot of Lincoln Park and the ferry dock – tree limbs have been cut and plants ripped out. Lt. Smith said the Community Police Team is on it. Another issue: Parking problems and street congestion when it’s time to pick up students who commute via ferry to Vashon schools, usually around 4 pm. Lt.Smith said he would send parking enforcement around.

The Fauntleroy Community Association board meets second Tuesdays except August and December, 7 pm at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW). Watch fauntleroy.net for updates between meetings.

West Seattle weekend scene: Setting salmon fry free at Fauntleroy Creek

(WSB photos)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:54 PM: Get over to Fauntleroy Park and see what it’s like to set salmon fry free in the creek, as thousands of students have done via the Salmon in the Schools program. They had 200 leftover fry this year and are offering community members the chance to walk to the bridge over the creek (from the park entrance at Barton/Henderson) and release them. Volunteers are there to guide you, until 3 pm.

5:13 PM: Added a few more photos. Above, the stars of the show; below, more of the people who stopped by to participate:

Shoutouts to this year’s Salmon in the Schools program at the creek were in our June 1st wrapup of the school-visit season.

ADDED: Here’s a photo of the volunteer crew, shared by Mark Ahlness (see comments):

SATURDAY: Your chance to add salmon to Fauntleroy Creek

(WSB photo: Fauntleroy Creek)

As we reported at the end of last week, the Salmon in the Schools program has wrapped up this year’s releases into Fauntleroy Creek – but there are leftover fry, so you are invited to the creek on Saturday to experience what it’s like. If you haven’t already seen the announcement, Judy Pickens from the Fauntleroy Watershed Council explains what’s happening:

This spring more than 700 students in the Salmon in the Schools program entrusted their coho fry to Fauntleroy Creek, where they will grow until heading to saltwater next spring. Schools were especially successful this year in rearing their fish from eyed eggs, as was Jack Lawless, who rears fish for schools in the program that loose a lot or for preschools that don’t bring their own to release.

The Fauntleroy Watershed Council invites the community to put Jack’s remaining 200 fish in the water on Saturday, June 9, 1:00-3:00 pm at the big bridge in Fauntleroy Park. Volunteers will be on hand to keep everyone dry and answer questions about salmon, habitat, and the Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship Fund.

Enter the park from the SW Barton Street kiosk and turn left at the trail T a few yards ahead. The bridge is about a three-minute walk east on a nearly flat, well-maintained trail. Expect to kneel on a rock at the water’s edge to release your fish; no boots are required. Dogs will need to be secured away from the water.

Can’t easily walk? The trail is suited to a walker or wheelchair. Can’t easily kneel? You’ll still be able to get up close and personal with your fish.

Here’s a map to the park.