West Seattle, Washington
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 email@example.com, or call 206-932-5600.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for the tips. The police response near the Fauntleroy ferry dock followed a report of a suspected prowler who took off running when confronted by a resident, officers told us at the scene. A 911 call and search ensued; a person believed to be the suspect was found and taken into custody, pending ID confirmation by the resident.
With a visit from more than 50 Highland Park Elementary fourth-graders, Fauntleroy Creek has seen the last of this year’s student groups releasing school-raised salmon. But next weekend, you get the chance to experience it yourself! More on that shortly. First – more on this morning’s visit and what’s happened in the past month-plus.
Scheduler/coordinator Judy Pickens provided the stats: This was one of 21 school releases, between April 26th (when we were there to cover Alki Elementary fifth-graders’ visit) and today. That’s 662 students plus 232 adults and younger siblings, releasing ~2,000 fry!
The fish are raised in 13 salmon tanks in area schools, mostly by fourth- and fifth-graders, though three preschools released fish provided by the Fauntleroy Watershed Council, via volunteer fish rearer Jack Lawless. At creekside today while we were there was safety officer/amateur entomologist Pete Draughon; other team members throughout the season, Judy tells us, included regulars Dennis Hinton (fish dipper) and Shannon Ninburg (habitat-exploration specialist) plus three helpers who were all there today: forest steward Peggy Cummings, tank volunteer Phil Sweetland, and tank technician Nancie Hernandez, who we photographed showing students some of the insects living in the forest:
This is the first year Highland Park students have released salmon into the creek. One by one, the students got to set fry free, some with a cheery “Goodbye, little fishy!” There’s always a chance that “little fishy” will return. First, volunteers monitor out-migration – between March 15th and May 30th this year, via soft traps (built by Steev Ward) in the upper and lower creek, Dennis and Pete counted 45 smolts making it to salt water, Judy reports.
YOUR TURN! Next Saturday, June 9th, 1-3 pm, you’re invited to come release a fry – Jack has 200 left this year. Visit the big bridge in Fauntleroy Park [north entrance] for what is billed as:
An all-ages thank-you for donors to the Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship Fund and an opportunity for anyone interested to learn more about salmon, habitat, and the fund.
Judy, Dennis, Pete, and Phil will be there to guide you. Find out about the Stewardship Fund here.
Look familiar? Stolen? Lost? Karen sent the photo after spotting the suitcase and other items in Fauntleroy’s Endolyne area earlier today. Let us know if it might be yours.
Thanks to Judy Pickens for the update from Fauntleroy Creek:
Salmon-release season passed the midpoint this week, with nearly 400 students, plus 170 adults and younger siblings, having put just over 700 coho fry in upper Fauntleroy Creek. Reared through the Salmon in the Schools program, the fish will spend the next year in the creek, then head for two years in saltwater.
EarthCorps trainees restoring habitat along the middle reach of the creek were special guests on Pathfinder’s May 15 field trip, joining students to release fish and answer questions about their work and career plans.
Keeping the creek safe for such students as well as healthy is a major objective of the Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship Fund administered by EarthCorps. Since March 1, individuals and school groups have donated $6,300 toward a goal of $30,000.
Salmon releases will continue through June 1.
Here’s the backstory on the stewardship fund.
What should Washington State Ferries be planning for between now and 2040? As you’ll see at the open house now under way at Fauntleroy Church, the system already has some idea … but wants to hear yours too.
It’s a low-key event – no presentation, just a chance to learn about the long-range-plan creation process, talk, leave written comments (from sticky notes to formal comment forms) if you’re interested:
The open house is on until 8 pm, at 9140 California SW. If you can’t get here, you can also see the same info-boards, and share your thoughts, via the online open house that’s continuing for one more week, through May 24th. The long-range plan has to be complete and ready to present to the Legislature by New Year’s Day.
A project at the Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) gym has opened the door to revisiting history involving a window. Judy Pickens shares the story:
Anyone who’s played basketball at the Fauntleroy YMCA knows that a forceful throw could cause noticeable movement of the west wall of the gym. Now that structural weakness is being rectified through a joint project of the Y and Fauntleroy Church. (In the top photo, the boarded-up window framing is visible behind scaffolding as Potter Construction works to reinforce the west wall of the Fauntleroy gym.)
Large windows to let in natural light seemed like a good idea in 1914 when the community built the wood-frame facility to provide young people a place for sports, meetings, and manual training. This illustration showing the fully exposed windows appeared in a 1944 edition of the “Little Brown Church News” to keep service members from Fauntleroy up to date on local basketball activity.
The windows stayed until 1950, when more stability was needed for the building’s move to its present location to make way for a new sanctuary.
Full use of the gym is expected to resume by June 1.
(Image credits: Top photo by Monika Lindman; other two, from Fauntleroy Church archives.)
So many people showed up for Fauntleroy Church‘s Recycle Roundup on April 22nd, it was a record-setting event, Judy Pickens tells WSB. With 500 vehicles – the most ever – “1 Green Planet relieved West Seattle of 14.6 tons of recyclables for responsible disassembly.” The fall edition will be in September – no date yet, but we’ll announce it when we find out. And in the meantime, the West Seattle Junction Association will have a drop-off recycling-and-more event in late June.
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
BURGLARY ATTEMPT: From Mitchell:
Friday morning, April 27th at around 5:35 a.m., a man tried getting into my house. He was pushing on the windows and tried to open the sliding glass doors located on the back of my house. I called the police and shortly after I watched the person walk off my property down Fauntleroy SW. Police responded, but said they couldn’t do much as the person did not enter the home and they did not see him in the area.
My home is about a block from Gatewood Elementary on Fauntleroy Way SW. Closest street intersection: SW Mills St. and Fauntleroy Way SW. If you could post a notice to the community, that would be appreciated. Maybe just a note to keep windows and doors locked even as we move into the warmer months.
STOLEN AND DUMPED PURSE? Not far south of there, later in the day on Friday, Tom found potentially stolen/dumped items:
Walking the dog around 5 PM on 4/27 and spotted a purse that appears to have been tossed in the bushes near the corner of SW Cloverdale St and Fauntleroy Pl SW. Contains a pair of shoes, a sports bra, and a receipt. Owner can contact me at TL98136@gmail.com.
We asked Tom if he had taken possession of the items – he went back for them and the jacket/yoga pants in the purse (which he thought might also be a gym bag) were gone, but he has everything else, so if you’re missing something in that area, contact him.
From Pigeon Point to High Point to Fauntleroy, three local Emergency Communication Hubs will be participating in a drill this Saturday morning, 8:30-noon – to prepare for something everyone hopes will never happen. And you can help! We’ve mentioned it a few times before, and here’s the official announcement:
Imagine there is a major power blackout covering Seattle and the metro area. There is no cellular phone service. No one knows the cause of the outage or knows when power and cell service may be restored. Emergency generators at hospitals and other essential service providers can only last as long as there is fuel. How would the region communicate?
This is the scenario behind the “Power Out, No Bars” exercise that Seattle ham radio operators and designated emergency Hub volunteers throughout the City will be testing. The Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS), a volunteer organization operating under the auspices of the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, and the Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs, a grass-roots, neighborhood network of community members, will jointly conduct the citywide communications exercise.
The drill simulates the day after an unexplained failure of grid power and cellular service, with no updates on when either would be restored. Because the Hubs are the major residential and business resources for neighborhoods, situational awareness, resource coordination, and communications between the Hubs, ACS, and the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) are critical.
The key goals of the exercise are:
*Activate several neighborhood Communication Hubs and Seattle ACS, emphasizing reliable, efficient, accurate message management and documentation. Exercise participants will use voice as well as data communications via radio, throughout the city.
*Demonstrate, practice, and assess the ability to communicate up and down the various levels of the response structure, based on the Incident Command System (ICS), which spells out a hierarchical, yet flexible, means of managing emergency situations.
*Build strong working relationships among Emergency Communication Hub members and ACS members, through team problem solving and practice.
In an event such as the one this exercise portrays, the neighborhood Hubs would mobilize to assist with the immediate needs of residents, especially those who may need emergency services. The ACS would also have activated shortly after the scope of the outage was known, with sector sites around the city providing situation reports and helping coordinate emergency and logistical responses.
“In a citywide or regional event, people will need to go to neighborhood gathering places to find access to information and start matching resources and skills to what is needed” said Cindi Barker of West Seattle, one of Seattle’s Hub Captains.
“Power Out, No Bars is the latest in a series of emergency exercises that have helped our membership continually hone their skills and upgrade, deploy, and test their equipment,” said Mark Sheppard, founder and director of ACS. “This is critical to improving our ability to be more effective and be better prepared to face a real emergency or natural disaster.
Here are the West Seattle hubs participating:
*Pigeon Point Hub, 20th Ave SW & SW Genesee St
*High Point Hub at Neighborhood House, 6400 Sylvan Way SW
*Fauntleroy United Church of Christ Hub, 9140 California Ave SW
You are invited to stop by and observe, or participate, 9 am-noon Saturday. For more background info – West Seattle’s hubs are explained here; the citywide hubs here; you can find out more about Amateur Radio here.
The weather could not have been more perfect for the start of salmon-release season at Fauntleroy Creek this morning. Fifth-graders from Alki Elementary became the first students this year to visit the creek to release fry they’ve been raising.
Once the fry were in the creek, it was time to watch and wait. That involved polarized sunglasses to help with potential sightings.
Fauntleroy Watershed volunteers will be helping students with their releases for the next month-plus. This all traces back to January, when more than a dozen schools received salmon-egg deliveries as part of the Salmon in the Schools program. Then in fall, volunteers watch the creek for returning coho; they counted four last fall.
Sara sent the photo, saying that “very large” shark washed up on the beach not too far south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock over the weekend. She reported it to the state Fish and Wildlife Department; after sending them the photo, she said, they thought it might be a soupfin shark. Any other guesses?
Two hours down, four to go for the spring Recycle Roundup, coinciding this year with Earth Day. The Fauntleroy Church Green Committee partners twice a year with 1 Green Planet, which has multiple trucks on site to collect a long list of recyclable items (see it here). No matter what the weather, every year hundreds of West Seattleites drop off tons of recyclables, but it’s a bonus that this year the sky’s clear. Recycle Roundup continues until 3 pm, but organizers hope you will NOT wait until the last minute, as the lot (9140 California SW; map) doesn’t have much room for a queue.
Those are some of the riders who took part in the Cascade Bicycle Club‘s Ride for Major Taylor two years ago, when it started at Chief Sealth International High School. This year’s ride is tomorrow, with its start and finish line at the bike playground in White Center’s Dick Thurnau Park. After riders head south to Tacoma and across the water to south Vashon Island, they’ll head up to north Vashon and the ferry to Fauntleroy, riding back from West Seattle to White Center – here’s the route map. Washington State Ferries issued this alert today:
On Sunday, April (corrected) 22nd, drivers should anticipate delays on the Point Defiance to Tahlequah and Vashon to Fauntleroy routes due to heavy bicycle traffic participating in the annual Major Taylor Bicycle Event. More than 300 bicyclists are expected, and vehicle capacity may be limited from 10:55 am to 12:35 pm departing Point Defiance and between 11:50 am and 2:45 pm from Vashon to Fauntleroy. Vehicles should allow extra time reaching the terminal and use caution approaching the terminals and when boarding.
If you’re interested in riding, online registration is over but you can sign up at the park in WC starting at 8 am – details are here. The ride raises money for the Major Taylor Project, the Cascade youth program named for bicycling champion Marshall “Major” Taylor, the first African-American to win an international sports title.
Quick reminder while you have time to collect whatever you might want to drop off – the spring edition of Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church is tomorrow (Sunday, April 22nd – Earth Day!), 9 am-3 pm. No charge to drive up/ride up/walk up to where 1 Green Planet will be set up in the church lot (9140 California SW) – just check the list (PDF) to see what they are and aren’t accepting this time.