West Seattle, Washington
7:02 PM: As previewed here Monday, the Washington State Ferries Triangle Route Task Force meets tomorrow with one hot topic on the agenda – the first major revision to the route’s schedule in years. And on the eve of that meeting, WSF has released a revised version of the proposed schedule change:
(You can also see that here in PDF.) WSF also has just released this summary of comments previously received, and says it’s taking comments on the new revision for one week, through December 18th. Tomorrow’s meeting is at Fauntleroy Church‘s Fellowship Hall (9140 California SW), 4:30-7 pm.
9:33 PM: We asked WSF spokesperson Hadley Rodero for the quick-take version of what’s different:
WSF has made significant adjustments to the schedule to respond to what we heard. Such as:
o Adding a direct sailing from Vashon to Fauntleroy in the evening to avoid layover sailings that would have sent Vashon customers to Southworth on their way to Fauntleroy.
o Adding another morning sailing from Southworth to Fauntleroy during the morning commute period.
o Adding one 4:10 p.m. direct sailing from Fauntleroy to Southworth during the evening commute.
We’ve also asked Steve Stockett, a leader of the Vashon advocacy for a “pendulum” approach, for his thoughts; he’s analyzing the new version.
ADDED 7:53 AM: Stockett’s analysis of the new revision begins:
In trying to advantage Southworth even more while swatting at some symptoms that Vashon and Southworth folks, including me, have pointed out as absurdities in their previous schedule they have made it even worse.
They honestly just don’t understand the concepts of clearing the dock at Fauntleroy via an all stops (Pendulum Schedule). Your can’t have 16 direct Southworth stops, add 5 boats to Southworth and cut runs to Vashon and then do more dual loading during rush hour too. The reason Pendulum results in more, better spaced runs for everyone at every dock is because you are co-loading every boat and thus they leave fuller and have adequate time between boats at each dock to fully load. You can’t mix the 2 concepts.
They have actually reduced average dwell time by an extra couple of minutes at rush at Fauntleroy and added a direct boat for Southworth. They will average 30 or more empty space on every rush hour boat with people spilling on to Fauntleroy – even worse then now. It is so messed up I cannot coherently explain all the problems.
He wants to see the changes put on hold and “a transparent collaborative workshop (to) fix this.”
The Washington State Ferries Triangle Route Task Force has been meeting for more than a year in relative serenity. But its next meeting, this Wednesday (December 12), is expected to draw a crowd.
The all-volunteer committee was originally launched almost two years ago to consider potential solutions to the problems that plague the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run, particularly during peak pm outbound periods, backing up traffic along Fauntleroy Way some days, while boats leave without full loads.
The task force’s current focus is on the first major change in the route’s schedule in years. WSF says a change is necessary for a variety of reasons, including an upcoming increase in capacity on the route’s assigned vessels, and faster growth on the west end of the route. After several task-force discussions, the ferry system published and sought comment on a draft revised schedule. But a Vashon citizens’ group is unhappy with the proposal – saying it has a better idea that’s been ignored – and it’s calling for a big show of island residents – and anyone else interested – at Wednesday’s meeting, set for 4:30-7 pm at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW). The schedule change is currently planned to take effect in March.
Hit and run outside of Fauntleroy Hall. Two cars pushed up on curb. Suspect fled with car. Didn’t get far. Ditched it in the Y parking lot and fled on foot. Called the cops.
Another tipster via Twitter reported seeing an arrest in progress when he went by. When we got there, in addition to the car, we found one officer who told us he was on scene awaiting the last tow truck, but he was able to confirm that three vehicles were involved and that one person had been arrested. No SFD callout logged, so apparently no injuries of note.
2:28 AM FRIDAY: Cross-referencing jail and Municipal Court records, we’ve discovered that the driver who was arrested is a 28-year-old woman booked into King County Jail, under investigation for DUI, driving without an ignition interlock, and driving with a suspended license. Records show a prior DUI, from 2014, also in West Seattle.
More than 20 nonprofits await you right now at the only “shopping” event of its kind this season – the third annual West Seattle Alternative Giving Fair, happening in the Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy Church. It’s a simple idea – you make a donation to a nonprofit in the name of someone on your list, and you’ll get something to give them to explain the gift. Our preview has the list of who’s participating. You can even meet Ivy!
Ivy’s from Reading with Rover. More photos later. The fair continues until 4 pm today.The church is at 9140 California SW.
By Dennis Hinton and Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog
By Sunday (November 18), when the watch ended, 18 had taken advantage of favorable tides, ample rainfall, and ideal habitat conditions to made their way into the lower creek – the most in four years.
The spawners were all vigorous and three pairs are thought to have left fertilized eggs to germinate in the creek. Four were “jack” salmon – small males that returned to fresh water after one year instead of the usual two in salt water. Full-sized spawners ranged up to 6 pounds. Most were released as smolts by hatcheries (as identified by missing adipose fins) but at least two could have originated in the creek as Salmon in the Schools release fish.
Nearly 100 students from two area schools came in hopes of seeing fish living or dead. Two “open creeks” drew 120 people and another 120 stopped by to chat with one of the 16 volunteers who took turns watching. Ferry foot passengers even got in on the action, cheering fish navigating through drift logs to enter the creek from Fauntleroy Cove.
Next up for local volunteers will be distributing eyed eggs in early January to 14 West Seattle schools for students to rear and release as fry in May. They will be among 70 schools citywide to rear coho, chum, or Chinook through the Salmon in the Schools program.
Toplines from tonight’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting:
POLICE: Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand presented updates. Person-to-person crimes such as assaults and robberies are dow in the Fauntleroy area, while auto theft is up. Squatters were cleared from a vacant house. Some reports have come in about camping in Lincoln Park but police haven’t found anyone yet. One board member mentioned an uptick in car camping near the park and Lt. Strand said they’d investigate, as it was a problem toward the north end of the park a few months back. Though it’s not in the Fauntleroy area, he mentioned that Myers Way, where campers were cleared earlier this fall, will be revisited as there are reports that campfires are being seen in the area.
And a reminder: The Public Safety Survey conducted by Seattle University to assess attitudes on crime, safety, and policing, is still open – go here to answer it before November 30th.
FERRIES: With Gary Dawson‘s retirement from the board, Frank Immel is now the point person on Washington State Ferries issues. WSF is working toward its next Long-Range Plan, with a comment period on the draft version earlier this fall. Immel suggested FCA should work on its talking points regarding the ferry system’s future. He’ll summarize the major issues and suggested positions the board can discuss at its next meeting.
FAUNTLEROY FALL FESTIVAL: Though FCA doesn’t organize this, it provides major support, and the board heard tonight that the October 21st festival (WSB coverage here) was a big hit. Attendance was estimated at 2,000 people. The supplies of 800 pumpkins for decorating and 200 kits for birdhouse-making were both fully utilized. New features – “Elvis” (Bret Wiggins) and a pie-eating contest – were hits too. And $800 was donated to help with future festivals.
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse conference room (9131 California SW).
Looking for something to do before/after dinner? The Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show has begun! Open until 8 tonight at Fauntleroy Church‘s Fellowship Hall – free to stop in and browse:
Courtesy of Judy Pickens, here’s the list of this year’s participating artists:
Melissa Aaron – Spice blends & teas
Michelle Aitken – Beach-inspired ceramics
Mary Anderson – Whimsical cashmere & fleece hats
Leslee Avery Beausoleil – Cold-pressed soaps & dog shampoo
Sonja Bergstrom – SheepPAL footstools
Saki Uehara-Bingen – Hand-designed mandala products
Gretchen Curtis – Hand-knitted textiles
Josephine DeLellis – Collages, shadow boxes & collage kits
Natalie Fobes – Prints, mobiles & notecards
Esperanza Robles-Lazo – Delicate wire-wrapped jewelry
Johanna Lindsay – Playful glass & wire jewelry
Kate Lorenzini – Fine greeting cards, packaging & paper sundries
Dee Miller – Garden art
Marise Miville – Nature-inspired handmade jewelry
David Somers – Wood turnings, engravings, carvings & paintings
Linda Thorson – Molded concrete yard art & birdhouses
The church is at 9140 California SW. The show/sale continues 10 am-4 pm tomorrow and 11 am-2 pm Sunday, one of the first events of the season – here’s our calendarized list of holiday events (more to come, in the calendar and our almost-ready Holiday Guide).
10:51 AM: Thanks to Kersti Muul for the photos from Fauntleroy Creek earlier this week. Spawning season continues and she photographed those eggs, explaining, “Some critter had dragged them up on the banks. Eventually they were eaten but it took a few days … which surprises me! Seeing that we have otters and raccoons and birds a plenty.” She also shared this photo of the 13th coho counted in the creek, a ~3-pound female:
We’re checking on where the count stands. (UPDATE: Creek steward Judy Pickens tells us it’s at 18 – that’s more than 4 times last year’s four-fish count.)
ADDED 3:55 PM: Judy has since announced there’ll be another “open creek” tomorrow:
We’ve seen 18 coho to date, witnessed active spawning, and continue to have favorable tides for bringing in more fish. Volunteers will host an “open creek” Saturday (11/10) afternoon from noon to 3:00 at the fish ladder (SW Director and upper Fauntleroy Way SW). Come to the viewpoint there and a watcher will invite you down. Children need to bring a parent and dogs should be leashed and well behaved. Decking and steps will likely be wet, so use caution.
P.S. Bonus video from Kersti:
She explains, “It’s from yesterday, a spawning pair activity making a nest, with a little Jack trying to have a turn but getting turned back by the larger male.” (A “jack” is a salmon returning a year earlier than they usually would.)
Planning on visiting Fauntleroy Creek during Saturday afternoon’s “open creek”? Your chance of seeing salmon spawners keeps rising along with the water – creek steward Judy Pickens tells WSB that as of late today, volunteers have counted 12 fish, three times last year’s total. Again, you’re invited to visit 1-4 pm tomorrow – go to the fish-ladder overlook at upper Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Director, and a volunteer will take you down creekside. If the weather gets mega-stormy, they might have to cancel for safety results, so if that happens, check here for an update before 1 pm.
With the first spawners spotted in Fauntleroy Creek – as reported here earlier this week – you’re invited to visit, to try to see for yourself. Creek steward Judy Pickens says her fellow volunteers Dennis Hinton and Pete Draughon will staff an “open creek” time this Saturday (November 3), 1-4 pm. While on one hand stormy weather is a boon – Judy says they’re hoping the next wave of rain will “bring in another wave” of fish, as they haven’t seen new arrivals since Tuesday – if it’s too stormy on Saturday, she notes, “we’ll have to cancel as wind could bring down limbs and heavy rain will muddy the water and cause dangerously high flow.” (If that happens, check here for an update.) But in the meantime, you can tentatively plan to visit: “All are welcome and children should come with a parent. People should dress for the weather, including boots or old shoes. Dogs must be on a leash and well behaved.” Come to the fish-ladder viewpoint (SW Director & upper Fauntleroy Way SW, across from the ferry terminal) and a volunteer will invite you down.
“The drumming worked!” So exults Fauntleroy Creek steward Judy Pickens after the first fall sightings of coho salmon in the creek, the day after the annual drumming/singing gathering to ceremonially call them home (WSB coverage here). Whitney Fraser provides the photo and video:
Judy first reported that fellow longtime volunteer Dennis Hinton “had the honor of spotting the first coho spawner of the season … It’s a beautiful female between the two lower bridges, which means unlike last year, we have a spawner in the natural creek upstream of the fish ladder.” Then a “jack” – a male who returned a year earlier than the usual rhythms – was spotted, and then four more. That’s already surpassed last year’s entire total of four. Salmon watch on Fauntleroy Creek will continue into mid-November – or until an entire week has passed with no fish sightings – whichever comes first.
While some were cheering for the Boston Red Sox or Los Angeles Dodgers earlier tonight, this group was cheering for the Fauntleroy Creek Coho. No spawner sightings yet this season, but hopes remained high during the annual gathering to drum and sing and welcome them home.
Some of the younger participants wore salmon hats made during last Sunday’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival with the help of creek steward Judy Pickens, whose creekside carport hosted the gathering, providing cover from the showery weather.
This year added some fish jokes (example: Why don’t fish play basketball? They’re afraid of the net). But caring for the creek is serious business. Hundreds of students visit every spring to release fish they’ve raised via the Salmon in the Schools program, with which Judy and husband Phil Sweetland are also closely involved. (See its newest annual report here [PDF].)
Judy promises updates as always if and when spawners are sighted. You can peek at the creek from the public fish-ladder overlook at Fauntleroy/Director – across from the ferry dock – any time.
Two notes about the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry run:
ONE BOAT LATE AFTER ASSISTANCE: Thanks to M for sending that photo of crew members from the ferry Kitsap helping a boater in distress off Southworth. As a result, the Kitsap is running 20+ minutes late. You can check its status via Vessel Watch.
ONE BOAT OUT STARTING MONDAY: WSF has this alert out for the route:
Beginning on Monday, October 29 until further notice, the Fauntleroy/Vashon Island/Southworth route must operate on a two-boat schedule so that the M/V Sealth can undergo a Coast Guard-required maintenance inspection. WSF is doing everything possible to minimize the duration of this service disruption and will be sending updates as soon as more information is available. Passengers can expect delays on this route during that time, and alternate routes are advised where available. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to restore full service on this route.
You can see the two-boat schedule here.
Bicycle theft is today’s West Seattle Crime Watch theme, so far. Good news first:
BIKE REUNION: Shortly after we published word from Melissa that her son’s bicycle had been stolen and another left in its place, a reader at Westwood Village reported a bike matching the stolen one’s description had been found dumped at the center. We pointed Melissa to WWV and a reunion ensued! (The bike she found hasn’t been claimed yet, though.)
2 MORE BIKES DUMPED/FOUND: This just turned up in Fauntlee Hills:
And this one in Seaview:
Either one yours? Let us know so we can point you to it.
BURGLAR STEALS 2 BIKES AT ONCE: Here are three short security-cam videos sent by a burglary victim – first, prowling cars in her driveway; then coming back – after stealing the garage opener rom one car – and breaking into the garage; finally, leaving while stealing two bikes at once.
This happened in the span of two early-morning hours on October 17th near South Seattle College on Puget Ridge. The bikes are “a women’s 2017 white Vita specialized bike, size small, and a men’s 2017 Sirrus carbon fiber, size medium.” If you have any information, the SPD incident # is 18-388463.
2:55 PM: The sun has arrived! And the Fauntleroy Fall Festival is on, until 5 pm, at the church/schoolhouse/Y in the 9100 block of California SW. Here again is what’s happening and who’s here:
3:35 PM: This is an outdoor-indoor festival – something going on at every turn. Music, too! Inside The Hall at Fauntleroy on the west side of the street:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 21, 2018
Elvis is in The Hall, too!
Meantime, outside the church/Y on the east side of the street, here’s who was playing when we arrived:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 21, 2018
To get between them, you’ll be assisted by volunteer crossing guards!
This is all free (except for food/drink) – this year funded in part by a city Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund Grant.
5 PM: Festival’s over! Big turnout, all ages. Adding more photos/video in the next hour-plus. Starting with pumpkin-painting:
ADDED: More video – first Elvis:
The West Seattle Big Band:
Festival vendors included Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor) with a multigenerational team:
And Wildwood Market with proprietor Lonjina:
Climbing was easier with a little help:
And it’s not the Fall Festival without salmon-hat-making (supervising off-camera, Judy Pickens):
By the way, Fauntleroy welcomes you back next Sunday (October 28th) – drum to welcome the salmon home (and bring fish jokes!) at 5 pm at the fish ladder across and upslope from the ferry dock.
M/V Cathlamet went back into service this morning, after mechanical trouble took it out on Friday, so the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is back to 3 boats.
4:05 PM: Friday afternoon outbound ferry-rider traffic from Fauntleroy is usually backed up even in the best of times, but we’re getting word it’s worse than usual today, and that the run is down to two boats. The M/V Cathlamet is out of service. Here’s the latest word from Washington State Ferries:
The M/V Cathlamet is out of service for the remainder of the day due to the issues with the ship’s service generator. While technicians continue to troubleshoot and assess for repairs, the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth will being following the weekday two-boat schedule beginning with the Fauntleroy 4:05 pm sailing to Vashon, the Vashon 4:30 pm to Fauntleroy, and the Southworth 5:25 pm to Vashon and Fauntleroy.
10:21 PM: Still 2 boats and as of last WSF update, a one-hour wait at Fauntleroy.
Three days until three hours of fun await you at this year’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival! Tonight we have the schedule for what you’ll be able to see and do during the festival 2-5 pm Sunday (October 21st):
(Note: Updated version substituted Friday night. If you can’t view what’s above, here’s the PDF version.) The festival happens at and around the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse/Hall and Church/YMCA grounds, across the street from each other in the 9100 block of California SW:
Crossing guards make sure you can get back and forth safely. Everything’s free except food/drink – just show up and be ready for a great time! And remember that if you enjoy baking, contenders for the cake-decorating contest and donations for the cake walk are welcome – here are those details. See you at the Fauntleroy Fall Festival (looks like it’ll be sunny)!
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.
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.
(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.
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
email@example.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).