West Seattle, Washington
The open-enrollment period for health insurance is almost closed! If you have a decision to make, you only have until Saturday night to make it. So we’re reminding you about Financial Designs (WSB sponsor), whose owner Carol McClure is a registered agent for the Washington Healthplanfinder. As noted in our announcement four weeks ago:
Our professional services are always free, unbiased, and customized to you. No matter what your income, budget, family history, or current state of health, you have many options to stay healthy and financially secure today and long into the future. We are experts in helping individuals, families, seniors, and small businesses find affordable health-insurance plans.
Her office is in The Admiral District; Carol tells us she’ll even be open 8 am-6 pm this Saturday so she can keep helping people until the almost-last minute. Call 425-392-7390 to make an appointment for a free consultation, or do it online by going here.
Again this year, West Seattle community advocate Mat McBride shared with us his announcement of a fundraising team for Movember – grow a mustache, grow awareness of and funding for men’s-health issues. Movember is over and Mat sends the photo with a wrapup:
Another good Movember – team Mo West raised almost a thousand dollars and shared our support of/for men’s health.
The team was slightly larger this year, which is fantastic.
Looking forward to next year with all of WSea in mustachioed solidarity.
You can still donate, by the way – Mat’s team page is here.
That’s the note on the door at what had been the home of In Tandem Midwifery at 4522 44th SW. As of this afternoon, the midwives have delivered themselves (well, with the help of friends and fans) to a larger new location in Burien, at 14924 8th SW. In Tandem was West Seattle’s first midwifery-only practice when Taylor Hamil and Christine Tindal opened their original Junction location in early 2012.
Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor, Financial Designs, at 2723 California Ave SW.
Financial Designs owner Carol McClure has 20 years of experience and is a registered agent for the Washington Healthplanfinder. helping people and small businesses navigate the health-plan market. She offers advice on health, dental, group life, disability, long-term care, and Medicare consultations. Being part of Washington Healthplanfinder means Carol can present you with side-by-side comparisons of health plans as well as tax credits or financial help to pay for co-pays and premiums.
She’d like you to know: “Our professional services are always free, unbiased, and customized to you. No matter what your income, budget, family history, or current state of health, you have many options to stay healthy and financially secure today and long into the future. We are experts in helping individuals, families, seniors, and small businesses find affordable health-insurance plans. Clients always remark about how friendly we are and how we make a difficult, stressful process so easy for them.”
To make an appointment for a free consultation, you can call 425-392-7390 or do it online by going here.
We thank Financial Designs for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
If you are active in West Seattle community matters, you probably know Mat McBride. (If you don’t, you should.) But whether you do or don’t – he is fundraising again as part of Movember, and we wanted to let you know in case you didn’t already have somebody to support this year. Movember is an initiative spanning the month of November,supporting men’s-health issues including suicide prevention (twice as many males die by suicide in our state as females), cancer, and more. Male Movember participants are invited to grow facial hair during the month as a symbol of their support – Mat sent before and after-shaving photos (obviously there’ll be another “after” photo in a month!) – though it’s not the only way to participate. Here’s how to pledge to his team “Mo West, Young Man“; Mat’s page, explaining his personal focus, is here.
By Alice Enevoldsen
Special to West Seattle Blog
It’s Halloween! Time for candy, chocolate, costumes, cultural celebrations … and allergic reactions? I’m a little late writing about the Teal Pumpkin Project this year, but you can still participate! Even if you can’t, having a little empathy tonight will go a long way with your neighbors.
As adults, we are almost always able to deal appropriately with the feeling of being left out. Good for us. Celebrating Halloween with food allergies means being left out over and over again, which is particularly difficult for children.
Enter the Teal Pumpkin Project! It’s simple:
1. (optional) Sign up at http://tealpumpkinproject.org
2. Display a teal pumpkin at your door, or a picture of one, to show that you’re participating. Locally, Target is selling Teal Pumpkin Project merchandise that you can use to display your participation.
3. Give trick-or-treaters a non-food treat either instead of candy or in addition to candy. Try to keep the candy in a separate bowl from the non-candy.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is not an attempt to eliminate candy from Halloween. The Teal Pumpkin Project was started to promote the inclusion, safety and respect for people with food allergies. As a happy circumstance, this also promotes the inclusion, safety and respect for people who also cannot have candy for reasons besides food allergies such as diabetes, family rules, simple preference, etc.
I don’t have food allergies, why would I participate?
Empathy and inclusion.
Most social occasions in the United States have an emphasis on food. This is extremely stressful if you have food allergies, like me, and even more stressful if your children have food allergies. It takes a lot of willpower not to eat that tempting chocolate bar—even though I know it might have nuts. I just really wish I could have one too. Children are still learning this skill and need more supervision.
There are already over 60 households signed up on the West Seattle peninsula, including White Center. These houses will be passing out tattoos, stickers, toys, making slime, making glow worms, critters, slap bracelets, bubbles, pencils, fangs, blind bags, squeeze balls, glow sticks and more. You can find a map or list of some of them on the Teal Pumpkin Project website. I know there are more planning to participate as well.
Do kids really like non-food treats?
Yes. Not every kid likes every treat, and that’s true for candy too, but non-food treats can be even more fun, and are less likely to be subject to the “parent tax” (you know the one: the portion of kids’ candy eaten by the parents after bedtime?). I’m sure you can get even more creative, but stickers and glowsticks are usually a hit. Toothbrushes, probably not. I’ll be making slime, but I’m intense about Halloween. Are you down to the wire on time? A dollar store is going to have a variety of things that will work.
If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater?
I advocate giving out both to each kid, but the Food Allergy Research and Education organization recommends that “you can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item.”
There are answers to more of your questions on the Teal Pumpkin Project FAQ. I’m happy to answer your questions tonight at @AlicesAstroInfo on Twitter, in between making slime with my own trick-or-treaters.
I/My Child Has Food Allergies
Please stay safe on Halloween. Bring your epinephrine and allergy medications while you trick-or-treat and to Halloween parties. Wait until you get home to eat any treats. Check every label and ingredients, fun size candies can have different ingredients than full-size. If you can’t find the ingredients, swap it for something safe. Bring extra safe treats along with you to parties.
FARE: Food Allergy Research and Education
FAACT: Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team
WA-FEAST: Washington Food Allergy, Eczema, and Asthma Support Team—this is our local active support group.
Sea-FAC: Seattle Food Allergy Consortium—local research being done into causes and cures for food allergies.
Quick reminder now that the weekend is in view: Saturday is the twice-yearly Drug Take-Back Day, and you’re invited once again to take unneeded/expired medication to the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster) to get rid of it, 10 am-2 pm. Keeping it around could be a danger to someone in your household and/or a target for burglars. Last time around, SPD says, dropoffs at its precincts including this one totaled half a ton!
Whatever your age – you can be afflicted by anxiety. The film “Angst“ seeks to raise awareness about it and what you can do – and this week you’re invited to a free local screening, 6:30 pm Thursday (October 18th):
Join Denny International Middle School for a special screening of Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety, a film created to break the stigma around anxiety and open up the conversation around mental health.
Filmmakers believe there is power in watching as a community; power to change and permission to talk about it. The fifty-three minute film will be followed by a moderated discussion with mental health and school professionals.
This film will be sub-titled in Spanish. Appropriate for ages 10+. Childcare will be provided for children 4 to 10 years old.
Everyone’s invited, not just students and families. The auditorium is on the west side of the campus, at 2600 SW Thistle.
Skin Care by Casey (4509 44th SW; WSB sponsor) is welcoming new team member Emma, and her arrival means expanded hours, including weekends and evenings! You can read about her here. New hours for Skin Care by Casey:
Proprietor Casey Rasmussen adds, “Any clients scheduling their first treatment with Emma through 11/30 will receive 25% off by mentioning WSB.” (Cancellation policy applies.) You can book online by going here.
The cover image for the map/postcard promoting this quarter’s West Seattle Art Walk events – starting with tomorrow night’s WSAW – always has a backstory. This time around, there’s a lot to tell.
The image is a painting by Frances Smersh, the West Seattle artist who is co-proprietor of Junction shop Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) with her husband John Smersh. She is also this month’s featured WSAW artist there, so you can visit Frances and her work there Thursday night (October 11th) 5-8 pm.
Writing on the Click! blog this week, they explain that the disease has continued to progress. “This last year Frances has struggled with more challenges that the disease has presented, and found that art is an area that she can still thrive. … With painting as her primary focus for most of the last year, she’s produced an impressive body of work!”
You can see the show during tomorrow’s Art Walk. The update continues, “She has titled her show ‘With a Little Help from my Friends,’ an acknowledgement of the extra assistance she now needs.”
After details on how Frances is doing now, the update explain how that assistance is more vital than ever:
If you or someone you know would enjoy spending time or sharing a meal with (or providing a meal for) Frances, please reach out to John and let him know what you would be up for. She loves being with people and is pretty game for most activities. Friends have started a GoFundMe page in hopes of helping with some of the extra expenses they now face; donations of any amount are hugely appreciated.
Read the full update here. And go see Frances’s show at Click! on Thursday night, 4540 California SW, 5-8 pm.
Announced this morning by King County Public Health:
Paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) has been detected at unsafe levels along Alki Beach south to the Pierce County line as well as on all Vashon-Maury Island beaches. As a result, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has closed these shores to recreational shellfish harvest.
The closure includes all species of shellfish including clams, geoduck, scallops, mussels, oysters, snails and other invertebrates; the closure does not include crab or shrimp. Crabmeat is not known to contain the PSP toxin, but the guts can contain unsafe levels. To be safe, clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts (“butter”). Working with partners, Public Health – Seattle & King County is posting advisory signs at beaches warning people to not collect shellfish.
Commercial beaches are sampled separately and commercial products should be safe to eat.
Anyone who eats PSP-contaminated shellfish is at risk for illness. PSP poisoning can be life-threatening and is caused by eating shellfish containing this potent neurotoxin. A naturally occurring marine organism produces the toxin. The toxin is not destroyed by cooking or freezing.
A person cannot determine if PSP toxin is present by visual inspection of the water or shellfish. For this reason, the term “red tide” is misleading and inaccurate. PSP can only be detected by laboratory testing.
Symptoms of PSP usually begin 30-60 minutes after eating the contaminated shellfish, but may take several hours. Symptoms are generally mild, and begin with numbness or tingling of the face, arms, and legs. This is followed by headache, dizziness, nausea, and loss of muscle coordination. Sometimes a floating sensation occurs. In cases of severe poisoning, muscle paralysis and respiratory failure occur, and in these cases death may occur in 2 to 25 hours.
If symptoms are mild, call your health care provider or Washington Poison Center (800-222-1222), and Public Health (206-296-4774). If symptoms are severe, call 911 or have someone take you to the emergency room immediately.
Recreational shellfish harvesting can be closed due to rising levels of PSP at any time. Therefore, harvesters are advised to call the DOH Biotoxin Hotline at 800-562-5632 or visit the Shellfish safety website before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Puget Sound.
For the next four days, you’ll see firefighters in The Junction … on a special call: Collecting donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. California/Alaska is one of five spots around the city where the annual Fill the Boot drive will be happening 9 am-7 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (September 11th-14th). More info is on SFD’s Fireline website; if you choose to donate, here’s what your dollars will help do.
The announcement was sent by Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner:
Sometimes first aid isn’t about a bandage, or CPR or calling 911. Sometimes, first aid is you!
A person you know could be experiencing a mental health or substance abuse problem. Learn an action plan to help! You are more likely to encounter someone in an emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack. Learn how to help a friend, family member, coworker or neighbor in need. Get trained in Mental Health First Aid.
When: Saturday, October 6th 8 am- 5 pm
Where: Seattle Police Department’s SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster St)
Register: Sue Wyder – 253-426-5957 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Training provided by King County at no charge. Lunch will be provided. See attached flyer for more information.
Project 968 (4617 37th SW; WSB sponsor) is expanding! Proprietor Michael Browder‘s fitness business in The Triangle has added a new studio location at 5621 Delridge Way SW, and new classes that you are invited to try for free over the next week and a half. Michael says the new Project Studio is “our new location for unlimited barre, yoga and Pilates classes that will sculpt, strengthen and stretch your body. Through September 7th, we are offering free classes and special limited pricing to the community to check out the new space, and services. Check out our schedule and contact us for a class. Space is limited.” Here’s the schedule of free classes:
Barre @ 5:30 am
Barre @ 8:30 am
Closed in observance of Labor Day
Yoga @ 6 am
Barre @ 8:30 am
Pilates @ 9:45 am
Yoga @ 8 pm
Yoga @ 6 am
Barre @ 8:30 am
Barre @ 6:30 pm
Barre @ 5:30 am
Pilates @ 8:30 am
Yoga @ 8 pm
Barre @ 5:30 am
Barre @ 8:30 am
Yoga @ 8 pm
Contact info to book a spot in a free class (or find out about other Project 968 offerings) is here.
8:42 PM: Tonight’s pink setting sun was a reminder there’s still smoke in the area – while not enough to hamper cross-Sound visibility, the Olympics were mostly out of view. The Washington Smoke Information website says you can blame BC fires for that, and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency adds:
We may see some smoke from the Vancouver Island fires Wednesday morning, which could cause levels to briefly reach MODERATE or UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. Rain and clouds are expected to follow that evening and into Thursday which should keep our long-term AQ in the GOOD to MODERATE through Friday.
ADDED: Thanks to Tiff Rivera for these views of the sunset and moonrise:
12:59 PM: Some have wondered if that’s really wildfire smoke, again, turning things hazy. Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: The Maple Fire on the Olympic Peninsula is largely to blame, along with ongoing British Columbia wildfires. And, says the Washington Smoke Information website, “This intermittent smoke we are experiencing should be expected through the weekend.” But it’s not expected to become anything resembling what blanketed us earlier this week, and we are not currently under an air-quality alert.
5:35 PM: As a commenter points out, things worsened in the past few hours since we published this. “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” is the predominant current rating.
10:10 PM: Added, smoky sunset photo by James Bratsanos.
Thanks to Molly for the tip! The Cosmo 7K – successor to what had been the Alki Beach 5K – has been postponed because of the wildfire smoke. It was set for this Sunday (August 26th), but race organizers sent e-mail to registered participants that even with the smoke expected to dissipate, “the current air conditions are unsafe and not something we can risk lingering through the weekend.” It’s been rescheduled to September 16th.
Thanks to Keith Davidson for the sunset-and-heron photo from Beach Drive, near Cormorant Cove. We have two smoke-related notes as the night ends:
ANOTHER CANCELLATION: The city sent word tonight that the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand will NOT be open tomorrow because of the unhealthy air.
FORECAST UPDATE: Here’s what the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is saying tonight:
Air pollution is still at UNHEALTHY levels throughout the Puget Sound region. With a high pressure weather system over our region pushing the smoke down, we expect UNHEALTHY levels to continue on well into tomorrow. We hope to see some clearing tomorrow night, but with all the smoke around the Pacific Northwest, it may take until Thursday to get cleaner air.
P.S. The heat is notable, too, says the National Weather Service:
Even with the smoke the high at Sea-Tac airport today was 91° breaking the record of 88° set in 1966. Today is the 11th 90°+ day in Seattle this year. In over 120 years of records there has been only 2 years with double digit 90°+ days, 12 in 2015 and 11 so far this year. #wawx
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) August 22, 2018
4:39 PM: Just announced by Seattle Parks: Because of the unhealthy air, it’s closing its outdoor pools as well as the remaining still-in-operation wading pools, through tomorrow. Colman Pool is closing at 4:45 pm, and wading pools (including Lincoln Park) were to begin draining an hour ago. (Sprayparks weren’t mentioned, so we’re checking on their status.)
5:06 PM: Parks’ Christina Hirsch replied that sprayparks are staying open. (West Seattle’s lone spraypark is in Highland Park at 1100 SW Cloverdale.)
With a little old indoor cat keeping us company here at WSB HQ, we’ve been wondering whether he’s feeling the effects of the smoky air too. No outward signs – he’s sleeping a lot, but well, he always sleeps a lot. Anyway, in case you also share your life with pets, here’s advice from the Seattle Animal Shelter on the best ways to protect their health while we’re blanketed in smoke.
With more fires cropping up in BC and surrounding areas, the smoke may be here for a while longer. The West Seattle Y is offering a respite for community members at our location on Snoqualmie Street. Our center is air-conditioned and offers free Wi-Fi.
This is an opportunity for us to pay back this special community. We are happy to open our doors to our neighbors to protect their health.
The use of these facilities is free to the public. YMCA lot parking regulations still apply. A government issued photo ID is required to enter the facility. If you are interested in getting a workout in, feel free to stop by our welcome center to get a free pass to use our facility.
And from St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church rector Rev. Kate Wesch:
Tuesday and Wednesday, August 21 and 22 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Escape the smoke with children ages 0-5 who need to move at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church
Do you have cabin fever with your little ones? Looking for some space to run around where the kids can play indoors away from the smoke? St. John’s is opening the Parish Hall, a large carpeted room, and will have a few large motor toys and blocks out. Come for an hour or stay all three. We’ll have coffee for the grown ups. St. John’s is located on the corner of California Ave SW and SW Hanford St. next door to WS High School. (3050 California Ave SW) Questions? 206-937-4545
Anybody else with something special to announce? email@example.com – thanks!
Our photo taken a short time ago from Alki Avenue is about what you CAN’T see: Normally on a sunny summer day, looking across Puget Sound from that spot, you’d see Bainbridge Island, with the Olympic Mountains as a backdrop. Right now – that’s all entirely obscured. While visibility improved a little early this morning, this afternoon it’s worsened in a big way, and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has joined regional health departments in renewing their health alert:
Air pollution levels are rising across Puget Sound region again and levels are expected to be UNHEALTHY for everyone today. Smoke is expected to impact air quality over the next few days. Air pollution levels will rise and fall, so we encourage you check the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency air quality map to see the latest air quality nearest you.
Right now, the level is indeed UNHEALTHY in all directions. The Washington Smoke Information website says we can expect some clearing Thursday. Meantime, a Stage I burn ban has been ordered, to take effect at 5 pm. That means:
No outdoor burning during a Stage 1 air quality burn ban including:
• No charcoal barbecues or similar solid fuel devices
• No campfires or bonfires
• No fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls, or similar free-standing devices
• No fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts*
• No agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)
• Local fire districts do not grant Native American ceremonial fire permits outside of tribal lands during air quality burn bans.
It is OK to use natural gas and propane grills, stoves, or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.
* The only exception to using fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves or inserts, is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ exemption from the Clean Air Agency