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HAPPENING NOW: Local hams reach out to neighbors near and far on Field Day

(WSB photos)

With a field full of antennas and a parking lot full of trailers and tents, three local ham-radio groups are teaming up for this year’s Field Day, which continues into the night and until late tomorrow morning on the north side of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). It’s a chance to educate the public and also part of a nationwide contest.

As Greg (W7GFW) was doing while we were there this evening, the radio operators are logging as many contacts as they can make. Different atmospheric conditions and different radio bands make for varied chances to reach others far and near. There are two main ways to make contacts, we’re told – either “search and pounce,” seeing which frequencies have activity and jumping in, or “run a frequency” – choose where you’re going to hang out and wait for others to come find you.

Ham radio continues to grow in popularity, we learned from Eric Linxweiler, who showed us around and explained much of what was going on. All ages, too – he works with Scouts and says his troop has several newly licensed hams. Another aspect of Field Day is testing out your setup and equipment, with an eye toward being able to operate off the grid in case of catastrophe:

Hams have long been working on disaster response – Cindi Barker explained one program they’re working on at Field Day, involving volunteers relaying messages from region to region, email sent over radio waves, to help reconnect people if disaster breaks regular communication methods:

You’re welcome to stop by tomorrow morning before Field Day ends around 11 am – they even have a tent where visitors can “get on the air” and see what it’s like. But if you can’t get out there this weekend, reach out any time to the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club (one of the three Field Day participating groups, along with the Puget Sound Repeater Group and Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service).

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Here’s what you’ll see and hear at Field Day 2022

(WSB photo from Field Day 2018)

Yet another big summer event returning after a pandemic hiatus: Field Day, whose organizers say you could call it “Ham Radio’s Open House.” And a big open house it is, spanning 24 hours, tomorrow morning through Sunday morning, this time in the north parking lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). You can drop by for one or more of many presentations on topics from “Making a Family Communication Plan” to “Solar Power and Batteries” – the full schedule is here – or take advantage of a chance to take a turn at the mic. You can also just listen in as local hams participate in the contest that’s at the heart of Field Day – “where operators attempt to make as many two-way radio contacts as possible during a 24-hour window.” Three groups are participating – West Seattle Amateur Radio Club, Puget Sound Repeater Group, and Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service. Ham radio has seen a surge in the past few years, they note – 775,000 licensed hams in the U.S. now, up nearly 50,000 since 2019. You can stop by between 11 am Saturday and 11 am Sunday to see what it’s all about.

READER REPORT: National Trails Day in West Seattle

Last Saturday, our highlight list included a guided hike for National Trails Day. Judy Bentley shares this report, with photos, on how it went, and what’s next:

Forest restoration expert Steve Richmond led 25 hikers on trails through the Puget Creek watershed Saturday, June 4, on National Trails Day. Richmond has lived on Puget Ridge for 60 years and worked to bring the creek and its health to the community’s attention. He has motivated countless work parties spanning several decades.

The walk highlighted the origins of the creek near Puget Ridge Edible Park at 18th Ave. SW and Brandon Street to its undergrounding near the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center on West Marginal Way. Sponsored by the West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails group, the event highlighted efforts to maintain the health of the creek and its watershed. Joanna Florer talked about water quality monitoring of the creek.

Hikers came from as far away as Snoqualmie (the West Seattle Blog reaches far) for the event. The West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails group has resumed Saturday guided hikes in the greenbelt this summer. The next is Saturday, July 2, an exploration of tribal uses of native plants found in the greenbelt. Check wdgtrails.wordpress.com for more information.

CONTINUING SUNDAY: Seattle Chinese Garden Peony Festival

(WSB photos)

If you appreciate some color in this gray-sky spring, consider visiting the Seattle Chinese Garden as this year’s Peony Festival continues tomorrow. Today, the color wasn’t just from the flowers, but also from Lion Dancers who performed at noontime:

They were a hit, especially with young festivalgoers. Other performances are planned tomorrow, but you can also just go to admire the flowers:

Festival hours tomorrow are 10 am-4 pm. The garden is on the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus on Puget Ridge. The garden’s worth a visit even when there’s no special event happening – here’s its history.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Puget Ridge gunfire (updated)

11:03 PM: Police have reported finding evidence of at least one shot fired, after multiple reports of gunfire on Puget Ridge, near 16th and Graham [map]. No injuries reported, and officers are checking the area for property damage.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: From SPD’s preliminary summary report:

On 04-07-2022 at 22:45 hours, officers responded to the area of 16 AV SW/ SW Graham ST for a report of a male shooting a gun and yelling. Officers arrived and located a scene … at the top of a pedestrian staircase. The witness reported hearing a disturbance at the top of the stairs and looking out through her kitchen window seeing a heavy-set male yelling and pointing a handgun westbound from the stairs, firing a single shot. The witness reported hearing the shooter say something to the effect of “You’re not going to steal from me anymore”, and general yelling about not stealing on the block anymore. No property damage was located.

FOLLOWUP: SDOT cancels 16th/Austin reconfiguration plan

One mini-bulletin from tonight’s HPAC meeting, just wrapping up – SDOT has canceled the plan to reconfigure the 16th/Austin intersection. We reported on it three weeks ago after a reader tip. SDOT’s Sara Zora indicated at tonight’s meeting that they got a lot of feedback, and after their traffic-operations team re-examined the plan, they decided to shelve it. They’ll “continue to monitor” the intersection for collisions or other problems. (Our report on the rest of the HPAC meeting will be published tomorrow.)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Late-night gunfire

ORIGINAL THURSDAY NIGHT REPORT: A resident along 16th SW near SW Othello texted us to say they heard “gunshots … about 6 or 10 in a row, super loud” a short time ago. Police are in the area now and have just told dispatch that they’ve located a casing. No word of any injuries so far.

ADDED FRIDAY: SPD’s preliminary incident summary says no witnesses could be found, just “broken glass from a vehicle and evidence of a shooting were recovered from the street in the 7300 block of 16 Ave SW.”

LANE CHANGE: What’s planned on 16th SW near SW Holden

Maybe you’ve noticed the new, roughed-in lane markings on 16th SW near SW Austin and SW Holden [map]; Jimmy did, and emailed us about it:

We just drove south on 16th to go to the 1st Ave Bridge and when you drive up to 16th and Austin (intersection right before left turn to Holden) noticed some new lane markings in the southbound lanes. This divides up the road right before the light with the left side going straight and the right side right turn only. Previously everyone had been lane-splitting there anyway and used the right side for going straight as well, as to continue south on 16th, as the left-turn line onto Holden is almost always backed up. Additionally, on 16th just south of Austin there are white lane markings to indicate no one should be in the right side there.

We asked SDOT about it; here’s the explanation:

We do have a traffic improvement scheduled for that location. The layout marks were put down on Friday in advance of the permanent paint line striping.

The reason for this intersection project is to simplify the operations for SB traffic and address some complaints that we’ve received about drivers changing lanes just south of the 16th and Austin intersection. Southbound drivers trying to get around the tail end of the southbound left turn queue to Holden inadvertently change lanes. They change lanes without awareness that there is a second SB lane that they are cutting off.

No date set yet for the permanent restriping – it’s weather-dependent.

Restaurant remodel: South Seattle College overhauls café, and has more culinary improvements simmering for the future

(WSB photos)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Pandemic-related shutdowns had a bit of a silver lining for some businesses and institutions who were able to use the time to step back and reinvent.

Among them, the culinary program at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), which has remodeled and reopened its coffee-and-more Alki Café (no relation to the restaurant at the beach), and is cooking up plans for more changes and improvements.

Read More

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Why SSC was in shelter-in-place

11:17 AM: Thanks for the tips. South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) is currently under “shelter in place,” according to an internal alert. Police were dispatched, according to radio exchanges, to a report of a robbery – an employee said someone stole “an air-conditioning nozzle” and when told to stop, implied they had a gun, though none was seen. They then headed out northbound. Police are in the area searching right now. (added) They’ve just given this description to dispatch: Black man, average build, 20-30 years old, red top, capri-type pants, slippers.

11:45 AM: The shelter-in-place has been lifted. No word of an arrest.

12:25 PM: We asked SSC for more info; here’s what we received from college spokesperson Ty Swenson:

Shortly after 11 a.m. on 2/24 a member of the South Seattle College custodial team made contact with an individual in a campus building who appeared to be trying to steal a vacuum hose. The custodial employee asked for the item back at which time the suspect threatened the employee and claimed to have a firearm. A firearm was not brandished.

The individual then left the building toward the Arboretum on the north end of campus. Campus security was contacted, at which time the security team sent out a “shelter in place” emergency message (at 11:11 a.m.), called police for assistance and evacuated individuals from the north end of campus.

Police arrived around 11:17 a.m. and performed a thorough search of the Arboretum area and north end of campus. The suspect was not located and after college security and police conferred, a decision was made to lift the shelter in place order at 11:31 a.m.

ADDED FRIDAY: One update – another change in description of what was stolen: It turned out to be a thermostat.

WEST SEATTLE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Halloween holdover

Thanks to Ashley for tonight’s photos of a display featuring a Halloween spider (featured here in October) who’s now decked out for the winter holidays:

Garth the Spider has put away his pumpkins and is in full Christmas mode. The neighbors had started adding their own touches – aka Wayne the snail.

Garth, Wayne, and trimmings are at 7019 14th Ave SW [map]. If you have, or see, lights that you want to share with the community, email us at westseattleblog@gmail.com, with or without photos – thank you! Every display we feature is listed in our West Seattle Holiday Guide. You can browse the archives (past years, too) here.

THANKSGIVING: West Seattle Food Bank also distributing turkeys and groceries Saturday

(WSB photo, November 2020)

In addition to the already announced Eastridge Church turkey-and-groceries giveaway in The Junction on Saturday morning, the West Seattle Food Bank is also again offering free turkeys and other holiday food in a drive-through distribution at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) that day. WSFB development director Breanna Bushaw says the Saturday distribution is “open to any West Seattle family in need of Thanksgiving groceries.” Details:

Each family will receive a turkey and a box of produce, or turkey and thanksgiving box.

Drive Thru Distribution
South Seattle College, North Lot
6000 16th Ave SW

Saturday, November 20, 2021
10 am to 2 pm (or supplies run out)

Masks are required. Must remain in your car.
Maximum of 2 families per household. Each family must be present & show proof of address.

If families are not able to make it to our Saturday Thanksgiving distribution, our walk-up distribution at West Seattle Food Bank will have turkeys next week:

Monday: 10 am – 2 pm
Tuesday: 10 am – 2 pm
Wednesday: 10 am -4 pm

Thursday & Friday: CLOSED

The WSFB is headquartered on the southeast corner of 35th SW and SW Morgan. If you don’t need food but would like to donate, Bushaw says the food bank needs money most of all: “Monetary donations help us purchase fresh produce, meat and dairy products. Donations also go to fund our emergency financial assistance program to help neighbors stay in their homes and keep utilities on when they are going through a tough financial time.” (Here’s where to donate.)

BACK TO SCHOOL: Fall quarter begins at South Seattle College

September 27, 2021 7:49 pm
|    Comments Off on BACK TO SCHOOL: Fall quarter begins at South Seattle College
 |   Puget Ridge | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Today brought the start of fall quarter at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). The campus on Puget Ridge is still relatively quiet, though, because most classes this quarter are being held remotely, as explained in this overview on the college website. SSC spokesperson Ty Swenson tells WSB that “our professional-technical and apprenticeship programs continue to offer in-person instruction, and we slightly expanded in-person college transfer courses.” He adds, “We have increased on-campus/in-person student services, currently offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Virtual assistance continues to be offered as well, so students have a hybrid support model for fall.” SSC hopes to offer more in-person classes in the winter quarter and beyond.

About the early-morning police search in Highland Park, Puget Ridge

Logwatchers may have noticed a “scenes of violence” callout just before 3 am. Here’s the police summary of what that was about:

On 7-14-21 at about 0250 hours, an unknown male entered a business in the 1600 block of SW Holden St and requested the employee call 911 because he had accidentally shot himself. The subject then fled the business, got into his vehicle, and fled the area. Responding officers observed the vehicle leaving and followed it to the area of 17 Ave SW / SW Graham St, where the subject parked the vehicle and fled into the greenbelt area. An extensive area check was conducted, but the subject was not located. A handgun was observed inside the locked vehicle, which was impounded to the processing room.

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Ellie the entrepreneur

If you’re in the Puget Ridge vicinity this afternoon, Ellie is selling ice-cream cones at 5428 16th SW. Experts say it’s a good idea to teach kids entrepreneurial skills early, and Ellie’s proud family texted us, “5-year-old girlboss open for business!” Tillamook ice cream; gluten-free cones available, until 5 pm.

GRADUATION: Congratulations, South Seattle College Class of 2021!

On wheels and/or on foot, Class of 2021 graduates got to celebrate tonight at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. School faculty and photo-op stops lined the southwest corner of campus.

SSC President Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap and Seattle Colleges District leadership were there for the photos and cheering.

SSC called this the “Unstoppable Graduation Celebration,” in honor of the perseverance this year’s nearly 500 graduates showed in finishing their programs and earning a degree or certificate despite the many life changes brought on by the pandemic.

South Seattle College’s announcement noted 487 awards this year, including:

313 associate transfer degrees that enable graduates to transfer to four-year colleges and universities in Washington and beyond to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

61 career training associate of science degrees and certificates that prepare graduates to enter the workforce immediately.

72 high-school diplomas or equivalents, allowing graduates to take a significant step toward future education and employment opportunities.

41 bachelor of applied science degrees, taking graduates’ careers to the next level and increasing their earning potential.

The school estimates about 150 of its new grads joined in tonight’s celebration.

HELPING: West Seattle Garden Tour volunteers reunite to tend a renowned local garden

The report and photos are from West Seattle Garden Tour president Jeff Daley:

The West Seattle Garden Tour has missed not being able to hold our garden tour these past two years, which has kept us from being able to sponsor local beneficiaries. Today we were happy to once again come together as a group and support the local gardening community. This morning we helped tend the garden of one of our previous beneficiaries, the Seattle Chinese Garden.

Wishing everyone happy gardening, and we look forward to seeing you in 2022

The garden is open daily on the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus on Puget Ridge.

NEXT WEEKEND: South Seattle College Garden Center opens

Big news for gardeners – the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Garden Center will be open this season! First opening is next Saturday (May 8th), 10 am-3 pm. The Garden Center sells plants raised by SSC Landscape Horticulture students, including “unusual perennials, broadleaf and deciduous shrubs, some small trees, natives, and house plants.” This event is cash/checks only. The Garden Center is on the north end of the SSC campus, 6000 16th SW.

SATURDAY: Another West Seattle compost giveaway

April 14, 2021 7:49 pm
|    Comments Off on SATURDAY: Another West Seattle compost giveaway
 |   Environment | Gardening | Puget Ridge | West Seattle news

In case you didn’t see it in our coverage of last month’s HPAC meeting or on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – this Saturday morning (April 17th) brings another compost giveaway in the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). 9 am until it’s gone, bring your own shovel and container(s) for up to a half-yard of compost per household. Masks required.

DEVELOPMENT: Six-house Puget Ridge project gets land-use approval

From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin: A notice of land-use approval for a six-house project to be added on a site that currently holds one house on Puget Ridge, at 6550 21st SW [map]. You can read the decision here. The site is just over an acre. The city website says off-street parking is planned for 12 vehicles to go along with the six 2-story houses. The decision also notes that seven “exceptional” trees are on the site and that plans call for preserving all of them. The decision can be appealed – this notice explains how – with the deadline set at April 12th.

UPDATE: Big turnout for West Seattle dropoff recycling/shredding event

10:24 AM: If you’re headed for the recycling/shredding event in the north lot at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) – be patient! By 9:30 am, the vehicle line was backed up on northbound 16th SW past the campus’s south entrance and almost all the way to SW Holly. (If you’re just bringing something you can carry, you can park on 16th and walk in.) Once you’re in, here’s the setup:

Trucks are lined up from participants including Friendly Earth for electronics/small-appliance recycling:

Bring your Styrofoam, too, since Styro Recycle is there. And for paper, Sea-Dru-Nar is there for up to four boxes of shredding:

Volunteers are there to guide you in. The event organized by the West Seattle Junction Association and Chamber of Commerce is on until noon – 6000 16th SW, north entrance. Don’t forget your mask! If you have to head north to somewhere else on Puget Ridge this morning, we advise an alternate route. Southbound 16th, however, is not affected.

P.S. If you miss this event, as announced earlier this week, Fauntleroy Church is bringing back its twice-annual dropoff Recycle Roundup on April 25th (no shredding or Styrofoam, though) – details soon!

11:33 AM UPDATE: From volunteer Judy: “No longer taking light bulbs and electronics. Shredding, Styrofoam, batteries still accepted.”

2 chances to recycle what you can’t put out at the curb

Now there are TWO upcoming chances for dropoff electronics-and-more recycling in West Seattle:

(WSB photo, September 2020)

SATURDAY: We’ve told you about this one several times already – now it’s already here! The West Seattle Junction Association and Chamber of Commerce are presenting a spring recycle/reuse/shredding event 9 am-noon this Saturday (March 20th), different location this year – the north parking lot of South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). Drive up, ride up, walk up! This preview explains how it’ll work as well as what they will and won’t take. Masks required!

APRIL 25: Just announced, Fauntleroy Church is bringing back the Recycle Roundup – usually held in spring and fall, but last year both were skipped because of the pandemic. Details on what will and won’t be accepted are still in the works but the time/date is set – 10 am-3 pm Sunday, April 25, in the church parking lot (9140 California SW).

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2 stolen Hondas

March 8, 2021 5:24 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2 stolen Hondas
 |   Crime | Delridge | Puget Ridge | West Seattle news

Two stolen Hondas to watch for:

STOLEN CIVIC: Liza emailed the photo and report:

My car was stolen last night from our driveway on 21st Ave SW near the Juneau staircase. Please keep an eye out for it! Red Honda Civic Hatchback 1997. License plate # ABL0186.

STOLEN CR-V: Posted in the WSB Community Forums by Jgarcia, word of a stolen silver/gray ’98 Honda CR-V, taken near Delridge/Genesee, license plate # BPE9312. The post has details on interior and exterior decorations.

If you see either of these, or any other known stolen vehicles, call 911.