Sustainable West Seattle 122 results

Bad news for the Tox-Ick Monster = good news for Pathfinder

The photos from tonight’s Sustainable West Seattle-presented “Don’t Feed the Tox-Ick Monster” event at Pathfinder K-8 School are courtesy of Laura James – yes, undersea Laura! – who reports that the community rose to the challenge: Get at least 40 adults into the room, and the night’s prize (each of these presentations feature prizes) goes to a runoff-reducing cistern for Pathfinder’s Earth Project. Laura says the final count appeared to be more than 70! Maybe it was the free, donated Proletariat Pizza

If you haven’t yet learned the secrets of fighting the Tox-ick Monster, you have two more chances – November 12th, in Spanish, at St. James Annex in South Delridge, and November 19th at Alki UCC times, addresses, and more information here.

Fight the Tox-Ick Monster, enjoy free pizza, help a WS school

(This is what “Tox-Ick” looks like – diver Laura James‘ photo of a WS storm-drain plume)
You can do all three in the span of a single hour next Monday night at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point – here’s the official announcement from Sustainable West Seattle:

Help Pathfinder School win $1,000 toward a rainwater harvesting system for its Earth Project!

Sustainable West Seattle will be giving its “Don’t Feed the Tox-Ick Monster” presentation at Pathfinder K-8 Monday, Oct. 10 from 7-8 p.m. and is challenging Pathfinder to bring a crowd.

The challenge: If 40 or more adults show up to learn about protecting Puget Sound, then Sustainable West Seattle will donate $1,000 toward the school’s Earth Project. To help encourage turnout even further, free pizza will be provided. Pathfinder is located at 1901 SW Genesee St.

Read More

Video: What comes down, must go out – into Puget Sound, off Alki

The latest video from diver/videographer Laura James just came in overnight – with another vivid reminder that what comes down, must go out, into the waters around us: She’s continuing to chronicle outfalls off West Seattle shores, and discovered rain runoff right off central Alki Beach, parallel with 55th/56th SW. The pipe in her video, Laura says, is in water that’s only about 20 feet deep at high tide. (Photos here.) And as you will see at the end of her clip, it’s yet another reason to take the time to learn how not to feed the Tox-Ick Monster. Been to one of Sustainable West Seattle‘s presentations yet? If not, next one’ s less than two weeks away, with prizes again awaiting those in attendance – 7 pm Monday, October 10, at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point.

Video: Rethinking the economy @ Sustainable West Seattle forum

The economy and its troubles affect us all. Will it get fixed? Or should it be radically reinvented? Two hours of wide-ranging discussion comprised last night’s Sustainable West Seattle community forum, titled “Sustainable Alternatives to Growth Economics,” and in case you weren’t able to go, we got it all on video. (That’s SWS’s past president Bill Reiswig with the introduction, as the video begins. Background info is here.)

P.S. Next up for SWS, another round of teaching you to tackle Tox-Ick, this Saturday, with prizes! Details here.

Video: Vivid reasons to learn – today! – how to fight Tox-Ick

Local diver Laura James is documenting what we’ve been warned about but can’t see … what’s pouring into Puget Sound, beneath the surface, carrying debris and toxicity from what’s on the surface, ashore. The video above was shot near Alki, part of Laura’s project to document all the runoff-carrying pipelines around West Seattle. She shares the video just as Sustainable West Seattle is kicking off its campaign against the Tox-Ick Monster, starting with a presentation – with prizes! – today, 2 pm, West Seattle Christian Church in The Junction (southeast corner of 42nd/Genesee). And if you’re still not convinced it’s a battle you need to join, here’s a different look at Laura’s work – part of an upcoming documentary with a broader look at threats to Puget Sound:

P.S. If you just can’t get to today’s presentation about fighting Tox-Ick … you have other chances this fall, all listed here.

Win prizes, save Puget Sound: Help Sustainable West Seattle take down the Tox-Ick Monster!

Look out at the blue water of Puget Sound today. Think about what you don’t see … the poisonous pollution that threatens the lives that depend on it (including ours). There are easy ways you can help, and Sustainable West Seattle is going to spend the fall showing you how not to feed the Tox-Ick Monster! Here’s their announcement, with a list of presentations you can attend – not just to listen and learn, but also to win prizes:

Sustainable West Seattle is taking on a monster of a problem in Puget Sound with a new campaign that empowers citizens to curb toxic runoff.

The group is hosting a series of free educational events, September – November. Audience members will be eligible to win up to $1,000 in prizes like water cisterns, landscape consulting, car-wash gift certificates, oil changes, bus passes, and more.

Toxic runoff comes from many everyday sources, including soap, paint, fertilizers and herbicides, and even dog poop. According to the Department of Ecology, toxic runoff is the No. 1 threat to the health of Puget Sound. Each year, 14 million pounds of pollutants wash from our streets and driveways directly into our rivers and streams, and ultimately into the Sound.

“Most people I talk to think that polluted runoff from our streets and driveways go to facilities to remove contamination,” said Cate White, leader of Sustainable West Seattle’s toxic runoff outreach group. “However, that isn’t true. Most runoff is not treated. Our campaign helps people understand how they can reduce that flow of toxic runoff.”

Keep watch for the ominous Tox-Ick: A Monster of a Problem for Puget Sound posters in your community. “The Tox-Ick Monster is the group’s emblematic metaphor for what toxic runoff is doing to our communities, which is robbing us of our salmon, our orcas, our shellfish economy, and our health,” said Corbet Curfman, designer of the character. The posters will alert the public to the next educational event and opportunity to win pollution-prevention prizes.

Events will be:
Sunday, Sept. 11. 2 pm, West Seattle Christian Church, 4400 42nd SW ($1,000 prizes)
Saturday, Sept. 24, 10 am, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW ($1,000 prizes)
Monday, Oct. 10, 7 pm, Pathfinder Elementary School, 1901 SW Genesee ($1,000 prizes)
Saturday, Oct. 22, 1 pm, Roxhill Elementary School, 9430 30th Ave SW ($1,000 prizes)
Saturday, Nov. 12, 2:30 pm, SPANISH PRESENTATION, White Center Community Cultural Center (aka St. James Annex), 9421 18th SW ($500 in prizes)
Saturday, Nov. 19, 4 pm, Alki United Church of Christ, 6115 SW Hinds ($500 in prizes)

In addition to the community outreach meetings, a new Web site is (up) at as well as new Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Sustainable West Seattle picnics, honors ‘Sustainability Hero’

Golden pre-sunset light filled the LIncoln Park shelter where Sustainable West Seattle members and friends gathered for the group’s summer picnic tonight. They ate and talked and relaxed – and stopped for a few minutes to honor a hero:

With SWS’s Patrick Dunn (left), that’s South Seattle Community College‘s Michael Ryan (right), the college’s Dean of Culinary, Pastry, Wine, and Landscape/Horticulture, among other things. “All the good stuff,” he smiled. “My worst day at work is better than most people’s best day!” As SWS announced last week, Ryan was chosen the group’s 2011 “Sustainability Hero,” for championing so many sustainability-related projects, including the West Seattle Tool Library and Community Orchard of West Seattle. (Added: Video of his acceptance, and Dunn’s introduction:)

After speeches and applause, it was back to celebrating a perfect summer night, and even enjoying Puget Sound:

That’s Greg Whittaker from Alki Kayak Tours and Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor), who brought paddlecraft for picnickers to try out. (Tomorrow night, by the way, is the big event his businesses are co-sponsoring with Alki Crab and Fish at Seacrest – a standup-paddleboarding movie’s local premiere following the Tuesday night SUP races; details here.) Meantime, watch Sustainable West Seattle’s website for details soon on their September program; the third Monday of the month is their usual night for community forums/gatherings.

In The Junction now: Team Tracy; Sustainable West Seattle

August 14, 2011 12:12 pm
|    Comments Off on In The Junction now: Team Tracy; Sustainable West Seattle
 |   How to help | Sustainable West Seattle | West Seattle news

Two reasons to get to The Junction if you’re not there already:

Outside and inside West 5 till 4 pm, it’s “Brunch for Boobies” fundraiser day for the 3-Day for the Cure walkers who comprise Team Tracy – including namesake Tracy Dart, fourth from left. These women are so busy raising money (and awareness!) before the big event, tirelessly, you might wonder if the inspirational-and-intense walk itself (September 16-18) will feel in comparison a tiny bit like a stroll in the park. Anyway, if you can’t make it to West 5 today, you can donate here.

If you’re not up for three days on your feet, but maybe a little more foot-powered exploring around West Seattle, go to the WS Farmers’ Market before 2 pm:

That’s Chas Redmond at the Sustainable West Seattle booth, where you can get the new West Seattle Walking Trails map.

(Side note: Make your walks, bike rides, bus trips, etc., count even more by signing up for West Seattle In Motion!)

Congrats to SSCC’s Dean Michael Ryan, ‘Sustainability Hero’

Second from left in the back row, photographed at South Seattle Community College‘s 2010 “Earth Day Every Day” event, is SSCC’s Dean Michael Ryan – who’s just been announced as Sustainable West Seattle‘s 2011 “Sustainability Hero.” SWS’s Patrick Dunn says Dean Ryan will be officially honored at the group’s annual community picnic next Monday at Lincoln Park, and you’re invited – full details here. Click ahead to read the details of Dean Ryan’s achievements and why SWS chose to honor him with this award:

Sustainable West Seattle enthusiastically recognizes Michael Ryan, Dean of Hospitality and Service Occupations at South Seattle Community College, as its 2011 Sustainable Hero of the Year. During his tenure with South, Michael Ryan has passionately pursued sustainability through the consistent development of programs and innovations, many of which would have been nearly impossible without his leadership and guidance.

Most notably, Dean Ryan was an essential supporter in the creation of successful programs such as SSCC’s Students for Sustainability, The West Seattle Tool Library, and The Community Orchard of West Seattle. All of these programs were able to find a home at South due to Dean Ryan’s commitment and passion not only for the environment but also for community building and sustainable innovations in the community college system.

In his work with the Culinary Arts Program at South, Dean Ryan helped to introduce sustainable practices into every aspect of their food service curriculum. Among other sustainable achievements, the program now composts their food waste and recycles paper, plastic, and canned goods. It also works with a local company to process its waste oil into biodiesel.

In light of all of these successful achievements and his commitment to carry on these pursuits, Sustainable West Seattle feels fortunate to be associated with the work of Dean Ryan. We’re proud to have him as a part of West Seattle’s sustainable community and we hope that sustainability at South Seattle Community College continues to thrive through his leadership and advocacy.

Dean Ryan will receive The Sustainable Hero Award during Sustainable West Seattle’s Annual Community Picnic at Lincoln Park on Monday, August 15th, 7-9 pm.

Reducing runoff pollution: Sustainable West Seattle’s new grant

(WSB photo from Day 2 of West Seattle Summer Fest, 7/9/11)
A month ago at West Seattle Summer Fest, we took that photo of Sustainable West Seattle‘s Cate White talking about ways to reduce toxic runoff – a top pollution problem in Puget Sound. Tonight, SWS has announced a grant that will help them educate even more community members about how to reduce the problem. Here’s the full text of their announcement:

Sustainable West Seattle has been awarded a $20,000 grant from The Russell Family Foundation to help community members restore Puget Sound.

The group will be building an in-depth community outreach program aimed at helping educate local citizens about the sources of toxic runoff in the West Seattle area. Toxic runoff from sealed surfaces such as paved streets, sidewalks and rooftops is the number one source of toxins entering Puget Sound each year. Pollutants include motor oil, pesticides, fertilizers, grease, paint, heavy metals and dog poop. This toxic mix threatens human health, the economic vitality of the region, and the survivability of the Sound’s most emblematic species: salmon and orcas.

The grant from The Russell Family Foundation will enable Sustainable West Seattle’s volunteers to teach hundreds of our neighbors about simple actions they can take to reverse the damage to Puget Sound and restore it to health.

“We think once the public becomes more aware of how much toxic runoff enters our local waters each year, they will be motivated to take very simple steps to help reverse this damage,” said Cate White, Sustainable West Seattle Board Member and leader of the toxic runoff grassroots team.

Sustainable West Seattle will be scheduling presentations at several West Seattle Community Centers. At each presentation $1,000 in prizes will be raffled to audience members who pledge to personal actions to reduce polluted runoff. Prizes will include water cisterns, organic compost, native plants, car wash certificates, bus passes, and more!

If you are interested in having Sustainable West Seattle visit your church, synagogue, or other community center, please contact Events will be scheduled for late summer through the autumn.

More fame for West Seattle Tool Library (Garden Tour beneficiary!)

July 17, 2011 10:53 am
|    Comments Off on More fame for West Seattle Tool Library (Garden Tour beneficiary!)
 |   Sustainable West Seattle | West Seattle news

(Photos by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
One of the eight local nonprofits benefiting from today’s West Seattle Garden Tour (on till 5 pm, not too late to get tickets!) is the West Seattle Tool Library at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). WSB contributor Ellen Cedergreen visited last Thursday night and found out from the Tool Library’s Micah Summers (above) that they’re featured in Popular Mechanics as among the “top 10 ways to help the earth.” The Tool Library has added a weekly 6-9 pm opening on Thursday nights (with special guests on second Thursdays, to offer advice to do-it-yourself’ers) as well as every Saturday and Sunday – more ahead:Read More

Video: Talking about tourism @ Sustainable West Seattle forum

(2009 aerial by Long Bach Nguyen; click to see a larger version)
Is it better that our spectacular green-surrounded-by-blue peninsula remain a well-kept secret (to most), or is it time to reach out to the outside world and actively invite “sustainable tourism” to West Seattle? That was at the heart of a lively discussion during Sustainable West Seattle‘s community forum last night. You can see and hear what happened in our hourlong unedited video recording – click the image to go to the video clip:

If you don’t have time to watch (or listen, with it playing in the background) click ahead for the toplines: Read More

Sustainable tourism for West Seattle: Come discuss it tomorrow

We have the scenery. We have the activities. We’re even about to have lodging. Is “sustainable tourism” another way to boost West Seattle’s economy? (And what constitutes “sustainable tourism,” anyway?) That topic’s on the table for tomorrow night’s Sustainable West Seattle community forum, and you are invited both to come hear about the idea and to share your thoughts. Guests include Greg Whittaker of Alki Kayak Tours and Mountain to Sound Outfitters, Patti Mullen of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and Heidi Siegelbaum and Steve Gersman of Calyx Sustainable Tourism – tomorrow, 7 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon)

New at the West Seattle Tool Library: Fixers’ Collective!

(Fixers’ Collective founder Greg Kono taking a break from the clock-radio challenge)
Story and photos by Christy True
Special to West Seattle Blog

The first meeting of the West Seattle Fixers’ Collective was lightly attended but productive, as members tried to bring a broken clock radio and an espresso maker back to life.

The collective plans to meet Thursday nights (but not weekly) at the West Seattle Tool Library workshop at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. It’s a new venture for people interested in prolonging the life of the things they own, learning how things work, saving a few resources, or who just love to tinker. It is modeled on a Fixers’ Collective in Brooklyn, New York.

The small crew that gathered Thursday night dissembled a clock radio that would
no longer turn on after it was dropped on the floor.

Read More

West Seattle Tool Library: Ask-An-Expert move; 1st-anniversary invite

June 10, 2011 12:55 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Tool Library: Ask-An-Expert move; 1st-anniversary invite
 |   Sustainable West Seattle | West Seattle news

News x 2 from the West Seattle Tool Library at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center:

On Thursday night, while making the rounds for West Seattle Art Walk, we checked out the new day/time for Ask-An-Expert coaching at the Tool Library – second Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 pm, to coincide with WSAW nights. On hand during our visit were (photo from left) Solar Epiphany‘s Eric Thomas, Mighty House Construction‘s Laura Elfline, visiting Realtor Alice Kuder (of Savvy Seattle Women fame), Mighty House’s Doug Elfline, and Tool Library boss Patrick Dunn. Ask-An-Expert is an informal drop-in arrangement, free, so watch for the next one on Thursday, July 14.

Before then – this Saturday, in fact – you are invited to help the Tool Library celebrate its first anniversary. Here’s the official announcement:

From a few donated tools in a storage closet at SSCC to a new dedicated space at Youngstown complete with a full tool storage area and a 500 square foot community woodworking shop, the Tool Library has come a long way in a short time with the help of dedicated volunteers. More than 230 members have signed up to use the collection of more than 1,000 tools, most donated by the community.

Tool Library First Anniversary schedule:

10:00 am: Community Welcome with Coffee & Pastries
10:30-11:30 am: Beyond the Basics: Power Tool Tips and Safety ( link)
11:30 am-12:30 pm: One-on-One Large Shop Tool Instruction (For Class Attendees)
1:00 pm-4:00 pm: Fixers’ Collective, Inaugural Meeting ( link)

In celebration of its one-year anniversary, the Tool Library has special offers on the use of the new community woodworking shop.

Click ahead for details on those offers:Read More

Green notes: West Seattle Autoworks oil; Sustainable WS runoff

RECYCLED OIL AT WEST SEATTLE AUTOWORKS: This option has gotten to be so popular at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor; 35th/Webster) that they’re now making it their “primary service choice,” adding: “Along with making it our primary oil, we will be giving customers a $10 rebate form to be used on their next service! This will help us to further reduce our dependence on imported oil and ‘close the loop’ in the recycling circle.” If you’re wondering how motor-oil recycling works: “The oil is re-refined down to a clear, clean base stock from used motor oil and blended with a synthetic base and an additive package – making it compliant with all current API standards. Recently, Valvoline announced it will also be offering a re-refined blend soon so we are excited to be ahead of the curve and bringing this opportunity to our customers!” You can reach WSAW at 206-257-5344; online at

FIND OUT TONIGHT ABOUT PROTECTING THE SOUND: Here’s another way you can take action to protect our environment – keeping toxic runoff out of Puget Sound is the subject of Sustainable West Seattle‘s next community forum, tonight. It’s not just a presentation about a problem; they’re promising information on how you can take everyday action to be the solution. 7 pm, Camp Long Lodgemore details here.

Video: West Seattle Tool Library’s new location officially open

West Seattle Tool Library director Patrick Dunn welcomed the well-wishers and manager Micah Summers wielded the scissors as the Tool Library’s new location officially opened for business – as in, borrowing – this morning. The Tool Library moved from one “ridge” to another – from its original location at South Seattle Community College on Puget Ridge, to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Delridge. One major feature of the new space – an area for workshops and tool-use lessons:

This morning, that space was home to a regular Tool Library feature, a Saturday morning “Ask The Expert” session with local sustainability specialists. And a cheery whiteboard in the new space lays out the rules for Tool Library users old and new:

The Tool Library will celebrate its first anniversary this June. And they’re still accepting donations – as we mentioned earlier today, if you see this before 3 pm and take one to the Sustainable West Seattle tent at the West Seattle Nursery open house, you get $5 off a WSN purchase. Regular hours at the Tool Library remain 9 am-2 pm Saturdays, 1-5 pm Sundays (so if you haven’t been to the new location yet, you can check it out tomorrow!).

Tool Library grand reopening tomorrow: ‘Great Tool Migration’ done

April 8, 2011 4:27 pm
|    Comments Off on Tool Library grand reopening tomorrow: ‘Great Tool Migration’ done
 |   Sustainable West Seattle | West Seattle news

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week, we showed you the scenes at the West Seattle Tool Library locations old and new, as the old location at South Seattle Community College closed for good Sunday afternoon, while the new one at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center was readied for its grand opening tomorrow. This afternoon, the Tool Library’s director is sharing a report and photos of what they had dubbed “The Great Tool Migration”!

(This photo by Patrick Sand for WSB, showing the exterior of the new Tool Library space, taken last Sunday; other photos courtesy Patrick Dunn)
By Patrick Dunn, West Seattle Tool Library director
Special to West Seattle Blog

The Great Tool Migration of 2011 has officially and thankfully been completed. Through the kind help of a number of West Seattle Tool Library volunteers and their trucks, our entire community tool collection is now down at our new location at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

Though it was certainly a tough job, moving a collection like that with a bunch of environmentally-minded folks has its advantages. Due to a biodiesel truck in our fleet, our convoy smelled a lot like french fries the whole day. That always helps to take the edge off.

After the Migration (and a greasy lunch), the crew spent most of the evening just staring at the collection, trying to make it smaller so that we could put it all away in time for our Grand Re-Opening. We have no idea how we crammed so many tools into the Tool Library’s previous storage closet up at SSCC.

At least at our new space, we won’t need advanced math and engineering degrees to find room for everything. The new home at Youngstown actually quadruples our square footage. While we have one section set up for tool storage, which will effectively serve as The Tool Library, we’ll also have a separate, 500 square foot room dedicated to serve as a community workshop and makerspace.

The Tool Library’s Grand Re-Opening will take place tomorrow (Saturday) from 9 am-2 pm. By then, we’ll not only have all the tools organized for proper viewing and rental, but we’ll also have the workshop opened up for tours.

In addition to seeing the space itself, those visiting our Grand Re-Opening can also take part in our monthly Ask an Expert series from 10 am to Noon. The series serves as a meetup for DIYers, tinkerers, and really anyone who’s taking on a project or even just thinking about taking one on. Into that motley crew, we throw a bunch of local experts on topics such as solar power, green building and architecture, and urban gardening to help our visitors with the finer details of their plans.

To top it off, The Grand Re-Opening will also host a demonstration by a local engineer who has turned a pressure washer and a few spare parts in to a computerized tile milling machine.

So whatever draws folks out, The Tool Library would love to see everyone on Saturday. The official opening ceremony will take place at 11 am. As always, coffee and pastries will be provided.

Sustainable West Seattle: Tool Library move; GreenLife applications

Two big things this week for and from Sustainable West Seattle: First, it’s moving week for the WS Tool Library:

It wasn’t even remotely as emotional a closure as another one in West Seattle a few hours earlier, but the original location of the WS Tool Library shut down at 5 pm Sunday. Right before 5, we found Micah (photo right) in the old location at South Seattle Community College; a few minutes later, we found Patrick (photo left) in the new one at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. The “tool migration” happens later this week, but in the meantime, Patrick and others are still putting finishing touches on the new space – the room where we photographed him will host workshops and training in tool use (so you can not only borrow tools, you can learn how to use them), while the storage area will be right next door; this is on the northeast side of Youngstown. For full details on the move, and next Saturday’s 9 am grand opening, check out the official news release here.

GREENLIFE AT WEST SEATTLE SUMMER FEST – APPLY NOW! SWS is also now taking applications for exhibitors at its GreenLife expo that will be part of West Seattle Summer Fest again this year, co-hosted by West Seattle Nursery. SWS says this will be its one and only “annual sustainability festival” for this year. Full details are on the SWS website as well as the application form. Summer Fest (with co-sponsors including WSB) is set this year for July 8, 9, and 10 in The Junction.

Seafood on screen, sushi star onstage, for Sustainable West Seattle

March 22, 2011 7:41 am
|    Comments Off on Seafood on screen, sushi star onstage, for Sustainable West Seattle
 |   Admiral Theater | Environment | How to help | Sustainable West Seattle | West Seattle news

The overfishing crisis was on the menu, and the marquee, for Sustainable West Seattle last night, launching their new periodic film series. The cautionary film based on the book “The End of the Line was on screen, and then sustainable-seafood star Chef Hajime Sato, proprietor of Mashiko in The Junction, was onstage. If you don’t want to eat endangered fish, he pointed out, bluefin tuna is far from the only thing to avoid:

This summer will mark two years since he gained fame for not just advocating “sustainable sushi” but dedicating his acclaimed restaurant to it. But, he said, “I’m not telling you to stop eating everything; if we protect certain species, they are coming back.” Another video clip after the jump:Read More

Sustainable West Seattle: Worms today, fish tomorrow …

Every other Sunday, you’ll find Sustainable West Seattle at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market – always with a different demonstration, something sustainable you can work into your life if you’re not doing it already. Today, it was worm composting – worms and all, as well as an example of six-months-in-the-making compost. (Here’s composting how-to’s from Seattle Tilth.) Tomorrow night, SWS hopes to see you at the Admiral Theater for an evening focusing on sustainable fishing – including a talk with Mashiko proprietor Hajime Sato, and a screening of the film “The End of the Line“:

For more details about the evening ($5 suggested donation), here’s an update on the Sustainable WS website. At the booth today, we also talked with SWS’s Patrick Dunn, Christina Hahs and Chas Redmond about the upcoming West Seattle Tool Library move. Before they get to the April 9th grand reopening in the new location at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, April 3rd will be the last day at the old location, followed by the tool “migration.”

Sustainable West Seattle explores where transportation’s going

Timing was perfect for Sustainable West Seattle‘s transportation-focused community forum last night – this is another pivotal time for our region, trying to envision the future through a cloud of present-day problems, like budget cuts that threaten transit even as more people try to move away from cars.

The main room at the Senior Center of West Seattle held a sizable crowd for the forum – but in case you weren’t there, we recorded the entire forum on video, two hours broken into three pieces of about 40 minutes each, all included in this story. Top clip has SWS’s Brian Allen introducing the event before introductory remarks from each panelist: West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, moderated the forum and answered questions, as did panelists Chris Arkills, the transportation expert on King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s team; Martin Duke from Seattle Transit Blog, Brice Maryman from SvR Design, and Peter Hahn, director of SDOT. (As you’ll hear Rasmussen joke, Hahn would’ve been excused if he had been fidgety, with his department having triggered its Snow/Ice Plan.) For the second 40 minutes, the panelists quizzed each other a while, then moved on to answering audience questions:

The clash of economic reality and transportation needs was a recurring theme – Arkills, for example, had dire warnings of looming Metro cuts, if “a sustainable funding base” is not found. And then there were those who just wanted help cutting through the thicket of information to find out what’s really happening with major projects right now:

You’ll have more opportunities ahead to speak out about transportation in our area – for example, as King County’s Arkills reminded attendees, Metro will start a new process this fall of opening the entirety of West Seattle’s bus-route network for discussion – looking ahead to the RapidRide era that’ll start in fall 2012, do other changes need to be made to serve the peninsula better? As for the city, Mayor McGinn mentions a West Seattle light-rail line now and then – will that turn up on the ballot sooner rather than later? And watch the City Council – SDOT’s Hahn said part of the Transit Master Plan will go to Rasmussen’s committee this Friday (watch here for that agenda). Also watch the community-association meeting announcements we feature here, since agencies like WSDOT, SDOT and Metro often make the rounds of those meetings with presentations on current and future topics.

(P.S. We don’t know yet how soon they’ll turn it around, but Seattle Channel was on hand recording last night’s forum on video, too.)

Sustainable West Seattle: Tool Library move; transportation talk

Two news items from Sustainable West Seattle tonight:

(Tool Library @ SSCC last Saturday, photo courtesy Heather P. Brincko)
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY MOVE: We just heard this mentioned at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting (toplines to come), and SWS’s e-mail update says it’s official – the West Seattle Tool Library is moving from South Seattle Community College to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. SWS says the move will happen in April: “The new location will quadruple our space and provide both a larger storage room for the tools and also a great community workshop space.” They need lots of community volunteer power, too – if you can help.

HIGH-POWERED PANEL FOR TRANSPORTATION FORUM: Roads, buses, bicycles … Transportation topics are perennial hot potatoes on the peninsula, with our unique challenges. Want to hear directly from the movers and shakers? Put your question/concern to them in person? Here’s your next chance. Sustainable West Seattle‘s next Community Forum, coming up next week, has a high-powered panel, just announced: City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (who chairs the Transportation Committee) will facilitate; also from the city, SDOT director Peter Hahn; from the county, King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s transportation specialist, Chris Arkills; from the transit-planner perspective, Brice Maryman of SvR Design; and from the transit user perspective, Martin Duke from Seattle Transit Blog. The forum’s at 7 pm Tuesday, February 22nd, at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon in The Junction). Full details here.