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Coyotes spotted in west Gatewood

Just out of the inbox, from Teresa P:

Just wanted to everyone know, the West Seattle coyotes are back!

I live at the end of 44th Ave SW @ Portland and had two young adults on my property Saturday morning. They awoke me by their “talking” to each other which at times can sound very disturbing, almost scary at times. However, it is simply the way they communicate with each other. But in the middle of the night it can sound horrendous!!

Coyotes will usually return to their mating den every winter, however they did not come back last winter. I can’t say I was sad because by that spring, not only did we have two adults, we had three pups playing at the lower portion of my property. As amazing as they are to watch, it is important to remember they are wild and are not to be treated lightly. I have not had any issue with them getting into garbage or coming up to the house, however, my cat is no longer allowed any outside time after sunset or early in the morning. During the day, only when supervised.

There is sometimes a misconception that coyotes will not approach domestic animals or even humans but that is simply not true. If they are hungry and see something they think they can catch or take from your yard, they will.

So be safe!

Here’s a map of the intersection Teresa mentions. Meantime — we have written about West Seattle coyote sightings like these before, and our caveat is, don’t panic – we need to co-exist with these guys (as this excellent Humane Society page notes) – but do be forewarned, as Teresa writes, you need to keep your pets indoors. A good idea in any case, given there are even more serious threats (cars, for example).

Blustery Monday on the way, including a High Wind Watch

November 11, 2007 4:32 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle video | West Seattle weather

Think the wind’s been a little wild the last 12 hours or so? Forecast says tomorrow will be even windier — with a high-wind watch now up, and talk of possible gusts to 60 mph in late morning — though here’s hoping the sustained winds will not be October 18-like. (By the way, while the mental image of a blown-into-the-street garbage-can lid is flying by, it’s a good time to note that recycling/trash/yard waste picks up as usual tomorrow even though it’s a government/bank/parking holiday tomorrow.) 5:55 PM ADDENDUM: For those who didn’t make it down to the water today, here’s a little video from the waterfront stairs on the north end of Schmitz Viewpoint along Beach Drive — nothing spectacular but you can hear the wind and see some spray:

Jingle boats: Christmas Ship Festival’s West Seattle stops

In the past few days, two of the bloggers on the Other Blogs in WS page, Rhonda and Alice, christmasShipStanSayres2.jpghave mentioned the schedule for one of our favorite holiday highlights, the Argosy Christmas Ship Festival. Its West Seattle stops have been listed on our Events page (along with many other WS holiday happenings; please let us know if yours is missing!) for a few weeks now, but in case you hadn’t looked that far down, here are your choices:

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8: With Northwest Girlchoir Vivace on board, the Christmas Ship and its accompanying vessels will be at Seacrest 5:15-5:35 pm; with Canterbury Belles on board, it will visit Lowman Beach 8:50-9:10 pm, then sail along Beach Drive and around the point for an Alki stop 9:40-10 pm.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9: With Soundwave on board, a Don Armeni stop is planned 7:10-7:30 pm.

If you haven’t gone out to see the Christmas Ship before, the sounds and sights are always splendid: the brightly lit boat pulls close enough to shore for the choir on board to serenade landlubbers with holiday songs. (Here’s a Seattle Channel video from the 2005 season, featuring a West Seattleite — the announcer shown early on in this ’05 video, Dano Beal, is a teacher at Lafayette Elementary.) All the West Seattle stops are planning bonfires again this year as well (the flames roaring up from a burning pile of pallets are sometimes a more dramatic sight than the Christmas Ship itself!).

Developing deeply

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If you are going to The Junction for the Farmers’ Market (or anything else) today and have time to stroll a block east — check out how massive the excavation for the Capelouto megaproject (announced as Office Depot/QFC/apartments) has become (above photo was taken looking through the fence from the west side, along 42nd). Downtown, big digs like this are old hat, but in West Seattle, not so much.

Weekly update: What’s hot at West Seattle Farmers’ Market

November 10, 2007 10:55 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle Farmers' Market | West Seattle news

The Farmers’ Market folks didn’t send the usual big long list this week – just this short list of what’s “new and notable” at tomorrow’s WSFM (10 am-2 pm) in The Junction:

Italian Broccoli
Celery
Jerusalem Artichokes
Radicchio
Dozens of winter squashes
Brussels Sprouts
Fresh Chicken, Duck, Lamb and Goat

Also remember handmade holiday ornaments to benefit the West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival (see and read about them here) — $25 each, cash/check only, at the West Seattle Kiwanis booth at the market’s northeast corner.

Saturday in the park (and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday …)

November 10, 2007 7:33 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

The city Parks Department is out with its full list of upcoming public meetings as part of the department’s creation of a Strategic Business Plan — and no fewer than half a dozen of those meetings will happen here in West Seattle, over the course of eight days starting November 28th. According to the Parks Department webpage about the plan and the meetings, they want to hear your answers to these questionst:

-In what areas does Parks and Recreation do well?
-In what areas does Parks need to improve?
-What are the key policy issues Parks will face in the next five years?
-What are the emerging trends that will drive how Parks does business over the next five years?

That same page has times and locations for all meetings citywide, including the ones in West Seattle: Southwest Community Center on 11/28, High Point Community Center on 11/29, Delridge Community Center on 12/1 (the only weekend meeting in WS), Hiawatha Community Center on 12/4, Camp Long and Alki Community Center on 12/5. (We’ve added them all to the WSB Events page, for handy later reference.) For those who can’t make it to any of those meetings, the Parks Department is promising an online survey will be available soon (doesn’t appear to be up yet but we’ll let you know when it is). After these meetings, the Parks Department will come up with a draft plan, take it around to another series of meetings, and finally submit the end result to the City Council in mid-March.

City Council coming to West Seattle to talk about safety

November 9, 2007 9:07 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

It’s one of the hottest topics we’ve discussed here in the past few weeks, and it’s bringing the entire City Council here next Tuesday. While covering Council President Nick Licata‘s High Point visit last night (here’s our report, including video of Licata stopping a child from crossing 35th before the light changed), pedsign.jpgwe heard council members were coming to Sanislo Elementary; now the official city announcement is out, and it explains that they will gather Tuesday morning at Delridge/Myrtle, along the walking route to Sanislo (a few blocks away), to “hold a press conference about their proposed Strategic Pedestrian Safety Initiative for the 2008 City Budget.” Notably, this will be happening just one day before the first anniversary of a West Seattle pedestrian death that shook the council as well as the rest of the city — the 47th/Admiral accident on 11/14/06 that killed Councilmember David Della‘s chief of staff, Tatsuo Nakata.

Friday afternoon notes

-Two store openings in The Junction today: Craze Clothing in the ex-mortgage space @ the NW corner of California/Oregon (thanks to Keith for the sighting!); Starbucks in the ex-Infinity Espresso space at Jefferson Square.

-Congratulations to a Junction business on its 20th anniversary! Square 1 Books is celebrating with a 20th-anniversary sale through tomorrow.

-Orca fans, be on the lookout again today – We just signed up for the Orca Network e-mail notification list about local sightings (you can sign up here), and not only is there a new photo of the baby orca we mentioned this morning (not linked on the web yet but we’ll put the link here when it is), there’s also word of orca sightings today around Three Tree Point south of West Seattle, and off Maury Island.

-The pirate radio station we mentioned last night seems to be up and playing its promised “warmup music” prior to the FCC media ownership audiocast starting around 4 pm. We heard it (calling itself “Radio 33”) at 93.7 FM.

More on the King County Ferry District plan

The full set of documents about what is being proposed for watertaxisailiconsize.jpgKing County Ferry District operations, including service levels and a tax levy, is now available. Some discussion erupted overnight in the comments on our Thursday afternoon post, including a detailed response from Chris Arkills on KC Councilmember Dow Constantine‘s staff. Here is everything available that you can read about the new Ferry District plan now — the “briefing paper” is the biggie:

Overview “transmittal letter” from King County Executive
32-page briefing paper on the full scope of the county’s passenger-ferry proposals
Proposed sailing schedule for next year’s Water Taxi (and Vashon-Seattle foot ferry)

The King County Ferry District board (KC Council) vote on this is now set for 9 am next Tuesday; if you have comments on the specifics, the online testimony link is still up.

Welcome to two more WSB sponsors

We started the week by welcoming the first-ever WSB advertiser, Hotwire Coffee in The Junction (read our explanation of “why ads?”), and we’re concluding it by welcoming two more — gjslogo1.jpgGarlic Jim’s Pizza in The Junction and West Seattle-based Prudential NW Realtor Bill Barna. Like Hotwire’s proprietor Lora Vickrey, Garlic Jim’s proprietor Ryan Reese and Realtor Bill B are both very involved in the community — when we put out a call a few weeks ago for WSB-land to help the West Seattle Food Bank this holiday season, Ryan came up with a plan for delivery drivers to collect donations at customers’ doors. billbarnaphoto.jpgBill’s extensive community involvement includes Friends of Ercolini Park, which within months will finally be able to throw one heck of a bash on the corner of land that’s becoming a park west of The Junction thanks in no small part to his efforts and those of everybody else in FoEP, plus other community members who donated time and money. We thank these West Seattle businessfolks for their support of 24/7/365 West Seattle news, information, and discussion here at WSB, as well as the others with whom our WSB Sales Guy is working; info on how to reach him is on the WSB Advertising page. And as we like to say frequently, thanks to everyone who visits WSB — just knowing so many people are there, keeps us in high gear working on ways to serve you better.

Statement from West Seattle family of Europe murder suspect

Just a few simple words from the Arbor Heights family of Amanda Knox — but they had to put it out on a public relations press release service (PR Newswire), since the European media in particular is in a frenzy over this case. A judge in Italy ruled a few hours ago that Knox would remain in jail, along with the other suspects, while investigators continue to sort the case out. Interesting side note from this Times article on logistics assistance for Knox’s mother, who is now in Italy, to deal with what’s going on.

Crossing “I-35”

Seattle City Council President Nick Licata came to High Point last night to meet with the HP Neighborhood Association. His evening began with a walking tour led by neighborhood reps Denise Sharify and Miranda Taylor showing him what they consider the hot spots for pedestrian danger and explaining what they want the city to do. Our videographer recorded much of it — but nothing underscored the point as well as this bit of unexpected suspense, when a little boy on a bicycle showed up nearby, needing to get across 35th SW:

Earlier in the tour, the HPNA reps made their case to Licata, explaining why they feel the neighborhood concerns (as detailed in this WSB post) haven’t gotten enough traction:Read More

Reward fund to solve West Seattle bicyclist shooting

November 8, 2007 6:15 pm
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 |   Crime | How to help | West Seattle news

One week ago tonight, West Seattle bicyclist Peter McKay was shot while riding on Delridge, not far from his home. No one is under arrest yet, but local groups are doing what they can to change that: Read here and here about Seattle International Randonneurs and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington raising more than $5,000 so far to give somebody the impetus to bring the culprits in. (If you want to donate, all three of the links in the preceding line will send you to the right place.)

Westcrest meeting tonight

If you missed it in the comments on this post – “k” says there’s a community meeting tonight regarding the Westcrest Park concerns. 7 pm @ Sonrise Evangelical Free Church at 610 SW Roxbury (map).

Ferry District hearing just adjourned

We monitored some of this afternoon’s King County Ferry District hearing on the water taxi and other proposed foot-ferry operations. wttuesday.jpgThe district board members, aka King County Council members, had just received the proposed operations plan/budget (which we are awaiting to pass on to you) — they have a lot of decisions to make, and the next meeting is Tuesday morning. One thing we were glad to hear — toward the end of the meeting, West Seattle’s KC Councilmember Dow Constantine talked about the excellent in-person turnout (we saw some known WSB readers at the podium!) and also the fact more than 50 people submitted “online testimony” — for which the specific link was created after a WSB reader asked about it. Way to go for public participation, and stand by for more details on the decisions to be made and how it will affect you, both in terms of transportation and taxation. 4:15 PM UPDATE: Here are those details, contained for starters in the County Executive’s “transmittal letter” (read the full text here) — we’re still reading through it ourselves, but one topline is the proposed funding plan (quoting from the document now): “a property tax levy of 5.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value over ten years.”

Big rezoning request along California Ave

There’s a real bulletin this time around in the semiweekly city Land Use Information Bulletin that just came out: A request to rezone both sides of California, between Hanford and Hinds on the east side, and from Hanford to 100′ south of Hinds on the west side. If this is granted, the zoning would change from NC1-30′ (the last number is max height) to NC2-40′. Looking now to find out more about what’s behind this, but wanted to pass it along in the short run – we’ve been following the LUIB fairly closely for more than a year and haven’t seen anything like this in that time.

Alki Point and 30th SW sidewalk projects make the cut

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Just in, courtesy of this city press release: Remember the call for citizen votes earlier this fall on how to spend city money on neighborhood transportation projects? From the long list of West Seattle nominees, the mayor is recommending approval of two sidewalk projects: Alki Avenue from 65th to Beach Drive (stretching west from the area above where the sidewalk ends now), and in east West Seattle, a sidewalk along 30th between Findlay and Juneau.

West Seattle “low bridge”: Open-and-shut case

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We weren’t here for the years before the “high bridge,” but we understand life was quite different when everyone trying to cross the Duwamish into and out of West Seattle was at the mercy of marine traffic. Now, we have the “high bridge” (completed in 1984) and the “low bridge” (completed in 1991), which elegantly swings open to allow marine traffic to get through. It’s that bridge Jennifer e-mailed WSB about to suggest a discussion:

I was wondering if there has been any discussion on the WSB or elsewhere about the opening of the lower bridge during rush hour? I began a daily trip across the lower bridge about two months ago, in order to reach my son’s day care on East Marginal, and I’m continually amazed at how frequently the lower bridge is opened around 8 AM and 5 PM, peak traffic times. Combine it with trains, the hellish traffic light at Spokane/West Marginal, and the occasional accident on the West Seattle Bridge (and all the folks who think they’ll beat the traffic by hopping down to the lower bridge), the roads leading to the lower bridge are gridlocked quite frequently.

Before I incur the wrath of indignant commenters (Ride the bus! Find daycare closer to home! Don’t complain because ships are people too! Go back to California!) I’d like to point out that this isn’t a whiney complaint; I’m really just interested to know what folks might know about it. I’m surprised that the trucking traffic coming out of all the Port terminals doesn’t take precedence over the ships passing through. Is there really a well-devised plan to take into account the needs of ship traffic, weighted against the huge traffic tie-ups that result during certain hours of the day? Forget the measly little commuters in their SUVs – what about the business impact to the industry in the area?

Also, my observation is that the lower bridge affects everyone who commutes in and out of WS – including bus riders, bicyclists, workers in the Duwamish area, truckers, and everyone on the ‘big’ bridge – because when the lower bridge is closed, everyone heads up there and does some kind of crazy u-turn in the 1st Avenue South area.

Thanks for any insights.

Here’s what the Seattle Department of Transportation has to say about it. (The bottom-line quote from that link, “The Southwest Spokane Street Swing Bridge opens on demand, even during rush hour.”)

Memorial set for man hit and killed while crossing 35th

Tonight before the High Point Neighborhood Association meets (6 pm, High Point Library), members of its Pedestrian Safety Committee plan a walking tour with City Council President Nick Licata. oswaldclement1.jpgOne of the recent tragedies that concern this group and other West Seattle residents is the accident at 35th/Othello on October 27th that killed longtime area resident and educator/engineer/inventor Oswald Clement. His memorial is now set for next Wednesday (11/14) at St. James Cathedral, according to friend and former student Sharon Stone, who has written an obituary to tell us all more about Mr. Clement and his life, which ended just two days short of his 86th birthday:Read More

Tag trouble, the next installment, and what to do about it

In the past week, we’ve been talking here on WSB about a recent wave of graffiti/tagging vandalism in the Alki/Beach Drive areas, including railings and bulkhead concrete in this area just south of Alki Point (deliberately shot wide so as not to showcase the tags), reported by Betsy the other day:

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We’ve also received word of a particularly ugly tag, one of those crowns, thrown up on the restroom building at Whale Tail Park. There is on occasion some headway made against these crimes, such as the tale of two tweens caught in the act (noted briefly here). But invariably, these vandalism reports come in with the question, what to do about it, and who to call? Comment #5 from LGS below last Friday’s post has the detailed information, excerpted here:Read More

Water Taxi ridership leaves previous years trailing in its wake

November 7, 2007 7:43 pm
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 |   Elliott Bay Water Taxi | West Seattle news

watertaxisunset.jpg

Less than a week after the Elliott Bay Water Taxi sailed into the sunset for 2007, its final ridership totals for the year are just out, thanks to King County Councilmember Dow Constantine‘s office: 161,331, up from last year’s 122,650. Previous high before that was 2001, when ridership totaled 132,058 — but keep in mind the WT ran for 7 months that year; this year, it ran for 6 months. Meanwhile, another reminder – tomorrow’s the public hearing on the operating plan and budget for the King County Ferry District; final details of the plan have taken a while to work out but the Constantine team says they’ll get them to us tomorrow morning. If you can make it to the King County Courthouse to testify in support of the Water Taxi and waterborne transit in general, 2 pm tomorrow is the hearing; if there’s no way you can make it in person, send your comments — about the Water Taxi and other potential King County foot ferries, not about related services such as the land shuttle — by using this web form.

Alki alert: Orcas spotted in West Seattle waters

Just heard from Eva on Alki that a tv report mentioned orcas spotted following a fishing boat along Alki about an hour ago — it’s not on the Orca Network sightings page yet but there’s no question that this is the time of year the orcas follow chum runs into this part of Puget Sound (lots of sightings listed across the water around Vashon and Blake Islands). Let us know if you see any — pix and video appreciated too! 3:20 PM UPDATE: As pointed out in the comments, a tv helicopter has procured orca video (watch it here). And if you want to try listening for underwater orca sound – this is a cool site to check.

Junction business owner mourned

Notes are posted at Leisure Books in The Junction in memory of its co-owner Curtis Clement, who died last week at age 65, and now there is an online obituary as well, which notes that Mr. Clement’s Funeral Mass is November 19th at Holy Rosary.