West Seattle, Washington
Not sure if this is the first time the Seattle City Council has gathered on Delridge — but it’s probably the loudest time. Members were at Delridge and Myrtle to officially unveil the Pedestrian Safety Initiative (details here; we’re checking for West Seattle specifics) that’s part of the $900 million-plus city budget proposal. Here’s our first video clip (1 more to come) from the start of the event this morning; local kids appear nearby, about a minute in:
Second clip features a local neighborhood activist hoping to get her voice heard:Read More
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:
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:
Two weeks have zoomed by since we brought you the West Seattle Food Bank’s request for your help this holiday season. Lots of great response so far – and room for more – literally … take a look inside the WSFB cooler; we did, during a visit to interview WSFB executive director Fran Yeatts, who narrates:
Frozen turkeys and other Thanksgiving-dinner donations will help the most people if you get them to the Food Bank by the end of next week. Meantime, Fran also told us something you probably don’t know about the people the WSFB serves:Read More
Two clips from West Seattle’s own homegrown Skeleton Theatre last night; you may recognize the soundtrack. (Read all about Skeleton Theatre, including where and when to go see it for Night 2 tonight, on the ST site.)
(video no longer available due to host’s shutdown, sorry!)
The folks who run Kitty Harbor, a new addition to the east side of Harbor Ave by ActivSpace, welcomed a WSB visit this past weekend for this video feature. Kitty Harbor is operated by Delyn Kosbab, founder of the rescue organization Animal Safe Haven Association. As you will see her explain in the second clip (with the help of a playful pal), this is NOT a place to drop by and just gawk at cute cats; they are extremely serious about finding the best home for the dozens of rescued cats and kittens they are trying to place. Like these, who couldn’t resist trying to play with a volunteer helping clean cages:
In this clip, founder Delyn Kosbab explains Kitty Harbor and its guidelines, adoption fees, etc.
You can find out more about Kitty Harbor at its new website. As you’ll see on the site, it’s open Friday-Sunday or by appointment.
As promised, video of the goats that arrived at Gatewood Elementary (location) today to munch away invasive plants. The folks at Gatewood hope everyone will come see the goats 10 am-2 pm tomorrow during their special “Kids for Kids” playground-project celebration:
Also, reader Luckie kindly sent us a photo from the Lafayette Elementary fundraising Walk-A-Thon today, noting “here’s proof the kids had SOME good weather today!”
Just got this uploaded; we shot it at the height of the wind craziness:
Ah, wine country: The rolling hills of Napa … Sonoma … Walla Walla … Puget Ridge. Yes, as in, the eastern highlands of West Seattle, home to South Seattle Community College and its award-winning winemaking program. Back in June, when we shared the news that SSCC’s Northwest Wine Academy had received a medal at the Seattle Wine Awards, some readers asked when its next wine release was scheduled. Last night was the night; our WSB videographer dropped in to talk to a couple of the program leaders, wine program coordinator Regina Daigneault and wine program winemaker Peter Bos:
At last night’s event, the academy offered its 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Merlot for sale, $20 each, and offered pre-sale of its 2006 barrel-fermented Chardonnay and 2006 no-oak Chardonnay (each $18) and 2006 late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc ($15). It also announced two upcoming happenings we’re adding to our Events page pronto: the Holiday Barrel Tasting on December 7 and 8, and the Gifts from the Earth food/wine event on January 26, touting “30 Washington wineries and 15 celebrity chefs.” If you want to check on wine availability following last night’s event, e-mail Regina here.
Good crowd for the events at three Fauntleroy venues this afternoon. Our videographer stopped by to catch a song from the West Seattle Big Band. (Note the audio mix is a little odd because we’re just using the camera mike; a high-quality external mike is next on the shopping list!)
As mentioned in our previous post about the pre-unveiling vandalism of the sign’s cover (which has since been cleaned up, according to an update from Herongrrrl on the previous post) – there was a lot more to this morning’s event, which featured participants including West Seattle history expert Judy Bentley from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Alan Schmitz (from the family that has given so much parkland to West Seattle). Rhonda’s got a couple of nice pix up at Beach Drive Blog; here’s 4 clips. First one, the actual unveiling:
Alan Schmitz talked about growing up in the area we all know now as parkland (the current Me-Kwa-Mooks site was once a Schmitz family homestead):
Judy Bentley explained the five layers of site history that are detailed in the new sign:
Longtime Alki-area activist Alexandra Pye also had something to say at the event, praising the many individuals and organizations who helped it happen:
Thanks to the tipster who texted us to make sure we had heard about this big callout – fire in a house at 3809 Admiral, affecting traffic in the area for a while too. One WSB reader says she was dining across the bay and could see the smoke and flames from there, at the height of this fire. 10:03 PM UPDATE: TV reports say the house is gutted inside, the couple who lived there got out OK, and investigators don’t know what started the fire. Meantime, here are two photos sent to us by WSB readers who snapped them as smoke poured from the house — first one from Mark (thank you!!!!):
Second photo is from Jess (thank you too!!!!) — you can really see how traffic was blocked off on Admiral (if you didn’t happen to get caught in it yourself):
Here’s some video of crews mopping up — mostly flashing lights — we’ll check back on the scene in the morning too:
Checking back on the Evergreen State Barbecue Championship happening along the Alki promenade all weekend — Yes, there is indeed one vendor selling food (from a $2 corncob to a $24 full platter with full rack of ribs), if they haven’t run out by now! Meantime, the judging is happening hourly; we were there at brisket-judging time, and followed Jonathan from Edmonds as he left his battle station and headed for the judging table holding what he proclaimed would be the prize-winning brisket (plus our videographer asked him to predict the outcome of the Seahawks-Bengals game, which at that point hadn’t started):
Among the most amusing aspects of the Barbecue Championship, from an onlooker’s perspective, is the wide variety of wordplay in the team names and their attire, logos, banners, etc. We caught up with this next guy mostly because of his T-shirt:
Also seen at Alki today, just past the east end of Barbecue Row: The Statue of Liberty Plaza Project crew, selling their $20 fundraising T-shirts. As mentioned at the last public meeting, they’re trying to get all their fundraising done by year’s end.
Four clips from today’s event: First, the kids — from Gatewood Elementary, Denny Middle, and Chief Sealth HS, with EarthCorps assistants:
Here’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai assisting with one of the trees — this is what she’s famous for, if you aren’t familiar with her work; this online reference calls her the “Tree Woman of Kenya”:
Also at Pelly Place: King County Councilmember Dow Constantine. Our videographer asked him for a few words, and he reminded us he’s no stranger to ravine restoration:
Last but by no means least, part of the poetry performance by Gatewood Elementary students:
We keep trying to catch up with the Seal Sitters who have been keeping watch for weeks to protect the baby harbor seals that turn up to take a break on the beach at Alki. Almost connected after hearing about their 1 pm picnic on Sunday — then rain forced them indoors — but at least our videographer found one of the seals. Adorability awaits:
One WSB reader asked us if the Seal Sitters are on duty 24 hours a day. Seal-sitter organizer Brenda Peterson says they’ve been trying their best to cover most of the clock, as volunteer availability allows. (If you’re interested in volunteering, e-mail us and we’ll forward her your contact info.) Wondering why Seal Sitters are needed? Here’s just one anecdote underscoring the need. You can read more about harbor seals and the laws protecting them here.
One police officer informally guesstimated the crowd for tonight’s Mars Hill Alki baptism-fest at around 750.
Loud but peaceful so far as we could tell, perhaps at least partly thanks to all the guys in black T-shirts stenciled MARS HILL SECURITY. We’re adding video clips at the bottom of this post, but first a few more stills, starting with Mars Hill’s controversial leader Mark Driscoll, who declared this to be the biggest mass baptism in Seattle history (he said 200 people had signed up to get baptized, then welcomed anyone else who wanted to, to join in).
Other church leaders on hand included West Seattle campus pastor Adam Sinnett, caught by our photographer with towel in hand as he prepared to head for the water.
The event even featured a band, which proclaimed itself (and the crowd) there “to praise, and party.” Our photographer didn’t see any of the threatened protesters, unless you count the kid seen hooting out the window of a passing car and flashing devil-horn hand signs. 9:10 PM UPDATE: Three more photos, these taken and e-mailed to us by Elspeth Jones (thank you SO much!):
9:56 PM UPDATE: Video of the actual in-water event, starting with the baptism of a child.
10:35 PM UPDATE: Adding this clip of Mark Driscoll talking about those about to be baptized, as they stood in front of the stage. Church leaders, by the way, say this is their 11th summer baptism event – the first one drew 3 to be baptized, 40 to watch.
11:57 PM UPDATE: Last addition, a clip showing what it was like in the throng during the event — some baptizees getting congratulated, and a Mars Hill guy trying to keep order as others waited to take part.
P.S. — Thanks again to the WSB Pledge Day contributors who made it possible for us to get the video camera; we pledge to keep working on better video quality (this was only our second video-recorded event since the camera was delivered a few days ago).
… as of about quarter past 6 tonight, she is indeed. 11 PM UPDATE – More below, including the first-ever WSB video clips:
It was a short but glorious rededication, before a hearteningly sized crowd, serenaded by patriotic favorites from the West Seattle Big Band, regaled with blessedly short (the sound system wasn’t projecting very well) speeches by Mayor Nickels and Councilmember Rasmussen. But just before the gala unveiling — came the reveiling, or should we say the preveiling — thanks to Dan for these pre-ceremony photos:
Tonight’s ceremony managed to mix joy and solemnity without ever striking the wrong note: the joy of the recast statue’s unveiling, the solemnity of the 9/11 anniversary. The mayor led the crowd in a moment of silence, and noted the presence of more than a few Seattle police and firefighters — including a city fireboat’s spray of salute offshore — as well as Boy Scouts on hand in honor of the fact that the original statue was a gift from their organization more than half a century ago. Maybe we’re just mushy at heart, but when the mayor read from the Declaration of Independence, we got all teary. It was just one of those nights … another crystal-clear sky and blazing September sun, just like the original 9/11, but this time, the focus lingered on who had arrived, rather than who had gone.
ADDENDUM: The video camera we purchased from the proceeds of WSB Pledge Day two weeks ago arrived via FedEx barely an hour before our crew headed for Alki tonight. We promise future endeavors will be of much better quality, but despite its amateurishness we want to share some of tonight’s video anyway — bear with us — first the unveiling and the mayor’s Declaration reading; check back for a couple more …
Next clip features Jen VanOrnum talking to our videographer about the Alki Elementary kids’ art project shown off at Lady Liberty’s base tonight:
Last addition — Bob Bollen sent a few pix (thank you!!!!) — first an excellent closeup of the guest dignitaries; then, the beautiful offshore sight during the dedication: