West Seattle, Washington
After months of watching land-use applications, we’ve noticed they mostly fall in the categories of “build something new,” with the occasional “put antennas on building.” However, a couple hit the city site a few days ago (but dated 12/4, so it’s not windstorm backlash) for a plan to “remove vegetation,” including more than a dozen trees (center of the photo below, just to the left of the street light), on a lot over Beach Drive. The house on the property is on Atlas so one of the applications is for that address; the other application has a Beach address even though that part of the lot is steep slope, inhabited only by the birds. Seems too steep to safely get rid of the trees and brush without a major mudslide threat, but does the city ever say no to these things?
During lunch today @ Duke’s, suddenly the decorations came down before our eyes (and those of everyone else dining at the time). Strange to have the staff do it at a relatively busy time, instead of before opening or after closing; when they started reaching up between the tables to peel away the light-embedded garlands, we wondered if we would wind up with greenery in our chowder. No moss growing on the next holiday, though; Westwood Village Rite-Aid was unboxing the Valentine’s stuff as of a few nights ago.
Fauntle-Rut Way. Left side of left lane, southbound, between Junctions. Ouch.
West-Seattle-based County Councilguy, Dow Constantine, promised two weeks ago to look into why WS had so much power trouble because of stormy weather. Looks like he’s keeping that promise. In fact, the entire King County Council will hit the road for Fauntleroy in early February. (By then, we fear, we will need an “outage diary” to keep track of everything that’s happened. At this moment, in fact, we are under 3 separate special weather alerts!)
The wires have been spliced, the trees have been removed, but the Upper Fauntleroy sinkhole lingers. Two weeks ago, we wrote the city DOT to ask about its fate. After twelve days, a sort of reply came – from someone at SDOT who wrote, “I was told … you should contact (name) at Seattle Public Utilities. By way of this e-mail, I am forwarding your concerns to (name).” Mr. (name), who was cc’d, has yet to weigh in. (And why is this his project — the neighboring stairway, out of commission because of all this, is an SDOT responsibility.) Meantime, the sinkhole gapes, beyond just the barest of cordoning:
So what do you do to chill out after a nervous, stormy night? Go sailing, of course! (Looked like a regatta out in the waters between Vashon/Blake/Beach Drive early this afternoon – caught these 2 participants across from Me-Kwa-Mooks.)
Awakened to calm weather and a comment (post below) that power returned late last night … no outages on the City Light “hotline” now so here’s hoping that was the end of it!
As “The House” mentioned in a comment on our last post, we now have an outage in West Seattle — only one in the city at the moment, according to the City Light hotline; 3,000 customers. Seems like the boundaries they mentioned on the phone recording are a bit wide — “17th SW to 46th SW, Findlay SW to 112th SW” would seem to cover about two-thirds of WS, including our area, and things are OK here (KNOCK WOOD) — but they did say a crew was on the way. Hang in there.
Not sure if it’s scary-windy where you’re at; here on the hill, it’s sounding almost as ferocious as The Big One did. But the National Weather Service’s latest “forecast discussion” insists it’s just about peaked:
SOUTHERLY GRADIENTS SHOULD PEAK BY 10PM SO IT WONT GET MUCH STRONGER THAN IT IS OUT THERE AT 9PM...PERHAPS A LITTLE EXTRA OOMPH AT 10PM WITH FROPA. AND THE BEHIND THE FRONT A FULL WLY GALES COMES DOWN THRU THE STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA IN THE NEXT FEW HOURS. WINDS THRU PUGET SOUND WILL DIE BACK AFTER MIDNIGHT AS A STRONG PSCZ SETS UP...
We were going to post this a little while earlier, with a couple snarky comments, then thought better of it. But now we’ve reconsidered, thanks to a thoughtful reader who passed it along. And since our power hasn’t gone off YET, we might as well post more while we still can. So, we present, the city’s “alert,” which warns, “We know there will be outages.” (Tip #6 makes us chuckle ruefully, remembering the vague SCL web info from previous outages. Perhaps they are truly prepared for detailed info this time?)
Power outages and holiday events got in the way, for a while, of our regular Friday morning routine — posting what’s happening around West Seattle in the coming weekend. Today, the roundup’s back. Let’s start with tonight, when High Point Community Center resumes Fabulous Family Fridays with a “toy swap” … also tonight, Twelfth Night Productions’ three-day run of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” begins @ Youngstown Arts Center (tickets here) … tonight, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon, Kenyon Hall’s the spot for the Fox Movietone Follies of ’07 … live music Fri & Sat nites at Skylark Club as usual … Saturday night, the monthly “Rocky Horror” screening takes over the Admiral at midnight … Sunday, the Farmers’ Market is due back for the first “winter market” (hours will be a bit shorter, 10 am-1 pm) … also on Sunday, the monthly meeting of the determined folks you see at and near the FM each week, West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice … What did we leave out? Click the “comment” link on this post, or e-mail us.
What a great note to get — from a relatively “new” West Seattleite, who wanted to share the wonder of seeing a bald eagle flying over The Junction today. We still marvel at the sight ourselves, even after all these years; we get frequent flybys up here, but the most recent sighting to thrill us was down on Beach Drive, the last morning our power was out, when a friend with a killer view let us drop by and clean up … before we left, an eagle buzzed our pal’s balcony almost within touching distance. The unfortunate flip side of life for our local eagles is that seagulls and crows pester them to no end, as our e-mail correspondent noticed, writing that “two angry adult seagulls” were in pursuit of The Junction’s eagle. (Honestly, have you ever seen a seagull that didn’t look/sound ticked off about something?)
First the Fauntleroy Place plan … now this: After 60 years in the car biz in West Seattle, the Huling family’s getting out of it, per the P-I. You can read more here about the Spokane-based car company that’s taking over.
We have not yet watched last night’s “Lessons from the Windstorm” City Council hearing (should turn up today on the Seattle Channel site), but at least one WSB reader who saw it “live” describes it exactly the way the Times and P-I do today — mostly a ventstorm from City Light workers who bravely stood up in front of politicians and media to accuse their bosses of bungling things while tens of thousands of us spent days in the dark, in more ways than one. We heard some of this during the outage, of course; then we heard city management take the first opportunity to refute it. But what’s that old saying about “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”? So the real issue is … what now, when the hearings end, when the bad weather retreats for another year, will anyone really change anything?
If any Christmas-light nuts are still lurking out there … one last sight worth seeing, just happened onto it tonight. On the north side of Roxbury, just west of 35th (across from the ex-Safeway-now-church), someone’s covered a tree in red and white lights shaped to perfectly simulate a giant Santa hat.
If the DNDA gig we mentioned recently isn’t quite your thing, how about the job that’s open for the West Seattle Junction Association? As we mentioned in the WSYIR, things are a-jumpin’ in The Junction, so it’s bound to be fun.
If you’ve got business at the post office — you might want to wait a while. WS Blogger Spouse reports that after two postal holidays (New Year’s Day plus National Day of Mourning for Pres. Ford), it’s a spillover crowd, at Westwood, at least. No word yet on the Junction branch.
Quote of the day, from city councilman Richard Conlin, in the P-I, looking ahead to the hearing he’s leading tonight on “Lessons from the Windstorm.” He’s talking about how city agencies, especially Seattle City Light, handled the storm’s aftermath, including the outages that left so many of us without power for so long. And he appropriately spotlights the fact that so many of us didn’t and couldn’t get any information about HOW long we would be without power. Even information on who had their power back on and who was left to work on, would have been great; during that long dark week, we were reduced to driving around once it started getting dark, to get a take on things. Really, for those of us who were out of power for days, did you imagine, when it went out, that it would take so long to get it back? (By the way, if you can’t make it to City Hall to tell your story tonight, you can watch the hearing live on the Seattle Channel, ch. 21, or a replay Friday morning.)