West Seattle Saturday: Ballot vans, Blue Angels, beach naturalists, Kite Festival, WS Outdoor Movies, music, dance, more…

August 1, 2015 at 8:14 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments


(Great Blue Heron and friend at White Center Bog – photographed last weekend by Gill; click image for larger view)

Welcome to August! Here are the West Seattle highlights for today/tonight, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

VOTE! If you mail your ballot, it needs a stamp. If you drop it off at a King County ballot van, it doesn’t – today, 10 am-5 pm, you’ll find the vans on the West Seattle Stadium driveway and outside the Greenbridge Libraryaddresses/maps here, as well as Monday/Tuesday hours. Remember, this is your historic first-ever chance to vote in the Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) race; if you’re still deciding among the nine candidates, see our “Last Look” series of reports (including video conversations), one for each candidate:
Arturo Robles
Brianna Thomas
Chas Redmond
Jody Rushmer
Karl Wirsing
Lisa Herbold
Pavel Goberman
Phillip Tavel
Shannon Braddock

The top two vote-getters will advance to the November 3rd general election.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE: Starts today, at the Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) and Fauntleroy UCC. If you’re shopping, pick up something extra and drop it off for the drive! Details in our calendar listing. (9140 California SW)

HELP LONGFELLOW CREEK AND ITS FOREST: 10 am-2 pm today, work party with EarthCorps – go here to find out where to go and what to bring.

LOW-LOW TIDE, WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: Low-low tide is out to -2.1 feet at 12:09 pm; Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists are out to answer questions at Constellation and Lincoln Parks, 10:45 am-1:45 pm.

BLUE ANGELS TODAY, WITH BRIDGE CLOSURE: First of two “official” days for the Seafair airshow over Lake Washington, with most if not all of its participants taking off from Boeing Field, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, who go up around 1:30 pm. The I-90 bridge across the lake will be closed 11:50 am-2:40 pm. Full Seafair info (including fleet tours) here.

NO ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE TOURS THIS WEEKEND: The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is busy with Seafair duties – but check back next weekend!

KITE FESTIVAL: Go fly a kite – or more than one! – at the Seattle Chinese Garden, on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus on Puget Ridge, this afternoon/evening, 2-6 pm. Here’s our preview from earlier this week. (6000 16th SW)

WEST SEATTLE OUTDOOR MOVIES: You know that by the time evening arrives on a hot summer day, it’s cooler outside a non-air-conditioned apartment/house than inside. One of the most fun places to be outside tonight: The courtyard by Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), home to West Seattle Outdoor Movies, showing “Raising Arizona” (1987). Movie’s free – bring $ for charity-benefiting concessions and raffle if you can. Gates open 6:30 pm; movie’s at dusk, probably not long after 9 this time around. (4410 California SW)

SALSA ON ALKI: Lessons at 5:30 pm, dancing at 6:30 pm, continues until 10 pm. To see what it’s like, check out this video shared (and produced) by Raphael:

For cover-charge info and other details, see this Facebook event page.

LIVE MUSIC &/OR DANCE TONIGHT: Shows tonight at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), at Kenyon Hall, and at Feedback Lounge (click each link to see the calendar listing).

SEE THE REST OF OUR SATURDAY LISTINGShere.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Close-up ‘flasher’ at Westwood Village

August 1, 2015 at 12:08 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, Westwood | No Comments

Just found out about this via a late-night note from the victim, who is an 18-year-old employee at a Westwood Village business. She says this happened outside the WWV Starbucks:

While I was on a 10-minute break, having a cigarette, a man who was also smoking slowly approached me and sat down on the bench I was sitting on. He made small talk, i.e. how are you, “it’s smoke:30 huh?”. I responded politely and then looked away from him and paid attention to my phone. I was sitting there for about 5 minutes when he leaned down, put out his cigarette, turned to me and said, “Have a nice day.” I turned to respond to him and immediately saw that he was holding his completely exposed penis in his hand. He then got up and walked away immediately while adjusting himself. I went inside and the incident was reported to both Westwood security and the SPD.

The man was probably in his 30s, a white male with short brown hair of average height and build – probably around 5’9″ or so. He had been wearing a yellow button-up shirt and shorts; his eyes were covered by dark sunglasses. I had never seen him before and am obviously in the area often. I assume he had planned this out due to his clothing and sunglasses.

I just want to get the word out because there are many young people who spend time in Westwood Village and I don’t doubt that this man would do this again.

She didn’t say what time this happened so we’re following up to ask, and will add that information when we have it. SPD’s Tweets by Beat (which you can browse on our Crime Watch page) show a lewd-conduct report in the area, time-stamped 10:45 pm, but that might only indicate the time the report was processed.

7:27 AM UPDATE: It happened around 7:30 pm Friday.

West Seattle scenes: 2nd round of ‘Blue Moon,’ Blue Angels views

July 31, 2015 at 10:53 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 1 Comment

Second night in a row, everything’s coming up Blue …

Chris Frankovich shares tonight’s moonrise, still the “Blue Moon” … (Added) Mike Jensen‘s view includes a state ferry (at Vigor) in the foreground:

Here’s why it’s called a “blue moon.”

And from this afternoon’s Seafair airshow practice, Karin shares a Blue Angels flyby:

She was at work on Mercer Island when she took the photo.

Saturday’s Blue Angels (etc.) schedule:
*I-90 bridge closed 11:50-2:40 pm
*Blue Angels go up in the 1:30-ish vicinity (could be earlier, could be later) – watch for support C-130 “Fat Albert first; we noticed it making a few passes over West Seattle in the 1:25 pm vicinity today
*Other Seafair airshow acts might be visible from here, especially if you’re looking toward Boeing Field from eastern West Seattle (or watching from along the Boeing Field runway) – here’s the schedule/list

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglar(s) make off with vintage jewelry

July 31, 2015 at 9:36 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

A West Seattle Crime Watch reader report from “North Admiral Resident“:

I came from vacation to find my home had been broken into. They stole all my jewelry and my ex-husband’s old wallet, otherwise nothing else seemed to be disturbed.

Just a note, ladies – make sure you increase the amount for your jewelry or itemize and take out separate policies with your homeowners insurance.

Vintage pieces from my grandmother, filigree white gold and diamond rings, a yellow gold and amethyst necklace and a scarab bracelet, were among the things stolen. While not the most expensive pieces, they are the ones that tear at my heart.

This happened sometime between July 20-28th. If anyone has any clues, please comment.

The Seattle Police online crime-report map shows nine burglaries reported in West Seattle in the past week – including three each in the greater Admiral and Fauntleroy areas:

ROAD WORK ALERT: Paving ahead for parts of Alki SW (with semi-mystery cross-streets) and Beach Drive SW

July 31, 2015 at 7:29 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Announced at day’s end by SDOT:

Seattle Department of Transportation crews will intermittently close lanes to restore pavement in two areas of West Seattle next week if the weather is favorable. Drivers should plan for congestion and consider alternate routes.

Crews will close one lane at a time on Alki Avenue Southwest between Southwest Arkansas and Southwest Hampshire streets, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, from Tuesday, Aug. 4 until Thursday, Aug. 6.

Crews will also close one lane at a time on Beach Drive Southwest between Southwest Spokane Street and 61st Avenue Southwest, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, from Thursday, Aug. 6 until Friday, Aug. 7. Bus stops in this area will be temporarily relocated outside of the project site.

Traffic flaggers will direct street traffic at both locations. Pedestrians will not be affected by these closures.

These projects are part of the 2015 Arterial Major Maintenance program, which aims to maintain busy streets with strategic small-scale pavement repairs.

ABOUT THOSE ‘CROSS-STREETS’: If the Alki cross-streets don’t sound familiar – you’re not alone. As reported here following a similar notice last year (with much help from commenters), in the Alki area, SDOT uses names of cross-streets that were platted but never built. So unless the telltale “No Parking” signs are up already (we’ll check), our best guess is the 1200-1500 block vicinity (you’ll see Arkansas and Hampshire on this very old map).

‘Think big’: Artwork ahead for Junction Plaza Park. Want to create it?

July 31, 2015 at 4:31 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, WS culture/arts | 3 Comments

“Think big”! That’s the invitation for artists who are interested in creating something to enhance Junction Plaza Park in the heart of the West Seattle Junction. From the Junction Association, which is heading this up with partners:

Request for Artists

(Photo by Laurel Mercury)
Project: Public Art Installation
Where: Junction Plaza Park (NW Corner of SW Alaska St & 42 Ave SW)
Deadline for submission: August 17, 2015

The West Seattle Junction Association, Junction Neighborhood Organization (J u N O), and Seattle Parks Department are seeking an artist for an exciting opportunity in Junction Plaza Park. While Junction Plaza Park’s dedication was in 2010, funding for this major art installation has only recently come to fruition.

Junction Plaza Park in located in the West Seattle Junction business district which is also the heart of the neighborhood both literally and figuratively. This pocket park acts as a respite for neighbors, is a welcome burst of green amongst much development, a gathering place for events and programming, and is highly visible from the busy vehicle and transit corridor. We are seeking a significant art installation that will have a positive impact for not only park users, but also enhance the broader area.

Art Location and Intent
It is imperative that all applicants visit the park and evaluate the site. The location of the art will be in the area of the large blank wall at the central north side of the park (see right). The intent is to have a very large, prominent, and impactful piece that has a large presence in the park and beyond. Please think big! The installation with be anchored in the ground.

Compensation
The total, all inclusive budget for the art is $25,000. This includes all material costs, tax, and any other expenses.

How to Apply
Please submit a response with qualifications by August 17, 2015 including:
· A selection of your past work that you feel is most applicable to this project. Include 5- 10 examples.
· Written letter of intent which includes what direction you’d like to take this project and general size of proposed piece. Consider including a sketch to illustrate how you’d use the space.
· Email: Susan@wsjunction.org – not to exceed 5MB and preferable in one PDF, or
· Mail: WSJA, Attn Junction Plaza Park, 4210 SW Oregon St., Seattle, WA 98116

Timeline
· Submissions due: August 17, 2015
· Finalist selected: Sept 15, 2015
· Art installation: Nov 2015 – Jan 2016

Questions
Please contact Susan Melrose, Executive Director, 206-935-0904, susan@wsjunction.org

West Seattle Bridge Corridor recommendations due in September

July 31, 2015 at 3:08 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo: Rasmussen at podium, Mayor Murray and SDOT director Scott Kubly at right)
3:08 PM: Recommendations for improving traffic management along the West Seattle Bridge Corridor will be out in September. So said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen this afternoon during a briefing we covered downtown. Main topic of the briefing was a consultant’s new report critiquing Seattle traffic-incident management in general, following the disastrous Highway 99 fish-truck crash. We’ll have full details on the recommendations once back at HQ; for a preview, see what we tweeted during the briefing, which was followed up by a tour of the city Traffic Management Center on the 37th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown.

5:13 PM: A little more backstory – it was January when Rasmussen announced the West Seattle Bridge Corridor Task Force would be launched. That in turn was about four months after the West Seattle Transportation Coalition announced a list of priorities including a bigger-picture plan for dealing with bridge-related issues, and one month after Rasmussen assistant Evan Clifthorne told the WSTC about pursuit of a corridor designation for the WS Bridge.

Alki Beach 5K for Northwest Hope and Healing: 3 weeks away!

July 31, 2015 at 12:15 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

Ready for one more run/walk providing a good time while you do good? The Alki Beach 5K is just a little over three weeks away, on Sunday, August 23rd. As always, proceeds benefit Northwest Hope and Healing, which helps breast-cancer patients. It’s a beautiful morning run/walk along Alki – no matter what the weather – so you might as well http://alkibeachrun.com“>sign up now.

West Seattle Friday: From the beach to the Blue Angels to ‘Elvis’…

July 31, 2015 at 10:32 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

One more look at the “blue moon” as it set around dawn – thanks to Chris Frankovich. It brings a low-low tide which starts our highlight list for your Friday:

LOW-LOW TIDE, WITH EXPERT GUIDES: 11:25 am is today’s low-low tide, -2.5 feet; volunteer beach naturalists are out now, until 1:15 pm, at Constellation and Lincoln Parks.

BLUE ANGELS TODAY: Practice show over Lake Washington (though some flybys will certainly be visible from West Seattle), with Boeing Field takeoff sometime between 1-1:30 pm. I-90 bridge closes 11:50 am-2:40 pm.

‘ELVIS’ AT THE SENIOR CENTER: Check ASAP to see if tickets are left for Bret Wiggins as Elvis, plus a fried chicken dinner, at the Senior Center of West Seattle. Fundraiser starts with free photos with “Elvis,” 5:30 pm, dinner at 6. (Oregon/California)

FAMILY CONNECT FRIENDSHIP FIRE: West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) invites the community to Alki Beach, 6:30 pm-8 pm, they’ll provide the s’mores supplies and fire, you come mingle with neighbors and have fun – details here. (Alki/59th)

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: Greenstage presents “Much Ado About Nothing,” 7 pm, free, at Camp Long. (5200 35th SW)

NOT DEAD YET: 9 pm, last time you’ll get to see local faves Not Dead Yet at the closing-next-weekend Feedback Lounge. (6451 California SW)

LOTS MORE – but you don’t have to take our word for it – see for yourself!

Another outdoor-concert series ahead: The Mount’s 2015 lineup

July 31, 2015 at 9:31 am | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(WSB file photo)
Been enjoying this summer’s outdoor music? One more concert series is about to start: Providence Mount St. Vincent (aka “The Mount”) has announced the lineup for its four annual Friday-night shows, starting one week from tonight:

Aug. 7th: The 85th Street Big Band
Featuring swing favorites from the 30s, 40s & 50s

Aug. 14th: Overton Berry Jazz Duo
Legendary Seattle jazz pianist

Aug. 21st: The Illusion of Elvis by Danny Vernon
The King is back by popular demand!

Aug. 28th: STRUM (Seattle’s Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians)
Wear your Hawaiian shirt and join us for a fun evening with ukulele musicians who play a variety of great music.

Shows are free, 6-7:30 pm, with free popcorn and snow cones; bring your own chair/blanket. If you’re interested in buying dinner, it’s available 5:30-7:30 pm, with a different featured entree every week or a hamburger/hot-dog option, all with sides and dessert – see this year’s menu here; wine and beer are available for purchase, too. The Mount is at 4831 35th SW (map) and the concerts are on the south side of the campus.

West Seattle power-outage update: 116 homes/businesses

July 31, 2015 at 8:11 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

8:11 AM: Thanks to the texter who just pointed this out: Seattle City Light‘s outage map shows 121 homes/businesses without power right now in the Seacrest Park vicinity and along Harbor Avenue for a stretch eastward. They’re hoping to have it back by 10:30 am or so, but as always, that’s just a guesstimate. We’re headed that way to check on effects.

8:39 AM: While the outage map shows Seacrest, we checked at Marination – no problem there. Still checking elsewhere. No cause listed yet; we’ve seen at least one City Light crew in the area:

9:01 AM: Moondrop Coffee and Tea across from Seacrest has a note on its door saying it’s closed because of the outage. The City Light map now says “bird/animal” as the cause (and commenter Wes C. Addle backs that up), with an 11:45 am guesstimate for restoration, and a slight downgrade of affected customers to 116.

11:48 AM: The City Light map shows this outage is over.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; bridge trouble

July 31, 2015 at 7:22 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:22 AM: As we head into the heart of the commute, a crash on the bridge by 1st Avenue South is blocking one lane eastbound and backing up traffic. Coincidentally, this afternoon, city leaders are planning a media briefing about strategies for clearing road problems. Today also will bring another I-90 bridge closure for the Blue Angels’ practice show:

I-90 CLOSURE: The bridge will close 11:50 am-2:40 pm. Details here.

7:34 AM: SDOT says the bridge crash has cleared and all lanes are now open.

10 AM: If you’re headed for the South Park Bridge, note that a hazmat response in the area is complicating traffic on the SP side:


West Seattle scenes: Blue moon tonight, Blue Angels earlier

July 30, 2015 at 11:22 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Not that they’re related, but we have photos to share of both. First, courtesy of Neal Chism, tonight’s “blue moon”:

In a separate e-mail conversation, Bob noted that the official “blue moon” full moon is at 3:43 am. We’ve been up late enough to see the moonsets the past few nights and this one’s likely to be spectacular too – 5:01 am, according to the list you can find any time on our West Seattle Weather page. Bob pointed out that the blue moon happens while the Blue Angels are in town:

Long Bach Nguyen shared that view of the Blue Angels’ official Seattle headquarters, just south of the Museum of Flight. We’ve written before about the experience – recommended if you are a Blue Angels fan! – of watching their pre-takeoff preparations from the fence at lower right in the photo, and then watching the takeoff from the Museum’s spot alongside Boeing Field. Today was the two-practice-session day for the U.S. Navy’s demonstration team – we were covering stories outdoors and saw multiple West Seattle flyovers in the 10 am-noon vicinity (as did many West Seattleites!).

(Photo by Robert Spears)
Tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday, they perform over Lake Washington, around 1:30 pm.

(Photo by Ken Iverson)
That means one stretch of I-90 bridge closure each day – 11:50 am to 2:40 pm. If you’re more interested in Navy ships, the fleet that paraded past West Seattle shores on Wednesday (WSB coverage here) is open again for tours tomorrow – full details on the Seafair website.

Voted in this historic election yet? Most haven’t; do it by Tuesday

July 30, 2015 at 9:18 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 9 Comments

Two weeks after ballots arrived in most local mailboxes, more than 80 percent of them are still waiting to be turned in, according to the newest King County Elections numbers:

That’s the screen grab from the KCE webpage with tonight’s count of ballots received so far (at right, compared to how many were sent out, at left) – we are in City Council District 1, as we hope you know by now, in this history-making year, with the seven newly created districts each electing its first councilmember. That’s not the only contest on your ballot, but it’s the highest-profile one. The decisions you’ll make:

*King County Elections Director (3 candidates)
*Seattle Port Commission Position 2 (3 candidates)
*Seattle Port Commission Position 5 (9 candidates)
*Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park; 9 candidates)
*Seattle City Council Position 8 (citywide; 4 candidates)
*Seattle City Council Position 9 (citywide; 6 candidates)
*Seattle School Board Position 6 (West Seattle/South Park; 3 candidates)

Whomever you support, vote for them and get your ballot in the mail or into a dropbox by Tuesday night – here’s the list of dropboxes (open now) and ballot vans (open Sat. and Mon. 10 am-5 pm, Tues. 10 am-8 pm).

STILL MULLING YOUR COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 CHOICE? See our nine “Last Look” interviews/stories (first published last Friday), one per candidate.

VIDEO: Naomi Wachira @ Summer Concerts at Hiawatha

July 30, 2015 at 6:34 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

6:34 PM: If you’re not already on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center, what are you waiting for? Singer/songwriter Naomi Wachira is onstage, the audience is in the shade (but within view of the golden evening sun) …

… it’s the place to be, for the second of six consecutive (free!) Thursday-night Summer Concerts at Hiawatha.


8:27 PM: Concert’s over – we were lucky enough to be able to stay for the whole show, and it was excellent. Added a short Instagram clip; longer video, and photos, to come, now that we’re back at HQ.

ADDED: Above, some of the young concertgoers who danced to just about every song – Wachira joked early on that it was great to see them doing that even during the songs with her more-intense lyrics; toward the end, she implored everyone to get up and move around, and they did. Here’s a full song on video:

Among the concertgoers, Katy Walum (center), the concert series’ founder and a past ANA president, enjoying picnic dinner with husband Erik Walum and friend Mary Kay:

(If you don’t want to fix your own picnic, concert-series sponsor and WSB sponsor Metropolitan Market is just a couple blocks away.) Next Thursday night, Star Anna returns to the series, which is presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, with co-sponsors including WSB. See the full season slate here.

West Seattle wading pools: Hiawatha closed for the rest of the day

July 30, 2015 at 4:30 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 2 Comments

Thanks to Brian for the tip – Seattle Parks has closed the Hiawatha wading pool for the rest of the day, citing “contamination.” They expect to reopen the pool tomorrow, but we wanted to let you know in case you were planning to combine a trip to the wading pool with a visit to tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha (which otherwise is unaffected). If you’re just looking for someplace, any place, to cool off, EC Hughes wading pool is open until 7, Lincoln Park until 8, and that’s also closing time for the Highland Park spraypark – addresses are all in the citywide brochure. (4:42 pm update: Per Parks, the “contamination” was from a child, who had recently been sick, throwing up.)

What a ride! West Seattleite Joel Kampf arrives on Alki after pedaling cross-country for World Bicycle Relief

July 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 13 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Joel Kampf just arrived home from a bike ride. A big bike ride – 4,500 miles. A big bike ride with a big achievement, raising money for World Bicycle Relief. And he got a big welcome:

Joel’s wife LaVonne Dorsey and friends showered him with champagne as he turned onto 53rd SW to head home. He’s been on the road for more than two months (read his chronicles here), so hugs and kisses were in order too:

Thanks to LaVonne for letting us know so we could be there for Joel’s big arrival. She shared this information about his ride for World Bicycle Relief, which started May 14th in Williamsburg, Virginia:

The goal is to bring bicycles to the developing world as engines for economic and cultural empowerment.

Having built and distributed over 230,000 bikes this year, their Educational Empowerment Program provides bikes to students (70% girls), teachers and education workers in rural Africa. With the ability to save time and shorten distances between schools and villages, the program dramatically improves grades and attendance rates after students receive bicycles. Other programs include a Healthcare effort that helps workers who would walk over 4 miles a day to visit four patients, visit 18 patients in a single day; (also) micro-finance, Environmental and social enterprise programs.

For $147, we can provide a World Bicycle Relief bicycle to a student in need. Every donation helps. Seattle is one of the most successful and supportive bicycle commuting cities in the country and we also realize the importance of cycling for recreation and good health.

Even more friends and family were waiting at Joel and LaVonne’s house for a welcome-home party. You can still donate, by the way, even though his journey’s done – here’s how.

West Seattle scene: Lining up at Lincoln Park

July 30, 2015 at 2:28 pm | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

Thanks to Kestrel Windhover for the photo taken this morning at Lincoln Park, where dozens of people were fishing. According to our partners at The Seattle Times, “a wall” of pink salmon has migrated into Puget Sound – they’re usually the major catch in odd years. While this run might not seem to be adversely affected by “The Blob” (see previous WSB story), scientists are watching what could happen in future years.

Attack of The Blob: State scientists observing effects of warm water as well as warm air

July 30, 2015 at 1:13 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
No, the micro-organisms in the photo aren’t The Blob – that’s what scientists are calling a pool of warmer-than-normal water that’s enabling effects such as more-extensive-than-usual algae blooms. The state Ecology Department gathered reporters today to talk about what they’re seeing, and followed it up with this news release:

Washington is feeling the heat this summer, and Puget Sound is no exception. It’s been hot and dry, with all kinds of weather records being set. The unusually hot temperatures don’t end at the water’s edge; record-breaking temperatures are being in recorded in Puget Sound, too.

Scientists noted warming temperatures as “the Blob” from the Pacific Ocean migrated in to Puget Sound. And concerns about warmer-than-normal temperatures have only increased as the drought continues to heat up and dry out the state.

“We’re measuring water temperatures in the Sound 4 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal from our past 25 years of record keeping,” said Christopher Krembs, Ecology senior oceanographer. “We’re seeing warm water everywhere, from Olympia to Bellingham.”

Monitoring work by the Washington Department of Ecology and other scientific partners in county, state and federal agencies suggests that these warm conditions are causing negative side effects on the Puget Sound marine environment.

There has been an increase in harmful algae blooms, shellfish closures, lower dissolved oxygen levels, and unfavorable conditions for salmon and other cold-loving marine species.

Scientists are keenly interested in the unusual conditions and how they impact Puget Sound. It is important to understand the impacts of warm water and weather. Warm water inherently holds less oxygen and fosters disease. By collaborating to better understand the Blob and drought, monitor and improve water quality, and track marine life, the state can better prepare for climate change.

Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond said, “The overall weather conditions of the last year or so are expected to occur much more commonly in the future decades. The present short-term climate event therefore provides an opportunity to better understand how the region will be impacted by global climate change, and the potential adaptations that could be undertaken to reduce its deleterious effects.”

Lead Ecology computer modeling scientist Mindy Roberts added, “Our computer modeling team has found that warmer ocean water and lower summer river flows decrease the amount of oxygen available throughout Puget Sound, which is not good news for fish. We should learn as much as we can this year to be better prepared for the future.”

Not only are rivers low, but they are also warm, with 80 percent of monitored streams running less than the 25th percentile of usual. “We’ve been seeing flows for months that mimic typical flows for September,” said Jim Shedd, Ecology surface water hydrologist.

“It’s proving difficult to push the Blob out of Puget Sound with these low-flowing, warm rivers caused by drought. We’re not getting enough estuarine circulation. Without circulation, whatever gets into Puget Sound, be it warm water or pollution, is going to stick around,” Shedd said.

How do you restore a log house? Southwest Seattle Historical Society hosting expert David Rogers

July 30, 2015 at 11:00 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo courtesy SWSHS)
Been to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum? You might not realize the work that went into restoring it to extend its life – but you have two chances coming up to find out, according to this SWSHS announcement:

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is thrilled to welcome back to West Seattle the log-home preservationist who was the contractor for restoration of its “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum 18 years ago.

David Rogers will be the special guest of the historical society for two events on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. His appearances are supported by 4Culture.

* The first event, free and open to the public, will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the museum’s Circle Courtyard, 3003 61st Ave. SW, where Rogers will conduct an interactive demonstration of log-restoration techniques and describe in detail the hands-on work he did on the museum.

* The second event, a fundraiser for the historical society, is a no-host dinner at West 5 Lounge, 4539 California Ave. SW in the West Seattle Junction, at which Rogers will speak about the importance of preserving and restoring log structures. Admission is a $10 donation, payable at the door or online. (Any food or drink ordered is in addition to the donation.)

Reservations are being taken for both events (here).

Rogers, who has operated his Logs & Timbers business from Rhododendron, Oregon, since 1983, has successfully helped scores of private organizations and public agencies to achieve their preservation goals.

He inspired countless thousands with his hands-on helming of the Log House Museum’s back (south) wall in 1996-1997. His craftsmanship on behalf of the museum is highlighted in a 6-minute video that is viewable (here).

West Seattle Thursday: On the beach; onstage; on sale; in the sky…

July 30, 2015 at 9:22 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

With a hot day ahead … we start today’s calendar preview with something cool – an undersea video by “Diver Laura” James. Now, plunging into what’s up for the rest of the day/night (besides the temperature):

LOW TIDE, WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: With the full moon approaching, today’s low tide is at 10:42 am – out to -2.0 feet – and Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists will be awaiting you, 9:45 am-12:15 pm, on the shores of Constellation Park and Lincoln Park.

BLUE ANGELS & BRIDGE CLOSURES: Not West Seattle but visible/audible from here, so we track them again this year. From Seafair, for today:

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels #s 1-4 will take off at 9:35 a.m. on Thurs., July 30 from Boeing Field near the Museum of Flight for circle and arrival maneuvers in preparation for the Boeing Air Show. They will be in the air over the city getting familiar with the area. First, #s 1-4 and #8 will take off for a look at the South Lake Washington event site at approx.. 10 a.m.. At 10:35 a.m. #s 5-6 will walk down. The I-90 Bridge will be closed between 9:45 a.m. and noon.

(Wednesday photo by Monica Zaborac)
All Blue Angels jets will return to Boeing Field and be on the ground for a short time. Following that, numbers 1-6 will take to the air for a practice performance over Lake Washington at approx. 1:15 p.m.. Again, the I-90 Bridge will be closed between 1:15 p.m. and 2:40 p.m. for this practice.

DELRIDGE FARMSTAND: 4-7 pm, buy fresh local produce at the Delridge Grocery Coop/Little Red Hen Project farmstand in the Super 24 parking lot – details here. (5455 Delridge Way SW)

CRIME/SAFETY/POLICING FOCUS GROUP: 6:30-7:30 pm, the next “focus group” invited to talk with Southwest Precinct research assistant Jennifer Burbridge about neighborhood policing plans and crime/safety concerns is tonight, and if you live in Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights, you’re invited. (2300 SW Webster)

NAOMI WACHIRA IN CONCERT: As previewed here earlier this week, tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha performer is Naomi Wachira, and it’ll be a beautiful night to be on the shady east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center to see and hear her – 6:30 pm, free, bring your own chair/blanket to sit on. (Walnut/Lander)

PUN SLAM: 7:30 pm signup, 8:30 pm show at The Skylark – the punnier you are, the better! Details here. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON? See for yourself via our calendar.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates; I-90 bridge closures

July 30, 2015 at 8:18 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No trouble outbound this morning but this is the two-closure day for the I-90 bridge across Lake Washington while the Blue Angels practice:

I-90 CLOSURES: 9:45 am-noon and 1:15 pm-2:40 pm, the bridge will close, and that has spillover effects on other routes, including I-5 northbound approaching the 90 exit. Details here.

8:26 AM: Just got a call from someone who says a vehicle with a flat tire is partly blocking the ramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge to northbound 99.

FOLLOWUP: City hearing examiner upholds decision approving cell antennas on Alki apartment building

July 30, 2015 at 5:04 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

The decision is in for a citizens-vs.-city case we reported here in May, the appeal of a Department of Planning and Development decision allowing 12 new Verizon antennas on the roof of an Alki apartment building. As reported here in May, a group of neighbors voicing health and aesthetic concerns banded together as “Stop Alki Cell Towers” and challenged the approval, also launching a publicity campaign that included a protest.

Last week, they argued their case before city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner in a daylong hearing downtown (you can read the minutes and listen to audio of the hearing by going into the case file on the city website). Tanner published her decision yesterday (Wednesday, July 29th).

She noted that “Stop Alki Cell Towers” withdrew all but one issue at the appeal hearing, the issue alleging that the project would break city rules by being “substantially detrimental” to the “residential character” of the neighborhood and that was not the “least intrusive” potential location. In her ruling, Tanner went over the reasons why Verizon wound up with this building and also said the group presented no evidence proving the claim that the antennas would be “detrimental,” so she upheld the city’s decision approving the installation. Read her decision in its entirety here. If the group wants to continue its challenge, it will have to take the city to court.

West Seattle weather: Another ‘heat advisory’ on the way

July 29, 2015 at 10:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 17 Comments

Thanks to Mike Jensen for sharing that view of a bald eagle hanging out in a tree by Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, watching tonight’s sunset. You might want to identify a shade tree of your own for the next few days, because the National Weather Service has announced a “heat advisory” alert for noon Thursday through 9 pm Saturday – all three days are expected to have high temperatures in the 90s (and Sunday won’t be too far behind).

P.S. If you want a different perspective on 90-degree heat … note that today was the sixth anniversary of the hottest day in recorded Seattle history, when the high hit 103 degrees.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Can you help solve this mystery?

July 29, 2015 at 9:40 pm | In Crime, Gatewood, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Jeff lives in north Gatewood and has found car-prowl loot discarded near his house before. He’s been able to reunite items with their owners before … but this time he’s not having luck and asking if you know whose things these are:

I found some things hidden behind a bush off of the alley behind my house that I believe are unwanted items from a car prowl. The items include some clothing, a drawing book, and a CD case that must have 20 or 30 CDs in it.

The book and the clothing probably aren’t worth much but the CDs would have some value. Judging from the drawing book I am guessing that it is all from a young person. There is a name in the drawing book … I could not find a person by that name in West Seattle but then a young person might not show up. There are also some dates from March and then the 4th of July so the items are probably from a recent event. I would like to return the items to the owner if they want them.

We advised him to notify police, but in the meantime, if the owner comes forward, he’d still be able to return the items.

West Seattle schools: Milestone for new Arbor Heights Elementary

July 29, 2015 at 6:07 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

(Photo by Scott Thomas)
11 months after crews began the process of building the new Arbor Heights Elementary by demolishing the old one, construction has reached a milestone, with structural steel going up. Both Scott Thomas and Darren Pilon sent photos today.

(This photo and next by Darren Pilon)
We also have an update on the construction plan – Seattle Public Schools is building to the maximum possible capacity, about 660, rather than to the smaller option, 500 students. This is according to district spokesperson Tom Redman; the decision had not been made when the last pre-construction community meeting was held, nor had it been made when we asked a few times in the ensuing months.

Arbor Heights students and staff will spend their second year in interim quarters at the Boren Building starting in September, with enrollment projected at about 400. As of right now, the plan to occupy the new building for the 2016-2017 school year is still on. That’s three years earlier than what the district was planning until the Arbor Heights community convinced SPS leadership that they couldn’t serve students appropriately for that much longer in the old, crumbling buildings.

FOLLOWUP: Mayor Murray backs off proposal that would potentially densify most single-family-zone neighborhoods

July 29, 2015 at 3:01 pm | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 63 Comments

3:01 PM: Two weeks after Mayor Murray went public with his housing-affordability recommendations, while also releasing the Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee‘s report, he is backing off the most controversial proposal – the plan to change not the zoning, but the rules, for most single-family neighborhoods (as detailed in this WSB report). Here’s the news release:

Today Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement announcing he will not recommend pursuing a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) committee recommendation that could have changed 94 percent of single-family zones in Seattle. Instead, he is calling for renewed public dialogue on how best to increase affordable housing in denser neighborhoods:

“The Council and I created the HALA process because our city is facing a housing affordability crisis. In the weeks since the HALA recommendations were released, sensationalized reporting by a few media outlets has created a significant distraction and derailed the conversation that we need to have on affordability and equity.

“Fundamentally, this is a conversation about building a Seattle that welcomes people from all walks of life — where working people, low-income families, seniors, young people and the kids of current residents all can live in our city.

“We also must not be afraid to talk about the painful fact that parts of our city are still impacted by the intersection of income, race and housing. Look at a map and take a walk through our neighborhoods. We can move beyond the legacy of the old boundaries of exclusion that have remained largely unchanged since nearly a century ago when neighborhood covenants were used to keep people of color south of Madison Street.

“I have always believed that Seattle can step up and have a difficult conversation about our history of racial discrimination and economic inequality. Our shared vision for Seattle includes affordable housing and diversity in all our neighborhoods.

“To advance the broader conversation about affordable housing and equity, I will no longer pursue changes that could allow more types of housing in 94 percent of single-family zones. Instead, we will refocus the discussion on designing denser Urban Centers, Urban Villages and along transit corridors that include more affordable housing.”

ADDED 6:16 PM: What is still on the table for 6 percent of Seattle’s single-family-zoned area is explained in the second half of this fact sheet issued with the original proposals two weeks ago. But all the discussion remains in the early stages, as no legislation has been sent to the City Council yet – its new Select Committee on Housing Affordability is not scheduled to meet again until August 10th. We reported on its first meeting here.

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