August 2014

Paddle board theft triggers Coast Guard search

A Coast Guard helicopter search was triggered by the disappearance of two females and two paddle boards rented at Alki Kayak at Seacrest Park on Harbor Ave SW Friday evening.

Owner Greg Whittaker explained what happened.

"At 5:45 two women who appeared to be in their 20's came and rented two paddle boards. They signed the waiver and gave us a credit card which we didn't know at the time was expired. That evening we realized these girls are not back so at sunset we went to do a search. We did a drive on the beach, about 8:15. This is a typical operating procedure.

We did not see them. We realize at this point this could be a problem.
We had the card but two people and two boards were missing.

So we notified the Coast Guard which is our procedure and they did a search along the shoreline."

That search continued until past midnight when they notified Whittaker that they had found a personal flotation device. It wasn't part of what the two ladies took with them.


These kids will have an app for that!

Seattle App Academy to open in Sept. at Jefferson Square

By Gwen Davis

In some schools, K-12 students are using computers that are five years old. However, the apps on their iPhones update themselves every two weeks. The schools’ math curriculum needs four years to accommodate changes. But the tech industry completely reinvests how we live life within six months. Basically, the pace of technology has far exceeded the schools’ ability to teach computer skills at a meaningful, 21st-century level. What is one to do?

That is what West Seattle resident Kevin Brown has been thinking about for a long time.

“I studied the issue of how schools aren’t successful with teaching more than just how to use a computer,” Brown said. “They are used to being taught keyboarding and how to use PowerPoint, but they are not taught computer science programming.”

Which is why Brown will open the Seattle App Academy in West Seattle at Jefferson Square on Sept. 16 which will provide students in grades 4-8 with instruction on how to do computer programming, robotics and electronics. The academy will also offer classes on entrepreneurship


Words, Writers & West Seattle’ Presents Adult Fantasy Author Molly Ringle Sept. 5

information from the SWSHS

A lifelong fan of folklore and mythology, Molly Ringle has been writing both contemporary fiction and paranormal fiction for over twenty-five years. She will present two novels about the Greek myths next Friday, Sept. 5th: 'Persephone's Orchard,' (Central Avenue Publishing, 2013) the first in the series; and book 2, ‘Underworld's Daughter’ (Central Publishing, 2014). Past titles include The Ghost Downstairs, Relatively Honest, What Scotland Taught Me, and Summer Term. A love story is always part of the plot, so some of the books are classified as romance too.


Demolition of Arbor Heights Elementary has begun

The demolition of Arbor Heights Elementary School at 3701 SW 104th St, has finally gotten underway.

The school faced some delays in the demolition process but now construction equipment is on site and the work is proceeding.

$42.6 million has been allotted for construction of a new school on the site. For now, Arbor Heights students are attending school at K-5Stem on Delridge Way SW in the former Louisa Boren school site.

The school buildings will be replaced with a new school that supports best learning practices for elementary schools. Additional permanent capacity of 500–650 students will support projected enrollment growth in West Seattle. After abating and demolishing the existing structures, new buildings consisting of core facilities and teaching areas will be built and site work completed.

The new school will include:

  • Administration offices
  • Cafeteria
  • Gymnasium
  • Teachers’ lounge
  • Health clinic
  • Daycare
  • Library
  • Classrooms
  • Teacher workroom/break areas

Author/Illustrator Aaron Becker shares his new picture book Quest

DATE Friday, 19 September 2014


LOCATION Secret Garden Bookshop
2214 NW Market St.

CONTACT Suzanne Perry
Events / Public Relations Manager


Aaron Becker, creator of Caldecott Honor book Journey, presents the next
chapter in his stunning wordless fantasy. A king emerges from a hidden door
in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner
does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is
captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door.
Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and
his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their
imagination. Colored markers in hand, they make their own way through the
portal, under the sea, through a tropical paradise, over a perilous bridge,
and high in the air with the help of a winged friend. "Journey "lovers will
be thrilled to follow its characters on a new adventure threaded with


Retaining Wall Installation on Westlake Avenue (near the Fremont Bridge)

Throughout much of the month of September, the Seattle Department of Transportation will be installing a retaining wall on the hillside above the west side of Westlake Avenue North, about a third of a mile south of the Fremont Bridge (about a hundred yards south of where the Aurora Bridge passes over Westlake Avenue). The construction, intended to protect against a landslide that could potentially block Westlake Avenue, will require the reduction of southbound traffic on Westlake Avenue to a single lane during work hours.

Construction is slated to begin next Tuesday, Sept. 2, and finish by Friday, Oct. 2. Crews will work weekdays, with the curbside travel lane through the construction zone closed each day of construction from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

The sidewalk through the construction zone will be closed for the duration, with pedestrians directed to cross to the other side of Westlake at either the intersection of Dexter Avenue North and Westlake or at West Crockett Street.

For information on bus service, look for Rider Alert notices at bus stops, see Metro Online, or call 206.553.3000.


Fair weather’s foul smells could come from many sources

Warm weather, low tides and decaying seaweed increase community member calls to King County wastewater treatment plant hotlines

There’s an air of mystery around King County’s wastewater treatment facilities, and while it might smell like sewage, those odors could have other culprits.

Over the past several weeks, low tides and decaying seaweed have prompted an increase in calls to the Wastewater Treatment Division’s odor complaint hotlines. The calls have mainly come from residents who live near Puget Sound beaches.

Operations employees who followed up on the calls were generally able to rule out the sewer system as the cause of odors. However, the confusion is understandable because decaying seaweed produces the same smelly sulfur gas as raw sewage, according to a Washington State Department of Ecology fact sheet.

Though King County’s facilities are equipped with odor control, nuisance odors from the sewer system aren’t unheard of in the summer, when low water levels and slow flows can allow more sulfur gases to build up inside pipes.

Because King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division is committed to operating facilities that are good neighbors to surrounding communities, people can call one of three odor control hotlines to report problems.


Pat's View: I Hear the Train a’Coming

By Pat Cashman

If you’ve traveled by plane lately, you know that airport security is tighter than a pair of Spanx.

The airport people want you to take off your shoes, coat, belt and watch. What’s next? Probably shirts, pants, funny nose glasses and toupees.

Then you’re scanned---and sometimes felt down (or up depending on your preference).

And then if you ever do get on the plane, you’re admonished to sit down, click on your seatbelt, turn off your cell phone---and have “a wonderful flight.”

So I offer now for your consideration---and lessened aggravation: traveling by train.

First of all, the Seattle King Street Station is conveniently located right alongside some tracks. It’s where the trains that annoy Mariner’s play-by-play announcers arrive and depart.

At the train station you buy your ticket, you go board. Sometimes you go through an X-ray machine, but it’s usually a breeze---unless you’re dressed in a suit of armor. Then you merely explain you’re traveling to a Renaissance fair, and they wave you on.


'Urban Hollywood Meets Seattle' non-profit fashion show will benefit foster children Aug. 30

FREE Family Friendly Event: Non-Profit Fashion Show And Benefit For Foster Kids. School Supply Drive For Foster Programs

Aug 30, at the WSC Performance Hall in West Seattle, One Team, One Dream and Unified Outreach present: Urban Hollywood Meets Seattle, a non-profit fashion show and a benefit for young children currently in foster care.

This is Unified Outreach's third fashion show since 2010. In the past, the series has donated thousands of dollars to community organizations around West Seattle and the Greater Seattle area.

One Team, One Dream; is comprised of youth from the community that are a part of Unified Outreach’s summer arts program.

The group came together through a summer work training program that provided the opportunity and work experience in event planning and event management skills. Everything about the event including the press release, flier and poster were created by the youth in the program.

The group said in a press release that they plan to donate $5,000 and collect school supplies for foster programs.


Alki Regulator Gate set for repairs; Regulates sewage to avoid overflows

Work will affect traffic in the area

information from King County

Beginning mid-September, repairs will begin on the County’s Alki Regulator Gate. This is a below- ground structure located at Southwest Spokane Street, near the corner of Beach Drive Southwest (see map above). This facility is part of the County’s regional wastewater system; it helps regulate flows going to the West Seattle tunnel and pump station. The repairs are important to help avoid wastewater overflows into Puget Sound during times of high flows in the system.

Details of the work
• Repairs include removing broken concrete, clearing obstructions, and cleaning the flow gate frame and guides.
• Work will be below-ground with support equipment on the surface, including a generator for the ventilation system.
• There will be traffic control in place to direct vehicles around the work area.
• Day and night work is planned (during times of low sewer flows).
• The work is expected to take up to two weeks to complete.