February Spokespeople Ride: Alki to Discovery and Back

Join neighbors and other West Seattleites for February’s Spokespeople West Seattle ride – a Point to Point bike ride.

The Point to Point ride is a 29 mile ride from Alki Point to Discovery Point and back with one hill section midway through the ride. The pace will be a moderate pace and riders will regroup occasionally.

Prior to the actual ride, there will be time to discuss health and dietary issues. Dietitians and medical professionals are encouraged to attend. Riders under 50 years certainly may attend even though this is a fitness ride for the Over-50 and/or Over-Worked set. Spokespeople West Seattle will not concede the forgone conclusion that baby boomers will bankrupt Medicare. Baby boomers grew up on two wheels and two wheels will keep them healthy and decrease their healthcare costs. If you are also determined not to be a tax burden, please join us as we pedal our way into a very healthy age.

Spokespeople West Seattle ride details:

  • Start Date/Time:  2/06/11, 11:00AM
  • Start Location:  Alki Statue of Liberty 63rd Ave. S.W. and Alki
  • Ride Leader:  Stu Hennessey, phone 206-938-3322, emai alkistu@hotmail.com
  • Second Ride Leader:  John Reardon, phone:  206-762-2411
  • Distance:  29.03 miles round trip
  • Pace:  Moderate
  • Terrain:  Some hills
  • Map Available:  Yes
  • Regroup:  Occasional
  • Weather Cancels:  Ice/snow cancels

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West Seattle Triangle Area Planning Open House Set

The Department of Planning and Development will be hosting a West Seattle Triangle Open House on Monday, February 7, 2011, 6:00 pm to  8:00 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 S.W. Oregon Street.

The West Seattle Triangle planning area is located at the gateway to West Seattle, bounded and bisected by Fauntleroy SW, SW 35th and SW Alaska Street. This is the location of the former Huling properties and the future location of two stops for King County Metro’s Bus RapidRide.

The purpose of the open house is to give community members an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed street design concept plan and land use concepts for the West Seattle Triangle. These concepts have been developed over the past year by DPD with help from a community advisory group and other members of the community.

For more information on the West Seattle Triangle project, see the project web site at www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/WestSeattleTriangle/.

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Wallingford Spokespeople Ride to U-Village Saturday

This Saturday, February 5, is predicted to be a lovely sunny day and a great day for a bike ride! Wallingford Spokespeople will ride to U-Village and back again.

As they do on the first Saturday of every month, the start is from the Wallingford Playfield at 2:00 pm. We’ll try to be back no later than 4:00 pm.

The Wallingford Spokespeople route this month goes from 42nd and Densmore to 34th, to the Burke-Gilman trail most of the way to the U-Village. Getting home there will be a hill. Some of the ride is on the road in traffic. You are always welcome to walk any hills you cannot ride. This ride will be led by Michael Snyder, from Seattle Likes Bikes and a Cascade Bicycle Club-certified Ride Leader.

Nuts and Bolts

Spokespeople rides leave at 2:00 pm from the south end of Wallingford Playfield (at Densmore and N 42nd next to Hamilton Middle School) on the first Saturday of every month and ride on the road in traffic to an adjacent urban center. New riders are welcome — in fact, getting new riders on the road is the reason we do the rides! Please come no later than 1:45 pm if you are new to riding on the road, new to riding in groups, or if you need any help with adjusting your helmet or bike. Please also call a day in advance if you’d like to buy a good quality helmet from us for $10 and we’ll bring our sack of helmets. Helmets are required on our rides. If there is heavy rain, we won’t do the ride.

What if it rains? Only heavy rain will cancel the ride. We’ll decide by noon on the day of the ride. Give a call if you plan to come and don’t know if the ride is on. Expert commuters, please join us. We need you. As our rides grow larger, we welcome good bicyclists who can offer encouragement and model good road riding techniques for new, returning and reluctant cyclists. This is a Bike Smart Seattle ride. All ages and skill levels are welcome. All Spokespeople rides are led by Cascade Bicycle Club certified ride leaders.

Contact information. If you want more information about this ride or about Spokespeople, please contact Cathy Tuttle, cathy.tuttle@gmail.com, 206-547-9569 or 206-713-6269, or Michael Snyder 206-781-7221, or check out their website at www.spokespeople.us.

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Tool of the Week: Hand Held Circular Saw

By Amanda Leonard

One of the most popular and heavily used power tools is the hand held circular saw. You’ve probably seen them on just about every do-it-yourself show out there. Believe it or not, stationary circular saws have actually been around since the late 1770’s, though they weren’t available in a hand held form until 1923.

The basic circular saw uses a rotating blade to make relatively straight cuts across a piece of material. Though the hand held version is the type most people think of when circular saw is mentioned, there are also a wide variety of other circular saws such as miter saws, radial arm saws, table saws, and biscuit joiners. The beauty of a hand held version is that, instead of moving the wood across the blade, the blade moves across the wood. This allows for much more flexibility in the angle or length of the cut.

A circular saw blade is composed of a metal disc with teeth near the edges. These teeth are often specialized for the material you are cutting such as wood, plywood, or metal, but there are also multipurpose blades that can handle just about anything with some degree of success. Tip: When cutting plywood or laminate, use masking tape over your cut line and cut with the material upside down. This will help you obtain a clean cut without excessive chipping.

Another feature of the hand held circular saw is the ability to adjust the angle and depth of the saw blade. By adjusting the angles, a DIY’er can create more sophisticated joints in all sorts of projects, from trim work to furniture making. Adjusting the blade depth, on the other hand, simply limits the blades exposure and helps control kickback, which can be dangerous to both person and project. Tip: Set the blade so that the bottom of the blade is no more than 1/8” to 1/4” below the material. Remember to always unplug power tools when making these adjustments.

The hand held circular saw is a very powerful and potentially dangerous tool so always be aware of the blade, which is whipping around at a few thousand rotations per minute, and wear those safety goggles! You also might like to be aware of what’s underneath the material you are cutting. It’s never fun to get have way through a cut and then suddenly slice through the power cord. Of course, if you’re someone who’s prone to such mistakes, you could avoid cutting the power cord altogether by trying out one of the cordless options from the Tool Library.

For more tips and tricks to using the circular saw and other power tools, check out the new Power Tools 101 course offered in partnership with The Tool Library by South Seattle Community College. Amy Ecklund from Amy Works will be instructing the class on using power tools safely and effectively. To sign up for this course and more DIY home maintenance courses, visit www.learnatsouth.com.

The hand held circular saw (corded or cordless) is one of over 1,000 tools available now at the West Seattle Tool Library, which is free to use and run primarily on user donations. If you or someone you know you would like to be involved in The Tool Library, please consider attending one of our bi-weekly meetups or becoming a member.

Follow The West Seattle Tool Library on:
Twitter (@wstoollibrary),
Facebook, (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/West-Seattle-Tool-Library/132474963463223)
and Meetup (http://www.meetup.com/West-Seattle-Tool-Library/).

Tool of the Week: The Brace

by Patrick Dunn

Some tools just stand the test of time, regardless of technological advances. The brace, in all its simplicity, is one of those modern tool dinosaurs. First developed sometime in the 15th century, the manual brace hasn’t really changed much over all those years. Aside from its transition to steel, the only real advance has probably been the introduction of a ratchet mechanism somewhere along the line that allowed a user to maximize the tool’s torque when operating in a cramped environment.

The brace is composed of a U-shaped crank with two free floating handles, one on the end of the brace that fits in the palm of a user’s hand to provide the pressure and one at the base of the U that a user grips to turn the crank and provide the power. The chuck on most braces is slightly different from that of a modern power drill. Rather than being designed to accept the common, straight-shanked drill bit, braces usually have V-shaped brackets, which are actually designed to accept square-shanked bits. Though likely out of mass production, these square bits can commonly be found at garage sales. So opportunities surely abound if you’d really love to get into using a brace, as woodworkers have for centuries.

For most uses, though, the brace has largely been replaced by a variety of power drills, which are often able to complete the same task in a fraction of the time. Modern power drills also offer more accuracy, as the user’s hands and arms can remain in relatively the same position throughout the drilling process.

Nonetheless, the brace definitely still has its uses. In fact, they still often reside in the toolboxes of those who occasionally work with larger fastenings or who work away from a power supply for longer periods of time. And, if you’re a tool aficionado, they’re actually quite fun.

The brace is one of over 1,000 tools currently available at The West Seattle Tool Library. Located at The South Seattle Community College Garden Center, The Tool Library is open on Saturdays from 9am-2pm and Sundays from 1-5pm. This Saturday, January 22nd, from 10am to noon, The Tool Library will host “Ask an Expert for the Do-It-Yourselfer,” which features free advice and shared knowledge from a rotating cast of local experts.

For more information, visit sustainablewestseattle.org/tool-library
or follow The Tool Library on:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/West-Seattle-Tool-Library/132474963463223
Meetup: meetup.com/West-Seattle-Tool-Library/
or Twitter: @wstoollibrary

Tool Library Meetup Tonight @ Youngstown

There will be a Tool Library Meetup tonight at 7:00 pm at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center,

For those that haven’t yet heard the news, The Tool Library, which has been bursting at the seams in its current location, will soon be expanding and moving into the Dennis Jorum Workshop space at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center

This new location will have much more tool storage and will allow The Tool Library to offer a community workshop, complete with table saw, drill press, thickness planer, jointer, bandsaw, and all the other tools one would expect in a workshop.

We’ll be meeting up tonight at the Workshop to plan for the Tool Library’s smooth transition down to this new space over the next couple months. It’s a really exciting time in the life of The Tool Library and so we hope to see you there! We could definitely use the help!

West Seattle Tool Library Meetup Agenda

Dennis Jorum Workshop (NE Corner of the Building)

  1. Introductions
  2. Review of the Project and Status
  3. Timeline for Transition
  4. Volunteer Positions
  5. Layout & Plan Details
  6. Workplan
  7. Action Items
  8. Next Meetup

Youngstown is located at 4408 Delridge Way SW. The Workshop space is in the Northeast corner of the building. Enter from the parking lot, through the rear alley. See you there!

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Pedestrian Advisory Board Seeks New Members

The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board is accepting applications for new members to make Seattle a better place to walk. The goal is to help make walking safer and easier, and to increase the trips people make by walking instead of driving in a car.

The volunteer board plays an influential role in implementing Seattle’s Pedestrian Master Plan, and also advises the Mayor and City Council, participates in planning and project development, and evaluates policies and makes recommendations to all city departments including the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).

Board members serve a two-year term with an opportunity to serve a second term. They are frequent walkers of a variety of ages, levels of mobility, and walks of life, and from areas throughout the city. Members must be Seattle residents, and may not be city employees. The group meets the second Wednesday of each month from 6:00 to 8:00 pmat City Hall on Fifth Avenue between James and Cherry.

Mayor McGinn and City Council are committed to promoting diversity in the City’s boards and commissions. Women, youth, persons with disabilities, sexual minorities, and persons of color are encouraged to apply. Interested persons should submit a resume and cover letter explaining their interest by email by December 17 to Brian Dougherty at brian.dougherty@seattle.gov.

For more information, call Brian Dougherty at 206-684-5124, or send e-mail to brian.dougherty@seattle.gov.

The pedestrian board members have articulated their vision: “We want Seattle to become a ‘walking city.’ People will walk in ever increasing numbers. We will want to walk; we will walk safely and with pleasure; we will walk for whatever reasons and at whatever times we choose. In Seattle, walking will be a way of life…”

High Point Youth Program Seeks After School Tutors

Andrea VanHorn, the Center Assistant for Youth Tutoring Programs of Catholic Community Services is seeking additional tutors.   The tutoring program operates in the High Point Center in West Seattle and serves over sixty youth, first through twelve grades with free tutoring.

These are students who struggle in school due to language barriers, lack of resources and learning difficulties. The majority of students are from low-income and immigrant families.

The tutoring program is now are reaching a new term and gearing up to bring more students into our program. Their goal is to bring in 15 or more new students who desperately need to be reached. However, they cannot do this without tutors.

For more information contact Andrea VanHorn or her supervisor Joylyn Reidhead, High Point Youth Tutoring Program, 206-588-4900 ext. 624, or email at highpoint@ccsww.org.

“Healthy Parks, Healthy You” Fitness Boot Camp

Seattle Parks and Recreation has your ticket to fitness – Boot Camp. This six- week class offers an hour once or twice a week of the best body conditioning and muscle toning exercises for every body type and fitness level.  The course runs from January 11 through February 17 at Green Lake Community Center.

Parks offers this class in keeping with its “Healthy Parks, Healthy You” initiative, which promotes physical activity and wellness programs that help individuals and families lead healthy lifestyles.

A certified and experienced Boot Camp instructor delivers guidance, encouragement, and safe and effective exercises in a friendly environment. Every participant will be challenged differently at his or her own level.

The program runts Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon from January 11 through February 17.  The program is being offered in a one or two day program with cost for the 6-week one-day program being $60 and for the 6-week two-day program $120.

Boot Camp meets at the Green Lake Park outdoor basketball courts near the Green Lake Community Center building.  Metro transit from West Seattle options include th #54, 55, 21, 22, 120 and 125 to downtown and then #26 or #5 to Green Lake.  Click here to call up Metro’s bus schedule service or here to use Metro’s Trip Planner.

What to expect:

  • Stretching
  • Abdominal and core training
  • Running and walking
  • Stair-climbing
  • Resistance training
  • Agility and endurance drills
  • Partner and team drills

What to bring:

  • Good, supportive running shoes
  • Exercise mat
  • One pair of three- to 10-pound dumbbells
  • Water
  • Layered clothing for the outdoors

For more information, please call Antoinette Daniel, Citywide Athletics Recreation Program Coordinator, at 206-684-7092 or email her at antoinette.daniel@seattle.gov.

For more information on the Healthy Parks, Healthy You initiative, please see http://www.seattle.gov/parks/healthyparks/.

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