WSDOT Contest: Name The Gigantic Boring Machine for Alaskan Way Tunnel

It’s been one of the most talked-about local issues since the rebuild of the West Seattle Bridge, now Washington State Department of Transportation is asking Washington State residents “what to name the world’s largest-diameter tunneling machine.”

The Washington State Department of Transportation kicked off a statewide contest for kindergarten through 12th grade students to name the machine that will dig the State Route 99 tunnel to replace the waterfront section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Crews in Japan are putting the finishing touches on the machine, which – at five stories tall – will be the world’s largest to date. The winning name will be painted on the machine and the contest winner will be invited to attend the dedication event next year in Seattle.

Each entry must include a proposed name for the machine and a 200-word-or-less description of why they chose it. Entries are due by 5:00 pm. Tuesday, November 13. Check WSDOT’s website for contest details, rules and restrictions.

There are three ways to enter:

  • Online at;
  • In person at Milepost 31, 211 First Ave. S., Seattle;
  • By mail at Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, 999 Third Ave., Suite 2424, Seattle, WA 98104.

The winner(s) will be announced in December, when project officials travel to Japan and Seattle Tunnel Partners takes ownership of the completed SR 99 tunnel boring machine. For more information about the SR 99 Tunnel Project, visit

Welcome West Seattle Bike Connections – New Bike Advocacy & Assistance Group

Introducing a new bicycle advocacy group for the West Seattle area and environs –  West Seattle Bike Connections (WSBC).

WS Bike Connections would like to engage those in the area who are interested in cycling, making improvements in the cycling infrastructure and providing a cohesive response and input to decisions that could effect cycling in the West Seattle area.

The new group has some upcoming meetings which will be posted here on the SWS Events page as soon as they are firmed up.

The new group has established a set of mission and goals statements:

Mission Statement

Provide advocacy and assistance for those traveling by bicycle to, from, and around West Seattle

Goal Statement

Make cycling a safer, efficient and attractive option for travel to downtown and for destinations in and beyond West Seattle neighborhoods, for riders of all ages and abilities.

Help connect West Seattleites to school, work, transit, shopping areas, friends/family and recreation by bicycle.

Give West Seattle a strong voice in the 2012-13 Seattle Bike Master Plan update.

Engage the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the Washington State Department of Transportation (WADOT), King County Metro, the Port of Seattle and other groups (governmental, private and non-profit) interested in providing alternatives to driving; emphasize positive impact of cycling on freight mobility and highlight the usefulness of convenient bike+bus/bike+rail travel options for all modes of travel.

For more information and/or to be added to the group’s email list, contact Don Brubeck, 206-913-2232, or email at, or take a look at the West Seattle Bike Connections’ Facebook page.

West Seattle Bike Connections is allied with West Seattle Spokespeople and is a Sustainable West Seattle partner.


Attend Bike Master Plan Update Open House and Help Chart New Course for Seattle’s Bike Transportation System

 The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is ready to give us a taste of where Seattle is headed with the Bicycle Master Plan Update – from SDOT’s draft vision, goals and objectives, to actual lines on a city map that mark where our new bikeways might go.

Will SDOT develop a plan that meets the needs of people of all ages and abilities? Will their vision and goals be ambitious enough? Will the network map plan for a city where everyone, from an eight-year-old child to her eighty-year-old grandmother, has the freedom to ride a bike where they want to go? 

It’s up to us. If we don’t stand together and speak up now for world-class bikeways (neighborhood greenways, cycle tracks, buffered bike lanes and trails) in our communities, we could end up with a plan that calls for more sharrows on four-lane arterials. 

Click on a date below to RSVP and join dozens of your friends and neighbors at an SDOT open house on the Bicycle Master Plan update to speak up for a connected Seattle where it is safe and comfortable for everyone to ride a bike:

This is every Seattle citizen’s chance to plan for a city connected by 200 new miles of world-class bikeways by the year 2020, where safe and comfortable bikeways reach 95 percent of all Seattleites within a quarter-mile and 20 percent of all trips are made by bike. 

Since last May, SDOT has received over 3,500 survey responses and collected a ton of data on their interactive map from Seattle residents like you. That’s a good start, but now your input is needed in person at these open houses. You’ll get the chance to make your voice heard about what planned bikeways work well, and which areas need more attention. This is a remarkable opportunity to help shape the future of bicycling in Seattle, so please RSVP today

Roxhill Park Playground Rebuild Needs Volunteers and Tools

The Roxhill Park playground, known to many as the Roxhill Castle was built by the community back in 1994. It is a unique and iconic park, and very important to the children of the Westwood and Roxhill neighborhoods of West Seattle. It is a bright spot in a historically underserved community. The play structure is now end of life and is being demolished. The Seattle Parks department agreed to rebuild the park in the same fashion and style, using the same contractor. In return, the community pledged to provide the labor.

The build dates for the project are set, November 2 through 6, and it’s time to assign work schedules. To sign up for the project, click here or email and request a shift. It is very important to actually sign up. Without enough volunteers, this project will be cancelled.

The project staff still need additional volunteers. Please consider inviting anyone you think might find this project worthwhile (If your workplace has a Day of Service or other volunteer program,that would be great). There is a particular need for skilled workers (e.g. contractors, carpenters, handy-with-tools-people).

For more information on the project, visit

To sign up for the project, visit the online sign up page:

For questions, suggestions email

City Light Tips for Storm Season

Are You Ready For Storm Season?

At City Light, we’re ready for storm season! We have been busy trimming trees (six hundred miles in 2012) and working on our infrastructure to prepare for storm season. You can be ready too. Here are some easy ways to prepare:

Start by assembling an emergency preparedness kit

  • Include at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water
  • Have a working flashlight with batteries – or a hand-crank flashlight
  • Use a battery-powered or hand-crank portable radio
  • Have a manual can opener available
  • Up-date your first aid kit and include prescribed medications
  • Keep an extra pair of glasses, and
  • Be sure to remember pets – they will need food and water too

For more tips and ways to be ready, go to:

Five Quick Tips from City Light for Fall

  1. Save money and energy in the kitchen – try using a slow cooker instead of the stove. Many of your favorite autumn “comfort food” recipes can easily be adapted for the slow cooker.
  2.  If you have a wood-burning fireplace, shut the flue when not in use – an open flue is like an open window. Plus, it will help keep sooty smells from getting in the house on gusty days. Just make sure any fire you had burning is completely out before closing the flue!
  3. To report outages, give us a call at 206-684-3000, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To see what parts of town are out, check our outage map. If you see a downed wire, always assume that it is energized, and keep yourselves and others well away from it. Call 911 at your first opportunity.
  4.  If bad weather hits, remember to check on your neighbors – especially the elderly, or those who might have language barriers.
  5.  Shorter days mean more streetlight repairs. To report a malfunctioning streetlight, give us a call at (206) 684-7056, or visit our on-line streetlight trouble report form. You can even do it from our mobile app!

Proposed Cherry Point Coal Terminal Hearing @ Convention Center Thursday

If you are interested in the impact of multiple coal trains traveling through Western Washington to access proposed coal rail-to-ship terminals in the Bellingham or Longview areas, consider attending a hearing on the proposed Cherry Point Coal Export Terminal on Thursday, December 13, from  4:00 to 7:00 pm at the  State Convention Center, Ballroom 6F, 800 Convention Place, Seattle.
Sign up for the Seattle hearing on Facebook or simply arrive early on December 13 if you wish to make a formal comment.

You can also comment by letter or online here:

Here are the details:

  • Who: Friends, Family, Neighbors, the Sierra Club and, anyone interested in the coal terminal.
  • What: Coal Exports Public Hearing
  • When: Thursday, December 13: Rally is at 2:00 p.m. at Freeway Park and the hearing is from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
  • Where: Washington State Convention Center, Ballroom 6F, 800 Convention Place, downtown Seattle access from Freeway Park or from Pike St. between 7th & 8th Avenues.

NOTE: Hearing registration starts at 3:00 p.m. If you want to speak be there early!

For more information contact Robin Everett at

Help Shape Seattle City Light’s Renewable Energy Future: Join Community Forum

Did you know that Seattle City Light generates the cleanest, lowest cost energy in the urban U.S?More than 90% of the electricity you receive comes from renewable power sources, most of which is hydropower. While our hydro electricity is renewable and low cost, it is not infinite. Seattle City Light wants to stay ahead of the curve – and would like your input on the next generation of green power and other energy-related programs. City Light wants to know what you think about renewable, clean sources of energy, using energy wisely, and what they can do together to support them in our community.City Light invites you to help shape our collective energy future. Join the Seattle City Light Community Energy Forum at: Community Energy Forum is a survey series that will help City Light understand the types of voluntary renewable power and energy-saving programs that are important to you. As a Forum member, you’ll receive one or two emails per month inviting you to take a brief, five-minute survey. To thank you for sharing your opinions and ideas, each month you’ll be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $50 Amazon gift certificate.

Enroll today at For more information, read Seattle City Light’s FAQ here

Green America Has Green Halloween Ideas

Green America has posted a series of links and suggestions on ways to have a Green Halloween® and National Costume Swap Day™.

This October Green America will be helping families across the US swap the standard Halloween junk for healthier and more sustainable holiday treats, and also to swap gently used costumes within their community – a green and affordable way to celebrate!

There are lots of ways to get involved:

1. Host a Costume Swap in your community – National Costume Swap Day is October 13th, but you can choose to hold a swap on any day that works for you.  For tips on how to organize and promote your swap check out how-to here.  And be sure to register your swap here so that others in your area will know the details.

2. Attend a Green Halloween Celebration – Green America has officially joined forces with zoos, aquariums, andcommunity partners across the country to host Green Halloween celebrations.  Activities at these events will include trick-or-treating, face-painting, hay rides, and more, and ALL will be perfect for kids of all ages, featuring healthy treats.  See a complete event listing here. 

3. Organize a Green Halloween event in your area – Anyone can organize a Green Halloween celebration for your town. Green America has an official “how-to” kit to guide you on how organize fun and sustainable Green Halloween events, all contained in their online “Volunteer Coordinator’s Guide”.

4. Hand out sustainable treats on Halloween — If you’re looking for greener sweet-treats, or candy alternatives, to hand out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, check out the list of suggestions here. It’s not too early to stock up.

Applications Open for Neighborhood Street Fund; $4.5 Million Available for 2013

The City of Seattle’s Neighborhood Street Fund program is now accepting applications for the third of three rounds of funding from the Bridging the Gap levy.

Up to $4.5 million will be spent on planning, designing and building projects selected from among those considered most important by Seattle’s Neighborhood District Councils.

Here’s what you might want to know about the NSF application process:

  1. SDOT will be attending the District Council meetings this October to introduce the program.  SDOT strongly urges applicants to attend one of these meetings and to work closely with their District Council to develop their proposals.
  2. SDOT will answer questions and can assist applicants with their proposals, but only if asked.  Please email
  3. SDOT is taking applications on-line though a link on the program website (see below).
  4. All applications, and any supporting materials, are due December 17th, 2012.
  5. Each of Seattle’s 13 District Councils will pick three (3) applications in January (2013) for SDOT staff to evaluate further.
  6. After defining the scope and preparing rough cost estimates, SDOT staff will return each District Council’s three (3) proposed projects to them for ranking (in May 2013).
  7. In September 2013 the Bridging the Gap Oversight Committee will recommend to the Mayor and City Council which of the proposed projects to fund.
  8. Most projects will be designed in 2014 and built in 2015.

Please visit to access the link to the application form and to find other useful information, including a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ).  If you have any questions after reading through the website, please send them to .

West Seattle Barter Fair Geared Toward Holiday Season – Saturday @ Camp Long

Join Sustainable West Seattle and this Saturday, November 10,  at the Camp Long Lodge from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm for a fun and unique barter session geared toward the holiday season.  There will be pot luck selections for the hungry so plan on bringing a dish.  The event takes place in the historic Lodge at Camp Long.

Camp Long is accessible via SW Dawson Street, in the 5200-block of 35th Avenue SW.  The Metro #21 bus goes right by the park.

The object of the Barter Fair is to promote more meaningful gifting of products through exchanging services or items made from raw materials (jams, birdhouses, quilts, etc.).

Categories include:

  • Services
  • Art and Crafts
  • Home Crafts
  • Food Crafts
  • Salvaged and Refurbished Items

This year’s fair will be held in cooperation with  Folks from will guide the trading during the afternoon.

[mappress mapid=”534″]