A Very Inspiring WS Tool Library Story

At the Tool Library BBQ fundraiser last weekend (which was a great success!), I had the pleasure to meet many Tool Library regulars. Many people exclaimed their love of this awesome community resource and described how they use it. I was really blown away when I met Gaston and heard the story of how he and his wife had exclusively used tools from the West Seattle Tool Library to turn their fixer-upper into a lovable, livable home. This is a great example of how to use a Tool Library!

Here is Gaston and his wife’s story: 

The West Seattle Tool Library has been an amazing resource for my wife and I.  Without it, we would not have been able to make such a great home for ourselves.  This is because we had a get a fixer upper and the resources of the Tool Library made it possible to fix it up and make it our home.

We really wanted our own home but were a bit scared by the highly competitive Seattle area housing market.  Even so, after years of saving we managed to get enough for a downpayment for a fixer-upper in an area we liked.  It felt great to finally have a place we owned, but it was not in great condition and we needed some help to fix, furnish, and renovate it so that we could be completely happy with it.  That is when my wife discovered the West Seattle Tool Library.

I consider myself handy-ish and confident enough to attempt renovations, but my toolbox only contains the basics.  The first issue I wanted to tackle was adding insulation to an exterior wall that had none.

Gaston_Insulation

I could easily open the wall and stuff some insulation in there however repairing the wall would be challenging as I had never done any drywall work before.  Thankfully the Tool Library staff knew what I was getting into.  They loaned me the tools I needed and showed me how to use them.

Gaston_Drywall

Now I have a great looking wall that no longer freezes the room in the winter.

Gaston_Drywall2

With now more space than our previous apartment, my wife and I had a mostly empty house that needed furnishing.  Being frugal people, we looked for good furniture that we could refinish rather than just buying new furniture.  This is where Brian of the Tool Library helped us out immensely.  Brian is a woodworker that loves his craft.  He has given us fantastic recommendations for refinishing wood furniture.  With his advice we have restored a deck patio set, cabinets, and even built our own wood pallet table.  This restoration allowed us to put our own personal touches into our furniture without spending a fortune.

Gaston_PalletBefore

Gaston_PalletAfter

Our current, and largest, project is adding wood flooring into two rooms and a small hallway.

Gaston_BeforeHardwoods

We both really like the look and feel of wood floors but haven’t been able to put them in because of the cost.  We could not afford a new wood floor so we began to search for used flooring.  With all the wood restoration knowledge from the Tool Library, we felt confident that we could refinish a used floor.  After a few months of searching, a friend of ours offered us the fir flooring in a house he was demolishing.  So we quickly set out to pull up the floorboards, remove the nails from each board, remove our old carpet, prep the subfloor, and nail the flooring down.  All with the tools and expert advice of the West Seattle Tool Library.  I am currently sanding the floor and its getting close to completion.

Gaston_AfterHardwoods

 

Gaston_BedroomDuring

 

Gaston_BedroomAfter

In addition we have also used tools and advice of the WSTL to help us:

  • Repair an old greenhouse and plant vegetables
  • Gaston_Greenhouse1
  • Clean, repair and refinish our back deck
  • Gaston_PressureWasher
  • Sand, stain, and refinish cabinets
  • Renovated a very outdated old bathroom

 

I feel like I am at the WSTL every weekend picking up a tool for my next project and asking Brian for more advice.  We have used the Tool Library to make a great home.  It has been invaluable to us.

 

We hope you utilize and support the WS Tool Library as well. If you are interested in learning more or perhaps volunteering at the Tool Library please contact us at (206) 659-8313.

Take care!

The SWS Team

April Meaningful Movies

Saturday, April 4, West Seattle Meaningful Movie

Dear friends,

Saturday, April 4

West Seattle Meaningful Movies presents
 

 
 
1 hour, 8 minutes
 
A film that examines the subtle and gross dynamics of racial discrimination and what white privilege really means.
We will also talk about how racial inequality relates to climate change.
 
6:30 doors open for snacks and social time
7:00 movie, followed by optional discussion
 

Bus numbers 21 and 128

 
NO CHARGE, but donations gratefully received.
 
Help us minimize waste—bring your own mug.
 
 
Get connected and informed for yourself, your family, your community, and your planet.

Stu’s News: You and Carbon Pollution!

carbon neutralby Stu Hennessey*

If you have had any concern over the changing climate and the extreme weather events that have been making headlines you have probably felt frustration over not being in a position to challenge the big corporate polluters. The good news is that we are more in control of carbon pollution and its effect on the climate than most people realize.

People like you and I actually emit nearly twice the carbon pollution than industrial America. We also pollute in a manner that is hard to capture. We are non point source polluters. NPSPs. That means the pollution we emit comes from a variety of source points like individual cars or lawn mowers or woodstoves. Our source points are so spread out and numerous that it would be impossible to capture or cap what we emit. Where as a corporate polluter will usually have a single stack or source point that could be capped and sequestered.

We know there are cleaner ways to run the world’s industries but until we can afford a corporate takeover and finance the industrial change-over to clean energy we can only work on our own solutions. I find it very empowering to know that individual education and efforts can reduce nearly two thirds of the world’s carbon pollution. Whether it is by using alternatives to fossil fuel transportation or reducing our home energy consumption or limiting the distance a product we consume travels to the cash register we can make a huge difference. Here are ten ideas you could employ:

  • Reduce your travel emissions by riding a bicycle. Using the transit system or trading in the gas guzzler for an electric vehicle.
  • Reduce your home energy costs by turning down the thermostat or buying a programmable thermostat. Choosing a smaller more efficient home. Switching to LED lighting. Turning off all electric devices when not in use.
  • Shopping Local, buying products that are being manufactured closer to home or have been offered for reuse. Shopping at local businesses near where you live. Smaller businesses with smaller carbon footprints.
  • Eat locally grown food. Join a Community Supported Agriculture subscription. Join a community garden group or P Patch. Turn your yard into your own food supply.
  • Plant trees! Trees eat carbon dioxide and in return release oxygen. Most trees have been removed to make room for our cities. Please replace them.
  • Support government and non government organizations that offer alternatives to the archaic fossil fuel era. We can fast track our independence from fossil fuels.
  • Reduce all forms of consumer waste. Buy bulk! Buy what you need. Buy what will make you less of a carbon non point source.
  • Recycle: This is where we show what gains we have already accomplished. Good Job NPSPs.
  • Compost: Another area where great strides have been made.
  • De-carbonize your image. Our image is important to us but is it a bigger is better image that we should strive for. Is the bigger car, bigger house, wealthy-enough-to-be-carbon-foolish image the one that matters?   Imagine yourself at one with a carbon neutral earth.

* Stu Hennessey is a board member of Sustainable West Seattle and is an active cyclist and member of Spokespeople.  Stu operates and owns Alki Bike and Board in West Seattle’s Admiral District.

SWS Annual Membership Meeting: Learn About Us, Volunteer with Us, Join Us

Join Sustainable West Seattle on Martin Luther King Day at C&P Coffee from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.  We’ll be hosting our annual membership meeting and we’ll be providing treats as well as information.  We’re also be looking for new board members so if you’re interested in getting involved please drop in.

  • When:Monday, January 19, 2015, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Where: C&P Coffee, 5612 California Ave SW, just south of the RapidRide station

On the National Day of Service start the New Year off by donating some time to Sustainable West Seattle (SWS), the organization spearheading West Seattle’s effort to provide alternatives to globalization and planet exploitation. SWS is looking for new members and board members for 2015’s “projects of hope.” Here is your chance to influence the shape of your sustainable community and local projects.

The evening will include:

  • Review of Projects & Events in 2014
  • Look Forward & Idea Sharing for Focus of 2015
  • Prospective Board Candidates — Attendees for consideration by Incoming 2015 Board will share their ideas for, and what they can contribute to SWS
  • SWS Members at large and interested participants (not SWS member) share ideas for local West Seattle efforts and to help SWS as an organization
  • Dessert is provided by the current 2014 SWS Board

Hope you can join in the local effort with Sustainable West Seattle.

Train for Challenge Course Leadership, Parks Offering Courses @ Camp Long

CampLongHighRopesSeattle Parks and Recreation worked with Washington State University Extension 4-H to build a “challenge course” in the trees in West Seattle’s Camp Long. In 2015, interested members of the public are invited to join other educators and counselors in learning how to use adventure education to promote team building and personal development in their communities.

The introduction to facilitator training takes place Wednesday through Friday, January 28-30, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The cost is $240. The low-course facilitator training takes place Tuesday through Thursday, March 10 and 12, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The cost is $240. The high-course facilitator training 1 (hub and spoke course with dual ziplines, ropes rescue) takes place Tuesday through Thursday, April 21-23, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The cost is $240. The high-course facilitator training 2 (vertical playpen and trapeze jump, M-Belay systems) takes place Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 and 7, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The cost is $160.

The training location is 5200 35th Ave SW at Camp Long in West Seattle. Camping is available during the training. There are several cabins available for rent for overnight stays at Camp Long, see http://www.seattle.gov/parks/reservations/camplong.htm.

After successful completion of the training, participants will be able to facilitate events at the Camp Long challenge course. The course is designed to meet the 4-H certification requirements to host and facilitate group activities at Camp Long. Certified facilitators receive reduced rates when bringing their own groups. The trainings are designed to sequence together.

At the Camp Long course, several elements of the ropes course are integrated into the forested areas. WSU 4–H, through 30 years of adventure education experience, has developed curricula that strengthen critical life skills including decision making, self-confidence, positive risk taking, self-esteem, teamwork, and leadership.

For more information and to sign up for the challenge course training, please contact Challenge Course Manager Ken Turner at 206-684-7434 or keno.turner@seattle.gov.

Camp Long is one of Seattle’s best kept secrets. Located in West Seattle, this 68-acre oasis in the city offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy nature, hike in the forest, camp overnight in rustic cabins, rock climb, learn about natural history, and visit or rent the rustic Lodge. For more information, see http://www.seattle.gov/parks/environment/camplong.htm.

 

Open House for West Seattle and Burien Solar Homes Saturday

Homes north of West Seattle Elementary School which have solar installed.

Home owners in West Seattle and Burien neighborhoods are preparing to show their solar homes as part of the National American Energy Solar Tour on Saturday, October 4 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm.  It is a golden opportunity for curious folks interested in solar energy to view projects first hand, see how they are working, and talk to the owners and installers.  

To find tour sites go to http://www.ases.org/solar-tour/find-a-tour/ or www.solarwa.org.  The web site has addresses, most of the sites are a within 15 min drive between the north part of West Seattle to Burien.  

Pam Burton and Jeremy Smithson, owners of Puget Sound Solar, will be available for answering questions at the home of Cindy Jennings, 2205 41st Ave SW. For more information or questions call 206-402-6926.

Tour map direct linkhttps://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=zieH_jH3zMLg.kA1ko0WXVdcI

Pathfinder K-8 School Has New 2500-gallon Cistern for Earth Project Garden

pathfinder cistern

Sustainable West Seattle is excited to announce the completion of a new 2500-gallon rainwater harvesting system at Pathfinder K-8 school that will be used to irrigate its  extensive school garden.  SWS was a significant part of this project, donating volunteer labor through school parent Bill Reiswig and through a small grant from SWS’s storm water project Tox-ick.org.

The newly-installed system harvests rainwater that falls on the metal roof of the school and stores it for future use.  It has a 50+ gallon first-flush feature that removes potential pollutants from the water, and features an irrigation line that runs to a conveniently located hose-bib.  The system is gravity-pressurized at this time, but could be modified in the future with a solar-powered pump.

The rainwater system is an essential piece in the growing Pathfinder school garden.  The garden is designed with ecological principles and this system reflects that.   Water harvested from the roof diverts stormwater from the City of Seattle’s sewer system, saves money and uses local water rather than water moved from a great distance.  Water harvested in the winter and spring by this system can water vegetables grown in Seattle’s dry summers.  The rainwater system represents a great learning opportunity for students in understanding our water cycle, the mathematics of rate and flow, and the ecological principles involved.

This system reflects the work of teachers, parents, and students thru Pathfinders Pathfinder’s K-8 “Earth Project”.  The Earth Project  is a collaboration between local non-profit Nature Consortium and Pathfinder teachers, parents, and greater community.

Bill Reiswig, Bruce Hostedder and Patrick Loderhose (both of EarthSystems NW) by the cistern they installed at Pathfinder School.

Bill Reiswig, Bruce Hostedder and Patrick Loderhose (both of EarthSystems NW) by the cistern they installed at Pathfinder School.

The project was funded through small garden and water grants from BECU, Whole Foods, and from local non-profit Sustainable West Seattle and it’s Tox-ick stormwater project.

The system was designed and installed by EarthSystems NW, who offer innovative and economical ideas for conserving and harnessing our most vital resource: water.

Bill Reiswig, Bruce Hostedder and Patrick Loderhose (both ESNW) installed the sytem in 5 days of work during the past couple of weeks.  It is being recieved with excitement by the school, students and teachers.

Arts & Culture $1200 Community Grants Open to Art Councils, Festivals & Events

ArtsCulturePhotoThe Office of Arts & Culture‘s Neighborhood & Community Arts program helps Seattle’s neighborhood arts councils and community-based groups produce festivals and events that enhance the visibility of neighborhoods, promote cultural participation, celebrate diversity and build community through arts and culture.

In 2014, the program provided $1,200 each to 42 organizations to support annual public festivals and events.

ELIGIBILITY

Neighborhood arts councils and community-based groups may seek support for a recurring festival or event that has been in existence for at least one year, has a significant arts and cultural component, is open to the public and takes place in Seattle. Applicants do not have to have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

FUNDING

Funded organizations will receive two (2) years of funding support (for events in 2015 and 2016) of $1,200 per year to support direct project expenses: artist fees, marketing and promotional fees, project management and personnel costs, supplies, equipment rentals or other production-related costs.

DEADLINE

The deadline for applicants is 11:00 pm, Wednesday, October 22, 2014, Pacific Daylight Time. To apply, click here and fill out the online application. 

There will be an information session on Wednesday, September 10, 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the
2100 Building, [mappress mapid=”538″], Seattle. Attend the session and pick up pointers on putting together an effective application. To reserve a seat, RSVP to Jenny Crooks, 206-684-7084, by Monday, September 8.

Annual SWS Picnic: Eat, Enjoy Community Orchard, Learn, Drink, Socialize, Share

COWs-overviewCome see what were up to. The Sustainable West Seattle annual picnic is Thursday August 21st.

This year the picnic will be held at the Community Orchard of West Seattle.  The Community Orchard is a project of SWS and is located on the South Seattle College campus at the north end adjacent to the Horticulture Center.

Start time for the picnic is 6:00pm and will continue until 9:00 pm.

The address is 6000 16th Ave. SW, use the North Entrance to the college campus and then head east toward the orchard and greenbelt area.  Bus access is through Metro Routes 125 and 128. Buses stop at the central entrance to the college.  You will need to walk to the northern end, which is about a 5 minute walk.

Come tour the orchard, hike through the arboretum, press some apples for cider and blend some smoothies on a pedal powered blender.

Bring chairs, reusable or compostable plates and utensils and a main dish or salad to share or something to throw on the grill. We will provide charcoal grills, tables, drinks and musical entertainment.

This is an after-hours weekday event, we hope to see you there!

SoDo MakerSpace Opens August 9; Drop by Any Saturday to Preview Space & Tools

SoDoMakerSpaceLogoOn August 9 a new local resource will open in SoDo.  Eric Renn, Founder of the “Make It Locally” Educational Campaign, says their  15,000 square foot facility, SoDo MakerSpace, will be a community workshop with rapid prototyping tools and a place to make (just about) anything. The vision for the 15,000 square foot facility includes a community classroom and event space, a certified commercial kitchen, a co-working area, and a fabrication and entrepreneur incubator space in Seattle’s light industrial neighborhood.  Address fro SoDo MakerSpace is 1914 Occidental Ave South.  This is immediately east of the Krispy Kreme donut shop on First Avenue and is the long structure adjacent

A growing number of dedicated volunteers and generous donations have helped to build out the community maker space over the last three months with materials, machines and resources that would have otherwise headed to a neighboring landfill. Eric says they’ve never experienced such serendipitous encounters and happenstance from incubating an idea into reality.

Eric also says that they need your help! Please join them on any Saturday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm for a tour and to volunteer with weekly projects. Simply show up – you’ll feel welcome as SoDo MakerSpace works to build out the community classroom. If you have something that you are passionate about and would like to teach to the local community, SoDo MakerSpace would love to hear about it. They can also discuss your next project idea and put it on the calendar!

Grand Opening of SoDo MakerSpace

So, drop by on August 9 for the opening.  Eric says that SoDo MakerSpace is excited to open their doors to the public on August 9th! Their main goal at SoDo MakerSpace is to empower a community of consumers to be
transformed into producers through the exposure and education of today’s fabrication technology. We are starting by building onto the foundation that has been established for STE(A)M education reform in a few of Seattle and South King county schools.  The West Seattle Tool Library is also collaborating with SoDo MakerSpace to have some of the oversize tools made available in SoDo.

Help Is Needed To Finish the MakerSpace Build-out

Each day SoDo MakerSpace is encouraged at the support they get to help get the workshop/entrepreneur incubator venture up and running. They also need help with administrative tasks, spreading the word through marketing efforts, making financial connections and teaming up with individuals and corporations that will continue to allow SoDo MakerSpace to move from concept to reality unusually fast. Eric says they would like to expand their space from the current 2,000 square foot classroom to the entire 15,000sqft warehouse in this Fall/Winter!

The SoDo MakerSpace group is highly motivated and has a diverse set of skills spread among the participants and volunteers. They are hoping to continue this collaboration of like-minded individuals. They are asking folks to reach out to their social and professional networks and to collaborate so this evolution can continue to thrive in Seattle’s many burgeoning neighborhoods.

If you can’t make it on the open-house Saturdays, contact Eric Renn directly at 206-423-9253 to schedule a tour, or contact Eric by email at eric@sodo.ms  Eric can further explain the vision and identify the many opportunities for collaboration.

[mappress mapid=”537″]