West Seattle Bike Connection Gets SWS Sustainable Champion of Year Award; Laura James, Tox-Ick Program, Awarded as SWS 2013 Volunteer of the Year

SWS-Picnic-Shelter-#3Sustainable West Seattle yesterday awarded our annual Sustainable Champion of the Year award to the West Seattle Bike Connection.  The SWS Sustainable Champion award recognizes the efforts of individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to a sustainable community and a sustainable planet during the previous year.  The award is made at the annual Sustainable West Seattle picnic, held for the past three years at Shelter #3 in Lincoln Park.

Sustainable West Seattle also introduced a new award at yesterday’s picnic, the Volunteer of the Year award, which was presented to Laura James, the Puget Sound videographer  whose efforts to document the effects of stormwater overflow were incorporated into the Tox-Ick stormwater and pollution runoff prevention program.

R->L Aili LePard, Al Jackson, Kathy Dunn, Bob Winship, all members of West Seattle Bike Connection.

R->L Aili LePard, Al Jackson, Kathy Dunn, Bob Winship, all members of West Seattle Bike Connection, and Kimberly Leeper, president of Sustainable West Seattle.

West Seattle Bike Connection’s award was based on the group’s efforts during 2013 to raise bicycle safety awareness throughout West Seattle by staging several “bike by” events where they handed out information and took comments.  The group has been instrumental in working with the city’s Bicycle Master Plan group and with SWS’s existing West Seattle Spokespeople to research, identify, and help develop greenways here in West Seattle.  The West Seattle Bike Connection has also partnered with West Seattle Spokespeople and Cascade Bicycle Club to co-host a series of rides here in West Seattle and across the Duwamish.  They also participated and helped with education at this year’s West Seattle SummerFest GreenLife exposition.

Laura James (right) holding Sustainable West Seattle Volunteer of the Year award with SWS Kimberly Leeper looking on.

Laura James (right) holding Sustainable West Seattle Volunteer of the Year award with SWS Kimberly Leeper looking on.

Laura James was honored for volunteerism because of the extraordinary efforts she’s brought to the Tox-Ick program following it’s creation two years ago.  Laura stepped in after Tox-Ick’s original director, Cate White (also last year’s Sustainable Champion of the Year awardee), relocated to the Bay Area to pursue her career in the non-profit world.  Laura has been working with companies and to provide lunchtime education with videos she’s shot underwater and has more recently expanded this outreach program to include small businesses and their patrons.

Saturday Join SWS & CoolMom in a “Kidical Mass” at the West Seattle Grand Parade

HiYuYou and an escorted youngster can participate in West Seattle’s most famous parade this Saturday, July 20.

Escort your youngster on their decorated bicycle and ride with the awesome “Trike-ceratops” down California Avenue during West Seattle’s famous Grand Parade.

Join Sustainable West Seattle and CoolMom and the award-winning float as we celebrate youth and bikes.

Assemble at 10:00 am to 10:30 am along 44th Avenue SW, south of SW Lander St., in the Admiral neighborhood.

Join SWS Sunday To Help Fix, or Learn To Fix, Bikes Which Will Be Donated To Togo

broken bikeSustainable West Seattle is throwing a Pedals for People Party to accept donations of used bikes and repairing them at the West Seattle Tool Library on Sunday July 21st at noon. Bikes are donated for kids to ride to school in the West African country of Togo.

Join SWS to recycle and repair the bikes, which will be shipped to Togo through Alafia.com. Bikes for these children are crucial for them to get to school. Many children in rural areas walk 5-15 miles to school, making it impossible for them to have time to study. This is especially true for girls, who traditionally have more household chores than boys.

Meet at the West Seattle Tool Library at 12 noon on Sunday July 21st. Tools, work stations and expertise will be available. For more details contact alkistu@hotmail.com.

Join us and learn bicycle repair skills as we repair dozens of bikes for donation to rural Africa.  Bring a bike for repair or donation or just come to help fix bikes or to learn how to fix bikes. Bikes will go through alaffia.com to rural Togo.

Donated bicycles can also be brought to Alki Bike and Board in the Admiral District on California Avenue, two doors south of the Admiral intersection on the east side.

The West Seattle Tool Library is a project of Sustainable West Seattle and is located in the rear of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Delridge Way across from Delridge Park.  The Tool Library is accessible via the 125 and 120 and 50 King County Metro buses.

Visit GreenLife @ West Seattle Summerfest Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 12 thru 14

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 11.49.54 amGreenLife will once again be an integral element of the West Seattle Summerfest – West Seattle’s annual three-day super street festival along California Avenue in the West Seattle Junction.

Sustainable West Seattle and the West Seattle Nursery are sponsoring GreenLife, located in the Chase Bank drive-through area next to Sleepers in Seattle and adjacent to Edmunds Street SW.

The GreenLife area has vendor booths for local businesses which specialize in green and sustainable services, technologies and products, and there are local organization and non-profit booths featuring groups which play a major role in education, advocacy and leadership in the sustainable and environmental awareness fields.

We will also have a series of presentations and demonstrations throughout the three-day weekend. Each day on the GreenLife stage there will be speakers offering tips on home canning, electrical generation using solar cells on your roof, making beer in your backyard (or basement), a tutorial on how to safely and efficiently use bikes with your kids to get around town and many more. To see a larger version of the schedule, click on the image to open a new window with a larger version. The presentations are being underwritten by Alki Bike and Board, 2606 California Ave. SW, in the Admiral District.

The Mobile Tool Library will also be stationed at the GreenLife entrance and visitors can tour and learn more about the Mobile library and the more extensive West Seattle Tool Library located at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.  The Tool Library just expanded its weekly schedule and is now open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 to 8:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

A special feature of the GreenLife presentations will be a choreographed dance presentation called “Slavery of the System.” More information on this special presentation is at the end of this article.

Organizations and Businesses Who Will Be At GreenLife Include:

Special Dance Presentation:

Slavery of the System is the first installment of the Illuminatio trilogy, a collaboration based on the work, Illuminatio: Yo Soy, written by Spanish playwright Antonio Delgado at the beginning of Spain’s economic crisis in 2008. From the Latin word meaning ‘illumination,’ Illuminatio was written to lift up man’s spirit to a higher state of consciousness and light a way forward to transformation through a highly symbolic collaborative work of art. Amanda Goodwin, a close friend of Delgado’s from the years she lived in Spain, collaborated with the dancers, actors, and acting director, Josh Williamson, to bring Antonio’s vision to life.

  • Characters: (dancers names underlined)
    • Protagonist/ HammerStella Scott – works unconsciously alongside the other masks until she accidentally drops her hammer
    • Tape MeasureKatherine Murphy – must quantify everything
    • SanderMichele McCauley – smoothes everything over
    • WrenchErin Hanada – stuck in a pendulum
    • SmithMichelle Froehlich – pounds on her anvil the axiom that nothing will move unless acted on with force
    • BroomVorece Batchman-Miller – sweeps away all conflict before it can be reconciled
    • OverseerSierra Bernhoft – out-of-control control freak boss
    • El LocoJoshua Williamson – shamanic character
    • ReasonBelle Wolf – cold, calculating queen of the masks

The Illuminatio Project was made possible through support and funding from:

  • Sustainable West Seattle
  • Nature Consortium/ Arts in Nature Festival
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

For more information visit www.TheIlluminatioProject.com or contact Amanda Goodwin at TheIlluminatioProject@yahoo.com.


May Is Bike Month: Expand Your Commute Options; Contact SWS for Routes

BikeMonthLogoMay is Bike to Work month. Sponsored by Cascade Bicycle Club, Bike to Work month is a call out to new and recreational riders to give bicycle commuting a try.

Most often, once a cyclist is properly exposed to the daily recreation of bicycle commuting they tend to stick with it. There are many great ways to get out of West Seattle during rush hour by bike that are far more efficient and fun than the West Seattle bridge by car.

  • If you work downtown consider using the West Seattle Water Taxi and be a tourist.
  • If you work to the south you can ride the Duwamish trail to Boeing as well as other work centers.
  • It is also Bike to School Month.

For more information on commuter routes in all directions you can contact SWS’s own bicycle resource person, Stu Hennessey from noon to 7:00 pm weekdays for route selections, 206-938-3322, or visit Stu at Alki Bike & Board’s Admiral location – 2606 California Ave. SW.


Know Your Neighborhood? Feet First Invites You To Lead Urban Walks

Solstice Park WalkFeet First is inviting anyone in Seattle to participate in a fun and educational walk involving exploring neighborhoods, discussing city planning and what a walkable neighborhood is, and meeting new neighbors.

Become a part of Jane’s Walk Seattle May 4th and 5th!

Jane’s Walk is a series of conversational walking tours inspired by urban thinker Jane Jacobs, that helps put people in touch with where they live and with each other. It bridges social and geographic gaps, creating a space for cities to discover themselves. Last year 17 countries and 85 cities participated.

Anyone can lead a walk. Do you have a story to tell? Do you know your neighborhood like the back of your hand? Perhaps you’re a newcomer and can share your experience of learning about your new city? Do you have an idea for a fun, informative, unusual way of looking at cities and neighborhoods? You could lead a Jane’s Walk! 

There are only two rules:

  • Walks should be taken and given for free, and
  • They should be walking conversations.

The rest is entirely up to the walkers, and the conversation topics are as varied as the people taking part, from art and architecture to potholes and shortcuts and from video surveillance to the urban forest: anything that helps you and others better understand our cities and neighborhoods as places and spaces.

Want to lead a walk? Feet First will help promote your walk locally. Contact Jillian Witt at jillian.witt@gmail.com.

About Feet First 

Since 2001, Feet First has worked to ensure that all communities in Washington are walkable. Feet First helps people take steps that create better places to live, learn, shop, work and play—a world that cares about health, community and design. One of the many ways Feet First engages with residents in walkable communities is through events that promote informative and engaging conversations about walkability in our communities. For more information about Feet First, visit their website www.feetfirst.org. For more information on Jane’s Walk International visit www.janeswalk.net.

Alki Summer Streets Is Back! Apply for slot by April 18, Have Fun on Beach

Alki Summer Streets SkaterAlki Summer Streets is back! This free event opens the city’s largest public space –  its streets – so people can walk, bike, roll, run, skip and shop – without having to watch out for cars! Expect TONS of fun activities for people of all ages. As in the past, Summer Streets is partnering with the West Seattle High School PTSA 5K Run/Walk.

Flying Skater photo courtesy West Seattle Herald – Patrick Robinson photographer.

Alki Avenue SW will be closed to traffic for the festival from 63rd Avenue SW to 56th Avenue SW from 11:00 am through 5:00 pm.  Alki Avenue SW will be closed from Armeni Boat Launch through 63rd Avenue SW between 9:00 am through 11:00 am.

Get Involved. Sign up to participate on the Summer Streets web site by April 18 to ensure a spot and get on our activity map. The neighborhood is looking forward to the event. Host an activity, promote a special sale and expose your organization to thousands of neighbors!

Summer Streets fosters civic pride and represent investments in Seattle’s vitality, livability and diversity. Show you care about your neighborhood and engage thousands of fellow Seattleites during this fantastic Sunday party. If you have participated before, you know how fun and rewarding Summer Streets is, and you’re invited back to come and play.

Follow Summer Streets on Facebook to get the latest scoop and see videos and pictures of past events. Email questions to Summer.Streets@Seattle.gov.

Thanks from all of us at Summer Streets. We look forward to seeing you in Alki! 

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with West Seattle Spokespeople

cinco de mayoJoin with Sustainable West Seattle’s Spokespeople and celebrate the diversity of Seattle on Cinco De Mayo.

The West Seattle Spokespeople ride is a 24 mile ride and leaves at 11:00 am, Sunday, July 5,  from Jack Block Park in West Seattle, the entrance is on Harbor Avenue SW just south of Salty’s entrance.

The ride starts at Jack Block Park and procedes on mostly traffic-free routes through the International District and up to El Centro de La Raza on Beacon Hill. After taking in some of the celebration, the group will ride to South Park for authentic Mexican food.

The ride features several ethnic cultural centers as well as three car-free bicycle trail – ,the Sodo trail, the Mountain to Sound trail, and the hief Sealth trail.

The bike pace will be leisurely with lots of breaks and regrouping so don’t let the 24 miles deter you.

Seattle Parks Board Opposes Coal Trains

Seattle Board of Park Commissioners opposes coal trains

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners recently sent a letter to the Gateway Pacific Terminal regarding its opposition to the passage of coal trains through the Seattle area. The letter is to be included as part of the official public comments in the Environmental ImCoalTrain@BroadStpact Statement.

In the letter, the Board expressed concern about air, water, soil and noise pollution, train accidents, park access delays, derailment and reduced property values. The Board also pointed out the connection between burning coal and global climate change and its impact on Seattle Parks and Recreation, which is the steward of the City’s public parks and open spaces.

“We are concerned about the health of our parks, the people who use them and the wildlife that lives in them,” said Diana Kincaid, Park Board Chair. “We believe not enough has been done to fully understand the long-term health impacts of increasing the number of trains carrying coal through our City. Our hope is that impacts to the health of our parklands are fully understood before next steps are taken.”

The full letter can be read here.

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners is a nine-member citizen board created by the City Charter. Four members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council; four members are appointed by the City Council; and one member is a young adult appointed by the YMCA Get Engaged Program. Current members are Antoinette Angulo, John Barber, Megan Heahlke, Jourdan Keith, Chair Diana Kincaid, Brice Maryman, Caitlin McKee, Yazmin Mehdi and Barbara Wright.

The Board meets once a month, normally on the second Thursday, to advise the Parks and Recreation Superintendent, the Mayor, and the City Council on parks and recreation matters.

For more information about the Board’s position on the coal trains, please contact Park Board Chair Diana Kincaid at 206-781-2525 or email her at dianaksea@gmail.com.

Want To Be A Bicycle Ambassador? Cascade Bike Club Now Hiring

CascadeBikeAmbassadorNow hiring: Bicycle Ambassadors

Interested in making a positive impact on your community? Do you bike to work or with your family? Have you rediscovered your love of bicycling? Join Cascade Bicycle Club as a Bicycle Ambassador! You’ll be working to increase the public awareness of the Club, bicycling programs, and safety issues.

As an Ambassador, you’ll:

  • Attend city and county events on bicycles to educate and to spread information about safe bicycling and bicycle commuting;
  • Distribute bicycling information to city residents by bike;
  • Help staff summer bicycle events (bike safety rodeos for kids, fairs, community events, helmet sales), set up “Bike to Market” information  tables and facilitate “Energizer Stations” to support, encourage and engage bicyclists;
  • Pass feedback on to Cascade so we can continue to better our work

Applicants must have;

  • An outgoing personality, bicycling experience, and willingness to initiate conversations with people regarding safety and beginning to ride;
  • Knowledge of safe bicycling and cycling in Seattle desirable.

Training and some equipment provided. See http://www.cbcef.org/ride-ambassadors.html for more information about our program.

The Ambassador job involves 10 to 15 hours of work a week, and applicants must be able to work at least one weekend day and two days per week through summer.

The training for the program begins in March and the position and the position runs mid-April through Aug. 30. These are paid positions.

To apply, email resume and cover letter by February 6 to Serena Lehman: serenal@cascadebicycleclub.org, or mail copies of resume and cover letter to Serena Lehman at

Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation
7400 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 101S
Seattle, WA 98115