Happening now in Puget Sound

The fireboat that is cruising back and forth in Puget Sound is from San Francisco.
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I believe this super pumper may be this brand new fireboat.

Vigor Fab is building this new fireboat to add to San Francisco’s fleet.
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Pokemon on Beach Drive!

You may have heard of Pokemon, or seen people wandering with their smart phones in hand… maybe you’ve seen a group of people gathering in the same location over and over again… this may all be about Pokemon Go which was released earlier this month.

Pokemon Go allows you to capture Pokemon that are hiding everywhere and use them for battle at “gyms”.

Full disclosure – I downloaded the ap yesterday and I’m having fun playing with this. I used to collect Pokemon cards with my son years ago – but never played the card game. Also, along the lines of full disclosure, I’m very new at this…and just thought it would be fun to share what the game looks like in our neighborhood.

This is the character I’m playing walking on Beach Drive in search of Pokemon and about to go to a poke stop, where I can get extra tools for playing the game.

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There are several poke stops along Emma Schmitz and Mee Kwa Mooks. Players don’t have to be in the exact spot in order to reap the benefits.

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And here is a Pokemon, Poliwag, that I was able to capture by Emma Schmitz View Point.
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Trying to find a “gym”, I wound up going down a trail that I typically don’t in Mee Kwa Mooks because it’s steeper than I prefer. I’ve heard stories from Beach Drive neighbors of seeing a person watching their cell phone (probably playing Pokemon Go) and walking into black berry bushes. There are stories all over the internet of things that have happened to folks playing the game.

I won’t tell you had I did with my first battle at the gym, which is located in Mee Kwa Mooks… but I will say this has been fun AND it has me out walking a lot these past couple of days! 🙂

Parking pinch on Beach Drive

Street preservation repairs will take place on July 11th though the 14th from the 4200 block to 5300 Beach Drive. SDOT map labels it as Spot Rehab. See you on the west side of the road!

Estimated Project Dates:
1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016

Street Impact: Reduced Street Capacity
Sidewalk Impact: None
Parking Lane Impact: None

Project Notes:
CREW SPOT REHAB

Contact: carrie.parker@seattle.gov

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Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Just passing by… the Goodyear Blimp!

What a great way to start off the holiday. We just happened to peak out our window to see the Goodyear Blimp floating off the shores of Beach Drive. According to the Goodyear Blimp website, it is scheduled to be in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

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Update: Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook seawall project

It’s been since December 2014 that the public comment period ended in regard to the Alki Coastal Erosion project spearheaded by the Seattle District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project outlines a plan to replace a stretch of seawall that precariosly holds back the 50″ diameter sewage pipe that flows around 2 million gallons of wastewater per day.

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A representative from the Army Corps Public Affairs Office promptly responded to my inquiry in wondering what the delay was for getting construction started….

“According to our project manager, we received a letter of concurrence from the State Historic Preservation Officer and we sent our feasibility report and appendices to our higher headquarters in Portland June 1 for review and approval. We are now waiting for them to review – if they determine we’ve adequately addressed their comments, then we’ll be ready to get going on the Design and Implementation phase. We are anticipating approval this summer.”

I’m not sure if “approval this summer” will result in any near-term progress. However, I can tell you that the Seattle Parks Department’s truck drivers are getting pretty nervous how the seawall is holding up every time they park near it to backfill the erosion

The newly refinished Barton Pump Station and nearly completed Murray Ave Station won’t do much good if the main artery to the West Point Treatment Plant ruptures due to a collapsing seawall. All of us living down near the beach will know first hand the meaning of “it all rolls downhill”.

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Super Yacht Lady Lola cruising by

It looks like Lady Lola may have been leaving Bremerton when we spied her from the shores of Beach Drive. Here’s a pic heading towards Alki Point.
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This Super Yacht is 205 feet and available for charter for a mere $365,000… per week! Built in 2002, she was declared the most beautiful yacht of her time. Here’s more info.

If Lady Lola does something remarkable, making her worthy of membership to the Alki Yacht Club, she might be allowed to tie to our buoy!

Seattle Police Department Community Newsletter

The Seattle Police Department has released their community newsletter with important summertime safety tips. You can read the article by clicking here.

Bald Eagles off Beach Drive

The other day, a bald eagle apparently decided it did not want to share it’s small fish. (At least, I think it was a small fish).

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eagles fight for lunchI watched as these two flew back and forth, landing on rocks and post off Beach Drive by Emma Schmitz View Point.

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I have a couple more photos of the eagles posted at Beach Drive Bungalow.

 

 

Anglers at Mee Kwa Mooks

What’s with all the tents at Mee Kwa Mooks today? Well…it’s the second annual Emerald Waters Fly Fest!

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This event is free and features a cook-off. Last year, the event was held at Lincoln Park. Mee Kwa Mooks appears to be more conducive for this event with the lack of picnic tables. Click here for more info.

 

Beach Drive short term rental properties under direct fire (opinion)

Representation of known short term rental units in Seattle

More like a scattered shot gun approach if you ask me. The Seattle Mayor & esteemed Council members are set to propose strict regs on ALL short term (under 30 days) rental properties in the entire city. That of course includes all of West Seattle and the handful of units on Beach Drive which yours truly just went live with in May. 

The purpose and intention of the proposed legislation is to discourage homeowners with non-owner occupied properties to choose housing out of town tourists over more permanent long term renters. If it all goes as planned, the Council predicts there will be 300 new long term rental units on the market.  They stop short on claiming they’ll be “affordable” but that’s what they really want, and frankly should want.

Councilmember Tim Burgess that chairs Affordable Housing prides himself on using “smart policies and evidence-based solutions”. Really?

From personal experience, the few guests we have hosted so far have either had family living in West Seattle, were referred by neighbors that don’t have enough space for out of town relatives, a family from Minnesota that drove up from Portland to hang out and see a Twins game at Safeco Field, and a local West Seattle resident celebrating a landmark birthday with her out of area friends as a stay-cation. What they all had in common is…

  • They did not want to rent a hotel downtown and fight traffic and parking.
  • They did not want to stay in the basement of someone’s primary residence.
  • They all wanted a private waterfront home all to themselves which is not available anywhere commercially in the city.
  • They all spent a majority of time & money hanging out in West Seattle.

Other than required licensing, the Council is not going to hinder homeowners that are using their primary residence for housing STR guests. The idea is that this segment of the market is merely trying to make ends meet and subjecting them to the proposed regs wouldn’t result in additional permanent units anyhow. Well, the only 2 homeowners I know around here using their primary residence as a STR have entire apartment units on their lower floor and choose short term rather than permanent renters. Not trying to pull them into the crab boil as well but it probably won’t be long before the City sics their proposed staff of STR inspector goons on them as well!

Now we need to make a decision what to do with our house next door if the legislation passes through as proposed. Rent it out on a permanent basis? No, we also like the flexibility of using it for ourselves, family & friends. Sell it? Maybe some years down the road. Bottom line is that the City of Seattle will miss out on any further taxes & licensing fees we generate and West Seattle establishments will lose some year around tourism dollars. It’s just too much work & expense to run a STR like ours for the proposed limit of 90 days a year when the break even point is more like around 160 days.

 

WShotel

West Seattle’s one and only hotel/motel

I’m not saying a problem doesn’t exist in other parts of the city. All of Burgess’s example’s of why short term rentals are cheating permanent locals from finding affordable housing border downtown Seattle. He claims extreme abuses of entire apartment/condo floors being held out for STR to tourists. We’ve recently learned that “entrepreneurs” are actually renting out permanent apartment space and then jacking the rent to STR guests all with 100% approval of the building’s management team (also receiving a cut, of course). I also wouldn’t be surprised if abuses are taking place with the recent high density rezoning and micro housing attended for gram & gramps or permanent local renters.

Seems to me that the Council and Mayor should be targeting those abuses rather than ma & pa on Beach Drive.

 

Scupper, reporting/ranting for Beach Drive Blog