The “Justin” rides again!

I had to rub my eyes a few times but confirmed via AIS what I saw out in the Straits of Jaun de Fuca. it was the same 1950′s army landing craft that had sunk off the shores of Beach Drive in late 2011.

 

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She looked as good as new cruising south towards Admiralty inlet. Her current position appears to be in Lake Union according to MarineTraffic.Com.

JustinLUPlease join me in wishing Justin calm, safe seas for the rest of her career.

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

 

Check out the back door on these 100 year olds!

While 2013 featured only one Beach Drive home (and a lighthouse) turning 100, this year needs enough candles for a half-dozen! Check ‘em out…

 

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This Lowman Beach Cottage remembers when Lincoln Park was named Fauntleroy Park prior to 1922.

 

 

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One of my favs to be sure on the 5000 block.

 

 

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An extensive remodel in 2009 but the bones are unmistakably 1914. Being nestled right up against Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook, I’m pretty certain it witnessed some pretty swank Schmitz parties!

 

 

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This gem is so well hidden these days, I had to use a county photo from 2003.

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This most northern 100 yo on Beach Drive may have a 1914 sports page in the attic featuring the Boston Braves sweep of the Philadelphia A’s, 1st sweep in World Series history.

 

 

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Think it knows it was built the same year as the Smith Tower??

 

 

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This is one of those beauties that sits down from the street south of where the Peavey Saw Mill used to reside on Alki Ave. (now named Beach Drive).

 

*A majority of these photos were lifted off the King County Dept of Assessments site.

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Voyage of the sv Hot Potato

Making headlines for the second straight day on BDB, folks on the 5000 block of Beach Drive woke up to the un-named/registered 26 foot sailing vessel anchored out in front of their views.

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You ask how you could be so blessed to have this blue tarped boat swaying near your buoys?? Seems it was towed there by what looked like the Seattle Harbor Patrol! We first noticed the sailboat several days ago anchored out front of Weather Watch Park but recently noticed it was leap frogging south about a hundred yards or so during every flood tide. Here’s how it unfolded yesterday…

1:00 PM – The head honcho of BDB makes a call to the Coast Guard to alert them of an unsecured vessel. They pass her onto Seattle Harbor Patrol which in turn passes the buck to King County which in turn tells her to contact the Coast Guard… well, see a pattern here? Nobody wants responsibility to tow or secure the boat.

6:15 PM – The 26′ “Hot Potato” floats off it’s anchor heading out towards the shipping channel

8:00 PM – Near miss! A container ship heading north almost sends Hot Potato down to Davy Jone’s locker for good.

Approx 9:15 PM – A patrol boat with blue lights flashing is seen towing said vessel southward towards which we thought might be Des Moines or Tacoma.

Some good news for our Beach Drive neighbors is that 2 notices have been neatly taped to the aft cabin of Hot Potato. One of which reads Notice of Intent to Obtain Custody. It’s one of the first steps in disposing derelict vessels in an environmentally responsible way and, not to mention, allows time for the rightful owner to step forward.

(b) Before taking temporary possession of the vessel, the authorized public entity must make reasonable attempts to consult with the department or the United States coast guard to ensure that other remedies are not available. The basis for taking temporary possession of the vessel must be set out in writing by the authorized public entity within seven days of taking action and be submitted to the owner, if known, as soon thereafter as is reasonable. If the authorized public entity has not already provided the required notice, immediately after taking possession of the vessel, the authorized public entity must initiate the notice provisions in subsection (1) of this section. The authorized public entity must complete the notice requirements of subsection (1) of this section before using or disposing of the vessel as authorized in RCW 79.100.050.

 

In other news, wouldn’t you think they could find a more visible location for this sign?

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Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Can you hear me now on Beach Drive??

If you you were wondering why someone was holding a pole along Beach Drive in 90+ heat…

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I’m thinking she drew the short straw while her co-worker is driving all air-conditioned around the Beach Drive vicinity taking reception readings for Verizon Cellular.

Poor cell reception comes up pretty often in conversatio…tion… arou…nd here. Good to see Verizon taking action!

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

 

 

 

Garage sale this Saturday at 4620 Beach Dr SW

This garage sale is NOT TO MISS! The owner’s are really nice folks but… really have no idea how highly valuable their loot is. Rumor has it that they’re unloading priceless paintings for only a couple of bucks. This is just one of many items that have spent years collecting dust in their daughter’s closet…

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Other items include several jewels of the Queen said to be still lingering under the cushion of this plush throne…

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Hope to see all you treasure hunters bright and early this Saturday & possibly Sunday starting at 9:00 AM…and to receive the super “whamo deal”, make sure you tell them Scupper sent you!!!

 

PS: If you have a garage or yard sale around Beach Drive that you’d like to promote – drop us a line!

 

Scupper, schlepping for Beach Drive Blog

Just doesn’t sit well…

UPDATE 8;47 PM 5/16/2014: We visited the site. The party is on… the chair is gone.

The now infamous Lazyboy of Beach Drive sits at party central in Mee-Kwa-Mooks park. This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post where a neighbor wanted someone to claim their chair that was left in front of their house.

IMG_2645A good perch for a “Mr. Rogers” type father figure to deliver a fireside chat?? Naw, more like a raging hot spot for delinquents to bust up some more PBR 40 ouncers and maybe a virgin sacrifice topped off with a chair burning ceremony!  Not that I’m against all that… just not in our parks please.

NOTE: Another neighbor to the park has called the Park’s Dept to haul it away before tonight’s festivities.

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog.

Sunny flash-back Thursday on Beach Drive

The super fine folks at the the Southwest Seattle Historical Society dug up another vintage photo for us to enjoy…

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The caption read: “Beach area below Jacobsen Dr on the left approximate location of Emma Schmitz and the houses on what was the orginal orchard area (of the Schmitz estate).”

I lined up the houses and vacant lots in the photo to put the circa between 1921-25. It appears that the old seawall was quite a bit higher and set back further than the current seawall constructed in 1927.  The one remaining mystery of this historic photo is the house(s) to the far north/left. Are they the houses at the north end of the park or were homes at one time built on the wider strip of land of the park? I’m thinking the cameras were just that much better in the 20′s :)

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The above photo was taken yesterday at low tide. The kids were splashing around where the old sewer/run-off  structure is now. If you’re thinking the water must’ve been freezing and it must’ve been some sort of a double-dog-dare, think again! I measured the water temp in the shallows to be around 75 degrees…no fool’n!!

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As far as the “original orchard” is concerned, a life long resident in the area told me that this is likely the last remaining fruit tree still standing from the original Schmitz family estate (now Mee-Kwa-Mooks park)…

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Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Tribute to a Beach Drive yacht that served her country

 

What better time than opening day of boating season to look back at a local legend? The Schmitz family yacht named Sans Souci II was 50′ long and weighed in at 8 tons. Built in 1907, she would’ve been 107 years old today! The following photo appears to be during an opening day parade between 1907 to 1917.

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After a decade of pleasure use, she was drafted into service by the navy and renamed the USS Sans Souci II.

Sans Souci H, a wooden boat built during 1907 by Frank Tregoning’s yard at Seattle, Wash., was enrolled in the Naval Coast Defense Reserve on 15 June 1917 following United States entry into World War I; delivered to the Navy on 9 July 1917 by her owner, D. G. Schmitz of Seattle; and commissioned on 1 August 1917, Chief Boatswain’s Mate R. W. Capps, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to local duty within the 13th Naval District, Sans Souci II operated on patrol duty from Seattle until September 1917. She also served, briefly, as a tender to Philadelphia (Cruiser No. 4), the receiving ship at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., during late 1917. Sans Souci II resumed patrol duty in Puget Sound, frequently operating with, or alternating with, SC-300, until 23 December 1918. She then remained inactive until decommissioned on 7 February 1919 and was struck from the Navy list the same day. Ordered returned to her owner on 26 March 1919, Sans Souci II remained on yacht registers into the early 1930′s.

This rare photo, courtesy of the fine folks at The Log House Museum/SWSHS, show her freshly decommissioned and still in uniform…

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Circa 1919, anchored in front of the Schmitz family estate (mansion in background) which is now known as Mee-Kwa-Mooks Park on Beach Drive SW

Soon after decommissioning, this WWI veteran resumed her duty as a pleasure yacht. Here she is in of my favorite photos entertaining some beach Drive residents in their groovy roaring 20′s swimwear…

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 Photo courtesy of Log House Museum/SWSHS book “West Seattle”

If some evening you’re awakened by a deep rumbling off the shores of Beach Drive, just might be the ghost of the Sans Souci II making way towards Alki Point!

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 Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

New Seawall for Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook in 2015?

Plans are being finalized for a badly needed revamp for the deteriorating section of seawall at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook. Rebecca Rufin, PE Parks Engineering Manager was kind enough to reply to Beach Drive Blog’s email inquiry on any future plans to shore up the south portion of the vulnerable seawall.

Currently the US Army Corps of Engineers, with whom we have partnered under a preliminary federal grant program, is putting the finishing touches on a comprehensive study of a seawall replacement proposal.  The study includes analysis of several design options and establishes a preferred approach based on economic, environmental, and other factors.  When the study is complete, it will be sent to the federal offices in Washington DC for final approval and funding.

Assuming it is approved, the preferred design will essentially build a new seawall in front of the existing one, which will be left in place.  The new seawall will be a bit higher.  This would result in a park area adjacent to the street that will be a few feet wider and significantly more level, making it much more amenable for walking trail, landscape elements, and benches. 

As for schedule, we do not anticipate project approval to proceed until sometime this summer.  Detailed design would then commence, with construction likely the summer of 2015.

All the above is subject to change, but it’s the most likely scenario at this time.

 

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Did I also mention this beauty sits on a fault line?!

 

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Imagine a another 10+ feet of level park grass.

 

City and County officials have been eying the need to fix/repair this critical section of bulkhead for nearly a decade. The West Seattle Herald reported back in 2006 about fears of an environmental disaster if something wasn’t done soon. Quoting Les Soule, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…

“If there is a major storm, there could be a loss of a portion of the seawall,” he said. “We would sure lose the 54-inch sewer main.”

The same article went on to quote Seattle City Councilman Richard Conlin, who served as the chairman of the City Council’s Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee back in ’06…

“The danger of catastrophic failure is real, which is why we are taking it up as an emergency preparedness mitigation project,” Conlin wrote in an e-mail response to questions. “It did fail to the north of this project site in 1998 during a winter storm.”

The sewer line behind the seawall carries about 50 million gallons of sewage a day northward along Beach Drive on its way to the West Point sewage treatment plant, Conlin said.

 

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The following year, this Statement of Intent was entered:

 

 

Emma Schmitz Memorial Park-Seawall Repair

(SLI 122-1-A-2)

Statement of Legislative Intent: No later than June 15, 2007, the Department of Parks and Recreation will report to the Council Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee on updated cost estimates and methods, a cost sharing plan and a timeline for repair of the Emma Schmitz Memorial Park Seawall. The Department will work with the Seattle Department of Transportation, the Office of Emergency Management and King County Metro in developing the cost estimates and plans. The Department is also requested to contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to see if they are able to reinitiate funding for the project.

Responsible Council Committee(s): Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Date Due to Council: June 15, 2007

I hope our tax dollars get put to work on this over-due project before a new wave of storms slam into the seawall.

Hat tip to neighbor Ed for alerting us that something was brewing at the park. His request for donating a park bench for dear friends that have recently passed is being delayed until the Seattle Parks Dept get a clearer picture of pending construction.

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

*A case study published in 2008 by a UW student “Planning for Sea Level Rise in Seattle, Washington” centered it’s attention to replacement of the Emma Schmitz seawall. (I know all of you must be eager to hear my book report on it:))

Purple Starfish survives off Beach Drive!

Given all the depressing news about sea-star populations wasting away in Puget Sound (as well as along many other west coast shorelines), I thought I would check for myself during this afternoon’s low tide. I snapped this pic at a large rock formation located at the edge of the 2.5 tide…

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I didn’t have time to count all the toes but I can report that all the arms of these stars looked perfectly healthy!

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog