Port Approves Waters off Beach Drive for Commercial Anchorage

Update: April 2nd
This April 1st post is quickly developing as Beach Drive residents stormed the port offices last night and negotiated to replace proposed freighter/cargo anchorages with underwater cradles for our submarine fleet. Crisis averted; future views restored!

Scupper

The comment period regarding commercial shipping being allowed to use waters off West Seattle’s Beach Drive for temporary anchorages ended on March 31st. A port spokesperson stated that the additional “temporary” anchorages will go a long ways to solve our regional supply chain issues “the port’s current overflow anchorage in Manchester WA has helped alleviate our additional needs in a robust economy but is not nearly enough to satisfy the pandemic caused surplus of inbound shipping”. He went on the say that ships bound for our waters are having to wait off our coast for up to two weeks before port and anchorage capacity is available causing fears of environmental disaster as seasonal weather systems can jeopardize safety at sea.

The approved plan is to immediately provide four cargo/container ship anchorages between the Fauntleroy ferry terminal to the south and roughly Alki Point to the north. Anticipated need is predicted though the first half of 2023 but the permit is valid through 2025.

The Port together with the CG will closely monitor the anchorage and has made the following assurances:

• When ships are fueled, all operations must be encircled by a boom
• Ships may not dump grey water. — from activities like laundry, dishwashing and bathing — or blackwater, from toilets. They’re required to dump it after they reach shore.
• A Coast Guard radar tracks when a vessel moves beyond its swing circle, and an alarm sounds.

Other concerns voiced by Beach Drive residents that were addressed:

While anchored, ships must keep their deck lights on high enough that crew members can move about safely, said CG Cmdr. Bill Bligh, chief of prevention. They need to run generators for power, but are encouraged not to slam hatches or grind metal, particularly after 8 p.m. “although nothing specifies exactly how bright or loud they can be”.

Beach Drive Blog will update this post as information becomes available.

Scupper, reporting for the BDB

Spooktacular Halloween along Beach Drive

There are some scary things along Beach Drive this Halloween!



Have a safe and fun Halloween!

It’s a drone… it’s a plane… it’s a motorized parasail?

Beach Drive neighbors were surprised this afternoon by an aircraft buzzing off the low tide near their homes.
It’s not unusual to have drones buzz by homes… I can’t recall seeing anything quite like this before.

Could this be a new way to commute with the West Seattle bridge being out of commission? Hmmmm….

No joke, the special pup in this clip is a flat-coated retriever named “Jett”.  🙂  Thanks to his human for sharing this and allowing us to publish the video as well to our other neighbors who also offered up video to share.

Friday Night Lights with the Seattle Fire Department

The Seattle Fire Department will be cruising neighborhoods from 7:00 – 8:00 pm tonight and next Friday. In a tweet, the Seattle Fire Department says they are doing this to let us know they are here to serve and that they’ll be touring the north end of districts this week and next week, the south end will be toured.

We are invited to come out to the sidewalk and “make some noise”. I know our dog, Hitch, will certainly chime in if he hears any sirens!

Here is the full the map showing the divided districts.

 

Grocery Store Saturation

Our ol’ neighborhood of West Seattle has had plenty of excitement in the grocery store department lately. This month we had the re-opening of the newly completely remodeled PCC as well as the long awaited opening of Whole Foods. Not to be left in the dust, Metropolitan Market has been doing a major remodel to keep up with the new competition.

Yesterday, I visited PCC yesterday and today I checked out Whole Foods and it’s interesting what our grocery stores have and don’t have. I do plan on revisiting and writing a more in-depth post – however, I thought I’d share my first impressions on our current grocery stores in West Seattle. Before we proceed, please know I’m a total foodie, I love to cook and enjoy my wine…and sadly, I am a grocery store snob. I am a long time shopper at Met Market which started when we lived less than a block away from the store and I would just buy enough groceries for that day or what ever we could carry, and walk home. When writing these reviews, I’m probably comparing everything to my long time favorite store.

Let’s start with parking lots. When I went to PCC yesterday (before 5pm) I was surprised at how tight the parking lot is (I’m not a fan of Thriftway’s parking lot either). First impressions of the store – it’s beautiful. I suddenly understood why Metropolitan Market probably felt they had to remodel with this one-two punch coming to West Seattle. The produce is beautiful. Meat department looks great and the to go dishes look fantastic… I need to go back and check them out. I was happy to find Nancy’s non-fat Greek yogurt. The wine department is lacking a little and a bit unorganized. It has a somewhat limited selection of groceries. I probably need to learn how to shop at PCC.

Whole Foods has an underground parking lot that will be especially popular on rainy days. Like PCC, it’s a beautiful, open and airy store. I was surprised at how big the health care section was and that they actually had blankets/throws, slippers, tops, etc. for sale. This section (health/beauty/clothing) took up a significant part of the store. The produce was beautiful and Amazon Prime members receive additional incentives for shopping here. I was able to find Gochugaru for a spicy Korean dish I’m making tonight (which I could not find at PCC or Met Market). I needed some assistance finding horseradish – which I have to say, the customer service was excellent. I could not find maraschino cherries for an Old Fashioned…or any maraschino cherries. Whole Foods has a great looking meat/seafood department and so many “to go” dishes to check out on a future visit. On the elevator back to the covered parking lot, I complimented a woman on her glasses and she asked me what I thought of store and I told her I’m surprised what it had and what it didn’t. She agreed and said other Whole Foods stores have a much larger grocery department than this store which surprised her because of how larger this store is.

From Whole Foods, today I went to Thriftway because I was in search of maraschino cherries – which they had a great selection of. Thriftway is great. I know this probably sounds weird – but I don’t like the parking lot. It’s a bit cramped with the design. Thriftway overall is a solid grocery store. It may not have the new flash that the other three stores have, but overall, it has a wide selection of groceries (probably better than Whole Foods or PCC) and they tend to have better prices. There have been a few items that I’ve been surprised to find priced better at Met Market than Thriftway. Thriftway also has a nice kitchen shop, like Met Market. I don’t think PCC or Whole Foods have kitchen supply departments that compare. Thriftway also has a better liquor and wine department than PCC or Whole Foods.

Metropolitan Market…boy you’ve been putting your long time, loyal clients through some hoops with the remodel…but after visiting Whole Foods and PCC, I understand this move. During the remodel I was kind of put back by how much it seemed MM was trying to be PCC and WH with adding the bulk food bins and bringing back (with an oomph) cosmetics. It’s been hard for a lot of regulars going through the transition and having things move or no longer be available but it all makes sense to me now. Met Market has a great produce and meat department. Hubby has always loved the Cubano and the Rueben is really good too! They have been branching out into so many various “to go” foods that I have not had a chance to try them all out. The kitchen shop is a local resource – especially since J.F. Henry has closed.

I recently started checking out Trader Joes… pretty much because friends of ours buy addictive chocolate covered raisins from there. Since going to TJ’s I’ve started checking out a few other items and I have a new found appreciation for this store too…but I prefer the other stores for produce and meats.

QFC and Safeway… I just don’t find myself shopping there often. The Safeway on Admiral is nicer and you can find some great deals there. Hubby says the liquor guy at Safeway on Admiral is very knowledgeable, funny and very customer service oriented.

Of course I love the West Seattle Farmers Market… just the whole neighborhood experience is worth walking through it on Sundays. I have a hard time buying store bought salad and I’m a little bummed when it’s out of season.

I do plan to write an updated post after I check out the new stores again… I’ll try to include some pics too!

Bottom line, the addition of the new grocery stores means that they are competing for our business. I’m noticing some lower prices at the high priced stores and coupons being sent in the mail… a win for consumers, at least for now.

What are your favorite West Seattle Grocery Stores?

Blake Island closure scheduled

Blake Island is closing off the island to visitors this Wednesday through Friday to deal with thinning the enormous rabbit population.

Like many of the larger islands in the San Juans, Blake has seen it’s rabbit population grow out of control. Much of the island’s daucus carota has been decimated which could spell disaster for the beloved deer population. Hundreds of traps will be set mostly on the southeastern and northwestern ends of the island where burrowing is most pronounced.

Park officials have organized volunteer veterinarians from both King and Kitsap counties to spay all females caught during the 2 day closure. “Our goal is to thin the rabbit population by at least two thirds.” said long time ranger Peter Hare. An adoption rescue line has been set up for local residents to provide homes for many of the exiled bunnies. Peter’s team has currently secured homes for 375 rabbits (at the time of writing this article) however, anticipates the need for a few hundred more. They’ve also made this link available for any interested hosts that have questions regarding care for this particular species of San Jaun rabbit. Please contact the bunny rescue effort at islandbunnies.gov or call 360-Bun-Home if you’re interested in the rescue efforts. Hop to it!

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

 

There’s black gold in them thar hills!

A local neighbor proudly shows off what his truffle snoot’n dog dug up in one of Beach Drive’s parks.


As I was on my routine dog walk (on leash w/ doo bags), a long time resident and park steward stopped me to show the latest treasure unearthed by his Golden Retriever. Apparently this isn’t the first truffle sniffed out of the woods. Rescued at 2 years old, the golden was rumored to have had truffle training before his previous owners had to give him up. Before writing this post, I was sworn to secrecy as to the exact location of the digs but guarantee to have MY dog in truffle school immediately!

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Bon Appetite,

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

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. [Read more…]

Killers chasing chum off of Beach Drive

Several onlookers lined the sidewalk along Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook watching a nearby Orca pod. The whales have been spotted all over the area for the last couple of days according to West Seattle Blog reports. The Orca are most likely chasing the large fall chum salmon run which contains nearly 90% of the entire annual chum numbers that migrate down to central & south Puget Sound.

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It was also reported that The Whale Trail organization has spotted other aquatic species in the area as well.

 

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Well, maybe not ALL of them…

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

 

Here’s one way to beat the heat!

These folks just flew past my deck.

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Looks like fun!