The Hallberg Memorial Bench

Hi Rhonda, I meant to send you this long ago. Here is a bit about the memorial benches and a story Ada wrote. Please use any or all if it fits for the blog. As ever, thanks for all you do. Sincerely, Tia

My folks dear neighbor Ed Marcus arranged for a memorial for Ada and Bob Hallberg; both of them did a lot to build community, preserve our natural spaces and the history of the area.  Their memorial bench sits on Beach Drive at the foot of Jacobsen road and next to another memorial bench for a significant community activist, Suzy King. Ada and Suzy, worked to gather community involvement and support so that together they could preserve the green spaces and unobstructed views of the water that we all can enjoy today as we walk and drive along beach drive. Weather watch park, Mee Kwa mooks and more only exist today because people came together on an issue they agreed upon and they made it happen. The activism by my mother, Ada, Suzy and others made a difference. And their likemindedness override their differences. Ada’s description of “This Peaceful Spot” reminds us of the joy of having public access to the treasured beauty that surrounds us here.

This Peaceful Spot by Ada Hallberg
With my head down, I push along the rocky beach near Alki Lighthouse. A surge of the southwest wind is invigorating. I press my hands into my pocket as I plunge along. Out of the bay crisp caps of white froth appear like beaten egg whites. On the brink of the clear waves they foam against crystal water.
This is the beautiful picture I took for granted in my childhood. In my adulthood, as well – this incomparably beautiful sight, set off by the Olympic Mountains and the forest across the smooth calm of Puget Sound.
I feel the full strength of the wind as I round the Point — or, Constellation Park.
Carefully I cross the clay outcropping that folds, one over the other, even more exposed than they were ten years ago. Then, University of Washington Professor Dixie Lee Ray would often stand on the outcroppings in any kind of weather, lecturing her class on the beach’s biological and geological features:
“The crust of the earth is layered; it can fold up, it can buckle, and sometimes the parts beneath become exposed.” As one of her listeners, I wondered: was she talking about the clay? I had intended to phone her about that.
At 63rd Street I climb from the beach onto some large, black rocks; it is easy to step on one then another, until I get up to the sidewalk. I walk along and the beach is not within my view because the houses and apartments are close together.
After a half dozen blocks of walking on the sidewalk, I squeeze back down to the beach at Andover Street, using an obscured path in an overgrown area past a holly tree and over a pile of chopped wood.
I feel that I have intruded into a private space, although a few years ago the Grad family and Fred Fletcher bought this beach property and assured access for the public.
There used to be a spot on the beach here, somewhere, a bit sheltered in the wind. Ahh, yes, here it is: a quiet pool of water behind this log. Wait a minute! What is this? The body of a dead seagull in great disarray is floating, its neck all askew, its body bloated, its feathers discolored and matted. A rusty can with a partially attached label. At first I start to examine… Ohh, what’s the use!
Deliberately I look away towards the north. In my sight a davenport is sitting on the beach among the sand and rocks. Kelp is wrapping around the arm, some draped across the back; pillows are following off.
Waves dully roll in, now close to shore. There is a lethargy about these waves: the clearness gone from their crests; with slumped shoulders they push in. I turn my back and make my way to the sidewalk. Soon I will be at my destination, Carroll Street and Beach Drive. It is only a mile from where I began my walk at the lighthouse. I look forward to sitting in the small cove at the foot of Carroll Street, across from the Rustica Restaurant.
Finally arriving, I walk down to the small comfortable beach and lie among the logs. This 150 feet of waterfront is still open to the public, and most of us think it always will be; though we may be wrong about that. But for now, I will enjoy this peaceful spot.

Car beached at Cormorant Cove Park

We were alerted this morning by a Beach Drive neighbor, “Indie Mike”, that a vehicle was on the beach at Cormorant Cove Park.

Another Beach Drive neighbor who was passing by informed me that earlier in the morning, a tow truck was on the scene with fire and rescue to try to remove the car. Their was a huge emergency response around 6:10 am.

The vehicle seems to be lodged on rocks.

Low tide is 3.2 feet at 10:06 am.

When we first heard about this incident, we assumed that perhaps the ramp along the condos was how the car accessed the beach. Apparently, the driver opted for the sidewalk and plowed through the grass.

We don’t know if it was trying to catch the Walla Walla or why someone drove the car through the park. We hope everyone is okay.

Scenes of Violence in Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook

There was a “Scenes of Violence” response at Beach Drive and SW Snoqualmie St. There is a huge response and there appears to be a covered body. Neighbors report possibly hearing a gunshot around 4:00 am.

Update: it appears to have been a suicide.

You can dial 988 if you or someone you know need crisis support.

  • Thoughts of suicide.
  • Mental health crises.
  • Substance use crises.
  • Any other kind of emotional distress.

Attempted break-ins and trespassing last week

Last Friday, a couple Beach Drive neighbors near Mee Kwa Mooks Park encountered a woman who was mentally not well. She broke into a small boat that was covered on a property and really made a mess of it… I’ll spare you the details. Half-naked, she locked herself in a porta-potty for hours and the police were unable to do anything about it. She left behind a backpack with stolen property which has since been returned to the owners.

Not to long before this event, we had a neighbor ask what can be done about people who are staying along Beach Drive in their campers, cars or camping in Mee Kwa Mooks Park. Lisa Herbold’s office recommends:

There are three ways to file a complaint regarding the concerns like garbage removal, needles, or to report an unauthorized encampment (either tent encampment or RVs)

  1. online: Service Request Form
  2. mobile: Find It, Fix It mobile app
  3. phone: 206-684-2489 (CITY)

I want to make sure that you understand the types of responses that may (or may not) result when you file a complaint.

Here are some possible resources for people who are experiencing homelessness or crisis in Seattle.

Of course, if you are in danger or if a crime is being committed, call 9-1-1.

Several Parks along Beach Drive closed due to sewer overflow

Seattle Public Utilities has closed a couple of beaches along Beach Drive due to a sewer issue near Cormorant Cove.This is from Seattle Public Utilities post on NextDoor:

Dear Neighbors,

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) responded to a sewer overflow due to a broken side sewer located along Beach Dr near Cormorant Cove. As a result, beaches in the area are currently closed to water activities, including Cormorant Cove Parklet, Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint at Alki beach, and the Andover Place street end beach access. Staff will sample the water and work with Public Health-Seattle & King County to determine when the area can be safely reopened. SPU will provide an update when we have more information. Seattle Public Utilities is working with the property owner to ensure a timely repair of the side sewer. If you find flooding or sewer backups, please report them to the SPU 24/7 Operations Response Center at (206) 386-1800. To learn more about our Spill Response Program, please visit: – Seattle Public Utilities

The City wants your opinion on Alki Keep Moving Street’s continued closure

The City of Seattle has a survey featuring three different options for the section of Beach Drive at Alki point that is currently closed for the Alki Keep Moving” design. The three current plans include the current set up, adding decorative planters; adding additional area designated for pedestrians or re-opening to vehicles as a “one-way” street.

It appears that the City is not considering restoring this stretch of Beach Drive to Alki as it was prior to the pandemic, a two-way street…or at least this option is not on the current survey.

If you would like to chime in to the City, you can click here to take the survey. 


Another viewpoint on the Beach Drive Stay Healthy Street

Recently we received Councilmember Lisa Herbold’s newsletter addressing the potential permanent closure to the stretch of road along Alki Point. It has been roughly one year since the streets along Alki point have been closed.

From her newsletter:

“The vast majority of people contacting me are very interested in making the Alki Keep it Moving Street a permanent “Stay Healthy Street” which would result in roads being closed to through traffic. Neighbors have surveyed users of the Keep it Moving Street over the last few months. You can see some of their results in the graph below.

Honestly I find it hard to believe that there was zero opposition to the survey that was done by the neighbors who will benefit from the street being closed to traffic. Just check out the comments on West Seattle Blog’s post and you’ll read from people who are not in favor of the permanent closure. There is no viable place for parking should one need or want to drive to visit the park with parking already limited in surrounding neighborhoods. This seems to benefit those who live closest to the closed street along Alki point and is a disadvantage to those who rely on transportation to go to Constellation Park or Alki Light House.

We live on Beach Drive south of the proposed permanent stay healthy street. We’ve walked our dog along that stretch of park for the past 8 years nearly every day. Through the past year, it has been nice to be able to stay 6’ away from others while walking this stretch during the pandemic. But now, vaccinations have put people back onto the several sidewalks that line the stretch. The street appears to have served it’s purpose and is now reaching historical normalcy.

Over the years, we have spoken to several neighbors along that stretch of Constellation Park and sympathize with them over the car clubs that inhabit the parking strip along the park, crank their tunes, leave garbage behind & rev their engines. Being in close proximity to Alki point is a very well known risk to living there.

It’s our opinion that that this Summer phenomenon is not the 100% reason this neighborhood has rallied together in effort close the street off permanently to these street racing enthusiasts. Problem is, we’re starting to inherit these enthusiasts along Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook about a half mile south. The park has just received an overhaul with additional lower sidewalks that mirror the physical layout of the Alki Keep it moving site along Constellation Park. As soon as the temporary fencing is pulled out of the newly constructed seawall section of Emma Schmitz Memorial, the neighbors along this stretch fully expect to have the same issues our neighbors to the north have experienced for the last 5 or so years.

Moving a problem is not a good solution. The vaccination efforts are working to restore the stretch along Constellation Park to it’s prior status as a public thoroughfare near busy Alki Beach. Perhaps consistent traffic/parking enforcement is the answer.

New Crosswalk as fresh as a Spring Day

We finally have a crosswalk at Beach Drive and Jacobsen!

Isn’t it simply gorgeous?

NOW… we just need to have a crosswalk installed north of this one to connect Me Kwa Mooks and Emma Schmitz Parks. It  is so challenging for people to cross Beach Drive at that point where there is low visibility with the curvy road and heavy traffic of (often speeding vehicles) and bikes.

More Progress with the Seawall

Our intrepid reporter, Scupper, ventured into the thick smoke to photograph the seawall being replaced at Emma Schmitz Memorial Viewpoint this morning.

Photo credit: Scupper

Progress with the Emma Schmitz Viewpoint Seawall

The seawall will be done before we know it! 😉

Photo credit: Scupper