Two loud booms just before 2:00 pm startled people throughout a large part of Western Washington today. BHB news partner The Seattle Times reports that they were sonic booms, caused by two F-15 jets that were scrambled in response to a violation of the temporary airspace restrictions put in place for President Obama’s visit today.
Here at the BHB the booms felt (and sounded) as if something had slammed into the south wall of the building. The cats freaked out a bit.
Twitter lit up with reports from people who heard the booms and wondered what happened. According to Travis Mayfield at KOMO, people have reported hearing the booms from Chehalis in the south all the way north to Edmonds.
Did you hear the booms? Tell us about it in the comments here.
(Ed. Note: Post updated at 2:59 to reflect that they were F-15s, not F-16s.)
Our neighbors in the Central District share our pain when it comes to airplane noise. One CD resident, Patty Fong, has started an Under the Flight Path! group on Facebook to “advocate for environmental justice in Seattle’s affected neighborhoods (Central District, Beacon Hill, Capitol Hill, White Center, Burien and others under the flight path disproportionately) and for speedy advancements in reduction of airplane noise.” — Central District News
Youth in Focus, a non-profit organization that empowers urban teens through photography, is holding their annual Bowl-A-Thon fundraiser on Saturday, October 24, from 12 noon – 5:00 pm at the AMF Imperial Lanes, 2101 22nd Avenue South. The goal of the bowl-a-thon is to raise $15,000 to help Youth in Focus provide free photography classes and mentoring to underserved teens in the Seattle community. Teams of five bowlers will bowl in two shifts, noon – 2:00 pm, or 2:30 – 4:30 pm. This year’s theme is “Come as your own Superhero!”, so dress accordingly! All are invited. To sign up or get more information, please email Jessica at email@example.com.
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El Quetzal on Beacon Avenue has applied for a beer/wine liquor license.
State Representative Dave Upthegrove (D-33: Sea-Tac, Des Moines, Normandy Park and part of Kent and Burien) sent the following message, relevant to Beaconians who, like the folks in Upthegrove’s district, live under a flight path:
As you know, our August 19th Community Meeting on Airport Noise was attended by more people than the venue could accommodate. I know that many of you took time away from your families and other duties to attend this meeting and I apologize to everyone who was turned away. Please know that simply by showing up, you helped to demonstrate just how deeply this issue affects our community.
We have scheduled a follow-up meeting to accommodate those who were turned away last month. Please join me, along with Senator Karen Keiser, Representative Tina Orwall, Des Moines City Councilwoman Susan White, and King County Councilmember Julia Patterson, to discuss airport flight operations and noise mitigation programs.
While the state legislature and county and city governments have no direct authority over SeaTac Airport flight operations (where and when planes fly), we have heard from many of you with questions and concerns about increased noise since the third runway has gone into use. This meeting will be an opportunity to hear directly from the Noise Programs Manager at SeaTac Airport and to ask questions and share information and concerns.
Follow-up Community Meeting on Airport Noise
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
WA State Criminal Justice Training Commission Auditorium: 19010 1st Ave S, Burien
Some of the questions to be addressed:
Who decides who gets money for noise insulation?
Who is responsible for determining runway usage and flight patterns?
How does current use of the Third Runway compare with previous projections?
How has airplane noise changed in the last decade?
How can community members monitor and track runway usage and flight operations?
Noise from airport operations significantly impacts our quality of life.
The more informed we are about how flight decisions are made and how noise mitigation funding decisions are made, then the more effective we all can be advocating for the interests of our community.
Thanks to Curtis Bonney, Patty Fong, and Brett Fish for passing this info around.
The Hanford Stairs Weed Busters need you! Susan Fairo is seeking teams of two people (volunteering together or matched up individuals) who can put in 2-3 hours four times a year to help keep weeds from taking over the new native plants at the public staircase near 25th and Cheasty. Rookie Weed Buster team volunteers will receive instruction on what to remove and what to ignore, and use of tools, watering, plant disposal, etc. If you’re interested or have questions, contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-349-7285.
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Noticed an increase in airplane noise? Patty Fong is organizing neighbors in Beacon Hill and the Central District to address the issue with the FAA. See this comment on a previous Beacon Bits for more details, including contact information.
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Teens can earn service learning credit at the library. In addition to free SAT prep and online tutoring, the Seattle Public Library is also running a teen advisory board this school year. If you know teens wishing to earn service learning credit by writing book reviews, helping at teen programs, or writing for the SPL blog, contact Jennifer Bisson at Jennifer.Bisson@spl.org or call 206-615-1410.
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Catholic Community Services is looking for tutors. Their Youth Tutoring Program is an after-school educational enrichment program for at-risk students in first through twelfth grade. Volunteers offer academic support and also serve as positive role models to students, helping strengthen their sense of self-esteem and self-respect. Tutors help students with reading, homework (all subjects), math and language arts skills. Resources are available for those subjects you might not remember quite so well, and no specific background is necessary aside from a high school diploma. Tutoring Centers located nearby in NewHolly and Rainier Vista are open Monday-Thursday from 4:20-7:40pm, and tutoring would be for 1-3 hours per week on the same night every week. You can apply online at http://www.ccsww.org/ytp.
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Flash Volunteer offers many more volunteer opportunities. A non-profit startup run by Brad Wilke, a former Development Director at Denise Louie, aims to link people and neighborhood-focused volunteer opportunities. Check it out at www.flashvolunteer.org.
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A South Beacon Hill neighborhood watch is coming together. Mike Cheney, working with SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon’s encouragement, is trying to bring together South Beacon Hill neighbors to form a neighborhood watch group. Perhaps you read the recent Wall Street Journal article “Civilian Patrols Grow As Recession Puts Citizens on Guard” and it piqued your interest, or maybe you’d just like to make your block a safer place to live. If you’re interested, email Mike at email@example.com.
Could there eventually be less airplane noise in Beacon Hill and other Seattle neighborhoods? According to the Seattle Times, a new GPS-based air traffic control system could move some planes over Elliott Bay instead of the path over Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Beacon Hill, and allow jets to glide in, making less noise. The new system is currently being tested by Alaska Airlines, and the article suggests that it might be used during the busy daytime period “potentially within five years.” (Thanks to the Central District News for bringing this to our attention.)
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The Seattle City Council is bringing a town-hall meeting to Southeast Seattle, from 6:30 – 8:30pm on Tuesday, September 22. The public are invited to attend this event, where Councilmembers will ask for feedback on light rail, crime and city services while also taking your questions. Questions at the event may be written or asked live on the microphone, or submitted in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The meeting will be at the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club located at 4520 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, just a couple of blocks north of the Columbia City Link light rail station. For information or questions, call 206-684-8805. Accommodations for a disability or translation services can be made in advance by calling Nancy Roberts at 206-684-8146.
The Central District Newsposted the map seen here of the glidepaths for Sea-Tac. The red line is the glide path to the new third runway; the green line is the old one. If you live under these paths, have you noticed a change in airplane noise since the third runway opened recently? If you’re on the west part of the Hill, do you hear more noise? Here at the Blog, we live between those two paths, and have noticed a decrease in noise, but not since the third runway opened. It got quieter months ago for some reason.