NEWS ALERT: High Tide Warnings For Friday

The Washington State Department of Inland Waters has issued a High Tide Warning for all Seattle area interior waters including Angle Lake. The warning will remain in effect through Saturday, April 2nd.  Those who live in a location that is prone to tidal flooding should be prepared for flooding over the coming days. Minor shoreline flooding will occur during Friday morning’s high tide and may elevate to moderate flooding during the next high tide in that evening. The city of SeaTac is hosting a sandbag filling station on the northwest corner of the City Hall Parking Lot.  Effected residents may claim up to 100 sandbags each in an effort to assist in reducing damages to property due to flooding.  Refer to the city flyer for further details.

It is not unusual for the lake to experience higher than normal tides in the spring but when compounded with the excessive amount of rain recently, the upcoming tides are expected to be astronomically high and are anticipated to exceed the highest recorded watermark set on April, 12th, 1947 when tides were measured at 14 feet 8.5 inches above the average water line.  

Residents are being asked to relocate all boats, beach furniture and other property at least 20 feet away from the beach to prevent any items from being inadvertently carried away.  An additional reminder, all beach property should be labeled with the owners post number for easy identification in the event that items become misplaced. Do not park your vehicle in a location that is prone to tidal flooding. Do not drive through flood waters. Since the water may be deeper than you think it is, the public should, therefore, keep away from the beaches during this time.

(Postscript:  This is an April Fools Joke)

2011 Angle Lake Fishing Derby

Gather your gear, grab your pole, get in your boat, and bring your fishing license to the 2011 ANGLE LAKE FISHING DERBY.  Yes indeed, it’s that time of year again when our Shore Club volunteers will be heading out to sell tickets to the annual Fishing Derby for your chance to hook the top prized of $100 for landing the largest fish!  Of course the fish must be unfrozen, have clear eyes and not be cleaned to be eligible!

However, if you are not the lucky winner of the top cash prize no worries, your ticket or tickets will be used as entry into the prize raffle drawing.  After recognition has been given to the fishing competition winners for the biggest fish in each age group, we’ll hold a raffle for all ticket holders for a chance to win an item from a sea of prizes!  Top Raffle Prize?  A 32” Flat Screen TV!   The more tickets you buy, the better your chance at winning!

But what if you don’t fish and you’ve traditionally never been a favored sole with Lady Luck?  Well believe it or not, those same ticket(s) you purchased also act as your admission to the Barbeque Lunch, too!  From Noon until 1:30 PM we’ll be serving up Hot Dogs and Hamburgers along with traditional picnic sides for you to fill up on.
So let’s recap:  Purchase of a ticket entitles you to light refreshments of coffee, juice and muffins in the morning; entry into the fishing competition; a chance to win a fabulous raffle prizes; a hosted lunch AND a chance to mingle and visit with neighbors and guests!

Steven's Beach - Post 60
Fishing Contest 7:00 AM - 12 Noon. 
Lunch, Awards and Raffle Drawings 12:00 – 2:00 PM

We’ll also be selling and renewing Shore Club Membership at the event.  Please refer to the FLYER for additional information.

Plenty Fireworks Over The Subject Of Fireworks

As anticipated, the public and council comment sections of the Regular Council Meeting held on Tuesday, March 22nd were filled with much discussion centered on the public funding of the 4th of July Fireworks over Angle Lake. 

The meeting opened as usual providing an opportunity for the public to offer comments on the state of city affairs. An estimate of ten individuals spoke in favor of the city contributing public funds to cover a portion of the fireworks show, one individual spoke against using public funds to help finance the show citing that fireworks do not equal patriotism and in light of city personnel losing jobs due to budget cuts, this is simply considered an inappropriate use of tax payer dollars. At the point the meeting progressed to the approval of the $5,000 to $35,000 Purchase Requests, Council Member Rick Forschler requested again this year to move the line item for the Angle Lake 4th of July Fireworks show to unfinished business for further discussion.  
Community came together to offer their comments and opinions over the subject of Fireworks

During Unfinished Business, Council Member Forschler again cited that city government has certain obligations such as providing roads and public safety, however, financing fireworks is not an appropriate use of public funds.  CM Forschler suggested that a fireworks fundraising collection be organized or commercial sponsorship be sought out instead of using city funds and suggested that he would try to help in this effort. He recommitted his challenge to the other council members that he would pay a seventh of the requested $10,000 if the rest of the council members would pay in an equal portion, and if they failed to match the offer, he went one further by saying he was still willing to contribute a small portion as a private citizen, not as a representative of the city. 
Deputy Mayor Gene Fisher indicated that he was in favor of supporting the fireworks “one last time” respecting the earlier interests supporting a public fireworks venue when the fireworks ban was first implemented.  However, DM Fisher expressed frustration over not understanding why this comes up at the last minute each year and does not appear to come through the budget process (editors note: the Fireworks request has been included in each of the last four year Parks and Recreation Budget, however policy requires that it be reviewed and approved prior to being spent).  

Council Member Pam Fernald claimed that she cannot understand the reasoning behind the city financing fireworks when the city itself had decided fireworks within city limits to be illegal.  However, City Attorney Mary Mirante Bartolo cited that to the best of her recollection the Ordinance had been amended authorizing public displays by certified technicians under permit – additional research would be needed to confirm this.  It was then motioned that the vote over the firework expenditure be postponed to the next council meeting scheduled for April 12th.  

With this delay, I would expect a larger group from both sides of the issue to turn out in force to voice their opinion on the matter.  Whether city funds will be provided this year is still yet to be seen, however the fireworks show will still go on as hosted by the Angle Lake Shore Club.  It just may be a significantly smaller show unless we find an interested commercial sponsor(s).  Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated.

Show Of Support For Supporting The Show!

This coming Tuesday, March 22nd, the Regular Council Meeting agenda will include a request for a city contribution of $10,000 to help fund the Angle Lake July 4th Fireworks Show. The city council will be requested to approve this appropriation of city funds for the show. If you’ve had the opportunity to view  past shows, I am sure you will agree that this is one of the best displays in the South King County area! And if you’ve enjoyed the show nearly as much as the voices contained in the attached video – then we urge you to offer your comments of support at the 6:00 PM beginning of the City Council Meeting encouraging the Council Members to approve the appropriation of City funds to cover a portion of the July 4th fireworks show over Angle Lake.

A Look Back On The 2010 Approval Process

The April 13, 2010 Regular Council Meeting Minutes state that the Angle Lake July 4th Fireworks Show was included in the list of $5000 - $35,000 Purchase Request items. Council Member Rick Forschler requested the fireworks funding item be removed and placed under Unfinished Business to be discussed in the later portion of that evening’s council session.

When the discussion came up later, Interim City Manager Todd Cutts reminded the council that the contract for funding was for one year (2009) and that tonight’s item is to approve funds budgeted for 2010. CM Forschler stated that funding a fireworks show is not an appropriate use of public funds.  He stated he would be willing to pay 1/7 of the cost personally if the other CMs would pay the rest.

CM Ralph Shape clarified that when the City originally banned fireworks, the Council felt it was appropriate to provide a fireworks display. He also reminded the council that the Angle Lake residents pay a good portion of this show in addition to City funds. Mayor Terry Anderson stated that the number of fireworks throughout the City has decreased by providing this show.  And CM Tony Anderson stated that this is a great example of a private/public partnership.

A motion for move was made by Shape, seconded by A. Anderson to approve $10,000 for the Angle Lake July 4th Fireworks Show.  Motion carried with Forschler and Gregerson voting no.

High Water Mark Not So Ordinary

You might have noticed recently through all the rain we’ve endured that it seems the water level of the lake is a little bit higher than has been in recent years. In checking back in with our ALSC President, Lonnie Goulett, he informs me that the lake is actually eight and a half inches above the Ordinary High Water Mark (If you’re not familiar with OHWM, refer to our earlier blog post for more detail on that).  Eight and a half inches does sound impressive, no? If I were to step into an 8.5” deep puddle that would pretty much extend clear to the top of an ordinary dress sock…  surely enough water to get your shoes wet if not soak the bottom of  your trousers too! But how much water is that exactly for a lake the size of Angle Lake?  

Well, first off let’s forget ‘exactly’ and agree to settle on ‘close enough’. Using the excellent search engine at Google, I discovered Associate Professor Dr. Mark Leipnik's Web page Hydrology Lab #1 Units which describes an acre foot measurement of water is equal to 325,851 gallons…  If Angle Lake is measured at 100 surface acres and we are currently measuring 8.5” above OHWM, a quick exercise in mathematics reveals that we are currently twenty-three million, eighty-one thousand, one hundred twelve and one half gallons of water over the Ordinary High Water Mark! That’s a lot of water!  

How we arrived at this estimate: 1 acre foot divided by 12 = 27,154.25 gallons per inch X 8.5 Inches = 230,811.125 X 100 Acres = 23,081,112.5 gallons of water!  Please note, to our knowledge, no actual brain cells were harmed in generating this calculation.

Drop, Cover, and Hold On...

Recent events have showcased the increasing role that Social Media tools are playing in delivering nearly instantaneous widespread distribution of news and information to the masses.  From igniting and organizing citizen revolt in Egypt to supplying astounding images and vital communication links from the recent tragedy that has struck the island nation of Japan.  Information is being delivered at lightning speed – however not all information is valid yet is still effectively spread around the globe with the same unprecedented rapid rate of speed.

“Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean its true” has never been more applicable than when considering the recent viral email being distributed in the wake of the New Zealand and Japanese earthquakes expounding the virtue of adopting the controversial “Triangle of Life” method to survive an earthquake.  The theory holds that when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside tends to crush these objects, but the remaining height of the object acts as a kind of roof beam over the space or void next to it, which will tend to end up with a sloping roof extending out from it. It is this space that self proclaimed rescue expert Doug Copp terms the triangle of life. The larger and stronger the object, the less it will compact; the less it compacts, the larger the void next to it will be. Such triangles are proclaimed to be the most common shape to be found in a collapsed building and offer the best protection for individuals. 

Sounds reasonable, however, the email warns the reader that most everyone who simply resign to  'ducking and covering' when a building collapses are crushed to death and that people who get under objects, like desks or cars, are also crushed. This encourages earthquake victims to dispose of conventional wisdom and training of duck, cover and hold, to instead seek out areas which offer a triangle of life space.  The  major fault of this wisdom is that a) this fails to consider that the “Drop, Cover and Hold on” method is a US based recommendation per US building codes where buildings virtually never ‘pancake’ b) the majority of individuals who suffer from injury during an earthquake are caused from objects and/or debris falling on them. During major quakes, often times heavy objects may shift around or topple over – thus removing the probability of providing any triangular spacing for protection and instead can end up seriously injuring the individual instead of protecting them! Sheltering under a table is still the best option to help prevent injury from falling debris.

Although it is an unfortunate and devastating event for communities to endure the effects from major seismic activity, it also should serve as a reminder and opportunity for others living in earthquake prone regions such as our own to become better prepared for when earthquakes strike.  Please don’t let this opportunity pass by without taking necessary action now and please be sure to reference only reputable agency websites as your valid source of information.  

Ready To Start Saving Daylight?

As a reminder, Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday -  just in time to make us all discombobulated for St. Patrick's Day!  In the US, Daylight Saving Time starts on the second Sunday in March of each year and ends the first Sunday in November of each year. 
You may have asked yourself, “Why do we put ourselves through this every year, and why does daylight need saving, anyway?” And if so, I am here to help provide some answers! Daylight Saving Time (the proper name for this spring-and-fall clock change thing) is all about longer summer days. And living on or near a lake, who doesn't appreciate longer summer days?!. The "saving" comes in because, with an early sunrise, people generally sleep through part of their lovely summer day, in effect wasting daylight (in fact, "The Waste of Daylight" was the name of a 1907 booklet handed out by William Willet, an early proponent of Daylight Saving Time).

The Daylight Saving Time 2011 time change is fairly simple: Most anything computerized, from a cell phone to a laptop, jumps ahead all on its own. Most other watches and clocks need to be reset manually, so we can inevitably forget to change one and confuse ourselves the next day.  But even with this slight inconvenience, we have it pretty easy -- in 1916, the first implementation of Daylight Saving Time in England consisted adding 20 minutes every Sunday in April. Less of a shock to the system, I suppose, but then it's no surprise that the month-long ordeal was ultimately changed to a single time change in March instead.

Since the 1970s, energy conservation has been the primary reason for the summer time change -- later daylight means we turn on the lights later, saving energy. The 2011 time change will be observed in different parts of the world, though not at the same times. The European Union, for example, springs forward on March 27, so you'll have to subtract an hour from the time difference for two weeks, unless you live in Arizona, Hawaii or one of the US territories, in which case there is no 2011 time change. Simple, right? 

And if it seems like Daylight Saving Time starts early every year, you're right -- sort of. Beginning in 1986, Daylight Saving Time started on the first Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday in October. But in 2007, Congress revised the dates to the current March-November calendar in order to extend the energy savings gleaned from earlier rising.

So come this Sunday morning as you struggle to wake up from the effect of losing that extra hour of precious sleep – keep in mind that we always seem to adjust, overcome and forget about the time change ... at least until November.

Good Turnout for Transit Open House

Sound Transit held the first open house for the S. 200th Street light rail extension on March 2nd at City Hall.  Approximately 150 members of the public attended. Participants were offered information on the proposed route, station elements and public art plan, as well as being invited to submit comments and questions. It is very encouraging to see lake area residents investing their time to get involved and learn more about the proposed changes in their neighborhood. The Sound Transit Board is expected to deliver a project ‘go or no go’ decision in May. If the vote favors moving the project forward an additional public outreach event can be expected in early fall of this year.

Design is underway for the extension of Link light rail between the SeaTac/Airport Station and S. 200th Street.  This project will extend light rail approximately 1.6 miles from S. 176th Street to S. 200th Street, where a station and park-and-ride will be located. For more information, consult the project webpage or contact Rachel Wilch, Community Outreach Coordinator for Sound Transit at or Soraya Lowry, Program Manager for the City of SeaTac at