You can help! Be a tutor in West Seattle, just 1 hour a week

August 28, 2014 at 9:59 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Can you spare an hour a week – a small amount of time that can make a big difference? Invest in Youth is signing up volunteers now:

Your investment of one hour a week can lead to a lifetime of dividends for a child…

Invest in Youth is a Seattle-based non-profit organization that provides free tutoring to local elementary students across the city, including two West Seattle elementary schools (Roxhill and the new Fairmount Park). Our program is unique in that we don’t charge families or schools to provide our quality tutoring services. We are able to do this because of the support of our volunteers who commit to tutoring a 3rd through 5th grade student once a week. Will you join us this fall?

The program is pretty straightforward:

Click to read the rest of You can help! Be a tutor in West Seattle, just 1 hour a week…

Video: Summer Concerts at Hiawatha’s 2014 finale

August 28, 2014 at 7:02 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

7:02 PM: Onstage on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center for another hour, that’s Funky 2 Death, the final band to play the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series. Nice night, music’s free – take a chair, your dinner, your family – it’s on until 8 pm. As a series sponsor, we share in saying thanks to everyone who’s attended, performed, volunteered, and otherwise been part of it this year!

P.S. ANA, of course, does more than present concerts. It’s the community council for the Admiral area and you can check out its next meeting at 7 pm Tuesday, September 9th, at The Sanctuary at Admiral (right across from the north side of Hiawatha, 42nd/Lander).

ADDED 8:17 PM: A few more photos – first, a reminder that kids are welcome at the Hiawatha concerts. Including babies. King County Executive Dow Constantine and wife Shirley Carlson were there tonight with three-and-a-half-month-old daughter Sabrina:

Back to the band:

Oops, our photographer was spotted:

If you enjoyed Funky 2 Death and want to see them again – catch the band Fridays at the Seamonster Lounge in Wallingford.

New SDOT director booked for Southwest District Council meeting next week

August 28, 2014 at 5:47 pm | In Southwest District Council, West Seattle news | No Comments

The full schedule of community-group meetings gets going again next month, and the first one has a high-profile guest: New SDOT director (pending confirmation) Scott Kubly is booked for Q/A at the Southwest District Council meeting next Wednesday (September 3rd). All are welcome to the 6:30 pm meeting at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon in The Junction);

West Seattle traffic alert: Fauntleroy/Edmunds crash

August 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm | In Triangle, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

Avoid Fauntleroy/Edmunds for a while. The northbound side is blocked by emergency response for a two-car crash right in front of the pawn shop. No major injuries; an ambulance has arrived for one person.

Followup: Bail set at $500,000 for SUV theft/kidnap suspect

August 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Just in from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office: Bail is set at $500,000 for the 25-year-old man accused of stealing an SUV from outside Seamart in Highland Park, with a 10-month-old baby girl in the back seat, abandoning it (and her) in White Center. As added to our coverage last night after he was booked into jail, he also has warrants in connection with three domestic-violence-related cases, one of which also involved taking a vehicle; court documents list his address as less than a block away from the scene of yesterday’s crime. The documents include a short police narrative of how it unfolded; adding that in a moment.

ADDED: Transcribed from the “probable cause” section of the document:
Click to read the rest of Followup: Bail set at $500,000 for SUV theft/kidnap suspect…

Followup: Fauntleroy Schoolhouse crowdlending goal reached!

August 28, 2014 at 2:54 pm | In Fauntleroy, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | No Comments

Update from the Fauntleroy Community Service Agency: The crowdlending campaign to raise money for remaining work at the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse has just passed its $500,000 goal! This is for the second phase of repair work, involving roof, painting, gutter/downspouts, and earthquake-resistance retrofitting. As reported here last month, the campaign launched in connection with Semble hit the halfway mark within its first week; by the start of this week, it was three-quarters of the way to goal; and today, it passed the half-million mark. FCSA hopes to get the work done before fall rainy season arrives.

The WSBeat: Four police-report summaries, starting with fruit theft

August 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police, WSBeat | 17 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of our periodic feature The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …

*A Fauntleroy resident went out to his planting strip to harvest his organic pear crop and was dismayed to discover that all of the ripe fruit had been taken. He estimates that at least 50 pounds of fruit — worth $200 — was missing. A nearby citizen said she saw a man and woman in a white van picking the fruit. The van is registered to a Georgetown address.

Three more summaries ahead, including the case that began with a naked man and a tree:

Click to read the rest of The WSBeat: Four police-report summaries, starting with fruit theft…

Two special spotlights previewed for Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s 2014 Gala Champagne Brunch

August 28, 2014 at 11:24 am | In How to help, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | No Comments

Fall is approaching, and that means fundraising-gala season. So again this year, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society gathered board members and longtime backers at The Pacific Institute across from Seacrest Park for a preview of this year’s Gala Champagne Brunch. At last night’s gathering, SWSHS executive director Clay Eals announced that the gala, 11:30 am November 8th at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), will feature two special spotlights.

As Eals mentions in our brief clip, one relates to the gala’s theme, celebrating the renovated Admiral Way totem pole unveiled in June at SWSHS’s Log House Museum:

The totem pole was carved from a log cut in Schmitz Park, one of the West Seattle treasures donated by the Schmitz family, whose Vicki and Dietrich Schmitz will discuss the family’s unique historical legacy.

Also in the spotlight at the SWSHS gala brunch: A panel spotlighting West Seattleites’ roles in the world-renowned Northwest music scene – “Why West Seattle?” Marty Riemer and Jodi Brothers will host panelists including Chris Ballew, Tim Bierman, Gary Crow, Megan Jasper, Nicole Vandenberg, and Matt Vaughan. Here’s Marty’s video invitation:

Postal-mail invitations are going out soon, but even if you don’t get one, you’re very much welcome at the event (sponsors, by the way, include WSB). Reservations will be available via the SWSHS website in about a week. If you reserve your seat by October 8th, you’ll get a $10 discount – we’ll publish an update as soon as we get word the page is live.

West Seattle Thursday: Final Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show; pre-back-to-school events; more!

August 28, 2014 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 2 Comments


(Added: WSB photo tweeted during Fairmount Park visit early today – full story later!)
With less than a week until school starts for most local students, it’s prime time for pre-back-to-school events, and several are in our highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

K-5 STEM OPEN HOUSE FOR NEW STUDENTS: Two start times for an open house welcoming new students to K-5 STEM – 4 pm for 1st-5th graders who are new to the school, 5 pm for incoming kindergarteners. Details in our previously published announcement. (5950 Delridge Way SW)

PATHFINDER BACK-TO-SCHOOL BARBECUE: 5-7 pm, neighbors welcome as well as Pathfinder K-8 families; here’s the previously published announcement. (1901 SW Genesee)

GATEWOOD ELEMENTARY 3-IN-1 EVENT: This year’s Meet and Greet, Volunteer Fair, and Ice Cream Social for Gatewood Elementary are combined into one event tonight, with three staggered starting times by grade, starting at 5:30 pm – details in our previously published announcement. (4320 SW Myrtle)


(Photos tweeted by Denny assistant principal Patricia Rangel on Wednesday)
NEW-FAMILY ORIENTATION AT DENNY: **Updated time** 6:30-8 pm at Denny International Middle School. (2601 SW Kenyon)

ROXHILL BACK-TO-SCHOOL BARBECUE: As previewed here Wednesday, 6-8 pm, families are invited to Roxhill Elementary to get ready for the new school year. School supplies will be available to those who need them – but first come, first served, so don’t be late. (30th/Roxbury)

COMMUNITY KAYAK TOUR ON THE DUWAMISH: 6 pm, see anbd learn about the river with the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition and Alki Kayak Tours, departing this time from Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park. See our calendar listing for details. (7900 10th Avenue S.)

LITTLE PILGRIM PARENT ORIENTATION: Starting at 7 pm, parents/guardians are welcome to Room 2 at Little Pilgrim School in Fauntleroy: “Current morning or afternoon openings are for children 3 or 4 years old. Come see the school spaces, meet the teachers, pick up enrollment materials, ask questions …” (9140 California SW)

SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA’S 2014 FINALE: Funky 2 Death performs tonight at 6:30 pm on the lawn east of Hiawatha Community Center for the sixth and final of this summer’s six concerts presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association. Free! (2700 block of Walnut)

JON AUER AT C & P COFFEE: 7 pm – see our calendar listing for RSVP details, so you can check if there’s still room. *10:49 am update: Still room – $21, cash only, at the door.* (5612 California SW)

MORE MUSIC/NIGHTLIFE … see the listings by going directly to our calendar!

P.S. Any school events for tonight that aren’t listed above? Please let us know ASAP! (Or for other days ahead, too, if you don’t see them on our calendar – thank you!)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Pre-holiday-weekend Thursday

August 28, 2014 at 6:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
With summer’s last big weekend on the way, and major road-work projects now in the past, traffic just might ease a bit today; we’ll see how it goes. Just one reminder from here – again today, school buses will be trying out their routes.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Hit-run crash leaves one hurt

August 28, 2014 at 3:23 am | In Crime, Delridge, West Seattle news | No Comments

Police are looking for the driver who walked away from a car that crashed into parked cars at Delridge and Juneau (map) this past hour. Left behind: An injured passenger, who’s been taken to the hospital. Tipster Sage says traffic is being directed around the wreckage on the southbound side of Delridge.

Photos: ‘Diver Laura’ and friends’ Seacrest morning with ROVs

August 28, 2014 at 3:17 am | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(Top photo by Laura James; other photos by Rachel Chaimson)
On Wednesday morning, the divers at Seacrest weren’t all human: As previewed here, “Diver Laura” James and friends went in with ROVs, to check on the sick-sea-star situation, among other missions. Laura sent a report and photos:

The day started by picking up the trash can that had been knocked over the night before:

Pretty gross. (Thanks to the kind gentleman who offered me a wet-wipe afterward.) Now on to the ROV’s :) They show up in BIG yellow boxes – seen here with National Geographic Young Explorer Erika Bergman, who is currently working on the OpenExplorer platform, and OpenROV summer intern Christine Spiten from Norway:

The event was well documented by myself and another West Seattle shooter, Micah O’Keiley, and his snazzy camera (he’s helping me do a promo video for Diver Laura and Kids program stuff, for which I am AMAZINGLY grateful).

Video up in the next day or so. They are very cute – this one even has a shark fin!

Then it was time for me to get in the water with the little critters:

They were waiting impatiently:

Good dive! Vis was a bit murky, and the baby mottled stars that were abundant a few weeks ago are now sparse. There is wasting disease ongoing, with arms from moderately-sized mottled stars lying around at regular intervals.

All too soon it was time to pack up and head home:

As noted in Wednesday’s daily preview, Laura is working on her own OpenROV, and promises advance notice of explorations, so you can check it out in person.

If you’re noticing the sirens …

August 27, 2014 at 10:43 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

Seattle Fire crews are responding to fire alarms at both West Seattle High School and Madison Middle School. *No* indication of fires at either location so far, but both sites are being checked.

10:50 PM UPDATE: WSHS (3000 California SW) was just pronounced an official “false alarm.” At Madison (3429 45th SW) they’re still doublechecking to be sure nothing’s awry.

As-it-happened coverage: West Seattle Land Use Committee’s launch meeting

August 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

6:46 PM: The inaugural meeting of the West Seattle Land Use Committee is off to a late start – the go-to place for public meetings in WS these days, the Senior Center in The Junction, was locked. An alternative meeting place was just about to be secured when someone got the door open, and now the meeting’s beginning. About two dozen people are here. We’ll be reporting live as it goes along. Southwest District Council co-chair Vlad Oustimovitch is giving opening remarks – “the whole idea (of this) is not to react to a single project … it’s really to talk about how we can improve land-use decisions made by the city, in working with the committee .. it’s actually a very difficult subject …this is an open discussion on how to (make) this happen over a long period of time.” After Oustimovitch’s remarks, everyone around the table is introducing her/himself.

7 PM: Introductions over – the official total, barring late arrivals, is 25 people – “We have 26 people here, representing ‘the peninsula,’ not just ‘my neighborhood because something’s happening there,’” said Sharonn Meeks, SW District Council co-chair. Most are already active in other community groups all over the peninsula, from Delridge to Alki, High Point, to Admiral. As Mat McBride, chair of the Delridge District Council, said, “It’s tremendously exciting to see people from both districts here.” (The city considers West Seattle to be two “districts,” Southwest and Delridge.) That done, now the question is – what will they talk about? One attendee says he hopes issues will be discussed with facts, not feelings. Another: “Let’s be honest, many of us here because we’re not happy” with the way things are going regarding development.

Another attendee brings up Terminal 5 and its uncertain future (as reported here last month, it’s currently closed, while the Port begins a “modernization plan” whose funding has yet to be secured. Oustimovitch suggests that’s a good idea – start talking about hot spots around the peninsula, T-5 being one. Others? Junction, Triangle are mentioned. The plan to survey historical resources along California Avenue soon is also mentioned briefly. What about open space? “How are people going to play and be healthy outdoors?” asks one attendee.

Oustimovitch says he’s worried West Seattle will soon feel like an “anonymous” place. Another attendee says it might not be too late to save some buildings that have character. “But it’s also the streetscape, and the light, it’s not just about having a little museum piece of a building (preserved),” interjects someone.

Westwood is suggested as another hot spot meriting attention – as “an unplanned outdoor bus terminal.” Another nomination: Avalon Way, with its ongoing densification, before it becomes “a chokepoint.” What about the Admiral Theater and its uncertain future? asks someone else, leading to some discussion about its plight, and it too goes onto the list. That segues to a mention of the relatively few remaining Alki cottages, and whether there might be a reason for a photographic study of them, before they’re all gone. That in turn segues to a mention of the current trends in new-home architecture – modern – replacing old Craftsman-style homes.

7:21 PM: This continues to be a free-flowing discussion around the table, bouncing from topic to topic. Participation in meetings off-peninsula with big effects on-peninsula (City Council meetings, Landmarks Board meetings, etc.) is low, it’s mentioned. A suggestion in response: Maybe this committee can help encourage and nurture that kind of participation. Then back to a hot spot/topic: The Fauntleroy Boulevard project is brought up. Then, the city’s Pedestrian Zone Mapping project. And yet another hot topic that comes up at community meetings now and then: Some “urban village” areas already past growth targets set for years in the future. “Why can’t a ‘time out’ be called for them?” wonders the person who brings that up, who goes on into the issue of buildings being allowed without much, if any, parking.

7:33 PM: A mention of business climate in eastern West Seattle bounces over to one attendee’s mention of a study about the “food desert” concept and whether it’s valid or not. Shortly afterward, Oustimovitch reiterates the list of locations mentioned so far as possible deserving attention, pausing on Delridge and the east-west connection deficiency that has long been an issue. Overall he says he heard three things of importance, transcending the list of specific locations in the spotlight:

1. “Density, relating to infrastructure” – or the lack of it
2. Historic preservation
3. Land-use code – people research property next to them, think they know what might happen in the future, “and then something completely different is on the table, and part of the problem is that the code is so convoluted … for the layman, and even for me as an architect,” as Oustimovitch put it.

The difficulty of understanding the city rules and codes, and tracking changes, is noted by another attendee. (And, as also pointed out, there are many changes in the works.) Speaking of change – one person opines that the change from at-large to by-district City Council election (starting next year) might “change the dominant paradigm.” Then back to the potential changes – the impending rulemaking for microhousing was mentioned, with the City Council potentially voting soon, so if you have something to say, pro or con, this is the time to have a say. What’s the problem with microhousing? asks one attendee. One reply: The problem is when it’s next to single-family neighborhoods, as opposed to areas already planned for and moving toward density.

7:51 PM: And that springboards to a question about affordable housing, and what constitutes “affordable.” Plus – what about more commercial development, creating jobs here, so that West Seattle can become less of a bedroom community? That would make more sense, says one person, than just putting residential development here and sending everyone somewhere else to work. What if a five- to seven-story commercial/office building went up in The Triangle? That concept draws support, including a suggestion that the city be recruited to help make that happen. What about a shared workspace where big employers based elsewhere, which have employees living here, each bought a floor, or so?

8 PM: And now the meeting’s wrapping – mindful of, as Oustimovitch said, the fact this is a subject that won’t lose its vitality any time soon – “it’ll go on for months and years.” Some optimism is found in the fact that more than two dozen people turned up despite the fact it’s late August, possibly the worst time to try to get people together for a meeting. So far, it looks like the fourth Wednesday will be the meeting times, going forward. And now organizational logistics are being discussed – whether city resources will be available for future meetings; district coordinator Yun Pitre from the Department of Neighborhoods is here, but that was made possible by the fact that she and her colleagues had fewer regular meetings to staff this month, with district councils taking August off.

Next meeting – Wednesday, September 24th, 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon).

Update: Suspect arrested, jailed in West Seattle theft of SUV with baby inside

August 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 52 Comments

3:25 PM: Just tweeted by Seattle Police: “Officers searching for black SUV near 16SW/SW Holden after suspect steals car w/ 10-month-old child inside.” Suspect/vehicle description from SPD: “Hispanic male, 20s, 5’7, very short hair driving black Ford Edge w/ 22″ rims.” Please call 911 if you think you’ve seen it or know anything about it.

3:34 PM UPDATE: Baby and vehicle have been found in White Center. Police are now trying to find the thief.

3:42 PM UPDATE: If you are in south West Seattle or White Center, you’re probably noticing at least one helicopter – this is what it’s related to – TV chopper for now, law-enforcement chopper Guardian One expected too. One of the choppers belongs to Channel 7, which tweeted an aerial view of the recovered SUV:


4:03 PM: According to radio discussion, police do know who they are looking for. Meantime, commenter Rachel reports what happened when the SUV turned up in White Center’s Greenbridge neighborhood:

I was in Dubsea Coffee when this was occurring. I noticed the black Edge parked in the middle of the road. People were honking at it as they tried to drive down the road. I thought it was bizarre that someone would park right in the middle of the street, but went back to working. About 10 minutes later, I decided to leave Dubsea and that’s when I saw a few people trying to look into the car. Someone realized that there was a baby in the car and opened the front door. That’s when the car started rolling backwards and everyone was scrambling to get out of the way. Finally, a woman jumped in and put the emergency brake on. A few seconds later, the police showed up and got a description of the perpetrator. A few minutes after that, another patrol car showed up with the father of the baby. It was so incredibly heartbreaking to watch him grab his baby out of the car. I am so very glad that there were people around who noticed the baby on this hot day. The people who called 911 and acted quickly to report this should absolutely be commended.

4:19 PM UPDATE: SPD reports a suspect is in custody.

9:31 PM UPDATE: As noted in comments, TV reports included surveillance video of the theft – here’s one version of the clip. The man who was arrested was booked into King County Jail just after 7 pm and is being held for investigation of kidnapping and vehicle theft; three domestic-violence cases are listed in his entry on the jail register – one listed as violation of a no-contact order. and the other two as fourth-degree assault. We’re checking if he has a record beyond that.

9:54 PM UPDATE: The suspect, who turns 25 years old tomorrow, has a home less than a block away from today’s incident, according to court documents from the June case involving the no-contact-order violation. The case involved an incident in June at the home of the suspect’s girlfriend, in the Puget Ridge area – he allegedly took her car without permission, and, according to the documents, almost left with the girlfriend’s 7-year-old daughter in the car. The girlfriend tried to stop him from driving it away; the court documents say, he used a Taser-type device to hurt her. Her daughter got out of the car before he left with it; he later abandoned it, the court papers say, after crashing it into a utility pole.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Rock-throwing thief steals smartphone

August 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm | In Crime, Sunrise Heights, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

West Seattle Crime Watch reports have included more than a few smartphone thefts, but never one quite like this. It’s believed someone threw a rock through a window in order to steal an iPhone – whose owner was asleep right next to it. According to the Seattle Police report summary, this happened early Sunday morning on 28th SW in Sunrise Heights. The victim said she had been sleeping on a couch when a football-size rock smashed through the window directly above her. She ran to check on the three young children who also were home; they were OK, so she went to get her phone to make a call – and couldn’t find it. She told police it had been plugged in to charge, on the edge of the couch, under the window. Glass from the broken window cut her hands and legs, so Seattle Fire responded for medical aid. Police had already been called by a neighbor who heard the breaking glass followed by the victim’s scream. Turns out the rock had been picked up from right outside the house, where it was used as a doorstop. The victim and police deduced the phone had been stolen once they tried to call it and found it was going immediately to voicemail; its owner said that’s not the way it was set when she had plugged it in. Police did not find the rock-throwing thief/thieves.

West Seattle back-to-school: Roxhill Elementary barbecue Thursday

August 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

We’re continuing to spotlight local back-to-school events as the start of the new school year (one week from today, September 3rd, for Seattle Public Schools) nears. Here’s an announcement for Roxhill Elementary students, family, and staff:

Roxhill Elementary’s Back to School BBQ is being held tomorrow, Thursday the 28th, from 6 pm- 8 pm. Food will be provided, so bring the whole family and come on down to meet your teacher this year! Free school supplies will be handed out while supplies last – so get there early!

Lots to see just off-campus, too, including more pedestrian improvements on 30th SW.

P.S. Thanks yet again to everyone sharing school news/announcements – e-mail editor@westseattleblog.com (the further in advance, the better)!

Zippy’s Giant Burgers expanding, adding second location

August 27, 2014 at 11:53 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 22 Comments

(Added: Future Georgetown location of second Zippy’s; WSB photo by Katie Meyer)
In its seventh year, Zippy’s Giant Burgers is expanding to add a location. No, it’s not in West Seattle, but it’s not far. Zippy’s proprietor Blaine Cook didn’t mention the location when he announced the expansion plan on Facebook this morning (thanks to Bianca for the tip on that!) but he tells WSB it’s in Georgetown, at the American Pie Company location, 5633 Airport Way South. Zippy’s celebrated its sixth anniversary this past May; it opened in a tiny Highland Park spot in 2008, became massively popular almost instantly, and then moved to a much-larger space in White Center in 2011. Blaine says they’re getting the keys to the new location on Labor Day (Zippy’s #1 will be closed that day).

West Seattle development: Tower crane going up at 4745 40th SW

August 27, 2014 at 11:47 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(WSB photo by Katie Meyer)
A week and a half after one tower crane was taken down in The Junction, another one is going up just a few blocks away. Thanks to Maris for the tip that the crane’s going up right now for 4745 40th SW, the mixed-use project at 40th and Edmunds, across from the Masonic Center parking lot. We showed its base back on Sunday when an advertising-photo shoot was happening on the site.

P.S. One more nudge – if you’re interested in development/land use-zoning issues in West Seattle, don’t miss tonight’s launch meeting of the WS Land Use Committee. This is *not* a government-convened or -linked committee, nor is it related to any one area of the peninsula, or any particular project. 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle.

West Seattle Wednesday: Land Use Committee launch, WSHS Freshman Family Night, ROVs at Seacrest, more

August 27, 2014 at 10:44 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

(Band-tailed pigeon in Fauntleroy Park: “Washington’s native pigeon” per photographer Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

ROV’S AT SEACREST: “Diver Laura” James invites you to stop by Seacrest “late morning” today (not time-specific but if you see this shortly after we publish it, head on over!) as she and others “will be ‘flying’ some small Underwater Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV) OpenROV and Open Explorer … shooting some UW video of the OpenROV’s while we test the efficacy of surveying sea-star wasting disease and recruitment with OpenROV’s. You can get an up close and personal look at the ROV’s, ask questions, maybe even drive one! And just for giggles I may even have my iPhone microscope on hand so we can look at a few drops of seawater and try to identify some plankton. A maker-space extravaganza!!! This won’t be your only opportunity, my personal OpenROV build is almost complete … and will try to get it out with some regularity for Sea Star Wasting Syndrome surveys, and will try to post them on the calendar!” (1660 Harbor SW)

CHAIR MASSAGE TO BENEFIT ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION: As part of fundraising over the next month for the Arthritis Foundation, Massage Envy West Seattle (WSB sponsor) is offering $1-minute chair massages 5-7 pm (and two more dates ahead) – details in our calendar listing. (2513 SW Trenton, north side of Westwood Village)

WSHS FRESHMAN FAMILY NIGHT: Someone in your family starting at West Seattle High School next week? Tonight’s event is for you. 5:30-7:30 pm – details in our preview. (3000 California SW)

LAND-USE COMMITTEE LAUNCH: Anyone and everyone interested is welcome at the launch meeting of the West Seattle Land Use Committee, meant to be a community group focused on the “big picture” of local development/zoning issues beyond the project-specific way they are addressed now. Our preview from last week includes a document and link you can check out in preparation, as well as the agenda. 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle. (Oregon/California)

POETRY AND STORYTELLING: The monthly event, with featured readers and open-microphone time, starts at 7 pm tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor). Details in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)

MORE NIGHTLIFE! Lots of listings for tonight – just check our calendar.

This party will rock! Camp Long Mountain Fest set for next month

August 27, 2014 at 10:04 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | No Comments

(Schurman Rock at Camp Long; photo from seattle.gov)
Celebrate climbing without going too far above sea level, at a special Camp Long celebration just announced for next month. From Seattle Parks:

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites you and your family to celebrate Camp Long Mountain Fest and the 75th anniversary of Schurman Rock from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014.

Camp Long Mountain Fest celebrates Seattle’s mountain climbing history and community. Visitors can challenge themselves on the high ropes course and try climbing and rappelling on Schurman Rock (with waivers). There will be mountain games and interactive workshops for people of all ages and abilities and prizes will be awarded. Jim Whittaker, the first American to climb Mount Everest, is scheduled to attend.

Schurman Rock was constructed between 1938 and 1939 by the Work Progress Administration, and is believed to be the first man-made climbing structure in America. It was originally named Monitor Rock because climbing instructors could monitor their students from all sides of the structure. In 1957, it was renamed to honor Clark Schurman who designed it.

Schurman, known as “The Chief,” was the chief climbing guide on Mount Rainier from 1938 to 1941. As a climber, he sketched and painted his journeys into a book published by The Mountaineers in 1939. Schurman thought it was important for novice climbers to have a practice rock. Schurman Rock stands as a legacy to his vision.

Seattle Parks says this will be a free event; find out more about Schurman Rock here.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: 99 fully open again, and other Wednesday updates

August 27, 2014 at 6:07 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
“Reopened” is the word of the day, so far. WSDOT confirms Highway 99 is now fully open again, including the rebuilt bridge north of the Battery Street Tunnel; also, the ramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge to southbound I-5 is open again after a deadly motorcycle crash overnight, and the bridge exit to northbound 99 reopened late last night, after an hours-long closure caused by a fuel spill. Another note for today: School buses will be out on practice runs. And if you travel through SODO – take note that the Mariners have a day game today (12:40 pm).

Update: Deadly motorcycle crash on West Seattle Bridge exit to southbound I-5

August 27, 2014 at 1:34 am | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 19 Comments

(Photos by WSP Sgt. Courtney Stewart)
1:34 AM: More West Seattle Bridge exit ramp trouble. This time, a motorcycle has crashed and both people riding it are hurt. It happened at the exit to southbound I-5 on the east end of the bridge. The State Patrol says one person is in critical condition, one in serious condition, and the exit is closed.

1:45 AM: Update from WSP via Twitter: The motorcycle’s driver has died. The passenger is still described as in serious condition and was taken to Harborview Medical Center.

5:08 AM: WSP says the passenger’s life was saved by netting:



The ramp is now open again.

ADDED 9:45 AM: According to the WSP “media memo” with additional information, the man who was killed was 32 years old and from Kent; the woman who survived is 22 and from Puyallup. WSP’s preliminary investigation information in the same e-mail says the motorcycle “took exit ramp to southbound I-5 and failed to negotiate curve, ejected driver and passenger, and came to rest in (the) roadway.”

West Seattle scene: Rotarians sort school-supplies donations for Pencil Me In For Kids

August 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm | In How to help, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | No Comments

Thanks to Josh Sutton from the Rotary Club of West Seattle for the photo from an annual late-summer tradition – the sorting party for school-supplies donations collected and obtained by Pencil Me In For Kids. In the heart of the activity at Monday night’s event, that’s Sue Lindblom waving, and Cathy Rouyer talking with her. Josh adds that overall, “More than a dozen West Seattle Rotarians sorted over $9,000 in school supplies destined for students in need from every West Seattle public school. Thanks to Staples and to QFC for their discounts and support of Rotary Pencil Me In For Kids.” P.S. PMIFK has been getting school supplies to kids who need them for almost 20 years! Here’s how to help.

4 West Seattle biznotes, from Admiral to The Junction to The Triangle

August 26, 2014 at 8:41 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Four West Seattle biznotes tonight:

AUSTRALIAN WINEMAKER VISITING: This Friday night at The Cask (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm, acclaimed Australian winemaker Daniel Binet from Ballabourneen Winery is visiting for a “Meet the Winemaker” event. Ballabourneen describes Binet as, in addition to winemaker, “entertainer, bon vivant and inspiration behind the wines, creativity and culture of the company.” (See his bio here.) Stop by the Cask at 2350 California SW Friday night to say hi and try his wine.

FORMER SHOOFLY PIE SPACE: The state’s liquor-license application announcements give a hint of what’s on the way for the space vacated when Shoofly closed earlier this month – a license application is in for that address, 4444 California SW, in the name Coastline, and the applicant is Aaron Shepherd, proprietor of Copper Coin in Admiral. We have a message out seeking more information.

CHERRY CONSIGNMENT CHANGE: Just up the street from there, Cherry Consignment proprietor Nyla says her store at 4142 California SW will be exclusively focused on women’s wear and accessories as of next month, and that she plans “to expand our current selection of gently used garments to include more plus, petite, and maternity sizes.” This means they’ll no longer accept men’s clothing for consignment as of August 31st.

ALKI SEAGULL MERCH AT NEW LOCATIONS: Misa e-mailed to say Mountain to Sound Outfitters in The Triangle and Alki Kayak Tours at Seacrest are “now carrying the Alki bird (seagull logo) merchandise including the classic bumper stickers, T’s, sweatshirts, and hats.” People ask often where they can find these items, so that’s word of two more options.

West Seattle Bridge traffic alert: Exit to NB 99 reopens after hours-long closure following diesel spill on eastbound bridge

August 26, 2014 at 4:57 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 16 Comments

(Added: Photo of truck, tweeted by Seattle Fire)
4:57 PM: In case you’re heading toward downtown (or beyond) sometime soon: Thanks to the tipster who just called to let us know about a truck stopped on the eastbound bridge near the Highway 99 exit, leaking fluid. It’s on the SFD 911 log as a “fuel spill.”

5:10 PM UPDATE: The exit to 99 is closed because of the cleanup, per this SDOT tweet:


5:20 PM UPDATE: A text from Metro says that since the ramp is closed for now, Routes 21, 120, 125, and RapidRide C Line are rerouting onto 4th Avenue South.

5:28 PM UPDATE: Seattle Fire estimates the spill at about 80 gallons. (added) SPD adds that “Portions of roads near Harbor Island will be closed for an extended period.” And now there’s also word of a crash *on* northbound 99 north of the ramp from the bridge, so even if you get onto 99 from points to the south, you might be in for some trouble.

5:47 PM UPDATE: The cleanup of what’s described over emergency radio as diesel fuel also involves checking storm drains to make sure the fuel doesn’t get into the river or Puget Sound.

6:45 PM UPDATE: SDOT says the ramp will be closed “for several hours” because the hazmat team is investigating.

9:28 PM UPDATE: SPD says it probably won’t reopen until midnight. Here’s the summary just posted on SPD Blotter:

Multiple city agencies responded to a diesel fuel spill after a semi-truck punctured its gas tank sending 80 gallons of fuel onto streets near Harbor Island during Tuesday evening’s commute.

Officers began receiving calls about a fuel leak at the Alaskan Way on-ramp to the West Seattle Bridge just before 4:45 p.m. As they arrived, they found roads in the area covered in diesel fuel, making the roads very slick, for approximately one mile leading up to where the fuel source was found. Officers discovered the disabled semi-truck at the on-ramp surrounded in a three-inch-deep pool of fuel.

The Seattle Fire Department responded to the scene and began sopping up the fuel as it sank into the ground and drained into the sewage system. It is still unknown the extent of damage the fuel may have caused. The United States Coast Guard was called to the scene to help prevent fuel from leaking into the Duwamish Waterway.

Officers spoke with the driver of the semi who said he was unsure of what punctured the tank, but he had been traveling in the direction of the leak. Officers scoured the area and found a raised curb that appeared to have been hit by the truck, tearing a hole in the exposed fuel tank.

Four other vehicle were damaged in collisions related to the fuel spill and many others were trapped in the spilled fuel.

The ramp is closed as crews continue to cleanup, but is expected to reopen around midnight.

11:45 PM: Checking the webcam that’s been zoomed in on the ramp, looks like it’s open.

You can help! Benefits with beer: Bob’s Bowl-A-Rama; Washington Organic Week

August 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS beverages | No Comments

Raise a glass to good deeds! We have word today of two upcoming benefits involving breweries – one in West Seattle, one featuring a WS brewer:

BOWLING AND BEER: A benefit bowl-a-thon at West Seattle Bowl this Thursday has a few lanes still open. From Ingrid at Georgetown Brewing Company:

The event is called Bob’s Bowl-A-Rama, and it is the final event of our fundraising for Ronald McDonald House Charities for 2014.

Charles “Bob” Hirsch was the inspiration for our beer, Bob’s Brown Ale. Manny, one of Georgetown Brewing Co.’s founders, met Bob when he was a counselor at Camp Goodtimes and Bob was a camper. Bob fought cancer for half of his life, and when he passed away, the company decided to brew a beer in his honor and donate all of the proceeds. Bob’s mom chose RMHC as the recipient charity for our donation saying “They put us up for treatment every time we came in from Alaska.” For the past 9 years, we’ve released Bob’s Brown Ale on Bob’s birthday, May 14th, and have raised over $400,000 to date. Even if folks can’t buy a lane, even if they just come out for a pint of Bob’s Brown Ale and buy a raffle ticket, that would be great.

Bob’s Bowl-A-Rama starts at 7 pm Thursday (August 28th) and if you’re interested in a lane, sign up ASAP – here’s all the info.

WASHINGTON ORGANIC WEEK: As part of WOW, Elliott Bay Brewery is participating in Tilth ProducersBeer, Cider, Chocolate Tasting event; Amy from EBB tells WSB, “Elliott Bay Brewery will be pouring our delicious Organic Chocolate No Doubt Stout & our Organic Vanilla No Doubt Stout, in support of Washington Organic Week. This is our fourth year contributing to this event and we always have a great time.” It’s not in WS but it’s not far – 6:30 pm Wednesday, September 10th, at Theo Chocolate (3400 Phinney N.) – ticket details here.

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