Next affordable-housing proposals advanced by mayor, councilmember: ‘Linkage fee’ and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, with additional height in exchange

September 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(One of the city’s graphics for today’s announcements, explaining the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing)
When Mayor Murray announced his housing plan and the report from the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda advisory committee in mid-July, it was pointed out that the proposals will roll out over a period of up to two years. Two of the first proposals to be pursued were detailed today by Mayor Ed Murray and City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, whose announcement says they’re expected to “create 6,000 units of affordable housing” in the city as part of what was called a “grand bargain” involving developers and housing advocates. The announcement (which you can read in full, here) continues:

… “Seattle is experiencing unprecedented growth, and our challenge is to build fairly and affordably. We want sustainable, socially inclusive and economically diverse neighborhoods that are walkable, close to transit and job centers. To build these equitable communities, we must ensure that our teachers, nurses, hotel and restaurant workers who work in the city can also afford to live here,” said Mayor Murray. “With this legislation, Seattle – for the first time ever – will require that all new development in the city will pay for affordable housing. This is a bold, progressive proposal where growth itself will support affordable and environmentally sustainable neighborhoods. I am eager to work with the Council as we engage the public on this proposal as it moves through the legislative process.”

“I continually hear from people in our city struggling to keep up with rising rents. The Grand Bargain represents 6,000 desperately needed, new affordable units that we cannot build fast enough—especially not for those in need today,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Chair of the Select Committee on Housing Affordability. “I will be working with my colleagues on the City Council to act as swiftly as possible on the legislation behind the Grand Bargain.”

There are two major components to the “Grand Bargain.” The first establishes an Affordable Housing Impact Mitigation Program (AHIMP) – commonly referred to as a commercial linkage fee – that will directly fund the construction of new affordable housing by requiring developers to pay a fee on every square foot of new commercial development. The linkage fee will range from $5 to $17 per square foot, based on the size and location of the commercial development.

The second part of the “Grand Bargain” calls for Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) for new multifamily developments, requiring five to eight percent of units be affordable for residents earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) for 50 years.

Click to read the rest of Next affordable-housing proposals advanced by mayor, councilmember: ‘Linkage fee’ and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, with additional height in exchange…

Seattle Public Schools contract talks: Union’s latest update

September 1, 2015 at 11:17 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

With eight days left until Seattle Public Schools classes are scheduled to start, the district’s still negotiating with the Seattle Education Association. When we reported on the district’s latest update last Friday, we didn’t have new information from the union; now we do. From the SEA update posted online last night:

In the spirit of good-faith bargaining, the SEA Bargaining Team (Monday) morning provided school district administrators with significant counterproposals on recess and pay.

On recess, the SEA Bargaining Team proposed a guaranteed 30 to 45 minutes of recess each day (our previous proposal was for a guaranteed 45 minutes).

On pay, our team proposed a raise of 6 percent a year for three years, for a total raise of 18 percent (in addition to the state COLA). Our previous proposal called for annual 7 percent raises.

As of 4 pm Monday, the school district administration bargaining team had not formally responded to either of the new SEA proposals.

SEA members are still scheduled to take a vote this Thursday (September 3rd) – on either a strike, or a tentative agreement (if one has been reached by then). Before then, they’re planning informational picketing at high schools around the city tomorrow afternoon. Their contract expired yesterday; they’ve been in talks with the district for more than three months.

West Seattle scenes: Gone fishing, from the pier to the beach

September 1, 2015 at 11:06 am | In Seen around town, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 6 Comments

Two photos shared by your neighbors:

That’s from Don Brubeck, who writes, “Lots of people fishing from the bridge on Spokane St. Not me – I had to keep going, riding to work.” (Don is president of West Seattle Bike Connections, which meets tonight, as noted in our daily calendar highlights.) Next, from TS:

He writes, “Just a nice coho caught off Lincoln Park on Sunday afternoon. Fun to share.” According to the state Fish and Wildlife month-by-month advice, that’s what’s peaking on inland waters this time of year.

West Seattle Tuesday: WWRHAH, WS Bike Connections, and more

September 1, 2015 at 9:14 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Great blue heron @ Lincoln Park last weekend, pre-storm; photo by DLBJ)

Welcome to September! Three more weeks left in summer, though the weather belies that. Here are our calendar highlights for today/tonight:

KALEIDOSCOPE PLAY-AND-LEARN: Free activity at High Point Library for kids 3-5 and their parents/caregivers, 1:30-3 pm. Details in our calendar listing. (35th SW & SW Raymond)

DRINKING LIBERALLY: You’re invited to join the monthly gathering at Pizzeria 22 in The Admiral District, any time after 6 pm. (4213 SW College)

WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 6:15 pm in the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Library, monthly WWRHAH meeting, including crime/policing discussion with SPD Southwest Precinct Community Police Team officers – here’s our agenda preview. (35th SW & SW Henderson)

WEST SEATTLE BIKE CONNECTIONS: 6:30 pm monthly meeting at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction – the MoveSeattle levy on November’s ballot is on the agenda, which is previewed on the WSBC website. (41st SW & SW Alaska)

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR CREATION: Ecumenical service at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Peace Garden and Labyrinth, 6:30 pm – details in our calendar listing. (35th SW & SW Myrtle)

NIGHTLIFE … see the listings on our calendar (and if yours is missing – let us know so we can add it! Follow the calendar link for our guidelines for listings – thank you.)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday on the move; more students return to school

September 1, 2015 at 7:10 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 10 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:10 AM: Soggy and slow going out there – no specific incidents reported in our area so far.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Parochial schools are returning this week – today is the first day of school for Our Lady of Guadalupe (35th/Myrtle) and the second day for Holy Rosary (42nd/Genesee), so be mindful of school zones, buses, and crosswalks. Also, we’re told the buses that serve Seattle Public Schools will be out practicing routes.

7:14 AM – TRANSIT ALERT JUST IN: Tweeted and texted by Metro:


Happy birthday, Maxine Bundy! Longtime West Seattleite is now a brand-new centenarian

August 31, 2015 at 10:26 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 5 Comments

Meet the woman who is likely the newest centenarian in West Seattle, Maxine Bundy. Today is the second day of her 101st year, and granddaughter Brietta Tatro shares the photo and announcement:

On August 30th, longtime West Seattle resident Maxine Bundy reached the venerable age of 100 years old. Born in Missouri in a small town on the Mississippi River, she moved to Seattle with her family, eventually settling in West Seattle as a young bride in the 1940’s; she has called our fair peninsula home ever since.

To celebrate this important milestone, family and friends gathered for a surprise birthday party this past Saturday afternoon and feted her with smiles, hugs, cakes, and song. The following morning, Maxine was honored at West Side Presbyterian Church by fellow church members. As a centenarian, Maxine is extraordinarily energetic and independent, enjoying lunch out with friends, shopping excursions to Southcenter, and trips with family members. Life continues to be a grand adventure for this remarkable woman. Happy Birthday, Maxine!

COUNTDOWN: West Seattle Car Show less than 2 weeks away at its brand-new home

August 31, 2015 at 9:22 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Puget Ridge, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

13 days until the first time you can enjoy the West Seattle Car Show at its new home at South Seattle College – Sunday, September 13th, 10 am-3 pm. Still time to register your vehicle if you want to show off, and there’s still time to sign up as a sponsor of the show, we’re reminded by the organizers at Swedish Automotive and West Seattle Autoworks (which, like SSC, are both WSB sponsors). They wanted to shout out to the sponsors who are signed up already – Advance Auto Parts, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Tom’s Automotive, WebCami, George Butterfield of Berkshire Hathaway Northwest HomeServices Real Estate, West Seattle Health Club, and us here at WSB. To inquire about sponsoring the show, e-mail wscarshow@gmail.com – to register your vehicle or motorcycle, go here for the application. And if you just want to make plans to be there, mark your calendar … no tickets needed, because the West Seattle Car Show is free to see. You’ll get to explore some of SSC’s signature points of pride, too, including its strong>Northwest Wine Academy and Automotive Technology program, which is the show’s beneficiary. See you there!

Join in! Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meets Tuesday night, with crime/policing on the agenda

August 31, 2015 at 7:54 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, Westwood | No Comments

August is going out as blustery as if fall were here already … and September starts with community groups resuming their regular meeting schedules. As the leaves fall, consider turning over your own new leaf and getting involved, if you’re not already. Tomorrow night is the first Tuesday of the month, which means the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council invites you to the Southwest Library‘s upstairs meeting room, 6:15-7:45 pm. Here’s the agenda:

6:15-6:20: Introductions & Community News

6:20-6:45: Committee & Neighborhood Council Updates

6:45-7:15: Welcome Back and Updates: SPD Officers Jon Flores and Kevin McDaniel will be with us to give us an update on the micro-policing plans. And how things looked this summer

7:15-7:40: Topics for Next Meetings: Brainstorm ideas for meetings and things to touch base on with the City.

7:40-7:45: Wrap Up: Break down the room; library locks up promptly at 8 pm.

Even if you just want to sit in the corner and observe/listen, all are welcome. The library’s on the southeast corner of 35th SW and SW Henderson.

UPDATE: Water-rescue call off 1200 block Alki, 4 kayakers brought in safely

August 31, 2015 at 4:57 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 7 Comments

4:57 PM: SFD and SPD are en route to the 1200 block of Alki for a report of paddlers in trouble. More to come.

(Photo by David Hutchinson)
5:06 PM: Scanner indicates 4 people picked up, kayaks being retrieved. An SFD boat is bringing them to shore for evaluation.

(Photo by Lynn Hall)
Some of the emergency vehicles are being dismissed but stay away from 1200 block Alki for a while.

(WSB photo)
5:15 PM: We confirmed, four people, two kayaks. SFD medic units are standing by at Don Armeni just in case.

5:26 PM: Talked to the medics. No one needs to be taken to the hospital.

(Photo by Steven Director)
The kayaks were being brought to shore.

West Seattle Crime Watch followups: Puget Ridge assault charges; North Admiral incident details

August 31, 2015 at 4:19 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

Two followups on three incidents we’ve covered in West Seattle Crime Watch over the past week and a half:

CHARGES IN PUGET RIDGE DOMESTIC-VIOLENCE ASSAULTS: The 17-year-old arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend twice in five days is now charged in both incidents. Both led to high-visibility searches, on August 21st and on the 25th; the first one involved the Guardian One helicopter, and both involved K-9s. He is charged with first-degree domestic-violence assault and felony domestic-violence harassment (court documents say the two had lived together off and on at the victim’s home for the past six months). The harassment charge carries the special circumstance of firearm involvement – he was alleged to have been armed and threatening to shoot and kill her. In the first assault, he hit her and pushed her down, court documents say; the second time, he choked her until she lost consciousness. While police couldn’t find him the first day, they found and arrested him after the August 25th attack. Police found three guns he was believed to have discarded, one checking as having been stolen in Renton in 2009. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says he remains in custody, in juvenile detention; since he’s being prosecuted as a juvenile so far, we are not identifying him by name.

DETAILS OF NORTH ADMIRAL CONFRONTATION: The police report finally became available today in last Thursday’s North Admiral incident involving a man who got away from armed youths he believed were trying to carjack him. For one, the report puts the address as the 1600 block of Palm Avenue, not California as we were told Friday and therefore reported in our first brief story. Ahead, the full narrative, minus names:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch followups: Puget Ridge assault charges; North Admiral incident details…

Know what to do if you see a seal pup? ‘Share the Shore’ banners now up at Alki, as reminders

August 31, 2015 at 2:43 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 1 Comment

(Photo by David Hutchinson: Seattle Parks’ James Lohman installing a banner)

Along the heart of Alki Beach, near the Bathhouse, “Share the Shore” banners are up as a reminder – it’s peak pupping season and if you see a baby seal, keep clear and notify Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, 206-905-SEAL – Here’s how Robin Lindsey explains it:

The banners are hung annually during September and October to remind people that there is a good chance they might come across a harbor seal pup resting on shore. These Fall months are usually Seal Sitters MMSN’s busiest time and is considered the height of pupping season in West Seattle and surrounding areas. Some pups are now being weaned all across South and Central Puget Sound and have begun to strike out on their own, leaving the safety of the rookeries. They often end up on urban beaches.

So, it is a good time to remind folks that if you see a pup on the beach: please stay far back, keep people and dogs away, and call your local stranding network. Allowing a pup to rest undisturbed could truly save his/her life. Because seal pups are so vulnerable as they struggle to survive, it is especially important that dog owners respect the law this time of year. Dogs are NOT allowed on Parks beaches leashed or unleashed at any time. It is a fact that each year in Puget Sound, dogs injure and/or kill harbor seal pups.

For marine mammals on West Seattle shoreline, please call Seal Sitters MMSN @ 206-905-SEAL (7325); in downtown Seattle and areas north, please call Sno-King MMSN @ 206-695-2277; for beaches south of Brace Point to Redondo Beach, please call MaST Center Stranding Team @ 206-724-2687.

When in doubt for what network to call, you can always give the Seal Sitters’ hotline a call and we will refer you to the right network. Additionally, here is a link to a map with contact numbers for NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Networks in the Puget Sound region. There are links to maps for the entire states of Washington and Oregon here, as well.

We ask that boaters and kayakers be alert to the marine life around them. Seals of all ages will use often use offshore platforms, docks, buoys and marinas to rest. Harassment can have dire consequences. If you are out on the water and see yellow tape and cones on the beach, it means an animal is resting there. Please give seals (and sea lions) a wide berth so as not to disrupt their rest. Please respect NOAA guidelines and stay 100 yards away whenever possible.

It has been oddly quiet as far as marine mammal response the past two months, but we anticipate a big spike in responses soon. Seal Sitters is so thankful for the West Seattle community’s support in protecting wildlife!

Seal Sitters have been caring for local shores and sea life for eight years now – here’s our first story on them from September 2007, baby-seal video (via mega-zoom) and all.

West Seattle schools: Some local students already back in class; others are about to be

August 31, 2015 at 12:37 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 4 Comments

On this last day of August, it’s the first day of school for some local students – and others already have returned, or are about to, as listed below with each school’s name linking to its calendar:

(Thanks to Charlie for the photo: Holy Rosary students Audrey and Grace, back to school today)

HOLY ROSARY SCHOOL – First day today, and it’s a half-day, so students are already out for the day.

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE SCHOOL – First day is tomorrow.

HOPE LUTHERAN SCHOOL – First day Wednesday.

HOLY FAMILY SCHOOL – First day Wednesday.

SEATTLE LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL – In session since last Wednesday.

For local public schools, Seattle‘s first day of classes is Wednesday, September 9th, while Highline Public Schools (White Center and vicinity to our south) start this Thursday. Most local non-faith-based independent schools follow the public-school calendar.

West Seattle development: Next phase of public-comment process for proposed CVS store

August 31, 2015 at 10:13 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 24 Comments

(July ‘cover page’ image from project file on city website. Architect: Schemata Workshop)

After passing the first stage of Design Review on the second try earlier this summer, the project team for the proposed CVS drugstore at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW has applied for a land-use permit – and with the announcement in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin, that opens the next phase of the public-comment process.

As reported previously, the store is proposed as a one-story building on the site that now holds West Seattle Produce and Suite Arrangements; it would have 50 offstreet parking spaces (including 32 on an adjacent parcel) and a drive-through window. Here’s the official notice; here’s how to comment. At least one more Design Review meeting will be required, but there’s no date set yet, and this phase of the comment process is open to more than its design – you can offer opinions on environmental issues such as traffic and noise. The comment deadline is September 13th.

The store has been in the works for two years now; we first found an early version of the proposal in city files in July 2013.

MONDAY TRAFFIC/TRANSIT: Last day of August – updates & alerts

August 31, 2015 at 6:21 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:21 AM: Good morning! West Seattle’s last sizable power outage ended overnight, and that means the Highland Park Way hill should be open again; if you discover otherwise, please let us know – text/call 206-293-6302 (when you can do so safely & legally, if you’re not a passenger – thanks!).

ROAD-WORK ALERT: If not delayed by weather, today is the scheduled start of microsurfacing work in Arbor Heights – here’s the map and flyer.

10:18 AM UPDATE: SDOT says it has indeed delayed the microsurfacing work: “Due to the rain over the weekend and the rain in the forecast this week, we are postponing the work until dry weather returns to the forecast. The treatment is not effective when applied in wet conditions. Streets scheduled for Monday or Tuesday work will not be closed at this time. We will microsurface the scheduled roads within the next 2 weeks. Two to three days before the work begins, we will notify residents, businesses and organizations along streets to be closed and post ‘No Parking’ signs.”

VIDEO: Duwamish Tribe chair face-to-face with U.S. Interior Secretary in West Seattle, report #2

August 31, 2015 at 5:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 10 Comments

Story, photos, and video by Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Listening to Alaska Natives is the first thing on President Obama‘s schedule when he arrives in Alaska later today.

Listening to a Puget Sound Native leader is something his Interior Secretary probably didn’t expect to find herself doing in her West Seattle driveway while preparing to head north herself.

As first reported here on Saturday, Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen went to Secretary Sally Jewell‘s North Admiral neighborhood with local activists hoping to deliver a letter seeking a meeting about Jewell’s department denying the tribe federal recognition two months ago. “Ruined my Fourth of July,” Hansen said about that July 2nd decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

After gathering a few houses away on Saturday morning, Hansen and the group trouped up the front steps of where they thought Jewell lived (when not in DC).

A man answering the door told them that wasn’t the house they were looking for but wouldn’t say which house that would be. So they then semi-rallied on the sidewalk, reading statements, until one group member spotted Jewell – loading items into a car trunk in a driveway across the street. Over went everyone – including Hansen, surprised. Here’s what happened in the ensuing four and a half minutes:

Though the short encounter was more cheery than confrontational, as you heard, Jewell made no commitment – referring repeatedly to the “complexity” of the recognition issue and mentioning other tribes’ “difference of opinion.” Hansen, asked afterward what she thought, pronounced what she heard to have been “political runaround.” Days after the July denial of recognition, she told media at the tribe’s West Seattle longhouse that she felt especially let down by Jewell.

At the time, there also were suggestions of a grass-roots citizen lobbying effort. That might hold promise, if what happened on Jewell’s street a few minutes later is any indication. A neighbor emerged from a garage a few houses east – one still decorated for what apparently had been a luau the night before – to ask what was going on. Within a blink, Hansen and the activists were gathered outside the garage, making their case to the neighbor and several others sitting inside.

Petitions were circulated. Right after that, we took our leave – the windstorm was kicking up (as you can hear in our video) and people were starting to text about tree trouble. Hansen had said her council would be meeting this week, and that a conversation was due to happen with the lawyer representing them in an ongoing court attempt to force the recognition issue. Seattle’s U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott has tried to push recognition via legislation, but it has idled.

Hansen also hopes to hear from Jewell, who told her she would be back in D.C. after Labor Day, and said she at least would convey the message to Kevin Washburn, her assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, during the Alaska trip, which she noted would be followed by a visit to Eastern Washington tribes. Meantime, since the Saturday encounter, Jewell has made headlines with a gesture to Alaska Natives, announcing that Mount McKinley would be renamed Denali, the name by which it is known to them. The matter of recognizing a tribe – in, as she noted on Saturday, the face of opposition by others – is not as simple.

Chair Hansen reiterated that the Duwamish are determined. Even before the short chat with Jewell, she mused that maybe if the feds remain reluctant, she could take her case to Pope Francis, who is headed to the U.S. in three weeks.

AHEAD: THE LETTER – Read on to see the letter that the activists brought to Jewell’s neighborhood on behalf of Hansen and the Duwamish people:

Click to read the rest of VIDEO: Duwamish Tribe chair face-to-face with U.S. Interior Secretary in West Seattle, report #2…

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Nga Nguyen’s murderer sentenced to 26+ years

August 30, 2015 at 11:39 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

Two months after pleading guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend’s mother, 21-year-old Jose Gonzalez-Leos has been sentenced. His sentencing was on hold until September but then suddenly moved up to this past Friday, when, court documents show, King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts sentenced him to 320 months. That’s the top of the standard sentencing range, just over 26 1/2 years, counting time already served. He’s been in jail since his arrest in March of last year, more than two months after he killed 46-year-old Nga Nguyen at her home in High Point. Prosecutors say he strangled and beat her on December 14, 2013, after breaking in through a bedroom window, and that she had had trouble with him before, as had her daughter. Evidence linking him to the murder included a DNA match from saliva found on the victim’s body; that had led to a charge enhancement that the murder was committed with sexual motivation, but that was dropped as part of his plea bargain. According to a document filed by Gonzalez-Leos’s lawyer, he had been high on meth for a week at the time of the murder, and had killed the victim out of “sheer uncontrollable anger.” He had no prior felony convictions. (WSB photo, December 2013)

POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: Highland Park/Riverview outage finally off the map as of early Monday

August 30, 2015 at 9:14 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

(EARLIER COVERAGE: Saturday storm effects, here; Saturday night/Sunday updates on this outage, here)

9:14 PM: Going on 36 hours after the strongest gusts of Saturday’s windstorm, Seattle City Light has 252 separate outages left to fix, six of them in West Seattle, according to our check of its map a few minutes ago (screengrab above). The biggest, by far, is the one toward the lower right, 382 homes/businesses out in Riverview/Highland Park since about 11:45 pm Saturday night. Seattle City Light crews have been working along the Highland Park Way hill – which remains closed to traffic – all day:

(Photo by Alan Robertson)
That view is from a couple hours after our mid-afternoon check:

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
The tree-lined hill has long been a trouble spot; some who live along it put out a sign of frustration after six days without electricity following the December 2006 windstorm. SCL is not commenting on specific outages; its “estimated restoration times” remain a source of frustration for many because they continue to change – as of right now, for example, this one has an estimate of 1:30 am, but that’s moved back more than a few times. Around its service area, which stretches beyond the city-limit line in both the north and south, SCL estimated earlier tonight that it will have everyone back on by Monday afternoon, but it cautions in this online update that it had to focus first on major feeder lines in the hardest-hit north areas. Even before the windstorm arrived, authorities had said damage/outages could be worse because trees still have all their leaves this time of year, making them heavier and more vulnerable, especially in the kind of deluge that hit late last night, around the time Highland Park (and initially, beyond – 3,000 customers at its peak) went out.

REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER SAFETY: We know from experience too – four no-power days after the aforementioned 2006 storm – if you’re in the outage zone, you are wondering about what’s in your refrigerator/freezer. Here’s some info about that.

1:38 AM: The most recent projected restoration time for this remaining outage has passed and it’s now, 26 hours in, listed as “pending.” The two northernmost mini-outages, meantime, have fallen off the map.

2:42 AM: Alan reports in comments that his neighborhood is back on – and the outage map has lost the Riverview and vicinity splotch, so it seems the last of the Saturday night outage is finally fixed. Let us know if you’re in West Seattle somewhere and still out.

West Seattle sports: National Volleyball League pros wrap Alki play

August 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

(Added: Thanks to Sam Nizam for the photo of Zaun & Palm celebrating their victory)
Though beach volleyball is a fixture on Alki just about every summer weekend, it’s not always as big as the tournament that just wrapped up about half an hour ago: The pro players of the National Volleyball League have been here since Thursday night, for the NVL’s first-ever Seattle stop, seventh of eight on this year’s tour. In the women’s finals, Brooke Niles, head beach-volleyball coach at Florida State U, and Karolina Sowala from Poland won in three games:

(Photo by Paul Walchenbach)
The women’s championship match was followed by the men’s final, taken, also in three games, by Dave Palm from Florida and Eric Zaun from New Jersey. We photographed Palm earlier (center, with hand signal) during their semi-final match:

Palm and Zaun are now the only duo with two wins this season, after winning the Hermosa Beach tour stop earlier this month. The NVL’s 2015 tour concludes September 25th-27th at the league’s training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Skywriting, seen from West Seattle: BLACK LIVES MATTER

August 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm | In Seen around town, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

6:16 PM: Thanks to Jeremy Smith for that photo, and we’ll likely be adding a few more. In the patch of blue sky over downtown, clearly visible from north West Seattle, a plane has been skywriting BLACK LIVES MATTER. (There might have been a previous attempt- Brian Presser had tipped us to a skywriting attempt earlier this afternoon.) More to come.

ADDED 6:46 PM: Via Twitter, @joaquinuy put together photos of all three words:


FERRY ALERT: Bigger boat rejoins Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route

August 30, 2015 at 5:29 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | No Comments

After almost a week with reduced capacity on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route, Washington State Ferries announced this afternoon that M/V Cathlamet has replaced the out-of-mothballs M/V Evergreen State – that’s a 124-car vessel replacing an older, slower 87-car vessel. That’s expected to lessen some of the recent round of delays.

West Seattle Library in The Admiral District reopens tomorrow

August 30, 2015 at 2:49 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(WSB photo, Sunday afternoon)

After a two-week closure, the Seattle Public Library‘s West Seattle (Admiral) branch will reopen tomorrow as scheduled, SPL’s official announcement:

The West Seattle Branch and book drop, 2306 42nd Ave. SW, will reopen at 10 a.m. Monday, August 31. The branch was closed for two weeks while the front steps were being replaced as part of a project to improve access to the branch.

Improvements to the branch include:

· Rebuilding front steps
· Redoing ramp from rear parking lot to main front entrance
· Redoing ramp from rear parking lot to lower-level meeting room
· Adding lighted handrails to ramps and steps
· Resurfacing parking stalls on north end of the lot

The project is expected to be completed in late September.

The project’s $430,000 cost is coming from Real Estate Excise Tax funds, according to this fact sheet. The branch is 105 years old and is a historic Carnegie Library.

West Seattle whale watching: Alki Point sighting this morning

August 30, 2015 at 1:58 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 11 Comments

Thanks to Guy and Joy Smith for the photo and this report:

At 9 o’clock this am, we saw 2 marine mammals traveling south off Alki Point. They were exhaling big clouds of steam and we knew they were too large to be either Harbor or Dall’s Porpoises. We grabbed our handy guide, handed out by the Whale Trail organization at the Bath House this summer, and it indicates they were probably Minke whales. They are in the 20 to 30 foot range and that’s about what we guessed. Wikipedia says their dives can be up to 20 minutes. If we had known to wait that long we might have gotten another picture.

Obviously Guy and Joy saw more than just this photo, so they were gauging by more than what’s seen in the photo, but the fin also looks like it could have been a humpback. Anyone else see these whales?

West Seattle Sunday: Pro-volleyball finals; lighthouse tours; Farmers’ Market; more…

August 30, 2015 at 10:21 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

The most serious storminess is past. So, on with what’s on the calendar for Sunday:

(Saturday morning photo by Paul Walchenbach)
PRO VOLLEYBALL ON ALKI: Third and final day for the National Volleyball League‘s Seattle Championships at Alki Beach. Today’s schedule includes the finals (previewed by the NVL here):

(Now) – Quarter and Semi-Finals
1:00pm – FREE Clinic with the NVL Pros
2:30pm – Women’s Finals
4:00pm – Men’s Finals
*Finals times subject to change

See the brackets here. Check for live-streaming here. (Alki SW & 57th)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: What’s fresh? Go see firsthand, until 2 pm. (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE REOPENS FOR TOURS: Your chances to tour Alki Point Lighthouse this summer are dwindling – after today, Labor Day Weekend is it for the year. Tour today, free, 1 pm-4 pm (last tour starts at 3:40 pm) with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. (3201 Alki SW)

ALL-AGES OPEN MICROPHONE: 4 pm at The Skylark, all ages, free; details in our calendar listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

GUITARIST @ KENYON HALL: Jack Williams performs tonight at 7:30 pm; more info in our calendar listing. (7904 35th SW)

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATES: Car/pole crash on Olson curve; 35th SW reopens; Highland Park Way hill closed

August 30, 2015 at 7:36 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 8 Comments

7:36 AM: Thanks to Jason for the photo from an early-morning crash on a notoriously tricky stretch of road, the Olson Place curve at the east end of Roxbury. He reports it involved one car, whose driver crashed into a pole. Only one engine was dispatched, no medic unit, so it does not appear to have involved major injuries. It rained most of the night, so take extra care wherever you’re going this morning – we’re off to check on other potential trouble spots, including Highland Park Way, reported still closed at dawn, and the 35th SW/Avalon/Alaska tree situation.

8:31 AM: We’re out on rounds now.

35th SW is open again and the tree is out of the wires, in pieces on the ground (photo above). The sidewalk remains taped off.

(Photo from Margaret)
The Highland Park Way hill remains closed, with cleanup crews visible from the Holden intersection (photo above).

(Added: We also checked on Olson, scene of the crash at the top of this story, and it’s clear.)

PHOTOS: ‘Heading Home’ day at last for Westside School, celebrating new Arbor Heights campus

August 30, 2015 at 6:44 am | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 7 Comments

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
34 years after Westside School (WSB sponsor) was founded, it finally has a permanent home. “Heading Home” was the theme for Saturday’s celebration of the newly completed campus in Arbor Heights, as it has been for the process of making that dream come true, even before work began at the former Hillcrest Presbyterian Church 16 months ago. So no mere windstorm was going to stop the party, and the ribboncutting happened indoors.

Hundreds of the Pre-K-through-8th-grade school’s students, family members, staff, and other Westside community members present and past were there to see the new campus a week and a half before its first classes.

They heard from Head of School Kate Mulligan:

Westside’s founder, Alice Howell, was also onstage (second from left, below) along with, in our next photo, former head of school Jo Ann Yockey, teacher Claudia Ross-Weston, former head of school George Edwards, and assistant head of school Don Cunningham:

As “owner’s rep,” Cunningham supervised the renovations and construction with which Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects and general contractor Kirtley-Cole Associates LLC created Westside’s permanent home. To officially open it, Howell wielded the giant scissors for the ceremonial ribboncutting!

Click to read the rest of PHOTOS: ‘Heading Home’ day at last for Westside School, celebrating new Arbor Heights campus…

West Seattle power-outage update: Highland Park, Puget Ridge, and beyond go dark late Saturday night; some back on

August 29, 2015 at 11:45 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 74 Comments

(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN for newest info)

11:45 PM: We’re not sure of the extent yet, but power flickered here and apparently has gone out in at least part of Highland Park.

11:48 PM UPDATE: This is the biggest outage for West Seattle in this storm, by far. At least 2,100 customers, per City Light’s outage map. It’s stretching into parts of White Center and South Park. Adding a screengrab from City Light’s map. There are some reports of what looked like “explosions” so possibly a blown transformer in HP.

11:56 PM UPDATE: The map also shows Puget Ridge and part of North Delridge affected. And it shows what looks like two outages – one listed as 2,105 customers, another as 972, so more than 3,000 may be out.

12:54 AM UPDATE: If you have to do any early-morning driving, note that some stoplights are out – including 8th/Roxbury (which is dicey in even the best conditions) and 1st/Myers on the way to/from 509 – Roxbury had lights between those two spots, though.

5:45 AM UPDATE: As noted in comments, some of the 3,000 who were out have power back. Here’s who’s still out:

The map, however, is classifying these areas of West Seattle and South Park as three outages that started around 4 am, though if you compare you’ll see they’re part of the previous outage zone. The restoration guesstimate currently is noon.

6:46 AM UPDATE: Jeremy says in comments that Highland Park Way remains closed. We’ll be out checking on that when it’s a bit lighter – and will also be checking on a holdover from Saturday’s earlier problems, the dangling-tree-in-lines situation that had 35th SW closed between Avalon and Alaska.

7:47 AM UPDATE: SCL’s map has now adjusted the start time back to when the outage really started – about quarter to midnight last night – and the number of customers out now totals about 1,300.

9:40 AM UPDATE: We’ve mentioned the road updates in a separate story. And good news, more people have their power back – fewer than 800 are shown as being out now. Separate from the electricity, Comcast is reported to be out for some.

10:11 AM UPDATE: Now, about 443 still out.

2 PM UPDATE: Thanks to everybody for updating with comments! Tally’s down to 382 and the new guesstimate is 5:30ish – could be sooner (as were some of the restorations overnight) or later.

You can help! West Seattleites rounded up donations for firefighters battling the wildfires, and hope you will want to, too

August 29, 2015 at 9:04 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Have you been wondering what you could do to help the firefighters who’ve been battling our state’s massive wildfires? This group of West Seattleites wanted to let you know, you can do what they did:

The photos are from Rachel, who explains:

Yesterday West Seattleites collected, organized and packed care packages for fire fighters helping battle the fires in eastern Washington. We’re headed to Gold Bar today to drop them off to the volunteer group who then drives the donations into the most-in-need fire fighter camps. If other West Seattleites would like to have similar donation drives, pop onto the Wildfire Donation Round-up Facebook page and you can see what donations are needed as well as drop off points. These people are doing amazing work! Thank you to all of the West Seattleites who helped!

Here’s a direct link to the page Rachel mentioned; it also includes ideas for helping fire victims and evacuees.

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