West Seattle 4th of July 2015: Night notes

July 4, 2015 at 11:23 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 17 Comments

11:23 PM: Throughout the day, we’ve published standalone reports on incidents including “brush fires” blamed on fireworks. For the rest of the night, barring a major incident, we’re going to do what we did last year – keep a rolling log of what we’re hearing on the scanner and/or from reader reports. Earlier links, for starters:

*Sylvan Way brush fire, blamed on fireworks thrown from car
*Gatewood tree burned, blamed on fireworks

And remember, if you find or lose a pet, the WSB Lost/Found Pets page is the place to check first – if there’s no match, e-mail us info (and a photo if available), editor@westseattleblog.com – it’s been a very busy night there already.

11:55 PM: Shortly after this comment about traffic on Admiral leaving Alki, we’re hearing police trying to catch a hit-run suspect described as driving erratically on eastbound Admiral (didn’t catch the cross-street).

12:14 AM: In the Alki area, police are checking out a report that someone was being yelled at about their fireworks by a neighbor, with an implied threat of a weapon.

12:54 AM: Just heard Engine 37 go by – the 911 log says it’s en route to a “dumpster fire” at Lincoln Park.

REPORT #2: See the 2015 West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade, start to finish!

July 4, 2015 at 11:15 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB video/photos unless otherwise credited)
Every year we record the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade, start to finish – and this year was the longest! The hotter-than-normal temperature didn’t dissuade hundreds of kids and their families from walking and rolling along the route – as you can see above. Before the half-mile stroll through North Admiral, paraders were treated to the national anthem as sung again this year by Leilani Nitkey:

At the end, that’s this year’s parade emcee Josh Sutton from the West Seattle YMCA and parade coordinator Jackie Clough from Alki Party Treasures (APT and the Y are both WSB sponsors). Hi-Yu royalty spoke briefly – mentioning upcoming events including the Concert in the Park at Hiawatha with the West Seattle Big Band (7 pm Tuesday, July 14th) – and then carried the banner as the parade began:

The goal for many: Be as red, white, and blue as you can!

This also was definitely an occasion for shades:

Even better, a parade in which it was cool to have your OWN shade:

Helmets were fashionable as well:

(Thanks to Marilyn for that photo)
For some, the parade was so relaxing, a nap was in order:

Others bravely marched along:

You could get a sense of the parade’s scale, looking along the final leg of the route leading to Hamilton Viewpoint Park:

A cooling view of Elliott Bay awaited:

(Thanks to Laura Frampton for that photo)
In the park, the classic sack races awaited:

Fun even for some of those who took a tumble:

Coordinator Jackie had guest emcees for the races – we showed you two in our first report. Another community leader who helped out, Merica Whitehead from Nature Consortium (WSB sponsor):

Seattle Fire‘s Engine 29 was there for mini-tours, after helping lead the parade:

And so were Seattle Police officers:

Concessions were provided by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, which did a booming business:

We’ll mention it one more time – this is a community-presented parade, and the costs for insurance, among other things, are considerable; if you can chip in to help cover the costs (including helping make sure the parade returns next year), you can do it online.

(And if your family had fun being part of the parade – you might consider joining in the West Seattle Rotary-presented Kiddie Parade before the West Seattle Grand Parade in two weeks; meet at California/Genesee at 10 am Saturday, July 18th.)

UPDATE: Report of shooting at Delridge Playfield, but no victim or evidence found

July 4, 2015 at 9:34 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 2 Comments

9:34 PM: Police and fire are rushing to the Delridge Playfield/Community Center park area to investigate a report of a possible shooting. They haven’t yet found the reported victim, though. We’ll update as we get information.

9:39 PM: Still no evidence of a shooting or victim, so the SFD response has been canceled.

West Seattle 4th of July fire watch: Roadside fire blamed on thrown fireworks

July 4, 2015 at 8:53 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news | 35 Comments

Since our last report on “brush fires” this kindling-dry 4th of July, another call, this time just east of High Point. Bryce sent the photo and reports, “Small brush fire on Sylvan Way by Forest Lawn Cemetery. Car threw fireworks out the window. Couple people stamped it out before fire crew arrived.”

2 weeks before West Seattle Grand Parade, Hi-Yu float shown off in Burien

July 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm | In West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival, West Seattle news | No Comments

This morning, West Seattle Hi-Yu royalty led the 4th of July Kids’ Parade in North Admiral; hours later, they rode on this year’s Hi-Yu float in Burien’s Independence Day parade. The photo is from Jim Edwards, who co-coordinates the West Seattle Grand Parade, in which you’ll see the float (and others!) two weeks from today. As we reported back in January, this year’s float/theme “Around the Sound” incorporates elements of designs proposed by then-Senior Court Queen Lorelei McFadden (who competes for the Miss Seafair title later this month) and Junior Court Queen Emily Cain.

West Seattle 4th of July scene: ‘This Place Still Matters’

July 4, 2015 at 6:03 pm | In Alki Homestead, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | No Comments

With the first phase of the Alki Homestead‘s restoration under way, the years of uncertainty about its future are receding further into memory. But today, there was a tribute to one moment along the way: Five years ago on the 4th of July, a big group photo outside the landmark log building proclaimed “This Place Matters” and to underscore their belief that its future eventually would brighten. Today, during the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s annual picnic at the Log House Museum – the Homestead’s old carriage house – there was a break to take an anniversary photo, with participants of all ages affirming that “This Place Still Matters.”

Today’s group was not big in size but was certainly big in heart. The top photo is our take from the sidewalk; an official photo from across the street was taken by Jean Sherrard, who was also the photographer five years ago, as well as four weeks ago when a thousand students came to the Homestead for the photo dubbed a “group hug” (WSB coverage here). A copy of that was part of today’s photo too:

The Homestead also was feted today in the choice of main dishes for the SWSHS picnic – fried chicken!

P.S. Another step in its path to restoration will come next Friday, when the Architectural Review Committee of the city Landmarks Board will look at the newest plans during its 8:30 am meeting on the 40th floor of the city Municipal Tower downtown.

West Seattle 4th of July fire watch: Gatewood tree burns

July 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | No Comments

Since midnight, the Seattle Fire Department 911 log shows two “brush fire” calls in West Seattle (out of a total of six citywide today). Above, the aftermath of one of them, shared by Dennis, who wrote, “Someone with fireworks didn’t like our tree. 12:35 last night. Be careful, folks, it is REAL DRY out there … this is what can happen.” He’s in the 3600 block of SW Othello in Gatewood; the other “brush fire” call so far, about 12 hours later, was in the 8100 block of 14th SW in Highland Park.

West Seattle 4th of July scene: Fireworks-viewing stakeout

July 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

If you’re planning to watch the Lake Union fireworks from Harbor Avenue and haven’t already staked out a spot, don’t wait too much longer – this creative setup was just one of dozens of viewing stations we noticed while driving from Alki along Duwamish Head and past Don Armeni and Seacrest a little earlier this afternoon, some along the street like this, others on the grass in the parks, with and without tents. As noted on our 4th of July info page, the Seafair-presented show at Lake Union is scheduled to start at 10:20 pm.

3rd annual ‘Little STP’ bicycle ride in West Seattle: You’re invited!

July 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | No Comments

(2013 photo courtesy Don Brubeck)
One week from tomorrow, you’re invited to ride Seattle to Portland … without even leaving West Seattle. It’s the third year for the “Little STP,” and Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections shares the invitation:

Sunday, July 12, 9:30 am
Start at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, California Way SW at Palm Ave SW

Have you ever wanted to do the Seattle to Portland bike ride? Or even wanted to do the 1-day STP? And never trained for it? Or remembered to sign up in time? Here is your big fat chance!

Do it in 2 hours easy, and end up at a huge finish line party! Same day as Sunday of the big STP.

West Seattle Bike Connections / WS Spokespeople will be riding again from SW Seattle Street in the Admiral neighborhood to SW Portland St in Gatewood, and back north to Summer Fest at the West Seattle Junction, for a fabulous finish-line party. After an hour or two there, participants can ride home independently, or ride with a group back to Hamilton Viewpoint.

Family-friendly! Easy pace. Cascade Bicycle Club-trained ride leaders.

7 miles south to SW Portland and back north to Summer Fest and GreenLife at the Junction. (10.3 full round trip if you go back to the Hamilton Viewpoint start.) Route is mostly on quieter residential streets along the ridge parallel to California Avenue SW. Some hills but less than most West Seattle routes.

More details on our website and Facebook page under Events and at meetup.com/cascaderides/events/223587628

REPORT #1: West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade 2015

July 4, 2015 at 10:16 am | In Fun stuff to do, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments


10:16 AM: Just a quick note to let you know – in case you’re not already here – that the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade has just begun, traveling through part of North Admiral, starting at 44th/Sunset (map), heading west, then south, then east along Atlantic, across California, and finishing at Hamilton Viewpoint Park. Immediately post-parade, that’s where you’ll find fun family games (sack races, etc.), concessions, and more. Traffic reminder: Police stop vehicles on California while the parade crosses, so be aware of that – we plan to update when the parade gets to that point. Until we’re back at HQ, watch for photos on the WSB Twitter and Instagram feeds. Happy 4th!

10:39 AM: California just reopened at Atlantic – the parade has finished crossing. Now it’s on to the post-parade festival at Hamilton Viewpoint.


(Above & below – guest emcees for the sack races included City Council District 1 candidates Shannon Braddock, above, and Chas Redmond, below)




12:10 PM: Just back from the festivities – added a few of our social-media clips/photos here; report #2 will be up later today with video of the entire parade, before/during/after photos, and more.

West Seattle 4th of July 2015: What you need to know

July 4, 2015 at 7:51 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo by Yuri Levchenko, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
Again this year, we have your 4th of July info all in one place – the West Seattle 4th of July page. That includes the 10 am Kids’ Parade (bring diapers for WestSide Baby!) and noon Log House Museum picnic (including the 1 pm Homestead photo), plus today’s transit changes, and a few notes about watching fireworks tonight.

(Photo by Ann Anderson)
WEATHER & WATER: The National Weather Service still has a “heat advisory” in effect; Delridge, Hiawatha, and Lincoln Park wading pools are open today, as is Highland Park Spraypark – see the hours and addresses here. Also open: Outdoor Colman Pool on the shore at Lincoln Park – see the schedule here. (Indoor Southwest Pool is NOT open today.)

UPDATE: CR-V flips after driver hits parked pickup on Delridge Way; crash caught on passing car’s dashcam

July 3, 2015 at 11:18 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 7 Comments

(Thanks to Andy for the photo)
11:18 PM: A multiple-vehicle crash in the 6500 block of Delridge Way SW (map) is drawing a sizable police/fire response right now. One of the cars is reported to have rolled over.

11:27 PM: Police are diverting traffic on Delridge at the scene. No serious injuries reported, so far.

11:41 PM: Thanks to Merissa for this photo:

Meantime, WSB’s Christopher Boffoli is at the scene now and sent this:

(This photo and next two are by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
Christopher reports police are taking one person into custody, the driver of the flipped CR-V, who hit the parked white pickup that you see in Christopher’s photo.

11:49 PM: Police tell Christopher the driver is in custody for investigation of DUI.

He was alone in his vehicle and unhurt.

Meantime, a tow truck arrived quickly and got the CR-V right-side-up. The scene likely will be cleared before too long.

1:28 AM: The crash was captured on the dashcam of a car whose driver was headed in the opposite direction – southbound – when it happened. That driver, Paul Hamaker, uploaded the video to YouTube and sent us the link. It is briefly in view – mostly the CR-V rolling, debris flying onto the street – about 2:20 into the three-minute clip he posted from the dashcam he says he bought less than a week ago. The clip ends after he pulls over, so we asked what happened next; he said he “stayed at the scene for about 10 minutes and talked to the driver and a few witnesses, glad that everyone is OK. Was quite startling to see that happen in front of me.” He also said, “It was great to see many folks come out of their houses and run to the scene to help.”

FOLLOWUP: Congratulations to AMNO & CO for big win at international ROV competition!

July 3, 2015 at 9:42 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

They’re back, and they won! The local trio AMNO & CO, who’ve been sharing their stories of international marine-tech competition here for the past few years, won first place in their division this year. Alex Miller (above right) – who’s one-third of AMNO & CO, along with (from left, above) Nicholas Orndorff and Clara Orndorff - shares the details, and a challenge:

We are pleased to let you know that at last week’s Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International 2015 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition, AMNO & CO received first place in the Ranger (predominantly high school) division.

This competition included 31 Ranger teams from over 10 different countries.

The international venue at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada was very unique in that were three different tanks, including a flume tank with current, a tank with waves, and a tank covered with a layer of ice. In each of these tanks, there were a set of separate mission tasks, faced by scientists and industry professionals working in the corresponding extreme environmental conditions in the Arctic.

While AMNO & CO had practiced extensively in swimming pools, piloting in the unusual competition conditions posed unique challenges. In the ice tank, the team had issues with buoyancy due to an EGADS solution (ethylene glycol, aliphatic detergent and sugar) which was dissolved in the water. In addition, bubbles stuck under the ice sheet, as well as the ice sheet itself, obscured visibility.

In the flume tank, the team struggled to keep their vehicle in their designated station, as the ROV with its large surface area was greatly affected by the current. Despite these difficulties, the team used quick problem solving skills and well-practiced driving in order to confront the issues.

High scores in AMNO & CO’s poster, presentation, and technical report were also important contributors to their winning overall score. This communication element of the competition serves a very important role, honing speaking and writing skills as well as allowing teams to connect with members of the industry, who serve as competition judges, getting a feel for what a marine-technology career really entails.

In addition to the overall first-place Ranger division award, AMNO & CO also received awards for excellence in safety, and design elegance.

For the team, this was the culmination of six years participating in the MATE Pacific Northwest Regional event and four years competing in the MATE International Competition, which is held at a different location each year.

AMNO & CO would like to encourage other teams to get started in the Seattle area: MATE is a great competition that fosters independent thinking, creativity, and a diverse fusion of different branches of engineering which must be integrated individually. Feel free to contact AMNO & CO at facebook.com/AMNOandCoROV or amnoandco@live.com for more information.

UPDATE: Rescue response for crash on Lincoln Park Way

July 3, 2015 at 7:29 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 11 Comments

7:29 PM: Big Seattle Fire/Police response just starting to arrive at a reported rollover in the 7000 block of Lincoln Park Way.

7:42 PM: The emergency response is just east of the Murray CSO Project. Traffic is getting through but please avoid the area – we’re on the side of the road half a block east and people are speeding downhill, only seeing the flashing lights when they’re almost to the scene. The car we’re seeing is upright; we’re trying to find out more about why it was a rescue response.

7:49 PM: The crash involved two cars; the one you see in our photo was tipped on its side, but bystanders managed to get it uprighted before emergency crews arrived, we’re told. No serious injuries.

8:05 PM: SFD had already left the scene before we did, and police were starting to clear, so it’s OK to use Lincoln Park Way – but slowly.

Abandoned seal pup ‘Little Dipper’ rescued from West Seattle beach, now in wildlife rehab

July 3, 2015 at 6:24 pm | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 15 Comments

When you’re out on the shore this holiday weekend, be mindful of the creatures with whom we share it, those that can’t speak for themselves. Robin Lindsey from Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network shares the story of “Little Dipper” the rescued seal pup:

Harbor-seal-pupping season is now underway in South Puget Sound, as well as the outer coast beaches and other inland waters. Since many readers will be out enjoying our waterways and beaches this holiday weekend, please stay well away (100 yards) from harbor-seal haulouts, now filled with pregnant females and moms with newborn pups. Offshore rafts, log booms and docks may also have moms with pups resting on them – or a pup alone. A pup who is alone is not necessarily abandoned! Please don’t interfere or the adult may not return.

Human (and canine) disturbance is truly a matter of life and death for these tiny pups who are still nursing and too young to forage for themselves. Read my post “Fourth of July no picnic for wildlife” about how you can help keep wildlife safe this holiday and throughout the summer and fall months of pupping season.

Last Friday afternoon, Seal Sitters MMSN rescued a newborn harbor seal pup from the beach at Lincoln Park and transported him to PAWS Wildlife Center for health assessment. The pup had first been sighted onshore by Colman Pool early Thursday morning. The reporting party said that she witnessed the pup being scared from the beach by people approaching too closely. When Seal Sitters first responder Lynn arrived, there were 4 illegally off-leash dogs nearby. After she cleared the beach of people and dogs, the pup finally returned to rest on the sand. He had been frantically trying to climb up onto one of the old cement piers off Point Williams to rest, but did not have the strength. Lynn established a large perimeter of yellow tape.

Because it was truly an urgent situation for this still-nursing pup, estimated to be only a few days old, Seal Sitters diverted Park visitors around the opposite side of the pool via the sidewalk loop Sadly, we had a few people who were incensed at this mild inconvenience and questioned Seal Sitters MMSN’s authority to do so. As a member of NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network with a binding agreement to respond to all marine mammals, dead or alive, we do indeed have the authority to safely divert the public away from a harbor seal (or other marine mammal) on the beach. All marine mammals are protected from harassment and disturbance by Federal law, the MMPA and Washington State law. Thankfully, there were hundreds of people who were thrilled to help an animal in need simply by sharing the shore and giving them the little bit of space they need.

We hoped desperately that the pup’s mom might return for him, after waiting for the disturbance around her pup to subside. However, over 2 days’ time and with no evidence of a mom, the emaciated pup’s condition was worsening in extremely hot temperatures (photo taken early Friday afternoon) and it was obvious the pup was abandoned. The decision was made to transport him to PAWS.

Please read my post for more info about the pup nicknamed Little Dipper, who is doing well in rehab.

Trying to protect a newborn pup in a busy urban area is incredibly challenging and is almost always a recipe for disaster. Any pup born in our area at this time would still be nursing. However, we can still have pups born as late as early September (October in Hood Canal), so there will be a mix of weaned pups and newborns using shoreline habitat as the season progresses.. If you see a pup onshore, PLEASE stay back, keep people away, keep dogs away and leashed – and call the stranding network immediately in hopes mom will not abandon her pup.

Robin and the Seal Sitters corps are full of hope for Little Dipper; last month, they dealt with a heartbreaker, a premature pup who turned up on Alki Point and couldn’t be saved.

P.S. If you have questions for Seal Sitters, and/or are interested in volunteering, look for them at the West Seattle Summer Fest Community Tent on Friday and Sunday afternoons during the festival (July 10th and 12th) – we’ll be previewing the full community-group lineup as our Summer Fest countdown continues in the days ahead.

West Seattle scene: Powered-paragliding pair cooling off, aloft

July 3, 2015 at 5:15 pm | In Seen around town, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Every so often, we get a sighting of a powered* paraglider flying over West Seattle shores – here’s our photo from April, and a reader pic from February. Then today – a double sighting! Thanks to Gary Jones for photographing this pair’s Alki flyby. Must be at least a few degrees cooler up there!

*Added “powered” per comment discussion – thanks as always.

West Seattle 4th of July 2015: Fireworks plea; pet protection

July 3, 2015 at 3:34 pm | In Pets, Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 7 Comments

Two more 4th of July notes:

FIREWORKS PLEA: The photo is from Shelly, who found fireworks debris while running through Lincoln Park the morning after the 4th last year. She warns, “The park is extremely dry now and it wouldn’t take much to set the whole park on fire.” She is hopeful people will heed that and obey the fireworks laws this year – the park is far from the only place that’s full of dry grass, brush, shrubs, and trees. And just as we were writing this – the National Weather Service has just extended the “heat advisory” AGAIN, continuing through Sunday night.

Speaking of fireworks laws, we already published the official reminder from Seattle Police a week and a half ago, but are sharing it here one more time, as conveyed by Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores:

The Seattle Police Department and Seattle Fire Department would like to remind the public that fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle. The possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited. Fireworks offenses are gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.

Fireworks pose a fire hazard to property and present a safety risk to those who use them. Every year the Seattle Fire Department responds to fireworks-related fires and injuries. The holiday-related fires and injuries are preventable.

On the 4th of July, 911 centers become overloaded with non-emergency fireworks calls. DO NOT call 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency and need immediate help from police, fire or medics. Unnecessary 911 calls block people with real emergencies from reaching 911 and getting help.

Any fireworks-related fires or injuries should be reported directly to 911. Other fireworks violations may be reported by calling the Seattle Police non-emergency number at 206-625-5011.

Listening to the scanner the past few nights, fireworks calls *are* broadcast, so those lighting fireworks shouldn’t assume they’ll never get caught.

PROTECTING PETS: Another side effect of fireworks – they tend to scare pets, which means that invariably, we get many more lost-and-found pet reports to publish on the WSB West Seattle Lost/Found Pets page. We hope you won’t need to use it, but if you do lose or find a pet, please e-mail a description, phone number, and photo if available (if not, just be sure the description is detailed) to editor@westseattleblog.com. The Seattle Animal Shelter, meantime, has published information on how best to protect your pets at this time of year.

Reader report: Update on bicycle rider recovering from Delridge crash

July 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm | In Delridge, Safety, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photo from June 19th)
Two weeks ago today, a woman riding her bicycle southbound on Delridge at Dakota was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after, according to witnesses, a driver in a Nissan sedan hit her. Many have asked how she’s doing, but although we’ve continued trying to follow up, official information remains scant; then, overnight, we received this reader report via text message:

Cyclist injured on Delridge/Dakota has progressed to trauma rehabilitation. She suffered multiple injuries but her body is intact and she has a good chance of significant physical recovery. Full recovery from brain injury and neck ligaments will be determined in the months ahead but the medical staff have been great and with the cyclist are working hard. Thanks for the concern, the medics/police/public for helping at the scene, and the witness accounts in the blog.

SPD’s Traffic Collision Investigation Squad was sent to the scene of the crash, as is customary when someone suffers life-threatening injuries (or worse). Results of its investigations usually aren’t available for weeks or even months, but we will continue checking with SPD periodically.

Three West Seattle 4th of July 2015 notes: Page; picnic; parade!

July 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

Three notes as we look ahead to Independence Day:

PAGE: Check out the WSB West Seattle 4th of July page – your one-stop shop for what’s happening tomorrow. That includes not only fireworks info, activities, practical details like transit changes, but also restaurants/coffee shops that plan to be open, provided they’ve reached out to let us know – we just need a quick note, editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

PICNIC: If the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s membership/”friend-making” picnic wasn’t already on your list, here’s one reason to think about stopping by:

(2010 photo by Jean Sherrard)
On the 5th anniversary of that group photo taken in front of the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge to underscore that “This Place Matters,” those in attendance at tomorrow’s picnic will walk over for a new group photo, another commemoration of the fact that restoration is finally under way. That’s happening at around 1 pm Saturday; the picnic starts at noon and continues until around 3 pm, with SWSHS providing fried chicken in honor of the Homestead (long known for that dish) and lemonade – just bring a side dish to share. The picnic’s at SWSHS headquarters, the Log House Museum, 61st/Stevens.

PARADE: Bought your diaper donation yet? The local families served by WestSide Baby will be thrilled with whatever you can bring to the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade to give. Full parade details here – if you’re planning to be part of it, show up at 44th/Sunset by 10 am tomorrow. (The diaper dropbox will be at the blue house by the start of the route; also look for the donation boxes where you can chip in to help cover parade costs – voluntary but appreciated!)

1 week until West Seattle Summer Fest 2015! Countdown begins…

July 3, 2015 at 11:29 am | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

West Seattle’s biggest event of the year is now just one week away: West Seattle Summer Fest, the three-day street festival in the heart of The Junction!

The West Seattle Junction Association presents the festival, with co-sponsors including WSB, and over the next week we’ll be previewing more of what you’ll find when you go. Today, some basics:

DAYS/HOURS: Friday, July 10, 10 am-6 pm; Saturday, July 11, 10 am-6 pm; Sunday, July 12, 11 am-5 pm (on Friday and Saturday, music/beer gardens run later)

MUSIC SCHEDULE: See it here (as originally announced in May)

GREENLIFE SCHEDULE: The sustainability zone at the south end of the festival (California north of SW Edmunds) has posted its schedule, with events ranging from info you can use to make your daily life more sustainable (including backyard poultry at 1 pm Saturday and , to discussions of development (featuring District 1 City Council candidates, 2 pm Saturday) and bicycling’s future (4 pm Sunday)

SUMMER FEST FOR KIDS: Basics here – more info in our next countdown update.

PET JUNCTION: Just north of SW Oregon, including pools to keep your pup(s) cool

T-SHIRTS: Love the Summer Fest logo? Come to the Info Booth at California/Alaska to buy a shirt!

WHERE IT’S HAPPENING: If this is your first Summer Fest since moving to West Seattle – California SW closes for festival setup between SW Oregon and SW Edmunds around 6 pm Thursday night (July 9th, which is also West Seattle Art Walk night and has some informal “Summer Fest Eve” elements – more on that coming up) and stays closed to motorized-vehicle traffic until late Sunday night (July 12th). Most of the block between Oregon and Genesee is closed too – that’s where you’ll find the stage and beer garden – but Oregon stays open to through traffic. Festival admission is free, but bring $ for kid rides, food, shopping. See you there!

P.S. – ABOUT THE FARMERS’ MARKET: (Added in response to Eric‘s comment below) For Summer Fest Sunday only, it’ll be back in its old spot, the lot on the southeast corner of 44th/Alaska. Same hours as always, 10 am-2 pm. (Then, after Summer Fest, as of July 19th and beyond, the market goes back to California SW between Alaska and Oregon.)

West Seattle Friday: Bonus lighthouse tours; another low-low tide; Corner Bar at HPIC; more…

July 3, 2015 at 10:12 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(WSB photo: Constellation Park, early Thursday afternoon)

Another beach day! Our list of calendar highlights starts with a reason to get out on the shore at noontime:

LOW-LOW TIDE: Lowest low tide you’ll see for the rest of the summer, same as yesterday: -2.6 feet, but bottoming out a bit later, at 12:28 pm. To help you understand what you’re seeing, and how to travel lightly on the shore, Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists are out at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park beaches again, 10:45 am-2:15 pm.

WADING POOLS & SPRAYPARK TODAY: Along with the both-open-11-am-to-8-pm-daily Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) wading pool and Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), today the wading pools at EC Hughes (12-7 pm, 2805 SW Holden) and Hiawatha (12-6:30 pm, Lander & Walnut) are open too.

EXTRA DAY OF LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: You can tour the Alki Point Lighthouse today as well as tomorrow and Sunday!

(WSB photo from June 2013)
1-4 pm, free tours courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers. Arrive by 3:40 pm for the last tour. (3201 Alki SW)

GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE: 1-7 pm (3-4 pm break), Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood is hosting a blood drive in its Fellowship Hall. (39th SW & SW Thistle)

CORNER BAR IN HIGHLAND PARK: 6 pm, doors open at Highland Park Improvement Club for the popular first-Friday pop-up bar-and-more, with Back Porch Apostles performing at 7:30 pm – details here. (12th SW & SW Holden)

LIBRARIES ARE OPEN … in case you wondered. But not tomorrow.

MORE NIGHTLIFE TONIGHT … go directly to our calendar to see!

UPDATE: Fire in High Point damages vehicle, shed, fence

July 3, 2015 at 8:45 am | In High Point, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photo)
8:45 AM: Firefighters are arriving at the scene near 31st and Morgan of what’s being described as a brush fire that spread to a vehicle and fence. More to come.

8:48 AM: From the scanner – the fire’s been declared under control.

8:52 AM: And now the fire’s tapped. Some units have been dismissed.

9:06 AM: Our crew talked with firefighters at the scene. They don’t yet know how it started, but it’s out. It happened at a residence along 31st south of Morgan. No injuries.

9:22 AM: Photo added.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Holiday Friday; bus, boat changes

July 3, 2015 at 7:47 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Though the official holiday is tomorrow, it’s being observed today by many if not most.

METRO: Sunday schedule
WATER TAXI: Saturday schedule for West Seattle, no service for Vashon
SOUND TRANSIT: Sunday schedule on Route 560

West Seattle weather: 90s continue, as does ‘heat advisory’ alert

July 2, 2015 at 10:05 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | No Comments

(Photo by James Bratsanos)
A hot-pink sunset starts another hot night. The National Weather Service‘s “heat advisory” alert for our area is now extended until at least 9 pm tomorrow; the NWS also made this observation, “An interesting climate stat: Sea-Tac Airport averages 3 days of 90 degrees or better per year. Today’s high of 93 was the third day of 90-plus this year, and it is only July 2nd.” (An NWS tweet adds that it’s been 80+ for five days in a row, 15 of the last 30.) We’re still in the 80s right now, and it’s after 10 pm; the forecast still says Sunday will be the hottest day of the week, mid-90s.

(Added: Photo by John Hinkey)
P.S. If you have an eastern view, the full moon has risen!

West Seattle power outages: 2 small ones right now

July 2, 2015 at 9:05 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | No Comments

9:05 PM: Seattle City Light is working on two small outages in West Seattle right now – a texter tipped us to the one affecting nine households in the 11th/12th/Cambridge/Roxbury vicinity; no cause yet, but our tipster says they heard a loud noise just before the power went out on their block. Looking at the SCL outage map, we also note one in the 20th/Kenyon area, affecting three customers, blamed on “bird/animal.”

12:34 PM: Just checked the map – both outages are over.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Child threatened, chased; hit-and-run driver sought

July 2, 2015 at 8:26 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 2 Comments

Two more West Seattle Crime Watch reports:

CHILD THREATENED, CHASED: This incident was reported to police on Sunday, but we didn’t hear about it until two people asked us about it, having seen a secondhand mention via social media/e-mail. While the incident was described as an “abduction attempt,” we couldn’t find anything in police files with that classification; finally it turned up classified as a “threats” case, which led to the incident number, enabling us to get this information from the Southwest Precinct:

The report taken by officers say an 11-year-old boy was approached around 5:30 pm Sunday by a man near 45th and Walker, by under-renovation Fire Station 29. The man was making threatening- and insulting-type remarks to the boy, police say, so the boy started to run toward his not-too-far-away home. The man pursued him until the boy was a block away from home, according to police, and then finally stopped. The police report says the man made a motion at one point as if to try to grab the boy, but no physical contact was made. Police were unable to find the man, who they told us was described only as “dirty and grubby, transient-type” looking, no further details; the social-media post forwarded to us said “early 20s, dark hair.”

‘HIT-AND-RUN JOKER’: From Keith:

Last last night my 1993 Chevrolet truck was hit. We live on the 35th arterial north of Fauntleroy and heard a huge screeching of tires locked. Guessing it was a 60 foot skid by the duration and mild skid marks on the road. Then a huge bang. My wife was looking out there ahead of me, and shouted out “oh my gosh, they hit the truck”. I ran outside with her and a dark-colored sedan was backing away from the side of the truck, then took off at top speed up SW Manning St, then north on 37th Ave SW.

We called the police, had witnesses all over the neighborhood coming over to the house to help the SW precinct assemble details. Eventually about 3 or 4 police units had been looking thru the neighborhood for the car. Thankfully the damage appears minimal, at least a hubcap, possibly the hub/axle/wheel/tire needing inspection. Incident number is 2015-223600, officer #6040 – if you have anything to report, or noticed a ’90s Subaru sedan with new left front damage. They really would like to track down this hit-and-run joker.

‘Nailbiting moment of suspense’: Alice sets the date for Pluto-flyby ‘Phone Home’ event in West Seattle

July 2, 2015 at 7:09 pm | In Skies Over West Seattle, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(Recent NASA images: ‘Two faces’ of Pluto)
If you were at Alice Enevoldsen‘s Summer Solstice Sunset Watch last month, you heard Alice mention a plan in the works to host an event the day the New Horizons spacecraft makes its Pluto flyby. The plan’s now in place and she’s sent the details, adding, “As far as I can tell, this is the ONLY day-of Pluto-flyby event in all of Seattle.”

What: Plutopalooza Phone Home!
When: Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 5 – 7 p.m.
Where: High Point Branch Library, 3411 SW Raymond
Who: Everyone welcome, as usual. (Themed craft activity for children approximately ages 3-14, short talk about New Horizons aimed at upper elementary through adult, and NASA TV phone home broadcast for everyone.) Hosted by “West Seattle’s Own” NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen.

At 4:49 am on July 14th, New Horizons spacecraft will make history as it flies past Pluto, after a journey of more than nine years and 3 billion miles. For much of the day the New Horizons spacecraft will be out of communication with mission control as it gathers data on Pluto and its moons.

At 6:02 pm, on that same day, the spacecraft is scheduled to “phone home” confirming that it completed the rendezvous. This is the nailbiting moment of suspense that we will watch together during the event at the High Point Branch.

While we are waiting for the signal, there will be Pluto-themed activities for kids ages 3 and up, Alice will give a short presentation on the New Horizons mission appropriate for ages 9 through adult, and will be available to interpret the broadcast events as well as answer questions.

P.S. If you want to build a model of the New Horizons craft and bring it with you to the event, I would love to see it. You can also post your West Seattle PlutoTime photos to social media, and tag me: @AlicesAstroInfo.

Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.

Alice also writes periodic Skies Over West Seattle updates for WSB, with advance alerts and info about some of what you’ll see in the sky, including eclipses, planetary conjunctions, meteor showers, and more – they’re archived here.

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