West Seattle, Washington
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
10:20 PM: All those sirens are from a big Seattle Fire response headed to a possible house fire in the 10200 block of 32nd SW in Arbor Heights [map]. Updates to come.
10:23 PM: Crews are starting to arrive. Early word is that the fire started in the living room, and that everyone got out of the house OK.
10:28 PM: Per scanner, they’re scaling back the response. The fire has been declared “tapped.”
10:43 PM: Our crew has talked with the incident commander, who says it was a “small electrical fire” that’s now out; nobody hurt, and the residents will be able to go back inside shortly.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Before the next bridge-snarling crash – or a stall that takes hours to clear – city leaders vow to go the extra mile to work on how they deal with traffic trouble.
The promises were made in the middle of a midsummer Friday afternoon, with the Blue Angels roaring overhead – a time when many in all lines of work do their best to call it quits early and head out to revel; instead, media were summoned to SDOT‘s Traffic Management Center (and an adjacent conference room) to hear details of a consultant’s critique of the city’s traffic-incident-management (TIM) policies.
Or, relative lack of them, per this key conclusion of the report:
A lack of coordination among agencies in Seattle – including but not limited to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) – was immediately identified as a recurring problem in Seattle’s TIM response.
The report was ordered after the infamous tipped-fish-truck fiasco on southbound Highway 99 last March, a crash that took nine hours to clear, though no one was seriously hurt, and that caused chain-reaction backups around the city while turning the highway itself into a walkway for some.
(Reader photo texted during March 2015 fish-truck blockage on SB 99)
Throughout those nine hours, we featured as-it-happened coverage, and followed up the next day here; Councilmember Tom Rasmussen promised followup reports. By May, Mayor Ed Murray had ordered the review and recommendations that he and Rasmussen unveiled Friday.
Atop this report is our video of most of Friday’s briefing (we were a few minutes late so it starts as the mayor was wrapping up his introductory comments). Below is the report by consultants TransSafe Consulting and Sam Schwartz Engineering, whose proprietor Annette Sandberg, a former Washington State Patrol chief, presented a slide deck of highlights during the briefing – or browse the embedded version below:
Ahead – key points of what’s being recommended, and what happens now:
(Ventana Construction photo: Proprietors Anne Higuera and Clarence Higuera)
Two notes tonight about and from longtime WSB sponsor Ventana Construction. First – they’ve received a prestigious national honor in the industry, joining the “Big50“ this year. From the announcement:
Ventana Construction, has been selected by REMODELING magazine to join the REMODELING Big50. The Big50 awards were presented at a gala dinner at the Remodeling Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. The 2015 Big50 winners were featured in the May issue of REMODELING, a national trade publication read by more than 130,000 professional remodeling contractors, with longer profiles of the winners posted on the REMODELING website, remodelingmag.com.
Each year since 1986, the REMODELING Big50 inducts 50 owners of remodeling companies that have set exceptionally high standards for professionalism and integrity through exemplary business practices, craftsmanship, and impact in their community or the industry at large. Big50 remodelers run successful, often growing, companies of various sizes that have taken the lead in raising industry standards.
The Big50 selection process has become increasingly rigorous in recent years, and the result, REMODELING editors believe, is one of the strongest classes to date.
Second – Ventana invites you to its next free workshop for people interested in remodeling or custom homebuilding – next Saturday (August 8th), 2-3:30 pm, described as “an informative workshop about remodeling and custom home construction. Learn from experienced professionals about how to get started, what to expect, and the steps you can take to make your project successful.” Call 206-932-3009 ASAP, to RSVP so they’ll save you a space; it’ll be at Ventana HQ at 5458 California SW [map].
Near the south end of Beach Drive SW, along Lowman Beach Park, an “intense” phase of work for the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project is about to start, according to this alert:
King County contractors will begin installing a five-foot wide pipe under Beach Drive SW this month. The pipe will connect the new tank to the Lowman Beach Pump Station. The work will take about three months to finish.
Construction activity in the 7000 block of Beach Drive SW will be intense during this work. Road surface conditions will vary due to saw cutting, temporary patches and steel plates on the roadway. To ensure public safety, the following safety precautions are in effect around the work area:
• Flaggers and signs direct all traffic around the work site
• Pedestrians detoured to western Beach Dr. S.W. sidewalk
• Vehicle access will be available to local, service and emergency vehicles only
• Bicyclists will be asked to walk their bike past the work area
Wells have also been installed in Lowman Beach Park to control groundwater for this phase of the project. The wells are supported by generators and air compressors, which may increase noise from the project area.
Small concrete pours for the underground storage tank will continue while the road work is underway. Concrete trucks will continue to use the designated haul route to access the site.
What to expect:
• Work on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays
• Crews working on the 7000 block of Beach Dr. SW and inside the underground storage tank area
• Increased noise, truck traffic, congestion on streets near the project site • Flaggers and signs to direct traffic around the work area – delays of up to 15 minutes may occur
• Parking restrictions, sidewalk closures, and pedestrian detours
• Bicyclists asked to walk their bikes through the work area
• One lane of Beach Dr. S.W. available at all times for local, service and emergency vehicles only
• Steel sheets on Beach Dr. S.W. after hours – bicyclists should use extreme caution
When the project is done, the county expects fewer combined-sewer overflows into Puget Sound, as the potential overflow during major rainstorms instead will be held in the new million-gallon tank. Work has been under way for almost a year and a half, and has about one more year to go, according to the county’s online timeline.
3:31 PM: Seattle Fire and Police are at the scene of a collision at Fauntleroy and Cloverdale, toward the south end of Lincoln Park. According to @smokeycretin9, it involves a car and motorcycle. Our crew is en route; we’ve heard a call for a private ambulance to the scene, suggesting injuries are not life-threatening.
3:43 PM UPDATE: Our crew at the scene has learned that the man riding the motorcycle was taken to the hospital via that ambulance, with what are described as minor injuries. The driver was not hurt. The car and motorcycle are both off to the side and Fauntleroy is reopening to traffic.
(WSB photo added 5:57 pm: New restaurant’s wood-fired oven)
The opening of Mioposto‘s new Admiral restaurant is now set for next Saturday (August 8th), 4 pm. That’s the word today from Mioposto proprietor Jeremy Hardy – two days later than hoped, but still in the midsummer time frame envisioned last spring. The restaurant is occupying the north part of the former Admiralty House Antiques building at California/Walker, its third location after Mt. Baker and Bryant. We’re expecting some additional information shortly – hours, for starters – so check back on this story.
ADDED: Hardy says the hours will start as 4-10 pm Sundays-Thursdays, 4 pm-11 pm Fridays and Saturdays.
On August 17th of last year, an important conversation was convened at the Highland Park Improvement Club – community, city, and school leaders talking about how best to support Highland Park Elementary School.
On August 17th of this year – two weeks from tonight – you’re invited to the school library for the next installment in that conversation. Announced today:
*Highland Park Elementary School Town Hall Meeting*
Monday, August 17, 2015 @ 6:30 pm
Highland Park Elementary School Library, 1012 SW Trenton
The Highland Park Elementary PTA invites the community to a meeting to discuss our neighborhood school. We will learn about results from this past year, what the plan is for continued improvement, and the long-term vision for the future of Highland Park Elementary.
*Questions? Contact HPE PTA President Holly Briscoe, email@example.com*
The school’s population continues to grow, projected at about 385 students in the coming school year.
After years of talk and one year of official analysis, Seattle Public Schools is looking at action on changing schedules so that older students would start school later. Next step in the decision about “bell times” involves public comment, including a meeting in West Seattle.
First, here’s the schedule changes (updated) recommended to district superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland by the Bell Times Task Force:
High Schools – 8:50 AM to 3:20 PM
Most Elementary Schools – 8 AM to 2:10 PM (a few elementary schools yet to be identified would be 8:50 AM to 3 PM)
Middle and K-8 Schools – 9:40 AM to 4:10 PM
The public meeting scheduled for West Seattle is set for 6:30 pm Tuesday, September 29th, at Chief Sealth International High School, but you don’t have to wait that long to tell the district what you think: Send your comment(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. In connection with the bell-times analysis, the district has published a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement about potential effects of the changes such as transit and park impacts. You can see it here; comments on the potential impacts can be sent to SEPAComments@seattleschools.org.
ADDED 12:35 PM: Thanks to Lynn for pointing out in comments that the times listed above are the task force’s recommendation TO the superintendent, who hasn’t made his recommendation yet; we have amended the line above to reflect that. See more background in this announcement.
(David & Jeffrey at the King County Elections ballot-dropoff van in Greenbridge on Saturday)
Happy Monday! Your second-to-last day to vote in a historic election – but first, here’s what else is on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
OPENING DAY FOR GOODMED: The new membership-model health-care clinic in Morgan Junction, mentioned here last month, opens today. (6553 California SW)
FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Library, songs, stories, and rhymes for kids of all ages (and the grownup/s who accompany them). Free! (35th/Raymond)
PUB QUIZ @ SHADOWLAND: They have questions, you have answers, go play! 8-10 pm at Shadowland. (California/Oregon)
And our second-to-last day to remind you:
VOTE! Tomorrow night is the deadline to vote – if you’re mailing your ballot, it needs a stamp; if you take it to a King County ballot-dropoff van or dropbox, it doesn’t. Today until 5 pm, and tomorrow (Tuesday) 10 am-8 pm, the vans are back, on the West Seattle Stadium driveway and outside the Greenbridge Library – addresses/maps here. This election is historic, with your first chance to vote in the Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) race; find our archived election coverage here, including our “Last Look” series of reports (including recent video conversations), one for each D-1 candidate:
The two with the most votes will advance to the November 3rd general election. First-night results are due around 8:15 Tuesday, followed by (usually) one daily update until results are certified in late August.
Though summer vacation is only half over, it’s time for some families to start thinking about next school year – including those with students who are playing fall high-school sports. West Seattle High School athletic director Trevor Leopold asked if we would share this reminder (in particular, note the last line, as health-care providers often book up far in advance):
If your child is playing a Fall sport, packets will not be accepted over the summer. Packets will be accepted starting Wednesday August 12th with a deadline of Friday August 14th. Packets turned in after Friday August 14th may affect your practice opportunities. There will NOT be accepting participation fees at this time. However, there will be a possibility of a small equipment fee in the fall.
The first day of football begins on Wednesday August 19th; all other sports start on Monday August 24th. Before you can participate in your sport, you need to attend a Parent/Athlete meeting to get all the information for the season. The following dates will be reserved for each sport:
Monday, August 17th – Football and Girls Swimming
Wednesday, August 19th – Volleyball and Golf
Thursday, August 20th – Girls Soccer and Cross Country
All meetings will start promptly at 6 pm.
If you have participated in a sport at WSHS in the past, you can leave after your coach has provided you with all the information for the upcoming season. If you are new to WSHS or never played a sport before, you need to stay for a short Code of Conduct meeting with Athletic Director Trevor Leopold. Please make sure if you have not done so, SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR YOUR ATHLETIC PHYSICALS NOW with your doctor.
(We always welcome school news – email@example.com – thanks!)
(One side of Pigeon Point’s Night Out sign; art by Jim Sander, photo from Pete Spalding)
Tomorrow night, hundreds of neighbors around West Seattle – among thousands citywide – will hang out together in their neighborhoods during the annual Night Out, which started with a focus on crime prevention and safety, and evolved to an all-around celebration of neighbors’ solidarity. If you want to close your (non-arterial) street for a Night Out party, you need to be sure it’s registered via Seattle Police by 5 pm today – go here to do that, and to find printable flyer/signage templates. Registered parties also have a chance for police or firefighters to stop by during the official 6-9 pm party timeframe.
P.S. If you’re photographing your Night Out gathering, we’d be thrilled to get a photo, to include in our as-it-happens coverage tomorrow night – firstname.lastname@example.org (or share via the WSB Facebook page, since we can download from there for website use) – thank you!
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:08 AM: If you take 4th Avenue South into downtown, note that a crash at Massachusetts, just south of the stadium zone, is closing part of the northbound roadway. No other problems right now on the outbound routes from here.
VASHON FERRY-DOCK WORK: Cheryl reminds us that the big earthquake-safety project at the main Vashon Island ferry dock got under way at the end of last week, and that means big changes for traffic (and waiting) in the area. Before you go to or through Vashon, read about the project here. The work is expected to continue into December.
7:51 AM: The 4th Avenue situation isn’t cleared up yet, according to this SDOT tweet:
UPDATE: The crash on 4th Ave S at Massachusetts St continues to close 2 NB right lanes: 1 lane open, expect delays pic.twitter.com/AakgqVpt3F
— seattledot (@seattledot) August 3, 2015
That’s the truest West Seattle Blue Angels view we’ve seen this time around – Steve Jensen shared it with us on Sunday but took it from Columbia Center downtown on Friday. The blue sky was obscured for much of Sunday – bringing JayDee‘s silhouette view of the F-22 Raptor and Air Force Heritage P-51 Mustang:
David Hutchinson got another view of the same two, from the northwest corner of Boeing Field:
He also shared this view of the Blues:
If you’re hoping to watch them fly out – we don’t yet have official information on when they’re leaving; will report it if and when we get it. Meantime … the weekend closed with an intense sunset through smoke from the forest fires around the region:
Thanks to Lynn Hall for the image.