West Seattle, Washington
Still no date set for the ~2-week Alaskan Way Viaduct closure that’s planned when the Highway 99 tunneling machine goes beneath it. But WSDOT is continuing to make presentations about the preparations. Monday morning, the slide deck you see above will be part of a briefing given to the City Council. Nothing major or new in it, but it includes graphics showing bus rerouting plans as well as extra parking for West Seattle Water Taxi riders. In the slide deck, you’ll again see the promise that advance notice of the closure will be provided; this past Wednesday in West Seattle, WSDOT reps were at the Southwest District Council meeting to talk about closure preps, and they reiterated the intent for two weeks’ warning. If that holds true, it means we’re getting closer to having the closure in May. SWDC members expressed concern that the closure would slide into the summer months, pointing out how busy Harbor Avenue gets on summer nights even without potentially hundreds of commuters returning to their vehicles. Monday’s scheduled briefers are Todd Trepanier and Dave Sowers from WSDOT; SDOT director Scott Kubly; and Victor Obeso from King County Metro. The council briefing meeting starts at 9:30 am Monday, and this is on the agenda for 10:25 am; you can watch live via Seattle Channel, cable 21 or seattlechannel.org.
8:26 PM: A crowd is gathered right now for a candlelight vigil at the site of Thursday morning’s deadly crash, in memory of 21-year-old Devin Francis.
They are filling both uphill lanes of Highland Park Way, so please avoid the area for a while.
9:07 PM: The vigil was breaking up as of about quarter till. We will go back in a while to check.
Tomorrow will be “soft open” day for the new Fresh Flours Bakery and Café at 9410 Delridge Way SW, starting at 7 am.
We first told you back in January that Fresh Flours proprietors Etsuko and Keiji (above), who have three cafés elsewhere in the city, were thrilled to be opening their fourth in West Seattle, since this is where they live.
After Etsuko sent word today that they plan to soft-open tomorrow, we stopped by this afternoon, as they continued working hard to get everything ready to go.
As we noted in January, South Delridge will be the production bakery for all Fresh Flours locations. They’re also working on an outdoor seating area on the north side, where they demolished a small old house and will be putting up a new fence and foundation – Etsuko says they hope that will be done by summer.
6:05 PM: Thanks for the tips – westbound Genesee is closed just east of Avalon because a truck trailer’s load spilled.
6:28 PM: Just went by. Still blocked but traffic is getting by both ways, alternating, with SPD directing.
7 PM: Via Twitter, SDOT says it may take a few hours for this to be cleaned up so the westbound lane can reopen.
8:05 PM: Added that photo from Daniel, who says he saw it happen: “Truck driver attempted to go up the hill, failed, rocked the truck and the load of bricks came out.” He says police told him the driver was cited.
10:23 PM: Thanks for the updates – Genesee is open again both ways.
One week after we first reported that Seattle Public Utilities plans a huge flushing operation intended to lessen the recurring brown-water problems, SPU has settled on where and when it will begin. Word is going out in postal mail today, with a map, announcement, and FAQ. SPU plans to start the flushing the week of April 18th in this area:
That entire area will not be flushed on the same day – it’ll be different neighborhoods on different days (more like, nights) from April through June. Here’s the text of the letter that will accompany the map:
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will begin flushing water mains in West Seattle starting the week of April 18, 2016. The map on the back of this page shows the area in purple that will be flushed first (from April through June). Eventually more water mains throughout West Seattle neighborhoods will be flushed, which will take several months to complete.
SPU is performing this major water-main flush to help maintain water quality and reduce the uptick in discolored water that some West Seattle customers have been experiencing since last summer. Flushing won’t eliminate discolored water, but it will help decrease it.
What do customers need to do? Residents and businesses do not need to take any action to prepare for this work. Customers will be able to use their water as usual. When crews are flushing nearby, customers may notice a slight reduction in their water pressure. They may also see temporary discolored water, which should clear quickly once crews are done flushing the water main. Running the cold water for a few minutes can also help clear the discoloration.
Why does discolored water occur? Discolored water can happen when crews operate a fire hydrant, when there is a water main break or leak, or when the water in the pipes is forced to travel in a different direction than normal. When one of these events happens, naturally occurring sediment in the water and rust in the pipes get stirred up, causing the water to look discolored.
Flushing the water mains will remove some of the sediment and rust that has been resting in the pipes. This will help reduce the level of discoloration and the time it takes for the water to clear when there’s a disturbance in the pipes.
Is the water safe? Yes. Every single day, SPU takes samples throughout the system of the drinking water that it provides to 1.4 million people. The water is tested for contaminants and is regulated by the Washington State Department of Health. Seattle’s water remains safe to drink.
Questions or concerns: If you have any questions or concerns about the flushing process or discolored water, please read through the “Frequently Asked Questions” sheet that is enclosed with this mailing. If you experience any problems with your water, contact SPU’s 24-hour emergency line at 206-386-1800.
We thank you for your patience and understanding while SPU strives to continue to provide some of our nation’s best drinking water.
Also being mailed with the map and letter, a two-page list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers – read them here. And in the meantime, if you get discolored water, wherever you are, whenever it happens, SPU wants to hear from you at that same number, above, the one we’ve been publishing in brown-water coverage since last fall.
Something new in The Junction this month: A “Day of Giving” on April 30th.
Participating shops and restaurants will give 10 percent of their proceeds to nonprofits of their choice that day. From the West Seattle Junction Association:
Giving back has always been a part of what it means to be West Seattle. Our deep neighborhood pride comes through in everything we do and exemplifies the spirit of “neighbors helping neighbors.”
In The Junction, our local businesses are proud to give back throughout the year to the many deserving causes in our neighborhood and beyond. Within The Junction business community, there is a profound sense that it’s the right thing to do and that by supporting our local nonprofits we can strengthen our neighborhood and thrive.
In the spirit of that commitment, The Junction businesses are teaming up with their favorite nonprofits for a fun day of shopping and eating to benefit many important causes. On April 30th, each participating business will be donating 10% of their sales to the nonprofit of their choice. Stop by your favorite Junction retailers and restaurants to lend your support and make a difference through your purchases. It’s an easy and fun way to show your community spirit and just how much you care!
You can see the early list of participants, and their chosen recipients, by going to this page on The Junction’s website.
(UPDATED 3:37 PM with city reply to our followup inquiry)
(WSB photo, November 2015)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One of the discussion threads woven through the West Seattle tree-cutting case these past two weeks has been the monetary value of a tree.
In another West Seattle case, it appears that value has been set at $11,000.
You might recall the reader video last November 15th showing a big red cedar cut on a Sunday morning on the future site of the 4532 42nd SW mixed-use development (immediately north of the Junction QFC).
If you’re not going out of town for spring break – take some time Tuesday and see what the Admiral Neighborhood Association is up to. New president Larry Wymer sends word of what’s on the agenda:
GROWTH IN SEATTLE, HALA, & THE GRAND BARGAIN
7:00 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Roger Valdez – Director of ‘Smart Growth Seattle’ – will discuss 21st century approaches for new and unique (and sometimes controversial) choices to help create a wide range of housing choices to address the varied needs of Seattle’s growing population, something of significant interest to us in the northern section of West Seattle as we witness significant changes along our major corridors. Roger will provide a perspective largely from the development community which is sure to provide for a lively Q&A.
Larry Wymer will provide an overview of the newly released Sound Transit 3 plan which will extend light rail into West Seattle, and what you can do to help influence the final design to reflect Admiral/West Seattle needs.
We will finalize our discussion, and establish the Association’s position, on the potential of lowering default speed limits within Seattle for non-arterial neighborhood streets to 20 mph, and 25 mph on selected arterials.
And finally, we will seek membership input as we work to refine our on-line presence & communications/ notifications protocols to best suit your needs.
The ANA meets at The Sanctuary at Admiral, at 2656 42nd Ave SW. Our monthly meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.
If you missed it, here’s our coverage of the March ANA meeting.
Another warmer-than-normal spring day – and it’s Friday, with Seattle Public Schools‘ spring break starting as soon as the day’s final bell rings. So you know it’s going to be busy at the beach. As for everywhere else, here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE: Until 4 pm, a mobile blood drive is under way at the Alki Masonic Center in The Junction. Closed noon-1 pm for a break; otherwise, walkups welcome; more info here. (40th SW/SW Edmunds)
WINE RELEASE AT VISCON CELLARS: Two new wines are being released at West Seattle winery Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) today and tomorrow, “a new Cabernet Sauvignon and new Cabernet Franc, both from 2012,” says proprietor Ben Viscon, who shares the photo:
The tasting room is open from 5-9 pm tonight, 2-7 pm Saturday. (5910 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE LITTLE LEAGUE’S ROCKFORD PEACHES: You saw them here earlier this week – tonight it’s their only Bar-S game of the season, per Coach Sean. Go cheer the WSLL’s first all-girl coach-pitch team! Playing the Thunderbirds, 5 pm. (64th SW/SW Admiral Way)
LAST NIGHT FOR ‘THE ADDAMS FAMILY’: Haven’t seen the West Seattle High School musical comedy yet? Last chance!
7:30 pm at the WSHS Theater – more info here. (3000 California SW)
MORE LIVE MUSIC: Stoned Evergreen Travelers, Skull of Old Saul, Me Infecto at Parliament Tavern in Admiral, 9 pm. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
It’s “more than an obituary,” declared the subject line for the e-mail that began, “A neighborhood icon has recently passed away. He (and his huge, friendly dog) always walked the streets and so many people knew him — if not by name — and will miss his presence and be wondering what happened to him.” So this is in memory of North Admiral resident Jake Ellis Couch, gone at 83:
This sad news comes after a very long struggle with health problems that peaked on March 24 when Jake agreed to go to Virginia Mason Hospital. Tests showed massive damage to his heart and other organs from a silent heart attack some time ago. He was able to enjoy a few days visiting with family and friends while receiving excellent care from the hospital staff until his death on April 2.
Jake was from a proud fourth-generation West Seattle family. His great grandmother came north from California in 1902 in a covered wagon and settled on Gatewood Hill. He grew up in the North Admiral neighborhood and attended Lafayette, Madison, and West Seattle High, graduating in 1950 when he volunteered for service in the Korean War. Jake was a devoted family man who worked for Seattle City Light Underground, enjoyed skiing, the cabin he built near Crystal Mountain, the farm in Duvall, wood carving, and socializing with north Admiral neighbors while walking his dog.
We are so grateful to friends and family for concern and support. Your presence in our lives has given us the gift of joyful memories. No flowers please — remembrances can be made to your favorite charity.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7 AM: Good morning – no incidents in/from West Seattle so far. What you need to know otherwise:
WATER TAXI NOW 7 DAYS A WEEK: The spring/summer schedule starts today (and remember the free-rides-all-day celebration on Sunday). The new schedule adds weekends and Friday/Saturday nights in time for the …
MARINERS’ HOME OPENER: Tonight at Safeco Field, 7:10 pm vs. the A’s.
SPRING BREAK NEXT WEEK: Seattle Public Schools are out next week (Vashon, too).
520 BRIDGE CLOSED THIS WEEKEND … so the I-90 bridge will be busier. (520 is being readied for a partial opening of the new bridge to vehicle traffic starting next week.)
8:14 AM UPDATE: Just getting word of trouble on northbound 99 at King Street – a crash is blocking the right lane.
8:57 AM UPDATE: SDOT says the crash has cleared, but the 3-mile backup will take a while to ease.