West Seattle, Washington
That’s the scene we found at the Junction 7-11 (California/Erskine) after we headed there to check out scanner traffic about a possible robbery. Police there told us that it was a case of a shoplifter turning violent (which escalates the crime from theft to robbery); Seattle Fire and AMR ambulance crews were there checking out the clerk who was injured in the process. Police told us they have a suspect in custody.
As we continue showcasing West Seattle’s brightest neighborhood lights – thanks to Duane and Denise Davis for e-mailing to say their light-laden display is happening again this year at 4152 46th SW, just east of Genesee Hill. More than 14,000 lights – about two-thirds LEDs, with mini-incandescent lights “and 300 big C9 bulbs.” They’ll be up through January 15th, the Davises say. And you’ll see other lights in their neighborhood, to the north:
Got lights? Seen lights? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
The photo and report are from Emily:
Car Stolen in North Admiral, Tuesday after 10:00 PM.
Red Honda CR-V 1998, License plate: 921ZXB
The car may have Colorado State Parking sticker on front windshield.
If you see it, call 911 (and then let us know!).
We don’t know if this is a case of ‘again’ or ‘still,’ but the Olson/Myers signal is flashing red, as also reported this morning. A texter notes this is causing big backups (we can confirm, having just gone through it ourselves, currently pulled off the road nearby to publish this).
Holiday updates as we get ever closer to the big days/nights:
RESTAURANTS OPEN CHRISTMAS EVE AND/OR DAY: We’ve continued to update the list – see the newest version here. If a restaurant is NOT listed at all, either it’s closed both days/nights OR we have not received a response to our request for information. (Not too late for updates – via email@example.com – thank you!)
RELIGIOUS SERVICES: This list is in our Holiday Guide and has been updated with the newest lists we’ve received. Also not too late for additions – same e-mail address as above, ASAP, please!
SUPERMARKET HOURS: Also in the Holiday Guide‘s Christmas Eve/Day section.
Notes for the rest of today/tonight:
SANTA AT THRIFTWAY: He’s there now until 6 pm. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)
SHOP LATE THURSDAY IN THE JUNCTION TONIGHT! Here’s what we’ve found out about who’s open until at least 7 pm this evening, both from calls we’ve made, e-mail we’ve received, and info via the West Seattle Junction Association:
Again and Again/Kid Friendly Footwear: Open until 7 pm. (4832 California SW)
Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor): Open until 7 pm. (4502 42nd SW)
Junction TrueValue (WSB sponsor): Open until 7 pm. (4747 44th SW)
Curious Kidstuff: Open until at least 7 pm.
Carmilia’s Boutique: Open until at least 7 pm. (4528 California SW)
VAIN (WSB sponsor): Open until 8 pm. (4513 California SW)
Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor): Open until 9 pm. (4540 California SW)
Funky Jane’s: Open until 9 pm. (California/Oregon)
Zamboanga: Open until 9 pm. (4531 California SW)
CAPERS: Open until 9 pm. (4525 California SW)
Twilight Gallery and Boutique: Open until 9 pm. (Alaska/California)
Next to Nature: Open until 9 pm. (4543 California SW)
Easy Street Records: Open until 9 pm. (California/Alaska)
Origins Cannabis (WSB sponsor): Open until 11:30 tonight. (4800 40th SW)
Anyone else in The Junction open until at least 7 tonight? E-mail us ASAP! And if you’re open Christmas Eve – any retailer in West Seattle – we’ll be making a list for that too.
By the way, there’s music in The Junction tonight too:
The Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project – centered on a million-gallon tank to hold overflows during major storms – is almost done. An update from King County today says the next big step is restoration work across the street at Lowman Beach Park, which held construction trailers and also crews working to upgrade the pump station beneath the park’s southeast side:
King County’s contractor recently completed major roadway and sidewalk restoration on streets surrounding the project site. Before the end of the year, the contractor will paint new roadway lines and install roadway signs.
Landscaping on site continues as crews prepare to begin restoration in Lowman Beach Park. Before planting grass in the park, the contractor will prepare the soil by grading, turning over the subsoil, and adding new topsoil. A fence will remain in place around the park until the new grass is well established.
No work is scheduled for Dec. 24 – 26 or Dec. 31 – Jan. 2. While work will continue into 2017, you can expect to see smaller crews and fewer pieces of equipment on site (see schedule in attached update for additional information).
We appreciate your continued patience as we work to safely complete the project as quickly as possible. We will continue to provide you with updates on project progress in 2017.
What to expect in 2017:
• Work to occur on weekdays 7 am-6 pm and occasional Saturday work 9 am-6 pm.
• Smaller crews and fewer pieces of equipment on site and in Lowman Beach Park
• Streets near the site open and accessible
• Periodic sidewalk closures while landscaping work is underway
• No public access to the staircase on site until all work is complete
• Fence to remain in place around Lowman Beach Park until grass is well established
Please direct any concerns or inquiries to the project hotline: 206-205-9186.
The overflow-control facility itself has been operational for more than a month.
This week’s removal of two bus shelters in The Junction traces back to an October tour that kicked off a “problem-solving” process. Another walking tour is tonight, and West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Swift says all are welcome. The focus this time is on the Junction’s parking lots on 44th SW and 42nd SW, in particular, issues such as lighting, but if you have other Junction safety concerns/questions/comments, bring those too. The group will meet at 5 pm in the lot behind KeyBank at California/Alaska.
He ordered coffee and a pastry … and then money.
That’s what police say happened when the Delridge Uptown Espresso was robbed last night around 6:30. After a reader tip, we just checked with SPD media relations to get details from the report. About 20 people were in the shop at the time; the report says the robber waited in line to get to the counter, ordered coffee and pastry; as the barista was putting the pastry in a bag, he asked for a bigger bag, and as that was handed to him, he told the barista to put the register money in the bag. His right hand was in his hoodie pocket, according to the report, and he said, “I have a gun – don’t make me use it.” Money was added to the bag; he walked out quickly, and vanished. Here’s the description: A white man around 30 years old, 6′ tall, “average build,” light facial hair, dark hoodie, dark jeans. Police searched the area but didn’t find the robber.
9:22 AM: Heartbreaking news overnight for those who cherish our area’s endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales: Another one is gone. An orca found dead in Sechelt, B.C. [map] has been identified as J34, an 18-year-old male. CBC News and CTV News reports say the orca was spotted floating on Tuesday and brought to shore yesterday so a necropsy could be done.
— CTV News (@CTVNews) December 22, 2016
No word yet on what has been found. Meanwhile, this tribute by the Orca Network puts the loss in context. An excerpt:
How to express this loss of beautiful young J34 Doublestuf? Of course we can only imagine how his mom J22 Oreo must feel from so much tragedy in her small matriline. In the mid 1990s the J10s were a bonded family with mom J10 Tahoma and big brother J18 Everett and sisters J20 Ewok and J22, always close. Then it started, with J20 dying in 1998, leaving her 2-year old J32 Rhapsody to be raised by younger sister J22, followed soon after by losing mom J10 in 1999, and a few months later big brother J18 washed up near Vancouver at 22 years old. J22 became mom and matriarch at that point. Just 2 years ago J32 and her unborn baby were found dead near Comox in Georgia Strait. And now, with J34 gone, only 31-year old J22 and her 13-year old son J38 Cookie remain. They need our help now more than ever.
Since the death of J1 Ruffles in 2010, J34 was often the most recognizable member of J pod, with his tall, slender, still gently curved dorsal fin with the telltale scallop midway in the trailing edge. …
The last J Pod deaths were announced by whale advocates two months ago, when they summoned reporters to the downtown waterfront (WSB coverage here) to call for pressure on the federal government to breach Snake River dams that are contributing to a shortage of salmon, which is what the resident orcas eat. Even before J34’s death was announced, the Orca Network was planning a candlelight vigil for the SRKWs for December 27th at the Langley Whale Center on Whidbey Island (where ON is based).
11:47 AM: The Center for Whale Research has just sent its news release about J34’s death:
We regret having to make a distressing announcement during this holiday season, but we confirm from news photographs and eyepatch photos sent to the Center for Whale Research that the killer whale carcass that was towed to a beach near Sechelt on the BC Sunshine coast is indeed that of J34, an eighteen-year-old male in the iconic J pod of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale population. The carcass was observed floating near shore on Tuesday, December 20th 2016 and was recovered by coast guard personnel and Sechelt First Nation members.
We are awaiting the results of a necropsy conducted late Wednesday by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for an official report of J34’s body condition and cause of death. We reported that J34 was looking skinny this past summer.
At least four other J pod members have died so far in 2016: J55 in January, J14 in July, and a mother and calf J28 and J54 in October.
J34’s eighteen-year-old cousin, J32, died from birthing complications and emaciation in December 2014 and her necropsy report was released to the public in April 2016.
For over a decade, we have been voicing concern that these whales are not getting sufficient salmon for their survival and that all fisheries management options should be considered including catch limits and strategic dam removal to recover endangered wild salmon populations. However, a blue-ribbon panel of experts assembled by DFO and NOAA Fisheries concluded in 2012 that they were: “skeptical that reduced Chinook salmon harvesting would have a large impact on the abundance of Chinook salmon available to SRKW.”
However, in May 2016 Federal District Court Judge Michael D. Simon rejected the status quo on dam operations on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and called for an extensive National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review to determine dam related impacts to federally endangered salmon in the Columbia basin – salmon that are vital to the Southern Resident killer whales in coastal waters during the winter months and when they do not find sufficient food in the Salish Sea during the rest of the year.
Assuming no other whales are missing, J pod now has 25 members, K pod 19 members, and L pod 35 members.
Total SRKW population 79, but this number is obviously subject to change with births and deaths at any time.
CWR also released photos of J34, and we have added one atop this story.
ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: Early necropsy results show J34 died of “blunt force trauma,” possibly the result of a ship strike.
(Map showing the zone where the tunneling machine is now, from WSDOT’s update page)
Among those taking time off for the holidays, the Highway 99 tunneling-machine crew. Here’s the last update of the year from WSDOT, with a bit more than one-fourth of the way to go on the tunnel route:
Seattle Tunnel Partners crews built their final concrete tunnel ring of the year on Tuesday before stopping for the holidays. The remaining days of 2016 will include a break for crews, followed by scheduled maintenance on Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling the machine.
In the year since STP restarted tunneling, Bertha has traveled approximately 5,700 feet and built almost 900 rings. Along the way, crews continued to control the ground as they mined beneath streets and structures, including the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
When mining resumes early in the new year, Bertha will be less than 2,500 feet from the pit near Seattle Center where she’ll emerge at the end of her journey. STP will continue to inspect and perform maintenance on the machine as needed.
Bertha’s cutterhead is located approximately 160 feet below Third Avenue between Blanchard and Bell streets. Progress updates are posted on Mondays and Thursdays at our Follow Bertha page. You can also follow Bertha on Twitter @BerthaDigsSR99.
Happy holidays from the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. We’ll see you in 2017.
Current estimate is for the tunnel to open in early 2019. That’ll be almost a decade after the waterfront ceremony formalizing the plan; at that time, the hope was for a 2015 opening.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:42 AM: Good morning! Abbreviated traffic watch this morning – but it’s pretty quiet out there anyway. Traffic times around the region are faster than usual, says WSDOT. No incidents in the vicinity. No weather alerts, either.
7:55 AM: Reader report – blinking signal lights at Olson Place/Myers Way. (Remember, that means it’s an all-ways stop.)