West Seattle, Washington
Remodeling work is about to resume at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) in Admiral. We reported on the work and some of the changes in September and in October. The work was paused for the holiday season, and now MM has sent an open letter to the community with word on what’s happening now and what’s coming up, including a chance to drop by next Thursday night (February 23rd) between 7 and 8:30 pm to talk with MM president/CEO Todd Korman and Admiral store director Paul Marth. You can see the letter here as a PDF, and embedded below:
That sign was up this afternoon near the 63rd Avenue Pump Station south of Alki Point, following the 330,000-gallon combined-sewer overflow reported late last night by King County Wastewater Treatment. The overflow happened during Thursday afternoon’s less-than-one-hour power outage in western West Seattle, before a portable generator could be brought to and fired up at the pump station.
We followed up today with county spokesperson Doug Williams. For one, as commenter Schwaggy asked, why isn’t there already a generator at the pump station? He says there soon will be:
We are wrapping up a construction project at the 63rd Avenue Pump Station that, when finished, will include a new emergency power generator at the facility. While that construction project is underway, we have an emergency generator loaded on a trailer and stationed at the Alki CSO facility. Yesterday when our workers got the 63rd Ave pump station overflow alarm they went to the Alki facility and picked up the emergency generator for the short drive over to the pump station (about ¼ mile, I believe). However, power was restored before the emergency power was brought online.
As for how long the signs will stay up, Williams didn’t have information on water-quality-test results yet when we checked in, but he said the signs will not be taken down until results are “below thresholds for human contact.”
(TOPLINE: After a 2 1/2-day closure to clear slide debris, Highland Park Way is open again as of just after 5:30 tonight)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:52 PM: Our photo taken a short time ago shows some slide cleanup still under way on Highland Park Way, and now there’s word from SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero that it will NOT be open before the PM commute after all:
Highland Park Way SW remains closed due to slides and is expected to reopen this evening.
SDOT completed removal of the remaining debris earlier today. SCL is installing a new power pole. SDOT crews will then install ecology blocks to buttress the hillside.
This work is expected to last into the PM commute. Please continue to use detours.
The hill between Holden and West Marginal Way has been closed since the sliding happened around 5 am Wednesday (here’s our original report; here’s a Thursday report with a closer look at just how much slid).
5:39 PM: Kelly tells us it’s open. We are en route.
5:47 PM: Just drove the hill – yes, it’s open again, all lanes. And Metro says Route 131 is back to its regular route.
ADDED 6:48 PM: A couple of postscripts. First, we asked SDOT this afternoon if they had determined any cause other than the heavy rain – a commenter had noted earlier, for example, that WSDOT had blamed one of its recent freewayside slides on a drain problem. But SDOT spokesperson Romero checked and said, no other factors were involved here. Meantime, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold – who lives in Highland Park and was among those whose travel was affected by the closure – wrote about the slide in her latest e-mail-list update, which went out this afternoon. After an update on the cleanup, she added:
… I’ve asked SDOT what kind of assessment they’ll be doing about the long-term safety of this area from future slides, and what improvements we can expect after the cleanup.
I thank King County Metro for their quick rerouting of Route 131 to accommodate bus riders in the area (myself included). The incident highlights for me – once again – the need for an emphasis upon improvements on Highland Park Way. So many people (from all over West Seattle) use this corridor to get off the peninsula. What might have once been a little-known egress is not any longer.
The Highland Park Action Committee has long been an advocate for improvements to the Holden and Highland Park intersection to slow down and make traffic flow more efficient. The focus of those efforts has been on the design and development of an arterial roundabout. SDOT agrees that improvements to this corridor are warranted. It is not funded at this time. I have inquired with SDOT about the funding estimate for the design portion alone to see if I can help identify some funding to give the project some momentum.
Though the focus of the community has been on the roundabout, I am inquiring with SDOT whether they’ve considered lane separation as an improvement. Many people I know who are familiar with this road drive in the outermost lanes and avoid the opposite direction inner lanes because of the driving practices of people less familiar with the route, or practices of those who are familiar but speed hazardously nonetheless.
More community giving! $2,300 for the West Seattle Food Bank Backpack Program – which ensures that local students in need don’t go hungry when school’s not in session – from Origins Enterprises (whose recreational-cannabis shop is in The Junction at 4800 40th SW and is a WSB sponsor) and Gold Leaf Gardens, from a holiday-season drive in partnership with the community. You can help the Backpack Program too; here’s how.
Services are planned next week for Anna Lallas Rakus, 88. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing with the community:
In life, as in her death, Anna Lallas Rakus, showed grace, dignity and fighting spirit, passing away peacefully in her West Seattle home on February 14, 2017.
Anna was born in Bellingham in 1928 to Greek immigrant parents, Tom and Estero Lallas. At the age of 10 while returning from a family trip to Greece, Anna and her 2 brothers John and George were orphaned when her parents were killed in an infamous train wreck. Anna and her brothers went to live with her mother’s brother, Gust Trames, and his wife Mary and their 3 children in Bellingham. By 16 she was working 3 jobs and helping to parent her brothers.
When Anna was 18, she was introduced to Gust Rakus, a fellow Greek from Everett. Swept off her feet, Anna and Gust were wed, moved to Seattle, and had 3 children. Their marriage was filled with everything Greek; loud, happy dinner parties with friends and family, the church, and her community. She was active with her husband in AHEPA/Daughters of Penelope, and served as Parish Council President of the Assumption Greek Church. She was a buyer for Doces Furniture and a top salesperson for Macy’s. Petite in stature, she had boundless energy and determination in every task she undertook, and could be a force to be reckoned with!
After 55 years of marriage, Gust passed away in 2004. Anna then filled her time attending to her gardens/orchids, volunteering for anything Greek that involved cooking, her family, and friends, and was always ready to go to lunch and shopping!
Anna is survived by her children, Diane, Tommy and Jamee (Dino). She will be remembered for her fierce perseverance in the face of adversity, her tenacious and feisty spirit, and warm hospitality. Although blurry in her last few years, she was up for any outing and was always ready to: “Let’s Go!” Our family thanks her many loving caregivers, and especially Chris Kelsey, with whom she formed a special bond.
Trisiagon Services will be held Tuesday, February 21st, at 7 pm, and funeral services Wednesday, February 22, at 11 am. Both will be held at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, 1803 13th Ave, Seattle.
Donations can be made in her name to the Gust Rakus Hellenic Studies Collection at the U of W.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
We’ve shared updates before from local Girl Scout Alina Guyon, who is working on a Gold Award project to build a library for refugees in Uganda. West Seattleites have donated more than 1,000 books, and now she’s sharing words of gratitude for another big donation:
Thank you Alki Lumber!
When you heard that I was building a library for refugees in Uganda, you generously offered to help. The library project not only involves sending books by container, but I’m also building an actual library. Alki Lumber donated all kinds of paint and materials to help complete the structure. Thank you for being such a generous business and key part of our West Seattle Community.
There are currently more refugees in the world than any time since World War II. While we can’t easily affect our nation’s immigration policies, this is a small way our community can make a difference to people forcibly displaced from their homes. I am so amazed by the outpouring of support from West Seattle.
More development news, starting with two teardowns:
DEMOLITION AT 5908 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: The old commercial building on which you used to be able to read the “WASH/DRY” sign is now a pile of rubble.
As first reported here almost a year and a half ago, a six-unit rowhouse building with five offstreet-parking spaces is planned.
DEMOLITION AT 6921 CALIFORNIA SW: Eight months after the cancellation of plans to turn an old house in south Morgan Junction into a branch of Chungee’s Drink and Eat (the Capitol Hill restaurant/bar whose owners lived in the house at the time), the house is coming down right now. As reported here in October, a four-unit residential building is now planned, after the site was sold to a construction company.
Now, an Admiral-project update:
2715 CALIFORNIA SW: Four months after we had first word of an early-stage mixed-use proposal to replace the buildings at 2715 and 2719 California SW, we have a few more details: It’s proposed as 48 apartments and ground-floor commercial, with 46 off-street parking spaces. And it’s going before the Southwest Design Review Board at 6:30 pm March 16th (Sisson Building/Senior Center, 4217 SW Oregon). This is just a few buildings north of the PCC-site project, so that will be a busy block before long.
Speaking of Design Review Board meetings …
3257 HARBOR SW: The SWDRB also has this site on its schedule, for 6:30 pm April 6th. It’s the combined first review for 34 townhouses split between four project numbers. We noted back in November that this new proposal had been filed for the site of what had been a two-building, 80+-apartment proposal at 3257-3303 Harbor SW (which even went through its first SWDRB meeting three years ago).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two developments this morning related to the mixed-use project planned for the current site of PCC-Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) at 2749 California SW:
First, PCC announced this morning that it has set the closing date for the current store: May 31. PCC spokesperson Heather Snavely also tells WSB that “details around the logistics of the closure” are being worked out. And:
An important part of the next few months will be recognizing just how special the West Seattle community is to PCC. We want to celebrate our members, shoppers and the West Seattle community we’ve had the pleasure of serving for over 25 years – including providing a sneak peek into some of the features to come in the new store. Expect more details in the coming weeks.
PCC had said in December that it expected to stay open “through spring,” but no date was announced at that time. Meantime, the May 31st closure announcement came just hours after the team working on Madison Development Group‘s project for the store site gave a “sneak peek” to a special meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, two weeks before they take it back to the Southwest Design Review Board: Read More
6:50 AM: Highland Park Way between Holden and West Marginal remains closed this morning, two days after a major slide; the city announced late yesterday that they expect to reopen it by today’s PM commute. Metro Route 131 remains rerouted.
Otherwise, no incidents in/from West Seattle so far this morning.
One note: Seattle Public Schools‘ midwinter break is next week. And Monday is Presidents Day, with holiday-level transit planned, including no Water Taxi service.
7:17 AM: Just tweeted/texted by Metro:
Transit Alert – Metro Route 57 to downtown Seattle due to leave the Alaska Junction at 7:38 AM will not operate this morning.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) February 17, 2017
7:55 AM: One SFD unit is responding to a crash reported at 29th and Trenton, a few blocks west of the north side of Westwood Village.
8:34 AM: Via Twitter, Jeremy reports a bus breakdown:
— Jeremy Kahn (@trochee) February 17, 2017
8:53 AM: Watch out for some possible congestion in the 5000 block of Delridge Way SW – several SFD units are en route to check out a possible wall fire at an address on the east/northbound side.
Meantime, we’ll update here, and in a separate story, whenever we get the official word that Highland Park Way hill is open – again, SDOT has said they expect it to be open by late afternoon, before the PM commute.
While the West Seattle High School boys’ second game in eight days against Nathan Hale ended the way the first one did – with a loss – the Wildcats refused to be intimidated by the nation’s #1 team. They were behind by just 3 points at halftime (29-26) and after three quarters (44-41).
The WSHS defense limited Hale’s ability to run and gun. It was another physical game, with fouls and steals, but the Wildcats just couldn’t close the gap in the final moments, and Hale got the win, 62-52. WSHS #1 Nate Pryor led scoring with 31.
The Wildcats should find out sometime Sunday who and when they play next.