West Seattle, Washington
10:13 PM: A “full response” from Seattle Fire is headed to the 5200 block of 36th SW for a house fire east of Fairmount Park [map]. The first crews arriving are seeing flames. More to come.
10:17 PM: A second alarm is being called as SFD says two houses are involved. They’re also calling for utilities – one house is reported to have wires down in the back yard.
10:26 PM: Per scanner, “the fire is under control in both buildings.” No word of any injuries so far.
10:40 PM: Some of the units are being dismissed.
10:58 PM: The fire has been called as “tapped.” Lt. Sue Stangl spoke to us at the scene; she says they believe the fire started in the house to the south, spread apparently via utility wire(s) to the one next door. (Added – video of her briefing)
If two houses are on fire, it’s an automatic 2-alarm, she explained; fast response also got this under control fairly fast, though they’re still assessing to see if the residents – all of whom got out OK – can go back inside.
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: As noted in comments, SFD has posted an update on the fire’s cause and extent of damage:
Fire damage to the original house was too substantial to reoccupy. The neighboring house’s damage was limited to the exterior but due to air quality inside, the occupants were rehoused temporarily.
Fire investigators determined that discarded smoking materials on the back porch started the fire. The cumulative loss to both houses is estimated to be $300,000.
Seattle Parks wants to be sure you know that Hiawatha Community Center has a week-plus closure ahead: Saturday (February 17th) through Sunday, February 25th, Hiawatha is scheduled to shut down so its floors can be refinished. (Note that ALL city-run community centers, and many other Parks facilities, will be closed Monday for Presidents Day – full list here.)
7:41 PM: If you find an abandoned City Mini Double stroller somewhere … it just might be the one those little West Seattleites were photographed in. Claire says it was taken from the trunk of their locked car. (We have asked a followup question about where it happened, and will add that info when we get it.)
ADDED EARLY FRIDAY: Claire says they’re in the Fairmount Park area.
FIRST REPORT, 4:59 PM: We’re back in Bellevue at Sammamish High School, where the West Seattle High School girls have just won a hard-fought victory over Bellevue HS in a district semifinal game, 54-46. Regulation ended with a 42-42 tie, after the Wildcats trailed for much of the game – but they dominated in the extra four minutes. Next up, the district championship game at Bellevue College on Saturday night, 8:15 pm, against the winner of tonight’s Garfield-Cleveland game. Photos and details from today’s game later!
ADDED PHOTOS AND DETAILS, 11:04 PM: The Wildcat girls needed a while to figure Bellevue out. The Wolverines leaped out to a 7-0 lead before WSHS #32 Meghan Fiso netted her team’s first entry on the scoreboard after one and three-quarters minutes.
She topped the points totals for West Seattle, with 16, and helped them break through at some key moments – at 3:10 to go in the first quarter, her first three-pointer tied the score at 10-all. But in general, in the early going, the Wildcats had trouble with everything from outside shooting to rebounding to defense – it seemed Bellevue often had somebody unguarded and perfectly in place for an assist. Or, they were right there when a momentary loss of ball control provided an opportunity. #21 Julianna Horne followed Fiso’s three with one of her own and that gave WSHS the lead at 13-10. Seven unanswered Bellevue points followed, though, and the Wolverines led 17-13 at the end of the first quarter. They kept the lead throughout the second quarter and went into the locker room at halftime ahead 25-17.
As the second half got going, West Seattle had stepped up its usually relentless defense, playing Bellevue closer than before. Both benches were intensely engaged, too, with not only cheers for successes but cheers for opponents’ fouls or losses of possession. But in this quarter, shooting was the weakest spot for the Wildcats – too many outside shots taken and missed. They, to be sure, were forcing Bellevue to try from outside, too. But things looked a bit bleak when they reached the midpoint in the third quarter and still hadn’t made up ground, Bellevue leading 30-21 after a three-pointer at 3:23 to go in the third, then adding a basket half a minute later to go up by 11 points.
That could have been the turning point. But WSHS #11 Jasmine Gayles wasn’t going to let it happen. She got a foul shot and a basket, along the way to being the team’s second-leading scorer of the day with 11.
Before the quarter ended, #4 Kelsey Lenzie – who fouled out in the OT period – snared a big three-pointer and that closed the gap to five going into the 4th quarter, which Fiso started for the Wildcats with two baskets, as she and her teammates suddenly caught fire, while the Wolverines went cold.
A clutch three-pointer by #24 Anissa Babitu (number-three WSHS scorer with 9) tied it up 34-34 with 5:30 to go in the game, and that was key, along with a Fiso three that followed.
The next few minutes were nailbiters, with ties, one=point leads for each side … Bellevue was up 39-37 with a minute and a half to go and then Gayles’ big three-pointer put the Wildcats ahead again, 40-39.
But by regulation’s end it was 42-42 – and four extra minutes would determine who made it to the district championship game. Those extra minutes were dominated by the Wildcats, with back-to-back threes from Gayles and Lenzie giving them a relatively quick six-point lead. The Wolverines never got close, and WSHS triumphed, 54-46. We now know who they’ll play Saturday night – Cleveland, which edged WSHS by three points in the Metro semifinals, but lost to the Wildcats by 10 points a week earlier.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Language-arts classes filled the WSHS Theater this morning to hear him talk about the writing life.
Teacher Sean Riley, who invited us too, said introducing Whitehead was “like a dream come true,” recalling speaking at a conference last year and getting stuck in a “real rant” of cynicism until he transitioned into a line from Whitehead’s award-winning novel “The Underground Railroad“: “Freedom was a community laboring for something lovely and real.” Riley explained that he feels that “critical thinking paired with hopeful action is a type of freedom.”
Then Whitehead took the podium, telling his own story, wryly.
He was born and raised in Manhattan, describing himself as kind of a shut-in yet not a “sickly child” as the stereotype goes – he “just didn’t like going outside.” He adored Stephen King. He said he hoped to write “the black ‘Shining‘” or “the black ‘Salem’s Lot‘.” But he grew into “more high-brow stuff,” speaking of discovering, for example, Samuel Beckett. In college he “considered myself a writer but I didn’t actually write anything” – he “wore black and smoked cigarettes” – then he tried writing, two 5-page stories, and encountered rejection.
2:53 PM: Thanks to Kersti Muul, who pointed out via text that an Orca Network commenter reported orcas off Fay Bainbridge Park on north Bainbridge Island [map] about an hour ago – if they continued southbound, they could end up off West Seattle. Kersti is watching from Constellation Park south of Alki Point and “not seeing anything yet,” but we thought we’d share the potential heads-up. (And whether or not you get to do any whale-watching today, remember The Whale Trail has an event tonight!)
5:21 PM: Now alongside north Vashon, per comments, as dusk approaches.
Despite what the handwritten sign on the box next to Admiral Bird co-proprietor Corina Luckenbach suggests, that’s not the first boxful she’s received in her days-old One Million Tampons collection drive. As of our visit to the shop this morning, she had counted 1,144 tampons donated already!
In an understatement, Corina says it’s “the beginning of something.” She explains that the inspiration came from the plan for an event at South Park Hall – the venue that she and Bird co-proprietor Heidi Herr also run – this Saturday, a concert by performers collectively calling themselves push4luv, with the price of admission a box of tampons or pads, or socks, to be given to people experiencing homelessness. She says Pearl Jam‘s pledge of $1 million from the upcoming Home Shows concerts was an inspiration too – she realized it doesn’t take big bucks to do something big to make a difference. Since she has access to physical space to collect donations – the shop at Admiral/California – the drive is on.
Although – “my car is full!” she told us, proudly.
You can drop off boxes of tampons at Admiral Bird or even send them via mail/delivery (2600 California Avenue SW, Seattle 98116) – some have arrived that way already. And bring them to the push4luv “Musical Lovefest” concert, 7 pm Saturday (February 17th) at South Park Hall, 1253 S. Cloverdale. They’ll ultimately be donated to those in need via YouthCare
Thanks to Alki Point photographer Gary Jones for the photo of the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry M/V Kennicott, which is out on sea trials off West Seattle right now. The 20-year-old, 382-foot ferry has been at Vigor on Harbor Island, undergoing maintenance, and is due to go back into service in Alaska before month’s end.
Six weeks after the City Council signed off on the deal for Bruce Stotler‘s Schmitz Park-neighboring property, so that it’ll eventually become part of the park, he signed the final paperwork in a small ceremony at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum headquarters.
With Stotler in the celebratory photo above are, from left, Chip Nevins from Seattle Parks, Vicki Schmitz-Block, former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – who had worked for years to help make it happen – and SWSHS vice president Nancy Sorensen. The photos are courtesy of SWSHS executive director Jeff McCord, who says, “The Southwest Seattle Historical Society was pleased to host the signing at the Log House Museum, and we believe property owner Bruce Stotler is doing a great thing for our West Seattle community!” Backstory is in our previous coverage – here, here, and here.
Morning through night, highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
CHIEF SEALTH INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL TOURS: Current 8th graders and families are invited to tour at 9:30 am today. (2600 SW Thistle)
LOCAL AUTHOR’S STORY TIME: Kerri Kokias reads from her kids’ book “Snow Sisters” at Southwest Library at 10:30 am. (9010 35th SW)
COOKING CLASS – KNIFE SKILLS: 4:30 pm at West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), with Chef Kim O’Donnel. (3622 SW Snoqualmie)
BASKETBALL: The West Seattle High School girls play Bellevue in the district playoffs, 3:30 pm at Sammamish High School. (100 140th Ave SE, Bellevue)
MULTICULTURAL NIGHT AT CHIEF SEALTH IHS: Annual event! Doors open 5 pm, performances begin at 6 pm. Everyone’s welcome. (2600 SW Thistle)
(added) 9201 DELRIDGE WAY SW DESIGN REVIEW: We first mentioned the date for this a month ago and almost forgot to include it today! 6:30 tonight at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, the storage building proposed for a site currently holding automotive businesses gets its first Southwest Design Review Board.
This is the Early Design Guidance phase, so that’s why the rendering is mostly just for “massing” – size and shape. Public comment will be taken at the hearing. Find more project info here. (4217 SW Oregon)
(added) SOUND TRANSIT LIGHT RAIL OPEN HOUSE #2: If you didn’t get to the West Seattle open house on Tuesday, this one in Ballard (and the last one, downtown) has the same info, since they’re all about the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions. 6:30-8:30 pm, Leif Erikson Lodge. (2245 NW 57th St)
SAVING SALMON, SAVING ORCAS: West Seattle-based regional advocacy/awareness organization The Whale Trail invites you to C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) for an update on salmon and the whales who need them for survival. 7 pm; ticket info in our preview. (5612 California SW)
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: Tonight’s agenda includes an SDOT rep talking about the ongoing work at 59th/Admiral. 7 pm, Alki UCC. (6115 SW Hinds)
THERE’S MORE! Just check out our complete-calendar page … any time.
6:49 AM: Good morning. No incidents reported right now in/from West Seattle.
PRESIDENTS DAY ON MONDAY: Metro will be on a reduced-weekday schedule, and there will be no Water Taxi service.
ALSO ABOUT THE WATER TAXI: Fares are going up March 1st.
7:03 AM: If you usually travel northbound on 509/99 from south of the 1st Avenue Bridge, it’s really slow going all the way back to Burien and beyond, according to the SDOT traffic map. An SFD response is just now being sent to the area.
7:10 AM: Here’s a screengrab from the WSDOT camera showing the trouble spot:
7:23 AM: This continues to block all lanes. (added) WSDOT notes, “You can still get on from W. Marginal, but avoid NB 509 south of there.”
7:42 AM: All lanes have reopened, but, again quoting WSDOT, “a huge backup remains.” No other trouble spots so far this morning.
8:25 AM: Crash reported at Delridge/Henderson.