West Seattle, Washington
West Seattle’s New Year’s Eve celebrating started early at Highland Park Improvement Club, with one of the biggest Not-So-Silent-Night Parades we can recall in the 8 years HPIC’s been organizing them. Around quarter past 6, ~80 people of all ages headed out of the historic HPIC building, with drums and horns and homemade noisemakers and even a Christmas-lights-decked trombone.
The parade headed east toward the nearby flashing-beacon-enhanced crosswalk on SW Holden, and onto neighborhood streets to the south.
The weather cooperated – chilly but not too cold, very light mist, wet ground but not icy. And after about half an hour of walking, noisemaking, and occasionally shouting “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”, paraders headed back toward HPIC:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 1, 2017
Inside, the New Year’s Eve edition of HPIC’s Corner Bar (which is otherwise a pop-up on the 1st Friday of each month) was already getting started, with lights, drinks, snacks, and activities for the younger partiers:
DJs Dr. Lehl and Evan were in the “costume party” theme spirit:
Their sets were to be interspersed through the evening with McTuff. Still time to head to HPIC and join them for the rest of the night – party’s on until 1 am.
As we continue spotlighting New Year’s Eve options from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide: Say goodbye 2016, hello 2017, neighborhood style, as Highland Park Improvement Club welcomes you again this year for the Not-So-Silent Night Parade and Corner Bar.
Even if you plan to be somewhere else at midnight, join HPIC for the early going, especially the parade – bring noisemakers, drums, lights, and continue the tradition! Full details are on the HPIC website. (One change this year, by the way … the brief, fiery Sage Comet display that usually follows the parade is on hiatus.)
Thanks to Kathleen for the tip – a power outage at the bottom of the Highland Park Way hill is affecting the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way intersection. She says City Light and Seattle Police are there. The SCL outage map shows only nine “customers” out, on the south side of the intersection, but in that area, one customer can represent a sizable business facility. The map attributes the outage to “equipment failure.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
At 24, Levi Gryniewski had already been working hard for five years to build up his landscaping business in West Seattle.
Now a hit-and-run driver has left him in the hospital, seriously injured, in danger of losing everything he’s worked for, says his father Bruce.
The crash almost cost Levi even more … his life.
He is the driver who was hit – at high speed, witnesses say – around 1:30 pm last Wednesday (December 14th) at 16th SW and SW Thistle. As reported here that afternoon, firefighters had to cut him out of this crumpled car:
Today Levi’s family is putting out a public call for anyone who saw anything that might lead police to the driver who ran from the scene after the crash.
That driver left the other car (2000 white 4-door Honda Accord) behind, and police impounded it. Detectives have not yet been able to trace him through the car, SPD tells us, because it had been reported as sold, and, according to Det. Mark Jamieson, “there’s no accurate record of who owns it.” Investigators are tracking down previous owners in hopes of finding a clue.
The only description police have of the driver seen fleeing is white, male, 20s, about 6 feet tall, wearing a purple shirt.
Levi, meantime, remains in intensive care. His dad says, “He suffered many traumatic injuries from the crime and his recovery will be long and painful.”
ADDED TUESDAY: Levi’s family has set up this GoFundMe account, after suggestions from community members who wanted a way to help.
On Sunday night, we reported on a motorcycle crash in Highland Park that left the rider seriously hurt. Friends of the rider, who identified him as Joel Eggert, subsequently said he was not expected to survive, and today Harborview Medical Center confirmed to WSB that Mr. Eggert has died. We just checked with police and while the investigation remains in a preliminary stage, they believe Mr. Eggert’s motorcycle hit the traffic circle at 12th SW and SW Thistle, before crashing between 12th and 13th, and that no other vehicle was involved. One friend describes him as a well-known “huge supporter of local music.” He was 46 years old.
10:49 PM: Seattle Police and Fire are on the scene of an incident involving a motorcycle rider at 12th SW and SW Thistle in Highland Park [map]. The rider will be taken to the hospital via Seattle Fire medic unit and is reported to have “significant trauma.”
11:34 PM: Just back from the scene. Photo added. The motorcyclist crashed on the north (westbound) side of SW Thistle between 12th SW and 13th SW. SFD medics were still working to stabilize him before leaving for Harborview. We weren’t able to talk with police but have learned more via the scanner – according to medics, the rider is reported to be around 50 years old, and believed to have crashed at high speed and been thrown at least 50 feet.
Thanks to Lauren for the photos of, and report about, damage done in a crash early this morning outside Westcrest Park: She reports a driver knocked down mailboxes as well as the street signs and park sign in the photos:
She adds, “We spoke to a neighbor who was at the scene just after the driver drove over her mailboxes and ended by the edge of the Westcrest ravine with a head injury … she said the driver was taken to the hospital.” Today’s real-time 911 log shows a “motor-vehicle-incident/medic” response just before 2 am at 8th SW and SW Henderson [map].
Cork creations are among the unique holiday gift options you’ll find at today’s Highland Park Improvement Club Holiday Bazaar – more than 20 local vendors are filling the historic hall until 3 pm. You’ll find food and drink, too, including the HPIC bar. Even living gifts – check out these little plants:
Though it’s still awfully warm for November, sooner or later you’re going to need scarves and hats:
And you can stay warm with Highland Park hoodies! As we publish this, you have two more hours to go shop this bazaar – which continues until 3 pm.
P.S. This and many other events are part of our just-published WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, first draft, which we’ll be updating all season long as always.
Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog
While putting together this year’s WSB West Seattle Halloween (etc.) Guide, we’ve noticed more community Dia de los Muertos events than previous years … and we were invited to visit Thursday night’s big party at Highland Park Elementary. And along with food, games, and crafts, participants got to learn about this way of honoring the dead – above, HPE dad Miguel Gudino explains the altar he set up. Traditionally, you put fresh flowers, candles, and your loved one’s favorite foods on an altar like this, and on November 1st, all of these items are taken to the grave.
It’s a celebratory time. And so the HPES event offered fun activities including facepainting – which drew a line:
That’s fourth-grader AJ. Ahead, 10 more photos: Read More
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Highland Park Action Committee and guests listened on Wednesday night to three women with unique perspectives on how to help people experiencing homelessness: Two advocates who work with them, and one woman who lost her home when she lost her job.
Also discussed: The recent decision not to provide Neighborhood Street Fund money to the roundabout that is seen as a solution to the Highland Park Way/Holden traffic trouble.
First, the panel, which you also can watch/listen to via our unedited video above:
HPAC chair Gunner Scott moderated the discussion, saying he had experienced homelessness in his youth and is still somewhat shocked to realize he is now, in his 40s, a homeowner. He asked for understanding and civility.
The panelists: Read More
Three notes on what remains the most-discussed issue of the day:
This panel is being created in response to local concerns, creating a common understanding of homelessness, the challenges some may face accessing housing, and ways we can help. Speaking on the panel will be Ruth Herold, Executive Director, Elizabeth Gregory Home; Polly Trout, Ph.D., Founder, Patacara Community Services; and a member of Camp Second Chance’s leadership team. The panel is moderated by Gunner Scott, Chair of HPAC.
Goals for the discussion include dispelling stereotypes, demystify homelessness, and to lay the groundwork for greater communication, understanding and involvement between all neighbors – housed and unhoused. There will be time for Q & A.
Everyone is welcome.
(Camp Second Chance is the encampment just inside the entrance to the Myers Way Parcels.) HPAC meets at Highland Park Improvement Club, 12th SW/SW Holden.
MAYOR’S PROPOSALS: As the City Council tabled its discussion of changing the “protocols” for encampments – when and where they can and can’t be removed – Mayor Ed Murray went public last Friday night with details on his interim plan. If you haven’t yet read about it, here’s the news release; here’s the plan. Some details are still pending, such as what locations will be proposed for the four sanctioned encampments the mayor wants to set up to get hundreds of people out of unsanctioned ones.
COUNCILMEMBER HERBOLD’S THOUGHTS: Last Thursday night, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold was a late addition to the agenda at the Alki Community Council. She talked extensively about the ongoing budget process, and then was asked about the encampment-legislation controversy, which she acknowledged was a “flashpoint.” Our notes: Read More
7:02 AM: A big Seattle Fire response is on the way to a house near 12th SW and SW Cloverdale. The first unit arriving says it’s a “small kitchen fire.”
7:08 AM: SFD confirms it’s a kitchen fire, put out quickly, and is downgrading the call, though you’ll still see several fire units there for a while.
7:18 AM: Our crew is there and has talked to SFD, which says no one was hurt. Units are continuing to wrap up and depart. We’ve added a photo, above.
10:21 PM: Via text and scanner, we heard reports of “shots or fireworks” in Riverview/Highland Park a few minutes ago. Police headed to the area to check them out and heard some after arrival; they’ve told dispatch what they heard sounded like “firecrackers.” Any time you hear what you think might be shots, by the way, police have said over and over at community meetings, they want you to call it in – the more calls they get, the better their chances of figuring out the location/source.
10:55 PM: Now police are off to check out another report, four possible shots heard in the 1000 block of SW Portland.
There’s NO indication this is linked to the “creepy clown threat” outbreak, but a Highland Park Elementary parent shared this with us and we’re republishing so that nearby residents can help keep watch too:
Hello Highland Park Families,
Today [Tuesday] at recess some Highland Park Students reported seeing a suspicious person on the playfield adjacent to our playground. This person was not seen by any adults, and we contacted our security department. Security came to our campus and stayed until dismissal. All students were safe at all times, we just wanted you to be aware of the report.
We get some but not all alerts from the district and schools’administrators, so we very much appreciate forwarded info like this if you don’t see a timely mention on WSB after receiving something of potentially wider interest – email@example.com – thank you!
Will the former Seattle City Light substation at 16th/Holden get rezoned as requested? The potential next step was a late addition to the agenda at Wednesday night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting:
(Aerial-photo graphic via Seattle City Light)
EX-SUBSTATION REZONING? City Councilmember Lisa Herbold was a surprise guest to talk about the latest regarding this community-instigated proposal for the former Dumar substation in the heart of Highland Park’s main business district. As noted here last year, there had been suggestions that it should become commercial to complement the other three corners of the 16th/Holden intersection.
Herbold went through the options in the report she had received after asking that it be evaluated.
(Map of outage area, from Seattle City Light website)
12:38 AM: Thanks for the texts: Seattle City Light‘s outage map says more than 3,500 homes/businesses have lost power, mostly in southeast West Seattle and White Center. No word yet on the cause.
12:53 AM: The map now has the “estimated restoration” time of 7 am, but we always add the reminder, that’s a guesstimate and it could be much sooner, or much later. SCL is still investigating the cause.
1:15 AM: Commenter SteveMG reports seeing SCL and emergency responders in the 8th/Roxbury vicinity.
1:18 AM: We’re getting some reports of power restored – mostly from South Delridge. No change in the outage-map total yet but sometimes it lags.
1:25 AM: Now the map’s caught up with the restoration reports – 294 customers (homes/businesses) still without power, in White Center. Here’s the updated map:
1:36 AM: Along with SteveMG, a commenter on our partner site White Center Now also mentions what seemed like an underground “explosion” at 8th/Roxbury. Here’s what SCL tweeted about the cause, without mentioning a specific location:
Crews have identified an equipment failure in an underground vault as the cause for the White Center-W. Seattle outage.
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) August 31, 2016
6:27 AM: Power has since been fully restored.
Heads up if you use Highland Park Way SW in the W. Marginal Way SW vicinity – SDOT has announced repaving work for the area tomorrow and Wednesday:
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 30 and Wednesday, August 31, travelers can expect the following:
SDOT will grind and repave Highland Park Way SW from W Marginal Way to SW Myrtle St.
The eastbound lanes will be closed. West and eastbound travel will be available on the north side of Highland Park Way SW.
Travelers may enter and exit driveways, but may have to wait up to 15 minutes for equipment to clear.
There will be no parking in the work zone.
Police officers will help with traffic control at the intersection Highland Park Way SW at W Marginal Way.
This project is part of SDOT’s 2016 Arterial Major Maintenance (AMM) program. The AMM program maintains our busiest streets by making strategic small scale investments at key locations on city streets.
Though the city alert describes this as “South Park,” it’s part of West Seattle.
Folklore Nicaragua, at 1st-ever Festival Centroamericano today at Westcrest Park. Video by Leda Costa for WSB pic.twitter.com/jPuQdbfFFM
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 28, 2016
(Video and photos by Leda Costa for WSB)
4:25 PM: You still have time to get to the first-ever Festival Centroamericano, scheduled until 7 pm at Westcrest Park in Highland Park! Photojournalist Leda Costa is covering it for WSB, starting with the video above, from Folklore Nicaragua‘s performance, so we’ll have photos later – but for now, go celebrate Central American culture in person, via music, dance, food, and more. The park’s at 9000 8th SW.
ADDED 11:20 PM: As promised, more photos:
While the dancing was popular, the food was an even-bigger draw, with long lines, and some vendors selling out. This is Lucero Teofilo, whose mother Rosia runs Franci’s Fresh Fruit:
Emceeing the event, Edgardo Armando Franco, known as “El General.” Also onstage were singers including Alfredo Chavez, who, before singing, offered a lesson in the art of the Panamanian Saloma, something like yodeling.
Below, holding the Guatamalan flag, that’s Kirby Fralick at right, posing with his friends from Chapines en Seattle, one of the vendor booths at the festival:
Another booth featured handmade Nicaraguan dolls by Inmaculada Cruz:
More festival scenes:
Mercedes Gonzalez, from Panama:
Organizers say this is not only our area’s first festival celebrating Central American culture, but the first one in our state, and they hope to do it again next year.
A first-of-its-kind festival is happening in West Seattle this Sunday! Here’s the announcement we received for Festival Centroamericano, coming to Westcrest Park:
The first festival in Seattle that is dedicated to learning and sharing the cultural expressions from Central America, the Festival Centroamericano, will bring together members of the various Seattle Neighborhoods that are from Central America or have family from the seven Central American countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama).
Embracing our Central American heritage and culture to a community that is not well exposed to it can also offer a great opportunity to learn something new especially with the different ethnic groups (Indigenous, African, Mestizo, Latino) that are involved in the festival. The organization will unite the different ethnic groups from each of the Central American countries to exchange cultures and learn from one another.
The Festival Centroamericano will be a family-oriented and free-for-the-public event, therefore, everyone is welcome to experience a Central American community at Westcrest Park, 9000 8th Ave SW on August 28 from 11AM to 7PM. The festival will have live performances and vendors providing food, art, information, other great services, and more!
Think it’s calm out there this afternoon? Not for a few moments just before 4 pm at Highland Park playground, according to someone who called us. A “whirlwind” swept through, picking up and swirling wood chips in the air. Nobody was hurt but, the caller said, it was startling, to say the least. We asked the National Weather Service about this via Twitter; they hadn’t heard anything, but then Marcia joined the conversation, saying, “It was CRAZY! Blankets and clothes went flying in the air. Someone lost their kite!” The NWS says it sounds like a “whirlwind/dust devil” – apparently these can and do happen anywhere.
After last week’s June meeting of the Highland Park Action Committee, we published our first report, on the vote to send the city a letter about the proposed sale of what’s known as the Myers Way Parcels. Next step toward a decision on their future is the community meeting about the site this Thursday, 6:30 pm, at the Joint Training Facility (9401 Myers Way S.).
But the Myers matter was far from the only topic HPAC tackled at this month’s meeting. Here are the rest of our toplines:
TRAFFIC TROUBLE SPOTS AND SDOT: Will the worst intersections in HP ever get fixed?
Hot real-estate market? Bidding wars? Not necessarily, if the property in question is a former Seattle City Light substation.
MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION is splashed across the cover of the just-revised brochure for the city-owned former substation that’s up for sale on Pigeon Point (2100 SW Andover). We found the flyer after spotting the price cut in a routine check of local commercial-real-estate listings. The 8,000-square-foot site was originally put up for sale almost four months ago for a “minimum bid of $400,000.” It’s zoned for lowrise housing.
And while we were checking on that one, we scrolled further down the latest West Seattle commercial-real-estate listings and found the same thing has happened to the ex-substation that’s for sale in south Highland Park (8820 9th SW) – revised flyer dated yesterday, also with the big red banner MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION.
This one also has been cut to $200,000 asking price – a more-drastic slash, since its asking price in March was $500,000 – and it’s even bigger: 13,000+ square feet, zoned for lowrise housing.
This is of extra interest as the city looks at selling other “surplus” real estate such as the Myers Way Parcels (reminder: community meeting this Thursday) and also because at the time the City Council approved the sale of these two ex-substations, they also outlined conditions for community groups’ prospective purchases of others. Would those potential sales be held to the “fair market” value – aka appraised value, which in the case of these two substations is well above what they’re now being offered for? We’ll be following up with the city Finance and Administrative Services Department, which is in charge of real estate.