West Seattle, Washington
We don’t always get advance alerts about military aircraft in the area, but we just got one for tomorrow so we’re sharing it. This is in a media advisory from the Museum of Flight, which as you probably know is not far east of West Seattle [map]:
Three frontline Navy EA-18G Growler electronic attack jets will fly to the Museum on Oct. 12 to preside over the donation of a 10-foot aircraft carrier model to the Museum. The model will be presented by the officers of VAQ-130 Naval Air Station Whidbey Island to the Museum’s Education Office. The aircraft will arrive at 11 a.m. and depart at 2 p.m. One of the Growlers will be stationed in the Museum parking lot with crew members standing by to meet the public. The other two planes will be parked next to the Museum’s airport fence. The event is free.
The advisory included this background, if you’re interested:
The aircraft carrier model is of the crew’s ship, the USS Eisenhower (CVN-69). It was built by the officers from VAQ-130 for a booth at the annual NAS Whidbey Island Airborne Electronic Attack Ball, where each Growler squadron contributes a booth that includes interactive games or displays of squadron pride. This year, VAQ-130 squadron built the carrier, jokingly referred to as “Low Cost Trainer” for the pilots because it includes a zip line that allows a model plane to be landed on the deck. Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Jones, VAQ-130, said of its donation to the Museum, “We think it will be a great addition to the education department at the museum, and hopefully inspire some young future naval aviators!”
1:37 PM: Thanks to the parents who shared the communication from the Vashon School District, which has hundreds of “commuter” students, most from West Seattle:
Vashon High School students have been dismissed for the day due to a bomb threat at the school. Law enforcement is on site doing an investigation, and expect to be in the building for the remainder of the day. Students and staff will not have access to the building for the remainder of the day.
The announcement from superintendent Michael Soltman goes on to say that bus riders and walkers already have been sent home in those respective ways and “ferry commuter students” will be on an upcoming sailing, adding “Vashon Island High School sport practices, games and club activities have been cancelled.” Everyone is OK, and the island’s other two public schools remain in session. We’ll be checking with the King County Sheriff’s Office about the investigation.
2:01 PM: We checked with Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff’s Office, and here’s what she says investigators discovered:
The school found what they said was a suspicious device in a locker. The school was evacuated. Turns out it was a portable cooler and the battery was beeping that it was low. The student was supposed to have it so it was a false alarm.
Thanks to Terry for the photo – when we received it a little more than an hour ago, we couldn’t find any info about a fire in the Kitsap area, but now there’s info via Twitter: It’s a fire covering about an acre in the Illahee Preserve area, according to Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue.
Since so many people use the 4th Avenue South route to get between downtown and the West Seattle Bridge, here’s a heads-up about a closure next weekend:
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) advises travelers that crews will be closing Fourth Ave S between S Washington and Jefferson streets from Friday, June 30 through Monday, July 3. This closure is needed to complete work as part of the Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project.
From 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., Friday, June 30 through Monday, July 3, travelers can expect:
• Fourth Ave S to be closed to all traffic between S Washington and Jefferson streets
• Noise and construction activity
• Detours for pedestrians, bicycles, vehicles, and buses
SDOT would like to thank the public for its patience while this work is completed.
The Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project will improve the safety and reliability of the Yesler Bridge while preserving its historical elements. For more information, please visit the Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project webpage.
We mentioned at the end of our Highland Park Find It, Fix It Walk coverage that the convergence of city reps had yielded information on other upcoming events. Here’s one: West Seattleite Irene Stewart, who works with the Age-Friendly Seattle program, tells us that there’s still time and room to sign up for a free all-day event downtown one week from tomorrow, on Saturday, June 3rd, “Aging the LGBTQ Way: A Forum on Respect, Equity, and Inclusion.” You’ll find out about research; you’ll help develop recommendations for Age-Friendly Seattle; and you’ll learn about resources for aging well. It’s free to attend, with lunch and dinner provided, 10 am-5:30 pm at City Hall downtown, but they’d appreciate RSVPs – go here to sign up online.
8:37 PM: Lots of calls and texts about smoke and/or a smoky smell in north West Seattle – it’s a Seattle Fire marine response all the way from the north side of Elliott Bay – 5100 block of Shilshole NW, in Ballard, according to the SFD log. Citywide news outlets are tweeting that it’s a boat fire.
9:32 PM: Via Twitter, KING says it was a 70-foot wooden boat and that it spread to some “smaller boats” too. SFD tweets that a structure also was involved.
11:16 PM: SFD update:
Crews continue to monitor for potential spot fires at marina incident. Fire investigators responded to scene. Photos from earlier: pic.twitter.com/9MUQzL7M9d
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) May 22, 2017
6:52 AM: Sad news overnight. Music star Chris Cornell has died in Detroit, just 52, after Soundgarden‘s sold-out concert there. His Seattle ties were strong, given his years with that band (and so much more). He lived in West Seattle long ago, as mentioned here in WSB’s early months, when he had a solo hit with the theme from the first James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig. Mr. Cornell also was a philanthropist, forming the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation with his wife, “to protect the most vulnerable children.” He is survived by three children of his own. His body was found in his hotel room; the cause of his death is under investigation. (2011 photo, via Wikimedia)
P.S. KEXP is paying tribute all day (90.3 FM/online).
12:02 PM: Authorities in Detroit say Mr. Cornell died by suicide.
There’s help for anyone thinking of self-harm … here in King County, the Crisis Clinic has a 24-hour hotline at 206-461-3222. And here’s what the American Federation for Suicide Prevention says.
11:23 PM: A view of tonight’s biggest tribute:
— Sigma Sreedharan (@sigmas) May 19, 2017
3:19 PM: Thanks for the tips. There’s a fire in the North Shorewood area, and that’s why smoke (and at least one helicopter) is visible from Arbor Heights. Colby says the fire is at 26th/109th [map], and that roads are blocked in the area, and tweeted this photo:
We’ll be there shortly for updates.
3:33 PM: Our crew has arrived at the fire scene. The house is on 26th SW south of SW 109th. As noted in comments, Seattle Fire has sent units as mutual aid (including Engine 11):
Big response overall – this area is served by the North Highline Fire Department.
One person has minor injuries, we’re told, and was treated at the scene.
3:45 PM: The fire (at 10907 26th SW) is out or close to it, our crew reports, and investigators are on the way to try to find out how it started. We’ll check back at the scene later in the afternoon.
6:12 PM: Just went back. The investigator hasn’t been able to go in because the fire has been flaring up. So firefighters will stay on scene TFN just in case they’re needed.
3:36 PM: We haven’t mentioned this downtown situation sooner (aside from comment discussions) because of the 35th/Morgan crash closure (updates here), but now that the pm commute is starting and the situation is not yet resolved: Some blocks in the heart of downtown are still closed for the investigation of a shooting that injured two Seattle Police officers after a store robbery downtown. Both are at Harborview Medical Center. SPD says it found two suspects and is seeking a possible third. The closures have been affecting Western, 1st, 2nd, from Spring to Madison to Marion, so if you’re trying to get through downtown, heading as far east as you can, before heading south, is a good bet.
3:50 PM: SPD tweeted that they are no longer looking for someone else, “all suspects in custody.” At about the same time, authorities briefing media at Harborview said one officer is in stable condition, one is in serious condition. No new updates on road closures/bus changes.
4:34 PM: Updated road closures downtown, per SDOT: “Western Ave between Spring St & Marion St.; Marion St between Western Ave & 1st Ave.”
4:48 PM: Now SPD says there might be a third suspect after all. Meantime, thanks in advance to commenters sharing any updates on how things are going getting from downtown to West Seattle – Mary took RapidRide and says “no issues.”
3:05 PM: With pm commute time approaching, you might need to know about road closures and bus reroutes related to an ongoing standoff downtown with a man in crisis who is said to be armed with a knife.
— seattledot (@seattledot) March 28, 2017
Metro says that “buses are rerouted off 3 Av between Spring & Union Sts. Use stops on 3rd Av south of Spring St or north of Union St.” Updates to come.
3:31 PM: SPD says the situation is “static” but acknowledges its negotiators are working on it.
3:58 PM: SPD update:
Officers install fencing as an additional safety measure. If you work downtown, please be aware of traffic impacts during evening commute. pic.twitter.com/sNzP0FZVwt
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) March 28, 2017
4:22 PM: Standoff continuing. (We’re monitoring via scanner as well as via public channels such as Twitter.)
4:25 PM: And now … it’s over. SPD says the man gave up his knife and was taken into custody without incident.
4:33 PM: As police have barricades to remove, among other things, it’ll take a bit for the streets to get back to regular flow, so don’t rush out just yet.
4:55 PM: As of a few minutes ago, Metro says, buses are getting back to normal on 3rd.
5:43 PM: Here’s how the incident was summed up on SPD Blotter, including a photo of the man’s knife.
2:47 PM: If you are in, or headed toward, downtown, avoid 4th Avenue in/through the Yesler vicinity – a major Seattle Fire response has been dealing with a natural-gas leak from a four-inch line. The area is closed off and some nearby buildings have been evacuated. SFD reports the leak has been stopped as of moments ago but they are still monitoring to decide if it’s safe to allow people back into the area.
3:18 PM: SFD says the 100 people evacuated from nearby buildings are in the process of “re-occupying.”
3:30 PM: SDOT says all lanes of 4th have reopened.
9:33 PM: Just got a text from someone in the Alki area saying they felt an earthquake that hit about half an hour ago in the Hood Canal area. Preliminary info indicates it was magnitude 4.2, which is stronger than the mild earthquakes which otherwise aren’t so uncommon in the region. The epicenter is described as west of Belfair. (The US Geological Survey map puts it under Hood Canal.) Will add anything more we find out.
10:26 PM: No damage reported, according to authorities near the epicenter:
Yes, Mason County, we had an earthquake! We had some alarm systems go off but no reports of slides or other damage as of now. Be safe!
— Mason County Sheriff (@MasonCoSheriff) February 23, 2017
10:33 PM: Much further away, but still in our region, another quake tonight – 4.8 magnitude, off northwest Vancouver Island (here’s the USGS page). And we’re reminded that the 16th anniversary of the 6.8 Nisqually quake is next week. So we’re going to take a moment to remind you again of your Emergency Communication Hubs – memorize the nearest one, so you know where to go in case of something big:
Thanks to Dan Ciske for the photo of a boat fire off Bainbridge Island, visible from this side of the Sound. Here’s what the Bainbridge Island Fire Department says via Twitter:
Marine 21 and a Seattle fireboat are fighting a fire on a 40' boat off Rockaway Beach. One person onboard has been removed.
— Bainbridge Island FD (@bainbridgefire) February 14, 2017
10:09 AM: A few people have asked about the report of a person found dead after a fire under the east end of the West Seattle Bridge in SODO early today. Here’s the Seattle Fire Department news release sent to us and other media:
On Thursday, January 5, 2016, at approximately 3:20 a.m., the Seattle Fire Department responded to reports of a motor-home fire at the intersection of 1st Avenue S and S Spokane Street [map] after receiving notification from the Port of Seattle Police Department.
Firefighters arrived to heavy smoke under the [Spokane Street] viaduct and immediately began firefighting efforts. During the search, firefighters located a deceased adult inside the vehicle. A secondary search concluded there were no additional occupants and the fire was under control by 3:29 a.m.
Fire Investigation Unit members are currently investigating the cause and estimated damages for this incident. Seattle Police Department were also on scene.
This is outside the Southwest Precinct‘s jurisdiction; we’re checking with SPD media relations for any additional information on the death investigation.
10:39 AM: Just went to the spot where this happened; it is just east of the 1st/Spokane intersection. The RV (shown in a Seattle Times photo here) has already been towed, leaving behind only some debris and broken glass.
FRIDAY NOTE: The Medical Examiner’s list of cases for today includes what is apparently this one, an SPD-investigated death that has been ruled accidental, the result of smoke inhalation. The victim was identified as 37-year-old Daniel Jackson.
9 PM: Thanks to the readers who shared information that the missing boy has been found, including this note from Aviation High School‘s principal:
I am happy to report that Josiah Hokanson has been located in Portland, OR and safely reunited with his family. I know we are all very relieved that he has been found. As a parent, I can only imagine what the family was going through these past few days.
Thank you to everyone who prayed, pitched in, and helped in any small way. I know the family has appreciated everyone’s efforts. Parents and students, hug each other tonight – no moment is too small to take advantage of.
EARLIER – 9:47 AM: Read More
Thanks for the texted photo and tips. When we started hearing about a police presence at the east end of the West Seattle Bridge an hour or so ago, WSDOT would only describe it as “an incident” and said the ramp had cleared. Then scanner traffic indicated searching was continuing/had resumed. The Guardian One helicopter was involved for a while and described it as an SPD search for a possibly armed person. From what we’ve heard most recently, the officers were also looking at the hillsides by the I-5/Columbian/WS Bridge interchange. No word if anyone is in custody yet.
7:58 PM: Getting some questions about the dark smoke to the south – thanks to Aaron for being the first person to point it out, visible from the Southwest Athletic Complex where we’re still covering Band Jam: It’s a residential fire in SeaTac, in the 20400 block of International Boulevard.
8:19 PM: Now a 2-alarm fire, per fire agencies in the area. Reported to be at a mobile-home park.
11:51 AM: In case you are heading downtown sometime soon – you should know about a big power outage in the heart of downtown. It’s not even on the Seattle City Light map, but they’re definitely aware of it. SCL attributes it to “equipment failure at Massachusetts Street Substation” and says it might take “a couple hours” to fix. We know lots of West Seattleites work downtown – is this affecting you?
12:07 PM: Someone in comments asked if there are any West Seattle effects; not that we have heard. The substation mentioned by SCL is in SODO (shown on this map). Meantime, they’ve moved up the guesstimate for restoration to 12:40 pm.
12:17 PM: While this mega-outage is NOT shown on the Seattle City Light map, SDOT has come up with one based on the boundaries that have been announced:
All power is lost in the following area. Waterfront to I-5, and Pike to Jackson. Treat all signals as all ways stops pic.twitter.com/79O5KByFmp
— seattledot (@seattledot) May 25, 2016
12:20 PM: We’re listening to officers downtown via scanner, as they assist with traffic control downtown, and they’re saying some intersections have power back – a couple mentioned on 5th – but a few blocks away, they’re still out. Also, Councilmember Kshama Sawant – who chairs the council committee that oversees SCL – tweeted that City Hall (5th/Cherry/4th/James) has power back.
12:26 PM: More restoration – SPD channel indicates lights on 3rd are working.
12:34 PM: SCL has officially declared power back on (while saying they don’t know yet what caused it). West Seattleites in the city’s Municipal Tower and the county’s Chinook Building – not far apart – confirm they’re back on. But downtown will likely have lingering effects throughout the afternoon.
12:48 PM: City Light says it doesn’t know yet how many customers (businesses/homes, in this case apartments/condos) were affected, but “12,000 meters” were in the outage zone.
Today’s theme seems to be history. Here’s some aviation history, which you might have seen in the sky a few hours ago. In case you didn’t, thanks to Doug Branch for sharing photos of the first Boeing 727’s last flight, as it ended this morning at nearby Boeing Field (mentioned in our daily preview). He says it appeared to fly low over Elliott Bay as it came in, so it might have turned some West Seattleites’ heads.
United donated this half-century-old jet to the Museum of Flight 25 years ago – it’s been undergoing restoration so it can join the museum’s collection. Read more about it on the MoF website (which explains it’ll be in the Airpark throughout the summer, then moving to the museum’s new Aviation Pavilion).
The bus and “Duck” involved in the deadly Aurora Bridge collision 12 hours ago have both just been towed away, and Highway 99 has reopened both ways, SDOT just announced. The investigation into the crash that killed 4 college students will continue Friday with the arrival of a National Transportation Safety Board team.
(SCROLL DOWN for the newest information)
11:28 AM: A collision with major injuries reported has blocked the Aurora Bridge both ways. It’s reported to involve a Ride The Ducks vehicle and a bus. That’s likely to be a relatively long-lasting closure so if you use Highway 99, plan an alternate route.
11:55 AM: SFD says two people are dead, nine critically injured, and they are still evaluating people.
SR 99 is closed NB at Western Ave and SB at N 46th St. All traffic must exit. Use alt routes and expect long delays pic.twitter.com/5gqvCACGpa
— seattledot (@seattledot) September 24, 2015
12:42 PM: The city says the traffic effects are likely to last into the evening. The mayor and police chief will be speaking at the scene shortly.
12:49 PM: The mayor, at the news conference happening now, confirms they expect the closure to continue into the evening. Fire Chief Harold Scoggins says 4 people died at the scene and 12 are critically injured; the crash involved not only a charter bus and a Ride The Ducks vehicle but also two cars.
(Added: Seattle Fire Department photo)
1:41 PM: Short updates are now online via SPD Blotter and SFD Fireline (looks like the same info). Because of the transportation effects, we will keep this story pinned atop the WSB home page TFN, but as we publish other, unrelated stories (starting soon), they’ll appear beneath it, so from the home page, just scroll down to see what else is happening.
2:44 PM: Some miscellaneous information that’s also being discussed in comments:
—METRO REROUTES: Latest list is here
—BLOOD DONATIONS: Bloodworks NW says because of so many injuries in this incident, it needs more – go here to find out how to donate
3:31 PM: Still closed, NB from the Western exit, and SB, according to commenter “Cadburry,” reopens just south of the Aurora Bridge. Meanwhile, SPD has issued a short update on its investigation.
5:22 PM: No change in the situation – Aurora Bridge still closed, with Highway 99 closure NB at Western; SB, we’re told you CAN get on starting around lower Queen Anne, south of the bridge. Also, some more bus reroutes – updated info here. And while this is NOT related to the crash, we just got word that the cycles on the signal at 35th/Alaska are apparently running too short and causing a backup on southbound 35th there – we flagged SDOT via Twitter and they say engineers are looking into it.
5:34 PM: SDOT says that’s fixed now; our crew just arrived and verifies that it seems to be OK, no notable backup.
5:50 PM: Briefing expected shortly from the mayor – you can watch live here. Meantime, in another non-related traffic update, a crash is reported at Fauntleroy/Hudson; traffic’s getting by, says our tipster, but barely.
6:05 PM: The briefing is under way, with the mayor, fire chief, police chief. The Aurora Bridge might remain closed until sometime tomorrow, the mayor said. No change in the number of deaths; 15 people are in critical condition. “Too early … to draw any conclusions” about crash’s cause, says Police Chief O’Toole. They’ve set up a hotline for witnesses: 206-233-5000. SDOT director Scott Kubly explains that once the investigators are done, there will be cleanup and bridge inspections among other things before 99 can reopen.
8:28 PM: The closure continues. We’ll shortly remove this from its position stuck atop the WSB home page, and will publish a new story if there’s a change this evening. We’ll of course have traffic/transit coverage first thing in the morning as usual, too.
11:17 PM: The southbound lanes of 99 have reopened, right after the bus and “Duck” were towed. Awaiting word on the northbound lanes.
Know where your nearest Emergency Communication Hub is? Know WHAT your Emergency Communication Hub is? West Seattle has long been a citywide leader in this aspect of preparedness, via West Seattle Be Prepared. And they’re sharing news of a presentation downtown tonight that might interest you. Usually we can only promote on-peninsula events, but preparedness has been a signature issue for us for a long time, and at the heart of this presentation is the reminder that community can be key in case of catastrophe:
Join the Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs and Seattle Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Tom Richardson, one of the Urban Search and Rescue Team Leaders (USAR) at the SR 530 slide, who will share his experience during the response and recovery stages and his thoughts on how communities are key in disasters.
6:30 pm – (Optional) Overview of the Seattle Emergency Hubs
7:00 pm – Program start
8:00 pm – Q & A and discussion
Location: City of Seattle Emergency Operations Center, 105 5th Ave S. (Corner of 5th Ave S and S Washington St)
Please RSVP at email@example.com, or 206-233-5076