West Seattle Blog... » Not WS but we’re mentioning it anyway http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 OPEN AGAIN: Highway 99 reopens, 12 hours after deadly crash http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/open-again-highway-99-reopens-12-hours-after-deadly-crash/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/open-again-highway-99-reopens-12-hours-after-deadly-crash/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 06:21:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324010 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.

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HIGHWAY 99 TRAFFIC ALERT: Road closure, bus reroutes continue after 4 killed in 4-vehicle crash on Aurora Bridge http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/highway-99-traffic-alert-aurora-bridge-crash/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/highway-99-traffic-alert-aurora-bridge-crash/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 18:28:04 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=323948 (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.

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.

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TONIGHT: How community can be key, in case of catastrophe http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/tonight-how-community-can-be-key-in-case-of-catastrophe/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/tonight-how-community-can-be-key-in-case-of-catastrophe/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:02:01 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=320965

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 snap@seattle.gov, or 206-233-5076

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If you heard the music but couldn’t figure out the source… http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/if-you-heard-the-music-but-couldnt-figure-out-the-source/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/if-you-heard-the-music-but-couldnt-figure-out-the-source/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 04:29:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=315757 In the past couple hours, we started getting questions about music/beats audible in north West Seattle for hours – maybe from the beach. Nothing on the calendar; we finally went down to look, nothing in view, but from the Seacrest vicinity, we could hear the beats in the distance. The answer finally came when we put out the open question on Twitter: @SDOT and @romabit pointed out the Dirtybird BBQ concert event in SODO, which had been under way since early afternoon. Just in case you wondered too … now you know.

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That smoke plume to the south: Tacoma marina fire http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/that-smoke-plume-to-the-south-tacoma-marina-fire/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/that-smoke-plume-to-the-south-tacoma-marina-fire/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 00:51:31 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=314266

(Photo taken from southwest West Seattle, by Chris Frankovich)
Maybe you saw the big smoke plume to the south this past hour – we’ve received multiple calls/messages about it. It’s a marina fire in the Tacoma Narrows area – here’s what The News-Tribune is reporting so far. It was so visible from the U.S. Open golf tournament course, we’re told it was mentioned during the broadcast. According to a Pierce County tweet, the fire is at a repair facility.

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Seattle May Day: If you’re wondering about demonstration status… http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/seattle-may-day-if-youre-wondering-about-demonstration-status/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/seattle-may-day-if-youre-wondering-about-demonstration-status/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 23:03:20 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308881 4:03 PM: Just wanted to mention it in case you’re about to head home or to downtown and are wondering what’s going on: Demonstrators have been marching much of the afternoon but no problems have been reported. Seattle Police are tweeting locations and, when applicable, traffic effects; the best place to monitor is the SPD Twitter account (you don’t have to be a Twitter member to see it) – twitter.com/seattlepd. SDOT is tweeting traffic updates, too.

7:33 PM UPDATE: Now there’s trouble, with what the SPD tweets described as the “unplanned” demonstration. Rock-throwing and window-breaking is reported. They’re facing off with police on Capitol Hill, who have issued a “dispersal order.” As the commute period is over, we’re moving on with other news, but the same links above still apply, as do all the citywide news orgs, and our friends at CapitolHillSeattle.com are tweeting, too:

9:43 PM: The city Emergency Operations Center has issued two statements from the mayor – this, just a few minutes ago:

Seattle celebrates free speech, the right to assemble and freedom of the press. People are raising their voices across the nation, working constructively to advance issues of racial equity and justice in our society. During this moment in history, peaceful protest and civil disobedience can be effective vehicles of social change. The City of Seattle prepared extensively to protect the rights of peaceful protesters to express their anger at racism and injustice.

What erupted tonight is a very different story. Tonight we saw assaults on police officers and senseless property damage, which cannot be tolerated. Those who are violent will be arrested. We will work to disperse groups that are threatening the safety of our residents and businesses.

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Traffic-alert update: 99 reopens after protest-related closure http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/traffic-alert-downtown-protests-affecting-99-i-5/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/traffic-alert-downtown-protests-affecting-99-i-5/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 23:37:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=298622 3:37 PM: If you are heading toward downtown any time in the next half-hour or so, either northbound or southbound, note that Highway 99 and I-5 are both being affected by protests right now. We’re still trying to get a clear picture of what’s going on by monitoring scanner and Twitter, but we do know for sure that Highway 99 northbound is closed at the Battery Street Tunnel, with traffic being diverted off at Western. More to come.

3:44 PM: Seattle Times (WSB partner) photojournalist Lindsey Wasson is among the journalists on scene:

KING 5 reports protesters on Mercer near I-5. Via scanner, police are concerned about protesters getting onto Aurora. Journalists who are tweeting in the area confirm there are two separate groups.

4 PM: This is truly a fast-changing situation, but again, right now, avoiding downtown, especially the South Lake Union vicinity, is fairly solid advice. And 99.

4:21 PM: Police are hoping to be able to reopen 99 soon but the situation remains in flux, especially in the South Lake Union area.

4:23 PM: Per scanner, 99 has just been reopened. The I-5 ramps that were affected by the protest are open again too. But some protesters are still in action on surface streets, police are saying, on Fairview and on Dexter.

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Update: Suspect arrested after Vashon search that led to King County SO sightings in Fauntleroy http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/vashon-search-leads-to-king-county-so-sightings-in-fauntleroy/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/vashon-search-leads-to-king-county-so-sightings-in-fauntleroy/#comments Sun, 04 Jan 2015 06:52:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297077 fWe’ve been asked about King County Sheriff’s Office sightings at the Fauntleroy ferry dock tonight – not unusual for KCSO personnel to take the ferry, since theirs is the law-enforcement agency for Vashon Island, but the numbers are out of the ordinary. It’s related to a search that is still under way on the island, seeking a driver who rammed the patrol car of a deputy who subsequently opened fire, according to tweets from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates.

No injuries known/reported at this point, and there’s no indication the suspect has left the island, but the search, which has included the Guardian One helicopter, continues.

8:55 AM UPDATE: Thanks to Michael and Maggie for noting in comments that KCSO reports the suspect is in custody. (added) Here’s the news release from Sgt. Gates:

Just before 6 PM on Saturday January 3rd, deputies responded to a residence for a domestic violence call between a mother and her adult son. Shortly after this first call we received several more from other citizens reporting different incidents with the same male as from the domestic violence case. These calls included a road rage incident, threats, and a vandalism.

At 6:45 PM a deputy located the suspect in the above incidents driving his pickup and there was a short pursuit . The suspect refused to stop and instead rammed the patrol car several times. In the 9800 block of SW Windmill Road the deputy fired several shots, but the suspect was not hit. The patrol car was disabled from the ramming and the suspect fled in his pickup.

Resident deputies that live on the island were called out to assist in the search for the suspect and patrol resources from the Burien and White Center areas also were sent to the island.

This morning around 4:30 the suspect was located by patrol deputies in the 24600 block of Dockton Road SW where he had broken into an unoccupied house. He attempted to run on foot, a Taser was deployed, and he was taken into custody.

There were no injuries to anyone and detectives are investigating the deputy-involved shooting as well as the other crimes committed by the suspect. The deputy who fired the shots has been placed on administrative leave per our policy.

The suspect will be booked into King County Jail for investigation of felony assault, attempting to elude, and burglary.

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Almost-West Seattle scene: Last sign of the Sears sign http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/almost-west-seattle-scene-last-sign-of-the-sears-sign/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/almost-west-seattle-scene-last-sign-of-the-sears-sign/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 19:28:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296788

11:28 AM: Thanks to Bill Schrier for spotting and sharing this while visiting SODO – the sign for the shuttered, historic Sears store is coming down. “Kind of a nostalgic end of a historic brand in SODO for the last day of 2014,” he observes. We noted the store’s closure announcement last February, primarily because it meant the Rotary Club of West Seattle would have to find someplace new for its annual Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree. (Ultimately, it moved to the Sears store at Southcenter.) As for the fate of the sign and the question of whether anyone’s leased the space yet – we don’t know but are trying to find out. (This might suggest the answer to the latter, at least, is “no.”)

ADDED 12:44 PM: According to the company that owns the building, no new tenant yet, as the Sears lease runs another year.

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Haggen acquiring some Safeway and Albertsons stores, but none in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/haggen-acquiring-some-safeway-and-albertsons-stores-but-none-in-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/haggen-acquiring-some-safeway-and-albertsons-stores-but-none-in-west-seattle/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 23:34:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=295869 You might recall that the Albertsons/Safeway deal was expected to result in some stores being shed. Today, the Haggen chain announced it would pick up more than 100 Albertsons and Safeway stores in the West, expanding its holdings from 18 stores to 164. We asked Haggen for the full list, to see if any are in West Seattle/White Center. Answer: No; the two closest stores that will become Haggen stores are south of West Seattle/White Center – the two Albertsons in Burien, 12725 1st Ave. S. and 15840 1st Ave. S.

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No indictment in Ferguson: Tonight’s aftermath in Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/no-indictment-in-ferguson-tonights-aftermath-in-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/no-indictment-in-ferguson-tonights-aftermath-in-seattle/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 02:58:35 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=293157 6:58 PM: Here’s what’s happening in Seattle right now, after the announcement in Ferguson, Missouri, tonight that a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown:

(Photo tweeted by reporter Paige Cornwell of The Seattle Times [WSB partner])
-A protest march is under way in the Westlake Center area downtown. Pine Street is closed between 4th and 5th and might also close to 6th.

-Mayor Ed Murray is planning to meet the media inside City Hall at 7:15 pm, with others listed in the advisory announcement as “Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, Pamela Banks (Urban League), Pramila Jayapal (state senator-elect), Estela Ortega (El Centro de la Raza) and others.” UPDATE: The mayor’s office says it will be live-streamed here.

-King County Executive and West Seattleite Dow Constantine has sent a written statement:

“We all mourn the loss of a young man’s life. This is a moment to say what is in our hearts, with tolerance, respect, and restraint, as we were asked to do by Michael Brown’s family.

“The events in Ferguson have laid bare the ongoing racial divide that stretches across the breadth of these United States. Here in King County we have made equity and social justice a central tenet of our work — a value that each employee will consciously and daily pursue as we serve the public. Our task now must be to learn from this moment, and to redouble our efforts to create the long-term, systemic changes our nation needs to fulfill its destiny.”

-So far, we have not heard of any gatherings in West Seattle. We will update as the night goes on.

ADDED 7:18 PM: President Obama is speaking. One quote, tweeted:

7:26 PM: Mayor Murray waited until after the President’s speech to start his event.

The downtown protest march, meantime, has moved east to Capitol Hill.

7:43 PM: Another Times photo tweeted from the Hill:

And a note from the city:

The Seattle Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center closed at 8:45 p.m. The police department continues to provide support for free speech events city-wide.

10:32 PM: Things weren’t quite winding down. Protesters moved on to I-5:

10:37 PM: Police report some violence:

10:52 PM: The freeway has reopened. Protesters are reported to be headed back toward Capitol Hill.

11:51 PM: Still there.

You can of course find endless reporting out there on every scale of what has happened; if you’re looking for a direct link to the transcribed grand-jury proceedings in Missouri, here they are as posted by NYTimes.com.

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Update: Southworth ferry dock open again, after deadly car-into-water incident http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/ferry-alert-incident-closes-southworth-dock/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/ferry-alert-incident-closes-southworth-dock/#comments Sat, 04 Oct 2014 01:37:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=287732

(Refresh for newest image from WSF camera at Southworth dock)
6:37 PM: Happening in Southworth, but no doubt affecting Fauntleroy ferries: Washington State Ferries says the Southworth dock is closed right now because of “law enforcement activity.” Via Twitter, the Kitsap Sun reports this is a case of a vehicle gone into the water. (You might also see air activity related to this – at least one TV helicopter has headed that way.)

6:55 PM: No one has confirmed whether anyone was in the vehicle, which at least one witness says crashed through the barricade at the dock’s end.

7:20 PM: An update:

The vehicle is in 60 feet of water.

7:47 PM: WSP says the body of the vehicle’s driver, who was believed to be in it alone, has been recovered. SFD divers are reported to have assisted.

8:01 PM: WSF projects it will be a few hours before the dock reopens – which won’t happen, they say, until the vehicle is pulled from the water. In the meantime, ferries are running only between Fauntleroy and Vashon, and the Seattle-Bremerton run from Colman Dock downtown is recommended as a detour for those trying to get to Kitsap County.

9:40 PM: WSF says the Southworth dock likely will be closed until morning.

11:06 PM: The vehicle has been pulled from the water. Christine Clarridge from The Seattle Times (WSB partner) tweeted a photo and describes the vehicle as a silver Ford Escape.

11:25 PM: WSF says the dock is open again and service to Southworth restored.

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If you’re seeing the smoke across the bay: Fire in Fremont http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/if-youre-seeing-the-smoke-across-the-bay-fire-in-fremont/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/if-youre-seeing-the-smoke-across-the-bay-fire-in-fremont/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:19:20 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=287328

(Photo tweeted by Todd Bishop of GeekWire)
We’re getting some questions because the black column of smoke is visible from here, looking north/northeast. The SFD 911 log lists the address as 434 N. 35th (map) in Fremont. Two-alarm fire, according to SFD. For more information and photos, we refer you to our friends at KING5.com.

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THIS IS ONLY A DRILL: Boeing Field emergency drills all week, starting tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/this-is-only-a-drill-boeing-field-emergency-drills-all-week-starting-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/this-is-only-a-drill-boeing-field-emergency-drills-all-week-starting-tomorrow/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 22:33:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286475 King County International Airport – better known to most as Boeing Field – will be the scene of two “mass-casualty-incident drills” each of the next five weekdays, and since you might notice all the emergency vehicles in the area, this is a heads-up. As the official announcement put it, “Because officials are trying to create a realistic response, the media is asked to help us notify the public that this is only a drill … and is a potential visual distraction.” Boeing Field isn’t that far from eastern West Seattle, and past drills have caught notice and brought questions here, so we’re sharing the alert too – click ahead for the details (quoted from the advisory sent to us and other media in the region):

The dates of the drills are Sept. 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26. There will be two drills each day. The sessions run from 9 a.m.-noon and 1:30-4:30 pm. …

These practice scenarios help prepare firefighters, police officers, and paramedics for an actual plane crash by creating a realistic environment with a large number of “patients.” While emergency responders deal with patients daily, MCI situations are relatively rare and have different medical protocols. Aircraft or bus crashes and hazardous materials leaks are examples of MCI situations.

The drill also helps the King County International Airport meet FAA requirements for its Airport Emergency Plan.

Over the course of the 10 sessions, approximately 700 personnel including first responders, communications specialists, “volunteer actors” and Airport personnel will participate in the drill. The exercise objectives include:

* Testing of the Mass Casualty Incident plan
* Ability of different agencies to work and communicate together during a large scale event
* Ability of rescuers to operate in and near an airplane
* Organization of “unified command”
* Use of the Incident Command System
* Meets the criteria required by FAA for KCIA’s Airport Emergency Plan

The scenario will involve a large aircraft at the south end of the KCIA. An aircraft body mockup will represent a commercial jet, and dozens of volunteer actors will have make-up to represent various injuries. Emergency vehicles will respond, stage, and arrive at the crash scene just as they would during a real emergency. …

The participating agencies: King County International Airport, King County Medic One, Tukwila Fire Department, Kent Fire Department RFA, Renton Fire Department, SeaTac Fire Department, Maple Valley Fire Department, Seattle Fire Department, King County Fire District 20, Valley Regional Fire Authority, Burien/Normandy Park FD, North Highline Fire Department, King County Sheriff’s Office, The Boeing Company, Valley Communications, South King Fire and Rescue.

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If you’re seeing the smoke over downtown: Capitol Hill fire http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/if-youre-seeing-the-smoke-downtown-capitol-hill-fire/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/if-youre-seeing-the-smoke-downtown-capitol-hill-fire/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:03:27 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285273

Lots of questions about black smoke visible downtown, looking across from here. 911 log shows an apartment-building fire on Capitol Hill, in the 300 block of Bellevue Ave. E. (map). Firefighters are there.

12:09 PM: *Not* a huge fire, despite all that smoke – it’s already described over the scanner as “knocked down,” and “confined to a deck on the roof.”

12:30 PM: Thanks to everyone who sent photos/asked questions – when something is so visible from here, even if it’s not happening *in* WS, we’ll always try to get information as fast as we can, and tips are almost always how we get first word. No injuries reported so far.

P.S. For any further updates, check back with our friends at CapitolHillSeattle.com.

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