West Seattle Blog... » Not WS but we’re mentioning it anyway http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 03:53:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 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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Update: Southworth house fire, smoke visible from West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/fire-in-southworth-visible-from-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/fire-in-southworth-visible-from-west-seattle/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 16:37:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282890

(WSB photo)
9:37 AM: If you have a west-facing view and noticed the smoke by the Southworth ferry dock, it’s a house fire, according to a tweet from the Kitsap Sun. We got a call about it (thank you!) and are photographing the smoke from Constellation Park.

10:29 AM: The Sun reports firefighters say it’s “knocked down.” No other details yet but it is indeed close to the dock, according to this photo tweeted by a passenger:

12:53 PM: Here’s the Kitsap Sun’s full story, plus a photo sent to us by Mark Dale:

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Remembering Robin Williams: His West Seattle Food Bank benefits; also – how to get help if you need it http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/remembering-robin-williams-his-west-seattle-food-bank-benefits-also-how-to-get-help-if-you-need-it/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/remembering-robin-williams-his-west-seattle-food-bank-benefits-also-how-to-get-help-if-you-need-it/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 01:05:59 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282246 You have likely heard by now that actor/comedian Robin Williams is gone too soon, at 63, found dead in his San Francisco Bay Area home this afternoon, believed to be a victim of suicide.

Two things we wanted to mention here:

(Photo courtesy WSFB, added Tuesday: Mr. Williams in 2004 with WSFB volunteers Aaron & Laurie and then-operations manager Gretchen)
First, Mr. Williams had at least one West Seattle connection – a history of generous gifts to the West Seattle Food Bank, most notably, more than $50,000 in proceeds from downtown performances in 2004, 2007, and 2008.

Second, we wanted to again share the local hotline number that offers help to anyone thinking about suicide (or experiencing other crisis situations), the Crisis Clinic – 206-461-3222. The CC website also recommends reading this.

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Wondering about big ‘cloud’ in the east? Wildfire near Leavenworth http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/wondering-about-that-big-cloud-to-the-east/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/wondering-about-that-big-cloud-to-the-east/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:06:23 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279588 Two people have texted us to ask about a big cloud/smoke plume in the east.

Thanks to @scruffydiver for the photo. Northwest Cable News says it’s a wildfire near Leavenworth (here’s a map) that has closed Highway 2.

ADDED 6:25 PM: Here’s a somewhat-closer look from David Hutchinson:

Here’s a Facebook page with on-the-ground info in the fire zone (tweeted by Lauren – @nwtripfinder).

ADDED LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Ted Johnson shared this view from the EC Hughes Playground area:

The latest highway closures are here.

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PM commute FYI: Shooting at SODO station; Sound Transit, Metro effects http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/afternoon-commute-fyi-shooting-at-sodo-station/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/afternoon-commute-fyi-shooting-at-sodo-station/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 23:50:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277957 4:50 PM: With many West Seattleites commuting through SODO one way or another, this seems worth a mention: There’s been a shooting at/near the SODO transit station, 5th/Lander, and it involved a King County Sheriff’s Deputy. No other details yet, and we haven’t seen word from Metro or Sound Transit yet on how/if this is affecting routes, but just an FYI. Also, if you are in North Delridge and noticed the major response of northbound SPD units from the precinct (we were in the area and saw half a dozen head north, full lights/sirens), that apparently is what they were headed for, though the response downsized shortly afterward; one texter says this brought helicopters (TV, we believe) to the SODO area near 99, too.

5 PM UPDATE: Metro has sent a text alert saying that buses are routed off the SODO Busway and off S. Holgate in that area – “use busway stops north of S. Holgate or south of S. Lander.” Sound Transit also has tweeted that Central Link light rail service is interrupted.

5:30 PM UPDATE: Both KCSO and Seattle Fire say one person, described by SFD only as “male” and by KCSO as a “suspect,” was declared dead at the scene. Sound Transit has sent an updated rider alert – see it here; Metro now says its busway reroute starts at Royal Brougham.

5:45 PM UPDATE: Per our partners at The Seattle Times, the shooting started as a confrontation involving an unarmed fare-enforcement officer, who called for backup, and the deadly shot(s) came from an armed deputy who was among those responding.

9:29 PM UPDATE: Sound Transit says normal operation has resumed.

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Traffic note: Not West Seattle, but you might want to know http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/traffic-note-not-west-seattle-but-you-might-want-to-know/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/traffic-note-not-west-seattle-but-you-might-want-to-know/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 02:49:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276667 7:49 PM: Since this might not be a time of day when you usually check out regional news outlets, we’re mentioning this too: I-5 southbound is closed at the Ship Canal Bridge because of a law-enforcement investigation. Vehicles that were on the bridge at the time are being turned around and cleared off, and radio discussion indicates it’ll be closed for quite a while. So if you are headed this way from north of downtown, make your way to 99, or else way over to 405 and 90. The investigation involves an incident reported to have started as a vehicle fire on that bridge and turned into a state trooper shooting a man – details are still emerging.

8:01 PM: WSDOT has opened the southbound I-5 express lanes to help with the traffic backlog.

10:07 PM: State Patrol tweeted a few minutes ago that the closure isn’t ending any time soon:


11:48 PM: That turned out not to be the case. Just reopened:

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Not in West Seattle, but you should know: Multiple shooting victims at Seattle Pacific University, suspect in custody http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/not-in-west-seattle-but-you-should-know-multiple-shooting-at-seattle-pacific-university/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/not-in-west-seattle-but-you-should-know-multiple-shooting-at-seattle-pacific-university/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 23:03:25 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=275648 4:03 PM: A situation in lower north Queen Anne/west of Fremont is affecting emergency resources citywide, so we want to mention it here just to make sure you know – especially in case that’s an area of town you were planning to head to or from any time soon – Multiple people have been shot at Seattle Pacific University. Reports so far have put the number of victims as high as 7 (at least one with life-threatening injuries), and conflicting reports of one or two shooters – with at least one suspect in custody. The only thing clear is that, as just described on emergency radio, it’s a “chaotic” scene and you will want to stay far from that area for hours to come. Our partners at The Seattle Times are covering it here (and every other regional source is on it too).

4:10 PM: From SPD: “The suspect is in custody. There are no outstanding suspects being sought.”

4:30 PM: And one more police update: “1 man, 1 woman with life-threatening injuries; 1 man, 1 woman in stable condition.”

5:10 PM: One of the victims has died. SPU has canceled classes this evening.

11:30 PM: Since discussion is still going on in comments here, we’ll add a few links before the night’s out:

*Seattle Times on Jon Meis, the student hailed as a hero for stopping the gunman
*SPD confirms 26-year-old suspect’s identity (via Twitter)

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Update: 2 killed in TV helicopter crash near Space Needle; nearby roads closed http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/downtown-emergency-helicopter-crash-near-seattle-center/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/downtown-emergency-helicopter-crash-near-seattle-center/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 14:51:29 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=268027 (LATEST: KOMO helicopter crash victims identified; federal investigators on scene)

(Photo courtesy Jennifer, taken from crane in the area)
7:51 AM: If you are headed downtown, stay far away from the Seattle Center area – a helicopter is reported to have crashed, and there are fires on the ground, including at least two cars. KING and KOMO TV report it is a helicopter they use in a partnership – both of them are located in the area, KOMO right across the street from Seattle Center. Scanner indicates at least one person injured on the ground.

7:59 AM: Video uploaded by Alex McBurney shows the fire likely moments after it happened. Firefighters at the scene are working on extinguishing the fire as well as getting to any patients. Scanner also indicates authorities are now notifying aviation authorities – NTSB, FAA. We have heard discussion of one person hurt but have not heard other news of casualties. All regional news sources are of course covering this – we just want to reiterate, stay away from that area. We haven’t heard yet the full parameters of what’s blocked off, but Broad Street, 4th and 5th in that area for sure. For context, see the photo in this tweet by Seattle Times (WSB partner) reporter Brian Rosenthal - note the 5th/Broad McDonald’s in the background:

Street closures will continue for hours, if not – as one TV anchor just suggested – days. The helicopter is widely reported to belong to KOMO, which is right across Broad St. from the south side of the Needle.

8:16 AM: Seattle Fire has just tweeted that two people are confirmed dead at the scene. You can follow SFD’s Twitter stream here; SPD’s Twitter stream here. (You don’t need to be a Twitter user to see tweets via the web.)

9:33 AM: During a news conference just before 9 am, SFD confirmed that the people who died were both on the helicopter. One person hit on the ground is in the hospital. And they are still looking for someone who got out of their pickup truck and left the scene, just wanting to make sure s/he is OK. Your editor here worked at KOMO 1991-1999 and like everyone else sends thoughts and prayers to the families, friends, and co-workers of the victims, who have not yet been publicly identified. We’re moving on with today’s West Seattle news – the regional news outlets are all over this; just again keep in mind that the area will be closed to traffic, likely into tomorrow, so if you have to go anywhere near Seattle Center/Space Needle, expect detours. We will update our daily traffic watch if there are any official overviews on those.

10:18 AM: Mayor Murray will have a news conference at 10:30 – you should be able to see it live at seattlechannel.org. Meantime, apologies if you have had trouble getting into our site – interest in this story brought in a traffic crush; our server managers have opened a few more floodgates so it should be more accessible.

10:57 AM: The Times quotes KOMO as identifying one of the victims as longtime photojournalist Bill Strothman. Longtime KOMO anchor/reporter Connie Thompson (a West Seattleite) remembers him in a tweet:

The pilot has been identified (update) as Gary Pfitzner. Here is a KOMO story about them.

LATE-NIGHT NOTE: All the roads in the area reopened by 7 pm, less than 12 hours after the crash, according to SDOT.

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Update: International District fire, with smoke visible from here http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/fire-in-the-international-district-with-smoke-visible-from-here/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/fire-in-the-international-district-with-smoke-visible-from-here/#comments Wed, 25 Dec 2013 00:42:08 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=260143 4:42 PM: Just got a call from someone asking about the smoke visible from Harbor Avenue, looking across the bay. There’s a big fire in the International District; the address on the SFD 911 log is 669 S. King Street. Here’s one of the photos SFD has tweeted:


Here’s what our friends at KING 5 are reporting.

6:29 PM UPDATE: Our partners at The Seattle Times quote SFD as pointing out that this building has a notorious past – as the site of the Wah Mee massacre 30 years ago.

8:39 PM UPDATE: Updated the Times link in the preceding paragraph – they now have a longer story elsewhere on their site. Also of note, West Seattle fire crews are assisting, per radio communication and the online 911 log, including Ladder 11, whose crew we had photographed earlier today assisting police on Genesee Hill, as well as Engine 11 from Highland Park and Engine 32 from The Junction.

WEDNESDAY MORNING NOTE: SFD published an update overnight; the fire wasn’t under control until almost 10:30 pm.

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Sunday traffic alert: President Obama headed to Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2013/11/sunday-traffic-alert-president-obama-headed-to-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/11/sunday-traffic-alert-president-obama-headed-to-seattle/#comments Sat, 23 Nov 2013 02:08:39 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=256956 ORIGINAL FRIDAY REPORT: In case you hadn’t heard yet – President Obama is coming to Seattle on Sunday for political fundraisers, report citywide outlets including The Seattle Times (WSB partner), and that generally means two things for our area: Possible Air Force One sightings, and potential traffic effects when I-5 is closed for the motorcade. We don’t have specific times so far, but his first event will be in North Seattle, second one in Medina, and there’s at least one indication he’s staying downtown until Monday morning. Whatever we know by Sunday morning, we’ll include in our daily preview.

ADDED SATURDAY AFTERNOON: We now know that the President is due to arrive after 4 pm, and is indeed staying overnight, leaving Monday morning for San Francisco. Interestingly, Air Force One will not be at Boeing Field as usual – the official Presidential schedule says he is flying into and out of Sea-Tac.

ADDED SUNDAY MORNING: SPD has published details of closures/detours downtown while the President is staying overnight.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The President arrived on schedule and as of this update – 4:30 pm – is or will shortly be in transit to North Seattle for the first of the two private Democratic Party fundraisers he’s headlining (the second one is in Medina).

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Almost-West Seattle scene: Return of the Rainier ‘R’ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/almost-west-seattle-scene-return-of-the-rainier-r/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/almost-west-seattle-scene-return-of-the-rainier-r/#comments Fri, 25 Oct 2013 16:45:03 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=253893
CChacharon-114RainierBreweryOct2013.jpg

(Photos by Christina Chacharon)
In case you haven’t seen it for yourself yet, shining alongside the West Seattle Bridge ramps to/from I-5, there it is – the brand-new “R” atop the old Rainier Brewery. West Seattle photographer Christina Chacharon was among those at last night’s gala unveiling, which even included a “Batman”-style call into the clouds … er, fog:

CChacharon-97RainierBreweryOct2013.jpg

After almost half a century, the old “R” (now on display at the Museum of History and Industry) came down 13 years ago, succeeded by a big green “T” for Tully’s Coffee. The newly installed replica, funded via a partnership between Rainier Beer’s owner Pabst and Columbia Distributing, weighs more than half a ton, has 235 light bulbs on each side, and is being permanently welded into place today.

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I-90 bridge tolls? 2 meetings ahead, and other ways to comment http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/i-90-bridge-tolls-2-meetings-ahead-and-other-ways-to-comment/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/i-90-bridge-tolls-2-meetings-ahead-and-other-ways-to-comment/#comments Sun, 20 Oct 2013 18:22:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=253272

Thanks to Joan for the reminder that the state is midway through a public-comment period on whether to charge tolls on the I-90 bridge, so if you have an opinion, now’s the time to share it. This week, there are two public meetings – 4:30-7:30 pm tomorrow at Mercer Island High School, 4-7 pm Wednesday at the Northwest African American School in Seattle. Full details on both are on this page, along with links where you can sign up NOW to speak at either meeting. You can also comment by e-mail: i90eiscomments@wsdot.wa.gov.

Tolling has been proposed on I-90 to, in part, raise money for the new 520 bridge; this PDF includes more on this round of the comment process as well as the options that are under consideration – not with price tags, but with configurations, such as “just toll from Seattle to Mercer Island” or “just toll the HOV lanes.” This round of commenting runs through November 6th; a final decision is expected in 2015.

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Delayed on Fauntleroy-Vashon ferry today? Here’s why http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/delayed-on-fauntleroy-vashon-ferry-today-heres-why/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/delayed-on-fauntleroy-vashon-ferry-today-heres-why/#comments Sun, 06 Oct 2013 01:53:20 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=251930 A situation on south Vashon Island shut down state-ferry traffic on that end of the island for hours, leading to heavier traffic on the north end, which handles ferries from Fauntleroy and Southworth. The King County Sheriff’s Office says this is what happened:

At about 11:15 A.M. today, the words of a suspected mentally ill man halted ferry traffic between Point Defiance and the Tahlequah ferry terminal on Vashon Island. A witness overheard a 48 year old Vashon Island man rambling about having explosives and wanting to detonate the explosive after a particular car disembarked the boat.

The King County Sheriff’s Office began receiving calls about a man at the Tahlequah Ferry Terminal (the Vashon Island side of the Point Defiance to Vashon route) carrying a broom around and talking about killing all of the rats. Multiple callers reported various suspicious and disturbing behaviors from the Vashon man.

The terminals and ferry were inspected and deemed safe. Ferry traffic is back on schedule. The Vashon Island man was booked into the King County Jail. King County Sheriff’s detectives will review the case and recommend any additional charges to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The KCPAO will, ultimately, decide what charges the man will face.

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