In case you saw/heard this from east-facing West Seattle, or South Park and vicinity: Seattle Fire had a big response to Airgas (near East Marginal/14th South) earlier this afternoon; it was at first an explosion call, then reduced to “hazmat,” and no one was hurt. We have the story on our partner site The South Park News.
Yet one more sign that spring/summer events are here – SDOT‘s first major citywide alert of big events around Seattle that might affect traffic, starting with tonight’s Mariners game – read on if you’re planning to be outside West Seattle this weekend (or if you’re just curious what else is up!). P.S. for food-truck fans, the Sunday Mobile Food Rodeo in Fremont will affect who’s in West Seattle that day (Snout and Co. told us last weekend they’re skipping West Seattle this Sunday as a result): Click to read the rest of This weekend’s traffic alerts for the rest of the city…
Just in case you haven’t seen this on regional news outlets: An Amber Alert is out for two little girls and their mother missing from Shoreline; the mother is suspected of stabbing their father, who is at a hospital in critical condition. An associated vehicle has already been found, but not the girls nor the suspect – our friends at KING5.com have the latest, including a photo of one girl. Here’s the webpage for the alert itself (but again, the vehicle’s been found).
Bob A in North Admiral took this photo around 8 this morning – looking north toward Magnolia – and shared it with WSB, wondering what the smoke was from. All we could tell at the time was, nothing in Seattle. Our friends at KING 5 said they had heard about something in North Kitsap. And now the Kitsap Sun has details – the community of Indianola actually had two fires to deal with today, including one at a “large new house,” though their time frame and description would correlate the smoke with the other fire, involving a garage and exploding propane tanks sending flames high into the air. So now you know.
(Photo by Danny McMillin)
Thanks to everyone who sent photos of that startling sight – a fire on Bainbridge Island, clearly visible from west-facing West Seattle this morning. According to the Kitsap Sun, the fire was in the 12000 block of Country Club Road (map), and one person was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation.
8:16 AM UPDATE: KING 5 Morning News just talked live (by phone) with Bainbridge’s fire chief, who says a Seattle fireboat responded to the scene. The fire is under control, he said; five people were in the “large 2-story waterfront home,” all got themselves out, and one, as mentioned, was airlifted. The fire chief told KING 5 that one of the 20 firefighters who responded suffered a minor burn injury. Too soon to say what caused the fire.
(Photo by Julie Williams)
9:04 AM: Adding two more photos – above, Julie’s view from Wing Point, looking south; below, DLC in West Seattle, with a wider view from this side of the Sound.
(Photo by DLC)
This is an area of spectacular multi-million-dollar waterfront homes; we found one listed online in a different block (we do NOT know the exact address of the home involved in this morning’s fire) for more than $8 million.
9:31 AM UPDATE: New information just added to the Kitsap Sun story – the house is a century-old vacation home and was to be the scene of a wedding later this year; the engaged couple were among those who escaped the fire.
Burien’s bid to annex White Center and most of the rest of what remains of unincorporated North Highline (the green “Area Y” in the map above) is fairly far down the road, as we’ve been reporting on partner site White Center Now, but in case it somehow stalls, Seattle is retaining its potential interest. That’s the bottom line of a brief discussion today by the Seattle City Council‘s Economic Resiliency and Government Relations Committee.
Last year, Seattle councilmembers promised to decide by this month whether they would continue supporting the status of White Center (etc.) as a “potential annexation area,” despite having said that they didn’t think they could afford to pursue it and so wouldn’t get in Burien’s way; today’s discussion fulfills that promise. City staff said there wasn’t much to lose in keeping it designated as a “potential annexation area” – right now, Burien is waiting to see if the Legislature will preserve or cut a tax-related funding source that is vital to keeping the annexation affordable for them (or any other city). Even if they do, Burien then needs to take the matter to voters in the area, before annexation would be final.
Meantime, Seattle is expected to move forward on annexing some unincorporated turf that isn’t part of what Burien is pursuing, the so-called “Sliver by the River” in the South Park area and the “Duwamish Triangle,” with a council discussion planned March 5th.
4:13 AM: The Washington State Patrol is getting the word out around the region about a truck they’re seeking this morning – as they try to catch the man who shot and killed a state trooper in Kitsap County:
We are looking for a dark green Ford F-350 pick-up. WA license # B60564F.If you see that truck please call 911 immediately.
— Trooper Guy Gill (@wspd1pio) February 23, 2012
The shooting happened around 1 am in the Gorst area, along Highway 16 between Port Orchard and Bremerton. The Kitsap Sun says it was on the eastbound side (map), and since that’s not far from the Southworth side of the ferry run that ends in Fauntleroy, all the more reason to keep a eye out over here (though there’s no run from Southworth between 1:40 am and 4:30 am).
4:41 AM UPDATE: According to tweets from TV crews covering this in Kitsap County, the truck has been found near Port Orchard, but no one was inside.
2:53 PM UPDATE: Regional media, as well as the Kitsap Sun, have been updating this all day, but just in case you happened onto this story first – a man described as a “possible suspect” is dead, after, according to investigators, shooting himself. The murdered trooper is identified as 44-year-old Tony Radulescu.
It has come up so often in WSB comments related to our coverage of who’s seeking liquor-selling licenses for when privatization kicks in, that we feel obliged to mention we just spotted this: Browsing the latest liquor-license applications overnight, we noticed something that does not seem to have been reported elsewhere – the chain BevMo! (Beverages and More) has revealed its first King County location, by applying for a license. According to the Washington State Liquor Control Board‘s list of local license applications, BevMo is planning a location in the Southcenter area, 17197 Southcenter Parkway (map). They currently operate in California and Arizona only, but their arrival here was a source of speculation in this recent story from our partners at the Seattle Times. (As for prospective hard-liquor sellers in West Seattle, so far, as we reported here and here, six supermarkets are the first to apply. That list is bound to grow, since privatization doesn’t take effect till June 1st.)
Like the totem pole stolen from a West Seattle park two-plus years ago, this one goes in the “they stole WHAT” file. That’s University of Washington professor Philip Thiel with a 70-inch, 1,260-pound propeller that was about to be donated to Seattle Parks for a north-end installation, till thieves made off with it in the U-District yesterday. Parks put out the citywide alert late yesterday, but didn’t have a photo till this morning; now that it’s available, even though the theft did NOT happen in West Seattle, we’re helping get out the word. If you happen to see it, Parks would like to hear from you at 206-684-7241 (and we’re sure police would, too).
Also just in via Twitter – King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West says the Vashon man who’s been missing since Wednesday (reported widely on Thursday) has “been found alive.” The Vashon/Maury Island Beachcomber has details, reporting 83-year-old Jack Randles was found at a home in the Luana Beach area (map).
4:42 PM UPDATE: From the Voice of Vashon Facebook page, a few more details, ahead: Click to read the rest of Followup: Missing Vashon man with Alzheimer’s found alive…
12:23 PM: An 85-year-old Vashon Island man with Alzheimer’s is missing, and King County Sheriff’s Office and the Alzheimer’s Association have asked media on this side of the Sound to also distribute his photo, in case he managed to get onto a ferry. His name is Jack Randles; he is described as 6’ 1”, 150 pounds, with white hair and mustache. He was last seen in the downtown Vashon area around 4:30 pm yesterday. KCSO is searching on the ground and in the air. If you see or have seen him, please call 911.
8:58 PM UPDATE: The Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber reports the search has been called off for now.
SDOT sent this out as an alert, so in case you commute through the area – given that we heard multiple reports it was tough going to get there earlier today, maybe this will save you some trouble on the way home:
Today’s Deck the Hall Ball, a sold-out concert at the Key Arena, could impact the afternoon commute. Some 8,000 fans of Mumford and Sons, Death Cab for Cutie and Foster the People, will begin arriving for the concert by mid-afternoon and likely produce heavier traffic than usual between I-5 and the Seattle Center and on surrounding streets in the vicinity. The 107.7 The End’s event, which begins at 4 p.m. wraps up at 11 p.m., will add to the late evening traffic in the area as well.
Elsewhere in the city, several big events will offer traffic challenges – as well as fun! – over the 4-day weekend, so SDOT has provided a weekend traffic-alert list just like the ones it routinely sends in summertime. Friday’s parade downtown and Sunday’s marathon are just part of it – read on: Click to read the rest of Citywide traffic alerts for Seattle’s 4-day Thanksgiving weekend…
This story is still developing, but the victim’s family is sending a regional request for help in solving the attack: A developmentally disabled man is in the hospital with major injuries suffered last night – though no one is sure exactly what happened or where. He was found at his Burien home. Here are more details from our partner site White Center Now; our partners at the Seattle Times are covering it too.
This reminder just in from WSDOT regarding southbound I-5 work starting tonight in Tukwila – not far from here, so if you drive that stretch of the freeway, read on: Click to read the rest of Traffic advisory if you’ll be driving south on I-5…
A march is currently scheduled for 4:30 p.m. today. The march will start at the Seattle Central Community College on Broadway and will proceed westward on Pine Street to Fourth Avenue, escorted by Seattle Police Officers, ending with a rally at Westlake Park. Up to 500 participants are expected. Drivers should anticipate traffic congestion along the route and in the area around Westlake Park. Drivers are advised to take alternate routes if possible.
(President Obama at the Paramount; photos courtesy Cindy S)
11:58 AM: According to our friends at KING 5, President Obama has just arrived at Boeing Field – which means you might encounter motorcade traffic. (Watch their coverage here.) He’s scheduled to head first to a fundraiser on the Eastside and then to another one at the Paramount Theater downtown. According to Seattle Times (WSB partner) political reporter Jim Brunner via Twitter, the president’s welcoming party at Boeing Field includes King County Executive Dow Constantine as well as Mayor McGinn and Governor Gregoire (among others).
1:03 PM: Roads are open right now since the President is in Medina for fundraiser #1, but he’ll be heading back across the lake before too long, and on to the Paramount event. For minute-by-minute traffic updates, check this KING 5 page; also remember we have an array of West Seattle-and-vicinity “live” cameras on the WSB Traffic page.
3:21 PM: Per KING, the President is headed back to Boeing Field right now, after finishing his speech at the Paramount downtown. (Added above – Cindy S’s photo of NBA Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Lenny Wilkens, who introduced him.)
3:58 PM: After four hours on the ground, Air Force One has taken off and President Obama is off to the Bay Area.
Just so your radar’s up for sonic booms, traffic effects, Air Force One sightings … President Obama comes to Seattle this Sunday. This time around, according to seattlepi.com, he’s raising money for his re-election campaign, with two fundraisers on the schedule – breakfast/brunch on the Eastside, then a lunch event at the Paramount downtown (with a demonstration planned outside). No exact arrival time announced so far. (Photo by David DeSiga, from August 2010 presidential visit)
1:04 PM: One WSB ‘er sent a note a few minutes ago asking if there had been an earthquake – she’s downtown in a high-rise and says they were swaying for several long minutes. We’re just now seeing the reports that indeed, there was a 6.7 quake on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Maybe we’re immune from growing up in Southern California, but we didn’t feel anything here in Upper Fauntleroy. You?
View Larger Map
1:21 PM: For those interested – here’s a data-laden page about this quake, courtesy of the U.S. Geological
Service Survey. Also just added a Google map showing the epicenter. **NO** tsunami alert, per this link. The Vancouver Sun‘s ongoing coverage (the story is a little longer every time we’ve checked back) can be found here.
1:48 PM NOTE: You might recall that just yesterday, we mentioned that September is Preparedness Month. Can’t pass up another opportunity to implore you to be sure you really are prepared. If we had to point you to just ONE West Seattle-specific resource – it would be West Seattle Be Prepared (in particular, find and memorize your nearest “Communication Hub”). And any time you wonder whether you felt a quake, check here (though ironically, the BC quake is outside its range).
3:26 PM: Commenters asked about the Viaduct’s new automatic quake gates. We then asked WSDOT, which replied that it would take a quake of at least 5.0, “near” the Viaduct, to trigger them. (This one is now estimated at 6.4, but it was nowhere “near” us, relatively speaking.) WSDOT has since issued a news release saying it’s checked key structures to be sure the BC quake had no effects:
Inspection teams from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) are checking key transportation structures in the Puget Sound region after today’s earthquake near Vancouver Island. No damage has been found so far.
WSDOT crews have completed a visual inspection of the State Route 520 floating bridge and report no damage. They will do a more in-depth inspection in the coming hours.
The Alaskan Way Viaduct remains open and has been inspected visually, with no signs of damage. In addition, seismic sensors installed to trigger automatic gate closures to the structure show no impact from the Vancouver quake, now measured at 6.4. The sensors require an earthquake larger than 5.0 in the immediate vicinity before triggering gate closures.
Moveable bridges in the Seattle area, including the Montlake and 1st Avenue South bridges, also have been inspected, with no damage reported.
Due to the location of the quake, WSDOT crews also were sent to Skagit and Whatcom counties, including the Deception and Canoe Pass bridges. No damage has been reported there.
P.S. Thanks to Jim Edwards for pointing out this online seismic-activity tracker from Vashon, which clearly showed the quake.
(Photo substituted 3:01 pm – took this one from Charlestown Hill)
1:58 PM: We’ve gotten a few questions about all the smoke on the east slope of the Olympic Mountains, north of the iconic Brothers peaks, clearly visible from West Seattle.
(Our photo is from the hill over south Lincoln Park.) So far we believe it’s this one that’s reported to have closed the Duckabush trail (here’s a map of that area) – still looking for a more comprehensive sense of information.
3:06 PM UPDATE: Substituted a better photo, after checking it out from Charlestown Hill and Beach Drive. Our friends at KING 5 quote authorities on the peninsula as calling this one the “Big Hump Fire.” They report at least 20 firefighters are assigned to it. Also just in – best photo yet, from David Hutchinson on Alki:
4:53 PM UPDATE: First time we’ve seen a cause mentioned – the Peninsula Daily News has a story up now, and says it’s believed to have been sparked by an abandoned campfire.
8:15 PM: The fire’s size has been updated to 50 acres.
3:25 PM: We’ve been getting calls and text messages asking about the column of black smoke that’s been visible for about an hour. The smoke is from a two-story structure fire in the unincorporated area about a mile south of South Park. The Seattle Fire Department has sent a ladder truck and an engine to assist. Our pictures were taken from as close as we could get to the scene. KING5.com has the details here on what turned out to be a three-alarm apartment-building fire.
5:51 PM: Our partners at the Seattle Times say SFD was one of eight fire departments that responded to help fight the fire. At least two people were hurt, but no major injuries are reported.
So far, haven’t heard any reports that today’s big downtown event led to traffic chain reactions, so that’s good news. But WSDOT wants you to know in advance that next weekend, there’s another of those double closures – the 520 floating bridge and the Mercer offramps. “Expect region-wide congestion,” they warn. More here.
In case you missed the repeated mentions here and elsewhere last week – tomorrow’s the day the Lions Clubs International Parade of Nations happens downtown, with road closures, detours, and bus-route changes. Here once again is the city’s official alert. No way to tell if it will cause any sort of domino effect like the motivational-speaker-event jam a month ago, of course, but we’ll be tracking.
No SDOT alert yet, but with the memory of the KeyArena-event-traffic-nightmare day still fresh, we thought you might want early warning (and if you’re off, you might even want to go watch): Next Tuesday, what’s described as the biggest parade in Seattle’s history is set for downtown, 10,000 people parading as part of the Lions Clubs International convention. It starts from Seattle Center at 10 am, proceeding along 5th Avenue, and includes other road closures. It’s complicated, so go here for the full breakdown; the source page is here, including this map of the parade route.
ADDED 4:41 PM: SDOT is now out with its official advisory – read it after the jump: Click to read the rest of Downtown traffic alert for Tuesday morning: ‘Biggest parade ever’…
(Salvaging fishing floats in Minamisanriku: MSNBC.com photo by Jim Seida, used with permission)
If you are a casual reader of world news, it might seem that there’s little reported about Japan, post-quake/tsunami, aside from the ongoing nuclear-power-plant-related concerns. But there’s much more going on, as the disaster’s effects, large and small, are addressed, as survivors fight their way back to something resembling the lives they once lived – like the fishermen whose story is told here.
Their story, and others, has been brought to MSNBC.com readers by a team including West Seattle-residing journalist Jim Seida. He has spent the past two weeks in the hardest-hit areas and e-mailed WSB to share links of the coverage with which he has been involved. Jim is a Gatewood resident who works for MSNBC.com as a senior multimedia producer; he is just wrapping up his work in Japan with writer Miranda Leitsinger. Many of the links to their work are tied together on this Storify page; on their own company’s site, you can find the series here, as well as on the MSNBC.com World Blog and its Facebook page.
(Christopher Boffoli’s video from WSB ‘Liberty Belle’ tour story in 2009)
Thanks to Stephanie for the tip on this story: The restored B-17 known as “Liberty Belle” crashed in Illinois this morning, with all 7 people on board surviving. It was featured here two years ago, when it gave tours from Boeing Field, and WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli went along on one. The Chicago Tribune has details and photos from today’s crash.
7:50 AM TUESDAY: That same link has new photos and information today, bearing out what a commenter notes below – “Liberty Belle” made an emergency landing, everyone got out, and then fire spread through the restored plane.
This one does not directly involve West Seattle’s traffic lifelines (99, 509, etc.) but it includes other major Seattle-area highways and begins with the dire-warning line “Drivers can expect region-wide congestion Father’s Day weekend …” Full details from WSDOT here.
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