Happening now: West Seattle Land Use Committee’s launch meeting

August 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | No Comments

6:46 PM: The inaugural meeting of the West Seattle Land Use Committee is off to a late start – the go-to place for public meetings in WS these days, the Senior Center in The Junction, was locked. An alternative meeting place was just about to be secured when someone got the door open, and now the meeting’s beginning. About two dozen people are here. We’ll be reporting live as it goes along. Southwest District Council co-chair Vlad Oustimovitch is giving opening remarks – “the whole idea (of this) is not to react to a single project … it’s really to talk about how we can improve land-use decisions made by the city, in working with the committee .. it’s actually a very difficult subject …this is an open discussion on how to (make) this happen over a long period of time.” After Oustimovitch’s remarks, everyone around the table is introducing her/himself.

7 PM: Introductions over – the official total, barring late arrivals, is 25 people – “We have 26 people here, representing ‘the peninsula,’ not just ‘my neighborhood because something’s happening there,’” said Sharonn Meeks, SW District Council co-chair. Most are already active in other community groups all over the peninsula, from Delridge to Alki, High Point, to Admiral. As Mat McBride, chair of the Delridge District Council, said, “It’s tremendously exciting to see people from both districts here.” (The city considers West Seattle to be two “districts,” Southwest and Delridge.) That done, now the question is – what will they talk about? One attendee says he hopes issues will be discussed with facts, not feelings. Another: “Let’s be honest, many of us here because we’re not happy” with the way things are going regarding development.

Another attendee brings up Terminal 5 and its uncertain future (as reported here last month, it’s currently closed, while the Port begins a “modernization plan” whose funding has yet to be secured. Oustimovitch suggests that’s a good idea – start talking about hot spots around the peninsula, T-5 being one. Others? Junction, Triangle are mentioned. The plan to survey historical resources along California Avenue soon is also mentioned briefly. What about open space? “How are people going to play and be healthy outdoors?” asks one attendee.

Oustimovitch says he’s worried West Seattle will soon feel like an “anonymous” place. Another attendee says it might not be too late to save some buildings that have character. “But it’s also the streetscape, and the light, it’s not just about having a little museum piece of a building (preserved),” interjects someone.

Westwood is suggested as another hot spot meriting attention – as “an unplanned outdoor bus terminal.” Another nomination: Avalon Way, with its ongoing densification, before it becomes “a chokepoint.” What about the Admiral Theater and its uncertain future? asks someone else, leading to some discussion about its plight, and it too goes onto the list. That segues to a mention of the relatively few remaining Alki cottages, and whether there might be a reason for a photographic study of them, before they’re all gone. That in turn segues to a mention of the current trends in new-home architecture – modern – replacing old Craftsman-style homes.

7:21 PM: This continues to be a free-flowing discussion around the table, bouncing from topic to topic. Participation in meetings off-peninsula with big effects on-peninsula (City Council meetings, Landmarks Board meetings, etc.) is low, it’s mentioned. A suggestion in response: Maybe this committee can help encourage and nurture that kind of participation. Then back to a hot spot/topic: The Fauntleroy Boulevard project is brought up. Then, the city’s Pedestrian Zone Mapping project. And yet another hot topic that comes up at community meetings now and then: Some “urban village” areas already past growth targets set for years in the future. “Why can’t a ‘time out’ be called for them?” wonders the person who brings that up, who goes on into the issue of buildings being allowed without much, if any, parking.

7:33 PM: A mention of business climate in eastern West Seattle bounces over to one attendee’s mention of a study about the “food desert” concept and whether it’s valid or not. Shortly afterward, Oustimovitch reiterates the list of locations mentioned so far as possible deserving attention, pausing on Delridge and the east-west connection deficiency that has long been an issue. Overall he says he heard three things of importance, transcending the list of specific locations in the spotlight:

1. “Density, relating to infrastructure” – or the lack of it
2. Historic preservation
3. Land-use code – people research property next to them, think they know what might happen in the future, “and then something completely different is on the table, and part of the problem is that the code is so convoluted … for the layman, and even for me as an architect,” as Oustimovitch put it.

The difficulty of understanding the city rules and codes, and tracking changes, is noted by another attendee. (And, as also pointed out, there are many changes in the works.) Speaking of change – one person opines that the change from at-large to by-district City Council election (starting next year) might “change the dominant paradigm.” Then back to the potential changes – the impending rulemaking for microhousing was mentioned, with the City Council potentially voting soon, so if you have something to say, pro or con, this is the time to have a say. What’s the problem with microhousing? asks one attendee. One reply: The problem is when it’s next to single-family neighborhoods, as opposed to areas already planned for and moving toward density.

7:51 PM: And that springboards to a question about affordable housing, and what constitutes “affordable.” Plus – what about more commercial development, creating jobs here, so that West Seattle can become less of a bedroom community? That would make more sense, says one person, than just putting residential development here and sending everyone somewhere else to work. What if a five- to seven-story commercial/office building went up in The Triangle? That concept draws support, including a suggestion that the city be recruited to help make that happen. What about a shared workspace where big employers based elsewhere, which have employees living here, each bought a floor, or so?

8 PM: And now the meeting’s wrapping – mindful of, as Oustimovitch said, the fact this is a subject that won’t lose its vitality any time soon – “it’ll go on for months and years.” Some optimism is found in the fact that more than two dozen people turned up despite the fact it’s late August, possibly the worst time to try to get people together for a meeting. So far, it looks like the fourth Wednesday will be the meeting times, going forward. And now organizational logistics are being discussed – whether city resources will be available for future meetings; district coordinator Yun Pitre from the Department of Neighborhoods is here, but that was made possible by the fact that she and her colleagues had fewer regular meetings to staff this month, with district councils taking August off.

Next meeting – Wednesday, September 24th, 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon).

Update: Suspect arrested in West Seattle theft of SUV with baby inside

August 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 37 Comments

3:25 PM: Just tweeted by Seattle Police: “Officers searching for black SUV near 16SW/SW Holden after suspect steals car w/ 10-month-old child inside.” Suspect/vehicle description from SPD: “Hispanic male, 20s, 5’7, very short hair driving black Ford Edge w/ 22″ rims.” Please call 911 if you think you’ve seen it or know anything about it.

3:34 PM UPDATE: Baby and vehicle have been found in White Center. Police are now trying to find the thief.

3:42 PM UPDATE: If you are in south West Seattle or White Center, you’re probably noticing at least one helicopter – this is what it’s related to – TV chopper for now, law-enforcement chopper Guardian One expected too. One of the choppers belongs to Channel 7, which tweeted an aerial view of the recovered SUV:


4:03 PM: According to radio discussion, police do know who they are looking for. Meantime, commenter Rachel reports what happened when the SUV turned up in White Center’s Greenbridge neighborhood:

I was in Dubsea Coffee when this was occurring. I noticed the black Edge parked in the middle of the road. People were honking at it as they tried to drive down the road. I thought it was bizarre that someone would park right in the middle of the street, but went back to working. About 10 minutes later, I decided to leave Dubsea and that’s when I saw a few people trying to look into the car. Someone realized that there was a baby in the car and opened the front door. That’s when the car started rolling backwards and everyone was scrambling to get out of the way. Finally, a woman jumped in and put the emergency brake on. A few seconds later, the police showed up and got a description of the perpetrator. A few minutes after that, another patrol car showed up with the father of the baby. It was so incredibly heartbreaking to watch him grab his baby out of the car. I am so very glad that there were people around who noticed the baby on this hot day. The people who called 911 and acted quickly to report this should absolutely be commended.

4:19 PM UPDATE: SPD reports a suspect is in custody.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Rock-throwing thief steals smartphone

August 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm | In Crime, Sunrise Heights, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

West Seattle Crime Watch reports have included more than a few smartphone thefts, but never one quite like this. It’s believed someone threw a rock through a window in order to steal an iPhone – whose owner was asleep right next to it. According to the Seattle Police report summary, this happened early Sunday morning on 28th SW in Sunrise Heights. The victim said she had been sleeping on a couch when a football-size rock smashed through the window directly above her. She ran to check on the three young children who also were home; they were OK, so she went to get her phone to make a call – and couldn’t find it. She told police it had been plugged in to charge, on the edge of the couch, under the window. Glass from the broken window cut her hands and legs, so Seattle Fire responded for medical aid. Police had already been called by a neighbor who heard the breaking glass followed by the victim’s scream. Turns out the rock had been picked up from right outside the house, where it was used as a doorstop. The victim and police deduced the phone had been stolen once they tried to call it and found it was going immediately to voicemail; its owner said that’s not the way it was set when she had plugged it in. Police did not find the rock-throwing thief/thieves.

West Seattle back-to-school: Roxhill Elementary barbecue Thursday

August 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

We’re continuing to spotlight local back-to-school events as the start of the new school year (one week from today, September 3rd, for Seattle Public Schools) nears. Here’s an announcement for Roxhill Elementary students, family, and staff:

Roxhill Elementary’s Back to School BBQ is being held tomorrow, Thursday the 28th, from 6 pm- 8 pm. Food will be provided, so bring the whole family and come on down to meet your teacher this year! Free school supplies will be handed out while supplies last – so get there early!

Lots to see just off-campus, too, including more pedestrian improvements on 30th SW.

P.S. Thanks yet again to everyone sharing school news/announcements – e-mail editor@westseattleblog.com (the further in advance, the better)!

Zippy’s Giant Burgers expanding, adding second location

August 27, 2014 at 11:53 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 16 Comments

(Added: Future Georgetown location of second Zippy’s; WSB photo by Katie Meyer)
In its seventh year, Zippy’s Giant Burgers is expanding to add a location. No, it’s not in West Seattle, but it’s not far. Zippy’s proprietor Blaine Cook didn’t mention the location when he announced the expansion plan on Facebook this morning (thanks to Bianca for the tip on that!) but he tells WSB it’s in Georgetown, at the American Pie Company location, 5633 Airport Way South. Zippy’s celebrated its sixth anniversary this past May; it opened in a tiny Highland Park spot in 2008, became massively popular almost instantly, and then moved to a much-larger space in White Center in 2011. Blaine says they’re getting the keys to the new location on Labor Day (Zippy’s #1 will be closed that day).

West Seattle development: Tower crane going up at 4745 40th SW

August 27, 2014 at 11:47 am | In Development, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo by Katie Meyer)
A week and a half after one tower crane was taken down in The Junction, another one is going up just a few blocks away. Thanks to Maris for the tip that the crane’s going up right now for 4745 40th SW, the mixed-use project at 40th and Edmunds, across from the Masonic Center parking lot. We showed its base back on Sunday when an advertising-photo shoot was happening on the site.

P.S. One more nudge – if you’re interested in development/land use-zoning issues in West Seattle, don’t miss tonight’s launch meeting of the WS Land Use Committee. This is *not* a government-convened or -linked committee, nor is it related to any one area of the peninsula, or any particular project. 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle.

West Seattle Wednesday: Land Use Committee launch, WSHS Freshman Family Night, ROVs at Seacrest, more

August 27, 2014 at 10:44 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

(Band-tailed pigeon in Fauntleroy Park: “Washington’s native pigeon” per photographer Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

ROV’S AT SEACREST: “Diver Laura” James invites you to stop by Seacrest “late morning” today (not time-specific but if you see this shortly after we publish it, head on over!) as she and others “will be ‘flying’ some small Underwater Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV) OpenROV and Open Explorer … shooting some UW video of the OpenROV’s while we test the efficacy of surveying sea-star wasting disease and recruitment with OpenROV’s. You can get an up close and personal look at the ROV’s, ask questions, maybe even drive one! And just for giggles I may even have my iPhone microscope on hand so we can look at a few drops of seawater and try to identify some plankton. A maker-space extravaganza!!! This won’t be your only opportunity, my personal OpenROV build is almost complete … and will try to get it out with some regularity for Sea Star Wasting Syndrome surveys, and will try to post them on the calendar!” (1660 Harbor SW)

CHAIR MASSAGE TO BENEFIT ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION: As part of fundraising over the next month for the Arthritis Foundation, Massage Envy West Seattle (WSB sponsor) is offering $1-minute chair massages 5-7 pm (and two more dates ahead) – details in our calendar listing. (2513 SW Trenton, north side of Westwood Village)

WSHS FRESHMAN FAMILY NIGHT: Someone in your family starting at West Seattle High School next week? Tonight’s event is for you. 5:30-7:30 pm – details in our preview. (3000 California SW)

LAND-USE COMMITTEE LAUNCH: Anyone and everyone interested is welcome at the launch meeting of the West Seattle Land Use Committee, meant to be a community group focused on the “big picture” of local development/zoning issues beyond the project-specific way they are addressed now. Our preview from last week includes a document and link you can check out in preparation, as well as the agenda. 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle. (Oregon/California)

POETRY AND STORYTELLING: The monthly event, with featured readers and open-microphone time, starts at 7 pm tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor). Details in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)

MORE NIGHTLIFE! Lots of listings for tonight – just check our calendar.

This party will rock! Camp Long Mountain Fest set for next month

August 27, 2014 at 10:04 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | No Comments

(Schurman Rock at Camp Long; photo from seattle.gov)
Celebrate climbing without going too far above sea level, at a special Camp Long celebration just announced for next month. From Seattle Parks:

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites you and your family to celebrate Camp Long Mountain Fest and the 75th anniversary of Schurman Rock from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014.

Camp Long Mountain Fest celebrates Seattle’s mountain climbing history and community. Visitors can challenge themselves on the high ropes course and try climbing and rappelling on Schurman Rock (with waivers). There will be mountain games and interactive workshops for people of all ages and abilities and prizes will be awarded. Jim Whittaker, the first American to climb Mount Everest, is scheduled to attend.

Schurman Rock was constructed between 1938 and 1939 by the Work Progress Administration, and is believed to be the first man-made climbing structure in America. It was originally named Monitor Rock because climbing instructors could monitor their students from all sides of the structure. In 1957, it was renamed to honor Clark Schurman who designed it.

Schurman, known as “The Chief,” was the chief climbing guide on Mount Rainier from 1938 to 1941. As a climber, he sketched and painted his journeys into a book published by The Mountaineers in 1939. Schurman thought it was important for novice climbers to have a practice rock. Schurman Rock stands as a legacy to his vision.

Seattle Parks says this will be a free event; find out more about Schurman Rock here.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: 99 fully open again, and other Wednesday updates

August 27, 2014 at 6:07 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
“Reopened” is the word of the day, so far. WSDOT confirms Highway 99 is now fully open again, including the rebuilt bridge north of the Battery Street Tunnel; also, the ramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge to southbound I-5 is open again after a deadly motorcycle crash overnight, and the bridge exit to northbound 99 reopened late last night, after an hours-long closure caused by a fuel spill. Another note for today: School buses will be out on practice runs. And if you travel through SODO – take note that the Mariners have a day game today (12:40 pm).

Update: Deadly motorcycle crash on West Seattle Bridge exit to southbound I-5

August 27, 2014 at 1:34 am | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 14 Comments

(Photos by WSP Sgt. Courtney Stewart)
1:34 AM: More West Seattle Bridge exit ramp trouble. This time, a motorcycle has crashed and both people riding it are hurt. It happened at the exit to southbound I-5 on the east end of the bridge. The State Patrol says one person is in critical condition, one in serious condition, and the exit is closed.

1:45 AM: Update from WSP via Twitter: The motorcycle’s driver has died. The passenger is still described as in serious condition and was taken to Harborview Medical Center.

5:08 AM: WSP says the passenger’s life was saved by netting:



The ramp is now open again.

ADDED 9:45 AM: According to the WSP “media memo” with additional information, the man who was killed was 32 years old and from Kent; the woman who survived is 22 and from Puyallup. WSP’s preliminary investigation information in the same e-mail says the motorcycle “took exit ramp to southbound I-5 and failed to negotiate curve, ejected driver and passenger, and came to rest in (the) roadway.”

West Seattle scene: Rotarians sort school-supplies donations for Pencil Me In For Kids

August 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm | In How to help, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | No Comments

Thanks to Josh Sutton from the Rotary Club of West Seattle for the photo from an annual late-summer tradition – the sorting party for school-supplies donations collected and obtained by Pencil Me In For Kids. In the heart of the activity at Monday night’s event, that’s Sue Lindblom waving, and Cathy Rouyer talking with her. Josh adds that overall, “More than a dozen West Seattle Rotarians sorted over $9,000 in school supplies destined for students in need from every West Seattle public school. Thanks to Staples and to QFC for their discounts and support of Rotary Pencil Me In For Kids.” P.S. PMIFK has been getting school supplies to kids who need them for almost 20 years! Here’s how to help.

4 West Seattle biznotes, from Admiral to The Junction to The Triangle

August 26, 2014 at 8:41 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Four West Seattle biznotes tonight:

AUSTRALIAN WINEMAKER VISITING: This Friday night at The Cask (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm, acclaimed Australian winemaker Daniel Binet from Ballabourneen Winery is visiting for a “Meet the Winemaker” event. Ballabourneen describes Binet as, in addition to winemaker, “entertainer, bon vivant and inspiration behind the wines, creativity and culture of the company.” (See his bio here.) Stop by the Cask at 2350 California SW Friday night to say hi and try his wine.

FORMER SHOOFLY PIE SPACE: The state’s liquor-license application announcements give a hint of what’s on the way for the space vacated when Shoofly closed earlier this month – a license application is in for that address, 4444 California SW, in the name Coastline, and the applicant is Aaron Shepherd, proprietor of Copper Coin in Admiral. We have a message out seeking more information.

CHERRY CONSIGNMENT CHANGE: Just up the street from there, Cherry Consignment proprietor Nyla says her store at 4142 California SW will be exclusively focused on women’s wear and accessories as of next month, and that she plans “to expand our current selection of gently used garments to include more plus, petite, and maternity sizes.” This means they’ll no longer accept men’s clothing for consignment as of August 31st.

ALKI SEAGULL MERCH AT NEW LOCATIONS: Misa e-mailed to say Mountain to Sound Outfitters in The Triangle and Alki Kayak Tours at Seacrest are “now carrying the Alki bird (seagull logo) merchandise including the classic bumper stickers, T’s, sweatshirts, and hats.” People ask often where they can find these items, so that’s word of two more options.

West Seattle Bridge traffic alert: Exit to NB 99 reopens after hours-long closure following diesel spill on eastbound bridge

August 26, 2014 at 4:57 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 15 Comments

(Added: Photo of truck, tweeted by Seattle Fire)
4:57 PM: In case you’re heading toward downtown (or beyond) sometime soon: Thanks to the tipster who just called to let us know about a truck stopped on the eastbound bridge near the Highway 99 exit, leaking fluid. It’s on the SFD 911 log as a “fuel spill.”

5:10 PM UPDATE: The exit to 99 is closed because of the cleanup, per this SDOT tweet:


5:20 PM UPDATE: A text from Metro says that since the ramp is closed for now, Routes 21, 120, 125, and RapidRide C Line are rerouting onto 4th Avenue South.

5:28 PM UPDATE: Seattle Fire estimates the spill at about 80 gallons. (added) SPD adds that “Portions of roads near Harbor Island will be closed for an extended period.” And now there’s also word of a crash *on* northbound 99 north of the ramp from the bridge, so even if you get onto 99 from points to the south, you might be in for some trouble.

5:47 PM UPDATE: The cleanup of what’s described over emergency radio as diesel fuel also involves checking storm drains to make sure the fuel doesn’t get into the river or Puget Sound.

6:45 PM UPDATE: SDOT says the ramp will be closed “for several hours” because the hazmat team is investigating.

9:28 PM UPDATE: SPD says it probably won’t reopen until midnight. Here’s the summary just posted on SPD Blotter:

Multiple city agencies responded to a diesel fuel spill after a semi-truck punctured its gas tank sending 80 gallons of fuel onto streets near Harbor Island during Tuesday evening’s commute.

Officers began receiving calls about a fuel leak at the Alaskan Way on-ramp to the West Seattle Bridge just before 4:45 p.m. As they arrived, they found roads in the area covered in diesel fuel, making the roads very slick, for approximately one mile leading up to where the fuel source was found. Officers discovered the disabled semi-truck at the on-ramp surrounded in a three-inch-deep pool of fuel.

The Seattle Fire Department responded to the scene and began sopping up the fuel as it sank into the ground and drained into the sewage system. It is still unknown the extent of damage the fuel may have caused. The United States Coast Guard was called to the scene to help prevent fuel from leaking into the Duwamish Waterway.

Officers spoke with the driver of the semi who said he was unsure of what punctured the tank, but he had been traveling in the direction of the leak. Officers scoured the area and found a raised curb that appeared to have been hit by the truck, tearing a hole in the exposed fuel tank.

Four other vehicle were damaged in collisions related to the fuel spill and many others were trapped in the spilled fuel.

The ramp is closed as crews continue to cleanup, but is expected to reopen around midnight.

11:45 PM: Checking the webcam that’s been zoomed in on the ramp, looks like it’s open.

You can help! Benefits with beer: Bob’s Bowl-A-Rama; Washington Organic Week

August 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS beverages | No Comments

Raise a glass to good deeds! We have word today of two upcoming benefits involving breweries – one in West Seattle, one featuring a WS brewer:

BOWLING AND BEER: A benefit bowl-a-thon at West Seattle Bowl this Thursday has a few lanes still open. From Ingrid at Georgetown Brewing Company:

The event is called Bob’s Bowl-A-Rama, and it is the final event of our fundraising for Ronald McDonald House Charities for 2014.

Charles “Bob” Hirsch was the inspiration for our beer, Bob’s Brown Ale. Manny, one of Georgetown Brewing Co.’s founders, met Bob when he was a counselor at Camp Goodtimes and Bob was a camper. Bob fought cancer for half of his life, and when he passed away, the company decided to brew a beer in his honor and donate all of the proceeds. Bob’s mom chose RMHC as the recipient charity for our donation saying “They put us up for treatment every time we came in from Alaska.” For the past 9 years, we’ve released Bob’s Brown Ale on Bob’s birthday, May 14th, and have raised over $400,000 to date. Even if folks can’t buy a lane, even if they just come out for a pint of Bob’s Brown Ale and buy a raffle ticket, that would be great.

Bob’s Bowl-A-Rama starts at 7 pm Thursday (August 28th) and if you’re interested in a lane, sign up ASAP – here’s all the info.

WASHINGTON ORGANIC WEEK: As part of WOW, Elliott Bay Brewery is participating in Tilth ProducersBeer, Cider, Chocolate Tasting event; Amy from EBB tells WSB, “Elliott Bay Brewery will be pouring our delicious Organic Chocolate No Doubt Stout & our Organic Vanilla No Doubt Stout, in support of Washington Organic Week. This is our fourth year contributing to this event and we always have a great time.” It’s not in WS but it’s not far – 6:30 pm Wednesday, September 10th, at Theo Chocolate (3400 Phinney N.) – ticket details here.

West Seattle back-to-school: Why you’ll see yellow buses on the roads and in the lots the next two days

August 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

Though Seattle Public Schools‘ first day of classes is still eight days away, you’ll see yellow school buses on the roads the next two days. Here’s the heads-up from driver Al:

Tomorrow and Thursday school bus drivers will be doing ‘dry runs’ of their routes, which means as early as 6 am, hundreds of school buses will be out-and-about following the directions given to us by the District to find and check out our pick-up and drop-off locations, as well as looking for any route-problems we may encounter on the streets.

Also happening during these two days are meetings at various schools between staff and the drivers, so some schools will see a number of buses parked in their load zones for a while.

This will likely happen for most of the day both days, and we thank you ahead of time for the public’s patience and understanding.

And thanks again to everybody sharing back-to-school news – editor@westseattleblog.com – same address for announcements and info once schools are open again, too!

West Seattle Tuesday: What’s ahead for today and tonight

August 26, 2014 at 10:17 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

(Dall’s porpoises in West Seattle waters, photographed by Danny McMillin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

SOUTHWEST POOL CLOSURE: A week-long maintenance closure starts today for the city’s only indoor pool in West Seattle. It’s scheduled to reopen the day after Labor Day (Tuesday, September 2nd).

KALEIDOSCOPE PLAY-AND-LEARN: 1:30 pm, parents/caregivers are invited to bring kids 2-5 to High Point Branch Library for fun activities promoting early learning; details in our calendar listing. (35th/Raymond)

LIVE MUSIC AT SALTY’S: Another warm, clear evening is forecast; spend it on the water at Salty’s (WSB sponsor), where Justin Kausal-Hayes performs starting at 5:30 pm, no cover. (1936 Harbor Ave. SW)

WHITE CENTER BIKE-CORRAL MEETING: Some business owners and community advocates are hoping for more bicycle parking to draw more business to downtown White Center, and a grant is close to being finalized for a “bike corral” to facilitate that. They’re asking for a show of support at a community meeting about it tonight, 6:30 pm, at the King County Sheriff’s Office storefront in White Center; details here. (9609 16th SW)

FREE LEGAL CLINIC: 7 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle – by appointment; our calendar listing includes info on how to get one. (Oregon/California)

BLUES TO DO: The Jelly Rollers, featuring Keith Lowe, perform tonight during Blues To Do at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 8 pm. More info in our calendar listing. (6451 California SW)

EVEN MORE NIGHTLIFE AND DAYTIME ACTIVITIES … on the calendar!

West Seattle back-to-school: WSHS Freshman Family Night tomorrow

August 26, 2014 at 9:39 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

Another announcement just in for a back-to-school event – this one’s tomorrow!

West Seattle High School is having its Freshman Family Night from 5:30-7:30 Wednesday, August 27: Student panel, curriculum information, building tours, meet key WSHS staff members, and purchase WSHS Spirit Gear.

Back-to-school event we haven’t mentioned yet for YOUR school? Please send info – thanks!

Update: Kitchen fire at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center

August 26, 2014 at 6:52 am | In High Point, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
6:52 AM: Now a second fire response – again, it’s always a big response for a building, until crews get there and evaluate – this time, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, which is Neighborhood House in High Point.

6:56 AM: SFD reports it’s a kitchen fire at High Point Center. They’re reducing the response, canceling some of the units that were headed that way. The biggest challenge, per scanner, is dealing with the automatic sprinkler system.

7:07 AM: SFD’s investigator won’t be able to get to this scene until he’s done at the fire on SW Barton in Westwood.

9:40 AM NOTE: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli checked back at the center a short time ago and says they were finishing cleanup and expected to open for the day shortly.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; last day of the rest of the 99 closure

August 26, 2014 at 6:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 13 Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Today is the last day of the rest of the Highway 99 closure, from the Battery Street Tunnel north to Valley Street. See a time lapse of the work in our reminder from last night; see the map in an earlier reminder. To check Metro routes, go here.

26TH/BARTON NOTE, 6:30 AM: A fire response across from Westwood Village is affecting traffic in that area.

6:57 AM: Now there’s another fire response, in High Point. Not a big fire but it’s on Sylvan Way a block south of Morgan and will likely affect traffic in that area for a while.

5:45 PM NOTE: In case you haven’t already seen the separate update, the eastbound bridge offramp to NB 99 is blocked right now because of a spill from a truck – described so far as a fuel spill – that’s being cleaned up.

Update: Fire at boarded-up house in Westwood

August 26, 2014 at 6:09 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, Westwood | 31 Comments

(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
6:09 AM: Thanks for the texts about all the sirens. There’s a “fire in building” callout at 26th/Barton.

6:38 AM: It’s a residential building across from Westwood Village. No injuries reported.

6:52 AM: Some of the units have been dismissed – again, this was a large initial callout just because that is standard operating procedure for a building fire call until crews arrive. Others are leaving now for a separate fire call in High Point.

7:06 AM: No word of the cause yet – fire investigator is still on scene.

7:47 AM: 26th SW is still closed at the scene, though the fire’s been out a while.

8:28 AM: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says that while the home was indeed boarded up – as noted in comments below – the “house and backyard were full of combustible materials.” Though neighbors mention squatters, he says firefighters didn’t find anyone inside when they searched the house. They’re not sure yet how it started; damage is estimated at $55,000.

8:47 AM: SFD will be keeping “fire watch” at the house (which is in the 9200 block of 26th) for a while; Ladder 11 (above) just arrived to help with that.

4:50 PM: SFD published a wrap-up report on its Fireline site, noting that “evidence of transient activity” was found inside the house, which was “released (to its) owner” this afternoon. The cause remains officially listed as “undetermined.”

Congratulations! West Seattle’s Martin de Vrieze completes high-elevation 100-mile race

August 26, 2014 at 1:03 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, WS & Sports | 5 Comments

Congratulations to another West Seattleite for an amazing accomplishment – a high-elevation challenge completed by Martin de Vrieze recently in Colorado. Francine Stroud shares the story and photo:

Martin de Vrieze, a 20-year West Seattle resident, recently ran the Leadville 100 “Race Across the Sky.” This race is 100 miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain. The race spans elevations between 9200 feet up to 12,600 feet, and has a total elevation gain of 18,168 feet. The race must be completed in 30 hours or less. Generally, only one half of the runners that start are able to finish the race. This year there were 612 starters and only 351 finishers. The race begins at 4:00 AM in the dark and for Martin ended at dawn the following morning. Martin finished in 25 hrs. 43 mins. 48 secs. He came in 25th in his age group and 93rd overall. We are very proud of him.

Find out more about the race here; results are here.

Two road-work updates for Tuesday: Highway 99, AH microsurfacing

August 25, 2014 at 10:38 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

Two notes before the night’s out:

That time lapse from WSDOT shows the work that’s been done on Highway 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel – the section that’s scheduled to be closed one more day, until early Wednesday, as a bridge is rebuilt. With the Alaskan Way Viaduct back in action as of this (Monday) morning, the commute was OK by most accounts, but it’s also widely acknowledged that it was also an off-day for many trying to get vacation time in before Labor Day, so just in case everybody’s back tomorrow, don’t get complacent – check our morning traffic watch. (And thanks again to those who shared notes about how it went – and to the WSB’er who noticed when the SDOT cameras got “stuck”!)

ALSO ON TUESDAY: It’ll be the final day of “microsurfacing” in Arbor Heights and the revised map was causing some concern, explains Joe Szilagyi of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council. He pursued answers with SDOT and discovered:

*The intersection of 100th and 33rd was surfaced today (contrary to the map), so the Tuesday work will NOT “trap” residents along several blocks – they will be able to get to 102nd via 33rd

*SDOT still expects to finish tomorrow, per SDOT, “including the area that was added on California/Fletcher and a segment on 112th that is getting a special test formulation.”

You can help! Straight Blast Gym collecting school supplies for New Beginnings

August 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Above are Jei and Sonia, co-proprietors of Straight Blast Gym of Seattle (WSB sponsor). Jei turned blue for this recent photo in honor of a promise he made when the SBG crowdfunding campaign hit a milestone; that campaign is now 86 percent of the way to its goal. But that’s not why we’re mentioning them tonight. SBG is inviting you to help them help a nonprofit with a last-minute school-supplies drive:

New Beginnings-Ending Domestic Violence is a fantastic organization that has asked us to run a school-supplies drive. They provide “services to those whose lives have been affected by domestic violence – physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Some who use our services are in physical danger. Others are living with controlling partners in relationships that are emotionally abusive. Explore our site to learn how to get help, how to get involved, how to donate and how to learn more about domestic violence in our community.”

I know this is semi-last minute; we have until the end of August to collect items. We’ll be taking donations in the front room next to the couch. If you’re shopping for your child, or at Target, grab something… every little bit counts.

- Backpacks (Ninja Turtles, Princesses, Sports, Solid Colors, etc.

School supplies:
- Scientific Calculators,USB Drives, Protractors
- Highlighters, rulers, pencil sleeves
- Coloring pencils
- Markers
- Glue sticks and Elmers glue
- 3-ring Binders, zip-up 3-ring Binders
- Mechanical pencils (with extra lead)
- Refillable water bottles
- Folders with cool Designs

Back to School clothes
- Boys boxers/boxer briefs (S, M, L, XL),
- Men’s boxers/boxer briefs (S, M)
- Girls leggings (S, M, L, XL)
- Sweatshirts in youth sizes

Gift certificates for new school outfits:
- Target, H&M, Forever 21, Pac-sun

Whatever you can donate, drop it off at SBG, which is at 5050 Delridge Way SW (map).

West Seattle back-to-school: Pathfinder barbecue Thursday

August 25, 2014 at 6:32 pm | In Pigeon Point, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

Another back-to-school event announcement to share:

The Pathfinder Back-to-School BBQ is August 28 from 5-7 pm. The PTSA invites the Pathfinder K-8 school community and Pigeon Point neighbors to celebrate the new playground paint and kick-off our 2014-2015 school year. Food and drink provided. Details about this and other events can be found at our new PTSA website. pathfinderk8ptsa.org

P.S. Thanks to ALL the parents, PTA leaders, volunteers, staffers (and sometimes students) who share announcements/news here so we can help get the word out too – here’s how

West Seattle Crime Watch: Victim chases robber, gets purse back

August 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 20 Comments

A purse-snatching victim got her purse back after chasing the man who tried to steal it at the bus stop by Roxhill Park. According to the Seattle Police report about the incident, categorized as a “strong-arm robbery,” it happened early Sunday morning, around 12:30 am. A Metro Route 21 bus driver saw it happen and called police on behalf of the victim, who said the would-be robber came up behind her as she was boarding the bus. He pulled her purse off her shoulder; she ran after him as he fled onto a trail into the park. According to the report, “the man didn’t run far before he threw the purse onto the ground and kept running southbound.” The victim got everything back, though her purse was ripped in the process, and her arm was scratched when the robber pulled it off her shoulder. Officers couldn’t find the robber, described by the victim as 18 or 19 years old, Filipino, “long black hair in the back,” 5-8, thin build, wearing a black vest, white T-shirt, and khaki pants.

West Seattle traffic alert: Harbor Island protest this afternoon

August 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 11 Comments

(Photo added: Courtesy of Maris, who was bicycling through the area)
2:17 PM: Thanks to Leeann for the tip – low-bridge commuters and others driving in the Harbor Island vicinity might need this heads-up: Protesters say they’ll be staging at the Spokane Street Fishing Pier, east of the low bridge, at 4 pm today. They are protesting an arriving ship operated by an Israel-based company, the Zim Chicago (which is off Manchester as of this writing, per MarineTraffic.com), in opposition to Israel’s actions in the Gaza conflict. A similar protest is reported to have drawn more than 100 participants Saturday in Tacoma. The Port of Seattle’s schedule says Zim Chicago is coming in at Terminal 18.

6:03 PM: Yes, that’s why there’s a TV helicopter over the north end of West Seattle.

ADDED: One protester was arrested, per multiple reports (including the protest group itself).

Followup: West Seattle Senior Center hires ousted director as consultant, ‘evaluates relationship’ with Senior Services

August 25, 2014 at 11:15 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 7 Comments

Karen Sisson is back at the Senior Center of West Seattle – as a consultant.

As first reported here July 14, after 25 years as center director, Sisson was fired by Senior Services, the citywide nonprofit that provides staffing to centers including West Seattle, after sending an e-mail that expressed concern over possible operational changes SS was reported to be considering. SS would not comment on the reason for Sisson’s ouster, but multiple sources attributed it to the e-mail.

Now, the Senior Center’s board – which operates independently of Senior Services and its board – has hired Sisson as a consultant, and is demanding that SS reinstate her as center director. From board president David Robertson:

The Senior Center of West Seattle unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing Karen Sisson as Center Director and expressing its lack of confidence in Paula Houston, the Agency Director of Senior Services. A copy of the resolution is attached:

The Senior Center of West Seattle has hired Karen Sisson as a consultant to assist the Board in dealing with financial matters of the Senior Center of West Seattle as the Senior Center evaluates its relationship with Senior Services.

Unlike most of the Seattle senior centers that are staffed through Senior Services, the West Seattle center owns its own building. In addition to the board resolution, Sisson’s firing also has sparked a community outcry, including a petition drive, and an earlier board “vote of confidence” in her work. Sisson herself hasn’t commented directly on her firing but told WSB she appreciates the messages of support.

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