Mistaken-identity-murder victim Michael Delfin-Rodriguez’s family pleads for help finding his killerDecember 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | No Comments
(Also published on partner site White Center Now)
In the blue cap and gown is Michael Delfin-Rodriguez, celebrating his graduation from New Start High School on the Evergreen campus in White Center, with his dad Sergio. Michael is the young man shot and killed the day before Thanksgiving, at 2nd SW and SW 108th, while he and his brother Saul were out for an early-early-morning walk to a store. This morning, members of Michael’s family were at the King County Sheriff’s Office headquarters downtown, meeting the media to make a public plea for help in finding his killer. Saul spoke for the family today:
As reported later that day (November 27th), investigators say it’s a case of mistaken identity – Michael and Saul were confronted by two people, believed to be teenage boys, who accused them of being members of a gang; they denied it, kept moving, then one of those boys pulled out a gun and fired, killing Michael. We’ll be adding video from the news conference later; if anyone saw anything or has heard any talk about it, there’s a Crime Stoppers reward in the case, and investigators are eager to hear from anyone with information that might help solve the murder. Crime Stoppers has multiple ways to report tips, including anonymously, or call KCSO at 206-296-3311.
At the center of our photo from this past July is West Seattleite Rusty Harper, photographed as he led his fellow Seafair Pirates ashore at Alki Beach as this year’s “Captain Kidd.” Last weekend, Mr. Harper died at just 56 years old. His wife Bonnie shares this remembrance:
October 1957 – December 2013
Rusty Harper, of West Seattle, will be remembered most recently as Captain Kidd of the Seattle Seafair Pirates this year. He loved the camaraderie and being a part of the “historic tapestry of Seattle”. He got the biggest thrill at the start of every Torchlight Parade. Looking straight down 4th Avenue at the throngs of people waiting for the first cannon blast from the Moby Duck was his favorite moment each year. His Pirate friends became his brothers, and brothers help make a place a home. His motto was “Tempus Fugit.”
His friends knew him as a Southern Gentleman. He was born in a small town in Mississippi, but spent most of his youth in Mobile, Alabama. Although he and his wife of 20 years, Bonnie, lived in Seattle since 1995, Rusty retained his beautiful accent. After a career in real estate, Rusty went to culinary school, which brought him to Seattle. He worked in the food manufacturing industry for years, but most recently joined Sage Fly Fishing on Bainbridge Island.
Rusty was on a continuous journey to enrich his mind and soul. His search led him to convert to Catholicism in his early 30’s. He was a passionate reader of literature, history, sci-fi and horror. He wanted to finish War and Peace, but only made it through the difficult part that was written in French – he had so looked forward to reading the rest in English. He loved graphic novels and comics, too. He spent many hours with his nose buried in the Dark Knight series of Batman. He loved art and music. As a baby boomer, of course there was AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, but he developed a profound love of jazz and big band music, particularly Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington. Travel was a big part of Rusty’s life. In recent trips to Europe, he spent many happy hours exploring art and culture. Several petite Parisian ladies working in a tiny chocolate shop might remember the shock of seeing a big redhead in a trench coat burst through the doors declaring in French, “I am an American chocolatier – where is the metro?”.
Rusty was the only son of Patricia Harper, who lives in Mobile, and the late Russell Harper. Rusty is remembered by his wife and her big family of sisters, nieces, nephews, and their children who loved their Uncle Rusty. His “hey, ya’ll”, “Roll Tide!”, big grin, and hearty laugh will be profoundly missed. Tempus fugit. Vita brevis.
Mr. Harper’s memorial is this Saturday (December 7th), 2-4 pm at The Sanctuary at Admiral (2656 42nd SW).
Four West Seattle Crime Watch cases to report this morning:
BUSINESS BREAK-IN/VANDALISM: Police went to Amy’s Nails at 5631 California SW around 8:30 this morning after the salon’s glass door was discovered to have been smashed.
We talked with the salon’s owner at the scene; he told us that so far as he could tell at that point, it did not appear anything had been stolen.
STOLEN CAR: From a WSB reader who doesn’t want to be identified:
Our 1997 White Honda Civic LX Sedan was stolen from in front of our house in Highland Park (14th SW & SW Trenton) sometime between 6 pm Monday and 5 am Tuesday. WA License #AIZ6670. There is nothing too distinguishing about it, except for the black Britax car seat in the back seat of the car which has probably been dumped by now. If you spot the car, or know anything about the theft, please contact 911. Thanks!
Ahead – a stolen bike to watch for, plus, what a fast-thinking neighbor took to scare away mail prowlers:
(Photographed this morning by Emily Austin, shared via Instagram)
Someone left that on West Seattle’s northeast-facing shore – sweet way to start the day. Here are highlights of what’s ahead, from the year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and the seasonal WSB Holiday Guide:
BABY STORY TIME: Home with a wee one? Bring her/him to High Point Branch Library at 11:30 am for Baby Story Time. (35th/Raymond)
EARLY DAYS: Then right afterward, bring your baby to the Early Days drop-in support group, meeting Wednesdays noon-2 pm at Nurturing Expressions (WSB sponsor) in The Junction – details here.
PRIVACY ADVOCATES @ COUNCIL COMMITTEE: The agenda for today’s 2 pm meeting of the City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee includes items that privacy advocates say relate to the wireless-mesh network that includes the sites where Seattle Police surveillance cameras are installed, in West Seattle and elsewhere, north to Shilshole, and they’re planning to speak out during the public-comment period at the meeting’s start. Details are on their new Facebook page.
EIGHTH AND FINAL NIGHT OF HANUKKAH … starts at sundown, 4:19 pm.
(added) INTERESTED IN K-5 STEM? Tonight’s a great night for prospective families to visit, says the K-5 STEM PTA, because of the Book Fair Blizzard. 5:30-8 pm. (Warm apple cider, bake sale, and gift wrapping) Books and gifts from pre-school through 6th grade. More info. on the PTA web site, where you can also find Book Talks from K-5 STEM 5th-graders. (5950 Delridge Way SW)
NIGHTLIFE: Tonight’s listings include a Pearl Jam pre-func party (since Friday’s the KeyArena concert) at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 7 pm … Karaoke with Kelli at OutWest Bar, 8:30 pm … more on the calendar!
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:11 AM: For starters: The below-freezing air has finally arrived. The Boeing Field temp, usually the closest to ours, was 27 at the top of the hour.
7:40 AM: Jana reports a crash on the eastbound bridge, “red lights everywhere.” Nothing on the 911 log so far.
8:04 AM: Per scanner, there’s debris – “ladder, boxes, some wood” – on the eastbound bridge. No specific spot mentioned yet. Also, a report of a crash at Delridge/Andover, with the drivers possibly in some kind of post-crash argument.
8:31 AM: Also from the scanner, police heading to check out a report of an incident/crash possibly involving a Metro bus, California/Edmunds. (Update: Thanks to NanC for an eyewitness report in comments below.)
9:13 AM: Thanks to Mike Jensen for the Twitter update on the bridge debris – he says a crew is out cleaning them up, which is/was blocking the left lane of the eastbound bridge.
Three advisories today:
BRIDGE LANE CLOSURES: Today through Friday, the city plans to install LED streetlights on the high-rise bridge, and that means lane closures, starting with sections of the eastbound right-hand lane 10 am-4 pm today. Here’s the advisory we published Tuesday.
42ND SW ALERT: The half-block closure of 42nd SW between Alaska and Edmunds continues today, according to an advisory from Andersen Construction, which is working on the two-building mixed-use development at 42nd/Alaska/California.
They’re connecting sewer lines and expect the closures to continue daily through Friday and again next Monday-Friday, 7 am-3:30 pm. Access is maintained to 42nd SW businesses, but you can’t take a right turn when leaving Jefferson Square.
SW GENESEE ALERT: The prefab-townhouse project continues today on SW Genesee west of 26th SW, and that means a lane is blocked at times. Here’s our coverage from Tuesday.
A tradition at Madison Middle School brought in more than a ton and a half of holiday spirit to be shared with schoolmates and their families. Thanks to Anne Weglin for sharing the photos and story:
Madison Middle School students and families showed their generosity with their recent Thanksgiving Basket Food Drive. Science teachers participated in the annual class food drive competition, bringing in a grand total of 3,300 pounds of food.
New this year, the winning class teacher receives “The Madison Turkey Cup” trophy, which they will proudly display in the classroom throughout the year. The winning class this year was Ms. Quynn’s (pictured below with the trophy) 8th-grade students with a total of 1,126 pounds of food.
The donations were organized by volunteer coordinator Lora Bunch and the school nurse, Ms. Kate Bobo. The canned foods along with turkeys, dairy products, toiletries and more were distributed to 30 Madison families just in time to enjoy for Thanksgiving. This monumental effort could not have been successful without the help of staff and parent cash donations, the student helpers, and the volunteer delivery drivers. Special thanks to MacPherson’s Produce on Beacon Hill and Jefferson Square Safeway as well.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Before the Southwest Design Review Board meets again tomorrow, we have one loose end from its last meeting, details of what led to the decision to send 3078 SW Avalon Way back for one more try.)
(Site aerial, from meeting packet)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
That would be two months following the 102-apartment, 60-parking-space project‘s second appearance before the board, which didn’t happen until fourteen months after its first review.
During that gap, the project changed, city codes changed, and the plan for an adjacent site changed.
One thing that did not change: The dedication of neighbors intent on raising big-picture questions while being an integral part of the process, a process that dates back to early word of the proposal 15 months ago, after which they met four times in the few ensuing weeks before the project’s September 2012 Design Review debut.
That process got emotional and contentious as this most recent meeting neared its end – four and a half hours after the board’s night began with another project that, like this one, involves a 100-plus-unit building to be built adjacent to a single-family neighborhood. As we reported right after the meeting, both were sent back for at least one more meeting.
The emotion and frustration, suggested the city planner assigned to 3078 Avalon Way, seemed to be about the zoning, something neither he nor board members could change – the zoning that potentially would allow a building rising seven stories from Avalon on this site.
We’ve already featured the official start of the season at West Seattle’s two best-known Christmas-lights displays (here and here) – now, it’s time to show off even more! Tonight, our first reader-contributed photo – above, TJ shares that photo from the 7900 block of 32nd SW. Below, we just noticed and photographed this home on 42nd SW near SW Raymond tonight:
We welcome photos and tips – please e-mail either (or both!) to email@example.com. And something new this year – in addition to archiving our Christmas-lights coverage here on WSB, we’re also featuring photos on a board on the WSB Pinterest page. (By this weekend, we’ll launch a map in the West Seattle Holiday Events/Info Guide too.)
Three men are now charged in what’s been dubbed the “My Gun’s Bigger” robbery attempt at Highland Park’s Morning Star Market. Seattle Police announced the arrests on November 26th, three days after the clerk scared the would-be robbers away, and we got word of the charges today. Read on for the story they tell:
Thanks to Mike for the tip: The state’s second weekly list of recreational-marijuana business applicants (linked from this page) includes the first application for a retail location in West Seattle, for A Green Life, at 5435 California SW, same site as the storefront that’s been home to several medical-marijuana outlets in the past few years.
There are also two additional West Seattle filings for marijuana-growing licenses – Northwest Medicinal at 5420 26th SW and R&B Group at 3601 W. Marginal Way SW, same address as the Evergreen Herbal application reported here last week; R&B is also seeking a processor license. The state is midway through a one-month period of accepting applications from those wishing to become involved in the recreational-marijuana industry enabled by voters’ passage last year of Initiative 502. Next list is due out next Tuesday.
For the next five days, the morning high tides will approach 13 feet – the so-called “king tides” – and the state Ecology Department is again asking you to share your photos. Above is one of ours from WSB coverage last December 17th, when a king tide coincided with high winds. This Friday (December 6th), at 7:48 am, high tide will peak at 12.9 feet, same as it was on that memorable day a year ago. Here’s the request from Ecology:
*Take photos during a king tide, preferably where the high water levels can be gauged against familiar landmarks such as sea walls, jetties, bridge supports or buildings.
*Note the date, time and location of your photo, then upload your images on the Washington King Tide Photo Initiative Flickr Group.
*Please tag your photos on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #kingtides.
*Play it safe! While the winter king tides occur during daylight hours, don’t venture out during severe weather and keep a close eye on rising water levels.
We would also love to see your photos – here are all the ways to reach us. Thanks in advance!
P.S. Any time you’re looking for a tide chart – check the one that’s displayed on the WSB West Seattle Weather page.
Across from the 13th hole of the West Seattle Golf Course, in the 2800 block of SW Genesee (map), a crane is lifting three prefab townhouses into place, module by module. We reported on the modules’ arrival back on Saturday; now, the installation is a hot ticket on the cold, shady side of the street:
Of course, we, our fellow newspeople, and the spectators could leave at any time. Not an option for the crew working to make sure it’s all done correctly and safely – no mean feat given the size of the lot:
As noted in our previous story, the dozen or so modules comprising Method Homes‘ 3-unit, 2-building townhouse project were trucked in from the factory in Ferndale and parked along 26th SW west of Delridge Community Center/Park, a temporary staging zone:
The work is scheduled to continue tomorrow, with intermittent lane closures on Genesee while it’s under way.
P.S. For three quick video clips from the midmorning module lift, check out the WSB Instagram feed.
(WSB video: Mudhoney at Easy Street Records this past April)
Back on November 22nd, we mentioned the upcoming release party for Full Tilt Ice Cream‘s new Mudhoney flavor – 7 pm December 11th at Full Tilt’s flagship White Center store. At the time, a sweet surprise was being planned – an unannounced appearance by Mudhoney themselves. Now, we hear from FT proprietor Justin Cline, it’s no longer secret – so we’re getting the news to you too. Be there one week from tomorrow (party at 7, band at 8), for the ice cream as well as the music!
In its recent announcement that LED-streetlight installation was complete on neighborhood streets in its service area, Seattle City Light mentioned arterials were next. That includes the West Seattle Bridge, where installation is planned later this week, according to this announcement from SDOT:
The Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle City Light plan to work on the high-level, West Seattle Bridge on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Dec. 4, 5 and 6, if weather conditions permit. SDOT crews will perform maintenance work, and SCL crews will install LED lights.
On Wednesday the eastbound, right-hand lane will be closed from 10 am to 4 pm. The closure will extend for approximately 400 to 500 feet, and will be repositioned as the work progresses along the length of the bridge. On Thursday, the westbound, right lane will be closed starting at 8:30 am until no later than 2:30 pm. On Friday, Dec. 6, the westbound, left-hand lane will be closed, again from 8:30 am until no later than 2:30 pm.
LED lights are already in place on the Spokane Street Viaduct (east end of the bridge).
(Water Taxi @ Seacrest, Monday afternoon photo by Bill Bacon)
Two groups of highlights today – first, from the year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar (go there for even more today/tonight listings):
REGISTRATION FOR WINTER CLASSES/PROGRAMS @ WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY CENTERS: At noon today, registration opens for the programs/classes in the winter brochure for city-run West Seattle/South Park community centers.
METRO-CUTS MEETING: Until and unless a $olution is found for Metro’s money woes, the plan for cuts is still on, and they’re the subject of a community meeting tonight at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 6-8 pm. Open-house format with a presentation/small-group discussions scheduled at 7, per Metro. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
WESTWOOD/ROXHILL/ARBOR HEIGHTS COUNCIL: 6:15 pm, Southwest Branch Library. Agenda highlights include updates on the Barton Basin CSO project and Roxhill Park cleanup/safety. (35th/Henderson)
From the updated-daily-as-additions-arrive WSB Holiday Events and Info Guide:
(One of the holiday wreaths that went up in The Junction on Monday)
HOLIDAY GIVING – ‘SOCK IT TO HOMELESSNESS’: Today, you have probably heard, has been dubbed “Giving Tuesday.” The Holiday Guide includes multiple ideas for doing that during the holiday season, including this one we just added, sent by Tony @ Java Bean Coffee in Luna Park:
Java Bean’s Annual “SOCK-IT” TO HOMELESSNESS sock drive kicks off! Java Bean at 2920 Avalon Way SW will be collecting new pairs of white socks through December 14th. All donations benefit Operation Nightwatch here in Seattle.
So buy some socks and drop ‘em off.
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: It’s Holiday Open House week at AAA Washington‘s West Seattle office (WSB sponsor), 9 am-6 pm daily, in Jefferson Square. 15 percent off all travel-store merchandise! (4734 42nd SW)
Relatively quiet holiday weekend so far as West Seattle Crime Watch reports went, but we have three things to note so far today – all thefts. Maybe you will be able to help find the stolen property, if not solve the crimes themselves. Read on for the reports (including one mom’s warning/wish for the thief who stole something belonging to her son):
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
One commute note so far this morning – King County says it’s canceling the Vashon Water Taxi runs because it’s too windy. The temperature hasn’t dropped below freezing in our area – mid-30s right now in Seattle – so you might not have to worry about icy roads today; let us know if you find otherwise. However, you might need extra time to clear your windshield if you use a vehicle that’s been parked outside; the graupel/ice pellets that fell on ours last night is still on the windshield and back window.
METRO MEETING TONIGHT: No funding solution has emerged yet to keep Metro from proceeding with plans for major service cuts, so the plan for a community meeting tonight at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 6-8 pm, is on. Open-house format with a presentation/small-group discussions scheduled at 7, per the county.
DE-ICER DEBACLE FOLLOWUP: Added to our Monday coverage of the two-hour West Seattle Bridge closure following crashes blamed on an early de-icer application – an SDOT manager’s explanatory memo. He writes that it was done early because of a “wrong” forecast, expecting an early temperature drop, and early Seahawks-game traffic.
8:21 AM UPDATE: In comments, “Enough” points out a two-car crash on the eastbound bridge, indicating the Spokane St. Viaduct section; 911 log is less specific, calling it only the eastbound bridge “from Fauntleroy.”
Also, looks like the modular-townhome project near 26th SW/SW Genesee (previewed here over the weekend) is on for today – a commenter says the cranes arrived this morning. That could affect traffic on SW Genesee west of Delridge; we’ll be checking later to see how it’s going and what the operation looks like.
8:37 AM UPDATE: Yet another note – a reader tip suggests a continuation today of an unannounced partial closure of 42nd SW in The Junction, part of the block between Alaska and Edmunds that we heard about yesterday just before the de-icer debacle diverted us. We’re checking with the construction company to see how long this is expected to last.
And if you’re thinking about 4th Avenue South this morning, note that an emergency response is checking out a reported crash parallel with the east side of CenturyLink Field.
(2011 photo by Ellen Cedergreen)
Nearly three years ago, the family of the creators of West Seattle’s Walker Rock Garden – a hidden but world-famous backyard labor of love – announced they planned to sell it and the little house on its grounds. At one point, it had a buyer … but the sale wasn’t completed, and it went off the market. Public tours – previously offered at least a few times a year – never resumed. We get questions from time to time about its fate, and all we could say was that public records showed it was still owned by the family. Now, we discover via a tip from Deb that the property, at 5407 37th SW, is listed for sale again, this time for $549,000, up from the $392,000 asking price in early 2011. As the listing notes, it’s a double lot, more than 12,000 square feet. (See more galleries here and here.)
(Thanks to Jason Grotelueschen for the Admiral view!)
6:27 PM: After what seemed like endless days of weather alerts, some wintriness is finally arriving tonight (the reason for that ill-fated de-icing) – freezing rain/hail/sleet/graupel in areas (haven’t seen it firsthand ourselves yet – just heavy rain here over Lincoln Park). The National Weather Service has a short-term-forecast alert out, saying that what’s hitting us now is “a broad area of snow and rain showers with embedded snow pellets.” A bit later, the NWS says, “another line of snow showers will spread south … Any of these showers will leave a quick snow accumulation of one-half inch or so, enough to turn the ground white. However, air temperatures of 36 to 40 degrees will cause any snow to melt in less than one to two hours.”
(Thanks to Jackson from the Ventana Construction [sponsor] family for the Morgan Junction view!)
6:53 PM UPDATE: Looks like frozen something has suddenly hit here. Going out for a pic. Send one if you have one from your neighborhood! firstname.lastname@example.org
(From Julie in Fairmount Springs)
7:24 PM UPDATE: Adding more photos – even as what graupel/etc. we saw here can be heard melting in the gutter.
(Admiral photo – dog tracks in the ‘snow’ – by Beth Ferreira)
7:57 PM UPDATE: The “short-term forecast” has expired. We should get the National Weather Service’s newest forecast within the next hour and a half, to see what they’re projecting for overnight/morning.
8:03 PM UPDATE: Just got a call from a Gatewood resident saying power’s out in their area around 40th/Webster (map). Anyone else?
8:40 PM UPDATE: Seattle City Light told us via Twitter they’d heard from two customers, and we haven’t heard from others, so apparently a small outage. They said a crew was en route.
(Sunday photo by MARCUS YAM/The Seattle Times; republished here with permission)
3:36 PM: Though police initially quoted Victoria Clipper theft suspect Samuel McDonough as saying he had taken the boat to go to West Seattle, new court documents tell a different tale: His intended destination was actually Victoria, B.C. Bail was set today at $200,000 for McDonough, arrested aboard the Victoria Clipper IV yesterday on his 33rd birthday, in a drama at sea visible from north-facing West Seattle. As noted in our Sunday coverage, he is a registered sex offender after indecent-exposure convictions in the past few years (all from Issaquah, according to court archives we checked); today’s documents say he was supposed to be under GPS supervision – but did not have the device on.
ADDED 4:09 PM: The probable-cause document also says McDonough told police he had a close call with a state ferry while out in the bay with the $8 million boat Sunday morning. The dock is reported to have sustained some damage because he started it up and left the dock without untying it. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has until Wednesday to file charges.
(November 25th photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
The man arrested after armed robberies aboard a Metro RapidRide bus in West Seattle one week ago (WSB coverage here) is now charged with three felonies. The charges filed this afternoon against 19-year-old Trevonnte Brown are two counts of first-degree robbery, one count of attempted first-degree robbery.
Charging documents say Brown confessed to police, said he did not regret what he had done, and “confessed to being involved in multiple additional thefts and robberies over the past few years.” If you missed the story last week – police say Brown had boarded the bus downtown and then, as it got to West Seattle, started holding up passengers at gunpoint, until one passenger grabbed his gun-wielding arm and others joined in subduing him. Court documents say he told police he decided to rob people because he needed money to get his car out of impound, and that he told them he had previously committed several “snatch-and-run” robberies. Stolen iPhones, he is reported to have told police, get him about $400 on the street.
Brown, a Beacon Hill resident, remains jailed in lieu of $350,000 bail. If convicted, he faces extra time for using a gun while committing the crimes; police have said a semi-automatic handgun was found at the scene. We’re still reviewing the charging documents and will add anything else notable.
Update: West Seattle Bridge reopens after 2-hour closure following crashes on deicer-slick road; ‘wrong’ forecast blamedDecember 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 204 Comments
(ADDED EARLY TUESDAY: SDOT manager’s memo about how this unfolded)
(Photo added 2:23 pm, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
12:49 PM: Thanks to the tipsters who have messaged us about at least one crash on the eastbound bridge, possibly more. Checking.
(Police blocking 35th/Fauntleroy bridge entrance)
1:04 PM: Bridge being blocked at 35th – multiple incidents, and emergency-radio traffic indicates de-icer suspected.
1:18 PM: Police at 35th/Fauntleroy tell us entire bridge is closing. Fauntleroy is closed eastbound at Avalon, and that’s causing a backup all its own – here’s the closest traffic cam (refresh for latest “live” image):
1:28 PM: Scanner confirms SDOT crews are responding to put down sand/”material” to “combat the slickness” – also to fix the jersey barrier damaged by at least one of the crashes. The slickness was noticeable on the road at 35th/Fauntleroy – we were wondering where what looked like water had come from – when we passed through, just before getting word of how serious this situation was. Radio indicates that ALL access points to the bridge are being closed – including from I-5 and from Beacon Hill (Columbian Way).
1:37 PM: As you’d expect, the low bridge is reported to be backing up too. One way to get back to West Seattle if you need to: Take 1st or 4th southbound to the 1st Avenue South Bridge, get off at the South Park entrance but head north and then west up Highland Park Way back into WS. (Added: Some people are apparently still using the westbound bridge because, according to radio traffic, the I-5 entrances haven’t or hadn’t been blocked off.)
(City crew working on bridge by Fauntleroy-approach curb; WSB reader photo)
1:48 PM: Now there’s word of a spinout on southbound 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct.
(WSB photo: Backup on 35th approaching the bridge)
2:30 PM: Roads that approach the bridge are backed up. SDOT crews are on the bridge working to combat the slickness. Buses that usually take the Viaduct/bridge are rerouted onto the low bridge until this clears. Until it’s over, leaving or heading toward West Seattle is best advised from the south side, through Highland Park. The South Park Bridge was drawn open for a while but commenters say it’s closing now.
2:40 PM UPDATE: From Rick Sheridan at SDOT:
With colder temperatures approaching, SDOT applied liquid de-icer to the high-rise bridge as a pretreatment prior to the evening commute and football game.
Due to current warm temperatures, the de-icer can create a brief period of slippery conditions, especially if vehicles are traveling above the posted speed limit.
Out of caution, SDOT is applying sand on both directions of the structure to address any traction issues. We expect the bridge will reopen by 3:00 p.m.
2:46 PM UPDATE: To our followup question regarding whether there was anything different in the formula or the amount, Sheridan replied, “Not that we are currently aware of.”
2:52 PM UPDATE: Eastbound bridge is reopening now, per scanner. And westbound opening “in a few minutes.” Here’s the “live” bridge camera:
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
3:06 PM UPDATE: The official call just went out – westbound is reopening too.
3:53 PM UPDATE: The 99 southbound ramp to the westbound high bridge apparently has lagged in reopening – a commenter says his crash scene isn’t clear there yet. Meantime, this isn’t the only time de-icer has been blamed as a factor in crashes – via Twitter, @cooljames points out this Whidbey Island report from 2008.
4:15 PM UPDATE: Per commenters, the ramp from 99 to the bridge is now open TOO – but remember, traffic remains tougher than usual with the Seahawks game an hour and a half away.
4:38 PM UPDATE: We asked City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the West Seattle resident who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, if he would be looking into this. Short answer: Yes. Longer answer:
Earlier today, prior to the de-icing related accidents, I spoke to the SDOT Director about preparation for freezing weather, which is predicted tonight and through the week. Record cold weather may be on its way next week.
This should be considered a significant incident by SDOT and I have requested the Director to provide me with a report as soon as they are able to piece together what happened and why. I will let West Seattle know what I learn as soon as I receive the report.
The Director will also brief the Transportation Committee on Tuesday, December 10. The meeting begins at 9:30 AM and will be televised on the Seattle Channel.
ADDED EARLY TUESDAY: Councilmember Rasmussen forwarded e-mail he received from an SDOT manager explaining how it unfolded. Here, verbatim, is what SDOT’s Steve Pratt wrote:
Based upon all the available forecasts on hand at 8 AM today, 12-2-13, we made a
decision this morning to apply our anti-icing pretreatment to the WS High Rise, the AWV, Aurora Bridge, and a couple of other sites around Century Link Field, (bridges over ARGO, etc). We started this work around noon as the “cold snap” that was in the forecast as late as 9:23 AM from WeatherNet was calling for hail/ice in the time frame of 1-3PM. Our effort was to get ahead of any ice and or sudden temp drops such as occurred on 11-22-2010. We were also concerned about the traffic volumes headed for the MNF game which were predicted to start building around 3PM.
We applied MgCl on the WS High Rise between 12-1PM. I drove the bridge westbound at 12:10PM and then returned eastbound at 12:50PM, after stopping for a quick lunch at the Chelan Café. The application was completed by the time of my return trip. I observed that the road surface appeared “wet” and that the MgCl had not “set up” yet. I accelerated the vehicle I was driving a couple of times in the eastbound lane and did not break traction. When I arrived at the Chas. St. office at 1:02PM I was informed that there had been “some accidents” in the eastbound lane. It turns out that these were in the curve above the steel company, NUCOR, about 100 ft. to 250 ft. north of the pedestrian bridge north of 35th/Fauntleroy. We immediately contacted our driver and had him stop applying any more MgCl. He had treated the Aurora Bridge (with no incident) and had treated the southbound curb lane on the AWV between the Battery St. Tunnel in the short section that is “open air” before it tucks under the northbound upper deck structure, with no incident.
Several things occurred during this incident. The deck on the W. Seattle bridge was warmer than our usual application time, (during the night for AM commutes), and the material did not “set up” as quickly as we are used to, (ten to fifteen minutes). The accidents were all in the same section, all in a downhill curve where cars naturally pick up speed. There were NO accidents in the West Bound lanes anywhere on the W. Seattle bridge or its appurtenant streets.
SPD made a decision based upon the safety of the motoring public to close the Eastbound Lanes, and then they subsequently closed the Westbound Lanes. They requested that we apply sand to the surfaces on both sets of lanes. We mobilized our folks out of the W. Seattle shop to accomplish that and the east bound lanes opened back up at 2:52PM and the west bound lanes at 3:08PM. We coordinated these activities with SPD.
The intent of this effort, the application of the MgCl, was to get ahead of the predicted cold snap to freezing temperatures by 3-5PM. The forecast was wrong.
MgCl is magnesium chloride.
On this “Cyber Monday,” remember you can still shop local even if you’re buying online. One way: Buy gifts created by West Seattleites. That includes local authors’ work! So today, a few notes from and about West Seattle writers:
NICOLE HARDY AT NEXT ‘WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE’: This Friday, 4-6 pm at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village, it’s the next edition of “Words, Writers, West Seattle,” co-presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, and Nicole Hardy is the featured author. Her memoir “Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin” has drawn national attention. As explained in the announcement, the book “chronicles the extraordinary lengths Hardy went to in an attempt to reconcile her human needs with her spiritual life — flying across the country for dates with Mormon men, taking up salsa dancing as a source for physical contact, even moving to Grand Cayman, where the ocean and scuba diving provided some solace. But neither secular pursuits nor church guidance could help Hardy prepare for the dilemma she would eventually face: a crisis of faith that caused her to question everything she’d grown up believing.” Her “Words, Writers, West Seattle” appearance Friday is part of a continuing monthly series – scroll down this page on the SWSHS site to see who else is coming up.
‘TALES OF THE FOUNTAIN PEN’ AND … West Seattle author E. Lynn Hooghiemstra shares two notes – first, publication of her historical-fiction World War II novella “Tales from the Fountain Pen.” She says, “The book was inspired by stories from family members who went through WWII and the occupation of the Netherlands. Each story has been built around an element of truth.” She adds, “Though not written specifically for teens, they are finding the book of interest and I would like to take it into high schools to talk to teens about WWII from the perspective of those who had to live with the uncertainty during an occupation.” Also, Hooghiemstra has a story in a murder-mystery-science-fiction anthology “Moon Shot.”
‘SINCE I LAST SAW YOU’: West Seattle author Alice Ann Kuder has published an e-book that comes with its own soundtrack. “Since I Last Saw You” is a novel telling the story of Ali Berg, who, Kuder explains, loses her husband and child and “struggles to make sense of the loss, and her anger —and to find meaning in her own life again. Her search for answers takes her on a ten-month, cross-country road trip to reconnect with relatives, friends and mentors. She personally delivers a hand-written letter to each one, reminiscing and thanking them for the role they played in shaping her life.” Its settings include the Pacific Northwest as well as cross-country destinations. The soundtrack includes four original songs by another local Shari Kruse. You can find out more, and buy the book, via its own website, SinceILastSawYou.com.
SPEAKING OF COPING WITH GRIEF … Longtime West Seattleite Shirley Enebrad (now Honolulu-based) is out with “Six-Word Lessons on Coping with Grief; 100 Lessons to Help You and Your Loved Ones Deal with Loss,” described in the announcement as providing “practical lessons on coping with loss and overcoming grief. … Enebrad became a certified grief and loss counselor after her young son, Cory, died from cancer. That experience and how she coped, taught Enebrad how vital it is to acknowledge one’s grief, and inspired her to work with others who have been touched by loss.” She says, “I want people to know they are not alone. There is no time limit on grief, and most importantly, grieving is not a mental illness.” Enebrad told her son’s story in “Over the Rainbow Bridge: My Son’s Journey from Here to Heaven” in 2009. Both of her books are available via ShirleyEnebrad.com
IN THE MARKET? With the real-estate market continuing to sizzle, West Seattle author Jane Hodges reminded us recently that her book “Rent vs. Own?” is on the market. Could make an excellent gift for someone making the decision. Find out more about it – and Hodges’ other work – on her website.
WEST SEATTLE POET PUBLISHED IN UK MAGAZINE: Award-winning local poet Jason Kirk sends word that a new work of his has just been published in the UK arts journal Synaesthesia Magazine. He says, “The haiku — set into an original illustration by UK artist Leigh Padley — occupies a two-page spread (pp. 52-53) in the magazine’s November ‘Science & Numbers’ issue. The magazine — optimized for display on both desktop and mobile devices — is available to read online today.” Kirk is also the author of e-books “The Other Whites in South Africa” and “Reverb: Poems.”
Previous WSB coverage of local authors and literary events is archived here, newest to oldest.
(Photo by Don Brubeck, from the bike trail)
Happy Monday! Such a beautiful day already that, thanks to WSB readers, we have two “beauty shots” with which to start the daily preview … both from this morning.
OPEN HOUSE WEEK AT AAA: Holiday Open House week today (and daily through Friday) at AAA Washington‘s West Seattle office (WSB sponsor), 9 am-6 pm, in Jefferson Square. 15 percent off all travel-store merchandise! (4734 42nd SW)
6TH NIGHT OF HANUKKAH: The Jewish Festival of Lights begins its sixth of eight nights tonight at sunset, which (per the WSB Weather page) is at 4:19 pm.
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
FINAL NIGHT AT THE OLD ‘BRIDGE‘: The photo above is from Sunday afternoon, when 100+ people gathered outside The Bridge at 35th/Avalon for a photo memory before, as the signboard behind them says, it’s on to California/Graham. They’re open tonight at the original location for one last night, featuring Monday Night Football with the sound up, then closed for the move to the newly renovated space. (4439 35th SW)
NEW SERIES OF KARATE CLASSES: Alki Community Center presents another series of beginners’ karate classes, ages 7 and up, Mondays-Wednesdays, 6 pm tonight. Call the center to ask about registration; the number and other details are in our calendar listing. (5817 SW Stevens)
FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Branch Library. (35th/Raymond)
SHOPPING FOR A TREE? A lineup of local tree lots is one of the lists you’ll find in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Events and Info Guide, including West Seattle and White Center.
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Will we have weather wildness? Won’t know until we see it (or don’t see it), but here are some things we do know, as the week begins:
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL AT THE CLINK TONIGHT: Be mindful of the traffic ramifications. Game time for the Seahawks and Saints: 5:40 pm.
NO MORE DELRIDGE DETOUR: Thanks to a tip, we reported Friday that Delridge Way SW is now fully reopened, after what appears to have been an early end to the bulk of the final and southernmost phase of the almost-year-long paving project.
26TH SW TEMPORARILY NARROWED: South of SW Genesee, 26th SW is temporarily home to about a dozen big white-covered modules that will be turned into townhouses nearby this week, so drive carefully if you use that stretch. Here’s our report from Saturday; at last report, the work was penciled in for Tuesday/Wednesday.
METRO MEETING TUESDAY NIGHT: No transportation-funding solution yet, so Metro continues to proceed as if it will have to make those dramatic service cuts outlined last month. Find out and speak out about them at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center tomorrow (Tuesday, December 3rd) night, 6-8 pm.
HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE NEXT WEEKEND, NORTH OF BATTERY ST. TUNNEL: Early heads-up – midnight Friday night until 5 am Monday morning, Highway 99 will be closed from the Battery Street Tunnel northward to Valley Street “while crews switch the roadway from the west side of the street to the east side of the street.”
BICYCLE MASTER PLAN UPDATED: In case you haven’t seen it yet – the final proposed updated version is out, and will be aired at a round of meetings starting this week. Your comments are invited too. SDOT explains, here.
Check back for today’s traffic updates, as/when needed!
**MONDAY AFTERNOON NOTE: For full coverage of this afternoon’s de-icer debacle, which closed the bridge for two hours, go here.**
Could it be a preview of things to come sometime this winter – maybe even later in the week? “Snowfall” graced the holiday wonderland known as the Menashe Family Lights on their first official night of the season. It’s a new feature this season, according to Josh Menashe; if it’s on, you’ll see the flakes flying from the south side of the front yard. Walking by is the best way to get a close look at so many of the megabright display’s features including the bear:
(This photo and the next four are by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Look closely between the lights for an unlit decoration – the St. Nick statue:
And look up to see the many stars … including these, on the south side of the house:
Look toward the house to see these nutcrackers standing watch by the front door:
Here’s an opening-night-only scene – Menashe family members posing for group photos under the lights – at center, your hosts for the light show, Linda and Jack Menashe:
Last but not least, a step back to see the show in all its splendor, thanks to Jeff Pond of JP Images:
You can see the Menashe Family Lights at 5605 Beach Drive SW (map) nightly.
(Photo by Sassy B, taken from Constellation Park)
The curtain has fallen on a windy day – fun for some, like the kiteboarder shown above, and challenging for others; some vendors at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market went without tents/canopies for fear the canvas tops would take wing and fly away, and a few almost did. So what now? The National Weather Service revised its “special weather statement” alert this afternoon, saying that much-colder air is finally on its way in tonight. Snow? Maybe a little, on the higher hills, the NWS says, but just maybe, in flurry/shower mode tomorrow. But the big point they’re emphasizing is that it’s going to be cold all week.
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