Alki Beach 5K for Northwest Hope and Healing: 3 weeks away!

July 31, 2015 at 12:15 pm | In West Seattle news | No Comments

Ready for one more run/walk providing a good time while you do good? The Alki Beach 5K is just a little over three weeks away, on Sunday, August 23rd. As always, proceeds benefit Northwest Hope and Healing, which helps breast-cancer patients. It’s a beautiful morning run/walk along Alki – no matter what the weather – so you might as well sign up now.

West Seattle Friday: From the beach to the Blue Angels to ‘Elvis’…

July 31, 2015 at 10:32 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

One more look at the “blue moon” as it set around dawn – thanks to Chris Frankovich. It brings a low-low tide which starts our highlight list for your Friday:

LOW-LOW TIDE, WITH EXPERT GUIDES: 11:25 am is today’s low-low tide, -2.5 feet; volunteer beach naturalists are out now, until 1:15 pm, at Constellation and Lincoln Parks.

BLUE ANGELS TODAY: Practice show over Lake Washington (though some flybys will certainly be visible from West Seattle), with Boeing Field takeoff sometime between 1-1:30 pm. I-90 bridge closes 11:50 am-2:40 pm.

‘ELVIS’ AT THE SENIOR CENTER: Check ASAP to see if tickets are left for Bret Wiggins as Elvis, plus a fried chicken dinner, at the Senior Center of West Seattle. Fundraiser starts with free photos with “Elvis,” 5:30 pm, dinner at 6. (Oregon/California)

FAMILY CONNECT FRIENDSHIP FIRE: West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) invites the community to Alki Beach, 6:30 pm-8 pm, they’ll provide the s’mores supplies and fire, you come mingle with neighbors and have fun – details here. (Alki/59th)

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: Greenstage presents “Much Ado About Nothing,” 7 pm, free, at Camp Long. (5200 35th SW)

NOT DEAD YET: 9 pm, last time you’ll get to see local faves Not Dead Yet at the closing-next-weekend Feedback Lounge. (6451 California SW)

LOTS MORE – but you don’t have to take our word for it – see for yourself!

Another outdoor-concert series ahead: The Mount’s 2015 lineup

July 31, 2015 at 9:31 am | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB file photo)
Been enjoying this summer’s outdoor music? One more concert series is about to start: Providence Mount St. Vincent (aka “The Mount”) has announced the lineup for its four annual Friday-night shows, starting one week from tonight:

Aug. 7th: The 85th Street Big Band
Featuring swing favorites from the 30s, 40s & 50s

Aug. 14th: Overton Berry Jazz Duo
Legendary Seattle jazz pianist

Aug. 21st: The Illusion of Elvis by Danny Vernon
The King is back by popular demand!

Aug. 28th: STRUM (Seattle’s Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians)
Wear your Hawaiian shirt and join us for a fun evening with ukulele musicians who play a variety of great music.

Shows are free, 6-7:30 pm, with free popcorn and snow cones; bring your own chair/blanket. If you’re interested in buying dinner, it’s available 5:30-7:30 pm, with a different featured entree every week or a hamburger/hot-dog option, all with sides and dessert – see this year’s menu here; wine and beer are available for purchase, too. The Mount is at 4831 35th SW (map) and the concerts are on the south side of the campus.

West Seattle power-outage update: 116 homes/businesses

July 31, 2015 at 8:11 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

8:11 AM: Thanks to the texter who just pointed this out: Seattle City Light‘s outage map shows 121 homes/businesses without power right now in the Seacrest Park vicinity and along Harbor Avenue for a stretch eastward. They’re hoping to have it back by 10:30 am or so, but as always, that’s just a guesstimate. We’re headed that way to check on effects.

8:39 AM: While the outage map shows Seacrest, we checked at Marination – no problem there. Still checking elsewhere. No cause listed yet; we’ve seen at least one City Light crew in the area:

9:01 AM: Moondrop Coffee and Tea across from Seacrest has a note on its door saying it’s closed because of the outage. The City Light map now says “bird/animal” as the cause (and commenter Wes C. Addle backs that up), with an 11:45 am guesstimate for restoration, and a slight downgrade of affected customers to 116.

11:48 AM: The City Light map shows this outage is over.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; bridge trouble

July 31, 2015 at 7:22 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:22 AM: As we head into the heart of the commute, a crash on the bridge by 1st Avenue South is blocking one lane eastbound and backing up traffic. Coincidentally, this afternoon, city leaders are planning a media briefing about strategies for clearing road problems. Today also will bring another I-90 bridge closure for the Blue Angels’ practice show:

I-90 CLOSURE: The bridge will close 11:50 am-2:40 pm. Details here.

7:34 AM: SDOT says the bridge crash has cleared and all lanes are now open.

10 AM: If you’re headed for the South Park Bridge, note that a hazmat response in the area is complicating traffic on the SP side:


West Seattle scenes: Blue moon tonight, Blue Angels earlier

July 30, 2015 at 11:22 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Not that they’re related, but we have photos to share of both. First, courtesy of Neal Chism, tonight’s “blue moon”:

In a separate e-mail conversation, Bob noted that the official “blue moon” full moon is at 3:43 am. We’ve been up late enough to see the moonsets the past few nights and this one’s likely to be spectacular too – 5:01 am, according to the list you can find any time on our West Seattle Weather page. Bob pointed out that the blue moon happens while the Blue Angels are in town:

Long Bach Nguyen shared that view of the Blue Angels’ official Seattle headquarters, just south of the Museum of Flight. We’ve written before about the experience – recommended if you are a Blue Angels fan! – of watching their pre-takeoff preparations from the fence at lower right in the photo, and then watching the takeoff from the Museum’s spot alongside Boeing Field. Today was the two-practice-session day for the U.S. Navy’s demonstration team – we were covering stories outdoors and saw multiple West Seattle flyovers in the 10 am-noon vicinity (as did many West Seattleites!).

(Photo by Robert Spears)
Tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday, they perform over Lake Washington, around 1:30 pm.

(Photo by Ken Iverson)
That means one stretch of I-90 bridge closure each day – 11:50 am to 2:40 pm. If you’re more interested in Navy ships, the fleet that paraded past West Seattle shores on Wednesday (WSB coverage here) is open again for tours tomorrow – full details on the Seafair website.

Voted in this historic election yet? Most haven’t; do it by Tuesday

July 30, 2015 at 9:18 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 7 Comments

Two weeks after ballots arrived in most local mailboxes, more than 80 percent of them are still waiting to be turned in, according to the newest King County Elections numbers:

That’s the screen grab from the KCE webpage with tonight’s count of ballots received so far (at right, compared to how many were sent out, at left) – we are in City Council District 1, as we hope you know by now, in this history-making year, with the seven newly created districts each electing its first councilmember. That’s not the only contest on your ballot, but it’s the highest-profile one. The decisions you’ll make:

*King County Elections Director (3 candidates)
*Seattle Port Commission Position 2 (3 candidates)
*Seattle Port Commission Position 5 (9 candidates)
*Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park; 9 candidates)
*Seattle City Council Position 8 (citywide; 4 candidates)
*Seattle City Council Position 9 (citywide; 6 candidates)
*Seattle School Board Position 6 (West Seattle/South Park; 3 candidates)

Whomever you support, vote for them and get your ballot in the mail or into a dropbox by Tuesday night – here’s the list of dropboxes (open now) and ballot vans (open Sat. and Mon. 10 am-5 pm, Tues. 10 am-8 pm).

STILL MULLING YOUR COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 CHOICE? See our nine “Last Look” interviews/stories (first published last Friday), one per candidate.

VIDEO: Naomi Wachira @ Summer Concerts at Hiawatha

July 30, 2015 at 6:34 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

6:34 PM: If you’re not already on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center, what are you waiting for? Singer/songwriter Naomi Wachira is onstage, the audience is in the shade (but within view of the golden evening sun) …

… it’s the place to be, for the second of six consecutive (free!) Thursday-night Summer Concerts at Hiawatha.


8:27 PM: Concert’s over – we were lucky enough to be able to stay for the whole show, and it was excellent. Added a short Instagram clip; longer video, and photos, to come, now that we’re back at HQ.

ADDED: Above, some of the young concertgoers who danced to just about every song – Wachira joked early on that it was great to see them doing that even during the songs with her more-intense lyrics; toward the end, she implored everyone to get up and move around, and they did. Here’s a full song on video:

Among the concertgoers, Katy Walum (center), the concert series’ founder and a past ANA president, enjoying picnic dinner with husband Erik Walum and friend Mary Kay:

(If you don’t want to fix your own picnic, concert-series sponsor and WSB sponsor Metropolitan Market is just a couple blocks away.) Next Thursday night, Star Anna returns to the series, which is presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, with co-sponsors including WSB. See the full season slate here.

West Seattle wading pools: Hiawatha closed for the rest of the day

July 30, 2015 at 4:30 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 2 Comments

Thanks to Brian for the tip – Seattle Parks has closed the Hiawatha wading pool for the rest of the day, citing “contamination.” They expect to reopen the pool tomorrow, but we wanted to let you know in case you were planning to combine a trip to the wading pool with a visit to tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha (which otherwise is unaffected). If you’re just looking for someplace, any place, to cool off, EC Hughes wading pool is open until 7, Lincoln Park until 8, and that’s also closing time for the Highland Park spraypark – addresses are all in the citywide brochure. (4:42 pm update: Per Parks, the “contamination” was from a child, who had recently been sick, throwing up.)

What a ride! West Seattleite Joel Kampf arrives on Alki after pedaling cross-country for World Bicycle Relief

July 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 12 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Joel Kampf just arrived home from a bike ride. A big bike ride – 4,500 miles. A big bike ride with a big achievement, raising money for World Bicycle Relief. And he got a big welcome:

Joel’s wife LaVonne Dorsey and friends showered him with champagne as he turned onto 53rd SW to head home. He’s been on the road for more than two months (read his chronicles here), so hugs and kisses were in order too:

Thanks to LaVonne for letting us know so we could be there for Joel’s big arrival. She shared this information about his ride for World Bicycle Relief, which started May 14th in Williamsburg, Virginia:

The goal is to bring bicycles to the developing world as engines for economic and cultural empowerment.

Having built and distributed over 230,000 bikes this year, their Educational Empowerment Program provides bikes to students (70% girls), teachers and education workers in rural Africa. With the ability to save time and shorten distances between schools and villages, the program dramatically improves grades and attendance rates after students receive bicycles. Other programs include a Healthcare effort that helps workers who would walk over 4 miles a day to visit four patients, visit 18 patients in a single day; (also) micro-finance, Environmental and social enterprise programs.

For $147, we can provide a World Bicycle Relief bicycle to a student in need. Every donation helps. Seattle is one of the most successful and supportive bicycle commuting cities in the country and we also realize the importance of cycling for recreation and good health.

Even more friends and family were waiting at Joel and LaVonne’s house for a welcome-home party. You can still donate, by the way, even though his journey’s done – here’s how.

West Seattle scene: Lining up at Lincoln Park

July 30, 2015 at 2:28 pm | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

Thanks to Kestrel Windhover for the photo taken this morning at Lincoln Park, where dozens of people were fishing. According to our partners at The Seattle Times, “a wall” of pink salmon has migrated into Puget Sound – they’re usually the major catch in odd years. While this run might not seem to be adversely affected by “The Blob” (see previous WSB story), scientists are watching what could happen in future years.

Attack of The Blob: State scientists observing effects of warm water as well as warm air

July 30, 2015 at 1:13 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
No, the micro-organisms in the photo aren’t The Blob – that’s what scientists are calling a pool of warmer-than-normal water that’s enabling effects such as more-extensive-than-usual algae blooms. The state Ecology Department gathered reporters today to talk about what they’re seeing, and followed it up with this news release:

Washington is feeling the heat this summer, and Puget Sound is no exception. It’s been hot and dry, with all kinds of weather records being set. The unusually hot temperatures don’t end at the water’s edge; record-breaking temperatures are being in recorded in Puget Sound, too.

Scientists noted warming temperatures as “the Blob” from the Pacific Ocean migrated in to Puget Sound. And concerns about warmer-than-normal temperatures have only increased as the drought continues to heat up and dry out the state.

“We’re measuring water temperatures in the Sound 4 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal from our past 25 years of record keeping,” said Christopher Krembs, Ecology senior oceanographer. “We’re seeing warm water everywhere, from Olympia to Bellingham.”

Monitoring work by the Washington Department of Ecology and other scientific partners in county, state and federal agencies suggests that these warm conditions are causing negative side effects on the Puget Sound marine environment.

There has been an increase in harmful algae blooms, shellfish closures, lower dissolved oxygen levels, and unfavorable conditions for salmon and other cold-loving marine species.

Scientists are keenly interested in the unusual conditions and how they impact Puget Sound. It is important to understand the impacts of warm water and weather. Warm water inherently holds less oxygen and fosters disease. By collaborating to better understand the Blob and drought, monitor and improve water quality, and track marine life, the state can better prepare for climate change.

Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond said, “The overall weather conditions of the last year or so are expected to occur much more commonly in the future decades. The present short-term climate event therefore provides an opportunity to better understand how the region will be impacted by global climate change, and the potential adaptations that could be undertaken to reduce its deleterious effects.”

Lead Ecology computer modeling scientist Mindy Roberts added, “Our computer modeling team has found that warmer ocean water and lower summer river flows decrease the amount of oxygen available throughout Puget Sound, which is not good news for fish. We should learn as much as we can this year to be better prepared for the future.”

Not only are rivers low, but they are also warm, with 80 percent of monitored streams running less than the 25th percentile of usual. “We’ve been seeing flows for months that mimic typical flows for September,” said Jim Shedd, Ecology surface water hydrologist.

“It’s proving difficult to push the Blob out of Puget Sound with these low-flowing, warm rivers caused by drought. We’re not getting enough estuarine circulation. Without circulation, whatever gets into Puget Sound, be it warm water or pollution, is going to stick around,” Shedd said.

How do you restore a log house? Southwest Seattle Historical Society hosting expert David Rogers

July 30, 2015 at 11:00 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo courtesy SWSHS)
Been to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum? You might not realize the work that went into restoring it to extend its life – but you have two chances coming up to find out, according to this SWSHS announcement:

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is thrilled to welcome back to West Seattle the log-home preservationist who was the contractor for restoration of its “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum 18 years ago.

David Rogers will be the special guest of the historical society for two events on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. His appearances are supported by 4Culture.

* The first event, free and open to the public, will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the museum’s Circle Courtyard, 3003 61st Ave. SW, where Rogers will conduct an interactive demonstration of log-restoration techniques and describe in detail the hands-on work he did on the museum.

* The second event, a fundraiser for the historical society, is a no-host dinner at West 5 Lounge, 4539 California Ave. SW in the West Seattle Junction, at which Rogers will speak about the importance of preserving and restoring log structures. Admission is a $10 donation, payable at the door or online. (Any food or drink ordered is in addition to the donation.)

Reservations are being taken for both events (here).

Rogers, who has operated his Logs & Timbers business from Rhododendron, Oregon, since 1983, has successfully helped scores of private organizations and public agencies to achieve their preservation goals.

He inspired countless thousands with his hands-on helming of the Log House Museum’s back (south) wall in 1996-1997. His craftsmanship on behalf of the museum is highlighted in a 6-minute video that is viewable (here).

West Seattle Thursday: On the beach; onstage; on sale; in the sky…

July 30, 2015 at 9:22 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

With a hot day ahead … we start today’s calendar preview with something cool – an undersea video by “Diver Laura” James. Now, plunging into what’s up for the rest of the day/night (besides the temperature):

LOW TIDE, WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: With the full moon approaching, today’s low tide is at 10:42 am – out to -2.0 feet – and Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists will be awaiting you, 9:45 am-12:15 pm, on the shores of Constellation Park and Lincoln Park.

BLUE ANGELS & BRIDGE CLOSURES: Not West Seattle but visible/audible from here, so we track them again this year. From Seafair, for today:

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels #s 1-4 will take off at 9:35 a.m. on Thurs., July 30 from Boeing Field near the Museum of Flight for circle and arrival maneuvers in preparation for the Boeing Air Show. They will be in the air over the city getting familiar with the area. First, #s 1-4 and #8 will take off for a look at the South Lake Washington event site at approx.. 10 a.m.. At 10:35 a.m. #s 5-6 will walk down. The I-90 Bridge will be closed between 9:45 a.m. and noon.

(Wednesday photo by Monica Zaborac)
All Blue Angels jets will return to Boeing Field and be on the ground for a short time. Following that, numbers 1-6 will take to the air for a practice performance over Lake Washington at approx. 1:15 p.m.. Again, the I-90 Bridge will be closed between 1:15 p.m. and 2:40 p.m. for this practice.

DELRIDGE FARMSTAND: 4-7 pm, buy fresh local produce at the Delridge Grocery Coop/Little Red Hen Project farmstand in the Super 24 parking lot – details here. (5455 Delridge Way SW)

CRIME/SAFETY/POLICING FOCUS GROUP: 6:30-7:30 pm, the next “focus group” invited to talk with Southwest Precinct research assistant Jennifer Burbridge about neighborhood policing plans and crime/safety concerns is tonight, and if you live in Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights, you’re invited. (2300 SW Webster)

NAOMI WACHIRA IN CONCERT: As previewed here earlier this week, tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha performer is Naomi Wachira, and it’ll be a beautiful night to be on the shady east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center to see and hear her – 6:30 pm, free, bring your own chair/blanket to sit on. (Walnut/Lander)

PUN SLAM: 7:30 pm signup, 8:30 pm show at The Skylark – the punnier you are, the better! Details here. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON? See for yourself via our calendar.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates; I-90 bridge closures

July 30, 2015 at 8:18 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No trouble outbound this morning but this is the two-closure day for the I-90 bridge across Lake Washington while the Blue Angels practice:

I-90 CLOSURES: 9:45 am-noon and 1:15 pm-2:40 pm, the bridge will close, and that has spillover effects on other routes, including I-5 northbound approaching the 90 exit. Details here.

8:26 AM: Just got a call from someone who says a vehicle with a flat tire is partly blocking the ramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge to northbound 99.

FOLLOWUP: City hearing examiner upholds decision approving cell antennas on Alki apartment building

July 30, 2015 at 5:04 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

The decision is in for a citizens-vs.-city case we reported here in May, the appeal of a Department of Planning and Development decision allowing 12 new Verizon antennas on the roof of an Alki apartment building. As reported here in May, a group of neighbors voicing health and aesthetic concerns banded together as “Stop Alki Cell Towers” and challenged the approval, also launching a publicity campaign that included a protest.

Last week, they argued their case before city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner in a daylong hearing downtown (you can read the minutes and listen to audio of the hearing by going into the case file on the city website). Tanner published her decision yesterday (Wednesday, July 29th).

She noted that “Stop Alki Cell Towers” withdrew all but one issue at the appeal hearing, the issue alleging that the project would break city rules by being “substantially detrimental” to the “residential character” of the neighborhood and that was not the “least intrusive” potential location. In her ruling, Tanner went over the reasons why Verizon wound up with this building and also said the group presented no evidence proving the claim that the antennas would be “detrimental,” so she upheld the city’s decision approving the installation. Read her decision in its entirety here. If the group wants to continue its challenge, it will have to take the city to court.

West Seattle weather: Another ‘heat advisory’ on the way

July 29, 2015 at 10:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 17 Comments

Thanks to Mike Jensen for sharing that view of a bald eagle hanging out in a tree by Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, watching tonight’s sunset. You might want to identify a shade tree of your own for the next few days, because the National Weather Service has announced a “heat advisory” alert for noon Thursday through 9 pm Saturday – all three days are expected to have high temperatures in the 90s (and Sunday won’t be too far behind).

P.S. If you want a different perspective on 90-degree heat … note that today was the sixth anniversary of the hottest day in recorded Seattle history, when the high hit 103 degrees.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Can you help solve this mystery?

July 29, 2015 at 9:40 pm | In Crime, Gatewood, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Jeff lives in north Gatewood and has found car-prowl loot discarded near his house before. He’s been able to reunite items with their owners before … but this time he’s not having luck and asking if you know whose things these are:

I found some things hidden behind a bush off of the alley behind my house that I believe are unwanted items from a car prowl. The items include some clothing, a drawing book, and a CD case that must have 20 or 30 CDs in it.

The book and the clothing probably aren’t worth much but the CDs would have some value. Judging from the drawing book I am guessing that it is all from a young person. There is a name in the drawing book … I could not find a person by that name in West Seattle but then a young person might not show up. There are also some dates from March and then the 4th of July so the items are probably from a recent event. I would like to return the items to the owner if they want them.

We advised him to notify police, but in the meantime, if the owner comes forward, he’d still be able to return the items.

West Seattle schools: Milestone for new Arbor Heights Elementary

July 29, 2015 at 6:07 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

(Photo by Scott Thomas)
11 months after crews began the process of building the new Arbor Heights Elementary by demolishing the old one, construction has reached a milestone, with structural steel going up. Both Scott Thomas and Darren Pilon sent photos today.

(This photo and next by Darren Pilon)
We also have an update on the construction plan – Seattle Public Schools is building to the maximum possible capacity, about 660, rather than to the smaller option, 500 students. This is according to district spokesperson Tom Redman; the decision had not been made when the last pre-construction community meeting was held, nor had it been made when we asked a few times in the ensuing months.

Arbor Heights students and staff will spend their second year in interim quarters at the Boren Building starting in September, with enrollment projected at about 400. As of right now, the plan to occupy the new building for the 2016-2017 school year is still on. That’s three years earlier than what the district was planning until the Arbor Heights community convinced SPS leadership that they couldn’t serve students appropriately for that much longer in the old, crumbling buildings.

FOLLOWUP: Mayor Murray backs off proposal that would potentially densify most single-family-zone neighborhoods

July 29, 2015 at 3:01 pm | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 62 Comments

3:01 PM: Two weeks after Mayor Murray went public with his housing-affordability recommendations, while also releasing the Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee‘s report, he is backing off the most controversial proposal – the plan to change not the zoning, but the rules, for most single-family neighborhoods (as detailed in this WSB report). Here’s the news release:

Today Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement announcing he will not recommend pursuing a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) committee recommendation that could have changed 94 percent of single-family zones in Seattle. Instead, he is calling for renewed public dialogue on how best to increase affordable housing in denser neighborhoods:

“The Council and I created the HALA process because our city is facing a housing affordability crisis. In the weeks since the HALA recommendations were released, sensationalized reporting by a few media outlets has created a significant distraction and derailed the conversation that we need to have on affordability and equity.

“Fundamentally, this is a conversation about building a Seattle that welcomes people from all walks of life — where working people, low-income families, seniors, young people and the kids of current residents all can live in our city.

“We also must not be afraid to talk about the painful fact that parts of our city are still impacted by the intersection of income, race and housing. Look at a map and take a walk through our neighborhoods. We can move beyond the legacy of the old boundaries of exclusion that have remained largely unchanged since nearly a century ago when neighborhood covenants were used to keep people of color south of Madison Street.

“I have always believed that Seattle can step up and have a difficult conversation about our history of racial discrimination and economic inequality. Our shared vision for Seattle includes affordable housing and diversity in all our neighborhoods.

“To advance the broader conversation about affordable housing and equity, I will no longer pursue changes that could allow more types of housing in 94 percent of single-family zones. Instead, we will refocus the discussion on designing denser Urban Centers, Urban Villages and along transit corridors that include more affordable housing.”

ADDED 6:16 PM: What is still on the table for 6 percent of Seattle’s single-family-zoned area is explained in the second half of this fact sheet issued with the original proposals two weeks ago. But all the discussion remains in the early stages, as no legislation has been sent to the City Council yet – its new Select Committee on Housing Affordability is not scheduled to meet again until August 10th. We reported on its first meeting here.

AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Seafair Parade of Ships, visible from West Seattle shores, after Blue Angels flyby

July 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm | In Blue Angels, Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(ADDED: Photo by David Hutchinson)
12:31 PM: We’re on the shore at Duwamish Head as the Seafair Parade of Ships fleet comes into view to the northwest, passing Bainbridge Island, with the amphibious-assault ship USS Boxer (looks like an aircraft carrier, but isn’t) in the lead. And, as also previewed this morning …

(WSB photo by Tracy Record)
… the Blue Angels have just flown by, after buzzing the Mariners-game crowd at Safeco Field, now en route to a Whidbey Island flyover.

(ADDED: Photo by Robert Spears, post-Safeco, pre-West Seattle)
Still time to get to the Alki/Duwamish Head/etc. shore if you want to watch the ships. More to come.

(ADDED: Photo by Gary Jones)
1 PM: Right on time, the lead ships are making the turn at Alki Point and heading along the north/northwest-facing West Seattle shore.

1:25 PM: USS Boxer is now fully in view from Duwamish Head, with two destroyers to follow, fireboat Leschi ahead of it, and a Coast Guard patrol escort alongside it.

(ADDED: USS Boxer photo by Lynn Hall)



(ADDED: Photo by Monica Zaborac – USCGC Midgett and HMCS Brandon)

1:48 PM: The parade continues; USS Boxer is now turning northward along the downtown waterfront, right behind the water-spouting fireboat Leschi.

More spectators out here than in years past, on the shore and in the water via kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. If you’ve missed earlier coverage – the ships will dock on the waterfront at Piers 66, 69, and 90, where they’ll be open for tours the next four days.


HMCS Whitehorse is next, followed by HMCS Brandon.


2:03 PM: And that’s it – at least from West Seattle, though we can still see the ships on their “official” downtown passes. Thanks to everyone who’s sending photos – we’ll be adding (and substituting) shortly!

(ADDED: Photos by David Hutchinson – CGC Midgett, above, USS Boxer, below)

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Low bridge no longer ‘stuck’

July 29, 2015 at 11:43 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments


11:43 AM: Thanks to the texter who called our attention to the low-bridge problem. No ETA yet.

NOON UPDATE: SDOT says the low bridge is working again.

‘Something more to contribute’: Award-winning music leader Marcus Pimpleton announces he’s leaving Denny and Sealth

July 29, 2015 at 10:08 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 13 Comments

Our area’s most-renowned music educator has announced he’s leaving for a new career direction, in another school district. Multiple award winner Marcus Pimpleton has told the Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School communities about his departure; he’s staying with the summertime Seattle Public Schools-wide All-City Band program, but otherwise, he is moving into a school-administration role in the Bellevue district. With permission, we share his e-mail announcement in its entirety:

To my Denny and Chief Sealth Family,

It is with mixed emotions that I formally share the news that I will be leaving the Denny and Sealth community this fall to accept the position of Assistant Principal at Interlake High School in the Bellevue School District. I have had the privilege of working with the band students of Denny and Sealth for over 13 years now and it has been a source of great joy and the highlight of my life thus far. It is a tremendous understatement for me to say that this was a difficult process.

Denny and Sealth will forever hold a special place in my heart, both from my time as a student and as an educator. My time at Denny and Sealth has been full of amazing memories and milestones I shall not soon forget. I have been blessed to be a part of thousands of students making their way through the transformational power and discipline music. From the Denny Dolphin Marching Band’s first parade as the only middle school marching band in Seattle Public Schools, to the numerous middle and high school trips to places like New Orleans, New York, Washington D.C., Honolulu and Anaheim, it has been a tremendous ride. There have been amazing partnerships with local artists and community organizations as well as some pretty phenomenal concerts including the Music Night Out, Soul Jambalaya, and Band Jam. Together we have coordinated over 300 student musical performances in school and community events locally, regionally, and nationally – concrete opportunities for students to apply and demonstrate their learning in real and meaningful ways as opposed to a standardized test. It has been a tremendous blessing for me to have had this opportunity to live, learn, and serve in my community, and I pray for your continued musical success in the years ahead.

Over this past school year I have done a great deal of reflecting on the past and thinking about the future through the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership program and while I love engaging students in music making activities, I have come to believe that I have something more to contribute to the profession in developing the capacity of adults and of school systems for the improvement of the learning experience provided to our students most in need. The opportunity to learn and serve in a highly successful, highly diverse setting as a part of a strong and experienced leadership team like the one at Interlake High School is really the best thing for my career, professional learning, and goals. This new role will provide me with the next step and prepare me for more effective instructional leadership at home or in another high needs community down the road. I hope that through my example, my students will see learning as a lifelong pursuit and find the fortitude to pursue their calling and take the necessary risks in order to grow.

To my students, I want you to know that of the many aspects of this job that I will miss, the most difficult part will be leaving all of you. It has been fun watching you all as you came in, many times as tiny fourth graders to one of our spring break or summer music camps, and to watch your growth as musicians and leaders as you approached your departure for college. While I would have loved nothing more than to continue working with all of you, I believe that every student, in every school deserves access to rich and engaging teachers and curriculum and that it takes high quality school leaders to ensure that happens. I want to learn what it takes to be the type of leader that can help to ensure that all students have access to the high level instruction and experiences that put them on the path for successes in school, college, and life. This is a necessary step for me to do that. I will miss working with you all during the school year, but am excited to share that I have been invited to continue as the Director and Program Administrator for the Seattle All-City Marching Band. Next year we will be celebrating our 65th anniversary and it will be my 25th year as a part of that program. I would love to see many of you participating next summer.

Until we meet again,
Marcus J. Pimpleton

As mentioned in his announcement, Pimpleton himself is an alumnus of both Sealth and Denny. We will be following up with Denny and Sealth principals to ask about plans for who will be leading the programs he’s leaving. (Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand, taken during last Friday’s Band Jam at SWAC)

West Seattle Wednesday: Seafair Parade of Ships; Blue Angels flyby; Duwamish kayak tour; comedy meets rollerskates; more

July 29, 2015 at 9:18 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen: Over Duwamish Head during low-low tide earlier this month)

Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

LOW-LOW TIDE: With the full moon approaching, low tides are low enough for excellent beachwalking. Today at 9:58 am, it’ll be out to -1.5 feet.

BLUE ANGELS FLYBY: Seafair announced late last night that in addition to the solo Blue Angels jet making flights today with “key influencers” (including soccer star Megan Rapinoe at 9:30 am), the team will fly over Safeco Field toward the start of today’s Mariners game, around 12:30 pm. No road closures since it’s not a practice show – those start tomorrow. They’re subsequently heading over Whidbey Island, and of course you’ll likely see/hear them on the return to Boeing Field, too.

SEAFAIR PARADE OF SHIPS: You’ll likely see some other military aircraft, including a Coast Guard helicopter, while this is under way, starting off West Seattle shores at 1 pm or so (time may vary, as the only “official” time is 1:45 pm along the downtown waterfront, but the Seafair fleet usually stages to the west, off Alki Point, and heads eastward along shore. Three U.S. Navy ships, three Canadian Navy ships, and one U.S. Coast Guard cutter, as detailed in our original preview; Duwamish Head and points east are ideal for viewing, but you’ll see them from Alki too.

HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN FARMSTAND: 4-7 pm, fresh produce on sale at the High Point Market Garden Farmstand and the visiting ROAR Mobile Farmstand. Remember that HP SHA residents are eligible for vouchers, available at the farmstand as well as at Neighborhood House’s HP center, with half off all produce up to $10. (32nd/Juneau)

DUWAMISH RIVER KAYAK TOUR: This summer’s community-tour series starts, 6 pm, RSVP required – info in our preview published earlier this week. (Launch location provided in RSVP response)

34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS’ PICNIC: 6-8 pm at Shelter 4 on Lincoln Park beach. Potluck, with hamburgers/hot dogs provided. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

LIVE MUSIC AT THE BEACH: 6 pm concert at Alki Bathhouse, per the summer Seattle Parks brochure – (update) bluegrass with The Weavils. (60th/Alki)

SOLAR WORKSHOP: 6:30 pm, free SolarWISE workshop from Seattle City Light and Northwest SEED at High Point Community Center with “the latest on solar pricing, technology, financing options, and steps to go solar.” (6920 34th SW)

BERNIE SANDERS GATHERINGS: Nationwide “house party” night for supporters and prospective supporters of presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders – times vary – West Seattle listings (and contact info) here.

COMEDY FUNDRAISER: Comedy at Feedback Lounge tonight, hosted by Lisa Curtis, headlined by Mona Concepcion – seating 7 pm, show at 8, fundraiser for Tilted Thunder Rail Birds roller derby. (6451 California SW)

MORE! on our calendar.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates; Highland Park Way/Holden crash, no serious injuries

July 29, 2015 at 7:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 16 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:31 AM: As we start today’s traffic watch, crews are headed to a crash reported at Austin/Holden, which the map shows as at the top of the Highland Park Way hill. Separate story possible, depending on what we find at the scene. Updates here in the meantime.

7:44 AM: Our crew is at the intersection (photo above). Two cars; traffic is getting around in all directions, but slowly. Medics are checking out two people.

(Photo courtesy @slightlynorth via Twitter)
7:52 AM: No one will need to be taken to the hospital, we’re told at the scene. At some point tow trucks will be brought in to clear the damaged vehicles, so this will still be slow going for a while.

8:14 AM: Seattle Fire has cleared the scene but police are still there, awaiting the tow trucks, and have asked dispatchers to find out how much longer they’ll be waiting.

8:50 AM: No update from that scene – we’ll have to go back for a look later (no traffic cameras in the area). Meantime, in comments, trouble on the bridge. And from Washington State Ferries, official word is now in that the long-planned Vashon dock project starts Friday morning, which means effects along the route:

Starting at 7:30 a.m., Friday, July 31, construction to seismically upgrade the 60-year-old Vashon ferry dock will begin. During construction, vehicles will not be allowed to wait on the dock. Southworth-bound vehicles will stage in the right lane of 103rd Ave. SW, the left lane will remain open to one-way through traffic. Fauntleroy-bound vehicles will be staged on Vashon Highway SW. Motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians will be able to wait for ferries at the terminal building. Motorcycles heading to Southworth or Fauntleroy may access the dock from 103rd Ave. SW. Flaggers stationed at the terminal entrance will direct traffic and assist ADA customers with drop-off and pick-up.

For more on this, see the WSF bulletins.

9:05 AM: Thanks to the texter who just told us the Highland Park Way/Holden crash scene is now completely clear.

Congrats! West Seattle Baseball 11U All-Stars take tournament

July 29, 2015 at 3:07 am | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

Thanks to Michelle for sharing the photo and news that the West Seattle Baseball 11U All-Stars swept last weekend’s tournament in Monroe. She says, “The team played great together and it was amazing to see their hard work over the summer pay off (in spite of some wild weather including torrential rain, thunder and lightning that delayed the final championship game by almost four hours!) The tournament saw the All Stars hitting two over-the-fence home runs and a team average of 13 runs per game. Monroe was also a gracious and welcoming host town — in fact the All-Star team had their lunch tab picked up by an older baseball fan who was dining at the same restaurant.”

THURSDAY: Naomi Wachira @ Summer Concerts at Hiawatha

July 28, 2015 at 9:05 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Singer/songwriter Naomi Wachira will serenade you on what promises to be a warm, clear Thursday night, second Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show of 2015. Above is her official video for “African Girl,” published in 2013, the year she was labeled “best folk singer in Seattle”; find more of her videos, including live-performance clips, here. Music starts at 6:30 pm and usually goes until about 8 on the east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center (Lander/Walnut) – bring a chair, blanket, family, friends, dinner, and be ready to relax. (WSB is proud to be a series co-sponsor again this year.)

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