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SHOW YOUR WORK! Community art showcase @ Southwest Library

It’s time to show off your art at the Southwest Library – the 25th annual community showcase starts this week!

If you make visual art – sign up to display and drop off up to 3 pieces. Dropoffs are this Thursday (September 29th) through Saturday (October 1st).

If you make music – MP3 submissions are open starting now. Upload 3 songs to spl.org/southwestartistsshowcase for the branch’s new music listening station.

And then – show up for the artist reception on Sunday (October 2nd) at 2 pm at the library (35th SW/SW Henderson)! Your work will be showcased throughout October.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Grocery thief steals school snacks; dumped bicycles

In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:

STOLEN GROCERIES: From Ryan in Gatewood/south Morgan Junction:

Our Amazon Fresh grocery delivery was stolen from our front door this morning between 4 am – 6 am. We live on SW Myrtle St near Caffe Ladro. Unfortunately, it contained all of the school snacks we had ordered for our son’s preschool class. I confirmed with Amazon that it was delivered and our empty Amazon Fresh containers we left out had been taken.

DUMPED BICYCLE #1 Also in south Morgan Junction, this bicycle turned up, apparently abandoned, near the McDonald’s:

DUMPED BICYCLE #2: And Jason found this one in an unspecified location:

Recognize either of those? Let us know. Last but not least, another reminder:

WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORK TUESDAY NIGHT: 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct, WSBWCN’s meeting features a guest from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office talking about prosecution of repeat offenders. Questions about what happens after suspects are charged? Bring ’em. The precinct is at 2300 SW Webster, and you don’t have to be part of a Block Watch to attend.

Meantime, during The Debate …

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Thanks to Jamie Kinney for the photo of the sculpted sky during tonight’s sunset less than an hour ago; you might have missed if you were among the estimated 100,000,000 people watching The Debate. We got to see it while out checking on an unrelated reader tip, but our phone photo does not compare. Forecast says those clouds might bring in a bit of rain tomorrow morning.

West Seattle scene: Watching The Debate

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6:39 PM: Admiral Bird is among the West Seattle spots where people are gathered right now to watch the first Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump presidential debate. From TV to YouTube to Twitter, in the words of one anchor, this might just be the “biggest electronic event in history.” It’s scheduled to continue until 7:30 our time; if you missed this one and want to see rounds 2 and 3 – here’s the schedule – October 9th and 19th, with the one and only VP debate on October 4th.

7:41 PM: Debate’s over. Just in case you weren’t watching it, but were wondering.

ROAD-WORK ALERT: SW Admiral Way project starts Wednesday

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SDOT had said that the SW Admiral Way Safety Project would start work this week; this afternoon, they sent word that it’ll begin on Wednesday:

The Seattle Department of Transportation advises travelers that work on the SW Admiral Way Safety Project in West Seattle will start on Wednesday, September 28, and last for about one week, depending on weather.

Starting at 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, travelers can expect:

• No parking on both sides of SW Admiral Way between California Ave SW and 63rd Ave SW to keep a travel lane in each direction open

• Existing striping will be removed Wednesday; new striping will be installed Thursday and Friday

• Temporary lane closures and lane shifts around the work area; flaggers will be present to direct traffic

• Sidewalks will remain open during work; people biking on the sidewalk must yield to people walking at all times

• People biking should use alternate routes during construction

• Construction equipment, trucks, noise and activity will be in the area for about one week

Over the past year and a half, SDOT has worked with the community on a new street design for SW Admiral Way between California Ave SW and 63rd Ave SW. The project will create a comfortable and predictable bike connection between Alki and the business district at California Ave SW. The new design will reduce speeding and collisions, and accommodate on-street parking. SDOT would like to thank the public for its patience while this work is completed.

FOLLOWUP: Power back on, SW Oregon open in West Seattle Junction

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3:46 PM: Seattle City Light has just restored power to the Junction businesses/residences that have been out in the aftermath of this morning’s Junction construction-site crane-in-wires incident (WSB coverage here) that left two workers in critical condition. Some businesses had closed because of the outage, while we found at least three that were able to stay open. We had a crew in the area just before power came back on, and we’re heading back over momentarily for an update, and to check on whether SW Oregon has reopened.

4:41 PM: Yes, the road has reopened.

VIDEO: See what’s in the mayor’s budget

(5:19 PM NOTE: The video window now has the mayor’s speech as archived by Seattle Channel.)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:03 PM: Click “play” above and you’ll see, via Seattle Channel, the live feed from City Hall downtown as the City Council begins its weekly full-council meeting by hosting Mayor Murray’s presentation of the city budget proposal for 2017-2018.

While listening, we’re going through the just-released budget documents and will add highlights to this story.

First, Department of Transportation (SDOT):

*$440 million budget proposed for 2017, $561 million for 2018
*Not many West Seattle specifics, but the Fauntleroy Boulevard project is in for $7 million in 2018, so it looks like that’s the year projected for construction

In his speech, the mayor also called out the Lander Street Overpass project in SODO, of interest to many here, as it gets closer to full funding. (An “online open house” continues this week.)

Next, public safety.

Here’s the Seattle Police Department breakout. Overall, the budget says SPD would “hire 72 new officers [35 in 2017, 37 in 2018] and hire 25 new 911 communication center staff” for the entire city.

*Southwest Precinct (West Seattle/South Park) mentions: The patrol budget actually drops a bit over the next two years (as do the other precinct budgets). The number of full-time equivalents at the SW Precinct stays the same, at 124.

Here’s the Seattle Fire Department breakout. Its primary challenge is to keep up with attrition: ” As in previous years, the proposed budget adds funding for 35 additional recruits, for a total of 60 new recruits in 2017. The additional recruits, once trained, will fill existing positions that have been vacated as a result of retirements or other attrition.”

Since we’re on a peninsula, this excerpt from the SFD budget is notable:

Another programmatic area in which the Fire Department is making improvements this year is water rescues. SFD owns two large fire boats and several smaller rescue boats that are used primarily for fighting marine fires. Responses to water rescues are limited given that the City has one fireboat crew and one technical rescue/dive team. To address this, SFD proposes piloting a Surface Water Rescue Program to provide a greater level of water rescue capability. The proposed Surface Water Rescue Program will train up to 40 firefighters as technician level rescue swimmers and deploy them city-wide, allowing them to respond more quickly to water rescues.

3 PM: The mayor’s speech has just ended. Some had wondered whether protesters would disrupt it, as had happened to the City Council last week, but many would-be attendees were kept out of the chambers. Councilmember Kshama Sawant made a motion at the meeting’s start to let more people in, but the motion did not pass.

Speaking of participation – we have now started reviewing the Department of Neighborhoods‘ budget breakout.

This includes components of the mayor’s plan to cut city support for Neighborhood District Councils, hailed in a city document just a few years ago as a “nationally significant model of grassroots democracy, being Seattle’s only advisory committees whose members are entirely selected at the grass roots, rather than appointed top-down by elected officials or City agencies.

This is further addressed:

Expanding Outreach and Engagement

In 2016, through Executive Order 2016-06, the Mayor tasked DON with leading an effort to implement equitable outreach and engagement plans and practices across all City offices and departments. Also in 2016, DON added two positions that will now be made permanent: one to oversee the re-envisioning of DON’s Outreach and Engagement Division and lead Citywide response efforts, and another to work with other departments to coordinate and leverage opportunities for effective outreach and engagement efforts.

DON is also reallocating and deploying resources, including staff, within the department to prioritize the
application of the community outreach and engagement principles that reflect the Mayor’s vision of inclusive participation. This vision is articulated in Executive Order 2016-06 and the proposed resolution on equitable community involvement practices submitted to the City Council as part of the Mayor’s 2017-2018 Proposed Budget. As part of this effort, DON will reallocate nine Neighborhood District Coordinator positions to meet this scope of work and the department’s business needs.

Those positions, which have provided city-staff support to the 13 district councils (two of which are in West Seattle – Southwest and Delridge), are still funded in the budget plan at a level similar to what’s budgeted now. Part of the “reallocation” is detailed in one budget line item:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will fund positions in DON for outreach and engagement. Two existing Neighborhood District Coordinator positions will be reallocated to Strategic Advisor 1 positions. These positions will work closely with SDOT and the Office of Economic Development on improving outreach and engagement to neighborhoods and communities affected by large-scale infrastructure improvement projects.

4:19 PM: This mass e-mail from Neighborhoods director Kathy Nyland has more detail on the “reallocation.”

5:19 PM: The archived Seattle Channel video of the mayor’s speech has now replaced what had been the “live” video window above. Also – if you missed it in earlier stories – Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s explanation of how the budget process goes from here, with specific dates, is in her newest online update.

County Executive’s budget: Water Taxi property-tax increase for ‘stable funding’; Guardian 1 may be permanently grounded

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(Sunday photo by Robert Spears)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

So far we’ve found two big items of interest in King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s two-year budget proposal, made public this morning.

*The King County Water Taxi, serving West Seattle and Vashon, would have a “stable source” of funding – 1.25 cents per $1,000 valuation. The levy was reduced in 2009 and “reserves” have been used since then, but, says the budget book, “those reserves are now exhausted.”

*The King County Air Support Unit, including this area’s only law-enforcement helicopter Guardian One, will be shut down by 2018 unless, Constantine says, there’s tax reform. In 2017 it would be limited to search-and-rescue operations in King County; in 2018, it would be shut down entirely.

First, the Water Taxi toplines, from the 753-page full budget document:

*The county currently has been taxing for the passenger-ferry service at a third of a cent per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. That funding has been supplemented by reserves that the budget says have run out. Constantine proposes increasing the tax rate to 1.25 cents per $1,000 starting next year because the service is “no longer able to draw on reserves to stay afloat.” (Math = $2/year now if your property is assessed at $600,000; just under $8/year with the increase.) Without that increase, next year wouldrun $3 million short. The gap already has been narrowed, the budget book points out, by “efficiencies” enabling the new boats to be operated with a crew of 3 rather than 4.

(added 6:53 pm) King County DOT spokesperson Jeff Switzer sent this clarification:

Taxes won’t be going up as a result of this budget.

The collected property tax amount will stay the same, meaning the county will reduce the property tax collected for Metro by just over $9 million, and the property tax collected for Water Taxi (Marine) will be increased by just over $9 million. No net dollar increase in property tax collections for marine/transit.

The budget calls for another fare increase in 2018, 50 cents for adults, to continue its every-two-year increases.

And one more major Water Taxi note – while there’s no money for it in this two-year budget, there is a line item to “plan, design, and construct a new West Seattle (Water Taxi) terminal during the 2019-2010 budget cycle,” noting that Seacrest has always been meant as just a “temporary” terminal.

*Next, the helicopter elimination, which is just one of several major public-safety cuts in the county executive’s budget, explained in the news release about the budget, with a call for “local tax reform”:

… King County’s General Fund primarily supports criminal justice and other functions required by the state. About 59 percent of net General Fund revenues come from property taxes. The balance is comprised of sales tax and other sources.

In 2007, legislators reinstated Tim Eyman’s I-747, which had been tossed out by the state Supreme Court. The law arbitrarily limited revenue growth in most property taxes to 1 percent annually. The value of new construction is added to the tax base, which amounts to about 0.5 percent to 2.0 percent depending on the economy.

Because property tax is limited below the rate of population growth and inflation, the General Fund is chronically stressed. Last year, about 37,000 people moved to King County, adding to the demands for transit, behavioral and mental health programs, public safety, and other services.

Over the last few months, Executive Constantine worked with the Office of Performance, Strategy, and Budget, county departments, and elected officials to balance the $1.6 billion General Fund budget. Through a mix of revenue changes, efficiencies, and spending reductions, Executive Constantine resolved a $22.4 million shortfall.

Program cuts and service reductions in this budget include:

*Reductions in the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

*Closing the work release facility and electronic home detention programs by Jan. 1, 2018.

*Eliminating inmate booking at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent as of Jan. 1, 2018.

*Eliminating the King County Sheriff’s Office air support and marine units by Jan. 1, 2018.

“We will do everything we can to mitigate the impact of these cuts, but let there be no mistake — unless the Legislature fixes the problem, these reductions will only get worse over time,” said Executive Constantine. “And local governments across the state face the identical situation.”

While Guardian One is operated by King County, it is the only helicopter available for regional law-enforcement agencies including Seattle Police.

We’re still reading the county budget and will report on anything else of direct local interest. It now will go through a review-and-comment process in the weeks ahead – find the details here. Our area’s County Councilmember is Joe McDermott, so if you have something to say about these issues or others in the budget, you can e-mail him at joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov.

UPDATE: 2 workers in critical condition after crane touches wires at West Seattle construction site; power outage nearby

(UPDATED 2:48 PM with victims’ condition)

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10:38 AM: Big SFD medical response for an incident at the 42nd and Oregon construction site. 2 workers are reported injured, and an electrical problem was involved. Avoid the area.

10:51 AM: Road closure update – SW Oregon is closed east of California.

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Police tell us the incident involved some part of a crane reportedly making contact with the power line that runs north-south along the alley.

11:04 AM: SFD’s Lt. Harold Webb tells us one worker was taken to the hospital in critical condition, one in serious. They were on the ground near the crane when it happened. The crane operator is being evaluated to see if medical treatment is needed. (The helicopter overhead is TV.)

11:31 AM: As noted in comments, this has affected power to some others in the area. The Senior Center, just west of the construction site, has lost part of its power, we’re told. Seattle City Light was dispatched to the scene early on.

The project that is under way at the site, just north of one of the West Seattle Junction Association parking lots, is 4505 42nd SW, a seven-story mixed-use building with apartments, “lodging” units, and retail. Work has been under way at the site since June.

SIDE NOTE: Just last year, a similar type of mobile crane caught fire after touching wires during a residential project near 47th and Andover; no one was hurt.

11:57 AM: Just went back to the scene. SW Oregon is still closed between California and 42nd. Work was halted at the construction site immediately after the incident.

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The aforementioned parking lot south of the construction site is open. No further word about the workers or their conditions; we’ll be checking with Harborview a bit later.

12:23 PM: More power outages nearby, particularly south of Oregon – the City Light map now reflects them.

2:48 PM: Harborview Medical Center tells us both men are in critical condition.

3:48 PM: As noted in a separate update, the businesses/residences that lost power nearby have just gotten it back.

West Seattle Monday: Debate-watching, WSHS sports-transportation meeting, more

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(Harbor seal seen at Don Armeni, briefly, early Sunday evening – photographed by Robert Spears)

Tonight’s biggest event is happening thousands of miles away:

WATCHING THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE IN WEST SEATTLE: Hosting a viewing party for tonight’s first presidential-candidates debate (in Hempstead, NY, starting at 6 pm our time), or at least putting it up onscreen at your establishment/venue? Not too late to get onto our list, which has five options as of the moment we’re publishing this. Let us know in a comment here or via editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

Here’s what else is up:

BACK TO SCHOOL: Day 1 of the fall semester at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor).

DONATE A PINT, GET A PINT: West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) is hosting a Bloodworks NW donation drive today, 1-7 pm, and offering a free pint of ice cream as an incentive to everyone who registers to donate. Can’t tell from the Bloodworks website if any spots are available, so call 800-398-7888 to inquire if you’re not signed up already. (4201 SW Morgan)

CITY BUDGET: As explained here, the mayor presents his budget today, and then the City Council review kicks off. Watch at 2 pm via seattlechannel.org.

STRATEGIZING SOLUTIONS FOR TEAM TRANSPORTATION TROUBLE: As previewed here last week, a meeting at West Seattle High School tonight, 7 pm in the library, will be a strategy session for taking concerns to the School Board about transportation changes that have resulted in athletes having to miss multiple classes on away days. Others around the city affected by this are invited too; details in our calendar listing. (3000 California SW)

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(Sunday night’s sunset from Lincoln Park, photographed by Cameron Oliva)

MUSIC @ WEST SEATTLE BREWING: Mondays 8 pm-11 pm, Cracker Factory performs live at West Seattle Brewing Company in The Triangle. (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW)

MORE … on our complete-calendar page!

YOUR MONEY: Mayor’s budget goes public today; here’s how to have a say

Before we get to what’s happening in West Seattle today/tonight – a reminder that the city-budget process moves out into the public arena starting this afternoon. At 2 pm, the City Council’s regular weekly full-council meeting starts with Mayor Murray’s budget speech. And that’s when his plan will go public – not just a long list of dollar amounts, but also a road map to what he’s proposing to do regarding a variety of issues and projects. For example, as noted in our coverage of last Wednesday’s Delridge District Council meeting, the budget is where he would have to officially execute his proposal to cut off city support for district councils.

What the mayor delivers today will have City Council-led changes by the time it goes to a final vote on November 21st. And this will be the first budget process since the City Council was changed to seven district reps and two at-large, so that’s a new dynamic in the mix. Our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold included a timeline of the process in her latest online update – see it here. The first major public hearing – “an opportunity to request that Councilmembers sponsor changes (or not make changes) to the Mayor’s proposed budget,” as Herbold explains it – is next week, 5:30 pm Wednesday, October 5th, at City Hall. Her timeline explains other key points for commenting. (Her e-mail address is lisa.herbold@seattle.gov.)

You can watch the mayor’s budget speech today at 2 pm via Seattle Channel, online or cable channel 21. We’ll be covering it for the local specifics, of course, so check here for those.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Fall’s first Monday

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:54 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported so far in or from West Seattle.

THIS WEEK’S ALERTS
*Spokane St. project continues east of the low bridge
*South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) starts the fall quarter today
*Seattle Public Schools will be out two hours early on Wednesday
*West Seattle Bridge west-end closure next Saturday morning for jersey-barrier replacement

8:05 AM: Still no incidents to report.

Seattle Summer Parkways on Alki, report #2: Street scenes

Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog

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We showed you what was happening at Seattle Summer Parkways on Alki as it happened along two waterfront miles on Sunday. Now, through the photos of WSB contributing photographer Leda Costa, a closer look at who was there having fun. Above, the bouncy obstacle course brought in by Seattle Parks; below, the Pan family, jumping rope:

The Pan family playing with the jump ropes.

Ahead, 12 more scenes from what really was a summery afternoon, despite it having been the third full day of fall: Read More

Driver damages day-care doors in Highland Park

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Thanks to the texter who tipped us to this: What looked on the 911 log like a relatively routine car-crash call earlier tonight was something more – a driver ran into the doors of one of the two buildings that Ages in Stages has at 9th and Trenton in Highland Park. But the doors are all that was damaged, the owners told us when we went over a little while ago, and they will be open tomorrow – this happened at the building on the northwest corner of the intersection, while their building on the northeast corner is unharmed. The driver, meantime, was taken to a hospital by private ambulance.

VIDEO: West Seattle’s Tibbetts UMC among 300+ venues for Concert to End Gun Violence in America

“It’s been a rough week,” began singer Lady A, going on to urge people to show kindness to each other, before she sang “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” a cappella, to open the Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) event this afternoon that was part of the nationwide Concert to End Gun Violence in America. (Our apologies for the lack of tripod.) Tibbetts’ choir, directed by Elizabeth Nye, followed by singing the 23rd Psalm:

Tibbetts’ pastor Rev. Joanne Carlson Brown opened with a blessing acknowledging that the issue is experienced in many different ways.

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The Seattle Flash Choir, Victor Puentes Jr., and Christy McWilson & The West Seattle 2 also performed at the Tibbetts concert, organized by Cindy Jacobs, one of more than 300 concerts across the nation today. The biggest was in New York City, headlined by music stars including West Seattleite Eddie Vedder.

UPDATE: Fireworks lead to SFD callout in 8800 block 13th SW

7:02 PM: Big SFD call for a possible house fire on 13th SW near Trenton [map]. We are on the way.

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7:20 PM: SFD’s call closed before we got there but here’s what we learned from neighbors and police on the scene: Some people drove up and set off a box of fireworks that went off, with sparks and smoke, in multiple directions. That’s what led to the fire call. Multiple small fires were sparked but put out quickly by neighbors.

7:34 PM: Added above – our photo of the fireworks tossed from a car. The neighbors say the cap was left behind too.

UPDATE: West Seattle presidential-debate watching parties

6:42 PM: If you know of an open-to-the-public viewing party for the first presidential debate tomorrow, we’d love to hear about it – we’ve been asked multiple times today! Bar, restaurant, political group, whomever/wherever, as long as it’s in West Seattle, White Center, or South Park. E-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com or comment below – thank you.

9:40 PM: Here’s what we have so far:

Admiral Bird (California/Admiral)

The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), pre-trivia

House party in North Admiral that is also a campaign fundraiser for Secretary of State candidate Tina Podlodowski and Lands Commissioner candidate Hilary Franz, suggested donation $100/person – if interested, e-mail katherine@katherinebobman.com for details/RSVP

9:57 PM: Another one just in:

Parliament Tavern (4210 SW Admiral Way): “We’ll have the two parties represented on the big screen, but the REAL party falls smack during happy hour, which will carry through the end of the debate! $4 draft micros! $4 wells! $2.50 Rainier’s and PBR tallboys!”

ADDED MONDAY MORNING: OutWest Bar (California/Brandon) too.

Anyplace else? We’ll keep adding whatever comes in. (The debate is set for 6-7:30 pm Monday, our time, by the way.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen pickup truck; hit-and-run; car prowl

Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch today:

STOLEN PICKUP TRUCK: Keep watch for Caleb‘s truck:

Stolen from south side of West Seattle Corporate Center lot (Delridge/Andover)
2011 Red Dodge Ram 2500
Black wheels
Has a leveling kit
Black Top Bed Cover
5th wheel hitch
IBEW Sticker on the back window

Call 911 if you see it.

HIT & RUN IN ALKI: 56th and Lander is where Julie reports this happened: “Between 6:30 am and 8 am Sunday 9/25 morning, our blue 4-door pickup was hit while parked on the street. If you have any information, we would greatly appreciate your help. Police report filed.”

CAR PROWL IN MORGAN JUNCTION: From Gina:

I just wanted to let everyone know our car got broken into last night or this morning. We live in an apartment complex with a covered carport on California Ave in Morgan Junction and we came to our car with the contents of our glovebox strewn about. Luckily, we had no valuables in the car and there was no property damage. We’re grateful they left our national parks pass and discovery pass. However, I wanted to let my neighbors to keep their eyes out! Even though we didn’t lose anything, we are reporting it to the police.

REMINDER – WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORK ON TUESDAY: You don’t have to be a Block Watch Captain or even a Block Watch member to attend the WSBWCN meeting 6:30 pm Tuesday (September 27th) at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster). A special guest from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will talk about her work including prosecution of repeat property-crime offenders.

HAPPENING NOW: Playing in the street (and preparing for disaster) during Seattle Summer Parkways on Alki

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12:51 PM: So far during Seattle Summer Parkways on Alki, which continues until 4 pm, we’ve seen a shark and a whale …

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The rendering of the 39-foot humpback whale that stranded and died in Fauntleroy two months ago is part of the marine-mammal chalk art outside the Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network‘s booth in the 61st/Alki activity zone; the shark was a decoration on one of the cargo/family bicycles that headed out at 11 am for the Seattle Disaster Relief Trials, a fun combination of preparedness exercise and bicycle ride.

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Participants are practicing skills that might be needed in case of catastrophe – earthquake, for example. “Cars can’t get through, we can,” was the scenario offered by organizer Morgan as she took the stage to launch the ride. Participants headed off to spots as far away as White Center, visiting up to four of West Seattle’s Emergency Communication Hubs along the way. Thanks to Jon for this photo from the Ercolini Park hub west of The Junction, where the “shark” bike was checking in:

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Toting items (even containers of water) was part of the exercise. (added) And via Twitter, here’s another hub stop for that distinctive bike and rider:


Meantime, back at the beach, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold and SDOT director Scott Kubly were there to help launch today’s event (the mayor canceled a few days ago) but decided against speeches since, as she put it, things were proceeding relatively casually:

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Also at the 61st/Alki hub, Seattle Public Library‘s two-wheeled branch:

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Not pictured – a mini-tent where little ones can sit and read. Meantime, a short distance east on Alki, the Seattle Humane MaxMobile arrived with adoptable pets including kittens (who did NOT want to pose, so we have the wide view of the van):

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That’s about as far as we got before having to leave Alki for a bit – but we’re headed back now to explore the rest of the route. Again, if you’ve missed all the advance alerts, Alki SW is open to walking/biking and other non-motorized transportation, both ways between 56th and 63rd, and east of 56th to Don Armeni, the inland lane is open to cars (etc.) one way westbound, while the water-side lane is for other forms of transportation, until 4 pm.

ADDED 1:38 PM: Just stopped by Don Armeni for another marine-mammal sighting – Mike the inflatable Southern Resident Killer Whale, is now ready for visitors. He’s with The Whale Trail team.

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ADDED 2:19 PM: If you’re here and you haven’t stopped by City Scoop yet, to answer some questions and get free ice cream, you have until 3 pm. The tents are right by Alki Bathhouse – here’s the view from the second floor at Spud across the street:

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Or maybe you are torn between hanging out in the sunshine and watching the Seahawks/49ers game on TV. Guess what – you can do both!

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Alki resident Guy Olson set up the “living room in the street” – TV and all – between Marine and 59th. Meantime, at 58th SW, Seattle Parks has a play zone for kids including a bouncy obstacle course:

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Also, face painting and chalk art! And that’s near Coastal, the Alki boutique, which has a lemonade stand out front, raising money for Camp Korey.

2:45 PM: Music at Summer Parkways – the Barrelhouse Jive Band onstage at 61st/Alki:


The clip is from WSB contributing photographer Leda Costa – our second report on Summer Parkways will include her views from today. Again, this is on until 4 pm … most activities between 56th and 63rd on Alki, but an “activity hub” remains at Don Armeni, too.

3:40 PM: Twenty more minutes to get out and play in the street along Alki. You can of course ride your bike at the beach any time, but today has been extra fun with cool people like these:


As mentioned above, we’ll have a second report with scenes of the day, later on. And we’ll update here when we get word Alki/Harbor Aves. are back to all traffic both ways – the official posted closure is until 5 pm, so there’s time for breakdown and cleanup.

HAPPENING NOW: Fauntleroy ‘Recycle Roundup,’ until 3 pm

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Just stopped by Fauntleroy Church to see how the fall Recycle Roundup is going. You have until 3 pm to drop off recyclables for free – provided they’re on this (long) list of what 1 Green Planet is taking this time. Most memorable item we spotted during a quick look – a vintage copper “Combination” GE refrigerator/freezer.

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The church is at 9140 California SW (you can’t get there directly from the main stretch of California – if you head west on Barton from 35th, the road becomes California for a short stretch before the Endolyne business district). It’s busy right now (a few minutes past noon) but they have enough help to keep everyone moving through quickly.

Admiral Theater renovations: See what they’re uncovering

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(Photos courtesy Admiral Theater/Southwest Seattle Historical Society)

One week into the renovation work at the Admiral Theater, here’s the first look inside, courtesy of theater staff and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. The photos above and below show parts of a mural that had been hidden since the theater was split into two auditoriums decades ago.

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See and read more on the SWSHS website. When the work’s all done, the Admiral will have four screens. Right now, it has one – the western auditorium is open while work goes on next door.

HAPPENING NOW: Orca Half runners headed for Lincoln Park

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10 AM: The first-ever Orca Half (as in half-marathon) is happening right now, as the kickoff to today’s Seattle Summer Parkways “car-free” event on Alki. More than 400 runners are headed outbound to Lincoln Park and back to Don Armeni Boat Ramp, where they started in two groups shortly after 9:30.

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This means the road changes are on, too. Our photo is from Harbor Avenue at the bottom of the California Way hill, by Seacrest – if you are westbound on Harbor, you will be diverted uphill, because that’s where the water-side biking/running/walking-only lane begins. And once you get to 56th/Alki, the entire road is off-limits to cars (etc.) until 63rd. We’ll have as-it-happens coverage from Alki once everything gets going there around 11 am.

ADDED 10:37 AM: At least one runner had a mini-cheering section:

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These are the finishers’ medals, waiting back at the start/finish line:

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You’ll also see The Whale Trail – beneficiary of the run – there, with Mike the inflatable orca (who was still getting deployed when we left).

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