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Baseball in your backyard! Semi-pro Highline Bears win season opener in White Center

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By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog & White Center Now

The semi-pro Highline Bears baseball team launched its second season at Steve Cox Memorial Park in grand fashion Saturday night, downing the Langley Blaze 10-0 to give manager Rich Lindros a big win in his debut.

Starting pitcher Al Miller needed just seven innings to collect his complete-game shutout, thanks to the efficient Bears offense which used just three hits to generate enough runs to trigger an early end to the game via the “mercy rule.” Miller also surrendered only three hits on the evening, striking out two.

After Blaze starter Brandon Marklund loaded the bases in the fourth inning by hitting three Bears batters, second baseman Connor Jones delivered a two-out single to score Cameron Slader (a West Seattle High School alum) and Colton Kelly.

Marklund’s control struggles continued in the fifth inning, when he again loaded the bases without giving up a hit, this time walking first baseman Angel Valencia before hitting the next two batters. The Bears would pounce on the opportunity, plating six runs in the frame despite a Parker Coffey single being the only hit the home team would produce.

The Bears finished things in the seventh, again taking advantage of Langley pitching issues. After Ben Fitzhugh and Connor Jones each drew walks, third baseman Drew Larea doubled down the right-field line to make it 9-0. Myles Wesner grounded to second, but Ben Foerster’s throw to the plate could not prevent Jones from scoring a game-ending run.

Following the game, children in attendance were invited to run around the bases while Bears players lined the infield offering high-fives to their young fans, who then proceeded to collect autographs from their heroes in blue.

The two teams will meet again today (Sunday) at Steve Cox (1321 SW 102nd) for a doubleheader beginning at noon. Tickets are $5, with kids under 12 admitted free.

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West Seattle sunset: Not so gray at end of the day

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Our top photo is by James Bratsanos, who observed that the sky looked “on fire” during tonight’s sunset. It was a colorful conclusion to a gray day; here’s a wider view from Lynn Hall:

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The forecast for tomorrow sounds a lot like today – but sunshine is still expected Monday!

From White Center Now: Bok a Bok Fried Chicken, days away

Two months after we got word that Bok a Bok Korean Fried Chicken was on the way to White Center, it’s opening Wednesday, and invited media in tonight. We dropped in for a few photos and updates – including, most importantly if you’re interested, the menu! See it on WCN.

CONGRATULATIONS! State championship for West Seattle HS Unified Soccer

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Another state title for local athletes today: The photo is from the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association Twitter feed, which announced that the West Seattle High School Unified Soccer team won the Division 1 state title, 4-0 over Camas. (Here’s our previous report on the WSHS team.)

CONGRATULATIONS! Sealth’s Assa Kaba, WSHS’s Lani Taylor win state track titles

FIRST REPORT, 2:52 PM: At the state 3A track and field championships in Tacoma, two runners from our area are coming home with titles! Chief Sealth International High School‘s Assa Kaba won the 100m in 12.58:

Thanks to Kristin Arvidson for sending first word and that photo.

ADDED 3:10 PM: And congratulations to Kaba for another title just now – 200m, in 24.90!

(back to original report) And via Twitter, we got the news that West Seattle High School‘s Lani Taylor won the 400m:


The meet runs another hour and a half or so, and we will update with any other news about local athletes.

Beware of the birds! 3 reader reports from north West Seattle

You know we love birds and are honored to receive beautiful photos to share here several times a week. But – on occasion, birds can be dangerous too, especially in nesting season, and we have three recent reports to share. First one is just in from Greg:

I wanted to give a heads up to anyone that runs or walks on Fairmount (Ave) about an aggressive owl.

Last night around dusk I was running when I felt something on my head and realized an owl had clawed me. It hovered above and made a few more swipes. I scared it off and then about 100 yards later it swooped again, clawing the back of my head. I didn’t see any blood but it feels like I have a scratch – hard to tell under my hair.

It was white, possibly a barred owl – a white, beautiful bird. It was silent as it approached. The incident happened downhill of where Admiral street crosses over – basically half way between the bridge underpass and the homes on the road.

I’ve heard owls like this will repeat the behavior, so I want to make sure people are aware.

Carl reported the same thing recently:

I normally go jogging around 8-9 at night. This might I was running down Fairmount ravine in the dark when something sharp clawed my head. This was north of the Admiral Way overpass. The owl would not let go for at least 50 meters and I had to shine a light in his face for him not to attack me. He tried several more times to dive bomb me.

The ravine is not far, by the way, from where Rose reported an attack along Harbor Avenue two months ago.

Our third report: A crow got aggressive outside the West Seattle (Admiral) Library one morning this week, reported by Karin:

Have you heard about a territorial crow at the West Seattle library? I put some books in the book drop … and a crow attacked me. It followed me to Met Market, cawing and diving at me. It didn’t touch me, but it certainly scared me! I’m wondering if it was me or if I just got too close to a nest. Either way, I’m avoiding the library for a while…

From the state’s excellent Living With Wildlife series, here’s information about dive-bombing crows, and a similar note about owls.

West Seattle art: 9-year-old painter exhibiting at Ampersand Café

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If you don’t go to Alki today to sit on the beach … go to see Milo‘s watercolor paintings. Milo is a 9-year-old third-grader at Pathfinder K-8 who started painting cars less than two months ago, and is already having his first exhibition – on the walls at Ampersand Café. His proud mom Sarah sent us these images of some of his work.

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Sarah tells us Milo is “passionate about cars” but “also plays piano and is a decent chess player.” Milo’s paintings just went up at Ampersand (2536 Alki Avenue SW, open 6:30 am-5:30 pm daily) and will be up for about a month; if you like his creations, they’re featured on a poster that’s available for purchase.

West Seattle Saturday: First day of the season for Colman Pool, Highland Park Spraypark, lighthouse tours … and more!

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(Northern Flicker, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Welcome to Memorial Day weekend! Highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox:

TRAFFIC NOTE: No overnight bridge closure tonight; the next scheduled closure isn’t until Tuesday night, because of the holiday.

Now, what IS happening:

POST 160 POPPIES: 8 am-4 pm, American Legion Post 160 will be at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) offering the handmade poppies that are reminders of what Memorial Day is about. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

MOBILE BLOOD DRIVE: Give a life-saving gift in The Junction today, with a mobile blood drive 9 am-3 pm (closed 11 am-noon); details in our listing. (42nd SW/SW Alaska)

ANCIENT LOCAL PLANT AND ANIMAL COMMUNITY RECOVERY TOUR: 10 am at Orchard Street Ravine in Gatewood, with naturalist Stewart Wechsler – info on his website. (3800 SW Orchard)

OPENING DAY FOR HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK: 11 am-8 pm, it’s the first day of the season – which runs 7 days a week through Labor Day – at Highland Park Spraypark, the only spraypark in West Seattle. (1100 SW Cloverdale)

PLANT SALE AT SSC: The Landscape Horticulture program at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) is selling plants again today at the Garden Center on the north end of campus, 11 am-3 pm. (6000 16th SW)

FAMILY GAME DAY AT MEEPLES: Not warm enough for your favorite outdoor fun? Play indoors at Meeples Games (WSB sponsor), on Family Game Day! 11:30 am-3 pm. (3727 California SW)

COLMAN POOL’S OPENING DAY: This year, the historic pool in Lincoln Park celebrates its 75th anniversary. Be part of it starting today, as the first pre-season weekend begins. Three swim sessions noon-7 pm – check the brochure for full details. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

ALKI LIGHTHOUSE TOURS BEGIN: As previewed here earlier this week, it’s the first day of the season for free tours of historic Alki Point Lighthouse, thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. 1 pm-4 pm, last group allowed in at 3:40. (Alki SW/Beach Drive SW)

LIVE HIP-HOP: 5 pm at The Skylark – details in our listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

DAMON BUXTON: Guitarist/composer, live at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

Celebration of life June 5th for Renee Amundson Rundle, 1937-2016

Family and friends will gather on June 5th to celebrate the life of Renee Rundle, 79. Her family is sharing this tribute, remembering her as a woman of “many talents”:

Renee Marion Amundson Rundle passed away peacefully on April 28, 2016 after a valiant battle with multiple illnesses.

She was born in North Dakota on February 11, 1937 to Julia and Gerhard Amundson. While she was still quite young the family moved to Seattle, Washington. Renee attended West Woodland Elementary School, James Monroe Middle School and graduated from Ballard High School in 1955. She married Clayton Rundle in 1956 and they welcomed their daughter Michelle into their family in 1968.

She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington. Throughout her career she worked for PR firms including Bernhagen & Associates and Ehrig & Associates. She also was the Editor for the Alki News. Most recently she worked as the Volunteer Coordinator for Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle.

Renee had many talents. In her younger years she was an accomplished majorette, a member of the Ballard High School and All City Band, and on her high-school yearbook staff. Later in life she pursued many interests including traveling, sailing, playing on a softball team, and studying the universe, meditation, and art. She loved writing and poetry and dreamed of having her poems published. She was also passionate about her community and not afraid to speak up if something needed to be addressed, as she often did for Alki. Though her physical health limited her at times, her spirit was strong and she was always seeking and open to new adventures.

Renee is survived by her daughter Michelle Rundle, sisters Gwen Cleveland (Arne) and Janet Woodfield (Ed), and multiple nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Please gather with us to celebrate her life at 3:00 PM, Sunday, June 5, in the Fellowship Hall of Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, 2400 NW 85th St, Seattle. Per her wishes, please also come dressed in brightly colored party clothes. In lieu of flowers, donations to your favorite charity in her honor are welcome.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Alki Art Fair 2016: Two-part T-shirt search

This year’s Alki Art Fair (with co-sponsors including WSB) is now less than two months away and tonight, organizers have a two-part request involving the T-shirts for which the event is well-known:

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We need a little help from our friends!

Over the last 18 years of the Alki Art Fair, there have been 20 different official T-shirts (a couple of years we had an extra supplemental ‘Kids Entry’ Winner). We have collected 18 past designs and are missing a couple … if you have an Art Fair T-shirt that is NOT one of those pictured above, please send us a photo!!!!!

Also, please let us know if you can identify the years that any of the shirts without printed dates on them are from.

Plus: We are still taking submissions for this year’s T-shirt design with the theme ‘Around the Sound.’ Please send your entry to vendors@alkiartfair.org by June 7. Design entry is open to the public and should include ‘Alki Art Fair 2016’ in the design.

This year’s Alki Art Fair is set for Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24, along the Alki Beach Park promenade as usual.

West Seattle Memorial Day: Post 160 providing poppies this weekend

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(WSB photo from 2014)

Another Memorial Day tradition: Tomorrow and Sunday you can get your poppies from American Legion Post 160 at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 8 am-4 pm both days. From Post 160’s announcement: “The Poppy is a symbol to remember those servicepersons who have perished in service to our nation. Donations received from Poppy Distribution will go to Veterans and Veterans’ Families in the local community.”

Thriftway is where California/Fauntleroy/Morgan meet. Meantime, Post 160 also invites you to Monday’s traditional Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) at 2 pm.

West Seattle whales: Humpbacks off Water Taxi dock

Thanks to the texter who just sent that phone video of what appear to be two humpback whales off the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest! We’ll be heading out in a bit to see if they’re still off our shore – let us know if you see/have seen them!

P.S. We checked the Orca Network page for any word of other sightings in the area and found this post with video of two humpbacks across the Sound in Port Orchard/Bremerton waters earlier today.

West Seattle development: Trees cut at Delridge Way site north of Youngstown

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The North Delridge development boomlet continues. A long-set-for-construction site north of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center suddenly caught a lot of attention today with crews cutting trees (note the “FREE WOOD” sign). That brought in a few questions about what’s happening there. The city files for this site contain a variety of plans that have changed in the past few years, but as far as we can tell, what’s currently approved includes two 2-unit, 4-story townhouse buildings toward the middle of the site, and one single-family house on the north side.

ALERT: Partial closure ahead for Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint handrail work

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(WSB photo)

Just announced by Seattle Parks, a big project ahead – starting right after Memorial Day – at Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint in the 3500 block of Beach Drive, just south of Alki Point:

Starting on Tuesday, May 31, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) will close a section of Charles Richey, Sr. Viewpoint, 3521 Beach Dr. SW, so that a crew can replace an old, rusty handrail.

The work involves cutting the old handrail into pieces, core drilling 47 holes in the supporting concrete, and setting the new handrail and mortar in place.

The crew estimates the work will take eight to 10 working days. While there will be no access to the viewpoint once the work begins, there will be street parking available at the site evenings and weekends.

SPR regrets any inconvenience to park users, looks forward to providing a new, safe handrail in time for summer, and hopes park visitors will enjoy nearby Me Kwa Mooks, Schmitz, and Whale Tail parks while the work is under way.

We asked Parks, after receiving this, which specific section of Richey Viewpoint/Constellation Park will be affected; spokesperson Christina Hirsch said she expects it’ll be “most of” that stretch, because of the vehicles and equipment that will be involved.

FOLLOWUP: Ruling in for Luna Park Café sign; fine cut in half

FIRST REPORT, 2:02 PM: Just in: Deputy Hearing Examiner Anne Watanabe‘s decision on Luna Park Café owner John Bennett‘s appeal of a $500 citation for an A-frame sign. We first reported two weeks ago that he had been cited for the sign, after two warnings to remove it; city rules say business owners can only have such signs adjacent to their business, but his café is half a block away.

The complaint targeted a group of signs at Harbor/Avalon, not just Bennett’s, we learned when he argued his appeal before Watanabe downtown eight days ago (here’s our report). She said she’d have a ruling in a week or so, so we’ve been checking the city website, where it was posted half an hour ago (read the ruling here). Watanabe affirmed the SDOT decision to cite Bennett for the against-the-rules sign, but reduced the penalty from $500 – the fine for using right-of-way without a permit – to $250, the usual sign-citation amount, noting SDOT wasn’t opposed to a reduction, since it was a first-time citation.

Examiner decisions are the final word so far as the city goes; to challenge a ruling like this, you would have to go to court. We’re seeking comment from Bennett and will update.

ADDED 2:32 PM: Bennett tells us via e-mail that he’ll decide next week what to do about it, adding, “I’m a little upset that the sign ordinances are selectively enforced. I also feel small businesses shouldn’t have to pay heavy fines.” (City reps said again in last week’s hearing that enforcement is by complaint – there may be routine rule-breakers out there, but there’s no enforcement unless someone complains, same as a variety of other non-criminal city code situations.)

West Seattle restaurants: Angelina’s has ‘closed the doors for good’

After almost seven years under its current ownership, Angelina’s in The Admiral District has closed. We went to the restaurant at 2311 California SW to investigate after getting tips from two readers, and got confirmation. West Seattleites Skip and Allison Rich bought Angelina’s from its longtime previous owners in 2009, remodeling it, adding a bar, and removing “Trattoria” from its name before reopening it that fall. Here’s the text of the note that Allison tells WSB they will be posting:

Dear West Seattle,

It is with great sadness that we have closed the doors for good. We could no longer balance our personal lives and the restaurant. We have given all we have to this baby for 7 years and it is time now to start a new chapter in our lives.

We thank each and every one of you for your support throughout the years. We have watched your children grow up and watched lives change in many ways. It was our pleasure serving you! We will miss you more than you will ever know. As you were customers, you were family to us! With every lasagna, chicken parm or Rod’s scramble we served, we did it with all our hearts.

Thank you Admiral District for treating us so well! We will miss you terribly.

All our love and thanks,
Allison and Skip

Their restaurant has been, and still is, up for sale.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car to look for

In West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon – that’s Susie‘s stolen silver 1996 Honda Civic, plate AYL2446. She says it was taken from 48th/Hinds [map] Wednesday night. As the SPD @getyourcarback tweet says, call 911 if you see it.

P.S. Auto-theft-deterrence advice, courtesy of the King County Sheriff’s Office, is up right now on our partner site White Center Now.

West Seattle Junction Association executive director Susan Melrose leaving after 9+ years

You might not ever have met Susan Melrose – but if you’ve been in West Seattle any length of time, you’ve probably enjoyed the results of her work, maybe without realizing it. She is the executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association – which in addition to being the merchants’ association also deals with events and issues big and small, in and affecting the heart of WS – and it’s just been announced that after almost a decade, she’s leaving WSJA:

It is with great appreciation that the West Seattle Junction Association announces the resignation of Susan Melrose, Executive Director. Susan provided more than 9 years of service to the organization, during which her steadfast leadership and strong sense of community helped the business district to flourish. The West Seattle Junction Association wishes her well in her future endeavors and thanks her for her dedication and guidance.

Susan has lived in West Seattle since 1998 and has brought her passion for the neighborhood into every aspect of her work. Her accomplishments include building Junction Plaza Park, creating the Harvest Festival, producing ten years of West Seattle Summer Fest, defining The Junction’s brand and increasing its reach, contributing to the creation of new public art, and acting as a conduit between The Junction businesses and greater community.

“Working with the community and touching on so many exciting projects has been a tremendous opportunity. West Seattle is a neighborhood of passionate and action-oriented people. I’ve enjoyed learning from the community and will continue to admire the dedication of our neighborhood.” Susan says. “While I am taking a new job, I will continue to enjoy The Junction on my days off!”

Susan will stay with the Junction Association through West Seattle Summer Fest. Her past professional background in environmental conservation will be put to work in her new position as the Director of Operations at Washington Wild.

Having worked with Susan while co-sponsoring many Junction events in the past eight-plus years, including Summer Fest (July 8-10 this year!) and Hometown Holidays, we will miss her, and we wish her much success in her new adventure. (WSB photo at above left, from Summer Fest 2014)

Open house ahead for Lander Street Overpass, now ‘Lander Street Bridge’


First thing we found out at last night’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting: SDOT has an open house coming up for what it’s now calling the South Lander Street Bridge project. While the project is in SODO, the former “Lander Street Overpass” proposal has long been of interest to West Seattleites traveling on surface streets to/from there, and has been on the WSTC’s priority list for almost two years; it was shelved almost a decade ago, then revived with partial funding in last year’s voter-approved Move Seattle levy. It will go over the railroad tracks on Lander between 1st and 4th (see the map above; click it for a full-size PDF).

The city’s current timeline is for completing design next year (saying the design from a decade ago is outdated), then building the overpass from “early 2018-early 2020.” As the city infopage notes, funding is not finalized – while local and state dollars are available, they’re awaiting word on a federal grant.

The open house is set for 4-6 pm Wednesday, June 8th, at Metropolist in SODO, 2931 1st Ave. South. An “online open house” goes live two days before that.

P.S. Our second report from the WSTC meeting is coming up later today, covering last night’s Q&A with a port executive re: the Terminal 5 Improvements Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (open for your comments until June 21st).

West Seattle Friday: Going into your holiday weekend

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(Pigeon Guillemot, photographed at the Fauntleroy ferry dock by Mark Wangerin)

The calendar quiets as holidays approach, so the preview list for today/tonight is relatively short. Have fun, whatever your plans!

SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS: West Seattle High School‘s first game at the state tournament in Lacey is at noon today vs. Enumclaw.

THE GREATEST MOVIES YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF: 1 pm screening at the Senior Center of West SeattleHumphrey Bogart in “Passage to Marseille.” $1 members, $2 non-members. (California SW/SW Oregon)

JIM NASON: The singer-songwriter performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

‘DEATH OF A SALESMAN’: Your third-to-last chance to see ArtsWest Playhouse‘s current production, 7:30 pm curtain tonight. (4711 California SW)

THE PAGAN SOUTH & THIEVES OF EDEN: Live at The Skylark, 9 pm, 21+, $7 cover. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

PREVIEW THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND … by checking out our complete calendar!

Celebration of life June 18th for Erich ‘Rick’ Lauffer, 1956-2016

Family and friends will gather June 18th to celebrate the life of Rick Lauffer. Here’s the remembrance that’s being shared with the community:

West Seattle resident Erich “Rick” Robert Lauffer passed away on May 8, 2016, following complications from pneumonia.

Rick was born in Lakewood, Ohio, on January 20, 1956, the son of the late Florence B. and Erwin M. Lauffer. He is survived by his life partner of 40 years and wife Lucy Woodworth and beloved son Eli Lauffer. Rick is also survived by his siblings Erwin A. “Stuffy” (Linda Kensicki), Judith Touré (Roy Briere), Peter, Timothy (Kim), his brothers-in-law, Mark (Randi) and Paul (Lisa), and 14 nephews and nieces.

Rick studied art and literature at Western College of Miami University in Ohio, where he and Lucy met. They spent several happy years in Cincinnati, where he worked for Instant Replay Film and Video Productions as a 3D animator.

Rick was a talented artist who expressed his creativity in multiple mediums. Some of his art may be found at his website. There, he wrote, “An artist’s eye transfers to any tool once mastered.”

In 1991, Erich, Lucy, and Eli moved to Seattle. Rick worked as a 3D animator with Pinnacle Post before becoming a freelance artist and later a co-owner with Lucy in their motion graphics business, Lucy Woodworth Design. But his greatest joy came from his family and his role as Eli’s father. He treasured their time together.

Family and friends are welcome to stop in to remember Rick at a memorial celebration of his life on Saturday, June 18th between 2 pm and 4 pm at Duos Lounge, 2940 SW Avalon Way in West Seattle. There will also be a memorial in his hometown of Olmsted Falls, Ohio, on Saturday, August 6th. Donations in Rick’s memory may be made to NAMI Seattle.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Pre-holiday Friday updates

(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)

7:06 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle. Here’s what you need to know as the holiday weekend approaches:

*No Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion work bridge closures until TUESDAY NIGHT – Friday and Saturday are regular off-nights, and SDOT says they’re skipping Sunday and Monday because of the holiday.

*Metro and the West Seattle Water Taxi will both run Sunday schedules on Memorial Day.

*After less than a week, Washington State Ferries is changing the “process” it implemented to try to speed things up at Fauntleroy. The new plan, starting next Tuesday, is explained here.

8:25 AM: Thanks for the text – trouble on northbound 99; a vehicle is broken down in the northbound Battery Street Tunnel, and that’s causing a backup.

8:55 AM: And another problem on northbound 99:


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