VIDEO: SW Admiral Way Safety Project ‘changes’ in the works, SDOT director tells council Transportation Committee

July 28, 2015 at 12:05 pm | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 40 Comments

(ADDED: Seattle Channel video of committee meeting – SDOT director’s report starts 1:44 in)

SDOT has “already started making some changes” to the SW Admiral Way Safety Project plan, director Scott Kubly just told Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and the rest of the City Council’s Transportation Committee.

Rasmussen had told us that a briefing would be part of today’s meeting; it happened during Kubly’s periodic “director’s report” presentation, which as usual addressed multiple issues, though only two were discussed before the committee, including this one. (See the full pre-submitted written version of his report above.)

Rasmussen expressed an overall concern about the public-input portion of projects like this – suggesting, as residents have said, that it would be better for agencies to come out and say, there’s an issue we want to address in your neighborhood, and ask for ideas on addressing it, rather than beginning the public-input process by showing up with a proposed plan that invariably draws a negative response, with some walkback invariably following.

Kubly’s response to that was to say that it could stretch out a process for so long that people would lose interest – and/or that an entirely different set of participants/stakeholders might turn up if a year or so elapsed between the start of the discussion and the presentation of a plan. He also pointed out that some projects, like this, are outgrowths of existing “modal plans” (in this case, the city’s Bicycle Master Plan).

But he did acknowledge that community input is leading to some changes already in the plan, which was first presented in April with changes to Admiral Way west of California SW including addition of a bicycle lane, other channelization changes, and removal of 200 on-street parking spaces. When SDOT said it had done parking studies in December to generate its contention that the parking wasn’t needed, community members’ jaws dropped, pointing out that peak parking season in the area is summertime because of Alki Beach Park usage. SDOT agreed to study the parking again in mid-summer; Kubly indicated that “data collection” is under way (as project manager Emily Ehlers had told WSB last week).

“Allow us to collect the data in July, see what that data suggests is the right solution for meeting all of our goals – predominantly safety, for all users,” implored Kubly, adding, “We’ve already started maing some changes based on what we’ve heard … We’ll add back a lot of the parking in the highest-demand areas but without sacrificing some of the safety improvements that we’re making – we’re going through an iterative process … we’ll go back to the public with some design modifications we’ve made,” including changes to where the bicycle lane would be buffered from parked cars and where it would be buffered from the travel lane. The written version of his report says the next public meeting might not happen until September.

More than an hour and a half before Kubly’s appearance at meeting’s end, Admiral Way residents Jackie Ramels, Chris Thayer, and Brenda Gage spoke during the general-public-comment period that started the committee meeting. Thayer mentioned that Alki and Schmitz Park are both parks “with no dedicated off-street parking,” as even acknowledged by the city website. Gage mentioned that she and her three small children would have to cross Admiral Way if parking is removed in front of her house. She voiced a wish that “SDOT (would have been) more collaborative with us.” She also expressed gratitude for the 47th/Admiral light and crosswalks that opened recently, and mentioned that the group’s online petition is up to almost a thousand names. (Rasmussen also mentioned the signal/crosswalks before the meeting concluded – he and Kubly were there for its “completion celebration” two weeks ago, as reported here.)

When this meeting’s archived video is available online via the Seattle Channel, we’ll add it to this report. (NOTE: As of late night, it’s been added.)

West Seattle Tuesday: Spoke & Food; swim-team evaluations; free run; ‘focus group’ for Block Watch’ers; more…

July 28, 2015 at 10:25 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 8 Comments

“When all gets orange, summer is over,” is how Flickr member alextutu1821 captioned that photo, sharing it via the WSB Flickr group. Not over yet, but late July means it’s time to savor every day! Warm sunshine is forecast for the rest of the week, including the rest of today/tonight – here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

KALEIDOSCOPE PLAY-AND-LEARN: Kids 3-5 and their caregivers are welcome to this free weekly play-and-learn group, 1:30-3 pm at High Point Library – details here. (35th/Raymond)

CENTRAL AREA AQUATIC TEAM EXPANDING TO WEST SEATTLE, EVALUATIONS TONIGHT: This year-round swim club for ages 6-18 years is expanding to West Seattle and inviting interested families to team evaluations tonight and Thursday, 5 pm, at WS Health Club. You don’t have to be a member, and CAAT stresses, “This isn’t a tryout; there is a place on the team for all swimmers.” More info here. (2629 SW Andover)

SPOKE & FOOD BIKE-TO-DINNER BENEFIT: 5-10 pm tonight, 20 percent of the proceeds at participating restaurants – in our area, that’s The Westy (21+) and Proletariat Pizza (all ages) – goes to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Bicycling to dinner is encouraged! More info here.

TUESDAY NIGHT DEMO AND PADDLE RACES: 6-8 pm at Alki Kayak Tours – no pre-registration required, just show up! Details here. (1660 Harbor SW)

FREE TRACK RUN: 6:15 pm, meet at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) for a free group run! (2743 California SW)

BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS’ 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 the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network. If you’re involved with a block watch, you’re invited to be there – more info on the WSBWCN website. (2300 SW Webster)

THAT’S NOT ALL … see more of what’s up today/tonight by going to our calendar.

TOMORROW: Free lunch plus Field Day fun for West Seattle kids

July 28, 2015 at 9:33 am | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | No Comments

As the free-summer-meals program for local kids continues, tomorrow brings a bonus – Field Day activities at 15 sites around the county, including three in West Seattle – featured below in bold:

On July 29th from 12 pm-2 pm, United Way of King County is organizing a Summer Meals
Field Day! It will be taking place at 15 meal sites in King County. These sites are Northacres Playground, Judkins(lower) Playground, Cal Anderson Park, Beacon Hill Playground, Georgetown Playground, Othello Playground, E.C. Hughes Playground, Highland Park Elementary, Roxhill Playground, Maplewood Playground, Royal Hills Apartments, Angle Lake Park, Midway Park, and Parkside. Any child 18 and under is welcome to come and participate in the fun field day activities and enjoy a free lunch!

For more info about free summer meals, here’s the announcement we published two weeks ago.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates and alerts

July 28, 2015 at 6:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 9 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning!

ALERTS: SDOT plans work on Klickitat Way today through Thursday … At the Fauntleroy ferry dock, more overnight pavement repairs are planned.

THURSDAY-SUNDAY I-90 REMINDER: Every day this week, we’re reminding you about the Thursday-Sunday I-90 bridge closures during Blue Angels practices/performances – two on Thursday and one per day Friday-Sunday.

9:09 AM: If you haven’t left yet, don’t head for northbound I-5 – a crash is blocking two lanes just north of the exit from the West Seattle Bridge.

9:24 AM: Per WSDOT (and “Happy Tuesday” in comments), the scene is clear.

Bigger ships but not bigger volume? Port of Seattle talks Terminal 5 at West Seattle Transportation Coalition

July 28, 2015 at 5:04 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 19 Comments

(UPDATED Tuesday night with added comment from Port of Seattle)

(Port of Seattle graphic with modernization-plan toplines, from 2014 slide deck)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Exactly one year to the day after the last cargo-ship call at Terminal 5, two Port of Seattle managers faced the West Seattle Transportation Coalition to answer questions about T-5′s future.

Among the more than 30 people in attendance were residents of East Admiral, neighbors of T-5, concerned about port-related issues with which they’ve long dealt.

One major question of the night: Why the port felt it does not need a new environmental-impact review for the upcoming modernization project. A related city comment period was coming to a close as the meeting was held, but it didn’t involve a full-fledged review.

Port managers contend one isn’t needed because T-5 won’t be handling more volume. That’s a contention the residents are challenging with an online petition, and a stack of formal comments (see their letters by going here and choosing the “documents” tab).

Click to read the rest of Bigger ships but not bigger volume? Port of Seattle talks Terminal 5 at West Seattle Transportation Coalition…

SATURDAY: 3rd annual Kite Festival to soar over Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge

July 27, 2015 at 10:30 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Puget Ridge, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo from 2014 Seattle Chinese Garden Kite Festival)

The Blue Angels and other Seafair Air Show participants won’t be alone in the sky this Saturday – as you might already have seen in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, it’s also the third annual Kite Festival at the Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge. More than 500 people visited the garden on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus for last year’s festival; it’s happening 2-6 pm Saturday (plenty of time to arrive AFTER the Blue Angels’ 1:40 pm-ish show if that’s already in your plans). Bring your own kite OR buy one at the festival; enjoy kite-flying demos, kite-painting for kids, courtyard entertainment, and refreshments. 17 and under get in free; $3 suggested donation for adults.

More official off-leash space for West Seattle dogs? Survey time

July 27, 2015 at 9:24 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news | 34 Comments

This is already under discussion in the WSB Forums, but in case you haven’t heard about it yet: The city is running a survey for dog owners that could lead to more official off-leash space.

West Seattle, for example, has one off-leash area, at Westcrest Park in Highland Park, and there’s a growing clamor citywide for more such areas within walking distance of more neighbors. Take the survey here and have an early say as the city works “to develop a Strategic Plan which will help set a policy for future dog parks as our city grows – and the number of dog owners grows with it,” according to the group Citizens for Off-Leash Areas, which says, “Seattle has opened a mere 2.3 acres of off-leash areas in the last 14 years, while the number of dog parks in America’s largest cities went up 20 percent in the last five years, according to an April report from the Trust for Public Land.” Find out more about the off-leash-area Strategic Plan via the city website.

FOLLOWUP: #2 in the nation! Local players & their Seattle United team finish run at the championship

July 27, 2015 at 8:40 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

Thanks to Nikki for one more update on the Seattle United B98 Copa team’s run at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, a regional U16 team featuring three players from West Seattle – (left to right in photos above) Akili Kasim (goalkeeper from WSHS) and Abel Kidane & Miguel Macias Garibay (field players from Chief Sealth IHS)

An update on the US National Championship Game:

The boys from Seattle played hard but lost to Baltimore 2-1 in the final yesterday in Tulsa. The team had an Epic run this year and will have a lifetime of memories.

The three players from West Seattle played outstanding – Miguel had a wonderful goal, Abel with his great passing, and Akili going the week with shutouts during his half of play.

All three boys said they are so grateful for the support they received, they couldn’t believe all the tweets, texts, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, even phone calls, and everyone who was up watching us play all week at 5:30, 6:30 in the morning.

From AKili, Abel, & Miguel, THANK YOU, WEST SEATTLE!

Memorial planned next week for Robert ‘Bob’ Kacel, 1948-2015

July 27, 2015 at 6:43 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

A memorial is planned Tuesday, August 4th, for Bob Kacel, who died earlier this month at 66. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing:

Robert (Bob) Ernest Kacel, 66, passed away at home on July 10, 2015 after a long illness. Bob was born in Detroit, Michigan on September 18, 1948.

He graduated in 1966 from Osborn High School and continued on to receive a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Michigan in 1971.

Bob was married to Rebecca Kleen on August 12, 1972. They were married 42 years. Bob worked as an architect for the University of Michigan and then the State of Washington over a career of 44 years. He enjoyed a lifelong hobby of creative model-making and creating dioramas for which he won many awards. Bob was also actively involved in the Lutheran and Episcopal churches, and was a member of the Alpha Rho Chi Fraternity.

Bob is survived by wife Rebecca Kleen Kacel, daughters Melissa Kacel and Julia Kacel, grandchildren Adelle and Dane Leatherwood, brother Richard J. Kacel Jr., sisters Patricia Fischer, Nancy VerWest, and Cheryl Ahlborn, as well as other family and friends. Bob was preceded in death by his parents Richard J. Kacel and Gladys E. Kacel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Swedish Cancer Institute and sent to Swedish Medical Foundation, 747 Broadway, Seattle, WA, 98122.

The memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on August 4 at St John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California Ave SW, Seattle.

Please go here to see more pictures and to sign the online guest book.

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

FOLLOWUP: New information on SWAT raid in South Delridge

July 27, 2015 at 4:16 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 49 Comments

(WSB photo from Thursday)

As first reported here on Thursday, SWAT officers served a drug warrant at 9200 16th SW, which had a business license through last December as an auto-repair business. “Drug warrant” is all police would tell us about the raid – until now:

Police began investigating a West Seattle auto body shop after receiving dozens of complaints of blatant drug-trafficking. What they found was more than 15 rifles, 6 shotguns, 20 handguns, over $60,000 in cash, and almost 3 pounds of marijuana.

Narcotics detectives could tell the extent of the operation after counting 400 customers a day in and out of the auto body shop — very few with car trouble, it seemed. Detectives conducted an extensive investigation including surveillance of the business and undercover buys confirming the illegal sale of marijuana inside a cargo container around the back of the property.

Detectives developed probable cause for several suspects in the operation and obtained search warrants for the auto body shop, as well as the body shop owner’s residence, and the owner’s father’s residence.

(SPD photo)

At the auto body shop in the 9200 block of 16 Ave SW, police seized 1276 grams of marijuana, 459 marijuana edibles, 18 grams of Shatter (solid hash oil), 5 handguns, and $7325.00.

(SPD photo)

Police seized 15 rifles, 6 shotguns, 5 handguns, and $1576.00 at the owner’s residence in the 8600 block of 35 Ave SW. Two of the seized guns were reported stolen.

The owner’s father, who is allegedly the second in charge of the drug operation, lives in Burien and had 10 firearms and $54,000 in cash seized from his residence.

Four arrests were made on Thursday and the suspects were all interviewed and released from the scene.

The photos were published with an update on SPD Blotter. We’ll be following up to check on whether charges are filed.

Proposed indoor-tennis center among West Seattle projects receiving Department of Neighborhoods grants

July 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 26 Comments

(Rendering by Ryan Applegate)

The Department of Neighborhoods has just officially announced its latest list of “Small and Simple” grants, and one will give a boost to a group working toward building an indoor-tennis center on the former Denny International Middle School site west of Southwest Pool. First, the list of West Seattle projects receiving grants from among 28 citywide getting a total of $467,562 in matching funds:

… These awards are part of the Small and Simple Projects Fund, one of three funds offered by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. It provides cash awards of up to $25,000 in matching funds to community organizations committed to fostering and building a better community. The 2015 June awards range from $4,000 to $25,000, and the organizations pledge to match the City’s $467,562 investment with $600,132 of locally raised money, donated materials and volunteer labor. …

West Seattle Projects

· $24,400 to Chief Sealth Indoor Tennis to conduct a feasibility study and develop a conceptual plan for an indoor tennis center at the former Denny Middle School site. (Community match: $14,720)

· $25,000 to South Park Area Redevelopment Committee to create a design with public input, construction documents, and cost estimates to improve Duwamish Waterway Park. (Community match: $45,575)

· $21,395 to the West Seattle Time Bank to host 20 community events and workshops to promote timebanking and increase participation in West Seattle. (Community match: $22,840)

· $15,000 to Circulo de Mamas Seattle to convene 20 Latina mothers and community members to further develop their community leadership through culturally relevant training. (Community match: $25,550)

… The Small and Simple Projects Fund opens again for applications in September with a deadline of October 5. To learn more visit

Back to the proposed indoor-tennis center: The project has a Facebook page, with this note related to the grant: “This grant will pay for a feasibility study and concept design plan for the proposed Indoor Tennis Center. We’ll be selecting a design firm through a competitive process. Much research needs to be done on permitting requirements. When the design review is complete, we will be holding community meetings for input this fall.” A rendering on the page suggests it would be built in the area where outdoor tennis courts were built after the old school was demolished.

ROAD-WORK ALERT: Klickitat Way SW work Tuesday-Thursday

July 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

Just in from SDOT:

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will close the left southbound lane on Klickitat Way Southwest between Spokane Street and 11th Avenue Southwest for landscape maintenance. The left lane will be closed from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. each day from Tuesday, July 28 until Thursday, July 30. Some delays are possible; drive carefully.

Not sure about that location? Here’s a map.

This summer’s Duwamish River kayak-tour series starts this week

July 27, 2015 at 1:14 pm | In Environment, Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB file photo)
Get out on the water and experience Seattle’s “river for all” firsthand – this summer’s series of Duwamish River community kayak tours is about to start. First one is at 6 pm this Wednesday night (July 29th), focusing on the river’s birds, fish, and other wildlife. Here’s how to RSVP – when you do, you’ll get details including whether they’re launching from West Seattle or South Park.

LAST DAY! Voter-registration deadline for historic council primary

July 27, 2015 at 10:39 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | No Comments

One week from tomorrow, it’s the last day to vote in the first-ever primary for the newly reconfigured Seattle City Council – seven people elected by district, two at-large (right now all nine are elected at-large). If you’re not registered to vote in this state, TODAY is your last chance to sign up in time to be part of it – and you have to do it in person, by 4:30 pm. Two options:

*King County Administration building downtown, 500 4th Avenue (note they close for 1-2 pm break)
*King County Elections HQ, 919 Grady Way, Renton

Whether you’re a new voter or not, if you’re in West Seattle, your ballot features seven decisions to make, including Council District 1. They are:

*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)

Voting deadline is next Tuesday night – get your ballot in the mail (you pay the postage) so that it’s postmarked by August 4th, or get it to a dropbox (open now) or ballot van (next Sat., Mon., Tues.) by 8 pm that night (no postage needed).

STILL MAKING UP YOUR MIND ON COUNCIL DISTRICT 1? Check out our nine “Last Look” interviews/stories (first published last Friday), one for each candidate, even if just to verify you’re voting for the one you think is best!

Calendar highlights for the rest of your West Seattle Monday

July 27, 2015 at 9:31 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Young male Anna’s Hummingbird, photographed over the weekend by Mark Wangerin)

Happy Monday! Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

ROUSTABOUT CIRCUS: 10:30-11:30 am performance at West Seattle (Admiral) Library “featuring juggling, clowning, acrobatics, music and magic. Audience participation encouraged! Ages 5 and up.” Free, as is always the case for library programs. (2306 42nd SW)

FAMILY STORYTIME: 6:30 tonight at High Point Library, bring kids of all ages. (35th/Raymond)

PRAYER FOR THE DUWAMISH TRIBE: In the wake of the federal-recognition denial, a series of prayer events continues. Tonight, 6-7:30 pm at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, the community is invited to a gathering featuring Zenpeacemakers. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

SUMMER CABARET AT ARTSWEST: Monday nights this summer, join ArtsWest artistic director Mathew Wright for one-night-only performances featuring some of Seattle’s leading ladies. Tonight, 7:30 pm, Jessica Skerritt performs. Check here to see if tickets are still available. (4711 California SW)

MORE … on our calendar!

Blue Angels arrive, Parade of Ships off West Seattle on Wednesday: It’s Seafair’s big week

July 26, 2015 at 10:46 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 17 Comments

Even if you missed our alerts earlier in the weekend (here and here), you might have heard, if not seen, the Blue Angels‘ flybys tonight:

That photo is by from John Catalano – the clouds really were that amazing from Jack Block Park, where we watched the U.S. Navy’s demonstration team do its flyby earlier this evening, with a downtown-skyline photo op along the way. Another view from Monica Zaborac:

(We had a similar, though much-less clear, angle in our Twitter photo.) Monica’s closer look at the “delta” formation used for what the Navy said was a photo op:

And if you didn’t hear the roar, here’s a bit of video as they passed over. The pilots’ publicly announced schedule doesn’t include more flying until Wednesday, the day Blue Angel #7, a two-seater, goes up on flights during the day with “influencers” and media (Seafair says this year’s list includes soccer star Megan Rapinoe and Seahawks player Jimmy Graham). Then Thursday and Friday, the whole squad practices, with official airshows Saturday and Sunday.

Another reminder for this Seafair week, with West Seattle specifics:

PARADE OF SHIPS: You might see ships from the Seafair Fleet in Elliott Bay earlier in the week, but the official Parade of Ships – right past West Seattle shores on the way to the downtown waterfront – is on Wednesday afternoon. As previewed here, three U.S. Navy ships, one U.S. Coast Guard ship, and three Canadian Royal Navy ships are expected, and then they’ll be open for tours on the downtown waterfront Thursday-Sunday. Full details of that are here – but remember, on Wednesday, while 1:45 pm is the downtown “parade” time, the ships will be visible here earlier, usually around 1 pm.

P.S. I-90 BRIDGE CLOSURES: Thursday-Sunday, the Blue Angels practices/shows require the I-90 bridge across Lake Washington to shut down for hours at a time. This not only loads up 520, but also tends to cause I-5 backups approaching 90, which in turn affects the eastbound West Seattle Bridge. Memorize the times – we’ll also include them in our morning traffic/transit-watch reports EVERY day this week:

Thursday, July 30 – two separate bridge closures, during which pilots will practice maneuvers and become familiar with area geography – First Closure: 9:45 a.m.-12 p.m., Second Closure: 1:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.

Fri., July 31- 11:50 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. (practice show)
Sat., Aug. 1- 11:50 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. (full show)
Sun., Aug. 2 – 11:50 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. (full show)

‘Raising Arizona’ next at West Seattle Outdoor Movies, after fun, slightly shower-splashed ‘Singles’

July 26, 2015 at 9:13 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle Outdoor Movies | 2 Comments

Next Saturday (August 1st) at West Seattle Outdoor Movies, it’s the Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter 1987 comedy “Raising Arizona“:

But before we spend too much time looking ahead – here’s the story of this weekend’s movie night, the slightly shower-splashed showing of the 1992 Seattle-set, grunge-rock-laden romantic comedy “Singles.”

First, there was the surprise guest in the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) courtyard – a car. The courtyard is not a public parking lot, but somehow, a car was parked right under the movie screen as the gates opened in early evening, and no one came to claim it. So it became a part of the evening, including gathering the audience for a group “selfie” with it:

The pre-show entertainment, playing to stage left of The Car, was the movie-tune band Stay Tuned – we caught part of their version of “Gangsta’s Paradise” (from 1995′s “Dangerous Minds“) on phone video:

(Before they finished, people in the back row were waving lighters.) By then, by the way, as befitting the screening of a Seattle movie, one shower had passed through. And while some drizzle followed later, a determined core crowd remained, buying $135 worth of raffle tickets to benefit the night’s spotlight nonprofit, Northwest Center:

The movie itself was memorable for the rueful laughter when those of us who hadn’t seen it since the ’90s realized that one Seattle issue hadn’t changed: The male protagonist, played by Campbell Scott, was an engineer working on a plan to solve Seattle traffic – in hopes of getting hundreds of thousands of people out of their “single-occupancy vehicles,” he came up with something called the Supertrain. Politicians, represented by Tom Skerritt as the mayor of Seattle, told him no. Meantime, a running gag in the movie involved the status conferred by an apartment accessorized by its own offstreet parking space – rendering the presence of The Car (which was claimed by the time we returned to Hotwire for a coffee beverage late this morning) all the more apropos. And here we are still talking about parking, traffic, and transit almost a quarter-century later.

Also seen in the movie: West Seattle rock stars plus the crash scene filmed at California/Charlestown (though most of the rest of the movie featured scenery from Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, and downtown). If you’ve never seen “Singles,” find it online (and if you’re interested, read director Cameron Crowe‘s diary of making it, here). Meantime, next Saturday is the third of six Saturday night West Seattle Outdoor Movies this summer – see the full schedule here.

LETTER: Think before you honk – someone might need help

July 26, 2015 at 5:56 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 43 Comments

The WSB Forums are the usual place for standalone first-person rants/raves/opinions not linked to WSB news stories. But Jeannette‘s e-mail troubled us enough on multiple levels that we decided to share it here on the front page:

I was in an accident on Friday July 24th around 9 a.m at the intersection of Admiral and California. My new car of 4 days was rear-ended by a big construction-size dump truck while I was stopped at a red light.

The truck pushed me out a bit and I was hit in such a way that it was hard to move the car right away, I tried to get it together to get the car out of the way, and pull to the side. In doing this I was shocked at how many West Seattleites honked their horn sometimes leaning on it for me to get it out of the way. I couldn’t move and couldn’t drive very well and needed help; my car was badly damaged so it was obvious it was bad. Not one person stopped to see if they could help me in some way. I would do that in a heartbeat.

I have lived in W.S for 16 years and thought of it as a community, not so much right now. I needed an ambulance to take me to the hospital and am still in shock over all the people’s reactions, that I seemed to have interrupted their day.

I was hoping I could post to remind people to think of others and stop for a few minutes to help those that need it. 5 minutes won’t kill anyone. I can’t imagine driving by an accident like that and not stopping to offer assistance.

(We asked Jeannette how she’s doing now: Out of the hospital, she said, but still with a lot of neck and back pain.)

West Seattle weather: Yes, that was thunder. ‘Short-term forecast’ alert

July 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 2 Comments

5:24 PM: If you hadn’t noticed it’s been raining for the better part of an hour – the thunder might have startled you. The National Weather Service does have our area under a “short-term forecast” alert, including thunderstorms and possibly even “small hail.” (On the literally bright side, the forecast says sun returns Tuesday and continues through Seafair’s big weekend.)

5:57 PM: Added a photo shared by Lise Thivierge, who says the neighbors were out “celebrating the rain.”

HAPPENING NOW: Beauty @ the beach, for Alki Art Fair 2015

July 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

Colorful creativity lines the Alki Beach boardwalk until 6 pm today on this second and final day of this year’s Alki Art Fair.

Above, Salish Sea Designs‘ offerings include bells/chimes made from fire extinguishers recycled from the USS Kitty Hawk. The vendors include West Seattle locals you’ll recognize, like Fred Madrid:

Among Madrid Frame‘s specialties: Historic photos. Keep strolling west on the beach and you’ll find the busker stage:

Nolan Garrett was performing when we strolled the fair at mid-morning. You’ll also find music east of the Bathhouse; the schedule for both stages is here. Also close to the Bathhouse, don’t miss the Seal Sitters Marine Stranding Network‘s booth:

Volunteers John, Barbara, and Eilene were just part of the Seal Sitters contingent on hand as the festival’s day began. Take a close look in the booth to learn about seals and sea lions and their presence in the area, with pupping season just beginning. And ask them about signing up for the August 15th volunteer-training session!

Inside the Bathhouse itself – a silent auction. And right outside, food vendors including Lemongrass (Vietnamese food), ice cream, and fruit. The fair is on until 6 pm, with music scheduled until 8, so you have plenty of time to get there, and we do recommend the shuttle if you’re not already walking/biking/bus-riding – Alki parking already was full for blocks around when we visited in late morning.

P.S. Not an official part of the Art Fair, but, from the WSB Instagram feed, some creativity we spotted on the other side of the seawall:

Blue Angels’ Seattle arrival update: Earlier time; multiple flybys

July 26, 2015 at 1:12 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 4 Comments


(Blue Angels’ delta formation; 2008 photo by David Hutchinson)
1:12 PM: Update from Seafair and the U.S. Navy: The Blue Angels are expected this evening an hour earlier than announced, and will make multiple downtown flybys, which should be visible from anyplace in West Seattle that you can see the downtown skyline. Just announced:

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, are scheduled to conduct a flyover of downtown Seattle near the Space Needle for a team photo shoot, Sunday, July 26, 2015.

The Blue Angels will fly the squadron’s six-jet F/A-18 Hornet Delta Formation over downtown Seattle from south to north, then north to south at least two times. The jets will fly this formation on the west of the Space Needle, with a seventh jet flying alongside as a photo platform.

The flyover will be visible to the general public. The photo shoot is scheduled to take place at approximately 6:30 p.m. PST.

See our Saturday report for details of the Thursday-Sunday practices, shows, and related I-90 bridge closures.

7:17 PM: They arrived about half an hour ago. We watched the flybys from the Jack Block Park overlook:

Checking our video now to see if anything came out clearly enough to use; we’re planning a story later tonight looking ahead to Seafair week, including a reminder of Wednesday’s Parade of Ships.

West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports: Vandalism; thieves caught on camera; more

July 26, 2015 at 1:07 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Six recent reader reports in this round of West Seattle Crime Watch. First, if you heard any of Friday night’s loud “booms,” here’s the result of one:

MAILBOX BLOWN UP: When we got a text asking about an explosion heard in Seaview Friday night, we had just heard the same thing at HQ east of Lincoln Park. Sounded like the typical summertime illegal “firework” explosive. Saturday morning, our tipster went out and found the remains of a mailbox along 45th SW and sent the photo.

Ahead, two more vandalism reports, a package thief and shoplifter caught on camera, and a case of suspected casing:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports: Vandalism; thieves caught on camera; more…

West Seattle Sunday: Alki Art Fair; WS Farmers’ Market; more…

July 26, 2015 at 9:31 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Red-breasted Nuthatch, photographed by Mark Ahlness, shared via the WSB Flickr group)

Good morning! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

FINAL DAY FOR EATS MARKET CAFE: As we first reported earlier this month, the long-running restaurant at Westwood Village is closing. Proprietor Toby Matasar reminds WSB that today is the final day, open until 4 pm. (2600 SW Barton)

ALKI ART FAIR, DAY 2: Second of two days for the fair on the boardwalk at Alki Beach. Vendors 10 am-6 pm today, music continuing until 8 pm (see the schedule here), free shuttle. Here’s our full preview. (59th-64th/Alki)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, in the street in the heart of The Junction. Special features today: Learn to make kombucha, 10:30 am. (California SW between Oregon and Alaska)

DUWAMISH NATIVE FOODS, NOW AND THEN: Noon-4 pm, free program at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, “Teachings of the First People” with storyteller Roger Fernandes at 1 pm and a shared meal at 3 pm – details here. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: While you’re at the beach for the Alki Art Fair, visit the home of West Seattle’s history, noon-4 pm. (61st/Stevens)

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: 1-4 pm, with last tour leaving at 3:40 pm. Free. More info here. (3201 Alki SW)

PRAYER FOR THE DUWAMISH TRIBE: 3 pm at the Duwamish Longhouse, as explained here – today is a Native gathering. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

KNIT AT THE COFFEE HOUSE: Bring your knitting to C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 5:30 pm. (5612 California SW)

BLUE ANGELS’ ARRIVAL: As mentioned on Saturday, Seafair says jets 1-6 are expected to arrive at Boeing Field around 7:30 pm, getting ready for next weekend’s airshow. They’re expected to approach from the north along the west side of the city; you can also watch from any public spot you find along the airfield (access changes year to year and we haven’t scouted yet, but the Museum of Flight is usually a good bet as that’s where they are based for the week).

ARE YOU VOTING BEFORE THE WEEKEND’S OUT? Don’t miss our “Last Look” at the nine City Council District 1 candidates, published on Friday – video conversations and more – start here.

ALERT: ‘Noisy overnight work’ next week at Fauntleroy ferry dock

July 25, 2015 at 11:06 pm | In Fauntleroy, Transportation, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Thanks to the Fauntleroy ferry dock neighbor who shared a notice that’s just been circulated in the area: “Noisy overnight work” is planned four nights next week, Monday through Thursday, 7:30 pm to 5:30 am, to fix pavement problems on the dock. (If you live nearby, you are probably aware of some work this past week – we don’t know yet if that was related.) See the notice here; it says in part, “Existing asphalt pavement around deck drains is failing, exposing underlying timber deck to rain water and potential rotting.” No WSF website alert about this yet.

FOLLOWUP: Seattle United team with 3 WS players goes for the championship tomorrow!

July 25, 2015 at 7:51 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

Update from Nikki: The Seattle United B98 Copa team with three players from West Seattle – Akili Kasim (goalkeeper from West Seattle High School) and Abel Kidane & Miguel Macias Garibay (field players from Chief Sealth International High School) – won today and made it into tomorrow’s U.S. Youth Soccer Championships final in Tulsa!

The boys won today in the semi-finals against Pennsylvania. Winning 3-0 – giving Seattle United a shutout.

The boys are very thankful for all the support Washington is giving them.

Championship game is tomorrow at 8:30 am [6:30 am Seattle time] and will be livestreamed.

Thank you again, West Seattle, for all the support.

Here’s our Wednesday report – also courtesy of Nikki – about the team reaching the semifinals. As she pointed out, Seattle United club director Jimmy McAlister also is a West Seattleite. Their opponents tomorrow morning are from Baltimore.

PHOTOS: Celebrating Westcrest Park’s expansion

July 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 3 Comments

More than six years ago, work began to “bury” West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park, creating land for a Westcrest Park expansion. And now, the park work is finally done. A ribboncutting ceremony this morning kicked off the official celebration, two weeks after the fences came down to open the expansion to the public. See the man with the white beard helping cut the ribbon? That’s Marshall Dunston, who named the park Westcrest decades ago:

We’re told that was the result of a contest (update: see a 1976 photo on the Parks website). At the podium in the photo above is Brian Hawksford, who represented Mayor Murray’s office today; Michael Shiosaki from Seattle Parks represented Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre. Also represented in abundance: West Seattleites having fun at the 20-acre park expansion!

In addition to the newly built features including ziplines and play equipment, Parks brought in a bouncy house for today’s celebration:

Also invited, local food vendors, including White Center-headquartered Full Tilt Ice Cream, whose founder Justin Cline was staffing the truck:

If you haven’t checked out the park, the expansion end is near 8th/Cloverdale.

West Seattle coyotes: Sunrise Heights sighting

July 25, 2015 at 4:50 pm | In Coyotes, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 5 Comments

Our tipster in Sunrise Heights took this photo from a distance – which is good, as getting too close to a coyote isn’t good for them or you, not because of danger, but because you don’t want them to get acclimated to close human contact – so it’s a bit blurry, but they wanted you to know about the sighting earlier this afternoon, near 29th and Othello (map). To make sure you know what to do if you see a coyote, check out the coexistence advice from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Meantime, browse our coyote-report coverage over the years, newest to oldest, on these archive pages.

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