2 days until Girl Scout Cookie sales in West Seattle (and beyond)

February 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 17 Comments

1:45 PM: If you’re a fan of Girl Scout Cookies and haven’t already procured them some other way, you should know that the official cookie-selling season begins Friday (February 27th). This year the online cookie-finder tool is at a different place – find it here – but works the same way: Put your zip code in the search box and you’ll get a list of cookie-selling locations, dates, and times. Earliest ones we’re seeing outside West Seattle businesses are at 2 pm Friday. If you’re involved with a local Girl Scout troop, by the way, we welcome info and photos related to your sale (maybe somebody has a photo from the cookie-pickup event?) – e-mail editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks and good luck!

ADDED 2:41 PM: Thanks to Cheryl for obliging with the photo we’ve added above, from this last year’s event in which troops from all over this area retrieve their cookies from a loading dock on West Marginal!

You can ‘Threadcycle’ instead of throwing out clothing & other textiles that are more than ‘gently used’

February 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

Seattle Public Utilities and King County are teaming up to announce “Threadcycle,” a new campaign to make sure you know that you can recycle more old clothing/textiles than you probably think you can. The official announcement points out that the average person in the U.S. throws away 70 pounds of used clothing/textiles each year, and that 95 percent of that could have been recycled. Right now, in fact, the announcement says, the recycling market for textiles is strong. So the city and county are partnering with eight organizations to get the word out NOT to throw away the items you don’t think can be donated. Find the organizations listed – along with drop sites – here.

Followup: Future West Seattle Water Taxi, M/V Doc Maynard, taking shape

February 25, 2015 at 12:14 pm | In King County Water Taxi, Seen at sea, Transportation, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(Click picture to see larger image)
With the county launching Water Taxi Watch and planning the debut of the new Vashon Island Water Taxi M/V Sally Fox for late March, we asked how construction is proceeding with West Seattle’s new vessel, the M/V Doc Maynard. In response, the county Department of Transportation shared the photo taken at All American Marine in Bellingham, where, KCDOT spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok says, “Last week the engines were inserted into the hull and the cabin was also attached to the hull. We are still on target for delivery of the vessel this fall.”

When the new vessels are both in service, the county plans to keep Spirit of Kingston, the current West Seattle Water Taxi, as a backup. It has already stopped leasing the SoK’s predecessor Rachel Marie – which went into service on the West Seattle run in 2010 – and will do so with the current Vashon vessel Melissa Ann. The two new boats’ cost will total $11.8 million, 80 percent of which is being covered by federal funding.

P.S. The Water Taxi’s 7-day-a-week schedule resumes April 6th.

What’s up for your West Seattle Wednesday, morning through night

February 25, 2015 at 10:03 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 18 Comments

Thanks to David Hutchinson for the head-on view of a male Anna’s Hummingbird, photographed at Jack Block Park, brightening up a back-to-gray day. Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

STORYTIMES: Busy morning for storytimes. 10:30 am preschool storytime at West Seattle (Admiral) Library; 10:30 am toddler storytime at Southwest Library; 11:15 am Spanish storytime at My Three Little Birds; 11:30 am baby storytime at High Point Library. (Click any of the preceding links for a full listing, including map.)

NETWORKING SOCIAL! Solopreneur? Home-office worker? Freelancer? Noon at West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor), it’s the weekly networking social – no charge, just drop in! You’re welcome to bring your lunch, too. (6040 California SW)

PATHFINDER K-8 BENEFIT AT MARINATION MA KAI: 4-8 pm, dine at Marination ma kai at Seacrest, and 20 percent of the food proceeds go to the Pathfinder K-8 Playground project! (1660 Harbor SW)

NEED HELP LOOKING AHEAD TO COLLEGE? 4 pm, free workshop at High Point Community Center – details here. (6920 34th SW)

WEST SEATTLE MONTESSORI OPEN HOUSE: 6-7:30 pm, drop in and tour West Seattle Montessori (WSB sponsor). Kids welcome too. (11215 15th SW)

WEST SEATTLE LAND USE COMMITTEE: 6 pm in the lower-level meeting room at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, with an agenda including Ethan Phelps from Seattle In Progress (the new app that shows development proposals/projects) and a discussion of Peter Steinbrueck‘s recent urban-village review (which pre-empted last month’s WSLUC meeting). All welcome. (2306 42nd SW)

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 6:30 pm potluck, 7 pm meeting at Highland Park Improvement Club. HPAC’s agenda includes a discussion of LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) and whether it could work in HP; also, informal Q/A with District 1 City Council candidate Amanda Kay Helmick. (12th/Holden)

POEMS AND STORIES: 7 pm, monthly poetry/storytelling event at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) – details here – tonight’s featured readers are Kerry Cox and Tito Titus. (5612 California SW)

LOTS MORE NIGHTLIFE … on the calendar!

You can help! Restore our forest and learn a little while you’re at it

February 25, 2015 at 9:00 am | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

See that long stretch of greenbelt in the lower third of the photo shared with us earlier this week via Twitter by Ron Creel? That’s the West Duwamish Greenbelt – the largest contiguous stretch of forest left in the entire city, and it’s right here in West Seattle. This Saturday, the forecast is for sunshine, and the request is for some help from you:

South Seattle College’s Landscape Horticulture department would like to invite the community to a Restoration Work-party in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. On Saturday, February 28, the Ecological Restoration class will be assisting volunteers in proper planting and mulching techniques for new plantings. The students, taught by the college’s Instructor and Arboretum Coordinator Van Bobbitt, are currently studying the recovery process of urban ecosystems.

The event is scheduled from 9:30 am to 2 pm and will begin at the red doors at the Garden Center, located at the North Parking Lot on campus. Interested? Sign up on The Nature Consortium website at naturec.org/volunteer or contact Diana at 425-463-8450.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates/alerts

February 25, 2015 at 6:40 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 8 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:40 AM: So far, nothing out of the ordinary on the routes through/from West Seattle.

7:59 AM: In the comments – some slowdowns on two Delridge spots this past half-hour. At Orchard, it’s the ongoing Seattle Public Utilities work.

ADDED 8:32 AM – TRANSPORTATION NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Three links from Tuesday – the dates are set for the next meetings on how 35th SW might be changed to be made safer; what SDOT’s director Scott Kubly told the City Council Transportation Committee about that and other projects of West Seattle interest; if you cross the bay by water, check out the brand-new Water Taxi Watch.

Election 2015: Campaign kickoff at Easy Street for Dave Montoure’s City Council run

February 24, 2015 at 10:08 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 29 Comments

One week after announcing his run for the new District 1 City Council seat, West Seattle restaurateur Dave Montoure debuted his “stump speech” to a crowd of supporters at Easy Street Records.

He joked that he never expected he’d be doing an in-store performance someday at Easy Street, whose proprietor Matt Vaughan introduced him:

Here’s Montoure’s speech, hitting the themes he stressed in his campaign announcement last week:

His key points: Bringing “middle-class jobs to the peninsula,” especially by “reinvigorating … underutilized manufacturing and industrial land.” He mentioned repeatedly that he wants West Seattle to lead the city in “sustainable business practices” such as the food-composting program launched by businesses in 2008 when he led the Junction Association, and stepping up community-based policing, which he described as “a different shade of blue.” He dinged current city leadership for having no “game plan” for West Seattle’s transportation challenges, and for allowing public infrastructure to fall into disrepair while private investment such as development booms.

THE BIG PICTURE: Montoure is among 9 candidates so far for the District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) seat. Filing deadline is in mid-May; the primary, from which two finalists will emerge, is August 4th, while the general election is November 3rd. In addition to enterprised campaign coverage, we also plan to cover as many open-to-the-public D-1 candidate speaking/Q-A appearances as we can, so that you’ll often see and hear from those vying for your vote in this first-ever election. Next one we know of is at tomorrow night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, 7 pm at HP Improvement Club, with candidate Amanda Kay Helmick on the agenda.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Looking for hit-run driver

February 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

Quick West Seattle Crime Watch reader report tonight – the search for a driver who hit a bicycle rider and took off:

Heading north on 35th SW, just north of SW Findlay at approx. 6:15 am. Driver took off in a black automobile of unknown model & make. Passenger side view mirror torn off during collision into bicycle and rider. If anyone witnessed this incident or has any information about the driver, please contact police.

Here’s the incident number to mention if you contact police with a tip – 15-62400. The person who e-mailed is the bicycle rider’s wife; no major injuries, she says, but he was hurt and had to be seen at urgent care.

How to make 35th SW safer? See the possibilities at March 10th, 12th meetings

February 24, 2015 at 6:14 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

The dates are now officially set for two meetings at which you can see and comment on the proposed design alternatives for the 35th SW Road Corridor Safety Project, just hours after SDOT director Scott Kubly told the City Council Transportation Committee he expected an announcement within a few days. From the project website:

Please join us at our upcoming Design Alternatives Review meetings:

Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Neighborhood House, Room 207, 6400 Sylvan Way SW

Thursday, March 12, 3:15 to 5:15 PM
Southwest Library, Second Floor Meeting Room, 9010 35th Avenue SW

Here’s our coverage of the project kickoff meeting last October. Thanks to Chris Stripinis from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council for the tip.

Traffic alert: 2-week lane closure ahead at Fauntleroy terminal

February 24, 2015 at 4:00 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

Heads up for Fauntleroy ferry-terminal users and people who drive/ride/walk in the area: The wrapping-up-soon Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project just north of the terminal will close the north lane at the terminal for two weeks around the clock, starting next Monday (March 2nd). It’s “to enable construction on a retaining wall,” says Annie Kolb-Nelson from King County, adding: “Flaggers will be onsite during busy commute times to guide traffic.” P.S. Full details are on the newest flyer.

Wondering where the boat is? King County now has ‘Water Taxi Watch’

February 24, 2015 at 2:27 pm | In Seen at sea, Transportation, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(Screengrab from Water Taxi Watch)
Wondering where your Water Taxi is? Just announced:

The King County Marine Division (KCMD) is excited to announce that we have gone live with our Water Taxi Watch system.

Water Taxi Watch, modeled after Washington State Ferries’ (WSF) very popular VesselWatch, allows you to track vessels on our routes in real time, including their position, speed, and direction. You can also find arrival and departure schedules and other useful information on the site. Hopefully the next foggy morning you are down at the dock and cannot see your vessel, you will be able to use this new tool to track the status of your boat.

This project was funded by a Federal Transit Administration technology grant and is a collaborative effort between WSF and the King County Marine Division. Please visit our website at kingcounty.gov/watertaxi for a link to this exciting new feature!

(Note: The site currently lists the vessel’s estimated arrival time. This is an estimate based on the scheduled crossing time added to the actual departure time and does not account for weather or other delays during the crossing)

The direct link is here – it’s hosted on the Washington State Ferries website (you’ll notice that it lists WSF vessels as well), and as noted in the announcement, is reachable via a button from the Water Taxi homepage.

SIDE NOTE: While there’s no official announcement from the county yet (we’re checking), BikeVashon says the first new Water Taxi, M/V Sally Fox (which will be on the Seattle-Vashon route), is expected to be dedicated March 28th.

Signups start for free language classes at Seattle Chinese Garden

February 24, 2015 at 1:16 pm | In Puget Ridge, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

Signups just started for popular free classes at the Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge – the next session of the Community Chinese Corner:

Experienced Chinese teachers and student assistants lead these fun classes for all ages. Learning activities include talking about food, playing cards, and painting. Co-sponsored by the Seattle Chinese Garden and the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington. The sessions are free, but donations are welcome. Go here for more information.

The classes will be held alternate Tuesdays, March 24-June 30, 4:30-6 pm in the Chan Center at the garden, which is just north of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). You can register online by going here. (2012 photo by Pollyanna Wang)

Followup: West Seattle project updates, Highway 99 lane closure concerns @ Transportation Committee

February 24, 2015 at 11:26 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 7 Comments

Just wrapped up at City Hall, SDOT director Scott Kubly‘s briefing for the City Council Transportation Committee, chaired by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. We previewed it here last Friday when his written updates arrived along with the meeting agenda; some changes and additions in the briefing, monitored via Seattle Channel‘s live webcast (update: here’s the archived video):

99/AURORA LANE CLOSURES: WSDOT has been warning about weeks of lane closures on 99 just north of downtown, starting as soon as March 7th, because of foundation installation for future messaging signs; Kubly said it appears southbound traffic will be affected the most. City Councilmember Mike O’Brien expressed concern that RapidRide E Line will be caught in the delays and wondered if the project could be postponed until additional transit service starts in June. “(The signs) are for a tunnel that’s been delayed 2 years,” he pointed out. This might all be brought up at next Monday’s council briefing meeting.

FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD: As previously reported here, design for the Fauntleroy Boulevard project between 35th and Alaska is paused at 60 percent until a decision is made about undergrounding utilities, which would add ~$6 million to the price tag.

Rasmussen told Kubly he’ll be meeting with City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco, including a tour of the area, and Kubly offered to join them.

35TH, ROXBURY SAFETY PROJECTS: The official dates for the next meetings on these West Seattle projects will likely be in mid-March, not the potential early March dates mentioned in Kubly’s written report; the announcements are expected within a few days. Speaking about citywide corridor safety projects in general, Kubly said the problem to be solved is that the city’s road network was designed in the ’50s and ’60s for just one transportation mode, the car. So what’s happening now is “not really a war on cars, (but) trying to (re)design our streets to reflect the diversity of ways people want to get around Seattle,” and increasing safety since the current road designs encourage speeding.

47TH/ADMIRAL SIGNAL: With construction starting soon, Rasmussen mentioned concerns about notification of how parking removal will affect Alki Mail and others in the area. Kubly said that notification had first gone out last August that parking would be removed within 50 feet of the intersection (as noted on the project page).

Earlier in the meeting:

TRANSIT BOARD: The committee voted on the resolution creating a new 11-member citywide Transit Advisory Board, which goes to the full council for final approval next week. One topic of discussion – how to ensure that it will have representatives from around the city? Geographic representation is “not mandatory, but aspirational,” observed Rasmussen. O’Brien suggested tweaking the resolution language to further encourage geographic diversity.

(Photo: Screengrab from this morning’s Seattle Channel webcast)

West Seattle Tuesday: Crime prevention; math help; cooking coaches; WSHS PTSA; more…

February 24, 2015 at 10:12 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Monday photo by Don Brubeck)

Highlights of what’s up today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

MATH BUDDIES: 4 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, K-5 students are invited to this drop-in, first-come-first-served program matching them with high-school-student volunteers to work on math – details here. (2306 42nd SW)

TEEN GRUB CLUB: 4 pm at High Point Community Center, teens cook for teens, exploring “healthy eating and cooking habits” – details here. (6920 34th SW)

WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS’ NETWORK: 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct, WSBWCN plans updates from SPD and a briefing on preventing/deterring property crime. All welcome – you don’t have to be part of a Block Watch to be there. (Webster/Delridge)

COUNCIL CAMPAIGN KICKOFF: One week after announcing he’s running for the District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) City Council seat, Dave Montoure is having a public campaign-kickoff event tonight, 6:30 pm at Easy Street Records in The Junction. (California/Alaska)

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL PTA: 7 pm at the school library, it’s the next general meeting of the WSHS PTSA, with agenda highlights previewed in the school’s online newsletter. (3000 California SW)

FAMILY STORYTIME: 7 pm, the whole family’s invited to Delridge Library – get there early because space is limited. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

FREE COMMUNITY/NEIGHBORHOOD LEGAL CLINIC: For this clinic sponsored by the King County Bar Association at the Senior Center of West Seattle, appointments start at 7 pm – you have to call in advance for one; details are in our calendar listing. (Oregon/California)

BLUES, BINGO, TRIVIA, KARAOKE, SONGWRITER SHOWCASE … all part of the nightlife lineup – check out the venues and details on our full calendar.

Future college student in the house? Application time for scholarships offered by Rotary Club of West Seattle

February 24, 2015 at 9:28 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | No Comments

This is the time of year when most college applications are in and students await acceptance letters. Then there’s the matter of how to pay for college. The Rotary Club of West Seattle is inviting applications right now for its annual Gambriell Scholarships, awarded to two or three local graduating seniors:

Here are the requirements:
· Available to any graduating high school senior student.
· Based on financial need and academic merit.
· Student would not otherwise be able to attend college without these funds.
· Preference given to West Seattle residents.

This year each recipient will receive $3,000 to $5,000, depending on number of recipients.
· Funds must be used on tuition and fees to accredited post-secondary educational programs.

The deadline for applications is fast approaching: April 15th, 2015. Recipients will be chosen by April 30th, 2015. Please e-mail Dotty Hughes, dotty.hughes@wafd.com, for an application. Applications may be returned by email, given to any West Seattle Rotarian, or mailed to the address on the application form.

The Rotary Club of West Seattle utilizes five avenues of service: Club, Vocational, International, New Generations and Community. The club’s foundation board (West Seattle Rotary Service Foundation) allocates funding annually to each avenue of service for projects. The Gambriell Scholarship is one of the Community Service projects of the club.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; Admiral Way paving

February 24, 2015 at 6:43 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 4 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning. No trouble spots in our vicinity so far. One big road-work reminder:

ADMIRAL WAY PAVING: SDOT will be working between Olga and 34th, starting around 7 am, just south of Admiral Way Viewpoint. They’re hoping to finish the work in just one day, according to the update we published Monday, and expect to keep one lane open each way.

Looking further ahead:

HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE ON SUNDAY MORNING: One more thing to add to the lookahead list we included here yesterday – the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K will close part of Highway 99 just north of downtown for a few hours on Sunday morning. Details are in this update from SDOT.

7:11 AM: Checking travel times from the city map – these are from the Admiral Way hill:

SR-99 Offramp 4 min.
1st Ave Offramp 5 min.
4th Ave Offramp 6 min.
I-5 NB/SB 6 min.
Stadiums via 1st Ave 8 min.
Stadiums via 4th Ave 10 min.
South Lake Union 14 min
Lower Queen Anne 16 min.
Green Lake via SR-99 21 min.
Ballard 22 min.
Shoreline via SR-99 27 min.

You can help! West Seattle High School seeking to connect with tech pros for a bit of volunteering

February 23, 2015 at 11:15 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle online | No Comments

Do you work in tech – software, or engineering? Can you share your expertise with a high-school teacher and her/his students? Read the letter above from West Seattle High School principal Ruth Medsker and see if you might be able to give a bit of time to boost computer science at her school; if you want to find out more about TEALS first, go here.

Terminal 5′s future: Opponents of drilling-fleet lease say they’ll ask Port Commission Tuesday to cancel it

February 23, 2015 at 9:27 pm | In Environment, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 22 Comments

(WSB photo: Terminal 5 as seen from east Admiral this afternoon)
Port of Seattle commissioners meet tomorrow for the first time since it was publicly disclosed that the port had signed the lease with Foss Maritime that will bring Shell‘s Arctic-drilling-fleet vessels to West Seattle’s closed-since-last-summer Pier 5. Port CEO Ted Fick signed it on February 9th, and the commission met on February 10th, but the signing wasn’t brought to light until a February 11th letter to the environmental coalition that had not only urged the port not to strike the deal, but held a media event hinting at legal action.

While the T-5 lease is not an official agenda item for tomorrow’s meeting, the opposition coalition plans to bring it up during public-comment time at the meeting, which starts at 1 pm in the Sea-Tac Airport conference room. Emily Johnston from 350 Seattle tells WSB, “Legal action is still definitely being considered, and we’re definitely moving forward in other ways as well: primarily, persuading the Port to rescind the lease, or to work with Foss to mutually abandon the lease, or to do whatever else they need to do *not to play a supporting role in Arctic drilling*. The Port is a public entity, and it has not been acting responsibly as such; at a minimum, they need to pull back and hold hearings. … Working on their process so that “next time” they know how to manage a controversial decision like this isn’t good enough: this particular decision is as consequential as any they will ever have, and they need to make the right one, and nix the lease.” The “process” refers to a directive given by commissioners when they agreed January 13th to let staff continue negotiating the lease, saying they needed to come up with procedures for policies that could guide staff in the future. A briefing on that potential process change is on tomorrow’s agenda.

We also sought an update today from Foss’s spokesperson, who had indicated that more details of the T-5 plan would be available by now. We haven’t heard back yet but will include anything that we do find out. Tomorrow’s commission meeting, meantime, is open to the public; the commission’s public-comment rules are here.

West Seattle scene: Powered paragliding in the Monday sunshine

February 23, 2015 at 7:48 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

We don’t know who it was (do you?), but – James Bratsanos shared these views of a powered paraglider, cruising over the south West Seattle shoreline this afternoon.

A bit further north, Beach Drive Blog spotted the flyer too.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Case of the non-starter; stolen car found

February 23, 2015 at 6:37 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 6 Comments

Two car crimes start West Seattle Crime Watch today:

NON-STARTER: The photo is from “astounded & fuming“:

I live in the 5600 block of California ave SW and sometime between 6 pm and 8 pm Sunday evening someone broke into my Honda Civic, popped the hood and unbolted my distributor assembly, and stole it out of my car, which was parked in alley parking behind my building. It explains why my car wouldn’t start this morning!

STOLEN CAMARO FOUND: Just as we were about to publish a reader report about a stolen Camaro, we heard scanner traffic suggesting police were getting alerts to its whereabouts via the LoJack system. Shortly thereafter, police found it parked/ditched in High Point, not far from where it had been stolen overnight.

FROM THE ‘IN CASE YOU WONDERED’ FILE: Big but brief police response drew some attention this afternoon at Fauntleroy/35th/Avalon, even a few passes from a TV helicopter. Over before we arrived, so we asked SPD media relations: Officers thought they had spotted the suspect in a robbery outside West Seattle last week. But it wasn’t the person they were looking for.

BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS TOMORROW NIGHT: Next chance to hear from and talk with local police comes as part of tomorrow night’s monthly meeting of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network. This agenda preview just arrived:

What can you do to help prevent property crimes? Why are thieves taking even inexpensive items from your yard or garage? CPT officer Erin Nicholson will be there to talk about prevention and answer your questions about these types of crimes that you can pass on to your Block Watch Groups.

SW Precinct commander Captain Steve Wilske will provide an update on recent events in West Seattle and South Park. Please join us to review and/or learn tips and techniques that will make your home and property less-desirable targets for criminals.

The meeting’s at 6:30 pm Tuesday at the precinct (Webster/Delridge), all welcome.

West Seattle traffic-alert update: Dump truck & spilled dirt cleared after blocking eastbound ramp from Harbor/Avalon for 3 hours

February 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 14 Comments

3:32 PM: Thanks to the texter (2062936302 any time!) who sent this photo of a dump-truck problem where Harbor Avenue meets the bridge. They note – as the photo shows – that vehicles are “squeezing by” to the right of the spill; we haven’t heard an emergency dispatch on this yet, but if you’re headed that way, be forewarned. And just as we finish typing this, we’re getting a Metro alert that RapidRide C Line and Route 21 are rerouted off Avalon because of this.

4:34 PM: Metro says the reroutes are still in effect. We’re going to go see how cleanup is going.

5:10 PM: Avoid Avalon northbound for a while longer. Truck has been righted, dirt is being scooped up, but the Avalon/Harbor onramp toward the eastbound bridge remains blocked and traffic is backing up intermittently. The outbound buses are detouring onto Yancy.

6:46 PM: Metro has just texted that the 21 and C Line are back on their regular routes, indicating the ramp has reopened after 3+ hours. This isn’t the first truck to get in trouble at this spot – we found a few other incidents in the archives, like this one.

West Seattle restaurants: Pecos Pit BBQ moving into ex-Beni Hoshi site, says City Light

February 23, 2015 at 1:57 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 60 Comments

Questions about the disappearance of the chain-link fence around the former Beni Hoshi Teriyaki site at 35th/Fauntleroy led us to check in with Seattle City Light, which owns the property. Beni Hoshi, you might recall, abruptly closed in January 2014; eight months later, the city fenced off the site, citing neighborhood concerns about unauthorized parking. Nothing’s shown up in city-permit files yet regarding impending business activity, but SCL’s Scott Thomsen tells us another restaurant is moving in:

We recently signed an agreement with the owner of the Pecos Pit BBQ to use that property. The owner plans to fix up the building and add a patio so they can add a new location for the restaurant. Once in operation, they will be monitoring parking to reserve it for customers. We did take down the fencing that we were paying for to protect against vandalism and the overnight parking. Now that there is an agreement in place, the owner of the business will be putting fencing back up until renovations are completed. That should happen later this week.

We have an inquiry out to Pecos Pit in hopes of finding out more about the plan for the site. City Light owns the parcel because of the former substation next door; Thomsen had told us in September that it was considered “surplus,” though it’s not part of the current group of West Seattle (and vicinity) ex-substations that the utility’s trying to get rid of.

Followup: Admiral Way paving project might only take one day

February 23, 2015 at 12:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

Update from SDOT on this week’s Admiral Way paving work (reported here Friday thanks to a neighbor tip): We asked SDOT spokesperson Marybeth Turner about the plan; her reply: “SDOT paving crews plan to work tomorrow on Admiral Way between 34th Avenue SW and SW Olga Street from 7 am to 7 pm. They will repair areas of the street where pavement is deteriorating. At least one lane in each direction will remain open. They hope to complete the work in one day.”

Student suspended, apologizes after bringing ‘edible marijuana’ to Highland Park Elementary, offering to schoolmates

February 23, 2015 at 10:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 30 Comments

Seattle Public Schools has confirmed to WSB what a reader posted in the Forum over the weekend – that a Highland Park Elementary School student brought “edible marijuana” to school. SPS spokesperson Stacy Howard says, “The edibles included a candy bar and was offered in the lunchroom.” It happened on Wednesday; this is the letter HPES principal Chris Cronas sent to families two days later:

Dear Highland Park families and guardians,

Wednesday afternoon, school administration learned that a 5th grade student brought edible marijuana to school, which was offered to students. We are not aware of any students who consumed the edibles offered. Additionally, parents of students directly involved were contacted and the student has received consequences.

I am truly embarrassed by what took place Wednesday. It is my goal to ensure that our students are safe. Unfortunately, the actions of one child who made a poor decision may have had an impact on how our students and community are perceived.

This incident, however, opens the door for a constructive conversation about drugs and drug use. With the legalization of marijuana in Washington State, as well as an increase in doctor-prescribed medicinal marijuana, minors have unprecedented access to the drug. I would encourage you to talk with your students about alcohol and drugs as soon as possible. It is never too soon to start this conversation. If you have questions about how to have these conversations or wish to obtain more information, please contact Tina Urso, our school nurse. She will be happy to provide you with more resources. Additionally, you can find helpful tips and resources at www.drugabuse.gov

I want to assure you that we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe at school. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to speak with families and guardians directly.


Chris Cronas
Principal, Highland Park Elementary

The person who posted in the WSB Forum expressed concern about the time that elapsed before families were notified; Howard says the principal “needed time to gather all the info on Wednesday/Thursday to clarify everything before sending to families.” We asked her how school staff found out about what happened: “We found out because students trusted the staff enough, to report what happened, subsequently initiating an investigation.” She adds, “This student has since written a letter of apology to the principal and asked what he can do over the next few days to make up for work he missed while on suspension, as well as how he can make amends among his peers.”

Update: Industrial-furnace fire on Harbor Island; 2 hurt, including firefighter

February 23, 2015 at 9:11 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

9:11 AM: In case you’re wondering about the big fire response headed for Harbor Island, they’re checking out a possible fire at a business in the 3400 block of 13th SW. The first unit on the scene reports “light smoke” coming from a metal building. More as we get it.

9:16 AM: The fire has been “knocked down,” per scanner. But there’s word a firefighter has been hurt.

9:42 AM: More reinforcements have been called to the fire scene, including ventilation. No official update yet about the injured firefighter, but SFD’s public-information officer was headed to the scene too, so we should have word soon. The SFD response is right by the entrance to Harbor Island when you leave the low bridge and circle around on Klickitat, so avoid the area if you can.

9:47 AM: Update from SFD’s Kyle Moore – A firefighter in his 30s has been taken to Harborview with second-degree leg burns after stepping into what turned out to be (updated) boiling water or metal; also, a worker in his 30s was “splattered with materials” and will be taken by private ambulance to be checked out further. (There was concern earlier about “volatile” materials in the furnace.)

9:56 AM: The fire is now described as “tapped.” Some units are being dismissed from the scene.

10:44 AM: We’ve added two more photos as well as video of what Moore told us at the scene – the photo above this line shows the MVU (mobile ventilation unit) he mentioned.

ADDED 2:24 PM: SFD has just published a full update on its website. The firefighter who was hurt suffered 1st- and 2nd-degree burns, SFD’s update says, and will be moved overnight to the Harborview burn it; he’s been with the department since 2006 and is based at North Delridge’s Station 36. What happened to him is explained as:

The firefighter manning a hose line in the smoky building stepped into a two-foot deep slag pit that is designed to catch molten metal. The unmarked and unsecured pit was full of boiling water. The boiling water made its way into the firefighter’s boots causing 1st and 2nd degree burns to his lower legs. A Mayday was called and fellow firefighters quickly rescued the injured co-worker.

The injured worker who suffered “spot burns” is described as in stable condition. And investigators say the fire “was accidental, caused by a failure in the induction furnace,” with damage estimated at $85,000.

New Little Free Library now ‘open’ at Morgan Junction Park

February 23, 2015 at 9:04 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 9 Comments

(Photo courtesy Joe Paar)
The long-planned Little Free Library is now in place in Morgan Junction Park, reports Cindi Barker from the Morgan Community Association: “Thanks go to Joe Paar, Morgan resident; Tyler Jamison of Village Builders; Seattle Parks staff; and the Friends of Morgan Junction Park for getting this installed!” As shown in the photo, you can see it right next to the information kiosk at the park, which is at 6413 California SW. If you’re not familiar with the concept, as explained on the official LFL site, it’s “a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.”

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates & the week ahead

February 23, 2015 at 6:21 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 7 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! As we keep watch on the morning commute (and beyond), transportation notes:

SOUTH PARK BRIDGE STATUS: After a malfunction put the bridge off-limits to surface traffic for most of Saturday, county road crews managed to get it back in service again, and are now awaiting parts for permanent repairs. You can check here any time to be sure it’s operational before you head that way. (Here’s a traffic cam, too.)

ADMIRAL WAY PAVING TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY: SDOT work on Admiral between 34th and Olga, as mentioned here Friday night after a tip from Mike.

WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION ON THURSDAY: The WSTC’s monthly meeting is 6:30 pm Thursday at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. The agenda features a guest: Paulo Nunes-Ueno, the new head of SDOT’s Transit Division.

METRO FARE CHANGES TAKE EFFECT NEXT SUNDAY: On March 1st, some go up, some go down, as explained here.

7:11 AM: Quiet so far. Checking travel times from the city’s map:

35th Ave SW @ SW Snoqualmie St to …
SR-99 Off Ramp 4 min.
1st Ave Off Ramp 5 min.
4th Ave Off Ramp 6 min.
Stadiums via 1st Ave 10 min.
Stadiums via 4th Ave 10 min.
South Lake Union 15 min.
Ballard 22 min.
Crown Hill 28 min.
Green Lake via SR-99 22 min.
I-5 NB/SB 5 min.
Lower Queen Anne 17 min.
Shoreline via SR-99 28 min.

8:16 AM: Just got two texts about a bus-car collision at midspan of the eastbound bridge, reported to be blocking two lanes. One texter says two lanes are blocked including the bus lane; the other says the vehicles are “stopped on top of the bridge just east of the (crest).”

8:22 AM: You can see the bus and car in the top left camera. Only the bus lane is blocked now – the car is in front of the bus. It’s a #56, per a texter on board.

8:36 AM: Texter on board says driver told them the car hit the bus, and that after some pictures/paperwork, they’ll be able to move on. While the top-left camera will have the newest image, here’s a screengrab from a moment or two ago:

A supervisor is now out checking the bus’s exterior, our tipster reports.

8:45 AM: And now a #55 bus has arrived to take passengers from the stuck bus. Not room enough for all of them, says our tipster – “about a dozen” are back on board and now waiting for a #120.

8:57 AM: Bus lane is now clear – the bus, Metro supervisors’ vehicles, and the car that was involved have all just left.

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