West Seattle, Washington
For much of the rest of the week, 45th Avenue SW by Madison Middle School – between SW Hinds and SW Spokane – will be closed to all vehicle traffic but school buses. Seattle Public Utilities says it’s a sewer-repair project, and should be complete by the end of the week. They’ve distributed flyers along the street and talked with the school, but just in case you’re a 45th user who is outside that notification scope, this is an FYI. (Thanks to the person who tipped us to this!)
4:57 PM: A texter told us about a “smell of smoke” at Westwood Village Barnes and Noble just as SFD was dispatching four units that way. They’ve arrived and so far have NOT found a fire but are checking it out as an electrical problem, so they’re calling for City Light (whose map shows some power trouble in the area).
5:16 PM: SFD cited a “widespread” electrical problem, which we’re also hearing about from some in the area, so we’re headed to WWV shortly to check.
5:43 PM: Just spun around WWV. B&N was the only store clearly dark & closed.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After the first two RapidRide H Line options for Delridge Way SW failed to generate “a lot of enthusiasm,” as SDOT spokesperson Dawn Schellenberg puts it, there’s now a third one on the table. And even if you don’t ride the bus, it will change the road – so you’ll want to take a close look.
“Option 3” (embedded above, and in PDF here) will be in the spotlight at the next RapidRide H Line drop-in info/input event – 5-6:30 pm this Wednesday at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, to be followed by a 7 pm Delridge Neighborhoods District Council discussion of the H Line. You might even have previewed it at one of the H Line open houses in Burien and White Center last week.
We obtained more information via a briefing with SDOT and Metro reps downtown. SDOT is much more closely involved in planning the RapidRide conversion of Route 120 than it was in planning the 2012 conversion of Routes 54/55 into the C Line, for reasons including the money that city taxpayers now pay for more bus service.
Along with Schellenberg, the meeting included SDOT project manager Thérèse Casper, Metro outreach specialist Jenna Franklin, and SDOT communicator Karen Westing.
Before we go through the details, note that this is not necessarily anything resembling a final design. So they want to know what you think. But it is about more than where the bus will stop – it’s about “redesigning” much of Delridge, and it incorporates some other projects that have been discussed in past years. Even before the H Line was announced and named, in fact, some changes were discussed a few years ago under the Delridge Multi-Modal Corridor project umbrella.
“It’s an opportunity to put those pieces together,” Schellenberg said.
The “pieces” potentially include:
One week after we showed you the long-awaited start of demolition at the former West Seattle PCC Community Markets (WSB sponsor) site – which will become the Luna Apartments/new PCC mixed-use development – we have updates. A spokesperson for site owner/developer Madison Development Group sent an official announcement this morning that the project is under way. It included this new information:
-The 25,000-square-foot store and 108 apartments are expected to open “by late summer 2019”
-The apartments will be a “mix of studio and one-bedroom” units, that will “include 27 apartments available at affordable rates between 50 to 80 percent of area median income under the City of Seattle’s Multifamily Property Tax Exemption program”
This is Madison’s third West Seattle project, after Spruce in The Junction and Element 42 in Admiral. (Both of those projects were initiated by other developers, then stalled, and were taken over and built by Madison. Luna/PCC has been a Madison project from the start; MDG bought the site two and a half years ago.)
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch so far today, and a reminder:
CAR BREAK-IN: From Steve:
We had our car prowled overnight, sometime between 11 pm and 9 am. We are on 37th Ave SW between Lander and Stevens [map]. Registration and Title, Insurance, car chargers, special parking permit and shopping bags were taken. The car was completely cleaned out. The registration (etc.) was in a bright-orange vinyl folder.
The tracking number for the incident is T18000652.
(ADDED 1:12 PM) After reading this, Todd e-mailed to say his car window was broken by someone last night just a block west, on 38th SW.
BICYCLE FOUND: A texter found a bicycle at 12th SW and SW Myrtle [map] – near Riverview Playfield – and turned it over to a Parks and Recreation crew that was nearby. The finder didn’t take a photo but described it as a black or gray Trek “commuter bike” that had been purchased at Gregg’s. (The general Parks number is 206-684-4075.)
REMINDER – WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL TOMORROW: 7 pm Tuesday (January 16th) at the Southwest Precinct, it’s the next meeting of the WS Crime Prevention Council, with your chance to bring neighborhood crime/safety concerns to local police. A drug-trend guest is booked this month too.
8:06 AM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” just arriving in the 4000 block of 39th SW [map] for a possible house fire.
8:12 AM: Per scanner, at least one injured person has been found. They’re calling for more units.
8:19 AM: This is affecting traffic nearby – SFD is asking for SPD help at 40th/Andover.
8:26 AM: The man brought out of the house is described as around 50 years old and seriously injured, with burns. He will be taken to Harborview. The house is extensively damaged; our crew is there now and we are adding photos.
8:42 AM: We’re waiting for an official update from SFD’s public-information officer, who’s at the scene. The fire itself appears to be largely out.
8:58 AM: Capt. Shata Stephenson tells us the man, who is believed to be 55 to 60 years old, was in critical condition as he was being taken to Harborview; life-saving measures started even before the medic unit left. The fire itself was put out relatively quickly, thanks to fast work by neighbors in spotting the smoke and flames and calling 911. SFD’s investigator is working to find out how it started.
9:45 AM: Added above, video of Capt. Stephenson’s briefing. We will update if/when more information about the fire victim and/or cause becomes available.
ADDED TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Commenters say the victim has died (we have contacted the Medical Examiner, Harborview, and SFD to try to confirm this and none have that information so far). Meantime, we also asked SFD about the fire’s cause; spokesperson Kristin Tinsley replied, “The fire started on the first floor of the home, near the side entry door in the kitchen. The fire cause was ruled undetermined by investigators.”
7:24 AM: Good morning! Here are the transportation changes for today’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day holiday:
METRO – Reduced weekday service
WATER TAXI – No service
SOUND TRANSIT – Regular weekday service for Route 560; light rail, Saturday schedule
CITY STREET PARKING – No charge at city-run pay stations/meters
SCHOOL BUSES – No school, so no buses
Remember that Metro plans to stop most buses for a “moment of remembrance” at 4:04 pm today.
Also: As announced last night, Washington State Ferries’ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is down to 2 boats.
City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is the latest addition to the agenda for the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting Wednesday night (January 17th). She’s scheduled for a briefing on District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) issues close to the start of the 7 pm meeting. MoCA also plans a discussion of HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning – it’s one of 30+ groups citywide appealing the Final Environmental Impact Statement – and potential changes to the city Comprehensive Plan addressing how it conflicts with the longstanding Morgan neighborhood plan. Plus, Seattle Parks is scheduled to update the Lowman Beach Park seawall situation, seven months after a public meeting about the options for replacing it (or not), and one month after releasing this feasibility study:
Wednesday’s meeting is at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW). The full updated agenda is in our calendar listing.
Just in from Washington State Ferries:
The M/V Issaquah is out of service until further notice due to necessary repairs to the engine. The Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route will operate on a 2-boat schedule beginning Monday, January 15. Because there are no vessels available as relief vessels, M/V SEALTH and M/V CATHLAMET will temporarily provide two-boat service to the route. Commuters are encouraged to arrive early and expect delays during peak times. WSF is working to restore full service to the route as soon as possible.
We should also remind you – especially of note to Vashon riders – that both King County Water Taxi routes are out of service tomorrow (Monday, MLK Day, January 15th).
Seattle Fire units are arriving at a house in the 4000 block of 23rd SW [map] on Pigeon Point. The original call was for a short-lived basement fire, already out when SFD was dispatched, and everyone is reported to have gotten out, but crews are checking out a possible gas odor. They’ve confirmed the fire is out and are ventilating the basement. They’re also checking out one person reported to have suffered burns.
That’s Murphy. He was on the loose for a while today until some helpful people rescued him, and his person Gina wanted to go wide with the words of thanks:
We would just like to thank everyone in the Junction and those on the West Seattle Bridge around 2 pm today who helped catch our dog, Murphy. He was spooked by another dog and got away.
I’m so thankful for everyone who assisted in some way.
Gina explained in response to our followup question that Murphy ran all the way from the Junction Starbucks to the bridge!
If you are still planning your Monday – we’ve learned of West Seattle involvement in the 36th annual official daylong Seattle celebration in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The official overview:
Celebration starts at Garfield High School, 400 23rd Ave at E Jefferson, Seattle
Opportunity fair in the Commons 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Workshops in classrooms 9:30-10:50 a.m.
Morning rally in gymnasium 10:40-12:20
March 12:30 p.m.
Afternoon rally downtown, Westlake Park [~1:30 pm] shared meal back at Garfield High School, Commons
The afternoon rally at Westlake will be co-emceed/moderated by West Seattle High School freshman Noah A. Charleston (right), whose proud dad Lemuel Charleston e-mailed us to be sure that West Seattle Blog readers are aware. He says Noah is co-emceeing after being “voted in by the MLK Jr. Celebrations committee.” (Here’s the program.)
Noah has long been active in the community, he explains: “My family, my wife, and many of our friends and I have been involved with the Seattle community in the way of ministry, feeding the homeless, advocating for civil rights, and seeking to do our small part in making Seattle the best place in the world to live. We have involved our children in as many of these aspects as we can.”
The morning gathering at Garfield High School, meantime, includes 28 workshops, all free and open to the public. At least four include West Seattleites. There will be a session of Bystander Intervention Training, with Admiral UCC pastor Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom and leaders from Anti-Hate Alaska Junction, Susan Oatis and Jane Westergaard-Nimocks. (They’ve done local workshops, as featured here on WSB.) Also, a workshop preparing for the launch of a new anti-racist coalition will include Chief Sealth International High School student Khaim Vassar-Fontenot and WSHS student Makhari Dysart. And there is local involvement in two other youth-led workshops – one on intersectionality, with Chief Sealth student Maya Garzelli presenting, and another about activism features Olivia Goss, a West Seattle resident who is a Garfield student.
More info about the MLK Day events is here.
We’ve finally obtained a bit of information about an incident last night in The Junction. We knew from scanner traffic that three suspects had been arrested after a search in the 40th/41st/Alaska vicinity around 6:30-7 pm, but didn’t hear what preceded the search/arrests and were unable to find officers afterward to ask; the online information system (including Tweets by Beat) is down, too. So we went back to the precinct today in hopes of tracking down a few details. While the full report isn’t available, we’re told it was a purse-snatching. No injuries. The three suspects who were arrested – two adults, one juvenile – are described as having had run-ins with police before. We hope to get the full report after the holiday weekend.
10:04 AM: Thanks for the tips: For the second morning in a row – after other recent incidences – the Admiral Way/California SW signal light is in flashing-red mode (since at least 8:30). Remember, that makes it an all-way stop. (We’ll be checking with SDOT after the holiday to see why this signal is having so much trouble lately.)
11:11 AM: Just got a call about the 35th SW/SW Monroe crash. SFD was not dispatched, which means no injuries; it should clear soon if it hasn’t already, as one car was being towed as of a few minutes ago.
11:20 AM: Now there’s word of a crash at 38th SW/SW Alaska, blocking – according to scanner traffic – westbound Alaska as well as 38th at the crash scene. SFD has responded to this one (Engine 32, which is based right across the street).
12:34 PM: And now a collision is blocking what is described via scanner as NB Alki SW in the 1300 block. (And the Admiral/California light mentioned above is STILL flashing, per a reader who went through a short time ago.)
Four options from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in the street in The Junction. (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)
MEET THE GREYHOUNDS: Greyhound Pets Inc. will be at MudBay in Admiral, 11 am-1 pm today. (2611 California SW)
Quiet today, but BUSY week ahead – check back later for previews and other stories we’re working on!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
What’s everybody talking about in Olympia? was our first question when we sat down to talk with our area’s two State House representatives after the first week of the new legislative session.
Water, replied Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon, both West Seattle residents who represent the 34th District, which also includes White Center, Vashon/Maury Islands, and part of Burien. (The 34th District’s State Senator Sharon Nelson, now Senate Majority Leader, couldn’t join our Friday afternoon chat at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) because of extra business in Olympia.)
So back to the water issue. Read More
We’ve heard from several people wondering about unspecified “unfortunate incidents” mentioned by The Seattle Times in a note to some West Seattle subscribers explaining delivery troubles. After the first inquiry yesterday, we checked with The Times, and they explained the problem is a carrier shortage. We replied to the lone reader who had inquired – but then several more asked today, so we’re publishing this, in case others are wondering. Here’s how Times marketing VP Kati Erwert replied to our question asking for more information on the “unfortunate incidents”:
We’ve had a transition in staffing for a variety of reasons that is impacting some of our newspaper delivery routes in the West Seattle area. This is not uncommon. Unfortunately, there are several that have happened at once and it is impacting delivery service as we onboard and train new members of the carrier force. Our home delivery and customer service teams are very hard at work to expedite a return to our traditional service levels. However, in the spirit of care for our valued subscribers, we’ve opted to communicate with them that we are aware that some of them are impacted.
In fact, our West Seattle Jobs Offered section (free posting if you have a local job opening!) had a recent post looking for a local carrier, though it has since been marked as “filled.”
Next Saturday, family and friends will gather to remember Francis “Frank” Keller. Tonight, they’re sharing the story of his life – from statewide political involvement to a woodworking hobby that inspired a public artwork you’ve likely seen:
Born on May 1, 1924, in Mitchell, South Dakota, he attended a one-room school house and worked on his parents’ farm until he left home as a teenager. Frank hitchhiked across the country to Seattle, finally settling in Bremerton in the 1940s. He joined the Navy at 18, during World War II, and was sent to serve in the Pacific on the USS South Dakota.
In 1944, he returned to Bremerton and married Viola (Sally) Gonzales. They had a child, Patricia Lee, and ran a restaurant on Bainbridge Island named The Hi Shoppe. It was the place to hang out then.
Frank and Sally divorced in 1945, and Frank went to work for Pepsi. He married Betty Horton in the 1950s. While working as a truck driver at Pepsi, he commuted to Seattle University on the ferry at night, earning his Bachelor’s degree in Finance in 1961. He had three children then, Cindy, Francine and Mary Lisa. By that time, Frank had been attracted by the excitement of politics. He was selling insurance to support his family, but also got involved in local election campaigns. The family increased by one, with the birth of his son, Robert. Betty passed away in 1964.
At this time, Frank was elected State Chair of the Democratic Party and he relocated his whole family to the house in West Seattle in 1965. He married Carol Grabner in 1965, and they were married until 1968.
Frank continued his commitment to politics and was Democratic State Chairman throughout the 60’s, when he managed the reelection campaigns of US Senator Warren Magnuson, gubernatorial campaigns of Albert Rosellini and Dixy Lee Ray, as well as fundraising and doing advance work for the presidential campaigns of Robert and Ted Kennedy, then Henry Jackson. It was an exciting life, and Frank was the chair of the Washington State delegation to the Democratic convention several times. He even attended the Presidential Inauguration of President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
At the end of the ’60s, Frank tried to settle down to more stable work, first working for the newly formed Office of Emergency Preparedness, but being a bureaucrat was not his calling. He eventually went back to Pepsi as sales manager for Glacier Beverages in Rainier Valley, where he met the love of his life, Joanne Welch. They married in 1969, and the Keller clan became a family of 9, adding Carolann and Jim, launching Frank into his next chapter. All the younger six kids lived in the house until reaching adulthood, then came back often with their children and even grandchildren.
Frank got laid off from Pepsi in the ’70s. He used his political and business experience as an opportunity to launch a consulting and lobbying venture. He enjoyed much success with such clients as the Washington State Superior Court Judges, the beverage industry, the vending machine industry, among others. He was named several times to the list of Top Lobbyists in Washington State. Frank was known as a straight talking, honest person, and always told it like he saw it.
When Frank retired from politics and lobbying, he took up woodworking, reaching back to his younger days as an apprentice cabinetmaker. He started making wooden toys, wooden ornaments, jewelry boxes, and even furniture. All from scrap wood that he would find in different places, and has supplied so many family and friends with his amazing creations. He has given toys to many organizations that help children, hoping to bring some happiness to those who might not be as blessed. His fire truck gift to the West Seattle Fire Station was the inspiration for the artist who created the West Seattle Fire Station 32 sculpture, unveiled just this past year.
Frank and Joanne also did some traveling, going back and forth to Hawaii almost every year, among other places. Frank also spent many years going to the West Seattle YMCA for his daily workout and sauna, and became somewhat of a fixture there.
When Joanne had her stroke in 2001, Frank assumed the role of devoted caretaker. He would be by her side daily, ever diligent to make sure that Joanne had what she needed. They were the storybook example of love, and his world revolved around her until she left us in 2008.
After Joanne passed, Frank was lifted up by the love of his family. He would get joy from watching all the grandchildren grow up and celebrate their life landmarks. He even was able to hold and play with his great granddaughter, which brought him so much happiness. He would sit in the living room nightly, sipping his bourbon (or two), eating his chocolates and watching CNN. He would have questions or comments about the state of the world, and would let us know what he thought.
Frank Keller lived large — he filled up the room when he was in it. There is a big gap in our lives now that he is gone, but the lessons he taught and the memories he made will be with us always. Go in peace, Dad, we love you and miss you.
Frank’s memorial Mass is on Saturday, January 20th, 11 am, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in West Seattle. In lieu of flowers, Frank’s family would ask that donations be made to Wounded Warrior Project or the Seattle YMCA
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
(WSB file photo)
As reported here on Monday, the owner of the 5612 California SW site where C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) has been in business for 15 years has put it up for sale. The listing touts the 7,500-square-foot site as a “terrific development opportunity.” After an outpouring of support and ideas, C & P proprietors Cameron and Pete Moores have made their decision on what to do – and as part of it, they’ve just launched a crowdfunding campaign via GoFundMe. In addition to pursuing some funding this way, they tell us, “We are getting closer to being able to make an offer, but are still actively looking for investors to join us with the purchase of the property.” And as they explain on the new GoFundMe page:
We’ve started this fund with two goals in mind: First, to help collect enough for a down payment. Second, there are a lot of accompanying expenses — lawyers’ fees and other costs. We need help with those too.
Given more lead time, we might have been able to figure this out on our own. But we’ve been told that our landlord is looking at offers in three weeks.
Pete and I are forever changed by this moment. We have been overwhelmed with offers of love and support from a community that recognizes how very important it is to provide a place for life to happen. Our customers have become neighbors and friends, and they all feel this historic property belongs to them. It is place where couples have been married, children have had parties, memorial services have been held, art classes and book clubs form, local musicians gather to jam, community gardens are planted in the back yard and most importantly, people gather to talk to each other face to face!
In Seattle these days, this kind of place is disappearing.
If we are successful in our goal, Pete and I are dedicated and determined to giving back to this neighborhood that has so generously supported us. We are forever changed by your belief in us to be stewards of your second home. We want to continue doing what we do and share that journey with you.
The site owner is asking $1,250,000. In addition to being the home of C & P Coffee since 2003, the Craftsman home on the site has some history too, as a WSB commenter pointed out following our Monday report.
12:41 PM: Thanks for the tip – a couple of Orca Network commenters are reported orcas seen off West Point, across Elliott Bay, described as “drifting southward” as of about 20 minutes ago. So this is early heads-up that they *might* be visible here before long. We’ll be heading out with our binoculars to look.
1:31 PM: We looked too soon. Just got a call from Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales that they turned into Elliott Bay and at least half a dozen have just passed Seacrest and are “headed [northeast] toward the Space Needle.”
2 PM They have changed direction and are headed back west toward the mouth of the bay. We have also heard from Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail, who is watching from Luna/Anchor Park, while Jeff is with a group at Don Armeni Boat Ramp.
3:36 PM: They turned north within the past hour, Dan on Alki tells us. We ourselves caught one glimpse as they headed back out of the bay – and then lost sight.
4:00 PM: Photos added – thanks to everyone who sent them! These were transient orcas, not residents, were told – one major difference is diet; transients eat mammals, too, which means the sea lions we saw in the vicinity were being extra brave and/or foolhardy!
Relatively quiet Saturday, as is often the case on a 3-day weekend. But if you haven’t already browsed the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here are some highlights:
OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-1 pm, the Community School of West Seattle has an open house for prospective families. (9450 22nd SW)
VIETNAMESE STORY TIME: 11:30 am-noon at Delridge Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: The home of West Seattle’s history is open noon-4 pm. (61st SW/SW Stevens)
‘MIGRATION AND THE WORLD’: The 2018 “Let’s Talk Race” series starts at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center with “Migration and the World,” 1 pm-6 pm. Free child care and community dinner. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
BILL DAVIE: Acoustic singer/guitarist performs “alternative folk” at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
NESTORIA, VIGILANTE SANTOS, SAINTS BY DAY: “Dreamy soundscapes” and more at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm-midnight. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
ORIGINAL SATURDAY MORNING REPORT: Thanks to the reader who just called to share the news that she discovered while out for a walk this morning that a tree is down across the Schmitz Park pathway near the Alki Community Center entrance to the park. We asked her to report it to the Parks after-hour maintenance hotline, which is reachable via 206-684-7250.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Still blocked, another reader reports, sending the photo we have added above.
6:18 AM: Reminder that the Battery Street Tunnel closure is under way right now – closed for an inspection related to plans for its decommissioning after the Alaskan Way Viaduct is taken out of service. The closure is scheduled to continue until 10 am; if you are headed northbound on 99, you will have to exit at Western, and if you are headed southbound, you will have to exit at Denny.
10:19 AM The SDOT webcam above verifies the tunnel has reopened.