HOLIDAY GIVING: Two special Sunday events to get ready for

Here’s an advance reminder about two one-day donation drives on Sunday:

(2020 photo courtesy WSFB, when 500+ coats were donated!)

COCOA AND COAT DRIVE AT WS FARMERS’ MARKET: As the West Seattle Food Bank – which handles much more than food – reminded us earlier this week, warm clothing is a BIG need right now. So Sunday’s West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Cocoa and Coat Drive event is just in time. Between 10 am to 1:30 pm, bring coats and other warm clothing to the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle booth at the south end of the market (California/Alaska) and have a cup of cocoa.

TOYS FOR TOTS AT FIRE STATION 32: The Seattle Fire Department is partnering with Toys For Tots for one-time collection events at five fire stations around the city tomorrow, and Fire Station 32 (38th/Alaska) in The Junction is one of them. On Sunday between 11 am and 1 pm, firefighters will be ready to receive your donation of new, unwrapped toys. This year, they’re collecting nonperishable food, too.

West Seattle Junction tree lighting and GLOWS, concerts, school open houses, toy swap, more for your Saturday

First on our list, the holiday season’s biggest West Seattle event is tonight!

WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION TREE LIGHTING, GLOWS, NIGHT MARKET: 4-8 pm, The Junction is where you want to be. Specifically – SW Alaska between California and 41st (including the stretch seen in the “live” traffic-camera view above), where the Night Market opens at 4 (vendors listed/mapped here) and the lineup of entertainment, festivities, and GLOWS light art (both worn and shown) starts moments later. Beer/wine garden and food trucks, too. The updated schedule of events is here. See you in The Junction!

Next, the other holiday-related events:

WEST SEATTLE TOY EXCHANGE: 9 am-noon, a chance to swap (and/or donate) gently used toys at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW). Details here.

‘WINTER WANDER’ SCAVENGER HUNT: Last full day of this West Seattle scavenger hunt, which continues through Sunday, but it’s not too late to register and participate! Go here for info and registration.

SANTA AT JOHN L. SCOTT WEST SEATTLE: People and pets are invited for DIY Santa photos, 11 am-2 pm. (4445 California SW)

HOLIDAY PET PHOTO BOOTH: From Mud Bay in Admiral (2611 California SW), “Come and get ready for the holidays with your fur babies at the West Seattle Mud Bay! We’re holding a photo booth from 12-4. This event is free and we encourage all pets to join us.”

HOLIDAY MARKET AT BOX BAR: 1-5 pm, artists offering their wares, plus the restaurant’s open. (5401 California SW)

HOLIDAY BEERFEST AND COOKIE EXCHANGE: At Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), 2-7 pm – details here.

THIRD NIGHT OF HANUKKAH: No public West Seattle events tonight; see the Holiday Guide list for what’s coming up starting tomorrow (Sunday).

ASTRA LUMINA: Celestially inspired light show on the grounds of the Seattle Chinese Garden at the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, times and admission prices vary. Tickets and info here.

HOLIDAY SINGALONG: “Get in the holiday spirit with a singalong at the Box Bar (5401 California Ave SW) at 7 pm. No cover. 21+. Songbook and lyric sheets (here).”

BELLS OF THE SOUND: 7 pm concert with Puget Sound’s premier handbell choir at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (3940 41st SW) – “Christmas Tapestry” is this year’s theme. Ticket info here.

NORTHWEST FIRELIGHT CHORALE: 7:30 pm concert at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (3050 California SW) – details in our calendar listing.

‘SNOWED IN’: ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) presents its holiday production, described as a “a journey of song, dance, friendship, family, and the true meaning of the holidays.” 7:30 pm. Tickets and show times/dates are here.

‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: The radio-play edition of Twelfth Night Productions‘ beloved show continues at Kenyon Hall (7904 35th SW), 7:30 pm – ticket info and other details on the Brown Paper Tickets website.

And here’s the non-holiday list – mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

FREE GROUP RUN: Start your Saturday with this weekly West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW) group run! All levels welcome. Meet at the shop by 8 am.

HEAVILY MEDITATED: Arrive by 8:50 am for community meditation at Move2Center (3618 SW Alaska). Free event.

KENNEDY CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: If you’re considering Kennedy Catholic High School (WSB sponsor), attend the Open House, 10 am-noon. RSVP here. (140 S. 140th, Burien)

HELP PLANT FRUIT TREES: Near High Point Pond Park, with CityFruit, 10 am-noon.

SSC GARDEN CENTER: Never too late in the year to plant – so if you’re looking for something you can add to your garden and/or planters, visit the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Garden Center 10 am-2 pm, north side of campus (6000 16th SW).

MORNING MUSIC: 10:30 am-noon at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), Marco de Carvalho and Friends perform. Info about Marco’s music is here.

FREE WRITING GROUP: 10:30 am in West Seattle, registration required – see full details in our calendar listing.

EXPLORER WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 11 am. “Whether you have a 5th-grade student thinking about next year or want to begin middle-school research early – our event features a program with faculty, current students, and families, as well as time to visit our classrooms to offer an in-depth look at our community and programs.” (10015 28th SW; WSB sponsor)

FAMILY READING TIME: Every Saturday at 11 am at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW).

VIETNAMESE CULTURAL CENTER: The center is open to visitors noon-3 pm, as explained here. (2234 SW Orchard)

VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room open – wine by the glass or bottle – 1-6 pm at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor). Try the fall-release red wines!

MUAY THAI FIGHT NIGHT & BENEFIT: Doors open 2:30 pm, bouts start 3 pm – “Join us at Combat Arts Academy this Saturday for an exciting night of Muay Thai Fights hosted by Legendary Fight Promotions. It’s not just about the action; it’s also a Fight Night Fundraiser for New Beginnings, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering survivors and raising awareness about domestic violence.” Tickets here; more info in our calendar listing.

ALKI LODGE INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS: 5 pm: “Alki Masonic Lodge #152 cordially invites the West Seattle Community to the 117th Open Installation of Officers at the Alki Masonic Center, 4736-40th Ave. SW. The ceremony will begin at 5 pm with a reception following. Worshipful Master-Elect, Delton Johnson, welcomes one and all to this annual event.”

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Want to have a few hours to yourself/ves tonight? Girl Scout Troop 40171 is having a Parents’ Night Out babysitting event, 5-9 pm – info here.

SOUTHALL AT EASY STREET: 6 pm at Easy Street Records (4559 California SW), acoustic set from, and meet/greet with, Southall.

BURGERS & BEATS: Saturday night food and music at Revelry Room – burgers start at 6, DJs at 9. (4547 California SW, alley side)

ALL-AGES OPEN MIC: 7-10 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way)

‘GREAT NIGHT’: Saturday night program for young adults 18+ to hang out 7 pm-midnight, at Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle).

BURLESQUE: 8 pm at The Skylark – sold out but you can get on the online waitlist. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

Planning a concert, open house, show, sale, event, meeting, seminar, reading, field trip, fundraiser, class, game, or holiday-season happening, or ? If the community’s welcome, get your event on our calendar! Please email info to – thank you!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Admiral 7-11 robbed again

For the second time in nine days, the Admiral 7-11 has been robbed. This happened about an hour ago – just after 1 am. According to dispatch audio, four robbers took the store’s cash register and threw something at the clerk. They were described only as three men, one woman, all Black, in their 20s, wearing black masks and black jackets. They reportedly got away walking westbound, likely to a parked car. The cash register subsequently turned up barely a block away, in the 2300 block of 45th SW. If you have any information or vicinity video, the police incident # to refere to is 23-353422.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Sylvan Way partly blocked

If you’re heading out this early morning, avoid Sylvan Way for a while. A driver is reported to have hit and taken out a utility pole, and the eastbound lane is reported to be blocked.

BIZNOTE: Commercial-space tenant revealed for new West Seattle Junction building

Going through city permit files this week, we happened onto an early-stage plan for commercial space at 4508 California SW, the new seven-story building that’s been under construction for a year and a half. You might recall this location was home to Lee’s Asian Restaurant and Kamei Japanese Restaurant, as well as a vacant storefront, before demolition. Commercial space in the new building is planned to hold an urgent-care clinic run by Tacoma-based nonprofit health-care organization MultiCare. The site-plan document we saw on the city website was devoid of details – as is often the case with early-stage site plans – so we inquired with MultiCare. Here’s the response we received late today from MultiCare spokesperson Melanie Collett:

The clinic is 4,600 square feet and will have 5 exam rooms and an xray suite. Our projected opening date is Spring 2024. It’s a tentative date, as we have not yet started the permitting process. It’s worth mentioning that we will have dedicated customer parking. You can learn more about Indigo and our services, here:

The parking and square-footage mentions are notable, as the building was described during the Design Review process as “58 residential units, 12 lodging units, 3,500+ square feet of commercial space, 17 offstreet-parking spaces.” Indigo’s website shows its nearest clinics are currently in Burien and South Seattle; hours appear to generally be 8 am to 8 pm. This will be The Junction’s third urgent-care clinic, after ZoomCare and Franciscan.


While out looking for a light display for which we’d received a tip, we happened onto this house instead, on 40th south of Hanford. In general, so far in our holiday-season wandering, we’ve seen the most lights in general in this area southeast of Admiral – and that’s where most of our tips have come from so far this season – so that’s one area we’d recommend for lots of lights. But we’re still looking all over the peninsula, so keep the tips – with or without photos/video – coming to – and click the tag “West Seattle Christmas Light” under the headline above to see what we’ve shown already!

PREVIEW: West Seattle Toy Exchange on Saturday

Among the many holiday events listed in the West Seattle Holiday Guide for this weekend is a one-of-a-kind event we’re previewing for families who might have have heard about it yet – the West Seattle Toy Exchange, 9 am-noon Saturday at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. Here’s how organizers explain it:

What is this event? A sustainable, affordable opportunity to swap out (or donate) the gently-used, no-longer- exciting toys in your home. We will also have a bake sale, coffee and cocoa by donation to support the Louisa Boren STEM K8 PTA

What to exchange: toys! Puzzles, Legos and toys are encouraged, Please do not bring books, clothing or sporting equipment

What are the rules? This event is for anyone looking to trade toys, donate toys, or whowould like to take some toys to gift to kids. You do not need to donate any toys to participate. Please, no resellers.

What happens to unclaimed toys? Any unclaimed toys at the end of the event will be donated to charity

Fauntleroy Schoolhouse is at 9131 California SW. (If you haven’t been there, transportation/parking info is on the event website.)

WATER TAXI ALERT: Service suspended briefly because of downtown incident – here’s what it was

2:42 PM: From Metro: “Service for the King County Water Taxi is suspended until further notice as law enforcement responds to an incident at the Water Taxi Terminal at Pier 50.” That’s the downtown dock that serves both West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi routes. More info to come.

2:46 PM: Haven’t yet found out what the “incident” was, but Metro just sent another alert that Water Taxi service has resumed.

3:13 PM: Still trying to sleuth the “incident” – SPD says it wasn’t them. (Update: We’re told it was the Transit Police, so we’re checking with the King County Sheriff’s Office, of which they’re a part.)

3:54 PM: KCSO tells us, “A person left their suitcase by mistake in the middle of the water taxi terminal. This happened at 1359. The suitcase was reclaimed by the owner when they came back to reclaim it. Metro Transit PD was called into to facilitate a civil standby while the bag was given back.”

PREVIEW: Newest schedule, location info for Saturday’s West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Night Market, tree lighting, GLOWS

Here’s the newest information for tomorrow night’s big events in The Junction – the Night Market, tree lighting, and GLOWS festival:

That’s the production company’s site map, with WEST at the top. Notice one important update from what we’ve been mentioning – SW Alaska will be closed between California and 41st, stretching one block further east than previous years. The tree is still in Junction Plaza Park as always, but note that the stage is actually in the 42nd/Alaska intersection. Most of Alaska west of 42nd will be filled with Night Market vendors (two shops on that stretch, A la Mode Pies and Panterelli, will be serving from their regular locations). On Alaska east of 42nd, you’ll find two food trucks, Tabassum and BlackStar Kebab, near the beer/wine garden. Here’s the list and locations of Night Market vendors. And here’s the updated schedule of events, 4 pm-8 pm:

4:00: Festival begins. Host Marco Collins introduction. Night Market and Beer & Wine Garden are open.

4:00-5:00: Costume contestants walk through tunnel of lights

4:05: Endolyne Children’s Choir performance

4:30: School of Rock performance

5:00: Host in the Audience with Christmas music

5:15: ArtsWest performance from ‘Snowed In

5:30: Light Costume Contest on Stage* (here’s how the contest works)

6:00: The Jay Cates West Seattle All-Star Jazz Ensemble – led by Jay Cates and featuring an all-West Seattle ensemble

7:00: Menashe Public Address & Tree Lighting

7:15: West Seattle GLOWS Art Projection Spectacular

8:00: Close of event

It’s not too late to get a light costume ready for tomorrow’s contest – here are full details on that. See you in The Junction tomorrow night (whatever the weather)!

DEVELOPMENT: 7617 35th SW passes first phase of Design Review on second try

(Renderings by LDG Architects)

The six-story 130-apartment mixed-use project at 35th/Holden/Ida got first-phase approval from the Southwest Design Review Board last night, with advice on what to include before it comes back for final approval.

As the online meeting concluded, outgoing SWDRB member Alan Grainger said it’s an “important location” and that “the applicant needs to pull out all the stops.” Board chair Gavin Schaefer agreed. They were joined at the meeting by member Johanna Lirman; two other members were absent. Also participating, Joe Hurley, the city planner assigned to the project.

The first phase of Design Review is Early Design Guidance, which mostly deals with the building’s size, shape, and placement on the site. (Here’s the full design packet used for the meeting.) Architect Ed Linardic and the project team had made some changes based on feedback from the first meeting earlier this year, but some things couldn’t be changed. For example, SDOT is not allowing entry to the underground parking garage from SW Holden, because of future plans for the street reportedly including a bike lane, so the entry will remain off SW Ida. (The project includes ~50 parking spaces, all of which will be in an underground garage.)

The meeting included public comment, spoken and written, from seven people, ranging from two voicing support for more housing in the area to a suggestion that the project exterior needs a little more “interest” given how visible it will be at six stories on a major arterial. Board members agreed; Grainger at one point called the current plan “boring.”

The formal board advice ended up recommending that the building’s corners get “extra attention,” and that more thought be put into the ground-floor entrances (the building will have them on each of the three streets it fronts). They also formally conveyed a suggestion that Lirman made, for more attention to resident amenities like common areas such as pet runs.

The project will have at least one meeting in the second and final Design Review phase – the city will announce a date once the project team is ready (usually at least a few months). If you have comments on the project in the meantime, whether related to design or not, you can email

Concerts, ‘Wonderful Life’, Astra Lumina, much more for your West Seattle Friday

(Photo by David Hutchinson – Olympics from Alki, just before sunset Thursday)

A two-part list again today, as we jingle toward the holiday-season weekend! First, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:

‘WINTER WANDER’ SCAVENGER HUNT: Alice Kuder‘s West Seattle scavenger hunt continues through Sunday (December 10th), and it’s not too late to register to participate! Go here for info and registration.

HOLIDAY ROOM PHOTOS DIY photos among holiday decor in the Holiday Room (4210 SW Oregon), open to drop-ins from 3 pm to 7 pm.

SECOND NIGHT OF HANUKKAH: No public West Seattle events tonight; see the Holiday Guide list for what’s coming up.

CHERRY CONSIGNMENT PARTY: “We want to celebrate YOU! Join us this Friday, December 8th, for our first annual Holiday Customer Appreciation Party. Join us after hours, from 5-7 pm, for some holiday fun with snacks, sips, and surprises. We’ll turn the tunes up and toast YOU, our cherry blossoms!” Cherry Consignment is at 4142 California SW.

ASTRA LUMINA: Celestially inspired light show on the grounds of the Seattle Chinese Garden at the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus opens tonight, 5 pm. Timed tickets and pricing info here.

WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY ORCHESTRAS: Second of two WSCO fall concerts, free admission (“donations gratefully accepted”) – Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra at 7 pm (details here). At Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle).

STARRY CROWNS: Vocal ensemble’s Christmas concert at Our Lady of Guadalupe (35th/Myrtle), 7 pm.

‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: The radio-play edition of Twelfth Night Productions‘ beloved show opens at Kenyon Hall (7904 35th SW), 7:30 pm – ticket info and other details on the Brown Paper Tickets website.

‘SNOWED IN’: ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) presents its holiday production, described as a “a journey of song, dance, friendship, family, and the true meaning of the holidays.” 7:30 pm. Tickets are available here.

HOLIDAY SOUND HEALING CONCERT: 7:30 pm at Move2Center (3618 SW Alaska), $35.

And from the year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

SSC GARDEN CENTER: It’s still planting season! Shop for plants on the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus, 10 am-2 pm.

TODDLER GYM: Free drop-in gym at Arbor Heights Community Church, 10 am-11:30 am. (4113 SW 102nd)

SCRABBLE CLUB: Play 12:30-1:30 pm at Margie’s Café inside the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).

VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room/wine bar open – wine by the glass or bottle – 5-9 pm at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor). Try the fall-release red wines!

SONGWRITERS’ SHOWCASE: 7-9 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).

DUFF McKAGAN AT EASY STREET RECORDS: In-store show and signing, 7 pm – details here! (4559 California SW)

DANCE NIGHT AT THE SPOT: Fridays are DJ Dance Night at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), 7-10 pm.

DJ NIGHT AT REVELRY ROOM: Music 9 pm-1 am on Fridays! (4547 California SW)

BURLESQUE: 8 pm at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW)

Something to add to our calendar and/or Holiday Guide? – thank you! .

WEST SEATTLE COYOTES: ‘Epic sighting’ west of The Junction

Alissa sent this late last night, describing it as an “epic sighting” near 46th/Oregon:

Coyote alert:

I was sitting in my living room and heard what sounded like a cat fight outside. I heard cats growling and then a yip, and I flew out the door (knowing coyotes have been seen in my general area this summer). Sure enough, two small-looking coyotes ran from my next-door neighbor’s yard!! I couldn’t believe my eyes! My cats were there trying to take them on!! Thankfully, the cats are ok, and last I saw, the coyotes were headed southbound.

Our perennial reminder – we publish coyote sightings for awareness, not alarm. Coexistence advice from wildlife authorities includes not providing food sources (from birdseed to pet food to unaccompanied pets).

HOLIDAY GUIDE REMINDER: Got shows? Songs? Services? Special hours? Shopping specials? Or … ? Send it!

Big thanks to everyone who’s sent info for our West Seattle Holiday Guide so far this season – more than three weeks have passed since we launched it, and we’re updating it every day, but we know there’s even more we don’t have yet – so this is a reminder, if your business, organization, church, school, club has a holiday happening that’s open to community participation, please send us the info so we can add it! That includes donation drives – the Holiday Guide has a list of giving opportunities too. We already have events (etc.) listed all the way through New Year’s Day. All we need is basic information – what, when, where, who – including any relevant web link(s) – then send it to – thank you!

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Friday + weekend notes

6:00 AM: Good morning. It’s Friday, December 8.


Forecast says we’ll see the sun for a while today; high in the mid-40s. Sunrise today is at 7:44 am; sunset, 4:17 pm. (This isn’t the shortest day of the year, but 4:17 is the earliest sunset before it starts getting later in a week.)


As previewed here, SW Alaska will be closed to traffic between California and (UPDATE) 41st tomorrow night for The Junction’s Hometown Holidays tree lighting and GLOWS festival. Buses will be rerouted too. The festival runs 4 pm to 8 pm, but the street will be closed for a longer window for setup and breakdown.


Metro – Regular schedule today; check advisories here.

Water TaxiRegular schedule today. Watch the real-time map if wondering where your boat is.

Washington State Ferries – 2-boat service on the Triangle Route. Check alerts for changes, and use the real-time map to see where your ferry is.


Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Orchard), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Henderson, and Delridge/Oregon.

High Bridge – the main camera:

High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):

Low Bridge:

1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:

Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander:

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: See all working traffic cams citywide here, most with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on Twitter/X shows whether the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.

If you see trouble on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if applicable). Thank you!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gunfire investigation

Police investigating reported gunfire have found confirmation. An officer just told dispatch he found a shell casing near 26th/Brandon, No injuries or damage reported so far.

ORCAS: Get updates at The Whale Trail’s winter gathering

(J pod southbound in Puget Sound November 2023, by M. Sears – Permit 21348)

Two weeks from tonight, on December 21st, The Whale Trail‘s winter gathering will bring updates on the Southern Resident Killer Whales – here’s the announcement from executive director Donna Sandstrom:

Join The Whale Trail and friends for our annual Winter Gathering. Hear updates about southern resident orcas from researcher Brad Hanson, Ph.D. Learn about current approaches to assess the health of the population, and what the data is showing.

Featured speakers also include Washington State Orca Recovery Coordinator Tara Galuska, and researchers Mark and Maya Sears. Tara will share updates about state actions and priorities for SRKW recovery. Mark and Maya will present recent orca encounters in central Puget Sound, including J pod’s overnight trip to Quartermaster Harbor.

Celebrate Solstice and the progress we have made in protecting southern resident orcas. Learn what you can do to help J, K and L pods today. Together we’ll find light in the dark for the whales!

Get tickets now, this will sell out. This is an in-person event only.

Where: C & P Coffee Company, 5612 California Ave SW
When: Thursday December 21, 7 to 8:30
–Doors open at 6:30.
Tickets: $5 suggested donation.
Advance tickets:


Thanks to Lindsey for sending tonight’s photo, noting, “Beautiful lights on the corner of 51st and Stevens in the Admiral District.” We appreciate all the email – with or without photos/video – sent by people with suggestions of lights to showcase; is the address if you have, or see, a display to suggest! (Scroll through this WSB archive to see what we’ve already shown!)

FOLLOWUP: ‘Stabilization’ project for Hiawatha Community Center, closed 3 1/2 years, finally going out to bid

(WSB photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The “stabilization” project for long-closed Hiawatha Community Center will formally be advertised for bids starting tomorrow.

Seattle Parks and Recreation deputy superintendent Mike Schwindeller tells WSB that his department got the confirmation “at noon today.” They’ll accept bids through January 10th.

At last week’s “West Seattle park projects update” online briefing, Schwindeller said the long-delayed project would go to bid this week, but we’ve been watching the city’s bidding website and hadn’t seen it as of this morning, so we asked about the status, and got Schwindeller’s confirmation in reply.

The center closed early in the pandemic, in spring 2020, but unlike most other Parks facilities, never reopened. It’s left north West Seattle without a community center, as Alki CC first converted to child care/early education and then closed entirely for the adjacent school rebuild.

In an online conversation following up on last week’s briefing – set up at the behest of a community advocate who has long been bird-dogging Parks on Hiawatha’s status – former acting superintendent Christopher Williams (now chief of staff) tried to explain why this turned into a four-year shutdown before the project even went out to bid, and admitted that “if we had to do this again, we would not have closed Hiawatha so prematurely.” They kept it closed believing the start of the stabilization project was a lot closer than it turned out to be.

Much of the delay has been attributed to a half-million dollar federal grant – about a sixth of the project’s $3.9 million budget. Schwindeller said they have funds they can use to cover if the project costs go over? So why couldn’t those funds have been tapped instead of having a half-million-dollar grant hold things up? Walking away from half a million dollars would have been “a hard decision,” Williams said, while adding that there’s always a “learning curve” when they’re dealing with grants and their unique red-tape requirements … “we’re trying to learn from this.” Even once the grant was awarded, they said, a separate process was triggered, with “different accountabilities” and “different timing.”

The community advocate told the Parks managers (as did we) that communication was a major problem too – frequently getting different answers about what was holding up the project and when key milestones like bidding would happen. Williams apologized for that too, saying, “We can do better, we will do better.” In addition to online updates, Parks promised an accurate sign would go up at the site of the shuttered center. The project scope is summarized as “electrical repairs, water and sewer pipe replacements, furnace and water heater repairs, roof replacement, and more.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Schwindeller says, “Assuming we receive favorable bids, the subsequent steps require weeks to progress through contractor verification, insurance and bond requirements, contract execution and notice to proceed. We anticipate a construction start date in March 2024.” Meantime, the playground project at Hiawatha – separate from the “stabilization” work – is being redesigned because of stormwater concerns, and is expected to go to bid next spring and start construction in the summer.

ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: The project has indeed opened for bidding, posted here this morning. Here’s how the project is described:

Construct Interior improvements to existing Community Center including interior finishes, and accessibility improvements. Construct exterior improvements including re-grading and replacing existing sidewalks and ramps, repairs to exterior façade elements, roof replacement and electrical upgrades. Work includes staging, construction access, temporary power, sanitary and water connections to be maintained for the project duration. Protection of existing facilities to remain. Work also includes selective demolition and renovation of the existing community center building. Additive 1 – Electric Switchgear Replacement. Add. 2 – Roof Replacement, Rooftop Mechanical Unit Replacement, and Low Slope Roof Insulation. Add. 3 – Exterior Upgrades that includes window replacement (other than Storefront Openings), Gym Clerestories, and adding blown-in insulation.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Hit-run damage; ‘recycling’ package thief

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

HIT-RUN: This happened to Raymond‘s car north of The Junction:

My car was involved in a hit-and-run while it was parked overnight in front of my house on SW Dakota St. across from Holy Rosary playground. I found a mirror cover for a white early 2000s Acura TL on my windshield. I imagine their car sustained right front end damage and is now missing half of the mirror on the passenger side.

Police report # is 23-349497.

‘RECYCLING’ PACKAGE THIEF: Merrilee‘s porch camera caught this:

We had a package stolen from our porch (Monday). The thief pulled up in front of our house, posed as a delivery person, wearing an orange vest, and had a box. When they got to our porch they swapped an empty box for our package. The empty box they left was for a person a couple blocks away. It seems that they are recycling the stolen boxes and leaving them at the next house. We were home and didn’t realize we had a delivery.

Another Myers Way encampment cleared

(WSB photo, Wednesday)

For months, the operators of tiny-house village Camp Second Chance (9701 Myers Way; map) have tried to get city help clearing an unauthorized encampment just outside their gates. The area where the encampment was set up had originally been considered a parking area that was unofficially part of CSC, but at some point they were reportedly told it was city right-of-way and that they could not regulate or maintain it. So, over the months, people with tents and RVs set up there; three weeks ago, one of those RVs caught fire. Community groups that do volunteer work at CSC also voiced concerns about the outside-the-fence encampment making it difficult for them to safely access CSC. Finally this week the encampment was cleared (including what remained of the burned RV). CSC manager Joaquin Barnett with camp operator LIHI told the camp’s Community Advisory Committee, “Moving forward, all participants that have vehicles were given parking passes which indicated that are LIHI participants, these parking passes are noticable on the inside of their vehicles, on the front dash board behind the front window.” We didn’t hear about the operation until it was over, so we subsequently asked Lori Baxter, spokesperson for the city’s homelessness response, about what had been done:

On Tuesday, the City’s Unified Care Team (UCT) conducted an encampment resolution near Camp Second Chance along Myers Way. Five vehicles, including one burned-out RV and four abandoned vehicles, were impounded from the site, and crews removed approximately 10,000 pounds of debris.

Offers of shelter were made to five individuals who were living unsheltered at the site, resulting in three accepted referrals.

UCT coordinated with Camp Second Chance in advance of the site resolution regarding deployment of no-parking signs in front of the tiny house village site. Temporary parking restrictions in effect there from December 1 will remain in place through December 8. The Unified Care Team will continue monitoring this site in an effort to keep it clear of any re-encampments.

If you’re not familiar with the area, this is city property on the west side of Myers Way, south of the Joint Training Facility; the encampment cleared this past summer on mostly state-owned land was on the east side and further north. Camp Second Chance has more than 50 tiny houses and usually is sheltering ~70 people.

FYI: Parks and Recreation closures planned December 14

Seeing this sign today reminded us to remind you – Seattle Parks has announced a one-day closure of many facilities for Thursday, December 14, one week from today, for staff training. Some Parks facilities including the West Seattle Golf Course won’t be affected, as noted here.

Jokes at The Junction, Silent Book Club x 7, design review for 7617 35th SW, wine, music, more for your West Seattle Thursday

(Texted photo – backyard feeder with the tiny birds known as Bushtits)

A two-part list again today! First, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:

‘WINTER WANDER’ SCAVENGER HUNT: Alice Kuder‘s West Seattle scavenger hunt continues through Sunday (December 10th), and you can still register to participate! Go here to find out more and to sign up.

HOLIDAY ROOM PHOTOS Selfies (no Santa) in the Holiday Room (4210 SW Oregon) from 3 pm to 7 pm.

FIRST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH: No public West Seattle events tonight, but see the Holiday Guide list for what’s coming up.

CHIEF SEALTH CHOIR: 7 pm concert at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle).

‘SNOWED IN’: ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) presents its holiday production, described as a “a journey of song, dance, friendship, family, and the true meaning of the holidays.” 7:30 pm. Tickets are available here.

And from the year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

STEM BENEFIT BOOKFAIR: Shop at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW, open today until 6 pm), mention STEM, and part of your purchase will benefit students.

WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome to this weekly 1 pm gathering. Email for an update on where they’re playing today.

NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Tasting room and wine bar open 1-6 pm on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus (6000 16th SW).

THURSDAY FOOD-TRUCK POP-UP: 4-8 pm at Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW), NWTXBBQ will be visiting.

HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: Also at HP Corner Store, meet up at 6:30 pm for a 3-mile run!

VISCON CELLARS RELEASE PARTY: And one more special event tonight at HPCS – Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) is there to celebrate its newest wine release, 5-7:30 pm.

DESIGN REVIEW FOR 7617 35TH SW: This is the second review meeting for the proposed mixed-use building with ~130 apartments at 35th/Holden/Ida. Public comment is part of the 5 pm online meeting. Design packet and participation information are in our preview.

WESTIES RUN CLUB: Meet at Future Primitive Beer Bar (2536 Alki SW) at 6:30 pm for a 3-mile run – more in our calendar listing.

SILENT BOOK CLUB X 7: The regular gathering spans seven local venues tonight, some with special incentives – they’re all in our calendar listing. The (quiet) fun begins at 7 pm,

PIANO BAR: Music and fun at Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon), 7 pm.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Live/work in White Center or elsewhere in unincorporated North Highline? Your community council, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, meets online at 7 pm – our calendar listing has the agenda preview and link.

BLUES NIGHT: 7 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), every Thursday you can listen to the blues.

YOGA, BREATH WORK, GONG BATH, MORE: 7 pm at Move2Center (3618 SW Alaska), $35.

JOKES AT THE JUNCTION: 8 pm, Travis Sherer and auditioning comics do their best to make you laugh. Great American Diner and Bar (4752 California SW); tickets here!

We publish daily lists like this one every morning as reminders; you can look ahead any time, to any day, by scrolling through our full calendar and Holiday Guide!

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Open for new venues in the new year!

One week from tonight, businesses around the peninsula will be open to visitors for the holiday edition of the West Seattle Art Walk. The WSAW happens year-round, on second Thursdays, and is open right now to venues who want to sign up to participate next year – showing art, featuring artist receptions, and/or offering food/drink specials to Art Walk night visitors. If you’re a West Seattle business proprietor who might be interested in participating next quarter, you can sign up for just one quarter or for the entire year. Here’s the form (which contains more details on what participation entails).