WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Midday gunfire investigation

12:02 PM: Police are outside the Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool/Neighborhood Center building, investigating reports of gunfire involving people in two vehicles. No injuries are reported; police say witnesses reported the vehicles left the parking lot afterward, with at least one possibly seen northbound on 27th SW from SW Thistle. We’ve only caught one partial description, a “black sedan.” We’re checking on a report that nearby Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School are sheltering in place as a result. (Update: Confirmed.)

12:11 PM: Police have told dispatch they’ve found one shell casing “next to the community center.” The center is on the north side of a large lot that also is shared by Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (on its east side) and the city’s public COVID testing site (on its south side).

12:21 PM: Just talked with police at the scene (who are about to leave). The shell casing was found in the fire-lane area near the parking-lot gate.

12:25 PM: Police have just told dispatch it’s OK for the schools to end the shelter-in-place.

12:29 PM: Minutes later, police reported they found more casings “outside the community center.”

TERMINAL 5: Bigger ships on the way

(WSB photo, January 7)

Two and a half weeks after the first cargo-ship call at Terminal 5‘s modernized north berth, its schedule is starting to fill out. MSC Arica arrived early this morning. Its capacity is 8,886 TEUs – but ships with almost twice that capacity are on the way. While the schedule frequently changes, currently 5 more MSC ships are penciled in – Monterey (4,860 TEUs, making its second visit) next Monday (January 31st), then three big ships – Margrit (13,604 TEUs) on February 6th, Virgo (15,000 TEUs) on February 11th, and Camille (14,028 TEUs) on February 14th – followed by Lisbon (9,784 TEUs) on February 17th. The bigger ships are newer, which may mean they’re able to plug into the berth’s shore-power system. Also of note – while the north berth continues ramping up operations, construction continues on the south berth, which is expected to be complete around year’s end.

4 notes for your West Seattle Tuesday

(Eagle photographed at Jack Block Park by Carol Christian)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

DEMONSTRATION: 4:30-6 pm at 16th/Holden, organizer Scott leads the longrunning signwaving demonstration for racial justice. Signs available if you don’t have one.

GENESEE HILL KINDERGARTEN OPEN HOUSE: 7 pm online, prospective kindergarten families are invited to an open house for Genesee Hill Elementary – details in our calendar listing.

TRIVIA X 2: Two venues to play tonight – 7 pm at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW), 7:30 and 8:30 pm at The Lodge (4209 SW Alaska).

BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!

There’s more on our calendar – and if you have something to add for the future, email us the info at westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!


6:02 AM Good morning!


Foggy and cloudy again today, high in the 40s.


Metro is on a regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of trip cancellations.

West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi routes are on regular schedules.

Ferries: WSF continues a two-boat schedule on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. Check here for alerts/updates.


672nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge.

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras are still in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)

The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):

South Park Bridge:

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Are movable bridges opening for vessels? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed can tell you; 1st Ave. S. Bridge openings are also tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.

See all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also on this WSB page

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.

CORONAVIRUS: New Seattle Public Schools cases this week down a third from last week

Tonight Seattle Public Schools updated its COVID-19 case-numbers dashboard. Districtwide, the cumulative SPS case total for this school year is now 4,587, 997 more than a week earlier – which is two-thirds the size of last week’s increase. Here’s the local school-by-school breakout (as always, these totals also are cumulative):

Chief Sealth International High School – 102, up 25
Madison Middle School – 73, up 22
Arbor Heights Elementary – 60, up 20
Fairmount Park Elementary – 55, up 28
West Seattle High School – 53, up 9
West Seattle Elementary – 52, up 9
Louisa Boren STEM K-8 – 48, up 16
Denny International Middle School – 48, up 8
Highland Park Elementary – 46, up 31
Concord International (Elementary) – 41, up 13
Genesee Hill Elementary – 39, up 8
Sanislo Elementary – 39, up 3
Roxhill Elementary – 36, up 8
Lafayette Elementary – 31, up 11
Gatewood Elementary – 31, up 6
Pathfinder K-8 – 31, unchanged
Alki Elementary – 29, up 6
BRIDGES @ Roxhill – 2, unchanged

Denny IMS (2601 SW Kenyon) continues to serve as a regional testing site for SPS students, families, and staff, 4-8 pm weekdays.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: When it reopens – how best to celebrate?

(WSB photo, January 8th)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two months short of two years since the West Seattle Bridge closed, no date is set yet for its reopening, aside from “mid-2022.” SDOT‘s contract with the company fixing it, Kraemer North America, says they’re supposed to finish their work no later than June 30th. Testing will follow. And at some point around the reopening, a community celebration is expected (as we first noted in October). What kind of celebration? That’s up to the community – so a brainstorming session today officially kicked off the planning.

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and Junction Association convened a call with dozens of neighborhood advocates and businesspeople to invite ideas and to solicit volunteers for planning committees. The many ideas ran largely along two paths – celebrating the bridge itself, and welcoming visitors back to the peninsula. Celebrating the community members who’ve endured bridgelessness for two years should also be a goal, it was suggested. One big event? Multiple events? Merge the celebration with already-planned events like West Seattle Summer Fest, which is expected to return July 15-17, or the West Seattle Grand Parade, also likely to return this summer? Celebration on the bridge? Somewhere else, like a park or stadium or street? This was a “no bad ideas” type of conversation, so every suggestion and question was duly noted.

The executive directors of the WSCC and WSJA, Whitney Moore and Chris Mackay, said they’d had some preliminary conversations with SDOT, describing the department as “open” to possibilities, but with one big stipulation, which SDOT itself noted in October: The actual bridge reopening can’t be delayed in any way. If a celebration is planned on the bridge for a certain Sunday, for example, and the bridge is deemed ready to go on the preceding Friday, sorry, the bridge won’t wait, the WSCC and WSJA leaders say they were told. So that is a factor to consider. The only thing they said SDOT could say for sure in terms of a timeline is the same thing the city said in October – that they’ll know one month in advance.

P.S. Wondering if money is budgeted for a celebration? The WSCC and WSJA said no. (We are checking with SDOT to see if that goes for the city too.) So that could mean sponsors will be sought to cover any costs. That’s another reason why volunteer help is being sought now. If you’re interested in helping, contact WSJA or WSCC.

New Fairmount Park play structure might finally open next week

(WSB photo)

We’ve received questions about when the new play structure between Fairmount Park Elementary and Fairmount Playfield is going to open – it’s remained fenced off, three months after installation. The most recent project-website update blamed the concrete strike for recent delays and suggested it’ll be open next month. We followed up directly with Seattle Parks today and spokesperson Karen O’Connor tells WSB the main delay now is the material they need to put under the structure:

We were hoping to open this week, but we are awaiting delivery of the engineered wood fiber (EWF) needed for fall attenuation. In addition to the unexpected concrete strike, we have been challenged by long lead times to have EWF delivered due to labor and material shortages.

We were alerted this AM that the full amount of EWF will not be delivered tomorrow as planned. The project landscape architect is working with our vendor to see if we can schedule additional deliveries this week. After delivery we need to have the final inspection and then can remove the construction fencing. We are hoping to open the play area open early next week.

This is almost two years behind the original schedule detailed on the Parks sign that’s still up at the project site. Planning began in 2019.

Remembering Charlie Nickels, 1995-2021

A remembrance from the family of Charlie Nickels:

Charlie Nickels

May 22, 1995-January 22, 2021

The more one is loved, the more they are missed. Charlie, you are missed beyond measure.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Checking in on West Seattle Ezell’s

(WSB photo, last month)

Three and a half weeks have passed since the “sneak peek” day at the future Ezell’s Famous Chicken location in Morgan Junction, but it still hasn’t opened. “Late January” was the likely timeframe mentioned then, so since that’s arrived, we asked the company for a status. Reply: “At this point, our timeline has shifted and early-mid February is our new target.” So in case you were wondering too, now you know. We first reported a year ago that the regional fried-chicken chain was headed this way.

P.S. As listed on our West Seattle Jobs Offered page, they’re still hiring.

THEATER: ‘Monsters of the American Cinema’ opens this week at ArtsWest Playhouse in The Junction

(L-R, Alexander Kilian and Lamar Legend – photo by John McLellan)

Wednesday night is your first chance to see the next production at ArtsWest Playhouse (WSB sponsor), the world premiere of “Monsters of the American Cinema” by award-winning playwright Christian St. Croix. That’s your chance to see a 7:30 pm discount-ticket preview; then Thursday is the official opening night. Here’s the synopsis:

When his husband dies, Remy Washington, a Black man, finds himself both the owner of a drive-in movie theater and a caregiver to his late husband’s straight, white teenage son, Pup. United by their love of classic American monster movies, the two have developed a warm and caring familial chemistry – but their relationship fractures when Remy discovers Pup and his friends have been bullying a gay teen at his school. “Monsters of the American Cinema” is a haunting and humorous tale about fathers and sons, ghosts and monsters.

Lamar Legend stars as Remy and also directs the play. Legend is from Seattle, as is co-star Alexander Kilian, who plays Pup. The official run of “Monsters of the American Cinema” is Thursday (January 27th) through February 20th; after the preview, regular performances will be at 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 3 pm Sundays. As with ArtsWest’s first play of the season, there will be an opportunity to see it online, too. Tickets are available online here or by phone at 206-938-0339.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Business burglary; street robbery

Two reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon:

WEST BAY BREAK-IN: Just as West Bay Coffee and Smoothies worked to recover from weather damage, with community help, they got hit by crime. The image and report were sent by proprietor Jennifer West:

After all the trouble with our year starting out, the new storage shed that we got funded by the community lasted 3 hours and is already been broken into. Here’s the burglar vehicle, no plates.

We’ll add the incident number when we get it.

STREET ROBBERY: From weekend SPD summaries – a sale arranged online led to a holdup in person. Police say they were called to Delridge/Edmunds just after 9 pm Saturday. The victim told them he had arranged via Facebook Marketplace to buy a phone from someone. The person who showed up “brandished a silver handgun and stole victim’s cell phone and wallet,” then took off on foot, southbound. The summary does not include a description.

WATER TAXI ALERT: Mechanical trouble

The King County Water Taxi‘s 1:00 pm run to downtown from Seacrest Park is running up to 20 minutes late, according to Metro: “Vessel Captain and crew had to switch vessels due to unexpected issue with a generator.” We’ll update if that leads to any additional problems later in the day.

FOLLOWUP: Future of former church in Upper Fauntleroy

Two months ago, we reported on the then-pending sale of West Seattle’s last freestanding Christian Science church, at 3601 SW Barton [map]. There was no hint at the time of who was buying it and what the one-acre site’s future would be; it was being marketed with possibilities including eight new homes. The sale still hasn’t shown up in county records but a new filing with the city proposes a use for the site – a preschool. WorldKids School, which already has two locations in West Seattle and others elsewhere, has filed an early-stage site plan that would convert the church building into a preschool. The site plan also shows a playground at the northeast corner of the site. We have an inquiry out to WorldKids seeking more information about their plan. As for the former church, a regional spokesperson for the denomination told us that the small group that had continued to meet at the site was disbanding. This wouldn’t be the first former West Seattle church converted into a preschool – we reported last year on Westside School (WSB sponsor) doing the same thing with the former New Apostolic Church adjacent to its Arbor Heights campus.

5 notes for the rest of your West Seattle Monday

(Lincoln Park – photo by Theresa Arbow O’Connor)

Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:

NODE MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS CLASSES BEGIN: As previewed here – you can check with MMPA (nonprofit sibling of WSB sponsor Mode Music Studios) to see if there are still openings.

CITY COUNCIL BRIEFING: On their new schedule, the council’s weekly “briefing meeting” is at 2 pm Mondays, with their regular business meeting at 2 pm Tuesdays. Watch live at seattlechannel.org.

COVID TESTING AT DENNY IMS: 4-8 pm weekdays, Seattle Public Schools students, staff, and families are welcome at this walk-in testing site. In the cafeteria (2601 SW Kenyon).

FREE POWER YOGA/PILATES CLASS: 5 pm at Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW), ages 16 and up welcome.

TRIVIA X 3: Here are tonight’s three options – 7 pm at Best of Hands (35th/Webster), 7 pm at The Good Society (California/Lander), 7:30 pm at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW)


6:03 AM Good morning!


Foggy, cloudy, cool, high in the 40s.


Metro is on a regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of trip cancellations.

West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi routes are on regular schedules.

Ferries: WSF continues a two-boat schedule on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. Check here for alerts/updates.


671st morning without the West Seattle Bridge.

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras are still in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)

The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):

South Park Bridge:

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Are movable bridges opening for vessels? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed can tell you; 1st Ave. S. Bridge openings are also tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.

See all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also on this WSB page

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.


Four short reader reports tonight:

STOLEN CAR: Missy lives in Arbor Heights. Her car was stolen on Capitol Hill. In case it winds up here – or you see it off-peninsula – here’s what to watch for:

It’s a white Chevy Sonic, flat black rims, plate #BUE0342, stolen Friday night. Call 911 if you see it.

PACKAGE TAKEN: The security-camera image and report were sent by Charles:

This morning at 9:48 this lady stole a package from our front door in the Admiral District; please advise neighbors to be on the lookout.

TENNIS-COURT DAMAGE: The photo and report were sent by Brian:

The net on one of the (Lincoln Park) courts was recently cut out. I played yesterday 1/22/22 and noticed the damage.

Note that if you see damage, whether vandalism or not, at a city park facility, you can report it at 206-684-7250.

DRIVE-BY VANDALISM: A reader sent this early today: “Some teens are going around West Seattle egging houses. They are driving an old silver Ford Explorer.” Yes, that’s vandalism, as we’ve discussed here over the years – it can cause damage that you can’t just clean off, for one.

Parks and police both short on people, Alki Community Council told

Staffing shortages at two city-government agencies were part of what the Alki Community Council heard about at its January meeting, held in-person and online this past Thursday night:

TENDING TO PARKS: The ACC has had a longstanding collaboration with Seattle Parks, including stewardship of Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, which was a community-created/-funded project in the 00s. This area’s longtime crew chief Carol Baker recently retired, and the acting crew chief was a guest Thursday night.

Read More

NEXT WEEKEND: Nighttime low-tide beach walk at Constellation Park

(December photo by James Tilley)

They did it in December, and Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists are returning for another nighttime low-tide beach walk at Constellation Park south of Alki Point. They’ll be at the beach next Saturday (January 29th), 7-9 pm. The tide won’t be out quite as far it was during the December beach walk, but far enough for (careful) exploration: -2.4 feet at 8:39 pm. No need to pre-register – just show up.

WEST SEATTLE BIRDS: From bay to branches

Thanks to everyone who’s sent photos enabling us to publish another Sunday bird gallery! Above, Stewart L. spotted a flotilla of waterfowl in Elliott Bay. Below, Tom Tulin caught a lone duck ready to take the plunge at Lincoln Park:

Matthew Olson photographed a Belted Kingfisher keeping a lookout onshore:

Moving inland, two Northern Flickers, courtesy of Chi K Photography:

From Trileigh Tucker, a Townsend’s Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler:

Three divergent perspectives of Anna’s Hummingbirds feeding – photographed by Bandit, sipping from rosemary:

Jon Anderson, with an aerial view:

And Jerry Simmons, in silhouette:

Theresa Arbow-O’Connor‘s resident Steller’s Jay struck a pose:

And we conclude with an honorary guest, though photographed outside West Seattle, in Seward ParkBette Horishige is a fan of the bird galleries and sent in this Pileated Woodpecker

We appreciate all the photos, from birds to breaking news and beyond – westseattleblog@gmail.com is the best way to send something non-urgent – thank you!

PREVIEW: HPAC’s first 2022 meeting on Wednesday

For the first time in three months, HPAC – the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – will gather (virtually) this Wednesday. The agenda includes two topics of perennial concern for every neighborhood – crime and traffic. SPD will be there for trends and Q&A about the former; SDOT will be there to talk about Flip Your Trip, which the department says is now up to 5,000 signups from people trying commute alternatives. All are welcome to the online meeting at 7 pm Wednesday (January 26th) – connection/call-in information is on the HPAC website. (Here’s our coverage of the previous HPAC meeting back in October.)

UPDATE: Seattle Fire ‘full response’ in 3700 block of California SW – quickly downsized

1:54 PM: Seattle Fire is arriving at a “full response” callout (updated) at a building at 3703 California SW. Updates to come.

1:56 PM: They’re sending a second alarm. Dispatchers told firefighters there had been reports of possible fire-setting related to a domestic-violence incident, and they’re sending an arson investigator.

2 PM: Northbound California is blocked at Charlestown.They’re now canceling the investigator, telling dispatch “there was no fire.” Most of the response has been canceled. We’re still heading that way to see if we can find out more at the scene. Only two units are remaining on scene.

2:15 PM: At the scene, the incident commmander confirms there was no fire, but somebody “pulled the fire alarm.” Peopl who were briefly evacuated from the building have been allowed back inside, and SFD is leaving.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Twice-burglarized business crowdfunding for more security

That’s video from a burglary right before Christmas at Mystery Made in The Junction. As we reported at the time, that was the second time in less than two years that the independent shop has been hit; the first was a few months before Mystery Made moved to The Junction from Admiral. Local real-estate broker Mara Haveson, a friend of proprietor Cory Cote, emailed today to say she has organized a crowdfunding campaign, explaining, “He is struggling with the repairs needed to make his shop safer and can use a little help from the community.” If you’re interested in helping, here’s how.

WEST SEATTLE SCHOOLS: Online open houses/tours continue

Winter is time to look ahead to next fall, for many families with students. Many schools are continuing online open houses and tours. Our calendar has some of them – we just got word, for example, that West Seattle’s most populous elementary, Genesee Hill, has an event Tuesday for prospective kindergarten families:

Do you have a child who will be 5 years old by August 31st and entering Kindergarten this Fall? Genesee Hill Elementary will be hosting a Virtual Open House on Tuesday, January 25th at 7:00 PM. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the administrative staff and learn about the school program. We will be re-hosting again on February 10th for those of you who are unable to join us this Tuesday. You can find more information about Genesee Hill and access the Zoom tour link on the website geneseehilles.seattleschools.org . For more information about enrolling your child in Seattle Public Schools, visit seattleschools.org/news/new-student-enrollment

For other Seattle Public Schools tours/open houses, see the list on that same district webpage. Our calendar, meantime, also has an announcement we’ve received for this week from Lafayette Elementary. If your school – public or independent – wants to spotlight theirs, please email information to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!