AUTUMN’S ARRIVAL: 2021 fall-equinox sunset watch with Alice Enevoldsen

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

Yes, tonight’s edition of season-change sunset watch with Alice Enevoldsen at West Seattle’s Solstice Park did indeed feature the sunset, appearing after a mostly gray afternoon. It also drew ~20 attendees:

Alice’s safety precautions included distancing markers – even this red beanbag on the park stone that shows the equinox alignment of the sunset:

As usual, Alice explained what actually happens at the equinox movement, and discussed recent space developments too, including the recent groundbreaking SpaceX flight:

Next sunset watch will be on winter-solstice day, December 21st, 3:45 pm.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen inflatable paddleboard

One reader report, from Melissa: “My car was broken into 9/21 in the evening or early morning sometime on SW Orleans Street, behind Luna Park Café. My inflatable paddleboard was stolen. It is a Body Glove paddleboard.” If you see one dumped somewhere, let us know and we’ll connect you.

WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Caution, otters crossing

That’s a River Otter on the beach at Lincoln Park; Linda Rackner sent us the photo earlier this month. Another reader email brings the sad reminder that you have to watch for these creatures inland as well as on the beach or in the water: Mary and Mike emailed earlier this week to report, “On returning from a walk at Lincoln Park, we saw a car heading north swerve and an otter wiggling out the other side. We stopped, called Seal Sitters, and they said Animal Control was the proper entity to call. So they were called. We presume the otter was dead as it no longer moved. A parking patrol made sure Animal Control was coming. Maybe we need an Otter Crossing Sign for Fauntleroy. Sad to see an otter killed, and there was a cat immediately interested.” They say this happened just south of the south entrance to the south Lincoln Park parking lot. Otters cross roads to get to inland dens – they’ve been seen well away from the water.

WHALES: Orcas off West Seattle

(Added: Photo tweeted by Robin L, when orcas ventured into Elliott Bay)

2:24 PM: Thanks to Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail for the tip – orcas are reported off Lincoln Park, headed north. Let us know if you see them!

2:38 PM: Kersti Muul texted to say they’re transients, closer to this side of the Sound.

2:41 PM: Donna says in a comment below that it’s a group of four whales.

2:54 PM: Kersti says they’re now off Alki, spotted in the 2100 block.

3:19 PM: Update from Kersti – two groups, two females and a calf off the downtown waterfront, “second group now coming into the bay … at Duwamish Head.”

FRIDAY: Duwamish River rally to show concern about plans to change the cleanup

(WSB photo: August vessel traffic on the Duwamish River)

The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition wants to call attention to ongoing challenges to the river’s health as well as proposed changes in the ongoing cleanup, so it’s inviting you to a rally/walk by the river on Friday.

We are deeply concerned for the health of the Duwamish Valley communities as a result of proposed changes to how EPA and members of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group intend to clean up our Duwamish River. WITHOUT community consultation, EPA and these responsible parties recently proposed three changes to our river cleanup that increase toxic exposures and health risks to our community and undermine our hard-won river cleanup, which violates EPA’s and Ecology’s environmental justice policies, ignores our local governments’ stated commitments to equity, and threatens to further exacerbate pronounced health disparities that have been documented in our communities. The Duwamish River must be recovered to standards that support our community and fishing for future generations. We demand health justice, especially for community members who have been historically marginalized, silenced, and disproportionately burdened with the legacy pollutants that have given rise to this cleanup.

There’s more info here about what the DRCC calls the “triple threat.” The rally/walk is set for Friday (September 24th), starting at 5 pm, at South Park Plaza (14th Avenue S./Dallas Ave. S.; here’s a map). All ages welcome.

DEVELOPMENT: Preview proposal for new Golden Tee at 3201 SW Avalon Way, before Southwest Design Review Board meeting

That’s the “packet” from Public47 Architects for tomorrow night’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting about the proposal for a new building to replace the Golden Tee Apartments – keeping the name – at 3201 SW Avalon Way [map]. From the packet, here’s the overview:

The proposed 8-story, mixed use project seeks to achieve the following development objectives:

• Provide approx 144 residential apartment units
• Parking for 70-80 vehicles
• Provide +/- 3500 SF of street-level commercial space
• Foster pedestrian friendly sidewalk experience
• LEED Gold construction standard

The review meeting is online, at 5 pm Thursday, and includes an opportunity for public comment on the proposed design, Information for videoconferencing or calling in is on the city website. This could be the final Design Review meeting for this project; the site has been upzoned to 80′ maximum, leading to project revisions, since its first review meeting three years ago.

FOLLOWUP: Westwood Village post office’s drive-up/ride-up mailbox is back

We’ll admit, we don’t know when this mailbox reappeared – given that previous absences had lasted for months, we weren’t checking regularly. But just in case you hadn’t already noticed, the Westwood Village post office’s drive-up/ride-up mailbox is back, We reported August 29th that it was damaged and taped off; within a few days, it was removed. (The USPS never did respond to our questions about damage cause and repair plans.) Meantime, another mailbox mystery remains – we subsequently checked on the 63rd/Hinds streetcorner mailbox, which also disappeared recently; as of this morning, it hasn’t been replaced.

WEST SEATTLE WEDNESDAY: Change-of-seasons day

So long, summer! Autumn arrives at 12:21 pm. Thanks to Paul Weatherman for the sunrise photo above, and Don Brubeck for the view this morning in the other direction:

Here are highlights for the hours ahead:

TASTE OF WEST SEATTLE: Today is the third day of the weeklong dine-out benefit for the West Seattle Food Bank. 27 food/drink establishments are participating – some by donating a percentage of proceeds, some with specific menu items. The venue list and other info – be sure to get your “passport” if you haven’t already! – can be found here.

VACCINATION CLINIC: 1-6 pm, get vaccinated against COVID-19 at the White Center Library (1409 SW 107th).

BEER EVENT: Fresh Hop Week continues at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), 4-10 pm.

WINE EVENT: “Exploring San Gimignano with Owen Kotler Selections” at Molly’s Bottle Shop (3278 California SW), 5-7 pm – details here.

AUTUMN EQUINOX SUNSET WATCH: Whether it’s cloudy or clear, join Alice Enevoldsen at Solstice Park (uphill from the tennis courts at 7400 Fauntleroy Way SW) at 6:30 pm for a masked/distanced sunset watch to welcome fall – details here.

HPAC: The community council for Highland Park, South Delridge, and Riverview meets online at 7 pm, with traffic and crime among the topics. Attendance info and agenda details are here.

TRAFFIC, WEATHER, ROAD WORK, TRANSIT: Wednesday notes

6:02 AM: Good morning! Cloudy forecast today, with fall arriving at 12:21 pm.

ROAD WORK

26th SW & beyond – Northbound 26th SW remains closed between Roxbury and Barton’ King County expects the closure to shift to the southbound side within a few weeks.

25th SW & Barton – 25th is closed on the south side of this intersection – details here.

Delridge projectMajor work is done, but “punch list” tasks contnue.

TRANSIT

Buses are on regular schedules today – except for the rerouting in RapidRise H Line work zones. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of canceled trips.

For ferries and water taxis, regular schedule today, but note that the Spirit of Kingston has replaced Doc Maynard on the West Seatte Water Taxi Run until further notice. Watch @wsferries for ferry updates.

BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES

547th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are views of other bridges and routes:

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain 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.)

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden – The camera’s back, now pointed west:

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

The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):

For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:

Are draw/swing bridges opening for boats or barges? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed will tell you. (1st Ave. South Bridge openings also are tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.)

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

Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Bridge Park break-in suspect charged

Last night we reported on the arrest of a man suspected of breaking into apartments at the Bridge Park senior-living complex in High Point early Saturday while the residents were home. Today, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged 35-year-old Abdulrizak I. Yusuf — a convicted sex offender – with two counts of residential burglary. The charging documents say Yusuf has an extensive criminal history listed as including:

… convictions for Theft 3rd Degree (2013, 2015, 2019), Theft (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018), Crim Trespass 2nd Degree (2014, 2015), Residential Burglary (2014), Att Residential Burglary/Indecent Exposure with Sexual Motivation (2017), Theft 1st Degree (2017), Theft 1st Degree/Att Robbery 2nd Degree (2017), Crim Trespass 1st Degree (2019), Vehicle Prowling 2nd Degree (2019), Assault 4th Degree/False Statement/Theft 3rd Degree (2019), and Voyeurism 1st Degree (2019).

The voyeurism conviction, actually in 2020, put him in the sex-offender database, from which we obtained the photo at right; he is listed as having failed to register. In the new burglary case, the charging documents say Yusuf broke glass to get into one apartment where a husband and wife were sleeping. She screamed at him to leave; her husband escorted him out the front door into the hallway. There, police say, Yusuf tried doors and found one unlocked, entering that apartment. When police arrived and knocked on that door, the resident – a woman who uses a wheelchair – yelled through it, “There’s a strange man in my apartment! Get him out, please!” They forced their way into the door, which the suspect had locked behind himself, and took him into custody. No injuries were reported. Yusuf remains in jail, bail set at $25,000. The jail register indicates he had been held for investigation of burglary just last week, arrested September 13th and released two days later; the jail roster format changed recently so it’s not clear why he was released, but we’ll be following up.

MEMORIAL: October 16th set for gathering to celebrate Adah Cruzen’s life

In June, family, friends, and community members mourned 96-year-old West Seattle philanthropist Adah June Cruzen. Now the date has been set for her memorial. According to trustee Sharon Siva, the gathering in memory of Ms. Cruzen is planned for 11 am Saturday, October 16th, at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW). A reception will follow, across the street at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW) until 3 pm. Masks will be required.

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Dream Dinners’ outdoor open house

From today’s preview list – the Dream Dinners West Seattle (WSB sponsor) outdoor open house is happening until 8 pm at 4701 41st SW! The free bites available when we stopped by included arroz con pollo and M&M cookies. If you get there before 7 pm, you can enter a prize drawing. Proprietors Meghan and Mark Hogan are fundraising for Treehouse, which helps foster kids.

Here’s how to join DDWS in helping Treehouse:

1) DONATE TO OUR TREEHOUSE FUNDRAISING PAGE

2. PURCHASE DREAM DINNERS – FOR SCHOOL SUPPLIES & MUCH MORE

We are offering 3 medium Family-Size meals in which each meal serves 2-3 people for $50. We will give back $10 to Treehouse to purchase more essential school supplies, school clothes, extra-curricular supplies for art, sports, musical instruments, acting, bikes and more.

PLEASE SELECT A DINNER PICK-UP DATE & TIME:

Click the link to sign up & select your 3 family-size meals.
We request 24-hour advance notice to prepare meals. Please sign up before dates below.

Thursday, September 23rd from 6:30 pm-7:30 pm dreamdinners.com/session/899385
Friday, September 24th from 12 pm -1 pm dreamdinners.com/session/899386
Saturday, September 25th from 10:30 am -11:30 am https://dreamdinners.com/session/899387

WHALES: Transient orcas visible from West Seattle

Up for evening whale-watching from West Seattle’s west-facing shore? Kersti Muul reports that transient orcas that spent some time in Elliott Bay earlier are now south of Blake Island, on the west side of the Sound, so you’ll need binoculars. Let us know if you see them!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen silver Murano to watch for; plus, what happened before stolen pickup’s embankment crash

First, a new auto-theft report:

STOLEN SILVER MURANO: Nick reports, “My car that was stolen last night. Stolen from my driveway near 9th and SW Trenton, probably in the early am of this morning (9/21/21). 2009 Nissan Murano, silver, license # BYG3108.” Call 911 if you see it.

Second, a followup on last weekend’s highest-profile vehicle-theft case:

(Saturday night photo by Christopher Boffoli)

WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE STOLEN PICKUP CRASHED: Saturday night, we reported on the emergency response after what turned out to be a stolen pickup was found crashed and abandoned on the embankment along California Way downhill from Hamilton Viewpoint. Today we got the report narrative from SPD explaining where and when it was stolen. The report says it was taken about an hour before the crash, from a nightclub on South Washington Street downtown. The victim was working at the club and had left his keys in the pickup. He heard it start – and heard “his music playing” – so he went outside and saw it being driven away. The victim also had left his phone inside the pickup and tracked it to West Seattle, where he told police he spotted the truck at the California/Admiral gas station. The driver did not get out of the pickup, apparently noticing he was being followed. The victim reported losing sight of the pickup in the 2300 block of California SW, going about 50 mph – and then it crashed. The report does not say whether police were notified before the crash.

School-bus crash at 35th/Avalon, no injuries reported

A school bus from the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences (an independent middle/high school on Capitol Hill) is blocking the outside westbound lane of SW Avalon just east of 35th SW after what police say was a minor collision with another vehicle. No injuries reported, we were told at the scene; they’re waiting for another bus to pick up the students who were on board when it happened.

WATER TAXI ALERT: More vessel trouble

4:03 PM: One day after the Spirit of Kingston took over the West Seattle Water Taxi run because the Doc Maynard needs repairs, it’s experiencing trouble. According to an alert from Metro, the Spirit of Kingston “has had some debris get lodged into one of its four jet engines. The vessel is still in service; however, we are expecting delays this evening.”

4:49 PM: We asked Water Taxi spokesperson Al Sanders for details on the “debris”; he says they suspect “it was a mooring line.”

HELLO, FALL: Autumn-equinox sunset watch with Alice Enevoldsen on Wednesday

(WSB photo from last pre-pandemic autumn-equinox watch)

As noted earlier, this is the final full day of summer 2021 – fall arrives at 12:21 pm tomorrow, and that means tomorrow night brings another of skywatcher/educator Alice Enevoldsen‘s quarterly change-of-seasons sunset watch in West Seattle. If you are interested in a fun, educational way to mark the arrival of autumn, this is it – masked and distanced. Be at Solstice Park – uphill from the tennis courts at 7400 Fauntleroy Way SW – at 6:30 pm.

CORONAVIRUS: Mayor extends city moratorium on evictions, utility shutoffs into next year

Just announced by the city:

As federal funds for rental assistance continue to be distributed, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced today that she is extending the moratoriums for residential and commercial evictions through January 15, 2022 through Executive Order 2021-07. The order will also modify additional COVID-related relief measures related to utility assistance. This marks the sixth extension of the eviction moratorium as part of the COVID-19 civil emergency since March 14, 2020, when Seattle declared one of the first eviction moratoriums in the country. As reported by SCC Insight, Magistrate Judge Richard Creatura found the city and state eviction moratoriums to be constitutional in a recommendation on September 15, 2021, to Judge Richard Jones. …

The executive order continues tenant protections prohibiting landlords from issuing notices of termination or otherwise initiating eviction actions with the courts unless there is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community. Late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment of rent during the moratorium are not allowed. However, tenants are still legally obligated to pay rent during the moratorium, and landlords are encouraged to offer flexible payment plans. Residential tenants who receive an eviction notice during the moratorium should contact the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206‐684‐5700.

The moratorium on eviction of nonprofit and small business commercial tenant applies to independently-owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer per establishment, state nonprofits, and 501(c)3) nonprofits. The extension also prevents eligible small businesses and nonprofits from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment during the moratorium. For additional questions please see the Office of Economic Development’s COVID-19 Lease Amendment Tool Kit.

Currently, upon expiration, Ordinance 126075 will take effect, providing additional tenant protections including the start of a six-month period in which a renter may claim a defense against eviction for non-payment of rent if they can demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19. This timeline protects tenants from evictions for non/late payments through mid-June 2022.

The executive order also extends certain suspensions put in place to limit the economic impact of the pandemic on Seattle residents and small businesses. The Utility Discount Program’s Self-Certification Pilot Program, as announced in Executive Order 2020-03, will be extended through October 31, 2021. Mayor Durkan has also directed utilities to refrain from shutting off service to customers through January 15, 2022. Temporary parking zones for hospital and human services staff, as announced on March 26, 2020, will be resumed and be extended through January 15, 2022. The City continues to assess when to lift these individual suspensions as it relates to the COVID-19 emergency.

WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Owl attacks runner

Early-morning runners, beware. Here’s what happened to Bill, and he’s not the first:

I was attacked by an owl this morning on my run in North Admiral around 5:50am. This happened at the intersection of SW Atlantic St and Sunset Ave SW [map] and the owl followed me for several blocks diving at me trying to attack. It took my hat and scratched up the back of my head. I was able to prevent further injury by walking away backwards, yelling and waving my arms. My research says this can happen around this time of year. Runners in this area should be aware!

The state Fish and Wildlife Department fact sheet about owls notes, “Most aggressive behavior from owls (barred owls and great horned owls are the most often reported) is motivated by defense of their territory or young, or their search for handouts.” (Around here, it’s usually Barred Owls.)

WEST SEATTLE TUESDAY: Last full day of summer!

(This morning’s moonset, photographed by James Bratsanos)

Fall officially arrives at 12:21 pm Wednesday – so today is the final full day of summer. Here’s what’s planned for the hours ahead, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

(This morning’s moonset, photographed by Marc Milrod)

TASTE OF WEST SEATTLE: Today is the second day of the weeklong dine-out benefit for the West Seattle Food Bank. 27 food/drink establishments are participating – some by donating a percentage of proceeds, some with specific menu items. The venue list and other info – be sure to get your “passport” first time you participate this week! – can be found here.

DEMONSTRATION: The weekly announcement from organizer Scott:

Black Lives Matter sign-waving

4:30 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden

Come build awareness & stimulate actions to tear down the systems that have oppressed Black lives for over 400 years on this continent. Hold signs, meet neighbors and stand for racial justice. Scott at Puget Ridge Cohousing, endorsed by Hate-Free Delridge. Signs available.

OUTDOOR OPEN HOUSE: Celebrate the last evening of summer with the Dream Dinners West Seattle (WSB sponsor) outdoor open house (out front at 4701 41st SW), 6-8 pm, bites, tunes, prizes, as previewed here – benefiting the foster kids who are helped by Treehouse.

LIVE MUSIC: 6 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way)

SCHOOL LEVY MEETING: Seattle Public Schools plans the first of two community meetings online at 6:30 pm to talk about two replacement levies that you’ll vote on in February. The meeting link is on this page.

CHIEF SEALTH INTERNATIONAL HS PTSA: First general meeting of the school year, online at 7 pm. The attendance link is in our calendar listing.

TRIVIA & TACOS: 7 pm Tuesdays at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW; WSB sponsor).

BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: 8 pm Tuesdays at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), play bingo free with Cookie Couture.

Magic in the morning! Senior Center of West Seattle to celebrate 50th anniversary

The Senior Center of West Seattle invites you to be part of its annual fundraising breakfast – online again this year – and enjoy some morning magic. Just one week away – 8 am Tuesday, September 28th – here’s the announcement:

You are invited to join the Senior Center of West Seattle, as we celebrate 50 years of services to the West Seattle community.

To protect your safety, we’ve made the decision to hold our event virtually again this year, given the increasing rates of the Delta variant of COVID-19. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a great time celebrating our community’s seniors!

Our program will feature world-renowned Magician Nash Fung. (You can get a sneak preview of his tricks here.) Plus, we’ll look back on 50 years of history serving seniors in the West Seattle community and share how you can help us shape the future of the Senior Center.

Join us from anywhere in the world for this fun virtual event, by yourself or safely gathered with friends and neighbors. You can also make an early donation to help us reach our goal of raising $100,000 by the end of September. If you make a gift of $250 or more before the event you’ll get a delicious breakfast delivered to your door to enjoy that morning.

Register online: Reserve your free tickets here.

As you know, the Senior Center is a vitally important community asset that promotes mental, emotional and physical health as we age. Your support ensures the programs, services and critical outreach seniors are counting on continues in the coming year.

You are part of helping our community stay connected during these turbulent times.

Though this event is virtual, the Senior Center is open again for some services and events – it’s at 4217 SW Oregon in The Junction.

TRAFFIC, WEATHER, ROAD WORK, TRANSIT: Tuesday notes

6:03 AM: Good morning! Sunny today, maybe even 70s.

ROAD WORK

26th SW & beyond – Northbound 26th SW remains closed between Roxbury and Barton, and King County says the closure is expected to shift to the southbound side within a few weeks.

25th SW & Barton – New closure: 25th is closed on the south side of this intersection – details here.

Delridge projectWinding down.

TRANSIT

Buses are on regular schedules today – except for the rerouting in RapidRise H Line work zones. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of canceled trips.

For ferries and water taxis, regular schedule today, but note that the Spirit of Kingston has replaced Doc Maynard on the West Seatte Water Taxi Run until further notice. Watch @wsferries for ferry updates.

BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES

546th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are views of other bridges and routes:

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain 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.)

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden – The camera’s back, now pointed west:

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

The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):

For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:

Are draw/swing bridges opening for boats or barges? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed will tell you. (1st Ave. South Bridge openings also are tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.)

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

Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Apartment burglary; car prowls; vandal on wheels

Three incidents in West Seattle Crime Watch:

APARTMENT BURGLARY: This happened at the Bridge Park senior-living apartment complex in High Point early Saturday. We tried to get the full report from SPD today but so far have only the brief summary, which says:

On 09-18-2021 at 0056 hours, officers responded to a retirement home regarding a suspect who broke into an occupied bedroom window. On arrival, officers learned that the suspect shattered an exterior window and gained access to the victim’s bedroom. The suspect then fled out the front door after being confronted and into the interior of the building. The suspect attempted to gain access to more occupied rooms as he moved down the hallway, until he was able to gain access to another occupied room. Officers, who were actively searching for the suspect, heard the victim calling for help inside. Officers were able to gain access to the room and the suspect was taken into custody and booked into King County Jail for investigation of burglary. There were no injuries to any victims.

CAR PROWLS: Matt‘s street got hit by two rounds of car prowls last Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and he put together a narrated video with security-camera footage – see it here.

VANDAL ON WHEELS: We heard a dispatch this evening about someone tearing up the park next to Delridge Community Center by driving a dune buggy on it. A bit later, a reader sent us this video:

Incident number is 21-248038.