Power outage in The Junction

Thanks for the tips. More than 300 customers are without power in The Junction, and the City Light map shows the outage overlapping much of the West Seattle Summer Fest zone (the festival is scheduled to start at 1 pm). We have a team member in the area now and he’s trying to find out more.

YOU CAN HELP: Get your West Seattle Food Bank raffle ticket(s) at Summer Fest

The start of West Seattle Summer Fest today also brings the start of the West Seattle Food Bank‘s famous annual raffle – here’s the announcement explaining how to get your ticket(s)!

We are thrilled to announce the start of our Summer Raffle ticket sales! This year, we have an exciting lineup of prizes and a fantastic way for everyone to be a winner while supporting our community.

A total of 500 tickets are up for grabs, each priced at just $10. Everyone’s a winner! Each ticket stub entitles the holder to a one-time 10% discount at each of the five participating restaurants: Phoenecia, West Seattle Grounds, T2 Wine Cellers, Seattle Sorbets, and Soprano’s Antico.

The grand draw will take place on July 31st, with the first prize being a $150 gift card for West Seattle Junction. The second prize is a $100 gift card to Hotwire Coffee, and the third prize is a $50 gift card to Sound and Fog. Winners will be notified by phone.

Tickets can be purchased at WSFB’s Summer Fest booth, Float Dodger 5K booth, or by visiting the food bank on weekdays between 9 am and 3 pm. All proceeds from the raffle will be directly utilized to support our mission of keeping our neighbors fed and housed. We look forward to your participation in this exciting event!

We’ll add the exact booth locations a bit later (most booths line California SW between Oregon and Edmunds); Food Bank HQ is at 35th/Morgan

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER, ROAD WORK: Summer Fest Friday!

6:00 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, July 12. Street closures and bus reroutes for West Seattle Summer Fest in The Junction are in full effect this morning. California is closed from Edmunds to Oregon and Oregon to Genesee; Alaska is closed between 44th and 42nd. This page has bus reroute notices from Metro.

WEATHER + SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES

The forecast: Still sunny, high in the low 80s for the entire festival and at least several days beyond. Today’s sunrise was at 5:24 am, while sunset will be at 9:04 pm.

ROAD WORK

*The Admiral Way Bridge seismic project has begun; here are more specifics. Fairmount Avenue is now closed under the bridge for the duration of the project, likely into early 2025.

*SDOT’s Delridge pedestrian-bridge earthquake-safety project also continues, with narrowing at Delridge/Oregon.

*Beach Drive: Gas-pipeline work continues at spots along the southern stretch.

TRANSIT NOTES

Metro today – Summer Fest reroutes as mentioned above, otherwise a regular schedule; check for advisories here.

Water Taxi today – Regular schedule. Check the real-time map if you need to see where the boat is.

Washington State Ferries today – The usual 2 boats on the Triangle Route, and the unscheduled third boat may should be back, per WSF.

SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS (Apologies if SDOT hasn’t fixed them yet)

Low bridge: Here’s the main view:

Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Orchard), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Henderson, Delridge/Oregon, and video-only (so you have to go to the map), Delridge/Holden and Delridge/Thistle.

High Bridge – Here’s the main camera:

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

1st Avenue South Bridge:

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: All functioning traffic cams citywide are here; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on X (ex-Twitter) shows whether the city’s movable bridges are open for vessel traffic.

If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/water, please text or call our hotline (when you can do that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if they’re not already on scene) – 206-293-6302. Thank you!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Alki carjacking

Police are investigating a carjacking reported just under an hour ago in West Seattle. The carjackers are reported to have arrived in a 2013-2014 Lexus hatchback with no plates; they’re described as “two unknown-race men, 20s, 6 feet, about 220 pounds, wearing masks.” The stolen vehicle is described as a white 2019 Porsche Cayman. Police were pursuing for a short time but last saw the car headed southbound on 35th SW, around Barton. (added) The carjacking happened at 53rd/Alki. If you have any information, the SPD incident # is 24-191246.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: West Seattle Junction FC’s final two home matches this Friday and Sunday

(Photo by Earving Marquez, courtesy Junction FC)

In addition to West Seattle Summer Fest, other big events this weekend include the final two home matches of the first season for West Seattle Junction FC. They’re playing rival clubs Midlakes United (7 pm Friday) and USL League 2 defending champion Ballard FC (1 pm Sunday). They’re offering merch deals for both, and that’s not the only bonus features for attendees, per Junction FC’s preview:

Leading up and through the (Friday) match, fans will get 30% off all of Junction FC’s West Side Best Side merchandise, including select t-shirts, flags, hoodies and scarves. Additionally, Friday’s game will be Román Torres Foundation Night. The former Seattle Sounders legend will be in attendance signing autographs and selling his book, with all the proceeds going toward his foundation. Fans can learn more about the foundation online.

… Sunday afternoon’s game will double as Fan Appreciation Night, where all remaining merchandise will be on sale, as well as special giveaways and surprises throughout the duration of the match.

Tickets are available online for $10 for both matches, which will be played at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle).

VIDEO: Music, dancing, more in The Junction during July’s West Seattle Art Walk and Summer Fest Eve 2024

6:16 PM: In the heart of The Junction, the streets are closed and you can truly Walk All Ways, in more areas than usual … it’s Summer Fest Eve, with setup starting for the Friday-Saturday-Sunday festival.

Some signage is hinting at what’s ahead, such as reusable cups, plates, etc., for all festival vendors this year (as previewed here):

As usual, Summer Fest Eve coincides with the July West Seattle Art Walk. That’s happening all over the peninsula, but Junction venues are in an extra spotlight because of Summer Fest Eve. Among tonight’s artists, Bonnie Katz Sailors is showing her work at Fitness Together-West Seattle (4546 California SW, upstairs; WSB sponsor), the studio she used to own:

Preview other artists with shows/receptions tonight by going here. Most Art Walk events are happening at least until 8 pm; here in The Junction, one big event is the “flash mob” DancePowered practice at California/Alaska around 7 pm. The Art of Music – three venues around West Seattle with mini-concerts – has a Junction show at Verity CU (4505 California SW) with Birch Pereira and the Gin Joints until 7:45 pm.

6:46 PM: Artist Billy Kincaid is in the house at West Seattle Windermere (4526 California SW):

7:15 PM: No sign of dancers … Summer Fest Eve does evolve sometimes! The Dip has started their set in Easy Street, though.

UPDATE: 8 pm dancing, we’ve just learned!

9:07 PM: Adding video now that we’re back at HQ. First – the DancePowered megamedley:

Here’s another angle of the first 3 1/2 minutes. DancePowered’s leader Jennifer Cepeda is in the beanie:

As an encore, the dancers brought bystanders into the circle to dance – we even spotted one with a pup:

You can see the official performance at noon Saturday during the second day of West Seattle Summer Fest. The festival runs 1-8 pm Friday (music and beer garden until ~11), 10 am-8 pm Saturday (music and beer garden until ~11), 10 am-5 pm Sunday. We’ll be joining the Info Booth crew for the 15th year; say hi if you’re in the Walk All Ways vicinity!

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Rally for Relocation, supporting local businesses in light rail’s path

4:55 PM: The Rally for Relocation is happening now, in support of businesses that are expected to have to move because they’re in the path of West Seattle light rail’s likely routing and station locations. Their message is not anti-light rail, but rather, they want better relocation compensation, and they want to ensure customers will keep coming even as all this results in a few years of uncertainty. They’re marching back and forth along Delridge, from Ounces to the Andover corner, intermittently – chanting “SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS” – with a rally/speeches planned at Ounces around 6 pm.

ADDED: We asked two of the business owners, Laurel Trujillo of Ounces and Jordan Crawley of Alki Beach Academy, about the message they hoped the demonstration would convey:

Crawley is also a member of the 34th District Democrats‘ board and is moderating the “Transit Town Hall” they’re co-presenting with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce on July 23.

Fireworks damage repaired at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex

(Sunday photo courtesy Brandon Sparks)

Sometime last weekend, before Sunday’s Junction FC match, people setting off fireworks did damage to the synthetic turf at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex. The field was cleared for play, but Seattle Public Schools had to fix the damage. We inquired with the district Monday morning about the damage and the repair plan, and finally received a reply this afternoon:

Seattle Public Schools aimed to prevent issues like this by activating the LED field lights (low-energy bulbs) from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. from July 3 through July 7. Despite these efforts, turf damage still occurred. Repairs to the synthetic turf at the Nino Cantu SW Athletic Complex were completed on July 8. This damage did not require us to close the field or cancel events.

Our security department welcomes any tips regarding the damage. If you have information, please contact 206-252-0707.

The field is used by private groups as well as area schools. Junction FC, meantime, has the final home matches of its season on Friday and Sunday (we’ll have more on that tonight).

VIDEO: West Seattle briefing by group that wants to pause ST3 projects – including this one – not yet under construction

Even if you voted for West Seattle light rail – and the rest of ST3 – eight years ago, it’s OK to change your mind. So said John Niles, co-founder of Smarter Transit, which had a media briefing at Jefferson Square today to call attention to its quest to put the brakes on ST3. The group has launched an online petition seeking to pause planning for Sound Transit projects that aren’t already under construction, and to ask the Legislature to make Sound Transit’s board – currently comprised of various regional elected officials – directly elected. But Niles says they’re not planning a ballot initiative or lawsuit – they’re hoping that people will “rise up” and demand that this be stopped. He was one of the speakers at the briefing this morning – here’s our video, which started with Smarter Transit member Conrad Cipoletti, a West Seattle resident who says he lives car-free but thinks people need to take a second look at the light-rail plan before it’s too late, because of its financial and environmental costs:

Speakers also included people who aren’t Smarter Transit members but did voice various concerns about the project, including business owners whose current locations face demolition if the current proposed routing and station locations are finalized – the group provided aerials of what’s currently in the future stations’ locations:

(Images courtesy Smarter Transit/Guenther Group. Above, Junction station’s proposed location)

(Above, area near Avalon station’s proposed location)

(Delridge station’s proposed location)

Though she has reiterated that her business is not anti-light rail, Laurel Trujillo of Ounces in North Delridge was among the speakers (hers and other area businesses are hosting in a coincidentally timed “Rally for Relocation” 4-7 pm today). Other participants included West Seattle resident Kim Schwarzkopf and Marilyn Kennell of Rethink The Link, a group which thinks – as does Smarter Transit – that more buses would cover area’s transit needs without a multibillion-dollar construction project. Kennell and others held signs declaring themselves BIMBYs – advocating for more “buses in my backyard.”

The Smarter Transit petition is here; the group says the goal is to present it to the Legislature. Meantime, as for the project itself, Sound Transit is expected sometime in the next few months to release the final Environmental Impact Statement, after which its board would vote on final routing and station locations.

FOLLOWUP: Alki Elementary rebuild/expansion challenger announces decision about what’s next after losing appeal

(Rendering of new Alki Elementary entrance on north side of school)

As we reported July 1, a deputy city hearing examiner has ruled against area residents’ appeal of the Alki Elementary rebuild‘s zoning exception for parking. That means the city’s decision to approve a zoning exception for the 15-space redesign – 33 spaces less than what zoning requires – is affirmed. The appellants’ only potential avenue to challenge that would be via taking it to court within three weeks of the decision. So will they? We inquired immediately after the ruling, and have finally heard back from Steve Cuddy, an Alki resident and lawyer who led the appeal by Friends for a Safe Alki Community. Cuddy tells WSB, “I do not personally plan to appeal the Alki Elementary case further. It is possible that others in our ‘Friends’ group may decide to appeal to Court, but so far no one has, and I would be surprised if anyone does.” If no challenge emerges, that clears the way for the city to finalize the permits for the project to build a larger new Alki Elementary on the same site (3010 59th SW) where the original school was demolished a year ago. (The old school’s capacity was 371; the new school is designed for 500, plus two preschool classrooms estimated to potentially hold 40.)

The appeal was argued in a three-day hearing that we covered in the Hearing Examiner’s chambers downtown in May and June; we recapped the backstory here, with links to hearing coverage. The wheels were set in motion for this appeal when the same deputy examiner, Susan Drummond, ruled in favor of a different group’s appeal of the original plan, which had no offstreet parking (while dismissing that group’s appeals of several other zoning exceptions).

Cuddy’s response to our request for comment arrived in a long letter explaining the most recent challenge; you can read it in its entirety here. He cites what he considers “positive results” of the appeal, despite the outcome: “The members of our group who filed the first successful appeal gained 15 off-street parking spots, which will be available to more safely accommodate ADA and special needs students than the dangerous on-street parking for them that was originally proposed by the School District. -The second appeal forced the School District to finally admit that Alki Elementary’s past traffic and parking problems were serious, and that its previous traffic management arrangements at the school were inadequate and dangerous. As a consequence of that admission, for the second appeal, the District created a draft traffic management plan in advance of school construction. I do not believe this has ever happened before. The District’s draft traffic management plan has significant problems … but it is at least an advance start on what will be a difficult task.” He says “continued community involvement” will be vital as the project proceeds. If permits are granted soon, the school could open in fall 2026, by which time Alki will have spent three years in temporary quarters at the former Schmitz Park Elementary.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Assault investigation; business burglarized; abandoned car

Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes:

ASSAULT INVESTIGATION: Several readers have asked about video seen on TV news showing a woman attacked on Saturday at California/Charlestown. As we’ve explained to those who emailed us to ask, the victim texted us at midnight Sunday night saying she had been assaulted on California Avenue SW a day and a half earlier and that her car rolled away and hit other cars. We responded immediately, with a followup question to try to find out more. She did not reply, and has not replied to a followup inquiry. So we don’t have what TV has shown, and without location information could not find a correlatory police report. We did finally get an incident number with the help of a local officer at a community meeting, and this is the information SPD Public Affairs subsequently provided:

On July 6, Seattle police responded to the area of California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Charlestown Street for a report of a road rage incident that turned into an assault. The incident was first reported to dispatchers at about 4:36 p.m. Seattle police were dispatched by the Seattle CARE Department at about 7:26 p.m. (A full timeline is here). The victims, a 22-year-old woman driving a car, and a 26-year-old woman riding in the passenger seat, told police they were turning on to Southwest Charlestown Street from California Avenue Southwest when they inadvertently cut off another driver.

It was reported the suspects in the cutoff vehicle, 2 women, got into an argument with the victims. Then, one of them stepped out of their vehicle to confront the victims. The 22-year-old victim was dragged from the car and then assaulted by both suspects.

The 26-year-old victim passenger said she tried to stop the car from rolling away, but she was attacked by one of the female suspects and pulled out of the car. The rolling victim car hit another car. The occupants of the third vehicle weren’t hurt. The unknown suspects left the scene. The 22-year-old victim was transported to Harborview Medical Center for injuries sustained during the assault. The 26-year-old victim had minor injuries.

The incident is classified by SPD as an Assault 4 and has been assigned to a detective in the Major Crimes Task Force for follow-up. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line at (206) 233-5000.

There is no descriptive information in the SPD account; full reports are only provided with a PDR (which we’re filing), they told us.

BUSINESS BURGLARIZED: Todd at Swedish Automotive (35th SW & SW Kenyon; WSB sponsor) sent this report this morning:

This morning at 5 am – in full daylight – two people in a black Kia Forte drove in, turned around and parked next to the shop.

They exited and tried to get into the nearest door using a large Crescent Wrench-type of tool but only succeeded in destroying a (pretty expensive) security door handle before giving up and quickly driving off.

I’m attaching two photos that I captured from the videos. The visible person has pretty distinctive hair color and clothing, but the other one stays off-camera pretty much. The license plate isn’t readable, but since it’s a Kia, I’m assuming it’s stolen, so maybe somebody local is missing it? Maybe someone recognizes this individual with the dyed hair? It’s a longshot, I know, but the more we make these criminals out there in the public eye, the better chance we have of making them think twice.

Here’s links to 3 of the videos:

Drive up and park

Get out with tool in hand

Two people attempting to get in

The incident’s been reported; we’ll add the number when available.

ABANDONED CAR: Matt is notifying police about this, but in the meantime, perhaps you recognize this car:

There’s an almost certainly dumped/stolen vehicle in the 9800 block of 34th Ave SW. Interior completely stripped (seats gone, hard top gone), tube still hanging out of the gas tank. From my security camera I could just make out 3 vehicles arriving at 1:30 am and 2 of the vehicles leaving around 1:45am. At least 4 people involved. They left the lights on and the passenger side door open; the battery is now dead.

VIN: ———-7067
Plate: BTV1865
Make: Red 1995 Honda Civic del Sol

West Seattle Summer Fest Eve, Art Walk, more for your Thursday

Big night to be out and about in West Seattle – here are two major reasons:

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: 5 pm “until late,” all over West Seattle, it’s the first West Seattle Art Walk of summer! From North Admiral to Morgan Junction, here’s the list of businesses welcoming you to stop and see art and/or enjoy food/drink specials.

For details on who’s where, see the venue-by-venue previews on the Art Walk website! Tonight you’ll also find three Art of Music mini-concerts:

They’re all playing 6 pm-7:45 pm. Find info about the musicians – and samples of their work – here.

SUMMER FEST EVE: In The Junction, streets will be closed for festival setup on what’s become known as West Seattle Summer Fest Eve, the night before summer’s biggest party. Along with the aforementioned Art of Music performance, Easy Street Records has a 7 pm in-store concert with The Dip, and a Summer Fest Eve favorite – Jennifer Cepeda‘s DancePowered dancers will practice this year’s flash-mob-style festival performance – approximately 7 pm at Walk-All-Ways. Come down to The Junction tonight and see what else you find!

Meantime, here’s what else is happening for the rest of your Thursday, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

FREE SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS: Multiple locations and varying times in West Seattle – here’s the list.

SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE GARDEN CENTER: Still prime time for summer gardening – so if you need plants, the center is open Thursdays-Saturdays 10 am-3 pm, north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus. Annuals, perennials, sun, shade, natives, edibles, ground covers … wide variety!

SPRAYPARK: Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) is open every day, 11 am-8 pm, free.

COLMAN POOL: The season continues for this outdoor heated-salt-water pool on the shore at Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW), noon-7 pm – session times are on the Colman Pool webpage.

LINCOLN PARK WADING POOL: Also at Lincoln Park, the 7-day-a-week wading pool is open today noon-7 pm, in the central upper part of the park near the north play area.

DELRIDGE WADING POOL: Also open today, next to Delridge Community Center, noon-5:30 pm. (4501 Delridge Way SW)

HIAWATHA WADING POOL: This pool is also open today, next to Hiawatha Community Center, noon-5:30 pm. (2700 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome to this weekly 1 pm gathering. Email westseattleukuleleplayerswsup@gmail.com for info on where they’re playing today.

NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Tasting room/wine bar now open Thursdays-Saturdays 1 pm-6 pm, north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus. Food too – stop by to sip and nosh!

STRONG BODIES, STRONG BONES: 2:30 pm yoga class at what’s now the Center for Active Living (4217 SW Oregon).

HPCS FOOD-TRUCK VISIT: Every Thursday, 4-8 pm, Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW) gets a food-truck visit. Tonight it’s Bella M’Briana.

VISCON CELLARS: The West Seattle winery’s tasting room/wine bar is open 5-9 pm (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor) for wine by the glass or bottle.

WORDS, WRITERS, SOUTHWEST STORIES: 6 pm online, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society features Shin Yu Pai. Our calendar listing has the link for registering to view this online presentation.

WALKING FOR WELL-BEING: Meet at 6 pm at 47th/Fauntleroy to walk in Lincoln Park – details in our calendar listing.

WESTIES RUN CLUB: Meet at Good Society (California/Lander) at 6 pm for a 3-mile run.

HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: 6:30 pm, meet at Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW) for a 3-mile run through the neighborhood. (Walking option, too!)

BLUES NIGHT: 6:30-9 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), every Thursday you can listen to the blues.

TRIVIA: 7 pm at Burger Planet (9614 14th SW).

Planning an event that should be on our calendar and in our daily preview lists? Please email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

CALL FOR VENDORS: 2 more weeks to register for this year’s Admiral Funktion street festival

(WSB photo from 2023 Admiral Funktion)

The Admiral Neighborhood Association wants to be sure potential vendors – both businesses and nonprofits – know that the deadline is coming up for registering for space at this year’s Admiral Funktion Block Party. It’s happening on California SW north of Admiral Way on Saturday, August 24, 11 am-10 pm. ANA says limited spaces are left, so go here to save your spot before July 25!

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER, ROAD WORK: ‘Summer Fest Eve’ Thursday

6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, July 11.

WEATHER + SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES

The heat wave is over, though Wednesday’s 88-degree high was still 11 degrees above normal. The forecast: Still sunny, high in the low 80s. Today’s sunrise was at 5:23 am, while sunset will be at 9:05 pm.

ROAD WORK

*The Admiral Way Bridge seismic project has begun; here are more specifics. Fairmount Avenue is now closed under the bridge for the duration of the project, likely into early 2025.

*SDOT’s Delridge pedestrian-bridge earthquake-safety project also continues, with narrowing at Delridge/Oregon.

*Beach Drive: Gas-pipeline work continues at spots along the southern stretch.

SUMMER FEST AHEAD

For West Seattle Summer Fest, road closures and parking restrictions start as early as this morning, according to the West Seattle Junction Association – California Avenue SW closes between Edmunds and Oregon and for much of the block north, and Alaska closes between 42nd and 44th. This page has bus reroute notices from Metro. Come stroll in the streets tonight for West Seattle Summer Fest Eve plus the July Art Walk!

TRANSIT NOTES

Metro today – Summer Fest reroutes as mentioned above, otherwise a egular schedule; check for advisories here.

Water Taxi today – Regular schedule. Check the real-time map if you need to see where the boat is.

Washington State Ferries today – The usual 2 boats on the Triangle Route, and the unscheduled third boat may still be out per WSF.

SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS

Low bridge: Here’s the main view:

Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Orchard), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Henderson, Delridge/Oregon, and video-only (so you have to go to the map), Delridge/Holden and Delridge/Thistle.

High Bridge – Here’s the main camera:

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

1st Avenue South Bridge:

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: All functioning traffic cams citywide are here; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on X (ex-Twitter) shows whether the city’s movable bridges are open for vessel traffic.

If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/water, please text or call our hotline (when you can do that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if they’re not already on scene) – 206-293-6302. Thank you!

SUMMER FEST NOTES: Road/bus reminders; new beverages

Notes tonight as West Seattle Summer Fest gets ever closer:

CLOSURES START THURSDAY: One more reminder, the barricades are standing by and street closures in the heart of The Junction will start kicking in Thursday morning – California between Genesee and Oregon, and between Oregon and Edmunds; SW Alaska between 42nd and 44th. If you’re parked somewhere tonight that will become a no-parking area tomorrow, be sure to move your car before the restrictions kick in, or you really will risk getting towed.

BUS REROUTES START THURSDAY: Check your route’s status via the Metro advisories page – Route 128 will be rerouted starting at 7 am, while other routes’ changes kick in at 3 pm.

FESTIVAL NOTES: The festival officially starts at 1 pm Friday; music starts at 3 pm on the main stage, 4 pm on the West Side Stage in Junction Plaza Park. When you get thirsty, the Beer Garden (near the main stage north of SW Oregon) has a new vendor this year – the NA Sommelier:

The NA Sommelier, founded and operated by Juanita Unger, offers a carefully curated selection of non-alcoholic adult beverages through a pop-up kiosk, a mobile non-alcoholic bar, and a wealth of information and resources on all things booze-free.

Juanita’s mission is to help people discover delicious, complex, and enchanting flavor experiences, ensuring that everyone feels welcome to the party!

Check out other food and drink purveyors here. And come enjoy year-round Junction faves Thursday night during Summer Fest Eve (as well as throughout the festival). See you in The Junction!

WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: More soil sampling, plus two events Thursday – Rally for Relocation, and ‘accountability’ group’s media briefing

Three notes about West Seattle’s planned light-rail extension:

MORE SOIL SAMPLING: Sound Transit continues work in various neighborhoods, and Debora sent that photo after the latest notice for geotechnical work on the south side of SW Genesee east of 35th SW, potentially lasting through the middle of next week.

RALLY FOR RELOCATION: Reminder that tomorrow is the day businesses in the project path are hoping to rally community support for better relocation compensation, as first announced last month. All this will be happening in the 3800 block of Delridge Way SW – home to Ounces, Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor), Mode Music and Performing Arts, and The Skylark, 4 pm to 7 pm Thursday. We mentioned it when it was first announced; here’s the reminder from organizers:

West Seattle Businesses and community members will rally together in support of the 60+ West Seattle Businesses that face relocation as a result of light rail extension to West Seattle.

A Rally for Relocation will take place on Thursday, July 11th from 4-7 pm at Ounces Taproom & Beer Garden in West Seattle. From 4:30-6 pm, supporters will walk on Delridge Way SW in front of the North Delridge Businesses Facing Relocation (from Skylark Cafe to Delridge Deli Mart, just off the ramp to the West Seattle Bridge), followed by a rally and community gathering at Ounces.

The rally aims to raise community awareness and advocate for adequate relocation support for affected businesses, ensuring their survival if the West Seattle light rail project is approved this summer.

Businesses and residents will urge the Sound Transit Board: Preserve West Seattle’s character and economy. Ensure local businesses have the resources to relocate and thrive alongside the new light rail.

The rally stems from a petition at displacedbylightrail.com, initiated by local businesses to highlight their precarious situation. With nearly 2,000 signatures and growing, it underscores concerns about insufficient relocation funding from Sound Transit. Many affected businesses fear closure without adequate financial support and assistance.

MEDIA BRIEFING: Organizers of the Rally for Relocation reiterate that they’re not trying to stop light rail. However, a different group that is – at least temporarily – plans a West Seattle media briefing earlier in the day. At 10:30 am at Jefferson Square, the organization Smarter Transit says it will discuss its demands for ST accountability:

-Present key data showing ST3 work will not solve our region’s transportation issues nor alleviate greenhouse gas emissions.
-Ask the Legislature to require Sound Transit to create a post-pandemic plan to increase ridership, decrease single car drivers and lower greenhouse gases.
-Discuss their petition local residents may sign demanding accountability and pausing ST3 planning until the agency shows voters transit alternatives that achieve less congestion, lower emissions and promote greater cost efficiency with taxpayer dollars.
-Promote passing legislation to make the ST Board directly elected by district via publicly funded campaigns to end the cost overruns and lack of oversight.

This group is not exclusively focused on West Seattle; its roots go back to the ’00s.

VIDEO: Bald Eagle gets boost from boarders off Lincoln Park

A happier story from the shore: Jess sent the videos and report:

A friend and I were paddleboarding off Lincoln Park near the Colman Pool point when we saw repeated splashing out in the middle of the cove near the Driftwood Sculptures. After watching a moment we noticed there was a waterlogged bald eagle stuck in the water getting divebombed by seagulls. We put the paddles in high gear and rushed over to see how we could help. When we arrived the seagulls gave the eagle a break, and we were able to direct it toward shore as it had been struggling around in circles far from shore. I was able to gently get my oar underneath it and lift enough for it to climb aboard one our paddleboards as we floated closer to shore.

Since it was obviously very scared still, it hopped off as we got closer to show and swam the rest of the way to shore. We tried to have everyone give it space as it dried off enough to fly into the woods to dry completely before taking back to its perch high over the Colman Pool point.

FOLLOWUP: 3 months later, abandoned, deteriorating stolen SUV still on West Seattle beach

This afternoon, with orcas passing through our area again, a longrunning hunk of giant beach junk stands out more glaringly than ever.

(First and last photos are from last weekend, sent by Janel)

That stolen-and-abandoned Jeep Compass has been on the rocky beach in the Seola/Arroyos area since mid-April (here’s our first report). By the time of our first followup days later, local, state, and federal authorities had been to the site, and the SUV’s owner had belatedly reported it stolen. The state removed fuel from the tank. But no one, we were told, could figure out how to get it off the beach – it was apparently exactly in the wrong position for various removal options by land or sea.

(This photo and next are from Robin)

We checked back again in mid-May. By that time, area resident Robin was tracking the situation, and trying to figure out who could do something about it. She’s still on the case; she says she’s even talked with the property owner, who was away when this happened and, she says, is frustrated too. But nothing has changed, and as her photos show, the car continues to fall apart, as the water rushes in and rushes back out. Pieces of it are strewn about on the beach.

We thought a marine-focused environmental advocacy group might have a lead on accountability. That inquiry dead-ended. We then turned back to the state, whose Department of Natural Resources has a Marine Debris Removal Program. (We mentioned it five years ago, when state commissioner of public lands Hilary Franz came to visit a crew.) So we tracked down DNR spokesperson Michael Kelly, who asked around and then told us this could be a matter of “jurisdictional issues”:

Some of the problems we run into with vessels may be at play here with this vehicle. DNR only has jurisdiction on State Owned Aquatic Lands (SOAL) and not all tidelands are within SOAL. Cities and counties have jurisdiction where we do not but may lack the ordinances allowing them to remove private property from private property. Another is funding, we can only remove vessel when we have the funding to do so.

The private property owner can get a junk vehicle affidavit filled out by their code enforcement office of their local law enforcement department to get the legal right to remove the vehicle, but it would be at their expense.

However, he had one tip for Robin as a concerned citizen – to file a “large debris” report via the agency’s MyCoast app.

She’s already tried the city’s Find It, Fix It system – which went nowhere because it wasn’t on a public beach – so now she’s trying this too. Robin told us in one exchange, “The car is falling apart and I am sure several things have just washed away into the Sound. They will surface further north of here or some poor creature will be killed or maimed by it. Tragedy on so many levels.”

UPDATE: About the emergency response at Lincoln Park

4:51 PM: Several people have asked about a multi-unit SFD response at Lincoln Park this past hour. All we know so far is that it was dispatched as a report that an 11-year-old had “fallen 25 feet” near the north parking lot. The log shows that SFD medics are making a hospital transport. (added) Once medics started evaluating him, they said it was more like a 12-foot fall, from a tree, and that he was alert/conscious.

5:57 PM: SFD confirms to us that the 11-year-old fell an estimated 12 feet and was in stable condition when taken to Harborview.

WHALES: Orcas in the area

Thanks to Mike for the tip! He reports that orcas are in view near Blake Island. According to an Orca Network commenter, they’re headed southbound. Let us know if you see them!

BIZNOTE: New owner for MOD Pizza, six weeks after its first West Seattle restaurant closed

After reports it was contemplating a bankruptcy filing, MOD Pizza has instead just found a new owner. This news comes six weeks after MOD abruptly closed one of its two West Seattle restaurants, the Junction location that was its first on the peninsula. We requested MOD’s announcement after seeing first word of the sale via Restaurant Business this past hour, and here’s what we received from a company spokesperson:

MOD Super Fast Pizza Holdings, LLC (“MOD Pizza”, “MOD” or the “company”) today announced that Elite Restaurant Group has acquired 100% of the equity of the company pursuant to a merger agreement between the company and an affiliate of Elite.

“MOD has an outstanding culture and passionate, loyal guests and employees,” said Michael Nakhleh of Elite Restaurant Group. “We recognize the inherent value this represents and look forward to helping MOD write the next chapter in its history.”

MOD, a pioneer of fast-casual pizza and salads, and its franchisees own and operate restaurants in 28 states and Canada. In recent months, MOD has been implementing a plan that includes rightsizing its portfolio, refreshing its brand, and further elevating guest experiences. It has made steady improvements to the overall business.

“MOD is a beloved brand with a strong following,” said Beth Scott, CEO of MOD Pizza. “We’re excited to work with Elite Restaurant Group to strengthen MOD’s future.” …

MOD’s remaining West Seattle store is at Westwood Village. The chain was founded in Seattle in 2008.

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle Grand Parade reveals this year’s Orville Rummel Trophy honorees, Bianca Thomka and Neil Duncan

Just ten days until this year’s West Seattle Grand Parade! We’ve already reported on the news that West Seattle High School‘s state championship baseball team being chosen as Grand Marshals; today, parade coordinator Michelle Edwards announced the parade’s other major honorees:

The 2024 West Seattle Grand Parade honorees for the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community are Neil Duncan and Bianca Thomka! Neil and Bianca are this year’s honorees due to their significant contributions to the West Seattle community.

Neil’s expansive IT skills have been instrumental in ensuring the smooth operation of multiple local organizations, including the West Seattle Chamber, The Center for Active Living (formerly known as the Senior Center of West Seattle) and the West Seattle Junction Association, where he has donated well over 100 hours to set up communications infrastructure. Bianca excels in organizing events with remarkable efficiency and cooking for community events. She has been volunteering for over eight years in the kitchen of The Center for Active Living. Every Wednesday, Bianca helps the Chef get hot lunches ready for 100 community seniors. She also assists the Chef during large Rainbow Bingo fundraising events and monthly birthday luncheons.

Together, their dedication and expertise have significantly enriched West Seattle, making them the ideal candidates for the Orville Rummel Trophy!

You can cheer Neil and Bianca, and the hundreds of other people who will be participating in the parade, celebrating its 90th anniversary on Saturday, July 20th – it starts at 11 am, southbound on California from Lander to Edmunds.

ABOUT THE ORVILLE RUMMEL TROPHY: It’s named after the man who founded the West Seattle parade in 1934, Orville Rummel – lots of background in the story we published the year we were honored with the trophy, 2010. The award was first presented in 1984. Here’s the full list of recipients along the way (no parade 2020-2021 because of the pandemic, so no award recipient):

1984: Charles and Ann Gage
1985: RB Chris Crisler Jr.
1986: Morgan and Carol McBride
1987: Margaret Miaullis
1988: Charles Jung
1989: Aurlo Bonney
1990: Katie Thorburn
1991: Dorothy Poplawski
1992: Dan Wiseman
1993: Virgil Sheppard
1994: Dorene Smith
1995: Doris Richards
1996: John Kelly
1997: Dick Kennedy
1998: Jim Edwards and Barbara Edwards
1999: Lt. David E. Cass
2000: Husky Deli/Miller Family
2001: Stephanie Haskins
2002: Forest Lawn
2003: Sue Lindblom
2004: Edgar and Ann Phipps
2005: Karen Sisson
2006: Walt DeLong
2007: David and Doreen Vague
2008: Tim St. Clair
2009: Morey Skaret
2010: West Seattle Blog
2011: Cindi Barker
2012: Shirley Vradenburgh
2013: Judy Pickens
2014: Earl Cruzen
2015: Donn Weaver
2016: Clay Eals
2017: Keith Hughes
2018: Velko Vitalich
2019: Adah Cruzen
2022: Deb Barker
2023: Erik Bell

VIDEO: Mayor signs transportation levy; Seattle voters will decide what happens next

One day after the City Council finalized it, the transportation-levy renewal/expansion got Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s signature in a City Hall ceremony this morning. With speeches from the mayor, District 1 City Councilmember Rob Saka, business and labor leaders, and others, the levy started its road to the November ballot. It does not have a catchy name (yet), unlike its predecessor Levy to Move Seattle – expiring at the end of this year after its nine-year run – or the one before that, Bridging the Gap, which covered 2006-2015.

You’ve likely already heard that the levy would raise $1.55 billion over eight years. The mayor noted that’s “$21 per month more than the current levy” if you have a median-value house (he didn’t cite a number but it’s supposedly in the $800,000 vicinity). The total is said to represent almost a third of the budget for SDOT, whose director Greg Spotts spoke today too. He declared the levy “balanced and practical … data-driven, community-informed.” Much was made in other speeches of consensus and collaboration; Saka was lauded for leading the full-council committee that reviewed and amended the original slightly-less-costly proposal originally sent by Harrell. Saka declared the levy “a victory for the people of Seattle” and concluded his speech with this quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The website for the levy promises updated documents are in the works, so we don’t have the exact text yet (but here’s the council’s most recent spending-breakdown document). And much of what it will fund will not initially be spelled out location by location, but as we’ve noted in coverage over the past few months, there are several planned West Seattle projects specifically identified – repaving and other changes for 35th SW between Alaska and Morgan, pavement repairs to Fauntleroy Way SW between 35th and Alaska to get it through the years of nearby light-rail construction, safety improvements at the east end of the Roxbury corridor, a sidewalk along part of SW Brandon in North Delridge. Saka also spoke of one of his late additions, a future West Seattle protected-bike-lane project to be named for Steve Hulsman, the rider killed on Marine View Drive last year, whose widow Rita Hulsman was in attendance at the ceremony. The levy projects listed by name in the “spending breakdown” also mention a protected bike lane for Highland Park Way SW, ostensibly a reference to the proposal to replace a downhill driving lane with either a PBL or a multi-use path.

You can read the city’s overview of the levy here. General-election voting will end November 5.