West Seattle, Washington
Since we’ve been keeping an eye on WS this whole year, our 2006 WSYIR will be way meatier than our 2005 WSYIR, which was our 13th post (viewed on 1/1/06 by a grand total of 0 visitors, since this blog had existed, fanfarelessly, for all of eight days at that point).
Enough about us. Here they are, the year’s top 10 WS “stories” (as we see ’em, anyway):
Staked out your fireworks-watching spot yet? Ours is in front of the tv; much as we enjoy the West Seattle waterfront, we won’t be out on it this night, this year. The internet also makes New Year’s Eve more interesting for us homebodies; here at WSB World HQ, that dates all the way back to ’94, when we shared NYE virtually via the original mainstream chat program, IRC, with all sorts of folks hopping on and off to report on the New Year’s status in their part of the world/country. Now things are more compartmentalized and sophisticated online; already this morning, we can watch video from NYE celebrations already complete, like Sydney, on computers much faster than the one we used in ’94. We’re also still working on our West Seattle 2006 Year In Review, which you’ll find here by midafternoon. First, a few last things to procure for tonight’s party!
–Bubbly: We mentioned the other day that while state liquor stores aren’t open New Year’s Eve, West Seattle Cellars is. Also just found out they’re having a sale (big sign outside), so you can get a decent deal on your champagne/wine/champagnish-type sparkling wine.
–Giggly: After the latest major West Seattle power outage, we decided you’ve gotta laugh or else you’ll cry. So, having been through three of them this month here at WSB World HQ, we decided they might be well-named after the Star Wars trilogies. So far — we’ve got A New Problem, The Substation Strikes Back, and Return of the Blackout. Next 3 might work well with The Powerless Menace, Attack of the Trees, and Revenge of the Laterals.
Old news to some, since apparently this has been out there for a few weeks, but we just happened onto it while making a periodic check of the site for the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, the organization behind a variety of community improvements including most famously in the past year the Youngstown Arts Center transformation: DNDA’s longtime executive director Paul Fischburg is leaving, and they’re looking for somebody new. (We wrote to ask what he’s moving on to; he forwarded us a copy of his announcement memo, which mentioned that he’s leaving after 10 years with no particular plans, but will enjoy some down time while mulling the future.)
Thought we heard a broadcast report mentioning some people are still out, but a quick spin around found no evidence of that, and there’s nothing on the City Light hotline. (The SCL website’s been useless; they haven’t updated since last Tuesday’s outage.) Did see a SCL crew at Caffe Ladro, but it looked like a well-deserved coffee break, nothing more. All the Morgan Junction businesses are back on, and darn good thing, since there’d be hell to pay, for example, if one of WS’s two liquor stores were closed the day before New Year’s Eve … but it’s not, and looks like all’s right with the world. We’d expect a fresh run on D batteries today, though. (P.S. Let us know if you DO know of any “pocket” that’s still out.)
OK, Upper Fauntleroy here got power back just after quarter till 11. We got that report from the home front while driving around to see the extent of the outage. But as of 11, some other areas are still out — you gotta ache in particular for the south end of Beach Drive, Lincoln Park Way, Lowman Beach, areas that took a week or so to get it back after The Big Outage — not to mention the Morgan Junction businesses now in their third major outage (the one on Wednesday of last week lasted all day and into the night for them, even though up here that “re-outage” lasted “only” two hours). We tried to soothe a younger member of our entourage by saying “you know, there are places in the world where life is like this all the time, power comes on, goes out, comes on, goes out,” but the younger member shut us up smartly by retorting, “yeah, but they’re USED TO IT.” Maybe we should be, too, by now.
Weird … five minutes after we listened to the City Light recording (206-684-3000 and wade thru the menu), they posted a new one that was much vaguer. Gone were the specifics about a certain area that might be out for eight hours; gone were the specifics about the “broken cross arm on a pole” being to blame … instead, the 9:07 pm update had the language of bureaucracy, “no estimated time for restoration” and “the cause is unknown.” The boundaries seemed a little off too, considering what we saw as we drove north of Morgan Junction. If you’ve got yours back, please post a comment and let us know; our correspondent back home in Upper Fauntleroy is definitely still in the dark.
To use an old quote, “this is getting old.” Yes, we too are in the outage zone. Again. Took a while to get out of the house and find someplace to go online. Looks like some areas have gotten their power back — in fact, we were driving past Chuck & Sally’s when a couple blocks right there north of M-Junction went on, and the smokers out on the corner all cheered lustily. But to the south, we’re not back yet, and the City Light outage hotline (which blames “a broken crossarm on a power pole”) says there’s a certain chunk that could be out for up to 8 hours. Stand by for more …
… to the deadline for naming two future WS parks, including “Junction Plaza” (currently home to the WS Tree as the holiday season winds down).
Early this morning, work crews arrived in the vicinity of the Upper Fauntleroy sinkhole, which now is graced by a sign about the adjacent stairway being closed for repairs.
Can you believe it’s been exactly two weeks since we all woke up to the aftermath of 2+ inches of rain and 60+ mph wind? For many of us, the nightmare ended when the power came back. But for others, the damage lingers — these WS folks say it’s not all Ma Nature’s fault.
Caveat first, we are not condoning New Year’s Eve drunkenness and we trust that if you leave the house, you will pick a DD or take a taxi. (What happened to Avi, memorialized in a poster we saw in a WS shop window last night, could happen to you.) That said, there’s no denying that many of us will drink something alcoholish Sunday night. So this might be helpful info, if you, like us, need to buy something to serve @ home: West Seattle’s state liquor stores are closed Sunday, but they’ve got helpful signs posted noting that the one in The Junction will be open later than usual on Saturday (10 pm). And if you’re just looking for fine wine/champagne, you CAN shop Sunday @ West Seattle Cellars, according to their site.
Happened onto this delectable description of a meal at Taqueria Guaymas in The Junction. Only omission, the jalapeno carrot slices at the otherwise-well-described salsa bar. Spectacular. (WS trivia, did you know that TG actually started in WS?)
Now that we are finally able to get online (albeit in the dead o’ night), a few more things:
-Time’s running out for a cool way to make your mark on one of the biggest projects in WS right now: pledge $ by New Year’s Eve for a tile at the new West Seattle Food Bank.
-One week left to tell the National Weather Service what to name The Storm.
-If you missed it in comments below, The Cow/Bull/Steer is back (does it have an official name?) atop John’s Corner Deli, after its Dorothy-esque windblown journey during the As Yet Unnamed Storm. Here’s proof:
If you get internet service from the same place we get internet service, you might also be experiencing this new nightly ritual … sit down at the computer, type a website address, and … wait to see if a Certain Cable Company Starting With C will allow us to access the tubes. The spotty service finally got bad enough last night for us to call and complain. Yes, we were told, there is a major outage (THAT WORD AGAIN) in areas including West Seattle, and it’s due to damage from The Storm. (This article talks about one ongoing since the storm, but ours has been intermittent. Just like, interestingly, these folks back east.) Our next two questions: (a) will this bring a discount on our bill, and (b) is there some more reliable way to get fast internet service (Clearwire? Sprint? aluminum foil around our ears?). Anybody who’s switched from The Cable Company Starting with C and is happier with their new provider, please do tell.
In case you didn’t hear this one yesterday … we found it on the city press-release page. Seems showing up at a park in ’07 with an unlicensed dog could earn you a fat fine.
Kudos to Seattle City Light for a raw, but thorough, update on cause of last night’s outage, presented here in its entirety in case it’s gone when you check the link:
Power to the Highland Park, Delridge, White Center, South Park neighborhoods have been restored. Cause was unstable hillside sluffing off & trees falling into 26kv @ Highland Park Wy SW between W. Marginal Wy SW & SW Webster St. A crew is onsite to repair but ETR is unknown due to still unstable hillside. 1 customer remains out until perm repair is done.
… for a very pleasant story in the new edition about blogs. Reporter Rebekah Schilperoort graciously allowed us to answer questions via e-mail, and we are thrilled to see she spotlighted West Seattle’s funniest blogger, the irrepressible Mona, one of many WS-based bloggers linked from this page. However, for anyone who cares, we did not actually disclose our gender to Rebekah; guess she chose to use the time-honored style of defaulting to “he” when gender info’s not available. (And note we are ASSUMING Rebekah’s a she.)
Just back from one last drive to confirm that everyone (at least, ALMOST everyone) seems to be powered up again — though as of just before 9, Highland Park Way was still blocked off, not far from where we snapped this poignant sign during the Big Outage. However, more trouble may yet be afoot if it doesn’t stop raining … still pouring out there, huge puddles everywhere, and of course the ground didn’t have much time to recover from the Christmas Eve deluge.
Still out checking the rest of the outage.
WS Blogger Spouse kindly provides the latest eyewitness report as a side trip while shopping at Roxbury Safeway, which WSBS reports is jam-packed, perhaps with those shying away from QFC while it’s on low power. The outage stretches through the central White Center bizdist too, all the way to 107th and Ambaum. City Light is still not predicting how long this will last, nor did the latest radio-news update. As frustrating as this latest outage is, you’ve gotta feel for the SCL crews out in this latest wave of pouring rain.
Radio report says this new power outage — about 5,000 “customers” from South Park on into southeastern West Seattle — is the work of trees and lines down on Highland Park Way, which is apparently closed right now so crews can take care of it. There’s no hint of it on Delridge till just past the turnoff to Trenton as you head toward Westwood Village; then, heading west on Trenton, you can see where the power’s gone. Including apartments east of the shopping center, some homes to the south, and odd chunks of WV itself — the QFC and everything directly north of it (the whole strip of stores including the Sub Shop, Toshi’s, Starbucks, etc.), all out, along with Marshall’s, and the businesses inbetween those two buildings — Big 5, 24 Hour — but on the west side of WV, all looks well. Oh yeah, McDonald’s is out too. We’ll check back to see how long this lasts. The Seattle City Light page has a short update as well.
Off to check a possible new power outage. One tipster says it involves part of Westwood Village.
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