day : 04/07/2008 13 results

West Seattle 4th of July: Scenes from Alki


That was the Beach Fire From Hell. As the evening progressed, its stokers started throwing in the furniture they brought for their day at the beach. A chair, another chair, a table. Flames roared skyward. Black smoke billowed seaward. Embers danced toward nearby log-sitters’ backs. Parks crew came over immediately after the fireworks and doused it, about the same time two officers broke up a simmering squabble nearby. Speaking of officers:


They wasted no time clearing the beach as soon as both fireworks shows (Jul-Ivar’s started first, followed by Lake Union, both quite clearly visible from our spot toward the west end of the sand) ended. “LET’S GO, LET’S GO, TIME TO GO, PEOPLE, BEACH IS CLOSED, SIDEWALK TOO,” they shouted (and loudspeakered from a slow-moving car). 10:40 pm is earlier than the usual beach-closing time, a few people were heard grumbling. (We stopped briefly to send a Twitter message for the previous post and we were quickly told in no uncertain terms to get a move on.) Now, the pre-fireworks sights:


Brief appearance by the crescent moon, visible over Bainbridge before clouds moved in from the south. Nice sunset too:


Long night ahead; our windows are open and it still sounds fairly thunderous out there.

West Seattle 4th of July: Watch this spot for evening updates

We’re computerless for a few hours but able to update Twitter via mobile phone, so we’ll post updates (particularly breaking news, but maybe some Alki observations too) this way. Otherwise, check out our coverage from earlier, and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!
(Early Saturday note: The “live” Twitter feed has gone back to its home in the sidebar. What’s below is a screengrab of the four updates we posted while away)


The space above this line will show our four most recent updates. Doesn’t look like there’s a way to go to the archives from there but the Twitter “what am I doing” box halfway down the right sidebar does access archives via the lower-right arrow (if necessary).

4th of July Alki-area traffic restrictions: Barricades are up

July 4, 2008 7:12 pm
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 |   Holidays | Transportation | West Seattle news

On the north side of west Admiral, we caught these scenes around 6:30:




A few minutes later, we noticed the entrance to Harbor wasn’t blocked off yet, but we had traveled it around 6:15 and it looked like the detour up California Way was being readied (downhill traffic on that street already was being stopped). The police presence was very much in evidence just about everywhere we traveled in the area, including a group of bicycle officers conferring near the Harbor 7-11 just after 6. Our most recent update on police’s Alki-area traffic plans is here; we’ll be offline for a while later this evening to go see the fireworks ourselves (guessing we won’t be able to park any closer than Cormorant Cove, the way things were looking during our drive-by) but as mentioned earlier, we’ll post any breaking news via Twitter (if you’re not a Twitter member you can still see our most recent posts on any WSB page, in the blue box halfway down the right sidebar – the little arrows in the lower-right corner of the box click through previous updates – update, looks like we’ll be able to add a Twitter area to the top of this page for a while so you may not have to use the sidebar).

West Seattle 4th of July: High Point party


A party’s under way celebrating the official opening of High Point’s Commons Park; we went up the knoll on its southwest side for these views that show how sweeping the park is:


The mini-amphitheater on the south side of the knoll had live entertainment – we were there for the end of a jazz combo and the start of these young performers:


Commons Park is most easily reached from Graham, at 31st (map).

Admiral 4th of July Kids’ Parade: Singing doctor, and more!

That’s just a small stretch of the hundreds of kids (and grownups!) who participated in this morning’s Admiral 4th of July Kids’ Parade. Despite 17 years of living in West Seattle, we have to admit we’d never been before – but it’s unquestionably the biggest West Seattle event of the holiday aside from fireworks viewing. Here’s a photo of organizer Sherri Chun just before the parade, with Mayor (and Admiral resident) Nickels and West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival court members off to the left.


We also have video of what Hizzoner had to say (including a presidential-campaign joke), plus a local pediatrician singing the national anthem (he’s good!), a click ahead:Read More

Still more West Seattle scenes, 4th of July afternoon (etc.)

July 4, 2008 2:19 pm
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 |   Holidays | Seen around town | West Seattle police


Lots of folks working today – like Seattle Police. Not just the ones on the bridge mentioned earlier, but the car shown above and other officers who kept the Admiral 4th of July Kids’ Parade safe. We’re showing you that car from the end of the parade because of something we overheard a few minutes later – as it passed a home further west on Sunset, a man yelled out to the officer(s) in the car, “NICE JOB ON THAT BANK ROBBERY!” The car paused, and the man continued, “Really! Great job! You guys deserve those raises you just got!” (WSB coverage of the incident in question is here.) Now, speaking of people working today:


That’s John and Frances Smersh at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) in Admiral, having a 4th of July sale till 3 pm, including some items you’ll see outside the store:


More shopping and other events, on the 4th of July page. Now a photo not taken on the 4th, but we just received it this afternoon, and it fits in the Admiral theme since it was taken from Hamilton Viewpoint, so what the heck: Another great view of this week’s lightning – this one from Kris at


Tonight’s forecast sounds a bit chilly.

Take it to the limit – but not beyond: Bridge patrols today

Two people have now texted us about a big police presence on The Bridge, watching for speeders (and one of those texters got a ticket). (We’re not blowing anything by mentioning this – police have told us repeatedly, they’d rather you know and not speed and therefore stay safe!) And don’t forget the Alki/Harbor Ave traffic restrictions, now just a few hours away.

First-ever 4th of July parade at Ercolini Park

July 4, 2008 12:49 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle parks | West Seattle video

That’s video of participants gathering for the start of the informal “parade around the park” this morning at brand-new Ercolini Park west of The Junction (map). The neighborhood volunteers who worked so hard to make the park a reality (here’s our coverage of the playground installation in April) are understandably busting with pride today, plus they have another big celebration ahead – the official dedication ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 am July 12th, one week from tomorrow. Here are some other Ercolini parade pix, courtesy of Scott Cronk:



(Meantime, our West Seattle 4th of July coverage continues — Admiral Kids’ Parade video coming up next; tons of helpful holiday info can be found on our 4th of July page.)

More West Seattle 4th of July 2008 scenes


That’s the festive scene at Hamilton Viewpoint a short time ago, right after the Admiral 4th of July Kids’ Parade ended there — food and fun (our parade video will be up in a bit, along with coverage of the first-ever Ercolini Park parade) ensued. On our way there, we noticed a parade detail that we hadn’t caught in our video – along the route (44th and Sunset, heading west, then up to Atlantic, heading east, across California, down Palm to Hamilton VP), several houses put out speakers with Sousa marches and other parade-perfect music, like this one at California/Atlantic:


Other scenes: Here’s Alki, BEFORE the crowds – thanks to Dan E for these shots (don’t forget the traffic restrictions kick in at 6 pm; also we just got a text message that speed patrols are in action on The Bridge right now):



And now, completely unrelated to the holiday but we happened to spot it while driving through Morgan Junction on the way home — these signs are tacked up on poles along both street sides of the MJ Starbucks:


Still no official word on which stores are closing, by the way. ADDED 12:30 PM: Thanks to Joe Follansbee for a shot of West Seattle’s own tall ship Yankee Clipper (based at the marina under The Bridge) – proclaimed the city’s official tall ship by Hizzoner (who you’ll see in our upcoming Admiral parade coverage) – Joe photographed crew members and Sea Scouts relaxing on board yesterday afternoon as Tall Ships Tacoma geared up:


Joe also sent those beautiful pix of tall ships sailing from Elliott Bay toward Tacoma the other day.

4th of Jul-Ivar’s fireworks: Scenes from the barge

July 4, 2008 10:07 am
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news | West Seattle video


That cot under a semitruck trailer is where 4th of Jul-Ivar’s fireworks show — that’s the one on Elliott Bay, the main one you’ll see from West Seattle — operator Gary Louderback sleeps the night before and the night after. He just talked to us a short time ago at the semi-secret (they asked us not to say) site in West Seattle waters where he and about 20 other people are working right now to put together the show on the 240-foot barge that will be towed into the bay later today — here’s a quick video clip panning across the scene:

Click ahead for a closer look at a row of fireworks, plus we have a quick clip with Gary talking about the biggest effect you’ll see:Read More

Chief Sealth High School sign goes up at Boren

July 4, 2008 9:42 am
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 |   Delridge | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools


Spotted while driving Delridge, headed for the fireworks-barge photo-op (we’ll have video and info up about that before we leave for the parades) – it’s almost identical to the sign outside Chief Sealth‘s closed-for-two-years-of-renovations campus on Thistle, except it has the school’s website address in the blue stripe at the bottom.

Happy 4th of July! West Seattle highlights

July 4, 2008 6:03 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | Holidays

smallerfireworks.jpgThe full lineup is on the WSB 4th of July page, with lots more holiday-related info. A few quick highlights:

10:30 am: Admiral Kids’ Parade
11 am: Ercolini Park neighbors’ parade
5 pm: High Point Commons Park celebration
6 pm: Alki Ave/Harbor Ave. restrictions kick in
Between 10 and 10:30 pm: fireworks start
(many West Seattleites will see part of the Lake Union show behind the Jul-Ivar’s Elliott Bay show)

If you’re planning on checking online at any point today, don’t worry, we’ll be updating all day long. (Our first scheduled stop, the 4th of Jul-Ivar’s fireworks barge, which is in West Seattle waters, with loading scheduled to have begun a few hours ago, and media tours starting a few hours from now.) During tonight’s fireworks, we will likely be offline BUT if there is breaking news, we will update it from our phone via Twitter – any such updates will appear here on WSB in the blue Twitter box in the right sidebar, or you can track Twitter online/on your phone (go to, and be sure you’re “following” westseattleblog).

Two meetings of note: Delridge skatepark; 5020 California

Before we shift into Total 4th of July Coverage Mode, a quick note about two meetings just announced regarding projects you might be following: DELRIDGE SKATEPARK – Word from city Parks Board vice chair Jackie Ramels of Alki is that the first meeting about the proposed Delridge skatepark (reported here when broke the news last month) is 7:30 pm July 30th, Delridge Community Center. SPRING HILL (the mixed-use building, not the restaurant) – The next Southwest Design Review Board meeting for this project at 5020 California is now on the “Design Review Upcoming” website for August 28, time/place TBA. (WSB coverage of its last SWDRB meeting is here.) UPDATE: The Spring Hill Design Review meeting has been moved to September 11th.