day : 15/09/2008 12 results

West Seattle scenes: Monday night miscellany


A week or so ago, we spotted the predecessor to that sign at West Seattle Nursery – it simply said “Under New Management,” which brought us a couple of notes from folks who wanted to know if that meant the nursery had been sold. Never got to check in person, but this amusing new sign appears to be proof it hasn’t. Meantime, a sign in The Junction proclaims a new development’s name; exactly one month after the teardown of an old house at 41st/Edmunds, south of Jefferson Square, a sign in front of the steeply sloped lot declares the future cluster “The Incline on Edmunds”:


The web address on the sign, by the way, takes you to a page with (currently) only renderings of the future definitely-not-cookie-cutter townhomes. Last but by no means least, tonight’s the official full moon; on the other side of the moonrise we shot last night, Scott C sent us this photo of the moonset early this morning:


Can’t guarantee a similar sight Tuesday morning, but the moon’s high in a cloudless sky right now, so if you’re up early, look toward the Olympics, just in case.

Bag-fee battle: Opponents officially get it on the ballot

bagpetitions.jpgWe told you three weeks ago that bag-fee opponents said they had 20,000 petition signatures – about a third more than they needed for a referendum vote; tonight two newspaper stories (PI here, Times here) say the county Elections Department has verified enough of those names are valid for the anti-bag-fee campaign to get what it wants. What’s next: The City Council decides whether the vote will wait for next August’s primary, or a special-election ballot sooner, and the bag fee/foam ban will be on hold pending referendum results. Side note per the P-I story – the plastics lobbying group American Chemistry Council paid almost $200,000 to help fund the petition drive. MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: Hizzoner is talking about this right now (9:37 am) on KIRO 710 radio (which streams online).

Next weekend: Holy Rosary’s West Fest, live music and more!


Now that you’ve recovered from last weekend – time to start planning what to do when this week is over. This week, Holy Rosary‘s annual community fun festival — West Fest — is sponsoring WSB to make sure you get the word about this big West Seattle celebration marking the start of fall. As Holy Rosary’s West Fest announcement puts it: “There’s something for the whole family. School grounds will be host to an arts and crafts fair, live entertainment, kids games, inflatable rides, bingo, food and other family activities.” You can buy discounted wristbands for the rides right now at Curious Kidstuff in The Junction, $13 (doesn’t include kids’ games, soccer shootout, speed pitch, haunted house or cake walk); whatever’s left will be sold at West Fest while supplies last for $16. Meantime, there’s quite a live music lineup for Friday night and Saturday afternoon/evening (with some dance and even a talent show mixed in!):


6:00 pm to 7:30 pm – “House Broken” – rock band
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm – “Funband” – rock band


12:00 pm to 12:45 pm – “Tara Academy of Irish Dance” – dance troupe
1:00 pm to 1:45 pm – “Blue Tones” – rock band
2:00 pm to 2:30 pm – “Regicide” – rock band
2:45 pm to 4:00 pm – “Dennis Fender with Adam Bishop” debuting music from his new CD release “Walls” – Christian Rock band
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm – “West Seattle Idol” talent show hosted by Jim Dever
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm – stage quiet
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm – “Full Life Crisis” – rock band
7:30 pm to 9:15 pm – “Tupelo” rock band

West Fest happens at Holy Rosary (42nd/Genesee; here’s a map) 6-10 pm Friday and 10 am-10 pm Saturday; check out the official website here.

Water Taxi up for summer, down for August (but with a caveat)

Latest numbers in from County Councilmember Dow Constantine‘s office – the Elliott Bay Water Taxi is still headed for a recordbreaking season, up 9 percent overall this summer, though last month’s ridership was a bit down from same time last year (remember the Water Taxi crowds because of Freeway Fright ’07?). Here’s the official announcement:Read More

Update: Boaters hurt in collision off Alki Point


(top photo shows damaged sailboat, with Coast Guard boat nearby)



Thanks to the tipster who called with word of this – All that activity in the water off Alki Point is because of what the Coast Guard says was a collision between a sailboat and a power boat. Three people are reported to have minor injuries. The Coast Guard has a 41-foot vessel involved in the rescue, and says the Seattle Fire Department is involved too. Helicopters (including TV-news choppers) are also in the area. 3:34 PM UPDATE: The fire boat is reportedly bringing the injured people to Don Armeni – we’ve got a crew there and just confirmed with SFD that the fire boat’s heading that way, to meet up with an engine that just pulled up. 3:49 PM UPDATE: The injured boaters have now arrived at Don Armeni, where fire, medics, and TV crews are all gathered too. We just added two cameraphone photos from the Don Armeni arrival – looks like it was actually one of the smaller Coast Guard boats involved in bringing them in. More as we get it. 4:10 PM UPDATE: We’re south of Alki Point now, and what looks to be the sailboat involved in this (TV news choppers hovering over it are a giveaway) is closer to the Emma Schmitz-vicinity Beach Drive shoreline and coming close to shore – we’re heading that way. 4:36 PM UPDATE: We’re still at Emma Schmitz, where Coast Guard boats have been up next to the sailboat that we believe to be the one that was involved (hard to tell for sure because two are out there):


The TV news choppers continue to hover, so if you’re in front of a TV you may have seen more from their megazoom aerial cameras. Meantime, back at Don Armeni, an SFD briefing confirms the three people who were hurt will all be OK – two with leg injuries, one with head and neck lacerations. A fourth person was brought ashore but is not hurt. 4:47 PM UPDATE: The sailboat has moved further away from where we are – it’s southwest of Emma Schmitz, probably more directly west of Lowman Beach, but out in the middle of the sound. 5:01 PM UPDATE: Looks like the damaged sailboat is now heading slowly north, and will be passing by here (Emma Schmitz still) before too long, it’s got a boat ahead of it and one behind, escorting it. 5:26 PM: We’re watching now from Constellation Park, just south of Alki Point – it’s closer in as it approaches this part of the shore, with a smaller Coast Guard boat right alongside. Definitely a sizable yacht; haven’t seen anything yet about its name or ownership (let us know if you have, and by the way, THANKS AGAIN to everyone who called, texted, etc., as this unfolded – once you let us know, then we can get busy helping find out what’s up so everybody else knows too! call, text, e-mail 24/7 – all the options are here). 5:48 PM UPDATE: The sailboat and its entourage are starting to pass Alki right now, heading east (we’re watching now from just west of 64th) — spoke too soon, now it’s pointed north, perpendicular to the beach, still offshore at 64th … then headed northward, where we’re ending our surveillance. Here’s video we got earlier, just after the injured boaters were brought to Don Armeni:

8:18 PM UPDATE: The Coast Guard has issued a news release identifying the sailboat involved in the collision as the chartered 70-footer Neptune’s Car; the other sailboat we saw was the Obsession, out picking up some of the passengers who were still on Neptune’s Car after the original rescue. Here’s the full text of the USCG release:

The Coast Guard, Seattle Fire and Police responded to a vessel collision one mile off of Alki Point, here, where a 22-foot runabout and a 70-foot charter sailboat, Neptune’s Car, collided Monday.

At 3:03 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Seattle received a call on VHF channel 16 reporting the collision had occurred.

Station Seattle launched a 41-foot rescue boat crew.

Two passengers aboard the Neptune’s Car and the operator of the runabout were transferred to the Don Armeni ramp in West Seattle to a waiting emegergency medical crew.

The remaining 13 passengers and two crew members aboard the Neptune’s Car have been removed from the vessel, transferred to the sailing vessel Obsession and are returning to Pier 54, here.

The Neptune’s Car was taking on water from a large hole on the forward port side but the flooding was stopped by rescuers. The Neptune’s Car was able to move under its own power and is returning to CSR Marine escorted by a Coast Guard small boat.

ADDED LATE MONDAY NIGHT: Here’s a short video clip of Neptune’s Car while it was still off Beach Drive shoreline, the gash plainly in view.

Heads up, Metro bus riders: Changes announced

September 15, 2008 2:55 pm
|    Comments Off on Heads up, Metro bus riders: Changes announced
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

busjunction.jpgCounty leaders just announced a stack of Metro schedule changes starting next Saturday. None directly involve West Seattle; we’re passing them along because they may involve your connections downtown or elsewhere. (As also noted on partner site White Center Now, there is one small change involving White Center – one late-night trip cut from Route 23.) Here’s the full list of Metro changes, route-by-route; here’s the official county news release, which also details some changes for bicyclists who ride Metro – more loading/unloading allowed in the downtown transit tunnel.

Spokane Street detour starts AFTER Tuesday morning commute


SDOT is sending out another round of reminders today – tomorrow marks the start of utility work on eastbound lower Spokane Street, which will be closed between 1st and 5th for the next two years, with drivers detoured northbound when they get off the bridge at 1st (at the spot shown above; detour map is at the bottom of this post). Important detail, though – we asked SDOT communications director Rick Sheridan exactly when the detour signs and barricades are going up, and he tells us it’ll happen around 9 am tomorrow – so eastbound lower Spokane will still be open during tomorrow’s morning commute, if you usually travel that way. This work is part of the preparatory stage for the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. Read more about it here; check out the WSB coverage archive here.


3 “green” updates: Ravine dedication; free hike; trail planning

September 15, 2008 12:59 pm
|    Comments Off on 3 “green” updates: Ravine dedication; free hike; trail planning
 |   Environment | Fun stuff to do | Gatewood | How to help


FIRST UPDATE: Unless you live in the Gatewood vicinity – maybe even if you do – you may not ever have laid eyes on the Orchard Street Ravine, a lovely little oasis that’s way up the eastward Orchard Street hill, at the dead end of its northern fork (map). It’s a Pro Parks Levy project that’s been enhanced with tons of volunteer help through Friends of Orchard Street Ravine (including a work party this past weekend), and now it’s been announced that the city will officially dedicate Orchard Street Ravine with a ceremony and celebration on October 11. Details from the Morgan Community Association bulletin:

The ravine is in the second year of restoration and the trail connecting to the upper neighborhood will be opened at this event. Music, food, displays and information are all part of the celebration, with the official program beginning at 12:30. Parking at the site will be limited to disabled parking and dropoff only, so please plan to walk or bike to the event site.

SECOND UPDATE: We move on to another West Seattle greenbelt, where this Friday is your next chance for a free hike like this one:


That’s Nancy Whitlock of the Nature Consortium, explaining the sights and sounds of the West Duwamish Greenbelt to the group (including two WSB Team members – here’s our report) that joined her on the May version of its free monthly hikes through the WDG. You can join the next one, 1-2:30 pm this Friday, meet at the 14th SW/SW Holly trailhead (map) – but please RSVP first, 206-923-0853 or e-mail – it’s a fairly easy walk, suitable for just about anyone. THIRD UPDATE: Chas Redmond, who co-shepherded the first-ever West Seattle Walking Trails map, sends word that the next phase of making West Seattle more walkable is a planning session to which YOU are invited — 10 am-noon October 18, Camp Long Lodge. What’s to be planned, you ask? Among other things, the deployment of 100,000 city dollars to install signs along the proposed West Seattle Trail Network (which is featured in the WSWT map) – 60 signs and 10 kiosks.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Fighting gang graffiti

graffiti.jpgThe photo at left shows just a segment of the fence tagged at a home at 13th/Trenton (map) over the weekend; homeowner Katie sent us a photo of the entire fence, with the entire tag, but we’re choosing not to show it, after hearing law enforcers make an impassioned case once more against media publication of photos of gang tags and gang signs (we’re interested in your thoughts on that, too). Katie sent word of the huge tag, which read “SW 13” in dark blue paint, saying, “This is the first time our property has been tagged in the 9 years we’ve owned it.” She called the police, then e-mailed us to share the alert, saying: “One of the key points I wanted to share with the WS community is to make sure and report this type of vandalism. Reporting possible gang tags gives the police a heads up on recent activity.” Speaking of which, tomorrow night is your chance to find out a whole lot more about local gang activity, what’s happening and what to watch out for, when a Seattle Police Gang Unit sergeant speaks at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council‘s monthly meeting — all invited — 7 pm, Southwest Precinct meeting room (Webster/Delridge; here’s a map).

Update: Arbor Heights garage-fire cause “undetermined”



As of 8 am there’s still no word from the Seattle Fire Department about the cause of the fire early this morning in the 10000 block of the alley between 40th and 41st SW. Though the fire was centered in one garage, there is damage to another, and an adjacent house appears to have some heat damage as well. As soon as there’s an update we’ll have it for you. Here’s some pictures of the damage taken at 7:45 this morning. Click here for our breaking news coverage from earlier. 10:12 AM UPDATE: SFD has updated its media info on the fire; spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen says investigators “have ruled the cause (as) undetermined.” Dollar estimate on the damage: $80,000.

This week: 5 chances to learn about 4 notable projects

September 15, 2008 7:33 am
|    Comments Off on This week: 5 chances to learn about 4 notable projects
 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Development | The Kenney | West Seattle news

TONIGHT: Arbor Heights playground meeting, 7 pm, AH Community Church (project preview here). TUESDAY: Alaskan Way Viaduct open house, 5:30-7:30 pm, Fauntleroy Church. WEDNESDAY: 1st of 2 meetings about the $150 million revamp for The Kenney, 6 pm, Fauntleroy Church (project preview here). THURSDAY: New Admiral Safeway project design unveiled at community meeting, 7 pm, Hiawatha (and The Kenney hosts the second meeting about its project, 6 pm). For other events this week and beyond, see our list here.

Update: Garages burn in Arbor Heights

(video added 1:42 am – this is looking toward the alley through bushes from 40th SW, close as we could get, you can see the flames’ glow and hear sirens and also hear, then see, a chainsaw crews were using)
ORIGINAL POST: First engine arriving in 10000 block of 40th SW to a “garage fire” call reported via radio a “fully involved” garage – so we’re headed that way to check it out. Two garages and one vehicle burning, according to a subsequent scanner broadcast. 1:29 AM UPDATE: Just back from the scene. At least one garage burned along the alley between 40th and 41st in the 10000 block (map). Huge flames when we arrived – even bigger before we got there, according to neighbors on two sides of that block – who told us they heard explosion-type noises shortly after the fire started (not uncommon). Here’s what else one neighbor about a block west told us:

No official info just yet so everything we report will be from what we saw at the scene and learned from witnesses. No injuries so far as we could tell – a medic unit was there and left empty. Uploading video momentarily – we couldn’t get too close to a burning garage on a narrow alley, obviously, but the flames were clearly visible between houses from a vantage point on 40th. Also note, 100th and 102nd were still blocked off from 40th to 41st when we left a few minutes ago. 1:48 AM UPDATE: The SFD media hotline confirms “two garages about 10 feet apart” burned, no injuries. Scanner traffic is still very active, so fire crews clearly will be there for quite some time. 2:18 AM UPDATE: Still monitoring the scanner; seems at least one other media crew just got there a short time ago, so you might see something on at least one of the early morning newscasts. Here’s a photo from nearby resident Kevin McClintic that shows how thick the smoke was in the air, even more than a block away:


One more clip from our video, more notable for the sound than the picture … as one engine backs up to switch locations, you can hear lots more in the distance – many more arrived even after we got to the scene:

We will update whenever there’s more official info on the damage and any possible cause.