day : 16/12/2008 10 results

West Seattle snow and ice: Trash collection (etc.) update

As mentioned over the past couple days, Monday trash (etc.) pickups in West Seattle were postponed because of the icy neighborhood streets – and Seattle Public Utilities said they’d try again today, but if they didn’t make it, just bring everything in till next week. We sent SPU’s Andy Ryan a note earlier asking for an official verdict, and just received this answer:

West Seattle customers that have not been collected by now should bring their containers in. Next Monday, the City will collect all three waste streams – garbage, yard waste, recycle. Customers can set out double their usual waste.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Highland Park robbery search

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Just in from Tony, and scanner traffic confirms the search:

… SPD currently have containment around the 7700-7800 block of Highland Parkway SW. It appears that there was another robbery in the area. Scanner traffic from the police seems to indicate that the same suspects in several robberies may be involved in this one also. From what I heard the call came out at just before 6:30 for an armed robbery in front of 7789 Highland Parkway. The police arrived very soon after and set up containment to keep the suspects within a specific geographic area. They are described as two males late teens early twenties wearing white bandanas over their face and hoodie type sweatshirts. One of the males had a shot gun. There were a couple of witnesses to the incident and have provided directions lasted traveled. There does not appear to be a car involved. An SPD K9 unit is responding from the north end of Seattle and expects to be on the scene in the next few minutes. It is likely the road closures will be in effect for a little while. At this time I would suggest that people in the area remain inside and make sure their doors are locked.

More as we get it. Regarding those “several robberies” that happened earlier, there were two last Thursday night (discussed on WSB in the context of a helicopter sighting – here’s the post): one at Gas Depot on South Delridge, one at Lucky Seven in White Center; we had asked both investigating agencies to let us know if any surveillance photos were available to show, but hadn’t received any to date. 8:07 PM UPDATE: Per scanner, a K-9 officer lost the scent somewhere on 10th SW so some units have left that part of the scene. 9 PM NOTE: After that, the scanner traffic dwindled to nothing – so there’s no additional information; our original tipster relayed that officers left that area too. Not sure if we will get more information tonight but we will pursue it. WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: This robbery has appeared on the SPD Blotter website, but even less info than we had in this post; we’re checking directly with the Southwest Precinct for any additional details. WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: The only additional detail that Lt. Steve Paulsen has is that the suspects are “possibly (2) Hispanic males teens/20’s.” He says “we have a lot of folks citywide working on this” and also working in tandem with King County Sheriff’s Office, since one of the stickups last Thursday was in White Center, but no arrests yet.

West Seattle snow and ice: Tuesday night updates

It’s the semi-calm before the next storm. This will be the post about what’s happening tonight – launching it here before your editor takes off for tonight’s school-closure hearing on Genesee Hill (see this post for district info on getting there safely) – but Team WSB will continue updating the weather situation throughout the night, and you are a HUGE part of the team; please continue to leave comments not just about road updates, but also what you’re seeing at stores, for example – anybody who’s NOT sold out of salt, say – or if it goes beyond a comment, please e-mail us (

6:53 PM UPDATE: Getting to Genesee Hill, no problem. But drivers are already starting to get (properly) cautious – very slow procession down the California hill through Gatewood toward Morgan Junction.

8:32 PM UPDATE: The National Weather Service’s presentation about upcoming systems, from a briefing today, is online if you want to take a look. Toplines – we may see anywhere from a trace to 5″ tomorrow. Maybe 2″ to 5″ tomorrow night. Sunday system may have more snow than whatever happens tomorrow. But of course, forecasting’s an art, not a science.

Tomorrow night’s Delridge District Council meeting has been canceled, per a note from Ron Angeles, with the expectation of worsening weather. And in fact, the new forecast discussion is out, with this outlook for the region:


As for how much, they have all bets covered — a trace, to half a foot. So be ready for anything (or nothing). One thing for certain, though, it’s still subfreezing out there, so even so much as a drop of water out of those clouds, and it’s a snowflake. Just noticed while looking for weather radar, a record low was set for the second day in a row – 20, breaking the old record of 24 for this date.

10:30 PM NOTE: So far, the only school delays we’ve heard of for tomorrow are to the south – Highline Public Schools will start 2 hours late (as we posted in the afternoon updates) and Kennedy HS in Burien will start at 10:30. Everyone else seems to be waiting till early morning to decide – forecasters don’t seem to agree when we’ll get that next snow, so that seems to make as much sense as anything.

11:40 PM NOTE: SPU just sent the final word on those postponed trash pickups: Nothing more till next week. Bring ’em in. (A few more details in this separate post.)

West Seattle snow and ice: Is this your car?

Jeanne sent that picture with this:

What’s with this car? It has been stranded since Sunday night on the hill on 37th Ave SW (cross is Alaska) – Fairmount neighborhood. The sanding truck FINALLY came this AM to sand the road, but could only do 1/2 the hill because this car is still there. No one has come for it! Can the police tow it? Or move it at least to the side?!

It’s a blue Kia Spectra, License plate: (starts with 521).

With all the snow that is due to hit us again tomorrow, we need to get this car moved so the sanding truck can get to the rest of this hill! People are trying to navigate around it!

If you are the owner – please come claim your car. You can drive down the hill now!

School-closure fight: District message about tonight’s hearing

From Bridgett Chandler, communications boss at Seattle Public Schools, about tonight’s big school-closure hearing at Genesee Hill Elementary/Pathfinder:

Dear community members,

We want to thank those of you who have signed up to testify at tonight’s
public hearing and those who wish to attend. The weather has created
concerns about safety, and we send this information to update you about
conditions around the Genesee Hill building where the hearing will be
held from 6:30-8:30 tonight.

Road conditions this morning lead us to recommend that those who choose
to attend the hearing carpool and look for parking along the north
shoulder (school side) of Genesee. That road was recently sanded.
While there is some remaining ice on the shoulder area, it is much
clearer than the south side of Genesee.

The sidewalks and steps into the school building were sanded this
morning by SDOT, and staff requested that Dakota and 51st be sanded as
well by SDOT since there was ice on both of these side streets. The
school playground is CLOSED for your safety because of ice, so please
look for parking along Genesee. Metro bus information is available at

We ask that people enter the building from the corner of 51st and
Genesee and follow the signs to the cafeteria where the hearing will be
conducted starting at 6:30.

We want our families and staff to be safe, and we also want to hear your
input. If you make the decision not to attend tonight, we want you to
know that we are reading the emails that come in to as we will also read the transcripts of each
public hearing held this week. Transcripts will also be posted to our
capacity management web site which you can visit from our home page at

Thank you for your participation in this engagement process as we
prepare final recommendations for further public review.

West Seattle snow and ice: Tuesday afternoon updates

(refresh and scroll down for the latest info/pictures)

(Closure sign atop Alaska hill west of 44th, home to TV live shots earlier)
Morning updates and comments can be found here, but now it’s time to kick off afternoon coverage. Just got a text (all methods of contacting WSB are here) from Hopey (thank you!), who found Sno-Melt at NAPA, 4th and Dawson (South Seattle), 50-pound box for $44, “maybe a dozen left.” Also if you haven’t seen it yet, please see this post about city trying to get to side streets today. More to come, including photos from co-publisher Patrick‘s trip to The Junction, which he reports is bustling with shoppers (shop now before the weather goes south; as for WHEN it will go south, tomorrow morning SEEMS to be the forecasts’ semi-consensus).

1:30 PM UPDATE: Walk All Ways at Alaska/California is bare:

But the back lots are a little icy/dicey.

UPDATE 2:18: TR is out checking the streets; she’ll post updates in the comments.

3:53 PM UPDATE: Back! Been almost all over West Seattle, except for Alki (didn’t get closer to the beach than California Way/Harbor with a side stop at Seacrest). Also to White Center. One, we can say that SALT is hard to come by in any form; even Walgreens at 35th/Morgan is out of plain ol’ table salt. McLendon in White Center (as we wrote in comments) didn’t get that shipment they were hoping for – not as of our visit an hour and a half ago, anyway. Around both West Seattle and White Center, many streets – with just a few exceptions – are wet and passable, but watch out when night falls. (The biggest exception – Wildwood past Endolyne, leading to Fauntleroy past the ferry dock and Lincoln Park, so dry and bare it resembled the downtown streets we drove last night.) Got a note from the school district about tonight’s Genesee Hill school-closure hearing – am posting it separately. It includes some road and sidewalk condition info for those attending. Here’s the link.

4:12 PM UPDATE: New forecasts are out. Still calling for snow tomorrow – likely starting very early morning hours, continuing for much of the day, maybe up to 2 inches in the city. Now, adding a few pix we took during our travels the past couple hours – this is Trenton looking west from Westwood Village:

Note the dampness that may well refreeze – common on many “secondary arterials” we traveled as well as north half of California. Conversely, looking west on Trenton from 35th, the classic Icy Side Street of Death (as coined by Mona):

On the northeast corner of that same intersection, a snowperson:

Southwest of there, here’s the California SW curve between Fauntleroy Church (WSB sponsor) and The Hall at Fauntleroy:

That whole stretch from 35th to the ferry dock was in decent shape, though the shadier portion closer to 35th is likely to reglaze after dark.

4:34 PM UPDATE: As everybody braces for the likely snow by morning, the information’s going to start flooding in again. This is part of a buses/county roads news release just in from King County Transportation:

King County Metro Transit is planning on chaining most of its buses for the Wednesday morning commute, and warns bus riders that service could be delayed by the weather conditions throughout the day – particularly in outlying areas of East and Southeast King County.

Many buses may be on snow routing, if not for the morning commute then by midday and late afternoon. Metro may have to switch to snow routes in some locations with little notice. So, the best way to stay on top of the reroutes is to check the adverse weather information on Metro Online at, or call the Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000.

Bus riders are reminded to:

Be patient. Buses are not always on schedule in snowy or icy conditions. And, increased ridership during bad weather can result in crowded buses and a longer-than-usual wait on the phone for the Customer Information Office;
Dress warmly for the walk to the bus stop, expect delays, and wear appropriate footwear for the weather;
Head for bus stops on main arterials or at major transfer points such as park-and-ride lots, transit centers, or shopping centers; and
Riders should wait at bus stops at the very top or very bottom of hills, because buses are often unable to stop for passengers on inclines.

And of course, the county is again reminding motorists to be prepared for winter driving. That means: having plenty of gas in the car; driving with all season tires, chains and warm clothing; and please don’t abandon your vehicle in the middle of travel lanes.

4:57 PM UPDATE: We will keep this post going till about 5:30, after which we’ll start up the evening post. A couple notes before things get too crazy (again, the next snow isn’t due till early morning): If you were planning on attending the WSB Forum members’ holiday party that was postponed Sunday because of the icy roads, member Soclwrkrinmotn is volunteering to pick up the donations – they were for some really great causes, and this weather is making matters even worse for local people in need — check out this forum thread to get the details. You can use the forums’ new Private Message (PM) feature to contact him directly. Also, the Nature Consortium has canceled its Friday afternoon free monthly West Duwamish Greenbelt hike, anticipating the weather won’t be terribly conducive. Reminder, if you cancel or change an event or schedule – that includes school closures/delays – please e-mail, call, etc. to let us know so we can share the info – all our contact info is here.

5:31 PM UPDATE: Highline Public Schools (White Center southward) plans a 2-hour delay tomorrow morning that could become a closure if weather worsens. It’s listed on along with other updates. Also, a plea just out of the WSB inbox:

To those who are buying up all the snow-melting salt in Seattle.

1 bag has lasted me 3-4 years. True Value got 500 bags last night and were out by noon today.c’mon people.a little goes a long don’t need 10 bags!!! (the “per person” limit at the True Value hardware store). try thinking about others’ needs as well as your own!


Or at least, if you have some to share, offer to your neighbors too? P.S. One more note before we fold up this post and move to an “evening” edition – White Center-related news and photos are being posted, as available, at partner site White Center Now ( so if you know anyone in that area, you might invite them to check the site from time to time, or post comments on what’s happening where they are.

West Seattle snow and ice: SDOT says it’s on side streets NOW

(Taken @ noon, Sullivan east of California [map], just south of plowed/sanded Thistle)
With all the concern and complaints about our iced-over side streets in West Seattle not getting de-icing/plowing, we asked SDOT communications boss Rick Sheridan for an official response. Just got this:

While still keeping an eye on arterials, we are now focusing solely on plowing and sanding residential streets citywide. Out of 15 trucks working across Seattle, there are seven trucks out on West Seattle residential streets at this time.

Our policy is to maintain a network of pre-selected key routes that provide access to most city areas and are pathways for regional transit. Our sanders/snowplows must take care of this network of arterial streets first. Once we are comfortable with the condition of those main streets, we turn to residential streets on a request-basis.

SDOT started including more side streets in West Seattle in our routes late yesterday as we worked primary and secondary arterials. The main roads in West Seattle required a lot of attention because of the repeated refreezings.

If there are roads that residents want to highlight for plowing and sanding, please call our Charles Street dispatch (24 hours a day) at 386-1218. We will prioritize those requests and attempt to work as many as possible.

So if your street needs love, call now – because more snow’s on the way. Reminder that the city’s snow and ice info online starts here – that page links to the plowed/deiced routes’ map plus this FAQ (which explains the priorities etc.).

School-closure fight: Genesee Hill hearing tonight; radio talk

ORIGINAL 9:37 AM POST: If you see this before 10 am – Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson and School Board President Michael DeBell are on KUOW radio right now, talking about the closure/change process that’s under way. Tonight at 6:30, at the Genesee Hill Elementary building that’s long been home to Pathfinder K-8, it’s the only official district hearing scheduled in West Seattle during the process, and it’s likely to be a full house, with people speaking from not just Pathfinder but also from Cooper Elementary, which is currently proposed for “program discontinuance” so Pathfinder can move into that building, and from Arbor Heights Elementary, which was in that role on the “preliminary recommendation” list. There’s also word that bus transportation will be available to get Cooper parents from several spots on Delridge to tonight’s hearing; call the school for information: 206-252-8170. Meanwhile, more information has been added to the “Cooper School Works” website we first told you about early yesterday; follow the links from its main page at 10 AM UPDATE: We caught the second half of the radio show – took notes and will add them here shortly, hoping to catch the first half when it’s posted online later. 10:30 AM UPDATE: Click ahead for those notes, including what the superintendent says public hearings like the one tonight are REALLY for:Read More

West Seattle snow and ice: Tuesday morning updates

(this post covered Tuesday morning; go here for ongoing Tuesday afternoon updates)

(latest image from city camera pointing east on The Bridge; refresh for updated image)

(latest image from city camera at Fauntleroy/Alaska, pointing NE; refresh for updated image)
First, to mention again the school delays we first reported last night:
Seattle Public Schools, 2 hours late (see the district website)
Highline Public Schools, 2 hours late (per district website)
Hope Lutheran will start at 10:30 am
Seattle Lutheran High School will start at 10
On Vashon, everything’s regular schedule except McMurray Middle School, which will start 3 hours late, with a bus meeting “commuter students” on the 10:20 am ferry from Fauntleroy
Kennedy HS (Burien) will start 2 hours late
West Seattle Montessori will start on time.
West Seattle Christian Preschool is closed for the day.

Now, some other links for reference:

WSB Traffic page with additional cameras/links relevant to West Seattle commuters
City info on snow/ice routes/procedures (including link to plowed-routes map)
County info on snow/ice routes/procedures (including Metro reroutes)
Metro “adverse weather” service status
King County road alerts
Latest forecast
WSDOT trouble spots via Twitter
Washington State Ferries “service bulletins”
Live 911 log for Seattle fire/medic calls

6:18 AM UPDATE: Commute report from Scott C: “Driving to Everett today was uneventful. 35th still has some icy places as expected. West Seattle Bridge was de-iced and was not a problem at all. … Saw one sanding truck near Morgan/35th, but it was parked. Airport road in Everett is an icy mess.” The forecast updated around 4 am as usual, and now it says:



6:30 AM UPDATE: Metro has updated its list of buses on “adverse weather” reroutes. Shorter than yesterday. 37, 53, 125. Also, the 128 “will not enter SSCC campus.”

6:40 AM UPDATE: Two reminders, from info first reported Monday: Seattle Public Schools told WSB they’re going ahead with the closure hearing at 6:30 pm tonight at Genesee Hill (Pathfinder K-8 building; the list of those signed up to speak is here); Seattle Public Utilities said trash trucks would try again today to pick up in West Seattle, after postponing yesterday’s pickups because of the icy side streets, but if you come home and your trash hasn’t been picked up, just bring it in till next Monday.

8:58 UPDATE: Commute report from Sharonn: Traffic is moving, but moving at a crawl down Avalon and on The Bridge.

9:19 AM UPDATE: Sheila e-mailed to say that despite what the Metro list says, the 125 is NOT on reroute (though, like the 128, it’s not going onto the South Seattle Community College campus).

9:52 AM UPDATE: Marco e-mailed to say there’s a fire truck blocking the right lane of 35th southbound at Morgan. (There’s no specific incident there so may just be an inspection or other stop.)

10:12 AM UPDATE: We’re asking SDOT for an official response on why side streets aren’t sanded/plowed, since so many are asking. We have linked to the official routes before; find that link again here. Also, there is an FAQ about snow and ice removal on the SDOT site here; it includes this passage:

Our 27 trucks with sanders and snowplows must take care of 1,531 lane miles of arterial streets. Once the snow stops and we are comfortable with the condition of the arterial streets, we may be able to take care of residential streets on a request-basis. However, many residential streets are too narrow for our plows to work in them safely.

11:04 AM UPDATE: KOMO‘s Mark Miller is at 44th and Alaska next to a closure sign. That would be the Alaska hill heading west. Satellite picture moments later shows moisture definitely on the way. Just stepped outside to get this photo looking north on California from Thistle – the unplowed “side street” stub of Cali is in the foreground:

11:16 AM UPDATE: We just read the latest “forecast discussion” from the National Weather Service. They believe the metro area snow will start tomorrow (Wednesday) morning – but maybe not be as heavy as a second dose Wednesday NIGHT. Read more here. For those who have been following meteorologist Cliff Mass‘s online writings, his post from just before 6 am talks about 4 am-4 pm snow tomorrow – and reminds us there’s another system coming in over the weekend.

11:45 AM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick is back from hitting a few local streets (he’s going back out and will come back with pix next time). He says Thistle east of 35th is “ugly.” Avalon and even steep Yancy (past Stor-More [WSB sponsor] and on to Allstar) are fine. Still looks bad down side streets, but many main routes look good.

11:50 AM UPDATE: This will be a separate post in a moment. Just got a response from Rick Sheridan at SDOT re: the residential-street problem. Here’s that link. We’ll also be starting the Tuesday afternoon weather post within the hour, will make a note here when that happens.

12:13 PM UPDATE: We’ll be checking next with Seattle Public Utilities re: the trash prognosis – heard a TV report that said they were “trying” again but not sure if that’s really from a new update (there’s no new news release out).

Viaduct panel: West Seattle impact? We’ll get back to you on that

viaductphoto.jpgThe state, county, and city officials who’ve been working on the future of the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s Central Waterfront section always freely admit they have much more to study and figure out. But it was made clear at Monday night’s public forum — first comment opportunity since the unveiling of two “hybrid scenarios” — that one of the things they’re still figuring out is what the scenarios would mean to this side of the bay. Read on:Read More