West Seattle, Washington
Yes, we know, ALL things are possible, including hot melted cheese falling from the sky, Elvis knocking on your door trying to sell you new windows, your next holiday card containing a winning ticket for Mega Millions. But really, the latest “forecast discussion” says city snow remains a possibility overnight, and also mentions the word “unsettled” in the same sentence as “Christmas Eve.” Be ready just for the heck of it; our neighbors with the long steep driveway already moved their cars up to level ground just in case.
Footnote: No area school changes announced so far. After today’s ultimately unnecessary closures, you can bet they are waiting till early morning for decisionmaking this time.
The other day, we got word from Hansen View Blockwatch (the neighborhood west of the Camp Long entrance) about car prowls, and linked their report to the WSB Crime Watch page since the main page here was completely caught up in weather coverage. Tonight, since weather woes are in a lull, we’re posting here that HVB has sent word of another car-prowling incident, two cars in the 5000 block of 36th (here’s a map; full report is on the HVB website).
We’re at district HQ for tonight’s school board meeting, where speakers during the public-comment period are scheduled to include people on behalf of Cooper Elementary, Pathfinder K-8, and Arbor Heights Elementary, the three West Seattle schools that have been involved in the closure proposals so far. Also, Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson is scheduled to present an update on the process; that “update” at the meeting two weeks ago yielded the first official word that the possibility of closing the Cooper “program” was being studied. We’re not going to post minute-by-minute updates of this meeting, since you can watch live on TV (cable channel
23 26 per district staff), but we will post periodic notes about what happens, particularly once the superintendent presents her report.
6:02 PM UPDATE: Meeting has begun; Cheryl Chow is the only board member not here. Standing-room-only group like two weeks ago. (Added post-meeting: We took two photos of the room quickly between the Pledge of Allegiance and the public-comment period – directionally, as the board faces, we were sitting in the front row on the right, to get the seat next to the speakers’ podium for better video, and so had a straight-ahead view of that side, with an angled view of the left side of the room – first photo is right, second photo left.)
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Rain, wind, and rising mercury — nature’s great de-icers. That’s SW Sullivan looking east and uphill from California SW (map); compare that to this view from 25 hours earlier:
Since the weather situation SEEMS to be calming down, we will just keep this one post going for weather-related updates into the afternoon and evening – if by any chance anything snowy/icy does HAPPEN to erupt, we’ll change the plan, but for now we’re tapering down. More to come, as weather-related info arrives.
2:32 PM NOTE: Somebody asked in comments, so what happened to all that snow? As you likely snow, it hit hard in Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom counties. But in the latest forecast discussion (a new one should be out by 4 or so), National Weather Service forecasters are still fairly certain some is heading this way:
AFTER SUNSET…COLDER AIR ALOFT SPREADS IN AS TODAY’S WEATHER SYSTEM
MOVES SOUTH. THIS SHOULD BRING A CHANGEOVER BACK TO SNOW FOR EVERYONE. THE FOCUS OF CONCERN THIS EVENING WILL BE ON A BAND OF SNOW THAT FIRST DEVELOPS OVER THE NORTH SOUND EARLY THIS EVENING. MODELS POINT TO THIS FEATURE UNANIMOUSLY. HEAVY SNOWFALL AMOUNTS ARE LIKELY WITHIN THIS FEATURE…PARTICULARLY IN THE EVERETT AREA AND EAST ALONG THE HIGHWAY 2 CORRIDOR TO THE CASCADES. THIS BAND OF HEAVY SNOW WILL THEN SINK SOUTH INTO KING COUNTY BY LATE EVENING WITH MOST OF THE SEATTLE METRO AREA’S 1 TO 3 INCHES OF ACCUMULATION COMING BETWEEN 7 PM AND 1 AM.
Take it with a grain of, well, rock salt, if you wish, but that’s what they’re saying. Cliff Mass has posted an update too.
5:10 PM UPDATE: Back on commute watch. Very windy now. Still above freezing. We’ll be heading to Sodo shortly for tonight’s School Board meeting (though weather-related updates will also continue here) so we’ll see the commute route in the opposite direction, if anything’s awry along the way. So far all the road bulletins from the state are focusing on the north Sound, where as mentioned earlier, they got smacked this time. The afternoon metro-area forecast includes:
TONIGHT…SNOW SHOWERS…MIXED WITH RAIN SHOWERS EARLY THIS EVENING. SNOW ACCUMULATION 1 TO 3 INCHES. LOWS IN THE MID 20S TO LOWER 30S. SOUTHWEST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.
THURSDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS. AN ADDITIONAL INCH OR SO OF ACCUMULATION POSSIBLE THROUGH MID MORNING. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S. SOUTHWEST WIND TO 10 MPH.
THURSDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS. LOWS 16 TO 23. NORTHWEST WIND TO 10 MPH.
5:50 PM UPDATE: Smooth sailing from West Seattle to Sodo. Haven’t seen people drive that fast in … days. Radio forecasters still saying … well … the city might see a flake, or two, or more. Post a comment if you see one! Here’s where it IS snowing — Las Vegas (photos here) — most Las Vegas airport traffic is being shut down, according to one infostream we’re watching.
In the first four days following the announcement of two “hybrid scenarios” for “replacing” the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s Central Waterfront “mile in the middle” section, we brought you four expanded reactions/commentaries (all archived here with the rest of our Viaduct coverage). The one that drew the most criticism — in posted comments, anyway — came from West Seattle-residing (entire-city-representing) City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (read it here). Wondering what he thought about that reaction, and/or why his Viaduct view is what it is? You don’t have to wonder – you can talk to him yourself. According to a note from his office (and he himself has posted this in a comment), “he would like to meet with anyone who would like to discuss this issue in person this Saturday morning. Tom will be at Uptown Espresso, 4301 SW Edmunds (California & Edmunds; here’s a map) between 8:30 – 10:30 am this Saturday, December 20th. He would welcome the opportunity to meet informally to hear people’s comments and recommendations on the viaduct and to exchange views on this important issue or any other Seattle issue of concern.”
Just mentioned this in our ongoing weather-related-coverage post, but wanted to note it separately too, since hundreds of families around West Seattle are affected by the ongoing school-closure process (WSB coverage archived here): We have just reconfirmed with Seattle Public Schools that, even though schools are closed districtwide today, tonight’s School Board meeting, 6 pm at district HQ in Sodo with a closure-process update on the agenda, IS STILL HAPPENING AS SCHEDULED. But district spokesperson Patti Spencer does advise checking the district website (here’s the School Board page) IF weather conditions change significantly later (and we will of course bring you word of any changes here).
Tomorrow night, the Southwest Design Review Board is scheduled to meet at the Madison Middle School library, with two projects to review, including the $150 million redevelopment proposal for The Kenney in Fauntleroy. Design proposals are often made available online before DRB meetings, and we wanted to let you know that the presentation The Kenney will make tomorrow night has just been posted. See it here; it’s shorter than most of these “packets” — six pages, showing five possible configurations of the project – one that The Kenney showed as its “preferred alternative” at the October 23 meeting (WSB coverage here), one that would be “code compliant” (not requiring zoning changes or other “departures”), one that is self-explanatorily titled the “Saving Seaview Alternative” (that’s the historic Kenney building with the cupola), one called the “L3 Perimeter Alternative Plan” (subtitled as “permitting better transition to adjacent single-family structures,” and finally the “December 18 preferred plan” (shown above; tallest structure would be 5 stories, west-east wing in the middle of the campus). Again, you can get a closer look at that, and all five versions, here. The Kenney is on tomorrow night’s agenda at 8 pm, following a 6:30 pm review for 4502 42nd SW (as reported here, with links to the previous review as well as the new presentation). Here’s a map to Madison MS. And you can see all WSB coverage of The Kenney’s redevelopment plan (dating back to our first in-depth preview four months ago) archived here.
(this coverage concluded around 1 pm; click here to go to Wednesday afternoon weather coverage)
The 4 am forecast puts a Winter Weather Advisory into effect until 10 am tomorrow. Who — and where — will see the first flakes? Till they fall, here are some hopefully helpful links:
SchoolReport.org (for Seattle Public Schools status, among others, including Highline and Vashon)
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
WSDOT trouble spots via Twitter
Washington State Ferries “service bulletins”
Live 911 log for Seattle fire/medic calls
Holy Rosary sent e-mail to say that their school is open and on time.
West Seattle Montessori is open and on time with the possibility of an early dismissal if it starts snowing.
West Seattle Christian Preschool is closed.
The Tilden School is open and on time.
9:12 AM UPDATE: In case you’re at work outside West Seattle now and wondering – no flakes yet. Up north – different story; just saw a snow total report go by on TV – one spot in Skagit County has already had half a foot. Meantime, SDOT has sent an update with a reminder that, as we reported yesterday, you can call in about an iced-over non-arterial:
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) proactively positioned crews around the city this morning, with light snow forecast, ready to respond to snow and ice on major arterial streets if needed. During the day, many crews will proceed with normal street maintenance activities while continuing to carefully monitor roadway conditions. Heavier snowfall is forecast for late this afternoon. A full contingent of crews and snow/ice equipment will be deployed in the field in advance of the evening commute.
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By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
40 speakers, 3 schools, 2 school board members. Those are the numbers from last night’s school-closure public hearing at the Genesee Hill Elementary building that Pathfinder K-8 has called home for almost 15 years. And numbers were the reason the hearing had to happen at all – a $24 million-$37 million budget shortfall faced by Seattle Public Schools, with $3.6 million a year potentially to be saved by shuttering school buildings including the long-deteriorating Genesee Hill. The district’s been proposing closing it for years — without also closing the Pathfinder “program” — so the issue has been, and remains, where does Pathfinder go?