West Seattle, Washington
(yes, that’s the official WSB HQ arterial-meets-arterial intersection, this time Thistle to California looking west)
Finally starting a new post. First, Friday’s KNOWN area school closures (pretty much everyone):
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
HOLY FAMILY SCHOOL
HOLY ROSARY SCHOOL
HOPE LUTHERAN SCHOOL
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE SCHOOL
SEATTLE LUTHERAN HS
SOUTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
VASHON SCHOOL DISTRICT
WEST SEATTLE MONTESSORI
Looking for another school/district? Try SchoolReport.org
Now, the latest county transit/road alert:
King County Metro Transit continues to operate with severely reduced service this evening, while Road Services Division crews concentrate their efforts on plowing and sanding major arterials.
While the snow that fell over the county for much of the day has now moved out of the area, road and transit workers have a monumental task ahead – keeping as many roads open and people moving as possible ahead of the next storm. By Saturday afternoon, high winds, and more snow or freezing rain could present yet another major weather-related headache for residents.
On Thursday afternoon, approximately half of Metro’s and Sound Transit’s bus service in King County was temporarily suspended due to weather and road conditions. Bus passengers should assume that will be the situation for Friday morning as well. Please check the Metro Online website before you leave home to see if your bus route is operating and if it is on snow routing.
In preparation for the morning commute, King County road crews will focus on plowing and sanding major arterials and other priority snow routes such as bridges, overpasses and steep hills overnight. But motorists are being warned that these targeted response efforts do not mean that arterials will not be icy in the morning given the hard freeze that’s expected during the night. So motorists should monitor weather forecasts and traffic reports before heading out. And if you must travel, you are reminded to be prepared to drive in bad weather. That includes having good all-season tires or chains and a full tank of gas in the car.
The Department of Transportation also has a reminder for parents tonight. When the area gets significant snowfall, steep neighborhood roadways become popular sledding spots for kids. But sledding on roads is an extremely dangerous way for kids to enjoy the snow. So residents are being asked to help avoid tragic accidents by suggesting an alternative safe location for winter fun.
Motorists are advised to check out King County Road Alerts for the latest information on road closures in unincorporated King County. Residents are also encouraged to report problems on county maintained roads by calling (206) 296-8100, or 1-800-KC ROADS if they live outside the greater Seattle calling area.
9:07 PM AND SLIGHTLY BEYOND: We’re taking some time to catch up on interesting info and pix we might have missed during the fast-and-furious pace of the morning/afternoon updates, now that (we hope) everyone is safe and warm at home. We’ll share what else we come up with, such as: KOMO’s weather blog explains the “thunder snow” that started all this, so many hours ago. Also: Thanks to the people who sent sunset shots; somehow we missed that peek of sun, but Maria captured it in a Christmas-card-perfect shot:
10:36 PM: Before a few more catchup photos from this momentous day, the latest “forecast discussion” is in. By most accounts, it’ll be very cold but dry tomorrow, and that next everything-but-the-kitchen-sink storm is still skulking out there somewhere for a Saturday night-ish arrival.
CLICK AHEAD TO SEE THE REST OF OUR “AS IT HAPPENED” FRIDAY NIGHT COVERAGE (INCLUDING PHOTOS):Read More
A West Seattle Crime Watch update before we top the main page with evening updates on the weather, looking ahead to tomorrow: We have new information about law enforcers’ search for robbers who are believed to have hit at least three stores in the south West Seattle/north White Center area in the past week — stickups at Gas Depot and Lucky Seven last Thursday, and at the Country Deli this past Tuesday (WSB coverage here; map above shows the three locations). According to information forwarded by Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen, investigators reviewing surveillance video — which has not yet been publicly released (though we have requested any available images) — say “the suspects can be seen … milling about outside for a while prior to the robberies, checking to see if any customers inside.” Investigators want to get this information to local businesspeople: If you see suspicious-looking people hanging around outside your business, call 911. Until we get visuals, all we can tell you regarding a description is what little police have shared — “possibly” Hispanic men in their “late teens/early twenties” — they have been described as wearing bandannas over their faces, and toting at least one shotgun.
Before we kick off the evening snow coverage, a couple other West Seattle news items to share, starting with the date that’s just been set for the next official public hearing about the West Seattle site that’s one of six locations under consideration for a regional misdemeanor-offender jail. As announced last month, the Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way site (Google Street View above; this area was briefly famous months ago as the original “Nickelsville”) is still on the list, which expanded when Seattle’s potential jailbuilding partners, including Bellevue and Shoreline, nominated possible sites. Now each site will be the subject of a “scoping” meeting as part of the environmental-impact review, and the West Seattle meeting is set for 6 pm January 13 at South Seattle Community College‘s Brockey Center – abundant details here. (If you need to catch up on the jail-site fight, six months of WSB coverage is archived here, newest to oldest.)
(This post is now closed, as we move on to evening updates here; our morning coverage from 5 am-1 pm is here. Recap of known FRIDAY school closures: SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, SEATTLE LUTHERAN HS, HOLY ROSARY SCHOOL, WEST SEATTLE MONTESSORI, HOLY FAMILY, HOPE LUTHERAN ALL CANCELED FOR FRIDAY)
Time to start a new multiple-update post – the morning coverage (see it all here) reached epic length including almost 300 comments (really, more like 300 helpful reports – THANK YOU!!!! keep it coming). First info to share comes from Evan Nordby in Westwood:
Thistle between 35th and Delridge is still unplowed/unsanded. Delridge is acceptable south toward White Center… 16th/Ambaum is compact snow/ice, some evidence of plowing, minimal if any sand south to 128th. 128th is tricky over to Des Moines Memorial, and
unplowed/unsanded from there east to Military (where I rescued my girlfriend at 10:30). Measured 5″ on our deck table 5 minutes ago, at 34th and Thistle. Many if not all federal offices are closed (US District and Bankruptcy Courts, Labor, Homeland Security on Tukwila Intl. off the top of my
Evan also sent a pic:
Meantime, SDOT has just reiterated: THE BRIDGE IS OPEN:
West Seattle Bridge Remains Open
SEATTLE–SDOT crews continue to plow and de-ice the high-level West Seattle Bridge today. Several on and off-ramps were closed temporarily due to accidents earlier today, but at this time we are not aware of any closures. Two SDOT trucks are devoted to providing continuous service to the West Seattle Bridge and the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The on-ramp to I-5 at Sixth Avenue South and South Spokane Street is closed at this time. In addition, 22 SDOT trucks continue to treat major arterial streets throughout the city.
Via Twitter – Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) in the Admiral District is open, and making cocoa for customers.
12:34 PM UPDATE: From Brittany in North Delridge:
11:45 here, and still snowing! i’d say we’ve got a good 5 inches so far. wind is
blowing around like crazy, too. not many cars on the road, but neighbors are out with skis and sleds. we’re on 26th behind the community center and can see the golf course out our back windows- i imagine there will be some activity there before too long. we’re just staying warm inside for now, after some tromping around and obligatory snowball fights!
From 47th and Edmunds (map), MP says Edmunds has become a sledding hill, and also notes the USPS is out delivering there too (hats off to the mail carriers and everyone else with a MUST-DO job today who is out there doing it):
Cami sends video from Alki (the neighborhoods just inland, not the beach itself, anyone got pix from there?):
She adds that a block party is developing nearby (56th/Lander). To recap from the morning update – Bus service this afternoon will be limited, per Metro, and West Seattle, with our wonderful hills, is a particular trouble spot. Full details here.
CLICK AHEAD TO READ MORE OF OUR AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE:Read More
In addition to the Design Review Board meeting cancellation we mentioned earlier, we have just received word that the Cooper Elementary school-closure meeting tonight IS ALSO CANCELED – no new date set yet. Seattle Public Schools also sent word that the Lowell Elementary hearing is canceled too; APP (top-level gifted program) families citywide would have been going to that one. We’ll be launching a new afternoon coverage post shortly and will recap closures and changes there too.
This picture gets its own post – thanks to Courtney, who photographed it on Kenyon between 35th and 36th. She reports, “Those are real fish in its belly.”
We have been covering cancellations, changes, delays, closures (and some of what’s OPEN) in our main weather post – but this one needed a separate note too: The Design Review Board meeting that had been scheduled tonight at Madison Middle School for two projects, 4502 42nd SW and The Kenney‘s redevelopment, IS CANCELED per city planner Michael Dorcy. We will let you know when a new date is set.
(THIS WAS THE MORNING POST – CLICK HERE FOR AFTERNOON COVERAGE. From earlier: School closures so far (as of 11:20 am): Seattle Public Schools, Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hope Lutheran, West Seattle Montessori, Holy Family in White Center, Seattle Lutheran High School, Westside School, West Seattle Christian Preschool, Shorewood Christian, elementaries in Highline Public Schools, South Seattle Community College, elementary on Vashon, all closed. School delays: Vashon middle and high schools, 2 hours late; Highline middle and high schools are 1 hour late)
Finally happened. We’re on live-update watch now. More shortly. No school changes yet; we’re watching schoolreport.org among other places.
5:29 AM UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools are CLOSED for the day. Meteorologist on the radio describes this as a “band of showers.” Driving is dangerous right now since this is fresh, buses too according to a comment that just came in. And we just had THUNDER AND LIGHTNING in Upper Fauntleroy. Holy Rosary School is closed. Our Lady of Guadalupe is closed. Vashon School District, 2 hours late. Highline Public Schools, 1 hour late. (Got a closure? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-293-6302)
5:47 AM UPDATE: Just heard a KING 5 producer on the phone on her station say she couldn’t get out of West Seattle via Delridge – undrivable at the moment – reportedly blocked by stuck buses. (We have the live bridge-cam up at the top of this post, also relisting school closures there too as they come in, as well as here in the continuing updates.) Another school delay: South Seattle Community College, 10 am start. Remember we have the bridge cam “live” pic (refresh for latest) atop this post; more West Seattle-relevant cams on our Traffic page. I-5 ramp on that page looks totally white.
5:56 AM UPDATE: Metro has updated its “adverse weather” page with bus routes that are on reroute. See the list here. It includes the 21, 22 (“not operating on 41st SW – ice” says the list), 23, 37, 53, 125, 128 (not entering the SSCC campus for those last two), and many others areawide.
6:03 AM UPDATE: Hope Lutheran School CLOSED for the day. Thanks to Chris for sending this photo of the buses in trouble on Delridge onramp to The Bridge:
West Seattle Montessori just called – CLOSED for the day, added to our running list at the TOP of this post (above the “live” bridge pic). Via Facebook (“friend” us at WS Blog), Talani at Stor-More Self-Storage (WSB sponsor) sends this photo of Avalon from Yancy (that’s the Tillicum Village HQ and gift shop in the background) and says it’s “solid white,” very treacherous:
Scanner says “it’s all turning to ice now … going to assume there will be accidents all over the place.” They can’t even get to accidents that are blocking or involve injuries, “we’re not going to car-in-the-ditch stuff” says dispatcher.
CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE REST OF OUR AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE:Read More
That’s Molly Gras-Usry, one of two Cooper Elementary parents who spoke to the Seattle School Board Wednesday night during the public-comment period that started the board’s regular meeting. Tonight, Cooper has its own meeting with a district official (7 pm @ Cooper) – but Wednesday, it was a chance to address the board. The other parent to speak was Brittany Abbott, who hadn’t been on the speaker list but got the chance when an Arbor Heights Elementary parent yielded his spot. She too spoke about how, as the theme of the school’s anti-closure campaign goes, Cooper works:
One Arbor Heights parent did speak, April Bolding from the AH PTSA. Though AH is not currently on the list that’s being actively considered for closure, the two-plus-week scare jolted that school’s community into brainstorming ways they could help with the West Seattle South cluster’s capacity imbalance, and that’s what Bolding focused on:
In comments following our as-it-happened report on the board meeting, Paul Dieter pointed out other West Seattleites were there on behalf of another school that was under consideration as a candidate for closure or consolidation, The Center School, a nontraditional high school that leases space in the Center House at Seattle Center. One speaker said 17 percent of TCS students are from West Seattle. (That would be about 50; the school’s website says it has about 300 students.) That school, as it turned out, is involved in the only change that was revealed tonight regarding the proposed closure list — Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson said that changes involving high schools were off the table for now, for at least a year. (The Center School and Rainier Beach High School had been the only high schools mentioned in the process.) That was the only change she announced; other than that, what she announced last week (summary here) stands, including the proposal to close the Cooper “program,” disperse its students, and move Pathfinder K-8 into the Cooper building, closing the old Genesee Hill Elementary building where the alternative school’s long been housed.
Also at the meeting: District watchdog Chris Jackins of West Seattle – who speaks at almost every meeting – again implored the district not to close any schools; district financial boss Don Kennedy recapped his recent budget report, again saying the district may wind up $37 million in the red, depending on what’s in the governor’s budget for education (she announces her budget this afternoon); chief academic officer Carla Santorno explained the “design team” concept that has come up more and more often (including in the superintendent’s radio appearance Tuesday) as the plan for helping students and staffers transition to new schools once the closure plan is finalized – the jargonistic bullet points are in this PDF of her presentation
The last section of the “superintendent’s report” was a long and fine-print-laden presentation by researcher Brad Bernatek. He is crunching numbers on “functional capacity” — which means how many students a school can REALLY hold, not just how many it should THEORETICALLY be able to hold — in a study that started just last month. Some asked at the time, shouldn’t that study have been done before district leadership started declaring some schools underenrolled and some overenrolled? Meantime, Bernatek said the data will all be ready by January 13th, leading board member Harium Martin-Morris to point out – that’s a week AFTER the final recommendations are to come out, how are we supposed to make the decision without the data? Dr. Goodloe-Johnson said there would be lots of time (16 days, to be precise, before the final vote; 9 days before the final public hearing). Again, the entire presentation can be read here.
WHAT’S NEXT: The district-organized meeting at Cooper at 7 pm tonight (listed on this page along with all other remaining community hearings); the announcement of “final recommendations” on January 6; School Board meetings Jan. 7 and 21; final public hearing (for the entire plan as it stands then) January 22; special board meeting to vote on the plan, January 29. Public comment is still being accepted by e-mail at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you hear the phrase “holiday magic,” it’s usually in conjunction with some warm and fuzzy representation of sugarplums, lights, faux snow, and so on. But this Saturday morning at 11 am at the Admiral Theater — which along with presenting sponsor Metropolitan Market is advertising on WSB to get the word out — it’s Holiday Magic and Wonder with professional magician Steffan Soule (photo above) – here’s more info from The Admiral:
The show will connect all ages to genuine astonishment and even Old St. Nick is rumored to magically appear on-stage! Steffan promises; fluttering white doves will appear and disappear, an audience member will be suspended in mid-air, and other magical and mystical feats that will leave families gasping in disbelief.
Specially priced at $6.00 a ticket, the show will also benefit the West Seattle Helpline, which is looking to replenish their school supplies for their Students in Need Program. Executive Director Anna Fern is asking for basic supplies for elementary, middle and high school students such as pencils, notebook paper, crayons, colored pencils for map drawings, scissors, glue and pens. Backpacks are also much needed. After the magic show, there will be a photo opportunity for kids where parents can bring their own cameras to take pictures of their children with Santa for a suggested $1.00 donation, which will also go to the Helpline.
What a fun and inexpensive way to share the magic of the holidays with your whole family. There will be a dollar discount on each ticket with groups over 20. Group tickets must be purchased at the theater.
Soule is a seasoned children’s performer as well as an excellent entertainer of adult and corporate audiences. He performed a program of magic and music for children with The Seattle Symphony and has created educational and environmental magic shows that tour the country. He is also a favorite in school educational assemblies and supplies special arts programs to colleges, high schools as well as elementary schools.
For additional information on the 11 am Saturday (12/20) show, go to: steffansoule.com/admiral, or call 206-938-0785.