West Seattle, Washington
The Oregonian in Portland published this story online last night, but we just caught the link through a Twitter mention — the aftermath of their city’s even-more-epic snow. Notable revelations: Portland plows NO secondary streets, but does have 50 snowplows (almost double the Seattle number). However – this earlier article suggests they had some plow trouble and bus trouble too.
That’s Zack the formerly stray cat. At least, that’s what Jane, who took him in, is calling him. She sent us the photo along with a request for help – he needs it, and she can’t entirely provide it. Read on:
Three weeks ago a stray cat I call Zack came in my yard scared and hungry. After a week Zack let me pet him and I took him in because of the cold weather. I noticed his left back leg was injured and due to the snow I was unable to take him to the vet until yesterday.
I feel so bad and can’t stop crying. The vet told me Zack was probably hit by a car (and) needs to have his leg amputated. I am disabled and do not have much money. I had to take my grocery money to pay for his treatment. The thought of having Zack’s leg removed is killing me and I asked the vet if there was any way to save his leg by re-breaking it and having pins put in and he said the cost would be in the thousands and no way I could afford it. The cost to have Zack’s leg removed would be around $1,500.
Zack is around 2 yrs old and he has not been neutered. He is as sweet as can be. I am going to keep him and am writing to see if anyone could help by donating some money to the West Seattle Animal Clinic on 42nd on Zack’s behalf. I would deeply appreciated it. I tried looking for Zack’s owner without success.
Jane says she has let the clinic (West Seattle Animal Hospital) know she is trying to find people to help with the surgery costs, and says you can leave a note there that you’re donating for Zack’s surgery costs. Clinic contact info is here. Or if you want to contact Jane with some other idea of how to help Zack, you can e-mail WSB at firstname.lastname@example.org we’ll forward your note.
Out of the WSB inbox from Ann; she sent it this morning, but now that night has fallen, it remains relevant for some slushy-sidewalk spots around town:
Folks are exercising (running) in the streets around Admiral – which is fine, we understand that the sidewalks are still dicey – but folks really need to wear light colored clothing. A runner (wearing dark clothing also wearing earphones) just slipped on ice in CA Ave in front of my car, she corrected herself in time and luckily I was going slowly so I didn’t come near her. I’m not sure if there is way to remind people to be safe during the thaw as there is still ice in the streets, even major ones.
#1 – If you still suspect snow is swamping a storm drain near you, Seattle Public Utilities‘ Andy Ryan offers one more tidbit for finding it:
In general, most drains are located at natural low points along roadways or at the curb around intersections. Also, if someone is walking along a road, they might be able to get a sense of where the lowest area might be (at the bottom of a hill, at a dip in the road, next to a curb in a parking lot that collects water.
#2 – Yes, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market will resume tomorrow (after missing last week), 10 am-2 pm, 44th/Alaska. WSFM management notes it was the first time in FIFTEEN YEARS they decided to cancel a market for “scary weather.” (If you are a WSB newcomer, note that we always publish the link to the latest “Ripe and Ready” Farmers’ Market list early Sunday morning, for WSFM shoppers’ convenience.)
#3 – Guess what – Tamsen in Morgan Junction sent this follow-up on the garden gnome (here’s yesterday’s look): “My garden gnome is telling me it’s safe to go out ‘there’ now. I’m off to deliver some cookie and fudge trays, two days late and shop for some deals”:
We’re leaving WSB Cave (er, HQ) for a while ourselves.
(SW Sullivan looking east from California SW [map], one of many slushy side streets)
The temperature’s in the 40s, rain is falling, snow is receding. And yet, normalcy does not instantly return, as noted via Facebook by Talani from Stor-More Self-Storage (WSB sponsor) on steep SW Yancy east of Avalon (map):
I think it’s important for our neighbors to know that everything is NOT back to normal…I know people are driving again on the main streets, and that we are seeing more blacktop than we have in 2 weeks, but we still have dangerous conditions on side streets, in parking lots and on the Stor-More property. The places a lot of residents, seniors, handicapped and others want to go, they still cannot get to. We are still snowed in on Yancy, because while we can get out of our driveway and up a street, we cannot go to places we want to go to, and park in their lot. Armed with only one shovel, it’s impossible for us and others to get every last place that has snow and ice, when we have 3 huge buildings…the result is that tenants are arriving very confident because our driveway is blacktop between 2 mountains of snow, but they are getting stuck on the property and we are having to push their vehicles with our hands to keep them from crashing into other vehicles on property. Still snow!!!
Talani also notes that while the U.S. Postal Service has braved conditions every day to get mail to Stor-More, which has public mailboxes (including the WSB business box), UPS and FedEx haven’t made it there in a week, even though some of their customers have been told the packages were delivered.
(WSB editorial-esque aside ensues:) This is what we are seeing as the central problem for how multiple large businesses and government agencies served citizens during Snowmare ’08 — not so much which actions they did or didn’t execute, in terms of delivering, plowing, etc., as the failure to communicate clearly, quickly, reliably, SPECIFICALLY< about what is or is not being done, when it will be done, and WHERE it will be done. Sadly, this was the same problem during the last weather-related crisis in our area -- the power outages following the December 2006 windstorm. We were without power for almost 4 days; some in West Seattle were power-less for a week. People managed to cope -- but were desperate for information on "when are the crews coming to my neighborhood?" The uncertainty often seemed to take a heavier toll than the outage's actual side effects. As much as knowledge is power, a knowledge deficit is not only powerlessness, but also brings stress. Of course we must say, yet again, that we are WELL aware many good people in these large businesses and government agencies worked themselves to a frazzle to do the best they could. Snowplow drivers, mail carriers, city and county media-relations people trying to gather and share the latest general information, and answer questions from all us media types, small and large, police officers and firefighters slogging their way to incidents big and small. The point isn't that nobody tried. The point is that at a different level, beyond the people-power on the street, technology exists now to get SPECIFIC, REAL-TIME information to people - so that the uncertainty can be lessened. This was NOT a crisis that destroyed infrastructure; the power stayed on, the servers ran, the computers worked, the cell towers stayed up, the phones worked. But they did not deliver SPECIFIC, REAL-TIME information, reliably, to the people desperate for it. We hope that the IT people and the customer-service people will have serious post-mortems that result in real action plans. Why weren't the "bus trackers" accurate? What do you need to put on a bus to figure out where it is, and how can you crunch code to translate that information into something customer-accessible showing just how far behind schedule Route X is running and how far off its route it really is? For snowplows and power crews -- certainly they are dispatched from somewhere, by somebody keeping track of where they are now, and where they are going next. Can that information be multipurposed so that customers - who the city claims it puts first - will have a better idea of how soon, if at all, they will get help getting out of their streets? This will require true brainstorming sessions, the "no bad ideas" kind. We fear the discussion could get bogged down in concern over whether certain corporate/government computer systems will work well with each other. Don't get caught up in that. Similar problems have hampered old-media organizations (including at least two megacorporations where we worked) in their efforts to leap into the new-media world. Use the same out-of-the-box tools us civilians use. State/county/local government did use Twitter, for example, to some degree, during Snowmare ’08 — unfortunately not with many specifics — mostly to send out the news-release links, or generalized lines (the experimental Twitter account “sdotsnow” was last heard from on Christmas Eve, with “Primary roads are wet with some slush. Secondary arterials the focus through the night. Temps helping with work”). Seattle Police are using WordPress (same open-source content-management system that is the underpinning of WSB and millions of other blog-format websites) to power the almost-blog-like SPDBlotter site.
We don’t have the solutions but we did want to point out that from our standpoint, watching WSB’ers use the comments sections of our snow-coverage posts to share specifics about bus-route realities and UPS-truck sightings (among many other things), the communication methodology and comprehensiveness are what require the real work after everyone has recovered from this — much more so than “salt vs. sand” or “articulated buses vs. standard.”
The announcement’s in from Seattle Public Utilities:
Seattle’s garbage and recycling contractors today resumed collections for some residential customers, mostly in Northeast Seattle, whose normal pickup day is Friday.
Today’s collection work is focusing primarily on garbage and recycling (and not yard waste) on streets that provide safe access. Some neighborhoods still cannot be serviced safely; these areas will be collected next week.
For next week, Monday through Wednesday customers are now scheduled to be collected on their regular pickup days. If your pickup is missed, please continue to leave your garbage out and we will attempt to collect it New Year’s Day (Thursday, Jan. 1) or the following Friday or Saturday (Jan. 2 and 3).
Most commercial routes serving businesses and apartments are being operated today, collecting missed accounts as access allows. Contractors are using extra staff to access and move snow-blocked containers.
Customers whose collections have been delayed may set out their extra garbage at no additional charge. When setting out extra waste, customers are encouraged to place perishable food items in their collection containers and set bagged non-perishable items next to the containers.
Customers who have had their collections missed can also take their waste to Seattle’s Recycling and Disposal stations, where it will be accepted at no charge. The stations will be open today through Wednesday, including Sunday, but closed on New Year’s Day, Thursday, Jan. 1.
Still have questions? We’ve covered the trash situation in so many posts over the past 12 days, they probably need a coverage category of their own – but if you have a question that hasn’t been answered, post it and we’ll either dig up the info or see what we can find out from SPU. Some West Seattle neighborhoods, as you are likely well aware, haven’t been picked up for THREE weeks, since our area got hit so hard by the 12/13-12/14 snow that West Seattle was skipped on the 12/15 Monday runs as well as 12/22.
Two weeks after the first serious snow started to fall on our area, more stories continue to emerge about how hard people worked to be sure the weather didn’t stop them from doing what needed to be done. At one point, we published an urgent call for help from Rick Jump (left) at the White Center Food Bank, saying they needed volunteers to help distribute holiday food baskets for hundreds of families; he subsequently reported that many people answered the call and they had more than enough help. What Rick didn’t mention, though, is the lengths he’d been going to, to keep the WCFB — whose official service area includes part of West Seattle — running. That story emerged in e-mail we received last night from Christi Stapleton, who along with Beth Grieser wanted to make sure Rick and the volunteers got a special shout-out, as well as everybody who has helped WCFB and West Seattle Food Bank:
The White Center Food Bank has been working overtime to get enough food and workers together to help out, but it’s been tight lately: demand is up, donations are down.
The Executive Director, Rick Jump, is really dedicated, as are the volunteers and staff.
But, with the weather this year, their dedication really stood out. There was enough food for everyone, but the weather meant that volunteers had a hard time getting there to help!
The snow and ice made travel difficult for all, but Rick’s street was too icy to drive, so he walked 2.5 miles to the food bank and slept there THREE nights to make sure all families could be served. Volunteers braved the snow to help out.
Admiral Safeway and Roxbury Safeway ran a promotion at the register to allow shoppers to painlessly and quickly add a ham for the food bank to their grocery bill! The response was great and allowed the food bank to distribute hams to every family that came to the food bank over the holidays. The Jefferson Square Safeway ran the same promotion and those hams were donated to the West Seattle Food Bank. All in all, it was a great program. Thanks to all the shoppers that donated, Safeway management for their patience and to the Safeway staff for making it a successful food drive.
The families were thrilled with the ham and the special holiday food. They all were appreciative to be able to serve a special holiday meal to their families.
Special thanks to everyone that donated their time and, of course, money, to keep the food banks going. It’s important work and you are appreciated. Keep it up!
If anyone has questions, wants more information or wants to donate (time or money), call Beth Grieser at 206-938-5706. She coordinates the food bank distribution for the 34th District Democrats and the West Seattle Democratic Women. With a little more prodding, they will have her on the board of the
White Center Food Bank, too!
Christi sent the following photo of some WCFB volunteers. Right after it, you’ll find links you can use right now, without even leaving your house, to donate money directly to the WC and WS Food Banks.
The food banks’ website pages with links to donate $ online (and more info on how else to help them):
White Center Food Bank here
West Seattle Food Bank here
Scroll down each of those pages to look for the DONATE button.
Puget Sound Blood Center has put out a warning that the blood supply is at a critically low level, with many scheduled donations canceled during the snowy/icy weather – but today, according to the PSBC mobile-drive schedule, there are two ways for you to donate close to home: PSBC will have blood drives at Admiral Safeway, 9 am-3 pm (California/Lander; here’s a map), and at Holy Family in White Center, 10 am-4 pm (20th and Roxbury, Tice Hall; here’s a map). Appointments were suggested but the site says walk-ins are welcome.
Just checked in on Twitter for the first time in a few hours and found this note from mid-evening: “Two snowplows just arrived in High Point! 30th ave hill cleared” – so if you’re still awaiting relief on your street, keep the faith. Rain, wind, and warmer temperatures are in the forecast for days to come, which should help too.
(view from aboard the carousel at Westlake Park downtown, which is operating through Wednesday)
Just back from the outside world (as in, outside West Seattle) for the first time in who knows how many days. A few notes:
–Just saw a UPS truck in front of the apartment block on California in Morgan Junction south of McDonald’s et al, 8:41 pm. It was pointed north. There may be hope for others tonight.
–While downtown, we saw a trash truck emptying sidewalk containers at 5th/Denny. After missing two weeks of pickups, we are suddenly impressed by the sight of a trash truck. Impressed enough to pull out the camera:
–Also while downtown, we walked into Pacific Place just after 6 pm, when fake snow falls night from the atrium, accompanied by snow-idolizing holiday music, in what’s meant to be a show of “holiday magic” inspiring joy, but was met tonight mostly by weary glowers.
–Downtown, the streets are clear, with massive mountains of dirty snow on all sides. Colorado native co-publisher Patrick says this is what it looks like in Snow Country from January through March, and cautions that those piles will be self-sustaining for days if not weeks.
–Heading back into West Seattle, we did see a few signs of clogged drains – a couple puddles along Fauntleroy Way, for starters. Checking comments that have come in recently, we see someone has relayed a great idea for finding your storm drain IF you are on a major street — check Google Street View. To do that, start at maps.google.com and put your address in; if you were surveyed for Google Street View, you will see a “street view” button inside the little info balloon that points to the address, as well as a thumbnail photo; click the “street view” link and it will bring up a larger version of the image. Once that image is up, you can use your mouse or touchpad to drag it around and look at the scene from anywhere in the 360 view. (Wondering when they traveled through West Seattle? Click here to see a scene that reveals EXACTLY when they went through California/Edmunds in The Junction.)
We’re seeing this all over TV news tonight, but you first heard about it here 10 days ago: How to call the city to ask that your street be plowed (and to be sure they know it HASN’T) – the 24-hour number is 386-1218. In fact – right after we hit “publish” on that reminder – this note came in from SDOT:
Passable conditions have been achieved on all of the city’s primary arterials. SDOT crews continue 24 hour operations and are now working to clear snow and ice from secondary arterials and residential streets. The clearing of snow and ice from secondary arterials and residential streets will be prioritized based on police, fire and life safety concerns. Residents are still encouraged to call (206) 386-1218 to submit specific clearing requests. Requests will be filled on a case by case basis.
(one of two storm drains near WSB HQ, cleared, and receiving plenty of runoff/rainwater)
Another announcement just in from Seattle Public Utilities, with helpful info on what to do if this type of flooding turns up in your neighborhood – don’t wait for it to get to crisis level:
In anticipation of warming temperatures and continuing precipitation, Seattle Public Utilties (SPU) has activated its Urban Flood Response Plan — staging extra drainage crews and equipment throughout Seattle, and deploying storm observers to various at-risk sections of the city.
This afternoon’s decision to implement the city’s flood plan was purely precautionary, officials noted, and is intended to head-off potential problems before they develop. Calls from SPU customers asking for assistance with drainage issues have been light over the past 24 hours, with a total of only 14 calls recorded.
Under the flood plan, SPU’s 16 drainage truck crews drop their normal maintenance duties and stand by to field emergency calls. If the volume of calls becomes high enough, additional crews can be brought in from the SPU’s drinking water operations section and other areas of the Utilities.
To report flooding or blocked drains, please call (206) 386-1800.
Seattle Public Utilities has been asking for the public’s help in keeping Seattle’s 78,000 street drains — the city’s first line of defense against storms — free of snow and other debris. But only shovel that drain, SPU said, if you’re sure you can do it safely.
Learn more about adopting a city street drain, at: www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=7010819
If you wondered the same thing one of our Twitter contacts wondered … we asked SPU if there is any online resource for locating the storm drain(s) nearest your house, and we just got the answer back: No. (Anecdotally, we can tell you they seem to be close to corners, so if you have to start somewhere, start there if you’re near one.)
Tamsen in Morgan Junction, one of so many fine folks who’ve shared photos and info during Snowmare ’08, just sent this one, explaining, “I’m going to leave the house when my garden gnome can be seen.” (If it keeps raining like this … maybe tomorrow? Sunday?)
(WSB’er photo from during Snowmare ’08 – sorry we don’t still have the name for the credit!)
Just in from Seattle Public Utilities, with trash piling up around the city:
Special Saturday and Sunday pickup is being scheduled, conditions permitting, for the city’s residential garbage, recycling, food and yard waste customers, Seattle Public Utilities said today.
Due to continued inclement conditions, today’s customers (Friday, Dec. 26) are scheduled to be collected tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 27) and Thursday customers (Dec. 25) will be collected on Sunday, Dec. 28.
Thursday and Friday customers are advised to leave their garbage at the curb through Sunday. Collection contractors will inspect neighborhood routes throughout the weekend for service opportunities. Customers scheduled for Monday through Wednesday pickup should set out their materials on their normal appointed days, next week. There will be no additional charge for setting out extra garbage.
Despite inclement conditions, the city’s collections contractors have been running limited commercial routes around the clock this week, providing service to urgent commercial accounts where containers are accessible. Contractors are running 40 commercial trucks today to serve locations on major arterials and utilizing extra staff to access snow blocked containers. Approximately 40 percent of Seattle’s business accounts have been collected this week.
“We are eager to resume residential services as soon as possible, but safety with our large trucks is our first priority,” said Hans Van Dusen, Solid Waste Contracts Manager for Seattle Public Utilities. “Warmer weather is forecast for this weekend and next week, and we expect that will make it safer to send big trucks back into Seattle’s neighborhoods.”
Customers whose collections have been delayed by a week can set out double their normal amount of garbage at no additional charge. When setting out extra waste, customers are encouraged to place perishable food items in their collection containers and set bagged non-perishable items next to the containers.
Customers who have had their collections missed can also take their waste to Seattle’s Recycling and Disposal stations, where it will be accepted at no charge. Seattle’s Recycling and Disposal stations will be closed on New Year’s Day, January 1.
We’re still doublechecking on whether this means that, if you were missed last time, you set out trash AND recycling AND yard waste – stand by. 10:21 AM UPDATE: Glad we asked. Andy Ryan at SPU says they’re FOCUSING ON RECYCLING AND TRASH – SO JUST PUT THOSE TWO OUT. And remember, SPU told us they’ll be “liberal” in allotment for extra pickup because of missed service, so don’t get panicky about just putting out “exactly” two bags or whatever. 2:37 PM UPDATE: Answering a question posed by WSB’ers, Brett Stav from SPU says the “no charge” time period at the transfer station will extend THROUGH NEXT WEEK – but bring proof you are a Seattle customer, preferably your bill.
We just checked with Seattle Police to see about any new information on the 40th/Barton ATV crash we covered very early this morning. In fact, we learned, there are two updates: First, the rider was 45, not 41 as first reported. Second – according to Seattle Police Officer Renee Witt, his injuries are no longer considered to be life-threatening; after evaluation at Harborview Medical Center, he was found to have facial fractures, and that’s it. FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: The SPD media unit has now published an item about this on SPD Blotter (which is automatically fed to our Crime Watch page – any time you check that page, you’ll see the newest West Seattle-specific SPD Blotter items right below WSB Crime Watch story links), noting, “The ATV driver was cited for DUI, Negligent Driving, and violation of the helmet law” (police say he wasn’t wearing a helmet).
Just in case subfreezing temperatures overnight really do make this a problematic commute — for those who don’t get a 4-day weekend — this is the start of a morning post for you to share bus/road info (etc.).
7:06 AM UPDATE: Checking the hourly temperatures from overnight, doesn’t look like it got below freezing after all — good news if you have to drive this morning. Metro bus riders, remember the reminder two days ago about the “partial holiday schedule”; the list of routes with changes this morning shows runs that are suspended because of that schedule OR “adverse weather.” Here’s the Metro list, most recently updated just before 7.
7:33 AM UPDATE: Haven’t received an official city update re: the trash situation yet, but an update directly from Allied/Republic, which serves some areas, says “no residential routes” in Seattle today.
8:02 AM UPDATE: Live TV picture from alongside The Viaduct shows traffic moving well.
8:43 AM UPDATE: Side-street plow sighting! Pam from Nerd’s Eye View is in Gatewood and just exclaimed via Twitter: “OH MY GOD! Our street is being PLOWED! FREEDOM, SWEET FREEDOM!” And as if to underscore the sense of freedom that’s on the horizon, the sunrise put on a bit of a show this morning, as shown in this photo from MargL in Arbor Heights:
9:07 AM UPDATE: Remember your friendly local West Seattle retailers have some after-Christmas sales going too. Just got an update from the Swee Swee Paperie e-mail list (Junction, east of Cupcake Royale) — 65% off “all holiday cards, paper, and accoutrement.”
9:37 AM UPDATE: Reminder that some things ARE getting back to some semblance of normalcy, post-holiday, post-snowfall. King County says all its offices are open as usual. Seattle Public Library branches will all be open noon-6 pm today per the SPL website. And we are working on more “non-snow news” for later in the day, since a few things have been stacking up … we’ll even have an edition of the West Seattle Weekend Lineup (our every-Friday list of what’s happening Fri-Sat-Sun) later this morning (didn’t publish it last week since almost EVERYTHING was canceled).
10:03 AM UPDATE: New city update on the trash situation – we will post it separately so it doesn’t get lost here.
10:42 AM UPDATE: Somebody cue the “Hallelujah Chorus” – Creighton sends this photo of Charlestown Hill (a few blocks west of California) getting cleared:
11:02 AM UPDATE: We may see some wet snow later, per Cliff Mass, but he insists the warmer air is still on the way. If you want to see what warmer air looks like … the neighborhood-news site Seal Beach Daily in Southern California just posted this photo via Twitter.
1:43 PM UPDATE: Remember to go look for your storm drain(s) on the street if you haven’t already … puddling is happening in our vicinity.
3:16 PM NOTE: This will stay open as a thread for you to discuss buses, roads, whatever’s on your mind … but just wanted to note that we are generally publishing new major updates SEPARATELY (such as a “flood response” announcement that just came in from the city, and the trash item earlier), so check the top of the main page for new news instead of this part of this post. We’ll continue reading the comments as we do for the whole site, of course, so that if there’s anything we can help with (pursuing info), we will do our best.
ORIGINAL 12:20 AM POST: Just got a note from Annie about an accident that’s blocking traffic on SW Barton in Fauntleroy (although a bus was allowed through before the yellow tape was stretched across the road again) – she said Barton/Director, the 911 log says Barton/Henderson (map suggests Annie’s description is more accurate). E-mail suggests ATVs possibly involved. Avoid the area; we’re checking for more info. 12:45 AM UPDATE: Barton’s blocked at 40th (map) to everything but buses, according to people in the area. No official info so far. 1:17 AM UPDATE: Police are still investigating – and a tow truck has been seen taking an ATV away. 1:31 AM UPDATE: Seattle Police spokesperson Officer Jeff Kappel has just left a detailed update on the SPD media line: He says this indeed was a crash involving an ATV. According to the update: When emergency personnel got to the scene, a 41-year-old man, believed to be a West Seattle resident, was lying in the street at 40th/Barton; his 4-wheel ATV was overturned nearby. He may have been riding with a friend but that friend did not see the crash and wasn’t involved. The victim has a head injury that police describe as “life-threatening,” and he was rushed to Harborview Medical Center. The department’s traffic-collision investigators are on the scene now to try to figure out what happened. Officer Kappel said he didn’t expect an update for several hours.
Driving around today, seeing asphalt again, we realized a bit of complacency might sneak in – but, especially if you have to go back to work tomorrow, be aware that it could be another dicey morning, because the mercury’s going sub-freezing tonight, and some of that slush could ice over. In addition, more snow showers are possible, especially morning-midday – here’s Cliff Mass’s take on it; here’s what the National Weather Service says. Two other notes: Remember that, as Metro reminded us yesterday, buses will be on a “partial holiday schedule” AS WELL AS “adverse weather” reroutes — so you will still want to check this page. And we’ll see in the morning if city garbage pickup gets back in gear — because of the holiday, homes with Thursday pickup were scheduled for Friday pickup this week, but trucks have gotten to few if any homes in the city for the past week, so we’ll be awaiting a status check in the morning. Since tomorrow might still be tough going in the morning, we’ll publish a “Friday morning updates” post in case commuters need a handy place to share and get info.
Snow coverage has been so intense, we didn’t even stop to think till tonight – belatedly writing the holiday newsletter for family ‘n’ friends outside West Seattle — that last night, Christmas Eve, marked the 3rd anniversary of West Seattle Blog. The entire WSB archive is accessible via the month-by-month list at the bottom of the sidebar, though if you poke around the first year, you’ll notice that Year 1 hadn’t much in common with Year 3! Our first-ever post, December 24, 2005, was a not-especially-West-Seattle-y musing on Santa. (It was the equivalent of a tree falling in an empty forest, because a full three weeks passed before anybody discovered the site – our stats software shows the first visitor accidentally wandered in on 1/15/06.) Anyway, while the snow has been a challenge, to say the least, we are thankful to you for the collaboration and camaraderie that concluded WSB’s third year so memorably, and we hope you will find it worth your while to spend time here in Year 4, as we are committed to working to connect West Seattle with 24/7 news, information, and discussion, in an ever-more thorough, timely, and relevant manner. Most important of all: We thrive on hearing from you any time there’s something you want to report, say, ask about, share with people, suggest, etc. — our e-mail addresses, phone number, and other contact info can all be found here.
Tonight’s sunset. That hedge-mounted flag, by the way, has been raised each morning and lowered each night by one of our neighbors since right after 9/11 (maybe one or two exceptions). Now, from earlier – Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) proprietor Lora Lewis and daughter smilingly serving a steady stream of coffee customers (including us) this morning:
Jenifer sent this photo of her dog in “Christmas collar … enjoying the last of the snow”:
Here’s a snow dog courtesy of Amy – sculpted by Jim – unfortunately, Amy reports, the canine-esque creation has sagged out of its former glory since this photo was taken:
And a rare sight – a snow CAT – Luka, caught snowgazing by Kerry Lusignan:
Kerry also sent a nice shot of her High Point neighborhood from earlier this week:
Last but by no means least, Erika shared the Riverview Playfield “snowball” scene on Tuesday night, but we managed to miss it in the WSB inbox till now. It’s not “Casey at the Bat,” but more like “Frosty at the Bat”:
And here’s good news … the word “snow” does not appear in the latest forecast at all after tonight; see for yourself here.
If you need some entertainment tonight (or just need to get out and go SOMEWHERE) – the Admiral Theater does show movies. Christmas-specific schedule is on the Admiral’s website – click each movie for its showtimes. (Shows start with “Religulous” at 3:50 pm.)
This is not necessarily a comprehensive report but we’re just back from a trip to Hotwire, followed by an expedition up the rest of California to Admiral, then back down Admiral to Alki/Harbor, up Avalon, up Fauntleroy, back home. Here’s what we saw open, in case you are wondering about restaurants: Ho-Win Chinese Restaurant (California/Juneau; its menu is even online), Be’s Restaurant (Junction, California just south of Oregon), Pepperdock on Alki, Redline Music/Sports (35th just south of Avalon). Again, this is not necessarily comprehensive, but what we could tell from our driving tour. It’s been snowing/sleeting on and off for most of the hour and a half we’ve been out. Best moment: Hearing the Junction church bells at noon after leaving Hotwire. Roads: All the majors have at least one lane open each way, and those big medians of dirty snow. Only stretch we traveled that still had some slush in the main lane — Harbor Ave between the Duwamish Head turn and The Bridge. ADDED NOTES: We’re checking websites for any definitive sign of dinnertime open or closure, beyond what we observed. So far: Endolyne Joe’s in Fauntleroy, closed all day/night. JaK’s Grill, closed all day/night. Spring Hill (per phone recording), closed tonight. We also got a note via Facebook that Abbondanza is definitely closed tonight.
The last holiday event we made it to before Snowpocalypse ’08, Snowmare ’08, whatever you prefer to call it, was the Christmas Ship at Seacrest on December 13th. We went to that one to get video, intending to bring it back to WSB HQ, publish it (which we did), and then go see the Lowman Beach/Alki stops later that night, just for fun (which we didn’t). The snow started (around 7 pm as chronicled here), and so did the WSB Collaborative Continuous Community Coverage (just made that one up). With most of us largely snowbound (except for essential runs like food or work), we’re not the only ones who missed out on some holiday traditions, including ones that happen outside West Seattle. So in the days ahead, we’ll make special note of anything you can catch up on. For starters, the WSB Holidays page has the new dates for a couple Christmas performances that were postponed because of the snow; also, we are noting that what we consider to be Puget Sound’s most wonderful Christmas lights display, Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo/Aquarium in Tacoma, has extended its run — it’s usually closed Christmas but is reopening tonight, and also adding an extra early-January weekend (see full details on the PDZA website). We have a favorite way of getting there – take the Fauntleroy ferry to Vashon, drive down Vashon to the Tahlequah/Point Defiance ferry. Not sure if the roads on Vashon are all clear yet, but in another few days, we might brave it. Our second-favorite lights display, Garden D’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden, says online that it’s hoping to reopen tomorrow. Stay tuned for other notes about extended chances to catch up on holiday cheer, and if you know of New Year’s Eve/Day events, please let us know, as the WSB Holidays page is in action till then – email@example.com. (Junction Christmas tree photo by Marybeth Coghill)