West Seattle, Washington
10:33 PM: Avoid The Bridge – there’s a multicar crash on the westbound side @ Admiral. 11:38 PM: The scene is said to start just west of Admiral, which is where drivers heading westbound were diverted. 12:44 AM UPDATE: The scene’s now clear, and traffic’s moving normally for the entire western stretch. No details on any injuries from the crash, but the emergency call didn’t progress beyond “motor vehicle accident” on the 911 log – suggesting no life-threatening injuries.
It wasn’t quite a downpour, but certainly a drenching mist, but that didn’t get in the way of a good time as Highland Park kicked off one of West Seattle’s two-dozen-plus New Year’s Eve extravaganzas tonight. Above, a two-minute spectacle outside Highland Park Improvement Club before the Highland Park House Party that’s just getting under way inside (you’re welcome to go join – details here) and after the HP neighborhood parade (video of that, to be added shortly). It was billed as the “Sage Comet” performance (watch the clip and you’ll get the “comet” reference) — but one of the performers explained afterward, sage is tough to get this time of year, so what burned was “rosemary from local farms”! ADDED 8:28 PM: Just before the “Rosemary Comet,” the first-ever HP parade returned to the luminaria-ringed HPIC, after about half an hour doing a mile-or-so loop through neighborhoods to the south:
As you can see in the video, most of the balloon lanterns had trouble staying lit – smaller fires don’t win the battle with rain – but paraders young and old whooped and cheered, drummed and thumped, all along the way; we trailed them for the first few blocks, and saw neighbors along the way coming to the door or the window, often returning the shouts of “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” Indeed.
Be safe tonight – and know there’s someplace to get your first coffee of 2010 tomorrow. Here’s who we have confirmed, in person or by phone, is open tomorrow, and when:
UPTOWN ESPRESSO (both Junction and Delridge) 6 am-6 pm
STARBUCKS/MORGAN JUNCTION – 6 am-9 pm
STARBUCKS/ALKI 6:30 am-7 pm
TULLY’S/MORGAN JUNCTION 7 am-2 pm
PIONEER COFFEE 7 am-5 pm
STARBUCKS/TRIANGLE DRIVE-THRU 7 am-8 pm
STARBUCKS/ADMIRAL 7 am-9 pm
C & P COFFEE 8 am-1 pm
BIRD ON A WIRE 8 am-2 pm
EASY STREET CAFE 8 am-3 pm (coffee AND food)
RED CUP ESPRESSO 8 am-3 pm
DIVA ESPRESSO 8 am-6 pm
JAVA BEAN 8 am-6 pm
TULLY’S/ALKI 8 am-6 pm
CUPCAKE ROYALE 8 am-7 pm
HOTWIRE COFFEE (WSB sponsor) 9 am-6 pm
WESTBAY ESPRESSO (drive-thru) 10 am-3 pm
DUBSEA COFFEE 10 am-7 pm
(added) BARNES & NOBLE CAFE open store hours, starting @ 11 am
CAFE ROZELLA noon-6:30 pm
Mayor-elect Mike McGinn‘s team sent out a news release this afternoon with details on not just the Monday afternoon swearing-in ceremonies for McGinn and others, but also some other “inaugural week events” including a free music festival a week from Saturday with some of Seattle’s hottest street-food vendors on hand – read on for the full list:Read More
New Year’s tends not to bring as many store-hour changes as Christmas, but just in case you’re wondering, we checked anyway. First: Most state liquor stores – including the ones in West Seattle and White Center – are OPEN tomorrow, 11 am-7 pm (and open till 8 tonight as usual). Now, for the grocery stores – this goes for tonight AND tomorrow – only one West Seattle store has a holiday schedule:
PCC Natural Markets/West Seattle (WSB sponsor)
Closing 10 pm tonight (New Year’s Eve)
Closed New Year’s Day
Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor)
Regular schedule (24 hours a day)
West Seattle QFC stores:
Regular schedule (24 hours a day)
All 3 West Seattle Safeway stores
Regular schedule (24 hours a day)
West Seattle Thriftway
Regular hours (5 am-midnight)
Coming up, the New Year’s Day coffee list.
SDOT just sent this traffic alert: “Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) crews will use closed circuit camera equipment to survey a sewer line on Battery Street above the Battery Street Tunnel this Sunday, January 3, from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. This work requires closing the northbound lanes of the Battery Street Tunnel during this time.”
Some stories were joyful – like the last one in the slideshow – and some were painful. Photojournalist Christopher Boffoli assembled this group of more than 30 of the hundreds of memorable images he produced for WSB news coverage this year. He put them together in a black-and-white slide show (just hit “play” on the first frame and they will automatically advance). Many are from breaking-news scenes, where Christopher often arrived before your editor here even got word something had happened, but you’ll also see wildlife, volunteerism, aviation, and even JP Patches. Many of these scenes, you will probably remember; if not, there are brief descriptions on the photo set’s home Flickr page. We’ll have more to say about ’09 in the hours ahead, as well as a couple lists with New Year’s Day practicalities. And, once more, if you’re STILL not absolutely certain what you want to do tonight, we’ve added two more venues to the New Year’s Eve list on the West Seattle Holidays page.
Jeremy – whose sign rallied “Team Elmo” – was one of the many KaBOOM! team members who came to Delridge last July to help hundreds of community volunteers build the playfield’s new playground – seen here at the end of that amazing day:
Want to see this happen in YOUR neighborhood? Betsy Hoffmeister from Delridge (who catalyzed the Delridge Playfield-playground process after months of working on a proposal for a different site) and Ann Limbaugh from Admiral have both forwarded word that KaBOOM! is coming back to Seattle in 2010 to build another playground and looking for potential places to do it. They’re not just looking at West Seattle – they’re casting the net citywide – but Ann and Betsy both wanted to make sure the word got out as many places as possible, especially since the application deadline is less than two weeks away – read on for more specifics:Read More
Heading out of West Seattle for a story-related interview yesterday, we noticed a sizable crew working by Walking On Logs; Anne at WSB sponsor Ventana Construction noticed too, including the detail that they appeared to be pouring concrete, and wondered what’s up. We checked with SDOT to see what project this is related to, and Marybeth Turner replied today that this is more work related to one of West Seattle’s new traffic cameras: “SDOT crews are pouring the foundation for a new pole on which the traffic camera will be mounted and also pouring the foundation for a new control cabinet. You will likely be seeing crews out during the next month or two completing the work at this location–installing a pole and mast arm, installing the cabinet, etc. The new ‘ITS’ items being installed at various locations in the city will not be operational until the fiber optics system that connects all of them is completed.” As reported here last month, the new traffic cameras – which are also going up in The Junction and near the Fauntleroy ferry dock – aren’t scheduled for activation before March. (ITS is the “Intelligent Transportation System,” explained by SDOT in this WSB story from March, in which we had first word of the new traffic cameras.)
(December 28th sunset photo by Stephanie Moores, featuring Sam)
If your plans for tonight (which might be soggy) aren’t quite finalized, check the West Seattle Holidays page for our New Year’s Eve list. Local restaurants and lounges are throwing parties galore. So are other venues and groups – even a parade, where you’ll find these deployed:
Those are some of the balloon lanterns made last Sunday at Highland Park Improvement Club, where the neighborhood parade begins at 6:30 pm, followed by the Sage Comet performance in the HPIC parking lot, and the HPIC party at 8 (details here). Want to take a walk? Emerald City Wanderers are launching 2 routes from St. John the Baptist Church between 4 and 7 pm. Beach walk, we mentioned yesterday; Kenyon Hall, Admiral Theater, ArtsWest, Alki UCC and Bridge Park are all unique venues with events tonight – here’s that list again. If you’re thinking of going downtown for the Space Needle fireworks, our partners at the Seattle Times have some info that might interest you. (If you’re watching from West Seattle – join the discussion in the WSB Forums.) And remember some places are closing early – like the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) and Seattle Public Library branches, all of which are closing at 6 pm tonight.
As pedestrian advocate Chas Redmond puts it, the first version of the West Seattle Trails walking map was “obviously a best seller” – 20,000 (free) copies handed out in 6 months. The map first came out in summer 2008. Now it’s been updated – see the new version here – and just needs to be printed – with one hitch: The matching-fund grant money that was available to get the map printed first time around isn’t at the ready this time, so, Redmond says, “We – the West Seattle members of the project team and Feet First – are seeking support to have this new version printed.” The cost is estimated to be around $3,500; if you’ve got any ideas how to help make the map-printing happen, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Meantime, you can print your own copy of the new map with this PDF.) He’s also involved with West Seattle Wayfinding, which is using Neighborhood Matching Fund money to put up kiosks and signage to help people make their way around West Seattle – at westseattlewalks.org, there’s an update on planning for the five kiosks that are set to go up in the Admiral and Alki areas (see the planned locations here; a round of Admiral meetings already has been held, and Alki meetings will follow, early in the new year). Between the kiosks, you’ll see signposts like this:
Before the planning process got started for Alki and Admiral, meetings in Fauntleroy resulted in decisions about three kiosks for that area – more on that here.
Thanks to Eric Shalit of Box Turtle Design for sharing this sight from Alki (where the latest water-temperature reading is a non-balmy 48 degrees). Gives us an excuse, meantime, to note that two “polar bear swims” are on the calendar for the New Year – 10 am Friday (1/1/10) on Alki, across from Duke’s, is the annual-albeit-informal swim, and this year, Special Olympics of Washington has the Polar Plunge fundraiser at 11 am Sunday 1/24/10, also on Alki – go here to register.
Jenny at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) asked to share this message of thanks, “letter to the editor” style:
The West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our members and to the West Seattle community for supporting our 2009 Giving Tree program. Hundreds of wishes were thoughtfully and generously fulfilled for more than 90 families who struggle just to meet basic needs.
We have special gratitude for WJE (Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.), The Boeing Company’s Spirit of the Holidays Drive, and Windermere West Seattle for adopting entire YMCA families and making their holidays especially bright. Thank you to The Charlestown Street Café for hosting wish tags on their own tree and accepting donations on behalf of the YMCA.
At a time of great challenges, your generosity demonstrates the spirit of community continues to thrive.
Volunteer Giving Tree Coordinator
West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA
(9/13/09 photo by WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
More than three months after the September 13th “World Naked Bike Ride” in West Seattle – in which a dozen-plus cyclists in various stages of undress rode from Morgan Junction up California SW through The Junction and on to Alki and Lincoln Park (WSB coverage here) – its organizer has been charged with indecent exposure. Daniel Johnson contacted us via Twitter last night to report he’d gotten notice of the charge. We cross-referenced city files to confirm it, then called the City Attorney‘s office today for details. According to deputy city attorney Mike Finkle, the charge stems from a police report filed the day of the ride. You may recall from our coverage this year and last, police had explained that someone would have to complain (or engage in “lewd behavior”) for them to intervene. According to the court document Finkle read to us, that’s what happened: First police were stopped by someone in the 2400 block of Alki during the ride, saying he was offended to see the unclothed riders, particularly because he had a child in the car; the officer wrote of stopping the group nearby “two minutes later,” and being told they had permission to do this each year. The officer, nonetheless, told them not to continue on to the beach. Less than an hour later, police got a call from someone complaining about the “nudists,” as the report put it, gathered in Lincoln Park, “with children around”; officers found the group at Fauntleroy and Webster, at which time, the report says, they all put their clothes back on and left. Johnson, identified as the leader of the group, is the only person charged, the court documents indicate. He is scheduled for an “intake hearing” in mid-January.
(Photo courtesy Rhonda Porter)
You may have seen police activity related to this in the past half-hour or so: A motorcycle rider has been taken to the hospital after being hit by a van by Jacobsen and Beach Drive. The van took off but police have since found it and the driver. We’re told the motorcyclist was conscious when he was taken to the hospital, and he was taken by ambulance, rather than aid car, which usually indicates not-life-threatening injuries. The road’s open. ADDED 7:44 PM: From “Proud Sister” in the comment section:
One other bit to the story that you didn’t know about is that my little brother Mr. Adam Layman, happened to drive down Jacobsen Rd. at the same time they were trying to get away.
When he saw what had just happened the neighbors motioned for him to follow the van that had fled the scene. He confronted the two guys at the top of Jacobsen. The passenger took off running and the driver said he would be back he just had to go and get some new tires!
So my little brother (a 25yr.old 4th gen. W.S.H.S. grad) followed the driver for about 10 min. and directed the cops to his whereabouts. He’s my hero and I’m so proud of him!!!
Meantime, Jeff sent a photo of the motorcycle, post-crash:
In the comment section following yesterday’s update on impending King County Water Taxi dock construction at Seacrest, there was a request for a closer look at the plan, to find out more about how divers might be affected. We asked the King County Department of Transportation for an image of the latest rendering – all we had was our photo of what was up on an easel at a meeting early last year – and what you see above is what they sent today. (Click the image, or here, for a larger view – you may have to click “zoom” if your browser allows it, once the new image comes up.) Most of the components are being built off-site to minimize the amount of time people are affected at Seacrest, but piles will be driven and so neighbors are warned of noise and other construction-related inconveniences. The first day of this year’s Water Taxi season is scheduled to be April 4, but whether it continues year-round from that point on – as the new dock is meant to facilitate – depends on the results of a search for funding, since the county budget crisis last fall led to the King County Ferry District cutting back on the taxing authority it was using.
That’s the finalized map from SDOT showing the end result of the two-year West Seattle Junction parking review, posted online yesterday and mailed to Junction-area businesses and homes. (Click the image or here to see the mailer full-size.) The review began in February 2008 (here’s our first report), elicited mostly sighs of relief five months ago when SDOT announced no pay stations were forthcoming, then ended in November (WSB coverage here) with a recommendation of signage changes along several blocks in the “study area.” They’re the same ones announced at the November meeting – on the map above, the ones marked in green will be posted as 2-hour zones, and the ones marked in dark blue will change from 1-hour to 2-hour zones, with the signs going up “in early 2010.” Here’s the official city infopage for the Junction parking review – that’s where you can read the background documents including evaluations of the Junction parking situation as surveyed during the review. Also worth noting if you missed our November report – though the city’s original plan was to study another West Seattle neighborhood’s parking situation in 2010, SDOT said that plan’s now changed, and there won’t be another survey here (Admiral, Alki and Morgan Junction are on deck, eventually) before 2011.
Happy New Year’s Eve-Eve! The West Seattle Holidays page is keeper of our New Year’s Eve list – more than 20 options, and another event’s been added – 9:30-11 pm tomorrow, you can join a Camp Long-sponsored Low Tide Beach Walk across from Me-Kwa-Mooks along Beach Drive. If you’re interested, you need to call to preregister today – 206-684-7434 – or preregister online by going here. Meantime, Camp Long has gone public with its full list of January/February highlights – read on to see it – we’ll be adding them to the WSB Events calendar too:Read More
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
You hear the words “running” and “streak” together and you think…well, you know what you think. However, the past twenty years have seen 33-year-old John Wallace III pursuing a rather different kind of running streak.
On December 30, 2009 – tomorrow – John will mark 20 years of running at least one mile every single day (including a four-month stretch in which he ran literally cross-country).
Tomorrow, he won’t be alone: his father, John Wallace, Jr.. of Michigan will celebrate the same 20-year anniversary.
Here’s how it started, how you can help him commemorate the occasion, and the big run he has planned for next fall:Read More
Three reports to share tonight (here’s how to reach us, with a Crime Watch report or anything else). First, from Suzanne:
Just wanted to let everyone know that a burglary happened at our house yesterday between 11 am and 1 pm on the 3700 block of 42nd Ave SW [map]. Stolen items included jewelry, laptop computer, camera, and various other electronics. The police officer responding to our call said that there have been an increase in burglaries in our area and that everyone should be vigilant. Please be on the lookout as we’d hate to see this continue in our and surrounding neighborhoods.
I wanted you to know of a break-in the 6300 block of 38th Ave SW [map] early this evening. It’s my friend’s home and she called me about 4:45p to cancel our plans because her back glass door was shattered and her TV was gone. She thought it strange though since her laptop and other electronics were untouched.
And from Morgan, via Facebook:
I would like to let everyone know that my family’s home was robbed yesterday (december 28th,) We’re in the Arbor Heights area. We believe that the people came through our dog door in our back yard. If you have a dog door I would advise that you keep it locked unless you’re home. They took mainly electronics and jewelry.
Morgan says her neighbors spotted a “small gray car” in her home’s driveway at one point. Meantime, Seattle Police have some specific burglary-prevention tips online here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
He’s West Seattle through and through: Schmitz Park Elementary, Madison Middle School, West Seattle High School, Seattle Lutheran High School, West Side Presbyterian Church. His mom and dad live in the same house they owned when he was born almost 26 years ago. He has grandparents living at The Kenney.
But instead of the neighborhood once dubbed New York Alki (by-and-by), home for Adam Cozens these days is the other New York – his home base for an intensive push to make a living by being funny, through standup comedy.
This isn’t a story about “local boy becomes famous” – not yet. But he’s working hard to try to get as far as he can. Right now, he’s on a holiday visit, home in West Seattle – not strictly a vacation, since he and friend Dartanion London are producing a show tomorrow (Wednesday) night at Comedy Underground in Pioneer Square – with other West Seattleites on the bill, including emcee Marty Riemer and fellow comedian Alex Meyer.
On one hand, this is one of more than 200 performances Adam’s doing this year, seeking out every opportunity imaginable to hone his humor.
“On Board” asked in the WSB Forums the other day what’s up with the Alki Pump Station project – since the most recent projected completion date — this month — is about to pass. We checked with King County Wastewater Treatment Division and renewed our request for project photos, too – resulting in the photos in this story, which are all courtesy of the county – these are the new pumps:
Now, the status: The contractor and the county are still “going down a long ‘punch list’,” according to KCWT spokesperson Martha Tuttle. The county insists there have been no particular setbacks that have stretched out the underground pump-station expansion project months longer than the original projection, and Tuttle says they’re frustrated too. There have been a few speedbumps, including the need to build an underground “wall” around some pipes, not an original part of the plan. But otherwise, what they’re doing now is making sure, item by item, that everything works:
The hope is that once the equipment’s moved away and the barriers come down, they don’t have to go back to have anything re-done. They’re not announcing a new estimated date, either – we said, can you say whether it’s more like weeks or months? Weeks more likely than months, but that’s as specific as they’ll get; they’ve put together an official update flyer which says work on pavement restoration – new sidewalks, etc. – will continue into January.