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.