month : 03/2010 365 results

West Seattle Triangle planning process about to enter new phase

Last fall, we reported that the city was moving toward an official planning process for the West Seattle area east of The Junction known as The Triangle, bounded by Fauntleroy/35th/Alaska. A senior planner is now assigned to the project and an advisory group has been assembled, with its first meeting planned this Wednesday, 6 pm, at the Senior Center of West Seattle. According to the meeting information sent by planner Susan McLain, the first gathering will include an introduction to the project and discussion of “land uses, connections, public-realm designs.” This is the first major city-facilitated Triangle discussion since the one at Merrill Gardens-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) in November 2008 (WSB coverage here). The Triangle planning process has a city webpage, which also includes notes from that November 2008 meeting. A lot has changed in The Triangle since then, including the start of construction on Link and the arrival of new businesses including Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor), Cycle University, 37th Shoe Repair, and The Wax Bar. But it hasn’t been an idle time – last fall, leaders of the neighboring Fairmount Community Association led walking tours of the area, including this one we covered in November with City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. Meantime, the new advisory group is expected to meet at least four times between now and June.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Admiral summit tomorrow, stats tonight

admiralogo.jpgThe Admiral Neighborhood Association has just sent out one more reminder about its Crime Prevention Summit tomorrow night, with two Southwest Precinct reps in attendance – Community Police Team Officer Adonis Topacio and Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow. In preparation for the meeting, ANA president Katy Walum has just sent out a document police sent in advance – a list of notable crimes in the area so far this year (through March 15th). Here’s that document; as for what area it covers, here’s a map. Tomorrow night’s event is at 6:30 pm at Hiawatha Community Center (map).

Truck crash on West Marginal SW sends driver to hospital

Northbound West Marginal Way SW near Terminal 107 Park should be clear soon, now that a tow truck is moving that wrecked semi cab. Police tell us the semi hit a utility pole. Its driver has been taken to the hospital.

Followup: Signing ceremony Wednesday for “Jason McKissack Act”

With so much support having come from West Seattle, we thought you’d like to know that the official signing ceremony for HB 1679 – the “Jason McKissack Act” – is now set. Law-enforcement advocate Renee Maher sent word that it will be one of more than a dozen public-safety-related bills that Governor Gregoire will sign at Lakewood (Pierce County) Police HQ starting at 3 pm Wednesday. A version of the bill stalled in the Legislature last year, but this year, it was renamed for, and supported by, the former West Seattle police officer who was seriously injured in an attack while on duty in June 2008 but lost his (and his family’s) health coverage when the city ended his employment. He testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in January (WSB video coverage here), as did his wife Kim McKissack, who then testified again when the bill was heard in the same Senate committee four weeks later (here’s our story). We are told the bill’s provisions will cover the McKissack family, as well as a Seattle firefighter critically injured on the job several years ago.

King County Water Taxi’s parent agency gets a new boss

March 29, 2010 3:25 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

From the King County Ferry District, which runs the Water Taxi (whose West Seattle-to-downtown run resumes a week from today, April 5, with a celebration on April 11) – a new KCFD executive director has been chosen. Read on for the official announcement:Read More

Traffic alerts for SODO drivers: Closures coming up

A new list has just arrived from SDOT; we’re sharing since so many West Seattleites go through SODO – read on:Read More

Pirates, parades, scholarship $: Deadline near for Hi-Yu hopefuls

March 29, 2010 1:41 pm
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 |   West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news

(Photo courtesy Shirley Enebrad)
If you know someone who’s been procrastinating about applying for the Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Scholarship Program – tell her it’s now or never! Just two days till the deadline, which is coming up this Wednesday. Scholarship money for the Queen is $2,000, and $1,000 for each Princess – plus you get to hang out with pirates, mingle at events, ride on a float, representing West Seattle around the region … a one-of-a-kind role, since no other Seattle community has its own traveling parade float any more:

(West Seattle Grand Parade 2009 Hi-Yu Float photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Miss Hi-Yu eligibility is outlined in our original publication of the announcement, which also includes links to the application form (see the announcement, with links, here), but if you have a question, you can e-mail

West Seattle Weather Watch: Beached boat

Deborah sent that photo with the explanation:

Just wanted to let you know that we are aware that our Tollycraft 26 broke loose from its mooring in the high winds this morning and ended up on the beach just south of Lincoln Park. We are working on a solution to get it back in the water.

We’re checking to see if they’ve had any luck yet. Meanwhile, the latest forecast says it’ll continue to be blustery into the evening, still with a chance of thunderstorms. 12:21 PM UPDATE: Deborah says they’re hoping to be able to get it back in the water with the next high tide at 5:30 pm.

7:52 PM UPDATE: With Coast Guard Vessel Assist help, the boat is back out at sea again (warning, video as choppy as the sea):

West Seattle Easter egg hunts and more: New page up (version 1.0)

We’ll be adding more services and brunches, but since the first egg hunt is tomorrow morning (Toddler Eggstravaganza at High Point Community Center), version 1.0 of the West Seattle Easter page is now up and running, with the updated list of egg hunts from tomorrow through Saturday. You can find it here (or from its own tab under the sunset header). Got something to add? Please send it (or comment here) – thanks!

New tank at Lowman Beach? Overflow options discussed tonight

At the two pump stations that bookend Lincoln Park, King County Wastewater Treatment has to cut down the number of times that large quantities of wastewater flows into Puget Sound because the system’s overtaxed. They’ve chosen three options for each of the areas (“basins”) feeding those two stations. A week and a half ago, they presented the three options for the Barton (by the ferry dock) “basin” (WSB coverage here); tonight, it’s the presentation for the three options for the Murray (Lowman Beach) “basin,” three different underground-storage options (explanatory links at bottom of this page), one involving the station site (county photo at left), Lowman Beach Park itself. The county says it’s got to choose one within a few months, so this may be your last best chance to ask the experts your questions. 6 pm, Southwest Community Center (map). Side note: The county has an online map showing the status at its “combined sewer overflow” spots like the 2 by Lincoln Park, and it suggests there’s been an overflow at Murray in the past 48 hours; we’ll check on that.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Wind arrives

As forecasters warned, heavy rain is now teaming with gusty wind. The forecast revision from early this morning now says gusts could pass 40 mph; they were at 33 mph when the 5 am reading was taken at Alki Point (K91S on this hourly table). There’s a chance of thunderstorms later this morning, too. We’ll be watching as usual for any reports of power, road or other problems; let us know if you have info to share.

West Seattle Whale Watch: 2 more looks at Saturday’s visitor

Two more video views of the gray whale that amazed West Seattle whale-watchers on Saturday (no sightings today, although grays were spotted in other areas of central Puget Sound, including off north Seattle shores, and this one could have been among them): First, nighttime views from photojournalist Cliff DesPeaux, who spent several hours at Jack Block Park late last night/early this morning, the last West Seattle sightings before whale-watchers called it quits for the night. Next, from John at Gypsy Soul Productions, who shot this video as the gray whale meandered around the shore by Harbor West (the condos built on pilings over the water):

If you’re interested in whale sightings and not already on the Orca Network e-mail list, sign up here – they send a daily/nightly roundup of sighting reports, often with photos, not just orcas – you’ll often see news about grays and humpbacks, too.

West Seattle weekend scenes: Bake sale, baseball auction, raffle

Before the weekend ends, a few photos of events previewed in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup: First, those are the West Seattle Camp Fire Girls who sold baked goods outside CAPERS in The Junction on Saturday to raise money for the fight against hunger. Next, auction-browsing at Saturday night’s benefit for the West Seattle High School baseball and fastpitch teams:

And from Greg Whittaker at Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor) – the grand-prize winner in the raffle to raise money for the new West Seattle Snowsports Council, as the M2S three-day sidewalk sale wrapped up this afternoon – Leo Morales won the Atomic Sugar Daddy raffle:

Other winners listed by Greg, who added a special thank-you:

Salomon Shoes: Lauren Grosskopf
Burn Helmet and Pow Gloves #1: Chad McCollum
Burn Helmet and Pow Gloves #2: Jesse Nokez
Giro Helmet and Uvex Goggles: Nancy Minoms
Smith Helmet and Smith Goggles: Kiel Winslow
Salomon Fish Jr Skis: Cory Brown.

Thanks for all the participation and support of the West Seattle Snowsports Council!

Westside School to move into old Hughes School in Sunrise Heights

Thanks to WSB Forums member “String Cheese” for the indirect tip on this, via what started as an inquiry about a “rumor.” Not a rumor, turns out: According to the website for local independent Westside School, it’s reached a deal to lease and move into the vacant Hughes School property in Sunrise Heights (map). Westside’s current campus is on Highline Public Schools-owned property on 28th SW, a few blocks south of the city/county border. Even before learning about this, we’d had an inquiry out to Seattle Public Schools to ask about future plans for Hughes – which is in its second school year of vacancy, after 2 years as temporary home to South Lake High School – and Genesee Hill, in its first school year of vacancy after Pathfinder K-8 moved to Cooper. Turns out the district had a request for proposals out earlier this year (all due March 3rd) for leasing not only Hughes and Genesee Hill, but also Fairmount Park, in its second year of vacancy. Both Westside and Seattle Public Schools are out for spring break this week, but we’ll be seeking to follow up with both, including finding out whether the district received lease proposals for the other two vacant schools. Meantime, the Westside website says they’re hoping to move into the new location this fall.

“This is not a moment to gloat”: Health-care rally in South Park

Hundreds of people had packed the big event room at the IAM Local 751 Hall in South Park by the time Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Governor Chris Gregoire, U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee and Brian Baird and others took the stage for a rally this afternoon celebrating the recently signed health-care legislation. We were there for the first hour; the speakers we heard were taking care not to sound too triumphant – Sen. Murray said, “This is not a moment to gloat; this is a moment to build on.” Rep. Inslee said, “This isn’t the beginning of the end; this is the end of the beginning,” though he also took the opportunity to get in a dig at state Attorney General Rob McKenna‘s plan to sue to overturn the legislation:

Also among the speakers, the 11-year-old boy who was with President Obama when he signed the legislation, Marcelas Owens:

Not on the stage but seen in the crowd and mentioned from the podium – West Seattle’s Rep. Eileen Cody, a nurse by profession who focuses much of her legislative work on health-related issues, and former Gov. Mike Lowry. As for counter-protesters – there was a cordoned-off area outside marked “Free Speech Zone Area,” but no one was there (we should note, it was raining ferociously by then). Photo (added 9:01 pm):

Video: South Park Bridge closure opponents’ rally

March 28, 2010 5:15 pm
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 |   South Park | Transportation | West Seattle news

Chanting “save our bridge,” shaking noisemakers, waving pom-poms, and drawing honks from passing drivers, dozens of people concerned about the upcoming permanent closure of the South Park Bridge lined its southern half for a while this afternoon. They were hoping to be seen by some of the politicians who were on their way to South Park for a rally celebrating the recently signed federal health-care legislation (separate story on that event coming up). We don’t know if they were indeed seen; shortly after we shot that video, it started to rain – hard – and some of the participants left (though we did notice some staying, undaunted, with umbrellas). The bridge closure is set for 7 pm June 30th; last week, reps from multiple agencies were summoned to start talking about coordination of resulting traffic and public-safety issues (WSB coverage here), while the highlight of the funding search was the Seattle City Council‘s declaration it would support the county’s quest for money (WSB coverage here). ADDED 10:55 PM: Noemie Maxwell has posted her story about today’s rally on Washblog, with lots of photos – see it here.

Traffic alert: Alaskan Way Viaduct is open again

March 28, 2010 3:09 pm
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 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct

As often happens, the Alaskan Way Viaduct has reopened early after its semiannual inspection. WSDOT just sent the news.

West Seattle wildlife watch: No whale so far; plus, seal necropsy

Two wildlife notes: First, as of this writing, no new sightings reported this morning of the gray whale that captivated people along the West Seattle shore (our reports from yesterday are here and here, and a stunning overnight photo from is here). Susan from Orca Network (which tracks other types of whales too) posted some observations on its condition in this WSB comment. If you see it – please share the news – here’s how. Meantime, Robin from Seal Sitters has published a touching and sad update on the death of “Sea Star,” the nickname given to the harbor seal that turned up on Alki Friday – read it here.

Happening now: Westwood (and beyond) community cleanup

The sun’s been making appearances this morning – as it did when we stopped at the Southwest Library about half an hour ago to see the volunteers gathering for the Westwood Neighborhood Council/Friends of Southwest Library community cleanup along 35th SW. They still have supplies for more, so you’re welcome to go check in at the table just north of the library (SW Henderson, east of 35th SW) to pitch in and help, between now and 1 pm. As you can see from the photo, all ages welcome!

West Seattle Sunday: Cleanup, cooking demo, “Godspell,” & more

March 28, 2010 7:54 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

VIADUCT REMINDER: Closed, and scheduled to remain that way until 6 pm. Sometimes the Sunday leg of the work ends earlier; if so, we’ll report it here as well as Twitter and Facebook.

CLEANUP ALONG 35TH SW: Join Westwood Neighborhood Council and Friends of Southwest Library; meet at the library at 10 am. More here.

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm as always; two special events today – a chef demonstration at 11 am, and a family seed-planting activity – details, and the fresh list, here.

“GODSPELL” AT TIBBETTS: New WSB sponsor Tibbetts United Methodist Church is presenting the musical “Godspell” today instead of its regular 10 am service.

WHILE YOU’RE IN THE JUNCTION: Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy (WSB sponsor) has a special information/demonstration event noon-4 pm today, “Thriving in Menopause.” Among the offerings – free chair massage! More details on the Pharmaca West Seattle website. (And note there’s a $10-off-$50-purchase Pharmaca coupon on the WSB Coupons page.)

SOUTH PARK BRIDGE RALLY, SENATORS’ VISIT: In nearby South Park, residents worried about the scheduled permanent closure of the SP Bridge on June 30th, with no plan yet for money to build a new one, plan a rally starting at 2 pm, before a long list of political leaders arrives in their community at 3 to talk about health-care reform. Both events are open to all – details here.

FROM THE SUSTAINABLE WEST SEATTLE WEBSITE … we have word of an event targeted to urban farmers and food organizers, but open to all – the Harvest Collective‘s “finger-food potluck” at Big Al Brewing in White Center, starting at 4:30 pm. SWS has details here.

More in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Windy, wet conditions likely tonight

It’s not an advisory, “watch” or warning yet, but it’s a Special Weather Statement – a storm system on the way is likely to make things pretty windy and wet around here tonight. Here’s what forecasters are expecting. 10:55 AM: The “special weather statement” expired but here’s the latest forecast – wind possible past 30 mph at times tonight – not horrific, but we’ve lost power with less, so just a heads-up.

Video: General Construction centennial fireworks

About 20 seconds into our short clip from tonight’s 10-minute fireworks show on Elliott Bay – which started just as the Space Needle dimmed for Earth Hour, but was NOT related to that event – you can hear the not-so-happy sea lions … we were on the Harbor Avenue shore just west of Salty’s, same spot where we’d been whale-watching two hours earlier, and the sea lions we heard were likely on one of the barge buoys offshore (recent photo here). Now, as for General Construction, the company whose centennial was the reason for tonight’s fireworks: You can read the company history here; among their major projects, Pier 66, site of tonight’s celebration. One of their major locations is on West Marginal Way SW, here in West Seattle. 12:32 AM: Adding a couple nice photos from the fireworks – this one is from Craig Young:

And this is from David Rosen:

Report #2: West Seattle goes wild for a shore-hugging gray whale

(Our first report, with morning sightings, photos and video, can be found here)

Any closer, and it would have needed a reservation for a table. That’s video we got via iPhone about an hour ago, when the gray whale that’s been hugging West Seattle shores all day turned up just west of Salty’s on Alki. As noted in our first report this morning, it was sighted south of Brace Point in the 7 o’clock hour, then made its way slowly up along Lincoln Park, Lowman Beach, Beach Drive, Alki Point, then turning into Elliott Bay, where it picked up quite a fan base on shore:

That’s what we found when we first pulled over by Anchor Park (see the anchor in the foreground – this is also known as Luna Park since part of the old amusement park’s natatorium used to be under that pier). As the whale moved eastward into the bay, the crowd moved with it. We lost track of it when it went under for an extended time after the Royal Argosy passed by Salty’s. If you’ve got photos/video to share, we’d love to add more – meantime, the two people who shared photos earlier have shared more – first, two from Trileigh – no, we don’t know what the orange spot is in the closeup:

And from Rick:

As for whether the whale’s OK or not – we know at least one citywide-media friend was trying to track down experts. Certainly they are seen around here from time to time. Again, our earlier report with more photos and video is here.

1:12 AM UPDATE: We gave up the whale watch for the night just before dusk but a hardy crowd has stayed out looking – and been rewarded with sightings off Jack Block Park. Josh Trujillo of has published amazing shots – check them out here. And depending on who else is out overnight, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #alkiwhale to get the latest.