West Seattle, Washington
Tonight, we’re announcing the latest list of twice-yearly West Seattle Volunteer Recognition Award winners! The awards are sponsored by the Southwest and Delridge District Councils (representatives of community groups and organizations from all over the peninsula) and WSB; you do the nominating, reps from the two district councils do the judging. Drum roll …
Community award – Dennis Ross, longtime activist/advocate in the Admiral neighborhood
Youth award – Arthea and Ronda Barber, volunteers at Highland Park Elementary School
Environment award – Scott Blackstock, volunteer caretaker for Roxhill Bog/Park
Group award – Furry Faces Foundation, animal advocates and providers of compassionate assistance for animals’ human companions
Come give these hardworking volunteers a hearty cheer and much-deserved applause next Tuesday, as they are introduced and honored during the West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival Concert in the Park (7 pm on the Hiawatha East Lawn, free, starring the fabulous West Seattle Big Band).
If you were in the Alki area tonight, you may have noticed that vessel – the 231-foot Mt. Mitchell – spending a long time just offshore. We received a few notes about it, and Mike shared that sunset photo. We don’t know exactly what it was doing – here’s the data from MarineTraffic.com – but we do know it’s a research vessel, once in service for NOAA, but now privately owned (here’s the infopage on the website of the company that owns it), and specializing in underwater mapping. We’ll see if we can find out tomorrow exactly what it was up to (if someone who knows doesn’t happen by here sooner).
(EDITOR’S NOTE: With less than two weeks till ballots are mailed for the August 17th primary, we’re taking a closer look daily at the candidates in two contested local races. This week, we are bringing you stories about WSB conversations with the four contenders for 34th District State House, Position 2. We began Tuesday with Joe Fitzgibbon (story here); continued Wednesday with Mike Heavey (story here); tonight, Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Do something different,” exhorts the white lettering on the back of Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy‘s campaign uniform, a black T-shirt.
After all, he did something different.
For one, the 46-year-old entrepreneur filed to run as an “independent” in the heavily Democratic 34th Legislative District (map), running against three D’s.
For two, instead of more classic campaign activities, he’s focused on one that’s led us to bump into him multiple times each week for the past few months: He’s been attending neighborhood council and association meetings around the district.
When it came time to sit down and do an official interview for our series of candidate conversations, though, we wound up on his turf – Mac’s Triangle Pub, feet from the West Seattle/White Center line.
2 quick updates on the restaurant change at West Seattle Bowl, previously reported here when owner Andrew Carl confirmed last month that the Terrace West Chinese Restaurant would be replaced by a new food/beverage operator. Carl tells WSB that Terrace West is closing after tonight, and confirms the future restaurant’s name, as noted here when WSB’er Diane spotted a help-wanted ad – Highstrike Grill. (We’re using its logo with permission.) Any more information to share about what Highstrike will be like? we asked. Not till next month, Carl says.
This weekend’s big events in West Seattle – the Alki Car Show on Saturday, the West Seattle Outdoor Movies debut Saturday night (“Mamma Mia!”), the West Seattle Garden Tour on Sunday (latter two co-sponsored by WSB – aren’t blocking streets. But elsewhere around the city, this weekend’s big events might land you in the middle of some changes. Read on for the latest list from SDOT:Read More
(Scroll down for newest info)
(top photo added 5:15 pm, thanks to Patty, who called 911 after seeing the smoke – next photo was our 1st one in, thanks to LeeAnne, who saw it from blocks away)
ORIGINAL 4:33 PM REPORT: On our way to the 4500 block of 48th SW (map), where crews are on the scene of a house fire. More to come. We’re told at least one helicopter (likely TV news) is in the area – so if you’re wondering about the chopper, that’s what it’s about. 4:46 PM UPDATE: Still fighting the fire. No word yet if anyone hurt. We’re on scene. They’ve called for a few more engines. The scene is close to Ercolini Park. Still smoky. A public-information officer is on the way to gather details for us and other media crews. 4:55 PM: Still lots of smoke – this is as close as media is being allowed – the house you see is immediately south of the one with the fire:
No indication of any injuries. A medic unit is on scene, as is SOP for fires, but there’s no indication they’re treating anyone. 5:03 PM: Sarah sent this photo taken behind the house:
Our crew on the scene has checked out that same angle from an alley where you can see the back of the house – you can see a hole burned through the roof, but the smoke has stopped, so crews are making progress. The PIO has arrived so we should have more official info soon. 5:14 PM UPDATE: According to SFD’s Dana Vander Houwen, the house was empty – nobody was living there, no furnishings, so nobody hurt. Major damage to basement, attic, rear of house. (video added)
Investigators will work into the evening to figure out the cause.
(Thank you VERY much to EVERYONE who texted, called, tweeted, FB’d and e-mailed to let us know about this and/or share photos and info as we rolled out – we cover breaking news 24/7/365, and your tips are vital.)
ADDED 9:27 AM FRIDAY: Vander Houwen says investigators traced the fire to overheated electrical wiring, so it was ruled accidental, damage totaling $90,000. Also, we wanted to add one of the photos taken by Ilona Berzups showing the firefighters “behind the scenes,” so to speak – at one point more than 50 were on this scene, and the support work done to make sure they can safely do their job is always interesting to watch:
New update from SDOT, as 9 pm Monday approaches – that’s when the right lane of the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct (aka the West Seattle Bridge between Highway 99 and I-5) closes round-the-clock for up to six weeks of work. The first night will kick off with a total eastbound closure, according to what SDOT just sent, which includes the latest on a lower-roadway milestone tomorrow:
Work to connect the new 4th Ave S eastbound off-ramp to the Spokane St Viaduct starts Monday night, July 19. From 9 p.m. Monday to no later than 5 a.m. Tuesday both eastbound lanes of the Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed in order to set up temporary barriers, with traffic diverted to the lower roadway. Lower eastbound Spokane St opens to traffic tomorrow, Friday, July 16. As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, July 20, only the eastbound right-hand lane of the Spokane St Viaduct will remain closed, for up to 6 weeks. Once this work is complete, the new 4th Ave S eastbound off-ramp will open for use.
Again, that right-lane eastbound closure will be around-the-clock till it’s done. And this is the “West Seattle Bridge lane closure” you’d been seeing on the overhead signage the past day or two – SDOT indicated they’ll change the verbiage to make it clearer that this is NOT the main (high) bridge, but rather the Spokane Street Viaduct section.
As part of the ongoing West Seattle Triangle Planning Project, the city has come up with a draft list of businesses in The Triangle – and is asking for your help in making sure it’s accurate and complete. Take a look at the list here (PDF) – and if you see anything missing, or wrong (for example, we noticed that OK Corral should now be Jones Barbeque), here’s who to e-mail. Meantime, if you happen to be a Triangle business owner, the city now has an online survey they’d like you to take; the city’s point person on the Triangle project, Susan McLain, says, “We are asking business owners to complete a short survey providing information and opinions about business-related issues. The idea for the survey emerged from recent meetings sponsored by the West Seattle Chamber and involving businesses in the Triangle planning area.” If you’re a Triangle business owner, start the survey here. McLain says the results will be out this fall. Tuesday night, she spoke to the Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting – read on for toplines:Read More
(FRIDAY NOTE: The embedded video now will take you to the archive of the Thursday briefing)
ORIGINAL 2:59 PM REPORT: As noted here this morning, Mayor McGinn is having a “strategic infrastructure expert” speak to the media at City Hall this afternoon to present information described as potential risks of the proposed Highway 99 tunnel. Seattle Channel plans to stream it live online and sent the code to embed it on other websites, so in case you’re interested in watching/listening live, here it is (just click the “play” arrow). We’ll add notes (and what we assume will be an eventual news release link) if you just want to come back and read about it later. It’s scheduled to start at 3 pm.
3:33 PM: The consultant’s statement was fairly short and he’s now taking questions. Click ahead for toplines:Read More
Thank you West Seattle for a great time at Summer Fest 2010! What a weekend!
The West Seattle Junction Association organizes this event to be a neighborhood festival and celebration (and the historic sidewalk sale), but it could not have reached this level of success without the involvement of our community. I’d like to say a big Thank You to the following groups who helped make Summer Fest an event for all:
Our Sponsors truly make this event possible since, believe it not, this event is not free to produce! Thank you sponsors for their community spirit. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce staffed the Information Booth all weekend, offering valuable information about the festival and West Seattle, while also providing the first stop for lost families and first aid. West Seattle Blog (sponsor) also helped in this endeavor while reporting live from the Info Booth. The Seattle Police Department was awesome on so many levels – helping lost families, monitoring the crossing of Oregon St, and overall having a strong presence at the festival. I believe this was the best kids’ area yet and Pathfinder School continued to host the FREE Art Activities – four years running. Thanks to Coffee to a Tea for donating more than 1500 cookies for kids to frost and decorate in this area. West Seattle Helpline coordinated the Community Tent where local organizations and non-profits received a free table at the festival. Twilight Artist Collective organized the Art Dive tent – thanks for all the great art! The West Seattle Nursery (sponsor) and Sustainable West Seattle coordinated the first ever GreenLife: A Garden and Sustainability Expo. And lastly, thank you to Cleanscapes and Starbucks, who sponsored the handling of recycling, composting and trash and were responsible for a super clean event!! West Seattle Summer Fest was a true collaboration of community.
We work to produce an event that is successful for all, and feedback from the community is a guiding force. I have read (and appreciate) all the comments on the WSB about the festival and they will certainly be a consideration for next year. If you would like to submit comments directly, please e-mail email@example.com.
Susan Melrose, Director
West Seattle Junction Association
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)
3 weeks after we brought you first word – thanks to a tip from Larry Nitkey – that this old house at 4516 42nd SW (part of the site of a future development project) is going to be moved to another lot in West Seattle, the big overnight move is coming up early this Sunday. And if you are on the route, you are probably seeing “No Parking” signs by now. JayDee e-mailed WSB to say he spotted them yesterday along 44th near Charlestown, but we didn’t make the connection immediately until a Facebook note from Jenny this morning. Our partners at the Seattle Times have mapped the entire route here; they also published a great story with lots more about the home’s history here. (Note added later: There are apparently two sets of “No Parking” signs in that general area – one for the July 24th West Seattle Grand Parade bus re-route, one for this event, so look at the fine print if you have to park near one!)
Thanks to Melanie for sharing great-blue-heron photos so awesome we had to share two. And beach news is in the morning preview: When the Alki Community Council meets tonight, one of its agenda items is a discussion of off-leash dogs at the beach – a rep from Seattle Animal Shelter will be on hand; another special guest is Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Benjamin Kinlow. ACC meets 7 pm, Alki UCC church (61st/Hinds). … TRAFFIC REMINDER: 10 pm-5 am tonight, Highway 99 closes both ways along a stretch through SODO for installation of more overhead signs … And speaking of 99, Mayor McGinn seems to be going full-bore with doubt-raising about the proposed tunnel – this afternoon he’s invited media to a briefing we’re planning to cover, with a “strategic infrastructure expert” who’s going to talk about what the invite calls “risks associated with the state’s proposed deep-bore tunnel project.” … One other note from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: Drop-in gardening at St. James Annex (9421 18th SW) with Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle, 6;30 pm – a great chance to do some gardening if you don’t have space of your own. And now, Melanie’s other cool heron photos, as we fly off into the day:
From last night’s 34th District Democrats meeting in Fauntleroy: The main event was a presentation in support of higher-earners-income-tax initiative I-1098, which the group already has endorsed; meantime, they took stands on two other ballot measures – read on for the details:Read More
Many of the traffic-alert signboards that are now up in and around West Seattle say simply “Lane closing 9 pm Monday on the West Seattle Bridge” – and since that doesn’t tell the whole story, as evidenced by a couple notes on our Facebook wall, here’s another reminder: Starting at 9 pm next Monday, and continuing for up to six weeks, the outside lane on the eastbound side of the Spokane Street Viaduct – aka the West Seattle Bridge between Highway 99 and I-5 – will close, roughly between 1st and 4th Ave. South, so that work can be done to connect the new 4th Ave. offramp. But the eastbound lower roadway will reopen along that stretch – so you potentially can skip the whole thing by getting off at 1st Avenue South. It’s all explained here. 3:15 PM NOTE: We told SDOT many of the notes we’d received indicated some confusion with the signs’ terminology; they indicate it’ll be changed to say “Upper Spokane” rather than “West Seattle Bridge.”
That’s midfielder Tafara Pulse from the Seattle Sounders Women team, visiting High Point’s Commons Park on Wednesday night for the second weekly summer soccer-learning session presented by High Point Community Center.
The players are 7-to-14-year-olds, in the midst of a free six-week session learning the ever-more-popular game. Gorgeous night to be out on the field.