West Seattle, Washington
(WSDOT photo from Flickr – more demolition equipment arrives at the Viaduct’s south end)
This is it. Tomorrow’s the night … the nine-day, ten-night closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct begins at 7:30 pm Friday. Unless some other huge news story (heaven forbid) happens in Western Washington, you can expect tomorrow’s news to be All Viaduct, All The Time in advance (for example, WSDOT has assigned a media liaison to be available for interviews at 4:30 am – 15 hours before the closure, but TV morning news will be all over it). Today’s other Vianews highlights:
*The Port of Seattle has made some changes to reduce traffic around the area where many Viaductless drivers will be attempting to get from the “low bridge” to downtown (or beyond). Seattle Times’ transportation reporter Mike Lindblom details them in this story. (As we have reported previously, some relief also may come during afternoon commute, when the “low bridge” is supposed to stay “down” 3-6 pm next Monday-Friday except for “emergencies,” and Burlington Northern has promised to reduce “train-building” in the East Marginal/Hanford area, where that practice often cuts off traffic trying to get from the SODO detour to the “low bridge.”)
*Also mentioned briefly in Mike’s story – announced in a news release earlier today – the city is suspending the $32 flat rate for taxis from downtown to Sea-Tac during the closure period, saying metered rides will “ensure cab drivers are fairly compensated for what are expected to be longer trips due to traffic delays.”
*In response to a question from the last meeting of the South Portal Working Group, WSDOT sent out an update this afternoon saying basically that it can’t guarantee GPS traffic-navigation companies will have maps accurately depicting Viaductlessness. It’s provided the information, the agency says, but it can’t guarantee any of the companies are using it. WSDOT is hopeful, though, that many companies WILL redraw their maps to reflect the Highway 99 construction bypass that will be in place post-closure … but it might take up to six months!
*Still have Viaduct-closure questions? We’re partnering with KING 5 during Viadoom, Viaduct Crunch, whatever you want to call it, for some coverage teamwork, including a live online chat at 11 am Friday – we expect to embed the chat here on WSB, and you’ll find it on the KING site here. Their traffic reporter Tracy Taylor will host the chat; your editor here (Tracy Record) will be part of it to help answer questions.
(Photo by Kevin McClintic)
This weekend’s a great time for activities that don’t require crossing the Duwamish Waterway (and of course we all know why). So here’s one: The encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville,” which has been back at its original Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way Southwest site since mid-May, needs a little help. One of its regular community volunteers explains:
A few anonymous folks had 10 yards of gravel delivered to Nickelsville on Tuesday. By thickly covering common areas and pathways with gravel, the residents and donors, will not have to worry about the slippery mud that comes with our Fall/Winter Rains, plus the residents’ shoes and clothes will stay cleaner, as well as their tents. Another 10 yards (28,000 lbs) is going to be delivered tomorrow and we are hoping we can get some West Seattle Community members to come down to help haul, move, spread, etc., the gravel. If interested folks were able to bring shovels, buckets, a wheelbarrow, rakes for spreading, etc., it would make the project go even faster. And monetary donations to purchase even more gravel are greatly appreciated.
If you can help in person, 1-3 pm Saturday is the time frame. If you’re not sure how to find Nickelsville, or if you have another question, contact Joanne at email@example.com or 206-938-0361. If you are interested in donating money, there’s a collection box at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor; 4410 California SW).
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Don’t just patch up Delridge Way SW – transform it.
That’s the idea behind a discussion that took up most of last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting. The reps from eastern West Seattle groups and organizations were planning for November, when Seattle City Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Tom Rasmussen, as well as representatives from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will join DNDC to discuss roadway improvements to Delridge Way.
A long list of Seattle Police Aggressive Drivers Response Team activities – almost all in West Seattle – is on SPD Blotter tonight, from school zones to major arterials to the West Seattle Bridge, including someone going almost double the speed limit on Admiral Way. See for yourself, here.
If you’re considering remodeling or rebuilding – there’s something new about this month’s edition of the free workshop offered by Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) … it’s happening on a weekend afternoon instead of a weeknight, for those who just haven’t been able to get to it before. Not only will Ventana team members be there, so will an architect (from Goforth-Gill Architects). It’s at 2 pm Saturday at 5458 California SW; RSVP by calling 206-932-3009.
Just a reminder, since this was announced only yesterday: TONIGHT, 10 pm-5 am, the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct – that’s the West Seattle Bridge between I-5 and Highway 99 – is scheduled to be closed for work related to the ongoing widening project. That means you will not be able to access the West Seattle Bridge from I-5 or Beacon Hill.
Right around lunchtime today, the King County Water Taxi “alert” list got an alarming message saying that the sidewalk by the WT’s downtown dock, Pier 50, would be closed for work starting … immediately:
Water Taxi-riding WSB’ers e-mailed us (and posted in the WSB Forum) saying essentially: “WHAT?” We checked with King County Councilmember Joe McDermott‘s office, since he also chairs the Ferry District board. It was news to them too. BOTTOM LINE: We’ve just heard from Michelle Allison on the McDermott team, and she says the work has been postponed till November – AFTER the Viaduct closure. (The “alert” list subsequently received this:)
Meantime, our daily Viaduct updates have been delayed due to breaking news this afternoon (including some in White Center), but check back here later this evening! And remember, the closure starts at **7:30 pm** tomorrow – so it will NOT affect the Friday morning/evening rush hours.
The man suspected of exposing himself to children in several spots around the city including Alki is now charged, and his bail has been raised. The update from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office:
A 29-year-old man arrested for exposing himself to children in Seattle was charged this afternoon with one count of Child Molestation Second Degree and five counts of Indecent Exposure. Jesse K. Drugger is scheduled for arraignment on the charges on November 3 at 8:30 a.m. at the King County Courthouse, courtroom 1201. Prosecutors requested and the court approved a bail increase to $250,000 from $100,000. The defendant remains in jail.
We have just received the charging documents and will add any additional information they yield.
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
ORIGINAL 2:25 PM REPORT: Police have rushed to the Washington Federal branch at California/Fauntleroy in Morgan Junction after a robbery report. According to what we are hearing on the scanner, the suspects are described as two men, apparently wearing Halloween masks. There are two reports that the getaway car might be black – a witness near the kitty-corner Thriftway saw men carrying at least one pillowcase jump into a car there and take off. Police are on the lookout all over West Seattle and the city, and also reportedly trying to determine if it’s part of a recent series (we haven’t had any here in WS lately).
2:44 PM UPDATE: Added a photo from WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli, who’s at the scene, and says Seattle Police have given him a few other details – the robbers were white, male, and wearing hoodies, as well as the aforementioned “Halloween masks.” Police confirm they are looking for a black getaway car. Scanner traffic says the robbers were believed to be armed with a shotgun and a handgun.
3:32 PM UPDATE: No word of any arrests so far. A few more details from Christopher at the scene: “The bank manager confirms the branch is closed for the rest of the day and as patrons have been showing up, they’ve been directed to use other branches. SPD detectives are on scene and are reviewing camera footage. They’re also taking pictures in the alley north of the bank location.” We asked him if they had been told what the robbers’ reported “Halloween masks” looked like. One description so far: Possibly a George W. Bush mask.
Just in from Seattle Public Schools: Madison Middle School and Alki Elementary are two of five district schools just announced as winners of the “School of Distinction” award, signifying “outstanding academic improvement and math,” according to the official district announcement. It’s the fourth consecutive award for Madison, whose principal Henterson Carlisle mentioned the three previous awards in his introduction to the School Board candidates’ forum on Tuesday night and said they were hoping to make it four in a row – now they have. There’ll be a ceremony in the schools’ honor, but the date’s not set yet. In all, 99 schools around the state won the award.
A new development in the Alki home-invasion robbery we first told you about early yesterday: Seattle Police have released this image of one of the suspected robbers. They say it’s from an ATM here in West Seattle, captured as the suspect used a credit card stolen in the robbery. If you have any idea who this is, or any other information about the robbery, call the Seattle Police Robbery Unit at 206-684-5535. The SPD Blotter update on this adds: “Anonymous calls are welcome.”
A woman in her 20s was just taken to the hospital by private ambulance after her bicycle collided with a car near Genesee/California at the north end of The Junction. Though it was originally dispatched as a potentially major medical call, Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore says the rider has only minor injuries. WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli found out from police at the scene that the woman was riding southbound on California when a driver parked in front of a building on California opened his car door into her path, and she went over the handlebars.
(Click for full-size PDF of sign graphic)
So you’re on a ferry, looking out the window, or standing on the open deck, and suddenly – hey! What’s that over there? The question might be easier to answer now that West Seattle-based The Whale Trail has informational signs onboard Washington State Ferries. There are two signs on each ferry and one in each terminal. They show/describe orcas, gray whales, Dall’s porpoises, harbor seals, and California sea lions, and include QR codes you can use to get to The Whale Trail’s website from your mobile device. According to Whale Trail founder Donna Sandstrom, the Seattle Aquarium donated the graphic-design services, and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife printed the signs. (Read the official news release here.)
Thanks to WSB contributor Keri DeTore for the photo of Delridge’s Dragonfly Pavilion in that sunshine we enjoyed earlier this week … nowhere to be found at the moment. But we can always dream. In the meantime, things to consider for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
LEARNING WHILE HELPING: From Matt Evans at West Seattle Academy/WS Montessori (WSB sponsor): Students are doing park cleanups at Lincoln Park and Alki today. “The clean-ups are an extension of our Leadership class in the middle school, and the result of a class brainstorm about how we can give back to our community. We will be armed with trash bags and rubber gloves to help make Lincoln Park and Alki litter-free, so if you see our students at either location today, show them your appreciation with a ‘Thanks!’.”
ROXHILL SKATESPOT’S DOWNTOWN REVIEW: Seattle Design Commission looks at Roxhill Skatespot, 1 pm, Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall.
WSHS SPIRIT DINNER AND AUCTION: West Seattle High School Athletics are the beneficiary for tonight’s gala sponsored by the PTSA and WSHS Foundation, The Hall at Fauntleroy, doors open at 5:30 pm for silent auction/appetizers/drinks, dinner is at 7, live auction/dessert dash/raffle at 7:30 pm. Call to see if tickets are still available – 206-252-0476 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FESTIVAL IN WEST SEATTLE: Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (WSB sponsor)’s first of three days with screenings at the Admiral Theater in West Seattle – schedule here – first screening tonight is at 6 pm.
LOWMAN BEACH SEWER-OVERFLOW PROJECT: The Murray (that’s the pump station at Lowman Beach) Combined Sewer Overflow project will be updated at a community meeting, 6:30 pm, Fauntleroy Church fellowship hall (9140 California SW).
GIRL SCOUT INFO NIGHT: Girl Scouts have another free family information night in West Seattle – this time it’s at WS (Admiral) Library, 6:30 pm.
For more information, please visit GirlScoutsWW.org or call 425-614-1126
SOUTHWEST COMMUNITY CENTER’S FUTURE: If the budget-cut proposal to change Southwest Community Center into a Teen Life Center and Neighborhood Service Center goes through, what programs and hours should the center keep? City-led discussion tonight, 7 pm (details here)
In addition to the Huling Bowl football game at 7 pm Friday – with pre- and during-game festivities detailed in last night’s story – there’s one more West Seattle High School–Chief Sealth International High School game of note that night: Volleyball! After Sealth’s win at Nathan Hale in five sets last night, the stage is set for them to face WSHS in a division-championship tiebreaker game – both went 11-1 in division play – at 5:45 pm Friday at Holy Names High School (728 21st Ave. East; admission free).
Story and photos by Katie Meyer
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Can termite damage really cause a fire in your wooden home? A baseboard heater that is turned “off” stays off, doesn’t it? Just how can something “spontaneously combust” (which started the fire at right, in Arbor Heights in August)?
Many questions related to fires – and fire safety – were answered Tuesday night at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting held at the Southwest Precinct. A late but informative addition to the agenda: The Seattle Fire Department provided guest speakers – education specialist Dana Catts and investigator Ronald M. Ready from the Arson and Fire Investigation Unit.
First, Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis gave an update on current crime rates, stressing that recent success in reducing certain crimes was bolstered by “the efforts that have happened with our citizens here and their fantastic job they’re doing in reporting crime to 911, saying the right things to the 911 operators, giving the right information.”