West Seattle, Washington
High-school volleyball playoffs are under way, and Chief Sealth International High School has a victory to celebrate, beating Holy Names, 3-1, at home tonight. The game started late because of “Viadoom”: Holy Names had to play Bainbridge Island first to determine who would face Sealth, but Bainbridge got delayed by the Viaduct-closure afternoon traffic – we spotted their bus waiting to turn onto the Hanford detour route in SODO, while that stalled truck (chronicled in our afternoon-commute coverage) was backing everything up. Next game for Sealth is on Saturday.
ADDED: Video of the final 22 minutes of the set, all the way till the two teams shook hands at the very end. Meantime, a little more information on what’s next – Sealth will play Eastside Catholic at 11 am Saturday at West Seattle High School where at the same time, different court, WSHS, which beat Sealth in the division-championship tiebreaker, will play Seattle Prep. The winners of those two games will face off at 7 Saturday night.
Chris shares this photo of a jewelry box, and word of what else he found with it at a West Seattle park this afternoon:
I found a broken Jewelry Box with a lid inscribed with “Mother” multiple times at the entrance to Myrtle Reservoir Park this afternoon. Found what I presume are the contents strewn all over the grass there and, while nothing looks to be of great value, I thought the owner might want back what could be recovered. I have all the items I could find and will gladly turn them over to a someone who can identify any of the items. I’m guessing this was stolen from a home and dumped, but I suppose it could’ve been a car. Most of the items are pieces of jewelry and watches, and some music stuff. I figured the owner would be able to describe these items if they wanted to claim it. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.406.8079.
From Heidi Horwitz, fundraising chair for the Rotary Club of West Seattle:
One bag, two bag, red bag, GOLF BAG… Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled purses, yearning to be worn; the wretched refuse of your teeming closets and drawers just in time for Christmas shopping! Friday; December 2nd, 12-1:30 pm, West Seattle Golf Club Banquet Room. Luncheon and purse sale with mini-auction of 10 premium items; just in time for Christmas gift-giving!
This fundraiser will consist of sales of donated purses, men’s wallets, and golf bags that are either new, have been pre-owned, or as we like to say: ‘Gently Used.’ Proceeds from this luncheon event will benefit the West Seattle Rotary Service Club. The West Seattle Rotary Service Foundation is a 501 C-3 nonprofit organization.
We hope that you can join us for the fundraiser, but if you cannot attend the event itself, perhaps you will consider making a donation of purses, wallets, or golf-related items.
You can e-mail Heidi at email@example.com to find out how to donate. Tickets to the event are available at westseattlerotary.org.
Weary from a long Viadoom Evening #4 commute? Before we get to more of tonight’s news, how about a glimpse into another world – underwater, near Alki? Diver/photographer Laura James has shared more videos. The one above includes a look at other divers using “scooters” (propulsion devices, no wheels and not “ridden”); this one is more sealife-centric, including a tranquil-looking jelly:
The first one was closer to the Salty’s/Seacrest side of Alki, while the second one, Laura says, was shot off Alki Point.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES)
(Top L, north of 1st Av. S. Bridge; top R, 1st @ Holgate; below L, I-5 on south end of downtown; below R, 12th headed for bridge to Beacon Hill, where there’s alternate WS Bridge access)
First update: Traffic is slow EASTBOUND on the high bridge right now. More to come – we’ll be hitting the road in a few minutes to get a firsthand look, and please let us know what you are seeing (if you can send info safely, such as, from a bus!).
4:14 PM UPDATE: Travel times show 4th is in better shape than 1st right now.
4:35 PM UPDATE: On the road now. High bridge looks better, peeking up the onramp from Avalon. Busy stream coming off the low bridge – here comes the 54 and the 55, homeward bound. And another 54.
4:40 PM UPDATE: Problem – stalled truck eastbound on the low bridge.
Lineup building behind it.
High bridge is busy eastbound from 99 forward. Westbound looks OK. We’re on 1st Avenue South now – past the Hanford detour, which we’ll check out in a minute – looks busier toward downtown than heading away. … Scratch that. Avoid 1st South. The backup from the detour is significant. A Bainbridge Island school bus is even stuck in it (checking, we think they’re headed for a match in West Seattle).
4:50 PM UPDATE: The stalled semi is still on the westbound low bridge, according to the scanner. Detour to the 1st Avenue South Bridge if you can. Take 4th or 6th to get to Michigan, which connects eastward.
5 PM UPDATE: We’re on southbound 4th now. Looks good through SODO. We’ll see what happens when we get close to 1st South Bridge turnoff. Text from someone on a bus says police have blocked off scene of stalled semi on low bridge.
5:14 PM UPDATE: WSB commenter Travis says the stalled semi is being towed. However, keep in mind, it takes a while to clear backups, even after the reason for the backup is fixed – so 1st is likely to be bad for a while. We took 4th, which was backed up a few blocks from the turn for the 1st Avenue South Bridge; we detoured to 6th per recent advice from a friend, and are now on Michigan heading for the 1st S. Bridge. Just found this “live” view of the low bridge on a camera that usually points elsewhere:
… Now we’ve crossed the 1st Avenue South Bridge. Looks good heading homeward-bound once you’re on it. Even if you’re in north WS, you can get off and head toward Highland Park Way but stay right to keep on West Marginal, which will take you up to Spokane St. under the bridge and on to Avalon, Admiral, Harbor, etc. … Oh well, now that camera is back to the bridge approach (looking east on Spokane), maybe helpful anyway.
5:35 PM UPDATE: Commenter says the 5:15 pm Water Taxi was full. Another one says tempers are short in the 1st Avenue South backup. Firsthand reports helpful – don’t type while driving, though! – our road crew is back at HQ as we have to cover a 6 pm community meeting (though we will still be tracking traffic, too). We hope the Bainbridge Island girls’ volleyball team made it to Chief Sealth for their 5:30 pm match against Holy Names (winner of that one plays Sealth at 7:30) – we noted a sighting of their bus in the 1st S. backup at 4:40! Appears some commuters have detoured to Water Taxi; commenter says 5:15 pm was full, and Bill in the 5:45 line says it looks like a full house will ensue for that sailing too.
6:08 PM UPDATE: The low bridge opened right after 6, as it has been doing pretty much every day this week. Remember, 3-6 pm was the only time period during which it was promised the bridge would stay closed to marine traffic. The Water Taxi has been sold out for the past two runs; if you travel on the 6:15 pm, let us know if it had to leave folks in line too!
6:35 PM UPDATE: We’re at a meeting in White Center where someone coming from the Eastside was supposed to be here half an hour ago – so that says something about the traffic. No real train trouble at Hanford this afternoon/evening, we’re told – unlike what we documented yesterday. (A TV crew was there to do a story, we’re told, so just figures it didn’t replicate.) … Wait, now an update from Michele (at 6:45), “stopped by a train on the second set of tracks.”
6:49 PM UPDATE: From Krista via Facebook: “Our 54 local bus driver is rocking it. Just did a 180 degree turn in an articulated bus to find us a better reroute that isn’t blocked by a train. There were at least 10 buses behind us stuck in the traffic on E Marginal Way. Still a loooong commute home tonight.”
7:24 PM UPDATE: Via Twitter, Gwen says some people are getting out and walking. (A few minutes later, we checked back with her, and she said that after half an hour on 1st S., her bus had finally moved, and was over the low bridge, “everything clear now.”)
I live down on 26th & Trenton St. (behind Westwood Village) and noticed that my blue 2006 Yamaha Vino scooter had been stolen. It was parked on 26th Ave just north of the 26th & Trenton intersection. License plate 910305. Probably stolen sometime between 1 pm Wednesday and noon today (Thursday). The only modification is it has a windshield. Looks exactly like this (plus a windshield).
(Click to see larger image)
Today’s afternoon/evening traffic update will start in a few minutes – but first, our bird’s-eye view, courtesy of Erick (in a crane!), of how the Alaskan Way Viaduct South End demolition was looking as of late this morning. An official update from WSDOT:
Overnight, crews continued to remove debris from the demolition site and removed steel protective plates from the roadway. Today, crews are concentrating their efforts on demolishing the lower bridge deck near South Atlantic Street, striping the new construction bypass and paving. Later tonight, crews will begin installing approximately 40 truckloads of concrete traffic safety barrier along 3,000 feet of the new bridge and bypass.
We also asked them what’s being done with the rubble, after a WSB’er sent us that question. From Viaduct project spokesperson Travis Phelps:
The concrete is going to Seattle Tunneling Parnters (our tunnel contractor). They’ll grind up the concrete and use it for creating roads in and through their workzone and form a launch pad for the boring machine. The rebar is being recycled.
Again, Highway 99 remains scheduled to reopen Monday morning at 5 am – but obviously it won’t be the same as it was – you’ll be driving a construction bypass till you get to the central portion, which will NOT be demolished till the tunnel is done (four-plus years).
P.S. For a time-lapse look at five days of demolition work – check out the video on this page from the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Supporters of Southwest Community Center converged on the City Council budget hearing downtown last night, hoping to convince councilmembers to drop the current proposal to dramatically change the center. In essence, as reported here in September, it would no longer be Southwest CC, but would become Southwest Teen Life Center, with part of its space taken by a Neighborhood Service Center (the only one in West Seattle, moving from its current spot in Delridge). Kathleen Lonergan of the Family Learning Center, a program based at SWCC, shared photos (that’s her at the microphone in the top photo) and an update on their efforts:
We had a great turnout for the City Council meeting last night. We had over 50 people show up to support the effort to save SWCC. We signed in as two groups and were able to speak for 10 minutes. The speakers were myself, Erica Forrest and Michael Goerz. We submitted almost 250 signatures on our petition – these were gathered in the lobby of SWCC in less than one week! We intend to keep the petition available at SWCC (and online at change.org) right up until the final vote on November 21st. We also continue to direct people to our facebook page so we can keep them up to date on the fight to keep SWCC open and available to all of our neighbors in Southwest Seattle.
Here’s the Seattle Channel video of the entire hearing – if you drag the “play” button ahead to the 73:30 mark, you can watch what the Southwest CC supporters said:
Kathleen adds that Karen Crisalli Winter of West Seattle spoke on behalf of Southwest CC as a private citizen (87:30 on the video). We asked Kathleen what else they are doing as a followup to the hearing:
Right now we are encouraging the community to write follow-up letters to the meeting last night. We will keep the petition going. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen is coming by at 2 pm on November 4th to tour the center with us. Our kids are taking flyers door to door in our neighborhood, asking people to contact city council. That’s all we have at the moment. We’d love to organize a meeting but we need more community members to get on board with us, otherwise we’re just talking to ourselves and we’ve already done a lot of that!
What we would love is for more members of the SW Seattle community to contact us, put pressure on the city council, and help spread the word about what’s happening. … Our biggest hurdle is still the fact that so few people really know what’s happening.
We REALLY want to keep the NSC out of Southwest. We don’t feel this relocation benefits anyone except the city. It destroys the available space at SWCC. Even private programs, such as ours, that are being offered space at SWCC after the closure, will be hard-pressed to fit into the center once it’s been remodeled to accommodate the NSC. And it puts the NSC in a much less accessible location for anyone riding the bus. It’s a bad fit all around. We want the community to get as mad about this as we are!
You can contact Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved with these efforts, as well as the Southwest CC Advisory Council, chaired by Tom Foley at email@example.com. City information about the community-center changes is here, though it’s spread across multiple documents.
Eco Beauty, an Aveda salon/spa north of Morgan Junction, is opening late today – but not because they wanted to. They had to wait for police to come investigate a crime; the broken glass above is part of the evidence. Salon manager Phillip Todd, who posted an alert about the burglary on the WSB Facebook page, says that broken window shows how the burglar/s got in; they got away with some money. We talked to them around noontime and noticed that police were there about half an hour ago, so they should be open before long.
ORIGINAL 11:46 AM REPORT: One day after reporting that the DESC proposal for a 75-unit homeless-housing project in Delridge is recommended for $500,000 state funding, we received word of a site at which an anonymous “Concerned Neighbor” has published research that s/he says is relevant to the proposal. We don’t have the research bandwidth to try to fact-check this, so we are not vouching for its accuracy, but here’s the link, so you can read for yourself if you’re interested. (Note the tabs leading to additional pages.) We asked DESC executives yesterday for comment on the funding report and still have not received a reply; if we do, we’ll ask them about this too.
2:16 PM UPDATE: We will have another story in the works for later today; we have heard from Delridge residents who attended a county meeting today regarding another funding request for the project, and we are told the decision was delayed because of concerns voiced by the residents.
4:17 PM UPDATE: Also revealed at that county meeting – the city has granted funding for the project. We have confirmed this with the city Office of Housing. As for how much – the Housing spokesperson is supposed to call us back with that information.
One day before Halloween, you might get a knock on the door from someone who’ll be looking for a food-drive donation, not a treat. Angel Laycock from the soccer club HPFC Eagles says that 3-5 pm this Sunday (October 30) they’ll be out on what they call “Trick or Can“:
Small groups of our club will be going around house to house to collect canned food and what we will do is send that canned food to three different food drives which include Highline Area Food Bank, White Center Food Bank, and West Seattle Food Bank. We will be in a couple different areas that include Normandy Park, Three Tree Point, North Admiral, and a few other local locations.
Participating players range in age from 10-17, Angel tells us, and he just wants to get the word out so that you’ll consider having a food donation available if you happen to get a visit. (And if nobody comes by, trust us, there are many other drives in the works to which you can contribute.)
A WSB’er just e-mailed to note that despite traffic highs and lows for drivers and to some degree bus riders, bicycling is in his view “easy, free, clear, and very consistent. The best no-hassle commute.” Which brings us to the video above – transportation reporter Mike Lindblom from the Seattle Times (WSB partner) used a helmet cam to create a time-lapse video of his commute from West Seattle via bicycle yesterday, including a stop at the Cascade Bicycle Club/WSDOT station by the “low bridge” (we noted a cameo by Alki Bike and Board’s Stu Hennessey). In the second half of the clip, Mike slows it back down to real-time pace for a narrated tour past the Viaduct demolition. P.S. Cascade says it’ll have a station by the bridge on Monday too, 6:45-9 am, just to keep people motivated to keep commuting by bike.
WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: Lunch meeting today at the West Seattle Golf Course. Executive Director Craig Salins from Washington Public Campaigns will speak on the organization’s goals and activities as well as discuss its current financial difficulties; a Families & Education Levy representative will discuss the importance of supporting this levy. The Discussion Group meets from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 am, on ‘Implications of Occupy Wall Street — Seattle.’ Registration is from 11:15-11:30 am with the program from 11:30 am – 1 pm. Cost is $12 members; $15 non-Members OR the minimum fee of $5 which includes coffee/tea and dessert.
HIGH-SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL:The Chief Sealth International High School Varsity Volleyball team hosts a Metro League playoff game at 5:30 pm, with its winner playing the Seahawks at 7:30 pm. Doors open for both contests at 5 pm. $7 for adults and $5 for students.
COMMUNITY SAFETY COALITION: The South Delridge/White Center Community Safety Coalition meets for the first time since “Operation Center of Attention” was announced, St. James, 9421 18th SW, 6 pm.
‘THE DESPERATE HOURS’: The West Seattle High School Drama Club presents “The Desperate Hours” by Joseph Hayes, 7:30 pm, WSHS Theater. $7 with reservation (email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-252-8834), $12 at the door.
‘EVIL DEAD’ CONTINUES: “Evil Dead: The Musical” continues tonight at ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery in The Junction, 7:30 pm.
(Collection boxes at the Admiral Way Viewpoint dropoff station last April; WSB photo by Katie Meyer)
Last April, West Seattle dropoff points for “Drug Take-Back Day” brought in more than 250 pounds of prescription drugs – taking them out of medicine cabinets and other storage places where they would pose various risks. This Saturday, it’s happening again, so if you have expired, no-longer-needed, or otherwise-unwanted prescription drugs on hand, gather them up and get ready to drop them off. The Seattle Police Southwest Precinct is listed as the West Seattle site this time, 10 am-2 pm Saturday, Delridge/Webster.
6:15 AM: The high bridge is starting to get busy – as has been the case every day this week. (…few mins later…) First Water Taxi run has 76 on board. After three days of TV crews at the dock, nobody there today but our crew. Lots of parking – if you’ve been off all week, remember there’s special parking 6 am-8 pm at Don Armeni Boat Ramp.
6:30 AM: One commenter says early traffic seemed a bit lighter than the first few days of the week. Right now, though, live cameras show the same 6:30 am bridge slowdown we’ve seen all week. That’s the high bridge, anyway; KING 5’s chopper just showed the low bridge as well, and it’s moving nicely.
6:45 AM: High bridge busy-busy. No problems around the heart of the metro area. Weather’s still dry, too, though the forecast had been iffy. 84 people on this run of the Water Taxi. Though the WT numbers are notably down from the Monday peak, if you’re a stats fan, still way up from the average (scroll down this page and you’ll see the 6:45 run in September, for example, averaged 15 passengers on Thursdays – even without the 6:15 am run that’s been added just for this week). Low bridge still looks lots better than the high bridge – if you are headed south, another reminder, the new East Marginal Way Grade Separation flyover is right there at the end of the road from the low bridge, taking you over the tracks and toward E. Marginal.
7 AM: High bridge slow, low bridge good, no problems on I-5 (or anywhere else around the heart of the metro area). KING reporter says the Port of Seattle told her the ship schedule is lighter today, so that means fewer trucks (and trains, perhaps? see our afternoon commute report yesterday, as we staked out the 1st So Hanford detour toward the low bridge). Scanner’s quiet this morning. Twitter quiet (whomever tweets for King County is soliciting Viaduct haiku). Preplanned 4-day weekends?
7:15 AM: Unless something unusual happens, we’re updating every quarter-hour this morning. The bridges have been reruns – so far! – of the past few mornings, high bridge busy but NOT total gridlock, low bridge running faster, buses doing well, 1st and 4th Ave. So. busy. We’re still watching the Water Taxi, as it’s continuing to run well above normal (but no sellout runs since Monday, so don’t worry about a wait). … 119 on the 7:15 run, which is up a few from yesterday.
7:30 AM: Water Taxi lot half-full, lots of parking remains (some on the street too). High bridge loosening up a bit earlier than yesterday, but still busy.
7:45 AM: The predictions that today might be the worst commute of the week due to complacency, reverting to old habits, etc., so far NOT bearing out. Water Taxi ridership up again for this run too – 125, our crew at the dock reports, up from 108 on the same run yesterday. That’s still NOT a sellout, so there’s room on board and room in parking. On the high bridge now, you don’t hit a backup till past the (closed) 99 exit. Police are out ticketing bus-lane violators again today, per commenter Karla.
8 AM: Water Taxi parking lot at Don Armeni is full. But there’s still street parking. High bridge same as last report – doesn’t slow down till you get to the downhill by what’s usually the Viaduct offramp.
8:20 AM: High bridge looks good now, even past 99. No problems except some fog if you’re heading to the eastside (as our Viaduct Crunch partners at KING 5 just showed on the I-90/Rainier Ave. view). Awaiting the 8:15 Water Taxi report. … here it is: 102 riders. Down a bit from yesterday (maybe those riders just timeshifted earlier). Lovely morning:
Tomorrow MIGHT see some rain, per the newest forecast …
8:45 AM: All’s well. If anything changes in the next hour or so, we’ll add it here … otherwise, it’s on to the news of the day, and to afternoon-commute monitoring starting between 3 and 4, depending on how things are going.
11:55 AM: Double-digit ticket totals for the bus-lane-violation patrol again today.