day : 28/10/2011 15 results

Video: What the orcas did on the OTHER side of Puget Sound

In case you hadn’t seen it on Facebook or Twitter – this video is too good not to share everywhere possible. You might remember the orca sighting reported here earlier today; later the orcas swam exceptionally close to shore near Vashon Island’s Point Robinson (across from Des Moines), and that’s where the video above was shot. Thanks to the Orca Network for posting it to their Facebook page, where we found it (browse the page for lots of other sighting reports). Here’s another view – though the screen size is narrow – here.

Skylark’s ‘Come As You Aren’t’ is coming… tomorrow night!

October 28, 2011 8:22 pm
|    Comments Off on Skylark’s ‘Come As You Aren’t’ is coming… tomorrow night!
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

There are costume parties … and then there are COSTUME PARTIES. Once again this year, Skylark Café and Club invited local bands to not just costume themselves … but also perform as … somebody else! The clip above is from last year, when Noddy portrayed the B-52s. This year’s “Come As You Aren’t” is coming up tomorrow (Saturday) night – no cover! Check the lineup, from the Skylark website:

Set times are approximate:

8:00 pm Willow & Kevin Wood as GILLIAN WELCH & DAVID RAWLINGS
8:20 pm Perish The Island as GOBLIN (Suspiria soundtrack)
8:40 pm Julia Massey & The Jesus Rehab as ARCADE FIRE
9:00 pm Bone Cave Ballet as BJORK
9:20 pm Supernauty as THE RAMONES
9:40 pm To The Sea as R.E.M.
10:00 pm The Mangles as HUSKER DU
10:20 pm The Stevedore & Mannequin BBQ as THE SUPREMES
10:40 pm Hobosexual as CREAM
11:00 pm Clutch Douglass as SALT ‘N’ PEPA
11:20 pm D.evolution.Aires as ZZ TOP
11:40 pm Sweet Secrets as THE CURE
12:00 am Like Lightning as THE PRETENDERS
12:10 am Hotels as THE MISFITS

KEXP DJ and founding member of the Young Evils Troy Nelson, two-time Golden Cowbell winner Lori Campion, Seattle Subsonic writer Dave O’Leary, and Skylark owner-booker Jessie SK will judge the bands.

Then on Sunday morning, you’re invited to “Halloween Hangover Brunch,” 9 am-3 pm at Skylark … followed Monday night by a costume karaoke party – with prizes! – at 9 pm on Halloween (Facebook event page here; 21+). Haven’t been to Skylark? West side of the northern end of Delridge, 3803 Delridge Way SW. (Or, if you’ve been there before but it’s been a while, check out the new interior paint – “a nice dark blue,” says owner Jessie SK – and refinished bar top “down to the wood.”)

High-school football: WSHS vs. Prep, SLHS vs. Tacoma Baptist

October 28, 2011 7:20 pm
|    Comments Off on High-school football: WSHS vs. Prep, SLHS vs. Tacoma Baptist
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

7:20 PM: First final score of the night: West Seattle High School lost a postseason game to Seattle Prep at Memorial Stadium downtown tonight, 42-0. More on that a bit later. Seattle Lutheran High School is on the road vs. Tacoma Baptistin Pierce County, and that game should be just now getting started.

ADDED 9:16 PM: From SLHS’s Twitter feed – the Saints lost 41-0.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Tree blamed for Alki power outage

6:26 PM: Thanks to the WSB’ers who texted us with news of a power outage on Alki. It’s confirmed on the Seattle City Light “system status” map – 131 homes/businesses, blamed on a tree, estimated restoration late tonight. The map shows it affecting people east/northeast of 54th, also upslope on Bonair. More as we get it.

8:09 PM UPDATE: The outage is now off the SCL map – indicating it’s been fixed. (If not, let us know!)

West Seattle traffic: Friday PM commute; Water Taxi breakdown

(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)

Back on commute patrol, one last time. It’s been raining seriously for a few hours now and very sloppy out there – so that will compound matters. The high bridge is backed up EASTBOUND right now, so if you have to leave West Seattle, consider an alternate (we’re checking how the alternates are doing). Updates to come!

4:10 PM UPDATE: The problem on the eastbound high bridge is described as a car fire. (a few minutes later) The fire trucks have now cleared, still a police car in the outside lane. … As for the “low bridge,” ADD says the traffic headed that way is “inching along” slowly.

4:27 PM UPDATE: Our roving crew confirms the low bridge is busy but moving. They have now moved onto 4th Ave. So., which is moving reasonably well right now.

4:54 PM UPDATE: Rain lifting, breeze kicking up. The eastbound bridge is still backed up. If you commute out of West Seattle, either wait or try a southern route like 1st Avenue South Bridge. Busy coming off the low bridge too – here’s a camera from its west end:

5:13 PM UPDATE: One WSB’er on a bus is about 12 minutes behind so far. Remember that Metro does have extra buses it can plug in here and there if a route gets backed up too far. If traffic kept you from making it to the West Seattle High School-Seattle Prep football postseason game at Memorial Stadium, we’re tweeting it live – @wsblive. If you are going to have to go over the “low bridge,” note that it’s opened just after 6 pm every day this week – the commitment was for openings to be avoided 3-6 pm.

5:26 PM: Multiple reports the Water Taxi is stalled. It was en route to Seacrest. Also word from Tracy Taylor at KING 5 that there’s a stall on Northbound I-5 near the West Seattle Bridge exit – not sure how close but it can’t make the slow eastbound WS Bridge any better… (added) Rachel Marie is said to be moving now (WS Water Taxi) but slowly. Checking with King County on what’ll be done about it for commuters.

5:36 PM: We don’t have this officially from the county but at least two people have said Water Taxi service from downtown to West Seattle is canceled till 7:30 pm. Let us know if you are at the dock and hearing anything. … update: Passengers tell us they are hearing this directly from crew. Rachel Marie IS proceeding slowly to the West Seattle side. But if you were going to take WT from downtown, we’d advise a bus home instead – though one West Seattleite says he’s going to try the WT to Vashon, and then WSF from Vashon back across to Fauntleroy…

5:43 PM: King County DOT confirms that there’ll be no West Seattle Water Taxi service till at least 7:15. Melissa Ann, the Vashon boat, will be moved over after that. You’ll recall that Melissa Ann handled the Monday morning commute as “Viadoom” week started, because Rachel Marie broke down sometime Sunday (apparently not with passengers aboard, the news came around midevening). Then Melissa Ann will be on the WS runs for the last weekend of the season (Vashon’s WT doesn’t run on weekends, anyway).

5:55 PM: The RM did make it back to the dock, so its passengers are now on the last leg of their trip home. Conflicting reports now on when service will resume. As for everything else – southbound I-5 is reported to be sludgy; the commute overall is just not going too well, so if you haven’t left yet, have patience, or maybe better yet, have dinner and leave MUCH later. (Added – photo by Katie Meyer for WSB, Rachel Marie after arrival at Seacrest)

6:03 PM: New estimate, 7:45 pm departure from Pier 50 downtown for the next WT. Meantime, some commenters say they ran from Pier 50 to go catch 37 bus home, and it’s half an hour late.

6:19 PM: Everything else is slow out there. Aside from the Water Taxi, no particular problems. … (minutes later) Except for a power outage on Alki. Will start a separate stry on that.

6:45 PM: One place REALLY not to be – southbound I-5. WSDOT says it’s backed up from the West Seattle Bridge to Shoreline.

7:11 PM: That stretch is getting a little faster, WSDOT says, but they just reported via Twitter that there’s a lane-blocking crash on NB I-5 at the West Seattle Bridge ramp.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Coffee shop warns of thief

From Cafe Osita owner Andrea Ramirez:

My business was just robbed and I’m hoping to advise other businesses (especially along 35th) to keep an eye out.

I own Cafe Osita in the Sunrise Heights area of WSea (7349 35th Ave SW). White male, approx 18 – 25 yrs old, dirty blonde hair cut short (part on right side) wearing baggy jeans and oversized sweatshirt with graffiti graphics. Also has a black eye on right side and carrying a backpack. Came into shop asking for change, then hot water and then ice water. He managed to take a full tip jar off the counter while my back was turned. The police have been notified.

City grants Delridge DESC project ‘up to $4.45 million’

The proposed 75-apartment project on Delridge to provide housing for homeless people living with mental illness has been granted city money as well as state money, we have confirmed. According to Seattle Office of Housing spokesperson Julie Moore, the city grant to Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) is for “up to $4.45 million.” That follows the state’s decision to grant $500,000 to DESC’s Delridge Supportive Housing project, as reported here Wednesday.

When we first spoke with Moore yesterday, at which time she had confirmed the city funding decision but not the amount (which she provided today), she also said that her department wanted to clarify some of what was written on the “Concerned Neighbor” website we reported on yesterday, and she has provided a document that she says clarifies the city’s “siting policy,” which the anonymous author suggested did not synch with the DESC plan. Caveat: As with the “Concerned Neighbor” site info, we have no way to fact-check the info we’re pointing you to – but here it is, so you can make up your own mind.

A county group was set to potentially decide on DESC project funding yesterday, but delayed its decision after hearing from a group of Delridge residents who voiced concerns about the project. Meantime, DESC executive director Bill Hobson has answered questions we e-mailed him on Wednesday. He says they have not yet closed on the Delridge property (in the 5400 block); their architects are still working on a presentation for a not-yet-scheduled “Early Design Guidance” meeting of the Southwest Design Review Board. (We have requested a digital copy of a sketch that a Delridge attendee photographed at yesterday’s county meeting; if we don’t receive one, we’ll add that photo here.) Our note to Hobson was after word of the state funding but before word of the city funding; regarding the state funding, he says that the half-million dollars represent “around 3-4% of anticipated total project costs,” which would mean those costs are at least $12.5 million.

Video: Viaduct to reopen early – at ‘midday’ tomorrow

ADDED FRIDAY EVENING: Our video of WSDOT‘s Matt Preedy briefing the media two hours after the big news that The Viaduct will open early. Among his remarks and replies – news that they’ve noticed some problems with the travel times on the lit-up signboards and will work on those; also, they did the semi-annual Viaduct inspection during this closure, so the next one won’t be till spring. The actual reopening time won’t be known till tomorrow – depends on how much work gets done tonight.

ORIGINAL 12:08 PM REPORT: Just in from WSDOT:

Alaskan Way Viaduct to reopen midday Saturday

Demolition mostly complete; new SODO off-ramp to open Monday morning
SEATTLE – Great progress by demolition and construction crews means the Alaskan Way Viaduct is expected to reopen midday Saturday between the West Seattle Bridge and the Battery Street Tunnel, a move expected to help relieve recent regional traffic congestion on Interstates 5 and 405 and local streets.
Starting this weekend, drivers will travel on a new, temporary construction bypass that will allow an estimated 110,000 vehicles a day to keep moving while construction on a replacement State Route 99 tunnel continues through the end of 2015.
Quick work by demolition crews allowed them to beat the scheduled Monday reopening of the viaduct by nearly two days.
“This project is six months ahead of schedule and today we’re again ahead of schedule,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said. “Thank you to the hard workers on this project, and the people of the region who were patient, found alternate routes and adjusted their schedules. Everyone showed a great spirit of cooperation.”
“Commuters made the difference by doing their part to find other ways and times to travel, which allowed our crews to close this key route for an intense period of work,” state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said. “Our crews worked aggressively to accomplish a massive amount of demolition during the longest closure we’ve ever attempted on a major state highway.”
The clock began ticking Oct. 21 when crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation closed the highway and launched their effort to aggressively demolish the southern mile of the seismically vulnerable viaduct. In about eight days, a 2,825-foot-long stretch of double-decked highway was reduced to thousands of tons of concrete rubble and steel rebar.
“Through the week, construction crews made rapid progress on demolition and debris removal, and had good weather for things like roadway striping,” said Matt Preedy, WSDOT Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement program deputy administrator. “Thanks to our contractor’s thoughtful planning and approach, we are able to reopen the roadway early and give it back to drivers.”
SR 99 reopening details
·         Northbound and southbound SR 99 are expected to open midday Saturday from the Battery Street Tunnel to the West Seattle Bridge.
·         The on-ramp to northbound SR 99 from South Royal Brougham Way is expected to close at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29 and reopen once crews finalize roadway connections.
·         The southbound SR 99 off-ramp to South Atlantic Street will remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 31.
·         Drivers can expect a slower, 40 mph speed limit on much of the viaduct between the Battery Street Tunnel and the West Seattle Bridge.
·          Drivers can expect a recommended 25 mph construction zone speed limit through the curving bypass in the SODO area.
·         Metro Transit’s 11 bus routes that travel on SR 99 will begin using the new bypass at the start of service on Sunday morning, Oct. 30.
Friday evening commute

Until the viaduct reopens, drivers will face heavy regional congestion that this week was focused on I-5 and I-405 and parts of the downtown Seattle street grid. Commuters are encouraged to plan ahead and consider alternate routes.

ADDED 12:54 PM: Metro says its Viaduct routing will resume Sunday morning. Read on for full details of their plans:Read More

West Seattle bridge ticket of the week? 103 mph

Every morning this Viaduct-closure week, Seattle Police have been out on the West Seattle (high) Bridge, looking for bus-lane rulebreakers. Every morning, they have reported a double-digit tally of tickets, and we’ve been adding them to our commute coverage as a postscript. This morning, though, the SPD Blotter summary includes something startling: A speeding ticket for 103 mph, more than twice the limit. SPD doesn’t usually publish drivers’/riders’ explanations, but says this motorcyclist reported being “late for work.” P.S. We just called in search of additional details beyond what’s in the Blotter item: Det. Mark Jamieson tells us that speed was so high, the officer could have chosen to arrest the man, but reports he was cooperative and pulled over immediately, so cited him instead. Price on that ticket? $411.

Roadside rescue: Bees turn up in taken-down West Seattle tree

The beekeeper gear is a hint of what’s been unfolding alongside Jacobsen Road on the south side of Me-Kwa-Mooks Park: According to Puget Sound Beekeepers Association president Brad Jones, a city tree crew discovered a feral honey-bee colony while “cutting down a problem tree” on Thursday. This drew “much interest from beekeepers” in, and outside of, West Seattle, Jones told WSB. They needed to cut the log down further, in order to relocate it – bees still inside – to a “better, safer spot for the winter.” If they survive the winter, he explained, beekeepers will carry out another operation to get them into “standard beekeeping equipment.” They were hopeful the sizing could happen this morning; we’ll be checking back. Discoveries like this are important, because the wild honey-bee population has dropped dramatically in recent years. (The bee discovery also was noted on Beach Drive Blog – check out the spray-painted warning in one of their photos.)

West Seattle Halloween: Junction, Admiral, Westwood Village, WC trick-or-treating event schedule

(WSB photo from Admiral Treats and Treasures, October 2010)
Hallo-weekend is here, so we’re reminding you about the four major business-district trick-or-treating events that are planned in the West Seattle/White Center area tomorrow and Monday:

WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION: 1-3 pm tomorrow (Saturday); more info here.

ADMIRAL DISTRICT: 3-6 pm Monday (Halloween) – here’s the map; here’s the list. Among the participants, as you’ll see on those PDFs, is Umpqua Bank (WSB sponsor), which opens in the new retail building on the Admiral Safeway site two days later (November 2nd, 9 am) but confirms they will have reps with candy in front of their almost-open location.

WESTWOOD VILLAGE: 5-7 pm Monday (Halloween). Note that the center is under new ownership/management this year and has promised more spirited participation.

WHITE CENTER: 5-8 pm October 31st (Monday) – more info here

Lots of other Halloween events, today through Tuesday (the legendary Skeleton Theatre is happening Monday and Tuesday nights), are listed on the WSB West Seattle Events page.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Suspected car prowler to watch for

From Tim within the past hour:

A man in a blue track suit just went down our block (7500 block of 46th Ave SW) testing car door handles. About 5’ 7-8”, medium complexion, w/short dark hair. 911 has been contacted.

West Seattle Whale Watch: Orcas this morning

(Photo added 2:55 pm, thanks to Trileigh Tucker for sharing!)
Thanks to Chris for sharing news of an orca sighting in the Brace Point area south of Fauntleroy less than an hour ago. They are probably out of the area by now – Chris said they were northbound, and checking the Orca Network Facebook page, they seem to be continuing to head in that direction. So this is just a heads-up, keep an eye on the water today, and let us know if you see any!

2:55 PM: Thanks to the commenters who continue to share info. They’re out there somewhere!

6:52 PM: Added Trileigh’s photo a bit earlier – and here’s a gallery of close-up shots featured on the KING website.

West Seattle traffic: Viaduct-less Friday, AM commute

(More cams on the WSB Traffic page; travel times on the city Travelers’ Info map)
Good morning! No problems so far; we’re on commute patrol again, with the Alaskan Way Viaduct still closed (but still on schedule to reopen by 5 am Monday). First West Seattle Water Taxi run: 56 people. High bridge busy, as has been the case at this hour all week. More updates to come.

6:30 AM UPDATE: Weather’s dry till post-commute, per our friends at KING 5. They also are providing a new view of the high bridge this morning, covering the bus-lane crackdown from the side of the road – police are out one more time. Plenty of traffic. Meantime, commensurate with the lower-than-earlier-this-week Water Taxi ridership in the very-early going, the Don Armeni parking lot is wide open.

6:45 AM UPDATE: Status quo: High bridge busy, low bridge not (per KING’s helicopter view a few minutes back). Water Taxi carrying 63 people.

7 AM UPDATE: Same thing. If anything, maybe a little less traffic this morning (three-day weekend, anyone?).

7:15 AM UPDATE: 100 on this run of the Water Taxi. The high bridge is looking better than last hour, NOT crawling as you come off Fauntleroy, but slowing once you get around the 99 exit.

7:30 AM UPDATE: Quiet!

7:45 AM UPDATE: Link Apartments (WSB sponsor) in The Triangle to SPU in less than 20 minutes, tweets Whitney. … 94 on this run of the Water Taxi. As noted earlier this morning, the WT switches to its winter schedule on Monday – weekdays only, commute periods only. So this is the last weekend you’ll be able to take it till next spring.

8 AM UPDATE: Still smooth sailing.

8:15 AM UPDATE: High bridge moving along, not slowing till the usual point around 99. No trouble spots reported anywhere in the immediate commute zone. Awaiting the 8:15 Water Taxi report before our crew wraps up its week of hanging out at Seacrest in the mornings … here it is: 81.

8:30 AM UPDATE: If you go get on the Viaduct (what’s left of it) northbound at Royal Brougham, no traffic trouble there either, and we haven’t heard of any major backups along 1st or 4th this morning for those heading that way.

8:57 AM UPDATE: So quiet, we forgot the 8:45 update. We’ll of course pick up the traffic coverage again for the commute home tonight, since PM has been worse than AM for most of the week. And if the Viaduct opens earlier than scheduled, or if any problems erupt over the weekend, we’ll have traffic updates Saturday-Sunday too. Monday morning, we will be on early watch as well, since the new configuration of 99 could mean some complications until people get used to it. P.S. In case you were wondering … Daylight Saving Time ends one week from Sunday (so you switch your clock the night of Saturday, November 5th).

West Seattle Water Taxi, post-closure: Winter starts Monday

(Thursday photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
It’s been beautiful every morning this week out at Seacrest Pier, with views like that one, for our crew tracking the West Seattle Water Taxi‘s usage as a commute alternative during this Alaskan Way Viaduct closure week. It’s had an extended schedule, with extra runs, each weekday during the closure. And ridership has been at least triple last month’s average, according to the county’s stats.

But just so it doesn’t catch you by surprise, whether you’re a Water Taxi veteran or new convert, we want to remind you that the winter schedule begins Monday. This is the second year the Water Taxi is running through the winter. The biggest change is again that it’s a Monday-Friday, commute-times-only schedule. See the winter schedule here. This schedule continues into March, and then it’s back to 7-day-a-week runs.