West Seattle, Washington
As we’ve done with previous projects, we took a drive on the newly opened lanes of the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct, particularly for those who commute home via I-5 or Beacon Hill to the West Seattle Bridge and might be interested in a preview. As SDOT warned, the lanes are narrower, and they’ve reduced the speed limit. From their announcement, here’s what’s next:
Following this initial traffic shift, the contractor will connect the old and new structures, construct a new center median between the old and new structures, and install new lighting in the median. Over the next few months, eastbound traffic will be shifted from the south side to the north side of the old structure so that the contractor can begin demolition of the existing south barrier. This spring, eastbound traffic will be temporarily moved over to the new viaduct so that the old bridge deck can be repaired and repaved.
If you’ve missed previous mentions – the 1st Avenue South on/offramp on the westbound side won’t be “fully open” till the project is done next summer, according to what SDOT told us recently. Meantime, there are no current changes to the eastbound direction – except that the new temporary configuration means a lot more distance between westbound and eastbound traffic (which you may recall used to have no separation at all!).
Photos this afternoon from three of the photographers who have shared more than a few images va WSB over the months and years (thank you!) – first, Machel Spence and daughter India found “a stropharia and a sleeping slug” in the Thursday morning chill at Lincoln Park. That’s also where Bill Bacon got a squirrel to pose (after bribing it with a bit of sandwich) last week:
And Melanie Dixon spotted this juvenile bald eagle this morning near Me-Kwa-Mooks, on the lookout for salmon (after competing with a family of sea lions, she said):
Thanks to them and to everyone who has shared photos, from cameraphone breaking-news shots, to volunteers out doing great things in the community, to school celebrations, wildlife, sunsets/sunrises, and so much more … here’s how to connect with WSB any time.
Here’s what’s happening, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Holidays page:
(Photo added 12:24 pm – that’s Cara at the Illusions open house)
ILLUSIONS OPEN HOUSE: Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) holiday open house (stop in for treats!) Till 4 pm.
LOTS OF LIVE MUSIC: Harpist at Metropolitan Market/Admiral – Sara Wilkinson performs 5-7 pm … Elizabeth Dawson sings at Salty’s, 8 pm (details in this WSB Forums post) … Bob “Bobcat Bob” Rice performs at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), 6-8 pm … Live music at annual Alki Tavern Christmas party, 9 pm per Facebook …
WINE TASTING: Bin 41 wine tasting from 6-7:30 pm. Santa’s Sippers (with homemade cookies by the stockings with care)!
HANUKKAH PARTY: Party tonight at Kol HaNeshamah, 6112 SW Hinds, 6:30 pm. From the announcement: “Join us for Shabbat and Hanukkah blessings, dinner with plenty of latkes, and a special Hanukkah concert and puppet show. The Sababas, a Seattle-based duo, will return to Kol HaNeshamah with their unique mix of Jewish and popular music, storytelling, puppetry and fun. All are welcome at no charge — children and adults alike! Please bring one extra bottle of oil to our donation box in the foyer at synagogue during the Hanukkah party. A cooking essential, the oil will sustain those in need, especially this time of year.” (More details on the KHN website.)
SECOND-TO-LAST CHANCE TO SEE ‘EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY…’: Again tonight, ArtsWest presents the Seattle premiere of “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)” by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez. 7:30 pm tonight, 5 pm on Christmas Eve; ticket info here.
CHRISTMAS-THEMED OPEN MIKE: Tonight at Skylark Café and Club, 8 pm.
STILL NEED TO SEE SANTA? Westwood Village Santa is there for photos through Christmas Eve. Hours listed here.
(Tonight’s photos/video by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
West Seattle residents Gary Elbaum (above left) and Todd Metter were part of a celebration tonight in Bellevue – in honor of a life they both helped save there back in October. It happened here:
(October 2011 photo courtesy Bellevue FD)
Elbaum, who works for T-Mobile on the Eastside, was one of three bystanders who sprung to action after 59-year-old Gary Farer suffered cardiac arrest while driving that day. He and one of the others, Dominic Dimino – a fellow T-Mobile worker he’d never met – explained tonight how it unfolded (Elbaum is on the left):
They and the third bystander-turned-rescuer, David Howe, who helped them get Farer out of his locked car, received the Citizens’ Award of Merit from Bellevue Fire Chief Michael Eisner tonight in a ceremony at Bellevue Fire Station 2.
Farer, the rescued man, was there too (on the left). Todd Metter’s role? He is a Bellevue paramedic and that day was a vital part of what they call the “Chain of Survival.” Farer received 45 minutes of continuous CPR, and yet, BFD says, “survived with no long-lasting neurologic deficits.”
It’s been four years (and one day) since we previously featured this display – the Santa-hat tree at 36th/Roxbury. But hey, four years feels close to forever, and two people sent us tips about it this week, so we couldn’t resist. It’s now on the WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map along with more than 20 other sightings, all of which we have archived here – still taking tips, since it’s not Christmas yet. Thanks to everybody who’s helping make this season truly bright!
Seal Sitters‘ Robin Lindsey shares that online “card” as holiday greetings for you, as the all-volunteer organization wraps up a year to remember with this report:
As 2011 comes to an close, Seal Sitters would like to thank the West Seattle community and WS Blog for your continued support. This has been a record-breaking year for us. Our hotline has fielded 618 calls from all over the Puget Sound region since the harbor-seal pupping season began in late June. Since early August, our West Seattle volunteers alone have logged over 140 responses to seal pups, looking after 50 different pups – a number of whom hauled out repeatedly for many days in a row. And our Sno-King volunteers responded to numerous marine mammals from the Seattle waterfront as far north as Tulalip. We distributed more than 5,000 Share the Shore informational brochures at street fairs, outreach events and on the beach.
Seal Sitters has a binding agreement with NOAA to respond to marine mammals from Brace Point (south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock) to Kayak Point (north of Everett in Snohomish County), donating thousands of volunteer hours each year to this effort. It is truly a labor of love, but we depend on contributions to meet ongoing operating expenses, including the dedicated hotline, supplies, educational materials, website and blog. If you’d like to support our work, a tax-deductible donation can be made online. For volunteer opportunities or to comment, please e-mail us – we appreciate your feedback.
We’ve enjoyed talking with so many of you along the beaches this year and send wishes for a happy holiday season. Seal pups continue to use the shoreline (we had a pup just this morning) and will do so throughout the winter months, so please give the hotline a call @ 206-905-7325 (SEAL) if you spot a marine mammal on the beach. Spanky, Sly and the seal-pup gang thank you for giving them some space to rest and warm up!
While Seal Sitters’ main website is at sealsitters.org, you’ll find their updates – “news from the beach” – at blubberblog.org, often including Robin’s beautiful photos and video, and in fact, Robin has an update there about today’s visitor, now nicknamed Frosty.
(WSB June 2011 photo looking at Conner site from QFC steps – it’s on Alaska’s south side, 42nd to California)
Four months after we first told you that Conner Homes was selling its property in the heart of The Junction – planned for a two-building mixed-use megaproject – the site has a new owner. Equity Residential has purchased the property, according to documents filed this week with King County. The company already owns more than 30 apartment complexes around the Puget Sound metro area, though none of the others are in West Seattle, and it’s just started building the Market Street Landing project in Ballard, with almost 300 apartments. Equity’s corporate headquarters are in Chicago. In the letter Conner shared with WSB when he announced the plan to sell the site, he said he didn’t expect construction to start any sooner than next summer. The online documents list the sale price as $11,400,000; Conner and partners bought the site for $1.4 million more than a decade ago, and finalized land-use permits for the two-building project earlier this year.
Before sunset, we stopped by Junction Plaza Park to see how setup for tonight’s nighttime edition of the West Seattle Farmers’ Market was going. 5-8 pm tonight, you’ll find everything from roasted chestnuts (courtesy of Sustainable West Seattle) to fresh food for your holiday dinner, with familiar vendors:
And many Junction shops will be participating in one more Shop Late Thursday before Christmas, till 9 pm. Some have deals in the WSB Holiday Shopping Guide (find it here). More to come!
ADDED 8:28 PM: Lights adorned the nighttime market, and not only from the official Junction Christmas Tree:
On the WSB Facebook wall, Tina mentioned that she’s from Germany and said, “The Christmas markets in my country are magical places, bordered by booths of every kind of holiday cheer, supported by ample supply of ‘gluehwein’ (hot & spiced cider). Tonight looked to me like a seed of something special like that.
One more reminder – since the next two Sundays are Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, there will be no West Seattle Farmers’ Market until Sunday, January 8th.
Just got word from SDOT about a “milestone” they’re planning overnight tonight during another construction closure of the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct:
Westbound traffic on the Spokane Street Viaduct will be shifted onto the newly constructed bridge deck tomorrow morning, December 23, in advance of the morning commute, marking a major milestone in this multi-year project. The new structure, built adjacent to the current structure, will nearly double the width of the viaduct, adding 41 feet.
Motorists will find the shift to be seamless, maintaining the current two lanes of traffic in each direction; however, the posted travel speed for westbound traffic will be temporarily reduced to 25 miles per hour (down from 35 miles per hour) until the project is completed this coming summer. The remaining construction work requires westbound travel lanes to be narrower than standard lane widths. This, in addition to the presence of construction vehicles entering and exiting travel lanes, requires a lower travel speed for driver safety.
Following this initial traffic shift, the contractor will connect the old and new structures, construct a new center median between the old and new structures, and install new lighting in the median. Over the next few months, eastbound traffic will be shifted from the south side to the north side of the old structure so that the contractor can begin demolition of the existing south barrier. This spring, eastbound traffic will be temporarily moved over to the new viaduct so that the old bridge deck can be repaired and repaved. At that point, eastbound traffic wishing to exit to SODO will still be able to do so, using either the First Avenue S off-ramp or the Fourth Avenue S loop ramp exit.
As we reported previously, the new 1st Avenue South on/offramp on the westbound side is not expected to “fully” open before next summer.
The latest (long) list of road closures around the metro area includes more dates for Fauntleroy Expressway closures – the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, which is getting earthquake-safety upgrades. It’s scheduled for closure next Tuesday-Friday, 9 pm-5 am each night (Dec. 27-30), and the same thing the following week (January 3-6). For those who use the east side of the bridge, aka the Spokane Street Viaduct, there are no more westbound overnight closures on the schedule – yet – after tonight.
In our first report Tuesday about Southwest Precinct Officer Scott Luckie‘s “tweetalong,” we mentioned his account of an incident the previous day involving someone reportedly using a chainsaw to try to break into a house. The police-report narrative on that case is now available, and here’s the story it tells – involving TWO chainsaws, and more:Read More
From SPD Blotter, the latest reports from the special patrol teams looking for “aggressive drivers” – both in West Seattle. The introduction notes this is a “combination of citations and warnings,” for:
35th Avenue SW
1 at 54 mph
1 at 50 mph
2 at 48 mph
2 at 47 mph
3 at 46 mph
2 at 45 mph
3 Cell Phone
3 No Proof of Insurance
1 Inattention to Driving
2 Expired Vehicle License Plate
1 Lane Change
1 No Front License Plate …
Highland Park Way SW – 30 mph zone
1 at 50 mph
1 at 49 mph
1 at 48 mph
1 at 47 mph
2 at 46 mph
4 at 45 mph
2 No Proof of Insurance
The full writeup on SPD Blotter also includes a “thank-you note” the department says it received from a 35th SW resident.
Today we’re welcoming Head to Toe Day Spa to the West Seattle Blog sponsor team. Here’s what Head to Toe would like you to know about what they do:
Head to Toe Day Spa is a little gem in the Admiral District. We’ve been here for more than 10 years, providing outstanding pedicures and manicures, expert massage and body treatments, and both classic and technical facial treatments. Whether you’re purchasing a gift for someone special, scheduling services for yourself, or need some help matching the perfect makeup, our gracious and knowledgeable receptionists can help you.
Head to Toe Day Spa‘s staff is truly interested in helping you feel and look great. We offer expert technical advice and services along with personal care and pampering. We’re open seven days a week, including evenings. We continue to hear regularly from guests how welcome and relaxed they feel from the moment they enter the spa. All of the little touches, from fresh flowers to heated neck rolls, mean a lot. Many clients mention that they’d like to linger on our massage/facial beds because they’re so comfortable.
Head to Toe owner Joni Buckner truly believes in helping the community where she lives and works. She adds, “We donate to fundraising for all the schools in West Seattle, Northwest Hope & Healing, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For the Cure, Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s summer concerts, Admiral District Business Association, and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.”
We thank Head to Toe Day Spa for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Once again this year, Highland Park Improvement Club invites West Seattle friends and neighbors to come welcome the new year exuberantly – starting with the third annual Not-So-Silent-Night noisemaking parade through the surrounding neighborhood. (Our video is from last year’s parade, in which we counted at least 60 participants of all ages.) Just received the parade/party invite from Woody:
There will be a New Year’s Eve Party at the Highland Park Improvement Club in West Seattle. It’s an open party: Everyone is invited! We’re asking for a $5/person donation at the door ($10 for families).
This will be an all ages show – starting with The Not So Silent Night Parade, the return of the Sage Comet, and then music. This is a “Bring Your Own Party” party: if you can come, bring food and drink –and the Highland Park Improvement Club will have a no-host bar, with wine and draft beer available for a small donation.
Highland Park Improvement Club
1116 SW Holden
Seattle, WA 98106
Here are some details:
6:15 Assemble in parking lot for parade
(part of the parking lot will be cordoned off for the Sage Comet performance. There is lots of street parking, especially a block north of HPIC if there is no more room in the parking lot.)
6:30 Not-So-Silent Night Parade
7:00 Sage Comet
7:15 Doors open for potluck/entry to party
8:00 Music begins
12:00 Midnight celebration.
Open jam after midnight – bring your voice and an instrument to join in.
We’re collecting more West Seattle/White Center New Year’s Eve info for the Holidays page – email@example.com – thanks!
From a theft victim who signed this report “West Seattle taxpayer who wants justice”:
Happened at 2:30 (Wednesday), 46th & Genesee, dog barked and possibly chased off the crooks but the packages are gone. UPS showed up at 2:35, FedEx at 2:45, crook stole the packages at around 3. From what I understand the crooks are following the trucks; I recommend that you send packages to your work or have them held at FedEx or UPS.
Even if you are not expecting any deliveries yourself – if you see someone suspicious in the vicinity of a delivery truck (or anywhere else!) don’t hesitate to call 911 – someone’s tip might just catch serial thieves with a trunkload of other people’s holiday presents.
Three days till Christmas, third night of Hanukkah, and a foggy, frosty morning. Looking ahead to the rest of the day/night:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET, NIGHTTIME EDITION, DIFFERENT LOCATION: 5-8 pm at Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska), you’ll find a special version of the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, wrapping up the WS Junction Association’s Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB). This is the last Farmers’ Market until Sunday, January 8th, since the regular market will NOT be open on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day (both Sundays this year)
SHOP LATE IN THE JUNCTION: And while you’re in The Junction, check out the shops that’ll be open late tonight for one last pre-Christmas edition of “Shop Late Thursday.” (We’ll have a roundup in a few hours with some of the special deals/events you’ll find at participating stores.)
KIDS’ HANUKKAH PARTY: High Point Community Center, 6920 34th SW, 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm. From the announcement: “Hey Kids! Decorate a delicious doughnut, Bedazzle a beautiful menorah, Light up the night of the homeless by making a sandwich to donate. Meet other Jewish Kids and enjoy a Hanukkah dinner of Latkes and Hanukkah Dinner! Brought to you by the Seattle Kollel’s West Seattle Torah Learning Center and Jewish Y-FI (Young Family Initiative)” Adults $7.00 / Children $5.00. RSVP to Giti Fredman 206-852-6418.
‘HONORING THE DARKNESS, CELEBRATING THE LIGHT’: Solstice/Hanukkah Fire Ritual & Gong Bath at Hummingbird Studio, West Seattle (address provided upon registration), 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM. Bring a candle and join with like-minded souls to mark this terrifyingly wonderful dark night. The ritual portion will be held outdoors rain or shine so come prepared. Following the fire ritual (with a special surprise), we will move indoors for a special gong meditation. Call to see if there’s room. $28 pre-payment required. A portion of the proceeds go to support the Bali Street Dog Fund. Contact Sha’ari at 206.309.4667 or innerlistening.com.
ONSTAGE AT ARTSWEST: Final week – ArtsWest presents the Seattle premiere of “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)” by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez. 7:30 pm, ticket info here.
MORE HOLIDAY EVENTS/INFO, INCLUDING THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS MAP … on the WSB West Seattle Holidays page.
SWIM AT SOUTHWEST POOL: Found this one on the SW Pool Facebook page – an added public swim this afternoon, 2:35-4 pm! The pool is at 2801 SW Thistle.
SCHEDULED ROAD WORK/BRIDGE CLOSURE: The 48th SW project is scheduled to continue today, and there is one more closure of the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct (the West Seattle Bridge between I-5 and 99 – no access from 5 or Beacon Hill, but there IS access from 99) overnight tonight.
Story and video by Randall G. Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Deck the halls with Columbia blue and red!
Bolstered by a 12-point fourth quarter by senior guard Charlie Smith, the Chief Sealth International High School boys-varsity basketball team upset the seventh-ranked Garfield High School Bulldogs, 71-67, sending the Seahawks into the school’s winter break with a three-game winning streak and looking forward to a trip to San Diego to participate in a tournament in sunnier climes.
Smith, who had 22 total points on the night, seemed to kick-start a critical stretch of the game when he recovered his own miss, by ripping the ball from Bulldog Tucker Haymond’s hands and making a quick pass to Pepe Hernandez, who scored the easiest of his 14 points.
Smith then connected on three-point shots in consecutive possessions, helping Sealth grow a 3-point lead to a more-comfortable 63-52 spread with 2:20 remaining in the game.
Just one year after Jonny Bostons Sandwich Shop opened, owner Dan Atherton confirms a rumor that he will put the shop up for sale within the week. WSB contributor Keri DeTore, who reported our original stories about Jonny Bostons last year, talked with him today. She says that Dan’s message to his customers is: “We’re sorry to inform the community that Jonny Bostons is up for sale, due to circumstances beyond our control.” Dan told Keri that there are family issues demanding his attention, as well as the continuing work from his other business, Artistic Design. Dan assures WSB that his employees have been told about the change and that Jonny Bostons will stay open until it sells. He adds, “We’re trying to find a buyer that will keep the sandwich shop the way it is.” (In the meantime, Jonny Bostons, which is at 4151 California SW on the north side of The Junction, will be closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but open New Year’s Eve from 11:30 am-8 pm and New Year’s Day 11 am-8 pm.)
Almost up to two dozen sights to see on the WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map. It came in handy for the second annual West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor)-organized Christmas-lights run last night, Tim McConnell tells us:
He shared that photo of what he declared “a great turnout,” adding, “We stopped by 6 of the displays from the map, ending the run at the Helmstetler house and heading to Prost! for post run beverages. Everyone had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the lights.” And of course tonight we are adding another display:
Thanks to Susan for sharing that photo of her home’s display at 5106 SW Stevens! We’ll be adding to the map at least through Christmas, so more suggestions are welcome – firstname.lastname@example.org!
10:24 PM: Have heard from a few people who apparently missed the previews and reminders about the current abundance of road work and were surprised by the bridge closures last night and tonight. In case you’ve been out of town, or busy, or lost track, this SDOT update from today explains what’s going on. Tonight is the only night the two bridge projects overlap, but if you are trying to get home from points eastward before 5 am or so, it will be tricky – you can’t get onto the westbound West Seattle Bridge from I-5 or Beacon Hill, and once you’re on, Delridge is the last open exit.
10:47 PM: As noted in comments, and in e-mail we received, try exiting at Harbor Island, BEFORE Delridge, for a reduced chance of getting stuck in a backup. One person who e-mailed points out that the detour signs do NOT offer this option (and also, as we’ve noticed, erroneously declare the entire WS Bridge closed).
During his Tuesday “tweetalong” (explained here), SPD Southwest Precinct Officer Scott Luckie tweeted about helping search for two people who “robbed somebody at gunpoint.” Tonight we have more information on the robbery – from the victim, who says it happened in his own neighborhood:
I was walking up Croft Place from Delridge [map] and Juneau when two younger Americans of African descent started following me up the hill. As I got towards the top of the hill and was in that patch where the streetlights are sparse by the small children’s play area, they approached and politely asked if they could use my phone to call their parents. I handed over my phone, an HTC 4g 3D that was in a black Otter case but the phone itself is red with a two lens camera. He acted like he was dialing home and stepped a couple steps away. That is when he pulled out a gun and pointed it at my head and informed me he was taking my phone and advised me to just walk up the hill and if I didn’t turn around, he wouldn’t shoot me.
In the vein of “if the groundhog sees his shadow …” maybe some bonus could be conferred when Alice Enevoldsen‘s solstice/equinox-sunset parties see the sun. It happened again tonight, for the third consecutive time, after more than a few previous gatherings went sunless. Alice is not only a West Seattleite but also a NASA Solar System Ambassador, and she has invited interested skywatchers to Solstice Park, the former Lincoln Park Annex, on these occasions to see if the sunset really does line up with where the carefully designed markings say it should. She also offers some explanation of what solstice/equinox really means, usually with a “planet Earth” prop and an assistant standing in as the Sun:
The actual moment of the Winter Solstice is 9:30 tonight, our time, so winter is almost here. What about wintry weather, given that this month has been so low on rain, it might set a record? Nothing unusual is in the outlook right now. P.S. Looking ahead three months, the spring equinox will arrive the night of March 19th.
After a few weeks in business, Nathan Panuco (left) and Antonio Cejudo are hosting a party tonight – celebrating not only the holidays, but also the official grand opening of their salon CoCo & Co.’s first storefront. It’s in the 35th/Henderson storefront previously occupied by West Seattle Community Clinic. The salon had been home-based for the past year or so, Nathan says, and after a few months of looking for a retail location, this one became available- next door to Stuffed Cakes (WSB Holiday Shopping Guide sponsor) on one side, with other businesses on the corner including Bird on a Wire Espresso, Beauty Bar, West Seattle Fish House, and Green Home Renovations. Tonight’s party continues till 8 pm, with live music from Sphinx Akashaa Duncan:
Neighbors Stuffed Cakes and Bird on a Wire are among the refreshment providers tonight. If you don’t catch up with CoCo & Co. tonight, find them online here.