West Seattle, Washington
If you work off-peninsula and get homesick sometime today – or just need a brief break for beauty – check out Laura James‘ lovely video montage of West Seattle beauty, shot this past weekend. (Yes, that’s “Diver Laura,” but this is all above water.) Meantime, we start the day with highlights from the spruced-up WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
ROAD WORK TRAFFIC ALERTS: Late-night/early-morning drivers, note that the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed 10 pm-5 am tonight (and the following two nights), which also means you won’t be able to get to the West Seattle Bridge from I-5. The city explains it all, here.
SAFEWAY KICKS OFF MONTHLONG FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN: This morning at 10 am at Admiral Safeway, according to company spokesperson Sara Osborne, three members of the KING 5 Morning News team – Mark Wright, Tracy Taylor, and Jake Whittenberg – will each “team up with a Special Olympics athlete/Safeway employee to see who can bag groceries the quickest and most carefully, and each team will walk away with money to donate to local Easter Seals and Special Olympics programs.” (2622 California SW)
HEARTLAND TURNS 2: Five nights of special events marking the Heartland Café/Benbow Room second anniversary wrap up tonight with a 21+ event that even includes free fried chicken 6-8 pm – details here.
TEAM TRACY KARAOKE AUCTION: Fundraiser for the fabled 3-Day Walk breast-cancer-fighting team at Skylark Café and Club. Bid on singers – the highest bidder picks the song. Bidding starts at 7, singing starts at 9 with Karaoke Kelli.
WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY REGISTRATION: Scheduled to start today – watch for the announcement (and link) this afternoon or evening, soon as we’re sure all systems are go. The 8th annual lots-of-garage-sales-all-over-the-peninsula extravaganza is 9 am-3 pm May 12th.
10:26 PM: Another crash potentially affecting West Seattle-bound drivers: It’s on southbound Highway 99, reported as parallel with Lander but not showing on that camera – rescue crews are getting on 99 by heading the “wrong way” up a ramp near the stadiums. The scanner says there’s “ongoing CPR” at the scene, so this might not clear for a while.
10:37 PM UPDATE: Per scanner – southbound 99 is completely closed by this, and they’ve blocked off onramps as well (including Denny/Aurora and Columbia downtown). They’re also trying to figure out what to do with cars that were already on 99 since as one voice on the radio said, “We’re going to be closed here for a while” – they may be trying to turn them around and get them off 99 via what would have been an onramp. We got a Twitter update from one stuck driver:
@westseattleblog stuck in complete stoppage on SB Viaduct. Saw guy WALKING NB in SB left lane, rolly suitcase in tow. All engines off. Sigh.
— Wendi Dunlap (@litlnemo) April 2, 2012
The seriously injured person is described as a motorcyclist in her 40s who is being rushed to Harborview Medical Center right now.
11 PM UPDATE: The “wrong way off the onramp” operation to clear vehicles off The Viaduct has indeed happened. And in comments, Karl clarifies the location, saying it’s parallel with Weller, on the lower deck of what’s left of the double-deck structure.
2:39 PM UPDATE: Watching the webcam for southbound 99 at Lander, we’re seeing occasional headlights, so it looks like the highway reopened.
8:10 AM UPDATE: Seattle Police have published a summary on SPD Blotter. Investigators believe the 48-year-old rider “failed to negotiate a curve” at the Viaduct’s south end and hit a concrete barrier.
2:56 PM: LA, in comments, says the motorcyclist was a friend of hers and did not survive. We had not yet confirmed that before her comment, but everything we were hearing indicated that too.
Heard this on the scanner and then received a note from a victim – someone driving along 59th SW in Alki fired what’s believed to be a pellet gun at homes/cars. The note we received wanted to give a heads-up to others, and says: “I was just sitting in my living room and a bullet came through my living room window. I went outside and my neighbor’s car window was smashed out or shot out; my wife saw a orange-ish 4-door car drive away.” Haven’t heard any word of arrests or stops so far but we’ll be following up.
10:29 PM UPDATE: Added a photo of the living-room window, taken by the victim, who says the hole seemed too big for a “pellet.”
Thanks to Ilona Berzups for the photo of the drillship Noble Discoverer arriving in Elliott Bay this afternoon. It was bound for Vigor Shipyards on Harbor Island, according to this marine-traffic-chronicling website. Follow that link for more background on the North Slope oil drilling planned for the Noble Discoverer; as is the case with the drillship Kulluk — Shell’s other sea rig, which has been at Vigor since July — the ND has been advancing through the permit process. Unlike the Kulluk’s arrival, we didn’t get word of this one in advance – one month ago, it was reported to be heading to the Arctic – so we’ll be checking with Vigor tomorrow.
(Added: Photo by Long B. Nguyen, taken Sunday afternoon)
ADDED 8:53 PM: Looking for more background and context on where the situation stands now, we found this March Seattle-datelined story by a Los Angeles Times reporter.
UPDATED 11:38 AM MONDAY: We contacted Shell for more information on both this drillship’s arrival and the Kulluk’s status, and heard back from Curtis Smith:
As you mentioned, the Noble Discoverer has joined Shell’s second primary drilling rig, the Kulluk, at the Vigor shipyard. Both vessels will be deployed to Alaska for Shell’s planned 2012 offshore drilling program. The departure date is not set, but since they are both expected to be on-site in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, respectively, they will likely depart Seattle sometime in June.
While in Seattle, the Discoverer will undergo final modifications to its emissions systems and receive minor winterization upgrades in preparations for its departure to Alaska. The Kulluk will leave at roughly the same time. As you are probably aware, Shell is investing hundreds of millions into both vessels to further reduce their environmental footprint once in the Arctic.
Thanks to the WSB’er who just texted us to point out there’s a crash on the westbound West Seattle Bridge, on the upslope. You can see it in the left westbound lanes in the east-facing camera image above (at least as of when we checked it). No word yet about injuries but there’s a sizable fire response and scanner traffic says it’s blocking three lanes. If you are outside West Seattle and headed this way – go for the low bridge or the 1st Avenue South bridge TFN.
ADDED 7:29 PM: It’s a multiple-vehicle crash and right now traffic is only “creeping by” (as described on the scanner) via the shoulders, as shown by this photo we just received:
Some of the Seattle Fire responders have been cleared from the scene, per the scanner, which is our sole source of information as this is an area virtually impossible to get to for in-person reporting.
8:09 PM UPDATE: Looks like the scene should be clear soon, as the updated webcam shows tow trucks are there.
8:15 PM UPDATE: And the scanner confirms … all lanes now open.
Three views of West Seattle wildlife to share – first, from Patrick McCaffrey, a pileated woodpecker – and then from Melanie Dixon, her backyard screech owl, “just before taking off after prey”:
On the beach at Lincoln Park, a placid Saturday afternoon view of a resting seal. Sabra, who shared the photo, says Seal Sitters were on the job:
Seal Sitters hasn’t had an off-season yet this year. (Many of their adventures and challenges are chronicled on their “blubberblog” site.) Meantime, thanks to everyone who shared photos – send ’em any time! (Or share via the West Seattle Blog group on Flickr.)
ADDED 7:42 PM: One more Lincoln Park photo – a barred owl, seen and photographed there by Kate:
… which reminds us that West Seattle naturalist Stewart Wechsler has two owling walks on his calendar, just days away.
Story and photos by Katie Meyer
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The banners along the front windows spread the news: “Fish and Chips – Oysters & To Go Steamers & Crabs.” With the official “grand opening” of their grilled seafood service still two weeks away, Seattle Fish Company has quietly begun serving sit-down seafood while awaiting their license to pour beer and wine, and fine-tuning the offerings from the kitchen.
When we reported on the Junction business’s plan last October, they had hoped to have the added service up and running by January, but as so often happens with such plans, it took a bit longer.
On Saturday, proprietor Jon Daniels spoke with us about the new layout, planned menu offerings, and extended hours.
Four months till the Alki Art Fair but there’s no time like NOW for local artists to be sure they’ll have a spot at the popular beachfront event! Fred Madrid shares not only this announcement, but also the new AAF logo:
Applications for artist vendors for the Alki Art Fair 2012 are now available for download at the newly redesigned Alki Art Fair website (alkiartfair.org). The Fair will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 28th and 29th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm both days at Alki Beach Park. If you have any questions regarding the Fair, please contact the Event Director at email@example.com.
Any musicians or bands interested in playing at this year’s fair should visit the Music page on our website for information.
Applications for food vendors will be coming soon. If interested, please contact us at the above e-mail address and you will be notified when applications are available.
Even though city budget cuts meant staffing changes and no more Alki Community Center staff involvement in making the fair happen, volunteers didn’t let that get in the way of keeping the AAF going, and this year – as we’ve reported previously – they are working to make sure it’s bigger and better than ever.
David Hutchinson shares the shot from last weekend’s yacht race – might be a LITTLE too windy out there right now for safe sailing! But here are some highlights from the perked-up WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm as always (by the way, someone asked on the WSB Facebook page if they are open on Easter Sunday – answer: yes). And there’s something new, per the WSFM FB page – a kombucha vendor just joined:
Veteran farmers from Stoney Plains, new bakery start-ups at Grain Expectations, naturally fermented teas from CommuniTea Kombucha and Ebey Prairie are on the scene with wholesome goodness for YOU!
NATURE CONSORTIUM BRUNCH: NC tells us this benefit event (co-sponsored by WSB) is sold out, but just in case you pass The Hall at Fauntleroy around noontime – or in case you have reservations and need a reminder! – that’s what’s up.
HAM TASTINGS: Getting ready for Easter dinner? Two sessions of Kurobuta ham tastings at Metropolitan Market in Admiral (WSB sponsor) today, noon-2 pm and 3-6 pm.
‘THRIVING IN MENOPAUSE’: Special event at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy in The Junction, noon-4 pm.
BIG DAY FOR YOUTH SOCCER, PART 1: It’s kickoff day for the West Seattle Soccer Club spring season, with games at eight fields around West Seattle. From WSSC’s Tim McMonigle:
We have another record enrollment of 1,337 kids and we’re excited to start another season. … It’s an eight game season, with no games on Easter, Mother’s Day or Memorial Day weekend. For those that missed the spring season, our fall season registration will begin on June 1.
BIKE RIDE FROM WHITE CENTER THROUGH WEST SEATTLE AND BACK: DubSea Bikes and friends are on the road! Ride starts in downtown WC at 3 pm. Details here.
Several people reported this via the WSB Facebook page and Twitter feed overnight, so we’re looking into it this morning: one or two loud noises in the Luna Park (Avalon)/North Delridge area. A few thought it sounded like gunshots, but the time-delayed police log (which doesn’t list calls until a few hours after they happen) classifies the call as “noise,” which tends to indicate no evidence of gunfire was found (and there are no local weapons calls on the medic log, either). We’ll update if we find out anything definitive.