West Seattle, Washington
(Photo courtesy Tina D)
FIRST REPORT, 11:29 PM: Via the scanner, police say southbound 35th is closed at Dawson right now (by Camp Long) because of a crash – described as a hit-run. They say witnesses report the vehicle that took off after the crash was a black Jeep Liberty likely to have serious front-end damage. (Call 911 if you have any information on that.) No word of injuries so far; we’re off to check it out.
12:22 AM: Back from the scene. Thanks to Tina for sharing the photo added atop the story; WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli was already there when we arrived to check it out – the next three images are his:
Witnesses told us the driver of the mangled Mini, hit head-on, was taken to the hospital, but did not seem seriously hurt; the scene, however, was aptly described by Christopher as a “car-parts explosion.”
The Mini’s engine wound up on the west sidewalk of 35th; other pieces and parts were in the planting strip and the street, the full width of 35th. There was word a car on the other side might have been “nicked.” One tree on the west side was knocked down, and witnesses told us two others were damaged.
1:36 AM: Added photos from Christopher. The wrecked Mini has been taken away on a flatbed tow truck; a standard tow truck arrived fairly quickly, but the car was in no shape to roll away with that kind of truck, so a flatbed had to be brought in instead.
9:38 AM UPDATE: Just checked with SPD to ask if there was any news of the reported second car having been found. According to media liaison Det. Mark Jamieson, while the final report is not available yet, information in the system matches what we reported above; officers checked 35th as far south as Barton for any sign of the other vehicle (that’s the direction in which it was reported to be traveling) and found nothing. SDOT crews had to be called to help clean up the scene, since the debris (including the downed tree) had spread so widely.
Caspar Babypants drew the biggest crowd we’ve seen so far this summer at the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series. Tonight’s show also drew a big-name emcee, Mayor Mike McGinn, who worked the crowd while not onstage:
He’ll be back in West Seattle next Tuesday for a Town Hall meeting at Southwest Teen Life Center. Speaking of teens, cheerleaders from Hiawatha-neighboring West Seattle High School helped out with the benefit barbecue offered before and during the concert:
Some came with their own dinner instead. We couldn’t help but admire the bike-borne setup brought by Sean and Kelley:
Back to the music. Here’s Caspar Babypants on video with the tale of Harold the Horse:
Next Thursday night (August 30th) is this year’s final concert in the Hiawatha series (brought to you by sponsors including WSB) – Curtains for You performs on the community center’s east lawn at 6:30 pm.
More bike thefts top tonight’s West Seattle Crime Watch reader-report roundup. From Imelda:
We are living on 61st and Spokane St. We forgot to close our garage last night and … our two bicycles and one of my kayaking booties were stolen (the other shoe was lying in the driveway). Our bicycles are unique, since they are from Germany, and have fixed lights, a baggage carrier in the back, and guard plates. Both look identical, one is for men, one for women. They were black, brand is Tallard. We are paying a reward, no question asked. We brought them all the way from Germany, and would really love to have them back. If you see them or know where they are please call 206 935 5839
Imelda says a neighbor had a lawn mower stolen last night, too.
And a Westwood resident says alert neighbors interrupted a car prowler:
If anyone had their car prowled in the 35th/36th & Barton/Cambridge corridor last night you may want to contact (police). Our dog alerted us to activity in the alley behind our house and then we heard neighbors yelling. A male in black pants, red tee-shirt and baseball cap was seen trying the door of the neighbors car parked in the driveway at the rear of their house. When alerted he tossed a box full of spoils and took off running up the alley toward Roxbury. A neighbor (me) followed him while other neighbors talked to a police car that had just pulled up and collected the belongings from the street. He was tracked going through back yards and up and down 36th until 3 squad cars descended and picked him up at 36th & Roxbury. Not sure if he was taken into custody or not.
(SDOT photo of the nearly complete offramp side of the new ramp, taken earlier this month)
Just announced by SDOT:
With the project approximately 95 percent finished, major elements of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project are nearing completion. The combination westbound on/off ramp at First Avenue S and S Spokane Street will open to motorists next Friday morning, August 31. The on-ramp provides the only westbound access to the viaduct and the West Seattle Bridge from SODO, and its opening will eliminate the need for SODO motorists to take the detour across the low level swing bridge.
The old westbound off-ramp at Fourth Avenue S and on-ramp at First Avenue S had to be closed and demolished to make room for the widened viaduct structure.
Construction activity on the upper viaduct deck is also nearing completion, with the permanent barrier between east and westbound traffic installed. Westbound motorists are now traveling in the final lane configurations, and the eastbound on-ramp from Harbor Island has reopened.
The most significant and visible work yet to be completed is the repaving of the eastbound off-ramp at First Avenue and the intersection with S Spokane Street at the bottom of that ramp. As such, the off-ramp remains closed until late September. North/south traffic on First Avenue in the construction area has been reduced to one lane in each direction, while the northbound lanes will be fully closed for three nights during the last week of August.
The old 1st Avenue South onramp closed for demolition in May 2010. Unlike that ramp, you won’t take 1st all the way to Spokane to get onto the bridge; the entrance to the new ramp is actually on 1st, more than a block north of Spokane.
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: For those who asked about buses – yes, they will use this ramp too. The reply from Jeff Switzer at King County DOT:
This construction milestone will be good news for bus riders going to West Seattle. Starting Aug. 31, bus riders will have a faster and more reliable trip using the new First Avenue South ramp to the West Seattle Bridge, and buses will be less likely to face delays due to trains or when the lower Spokane Street bridge needs to open for marine traffic.
Metro buses have traveled a revised route since May 17, 2010, including Routes 21, 22, 35, 56, 57, 85, 116, 118 & 119 traveling East Marginal way to the lower level Spokane Street bridge to get to West Seattle. Opening the new First Avenue South/South Spokane Street on ramp will decrease travel times on these routes. We’re coordinating with the city so that we can revise our bus routes accordingly as soon as the ramp is officially open.
This week, the crane went up for the Oregon 42 project at 42nd and Oregon in The Junction (thanks to LB for the photo). And today came the notification that 4724 California has applied for its land-use permit (here’s the notice, including a link for public comments), along with a formal announcement of the 1st Design Review meeting for 3078 SW Avalon Way, as first reported here a week and a half ago.
With these and other projects under way, there’s always a commenter or two who asks “How many units are in the works, anyway?” We have finally taken an unofficial count, while making a Google Map of the ones we know about. If all these projects are built, they together total more than 1,500 new residential units (apartments, with a smattering of “live-work”) in West Seattle over the next few years:
A few caveats:
*Our list does not include a few sites for which projects were initiated a few years ago but seem to have stalled; these are the active, reactivated, or newly proposed sites on which we have reported in recent months
*There’s a chance we might have missed something, though we monitor a variety of sources, online and in the physical world. Click any marker for a short summary of what’s proposed – if you know of a major (20 units or more) project not on the map, please let us know!
*Even though it’s unlike any other project in the pipeline, we have included the DESC Delridge Supportive Housing project and its 66 units, as both the construction and operation of that facility will be significant to the community too.
As we did with a similar map in 2008 (we’re working on a “whatever happened to …” look at that), we’ll update this as things change, and revisit it as our comprehensive coverage of West Seattle development continues.
FIRST REPORT, 1:34 PM: That’s Husky Deli owner Jack Miller with visiting U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, there right now – as previewed here on Wednesday – to talk about the tax-cut-extension bill that’s cleared the Senate but not the U.S. House. We’ll add video later of what Sen. Murray, Miller, and others at the news conference had to say. (In case you are wondering, no, this is not a campaign visit – Sen. Murray won a new six-year term two years ago.)
ADDED 2:25 PM: Video of the event in its entirety (only 16 minutes):
Miller introduced Sen. Murray by talking about his 80-year-old family business and its 40 or so employees, and the challenges of competing against “big stores,” as well as the importance of tax breaks. Sen. Murray said that taxes will go up unless Senate Bill 3412 is passed to extend current tax cuts. In addition to those who you will see speaking in the video – Merryweather Books owner Mary Clark follows Sen. Murray – other local business reps were on hand:
There were lighthearted moments too: The senator drew laughter by noting she was happy to be at Husky Deli even though she’s a Cougar. And before she left, she of course had some of the famous Husky ice cream:
In the background of that photo, by the way, you might recognize another Junction business proprietor – Jody Hall, owner of the Cupcake Royale stores here and around the city.
If you do business with the city online – or frequently use its online databases/websites – heads up: A $2 million maintenance/repair project is going to affect many of those services during several days surrounding Labor Day weekend, and in some cases even sooner, so if you have something important to do (including bill-paying, in person as well as online), take care of it as soon as you can. The city just published a detailed rundown of this outage’s effects – you can read it here.
More preparation today for the new school year that starts on September 5th, less than two weeks away: Chief Sealth International High School‘s new portable classrooms are being moved into place on the west edge of the campus. On Wednesday afternoon, we photographed the two that had just arrived (above); today, the other two are moving in.
As reported here in June, they will house 9th-grade language-arts and history classes, according to Sealth principal Chris Kinsey. He announced in June that 2012-2013 enrollment was projected to be more than 1,300, about 100 beyond last year, which was already above capacity (and according to a Seattle Public Schools report published this week, 115 students are on its waiting list [total for all grades/programs]).
(Photo by Don Brubeck, looking toward Harbor Island after last night’s sunset)
Belated edition of highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:
TRAFFIC ALERTS: The 1st Avenue S. water-main work is expected to continue into this evening (we’ll update this story if it’s done sooner). Again tonight, late-night/early-morning drivers need to be aware of two scheduled closures (from our weekly day-by-day/night-by-night list) – southbound 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct closed 9 pm-5 am, and eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct closed 10 pm-5 am.
TEENS – MAKE YOUR OWN JEWELRY: 1 pm at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson); info here.
WINE, MASSAGE, SNACKS: Siren Song Wines and Shanti Salon and Spa (both WSB sponsors) in the Admiral District are teaming up for an event tonight that involves everything from wine-tasting to massage. 6-8 pm; ticket info and full details here.
SHOP LATE IN THE JUNCTION: The special summer hours continue at participating Junction merchants (listed here) – including Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor), which has a Sunshine Sale (summery items – check them out here) continuing through month’s end.
‘HIAWATHA HELPS’ BARBECUE, BEFORE AND DURING THE CONCERT: Benefit barbecue dinner 6-8 pm tonight at Hiawatha Community Center, before and during the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show. Menu/prices here.
CASPAR BABYPANTS AT SUMMER CONCERTS @ HIAWATHA: Our area’s biggest family-music star is tonight’s performer at the Admiral Neighborhood Association-presented free concert (second-to-last show of the year), 6:30 pm on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center.
Live music at local nightlife establishments too – part of what else you’ll find on the calendar!
Cancer is a relentless killer that has touched almost everyone’s life – and in addition to its primary effects, it leads to a sense of hopelessness, an agonizing wish for researchers to find a cure, to pinpoint a cause, anything to bring a cancer-free world closer. Next month, you can do something to help, beyond wishing and hoping. The American Cancer Society has launched a new round of its nationwide Cancer Prevention Study, a research program that dates back to the 1950s, to identify risk factors that can aid in prevention. Your participation now may save someone’s life someday. To make it easier to participate, the ACS will have an enrollment site here on September 22nd, 10 am-1:30 pm at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor); they’re getting the word out now so you can make an appointment for that day. Read on to see how:Read More
4:20 AM: Big response to 11200 block of Marine View Drive. Via the scanner, crews are saying it’s a “small fire in the garage” of a home.
4:45 AM: Added photo from our crew at the scene. Over the radio, the fire has been called as “tapped.” No report of injuries so far.
4:59 AM: According to SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl at the scene, the smoke detector went off, awakening the homeowner, who called 911 and got everybody out safely. They don’t know yet what caused the fire, but she confirmed it was contained to the garage – lots of smoke, not a lot of flames. We’ll follow up later, after investigators have had a chance to figure out how it started.
5:28 AM: They figured it out fast. Lt. Stangl just tweeted that the fire has been ruled “accidental/electrical.”