West Seattle, Washington
Something you think Mayor McGinn needs to know about West Seattle? Something you want to ask or say about the way his administration’s been doing things the past almost-three years? Something you want him to hear, even if you don’t think anything will be done about it? Tuesday night is your next chance, with his Town Hall at Southwest Teen Life Center, and getting a message to the mayor is only part of what it’s about. City department heads are usually on hand, and he might refer your problem/idea on the spot. Plus, you can come early and meet cool West Seattle neighbors who are with organizations such as West Seattle Be Prepared, Sustainable West Seattle, Nature Consortium, West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network, West Seattle Food Bank, several neighborhood councils … Talk with them at the Community Information Fair 5:30-6:30 pm, watch a special performance of the Samoan Siva dance La’u Hani by The West Side Polynesian Club till 6:40, and then it’s Q/A time with the mayor. SW TLC is next to SW Pool, 2801 SW Thistle. See you there.
10:30 PM: Getting various reports of one or possibly two helicopters over north West Seattle – Alki, Admiral – and hearing some closer to us, too. Don’t know yet what they’re doing – there is no obviously correlatory traffic on the scanner.
10:36 PM NOTE: We should note that we did hear a loud sound pre-chopper(s) here above Lincoln Park – and we now have a note from someone who says they called police about what they believed to be gunfire a short time ago on the north end of Lincoln Park. No reports of anyone having been shot anywhere, however.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One year ago tonight, one of West Seattle’s most ferocious fires in years destroyed a home in the 10200 block of 41st SW in Arbor Heights.
We wouldn’t usually revisit a fire on its first anniversary. This one, however, affected the lives not only of the home’s owners and renters, but also of those who live in the surrounding area.
It revealed “fire flow” water-system shortfalls that left some of the firefighters helpless for many long minutes to stop the roaring flames destroying the home and threatening to spread. Photos like this one showed their lines, waiting to be filled:
The problems even resulted in a City Council briefing, and a plan for improvements.
So tonight, we look at what’s happened since. First: The immediate effects of the fire – a home, destroyed. What was left of the gutted house was torn down, and the lot remains empty to this day (as reflected even in the official county online records). We went by this morning:
This evening, we spoke by phone with Renée, whose sister was at the time of the fire renting the house, which is owned by their parents. She told WSB the family expects to build a new home on the site by the end of this year. Along with the water-main work that the city is planning, that means two construction projects are about to begin in the wake of the August 27, 2011, fire, that sent up black smoke visible for miles around:
8:48 PM: A “fire in building” call has sent a big response is en route to 22nd and Barton, just east of Westwood Village.
8:58 PM UPDATE: Nothing major – only one engine still left on the scene. A police officer says fire crews told him it was a kitchen problem; we’re waiting to confirm that directly with SFD.
9:01 PM UPDATE: SFD lieutenant says it was a case of ignition-fluid flareup with a barbecue on the third floor. No major damage from that, but they had to kick in a door to get into the unit. No one hurt. We’ve added our photo above showing smoke still hanging in the air (after something like this, one big job for firefighters is to help get the scene ventilated).
Two Rotary Club of West Seattle notes tonight:
PENCIL ME IN FOR KIDS: Rotarians and friends have collected, sorted, and delivered school-supply donations again this year for Pencil Me In For Kids. Our photograph is from the sorting party in Westwood last Thursday night. PMIFK is an all-volunteer program that helps kids at local schools; while this year’s donation drive has wrapped up, it’s never too soon to start looking ahead to next year, and you can find out here how to help.
WINE AND CHOCOLATE GALA AUCTION: It takes $ to support community projects like PMIFK. The Rotary’s next fundraiser promises to be a tasty one – the second annual Wine and Chocolate Gala Auction, less than two weeks away. Here’s the club announcement:
The Rotary Club of West Seattle will host its second annual Wine & Chocolate Gala Auction on Friday, September 7 at 6 PM at Salty’s on Alki. Enjoy an evening of great wine and an auction of wonderful items to support the club’s community projects. In addition to the auctions, there will be ample appetizers, food trays, wine tasting from boutique local wineries (10) and chocolatiers. Auction items run from trips to Sonoma, Caribbean, Kenya, and Orlando, to locally focused items like a “Bin 41 and Husky’s pair up appetizers and wine for 10.” For tickets, please visit the Rotary Club of West Seattle website at www.westseattlerotary.org
(Photo by Sarje Rao)
If you’ve driven by the west side of South Park on 509 or thereabouts, you might have noticed smoke, and/or the TV helicopters. Here’s what’s happening: There’s a fire at an abandoned house in the 300 block of South Trenton. We have a crew there, covering it for our partner site The South Park News – here’s the latest.
The fence is up, the windows are covered, and intensive work is under way at the Seacrest Boathouse as Marination gets ready to open its first West Seattle bricks-and-mortar location, after three years of bringing its truck to the peninsula on Saturday. This afternoon we spoke with Marination co-owner Kamala Saxton for an update, six weeks after they announced the start of construction – and the official name.
Twists and turns in the permit and construction process have now pushed the expected opening date back to late September, Saxton says. “Progress is being made … not as fast as we wanted.” However, she and co-owner Roz Edison are still rooting for the round of summery weather that often happens in late September/early October, in hopes it will grace the West Seattle waterfront as they fire up the shave-ice machine (and the rest of the new Marination Ma Kai) for the first time. If you are a West Seattle Water Taxi rider, diver, kayaker/SUP’er, or other frequent Seacrest visitor, you will likely notice the roof-replacement work any day now (tomorrow’s parking-lot closure there, however, involves an unrelated ladder replacement on the pier); today’s highlights, she told us, included a new door. They’re also working on hiring – recruiting notices are posted on the boathouse windows – and Saxton says that’ll be finalized in a week or so; lots of West Seattle locals have applied, she says. They’re also excited about Marination Ma Kai’s potential as an event space, including its availability to local groups like PTAs.
It’s been five months since the revelation of a snag in the permit process – extra reviews required because, though the location had been run as a restaurant for more than a decade under previous concessionaire Alki Crab and Fish, it had never formally been approved to serve as one – and almost nine months since word that Marination had been chosen to take over the space. But, as the Marination owners wrote in another flyer that’s posted in the boathouse windows, “We are so in love with Seacrest and the incredible good times to come, we know every hoop, thorn, and fire we deal with will all be worth it!”
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB, unless otherwise credited)
3:06 PM: We mentioned in today’s “West Seattle Monday” daily preview that the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) would leave Bremerton today for its next deployment. According to its Facebook page, the Stennis has just sailed, so it will be visible from West Seattle shores – particularly mid-Beach Drive to Alki Point – in a while.
4:31 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Linda for the tip that it had emerged rounding Bainbridge – the Stennis is now visible from West Seattle.
(Photo courtesy WSB reader Dave)
5:11 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Dave for the perspective from atop a building on California SW. We’re expecting a photo from the waterfront in a bit. The Kitsap Sun reports that the Stennis is headed to San Diego to pick up its air group, and then out to the Middle East for at least eight months.
6:04 PM UPDATE: WSB photojournalist Nick Adams was staked out as the Stennis sailed by; we’ve added four of his photos, including this one showing other vessels out as the carrier passed:
SEPTEMBER 4TH UPDATE: Skylark’s projector isn’t working – so this has been moved to the Heartland Café in the Admiral District.
ORIGINAL AUGUST 31ST REPORT: The night of the 2008 general election, the biggest public Election Night watch party in town was at Skylark Café and Club in North Delridge. For this year’s election season, Skylark also will be the site of a watch party the night President Obama accepts his party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention. Skylark proprietor Jessie SK tells WSB the event, organized by local campaign reps, is set for 5-8:30 pm Thursday, September 6th. (According to the event’s outline, the president’s speech is expected between 6:30 and 7:30 pm.)
P.S. If any local venue is planning a similar party for this week’s Republican convention, please let us know.
Thanks to the multiple WSB’ers who e-mailed to report and/or ask about this film crew spotted on the West Seattle waterfront, southeast of Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). A production-crew member explained that portable dressing rooms and production offices are what you see set up on the for-sale property, but wouldn’t identify the film; a police officer posted at the Jack Block entrance said they wouldn’t tell him either. The crew member did say they are using part of the park just for today and that the rest remains open. The only online mentions we could find regarding any movie recently in production in Seattle are about “One Square Mile,” with stars including Kim Basinger and Richard Jenkins – here’s a recent story from the Hollywood Reporter. No proof so far whether that is or is not what’s being shot here today, though.
11:24 AM: A truck crash on northbound Highway 99 in the stadium zone is causing a major backup, as you will be able to see in the “live” image above from an SDOT traffic camera if it’s pointing north. Responding crews say they’re working to clear it as fast as they can. In the meantime, it’s also affecting buses, according to an alert from Metro. According to a tweet from Seattle Fire, medics were checking one person for possible injuries.
11:50 AM UPDATE: The latest from Metro regarding reroutes:
Hwy 99 Viaduct blocked: NB Routes 54, 55, 120, 125 rerouted 4th Av S, Prefontaine, 3rd Av. Seneca stop for NB service will be missed.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) August 27, 2012
1:13 PM UPDATE: Per both commenters and SDOT, there is barrier repair going on now; the truck’s been cleared. From Peg Nielsen at SDOT:
The truck has been cleared and now the damaged jersey barriers are being replaced. There’s only 1 lane open – southbound. 2 lanes northbound are blocked. Estimated time before roadway opens is at least ½ hour. If you’re expecting someone or planning to go that way, avoid that route if at all possible!
That e-mail was timestamped 12:54 – so at least ten more minutes till opening.
1:24 PM UPDATE: SDOT says it’s cleared. So does one FB commenter. But unless you are a passenger (car, bus, whatever), don’t type – just confirm when you arrive safely at your destination.
The first heads-up came from WSB Forums member “sbre” (thanks!) – today and Friday, it’s practice-run time for the school buses serving Seattle Public Schools in this area. We spotted one in dropoff mode on a street in Arbor Heights, and then saw this lineup outside Chief Sealth International High School in Westwood. School doesn’t start for SPS till Wednesday, September 5th – but some independent schools start sooner, as does Highline Public Schools to our south (first day is this Thursday), so if you drive, it’s time to start paying attention to school zones again.
West Seattle Crime Watch notes this morning: We heard overnight from an Alki burglary victim who requested anonymity:
Please let everyone know a guy walked into my gate, up the stairs, across my deck, into my home – meeting me and my dog upon entering … police arrested him in the alley near Alki Ave SW, between 63rd and 62nd. This happened around 10 pm. We need to start looking out for our community and getting to know our neighbors.
We checked with Seattle Police this morning; they confirm a suspect was arrested and booked into jail for investigation of residential burglary.
We also followed up on the High Point stabbing reported here early yesterday – a woman taken to the hospital after suffering multiple stab wounds in what was described by police as a fight. No word on the victim’s condition, but police do say they arrested a suspect at the scene, a 44-year-old woman who lives at the same address, and found the suspected weapon – a kitchen knife. The suspect is still in jail, booked for investigation of domestic-violence assault.
Side note – Another round of mystery booms last night (we heard them over Lincoln Park, and also heard via Twitter and e-mail from others in Morgan Junction and Gatewood), around midnight. No related incidents (damage, injury, fire, etc.) reported so far, so like many others, at this point, a mystery.
(Late-summer sunlight in Lincoln Park, photographed by Trileigh Tucker)
From the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar (event coming up? please let us know!) – here are today’s notes and highlighted events:
AIRCRAFT CARRIER HEADING OUT ON DEPLOYMENT: The carrier USS John C. Stennis leaves Bremerton today, headed out on an earlier-than-expected deployment. The Navy won’t say when but The Kitsap Sun says carriers usually leave at high tide (late afternoon today); once it exits Rich Passage and starts rounding Bainbridge northbound, it will be visible from west-facing West Seattle shores and Alki Point (more distantly if you’re looking from the Alki Beach side).
LA LECHE LEAGUE: The monthly West Seattle meeting is today, 10:30 am – details in our ongoing calendar listing.
STANDUP PADDLEBOARDING: Been meaning to try it? Don’t wait – summer’s almost over. Alki Kayak Tours (WSB sponsor) has been presenting Monday night events for women all summer long – details here. P.S. AKT also is offering a “Buy One, Get One Free” kayak-tour deal for locals, Mondays-Fridays – go here for the deal code.