day : 18/12/2012 13 results

High-school basketball: West Seattle HS over Chief Sealth in overtime thriller

(New WSHS head coach Keffrey Fazio with his players; photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
A home-court win tonight for the West Seattle High School boys-varsity basketball team against visiting-from-across-town Chief Sealth International High School.

(Sealth’s Trevor Reed, left, and Aaron Knox double-team West Seattle’s Jimi Martin III)
It was closer than the final score suggests – after a 47-47 tie in regulation, the Wildcats won 58-51 in overtime. Game details coming up later; the two schools’ girls-varsity teams face off tomorrow night.

ADDED 1:21 AM: Game details and more photos:

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K5 STEM at Hughes suggested in Seattle Public Schools capacity recommendations

Seattle Public Schools staff is suggesting consideration of the former EC Hughes Elementary School in Sunrise Heights as the permanent home for K-5 STEM at Boren, once Westside School (WSB sponsor) moves out. That’s one of the capacity-management – as in, crowding relief – recommendations on which the School Board will be briefed at a work session tomorrow night, according to a document made public today. The document also says staff is NOT recommending moving kindergarteners to Boren to make room, an idea explored in earlier drafts.

Read on for more West Seattle recommendations:Read More

West Seattle traffic alert: Hit-run crash with bus near Westwood Village

FIRST REPORT, 6:27 PM: We’re on our way to check out a crash reported to involve a vehicle and a bus at 26th and Barton, which is the intersection with the main south entrance to Westwood Village. Police are reported to be looking for two males who fled from the vehicle – a Mitsubishi – and were last seen headed toward Roxhill Park.

6:33 PM UPDATE: Our crew is on the scene. Eastbound Barton is blocked by the crash; westbound is still moving. We can’t tell what route number the bus is from – but it’s not a RapidRide bus; it’s a blue/yellow articulated bus.

7:10 PM UPDATE: Photo added. No word of arrests yet; we’ll be going to check the scene shortly, to see if traffic is moving again.

Southwest Precinct change of command: Capt. Steve Paulsen leaving, Capt. Joe Kessler returning

(September 2010 photo of Capts. Kessler & Paulsen, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
After two years as commander of the Southwest Precinct, Captain Steve Paulsen has just announced he is being reassigned. On January 2nd, he takes over the South Precinct – and his Southwest Precinct predecessor Capt. Joe Kessler returns. Capt. Paulsen says:

I have truly enjoyed my time serving our folks of West Seattle and South Park the past few years. I can easily say that West Seattle is a great place to work and I will greatly miss my officers and residents that I have come to know and care about.

I am looking forward to new challenges with my next assignment. Just as in West Seattle/South Park, the Rainier Valley, Beacon Hill, SODO and Georgetown each has their own identity as neighborhoods and I am excited to develop those relationships as well as those with my South Precinct police officers.

He describes Capt. Kessler – who left in September 2010 after 2 1/2 years to lead the West Precinct and then moved into a special role on the department’s ethics project – as “one of the best captains on the Seattle Police Department.”

Storm followup: Highest water level ever recorded in Seattle

(1st three photos from Monday, by Nick Adams for WSB)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

We have just learned that yesterday morning’s highest water level – the combination of high tide and “storm surge” – wasn’t just high, it was historic – the highest level ever recorded in Seattle.

The word comes from Seattle Public Utilities, which has to track this closely because of the effects storms and high tides can and do have on their facilities – look closely to see the water coming OUT of this manhole on Beach Drive, instead of going in:

And SPU meteorologist James Rufo-Hill tells WSB it’s likely “a harbinger of things to come.” More from our interview, ahead:

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Alaskan Way Viaduct traffic alert: Lane closure canceled

December 18, 2012 3:46 pm
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 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | West Seattle news

Good news: WSDOT will NOT be closing a lane of southbound 99 again this weekend after all, only the Atlantic Street offramp, as work continues on the new Atlantic overpass. Here’s the announcement:

Crews working with the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the southbound State Route 99 off-ramp near Seattle’s stadiums this weekend to complete pile driving for the new South Atlantic Street overpass.

Thanks to hard work last weekend, contractor Atkinson Construction will not close a lane on southbound SR 99 as previously planned. Crews were able to drive 48 of 53 pilings last weekend. They will drive the remaining five pilings and finish welding on another 20 pilings while the ramp is closed this weekend.

Closure details
· At 4 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, crews will close the southbound SR 99 off-ramp to South Atlantic Street.

· Crews will reopen the ramp at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for fans heading to the Seahawks game at CenturyLink field. The ramp will be closed again at 5:30 p.m., 10 minutes after kickoff.

· The ramp will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.

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Afternoon wildlife break: Baitfish swirling off Seacrest

More news in the pipeline – but first, in case you need de-stressing, a beautiful sight from underwater, just off Seacrest, at the popular dive spot Cove 2, courtesy of “Diver Laura” James, who explains: “We have big schools of baitfish all winter in Puget Sound, and it is often very hard to capture the ‘feeling’ of diving with them on film, because they are extremely skittish. This dive was done with a rebreather (so no bubbles), which allowed me to be much less ‘scary’ to the fishes.”

West Seattle development updates: Junction project demolition delay; ‘The Hole’ back to Design Commission

As we continue to track major local projects, we have two updates on two Junction-area plans that both have been long in the works (and both on sites visible in the photo below by Long Bach Nguyen):

JUNCTION PROJECT DEMOLITION DELAY: When last we talked with Equity Residential‘s team about their two-building, 206-apartment project coming to California/Alaska/42nd, they told us they planned to start demolition right after Christmas. (The businesses that had been on the site, you’ll recall, had to clear out by July 31st, but the project team says site cleanup issues have taken more time than expected.) We just checked in again to see if they’re still planning on starting work by year’s end – and now the answer is “no.” It’ll be “early next year.” They have not yet chosen a general contractor, we also were told.

‘THE HOLE’ GOES BACK TO THE DESIGN COMMISSION: The agenda for this Thursday’s Seattle Design Commission meeting caught our eye with an item titled “Spruce Project (Hancock Fabrics).” As we first reported in July, “The Hole” at 3922 SW Alaska – formerly Fauntleroy Place – is now Spruce West Seattle, and Hancock is no longer part of it, according to the plans we’ve seen (instead, the retail space is sketched out as an L.A. Fitness outlet). So we called the Design Commission office to see if that’s the project they’re taking up, and indeed it is, according to spokesperson Valerie Kinast. The 216-apartment plan has undergone some revisions, as summarized in this city memo, which presaged the project’s return before the commission:

The final plan for the public space within the right-of-way, as required by the City Council’s preliminary street vacation approval will be reviewed by the Seattle Design Commission, with final approval by the Seattle City Council when the final alley vacation approval is considered.

The meeting is open to the public, on the lower level of City Hall downtown, and this item is scheduled to be considered at 1:30 pm Thursday (December 20th).

West Seattle Crime Watch: New restaurant’s fence stolen; hit-run

Two notes in West Seattle Crime Watch today. First, the case of the stolen fence:

That fence used to be in front of the newly opened Duos Lounge on Avalon Way. While we were corresponding with co-owner Benjamin Jury, he mentioned their fence had been stolen: “It went missing sometime between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm on Sunday.” And, he says, some workers even were in the Duos kitchen at the time. If you have any clues, contact police.

Next – the search for a hit-run driver, or at least a witness – since the victim says there are two places this might have happened.

Kat shared the photo and writes:

My car was hit (Monday) sometime between 11 am and 12 pm on California Ave. Driver’s side door.

I was getting a mammogram at the Swedish Mobile unit (3400 California SW) and was parked behind it on the street. I didn’t notice it when I got into my car but there was a lot of traffic and I was just trying to get into my car.

I went to lunch at the Royal India Grill (2342 California Ave. S.W.) and parked across the street on California between the Admiral Theater and Mission. I noticed the damage right away as I walked toward my car. If anyone has any info, please e-mail me at

P.S. While this would normally be the night for the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, like many community groups, they’re skipping December; school security – a topic planned long before last week’s Connecticut massacre – is on the agenda for the January meeting (7 pm Tuesday, January 15th, Southwest Precinct).

West Seattle Tuesday: 2 holiday happenings

One week till Christmas – and two reminders from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide (now adding more solstice and New Year’s events, plus last-minute Christmas happenings):

WORK AT HOME? COME TO THE PARTY! West Seattle Office Junction (forthcoming co-working space in West Seattle) is hosting a co-workers’/at-home workers’ Christmas party from noon to 1 at Beer Junction, 4511 California SW. Anyone and everyone is/are welcome to come. Bring your cookies, lunch and a dish to share, if you like, and show off your favorite Christmas sweater.

SING FOR YOUR SUPPER: From 5-10 pm at Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor; 9261 45th SW), it’s Sing for Your Supper–Holiday Edition! Everyone is welcome to participate; you must sing a holiday carol for at least 1 minute and no more than 2 minutes, all a cappella. Singers will be awarded either a free beverage, appetizer, entrée, or dessert. Santa and his elves will be there too.

West Seattle storm aftermath: Pump-station project damage

December 18, 2012 9:38 am
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 |   Utilities | West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

The King County Wastewater Treatment District says the Monday morning “storm surge” caused some minor damage at the Barton Pump Station expansion project north of the ferry dock. Crews repaired the chain-link fence and concrete barrier blocks, according to a news release:

The storm washed waves and driftwood through the barrier into the construction site. The repaired barrier includes an additional row of concrete blocks to protect against future storm events.

Crew members were on site Sunday to prepare for the approaching storm. All on-site liquids were properly stored and materials from the jet grouting operation were cured. There was no contamination of any materials into Puget Sound.

Crews will continue to monitor site conditions through the winter storm season and will take precautionary measures as needed to protect both the site and Puget Sound.

The construction work is scheduled to continue until late 2014.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Snowless Tuesday updates

December 18, 2012 6:28 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Live view from east-facing WS Bridge cam; see west-facing view, other cameras on our Traffic page)
After some brief overnight snow sightings, it looks like Seattle is back in the snow shadow and likely to have a relatively normal – if cold – morning commute, so we’re going with the usual style of ongoing morning update unless something changes. Wondering about the forecast? Windy, and another chance of snow showers tonight.

West Seattle weather: Early morning snow sightings

1:49 AM: First snow sightings – Westwood, Sunrise Heights, Highland Park. Forecast still does not suggest anything major, though.

6:12 AM: Nothing on the ground where we are. And Seattle is still in the (small) “snow shadow” zone on the National Weather Service map you can see here – meaning no alerts/advisories/warnings right now.