West Seattle, Washington
Though school’s out now for two weeks, students and families returned to Denny International Middle School tonight for a tradition – the Posada Navideña celebration, with music, dancing, potluck food, and fun. Decorations, too, including the snowman collection set up in the cafeteria:
The first-ever Denny Posada was back in 2010 (WSB coverage here), organized by the Denny PTSA as a multicultural celebration for a multicultural school, rooted in the Latin American pre-Christmas Las Posadas tradition.
Look what showed up for NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen‘s quarterly solstice/equinox sunset watch in West Seattle – the sun! Two hours earlier, Alice tweeted at us regarding the sudden sun sighting:
Winter solstice in Seattle, and I just had to put on my sunglasses. WHAT??! @westseattleblog
— Alice Enevoldsen (@AlicesAstroInfo) December 21, 2012
While the gatherings are mostly a chance to find out more about the solar-system phenomena from a volunteer expert, actually seeing the sun means a chance to check the alignment of Solstice Park‘s special features. Here are some of the 30 or so sunset-watchers who showed up:
Checking our archives, it seems the sun appeared for last year’s winter-solstice-sunset event, too. This year, Alice had something extra to explain:
In recent months, she became an expert 2012-end-of-world debunker (see her various links/explanations here), so there was an extra note of triumph in the simple fact that tonight’s event did happen as scheduled. (P.S. The solstice moment itself was 3:12 am today. Next up – spring equinox, 4:02 am our time March 20, 2013. Watch for Alice’s event announcement when it gets closer – it’ll be on her website, along with other interesting astronomical updates, at alicesastroinfo.com.)
We’ve been out covering some of tonight’s events – but before we get to those, three sightings. Above, WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams spotted Santa Claus by the Vashon ferry line in Fauntleroy! That’s not far from where the jolly old soul also spent part of this evening listening to last-minute Christmas wishes – among other things – at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor):
Santa being a ubiquitous sort of gent this time of year, those of course were not the only places he was sighted tonight, but we thank Julie for sharing the photo of the classic beard-authenticity check. As you can see in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, Santa will be back at Thriftway each of the next two days (1-4 Saturday, 3-7 Sunday), as well as a few other spots.
Finally, a lovely view at sunset – looking toward downtown – shared by Toni T:
(Right about then, we were at Alice Enevoldsen‘s winter-solstice sunset watch – story on that, coming up.)
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
8:16 PM: Thanks to everybody who texted and e-mailed about this. The stoplight at 42nd and Alaska has been having trouble for at least an hour – did not appear to be anyone directing traffic or fixing when last we went through 15 minutes or so – please let us know if you’ve seen otherwise.
9:15 PM: In comments, Vivienne reports passing through around 9 pm with no problem.
Just announced by SDOT – the date work will start on the yearlong Delridge repaving project:
Delridge Way SW Paving Project SW Orchard St to SW Roxbury St
Construction to begin January 10 – Expect Southbound Detours
The southern portion of Delridge Way SW is an important West Seattle arterial that has deteriorated over time. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will rebuild Delridge Way SW between SW Orchard and SW Roxbury streets to improve travel conditions and promote safety.
· Construct new concrete and asphalt paving surfaces
· Install drainage detention pipes and inlets
· Provide upgraded curb ramps
· Reconfigure lanes between SW Myrtle and SW Kenyon streets
Project Work Hours and Schedule
Construction is expected to begin January 10, 2013, and be substantially complete by the end of 2013. Normal work hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with some weekend work and possible night work.
Since the weather is suddenly lovely – we know some may go out for a walk or ride tonight to look at Christmas lights, and we’ve mapped some of West Seattle’s most brightly lit homes, as in years past. Among them, the home you see above – 4152 46th Ave SW, where Duane Davis explains that they “have been decorating the home for 17 yrs and now have 10,000 lights – half are the energy efficient LEDs. Drive by and enjoy the cotton candy trees, our home, and our well lit neighborhood. Merry Christmas, West Seattle!” We expect to add at least a few more after tonight, but here’s what we have so far:
To make the map printable, we left off the descriptions, but note that a few spots have multiple homes – in particular, the vicinity of 4043 Fauntleroy Way SW, which is the stub of Fauntleroy that is something of a frontage road along the southwest end of the bridge – that house is great, and even more of the neighbors have joined in this year.
Meantime, if you have other homes/apartments to suggest, please comment, or e-mail us the address to check out (photo/s welcome too if you have them): email@example.com – we’re adding this map to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide so you can find it if you need to, in the nights ahead.
(Updated Friday night with report of additional car-prowl victims in Arbor Heights – see end of story)
With delivery trucks rumbling along the streets delivering holiday mail and gifts like so many motorized sleighs, it’s time for another round of West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:
First, from SW 98th in Arbor Heights, a check was reportedly taken from a mailbox and “washed.” The tipster says “Turns out that another neighbor witnessed this happening and gave chase, but lost them. We have a partial license plate and a description of the car.” (We have a followup out to see if they’ll share that information.)
Further north, package thieves struck again. From the victim:
A Christmas Gift package was delivered to our house (Wednesday), while we were not home, and was stolen off our front porch before we returned from work. We live in the area near Our Lady of Guadalupe – just letting folks know that there might be some package poachers roaming the neighborhood.
And a possible would-be package thief was caught on a security camera in the Shorewood area, near 26th and 106th, with what would be an unusual tactic:
The person who shared the image explains it – that, and other reports, as this continues after the jump:Read More
Thank you to Alki photographer David Hutchinson for another view of what might not be the only pelican visiting West Seattle for Solstice/Christmas – David works with Seal Sitters and says first responder Robin Lindsey noticed two at Don Armeni earlier today! Meantime, winter has begun, and the last weekend before Christmas is under way. Lots to do tonight:
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL BEFORE WINTER BREAK: Some independent schools are out already, but today is the last day of Seattle Public Schools classes, with one-hour-early dismissal districtwide.
LOTS OF SANTA! “Santa Al” is at Tram’s Salon till 1 pm, “Ex-Westwood Santa” is at CAPERS 3-7 pm, West Seattle Thriftway has Santa 4-7 pm, Westwood Village has Santa till x pm.
WINTER SOLSTICE SUNSET WATCH: From NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen:
It’s time for the 15th seasonal sunset watch!! 4:05 pm (so come at 3:45 pm)
Actual sunset is supposed to be at 4:20 pm, but at the summer solstice we noticed that the Sun set about 10 minutes earlier than the USNO says it does, so I’ve moved the time of our sunset watch up so we don’t miss it. Last autumn the timing seemed to line up correctly – what will it do this time?
Where: Solstice Park – all the way up the hill from the tennis courts (or, if you’re not in Seattle, wherever you have a view of the western horizon!)
Who: Everyone welcome, as usual.
SOLSTICE PARADE IN NORTH DELRIDGE: From the invite –
You are cordially invited to join Captain Snowflake and WinterFly in welcoming the start of Winter and the dawning of days with increasing light. This celebration is a 40-minute illuminated walk along the Longfellow Creek Legacy trails. 6:30 pm, Greg Davis Park, 26th Ave SW & Brandon Street SW. For the Solstice Parade, you are encouraged to wear an outfit or costume illuminated by lights or bring a lantern or flashlight to carry along the path.
WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION: 6:30 pm December 21st at West Seattle’s Hummingbird Studio. From the Facebook invitation:
Honoring the Darkness, Celebrating the Light – Winter Solstice Fire Dancing, Ritual & Gong Meditation: Join Sound Therapist Sha’ari Garfinkel for this powerful Winter Solstice event featuring a special Sun-centered healing gong meditation, LIVE fire dancers including renowned performer DeAnna Riley, drumming, refreshments and more. For more information, please go to www.innerlistening.com or call 206.309.4667.
THE GRINCH AND RALPHIE, DOUBLE FEATURE! Highland Park Improvement Club‘s free-movie night includes “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and “A Christmas Story,” 6:30 pm (12th/Holden).
HOLIDAY CHURCH SERVICES TONIGHT: Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) has its “Blue Christmas/Longest Night” service tonight, and Arbor Heights Community Church has its candlelight Christmas service. Both are at 7 pm, and both are on our list of West Seattle Christmas church services – see the full list here.
SANTA’S FIRST MAGICAL RIDE – THE MUSICAL: Locally created/produced “Santa’s First Magical Ride: The Musical” continues its premiere run tonight, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center – 7 ps. Tickets are available online here.
CHRISTMAS VAUDEVILLE AND SINGALONG: Tonight at Kenyon Hall. Comedy juggling, live music by the Bottom Line Duo, Bob White at the Mighty Wurlitzer, and Lou Magor conducting the audience in a Christmas sing-along. 7:30 pm. Reservations and ticket info here.
NON-HOLIDAY NIGHTLIFE: Lots of it, on our regular calendar – see the listings here!
Always hate to start talking pre-Christmas about what to do with the tree post-Christmas, but in case you’re wondering, Seattle Public Utilities has just sent the information (which gives us another occasion to remind you that if you have Tuesday solid-waste pickup, it’ll be on Wednesday the next two weeks since Christmas/New Year’s are on Tuesdays):
City residents who subscribe to curbside food and yard waste collection can put their Christmas trees and holiday greens out on their regular collection day at no extra charge, from Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 13, 2013.
Multi-family buildings can put out one tree next to each food and yard waste cart per collection day at no extra charge during this time.
Trees should be cut into sections of six feet long or shorter, with branches trimmed to less than four feet to fit into the collection trucks. Sections should be bundled with string or twine. Metal, plastic and ornaments in trees and wreaths must be removed.
Trees that are flocked and/or have tinsel or ornaments will be collected as extra garbage. Customers will need to cut the tree into three-foot pieces and each piece will be charged as extra garbage. Each unit of extra garbage costs $8.60. Plastic trees are not recyclable.
Seattle residents can also drop off their holiday trees and greens for free at Seattle Public Utilities’ North and South Recycling and Disposal stations between Dec. 26, 2012 and Jan. 13, 2013. The tree sections must be cut to eight feet or less in length and the trunk must be four inches or smaller in diameter. The limit is three trees per vehicle. Only trees and wreaths without flocking or decoration may be disposed free of charge.
The City of Seattle’s North Recycling and Disposal Station in the Fremont/Wallingford area and the South Recycling and Disposal Station in the South Park area will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25, and New Year’s Day, January 1. The North Recycling and Disposal Station is located at 1350 North 34th Street. The South Recycling and Disposal Station is located at 8105 5th Ave South. The stations are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
In case you need it again for reference, we’ll add this to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, which will be up and running through New Year’s Day, too.
The notification signs are up, one week after the prospective developers of 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW – the 350-apartment, almost-600-parking-spot proposal for Fauntleroy/Alaska/40th, with Whole Foods signed on – applied for its Master Use Permit (as reported here). The sign is a reminder that the formal comment period is open – including issues beyond design, such as traffic, noise, and other “environmental” factors. Here’s the application’s official page on the DPD website; if you have a comment, send it to the official planner, Bruce Rips, at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP (we’re checking on the deadline). Meantime, the project still will have at least one more Southwest Design Review Board meeting, also including public comment; the date is not yet set, but a project spokesperson told us they are hoping to return to the board in a month or so.
ADDED: Regarding the deadline for comments, DPD’s Bruce Rips replied, “The comment period ends on January 9, 2013. It can be extended by two weeks upon request. I accept comments throughout the review process.”
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Quiet commute today but we’re still putting this up, albeit late in the game, in case anything happens during the rest of the morning/rest of the day. Plus, it’s one more chance for the reminders about next week:
TRANSIT NOTE FOR NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND: Metro will be on a “reduced weekday” schedule Monday and Wednesday-Friday of next week as well as Monday of the following week, with a Sunday schedule on the next two Tuesdays (Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) – more here. Both Water Taxis (West Seattle and Vashon) will be out of service on Christmas/New Year’s Days but on a regular schedule the other weekdays.
3:26 AM: We’re receiving multiple texts from Highland Park and Westwood from people who say they heard gunshots or fireworks a short time ago. One says they called 911 and were told multiple reports had been called in. No indication so far of anyone having been injured, nor word of any proof it was gunshots – let us know if you see police in your neighborhood. (Might be a coincidence, but we should also note that the solstice officially happened at 3:12 am. The scanner indicates similar sounds being heard in other parts of the city, and one in the north end already has been determined by police to have been fireworks.)
3:41 AM: Commenters are indicating it was apparently fireworks.
And the winner is … Lafarge! Its friendly holiday-season food-drive rivalry with cross-Duwamish counterpart Ash Grove has concluded for the year, and Lafarge emerged victorious for the third consecutive year – which is why plant manager Jonathan Hall is hoisting a trophy above. (The full-size trophy is out getting engraved, so a replica rustled up by Lafarge’s Lashanna Williams stood in at a Thursday morning presentation. The food goes to Northwest Harvest, which assists many local food banks,and the total raised was:
*45 pounds of clothing
*400 pounds of gift cards
*260 pounds of cash
*1042 pounds of food
Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for photos from Thursday night’s Denny/Sealth winter jazz concert at Chief Sealth International High School – above, the Denny jazz band; below, Sealth’s Jazz Band II (JB I performed as well). He writes:
The jazz musicians of Denny and Sealth did a fantastic job performing at our Winter Jazz Concert. Under the skilled direction of Mr. Marcus Pimpleton and Mr. Jorge Morales, our scholars shared their musical skills and talents to the delight of all in attendance!
Other Sealth and Denny ensembles have winter concerts coming up next month.