West Seattle, Washington
In case you missed the Seattle Parks announcement on Friday – tree removal is under way along Jacobsen Road (uphill from Beach Drive); Parks says more than 20 alder trees that are in bad shape are being taken down by contractor Asplundh. En route to check on that work, we happened onto another area where trees were being planted:
That was the scene along SW Graham in Seaview this afternoon – not far from the neighborhood project mentioned here back in October; we’re checking to see if it’s related.
Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon. The first one may not be connected to a crime, but police were called – as they ask residents to do when something suspicious is happening NOW – reports Jason, who wanted to get the word out fast:
My partner was just out walking our dogs and was followed about 30 feet back by a Pacific Islander male, in his mid-30’s, around 5’7″, bald, black hoodie, baggy jeans, scruffy facial hair. He followed him around the block and would stop around corners and trees just to follow again as soon as my partner started walking. This was in the area of Henderson and 20th. He was last seen walking along Henderson. Police are sending a car out to look around.
Ahead – another close call, and a case of package theft:Read More
Since it’ll take a few years for the BEX IV levy projects to kick in – providing voters approve the measure next February – Seattle Public Schools is working on a “what to do about school crowding BEFORE then” plan. They’ve just announced a community meeting on the topic for one week from tomorrow, December 11th at district HQ in SODO:
Enrollment is growing at Seattle Public Schools, with almost 50,000 students this year. Projections show continued year-to-year increases in enrollment for the next five years, with an enrollment of more than 57,000 students by the 2021-22 school year, if current trends continue.
While the School Board approved a list of projects that would be funded if the Building Excellence (BEX IV) levy is approved by voters in February, tax payments will not start before 2014.
In the meantime, the District is developing a Short Term Capacity Management Plan, which will outline recommended changes to schools to ensure the District has enough seats to meet enrollment next fall. This plan will likely include some minor renovations and could add portable classrooms for next year.
The District invites the public to learn about the latest recommendations at a community meeting from 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions. District leadership continues to meet with school communities in each region.
In addition, the Seattle School Board will hold a Work Session Wednesday, Dec. 5 to study both the Short Term Capacity Management Plan and the New Student Assignment Plan (NSAP) Transition Plan for the 2013-14 school year.
Both issues are scheduled to be introduced at the Jan. 9, 2013 School Board meeting, with board action on both short-term capacity management and NSAP Transition Plan scheduled for the Jan. 23, 2013 board meeting.
The district has two webpages you can check for more information on these topics: BEX IV here, Capacity Management here.
With final election results certified last week, analysts are digging deep into the official numbers. Our partners at The Seattle Times have drawn up maps showing how the vote went on three key ballot measures – marriage equality, marijuana, and charter schools. With permission, we’ve excerpted the West Seattle views – for marriage Referendum 74 (approved with a 7-point margin statewide), above, and marijuana Initiative 502 (approved with an 11-point margin statewide), below, dark green meant 60 percent or more voted to approve, light green meant 50 to 60 percent, and as you can see, both measures were very popular in West Seattle. (Click any image to get the full zoomable regional view as a PDF.)
For charter-schools Initiative 1240, below this paragraph, which passed by one percentage point statewide, West Seattle was mostly against it – dark red meant 60 percent or more voting no, pink is a 50-60 no vote, and the shades of green are the same “yes” percentages as the above two measures:
The Times also did a map for the governor’s race – click here to see it (PDF). And they have four separate updates analyzing the regional vote in these issues/races, on their Politics Northwest page. And if you want to check out the numbers in as-granular-as-it-gets form, the local precinct breakouts are available via the King County Elections website.
(Added: Photo by Mike Scharer)
FIRST REPORT, 10:31 AM: According to a post on the Orca Network‘s Facebook wall, orcas were off Maury Island as of less than an hour ago, headed northbound – which means, headed this way. Let us know if you see them; we’ll be on the lookout too.
(Added: This photo and next one by Gary Jones, as orcas passed Alki Point)
11:49 AM UPDATE: Shirley just posted a comment from The Arroyos saying they’re visible but very close to the Vashon side. So – if you have good binoculars (or find Donna from The Whale Trail – she has extras) – you may be able to see them from Lincoln Park, Beach Drive, etc. soon.
1:23 PM UPDATE: Donna called a few minutes ago to say there were two groups, one off north Vashon, one passing Blake Island. Commenters are seeing them too, including Gary Jones seeing some near Alki Point. For our part, we just came back from a shore check from the point to Jacobsen Road, and apparently just missed them.
(Christmas Ship setting sail one night in 2009, by Michelle Edwards)
A big highlight of the holiday season is just days away: The Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival (WSB sponsor) drops anchor off West Seattle shores this Friday and (twice) Saturday. Its first stop is 9:15 pm Friday at Don Armeni Boat Ramp; then on Saturday, 4:35 pm at Lowman Beach Park, and 5:25 pm at Alki Beach (Bathhouse vicinity). Every stop is festive, but the Alki visit will include a major celebration onshore, starting more than an hour before the Christmas Ship and its fleet arrive. The Alki Advisory Council, the citywide ARC, and Seattle Parks are sponsoring a 4-6:30 pm celebration with choirs, caroling, hot drinks, and pastries at the Alki Bathhouse. Besides the singers onboard the Christmas Ship itself – scheduled to be the Dickens Carolers for all three West Seattle stops Friday/Saturday – you will also see and hear the Endolyne Children’s Choir (featured in our video coverage of this past Saturday night’s Junction Tree Lighting), the Seattle Lutheran High School Band, the Seattle Women’s Chorus, and the Hope Lutheran Church Band. Everybody welcome!
SIDE NOTE: If you want to see – and/or ride aboard – the Christmas Ship the rest of the season, the schedule has a multitude of options; see it here.
(Photo added 9:28 am: Admiral District decorations are up!)
Welcome to the first work/school week of December. Fairly quiet on the calendar for today/tonight, as we all recover from the first major weekend of holiday events, but here are a few highlights:
MONDAY ARTISTS: Watercolorists welcome – from beginners to experts – to this group that meets weekly, 9:30-noon, at Island View Apartments (across from West Seattle High School). Details in the calendar listing.
WEST SEATTLE COOKING CLUB: Today’s ingredient – bring a dish made with it – is broccoli. 3 pm at Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW); club info here.
TALK TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE ON THE SCHOOL BOARD: West Seattle/South Park school-board director Marty McLaren‘s next community-conversation meeting is tonight, 6 pm, at High Point Neighborhood Center (6400 Sylvan Way).
WEST SEATTLE HI-YU HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: Big weekend for the Junior Court and Hi-Yu volunteers, at the West Seattle Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, Junction Tree Lighting, and Hometown Holidays Sunday – and tonight all are welcome to the Hi-Yu Holiday Open House meeting, 6:30 pm at St. John the Baptist Church Hall (California/Hanford), with float designs on the agenda.
COMMUNITY MEETING FOR FAUNTLEROY-VASHON-SOUTHWORTH FERRY ROUTE: It’s on the other side of the Sound, but if you have concerns/issues/questions, it’s the place to be, 6 pm in Port Orchard. Topics include King County’s Barton Pump Station expansion project and its effects on the neighboring ferry dock. Details, map, agenda, here.
(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:52 AM: Watch out for standing water! That’s the big commute advice this morning. And a reminder for those who travel to/through the Fauntleroy ferry-dock area – today is the scheduled start of at least two weeks with the north tollbooth and lane closed, as announced last week.
7:02 AM UPDATE: If you get on northbound 509/99 from just east of West Seattle, WSDOT reports a crash is partly blocking the ramp from Cloverdale.
7:26 AM UPDATE: That problem is easing. This next one may not affect you since it’s south of the West Seattle Bridge, but it’s a picture you have to see to believe …
Can’t make this up…shopping cart blocking the right lane of SB I-5 before the W. Sea. Freeway. twitpic.com/birixe
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) December 3, 2012
8:07 AM NOTE: Reminder that Jacobsen Road is expected to have tree-cutting crews at work starting today, per this announcement from Seattle Parks last week.
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
That’s Vera the red-nosed person, fresh from the facepainting corner in the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Headquarters tent at California/Alaska today during the first of three special Sundays in The Junction. Though sunbreaks and rain waves traded places for much of the early afternoon, the Timberland WagonEars mule-drawn carriage did brisk (free) business, with people waiting patiently even when it got showery:
The carriage jingled through The Junction for four hours:
Here’s the driver’s-eye view:
The carriage rides skip next Sunday, but will be back in two weeks (on Sunday, December 16th). Someone you will find again next Sunday – Santa Claus!
6-year-old Harrison French came to City Mouse Studio (4218 SW Alaska) to show Santa his drawing of reindeer and Mr. Claus, as well as his Christmas wish:
(Click image for larger view)
And yes, inevitably there was the occasional little one who didn’t quite get the Santa concept:
That’s 22-month-old Elliott Secan. (P.S. While it was DIY photo time with Santa today, pro photographer Donna Ryan will be on hand the next two Sundays. Santa-photo proceeds benefit WestSide Baby!) Back outside and kitty-corner at Hometown Holidays Headquarters, hot cocoa awaited 9-year-old Amelia and 8-year-old Bailey Hermann
If you didn’t make it out today – or even if you did – don’t miss Hometown Holidays Sunday number 2 next weekend, 11 am to 3 pm in The Junction – and before then, you’re warmly welcomed at multiple Junction stores during Shop Late Thursday.
By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
As always, the WSBeat summaries are from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers, incidents that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?”:
*A week ago Saturday, on 17th SW, a man described as someone known in the neighborhood for a dislike of dogs walked by a home where a dog was behind a fence. He stopped, pointed something at the dog, and started to walk away. The owner, thinking the man had taken the dog’s picture, wondered why. He caught up to the man, who complained that the dog was “always barking” and that he hadn’t used a camera but a device that emits sound waves that bother canines. He returned 15 minutes later, stood across the street from the home, glared at the dog’s owners and spent time studying their backyard. Concerned, the couple called 911. Officers visited the suspect, who lives around the corner. When he answered the door, officers noticed his lapel pin in the symbol of Hitler’s Schutzstaffel (“SS”). Their report states that the man was “immediately confrontational,” claiming the dog had jumped at him and that he would kill it. It was noted that he has a concealed-weapons permit. Officers suggested that since he hates dogs, he might want to avoid that block and that he should be careful about using devices that might injure an animal. The man’s response? “I’ll do as I please and go where I want to.”
*New scam: Someone calls, claims you bounced a check, and says you’ll be responsible for huge fines — and face arrest — unless you send a money order or provide the caller with your debit-card information. Do not do so. Just hang up.
Twelve more summaries ahead:
Among the fairly long list of bazaars and arts/crafts sales during the holiday season, the St. Nicholas Faire at First Lutheran Church of West Seattle (4105 California SW) tends to stand alone … as an evening event. It’s not just a sale; it’s also a silent auction (with a variety of hand-assembled, uniquely themed gift baskets) …
… also there’s wine, a bake sale, and more. And it’s happening till 7 pm. Fundraiser for West Seattle Food Bank and West Seattle Helpline – FLC’s Pastor Ron Marshall has served on both organization’s boards:
$5 admission with a canned-food donation, $10 without (family admission capped at $15/$25).
4:56 PM: Fire crews are arriving in the 8400 block of 41st SW to check out a possible house fire.
5:02 PM UPDATE: No flames. Some smoke in the house. Firefighters aren’t even putting water on it. Most of the units originally dispatched have been canceled.
Last Sunday, it was the Delridge/Andover “bike box” … this Sunday, more West Seattle road work, this time for lane reconfiguration in the 3200 block of Avalon Way (map). Thanks to Avery for the tip, and the photo; when we went through the area earlier this afternoon, crews were removing the yellow lines that currently bracket the center lane. To the northeast, the Avalon/Genesee signal is in the works; bike lanes on Avalon between the bridge and 36th are on the SDOT “current project” list from the recent Delridge Greenway open house. We’re checking with SDOT tomorrow to find out about the full scope of exactly what crews were up to today, and doing next.
Stephanie Jensen (with daughters) and her BinKKs designs are among the array of vendors/creations you’ll find till about 3 pm today at the C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) craft fair – if you haven’t been already! Busy when we stopped in. Another family-run table: Machel and India (pictured) Spence:
C & P is at 5612 California SW. To find out about other arts/crafts fairs and bazaars coming up this holiday season – check out our guide to everything holidayish in West Seattle, here.
Thanks to the texter (206-293-6302 around the clock) who sent two early looks at the first West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Sunday, under way now till 3 – above, the first mule-drawn carriage ride (free) from the southwest corner of California/Alaska; next, looking at the northeast corner, a Santa sighting!
Photos at City Mouse (east of Cupcake Royale, in the photo), also till 3 pm – today it’s bring your own camera; next two Sundays will include a professional photographer. And while you’re shopping Junction stores throughout the season, don’t miss your chance to enter the holiday raffle.
Thanks to early-rising WSB’ers for sharing photos of this morning’s short-lived sunbreak – which revealed the moon and the mountains, and high tide. Top photo is from JayDee in Upper Alki; next, from Leslie, on Beach Drive:
The water was so high over at Don Armeni, Carolyn Newman reports, launching a boat required extra wading:
And from Don Brubeck, a closer look at the snow-frosted Olympic Mountains in the early-morning light:
Thanks to everyone who shared photos – the sun’s long gone, at least for now!
(Saturday’s sunrise from Harbor Avenue SW, by Carolyn Newman)
Good morning! Today brings the season’s first West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB) Sunday – the day after the gala tree lighting (WSB coverage here, with more photos/video added overnight) – atop the list of highlights for today/tonight, from our West Seattle Holidays Guide and regular West Seattle Event Calendar:
ARTS & CRAFTS @ C & P: C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor)’s annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair is today, 9 am-3 pm, 5612 California SW. More info here. Among the exhibitors: Machel Spence, known best for her nature microphotos – but she also makes and sells shell boxes (see them on her postcard).
ARTS AND CRAFTS @ ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST: St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church Holiday Arts & Crafts Co-op Sale, 9 am-1 pm, 3050 California SW. Proceeds go to outreach; also bring a food-drive donation if you can. Details in our calendar listing.
SEATTLE SAMPLING TOUR: Visit local artists’ studios 10 am-5 pm – details in the calendar listing.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm as always, 44th/Alaska in The Junction.
PATHFINDER K-8’S FAMOUS HANDMADE WREATHS: On sale 9:30 am-2 pm today at the Farmers’ Market.
HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS SUNDAY IN THE JUNCTION – FEATURING SANTA PHOTOS & CARRIAGE RIDES: 11 am-3 pm, Santa will listen to children’s Christmas requests at City Mouse Studio and Store (4218 SW Alaska) – but today, you’re the photographer, so bring your camera. The Junction Association will donate 100% of your donation to West Seattle charities. Also 11 am-3 pm, mule-drawn carriage rides in The Junction, 11 am-3 pm, free, leaving from the KeyBank corner at California/Alaska, which is where you will find the Hometown Holidays Headquarters with fun for kids, plus information on shopping, the Holiday Raffle, and neighborhood events. The official Hometown Holidays page has more info on all of the above.
STOTTLE WINERY TASTING ROOM OPEN: New WSB sponsor Stottle Winery has a tasting room at 3400 Harbor Avenue SW, open noon-6 pm today.
CHRISTMAS TEA AT LA ROMANZA BISTRO: Special weekend teas during the holiday season at La Romanza (WSB sponsor) in The Junction. Info and reservations, here.
HOLIDAYS AT THE HOSPITAL: Not in West Seattle, but organized by Swedish Medical Center workers including two West Seattleites who asked us to share their invitation with you to come to today’s holiday celebration at the hospital. 1-4 pm, more details here.
2ND ANNUAL WEST SEATTLE DREAM-HOME TOUR: Collection of open houses, 1-4 pm – addresses on this flyer.
HANDS-ON HERBALISM: Seminar at Village Green Perennial Nursery (10223 26th SW) 2-4 pm, details here.
ALL-AGES LIVE-MUSIC MATINEE: Skylark Café and Club (3803 Delridge Way SW), 3 pm, details here.
HANUKKAH CONCERT: 4 pm today, Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation and Kol HaNeshamah co-sponsor a celebration of the upcoming festival (it starts next Saturday night) starring the Seattle Jewish Chorale. Details in our preview from last night.
ST. NICHOLAS FAIRE: Annual holiday event at First Lutheran Church of West Seattle (4105 California SW), 4 pm-7 pm, to raise money for West Seattle Helpline and West Seattle Food Bank:
We will have appetizers, a bake sale of homemade holiday sweets and treats, a wine toss game where you can win bottles of wine or sparkling cider, wine tasting with Maryhill Winery, where you can purchase bottles of wine for yourself or even holiday gifts, and a silent auction of many types of gift baskets, including Italian, children’s art and activities, games, puzzles, gift certificates to restaurants, baking baskets, etc, etc, etc!
Admission $5/person with canned food item or $15 per family with food donation for each member; if no food donation, $10 person/$25 family.
ONGOING TREE SALES, GIVING OPPORTUNITIES, AND MORE … in the Holiday Guide!
Police are searching right now for three people reported to have been involved in an armed robbery at the Admiral Way 7-11, at least one armed with a handgun. A K-9 team was joining the search. No other details so far.
The first of the 8 nights of Hanukkah is next Saturday – but the first of several public Hanukkah events in West Seattle is a lot sooner … hours away. At 4 pm Sunday (December 2nd), the Seattle Jewish Chorale will be at the 7141 California SW home of the Westside Unitarian Universalists (co-sponsoring along with Kol HaNeshamah) with “an interactive, family-friendly concert featuring both familiar and unusual holiday songs in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, and Ladino, with styles ranging from folk to jazz to ‘Jewish gospel’.”Hanukkah treats will be on sale at the reception afterward. Reception to follow, with Hanukkah goodies for sale. Tickets will be available at the door – prices and other details are on the concert’s Facebook event page. P.S. Other West Seattle Hanukkah events are in the WSB Holiday Guide – please let us know if we’re missing any!
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB, added late Saturday night)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:50 PM: The holiday songs are pouring from the speaker, the crowd is starting to gather, and the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Christmas Tree Lighting is coming up at the top of the hour. If you’re not already here, get down to Junction Plaza Park at 42nd and Alaska – the actual lighting is expected around 5:40 or so, but it can always run ahead of schedule, so the sooner you’re here, the better. Here’s the lineup as announced earlier in the week by the Junction Association.
5:49 PM: The tree is lit! as of a few minutes ago. (Added video – two kids from the crowd joined the Hi-Yu Junior Court to officially push the button.) The Junction Association estimated the crowd at about 500 – and the rain held off!
LATE SATURDAY NIGHT: Adding photos by WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams and video by WSB editor Tracy Record. The Junction Association’s welcome was delivered by Doug Baldwin:
Here’s video, as Doug introduced longtime emcee Marty Riemer:
From ArtsWest in The Junction, stars of the holiday-season production “The Winter Wonderettes” wowed the crowd with brassy renditions of Christmas classics:
Video, including their introduction by AW leader Line Sandsmark:
More entertaining holiday songs were presented by West Seattle’s own Endolyne Children’s Choir:
Here’s video of their performance, including a few words by director Amy Stagno Bokanev:
Check out their concert schedule online. In addition to holiday music, the spirit of the season was discussed briefly by West Seattle Christian Church Pastor Dan Jacobs and by WestSide Baby executive director Nancy Woodland, who were followed in this clip by a few more words from emcee Marty:
Meantime, the crowd enjoyed refreshments:
Hi-Yu Junior Court royalty including Queen Madison Stanley-Jones assisted with program distribution as well as (as seen in our video above) the lighting:
But the star remained .. the tree.
See you at the first Hometown Holidays Sunday tomorrow … with DIY Santa photos at City Mouse (4218 SW Alaska) and mule-drawn-carriage rides, both 11 am-3 pm.
ORIGINAL SATURDAY AFTERNOON REPORT: We’ve heard from multiple sources that Morgan Junction-based Alki Tours has given quite a gift today … Their “Snow Train” trip to Leavenworth was canceled by a slide – as noted on Facebook – leaving them with boxed meals for passengers they wouldn’t be serving. So, they filled cars with the food and took it to feed homeless people, including the campers at Nickelsville.
ADDED SUNDAY: A photo montage is now atop this story; thanks to Jayme for replying to our request, made in the comment section, which is also where you’ll find more on how it unfolded, including this note from “Bsmomma”:
I was one of the saddened workers that got the call at 5:10am that the train was cancelled. :( Working on the train is the source for Christmas money for a lot of people. BUT instead of bumming out all day about it, we jumped on the phones to inform passengers (who were all awesome about it btw!) And then hung around for the food to be ready to go. My sister and I chatted with so many grateful people around Seattle. A huge Thank You to Alki Tours for making that possible. And another big Thanks to the people at Gretchen’s for getting it all ready for us! I am a true believer in Everything happens for a reason. Happy Holidays Everyone!!!
P.S. If you’re looking for non-surprise holiday giving opportunities, we’re continuing to add to the list in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
Thanks to Alice Kuder for sharing the photo from the first of this season’s “Santa Paws” events – happening till 3 pm at Prudential NW, Suite 600 at Jefferson Square (4700 42nd SW). From the invite in the WSB West Seattle Holidays Guide: “Bring your dog, cat, friend, or family for a complimentary photo with Santa! Or, just drop by to say hello, and enjoy some coffee and holiday treats.” You don’t have to bring a donation for the West Seattle Food Bank and/or Toys for Tots (which takes new, unwrapped toys), but they’re welcome!
Evi Feltus from Swedish Medical Center says she and another West Seattleite working on this event would love to see community members there, since the hospital serves kids from all over the area: “Holidays at the Hospital” is happening tomorrow (Sunday), 1-4 pm, fun and free. Here’s the online invite:
We hope you can join us for a winter wonderland celebration for Swedish Pediatric patients, families, & friends!
This is a fun, festive holiday celebration for the community that will feature:
Photos with Santa, Carolers, Teddy Bear Clinic, Cookie decorating, Face painting, Holiday activities and crafts tables Plus, we’ll have a super special guest from the Seattle Sounders, Roger Levesque!
We’ll also be collecting toys for children up to age 18 as well as donations for art supplies and games. Donated items will be given to children at the hospital receiving care and treatment.
This is at Swedish on First Hill downtown, 1101 Madison.
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