day : 19/05/2013 7 results

Why red rings might be coming to fire hydrants near you

More utility news tonight: Seattle Public Utilities plans to start work tomorrow to ensure that the city’s remaining low-flow fire hydrants are clearly identifiable. It’s an issue that came glaringly to light during the August 2011 fire that destroyed a home in Arbor Heights while firefighters struggled to get an appropriate water flow. That area has seen hydrant and water-line upgrades since then, and the city reported later that year that it was working on how to clearly mark the low-flow hydrants that remain in service within city limits, about half of them in West Seattle. Here’s the SPU announcement:

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) crews will install a red reflective ring on low-flow fire hydrants in your neighborhood. Low-flow hydrants are defined as those that deliver less than 500 gallons of water per minute.

The red ring provides a distinct and very visible way for Seattle Fire Department personnel to quickly and easily identify low-flow hydrants in cases of emergency.

Low-flow hydrants are fully operational, but output less water per minute than other hydrants.

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West Seattle power outage update: Tree branch blamed for outage that peaked at more than 3,100 homes, businesses

(Photo added 7:02 pm, California/Admiral stoplight out, among others)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 6:21 PM: Getting word of outages in Admiral, North Delridge. Anywhere else?

6:28 PM UPDATE: The outage is up on City Light’s site – more than 3,100 homes and businesses, some Alki, Admiral, stretching southeast to North Delridge and High Point. (The image above is a screengrab.) Their site says they’re still investigating the cause; we’re checking with media relations. The outage zone includes some businesses in the Admiral District, including restaurants.

6:38 PM: We had been in the Admiral District literally minutes before this outage hit, and are now heading back that way to check on what’s affected. Please note that stoplights are out on Avalon and reportedly in the Admiral area too – if a stoplight is not working, treat it as a four-way stop. Still seeking information on what caused this.

6:50 PM: Just talked with Mark Van Oss from media relations at City Light. He says they have crews out trying to find out what caused the outage, but haven’t figured it out yet. Meantime, we continue to get reports of businesses out in Admiral – Doug says Safeway is on generator power but not letting more customers in, for example. P.S. If you’re reading this by smartphone, here’s the link to the mobile-friendly version of City Light’s outage map.

7:12 PM: Admiral Theater‘s affected as well as other businesses in the area (Metropolitan Market included as well as previously mentioned grocery store). GM Dinah Brein tells WSB they had to cancel 6:30 pm screenings. (Update: They did get power back in time for the next screenings.) Via Twitter, Circa says it’s closing early because of the outage.

7:28 PM: Multiple commenters reporting their power’s back on. (update) But as other commenters report – not everyone.

7:53 PM: A few more areas – more in Admiral, and at least one commenter on Harbor – are reporting power back. STILL no word on the cause, though.

8:02 PM: Just talked again with Mark Van Oss from SCL – they found the cause; a tree branch on a wire. (He didn’t have information on exactly where, though.) It’s been removed and he says they’re bringing everybody back online slowly – could take another 3/4 hour or so to finish that process.

8:33 PM: The SCL map indicates everybody should have their power back. (If you don’t, let them know – and let us know.) Thanks again to everyone who texted, commented, called, tweeted, e-mailed, and otherwise joined in sharing information these past two hours-plus.

8:52 PM: Followup call from SCL – the errant tree branch was on Ferry Avenue.

Video: Parade, festival launch West Seattle Bee Garden

The West Seattle Bee Garden is officially launched! As you’ll see in our video, Seattle Police motorcycle officers, the Sounders’ Sound Wave musicians, City Council President Sally Clark were part of the parade bringing the bees to the garden from West Seattle Elementary at midday today – along with lots of kids, from Roxhill Elementary as well as WSES:

(Photos by WSB’s Katie Meyer)
It was all part of a festival celebrating the start of the garden at High Point Commons Park, with a demonstration-beehive enclosure, a pollination garden, and more.

As with all of today’s big events, we have more photos of this one to add here later when this busy day calms down – check back!

ADDED 8:38 PM: As promised, more photos – starting with this one:

Viewing ensued after the beehives arrived in the back of the pickup truck seen at the end of our parade video, above. And then – on to their new home!

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Video: Breezy ‘Summer Streets’ on Alki, 2013 edition

11:39 AM: Till 5 pm, Alki Avenue SW is off-limits to motorized vehicles – open curb to curb for walking and bicycling and skateboarding and more – between 56th SW and 63rd SW, for the annual “Summer Streets” celebration. As is usually the case, the weather in the early going isn’t terribly summery, but we have hopes of sunshine a bit later; bring a sweater for starters. Come say hi – we’re boothing this year, across from the alley between 61st and 62nd, in a row of booths with the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs, West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network, and West Seattle Democratic Women. The big costumed bike parade is coming up at 1 pm – that’s a don’t-miss. Full activity map/schedule is here.

12:56 PM: The bike parade starts soon – and we’ve seen so many bikers (some in costume as invited!) go by our booth en route to the starting line, it’s going to be a sight to see! (added) And it was – here’s the start of the pack:

Celebrity parade starter: Tracy Dart, leader/namesake of the famous cancer-fighting-fundraising Team Tracy:

Dozens of bicycles later:

(Added – video!)

(back to original report) We hear Mayor McGinn joined in the ride – will add a photo if we find him in any of ours. Back at 63rd SW, starting line of the parade, DIY Bikes is helping riders with tune-ups, repairs, and general advice – go check ’em out.

1:37 PM: We finally caught up with the mayor to confirm that was him. Shortly thereafter, Eric stopped by our booth to share his photo of the mayor meeting his son Ike:

(The mayor stopped by our booth later and explained that he enjoys showing kids the correct way to shake hands. If anybody’s going to be well-schooled in that, it’s a politician! Ike’s dad also verifies that the mayor offered a lesson. Ike, by the way, is a 10-year-old Holy Rosary student.)

Meantime – either we’re getting used to it, or it’s starting to warm up. Everything continues till 5, so lots of time for you to come check it out. Zumbathon coming up at 2!

2:18 PM: Local singer Sarey Savy (video above) was onstage before the Zumbathon, which is being led by local instructor Jennifer Cepeda. Even the youngest participants were having fun:

3:17 PM: The sun is finally out! As one more photo from the Zumbathon verifies:

Just now adding some photos from the past hour or so. Here’s the legendary Bubbleman:

If you haven’t come to Alki yet today, this is the time … at the very least, come have fun walking in the middle of the street. Or, of course, riding – and on the side of the road, learn about safety with folks from groups including West Seattle Bike Connections:

4:41 PM: And so quickly – the clouds have moved back in, and Summer Streets is wrapping up. More photos/video to be added once we’re back at HQ.

West Seattle 5K 2013: Fifth year for fun(draising) walk/run

(Photo by Debra Salazar Herbst)
Some of the runners and walkers in the fifth annual West Seattle 5K on Alki are still making their way to the finish line.

(Photo by Tracy Brigham – those are her boys in the PJs, the high-five cheering section!)
We have the official list of the top three finishers for both genders and their chip times:


#858 – Kelley McKean, 35, 19:23
#617 – Adrienne Salzwedel, 29, 19:32
#937 – Roxanne Wegman, 25, 19:36


#237 – Josh Fountain, 25, 16:44
#295 – Keefe Hanson, 20, 16:53
#900 – Wyatt Golding, 28, 17:00

America’s best grocery bagger, Andrew Borracchini of Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), was the celebrity starter – he posed for us pre-race with a celebrity WSHS alum, County Executive Dow Constantine:

ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: More scenes from the 5K – starting with WSHS principal Ruth Medsker on the run!

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West Seattle Sunday: WS5K; Summer Streets, with bike parade; Bee Garden parade/festival; more

Click that map for a larger version, showing the plan along Alki for this morning’s West Seattle 5K, followed by the Summer Streets festival. That’s where we begin today’s highlights, which include TWO parades!

WEST SEATTLE 5K: If you’re not registered, you can still get down to the Alki Bathhouse starting NOW and join more than 1,000 people walking and running to raise money for the West Seattle High School PTSA – it’s the fifth annual edition (WSB is proud to have co-sponsored it every year). The race starts shortly after 9 am.

‘SEATTLE SUMMER STREETS’ ON ALKI: After the race, Alki Avenue SW remains closed between 56th and 63rd SW for the annual SDOT-presented festival originally known, and still unofficially known, as “car-free day.” The activity list/schedule is here, with more entertainment and activities than ever, highlighted by the Alki Beach Creeps-presented Costumed Bike Parade at 1 pm (meet at 12:45 pm near 63rd/Alki). We’ll be reporting live from the “orange zone” between 62nd and 63rd, kicking off another season of on-site festival coverage; hope to see you there.

WEST SEATTLE BEE FESTIVAL AND PARADE: Today’s the day to celebrate the new West Seattle Bee Garden at High Point Commons Park (Lanham/Graham) – with a festival starting at 11 am, and a parade at 11:30 from West Seattle Elementary to bring in the bees; as noted in our preview last night, you are welcome to be part of the parade – costumes encouraged at this one too!

FRIENDS OF LINCOLN PARK WORK PARTY: It’s your next chance to give some TLC to Lincoln Park – starting at 9 am; details in our calendar listing.

FURRY FACES FOUNDATION PLANT SALE: It’s day 2 for the 14th annual round of plant sales benefiting the animal-advocacy group Furry Faces Foundation, 10 am-4 pm at 3809 46th SW. Details in our calendar listing.

PIE AND COFFEE OPEN HOUSE: Stop by The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor) 1-3 pm today for pie, coffee, and an open house – details here.

CISCOE VISITS: 1 pm today, gardening personality Ciscoe Morris returns to Village Green Perennial Nursery (10223 26th SW) – details on the Facebook event page.

CENTER FOR MOVEMENT AND HEALING OPEN HOUSE: 4-6:30 pm, healing/helping professionals are invited to the center, at 7901 35th SW, for a special open house – explained in the calendar listing.

BINGO BENEFIT: Bailey-Boushay House is the beneficiary of tonight’s Drag Bingo event at Feedback Lounge (6451 California SW; WSB sponsor), starting at 5 pm – details on the FL website.

Find yet more on the calendar!

Traffic alerts today: West Seattle 5K, Summer Streets, Highway 99

Quick road reminders before we get to the day’s full list of highlights:

(Photo added – taken about 8:50 am on Alki Avenue)
-Parking restrictions along Alki/Harbor start at 8 am, to get ready for the West Seattle 5K, with the route closing approximately 9-11 am. Here’s a detailed map covering this (and the next part of the alert).

-11 am-5 pm, Alki Avenue is closed to motor vehicles between 56th and 63rd for Summer Streets, the “car-free day” festival. Here’s the reroute info for the Route 775 water-taxi shuttle.

-North of downtown, the Highway 99 closure between the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street continues until early Monday.

(“Live” image from WSDOT camera looking southward over 99 – approach to NB Western ramp is at left)
If you are heading northbound from here, you will have to leave 99 at Western Avenue.

10:34 AM UPDATE: Highway 99 might fully reopen as soon as 1 pm, SDOT says. We’ll update here whenever official word arrives.