month : 09/2013 320 results

West Seattle weather: Double rainbow after trio of stormy days

Thanks to Max (top left), Heather (top right), Pete (lower left), Maria (lower right) for this evening’s rainbow photos – click any/all to see a larger version!

Commercial site? Park? Housing? What’s best for ex-substation in Highland Park?

One of the former substation sites that Seattle City Light might sell is right in the heart of a Highland Park crossroads.

With this Wednesday’s formal public hearing on the ex-substations’ fate approaching, what’s called the Dumar site – on the southwest corner of SW Holden and 16th SW – got a spotlight at this month’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting.

After City Light rep David Barber‘s presentation about the process that’s under way, community discussion revealed some sentiment that it might be optimal for that site to become commercial/retail property, like two of the three other corners at 16th/Holden (NW corner is 7-11, SE corner is Seamart and Wanna Teriyaki/Burger, and the NE corner holds Fire Station 11, which SCL says is using part of the ex-substation for parking).

One attendee voiced surprise that a park/open space wouldn’t be considered the highest and best use of the site, but HPAC co-chair Carolyn Stauffer said some community members with whom she had spoken suggested that HP has a relative abundance of park space already, but not of open space. Most other commercial properties in HP are scattered in one-off sites, until you reach the South Delridge business area.

The 10,000-square-foot site is officially zoned for potential single-family home (5,000-sf parcel) development.

Wednesday’s public hearing is at 6:30 pm at High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW); you can also comment online – as explained here. City Light says it’s not expecting a final decision on this and the other surplus sites before next year.

Another ship sighting: Thomas G. Thompson off West Seattle

The cruise ships we mentioned earlier weren’t the only sizable vessels off West Seattle today. Thanks to Chaucer Wells Photography for sharing the top photo with first word of the research vessel Thomas G. Thompson off Me-Kwa-Mooks this afternoon. (update) Tweets indicate the 274-foot TGT was on a student research cruise; it’s operated by the University of Washington School of Oceanography and has been involved in headline-making deep-sea-volcano research, among other things. Brian Baum sent a photo too:

Three years ago, we mentioned the TGT’s presence off West Seattle on a deployment for the PRISM project. Thanks for the photos and sightings! ( any time)

All-star lineup for ‘Jocks vs. Docs’ in Admiral tomorrow morning

Just got this announcement, and we’re told everybody’s welcome, so if you’re looking for autographs or just to cheer the competitors on, be at Admiral Safeway 10 am-11 am tomorrow morning:

“Jocks vs. Docs” will kick off one of the state’s largest and most successful fundraisers for breast-cancer research. A team of professional and retired professional athletes will compete alongside some of the region’s best physicians in a grocery bagging contest for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Following the competition, there will be a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Safeway/SCCA mammography van [photo left], which has been equipped with new, leading-edge tomosynthesis equipment. This new equipment was funded by Safeway’s 2012 campaign, and the Safeway / SCCA MammoVan will be open for screenings at Safeway stores in Western Washington throughout October. (ADDED: Including drop-in appointments at this location on Tuesday)


· Kasey Keller, Seattle Sounders FC alumnus and broadcaster
· Warren Moon, Pro Football Hall of Famer and broadcaster
· Golden Tate, the Seattle Seahawks
· Megan Jendrick, two-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer (as Megan Quann) and fitness columnist

The announcement continues ahead:Read More

Traffic reminder: Highway 99 closures coming up next weekend

WSDOT has just sent a reminder of this weekend’s Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99 inspection closures – first noted here a week and a half ago: This time, instead of closing for an entire weekend, the closures will be 5 am-6 pm Saturday (October 5th) and 6 am-6 pm Sunday (October 6th). If you will be traveling north of the Battery Street Tunnel, there IS a weekend-long closure, timed to coincide with the other closures: SDOT says, “All lanes in both directions of SR 99/Aurora Avenue North will be closed between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street from 11 pm Friday to 5 am Monday.”

West Seattle Weather Watch: First sighting of snow

No, not down here. The snow seen from West Seattle today is on the Olympic Mountains, glimpsed briefly this morning from Luna/Anchor Park. In fact, the Olympics are under a Winter Weather Advisory until tomorrow morning.

P.S. Some snow in the Cascades too – and if that has you thinking about skiing, do note that two ski shuttles operated from West Seattle last year; when the season gets closer and we hear updates on this year’s availability, we’ll share the news.

‘Urgent action meeting’ next week to fight teen alcohol/drug use

We first mentioned this planned meeting in coverage of this month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, where community members announced it while asking police for advice. Now, they’ve shared a more detailed announcement and want to reiterate that all community members are welcome to come help talk about the problem and solutions, not just those with direct ties to the schools:

URGENT ACTION MEETING regarding West Seattle youth alcohol and drug abuse

The West Seattle High School PTSA is sponsoring a community meeting with Neighborhood House, Seattle Police Department, Seattle Parks Dept., West Seattle High School, Madison Middle School, along with other community members, to discuss drug and alcohol abuse by youth around West Seattle High School and Madison Middle Schools.

Thursday, October 10th
7:00 pm-8:30 pm
West Seattle High School (meeting in the Library)
3000 California Ave SW

Over the summer 4 young teens were hospitalized after overdosing in our community on cough medicine. Many parents are concerned about the apparent increase in marijuana and alcohol use and sales around Hiawatha Park and the schools.

By working together, we can address these issues and create a safer environment for our kids – but it takes everyone working together.

For questions, or more info please contact: Mike Graham-Squire, Neighborhood House, 206.353.7945,

A few years ago, there had been a community group active in tackling these situations, but it went dormant for a variety of reasons. Again, organizers of this meeting stress that everyone’s welcome to come help plan and take action.

West Seattle development: Demolition starts Wednesday for Equity Residential’s Junction project

New information today about the impending demolition at the Equity Residential development site at California/Alaska/42nd in The Junction: A notice circulated by the contractor, Andersen Construction, says demolition of the eastern building (right side of our photo) will start this Wednesday (October 2nd), and demolition of the western building (ex-Super Supplements, etc.) is set to start one week later, on Wednesday, October 9th. Full text of the notice, shared by a reader (thank you!):

Demolition of the East Building located at 4203 SW Alaska Street will commence on Wednesday 10/02/13. The sidewalks located along 42nd Avenue SW and SW Alaska Street will be closed to pedestrians during this time.

Demolition of the West Building located at 4706 California Avenue SW will commence on Wednesday 10/09/13. The sidewalks located along California Avenue and SW Alaska Street will be closed to pedestrians during this time.

Demolition work will be complete by 10/21/13.

The North end of the Alley will be closed to through traffic as needed during construction activities; however, egress will remain open as traffic will be diverted through the parking lot located south of the East Building.

The project – initiated five and a half years ago by Conner Homes, which sold the site to Equity two years ago – will include two 7-story buildings with ~200 apartments and 20,000+ square feet of retail space over a ~265-space underground parking garage shared by both buildings. Equity had originally planned to start work in summer of last year and ordered the retail tenants out by July 31, 2012, and has not commented on what led to the subsequent delay. (Its west building, by the way, is in the same block where the 4730 California project, owned by The Wolff Company, is in its fourth month of construction, with the crane going up two weeks ago. Equity’s crane is likely to be up in about three months.)

Seen from West Seattle: 2013 cruise-ship season finale

Traveling around Duwamish Head a little while ago, we noticed three cruise ships in port – Celebrity Century at downtown’s Pier 66 above, Holland-America Line’s Oosterdam and Sapphire Princess at Magnolia’s Pier 91 below.

Checking our story from the start of this year’s cruise-ship season, we verified this is the end – last day on the Port of Seattle‘s 2013 cruise-ship schedule.

New date for West Seattle education fair: October 28th

Shopping for a school for next year? The West Seattle elementary/middle-school education fair hosted by Seattle Lutheran High School (and sponsored by WSB), originally set for this week, has a new date: Monday, October 28th, 6:30-8:30 pm at the SLHS gym. The later date reopens registration for schools interested in participating – here’s the signup form. Free for families to attend and find out about local schools – see you at 4100 SW Genesee, four weeks from tonight.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Stormy Monday updates

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
Though the wind wasn’t as strong as feared – the wind warning was downgraded to a wind advisory by midnight – it’s still been blustery overnight, and it’s breezy and soggy out there now, so plan extra time to get where you’re going. Reminder for bus riders: Metro’s service change took effect Saturday, including three routes serving West Seattle.

7:24 AM: The Fauntleroy approach to the bridge is backed up to Fairmount Park because of what @AMinSeattle tweets as a “minor” crash – here’s the “live” cam from just after the turn at Alaska:

From the 911 log – police are responding to a crash at 14th/Cloverdale in Highland Park (not major – SFD’s response is already closed).

7:58 AM: Crash on the county side of Roxbury at 8th – text says that northbound 8th is closed at Roxbury:

King County Sheriff’s Office is directing traffic, says our tipster.

West Seattle weekend scene: Neighborly cider collaboration

(Photos by Holli Margell)
It’s a North Delridge fall tradition – cider-pressing! Blustery weather couldn’t stop this year’s edition, and so the West Seattle Tool Library-loaned cider press was set up under a canopy at the Delridge P-Patch, and friends and neighbors of all ages got busy collaborating, like Lily and Cooper above. Below, Harpo (with mom Amanda Leonard) will likely have to wait a year or two.

If you missed the cider event, another chance to meet North Delridge neighbors is coming up when the neighborhood council meets, 6:30 pm Monday, October 14th, at Delridge Library.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Unicycle, purses among car-prowl loot

No major crime reports during this stormy weekend, but tonight we want to share reader reports in queue since just before the weekend, all related to car break-ins. (We would check the latest trends and include those here, but the Seattle Police system that automatically sends brief incident reports to the online map and to Twitter is NOT updating today – here’s hoping it’ll be fixed tomorrow.)

STOLEN UNICYCLE: Taken from Arbor Heights, near 32nd and 106th, early Thursday morning, from a car parked in a driveway. From our anonymous report:

The dog alerted us to intruders in the driveway even before the car alarm went off, I called 9-1-1, the neighbor saw the 2 people (one person had a mohawk-style haircut) as they were running away with it and was able to give descriptions to the 9-1-1 dispatcher, but *still* the perps got away.

This really stinks in many ways, especially because this type of unicycle isn’t made anymore, it is hubby’s favorite, and he’d just brought it home hours earlier from his last day at his job. If you see it, secure it and call the police, please!!

Further description, since our inset photo from July 2011 is not that close-up – the seat is all black, there’s a “bump out” on the fork, and the 26-inch wheel – much bigger than the usual unicycle – has a “mountain bike”-style treaded tire.

Ahead, four more reader reports – car break-ins at public facilities as well as in residential neighborhoods:

Read More

West Seattle weather updates: Wind warning; road woes

(Added 10:09 pm: Photo by Tom Marx)
(NOTE: We’re keeping these updates “pinned” to the top of the home page while the warning’s in effect – so there’s newer news BELOW this story on the home page – scroll below this story to see it.)

5:21 PM: Six hours after the National Weather Service upped its alert to a High Wind Warning – see it here – it’s officially in effect. The forecast is for wind picking up this evening, “increasing from the south at 20 to 35 mph, with gusts of 50 to 60 mph.” Rain continues too, and our area is under a Flood Watch until noon tomorrow. Updates to come.

6:03 PM: Evening’s first traffic problem – a crash reported on the downhill side of Roxbury/Olson/4th. Uphill side had a mishap earlier (see our photo on Twitter).

7:49 PM: Roxbury seems to be the trouble nexus tonight. Now there’s a report of vehicle/bicycle collision on the county side around 26th/Roxbury. Meantime, check the comment section for weather analyst MetPatrick‘s updates and other discussion on how the storm is turning.

8:37 PM: Traffic note – Kim says via Twitter that there’s a median crash on Admiral Way, a few blocks east of California. No medics dispatched, per 911 log. Meantime, the weather experts are starting to say the winds will NOT be so strong because of where the “low” made landfall – see MetPatrick’s comment below, and see weather analyst Cliff Mass‘s update.

9:29 PM: The National Weather Service’s evening “forecast discussion” is up. NWS also mentions a diminishe(d) threat but says it’s not ready to drop the warnings yet (caps theirs): “BESIDES THE INCREASING PRESSURE GRADIENTS…THERE ARE SOME STRONG WINDS JUST OFF THE SURFACE WHICH COULD MIX DOWN IN THE UNSTABLE AIR BEHIND THE FRONT.”

10:47 PM: First downed-tree report we’ve had since Saturday:

That tree’s down along the sidewalk by the drop-off mailboxes outside the Junction Post Office – note the Hi-Yu mural in the background. Thanks to Jamie Hanley for the photo.

11:25 PM: Via text – a tree branch is down on the road in the Orchard/Dumar/Myrtle vicinity just east of Delridge.

11:56 PM: And a new problem – a crash on Highland Park Way hill, between Holden and West Marginal Way, is closing it off both ways; apparently they need to call City Light in for a pole problem.

2 AM: The wind warning has been downgraded to a wind advisory, in effect until 6 am.

Happening now: Last day at the beach for Alki Arts

Seahawks game is over – the potential windstorm is a few hours away – perfect time to get out and go wish Diane Venti well, on the final day for the original location of Alki Arts, which she and husband Tom Wyrick opened more than three years ago. It was expected to be “temporary” – but then suddenly, there they were, celebrating one year in business, then marking two years in business, and gaining fans not only for the art, but also for events both public and private. But two months ago, Diane announced they’d been notified the “temporary” lease was finally ending, and today is their final day – drop by before 7 pm, and/or catch up with them in the future at their other “temporary” location – Alki Arts at Harbor Steps (55 University St. downtown).

Celebration of life Saturday for lifelong West Seattleite Bob Gramm

Family and friends of Bob Gramm will gather next Saturday at The Kenney to celebrate his life. Here’s the remembrance shared with us by his daughter:

Robert “Bob” Gramm died September 9, 2013, at 95 years old. He was born in Seattle, August 2, 1918, to Paul and Genevieve (Barnecut) Gramm. He was a lifelong resident of West Seattle, graduating from West Seattle High School in 1936.

He worked as an airplane mechanic at Boeing, until joining the Army Air Corps just as World War II was ending. He served in the occupation forces in Japan and the Philippines. He returned to Boeing and became a cost estimator, retiring after 35+ years.

In 1944, he married Barbara Jacobson and they enjoyed skiing, hiking, and traveling. Bob loved salmon fishing and boats, made wine, flew kites, and tinkered inventively.

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Hundreds outrun the rain at Beat the Burn 2013 on Alki

September 29, 2013 12:37 pm
|    Comments Off on Hundreds outrun the rain at Beat the Burn 2013 on Alki
 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

The rain hadn’t yet returned when hundreds hit the walkway/trail at Alki this morning for the 2013 edition of “Beat the Burn” – the run/walk presented by Port of Seattle Firefighters to raise money for burn survivors. This year, the firefighters ran with everybody else, and behind the runners, there was a sizable group of walkers:

The Port’s Engine 2 sounded the siren that got the event started at 9 am:

And after all the other runners and walkers, one firefighter entered the course, geared up:

A separate fun run for kids was scheduled to follow the main event. The specific beneficiary of Beat the Burn is Camp Eyabsut, a free (thanks to fundraising like this) annual summer-camp experience for hundreds of young Northwest burn survivors.

Sunday midday/afternoon coverage: ‘High Wind Warning’ for tonight; other weather/traffic updates

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story included updates and additions into mid-afternoon, including several crashes – scroll through)

We’re tracking weather and traffic again today – and, in a separate update later, will do so tonight too. First:

WIND WARNING FOR TONIGHT: The National Weather Service’s alert just intensified while we were typing this – now it’s a High Wind Warning, in effect 5 pm-4 am. See it here. The strongest winds are expected to be north of us, but overall, the NWS warns, “This has the potential to be one of the strongest September windstorms on record.” The alert says the wind will be “increasing from the south at 20 to 35 mph with gusts of 50 to 60 mph.”

TRAFFIC SO FAR TODAY: The Admiral exit from the westbound bridge was closed a while because of this crash at the bottom of the hill that the exit leads to (technically, the 3400 block of 30th SW):

We drove past it and tweeted about it last hour; no injuries that we know of – no medic dispatch. Also, while we didn’t get an alert at the time, it should be noted there was ANOTHER northbound Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct crash this morning, in the 8 am hour. …

ADDED 11:50 AM: Problem at the east end of the westbound West Seattle Bridge, possible spinout/crash as Columbian Way leads to Spokane Street. Not sure about traffic effects.

ADDED 12:40 PM: Thanks to Devon for the tip – crash at Fauntleroy/Edmunds is blocking at least part of the road; no serious injuries reported.

Thanks to the person who texted that photo!

ADDED 1:58 PM: Two-car crash at 42nd/College in the Admiral District. Big response as it’s a “heavy rescue” call.

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)
2:20 PM UPDATE: Heavy-rescue response canceled. No serious injuries. At least one parked car involved. SW College is closed from 41st to 42nd, which is just north of the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library.

Update: House-fire call on 32nd SW, closed quickly

9:50 AM: Seattle Fire is responding to a possible house fire in the 6500 block of 32nd SW. We are en route.

10:02 AM: Call closed before we arrived, last fire engine pulling away.

10:46 AM SIDE NOTE: To explain “closed” – on the live log of Seattle Fire Department 911 calls, a call that is “open,” still active, shows in green; when a call is closed – meaning no units are assigned to it any more – it turns blue. One other side note: If a call like this gets a big initial dispatch with lots of units, even if they all still show as “green,” it does NOT mean all those units are still on scene – the display does not allow unit-by-unit color change. A medic response might even show “green” without ANY unit remaining on scene, because it doesn’t close until a unit that has taken someone to the hospital is done with that part of the call.

West Seattle Sunday: Beat the Burn 5K; Alki Arts farewell; grains; bikes; Hawks; wine; cider; more

Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BEAT THE BURN 5K: You’ll hear a siren on Alki at 9 am -that’ll mark the start of the Beat the Burn 5K, raising money to help young burn victims. Full schedule of the morning is in our calendar listing; if you haven’t registered already, you can come to the beach (near the bathhouse/Statue of Liberty Plaza) as early as 7:30 am. Shortly after 10 am, there’s a free kids’ dash. This race does NOT close the road, by the way. (60th/Alki)

WATCH THE GAME: Seahawks are on at 10 am and your viewing options include venues that open early – such as Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), open at 9 am with a breakfast special (6451 California SW), and OutWest Bar (California/Brandon), which announced recently it’s opening by 9:30 am on game mornings, and serving brunch. Skylark Café and Club (3803 Delridge Way SW) also has the game on its big screen, and brunch on the menu. Go, Hawks!

WEST SEATTLE CYCLERY SALE: Shopping opportunity today: “West Seattle Cyclery (WSB sponsor) is offering final markdowns on 2013 model bikes! All bikes in stock are 35 to 50 percent off original prices. The sale is limited to remaining bikes on hand, so hurry in for the best selection!” (4508 California SW)

LAST DAY FOR ALKI ARTS AT THE BEACH: The original 2820 Alki SW location of Alki Arts is closing after today (as first reported here last month), so stop by to say goodbye – and buy art! Details in our calendar listing. 11 am-8 pm.

GRETCHEN’S GRAINS: West Seattle foodpreneur Gretchen Evans is demonstrating her frozen cooked Gretchen’s Grains at PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) 11 am-2 pm today. She says they are now carried in more than 230 stores! (California/Stevens)

ROSE TASTING: Stottle Winery invites you to come try a holiday-intended rosé, noon-6 pm, details in the calendar listing. (3400 Harbor SW)

DELRIDGE CIDERPRESSING: It’s a fall tradition and it’s scheduled again today at the Delridge P-Patch – bring your apples and make cider with a hand-crank press from the West Seattle Tool Library. 1-4 pm. (5078 25th SW)

ALL-AGES OPEN MIKE: 3 pm at Skylark Café and Club: “People of all ages can sign up, get on our stage, and show us what they got! Full sound system, lights, our own sound person to dial them in, and a 16-track digital recording of their performance is available for purchase. Fun for the whole family!” (3803 Delridge Way SW)

KIM VIRANT WITH JEFF HASS: Performing live tonight at Feedback Lounge, 8:30 pm, benefiting animal-advocacy nonprofit AARF.

Georgie’s call goes out again: Know a Rosie the Riveter?

The faces and voices of the World War II era are disappearing from among us as time goes by and takes its inevitable course. Those who are still here are making sure the stories and memories aren’t lost – like Georgie Bright Kunkel, the 93-year-old West Seattle writer/performer/activist who not only was a “Rosie the Riveter,” but is also continuing to work to find others. She sent us this message to share with you:

Since the West Seattle Rosie the Riveter group was started by Georgie Bright Kunkel (photo right), there have been many Rosies “discovered” in our area. The blog reported on the first program held at Mt. St. Vincent several years ago. Of the original group, only two are left. There are more Rosies out there who haven’t been discovered yet, so if you read this and were working at a WWII job* please let Georgie know.

The Washington Women in Trades organization has been a mentor to the Rosies and honors them at a banquet every year.

E-mail Georgie at and join the ranks of Rosies. Each one needs to be chronicled so all Rosies will go down in history.

*Or, of course, if your mom, grandma, great-grandma, or a friend/acquaintance was a Rosie – get her in touch with Georgie. Meantime, if you missed the 2009 WSB story to which she alludes above, featuring the stories of West Seattle “Rosies,” check it out here; we have indeed since published obituaries for two of the women featured in that story – here and here.

WestSide Baby goes airborne with cocktail-benefit success

(Photos by Donna Ryan of City Mouse Studio)
How about some heartwarming news on a chilly, damp night? WestSide Baby‘s executive director Nancy Woodland says their Friday night cocktail benefit was a high-flying success:

Last night WestSide Baby raised $75,000 when 300 guests gathered for our “Shake, Rattle, and Fly” 3rd annual cocktail benefit at Emerald City Trapeze Arts in SODO.

(Nancy with emcee Ian Lindsay)
The evening included a trapeze show that started with a surprise amateur trapeze trick by WestSide Baby Board member Phyllis Nomura, before the professional artists took over with amazing aerial feats. West Seattle’s Feedback Lounge held a cocktail battle with West 5 with a St. Basil versus Mai Tai showdown. Local band Not Dead Yet added awesome music for a crowd ready to celebrate after the auction and raise-the-paddle giving generated funds to support WestSide Baby’s effort to expand delivery of essential children’s items throughout greater Seattle. We are so grateful for the generosity of those who attended to support local children in need.

West Seattle Weather/Traffic Watch: Saturday evening updates

5:58 PM: We’re launching an evening update for weather/traffic related problems – starting with another crash on the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct – so once again, avoid northbound 99!

6:05 PM: Added “live” image from traffic cam on northbound 99 – showing gridlock right now. Meantime, from our earlier coverage – the tree across 35th SW at 108th is cleared. Going to check shortly on other blockages reported earlier. Keeping an eye on City Light outage map – so far in West Seattle, only two reported, each listed as one customer (let us know if you know of any NOT on the map). 206-293-6302 text/voice for any weather problems or other breaking news.

6:09 PM: Via scanner, hearing of a tree vs. pole/lines problem on California Way near Hamilton Viewpoint Park.

7:16 PM: Just back from going out to check on a few things. The tree is cleared from California Way, so no problem going up or down the hill between Hamilton Viewpoint and Seacrest. Adding a photo of the big pothole reported earlier on Delridge near Oregon – northbound lane, parallel with Southwest Youth and Family Services. It’s right in the middle of the vehicle lane, not that well lit, with a trash can “marking” it along with a couple cones – you’ll have to use the center lane to get around:

And from the “live” image above, it looks like the 99 problem is clear. Storm’s calmed a bit, for now.

11:52 PM NOTE: The alert for tomorrow hasn’t changed, in case you were wondering – along with the general forecast for rain (increasing again Sunday in the daytime), a “high wind watch” in effect 3 pm Sunday-3 am Monday.