month : 10/2013 358 results

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; weekend Viaduct/99 closures

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
7:14 AM: Happy foggy Friday!

HIGHWAY 99/VIADUCT CLOSURES THIS WEEKEND: Don’t forget that-both directions of Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct will close between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel 5 am-6 pm Saturday and 6 am-6 pm Sunday, for the twice-yearly safety inspection. North of downtown, a weekend-long closure of Highway 99 is planned for utility work – full details here.

‘WE ARE METRO’: Metro Transit is celebrating accessibility and diversity all month, as explained here.

7:54 AM: Though the bridge cam is fogged in, we’ve been out on a quick errand and it’s clear on the ground, at least from The Junction southbound. Meantime, there’s a crash on the eastbound bridge at Delridge, per the 911 log. Both bridge cams are fogged in, but the Fauntleroy-approach cam (which unfortunately has no Admiral counterpart) isn’t:

8:32 PM: New crash that might affect you if you’re heading south via I-5 – it’s just come up on the 911 log at southbound I-5 @ Spokane.

High-school sports: Another shutout win for WSHS soccer

The division-leading West Seattle High School girls-varsity soccer team remains undefeated in league play, after Thursday’s 4-0 win over Rainier Beach High School. Thanks to Karin Beck for the photo and report, including: “Goals were scored by the following players: Aiken Brown, Natalie Fuller, Hannah Gordon-Kirk, and Madison Larson. Shutout keepers were Samantha Hemmert and Olivia Williams.”

Update: Helicopter over Gatewood/Lincoln Park/Fauntleroy

12:19 AM: Several passes over WSB HQ so far, in fact. Don’t yet know why.

12:29 AM: The chopper has finally moved on. Still a mystery!

12:34 AM: And now they’ve tweeted:

11:02 AM UPDATE: Checked with Seattle Police, who say they have NO reports of any attack in the park or anywhere in the area, nor any other incident that would have brought the helicopter. It assists many law-enforcement agencies but is operated by King County Sheriff’s Office, which in turn is now checking to see what the call was about.

West Seattle schools: SYSO’s music mentorship returns

(‘Instrument petting zoo’ from Seattle Super String Saturday presented by SYSO)
Once again this year, students in our area are gaining musical mentorship courtesy of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra – and that’ll include another Super String Saturday event for the community – read on for SYSO’s update on what’s ahead:

This week Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) begins its fifth year of providing professional musicians to coach beginning violin, viola, cello and bass players in the elementary schools in Southwest Seattle – Arbor Heights, Concord International, Highland Park, Roxhill, Sanislo and West Seattle Elementary Schools – as well as at Denny International Middle School, completely free of charge to the schools and the students’ families.

Professional musicians Kim Roy, Begin Scarseth, Daniel Mullikin and Jared Ballance bring their expertise as teachers and performers to the classroom. These talented musician-educators have served as university music faculty and private teachers, as well as having performed with such local and regional orchestras as Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Rock Orchestra, and Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. In Southwest Seattle, they collaborate with Seattle Public School music teachers to enhance violin, viola, cello and string bass instruction.

In the six elementary schools, SYSO coaches co-teach with Elementary Instrumental Music teacher Casey Cheever, who is himself a SYSO alumnus. Mr. Cheever worked with SYSO coaches last year and explains the impact of this program for both himself and his students:

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Halloween event planned? Please let us know ASAP!

jackols.jpgExactly four weeks from tonight, it’s Halloween! We’ll be publishing our special page of Halloween/harvest-season events/activities soon, so we’re sending out the request tonight: If you have a seasonal event planned, open to the public, at your business, school, church, etc., please let us know. E-mail the what/where/when (etc.) basics to ASAP – even better if you have a weblink and/or Facebook link to info about it (not mandatory, though). As with all event-calendar listings, we request that you send the info as plain text, NOT as a Word/PDF/image attachment. Thanks!

PACK YOUR BAG! Today’s simple way to get prepared

If you missed Day 1 – in honor of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month, WSB is working with Cindi Barker from West Seattle Be Prepared to help you take one major step toward personal/family preparedness, with one simple action every day, resulting in your “go bag” being packed and ready in case of disaster.

In our state, that disaster is most likely to be an earthquake. We haven’t had a big one since the Nisqually quake in 2001, but it could happen without warning. And quakes are happening in many places every day, so Cindi will share quake info every day along with the tip for what to do next to PACK YOUR BAG! Ready?

On Wednesday, there were 9 earthquakes, all between 3.0 and 4.0 magnitude, the closest being a 3.4 in the ocean, off southern BC. There has been a lot of activity going on in that area; the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network Facebook group often posts charts showing the latest swarm of quakes that goes on in our greater Northwest area.

The Day 1 action to take was: Get a suitcase or backpack and designate it your go bag. Today on Day 2, we start packing:

PACKING YOUR BAG TODAY: Put 3 cans of ready-to-eat soup for each person in your bag, plus a hand-operated can opener. You won’t want to be using precious water to dilute soup; that’s why ready-to-eat soup is recommended. Hand can openers can be found at the local dollar store (and often at garage sales).

OK, we’re off to the store. Got yours? Send us a pic! ( And watch tomorrow for the next item(s) to pack. If you miss a day, this info is all in the WSB “Preparedness” archives –

Who helps marine mammals to our south? Could be you!

October 3, 2013 2:18 pm
|    Comments Off on Who helps marine mammals to our south? Could be you!
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | Wildlife

That’s Dr. Kaddee Lawrence, the West Seattleite who is executive director of the MaST Center in Redondo. We photographed her there a year and a half ago, when the skeleton of the gray whale that beached in 2010 in The Arroyos went on display. The photo is relevant today for a multi-part reason – Dr. Lawrence is seeking volunteers for the MaST Center’s Marine Mammal Stranding Response Team, whose jurisdiction begins along the southwesternmost West Seattle shores:

The MaST Center in Redondo, a part of Highline Community College, is having an information session and meet&greet for people interested in being part of our Marine Mammal Stranding Response Team. There is no previous experience necessary, just a willingness to help the seals and other marine mammals in Puget Sound. People can be involved as much or as little as they feel comfortable. Come and learn how to help our mammalian neighbors in the water. This event is being held at the MaST Center in Redondo (next door to Salty’s restaurant on Redondo Beach Drive South) on Saturday (October 5th) at 3 pm.

Here’s a map to that location.

West Seattle scene: Highland Park Elementary’s Amy West wins ‘Teacher of the Week’

Big surprise this morning for Highland Park Elementary third-grade teacher Amy West – she found out she is the STAR 101.5 Teacher of the Week. She’s at left in our photo with student Andre Brown, who nominated her for the award. Prizes included a personalized plaque and $100 for the classroom.

How will you be asked to be taxed for Seattle Parks, and what the $ would fund: Park development? Off-leash law enforcers?

The Parks and Green Spaces Levy approved by Seattle voters in 2008 is expiring, and that’s a major reason why the Parks Department has been working on a “Legacy Plan” including what to ask voters for next. The Legacy Plan Citizens’ Advisory Committee meets downtown tonight, and the agenda includes a briefing on potential options that could eventually wind up as part of your property-tax bill, as well as a look at proposals for how to spend the money.

First: The briefing suggests possible temporary or permanent levy-lid lifts, bonds, or creating a permanent Metropolitan Parks District – like Tacoma has – that would have its own property-taxing authority. From the city website, here are the slides for tonight’s briefing:

Seattle Parks presentation for possible voter-approved funding

If you can’t see the slides in that window, you can see the PDF version here. The committee is working toward a December deadline for making recommendations to the City Council and Mayor. Tonight they also will look at the long list of “Investment Initiatives” – what might be funded with whatever money is raised by the next voter-approved measure.

Items of potential West Seattle interest from the 37-proposal list include:

#14, $1.4 million to develop parks at sites where the city has bought or is buying the land – including three in West Seattle. Explanation excerpt:

Thanks to the support of the people of Seattle, voters approved the Parks and Green Spaces Levy in 2008. Included in the Levy were funds for new park acquisition. However, there were not funds in the 2008 Levy to develop the newly purchased properties into parks or to maintain them. Fourteen neighborhood park sites have been acquired with 2008 Levy funds but are land-banked – held in their current condition. The land-banked sites are throughout the City, many in some of the densest neighborhoods, experiencing the greatest population growth. The sites need to be developed to become true assets to their neighborhoods, and to keep faith with the voters who supported their acquisition as park land.

(The three in West Seattle would be 48th/Charlestown, the 40th SW site in The Junction, and the site north of Morgan Junction Park.)

#26, which would include funding 2 new park rangers and 2 animal-control officers:

The most frequent complaints Parks receives from our park users are about dogs off leash. Additional support from dedicated Animal Control officers is also needed to respond to dog off-leash issues in our parks. Park Rangers and Animal Control officers would work outside the downtown parks with special focus on random patrols of parks where there have been complaints of dogs off leash or where there is observed ongoing damage to turf, trails or natural areas by dogs off leash. Park Rangers and Animal Control officers would work in cooperation to provide education and solicit compliance of the leash law.

There is a public-comment period at tonight’s meeting, which is at 6 pm at Parks HQ downtown (100 Dexter Ave. N.).

Police investigating possible child-luring attempt in West Seattle

We have just confirmed that Seattle Police are investigating a reported child-luring attempt in West Seattle. We found out about it thanks to a Hope Lutheran School parent who late last night forwarded us a parent alert sent by the school on Wednesday:

Yesterday afternoon around 3:40 PM, a Hope female student was walking along Oregon Street between 41st Ave. and 42nd Ave., heading to her car while her mother was inside the school office. A male driver pulled over in his car and told her he was supposed to pick her up and take her home. The student immediately ran away and back to her mother. The police were contacted by the mother at home but we don’t have a lot of details besides the fact that it was a male driver. …

We contacted SPD this morning to ask for a copy of the report, which we have just received. It says the student who reported this is 10 years old. The officer talked with her at her family’s home and later wrote:

Somewhere between the hours of 1530-1600 [on Tuesday, October 1, the child] was walking along SW Oregon between 42nd SW and 41st when she heard a voice from a car parked along the north side of the street.

[The child] said she heard a male voice from inside the car call out to her saying, ‘Hey little girl, come get in the car with me. I’ll take you home.’ [The child] told me that she stated ‘No’ to the male and ran down the hill to her mother’s car, locking herself inside. [The child] said she told her mother about the incident just a few minutes later when she came out to the car.

[The mother] told me that she walked back the same route [the child] had gone and saw no one unusual.

According to the report, the child was unable to provide any description of the man or the vehicle, saying that she only heard his voice. There is no indication whether this has any link to the as-yet-unsolved flasher incidents last month, two of which happened near Holy Rosary, which is one block north of Hope.

(P.S. Here’s the SPD page with information on safety advice for families, including what to teach kids about staying safe.)

West Seattle Thursday: Olympic peek; check the calendar

October 3, 2013 9:11 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Thursday: Olympic peek; check the calendar
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle weather | WS miscellaneous

What looks to be a busy news day is off and running, but first: The morning began with a text (206-293-6302 any time) about a possible whale sighting off Me-Kwa-Mooks. Co-publisher Patrick Sand headed down the hill to look; no marine mammals in sight, but he did catch the sun turning Olympic Mountains peaks pink, briefly. So we’re sharing the photo but asking that for today’s calendar preview, you go directly to the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – several items of note, including West Seattle High School Family Curriculum Night, the fall dinner benefiting Transitional Resources, and more – but we’ve got to get on to the news of the day. Each calendar item leads to a standalone web page with map and details – just click the plus sign at the right side of the entry, and then the “more” link on the lower right. Thanks!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday on the move

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
7:33 AM: “Generally, things are moving better than they have all week.” So says WSDOT via Twitter, a regional observation, but still, an optimistic assessment here as we approach the heart of the commute.

HIGHWAY 99/VIADUCT CLOSURES THIS WEEKEND: Yet another reminder- both directions of Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct will close this weekend between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel, 5 am-6 pm Saturday and 6 am-6 pm Sunday, for the semiannual safety inspection, and that will coincide with a weekendlong closure north of the BST for utility work – closure details here.

7:42 AM: Downtown surface-street problem, pointed out in the comment section – a crash at 6th and Pine is tying things up. Westbound Pine is closed, one northbound lane of 6th is open, per KING 5’s traffic reporter Tracy Taylor.

8:25 AM: If you ride Sound Transit Route 560, ST says a crash in Bellevue might cause delays.

Start telling your tale: Janice Harper teaching memoir-writing series Thursday nights at Log House Museum

The cheers, the tears, the years … Your own story is well worth telling, and a West Seattle-writer is ready to help you figure out how to tell it. Tomorrow (Thursday) night is the start of a series of memoir-writing classes to be taught by Janice Harper at the Log House Museum – and she has major cred, with a doctorate in cultural anthropology and a resumé as an author, ghost-writer, and contributor to publications including Huffington Post and Psychology Today. It’s a drop-in series, 6-8 pm each Thursday, so if you can’t make tomorrow night, maybe next Thursday. Or if you’re interested in private coaching, that’s available too. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society will benefit from a portion of the class fees; full details on those, and to how to register, are on the SWSHS website.

Update: Fire callout in 9200 block of Delridge Way

7:32 PM: Seattle Fire says the big callout to the 9200 block of Delridge Way SW is for a basement fire, and that everyone is out OK. More to come.

7:51 PM: Our crew at the scene says firefighters report the smoke actually came from a piece of equipment that overheated in a big way – equipment used to put designs on T-shirts, we are told. Lots of smoke, no flames. No injuries.

Federal shutdown side note: Furloughed worker volunteers with WestSide Baby

From Kari at WestSide Baby:

Federal worker Nicole Jabaily made the best of her first full day of furlough by spending the morning volunteering at WestSide Baby. Pictured here with WSB regular volunteer Nancy Ross, Nicole was a welcome addition to the regular Wednesday morning team. WestSide Baby is always looking for help—furloughed workers included! The best way to find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities is to fill out the volunteer application on the WSB website:

PACK YOUR BAG! Every day this month, 1 simple step to take

October has a lot of identities. A big one for people in our area: Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month.

Here at WSB, preparedness is one of our favorite topics. It’s something YOU can do, without spending a lot of time or money – little steps that could make a big difference if something major happened.

West Seattle is fortunate to have the area’s premier grass-roots preparedness group, West Seattle Be Prepared, which launched an incredibly info-packed website years ago, and continues to work on initiatives to help people around the peninsula be prepared. And WSBP’s Cindi Barker is working with WSB this month on daily advice that will get you from here to the vital preparedness step of having a packed “go back.”

For inspiration, we’ll be reminding you that earthquakes – the most likely kind of disaster around here – can happen anywhere. WSBP’s home page is tracking all the 3.0-or-more quakes around our country this month. Scroll down to see the list of what’s been recorded today alone! 3.0 isn’t a megaquake but it’s enough to be a wakeup call.

So jump into the spirit with us. PACK YOUR BAG! For starters, today’s step to take – just GET the bag. As Cindi puts it:

Today, find a backpack (for 2 people) or suitcase (for 4 people). Look around in your garage or attic for one you haven’t used in a while, or check out thrift stores for inexpensive ones. The West Seattle Senior Center Thrift Store had a 50% off sale on luggage the other day; might still be going on!

We’re going to designate one too; we’ve always had a “go bag” for our news-producing gear (laptop, extra power, portable Internet, etc.) but not one with other basics. So we’ll build along with you. Sometime tonight when you’re at home – find that suitcase. Maybe even send us a pic, so we can publish it as inspiration! ( And watch tomorrow for what to start putting IN it. If you miss a day, this info will all be in our archives for preparedness –

New renderings for 4435 35th SW show proposed ‘hillclimb’

With eight days until the next Southwest Design Review Board meeting about the mixed-use development planned at 4435 35th SW, its new “packet” is out with renderings and other information for the board to consider, publicly viewable via the city Department of Planning and Development website. You can see it in its entirety here; above is a rendering by architects GGLO showing a feature that sparked some buzz at the previous meeting in June (WSB coverage here), a “hillclimb” on the south side of the site, going up to other parts of The Triangle and leading toward The Junction. According to the packet, the project is currently planned for ~159 residential units, 153 underground parking spaces (it’s in an area where the city does not require any parking at all because of nearby frequent transit), and more than 12,000 square feet of commercial/retail area. This site originally came to the board in 2009, then went on hold, changing architects and developers (now Trinsic) before returning with a new design proposal earlier this year. The Design Review meeting is set for 6:30 pm October 10th at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon); as always, the meeting will include a public-comment period.

Green West Seattle Halloween: Costume Swap at City Mouse

Is your closet home to one or more Halloween costumes from years – and sizes – past? City Mouse Studio and Store in The Junction has your Halloween solution – proprietor Donna is participating in National Costume Swap Day on October 12th, as part of the “Green Halloween” movement: “As per their website, swapping half the costumes kids wear at Halloween would reduce landfill waste by 6,250 tons, equal to the weight of 2,500 midsize cars!”

Here’s how the costume swap will work: From now through October 11th, drop off gently used kids’ Halloween costumes at City Mouse (4218 SW Alaska) – which is open Tuesdays-Saturdays 10-6 and Sundays 10-5 – and get a token to use to pick up another costume there on Saturday, October 12th, starting at 10 am.

OCTOBER 10 UPDATE: Donna says you can also just bring your swappable costume on Saturday morning and swap on the spot, rather than making two trips.

West Seattle Kiwanis announces free Seattle Symphony concert

October 2, 2013 10:27 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Kiwanis announces free Seattle Symphony concert
 |   Kiwanis Club of West Seattle | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(January 2011 photo)
The Kiwanis Club of West Seattle has just sent word of another free West Seattle community concert by the Seattle Symphony: 7:30 pm October 11th (one week from Friday) – second one this year:

Stilian Kirov, conductor
Alexander Lu, piano
Seattle Symphony

MOZART: Divertimento in D major
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major
TCHAIKOVSKY: Serenade for Strings

Chief Sealth International High School
2600 SW Thistle

This concert is presented as part of the Seattle Symphony’s Family, School & Community programs, which are supported by 4Culture, ArtsWA, The Boeing Company, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation, The Clowes Fund, Inc., Fales Foundation Trust, Elizabeth McGraw Foundation, Peach Foundation, Peg and Rick Young Foundation, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, Snoqualmie Tribe, Ten Grands Seattle and Wyman Youth Trust.

No RSVP required – just show up!

West Seattle Wednesday: Youth-basketball signups; ex-substations’ future; ‘The Taming’; landmark nomination…

West Seattle’s mysterious Golden Pheasant has surfaced again! Joan Miller shared the photo this morning, saying that after the bird appeared in her yard near Camp Long on Tuesday, a neighbor told her about the April sighting mentioned here on WSB. Escaped pet? We may never know. Anyway, today’s calendar items are not so mysterious … highlights include:

BASKETBALL SIGNUPS: It’s the second day of basketball signups for youth basketball at Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities. $65/child, with practices starting in late November, games starting first week in January, ages 8-17. See the West Seattle Community Centers‘ combined fall brochure for more info.

LIBRARIES CLOSED: As mentioned here yesterday, all Seattle Public Library facilities around the city are closed today for an in-service day. They will reopen tomorrow.

‘LISTENING MOTHERS’ GROUP: Eight-week class for mothers of babies up to 6 months old begins today at The Cove School – details in our calendar listing. 1-2:30 pm. (3430 California SW)

LANDMARK CONSIDERATION: The city Landmarks Board meeting at 3:30 pm today downtown includes consideration of a landmark nomination for the 61-year-old building on a future development site at 3219 California SW:

The notice is here; the nomination documentation is here. (700 5th Ave., 40th floor)

MAYOR NICKELS, WSB EDITOR ON ‘CIVIC COCKTAIL’: If you’re going to be downtown this evening and interested in a discussion of civic issues, consider being part of the audience for “Civic Cocktail” at the Palace Ballroom, doors at 5:30/event at 6 pm, with former Mayor Greg Nickels on the dignitaries’ panel and your editor on the journalist panel. CityClub co-presents “Civic Cocktail,” and requests advance registration – details on their website. (2100 5th Avenue)

DANCE WITH LAUREN PETRIE: The popular musician’s next dance is 6-8 pm tonight at the Senior Center of West Seattle – details in our calendar listing. (California/Oregon)

CITY LIGHT PROPERTIES HEARING: Got an opinion on what Seattle City Light should do with the former substation sites on this map?

Tonight’s the one and only formal public hearing in West Seattle before City Light makes recommendations that will eventually go to the City Council. More info on the sites is here; speak out between 6:30 and 8:30 pm at High Point Community Center. (6920 34th SW)

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: 6:30 pm at Southwest Teen Life Center, reps from community councils and other key organizations around western West Seattle – which the city designates the Southwest District – meet, with an agenda including City Councilmember Tim Burgess talking about the city-budget process (he chairs the Budget Committee). Everyone’s welcome. (2801 SW Thistle)

WEST SEATTLE WOMEN IN CHARGE: Fall meeting tonight for this organization geared toward local women who own/run businesses – details in our calendar listing. 7 pm at Mind Unwind. (2206 California SW)

‘THE TAMING’ OPENS AT ARTSWEST: Lauren Gunderson‘s “The Taming opens tonight, in a co-world-premiere presentation; curtain’s at 7:30 pm. (4711 California SW)


(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
6:07 AM: Welcome to Wednesday! Now that the weekend is in view, we need to resume reminders about this weekend’s Highway 99 closures – both directions between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel, 5 am-6 pm Saturday and 6 am-6 pm Sunday, for the semiannual safety inspection, plus a weekendlong closure north of the BST for utility work – details on all of the above can be found here.

10:28 AM: Another crash on Roxbury – 9th and Roxbury this time. The call closed out fairly quickly on the Seattle Fire 911 log, but a texter says three vehicles were involved and police were directing traffic.

1:17 PM: Something’s up on southbound 99 – it’s closed at the Battery Street Tunnel.

High-school sports: Chief Sealth-WSHS volleyball showdown

Once again this year, it was more than just the classic crosstown rivalry in Tuesday night’s volleyball showdown between Chief Sealth International High School and visiting West Seattle High School – it was also a battle between the top two teams in their division. After 4 games, the Wildcats emerged with the win, three games to one, but that final game was especially hard fought, point by point:

More game scenes and notes, ahead:

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Motorcycle rider to hospital after late-night crash in Arbor Heights

Thanks to the reader who texted photos from a late-night motorcycle crash in the 11000 block of 35th SW in Arbor Heights (map) and reports the rider “hit some mailboxes on the right side of the road and then crashed,” apparently after swerving to avoid a trash can in the road. The photo above shows those mailboxes. Radio communications with medics after the crash described the rider as 41 years old and believed to have been traveling at high speed at the time of the crash.

Via Twitter, SFD verified that the motorcycle rider was in stable condition with arm fractures when taken to the hospital.