day : 13/11/2013 15 results

162 years after the Denny Party, what’s YOUR landing story?

(Photo from Seattle Municipal Archives)
We’re in the final moments of one of Seattle’s biggest anniversaries: November 13th, the day the Denny Party came ashore on Alki in 1851. No parties that we know of today – certainly nothing like the one on the sesquicentennial anniversary in 2001, with the landing re-enacted as shown above – but this weekend, the Log House Museum has a unique commemoration: You are invited to stop by Saturday afternoon, 2-4 pm at 61st and Stevens, and have your “landing story” recorded on video for posterity. Read more about it on the LHM’s website. (And read more about some past observances here!)

‘We’re here to act’: West Seattle Transportation Coalition plans its next moves, and calls for reinforcements

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

They’ve got their strategy rolling.

Now – the West Seattle Transportation Coalition is opening the door for more people to get on board to turn goals into reality.

WSTC – an all-volunteer, grass-roots group with members and endorsees from all over the peninsula – published this invitation to volunteers today, hours after its board meeting drew more than 30 people to Neighborhood House’s High Point Center last night.

The heart of the event was organizing committees around four key aspects of changing ideas into action: Outreach, Communications, Research/Solutions, and of course – Action.

For this group, launched less than two months ago, inaction is not an option.

“We’re here to act. We’re here to do things. We’re here to make changes!” declared Amanda Kay Helmick, WSTC interim board member (and leader of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council), as last night’s meeting began.

She stood in front of three maps – one, a vision for what transit should be in this area; one, the Metro outline of possible cuts as first announced last April; the other, what Metro unveiled last Thursday (WSB coverage here), for a stark post-cuts future if funding isn’t found.

“It’s not good,” she said – understatement of the night.

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Why the Seattle Police SWAT team was in The Junction tonight

In case you wondered what the Seattle Police SWAT team was doing near 42nd and Oregon tonight – no, there’s no crime, no standoff, no warrant service. They’re training at houses that will be torn down for the 78-unit Junction Flats apartment project in the 4400 block of 42nd SW. The daylight photo is courtesy of Jason:

Kitty corner from this site, where the Oregon 42 apartment building is almost complete, the SWAT team trained at then-to-be-demolished homes a year and a half ago.

(P.S. Thanks to the parent from Hope Lutheran across the street who gave us heads-up after a note from the school mentioned this training was scheduled.)

What’s in a name? One word added for DESC in Delridge

Two weeks after DESC announced the name of its almost-complete 66-unit housing complex in North Delridge, its board has agreed to alter that name in response to community concerns. The North Delridge Neighborhood Council, which discussed the issue this past Monday, announced that to its mailing list today, and we confirmed it with DESC’s Nicole Macri:

I can confirm that today the DESC Board unanimously voted to change the building’s name from “Cottage Grove” to “Cottage Grove Commons.” They reconsidered the name, and adding a modifier to it, at the request of community members and neighborhood leaders, including the North Delridge Neighborhood Council and members of the Advisory Committee to the project. We appreciate the community’s input on this.

Cottage Grove is the historic name of the section of North Delridge that includes the site (5444 Delridge Way SW) where the building is expected to open in about a month. Its advisory committee meets again one week from tonight (November 20th).

Out of the sky, into a West Seattle neighborhood, but not such a mystery this time

For the second day in a row, something has fallen out of the sky and into a West Seattle neighborhood. Tuesday, suspected plane parts in Gatewood; today, a weather balloon in Fauntleroy. Our photo shows its information-gathering component, a radiosonde, hanging from a utility line near tipster Michael‘s house; the blue NOAA logo is clearly visible, as is “HARMLESS WEATHER INSTRUMENT” and some explanatory text. Michael says what was left of the balloon turned up on his neighbor’s roof. We matched the item in the photo to this page on NOAA’s website, which explains that weather balloons are launched daily from 102 sites around the U.S. Here’s part of the backstory:

As the balloon rises through the atmosphere, radiosonde sensors measure and transmit profiles of air pressure, temperature and relative humidity from the Earth’s surface to about 20 miles high in the sky. While in flight, radiosonde sensors also obtain data for wind direction and speed.

Radiosonde data are received by a ground-tracking receiver, which processes it for transmission to weather forecasters and other data users. This information is a primary source of upper-air data for weather prediction models.

NOAA’s website says the balloons rise up to 100,000 feet before popping. This NOAA image shows one about to be launched in Rapid City, South Dakota:

Michael plans to contact NOAA, whose website says only 20 percent of the radiosondes are returned, though each one comes with its own postage-paid bag! (Hard to tell that when the device is hanging off an overhead wire, though.) P.S. Here are the official instructions on what to do if YOU ever find one.

Election 2013: Kshama Sawant widens Council Position 2 lead

4:39 PM: Just in – today’s ballot count shows Kshama Sawant widening her lead over incumbent Councilmember Richard Conlin to 402 votes; see the new numbers here.

P.S. The one-sheet with every race in the county is here. Next ballot count, about this time tomorrow.

ADDED 5:16 PM: A media-advisory excerpt from the Sawant campaign, with some context and the numbers as they’ve shifted since Election Night eight days ago:

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Car thief adds insult to injury; another converter theft

Two more car crimes to report in West Seattle Crime Watch:

CAR STOLEN, 2 WEEKS AFTER GETTING HIT: Allison reports a car theft that hurts extra:

Our red 1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon was stolen last night between 5:45 – 7:30 pm on Avalon Way. License plate AGY2872. If anyone sees it around or parked somewhere please call 911? To add insult to injury, this was one of our cars that got hit on Avalon on 10/28/2013, the big hit-and-run where the gal flipped her Hyundai and totaled my little Tercel. Now the Subaru gets stolen? Really?? What the heck is going on around here??? This is not MY West Seattle!

ANOTHER CATALYTIC-CONVERTER THEFT: The one in last night’s Crime Watch roundup was the first one we had heard of in a while. Now there’s another. Janet e-mailed to report:

I just saw your Crime Watch post from last night, and wanted to add that our catsitter had the catalytic converter stolen from her truck parked on our street in Seaview late Sunday night or early Monday morning. She said it looked like they had used a sawzall or something along those lines.

P.S. Next community crimefighting meeting is Tuesday (November 19), West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, 7 pm at Southwest Precinct, all welcome.

West Seattle beverages: Admiral Bird to share Flower Lab space

(L-R, Wendy, Corina, Heidi; photo courtesy Melissa Fenno Photography)
A new partnership is taking wing in Admiral – the front half of Flower Lab on the southeast corner of California/Admiral is becoming the Admiral Bird, a partnership between Heidi from Bird on a Wire Espresso and Corina from Circa Alehouse, as just announced:

Admiral Bird is offering Ravens Brew Coffee, local and sustainable pastries, 3 beers on tap, cider, growlers, specialty bottled beers and wine to go. It’s a joyful community space with a nautical feel, wi-fi and bright window seating. There will be homemade daily soups, grilled sandwiches and many grab and go options like breakfast salads in mason jars. Need coffee for an event? We have airpots you can rent-complete with cream, cups and sugar. Adding pastries is also an option.

If you are waiting for a table at Circa Alehouse you no longer have to squeeze in by the front door, you can get your name on the list then have a seat at the Admiral Bird and wait until your name is called…or grab a cappuccino on your way to Weekend Brunch! Need a space to host a tea party, surprise party or baby shower? OUR SPACE IS FOR RENT! We will work with you to create a fun and memorable event (including flowers from Flower Lab!). Have a film or slides you want to show? We also offer a movie screen/slide projector!

Something you want to see that we don’t offer? We are flexible gals who would love to hear what you have to say. We are opening in early December and can’t wait to see all the familiar faces of the Admiral District and those venturing up from the “South West,” and tomeet our new neighbors.

Heidi tells us that Bird on a Wire Espresso at 35th/Henderson will remain open; this is an expansion. And Flower Lab is remaining open as a flower shop, too.

Update: 1,100 customers lose natural-gas service in South Park & Highland Park

(WSB photo: Crews mobilizing in South Park)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:39 PM: Just in from Puget Sound Energy:

A natural gas regulator is having some problems in the Highland Park area in West Seattle. More than 1000 customers are currently without natural gas service. There is no safety issue. Work is under way to fix the problem. Once the gas-system pressure is operating normally, PSE personnel will go door-to-door to inspect the meters and gain entry to re-light furnaces, water heaters and other gas equipment. Most of the customers affected are residential. This situation is not due to a natural gas leak. There is no escaping natural gas.

We’re hearing about some customers out in South Park, too, and are asking PSE about that.

3:06 PM UPDATE: PSE’s Ray Lane tells us the bulk of the outage IS in South Park, though some are affected in Highland Park too. Here’s his latest update:

Approximately 1,120 PSE customers in the South Park area are without natural gas service due to a suspected problem with the gas system pressure equipment.

This means there is not adequate gas pressure in the system to operate equipment, such as furnaces, water heaters and other appliances. The situation is not due to a natural gas leak.

PSE is on site to correct the problem. We have 28 technicians in the field and will be working to shut down gas service to impacted customers. This allows us to reintroduce gas into the system safely. We anticipate having all customers shut off by 8:00 p.m. Once we have tested and stabilized the system, PSE personnel will need to enter homes and businesses to relight equipment. This may not occur until late in the evening. Customers wanting gas restored overnight should leave a front exterior light on. Service crews will be available all night and through tomorrow morning until all customers are restored.

As in any situation, call PSE or 911 immediately if you smell leaking natural gas. For updates, follow us on or call 888-225-5773. PSE representatives will also be able to answer customer questions at the South Park Playfield at 8th Ave S and South Sullivan Street.

You can help! Buy turkeys for White Center Food Bank

15 days until Thanksgiving Day, but you can do something now to help make it a more festive holiday for local families in need. The White Center Food Bank, whose service area includes part of West Seattle, would be thrilled if you can add at least one to-be-donated turkey to your shopping list:

The holidays are approaching quickly. To help us feed our clients we are asking for you to consider picking up a turkey while doing your shopping.

For us to purchase wholesale turkeys, it is over $1.00 a pound. Many local retailers are offering special deals on turkeys for much less. Look for deals while shopping and pick up a turkey or two and drop them off at the Food Bank Monday-Friday between 9 am-5 pm at 10829 8th Ave SW. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Here’s a map.

West Seattle Wednesday: Schools; coyotes; politics…

(Hummingbird at sunrise, Mount Rainier in the distance: photo from Genesee Hill this week, by Elaine Thompson)
A few of your options for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

DINE-OUT BENEFIT AT ENDOLYNE JOE’S: As noted in our school-fundraiser update earlier this morning, until 10 pm tonight, Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor) in Fauntleroy is donating part of its food proceeds to Gatewood Elementary, one of several dine-out benefits Endolyne does each year. (9261 45th SW)

‘LION KING’: Arbor Heights Elementary‘s student performance (and bake sale!) is at 6:30 pm tonight. (37th/104th)

HARBOR SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: As noted here last week, West Seattle families have a special invitation to visit Vashon Island for tonight’s open house at Harbor School (WSB sponsor), a nonprofit independent school serving grades 4-8. See more info in our calendar listing, and RSVP to see if seats are still available on their special shuttle to/from the ferry dock. (15920 Vashon Highway SW)

CO-EXISTING WITH COYOTES: For the first time in years, local wildlife experts invite you to a briefing/Q-A session in West Seattle. If you are curious and/or concerned about coyotes, don’t just wait for our next coyote update (all our coverage, by the way, is archived here, newest-to-oldest) – come to Camp Long Environmental Learning Center tonight, 7-8:30 pm. (5200 35th SW)

34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: 7 pm tonight at The Hall at Fauntleroy, first post-election meeting; see the agenda here. (9131 California SW)

As always, you’ll see even more by going directly to our calendar!

AAA Washington: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor

Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, AAA Washington. AAA’s West Seattle team wants to make sure you know about everything AAA offers:

AAA Washington has been serving members since 1904. We opened our West Seattle office in 2004 and recently moved to our current location in Jefferson Square. You know us for our legendary emergency roadside assistance and traffic safety advocacy, but AAA offers much more.

Did you know that AAA Washington Insurance Agency is the largest personal-lines insurance agency in the state? Yes, we’re dedicated to helping you find the best coverage for your home, auto, life, boat, RV, and umbrella insurance needs. Three of our best insurance agents – Deb-e, Dane, and Linda – work right in your community. They invite you to come in and talk about your insurance coverage needs, and will provide you with a free insurance review.

AAA Travel is also the largest leisure travel agency in the state. Unlike many travel agencies these days, we don’t charge service fees for cruise or tour packages. Mary and Alison would like to help you make your vacation dreams come true! The West Seattle office Travel Store also offers luggage, travel accessories, destination guides, travel gear with identity theft protection features and many other travel items. Our West Seattle office has two member travel counselors, Kathleen and Debra, who can assist members with trip planning, maps, TripTik routings, and TourBook guides. Our members rave about how helpful our staff is when it is time to pack up the car and hit the road. Need a passport photo? It’ll just take a few minutes. International Driver’s License? We’re the only place in the state that offers them. Foreign currency for your international trip? While you don’t need to be a member to take advantage of all these services and products, members do receive special discounts and benefits.

Our West Seattle staff also wants you to know that giving back to the community and public service is a big part of our DNA at AAA. Through our “Soap for Hope” toiletry donation collection program and similar community outreach programs, we support local charities such as Seattle’s Sojourner Place. Unused toiletry donations (soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, etc.) can be dropped off year-round at the AAA West Seattle office.

The friendly and professional staff at AAA is proud to be a part of the West Seattle community and very pleased to sponsor the West Seattle Blog. We look forward to seeing you soon!

We thank AAA Washington for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

You can help! School fundraisers today, tomorrow

November 13, 2013 9:00 am
|    Comments Off on You can help! School fundraisers today, tomorrow
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Two more school fundraisers of note:

DINE OUT TO BENEFIT GATEWOOD ELEMENTARY TODAY/TONIGHT: Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor) is donating 25 percent of its food proceeds from today/tonight to Gatewood Elementary:

It’s on until 10 pm tonight at 9261 45th SW.

‘DINGO’ FOR WEST SEATTLE HS JUNIORS TOMORROW: If you haven’t seen it in our calendar yet, here’s the announcement of this Thursday night fundraiser:

Dessert + Bingo = Dingo!

WHAT is it? It is a FUNdraiser for the WSHS junior class!

WHERE is it? West Seattle High School (in the commons!)

WHEN is it?
November 14 @ 6:30 pm (It’s okay if you’re lateJ)

WIN AWESOME RAFFLE PRIZES: Coastal Basket, Tully’s Basket, Movie Night Basket, Golf Basket, Boeing Basket, Spa Basket, Boeing Basket (with 2 Museum of Flight tickets), Bookworm Basket, WSHS Basket, Wakeboard, Mountain Bike

Entrance fee is $7 and includes a bingo card (additional by donation). Bingo lovers of all ages are welcome!

If you have any questions, contact Class President Ellen Salenjus @

Babysitting service available for $5.00 per child

WSHS is at 3000 California SW.

WSHS’s gala next week, Chief Sealth’s gala this week, and six other school fundraisers are listed in our previous roundup – if you haven’t sent word of yours yet, please do, for our next update (and our calendar if it’s a time-specific event) – – thanks!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates

(SCROLL DOWN for ongoing updates)

(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:34 AM: A crash on the West Seattle Bridge has closed the western end of the westbound direction; one texter tells us vehicles are being diverted off the bridge at the Admiral exit. And according to the scanner, the eastbound side will have to be closed for repairs to the barrier. We’ll continue to monitor.

6:40 AM UPDATE: Here’s the camera view of the west end of the bridge just east of 35th/Fauntleroy, no traffic either way right now, so you’ll have to enter the eastbound bridge from Avalon/Admiral or Delridge:

6:54 AM UPDATE: As you can see in the camera view, the west end of the bridge is now OPEN again.

8:10 AM UPDATE: A comment reminds us that cancellations of the Vashon Water Taxi affect buses headed this way, so just in case this affects you – the Vashon WT has been canceled all morning because of mechanical trouble with the Melissa Ann; no word yet about afternoon prospects.

DOWNTOWN BUS-STOP ALERT: For transit riders downtown who are headed this way:

The bus stop westbound on Columbia St just east of 2nd Av will be closed through Friday, 11/15, at all times, due to construction. During those times, board or exit the RapidRide C Line and Route 125 to Westwood Village, and routes 21 Express to Arbor Heights, 55 to the Admiral District, 56 to Alki, 57 to the Alaska Junction and 120 to Burien at the temporarily relocated stop southbound on 3rd Av just north of Columbia St. Once leaving the stop on 3rd Av at Columbia St, Viaduct buses will operate non-stop via their regular routing.

ADDED 1:10 PM: A traffic alert for the weekend:

If your Saturday plans include a trip to SODO, you can cross the State Route 99 ramps near the stadiums off your list of route options.

Crews working for contractors building the SR 99 tunnel and the South Atlantic Street overpass will close the on-ramp from South Royal Brougham Way and the off-ramp to South Atlantic Street for much of the weekend. The right lane of southbound SR 99 will also be closed south of downtown Seattle. The ramps and lane will reopen two hours before the kickoff of Sunday’s Seahawks game at CenturyLink Field.

Closure details

Friday, Nov. 15 – Sunday, Nov. 17
The right lane of southbound SR 99 between South King and South Atlantic streets, as well as the southbound off-ramp to South Atlantic Street, will be closed from 10 pm. Friday, Nov. 15 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 17.

During the lane and ramp closure, crews will remove steel and timber beams that supported construction of the new South Atlantic Street overpass. The overpass is scheduled to open by the end of 2013.

Saturday, Nov. 16 – Sunday, Nov. 17
The South Royal Brougham Way on-ramp to northbound SR 99 will be closed from 7 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday.
During the closure, crews will install drainage and move a power pole.

The overpass and tunnel ramp work are both part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program.

2:32 PM UPDATE: Vashon Water Taxi will be back in business this afternoon – with Clipper III replacing Melissa Ann, which is out for repairs.

Memorial on Saturday for Loretta Kirby, 1939-2013

November 13, 2013 12:53 am
|    Comments Off on Memorial on Saturday for Loretta Kirby, 1939-2013
 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

Family and friends will gather in Kenmore on Saturday to remember 74-year-old Loretta Ann Kirby (Lenning), who grew up in the Lowman Beach area. Her family shares this remembrance:

Loretta passed away peacefully on October 4th, 2013, after a courageous battle with cancer. She graduated from West Seattle High School in 1957 and attended Pacific Lutheran University, where she learned how to waterski and play pinochle. She worked for United Airlines until her retirement in 2004.

She was born to Gladys and Ingvald Lenning and is survived by her husband Bob, and sons Scott Jacobson, Jeff Jacobson, & Mason Kirby, as well as four grandchildren and her sisters, Audrey Lenning Anderson, Margaret Lenning Norberg, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

There will be a Celebration of Life Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at the Inglewood Golf & Country Club in Kenmore. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, with a photo if available, to