West Seattle, Washington
(2011 photo by Ellen Cedergreen)
Nearly three years ago, the family of the creators of West Seattle’s Walker Rock Garden – a hidden but world-famous backyard labor of love – announced they planned to sell it and the little house on its grounds. At one point, it had a buyer … but the sale wasn’t completed, and it went off the market. Public tours – previously offered at least a few times a year – never resumed. We get questions from time to time about its fate, and all we could say was that public records showed it was still owned by the family. Now, we discover via a tip from Deb that the property, at 5407 37th SW, is listed for sale again, this time for $549,000, up from the $392,000 asking price in early 2011. As the listing notes, it’s a double lot, more than 12,000 square feet. (See more galleries here and here.)
(Thanks to Jason Grotelueschen for the Admiral view!)
6:27 PM: After what seemed like endless days of weather alerts, some wintriness is finally arriving tonight (the reason for that ill-fated de-icing) – freezing rain/hail/sleet/graupel in areas (haven’t seen it firsthand ourselves yet – just heavy rain here over Lincoln Park). The National Weather Service has a short-term-forecast alert out, saying that what’s hitting us now is “a broad area of snow and rain showers with embedded snow pellets.” A bit later, the NWS says, “another line of snow showers will spread south … Any of these showers will leave a quick snow accumulation of one-half inch or so, enough to turn the ground white. However, air temperatures of 36 to 40 degrees will cause any snow to melt in less than one to two hours.”
(Thanks to Jackson from the Ventana Construction [sponsor] family for the Morgan Junction view!)
6:53 PM UPDATE: Looks like frozen something has suddenly hit here. Going out for a pic. Send one if you have one from your neighborhood! firstname.lastname@example.org
(From Julie in Fairmount Springs)
7:24 PM UPDATE: Adding more photos – even as what graupel/etc. we saw here can be heard melting in the gutter.
(Admiral photo – dog tracks in the ‘snow’ – by Beth Ferreira)
7:57 PM UPDATE: The “short-term forecast” has expired. We should get the National Weather Service’s newest forecast within the next hour and a half, to see what they’re projecting for overnight/morning.
8:03 PM UPDATE: Just got a call from a Gatewood resident saying power’s out in their area around 40th/Webster (map). Anyone else?
8:40 PM UPDATE: Seattle City Light told us via Twitter they’d heard from two customers, and we haven’t heard from others, so apparently a small outage. They said a crew was en route.
(Sunday photo by MARCUS YAM/The Seattle Times; republished here with permission)
3:36 PM: Though police initially quoted Victoria Clipper theft suspect Samuel McDonough as saying he had taken the boat to go to West Seattle, new court documents tell a different tale: His intended destination was actually Victoria, B.C. Bail was set today at $200,000 for McDonough, arrested aboard the Victoria Clipper IV yesterday on his 33rd birthday, in a drama at sea visible from north-facing West Seattle. As noted in our Sunday coverage, he is a registered sex offender after indecent-exposure convictions in the past few years (all from Issaquah, according to court archives we checked); today’s documents say he was supposed to be under GPS supervision – but did not have the device on.
ADDED 4:09 PM: The probable-cause document also says McDonough told police he had a close call with a state ferry while out in the bay with the $8 million boat Sunday morning. The dock is reported to have sustained some damage because he started it up and left the dock without untying it. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has until Wednesday to file charges.
(November 25th photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
The man arrested after armed robberies aboard a Metro RapidRide bus in West Seattle one week ago (WSB coverage here) is now charged with three felonies. The charges filed this afternoon against 19-year-old Trevonnte Brown are two counts of first-degree robbery, one count of attempted first-degree robbery.
Charging documents say Brown confessed to police, said he did not regret what he had done, and “confessed to being involved in multiple additional thefts and robberies over the past few years.” If you missed the story last week – police say Brown had boarded the bus downtown and then, as it got to West Seattle, started holding up passengers at gunpoint, until one passenger grabbed his gun-wielding arm and others joined in subduing him. Court documents say he told police he decided to rob people because he needed money to get his car out of impound, and that he told them he had previously committed several “snatch-and-run” robberies. Stolen iPhones, he is reported to have told police, get him about $400 on the street.
Brown, a Beacon Hill resident, remains jailed in lieu of $350,000 bail. If convicted, he faces extra time for using a gun while committing the crimes; police have said a semi-automatic handgun was found at the scene. We’re still reviewing the charging documents and will add anything else notable.
(ADDED EARLY TUESDAY: SDOT manager’s memo about how this unfolded)
(Photo added 2:23 pm, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
12:49 PM: Thanks to the tipsters who have messaged us about at least one crash on the eastbound bridge, possibly more. Checking.
(Police blocking 35th/Fauntleroy bridge entrance)
1:04 PM: Bridge being blocked at 35th – multiple incidents, and emergency-radio traffic indicates de-icer suspected.
1:18 PM: Police at 35th/Fauntleroy tell us entire bridge is closing. Fauntleroy is closed eastbound at Avalon, and that’s causing a backup all its own – here’s the closest traffic cam (refresh for latest “live” image):
1:28 PM: Scanner confirms SDOT crews are responding to put down sand/”material” to “combat the slickness” – also to fix the jersey barrier damaged by at least one of the crashes. The slickness was noticeable on the road at 35th/Fauntleroy – we were wondering where what looked like water had come from – when we passed through, just before getting word of how serious this situation was. Radio indicates that ALL access points to the bridge are being closed – including from I-5 and from Beacon Hill (Columbian Way).
1:37 PM: As you’d expect, the low bridge is reported to be backing up too. One way to get back to West Seattle if you need to: Take 1st or 4th southbound to the 1st Avenue South Bridge, get off at the South Park entrance but head north and then west up Highland Park Way back into WS. (Added: Some people are apparently still using the westbound bridge because, according to radio traffic, the I-5 entrances haven’t or hadn’t been blocked off.)
(City crew working on bridge by Fauntleroy-approach curb; WSB reader photo)
1:48 PM: Now there’s word of a spinout on southbound 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct.
(WSB photo: Backup on 35th approaching the bridge)
2:30 PM: Roads that approach the bridge are backed up. SDOT crews are on the bridge working to combat the slickness. Buses that usually take the Viaduct/bridge are rerouted onto the low bridge until this clears. Until it’s over, leaving or heading toward West Seattle is best advised from the south side, through Highland Park. The South Park Bridge was drawn open for a while but commenters say it’s closing now.
2:40 PM UPDATE: From Rick Sheridan at SDOT:
With colder temperatures approaching, SDOT applied liquid de-icer to the high-rise bridge as a pretreatment prior to the evening commute and football game.
Due to current warm temperatures, the de-icer can create a brief period of slippery conditions, especially if vehicles are traveling above the posted speed limit.
Out of caution, SDOT is applying sand on both directions of the structure to address any traction issues. We expect the bridge will reopen by 3:00 p.m.
2:46 PM UPDATE: To our followup question regarding whether there was anything different in the formula or the amount, Sheridan replied, “Not that we are currently aware of.”
2:52 PM UPDATE: Eastbound bridge is reopening now, per scanner. And westbound opening “in a few minutes.” Here’s the “live” bridge camera:
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
3:06 PM UPDATE: The official call just went out – westbound is reopening too.
3:53 PM UPDATE: The 99 southbound ramp to the westbound high bridge apparently has lagged in reopening – a commenter says his crash scene isn’t clear there yet. Meantime, this isn’t the only time de-icer has been blamed as a factor in crashes – via Twitter, @cooljames points out this Whidbey Island report from 2008.
4:15 PM UPDATE: Per commenters, the ramp from 99 to the bridge is now open TOO – but remember, traffic remains tougher than usual with the Seahawks game an hour and a half away.
4:38 PM UPDATE: We asked City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the West Seattle resident who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, if he would be looking into this. Short answer: Yes. Longer answer:
Earlier today, prior to the de-icing related accidents, I spoke to the SDOT Director about preparation for freezing weather, which is predicted tonight and through the week. Record cold weather may be on its way next week.
This should be considered a significant incident by SDOT and I have requested the Director to provide me with a report as soon as they are able to piece together what happened and why. I will let West Seattle know what I learn as soon as I receive the report.
The Director will also brief the Transportation Committee on Tuesday, December 10. The meeting begins at 9:30 AM and will be televised on the Seattle Channel.
ADDED EARLY TUESDAY: Councilmember Rasmussen forwarded e-mail he received from an SDOT manager explaining how it unfolded. Here, verbatim, is what SDOT’s Steve Pratt wrote:
Based upon all the available forecasts on hand at 8 AM today, 12-2-13, we made a
decision this morning to apply our anti-icing pretreatment to the WS High Rise, the AWV, Aurora Bridge, and a couple of other sites around Century Link Field, (bridges over ARGO, etc). We started this work around noon as the “cold snap” that was in the forecast as late as 9:23 AM from WeatherNet was calling for hail/ice in the time frame of 1-3PM. Our effort was to get ahead of any ice and or sudden temp drops such as occurred on 11-22-2010. We were also concerned about the traffic volumes headed for the MNF game which were predicted to start building around 3PM.
We applied MgCl on the WS High Rise between 12-1PM. I drove the bridge westbound at 12:10PM and then returned eastbound at 12:50PM, after stopping for a quick lunch at the Chelan Café. The application was completed by the time of my return trip. I observed that the road surface appeared “wet” and that the MgCl had not “set up” yet. I accelerated the vehicle I was driving a couple of times in the eastbound lane and did not break traction. When I arrived at the Chas. St. office at 1:02PM I was informed that there had been “some accidents” in the eastbound lane. It turns out that these were in the curve above the steel company, NUCOR, about 100 ft. to 250 ft. north of the pedestrian bridge north of 35th/Fauntleroy. We immediately contacted our driver and had him stop applying any more MgCl. He had treated the Aurora Bridge (with no incident) and had treated the southbound curb lane on the AWV between the Battery St. Tunnel in the short section that is “open air” before it tucks under the northbound upper deck structure, with no incident.
Several things occurred during this incident. The deck on the W. Seattle bridge was warmer than our usual application time, (during the night for AM commutes), and the material did not “set up” as quickly as we are used to, (ten to fifteen minutes). The accidents were all in the same section, all in a downhill curve where cars naturally pick up speed. There were NO accidents in the West Bound lanes anywhere on the W. Seattle bridge or its appurtenant streets.
SPD made a decision based upon the safety of the motoring public to close the Eastbound Lanes, and then they subsequently closed the Westbound Lanes. They requested that we apply sand to the surfaces on both sets of lanes. We mobilized our folks out of the W. Seattle shop to accomplish that and the east bound lanes opened back up at 2:52PM and the west bound lanes at 3:08PM. We coordinated these activities with SPD.
The intent of this effort, the application of the MgCl, was to get ahead of the predicted cold snap to freezing temperatures by 3-5PM. The forecast was wrong.
MgCl is magnesium chloride.
On this “Cyber Monday,” remember you can still shop local even if you’re buying online. One way: Buy gifts created by West Seattleites. That includes local authors’ work! So today, a few notes from and about West Seattle writers:
NICOLE HARDY AT NEXT ‘WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE’: This Friday, 4-6 pm at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village, it’s the next edition of “Words, Writers, West Seattle,” co-presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, and Nicole Hardy is the featured author. Her memoir “Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin” has drawn national attention. As explained in the announcement, the book “chronicles the extraordinary lengths Hardy went to in an attempt to reconcile her human needs with her spiritual life — flying across the country for dates with Mormon men, taking up salsa dancing as a source for physical contact, even moving to Grand Cayman, where the ocean and scuba diving provided some solace. But neither secular pursuits nor church guidance could help Hardy prepare for the dilemma she would eventually face: a crisis of faith that caused her to question everything she’d grown up believing.” Her “Words, Writers, West Seattle” appearance Friday is part of a continuing monthly series – scroll down this page on the SWSHS site to see who else is coming up.
‘TALES OF THE FOUNTAIN PEN’ AND … West Seattle author E. Lynn Hooghiemstra shares two notes – first, publication of her historical-fiction World War II novella “Tales from the Fountain Pen.” She says, “The book was inspired by stories from family members who went through WWII and the occupation of the Netherlands. Each story has been built around an element of truth.” She adds, “Though not written specifically for teens, they are finding the book of interest and I would like to take it into high schools to talk to teens about WWII from the perspective of those who had to live with the uncertainty during an occupation.” Also, Hooghiemstra has a story in a murder-mystery-science-fiction anthology “Moon Shot.”
‘SINCE I LAST SAW YOU’: West Seattle author Alice Ann Kuder has published an e-book that comes with its own soundtrack. “Since I Last Saw You” is a novel telling the story of Ali Berg, who, Kuder explains, loses her husband and child and “struggles to make sense of the loss, and her anger —and to find meaning in her own life again. Her search for answers takes her on a ten-month, cross-country road trip to reconnect with relatives, friends and mentors. She personally delivers a hand-written letter to each one, reminiscing and thanking them for the role they played in shaping her life.” Its settings include the Pacific Northwest as well as cross-country destinations. The soundtrack includes four original songs by another local Shari Kruse. You can find out more, and buy the book, via its own website, SinceILastSawYou.com.
SPEAKING OF COPING WITH GRIEF … Longtime West Seattleite Shirley Enebrad (now Honolulu-based) is out with “Six-Word Lessons on Coping with Grief; 100 Lessons to Help You and Your Loved Ones Deal with Loss,” described in the announcement as providing “practical lessons on coping with loss and overcoming grief. … Enebrad became a certified grief and loss counselor after her young son, Cory, died from cancer. That experience and how she coped, taught Enebrad how vital it is to acknowledge one’s grief, and inspired her to work with others who have been touched by loss.” She says, “I want people to know they are not alone. There is no time limit on grief, and most importantly, grieving is not a mental illness.” Enebrad told her son’s story in “Over the Rainbow Bridge: My Son’s Journey from Here to Heaven” in 2009. Both of her books are available via ShirleyEnebrad.com
IN THE MARKET? With the real-estate market continuing to sizzle, West Seattle author Jane Hodges reminded us recently that her book “Rent vs. Own?” is on the market. Could make an excellent gift for someone making the decision. Find out more about it – and Hodges’ other work – on her website.
WEST SEATTLE POET PUBLISHED IN UK MAGAZINE: Award-winning local poet Jason Kirk sends word that a new work of his has just been published in the UK arts journal Synaesthesia Magazine. He says, “The haiku — set into an original illustration by UK artist Leigh Padley — occupies a two-page spread (pp. 52-53) in the magazine’s November ‘Science & Numbers’ issue. The magazine — optimized for display on both desktop and mobile devices — is available to read online today.” Kirk is also the author of e-books “The Other Whites in South Africa” and “Reverb: Poems.”
Previous WSB coverage of local authors and literary events is archived here, newest to oldest.
(Photo by Don Brubeck, from the bike trail)
Happy Monday! Such a beautiful day already that, thanks to WSB readers, we have two “beauty shots” with which to start the daily preview … both from this morning.
OPEN HOUSE WEEK AT AAA: Holiday Open House week today (and daily through Friday) at AAA Washington‘s West Seattle office (WSB sponsor), 9 am-6 pm, in Jefferson Square. 15 percent off all travel-store merchandise! (4734 42nd SW)
6TH NIGHT OF HANUKKAH: The Jewish Festival of Lights begins its sixth of eight nights tonight at sunset, which (per the WSB Weather page) is at 4:19 pm.
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
FINAL NIGHT AT THE OLD ‘BRIDGE‘: The photo above is from Sunday afternoon, when 100+ people gathered outside The Bridge at 35th/Avalon for a photo memory before, as the signboard behind them says, it’s on to California/Graham. They’re open tonight at the original location for one last night, featuring Monday Night Football with the sound up, then closed for the move to the newly renovated space. (4439 35th SW)
NEW SERIES OF KARATE CLASSES: Alki Community Center presents another series of beginners’ karate classes, ages 7 and up, Mondays-Wednesdays, 6 pm tonight. Call the center to ask about registration; the number and other details are in our calendar listing. (5817 SW Stevens)
FAMILY STORY TIME: 6:30 pm at High Point Branch Library. (35th/Raymond)
SHOPPING FOR A TREE? A lineup of local tree lots is one of the lists you’ll find in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Events and Info Guide, including West Seattle and White Center.
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Will we have weather wildness? Won’t know until we see it (or don’t see it), but here are some things we do know, as the week begins:
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL AT THE CLINK TONIGHT: Be mindful of the traffic ramifications. Game time for the Seahawks and Saints: 5:40 pm.
NO MORE DELRIDGE DETOUR: Thanks to a tip, we reported Friday that Delridge Way SW is now fully reopened, after what appears to have been an early end to the bulk of the final and southernmost phase of the almost-year-long paving project.
26TH SW TEMPORARILY NARROWED: South of SW Genesee, 26th SW is temporarily home to about a dozen big white-covered modules that will be turned into townhouses nearby this week, so drive carefully if you use that stretch. Here’s our report from Saturday; at last report, the work was penciled in for Tuesday/Wednesday.
METRO MEETING TUESDAY NIGHT: No transportation-funding solution yet, so Metro continues to proceed as if it will have to make those dramatic service cuts outlined last month. Find out and speak out about them at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center tomorrow (Tuesday, December 3rd) night, 6-8 pm.
HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE NEXT WEEKEND, NORTH OF BATTERY ST. TUNNEL: Early heads-up – midnight Friday night until 5 am Monday morning, Highway 99 will be closed from the Battery Street Tunnel northward to Valley Street “while crews switch the roadway from the west side of the street to the east side of the street.”
BICYCLE MASTER PLAN UPDATED: In case you haven’t seen it yet – the final proposed updated version is out, and will be aired at a round of meetings starting this week. Your comments are invited too. SDOT explains, here.
Check back for today’s traffic updates, as/when needed!
**MONDAY AFTERNOON NOTE: For full coverage of this afternoon’s de-icer debacle, which closed the bridge for two hours, go here.**