day : 06/12/2013 12 results

Video: How did development get to this point? Morgan Junction meeting provides primer, context

Two more meetings are now set related to concerns over the Morgan Junction development first reported here almost two months ago, before the sign went up – a 30-unit, no-parking-space apartment building at 6917 California SW. They follow the meeting recorded in our video above, held last night by the Morgan Community Association and Concerned Morgan Junction Neighbors, a grass-roots group coalescing around the development proposal.

In the video, you will hear/see community advocates and city Department of Planning and Development managers talk about the development process, including some of the relatively recent changes that have paved the way for developments like this, such as the 2012 change that enabled developers to propose no-parking-space buildings in urban-village areas with access to what the city considers “frequent transit.” (City planning director Marshall Foster – a West Seattleite – explains that, at about 37 minutes into the video, which captures the entire meeting, unedited, except for the last few minutes of Q/A. “The goal was to let the market have some flexibility,” he said.)

Even if you’re not in the Morgan area, listening might be instructive, if you’re interested in what preceded the kind of development proposals emerging today.

The next two meetings are coming up on the next two Thursday nights, according to an announcement sent out tonight. Next Thursday (December 12th), 6917 California SW developer Mark Knoll will meet with neighbors (and anyone else interested). That meeting is set for 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6700 Sylvan Way). Then December 19th is the date for a city meeting about the project, resulting from Concerned Morgan Junction Neighbors’ petition, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon).

West Seattle holidays: OLG’s ‘coldest tree lighting ever’

December 6, 2013 9:00 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle Christmas lights | West Seattle news

Right before emceeing the Our Lady of Guadalupe tree lighting tonight, broadcaster Brian Callanan told us it just might be the coldest one yet, with temperatures in the 20s. Yet hundreds of people still showed up to carol and cheer, right after the tree was lit:

After some truly brisk caroling, people flocked into the warm gym at OLG’s Parish Life Center for cookies, cocoa, and mingling:

In the giving spirit of Christmas, eventgoers answered the call to fill this handmade (by Dave Fitton) sleigh with food donations:

The OLG tree holds the distinction of being at the crest of the city – since 35th/Myrtle is at the highest elevation in the Seattle city limits, 520 feet above sea level.

West Seattle holidays: Festive ‘Festivus’ for WS Tool Library

Yes, there really is a Festivus pole at tonight’s West Seattle Tool Library/Sustainable West Seattle holiday party/fundraiser at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (that’s Chas Redmond next to it in our photo). They chose the theme of the “Seinfeld“-sparked anti-holiday just for fun – and a lot of that was being had when we stopped by in the early going, with a casual dinner, kids’ activities, silent auction, and more:

Out in the lobby, an unexpected sight – Santa Claus!

Santa (with Bill Reiswig in our photo) said he was actually on his way to another event so wouldn’t be able to stop for the traditional Festivus “airing of grievances” or “feats of strength.” We didn’t check the roof for his reindeer, but we’re sure they felt right at home on this North Pole-chilly night. If you missed the party, you can visit the Tool Library on the north side of Youngstown, open two weeknights and two weekend days each week, where you’ll even find the cider press that was in use at tonight’s party:

The nonprofit Tool Library also suggests that gift memberships make great presents – for Christmas as well as Festivus; you can even buy them online.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Cold, and getting colder

When you head out to enjoy some of the outdoor holiday festivities ahead, like the Our Lady of Guadalupe tree lighting tonight and the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays tree lighting tomorrow (both in our Holiday Guide), you might consider an extra layer of coat, gloves, socks, scarf, everything you can find. The National Weather Service published a “special weather statement” alert late today saying it’s likely to be colder this weekend than it’s been in at least three years. Maybe into the teens.

Skies Over West Seattle, almost-winter edition: Look, up there!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ever wish for advance alert of an upcoming meteor shower/eclipse/etc. – and/or wonder “What’s that bright ‘star’ up there?” – especially on these recent clear nights? Here you go! It’s our periodic feature by West Seattle’s own Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen, famous for her solstice/equinox sunset watches among other things.

By Alice Enevoldsen
Special to West Seattle Blog

Well, it has been quite a cloudy fall, so not so much to see, but as we move into winter, we get some blazingly clear skies inbetween the clouds. The colder it is, the more dazzling our skies.

Hey! What’s That?

In the Southwest just before and after sunset: Venus

High in the East a while after sunset, and climbing higher through the night: Jupiter

Rising Southeast later at night: Sirius, brightest star in the night sky. It will twinkle so much you’ll think it is an airplane flashing its lights at you.

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Hot topics @ City Council on Tuesday: Trash, transportation

December 6, 2013 1:39 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

Two topics of much discussion here go before City Council committees next Tuesday (December 10), as confirmed by agendas just made public:

EVERY-OTHER-WEEK TRASH PICKUP: Last week, many WSB’ers had something to say about a council proposal that paves the way for Seattle Public Utilities potentially changing to every-other-week garbage service citywide, following a test last year that included part of Highland Park. That proposal, adding an every-other-week option to the city’s contracts with haulers including Waste Management, will be considered by the Libraries, Utilities, and Center Committee at noon Tuesday. This would not be a final decision; as we reported last week, the council is committing itself to deciding by next March whether to pursue the plan, and would have to approve additional legislation to make it reality – but it’s never too soon to speak up if you feel strongly about it, pro or con.

(WSB Monday photo by Patrick Sand)
TRANSPORTATION TROUBLE: Remember the bridge shutdown back on Monday, after de-icer applied in relatively warm afternoon sunshine led to multiple crashes? City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen promised that the Transportation Committee, which he chairs, would seek an SDOT briefing at its next meeting – and there is indeed an agenda item titled “SDOT planning and procedures for roadways during inclement weather” toward the end of the agenda for Tuesday’s 9:30 am meeting.

Both of the above meetings have public-comment periods at the start; both are in council chambers at City Hall downtown; both will be live via Seattle Channel, online or cable channel 21.

West Seattle Friday: OLG tree lighting; Tool Library’s ‘Festivus’; concerts; ‘Miracle on 34th’; more

The photo of a male Anna’s hummingbird is courtesy of Mark Wangerin, one of several bird fans who suggest we remind you to thaw your feeders and bird baths during this mega-cold snap, so the birds have a fighting chance too. Meantime: Holiday events ramp up big time tonight – so the WSB West Seattle Holiday Events/Info Guide is the big source of our highlights:

WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: The monthly local-authors series at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village, co-sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, continues 4-6 pm today with Nicole Hardy, author of “Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin.” Details here. (2600 SW Barton)

FESTIVUS WITH THE TOOL LIBRARY: West Seattle Tool Library Festivus fundraising gala, 6 pm in the dance studio at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. No cover charge; any funds raised go toward maintenance and potentially enhancement of WSTL operations. Beer, wine, soft drinks, food, music, silent auction, kids’ activities, used tool sale, more; new details (and the “Seinfeld” clip to which Festivus traces its roots) are in our Thursday preview. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

ALOHA FRIDAY AT CORNER BAR: Highland Park Improvement Club‘s monthly Corner Bar has an “Aloha Friday” theme tonight, even featuring Hawaiian music – perfect way to beat the chill; just throw on a coat over your aloha shirt/muu muu/etc. on the way there. 6 pm; details on the HPIC website. (12th/Holden)

HUSKY’S OPEN HOUSE: Tonight brings the ever-popular Husky Deli Holiday Open House in The Junction, 6-9 pm. (4721 California SW)

OLG TREE LIGHTING/FOOD DRIVE: Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish & School will hold its annual tree lighting at the highest point in the city. 7 pm: “Join us for holiday cheer – tree-lighting ceremony, caroling with OLG Parish Choir, hot cocoa and cookies, arts and crafts for the little ones. Help fill the sleigh! Bring your non-perishable food items for our neighbors in need.” (35th/Myrtle)

WSCO CONCERT: West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ holiday season concert, “Winter’s Variations” – first time WSCO has performed on a Friday night, and it includes the debut of the new WSCO Woodwind Ensemble. 7 pm at Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium.
(2600 SW Thistle)

CHAMBER CONCERT: Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale‘s concert “The Mystery of Christmas,” Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 7:30 pm. Details and ticket info on the Musica Sacra website. (42nd/Genesee)

OPENING NIGHT FOR TWELFTH NIGHT: Twelfth Night Productions presents “Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Radio Play,” based on the holiday-movie favorite of the same name. 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall. Tickets are $12 for students and seniors, $15 for adults and can be purchased at or an hour before showtimes at the venue box office. (7904 35th SW)

Even more on our year-round calendar! And be sure to peruse the Holiday Guide to see the many, many, many ways in which you can get festive in the days and nights ahead …

West Seattle history: Alki Homestead listed for sale, again

(WSB photo, taken this morning)
Thanks to Richard Hesik for spotting the listing and sending the link: Almost five years after the electrical fire that damaged and closed the historic-landmark Alki Homestead, it’s listed for sale, again. It had been on the market before the fire; a year and a half afterward, owner Tom Lin said he would put it back on the market, but no listing ever appeared. He then engaged a team of local architects to pursue a restoration plan that went before the city Landmarks Board Architectural Review Committee four times (reports are in our archive of Homestead coverage) before the project went dormant. Now, the 110-year-old former Fir Lodge, a city landmark on a 14k-square-foot lot, is listed for $1,850,000, with Paragon Real Estate Advisors‘ flyer declaring that the Homestead is “now waiting for a new owner to bring it back to life and carry on the legacy,” while also noting, “The list price does not include the cost of rehabilitation of the structure.”

West Seattle scene: King tides’ December peak

December 6, 2013 9:27 am
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 |   West Seattle beaches | West Seattle news

This morning’s high tide, 12.9 feet at 7:48 am, was the peak of the “king tides” for this month, so we went to Alki (above) and Don Armeni (below) for a look. No extra factors pushing the water over the wall THIS time (unlike last December):

Next month, though, the January tides have a higher peak, 13.3 feet on the 4th and 5th. P.S. If you photograph the king tides, as explained here earlier this week, the state Ecology Department would like to see your photos.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Frozen Friday updates; 99 crash blocks lane for 2 1/2 hours

(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:14 AM: We’ve already had one texted warning that the bridge is slick this morning. The usual eastbound camera does not appear to be working, so we’re using the westbound view instead.

ALERT – HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE THIS WEEKEND: From midnight tonight until 5 am Monday, a section of 99 will be closed from the Battery Street Tunnel northward:

SR 99 will be fully closed to traffic between Valley Street and the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel. Traffic traveling through Seattle via SR 99 will be directed to I-5 in northern Seattle at 85th Street or in southern Seattle at E Marginal Way and Spokane Street. More information about alternate routes during construction may be found (here).

6:24 AM: We have two reports of a problem on northbound 99 right now in the stadium zone. (added) A vehicle is visible pointed south in the northbound lanes right by the rise to the remaining Viaduct:

6:39 AM: The 99 crash is now on the 911 log; the camera view does not show the pointed-the-wrong-way vehicle so clearly, with responders at the scene. The right lane is getting by. (added) One texter says that it’s a total stop further down 99, though.

7:11 AM: Camera view indicates northbound 99 is still one lane at that spot. So delay your departure if you can!

7:45 AM: No change. No info on what’s taking so long, either. Bridge approaches, it almost goes without saying, are all backed up too.

8 AM: Metro has just now texted that C Line is rerouting and will have a different stop at 3rd/Seneca as a result.

8:24 AM: The camera view at the crash scene finally shows a tow truck.

8:46 AM: Finally clearing – at the scene; backups will take a while longer. We have asked SDOT what took so long, since this did not appear to be a major crash – one wrong-way car. Will update when the reply is in. We are also asking the county about the delay in reroute instructions for Metro drivers.

9:44 AM: Commenters say it’s still slow out there. Especially 4th Avenue South – here’s the “live” cam from there:

Meantime, on the southeast side of West Seattle, a crash is reported at West Marginal Way S/S. Holden. No details, just a heads-up in case you go that way.

12:44 PM: We have one reply in so far, from Jeff Switzer, speaking for Metro/King County Department of Transportation, to our question of why buses didn’t get a reroute order until an hour and a half after the crash:

RapidRide buses were initially getting by the accident scene, slowly, but still getting by. Once we heard the lane was completely blocked by emergency responders, about 7:47 am, our buses started rerouting. Notice went out to riders at 7:57 am.

Buses exited at Spokane Street and traveled via Fourth Avenue, which also can be congested. Which appears to be what happened today. A reported four-car collision on I-5 northbound at Mercer also appears to have added traffic to Fourth Avenue. Everything was slow coming into town from that direction, and the buses were only able to go as fast as the rest of traffic.

It wasn’t an easy commute for anyone in these corridors and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we shifted our routes to get people downtown as swiftly as possible.

Still awaiting SDOT word on what held up getting the scene cleared until 2 1/2 hours after the crash.

Memorial planned December 14th for Bob Youngs, 1930-2013

Family and friends will gather at Holy Family Church one week from tomorrow to remember Bob Youngs. Here’s the remembrance sent to us to share with you:

Robert (Bob) M. Youngs, Sr. passed away suddenly at home on November 21, 2013, at age 83.

He was born in Longview, Washington, on March 23, 1930, the third of six children born to Curtis and Ruth Youngs. While growing up, Bob and his family moved up and down the West Coast, living in Washington, Oregon, and California. While living in Aumsville, Oregon, during his high-school years, he met the love of his life, Rosalie Mack, and they married in 1950.

Shortly after marrying, Bob was drafted into the Army and served in the Korean War. After returning to his family, he attended Oregon State University and earned a degree in Electrical Engineering, while also working as a cabinet-maker. Bob and Rose moved to Seattle, where Bob spent the next 34 years at Seattle City Light, retiring as Chief Electrical Engineer. Together, Bob and Rose raised five children and recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. They could often be seen walking hand-in-hand; their love still had the spark of newlyweds.

Bob was an avid outdoorsman, loved to spend time with his family and friends, and was a jack-of-all trades…if it was broken or in need of repair, he found a way to fix it. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, boating, skiing, hiking, gardening, as well as traveling near and far. His family and friends reaped the benefits of his woodworking skills, with built-in cabinetry, desks, staircases, fireplaces, and more. Bob helped guide years of youth serving as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 351. Bob was very involved with church activities and provided strong leadership to the Holy Family Knights of Columbus (PGK, FS). Bob also dedicated many hours to The Mountaineers Snoqualmie Lodge, helping create a wonderful family getaway. In all of his endeavors, Bob benefitted from many lasting friendships that have endured throughout the years.

Bob was a dedicated father, grandfather, and friend to many. He is survived by his wife Rose, their children, Rob (Brenda), Rich (Lisa), Rex, Ross (Suzanne), and Ruth (Dennis Lew), and their grandchildren, Derek Youngs (Brittnee), Ashley Youngs, Kelli Youngs, Tony, Devin, and Cameron Lew, and their great-grandsons, Carter Youngs, Tyler Lew, and Jordan Lew.

A Rosary will be held on Friday, December 13th, at 7:00 p.m. and a Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, December 14th at 10:00 a.m. with a reception following the service. Both events will be at Holy Family Church, 9622 20th Ave SW, Seattle. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s memory to Holy Family School Randy Terlicker Scholarship Fund.

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

Speaking of development: More West Seattle crane Christmas lights

Two days after Christmas lights appeared on the crane for The Blake south of The Junction, the crew at The Former “Hole,” officially Spruce, decked theirs (which has been up for six months already!). Christopher Boffoli spotted the work in progress Thursday morning; after leaving the Design Review Board doubleheader chronicled in two stories here Thursday night, we checked out the resulting lights:

Will the crane at 4730 California be joining them? We’ll wait and see.

P.S. All season long, we’re happy to get your tips on more down-to-earth Christmas lights – for photos and/or addresses.