West Seattle, Washington
High-school basketball season has begun in earnest, and the boys of West Seattle High School hosted Lakeside tonight. The Lions left with the win, 57-48, though the Wildcats had been on top at halftime, 28-25. Our partners at The Seattle Times have the stats; Ruslan Burduzha led West Seattle scoring with 18 points, while DeAndre Love and Malachi Cain had 12 each. (That’s Cain in our top photo, #21, with Spenser Elder, #10.) This was the first Metro League game of the year for head coach Keffrey Fazio’s 2013-14 WSHS varsity squad; its first game, non-conference, was a home-court win over Kent-Meridian, 72-58. Next up, the Wildcats visit Rainier Beach on Friday.
Now that it’s two weeks until Christmas Eve – we’ll be showing West Seattle Christmas lights nightly unless pre-empted by big breaking news. We welcome your suggestions (with or without photos), and we’re out looking around too. Above, Jeff and Ardith Burns shared the photo of their home in the Seola area:
We have decorated our home with lights and would like to share them with our West Seattle neighbors. There are over 18,000 lights and include 31 blowmolds, 3 fence scenes, and 5 standing/sitting deer. Our address is 3216 SW 114th St. [map] The lights are turned on from 5 pm to 10 pm each night through Christmas.
Next, another view from the crane-borne Christmas lights at West Seattle development sites; we noticed tonight that yet more lights have been added to the crane over Spruce (the former “Hole” at 39th/Alaska/Fauntleroy) – blue lights over the lower half of its vertical structure, punctuated by this:
More lights tomorrow! firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions and/or a photo. To find them after we’ve published them, you can look in the archive or the WSB Holiday Guide as well as our Pinterest gallery of West Seattle Christmas lights, which includes an extra view of the Burns home.
5:33 PM: A condo building fire response across from Seacrest in the 1600 block of Harbor has slowed traffic in the area. The call originally went out as a chimney fire.
6:11 PM: The incident commander confirmed at the scene, that’s what it was. No major damage, no injuries, no unit(s) left uninhabitable. It was spotted by someone passing by, SFD says, who saw sparks and called it in. Harbor was blocked both ways when we got there around 5:25 but reopened a few minutes later. Thanks to those who texted us about it – the response didn’t look as big on the 911 log as it did at the scene, so we wouldn’t have gone without those firsthand reports.
5:04 PM: Heads up if you are heading home: 3-vehicle crash on southbound I-5 right at West Seattle Bridge exit.
6:19 PM: That crash is reported to have been cleared – though SB I-5 has been backed up six miles or so because of that and other problems. However, new trouble: Crash reported on the westbound high-rise West Seattle Bridge.
1:58 PM: Seattle Police are searching for a man reported to have jumped out of the bushes near the east side of West Seattle High School, in the Walnut/Stevens vicinity. Police say the man was reported to have grabbed the arm of a passing female, who hit him and ran into the school. Police were not able to tell us if she is a student. She was not hurt. The man was described as white, 30s-40s, medium build, shoulder-length brown hair, about 5-11, in a blue zipup jacket and black pants.
2:06 PM UPDATE: Right after we talked with SPD media-relations Det. Jeff Kappel about this incident, which we had heard on the scanner, SPD mentioned it on Twitter and described the victim as a student. (Added: The SPD Blotter version pulls back on that but says she’s 16.)
2:43 PM UPDATE: Here’s principal Ruth Medsker‘s note just sent to WSHS families, forwarded to us by a parent:
Today, one of our students was off campus during lunch when she was grabbed by a male stranger. She was able to break away and ran back to school, where she immediately reported it to our school administration. We called 9-1-1 and the police responded quickly.
Please be assured that we are committed to keeping our students safe while they are at school. We will continue to remind students to report these types of incidents to us immediately, and we also encourage you to discuss personal safety with your student.
(Dec. 2: De-icer-slick, closed-to-traffic bridge; photo by Christopher Boffoli)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In a briefing before the City Council Transportation Committee, SDOT has just admitted what really caused the de-icer debacle eight days ago, when multiple crashes happened on the de-icer-slickened West Seattle Bridge, subsequently shut down until it could be sanded (WSB as-it-happened coverage here).
It was NOT the fault of possible driver error, NOT the fault of too-warm temperatures, both of which were cited by an SDOT spokesperson afterward, but instead: The magnesium-chloride de-icer liquid was applied at twice the rate it should have been. (We had asked about operator error, too, that day, asking SDOT spokesperson Rick Sheridan via e-mail: “So there was nothing different in the formula or the amount?” His reply: “Not that we are currently aware of.”)
The discussion about the de-icer problem was followed by a shorter exchange about last Friday morning’s 2 1/2-hour lane blockage on the Viaduct (WSB as-it-happened coverage here) – why that couldn’t be cleared sooner, and why Metro didn’t reroute sooner, given the massive resulting backup:
The answer to that last matter was a “facepalm,” as one person put it on Twitter – the city’s Traffic Management Center is usually staffed at that hour by interns, and on Friday morning, an intern who had not worked there before was on duty. Which apparently explains the first, belated SDOT tweet about the lane blockage:
SR 99 is very congested due to a bad accident
— seattledot (@seattledot) December 6, 2013
Just before 8, Metro finally texted word of a reroute, as we tweeted:
JUST got the first C Line reroute text from @kcmetrobus b/c of ongoing 99 woes. Will stop NB at 3rd/Seneca since missing EB Seneca/3rd.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 6, 2013
(STORY CONTINUES BELOW, WITH MEETING VIDEO ADDED AT THE END, AND POST-MEETING FOLLOWUP)Read More
From the year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and seasonal Holiday Events/Info Guide, highlights for today/tonight:
CITY COUNCIL TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE: Meeting under way right now has a beefy agenda including a discussion that chair Councilmember Tom Rasmussen promises will include last week’s bridge problems, as well as the proposed Bicycle Master Plan Update. Here’s the agenda; it’s live via Seattle Channel cable or website.
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: Last week’s bridge problems are also part of the agenda for tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition board meeting, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. See the full agenda here. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
FIND OUT ABOUT FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION: The group Families Like Ours welcomes you to an informational meeting, 6-8 pm at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), to learn more about placement agencies, types of adoption, the process, the cost of adoption/foster care, and how to get started. (3940 41st SW)
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Tonight the ANA looks back at 2013 and ahead to 2014 – via a visioning exercise – along with celebrating the holidays, and planning next Saturday’s Adopt-A-Street cleanup. The meeting (with coffee and hors d’oeuvres) is NOT at the usual location – 7 pm at the city-landmark The Sanctuary at Admiral. (2656 42nd SW)
HOLIDAY CONCERT #1: The West Seattle Debut and Intermediate Orchestras with Endolyne Children’s Choir invite you to share an evening of adventure near and far. Then sing in the holidays with traditional carols and Jingle Bell Rock! 6:30 pm at Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium. (2600 SW Thistle)
HOLIDAY CONCERT #2: Seattle Metropolitan Glee Club, based in West Seattle, presents its annual Holiday Concert at 7 pm at the Alki Masonic Center. Admission is by donation. There will be treats after the concert, and rumor has it that Santa will make an appearance. The Glee Club is also collecting gently used or new clothing items (coats, underwear, socks, etc.) for Mary’s Place, a shelter for women and children in need. (4736 40th SW)
Another road-closure alert for The Junction as two major construction projects continue. This is just in from Compass Construction, general contractor for the apartment/retail building at 4730 California SW:
Compass Construction will pour the garage parking slab on December 16th.
Northbound California Avenue SW will be closed during the pour from SW Edmunds Street to SW Alaska St. Uniformed police officers will direct traffic around the closure. Due to the size of the pour and our desire to get the street open for business as soon as possible, we are starting the setup at 5:00 AM and will start pouring at 6:00 AM.
We cannot control traffic to and from the area so our times are approximate. We anticipate the last concrete truck at approximately 11:30 AM and opening the street to northbound traffic and parking by approximately Noon. The midblock crosswalk will remain open during the pour.
We’ll also have a reminder about this when it gets closer, and this notice will remain linked in the “Big Stories” list atop the WSB sidebar, as with other noteworthy traffic alerts.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
West Seattle won’t just be the hardest hit if Metro has to carry out its plan for cuts – it will be the first hit.
So if you have something to say about the routes proposed for reductions/eliminations, it’s time to say something if you haven’t already. You have another chance to do that today, if you work downtown, with Metro’s next public meeting at Union Station at noon.
Metro’s been making the rounds, including a stop last week in West Seattle. That came almost a month after Metro GM Kevin Desmond had summoned news media to a meeting room downtown (WSB coverage here) to warn again that service slashes loom, outlining which ones were on the endangered list and how the process would roll out.
There was some hope then of a breakthrough in the Olympia-centered battle over transportation funding, including money for roads as well as transit. But it hasn’t happened yet, and most recently, while briefing the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council last Thursday, two of our area’s state legislators reiterated the lack of a deal.
So absent a major U-turn, you might say, the first batch of cuts for our area is approaching the onramp – detailed in a plan that is being drawn up right now, to go to the County Council within weeks, since these cuts would take effect in June.
(More area traffic cams on the WSB Traffic page)
We start again today with both bridge cameras, to give you the best views currently available.
BIG-PICTURE TRANSPORTATION NOTES: Remember last week’s bridge troubles on Monday and Friday? Who could forget! They’re expected to come up in this morning’s meeting of the City Council Transportation Committee, chaired by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen; you can watch live at 9:30 am on seattlechannel.org. The proposed Bicycle Master Plan Update for the city is scheduled for presentation during the meeting too. … The West Seattle Transportation Coalition invites you to its board meeting tonight – perfect time to get involved; 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way).
6:20 PM: Evening commute trouble – details here.
A memorial service is planned tomorrow (Wednesday, December 11th), for Fern Baer Freeman, who lived for many years at the Island View Apartments in West Seattle and served as their manager for much of that time, according to her daughter Lois, who shares this remembrance:
Fern Baer Freeman was born December 23, 1923 in the Aberdeen, Idaho, area to Edward and Katherina (Friesen) Baer, who were part of that German Mennonite farming community.
Fern went first to the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA later) and in 1946 completed her RN at Bethel Deaconess Hospital in Newton, Kansas. After various nursing work assignments (one in Berkeley, California) and more studies, Fern moved to the East Coast to attend the King’s College. She met and married New Yorker (Queens) Robert Franklin Freeman in Wilmington, Delaware on March 4, 1951. Fern com- pleted a BSN degree.
They had six children over the following eight years and had relocated to the Pacific Northwest by the time their second child (John) was born. They lived in Pocatello, Boise, and Mountain Home before leaving Idaho to move to Seattle in 1969. The Seattle area was Fern’s home from 1969-1974 and from 1985 to the present. The family lived in Ephrata, Washington, 1975-1985 when the two younger girls (Ruth and Linda) were in high school. Fern worked for a dentist there and learned to craft teeth.
Fern, Bob, and Ruth moved back to Seattle in the mid-1980s. Fern consecutively became the manager of two apartment buildings. She remained back-up manager at Island View in West Seattle from age 75-85. Fern and Bob were both members of West Side Presbyterian Church in West Seattle.
She is pre-deceased by a daughter, Ruth Laurel Freeman, in 2007, and her husband Robert in 2008. She has five living children [Daniel Freeman of Avon Lake, Ohio (near Cleveland), Lois Easley of Glen Ellyn, Illinois (near Chicago), John Freeman of Bellevue, Washington, Glenn Freeman of Kent, Washington and Linda Freeman of Edmonds, Washington], three children-in-law (Brenda in OH, Dan in IL and Susan in Kent), and nine grandchildren, (Julie, Amy, Sarah, Benjamin, Christopher, Katherine, Alison, Anna, and Joseph).
Mrs. Freeman will be buried this afternoon at Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery near Northgate; her memorial service will be at 1 pm Wednesday at West Side Presbyterian (3601 California SW). More details at bartonfuneral.com.