West Seattle, Washington
(2013 Polar Bear Swim photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
Three people have asked about this in the past two days, so we sought out confirmation: Organizer Mark Ufkes says yes, the annual Polar Bear Swim at Alki is on again for 2014. Be at the beach across from Duke’s by 10 am – better yet, he says, “get there a little early” – on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014: “We go in the water at 10 sharp after a count down. Bring water shoes, towel, change of clothes. Hot chocolate and Duke’s clam chowder will be served. This is a great way to wash away the complexities of 2013 and welcome the unlimited possibilities of 2014.”
P.S. We’re adding this to the WSB Holiday Events/Info Guide, which always runs through New Year’s Eve/Day, so if you haven’t sent us your “welcome, 2014!” event yet, firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB – 1st one substituted for original phone photo)
8:14 PM: If you’re heading toward Highway 509 southbound to Burien, or the 1st Avenue South Bridge, heads-up – there’s a “heavy rescue” response at Olson/Myers (map), which is just past the east end of Roxbury.
8:39 PM: Just added our first photo from Christopher Boffoli on the scene – showing the rescue response on the downhill (northeastbound) side.
8:46 PM: Christopher reports that the State Patrol responded as did Seattle Fire: “Single-car rollover. Looks like a second vehicle got clipped. Three victims transported with non-life-threatening injuries including an infant.”
9:03 PM: WSP confirms minor injuries and says the road should reopen within half an hour or so.
The holidays are peak season for people-watching, with more people hosting and mingling than any other time of the year. Above, Dinah Brein and Santa Claus in the lobby of the historic Admiral Theater, which Dinah manages, as people arrived for this afternoon’s free Christmas movie. Yes, as usual, The Admiral *WILL* be open on Christmas Day – movies and showtimes are listed on its website.
In our photo from last Thursday’s party – a full house! – West Seattle Food Bank executive director Fran Yeatts and Charles Morgan from Jackson, Morgan & Hunt PLLC (WSB sponsor). Chamber members can keep an eye on their e-mail for details of next month’s annual meeting, at which a new officer slate is up for election; Nancy Woodland of WestSide Baby is in the running for chair, succeeding Dave Montoure of West 5, who becomes past president.
And people we met during this month’s West Seattle Art Walk and peninsula-wide Holiday Bazaar:
The holiday party at Brunette Mix (WSB sponsor) was more than a celebration – it was a fun(draiser) too. Cleveland High School junior Diana Greenaway is working to get more life-saving LifeStraw portable filters to kids in Kenya. Diana’s project continues – read about it here (you can donate via that page, too).
At West 5 on Art Walk/Holiday Bazaar night, we found the HH Goods team:
If you didn’t catch them that night, you might have seen them at other bazaars this holiday season – their website lists other appearances including Highland Park and South Park.
And at Wallflower Custom Framing (WSB sponsor), we photographed Jessica Creager, one of the featured artists in this month’s Puny Picture Show:
Since many of the Art Walk displays are kept up throughout the month, that means lots of handmade local art is available as last-minute gifts – browse the official Art Walk website for some names, venues, and ideas. (Next Art Walk is January 9th, second Thursday as usual.)
Noticed a sign for this while on an off-peninsula errand earlier today: Northbound I-5 will be closed at S. Dearborn (just north of I-90), 9 pm Monday night until 4:30 am Tuesday, for, the Construction Lookahead says, “installation of a new overhead sign structure.” As a result: “Traffic will be detoured to the northbound collector-distributor. The Northbound I-5 off-ramp to Edgar Martinez Dr. S. will also be closed.”
(WSB photo added 3:25 pm)
3:14 PM: Thanks to Rose for letting us know about a crash at 26th/Nevada (map) in North Delridge. She says six cars are involved. Our crew is still on the way to check it out, but we’ve already heard radio communications about the need for four tow trucks at the scene, so it sounds like this will take a while to clear. No other details yet, but it does not appear anyone suffered major injuries.
3:20 PM UPDATE: Our crew at the scene confirms six damaged vehicles and two private ambulances. Prior radio communications suggest some of the vehicles might have been struck while parked, as police said they hadn’t reached all the owners yet. The crash has blocked 26th north of Genesee – which is part of the Delridge Neighborhood Greenway.
3:27 PM UPDATE: One person has been taken to the hospital, we’re told. Added a photo atop this story; still working on getting a count of how many of the vehicles were moving at the time of the collision and how many were parked.
(WSB photo, looking north on 26th)
3:36 PM UPDATE: At least three were parked (on the west side of Nevada), we’ve learned while talking to people at the scene. The tow trucks have arrived, and the ambulances have departed, so this is getting closer to cleanup.
5:31 PM UPDATE: The street has since reopened (just went over to check for sure).
“Rudolf the Recycling Reindeer,” cousin to red-nosed Rudolph, has officially debuted on YouTube (watch above, or on YT here). The Junction Neighborhood Organization enlisted helpers to create the video on behalf of its holiday Recycle/Reuse/Reduce (Waste) campaign, and debuted it today at their West Seattle Farmers’ Market booth, where we found Michael and René from JuNO:
In keeping with the spirit of the campaign, the presents under the tree were wrapped in reused materials, and even the big handmade sign behind them is reused cardboard. Even beyond the holidays, JuNO will be evangelizing waste reduction as part of its participation in a regional challenge, and René tells WSB that the Junction area is in second place so far!
JuNO, by the way, just relaunched this past July, and has already been very busy, with activities like this as well as community cleanups and educational presentations regarding development (here’s our video-included coverage of the September 18th meeting explaining the alley/street vacation process involved in many major developments).
Today you can get more than fruit, vegetables, cheese, cider, baked goods, nuts, meat, fish, etc., at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market – you can get a balloon creation! As mentioned in our morning preview, it’s a special solstice/holiday edition of the WSFM today. Some booths are decorated, like Whistling Train Farm:
On the east side of the market, you’ll find a booth where you can vote for the “best decorated booth.” As always, the market’s open until 2, at 44th/Alaska in The Junction. And just down the street, at City Mouse (4218 SW Alaska), you’ll find Santa Claus:
Photos today are DIY – donations go (as you might have guessed by the sign) to WestSide Baby, which helps local kids year-round. Santa’s scheduled to be there until 3 pm, and that’s also closing time for the Belgian Draft Mule-drawn carriage making round-trips from the southwest corner of California/Alaska, courtesy of West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB). And of course, up and down California, as well as along Alaska and Oregon and 42nd and 41st, local independent retailers are there to help you with your last-Sunday-before-Christmas gift shopping – have fun!
West Seattle teenagers interested in running are invited to be part of a new group launching early in the new year. The announcement was shared by Emma:
Starting January 4th, West Seattle Runner will offer a free teen running group every Saturday at 11 am for those in high school and college. This will be a great place to meet other youth who enjoy running, train for races like 5Ks and half marathons, and improve overall fitness.
Lori McConnell, co-owner of West Seattle Runner, wanted to start this group because “As a long distance runner, the owner of a running store, and a therapist for youth and athletes, I saw the need. I have heard from teens that they would like to run more, but in the dark winter, they are limited because they don’t want to run alone. I also want to introduce the joy of running to youth. It is a healthy activity for them to spend time doing, it gives a sense of belonging, and it increases confidence. Also, running is a way to build good mental health and helps with learning. I wanted an opportunity to connect like-minded teens in a social way.”
A Facebook group called “West Seattle Teen Running Group” has been created and will be the central place for future information about this upcoming running group. If you have questions, contact Lori at email@example.com or call West Seattle Runner at 206-938-0545.
Thanks to Debbi Crane for sharing the photo of a barred owl who spent hours overnight hanging out in a tree at her home near Lowman Beach – “I believe he was investigating our parakeets, who live in a cage near a window facing the backyard.” Where will YOU be hanging out today? The WSB Holiday Guide and year-round Event Calendar have some suggestions:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET, SOLSTICE EDITION: One day after the solstice ushered in winter, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market kicks it up a notch today for a special Winter Solstice edition of the market. Decorations and more. 10 am-2 pm. (44th/Alaska)
JuNO AT THE MARKET: As noted here last Tuesday, the Junction Neighborhood Organization is having a reuse/recycle/reduce-waste contest and will be at the WSFM today to accept entries until choosing a winner at 1:30.
CHRISTMAS LESSONS & CAROLS SERVICE: From the church-services section of the Holiday Guide, a special service today at All Souls Church of Seattle (WSB sponsor), the Christmas Lessons + Carols Service, 10 am: “All are welcome to join us for readings through the birth narrative of Jesus, and the rich Christmas hymns sung for ages. Come as you are; invite a neighbor!” All Souls meets at Madison Middle School. (45th/Spokane)
WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS – CARRIAGE RIDES: 11 am-3 pm, the simple carriage drawn by Belgian Draft Mules will make its rounds in The Junction, as part of West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB). Free; board by KeyBank at California/Alaska.
WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS – SANTA MEET ‘N’ GREET: Also 11 am-3 pm, as part of West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays, DIY photos with Santa, who will be awaiting your child(ren)’s visit at City Mouse Store. (4218 SW Alaska)
GIFT-WRAPPING FUNDRAISER: “Wrap It Up” gift-wrapping fundraiser for Furry Faces and AARF Foundations‘ animal advocacy. ***Special note – F3 and AARF will be there by 11:30 am for gift dropoff: “We know a lot of people will be watching the Seahawk game. While they are screaming with excitement, we will wrap all of their gifts between 1 pm and 6 pm. Then they pick them up after the game!” The Beer Junction. (4511 California SW)
TRANSPORTATION COALITION WANTS TO LISTEN TO YOU: The West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s “listening tour,” explained here, continues today with reps at Zatz Bagels in The Admiral District, noon-2 pm. (2348 California SW)
SANTA AT CAPERS: The Santa previously known as “ex-Westwood Santa” and now as “CAPERS Santa” is back at the Junction store for DIY Santa photos (you take the picture) “from 1 to 5. Suggested donation per sitting $10. All donations will benefit the West Seattle Food Bank.” (4525 California SW)
FREE CHRISTMAS MOVIE & HUMANE SOCIETY DONATION DRIVE: 4 pm (get there early!) is screening time for “Arthur Christmas,” this year’s free Christmas movie at the historic Admiral Theater – here’s the trailer:
It’s also a benefit for the Humane Society, if you can give; $1 will be donated for every large popcorn sold, and you’re asked to bring pet toys, beds, food, collars, leashes, etc. P.S. Santa will be there too! (2343 California SW)
MARK PICKEREL: Special acoustic show by the popular local musician, with special guest Shannon Donahue, at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 8 pm. (6451 California SW)
Congratulations to the West Seattle Force, citywide U-17 soccer champions after Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Ballard Huskies in the City Youth Soccer Association finals. The Force is a West Seattle Soccer Club team, coached by Wayne Johnson and Greg Postel.