day : 04/03/2014 10 results

Update: Crash on west end of West Seattle Bridge, no injuries reported

(Substituted for original “live” picture: Image captured when SFD was still on scene)
10:22 PM: As the “live” camera shows – there’s an emergency response near Walking On Logs alongside the west end of the West Seattle Bridge. It started as a heavy-rescue call, but that was reduced; one caller tells us it’s a rollover – we have a crew en route to check.

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB – note the vehicle on its side, at left)
10:35 PM: No injuries reported – the fire units have all been canceled, and a tow truck is being summoned. The scene is all but inaccessible from the West Seattle side but we note via the traffic camera’s live picture that the car is still visible, on its side. At the top of this story, we’re substituting a frame grab from about 15 minutes ago, when fire units were still on scene.

11:08 PM: Added photos by Christopher Boffoli, who said public-safety personnel at the scene mentioned the vehicle’s occupants had crawled out – which explains why the “heavy rescue” call was canceled. The vehicle’s been towed and traffic is again flowing normally in the area, described by Christopher as about 30 feet from Walking on Logs.

Making West Seattle safer: New Block Watch = Stairs Watch

Chris McCall is rounding up some help for a neighborhood problem – and that broken glass is one of the symptoms:

We are starting a block watch because of vandalism and theft that has resulted from teens hanging out on the Hanford St. Stairs one block north of Madison Middle School.

Teens meet there to buy or sell pot, smoke pot, and drink liquor (that is probably stolen from parents, such as the smashed bottle of dragon fruit-infused SKY vodka currently there).

Some neighbors are scared to use the stairs at any time, and little children have to be careful of broken glass.

If you would like to help make these stairs safer and cleaner, please join us for a block watch meeting.

When: Tuesday, March 11th at 7 pm

Where: At the top of the stairs – 4516 SW Hanford St. (map)

Who: Mark Solomon from the Seattle Police Department will meet with us to discuss issues and how to solve them.

After Chris sent the announcement, we asked about a photo – and received the top photo showing broken glass, with the explanation, “Over the weekend, a mother and her young kids cleaned much of the litter as an act of kindness. I also put a broom on the stairs for people to use to clear broken glass.”

Later this afternoon – before we published this – Chris had a new photo to share, and an epilogue:

Walking home from school just now, I see that somebody broke the broom that I put out.

See SDOT memo on The Whittaker’s alley-vacation request, one week before hearing

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

We are now one week away from the project at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW, now known as The Whittaker (previously nicknamed the Whole Foods project after its anchor tenant), going to the City Council Transportation Committee for a public hearing.

The public hearing, the date for which was set last month, is your chance to comment on the “alley vacation” requested by The Whittaker’s developers – asking for City Council approval of their potential purchase of alley space on the site, for their 370-apartment, 600-parking-space mixed-use project. It includes what some have described as a new private alley, a “midblock connector” through the project. In addition to paying what the city calls fair-market value for the alley space, developers are supposed to include a package of “public benefits” in order to gain approval.

With behind-the-scenes meetings and advocacy campaigns having been long under way, the hearing is shaping up as a showdown between project supporters and opponents; the latter most notably include UFCW Local 21, which funded a campaign called “Getting It Right for West Seattle” focused on raising concerns about the project, from Whole Foods’ pay scale to potential truck traffic. The project team launched a campaign of its own recently, including this website mentioned in postal-mail cards sent to people in proximity of the project.

The Seattle Department of Transportation reviews alley-vacation requests before they go to the City Council. Last July, you might recall, then-Mayor Mike McGinn told then-SDOT director Peter Hahn not to recommend approval of the alley vacation. The SDOT staff review was not complete at that time. It is now, one week in advance of the hearing, and we have just obtained it:

(The table/attachment referenced in the document is here.) In our first quick read of the 22-page document, we note that SDOT concludes that, “Should the City Council choose to support the vacation, it is recommended that the vacation be granted upon the Petitioner meeting” conditions laid out at the end of the document – you can see the long list of those conditions in the embedded document above.

We’ll be adding more to this story later this afternoon, and we’ll have a followup looking more closely at the campaigns focused on this proposal. Next Wednesday’s hearing is at 9:30 am in City Council Chambers at City Hall downtown.

West Seattle development: ~40 apartments planned at 4439 41st SW

Another apartment project has surfaced in The Junction. We noticed the site, 4439 41st SW (map), last year, when eight townhouses were in the works (here’s that now-superseded proposal). Now, updated online records describe a different project making its way through the city Department of Planning and Development — a three-stories-plus-basement, ~40-apartment, 5-parking-space building, to replace a century-old home on an 8,600-square-foot lot. The land-use application was just filed Monday, so the formal notice will likely be in the Thursday Land Use Information Bulletin, but the project already has drawn public comments, some centering on its proximity to Hope Lutheran Church/School across the alley to its west, and the major increase in density around the church’s site – it’s kitty-corner from the proposed 50-unit 4505 42nd SW, north of the opening-soon 90-unit Oregon 42 apartments, and east of the proposed 80-unit Junction Flats apartments.

Update: 53rd Avenue Pump Station work expected to finish early

March 4, 2014 11:37 am
|    Comments Off on Update: 53rd Avenue Pump Station work expected to finish early
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

We just checked with King County Wastewater Treatment regarding today’s work at the 53rd Avenue Pump Station, and spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson tells us the crew is expecting to wrap up early. So the work that’s been affecting the sidewalk/trail zone by the pump station will likely be done closer to 1 pm than the originally announced 3 pm.

West Seattle Tuesday: SSCC open house; WWRHAH Community Council; Mardi Gras ‘Blues to Do’; more

March 4, 2014 10:21 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Tuesday: SSCC open house; WWRHAH Community Council; Mardi Gras ‘Blues to Do’; more
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Somewhere under the rainbow – a home in Gatewood, photographed Monday afternoon by Dawn (thanks for sharing!). Don’t know if this afternoon will bring another break in the rain, but we’re marching on with the preview for today/tonight just the same:

COLLEGE NIGHT AT SSCC: 5:30-7:30 pm, South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) hosts a big open house for everyone from current students to potential future students to community members. Details here; it’s happening in the Brockey Center on the south side of campus. (6000 16th SW)

FAIRMOUNT PARK ELEMENTARY INFO NIGHT: 6-8 pm at Alki Elementary, another chance for prospective FP parents to meet planning principal Julie Breidenbach and find out more about the expanding/reopening school – details in our listing. (3010 59th SW)

WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS COMMUNITY COUNCIL: Agenda for tonight’s WWRHAH meeting, 6:15 pm at the Southwest Branch Library:

6:15-6:20: Introductions & Community News
6:25-6:35: State of the Council; Amanda Kay Helmick
6:35-6:40: Upcoming Elections – Who is Running?
6:40-7:10: SDOT; Jim Curtin- SDOT Update: Feedback on the SW Roxbury safety project; Update on the 35th Ave SW Safety project; Road Vibrations from buses on SW Roxbury and 26th Ave SW; 30th Ave SW Sidewalks; Q&A
7:10-7:40: Committee & Neighborhood Council Updates; What else should we work on this year?
Metro Committee: Amanda Kay Helmick; Transit Hub
Roxhill Bog Committee: Rory Donovan; Process Update
Roxhill Park Committee: Amanda Kay Helmick & Eric Iwamoto; Grant update
DNDC: Pablo
SWDC: Rory or Eric
7:40-7:45: Wrap Up: Breakdown the room; library locks up promptly at 8 pm.


WEST SEATTLE BOOSTER CLUB: The WS Booster Club is gearing up to help more WSHS sports than ever – but they can’t do it without you. Here’s our story from last weekend. Meeting’s at 7 pm at the West Seattle High School library. (3000 California SW)

FAT TUESDAY! MARDI GRAS EDITION OF ‘BLUES TO DO’: Weekly “Blues to Do” at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) celebrates Mardi Gras with Snake Oil featuring Rod Cook and Mark Riley, plus “a short set of original boogie-woogie piano from award winning songwriter and piano man” Eric “Two Scoops” Moore. 8 pm.(6451 California SW)

Radio Shack says it’ll close up to 1,100 ‘underperforming’ stores

Troubled times for one of the few national non-food/drink retailers with multiple stores in West Seattle. Radio Shack announced this morning that it’s closing up to 1,100 “underperforming” stores across the country – about a fifth of its locations. The company did not announce which stores it’ll close, so we don’t know whether either local outlet (Junction, Westwood Village) will be affected. The announcement came as Radio Shack announced a sales drop and operating loss last quarter. (Thanks to Bob for the tip.)

Update: House-fire call in 8000 block 45th SW = furnace trouble

March 4, 2014 7:05 am
|    Comments Off on Update: House-fire call in 8000 block 45th SW = furnace trouble
 |   West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

7:05 AM: Busy morning for firefighters. They’re now off to a second house-fire call – this time in the 8000 block of 45th SW (map), just east of central Lincoln Park. Not major, apparently – units still on the way are being told they can slow down. More to come.

7:09 AM: Per scanner, firefighters on scene say it’s just a furnace problem. We’re still en route to check. (Update – Our crew on scene has confirmed it.)


March 4, 2014 6:46 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Tuesday
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
The morning commute is again off to a soggy start, and the forecast suggests the rain might not clear off today the way it did Monday. No traffic-slowing problems currently reported, though.

PATH WORK PLANNED: Reminder that today is the day the county was planning to do work at the 53rd Avenue Pump Station site on Alki, affecting sidewalk/trail traffic. (We’re checking to see if the rain has affected the plan.)

Update: Space heater blamed for early-morning fire on 20th SW

(Fire engine on watch in 8400 block of 20th SW; line goes to scene along the alley, out of view)
6:39 AM: Firefighters have been keeping “fire watch” this morning after putting out a fire in in the 8400 block of 20th SW (map). That means they’re guarding the scene to make sure the fire doesn’t re-ignite. No injuries, the crew on scene told us; we’ll add information about the damage and cause when that’s available later this morning.

7:44 AM: Went back for that photo after talking with the battalion chief at another fire-response scene. We’ve learned no one was home at the time of this fire, which did most of its damage in the rear of the house, facing an alley.

9:58 AM: SFD has published an update on the fire, saying a space heater was to blame; damage totals $125,000. SFD’s update includes information about home-heating safety.