day : 11/06/2014 11 results

Premature seal pup’s short life on Alki: Did you see its mom?

Wildlife advocates tried but were unable to save the life of a prematurely born seal pup that appeared on the Alki shore on Monday. Robin Lindsey from Seal Sitters Marine Stranding Network tells the story of “Luigi” in an update on Blubberblog, and adds in a note to WSB:

Yesterday was a terribly sad day for all of us that looked after Luigi, estimated to be only a day old when reported on Alki Monday. For the past two days, onlookers were so considerate and caring and understood the urgency about keeping the area free of disturbance in hopes that mom would return. There are a number of reasons that this pup might have been abandoned on our shore – not the least of which is that the mom may have died during the birth. We are hoping that anyone who might have noticed an adult seal on shore Monday at Alki or nearby – or one offshore that appeared to be in distress – will contact us so we might help unravel this mystery.

It is no mystery, however, that if people and dogs are too close and scare away a mother seal, she will often not return for her pup if she feels threatened. As always, dogs continue to be a problem on our public beaches and put wildlife at risk.

In the photo here, you can see the long lanugo coat that indicates she was born a month prematurely, a very difficult hurdle for survival. To our knowledge there has not been a live lanugo birth in West Seattle before – certainly not in the almost 8 years I have been doing this. Pupping season is just now getting underway in South Puget Sound rookeries and full-term pups generally start being born in late June. Usually, we see our first pup in West Seattle in early July, but the height of the season is September and October as weaned pups disperse from the rookeries.

Usually, a pup turns up on shore just to rest while its mom is out looking for food. If you see one – as Robin mentions, the season is about to begin – or if you have information on the circumstances of Luigi’s birth, call 206-905-SEAL. Robin also adds a vital reminder: “Only authorized members of NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network can handle marine mammals. It is against the law to touch, move or feed them.” (It really IS a network, including volunteers like SS – the most recent NOAA map with contacts is here.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary victim’s request; WSCPC announces next meeting’s in Lincoln Park

Notice anyone suspicious in Heather‘s neighborhood today?

I live on 11th Ave SW in the Highland Park neighborhood. Today our home was broken into between the hours of 1:00-5:00pm. Electronics, jewelry, and cash were stolen. People entered through a basement window. We have reason to believe that this could have been done by more than one person due to the fact that we found two golf clubs in the main floor bedroom that came up from the basement. Wanted to reach out to the community to see if anyone saw anyone in the area. It is worth noting that we did have visitors today so we had multiple vehicles in the driveway and in front of the house, even while we were away. So we want to know if anyone was knocking on doors or “surveying” the neighborhood today so we can also give that info to police.

According to our custom West Seattle list of SPD Tweets by Beat, this happened in the 7900 block of 11th SW (map). While the SPD police-reports map appears to be lagging, Tweets by Beat also lists six other residential-burglary reports as new to the system today – we won’t be able to find out until tomorrow if all of those burglaries really happened today, or if this is just when the reports were approved (if one of these cases involved you, please let us know – 3000 block of SW Bradford, 3100 block of SW Raymond, 8600 block of 46th SW, 9000 block of 35th SW, 4500 block of Glenn Way, and 3600 block of SW Henderson.

P.S. – NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING ANNOUNCED: Next Tuesday, the WSCPC meets for the last time until September. And the meeting’s going outdoors for the occasion – 7 pm June 17th, Lincoln Park shelter #1, with SPD Bike Patrol officers in attendance to explain their summer plans. As always, Southwest Precinct leadership will be there too with updates on crime trends and a chance for you to bring up neighborhood concerns. (This map shows you how to find Shelter #1.)

West Seattle Bridge’s 30th anniversary! Celebration starts rolling at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse during Thursday’s WS Art Walk

(Photos courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
Every West Seattle Art Walk has a multitude of reasons for you to visit local venues and see what – but tomorrow night, there’s an extra reason: The start of a summer-long celebration of the West Seattle Bridge’s 30th anniversary – a reason to talk about the bridge WITHOUT a discussion of traffic trouble! The photos accompanying this preview – and others – went up tonight at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), which will be showing them off as part of the June Art Walk (and beyond).

Hotwire and other local businesses are collaborating with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for the multi-site, multi-date celebration. Stop by Hotwire Thursday night not only to see the photo exhibit but also to see the new “Bridging the Gap” T-shirt in honor of the anniversary and meet its artist (more info on the SWSHS website) and to check out the “Bridge Blend” coffee beans that Hotwire is launching. Part of the proceeds from T-shirt and coffee sales will benefit SWSHS.

(Added: As Mike points out in comments, today is the 36th anniversary of the ship-vs.-bridge collision that led to construction of the new bridge!)

Read on for other highlighted events celebrating the anniversary over the next month and a half or so:

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Ready to get moving with the West Seattle Big Band in Fauntleroy on Friday?

June 11, 2014 7:19 pm
|    Comments Off on Ready to get moving with the West Seattle Big Band in Fauntleroy on Friday?
 |   Fauntleroy | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(Vocalist Sarah Ackers, scheduled to sing with the WSBB this Friday)
Friday will be a swinging night in Fauntleroy – and you’re invited to be part of it. In case you haven’t seen the “Swing Into Summer” dance listing in the WSB Calendar yet, here’s a preview shared by Judy Pickens:

Swing dances (Charleston, Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, etc.) are what enlivened the nation during the Roaring Twenties and carried it through World War II and Korea. Now they’re enjoying a comeback for the fun of it as well as for the exercise. The West Seattle Big Band, Fauntleroy Community Association, and Fauntleroy Church are sponsoring a “Swing Into Summer” dance on Friday, June 13, 7 pm in The Hall at Fauntleroy. If you don’t know swing, check out the primer at You’ll see that knowing just two or three steps will get you on the floor, then come a half hour before the dance to practice with an instructor.

Choose dance clothes that are easy to move in – roomy slacks and shirt for the men and a comfortable dress for the women (add pretty underwear under that dress if you expect to twirl every which way!). Build your outfit from the shoes up – leather soles and a snug style that you won’t dance out of.

Tickets are $15 at or at the door. Reserve free childcare at and plan to purchase refreshments at the dance.

West Seattle road work: Admiral Way Bridge project ahead

Early warning from SDOT – this starts next Monday:

The westbound, right lane of the Admiral Way Bridge [over Fairmount Ravine] will be closed from June 16 to June 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will be using their U-bit truck (under-bridge construction truck) to make repairs to the underside of the bridge. Pedestrian access will be maintained.

The U-bit truck will be parked on the bridge deck. The truck has an arm that can bend over the side and under the bridge. There is a cab on the end of the arm to carry one or two persons, allowing them to work on the underside of the bridge.

4 miles of highway closure, 5+ hours of gridlock: ‘This can’t happen again’

(What happened on SB 99 after vehicles flooded onto it after it reopened Tuesday night)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When the Seattle Police Department’s Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is called in to investigate a crash that has killed or critically injured someone, SPD closes the road, often for a block or so in each direction.

But when TCIS investigated the two-car Tuesday afternoon crash at East Marginal/Nevada (map) that left a man with life-threatening injuries, trapped in his car, cut out of it by firefighters, southbound Highway 99 was closed all the way north to the Battery Street Tunnel – four miles away – and it stayed that way until almost 7:30 pm, as chronicled here.

As discussed in the ensuing 115+ WSB comments, among other places, five-plus hours of gridlock followed. One comment we heard in person: “It was like Snowpocalypse without the snow.”

Many have asked: Why couldn’t traffic have been allowed on southbound 99 as far as the West Seattle Bridge/Harbor Island exits, still about half a mile short of the crash scene?

We started seeking the answer first thing this morning. We also talked to one elected official who says that, separate from the crash, the traffic snarl was “preventable.”

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Viaduct closures, tunnel travails, and more: State transportation boss Lynn Peterson @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

(WSB video of the entire WSTC appearance by WSDOT’s Secretary Lynn Peterson and Todd Trepanier)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition usually has something topical to discuss at its monthly meetings, with no shortage of transportation-related challenges lately.

For example, last night, the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct had been closed for five hours because of a crash investigation when the WSTC meeting began. Coincidentally, the long-scheduled guest was the woman in charge of the Viaduct and other state highways – Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson.

In her second year on the job, she offered lots of background information and big-picture observations, but the discussion invariably turned its most intense focus on the Viaduct Replacement Project and the present/future of the stalled tunneling work. In Q&A, she also addressed other topics such as whether any Fauntleroy-bound ferries would be diverted downtown, since much of the vehicle traffic heads that way anyway.

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35th Avenue SW safety: No more left turns from Graham, soon

(December 2013 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
After James St. Clair was hit and killed walking across 35th at Graham in the High Point area last December, longstanding concerns about 35th were aired again – and in February, the city announced a road-safety project. Today, SDOT sends word of a change ahead even before the safety project officially begins this fall:

SDOT is moving forward with operational changes at the intersection of 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Graham Street [map] this month. Residents living nearby will receive the attached postcard later this week in regard to this work.

SDOT will be installing “right turn only” signs on Graham Street at the junction with 35th. This operational change will improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. Once the signs are installed, drivers going from Graham to 35th will be limited to right turns only.

The signs will be installed before the end of June and additional changes to this
intersection will be considered through the 35th Avenue Southwest Road Safety Project which will kick off in October.

35th/Graham also was the site of the collision that killed Susanne Scaringi in fall 2006.

Five today/tonight highlights for your West Seattle Wednesday – and adorable baby-woodpecker photos

Thanks to Trileigh Tucker for the three photos – above and below – of young pileated woodpeckers and their dad “in a West Seattle tree.” Speaking of nature/wildlife, that’s where we begin today’s list of highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

EXPLORE THE BEACH AT LOW TIDE: The lowest tide of the summer is coming up in a few days – and beach naturalists will be out at Constellation and Lincoln Parks starting today. With today’s low tide at a good-for-exploring -1.8 feet right as we publish this, they’re out until 1 pm.

FAIRMOUNT PARK ELEMENTARY INFO SESSION: Another info session for families considering attending or planning to attend Fairmount Park Elementary when it reopens this summer – 6 pm at Alki Elementary. (3010 59th SW)

RETIREMENT PARTY FOR MS. ROLLINS AND MS. BELFOR: Two longtime teachers at Lafayette Elementary are retiring from that school – Ms. Rollins and Ms. Belfor – and since they’ve worked with thousands of students and families over the years, the school community wants to make sure everyone gets the word – 6:30 to 9 pm at Hiawatha Community Center; more info here. (2700 California SW)

WSHS SPRING CONCERT: 7 pm tonight in the West Seattle High School theater: “Join the West Seattle High School String Orchestra, Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble for our Spring Concert on June 11th. We will feature the music of Mozart, Haydn, Telemann, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, Paul Dukas and Sam Hazo.” (3000 California SW)

34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: Three hot topics are part of the 34th DDs’ agenda at 7 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy. As updated by 34th DDs president Marcee Stone-Vekich:

While only 34th DD members can participate in votes, the meeting is otherwise open to the public. (9131 California SW)

BINGO, KARAOKE, TRIVIA, OPEN MIKE … you have options along all of those lines in the nightlife listings for tonight – check out our calendar!

Congratulations! Rotary Club of West Seattle awards scholarships to six local students

June 11, 2014 9:04 am
|    Comments Off on Congratulations! Rotary Club of West Seattle awards scholarships to six local students
 |   Rotary Club of West Seattle | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Congratulations to the scholarship winners honored by the Rotary Club of West Seattle at this week’s meeting! Above, the Students of the Year – all graduating seniors chosen from the “Students of the Month” announced throughout the year – from left, Elliott Snodgrass from Chief Sealth International High School, Mariel Smith from West Seattle High School, and Robert Leslie from Seattle Lutheran High School. Next, the three recipients of the Gambriell Scholarship:

From left, they are: Martha Girma from WSHS, Joseph Werlech from Kennedy High School, and Tomas Woldemichael from WSHS. Each spring, the Rotary invites applications for the Gambriell Scholarships; meantime, the selection of Students of the Month is explained here.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates; road work

(WS Bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No problems in or from West Seattle so far.

Road-work notes:

SPOKANE STREET VIADUCT LANE CLOSURE: SDOT says crews will be “closing the eastbound, left lane from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will repair deck spalls and seal cracks in the pavement.” (Repair work was also what closed a lane on the SSV on Sunday, and SDOT acknowledged that “notice of this work didn’t make it to all the parties that should have received it,” which is why we didn’t have advance warning.)

LANDSCAPING WORK CONTINUES … under the low bridge, as announced yesterday.

P.S. If you don’t read comments and haven’t seen the discussion as a result – we are following up on the five-hour Highway 99 closure from yesterday. Why it closed isn’t at issue – there was a crash with life-threatening injuries – the question is, why so far north; why couldn’t vehicles have been detoured to West Seattle? SDOT says it was SPD’s responsibility to make that call, so we are inquiring with them and will publish a followup when the answer is in; we’re tweeting the followup process as we go,