West Seattle, Washington
A public memorial has been announced for West Seattle-based hiking writer/nature photographer Karen Sykes. She was reported missing one week ago while hiking on Mount Rainier; last weekend, her daughter confirmed her death, and authorities subsequently determined she died of hypothermia. Ms. Sykes, 70, was known best for her books and columns about hiking, but we also knew her for the many West Seattle nature photos she shared via WSB in the past few years (see her Flickr gallery here). And now there’s word of a gathering to honor her memory:
Celebrate the life and legacy of Karen Sykes at the Seattle Mountaineers on July 14, 2014. Share stories and experiences with friends at 6:30 PM, with a program beginning at 7:00 PM.
Karen Sykes was an inspiration to many hikers as hiking companion, hike leader, columnist, guidebook author and photographer. Even though she is gone, she lives on in her work and in our hearts.
Please send photos of Karen Sykes for incorporation in a slide show to Heidi Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org
And don’t forget to share reminiscences of Karen at NW Hikers Trail Talk or at
The Mountaineers is at 7700 Sand Point Way NE.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
How widespread are gangs in Seattle and what do you need to know about them in order to stay safe?
The lieutenant who leads the Seattle Police Gang Unit, accompanied by one of his detectives, spoke tonight to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network, and debunked myths as well as answering questions.
In case you saw and heard all the commotion – Seattle Fire sent a house-fire response to a home in the 5900 block of Fauntleroy Way – but it turned out to be a barbecue problem, per scanner traffic, and most of the units are being sent back.
Just saw a signboard for this on Fauntleroy Way – and now SDOT‘s sent the alert:
On Saturday, June 28, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be working in the intersection of California Avenue SW and Fauntleroy Way SW. During the work hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the SDOT crew will grind down the surface layer and repave the street. The sidewalks will not be impacted and two crosswalks will remain open at all times. Police Officers will assist pedestrians and re-direct vehicle traffic around the work zone. This project is weather-sensitive.
After three years, the remaining space at 2758 Alki Avenue SW has a tenant: Top Pot Doughnuts, according to broker Blake Taylor with West Coast Commercial Realty, who shared the photo above. That will put Top Pot between Subway (which opened in the west half of the 2758 Alki building last August) and Starbucks. The chain is Seattle-based, founded 12 years ago on Capitol Hill, with locations around the metro area plus one in Texas. We’re contacting Top Pot to find out more about its Alki plan. Side note: Its new beachfront home was built on the site of the original Pegasus Pizza on Alki, torn down four years ago, which in turn was 2 years after Pegasus moved down the block to the west.
ORIGINAL TUESDAY REPORT: New information today about a full Alaskan Way Viaduct closure coming up later this summer. It was mentioned – without a date – when WSDOT‘s Secretary Lynn Peterson and Todd Trepanier spoke to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition earlier this month (WSB coverage here); Trepanier talked about keeping The Viaduct in good shape for its remaining years of usage, and noted a repair closure was ahead. Then this past weekend, chatting at the Morgan Junction Community Festival, Pete Spalding, a West Seattleite on the “stakeholders’ group” that WSDOT convenes quarterly, told us the group had just been given a specific date. We have now confirmed it via WSDOT spokesperson Laura Newborn:
WSDOT will be replacing or repairing 81 concrete panels on SR 99 between Forest and Holgate during the weekend of August 23. These panels are aging and as a result are cracked, potholed, and some have failed and need to be completely replaced.
The panel work and additional work needed on the North Access portion of the tunnel project will require a closure of SR 99 in both directions from the West Seattle Bridge to Valley Street, just north of the Battery Street Tunnel. We will have more specific details when the work plan is finalized, but your readers should note that SR 99 will be closed from the bridge to the tunnel on the weekend of August 23.
That day is a Saturday; the yet-to-come details, of course, will include specific start and end times. More details about the repair project are here.
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: As a postscript, an update from WSDOT with a few more details, including plans for the north portion of the closure to extend past the weekend:
WSDOT will be replacing concrete panels on SR 99 in SODO and rebuilding SR 99 where it crosses Broad Street north of the Battery Street Tunnel. To complete this work, crews will close SR 99 in both directions between South Spokane Street and Valley Street the weekend of Aug. 23 and 24. Work on SR 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel will continue on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 25 and 26. We are still finalizing the timing and location of this closure and will share information with the public as soon as we have it.
It’s the first full week of summer and some camp programs still have space. So if you are still planning your family’s summer, here are three possibilities:
PRESCHOOLERS’ CAMP AT HIAWATHA: For the little ones!
Hiawatha Community Center Preschool Summer Camp is provided by the Associated Recreation Council in partnership with the Seattle Parks and Recreation. Come and explore discover and create this summer with hands-on, fun, and engaging activities. Preschoolers will have a variety of structured planned activities, free play, and outside time daily. Weekly Summer Camps are available to children ages 3-5 years of age, 9:30 am-1 pm Monday-Friday, $114/week. Contact the preschool director at 206-321-3187 or email@example.com. Weekly themes:
July 7th-11 – Commotion in the Ocean
July 14th-18th – Creepy Crawlies
July 21st-25th – Travel and Vacations
July 28th-Aug. 1st – Down on the Farm
August 4th-8th – Dino Mite
CHIEF SEALTH SOCCER CAMP: July 21-25, Chief Sealth International High School‘s head soccer coach Ron Johnson leads a camp presented by Friends of Sealth, for girls/boys entering grades 3-9 this fall. For more information/registration, here’s the brochure/application.
Scientists still haven’t figured out what is causing the mass die-off of sea stars (aka “starfish,” though they’re not fish) in our waters and many other places along the Pacific Coast. The clip above, shared by West Seattle’s “Diver Laura” James, is the latest in-depth look at the crisis. Laura (and her dad!) are interviewed as part of the report, which was produced for China’s English-language network CCTV (you also can view it on the CCTV website here).
Meantime, as noted here earlier this month, your observations are important if you see starfish, living or dead – republishing what Laura told us during the recent low-low-low tides: “There’s a variety of ways to share the information – optimally through the surveys linked here. If people don’t have time to fill out a form if they could just use #sickstarfish [social-media hashtag] or manual entry on www.sickstarfish.com or even just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, it would be a massive help.” She is helping, as you’ll see in the CCTV story, as a “citizen scientist.”
(Thanks to Myrtle for sharing this photo of a tiger-swallowtail butterfly on red valerian)
From noon into night, here are seven highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WADING POOLS OPEN TODAY: Lincoln Park (11-8), Delridge (12-6:45), South Park (12-7). Also, Highland Park Spraypark (11-8). Addresses and citywide schedule here.
4 WEST SEATTLE AUTHORS LAUNCH ‘THE IMPERFECT PERFECTIONIST’: “Live in harmony with your imperfections” is the advice of four West Seattleites who’ve written a book they’re launching tonight with a party at Angelina’s, 6-9 pm. (2311 California SW)
GANG PROBLEM IN WEST SEATTLE? WS Block Watch Captains Network takes on the topic tonight with reps from SPD’s Gang Unit, 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct. (Delridge/Webster)
RAINBOW STORY TIME: Invitation from the High Point Branch Library: “Bring your preschoolers and toddlers to enjoy stories, songs and a simple craft celebrating Seattle’s LGBTQ families and communities.” 6:30 pm. (35th/Raymond)
JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION: Live and/or work in The Junction? Come get involved with JuNO, 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle. Agenda highlights from director René Commons:
• Bike Corral in Junction – California & Alaska
• Neighborhood Night Out – Lilah Gael w/updates & committee volunteers
• West Seattle Parade – JuNO participation
• Development in Seattle Neighborhoods – recap of CM Mike O’Brien’s visit to WS and followup meeting this coming Saturday
LOVE SPORTS? THIS SHOW WANTS YOU: 7 pm tonight at The Bridge in Morgan Junction, be part of NW Sports Fan2See, a new “sports comedy and reality competition show,” hosted by Chris Cashman and Fred Northup. Rules and other info are on the show’s Facebook page. (California/Graham)
MORE! on the calendar.
(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! On with the commute. And a nudge:
SOUND TRANSIT SURVEY: It’s been a week and a half since we last shared this but we’re reminded it’s still open and it’s important to let your feelings about potential West Seattle light rail, in particular, be known. Find the survey in our original story – and take it soon as you can, if you haven’t already!
(Outage zone, screengrabbed from City Light map)
12:29 AM: Thanks to Kevin and Jason for initial tips (email@example.com) – the City Light outage map now confirms an outage in Arbor Heights and Brace Point. They both reported an explosion-type sound preceding the power problem (for Jason, it’s out; for Kevin, it flickered). City Light says 134 households are affected and estimates restoration by 3 am (remember, it’s always more of a “guesstimate” at this point).
1:29 AM: The map now blames the outage on “tree” and estimates power back by 9 am.
9 AM NOTE: Jason says in comments that the power returned around 4:45.