West Seattle, Washington
(WS Bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:44 AM: Heading into the heart of the commute so far, two notes: There’s a crash response at 16th/Dawson. Also, if you are headed this way from points north, WSDOT reports: “There’s a disabled vehicle blocking the right lane of the ramp from SB I-5 to the West Seattle Bridge.”
8:12 AM: The 16th/Dawson crash involved a car hitting a parked car that then flipped onto its side.
Nobody hurt, but traffic through that area is slowed; a tow truck is on the scene. There was an initial “heavy rescue” response – if you live in the area, you might have seen/heard it – but that was canceled once those first on the scene found no one was hurt/trapped.
(UPDATED early Tuesday afternoon with totem pole’s arrival)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:01 AM: Later today, the former Admiral Way totem pole will arrive at its new home outside the Log House Museum, where we photographed site preparations on Monday. It will arrive under cover and will stay that way, so you won’t see it until Friday, when the renovated pole will be unveiled in a celebration with so many guests, the street will be closed to make room for them! The dignitaries’ list alone is long enough for a street closure; see it on the Log House Museum’s website. One of them is Diane Morgan, whose husband Michael Morgan was one of the pole’s carvers almost half a century ago. Looking ahead to the event, she shared some memories:
Now, after renovation work at Artech – which also restored the Rotary Viewpoint Park totem pole four years ago – the pole is ready for its new home. You’re invited to be part of the event launching the pole into its future, including a group photo, at 10:30 am Friday (June 6th), 61st and Stevens.
12:35 PM TUESDAY: The totem pole has arrived and has been installed – still covered up! – on its base on the east side of the Log House Museum’s lot. Here’s a quick video clip as the painstaking job of raising it concluded (go here if you don’t see it below):
Shortly, it’ll get a different, temporary cover so the protective blankets from the move can be removed. After that, we’ll have a full update on the installation and more on the plans for Friday. (Trivia point: The pole was carved from a tree that grew in nearby Schmitz Park.)
We’ve received several questions about a large medical callout in Lincoln Park tonight. It closed before we got there – and unfortunately, we’ve learned, that’s because, as confirmed by a Seattle Police tweet, the person was dead, and there was nothing that medics could do. We followed up with SPD spokesperson Officer Drew Fowler tonight and he says they investigated and determined it was a case of suicide.
Every time we report suicide, we include this reminder: For anyone with thoughts of suicide, help is available through the Crisis Clinic, 24 hours a day – the hotline is 206-461-3222.
ADDED TUESDAY: As noted in the comment discussion, and confirmed by a school memo forwarded to us by multiple readers, the victim was discovered by students from Holy Rosary School who were at an event in the park, and that it, as you would expect, was a traumatic experience. In the memo, principal George Hofbauer wrote, “When something like this happens, the Catholic Schools band together. The High Schools, along with some grade schools, are sending their counselors to Holy Rosary today. The counselors will meet with each class. They will then be available for one on one meetings with children and staff who feel they need to talk privately.”
The minimum wage is just one of the hot topics the City Council‘s dealt with lately. Land use and zoning – as in, the rules regarding development – remain on the front burner. Tomorrow, the Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee has another conversation about the proposed microhousing rules/definitions. And then on Wednesday, the councilmember who chairs that committee, Mike O’Brien, comes to West Seattle for a conversation about the broader issues of development, land use, and zoning here. Here’s our most recent preview; it’s at 6:30 pm Wednesday, June 4th, at American Legion Post 160/Pershing Hall, 3618 SW Alaska.
(Video of Monday afternoon’s council meeting, including minimum-wage vote and speeches)
3:42 PM: At a raucous City Council meeting – cheers, jeers, chanting – that is temporarily in recess before councilmembers move on to other business, the minimum-wage-increase bill has just received unanimous approval. It raises the minimum wage in steps – with large businesses at $15 in three years, smaller businesses in seven years.
4:41 PM: Lots of reaction to share, ahead:
(UPDATED MONDAY NIGHT with fire cause)
2:07 PM: SFD has reported that heavy smoke is coming out of the house, and also that everyone has gotten out OK. Our crew will be there shortly.
(This photo & those below are by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
2:12 PM: SFD says the fire is “knocked down”; we’ve just arrived in the area and can still see smoke. Avoid Delridge in this area – police have the street blocked at Barton.
2:25 PM: Photos added.
Yes, this is why there’s a TV helicopter over South Delridge/Westwood (directly over us at the moment). A dog was rescued and we’re told it will be OK.
2:39 PM: There are now conflicting reports about whether everyone did indeed get out OK. SFD’s public-information officer is en route and we expect an update shortly.
Police also have arrived to investigate – not just to direct traffic.
2:55 PM: It’s just been confirmed that one of the residents of the home, so far described only as male, has been found dead inside the back bedroom. Authorities had originally reported everyone was out safely but that obviously turned out to be wrong. And while they rescued two dogs and a puppy, four other puppies did not survive.
3:54 PM: Added the briefing video, above – that’s SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, explaining that police involvement at this point is routine for any fire involving a death. No information yet on the person’s identity or cause of death, nor the fire’s cause – we will add new information here whenever it becomes available.
4:49 PM: SFD has tweeted photos of the rescued dogs/puppy:
Picture of puppy firefighters rescued and revived at fatal house fire on Delridge AV SW pic.twitter.com/zl5CyOFDcM
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 2, 2014
Picture of two dogs firefighters rescued and resuscitated at fatal Delridge house fire pic.twitter.com/x9ePLo25TR
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 2, 2014
9:42 PM: Seattle Fire investigators say it started with a cooking fire:
Cause of Delridge fatal house fire is unattended food on stove. Damage estimate $120k. 3 people displaced pic.twitter.com/0uPbb8n4uA
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 3, 2014
11:20 PM: No word yet on the victim’s identity – that will come from the Medical Examiner’s Office, no sooner than tomorrow afternoon. But SFD has one more tweet about the rescued dogs:
Here is picture of firefighter using pet oxygen mask to revive puppy who suffered smoke inhalation in Delridge fire pic.twitter.com/YVtHLZkzOS
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 3, 2014
At Glenn/Oregon on the west side of The Junction, a taxicab crashed into the corner of a building, in a collision that also involved a truck that wasn’t seriously damaged and has already left the scene (after talking with police), according to WSB’s Katie Meyer. Traffic is still getting by both ways. No injuries reported.
(Click image for full-size flyer also showing the South Park area and the explanatory legend)
With two major combined-sewer-overflow (CSO) reduction projects under way in West Seattle, the King County Wastewater Treatment District is looking ahead to its next one, in Highland Park and South Park. The most-recent HP Action Committee meeting got an update from KCWTD’s Kristine Cramer and John Phillips.
In addition to possible “roadside raingardens” along some streets in the area (highlighted above in yellow) – like the ones going into more than a dozen blocks of Sunrise Heights and Westwood – they also are looking at permeable (porous) pavement in some parts of the area, and possibly a runoff-control project using part of one of the Seattle City Light “surplus” ex-substation sites.
HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK: One more reminder, since we were asked about this over the weekend, with the sunny, warm weather continuing – yes, Highland Park Spraypark, the only spraypark in West Seattle, is open for the season, 11 am-8 pm daily, though the wading pools don’t open for a few more weeks. (1100 SW Cloverdale)
HOMEWORK HELP: Last full week of school for most local students – need last-minute homework help? It starts at 3 pm at the High Point Branch Library, 4 pm at Delridge Branch Library. Full details and links on the Seattle Public Library Calendar of Events.
GET THE LATEST ON THE NEW ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY: As previewed here, tonight’s the night for a community-info meeting with the latest on the project, as construction gets closer – the design, the timetable, more. Q/A, too. 6:30 pm at AHES. (3701 SW 104th)
MONDAY NIGHT KARAOKE … at the Benbow Room in The Admiral District, 8 pm. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
MORE … on our calendar, for today/tonight and weeks into the future!
9:09 AM: The sun’s out and they’re off – Pathfinder K-8 PE teacher Lou Cutler and hundreds of students, as Lou’s annual Make-A-Wish birthday run began minutes ago on Pigeon Point. He runs a lap for every year of his life – and he’s about to celebrate his 63rd birthday, so it’ll be 63 laps this year.
Students from the school join him throughout the morning, and were the first ones out of the gate (short video clip here, if you can’t see it below):
They started the run before 9 am to inspirational songs including Macklemore‘s “Can’t Hold Us” and “Gonna Fly Now” (the “Rocky” theme).
Even if you can’t go cheer on Lou and friends in person (every lap, he stops at an easel on the sidelines to mark it off, as shown in the photo above), you can donate online. We’ll be checking back!
12:26 PM: He’s still going – about a mile’s worth of laps to go. (The entire 63-lap distance this year comprises more than 10 miles, Lou said toward the start.)
1 PM: He did it!
ADDED: The group photo is a post-run tradition:
Lou’s way in the back. The blue slips show how many laps were run by each participant – up to 63.
ADDED: Pathfinder parent and photographer Holli Margell shares two photos – first, one that shows how much the kids stake in their support of Lou – her son Cooper, exuberant over 27 laps:
And Lou with Teacher Andy, not only a one-man cheer squad but also emcee of the event, with his bullhorn:
(WS Bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:12 AM: Good morning! Looking ahead as we start the week:
*Road work on Alki Avenue in the Duwamish Head vicinity the next two days; we’ll be asking SDOT for details this morning.
*Next weekend, Friday night 6/6 until Monday morning 6/9, southbound 99 will be closed between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge, as explained here; the lane-reconfiguration project’s results are shown here (along with the results of a similar northbound closure two weeks later).
*Next Saturday is the start date for Metro’s next service change, detailed here. The only West Seattle route with changes is the 21, with a route change for several afternoon runs.
DOWNTOWN ALERT FOR TODAY & BEYOND: Could be some traffic trouble on the north side of downtown (and in the Uptown/lower Queen Anne area) as people get used to major changes that took effect as of last night – two-way Mercer, two-way Roy, closed section of Broad; SDOT explains here; here’s what WSDOT has to say.
6:48 AM: Reader report: Crash at Holden/Delridge. Not on the 911 log so likely not major.
Beautiful weekend for baseball – including the game that crowd came to watch at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point on Saturday afternoon. Not your standard baseball game, though:
The reason for the sign? The game was “beep baseball” – designed so sight-impaired players can hear the ball:
That’s the ball, which really does beep, and is 16 inches around. Listen to hear it in this short clip from one at-bat:
As previewed here a few weeks ago, they extended a special community invitation to their “awareness event,” playing a team from the Seattle Police Department – in black, with special specs that are worn by all players:
This is the second season for the Sluggers, coached by Kevin Daniel
Want to see – and hear – the Sluggers in action? Here’s their schedule.
P.S. According to an update on the Sluggers’ Facebook page, they won 7-0.
Congratulations to the nearly 100 musicians of the Madison Middle School Band who are just back from the annual “Music in the Parks” competition in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Parent Loni Syltebo shares the photos and reports on the results:
Jazz Band, 1st Place (Excellent rating)
String Orchestra, 3rd Place (Excellent rating)
Concert Band, 5th Place (Excellent rating)
Jackson Delaney (8th grader) was awarded Outstanding Jazz Soloist of the competition (photo below):
(Thanks also to parent Karen Pfeiffer Bush for sharing early word of the first-place win.)
You’ve heard of the Winter Olympics … the Summer Olympics … now, meet the Spring Olympics. This past week, West Seattle’s K-5 STEM elementary combined gym versions of popular sports to make them happen – starting with an Opening Ceremony and Parade of Nations during which music teacher Cathy Chutich “led each grade level in sharing songs from their chosen countries or regions,” as explained by parent Kathleen Voss, who let us know about the first-ever STEM Olympics. Then, for three days, PE teacher Gretchen Gray (who shared the photo) led students through events including, from the Winter Games, bobsled, skeleton, speed skating, long jump (skiing), and curling, and from the Summer Games, the 100m dash, 400m relay, basketball, soccer, and a long-jump (track) event. You can see photos and video from the Opening Ceremony/Parade of Nations on the K-5 STEM PTA website.
A joyful moment for Rev. Peg Boyle Morgan and her Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Gatewood before this morning’s service: Four years after they moved into the former Gatewood Baptist Church at California/Othello, they have installed a commemorative plaque in the church entryway – right next to the one the Baptists placed there 64 years ago:
WSUU had intended all along for the original plaque to stay; it was even mentioned in this WSB feature published shortly after they got the keys to the building in April 2010. Adding their own is also a nod to the WSUU past, present, and future, as the church celebrates its golden anniversary – 50 years – this year.
ADDED: Video of the dedication, above.
Know where the corner of Alki and Jersey is? Alki and Arkansas? They’re not on the map, but they seem to be on the books at SDOT. We recorded the sign after Peter sent a photo, writing:
A new sign went up at 57th and Alki last night. It says “Road work ahead Alki Ave SW from Jersey to Arkansas 6-3-14 to 6-4 -14 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Slow and caution.” I can’t figure out what they mean by Jersey and Arkansas. Lived here 20 years and I’ve never seen those street signs.
Our video is from the eastbound side; the westbound sign at Duwamish Head says the same thing. Before assuming it was a hack (stranger things have happened), we looked online; while SW Jersey and SW Arkansas don’t seem to exist in Google Maps or in Bing Maps, we did find them in SDOT’s database, accessible via data.seattle.gov – along with at least one other name that appears to exist on paper only (SW Hampshire). We also found Seattle Municipal Archives photos of a problem with the “Arkansas Street Sewer” in 1962, and going even further back, “Jersey Street Sewer” photos from 1922 – including this one that also mentions an address in the 1300 block of Alki.
As for the practical question – so where IS this impending road work? – “no parking” signs for those dates can be found in the 1200 block of Alki SW, though the explanatory one-sheet we found taped to one sign mentions the 1500 block. Regarding what the crews will be doing, we hope to find out from SDOT tomorrow, since it’s not on the weekly Construction Lookahead.
11:04 PM: Greg points out in a comment that a century-old atlas does show these streets (and others either never built, or built over – including Rhode Island and Mexico).
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:
CAR STOLEN IN SEAVIEW: From Jessica:
My mom’s 1991 Honda Accord was stolen sometime after 10:30 pm on Friday, May 30th, near Raymond and 49th Ave SW [map]. It is goldish/sand in color with license plate AJY3779. If seen, please call or text 206-852-6289.
HIT-RUN IN ARBOR HEIGHTS: We don’t know yet exactly where the actual hit-run happened, but a witness saw the fleeing car just before 10 am today:
I was walking my dog … when I heard a vehicle approaching from a side street at a high rate of speed. I got over as far as I could, in time to see the vehicle spin out into the intersection. The vehicle had severe front end damage, and bits of debris were flying off as it sped toward 35th. I don’t have a cell phone, so used a neighbor’s phone to call SPD. They confirmed that there had been a hit & run in the neighborhood (Arbor Heights). The location where I observed this was the intersection of 37th Ave SW & SW 102nd St [map]. The vehicle was traveling south on 37th, then east on 102nd. It probably turned onto 35th from there, but I could not see in which direction. Dark green older-model Honda sedan (probably Civic) with heavy front-end damage. License # AHH****. Hopefully SPD will contact me, as I also have a description of the driver.
BURGLARY IN SUNRISE HEIGHTS: From Vernon:
I wanted you to know that my house (near Kenyon/29th Ave SW; map) was burglarized Wednesday between 2:00 and 4:30 pm (right after the school let out?). They went down the back alley, down my driveway, and into the back yard. From there they took one of the patio chairs and climbed up onto the electrical box for the hot tub and gouged the screen out to get to the kitchen window, which was left ajar. Once in, they stole the laptop in the living room, went into another room and stole an iMac, then went into my room. They ransacked my room until they found the safe which weighed about. 200 pounds. They carried it out of the house through the back door and more than likely into a waiting vehicle, probably parked in my back driveway. I talked to my neighbors either side of me but came up empty.
If you saw anything in that area last Wednesday afternoon, let police know.
P.S. This is NOT a West Seattle case but the suspect could be anywhere so we’re sharing the link to SPD’s updated blotter post on the early-morning double murder in Leschi because they have JUST named a suspect and included a photo. Obviously, if you see him/have any info, call 911. (5:24 pm update – SPD just announced he’s in custody.)
(WSB photo of Lou Cutler during his 2013 Make-A-Wish run)
For the 11th year, Pathfinder K-8 PE teacher Lou Cutler will take to the school’s playfield tomorrow and run one lap for every year of his age. It’s a celebration of his birthday – later this month, he turns 63, so this year it’s 63 laps – and a benefit for the organization with which he’s volunteered for more than 15 years: Make-A-Wish. Pledged/donated dollars go to the organization’s work helping dreams come true for seriously ill children (besides the annual run, Lou also volunteers during the actual wish-granting – he talked with us about that for this story in 2011). Lou doesn’t run alone; it’s a schoolwide celebration by the time the morning’s over. It starts at 8:45 and Lou tells us he’ll likely be on the run until about 12:20 pm. Spectators welcome; you can also donate online whether you’ll be able to join him or not – go here.
(Ferns in Lincoln Park, photographed by Mark Ahlness, shared via WSB Flickr group)
Options for your sunny Sunday, as we begin a brand-new month:
CURIOUS KIDSTUFF SALE: 9 am-5 pm, West Seattle’s independent local toy shop Curious Kidstuff (WSB sponsor) has EVERYTHING discounted 20 percent today for the Sizzling Summer Sale. (4740 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, see what’s fresh! The My Sweet Li’l Cakes food truck is scheduled to be there again, too. (44th/Alaska)
WEST SEATTLE ULTIMATE FAMILY FRISBEE: Join the games, 11 am at Fairmount Playfield – details here. (5400 Fauntleroy Way SW)
ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: Second day of the season for free tours with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at Alki Point Lighthouse, 1-4 pm. (3200 Point Place)
Four West Seattle High School notes – first, a scene from Prom Night:
SENIOR PROM: Thanks to Greg Slader (who shared WSHS Baseball photos and summaries this year) for the pre-Senior Prom group photo at Anchor (Luna) Park Saturday night. Afterward, it was off to the prom at the Seattle Art Museum downtown.
ALL-SCHOOL REUNION: Next Friday is the much-awaited annual All-School Reunion at WSHS. As noted on the WSHS Alumni website, doors open at 5 pm on June 6th; classic cars will be shown off as usual along Stevens street on the north side of the school. Whatever year(s) you were at WSHS, you’re welcome at the gathering.
POST-REUNION DANCE: Afterward, you’re invited to dance with “West Seattle’s own Nitemates” starting at 8 pm Friday at the recently rebranded Admiral Benbow (4210 SW Admiral Way).
BOOSTER CLUB FUNDRAISER: Also this week, the West Seattle Booster Club is raising money for WSHS athletics with a Thursday night (June 5) pub crawl, Spirits for Sports, 6-9 pm in The Junction. $25/person – go here for more information and registration.