day : 12/11/2014 12 results

Of bridges, buses, and boulevards: West Seattle Transportation Coalition’s November toplines

(Photo tweeted by @reeseryan at 7:39 am Wednesday)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Just hours before this morning’s “high bridge” mess – one immobile car blocking a lane for more than an hour and a half because a tow truck wasn’t quickly available – the West Seattle Transportation Coalition was talking about exactly that kind of scenario, and whether transportation authorities were ready for it.

WSTC is now pushing even harder for solutions, not just for that, but for the often-in-tandem situation of the “low bridge” shutting down to non-vessel traffic during commute hours – something Councilmember Tom Rasmussen confirms to WSB that he is now formally pursuing, for the third time.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves:

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West Seattle weather: South Delridge loses a tree on a breezy night

November 12, 2014 9:45 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle weather: South Delridge loses a tree on a breezy night
 |   Delridge | West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

Thanks to Dillon for sharing that photo via Twitter – a tree down across Delridge about a block north of Roxbury. City crews were on the scene when we went by a little while ago, and looked as if they’d be finishing cleanup before long. Forecast calls for breezy conditions to continue – let us know of any weather trouble you spot, 206-293-6302, text/voice 24/7.

How to pay for education? What your legislators said tonight @ 34th District Democrats

November 12, 2014 9:05 pm
|    Comments Off on How to pay for education? What your legislators said tonight @ 34th District Democrats
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

From tonight’s meeting of the 34th District Democrats, a look back at the November election, a look ahead to the Legislature in January, and more, ahead:

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Faster Internet service in West Seattle? Two updates

Thanks to Jeff for sharing that photo with word that CenturyLink crews were spotted installing fiber in Arbor Heights today. That led us to check back with CL on the status of its promised megafast Internet access. Regional spokesperson Meg Andrews replied:

CenturyLink is currently building out the network in the Ballard and the West Seattle area — enabling homes along the way. We are still on track to offer the service to tens of thousands of customers in Seattle by 2015.

Andrews added that if you want to get on the list to be contacted when the upgraded service is available at your house, you can do it here.

Meantime, several readers pointed out the Seattle Times (WSB news partner) report noting that Wave Broadband is rolling out service in Eastlake, expanding its CondoInternet service to all kinds of housing. Pauline looked beyond the Times story to call attention to the company’s suggestion that it might choose future neighborhoods depending on interest expressed – so if you want to tell them to come here, here’s where to go.

Crime Watch: Neighbors rally for burglar-besieged Dubsea Coffee

That’s the sign you’ll find today on the door of Dubsea Coffee in Greenbridge, on 8th SW just a block south of the city/county line. A teacher at nearby White Center Heights Elementary School messaged us to say the area’s been hit with a series of burglaries, and that Dubsea has been broken into three times in the past week and a half. We noted the first one on partner site White Center Now November 3rd, and now we’re checking with the King County Sheriff’s Office regarding the teacher’s report of other break-ins in the area.

The teacher wrote us because this, she says, is more than a matter of crime concern – she writes, “This coffee shop is the hub of the neighborhood and it is ALWAYS busy with people having meetings, enjoying coffee and sandwiches, children having playdates while frazzled moms drink their coffee, etc.” They are working on plans to show their support and want to encourage you to patronize the shop to help it recover. We’ll be following up.

ADDED 4:18 PM: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates confirms a series of break-ins in the area:

We have had a swarm of commercial burglaries with a similar MO and all in the same general White Center area. They have occurred between November 2nd and the 7th.

Dubsea was one victim, with the nearby library/YMCA hit next, followed by the Dollar Tree, and then an elementary school burglarized on the 7th. The MO has been to break a window and steal cash. We have no suspect info other than believing in at least one of the burglaries there were two suspects. They have all happened in the late evening/early morning hours when no persons were present. The four cases have not been conclusively linked as being committed by the same suspects.

We encourage citizens to call when they see something out of the ordinary. It’s also a good time to remember to keep areas around homes and businesses well-lit as thieves love the cover of darkness, and to keep vegetation trimmed so that neighbors and passersby can see if something is amiss at a business (or home).

THURSDAY FOLLOWUP: In case we don’t get to write a separate story tonight – we messaged Dubsea and they will reopen tomorrow (Friday), 7 am-5 pm: “We will resume regular hours once things normalize. Tomorrow is also Dubsea’s 5th birthday. We truly look forward to spending it in the company of our guests.” They add thanks for “all the care, kind words, and support from our neighbors. We love this community. We are here to stay.”

Alki X Gym: Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor

We’re welcoming one of our newest WSB sponsors today – Alki X Gym, which calls itself an “Anti-Gym” – this video explains why:

Here’s what else Alki X Gym wants you to know:

We are a small “boutique” style training center that never gets overcrowded. In fact, we limit the gym to no more than 3 clients at a time, each with their own trainer for the one-on-one sessions. We also limit the group sessions to 7 people or less and at those times, there are no one-on one clients in the club. Our clients also feel the non-judgmental environment we foster. Everyone is loved, accepted, and coached on their own unique journey according to their own individual goals and needs.

(WSB photo: X Gym’s PJ Glassey)
Our exercise methods are completely unique and designed by us to be the safest way to exercise. These methods also produce the best results in the least amount of time. In only 21 minutes, twice a week, our clients receive about twice the results of traditional training in less than 1/4 the time required. We are also about 1/2 the investment of traditional personal training and now offer group training classes at less than 1/2 the investment of our already low one-on-one rate!

The comment we hear most often from X Gym clients is how fast they feel the strength results. Soon after that, they comment how much more endurance they have and how that allows them to do things they haven’t been able to do for years. The third comment we get is how fast they feel their muscles toning up, getting firmer and more defined. The main thing that keeps them coming back is the results gained to the time invested. After all, we only offer month-to-month memberships, so if it wasn’t working for them, they wouldn’t be coming back. Their lives have changed because their quality of life has increased. Their physical abilities improve of course, but their mind also gets stronger as their mental envelope is stretched from how our program is designed. Our clients literally feel like they are aging in reverse as they feel younger and more vital, both inside and out.

Alki X-Gym is at 3213 Harbor Avenue SW; call 206-938-XGYM (9496).

We thank Alki X-Gym for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative, 24/7 neighborhood news via WSB. Find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

From the ‘it was only a drill’ department

No, that was ****NOT**** a lockdown/shelter-in-place at Sealth – the school says it was a drill.

After the first few texts wondering what was going on, we contacted police, who said there was absolutely nothing in the area that would merit precautions. Then we finally reached the school, which confirmed it was only a drill, and was already over. But enough people have continued to message us that we thought we’d better mention it here, besides replying to them individually.

West Seattle beach businesses: Bamboo, Alki Beach Dog closing

Two businesses on Alki have announced they’re closing:

BAMBOO BAR AND GRILL: Thanks to Mike for sending that photo of the board posted outside Bamboo (2806 Alki SW), saying the restaurant/bar is closing permanently as of November 22nd. Earlier this year, it was listed for sale; the listing is now inactive, so we don’t know if the business was sold or just taken off the market. We’re trying to reach Bamboo, but it wasn’t open yet for the day when we went by in late morning, and the phone is currently being answered by a fax tone. Though Bamboo was long notorious as a trouble spot, that peaked (more, like bottomed out) in 2012, and changes were made following a shooting. More recently, the owner had merged Amante Pizza into the operation last spring when Amante lost its California SW location because of development. (P.S. We’ll update the story whenever we find out more about the closure and what might follow it.)

(added 2:15 pm) WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand just talked in person with a manager at Bamboo who confirms what has been brought up in comments: It’s closing, but a new sports bar will open in its place, after renovations. They’re not committing to a timeline because they don’t know how long that will take.

(back to original report) ALKI BEACH DOG: This shop’s location at 59th/Alki also is in the path of development, but that’s not why it’s closing.

As announced on that sign outside the shop, its owner, Debra Brown, has died. Groomer Amanda Regan is overseeing the shop during its closeout sale through Friday; people who contacted us about the closure said they appreciate her talents and hope she stays local, but she just told us by phone she doesn’t know yet where she will wind up. She’s going to take the holidays off, for starters.

Update: Missing man turns up in local hospital

UPDATE: Minutes after we published this (which in turn was only minutes after we received it), the original sender sent word that Nate had been found in a hospital.

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West Seattle Wednesday: Half-dozen highlights for tonight

(West Seattle’s fall colors continue: Photo shared by TW)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

WEST SEATTLE SENIOR CENTER BOARD: As mentioned during last night’s “town hall” meetings for community comment on the center’s future (WSB coverage here), its board meets at 5:30 pm tonight. Open to all. (Oregon/California)

SERVED? SERVING? American Legion Post 160‘s monthly meetings are open to those who have served or are serving in the armed forces. 6 pm; details in our calendar listing. (3618 SW Alaska)

HARBOR SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE, WITH SPECIAL INVITATION TO WEST SEATTLEITES: 7 pm, Harbor School (WSB sponsor) on Vashon Island, for 4th-8th graders, has another open house with a special invitation to West Seattleites – they’ll send a shuttle to the ferry dock for you *if* you RSVP ASAP – by phone at 206-567-5955 or by email at – details in our calendar listing. (15920 Vashon Highway SW)

34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: 7 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, with an agenda including this area’s three state legislators looking ahead to the upcoming session; more agenda details on the 34th Dems’ website. (9131 California SW)

WSHS DRAMA CLUB PRODUCTION: 7:30 pm at the West Seattle High School Theater, your third-to-last chance to catch “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” Details in our calendar listing. (3000 California SW)

‘DOGFIGHT’ AT ARTSWEST: Haven’t seen the musical (a Seattle premiere!) at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) yet? This week’s run starts tonight, 7:30 pm. (4711 California SW)

MORE OPTIONS! Our calendar has much more for today/tonight/beyond – one click away.

Talk transportation at this Saturday’s Gathering of Neighbors

After another rocky (to say the least) commute, you might be wondering what’s being done, what can be done, how can you get involved in supporting a solution. So before we get to our preview of what’s up today – we’re reminding you about this Saturday’s Gathering of Neighbors, which includes a chance to spend an hour with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, among other things. Transportation is not the only topic on the agenda, but it’s top-of-mind right now, so we’re nudging you. Details on the official flyer:

The Gathering of Neighbors is at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), 9 am-1 pm but even if you can just drop by for the 10 am-11 am breakout sessions … see you there!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Post-holiday Wednesday updates

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:49 AM: There’s a crash at the crest of the eastbound high bridge – thanks to those who messaged us about it. SFD cleared it fairly quickly (no injuries, apparently), but the top-left camera shot above indicates it’s blocking the left lane right now, and that police are still on the scene.

7:06 AM: Discussion monitored via scanner suggests police are having trouble finding a tow truck that can respond any sooner than an hour or two. They’re still trying. (The topic of routinely stationing tow trucks near the bridge – as was done for a while years ago – had just come up at last night’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting; our story on that and other WSTC topics is in the works.)

7:33 AM: Lane still blocked, still awaiting tow truck (we haven’t heard anything more on an ETA – the crash itself happened around 6:20 am). And now SDOT warns via Twitter that the “low bridge” will be closing to vehicles in a few minutes. (Also a topic last night, with Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who has led previous unsuccessful efforts to get the Coast Guard to exempt the bridge from rush-hour openings, saying he agrees it’s time to revisit the situation.) If you haven’t seen the regional news, many areas – but NOT the city – are dealing with the aftermath of an overnight windstorm, especially SE King County, which is tying up many resources.

(Traffic-cam images we grabbed/tweeted at 7:40 am during high-bridge problem and low-bridge vessel opening)
7:48 AM: Vehicles are moving across the low bridge again.

8:01 AM: Hard to tell if any progress is being made, because the only working camera on the high rise is impeded by sun glare (as you can see at top left). But there’s now a problem BEFORE the bridge – outbound C Line bus has a medical emergency at Avalon/Charlestown in the Luna Park business district; everyone’s been taken off the bus, and we’re told, some are getting onto another.

8:08 AM: The crash scene is finally clear. Backups of course will last a while.

8:29 AM: New problem, per Jessica on Twitter: Right before the I-5 ramps, at the eastbound edge of the bridge, a “fender-bender” just happened. She says, “People (are) getting out of their cars; likely to back up.”

8:40 AM: And back on the peninsula, Sage notes that Delridge is backed up all the way to Brandon. Meantime, people headed for the 1st Avenue South Bridge should take note, WSDOT has tweeted “On SR 509 northbound just north of S Cloverdale St, there is a collision blocking the right center lane.”

9:12 AM: Surface problem not far away – East Marginal/1st, from the scanner, some debris on the road that need to be cleaned up, and part of the intersection is being blocked off until that happens.