West Seattle, Washington
6:41 PM: Thanks to everyone texting us about Guardian One, the law-enforcement helicopter – it’s over Highland Park because of a search for burglary suspects. We don’t know yet exactly where the break-in was, but we’re seeing some police vehicles along the 9000 block of 8th SW near Westcrest Park.
7:23 PM: Police describe the break-in that led to the search as “an armed burglary.” We don’t yet know if anyone was home or not; there were no medical calls in the area, so no indication that anyone was hurt. A K-9 team also was used in the search.
9:23 PM: According to Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams, early reports indicate “two male suspects armed with handguns entered a residence in the 9000 block of 8th SW) around 6 pm. They “encountered residents inside the house and fled on foot shortly thereafter.” Despite an extensive search, no arrests yet; no one was hurt.
ADDED 1:52 PM WEDNESDAY: SPD Blotter has just published details of how police were told this unfolded:
Two traffic notes, one this evening, one this weekend:
AVALON BACKUP THIS EVENING: If you wondered what was backing up SW Avalon, probably this:
— Kevin Freitas (@kevinfreitas) November 5, 2014
Kevin tweeted that photo of a stalled school bus. Haven’t heard how conditions are now, but thought we’d mention this in case you got caught in it and never saw what was happening. Meantime, also via Twitter, we’re hearing traffic is steady headed to the West Seattle Stadium ballot dropoff (35th just south of Avalon) – you have until 8 pm to get your ballot (no stamps required) dropped off there.
BATTERY STREET TUNNEL CLOSURE NEXT WEEKEND: Just announced by SDOT:
The Seattle Department of Transportation will close the Battery Street Tunnel (SR 99) to both directions of traffic from 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 until 8 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9. During the closure, SDOT crews will test the fire suppression system.
Northbound traffic on the Alaskan Way Viaduct (SR 99) will be routed off the viaduct at Western Avenue, then directed to Broad Street, then to Second Avenue, and on to Battery Street to return to northbound Aurora Avenue North (SR 99).
Southbound traffic on Aurora Avenue North (SR 99) will be detoured from Aurora Avenue at Denny Way, then directed to Wall Street and then to Elliott Avenue to return to southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct (SR 99).
Lots of info in West Seattle Crime Watch today, including three new reader reports and two followups:
CAN YOU FIND THIS STOLEN CAR? WSB readers have spotted three stolen vehicles in recent days. Maybe this will be the fourth. Jena shared the photo and explains, “My boyfriend’s 1991 Honda Accord Coupe was stolen from out front of our house last night sometime after 12:30 am in Arbor Heights.” Call 911 if you see it.
RECOGNIZE THIS BICYCLE? It turned up in an alley west of The Junction.
CAR PROWL: From Sage K:
Just wanted to let you know that sometime between 11:45 pm on Sunday Nov. 2nd and 8 pm Monday Nov. 3rd, my car was broken into while parked in the parking lot for the Longfellow Creek Apts on Delridge where I live (the gate which is supposed to be closed from 6 pm-6 am has been open for about a week as someone broke it, which means parking lot not as controlled). They punched the lock on the driver’s side door.
While I’m lucky that the few things they took: gate opener (which leads me to believe it was a resident or someone that knows one), blu tooth, phone charger, blue mid size Maglite, cloth Trader Joe’s bag (wt heck?) sliver car shade, and a box in the trunk that had some oil, funnels and other car maintenance misc items. Have a relatively low replacement cost and they left most of the things I actually care about. Replacing door locks even with insurance is a pain and costly.
Have you voted yet? These Gatewood Elementary kids hope so! Teacher Darren Radu explains:
Our kids got fired up about voter turnout the past couple of days; we’ll be heading over to Morgan Junction … to remind people to send in their ballots.
You have until 8 pm to get your ballot to a drop van or dropbox, as explained in our daily calendar highlights; if you’re mailing it, you need stamps and you need to make sure it’ll be postmarked with today’s date.
When someone asked recently about that “LEASED” sign on the years-empty ground floor space at the Orion Building at 2743 California SW, adjacent to PCC (WSB sponsor), we didn’t have an answer – but today, we do. Broker Blake Taylor from West Coast Commercial Realty e-mailed to announce that West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) is moving into the space, and we have confirmed it with proprietors Lori and Tim McConnell.
WS Runner has been located on the second floor of Charlestown Center since opening in spring 2010; now they’ll be at street level, with more room – ~2,200 square feet, about a third bigger than their current shop. Tim told us this morning that the layout also will be an upgrade – one big rectangular space, instead of one with a few too many corners. The McConnells hope to move into the new space, about two-thirds of a mile north, in January. (The back of the space will be leased, broker Taylor says – synergistically! – for an expansion location of Elite Sports and Spine.)
P.S. West Seattle Runner will continue offering a slate of in-store events and clinics, according to the McConnells, and have some coming up in their current space: $10 discount on registration for the Seattle Half/Full Marathon during an info/signup event 6-8 pm next Tuesday, November 11th; Goretex waterproof running-shoe tryout during the 6:30 pm November 19th group run (walkers welcome too); Team In Training-hosted Turkey Trot group run/walk on Alki on Thanksgiving morning (meet by Tully’s at 8 am), November 27th, free (food donation requested).
(Bald eagle in Lincoln Park – carrying nesting material? – photographed by Trileigh Tucker)
Election Day is here. In honor of that most patriotic of days, we feature two bald-eagle photos in our daily preview from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
VOTE! Until 8 pm, the ballot-dropoff vans are in West Seattle and White Center, or you can check the county’s list of fixed dropboxes, OR you can mail your ballot (which, unlike dropoffs, requires postage), as long as you’re sure it’ll be postmarked with today’s date. Still deciding? Lots of info on the KC Elections website. The first results are expected around 8:15 pm, and you’ll see them here on WSB as soon as they’re published.
VOLUNTEER MAPMAKING: Help Ebola first responders across the globe without ever leaving your home. As previewed here on Tuesday, bring your laptop to the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library at 6 pm tonight to find out how. (2306 42nd SW)
WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 6:15 pm monthly meeting at Southwest Branch Library. The announcement from WWRHAH leadership has a question for everyone in the neighborhoods this group serves:
… Our big topic is Steering. We’ve gotten stuff done and in motion:
The Roxbury road safety project;
More police presence in Roxhill Park;
We’ve gotten Metro & SDOT to fix some road issues around Westwood;
We’ve got the Arbor Heights storm drains project slowly advancing;
We have grant money for more Roxhill Park improvements;
We helped make sure the city didn’t rush through the every-other-week trash pickup;
We got Metro to move peak hour Route #21 layovers from Westwood to 35th & Roxbury;
We’ve got the city and county studying and researching restoring the bog closer to its original state.
The Southwest District Council helped us get Arbor Heights more money for sidewalks on 35th;
The Delridge District Council and SDOT helped us do that on the south side of Roxbury by the school with the county.
Most of these are in different stages — underway or done — and that’s just over our first solid year.
So, now what? You tell us: What are the biggest outstanding issues for Westwood, Roxhill, and Arbor Heights? Come tell us at the meeting … or online, or over e-mail at email@example.com.
OTHER NIGHTLIFE: Tuesday night is one of the busiest nights on our calendar – see why, here.
After a 12-day closure, the fitness-center building at 2629 SW Andover did indeed open this morning as the West Seattle Health Club (thanks to the commenters who provided first word). If you’ve missed our ongoing coverage, this is the building previously long known as Allstar Fitness, then for about a year and a half as the West Seattle (Athletic) Club.
The owner of the latter, Sam Adams, facing an October 24th court-ordered deadline to pay $1.1 million (mostly back rent), closed it as of October 23rd (though signage only mentioned a two-day closure); documents in his personal Chapter 11 bankruptcy case indicate that he technically “rejected” continuing the lease as of October 27th. On Saturday, October 25th, it was announced that property owner John Pietromonaco had taken it over and would reopen it as a new club with a new name. The new club’s operations VP Dan Lehr told WSB last night that there would be a “skeleton class schedule” for starters, that child care would be available, and that the pool will remain closed for repair/renovations “for about two weeks.” For more backstory, our ongoing coverage is archived here, newest to oldest (we have just merged the archives of coverage so it traces all the way back to our first report on the Allstar bankruptcy two years ago).
ADDED 4 PM: The opening exercise schedule. (Please refer to the club’s website for further updates.)
Parenthood can be joyful. It can also be harrowing. Especially those early days and weeks when you realize a brand-new life is entirely in your hands … and no matter how well you prepared, you’re not sure you’re doing the right thing. The nonprofit West Seattle support group Early Days is for families with babies, and it’s expanding to a second weekly session. That means three of its volunteer leaders need training, and they are crowdfunding to help with part of the cost. One of the new facilitators, Jessica, mom of Oliver (photo above), tells her story:
After Oliver was born, [dad] Daniel stayed home with us for 3 weeks. The first week he was back at work was hard on me. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t crippling anxiety and isolation. Oliver had a lot of gas and grunted a lot, and while this was normal, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something could go terribly wrong at any time.
Sleep deprived and scared, I remember bringing him into the pediatrician, only to be told that what he was doing was very normal. That day, I told the ped that I was thinking about attending a support group at Nurturing Expressions called Early Days and she encouraged me to do so. The next day I threw some diapers in a bag, put clothes on and trekked down to the West Seattle Junction. And I am forever grateful that I did.
During that meeting parents at different places in the first year of their baby’s life talked openly about their struggles. I talked openly about mine, cried and was offered a reflection by one of the facilitators that I was not alone, that many parents had been through much of the same things I was going through. And I felt less anxious, less isolated. It was a major turning point for me.
When I decided to see my midwife about my postpartum mood disorder and start medication, I did it partly because I knew others had done the same, and that I wasn’t weak and this was something that would help me.
The days with a baby are super long and the friends I have made have made them bearable. If I ever need someone, they are there for me.
Early Days is invaluable. For me, becoming a facilitator is an honor and a calling to give back to someone what was given to me. I hope that I can help new parents the way that I was helped. Please consider donating so that we can make this happen. Parents are missing “the village” and we are trying to bring it back. We need each other.
(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Another typical fall morning – more rain overnight, but nothing unusual so far on the roads through/from West Seattle as we head into the heart of the morning commute.
ELECTION DAY: Voted yet? You have until 8 pm tonight to get your ballot in (if you’re mailing it, be sure it’s postmarked today). Two transportation measures are on it – Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1 (transit funding) and Seattle Citizen Petition #1 (monorail).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
It’s a week of big events at West Seattle’s city-landmark Admiral Theater. None bigger than tomorrow, when the first-run “Interstellar” premieres with a sneak-peek screening at 8 pm.
Tonight, Admiral manager Dinah Brein and her crew were preparing the film reels for the screening.
It’s an hours-long task, but one that is a reminder of the reason they are getting “Interstellar” before the megaplexes, as reported here last month: The Admiral is one of just a few theaters still screening in 35mm, and that’s one of three film formats in which the producers are releasing the movie two days in advance.
Tuesday will come just three nights after a crowd jammed in for the final monthly “Rocky Horror Picture Show” shadow-cast-enhanced screening:
(Rendering from Design Review meeting in July – new ‘packet’ isn’t available yet)
For only the second time in two and a half months, the Southwest Design Review Board will be convened to consider a project. On November 20th at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, it will be the fourth SWDRB meeting about 3824 California SW, the ~27-townhouse/live-work project on the site of the long-closed Charlestown Café. The project needed three Early Design Guidance reviews to make it out of that first stage of the two-stage Design Review process; the third one was in July (WSB coverage here). The board hasn’t met since September 4th; it has two regular meeting nights most months of the year, but the meetings are canceled if there are no projects ready to be considered.
P.S. WS Food Bank has a big event next Saturday – a turkey drive in the HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) parking lot at 41st/Alaska, 11 am-2 pm – bring a 10-to-12-pound turkey or $15 cash.
Four biznotes with an opening, two (temporary) closures, and an update:
‘THE GENERAL STORE’ OPENING: This Saturday (November 8th), The General Store-Seattle is opening at ActivSpace (3400 Harbor Ave. SW), with shop hours starting at 10 am and a party at 6 pm. It’s an online AND bricks/mortar endeavor focused on selling local products; its website has a sampling, including food and body-care items.
BAKERY NOUVEAU CLOSED FOR 2 DAYS: A texter thought you might want to know that the legendary Junction bakery is closed until Wednesday. Its Facebook page says BN is doing some maintenance before the busy holiday season fully ramps up. Its Capitol Hill location remains open.
SEASONAL CLOSURE AT TONY’S: The produce market at 35th/Barton in Westwood is shut down for its seasonal break between Halloween and the winter holidays. It’ll reopen for Christmas-tree sales right after Thanksgiving.
WESTSIDE PUBLIC HOUSE: The sports bar moving into the former Terrible Beauty (etc.) spot at California/Edmunds says its liquor license is in hand. David sent this photo of the U-Haul truck outside the past few days as interior work continues:
No opening date announced yet; we first noted the sports-bar plan in September.
2:40 PM: A week and a half after the discovery of shells stopped excavation at the Alaskan Way Viaduct-side pit where the tunneling machine’s damaged cutter head will be pulled out, the digging has resumed. So announced WSDOT this afternoon, saying archaeologists gave the tunnel contractor clearance on Sunday to get going again. According to the announcement, they “believe the shell deposits are the product of commercial shellfish activities carried out by early Seattleites around the turn of the 20th century.” Therefore, they weren’t believed to be “culturally or historically significant,” and work was allowed to resume.
3:37 PM: Any further delay for the timeline? we asked WSDOT spokesperson Laura Newborn. Her reply: “STP has not given WSDOT an updated timeline. As recently as last month, STP said it expected it would get the front end of the machine up and out of the ground sometime in December, and that it still expected repairs to be finished by the end of March.”
The incident occurred near the intersection of 40th Ave SW and SW Juneau St, in the Fairmount Springs neighborhood, likely sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Thursday morning I noticed that the cover on our car (a 1993 Chevrolet Corvette) was torn open in the back.
We initially suspected perhaps vandals cut it open, but upon closer examination we discovered that a vehicle had scraped almost the entire back end of the car, tearing the cover open (there is a lot of missing paint). We thought this was odd since the car was backed up to the curb of the triangular island bounded by 40th, Juneau, and Fauntleroy in a back-in angle parking spot right near the intersection. Looking at the scene in more detail in the daylight we figured out what had happened…
Coho season continues on 2 local creeks:
Thanks to Josh for sharing that quick clip of one of more than 20 salmon he spotted during a visit to Longfellow Creek: “There are a ton of fish near the bonefish bridge, and we recommend people check it out!” (It’s a short distance down the trail from the Dragonfly Pavilion area just south of 26th/Yancy.)
Meantime, from Fauntleroy Creek, Judy Pickens and Dennis Hinton report more than 90 human visitors during their three-hour “open creek” sessions Saturday and Sunday afternoons. No new coho sightings over the weekend, though, so the total remains at 19. But as Judy puts it, visits are worthwhile, fish or no fish, enabling visitors “to experience spawning season very close to home and to learn a lot about salmon and habitat protection.” (Find out ways you can make a difference, here.) Volunteers will continue their watch in Fauntleroy for at least another week.
We photographed the King County Elections ballot-dropoff-van crew at West Seattle Stadium on Saturday; they’re back in town today, and that leads off our calendar-highlights list:
VOTE! Ballot-dropoff vans are back in West Seattle and White Center (Greenbridge), 10 am-5 pm today and 10 am-8 pm tomorrow. No postage needed if you vote this way. Full details in our preview from last week, including ballot-related links. (4432 35th SW and 9720 8th SW)
PRIVACY DISCUSSION AT SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL: It’s been almost two years since WSB readers’ tips helped us break the story of Seattle Police surveillance cameras installed on Alki and elsewhere without public notice or explanation. They have yet to be activated; the City Council-ordered policies on their use have yet to be presented. That’s just one of many privacy-related issues involving city government, and now there’s a move for a broad City of Seattle Privacy Initiative, as explained in this memo, with a discussion during the council briefing meeting that’s just starting (9:30 am) at City Hall downtown, with the privacy item expected around 9:55 am. (Live on Seattle Channel)
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOUNDARIES MEETING: Another West Seattle community meeting about boundary changes starting next school year. 6:30 pm, Alki Elementary School. (3010 59th SW)
WEST SEATTLE HI-YU MEETING: While WS Hi-Yu is a “summer festival” by name, their work is year-round, and they would love to have your help. First step: Check out the monthly meeting, 7 pm tonight, new location – Admiral Congregational Church. Upcoming events include the selection and coronation of next year’s Junior Court. (4320 SW Hill)
NIGHTLIFE! Lots listed on our calendar – go directly there for the venues/times/details.
Two events of note, both tomorrow night, related to the Ebola fight:
If you have a laptop and time to spare volunteering, that flyer explains how you can be a volunteer mapmaker to help first responders dealing with the Ebola crisis. All this, without leaving your home. The event’s at 6 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, November 4th) at the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library, 2306 42nd SW; if you can’t see the embedded flyer, here’s the PDF version.
Second event is not IN West Seattle, but you’re invited by one of your neighbors, West Seattleite Kristen Tetteh, who works with the Washington Global Health Alliance: At Town Hall downtown (1119 8th), an event at 6:30 tomorrow will “touch on the state of Ebola globally as well as how Seattle is preparing.” Medical, policy, education, and humanitarian reps will address “Ebola Facts and Fiction.” Tickets are $10 and available online.
(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:47 AM: It’s the first Monday in November and the first Monday since the end of Daylight Saving Time, so we have a glimmer of light here before 7 am, for now. No problems so far on the routes through/from West Seattle. Dry weather right now, but rain is expected to return later today.
8:10 AM: First problem reported this morning – From a bus, Joe reports, “West Seattle Bridge to SR99 crossover is bad. Stalled car just past the gore on 1st Ave lane side.”
8:28 AM: The rain has arrived, at least where we are (east of Lincoln Park).
Updates tonight on three in-the-works West Seattle microhousing projects:
5949 CALIFORNIA: WORK EXPECTED TO BEGIN – The smallest of the three, at 5949 California SW in north Morgan Junction, has had its permits for a while, and now, Morgan Community Association president Deb Barker says she’s learned that construction is about to begin. The house in our photo above is to be replaced with a five-story micro-apartment building with ~38 “sleeping rooms” and no offstreet-parking spaces; we first reported on the project in May 2013.
The next two projects were considered to be more or less on hold because of a city letter sent in September, as reported here. That letter sent to these and other projects around the city referenced a court decision, saying that their current plans meant each room would have to be counted as a separate dwelling unit, so either those plans would have to change or the projects would need to go through Design Review.. But we’ve discovered new developments on both projects:
3268 SW AVALON WAY: Just before the city memo in late September, the start of work on this 50+-unit project (next door to an already-complete microhousing building) was considered to be imminent – a temporary power tower had gone up. But nothing happened until Friday, when we noticed toward day’s end that the old multiplex on the site next to the 35th/Avalon 7-11 had been torn down. The file shows that the construction and demolition permits were issued three weeks ago. But we haven’t yet found anything online indicating what might have changed, if anything, in relation to the city memo.
Different story down the street …
3050 SW AVALON WAY: This 100+-unit, no-offstreet-parking-spaces project also appears to be proceeding. After seeing the demolition work up the street, we checked the file for this project and found a memo from architect Jay Janette, dated Friday, responding directly to the September letter from the city, by saying:
So rooms are not counted as separate dwelling units, per the City of Seattle DPD letter dated September 22, 2014, all sinks, refrigeration equipment, built-in cabinet and counters outside the bathrooms have been removed from each room.
That’s followed by, “If there are any remaining issues that we need to resolve, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly to resolve over the phone or email in lieu of another review cycle.”
Future microhousing projects will be reviewed under the city’s new rules passed a month ago.
As the season of school fundraisers continue … here’s a tasty one: The Culinary Council at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) plans a one-night “pop-up restaurant event” to raise money. On November 18th, 6:30 pm at The Alhadeff Grill on campus, $50 will get you a five-course menu with wine pairings and an aperitif, with guest chefs including two alumni who also are current instructors. A silent auction will accompany the dinner; 100 percent of the night’s proceeds will benefit students and the program. Tickets are on sale now – you can buy yours, and/or find out more about the event, by going here.
Major changes proposed for some of the city’s Neighborhood Matching Fund grants will be discussed in West Seattle again this Wednesday, this time in a presentation to the Southwest District Council. Meantime, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, which got the presentation last month, has followed through on its plan to send city leadership a letter opposing the changes. More on both of these updates – including the full text of that letter – ahead:
The annual month-long Community Art Showcase at Southwest Branch Library is over, and SPL’s Jane Gibson is sharing that collage of the participating artists with their work – click the image to see it as a full-size PDF. It’s not only a celebration of the participants – it’s also a reminder: If you’re among them, it’s time to go back to the library and pick up your work, if you haven’t already. The branch (35th/Henderson) is closed for today but tomorrow and Tuesday – the two remaining pickup dates – it’s open 10 am-8 pm. The annual show is open to all – just watch for the next call to artists, in fall 2015!