day : 04/12/2014 12 results

Another orca death: Southern Resident Killer Whales down to 77

(Possibly the last photo of J32 – at right – by Melisa Pinnow, provided by Orca Network)
11:45 PM: Another death reported tonight among the endangered orcas whose home is Puget Sound and adjacent waters. The orca found dead in British Columbia is identified as a member of J Pod, J32, known as “Rhapsody,” an 18-year-old female. According to reports including this one published by the Vancouver Sun, she might have been pregnant – a necropsy will reveal whether that’s true. J32’s death comes less than two months after the death of baby L120 was reported. The Southern Resident Killer Whales’ total number is now down to 77, much lower than the triple-digit population the official “recovery plan” had envisioned by now, as discussed at this recent talk presented by The Whale Trail.

11:53 PM: We have the full Orca Network news release about J32’s death – click ahead:

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Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader, project #1: 4515 41st SW sent back for second round of Early Design Guidance

(The project team’s “preferred” configuration, which didn’t meet the board’s favor)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The first half of tonight’s two-project Southwest Design Review Board meeting ended with board members telling the proposed memory-care facility at 4515 41st SW in The Junction to come back for a second Early Design Guidance review.

It’s on a site surrounded by ongoing redevelopment of other one-time single-family sites, such as the new Oregon 42 mixed-use building to the west, and among other criticisms, the early proposal was deemed too “suburban” to fit into the shape other projects are taking.

Here’s the design packet as published to the city website.

PROJECT TEAM’S PRESENTATION: Denis Bryant, president of Living Care Lifestyles, spoke first, saying they own 8 properties in 5 states, and are building a 9th one; Lynnwood is their only property in Washington so far. “We call this a residence, it’s not a facility; it’s meant to be residential in fit and finish,” Bryant began, “… to remove the guilt that families often feel” about placing loved ones in this kind of center. He said it would be “low impact .. our residents don’t drive; our staff will be provided ORCA cards and other mass-transit opportunities.” The building will have three 22-bed floors.

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Another traffic alert: ‘Heavy rescue’ call at Olson/Myers

9:16 PM: Another crash to report – this time at 4th and Roxbury (Olson vicinity), and our first tipster tells us roads are blocked. It’s a “heavy rescue” call, which means a major SFD response too. More to come.

9:20 PM: The location’s been updated on the 911 log to Olson/Myers.

9:37 PM: The SFD response has closed out, but we don’t have an update yet on the detour situation.

Update: Suspected drunk driver arrested after crash at 35th/Alaska

8:13 PM: Avoid 35th SW in the Alaska/Edmunds vicinity – a car took out a pole and hit at least one other car, and traffic is being rerouted. No major injuries reported so far. More to come.

8:28 PM UPDATE: WSB’s Katie Meyer reports that if you’re headed eastbound on Alaska, you’ll be detoured onto 36th. If you’re headed southbound on 35th, you’ll have to turn westbound onto Alaska. This reportedly is a hit-and-run that damaged at least one other vehicle, which Katie says has just been towed.

8:35 PM UPDATE: Katie reports the roads have reopened.

9 PM UPDATE: Metro has confirmed via text alert that buses are back on their regular routes.

11:05 PM UPDATE: Tipsters on Twitter reported seeing someone in handcuffs near the scene, and we’ve confirmed with police that the suspected drunk driver, a man in his 20s, was indeed arrested, and had minor injuries. Some passengers in the vehicle were reported to have fled on foot. And police confirm that after the pole was sheared off, another vehicle was hit but its occupants weren’t hurt (see this comment).

New leaders for Southwest District Council, as year wraps up

December 4, 2014 5:26 pm
|    Comments Off on New leaders for Southwest District Council, as year wraps up
 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Meet David Whiting and Eric Iwamoto, new co-chairs of the Southwest District Council:

Passing the torch was part of the short official agenda for last night’s monthly meeting of the SWDC, which includes reps from community councils and other key organizations around western West Seattle. Whiting is president of the Admiral Neighborhood Association and Iwamoto co-chairs the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council.

This past year’s co-chairs got a fond farewell – Sharonn Meeks of the Fairmount Community Association and Vlad Oustimovitch from the Fauntleroy Community Association.

The major item on the short agenda was a followup on proposed Neighborhood Matching Fund grant changes, which have drawn concerns from district councils around the city, especially because those groups would be removed from their role vetting applications for grants before they move to citywide review. (We covered last month’s discussion at the SWDC and, before that, to the Delridge District Council, as well as the letter written and sent by the latter.)

So far, no changes have been implemented, reported Neighborhood District Coordinator Yun Pitre, city liaison to the SWDC.

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Traffic alert: 5-hour Highway 99 closure this weekend now both ways

Update on the five-hour closure planned for the Alaskan Way Viaduct this weekend – WSDOT says it will close in both directions, not just southbound as originally announced. The time frame is the same, 11:59 pm Saturday night until about 5 am Sunday morning, closed between the West Seattle Bridge and the Battery Street Tunnel. WSDOT says the closure “will allow crews to move heavy equipment across the roadway and conduct survey work.”

Alki Surf Shop: Aloha, new West Seattle Blog sponsor!

Just in time for your local holiday shopping, we’re welcoming Alki Surf Shop to the WSB sponsor team. Here’s what they’d like you to know:

Ever since Alki Surf Shop opened, people have been asking, “What’s a surf shop doing at Alki Beach?” The standard answer is, “No waves, no worries.”* But there’s more to the story than that.

The owners, Kahuna Dave and Terri Nakamura, are both from Seattle. Terri grew up on Beacon Hill and Dave claims to hail from “the ancient Hawaiian kingdom of Burien.” Longtime veterans of the Seattle graphic design and advertising industry, they wanted to use their skills to launch a local business of their own – something fun. And what could be more fun than a surf shop, right in the heart of Seattle’s favorite beach?

Alki Surf Shop is a dream come true for us,” Terri says. “We’ve been able to create a unique, inviting experience to add to the Alki Beach neighborhood in West Seattle. People come in and say, ‘Wow, what a cute shop. How long have you been open?’”

The shop features their exclusive Genuine Alki brand tops, designed and produced in Seattle. A great selection of Alki gifts, including mugs, shot glasses, totes, cards, and wall art. Beach essentials, such as sunglasses, volleyballs and kites. Plus jewelry and cool new gifts for the holidays.

Kahuna Dave also wrote “The Alki Beach Song” and produced a short music video to go with it, which can be seen on YouTube:

It’s all part of the fun at one of West Seattle’s newest businesses, located at 2622 Alki Avenue SW (between Homefront Smoothies and Alki Beach Miniatures.) If you hear the sound of someone blowing a conch shell, you know you’re getting close. At the Alki Surf Shop, that’s how they say mahalo!

Alki Surf Shop can be found at and on Facebook at Or join them for a holiday Tweetup by following them at

We thank Alki Surf Shop for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

*No waves, except…

West Seattle holiday giving: Warm clothes @ Dave Newman’s State Farm office; coats @ M2S Outfitters

December 4, 2014 1:23 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle holiday giving: Warm clothes @ Dave Newman’s State Farm office; coats @ M2S Outfitters
 |   Holidays | How to help | West Seattle news

As the list of what’s in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide gets longer, that includes the section with local opportunities for holiday giving. Including:

COLLECTING WARM CLOTHES: That’s State Farm agent Dave Newman (longtime WSB sponsor) standing next to two bins that he and his staff hope you will fill with warm clothes for West Seattle Helpline. Their collection drive is now officially under way, continuing until the last day of the year. You can drop off donations at their office, 3435 California SW (map), 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Fridays (9 am-noon on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve)

COLLECTING COATS: In The Triangle, Mountain to Sound Outfitters is collecting coats for a donation drive culminating in a visit by Santa on December 14th – but you can drop one (or more!) off any time before then, too, at 3602 SW Alaska (map).

Two Seattle Fire updates: Medic response at Westwood Village this morning; what caused Beach Drive fire on Saturday

Two updates from the Seattle Fire Department:

MAN COLLAPSES AT WESTWOOD VILLAGE: Teresa e-mailed about frantic efforts to assist a man who had collapsed at Westwood Village early this morning, near the Starbucks store. We asked SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says the 55-year-old man collapsed in the parking lot while either headed to or from the nearby 24-Hour Fitness gym: “A citizen witnessed the collapse and immediately started CPR. Firefighters arrived and continued CPR for an hour. Also, they used the AED multiple times to get a heart rhythm. Medics transported the patient to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.”

FOLLOWUP ON SATURDAY’S APARTMENT FIRE: When we checked with SFD on Monday, they still didn’t know what had caused the Saturday fire that gutted a waterfront apartment in the 3800 block of Beach Drive; we published this followup, including a request from one resident to help her daughter find a new place to live. Today we’ve learned from spokesperson Moore that SFD has ruled the fire accidental, “caused by combustibles placed too close to an electrical baseboard heater.” We also have learned that two firefighters from Engine 29 were injured – previously, one injury was mentioned; their injuries are described as “minor burns.” As reported Monday, damage totaled $180,000. With the update, Moore also offered a link about fire safety for apartments – see it here.

West Seattle Thursday: Design Review for 4505 42nd SW and 4515 41st SW; ‘Judy’s Scary Little Christmas’ opens; McLaren @ Lafayette

In the spotlight topping today’s list of calendar highlights, a Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader looking at two Junction projects:

DESIGN REVIEW X 2: First up, 6:30 pm in the big upstairs room at Senior Center of West Seattle, it’s the first meeting for 4515 41st SW, a proposed 48-unit memory-care facility (here’s our June report). Here’s the “packet” with project details and renderings:

At 8 pm, the board is scheduled to move on to the third review for 4505 42nd SW, now proposed for 50 apartments, 9 units of “lodging,” and 3,600 sf commercial space. Here’s its info/images “packet”:

Here’s our report on the previous review for that project. Both meetings will have time for public comment. (Oregon/California)

Now, here’s what else is on our calendar and/or in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:

INTERNATIONAL HOLIDAY POTLUCK AND SWIM … at Southwest Pool, noon-1:30 pm swim, 1:30 pm potluck, details in our calendar listing. (2801 SW Thistle)

HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS’ SHOP LATE THURSDAY! First of three December Thursdays during which you’ll find many Junction shops open late, until 9 pm, so you can enjoy more local holiday shopping. (Full HH schedule here)

BEER TASTING: Winter Is Coming Fest from 11 am opening time on, “five tastes of winter favorites” at Elliott Bay Brewing Co. in The Junction. (4720 California SW)

COOKBOOK LAUNCH: During Shop Late Thursday, Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) is hosting a launch party for Michelle Babb‘s new anti-inflammatory cookbook – details in our calendar listing. 6-9 pm. (4540 Californai SW)

HELPING JASMIN: 6:30 tonight at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), it’s the start of a fun night, silent auction included, to help Jasmin Egan, a West Seattle native and mom of 3 who is battling leukemia. Music and more – see our preview here, including dream auction items for that golfer in your life – or you! (6451 California SW)

SCHOOL BOARD REP @ LAFAYETTE: As previewed here on Wednesday, the Lafayette Elementary PTA invites you to its first community forum with local representatives. **6:30 pm** tonight in the school cafeteria, West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren is the first guest. (California/Lander)

MEET & GREET & TALK FISHING: 7-9 pm tonight, also during Shop Late Thursday, it’s a “women’s meet-and-greet” at Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor) with wine, cheese, and info about local fisheries – details in our calendar listing. (42nd/Oregon)

JUDY’S SCARY LITTLE CHRISTMAS: The holiday production at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) opens tonight, 7:30 pm – get tickets here. (4711 California SW)

Remembering Mary Annie Belle Taylor, 1919-2014

From Texas to West Seattle over the span of 95 years, Mary Annie Belle Taylor lived a good life, as shared by her family in this remembrance:

Mary Annie Belle Taylor
May 17, 1919 – December 3, 2014

Mary Annie Belle Taylor was born on her family’s ranch in Brookshire, TX on May 17, 1919. The youngest of six siblings, she loved ranch life, especially riding horses. She began documenting her family in photographs with a Brownie camera she received for her fourth birthday. Her collection of photographs documenting three generations of the Hughes family is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of Americana.

Ms. Taylor moved to Los Angeles, CA in the 1950s and married the love of her life, Morris Taylor. She was among the first African Americans to attend culinary school, and became a chef and nutritionist in the 1960s. She managed a hospital kitchen until she retired in the late 1970s. Though childless herself, she served as favorite aunt to many nieces and nephews as well as neighborhood children, many of whom learned to cook in her kitchen.

Post-retirement, she moved to Silver Spring, MD, to be closer to family. A believer in action over words, Ms. Taylor worked with her local church to start a food program for elderly people living in her senior retirement community. Well into her late 80s, she used her beautiful tenor voice to telephone her “old folks,” read to them from the Bible, and sing to them.

In 2005 Ms. Taylor moved to West Seattle. Though health kept her from being an active member, she joined First AME Church in Seattle. In her final years, she was cared for by the wonderful staff at Providence ElderPlace to whom the family extends deep gratitude for their kindness, gentleness, and respect.

Ms. Taylor died peacefully the morning of Wednesday, December 3, 2014 after a long illness. Predeceased by her husband and all of her siblings, she is survived by loving nieces, nephews, and extended family throughout the country.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to


(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Heading into the heart of the commute, no problems reported in or from West Seattle, so far.

TRANSPORTATION NEWS: In case you missed them, stories here from the past 24 hours: 20-trucks-an-hour concrete pour set to start tomorrowWhen will Highway 99 tunneling resume? What the ‘stakeholders’ group’ was told

8:44 AM: First problem of the morning. SDOT reports a crash on the eastbound bridge:

So far, no medical response dispatched for this, so it’s not on the 911 log.

8:53 AM: Update from SDOT – that was cleared quickly; all lanes open.

9:56 AM: Firsthand explanation from the driver whose car was rear-ended – in this comment.

3:22 PM: Last weekend, we mentioned the plan for a partial closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct this Saturday night. Now, WSDOT says it will close both ways: “The closure – which will last from Saturday, Dec. 6 at 11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 – will allow crews to move heavy equipment across the roadway and conduct survey work on SR 99.”