West Seattle, Washington
With a week to go until Christmas Eve, a little extra holiday cheer emerges almost everywhere you look – and listen. Tonight, Shorewood Foursquare Church‘s Ignition Youth Group kept its promise to head out on a caroling journey, walking to Westwood Village, where we caught up with them:
Along with giving the gift of song, they handed out candy canes with an invitation to their church’s Christmas Eve service (one of a dozen churches listed in the “services” section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – if yours isn’t, please get us the info ASAP!).
Admiral Congregational Church is formally introducing its new pastor, who is already leading worship services there, though his ordination is set for just after New Year’s and his formal installation in the spring. Here’s the announcement the church is sharing with the community:
The oldest church in West Seattle has recently called Andrew Conley-Holcom as its new pastor. Admiral Congregational United Church of Christ, located in North Admiral, was founded in 1899 as the West Seattle Congregational Church. Pastor Andrew, in his early thirties and a recent graduate of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, is the youngest pastor that Admiral has ever called.
The congregation voted to accept its Search Committee’s unanimous recommendation to call Andrew in mid-October, and he has been leading worship services since October 19th. He will be ordained on January 3, 2015 at his home church, First Congregational Church of Bellingham, and will be formally installed as Admiral’s pastor in the spring.
Andrew and his wife, Leann (church-provided photo, above right), are originally from the Tacoma area and currently reside in the Ravenna neighborhood. Leann is active as a professional singer, directs the Concert Choir of the Tacoma Youth Chorus, and is a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at the University of Washington.
Today’s WSDOT update on the Viaduct/Tunnel project, posted late today, is a new, long FAQ attempting to answer some of the questions that have come up since the December 5th disclosure of “settling.” Read it in its entirety here. Some of what caught our eye on first look include:
Our contract with STP allows up to two inches of viaduct settlement before mitigation is required. Should it be necessary, a number of techniques could be used to strengthen the viaduct and keep it open to traffic until the new SR 99 corridor is completed. These techniques could include strengthening columns or other areas of the structure to provide additional support. We could also reinforce the viaduct’s foundation as we did in 2008.
Regarding the plan to reach, lift, and repair the tunnel machine’s cutter head, WSDOT writes, “We’re disappointed with STP’s progress to date …” while noting the pit is now three-fourths of the way to the expected 120-foot depth, and expressing optimism that even if the current rescue plan has to be abandoned: “At its core, this is an engineering problem, one that can no doubt be solved.” The FAQ reiterates, “No significant settlement has been observed in the area since Dec. 5.” And as for the biggest concern of all:
Our bridge experts have confirmed that the viaduct remains safe for day-to-day use. If we had any reason to believe it wasn’t, we wouldn’t hesitate to close it. It’s important to remember, however, that the day-to-day safety of the structure does not change the fact that the viaduct remains vulnerable to earthquakes. That’s why it’s being replaced.
SPD is just out with its newest SeaStat slide deck – an every-two-week briefing given to department leadership, highlighting crime trends and hotspots. Above is the precinct-by-precinct breakdown of car prowls over the four-week period from November 16th to December 13th (last Saturday). The car prowl total for the Southwest Precinct – West Seattle and South Park – number fewer than half the next-lowest precinct. See the full deck here. It also includes a look at SW Precinct numbers for all major-crime categories in the past month; the most-common type is “larceny/theft,” totaling 136 of the total 249 “major crimes” in West Seattle/South Park over the four-week period examined.
ADDED 11:30 PM: Eric asked in comments about a map for comparison. The SPD “police reports” map, when sorted for car prowls and for the same four-week period shown above, doesn’t seem to show quite as many incidents, but you can get an idea of the hot spots – Lincoln Park, for example, where the circled “11” indicates 11 car prowls during those four weeks:
(While the screengrab does not show the entirety of the SW Precinct, it did not show any car prowls north or south of the area shown; there were a few to the east, in South Park.)
It’s going on a year and a half since our first report that the CVS drugstore chain‘s first push into this state included a proposed West Seattle store at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW (map) – a site zoned for up to four stories, though the drugstore is proposed for one. So much time has gone by that CVS’s other projects in the area are far down the line, including two stores that recently opened – one in Renton, and this one in the Five Corners area of Burien:
There are new signs the West Seattle project is moving ahead. First, we made contact with CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis, who told us, “We are still in the very early planning stages for a new store on Fauntleroy and it is very premature to announce any timetables. I can tell you that this project is not currently scheduled for 2015.”
Since our exchange with him a few days ago, new documents have shown up in the project’s online files, for the first time since the ones that tipped us to the proposal in July 2013. The documents show a few more details about the “early planning stages.” The site plan that’s now in the files shows its parking lot (with 76 spaces) on the north side of the lot, abutting the Les Schwab Tires parking lot and building, with the store itself on the southwest side of the lot. A drive-through window is still planned. The project will go through Design Review, but there are no renderings yet, nor a meeting date. The newest documents list the architect as Schemata Workshop, whose website shows renderings for the Wallingford CVS, one of at least two other stores the company plans to open in Seattle, along with lower Queen Anne. Schemata and CVS’s development firm have met privately with members of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, according to its director René Commons, who told the group’s mailing list that “they are having dialogue around ways to make the project something more creative than an ordinary box pharmacy with a drive through for our neighborhood. We have asked for space for food trucks and a community center meeting room on their development site.” You can watch the city’s status page for the project here.
(View from the new camera as of a few minutes before we published this)
If you want to check in on the progress of the new elementary school on Genesee Hill, you don’t have to walk/bike/run/drive/send your drone over … a live webcam is now up and running on the site. See it here. The school’s now projected to open in fall of 2016 as the new home of the current Schmitz Park Elementary program (what then happens to THAT campus is apparently back to being “undecided”); construction has been under way for more than three months now – demolition of the old GH Elementary started in early September.
(Photo by Mark Wangerin – the brant have returned to Alki, to feed on eelgrass & sea lettuce)
Second night of Hanukkah, four days until the winter solstice, one week until Christmas Eve. And of course we have highlights for today/tonight, from the just-updated WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and our ongoing calendar:
ALKI COMMUNITY CENTER HOLIDAY POTLUCK: 11 am – details in our calendar listing. (5817 SW Stevens)
THE WHALE TRAIL’S WINTER GATHERING: 6:30 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) – it’s been a tough fall for the Southern Resident Killer Whales and those who love them, with the population shrinking instead of growing as it should be doing. Come hear from researchers/advocates. More on The Whale Trail‘s website, including ticket info. (5612 California SW)
CAROLING: Ignition Youth Group will be caroling from 6:30-8:30 pm, leaving Shorewood Foursquare Church (10300 28th SW) at 6:30, arriving at Westwood Village around 7:30 to carol in front of Target, 24 Hour Fitness, and Starbucks before heading back.
‘SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS’: 7 pm, “original Christmas show” at West Seattle branch of Eastridge Church . Admission free; child care through age 5. (4500 39th SW)
CHRISTMAS CONCERT AT HOPE LUTHERAN: 7 pm. “Sounds of Christmas,” featuring middle school musical groups and Seattle Lutheran High School band. (42nd/Oregon)
CHRISTMAS COMEDY SHOW: 7:30 pm at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), an all-star lineup, hosted by West Seattle’s own Mona Concepcion, featuring special musical guest Champagne Honeybee. (6451 California SW)
MORE NIGHTLIFE: Karaoke, open microphone … see the listings on the calendar!
(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! No major commute problems on the routes through/from West Seattle so far.
7:11 AM: From the 911 log/scanner, a crash at West Marginal Way S./Holden, blocking northbound lanes by the interchange onto 99 as it heads for the 1st Ave. S. Bridge.
7:27 AM: Update, blocking one lane. Meantime, scanner mentions a crash at 11th/Spokane, which would be by the low bridge, but the traffic camera there isn’t working (one of the bridge cameras also is out of service, as you might have noticed above); no SFD dispatch.
7:40 AM: From scanner, Delridge/Juneau traffic signal is “stuck in yellow”; police tried to fix but are going to have to call out SDOT, and traffic is backing up as a result.
9:45 AM: Just back from checking Delridge/Juneau – signal is working now, SDOT was still there, as we tweeted:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 17, 2014
We also noted via Twitter that just south of the STEM/Arbor Heights school zone, one of SPD’s Aggressive Driving Response Team vehicles had pulled someone over.