West Seattle, Washington
(Click image for larger view)
There’s your view over West Seattle on the first day of 2015, southward toward Mount Rainier, courtesy of Long Bach Nguyen. If the forecast bears out, it’s our last chance at that view for a while. If you’re in the mood for one more look back, here’s the National Weather Service‘s 2014 Western Washington Year In Review (with one update, the recent cold weather has dropped the year’s average high to 55.1, according to an NWS tweet earlier today). If you’re looking for what’s happening now and in the hours/days ahead, check out the WSB West Seattle Weather page – available any time, with more than just weather information; it includes sunrise/set, moonrise/set, tides, even the UV index (by request).
ADDED 10:53 PM: Bonus photo just in from David Hutchinson:
(WSB video/photos, unless otherwise credited)
Though the New Year had arrived 10 hours earlier, for hundreds, it wasn’t 2015 until the annual Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach. This year, the water was warmer than the air – ~50 degrees and 32 degrees respectively. Whatever the temperature or weather conditions, some wouldn’t miss it, like Kayleen Dunson and her fellow softball umpires (join them on the field this year!), with the morning’s most-patriotic photo op:
Water-testing was called for, too.
Of course, Seahawks fans were in view …
… after on-the-beach decorating:
Not as many costumed swimmers this year, but festive hats were in evidence:
(That photo and next by Russ Walker, whose Flickr gallery is here)
Big smiles too – this one’s from Frank Gross of Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor):
Finally it was time for the countdown – here’s organizer Mark Ufkes with the megaphone:
And … they’re off!
(Photo by Craig Young)
Post-plunge, organizer Ufkes was of course among those emerging triumphantly:
Spectators caught it all:
Awaiting the newly soaked Polar Bears, chowder from Duke’s across the street, and info about the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s upcoming Totem Cruise:
(Photo courtesy SWSHS/Clay Eals)
That’s SWSHS volunteer Liz Day in the foreground; in the background, Duke’s GM Greg Green and server Autumn Kline with the chowder. Whether you swam, stayed on shore, or stayed home, a Happy 2015 to all!
1:41 PM: You wouldn’t expect to encounter a backup on the West Seattle Bridge on a holiday – but there’s one on the eastbound side now because of a crash that we’re told is between Nucor and the crest. Seattle Fire‘s response cleared quickly, suggesting no major injuries, but with the backup, wait a while to head that way if you have to. (A couple of key SDOT cameras aren’t working today, so we don’t have a view of the scene; thanks for the tips.)
2:02 PM: Update from SDOT via Twitter:
West Seattle Bridge in the EB direction is reduced to 1 lane due to an earlier collision. Expect delays. Tow truck on-scene.
— seattledot (@seattledot) January 1, 2015
Thanks also to Jean-Paul for this view:
— Jean-Paul Willynck (@jwillynck) January 1, 2015
2:20 PM: Thanks to Tim for the update in the comment section – scene’s clear, backup should clear soon.
2:41 PM: If you’re seeing the emergency response on Harbor Avenue at the bottom of California Way, by Seacrest, a vehicle is reported to have hit a pedestrian. Injuries weren’t serious, if any; the pedestrian was reported to be the person who made the 911 call and was reported to have been declining medical assistance.
Our area and the rest of King County is now under a Stage 1 burn ban, announced by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency because of “stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution,” expected to continue at least until tomorrow. Here’s what a Stage 1 burn ban means:
* No burning is allowed in wood-burning fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled.
* The only exception is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ designation from the Clean Air Agency
* No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.
* Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.
* It is OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.
We’ll publish an update whenever the burn ban is lifted.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
9:13 AM: Big Seattle Fire response at the McDonald’s in Admiral (3003 California SW), but our crew on the scene says it’s not a major problem – the smoke that led to fire concern was apparently sparked by mechanical trouble, possibly with the HVAC system. Some of the crews have been dismissed already. More to come.
9:20 AM: Just heard over the scanner – “this is smoke from a properly operating cooking exhaust system.” All but one engine will be leaving. (added) Our crew says SFD is allowing everyone back in, and the restaurant’s open for business.
Happy 2015! Thanks to Gary Jones for the bald-eagle photos from Alki Point. Here’s what you need to know about today:
RESTAURANTS: Here’s our list of who told us, when we did research before Christmas, they’d be open New Year’s Day. Might be some missing if they didn’t answer our inquiries; might be someone who’s changed their plan since last we checked in; so please let us know of discrepancies – text or call 206-293-6302.
COFFEE FOR A CAUSE: Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) is continuing its New Year’s giving campaign by offering a special drink today – the “2015” white chocolate and blackberry mocha – with $3 going to WestSide Baby. (4410 California SW)
NEW YEAR’S WALKS: 5- and 10-kilometer routes, noncompetitive, no fee, take off between 9 am and noon from St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, which is sponsoring the walks along with Emerald City Wanderers. More info in our calendar listing. (3050 California SW)
POLAR BEAR SWIM: This is the big annual one. 10 am (get there early!) from the beach across from Duke’s. Details in our calendar listing. (58th/Alki)
‘KILL YOUR HANGOVER’ AT FEEDBACK LOUNGE: 6th annual edition at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) – drink specials, big-screen football, more. Open at 11:30. (6451 California SW)
CONTEMPLATIVE WORSHIP: What better time, than the first night of the year? 6:30 pm at Westside Unitarian Universalist. (7141 California SW)
LOOK INTO THE FUTURE … by browsing our calendar, any time!
The colorful show from the Space Needle at midnight, more visible from West Seattle than last year (remember the fog?). Our first photos are from David Hutchinson.
This was the 30th annual “New Year’s at the Needle” fireworks show, by the way. If you missed the show or want to see it again, here’s the link to KING 5’s video.