day : 13/02/2015 9 results

Dock dispute: No ship unloading the next three days, as contract-talks stalemate continues

(WSB photo, taken this morning from Seacrest)
Tonight the status of the contract-talks stalemate between longshore workers and West Coast terminal operators is as murky as the Elliott Bay fog was this morning, when we photographed the Prague Express (still anchored in the bay per, as are three bulk-cargo ships). After allowing offloading operations today, the Pacific Maritime Association‘s members say they will again close the docks for the next three days rather than pay weekend/holiday rates to International Longshore and Warehouse Union members whom they accuse of a deliberate slowdown. The ILWU, meantime, has made public a letter of support from three Seattle City Council membersMike O’Brien, Nick Licata, and Kshama Sawant – calling the temporary shutdown a “destructive negotiating tactic.” The Wall Street Journal reports that a federal mediator had separate meetings with both sides today. Also today, as noted in our morning traffic coverage, trucks backed up on streets approaching Seattle terminals, including S. Spokane St. and East Marginal, following yesterday’s one-day shutdown.

Report #1: West Seattle High School girls are Metro League basketball champs!

(Video of game-ending celebration, close-up YouTube version substituted for previously published Instagram clip)
7:15 PM: A nailbiter game has just ended at Seattle Pacific University with the West Seattle High School girls winning the Metro League title in a memorable basketball battle – 49-48 over last year’s state champs, Cleveland. Their first game in districts is Tuesday night at Sealth – time/opponent TBA. Photos and more, to come.

9:51 PM: We’ll tell the story of the game in a separate report that we’re working on right now. But in the meantime, here are the champs right after the game:

Postgame celebrations also included each player taking a turn cutting part of the net – and then finally one more loop for head coach Sonya Elliott:

A ceremony before the game honored her as Metro League Coach of the Year as well as all-league players including, from the Wildcats, league MVP Lydia Giomi and all-league team members Lexi Ioane and Emily Fiso.

6 AM: Our second report with photos and full details is here.

Highway 99 tunnel-project updates: More viaduct settlement; repair update

(Added 9:27 pm: New image from camera over ‘access pit’ built to retrieve part of tunnel machine for repairs)

WSDOT has published another update on the Highway 99 tunnel project. You can read the entire update here; we’re excerpting two parts of it, starting with word of more Alaskan Way Viaduct settlement:

Survey crews have confirmed that the Alaskan Way Viaduct between South Main Street and Railroad Way South has settled up to ¼ inch in the past month. Our bridge experts are confident this minor, uniform settlement does not pose any new safety risks to the public. The viaduct remains vulnerable to earthquakes, but it is still safe for everyday use. If we had any reason to believe the structure was unsafe, we would not hesitate to close it.

These latest measurements only apply to this section of the viaduct. We have not measured any similar trends elsewhere on the viaduct, in nearby buildings or the ground surface. We expect the viaduct will continue to experience minor settlement until it is removed. Viaduct settlement has made headlines in recent months, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t a new issue. The viaduct has been settling for years, as you can see in our inspection log. Hundreds of monitors have been installed in the ground and on the viaduct to help us monitor settlement, and we will continue to keep a close eye on the structure’s condition as construction continues.

WSDOT also says the operation to move the tunnel machine into the repair pit could start within days:

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Seen these stolen racquets?

February 13, 2015 5:31 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

From the WSB inbox – a car break-in victim hoping someone might find one or both of two stolen racquets:

I live in the Seaview neighborhood on 44th and my car was broken into last night. They stole a storage container with car cleaning supplies and they stole two tennis bags. One was a red tennis bag with a Yonex racquet. The other bag was my daughter’s – it’s a pink tennis bag with a white Wilson racquet. The Yonex is 11 years old and no longer made so while it doesn’t have any real value, it’s my favorite racquet.

Let police know (and mention it here) if you have found one or both. Meantime, we checked the SPD Tweets by Beat Twitter feed, which we feature on the Crime Watch page, to see if any other car prowls were reported today, and there are two – in the 9000 block of 16th SW and the 9200 block of 17th SW.

‘Vision Zero’ to reduce speed limits on 5 West Seattle arterials; maybe another school-zone speed camera too

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Death and injury on our streets is preventable.

So declares the online overview of the city’s new Vision Zero road-safety initiative, which lays out changes ahead, including reducing speed limits on arterials, with this year’s list including five in West Seattle.

The mayor announced Vision Zero on Thursday in Lake City; the fine print includes a relatively long list of changes ahead for West Seattle. So today, we’re taking a closer look. In addition to what’s in the document made public by SDOT, we’ve also followed up to get more information on the timetable for changes, and along the way we’ve learned of at least one potential new speed-camera location for West Seattle.

First, the plan for lower speed limits. The Vision Zero plan notes that 9 of 10 pedestrians hit by drivers going 20 mph survive – but that survival rate plummets to 1 in 10 if hit at 40 mph. So, a big part of the city’s plan focuses on reducing speed limits on city streets.


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Children’s Academy of Seattle: Spanish-immersion preschool – welcome, new WSB sponsor!

February 13, 2015 12:55 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Today we welcome our newest sponsor, Children’s Academy of Seattle, a Spanish-immersion preschool now open in West Seattle. Here’s what they would like you to know:

The program at Children’s Academy of Seattle supports optimal Spanish-language learning by tying language to a broad range of day-to-day activities. Children learn language best by experiencing it naturally, by being immersed in it.

The benefits go beyond being bilingual. Exposure to another language, through immersion, provides cultural competency and sensitivity to others. Language immersion takes advantage of a child’s natural ability to rapidly acquire another language. At no time in life is this task easier than in early childhood.

Children’s Academy of Seattle believes that young children develop to their fullest potential when they are allowed to enjoy life at an unhurried pace. Our program focuses on imagination and creative work and play. Our center offers a rich curriculum and hands-on learning, science, and social skills.

Our staff has a minimum of five years teaching child development experience. Our high-quality program with experienced teachers ensures success in learning a second language.

Children’s Academy of Seattle is at 2410 SW Juneau; call 206-466-1121 for information about enrollment, which is open now. You’re also invited to visit the preschool during an open house 10 am-1 pm on Saturday, February 28th.

We thank Children’s Academy of Seattle 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.

Nomination time! West Seattle Chamber of Commerce awaits your nominees for Business of the Year, Emerging Business, Not-For-Profit of the Year, Westsider of the Year

February 13, 2015 11:42 am
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

Give some love to your favorite West Seattle business, nonprofit, and community leaders – nominate one or more for the 2015 Westside Awards, to be presented April 3rd by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. You do NOT need to be a member to make a nomination – nor does your nominee have to be a member to win. First, here are the categories, from the Chamber’s announcement today:

Westside Business of the Year – This nominee has been in business at least 3 years and demonstrated business excellence and success.

Westside Emerging Business – This nominee has been in business for less than 3 years but is meeting the challenges of a growing business through leadership.

Westside Not-For-Profit of the Year – This nominee Not-for-Profit is making our community a better place to live while contributing to community benefit through their mission.

Westsider of the Year – This nominee is making a lasting impact on our community and the lives of or is an up-and-coming community role model.

And here’s how to make a nomination (or, more than one!)

Nominations are accepted online through the Westside Awards Nomination Form.

A separate form must be submitted for each category.

Please take a few minutes before March 15th to submit the form and help us recognize the most outstanding contributions.

Here’s our coverage of last year’s ceremony.

West Seattle Friday: Half-dozen highlights, including a barn dance!

February 13, 2015 9:36 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen, over High Point – click image for larger view)
Going into the three-day weekend (four-day weekend for many schools), here’s some of what’s up today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION FOR TEENS: Ages 12-19 invited, 2:30 pm-4:30 pm at Hiawatha Community Center. (2700 California SW)

VALENTINE’S WINE TASTING: Including tastes of steak, cheese, and chocolate-covered strawberries. 4-6 pm at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) in Admiral. (42nd/Admiral)

HEALTH CARNIVAL: West Seattle Elementary families are invited to a health carnival at the school tonight, 5-8 pm – details here. (6760 34th SW)

BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS: The West Seattle High School girls play Cleveland for the Metro League title tonight at 5:45 pm at Seattle Pacific University. (3414 Third Ave. W.)

BARN DANCE! You’re invited to this dance with live music by Sassafras Stomp and caller Suzanne Girardot, starting at 7:30 pm at Puget Ridge Cohousing‘s Common House. “All ages, all abilities, instruction provided” – more details in our listing. (7020 18th SW)

TONIGHT’S LIVE MUSIC … starts with Alex Guilbert Trio at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), 5 pm, continues with Koto Jazz at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) at 7 pm (rescheduled to July 25), and more – see the calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Pre-holiday weekend Friday; port-truck backups

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Happy Friday! Lighter traffic around the region today, and that’s not surprising since we’re going into a holiday weekend (it’s a four-day weekend for Seattle Public Schools and those who follow its schedule). SDOT’s traffic-watchers report heavy truck traffic on northbound Marginal, north of the bridge, also not surprising since ships *are* being offloaded today but weren’t yesterday and won’t be for the next three days, as reported here.

TRANSPORTATION NEWS NOTES: One more reminder of Metro‘s three-times-a-year service change tomorrow … While it was announced in the north end, the city’s new Vision Zero street-safety plan has many changes in store for West Seattle, as mentioned in the report from our partners at The Seattle Times – we’ll be following up this morning.

7:55 AM: Michael reports via Twitter that “lower Spokane St. is a mess” too – “lots of truck traffic.” (See the lower-left camera in our quad split above.) Scanner-monitored discussion indicates that traffic officers are getting involved, if they weren’t already.

8:12 AM: SDOT reports a stall on northbound 99 just before King Street:

8:22 AM: SDOT now reports the WSDOT incident-response truck cleared the stalled pickup quickly. That gives us the chance to remind you …

PRESIDENTS DAY TRANSIT NOTES: On Monday, the West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxis will NOT be running. Metro will be on REGULAR weekday service (except for the routes affected in the “No UW” mode).

9:15 AM: Per scanner, police are directing traffic at E. Marginal/Spokane.