West Seattle, Washington
As mentioned here a week ago, SDOT director Scott Kubly told the City Council Transportation Committee that the 47th/Admiral signal was on the brink of construction – and now, a city alert says construction could be just days away:
As soon as the week of March 9, the Seattle Department of Transportation will begin construction of the project to build a new signal, crosswalks and updated curb ramps at the intersection of 47th Avenue SW and SW Admiral Way in West Seattle.
This project aims to improve the flow of traffic in this area and you can expect to see the following changes at this intersection:
(WSB photo from 2013: Mural over The Admiral’s concession area)
After many months of uncertainly, finally a breakthrough for West Seattle’s historic Admiral Theater. The company that runs it has announced “an agreement in principle” with the building’s owner, clearing the path to its much-needed, long-anticipated remodel, which will turn it into a fourplex.
Though The Admiral’s announcement (read it in full here) says the “planned improvements (will) begin this fall,” it also notes “an immediate conversion from 35mm film to state-of-the-art digital cinema and Dolby Surround Sound.” That will be followed by “phased=in revisions of the interior floor plan, adding two auditoriums (with elevated stadium seating), all-new chairs with cup holders, new carpeting and curtains, new screens (including 3D capability), and improved heating, air conditioning and ventilation. Additional improvements will also be evident in the restrooms, concessions area and upstairs Crow’s Nest Lounge.”
The Admiral is a city landmark with protected features, and Jeff Brein, managing partner of Far Away Entertainment – the Bainbridge-based regional chain that has run The Admiral since 2008 – says the plan recognizes that: “The existing architectural features, nautical theme, original artwork of captains and explorers, and unique lighting fixtures will be retained. Additionally, and perhaps most exciting, hand-painted historic murals hidden behind curtains for over 35 years will be uncovered and with financial support from grants and the community restored to their original condition.”
The Admiral will continue to work with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which worked to save the historic theater more than a quarter-century ago. And it expects to stay open “with minimal disruptions to moviegoers” during the work, which management hopes will lead to phased-in openings as soon as this August.
The theater started moving to first-run films with the successful premiere run of “Interstellar“ four months ago. That followed a long-running concern about a “ticking clock” as they waited for the now-secured longterm commitment so they could proceed with renovations, including an upgrade to digital projection.
P.S. We’ve asked for renderings of the Admiral’s future; not available yet, but soon, we’re told. For its almost-century-long backstory – dating back to its opening in 1919 as the Portola – check this 2013 story by SWSHS executive director Clay Eals.
ADDED 7:42 PM: Thanks to Clay for the tip on the customized marquee at the theater tonight, announcing the news – we went over to photograph it:
We also just heard back on one of our followup questions, to clarify the timeline: “The finished project should be done by end of summer, but one theater (actually 2) will be done before that. Also, digital projectors will be in by the end of March.”
The West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) Dolphins Swim Team has 20 swimmers, ranging in age from 6 to 18, in the 2015 Pacific Region North YMCA Swimming Championships in Boise. They’ll be swimming in the 2-1/2 day competition starting tonight, competing against 29 teams from throughout the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to Carl Baber for sharing the photo and info, including:
The West Seattle Y Team offers open enrollment, swim instruction, and competition throughout the year (except for August). Swimmers are assigned to one of six groups based on ability. Each group is designed to assist swimmers to improve swimming skills, learn the values of sportsmanship and cooperation as a team member, experience competition, make friends, and have fun. These 20 swimmers have successfully achieved qualifying times and are now striving for personal bests and medals, so good luck to all of our Y Dolphin swimmers!
(WSB photo taken on northeast corner of 35th/Roxbury)
If you’ve noticed the police activity at Westwood Village and/or the 35th/Roxbury bus stop – here’s what’s happening: Police have arrested at least one suspect in a case of shoplifting-turned-robbery at the Westwood Target. Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler says it was first reported as juveniles stealing liquor from the store, and one “sprayed” a security guard (that’s apparently why Seattle Fire medics were called to the scene). The police search included buses in the area and several possible suspects turned up on one at 35th/Roxbury; while we were talking to Det. Fowler, he confirmed a witness had positively identified at least one suspect. That’s all we know so far; more if and when we get it.
First, the crime trends, presented by Community Police Team Officer Erin Nicholson:
If you don’t have time for the clip, three notes:
Followup on a traffic alert mentioned in our daily transportation watch: It started with a tip from Erika, after a sign went up on Roxbury warning of lane closures all next week, and led us to both the city and county transportation departments to get details. We finally have the full explanation from KCDOT: 200 feet of underground fiber-optic installation starting next Monday “will require the closure of one southbound through lane on 15th Avenue SW north of Roxbury and a northbound left turn lane on 15th Avenue SW at Roxbury. Work is planned 9 am to 3 pm weekdays March 2 through March 6.” That’s in addition to other installation work in White Center that’s not likely to affect traffic that much; those details are on our partner site White Center Now.
Last weekend, we featured David Hutchinson‘s video of a river otter, now nicknamed “Otto,” who’s been in view lately on the Duwamish Head beaches. David – who is a Seal Sitters volunteer as well as an awesome photographer – says, “Quite a few passersby have stopped by for a look, and Otto is probably the most photographed wild river otter in Seattle.”
But there’s some sad news from the otter world, too. David and wife Eilene Hutchinson learned from a neighbor that an otter was “in the street near Salty’s. Eilene & I went down to take a look and found an otter dead in the southbound lane. On examination, this proved not to be Otto, who has a small growth on his left rear foot. We moved the otter off the roadway and contacted the city for removal.” He says it’s the second one they’ve seen in about two months, and so we’re reminding you again to watch for wildlife crossing along Harbor/Alki Avenues – river otters, for example, have inland dens, but go out into the bay to look for food, so they cross the road more often than you’d think. P.S. Thanks to David for also reminding us that you can learn more about river otters on the state Fish and Wildlife Department website.
After four successful years of World Water Week, Chief Sealth International High School is launching a new globally focused event this year instead, and it’s one week away. Here’s the official announcement:
Nearly 200 students and teachers from the Seattle area and participants from around the country will come together on March 6th and 7th at Chief Sealth International High School for the inaugural Washington State Global Issues Network (WAGIN) Conference. The aim of the conference is to bring youth together to share ideas for taking action on critical global issues. This year’s conference slogan is, “Our Future Is Now.” Most workshop sessions during the two-day conference are youth-led. The conference will also feature seven keynote speakers:
● Christina Orbe is the Executive Director and co-founder of FEEST (Food, Empowerment, Education Sustainability Team).
● Molly Freed is a Chief Sealth IHS graduate and is currently a senior at Scripps College. She created the school-wide local ideas festival, World Water Week, which has attracted national attention.
● Chris Jordan is a world-renowned artist and activist best known for his large-scale works depicting mass consumption and waste.
● Spencer Chumbley is a Washington DC-based producer and cinematographer whose work covering critical global issues has been featured by VICE on HBO, Al Jazeera America, and TIME.
● John Delaney is a member of NSF’s Ocean Observatories Initiative and is leading a team building an underwater network of cameras and sensors that will turn our ocean into a global interactive lab.
● Amy Benson is the co-founder of Nonfiction Media, a production company based in Seattle. She has created more than 25 films. She most recently directed and produced Drawing the Tiger, a film about the power of educating young women in developing countries.
● Maketa Wilborn is a national organizational development consultant, trainer and educator. He will push the conference attendees to find ways to sustain their action projects.
Leading up to the conference, all 1,200 Chief Sealth International students will participate in a synchronous, lesson on global climate change on Wednesday, March 4th. All students will then attend an assembly with the group Protect our Winters on Thursday, March 5th. On Friday, March 6th, all CSIHS students will attend an assembly with conference speaker, Chris Jordan.
The WAGIN conference is organized by Chief Sealth International High School students Aisaya Corbray and Paloma Robertson, along with teacher and mentor Noah Zeichner. This core planning team has collaborated with a dedicated group of more than 20 Chief Sealth students and teachers. The conference is made possible through partnerships with several organizations and agencies including the Global Issues Network (GIN), Seattle Public Schools, the Foundation for International Understanding through Students (FIUTS), World Affairs Council, Global Visionaries, OSPI, the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington, King County EcoConsumer Program, IREX, and the U.S. Department of State.
(American Wigeon, photographed by Mark Wangerin, who says your best bet of seeing one locally is the High Point retention pond)
The weekend is within reach! Here are the highlights for today/tonight, as we edge ever closer:
WEST SEATTLE GARDEN CLUB: 10 am-2 pm, it’s the monthly meeting at Daystar Retirement Village, with the day’s schedule described in our calendar listing, including a morning presentation on becoming a Master Gardener and an afternoon presentation on roses. (2615 SW Barton)
GIRL SCOUT COOKIES: As previewed here earlier this week, this afternoon marks the start of the official cookie-selling season – you’ll find Girl Scouts outside more than a few local businesses as early as 2 pm today (our preview link includes the search tool you can use to find cookie sales near you).
JUMPIN’ JIVE SWING DANCE: 6 pm tonight, it’s the Madison Middle School benefit that’ll get you up and dancing – details in our recent preview. Featuring student musicians AND the West Seattle Big Band; in the Commons. (45th/Spokane)
MOVIE ON THE WALL: 6 pm, free movie for families at the Salvation Army Community Center, “Dolphin Tale 2,” in the small gym. (9050 16th SW)
RAINBOW BINGO, MARDI GRAS EDITION: Doors open at the Senior Center of West Seattle and treats are available at 6, entertainment at 6:30, bingo at 7. Check to see if any reservations are left! Details in our calendar listing. (Oregon/California)
SECOND AND FINAL WEEKEND FOR ‘GODSPELL’: West Seattle-based Twelfth Night Productions is back with this timeless musical
(Photo courtesy Twelfth Night Productions)
Curtain time is 7:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
AND THERE’S MORE … for today, tonight, and days/weeks/months beyond, on our calendar.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning; watch for major puddles this morning after the all-night rainfall. Looking ahead to the weekend and beyond:
METRO FARE CHANGES SUNDAY: Explained here.
SUNDAY MORNING 99 CLOSURE: Just north of downtown, for the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K – details here.
Road work reminders, continuing/starting next week:
DELRIDGE/ANDOVER: Monday is the newest start date for this work to boost safety at the north end of Delridge.
LANE CLOSURE ON ROXBURY EAST OF 16TH: Thanks to Erika for spotting the sign warning of a lane closure on Roxbury next Monday-Friday. By day’s end yesterday, we had heard back from SDOT, saying it’s a county permit issued for a fiber contractor, and we’re still tracking details of which lane(s) and when.
7:41 AM: Traffic alert for an aid call at 24th/Thistle, near Chief Sealth International High School. One SFD engine. No details so far.
7:57 AM: That call has closed. No current trouble spots around our area.
8:11 AM: And that has changed – thanks to the person who just called (thank you! 206-293-6302 any time, text or voice) to report a car stalled in the bus lane on Avalon Way.