West Seattle, Washington
Maybe it’s somewhere on YOUR block – or beyond:
STOLEN in last 48-72 hours, ’83 Mazda B2000 2-door p/u truck, license C15356B, silver color; rust painted over on back right side; small damage/rust front left fender. Rear of truck saws MAZDA in blue letters. Taken near Bartell Pharmacy in Admiral area. If you spot this truck, call 911 and tell police location of vehicle do not approach occupant, if any.
Northwest rock legends The Sonics, who broke up going on a half-century ago, are back, and you can meet them right now at Easy Street Records in The Junction. As explained on the Easy Street website, “This Is The Sonics,” their first record since the mid-’60s, “reunites original members Jerry Roslie, Larry Parypa and Rob Lind, backed by the powerhouse rhythm section of Freddie Dennis (The Kingsmen, The Liverpool Five) and Dusty Watson (Dick Dale, Agent Orange).” They’re signing the new record in a meet-and-greet at Easy Street (California/Alaska) until 9 pm; Thursday, they play The Moore with Mudhoney, and ESR is raffling two tickets at tonight’s event (which is free).
6:18 PM: We’re in the commons at >West Seattle High School tonight, for the first official West Seattle meeting on the “Transportation Levy to Move Seattle,” proposed as a successor to the expiring Bridging The Gap levy. The presentation is scheduled to start around 6:30, so you have time to get here if you’re interested; until then, people are circulating around info-boards, writing sticky notes with ideas and comments, etc. You can even set up your idea of an ideal road:
More to come.
6:39 PM: After a 4-minute introductory video, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen stepped to the microphone.
He says the council will have “our own meetings and public hearings” after the mayor sends them his final proposed levy. Estimating about 40 people here. Rasmussen hands the microphone to SDOT director Scott Kubly, who says they want to hear what’s “missing” in the levy, “anything you’d like to see less of, anything you’d like to see more of.” He says city staffers are here to circulate to ask people if they have questions or comments, and he talks about the boards around the room.
Kubly mentions that the mayor announced the “Move Seattle” overview before the draft levy. He then describes this as a “renewal” though it’s $900 million over 9 years compared to BTG’s $365 million in the same period. The slide deck behind him notes that “safe, affordable, interconnected, vibrant” are the values around which this is organized. Toward the first value, he mentions the new “Vision Zero” plan, which among other things will cut speed limits on many streets, including some of West Seattle’s arterials (shoutout from Kubly to 35th and Roxbury – the plan for the latter will be unveiled at next Tuesday’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting). Toward the second value, he mentions road maintenance – it’s cheaper to fix it than to rebuild it, so this plans to “maintain and modernize 250 lane miles” of arterials. For “interconnected,” he mentions better connections to light rail (none of which is in West Seattle yet), and “we’re going to make it a lot easier to walk and bike in the city.” And under “vibrant,” there’s a promise of improving “mobility for freight and delivery vehicles,” and investment in Neighborhood Street Fund projects.
Here he brings up the Lander Street Overpass, mentioning coal and oil trains on the rise, and the need to get buses up over those tracks in SODO, plus South Park drainage improvements in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities.
Now before sending people off to look at the boards and write down comments and notes, he says they’ll also be having coffees around the city. Here’s the timeline:
*End of May – Mayor submits proposal to Council
*’Possible City Council action’ from mid-July to mid-August
*Send measure to King County in August, for November ballot
6:55 PM: This has broken back up into an open house after word that a mural artist is standing by on the side of the room. If people have questions, Kubly says, they can talk to him one on one, or anybody else around the room. There was no call for general Q/A while attendees remained seated as an audience, but this is supposed to continue until 8 pm if you’re interested in stopping by with something to say and/or ask. We’re going to circulate and see what people are asking/saying.
9:22 PM: Photos added above and below. We spotted three City Council District 1 candidates at the meeting:
From left, Tom Koch, Amanda Kay Helmick, Chas Redmond. Taking a look at the sticky-notes and other written comments left on boards and the future mural, we noted the prevalence of requests for light rail, and even a wistful wish for a monorail:
Missed tonight? Bring comments and questions to tomorrow night’s Southwest District Council meeting (6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle, Wednesday, April 1st). And remember the online survey.
Just received this 47th/Admiral signal/crosswalks-project update from SDOT, including an alert for neighbors tomorrow, and a road closure next week:
Construction continues this week at the corners on the north side of the intersection of 47th Avenue SW, SW Admiral Way and SW Waite Street. Crews will begin pouring new concrete at the northeast corner as soon as today, March 31, and through the end of this week. New concrete at the northwest and north center (between SW Waite Street and 47th Avenue SW) corners is expected to be poured next week, weather depending. These corners will continue to be closed to pedestrians and bicyclists during work. People walking and biking will need to follow marked detours or find an alternate route.
Tomorrow, April 1, residents in the area can expect work to be louder than usual, when crews begin excavating for pole foundations at the southeast corner of the intersection. This work is scheduled to take place in the morning, beginning at 8 AM, and will last approximately four hours.
Closure and local access only at SW Waite Street
Beginning next Monday, April 6, SW Waite Street will be closed to thru-traffic for five days. This closure will be in place to allow crews to safely and efficiently perform underground electrical work in preparation for installation of the new signal. Local access will be permitted on SW Waite Street from the west. A detour will be signed on SW Admiral Way directing travelers to continue on SW Admiral Way and access SW Waite Street from 49th Avenue SW.
The project team will distribute flyers in the area later this week with detour information and post this information on the project webpage additionally.
(From WSDOT’s project-site cameras)
After getting a day-and-a-half ride up from the pit and over to the cradle, the Highway 99 tunneling machine’s 2,000-ton cutterhead is now in place for repairs. The big red crane isn’t done with its work, though, according to the newest update on the project website:
… Crews will continue disassembling the machine’s 2,000-ton front end in the coming days, using the massive red crane that completed yesterday’s lift to arrange pieces on the repair site. Repair work will take place south of the pit beneath a large canopy that will soon be moved into place to protect the workers and machine pieces from the elements. …
No snags reported in the lifting process; if repairs are snag-free too, tunneling could resume by late summer.
2:32 PM: The photo and story are from Pete:
My daughters, Sadie and Madeline, found an injured owl under a bush. (They thought it was fake because it didn’t move.) We called animal control and they sent an officer to pick it up and take it to the hospital.
You can see from the picture that it is very small – about the size of a hand. But the agent told us the owl is a full-grown adult “Burrow Owl.”
The owl went to PAWS wildlife rehabilitation in Lynnwood, and the agent stated it looked like it will fully recover.
We don’t know exactly where in West Seattle the owl was found, and Pete hasn’t replied to our followup yet, but we did look up some information you might find useful – the PAWS infosheet on what to do if you find an injured bird – see it here. We’re also checking on the type of owl, as online info says “burrowing owls” are only found east of the mountains in our state.
6:43 PM: Pete has replied and tells us his daughters found the owl near College Street Ravine (in Admiral). Meantime, commenters have identified it as a northern saw-whet owl.
(WSB photo from Hiawatha Community Center egg hunt, 2013)
Too soon to say how the weather will turn out for Saturday, but West Seattle kids can hunt for eggs indoors as well as outdoors, so you’re covered. With four days to go, we wanted to remind you that the egg-hunt list is on the WSB Easter & More page; the basic Saturday (April 4th) lineup starts at 9 am at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor; indoors), continues at 10 am participating city-run community centers (mostly outdoors), and then there’s more! Some churches have egg hunts after Easter Sunday services, too – check their schedules (which span all of Holy Week), which are also on our Easter & More page. And we’re still ready to update if anything/anyone’s missing. Please send info via e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
(Photo by naturalist/researcher Jeanne Hyde, Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching)
Word started getting around last night that Puget Sound’s orcas, the Southern Resident Killer Whales, have another new baby – and researchers have confirmed that this is the fourth calf spotted in three months. Three of them, including this one, were born to J Pod. The first report came from the Pacific Whale Watch Association; one of its members, Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching, spotted the baby off Galiano Island, British Columbia, on Monday. This means the SRKWs – J Pod, K Pod, L Pod – are up to 81 orcas in the wild (and the 82nd, Tokitae/Lolita, in captivity in Florida). The newest baby is J52; it’s been exactly three months since J50 was spotted, followed by J51 in mid-February, and then the L Pod baby two weeks later.
(Olympic Mountains, photographed last weekend by James Bratsanos)
Five highlights for today/tonight:
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE $900 MILLION TRANSPORTATION LEVY? Tonight’s the West Seattle meeting about the first draft of what’s headed for the ballot this November – 6-8 pm at WSHS. Here’s our report from the day the levy was announced, including what we found out about what’s in it for WS. (3000 California SW)
WHAT’S IN THE NEXT SCHOOL DISTRICT LEVIES? Looking even further ahead, Seattle Public Schools is previewing its operations and building/technology levies, planned for February 2016, and asking your thoughts, in a meeting at 6:30 pm at Fairmount Park Elementary – details here. (38th/Findlay)
THE SONICS AT EASY STREET: 7:30 pm at Easy Street Records in The Junction, Northwest rock legends The Sonics are signing copies of their first album in FIFTY years! (California/Alaska)
DEADLINE DAY! NAME THE NEW SCHOOL: Today’s your last chance to suggest a name for the new school being built on Genesee Hill – here’s how.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Before ArtsWest looked ahead last night with the grand unveiling of its 2015-2016 season, there was a moment to look back:
Artistic director Mathew Wright said that season-to-season, attendance had jumped dramatically, for “an incredibly record-breaking season” – from just under 11,000, to just over 14,000, and that for “2,689 of those folks, it was their first time coming to see a show at ArtsWest.”
But the spotlight was on what lies ahead – the first full-season slate Wright has chosen as artistic director, a role he has had since last summer. In her introduction of Wright, managing director Laura Lee hailed the “collaborative process” of theater making “great and wonderful things happen. .. I’m incredibly proud of what we’re going to do next year.”
In addition to excerpts and songs, the announcement show included sit-down conversations with guests from other theaters around the city. The stage was set with the first guest, Kristin Leahey of Seattle Rep, for a conversation about season planning: “It can be tricky to figure out what kind of theater to put on our stages.” They talked briefly about the place of live theater in today’s society. She listed its attributes as connecting with other audience members, a “utopian moment” during a performance, “that we’re feeling with others in the audience.”
And then, to the slate: Six works “organized around a central question” that he said dated back to his time in college “in post-9/11 America.” Wright and friends tried to effect cultural revolution but didn’t. Eventually, he said, he took a cross-country road trip to Seattle. “I discovered how huge America is, and how beautiful it is.”
The question – “what is it that unites us as a people today in this country?” The answer, on a screen behind him: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness/or/Success.
First, a Tony-nominated musical as the season-opener, “Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’,” September 10th-October 11th, based on the group’s platinum album, telling the tale of friends struggling to find meaning in the post-9/11 world. ArtsWest will be one of the first regional theaters to stage it, Wright said. Two numbers from “American Idiot” were performed for the full house of invited guests last night – here’s “21 Guns”:
(The singers were Devon Busswood, Diana Huey, Chance Michael Eldridge, EmilyRose Frasca, Isaiah Crowson, Jeff Orton, Tori Spero, Sara Porkalob, Stacie Calkins, Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako, Ann Cornelius, Chelsea LeValley, Brian Lange, Brent Moury, Mark Tyler Miller, Frederick Hagreen, Saxton Walker, Janet McWilliams.)
Tomorrow not only brings a new month, it also brings the start of registration for the 11th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day. This year, May 9 is the Saturday when, for six hours, sellers and shoppers will fill the peninsula with “person-to-person recycling.”
WSCGSD, which we’re coordinating for the eighth consecutive year, brings sales big and small, from household sales to organizational fundraisers, all over the map – which is what we create and publish with the locations and information shared by registered sellers, making clickable and printable versions available one week before the May 9th sale day. When the signup form is ready to go sometime tomorrow afternoon or evening, we’ll announce it here and on the official WSCGSD site at westseattlegaragesale.com. Registration will be open for more than two weeks, so there’s plenty of time for word to get around.
P.S. If you’re an apartment resident or otherwise don’t have room for your own sale, check in at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (4410 California SW; WSB sponsor), where proprietor Lora Swift is again offering courtyard spaces (including the lot at Ginomai across the alley). More tomorrow!
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! While we watch the commute, two transportation-news notes to start with:
$900 MILLION TRANSPORTATION LEVY? Hear and talk about it tonight with city reps at West Seattle High School, 6-8 pm, the last of three meetings around the city. SDOT officials have stressed that this is a “draft” levy, pending both what they hear from citizen comments and also what the City Council decides to do before sending it to the ballot. Here’s what SDOT told us is in the “draft” for West Seattle. P.S. Whether you’re going tonight or not, take the survey!
‘BERTHA’ WATCH: The Highway 99 tunneling machine’s cutterhead made it up and out of the repair-access pit by mid-evening; WSDOT’s contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners decided to leave it hanging there overnight. so today they’ll finish the move to the spot where they will work on it. (P.S. You can see a current image, as well as past images and time-lapse, here.)
8:05 AM: Still a relatively quiet commute, at least in our area and outbound from here. Slow going in the rain but nothing out of the ordinary.
8:34 AM: In comments, ECC mentions the 21X being off-schedule earlier.
9:14 AM: SFD crews are being dispatched to a multi-vehicle crash on the eastbound bridge entry from Fauntleroy. Injuries are reported.
10:01 AM: As you can see in the top-right camera view, the Fauntleroy leg of the bridge is backed up as a result. The scene itself is not in camera range.
(Added: Thanks to Joel for video of the crash scene)
10:06 AM: Police have now closed the bridge at the 35th/Fauntleroy entrance.
UPDATE: All lanes subject to temporary closure at 35th Ave SW & Fauntleroy Ave due to the collision on W Seattle Br pic.twitter.com/bTv2nNvueE
— seattledot (@seattledot) March 31, 2015
10:28 AM: Per scanner, the bridge is clear and now reopening.
Got a little space on your bookshelf? Or maybe in your nearest Little Free Library? A legendary book sale is coming up Saturday – and inviting donations before then if you have some books that need new homes (read this all the way to the end!):
It’s spring, and that means it’s time for the annual Sanislo Elementary Book Sale!
Come join us Saturday, April 4th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school (1812 SW Myrtle Street) to browse a great selection of used books and buy a sweet treat. All proceeds benefit the annual fourth grade adventure to Camp Sealth on Vashon Island where for three days and two nights, our kids will immerse themselves in environmental education and camp fun. For many of the kids, this is will be their first trip away from home, first ferry ride, first campfire, first s’more, and it is always a highlight of their years at Sanislo. Please come support our kids and your reading habit! We look forward to seeing you Saturday.
We are also accepting donations of used books in good condition for the sale. (Please, no textbooks, manuals or magazines.) Donations can be dropped by the Sanislo front office during the school day. You can contact Lisa at email@example.com with questions. THANK YOU!
Hard-fought win for the West Seattle High School baseball team on Monday, in a road game against Nathan Hale. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the report:
West Seattle jumped on Hale quickly in the first inning when senior Buick McNamara hit a shot to center field to score Jack Page and Jamie Maples.
Jamie started on the mound for West Seattle and threw four scoreless innings. It wasn’t until the bottom of the 5th that Hale mounted their comeback and tied up the game. In the bottom of the 6th, Hale took the lead by one and then it was up to the West Side offense to produce at least one run to tie things up. Morgan McCullough led off the top of the 7th and reached on a single to right field. Jack Page was next to the plate and laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt which moved Morgan all the way to third. Jamie came up next and singled, which scored Morgan to tie up the game. West Seattle was able to hold off Hale in the bottom of the 7th to send the game into extra innings.
Top of the 8th, Buick was able to get on base due to an error by Hale’s 2nd baseman. Then with a clutch hit, freshman Alex Pastrana doubled to left field to send Buick home. West Seattle now led 4-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th. To close the game out, West Seattle brought in Morgan to close out the game. He faced three batters and recorded all three outs, two by way of strikeout.
In the end, West Seattle topped Nathan Hale 4-3 in eight tight innings. It was a great battle to the very end, and the boys never gave up.
WSHS is back home Wednesday at 3:30 pm on the field at Hiawatha, facing Eastside Catholic.
Exactly two months after our first report on a city proposal meant to facilitate three more encampments in Seattle, the final version of the plan won unanimous City Council approval today. Here’s the news release that followed:
City Council unanimously adopted legislation today allowing for new interim use permits for as many as three transitional homeless encampments on property owned by the City of Seattle, private parties, or educational major institutions in most of Seattle’s non-residential zones. The encampments will serve some of the 2,813 people homeless in Seattle, providing a safe and managed site for people to sleep and reside.
The encampment proposal originated from the Mayor’s Emergency Task Force on Unsheltered Homelessness, which was based on a bill proposed by Councilmember Nick Licata in 2013.
Though the Port of Seattle‘s Terminal 5, expected to host part of Shell’s Arctic-drilling fleet, is in West Seattle, the challenges to the lease have mostly been taking place elsewhere – in public-comment periods at Port Commission meetings, and in legal action at the King County Courthouse. This Sunday, that changes, with a rally in The Junction followed by a march to Terminal 5. Stu Hennessey sent the announcement:
What: Large turnout expected to encourage the Port of Seattle to rescind the lease agreement with Foss Marine and Shell Oil for Terminal 5 in West Seattle. A march will be made after the monthly “All Walk Encouragement Rally”
Where: The West Seattle Alaska Junction
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Press Availability
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Event and march
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Speakers and rally
This will be a 1.5 mile march from the Alaska Junction in West Seattle to the entrance to Terminal 5. The March will follow the monthly “All Walk Encouragement Rally” which takes place at SW Alaska and California Ave. SW in West Seattle.
To recap the backstory and where things stand:
First, in West Seattle Crime Watch, one reader report today:
STOLEN CAR: From Taylor in Arbor Heights:
Our 1999 red Jeep Cherokee was stolen from our driveway early this morning in Arbor Heights. We are at the 9600 block of 41st SW. Our neighbor reported a white Camry trolling the neighborhood around 4-5 am around when the paper gets delivered. Just an FYI for others.
The plate is in the @getyourcarback tweet. This is one of two auto thefts logged for West Seattle so far today; the other was in the 4100 block of 58th SW, but since we haven’t heard directly from anyone on that, we don’t know what type of vehicle was taken there.
Now, a side note. This Wednesday, the City Council’s Public Safety Committee meeting looks at the state of SPD staffing around the city. And a report prepared for that meeting is already online, showing the numbers for all precincts, and what share of patrol staffing they have compared to what share of “911 call hours” comes from each precinct. See the report here; quick preview, the SW Precinct has the lowest number in both categories.
The 2 pm meeting Wednesday at City Hall also will include a 90-day update on the SPD body-cam experiment (which is only in the East Precinct) and the swearing-in of new Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins.
(WSB photo added: M/V Samish in Elliott Bay early this evening, after sea trials off western WS)
We’ve just received a flurry of calls about a ferry off west-facing West Seattle shores, outside the usual lanes and apparently closer to shore than ferries usually get, plus, one texter says it’s “going in circles.” We mentioned it on Friday but if you missed that – it’s just the new, Vigor-built ferry Samish, out on sea trials before it officially joins the fleet. (The larger Tacoma, which had also been testing off WS following repairs, is now back on the Bainbridge run.)
Quick! If you appreciate a deal – sign up for this year’s West Seattle 5K Run/Walk by tomorrow (Tuesday) night, in order to get the earlybird rate. It’s the eighth annual fundraising run/walk on Alki Beach, set this year for 9 am Sunday, May 17th, presented by and benefiting the West Seattle High School PTSA, with co-sponsors again including WSB. Go here now to register and get the lowest rate!
Gelarto Italian Ice Cream and Global Arts, founded on Bainbridge Island, is expanding to add an Alki Beach location.
We discovered this in the city permit files over the weekend, with remodeling work planned at 2648 59th SW, former home of Alki Beach Dog. After sending a note to Gelarto’s proprietors, we went by the Alki site this morning to look, and found “COMING SOON – GELARTO” information already up in the window. We have since heard back from co-proprietor Jennifer Al-Abboud, who shared a detailed backstory:
We love West Seattle and considered moving there when searching for a home back in 2012. We were teaching overseas at the time, and there was very little inventory during our short search window so we landed in Poulsbo and ended up on Bainbridge where we now reside in a tiny 607 SF condo we share with our cat Jazz. We opened Gelarto in late August 2013 amidst threat of teacher layoffs, and we have since retired from teaching to pursue our gelato passion full time. We pride ourselves on having a strong owner presence, and we run the shop by ourselves with exception of the busy summer months.
Gelarto has been well received on Bainbridge Island, but our product offerings are limited due to a voluntary good-neighbor policy with the cafe next door. Despite strong community support, a seasonal product in a seasonal location proves challenging in the slow months when our small shop requires only one of us to run it. So in order to maximize our human resources and provide year-round sustainability, we decided to reach out across the water in search of a second location. While we intend to stay small and independent, we always felt West Seattle would be a natural fit for our family business if we ever decided to expand, so we started pounding the pavement in November.
2:54 PM: In case you haven’t already heard – the last and biggest to-be-repaired part of the Highway 99 tunneling machine is on its way up. Here’s the latest from WSDOT; you can check out the construction cameras here, but nothing spectacular is visible right now – this will be going on, slowly, for hours to come. We’ll update!
4:15 PM: Via Twitter:
— Bertha (@BerthaDigsSR99) March 30, 2015
Mike Lindblom, transportation reporter for The Seattle Times (WSB partner), says the cutterhead is expected to be all the way up and out by 7.
4:42 PM: Newest photo via Twitter:
— Bertha (@BerthaDigsSR99) March 30, 2015
9:07 PM: The cutterhead is out, and horizontal, facing down. Just took this screengrab from the WSDOT camera:
MIDNIGHT: WSDOT says Seattle Tunnel Partners has stopped for the night and will “wait until morning to place the SR 99 tunneling machine’s front end on the repair platform. The piece will remain suspended above the platform until a fresh crew arrives in the morning to complete the lift.” Meantime, West Seattle photographer Paul Gordon was at the site as the cutterhead came into view, and shared this image:
If the repair work goes the way they hope it will, STP says tunneling could resume in August – 20 months after it stopped.
(First two photos courtesy of John Lang – above, some of the 24 volunteers who helped)
Under the Admiral Way Bridge, volunteers of all ages helped clean up Fairmount Ravine this past Saturday – and as coordinator John Lang reports, the job was a bit easier this year thanks to added assistance from city agencies:
The 23rd annual Fairmount Ravine Cleanup was a big success on Saturday 3/28. Thank you to the 24 volunteers who participated, young kids to seniors; about half removed trash under the Admiral bridge and the other half climbed the steep hillsides to remove invasive ivy from the mature trees.
The community appreciates SDOT reinforcing the fences at the corners of the bridge. It has reduced the amount of illegal activity under the bridge yet the hard working volunteers removed almost one ton of trash from the ravine!
Over 50 garbage size bags were filled with trash filling up the DOC flatbed truck hauling the trash to transfer station. Fortunately, homeless encampments were less of an issue this year.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
We greatly appreciated participation by officers Flores and Lucas, with the Seattle Police Department, sweeping the area of any potential squatters prior to cleanup and helping with traffic control. Three cheers to our local merchants Metropolitan Market, Starbucks, and Zatz a Better Bagel for their generous support of this community effort.
Thank you to everyone who made this year’s cleanup a success. It is a great example of community pride and putting into action the teamwork necessary to tackle a difficult situation.
The ravine is along Fairmount Avenue, a much-used driving, riding, walking, running route between Admiral and east Alki.