West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One isn’t always just up over somebody’s neighborhood in the middle of the night.
This week alone, members of its crew made two appearances on the ground in our area. One happened today at White Center Heights Elementary (the photo above is from its landing), and we’ll have that story on our partner site White Center Now later tonight.
First – last night’s presentation and Q & A at the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting at the Southwest Precinct, featuring one of the county’s pilots, Deputy Hersh Hoaglan:
That’s our video of his presentation, in which he explained everything from who’s in the helicopter to what really happened that recent night the county’s loudest helicopter was heard making repeated passes over the area. Highlights ahead:
“Fascinating and incredible finds you won’t want to live without.”
“Newlyweds shedding the single life.”
“Possibly a giant rat head.”
Those are just three excerpts from the seller-provided descriptions of the 330+ sales in the works for the 11th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, now just 10 days away, 9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 9th. We’ve read all 330+ of those descriptions as part of the process of making the WSCGSD maps (clickable Web version and printable/downloadable PDF version), which will be available starting this Saturday, here on WSB and on the official WSCGSD site, westseattlegaragesale.com. Three more description excerpts:
“Pre-estate sale: We don’t want to burden our heirs.”
“Pre-remodel de-clutter extravaganza.”
We’ll be counting down daily from here on out – stay tuned for more highlights!
Reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch today:
CAR PROWL: From Mike:
Just wanted to inform you that sometime last night someone smashed the windows on my car and another one on the block. They were parked on Admiral, in the 5900 block (by Alki). Anyway, the thieves only stole a black Atama backpack. I’m guessing that they ditched it once they realized all that was in it was papers. Anyhow, if anyone sees it (long shot, I know), I’d appreciate a heads up.
ANOTHER CAR PROWL: This one surfaced in comments on Tuesday’s roundup – an early-morning break-in in which the thief/thieves “took a Vintage analog keyboard called an ARP Odyssey 2800 and a large blue suitcase.”
(added 5:13 pm) AND ANOTHER CAR PROWL: Just in from Shimi in Gatewood:
Just wanted to let you know my van got broken into last night and equipment was stolen from it as well as extension cords from right outside my house on 38th Ave SW (the Myrtle st. dead end).I have filed a report with the SPD.If anyone sees randomly a Honda EU6500i up for sale please alert me as this was the main thing stolen.
GUNFIRE? Scattered reports early this morning from people who thought they heard gunfire – we received one text from 23rd/Brandon at 1:40 am, two from North Admiral around 6 am. We checked around both times, and then went through the SPD Tweets by Beat log again this afternoon, but no confirmations of gunfire – which just means, no shell casings and/or property damage found (and definitely no victims – they would turn up on the SFD 911 log). Sometimes many hours elapse, though, so if anyone does find shell casings or damage (bullet holes in cars, fences, etc.), please do notify police.
P.S. As we told texters, if you think you hear gunfire, DO call 911 – the more reports they get, the more they are able to try to zero in on where it (gunfire or not) happened.
One more big school event to which you’re invited this week – tomorrow (Thursday, April 30th), Chief Sealth International High School opens the door to the community for Multicultural Night. 6-8 pm at the Sealth Galleria, it’s “our annual celebration of diversity at Sealth and is a fun event with student performances, free food and a great chance to see what our clubs and programs have been working on this year,” according to CSIHS’s Sarah Martin (who also provided the photo above, from a previous Multicultural Night). No RSVP needed – just show up. The Galleria entrance is off the courtyard between the main building and gym, north of the parking lot, at 2600 SW Thistle.
If you weren’t at the Senior Center of West Seattle last Thursday for the discussion forum that led to last week’s most-discussed WSB story, now you can watch the Seattle Channel‘s video. Thanks to Diane for the tip; it’s available online (here, or embedded above) and is being shown on SC’s cable channel (21), with upcoming schedule slots listed as 4 pm tomorrow (Thursday) as well as 1 am and 11 am on Friday (May 1st). Though the forum sought to address a multitude of housing issues, they primarily boiled down to affordability, as well as tenants’ rights.
(UPDATED 4:41 PM with new post-incident info from SPD)
11:51 AM: The traffic backup on the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct looks more like afternoon commute right now than lunchtime. SPD says it’s because of a lost load – reportedly a “12-foot spool.” SDOT says it’s at Seneca Street and blocking the right lane. WSDOT describes it as “a truck striking the Seneca St. overpass.” More to come.
11:59 AM: Now SDOT says the southbound Viaduct is closed at the Battery Street Tunnel.
12:04 PM: Update from SFD:
Forklift being brought in to reposition the load from SB SR99 Ax @ Seneca. SB Lanes shut down at Battery St Tunnel. @seattledot @SeattlePD
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) April 29, 2015
Here’s a picture from the scene. (Added: Alan sent this photo looking southwestward toward the trouble spot, taken in the early going:)
12:16 PM UPDATE: The Columbia Street onramp to 99 remains open, per SDOT. And they’ve just announced they’re opening a lane beyond that.
12:29 PM: Southbound 99 is being closed again from the BSTunnel and Western – but again, access from Columbia Street is *not* affected. WSDOT now says, “Forklifts from the Viaduct project are going to the semi on the SB 99 Viaduct to help secure the large spools of wire.” (Added: Photo sent by Ben:)
750-1,000 lb spool precariously perched on truck on viaduct. Battery tunnel & Elliot will be intermittently closed pic.twitter.com/ZigTOvVj76
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) April 29, 2015
1 PM: They’re still working to clear the situation.
2 spools on the truck. Authorities working to secure them and get everything moving again pic.twitter.com/HEZgYDhC7x
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) April 29, 2015
1:52 PM: SPD says the semitruck driver will be cited. They’re close to clearing the scene.
1:57 PM: Reopened!
2:18 PM: It did not go unnoticed that all this happened one day after a City Council committee was debriefed on the 9-hour fish-truck crash closure – also on SB 99 – last month (here’s our coverage of the debrief). The mayor’s office just tweeted this:
Thank you @SeattlePD, @SeattleFire & @seattledot for working together to resolve a difficult accident on SR99 & to reopen the highway.
— Ed Murray (@MayorEdMurray) April 29, 2015
We’re adding, above, some additional images that came in during the operation to clear the spools. Thanks to everyone who sent photos!
4:41 PM: Just in via SPD Blotter, including an update on the Viaduct’s structural status and the fine faced by the trucker:
olice received 911 reports at 11:34 AM that a semi-truck had lost a load of two 12-foot spools—each weighing between 700 and 1,000 pounds—on the southbound lanes of the viaduct, near Columbia Street. At least one of the spools struck the underside of the upper level of the viaduct, dislodging the massive load from the truck’s flatbed trailer.
Officers blocked traffic onto the viaduct between the Battery Street Tunnel and Stewart Street while officials from the Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Fire Department and Seattle City Light worked to bring in heavy equipment to remove the spools.
Crews were able to use a bulldozer to re-load and secure the spools back on the semi-truck, which was moved to a construction area. Officials reopened the viaduct shortly before 2 PM. Today’s efforts to clear SR99 were significantly aided by planning and partnerships developed after another incident involving a semi-truck in March, which led to a nine-hour closure of the viaduct.
The Seattle Department of Transportation Commercial Vehicle Enforcement team cited the semi driver for “no oversized permit,” a violation of a state permit, and for “hitting a structure with impaired clearance.” The driver received $482 in citations, and could potentially face fines totaling thousands of dollars to cover the costs of the efforts to remove the spools. Oversized loads are not permitted on the portion of the viaduct where today’s collision occurred.
Officials have confiscated the driver’s commercial transportation permit, which he will need to reapply for before he can transport the load anywhere.
State officials say the spools—which were reportedly headed for Alabama—appear to have only caused minor damage to the viaduct. They will conduct a further assessment later this evening.
(Photo courtesy SWSHS)
Big spring for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Along with being honored by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce as its Not-For-Profit Of The Year, SWSHS accepted an award last night from the Association of King County Historical Organizations, for its big event last June unveiling the refurbished Admiral Way totem pole in its new home outside the Log House Museum (WSB coverage of that event is here). Everybody in the photo above is ID’d in this item on the SWSHS website, which also includes video from last night’s AKCHO ceremony at which SWSHS accepted the Single-Impact Event Award.
P.S. As SWSHS executive director Clay Eals told the Alki Community Council earlier this month, the 1st anniversary of the unveiling will be commemorated on June 5th with students from Schmitz Park and Alki Elementaries walking toward the museum as they did for last year’s event (added: final destination, the nearby Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge for a photo op). Meantime, you can see the totem pole outside the LHM at 61st/Stevens any time, and you can visit the museum to learn more about it and so much else of this area’s history during its regular hours noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays.
(Raven at Lincoln Park: Photographed by Mark Ahlness, shared via WSB Flickr group)
Happy Wednesday! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FOR JUST ONE HOUR – GET OUT! Working at home is great! But sometimes a little lonely. The solution? The weekly West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) meetup – details here. Starts at noon. (6040 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE LAND-USE COMMITTEE: 6 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library – if you’re interested in land use and/or development, be there. Tonight’s guest is Paul Haury from SeattleNERD.org.
WEST SEATTLE ULTIMATE FAMILY FRISBEE: 6 pm pickup game at Fairmount Playfield. (Fauntleroy/Brandon)
HELP FOR PARENTS: 7 pm at Olympic Hall on the south end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, you’re invited to be reassured and enlightened about setting your little one(s) on a path to lifelong learning. Free talk with expert Anoo Padte, as previewed here, presented by West Seattle Co-op Preschools. (6000 16th SW)
UKULELE RECITAL: 7 pm at the Admiral Bird. (California/Admiral)
‘ANGRY HOUSEWIVES,’ WEEK 2: 7:30 pm at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor), your next chance to see the new production of this “feverishly rompy rock-musical.” (4711 California SW)
MORE NIGHTLIFE (AND DAYLIFE) … on our calendar!
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:12 AM: One traffic incident of note as we get going today – SDOT has just reported a stalled vehicle blocking the right lane in the northbound Battery Street Tunnel, which could affect NB Alaskan Way Viaduct traffic if it goes on for a while.
7:15 AM: SDOT has upgraded that to “northbound Battery St. Tunnel closed.”
7:19 AM: And – just heard via scanner – it’s been cleared.
7:59 AM: Texter says SPD has bus-lane enforcement out today at eastbound bridge offramp to 99. (Thanks as always for alerts – when you can text safely/legally, e.g. from a bus or a passenger seat or when you arrive at your destination – 206-293-6302.)
**We covered the early-afternoon Viaduct closure separately. And now that it’s afternoon, another problem’s been unfolding:
4:22 PM: The eastbound bridge isn’t a hot spot this time of day but just in case you have to head that way:
UPDATE: Right lane has been reopened on EB W Sea Bridge at I-5. Left lane still blocked pic.twitter.com/UNuj3lUgYz
— seattledot (@seattledot) April 29, 2015
(Photo courtesy Seattle Dining Out for Life)
Buddha Ruksa is one of five West Seattle restaurants donating part of their proceeds to Lifelong on Thursday as part of the annual Dining Out For Life benefit. According to the Seattle DOFL website, they’re donating 30 percent of dinner proceeds. Also participating on Thursday: Talarico’s in The Junction is donating 30 percent of its lunch, dinner, and late night proceeds; same percentage for El Chupacabra on Alki at lunch, Luna Park Café at dinner, and Locöl at dinner and late night.
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