month : 08/2015 304 results

STORM COVERAGE: Windy in West Seattle; power-outage updates; downed trees; 35th SW closure

(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN for updates – most recent one, 5:53 pm)

11:34 AM: The wind has arrived – as the National Weather Service warned it would – and the first outages are on Seattle City Light‘s map: Both small, both blamed on trees, one on Seola Beach Drive in southwesternmost West Seattle, one in Westwood near 34th/Cloverdale. We’ll be tracking the storm here throughout the afternoon – if there’s tree, power, road, etc. trouble where you are, please let us know (after you’ve alerted the authorities) – thanks!

12:27 PM: As Taz just pointed out in comments, there’s a new outage by Constellation Park, south of Alki Point. Since the wind’s out of the south/southwest, that’s the side of the West Seattle waterfront feeling it the most – we’re further down Beach Drive by Emma Schmitz right now – see the short phone-video clip above.

12:43 PM: The Alki Point-area outage is now up to 138 customers, according to the SCL map, which has added a new West Seattle outage, in North Delridge.

12:51 PM: Along with a tree that’s been leaning against wires and a fence just north of West Seattle Stadium over the NB lanes of 35th SW for a while (added above: photo of that tree, sent by Chuck Jacobs – thanks!), we now have a report that a tree’s down on Highland Park Way.

(Photos from Sarahjean – [updated] Sylvan Way branch cleared by her husband, first photo, and bus riders, 2nd photo)
1:12 PM: According to MetPatrick via Twitter, the HP Way tree/branch is cleared out of the roadway. While we’re in a sunbreak, it won’t likely last – dark clouds heading up from the south/southwest and rain is still in the forecast.

1:36 PM: New updates in comments (thank you!) – a tree blocking Marine View Drive at California. By the way, in case you wondered, waves vs. shore action is not too bad because low tide was at 11 am and high tide – fairly high, 11.7 feet, since the moon’s full – isn’t until about quarter till 6 this evening. (added) Be careful wherever you walk/ride/drive – lots of tree branches and twigs down too – WSB’s Christopher Boffoli sent this from 35th SW by Our Lady of Guadalupe:

2:19 PM: The tree over NB 35th SW north of West Seattle Stadium, mentioned earlier, now has police blocking the outside NB lane and yellow tape closing the sidewalk from the south side of the stadium entrance:

Crews are stretched around the city, so it might be a while before this can be addressed, and it will be tricky because it’s on the other side of the fence along 35th. Elsewhere – looks like this tree did some damage to a vehicle – the texter described the location as North Delridge, near Pearls:

Newest outage on the map is near 28th/Holden, as of of less than 10 minutes ago, another small one, at least as gauged so far.

2:43 PM: The Alki Point outage has been upped to 190 customers, with restoration guesstimate around 7 pm (remember, those are really just guesses, but it’s what you’ll see on the SCL outage map); commenters have mentioned an outage east of Fairmount Park but that one doesn’t seem to be on the map. Look here for what IS showing; call 206-684-3000 if you’re out and not sure the utility knows already.

Above, a photo texted to us from 25th/Cloverdale – note the vehicle under the tree. The wind warning remains in effect until 6 pm.

3:21 PM: Drove the length of Marine View Drive, now all clear (aside from twigs, needles, stems here and there, like just about every road we’ve traveled today).

3:32 PM: Via e-mail, Chas says 35th is now closed at the scene of the tree mentioned earlier – we’ll head back out to check in a moment. West Seattle still has five outages on the map, the biggest one, the 190 customers out south of Alki Point.

And, via text, another tree-branch-on-vehicle, this time 24th/Holden:

If you’re wondering what happened to the predicted rain – showers remain in the forecast throughout the day, then potentially heavier rain tonight.

4:55 PM: 35th is indeed blocked off by police – though Metro’s getting through – between Alaska and Avalon, until the unsafe-tree situation is handled. We’ll be checking back. The wind, meantime, has calmed, even here in the southwest-exposed area where we are. For some, the afternoon’s weather was pure fun:

Thanks to Gary Jones for the photo from Alki Point.

5:09 PM: Kristin reports another dangling-tree-against-wire-over-road situation, this one over the west side of Sylvan between High Point and Delridge. She has reported to authorities. And Guy sent us this photo of one at 39th and Manning:

Do be sure to report these – start with City Light at 206-684-3000 – their crews are still slammed all around the city right now so you might not see anyone for a while, but it doesn’t mean you’re not on the list. Speaking of City Light, the map shows a new, small outage, this time in Seaview, near 45th and Findlay. That means seven pocket outages around WS.

5:53 PM: Thanks to Thom for the photo of crews working by Bar-S Field, in/by the Alki Point outage zone:

Meantime, the rain’s back, with the second intense cloudburst right now in less than half an hour.

6:58 PM: Checked while out a few minutes ago, and 35th remains blocked between Alaska and Avalon. One more traffic note – Dave warns that it’s slippery on the ramp from the bridge to NB 99.

7:25 PM: The SCL map shows the South Alki outage fixed – please let us know in comments if that’s not the case.

8:32 PM: In case you didn’t see this in comments – the “boat taking on water/minor” call that briefly brought a sizable SFD response to Beach Drive involved a boat with no one on board, according to a neighbor who says it belongs to someone who lives in the area and adds that SFD pumped some water out of it before departing. Now, a view from early this morning, before the wind kicked up – Ken Pendergrass made this serene time-lapse video from his Duwamish Head balcony:

Ken says the recording covers a time span from around 7 am to 10 am.

11:52 PM: We’ve launched a NEW story to cover the big new outage that just happened in Highland Park and beyond – go here.

Duwamish Tribe chair takes recognition fight to Interior Secretary in West Seattle: Report #1

(WSB photo by Tracy Record)

Quick first report on this, since we’re going into storm coverage: Within the past hour, Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen met U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell – whose department denied federal recognition to the Duwamish, again, two months ago – semi-unexpectedly. Hansen and representatives of two activist groups, the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites and Rising Tide Seattle, had gone to what they believed was Jewell’s North Admiral home to deliver a letter inviting her to meet with tribal leaders. (A representative of the groups, which issued a media advisory, told us last night they had no reason to believe Jewell was home from D.C., but they had decided to do this now anyway.)

At what they believed was the correct house, a man answering the door said it wasn’t. The group headed back to the sidewalk to read their letters of invitation anyway. Suddenly, a member of the group looked across the street and pointed to a woman loading items into the trunk of a car in a driveway, saying he was sure THAT was Secretary Jewell. Indeed, it was, and everyone trouped across the street. Jewell, a WS resident since her days as CEO of REI, stopped for a few moments to talk and listen, making no commitments on the issue, describing it as “complicated.” Hansen described that reaction afterward as “political runaround.” She says the tribe is taking their fight to court, again. We recorded this all on video and will publish it as part of a second report later.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Battery St. Tunnel reopens

8:59 AM: If you’re heading out of West Seattle, take note that you won’t be able to get past Seneca Street on NB 99 for a while: There’s a crash at Western, and the Battery Street Tunnel has been closed both ways because of “weather conditions,” according to SPD. We’ll update when this changes.

9:28 AM: No ETA yet for when this will be cleared, so if you have to head north, avoid the Viaduct/Highway 99. Here’s the closest SDOT camera – refresh our page to see the newest image:

10:06 AM: The tunnel has reopened.

West Seattle weather: ‘High Wind Warning’ in effect until 6 pm

The weather alert that started as a “Wind Advisory” has been upgraded to a “High Wind Warning,” in effect through 6 pm tonight. The National Weather Service says the strongest wind is expected 10 am-4 pm, out of the south at 20 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 45-50 mph. That’s a fall-strength storm, as the NWS points out.

Seattle teacher-contract talks: What the district says is happening

Contract talks for Seattle Public Schools teachers and other professional staff are expected to continue through the weekend; Monday is the last day of the current contract, and classes start nine days later, on September 9th. While the Seattle Education Association hasn’t released a new public statement on how talks are going, the district has; the update sent out on Friday night was its first one since August 20th. The only specific update it contained was this:


SEA has proposed a salary increase of 21% over a three year contract period — in addition to the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) from the state (25.8% total over three years). The district has listened to concerns and has increased the salary compensation proposal to 8.2% over the same three year period—in addition to the state COLA (13% total over three years). Providing a 13% increase over three years would enable our teachers to be among the highest paid in the state, which they well deserve.

SEA members are still scheduled to meet this Thursday (September 3rd) to vote on either a tentative settlement or potential strike. (For more backstory on the current talks, see the discussion that followed our last report.)

SATURDAY: Big garage sale at Tibbetts United Methodist Church

August 28, 2015 9:36 pm
|    Comments Off on SATURDAY: Big garage sale at Tibbetts United Methodist Church
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

Are you a quilter? Know one? Look what’s up for grabs on one of the tables at Tibbetts United Methodist Church‘s big indoor garage sale tomorrow, 9 am-5 pm. It’s a little different from the rummage sales you might remember in Tibbetts’ past, but one thing’s the same – a huge room full of stuff. Crystal, anyone?

We stopped by tonight while volunteers finished sorting and arranging the thousands of items ready for you to browse tomorrow. One day only! Tibbetts is on the northeast corner of 41st and Andover.

You can help! 2016 West Seattle Garden Tour needs tending

(WSB photo from 2015 WS Garden Tour)

You love gardening … you love helping others enjoy gardening … how about helping grow a 2016 >West Seattle Garden Tour that will inspire and delight? From the WSGT:

The West Seattle Garden Tour is looking for new committee members to join the West Seattle Garden Tour to help produce our July,2016 Garden tour.

We have open volunteer opportunities, including PR & Marketing, Sponsorship, Graphic Design as well as several administrative positions. We’re a lively committee that meets monthly to discuss the business processes of moving the West Seattle Garden Tour forward toward our July, 2016 tour day that benefits many local non-profits.

For more information, please call Clay Swidler — PR Chair at 206-669-4653.

UPDATE: Fire destroys mail in drive-up box outside Westwood Post Office

5:11 PM: If you use the Westwood Post Office drive-up box, take note. From regional U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Ernie Swanson:

Mail deposited in a drive-up collection box outside the Westwood Post Office, 2721 SW Trenton St., Seattle WA 98126, was destroyed in a fire at about 4:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28.

Mail deposited in the box after about 5:30 p.m., Thursday, August 27th, was burned beyond recognition.
An investigation is being conducted into the possible cause of the fire. The Seattle Fire Department extinguished the fire.

We’re checking on the mailbox’s status.

ADDED 5:23 PM: Before we could even do that – we received the photo we’ve added above, from Megan (thank you!). Note the sign says you can’t use the burned mailbox – asking customers to take their mail inside. We’ll be checking on replacement plans, as well as the aforementioned investigation.

P.S. This is the same drive-up-mailbox location that was briefly out of service five and a half months ago after the box was hit by a car.

6:40 PM: Just went to Westwood for a firsthand look, and the burned mailbox has been removed.

8:04 PM: We’ve also heard back from USPS’s Swanson, who says the box *will* be replaced, no timetable yet.

WEATHER ALERT: ‘Wind Advisory’ for West Seattle and vicinity tomorrow; Alki Point Lighthouse tours canceled

WEATHER ALERT: The National Weather Service now has a “Wind Advisory” up for our area for 11 am-5 pm Saturday, forecasting wind from the south at 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph. That could be enough to bring down trees/limbs and cause power outages, so be sure to charge everything you need to have charged, as well as taking other steps. Significant rain remains in the forecast, too.

CANCELLATION: Just before news of the alert, we heard from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, which is canceling Alki Point Lighthouse tours for tomorrow, and will assess Sunday’s outlook later. Debra Alderman from the Auxiliary says they do plan to host tours all three days on Labor Day weekend, but after that, your next chance won’t be until Memorial Day weekend 2016. (Any other weather-related cancellations/postponements? Please let us know so we can help get the word out.)

West Seattle development: 1st Design Review meeting set for 1250 Alki SW ‘Perch’ project

August 28, 2015 2:25 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle development: 1st Design Review meeting set for 1250 Alki SW ‘Perch’ project
 |   Development | West Seattle housing | West Seattle news

An Early Design Guidance packet is on file and a date is set for the Southwest Design Review Board’s first look at “Perch,” the mixed-use project proposed for 1250 Alki SW: 6:30 pm October 15th. (Remember as you look at the “packet” above that Early Design Guidance is for size and shape – once those are determined, the details follow.)

We first reported on the proposal three months ago; it’s the first new 100+-residential-unit project proposed in West Seattle in a few years – all the others in the pipeline are under construction or complete. The developer is SODO-based SolTerra, which began as a company focused on sustainability-focused systems such as solar power, and has branched out into housing. Their designs are aimed for LEED Platinum and Perch, SolTerra says, will be designed to that standard “at minimum.”

From the packet, key points of the project:


+/- 125 residential units
Five stories of residential floors over a ground floor of lobby space, support, service and public parking
188 Parking Stalls for residents and visitors, in a below-grade garage
Dedicated space for car-sharing programs
Ample bike storage for residents and exterior bike parking for guests


Extensive vegetated green roof with a variety of seating areas and scenic viewpoints
Solar panel array on the rooftop
Rainwater collection cistern
Potential native marine bird habitat on the rooftop
Public green space along Alki Ave. with multi-purpose programmed uses for the neighborhood
Rear courtyard space at the foot of the hillside with a water feature and lush plantings

Five 2-story residential structures – described in the packet as three multiplexes and two single-family homes – would be demolished to make way for this development. A SolTerra spokesperson tells us that in addition to the Design Review process, they also will be seeking feedback from community members including the Alki Community Council.

Mailbox West: Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor

Today we welcome Mailbox West as a new WSB sponsor. Here’s what its new owners want you to know about what they’re doing and what’s ahead:

Mailbox West has been a part of the West Seattle community – in one iteration or another – serving mailbox, shipping, and business-services needs for 27 years. As the new owners, Vince Harrelson (above) and Erin Coopey are proud to be part of this long-standing local business. While Vince is primarily running the store (along with our incredibly knowledgeable and friendly employee, Natasha), Erin is busy writing cookbooks and teaching culinary classes.

We have lived in West Seattle for 8 years now and absolutely love it! We definitely ascribe to the “local first” mentality. We rarely ever leave our lovely little West Seattle neighborhood. In fact, I’m so local to Mailbox West, my commute is 4 blocks. Best commute I’ve ever had! What does it mean to have a “local first” mentality? It means you look to your neighbors and fellow local business owners for what you want/need before you go anywhere else. There is nothing like the personal touch of a face-to-face conversation with someone who is friendly, informative, and ready to help!

That’s what we pride ourselves on at Mailbox West: Being a friendly, helpful, community-focused small business.

What does our little local business do? We provide private mailboxes with 24-hour access, mailing and shipping, business services, notary services, packing supplies, gift boxes, gift bags and wrapping supplies, and a growing stock of locally sourced greeting cards. We hope to offer some fun gift options (e.g., small locally made gifts and food items to local art pieces) later this year.

We really do believe we are part of the West Seattle neighborhood and try very hard to make you feel a part of the “hyper-local” Mailbox West family. When you come in, we really do want to get to know you and to help you with whatever it is we can. We get to know your faces, your names, and your pets’ names. Don’t forget, we have really yummy treats for your dogs, too!

A business like Mailbox West is just a store until you give it character and personality. How do you do that? You have caring owners and a great staff that offer great quality services and products, extraordinary customer service, and to forge long-lasting ties to the West Seattle community…that’s how you make a place special. Being an independent, locally owned and operated local store gives us the power (and opportunity!) to be able to bend over backward for our customers.

Please stop by anytime for your mailbox, mailing/shipping, notary, business-service, and greeting-card needs … or just stop by to say hi and introduce yourself and your pet. You can find us at 6523 California Avenue SW (across the street from Thriftway at Morgan Junction) and on the web at

We thank Mailbox West 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.

West Seattle Friday: Lots of music; pro volleyball; ‘Girl Rising’…

August 28, 2015 10:53 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Friday: Lots of music; pro volleyball; ‘Girl Rising’…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo by Paul Walchenbach)

Happy almost-the-weekend! Highlights from our calendar, for the rest of your West Seattle Friday:

NATIONAL VOLLEYBALL LEAGUE AT ALKI: The beach-volleyball pros are at Alki for the Seattle Championships, a three-day tournament, seven of eight stops on a coast-to-coast tour. Today, it’s qualifier match play, 2 pm to dusk, according to the online schedule. (57th SW & Alki Ave. SW)

MUSIC AT THE MOUNT: STRUM (Seattle’s Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians) is scheduled to perform outdoors at Providence Mount St. Vincent tonight – free concert (and free popcorn and snow cones!) at 6 pm, dinner and beverages available for purchase at 5:30 pm. If we get word of any weather-related changes, we’ll update this listing. (4831 35th SW)

TRUE ROMANS AT SALTY’S: 6-9 pm, enjoy rock ‘n’ roll covers along with drinks and/or dinner by the water at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) – more info in our calendar listing. (1936 Harbor SW)

‘GIRL RISING’: Good turnout for the first screening of this inspiring documentary earlier this week hosted by Girl Up teen adviser Alina Guyon:

(Photo courtesy Jackie Clough of Alki Party Treasures [WSB sponsor])

If you didn’t catch that one – or want to see it again – you have another chance tonight, 6:30 pm at Fauntleroy UCC Church. Admission $2.50. (9140 California SW)

FIVE BUCK BAND AT C & P: ’60s/’70s pop/rock is this band’s focus, and you can enjoy the tunes at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) 7-9 pm tonight. (5612 California SW)

INTO THE COLD AT EASY STREET: Record-release party with live, free, all-ages in-store performance by Into the Cold at Easy Street Records in The Junction, 7 pm. (California SW & SW Alaska)

And a reminder …

DEADLINE DAY: Last day to sign up 3- to 11-year-old players for West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) soccer! Details here.

ROAD-WORK ALERT: West Seattle Bridge lane closure for sewer work

You might have noticed the setup for this already. From the city:

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is conducting emergency sewer repair work on the West Seattle Bridge/Fauntleroy Way SW ramp heading eastbound. From Friday, August 28th, at 7:00 pm to Sunday, August 30th, at 3:00 pm, SPU crews will be excavating as part of an emergency sewer-repair project. The inside eastbound lane will be closed during this time and drivers should allow extra time for their trips due to possible congestion in this area.

SPU crews will continue the work with roadway panel replacement the weekend of September 11. They plan to work from Friday, September 11th, at 7:00 pm to the afternoon of September 13.

VIDEO: Hiawatha happiness with Caspar Babypants as Admiral Neighborhood Association’s annual concert series wraps up

August 28, 2015 9:16 am
|    Comments Off on VIDEO: Hiawatha happiness with Caspar Babypants as Admiral Neighborhood Association’s annual concert series wraps up
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(WSB photos and video by Katie Meyer)

That’s what it took to see over the sea of fans last night as Caspar Babypants enthralled the last Summer Concerts at Hiawatha crowd of the year. Here’s the view from what you might call “backstage”:

CB’s music is catchy enough to be earworm fodder for grownups too. Here’s a bit of video:

As you can see in the clips, the littlest concertgoers just keep on dancing:

Caspar Babypants (aka West Seattleite and longtime rocker Chris Ballew) has another collection of Beatles remakes coming out next month – this time, it’s “Beatles Baby!”, following up on “Baby Beatles.” (If you were at last night’s show, you might already have a copy.) As for the concert series – presented each summer by the Admiral Neighborhood Association (with co-sponsors including WSB) – stand by for news next spring, when summer 2016 starts to get within view!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Friday updates and alerts

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:25 AM: The rain has returned, as forecast; tomorrow is expected to be more intense than today. Meanwhile, a transit alert just tweeted and texted by Metro:

We’ll be asking King County DOT later if it was the same problem as chronicled here last Friday, a driver shortage.

7:40 AM: Sue notes in comments that the 7:18 am Route 55 also was canceled (texted/tweeted with half an hour’s warning).

8:19 AM: Also a reminder that the SW Myrtle closure from 17th SW westward to Sanislo is expected to continue today; the repaving work represents the start of work related to the Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway. We’ll check on the progress later. Meantime, the rain has just picked up again.

Ticket time! Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s gala this year at Salty’s will celebrate ‘Coming Home to the Homestead’

Story and photos by Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A “small organization with a big heart … the heart and soul of West Seattle.”

That’s how the Southwest Seattle Historical Society was described at a gathering to preview and celebrate an upcoming event that’s anything but small … its annual Champagne Gala Brunch fundraiser. As mentioned here a week ago, the date is set – Saturday, November 7th, 11 am, at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). The theme is an in-progress success story that was only a long-held dream at the time of last year’s gala – the restoration of the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge.

More than 50 people, including SWSHS board members past and present, attended the gala preview Wednesday night at another historic West Seattle property, the Colman Estate on the Fauntleroy waterfront.

Its current owners were there for the preview too. Midway through the sips-and-bites event, SWSHS executive director Clay Eals took centerstage to formally announce the gala, themed “Coming Home to the Homestead.” The man who bought the fire-damaged landmark in March and has begun restoring it, Dennis Schilling, was also among the preview attendees.

While last year’s gala was “supremely successful,” SWSHS circulated a survey afterward to seek ideas for improving it this year, and so they determined it will be more focused, shorter, and with a little more room to roam in the Salty’s special-event rooms. The menu, Eals promised, will be reminiscent of the old Homestead – minus, he joked, the Jello (in a room full of history fans, laughter rippled around the room, which also filled with applause multiple times during the event).

Fittingly, one special presentation will feature, as explained on the SWSHS preview page, “Catherine Gruye Alexander and Rob Gruye, daughter and son of 1950s Alki Homestead chef and manager Robert Gruye.” Also planned for the Champagne Gala program, returning from last year’s gala – West Seattle personality Marty Riemer, who recorded this short sneak preview to explain:

You really, really don’t want to miss “Wait, Wait,” do you? Then don’t wait – assure yourself a seat with an early ticket purchase – go right here, right now.

P.S. One more announcement during the preview – SWSHS will lead a cruise group again next fall, this time to view autumn foliage along the Northeast coast, New York to Quebec. And if you’d like to join the group for this year’s Alaska Totem Cruise, September 19th-26th, it’s not too late to book a spot – scroll down this page to see how.

Smelling smoke in Seattle right now? You’re not alone

11:15 PM: Here in West Seattle and in other parts of the city, people are mentioning a strong smell of smoke in the air – in a few places they’ve even called 911 and Seattle Fire’s gone around checking, but no fires so far – theory right now is that the wind kicking up has brought wildfire smoke back this way. Just thought we’d mention it, with so many asking.

11:28 PM: Several people have pointed out that a new fire is burning in Mason County, to the southwest, and that matches more with the wind direction than the Eastern Washington fires.

11:42 PM: Last report on that fire in the Skokomish Valley was about 50 acres, per KING 5. Rain is expected by morning, which should help with the firefight as well as the smoke smell here.

UPDATE: Helicopter search for prowlers, apparently a false alarm

9:10 PM: Guardian One is up west of The Junction looking for prowlers in the Genesee area.

9:25 PM: No prowlers found, and Diego says via comments that it apparently was a false alarm. So does Judy via Twitter:

Thanks for the texts/calls – you never know.

Going up? Celebrating climbing @ new Camp Long Mountain Fest

(Schurman Rock photo courtesy Seattle Parks)

Long before climbing walls and other ways of heading up without going to the mountains, there was Schurman Rock. It’s just one big reason Camp Long is hosting the new Mountain Fest on September 13th. Here’s how Seattle Parks is announcing the event:

Rock climbing is fast becoming the sport of choice for many in search of an athletic activity with both grit and Zen. Climbing, it seems, is scaling into the mainstream. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, over 10 million people in the United States participate in rock climbing on some level, and Seattleites in particular have embraced this sport with a passion, with rock climbing gyms and venues, both indoor and outdoor­, growing exponentially all the time. To celebrate both this coming-of-age time for the sport of climbing and Seattle’s long-standing mountain and climbing history/community, Seattle Parks and Recreation will open up its historic Camp Long for a Mountain Festival on September 13th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — where anyone, from novices to hard-core enthusiasts, can get their hands on the rocks and feet off the ground.

Visitors to the Camp Long Mountain Fest will find an exhilarating mix of climbing, conviviality, and challenge.

Read More

West Seattle restaurants: Rezone proposed to transform part of Morgan Junction house into Chungee’s West

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

A very busy block in Morgan Junction, the 6900 block of California SW, has a new development proposal – and an unusual one at that. The same block that gained fame for the “30 apartments, no parking” controversy might get a restaurant right next to that almost-complete building. But it would require a zoning change. Documents are now filed with the city seeking a contract rezone – one that would be approved for a specific proposal – for the property at 6921 California SW, which currently holds the 103-year-old two-bedroom, one-bath house shown in the photo above. The change would be from Lowrise 2 to Lowrise 2 – Residential Commercial. According to what’s on file with the city, it would be a new location for Chungee’s, a Chinese restaurant that opened five years ago on Capitol Hill. Why this house? The Chungee’s proprietors own it. One of the documents filed in connection with the project describes it as:

Located in a LR2 Zone at 6921 California Avenue SW, Chungee’s West is a contract rezone proposal for a family-run, neighborhood restaurant. The rezone requires adding the RC designation to the existing LR2 zoning for the parcel.

The entire project includes an addition and renovation of an existing 100 year old one story single family residence. The extent of the remodel & addition will be to establish a commercial use (restaurant) on the lower and main level and a two-bedroom residential dwelling unit on the upper level. The owners of the restaurant intend to live in the upper level dwelling unit once complete. In order for the project to be realized, the parcel must be zoned LR2 RC from the existing LR2. The RC overlay designation currently applies to the parcel and block directly to the South across SW Mills Street.

An established family-run restaurant will increase the walkability of the neighborhood and the adjacent business district supporting the existing commercial node and attracting patrons from other neighborhoods. The proposal is consistent with the 2013 comprehensive plan for the Morgan Junction urban village and the long term goals of this area in West Seattle.

With immediate access and circulation off of California Avenue, a major thoroughfare, the restaurant will serve not only the immediate neighborhood but West Seattle and Greater Seattle via local transit and car.

The site plan shows three parking spaces in back, where the existing garage would be removed. Meantime, the city files include “proposed project images:

Any rezone will need City Council approval. Now that the city has formally accepted the application, a comment period should open soon – watch the Land Use Information Bulletin, which is published Mondays and Thursdays, for that. The proprietors already have sought letters of support, some of which are part of the official files already.

FOLLOWUP: Man charged with shooting brother over video-game threat

The man accused of shooting his brother in their Junction apartment last Saturday night is now charged with first-degree domestic-violence assault. The charging documents say 19-year-old Rony Miranda-Guity shot his 25-year-old brother in the chest, point-blank, because his brother threatened to break his video-game system. Miranda-Guity is quoted as telling police that he was playing a game when his brother came home, slapped him on the neck, and picked up the system as if he was going to break it: “My reaction is my reaction, which was fast after he touched me and tried to grab my X-Box. Like, that’s the only thing that I got that I love.” Police say he also acknowledged that he didn’t call for help for his brother, who, the charging documents say, “staggered to the door of a different apartment unit to get someone else to make the call.” Though Harborview Medical Center was not releasing information about the victim’s condition, the court documents say he was in the Trauma ICU at Harborview “awaiting further surgery” as of yesterday, but is expected to survive. The documents also note, “There is a history of unreported assaults between the two” and that a .25-caliber handgun and shell casing were found in the apartment. Miranda-Guity remains in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, awaiting arraignment on September 9th.

Want to make your own Rainworks? Artist crowdfunding to distribute ‘Invisible Spray’

August 27, 2015 1:23 pm
|    Comments Off on Want to make your own Rainworks? Artist crowdfunding to distribute ‘Invisible Spray’
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(WSB photo from July 2015 celebration at 47th/Admiral/Waite)

You’ve likely heard about Rainworks – though you might not have seen one lately, in this dry summer. (Or maybe that downpour two weeks ago?) It’s sidewalk art that only shows up when wet. It’s been showcased in West Seattle, including two creations at the newly signalized 47th/Admiral/Waite intersection. Now its creator Peregrine Church, who was at the signal dedication last month to showcase those creations, is hoping to produce a spray so that you can make your own Rainworks, and crowdfunding to bankroll it. The announcement says that since Rainworks got national attention, they’ve “gotten countless inquiries from artists, creators, teachers, parents, and many others who want to create their own rainworks. With the success of this Kickstarter, the Rainworks team will make Rainworks Invisible Spray available for the first time. They plan to set up a distribution network so they can ship orders internationally, spreading rainworks across the globe and giving people everywhere a reason to look forward to rainy days.” This is the first product incubated, by the way, at SODO MakerSpace, which has multiple West Seattle ties, including a collaboration with the trailblazing WS Tool Library.

VIDEO: See how the Highway 99 tunneling machine’s lift-and-lower operation went down, and what happens next

That one-minute video shows you how the Highway 99 tunneling machine’s repaired front end was lowered into the pit where the rest of the machine awaited. WSDOT just made it public along with this update on what’s happened since then, and what’s next:

Seattle Tunnel Partners has reconnected the SR 99 tunneling machine’s 2,000-ton front end to the section that remained in the access pit during repairs. With the two sections of the machine now bolted together, crews from Mammoet have unhooked the front-end piece from the massive red crane that performed this week’s lift.

Significant work remains for crews tasked with reassembling the machine. Three large pieces of the machine’s outer shield will be lowered into place for reassembly in the coming days, according to STP’s most recent schedule. Crews also must weld the pieces back together, in addition to the lengthy task of reconnecting the hundreds of wires and hoses that are integral to the tunneling operation. STP and manufacturer Hitachi Zosen will conduct a series of tests following reassembly to ensure the machine is ready to resume mining.

WSDOT has said its contractor’s most-recent schedule anticipates that could happen in November.