West Seattle, Washington
(Photo added 9:55 pm – by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli, who found police checking in Admiral)
8:45 PM: Thanks to everybody who’s texted/messaged about possible gunshots or fireworks heard in the Admiral area a short time ago. As we’ve replied to everyone, please call 911 when you hear something like this – it helps them zero in on what might, or might not, have happened. Once in a rare while, it might lead them to a shooting victim. One person who did call 911 says they were told some others have called and that police are heading that way to look around. The people we’ve heard from say they heard around half a dozen booms or pops. Unless they find something – shell casings, property damage – we might never know, but we’re mentioning it because so many people contacted us to ask about it.
9:35 PM: If you haven’t seen the comments – prevailing opinion seems to be, fireworks. No word of anything found so far suggesting otherwise. Meantime, we also have a couple reports of one “boom” heard, primarily in the North Delridge area. Police were dispatched on that, too, but this also hasn’t led to any discoveries so far as we can tell.
The 15-year-old arrested for allegedly bringing a gun and bullets to Chief Sealth International High School last Wednesday is now charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. We obtained the charging papers late today from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. They include the probable-cause document written by Seattle Police, which we transcribed as follows, minus suspect and witness names:
On 12/16/15 prior to the start of school, at Chief Sealth High School, an ammo clip for a firearm was found on the floor of (teacher’s) classroom. The ammo clip was turned over to Ms. Hammer, the school Principal. A meeting was held by Ms. Hammer that was attended by the Vice Principals and school security, where a plan of action was discussed.
After a day of pelting rain, the clouds lifted and even parted enough to show some color just as our Skies Over West Seattle correspondent, NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen, led the Winter Solstice Sunset Watch at West Seattle’s Solstice Park a little over an hour ago.
The hardy souls who turned out got to hear, and see, what the solstice is all about. Here’s part of her demonstration:
Since the sunset itself wasn’t visible, the Solstice Park stones that line up with the solstice sunset couldn’t be “tested,” but the sun’s not moving that much in the next few days, so if we get some clearing around sunset time, you can still get to the park and have a look.
Bonus for today’s eventgoers: Alice mentioned a launch attempt planned tonight, the SpaceX ORBCOMM-2 mission, with a launch window at 5:29 pm – check out the live feed here, if you see this before then; Alice pointed out that a key feature of this launch will be an attempt to bring part of the rocket back down to solid ground. (5:40 pm note – It was a success!)
4:03 PM: Two traffic alerts right now:
35TH/AVALON: A Metro bus and Seattle Police car got into a “fender-bender,” no injuries, but the eastbound lanes have been intermittently blocked. And to compound matters, northbound 35th is blocked by construction work, so 35th is one lane each way south of Avalon, for now.
SOUTHBOUND 99: There’s a medic response for a crash near the stadium zone, according to the live 911 log.
4:50 PM: That 99 response is closed now, but SDOT tweeted that a vehicle is blocking the right lane of southbound 99 at the Battery Street Tunnel, so if you’re headed this way from north of there, take note. We can’t check back on 35th/Avalon for a while but it’s likely to have cleared by now, with no medic involvement or serious damage.
5:02 PM: Yet another crash response on southbound 99, this time at Seneca.
City crews continue working on West Seattle’s second neighborhood greenway, Delridge-Highland Park, and concurrently, on roadside raingardens and other “natural drainage” elements in part of the area. Some of this work will involve temporary water shutoffs, according to this update just sent by project managers:
Seattle Public Utilities began constructing the natural drainage system along 17th Ave SW from SW Cloverdale Street to SW Thistle Street.
Construction crews are installing curb ramps that are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards in this area, and pedestrian detours are in effect. To perform water-service relocations, SPU water crews will shut down the water main two blocks at a time. If your water is going to be shut off, you will receive a door-hanger notification 48 hours in advance. Curbs and sidewalks that were removed for the water service relocations will then be re-installed.
The project webpage says some of that water work was expected to happen today and tomorrow, and includes a reminder that once the water’s back on, you might see discoloration for a while.
Meantime, the city’s update continues with information on the next round of road and sidewalk work:
Construction to build a pedestrian pathway connecting areas north and south of the cul-de-sac on 17th Ave SW between SW Myrtle and SW Webster streets has been delayed and will begin as early as January 4, 2016.
When construction begins, parking will be limited and pedestrian detours will be in place around the work area. This work is expected to take up to two weeks to complete.
Final work to be done at the intersection of 15th Ave SW and SW Holden St includes pouring curb ramps and sidewalk. We expect this work will be complete by Monday, December 28.
Crews began preparing the intersection at 16th Ave SW and SW Webster St for pedestrian safety improvements, including new crosswalks, new sidewalk, and new ADA-compliant curb ramps.
Crews began pouring sidewalk and curb ramps. Weather permitting, this work is expected to be complete by December 28.
Crews will return to the west side of 21st Ave SW, south of where 21st Ave SW and 22nd Ave SW merge, to rebuild the sidewalk. We expect this work will begin as early as January 4 and will include pouring concrete for sidewalk and asphalt for driveways. Both pours require dry days. Weather permitting, this work will take 2 weeks to complete. Residents will be notified in advance of driveway closures.
Construction is complete at 16th Ave SW and SW Kenyon St.
And the city notice includes the caveat that much of this is weather-dependent, so rain can change the schedule. More updates, and links to the full project plan, can be found here. The work’s been under way since late summer.
Noontime and it’s so dark, we have the lights on. But – with the solstice tonight – just six more months until summer! And just for fun – moviemaker Justin Lapriore, a former West Seattleite, thought you might like to see his profile of local photographer Andy Reynolds, recorded during a midsummer day of passerby photography on Alki Beach.
(White-crowned sparrow photographed Sunday on Alki by Matt Olson)
GIVE THE GIFT OF TURKEY: If you can donate a turkey to the West Seattle Food Bank to help someone in need have a hearty holiday dinner, WSFB tells us today’s the optimal day. Donation hours continue until 3 pm; you can use the garage off SW Morgan east of 35th.
‘KING TIDE’: Without a north wind, you won’t see waves and spray, but as shown here yesterday, it’s an interesting backdrop for a walk by the water, at the very least, especially on the Alki promenade west of the Bathhouse. 12.3 feet at 12:38 pm today, and waning in the ensuing days.
MUSIC WHILE YOU SHOP: Keith Terhune (piano) and We Three Carolers at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) – piano 2-5 pm, caroling 5-7 pm. (Fauntleroy/California/Morgan)
SOLSTICE SUNSET WITH ALICE: This is the best West Seattle way to observe the change of seasons – join your friendly neighborhood NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen at Solstice Park for sunset watch. Free, fun, educational. Be there around 3:45 pm; more info on Alice’s website. (Use her map to get there)
‘LONGEST NIGHT’ SERVICE: 7 pm at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), which explains:
This is a service of prayer, reflection, music, remembering, and candle lighting. It is a time especially for people for whom this is not the most wonderful time of the year. It is hard when you have lost a loved one this year and this is the first Christmas without them. It is hard if you have lost a loved one around Christmas and this time of year brings back painful memories. It is hard if you have lost your job, have lost even your faith, and are feeling unmoored. This is a service where you can be yourself and receive a message of comfort and hope. If you are just not feeling the Christmas spirit; if the enforced jolliness is getting to you; whatever reason, this is the service for you.
This is part of our Holiday Guide‘s list of church services for this week. (3940 41st SW)
Three days before Christmas, and just in case you’re wondering, the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide now includes links to our list of restaurants open on Christmas Eve and/or Day, as well as our list of grocery-store hours for those two days. The restaurant list is here; it’s the result of dozens of phone calls, and we know businesses sometimes change their plans at the last minute, so if you have a change or addition, please let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org. Meantime, the supermarket list is here. (If you still haven’t browsed the guide, note that it also includes Christmas Eve/Day church services, as well as New Year’s Eve/Day info, and we’ll continue with daily updates until 2016 is here.)
(Six WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:21 AM: Here’s what you need to know as the week begins in pre-holiday mode:
*No school – winter break is on
*Over the weekend, Metro added “announcements for all scheduled stops instead of intermittent announcements as has previously been the case” for 80 more routes, as part of adjustments to “meet or exceed Federal Transit Administration requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The West Seattle-area routes on the list to be added as of this past Saturday include 21, 22, 37, 50, 60, 113, 120, RapidRide C.
TRANSIT CHANGES FOR CHRISTMAS EVE/DAY: Metro plans “reduced weekday” service on Thursday and Sunday service on Friday; the Water Taxi doesn’t run on Friday; Sound Transit Route 560 will be on a weekday schedule Friday.
8:53 AM: This major-incident-free morning commute is wrapping up; we continue to track traffic through the day, so if you see something, please let us know – 206-293=6302 (provided you can text/call safely/legally, as a passenger, or once you get to where you’re going) – thank you as always!