month : 12/2015 286 results

West Seattle Christmas scenes: Fauntleroy full moon; park tree

Thanks for the photos!

Karyn shared the photo of the full moon rising over Fauntleroy, seen from the ferry.

Not far from there, a Christmas tree in the wild, photographed by Terri:

She described it as a “nicely decorated and mulched new tree on the bluff at Lincoln Park.”

CHRISTMAS GIVING: Seattle Lutheran High School students carry on coach’s holiday tradition

(From left – Jacob Fay, Jerry Lusher (JB’s grandfather), Eric Bauman, Brandon Lulow)
Thanks to Jennifer Lulow for sharing the photos and story of holiday giving:

Three Seattle Lutheran High School seniors – Eric Bauman, Jacob Fay, and Brandon Lulow – cooked Christmas breakfast for the homeless in memory of their football coach JB Lusher, who passed away earlier this year.

JB did this for his high school senior project and continued serving the homeless every Christmas.

These young men wanted to keep the tradition going to honor him.

They also put gift bags together with hats and gloves that they gave out when they served breakfast.

Thank you to the Lusher family for making this possible!

The trio’s plan was mentioned in this Seattle Times story last month about the football team’s triumphant year as they coped with losing not one but two mentors.

West Seattle restaurants: Cassis’s successor to be Bistro Marée

Happened onto a bit of restaurant news while out and about today: The successor to suddenly shuttered Cassis at 2820 Alki SW will be called Bistro Marée, according to notices now up in the windows at 2820 Alki SW. It’s been six days since we reported on the closure of Cassis, after hearing from readers who got the news when trying to make reservations; proprietor Jef Fike announced last Saturday, December 19th, that the preceding evening had been the last one for Cassis – at this location, anyway. We confirmed it in person, finding him there that morning while contents were boxed up and moved out; he told us only that he would not be reopening anywhere in West Seattle. (His restaurant had a storied past on Capitol Hill, closing almost a decade before he opened on Alki.) But then, shortly after we published the first version of our report, Cassis chef Andy Dekle called to say he and other members of the “ownership group” planned to reopen the restaurant at the Alki location; as we subsequently reported, he thought at the time it would keep the name. But now, the new one is posted, listing Dekle and Megan Hartz “formerly of Cassis” as proprietors, and promising “Northwest-inspired French cuisine.” We’ll of course be following up.

West Seattle Christmas Day 2015: Who’s open, and what else you might need to know

(From the WSB Flickr group – photo by Brian Wirt; click image for full-size view)

Merry Christmas! From our all-season-long West Seattle Holiday Guide:

RESTAURANTS THAT TOLD US THEY’LL BE OPEN TODAY/TONIGHT: Go here for the list (and please note the disclaimer!).

GROCERY STORES OPEN TODAY: Go here for the list of holiday schedules.

The following three types of info can be found by going directly to our guide:

WHERE TO GET COFFEE TODAY: At least five West Seattle coffee shops are open today.

WHERE TO FIND A CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICE: At least four West Seattle churches have services today.

WHERE TO SEE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS TONIGHT: The biggies, plus several other brightly lit homes about which we received tips – thanks!

Here are the transit changes for today:

METRO: Sunday schedule

SOUND TRANSIT: Weekend schedule

WATER TAXI: No service

WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES: Regular schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth, but some changes on other routes

TRAFFIC CAMERAS: See the West Seattle-relevant cams & links here.

Want to go to the movies?

ADMIRAL THEATER: Open this afternoon/evening (2343 California SW), showing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Sisters” – here’s the schedule.

Breaking news tips? Lost/found pets?

YES, WSB REALLY IS 24/7/365: Best way to reach us with breaking news, traffic alerts, any changes to the holiday info we’ve mentioned above, etc. – 206-293-6302, text or voice. Have a wonderful day!

Christmas Eve crashes: Car through fence in Highland Park; Fauntleroy & Oregon collision

ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:42 PM: An unpleasant Christmas Eve surprise for a Highland Park household – a driver crashed through their fence in the 8600 block of 20th SW and partway down the embankment into their yard. Our photo shows the car and the driver of the tow truck that pulled it up the embankment shortly after we arrived. No injuries reported; the car’s driver was being evaluated for possible DUI.

ANOTHER CRASH, 10:55 PM: Now another crash, with traffic effects: Southbound Fauntleroy Way is blocked at Oregon because of a multi-car crash. Injuries are reported.

11:53 PM: That crash cleared shortly after we arrived in the area. No major injuries. SFD crews at the scene did have to deal with a person reported to be “in crisis” – per the scanner, a “nude man” approached firefighters, who quickly found a blanket for him. It’s not clear whether he had anything to do with the crash.

Scenes from West Seattle Christmas Eve 2015, night and day

December 24, 2015 8:05 pm
|    Comments Off on Scenes from West Seattle Christmas Eve 2015, night and day
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

On this Christmas Eve, we have a few scenes to share – first, from West Seattle Lights, the music-synched show at 3908 SW Charlestown:

Tonight is special – with free hot chocolate served up starting at 6 pm.

That’s Debbie, who described herself as “sidekick” to WS Lights mastermind Jim Winder, who we talked into posing for a photo while we visited.

He was busy answering questions about the lively display – including one about how he knows how many lights are involved – “do you count them?” we heard him asked. Why, yes, he does. West Seattle Lights continues through New Year’s – see the schedule here (running late tonight, until midnight!) – and you’re invited to show your appreciation by helping out the two nonprofits it benefits, West Seattle Food Bank and Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation. You can bring nonperishable food to drop in the bin in front of the house and/or donate money to WSFB and/or NWPF via the WSL website.


If you were out and about before sunset – last-minute shopping was busy as ever. Especially grocery shopping, which is where our anonymous Arbor Heights correspondent found this elf and her folks:

Check the reindeer socks on 3-month-old Veda, spotted at Roxbury Safeway. Also this morning, shoppers at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) were serenaded:

West Seattle Christmas Eve photo to share? – thanks as always!

West Seattle Crime Watch: No holiday for car prowler(s)

December 24, 2015 7:44 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Crime Watch: No holiday for car prowler(s)
 |   Crime | West Seattle news

Just a reminder to not leave anything in your vehicle because car prowlers don’t take the holiday off – and if you have visitors, remind them too. We have one West Seattle Crime Watch reader report, from Steve in the 2700 block of 37th SW:

My 2003 Toyota Camry was car-prowled sometime between 10 pm last night and 5:30 am this morning. When I went out to the car at 5:40 the glove box was open and stuff strewn around, but they didn’t take anything! They left my registration and insurance, my cell phone charger, my business parking pass. Either they didn’t go into the trunk or decided to not steal (a relatively heavy box containing a present for a relative). I can only guess that they got spooked and left quickly.

We’re hoping for a quiet holiday for all. If news does break, though, we remain on call – text or voice, 206-293-6302.

How the Water Taxi will factor into Viaduct closure: Remember October 2011?

With the Highway 99 tunneling machine restarting, WSDOT has been loudly banging the warning drum about the anticipated two-week Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, once the machine starts digging beneath it. Remember, we survived a one-week closure four years ago during the demolition of its southern mile in October 2011. As part of that, the West Seattle Water Taxi got heavier usage than ever:

(WSB photos, October 2011)
Some runs were at capacity. But this time around, the run will have a bigger new boat, as the M/V Doc Maynard is scheduled to finally take over next month. We asked Rochelle Ogershok from the county Transportation Department what’s being discussed so far to maximize the Water Taxi during the anticipated closure, potentially as soon as March, and that was the first thing she mentioned:

Specific to West Seattle the following plans are:

Vessel Schedule and capacity: The Winter Water Taxi schedule will be operated with increased capacity on commute hour sailings. Doc Maynard has a capacity of 278 passengers as compared to 147 passengers on Spirit of Kingston. This is an increased capacity of 786 passengers in the morning and 917 in the afternoon.

Water Taxi Dock Access: The Marine Division is coordinating with the City of Seattle on parking options along Harbor Ave and Don Armeni boat launch similar to what happened during the 2011 closure. Those actions included:

*Additional all-day street parking along Harbor Ave.
*Additional parking at Don Armeni Park

We are also investigating the feasibility of operating larger shuttles to accommodate more passengers.

Again, specific plans have not been finalized – we will continue to coordinate with WSDOT and City of Seattle on closure details and will share with riders as this information becomes available.

The extra spaces at Don Armeni went fast during the October 2011 closure:

Meantime, the state is promising ongoing information about the expected closure via this WSDOT webpage. The real test of the tunneling machine will come when it resumes work early in the New Year.

FOLLOWUP: Two bidders for West Seattle’s years-delayed Fire Station 32 rebuild

(From Fire Station 32 “schematic design” packet dated August 2013, by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson)

When the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy went to Seattle voters in 2003, it included a full rebuild of West Seattle’s Fire Station 32 – projected at the time to be complete by the end of 2007. As we first reported back in October, after numerous schedule revisions and then a decision to rebid the project, construction hasn’t even started yet, though the units and crews were moved out of the original station more than 10 months ago. But there;s new hope the work will get going in a few months, now that it’s received two bids as of this past Tuesday’s deadline. Howard S. Wright bid $11.6 million and MJ Takisaki bid $12.7 million. City documents say the project is budgeted at $18.6 million, with $3 million of that spent so far. Now that bids are in, we asked Julie Moore from the city’s Finance and Administrative Services Department what happens next:

The next step is for City Purchasing and Contracting Services (CPCS) to ask the apparent low bidder to submit a Supplemental Bidder Responsibility Criteria (SBRC) form. Capital Development and Construction Management (CDCM) will review the completed form. If CDCM finds the contractor meets all required criteria, it will then ask CPCS to award the contract to the bidder, starting the contract-execution process in which insurance and bonding information and all other requirements will be reviewed by CPCS before the contract can be executed. If there are no surprises during this process, we anticipate final execution of the contract could take place before the end of February.

The city already has a building permit for the new station, which will be built on the same footprint as the current one at 37th/Alaska, with work expected to take about a year. Until it’s ready, temporary FS 32 remains on the future city park site on 40th SW between SW Alaska and SW Edmunds.

P.S. Looking at the two bidders – Howard S. Wright built the Space Needle, and more recently, for SFD, Fire Station 39 in Lake City. MJ Takisaki worked on the recent upgrade of Fire Station 26 in South Park.

Merry Christmas Eve! West Seattle Holiday Guide notes for today/tonight

December 24, 2015 10:20 am
|    Comments Off on Merry Christmas Eve! West Seattle Holiday Guide notes for today/tonight
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

(Menashe Family Lights panorama by Mike Swartz)

Christmas Eve is here. Here’s how to find lots of info you might find useful:



Those two lists have proven to be of the most interest over the years, so we devote a significant amount of time to gathering the information (which generally requires a lot of phone calls). For the next two lists, we put out an open invitation, “send us your schedule and we’ll include it,” so if there’s someplace you don’t see, it’s because they didn’t send theirs:

CHRISTMAS CHURCH SERVICES: In the guide, if they sent their schedule.


Also in the guide:


HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Our guide has a list including West Seattle Lights (3908 SW Charlestown), where they’ll be offering hot cocoa tonight, starting at 6. Throughout the season, WSL collects food for the West Seattle Food Bank, so bring something to drop in the bin! (And/or donate to WSFB and the NW Parkinson’s Foundation via the WSL website.)

P.S. If you’re interested in Christmas Eve swimming, Southwest Pool has two sessions this afternoon.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch, Christmas Eve edition

(Six WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! Another quiet pre-holiday commute so far. Today’s one transit change: Metro is on a “reduced weekday” schedule.

SPEAKING OF HOLIDAY SCHEDULES … coffee, restaurant, grocery-store hours for today and tomorrow (and more) are in our West Seattle Holiday Guide.

WEATHER … The forecast for Christmas morning still includes possible snow showers, but not today.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s a local organization accepting last-minute toy donations for Christmas gifts

We published a question earlier today, on behalf of a reader who asked, and anyone else who might be wondering: Who’s still accepting toys for Christmas gift donations in our area? Alice Braverman replied:

Navos, a nonprofit organization located in West Seattle and Burien, serves the most vulnerable children and youth in our community. Our clients include school-age children who have been removed from their homes due to neglect and abuse as well as older youth with serious mental health issues. We also serve all ages of low income children and youth with outpatient services in their homes and in over 40 schools. We would be pleased to accept donations of toys to distribute to our clients. We can arrange to pick them up tomorrow morning before noon if anyone in our community would like to donate to Navos and the children we help. Contact us at Community support is vital to sustaining our programs and services so thank you for your consideration.

If you know of anyone else also still accepting toy donations (or other gift items) tomorrow, please e-mail us and/or comment.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Punch-in-mouth robbery suspect charged, bail doubled; also – car-prowl loot to look for

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports, starting with a followup on the Friday robbery/attack first reported here on Tuesday:

ROBBERY/ATTACK SUSPECT CHARGED: 19-year-old Diego Allejundro Gonzalez is now charged with first-degree robbery, accused of attacking a 67-year-old Highland Park woman last Friday and stealing her glasses. Along with filing the charge, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office asked that Gonzalez’s bail be doubled, to $150,000, and the jail register indicates that it has been. The charging documents make the same allegations we published here last night from the police report and probable-cause paperwork – that Gonzalez first tried to break into a house, then attacked the woman as she walked home from visiting her husband at a care facility, punching her in the face twice and running off with her glasses.

The case summary confirms that he is on probation from his plea bargain earlier this year related to a vehicle theft (bargained down to car prowl) and DUI case, saying he was “placed on 24 months probation and was ordered to not possess alcohol to obtain a substance-abuse evaluation and follow all treatment recommendations, and to commit no further law violations. By his egregious behavior in this case, the defendant has shown he is not willing or able to comply with such court orders.” Prosecutors also say he had one juvenile conviction, at age 17, for harassment. The robbery charge incorporates the physical-violence component of the current case.

Meantime, the donation drive that the victim’s friends launched to help her pay for repairing the dental damage done in the attack passed its goal within hours, and was closed. We’re hoping for a followup soon on how she’s doing. We will also track this case through the system.


Also in Crime Watch, we’re including this reader report with some time sensitivity:


My car was broken into last night on the 4500 block of 42nd Avenue SW. It has been reported to the police. Very unique items were stolen, and I am hoping you can post them in an effort to locate them if selling is attempted:

2 Canon 5D Mark 2 bodies
1 Tamron 24-70 lens
1 50 mm 1.4 lens
1 large leather camera bag

These are pretty obscure professional kitchen knives and unless you read Japanese, might be hard to identify. However, they look like really nice kitchen knives and there aren’t usually a lot of them floating around outside of a few niche shops.

Black canvass and leather kitchen knife bag by Boldric containing
1 Singatirin Honyaki 240mm Chefs knife (crappy yellow laquered wood case”
1 Moritaka Aogami 210mm Chefs knife (“no hand grab” sticker on wood case)
1 Watanabe Kaibou Deba 210 butcher knife
1 Richmond Honesuki 165mm butcher knife
1 Yoshikane SKD 95mm paring knife
1 Sakai Yusuke 180mm petty knife
1 Blue Thermopen probe thermometer
1 Small .1x600g digital scale with Thomas Hammer Coffee sticker on top

Angelene said they will of course be watching various websites in case these turn up, but wanted to get the word out locally too.

VIDEO: Highway 99 tunneling machine travels 8 feet, builds ring

Another Highway 99 tunneling-machine update from WSDOT before the holiday: The video above shows the machine building the tunnel’s 160th ring. (The music you hear isn’t a holiday feature, WSDOT says, explaining in the YouTube caption that it’s a safety alert.) The full online update says in part:

… In all, Bertha has excavated 8 feet of tunnel since STP restarted the machine early Tuesday. STP crews – which have been working long hours in the weeks leading up to the machine’s restart – will take a break over the holidays before resuming tunneling in the first week of January.

When work resumes, crews will mine through the concrete wall of the access pit and into the native soils that will serve as the next stage of STP’s testing process. This section of the tunnel route – like the 1,091 feet that came before it – is protected by underground walls that were built to hold the ground in place while crews continue to test the machine.

Bertha will mine toward an underground block of concrete approximately 450 feet north of the access pit. This area is the third and final protected maintenance stop, or safe haven, that STP built prior to the start of tunneling. According to the STP’s most recent schedule, the machine will spend up to one month at the safe haven while crews perform maintenance and make final adjustments before tunneling beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct. …

The update also includes a reminder of the two-weeks-or-so Viaduct closure planned when that happens.

West Seattle development: New mixed-use proposal with 125 apartments at 4754 Fauntleroy Way SW

(King County Assessor’s Office photo of southern part of proposed development’s site)
For the first time in seven months, a major new development proposal for West Seattle has appeared in city files. This one is for the southeast corner of Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Edmunds, across from the south end of under-construction megaproject The Whittaker, and immediately south of the planned CVS drugstore site. This project’s official address is 4754 Fauntleroy Way SW and its site plan was just filed this week. It’s proposed as a seven-story, mixed-use building with 125 apartments over ground-floor commercial space and 90 offstreet parking spaces, on two parcels totaling 18,000 square feet, the southernmost of which currently holds the Capitol Loans pawn shop; the site is zoned NC3-85. This will have to go through Design Review – no date yet, as this is a very early-stage proposal that just appeared in the system. The site-plan document shows Caron as the architecture firm on the project. This would mean redevelopment for three of the four corners at that intersection (counting the 4-story, 50+-unit proposal at 4801 Fauntleroy, the southwest corner).

HOLIDAY GIVING: Anyone still collecting last-minute donations?

Most of the gift drives we had featured in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide are over now, so that the recipient organizations have time to get everything wrapped and delivered for Christmas. So after getting a reader note asking what to do with unwrapped, unopened toys, we’re asking you: Anyone still in need of donated items for Christmas gifts, toys or otherwise? If so, please let us know what/who and when/where dropoffs can be made. You can e-mail us at – we’ll add to the story – or, you can comment below. Thanks!

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: State ferry Puyallup going in for a ‘closer look’

December 23, 2015 1:00 pm
|    Comments Off on From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: State ferry Puyallup going in for a ‘closer look’
 |   Seen at sea | Transportation | West Seattle news

Thanks to Lynn Hall for the photo of Washington State FerriesM/V Puyallup under tow eastbound in Elliott Bay this morning, headed to Vigor on Harbor Island. It’s been three weeks since Puyallup left service on the Bainbridge Island route after reported propeller damage. We checked with WSF to see if today’s sighting was a sign it’ll be back soon. Short answer: No. Longer – WSF spokesperson Ian Sterling tells WSB, “It’s going in for a closer look and repair of the damage caused by striking something under the water a few weeks back (likely a chain or cable). Between that and scheduled maintenance, we don’t expect it to be back in service for a number of weeks.” If all goes according to schedule, though, the Seattle-Bainbridge run will be back to full capacity in about a week or so, which is when M/V Wenatchee is scheduled to return, after sea trials following maintenance work at Vigor.

West Seattle scene: WSHS Basketball Mini-Camp 2015 success!

December 23, 2015 12:28 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle scene: WSHS Basketball Mini-Camp 2015 success!
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

Thanks to West Seattle High School boys’ basketball head coach Keffrey Fazio for the photo and report:

West Seattle HS just finished up the annual WSHS Wildcat Winter Mini Basketball Camp. 65 kids came for a two-day basketball camp for grades 4th through 8th. Keep a look out for the next WSHS basketball camp!

Speaking of WSHS basketball – both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams are undefeated and leading Metro League 3A so far this year. While the girls are off this week, the boys play at home tonight vs. Thomas Jefferson High School at the WSHS gym, 6:30 pm (with a C game at 3 pm and junior varsity at 4:45 pm).

West Seattle Wednesday: Poems, stories, music, Santa, more…

(Brightly lit house at 34th SW & SW 114th in Arbor Heights. Thanks to Kelly for this photo and also to Steph for the tip!)
The list of lights is in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, which continues on through listings for New Year’s Eve/Day, and yielded some of what you see below (as did our year-round Event Calendar):

ILLUSIONS OPEN HOUSE: Until 7 pm today, it’s the annual Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) Holiday Open House: Buffet, last-minute stocking-stuffer ideas, & more. (5619 California SW)

MUSIC AND SANTA AT THRIFTWAY: Special holiday events at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) – pianist Keith Terhune at 2 pm; Santa Claus, 4-8 pm; Gary Benson on guitar 4:30-7:30 pm. (Fauntleroy/California/Morgan)

POEMS AND STORIES: Poetrybridge‘s monthly poems-and-stories event at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) features Cara Mbaye and Benjamin Schmitt. Plus, community microphone! 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

MOONLIGHT LOW-TIDE WALK: Along with the afternoon “king tides” – which switch to morning in a few days – did you realize the tide’s way out at night this week? -2.0 at 9:18 tonight. Even lower on Christmas Eve and Day (which brings the full moon).

YOU CAN HELP! Straight Blast Gym’s ton-and-a-half (or more) food drive

December 23, 2015 10:12 am
|    Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! Straight Blast Gym’s ton-and-a-half (or more) food drive
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Many holiday-season giving drives have wrapped up by now, so that donations can get to their recipients by Christmas. But not this one, which stretches into the New Year: Straight Blast Gym of Seattle (WSB sponsor) is challenging us all to help build a ton-and-a-half mountain of donated food, and it continues through mid-January, as you can see in the Instagram caption above. The timing will be especially helpful as nonprofits often hit a valley after all the pre-holiday drives are done. SBG is at 5050 Delridge Way SW – can’t miss the brightly painted building! – if you’re too busy to get there before Christmas, make a plan to stop by during the quiet time before New Year’s.

Holiday swims: Southwest Pool plan for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

The folks at our area’s only year-round city-run aquatic facility, Southwest Pool, asked us to let you know they will be open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve for:

Adult and Senior Swim 12-1:30 pm
Senior Water Exercise 1:30-2:30 pm

The pool’s closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Its full holiday schedule is online. The overall holiday schedule for Seattle Parks facilities is here.

ELECTION 2016: Republican governor candidate Bill Bryant ends his Port Commission career with Rotary Club of West Seattle speech

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Before Bill Bryant becomes a full-time candidate for governor, he had one last thing on his to-do list as a two-term Seattle Port Commissioner: A speech to the Rotary Club of West Seattle.

That speech today at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) brought him full circle, Bryant said, because he announced his Port Commission run at nearby Jack Block Park in 2006.

His run for governor, by contrast, was announced online. And here’s our video of what he told the Rotary Club today:

Bryant delivered more of a valedictory for his 8 years on the commission than a speech looking ahead to what he would hope to do as governor. He said he ran on a platform that eventually spanned four key points:

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