West Seattle, Washington
Two weeks have passed since WSB came out of the first stage of our first major technical overhaul in the 10 years since the site was founded (built on a foundation intended for the small personal site this originally was, and no longer able to accommodate what it had grown into). Overnight tonight (possibly Saturday night too), more work is ahead, this time including expansion of the storage space on our server, as WSB’s database of stories, photos, comments, and Forum posts continues to grow. This will mean some downtime after midnight. If wee-hours breaking news happens and we’re down, we will of course report via our backup site (westseattleblog.wordpress.com) and social-media channels (facebook.com/westseattleblog and twitter.com/westseattleblog), so please keep those links handy. Keep our number for breaking news too – 206-293-6302. Thanks for your understanding!
We’ve received multiple reports about suspected gunshots heard before 10 pm on Puget Ridge, possibly from a car heard/seen speeding southbound in the 6000 block of 16th SW and beyond. It’s been reported to police, who are investigating. We haven’t heard yet whether they’ve found any evidence of gunfire (casings, damage).
Saturday night brings the second bout of the season for Southside Revolution Junior Coed Roller Derby. The Cherry Bomb Brawlers from Spokane are visiting, and it’s more than a bout – the Brawlers’ coach Ti “SmartAss” Marchand” lost her battle with cancer days ago, and they’re raising money both to cover her bills and to help another coach’s mom. Southside team manager Pamela McCarty sends the reminder:
THE HOUSE CUP, DOUBLE HEADER BOUT! Come watch the Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby positional and full-contact teams mashup with Cherry Bomb Brawlers and Friends. Bout 1 at 5:45 pm will be Southside Revolution Cadets & Friends Mashup. Bout 2 at 7:20 pm will be Southside Revolution Rebels, Cherry Bomb Brawlers, Mob City Misfits and Seattle Derby Brats.
This is a HARRY POTTER THEMED BOUT. The teams will be sorted into their ‘Houses’ at the beginning of the bout with the ‘Sorting Hat’ as per standard with all students of Hogwarts. The team with the most points will win the HOUSE CUP!
Doors at 5:15 pm, 1st Bout at 5:45 pm. $10 General Admission Adults, $5 Children 6-12, Children under 5 are free.
This is at our area’s only roller rink, Southgate, in White Center,
(Clip of Ben Dyer’s TPIR appearance, provided to WSB by CBS)
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
When Ben and Heather Dyer decided to travel to southern California around the time of Heather’s mid-January birthday, the idea was to get away from their normal day-to-day routine, enjoy time with family members in the area, and return to Seattle with batteries fully charged from time spent soaking in the famous California sun.
When they returned to their West Seattle home and their regular day-to-day lives, Ben probably shared the typical return-to-work stories of vacation with his fellow firefighters at Seattle Fire Station 26 in South Park. Heather almost certainly told friends about celebrating her birthday while out of town with her husband.
And now that their January 12 visit to the Bob Barker Studio has been aired by CBS, all those friends, family, and coworkers who heard tales of the Dyers’ Southern California trip are learning that a fairly significant event was omitted from those early recountings:
Ben was a contestant on “The Price is Right” – TV’s longest-running game show – but he and Heather were unable to tell anyone that until it aired this past Wednesday, much less could they have revealed he went on a winning streak that ran from contestant’s row all the way through the “Showcase” finale. We didn’t hear about it until one of Ben’s coworkers sent us the tip.
“We were just gobsmacked,” an audibly still-elated Ben told WSB on Thursday, the day after his episode (which can be watched here) aired, allowing him to finally let go of the big secret he’s been keeping for two weeks.
The couple hadn’t planned to attend a taping of the game show as part of their vacation, but once down there decided it might be a fun option for the day before Heather’s birthday.
Still planning for next school year? More open houses ahead – the next few days’ lineup includes:
SATURDAY – WEST SEATTLE MONTESSORI: Tomorrow from 1-3 pm, West Seattle Montessori School & Academy (WSB sponsor) opens the doors to give “parents and prospective families a chance to meet our staff, teachers and tour the facilities. You’ll be able to view samples of student work and pick up application materials. Our teachers and staff are available during and after the Open House to answer questions.” Preschool through 8th grade. (11215 15th SW)
SATURDAY – COMETA PLAYSCHOOL: 10 am-noon, this Spanish-language-immersion preschool offers an open house – details in our calendar listing. (4402 SW Walker)
TUESDAY – HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY KINDERGARTEN TOUR: On Tuesday night, Highland Park Elementary principal Chris Cronas hosts tours for prospective kindergarten families. (1012 SW Trenton)
Find more tours/open houses on our calendar – and if yours isn’t there, please send info (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can add it!
Two notes today related to homelessness in our area:
ONE NIGHT COUNT: Overnight, a thousand volunteers traversed King County to count how many people were sleeping without shelter. This year’s “One Night Count” total is 4,505 people, 19 percent more than last year. Here’s the breakout of where they were found and in what sleeping situations:
You can also see the chart online here.
HIGHLAND PARK ‘SAFE LOT’ SITE’S FUTURE: Questions remain even after new information was provided at this week’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting (WSB coverage here) about the future “safe lot” for RV/car campers at West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way: 15 vehicles are expected, none likely to be home to more than three people; referrals will be made to people found vehicle-camping in West Seattle and SODO; LIHI (Low Income Housing Institute) will be managing the lot; Compass Housing Alliance will be providing services. The city will provide toilets and handwashing facilities, as well as trash pickup, and is looking into getting electricity to the lot.
Questions that remain include the site’s status and post-“safe lot” future. So we checked over the past two days with the city’s Finance and Administrative Services department, which manages city-owned land. Spokesperson Julie Moore explained that the paved lot to be used for the RVs/cars is owned currently by the state (WSDOT), and that the city owns much of the rest of the sprawling parcel, home to the original, unsanctioned encampment that called itself “Nickelsville.” She says the purchase of the paved lot already was in progress. And she provided this aerial image – the future “safe lot,” which she describes as a former park-and-ride, is toward the top left:
As you may know, the City owns the piece of land along the top of the triangle, WSDOT owns the other two corner parcels, and the piece in the middle along W. Marginal Way SW with the large building is owned privately. The City was already working to buy WSDOT’s small corner piece (the former park and ride) to make the City-owned land connect all the way to W. Marginal Way SW, as a means of maximizing the value of our land, with the intent to sell. There is not currently a planned future City use for the property.
City reps at Wednesday’s meeting said the “safe lot” would be in operation for up to a year – six months with the possibility of a six-month extension.
Every night next week, you’ll see another round of overnight closures on SW Alaska between 40th SW and Fauntleroy Way, like the ones earlier this month. That’s the word from the project team for The Whittaker (the 4755 Fauntleroy mixed-use development), as work on the new Alaska/39th/Fauntleroy crossing continues. The work, generally to be done between 8 pm and 6 am, will include temporary road repairs that they hope to finish the night of the 8th (one week from Monday).
Today we’re welcoming West Seattle winery Viscon Cellars as a new WSB sponsor. Our new local sponsors get the chance to tell you about themselves:
Our vision and mission is to make premium wine, sourcing grapes from some of Washington’s best vineyards and share with our West Seattle neighbors and friends. When presented with the opportunity to open our tasting room in Woodinville or West Seattle, hands down we chose our own neighborhood and do not regret it for one second.
Our wines are easily approachable and not intimidating. They are great simply by the glass and compliment foods nicely.
There are a lot of wine lovers in West Seattle. Our central location for our neighbors has created a great opportunity for them to try new wines they cannot get elsewhere also while supporting their neighborhood small business. Our customers love that when they come in they get to speak directly with the winemaker and hear about the personal stories of each wine. We even have customers who volunteer their time to help with crush and bottling.
We are fortunate to have a very loyal customer and fan base. So much so that we sold out of our inaugural release of wines before our second planned release of wines was ready to debut. This resulted in us closing temporarily until the new wines were released. They have supported us and introduced their friends to our winery, and their friends have introduced their friends …. so we are truly fortunate to expand our circle of customers through the mutual love of Washington Wine and West Seattle loyalties. It’s fun to hear their reaction when they discover us! Our winery tasting room (at 5910 California Ave SW) has quickly become a neighborhood gathering place. The vibe is friendly and welcoming. We have seen longtime neighbors finally meeting each other face-to-face at our tasting room and discovering their common connections over our wines.
Many folks bring in food from local restaurants or from home and enjoy dinner, conversations and a bottle of our wine on Friday evenings and Saturday late afternoons. We even have an example of a young couple who had just moved to Seattle; we introduced them to another couple having a glass of wine at the tasting room. They became fast friends and even spent Thanksgiving together. We love the sense of community that happens at our shop.
ABOUT VISCON CELLARS: Ben Viscon is the Winemaker and Owner for Viscon Cellars. He has been making wine for over 12 years in Washington State. He first explored the art of winemaking as a curious hobbyist, then honed his knowledge and education of winemaking by attending University of California, Davis, College of Viticulture and Enology. We are part of Seattle Urban Wineries, a group of 25 wine producers that make and sell wine in their respective neighborhoods throughout the City of Seattle. Our Winery Tasting Room is located at 5910 California Ave. SW, Suite B, in the heart of West Seattle and is open on Fridays from 5-9 pm and Saturdays from 2-7 pm, or by appointment outside of those hours. Our space is also available for private events.
We thank Viscon Cellars 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.
(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen, looking south over the peninsula from north of The Junction)
The weekend’s in view and here are the Friday highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Seattle Lutheran is the only local high school with home games tonight: Quilcene is visiting. 6 pm girls, 7:30 pm boys. (4100 SW Genesee)
LIVE ’60s-’70s ROCK … with the Five Buck Band at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
CLASSICAL CONCERT: 7:30 pm, The Girsky Quartet performs works by Beethoven and Schubert at Kenyon Hall. (7904 35th SW)
ROCK ‘N’ SOUL: DJ & Mrs. Plantkiller, 8 pm at Parliament Tavern. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
And a reminder …
PORT TEST PLANNED TODAY: Somewhere around “midday” (last week it was early afternoon) the Port of Seattle plans the second of nine potentially noisy tests related to its planning for modernization at West Seattle’s Terminal 5. Here’s the alert we published earlier this week.
(WSB photo from 2013 Hiawatha pancake breakfast)
Pancake breakfasts are a time-honored and tasty way to raise some money – and this Sunday is one of the biggest ones of the year, Hiawatha Community Center‘s annual pancake breakfast. 8 am-noon on Sunday (January 31st) you’re invited into the gym at 2700 California SW for all-you-can-eat pancakes with butter and syrup; sausage, fruit, and bagels available too. $6 for people 13 and up; $5 for ages 3 to 12; free for ages 2 and under. Proceeds benefit the scholarship fund to ensure that more people can enjoy programs at Hiawatha.
(Click any view for a close-up)
6:43 AM: Good morning. No incidents in/from West Seattle so far, but some notes/alerts to share:
WATER TAXI: Doc Maynard has returned to the West Seattle run this morning, now that Sally Fox is fixed and back for Vashon.
EXTRA HIGHWAY 99 LANE CLOSURES THIS WEEKEND: From WSDOT:
Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation continue building sign foundations along a one-mile stretch of SR 99/Aurora Avenue North, intermittently closing two lanes in each direction. This Friday night through Saturday morning, two lanes will be closed between Highland Drive, just north of Mercer Street and the Aurora Bridge. The closure starts at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29 and will end by 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30.
A reminder to drivers that one median lane will remain closed around the clock until this first phase of work is complete.
8:12 AM: Trouble on northbound I-5 – crash blocking a lane near the James/Madison exits.
8:25 AM: SDOT reports a crash at 35th/Avalon. The SFD response is already closed, so no serious injuries.
8:30 AM: … and now a new dispatch to the same incident. If you’re on the bus or at the stop and can see it, let us know – 206-293-6302 text or voice – scanner info can be cursory.
8:52 AM: Thanks to the texters who’ve sent details on 35th/Avalon – it’s blocking the middle lane northbound but vehicles including buses are able to get around.