A particularly brazen business burglary tonight: Just as we were heading to Alki to find out more about tonight’s shooting, we heard from Dave McCoy, proprietor of Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, that someone had broken into his shop (42nd SW/SW Oregon). On our way back from Alki, we went by the shop to find out more. Dave told us the burglar(s) broke off the door handle and forced their way in, making off with 11 rods (that’s his photo above, showing where they had been). Though the alarm was set, that wasn’t enough to stop what apparently was akin to a smash-and-grab. The door and lock are already being repaired, as shown in our photo:
This comes just two weeks after thieves hit EWA while it was open on a Saturday afternoon, distracting an employee and stealing three reels. And it comes hours after EWA participated in the Junction Day of Giving, earmarking 10 percent of today’s proceeds for charity.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:29 PM: Big response heading to 57th and Alki for a reported shooting – a man is reported to have been shot in the hand. More to come.
9:35 PM: Crews arriving on scene confirm that the injury is not major. A silver vehicle might have been associated with the shooting.
9:53 PM: We’ve arrived in the area. Searching is centered by the Alki Playfield tennis courts/Whale Tail Park (Lander/59th SW). Heard on the scanner while en route, the victim was to go to the hospital via private ambulance, but was described as “uncooperative.”
9:59 PM: Police tell us at the scene that the victim is in his 20s.
They’re still looking for shell casings in the search area we mentioned above. We’re adding photos.
10:54 PM: Nothing additional from SPD so far. About 45 minutes after our first report, they tweeted
“(Officers) responded to shots fired call on Alki, found one man with non life-threatening injury to hand. Investigation ongoing” and that’s the only info they’ve published. See the comments below for multiple reports of what people in the area heard and saw.
Thanks to Jerry for sending the photo from a car fire about an hour ago on West Marginal Place just north of West Marginal Way SW, under the bridge and by the bicycle trail. We just talked with the car’s owners, as they await a tow truck; they said they were driving when suddenly the car started filling with smoke, so they got off the road (this area is a cul-de-sac), called for help, and got out safely before SFD arrived.
It’s International TableTop Day and that means it’s a day … and night … just made for the gaming that’s at the heart of Meeples Games (3727 California SW; WSB sponsor). We dropped in to see what was up; above, players were in the middle of a game of Here, Kitty, Kitty!. The full schedule for today/tonight is here – including Meeples Bucks giveaways for activities including posing with Captain America and mini-Wil Wheaton (who has a show called Tabletop):
If you don’t make it to Meeples before this big day/night ends (open until midnight!) – there’s always something going on, proprietors Brian Taylor and Laura Schneider remind you:
The schedule’s on the right side of the Meeples homepage.
(WSDOT photo – crews monitoring The Viaduct during the closure)
On the second full day of the two-weeks-or-so Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, a “precaution” until the Highway 99 tunneling machine finishes going beneath the AWV, here’s the brief update WSDOT just published:
After completing the first ring, STP crews have been preparing the machine to move out of the concrete of the maintenance stop. The transition from concrete into soil is an important part of tunneling under the viaduct and STP crews have been working to ensure that the transition goes smoothly. Once the machine is fully prepared to mine through this transition, crews will advance slowly and deliberately.
So as of this update, no additional distance has been added to the first-day 6.5-foot tally. Next update is expected about this time tomorrow; still almost 380 feet left to go to get all the way beneath The Viaduct.
Previous WSB coverage:
First-night tunneling-progress report
First pm commute
First am commute
Looking for traffic cams/infolinks? Go here
“Enjoy a day in The Junction and feel good about spending local” – that’s what the West Seattle Junction Association is hoping you’re doing today, during its Day of Giving, with participating businesses donating 10 percent of their proceeds to the nonprofits of their choice. Above, Sierra demonstrated her enthusiasm outside her workplace VAIN West Seattle (4513 California), which has chosen the Senior Center of West Seattle as its beneficiary; below, Wallflower Custom Framing (4735 42nd SW) proprietor Courtney Sievertson, who’s chosen to help the animal advocates of Pasado’s Safe Haven:
Menashe & Sons Jewelers (4532 California SW) is supporting the West Seattle Food Bank – that’s Josh Menashe smiling below:
And at Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW), Art with Heart is today’s beneficiary – represented in the shop by Lisa:
VAIN, Wallflower Custom Framing, Menashe & Sons Jewelers, and Click! Design That Fits are all WSB sponsors, as are three other participants – Emerald Water Anglers (4502 42nd SW, benefiting the Wild Steelhead Coalition), and, both helping the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (4410 California SW) and Thunder Road Guitars (4736 California SW).
In all, more than 30 businesses are participating – see the full list, and their chosen beneficiaries, here, and get out to The Junction before 6 pm if you’re not already there!
Happy second anniversary to Jennifer Young and her upscale-kid-stuff-resale (plus some new toys/accessories) shop My Three Little Birds (WSB sponsor) at 6959 California SW in south Morgan Junction. It’s an all-day celebration until 5 pm, including face-painting until 2:
More details about today’s celebration are in our calendar listing.
11:29 AM: Thanks to everyone who has texted and e-mailed about this, including Delfino Muñoz, who sent the photo above: A gray whale is in the middle of Puget Sound between West Seattle and Vashon Island and may be in trouble. Those who have watched it from afar and up close say it hasn’t moved much for some time. We looked through binoculars from the south end of Emma Schmitz Overlook and also noted that it was fairly stationary. We know it’s been reported to the local marine-mammal stranding network, Seal Sitters (206-905-SEAL), and to the state. Gray-whale sightings in Puget Sound aren’t rare, but this time of year, some that don’t make it back out to the open ocean for the annual Pacific Coast migration may be lingering because they are ill or undernourished. Earlier this month, one such gray whale was first seen in the Ballard Locks and then found dead between north Vashon and Fauntleroy. We’ll update if we find out anything more about the whale that’s out there right now.
2:43 PM UPDATE: Just got an update from Robin @ Seal Sitters, that those keeping an eye on the whale might see a boat closer to it than boats are supposed to be – researchers from Fish and Wildlife and Cascadia Research Collective are headed out to try to assess the whale’s condition and make sure it’s not entangled. WSB’s Christopher Boffoli got this view from Beach Drive, though the whale is much closer to the other side:
Christopher reported the whale is definitely blowing regularly, though not moving much. Robin also says they’ve advised the Coast Guard about the whale, since it’s in the shipping lanes and they want cargo ships to know to steer clear – Christopher photographed one passing:
We’ll continue to update when more information’s available.
Healthy Kids Day is on, until 1 pm at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) in The Triangle (4515 36th SW). Our photo above shows the inflatable obstacle course out front – you’ll also find a climbing wall, dunk tank (photo below), face-painting, arts and crafts, bubbles, family races, photo booth, scavenger hunt, and a long list of other ongoing activities.
Some of the time-specific events coming up:
11 am, east gym: Chief Sealth IHS Latin Dance Team
11:30 am, east gym: Family Zumba class
Noon, east gym: YMCA Karate class
1-3 pm, open swim @ pool
So get to the Y before 1 pm – you don’t have to be a member, but you can find out more about membership, as well as about Y programs such as preschool. Also, find out about other local organizations/businesses:
That’s Phil from the School of Rock. Also at HKD – find out about a time-saving way to feed your family via Dream Dinners (WSB sponsor), try smoothies from nearby Chaco Canyon Organic Café … the list goes on. This event is also a chance to find out about the Y’s upcoming expansion project, with work starting in early May and official groundbreaking June 2nd.
Good morning! No need to leave the peninsula and deal with the second day of Viaductlessness today. Here are the highlights:
ST. JOHN’S RUMMAGE SALE: 9 am-3 pm, second and final day of the fabulous annual sale at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. (3050 California SW)
‘DAY OF GIVING’ IN THE JUNCTION: Shop and dine at more than two dozen West Seattle Junction businesses today (official hours are 10 am-6 pm), and you’ll be helping a long list of local nonprofits too. Participants – listed here, along with their chosen beneficiaries – are donating 10 percent of today’s proceeds. Some participants also have special events scheduled, so just get to The Junction and see what’s going on!
INTERNATIONAL TABLETOP DAY: Big day to play at Meeples Games (WSB sponsor)! It’s a daylong celebration of all things tabletop, with events scheduled starting at 10 am and continuing into the evening. See the schedule here. Plus, a donation drive for West Seattle Food Bank – bring nonperishable food to donate. (3727 California SW)
WESTSIDE PLANT & GARDEN ART FAIR: 10 am-4 pm, it’s day one of this brand-new event. Plants, art, and even animals, including Cruise the miniature horse, shown in this photo provided by organizers (Cruise is there today only):
Find out more on the official website. It’s happening at the Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation campus in Gatewood. (7141 California SW)
HEALTHY KIDS DAY: 10 am-1 pm, it’s the free fun annual extravaganza at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) – more info in our calendar listing. (4515 36th SW)
MY THREE LITTLE BIRDS TURNS TWO: Second anniversary celebration of the store in Morgan Junction, which also has just launched online sales too. Celebrate all day, 10 am-5 pm, with face-painting and Full Tilt Ice Cream 11 am-2 pm – more info here. (6959 California SW)
DRUG TAKEBACK DAY: Expired/no-longer-needed medication in your home? Take it to the Southwest Precinct for a no-questions-asked dropoff. 10 am-2 pm. (2300 SW Webster)
DRAWTASTIC! Another first-ever event in West Seattle – a festival of drawing and animation. 11:30 am-5 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. See our calendar listing for details. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
VIETNAMESE STORYTIME: 11:30 am at Delridge Library. (5401 Delridge Way SW)
ARABIC STORYTIME: 1 pm at Delridge Library. (5401 Delridge Way SW)
SEATTLE WRITES: POETRY: 2-4 pm at Southwest Library, Seattle’s civic poet Claudia Castro Luna (a West Seattleite) will show you how to “use the city” in your writing. Free and no pre-registration required but first-come, first-served seating, so come early. BYO pen/paper and/or laptop. More info here. (35th SW/SW Henderson)
AUTHOR READING: Jack Lewis reads from his book “Head Check: What It Feels Like to Ride Motorcycles,” 4 pm at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village. (2800 SW Barton)
BELLS OF THE SOUND: The handbell choir’s spring concert at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), 7 pm: “Now Starring … The Music of Stage and Screen.” Details in our calendar listing. (3940 41st SW)
BURGUNDY PEARL: Acoustic duo performs live at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
DANIEL MARTIN MOORE: Live in-store concert, free admission, 7 pm at Easy Street Records in The Junction. (California SW/SW Alaska)
OWL HOOT: 7:30 pm at Camp Long Environmental Learning Center, for ages 6 and up – but you need to preregister! Info’s in our calendar listing. $5/person. (5200 35th SW)
SEE WHAT ELSE IS UP today/tonight/days & weeks ahead, by going here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The city is investigating another case of illegal tree-cutting in north West Seattle’s Duwamish Head Greenbelt.
Seattle Parks confirmed to WSB that there is an “ongoing investigation” involving tree-cutting on city-owned land near a popular informal roadside viewpoint in North Admiral, at Sunset and Seattle.
Two area residents told us about a letter sent to “neighbors,” seeking information about the tree-cutting, which the city believes happened in February. One neighbor sent us images of both sides of the letter, which Parks spokesperson Christina Hirsch confirmed to WSB is authentic.
This is the photo in the letter:
Above that photo, the letter begins:
We need your cooperation to resolve an illegal use of park property: unauthorized treecutting in Duwamish Head Greenbelt. This tree-cutting violates Seattle Municipal Code 18.12.070 and the responsible person(s) are subject to fines to cover the cost to replace the trees and maintain them until they are established.
The second page includes this “ground-level” view of the site where the illegal tree-cutting happened:
The letter continues:
We need the cooperation of neighbors and concerned park users to be the “ears and eyes on the ground” to ensure the protection of our valuable open space, keep our park areas safe, and maintain a peaceful environment for all the public to enjoy.
If you have any information about who cut the trees, or if you observed any tree-cutting activity anywhere within the park, please phone me directly at 206-615-0932. Verbal information given can remain anonymous by request and is not subject to public disclosure.
Senior Property Agent, Seattle Parks and Recreation
We called Gholaghong after receiving the letter via text, and he indicated he was heading into a meeting but would reply with more information soon. We subsequently received a note from Hirsch only confirming that the letter was for real, that the investigation was ongoing, and that she was looking into the answer to our question about how many trees were cut.
A visit to Seattle/Sunset did not yield a firsthand view of the reported tree-cutting – the slope down from the street side is extremely steep, and the downslope view is blocked by overgrown including blackberry vines. County files indicate the city bought the 2 1/2-acre site for less than a quarter-million dollars in 1992.
We will continue trying to find out more about this case, which emerged one month after The Seattle Times first reported on a large-scale case of illegal tree-cutting in east Admiral, also in the Duwamish Head Greenbelt. We have continued to follow up on that case, but there is nothing new to report, and no word yet of charges.
That map is from the first official progress report on the Highway 99 tunneling machine since the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure began. Here’s the WSDOT announcement we just received:
As of 6 p.m. Friday, Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, had dug 6.5 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic. This pace is what we expected. The machine will proceed slowly and deliberately throughout the first few days. Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress.
Bertha must dig through a few more feet of concrete to exit the maintenance stop before she starts to dig through the soil near the intersection of Yesler and Alaskan Way. Look for another progress update Saturday afternoon.
WSDOT has said that the machine will be digging around the clock while it goes beneath The Viaduct. Tonight’s full update, including the afternoon traffic overview, is here. Here are our coverage links from Day 1:
*Morning traffic/transit coverage
*Afternoon/evening traffic/transit coverage
Two West Seattle biznotes, both from 35th and Barton.
YES, TONY’S MARKET WILL OPEN: It’s been the most-asked question in the WSB inbox for weeks now – will the family-owned produce stand Tony’s Market ever reopen? We have been going by daily for weeks and haven’t seen anyone to ask; the phone number’s out of service; other ways of trying to find out just didn’t work. Today, someone texted us that activity had been sighted at the red/white/green tent, so we headed that way. Yes, the stand WILL open, in a week to week and a half, we learned. No other details but for those fearing that Tony’s would not reopen this season at all, there’s the answer. Last year, the market didn’t reopen until May 1st, attributing the later-than-previously-usual start to site work including parking-lot rehab.
PROPEL BIODIESEL WILL CLOSE: While taking the photo of Tony’s from the other side of Barton, we noticed this sign on the Propel biodiesel pump island:
It’s been eight years since the little biodiesel station opened on the north side of what was then an Exxon station and mini-mart, and has since become a 7-11. According to this online reply to a disappointed customer, Propel is focusing “on E85 and DieselHPR in California.”
(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL INFOSITE for #99Closure; BRIDGE CLOSURES; morning coverage HERE)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
4:05 PM: Good afternoon – we’ll be covering traffic/transit this pm in our usual morning style, since it’s the first inbound commute of the two-weeks-or-so Viaduct closure.
Updates first: WSDOT confirms that the tunneling machine did start its beneath-the-Viaduct journey around 9 am. The first progress report is expected in a few hours … @voght tweeted that the 30th/Yancy/Avalon intersection, scene of safety-project work the past few hours, is now fully open again.
4:17 PM: Car vs. pedestrian crash reported at 1st/Horton. … Moments later, also via scanner, police report they and SFD responders aren’t finding either car OR pedestrian.
4:52 PM: Multiple commenters report the Lander bus reroute headed this way is delay-plagued because of trains.
5:08 PM: Remember the stadium zone is extra-busy because the Mariners are home tonight, hosting Kansas City. We’re headed outbound to see what the inbound routes look like outside of webcam range.
5:21 PM: Crash under the bridge, near 26th/Spokane, with injuries. We’re heading that way. (added) Per the photo Josh tweeted, passing on a bus, it’s along the trail on the westbound side of Spokane. Per scanner, victim is a pedestrian hit by a vehicle; injuries include a broken leg.
5:39 PM: Right lane of westbound Spokane is blocked, right by the 26th SW sign (and a “stop for pedestrians” sign).
Left lane is getting by. Bike/pedestrian trail is open. The victim, a 57-year-old woman, will be taken to the hospital by medic unit. The driver is still at the scene, talking with officers. Transit note: Standing-room-only 21 just went by.
5:47 PM: After leaving that scene, we’re continuing eastbound to see how some of the inbound routes look. Low bridge is wide open. We’re on surface East Marginal north of Spokane now, passing the cargo terminals; little traffic also flowing well both ways – more southbound bicycles than any other vehicles.
5:58 PM: Heading back into West Seattle. The crash scene mentioned above on westbound lower Spokane is now completely clear.
6:24 PM: For the first time in more than 12 hours, and only the second time today, the “low bridge” is closing to land-based traffic so it can open for vessel traffic, per @SDOTbridges (which we are linking to the top of each commute report during the Viaduct closure).
6:34 PM: Big current problem – apparently a train-crossing gate on Lander is stuck in the down position and buses using that as the reroute are backed up in a big way.
6:38 PM: The “low bridge” has reopened to land-based traffic.
7:01 PM: Scanner – the train gates should be “functioning” again. Meantime, the Water Taxi’s about to shift into its hourly mode for the rest of the evening. We stopped by Seacrest briefly about an hour ago.
As a sizable group (we’re hoping to get the pm numbers later) disembarked, a downtown-bound line awaited. In comments, Elton says about 100 people were in line downtown a short time ago, awaiting the current run back this way. Michelle shared this look at what the downtown queue for the 5:15 trip to WS:
That photo was courtesy of her sweetie, who was first in line.
8:30 PM: We’ve learned from King County DOT that the run all those people were waiting for had a ridership of 236 – not far from capacity, and more than four times the passengers on the same run last week.
Another West Seattle business has been hit by burglars. This time, O’Neill Plumbing (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction. Tim O’Neill tells WSB that they “cut open a fence, punched out locks on trucks, and made off with several tools.” They have surveillance video and are offering a reward. First video shows the burglars’ truck arriving:
Second shows one burglar:
Third clip shows another:
The burglary happened early this morning at O’Neill’s headquarters at 6056 California SW.
12:57 PM: We’re getting word of a big Seattle Police response near Highland Park Way and Holden right now – you might see the Guardian One helicopter helping with the search too. SPD tells us it’s a foot pursuit of someone who ran from police, a possible suspect in a package theft. We’re on the way to find out more.
1 PM: We’re not there yet but hearing via scanner that the suspect might be in custody.
1:14 PM: About all we can verify is that the search is over – helicopter left and police cleared just as we were running up – had to park on the other side of Holden and traffic was too jammed for an easy crossing. Will follow up shortly with media relations in hopes their system has the info.
(Photo by Lynn Hall – first cruise ship of the season, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, seen from Alki this morning)
So you survived the first Viaduct-closure commute. Or, you didn’t commute at all. Here’s what’s happening for the rest of today tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
ST. JOHN’S RUMMAGE SALE: Want to hone your shopping skills for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, which is two weeks from tomorrow? Here’s a big sale to shop today! Until 7 pm, it’s day 1 of the big rummage sale at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. (3050 California SW)
WORLD DANCE PARTY: 6 pm at Delridge Community Center, the kickoff to DNDA’s Cultural Events Series! Details here. (4501 Delridge Way SW)
SENIOR CENTER RAINBOW BINGO: “Pajama Party” is the theme; the night starts with treats at 6, then bingo at 7. More info in our calendar listing – check ASAP to see if there’s still room! (California SW/SW Oregon)
LIVE MUSIC: Christy McWilson at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
‘LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE’: 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall, presented by Twelfth Night Productions. Ticket info is in our calendar listing. (7904 35th SW)
‘DEATH OF A SALESMAN’: 7:30 pm at ArtsWest Playhouse in The Junction. Ticket info here. (4711 California SW)
MUSIC WITH A HEART: At Alki UCC, to benefit West Seattle Helpline. 8 pm – full details in our calendar listing. (6115 SW Hinds)
(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
5 AM: Good morning! We’re on traffic/transit watch early for Day 1 of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, and will be updating what’s happening in/from West Seattle, including the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest. No incidents so far.
5:30 AM: Still quiet. We have a crew headed to the Water Taxi dock now; remember, extra parking, bigger shuttles (here’s the special info brochure). First run to downtown is at 6:15; here’s the schedule.
5:57 AM: The West Seattle “low bridge” is closing to surface traffic for the first time this morning. We’ll update when it reopens. We also have a direct link to the @SDOTbridges Twitter account (which tweets other bridge openings around the city) atop this story.
6:10 AM: “Low bridge” closure over, available to land-based users again. Meantime, we’ve just heard from our crew at the Water Taxi dock, as the first run from West Seattle gets ready to go. There’s a line but not the 270+-passenger capacity, so if you’re WT-bound, there should be room. Meantime, a commenter says early-morning towing shows the city is serious about those overnight parking restrictions on Harbor to save space for WT parking.
6:25 AM: As you can see in the “live” camera views above (refresh the page for newest images), the high bridge is busier than usual for this time of day. Meantime, the official passenger count for the 1st Water Taxi run out, 78 – we’re told that’s more than triple the usual ridership for the 6:15 run.
6:48 AM: Todd Orwig reports that the high bridge is definitely “slower than usual.” The cameras are showing that too. We’ve added the I-5/Spokane webcam above, because WSDOT has it pointed west toward the bridge, so you can see the volume headed for 5. … Water Taxi update – 124 for the 6:45 am run. Just under half full. (Here’s our Instagram video of the line.) Street parking near Seacrest looks maxed; we’re checking on the temp lot across from the 7-11 at Florida. (Update: LOTS of room in that lot. Single-digit usage so far; has 200 spaces.)
7:02 AM: High bridge is wall-to-wall. No incidents in the corridor or on the peninsula, so this is 100 percent just people trying to get where they need to go.
7:19 AM: Low bridge is looking busy too (remember, we have a view of that above, too). And keep in mind some alternatives are new since the infamous 2011 “Viadoom” closure. For example, the South Park Bridge – see the live eastbound view here.
7:26 AM: 180 passengers on the 7:15 Water Taxi run – still room for almost 100 more. Both the high and low bridges are very busy – remember that the high bridge is two lanes outbound since the 99-bound lane is coned off (see the top-right camera). Only incident in the area is a truck stall on *southbound* 1st at Atlantic near the stadiums; police are working to get the truck off 1st and onto Atlantic. Also a note – we are tweeting some photos and observations in addition to this narrative – even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can see our tweets here (also on the right sidebar of WSB in desktop/laptop/tablet-landscape views).
7:42 AM: Scanner has word of a crash at Delridge and Dakota – no other details. Meantime, though there’s no traffic cam showing the Admiral approach to the bridge, the southbound hill is gridlock, WSB’s Christopher Boffoli tells us.
7:52 AM: Deb reports in comments that 4th Avenue S. is backed up bigtime (she’s on the 37 outbound from WS). Meantime, the 7:45 am Water Taxi had 180 passengers – which, again, means there’s room for almost 100 more.
8:01 AM: Via Twitter, @voght reports the Delridge/Dakota crash is on the southbound side, and traffic is getting by both ways, on the shoulder on the southbound side. Weather report from co-publisher Patrick Sand at Seacrest – “It’s starting to rain.” And from Mike Jensen via Twitter (@mjtwit): “Took 40 minutes from West Seattle to I-90 via First Avenue.”
8:23 AM: Looks like the Water Taxi peaked last hour – 135, half capacity, on the 8:15 run from Seacrest to downtown (added: photo of line @ pier). The temp lot at Pier 2 also has lots of room for more usage – we asked and as of 8 am, it had only about 20 vehicles, one-tenth capacity. Meantime, the roads and bridges are still status-quo, now rain-enhanced. (Monday is supposed to be sunny and warm.) See comments as well as Twitter for bus riders’ firsthand reports – some rave reviews for the temp stop at 4th/Lander if you want to connect to light rail. Update from Christopher, who as mentioned above was outbound from Admiral – the low bridge was moving fairly well, if you’re looking for an alternative. (We’ve only had one bridge opening for vessel traffic this morning, the one way back at 6 am, mentioned above. Don’t know if that’s because of the tides or the city’s request for voluntary “compliance” in rush hours, as reported yesterday.)
8:38 AM: Another Delridge crash, per scanner – actually two at Delridge/Thistle. First was reported to not be affecting traffic, not sure about the second, so avoid if you can.
8:50 AM: 119 passengers for the Water Taxi run that just left. Among them, Junction-residing City Councilmember Lorena González [tweeted photo here]. Also, WT riders were given a survey to fill out – Kathleen tweeted a photo. Rain’s intensifying. Also, we have a suggestion from local community advocate and transit user Amanda Kay Helmick via Twitter: Try the Route 113 bus from 20th/Roxbury or Olsen/Myers park-and-rides.
9:02 AM: We’ve left the Water Taxi dock but are continuing to watch the commute. We’ll also have an afternoon narrative going later today, something that, unlike morning traffic coverage, we DON’T usually do, but this calls for it. And of course we’ll cover major incidents between am and pm commutes. Once we start adding more news for the day, this will still be linked from the ticker atop our site, and from our “spotlight” boxes atop the home page. Meantime, another WS crash – 48th/Spokane.
9:32 AM: Bridge is still busy but for example, no longer backed up all the way to 35th/Fauntleroy, on that end. So if you’re leaving later than usual, things are getting better. However, when you’re looking for where to exit – “4th Avenue is the real problem now,” we are hearing via the scanner. “Very problematic at this time.”
9:45 AM: Crash on the northbound 1st Avenue S. Bridge – see an image in SDOT’s tweet.
10:26 AM: First bridge crash today – eastbound West Seattle (high) Bridge at Delridge. Medic unit being called, per scanner, for person who thinks they might be having a heart attack, post-crash.
10:35 AM: The 35th/Fauntleroy entrance to the eastbound bridge is being temporarily closed because of the crash.
11:15 AM: Traffic is now getting by in one lane at the crash scene. We believe that means the onramp is open again but are going over to check in person to be sure.
11:27 AM: Before we could get there, SDOT tweeted that the crash scene is clear, so everything’s open again.
Five West Seattle (and vicinity) biznotes tonight:
ADMIRAL JUNCTION MAIL CENTER MOVES: The Lyman Building on the southwest corner of California and Lander now has two vacancies. West Side Gymnastics Academy moved out last year; this week, the Admiral Junction Mailing Center moved. Its new location is 3614 California SW, former home of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, which recently moved to 5639 California SW.
MY THREE LITTLE BIRDS TURNS TWO: Big party this Saturday as My Three Little Birds (6959 California SW; WSB sponsor) celebrates its second anniversary. The festivities are all day, 10 am-5 pm, with face-painting and Full Tilt Ice Cream expected between 11 am and 2 pm.
SOUTHGATE ROLLER RINK TURNS 5: Tomorrow night, our area’s only roller rink, Southgate (9646 17th SW), celebrates its fifth anniversary. Live bands will play out on the floor; renovations will be celebrated – a new mural, lighting, and “a refurbished wood floor in the bar that has a rich history with artistic roller skating.” It’s a 21+ party starting at 8 pm, with $5 cover – more info here.
JUNCTION DAY OF GIVING: In case you haven’t already heard – Saturday is a special day to shop and dine in The Junction. As announced earlier in April, participating businesses will be donating 10 percent of Saturday’s sales to nonprofits of their choice. More than 25 are on the list now – go here to see which businesses and who they’ll be supporting.
SOUNDERS SHUTTLE: The Westy (7908 35th SW) says it’s launching a shuttle service to Sounders home games on Saturday – tickets $20, including a pregame beer “and 10% off your bar tab the entire day.” While The Westy is 21+, the shuttle is open to all ages; they’re also offering a shuttle to Emerald Downs on May 7th for the Kentucky Derby. Contact The Westy to find our more.
Back on Tuesday, thanks to a texted tip, we were able to report on the start of a Seattle Fire Department training operation that’s caught a lot of attention, practice fires at a house at 50th and Hudson. The operation has one more day to go. Today, SFD officially invited media for a closer look. We recorded some video:
We also have found out a little more about the trainees, officially Recruit Class 104:
Two are female, 19 are male. We asked about ages and hometowns; that information wasn’t available, said SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold, but they could tell us that all but one are from this state – the 21st is from Oregon. 12 of them are listed as having “previous fire experience.” One used to work with the TSA at Sea-Tac; one was a plumber; one, the information provided to us mentions, majored in cello performance.
P.S. In discussion following our earlier story, someone asked about the future plans for this corner once this house is demolished after the training sessions. An early-stage site plan in city files shows a “proposed house” set back a little further north on the site.
Earlier this week, we mentioned today’s departure of the Clipper 70s racing yachts, just in case they were going to be visible from West Seattle shores. @KANtext saw the story and tweeted this today:
Thanks to the @westseattleblog , I know that these are Clipper 70 racing yachts! #ElliottBay #Seattle pic.twitter.com/E469ccOOmN
— KANtext (@KANtext) April 28, 2016
And James Tilley caught a surface view from the Water Taxi:
The race’s next leg is Panama-bound.
3:59 PM: Big response for a fire call at the commercial building at 5214 Delridge Way SW. More to come; we’re en route.
4:12 PM: Sorry for the site slowness these past few minutes. Meantime, our crew has arrived. Firefighters found light smoke in the building and a “small heat signature on the roof” but were trying to track down the source. This building is home to the Daily Dose coffee shop and at least one other small business. No word of injuries. The response is scaling back but for now, Delridge is blocked between Brandon and Hudson.
4:16 PM: What happened seemed to be in the yoga/massage side of the building, something involving scented oils that could be smelled from outside the building. It’s out. Police are letting Metro through on Delridge but otherwise, it might be another 15 minutes or so before it’s clear enough that they can get other vehicles back onto the road.
5:21 PM: Just came back to check. SFD is gone; Delridge is fully open.
From last night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting:
HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY UPDATE: Two years after the school community reached out to its nearest community council, in hopes of enlisting help with its struggle as one of the most-challenged schools in the district, it was time for an update. HPE’s principal, PTA representatives, and School Board director Leslie Harris were among those who spoke. We recorded it on video:
In all, principal Chris Cronas said many good things have happened but many challenges remain. He has been working on social/emotional learning. Also, the school adds a 6-hour preschool next year, and his staff is working with churches and other area groups to identify the preschoolers who will attend.
MYERS PARCELS: Open-space advocates from around the city are coalescing to try to stop the city from selling this land in southeast West Seattle. Mary Fleck from Seattle Green Spaces Coalition spoke to HPAC:
The land is left over from a city land purchase that was originally related to the Joint Training Facility next door. As reported here previously, the mayor earmarked $5 million from the expected future sale to help fund programs to address homelessness. The land is commercially zoned, but advocates believe it’s important as part of the Duwamish River watershed, and could have other future uses. Right now the push is to slow down the process so that there can be more outreach to people in the community who might not be aware of the potential sale plan.
HPIC BUILDING UPDATE: One week after the “eyebrow” collapse, and days after the work party to clean up after it, HPIC reps told HPAC that the remaining overhang has been braced, and now they’re making plans about how to raise money for further repairs. HPIC’s already-planned Uncorked annual wine-tasting fundraiser is coming up on May 21st (WSB is a co-sponsor), and that will pre-empt HPIC’s movie night this month. One more note: They’re considering a fenced area outside so that Corner Bar events in good-weather months can include outdoor imbibing.
HIGHLAND PARK CLEANUP DAY: Get involved in a community cleanup this Saturday! Details on this page of the HPAC website.
Highland Park Action Committee meets fourth Wednesdays, 7 pm at HP Improvement Club. Get updates between meetings at hpacinfo.wordpress.com
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