West Seattle, Washington
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:
— 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
HIIT Lab is a brand-new fitness studio in Morgan Junction, and a brand-new member of the WSB sponsor team, which means they have the opportunity to let you know what they’re about:
In the photo above is HIIT Lab proprietor Cathy Kerns, who says her studio is just the right size for lots of one-on-one attention for clients, and also the right size to ensure they have lots of personal space. HIIT Lab will match a workout to you. Cathy describes it as “a high-end boutique studio that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. If you live in West Seattle and want to work out hard and have a blast in a nice, clean environment, you don’t have to go far.”
What do HIIT Lab clients tell Cathy most often? On first sight, she says, they hear, “Wow, this is really nice.” Then, after class, they hear, “That was a fun workout.”
HIIT Lab is at 6417 Fauntleroy Way SW, Suite D, and online at hiitlab.com.
We thank HIIT Lab 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.
11:49 AM: Just wrapped up on the King County Water Taxi dock downtown: One last media megabriefing before the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s two-weeks-or-so closure, now a little over 10 hours away (onramp closures start at 10 pm, so don’t count on using The Viaduct after that). Those on hand for brief statements followed by Q&A included Dave Sowers from WSDOT, Jon Layzer from SDOT, Paul Brodeur from the King County Marine Division (Water Taxi), Victor Obeso from Metro, Bruce Gray from Sound Transit, and Peter McGraw from the Port of Seattle.
We have it all on video and will upload as soon as we’re back at HQ (1:45 pm update – here it is):
Nothing dramatic but a few points of interest we hadn’t heard much about before:
*SDOT mentioned that the “maritime community” has indeed been asked to try to minimize bridge openings during the closure, but as Layzer acknowledged on our followup question, all they can do is ask – maritime use has priority, particularly for the West Seattle “low bridge” (formally the S. Spokane St. Swing Bridge) – UPDATE: Here’s what SDOT is asking the Coast Guard about, for bridges including ours:
The Seattle Department of Transportation would like to request that the US Coast Guard send out a notice to mariners requesting voluntary compliance at each of the following bridges for the period of 12:01 am on April 29, 2016 to 11:59 pm on May 12, 2016:
Ballard Bridge: Weekday voluntary compliance one hour before and one hour after the existing restrictions (i.e. In addition to the existing restrictions, 7-9 am and 4-6 pm weekdays, we are asking for mariners to try and limit the number of bridge openings between 6-7 am, 9-10 am, 3-4 pm & 6-7 pm, whenever possible).
Fremont Bridge: Weekday voluntary compliance one hour before and one hour after the existing restrictions (i.e. In addition to the existing restrictions, 7-9 am and 4-6pm weekdays, we are asking for mariners to try and limit the number of bridge openings between 6-7 am, 9-10 am, 3-4 pm & 6-7 pm, whenever possible).
University Bridge: Weekday voluntary compliance one hour before and one hour after the existing restrictions (i.e. In addition to the existing restrictions, 7-9 am and 4-6pm weekdays, we are asking for mariners to try and limit the number of bridge openings between 6-7 am, 9-10 am, 3-4 pm & 6-7 pm, whenever possible).
Lower Spokane Street Swing Bridge: Weekday voluntary compliance between 6-10 am and 3-7 pm (there are no existing restrictions on this bridge).
*A temporary stop is being added so that WS bus riders can connect to light rail in SODO – it’s marked on the reroute maps (second page of this PDF shows the West Seattle routes)
*If you want to connect to light rail, the Water Taxi is also an option, it was pointed out to us in conversation with the Marine Division reps after the briefing, since you can walk a few blocks east and get to the transit tunnel (King Street Station, also served by Sounder rail, isn’t far either)
*We asked what happens when they get word that the tunneling machine has made it the full 385-foot distance beneath The Viaduct, to the other side. Sowers says WSDOT would then do one more inspection of The Viaduct, along the lines of what they do twice a year, to check it thoroughly for cracks, settling, etc., before deeming it safe to reopen for traffic.
More to come when we’re back at HQ.
1:45 PM UPDATE: We’ve added the briefing video above. Also, since the briefing, WSDOT has added an online update with yet another reminder plus some news that wasn’t part of the briefing. See the full update here; below, the sections that followed the general reminder:
Seattle Tunnel Partners tunneling operations
Seattle Tunnel Partners is making final preparations for their tunnel drive beneath the viaduct. They have told us that the overnight crew will spend the early hours of Friday restarting and testing Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine. Tunneling is expected to begin sometime during the day shift on Friday.
STP expects to start slowly as Bertha digs out of her planned maintenance stop, which is essentially a block of concrete buried in the ground near Yesler Way. The machine must dig through approximately 10 feet of concrete to exit the maintenance stop and enter the soil near the intersection of Yesler and Alaskan Way. Initially, trucks will carry away the excavated material. Crews intend to proceed deliberately throughout the weekend, carefully monitoring the machine’s performance and the surrounding ground as Bertha inches forward.
STP expects to pick up speed early next week. The tunneling operation – tunneling forward, building rings and doing maintenance on the machine – will continue around the clock throughout the closure.
You can track Bertha’s tunneling progress here. We’ll be updating the progress graphic twice each day.
Barging operations to resume
The suspension for cause that has restricted barging operations since January was lifted this week. That means that STP will be allowed to remove excavated soil from the work site via barge using new procedures they developed over the past two months. Having the barging operation back online allows STP to remove excavated material more quickly than trucking the material offsite.
Check out our construction cameras page to get a closer look at the barging operation when tunneling begins on Friday.
Again, we’ll have an update when the closure begins late tonight, as well as expanded coverage of morning and afternoon/evening traffic/transit starting Friday.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The West Seattle Junction’s pieshoplessness will soon be over: A la Mode Pies is expanding this way.
Proprietor Chris Porter just signed the lease for a prime spot in Junction 47, facing SW Alaska just east of California.
A la Mode will be the first pie shop in The Junction since Shoofly closed almost two years ago.
It will be the second café/bakery for A la Mode Pies, joining the Phinney location.
We talked with Porter by phone to get the scoop on what the café will be like.
LUNCH AND LEARN: 11:45 am at the Senior Center of West Seattle, lively discussion about the state of Social Security, now and looking ahead a half-century. You can buy lunch in the café. Reservations required – call ASAP; the number’s in our calendar listing. (California SW/SW Oregon)
DINING OUT FOR LIFE: Four West Seattle and White Center restaurants are participating for all or part of today/tonight, in the annual dine-out fundraiser to benefit Lifelong. Details are in the preview we published earlier this week.
SEXY SYRAH AND TANTALIZING TASTES: Annual wine tasting and appetizer benefit at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), with VIP entry at 5 pm, general at 6 pm, with part of the proceeds benefiting Children’s Hospital. Ticket link is here – check ASAP to see if there’s still room! (1936 Harbor SW)
INCOMING CHIEF SEALTH INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN IN THE FAMILY? This event at CSIHS tonight is for you:
If you are the parent/guardian of a current 8th grader or you know one, please spread the word about the upcoming Future Seahawks Open House (tonight). We are offering dinner at 6:00 followed by the open house starting at 6:30. We will provide incoming students with information about CSIHS and about the registration process.
(2600 SW Thistle)
ST3 AT WSTC: Questions, answers, and comments about Sound Transit 3‘s proposals for our area, 6:30 pm tonight at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s monthly meeting, with reps expected from Sound Transit and the city Department of Planning and Community Development. At Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, all welcome. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
PUNDAMONIUM! 7 pm signups, 8 pm puns, in the monthly “pun slam” at The Skylark in North Delridge. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
‘DEATH OF A SALESMAN’: 7:30 pm at ArtsWest Playhouse in The Junction. (4711 California SW)
VIADUCT CLOSURE: It starts with onramp closures at 10 pm, and WSDOT says Highway 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel will be fully closed by midnight. We’ll have late-night coverage here on WSB as it begins, as well as expanded traffic/transportation coverage for the Friday commutes.
Our area’s only rowing club, based in nearby South Park, has an invitation for you this Saturday (April 30th):
Duwamish Rowing Club continues to grow. Last season we added 3 “new” racing shells. They are new to us but not totally brand new, although they are all very fine raceable boats. The funding for the new boats came through the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund grant. None of the new boats came with names and so it’s time to name them and have a dedication party.
We will be honoring several of our donors and supporters including Bob and Dagmar Cronn, and Pacific Medical Centers. The dedication ceremony will be held at the 12th and Elmgrove Park across from the DRC boathouse at 4 pm on Saturday, April 30th. Refreshment to follow.
We hope that you all can make it and help celebrate the new rowing season and DRC’s success, as well as help us thank some of the folks who have supported us. For additional information about the DRC, check our website, find us on Facebook or Instagram, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. While the photo above features some of the DRC youth rowers, the club is for all ages.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:56 AM: Good morning and welcome to the last pre-Viaduct-closure morning commute. As we noted again last night, WSDOT says onramps will be closed starting at 10 pm tonight (which is when Metro reroutes take effect), and the full closure will be in effect by midnight. One more media megabriefing/Q&A opportunity is coming up later this morning so if you have any unanswered questions, let us know so we can seek answers.
As for this morning’s commute – no incidents in/from West Seattle so far.