month : 04/2016 306 results

VIDEO: West Seattle hears/talks about Sound Transit 3 / Metro Long-Range Plan

6 PM: That’s a look around the West Seattle High School Commons (mouse over the image to bring up the “play” button) as our area’s meeting about the Sound Transit 3 draft plan – currently envisioning light rail to/from West Seattle in 2033 – and the Metro Long-Range Plan got under way. The presentations are about to get under way; among those who will be speaking, Mayor Murray. We’ll be updating as this goes. Even if you can’t make it to the meeting (which is expected to continue until at least 7 pm – the moderator says it’ll go back to open-house format around 6:45), you can comment on these plans via their respective agencies – more on that post-meeting.

6:04 PM: Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff speaks first, declaring this “a great crowd. … The crowds that have been turning out and the level of engagement is indicative of the hunger this region has” for more transit. “This is about the future of our region. … The feedback that you give us about this plan is very important. … Census data tells us that this region … is going to have nearly a million more citizens by 2040. … When you’re faced with growth like that, you’re going to have to plan for it, or be overwhelmed by it.” He then throws a line to the crowd, “In an area like this, where the whole region seems to revolve around the West Seattle Bridge” – rueful laughs rippled around the crowd – light rail would seem like something positive, Rogoff said.

6:17 PM: The third of three Sound Transit Board members to speak, City Councilmember Rob Johnson, is speaking now.


(CM Johnson’s tweet of the standing-room-only crowd)
He followed Mayor Murray and County Council Chair Joe McDermott – we got both of their mini-speeches on video (both added as of 6:43). Murray noted that the region made a decision to reject a major transit initiative decades ago, and hopes that mistake will not be repeated now.

McDermott reiterated what Rogoff had said about the West Seattle Bridge – that it is the center of the universe for getting to and from the peninsula:

Johnson is now followed by the overview of the draft ST3 plan, courtesy of an ST planner, who gave some backstory about how the agency got to this point, looking to finalize a plan to send to voters in November. The proposed plan would have 112 miles of light rail, “west to West Seattle and Ballard, north to Everett, east to Redmond and Issaquah, south to Tacoma, Tacoma Link to Tacoma Community College.” They also expect “bus rapid transit” on I-405 and Highway 522, “bus on shoulder” on four regional highways, and other system improvements.

Mentioned after that – “to improve bus speed and reliability … capital improvements to RapidRide C and D Routes.” This was mentioned at last month’s unveiling of the draft plan but has not been explained in detail.


Next, the “central corridor” proposals including the light-rail line to West Seattle, with stations at Delridge, Avalon, and The Junction (specific locations have not yet been proposed). ST would also study extending the line south to Burien and then a possible connection to the Tukwila International Blvd. station, which is on the ST “spine” between Everett and Tacoma, “the main trunk, if you will, to our system.” She then elaborates that the West Seattle line would go over the Duwamish River on a new bridge, elevated to a station at Delridge, Avalon, and The Junction – that’s entirely elevated on this side of the river. She mentions that this is a “representative project,” which means some things could change during the environmental-study stage, if ST3 is approved by voters. ST wants to know “are we going to the right areas.”

6:28 PM: Next, a Metro rep comes up to talk about their long-range plan, which has been stuffed into this meeting for some reason. “Metro has been working for 18 months to define, what is the role of Metro as the region continues to grow.” Metro hasn’t had a long-range plan in more than 20 years. Key point: 20 percent of the region’s residents have access to rapid service right now; they want to bring that up to 70 percent. By 2040, they hope to have 26 RapidRide lines (one for every letter of the alphabet) by 2040, including a new one on Delridge (which, it’s been said, would replace the 120 – and some community members have voiced concern that fewer bus stops, the RapidRide design, would be bad for eastern West Seattle).

“The vision of 2040 can bring you more opportunities – how far you can go within an hour at noon.” Get online and find out more – the draft Metro Long-Range Plan is open for comments until May 20th.

6:33 PM: The moderator says they’ll extend the question period until 7 pm, since the speakers ran long.

First question is from a man in Tukwila, the “ST1 zone,” he calls it, who says his house is being shaken, and that he has been trying to get ST to do something about it for eight years. CEO Rogoff offers to talk with him on the sidelines.

Second question is from an attendee who wants to know, “Is there some way to be able to continue to have these conversions to make improvements for all the people?” long after a meeting like this. Rogoff says that the ST website shows all the projects, including ones that were counted out for various reasons. “For every one, there is a public vetting process that has to engage the community, an environmental process … it all involves community engagement (and) comment periods, and very rarely is the project precisely as envisioned the one that gets built.” (The first questioner shouts, “EIGHT YEARS!” from the gallery at that point.)

Third question: “How was the order of who will go first and who will go last devised? (West Seattle) voted at least three times for the monorail .. (and) we’re the closest to downtown … so I wonder why we have to wait at least 17 years before we see something.” At this point, applause and cheers. “In the meantime,” she continues, “for example, when the C Line (Metro) was adopted, all the other routes were dropped back …” and she says that’s made it harder to get around, or to get back here from another part of the city at night.

Rogoff says first, regarding the timeline, “it can go quicker and we are determined to make it go quicker if we have (cooperation) between the municipalities … engage the community, move quickly through permitting. 17 years like I say is a planning factor – with cooperation it could go more quickly.” Rogoff says that 17 years is actually one of the earliest “rail deliverables” in ST3.


Murray then comes up and mentions the city vote to allot more money for bus service, and says that while he is committed to trying to accelerate the timeline, “it’s buses that are going to get us there” until rail is ready.

Fourth question was also about moving up the timeline and streamlining the permitting process. Murray takes the microphone again and says he plans to introduce legislation to enable streamlining. That draws applause. Rogoff says, “That’s the kind of cooperation we’re talking about.”

Next question is a man who says that they should be listening to comments, not questions, when the moderator tries to tell him he needs to ask something, not say something. A smattering of applause for that. He says that there needs to be budgeting for roads to support the transit system, as damage already has been done (he mentions Avalon, which supports much of the RapidRide C Line). Murray takes the microphone for this one, too, and says that the MoveSeattle levy passed last year “will allow us to catch up,” though, like ST3, he points out, it’s a plan spread out over years, so the money isn’t all available immediately.

Next: Someone who wonders why everything is tied to property taxes – “is there a plan to pay for it some other way?”

Rogoff replies: “There are three (separate) tax increases in the plan – these were given to us by the Legislature – it’s a mix of sales tax, an increase in the motor-vehicle excise tax, and the smallest piece by dollars actually is a piece of property tax – this is the first time that property taxes have entered into the mix, and this is a mix given to us by Olympia; they were trying to get a mix that, since the sales tax has a certain regressivity to it, balances it out … we can only bring (to the voters) what Olympia allows us to.”

That is the answer to the next question, about money, too: “These are the revenue options (legislators) gave us.”

Following that: Someone from Hillman City, who says they’ve “already been waiting for our station for 20 years” and this plan shows it to be another 20 or so away – the Graham Street Station, up on the screen as 2036-2038. “What can you do to speed it up? You’re doing it,” says Rogoff – “come to meetings, talk to your elected officials,” etc.

Next: “How do we as a city dangle the carrot to the federal government and have them (look at Seattle for funding) when many other cities (have needs too)?” Rogoff, a former federal official, says the way for cities to make themselves look most appealing is “whether they have their local funding match in place … that, frankly, is what the ST3 vote is about. … No factor is more influential.”

Then: “What are the capital improvements you’re talking about for the C Line?” The Metro rep answers first by saying C Line use has gone up, “and we’re going to be looking at speed and reliability improvements.” She hands the microphone over – “Some of those improvements depend on SDOT. Signal improvements, queue jumps – opportunities for buses to get ahead of the traffic that’s coming – we also want to look at with Metro and SDOT, opportunities for the 99 loop as it goes off the West Seattle Bridge .. we’re looking at the chokepoints, the bottlenecks for those corridors.” Murray then chimes in and mentions the Lander Street Overpass, “another way we can improve the whole corridor’s movement.” (This answer is pretty much what we got after the draft-plan announcement in March.”

Next questioner mentions that large employers are beneficiaries of this, “so I wonder if they have been approached to maybe give us an interest-free loan, or just invest in the system out of their pockets … ahve they been approached?” Much applause for that. Rogoff says the answer isn’t exactly “no” but they are “in a dialogue with some of the major employers” regarding the “benefits” that their campuses would get. He says he won’t identify them. “But we can partner with other entities to help us bring money forward to accelerate the system.”

6:55 PM: Next (with a warning from the moderator that there’s only time for a few more questions) question is about the regressive tax structure: Rogoff says that the feds don’t really care how the money is raised, only that it is raised (the aforementioned local match).

Next: Does the $50 billion price tag include interest. “I don’t want you coming back to me saying you need another $20 billion.” Rogoff says the $50b is “the capital investment figure,” and yes, there will be payments above that “over time.” He says that in June the board will adopt “a very detailed financial plan” when they adopt a final plan. “I’d encourage you to start by reading the financial plan for the ST2 plan, there’ll be one for ST3, we welcome the scrutiny.” He says they do budget for inflation.

Then: If the plan is passed and the federal government fails to follow through, what happens? Rogoff again goes back to ST2, saying it figured on an 18 percent federal contribution, and this plan lowers that to about 12 percent – “we’re growing but it may not be reasonable to assume that the federal contribution will grow with us … and there’s a lot of stress … on the federal budget right now … and we want to be sure we can deliver on what’s promised.” If somehow the program they’ll rely on ceased, they’d have to figure out how to make up the funding.

Final question at 6:59 pm: An attendee mentions costs of various lines outside the US, in Europe and Canada, at far less per mile than what Sound Transit is suggesting this will cost. So, he says, he wants to ask Metro: What could it do with a $2 billion capital budget? The Metro reply: “You’re asking a very specific question – but you’re right, we’re seeing that high-capacity transit on buses is very productive, and we’re seeing a 96 percent increase on the C Line, and that’s what makes it a very good high-capacity corridor, and future light-rail corridor.” For the $2 billion “what would you do” question, she invites him to “come over to our boards” and see what’s in the Metro long-range plan. “That vision you’re talking about, high-capacity transit … that’s what we’re planning for.”

The moderator invites people to provide feedback online or on paper, or to go back into open house mode and talk to the people who are here from the various agencies, and with that, the Q&A ends.


8 PM: Back at HQ now and adding a few more photos, notes, and links.

First: The conversation about ST3 continues at Thursday night’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW). Bring your questions and comments.

Next: For ST3, the official comment period continues until Friday (April 29th). At the very least, please take this online survey.

Metro also has a survey for its Long-Range Plan. Take that here; comment here. Its deadline, as shown at tonight’s meeting, is May 20th.

DINING OUT FOR LIFE: 4 participating restaurants in our area Thursday

Thursday is the annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser, with more than 100 restaurants around Seattle donating part of their proceeds to Lifelong, supporting its Chicken Soup Brigade, which provides food to people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. Here’s who’s participating in West Seattle/White Center, and during which daypart(s) on Thursday, according to the regional list:

Noble Barton (9635 16th SW), donating 30 percent all day/night
El Chupacabra at Alki (2620 Alki SW), donating 30 percent at lunchtime
Buddha Ruksa (3520 SW Genesee), donating 30 percent at dinnertime
Locöl Barley and Vine (7902 35th SW), donating 30 percent at dinnertime/late-night

If you’re going to be outside WS/WC on Thursday and still want to support Dining Out for Life, search other neighborhoods here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Smoking burglar; busy car prowlers

In West Seattle Crime Watch:

SMOKING BURGLAR: A Monday burglary, reported to us via text:

We live in the Admiral area by California & Massachusetts St. Our basement was broken into … between noon & 5 pm. The person(s) entered through a window by breaking it with a rock. It appears nothing was taken but they’d smoked three cigarettes and left the cigarette filters on the floor of the basement. The police have been contacted.


This morning my neighbor knocked on my door to let me know that both of our vehicles had been broken into by smashing out the passenger window (in our off street apartment building parking lot.) At least 3 cars were hit at 2500 SW Trenton Street and the police did say there was another location a block away that had a similar problem last night. It happened between midnight and 7:30 AM, but none of us were woken by alarms.

Since receiving A’s e-mail, we also heard from Rich, also at that same complex, who says he was one of “6 or 7” hit overnight.


My SUV was broken into last night between 9 pm – 7 am this morning. Vehicle parked in my driveway and my driveway does have motion lights. Doors were locked but when I was leaving for work this morning I found my all of the doors unlocked and the contents of the storage compartments were laying on the seats and floorboards. No windows were broken nor were the door locks tampered with. I don’t keep anything of value in my car but they did take around $25 in change and a large blue and black CD case with roughly 100 or so CD’s in it. I live in the 9400 block of 13th Ave SW in the Highland Park neighborhood. A police report has been filed.

One last reminder that car prowls and thefts are the spotlight topic at tonight’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, 6:30 pm at the precinct, all welcome.

FOLLOWUP: Rain-or-shine Recycle Roundup scored big

(WSB photo from Sunday)

West Seattleites were clearly not going to let the rain keep them away from the Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church last Sunday. Judy Pickens reports a big haul:

West Seattleites braved Sunday’s downpour to bring 11.5 tons to the spring Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church for responsible recycling by 1 Green Planet. It was one of the largest collections since the church’s green committee started the roundup in 2010. The fall roundup will be Sunday, Sept. 25.

Last fall’s RR brought in 9 tons, following a 10-ton day last spring.

West Seattle development: Arbor Heights proposal for live-work units at 4220 SW 100th

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

From the city files: A new development proposal in the area some call “downtown Arbor Heights.” It’s an early-stage plan for nine live-work units at 4220 SW 100th, the property whose ownership is listed as the West Seattle Church of Christ. It’s zoned NC1-30, which allows commercial/residential development to three stories. The preliminary “site plan” filed last week, by Lemons Architecture, shows three units fronting on California SW, six on SW 100th, with nine surface parking spaces on the north side of the 8,100-square-foot site.

West Seattle Tuesday: Your chances to talk and hear about light rail, car thefts/prowls, international schools … and more

2016-4-22_9957*-Evening Grosbeak M at feeder

Thanks to Trileigh Tucker for the photo – a male Evening Grosbeak who hung around for a while recently at her feeder, snacking on sunflower seeds. You’ll need fortification for the big day/night ahead too. From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and our inbox:

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS & DUAL-LANGUAGE EDUCATION: What’s the future of those programs in Seattle Public Schools? A task force will be convened soon. Community conversation starts now. A 6 pm meeting at Chief Sealth International High School (one of three SPS “international schools” in our area of the city) will be preceded by a 4:30-6 pm event about what’s happening at CSIHS – details in our preview, including the questions to think about for the meeting discussion. (2600 SW Thistle)

MURRAY CSO CONTROL PROJECT INFO BOOTH: 5-7 pm, outside the site of the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project across from Lowman Beach, visit the one-night-only info booth to ask questions and get updates about the project. (7000 block Beach Drive SW)

SOUND TRANSIT 3/METRO LONG-RANGE-PLAN MEETING: 5:30-7:30 pm, with presentations about the Sound Transit 3 draft plan – including light rail proposed for West Seattle – and the Metro Long-Range Plan, starting at 6:

Join Sound Transit and King County Metro for an open house about the future of mass transit in our region. Sound Transit is seeking public input on the ST3 draft plan, and King County Metro is seeking public feedback on its Long Range Plan. Attend to hear presentations, learn more about the plans and leave your feedback.

At West Seattle High School. (3000 California SW)

FIRST CONCERT OF SPRING: 6 pm in the Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium, it’s the West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ first concert of spring – including a world-premiere performance! More info in our calendar listing. (2600 SW Thistle)

WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORK: 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct, all welcome, Block Watch captain (or even participant) status NOT required. Special guest, SPD Det. Scotty Bach, talking about auto theft and car prowls. (2300 SW Webster)

FREE SHOWING OF ‘SCREENAGERS’: 7 pm, as part of their free parent-education programs, the South Seattle College Cooperative Preschools invite you to a screening of “Screenagers,” about how to deal with kids/teens’ screentime and its effect on their lives and health. In the West Seattle High School Theater. (3000 California SW)

FIND OUT WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING by checking out our complete calendar.

HAPPENING NOW: Seattle Fire training at 50th and Hudson


9:45 AM: Thanks for the texted tip! Seattle Fire has a major training operation at a to-be-demolished house at 50th and Hudson [map] – house-fire practice for recruits – and will be there every day for the rest of the week. Nearby residents have been notified but this will catch the eyes of many passersby, because Hudson in that area leads to Jacobsen Road, which many drivers, walkers, runners, and riders take to get to and from Beach Drive, south of Me-Kwa-Mooks and Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook.


A hydrant is running for the training, and we’ve already received brown-water reports as a result. SFD says people are welcome to watch “from a safe distance”; while the trainees were being briefed, early spectators including a mom and toddler were watching from the south side of Hudson, and a firefighter came over to offer a sticker.


If you’re planning to use that route to and from Jacobsen, please slow down, multiple SFD vehicles are in the area for the training. We’ll be going back over for a closer look at what they’re doing, and will update. (We last covered this kind of trainee operation back in 2013 before the Beach Drive residential-building demolitions for the Murray CSO project.)

11:35 AM: When we went back, the first training fire was under way:



TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday watch; 3 days until Viaduct closure

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:59 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far. Two reminders: Day 2 of the southbound 26th SW repairs between Barton and Roxbury; three days until the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s two-weeks-or-so closure.

TONIGHT: One month after Sound Transit announced its draft plan for a ballot measure this fall laying out its 25-year vision, including light rail to West Seattle in 2033, it’s the official West Seattle meeting for info and feedback, 5:30-7 pm at West Seattle HS (3000 California SW), with Metro’s Long-Range Plan also on the agenda. (Presentations at 6 pm.)

7:21 AM: Big response for a crash at West Marginal Way South and South Holden, which is the vicinity of the freeway entrance between West Seattle and South Park that gets you to the northbound 1st Avenue S. Bridge.

7:27 AM: The response has just been scaled back. We’re en route to check on if and how it’s affecting traffic in the area.

8 AM: It’s blocking a northbound turn lane to South Park from W. Marginal, but traffic’s getting around in all directions with SPD help:


SFD is leaving. We’re told at the scene that no one needed to be taken to the hospital.

8:18 AM: Two issues right now: A crash on the northbound 1st Avenue South Bridge, and a medic response on NB I-5 in the Convention Center vicinity.

8:30 AM: 509 seems to be the trouble magnet right now. Police are checking out a reported vehicle crash or stall at Olson/1st (the hill to/from 509).

9:16 AM: The I-5 backup is reported to be 7 miles. A texter says the EB West Seattle Bridge is backed up to 35th. The incidents on 99/509 further south are reported to have cleared.

PHOTOS: See what the tunneling machine’s done so far, before its Via-dive

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)

Before the Highway 99 tunneling machine starts its dive beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct, closing it for two weeks or so starting early Friday, WSDOT gave local news media one more chance for a look inside what’s been done so far. Christopher Boffoli was there for WSB.


Monday afternoon’s hour-long tour was his first visit to the tunnel in more than a year and a half, since September 2014 (see his report here), nine months after the machine stalled (eventually restarting just before last Christmas).


This time, tour participants were NOT taken up to the tunneling machine, which has gone 1,560 feet so far.


The trip to get beneath and clear of the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be almost exactly a fourth of that distance, 385 feet.


While WSDOT promises online progress reports at least once a day once the tunneling machine is on its way, it also is warning not to expect much at the start – the one-sheet given to those on today’s news-media tour says contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners told WSDOT that “mining will be SLOW at first” as the first 10 feet will go through the protective concrete block built at “Safe Haven 3” where the machine has been stopped for six weeks.


More tunnel facts: 232 tunnel rings, each weighing 10 tons, are installed so far; reaching the end of the planned tunnel route will require about 1,450 of those rings.


Christopher says today’s tour “was much more limited than the last one” (the September 2014 tour mentions above) – “this time we were simply walked down to the end of the tunnel and taken about midway under the machine (into the area where all of the trailing gear brings the concrete sections forward for placement) and then were walked back out.”


By the way, WSDOT has completed 400 feet of roadway inside the 1,560 feet of tunnel that’s done so far.


We don’t know yet exactly what time The Viaduct will be shut down on Friday morning – WSDOT says it depends on when Seattle Tunnel Partners are ready to start up the machine. But the plan is for it to be long before the morning commute. If you still haven’t figured out how you’re going to get around without The Viaduct, find all the closure-related info at

BASEBALL: ‘Battle in West Seattle’ between WSHS and Sealth

042516 - Nathan

Exciting baseball game this afternoon as West Seattle High School hosted Chief Sealth International High School. Caryn Johnson, who’s been reporting on the Wildcats throughout the season, tells the story of their faceoff with the Seahawks:

A crosstown rivalry transpired this afternoon at Hiawatha Field between West Seattle and Sealth. Many West Seattleites came out on a sunny but chilly day to watch the “Battle in West Seattle.” It was a pitchers’ duel between Carson Wright for West Side and Nik Turcinec for Sealth.

The score remained very close through 5 innings with a score of 2-1, Sealth leading. Top of the 6th, Sealth would tack on two more insurance runs and West Seattle would answer with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Carson was able to complete the game, pitching through the 7th inning and not giving up any further scores.

Then it was a do or die for the Wildcats in the bottom of the 7th. Jack Page would start off with a single before a pitching change was made by Sealth. Senior Jamie Maples would come to the plate and hit a ground-rule double into center field. Senior Morgan McCullough would then be intentionally walked to load the bases.

Next batter to the plate would be sophomore Anthony Coats, who sent a deep sacrifice fly ball to center field to score Jack from third, and advance Jamie. Junior Andrew Burggraff would be next up to bat, during which the Sealth pitcher would be called on a balk to bring Jamie home and tie up the game. Burggraff would eventually draw a walk after a 9-pitch at bat to load the bases again. Then Senior Nathan Johnson [top photo] walked to the plate with one out. He would drop a slow roller by the pitcher that would allow Morgan to score the winning run from third. Nathan was immediately mobbed in the right field by his celebrating teammates.

In the end, West Seattle would come out on top, 5-4. Do we expect anything less from these two teams??? It was a great afternoon of baseball and to see so many come out and cheer on all of the locals was inspiring. This was the last home game for the West Seattle Seniors and they did not disappoint.

Final WSHS game of the regular season is on Wednesday against Seattle Prep at Steve Cox Field in White Center, at 3:30.

Wednesday is also when Sealth plays its last home game, 4 pm vs. Cleveland at Southwest Athletic Complex.

Remembering Lola Sugia Tebelman, 1925-2016

Family and friends are remembering Lola Sugia Tebelman, who also touched many lives with her music:

Lola Sugia Tebelman, 90, died peacefully April 19, 2016 at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle.

Lola was born July 17, 1925, in Seattle, to Assunta and Philip Sugia. She attended Franklin High School and at an early age began a career as a vocalist in many prominent Northwest bands, orchestras, and jazz combos. (Her 1960 45-rpm record “Blue Tears/ Weathervane” was recorded at the West Seattle home studio of Seattle’s then-top audio engineer, Joe Boles, on Admiral Way in West Seattle.)

In later years, she attended business school and worked at the University of Washington until she retired.

Lola touched many lives with her presence, her creativity, her talent and her love of family. She enjoyed opera, jazz and classical music, fine arts, gardening, Italian cooking, journalism, reading non-fiction, writing plays, stories, and lyrics. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought a special joy to her life!

She is survived by her two daughters, Maia Santell and Pamela Tebelman; her granddaughters, Mikela Aramburu, Gina Aramburu, and Lisa Tebelman; two great-granddaughters; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.

At her request no service will be held. Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 97353, Tacoma, WA 98497.

In lieu of flowers, to honor Lola’s end-of life wishes, a memorial-gift donation to Seattle Area Feline Rescue would be a lovely expression, as she was an avid cat lover and animal-rights activist.

Please share memories and condolences on our online guestbook for Lola.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

TOMORROW: Chief Sealth IHS hosts district meeting on International Schools’ future

April 25, 2016 8:23 pm
|    Comments Off on TOMORROW: Chief Sealth IHS hosts district meeting on International Schools’ future
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Our area has three of Seattle Public Schools‘ International Schools – Chief Sealth International High School, Denny International Middle School, and Concord International (Elementary) School. The district is convening a series of conversations about international education‘s future, starting with a meeting 6-7:30 pm at Sealth tomorrow night, following a chance to learn more about programs there, as explained in the announcement:

Come early (between 4:30 and 6:00 pm) to enjoy Chinese refreshments and celebrate the unveiling of the Chief Sealth International High School Confucius Classroom. You’ll have a chance to hear from the group of Chief Sealth students and teachers who just returned from a visit to their sister school, Nankai Secondary School in Chongqing, China. This type of sister school relationship is something we want to strongly foster in our International Schools.

From 4:30-6:00 pm there will also be tables and displays:

• Denny and Chief Sealth’s unique middle and high school Dual Language Immersion Continuation program for Spanish, featuring two periods a day with Spanish Language Arts and Social Studies, including Global Leadership classes, and starting this fall, AP Spanish for 9th grade students (as well as IB courses in 11th and 12th grade).

• Chief Sealth’s robust Japanese language program and extensive cultural exchange opportunities.

• Displays on global education initiatives, such as World Water Week, the Global Issues Network Conference, Mariachi Education, Bog to Bay project.

Agenda for the Community Meeting

6:00: Arrival in the library. Greetings from International Schools Principals and International Education Administrator

6:10: Remembering the Past

• John Stanford’s dream (everyone a language learner)
• Research on the effectiveness of Dual Language Immersion
• Asia Society’s work in International Education/Global Competence

6:20: Understanding the Present

• 3 Pathways in 3 regions
• 10 International Schools (5 elementary, 3 middle, 2 high schools)
• Successes
• Challenges

6:30: Imagining the Future

• Options to consider
o Do we sustain current schools/programs?
o Can we expand opportunities?
o Can we streamline the assignment plan models?

6:40: At tables: Explore issues of concern to families in the SW region of Seattle


1. Should the district continue to support the work of International Schools / Dual Language Immersion programs?

2. Should the district support the expansion of elementary Dual Language Immersion in the SW region as a gap-closing strategy?

3. If Dual Language Immersion is expanded in SW, what language(s) should be offered and why?

7:00-7:30: Share out and next steps

Chief Sealth IHS is at 2600 SW Thistle.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Bereaved family hit by burglary; Junction gunfire followup

In West Seattle Crime Watch:

GRIEF COMPOUNDED BY CRIME: As if dealing with the death of a loved one wasn’t tough enough, a reader’s family is also dealing with a burglary:

Our mom passed away (last week) and her home was broke into sometime (between Saturday night and Sunday night).

I’ve gone there every day since she died. She had a lot of meds in her house, I’m thinking that’s what they were after, which makes us think whoever did this knows our story. Police came, and were wonderful. They think (the burglar[s]) may have been scared off. Nothing was taken.

The reader just wants people in the area to be aware – this happened in the general Schmitz Park vicinity. P.S. Seems also worth noting that next Saturday is the twice-yearly Drug Takeback Day, 10 am-2 pm April 30th. If for any reason you have no-longer-needed medication, drop it off at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster) front desk, no questions asked.

JUNCTION GUNFIRE FOLLOWUP: Though the incident still isn’t in the publicly accessible online system, we finally got SPD confirmation that gunfire evidence WAS found in the investigation of Sunday morning’s incident in The Junction. We just talked to precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith and he said a report in the SPD system shows that officers recovered three 40-caliber casings in the street in the 4500 block of 42nd SW and noted a “possible bullet hole found on a nearby towing sign.” No one was hurt and no other damage was located, according to the internal report; no suspects were found or arrested, but two vehicles described only as silver and “dark” were seen leaving the area right afterward. Why this information wasn’t in the report checked by the officer with whom we spoke at the precinct yesterday afternoon, he didn’t know. (The incident number, 16-141399, does not currently show anywhere in the publicly accessible system.)

REMINDER – NEXT CRIME PREVENTION/SAFETY MEETING … is tomorrow night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, focusing on car theft and car prowling. 6:30 pm at the precinct – full preview on the WSBWCN website.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Driver hits pole in The Junction, City Light repairs under way


5:09 PM: Thanks to Kyle for the tipCity Light is currently repairing a utility pole on 45th at Oregon in The Junction. We went over to find out more; police tell us a driver had brake trouble and hit the pole, knocking it sideways. With SPD directing traffic, vehicles are getting through the area, but we’d advise avoiding it for a while.

6:25 PM: Just went back to check; scene’s clear now.

2 1/2 days left to register for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2016

April 25, 2016 3:41 pm
|    Comments Off on 2 1/2 days left to register for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2016
 |   Community Garage Sale Day | West Seattle news

Our area’s biggest day of person-to-person recycling is getting closer – Saturday, May 14th, is West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2016. More than 230 sales have signed up already, all over West Seattle, at apartments and houses and townhouses, in garages and carports and courtyards, schools and businesses and retirement centers … and more, with an amazing array of items on sale! As always, we’ll be spotlighting some once registration closes – and as announced last week, that’ll be 11:59 pm this Wednesday (April 27th). To register your sale – please go here.

IMPORTANT – IF YOU’VE REGISTERED BUT DIDN’T GET THROUGH PAYPAL – we still need your payment before we can get you on the map (which we start working on right after closing registration). A few sales show as registered but not paid; if that includes yours, you CAN pay without going through the registration form again – just go to this page to find the direct link to PayPal, which you can use without having to be a member – PP takes credit cards too. (We’re usually able to match the payment to the sale, especially if you use the same e-mail address with which you registered, but if you didn’t, just send us a note to to let us know you paid separately. Same address if you think you paid but didn’t get a separate receipt from PayPal – we can sleuth that too.)

If you’re planning to shop – look for the map and listings, in online and printable versions, one week before WSCGSD, linked/featured here on WSB as well as the official WSCGSD website.

TO SEE AT SEA: Visiting racing yachts to parade in Elliott Bay on Thursday

April 25, 2016 2:14 pm
|    Comments Off on TO SEE AT SEA: Visiting racing yachts to parade in Elliott Bay on Thursday
 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle news

(See full-size PDF here)

Thanks to the WSB reader who tipped us to this recently – we can’t find the original message so can’t credit by name but we did finally get a chance to look up the source info: This Thursday, if you have a view of Elliott Bay toward downtown, you’ll get to see the Clipper 70s racing yachts parading, and then presenting an ocean-racing exhibition, before they head out to the next leg of their round-the-world race. Boaters are invited to join in. That’s set for 1-5 pm Thursday (April 28th) – full details here.

P.S. If you’re interested in touring the yachts before they go, you can do that at Bell Harbor Marina on the downtown waterfront, until 7 pm today and again 11 am-7 pm one last time tomorrow.

West Seattle YMCA about to start work on expansion; groundbreaking celebration announced

festival street image
(Rendering courtesy West Seattle YMCA)

The official groundbreaking celebration has just been announced for June 2nd, but some work for the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) expansion will start in The Triangle in early May. Here’s the official announcement:

The Board and Staff of your West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA invite you to attend a groundbreaking ceremony and celebration on Thursday, June 2, kicking off construction of an expanded West Seattle facility.

Your expanded and renovated West Seattle YMCA will include:

• A dedicated Family Wing with age-appropriate spaces where infants to young teens, can play, connect with peers, explore new activities and develop skills on their way to reaching their full potential.

• More than 9,500 square feet for fitness classes, strength/weight training and cardio equipment – nearly doubling the current space for Y members to be active and stay healthy.

• A new Community Meeting Room where youth, neighbors, service organizations and other groups can gather together to work on local issues, learn new skills and explore shared interests.

• A Healthy Eating Kitchen in the Community Meeting Room, supportingY members and participants, especially youth, to develop healthier eating habits through nutrition and cooking classes and free monthly cooking demonstrations.

• Five new Family Changing Rooms that will allow families of all configurations to privately help each other dress for swim and fitness programs.

• A welcoming new entrance on SW Snoqualmie Street, soon to be designated as a Festival Street that can be closed to cars for special community and Y events.

Funds for the project come from an $8 million capital campaign, with at least $4 million to be raised in the West Seattle community and the remaining funds provided by the YMCA of Greater Seattle. To date, volunteers from the West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA Board have raised $3.7 million locally.

“I’m inspired by the hundreds of generous people who have donated to expand and renovate our Y facility. They believe that the YMCA makes a huge difference in people’s lives, and that as the West Seattle community grows, the Y needs to be there to respond. Thanks to these donors we’ve already exceeded 92% of our local fundraising goal and are ready to go!” said Josh Sutton, Regional Executive Director. The Y expects to serve 3,500 more people with the expanded facility, growing our reach in West Seattle to more than 23,000 individuals each year.

The West Seattle YMCA building will largely remain open during construction, with improvements happening in phases and completion expected by the end of the year. The first phase will launch the week of May 9 when the old Youth Programs Building on the Y property will be torn down. Throughout the project, you’ll find the latest updates, images, construction progress and schedule changes on

The groundbreaking ceremony and celebration will take place from 4:30 to 6:00 pm on the Snoqualmie Street side of the West Seattle YMCA facility. Activities will include a bounce house, a photo booth where you can turn a gold shovel of dirt and wear a hard hat, games, donor recognition and a brief program at 5:00 pm.

TOMORROW: Show your support for West Seattle light rail

In case you’ve missed our multitude of mentions since the Sound Transit 3 “draft plan” was announced one month ago (WSB coverage here) – tomorrow (Tuesday, April 26th) is the one and only Sound Transit public meeting planned in West Seattle before ST comes up with its final plan to send to regional voters in November. A West Seattle light-rail line is in the plan – for 2033. Yes, that’s a long time. But it could be longer, as there is some clamor elsewhere in the city to move it back and move other parts of the draft plan forward. But – it also could be sooner. Whatever you think about it, the more people show up for tomorrow’s 5:30 pm meeting at West Seattle High School, the more of a show of support there is. The latest voice exhorting you to be there is that of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, which just sent this:

Do you want less traffic on the West Seattle Bridge?

If so…come to this meeting on April 26th.

We need Light Rail and we need our voices heard.


Show up and make a HUGE difference.

Tuesday, April 26th at 5:30 pm at West Seattle High School.

The more people who show up for this meeting, the louder our voice is.

The louder our voice is, the more likely we are to get what we need: LIGHT RAIL TO WEST SEATTLE!!!

Just showing up is half the battle.

It’s no substitute for a big showing, but ST is also asking you to fill out the survey you’ll find online at Tomorrow’s meeting, by the way, also includes a presentation about Metro’s Long-Range Plan – that and the ST presentation are at 6 pm, following a half-hour of “open house.” It’s not just a light-rail-yay-or-nay situation, by the way – if you would like to advocate for aspects of the plan, including tunneling or no tunneling, where the West Seattle stations should be, etc., this is the place. See you there.

4 ways to spend your West Seattle Monday night

April 25, 2016 9:46 am
|    Comments Off on 4 ways to spend your West Seattle Monday night
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous


(Red-Breasted Sapsucker, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – four unique events for tonight:

TACO BAR BENEFIT FOR WSHS SOFTBALL: 5-9 pm at Pecado Bueno in The Junction, it’s an all-you-can-eat taco-bar benefit with all proceeds going to the West Seattle High School Booster Club to help the WSHS softball team. $15 adults/$10 kids under 12. (4523 California SW)

SECRETS TO A HEALTHY PREGNANCY & EARLY PARENTHOOD: Free presentation at West Seattle Women’s Health and Midwifery, 5-6:30 pm. Details in our calendar listing, which also includes the number for RSVPing. (4727 44th SW)

TINKERLAB WITH LITTLE BITS: 6-7:30 pm, all-ages drop-in at Delridge Library to invent with LittleBits inventor kits, free, but space is limited. More info in our calendar listing. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT – ABOUT ANXIETY: Parents are invited to a presentation tonight at Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) about dealing with children’s anxiety. Reception at 6:30 pm, presentation at 7, details in our calendar listing. No admission charge, but RSVP is requested – go here. (10015 28th SW)

MORE for today/tonight/beyond … here’s our complete calendar.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates; 4 days until Viaduct closure

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:34 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Work is scheduled to start this morning on southbound 26th SW between Barton and Roxbury. And of course, Friday is the scheduled start of the two-weeks-or-so Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. Details on both, and a few other notes, are here.

9:13 AM: Commenters on the aforementioned story provide reminders of the two big meetings coming up this week related to West Seattle’s potential future light rail – the Sound Transit 3 open house (also featuring the Metro Long-Range Plan) Tuesday, 5:30 pm (presentations at 6) at West Seattle High School (3000 California SW), and the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s meeting focused on ST3, 6:30 pm Thursday at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW).

CONGRATULATIONS! Madison MS Ultimate Frisbee team’s tournament success


Thanks to Parris Sadow for the photo and report:

The Madison Middle School Ultimate Frisbee team took 3rd place in their division at the 2016 Spring Reign tournament this weekend in Burlington, WA. The team had a 3-0 record at the end of day one and entered day two in the winners bracket. They won their first game on day two, but came up just short of making it to the final in their 5th game. A decisive win in game six gave them 3rd place.

A great weekend overall in the rainy and wet conditions. Thanks to the coaches and parents and giant kudos to the players.

GETTING AROUND: What you need to know about the week ahead

Most of the time, after publishing the initial announcement of projects that will at least temporarily affect how you get around, our subsequent reminders are in our weekday Traffic/Transit Today updates, first thing Monday-Friday mornings.

Tonight, we’re thinking an extra reminder is in order, because of the big week ahead. So here goes:


TOMORROW (MONDAY 4/25), 26TH SW BETWEEN ROXBURY AND BARTON: The pummeled pavement panels along this stretch of southbound 26th SW, in sorry shape after the past few years of dramatically increased bus traffic, will be replaced over the next week. The work will start on the south half, between Cambridge and Roxbury, as SDOT’s advisory says, southbound 26th will be closed to all traffic. There are no bus-stop changes, because the southbound side has no stops, but the rerouting to get around it will add a few minutes to trips, Metro says.

ALSO MONDAY: Delays are possible for Fauntleroy/Vashon ferry riders, because one of the two slips on Vashon will close during the day for ongoing work, tomorrow through the end of May. Explanation here.

ONE MORE THING FOR MONDAY: Not West Seattle, but some local commuters might be interested: The Highway 520 floating bridge will open to eastbound traffic early Monday morning, and that completes the phasing-in of the new bridge, both ways.

NOT HAPPENING WEDNESDAY AFTER ALL: If you missed our first word of this on Thursday and the city’s reiteration on Friday, SDOT finally decided to postpone the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-pad-re-replacement work.

(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli from original Fauntleroy Expressway pad-replacement work in 2012)

It WAS supposed to start this Wednesday, with dozens of overnight closures of the west end of the high bridge as well as some lane closures on surface Spokane St., but has now been pushed back until at least mid-May, mostly because of what starts on …

FRIDAY: At some point between midnight and the start of the morning commute on Friday April 29th), WSDOT will close Highway 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and the West Seattle Bridge. As of our last check with WSDOT, spokesperson Laura Newborn told us they have 12:01 am penciled in as the start time until they get a more concise time from contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners as to when they expect to start tunneling toward and under the Alaskan Way Viaduct. All week long, we’ll be taking closer looks at the plans for alternative ways to get around during the closure; if you still have questions about it, we’ll do our best to get answers.

Again, the closure is expected to last “about” two weeks, but it all depends on the progress the tunneling machine makes. That progress is set to be updated online at least once a day. Other closure-related info – detour maps, etc. – is here.

Design Review doubleheader, report #2: 4532 42nd SW gets OK to advance to next phase

(Renderings from design packet, by Clark Design Group)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The tree was off the table.

At the start of the Southwest Design Review Board‘s doubleheader nightcap last Thursday, the third Early Design Guidance review of the mixed-use proposal for 4532 42nd SW, planner Katy Haima made that clear.

She declared that the issue of “tree removal on the site” – referring to what happened after the project’s last meeting in November, with an $11,000 penalty revealed recently – had been “referred to [the city] and had been resolved” and asked participants not to bring it up.

Only one did.

Compared to the lightly attended review at the start of the night (1606 California SW – see our report here), this one had more than a dozen spectators, though most were there to observe and not to comment. All five board members were present for this review – chair Todd Bronk, members Don Caffrey, T. Frick McNamara, Alexandra Moravec, and Matt Zinski.

At meeting’s end, they voted to allow the project to proceed to the second phase of Design Review. Here’s what happened along the way:

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