day : 04/05/2016 11 results

BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY: Alki Elementary’s pedalers

May 4, 2016 11:56 pm
|    Comments Off on BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY: Alki Elementary’s pedalers
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

File May 04, 10 19 03 PM
(Photo by Don Brubeck)

It’s not just the Viaduct closure that’s putting more people on pedals – Wednesday happened to be Bike to School Day, and Alki Elementary students led the way, as usual.

(This photo and next by Terry Kegel)

Not only did they have scenic rides to school, they had a bike rodeo too.


This year, May is being celebrated in our region as Bike Everywhere Month.

ROAD WORK: 30th/Avalon/Yancy crosswalk installation Thursday

Heads up for tomorrow: The last major component of the 30th/Yancy/Avalon/Andover safety project is scheduled for tomorrow, NOT Friday as previously reported: SDOT says the crosswalk striping across Avalon will happen on Thursday, outside peak hours, the contractor promised the city. Pushbuttons for the flashing crossing beacons on both sides of Avalon are scheduled for installation tomorrow, too. The work at this multi-point intersection has been under way for more than a month.

COUNTDOWN: 10 days to West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2016!

May 4, 2016 9:20 pm
|    Comments Off on COUNTDOWN: 10 days to West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2016!
 |   Community Garage Sale Day | West Seattle news

Like lemonade? You’ll find it at more than half a dozen sale sites on West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – now just ten days away.

Into vintage stuff? Lots of that.

Want to make music? One sale promises a piano; another, a pump organ.

Film fan? Old movie posters at one sale.

There are cat toys, dog toys, a saddle, a hand-carved rocking horse, a sale laden with “elephantiana” … Collectors’ items and art from a multitude of nations … Clothes, toys, gear for kids of all ages … Everything but the kitchen sink. Wait, one sale DOES HAVE a kitchen sink. Another will have a small clawfoot tub.

While doublechecking sale listings as our mapmaking process continues, we made notes of some of the most unusual items, and what you see above is still just a fraction … Saturday, May 14th, 9 am-3 pm (with a scattering of sales starting earlier and/or going later), is the big day, all over West Seattle. 330+ sales will be on the map when we publish it here and at this Saturday, one week in advance of sale day. Sellers keep telling us they most enjoy meeting their neighbors; even if you just want to wander around near your neighborhood, you’re likely to have multiple choices. It’s the 12th year for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, ninth year that we at WSB are coordinating and promoting it. One week from Saturday … more countdown info tomorrow!

West Seattle schools: Alki Elementary principal Shannon Hobbs-Beckley leaving after this year

After three years of leading Alki Elementary School, principal Shannon Hobbs-Beckley has just announced she is leaving. Here’s the letter she sent to her school community (thanks to the person who forwarded it):

Three summers ago, I was enjoying the break between school years when I learned of the opportunity to apply for the role of principal at Alki Elementary. I was energized by the possibility of leading a school with highly skilled staff members, successful students and dedicated families, all within my own community. When I joined this school, it was to become a part of Alki. I am forever grateful that I took the risk to apply and that I was chosen as the next leader for the Alki community. Alki Elementary and this community are everything that I imagined; a school comprised of intelligent, innovative and hardworking teachers and staff members; brilliant, creative, joyful and persistent students; and active, informed, committed and supportive parents. It is a place where I feel inspired, challenged and proud.

It is with mixed emotions that I share with you my plan to leave Alki at the end of this school year. I am electing to seize a new and very different leadership opportunity than anything I have done before, either professionally or personally. I have accepted a leadership position at an American School in Brazil. My family and I are moving in mid-July and will begin working and attending school there right away. I am nervously anticipating acclimating to a new school, a new culture, a new language and a new way of life. I am also excited to experience the thrill of lifelong learning, the meaning of global citizenship and to grow as a person and an educator. I will carry each of you with me, in the warm memories of how honored I have been to serve you for the past three years.

As we work together to conclude this school year and lay plans for what lies ahead, I am confident that the Alki community will continue to thrive. We have worked hard to build a school characterized by collaboration, academic excellence, acceptance, compassion and positive outcomes for students. This is a school where staff, students and parents work together for the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of each child. These traditions remain. Your unwavering commitment to the school, students, staff, and to one another will ensure that the mission of success and excellence for all students persists for many years to come.

The process for my replacement will commence immediately, as Alki looks forward to the next school year. We will keep you updated on the hiring process.

Thank you all for your kindness and support.


Shannon Hobbs-Beckley, Principal
Alki Elementary School

Hobbs-Beckley came to Alki from the Kent School District.

GiveBIG, day 2: Donate by midnight!

In case you hadn’t heard, or forgot, the annual GiveBIG donation drive for hundreds of nonprofits was extended through today because of technical glitches with the Seattle Foundation’s new donation software. So this is one last reminder – you have until midnight TONIGHT to give to participating organizations who will then be eligible for added “stretch” dollars. As usual, we made a list of local participants and their special donation links for the event – you’ll find it here.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 6: Afternoon/evening commute coverage for Wednesday

(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)

4:05 PM: No incidents so far but we’re committed to having traffic/transit watch atop the page during peak commute times as the Viaduct closure continues, so here we go for Wednesday afternoon.

5:08 PM: Crash on the 1st Avenue South Bridge – Seattle Fire and Washington State Patrol are on the way. Don’t know which side yet. (Update – here’s the camera view.)

5:24 PM: If you haven’t seen it yet, we did cover today’s multi-department media briefing on how traffic’s going. (Have finally added the video, too.) Bottom line, they’re still urging you to continue whatever changes you’ve made, because they’re helping. And if you take the Water Taxi – consider shifting earlier or later so passenger loads are more spread out. Speaking of which, thanks to Ashley for this photo of the line for the 5:15 from downtown:


5:52 PM: Just in from Jeff Switzer at KCDOT, Water Taxi numbers:

199 riders at 4:45 pm, 221 riders at 5:15 pm

5:58 PM: The “low bridge” has just closed to surface traffic.

6:11 PM: And the bridge has reopened.

7:50 PM: Another tunneling update tonight from WSDOT – 162.5 feet along the under-Viaduct way, getting closer to the halfway mark. Here’s the full evening update, including an overview of pm traffic and transit.

FOLLOWUP: Parks’ work at East Admiral tree-cutting site

(WSB photo)

If you were among the Admiral-area residents who noticed helicopters overhead at midday … no crime, no crash, just TV crews looking for an aerial view of what you see above: As reported here Tuesday, Seattle Parks sent this piece of heavy equipment called a Spyder to the slopes where news of illegal tree-cutting sparked an outcry back in March. As we first heard from City Councilmember Lisa Herbold on Tuesday, Parks decided to send the crew to clear away blackberry overgrowth and look for any further evidence of trees cut beyond the 100+ already estimated, while helping prep the site for “eventual restoration.” Otherwise, the city says the investigation continues; no charges so far. The work is expected to continue tomorrow.

VIDEO: Viaduct closure traffic briefing on Day 6

ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:20 PM: Almost didn’t make it to today’s multi-department briefing on Viaduct-closure traffic … because of the traffic. The bridge was still backed up to the crest at 10:30 am, and 1st Avenue S. was bumper-to-bumper. First highlight, the daily late-morning tunneling update:


149 feet of the 385 to get the machine clear of the underside of the Viaduct. But, Dave Sowers of WSDOT told us and the other media at this morning’s briefing (held as usual on the downtown Water Taxi dock, because of the Viaduct backdrop), they don’t want to predict when they’ll be done with the under-the-Viaduct phase – let alone speculate on whether there’s any chance of finishing that sooner than the “about two weeks” timeframe. The ground remains stable around and over the machine, Sowers said, and everything “looks great.”

(From left, SDOT’s Jon Layzer, Metro’s Victor Obeso, WSDOT’s Dave Sowers)

No Seattle Tunnel Partners rep at this briefing (unlike the one via phone yesterday, which was focused on tunneling), since this was supposed to be about traffic and transit. We asked Victor Obeso from Metro if the afternoon problems headed this way were going to lead to any changes in the southbound routes that have been getting stuck behind trains at Lander. Short answer: No. Longer answer: They’re continuing to monitor and evaluate.

More to come in a bit. We also recorded it all on video so you can watch for yourself once we have it uploaded. (UPDATE: Here’s the video:)

ADDED 1:36 PM: Other toplines – unlike the Water Taxi, where passengers can be very precisely counted, other modes of travel can only estimate trends since the closure began. Bus usage in general is estimated to be up a single-digit percentage overall, Metro says, but they ran more than 70 extra trips the first three days. Sound Transit, 10 percent for light rail, 15 percent for Sounder trains. Something else that’s up: Jon Layzer of SDOT noted a big increase in “blocking incidents,” although deployment of Incident Response Teams and other people to help clear them has been helpful.

Anything they’ve learned so far that will be kept post-closure? he was asked. While he didn’t commit to anything, he did promise they would have an “after-action report” to look at such things.

Beachfront park or beachfront house? Public meeting set for 8923 Fauntleroy Way

IMG_2979 (1)
(WSB photo from last month)

11:02 AM: Three weeks ago, much discussion was sparked by our report on the potential fate of a beachfront house just north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock and community-maintained Cove Park. A Seattle Parks rep had come to the monthly meeting of the Fauntleroy Community Association (which we routinely cover) to talk about a potential decision ahead: The house, purchased by the county for office and staging use during the now-concluded Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project, might be available to the city “almost free” in a trade involving right of way. Chip Nevins from Parks’ acquisition division promised there would be a community meeting before any decision was made. And today, we’ve confirmed that public meeting is set for Tuesday, May 24th, 6:30 pm, at The Hall at Fauntleroy (south end of historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, at 9131 California SW).

Even before confirming the meeting plan today with Parks – which says a formal announcement will go out later today – we got early word of it from neighbor Claudia, who has created a website about the site and the impending decision.

4:18 PM: Here’s the text of the official Parks flyer for the meeting, which we just received:

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to learn about the opportunity, and first step in a process, to expand Cove Park through a land swap with King County. This property, 8923 Fauntleroy Way SW, with 35 feet of beacjfront property, is immediately to the north of Cove Park in West Seattle, which lies just to the north of the Fauntleroy Ferry dock. Seattle Parks and Recreation planner, Chip Nevins, will present the proposed project, answer questions and gather community input about the proposed trade.

In 2015 King County Wastewater Treatment Division finished the upgrade to the Barton Pump Station,
next to the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal, to accommodate West Seattle’s growing population. As part of the
construction of the new pump station, King County acquired the property just to the north of SW Barton
Street, which was used as their temporary construction offices. Now that the project is finished, King
County no longer needs the property and is proposing to trade it to the City in exchange for the vacation of the portion of the SW Barton Street right-of-way where the pump station is constructed.

Chip Nevins presented this idea to the Fauntleroy Community Association in April. Seattle Parks and
Recreation encourages the community to come to this meeting and learn about the proposal.

VIDEO: West Seattle Chamber’s 2016 Westside Awards honor C & P Coffee, HomeStreet Bank, WS Helpline, Dave Montoure


By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

From celebratory words about community, to concerns about the current city leadership’s attitudes toward business, much was said at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual Westside Awards breakfast, held this morning at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) on the downtown-facing waterfront.

(Evening update: Video clips and photos added, below)

Board chair Elizabeth Pluhta opened by explaining how the Chamber works to support local organizations. She works at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), which with 1,000+ employees, she pointed out, is the largest employer in West Seattle. Attendees also heard from Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis.

Elected officials in attendance included City Councilmember Lisa Herbold and Port Commissioners Stephanie Bowman and John Creighton.

Those who were introduced started with the Business of the Year, C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), “sort of a landmark in West Seattle” as described by Nancy Woodland from WestSide Baby (which has a year-round diaper drive at C&P) in her introduction.

Read More

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 6: Wednesday morning traffic/transit coverage

(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)

5:05 AM: Good morning! It’s the sixth day of the two-weeks-or-so Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. The state is now posting early-morning tunneling updates as well as late-morning and mid-evening, and as of this morning, the tunneling machine has gone 148 feet of the 380-foot stretch that will get it clear of the Viaduct’s underside.

If you are using the Water Taxi this morning, and driving to Seacrest, you have a new reason to try the Pier 2 parking, which still hasn’t been even half-utilized – there’s an added no-parking zone in the area, on the inland side of the street across from Don Armeni, ~20 or so spaces off-limits 8 am-5 pm for the next three weekdays for utility-related work on the project that’ll be at the ex-Alki Tavern site. There’s also a morning event in the area – the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual awards breakfast bringing ~200 to Salty’s (WSB sponsor).

5:32 AM: So far this morning, no incidents, and the bridges/roads are still relatively quiet. Transportation authorities are hoping you’re not going back to your regular departure time – stretching the commute across a wider timespan is key to getting through the closure period.

6:07 AM: Trouble on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry run – from WSF, “The 5:45 am sailing from Vashon (was) cancelled due to a shortage of Coast Guard documented crew. Replacements have been dispatched. The Issaquah will resume service with a late 6:10 am sailing from Fauntleroy.”

6:15 AM: The high bridge is all brake lights, as the camera view above shows.

6:20 AM: We’re checking in on the Water Taxi again this morning – here’s the first run leaving Seacrest:


95 passengers on this run (the 6:15 to downtown).

6:31 AM: If you’re using surface streets to head to the north side of downtown or beyond, be forewarned there’s a big fire response on 1st Avenue in Belltown (at Lenora) right now. (update) The call has been updated to Western/Lenora, where Western is closed off right now for the SFD response.

6:51 AM: 156 on the second Water Taxi run, up from 144 yesterday, but still leaving with 100+ empty seats. The bridge remains jammed. See the comments for some early bus reports. And if you have a question about how things are going traffic/transit-wise – please comment, or e-mail us at – we’re going to this morning’s 11 am briefing downtown with reps from all the key departments and we’ll do our best to get an answer.

7:11 AM: Update on the Harbor Avenue parking situation mentioned earlier – Just heard from West Seattle architect Tim Rhodes, our contact on the project in the 1300 block Harbor, with whom we spoke yesterday after local resident Carolyn pointed out the new no-parking signs. He says, “Our project has agreed with SDOT to hold on the required utility investigation work on the west side of Harbor Avenue and do the work on weekends for the time being to lessen any impacts to the the street parking. We know that this will help the neighborhood with parking during this difficult viaduct closure.”

7:16 AM: Weather update – a little bit of drizzle.

7:38 AM: Admiral Way update from Jeff via Twitter:

Water Taxi update – 218 passengers on the 7:15 run.

7:48 AM: 159 on the 7:45 West Seattle-to-downtown Water Taxi run, substantially down from yesterday. Sorry we missed the alert on the low-bridge closure – according to @SDOTBridges (which remains linked atop this story so you can check it directly), it was closed to surface traffic 7:31-7:45 am.

8:16 AM: Washington State Ferries warns that Issaquah, on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run, is still half an hour behind. You can check on it via Vessel Watch. Meantime, as you can see in the cameras we feature above (refresh the page any time for the newest image), 1st and 4th are about as busy as the bridge. If you can go to work much earlier than usual, you’re probably in the best position to beat the jams until the Viaduct closure is over.

9:26 AM: The low bridge has closed to surface traffic.

9:39 AM: And now it’s open (to surface traffic) again.