West Seattle, Washington
The second week of overnight West Seattle Bridge closures is under way for the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-safety-cushion re-replacement project, and if you’ll be heading eastbound before 5 am, you should be aware of a change in the detour plan, in case you missed our reminder this morning. The best way to get to the bridge tonight, and likely Monday night too, is via Delridge, because the onramp from Avalon is closed, with traffic being detoured to the next onramp, by Fire Station 36. That’s made for slow going on eastbound Spokane under the bridge again tonight, and some backup on bridge-bound Avalon. We asked SDOT’s Paul Elliott at week’s end about the change, since previously, only the 35th/Fauntleroy onramp was announced for closure, and he explained that the contractor decided to accelerate work to re-replace the earthquake-safety cushions under the ramp as well as the main section of the bridge. So tonight and tomorrow overnight:
-35th/Fauntleroy, Avalon-to-Spokane ramps closed – Delridge is best bet to get on EB bridge
-If headed westbound, you’ll have to exit at Delridge
Closures will continue TFN Sunday through Thursday nights, 9 pm-5 am unless there’s a major stadium event, in which case (as happened last Wednesday when Beyoncé was at CenturyLink Field) the closure won’t start until after 11 pm.
Over the next three days, thousands of students in the Northwest will learn about our region’s endangered orcas via a field trip of sorts – an educational program taking them by satellite to a prime orca-watching spot in the San Juans. Leading the way, West Seattleite Jeff Hogan‘s Killer Whale Tales program. Here’s the announcement:
Nearly 3,000 students in grades 2-7 will join Washington State Parks Foundation (WSPF) and Killer Whale Tales at Lime Kiln Point State Park on May 23-25 for Journey to the Parks: Songs of the Salish Sea, where the stars of the show will be the endangered Southern Resident killer whales which return this time of year to regularly swim by the park. Lime Kiln Point is known as one of the best places anywhere to see orca from land, and programs will include a tour by Friends of Lime Kiln Society (FOLKS).
These three days of live whale educational programming in classrooms will be connected via satellite with student in Washington, Oregon and Alaska, Idaho, Wisconsin and Montana and a special “whale chat” RSS feed will enable written questions and feedback between the students and presenters. This amazing technology and coordination is provided by Inspired Classroom, Polycom, GCI Education, Vision Net and Alter Enterprise. The program will allow students to learn about orca and to identify different Puget Sound orca pods based on recordings. Students will also learn the tools and methods of a whale biologist, and find answers to their questions about whales using science-based thinking. Nothing like this educational event has ever been attempted in Washington state parks before.
“Each May we mark the return of the resident orcas to San Juan Island, but this May is even more special because it marks the expansion of WSPF educational programming to connect more kids and families with state parks across the state. Washington State Parks offer an embarrassment of riches for the outdoor lover and they are firmly embedded in our identity through northwest history, culture and personal experience. Interpretive opportunities like the orca program, shared with kids from under resourced communities in classrooms throughout the Pacific northwest, invite people in the region to visit and connect with parks on a deeper level,” explained John Floberg, Executive Director of WSPF.
Jeff Hogan, Executive Director of Killer Whale Tales, is an educator and a research associate with NOAA Fisheries and the Cascadia Research Collective and teaches thousands of kids each year as he visits classrooms along the west coast. This year Jeff is thrilled to be able to take his program to almost 3,000 kids in three days and to be able to interact with them live over satellite. “I am excited to work with students across the region to connect them with these fascinating and iconic animals, especially students located in cities and towns who have less opportunity for visiting the park,” said Hogan.
This three-day program is grant-funded. Look for updates here.
P.S. We asked Jeff for more information about the participating schools. His reply: “In Washington, there will be 15 elementary schools located in 11 cities that will participate. They include: Bellevue, Bothell, Federal Way, Montesano, Seattle, Silverdale, Spokane, Tacoma, Woodinville and Yakima. Public, private and parochial schools are involved. Another 15 schools in AK, OR, ID, MT, WI and NY will participate. These students live in places such as rural Alaskan communities in the Yukon and Kodiak Island as well as cities like Klamath Falls, Oregon, Couer d’Alene, Idaho and Missoula, Montana. Beyond the NW, children in New York City and a small village called Turtle Lake in Wisconsin will get to learn about and experience the wonders of orcas and specialness of Lime Kiln Point State Park on San Juan Island.”
Thanks to Mike for the tip about the fire/police response at 53rd and Alki: We’ve confirmed with police at the scene that a car and motorcycle collided, and the motorcycle rider was hurt – not major injuries, though, and the rider is going to the hospital via private ambulance.
We don’t have details on circumstances – but Mike says witnesses were reporting that the driver made a U-turn in front of the rider, who couldn’t stop in time. Police were awaiting a tow before clearing the scene.
From Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, word of two ways you can help care for West Seattle shores and the creatures who share the beaches and waters with us – first, an announcement, second, a reminder:
Seal Sitters and the Alki Community Council will be co-sponsoring the “Sentinels of the Sound” beach cleanup at Alki Beach on Saturday, June 4th, 10 am-noon. There will be a very low tide that day, enabling access to a wide stretch of beach to remove dangerous debris. The adjacent sidewalks and street will also be scoured for trash – it is estimated that up to 80% of all trash discarded on land ends up as marine debris.
Trash poisons, maims, and kills wildlife. Lend a hand to help keep marine life safe and meet up at the Statue of Liberty Plaza. There will be a brief talk about the dangers of marine trash before dispersing to clean up the area. Last year, volunteers removed an estimated 9,000 toxic cigarette butts in approximately two hours.
Please visit our website for more details and the RSVP link. Volunteers do need to provide gloves and pickup sticks this year, but bags will be available at the sign-in table.
Now, the reminder – Seal Sitters training tomorrow!
Harbor-seal pupping season is on the horizon and Seal Sitters volunteers enable pups to rest safely on our urban beaches. We will be holding a training on Monday evening, May 23rd. There are just a few available spaces left to attend. Please visit the volunteer page of our website for info and to RSVP.
Seal Sitters welcomes volunteers of all ages.
Alki resident Guy Olson says this is his way of extending the spirit of the city “car-free day” celebration that used to follow the West Seattle 5K – he organized a weekend of events dubbed “Alki Daze,” including the costumed bike parade that rolled eastbound down the beach this afternoon, open to all. You’ll see all the riders in our video, above; below, the pre-parade staging revealed bikes of all sizes, including some classics:
Eventually it was time to hop on and ride off:
Host Guy rode in a robe:
Exciting weekend for Denny International Middle School orchestra and band musicians, as reported by principal Jeff Clark:
The Denny International Middle School Senior Band and Orchestra are returning from Idaho today after competing in the Music in the Parks Festival at Silverwood Theme Park. Not only did the Dolphins have a great time, they won first place for both Band and Orchestra in their divisions and overall amongst all schools! Congratulations to our Dolphin musicians and their terrific teachers, Mr. Morales and Mr. MacIntyre! We are proud of you — Go Dolphins!
(UPDATE: If this video won’t play for you, it’s because YouTube blocked it, saying the music the DJ played at the race’s start is copyright-protected. We disputed that on the grounds that news coverage is fair use. Stay tuned!)
FIRST REPORT, 10:21 AM: More than 900 runners and walkers were signed up as of the unofficial count before this morning’s West Seattle 5K on Alki; race director Jeff Mensing expected the final total would pass 1,000.
And while it started under a layer of clouds, there was sunshine by the time most got to the finish line.
First to cross was #440, Nathan McLaughlin, 22, 15:51:
The next 2 across, also male, as listed in the WS5K-provided printout:
Tyler Flannen, 21, 16:15:
Paul Huynh, 24, 16:44
First female across was Megan Hener, 34, 18:00:
Next 2 female runners to finish:
Laura Mickelson, 39, 18:20:
Abigail Sargent, 32, 18:30:
The run/walk is close to the end as we publish this first update; more coverage to come. WSB has co-sponsored the WS5K every year since its start in 2009 – this is year #8!
ADDED 2:11 PM: First, if you haven’t seen your results yet – they’re all here. Now, more photos. WSHS principal Ruth Medsker joined in, of course:
Lots of kids on the course:
And it’s not a race without the proprietors of our area’s only running store, West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor):
Lori and Tim McConnell will be your hosts again this year as WS Runner presents the Float Dodger 5K on July 23rd, right before the West Seattle Grand Parade, this year starting on the track at Hiawatha – registration is open now!
Congratulations to the West Seattle High School track and field athletes who are heading to state after achievements – including new WSHS records – at this week’s district meet. From head coach Will Harrison:
West Seattle HS Track and Field continued a great season at the Sea-King District II Meet, held May 18th and May 20th at Southwest Athletic Complex. The Wildcats qualified ten athletes for the State Championships, and to make it even better, set new school record marks in six events! Here is a list of those qualifiers and new records, along with State rankings:
Maggie Cooper– Pole Vault (No. 12) *New School Record
Natalie Fuller– Long Jump, Triple Jump (No. 7)
Lexi Ioane– Shot Put (No. 6)
Lani Taylor– 100m (No. 2), 200m (No. 2), 400m (No. 1), *New School Records in all three events
Cass Elliott– 110m Hurdles (No. 16) , 300m Hurdles (No. 5)
Chaaka Trahan– 110m Hurdles (No. 2) *New School Record, 300m Hurdles (No. 3), Long Jump (No. 2)
Rylee Farrison, Miles Hairston, Chaaka Trahan, Cass Elliott– 4x400m (No.12), *New School Record
Adam Wayss, John Ursino– 4×400 alternates
The State Championships will be held Thursday, May 26th through Saturday, May 28th, at Mount Tahoma High School.
The Highland Park Improvement Club‘s “Uncorked” wine-tasting fundraiser packed the house last night, for wine-tasting, appetizers, and an auction to raise money for the nonprofit community organization. One item was a subtle reminder of some travails that HPIC’s almost-century-old community-center building at 12th/Holden has encountered this spring:
That art donated to the auction by R. Mac was painted on a piece of the overhang that came down, we’re told. The auction also included some more-conventional items, including these festive baskets:
A major change for this year’s “Uncorked” – instead of it being a sort of wine-tasting potluck, with participants bringing wine to contribute, the wine was provided by local wineries, including the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Northwest Wine Academy:
In our photo are Jessica and Phyllis from the academy; they brought a rosé. (NWA’s spring-release event is coming up June 9th-11th, by the way.)
P.S. This year’s “Uncorked” sponsors again included WSB.
Good morning! What you need to know for your West Seattle Sunday:
TRAFFIC ALERTS: We have two today:
—West Seattle 5K (more on the run/walk below) closes Alki Avenue SW to motor-vehicle traffic for about three hours, approximately 8 am-11 am. Parking restrictions, too.
—Fauntleroy Expressway project resumes tonight, with another 9 pm-5 am closure of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge. We asked SDOT at the end of the week about a change in the announced detour pattern last week, and they confirm it will continue tonight: They are also re-replacing the seismic-cushion pads on an onramp, so the Avalon onramp to the eastbound bridge will be closed and they’ll be detouring traffic under the bridge to the onramp by Fire Station 36. Westbound, you’ll still have to exit by Delridge.
Now, on to what’s happening, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE 5K: Not registered? It’s not too late! Last-minute signups for this run/walk benefiting West Seattle High School, with co-sponsors including WSB, start at 8 am near the start/finish line at 61st SW/Alki SW. Course goes to Anchor/Luna Park and back, in the street, which as mentioned above is closed for the occasion but will reopen once the course is cleared.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in The Junction. Last week, we noticed strawberries and lettuce had arrived. (California SW between Oregon and Alaska)
MEET ‘SEATTLE READS’ AUTHOR: Noon-1:30 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, “come meet Karen Joy Fowler and join in a discussion with the writer and other readers about Fowler’s novel, ‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves’.” Free, but come early to get a space; meeting room will open at 11:30 am. (2306 42nd SW)
MOTHER/DAUGHTER TEA: 1-3 pm at Fauntleroy YMCA. (9140 California SW)
‘ALKI DAZE’ COSTUMED BIKE PARADE: Meet at 1:30 at 63rd/Alki, ride at 2, all welcome. Live music and bicycle parking in the 2600 block of Alki SW after the parade.
ELITE BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU ‘GRAND (RE)OPENING’: 1-4 pm at what’s now Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (WSB sponsor), celebrate its grand reopening with free clinics, eats, specials, and more, as previewed here. (5050 Delridge Way SW)
’42’ SCREENING: 2 pm at High Point Library, come see “42” as “part of the Library’s African American Film Series celebrating black actors, directors and films depicting the African American experience.” Free. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
WEST SEATTLE HI-YU TEA: 2-4:30 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, join Hi-Yu royalty for an afternoon tea that “features sweet and savory treats, a silent auction, and, of course, tea.” It’s a major fundraiser for Hi-Yu, raising money for scholarships and for the city’s last neighborhood-powered traveling parade float. $25/person. (9131 California SW)
INDIE/FOLK MUSIC: 6-9 pm, all-ages show at The Skylark – details here. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
WHAT ELSE IS UP? You’ll find even more listings on our complete calendar.
Thanks to the texter who tipped us about this: City Light is repairing a pole on eastbound Admiral Way near Belvidere right now after a driver hit it in the 5 am hour. Police told us at the scene just now that the driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries; two houses nearby are without power. The aftermath of the crash is blocking one eastbound lane.
Separate from the High Point investigation reported earlier, police are looking into a report that someone was shot earlier tonight in North Delridge. The over-the-air report was that someone had shown up at Harborview with a gunshot wound (how serious, we don’t know, but the victim apparently was conscious) and claimed to have been shot somewhere near where they live, possibly in the Delridge/Alaska vicinity. No other details so far.