West Seattle, Washington
(Thanks to Brian Presser of TouchTech Systems for the Junction snow photo)
8:58 PM: While we’ve had reports of flakes here and there for more than an hour, only now is it starting to get a bit more serious, so we’re launching tonight’s snow coverage to see how long it lasts and what the forecasters have to say.
Photos appreciated – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks! For now, the official alert level remains “Winter Weather Advisory,” in effect until 8 am Friday.
9:27 PM: Snowiest traffic camera so far is the one at the Fauntleroy ferry dock – the screengrab is from a few minutes ago. And Thomas Starks just sent this video from Alki:
WSB’s Christopher Boffoli caught the snowfall between Admiral and Alaska Junctions:
Here’s the newest National Weather Service “forecast discussion,” saying this is playing out pretty much as they had expected, and that it’s still due to change over to rain. Then a few days down the road – there’s the chance of more Sunday/Monday, per the NWS.
9:54 PM: From Twitter:
— Fe Lopez (@FeLo0679) December 9, 2016
— Stephanie Arthur (@WSeattleSteph) December 9, 2016
Generally SPS won’t make a decision until early morning – we will of course be keeping watch for that. In the meantime, you can watch snow in the streetlights on the bridges via the “live video” links from West Seattle at the lower right of the city’s travelers-info map. In The Junction, for example, snow’s sticking on the road – just grabbed this traffic-cam view:
10:25 PM: 911 log has a report of wires down at Fauntleroy/Trenton. You can see emergency lights in this screengrab from the nearest traffic cam:
Not far away, from Tamsen Spengler of the West Seattle Timebank, a pastoral scene northeast of Morgan Junction:
10:36 PM: Metro just announced it has some buses on snow routes, including some West Seattle/White Center-area routes.
10:55 PM: Be extra careful if you’re going out – sledding is under way on some hills:
That video was sent by Cynthia.
1:43 AM South Seattle College has announced a delayed opening today – 10 am.
5:30 AM: And Seattle Public Schools are running late too – 2-hour delay. We’re starting a morning weather/traffic/schools story next.
ADDED: A few more photos shared by WSB readers overnight. From David Williams, the “Nightmare on 45th” yard turned into a Snowmare:
From Donna @ 49th/Dawson:
Photos by Christopher Boffoli for West Seattle Blog
Two years after ceremonial groundbreaking launched construction of The Whittaker – West Seattle’s biggest mixed-use project ever – its first building at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW is officially open, with a ribboncutting celebration today, including namesake Jim Whittaker, the West Seattle native who made history on Mount Everest. The lobby displays a photo of him on Everest in 1963:
Whittaker’s partner Dianne Roberts told Christopher that they still have the ice axe and flags in the iconic photograph, as well as the camera used to shoot it. She said that the clothes he was wearing in the photo are now on display at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, Colorado.
The ribboncutting marked the fact that residents are moving into the south building this month, and will follow in the north building next spring. Property manager Ashlie Quon of Windsor Communities told WSB’s Christopher Boffoli that the South building has 129 units complete and open, 39 of which are leased so far.
Art for the site was commissioned from West Seattleite Troy Pillow – who also created the new kinetic sculpture in Junction Plaza Park. Some of his work is up outside the south entry:
The lobby sections open today feature sitting areas with gas fireplaces, a “wine room” upstairs with a function area with a small kitchen just off it for events, a mailroom, and a separate package room.
The large, open lobby features reclaimed wood throughout and a suspended Douglas Fir staircase (which leads up to the wine room/function area. That’s where some of today’s speeches took place.
While the residential units are opening, the commercial tenants won’t start to open until next year. So far, as we reported last summer, they include – besides anchor tenant Whole Foods Market, taking the retail space in the north building – BECU, City MD, MOD Pizza, and T-Mobile.
West Seattle Chamber of Commerce CEO Lynn Dennis, among today’s speakers, said, “The Whittaker represents an example of creating density while preserving green spaces and celebrating the real character of West Seattle.” Jim Whittaker spoke too, saying he felt “lucky” to be born in West Seattle and that the new building was marvelous and he was delighted to be on hand for the opening.
Thanks for the tips about a water break at 11th and Barton in Highland Park. We just talked with Andy Ryan from Seattle Public Utilities. He says an eight-inch main is broken; they don’t know yet how the break happened but they first heard about it just after 4 this afternoon. 37 customers are affected. Crews are on the scene, but there’s no estimate of how long it’ll take to get it fixed.
While the Highway 99 tunneling machine hasn’t made much news lately, it’s continuing to dig steadily along, says WSDOT. Their latest twice-weekly update, published this afternoon, says it’s more than two-thirds of the way down the route – 6,337 of 9,270 feet. It’s already gone past the deepest point on the route and is starting to climb back toward the surface, currently in the zone beneath Belltown. The current estimated opening date remains early 2019, and as noted in this tweet, Viaduct demolition would follow over much of the rest of that year.
Nine months after the Southwest Seattle Historical Society launched its campaign to get city-landmark status for two buildings in the heart of The Junction, a hearing date is set for the first one to be considered, the Hamm Building on the northwest corner of California/Alaska, where Easy Street Records is the anchor tenant. Here’s the official announcement from the city today, explaining how you can comment:
Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the Crescent-Hamm Building at 4302 SW Alaska Street/4559 California Avenue SW on Wednesday, January 4 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, Floor L2) in the Boards and Commissions Room L2-80.
The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following mailing address by 3:00 p.m. on January 3, 2017:
Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649
A copy of the Landmark Nomination is available for public review at the West Seattle Branch Library, 2306 42nd Avenue SW (206-684-7444), and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ office in Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor (206-684-0228). It is also posted on the Department of Neighborhoods website, under the heading of “Current Nominations,” or you can view it here (PDF).
The landmark nominations for the Hamm and Campbell Buildings were officially submitted in September. No date is set yet for consideration of the Campbell Building. Despite its place in West Seattle history, The Junction currently has no city-designated landmarks – the nearest one is the old utility building at Dakota Place Park. You can find a list and map of all city landmarks here, along with more information about the designation process.
The Whale Trail‘s Donna Sandstrom sends early warning that orcas might be swimming southbound off West Seattle before sunset. She reports that Orca Network‘s Kersti Muul reported them off Richmond Beach, and so she’ll be looking northward from Alki starting around 3 pm. Just an early alert since the weather’s good – for now! – and we have about two more hours of light.
That tree on the water side of the Alki Bathhouse isn’t a Christmas tree but rather a memorial tree. Relatives and friends of Joel Eggert (photo at right), the 46-year-old West Seattleite who died after his motorcycle crashed in Highland Park early Sunday, e-mailed to tell us about it. It’s there with Parks Department permission, and, according to Tonia, “People are encouraged to place notes and mementoes to remember Joel.” Stephanie says, “Tomorrow night at 3:30 pm there will be a sunset gathering for him and moment of silence.” And Mr. Eggert’s sister Stacey e-mailed to share the news of the crowdfunding account for his children. She says Mr. Eggert’s last wish is being fulfilled – donating his organs to save others. Plans for an official memorial event are in the works, we’ve also learned, and we’re expecting an update on that soon.
10:59 AM: It’s midmorning and that means the National Weather Service is out with its newest “forecast discussion.” The outlook right now, the NWS says, is for snow tonight, but not for long: “A front will reach the area this evening. With cold air in place, the precipitation will be snow, then turning to rain by daybreak for most areas,” at least an inch before the switch. Read the full outlook here.
7:23 PM: We’re hearing reports of some flake sightings in West Seattle. If and when it starts to get significant, we’ll launch new coverage.
First, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:
BOOK FAIR AT GATEWOOD: The community is invited:
The Gatewood Elementary Winter Book Fair is happening now! All of our students (K-5) have worked very hard in Ms. Rachel’s art class to create beautiful artwork for our winter theme inspired by the book The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski.
The book fair is an important event at Gatewood that promotes literacy and the excitement of reading by bringing in a vast selection of books that kids want to read. Not only does the fair help to inspire a real culture of reading, but it also raises necessary funds to support our library program.
Community members are welcome to come shop at the fair. We accept cash, checks and credit.
Today – Until 4 pm, and again 5:30 pm-7:30 pm.
Friday – 7:15 am to 12:15 pm
(4320 SW Myrtle)
ARTS & CRAFTS AT LAFAYETTE: Shop a selection of goods made by both students and adults! Lafayette Elementary is hosting an Art Show and Craft Fair at the school from 5-8 pm. (California/Lander)
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Holiday edition!, 6-9 pm. Check wsartwalk.com for artists/venues.
SHOP LATE THURSDAY: Many West Seattle Junction merchants are open late!
And from the year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FAMILY STORY TIME: 10:30 am, bring the kid(s) to Southwest Library for stories, rhymes, and songs. (35th SW/SW Henderson)
PRESCHOOL ART CLASS: 11:30 am at Delridge Library – details in our calendar listing. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
UPTON FLATS INFORMATIONAL MEETING: 3:30-4:30 pm at High Point Community Center, the developers of High Point’s future Upton Flats mixed-use project are having an informational meeting for community members with questions. Site work is expected to start soon, according to the notice a resident shared with us. (6920 34th SW)
RAVEN’S NEST WEST GRAND OPENING: As previewed here on Wednesday, tonight is the official grand opening of this new shop and art gallery in The Junction, during WS Art Walk, 6-9 pm. (4557 Glenn Way)
STANDING ROCK BENEFIT: Annie O’Neill & Amy Denio, tonight at Whisky West, 8-10 pm. (6451 California SW)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:02 AM: Good morning! Cold but no snow this morning – that’s expected later today.
One outbound-commute problem: A crash backing up northbound I-5:
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) December 8, 2016
LOW-BRIDGE ALERT: For drivers and riders, this is something of a reverse alert – the low bridge will NOT be opening for marine traffic between approximately 8 am and noon today, because of maintenance that SDOT announced a few weeks ago. They say it will NOT affect vehicle traffic.
7:22 AM: Two lanes have reopened at the scene of the I-5 crash, but WSDOT says one is still blocked and backups are big.
7:56 AM: The scene is clear but the backups aren’t.