West Seattle, Washington
(Six WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
5:59 AM: Good morning! So far, the weather challenges are all OUTSIDE Seattle – just checked outside, and it’s a chilly, light rain, too warm for snow (if you see any in your neighborhood, let us know – 206-293-6302, voice or text). Be mindful of schools reopening today after two weeks’ vacation, so buses are back on the road, students are walking and riding, etc.
6:09 AM: If you use the 1st Avenue South Bridge – SFD and SPD units are headed to a reported crash on northbound Highway 509 just south of the bridge. “Minor injuries” per dispatch.
6:15 AM: It’s a one-car crash, on the bridge, according to the arriving SFD units, inside northbound lane.
6:27 AM: Two lanes are blocked while up to three people are checked for injuries, so it’s slow going. If this is your route, consider an alternative, or delay your departure.
6:43 AM: Another SFD unit’s been sent, so it doesn’t appear the 1st Avenue Bridge situation will be clearing any time soon. Still the only incident in routes through/from our area.
6:51 AM: 5-mile backup on northbound 509, per WSDOT.
7:06 AM: Crash scene now clear (see the “live” view a few lines up) after an hour – but the backup, of course, will take a while to dissipate. Meantime, SDOT says there’s a stalled vehicle on NB Highway 99 in the stadium zone. Only blocking the shoulder, but could be a distraction.
7:43 AM: Thanks to Adam for the comment re: the stall situation. SDOT also just tweeted that the shoulder’s now clear at Atlantic.
8:33 AM: Still no new incidents in/from West Seattle and vicinity. So here’s a reminder: Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway work starts a new phase as soon as today, according to our most recent update from SDOT.
ORIGINAL: Thanks to Marianne for sharing the photo of what she saw near the Westwood Village Staples. While the winter-holiday donation drives are over, the need for warm clothing is not (and if you know of ways/places people can keep donating, please let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!).
ADDED MONDAY: Judy Pickens replies to our request above:
The Homelessness Task Force at Fauntleroy Church is collecting new athletic socks through January for distribution to homeless men by Operation Nightwatch. Collection boxes are in the church lobby and narthex (9140 California Ave. SW). Those not able to buy socks may leave a check in the church office.
(Added 7:54 pm: Blue Architecture‘s ‘packet’ for upcoming SWDRB meeting)
This Thursday (January 7th), the Southwest Design Review Board is scheduled to take its second look at the 9021 17th SW apartment project during its first meeting of the new year. As we first reported four weeks ago, this is the only project on the board’s agenda for January 7th. The image above is from the “packet” for the meeting (see it on the city website here, or embedded above), which includes this updated description of the project:
The project is a four-story apartment building over a partially below grade parking level with approximately 32 one- and two-bedroom dwelling units. 32 parking stalls are provided, either below grade, or a combination of below grade and surface parking. All parking is accessed from the alley. The project anticipates BuiltGreen certification for an FAR increase and allowable height increase.
The height would be up to 44 feet plus “4 feet for roof features,” per the packet; the unit count is one more than the previous version of the proposal, which was critiqued for a “mini-fortress”-like appearance during its first SWDRB review in October (WSB coverage here; official city report here) and is as a result returning for a second try at the Early Design Guidance phase of the process.
As always, the meeting will include time for public comment on the proposed design; you can also send written comments to its designated city planner, Tami Garrett, who also is your contact for comments on non-design aspects of the project, including traffic, parking, and noise – email@example.com. Thursday’s meeting is at 6:30 pm, upstairs at the Sisson Building/Senior Center, SW Oregon & California SW in The Junction.
2:38 PM: Seattle Fire has a mid-size response arriving at a reported garage fire in the 8800 block of 32nd SW [map]. Updates to come.
2:44 PM: It’s reported to be in a detached garage on an alley, and under control.
2:50 PM: Firefighters had to break through a door to get into the garage. We don’t know yet what in there was burning. No report of any injuries.
3 PM: One car is in the garage; firefighters have had to ventilate the roof too, and smoke is still coming out.
We don’t know yet how the fire started.
3:18 PM: The response at the scene is beginning to be downsized. Meantime, our crew is back and we’re adding/substituting photos above.
ADDED MONDAY AFTERNOON: We checked today with SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold regarding the cause. She says it was accidental, sparked by fireplace ashes “placed in the garage.”
(SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES, including city’s overnight plan)
12:18 PM: No, you’re not imagining things. If you’re in West Seattle’s upper elevations (High Point, Arbor Heights, Upper Fauntleroy …), those are snowflakes, very light flurry so far. The National Weather Service‘s forecast wasn’t expecting them until overnight. But let us know if you’re seeing them too.
12:42 PM: More intense flurry now!
(Gatewood snow, by Cindi Barker)
1:07 PM: Starting to stick here (300+ feet uphill and east of Lincoln Park), as some are noting in comments. Be careful driving/walking – it’s slick. By the way, our last visible snow was on December 27th.
(Fauntleroy snow, by Clyde Suggs)
1:21 PM: Still snowing big, fluffy flakes here.
(Video added Sunday night – thanks to Dorothy – excited kids @ WS Farmers’ Market as snowfall began)
And the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has just lifted the King County burn ban.
@westseattleblog @NWSSeattle @KSeattleWeather it appears to be snowing. pic.twitter.com/LR9fzR9j4e
— Patrick kelly (@MetPatrick22) January 3, 2016
(Video tweeted by @MetPatrick22 in Sunrise Heights – that’s Fire Station 37)
1:48 PM: Back to more of a flurry than a shower – the road’s wet, planting strips and lawns (etc.) have a dusting.
(Robin at Lincoln Park – photo by Erin Jackson)
2:09 PM: In case you wondered – as did one commenter – no changes resulting from the snow so far; just not enough for that. But we’ll be on watch as always, including overnight and into the early-morning hours – we have morning traffic coverage atop the main WSB page every weekday, and weather is included when conditions merit.
2:55 PM: Speaking of tomorrow morning – this is just in via e-mail from SDOT:
To support the safe flow of traffic, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will pretreat roads with salt brine and salt late Sunday to address potential ice or snow on arterial roadways.
Travelers are advised to check weather and roadway conditions prior to beginning their Monday morning commute. If possible, residents should consider delaying their trips in the morning to avoid potentially icy conditions. Information on winter weather preparedness, to include SDOT’s winter weather brochure and snow route map, can be found here.
3:10 PM: If you’re checking in at halftime – the snow’s stopped. For now, anyway.
As mentioned in the daily preview, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market is on, and we found special guests today at the south end (California/Alaska):
Hey! @SeattleHumane MaxMobile at Farmers Market! pic.twitter.com/tWi3P0oeI3
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 3, 2016
This 8-year-old kitty was looking especially regal, awaiting adoption:
Valentine is deciding who looks promising today. @SeattleHumane pic.twitter.com/2WVvE57Xd2
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 3, 2016
If you miss MaxMobile today (there until 2 pm), two more West Seattle visits are on the calendar for this month – Pet Pros at Westwood Village on January 15 from 2 pm to 5 pm, Mud Bay in Admiral (2611 California SW) on January 23 from 11 am to 2 pm.
That’s Parker, who asked her mom to send us the photo in honor of the Seahawks’ last regular-season game, 1:25 pm today at Arizona. Besides watching the game, what’s happening around West Seattle for the rest of today? A few options:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: First WSFM of the year! See what’s fresh in the heart of winter. 10 am-2 pm in The Junction. (California SW between SW Edmunds and SW Oregon)
FLING YOUR FRISBEE: 10 am at Walt Hundley Playfield, pickup game with West Seattle Ultimate Family Frisbee. (34th SW & SW Myrtle)
SWIM AT SOUTHWEST POOL: Four public swim sessions today (and all Sundays this winter), between 11 am and 6 pm – see the schedule here. (2801 SW Thistle)
GO BACK IN TIME … at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum, a perfect side trip if you’re going to Alki to walk, dine, enjoy the view – or a destination all its own. Noon-4 pm, now featuring items from the Nordic Heritage Museum’s exhibit about West Seattle’s own Ivar Haglund. Noon-4 pm.
LIVE MUSIC: Acoustic-based singer/songwriter Hayden Eller performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW … what’s happening tomorrow, next week, next month, by browsing the advance listings in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.
Two basketball wins for Seattle Lutheran High School tonight at Shoreline Christian; thanks to Mike Jensen for the score reports via Twitter. Girls’ final 46-21; boys’ final 82-37. The boys’ next game is at home, 7:30 pm Tuesday, vs. Christian Faith, while the girls are on the road at Puget Sound Adventist next Thursday, 6 pm.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR OTHER LOCAL TEAMS: Chief Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School boys both have road games on Tuesday, 7:30 pm – CSIHS at Garfield, WSHS at O’Dea. … Both schools’ girls have road games Wednesday, WSHS at Holy Names, CSIHS at Garfield, both at 7:30.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After a year full of new hope for survival of Puget Sound’s resident orcas, what will 2016 bring?
On the first Thursday of the new year, The Whale Trail invites you to its next Orca Talk in West Seattle – this time looking at the ecology of the “transient” orcas who visit our waters; registration for the 7 pm presentation on January 7th at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) is open now.
If you’re interested, you’ll want to get your tickets fast, since the last Orca Talk of 2015 brought a sold-out full house. Good news is, it’s on video:
Orca Talk with Brad Hanson – SRKW 2015 Winter Update from Donna Sandstrom on Vimeo.
NOAA researcher Brad Hanson spoke at C & P on December 3rd to talk about the Southern Resident Killer Whales’ baby boom. At that time, the count stood at six in less than a year, and as if that wasn’t exciting enough, two more babies have been announced since then.
(Added: Photo tweeted by @MetPatrick22)
Thanks to @MetPatrick22 for the tip: Southbound 35th SW is blocked at Webster because of a crash. No medic unit dispatched so far – just one SFD engine – which means no major injuries, but you’ll want to avoid the area for a while.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:52 PM: Two more West Seattle Crime Watch reports this afternoon. First: Stolen cars are sometimes abandoned nearby, sometimes driven many miles, so this could be anywhere. From Kimberly:
I woke up New Year’s morning to find my beloved 1996 Nissan 240SX (lic# AFC7216) stolen from the street along Erskine Way, just west of California Ave, south of the Alaska Junction. The loss of the car is bad enough but it also contained all of my ski gear.
My car is pictured (above), parked outside of Uptown Espresso at Edmunds and California. Mine is the car in front; both cars pictured are Nissan 240SXs (or similar model) and I would like to speak to the owner of the car parked behind mine. That car is a souped-up version which showed up in the neighborhood a week or two ago but which has not been around since. If you see either car please contact me by phone at 2O6-379-6OI4 (voice or txt). The skis are Salomon Siam 10s in a 149cm length, with Salomon Z10 Ti bindings, the boots are translucent orange Tecnica Diablo Race and the poles are a blue Swix Mach Carbon. … There were also other items such as helmet, goggles and gloves.
CAR PROWLS: Meaghan reports, “Up in Pigeon point on 21st Ave Sw, two of our neighbors had their windows smashed on their cars this morning. I’m not sure if anything was stolen.” We also had a comment earlier today from PSPS on the day’s first story, reporting what looked like the aftermath of car prowls on 40th SW north of The Junction; we couldn’t find anything obvious when we went to look, but if you were a victim, please let us know so we can include in Crime Watch coverage, firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you.
ADDED 5:57 PM: From Dawn in Highland Park:
Several neighbors report license plate theft on my block. Sometime in the past several nights, someone stole the license plate off my RV parked in my backyard (not fenced to alley access). Some neighbors said they were replacing plates with different plates. Mine was not. 12th & Henderson.
2:09 PM: Thanks to Jamie for the tip – if you’re headed toward I-5 north, it’s slow going just north of the bridge because of a fire Jamie describes as “under the freeway.” Brush fire, according to the SFD 911 log.
ADDED 2:23 PM: Thanks to Cory for the photo, added above.
ADDED MONDAY AFTERNOON: SFD spokesperson Corey Orvold tells WSB that this remains on the books as a “brush fire” and was not investigated otherwise.
Two reader reports to share – first, from West Seattle Crime Watch, car vandalism:
Vera sent the photo and reports:
Upon leaving Westwood village (Friday night) … this is what I found my car to look like. Someone walked up over the hood onto my roof, footprints visible in the frost. Apparently no one saw this happen??? I was visiting Barnes & Noble on January 1 from eight until 10 PM. I was parked right outside of Barnes & Noble and someone walks up over top of my car and crashed my windshield; I’m wondering if they have any video footage or cameras outside of Barnes & Noble . I parked a mere 12 ft from the entrance.
We suggested checking with the store, for starters – if you have any other ideas, please comment.
Next – a backpack found in the 3400 block of Walnut SW at 7 am today. More often than not, these things turn out to have been stolen from someone somewhere, but as the finder observes, this might also have fallen off a vehicle:
My wife went for a walk early this morning and found a nice black backpack in the middle of our street containing snowboarding items (boots, goggles etc.). The pack was open – in the next block North of us she found a snowboard helmet and clothing. It appears to belong to boy, and must have fallen off the roof of a car…they may be having a very bad day at the slopes :( … If anyone knows who this belongs to, they can contact Brian at 303.396.9273. There is a name on the backpack and other identifying characteristics that we will ask to verify ownership.
(Graphic from Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website)
With another day of stagnant air, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has announced a Stage 1 burn ban for all of King County, in hopes of keeping the air quality from getting any worse. That means: “Use of fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves and inserts prohibited. Pellet stoves, EPA certified wood stoves and inserts are allowed. Outdoor burning prohibited.” Find out more here.
12:09 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a major “fire in building” response to the 3800 block of Beach Drive SW. Updates to come.
12:15 PM: It’s a four-story multifamily building, and that’s the reason for the big response, but so far, per scanner, no sign of a fire – aside from one in a fireplace (added: Christmas tree was being burned). The response is being downsized.
Quick notes about West Seattle businesses with extended breaks this post-holiday month (let us know if you’ve heard of others!):
CLICK! DESIGN THAT FITS: You CAN shop at Click! Design That Fits in The Junction (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor) this weekend, but then the shop’s taking an extended break starting January 4th. Read about it on the Click! website.
WEST SEATTLE PRODUCE COMPANY: No, the shop at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW is NOT closed permanently, as one reader who contacted us feared. WSP is taking a break until January 16th and still searching for a new location, while awaiting word on when it’ll have to clear out from this one. The CVS drugstore project for the site continues to proceed but doesn’t have final approval yet, as, among other things, it still requires at least one more Southwest Design Review Board meeting (no date set yet). WSP originally opened in April 2010 across the street, where The Whittaker is now under construction.
SPEAKING OF PRODUCE STANDS: Just a reminder that Tony’s Market at 35th and Barton is temporarily closed too, its traditional break after the end of Christmas-tree-selling season. It usually reopens in late winter/early spring (it was later than usual last year because of renovations including parking-lot work).
(Photos above and below are by Mark Wangerin: Double-crested Cormorant with Pacific Staghorn Sculpin)
While we hope you’ll find some time to rest during this post-holiday-season weekend, our calendar does offer some options:
‘WEST SEATTLE GET FIT’ TRAINING RUN: 8 am, meet at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) as this year’s free “couch-to-half-marathon” training program gets going. (2743 California SW)
TREE-CYCLE WITH THE RAINBOW GIRLS: 9 am-2 pm in the parking lot outside the Alki Masonic Hall in The Junction, drop off your tree with the West Seattle Rainbow Girls‘ annual fundraiser, by donation – more info in our preview. (4736 40th SW)
SPECIAL SATURDAY STORY TIME: 11 am, bring the kids to the monthly Saturday family story time at West Seattle (Admiral) Library. (2306 42nd SW)
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY REOPENS: 11 am-4 pm, first day for the West Seattle Tool Library after its holiday break. On the NE side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
IVAR EXHIBIT AT LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: Noon-4 pm, visit the home of West Seattle’s history, and enjoy the visiting exhibit that spotlights the life and times of West Seattle entrepreneur Ivar Haglund. (61st SW & SW Stevens)
LAST WEEKEND FOR WEST SEATTLE YULETIDE: This just might be the last of the lights for this holiday season. West Seattle Yuletide, music-synched lights, plans to run through this weekend. Schedule’s on the WSY website. (38th between Dakota and Genesee)
LOOK INTO THE FUTURE … via the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.
Another look ahead, now that it’s a brand-new year:
Two months after the election, and one month after recount results were finalized, Lisa Herbold officially becomes the first Seattle City Councilmember for District 1 (West Seattle and South Park) on Monday. As our screengrab at left shows, her official city webpage is already up (though not yet linked from the council’s index page, which we wouldn’t expect before Monday, anyway).
The oath-of-office ceremony for Herbold and other councilmembers is scheduled to start off the afternoon session, and is expected to draw a full house, so early arrival is advised (well before the official 2 pm start). Herbold told us in our post-election interview (published here December 7th) that she has chosen outgoing Councilmember Nick Licata, for whom she has worked more than a decade and a half, to administer her oath. The ceremony’s published order is numerical by district, so she’s up first.
On Monday, the council – with four new members and five returnees, albeit in different roles given the new seven-district-and-two-at-large makeup – also will finalize committee chairs/members. According to the mid-December announcement, Herbold is expected to chair the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Committee, whose first meeting of 2016 is at 9:30 am January 12. During the campaign, she said she was interested in chairing what will now be the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee; that role instead is slated for new District 4 (Northeast Seattle) Councilmember Rob Johnson, with its former chair Councilmember Mike O’Brien as vice chair, but Herbold is listed as the committee’s third member. She is also expected to be vice chair of the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods, and Finance Committee, and alternate member of the Sustainability and Transportation Committee. (Each committee has a chair, vice chair, member, and alternate, though any councilmember can show up at a committee meeting to participate.)
BACKSTORY: In case you’re new, or otherwise just tuning in, Herbold, a Highland Park resident, won election by a hand-recount-verified 39-vote margin over Shannon Braddock in the general election, following a nine-candidate primary (with five prospective candidates dropping out before the primary, and one falling just short of the number of petition signatures required to make the ballot in lieu of a $1200 fee). She’ll be one of two West Seattleites on the council, along with Lorena González, elected to at-large (citywide) Position 9.
CONTACTING YOUR NEW COUNCILMEMBER: As seen on Herbold’s webpage, her e-mail address is email@example.com, her office phone number 206-684-8803.
P.S. If you’d like to hear from her in person and/or ask a question, Herbold is also scheduled to be at next Wednesday’s Southwest District Council meeting, 6:30 pm (January 6th) at the Sisson Building/Senior Center, California/Oregon.
Over the next few days, we’ll look ahead at some of what will be making news early in the new year. First – the latest on the West Seattle Mini-Golf project:
Back in fall 2014, we reported on the plan for a miniature-golf course at West Seattle Golf Course, after finding it mentioned in Mayor Murray’s 2015 budget plan. At the time, Seattle Parks described it – in response to our followup inquiry – as “proposed,” though the mayor’s budget said it was expected to be built before the end of 2015, after community discussions.
With 2015 ending, absent community discussions, let alone construction, we followed up again. First, we received a tip that a Parks letter dated October 2015 had been posted on the West Seattle Golf Club website this month. It included a new timeline, projecting that the course will be built next summer, and open by summer’s end. The letter also identified Parks’ Garrett Farrell as senior project manager, so we asked him about the project’s status. Farrell told WSB that the mini-golf project is now “in the planning, permitting, and budgeting stages,” with a community meeting (promised in the letter) getting closer: “Once we get some of the parameters set including schedule, we will post a project sign and hope to schedule the meeting shortly after the New Year.” He adds that a Parks website for the miniature-golf project is under development.
Resolved to get more movement into your life this year? Dance! West Seattle (WSB sponsor) is enrolling now for the winter session, which starts Monday:
We have classes for ages 2 (out of diapers) through adult, and would love for you to join our dance family. While specializing in Classical Ballet, we have added Contemporary and Hip Hop to the curriculum. Call or e-mail to arrange for your free trial class and start the New Year off with a dance in your step. Sign up by January 15th to participate in our June performance of “La Fiesta” and other dances. Visit our website dancewestseattle.com or call 206-938-3062 for more information!
DWS is headquartered in the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse.
(Video/photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand, unless otherwise credited)
Clear sky, 33-degree air, 50-degree water, and hundreds of cheery participants combined for this year’s West Seattle Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach this morning. Here’s the leader of the countdown you hear in the video, organizer Mark Ufkes:
He went in wearing his “I (Heart) White Center” T-shirt. As usual, the crowd was peppered with costumes and uniforms – and it’s not a Polar Bear Swim without the softball umpires:
Another group went prehistoric:
The most popular “costume” generally involved head/face gear of some kind:
(This photo and next one by Scott Nelson)
The Olympics provided a beautiful backdrop:
To get the internal temperature back up afterward, free chowder courtesy of Duke’s (right across the street from the gathering spot for the “swim”):
Can’t guarantee the sunshine but the day and time are locked in – so mark your calendar for New Year’s Day 2017!
P.S. Our clip from the sidewalk gives you more of an idea of how many people were on the beach before, during, and after:
Past years’ WSB coverage:
(Reviewing our links, you might be surprised to see it’s been sunny on NYD more often than not!)
(The Olympics on New Year’s Eve, by Monica Zaborac – you can soak in the same view today)
Welcome to 2016! Here’s what you need to know on this first day of the new year:
GETTING AROUND: Metro‘s on a Sunday schedule; the Water Taxi is not running; Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is on a regular weekday schedule.
RESTAURANTS: Our annual list of holiday hours has info for West Seattle restaurants that told us they’d be open today/tonight – but please note the disclaimer.
COFFEE: See the West Seattle Holiday Guide for shops that told us they’d be open today.
GROCERY STORES: The only one closed today is Trader Joe’s.
NYD WALKS: Emerald City Wanderers invite you to walk into 2016, with 5- and 10-kilometer routes you can start any time between 9 am and noon from St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. (3050 California SW)
POLAR BEAR SWIM: 10 am on Alki Beach, across from Duke’s (which provides clam chowder for the hardy “swimmers”) – info in our preview. As we write this, the air temperature is 25 degrees, water temperature 50 degrees, so consider it a way to warm up! (58th SW & Alki SW)
SPECIAL YOGA WORKSHOP: 10 am at Sound Yoga (WSB sponsor) – start the new year by finding your true path via Dharma Yoga. More info here. (5639 California SW)
SPECIAL CLASS: 10 am at the Center for Movement and Healing, with meditation, dance, and more. Info here. (7901 35th SW)
LABYRINTH WALK: Our Lady of Guadalupe hosts its first New Year’s Day Labyrinth Walk – visit any time between 11 am and 1 pm; details here. (35th SW & SW Myrtle)
ORIGINAL FRIDAY REPORT: Thanks to West Seattle photographer Craig Young for sharing views of the Space Needle fireworks that launched the new year.
Ever wonder what goes into planning the show? GeekWire talked to the “architect” of the show since its start 20+ years ago, Alberto Navarro.
You can watch video of the entire eight-minute display at KING5.com.
ADDED SATURDAY: Two more photos, above and below this line, shot by Bill Morgan from Hamilton Viewpoint Park in North Admiral:
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