West Seattle, Washington
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight, two cars:
STOLEN CAR: Carrianne says this happened in North Admiral, 47th SW between Walker and Hill: “Our car was stolen, we believe, in the early morning hours on December 27th. We were out of town until today and upon returning home noticed our car missing. It’s a silver 2004 Hyundai Elantra 4D. License plate AVJ5560 (Washington). If spotted, please call 911. Thank you.”
VANDALIZED CAR: Just in case you know whose this is – Debra sent the photo and report:
“This has been at Yancy next to West Seattle Health Club for a week. Window now bashed in.”
(J2, photographed by Leigh Calvez in the San Juans in 2011)
After almost three months without a sighting, another of the Southern Resident Killer Whales is believed to be dead, orca experts are saying tonight. This time it’s J2, nicknamed Granny, believed to have been the oldest of Puget Sound’s endangered resident orcas at ~105 years old, according to Ken Balcomb‘s “in memoriam” essay on the Center for Whale Research website, which concludes:
The SRKW population is now estimated to be 78 as of 31 December 2016, and J pod contains only 24 individuals plus the wandering L87. To whom will he attach now? Who will lead the pod into the future? Is there a future without food? What will the human leaders do?
The SRKW’s predicament was our choice for the top West Seattle wildlife story of 2016 – and it’s unfortunate that another orca death is making headlines so early in 2017. According to the Orca Network‘s website, L25 (Ocean Sun) is now the oldest of the SRKWs, estimated at 89 years old.
As public meetings start picking up after the holiday season wraps up, here are two of interest this week related to Seattle Public Schools:
TUESDAY: The last of three district-budget-gap meetings is set for Tuesday night, 6:30 pm, Franklin High School (not in West Seattle – none of the meetings are/were – but not far). The Seattle Council PTSA is hosting the meetings to talk about, and look for community input on, budget priorities, in the face of what could be a $74 million shortfall for the district. FHS is at 3013 S Mt Baker Boulevard [map].
WEDNESDAY: The Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors meets for the first time this year, 4:15 pm at district HQ in SODO (3rd Ave. S./S. Lander). Action items are at 4:55 pm, with a break for public comment at 5:30 pm before action items resume at 6 pm – see the full agenda here.
One item of West Seattle interest – details of the upcoming EC Hughes Elementary renovation project are in this “value engineering report” that the board will consider accepting, with recommendations that could save about a quarter-million dollars. The work is currently scheduled to start next summer, and while final action hasn’t been taken, Roxhill Elementary is tentatively set to move into the Hughes building in fall 2018. (Our most recent coverage of the Hughes renovations and Roxhill move are these two stories from October – here and here.)
Roxhill, by the way, is mentioned in another Wednesday board-agenda item of West Seattle interest – the board will consider finalizing a motion to award Bassetti Architects a $931,000 contract for BEX V ballot-measure planning. From the agenda-item details, this paragraph mentions which schools they’re looking at:
Schools to study were selected based upon their existing facility conditions and forecasted enrollment growth to meet capacity needs. Selected schools for master plan study include: John Rogers, North Beach, Northgate, Sacajawea, Montlake, Kimball, Alki, Lafayette, Roxhill, and Schmitz Park Elementary Schools, Salmon Bay K-8, Whitman, Washington and Mercer International Middle Schools, and Rainier Beach High School and a Downtown High School. In addition, Bassetti Architects master plan proposal allows Seattle Public Schools to identify three additional schools to be selected in June 2017.
Whatever winds up included in BEX V, the measure is planned to go to voters in 2019; its predecessor BEX IV, which funded the new elementaries at Arbor Heights and Genesee Hill, won voter approval in 2013.
Another districtwide item of note on Wednesday’s agenda – introduction of the plan to continue a three-tier transportation (and therefore schedule) program in 2017-2018, with the possibility of going to two tiers if “external funding” – an estimated $2.7 million – becomes available by next May.
(UPDATED late Tuesday night with new info from bike’s owner)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:20 PM MONDAY: Terry‘s cargo bike is one of a kind, essential to mobility with a disability – and now it’s gone. Can you help find it?
I custom fabricated an electric-assist large, long cargo bike to aid in mobility since I have a disability in my lower left leg. I spent the day yesterday, January 1st, with friends who live on Alki Ave SW near El Chupacabra (2620 Alki Ave SW), leaving my bike outside using a friend’s lock. Friend unlocked my bike around 5 pm when he thought I was leaving; however, it was closer to 6 pm when I went to leave, and my bike, the extra battery, and the charger were all gone from where I had it. … My hope is to get more eyes out on the lookout for this hard-to-miss, essential mode of mobility and transportation, custom cargo bike!
Terry says a police report is filed and they are awaiting the incident number – we’ll update this to add that when available.
UPDATE, TUESDAY NIGHT: Terry says the bike’s been found and was NOT stolen after all: “Apparently there was no malice nor crime committed regarding my cargo bike. A friend placed it in a safe place and I was made aware today.. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience and any aspersions cast in West Seattle’s direction regarding crime.”
Those who knew and loved Meg McKennon will gather on January 14th to celebrate her life. Here’s the remembrance they are sharing with the community:
Meg McKennon, 47, of Seattle, passed away November 20th, 2016, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on January 27, 1969. Meg was an integral part of her close-knit family, and her absence will be mourned for their lifetimes.
Meg was generous, kind, and hard working. She deeply touched the lives of family and friends who will miss her distinctive sense of humor and style. In her professional life, Meg was a real-estate broker who led the opening team for the West Seattle Keller Williams office. She then went on to found her own successful real estate and property management office, Dwellings, in West Seattle. Meg was always looking to find the perfect home fit, to lend a hand, or to provide support and employment for those in need. Meg’s unparalleled and heartfelt approach to her profession will be greatly missed by her community.
True to her generous nature, Meg was an organ donor. Her generosity will live on in the dozens of lives her gifts have saved and improved throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Meg is survived by her parents: Nancy McKennon of Spokane, and Kelly McKennon and his wife Michi of Pullman. She is also survived by siblings and beloved nephews and nieces: brother Ruddy McKennon and his wife Sara McKennon and their children, Gracie, Liam and Finley; sister Robin Thaler and her husband Wyatt Thaler and their children Lola and Betty; sister Wendy McKennon and her partner Ben Peterson and their children Tallulah and Atticus; half-sister Skye McKennon; and stepsister Niki Wolkind.
Meg is also survived by the love of her life, a rescue dog named Katie. Instead of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Seattle Humane Society. Additionally, it would honor Meg’s memory to learn more about the debilitating disease of alcoholism.
Meg’s life will be celebrated at 2:30 pm on January 14th, 2017, at Dakota Place Park Building, located at 4304 SW Dakota St. Please join us in sharing memories and gratitude for Meg.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
A new year means new youth-sports seasons ahead! Tracy Holloway from West Seattle Little League sends the news that league registration is now open:
Happy New Year from West Seattle Little League! We are excited to open registration for all divisions for the 2017 season. Registration is easy and takes only a few steps:
Step 1: Check your child’s league age
To check your child’s league age on the league age table, click here. Your child’s league age determines which division they are recommended to register with.
Step 2: Log in to the West Seattle Little League website
If you have not played with the league before, create a new account. If you are a returning WSLL member, please use your login credentials from the previous season. If you forgot your credentials, please use the “Forgot Password” link.
Step 3: Register your child
Click on the green “Register Now” button in the upper right of the home page. Please note the following during the registration process:
*If you do not live within the boundary for WSLL, you will be waitlisted and should email the player agents below with your school enrollment form in order to finish registration.
*If your child played for WSLL in the 2016 season, you do not need to furnish a birth certificate. If your player is new to West Seattle Little League or did not play in the league during the 2016 season you will need to upload a copy of the player’s birth certificate.
*All players will need to provide three proofs of residency to verify player address boundaries.
Deadline is January 31st. Other key dates, and contacts if you have questions, are on the WSLL home page.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:38 AM: Good morning! Since New Year’s Day was on a Sunday, the holiday is observed today. If you still have to be out and about this morning, watch out for ice – it’s just below freezing – and be aware of these transit/transportation changes:
METRO: Sunday schedule.
WATER TAXI: The West Seattle and Vashon runs both are NOT in service today.
SOUND TRANSIT: Route 560 (and light rail) are on Sunday schedules.
STREET PARKING: For the neighborhoods with city-operated pay stations, this is a free-parking day.
Most schools are still out today but resume tomorrow.
More snow photos to share from this frosty and frosted New Year’s Day in West Seattle. The first three, above and below, are from Gatewood photographer/pilot Long Bach Nguyen. If you don’t recognize the top photo, that’s Solstice Park (home to Alice Enevoldsen‘s solstice and equinox sunset watches) – not so much snow, but a unique aerial look at its patterns. Below, you see part of Gatewood and Sunrise Heights:
And next, a view over West Seattle, looking northeast toward downtown in the distance:
Now, ground-level views – here’s a view from the West Duwamish Greenbelt, shared by Elisa Zook:
David Williams photographed his yard southeast of Charlestown Hill:
From Sandra Braun:
And James Bratsanos caught the snowy Olympics early this morning:
4:59 PM: Spectacular sunset to start the first night of 2017! Thanks to Kendall Browne for the photo above. (Another sky sight: The crescent moon is visible right now.)
ADDED 7:38 PM: Two more New Year’s Day sunset views – first, from North Admiral, by Ryan O’Keven:
And from Chris Frankovich:
Thanks again for sharing photos, video news tips, reader reports … email@example.com is preferred when it’s not “breaking,” 206-293-6302 (text/voice) when it is … looking forward to another excellent year, our 10th year of serving West Seattle with 24/7/365 news.
The photos are from Alysia, who says a hit-run driver damaged both their cars near 31st SW/SW Holden early today [map]. A neighbor heard it happen around 2:30 am and “saw the car struggling to get away,” describing it as a green van.
“They left a bunch of debris and their hubcap behind. Please keep an eye out for a green van with a significant amount of damage to the front right. Any info would be appreciated!” If you have information to report to Seattle Police, it’s incident #17-0340.
Thanks to everyone who shared photos and video from this morning’s 2017 West Seattle Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach!
(WSB video by Patrick Sand)
At the start of our clip, the countdown is being led by Mark Ufkes, who organizes this every year – he’s in the next photo with the megaphone:
Here’s a wider view of the big splash:
(Video by Kendall Browne)
For some, the Polar Bear Swim is a spectator sport – this guy told us he was there to cheer on his 15-year-old daughter, participating for the first time:
Some of the other sights – maybe the most-formal swimmer (or maybe just hadn’t been home since the NYE party):
Think we saw this dinosaur back on Halloween:
We noted the lampshade in a pre-swim tweet – and spotted it on the beach under someone else’s care:
Another standout hat:
Die-hard Cougar fan:
Maybe a tropical print helped make up for the almost-freezing air:
Whatever you were or weren’t wearing, there was post-swim chowder, courtesy of nearby Duke’s:
And memories that will linger until next New Year’s Day:
(added 7:30 pm) One more video of the big swim – this one is by Anthony Decena:
Happy snowy New Year’s Day! Here’s information you might find helpful:
RESTAURANTS OPEN TODAY: Here’s our list.
POLAR BEAR SWIM: Gather at 9:50 am along Alki Beach across from Duke’s – everybody in the water at 10 am sharp. (Alki Avenue SW & 58th SW)
NEW YEAR’S LABYRINTH WALK: Noon-2 pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe. (35th SW/SW Myrtle)
OTHER EVENTS TODAY … including special church services … are listed in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
FARMERS’ MARKET CLOSED: But it’s back to every-Sunday operation NEXT week, on January 8th.
SEATTLE PARKS FACILITIES: Here’s the closure list.
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY BRANCHES: Closed today.
TRANSIT: Regular Sunday schedules unless the bus is still on a snow route because of the early-morning snowfall. For Metro, check here.
5:10 AM: In the past few hours, we’ve seen half an inch or so of snow here in Upper Fauntleroy, east of Lincoln Park. At least, that’s how much has stuck to cars, fence tops, and planting strips. More is falling, but it’s also melting in the street – audibly, by the storm drains – and driving down toward The Junction was no problem. It’s still snowing lightly, and the National Weather Service‘s 3 am “forecast discussion” says: “The Seattle metro will continue to see a threat of snow through the morning as the back edge of a band (currently over the San Juans and Skagit) pushes south. A trace to 1/2″ of snow is possible…with up to 1″ at the high end.” South of here, the NWS says, they’ve seen more.
5:17 AM: Buses are on snow routes around King County, including here, according to Metro’s website. West Seattle is in what Metro calls the South Seattle zone, so you can use that to sort the updates on this page.
6 AM: Sounds (and looks) from comments so far that eastern/southern West Seattle is snowiest.
8:41 AM: From Metro:
Transit Alert – Rts 21, 50 & 125 in Metro's South Seattle snow area have returned to their regular routing; https://t.co/zSuRSmN8Ry.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) January 1, 2017
8:51 AM: And now the C Line is back to its regular route too.
9:46 AM: Looks like little if any snow on Alki, at least as seen by our crew in photographing Polar Bear Swimmers on the way to the 10 am event (the lampshade caught our attention):
No more snow in the forecast so far, but it’s expected to be cold for the next few days, highs in the 30s, lows in the 20s.
Thanks for the photos of the Space Needle fireworks that kicked off 2017! Above and below are by Robert Spears, photographed from West Seattle:
The next photo is by Craig Young, from Kerry Park on Queen Anne:
This year’s show was longer than previous years, according to the broadcast team on KING5 – 10 minutes.