West Seattle, Washington
If you’re hoping to wake up to smokelessness … you might be disappointed. The National Weather Service’s Air Quality Alert for our area was extended and is in effect through noon tomorrow. And the waning-from-full moon tonight is still red/orange. The newest “forecast discussion” says they’re hopeful it will clear out by Friday, and there’s still some chance of showers on the way.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Got something you wish your City Council representative would help with? You should have been at tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, SWDC’s first one in two months (like many community/neighborhood groups, SWDC leaves August off the meeting calendar). The centerpiece of the meeting was a multi-issue update from, and Q&A with, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold – taxes, transportation, and more.
COUNCILMEMBER SPOTLIGHT: SWDC invited City Councilmember Lisa Herbold to come speak to, and hear from, SWDC. She addressed some issues she’d been asked about before the meeting – for example, she said SDOT acknowledged it should have done some neighborhood outreach before its late-night work to convert 59th/Admiral to an all-way stop (as they told us for this followup). She added that SDOT said this was a community-requested project, with support from Alki Elementary‘s principal and PTSA, and they will be monitoring the “functionality of the intersection” for six months – pedestrian counts, collisions, compliance among other things. Tony Fragada, who represents the Alki Community Council on the SWDC, said his group had agreed that something needed to be done to slow traffic there.
Next update: She said the city’s planning to continue using the new Your Voice, Your Choice participatory-budgeting process for upcoming funding processes, as it did for the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund. But, she reminded, the city has an executive change coming up – a new mayor – and her priorities (whichever woman is elected mayor) will come into play.
Three weeks ago, we reported on a City Council committee approving a “street vacation” requested for the West Coast Self-Storage project on the way to 3252 Harbor Avenue SW, in partnership with Nucor, because of that company’s use of undeveloped right-of-way for adjacent train tracks. This week, the council gave its unanimous approval to the proposal. When it’s finalized, the undeveloped sections of 29th SW and City View involved in the request (see the map above) would be sold to WCSS and Nucor at fair-market value. The final version of the ordinance includes the 12 items, valued at $305,000, that would be provided as “public benefit,” required for right-of-way to be given up in this way. The project will be a 56-foot-high building with 850 storage units.
We mentioned road work on SW Edmunds west of California SW in this morning’s traffic coverage – and now we have full details from SDOT spokesperson Norm Mah:
This paving project began today. It will replace concrete panels in the EB lane of SW Edmunds St between 44th Ave SW and California Ave SW.
This section of SW Edmunds is closed in both directions, and will be closed for the duration of the project. The crew anticipates that the road will re-open to traffic by Sunday afternoon. A uniformed police officer will be on-site to help direct traffic while the work is being completed. SDOT would like to thank the public for its patience while this work is completed.
First word of the closure came in late yesterday, when Metro sent an alert about temporary rerouting of Route 22.
(Photos courtesy West Seattle Food Bank)
It’s easy to join the West Seattle Food Bank‘s fight against hunger – here’s one way: Buy a ticket for this upcoming party! Here’s the announcement from WSFB:
Just 3 weeks away!
Please join us for the West Seattle Food Bank’s Roaring ’20s-themed “A Grand Affair” Cocktail Benefit on Friday evening, September 29th, beginning at 6:00 pm, at the Westland Distillery (2931 First Ave. So. in SODO).
Bring your friends to this fun benefit that will celebrate the Food Bank’s achievements in helping our neighbors who are in need of food and other services. The evening will be filled with casino-style gaming with a chance to win prizes, hosted wine, beer, & hors d’oeuvres, whiskey tasting, themed cocktails by Peel & Press (served by owner Dan Austin) and The Bridge, Husky Deli’s famous Beer Floats served by their own Jack Miller, a photo booth, live auction, and Funds for Food.
Try to win against celebrity dealer Jodi Brothers, AM morning host on 97.5 The Jet. Dress is cocktail attire but themed costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $65/guest in advance until Sept. 15th and $75 after Sept. 15th and at the door. Each guest will receive $10,000 worth of gaming chips with each ticket. To purchase tickets, see our fabulous live auction items, or get more A Grand Affair information, go to: westseattlefoodbank.ejoinme.org/AGrandAffair.
The West Seattle Food Bank provides 8400 individuals yearly – through 111,350 requests – with nutritious food and other needed services through our shopping style distribution, Mobile Food Bank, Home Delivery, Backpack Program, Baby & Child Corner, Pet Pantry, Bookcase and Community Connections.
Thousands of students in our area went back to school today – but before the day began at West Seattle Elementary, staff and supporters literally rolled out the red carpet, subsequently lined with cheering fans:
This smile-inducing scene from early this morning was the second annual “Be There” rally at WSES.
Taking inspiration from an event back East, community members were invited to show their support with high-fives for the arriving students:
It’s an exciting start to the year not only for WSES’s students but also for the school’s second-year principal Pamela McCowan-Conyers:
Again this year, we spotted our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold in the “Be There” crowd:
(P.S. She has a community Q&A at tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting.)
Anything cool at YOUR school, today or beyond, please let us know so we can share the news!
11:08 AM: Just look for the A-board outside Great American Diner and Bar, where the first-ever Westside Job Fair is on until 1 pm. At the front door, you’ll check in with these friendly folks – Julie, Bethany, and Denise – and they’ll point you toward the tables where more than 30 local business owners and managers have been interviewing candidates since 10 am:
Steady stream of people – and the first person who came to the job fair was hired on the spot, we’re told, by Junction TrueValue! So if you’re looking for work, or thinking about changing jobs, this is the place to be – 4752 California SW. The West Seattle Junction Association and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce are presenting the Westside Job Fair, and we’re here as the event’s media sponsor. (Local businesses get free job listings in the WSB Forums, so if you’re looking for an employee OR looking for an employer, that’s the online place to go.)
12:01 PM: More than 100 jobseekers had signed in as of the start of the third hour, WSJA executive director Lora Swift tells us!
(UPDATED 4:08 PM with new information about victim, how to help family, vigil planned)
9:46 AM: An update this morning from Seattle Police, one day after a 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death at Westcrest Park. Detectives now believe robbery was the motive for the killing. They’re not going into further details so far, and there’s no suspect information to share, but they wanted to get that information out as they “actively pursue leads,” and they are asking again for any and all potentially helpful information – you can call the tip line at 206-233-5000. As reported in our Tuesday coverage, the victim was found by passers-by after walking out of the woods on the south side of the park and collapsing near 6th SW/SW Cambridge. He was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, where he died.
4:08 PM: Thanks to the community member who sent this link for a just-established crowdfunding page for the family, on which the victim is identified as Derek Juarez-Lopez. His family has spoken with The Seattle Times; their story says he was an incoming Chief Sealth International High School sophomore, something we had been trying to get the district to confirm, while also asking if a letter would be sent to families. Classes started at CSIHS (and other Seattle Public Schools) today.
4:41 PM: Here’s the letter families have received from Chief Sealth’s principal Aida Fraser-Hammer – note that it mentions a vigil at the park tomorrow night:
There comes a time in the life of every community that events happen that are difficult, painful and outside the scope of our everyday activities in school. It saddens me to start the school year with the news that one of our incoming sophomores died unexpectedly yesterday. I have been in touch with the family to offer support and let them know the school community is thinking of them as they grieve the tragic loss of their son. I’m sending you this letter to update you on the facts, to assure you that we are doing everything we can to support our students, and to suggest ways you may help your children.
Yesterday, you may have heard about a stabbing in West Seattle. We were notified yesterday afternoon that one of our students, Derek Juarez Lopez, was the victim. Derek was going to be a 10th grader this year. When we talked with Derek’s family, they wanted us to know how much he loved his family, school and friends. They also let us know that he was particularly excited about starting the new school year at Chief Sealth and they gave permission to disclose his name so we could be the ones who informed our students and his friends.
Because this happened just yesterday, we all have more questions than answers. We are in close contact with the Seattle Police Department to ensure that we are aware of any new information. At this time, there are no known suspects. As we learn more we will share this information with our students.
When a classmate dies, it may trigger all kinds of expected and even unexpected reactions in our students, especially if the person who has died is a peer or close friend. Today, we brought in additional counseling resources and will continue to provide support as needed for students. . Our students have been demonstrating a great deal of compassion and kindness. I am very proud of how our staff, students and families are supporting each other.
Parents and guardians have important roles in helping students understand such tragic events. We have encouraged our students to talk with their families about their ideas, thoughts and beliefs. Please call us at 252-8550 if we can help in any way. We believe that it is important to understand and respect each child’s experience. We are also discussing personal safety and will continue to discuss this throughout the school year. Your family’s focus on student safety will help reinforce this message.
Our hearts and thoughts go to Derek’s family. The family plans to have a candlelight vigil at Westcrest Park tomorrow at 7:00 PM. As we learn of more ways to support them, we will let you know. Our community is close and having a tragedy such as this occur makes me realize what a wonderful school community we have at Chief Sealth International School. I want to share our staff’s appreciation of your support and patience during our time of grief.
A memorial for Derek is up now at the site where he was found yesterday morning, 6th and Cambridge:
Again, 206-233-5000 if you have any information that might be related to this crime.
THURSDAY UPDATE: We are now told the vigil information was incorrect.
Fall is really here. And so are all these highlights for today/tonight!
WESTSIDE JOB FAIR: First-ever job fair presented by the West Seattle Junction Association and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, 10 am-1 pm at Great American Diner and Bar – bring your resumé – more than 30 employers who are hiring NOW are waiting to meet you. (4752 California SW)
WHILE THE BIG KIDS ARE AT SCHOOL … take the little ones to preschool story time at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 10:30 am. (2306 42nd SW)
HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN: Summer growing season is still going strong. Today’s your next chance to buy produce steps away from where it was grown, 4-7 pm at the weekly High Point Market Garden Farm Stand. (32nd SW/SW Juneau)
THE YAWPERS: Free in-store concert at Easy Street Records, 7 pm. All ages. (California/Alaska)
JIM PAGE: Singer-songwriter, performing tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
DANCEABLE COUNTRY CLASSICS … are what you’ll hear tonight at Parliament Tavern from The Loose Heels and The Southwest Sweethearts. 8-11 pm. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
THERE’S MORE … happening today/tonight; find it all on our complete-calendar page.
6:16 AM: Good morning. There’s a crash blocking the intersection of 11th/Spokane:
Thanks to Walker for first word, and the photo, reporting that it’s a two-vehicle collision on the east end of the low bridge.
Here’s what else you need to know as the day gets going:
JUNCTION ROAD WORK: Signs are up for SDOT work on SW Edmunds west of California starting today, and that’s changing Metro Route 22 through Friday, according to this alert sent late yesterday.
7:02 AM: SDOT says the crash by the low bridge has cleared.
7:20 AM: Stalled vehicle on the eastbound bridge ramp to northbound I-5.
7:39 AM: The stalled vehicle has cleared.
7:49 AM: One more back-to-school note – remember that Seattle Public Schools have changed bell times again, and are now on a two-tier schedule rather than three. Most schools start either at 7:55 am or 8:55 am – the full districtwide list is here. Also – every Wednesday (except today!) will be an early-release day for the district this year.
8:36 AM: Speaking of Delridge, Tom calls our attention to a power outage around the Delridge/Orchard/Dumar intersection. Here’s the City Light map. There was a “wires down” SFD dispatch there earlier this morning, just before 6; the SCL map says the outage started at 7:12 am, affecting 27 customers, and blames it on a tree. The restoration estimate is just after 11:30 am.
And just for the record, as mentioned in comments, a Metro bus delay in West Seattle, tweeted/texted belatedly:
Transit Alert – Route 57 to Seattle due to leave the Alaska Junction at 7:38 AM is operating more than 30 minutes late this morning.
— King County Metro 🚌 (@kcmetrobus) September 6, 2017
Thanks for the comment/Twitter updates this morning – provided you’re not behind the wheel/at the handlebars, you can also reach us by text 24/7, 206-293-6302 (which works for voice too).
12:49 PM: Two updates – The Delridge/Orchard outage is over, per the SCL map; the SW Edmunds work west of California now has closed both directions of the street. We’re still awaiting SDOT info on exactly what the project entails.
Here’s another way to help Harvey storm survivors in Texas: Donate supplies and/or money for people with diabetes. Joni Campbell is a West Seattleite who has a local dropoff spot – she explains:
I’m collecting insulin (and a few additional diabetes supplies) to send to the needy in Texas through the Insulin for Life campaign that is being coordinated by a local organization, ConnecT1D.
Please see the list of acceptable items and note that the most needed (of course) is insulin. There is a cooler near my front door; feel free to just drop off any supplies you can spare (per the list) and I will deliver them. Address is in the link below under West Seattle. There are several other dropoff locations across the city – please help if you can spare any insulin at this time for those who are in desperate need with all of the flooding. There is also a way to donate cash. Thanks, all!
Scroll down the right sidebar of Joni’s link to find her address. Donations need to be made before Friday (September 8th), she says; shipments are going out next Monday (September 11th).
You saw it on cars … and in the air … but did you notice the wildfire ash in spider webs? We received two views – above, from Trileigh; below, Kathleen:
The forecast of improving air quality today (Wednesday) might truly come to pass … we’ve noticed over the past hour=plus that the full moon, which started as red as it was last night, is brightening.