West Seattle, Washington
(Photo by David Hutchinson -Olympics, Puget Sound, and vehicle carrier Midnight Sun on Wednesday)
We’ve seen the snow on the mountains – and maybe as soon as tonight/early tomorrow, we might see some here in the lowlands. So says the National Weather Service, and if not this round, maybe Christmas Eve/Day – and/or maybe after that. The big word is “maybe,” as the newest Forecast Discussion explains, and there’s a Special Weather Statement too. They are NOT talking major snow – maybe just a “dusting” – but still … if and when you see snow, our 24-hour hotline, text or voice, is 206-293-6302 – thank you!
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
STOLEN SHOP KEEPSAKE: Just in from Sam, proprietor of Fleurt in The Junction, the photo and report:
I wanted to let you know that late this afternoon/ maybe early evening an iconic vintage (early 1900s) watering can was stolen from the outside front of Fleurt. Sadly we didn’t see who stole it as the shop has been busy today and filled with customers getting last-minute gifts.
This is an item we placed outside everyday since we opened in 2010. This breaks my heart. I am saddened to think that a person or people would be so low to steal from us. And at Christmas time.
I’ve had the watering can for 20+ years. The watering can stood over 2 feet tall. It is made from a very heavy metal. The color is galvanized and rusty looking. The watering can has special sentimental value to me. I would like to offer a reward for its return. If anyone saw someone take it, or have information on its whereabouts, please contact Sam at Fleurt: 206.937.1103.
CONDO-BUILDING BURGLARS: The report and security-camera image are from Sharon, who says this happened last Saturday at 35th/Roxbury:
Two men with a screwdriver entered our condominium building and attempted to pry open 2 locked doors. They were unsuccessful in getting in, but damaged one door and broke the door handle. The police have been notified.
SUSPECTED CAR PROWLER: From Rich:
At 5:45 PM I saw a person looking into cars with a flashlight near 59th and Stevens, across from Alki Elementary. He was white, bearded, a bit short (5’ 6” – 5’ 8”), wearing brown suspenders and a green shirt. When he noticed me he walked off to an alley. After a couple minutes (presumably waiting for me to leave) he walked out of the alley and got into a small red car and drove away. FYI in case anyone reports something missing in that area.
ALSO ON ALKI: Thanks for the text about a police response a short time ago. According to scanner traffic, they were headed to a fight situation on Alki, which has since been declared under control. Meantime, at a different location, police have found a stolen car in an alley off 60th SW – we don’t know the make/model.
POSSIBLE PACKAGE THEFT: From Dana:
I’m pretty sure a package was stolen off of our front porch at 41st & Graham on Tuesday around 1 pm. Unless it was misdelivered. In which case, everyone check your packages! :) Either way, a reminder to all to keep an eye out.
Also note that package delivery in these days before Christmas is continuing late at night – we’ve heard of multiple cases of 10 pm-ish deliveries.
At Solstice Park late today, the mountains showed up, the holiday cheer showed up, more than 40 people showed up … but the sun was a no-show for Alice Enevoldsen‘s winter-solstice sunset watch. Nonetheless, she led attendees through what she jokingly called “solstice yoga,” as part of her explanation of the solar-system phenomenon that brings the change of seasons:
(Added: For a longer version, see Scott Scowcroft‘s video here.)
There was also a bit of cloud observation due to the formations in the south sky:
Thanks to @WestSeaWx for informing us via Twitter that those were Undulatus Asperatus. Alice has led more than 30 solstice/equinox sunset watches as part of her commitment as a volunteer NASA Solar System Ambassador:
She always schedules them for the same date the equinox or solstice arrives in our time zone, so it’s easy to remember – that means you can plan to join her at Solstice Park for the arrival of spring on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018. Watch her website alicesastroinfo.com for more info on that and other things you might see in the sky.
With Christmas so close, we’re stepping up the featured lights to at least two per night. Above, the 3400 block of 41st SW includes lights and sound designed by 10-year-old Sawyer – thanks to Lisa for the photo and tip! – below, we happened to be driving southbound in the 3700 block of Beach Drive and spotted two very brightly decked decks on the side of the Harbor West over-the-water complex facing Cormorant Cove Park:
Christmas lights to suggest, with or without a photo? email@example.com – thank you! Our archive so far (including previous years, if you keep scrolling) is here; we also have a list of the annual biggies in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, including West Seattle Lights (3908 SW Charlestown), where, as we mentioned last night, you’ll find local Brownies with hot cocoa for West Seattle Food Bank donors, 6:30-8 pm tonight.
In case you missed last week’s community meeting about the recent Arroyos/south Arbor Heights power outage and related trouble – what you see above is the slide deck explaining what Seattle City Light has planned for the area. A project spanning multiple blocks of South Arbor Heights is expected to last about a year and scheduled to start next March. (The slide deck includes a map you can also see here.) SCL says it’ll be putting in “new electrical conduit and cables” to replace “underground, direct buried cables (that) are approaching the ending of their life.” Besides this month’s outage, the area’s relatively recent outages included last April, August 2016, and May 2016.
One huge question that’ll finally be answered in the new year: When the Highway 99 tunnel opens, what will the tolls be?
As previewed here – and as subsequently covered by Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom – the state Transportation Commission has just had another talk about tunnel tolls. The major issue involves balancing between the money that tolls have to raise, and the level of tolls that would lead to too much “diversion” – drivers avoiding the tunnel.
The decision is not due until next September, but Kathy e-mailed WSB to ask for more information on how to have a say now – and to ask who locally is involved in advocacy related to the toll-setting. First, if you’re looking for background info:
That’s the main slide deck presented when the Transportation Commission took up the tolling topic last week (you also can see here in PDF; a second deck with analysis is here). As noted on its timeline slide, two major “public outreach” opportunities are planned next year – April through June, after “toll scenario results” are presented, and then a public hearing after the rates are proposed in July.
If you have something you want to say now, here’s how to comment to the commission.
If you or a group you’re involved with is working on advocacy, Kathy and others would like to know – please comment (or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add to the story).
P.S. If you’re wondering who’s on the commission that will make the decision – here’s that list.
WINTER SOLSTICE SUNSET WATCH: Join NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen at Solstice Park for the first sunset after winter solstice. Even if it’s cloudy – you’ll learn about the solar system and have fun. Arrive around 3:45 pm. (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW, upslope from the tennis courts)
CHRISTMAS MUSIC AT THRIFTWAY: Gary Benson will play Christmas music live at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 4-7 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
WINTER BAKING DEMONSTRATION: At West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), baking demo with chef/author Kim O’Donnel. No signup required. 4:30-5:30 pm. (36th SW/SW Snoqualmie)
CHRISTMAS FLUTE ENSEMBLE: Performing at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 6 pm: “Christmas Flute Ensemble with a trio of flute students and adult flute choir.” (5612 California SW)
COCOA FOR A CAUSE: 6:30-8 pm tonight:
Brownie Troop 41169 will be at West Seattle Lights handing out hot cocoa to anyone who stops by with a non-perishable food donation (or small cash donations) for the West Seattle Food Bank. They are hoping to spread a little cheer and help boost food donations during the holidays. If you haven’t stopped by this house yet, there is no better time! Our Brownies would love to give you a cocoa to warm yourself while you watch the light show. We hope to see you there!
(3908 SW Charlestown)
SHOP LATE THURSDAY IN THE JUNCTION: Last one before Christmas! Stores open late for your shopping convenience include longtime WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW), where this illuminated customizable signboard is one of the fun things we’ve seen this season:
More info on The Junction’s Hometown Holidays website. And if your shop has special hours tonight, or any day through Christmas Eve, let us know (email@example.com) so we can add it to the Holiday Guide!
GIVING TREE AT CAPERS: While you’re out shopping in The Junction – it’s the last day for the Hickman House giving tree at CAPERS (which provided the photo):
Choose a star, buy the requested gift, bring it back unwrapped. (4525 California SW)
‘LONGEST NIGHT’ SERVICES: From the list of seasonal church services in our Holiday Guide, four churches have sent word of special services tonight:
TIBBETTS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (3940 41st SW; WSB sponsor)
7 pm The Longest Night / Blue Christmas Service is quiet, warm, and intimate. Remember the faithfulness of God even when your heart feels empty. Come, and be. Share in the liturgy or choose to remain silent. This will be a quiet space with minimal singing, candles to light, contemplative words and silence to encourage prayer. Come in solitude, recommend this service to a lonely or hurting friend, or better yet, bring them.
WESTSIDE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION (7141 California SW)
Blue Holiday Service, 7 pm: Christmas and other seasonal holidays can be a painful time. The loss of loved ones, the anguish of a broken relationship, the insecurity of employment, the weariness of poor health, the pain of isolation, or the pressure of holiday preparations and activity – all these can make us feel alone in the midst of celebrations of the season. This will be a time for people to share their deeper feelings of loss or isolation during the holiday season.
WEST SIDE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (3601 California SW):
Service of the Longest Night, 7 pm: The Service of the Longest Night is a worship service for those carrying heavy burdens this season and the people who love and wish to pray for them. Those gathered for this service will have the opportunity to pray, light candles, sing, take communion, or simply sit in silence and await the light of Christ coming into the world at Christmas.
ADMIRAL CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST (4320 SW Hill)
Longest Night Contemplative Service, 7 pm: “Light and Possibilities,” special music by Sam Peters.
Also tonight in West Seattle:
Before we get to what’s up today/tonight – just wanted to let you know, if you’re looking ahead, our lists of restaurant and grocery-store hours for Christmas Eve/Day are available. The restaurant list is here – we list restaurants that told us they would be open Christmas Eve and/or Day – if they’re closed for both, or if they did not reply to our inquiries, they’re not on the list. As always, we offer the caveat that establishments sometimes change their plans after we have already checked with them, but this is the best info we have right now. The grocery-store hours, meantime, are listed in the Christmas Eve/Day section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, which we continue to update daily through New Year’s.
7:04 AM: Good morning. No incidents in/from West Seattle so far, but watch out for icy patches here and there, since it’s below freezing right now (winter officially arrives just before 8:30 am). Meantime, an after-the-fact transit alert just in:
Transit Alert – The first Route 22 to the Alaska Junction due to leave Shorewood at 6:20 AM did not operate this morning.
— King County Metro🚌 (@kcmetrobus) December 21, 2017
Also of note: Southbound I-5 at the train-derailment scene in Pierce County reopened last night.
8:39 AM: Jennifer reports via e-mail:
46th SW (as it turns into 46th from 100th) as it goes down to meet Marine View Drive is a solid sheet of thick ice all the way down in the right lane. There has long been a water leak of some kind there, but today it is very icy and extremely dangerous as you’re headed down to the stop sign on Marine View Drive.
She says SDOT has been called to dispatch de-icer.
9:09 AM: Crash on the eastbound bridge, per the scanner. Haven’t yet heard exactly where.
9:14 AM: At Delridge, per SDOT. Meantime, there’s also a call out to move a stalled Metro bus from the eastbound bridge to 99 – probably the one Mike tweeted about:
Our bus boiled over, WS Bridge ramp to NB 99. Folks hopped on passing 21 and 120 buses. pic.twitter.com/WRLXIfH93s
— Michael C. Lindblom (@MikeLindblom) December 21, 2017