West Seattle, Washington
As we make our way through the pre-holiday week, we’re rounding up information on holiday closures, and thought you might want to know that Seattle Public Library branches will be closed Sunday (Christmas Eve) as well as Monday (Christmas Day). King County Library System branches, too. Closure info will be in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide for reference, as will info on what’s open (our holiday restaurant list, for example) – and any info you have is appreciated – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
6:52 AM: Good morning! The National Weather Service’s wind advisory for our area is in effect through 4 pm, with gusts up to 45 mph possible. … No traffic incidents in/from West Seattle so far. … The south Pierce County SB I-5 closure at the scene of Monday’s train derailment continues, according to WSDOT.
West Seattle is getting one percent of the $100 million in affordable-housing investments announced today by Mayor Jenny Durkan.
The lone local recipient on the list is Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. As explained in the full announcement, part of the $100 million goes to new construction and part goes to preservation, and the latter is where DNDA comes in. Though the specific amounts weren’t mentioned in the announcement, we followed up for the specifics, and Office of Housing spokesperson Robin Koskey tells us DNDA was awarded $1,000,394. That will be invested in 70 apartments that are part of DNDA’s portfolio:
So what will the money buy? We asked DNDA executive director David Bestock. He tells WSB, “Rehab at these 4 properties” — Centerwood, Delridge Heights, Holden Manor, and Cooper School – “will include site improvements, exterior systems, interior maintenance, and specific to Cooper, abatement of foundation settling. We are thrilled to have the support of (the Office of Housing) to improve and preserve our affordable housing properties for residents of Delridge. This is a huge win for our residents, for our organization, and for our neighborhood.”
The funding announced today, for DNDA and the other organizations, comes from several sources, including the Housing Levy approved by voters last year, incentive-zoning payments, the sale of surplus properties, and $29 million in bonds approved by the City Council (in a plan sponsored by West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold).
Every year for seven years now, residents of the Arrowhead Gardens senior-apartment complex collect socks as holiday-season gifts for people in need. This afternoon, they brought their gifts to folks living just blocks away, at the city-sanctioned encampment Camp Second Chance. In the photo above are the AG sock-drive coordinator Diane Radischat, CSC manager Eric, AG’s CSC liaison Nancy, and CSC resident Melissa. Here’s a look at some of what the neighbors brought over:
Diane tells WSB that the first three years, the Arrowhead Gardens residents gave the gift of warmth to residents of the Nickelsville encampment, then for three years to Union Gospel Mission, and this is the first year that the beneficiaries are their neighbors at Camp Second Chance.
“I believe our total is around 1650 to 1700 pairs of socks … plus many hats, gloves, scarves and toiletries,” Diane says, adding that she and her neighbors donate clothing to the camp on an ongoing basis, too.
P.S. Camp Second Chance is hosting a community holiday party on Saturday afternoon, 2-5 pm, all welcome – full details in our calendar listing.
Tonight’s featured Christmas lights are in Westwood, on the east side of 30th SW, south of Barton – one recent night we noted multiple festive displays on 30th between there and SW Roxbury, and made a note to go back for a photo when we could. This particular house is notable for multiple trees of lights in the yard – hard for the photo to do justice; we had to angle the camera a bit to get everything in. Thanks again to everyone who’s been suggesting displays (email@example.com); more tomorrow, and if you haven’t seen the big displays yet, you can find them any time in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
5:44 PM: Traffic notes for the outbound commute:
EASTBOUND WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CRASH: A crash on the eastbound bridge by the 1st Avenue S. exit has blocked two lanes. (6:40 pm update – SDOT just tweeted that the scene is now clear.)
FERRY DELAYS: WSF warned earlier in the day that the southbound I-5 closure at the Pierce County train derailment scene might increase usage of the ferry system. That appears to have happened – the Fauntleroy wait right now is 90 minutes, unusual for a Monday evening.
AT THE DERAILMENT SCENE: Southbound I-5 in south Pierce County is expected to be closed at least through tomorrow morning at the derailment scene. Here’s an update from The News Tribune.
6:45 PM – 15TH/HOLDEN CRASH: Though SFD has cleared the scene on this, indicating no serious injuries, Bryan sent the photo and said police were directing traffic as of about 15 minutes ago:
7:35 PM: SFD is headed to a crash reported on NB 99 by the Battery Street Tunnel.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
It’s the most-common question in the WSB inbox right now: What’s up with the “PCC project”?
It’s been almost seven months since the May 31st closure of PCC Community Markets‘ (WSB sponsor) West Seattle store, shut down so it could be demolished and replaced by a mixed-use building with a new store and 100+ apartments. But the site remains virtually idle.
(If you need a refresher: PCC doesn’t own the site; it’s a tenant. Madison Development Group bought the site from PCC’s former landlord in 2015 and pursued the redevelopment plan.
Some PCC fans tell us they’ve been shopping at other stores and asking staffers what they know, and hearing various things, so they wanted an official update. So here’s what we can tell you, from checking around and reading documents in city files:
-PCC says it’s still on target for a 2019 West Seattle reopening.
-Two key permits for the project – demolition and excavation – were issued November 8th, according to the city’s online files. But the main construction permit is still making its way through the city system, exactly one year after the official application was filed.
-While the site would be upzoned from 40′ to 55′ under the HALA upzoning proposal that the City Council will consider next year, we asked the project designers, Hewitt, if that was leading to any changes, and principal Julia Nagele replied, “No HALA increases are anticipated for the project. The design team is simply waiting on the City to finish their permit review process.”
-What we don’t know is if there’s a projected start date. The construction-management plan on file says “late 2017,” with a tower crane expected on site in spring 2018. We have messages out to leadership at Madison and will add anything we hear back from them.
-For PCC fans who are looking forward to shopping at its future Burien store (15840 1st Ave. S.), while in the meantime ordering delivery and/or going to other stores like not-too-far Columbia City – a PCC spokesperson tells us the Burien opening is expected in spring.
The holiday season is already a time of year when blood supplies run low – and today’s deadly derailment of an Amtrak Cascades train in Pierce County has increased the need, so Bloodworks Northwest has sent a media alert asking anyone who can donate to consider helping:
… Supplies for some blood types are at critical levels – just one or two day supply, compared to a normal four-day inventory. There is a special need for O-type blood, AB plasma and platelets. Since blood can be broken down into components, every donation can potentially help three people. …
The Bloodworks website has all the info you need about donating – plus, we already have one previously scheduled West Seattle mobile blood drive on the WSB Event Calendar, coming up this Saturday at Westwood Village – here’s how to make an appointment for that drive.
For everyone who has been asking – yes, the annual West Seattle New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge at Alki Beach is on – with something extra, as just announced by longtime organizer Mark Ufkes:
Yes, the West Seattle Alki Polar Bear Plunge is on again. We line up along the beach in front of Duke’s on Alki, hold hands, and with a countdown, we all run into the water together. Over 500 of us did it last year. We plunge into the water at 10 am sharp January 1, 2018. Don’t be late. Bring water shoes, a towel, a warm change of clothes, and your hopes and dreams for the new year.
This year’s event is a great way to wash away the complexities of the first year of a Trump Administration. And the cold, crisp 47-degree Puget Sound water will wash us with an understanding of why Trump and the mostly white, Republican men who run Congress, after attacking President Obama on a daily basis for eight years about the deficit, would add $1.5 trillion to the deficit during an economic boom to give tax benefits to mostly the wealthy in society, while taking away our net neutrality and reducing lands preserved in our national monuments.
Wear Pink Into the Water: After 62 years of life, and as a white man, I have come to the conclusion that white men (mostly Republicans) are not capable of running our federal government in an honest, equitable manner. Therefore, I will be wearing pink into the water to acknowledge the reality that we need to elect women into every position in the U.S. Congress and fully hand over the reins of federal government power to women. We all know that they will do a better job.
See you January 1 at 10 am!
A double-take this morning for some Westwood Village Target shoppers, as the store entrance filled with uniformed police around 9 am. No need to worry, they explained – Southwest Precinct police were there for one of the company’s annual Shop With a Cop events.
~20 West Seattle and South Park students were chosen for the program, with the help of local nonprofits, who also had volunteers there to help.
Target donated gift cards and there was one prerequisite – along with choosing items, kids were asked to include a present for a family member or friend.
FEUERZANGENBOWLE: At Prost! West Seattle, “Join us every Monday throughout December at 7 pm for a festive German Holiday tradition called Feuerzangenbowle. We soak a sugar cone in German Rum, light it on fire, which drips molten sugar into our house-made Glühwein. It’s delicious and it benefits a local cause! Half of all Glühwein proceeds will go to the West Seattle Food Bank.” (3407 California SW)
Family and friends will gather next month to remember Virginia K. Metz, and this remembrance is being shared with the community now:
Virginia K. Metz (née Strasevicius), age 68, passed away in Seattle on Monday, October 2nd. She was born January 22nd, 1949, in Hechingen, Germany to Helen and Stanley, and grew up in Chicago’s Marquette Park. She is survived by her brother Stanley, sister Mary, sons Alec and Andrew, their father Russell, daughters-in-law Tuyatsetseg and Margaret, and grandchildren Thomas and Sylvia.
Virginia worked for over two decades as a dedicated social worker in numerous Seattle schools, including for many years at West Seattle High School. She was a kind, intelligent, and incredibly funny individual, and will be greatly missed.
A celebration of her life will be held in West Seattle on January 20th. If you knew Virginia and would like to attend, please email her son, Andrew, at Andrew.E.Metz@gmail.com.
(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)
7 AM: Good morning! It’s the week before Christmas, and school’s out. No incidents in/from West Seattle reported so far.
7:35 AM: WSDOT reports a crash on NB I-5 near Seneca.
8:11 AM: Crash reported at Admiral/Olga.
9:05 AM: If you monitor regional news, you have likely heard about the Amtrak derailment that has closed I-5 in south Pierce County. Washington State Ferries is warning that its system traffic might increase as people divert.
10:19 AM: The current closure is southbound and per WSP expected to continue through the day.
Four notes in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
GAS-STATION ROCK-THROWING: Ladder 11 was parked at the Fauntleroy/Alaska gas station early this evening not to fuel up, but because firefighters were helping with the aftermath of a rock-throwing attack. Police were there too and told us that a man, apparently under the influence, threw a large rock through the station mini-mart window, near the clerk. No one was hurt but firefighters were helping clean up the glass when we arrived. Police took the suspect into custody.
From the WSB inbox this weekend:
ARBOR HEIGHTS PACKAGES VANISH: From Kirsten:
We believe two packages were stolen within 2 hours of their delivery from our house in Arbor Heights! Was curious if any other people in the area have mentioned anything. One of the packages had a dark purple raincoat in it that we were donating to the Pike Place giving tree. Unfortunate to have this sort of thing taken. We live in the 3700 block on SW 100th Street.
UPDATE: See Amanda‘s comment – misdelivered, not stolen!
STOLEN ELEMENT FOUND: Last Thursday, we published Kanti‘s report about a black 2004 Honda Element stolen from 30th/Henderson. It’s been found – just a few minutes east, Kanti reports, near 16th/Cambridge, with one person arrested.
Finally, if you don’t get City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s weekly newsletter (which she also publishes online in blog format), you might not have seen this:
NEIGHBORHOOD PER-CAPITA CRIME COMPARISONS: While it was included in Herbold’s followup about crime concerns in South Park, this per-capita crime comparison covered West Seattle neighborhoods too:
(Click here for full-size version on seattle.gov)
The first two pages of this slide deck also break down crime trends by SW Precinct neighborhoods. You’ll note that not all West Seattle neighborhoods are mentioned. That’s because they don’t all have “micro-community policing plans” which in turn lead to ongoing SPD neighborhood-by-neighborhood tracking. Those plans were initially developed a few years back in collaboration with the neighborhoods that had established community councils/groups. SPD still keeps overall precinct-wide info too. And you can look up trends/stats any time on the SPD website; even more links are part of Councilmember Herbold’s writeup.
Our featured lights tonight are on the west side of 40th SW, just north of SW Charlestown. Wendy e-mailed to say, “Check out 40th Ave SW between Charlestown and Hinds for awesome Xmas lights. Practically every house on the street (both sides) is lit up.” And indeed they are. She also pointed out that this is right around the corner from music-synched West Seattle Lights (39th/Charlestown), so while you’re checking out that show, explore the blocks nearby – we saw plenty of brightness on 41st and 42nd in the area, too.
One year ago, the sun decided to show up for Alice Enevoldsen‘s Winter Solstice sunset watch at West Seattle’s Solstice Park. Will we see it happen this year? The forecast so far is inconclusive. But Alice, who’s been a volunteer NASA Solar System Ambassador since 2010, will be at the park for Thursday’s sunset, 4-5 pm, presenting her quarterly info-and-demonstration event marking the changing of the seasons. All welcome! If you haven’t been there, here’s how to find the park. (The actual solstice moment is on Thursday morning – just before 8:30 am our time – but Alice’s events are always at sunset, taking advantage of the park’s unique markers showing where the sunset lines up at solstices and equinoxes.)
Thanks to Jennifer for the photos taken just before school got out for winter break:
Holy Rosary Preschoolers met with West Seattle Food Bank rep Chris Dickie, who shared WSFB’s mission with them. Everyone helped load the WSFB van with diapers and board games that were collected which will be distributed to local families in our community.
Want to join the preschoolers in helping WSFB this week before Christmas? Find out more about hours – and needs – here.
The video is from “Diver Laura” James, who continues to experiment with 360-degree video equipment, and shared that clip from one of her most-recent experiments. It was recorded in the Cove 2 area off north/northeast West Seattle.
P.S. If you haven’t viewed 360-degree video before – just “grab” it in the player window while it’s playing, and pull it around to look above, below, behind, around!
UPDATED MONDAY EVENING: If you have trouble with the clip as embedded above, try this version.
Besides the farmers’ stands – and holiday greenery! – at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market until 2 pm, here’s some of what else you’ll find:
SANTA TROLLEY: With the weather chillier, cloudier, and breezier than last week, it’s an even-more-perfect day to take a trolley ride around The Junction!
Catch it at California/Alaska by Easy Street Records. And steps away…
Toward the northeast side of the market …
ROTARY POP-UP: Outside the Sisson Building on the east side of California just south of Oregon, say hi to Ann and Len of the Rotary Club of West Seattle:
Just look for their blue-and-gold tent. And yes, the market WILL be open the next two Sundays!
11:24 AM: SFD divers and rescuers are headed out for a report of a possible paddleboarder in trouble off Fauntleroy. Medics are headed for Don Armeni/Seacrest, where they would bring anyone they find. More to come.
11:32 AM UPDATE: SFD says it’s made contact with the paddleboarder and they don’t need help. Units are being dismissed (we see one leaving the south end of Lincoln Park just as we were arriving). (added) We also talked with police officers who were still on the shore in the park (photo above) – they confirmed the paddleboarder is OK, and still out paddleboarding at last report.
(The Junction Plaza Park Christmas tree by day, photographed by Laura Goodrich, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
Welcome to Sunday! Our first set of highlights is from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:
HOLY ROSARY TREE LOT: Final day for the Holy Rosary Tree Lot, north of the school, with trees, wreaths and garlands. Scheduled hours, 8:30 am-9 pm. Part of this lot’s proceeds benefit West Seattle Helpline, Hickman House (domestic-violence shelter), and West Seattle Food Bank. (41st/Dakota)
SANTA TROLLEY! 10 am-2 pm at the Farmers’ Market, second and final Sunday for this new West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays event. Emerald City Trolley takes you around The Junction, sponsored by Westside School (WSB sponsor) – catch the trolley at the south end of the market. Free. (California/Alaska)
COCOA AND COAT DRIVE: 10 am-2 pm. “Join the Junction Association, West Seattle Kiwanis, and West Seattle Christian Church at the Farmers Market for a taste of the holidays and several activities to enjoy, and to share warmth with those in need as we collect coats, hats and gloves – all donated to the West Seattle Helpline.” (California/Alaska)
CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT: 10 am at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor). “The Children’s Christmas Pageant highlights the Third Sunday of Advent. Don’t miss this warm, wonderful and occasionally spontaneous event!” (3940 41st SW)
‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: 3 pm matinee today is the final performance of Twelfth Night Productions‘ presentation of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show” at Kenyon Hall. Buy ticket(s) online at this Brown Paper Tickets link, or at the venue box office. (7904 35th SW)
OPEN HOUSE: West Side Presbyterian Church invites you to a Community Open House, 4-6 pm: “A gathering of family, friends and neighbors for light refreshments, festive music and Christmas carols as we connect with those around us.” (3601 California SW)
FAUNTLEROY CHURCH CONCERT: Enjoy both new and familiar music of the season in a free vocal and instrumental concert by the chancel choir at Fauntleroy Church, starting at 5 pm in the sanctuary. Fully accessible by elevator from parking. (9140 California SW)
And from the year-round Event Calendar:
ROTARY POP-UP: Meet West Seattle Rotary Club members and find out what Rotary is all about. 10 am-2 pm in front of the Quail Park Memory Care of West Seattle Discovery Center in The Junction. (4506 California SW)
Something for the calendar or Holiday Guide (which has listings through New Year’s)? email@example.com – thank you!
We weren’t surprised to find a store-and-café-filling crowd at Easy Street Records tonight for kinder-rock star Caspar Babypants – but there was something – someone – unexpected during our visit – when CB played “Pop Goes the Weasel.”
He introduced a saxophone soloist as only “Max the Weasel” – see and hear in our video:
Quite coincidentally, and unrelated to tonight’s show, we realized later, we had heard about Max just a day earlier.
He’s Max Czerwinski, a West Seattle High School senior and participant in the school music program, whose director Ethan Thomas e-mailed us Friday to point out that Max had spent an hour last week as a guest jazz DJ on KNKX radio. Here’s the link, including the show, and Max’s musings – even his playlist. As for how Max wound up playing with Caspar Babypants tonight – he told us they met outside Safeco Field when Max was busking, and talked about the collaboration over time. (Our archives also show he was one of the student buskers who played in spots including outside Easy Street to raise money for a new tuba.)
P.S. Tonight’s show at Easy Street was part of West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays.
HH happenings continue tomorrow at the Farmers’ Market with free Santa Trolley rides and the cocoa and coat drive, 10 am-2 pm.
Even before Lori and Tim McConnell opened their one-of-a-kind West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor) in 2010, a holiday-lights run was a tradition. Tonight was the night they gathered runners and walkers in their shop for a celebration with something extra. First, a group photo:
Then, off on a route that, as usual, was scheduled to head east of The Admiral District, with highlights including music-synched West Seattle Lights (3908 SW Charlestown), about a mile away:
As the McConnells reminded everyone, it wasn’t a race, just a lot of fun. Some brought strollers, some brought dogs. And when they got back to the store, they were scheduled to celebrate’s Tim upcoming milestone birthday – we got a peek at the cake:
By the way, WS Runner isn’t just for experienced runners – they nurture beginners too – and toward that end, they’re about to launch a new round of the free couch-to-half-marathon program Get Fit West Seattle, with an informational night at the shop, 7 pm Wednesday, December 27th.