West Seattle, Washington
That’s video from WSDOT, recorded inside the Highway 99 tunnel during a first-of-its-kind test today. From WSDOT’s project spokesperson Laura Newborn:
This morning, Seattle Tunnel Partners, the contractor for the SR 99 tunnel, successfully completed the first test of the tunnel’s deluge sprinkler system. In this two-minute test, 6,400 gallons of water poured out of the overhead sprinklers along a 216 foot section of the upper road of the double-deck tunnel. The tunnel is divided into 208 fire safety zones and the fire suppression system is designed to activate sprinklers within the safety zones – or more simply, at the point of a fire. Today’s test spanned two safety zones.
Seattle Tunnel Partners has many more systems tests and safety tests ahead before the tunnel is finished. After all tests are complete and all tunnel systems are a ‘go,’ WSDOT must close the viaduct through Seattle to finish building ramps and realign SR 99 into the new tunnel. Given the amount of testing still ahead, it remains too early to give an exact date for tunnel opening, but the tunnel could open to traffic as soon as this fall.
As we reported after covering a media briefing near the tunnel’s south entrance last week, Highway 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and tunnel will be off-limits to downtown-bound traffic for up to two extra weeks beyond the viaduct-to-tunnel transition closure, to finish the main route into downtown.
2:54 PM: Thanks for the tips: Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Strand confirms that police have “a suspect in custody for the Highland Park burglaries/assaults. All of the information at this point is lining up and looks like we have the right guy.” The break-ins happened on 11th SW, 12th SW, and 13th SW a short distance north of SW Roxbury in the early-morning hours of June 17th and 19th. The suspect is still being questioned and has not yet been booked into jail.
3:08 PM: A bit more information – police say “the victim in one of the break-ins recognized the suspect on the street and called 911. Officers took the person into custody and turned them over to detectives. Detectives have not yet linked the suspect to all of the cases, but continue to investigate.”
Thanks to Kathy for the tip: West Seattle will be the site of one of the marches set around the country this Saturday to protest federal asylum-seeker-detention policies. The announcement invites people to gather “at the pavilion in the southwest corner of” Lincoln Park at 10 am Saturday and says the march will then head along Fauntleroy Way starting at 10:45 am. We have a message out to the organizer looking for more details.
(WSB photo, Summer Fest Eve 2017)
Just confirmed by Lora Swift at the West Seattle Junction Association – the ever-effervescent Bubbleman will be back for Summer Fest Eve on July 12th, two weeks from tonight. He’ll perform in the heart of The Junction, at California/Alaska, that night at 6:30 pm, after the streets are closed for festival setup. Even if you’re not much for bubbles, Summer Fest Eve has long been a great time to come wander the streets, and this year there’ll be more going on than ever. Many restaurants and bars will be setting up their outdoor spaces – more than two dozen this year! – including West 5 (WSB sponsor), which is continuing its 15th-anniversary celebration, and will bring back the Yadda Yadda Blues Band.
Summer Fest Eve also is West Seattle Art Walk night, and will include extra artistic touches including the start of a community mural project that will last for the entirety of Summer Fest – look for it near California/Oregon, with artist Stacey Sterling there to guide you. Artists will be creating chalk art on the streets during Summer Fest Eve, too.
P.S. Want to be a busker during Summer Fest Eve, or any other time at the festival (Friday-Sunday, July 13-15)? You get priority for time slots and designated locations if you sign up in advance – the form is live now!
A reminder from Metro – the new “single fare” (no morey additional surcharges for zones or travel during peak commute hours) starts Sunday (July 1st):
Metro’s new fare of $2.75 aims to make riding transit more convenient and avoid confusion over fare payment that leads to delays in boarding. A single fare for adult riders also lowers the potential for fare disputes, which will help improve safety.
Metro’s fares for youth, seniors and disabled riders, and those enrolled in ORCA LIFT will not change. More information can be found on Metro’s fares page.
“A simple $2.75 flat fare makes Metro service easier to use and more accessible for hundreds of thousands of riders who depend on us every day,” Metro’s General Manager Rob Gannon said. “Just have your fare payment ready, either by ORCA card, cash or mobile ticket – no more having to think about which zone or whether you’re riding peak or off-peak.”
Metro adopted a simple fare after receiving more than 11,000 responses to two public surveys, including one in which 80 percent expressed support for a flat fare. Metro previously had one of the nation’s most complex fare structures, with one zone for the City of Seattle and another for all areas outside of the city, as well as extra charges during the morning and evening commute. Metro’s simple fare also aligns more closely with other regional transit agencies, which do not have surcharges during peak hours.
About 65 percent of Metro boardings will see no change or pay 50 cents less under the new structure. Fares for off-peak travel will increase by 25 cents – affecting about 35 percent of Metro boardings.
At the beginning of 2018, Metro increased funding for Human Services Tickets for riders with lower-income or no income. Metro also is working with ORCA agency partners to reduce the replacement card fee for ORCA LIFT customers from $5 to $3 and eliminate the $3 initial card fee for seniors and people with disabilities. Metro continues to evaluate ways to make fares easier to understand and pay.
Here are the highlights of what’s ahead for your Thursday:
PROFESSOR FICKLESTEIN’S ENERGY EXTRAVAGANZA: Fun free show for ages 4-12 at Southwest Library, 11 am. Details in our calendar listing! (9010 35th SW)
STATE SENATE CANDIDATES’ FORUM: It’s the centerpiece of the West Seattle Democratic Women‘s monthly meeting in the Rotary Room at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor). 11:15 am registration/social time, noon forum. You’re welcome to bring your own lunch. Free admission for WSDW members, $5 room/program charge for non-members. (3622 SW Snoqualmie)
SUMMER MEALS FIELD DAY: Free food and fun activities for kids, noon-3 pm at Roxhill Park. Kickoff for United Way’s Summer Meals program. (29th SW/SW Barton)
CHAMPION HYDROPLANE VISITS WEST SEATTLE: 3-5 pm, you’re invited to come see the defending national-champion hydroplane Miss HomeStreet at West Seattle’s HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) branch. (4022 SW Alaska)
TALK ABOUT CRIME/SAFETY/POLICE: Live/work/study in Westwood, Roxhill, Arbor Heights? 5 pm tonight, Seattle U researchers invite you to a conversation at Southwest Library that will help shape your local microcommunity policing plan. (9010 35th SW)
DRAG QUEEN STORY TIME: Pride Month continues at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) with Mama T reading stories 6:30-7:30 pm – details in our calendar listing. (3622 SW Snoqualmie)
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: All welcome at the monthly WSTC meeting, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
READ THE KORAN IN 4 WEEKS: The next session of Rev. Ron Marshall‘s long-running course starts at 7 tonight at First Lutheran Church of West Seattle. Details in our calendar listing. (4105 California SW)
MORE! on our complete-calendar page.
(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)
6:58 AM: Good morning! No incidents so far in/from West Seattle.
7:54 AM: SFD has sent an engine to a crash reported at 48th SW and SW Spokane.
Not far from WSB HQ, neighbors were awakened by the sound of metal hitting metal, then a car alarm blaring – after a hit-run driver damaged that car parked on SW Thistle west of 42nd SW and took off. Police were called. The car was described as a silver Dodge Challenger and the damaged car’s owner tells us police might already have found it nearby. But they’re still interested in information – case # 2018-235713.
Are you ready? You’re running out of time to prep for the West Seattle Junction’s big recycling/shredding event, 9 am-1 pm Saturday. If you haven’t already seen them, toplines of what will and won’t be accepted are here and here. It’s happening in The Junction’s lot off 42nd SW just south of SW Oregon, presented by the West Seattle Junction Association, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Seattle Public Utilities, Waste Management, and Windermere. No charge – just drive up, ride up, walk up with your stuff.
(File photo, fireworks debris at Highland Park Playground)
The 4th of July is exactly one week away, and tomorrow, fireworks go on sale next door in unincorporated North Highline, where they’re still legal despite bans in cities on both sides. Here within the Seattle city limits, fireworks are illegal, but that doesn’t deter users, especially in light of the annual sort-of-non-enforcement alert. Might a plea like this bring a change of heart? It was sent to us by Anna:
In anxiety and dreadful anticipation, I write asking for your help in alerting the public to the fear, dangers, and irresponsibility of our neighborhoods in allowing fireworks to be blown up for “freedom and fun’s sake”! Unfortunately, my pets and small children are already feeling anxious…last year my neighbors disrespected these laws and our dog ran away at 5 pm on the 4th of July. She buried herself in a culvert until 5 am the next morning. I pleaded, screamed, and yelled at my neighbors all night and they disregarded my pleas. I watched one of their trees nearly burn down due to their stupidity and disregard…I am going in the offensive this year and will name them and call them out! Please help by broadcasting safe and sane and a quieter 4th for my family’s freedom! Sincerely, Anna
Meantime, the Seattle Animal Shelter published its annual reminder about how to keep pets safe and ensure you can get yours back if it runs (including a recommendation for the WSB Lost/Found Pets page – we hope you won’t need it, but we’ll be here if you do). If you’re new here – the big Seattle fireworks show is the Summer Fourth on Lake Union, after 10 pm on Independence Day night, visible from many north-facing spots in West Seattle. The usual mid-July Jubilee Days fireworks in White Center are NOT happening this year because work at the usual spot – Steve Cox Memorial Park – has made it unavailable (the carnival IS on, at White Center Heights Elementary instead).
RVs ON ANDOVER: The street side by Nucor, across from West Seattle Health Club, has drawn RV campers off and on for more than 2 1/2 years – the earliest story in our archives is from December 2015. This week, we’ve received two e-mails about the situation. One this morning pointed out orange notices on the RVs’ windshields; we went over and spotted the telltale city-issued 72-hour warnings on all but one, and a parking-enforcement officer’s vehicle in the vicinity. We checked the other popular parking spot along Harbor Avenue between the bridge and Seacrest; nine RVs scattered along that stretch right now, but no notices in view.
SWEEP ALONG 509: We noticed signs of a clearing-out encampment along the southbound 509 exit to West Marginal Way, and inquired with city homelessness-response spokesperson Will Lemke, who confirmed that a camp in that area was swept this week: “The areas around 509 and the wetland are frequently camped and we work to provide repeated outreach with offers of service and shelter leading up to the encampment clean-up. Encampments in that area are of concern given the proximity to moving vehicles near the roadways and ramps and the human-waste impacts to the wetland. It’s also a difficult area for the the police and fire departments to respond to, which is another reason why it was prioritized for removal this week.” We also asked him about the east side of Myers Way. No new cleanup plans there, Lemke says, but: “The team continues to do outreach on a weekly basis. In order for the team to remove the encampment, we will need to have a lot of shelter capacity — which we do not have at this time. In the interim, we will continue to try to get people to take us up on shelter.”
SPEAKING OF MYERS WAY: Because of the impending 4th of July holiday, the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee, which usually meets the first Sunday afternoon of each month, is not meeting in July. (C2C is the only city-sanctioned encampment in West Seattle and averages about 50 campers.)
That’s a state Ecology Department photo, taken today, of the barge that burned on the east side of the Duwamish River last night (WSB coverage here). Ecology says the barge was boomed as a precaution but no oil sheen was detected, no “distressed wildlife,” just a “small amount of firefighting foam at tideline.” The U.S. Coast Guard lifted its half-mile “safety zone” early this morning. As for the fire, seen far and wide, we asked Seattle Fire for an update this afternoon:
(Tuesday night photo by Gustavo Arzola)
SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley replied that the fire was ruled “accidental” and damage is estimated at $1 million, adding: “Firefighters remained on scene until noon today to ensure the fire was extinguished.”
So far, the official “event notifications” we’ve published for this summer involve big public events you’ve probably heard about already. This time, though, the notification is for a private event that will take over Don Armeni Boat Ramp the night of July 26th:
WHAT: A Night Out for the Parks (a private event)
WHERE: Don Armeni Park, 1228 Harbor Ave SW
DATE(s): Thursday, July 26, 2018 (load-in and event day)
Friday, July 27, 2017 (cleanup)
TIME(s): 8:00 AM Load In
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM Event Hours
11:00 PM – 11:30 PM Thursday, July 26 and 8:00 AM Friday, July 27
On Thursday, July 26, our organization, CRG Events, will be producing a special event at Don Armeni Park, called A Night Out for Seattle Parks. We are thrilled to be guests in your neighborhood and it’s important to us that we are communicating clearly with you, the neighbors.
-Event hours are from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM on Thursday, July 26, 2018
-We will be loading in beginning at 8:00 AM on Thursday and will load out until approximately 11:30 PM on Thursday, July 26. Remaining load out will occur starting 8:00 AM on Friday, July 27.
-We will leave your neighborhood as we found it: litter and recycling will be handled by Waste Management.
-There will also be private cleaning crews ensuring complete trash removal.
-During the event hours, we expect up to 1000 people onsite.
-We will have amplified sound during the hours of 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM on Thursday, July 26.
-The event will include a stage featuring DJ music.
-See stage location on attached map:
-We will position speakers towards the water to assist with any sound carry.
We are working closely with the City of Seattle Special Events Committee to minimize the impacts of the event. Our goal is to create an enjoyable and positive experience in your neighborhood.
If you or any of the surrounding residents and businesses have questions or comments about impacts of this event, please email us at:
Janna Fain, Event Manager, CRG Events firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Swenson, City of Seattle Special Events Office email@example.com
(Massing for ‘preferred option’ from draft Design Review packet for 4508 California SW)
As noted here earlier this month, the first of the next two mixed-use projects in the heart of West Seattle, 4747 California SW, is set for its Southwest Design Review Board debut on July 19th. Now, the other one, 4508 California SW, has a date set too – August 2nd. (Thanks to Scott for the tip.) This – as we first reported in March – is planned for a site immediately south of the Sisson Building (Senior Center of West Seattle). It’s currently proposed as 7 stories, 79 apartments, and 20 offstreet-parking spaces. The 6:30 pm meeting on August 2nd at the Senior Center (4217 SW Oregon) is for the Early Design Guidance phase, so the “design packet” (here’s the draft version in PDF) mostly addresses size and shape – “massing” – rather than the building’s potential appearance, which would be reviewed in the second phase.
(UPDATED 2:15 PM with date that new noise-enforcement ordinance was signed)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
No arrest yet in the south West Seattle break-ins in which residents came face to face with intruders, but they were a major topic at last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting at the Southwest Precinct.
CAPTAIN’S UPDATE: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis reminded the 20+ attendees that “watching out for each other” is the most important thing they can do. Property crime is still the prevalent type in West Seattle right now. He said it doesn’t generally ease until they “arrest a lot of people” and then “appeal to prosecutors and judges” to deal harshly with the repeat offenders.
Sheds and outbuildings were the big targets for burglars until recently, when the “anomaly” series of occupied-home burglaries happened (our most-recent coverage is here and here) on 11th SW, 12th SW, 13th SW along several blocks just north of Roxbury between June 17th and 19th.
(Photographer David Hutchinson captioned this, ‘Seahawk seen in West Seattle’ – osprey on piling off Harbor SW)
What’s happening – and not happening – today/tonight in West Seattle:
NO WADING POOLS TODAY: Per Seattle Parks, today won’t hit the “sunny/above 70” bar to fill and open them.
BABY STORY TIME: Bring your up-to-12-month-old(s) to High Point Library at 11:30 am for stories, songs, and rhymes. (3411 SW Raymond)
LIVE AND/OR WORK IN ADMIRAL? You’re invited to talk crime/safety/police with Seattle University researchers tonight at 5 pm at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library, as previewed here. (2306 42nd SW)
ORCA HALF MARATHON REGISTRATION PARTY: Before tonight’s 6:15 pm weekly run at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), you can sign up for the end-of-summer Orca Half – running in West Seattle again this year – at a discount! (2743 California SW)
HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club – see the June agenda here. (1116 SW Holden)
TRIANGULAR JAZZTET: Jazz at Whisky West (WSB sponsor), starting at 7 pm. No cover. 21+. Details here! (6451 California SW)
SEE WHAT ELSE IS UP … via our complete calendar!
Be on the lookout for Scott‘s motorcycle, stolen from the 4200 block of 42nd SW:
The last time I saw it was around 8 pm last night and noticed it missing this morning around 630 am. It’s an carbon fiber (black) Yamaha R1. Hoping to recover in one piece. Incident # 2018-234490.
Plate 1F4988. Call 911 if you see it.
(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)
6:59 AM: Good morning! If you missed it Tuesday afternoon, the West Seattle “low bridge” has reopened after 5-plus days of repair work. Otherwise, no incidents in/from WS so far this morning.
Thanks to Kathy Powers from West Seattle Little League for the photo and report:
Congrats to West Seattle Little League’s 11-Year-Old All-Star Team, who clinched the District 7 Championship today.
Manager – Otis Moore, Coaches – Justin Buehring & Matt LaBella, Players – Andrew Rhinehart, Caden Ross, Cameron Fitterer, Cody Buehring, Cody Sazama, Duncan Monnin, Henry Newgard, Hudson Harding, Ivan Moore, Jesse LaBella, Jones Kasperson, Lincoln Scott, Reese Holmes.
On to the State Tournament at Pacwest starting July 14th. Go Westside!
8:30 PM: If you’re seeing smoke to the east – Seattle Fire has a big response arriving at what so far is described as a “fully involved” barge fire on the east side of the Duwamish River. Crews are responding to S. Myrtle in Georgetown (here’s a vicinity map).
(Added – photo sent by Hannah)
8:41 PM: Per scanner, the barge is approximately 150′ by 75′ and contains primarily “crushed cars”; SFD says there have been some “minor explosions.”
8:50 PM: Thanks for the video (above, just texted to us) and photos. (added) Here’s one from Seattle Fire front lines:
9:01 PM: SFD continues battling the fire. They’ve called for a foam truck from Boeing Field, too. (added) Here’s a photo from Kay, from the 1st Ave. S. Bridge:
And this view showing the fireboats on scene:
9:18 PM: The fire’s “knocked down,” per SFD radio, and the barge has developed a “slight list.” Thanks again to everyone who has sent video and photos – this next photo is from Angelique in Kitsap County, showing how far and wide the smoke was visible:
9:28 PM: Thanks to John Bennett for this video showing a fireboat in action at the scene:
And the fireboat from another angle, in a photo from Eli:
9:44 PM: Radio activity has slowed. We’re continuing to monitor. Still no reports of any injuries.
One reader report tonight, from Mark in Seaview:
FYI, a prowler hit my car last night and dug through all pockets and glove boxes. Most likely looking for cash. Nothing taken except a baseball cap. 48th Ave SW between Juneau and Findlay.
(Photo of Miss HomeStreet, tweeted by @homestreetbank last weekend)
West Seattle’s HomeStreet Bank (4022 SW Alaska; WSB sponsor) will host its namesake hydroplane, Miss HomeStreet, this Thursday (June 28th), and you’re invited to stop by and see it 3-5 pm. This isn’t just any hydroplane – the Miss HomeStreet team won the national championship again last year, and took second place in this year’s first race, in Alabama just last weekend. The Miss HomeStreet’s season will of course include Seafair, first weekend in August.
Lots of new mural art happening around West Seattle – but you don’t always hear about it until it’s done. This time, not only has there been lots of advance word, now you have a chance to voice your views on the design options! It’s about the mural going on the corner shown above, as Roxhill Elementary moves to EC Hughes in Sunrise Heights:
Friends of Roxhill Elementary invites the community to view and share feedback on three options for a public art mural to be painted at the intersection of 32nd Ave SW and SW Holden St. Artist Henry Luke has been working with the Roxhill and southwest West Seattle community to identify themes and create a concept for the mural. Informed by hours of interviews, outreach and personal conversations, Henry has imagined a story of migration and resilience, with connections to history and our shared sense of home in the shadow of Mt. Rainier.
Share your thoughts in the online form linked here [where you can see the three options]. This is the story of Roxhill, told by our community members, featuring images and people important to our history and our future. We want the mural to be a beacon of safety, comfort and hope for all people, and reflect a shared sense of identity and meaning as we move into our new school. Please keep our community’s goals in mind as you share feedback and thoughts. Thank you!
This project has been made possible by a partnership between Friends of Roxhill Elementary and Seattle Public Schools, with funds provided by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund. The mural will be painted later in the summer and unveiled in the fall.
Work is getting close to wrapping up at the renovated EC Hughes – we’ll take you inside the school in another story coming up!
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