West Seattle, Washington
1:20 PM: The West Seattle “low bridge” has reopened after emergency hydraulic repairs kept it closed to non-maritime traffic for almost six days, SDOT just announced. More to come …
2:48 PM: A little more info just in from SDOT:
Around lunchtime today, Roadways Structures crews completed several test openings, and picked up all the traffic control and detour signage.
More details to come, when the damaged piston assembly is inspected later this week. Work focused singularly on efficient opening of the Spokane St Bridge, as a priority for travelers.
That’s the section of 35th SW between 104th and 106th – looking north from the south end – that has been closed about a month for drainage work linked to the SDOT sidewalk project stretching north to 100th. It’ll reopen at week’s end, project communicator Ching Chan tells WSB:
The updates we received this morning at our weekly construction meeting were that crews will wrap things up on 35th Ave SW between 104th and 106th by the end of this week and begin work between 102nd and 104th by next Thursday, July 5. This means the segment between 104th and 106th will reopen at the end of the day this Friday, though we may still have some construction equipment and vehicles along the parking strip of the street.
Stay tuned for detour info on the next segment of the project.
Two short stories about trees and views in Admiral – only related in that both involve Seattle Parks land:
ILLEGAL TREE-CUTTING, AGAIN: A reader tip led us to that freshly cut slope along Ferry SW in North Admiral, uphill from Harbor SW, on Monday. There we found a Parks employee who confirmed that they had filed a police report because it was unauthorized tree-cutting on public land. This morning, we followed up with Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin, who says the department knows which tree-cutting company was responsible and that the company told Parks it was hired by homeowners to improve their views. The case, she said, will be referred to the City Attorney’s Office. Schulkin didn’t have specifics on how many trees or how much area was affected.
We had a second reason to talk with her – a late-night discovery related to this:
ADMIRAL WAY VIEWPOINT CHANGE OF HEART: Last month, after multiple reader questions, we inquired with Parks about whether there were plans to restore the view at Admiral Way Viewpoint. As reported in this story, we were told at the time that Parks was re-assessing its policies first. Then late last night we noticed “no parking” signs at the viewpoint – technically part of Belvedere Park – and while the signs said only that “construction” would be happening Thursday and Friday, the contact number was for an arborist at Parks. The arborist pointed us to Schulkin, who said that Parks has had a change of heart and will be trimming the viewpoint trees. But first, the work for which the signage is in place – set to start Thursday – will involve mowing the blackberries and other shrubbery so Parks staff can get a closer look and make a trimming plan.
(Pileated Woodpecker, photographed in Lincoln Park by Kersti Muul)
Looking ahead to the rest of your Tuesday:
WADING POOLS: The Seattle Parks wading pools that are scheduled to be open on Tuesdays are open today! That means, in West Seattle, Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) 11 am-8 pm and Delridge Playfield (Delridge/Genesee) noon-6:30 pm.
WEEKLY FARMSTAND: Fresh produce, 3-7 pm at the Delridge Grocery Coop‘s summer farmstand. (5441 Delridge Way SW)
CHRONIC PAIN AND CANNABIS: Free presentation at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) with West Seattle resident and senior citizen cannabis expert Richard S. Sowa. (5612 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORK: All welcome at the last meeting before summer hiatus. No special guest, so it’s all about neighborhood concerns, including discussion with police, as previewed here. 6:30 pm at Southwest Precinct. (2300 SW Webster)
TRIVIA: Tonight and every Tuesday night at 7:30 pm, play trivia with Geeks Who Drink at Whisky West (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction. (6451 California SW)
LOTS MORE … on our complete calendar!
Concerned about crime/safety in your neighborhood? Four meetings are scheduled this summer for feedback on neighborhood Microcommunity Policing Plans. These groups are not organized/conducted by SPD but by researchers from Seattle University, which – working in conjunction with SPD – provides the feedback, which in turn informs these policing plans.
–Admiral Neighborhood – Wednesday, June 27th at 5 pm, West Seattle Library (2306 42nd SW)
–Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Neighborhoods – Thursday, June 28th at 5 pm, Southwest Library (9010 35th SW)
–Delridge Neighborhood – Saturday, June 30th at 2 pm, Delridge Library (5423 Delridge Way SW)
–High Point Neighborhood – Saturday, August 11th at 2 pm, High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond)
These are not the only local neighborhoods with Microcommunity Policing Plans, but they’re the only meetings scheduled so far. You can also provide feedback online, wherever you live – you can do it online via the Online Focus Group.
7:06 AM: We start again with the reminder that the West Seattle “low bridge” remains closed to all non-maritime traffic:
SDOT now says the closure could last until the end of this week.
Our other regular cameras:
(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links)
As for traffic problems – there’s a residual backup on NB I-5 from a crash that just cleared.
7:16 AM: Texter says the 7 am 56 hasn’t shown up. No alert on that so far but Metro did report the first 57 of the day at 6:41 was running 15 minutes late.
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
STOLEN BOWLING BALL: At right is Diana‘s son with his prized Denver Broncos bowling ball.
She left it in the car and it was stolen along with her Seahawks jacket.
“Santa” brought the ball, which will cost $250 to replace.
“I am hoping that it turns up somewhere, so PLEASE if anyone sees for sale on the internet, pawn shop, or anywhere else, PLEASE let me know.”
We don’t have the location of the car prowl or the police-report number yet; for starters, let us know if you’ve seen it and we’ll connect you with Diana.
CAR VANDALIZED: The photo and report are from Rose:
Westwood Village neighborhood. My car was vandalized yesterday. I have video which I will send later, have to wait for it to download. Wondering if this happened to anyone else in the area yesterday? Seems our car was picked for no reason, although it has Mississippi plates.
We have cropped the photo so as not to show the entirety of what was painted – it does not appear to be a tag or signature.
ROBBERY/ASSAULT FOLLOWUP: Saturday night, we mentioned police were investigating an incident at the Delridge/Orchard Shell mini-mart, which left an employee there injured after an apparent robbery. Today we requested the report narrative. The victim said it started around 11 pm, when what he described as “at least 30” people came into the store, grabbing food and drink items and knocking over stands containing some of those items. One person yelled something at the employee (it’s redacted – blacked out – in the narrative we received) and then threw a bottle that hit the victim in the face. Everyone subsequently ran out of the store, stealing the items they had grabbed. (If a shoplifting incident turns violent, it officially gets classified as a robbery.)
P.S. As we mentioned earlier, your next chance to bring neighborhood crime/safety concerns to local police, and hear their updates, is tomorrow (Tuesday) night, 6:30 pm, when the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meets at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster) – all welcome.
(July 2017 Seafair Pirates Landing photo tweeted by Brandon, @olysportsblog)
Another nautical story: We’re now less than two weeks away from the annual Seafair Pirates Landing on Alki Beach – Saturday, July 7th. As with all big events, an official “neighborhood notification” is required, and we’ve received it from event producer Oliver Little:
WHAT: Seattle Seafair Pirate Landing
WHERE: Alki Beach Park
DATE: July 7, 2018
TIME: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
WHO: Seattle Seafair Pirates
On 7/7/2018, our organization The Seattle Seafair Pirates will be producing a special event in the Alki Beach neighborhood called The Seattle Seafair Pirate Landing. The Alki Beach Neighborhood has again
been chosen as the location for this event because of the historical significance. We are thrilled to be
guests in your neighborhood and it’s important to us that we are communicating clearly with you, the
• Event hours are from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on July 7, 2018.
• We will be loading in beginning at 7:00 AM on July 7, 2018, and will load out until 6:00 PM on July 7, 2018.
• We will leave your neighborhood as we found it: litter and recycling will be handled by Recology.
• During the event hours, we expect between 1,000-3,000 attendees per day.
• Streets will not be closed nor have limited vehicle and/or pedestrian access.
• We will have amplified sound during the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM on July 7, 2018.
• Music and other entertainment will be located on the Northwest side of the Alki Beach Bathhouse.
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:
Oliver Little, Event Operations – email@example.com
Chris Swenson, Chair, City of Seattle Special Events Office – firstname.lastname@example.org
Always the big question, “When will the pirates land?” This year it’s expected to be around 1:30 – could be earlier, though! (Here’s our coverage from last year.)
Thanks to Kim for the video! A week and a half after WSB readers spotted it outbound off West Seattle, the Bremerton-homeported aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) sailed by again this afternoon, inbound this time. The Stennis’s crew continues to prepare for its next deployment; according to its Twitter feed, its time away included joint flight operations with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Friday night, we reported on neighbors’ living-room meeting with Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, after a series of break-ins with residents finding themselves face-to-face with the intruder. One question was how SPD would get the word out widely. They’ve just done that by posting this to SPD Blotter:
Detectives are attempting to identify and locate a suspect after receiving several similar reports in the same West Seattle neighborhood last week. The description and behavior of the suspect all seem consistent in the reported incidents. In three out of the four reported incidents, the unknown suspect was actually inside the victim’s bedroom.
Police responded to burglaries where the suspect was inside the house in the early morning hours of June 17th and 19th. The incidents occurred in the 9000 block of 11th Avenue SW, the 9200 block of 12th Avenue SW, and the 9400 block of 13th Avenue SW.
In the first reported incident, reported June 17th, the victim stated that the suspect was outside her window and never made entry into the house, however, she did observe his hand reaching inside an open window. The suspect ran off when the victim screamed. The suspect was described as a black male wearing black clothing.
In the next reported incident, about an hour after the first, the victim woke to find the suspect inside her bedroom. The suspect spoke to the victim and after several minutes left the house. The suspect was described as a black male in his twenties, 6’02”, 220 pounds with a heavy build. He was wearing a black hooded coat, black sweat pants. Officers searched, but did not find the suspect.
On June 19th, just after 1:00 am, the victim was asleep in her room when she observed an unknown man inside the room, sitting on the edge of her bed. The victim was able to walk past the suspect into another room where she called 911. During that the time, the suspect left. That suspect was described as a black male, 6’1″ tall, with a heavy build. Officers conducted an area search but did not find the suspect.
On June 19th around 4:00 am the victim awoke to discover an unknown man standing outside her bedroom door. The victim’s husband chased the suspect out the front door of the house. The suspect was described as a tall black male in all black clothing with something covering his face.
Detectives believe that the suspect gained entry into the homes through an open or unlocked window. Detectives are comparing investigative notes with the King County Sheriff’s Office to see if they have received any similar type reports, since these reports are so close to the county line.
If anyone has information on any of these incidents, they are urged to contact the Seattle Police Department.
P.S. If you have questions about this or other crime/safety concerns, local police will as usual be talking with the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network at their monthly meeting tomorrow night at the precinct (2300 SW Webster), 6:30 pm, all welcome.
SDOT has just provided another update on repairs of the West Seattle “low bridge,” closed since last Wednesday night for emergency hydraulic repairs. Now it says the work – first described as “at least a week” – might last until the end of this week. Today, SDOT says, “the Roadway Structures crew is moving a 15-ton replacement cylinder [SDOT photo above] into its exact place, inside the west shore pier house” of what’s officially the Spokane Street Swing Bridge, which is 27 years old. SDOT’s update adds, “The nearly 30,000-pound cylinder must be installed per specific controls, right down to cleaning it, along with reconnecting hydraulic oil lines, rewiring electrical conduit, etc. There’s also continuous monitoring and testing along the way … It all means there are several more days of hard work ahead.” SDOT says it expects to “know more tomorrow” about a potential reopening date. Meantime, it’s continuing weekday morning and afternoon bicycle shuttles – times and location are in the update.
Thanks to the reader who texted that photo of Arctic Sunrise, off West Seattle right now. The Greenpeace ship has been docked on Lake Union for the past week-plus, with public tours the past two weekends, but is now headed to San Diego – apparently after a loop in Elliott Bay, as it was eastbound past Alki when the photo came in, and is now headed back westbound.
As first mentioned here back in December, Bohemian Studios (6531 35th SW) is preparing to move into a brand-new space at 4801 Fauntleroy Way SW – and they’ve set Labor Day weekend as their opening date. They’re planning to shift their schedule “to hold more barre students, offer more yoga classes, workshops, and yoga + barre teacher training” once they’re open. They shared the photos – above, the new building; below, their space:
Bohemian and other commercial tenants – a spa and nail salon among them – are moving into the ground floor of the new mixed-use building Liv Fauntleroy.
If you have to head east, you might want to wait a while. We’re receiving multiple reports of a multiple-vehicle crash on the eastbound bridge, near the 99 exit. (Added: SDOT image.)
As previewed here last night, a movie crew has been busy in north West Seattle this morning, shooting “driving scenes” for an unspecified FOX movie (which one educated guesser suggests is likely the Seattle-set “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” based on the book by Seattle author Garth Stein, which otherwise has been primarily shooting in Vancouver, B.C.). They had cleared Hamilton Viewpoint Park by the time we checked around 9:30, but we found them in the Duwamish Head vicinity, including the boom-equipped car above and another car being prepped at Don Armeni Boat Ramp:
That’s also where the telltale signs of a film crew – unmarked trucks – were parked:
It’s all supposed to be wrapped up before noon.
It’s opening week for wading pools – but Seattle Parks says it won’t be warm/sunny enough to open any of them today, so they’re all closed. If not for that, this would have been the third day for Lincoln Park, which is open daily – weather permitting – and the first for Delridge. See the schedule here. (Sprayparks are open regardless of the weather, so if your little one[s] still wants to splash, Highland Park will be open 11 am-8 pm as usual, 1100 SW Cloverdale)
6:58 AM: First, the reminder that the West Seattle “low bridge” remains closed to all non-maritime traffic:
No new estimated opening date from SDOT, which has said the emergency repairs will continue until the middle of the week. Our other regular cameras:
(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links)
Meantime, there’s trouble on NB 99 – a crash in the Battery Street Tunnel and one just north of it.
7:19 AM: SDOT says the NB BSTunnel is clear. Meantime, a reminder that a movie crew is working for the next few hours in North Admiral, as noted here last night, and that might affect traffic briefly at the far north end of California SW, and on Harbor below, while they shoot “driving scenes.”
9:40 AM: Hamilton Viewpoint has cleared out but the movie crew is still working on Harbor/Alki Avenue SW, which means periodic traffic holds – police are on scene – between Don Armeni and a short distance north of Luna/Anchor Park. We’ll have some photos in a separate story later.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The road to choosing a “preferred alternative” for West Seattle/Ballard light rail has now taken the Stakeholder Advisory Group into the second of three levels of review.
When the SAG met last Wednesday at the Sound Transit board room downtown, it was presented with five West Seattle possibilities – including two new/modified versions of pre-existing options. You can see all five in the slide deck from the meeting.
ST’s Stephen Mak showed all five:
First, the “representative project” (ST’s original draft route), which is entirely elevated:
Seven months after representatives from neighborhood groups around the city stood together at City Hall to announce they were appealing the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, the hearing starts tomorrow.
Quick recap, if you’ve lost track: HALA MHA proposes upzoning the city’s urban villages – West Seattle has four (Admiral, West Seattle Junction, Morgan Junction, Westwood-Highland Park) – and commercial/multifamily property, while requiring developers to either provide a certain percentage of “affordable” housing in each project, or pay a fee into a fund that will pay for it elsewhere. The appeal contends that the FEIS does not adequately address potential impacts of MHA – for example, it argues that neighborhoods’ unique challenges are generally not dealt with in neighborhood-specific ways.
So far, three weeks are set aside on the city Hearing Examiner‘s calendar for the appeal – one this month, one in July, one in August – and there’s a possibility of a fourth. The City Council’s work on the bill to implement MHA has proceeded in parallel, meantime, with the last in-district hearing held almost three weeks ago here in West Seattle (WSB coverage here). The case file for the appeal hearing, meantime, has grown longer (see it here), and there have been some rulings on pre-hearing motions (summarized here [PDF]). Other changes since the appeal was announced include additional community groups joining the coalition – in West Seattle, the Alki Community Council and Fauntleroy Community Association have joined the appeal, whose original parties included the Morgan Community Association, West Seattle Junction Neighborhood Organization, and Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition.
The witness lists are here (coalition) and here (city). First scheduled witness tomorrow in support of the appeal is Peter Steinbrueck, current Seattle Port Commissioner and former Seattle City Councilmember, who is expected to “testify about the inadequacy of the MHA EIS disclosure and analysis of alternatives and impacts relevant to land use impacts and relevant to the Urban Village Study” – referring to a study conducted by his consulting firm three years ago.” The coalition witness list adds that “He will also testify about the history of neighborhood planning and comprehensive planning to the extent that it is relevant to the MHA proposal and the inadequacy of the MHA EIS disclosure and analysis of land use impacts.”
In proceedings before the Hearing Examiner, the city basically gets the benefit of the doubt unless the challenger can prove otherwise. The examiner’s ruling – usually made a few weeks after proceedings end – is the city’s last say in a matter, so after that the next stop would be court.
Proceedings before the Hearing Examiner, by the way, are open to the public; the hearing room is something like a small courtroom, and it’s on the 40th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower (700 5th Avenue) downtown.
4:33 PM: Heads up for North Admiral and the Harbor Island waterfront downhill – a film crew will be working in the area tomorrow morning (Monday, June 25th). Signs in the area and a notice to North Admiral neighbors (thanks to the resident who shared it) indicate that:
*Hamilton Viewpoint Park will be closed in the morning
*Traffic will be held in the area, a few minutes at a time, including on the California Way hill
*No parking along a section of Harbor Avenue in the morning, mostly east of Luna/Anchor Park (the signs are already up)
The North Admiral neighborhood notice said the crew “will be filming upcoming scenes for a movie that will include driving shots.” What movie? Doesn’t say, and we haven’t yet figured it out. After an e-mail went unanswered, we reached the location manager by phone. He apologized that he couldn’t comment but said he had forwarded our original request for more information to “FOX PR.” And, he said, they’re going to keep it as low-impact as possible.
10:03 PM: We have one educated guess that this might be the movie – set in Seattle, currently doing principal photography in Vancouver, and what better place to get a Seattle backdrop than here?
… as best we can tell from scanner traffic, it’s actually related to what was a possible water-rescue call that ended up playing out across the bay in the Magnolia area, and the person in question over there is reported to be out of the water and OK. It’s all getting canceled right now.
As of Friday afternoon, Seattle Public Schools students are out for summer. Before the school year is too far in the rear-view mirror, a Seattle school-software company wanted to give a shoutout to one local school with which it continues to partner. The photos and report are from Claire Douglas at MasterTrack:
MasterTrack Solutions was delighted to host a Happy Hour at Salty’s for the staff of West Seattle Elementary School. We celebrated the end of a successful school year as well as the 5th year of the ongoing partnership between MTS and WSE – which has improved student performance in mathematics! It was great to enjoy some food and drink, hear about all the gains students are making, and celebrate some very special, very hard-working teachers.
(MasterTrack founder Torrey Volk with WSE principal Pam McCowan-Conyers and assistant principal Sahnica Washington)
Thanks to both the MTS and WSE families. Happy summer!
Some stops along today’s West Seattle Garden Tour are more than just nice to look at … they are functional, too, for people and wildlife. Especially Suzanne Krom‘s garden southwest of The Junction, dubbed “An Oasis for Birds, Pollinators, and People.” This stop is educational, too:
Food is also part of the landscape at Nancy Ritzenthaler‘s “Sidewalk Orchard” in North Admiral – edible (including apple and pear trees) and decorative plants, mostly in the planting strip:
In Fauntleroy, one of the most eye-catching features of Alexis Zolner‘s “Collector’s Garden” is this sea of hydrangea blooms:
In a border, you’ll spot a sculpted peacock:
Twelve gardens are featured this year, listed in the ticket books that have been on sale since spring. Proceeds benefit seven nonprofits:
*West Seattle Junction Association, for mural restoration
*ArtsWest (for its Theater Education Program)
*The Arboretum at South Seattle College (for a new message hub and kiosk)
*Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden (for the design and construction of a Victory Garden)
*Little Red Hen Project (for an artistic and functional trellis in its “Winter Feast Garden”)
*PlantAmnesty (to help fund its 10th annual Urban Forest Symposium)
*Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge (to enhance it with three varieties of camellias)
Along with ticket proceeds, those nonprofits are supported by WSGT sponsorships – this year’s sponsors are listed here (including WSB sponsors WEdesign, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW Real Estate, West Seattle Thriftway, Budget Blinds, Dream Dinners, West Seattle Autoworks, Swedish Automotive, Ventana Construction, Stor-More, Menashe and Sons Jewelers, and Metropolitan Market).
P.S. Want to suggest a garden for a future WSGT? You can do that here.
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