West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Keith Davidson for the sunset-and-heron photo from Beach Drive, near Cormorant Cove. We have two smoke-related notes as the night ends:
ANOTHER CANCELLATION: The city sent word tonight that the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand will NOT be open tomorrow because of the unhealthy air.
FORECAST UPDATE: Here’s what the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is saying tonight:
Air pollution is still at UNHEALTHY levels throughout the Puget Sound region. With a high pressure weather system over our region pushing the smoke down, we expect UNHEALTHY levels to continue on well into tomorrow. We hope to see some clearing tomorrow night, but with all the smoke around the Pacific Northwest, it may take until Thursday to get cleaner air.
P.S. The heat is notable, too, says the National Weather Service:
Even with the smoke the high at Sea-Tac airport today was 91° breaking the record of 88° set in 1966. Today is the 11th 90°+ day in Seattle this year. In over 120 years of records there has been only 2 years with double digit 90°+ days, 12 in 2015 and 11 so far this year. #wawx
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) August 22, 2018
Two weeks after the August primary election, final results were certified today. So it’s official – Joe Nguyen and Shannon Braddock will face off for the 34th District State Senate seat from which Sharon Nelson is retiring. They finished atop the 11-candidate field, with 14,019 votes for Nguyen, 11,114 votes for Braddock. Neither has held elected office before; he hasn’t run for office before, while Braddock finished 39 votes behind Lisa Herbold in the 2015 City Council District 1 race. Both are West Seattleites. You can see the full August election results in King County by going here.
As Mayor Jenny Durkan did last fall, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best took her oath of office multiple times today. One ceremony was in Southwest Precinct territory, at the South Park Community Center, after the Seattle Police Pipes and Drums opened the ceremony:
4:39 PM: Just announced by Seattle Parks: Because of the unhealthy air, it’s closing its outdoor pools as well as the remaining still-in-operation wading pools, through tomorrow. Colman Pool is closing at 4:45 pm, and wading pools (including Lincoln Park) were to begin draining an hour ago. (Sprayparks weren’t mentioned, so we’re checking on their status.)
5:06 PM: Parks’ Christina Hirsch replied that sprayparks are staying open. (West Seattle’s lone spraypark is in Highland Park at 1100 SW Cloverdale.)
Thanks to Jennifer for catching that the weekend northbound Highway 99 closure we mentioned yesterday had changed from Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights to “all weekend long.” But there’s now another change beyond the one she had spotted on the WSDOT site. While we were corresponding with spokesperson Laura Newborn about the change, she got word minutes ago that the NB 99closure will *only* extend from the West Seattle Bridge to Atlantic Street. That means the elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct itself, from the stadium zone northward, WILL remain open all weekend.
*NB Highway 99 closed Friday night to early Monday, between West Seattle Bridge and Atlantic St.
*No change in NB I-5 closure – Offramp to West Seattle Bridge and Columbian Way will be closed 9 pm Friday-5 am Monday
With a little old indoor cat keeping us company here at WSB HQ, we’ve been wondering whether he’s feeling the effects of the smoky air too. No outward signs – he’s sleeping a lot, but well, he always sleeps a lot. Anyway, in case you also share your life with pets, here’s advice from the Seattle Animal Shelter on the best ways to protect their health while we’re blanketed in smoke.
No date set yet for the three-week Highway 99 closure that will precede the tunnel’s opening, but WSDOT is providing another peek inside the almost-ready tunnel today, along with this explanation:
… Crews are using stencils to paint “running man” symbols on walls in both directions of the tunnel.
The green icons are spaced about 50 feet apart on the west walls of the southbound (upper) and northbound (lower) roadways. As shown in the photo, arrows point the way to the nearest exits, along with the distances to them.
If the seven-foot-tall green stick figures don’t get your attention, flashing lights at each of the tunnel’s emergency exits and electronic signs will provide additional guidance.
Crews are also striping the roadway inside the tunnel, according to today’s update from WSDOT, which continues to promise that it will provide at least one month’s notice before the three-week closure, which will be followed by two more weeks of work on the ramp that West Seattleites will use to get into downtown south of the tunnel entrance.
By this weekend, the air is expected to be clearer, and that’s a good thing given the number of big outdoor events on the schedule! Among them: The 19th annual Arts in Nature Festival at Camp Long, presented by Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. The festival spans both Saturday and Sunday, with visual and performing artists all around the sprawling, forest-and-meadow West Seattle park. You can see the full schedule here; find out more about the artists here. As explained here, this isn’t just a festival where you go to watch and listen – it’s also a festival where you experience and create. (And don’t miss what’s happening in and around the cabins!) You will be inspired and stirred on Saturday night by musical headliners Total Experience Gospel Choir, led by Rev. Pat Wright, who’s talking about retirement, so this might be one of your last chances to see and hear her! Festival hours are noon-9 pm Saturday and noon-6 pm Sunday; tickets are discounted when you buy online in advance, so do that here ASAP! (WSB is a co-sponsor of this year’s festival.)
11:25 AM: Thanks to Andy for the tip. Notices of their impending removal have been posted for weeks, and today – with two weeks to go until school starts – the remaining street trees outside Lafayette Elementary in The Admiral District are coming down.
We’ll be checking with SDOT regarding replacement plans.
3:10 PM: SDOT spokesperson LeAnne Nelson says that’s actually a crew hired by Seattle Public Schools, though replacing the trees eventually will be up to SDOT:
Regarding the trees near Lafayette Elementary, unfortunately, they have Dutch Elm Disease. Several trees were removed from the area a few years ago, due to the same disease. We estimate the trees are about 70 years old. The School is responsible for removing the remaining 4 trees. Hauling the wood away and grinding the stumps helps eradicate the infection. We’ll then come in with site-appropriate trees — more resistant to Dutch Elm — and they will become our maintenance responsibility. There isn’t a specific timeframe for planting yet.
Since we sent our inquiry to SDOT this morning, some commenters have brought up other issues that we’ll have to take to the district for a separate followup.
The wildfire smoke and resulting unhealthy air are, unfortunately, Topic A today. And related annoucements begin our highlights list:
ESCAPING THE SMOKE: As previewed here last night, two local places are offering the chance to come indoors: The West Seattle YMCA (3622 SW Snoqualmie; WSB sponsor), all day/night; St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (3050 California SW), now through 1 pm for kids through age 5 who need an indoor place to play.
WADING POOL & SPRAYPARK: Daily through Labor Day (unless the weather is cool/cloudy), the schedule is now down to Lincoln Park wading pool (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) and Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), both 11 am-8 pm.
CHIEF BEST SWEARING-IN: 1 pm, the second of three around-the-city community swearing-in ceremonies for new Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best is at South Park Community Center. (8319 8th Ave. S.)
TEARS OF JOY PUPPET THEATRE: 2 pm at Delridge Community Center, join Tears of Joy for a show based on the life of the monarch butterfly. (4501 Delridge Way SW)
DELRIDGE GROCERY FARMSTAND: The Delridge Grocery Coop continues its weekly farmstand today, 3-7 pm at the Shell across from DGC’s future Cottage Grove Commons store. (5441 Delridge Way SW)
EVENING BOOK GROUP: 6:30 pm at air-conditioned High Point Library. This month’s book is “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison. (3411 SW Raymond)
UNPLUGGED, A MUSICAL GATHERING: Acoustic musicians and singers are invited to jam at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
FAMILY STORY TIME: 7 pm at air-conditioned Delridge Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
MORE FOR TODAY/TONIGHT/BEYOND … on our complete calendar.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL CLOTHING DONATIONS: Through the end of this month, you can drop off new clothing for kids 5-12 and/or visit the coffeehouse first to “grab a tag with specific clothing needs” you can then shop to fulfill and bring back.
PAELLA PARTY: Get your tickets fast for the annual feast – only $25 for chef-made paella during a festive night at the coffeehouse, 6-9 pm Saturday, September 8th. As explained in our calendar listing, you can get your ticket at C&P or via e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP!
7:06 AM: Good morning. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.
STADIUM ZONE: Mariners play Houston again tonight, 7:10 am.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: All students are back at Summit Atlas (35th/Roxbury) today.
NEXT WEEKEND: I-5 and 99 closures you need to know about – here’s the early info.