West Seattle, Washington
10:25 PM: If you know someone who has to head this way soon from points south, note that the ramp from northbound I-5 to the westbound West Seattle Bridge is blocked right now. The crash is described on the scanner as “near-head-on”; we don’t know for sure if it’s related but just a few moments earlier we had heard police dispatched to check out a report that someone was driving eastbound on the westbound side of the bridge.
ADDED: From the State Patrol via Twitter:
Wrong way driver from West Seattle Freeway to I-5. Driver in custody for DUI. Update on injuries to come. pic.twitter.com/LTygZlK5Vd
— Trooper Rick Johnson (@wspd2pio) December 4, 2018
1:50 PM UPDATE: The 28-year-old woman who is reported to have been driving the wrong way is in King County Jail, after being treated at Harborview. WSP says two other vehicles were involved – a Prius that collided with the suspect’s Civic, injuring the 27-year-old Kent woman who was driving, and an Altima whose driver swerved into the barrier to avoid hitting the wrong-way driver. He wasn’t hurt, per the WSP, nor were passengers in his car and the Prius.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Four and a half months after the sudden death of Uptown Espresso‘s owner, the local chain is getting some management help – and some resulting changes have raised questions among customers.
We looked into the changes – specifically, the ones made at the Uptown shops in the West Seattle Junction and Delridge – after e-mails from half a dozen customers wondering about the changes and rumors of others to come.
The major changes confirmed by the new management: The Junction shop is now closing earlier in the evening. And the Delridge shop is phasing out retail sales of board games.
Our questions were answered in an e-mail exchange with Jason Cronk, retail operations manager for Fonté and Uptown. First, he clarified that Fonté has not purchased the Uptown shops: “Fonte is merely the management company at this point. With the sudden passing of Dow the owner, we have agreed to step in to manage and refresh the cafés. We are committed to maintaining the heart and soul of Uptown. We will be replacing worn-out equipment and refreshing the stores with some much-needed maintenance. The sudden passing of Dow, the owner of Uptown has put us in a situation to help maintain the legacy of Uptown.”
At Delridge, Cronk says, the Gameporium identity is evolving, not ending. “Delridge will continue to offer games to all customers to play while in the Café. We simply will not be retailing them anymore. We plan on turning the front shelving into a community lending library. We are offering BOGO on all games until our stock is depleted.”
Delridge will continue to be open into the evening, Cronk said: “We have no intention of changing hours in Delridge.”
The West Seattle Junction store, however, is closing earlier, at least for now, Cronk confirms. Previously, it was open until 10 pm five nights a week, 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays, and now it’s closing at 6 pm, seven nights a week, displacing some community groups that had held evening meetings there.
Explained Cronk: “Short term, we have adjusted hours at several of the cafés in order to rein in expenses and assess the overall health of the business. These hours are a temporary measure in certain stores and will be addressed again seasonally when the traffic patterns shift.” Specifically, he says, “hours will be revisited in the spring.”
Any other changes? we asked. The reply: “No other big changes are occurring on the customer side right now. We will be introducing additional scratch-made products to all stores next year. A full sandwich and savory program as well as an expanded whole-bean coffee selection and some new offerings.”
Even under the wing of Fonté, which has cafés downtown and in Bellevue, the Uptown brand will carry on, Cronk said: “Uptown espresso will remain Uptown. We are two separate companies with a shared goal of creating great customer gathering places with amazing products.” He said Fonté is overall promising “even better coffee, cleaner stores, more options.”
Big smiles for this group we photographed at Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point: Four teachers got surprises from visitors representing Inspirus Credit Union, fully funding projects they were planning for their students:
Ms. Dimsey – $729 for “a wooden block center, a play kitchen, new stuffed animals, Legos, puppets, a puppet theater, a light table, and an easel to have a wonderful kindergarten experience”
Ms. Mo, two projects – $287 for “engaging literacy tools that will help grow (first-graders’) reading and writing skills” and $671 for “thematic books to support literacy and our grade-level expeditions”
Ms. DeBurle – $233 for “graphic novels for our classroom library”
Ms. Alexakos – $355 for “books on the topic of the Civil Rights Movement”
A contingent from Inspirus visited the teachers and principal David Dockendorf last Friday morning to announce the surprise gifts fully funding the projects.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
BUSINESS VANDALISM: After tips about broken windows at Breathe Hot Yoga and Chaco Canyon Café in The Triangle at midday Sunday, we obtained the police report today. Police were called just before 11:30 am to say a man dressed in black had thrown “a large landscaping stone” through the window of Breathe Hot Yoga while a class was under way. The rock didn’t hit anyone but “two or three people” suffered minor injuries from broken glass. While on the scene, an officer noticed a broken window in an office area of an adjacent business (redacted in the report but people who have contacted us indicated it was Chaco Canyon). Employees there said they heard a “loud crash” and discovered the broken window but didn’t find a rock or anything else that might have caused it. No arrest reported so far.
HIT-AND-RUN: From Brad:
At approximately 1:30 PM this afternoon a newer-model gray sedan was westbound on SW Genesee St. (near Genesee Hill Elementary School) at a high rate of speed and missed the left turn onto 49th Ave SW. The car went through a front yard on the west side of 49th, crossed the street, entered a front yard on the east side of 49th, went down the sidewalk and departed southbound on 49th. This driver only destroyed a planter box, but easily could have killed someone. They left a part of the right front fender and right front wheel well behind.
4:51 PM: Thanks for the tips. If you usually use 1st Avenue South to get to the West Seattle Bridge while heading home – avoid it for a while; it’s closed at S. Forest, both ways, because of police activity, and that’s led to a big backup. Listening to the scanner, we’re heading talk that it’s a robbery investigation, and someone is reported to be in custody, so this might ease soon.
4:53 PM: Just after we published that, SPD said via Twitter that it was an “attempted bank robbery” in the 2700 block of 1st Ave. S.: “Suspect remained in the bank and police responded and arrested him. Bank employees sheltered in place in a secure area of the bank.”
4:57 PM: Per scanner, 1st Avenue S. has reopened, but as you can imagine, the residual backup won’t resolve immediately at this time of day.
Friday night, you might recall, 3,000+ homes and businesses were without power in West Seattle – and many more lost it briefly – because of a problem at the Delridge Substation. It was the second consecutive Friday night with a problem there, though the previous week’s outage was only “momentary.” As promised, we asked Seattle City Light today if they’ve found out anything more. SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen says the two might have been connected:
Friday’s outage was caused by an underground cable failure.
The previous outage in that area was likely caused by a branch falling into and then off of overhead powerlines in a wooded area nearby. Our crews patrolled the area immediately and a second time during daylight, but could not find evidence of what might have triggered it.
The area of overhead lines where that first problem occurred and the underground cable in Friday’s outage are connected. While we can’t make a conclusive connection between the two events, when faults happen in the overhead system like that, it will put additional stress on connected underground cables, shortening their lifespans.
Thanks to Scott for spotting the new signs that have just gone up along Delridge Way SW. These are the signs referred to in a survey the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association circulated a month ago – one result of the North Delridge Action Plan process that’s been unfolding over the past few years. As DNDA executive director David Bestock explained when announcing the survey:
There are ~83 store-front small businesses along Delridge Way SW that are operated by a diverse group of owners who provide the neighborhood access to vital goods and services. Despite their numbers and longstanding presence in the area, thousands unknowingly pass by Delridge business destinations unaware of the wonderful goods and services they offer.
The signs mark the North Delridge business districts/nodes at/near Andover, Brandon, and Sylvan. They were funded as part of an “Only in Seattle” grant from the city Office of Economic Development and installed by SDOT.
In the most-recent viaduct-to-tunnel discussion we covered, part of the advice for dealing with the “Seattle Squeeze” was to cowork if you can. West Seattle Coworking (WSB sponsor) has taken that to heart and is offering a special. From co-proprietor Ross:
Dear fellow West Seattle residents: Are you dreading the downtown commute coming January? We can help. We still have 8 desks left! And for those who act before Saturday, December 8th, we will waive the convenience fee.
In addition to a convenient workspace we offer fast internet, free coffee, phone rooms for private calls, 24/7 access, monitors, secure premises, and a fun network of built-in friends. Act soon! westseattlecoworking.com or 206-531-0557.
One good reason to report any and all thefts – police might recover your stuff and not be able to get it back to you if there’s no identifying marks and no report on record. That’s what happened in this incident we just got word of today: A detective in the SPD Found Property/Evidence Unit e-mailed to say police recovered a Nikon DX digital camera in West Seattle and are looking for its owner: “The camera contains family photos from the 2017 Holidays and the family trip to California. The owner can contact the Evidence Unit at 206-684-8720, ext. 8. Must have proof of ownership.”
(WSB file photo)
If you haven’t already seen the schedule in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship visits West Seattle and South Park this week! Here’s where and when you can gather on the shore and enjoy being serenaded by seasonal sounds:
Friday, December 7th:
Choir of the Sound will be aboard.
Saturday, December 8th:
Rainier Youth Choirs will be on board.
Each stop usually lasts about 20 minutes.
Have fun next Saturday night while your kid(s) do the same! We’ve heard from organizers and there’s still room for more to participate:
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT 12/8/2018
Let West Seattle High School sophomore class students watch your kids while you enjoy an evening out!
What: This event is for child care for kids ages 3 (potty trained) to 11 years old and includes pizza, drinks, snacks, games, movies, and crafts.
When: Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 6-10 pm.
Where: West Seattle High School, 3000 California Avenue SW. Check in by main entrance on the school courtyard.
Cost: $30 per child or $25 with 2 cans of food donated for the West Seattle Food Bank.
For more information and to RSVP, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for your support!
West Seattle Sophomore Class ASB
6:58 AM: Good morning. So far, no incidents or traffic alerts in/from West Seattle as we start December’s first Monday.
8:27 AM: Stalled vehicle reported in NB Battery Street Tunnel.