West Seattle, Washington
Right about the time of today’s winter-solstice moment – just before 2:30 pm – the sun emerged to greet the newly arrived season. And it hung around long enough for squinting and sunglasses to be in order at NASA volunteer Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen‘s sunset-watch event at West Seattle’s Solstice Park.
The park has paths and markers that align with solstice/equinox sunsets, and the dozens in attendance were able to fully appreciate them today.
Sunset watch also means a lesson about the Earth, the Sun, and how the solar system works.
Now that the days are going to start getting longer – just a tiny bit at first, Alice noted when asked, so don’t get too excited yet – you can start looking forward to the spring equinox, just before 3 pm on Wednesday, March 20th, so plan on sunset watch with Alice a few hours later.
Photos can’t adequately capture the brightness of Wyatt‘s display on the northwest corner of 40th and Charlestown – two sides, with the Seahawks tribute (and some moving lights) on the south-facing side, and traditional Christmas symbols (including trees and Santas) out front:
Wyatt is just a few doors west of West Seattle Lights (the music-synched show at 3908 SW Charlestown), and some neighbors on 40th are well-lit too, so if you’re out to see a lot of lights without going to multiple streets, this is a good spot. Thanks to Wyatt for emailing us! See the lights we’ve already featured by scrolling through this WSB archive.
Announced by the King County Water Taxi:
The MV Doc Maynard will sail on the Vashon Island route of the King County Water Taxi through January 11. The MV Spirit of Kingston will sail on the West Seattle route during this time. The MV Sally Fox was removed from service last night for minor repairs and will remain out of service in the shipyard for previously scheduled maintenance. She will return to service on January 14.
That’s the first weekday post-Alaskan Way Viaduct closure – and the start of expanded service, during which the county has said it’ll run two vessels on the West Seattle route (the schedule was finalized last week).
Three notes today related to the city’s semi-new Early Community Outreach for Design Review process:
8822 9TH SW: For the first time since ECODR launched, we’ve received (rather than found) a community-meeting announcement for a project participating in the process. It’s 8822 9th SW. We first mentioned two years ago that townhouses were proposed there; under the address 8820 9th SW, it was a City Light surplus substation site. Now 9 townhouses are proposed (down from what the ECODR site mentioned last month) and the project team is hosting a site tour:
The tour is at 10 AM on January 19, 2019 at 8822 9th Ave SW, which is currently a vacant lot between 8816 and 8830. Anyone is welcome, no RSVP required. Our website has more information: the9seattle.com. Any questions about this event can be directed to email@example.com.
Here’s the flyer (PDF) they’ll be distributing in the neighborhood. Caveat: The website isn’t active yet but the project team expects to have it up within a day or two.
2000 SW ORCHARD: More than a year ago, we mentioned an early-stage plan for 18 rowhouse-style townhouses here. The latest indication the project is proceeding: It’s now noted on the ECODR blog-style website as planning to participate in the process. That means some kind of meeting will eventually be scheduled, though there’s nothing on the ECODR calendar yet.
PROCESS PRIMER: At a recent Southwest District Council meeting, local community advocate Cindi Barker presented a primer on ECODR. It’s complex and the city is interested in thoughts about how it’s going so far, as Department of Neighborhoods director Andrés Mantilla noted in his recent Admiral Neighborhood Association appearance. Here’s the slide deck (PDF) Barker created with highlights; other links you need to know include the ECODR “project blog” where items are posted when projects are added to the list of those that will participate in the process, and the calendar of events related to those projects. If you go to a meeting/site tour, Barker’s advice, as shared with SWDC:
Ask what their outreach methods were
Give thorough input
Ask the developers to recap what they heard
The city address for feedback on the ECODR process: DREarlyOutreach@seattle.gov
Again this year, Metro is offering free rides on New Year’s Eve. Here’s the announcement:
For the second year, King County Metro will offer free rides on New Year’s Eve. Rides will be free from 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, to 4 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, including DART and Access service. In addition, Metro will add buses to its night routes. The Seattle Streetcar also will be free on New Year’s Eve, and Sound Transit will extend the operating hours of Link light rail service between Angle Lake and the University of Washington.
“As we ring in another new year together, we are glad to again offer free rides on Metro to help keep the celebration safe for everyone,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We appreciate all our customers, and hope folks who give transit a try during the holiday season will join the half-million daily Metro riders who depend on our safe, friendly, and reliable service all year ’round.”
“Access to safe and reliable transportation is a cornerstone of Metro’s mission and New Years Eve is no exception. We hope existing and future riders will utilize Metro to help them celebrate the New Year this year,” said King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, who proposed the idea in 2017.
King County Metro will operate reduced weekday schedules on New Year’s Eve on some routes, with extra buses on several routes serving destinations such as Seattle Center, Capitol Hill and downtown. New Year’s revelers can take advantage of Metro’s recently expanded Night Owl network, with added service on major routes between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Sound Transit will operate extended Link light rail service with trains running until 2 a.m. pm New Year’s Eve. The last trains to leave Westlake Station depart at 2 a.m.
The Seattle Streetcar will operate until 1 a.m.
Metro routes with added trips as needed will include 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 14, 24, 32, 36, 40, 41, 62, 65, 70, 101, 106, 120, 124, 150, 255, RapidRide A, B, C, D and E lines, and ST 550 and ST 554. The fareboxes and ORCA card readers on Metro buses will be covered to remind customers not to pay. A regular valid fare will be required on Sound Transit Express buses.
This announcement as published on the county website also includes holiday service-change info for Christmas/New Year’s.
Thanks to Brian for sharing the announcement circulated in the area: One of West Seattle’s two remaining tower cranes is set to come down tomorrow (Saturday, December 22nd). The operation to remove the crane at 4754 Fauntleroy Way SW (The Foundry), almost a year after it went up, will start well before sunrise, with traffic control set to begin in the 5 am hour and dismantling to begin after a 7 am safety meeting. They hope to have it all complete by 5 pm. Once this is gone, the only remaining tower crane at a West Seattle project will be the one at the PCC Community Markets (WSB sponsor) and Luna Apartments site in Admiral.
Until 6 pm tonight, the team at Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) invites you to stop in for their Holiday Open House – the last party of the year that also saw Illusions celebrating its 40th anniversary! Sweet treats were out when we stopped by, and savory treats – including the “lunchy stuff” – should have joined the spread by now:
Illusions is at 5919 California SW. After today, the shop is on holiday break until next Wednesday.
For everyone who’s been asking/wondering about this – Mark Ufkes has just sent the announcement: The West Seattle New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim is on again, January 1, 2019, at Alki Beach:
There is no better way to wash away the complexities of 2018 and usher in the unlimited possibilities that 2019 holds for each of us than to run into Puget Sound, while holding hands with our family and friends and screaming like crazy.
We go into the water at 10 am sharp! Don’t be late.
We gather at 9:45 am on January 1 in front of Duke’s on Alki. We spread out east and west along beautiful Alki Beach in a long line. There will be 10-minute, 5-minute and 1-minute warnings, and at 10 seconds, together, we all begin counting down; 10-9-8-7 . . .
We then yell “Happy New Year,” hold hands with those next to us, and run into the water. It is all over in less than a minute.
Last year, well over 500 participated and a huge crowd cheered us on.
Again this year, all are encouraged to wear something pink into the water. You can wear pink for whatever reason you want; be it to honor your spectacular mom, to honor a dear friend who is fighting cancer, or to celebrate that finally, in 2019, girls will be able to become Eagle Scouts too (Yeah!). For me, I will be wearing pink for all these reasons and because for the first time in U.S. history, a state house legislative body, in Nevada no less, will have a women-majority legislature.
Whatever your personal reason, if you wear something pink into the water you will earn a gift. The first 200 people who wear something pink into the water will receive a free airport-confiscated wine bottle opener corkscrew that I won at a TSA auction. And hey kids, if you wear something pink, your parents must take charge of your free corkscrew and offer you something in trade. After the swim, there will be a table at the beach full of every kind of corkscrew you can imagine. Every swimmer wearing something pink can chose one as a gift.
What you should bring: Good water shoes, a large towel, a change of dry clothes, and your hopes and dreams for 2019.
What you should leave behind: Your fears, your inhibitions, and your self-doubt.
(See our 2018 video/photos here.) Adding to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide‘s New Year’s Day section along with the New Year’s Eve/Day walk info that’s also just come in – if you have something open to the community that’s happening in West Seattle/White Center/South Park between now and New Year’s Day, there’s still time to send it – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Whale-watching, anyone? Eilene Hutchinson photographed what she believes was a gray whale off Alki Beach yesterday afternoon. You never know what you’ll see offshore. Meantime, here are the onshore Highlights of the hours ahead, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and Event Calendar:
LAST DAY FOR DONATION DRIVES: See the Holiday Guide list!
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AT ILLUSIONS HAIR DESIGN: Stop by any time today before 6 pm to enjoy sweet/savory treats and share holiday cheer with the Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) team. (5619 California SW)
HOLIDAY MUSIC: Alex Baird at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 2-5 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
WINTER SOLSTICE SUNSET WATCH: Be at Solstice Park at 3:45 pm to watch the sunset and learn about the solstice with Alice Enevoldsen, as previewed here. (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW)’
SANTA AT THE STORE Santa Claus at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 4-7 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
SUPERMARKET CAROLING: We 3 Carolers at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 5-7 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
MUSIC AT THE COFFEEHOUSE: REST performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
Just a reminder with days to go until Christmas that the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide has helpful holiday info, including the newly added link to our list of which restaurants told us they’ll be open Christmas Eve and/or Day and/or New Year’s Eve and/or Day. Plus we have grocery-store hours for Christmas Eve/Day and 11 churches’ holiday-service plans. We’re continuing to update, so if you have info to add (or change), email@example.com – thanks!
7:15 AM: Good morning! No traffic incidents or transit alerts reported in our area so far. Cold, though – frosty windshields out on the street.
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL: Seattle Public Schools get out an hour early, and then it’s on to two weeks of winter break.