West Seattle, Washington
At Seattle Lutheran High School north of The Junction, it’s a much-anticipated time of year – “J-Term.” This year, the students in our photo above will be participating in the first “J-Term Abroad,” including senior Alex Okabayashi, who wrote this to explain:
After Christmas Break at Seattle Lutheran High School, we swap our regular classes for elective-based block periods for the entire month of January. We call this “J-Term.” This gives the students opportunities to explore their passions and find something new about themselves. My junior year, I took 3 classes in total: fiber clay, creative writing, and team sports. J-Term let me decompress from finals and start the new year off fresh while also letting me pursue some of my hobbies in a classroom environment.
However, when I heard about the first J-Term Abroad trip, I was instantly hooked. A 2-week marine-science course in the Caribbean with 10 other students on a catamaran sounded spectacular. Scuba-diving and marine biology right on the water sounded amazing, but I was a bit reluctant. I’ve never done anything like this before, but once some of my friends started signing up, the window for this opportunity was shrinking super quickly (all of the spots for guys were taken by the first day)! We’ll be sailing along crystal clear waters surrounded by forested islands in less than a few days, and it feels like everything is coming full circle. Have fun in the rain, by the way…
SLHS, by the way, has an open house coming up January 25th.
ORIGINAL JANUARY 5TH REPORT: Early heads-up: One week from tomorrow – on Saturday morning, January 13th – the Alaskan Way Viaduct will close for four hours, both ways from Seneca to Denny, including the Battery Street Tunnel. This is for an inspection related to plans for decommissioning the BST when the Highway 99 tunnel goes into service and takes the Viaduct out of service. The closure is scheduled for 6 to 10 am on January 13th.
JANUARY 8TH UPDATE: The boundaries of the closure, originally published on SDOT’s weekly construction/closure advisory, were wrong, WSDOT tells us today, and it’s basically just the Battery Street Tunnel, so if you are northbound during the closure, you will be able to exit at Western; if you are southbound, you will be able to exit at Denny. And the Elliott Avenue onramp to SB 99 will remain open.
(Sound Transit’s West Seattle-to-Ballard ‘representative’ map – draft ‘alignment’)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
If you care about what’s going to happen with West Seattle’s forthcoming light-rail line, you need to pay attention to and get involved in the process right now, especially for the next year and a half – though it’s not due to arrive until 2030, the timeline depends on key decisions being made in the next year and a half.
That point was made repeatedly during the first meeting of one of the groups that will be involved in the planning process for Sound Transit‘s West Seattle and Ballard extensions, the Elected Leadership Group. Here’s video of the meeting, just published by Seattle Channel:
Another point: The planning process is not ONLY for groups – individual comments will be vital. (But if you want to get involved at a more-intense level, you are invited to apply ASAP for one of up to seven spots open on the soon-to-launch Stakeholders Advisory Group, which has 19 members already announced – more on them, and how to apply, later.)
West Seattle-residing County Council Chair Joe McDermott is co-chairing the Elected Leadership Group with City Councilmember Mike O’Brien. Others in attendance at the group’s first meeting, at Sound Transit headquarters on the south side of downtown, included Mayor Jenny Durkan, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and City Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Lorena González, Bruce Harrell, Lisa Herbold, and Rob Johnson.
ST CEO Peter Rogoff opened by speaking of a “certain sense of urgency” and mentioned “how much worse congestion will get … before we can deliver these projects.” He also mentioned the hope of speeding up the projects beyond the current 2030 West Seattle/2035 Ballard opening plans. And he acknowledged the complex logistics – including the bridges to be built over waterways for both lines, and the new tunnel that the Ballard line will use. He vowed to be “responsive” and “straightforward” in the anticipated “back and forth,” and promised that ST would do its best to answer questions thoroughly and transparently.
Two West Seattleites was among the half-dozen people who spoke during the public comment period early in the meeting.
New information today about Thursday’s home-invasion robbery on Puget Ridge. An area resident has provided Seattle Police with images of what police say might be the getaway vehicle – likely a silver 4-door 1999 Buick, with one particularly distinctive feature: Lug-nut covers missing on both passenger-side wheels.
Otherwise, police say there’s not too much more than what we originally reported – it happened just before noon in the 5200 block of 18th SW, and they don’t know why this particular house was targeted. Four people forced their way into the house; at least two had handguns. They are described only as black, male, with dark hoodies covering most of their faces. They demanded cash, and were told the people in the house had none. One resident was “pistol-whipped outside the house” before the robbers broke in; they took “nothing of value,” SPD Det. Mark Jamieson told WSB this morning, and let barely two minutes after they arrived. Robbery detective St. John is investigating – call 206-386-4050; the incident number is 2018-004202.
The first weekend of 2018 is on the way. Here’s your list of possibilities, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: The home of West Seattle’s history is open noon-4 pm. (61st SW/SW Stevens)
WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: New location for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented first-Friday author series – Southwest Library. 5-7 pm tonight, drop in to hear from David M. Hansen, talking about his book “Battle Ready,” telling the stories of the coastal forts in the Northwest a century ago. (9010 35th SW)
VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room open 5-9 pm – stop in and enjoy a glass of wine at Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor); bottles available for purchase too. (5910 California SW)
SKATE NIGHT: 5:45 pm-7:45 pm, skating at Alki Community Center. $3/person. (5817 SW Stevens)
AT C & P COFFEE COMPANY: 7-9 pm, live music with David Johnson. (5612 California SW)
AT THE SKYLARK: Live music at 8 pm, with Snaketopus, TENRAI, and Hands of Deliverance. $8 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
AND THERE’S MORE … on our complete-calendar page.
Christmas tree still up, and drying out? Curbside pickup or transfer-station dropoff options not quite working for you? Tomorrow brings another option – the West Seattle Rainbow Girls’ annual dropoff event in The Junction. They’ll be at the Masonic Center parking lot (4736 40th SW) between 9 am and 1 pm Saturday (January 6th) to accept your tree. It’s a fundraiser, so the fee is whatever you want to donate for the service.
6:57 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far this morning, nor is there anything major in the area with potential ripple effects.
8:08 AM: The skipped Route 56 mentioned by commenters has finally resulted in an after-the-fact Metro alert:
Transit Alert – Route 56 to downtown Seattle due to leave 61 Av SW & Alki Av SW at 7:32 AM did not operate this morning.
— King County Metro🚌 (@kcmetrobus) January 5, 2018
8:37 AM: Another Metro note – the “online open house” for the Route 120 conversion into the RapidRide H Line, your next feedback opportunity, is open for 10 days starting today – it starts here.
An exciting day for 16 West Seattle schools – delivery of 2,400 eyed coho eggs for the Salmon in Schools program. We were at Highland Park Elementary, one of the newest participants, as longtime volunteers Judy Pickens (above center) and Phil Sweetland (below right) made the delivery and explained how things work.
At HPES, 4th grade teacher Danielle Meier (above left) is overseeing the program this year. Participants at other schools range from preschool to high school (Chief Sealth International is another new participant). But this isn’t just a West Seattle program – Judy and Phil are on the steering committee for all of Seattle, with 73 public and private schools having obtained state Department of Fish and Wildlife permits to raise and release fish. Today, volunteer Shannon Ninburg helped them make the rounds of local deliveries.
The students and teachers will observe the salmon growing until May, when the fry will be released there – 1,800 fry by 744 visiting students last year. The eggs are from Soos Creek Hatchery in Auburn and are not to be taken for granted, as we were reminded in 2016.
Two Three West Seattle Crime Watch items tonight:
ANOTHER STOLEN CR-V: For the second day in a row, we’ve received a report of a stolen CR-V. The one stolen yesterday was found by a WSB reader hours later. Maybe you can find the one taken overnight from Sarah in Seaview:
I’d like to report the theft of my vehicle sometime last night, 1/3-1/4, in the 5900 block of 48th St SW, it was parked legally in the vicinity of my residence and it’s been verified by SPD as not towed.
The vehicle is a blue 2011 Honda CR-V; notable features include Maryland license places and several Washington, DC parking permits, as well as a whole lot of bumper stickers including: Sierra Club, Bernie Sanders, Barrie School, George Washington University, Ocean City Brewing Company, West Marine Sailing, and several magnets for Marathons, Half-Marathons and Cycling. It’s pretty distinct and that’s not an all inclusive list, but hopefully could help positively identify it if spotted.
If you see it, call 911 – and then let us know.
(Sunday update: Confirmation that the CR-V was spotted by a reader – southwest of The Junction – and has been recovered!)
ADMIRAL ATTACK SUSPECT UPDATE: Today brought another hearing for Kierra Ward, charged in October’s knife attack on a mother out walking with her baby. Documents from the hearing indicate that Ward is choosing to go to trial rather than seeking a plea bargain; the date is tentatively set for February 21st, depending on what happens at a readiness hearing set for February 9th. Ward remains held in the King County Jail in lieu of $400,000 bail.
ADDED 8:50 – PIGEON POINT SHED BREAK-IN, TOOLS TAKEN: This just came in from Elizabeth, minutes after we published the above two items, so we’re adding it:
I wanted to let the Pigeon Point community know that my shed was broken into either last night or sometime today. The thieves stole all of my tools. (4100 block 19th SW) … They cut the hinges off my shed to get in. Below are a list of the tools stolen I have identified so far in case anyone hears or sees anyone out there with new things.
-Rigid Miter Saw, collapsible
-Rigid Table Saw, collapsible
-Rigid Hand Sander
-Rigid Nail Gun & Nails
-Dewalt Cordless Hand Saw
-Dewalt Cordless Reciprocating Saw
-Dewalt Cordless Drill
-Dewalt Cordless Impact Drill
-Dewalt Drill Bits (4-5boxes)
Unfortunately I don’t have any cameras working that could help catch these people. My thought is that they drove some kind of truck and reversed back into my driveway up to the shed and broken. This would have shielded them from being seen from all sides (the other sides are surrounded by two other neighbors and my house as I have an open driveway, no garage. I’m guessing they had some kind of van as the miter saw and table saw are big.
Wanted to let the neighborhood know so everyone can keep an extra eye out on their homes as well as hope that someone saw something that could help catch these thieves.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
New year, new information – many community updates filled last night’s first 2018 meeting of the Southwest District Council, representatives of groups and organizations around western West Seattle.
The meeting was the first under SWDC’s new leadership, co-chairs Tamsen Spengler (of the Morgan Community Association) and Amanda Sawyer (Junction Neighborhood Organization), with secretary Roxane Rusch (Admiral Neighborhood Association).
The spotlighted guest was City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, now midway through her four-year term representing District 1 (West Seattle and South Park).
That photo from Washington State Ferries shows WSF boss Amy Scarton christening the newest state ferry, M/V Suquamish, this afternoon at Vigor Industrial on Harbor Island. It’s the fourth Olympic Class ferry, and scheduled to go into service later this year. Before that, you’ll see it out on sea trials starting in a few months. The plan for starters is for it to be on the Mukilteo/Clinton run in the summer and be on maintenance relief for other vessels at other times of the year. The ferry’s name is explained in the announcement: “The Washington State Transportation Commission selected the vessel name in 2016 to honor the Suquamish people, a tribe that has inhabited the central Puget Sound for approximately 10,000 years.”
Thanks to Rich for the tip – less than two weeks after West Seattle Produce closed at future apartment site 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW, another closure: Mexican-food truck Taqueria La Original was towed off the lot this morning, and like WS Produce, it is now in search of a new home. We talked with TLO management by phone; they’re hoping to find a new home in West Seattle, but “it’s hard.” Once the truck does find a new location, they promise to announce it online. Taqueria La Original took the spot outside WS Produce almost exactly a year ago, same spot left by another food truck, Beloved Mexico, just over a year earlier.
ORIGINAL 12:47 PM REPORT: Police are in the 5200 block of 18th SW on Puget Ridge (south of Dawson), after a report of a home-invasion robbery. It’s still early in the investigation, but so far, they have been told that four armed men, described only as black, wearing black hoodies, and black masks, broke into the house. At least one person was home, a man who suffered a facial injury. The robbers are believed to have gotten away in a vehicle, though SPD tells us there are conflicting descriptions. We also don’t know yet what if anything they took. Robbery detectives are on their way to the scene; we’ll check back later for an update.
FRIDAY MORNING NOTE: The report was not available yesterday but we’re renewing our request this morning. The final classification of the call, meantime, was “strong-arm robbery.”
11:29 AM: If you grab binoculars and head for Constellation Park [map], you just might find Kersti Muul and Jeff Hogan there watching orcas. Kersti has texted us that whales are visible off the north tip of Blake Island, currently “milling,” though they had been observed northbound earlier.
11:47 AM: Jeff confirms that they’re visible from here, between Blake and Bainbridge islands currently.
Family and friends will gather Saturday to remember Captain Ray Armitstead. The obituary that his daughter sent to us this morning also turns out to be a followup on an incident reported here a month ago:
On December 5, 2017, WSB published a photo sent to you of a car on the sidewalk going up Glenn Way. In that car was my dad, Captain Ray S Armitstead. He was 91, born and raised in West Seattle.The EMT were able to get a pulse and took him to Harborview, where he passed away about an hour later. My mom always said he had an angel on his shoulder. That angel was with him in his 35 years at sea and there right to the very end. The police officer, who came to our door, said no citations will be issued, no one and nothing was hit. He is survived by his wife of 73 years, InaRuth, daughter Marybeth, son Daniel, daughters Martha and Joyce.
We’d like to invite any who knew him to his Celebration of Life on Saturday, January 6, 2018, at Dakota Place Park, 2 to 4 pm.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Two townhouse projects in development news this morning, both on corner lots along SW Brandon:
TOWNHOUSES FOR THAITAN CORNER? An early-stage site plan has appeared in city files for 5258 California SW, current home of The Thaitan. 9 rowhouse (townhouse) units are proposed, two facing California, seven facing Brandon, with nine underground parking spaces. What’s particularly interesting is that while the adjacent, recently vacated Papa John’s site has had the same ownership, there’s no proposal in the files for that site – yet – though the site north has an 18-townhouse plan. Meantime, since the corner site is an early-stage proposal, not yet to the formal application stage, there’s no official comment period open yet either, but if you have anything you want to tell the city, you can contact PRC@seattle.gov and refer to #3030600. As for the restaurant’s future, we’ll be checking on that. (Photo: County Assessor’s Office)
(1:19 PM UPDATE: As Scott points out in comments, since we published this, a similar plan has turned up in online files for the ex-Papa John’s site – 9 townhouses, in this case, 3 fronting California, and three rows of two each behind it.)
And about four blocks directly east …
TOWNHOUSES AT FAUNTLEROY/BRANDON: A project much further along in the pipeline has received a key approval, per this notice in the city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin. Six rowhouse-style townhouses have been approved for the northwest corner of Fauntleroy/Brandon, at 3914 SW Brandon, with six offstreet-parking spaces; today’s notice is the determination of environmental non-significance, and opens a two-week period for anyone interested in filing an appeal.
Welcome to 2018’s first Thursday! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FAMILY STORY TIME: 10:30 am at Southwest Library. (9010 35th SW)
WEST SEATTLE TO BALLARD LIGHT RAIL ‘ELECTED LEADERSHIP’ GROUP: As previewed here earlier this week, this group is meeting for the first time at 705 Union Station on the south side of downtown, 2-4 pm. Public welcome. Meeting documents are here. (4th Ave. S. & Seattle Blvd. S. – map)
ALKI ELEMENTARY PTA: 6:30 pm meeting. (3010 59th SW)
READ THE KORAN IN 4 WEEKS: Tonight is the first of four sessions in First Lutheran Church of West Seattle pastor Rev. Ron Marshall‘s next series, 7 pm. Check to see if there’s room. (4105 California SW)
AT THE SKYLARK: Tonight’s live music features Barrett Staples, Thom Joseph, VIBE, Jay Fiddy. 8 pm. 21+. $8 cover. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
WEST SEATTLE SOUL: New monthly event at Parliament Tavern – see tonight’s lineup in our calendar listing. 9 pm. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
THERE’S MORE … on our complete calendar!
7:06 AM: No outbound problems from West Seattle so far, but for those headed this way via southbound I-5, a rollover crash involving a box truck has been blocking lanes just north of the exit to the westbound West Seattle Bridge. No injuries, WSP says, but even once it’s towed, there will be residual southbound backups.
8:34 AM: WSDOT says the overturned truck has just been cleared and now they’re on to some cleanup work.
8:55 AM: All lanes open again on SB I-5 just north of the WS Bridge exit.
1:09 AM: Multiple reports of suspected gunfire have had police out searching in the Roxhill Park area for the past hour or so. So far, no reports of them having found anything or anyone; one person who called police told WSB he saw the shots fired from someone in a vehicle. We’ll check later this morning for the final incident report.
11:52 AM: Just checked with SPD, and they confirm, no evidence of gunfire found – doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, only that they did not find casings, property damage, or victim(s).
#10 junior Jenna McPhee and #32 sophomore Meghan Fiso each brought in 16 points as the Wildcats defeated Franklin HS, 77-30.
Friday night, head coach Darnell Taylor‘s team is on the road at Garfield HS. They remain unbeaten in conference games.
Victory tonight for the Chief Sealth International High School girls’ basketball team, 58-45
in overtime over visiting Eastside Catholic.
#3 sophomore Celia LaGuardia was top scorer with 31 points; #11 senior Aundra Tuchscherer was next with 12.
#22 junior Camryn Thomas led in rebounds, with 14, and blocked three shots, too. Head coach Cartiea French-Toney‘s Seahawks will be on the road Friday night at Bishop Blanchet. Here’s how they’re doing overall so far this season.
Over the holiday, we reported the passing of Dotty Hughes, known by many for her community service as well as her management of the Washington Federal branch north of The Junction. We promised an update when there’s information on services – and a family member tells us today that they are set for Holy Rosary Church in West Seattle on Saturday, January 13 – rosary at 10 am, Mass at 11 am, and a reception in the gym at noon. Ms. Hughes was 65 years old.
Yes, winter’s only two weeks old, but it’s time to think spring – think baseball! We heard today from West Seattle Baseball, whose new president Zach Jones has announced that registration is under way, noting that the group does not have geographic boundaries. “Kids ages 4-16 from all around the area (West Seattle, Burien, White Center, South Park, etc.) are welcome to join!” he wants you to know. Other notes, for both returnees and new players:
You can now register for the 2018 season! Here are some details:
As you will see, we have a new website moving to Sports Illustrated Play this year. We brought over as much of your previous registration as we could, but it may have some gaps. You will need to create an account with SI Play (it only takes a minute).
As you register, please be careful to check names, dates and email addresses for accuracy.
This year we will also be asking for birth certificates for your players. It is not required to complete your registration, but we will need it uploaded before the season starts.
Register before February 1st and receive a $10 discount! Registration closes February 14th.
You can also register as a volunteer or as a coach in this process.
If you have any issues registering, please contact our website administrator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or click the handy help buttons on the website.
Have questions regarding age, bats and important dates? Please see the Letter from the President FAQ’s on the home page.
Here’s the direct link to the registration page.