West Seattle, Washington
(From the packet by Cone Architecture)
New on the city website today: The updated design packet for 3084 SW Avalon Way [map], planned as a 7-story building with 37 “small efficiency dwelling units” (microapartments) and no offstreet (vehicle) parking spaces. This project is going through Administrative Design Review, which means no public meetings, but you can send feedback to the project’s city-assigned planner, Joe Hurley, at email@example.com. This is the second and final review phase for this proposal; you can find the first-phase report by going here.
Though the New Year’s Eve forecast looks calm – looks like we have to clear a blustery hurdle before we get there.
The National Weather Service has a Wind Advisory up for 10 am-4 pm tomorrow (Saturday, December 29th). The wind is forecast to be “southerly 20 to 35 mph with gusts 45 to 55 mph.”
Get everything charged just in case!
Thanks to Keri for the tip! For the first time since we broke the news in September 2017 that the West Seattle Whole Foods Market plan was back on, there are signs of activity – literally – at the future store’s space in The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW).
The window signage apparently started going up yesterday – Keri’s tip came in late last night – and more was being added when we went by this morning.
As shown in the top photo, Whole Foods is still projecting it’ll open in fall of next year (when we last checked in April, the company told us “latter part of 2019”). The West Seattle Whole Foods saga is a long one – dating back almost 13 years, to the original February 2006 announcement that they would open in what was then Fauntleroy Place, a project later idled (post-excavation, so it was nicknamed “The Hole” for 4+ years), eventually becoming (under different owners/developers) Spruce, with LA Fitness in the commercial space instead. Then in November 2012, developers of The Whittaker announced WF as their anchor tenant, to open in 2015. That timeline kept sliding until the plan was officially shelved for half of last year, then revived.
As for when Whole Foods’ Whittaker build-out will start, city files verify that permits are in progress. We have inquiries out to WF, though the looming holiday could delay the response.
CLOTHING DRIVE: Christmas is over but the clothing drive for the West Seattle Helpline continues at Dave Newman State Farm Insurance (WSB sponsor) until New Year’s! Gently used coats and other warm-clothing items are welcome, plus: “For undergarments and socks, please donate only new and unopened packages of clothing items. … For those who have donations but are unable to transport their clothes, coats and shoes to the donation location pickup may be available. For further information, contact the State Farm office at 206-932-1878.” (3435 California SW)
WINTER CRAFTS – MARBLING PAPER: 3:30-5 pm at South Park Library. “Make beautiful stationery, gift tags, or bookmarks for yourself or for gifts. Marbling is a process that turns plain paper into a work of art!” (8604 8th Ave. S.)
RACHEL HARRINGTON: Singer-songwriter performs live at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
AT PARLIAMENT TAVERN: OIXOI, Crown Villains, Maurice and His Thing, Sonic Duo all on tonight’s live-music slate, 9 pm. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
LOOK INTO THE FUTURE … via our complete calendar.
2:47 AM: Seattle Fire is dispatching a “full response” to a house fire in the 2100 block of 41st Avenue SW.
2:51 AM: First units on scene say the house is “well involved” in flames.
2:56 AM: Still fully involved, per radio communication, but sounds like they believe everyone got out OK. Firefighters are also dealing with what are reported to be downed power lines.
3:06 AM: The command on scene is calling for two more engines to be dispatched.
3:21 AM: Added photos. Fire just declared under control. Also noting that the burning house is NOT the house whose address is shown on SFD’s real-time 911 log – as we’ve said many times before, that happens sometimes, the address might instead be whomever called it in, for example. Meantime, still no word of any injuries.
3:41 AM: Firefighters are calling the fire “tapped” (albeit with hot spots). Meantime, our crew at the scene will be talking shortly with the public-information officer who was sent.
3:49 AM: Briefing concluded – we have video to add when uploaded (added – here it is):
(As explained in the briefing, one person was home when it started; he is OK. SFD spokesperson Hilton Almond says the smoke detector awakened the man; he got out and alerted the neighbors to the north, whose house was also damaged.)
Too soon to say what ignited the fire – investigators have arrived.
4:17 AM: Just added the top photo sent by neighbor Katy, who says, “My husband & I were woken up around 2:35 am to loud booms to find the house across the street from us fully engulfed in flames with no fire department on scene yet” – they arrived moments later, she says.
3:01 PM: New information from SFD – the cause remains under investigation; damage to the house and contents is estimated at $350,000, while damage to the house next door is estimated at $50,000.
We asked SFD’s Almond about the 911 outage and whether that factored into any possible response delay. “The occupant did try 9-1-1 but could not get through,” he replied, but says he doesn’t have information on whose call (we heard the dispatcher say multiple calls had come in) got through or how long that took – he explains that the number advised as a backup, 206-583-2111, goes to SPD, which then would have transferred the call to SFD. (We’ll be following up with SPD.) Once SFD got its first call, he said, “units were dispatched within 31 seconds.” The incident log shows the first unit to arrive, Engine 29 (based blocks away), arrived 4 minutes after dispatch.
9:49 PM: King County has just sent this alert to media around the county:
King County asks that you let your readers, viewers, and listeners know that the 9-1-1 system in Washington State is down at this time. No calls are getting through to the 9-1-1 centers, either on landlines or cell phones.
People who are having an emergency in King County can call the ten-digit emergency number for the police or fire agency in their area on a landline or cell phone, or they can use Text-to-911 on their cell phone.
There is no estimate for restoration of 9-1-1 service. No additional details are available at this time.
Though the alert doesn’t mention it, there’s been a major CenturyLink outage that some agencies cited for 911 troubles earlier. CenturyLink says it hopes to have that fixed by early morning.
Meantime, you can reach emergency services at 206-583-2111 if you need to, per SPD.
12:16 AM: Update from the county:
The widespread 9-1-1 outage caused by a malfunction at CenturyLink continues to affect King County. 9-1-1 call centers are having difficulty receiving phone calls, both from landlines and cell phones. At this time, there is no estimate on when full 9-1-1 service will be restored in our region.
2:30 AM: No 911-specific updates since then but for its part, CenturyLink tweeted a little over an hour ago that it’s “seeing positive progress with our service restoration efforts.”
4:50 AM: Another CenturyLink update: “We discovered some additional technical problems as our service restoration efforts were underway. We continue to make good progress …”
10:53 AM: From King County: “Progress is being made to restore 9-1-1 service in King County. The CenturyLink network outage that affected emergency calls nationwide is being addressed, and 9-1-1 calls are again getting through. However, residents are urged not to “test” the system. There may still be intermittent issues …”
4:18 PM: CenturyLink also has since said 911 is working. But keep that 206-583-2111 number handy.
Shortly after work started on the 42nd SW site of the future Junction Landing apartment building, a new project plan has turned up next door. The 81-year-old house at 4411 42nd SW is proposed for demolition, with 4 townhouses and 4 live-work units to replace it. The city docket for the project describes it as “with parking” but doesn’t specify how much.
4:51 PM: Washington State Ferries says it’s finished fixing the damage that had Vashon Island down to one slip for 2+ days, so it’s in the process of transitioning back to three-boat service on the “Triangle route.” It’s hoping to have full service restored by about 6:30 pm.
11:15 PM: Update from WSF – “Due to earlier two-boat schedule delays and heavy vehicle traffic, the M/V Cathlamet continues sailing off-schedule. The route will finish the service day on the weekday two-boat schedule, and resumes the regular three-boat schedule on Friday, Dec. 28.”
They’re cabins in the woods … in the city. 2019 reservations for cabins at Camp Long (5200 35th SW) start next week – here’s the Seattle Parks announcement:
For a taste of the great outdoors without having to stay in a tent, the cabins at Camp Long are a great solution. These 10 privately-situated, rustic huts are each equipped with three double bunk beds, a sink and faucet, overhead lights, windows, 2 doors, a BBQ, and picnic tables. Showers and restrooms are nearby. Tell stories around the fire ring, explore 68 acres of trails or climb rocks during the day, and reconnect with the natural world – without the trip out of town.
Camp Long will begin taking 2019 reservations on January 2; cabins open March 1. The cost is $50 per night. (Plus a $50 damage/clean-up deposit of $50 per cabin.) For more information and to reserve, please call Camp Long at (206) 684-7434./blockquote>
You might have seen a car or two like that in West Seattle recently. Don Brubeck sent the top photo from Alki Point today. Brian Presser of TouchTech Systems noticed this one near his business in The Junction last week:
Just in time for the Seattle Squeeze, Period of Maximum Constraint, Viadoom 2, whatever you want to call the upcoming tunnel transition and the transportation turmoil that is feared to follow, the LimePod is a new carshare option, from Lime, the same company that started with those ubiquitous green bikes. So what’s the difference between LimePod and the carshare companies already operating in Seattle, car2go and ReachNow? We contacted Lime to find out. and they connected us with Gabriel Scheer, Lime’s director of strategic development, who happens to live in West Seattle. (In fact, he laughed during our recent phone conversation, the LimePod parked in The Junction recently may have been there because he drove it home.)
LimePod is starting small in Seattle but will add more of its little Fiats in early January. One big difference from the other carshare offerings: If you are a Lime user already – the ubiquitous green bicycles and electric bikes – same app. “It’s a multimodal fleet,” as Scheer put it.
In some other cities, you can also use Lime scooters. Lime would like to add scooters in Seattle but hasn’t gotten city approval … yet. (They even offered to do a pilot just serving the Water Taxi, but that was a no-go, Scheer said.)
Another point of differentiation Scheer mentioned – LimeAccess, with discounts – and potential smartphoneless use – for those who qualify. “We want to serve everyone.”
Scheer says Lime believes that by being multimodal, it can be a major asset during the upcoming transport-pocalypse (etc.). For now, the four-seater LimePods are gas-burning, but next year, Scheer says, Lime is moving toward electric cars.
P.S. The LimePods are so new, they don’t even have their own section on the main Lime website. If you’re yearning for more specifics, this GeekWire story has them.
Just in from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner, the reminder that King County has been circulating the news that it finally has the long-awaited capability of receiving 911 via text:
Text-to-911 service is now available in King County. But remember- call if you can, text if you can’t!
Residents and visitors in Seattle and King County who are speech impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, or are unable to speak due to a domestic-violence or other incident can now send a text message to 9-1-1 in an emergency situation. Learn more about how it works and what to do by visiting www.kingcounty.gov/911
The service has its limits, as noted in the official announcement, and that’s why they’re stressing, for now, please only text 911 if and when you can’t make a voice call.
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: Noon-4 pm, visit the home of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. (61st/Stevens)
GAME ON! Open game-playing – electronic and board! – 2-4:30 pm at High Point Library. (3411 SW Raymond)
ALKI LIGHT SHOW: Last scheduled presentation of the Uehara-Bingen Xmas Lights Show on Alki! Be there at 6:15 pm for the 30-minute show that starts at 6:30 pm. More info in our Holiday Guide. (1736 Alki SW)
TRIVIA TIMES TWO: 2 sessions of free trivia at Great American Diner and Bar in The Junction, 7 and 8 pm. (4752 California SW)
6:56 AM: Good morning! We’ve checked around – no incidents reported in our area, so far. Transit notes:
METRO: Running again today on “reduced weekday” service.
FERRY: Also again today, Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth is on a two-boat schedule, with repairs set to start on the damaged slip at Vashon.
ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY REPORT: With the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure (10 pm January 11th) nearing, it’s time to get down to even more details of changes both temporary and permanent. Tonight: Harbor Avenue parking for riders planning to use the West Seattle Water Taxi‘s doubled service. First, new signage noticed by Carolyn, who sent the photo:
SDOT tells WSB that the newly designated “carshare vehicles only” spaces are for Car2Go/ReachNow/LimePod (more on that new service tomorrow) vehicles, and that this is a permanent change.
As for temporary changes: Briefings have mentioned for months that there would be restrictions along the water side of Harbor Avenue near Seacrest, to facilitate more Water Taxi park-and-ride use. So we also asked SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg about the newest details for those spaces. The current plan, she replied, is “to temporarily restrict on-street parking between 2 and 5 AM along Harbor Ave SW from Fairmount Ave SW to SW Spokane St. Current expectations are restrictions will last from January 11, 2019 until about mid-February, when the northbound off-ramp to Dearborn opens.”
As previously announced, an extra parking lot is also opening – as it did during the 2016 Viaduct closure – Pier 2 (entrance at Harbor/Florida, across from the Harbor Avenue 7-11), with a free shuttle to and from Seacrest, where the Water Taxi’s special two-boat, weekday-only schedule (except for the celebration weekend February 2-3) will continue all the way until seven-day spring/summer service begins in late March.
THURSDAY 6:38 PM: SDOT’s Schellenberg said late today that the information she gave us on Wednesday was inaccurate – the stretch of Harbor that will be restricted is actually from Maryland to Fairmount (map).
Tomorrow will be a second day of the two-boat schedule for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. Washington State Ferries made that announcement along with word that the damaged slip at Vashon will be repaired starting Thursday morning, “once a barge crane is delivered to the terminal.” Though you can see the two-boat schedule here, you should also keep in mind that both vessels ran behind schedule much of today.
Three quick notes from Alki:
EX-TULLY’S SPACE: We noticed the tape and dug-up front while passing by today. The space – now vacant almost 10 months – is still posted as “for lease” and there’s nothing in permit files. So we’re mentioning this just in case you wondered too.
VACATION CLOSURE: B’s Po Boy is closed for vacation until early February, according to the sign on the door.
Next Tuesday night’s forecast looks OK, so why not plan to be outside for a while? Both of these free activities are from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, which we’re continuing to update for New Year’s Eve/Day (not too late to send YOUR listing):
WALKING: As announced by Emerald City Wanderers again this year, a 5K walk through Admiral and Alaska Junctions, starting from St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (3050 California SW) any time you choose, between 4 and 7 pm. Full details in our guide, and info on their New Year’s Day walks too!.
PARADING: The classic neighborhood all-ages noisemaker Not-So-Silent-Night Parade at 6 pm kicks off the Highland Park Improvement Club‘s New Year’s Eve party, which has a prom theme this year and launches HPIC’s centennial celebrations. Gather in the HPIC parking lot, with or without your noisemaker of choice – drum, rattle. Afterward, stay for the party if you want to – or head somewhere else if you don’t. (1116 SW Holden)
From Seattle Public Utilities: No huge rush to get your Christmas tree, wreath, and other holiday greenery out for recycling this year:
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) invites Seattle residents to compost their Christmas trees and other holiday greens for free through January 31, 2019. Residents should place trees or bundled greens next to their food and yard waste cart on their collection day. Apartment residents may place two trees next to each food and yard waste cart on each collection day. Trees must be cut into lengths of four feet or less and all decorations, lights, tinsel, and other decorations must be removed.
In addition to curbside collection, Seattle residents may drop off trees and other holidays greens for free at SPU’s north or south transfer stations through January 31. Stations will accept up to three trees per vehicle.
Composting Christmas trees is just the beginning when it comes to holiday recycling. Many common holiday items can be recycled or reused. Customers can find out how to cut down on the amount of holiday waste that ends up in the landfill by checking SPU’s Where Does It Go tool.
P.S. Reminder that except for Monday customers, pickup is delayed one day this week and next since there was no pickup on Christmas Day and won’t be any on New Year’s Day.
10:53 AM: Out of the WSB inbox, from Mark: “I am hoping to warn readers as well as get some community help to find my stolen car. My 2017 Nissan Leaf (Gray) was stolen on Christmas Eve in my parking lot: WA PLATE #BFC2811.” We’re following up to get theft-location information and will add when that’s available.
1:24 PM: 36th SW between Hanford and Hinds.
8:49 PM: Mark says his car’s been found, parked in front of a fire hydrant a few miles away, and he has it back.
8:07 AM: Seattle Fire and Police are at the scene of a crash in the 6700 block of 30th SW [map] in High Point. SFD says two people need to be extricated. Three medic units have been dispatched. More shortly.
8:18 AM: Metro has sent an alert that Route 128 is routed off Sylvan because of the crash. Per scanner, the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is responding to this, which means the scene will be closed for a few hours.
8:21 AM: Per scanner, two people are being taken to Harborview. Metro has routed Route 128 off Sylvan Way.
8:27 AM: Photo added – this is a two-car collision on Sylvan Way. Our crew was told a third person was taken to a hospital via private ambulance, and has confirmed that TCI is responding.
10:37 AM: The street shouldn’t be closed too much longer – per scanner, we just heard that the tow trucks have arrived and SDOT’s Incident Response Team is being requested to return for scene cleanup.
11:58 AM: Just confirmed firsthand that Sylvan has reopened and tge 128 is back on its regular route.
6:50 AM: Good morning! We’re back on traffic watch. Just checked – no incidents in our area.
METRO: Running on “reduced weekday” service.
WATER TAXI: Reminder that Spirit of Kingston is scheduled to continue on the West Seattle run
FERRY: Reminder that Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth is on a two-boat schedule.
8:15 AM: We’re covering this separately but also noting here – avoid Sylvan Way through High Point, as a big SFD/SPD response is dealing with a crash near the cemetery.
8:35 AM: As noted in our coverage, Sylvan will be closed for some time because the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad has been sent to the scene.
Washington State Ferries says it will run this 2-boat schedule on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route today, but not because of vessel trouble – it’s so repairs can be made on Vashon, which has been down to 1-slip operations because of a problem WSF described as “a bent hangar bar.” The 2 boats on the run will be the Cathlamet and Kitsap, both 124-car vessels.
Of course our Christmas Day lights spotlight would be West Seattle’s brightest display. Thanks to Robert Spears for sharing these photos of the Menashe Family Lights from earlier this season. You’ll find them at 5605 Beach Drive SW as the holiday season continues.
You can see all the lights we’ve showcased this year by scrolling through this WSB archive (and prior years if you keep scrolling!).