West Seattle, Washington
(March 2010 view of the “low bridge,” from its tower, by then-Councilmember Tom Rasmussen)
With the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s permanent shutdown and tunnel transition now three weeks away – 10 pm Friday, January 11th – recaps and reminders are rampant. New information continues to emerge, too. In her weekly update, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold includes this:
(T)he U.S. Coast Guard, which regulates bridge openings, has approved a temporary restriction from January 11 to February 9 to limit Spokane Street Bridge openings (i.e. the “lower bridge” adjacent to the West Seattle Bridge). The restrictions will be in place from 7-10 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m., and prohibit openings for vessels of 5000 or more gross tons (see page 3 of the Coast Guard’s Notice to Mariners).
Though the “low bridge” is a city-owned structure, the Coast Guard has jurisdiction over the waterway’s use for maritime traffic, and it’s generally rejected calls over the past decade-plus for longer-term restrictions on the times when it “closes” to vehicle traffic. The Coast Guard did agree to pm restrictions during the 2011 closure related to demolition of the AWV’s southern section.
Here’s what’s happening on the first day of what will be for many a four-day holiday weekend:
GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE: Mobile blood drive in The Junction, 9 am-3 pm. More info here. (42nd/Alaska)
DONATE HOMEMADE COOKIES: Thousands of homemade cookies are needed by The Christmas People to feed and cheer those in need! Bring them to Alki Masonic Center between 9 am and 3:30 pm daily, today through Tuesday. (4736 40th SW)
HOLIDAY MUSIC AT THRIFTWAY: We 3 Carolers at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), noon-2 pm, and Gary Benson 2-4 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
KIDS’ COOKIE-DECORATING PARTY: Cookie and apron decorating party, holiday crafts, for kids, presented by The Christmas People, 1-3 pm at Alki Masonic Center. (4736 40th SW)
SANTA AT THRIFTWAY: Meet him at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 2-5 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
TALK WITH YOUR SCHOOL BOARD REP: 3-5 pm at Southwest Library, Leslie Harris – elected Seattle School Board director for West Seattle/South Park as well as board president – hosts a drop-in community conversation. (9010 35th SW)
CAROLING FOR SHOPPERS: At Westwood Village – 3-5 pm, strolling. (2600 SW Barton)
ART OPENING AT VAIN: Art opening for Sam Brown at VAIN (WSB sponsor):
We will be hosting an art opening 6-9 pm for VAIN super stylist, creative powerhouse, and West Seattle resident Sam Brown! She will be presenting prints of her hair art. She colors, cuts, braids and styles hair in bold styles then photographs and manipulates the images into psychedelic hair art. She loves shifting textures and colors in the salon and in her photography. Refreshments will be served.
(4513 California SW)
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.
‘Tis the season to sing. These West Seattle women raised more than $1,000 tonight by doing it – in hopes of saving lives. They perform together as a band called La Fawnduh and, explains member Kelly Malloy, “TWO of our dear friends (one a band member) have had young children diagnosed with brain cancer in the last 3 years.” So they decided to raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund. They booked some stops in advance; we caught up with them at a home in Arbor Heights, and recorded a holiday medley:
Kelly says they hoped their caroling could be not only a fundraiser but also “could help raise awareness to a cause worth knowing more about.” (Take a minute and look at these eight fast facts – then scroll down that same page to meet kids including Avery and Roarke, the two Kelly mentioned. Consider donating here.) By night’s end, she told us, they “hit 9 spots, ended at Phoenecia, also went to the fire house, and stopped at a UPS truck.”
We haven’t shown this yard in a couple years, but it was suggested for a spotlight as we continue showing West Seattle Christmas lights: This tree is in what you might know as the “Skeleton Theatre” yard, site of an amazing animatronic show every Halloween, on the southwest corner of 36th and Hanford. It’s decked with illuminated holiday characters. Thanks for the suggestions; more lights tomorrow, and you can browse the ones we’ve featured before by going here!
In case you’d been worried about the prospect of a strike by AMR ambulance crews – the deadline that had been set by the workers represented by Teamsters Local 763 is now suspended, as the union and AMR are resuming talks. The company had said it was bringing in replacement workers, while the city was reported to be working on a plan to have SFD handle more transports, and to call on other departments if necessary. Until today’s announcement of new talks, the AMR workers were planning to walk out at noon tomorrow.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
HIGHLAND PARK ARRESTS: An SPD Blotter post explains why we couldn’t find an incident number to follow up on questions about what police were doing outside Highland Park’s Morningstar Deli on Wednesday: It was an Anti-Crime Team arrest rather than the result of a 911 call. The post says the officers were …
“responding to community complaints of auto thefts and abandoned stolen cars in the area” when this happened:
Around 4:30 Wednesday, ACT members were in the 8800 block of 9th Avenue SW when they spotted a reported stolen truck parked in a business lot. Officers watched the female driver walk away from the truck while another woman remained in the passenger seat. Plainclothes officers followed the suspect until uniformed officers arrived and took her into custody. The passenger was also detained and it was determined she had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. During a search of the suspects, police recovered numerous stolen credit and debit cards, which had been reported stolen during multiple car prowls and burglaries in and around Seattle.
While officers were arresting the two women, a man, who was known to officers to have an outstanding warrant, inserted himself into the situation. Officers recognized the man as someone who had recently fled from patrol officers. He was immediately arrested on his outstanding warrant. The three suspects were later booked into jail.
The driver is a 28-year-old woman whose bail was set this afternoon at $46,000, most of that related to a warrant in a case in which she is charged with trafficking in stolen property. We looked up the case; it involved purse thefts two years ago from the elementary school where her child was a student, followed by fraudulent use of cards from the purses, and pawning or selling other items found in them. We haven’t determined the passenger’s status; the man is 31 years old and being held in lieu of $15,000 – the warrant was for an assault case.
CONSTRUCTION-SITE BURGLARY: From Kyra:
Just wanted to report a crime on Beach Drive this morning.
We are having construction done on our house and this morning, shortly after the contractor arrived, this truck drove up and a man in a camouflage hoody wearing a knit cap hopped out, ran inside and stole the contractor’s computer and printer. The truck is pretty unique with white wheel wells and a large white metal grate over the front grill. There is also a dark scratch/dent on the driver’s door.
If anyone knows who this is, please contact me. It was obvious he was casing the house and knew the contractor’s schedule. A police report has been filed.
(WSB file photo)
The weather should be a lot calmer on Friday afternoon, when winter officially arrives – the solstice “moment” is at 2:23 pm. An hour and a half later, you are invited to the change-of-seasons sunset watch with Alice Enevoldsen at West Seattle’s Solstice Park (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW, upslope from the tennis courts). Be there at 3:45 pm to mark the change of seasons (and to learn about it too).
Eight days after a standing-room-only review of the latest proposed schedule revision for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route, Washington State Ferries says it’s official. Here it is again, in PDF. It was sent by WSF’s Hadley Rodero, whose e-mail adds:
… During the most recent public comment period that ended on Dec. 18, we heard a wide range of comments on the draft schedule. A major theme was a request for WSF to sit down with the authors of the proposed pendulum schedule. This week our schedule planners did meet with the authors, and while they explained how it does not meet the capacity needs and constraints of the route, our planners committed to monitoring the performance of the schedule going forward and encouraged the pendulum schedule authors and others to continue providing feedback. …
This new schedule will begin on March 31, 2019. Once the new schedule starts, WSF will closely monitor the route’s performance in preparation for the busy summer season and beyond. In 2019, we will also be starting work on the Fauntleroy terminal project and looking at other strategies to improve terminal operations, provide additional travel options, and apply advances in technology or other operational efficiencies. We will share a progress report of the route’s performance and how the schedule is working.
Among other reasons, WSF said the schedule needed an overhaul because it will be adding capacity, expanding to three Issaquah-class vessels.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR STORM UPDATES)
10:01 AM: The National Weather Service‘s alert for our area – a High Wind Warning – is now in effect, 10 am-7 pm. From the alert:
* WIND…South to southeast wind 25 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.
* TIMING…Winds will increase rapidly Thursday morning with the strongest gusts expected for a few hours Thursday afternoon.
If you see/experience downed trees, power problems, etc., once you’ve reported it to the authorities, please let us know so we can include in coverage – text or voice, 206-293-6302 is the fastest – thank you!
11:20 AM: First tree report – an alley near 39th/Graham – thanks for the texted photo!
We are currently in the Alki area and a serious rain squall is moving through. Before we rounded Duwamish Head north/west bound, one was visible in the bay, too:
Just south of Alki Point, it’s prime wave-watching, even with high tide still 2+ hours away. (video added)
11:56 AM: More road reports – Signal out at Myers/Olson (the City Light map shows a small outage there) … tree down on eastbound Admiral Way in Alki area (WSB photo added) …
Tree on eastbound Orchard east of Delridge, photo courtesy @SabaGebru:
12:08 PM: Outage mostly south of West Seattle, 4,300+ customers – here’s a screengrab from the SCL map:
12:44 PM: Tree trouble in Arbor Heights, near 37th/108th – thanks for sending the photo:
Close call, they report: “We’re fortunate it didn’t hit anyone AND it landed right in between the two cars.”
1:44 PM: The aforementioned outage remains the only one of note anywhere near us, and some of those customers have their power back – it’s now a 3,400+-customer outage. The NWS, meantime, says the wind will peak in the next few hours. Certainly a storm of many faces – we’re in The Junction right now and the sun has even made an appearance.
2:47 PM: The photo above shows chunks of driftwood on the road alongside Constellation Park after the high tide earlier this hour sent those windwhipped waves even further over the road. Along the quiet north-facing side of Alki, just a bit of slopover:
— Podcast West Seattle (@podcastwseattle) December 20, 2018
We’ve been through The Junction, Delridge, points inbetween, and it’s relatively placid. The outage to the south of WS is now down to 1700+ customers.
3:15 PM: The NWS’s afternoon Forecast Discussion confirms it’s “settling down,” so we’re going to move on to some other news. We’ll update this story as warranted, of course, or launch something new if any major incidents are reported.
4:45 PM: All’s still relatively well. The outage to the south is now down to 110 customers; there’s a few scattered one-customer outages mapped for West Seattle, and a group of 9 south of Westcrest Park, otherwise things have stayed stable on the power front.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports this morning:
HIT-AND-RUN: The photo, report, and video clips were sent this morning by Kendra:
My Jeep was hit hard by a navy blue Jeep (or ?) just before 8 am this morning. Hit so hard it jumped my Jeep onto the curb and grass. Our neighbor witnessed it and they backed up and sped off turning right on Erskine. She said she wasn’t sure how they were driving as they were pretty damaged as well. Called in police report. Be on the lookout of a crashed-in Navy Blue Jeep (or ?).
The crash/vehicle was caught on two security-video views nearby:
Police report # is 18-473833.
BIKE FOUND, LIKELY STOLEN/DUMPED: The photo is from Sean, who says it was found “in the woods”:
If you recognize it, let us know.
(Pigeon Guillemot, photographed at Jack Block Park by Mark Wangerin)
Still awaiting the forecast wind. If the weather leads to any changes/cancellations/postponements, as it did last Friday, we’ll include updates in our coverage (text/voice 206-293-6302 is always the quickest way to reach us), but in the meantime, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and Event Calendar:
LAST ‘SHOP LATE THURSDAY’ BEFORE CHRISTMAS: Shop as late as 10 pm – many Junction retailers will be open until 8, 9, even 10! Here’s a list of who’s in.
GARY BENSON: Holiday music at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 5-7 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
‘HOST HOMES’ INFO AT THE Y: If you’re up for considering providing some stability in the life of a young adult who really needs it, this program might be a fit. Here’s our preview. Come hear about it at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), 6 pm. (3622 SW Snoqualmie)
ALKI LIGHT SHOW: You’re invited to 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)
‘BLUE CHRISTMAS/LONGEST NIGHT’ SERVICE: A tradition at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), 7 pm:
Not everyone is up and cheery for the Christmas holidays. Dealing with the death of a loved one, facing life after divorce or separation, coping with the loss of a job, living with cancer or some other disease that puts a question mark over the future, and a number of other human situations make parties and joviality painful for many people. If you are blue this holiday season, join us for a reflective service where we will focus on accepting where we really are, and holding out for healing and hope.
(3940 41st SW)
AT C & P: Singer/songwriter/poet Bill Davie performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. No cover. (5612 California SW)
Members of the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps were guests of honor at a surprise Christmas party at Arrowhead Gardens on Wednesday. They visited the senior-living complex without knowing gifts awaited them. Diane Radischat explained what it was all about:
A special gift awaited Carmen Martinez, who leads the youth:
Diane explains that the residents’ sock drive is “something that anyone could afford to help with and something that was truly needed.”