year : 2019 724 results

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Last morning of winter 2019

(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

6:58 AM: Good morning! Spring arrives in 8 hours. No incidents or transit alerts so far.

FERRIES: Still 2 boats on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route.

METRO REMINDER: Saturday brings the next service change, and we learned on Tuesday that a Pioneer Square bus stop will be added to some routes on 1st, as has been requested/discussed.

UPDATE: Motorcycle rider seriously injured in Admiral Way crash

(Added: WSB photos)

10:13 PM: Police are investigating an incident in which a motorcycle rider was hurt on the Admiral Way hill north of the West Seattle Bridge [map]. Admiral is blocked both ways at the scene. Updates to come.

10:23 PM: Admiral will likely be closed a while, as police tell us the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is being called out. Earlier radio communication suggested this msy have involved another vehicle but police have no description to share so far. The injured rider is male and being taken to the hospital.

11:11 PM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells WSB the rider is a 44-year-old man, transported in critical condition.

12:48 AM: Police just announced via radio communication that Admiral Way has reopened. We will follow up later this morning to see what more we can find out about the circumstances.

ON TO STATE! Chief Sealth IHS Mock Trial team gets ready for the next level of competition

(February photo)

When last we heard from the Chief Sealth International High School Mock Trial team’s adviser Rebecca Neil, the team was in the midst of district competition. Now, she sends word they’re on to state competition starting Friday:

The Sealth Mock Trial team is headed to State this weekend!

We’ll be competing in at least four rounds of competition, one on Friday evening (3/22) and three on Saturday (3/23). The championship round and presentation of trophies will take place on Sunday (3/24). We would love for friends, family, and other community members to come show their support for this incredible group of young people!

All trials will take place at the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Dr SW #3, Olympia.

The students are working hard to prepare during these last few days and are excited for the chance to show our stuff against two former national championship teams.

Here’s a little more info from the YMCA, the umbrella organization for the Mock Trial program:

The event is a program of YMCA Youth & Government. It is a unique blend of law, debate and drama in which students learn about topical issues and court procedures while sharpening their critical thinking and public speaking skills.

Round 1 of trials will begin at 6:30 Friday evening. Competition will begin again at 8:30 Saturday morning and continue into the evening. The championship trial will occur at 11:30 Sunday morning, directly following the Awards Breakfast at the Hotel RL.

This is the second consecutive year the Sealth team has gone to state competition.

BIZNOTE: Pacific Room opening this spring at former Hawks Nest West

The sign’s been up for a few weeks, and now we finally have caught up with the folks working to open the Pacific Room at 2806 Alki SW, where Hawks Nest West closed earlier this year. Kurt Niemeyer tells us they’re planning to be a live music venue – 3 or 4 acts a week – as well as restaurant/bar (serving “bistro-type food”), open to all ages. They are remodeling the space right now and hope to be open in May.

PHOTOS: Fauntleroy Community Association’s annual meeting and Food Fest

(WSB photos)

6:47 PM: Until 8 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW) is abuzz with the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual membership meeting and Food Fest. In addition to tastes from local food/drink purveyors, you’ll find info tables from community and government organizations – just stop in! Updates to come.

ADDED EARLY WEDNESDAY: A few more scenes from the event:

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NEW BUS STOP: Pioneer Square addition to start with Metro’s ‘service change’

It’s been a topic in our daily transit/traffic discussions and now it’s becoming a reality. When Metro‘s next “service change” kicks in this Saturday (March 23rd), a bus stop will be added in Pioneer Square, at 1st and King. The news hit our inbox simultaneously from Metro spokesperson Torie Rynning and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s legislative assistant Newell Aldrich; Herbold had written earlier this month about asking Metro for a 1st Avenue stop for the buses from West Seattle that formerly used the Alaskan Way Viaduct. SDOT and Metro had to ensure the pavement in the area was strong enough for buses. Rynning sent the photo of the sign installed today for the northbound stop; the southbound sign will follow.

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATES: 40th/Morgan, Delridge/Henderson

4:41 PM: Two road-blocking incidents reported in West Seattle right now: A vehicle fire at 40th/Morgan and a bus problem at Delridge/Henderson. On our way to check out both.

4:59 PM: The vehicle fire involved this Waste Management truck:

No injuries. SFD is wrapping up. Road is just now reopening and Route 128 buses are getting through again too.

5:21 PM: Delridge/Henderson cleared before we arrived.

FOLLOWUP: Repairing West Seattle mural vandalism, and what’s next for full restoration

(WSB photos)

Earlier this month, we reported on vandalism damage to the West Seattle Junction mural known as “The Old Mud Hole.” We promised a followup on plans for repairing it – and we have that information as well as an update on the big-picture mural-restoration plan. Above is muralist Bob Henry, photographed during a recent visit to the damaged mural with West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Radford and says the tagging can be painted out for $300. Full restoration of the “Mud Hole” mural would be more than $10,000. Henry has already restored two of the West Seattle murals. Next month, he’ll start work on the “West Seattle Ferries” mural behind KeyBank/Pharmaca, a $19,000 project. Also high on the list for the restoration project is the “Duwamish Bridge” mural, which was fading even before it was vandalized (and then mysteriously repaired):

That one is so big, it’s a $40,000 project. Grant money’s being sought to cover part of the cost but a community challenge is under way too – you can contribute via this crowdfunding page.

Ride, run, drive in Fairmount Ravine? Help!

(Photo from 2018 cleanup)

If you use Fairmount Ravine (map), you get a special invitation to help with the 27th annual cleanup. Here’s the announcement:

The Fairmount Ravine Preservation Group will sponsor the 27th Annual Spring Cleanup and Reforestation of Fairmount Ravine, Saturday, April 6th at 8:30 am. Meet at top of ravine (Forest St. and Fairmount Ave.) by 8:15.

As in past years, this year’s cleanup will focus on removing garbage from homeless encampment under the bridge, removing ivy from trees in the ravine, and cleaning sidewalks on the Admiral Bridge. Wear boots and gloves. Bring a pruning saw and/or large loppers if interested in removing ivy from trees in the ravine. Bring a flat shovel and push broom if desire to clean the bridge sidewalks. Refreshments will be provided. We extend a special invitation to those who use the ravine to access the waterfront. All we ask is that you donate a couple of hours of your time to keep this greenbelt clean, healthy and natural.

More info – call Matt at 206 747-4167 or email at mattalgieri@yahoo.com.

The report we published last year includes links to reports on previous cleanups going back more than a decade.

UPDATE: Why police were at the Denny/Sealth campus

11:36 AM: We went to the Denny International Middle School/Chief Sealth International High School campus after parents told us their children had texted to say they were sheltering in place. Police are reported to be looking for a student who is believed to have brought a weapon – believed to be a BB gun – to school.

11:52 AM: Police tell us they’ve located the student and the weapon, and the shelter-in-place should be lifted soon if it hasn’t been already.

2:27 PM: Denny principal Jeff Clark has just sent us the letter that he sent to families:

Dear Denny International Middle School families:

We have had a strong and focused second semester and continue to work to ensure that we have a positive school culture and a welcoming environment for everyone at all times.

We want to share information relating to incident at Denny today. Although no one was hurt, the situation raises concerns. Today, one of our scholars told a staff member that he had brought an airsoft pellet gun (plastic pellets) to school. School staff determined that a second scholar also had brought an airsoft pellet gun to school. The school coordinated with the Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security Team and the Seattle Police Department to locate both scholars and both pellet guns. Due to the fact that one of the scholars had left campus, we went into a Shelter-in-Place while we searched for the second scholar. Once he was located, both scholars were taken into custody by the Seattle Police Department. SPD is continuing the investigation and the involved parents have been contacted. Additionally, the scholars are being disciplined consistent with district procedures.

As you are aware, adolescents have complex social dynamics. Ensuring that they know appropriate behavioral expectations and always feel safe is our goal. We occasionally hear from them that they feel unsafe in the community and therefore carry weapons for protection. Our staff continues to discuss personal safety with them as well as district rules and state laws.

Most importantly, we wanted to let families know about these conversations and ask them to help all of our scholars understand the importance of keeping schools absolutely free of any type of weapon, as well as the importance of sharing critical safety information immediately with adults at school. We are providing a link to some additional information that might be helpful during these discussions. http://www.seattle.gov/police/community-policing/youth-safety-tips

Please be assured that the safety and security of our scholars is a top priority at Denny International School. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

6 for your West Seattle Tuesday!

(Olympic Mountains silhouetted in Monday’s sunset, photographed by David Hutchinson)

Last full day of winter! Here’s what’s on the schedule for the hours ahead:

LUNCH AND LEARN WITH WESTSIDE NEIGHBORS NETWORK: If you’ve wondered where you’ll live as you age and how you’ll pay for it, this event with WNN is for you. 11:45 lunch, 1 pm learn, at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (4217 SW Oregon)

FAUNTLEROY FOOD FEST: 6-8 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, the annual membership meeting of the Fauntleroy Community Association always has its bonus feature – samples from local food/drink purveyors. Plus community info tables. Official business – such as re-electing FCA officers – is set for 7 pm, but you can drop in any time. (9131 California SW)

GARDEN TOOL MAINTENANCE: Learn about it tonight at the West Seattle Tool Library, 6-8 pm. Practice on the tools in the WSTL’s collection. The Tool Library is on the northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: Crime concerns? Bring them to the Southwest Precinct for tonight’s monthly WSCPC meeting. Special guest is from the SPD 911 center, to answer your questions about how the system works. (2300 SW Webster)

UNPLUGGED – A MUSICAL GATHERING: Get acoustic at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm, no cover, all ages. (5612 California SW)

PARLIAMENTALITY PRESENTS: Get funky at Parliament Tavern starting at 8 pm. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

MUCH, MUCH MORE … see the full lineup via our complete calendar!

West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway questions? High Point event Saturday

(See legend on PDF version of map here)

If you have a question about SDOT‘s ongoing West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway work, the department has just announced it’ll be tabling at this Saturday’s High Point Play Area dedication:

Please join us at the High Point Play Area, 6920 34th Ave SW, for its Opening Celebration on Saturday, March 23, from 2 to 4 PM. We’ve partnered with Seattle Parks and Recreation to include in our plans a bike path connecting the play area and Walt Hundley Playfield with our future greenway. The event will feature a bike and helmet decorating station and an artwork booth where you can help us design a public art installation.

Phase 1 Update:

We’ve made some great progress on the Phase 1 route of the greenway and expect to complete it as soon as summer.

Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:

*Speed humps along 30th Ave SW, 34th Ave SW, and SW Kenyon St
*New pedestrian refuge island at the intersection of SW Trenton St and 30th Ave SW designed to increase safety and to encourage more people to walk and bike

Still to come:
*Crossing improvements
*Route signage

Please visit our website for an in-depth project update.

One major upcoming feature is a signal at 35th/Graham.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday watch

(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

6:57 AM: Good morning! No incidents or transit alerts so far.

FERRIES: The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is still down to 2 boats.

VIDEO: HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning finalized by City Council. What happens now?

If you just looked at the unanimous final vote, you’d never guess that the Housing and Livability Agenda‘s Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning had traveled a long and sometimes-bumpy path before final City Council approval late today. (The Seattle Channel video above shows the three-hour council meeting, including 46 minutes o public comment.)

It dates back to an advisory committee convened in 2014 that delivered its report to then-Mayor Ed Murray in 2015. What he announced at the time as Mandatory Inclusionary Housing with a promise of 20,000 “affordable homes” in 10 years morphed to Mandatory Housing Affordability with an expectation of 6,000 affordable units in 10 years. In exchange for the upzoning – which in most cases adds an extra floor – developers must create affordable units either as a specified percentage of what they build or by paying the city a fee to fund affordable-housing projects. Here’s how today’s post-vote city news release explains “affordability”:

People must income-qualify for affordable housing; for example, an individual earning less than $42,150 will pay no more than $1,128 for a one-bedroom unit, while a family of four earning less than $60,200 will pay no more than $1,353 for a two-bedroom unit.

The upzoning affects commercial and multifamily property citywide, and some single-family-zoned property in or adjacent to urban villages. You can look up how – or if – the changes would affect any specific part of the city by using this map (but be aware that it doesn’t reflect some changes that were made toward the end of the review).

Today’s votes followed speeches by most councilmembers; West Seattle/South Park’s Lisa Herbold said that while she supports MHA, she remains deeply concerned that it will cause displacement, and her separate proposal on that front is pending. Another who spoke at length was citywide Councilmember Lorena González, whose remarks included how much she enjoys living in The Junction as a dense neighborhood with good access to transit, businesses, and services.

Next step is for Mayor Jenny Durkan to sign the MHA legislation into law (the bills finalized today are linked in the council news release); she issued a statement late today saying she’ll do that before the week is out. The legislation would then become law a month later.

The citywide coalition of community groups (including five from West Seattle) that lost its appeal of MHA’s Final Environmental Impact Statement, SCALE, has issued a statement too. The group says it’s “considering appealing the inadequately considered impacts of the MHA legislation to the Growth Management Hearings Board.” (That state board is explained here.)

NEW AT HIAWATHA! Dance fitness for teens/adults, tumbling for toddlers/preschoolers

ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:03 PM MONDAY: West Seattle’s historic Hiawatha Community Center wants you to know about new classes:

That’s Darja, who’s teaching a new COMMIT Dance Fitness class for ages 16 and up on Tuesday evenings – an 8-week class starting tomorrow night; call Hiawatha tomorrow to sign up, 206-684-7441. And in a couple weeks, Hiawatha’s Andrea Sisco tells us, they start tumbling classes for toddlers and preschoolers:

Tumbling (Ages 2-3) – Tuesdays, 10:00-10:45 am (Session 1: 4/2-5/7, Session 2: 5/14-6/18)

Tumbling (Ages 4-5) – Tuesdays, 11:00-10:45 am (Session 1: 4/2-5/7, Session 2: 5/14-6/18)

Let’s tumble! Come join our experience and encouraging teachers and learn how to roll, tumble, balance, and explore movement. Your child will improve their self-confidence, body awareness, and learn a few gymnastics skills while having fun in a safe, positive environment.

You can sign up online by going here.

TUESDAY UPDATE: As per comment discussion and our subsequent followup with the center, the dance-fitness class was canceled after the information was sent to us with a request for publication, but we weren’t notified about the subsequent cancellation. The kids’ tumbling classes, though, are on.

SPRING EQUINOX: Celebrate the change of seasons Wednesday

(March 2018 photo by Leda Costa for WSB)

If the forecast holds, the sun might grace West Seattle’s most famous change-of-seasons tradition on Wednesday: Alice Enevoldsen‘s sunset watch. The spring-equinox moment is 2:58 pm our time Wednesday afternoon; four hours later, shortly after 7 pm, you can join Alice in watching the first sunset of spring at West Seattle’s Solstice Park (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW). This is Alice’s 40th change-of-seasons sunset watch, part of her community service as a volunteer NASA Solar System Ambassador. We’ve covered most of her events and no two have been the same – but you can always expect to at least learn a bit and laugh a bit. She’ll be there around 6:30 pm; the sunset is shortly after 7 pm. (Full moon, too, as noted in the astronomical info that accompanies Alice’s announcement.)

DEVELOPMENT: 3084 SW Avalon Way, 2000-2050 SW Orchard designs

Two West Seattle projects that are going through Administrative Design Review – seeking your comments, but without board meetings – now have design packets available for viewing:

3084 SW AVALON WAY: This 35-microapartment, no-offstreet-parking project is going through a second round of the final (“recommendation”) phase of Administrative Design Review. Here’s the packet.

It notes that the design has been changed somewhat to respond to the townhouse project to the north, which the same design firm, Cone Architecture, is handling, as well as to a variety of critiques offered by city staff in previous phases. Some of those are focused on the transition between the project and the neighborhood behind it. If you have comments, email the assigned city planner at joseph.hurley@seattle.gov.

2000-2050 SW ORCHARD: This 18-townhouse, 18-offstreet-parking-space project is in the Early Design Guidance phase of Design Review. Rowhouse-style buildings are the “preferred alternative” of the size/shape options proposed by B9 Architects:

Here’s the packet for half of the site. The official review notice hasn’t been published yet so this is basically a preview. You can email comments to the assigned planner at sean.conrad@seattle.gov.

WEST SEATTLE SUMMER FEST 2019: Info session this week!


(West Seattle Summer Fest photo by Leda Costa for WSB, 2017)

With warm, sunny weather making a guest appearance, spring and summer are on many a mind. If you’re thinking as far ahead as West Seattle Summer Fest – only four months away – this Wednesday afternoon gathering might be of interest. Received from the West Seattle Junction Association, which presents Summer Fest:

If you’re an artist, crafter, interested in Vintage Alley, or have questions about vending at Summer Fest, we’re holding an info sesh on Wednesday, March 20th, 2 pm at the Junction Windermere. Join the Junction as we answer your vendor questions about the biggest festival of the year. If you’re new to festivals or would like additional information about Summer Fest, join us as we answer your top FAQ’s.

The meeting location is 4526 California Ave SW.

FOLLOWUP: Your earlier and later chances to swim at Colman Pool this season

Though the sign on the door says Memorial Day weekend, Colman Pool – West Seattle’s only city-run outdoor pool – will actually open two weeks earlier this year! You might recall our coverage last fall of local swimmers’ campaign to expand the pool’s all-too-short season. In the city-budget process, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold got the Seattle Parks budget to cover four extra weekends. After passing the pool while walking the Lincoln Park shoreline today, we checked to see if this year’s schedule indeed reflects that change – despite the sign on the door – and it does, with two extra weekends in the pre-season and two more in the post-season. As you can see here, the pool – which previously opened for pre-season weekends on Memorial Day weekend – will start operations the weekend of May 11-12 and end with the weekend of September 21-22. Its 7-day-a-week season is still just two and a half months (June 22-September 2 this year); here’s the full 2019 brochure (PDF), including information about fees, lessons, and rentals.

SCAM ALERT: 9 things you can do to avoid being taken at tax time

Four weeks to tax-return deadline, so this alert from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner is timely:

Tax season is in full swing- and during this time we often see an increase in tax fraud and various forms of scams. In order to combat this, the SW Precinct would like to provide our community with some helpful prevention information about these scams, as well as the most effective way to report them! Certain subsets of the population are more vulnerable to these types of scams- but everyone can help protect themselves by keeping the following ten practical suggestions in mind, provided by the Federal Trade Commission:

1. Spot imposters- scammers will often try to disguise themselves as someone you trust (such as a government official, family member or charitable organization). Never send money or give our personal information in response to an unexpected request.

2. Do online searches- try typing in the company or product name into a search engine with key words like ‘review’, ‘complaint’ or ‘scam’. You can also look up phone numbers to check on their validity.

3. Do not believe caller ID and hang up on robocalls- technology makes it simple for scammers to fake a caller ID. If you receive a call asking for personal information or money, hang up. If you feel the caller is legitimate- try calling back a number, you know is genuine for that person or company. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report this to the Federal Trade Commission and/or to local police. These calls are illegal and are often fake. Do not follow prompts, just hang up.

4. Do not pay upfront for a promise- scammers may try to ask you to pay up front for debt relief, loan offers, mortgage assistance or a job (such as handy work or lawn maintenance).

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Man shot in bar bathroom

Thanks for the tip about an early-morning emergency response at the Tug Inn. We followed up with SPD and SFD and here’s what they tell us: SFD medics took a 59-year-old man to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition with a gunshot wound. The full report isn’t available yet but SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson says the early details show police were called to the bar just before 12:30 am after a gunshot was heard in a restroom. That’s where they found the victim. Officers found a shell casing in the bathroom but not the gun. They don’t have information about the circumstances except to say they believe someone else was in the restroom with the victim at the time but left before police arrived, and there’s no description.

BIZNOTE: Happy 30th, Luna Park Café!

(Photo courtesy Luna Park Café)

Luna Park Café is celebrating its 30th anniversary today. Though the café says its “big bash” will be in the summertime, nonetheless it’s “happy to be a landmark business of West Seattle” and invites you to stop by and celebrate with specials including a Birthday Cake Shake that they’ll be offering for the rest of the month. The café’s announcement shared with WSB has words of gratitude for customers, too: “The local support throughout the years has been amazing!” If you’re new and haven’t been there yet, LPC is at 2918 SW Avalon Way, just south of the West Seattle Bridge. P.S. The building and area have even more decades of history, as the café website explains.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Last Monday of winter

(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

6:55 AM: Good morning! Spring arrives Wednesday, but spring-like weather is here ahead of schedule. Meantime, no incidents to report so far this morning.

FERRY ALERT: From Washington State Ferries:

The Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route will be reduced to 2-boat schedule to start the week due to unplanned vessel maintenance. Needed motor repairs to the Kaleetan, having one-third of the fleet undergoing maintenance, and the lack of a backup boat in the system necessitates leaving two vessels on the route. Crews are working to return a boat back to service as soon as possible, but the changes could remain in place until Saturday, March 23. The effects of the two-boat schedule should be lessened compared to two weeks ago. Two 124-vehicle capacity ferries will be on the route, versus having the smaller Sealth.

WATER-TAXI PARKING ALERT: Carolyn says at least 15 Harbor Avenue SW parking spots are off-limits with “no parking” signs this week.