West Seattle, Washington
MoCA President Deb Barker, SW District Council Representative Tamsen Spengler, volunteer Jim Guenther
Story and photo by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Board members present included President Deb Barker, Treasurer Michael Brunner, Secretary Natalie Williams, SW District Council Representative Tamsen Spengler, and Public Information officer Marianne Holsman. (Vice President Phil Tavel submitted notes before the meeting, according to Barker.)
First on the agenda, quick “Morgan Minute” updates:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
What some consider work, Chief Sealth International High School senior Clarissa Perez turned into a hobby – “scouring for opportunities.”
She has succeeded, in tough nationwide competition, securing some of those opportunities as she gets ready for the next stage in her life – including a prestigious scholarship.
She has accomplished all this while also dealing with depression and immense personal tragedy.
“When you have constant sadness, you don’t know what it’s like to be happy,” she said when we talked recently at CSIHS. “I can’t even imagine a year where I could get a break. Can you imagine how unstoppable I’d be?”
And yet, when you meet Clarissa, you see quickly that she seems rather unstoppable already.
Let’s start with what she calls her “first win of the year” – a Horatio Alger Scholarship, geared toward students who have overcome adversity, inspired by the author’s writings about doing exactly that.
Two readers emailed us to report that they had heard Shadowland in The Junction would be discontinuing its regular slate of events including pub-quiz trivia and DJ Night soon. They were worried it was a sign of more change to come. So we went over to ask. No, manager Heather told us, not a sign of anything ahead – they are doing fine as a restaurant and bar and have decided to focus on that since attendance at events had slipped, and features such as trivia are abundantly available elsewhere. Shadowland (4458 California SW) is in its 12th year.
Combat Arts Academy (WSB sponsor) proprietor Sonia Sillan announces, “2 events are happening on Saturday in support of the West Seattle Food Bank and our annual January food drive.” All the money raised by both will support WSFB, because CAA coaches are donating their time. First event is a Women’s Self-Defense and Empowerment Workshop for ages 13+, 11 am-1 pm Saturday at CAA’s North Delridge location (5050 Delridge Way SW), by donation ($30 or 30 non-perishable food items)- preregister here ASAP! Second event is Parents’ Night Out, 6 pm-9 pm at CAA’s Burien location (115 SW 153rd), also by donation (also $30 or 30 non-perishable food items) – preregister here ASAP!
4:09 PM: We’re watching the pm commute again.
4:21 PM: WSDOT reports heavy volumes on both directions of I-5 through the region. The West Seattle Bridge is still sluggish eastbound (that’s a most-of-the-day thing now).
4:39 PM: Some trouble for those headed back this way from the Eastside – WSDOT reports a crash partly blocking the westbound I-90 exit to SB I-5.
4:57 PM: It’s raining – this morning’s real rain was mostly pre-commute, but this time it’s happening right in the heart of the travel time. Be safe.
5:08 PM: SDOT reports a crash at 16th/Roxbury.
5:37 PM: In comments, Jen reports “Semi blocking right WB lane under the upper bridge right before Avalon exit.”
6:21 PM: We’ve been listening to scanner traffic with a crash involving a Metro bus and wires down off SB 509 at 128th in Burien, and now a texter has mentioned it. Just an FYI if you’re headed in that direction – we haven’t seen any indication how/whether it’s affecting highway traffic.
6:28 PM: Just heard from a caller that this is affecting people trying to get onto SB 509 there. And Burien Police just tweeted:
Our units are currently at S. 128 St. at SR 509 for a collision involving a truck and a Metro bus. So far, injuries appear minor and aid is treating on scene. A power box was damaged and power is out in the immediate area. Please use alternate routes if possible.
— Burien Police (@BurienPD) January 18, 2019
6:47 PM: We weren’t on today’s media conference call due to a conflicting story interview (unrelated) but tomorrow we’re planning to cover a #Realign99 construction-zone tour and briefing. Any unanswered questions about how that’s going, let us know – thanks!
7:24 PM: A King County Sheriff’s Office photo from the 509/128th crash:
KCSO also says that “the driver of the white pickup truck is under arrest on suspicion of DUI.” He also was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Also: Today’s project update and other notes from WSDOT, including the morning West Seattle Water Taxi tally – under 1,000 for the first time this week but still triple last year’s ridership.
West Seattle is unique in the Washington State Ferries system as home to the city’s only WSF dock in a residential area (Fauntleroy). So you might be interested in the 2018 ridership report just released:
Thirty-four times the population of the city of Seattle – that’s how many people Washington State Ferries carried in 2018.
Annual ridership on the nation’s largest ferry system increased by more than 225,000 last year to nearly 25 million, its highest level since 2002.
“Our ridership is up 10 percent from five years ago and it’s forecast to grow another 30 percent to all-time highs over the next 20 years,” said WSF Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton. “In order to support this projected demand with reliable service, our recently released 2040 Long Range Plan calls for 16 new vessels by 2040.”
The largest jump in 2018 came on the Southworth/Vashon route, where ridership was up 8.8 percent, or a gain of nearly 17,000 customers over 2017. This is the third year in a row that the biggest percentage increase has been on a route serving Southworth, as people move to more affordable housing in South Kitsap County.
WSF customers took more than 161,000 trips aboard state ferries last year, travelling nearly 1 million miles – enough to circumnavigate the earth 36 times.
2018 route-by-route ridership highlights
· System total: Customers up 0.9 percent from 2017 to 24.7 million, vehicles up 1.1 percent to 10.8 million.
· Seattle/Bainbridge Island and Bremerton: While it remains WSF’s flagship terminal servicing the most customers throughout the system, there was a year-to-year drop of nearly 60,000 total riders (0.6 percent) passing through Colman Dock. Vehicles down 2.3 percent on Bainbridge Island route, up 3 percent for Bremerton.
· Edmonds/Kingston: Second highest total ridership with customers up 2.2 percent. Biggest year-to-year increase in total vehicles, going up nearly 40,000 (1.8 percent).
· Mukilteo/Clinton: Welcomed system’s fourth Olympic class ferry, Suquamish, to the route in the fall. Busiest route for drivers with vehicles up 1.5 percent and customers up 1.7 percent.
· Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth: Customers up 1.4 percent and vehicles up 1.5 percent, led by the Southworth/Vashon segment, which had the largest year-to-year percentage growth with customers up 8.8 percent and vehicles up 6.8 percent.
· Anacortes/San Juan Islands: All-time record ridership with customers up 1.4 percent and vehicles up 1.5 percent.
· Point Defiance/Tahlequah: Customers up 2.9 percent and vehicles up 3.7 percent. Ridership up more than 250,000 from low point in 2008.
· Port Townsend/Coupeville: Customers up 4 percent and vehicles up 3.8 percent. Ten-year ridership increase of more than 350,000.
· Anacortes/Sidney, British Columbia: Slight drop due to a two-week suspension of the route due to vessel breakdowns with customers down 0.7 percent and vehicles down 1.8 percent.
· Route-by-route ridership numbers: Available on the second page of WSF’s Fact Sheet.
· Additional highlights: See more in WSF’s 2018 Year in Review.
12:30 PM: The “full response” initially dispatchd to an apartment building in the 4700 block of 40th SW is because of what SFD says so far is a “light odor of smoke” on the 3rd floor. The log shows (updated) seven units on scene checking it out.
12:40 PM: The incident log shows most of the units have been dismissed.
11:29 AM THURSDAY: The photo is from Stephanie at 35th SW and SW Dawson (by the entrance to Camp Long). She reports:
They are starting the work for the traffic light. I spoke with the survey team; the plans show four light bar posts.
SDOT announced the long-requested “full traffic signal” for 35th/Dawson as part of the “35th SW Phase 2” work first outlined here last April. Last fall, SDOT said crossing improvements at three 35th SW intersections including Dawson would start as soon as November, but then announced an indefinite postponement. We’ll be checking on whether they have a construction timetable yet.
9:04 AM FRIDAY: SDOT tells us, “While we don’t expect signal construction to begin until next month at the earliest, we’re surveying in preparation of utility potholing . This is necessary prep work for the installation of the new traffic signal.”
Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, all happening tonight:
THURSDAY TRIVIA: 7 pm and 8 pm, two rounds at Great American Diner and Bar. Free! Prizes! (4752 California SW)
‘CLUE,’ NIGHT TWO: Your second of three chances to see this year’s West Seattle High School student-directed production, “Clue.” The dark and stormy night begins at 7:30 pm in the WSHS theater. Support student drama with your $10 admission at the door. (3000 California SW)
AT PARLIAMENT TAVERN: Onstage tonight, it’s GEMS with special guests Alex Westcoat and Jeremy Grant Buller, 9 pm: “Double drums/double synth Livetronica quartet and guest will take you to outer space!” 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
SEE INTO THE FUTURE … via our complete calendar, which also has more of what’s up for today and tonight.
Another local nonprofit is offering help to federal employees and their families who are not getting paid because of the shutdown. This time, it’s WestSide Baby. Here’s the announcement we received:
WestSide Baby is offering families affected by the government shutdown free diapers and wipes on a walk-in basis.
“We already know many families in our community are unable to afford all the tangible basics. No more families should be without clean, dry diapers for their baby just because they are not receiving a paycheck during the shutdown,” says Nancy Woodland, WestSide Baby’s Executive Director
Families affected by the furlough should come to WestSide Baby anytime during their open hours to receive diapers and wipes while the shutdown continues. Please bring proof of government employment. Hours and location information available on their website.
WS Baby’s headquarters in White Center, 10002 14th Ave SW, is the closest to West Seattle. (It’s also where you can donate diapers and wipes if you would like to ensure there are plenty for the federal families and the thousands of others the organization helps.)
5:30 AM: Good morning! The change in the weather has arrived – but it’s not raining hard outside, just misting – so far. No incidents reported in our area.
5:55 AM: As with the previous three mornings, the bridge looks busier earlier.
6:13 AM: And even busier now. (Here’s a screengrab for the record.)
6:20 AM: Our crew, heading shortly for Water Taxi watch for the fourth day, reports it’s NOT raining right now. Warmer than recent mornings – 46 degrees.
6:40 AM: If you commute regionally and rely on WSDOT travel times – they’ve been coping with an outage but are now back, here.
6:50 AM: First report in from our crew at the West Seattle Water Taxi dock – rough couht ~70 on the boat that’s about to take off.
7:11 AM: Still nothing out of the ordinary to report. (added) Covered waiting area at Water Taxi dock still not needed, since the rain has yet to resume:
7:28 AM: By our count, about 150 on the Water Taxi that’s just taking off.
7:39 AM: Water Taxi usage is down this morning. Fewer triple-digit runs by our count; 79 on this one. Back on land watch, no train or low-bridge trouble this morning, unlike yesterday … so far.
7:58 AM: Just tweeted by BNSF, whose only tweet during yesterday’s 45+-minute blockage was to tell pedestrians to get off the tracks:
Rail traffic is moving normally in #Seattle this morning. Yesterday’s delay in SoDo was due to unusual circumstances and we regret the inconvenience during #SeattleSqueeze. We hope you’ll have a great day today! #Viadoom #Realign99
— BNSF Railway (@BNSFRailway) January 17, 2019
8:06 AM: Low bridge busy eastbound right now. Here’s a moment-in-time screengrab. No maritime openings logged so far this morning.
8:19 AM: One last Water Taxi count on our watch before our crew oves on – 77 for the 8:15-ish run. Remember that the extra service is here for two months, all the way until the 7-day-a-week schedule kicks in at the end of March, so lots of time to try it if you haven’t yet but could.
9:02 AM: Morning four of “Viadoom” hasn’t seemed very doomy. This tweet seems to corroborate:
Just want to give a shoutout, @westseattleblog from the @SeattlePD officers guiding busses in the rain to the @kcmetrobus drivers sitting in traffic, everyone has had such a positive and helpful attitude that has made #Viadoom so much more pleasant 👏🏼 #thanks
— Tessa Wuertz (@tessa_wuertz) January 17, 2019
We’re moving on to other news atop the page – so much to catch up on – but will continue to update here if any notable morning situations arise, plus we’ll be on PM watch again, with the weather projected to get wetter/breezier by then.
10:02 AM: Low bridge closed to surface traffic a few minutes ago, for the first time this morning. (Update: The closure lasted 11 minutes.)