West Seattle, Washington
In the spotlight tonight at Easy Street Records – the new magazine PMA. It’s the creation of West Seattleite Matthew Lee Johnston, who explains in the opening pages of PMA, “There are magazines that show you that you can bake a beautiful cake or plant an amazing garden, but what about a magazine that helped you build a more authentic life?” PMA – short for Positive Mental Attitude – is Johnston’s way of building one for himself, too.
He was among the speakers at tonight’s party for PMA, whose initial issue’s first run is already sold out online. He said PMA’s mission has just begun with the magazine and will go beyond. ESR’s Matt Vaughan (with the mic in the next photo) also spoke:
So did Ken Workman of the Duwamish Tribe, who not only noted that the tribe is in “the DNA” of everything in Seattle, but also endorsed the PMA inspiration of positive energy. The crowd also included two people featured in PMA’s first edition, Abigail McCarthy from Warm Current, which provides surfing gear and instruction to indigenous communities, and Skate Like A Girl‘s Kristin Ebeling.
ALKI POINT PROJECT: 3220-3224 Alki Avenue SW is not a big site, but it caught some readers’ attention because of its prominent location where Beach Drive becomes Alki Avenue at Alki Point. The 97-year-old house above and a smaller building behind it were demolished earlier this week; only debris remained by Friday.
City records show this site, purchased by a homebuilder for $1.2 million, will be redeveloped with two three-story, 2-unit townhouse buildings, each with three parking spaces (as required by the Alki Parking Overlay, one and a half spaces per unit). The site is zoned Lowrise 2.
A few blocks south …
BEACH DRIVE ROWHOUSES: Two duplex buildings at 6003 SW Orleans, just off Beach Drive near Cormorant Cove Park, are proposed for replacement with six rowhouse-style townhouses, with six offstreet-parking spaces. It’s an early-stage proposal for a site that also is zoned Lowrise 2.
Thanks to Judi Yazzolino from the West Seattle Food Bank for sharing her photo op from this afternoon’s Northwest Harvest food-drive kickoff at Admiral Safeway. Not only did Seahawks player Doug Baldwin show up as promised – so did former teammates Richard Sherman and Cliff Avril. Lots of fans got autographs and photos – this next photo was shared by Kristen (thank you!) featuring Leighton and Carter Joy:
The donation drive’s first day was a win, per Judi from the WSFB, who tells WSB, “We’ll have the poundage on Monday. It was a lot. We’d like to thank all the West Seattleites who came and donated food.” This is just the start of an emergency statewide food drive to help food banks like WSFB deal with the effects of the federal shutdown – a need that won’t abate immediately just because of the potentially temporary end to it. You can donate food at any Safeway store (Albertsons too, though there are none in our area).
One more wildlife sighting before we move on to other news: David Spry shared the clip, reporting, “I managed to get some footage of a coyote this morning. It was just outside of my fence in Fauntleroy Park.” We used to get and publish relatively frequent coyote reports, but haven’t heard much about them for a while, and we get the occasional reader note saying the same thing. Nobody officially tracks them, though a new Woodland Park Zoo/Seattle University project is aiming to do so.
P.S. If you’re new – here’s info on coexisting with coyotes.
SATURDAY REPORT: Thanks to the texter who reports a humpback whale sighting off Jack Block Park, headed northbound, a while ago. Not sure how to tell what kind of whale you’re looking at? Here’s The Whale Trail‘s page about humpbacks.
ADDED SUNDAY: Thanks to Colin for sharing the photo, added above, via a comment.
The District 1 City Council race is intensifying, with 7 months until the primary. On Friday, we broke the news of a fourth candidate in the race, Jesse Greene. Now there’s news that the first candidate to register his intention to campaign, Phillip Tavel – who also ran in 2015 – has scheduled his official launch event. Thursday night at 6:30 pm (doors open at 6), he and supporters will gather at Easy Street Records – here’s the official flyer (PDF). Four candidates in all have registered campaign intentions (formal filing is in May, but paperwork is required sooner in order to fundraise), also including Brendan Kolding and Isaiah Willoughby. Incumbent Lisa Herbold has yet to announce whether she plans to run for re-election
11:28 AM: If you’re heading downtown, do NOT use 4th Avenue South – police have currently closed it at Walker because of a shooting investigation. It’s reported to have happened aboard a Metro bus. Two people were hurt, one from a gunshot wound, the other from injuries attributed to whatever “altercation” happened.
12:11 PM: Street is still blocked as the investigation continues but Pooja emailed us with this advice: “We just went on 4th and it’s possible to go around Lander to 6th to Holgate (and I think still faster than waiting on the West Seattle bridge and I-5 to get to 90).” SPD, meantime, says via Twitter that no suspects are “outstanding” though they haven’t clarified whether that means someone else is in custody or the shooting was done by one of the two people taken to the hospital.
12:28 PM: SFD says the shooting victim is a 51-year-old man and was transported in critical condition; the man with other injuries is 88 and in stable condition. Both were taken to Harborview Medical Center.
1:46 PM: Southbound traffic is now being allowed through. The northbound lanes are still blocked.
ADDED SATURDAY EVENING: According to SPD, the older man shot the younger man, and then fell and hit his head.
Off to a late start today but we hope you have already browsed our always-there West Seattle Event Calendar. Here are some events of note for the rest of the day:
DUWAMISH LONGHOUSE’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY: Today’s open house is on until 5 pm, kicking off what Longhouse director Joleen Haas tells us is an all-year celebration. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)
BENEFIT FOR LOCAL ARTIST: Until 4 pm, CAPERS in The Junction hosts a pop-up benefit for local artist Christine Helen Olson, whose gallery was damaged by fire. (4525 California SW)
FOOD DRIVE KICKOFF: As previewed here on Friday, a statewide food drive kicks off at Admiral Safeway at noon, with Seahawks player Doug Baldwin expected to visit at 1 pm. All welcome. Bring nonperishable food – and/or monetary donations – for Northwest Harvest, which supplies food banks/pantries including the West Seattle Food Bank. (2622 California SW)
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM OPENS LATE: Today and next Saturday, the home of West Seattle’s history opens late because of its annual retreat. The museum welcomes you 1:30-4 pm. (61st SW/SW Stevens)
PROJECT 968’S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: 5:30-8 pm at Project 968 (WSB sponsor):
Project 968 is celebrating its one-year anniversary! Leave the kids at home and make it an evening out. Join us at the gym for adult beverages, light appetizers, and socializing. This event is open to the public, so grab a friend and show them what it’s all about! We’re looking forward to celebrating with you!
(4617 37th SW)
PMA MAGAZINE LAUNCH PARTY: 6 pm at Easy Street Records. Celebrate the launch of a new magazine founded by West Seattleite Matthew Lee Johnston. (California/Alaska)
LIVE AT C & P: Damon Buxton performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) 7-9 pm. No cover. (5612 California SW)
LIVE AT PARLIAMENT TAVERN: Christy McWilson Experience plus Wildcat Rose, 9 pm at Parliament Tavern. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Are you the “third party” who might help finance the extra cost of running West Seattle’s light-rail line underground?
That was part of the discussion as King County Executive Dow Constantine – a member of the Sound Transit board – guested last night at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s first meeting of 2019.
Also there, leaders from the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, who are hoping for community support as they seek a city grant for a pedestrian-safety project on West Marginal Way SW as their headquarters gets ready to celebrate its 10th anniversary
First, the conversation with Constantine, who addressed a variety of topics, including the Viaduct-to-tunnel transition. He also noted at the start that he would be participating in the Point In Time count hours after the meeting. Then he tackled the Highway 99 transition, observing that traffic “is just atrocious” as he headed to the meeting (at Neighborhood House High Point) and that it was earlier in the day, too. As for the bright spots in the two weeks since the Viaduct’s shutdown – almost a decade after he stood with other regional leaders at the Seattle Aquarium as then-Gov. Christine Gregoire signed the tunnel-creating bill into law – he cited the Water Taxi, for one – a service he has long championed – citing its 200 percent increase in ridership these two weeks. Metro is deploying extra coaches, as we’ve noted, with C Line and E Line RapidRide services benefiting from them.
Though the federal shutdown is ending – at least temporarily – it’s still left a big and growing need for food donations, and that’s the reason a statewide food drive is kicking off tomorrow. Safeway and Albertsons stores statewide will have bins for Northwest Harvest; Admiral Safeway will host a kickoff event noon-4 pm tomorrow (Saturday), with Doug Baldwin from the Seattle Seahawks visiting at 1 pm. Donations will benefit local food banks; for Admiral Safeway, that’s West Seattle Food Bank, whose development director Judi Yazzolino explains, “Even though the government shutdown is over we will still be overwhelmed with need because everyone with SNAP benefits got them 2 weeks early and won’t get them again until Feb. 1st.” All are welcome to the event at Admiral Safeway (2622 California SW).
2:28 PM: You’re going to want to avoid I-5 in the West Seattle Bridge vicinity for a while. There’s a big vehicle fire. The bridge exit to NB I-5 is closed. One texter says it’s a “tour bus.” More to come.
2:37 PM: Added a reader photo. SB I-5 is getting by but avoiding the area in its entirety remains your best bet.
2:55 PM: Per scanner, fire is “tapped” (out) and SFD is working to make it possible for a NB I-5 lane to be opened “as soon as possible.” No reports of injuries.
3:10 PM: One lane of NB I-5 is now open.
3:33 PM: Readers report SODO surface streets are jammed as a result.
3:50 PM: 2 lanes are open now but the backup remains major.
4:14 PM: We’ll keep this going as a PM traffic update given the residual problems from the bus fire. Note for Water Taxi riders: Question on Twitter leads us to note that the Spirit of Kingston seems to be running in place of Doc Maynard right now. We’re checking to see if that’s a TFN thing.
5:28 PM: I-5 update:
#Seattle update: We still have some work to do before we reopen the right lane of northbound I-5 at the W. Seattle Bridge. Crews have to complete this cleanup and will need one of our sweeper trucks to do so. It's on the way. pic.twitter.com/hz5gjesVGT
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) January 26, 2019
5:55 PM: All lanes now open again.
6:06 PM: If you’re headed up via the south, note there’s a crash at Highland Park Way/Holden (thanks, MrsL).
6:12 PM: Metro says the Route 57 scheduled to head back this way about 15 minutes ago didn’t run.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
He’s an entrepreneur, a graduate student, and now a candidate for the Seattle City Council District 1 seat: Jesse Greene plans to file paperwork today, with a public candidacy-announcement event on Monday.
The proprietor of Uncle Woody’s Popcorn is the first of this year’s D-1 candidates to contact WSB before turning up on the city/state websites showing campaign filings. We sat down for a coffeehouse chat on Thursday.
Greene is a West Seattle resident whose popcorn business is headquartered in South Park; he also owns a construction firm based in Sumner, where he grew up (though there are other local roots in his family – he mentions a grandparent who is a West Seattle High School alum). He says his entry into politics is inspired by time he has spent serving on the State Advisory Council on Homelessness – the issue that is motivating his run.
Just received from SDOT, updates on three intersections that are getting safety improvements as part of 35th Avenue SW Phase 2 (first reported here last spring) :
35th Ave SW/SW Juneau St
As soon as Monday, January 28, we will sawcut all 4 corners of the intersection, then begin drainage work on the west side of 35th Ave SW/SW Juneau St intersection, followed by installation of curb ramps. To complete work on the west side of the intersection safely and efficiently, SW Juneau St will be closed to through traffic from 35th Ave SW to 36th Ave SW. Once the west side is complete, crews will move to the east side of the intersection and follow a similar procedure.
We anticipate delivering the construction notification later today to residents near the 35th Ave SW/SW Juneau St intersection.
35th Ave SW/SW Dawson St
Last week, we completed utility potholing in the sidewalk and planter strip area to help determine the location of future signal poles at this intersection. To reach underground utilities, crews removed some concrete/asphalt in planting strips near the 35th Ave SW/SW Dawson St intersection. They then backfilled holes with pea gravel and replaced loose concrete/asphalt over the top and sectioned off the area with cones. This site will remain as-is until work to add new curb ramps, repair pavement begins as soon as February. Actual signal installation will occur this fall once we receive the necessary equipment.
This schedule is subject to change depending on weather conditions and contractor availability.
35th Ave SW/SW Kenyon St
We expect to begin similar work to install accessible curb ramps and make drainage and pavement repairs at 35th Ave SW/SW Kenyon St as early as February 2019.
If you have questions, the project inbox is NeighborhoodImprovements2018@seattle.gov.
P.S. SDOT also notes, “Folks may also notice our Pothole Rangers next week working the length of 35th Ave SW from White Center to Spokane St.” (You can report potholes online here.)
“One more week to go!” That was the theme of today’s media-briefing conference call, with the focus starting to shift one week ahead to the tunnel/viaduct celebration. But first:
CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS: Dave Sowers says WSDOT is doing two concrete pours today – the biggest is for the south embankment to the Dearborn offramp, the last major pour for roadway surfaces in #Realign99. They had hoped to finish the “dip repair” south of the tunnel yesterday but wet weather kept them from finishing that; they’ll do it Tuesday instead. North portal electrical work, signage, and “loop ramps” continue, along with “commissioning work” on both ends. Striping work is continuing on the main line, too. We asked when they’ll be able to estimate how long past the tunnel opening it’ll take to open the Dearborn exit ramp; he says there’s still a lot of work to do and they’re still on track for the “extra week to 10 days” but might have a better estimate by midweek.
WATER TAXI FOR SATURDAY 2/2 ONLY: Jeff Switzer from Metro clarified that the West Seattle Water Taxi will run from West Seattle on the Saturday of tunnel/viaduct celebration day only – the day with the biggest events – and said that day’s schedule will be available soon. The WS Water Taxi is still running triple the usual ridership, 18,844 riders through Thursday (Vashon is up 14 percent). One bus note: “Today was a reminder we’re not quite out of the woods yet” – because of train delays they’re looking at changing the paths for some south-end routes such as 113. So far “standby buses” have carried 33,572 riders, he said.
BACK TO THE CELEBRATION WEEKEND: Steve Peer from WSDOT noted that the 520 bridge party had 50,000 guests and the tunnel/viaduct weekend is trending for twice that. The Sunday 2/3 bicycle ride (fee) is sold out with 12,000 registered; the Saturday fun run (fee) has 23,000 registered; 66,000 free tickets already have been claimed for Saturday’s viaduct/tunnel access. WSDOT has published an update here with “what you should know before you come.” One big thing – take public transportation! We asked Peer a reader question about difficulty finding a remaining free-event slot to sign up for; he said there will be SOME room for walk-ups. Go to 99stepforward.com for more on the Feb. 2-3 events.
10:52 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “rescue extrication” response to the 5400 block of West Marginal Way SW (map). It’s reported via radio communication as a car/semitruck collision with one person trapped. The northbound lanes of West Marginal are reported to be blocked.
11:05 AM: The seriously injured person in the car is reported to have been extricated.
11:16 AM: The injured man is in his 40s and the collision has been described via radio as his pickup truck rear-ending a concrete truck. He’s being taken to Harborview Medical Center.
Earlier this week, we reported that it appeared a plea bargain was in the works for Ryan Cox, the 40-year-old repeat offender who’s been in jail since his arrest for stabbing a man in Gatewood almost a year and a half ago. (Our report on the August 2017 charges details what the victim told police and what they found the night of the crime.) Today, court documents confirm a plea agreement, but with a twist: Cox has pleaded guilty to not a reduced charge, but an upgraded charge. He was originally charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. The amended version of that charge to which he pleaded guilty Thursday has an additional enhancement (“aggravating circumstance” under state law), that “… the injuries of the victim of the current offense substantially exceeded the level of bodily harm necessary to satisfy the elements of the crime.” While the documents note that the “standard” sentencing range for second-degree assault is six to 12 months, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is recommending what is categorized in court documents as an “exceptional sentence” – four years in prison, plus the 12-month consecutive sentence for use of a deadly weapon. Cox’s sentencing hearing is set for two weeks from today, 1 pm Friday, February 8th, before King County Superior Court Judge Susan Amini, who has final say on the sentence.
BACKSTORY: While Cox has a long criminal history, dating back to age 17, his convictions are almost all misdemeanors, including the homophobic-graffiti vandalism that first brought him to public attention in 2009. His only felony conviction was the result of a 2013 plea bargain in an assault/malicious harassment incident in 2012. The rest of his long involvement with the criminal-justice and mental-health systems is detailed in this WSB story from the day after the 2017 stabbing.
The second post-Viaduct week is ending and the weekend’s in view. Here are highlights for the rest of your Friday:
COUNCILMEMBER MOSQUEDA IN WEST SEATTLE: (Updated time) Noon-2:30 pm, you’ll find citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) for drop-in conversations, first-come first-served. (5612 California SW)
COUNCILMEMBER HERBOLD’S DISTRICT OFFICE HOURS: 2-7 pm, District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold has drop-in office hours at the Senior Center of West Seattle. Be there by 6:30 pm. (4217 SW Oregon)
BASKETBALL: The only home game tonight features the Seattle Lutheran High School girls vs. Forest Ridge, 6 pm. (4100 SW Genesee)
AT C & P COFFEE: Singer-songwriter Keith Howell at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. No cover. (5612 California SW)
AT THE PARLIAMENT: Live music 8 pm at Parliament Tavern – Low Hums, Time Pieces, Dumb Thumbs. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
AT THE SKYLARK: Live music with Grim Statistic, Artemis Moon, Trauma Del Rey, and Amateur Eyes. 8 pm at The Skylark, $10 cover. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
SEE WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING … by browsing our complete calendar!
5:30 AM: Good morning! No incidents or alerts in our area so far.
5:45 AM: As previewed last night, this morning brings a “pop-up” edition of Bike Everywhere Day, including a “station” under the West Seattle Bridge, 6:30-9 am. … Weather’s dry this morning and looking that way for much of the final week ahead of Highway 99-less-ness.
6 AM: Things are picking up but still no incidents.
6:03 AM: Surface Spokane train alert:
If your commute takes you on Lower Spokane St, a train is blocking the roadway between East Marginal and 1st Ave S. The estimated clearance time per @BNSFRailway is 10 – 20 mins. #SeattleSqueeze pic.twitter.com/eWxSVhAQ61
— SDOT Traffic (@SDOTtraffic) January 25, 2019
6:13 AM: Train’s clear, per SDOT.
6:32 AM: High bridge is officially in morning-backup mode. And there’s a bit of trouble on NB I-5 north of the West Seattle Bridge, disabled vehicle blocking part of a lane by Dearborn.
6:55 AM: Courtesy of Seattle Council staff, the mentioned-earlier bicycle station under the bridge:
Among those expected to stop before morning’s end, Councilmember Lorena González, riding from her home in The Junction.
7:02 AM: Late bus alert for the south end, just sent by Metro: “Route 113 to Seattle due to leave Shorewood at 6:59 AM will operate more than 30 minutes late this morning.”
7:36 AM: Busy but quiet.
7:55 AM: City-provided photo from Councilmember González’s stop at the WSBC-and-friends station under the bridge:
8:01 AM: Aside from the high bridge, no West Seattle arterials in red (jam mode) on the city map right now. Just off the peninsula, 1st Ave. S. shows slower than 4th.
8:09 AM: Texter reports (THANK YOU!) that the low bridge was just open for a few minutes – but it’s not showing on Twitter (though this webcam framegrab verifies), so we’re asking SDOT if there’s a problem.
8:29 AM: Crash on the NB 1st Avenue S. Bridge, blocking one lane.
8:45 AM: That incident has cleared.
9:16 AM: Train blockage on lower Spokane Street per SDOT: “… blocked with a stopped train between E Marginal Way and 1st Ave S.”
Almost a year after the last public meetings about the West Seattle Junction park site on 40th SW, across from the Alki Masonic Center, a WSB reader wondered about the project status. As they pointed out at the time, the project website hadn’t been updated in months. So we checked with Seattle Parks, which tells us the project is at 65 percent design – the renderings above and below are two views from project architect GGLO:
They expect to have one more public meeting, date TBA, when they’re ready to discuss the construction timeline. (And after our inquiry, they updated the project website. It also reflects a change in project managers since last year’s meetings – Kelly Goold is now in charge.) This two-thirds-of-an-acre site is one of three “landbanked” sites set for city park development in West Seattle.
If you’re thinking of bicycling tomorrow – you can get support and inspiration via the “Winter Pop-Up Bike Everywhere Day” station under the bridge. West Seattle Bike Connections and Cascade Bicycle Club will be there 6:30 to 9 am. They’re promising free snacks and giveaways for everybody who stops. Among those planning to ride: West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Lorena González. Assuming all continues to go well, tomorrow marks one week to go in the three-week viaduct-to-tunnel transition.
7:05 PM: Thanks for the tip. A crash on the eastbound bridge, by the 1st Avenue exit, is blocking two lanes. If you have to head that way – wait a while!
7:27 PM: All clear, says SDOT.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When Camp Second Chance became city-sanctioned/funded in 2017, city law stipulated that authorized encampments could only stay at the same time for two years maximum.
Now the encampment on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels in southeast West Seattle is hoping that law will be changed so that it doesn’t have to move when its second sanctioned year expires in March, by which time it will actually have been at 9701 Myers Way S. for more than two and a half years.
Last night, the Highland Park Action Committee convened the second of two community meetings this week in West Seattle devoted to the camp’s future. Monday night, the Westside Interfaith Network – a consortium of local faith-based organizations – rallied camp supporters (WSB coverage here). The HPAC meeting, led by acting chair Gunner Scott, was more a “listening session” to find out where the community wants HPAC to “put its support” regarding the camp’s future.
Several of the encampment-extension supporters who spoke at Monday’s meeting also spoke last night, including three of the people who were with Scott at the table at the head of the room – camp co-founder and resident manager Eric Davis, Cinda Stenger from Alki UCC (and the C2C Community Advisory Committee), and Marty Westerman from the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition. Also at the table was Barbara Dobkin, vice president of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, representing the communities neighboring the camp on the county side (White Center and Top Hat). We were able to record this meeting on video:
Here’s how it unfolded (followed by information on what happens next):
That’s the rig Sound Transit used last summer to collect soil samples in multiple areas as it continues researching potential routes for West Seattle light rail. They’re continuing those tests in two areas. First, we have this announcement of sampling along SW Genesee as soon as next week – note that it is also a traffic alert:
Sound Transit plans to begin drilling to collect soil samples for analysis on SW Genesee St between 26th Ave SW and 30th Ave SW. as early as January 28.
Work will occur from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and take approximately five days to complete.
The eastbound lane and sidewalk of SW Genesee St will be closed between 26th Ave SW and 30th Ave SW during working hours.
Flaggers will be present to direct eastbound and westbound traffic around the work area. Metro Route 50 will continue to operate on SW Genesee St.
Sound Transit is in the early planning phase for the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions project. This work, along with similar borings throughout the project corridor, will help us plan and design possible light rail alignments.
That’s near the area whose residents me with ST last week (WSB coverage here). ST also has been doing soil sampling on Harbor Island and Port of Seattle properties in the vicinity, as shown on this map:
The list provided by ST shows testing at Terminals 18, 25, 102, and 104 should have been completed by now; work in the park at Harbor Island is planned through tomorrow, and night and weekend work at 3568 W. Marginal Way SW through Sunday. The technical analysis continues as ST enters the final phase of review to choose a “preferred alternative” for environmental study; that decision is expected this spring. Next steps in the review process, two meetings next week.