month : 03/2019 214 results

SUNDAY: Hate-Free Delridge invites you to rally in The Junction

(WSB photo, August 2018)

An open invitation received tonight from Hate-Free Delridge, which invites you to join a gathering at California/Alaska on Sunday:

Please join us this Sunday for a very special event in West Seattle at the Alaska Junction from 11:00 am-1:00 pm! In response to the shootings in New Zealand and the hateful rhetoric of white nationalists, we are standing up to resist hate and shine our love loudly and clearly to our Muslim neighbors and friends.

We look forward to seeing you there — please see the information below and please bring your family, friends and anyone you think might be interested in helping to fight hate in West Seattle and everywhere!

PLAY BALL! West Seattle Little League Jamboree this weekend

The West Seattle Little League season is about to begin! From WSLL’s Kathy Powers:

West Seattle Little League will kick off our season with our annual Jamboree this weekend. 6425 SW Admiral Way,

Our schedule will have all divisions including T-Ball (4-5 years old), Coach Pitch (6-7 years old), Rookies (8 years old), Minors (9-10 years old), and Majors (11-12 year old). Games will occur between 9 and 6 Saturday and Sunday the 23rd and 24th.

Come cheer on our kids, learn about WSLL, and buy something from our snack shack.

FOLLOWUP: Metro monitoring bus frustrations since 1st Avenue move

(Framegrab from WSDOT camera looking south over new exit ramp, February 2018)

The viaduct-to-tunnel transition has meant big changes for people riding Metro buses between West Seattle and downtown, and the changes aren’t over yet. After the Alaskan Way Viaduct was permanently closed in January, the buses that used it moved to the first phase of interim pathways until the new Alaskan/Dearborn ramp opened. Then, the buses moved to the second-phase interim pathway – 1st Avenue. Starting with Metro’s service change this Saturday (March 23rd), Pioneer Square stops are being added, as reported here Tuesday. But riders have observed – often in comments following our weekday transit/traffic coverage – that the absence of a stop is far from the only concern since the ramp opened. So we asked Metro what they’re doing about the new concerns. Here’s how spokesperson Torie Rynning answered:

Travel times are better than during the viaduct closure, but not as good as the viaduct travel times. We’re still monitoring the travel times and the new bus stops on 1st Avenue should help customers. Our interim pathway is on 1st Avenue to avoid the direct effects of the ongoing viaduct demolition and upcoming waterfront construction. As you know, once these projects are completed, Metro will move permanently to using Alaskan Way (and Columbia Street) to get into and out of downtown for West and South Seattle transit service. There will be a bus lane in each direction 24/7 between Dearborn Street and Columbia Street on Alaskan Way, and on Columbia Street from Alaskan Way to 3rd Avenue.

The longstanding estimate for how much longer that would take has been “9 months to a year” (as shown here) – we’ll follow up to see where that stands.

P.S. If you have something to say to Metro – about this, or something else – here’s how.

About that ‘motorcade’ sighting in West Seattle

Thanks for all the sighting reportsSeattle Police motorcycles were spotted crossing the bridge, traveling on Harbor, down 35th SW, and in the Roxbury/Olson vicinity. We’ve just confirmed with SPD that no, they’re not escorting anyone, they’re out training (as happens periodically).

FOLLOWUP: When and where Avalon/35th/Alaska work will start

(Display from last week’s project open house)

Just in from SDOT – the official construction notice for the start of work on the Avalon/35th/Alaska repaving/rechannelization project, elaborating on some details we picked up at last week’s open house:

As soon as the week of May 1, our plan is to begin construction on 35th Ave SW between SW Avalon Way and SW Alaska St. We are currently working with the contractor to finalize the sequencing along SW Avalon Way between Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Spokane St that is set to begin the week of April 15. Once we finalize this detail we’ll provide you with that information …

Key project elements:

*Repave and install new sidewalks and curb ramps on SW Avalon Way, 35th Ave SW, and SW Alaska St
*Install protected bike lanes on SW Avalon Way
*Replacing the water main underneath the street along 35th Ave SW between SW Avalon Way and SW Alaska St
*Improve RapidRide bus line
*Center turn lane removal 
*Spot parking removal 

What to expect during construction:

*Construction to start as soon as the week of April 15 and end mid-2020
*Daytime, nighttime, and weekend work. Typical daytime work hours are 7AM to 3PM.
*Multiple closures of major intersections at night to minimize traffic impacts
*Temporary bus reroutes and bus stop closures, follow King County Metro Rider Alert for more information
*Multiple, short-term driveway and sidewalk closures. Advance notice will be given.
*Temporary parking restrictions due to construction, please follow no parks north and south of the project corridor
*Lane or full closures of side streets between SW Avalon Way or 35th Ave SW and the nearest alley or driveway access point. These closures will impact the following side streets:
SW Orleans St
SW Charlestown St
SW Bradford St
30th Ave SW (permanent closure)
SW Snoqualmie St
3 Temporary water shut-offs. Advance notice will be given.
Noise, dust and vibrations while crews are working

You can see project specifics online, including exactly which type of paving is planned where, and how lanes will be reconfigured on Avalon.

UPDATE: Police search in West Seattle

1:07 PM: We don’t know yet what started this but we’ve been tracking a police search that has moved westward from Camp Long toward the ridge over Fairmount Playfield. Police have just taken a suspect into custody. More to come.

1:11 PM: Radio communication indicates this started as a reported burglary or burglary attempt.

FOLLOWUP: Why do people visit the West Seattle Junction? Survey says …

(Aerial view of The Junction – west at top of image – photographed in 2018 by Long Bach Nguyen)

Three weeks ago, we first told you about the West Seattle Junction Association‘s survey, described by executive director Lora Radford as intended to help merchants “understand why people are visiting the Junction.” Now the results are in. More than 2,100 people responded – and here are highlights from the analysis (prepared by a consultant as part of a city Economic Development grant):

The majority of the respondents have lived in the area for over 10 years:

26% between 10.5 and 20 years
31% over 20 years

Visit WSJ at varying frequencies:

29% visit only 1-5 times a month;
34% 6-10 times;
25% 11-20 times

It is important to remember that this profile doesn’t necessarily match all West Seattle residents; those that took the time to complete the survey are probably more apt to visit the Junction and be interested in it.

Main Reason for Visit

When asked to choose from a list of main reason to visit the Junction:
“The atmosphere / friendliness / small town feel” (30%) and “It’s close by / on the way” were the main reasons.
Of the listed reasons, “Free parking” was the option least often chosen (10%).
Many of those that chose “other” explained that they visited for several reasons.

When asked directly later in the survey how much they agreed with the statement “I would not come to the Junction without free parking”:

43% agreed, but only 18% agreed strongly
Another 26% of all respondents were not sure.
Those who visit over 20 times a month were most likely to disagree (46%). The plurality of all others were unsure.
Additionally, of the 1,219 open-ended responses, 127 people (10%) noted that the current lack of parking availability affects their propensity to visit the junction.

Respondents also shared to what degree they agreed with other attitudes about West Seattle Junction:

There was overwhelming support for statements that spoke to WSJ’s atmosphere, as opposed to Mall options:
90% agreed that “Malls are too impersonal; I love the feel of the Junction”- 60% agreed strongly.

88% agreed with “The Junction feels like home” – 48% agreed strongly.

Additionally, of the open-ended responses, 217 people (18%) noted how much they value local businesses over national chains. And 117 people (10%) cited the diversity of businesses as one of their main reasons for coming.

However, there are some negative attitudes to keep in mind:

Almost half of respondents (46%) agreed that “The Junction is getting too over built,” but few (8%) strongly disagreed.

Three-quarters (75%) agreed that, “I come to the Junction only for quick errands,” although only 13% strongly agreed.

See the full report here (PDF). WSJA also plans to send the results to participants who provided their email addresses when responding to the survey.

West Seattle Thursday: City Council candidates; light rail; Multicultural Night; swimmers speak; Intersections Festival; much more!

(Pileated woodpecker, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

The second night of spring has many options – here are the highlights!

MULTICULTURAL NIGHT: Community celebration at Chief Sealth International High School, 5-8 pm, with food and entertainment. Free and open to all. (2600 SW Thistle)

LIGHT RAIL STAKEHOLDER ADVISORY GROUP: 5-8 pm at the Sound Transit board room downtown. No public-comment period, but anyone can attend. Here’s the agenda. (401 S. Jackson)

FREE TAX HELP: Another drop-in opportunity, 5-8 pm at West Seattle Food Bank. Our calendar listing explains eligibility. (35th/Morgan)

WOMEN OPEN-WATER SWIMMERS: Though this event is downtown, it’s of West Seattle interest as many of the participants swim off Alki, and some have completed achievements such as Rose Filer, who swam Bremerton to Alki Point last year. 6-8 pm panel, free admission, at Price Waterhouse Cooper Café, all invited and welcome. (1420 5th Ave.)

CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES’ FORUM: Doors open at 6:30 pm, forum 7 pm at American Legion Post 160, presented by Speak Out Seattle as announced earlier this month. Organizers say all five announced candidates in the District 1 race will participate. (3618 SW Alaska)

INTERSECTIONS FESTIVAL: 7 pm, first night of this four-day/night event at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center featuring “a myriad of comedy-related acts from Seattle’s best and brightest POC, Queer, Trans, non-binary, and neurodiverse performers. Each show is a different experience loaded with a variety of acts.” More info in our calendar listing. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

‘JOHN’: 7:30 pm curtain at ArtsWest. Need ticket(s)? Go here. (4711 California SW)

ASK THE AGES: Jazz at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm, no cover, 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

OF COURSE THERE’S MORE … see it all on our complete calendar!

Duwamish Rowing Club: Back on the water, and inviting you to a party on land

A two-part update from our area’s only rowing club:

The Duwamish Rowing Club is back on the water and already racing for the 2019 season.

We have about 16 youth who have been training in the gym with the coaches all winter so they could be ready to compete this month.

They started on the water in late February and were racing last Saturday, March 16th, at Green Lake for the Green Lake Spring Sprints.

DRC raced a Novice Men’s Open quad with two of our adult male rowers and two of our youth novice rowers and they took 3rd.

DRC also raced a Master Men’s Quad with two adults and two of our male youth.

There were also two women’s races; the first a Women’s Junior Novice Four with four of our novice women youth rowers.

Last was a women’s under age 16 eight with coxswain.

DRC has its first eight person rowing shell and it went on the river two weeks ago.

It was an exciting sight to see an eight on the Duwamish River for the first time and now our girls racing for the first time in an eight.

You can see the eight yourself in our poster below.

Every year DRC hosts a fundraiser to support our disadvantaged youth being part of the program.

Even when someone cannot afford the membership we are able to bring them in, teach them to row and coach them to be part of a winning team on the water. Come out and support our programs by attending the fundraiser, having fun and learn about rowing on your own Duwamish River.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch

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

6:58 AM: Good morning. We start with transit alerts from Metro – the 7:20 am Route 57, 7:16 am Route 56, and 7:05 am and 7:30 am Route 55 buses won’t run.

7;59 AM: Emergency response at Delridge/Genesee.

8:19 AM: SFD has already closed that call, which SDOT had described as a collision.

West Seattle scenes: First sunset of spring 2019

Thanks for the photos from spring’s first sunset! The panorama above is from David Hutchinson. Below, Scott Scowcroft was at Alice Enevoldsen‘s 40th change-of-seasons watch at Solstice Park (we had to miss it because of breaking news):

Alice says it went well. (ADDED EARLY THURSDAY) Two more photos from her event, by Jason Enevoldsen, who counted about 90 in attendance:

And what a sunset it was! Another view, from Lynn Hall:

Right around the same time, the full moon rose in the east – as noted after our roundup of today’s moonset photos, you can look for tomorrow’s moonset around 7:27 am.

UPDATE: House fire in 5400 block 44th SW, sparked by electrical problem

(Added: Photo courtesy nearby resident Brooks)

6:49 PM: A Seattle Fire “full response” is at a house in the 5400 block of 44th SW. SFD says it’s a “mainly exterior” fire. We’ll be there shortly.

(WSB photo)

7:02 PM: The house is at 44th/Brandon. Still some small flames visible on its exterior.

7:17 PM: SFD is investigating how the fire started. No one was inside at the time but one of the residents was reported to have been at a neighbor’s house. Pets that were in the home were all brought out safely.

10:33 PM: No word yet on the cause – we’re likely to get that info tomorrow.

ADDED 10 AM THURSDAY: SFD’s Kristin Tinsley says, “Fire investigators ruled the fire as accidental and determined the estimated loss is $250,000. The fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in the house wiring at the location of a soffit-mounted light above the back door of the residence.”

UPDATE: Power flickers; line down in North Delridge; then, 6,200+-customer outage to the south

(Added: Video of tree/wire fire, from Betsy)

5:25 PM: We’ve received widespread reports of brief power flickers, and some heard two “booms.” Now there’s a report of a power line down at 26th/Juneau, with what firefighters arriving in the area describe as a “small brush fire” – they’re awaiting City Light.

5:55 PM: Just went by the scene. City Light is there. The downed wire has ceased “arc-ing and spark-ing.” The site is just east of the Delridge Substation.

5:57 PM: And now, a 6,200+-customer outage, mostly south of that site. Related? We don’t know. But some traffic signals are affected – on Barton at Westwood Village, for example, and Delridge/Holden.

6:07 PM: We are at WWV. Some stores are out but some (notably, east-facing) are not.

6:23 PM: A variety of areas are affected, including parts of Fauntleroy, where the culvert-info open house is on thanks to light from big windows. Above, another signal that’s out – 35th/Barton. Remember it’s a 4-way stop if it’s not working.

7:05 PM: Some areas got power back, according to texts and comments. The SCL map isn’t reflecting that yet.

7:15 PM: Now the map shows all but a few should have power back. If you don’t – please call SCL to be sure they know – 206-684-3000.

7:43 PM: SCL tweeted that a tree is to blame for the outage. Meantime, we’ve added nearby resident Betsy‘s video of the 26th/Juneau tree fire atop this story.

9:15 PM: 400+ customers are still out, per the outage map.

12:53 AM: Those 407 customers are still out. If you’re among them, please let us know when your power is restore – there’s no online record otherwise; the outage just vanishes from the SCL map (which we’ve just screengrabbed).

TONIGHT: Who’s calling? Might be your 34th District legislators

Along with what’s on our highlight list published earlier today, one more event we should mention, because it might be coming to you instead of the other way around: At 6 pm, 34th District legislators Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon and Sen. Joe Nguyen are holding a telephone town hall. According to the announcement, “Calls will go out to thousands of households (landlines) throughout the district. Residents will be able to listen live and ask their lawmakers questions.” Even if you don’t get the call, you should be able to listen by going here – where you should find archived audio later.

UPDATE: 1 arrested, 3 firefighters hurt in White Center fire

(Added: Texted photo)

3:12 PM: In case you’re seeing this too: Checking out a crime scene in White Center, our crew noticed a big plume of dark smoke to the south and headed south to look for it. It’s a big brush fire in the Park Lake area, affecting 15th/16th SW south of SW 107th.

3:31 PM: Our crew has talked with the fire chief on scene. He confirms the fire has spread to a building. No injuries reported.

3:51 PM: 16th SW is closed between 110th and 112th, so if you’re heading through that area, you’ll need to detour around.

9:24 PM: Updates – 16th SW had reopened by the time we checked back around dusk. Also, investigators say this was arson, and a suspect is in custody – a 34-year-old man. Three firefighters were injured in what was eventually classified as a three-alarm fire.

SAFETY: West Seattle crosswalk concern to be addressed, SDOT says

What you see in that framegrab from the SDOT traffic camera looking south along California SW in The Junction is the raised midblock crosswalk in the 4700 block. WSB reader Karen copied us recently on a note she sent City Councilmember Lisa Herbold about safety concerns:

The painted markings are worn off and make crossing nearly invisible to drivers, particularly northbound drivers in the curb lane, and especially in rain and darkness.

We use that crosswalk weekly and during three of our last four crossings we witnessed, waved at and yelled at drivers speeding through the occupied crosswalk. In talking with local business we learned that repeated requests to SDOT have not been addressed. Action needs to be taken before there is a serious injury or fatality. Please address this ASAP with SDOT.

Today, Karen forwarded this note from SDOT:

As part of the Levy to Move Seattle, SDOT has moved to a four-year rotation schedule for all marked crosswalks in Seattle to ensure that all crosswalks are maintained on a regular basis. SDOT repaints approximately 1,500 crosswalks throughout the city per year. Pavement marking work such as crosswalk repainting requires dry weather, so most of this work occurs during the dry spring and summer months.

We have shared your feedback with our Signs and Markings staff. The crosswalk on the 4700 block of California Avenue SW is scheduled to be repainted this year.

West Seattle Wednesday: Spring’s first sunset with Alice; Purim party; WordsWest; Delridge District Council; more!

(Anna’s Hummingbird, photographed by Kersti Muul)

Spring starts this afternoon! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

SUMMER FEST INFO SESSION: 2 pm at West Seattle Windermere, join the Junction Association for Q&A about being a vendor, artist, crafter, etc. at this July’s West Seattle Summer Fest! (4526 California SW)

FAUNTLEROY CULVERTS PROJECT INFO: 5-7 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, Seattle Public Utilities invites you to stop by their “open house”-style informational event about the plan to replace two of the culverts that carry Fauntleroy Creek underground. (9131 California SW)

PURIM CELEBRATION: Kol HaNeshamah invites everyone – 5:30 pm: “Join us for a Purim celebration featuring the Megillah reading, dinner, and a costume parade. Festivities will begin at 5:30 pm with hamantaschen baking and mask making for kids. Dinner and the Megillah reading will begin at 6 pm. Please come in costume and bring a potluck dish (vegetarian, nut free) to share!” (6115 SW Hinds)

(Last sunset of winter, photographed by David Hutchinson)

SPRING EQUINOX SUNSET WATCH: 6:30 pm at Solstice Park – with sunset just after 7 pm – join Alice Enevoldsen for her 40th change-of-seasons sunset watch! (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW)

WORDSWEST LITERARY SERIES: Poet Catherine Barnett and fiction writer Renee Simms are the featured readers, 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), free. Details in our calendar listing. (5612 California SW)

DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: 7 pm at Neighborhood House High Point. All welcome to talk about issues and ideas involving eastern West Seattle. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

SO MUCH MORE IS HAPPENING … you can see for yourself by checking our complete calendar.

PHOTOS: Marvelous moonset, seen from West Seattle

Thanks for the photos of this morning’s marvelous moonset! Above is from James Bratsanos; below, from Chris Frankovich:

From David Hutchinson:

And from Jim Borrow:

(Added) One more – from Kersti Muul:

The moon is not officially full until tonight – the first time in 38 years the full moon and spring equinox have been on the same date! (You can always find moonset/moonrise times on the WSB West Seattle Weather page – 7:09 pm moonrise tonight, 7:27 am moonset tomorrow.)

THINK SUMMER! Seattle Audubon Nature Camp in West Seattle

(Photos courtesy Seattle Audubon)

Haven’t finalized summer-camp plans yet? Seattle Audubon tells WSB there’s still room in its West Seattle day camps! They’re offering weeklong day camps in July and August, based at Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) and with all of West Seattle’s natural wonder to explore.

You can see the dates and themes by going here. There are West Seattle sessions for kids and teens going into grades 1 through 9. Registration – including information about applying for scholarships – starts here.

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.

7:36 AM: Alert for the stadium zone this morning – the annual Starbucks shareholder meeting is at 10 am at WaMu Theater.

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.

12:20 PM: The rider remains in critical condition, in intensive care, at Harborview Medical Center.

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.