West Seattle, Washington
Next Tuesday afternoon, Chief Sealth International High School‘s slowpitch team plays for the Metro League championship! That news, and the photo, comes from Chief Sealth athletic director Ernest Policarpio, who says it’ll be the first time a CSIHS team has played for a Metro championship since the boys’ basketball team in 2011. The game’s against Cleveland, 4 pm Tuesday (October 15th) at the upper softball field at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle, across the street from CSIHS) and they hope to fill the bleachers with fans. This is just the second season for the program.
(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)
6:58 AM: Good morning! No incidents or alerts so far.
99 & TUNNEL CLOSURE/BUS LANE WORK: Reminder, NB 99 is closing 11 pm Friday-4 am Monday from the West Seattle Bridge to the north end of the tunnel. And as we reported last night, SDOT says it will be “adjusting” the NB 99 bus lane during that time. (added) SB tunnel closure overnight late Friday/early Saturday, too.
FRIDAY NOTE: No classes tomorrow for Seattle Public Schools (and others who follow its calendar).
ADDED 8:18 AM – ANOTHER WEEKEND REMINDER: If you plan to use light rail this weekend, remember the SODO to Capitol Hill shutdown.
8:43 AM: EB bridge crash:
Collision on the West Seattle Bridge at mid-span blocking the center EB lane. Use caution. pic.twitter.com/4e0cG9EVT1
— SDOT Traffic (@SDOTtraffic) October 10, 2019
(SDOT camera screengrab from 7:39 am Sept. 30, looking at EB West Seattle Bridge)
As we first reported last week, SDOT plans to try to alleviate the traffic tangles resulting from the new NB 99 bus lane by modifying the lane. There was no timeline then, but there is now. SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe talked about it and more in a letter today responding to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who had sent him this letter last week. Zimbabwe told Herbold, in part:
We recognize that the re-installation of the bus-only lane has had traffic impacts on all commuters to and from West Seattle, including people riding buses. To address these issues while still gaining the bus reliability benefits, we will be adjusting the lane this weekend to give people driving more time to merge before the bus-only lane begins. This work will occur during WSDOT’s planned closure of northbound SR 99 to complete repair work inside the tunnel. SDOT crews will begin working on Saturday, October 12 and plan to complete the bus lane modification work by the time the NB SR 99 tunnel reopens at 4 AM on Monday, October 14. We are coordinating this work with the planned tunnel work this weekend to minimize impacts to the traveling public.
Here’s his full letter – which touches on a few other transportation matters:
(If you can’t read it above, here’s a PDF version.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“Who’s working on that?”
That’s one of the questions asked toward the end of the Junction Neighborhood Organization‘s meeting Monday night, a reference to the “third-party funding” that Sound Transit says would be required to build some of the options proposed for parts of the West Seattle to Ballard light-rail extension.
The question followed a briefing by reps of Sound Transit, whose System Extension Committee is likely to decide at a meeting tomorrow (Thursday, October 10th) whether to recommend adding certain alternatives to environmental studies for the route. Two West Seattle possibilities – Yancy/Andover Elevated and Pigeon Point Tunnel – are under consideration (in addition to what the ST Board has already decided to study.
The briefing itself went over the “initial assessments” of the alternatives, as first presented to that committee four weeks ago (WSB coverage here). Here’s the slide deck used Monday night by ST’s Leda Chahim, Stephen Mak, and Lauren Swift:
Some questions along the way included wondering why the Junction and Avalon stations are potentially so close together – answer, those general locations were outlined in the original ballot measure – and whether Seattle Public Schools still owns the Jefferson Square site (sort of).
Thanks to Andy for the tip. As our video shows, SDOT has blocked off part of the outside southbound lane of West Marginal Way SW by the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse and Cultural Center, in an attempt to address some of the tribe’s ongoing safety concerns. We’ve been reporting all year on the tribe’s efforts to get help with improving safe access to the longhouse and between it and the Duwamish River shore, including cultural/natural sites, across the busy street. The possibility of lane removal was mentioned to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition two weeks ago by SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe; he mentioned a signal was a possibility too, but that isn’t in the current plan, SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells WSB:
While SDOT did not have the funding for a larger signal project to connect the longhouse to the river and park, we were able to use existing funding to implement this low-cost revision to address safety concerns and provide some parking on the western side of the street in front of the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse.
We don’t have plans for further changes. Of course, like every project, we will observe traffic performance and could potentially make some minor revisions if we see any issues that need to be addressed.
Though the city has previously rejected the tribe’s grant application for pedestrian-safety work, it has granted $575,000 that will cover part of the cost of expanding longhouse parking, as we reported last month.
The video and report were sent by Aran:
My motorcycle was stolen from the alleyway behind 3811 California Ave SW at 12:30 am on Friday, 10/4. It was a blue 2015 Yamaha R3 with license plate number 9F5851. The theft was caught on my neighbor’s Ring camera. Suspect appears to be a taller white male wearing a red baseball hat with a red logo, a gray hoodie, black vest, jeans, and black boots.
Call 911 if you see it.
West Seattle’s second grocery-store opening in eight days brought about 600 people streaming into Whole Foods Market (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor) in the first 20 minutes. Once inside, those who had been lined up outside got a raucous welcome from a lineup of cheering, applauding employees:
Applause and cheering as shoppers stream into the @WholeFoods West Seattle store, 13 1/2 years in the making. pic.twitter.com/NxGPr11mR5
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 9, 2019
Among those welcoming shoppers, the store’s team leader (aka manager) Gary Ruiz:
The store opened a bit earlier than announced – 8:46 am.
Within 10 minutes, the free tote bags were gone, but greeters continued handing out cards with “mystery savings” – anywhere from $5 to $100, to be scanned at the checkout counters, all of which were soon busy:
For a detailed look at store features (and a review of the 13+-year backstory), see our “sneak preview” published Tuesday. The store is open until 9 tonight (regular hours 8 am-9 pm).
SIDE NOTE: This is West Seattle’s fifth grocery-store grand opening in a decade. Coverage of the previous three:
*One week ago – Rebuilt PCC Community Markets (WSB sponsor) store
*April 2012 – Trader Joe’s
*August 2011 – Rebuilt Admiral Safeway
*September 2009 – Junction QFC
While checking out something unrelated, we spotted that line of city vehicles parked in the coned-of outside uphill lane of Highland Park Way, west of W. Marginal Way SW. Looked to us like an encampment cleanup – nowhere on the hill to safely stop and ask, but we’ve since confirmed it with city homelessness-response spokesperson Will Lemke, who replied to our inquiry:
The Navigation Team is removing an unmanaged encampment in that area. We estimate there to be less than a dozen living structures down in the greenbelt. The encampment is being removed for public health and safety concerns. Individuals access the area by crossing the roadway, which presents hazards to both people on foot and vehicles. Further, there is a lot of garbage, waste, and debris present within the encampment. As you know, extending emergency services to this location would be challenging as well. Lastly — and this usually is the case with encampments in the area — the natural environment has been negatively impacted. Navigation Team field coordinators and Parks crews have observed trees being cut down. The team has outreach workers on site for the clean-up.
The vehicles we saw were primarily Seattle Police and Seattle Parks, with one King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, plus a backhoe. The area’s had unauthorized camping for years, dating all the way back to the days of the original Nickelsville on the other side of West Marginal.
SIDE NOTE: The advisory Board of Park Commissioners has a briefing on “SPR’s Role in Encampment Cleanup” on its agenda for tomorrow night (PDF).
(Red-breasted Sapsucker, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.
WHOLE FOODS OPENING: 9 am, Whole Foods Market (WSB sponsor) opens in West Seattle, with tote bags and swag for the first 300 in line. The store’s open until 9 pm. Here’s our Tuesday “sneak peek” inside the store. (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW)
CAMPUS TOUR: Thinking about studying at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor)? 11 am tour today! (6000 16th SW)
CLIMATE @ 34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: Social time at 6:30 pm, meeting at 7, at The Hall at Fauntleroy, with climate in the spotlight this month. (9131 California SW)
LGBTQ TEEN MEETUP: 7 pm in West Seattle, organized by the Gender Family Alliance, for 14- to 18-year-olds. Our calendar listing has contact info for RSVPing to get the location.
POEMS & STORIES: Monthly Poetrybridge event at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. This month’s featured readers: Susan Rich and Katy Ellis. (5612 California SW)
JAZZ WEDNESDAY: 7 pm at Whisky West. No cover. 21+. (6451 California SW)
JOE DORIA & FRIENDS: 9 pm at Parliament Tavern, 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
MORE OPTIONS! See them here..
(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)
7:06 AM: Good morning! No incidents or alerts so far.
BUS STOP REMINDER: Metro says that starting today, “21 Express, 21 Local, 50, 55, 773 West Seattle Water Taxi Shuttle and the RapidRide C Line will not serve stop #22820 northbound on 35th Av SW just south of SW Avalon Way.” There instead is a temporary stop around the corner on EB Avalon east of 35th.
7:38 AM: If you take 4th into downtown – SDOT reports a crash (appears to involve a bus) blocking the NB outside bus lane by Royal Brougham.
8:35 AM: Stalled vehicle blocking one lane in NB 99 tunnel.
Two ferry-dock issues are atop our toplines from tonight’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting.
DOCK POLICING CHANGE: Law enforcement at the Fauntleroy dock is transitioning from a contract with Seattle Police back to the Washington State Patrol. This came up in discussion with Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand. We had heard about it from Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who was inquiring with SPD on behalf of a constituent concerned about ferry-line-rage incidents like this one. SPD’s executive director of strategic initiatives Dr. Christopher Fisher told her, “SPD is turning the contract we hold with WSDOT back to Washington State Patrol for providing sworn officers at the terminal. With the current staffing challenges we have, and since it is a state system, it no longer made sense for SPD to contract for that workload.” At tonight’s FCA meeting, concern was voiced that WSP had in the past used cadets for those positions. Lt. Strand said he’d talked to the dock manager after the recent incident but didn’t have anything further about the transition. Dr. Fisher’s response to Councilmember Herbold had also noted, “Seattle Police Officers will still be responsible for behavior on the city roads/property leading up to the terminal, but the officers who are stationed at the terminal will transition to State Troopers.”
TERMINAL’S FUTURE: This remains a major point of concern for FCA; the board’s ferry subcommittee is hoping to hear more about the terminal project when WSF meets with stakeholders in the next few months. FCA’s WSF point person Frank Immel said he talked with a WSF rep recently and was told that talks with an engineering firm about the potential scope of the project are running behind. Those talks should have concluded by now, but haven’t. Also awaited, results of a UW study about the docks, including Fauntleroy, that WSF wants to upgrade.
FAUNTLEROY FALL FESTIVAL: FCA doesn’t organize the festival but supports it; the festival is now less than 3 weeks away, 2-5 pm Sunday, October 27th, at the venues in the 9100 block of California SW.
The Fauntleroy Community Association‘s business meetings are on secnnd Tuesdays, 7 pm at the schoolhouse, all welcome; watch fauntleroy.net for updates.
Little things can make a big difference. That’s what Chief Sealth International High School‘s InvestED donation drive is about. Here’s the school’s announcement:
Please consider donating to the CSIHS InvestED fundraising campaign. These funds are used to help our students that are struggling to fund the basic needs for a successful high school experience.
There are a range of basic needs that students have at Chief Sealth International High School. Currently, many students have been requesting basic items such as backpacks, pencils, bedding, emergency gear, socks, underwear, and jackets. There have also been requests for many athletes who wish to participate in sports related activities. This includes fees for art class, ASB stickers, funds for IB tests, certain textbooks and books required for classes and not available at school, etc.
Your donation will go directly into the InvestED Fund at Chief Sealth International High School to help the students in need there. Simply designate your donation to Chief Sealth High School from the drop down list on the donation page … Donate Here!
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
13 1/2 years after Whole Foods Market (WSB sponsor) first announced it was coming to West Seattle, it’s hours from opening.
We toured the new store today for a preview before the doors officially open at 9 am Wednesday.
The store comes with a huge backstory; a lot has changed in those 13 1/2 years. It originally was supposed to be in a development called Fauntleroy Place across SW Alaska; that project stalled post-excavation and Whole Foods eventually pulled out, saying the terms of its lease – to provide a store for it to open – weren’t being fulfilled. Eventually, after a legal fight and auction, a different developer opened the project as Spruce, with LA Fitness in the commercial space. But by the time that opened four years ago, Whole Foods was already signed up as anchor tenant for The Whittaker – a seven-year journey that had more stops and starts, including a mayoral attempt to stop it and a short-lived decision to shelve the project. Then Amazon bought Whole Foods, and two years ago, the store plan was back on.
Now on with the tour: Read More
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
STOLEN PATHFINDER: The photo and report are from Paul:
My 2000 Pathfinder was stolen from in front of my house last night and I’m trying to get the word out. Pathfinder is black and the license reads ASL0042.
This happened near 14th/Roxbury. If you see it, call 911.
PACKAGE THIEF NABBED: We heard some of this play out over police radio yesterday. Hadn’t had time today to request the report, but it’s just turned up on SPD Blotter:
Officers arrested a 24-year-old man on Monday moments after he stole a brand-new soccer goal off the porch of a West Seattle home.
Around 2:15 PM, patrol officers spotted a man carrying a strange assortment of items — a sealed cardboard box, a gas can, a baby carrier and a metal chair — near the 2100 block of SW Roxbury Street.
The man disappeared around a corner, and when officers caught up to him he was no longer carrying the cardboard box but had loaded the other items into a shopping cart.
Officers contacted the man, who said he’d tossed the package over a nearby fence. As police were speaking with the man, they received notification from SPD’s 911 center that the resident of a home a few blocks away had just reported a package theft, which was captured on a porch surveillance camera.
Officers located the stolen package and arrested the 24-year-old for package theft. He struggled with officers during his arrest but was eventually taken into custody. Police found he was wanted on several warrants for theft.
Police returned the stolen package — the soccer goal – to the home where it had been taken.
The suspect remains in the King County Jail.
1:32 PM: Even as crews continue repairing the jersey barrier damaged by this morning’s dump truck crash, there’s a new collision on the WB bridge, a bit east of the earlier crash. Two vehicles reported involved. The dispatch was briefly upgraded to a rescue response but the driver who was believed trapped “got out on her own.”
1:52 PM: SFD has cleared the scene but as this crash also involved a barrier impact, cameras show the inside lane blocked in both directions right now.
(Monday night sunset, photographed by James Bratsanos)
Half a dozen highlights for the rest of your Tuesday …
PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: Half-day West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) preschool open house, 1:30-2:30 pm at Hallows Church. (3420 SW Cloverdale)
PLAY ULTIMATE: 6 pm at Fairmount Playfield, all welcome. (5400 Fauntleroy Way SW)
ADMIRAL CHURCH REDEVELOPMENT: 7 pm tonight is the church’s “town hall” for community members to hear about redevelopment plans, as previewed here. All welcome. (4320 SW Hill)
FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: Board meeting, community members welcome, 7 pm at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. (9131 California SW)
GET JAZZY: Jazz Open Mic at The Skylark, 8 pm. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
OPEN MIC: 9 pm at Parliament Tavern. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
LOTS MORE! See for yourself via our complete calendar.
8:40 AM: We started coverage of this in the morning traffic roundup but it’ll be a mess for a while so we’re breaking it out: That dump-truck wreck on the West Seattle Bridge has the westbound side closed at Delridge and is blocking lanes on the eastbound side too.
8:43 AM: The westbound bridge closure is now expanding even further, according to scanner traffic.
8:55 AM: Thanks for all the photos (and the original tips, too, when this all started half an hour ago).
Radio communication indicates SPD is now closing the bridge BOTH WAYS.
9:04 AM: SDOT confirms “West Seattle Bridge is fully closed in both directions between Fauntleroy Way SW and I-5.”
9:17 AM: Per radio communication, the bridge will reopen both ways “up to the scene of the collision.” … But that may be on hold for a bit while they empty the truck’s fuel tanks.
9:36 AM: Here’s the current view looking EB – westbound lanes open but jammed, eastbound still empty.
Our page with the latest traffic-cam views around the area is here.
9:40 AM: Just heard back from SFD. No injuries reported in this crash.
9:52 AM: Cameras show some eastbound traffic now on the bridge, and cleanup work continuing at scene of crash (which happened about an hour and a half ago).
Per radio communication, one complicating factor right now is diesel fuel in the eastbound lanes at the scene.
10:33 AM: Two lanes are now open eastbound per radio communication; WB is still being detoured off at Delridge.
10:48 AM: To see exactly what’s happening now, east-facing view here, west-facing view here.
NOON: Camera shows westbound now open past Delridge. (SDOT confirms, but not ALL lanes yet.)
12:36 PM: From Metro – “routes 50, 120, 125 and RapidRide C Line have resumed regular service along the West Seattle Bridge.”
1 PM: And now – “a collision on the SW Admiral Way Off Ramp from West Seattle Bridge WB” as tweeted by SDOT.
1:23 PM: Now that’s been upgraded to a “rescue extrication” response so we’re breaking it out (story here).
2:10 PM: The repair crew has finally cleared the dump-truck crash scene but the inside lane remains coned off there – we noted this just before SDOT turned the camera the other way.
4:17 PM: We had asked SPD if anyone was cited. So far, no. That and some other new details just emerged in this SPD Blotter post; contrary to what SFD told us, SPD said the driver did suffer minor injuries, and also says debris from the crash damaged two other vehicles.
(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)
7:15 AM: Good morning! If you use Airport Way, note that police have shut it down just south of the West Seattle Bridge because of a crash.
TRANSIT NOTE: From Metro:
Beginning Wednesday, October 9 and until further notice, Metro routes 21 Express, 21 Local, 50, 55, 773 West Seattle Water Taxi Shuttle and the RapidRide C Line will not serve stop #22820 northbound on 35th Av SW just south of SW Avalon Way, due to construction.
During this time, riders may board or exit routes 21 Express and Local, 55 and the RapidRide C Line heading toward downtown Seattle, Route 50 to Othello Station and Route 773 Water Taxi Shuttle to Seacrest Marina at the temporary stop eastbound on SW Avalon Way just east of 35th Av SW.
7:28 AM: SPD confirms the Airport Way crash has killed at least one person, so that scene will be closed for quite a while.
8:25 AM: Bridge crash involving a dump truck, multiple lanes blocked. Westbound truck went into the jersey barrier. Photo from Jonathan:
Breaking this out into a separate story shortly. (Update: Find that here.)
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
GAS THEFT: That photo is from a reader near 42nd/Cloverdale, who reports:
Bad news, my car stalled (Sunday) on the West Seattle Bridge with “fuel empty” signal. I had filled it (Saturday). Heard that people have been drilling into gas tanks to siphon gas – looking under car at mine, looks like that was the case (see pic). Some time between 10:30 pm-6 am (Saturday night/Sunday morning). Apparently Tacomas (which is what I have) are common targets. I drove about 10 mins before light went off. Heads-up to people! Speaking to police, they said not much that can be done to prevent. Looking at parking space after I got home, remnants of the drilling were where the car was parked.
STOLEN BICYCLE RECOVERED: Published today on SPD Blotter:
Police recovered a stolen bike and arrested a 26-year-old man in West Seattle on Sunday following an undercover sting to buy back the bike.
On October 4th, a West Seattle resident called police and reported their garage had been burglarized. Two bikes, worth approximately $4,000, were taken.
The victim later found one of the bikes for sale online and contacted the Southwest Precinct’s Anti-Crime Team, which set up a meeting with the suspect. Undercover officers met the suspect at one location and followed him to a storage unit, where he showed off the victim’s bike.
Police arrested the 26-year-old man, returned the bike to the owner, and booked the suspect into the King County Jail for trafficking stolen property.
Seattle Parks plans to move the Hiawatha play area – and renovate it with new equipment – and is looking for your thoughts. First, the flyer explaining what’s planned
Before the October 25th event, you can comment via this survey, which will ask your thoughts on some potential “elements” for the relocated play area.
A 2-car crash is blocking the east/southbound side of Harbor. If you are headed that way, you’ll be turned around at the 7-11. No medic unit dispatched so apparently no serious injuries.
In our continuing checks of court cases to see what happens post-arrest, we have two cases to update in which charges were dismissed because the defendants were incompetent to stand trial:
JUNEAU MARKET ATTACK: Last December, 51-year-old Farrell M. Ditschinger was charged with assault and attempted robbery after an attack on a 71-year-old woman working at Juneau Street Market. In the months since, King County Superior Court records show, he has twice been found incompetent to stand trial and both times sent to Western State Hospital for competency-restoration attempts. Last month, a report indicated that a third try at restoring competency was not likely to render him able to participate in his defense, and a judge dismissed the charges. However, the same report recommended reviewing him for civil commitment, suggesting he otherwise was at risk of endangering himself and others. What happened from there, public records don’t show; the King County Jail Register shows him released from KCJ custody on September 10th, the date of the hearing.
ALKI TRESPASSING: Last week we reported on the arrest of 25-year-old Nickolas Osborne, charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing for insisting he had to get inside an Alki residence to retrieve belongings that weren’t actually there. Osborne, as we noted then, has two high-profile West Seattle arrests in his past. Municipal Court records show that the trespass case was dismissed last week as he was found incompetent to stand trial and not eligible for a restoration hospitalization due to the low level of the crime. But he was to be evaluated for possible commitment, and that decision is due tomorrow; he remains in jail in the meantime.
The yellow dots on that map mark locations at the office/marina complex on the south end of Harbor Island [map] where soil sampling is about to start as Sound Transit continues studying potential routes for West Seattle light rail. The full flyer is here (PDF). It says that once sampling starts – as soon as tomorrow – “Work … will occur during nights, from 6:00 pm – 7:00 am. Each boring will take approximately 5-7 days and will be filled and patched with a flush-mounted monument surface when work is complete.” The drilling will all be done in parking lots/driveways, ST says.
SIDE NOTE: If you have questions about this or any other aspect of West Seattle light-rail planning, a reminder – ST reps are on the agenda at tonight’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting. And two upcoming ST board meetings will determine whether two West Seattle options are included in environmental studies – the System Expansion Committee this Thursday, and the full board on October 24th.
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