West Seattle, Washington
9:23 PM: Now that we’re in the final few hours of 2019, unless there’s big breaking news, we’re just going to open this running thread for updates. So far, the Space Needle fireworks are still ON – the wind (still in advisory mode until 4 am) hasn’t been too bad – and you have one more chance to catch the laser light show, 10 pm-10:10 pm. Meantime, just in from Highland Park:
— Kirk Bentley (@VeryBentley) January 1, 2020
10:10 PM: From the scanner, flurry of 911 callers thinking they hear shots. No – it’s fireworks.
10:53 PM: Good news – the NWS Wind Advisory has been dropped five hours before the original projected end. Bodes well for the fireworks. Speaking of the NWS, they’ve tweeted these decade-in-review stats:
Some requests for the Seattle stats for the last decade so here you go…
Warmest day…6/25/2017, 8/11/2014 & 8/15/2010 96°
Coldest day ( high temp )…11/23/2010 25°
Coldest day ( low temp )…11/24/2010 14°
Wettest day…12/20/2019 3.25"
Most snow…1/18/2012 6.8" #wawx
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) January 1, 2020
11:04 PM: Monitoring KING5, which broadcasts the fireworks. They say the call will be made at 11:50 pm.
11:51 PM: No fireworks:
Due to high winds, we are unable to proceed with the fireworks display. However, there will be a 12 minute musically-choreographed light show to help celebrate the arrival of 2020.
— Space Needle (@space_needle) January 1, 2020
11:57 PM: But if the winds calm, they’ll try the fireworks at 2 am.
12:22 AM: KING’s anchors just said the station WILL broadcast the fireworks at 2 am if they go off then.
1:12 AM: The Needle just tweeted a pessimistic forecast but didn’t say clearly whether the 2 am fireworks are still a possibility.
1:54 AM: No fireworks. Final word from the Needle:
Due to high winds, we are still unable to proceed with the fireworks display at 2:00am on January 1. Unfortunately, this calls for the cancellation of this year’s display.
— Space Needle (@space_needle) January 1, 2020
The photo is from Kersti Muul, who reports another dead California sea lion has washed up on a West Seattle beach. This one, like the one found a month ago and others earlier in the year, has what could be bullet wounds, she says, while also noting that it’s considerably decomposed. The carcass has been secured to a log south of Alki Point; we haven’t yet heard about necropsy plans but will be checking with Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, which Kersti says is aware of this. As shown in her photo (pre-securing), the carcass is marked with green paint to show that it’s been noted.
New Year’s Eve brings a WSB tradition – listing the most-commented-on stories of the year. Going through the archives, what surprised us a bit is what the list is missing compared to a year earlier – we’ll point it out at the end if you haven’t figured it out by then! By the way, while this list is traditionally a “top 10,” this year it’s 13 stories long because there were three ties along the way. And our caveat – thsse are not necessarily the most-imoortant or most-read stories of the year, just the ones that generated the most comments. On with the countdown:
#10 – HERBOLD, TAVEL LEAD DISTRICT 1 VOTE
August 6, 2019 – 103 comments
First results in the 3-candidate primary race for the District 1 seat on the Seattle City Council.
#9 – WEST SEATTLE SNOW (Sunday pm updates)
February 10, 2019 – 106 comments
Remember all that February snow? On this afternoon/evening, several inches fell, and WSB commenters did what they do best, sharing info and observations.
#8 (tie) – CITY PLANS TO REDUCE SPEED LMITS
December 10, 2019 – 111 comments
City leaders announced they’ll reduce arterlal speed limits to 25 mph in hopes of reducing the number of crashes resulting in deaths and serious injuries.
#8 (tie) – NEW 99 BUS LANE ‘PROBLEM’ ACKNOWLEDGED
September 27, 2019 – 111 comments
A bus lane was added to a stretch of NB 99. Uproar ensued. This was one of our followups.
#7 – THE PLAN TO REDUCE PM COMMUTE SLUGGISHNESS
August 2, 2019 – 117 comments
The “Seattle Squeeze” put buses on 1st Avenue and that led to a clamor of complaints about how long it took to get home from downtown, so SDOT announced some tweaks.
(Reader video of March 2019 tree/wire fire, from Betsy)
#6 (tie) – BIG POWER OUTAGE
March 20, 2019 – 118 comments
6,200+ customers lost power after a line went down and set a tree on fire near a City Light facility in North Delridge.
#6 (tie) – FIRST POST-VIADUCT WEEKDAY COMMUTE
January 14, 2019 – 118 comments
We tracked how the morning commute went on the first day after the closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct for the tunnel transition.
#5 – DISTRICT 1 VOTE-COUNTING CONTINUES
November 8, 2019 – 122 comments
The fourth count post-general election locked in the re-election of Councilmember Lisa Herbold, as her lead over Phil Tavel was larger than the number of votes left to count.
#4 (tie) – SLUSHY
February 12, 2019 – 132 comments
First the snow, then the melt.”
#4 (tie) – SNOW STARTS
February 8, 2019 – 132 comments
A “wall of snow” moved in. Here’s how things shook out.
#3 – WINDSTORM TAKES OUT POWER
January 6, 2019 – 141 commments
Windy weather cut the electricity to about 8,000 customers.
#2 – WHITE NATIONALIST GROUP’S FLYERS STREWN IN WEST SEATTLE
January 6, 2019 – 142 comments
Multiple West Seattle neighborhoods were littered with weighted bags containing literature for a white-nationalist group.
#1 – GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS, NIGHT 1
November 5, 2019 – 156 comments
When the first vote count was announced on Election Night, incumbent Herbold led challenger Tavel for City Council District 1.
PREVIOUS YEARS: Here are our most-commented-stories lists, going back to 2011:
WHAT’S NOT IN THIS YEAR’S TOP 10: No crime stories made the most-commented list this year, first year with that distinction since 2015.
One more stolen vehicle to add to the list: Araceli‘s black 2015 Nissan Altima, plates BAE1041, taken in White Center on Monday. (As there’s a lot of cross-city/county-border vehicle dumping, we’ll report WC thefts when we hear about them too.) Looks like this stock photo. Call 911 if you see it.
11:54 AM: From the “in case you wondered too” file – we hadn’t received official word yet from SDOT on this weekend’s “tentative” plan for a second 35th/Alaska intersection closure, so we asked. SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergeson responded, “The work is scheduled to occur this weekend, weather permitting.” (The current weekend forecast is for intermittent rain, but that didn’t stop the first closure.) This time, as announced a week and a half ago, it’s an early start, 9 am Friday. Watch for an update on Thursday.
2:23 PM: SDOT has reiterated the plan on its blog – you can read the post here for a refresher on the detour plan and other details (the map is above).
11:22 AM: The biggest West Seattle party on New Year’s Eve is usually a multi-location event – people gathering on north-facing shores and overlooks to watch the midnight Space Needle fireworks. Tonight, as we’ve reported, the National Weather Service expects strong winds, so you might wonder what that means for the show. The Seattle Times reports that the Needle’s laser light show will go on, regardless, but the fireworks could be canceled or postponed depending on the late-night wind speed. The light show runs earlier in the evening, by the way, according to the Needle website:
7 PM – 7:10 PM
8 PM – 8:10 PM
9 PM – 9:10 PM
10 PM – 10:10 PM
We’ll be monitoring late tonight and will publish an update if the fireworks are no-go. As for what else is up – we have bar parties, restaurant toasts, the Highland Park Improvement Club Not-So-Silent Night Parade and Corner Bar, plus Emerald City Wanderers‘ walks, all listed in the final version of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide. (No “who’s open/closed” lists for this holiday – we’ve found over the years that closures are far fewer for New Year’s than for Thanksgiving/Christmas.)
3:35 PM: One cancellation for tonight: West Seattle Yuletide was going to run its light show through tomorrow night but decided the wind was too much of a threat to some of the setup so it’s done for the year.
The letterboard in the window at longtime WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW) often has amusing messages. This week, it’s just a simple one: After today, it’s winter break time. From the Click! announcement:
December 31 we’ll be open 11a – 4p for your last minute NYE hostess gifts and one last chance to select pieces from our jewelry invitational. Then we’ll take a short break, closed Jan 1 – 16 (holiday gift exchanges honored through Jan 31).
If you haven’t shopped Click! – its stock is an eclectic assortment of housewares, jewelry, art, and more local creations. (Local-branded, too … like our WEST SEATTLE glass, always full of water here at the editor’s desk.) You can shop online, too.
6:57 AM: Good morning! Welcome to the last day of 2019. Notes:
WIND ADVISORY: In effect 10 am today-4 am tomorrow.
FREE RIDES …on Metro buses (and a few other services) 7 pm tonight through 4 am tomorrow.
We noted back on Sunday that New Year’s Eve might be windy and rainy. Now the National Weather Service is going all in on that – the NWS has expanded its regional Wind Advisory to include Seattle, 10 am today to 4 am Wednesday, with wind expected out of the southwest at 20 to 35 mph, gusting up to 45 mph.
So whether you’re going out or staying in, charge everything ASAP!