month : 12/2019 297 results

WEST SEATTLE HOLIDAYS: This year’s Christmas-tree composting plan, plus bonus seasonal-recycling reminder

We’re not suggesting you rush it out the door, but make sure your tree doesn’t stay up so long that it’s in danger of this …

When you’re ready to part ways with it, here’s the city announcement for this year’s schedule, and more:

Seattle Public Utilities encourages Seattle residents to compost their Christmas trees and other holiday greens for free through January 31, 2020. Residents should place trees or bundled greens next to their food and yard waste cart on their collection day. Apartment residents may place two trees next to each food and yard waste cart on each collection day. Trees must be cut into lengths of four feet or less and all decorations, lights, tinsel, and other decorations must be removed.

In addition to curbside collection, Seattle residents may drop off trees and other holiday greens for free at SPU’s north or south transfer stations through January 31. Stations will accept up to three trees per vehicle.

Recycle Your Holidays: Composting Christmas trees is just the beginning when it comes to holiday recycling. Many common holiday items can be recycled or reused. Customers can find out how to cut down on the amount of holiday waste that ends up in the landfill by checking SPU’s Where Does It Go Tool:

The photo is from a recent tree-safety demonstration presented by SFD (who provided the image) and other departments. While your tree is still up, follow the safety advice!

P.S. If you have Wednesday-Friday trash/recycling collection, remember it slides a day this week and next. (Mondays/Tuesdays remain on schedule.)

DEVELOPMENT: Comment time for 14 units at ex-substation in Highland Park

IMG_5852 (1)(WSB photo from 2016)

At 8822 9th SW, that former substation’s saga is getting closer to development, four years after it was declared “surplus” by the city in the same group of properties that included:

-5601 23rd SW, becoming a park under DNDA stewardship as the Delridge Wetland
-50th/Dakota, which a community group wants to buy ($650,000 current asking price) and turn into the “Dakota Homestead” (here’s our update from last week)
-2100 SW Andover, sold for $185,000 and redeveloped into 8 rowhouses
-4520 SW Brace Point, sold for $352,000 in 2017 but still vacant (with a proposal for a house)
-16th/Holden, still vacant

8822 9th SW has changed hands already since the city sold it for $279,000 in 2017; records show a subsequent 2018 sale for $158,000. Now 12 townhouses and two “accessory dwelling units” are proposed, a change from the 9 units planned when a community Early Design Outreach site tour was offered a year ago (there’s still a project website at; the proposal includes 14 offstreet parking spaces. Today, the official application has opened a two-week comment period. You can download the notice from this page; it explains how to comment.

NEW YEAR’S EVE: Got something for our Holiday Guide?

December 26, 2019 10:16 am
|    Comments Off on NEW YEAR’S EVE: Got something for our Holiday Guide?
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

(WSB file photo)

From the Highland Park Improvement Club Not-So-Silent-Night Parade (above) and Corner Bar, to Space Needle fireworks-watching, we’ve already got some West Seattle New Year’s Eve fun in the WSB Holiday Guide – but we can add more, so this is just a friendly reminder: If you’re having a community party, bar party, champagne toast, run/walk, or … please send info! – thank you.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Post-holiday Thursday watch

December 26, 2019 7:06 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Post-holiday Thursday watch
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

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

7:06 AM: Good morning! Foggy and icy conditions reported on this post-holiday morning. One incident: A crash response has blocked all lanes of southbound 99 at the West Seattle Bridge.

7:48 AM: Still blocked, WSDOT says.

8:26 AM: Cleared.

TONIGHT’S LIGHTS: Greeting on the roof

We wrap up this year’s series of Christmas-lights spotlights with a Christmas greeting on a roof. This house is in view once you start heading west on SW Stevens from California. It’s also the house that transformed into haunted “Meeds Manor” two months ago for Halloween. Thanks again for all the tips this season – see our past spotlights by scrolling through our archive.

West Seattle scene: Christmas sunset

Beautiful sunset as Christmas Day gives way to night – thanks to Don Brubeck for the photo! Cold night ahead, according to the newest forecast, and sunshine tomorrow.

HOLIDAY GIVING: Food and warmth for those in need

(WSB photos)

Volunteers of all ages – and multiple faiths, including Judaism and Islam – spent part of this Christmas Day providing food and warmth to neighbors in need

They served Christmas lunch in White Center, in the parking lot between 14th and 15th SW, just south of Roxbury. Volunteers from local congregations and other groups usually serve a meal there on Saturdays, but this was special for the holiday.

We heard about this from Kate at Kol HaNeshamah, who said they were also distributing “gift bags comprised of donated socks, hats, blankets, snacks, hand warmers,”etc., collected and assembled by the congregations that are part of the Westside Interfaith Network.

CHRISTMAS WHALES! Resident orcas in Puget Sound – but now NB

1:24 PM: Thanks to Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail as well as Kersti Muul for the tips – resident orcas from J-Pod should be in view off West Seattle soon – they are southbound off Discovery Park on the north side of Elliott Bay. Donna will be at Constellation Park just south of Alki Point shortly to assist would-be whale-watchers. Let us know if you see the orcas!

1:45 PM: The whales have turned around so you WON’T be seeing them unless you’re north of Elliott Bay. We’ll update if that changes!

HOLIDAY GIVING: Free buffet with The Christmas People

Looking for someplace to enjoy a Christmas dinner? The Christmas People have holiday volunteers standing by, serving a free buffet at Alki Masonic Center (4736 40th SW) until 4 pm. Local volunteers like Jen and Mike Shaughnessy are spending their Christmas afternoon helping out:

All are welcome!

What you need to know on Christmas Day 2019 in West Seattle

(Thank you to the person who decorates the Admiral Way bridge with red bows every year!)

Welcome to Christmas Day, with Hanukkah’s fourth night at sundown. It’s our holiday tradition to present information you might find helpful:

COFFEE SHOPS OPEN TODAY: Our list of coffee shops that planned to be open for at least part of today is in the Christmas section atop our Holiday Guide. (Did we miss anyone? Let us know!)

GROCERY STORES OPEN TODAY: Also in the Christmas section atop our Holiday Guide.

RESTAURANTS (AND BARS-WITH-FOOD) OPEN TODAY AND/OR TONIGHT: Here’s the list, always subject to last-minute change without notice to us. Please let us know if you find discrepancies or omissions – thank you!

FREE HOLIDAY MEALS: Two options – The Christmas People are offering a hoiiday buffet noon-4 pm to all at Alki Masonic Center (4736 40th SW); local Jewish and Muslim community members are serving an outdoor meal at noon in the parking lot between 14th and 15th SW, south of Roxbury, in White Center.

*Metro is on the Sunday schedule
*No Water Taxi service
*Sound Transit light rail and buses on the Sunday schedule
*Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on its regular weekday schedule
*No charge for parking today on city streets in neighborhoods with pay stations
*Traffic cameras: West Seattle-relevant ones here; citywide views are available via this SDOT map

*No trash/recycling/etc. pickup today – Wednesday pickups will happen Thursday; Thursday pickups on Friday, Friday pickups on Saturday
*Seattle Parks closures for today
*Seattle Public Libraries are closed today
*West Seattle’s Log House Museum is closed today
*The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center is closed today
*The Admiral Theater (2343 California SW) is open this afternoon/evening – schedule here

If you see/hear news, please text/call 206-293-6302 – we appreciate your tips 24/7/365!)

BIKE SHARE: Lime leaving Seattle, for now

(Lime bikes, photographed at Seacrest March 2018)

Once upon a time, it seemed like the bright-green Lime bikeshare bikes were on every corner … and between corners, to. Tuesday, after hearing that Lime is pulling its bikes out of the city for now, we went looking around West Seattle and didn’t see a single one. The company says its Seattle departure is no big deal, and temporary at that – here’s their statement:

As we head into the winter season, we have already reduced our operations based on demand. We are committed to working with the City of Seattle to create a robust mobility program that includes free floating scooters and improved bike options beginning in the spring. In the interim, we are removing our bike fleet.

Lime says December 31st is its last official bike-share day in Seattle. (The red Jump bikes will be your only option after that.) As for scooters, whether Lime’s or somebody else’s, here’s a recent city update; they’re planning to call for proposals early next year.

TONIGHT’S LIGHTS: Flower Houses put on a holiday show

In the summer, these Alki bungalows are known as the Flower Houses, with numerous planters full of flowers. This season, the houses are still colorful, thanks to the lights. We’ve been meaning for a while to stop for a photo and finally got a chance tonight. Lots of other lights to see on Alki, but most are on condo/apartment balconies. These houses, by the way, are in the 1300-1400 block of Alki SW.

See all the lights we’ve featured this season by scrolling through our archive. Thanks for all the tips and photos!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Mail-truck thieves on video; stolen Audis; Admiral stabbing followup

Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports:

MAIL TRUCK THIEVES ON VIDEO: Thanks to Deb for the tip on this – she first reported:

… Our awesome postal carrier out of Westwood Village said his colleague’s mail truck was stolen from around Seaview Methodist Church today and dumped blocks away with undelivered and collected mail taken out of the truck. Police and the Post Office were alerted. The people who dumped the mail truck were observed by a neighbor in the 6500 block of 49th Avenue SW who said they got into a silver 2 door Audi, License ADT—-

We were trying to get the report from police today when the US Postal Inspection Service tweeted this:

SPEAKING OF AUDIS: From a texter in the Belvidere area:

Let me know if you see our silver S4 Audi wagon around. It was stolen at 6:30 am in front of our house. They left another West Seattle stolen blue Audi. Both have They tried to returned in a third Audi to get the blue one.

We don’t have the plate #’s but we do have an incident # – 19-474605.

STABBING FOLLOWUP: We were finally able today to obtain the report from Sunday night’s stabbing incident in which two teenagers turned up in the Admiral Safeway parking lot with knife wounds that were reported to have happened elsewhere.

(Sunday night photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)

The person with minor wounds to his hand told police he was cut trying to grab the knife from the attacker who had stabbed his brother. Both said it was an unprovoked attack by someone who ran up to them and a group of friends shortly after they left Hiawatha Park. The only description the most seriously injured victim could offer was “an unknown race male, 6 ft tall, medium build, last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants.” The victims weren’t sure exactly what street they were on when attacked, but the report mentions that, as we reported Sunday night, a passerby saw it happening at 46th/Stevens.

THE WEST SEATTLE TURKEY: Holiday edition of #TurkeyTuesday

For eight months now, The West Seattle Turkey has made the peninsula its home. When we have new reader photos (your editor here has yet to see it in person), it’s #TurkeyTuesday, usually in conjunction with ou daily highlights list, but holidays tend to bring format changes. We have two photos to show you today – above, from Rosalie Miller; below, from Meghan E Jones:

The Turkey first turned up in Arbor Heights in late April, relatively quickly found its way to the Admiral area, and has remained (mostly) there ever since. Its origins remain a mystery.

ADDED: Just in literally a minute after we published this, Lauren‘s photo and poem:

Twas the morning before Christmas, and all through the house, I could hear a tap, tap, tap…I really hoped it wasn’t a mouse. I went to investigate, and there the beast was. A long-familiar turkey, saying its alohas. It pecked at the window, and I let out a sigh. Merry Christmas Eve little turkey, you’d taste good with some pie (but the West Seattle Blog would riot, and I don’t want to die).

(Just joking, Lauren promises.)

WEST SEATTLE CHRISTMAS EVE: Grocery-store hours, restaurants, coffee, shopping, church services …

It’s Christmas Eve, and the third night of Hanukkah. As usual, we’ve compiled hopefully handy lists of info:

-Restaurants open today/tonight and/or tomorrow – go here.

The other four lists are in our WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:

-Grocery-store closing times for tonight, and wha’s closed/open tomorrow
-Coffee shops open today/tonight and/or tomorrow
-Retailers open today/tonight

The grocery list is all-inclusive (as we have “only” 9 in West Seattle); the others include info from businesses that responded to our multiple invitations to send info, as well as a combination of phone calls, website checks, and walking around looking at signs on doors. Not too late for additions – – thank YOU!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Christmas Eve Tuesday watch

December 24, 2019 6:58 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Christmas Eve Tuesday watch
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(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/alerts so far on this almost-holiday morning.

FOR TEENS: Learn to cook, earn $100

December 24, 2019 12:49 am
|    Comments Off on FOR TEENS: Learn to cook, earn $100
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

From Parkways, an invitation for teenagers to apply for the “Just Cooking” program:

Youth ages 13-19 can earn a $100 stipend while learning about food-justice issues and developing foundational cooking skills in this new FREE program.

Just Cooking’s pilot program will start January 2020 and will run 4-week classes until June 2020. Classes are from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays at High Point Community Center, and Saturdays at South Park Community Center.

Participants must be between 13 & 19 years old. Click here to sign up.

2020 West Seattle Polar Bear Swim plan, and a New Year’s wish, from organizer Mark Ufkes

polar-plunge(2017 photo by Robert Spears)

Lots of questions about whether this is on – and finally we can say yes. Once again, longtime community advocate Mark Ufkes will lead the West Seattle Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day morning. And once again this year, as in years past, his announcement voices political hopes and critiques. Here it is, as received:

West Seattle Polar Bear Swim
January 1, 2020 (The Year of Perfect Vision!)

We enter the water at 10 am sharp !

2020 is finally here. West Seattle’s Alki Beach is the place. Across from Dukes.

We run into the water at 10:00 am sharp, Wednesday, January 1, 2020. Last year we had about 700 swimmers, up from a handful of swimmers when we started this tradition over 15 years ago. Swimmers should bring a towel, good water shoes, and their hopes and dreams for the New Year.

We line up and down Alki beach in a long row, we hold hands with our family and friends (in my case, with my remarkable, beautiful wife Lois), count down from 10, 9, 8, 7 (be sure to wait for the countdown!), …. and at 10:00 sharp we run into Puget Sound screaming as if we are mildly insane. It’s all over in less than a minute, quite painless really, and everyone is happy and smiling afterword. There is something monumental about forcing ourselves out of our comfort zone and willingly jumping into Puget Sound to wash away the complexities of the previous year and invite the unlimited possibilities of the New Year into our lives.

What I want in 2020; well, I recently retired after 12 years as a Scoutmaster where I spent thousands of hours mentoring over 40 boys to complete their Eagle Scout award. I helped these Scouts (my two boys included) to develop a profound appreciation for our natural world and I always stressed several character traits that they need in adulthood.

First, I taught Scouts to never degrade or bully anyone. We can disagree, but everyone deserves respect. And if these Scouts see bullying, they have an obligation to intervene and stop it. Yet President Trump degrades and bullies others every day.

Second, I emphasized the importance of respecting family. Yet President Trump cheated on all three of his wives and bragged about sexually assaulting women. Imagine how his actions disrespected and hurt the self-esteem of these women and his children?

Third, I stressed that Scouts need to live a life of service to others in some form. Doing “a good turn daily”, the Scout Motto, should not be taken lightly. Yet President Trump created a non-profit to make us think that he was serving others, but he used the funds for himself. Trump’s action is really the moral equivalent of shoplifting at Goodwill.

Finally, I reminded these boys that when they turn 18, they must register for the military draft, consider military or other community service to pay America back, and that they should register and then vote. Trump had five deferments to avoid military service, and more important, he repeatedly ridiculed veterans who served honorably (think Senator John McCain and others). And Trump’s Republican operatives are pushing many states to make it harder for every legal citizen, 18 and older, to vote in 2020, because they know that lower voter turnouts help Republicans win.

So, for 2020, all I want is for America to realize that the Presidency of the United States reflects the moral character of our nation and that Donald Trump has proven that he does not deserve this great honor. And for all you outraged Trump supporters, all I can ask is this; “would you want your children to treat people the way Donald Trump treats people?”

Finally, I will be wearing pink again as usual on January 1, until the day that the majority of our Members of Congress are women and/or people of color, since these two groups are the American majority. That, my friends, is the only way we will truly Make America Great Again!

Mark L. Ufkes
Polar Bear Swimmer

Here’s our coverage from last year.

TONIGHT’S LIGHTS: The block by the bridge

December 23, 2019 7:37 pm
|    Comments Off on TONIGHT’S LIGHTS: The block by the bridge
 |   West Seattle Christmas lights | West Seattle news

That’s just part of what you’ll see on what you might call “the block by the bridge” – visible through the fence (and vegetation) along the west end of the westbound West Seattle Bridge. Officially, it’s a stretch of Fauntleroy Way, the 4000 block, best reached if you turn east on SW Andover from 35th SW. We’ve previously featured the house whose display fills most of the photo; it’s not the only brightly lit house on the block, so if you want to see a lot of lights in a short distance, it’s worth the visit. Meantime, you can see the lights we’ve previously showcased by scrolling through this WSB archive.

UPDATE: Wires down on Sylvan Way

6:36 PM: Just west of Home Depot, a crash on Sylvan Way has taken down wires and left a utility pole leaning. We can’t get close enough for a photo because police are detouring traffic, but avoid the area for a while.

7:16 PM: Thanks for the text – we’re told the scene has cleared.


Before sunset on this Christmas Eve-Eve and second night of Hanukkah, a rainbow! Three reader photos arrived via email – above, by Dan Ciske; below, from the Zemkes (taken on 14th SW in White Center):

And this one’s from Lynn Hall:

And via Twitter, Dené Miles called this one to our attention:

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen blue Toyota truck; car theft attempt; store intruder

In West Seattle Crime Watch:

STOLEN TOYOTA TRUCK: Victoria‘s Tacoma was stolen from the 4500 block of Glenn Way:

It was taken some time between 11 pm and 6:30 am. It is a blue 2015 Toyota Tacoma, it’s lifted and has a custom grill, light bar on top and in the custom bumper. The plate number is C45948P; the report number is 19-473574.

If you see it, call 911.

CAR BREAK-IN/THEFT ATTEMPT: Via text – “Was going to go to work, my front driver-side car door was left open. They pulled out my Ignition, tried to start the car and couldn’t. It has a safety lockup, so they just grabbed everything they could in the car.” This happened near California/Raymond.

STORE INTRUDER: CAPERS in The Junction reported an intruder in their store around noontime Sunday who they believe matched the description of the intruder reported at Holy Rosary. He was found in their office area. They do not believe anything was taken

FOLLOWUP: Dakota Homestead project edges closer to goal. 2 ways you can help

(Photo courtesy Urban Homestead Foundation)

Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Neighbors gathered Wednesday night for an update about the Dakota Homestead fundraising campaign to purchase the former Seattle City Light substation at 50th and Dakota (just north of Genesee Hill Elementary).

The campaign was launched three and a half years ago by the Urban Homestead Foundation, with a goal of buying the Dakota site (most recently appraised in 2017 at a value of $650,000) and preserving it as a neighborhood greenspace, meeting hub, urban garden and environmental education center. The site is one of the six former substations in West Seattle that Seattle City Light had determined were no longer needed, which started a process to sell or otherwise dispose of the properties.

Urban Homestead president Rich Sheibley said that since 2016, the group has successfully secured community donations and grant funding to help support the project, but things really accelerated earlier this year when the project was earmarked for $155,000 in funding in the state capital budget as part of the state’s community projects program (more on that below).

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