year : 2021 154 results

Ferry terminal’s future, community-survey participation, more @ Fauntleroy Community Association

Toplines from the Fauntleroy Community Association board’s first 2021 meeting, online last Tuesday night:

FERRY TERMINAL: Frank Immel, the board’s point person for ferry issues, said the Fauntleroy terminal-replacement project is now expected to start construction in 2025. (WSF’s official name for it is “terminal preservation project.”) The budget will be $93 million and the project will address issues such as sea-level rising and seismic safety. A meeting with WSF in early December was informational but, he observed, did not seem to be open to comments or dialogue. FCA will “develop a list of what we will and won’t accept” regarding elements of the long-anticipated project. They also are considering seeking other West Seattle community groups’ support once they have an official position. A major concern is that the state will seek to expand the dock; environmental sensitivities on both sides – including the mouth of Fauntleroy Creek immediately south – might preclude that, he said. The board debated for a while about how much the rest of the peninsula might or might not care, while some members pointed out that in the end this boils down to traffic, and almost everyone cares about that. The FCA’s ferry subcommittee will discuss further.

COMMUNITY SURVEY: FCA’s every-two-years community survey is complete. Postcards went out to 3,000 households. 450 responded (including 100 on the final day after we published a “last chance” reminder, coordinator Catherine Bailey noted). 333 of the 450 respondents were nonmembers; more than half said they weren’t previously aware of FCA, while others cited reasons from not knowing how to join to not being interested in membership. Almost half the community, responding to one of the questions, reported they’d been a victim of a car prowl. Burglaries and car prowls were the crime issues respondents reported interested them most – though it was noted, the question wasn’t open-ended. Many other insight/summaries from the survey will be rolled out soon on the FCA website and in the quarterly “Neighbors” newsletter.

COMMUNITY CONCERNS: The survey did not address current issues such as housing and food insecurity, observed a community member who implored the board to diversify its membership and agenda. Members agreed the board needs to “open up.” One pointed out that the group has already broadened its interest and membership in the relatively short time she’s been involved. They talked about setting aside time at a future meeting to strategize. One member noted that schools in the area are very diverse, so reaching more community members through the schools might be one tactic.

POLICE UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Sina Ebinger is retiring and will be leaving within the month, she told FCA (as noted here earlier this week). Joining her at the start of the FCA meeting was the precinct’s new second-watch Lt. Dorothy Kim, who spoke about the recent tire-slashing suspect arrest and how an officer compiled evidence to both find the suspect and solidify that it was a felony crime. “Auto thefts are up everywhere in West Seattle – 75% – 23 in 2019, 40 in 2020 – in Fauntleroy. Everything else is down,” including burglaries, which are down citywide. Lt. Kim said they hope to have SPD represented at future meetings by an officer who patrols the area.

NEXT MEETING: The FCA board meets, online TFN, most second Tuesdays at 7 pm, so February 9th will be the next meeting. Watch fauntleroy.net for updates and the link to register to attend.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Vehicle-theft attempt; dumped bicycle

Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:

VEHICLE-THEFT ATTEMPT: Would-be thieves don’t always succeed. From Alki, Steve reports, “I wanted to let you and everyone know that there was an attempt to steal my Chevy truck from the alley parking area behind my home on the 3000 block of 63rd Ave SW. The driver’s-door lock is destroyed and the ignition/steering column damaged. The incident occurred sometime Thursday night/ Friday morning.

DUMPED BICYCLE: From the dumped-so-likely-stolen file, a texter spotted this bicycle by the Admiral Way Bridge, near 39th SW:

Let us know if you recognize it.

P.S. Reminder that you can talk with local police at the first West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting of the year, 6 pm Tuesday (January 19th). Here’s the participation link.

FOLLOWUP: Sylvan Way open again, until Sunday

Thanks to Sam for the photos and update. The Sylvan Way drainage project wrapped up for the day around 5:30 pm, and as scheduled, the street has reopened, with another closure scheduled starting around 7:30 tomorrow morning. Here’s what they’re doing:

Seattle Public Utilities told WSB on Friday that the crew is “installing one inlet and one catch basin” to deal with “localized flooding issues that were reported by the community last year.” Though Sylvan Way is a major east-west route more than ever right nwo because of the bridge closure, the planned closure was not announced – beyond scant signage – until yesterday, and that led to detour woes in the High Point and Sylvan Ridge areas:

SW Holden is the closest alternate route between 35th SW and Delridge, but that too backed up:

If Sylvan reopens earlier than expected tomorrow, we will publish another update.

WINNER: Here’s who won Save The Stone Cottage’s second ‘story stone’ contest today

As mentioned in our morning preview, the second contest presented by Save The Stone Cottage happened today – a “find the story stone” contest via clues on Twitter. Above, the winner! The photo and update are from STSC’s Jeff McCord:

West Seattleite Keefe Leung found the second lost Story Stone hidden in the bow of the Sasha Eli boat situated “frozen in time” in Whale Tail Park (north of Alki Elementary) in West Seattle.

Here’s a short video of Keefe telling his story of finding the coveted “Story Stone.”

Keefe can now prize his carved soapstone reward (donated in part by Northwest Art and Frame), as well as a gift certificate to a local restaurant and, of course, bragging rights.

Over the weekend, the organizers of the “Search for the Lost Stone” event will reveal some of the hints riddles hidden within the six “Story Stone” clues. Those answers will be tweeted out to “Save the Stone Cottage” Twitter followers here.

There are still two more “Story Stones” to be found. To learn more about the remaining two stones, and the events surrounding them, at the contest page of the “Save the Stone Cottage” website here.

For those who wish to support the rescue efforts, the donation link and social media connections can be found on the home page of the same website, or directly at the donation page for the “Save the Stone Cottage” GoFundMe Charity page.

If you’ve missed previous coverage – the Stone Cottage is the iconic nearly-a-century-old beach bungalow covered in stones, facing demolition to make way for development unless advocates can move it off its site at 1123 Harbor SW.

The campaign is well past the halfway point in fundraising efforts to “Save the Stone Cottage,” but the need is still great to reach the project’s $110,000 goal by the end of January.

Lowman Beach updates and more @ Morgan Community Association on Wednesday

With the holidays over, community groups are returning to their regular meeting schedules. Next up: The Morgan Community Association, 7 pm Wednesday night (January 20th), online. MoCA meets quarterly; this month’s agenda includes updates on Lowman Beach – both the seawall and the possible racket court – and the landbanked Morgan Junction Park expansion site‘s contamination cleanup. SDOT will be there to update West Seattle Bridge closure-related traffic remediation, and Seattle Public Utilities is scheduled to talk about the California/Myrtle sewer project. The small-apartment-building project to be developed by Storybuilt is on the agenda too. All are welcome; the meeting link is here, or call in via 253-215-8782. For either option, the meeting ID is 863 758 2652, passcode 123456.

VIDEO: Maybe this will get 2021 on track

Just yesterday, we were bemoaning a shortage of stories about people doing positive/interesting things. Though most news is inherently bad news, we usually have more stories of helping, gratitude, etc., to break it up, but right now we seem to be experiencing a shortage. So when Krystal Kelley‘s video landed in the WSB inbox late last night, it seemed fortuitous. That, in fact, is what her video’s about – a small action to try to chase off dome of the negativity that’s already spilled into the two-weeks-old new year. Krystal – who has been a small-business owner herself – visited some local businesses with a “Surprise Smudge.” She explains, “Smudging is traditionally a ceremony for purifying or cleansing the soul of negative thoughts of a person or place.” 2021 is off to a shaky start, so anything might help.

P.S. Krystal adds, “If you are out and about today, we will be playing meditative music in Lincoln Park down by the water from 1-2 or 3 … depends how long we stay warm. We started a band called Krystal Kelley and the Woo-Woo’s. We play soft, gentle music intended to heal.”

UPDATE: Emergency response on 16th SW

10:41 AM: If you are trying to get around eastern West Seattle, beware myriad challenges today. Along with the Sylvan Way closure and work at Delridge and Trenton, right now Seattle Fire is blocking 16th SW in the 6000 block, dealing with a gas leak at or near South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), so avoid that area.

11:23 AM: We haven’t heard an update, but the incident log shows all three SFD units are still on scene.

11:31 AM: And now they’ve begun to wind down the response, though Puget Sound Energy is still on scene addressing the situation.

12:35 PM: Just went by to confirm – all clear, road open.

What you should know on this West Seattle Saturday

Photographed by David Hutchinson at Don Armeni Boat Ramp, that’s a “young harbor seal (nicknamed ‘Tubby’ for his good body weight) that Seal Sitters has been monitoring recently, seen cruising along the shoreline of Elliott Bay. Tubby would be one of last year’s ‘pups,’ born in the summer so would be approximately 6 or 7 months old. Harbor seals spend only 4 – 6 weeks with their mothers before having to face life on their own.” Here on shore, here’s what you should know about today:

ROAD CLOSURE: Sylvan Way is scheduled for closure 7:30 am-5 pm today and tomorrow while Seattle Public Utilities works on a drainage project. Metro Route 128 will be rerouted (info here). If you’re driving, the next direct route between 35th and Delridge is SW Holden.

JUNCTION PAID PARKING: This is the second day you’ll have to pay in what had been the four free West Seattle Junction lots (just south of SW Oregon off 44th and 42nd, on the southeast corner of 42nd and Alaska, and off 44th just north of Edmunds). You can use the new machines or pay by phone.

LOW BRIDGE TICKETING: This is the first weekend since the enforcement cameras were turned on for the Low Bridge, with $75 tickets for unauthorized low-bridge users between 5 am and 9 pm, 7 days a week – revisit the rules here.

STORY STONE CONTEST #2: The next Save The Stone Cottage contest is today – on Twitter:

CURBSIDE LIBRARY SERVICE: Curbside pickup is available at High Point’s Seattle Public Library branch noon-6 pm Saturdays. (3411 SW Raymond)

(Thursday night sunset, photographed by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

SUNSET: 4:46 pm.

CORONAVIRUS: Friday 1/15/21 roundup

46 weeks have now passed since the Friday night announcement of the first King County case of COVID-19. Here are tonight’s updates:

KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary page, cumulative totals:

*71,231 people have tested positive, 684 more than yesterday’s total

*1,180 people have died, 15 more than yesterday’s total

*4,566 people have been hospitalized, 71 more than yesterday’s total

*788,074 people have been tested, 5,123 more than yesterday’s total

And from the new COVID Vaccination Among King County Residents dashboard (updated weekdays):

*82,382 people have received one dose

*11,640 people have received both doses

*141,375 doses have been allocated to King County

One week ago, the first four totals were 67,068/1,138/4,375/767,530 – we’ll add vaccination numbers after tracking them for a week.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 93.8 million cases, 2 million deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.

PHASE 1 FOR WEEK 2: The second “Roadmap to Recovery” report since the governor’s announcement of a new reopening plan is out. It shows every region in the state will continue in Phase 1 next week. The weekly reviews are on Fridays.

OPEN-AIR SERVICE: As part of the rules for Phase 1, some food/drink establishments are seating patrons in “open air” – sort of an indoor/outdoor hybrid.

ANOTHER NEW DASHBOARD: Besides the vaccine dashboard mentioned above, King County also has one with weekly updates on outbreaks – what type of settings they’re happening in, for ecample.

COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER’S BRIEFING: Dr. Jeff Duchin provided another video briefing, saying we’re on a “roller coaster” – see it here. He expressed concern about the more-contagious new variant (though it hasn’t been detected here yet) – “beware and prepare” to be ready, he said. “The virus has gotten smarter and faster.”

GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? westseattleblog@gmail.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!

STORM AFTERMATH: Park problems

If you go to local parks this weekend, you might encounter the aftermath of this past week’s storms. Above and below are photos Mike Munson took at Lincoln Park, where, he explains, he found the above sign “at the bottom of the trail from the cliff to back of the pool at Point Williams, on the old road grade.” He also saw this:

That, Mike said, was “a small slide developing along the beach trail north of the pool. Some brush has been pushed a little way into the trail, and fresh gray goo is visible behind, upslope. It’s probably done sliding, but maybe more to come?” Parks crews also have been busy with downed trees. Today, we saw that this one is still on its side in the big field at Roxhill Park:

No notable rain or wind in the forecast – though note that mention of a possible snowflake or two next Friday.

BIZNOTE: More West Seattle establishments offering ‘open-air’ indoor-outdoor seating

In the first week of the new statewide “Healthy Washington” reopening roadmap, businesses are still exploring the fine print. For food and beverage businesses, though indoor dining is still banned in Phase 1, “open-air” service is allowed as well as outdoor seating. That means establishments such as Best of Hands Barrelhouse (Instagram photo above) that have walls with multiple windows can offer 25 percent capacity seating with those windows open. The Lodge in The Junction plans to start offering open-air seating tomorrow; the West Seattle Junction Association tells us Matador and JaK’s Grill have it too, and others are planning to follow. This is in addition to the numerous establishments that already have patio and/or “pod” outdoor seating, from Mission Cantina (WSB sponsor) and several Alki spots in the north, to places like The Bridge and The Westy in the south. You can read the new state guidelines here. Phase 1, by the way, will last at least one more week; the state is announcing every Friday what phase regions will be in as of the following Monday, and today’s news is that everyone stays in Phase 1 – although you can see on page 4 here that the Puget Sound region, including King County, was close.

WEEKEND ROAD CLOSURE: Here’s what’s being done on Sylvan Way

As noted in today’s morning traffic watch, one of West Seattle’s major east-west routes, Sylvan Way, will be closed much of this weekend, without major advance notice aside from sparse signage. Today SDOT was finally able to tell us this is a Seattle Public Utilities project, and we have obtained more information through SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register:

This is SPU drainage crew work. They are responding to some localized flooding issues that were reported by the community last year. SPU is installing one inlet and one catch basin and needs to trench across the street to connect to them to the drainage mainline.

This work will occur Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm, and a detour will be in place. Outside of working hours, the crew will be able to reopen the roadway and allow traffic on Sylvan.

The work will be focused in the 6900 block of Sylvan Way [map]. It also means a reroute for Metro Route 128 – here are those details.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Business burglary; school theft and vandalism; prowler; scam call; community meeting with police

In West Seattle Crime Watch:

BUSINESS BURGLARY: Coastal Surf Boutique posted online that the store at 3270 California SW was hit by “massive theft” night before last. The police report says it happened around 2:30 am Thursday and that the store’s owner was alerted by security video; police got there fast and detained a possible suspect but he turned out not to be the person seen in the video. We have inquiries out to see if any community assistance is in order. The SPD case # is 21-011014.

SCHOOL HIT BY THEFT, VANDALISM: From Sally at Hope Lutheran School:

We have experienced two tagging events just this week plus one tire of our bus was taken.

They left the jack, plus tagged the bus. This is so frustrating. Before the holiday we noticed that the bus’s catalytic converter was taken, too, which we found to be a “thing” in West Seattle.

PROWLER: Jake sent this security video from Alki: “The guy in this video is creeping around on 61st Ave SW near SW Stevens going through people’s packages.” The video shows the person looking through package boxes, and then photographing them.

(added) SCAM CALL: Thanks to Hiro for the alert:

I received a call from a number identified as Seattle Emergency Management warning that my power would be shut off shortly due to my bill not being paid. I’m on auto pay so I knew it was suspicious right away and logged into their site to confirm but others that may be struggling to pay bills right now may think it’s real, as the recording on the call sounded official.

Here’s what to do if you suspect a scam like this.

CRIME PREVENTION MEETING: Hear from and talk with local police at the first West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting of the year, 6 pm next Tuesday (January 19th). Here’s the link.

BIZNOTE: Top Pot Doughnuts closing Alki café

Thanks for the tips. After almost six years at the beach, Top Pot Doughnuts confirms its Alki café is closing. A company spokesperson answered our inquiry:

We’re saddened to announce the permanent closure of our Alki café following notice from our Landlord ending our tenancy. We are grateful to our friends and customers who have supported our business during these most tenuous of times and are saddened to be leaving this wonderful community. Our guests have made coming to the beach every day a pleasure and we look forward to serving you on Alki until late January and seeing you in the brighter days, months and years to come at all of our other Top Pot cafes.

Top Pot is a locally based chain, founded on Capitol Hill almost 20 years ago. The other space in the building at 2758 Alki SW has gone through a variety of tenants in recent years, from sandwiches to sushi to gelato, but now has a construction sign in the window; the decade-old building has had a permit in the works for two years for, as described in city files, “a second-story, 2-unit apartment addition above an existing commercial building(; p)roject includes a portion of the existing building to be converted into a 1-car garage and 2-car garage addition.”

KING DAY: What you can do in West Seattle

Today is the 92nd anniversary of the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday is the federal holiday in his honor. From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here are two things you can do in West Seattle (please let us know if there are others we can add to this list):

HIGHLAND PARK: Co-sponsored by Highland Park Improvement Club and HP Action Committee:

We have some opportunities to work on demo of the HPIC ceiling, plus trash grabbers and bags for folks to do socially distanced neighborhood cleanup at large. And if you have your own tools and projects at home, join us in spirit!

Tools available at 10 am at Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden. Return pickup tools and collected trash by 3 pm.

Free SDOT traffic mitigation signs available day of event or email HPACtraffic@gmail.com to request alternate pickup.

‘UPROOTING RACISM’: Monday brings the first session in Admiral Church‘s two-track year-long study of “Uprooting Racism” by Paul Kivel. The first track is for “individual introspection,” with monthly meetings, while the second is for organizations, meeting every three months starting in March. For details about timing, course content, book ordering, and registration, go to admiralchurch.org/uprootingracism.

We’ll add anything more we hear about for Monday!

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Weekend preview

So far today, the clouds are a little more ordinary than the formations Jerry Simmons photographed (above) on Thursday. But the good news, unless you’re a major fan of rain, is that things are drying out, at least for a day or so – the forecast suggests Saturday will be mostly dry, until a chance of rain returns Saturday night and lingers through Sunday until a partly sunny King Day on Monday. As of early this morning, the official rain total (at Sea-Tac) was almost three times normal for this time of year, 7.58 inches (the National Weather Service says the seasonal norm is 2.64). More good news for fans of light:

While there’s no telling yet whether tonight’s sunset will be as photogenic as the Thursday sunset photographed by Dan Ciske (above) and others (thank you, everyone!), the 4:45 pm official sunset time is almost half an hour earlier than the earliest sunset of winter.

ROAD WORK, TRAFFIC, TRANSIT: Friday 1/15 watch, including weekend Sylvan Way closure

6:07 AM: It’s Friday, January 15th, the 298th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.

LOW-BRIDGE CAMERA ENFORCEMENT: One more reminder on this fifth day of enforcement cameras on the low bridge – they’re photographing vehicles so that $75 tickets can be sent to owners of unauthorized vehicles crossing between 5 am and 9 pm. Who’s authorized and who’s not? See our story.

ROAD (ETC.) WORK

Delridge project – SW Thistle is now closed between Delridge and 20th. Here’s what else is happening this week.

California and MyrtleThe sewer-repair project continues – if driving/riding on California, watch out for the bumps; we noticed this new sign last night after a bicyclist was hurt and went to the hospital Monday:

Arbor Heights projectGas-line replacement work on SW 104th is scheduled to continue.

Sylvan Way weekend closure? – This single sign has been up all week at 35th/Morgan, saying Sylvan will be closed 7:30 am to 4:30 pm both days this weekend:

We’ve been trying to find out what kind of work will be done and exactly where. but SDOT communications says they can’t find anyone in the department who knows about it. As of Thursday afternoon, there was no other signage along the length of Morgan/Sylvan/Orchard, and no Metro alerts about reroutes. So we’ll just have to see what happens Saturday.

9:36 AM: SDOT has finally tracked down some information, telling us it’s a Seattle Public Utilities project in the 6900 block of Sylvan. We are in turn contacting SPU now.

10:11 AM: And finally just now, Metro has sent a reroute alert. (Here are the details.)

CHECK TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

The main detour route across the Duwamish River, the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) . Here are two cameras:

The other major bridge across the river – the South Park Bridge (map). Here’s the nearest camera:

Going through South Park? Don’t speed. (Same goes for the other detour-route neighborhoods, like Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge.)

To check for bridges’ marine-traffic openings, see the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.

You can view all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.

TRANSIT

Metro – On regular schedule – if you’re not subscribed to alerts, you can watch @kcmetrobus on Twitter for them

Water Taxi – On regular schedule (note the WT will not run on Monday, January 18th, for the King Day holiday)

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

CORONAVIRUS: Thursday 1/14/21 roundup

Tonight’s virus-crisis update:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, here are today’s cumulative totals:

*70,547 people have tested positive, 453 more than yesterday’s total

*1,165 people have died, 14 more than yesterday’s total

*4,495 people have been hospitalized, 1 more than yesterday’s total

*782,951 people have been tested, 508 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the four totals we track were 66,486/1,132/4,377/765,546.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 93.1 million cases worldwide, 23.3 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.

SITUATION REPORT: Elaborating on some of the trends we mentioned last night while summarizing state health officials’ briefing last night, here’s the newest statewide situation report.

SFD’S MOBILE TEAM ROLLS: As promised, the city’s first phase of the new vaccination program got going today:

NEED FOOD? 2-5 pm tomorrow at Food Lifeline (815 S. 96th) HQ, emergency food boxes are available.

GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

REMINDER: West Seattle Junction Association’s 4 parking lots start charging Friday

(WSB photo, tonight)

9:22 PM: Pay stations are going in tonight at the four West Seattle Junction Association-managed parking lots that move from free to fee at 12:01 am Friday. Other infrastructure was installed earlier this week:

(WSB photo, Wednesday)

And reminder notices were left on cars:

(WSB photo, Wednesday)

If you missed our previous coverage – the change comes after WSJA spent years trying to cover the sharply increasing cost of maintaining the free lots; though they don’t own the land, their lease requires the full property-tax cost to be passed through to WSJA, There’s no free period – $2 (plus tax) buys you from one minute to 2 hours – but remember that you have options: For example, if you’re just going on a quick run, many Junction businesses have curbside pickup spots, retailers (for online or phone orders) as well as restaurants. Some businesses have their own free parking for customers, too, from a handful of spaces behind California SW businesses, to garages in mixed-use buildings like Capco Plaza (42nd/Alaska) and The Whittaker (Fauntleroy/Alaska).

ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: The pay stations are in place:

You can also pay by phone.

FOLLOWUP: Hundreds in west Admiral get their power back

(WSB photo)

Going on 44 hours since the first outages caused by Tuesday night’s windstorm, the biggest remaining pocket finally got power back tonight. We took that photo of a Seattle City Light crew working near 49th/Waite just after dusk tonight; the outage map shows the longrunning 300+-customer pocket in that area has had power restored. The map still shows more than 20 spot outages remaining around West Seattle – most affecting one or two customers. Around the SCL service area, 1,000+ customers are still out, down from what the utility says was a peak of 74,000 customers.

Seen on January’s West Seattle Art Walk

(WSB photo)

As previewed this morning, this year’s first West Seattle Art Walk is happening now! Above is one of the artists you can meet, Edimbo Lekea, the painter who founded Natty Dread Illustration to tell the “Untold TRUstory of the Afro-Diaspora.” You can meet him and see his art at Snip-Its (4506 California SW) until 8:30 tonight. Some other artists are having receptions elsewhere, while some have work you can enjoy online, and others are showing work you can enjoy at local businesses throughout the month – go here for the full lineup.

New leadership for 34th District Democrats

“This will be a year of rebuilding.” That observation from the new chair of our area’s largest political organization, the 34th District Democrats, as they met last night to elect new leadership – their every-two-years reorganization. After two years, Gina Topp decided not to run for another term as chair, and Carla Rogers was elected unopposed. They had a virtual gavel-passing during the online meeting (in our screengrabs below, that’s Topp holding the gavel):

Others elected included 1st vice chair Rachel Glass, 2nd vice chair Jordan Crawley, state committee representatives Chris Porter and Janine Anzalota, county committee reps Norman Sigler and Leah Griffin, county committee alternates Bunny Hatcher and Richard O’Neill, treasurer Julie Whittaker and secretary Sara Smith. Post-vote, Rogers – whose goals are laid out in the organization’s latest newsletter – observed, “This is going to be quite an adventure.” The organization spans the entire 34th Legislative District, including West Seattle, White Center, part of Burien, and Vashon/Maury Islands.

UPDATE: Orcas in view off West Seattle

3:12 PM: Thanks to Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch for the tip: Orcas are in view from West Seattle right now! They’re visible from Constellation Park, east of mid-channel, Kersti says, southbound, passing Blake Island. Let us know if you see them.

3:29 PM: Update from Kersti – they’re “just hanging” off Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook (across from Me-Kwa-Mooks – she says they’re transients so they may well be hunting (transients eat other marine mammals, unlike resident orcas, who focus on fish).

4:22 PM: Among those who’ve seen them, Mike Jensen:

ADDED THURSDAY NIGHT: Along with the photos in comments, here’s another one – from Kersti: