month : 06/2021 272 results

UPDATE: Fire damages century-old Highland Park Improvement Club

(Photo from commenter Bayuh)

1:37 AM: Big Seattle Fire callout to the 1100 block of SW Holden. Avoid the area. Updates to come.

1:41 AM: The fire is reported (corrected) under control, but not out.

1:52 AM: Firefighters say there’s still fire in the attic. The address SFD has logged for the incident is Highland Park Improvement Club. Our photographer is on the way there to verify.

(Added: WSB photos from here down)

2:13 AM: A commenter confirms that the fire is at HPIC, a century-old community-owned-and-operated facility. … They’re down to a few hot spots.

2:26 AM: Our crew is back (after communications challenges at the scene) and also confirms it’s HPIC. SFD’s investigator was on the way to try to figure out how this started. The building had been undergoing renovations – just last month, we reported both on that donation/grant-funded work and the community services that HPIC has provided during the pandemic.

2:46 AM: More units are being dismissed from the scene, but about half a dozen remain. We’ll be seeking out HPIC leadership later this morning to follow up on the extent of the damage.

CORONAVIRUS: Thursday 6/24/2021 roundup

Now less than a week until reopening – here’s the pandemic news:

GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING: No major announcements emerged when Gov. Jay Inslee briefed and took questions from reporters this morning. He announced what he called a “bridge” between the end of the state’s eviction moratorium and the start of relief programs. He also introduced a pre-nursing student from Eastern Washington as the latest $250,000 winner in the “Shot of a Lifetime” lottery. And he decried as “baloney and malarkey” vaccination misinformation on social media Watch the briefing here.

CONFUSED ABOUT REOPENING? The state’s launched a webpage to collect info on what it means.

NEWEST NUMBERS: Here’s the update from the Public Health daily-summary dashboard:

*112,248 people have tested positive, 84 more than yesterday’s total

*1,648 people have died, 30 more than yesterday’s total**

*6,483 people have been hospitalized, 164 more than yesterday’s total**

**The big jumps are explained on the county dashboard as the state Health Department adding “a large backlog” of 156 hospitalizations and 29 deaths, from November 2020 to June 2021.**

One week ago, the three totals we are now tracking were 111,425/1,611/6,300.

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

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 180 million cases worldwide, 33.5 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.

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

Two steps closer to bridge repair: West Seattle Transportation Coalition, report #1

Rather than one big wrapup, we’re breaking cpverage tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting into separate topics. First – two milestones on the way to West Seattle Bridge repair work. SDOT’s Sara Zora said the repair design has reached the 60 percent stage, and that plan is being “circulated” now for review. For months, SDOT has said that once it gets to the 60 percent design mark, it will be able to hone in on a better estimate for bridge reopening than the “mid-2022” that’s been cited for a long time. Also, Zora said, they’ve officially issued a Notice to Proceed for repair contractor Kraemer North America, which means the contract has been finalized. She said they’re running a little bit ahead of schedule, because that wasn’t expected until the end of the month (as noted when the contractor choice was announced). We’ll be checking tomorrow with SDOT to see what additional information is available, since the next scheduled update isn’t until the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meets July 14th. Meantime, SDOT also brought West Marginal Way speed and collision information to tonight’s WSTC meeting, as the group had requested; we’ll report on that separately.

FOLLOWUP: Cameras roll, grills sizzle for food-truck fight

The west lot at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor) was transformed into a temporary food-truck corral this afternoon for a reality show. As previewed here last night, Seattle favorite Where Ya At Matt went up against Los Angeles-based Billionaire Burger Boyz, who were on camera when we stopped by;

The crew told us this is for a new show currently titled “Burger Brawl,” and it’ll be part of Discovery Plus. Signage attributed the production to Lander Entertainment, LLC. The winner was whoever sold the most – haven’t heard yet how that shook out.

According to Laurel at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), these two trucks will be there for a rematch tomorrow, noon-7 pm.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Alert upgraded to Excessive Heat Warning; help us build the definitive where-to-be-cool list

(Photo by Jerry Simmons)

You’ve been hearing about it for days, and now that the heat wave is closer, the National Weather Service has upgraded its alert to an Excessive Heat Warning, in effect 2 pm Friday through 9 pm Monday. And the Sunday/Monday forecasts have added a few more degrees – here are the next four days, daypart by daypart:

FRIDAY…Sunny. Highs in the 80s. North wind 10 to 15 mph.

FRIDAY NIGHT…Clear. Lows in the mid to upper 60s. North wind 10 to 15 mph decreasing to 10 mph or less after midnight.

SATURDAY…Sunny. Highs in the 90s. North wind to 10 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon.

SATURDAY NIGHT…Clear. Lows near 70. North wind 10 to 15 mph becoming northeast after midnight.

SUNDAY…Sunny. Highs 98 to 104.

SUNDAY NIGHT…Clear. Lows in the lower to mid 70s.

MONDAY…Sunny. Highs 100 to 106.

Seattle’s all-time record high was 103 degrees on July 29, 2009 – here’s what happened on that day (including a house fire and an overcome-by-the-heat boater).

Since many Seattle houses/apartments don’t have air conditioning, it’s always a hot question when the weather gets mega-hot: Where can you go to cool off? We’re asking for your help in building a definitive list of where to go, considering that not all venues have reopened (yet). The city has started it off with this roundup – including:

Delridge Branch Library (5423 Delridge Way SW)
Open from 10 am to 6 pm Mondays and Wednesdays 

High Point Branch Library (3411 SW Raymond)
Open from 10 am to 6 pm Wednesdays and Fridays; noon to 6 p.m. Sundays 

Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon)
Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Mondays – Fridays

If you have a suggestion – please comment below or email us at westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

P.S. Two more city notes from the roundup – Seattle Public Utilities will close the transfer stations (including South) at 2 pm Sunday and Monday. Also, solid-waste pickup on Monday will be an hour earlier – so have your carts out at 6 am.

West Seattle light rail in 2032? Here’s what the Sound Transit Board chair is suggesting for potential ‘realignment’ scenario

The Sound Transit Board won’t vote before next month on a potential “realignment” scenario – reconfiguring future plans to address estimated revenue drops and cost jumps. Today, calling it a “starting point,” board chair Kent Keel (from the University Place City Council in Pierce County) unveiled a proposed scenario. As shown above in a slide from the meeting presentation (see the full deck here), his proposal would delay West Seattle light rail until 2032 – one year later than the currently planned 2031, which in turn is one year past what was outlined in the ST3 ballot measure. Board members didn’t spend much time talking about it; some have contended that it’s too soon to realign, since revenue estimates keep improving, and in fact CEO Peter Rogoff started the meeting with a quick mention of rosier revenue projections at multiple government levels. One board member, King County Council chair Claudia Balducci from Bellevue, has been the loudest voice arguing against realigning now; she has contended that changes should focus more on cost cuts than schedule delays. She said today that her own proposal isn’t ready to present yet but will be soon. In a parallel process, the board is still working through the reasons for the sudden, dramatic rise in cost estimates, and got another in a series of reports from a consultant during today’s meeting. Board members’ next realignment discussion is expected when their Executive Committee meets July 1st; the full board meeting at which a vote might be taken is July 22nd.

FERRIES: Fauntleroy Terminal project’s Community Advisory Group sets sail

(WSB file photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Somewhere between the reopening of the West Seattle Bridge and the construction of Sound Transit light rail lies another big local transportation project: Replacement of the Fauntleroy ferry dock/terminal.

As part of the planning process, Washington State Ferries is convening three advisory groups. One of them, the Community Advisory Group, met last night for the first time, online.

The CAG is launching with 24 members, chosen from among 64 applicants (we published the recruiting announcement back in April). Last night’s meeting was mostly a get-acquainted session, which is why WSF says it did not publicly announce the meeting in advance (we found out from a tip late in the day and have since watched a recording of the two-hour meeting, which WSF says will be available online “by early next week”).

In their self-introductions, many members described affiliations and experiences that give them many-faceted perspectives on the projects – for example, living in West Seattle with children going to school on Vashon Island, or living on Vashon but owning a business in West Seattle. The western end of the Triangle Route was represented too, with Southworth and Manchester residents. Here’s the full roster as provided by WSF:

Ana White | Southworth resident
Angus Macnab | King County resident/Vashon commuter student parent
Anne Higuera |West Seattle business owner/Vashon resident
Daniel Lewis | Southworth area community member
David McDaniel | Fauntleroy and Vashon community member
Devin Branson | Vashon resident and West Seattle commuter
DB Gates | West Seattle resident
Emily Scott | Vashon Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) Member, Vashon Island Foodbank Executive Director
Fletcher Sandbeck | Kitsap resident
Frank Immel | Fauntleroy Community Association, Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) member, neighbor
Gary English | Vashon community member
Greg McKinnon | Manchester resident, daily ferry commuter
Helen Westphal | King County resident
Jon Wright | West Seattle Transportation Coalition
Josh Gwynn | Southworth area community member
Judy Pickens | Fauntleroy Watershed Council
Larry Harala | Port Orchard/Manchester area resident, Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) member
Mardi Clements | Fauntleroy Community Association, West Seattle resident near ferry
Michelle McCormick | West Seattle and Vashon resident
Noelani Hatton | West Seattle resident
Richard Thorp | Southworth area community member
Scott Harvey | Vashon resident, irregular ferry traveler
Susan Fritch | Vashon resident/former West Seattle resident
Victoria Nelson | West Seattle Transportation Coalition Board Member, Fauntleroy resident

In addition to introductions, last night’s meeting included a brief recap of the rationale for replacing the terminal/dock – earthquake vulnerability, susceptibility to being swamped by rising sea levels, limited vehicle-holding capacity (room for 80 cars, though the regular vessels on the route hold 124, and WSF has said its system standards call for holding areas with room for about 1 1/2 vessels worth).

A major task early in the planning process, one for which the CAG members’ input will be sought, is a Planning and Environmental Linkages study, which WSF says will be done in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, since federal funding is expected to be part of the project. The group’s advisory role in the study, WSF says, will help define the “purpose and need” for the project and ways to filter alternatives. The alternatives they’ll consider, they were told later in the meeting, will be numerous – “many different configurations.” None have been shown, yet. Here’s the full slide deck from the meeting, with more on the key discussion points:

In open discussion, CAG members also asked for clarification on the roles of the other two advisory groups – Executive (mostly elected officials, as listed in this document provided by WSF at our request) and Technical (staffers from agencies listed in that same document).

WHAT’S NEXT: WSF will talk about the Fauntleroy terminal project (with construction not expected before 2025) during tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, 6:30 pm online (see our calendar listing for information on participating/viewing/listening). The next CAG meeting is set for 6 pm July 28th.

City changes wading-pool plans because of chlorine shortage

(WSB file photo, Delridge wading pool)

Seattle Parks is still opening some of its wading pools and sprayparks this Saturday (June 26th), but the schedules will be more limited than first announced, at least for a while. That’s because of the chlorine shortage, according to Parks’ announcement:

Due to a regional shortage of chlorine that is just coming to the fore, SPR must make temporary adjustments to this summer’s wading pool schedules. Spraypark schedules remain unaffected at this time.

For wading pools, the new schedule allows all previously-announced pools to open, but on an alternating schedule. This will enable equitable distribution of our current supply of chlorine until we can obtain more. When that occurs, our plan is to open each wading pool 7 days per week. Some pools will operate from Saturday to Tuesday, and some from Thursday to Sunday. For now, all wading pools will be closed on Wednesdays.

We understand how frustrating this situation is, and share in your disappointment. Rest assured that staff is working diligently to solve the matter, and know that we will update you as soon as we know more.

So here’s the West Seattle plan:

Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) – Open 7 days a week, 11 am-8 pm, as planned

Delridge wading pool (4501 Delridge Way SW) – Open 11 am-5:30 pm Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays

Lincoln Park wading pool (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) – Open noon-7 pm Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays

(As previously announced, Parks does NOT plan to open the EC Hughes or Hiawatha wading pools this year.)

TRAFFIC ALERT: Repaving work will close part of westbound SW Alaska on Friday, and two July weekends

Just got word of this from SDOT (as well as an accompanying Metro alert for this weekend):

PAVING NOTICE

The westbound lanes of SW Alaska St \between California Ave SW & 44th Ave SW
(The two westbound lanes adjacent to Wells Fargo Bank and Easy Street Records)
Friday, June 25th 9 AM – 3 PM
Saturday, July 10th at 8 AM – Monday July 12th at 6 AM
Saturday, July 17th at 8 AM – Monday July 19th at 6 AM
*Weather permitting

At the location and hours listed above:
-SDOT will replace several concrete panels.
-All westbound traffic will be detoured.
-The detour route will be marked.
-Westbound bus stops (Route 50, 55, 128, and C-Line) will be impacted.
-Eastbound traffic will not be impacted.

Outside the hours listed above, the westbound lanes will be open to all traffic. Some parking in this area will be restricted. 72 hours before the work starts and parking restrictions begin, “NO PARKING” signs will be placed on the street. Sidewalk access will not be impacted. Construction impacts include noise and dust. SDOT crews will complete each workday by 7PM.

For this weekend’s Metro reroutes, see this page.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: The case of the Mercedes-driving catalytic-converter thieves

That photo came in from a reader on Wednesday, with this report about what he saw after 7 am that morning:

I was strolling north in the alley between 44th & California, in the block south of Oregon. I heard the unmistakable sound of a reciprocating saw against steel for just a brief moment. I looked in the direction of the sound & spotted a black Mercedes parked very close to a Honda Element. They must have seen me and stopped. In the time it took to pull out my phone and take a photo, the Honda came down off a jack, and something, probably just the jack, was loaded into the back seat area.

Unfortunately, that apparently was the catalytic converter from Gayle‘s car. She later emailed us:

6/23, at approximately 7-7:15, the catalytic converter was stolen from my 2007 Honda Element. My car was parked in a Diamond parking lot close to the sidewalk on 44th Avenue near Oregon Street. I saw a black Mercedes pull in next to mine and later learned they were the thieves. A police report (21-156316) has been filed. … The thieves were driving a black Mercedes 5500 (sedan). The driver was a white male and the passenger is believed to be a white female. If anyone else was walking by or coming through the parking lot and has any information, please contact the police and/or reply on the blog. This is happening far too often and in the light of day next to a busy road.

Here is another photo with a closer look at the front of the car.

It did have a rear plate, which began with ASL.

West Seattle Transportation Coalition, low-low tide, Pride Bingo, much more for your Thursday

(Today’s sunrise, photographed by Stewart L.)

Busy day/night! Here’s just some of what’s on our calendar and in our previews:

GOVERNOR’S PANDEMIC BRIEFING: You can watch here at 10:30 am.

LOW-LOW TIDE: It’s way out, to -3.9 feet, at 11:07 am. Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists are out at Constellation and Lincoln Parks 9:30 am-1:30 pm, and you can join the free Rec’N The Streets beach walk at Constellation at 10:30 (info in our preview)

SOUND TRANSIT BOARD: 1:30 pm online, the realignment process that could further delay West Seattle light rail (among other parts of ST3) is on the agenda, which explains how to watch/comment.

ROBERT IRVING III MASTERS CLASSES: 1 pm for the public (info here), 2:30 pm for musicians (info here) at J&J Public House (2808 Alki SW).

FOOD TRUCK BATTLE: 3-6 pm, Where Ya At Matt and visiting-from-L.A. Billionaire Burger Boyz “battle” at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor)

DEMONSTRATION: 4-6 pm at 16th/Holden, join organizer Scott in his second year of twice-weekly sign-waving for racial justice. Signs available if you don’t have one.

WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm online – see the agenda, and how to participate, in our calendar listing.

PRIDE BINGO: Special edition of every-other-week Thursday night Bingo at Admiral Pub, 7 pm. Prize for best Pride outfit! (2306 California SW)

(Wednesday night photo by Doug Eglington)

FULL MOON KAYAKING: Special tour with Alki Kayak Tours (1660 Harbor SW), 8:15 pm. Info’s in our calendar listing.

Something for our calendar? Email westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

WEATHER, ROAD WORK, TRAFFIC: Thursday notes

6:10 AM: Good morning! Warm today but not hot – that weather still isn’t expected to arrive until the weekend.

ROAD WORK

Delridge projectAs noted in this week’s plan, work includes the medians and the east side of Delridge/Henderson/Barton and Delridge/Thistle.

FERRIES/BUSES

Regular schedule for buses and ferries.

(Watch @kcmetrobus for word of bus cancellations, @wsferries for major WSF changes.)

BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES

458th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the views of other bridges and routes:

Low Bridge: 24th week for automated enforcement cameras; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends, when the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available for some categories of drivers.)

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden:

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

And the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):

For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:

Are draw/swing bridges opening for boats or barges? See the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed. (1st Ave. South Bridge openings also are tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.)

See all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also on this WSB page.

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

CORONAVIRUS: Wednesday 6/23/2021 roundup

With one week at most until full reopening, here are tonight’s local/state pandemic updates:

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS’ BRIEFING During state health officials’ weekly briefing today, Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said 68 percent of our state’s 16+ residents have received at least a first dose of vaccine. That’s only up .8 of a percentage point from a week earlier, so it seems unlikely we’ll hit 70 percent and reopen before June 30th.

GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING TOMORROW: 10:30 am Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee will give his next media briefing on the pandemic. You can watch here.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:

*112,164 people have tested positive, 407 more than yesterday’s total (explanation: the state “released 314 delayed positive results”)

*1,618 people have died, unchanged from yesterday’s total

*6,319 people have been hospitalized, 5 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 111,353/1,610/6,292.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find all the numbers, county by county, on the state Department of Health dashboard.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.

SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS PLAYGROUNDS REOPEN: The district had said it would decide at year’s end whether to reopen the playgrounds to the public – and it has announced they’re indeed open again.

GOT INFO? Email us at westseattleblog@gmail.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Ride for Major Taylor to bring 500 bicyclists to West Seattle on Sunday

A big bike ride in and near West Seattle, White Center, and beyond is set for Sunday (June 27th), and Cascade Bicycle Club spokesperson Paul Tolmé emailed us to be sure you know:

Cascade Bicycle Club’s Ride for Major Taylor will take place this Sunday in West Seattle. We would like to alert residents that there will be bicycles on the roads (and many youth bicyclists) and we ask for drivers to be alert and aware of our youth bicyclists. Cascade and its Major Taylor Project would also like to thank West Seattle residents for being courteous to our riders.

And due to the forecast heat, we’d also like to let residents know that we encourage them to come out and cheer on our riders — and maybe offer willing riders a spray from the garden hose to cool off :)

Above is the 26-mile route map (see the route’s turn-by-turn description on the second page here); below, the 65-mile route (or here, with turn-by-turn on the second page).

Both start from the bicycle playground at White Center’s Dick Thurnau Park. Registration is closed, as they maxed out at 500 riders. P.S. The ride is a benefit for the Major Taylor Project; read about its namesake, a superstar runner and rider in the 19th/20th centuries, here.

FOOD NOTES: Peel & Press reopens indoor dining; 2 trucks ‘battling’ tomorrow (update: and Friday!)

Two food notes:

PEEL & PRESS: Proprietor Dan Austin says his Morgan Junction restaurant has just reopened for indoor dining:

Well, it has been a challenging 15 months. We have stayed carryout only to give West Seattle an option for all of those who wanted to avoid the crowds. Because of all of your support, we were able to survive this pandemic and take our time in reopening the dining room. We have been 100% vaccinated for a while now and are ready to see your faces (still masked for a few more days) again!

Starting Wednesday and going until the Governor announces the full reopening, we will be offering limited table seating. We will not have a ton of capacity but we need to get the staff back in the swing of plating food and serving tables. We ask that you pack your grace and understanding for the next week or two (not just here but at all restaurants) as we get our in=person and soon, full-capacity muscle memory established again. We are so excited to welcome you back!

Peel & Press is at 6503 California SW; hours are 4-9 pm this week, then after that, expanding to 4-10 pm Sundays-Thursdays and 4- 11 pm Fridays-Saturdays.

FOOD-TRUCK FIGHT: We’re told the well-known Seattle truck Where Ya At Matt will be in the Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor) vicinity 3-6:30 pm tomorrow (Thursday, June 24) “for a food truck competition” along with touring Los Angeles-based truck Billionaire Burger Boyz. WYAM says other details are under wraps “but it’s going to be a lot of fun, and would love to see Seattle come represent!”

ADDED THURSDAY: The food-truck fight continues Friday, and it’s for reality TV, we’re told in this note from Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW) proprietor Laurel Trujillo:

there is a food truck battle reality show shooting in West Seattle at Ounces tomorrow Friday, 6/25 from 12-7pm. We will be open at 12 pm as will the food trucks (they will be selling food, we will be serving drinks like normal). Cameras will be rolling!

Basically the premise of the show is that local truck Where Ya At Matt? will be battling against a burger truck from LA. Whoever sells more food wins! So we’d love to invite the West Seattle community out to buy grub, drink beer and support Where Ya At Matt? so they can win!

FOLLOWUP: No new tennis court at Lowman Beach, but SWAC courts will open for public use

(2012 Lowman Beach aerial photo – pre-Murray CSO Project – by Long Bach Nguyen

Last weekend we published the announcement of a third public meeting about what might happen at Lowman Beach Park once the crumbling seawall and neighboring tennis court are removed. The announcement said only that “two concepts” would be discussed. Today Seattle Parks revealed those two concepts are: Pickleball court, or no replacement. But Parks also says more tennis courts in the area will be opened to the public. From the announcement:

Two public meetings have been held and three concepts were reviewed. After reviewing the work from the community and the design team, SPR recommends either adding a pickleball court (and saving the swings) or allowing for no additional change than the beach restoration project. SPR does not support the tennis-court concept.

SPR’s recommendation takes into account the park location, its unique characteristics, proximity to other tennis courts, and future maintenance impacts. In addition, SPR reviewed the images from the public meetings, phone calls, emails, and the extensive community outreach to inform this decision. The decision also supports SPR’s Strategic Plan, as the Healthy Environment section calls out preserving a healthy ocean and marine environment that contribute to the health of the Seattle and Pacific ecosystem and a balance between active and passive recreation.

SPR did hear from the community about the importance of racket courts and has worked out an agreement with Seattle Public Schools to open the six courts at the Southwest Athletic Complex [WSB photo above]. The courts are free for drop-in unless reserved … Information about court reservations can be found here.

(We don’t see the SWAC courts listed there yet; we’ll check with Parks tomorrow.) Back to Lowman Beach – the meeting is online at 6:30 pm next Tuesday (June 29th); register here to participate. If the pickleball concept is pursued, funds have to be raised to build it, as Parks has no funding allocated beyond the beach restoration following the seawall/tennis-court removal.

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle’s new vehicle/vessel-licensing office opens June 30th

After a year and a half without a vehicle/vessel-licensing office in West Seattle, the new one opens one week from today, at 9 am Wednesday, June 30th, after a ribboncutting ceremony. We just got that word from operator Randy Lais. Here’s the backstory from King County, which administers the contracts for subagents like this one:

Seattle Auto License, Inc. will provide services as a private business appointed by the Department of Licensing and will operate as a county-contracted subagent. Seattle Auto License, Inc. will provide title and license services for vehicles, motorcycles, vessels, watercraft, travel and utility trailers. Customers can also renew registrations, get a report of a sale, get trip permits and disabled placards. Initially, customers will need to pay with cash or check until the credit card system is set up.

The new location in Westwood Village is easily accessible with plentiful parking, including ADA parking right in front of the office. The new licensing subagent is also close to the Washington State Driver Licensing Office.

King County partners with the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) to issue and renew vehicle and vessel licenses. Through this partnership, King County also contracts with local businesses, called subagents, to offer convenient locations to conduct in-person licensing. Visit dol.wa.gov to see the services that are offered online.

The new office is on the north edge of Westwood Village, near the SW Trenton entrance; we first reported on the new subagent seven months ago. The new office will be open 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Fridays, 10 am-2 pm Saturdays.

Here’s what stalled the Alki Beach restroom rebuild

(WSB photo)

Alki Beach residents/frequent visitors have noticed a lack of progress lately on the restroom rebuild at 57th/Alki. We asked Seattle Parks‘ project manager Kelly Goold what happened. His reply:

We are waiting on structural steel to finish being fabricated, then goes to galvanizing, then is delivered to the site and assembled. After the steel roof structure is assembled on site, finishes and fixtures will be installed, followed by final paint and concrete work, and power reconnection by City Light. The current schedule is completion by July 26.

The steel fabrication and galvanizing date has changed multiple times in the past weeks. Structural steel in general (especially in the busy Seattle construction market) is very much in demand and difficult to get into production lines. The steel package for Alki is in a fabrication shop in Bellingham, and will be delivered shortly and then site work will resume until completion.

Construction began five months ago, almost a year later than planned pre-pandemic. The new three-stall comfort station replaces an old two-stall building that among other problems had accessibility issues.

WHALES: Transient orcas in view from West Seattle, northbound

1:36 PM: Since Puget Sound dead-ends, if whales swim by southbound, they’ll eventually have to head back northbound … and that’s what’s happening right now. Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch says transient orcas are northbound right now, visible from west-facing West Seattle (after swimming the other way yesterday) – look toward Southworth. Let us know if you see them!

2:04 PM: Kersti reports in a comment that they’re now off Blake Island.

REOPENING: ArtsWest raises the curtain on plan for 2021-2022 season

West Seattle’s only bricks-and-mortar playhouse is reopening. The jubilant team at ArtsWest in The Junction has just sent the announcement of their upcoming season, and plans for open houses soon so you can get excited too:

ArtsWest has announced their 2021-2022 season WHEN WE WAKE, with six productions – three world premieres and three Seattle premieres – featuring plays by innovative and original new voices in the American theater. This is the first season programmed by a collective of ArtsWest Associate Artists in collaboration with ArtsWest leadership, demonstrating a new power-sharing model of season curation. The season will be presented with an in-person option, including socially distanced performances, as well as an online option.

Through a season of theater full of gods, monsters, myths and legends, WHEN WE WAKE asks us to reflect on who we are as we begin to emerge from a global pandemic – and a period of profound and mythological separation. What have we learned and what will we choose to do differently as we write the next chapters of our collective story? “I’m so proud of the work of the Associate Artists,” stated Artistic Director Mathew Wright. “They have curated what I think is the perfect season of theater to return to. It is at once full of joy and theatricality and profound in its vision of how we might create better lives for and with each other.”

To celebrate reopening to the public, ArtsWest will hold Open Houses on July 1 & 2 from 4 pm-7 pm, July 8 & 9
from 4 pm-7 pm, and July 10 & 11 from 11 am-3 pm.
Visitors will be invited to walk the theater space, reacclimate themselves to being together, take in some videos of ArtsWest’s 2020 digital work, and chat with ArtsWest leadership about what they can expect in the upcoming year, including this powerful new season of theater. WHEN WE WAKE opens the 2021 holiday season with the world premiere musical WE’VE BATTLED MONSTERS BEFORE, noted Seattle composer-playwright Justin Huertas’ latest addition to his canon exploring contemporary mythology and fantasy in the lives of everyday people.

In the new year, ArtsWest will present the world premiere of Christian St. Croix’s haunting and humorous MONSTERS OF THE AMERICAN CINEMA, a tale of a father, a son, and the everyday American monsters we create. Next, from Australian Theater for Young Audiences playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer, THIS GIRL LAUGHS, THIS GIRL CRIES, THIS GIRL DOES NOTHING presents a moving modern fairytale of three powerful young women who take on the world and create lives for themselves, each in their own way. Kicking off the second half of the season is ALMA, Benjamin Benne’s story of a mother and daughter yearning for connection while holding vastly different ideas of what the “American Dream” actually represents. Next is the world premiere of miku, and the gods. by playwright Julia Izumi, a moving meditation on family, love, loss – and what it takes to become a god. The season concludes with the world premiere of HERE THERE BE DRAGONS, an original song cycle created by Valerie Curtis-Newton and co-produced by The Hansberry Project, celebrating the journeys of Black women and uplifting the words and music of some of Seattle’s most dynamic Black women recording artists.

WE’VE BATTLED MONSTERS BEFORE
Book, Music and Lyrics by Justin Huertas
November 26 – December 26, 2021

When you’re the youngest sibling in a family of secret warriors who for generations have protected Seattle from monsters and demons, living up to your Lola’s expectations is, in a word, daunting. Adarna’s mistakes were cute at first, but when they begin to cost her family more than she ever imagined, she must decide what she would sacrifice to save them. Loosely adapted from the 16th century Filipino epic poem Ibong Adarna, playwright- composer-lyricist Justin Huertas returns to his Lizard Boy roots with a sweet and intimate actor-musician musical adventure.

MONSTERS OF THE AMERICAN CINEMA
by Christian St. Croix
January 27 – February 20, 2022

When his husband dies, Remy Washington, a Black man, finds himself both the owner of a drive-in movie theater and a caregiver to his late husband’s straight, white teenage son, Pup. United by their love of classic American monster movies, the two have developed a warm and caring familial chemistry – but their relationship fractures when Remy discovers Pup and his friends have been bullying a gay teen at his school. Monsters of the American Cinema is a haunting and humorous tale about fathers and sons, ghosts and monsters.

THIS GIRL LAUGHS, THIS GIRL CRIES, THIS GIRL DOES NOTHING
by Finegan Kruckemeyer
March 17 – April 10, 2022

Triplet sisters are left in the forest by their woodcutter father. From this fairytale beginning, three resolutions are made – one sister will walk one way, one the other, and the third will stay right where she is. Twenty years later, having circumnavigated the globe, and fought Vikings, and crossed oceans, and tamed wilds, and achieved greatness, the three meet again, as women. What they learn on their separate journeys will change everything, and at the same time nothing, in this moving and irresistibly charming modern-day fairytale.

ALMA
by Benjamin Benne
May 5 – May 22, 2022

Working mom Alma has singlehandedly raised her daughter, Angel, on tough love, home-cooked comida and lots of prayers. But on the eve of the all-important SAT, Alma discovers her daughter isn’t at home studying. A schooling and la chancla await Angel at home—but so does a creeping realization that more’s at stake than just a test score. A sacrifice from Alma’s past weighs heavy on their present; now, Alma fears that her worst nightmare may soon be their reality. Will the American Dream cost them a life together?

miku, and the gods.
by Julia Izumi
June 16 – July 3, 2022

Miku wants to be a god. Ephraim wants to be an Olympian. Grandma Seiko wants to remember. And minor god Shara just wants people to include him in the conversation, you know? As they journey from the schoolyard to the river to the underworld and back again, Miku and company will learn what it actually takes to become a god. As funny as it is moving, miku, and the gods. is an epic adventure that braids together friendship, death, memory, time, rhythm – and power beyond what one could ever desire.

HERE THERE BE DRAGONS
Conceived and Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
Co-Produced by The Hansberry Project
July 28 – August 28, 2022

Conceived and directed by the inimitable Valerie Curtis-Newton, and featuring the music and lyrics of some of Seattle’s most dynamic Black women recording artists, this brand new theatrical song cycle celebrates the joys, triumphs, and tribulations of Black women. As they confront the mystery of the unknown, they construct new legends with the confidence of all that has come before them. A unique fusion of musical styles and theatrical influences, Here There Be Dragons is a bold journey into uncharted waters and new possibilities.

The doors at ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery have been closed since mid-March 2020 “and it has been really tough,” says managing director Laura Lee.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Business burglarized, again

Burglars have struck again at Emerald Water Anglers (4502 45nd SW; WSB sponsor) in The Junction. We went over to find out more after a tip this morning. The EWA team tells us this happened around 5:30 am; they were still checking to see what was missing, but they first missing items they noticed were several Patagonia guide jackets. We’ll add the incident number when we get it.

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: Soldiers on Alki

When our hotline (206-293-6302, 24/7) got texts/calls this morning wondering about “a large group of soldiers” on Alki, we headed out to look. Here’s who we found:

That’s Lt. Stokes from the Washington National Guard unit based at Boeing Field. She said they go to various areas for group runs/walks and decided this time to head for not-so-far Alki Beach. (A Guard spokesperson tells us “physical training … is routine for all Guardsmen.”)

From libraries to low tide, notes for your West Seattle Wednesday

(Pigeon Guillemot, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Here’s what we have so far for the day ahead:

LOW-LOW TIDE: As previewed earlier this week, we’re in a stretch of low-low tides, which enables more beach exploring. Today at 10:22 am, it’s out to -3.2 feet. Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists are available for your questions 9:30 am-1:30 pm at Constellation (Beach Drive/61st) and Lincoln (8011 Fauntleroy Way) Parks.

LIBRARIES REOPEN: As announced last week, two more Seattle Public Library branches in West Seattle reopen their buildings today: Delridge (5423 Delridge Way SW, 10 am-6 pm) and High Point (3411 SW Raymond, 10 am-6 pm).

SCHOOL BOARD: Today’s meeting of the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors includes approval of construction contracts for two local projects, the additions at West Seattle Elementary and Madison Middle Schools. The meeting starts at 3:30 pm; the agenda has information on how to watch.

HPAC ON SPRING BREAK: Fourth Wednesday of the month usually would bring the monthly meeting of HPAC (community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge), but HPAC has announced it’s starting summer break early – meetings will resume in September.

Anything else, for today or beyond? Email westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!