West Seattle, Washington
Heads up if you’re expecting a delivery. A resident in Belvidere emailed with porch-camera video of a package thief (frame-grab above): “This package was dropped off 30 minutes before it was stolen… 12:48 pm today.” Note the video also shows the getaway car.
If you watch the Seattle Fire Department‘s real-time 911 log – which logs the addresses and call classifications for all SFD responses – you might have noticed a new call designation on Sunday’s log: A few medical calls were designated BC Medic Response or BC Aid Response. We noticed it and also received a few inquiries – one of the calls was on Alki Avenue – so we asked SFD about it today. Spokesperson Kristin Tinsley says BC is short for “battalion chief” (regional supervisor) and this is indeed a new type of code: “With this policy change, a battalion chief is now added to most responses where the patient is experiencing a mental-health crisis, to help our firefighters with decision-making for an appropriate treatment plan.”
Reminder that if you want to participate in Washington State Ferries‘ winter community meetings, tomorrow’s your last chance – you can participate in the 1 pm Tuesday meeting. Hot topics for WSF right now range from ongoing schedule reductions to planning for projects like the Fauntleroy dock/terminal replacement. You can also watch the recording of the evening version of the meeting, held last Wednesday – find the link here, same webpage where you can register to be part of tomorrow’s session.
From the weekend Seattle Police log, a case described as “accidental gunfire” – no one was hurt, but two apartments and a business were damaged. Police were called to an apartment building in the 4700 block of 42nd SW just after noon Sunday to investigate. According to the report narrative, here’s what happened: A resident had bought himself a Colt .357 King Cobra pistol for Christmas. He was “in his living room, examining his pistol, taking out rounds and placing them back into the pistol with a speed loader. (He) intended to dry-fire his pistol to an adjacent wall, not realizing the pistol was still loaded, and fired.” The bullet went through the wall, into the apartment next door, through a closet at a business in the building, then “clipping a TV mounted on the outer wall,” finally stopping underneath a chair. The gun owner went to the building leasing office to report what happened, and from there 911 was called. The resident of the apartment next door wasn’t home at the time; her dog was there and wasn’t hurt. After talking with everyone involved and taking photos of the damage, police say they “spoke with (the gun owner) about the importance of firearm safety, which he said he understood.” He had placed the gun in a cabinet after the incident.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and elsewhere, notes for today/tonight:
GARBAGE/RECYCLING/YARD WASTE CATCH-UP: Residential collection is back to regular days this week, and if you were missed the past two weeks, you can set out triple the usual amount, Seattle Public Utilities reminds you. Customers who were skipped twice also can take solid waste to a city transfer station at no charge.
OPEN D&D GROUP: Players welcome to drop in for this weekly group at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), 6:30-10 pm.
Something for our calendar/daily previews? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Family and friends are remembering Cheryl K. Baechle and sharing this remembrance with the community:
Cheryl Kay Baechle passed away unexpectedly 12-25-21 in Kent, Washington.
Cheryl was affectionately known by many as “Mommifer” and is survived by her three brothers Ken, Alan, and Gary Baechle; her three children Joseph, Jeffrey (daughter-in-law Lindsey), and Jennifer (“sonny”-in-law Marlon); her three grandchildren Fabian, Lauren, and Josiah; 6 great-grandchildren; and her beloved cats Herm and Chloe.
Cheryl was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was a single, hard-working mother who, after taking a two-week vacation with her kids to Seattle in 1977, fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and moved her family there in July 1978. As a young woman she enjoyed her kids, music, and a fun night out dancing. Later in life she enjoyed reading, crocheting, the Seattle Seahawks, and her Seattle “Marinaras,” as well as caring for her cats. Cheryl, you will be missed!
Please share memories & condolences on the Tribute Wall at emmickfunerals.com/obituary/Cheryl-Baechle – Care & Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
6:02 AM Good morning!
Rain returns, according to the forecast.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi routes are on their regular schedules.
Metro is on its regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of trip cancellations.
Ferries: WSF continues a two-boat schedule on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
657th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. As of early today, SDOT cameras were down again, but this WSDOT camera is working:
The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
Road ruts have worsened since the recent snow, ice, and record rainfall. Cathy emailed last night to warn, “There are at least two major potholes between Morgan and Dawson on 35th that are causing major issues for vehicles. Several flat tires, according to the team at Les Schwab tires … all due to potholes on 35th. Need the city to please intervene and fix these dangerous potholes!!!” We also received notes about the potholes on 106th east of 35th and the previously mentioned Sylvan Way potholes – here’s another photo of those, sent by A.L.:
We also noted some serious ruts on eastbound Fauntleroy just west of Avalon over the weekend. Here’s our story from last week on how to report them (and how to check first if they’ve already been reported).
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.
Sent by Shawn a short time ago:
I saw these 2 clowns painting graffiti on the wall this evening at 11:10 pm. It is on 42nd Ave SW on the wall of the Jefferson square parking lot. I called them out and one ran, the other took off toward the QFC on skateboard. There has been a lot of graffiti in the area lately.
Call 911 if you see this or any other crime in progress.
The photos are from a water-main break in White Center that is being blamed for trouble including discolored water in Highland Park. The photos are from Tom, who told us via email: “We had a water main break down here in White Center right in front of Mount View Elementary. All of 12th north of the school down to 106th was flooded. I think that the water was also flowing down to Coronado Springs but I never had a chance to see how bad it was down there. Most of us on 12th were pretty busy trying to keep the water out of our houses to limited success. Crews are tearing up the street now to repair and all of us have had our water shut off.”
In Highland Park, residents reporting brown water to Seattle Public Utilities (always call it in to 206-386-1800) report they were told the White Center break is to blame. The SPU water-outage map says it started just before 6 pm.
It’s the #1 question we’ve gotten lately – when is West Seattle Junction restaurant Dumplings Of Fury reopening? They’ve been closed for eight months while working on an expansion into the California/Oregon corner spot next to their original space. Paper is off the windows in the expansion space, further sparking passerbys’ curiosity. So we checked in with co-proprietor Ben Jenkins, who replied that they’re “super close – have one more permit hurdle to pass.” But he doesn’t have a firm reopening date yet “because in this biz it’s tough to predict.” Nonetheless, he adds, they’re “excited to open!” (The expansion space at 4461 California SW was formerly Many Moons Consignment.)
To commemorate the last Seahawks game of the year, here’s another “football Sunday” bird-photo gallery, thanks to WSB readers who have sent more fab photos of West Seattle sightings. Above, Mark Dale photographed two Pileated Woodpeckers in High Point. Below, a Belted Kingfisher, from Ann Anderson:
Jerry Simmons found a Steller’s Jay with what appears to be a frosted peanut:
Bald Eagles are in view around West Seattle – James Tilley photographed a not-yet-mature one:
Eileen Wurst was surprised to see one high up in a Highland Park tree, near 8th/Holden:
Another surprise sighting – Jon Wright says it’s unusual to see a Northern Flicker at his feeder, but one showed up in our recent snow:
On the water – Matt Olson photographed a Rhinoceros Auklet off Duwamish Head:
Great Blue Herons are always a mesmerizing sight – this photo is from Stewart L.:
This one’s from Tom Trulin:
Finally, a hummingbird photo from Jerry Simmons, and a request:
Community naturalist Kersti Muul is gathering data on how extreme weather affects hummingbirds – if you found any dead hummers, she has some questions for you in this survey
Meantime, thanks again to everyone sharing their sightings! firstname.lastname@example.org is the best way to get us newsworthy photos of all kinds (if it’s urgent/breaking, text our hotline at 206-293-6302).
One week into the new year, things are about to get busier. Among the community meetings happening this week, the Sound Transit-convened Community Advisory Group for West Seattle and vicinity meets online Tuesday, the group’s first meeting since the November joint gathering of all four advisory groups set up for the West Seattle/Ballard extensions (WSB coverage here, including the ecplanation of these groups’ role). The agenda’s not published yet but it’s expected to focus on station planning. The meeting will be livestreamed at 5 pm Tuesday (January 11th) via this YouTube link. The biggest event of the year for West Seattle/Ballard light-rail planning is not until month’s end – the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, set for January 28th.
ADDED MONDAY: Here’s the agenda.
A full-sunshine day seems almost as newsworthy as the rainy, snowy, windy days we’ve had lately. Here are three photos celebrating how this day began, from three directions – above, the sunrise in the east, from Doug Eglington; below, looking north at Mount Baker, from James Borrow:
And next, James Bratsanos gives us a westward view of the Olympics:
Family and friends are remembering Don Gardiner, and sharing this remembrance with his community:
November 23, 1927 – December 30, 2021
Community Dentist, Civic Leader, Sportsman, and Great-Grandfather, Don leaves a treasure of beautiful experiences with those he engaged and served. Don passed away peacefully during an afternoon nap on December 30, 2021, at the remarkable age of 94.
Don spent his childhood on a family dairy farm in Elmwood, Wisconsin. he joined the Navy in 1946, found a passion for dentistry, and attended Marquette School of Dentistry. Don joined his brother Jack in Seattle after graduating, settling in West Seattle to begin his dental practice and raise a family. Don was an active leader in the community, joining the YMCA board and becoming Lions Club President. His dental practice with Doctors Watts and Pierce was perfect for Don’s social personality. He especially loved the kids in his practice because they became his secret network of information on what was “really happening.”
Don also found joy in thoroughbred horses and became a regular at Emerald Downs race track. Eventually, he and his wife Judi became owners of several horses, winning numerous prizes and several significant events. he loved entertaining family members on race day and visiting the stables with trainers and other owners.
Don loved people and always found a way to interject humor to put people at ease and leave an endearing memory. Don is survived by his wife Judi, her daughters liz Bluechel and husband Turner, Diana Stilson and husband Roger, son Randy and wife Paula, daughter Michele Elliott, son Robert and wife Penny, and daughter Marci Sizemore and husband Bob. Don was a grandfather to eight grandchildren and great-grandfather to five. A private service will be held.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
A quiet weekend continues:
TRAFFIC NOTE – HIGHLAND PARK WAY: As announced late last night, it’s open again after the day-and-a-half landslide closure.
TRAFFIC ALERT – LOW-BRIDGE CLOSURES: Today is the second of five Sundays during which SDOT plans to close the low bridge three times, up to half an hour each time, for measurements needed to prepare for repair work, as explained here. The closures are expected to happen around 9 am, 1 pm, and 5 pm.
CHURCHES: We’re still updating our weekly list of West Seattle online church services (with many churches also offering in-person attendance, though several have gone back to online-only TFN because of the current COVID surge) – see the list here.
COVID-19 VACCINATIONS: Pliable tells us today’s 8:30 am-4:30 pm vaccination clinic at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW) will accept all eligible walk-ups, including boosters. This will be Pliable’s last Sunday clinic until January 30th.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, with more produce expected this week compared to last Sunday, it’s the weekly WSFM (WSB sponsor). (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)
NEED FOOD? White Center Community Dinner Church serves a free meal (take-away available) at 5 pm Sundays at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW).
SUNDAY NIGHT KARAOKE: 8 pm to 1 am at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW).
SUNDAY NIGHT JAZZ: Triangular Jazztet at The Alley (4509 California SW), 8 pm and 9 pm sets.
Got an event to list in our calendar and previews? Email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
(SDOT video: Finishing the cleanup)
Almost 33 hours after a slide that took out trees and power lines, the Highland Park Way hill has fully reopened, according to SDOT. The power was restored by late last night but the slide cleanup took a day longer.
A week and a half ago, we reported on the arrest of a 31-year-old man found in a damaged stolen Chevy Suburban partly blocking traffic at California/Fauntleroy. The suspect, Aaron E. McCord, is still in jail, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed a felony charge of stolen-vehicle possession against him. He was already awaiting trial on another case with the same charge, involving an auto theft from a Ballard apartment complex; the stolen car in which he was found here was taken in Southeast Seattle. In both arrests, police say they found McCord in possession of “shaved keys” he’s believed to have used to start the cars. In this case, police say he claimed he had bought the car from someone; in the previous case, he is reported to have told officers he borrowed the stolen car from a friend. Court documents say he has one felony conviction, also on a charge related to auto theft. His bail is set at $5,000.
2:38 PM: More than 25 hours after a slide took out trees and power lines, closing the Highland Park Way hill and cutting power to 3,200 homes and businesses, the cleanup continues and the road remains closed. We’ve received photos and an update from SDOT.
SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells WSB that crews from other city departments are assisting – including Seattle City Light and Parks and Recreation: “City crews are still working to clear debris and perform erosion control. There is still a lot of debris, and the hillside is muddy and destabilized. We understand that this is an important detour route for the West Seattle Bridge closure and are working hard to reopen some lanes as soon as it is safe to do so.”
No ETA for reopening all or part of the hill, though, Bergerson says. (The power outage was resolved within 8 1/2 hours, as noted in our Friday updates.) A slide in 2017 closed the same stretch of road for more than two days.
8:20 PM: Update from SDOT via Twitter:
UPDATE: Crews are hand pressure washing to improve the road condition. We are working on making it safe before reopening. Thanks for your patience. pic.twitter.com/7nlezYSc4b
— SDOT Traffic (@SDOTtraffic) January 9, 2022
10:24 PM: Reopened.
12:53 PM: That’s the first half of the first work platform hoisted up under the West Seattle Bridge today. We photographed it from the low-bridge walking/biking path around 11:30 am, just as it was reaching the top. This half is under the south side of the bridge; the other half was scheduled to go up a few hours after the first one – we’ll check back later this afternoon. As noted in our Friday preview, the hoisting operation is not affecting traffic.
2:22 PM: Watching this “live” SDOT camera, we’re noticing that it appears crews are now moving the second half of the platform into place for hoisting now – look at the lower right of the screen.
5:13 PM: Returned to the area just before dusk for the photo above – second half in place. We’ll find out this week about the timetable for installing the other platform, on the east side of the main span.
We don’t have any way to verify this but if you’ve been looking for a booster shot, a reader just sent word that they got one as a walk-in at the Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW) city-run clinic today, and that they were told there’s room for more walk-ins. That could change before you get there but we didn’t want to let the potential opportunity go by unannounced – reader tips often yield the most accurate, up-to-date info on vaccination opportunities. The clinic is scheduled to be open until 4:30 pm.
12:19 PM: Great day to be on the water, with this break in the weather after all the storminess these past two weeks! Thanks to everyone who texted/emailed about the passing sailboats – the photo above is by David Hutchinson. This is the Three Tree Point Yacht Club‘s Duwamish Head Race. 48 boats are listed as registered; race results will be here later.
12:43 PM: Thanks to Gary Jones for more photos: