month : 01/2022 300 results

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Armed-robbery investigation

(Added: WSB photo, police @ robbery scene)

8:23 PM: Police have converged on the Origins cannabis store in The Junction to investigate a report the store was held up at gunpoint. Here’s what we’re hearing from officers and dispatch: The store was robbed by three men in their 20s, who got away with some merchandise and two registers. The early description information is that the robbers were Black, all thin-to-medium build, wearing face masks, one taller than 6′ and carrying what was described to police as an “Uzi,” another shorter than 6′, no clothing description so far. They were last seen headed westbound on Edmunds from 40th (the store is at that corner). A K9 team (from the King County Sheriff’s Office, as no SPD K9 team was available) is on the way to join the search.

8:30 PM: More detailed descriptions of two of the robbers – the one with the “Uzi” wore a blue coat, black beanie, and dark pants, and is about 6’2″ and slender; another about 5’6″ and 180 pounds, carrying a tan “Glock-type” gun, wearing a red hoodie and dark pants. Only one added detail for the third robber – wearing a “paintball mask.”

10:10 PM: No further updates since then; we’ll be requesting the report in the morning.

10 AM THURSDAY: Only one additional detail in the preliminary summary – that one description matched that of a suspect in a carjacking 20 minutes earlier near 35th/Morgan. W4’re requesting the report on that and will publish separately when we have details.

WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: See early designs for 13 station alternatives, as shown to new advisory group

(Sound Transit recording of Tuesday’s meeting)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Three stations are planned for Sound Transit‘s West Seattle light-rail extension – Delridge, Avalon, The Junction. Each one still has multiple potential locations under study, but the newest ST public presentation provided an official detailed look at early design possibilities for all of them.

That happened during the first meeting of the West Seattle/Duwamish Community Advisory Group for the project, which is now projected to launch light rail to/from the peninsula in 2032.

The slide deck for this meeting ran 119 pages – you can scroll through for the closest look yet at all the station possibilities that are being studied and will be part of what’s addressed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement:

Read More

FOLLOWUP: City’s initial plans for Highland Park Way post-landslides

(SDOT photo, Tuesday afternoon)

Two lanes of Highland Park Way will remain closed until at least tomorrow, SDOT says, in the aftermath of two landslides (Friday and Tuesday). That’s a “safety precaution due to the risk of more landslides while it continues to rain,” according to spokesperson Ethan Bergerson. So what’s being done to address the ongoing risk? Bergerson says SDOT is working with Seattle Parks – which owns much of the slope alongside the uphill lanes – “to plan temporary erosion-control measures now, as well as to promote more vegetation in the spring.” Among those measures are “concrete blocks at the base of the hill to support and hold back the land” – those were installed before the road was partly reopened last night. In spring, when conditions are better for vegetation growth, the plan includes hydroseeding the slope “to protect the near surface soils.”

These slides came five years after a massive slide closed the same stretch for two days. Five months after that, the City Council was considering supplemental-budget funding for a $60,000 “rock buttress” along that same section of Highland Park Way; we’re still researching what eventually happened – Google Street View shows concrete blocks along part of the road, across from the SW Othello intersection – adjacent to where the new ones have been placed, as shown in the top photo, following Tuesday’s slide.


James Borrow, who often shares photos of interesting offshore sights, photographed that boat off Alki on Tuesday. We asked the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife what kind of research its crew was doing. Here’s what WDFW’s Chase Gunnell found out for us: “Our understanding is that boat is contracted by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to do test fishing (also known as catch sampling) for Puget Sound winter Chinook (also known as blackmouth) and other salmon in coordination with WDFW during the ongoing Marine Area 10 winter salmon season.” That season opened on New Year’s Day and is scheduled to run through the end of March, allowing fishing on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, with a daily limit of one salmon. Gunnell says WDFW has its own boat out test-fishing those three days, as well, and has staff doing spot checks at area boat ramps including Don Armeni – here are the charts of what they’ve found.

SIDE NOTE: This past weekend, we learned from Gunnell, some of the people fishing off West Seattle were participating in the annual Tengu Blackmouth Derby – a derby with an 85-year history. Here’s the story.

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: King County Water Taxi’s new pet policy unleashed

(WSB photo)

No, the dogs aren’t unleashed, just the policy. A few canine companions of Metro employees joined King County Executive Dow Constantine at a brief Seacrest event this morning to spotlight the new policy allowing dogs (leashed) and cats (in carriers) aboard the King County Water Taxi. We mentioned the policy change on Tuesday. What about other pets? readers wondered, so we asked. Maybe down the road, Metro says. We also asked whether this really entailed more than just saying hey, guess what, you can bring your dog or cat aboard. Answer: Yes – it required U.S. Coast Guard approval, because of capacity limits. You can read the full KCWT pet policy (just one page long) here.

Side note – independent of the new policy, one dog had a backstory:

Jim is holding KC Metro, adopted after being found, abandoned, on board a Metro Route 36 bus.

BIZNOTE: West Bay Coffee and Smoothies crowdfunding to stay afloat after weather damage

(Photo courtesy GoFundMe)

“I didn’t want to lose my business … I could not imagine closing.”

That’s why Jennifer West is going to drastic lengths, including seeking crowdfunding, to keep her independent drive-up/ride-up West Bay Coffee and Smoothies in business after weather damage threatened to end its 14-year run at 2255 Harbor Avenue SW.

The stand shares water service with the larger commercial building on the site. Pipes broke during the recent ultra-cold weather, West says, flooding the larger building. She says the property manager proposed just cutting off service, which would force her to move. Or, she could fix the lines affecting the stand, at her own expense. She also has no access to a restroom or storage in the main building. So she’s paid for the plumbing to her stand, a new porta-potty just delivered yesterday, and is working on a new storage shed.

All that costs money, so she launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding page this week. “It’s been a nightmare but we’re working through the logistics to try to remain open,” West tells WSB. As the synopsis on the crowdfunding page says, she’s already gone through a lot, as have so many businesses – “We’ve been through covid exposures, weathered ongoing supply-chain issues and enormous supply price hikes, while trying to keep everyone safe” – she can’t bear to throw in the towel now.

Mayor extends eviction moratorium one more month

11:34 AM: Seattle’s eviction moratorium – which was about to expire – will be extended another month. Mayor Bruce Harrell announced that decision this morning. He’s also continuing to suspend utility shutoffs for another 90 days, and continuing the suspension of “booting” parking-ticket scofflaws indefinitely. The eviction moratorium affects residential, small business, and nonprofit tenants and their landlords, and that will continue until February 14th. The mayor is also issuing an order telling city departments to collect data on effects of the moratorium, and to evaluate coordination of the types of relief that are available, among other big-picture steps. We’ll link the full announcement when it’s available.

1:13 PM: Here’s the announcement.


(Photo by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

Here’s what’s up for the hours ahead:

SECOND SHIP AT T-5: A late add to the frequently revised shipping schedule (since our last check Wednesday), AS Carlotta is at Terminal 5 today, second ship to call at the newly modernized north berth. This is a smaller ship than the one that called last week.

NEW CLASSES AT DELRIDGE CC: More new winter classes start today – including a “Let’s Make Cats” craft class for kids at 4 pm and all-ages karate at 5:30 pm. Contact Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW) for registration information.

SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD: For those interested in whether the COVID situation will be discussed, the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors‘ next meeting is at 4:15 pm today, online. Here’s the agenda, which includes information on how to view the meeting.

WESTSIDE SCHOOL INFO NIGHT: Future middle-schooler in the household? Westside School (WSB sponsor) has an online information night for you tonight at 6 pm. Our calendar listing explains how to register to attend.

SPORTS MEDICINE TALK: “What are the 3 key functional tests every runner should be able to perform?” Get the answer to that question, and more, at 6:20 pm tonight, when West Seattle Runner hosts Lake Washington Physical Therapy (both WSB sponsors) for a free talk at the shop. (2743 California SW)

34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: Monthly meeting online – 6:30 pm pre-meeting presentation about how the pandemic is affecting mental health, 7:30 pm monthly meeting with items including board elections and annual awards. Here’s the link for registering to attend.

Something to list on our calendar? Email the info to – thank you!

VACCINATION: West Seattle clinic for kids this Saturday

January 12, 2022 9:40 am
|    Comments Off on VACCINATION: West Seattle clinic for kids this Saturday
 |   Coronavirus | West Seattle news

Families of 5-to-11-year-olds who are still looking for COVID-19 vaccination opportunities for their kids are invited to one this Saturday morning in West Seattle. 9 am-noon on Saturday (January 15th), Neighborhood Naturopathic (5410 California SW) is hosting a clinic for kids, and they don’t have to be current clinic patients. For those who get their first dose that day, a second-dose clinic is planned 9 am-noon February 5th. For an appointment, and/or if you have questions, call 206-486-8383.

Remembering Deborah Lin Smith, 1966-2021

Family and friends are remembering Deborah Lin Smith and sharing this remembrance with her community:

Deborah (Deb) Lin Smith passed away December 15, 2021, at the age of 55 after a battle with cancer.

Deb was born to Ronald and Karin Smith in Seattle, and shortly thereafter the family moved to Billings, Montana. Deb attended Boulder Elementary, Will James Junior High, and Billings West High School, graduating in 1984. She was always an excellent student and attended the University of California, San Diego, studying molecular biology. She received her Bachelor of Science in molecular biology in 1988.
Upon graduation, she moved to Seattle, where she lived the rest of her life. Her first job there was at The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and later she worked as a bench scientist at Zymogenetics.

A blind date led her to meet Mark Anderson, and they fell in love. They married July 13, 1996, on a record-breaking hot summer day, and thereafter made their roots in West Seattle. Their 25th wedding anniversary was celebrated this past July. The greatest joys in her life were her two daughters: Hanna, now a senior at Tufts University, and Keira, a senior in high school.

Deb was always a sports enthusiast, playing varsity volleyball in high school and on intramural teams. She was a loyal fan of the Sounders, Storm, and the University of Washington Huskies. She was an excellent cook and baker and loved exploring new tastes and flavors. She always had a love for animals, especially dogs, and her yellow lab Bailey will miss her dearly.

She participated in many volunteer activities including at the YMCA, the Red Cross, voter registration, and at Swedish hospital as a cuddler of newborns. She also spent much of her time while the girls were growing up attending their many concerts and sporting events including soccer, volleyball, basketball, and crew.

Personal relationships were always very important to Deb, and she maintained and treasured those throughout her life. She had a vast number of friends that she met through high school and college and later through involvement in tennis, her gym, and of course the many friends she met through involvement with her daughters’ activities.

She is preceded in death by her grandparents, and survived by her husband Mark, daughters Hanna and Keira, parents Ron and Karin Smith, brother Len Smith (Maura), sister Erika Smith, her in-laws Anne and Warren Anderson, her sister-in-law Kristi Anderson, and her many nieces and nephews.

A private family service will be held at a later date. To share your condolences and memories of Deb with her family and friends, visit In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in her memory to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, directed toward lung cancer research at

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

TRAFFIC, WEATHER, TRANSIT: Wednesday watch, with another pothole alert

6:27 AM Good morning!


Even warmer today, according to the forecast – which predicts rain and a high in the mid-to-upper 50s.


No update so we’re assuming it’s still one lane each way between Holden and West Marginal, following Tuesday’s slide. Here are the relevant cameras:

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden:


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.


659th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.

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

The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):

South Park Bridge:

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

Are movable bridges opening for vessels? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed can tell you; 1st Ave. S. Bridge openings are also tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.

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


We featured a few on Monday and Tuesday. For today, another report, from Ellie;

Coming along East Marginal Way toward the bridge … there are some wicked potholes. I was in the center lane and around Lucile (maybe a little further North) saw the car ahead swerve and then saw potholes but I had cars either side of me so kept on course. That resulted in two flat tires – I made it to the Jack in the Box parking lot which seemed the safest place to go and over the next hour when waiting for a tow truck saw at least four other cars (all sedans) come in with flat tires. Wish that I had swerved too but it was thick traffic and didn’t feel safe to do so. Wanted to pass along in case it’s helpful for other commuters!

Here’s how to report potholes.

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

UPDATE: Pole fire, power outage in Lowman Beach area

11:12 PM: Thanks to Aaron for the tip. SFD is at a call on Lincoln Park Way described as a “transformer fire,” and they’ve asked SPD to close the street to traffic.

(Added: Reader photo)

11:38 PM: SFD has closed out the call. But a texter and commenters report power’s out in the Lowman Beach area – nothing on the Seattle City Light map, though.

11:43 PM: Mapped now – 249 customers out.

1:16 AM: Still out, going on two hours.

9:29 AM: As noted in commenters, the power was restored around 6:30 am, after about seven hours.

2:29 PM: We asked SCL spokesperson Jenn Strang for more specifics on what went wrong. She explained, “Crews determined that the equipment failure [which sparked the fire] originated in the primary insulators. This can sometimes occur during wet weather.”

GRATITUDE: West Seattle shelter’s ‘call for help’ answered, dozens kept warm

(WSB photo, December)

The snow has melted and the temperature has risen into the 50s. West Seattle’s only emergency cold-weather shelter has closed its doors, for now. Its operator wants to share these words of thanks:

To all the true Neighbors of the West Seattle Community – thank you so much for your rapid and generous support to the call for help for the American Legion Post 160 and West Seattle Veteran Center Cold Weather Shelter. With your donations and help, we were able to stay open throughout the cold weather event to serve more than 50 individuals in their time of need. This is a grass-roots all-volunteer operation, only possible through your generosity.

The shelter has now suspended operation with the temperatures in the 40s and 50s. We will be prepared to re-open when the need arises. Winter is not yet over. Thank you.

Keith Hughes, Commander
West Seattle American Legion Post 160
President, West Seattle Veteran Center

As mentioned here in our coverage last month, the only city help for the shelter was a promise to cover the utility bills. Community members donated everything from cots to food to socks, plus volunteer hours.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Brewery prowler; business-district vandalism; car with gunfire damage

Three cases in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:

BREWERY PROWLER: From Best of Hands Barrelhouse proprietor Nicholas Marianetti:

Last night/this morning between 4 & 5 am we caught … a prowler on our outdoor cameras.

Looks to be white male in his 40s-50s. Blue Seahawks beanie, gray puffy coat, blue jeans, and tennis shoes. He broke parts of our fence in order to gain access to our back deck where our outdoor walk-in sits.

No further damage was caused as we believe he was deterred by the bar-lock on our walk-in. We’ve had our walkin broken into, and product stolen before. We’d like to ask our neighbors to help us in remaining vigilant.

If you have any tips – or new suspicious activity to report (Best of Hands is at 35th/Webster, in the building with a cow on the roof), you can refer to SDOT incident 22-900827.

BUSINESS-DISTRICT VANDALISM: Michelle sent the photos this morning after noticing this scene outside businesses on the east side of the 2300 block of California SW:

This was “mid-cleanup,” she explained, adding that she reported it to police and described it as including planters, trash, and excrement. One business in that block has reported a chronic problem with the latter. We don’t have a police report number on this but will add it if we get one.

CAR DAMAGED BY GUNFIRE: This is from a preliminary police summary: A car was damaged by gunfire while parked for a week in the 6300 block of 16th SW (the report doesn’t specify whether it was on the street or in a private driveway). The car was parked on January 2nd or 3rd; a friend of its owner reported seeing the damage on January 4th. The owner returned to her car late last night and reported the damage. The police summary says, “The vehicle sustained numerous bullet impacts to the driver-side rear passenger window and door.”

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Highland Park Way hill partly reopens, 5+ hours after another slide

12:24 PM: Just happening now: Police are closing Highland Park Way hill, both ways, because of another slide. “Just like last week,” one officer radioed in. Last week, you’ll recall, a slide closed that stretch of the crucial detour route for a day and a half.

12:34 PM: Thanks to the texter who sent that photo taken before the road was closed. Unlike last week, the power lines do not appear to have been affected this time. (added) Here’s the traffic camera at the bottom of the hill:

2:04 PM: Complicating matters on one detour-route-detour, SPD and SFD are responding to word of a 4-vehicle crash at Delridge/Roxbury, reported to be blocking southbound lanes.

2:36 PM: Just checked with SDOT, which tells us, “the current status is that we have a crew on site performing cleanup and they are planning to place ecology blocks. TBD on when the roads will reopen.” (We also flagged them that the traffic cameras are down again.)

3:48 PM: Cameras are working now. (Here’s the direct link to the one at the top of the hill, currently looking west of Holden.)

4:48 PM: Just went to the top of the hill and walked part of the way down to get a glimpse of the cleanup.

A backhoe was at work, and there’s a lot to scoop up – we’ve just received additional images from earlier – Kay Kirkpatrick says about 100 feet of slope slid:

5:11 PM: And just tweeted by SDOT:

5:43 PM: One lane has reopened each way, SDOT just announced, after 5 1/2 hours.

6:07 PM: Metro Route 131 has resumed service on the hill, too.

6:26 PM: SDOT adds in a news release, “Additional lanes of the road and sidewalk may be reopened once geological experts verify that the area is safe to travel through.”

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Community Task Force will continue, mayor decides

(Added: Frame-grab from SDOT cam atop bridge today)

The West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force was convened by former Mayor Jenny Durkan, so its members have been wondering if her successor would keep it going. We’ve been following up on that, and the decision just in is, yes. Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s office tells us the CTF members have just received this:

Dear West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force Members,

Thank you for your commitment and dedication to Seattle — I deeply appreciate the service you’ve provided to your communities and to the City as a whole as members of the Community Task Force. As we continue to work toward a mid-2022 re-opening of the West Seattle Bridge and measure our progress toward restoring it to full capacity, I believe it is critical that this effort continue to benefit from the input and guidance of a cross-section of West Seattle and Duwamish Valley community members.

It is clear to me that you have developed expertise on the issues surrounding the closure and the repair project methodologies and milestones. Just as important, the Task Force has come to be known as a trusted conduit for sharing information about the repair project and traffic mitigation measures to the community, while also providing a means for community members to voice their concerns and ask questions of City staff and contractors about ongoing work. Again, thank you.

With these benefits provided by the Community Task Force in mind, I would like to accept your gracious offer to continue meeting until the repairs of the West Seattle High Bridge are complete and traffic is restored. I would also like to extend a special thank you to your co-chairs, Paulina López and former Mayor Greg Nickels, for their steady leadership and bringing this request to my attention.

I hope each and every one of you will be willing to continue your service to the City on the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force. Please consider yourselves reappointed as Community Task Force members through the completion of the High Bridge Repair project. I have directed my staff, along with SDOT project staff, to work with you on developing an appropriate meeting cadence between now and the day this summer we can celebrate together the reopening of the bridge.

Bruce A. Harrell, Mayor

Now the question is when the group will next meet for its monthly briefing, as the repair work continues. We’ll add that information when we find out.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: SDOT says the next meeting is set for February 10th, 4-6 pm.

WATER TAXI: Want to take your dog or cat on board? Finally you can

While dogs and cats are allowed on Metro buses, they haven’t been allowed on the King County Water Taxi – until now. Metro has just announced the policy change to allow pets on board both the West Seattle and Vashon Island routes. The announcement says, “The new policy allowing cats (in carriers) and dogs (on a leash or in a carrier) is the result of the Water Taxi staff listening and responding to the needs of riders. A growing number of riders use the Water Taxi as an alternative to driving, but for some it only works if they can bring their pet for the trip.” King County Executive Dow Constantine plans to formally announce the change during a media event at Seacrest tomorrow.

3 school-info events, 7 community meetings, more for your West Seattle Tuesday

January 11, 2022 9:45 am
|    Comments Off on 3 school-info events, 7 community meetings, more for your West Seattle Tuesday
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Memories of Sunday sunshine – photo by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

Much is happening in the hours ahead – here are spotlight events, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

NORTHWEST SEAPORT ALLIANCE MANAGING MEMBERS: Four days after the first cargo-ship call at modernized Terminal 5, the port commissioners of Seattle and Tacoma meet as managing members of the Northwest Seaport Alliance, 11 am online. The agenda explains how to sign up to comment; the livestream will be here.

WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES WINTER MEETING: Get updates on WSF operations and planning during this 1 pm online meeting -final of two sessions for WSF’s winter community updates. Our calendar listing includes the link for registration to get the connection info.

WINTER CLASSES @ DELRIDGE CC: Piano lessons start at 3 pm; Creative Ballet starts at 4:30 pm. Lots going on this winter at Delridge Community Center; contact the center to register. (4501 Delridge Way SW).

DINE OUT & HELP YOUNG ATHLETES: 5-9 pm at Chipotle in The Junction (4730 California SW), part of the proceeds will go to a Pacific NW Soccer team comprised largely of West Seattle girls. The code to use for your online order is in our calendar listing. 10:39 AM: Update – organizers say Chipotle has canceled this due to a personnel shortage.

SOUND TRANSIT’S WS COMMUNITY ADVISORY GROUP: 5-7 pm online, the Community Advisory Group for the West Seattle/Duwamish River section of the light-rail expansion will meet. The agenda is centered on station planning. You can watch the livestream here.

TILDEN SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 6-8:30 pm, prospective families are welcome to small-group tours – but pre-registration is required, so see our calendar listing and sign up by email or phone ASAP.

WESTSIDE SCHOOL INFORMATION NIGHT: 6-7:15 pm online, prospective families of preschool through 4th graders can find out more about Westside School (WSB sponsor). Our calendar listing has registration information so you can get the link.

HOPE LUTHERAN PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 6 pm, find out about attending preschool at Hope Lutheran. Info is in our calendar listing.

CAMP SECOND CHANCE COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE: 6 pm online, your monthly chance to hear updates, and ask questions, about West Seattle’s only city-supported tiny-house encampment. Attendance info is in our calendar listing.

CHIEF SEALTH IHS PTSA: 7 pm online, all welcome – the announcement says “the Sealth social workers will be sharing mental-health resources for students. Mr. Morales will join us to provide an update on Sealth and answer questions. He’ll be speaking after the social workers in the agenda. Here is the Teams link.”

FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: 7 pm online, the FCA board meets for a variety of updates. Community members are welcome – here’s how to register to attend.

(added) ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 7 pm meeting in-person at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill) and online – here’s the connection information:
Meeting ID: 534 274 4589
By phone: One-tap mobile

BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!

There’s more on our calendar – and if you have something to add for the future, email us the info at – thank you!

Eligible for Medicare? Explore your options with a local expert

With the Medicare open-enrollment period under way, Patrice Lewis of We Speak Medicare has returned as a WSB sponsor. She says Medicare open enrollment continues until March 31st “so if you have an MA plan and are thinking of making a change, give me a call. I can help you figure out whether to stay with your current plan or switch to one that will better suit your needs. If you are newly eligible for Medicare, let me help you more fully understand how it works, what your options are, and what to consider when deciding on the plan that will work best for you.” She also does presentations and individual sessions at the Senior Center of West Seattle (next one at 1 pm this Thursday – call 206-932-4044 to register) as well as presentations via Zoom. See her website at for contact info or call 206-430-3782.

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Tuesday watch, with another pothole alert

8:14 AM: Texter says there’s a massive puddle over NB Fauntleroy by the ferry dock.


6:01 AM Good morning!


Rainy, windy, warmer, according to the forecast – which predicts a high in the 50s.


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.


658th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. As of early today, SDOT cameras were back up:

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

The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):

South Park Bridge:

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden:

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

Are movable bridges opening for vessels? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed can tell you; 1st Ave. S. Bridge openings are also tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.

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


We featured a few on Monday. Then this one came in – westbound Spokane under the bridge near 26th, sent by Mitchell:

Here’s evidence of the toll it’s taken:

Mitchell said, “I’ve watched it blow out 10 hub caps and pop 3 tires including my own!” They’ve been reported. Here’s our story from last week on how to report potholes (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.

FOLLOWUP: Seattle Public Library’s closures aren’t just virus-related

(Sign on door of West Seattle branch Sunday, photographed by Gina)

Today was the first day in four days that West Seattle didn’t have a Seattle Public Library branch closed for what the system called “staffing shortages.” Several branches around the city were closed on each of three days – Friday, including the Southwest branch; Saturday, including the Delridge branch; and Sunday, including the West Seattle (Admiral) branch. We followed up as promised, to ask if the shortages were the result of COVID, or something else. Here’s what SPL spokesperson Laura Gentry told WSB:

The Library has experienced low staffing numbers recently due to an increase in sick calls, an increase in vacation leaves around the holidays, and an increase in usage of family medical leave.

We do have an ongoing hiring effort to staff back up after receiving restored funding to do so. However, our first round of hiring resulted in several internal promotions, which has led to another round of hiring that requires additional orientation and training time. Even as we do become more fully staffed, it’s difficult to predict the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on our staff.

We do try to rotate which branches are closed due to low staffing in order to not impact certain neighborhoods more often than others. However, we also try to keep certain high-use branches open every day, if possible. These branches are often located near major transit lines and are geographically spread throughout the city to ensure coverage in all areas of Seattle.

We are currently taking a closer look at this approach to see if there is a way we can create more consistency for our patrons while we are in this situation.

West Seattle has four SPL branches, mapped here.

PANDEMIC UPDATES: Local check-in #26, 1/10/2022, with Seattle Public Schools’ testing results

Here’s our weekly update on local pandemic numbers, including the weekly Seattle Public Schools updates, just made public this evening, with results from the district’s recent mass testing. First, the countywide and local info:


*248,775 cases – 37,244 more than a week ago (9,245 total in West Seattle, up 1,330)
*9,750 hospitalizations – 438 more than a week ago (277 total from West Seattle, up 7)
*2,196 people have died – 31 more than the previous update (77 total in West Seattle, unchanged)


The SPS dashboard wasn’t updated until this evening, and it includes the results of the district-wide testing one week ago (SPS had said previously that about 4% of those tests were positive). Districtwide, the cumulative case total for this school year is 2,101, 807 more than a week earlier. Here’s the local school-by-school breakout (as always, these total also are cumulative):

West Seattle High School – 39, up 15
Chief Sealth International High School – 33, up 10
Denny International Middle School – 32, up 4
Louisa Boren STEM K-8 – 23, up 5
Arbor Heights Elementary – 22, up 7
Madison Middle School – 21, up 8
Alki Elementary – 19, up 13
Gatewood Elementary – 19, up 2
Fairmount Park Elementary – 18, up 6
Sanislo Elementary – 17, up 12
Pathfinder K-8 – 17, up 9
Genesee Hill Elementary – 17, up 3
Concord International (Elementary) – 15, up 6
Roxhill Elementary – 15, unchanged
West Seattle Elementary – 14, up 4
Highland Park Elementary – 14, unchanged
Lafayette Elementary – 11, up 1
BRIDGES @ Roxhill – 1, unchanged

The district’s newest pandemic-related message to families is here.


82.4% of King County residents 5+ have completed their vaccine series – up .5% from one week ago.

By West Seattle zip code – note that these numbers are still NOT available as 5+, so they reflect the percentage of 12+ population; the county has stopped calculating the boosted percentage, so we don’t have those numbers this time:
98106 – 88.5% completed series
98116 – 91.6% completed series
98126 – 83.5% completed series
98136 – 93.3% completed series
98146 – 83.8% completed series

(Find more COVID-related King County stats here.)


Boosters for teens and tweens – The recommendations for boosters expanded this week to include 12- to 17-year-olds.

Testing coverageThe White House has decreed how much COVID testing health-insurance providers must cover.


-The city-sponsored, UW Medicine-run West Seattle testing site at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle) is limiting testing to symptomatic/exposed people. Appointments can be made here (if you find an opening).

Curative continues operating two West Seattle testing locations – at Don Armeni Boat Ramp (1222 Harbor SW) and at Summit Atlas School (9601 35th SW)


The city-run vaccination hub at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW) continues Friday and Saturday operations; here’s where to look for an appointment. Pliable‘s Sunday clinics (same location) are on hiatus until January 30th.

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle High School graduate Hannah Shelfer’s art on display at U.S. Capitol

That artwork, “The Matriarchs” by West Seattle High School Class of 2021 graduate Hannah Shelfer. is now on display at the U.S. Capitol! Our area’s U.S. House Rep. Pramila Jayapal (also a West Seattleite) circulated the image this weekend, noting that the artist was this district’s winner in last year’s Congressional Art Competition. WSB reader Kathleen pointed this out and wondered if we could find out more about Hannah. We contacted her family, which tells us the artist is now a student at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., majoring in food science. Her award-winning painting, according to her family, “was inspired by the 2020 movie ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’. This digital piece was constructed using multiple layers of color and methods that approximate conventional painting and drawing tools. Hannah’s artwork earned her the Fine Arts Department Scholar Award in the WSHS 2021 graduating class.” Also while at WSHS, she was a swim-team athlete and, her family adds, also competed regionally and nationally as a team member of Pacific Waves Synchronized Swim Club.