West Seattle, Washington
9:35 PM: Seattle Fire is dispatching a water-rescue response by land and sea for what’s described as two paddleboarders struggling 500 to 600 yards off Alki Beach. Updates to come.
9:41 PM: Rescuers have made contact with the paddleboarders, they’ve told dispatch, and they’re “not in distress” – they’re on their way to shore. So most of the response is being canceled.
After a year-long closure, what was Be’s Restaurant at 4509 California SW in The Junction will reopen next week with a new name, Bonjour Vietnam. New furnishings, too.
Same ownership – Jade Nguyen, daughter of Be’s longtime owners, who (mostly) retired during the early pandemic shutdowns, after 35 years,
Jade has run The Alley speakeasy-style bar behind Be’s since 2018. She is almost done remodeling the restaurant, with plans for a soft open starting around 5 pm on Summer Fest Eve (next Thursday, July 14th). We talked with her there this evening. Changes include a higher ceiling and new lighting, plus front windows that open.
As for the food, she says the menu is still being finalized but as the new name implies, it’ll have both French and Vietnamese flavors – from escargot and paté to pho, banh mi, and vermicelli bowls. She says making a change just made sense, as trying to replicate Be’s offerings with a different chef after her parents’ retirement just wasn’t working. Another change: The restaurant space now includes a bar.
Though Be's was known in part for breakfast, that's not part of the starting plan, though Jade says brunch is likely in Bonjour Vietnam's future. Hours in the early going will be 11 am-11 pm Thursdays through Mondays "to see how it goes." An awning with the new name should arrive in time for next week's opening.
We’re now looking ahead daily/nightly to the return of West Seattle’s biggest party of the year, Summer Fest. While official festival dates are Friday-Sunday, July 15-17, the night before has taken on a life of its own, with people enjoying wandering the Junction streets closed for festival setup. As with most years, this year Summer Fest Eve (Thursday, July 14th) is also the monthly second Thursday West Seattle Art Walk night. You can see the list of participating businesses/venues and some early previews on the Art Walk website. The Art of Music is back, with two performances on Art Walk night, one that will be outdoors in The Junction and in the heart of Summer Fest Eve – awardwinning West African musician Naby Camera will be playing 6-7:45 pm at KeyBank Plaza.
While wandering The Junction on Summer Fest Eve, you can also expect to see and hear buskers, and look for a chance to get creative with chalk art! You can also visit Mural Alley – the midblock breezeway on the west side of California SW between SW Alaska and SW Edmunds – to see the community murals from Summer Fest 2018 and 2019, and get inspired to join artist Stacey Sterling in creating one this year (Friday and Saturday).
A highlight of years past has been food/drink venues setting up temporary sidewalk cafés; this year, some are already in place, so you can dine/drink outdoor, Or just wander! We’ll see you in the street (California between Genesee and Edmundsm Alaska between 42nd and 44th) one week from tonight.
A lot of people want to go to Zippy’s Giant Burgers (at least) one more time before they close forever after Sunday (as announced two days ago). Two nights running now, we’ve gotten word that they’ve sold out and closed early. The lines started early, too = we went over this morning to confirm they had reopened after the early closure last night, and in the 11 am hour there was already a line out into the parking lot.
So if you’re going, get there early tomorrow if you can – we’re told they plan to open at 10 am. (Thanks to everyone for the tips and photos!)
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed charges in three West Seattle cases of note:
THE CASE OF THE SLEEPING STOLEN-TRUCK SUSPECT: 24-year-old Hunter L. Boyce is charged with felony stolen-vehicle possession in a case we previously noted here – the theft of a landscaper’s work truck off West Marginal Way. Its owner reported the pickup was taken while he was out of town June 24-26. On June 29th, police found it in a North Seattle QFC parking lot, known to police as an area with what the charging papers describe as “high crime, including stolen vehicles.” They discovered three men sleeping inside. Boyce was asleep in the driver’s seat. The charging documents say he acknowledged knowing the truck was stolen but claimed somebody else had stolen it, a man he said he had gone to the lot to meet to get drugs. One of the other two men had an unrelated warrant and was arrested for that; the third, who was described as having a lot of personal property with him including “two pet mice,” was let go. Boyce remains in the King County Jail; he’s also being held for failing to appear in a separate burglary case.
ANOTHER ASLEEP-IN-A-CAR CASE: 45-year-old Kalin W. Laing is charged with unlawful gun possession after an arrest that started with him being found asleep in a car. In this case, it was a white 1999 BMW parked with both doors open and no plates, in an apartment building lot near 47th/Charlestown on June 22nd. Police found that the car had not been reported stolen but its title had been canceled. Laing, the charging documents say, had difficulty explaining whose car it was, but said he was at the building to visit someone he knew. Police discovered a gun and also found that he was a convicted felon, so that’s what led to his arrest and the charge. Laing, who lives in Port Orchard, remains in jail, bail set at $2,700.
THE CASE OF THE 3-MONTH-LONG BURGLARY: Sometimes charges aren’t immediate. This is one of those cases. The KCPAO charged 49-year-old Justin K. Dumas in June with second-degree burglary for a case in which he was arrested in April. He is accused of living in an apartment in Arrowhead Gardens, a senior complex in southeast West Seattle, without authorization, even changing the locks so management couldn’t get in. They had called police after discovering they were unable to enter an apartment that had been the subject of noise complaints for a month, even though it had supposedly been without a tenant for five months. Management gave officers permission to forcibly enter, and that’s when they found Dumas lying on a bed. Not only was he not authorized to be there, he was also too young to live in the complex anyway, according to the charging documents. Jail records show he spent five days in jail at the time of his initial arrest in April but is not currently in custody.
4:02 PM: Police and SFD are at the scene of a crash on SW Spokane just east of the low bridge, and officers have told dispatch that Spokane is blocked both ways. One of the vehicles involved in the crash is a Metro bus. More info when we get it.
4:16 PM: An aid car’s been requested, which indicates at least one person will be taken to the hospital.
4:39 PM: Traffic is now getting by both ways again.
7:25 PM: We followed up with SFD – turns out SFD did not need to take anyone to the hospital after all. SFD checked out three people, spokesperson David Cuerpo says:
34-year-old female with no reported injuries.
41-year-old female with minor injuries and did not require transportation to a hospital.
12-year-old female with minor injuries and did not require transportation to a hospital.
2:17 PM: Thanks to David Hutchinson for the photo, and to others for the tips. The Bremerton-homeported aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is outbound again, passing West Seattle while heading northbound earlier this afternoon. It’s currently off the west side of Whidbey Island, according to MarineTraffic.com. The last sighting here was less than two weeks ago, as Nimitz returned home from training.
4:35 PM: One tipster earlier mentioned the Nimitz was closer to Alki than usual when passing, The photo just added above, sent by Michael Ostrogorsky, shows what that looked like. Meantime, the carrier is now out in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, westbound.
As the Sound Transit Board gets closer to choosing a West Seattle/Ballard light rail “modified preferred alternative” for the final phase of environmental study, its Executive Committee just got its first look at an “example” drawn up by staff. You can see it in its entirety in the full slide deck; here’s the slide with the West Seattle section:
The “example” includes the West Seattle Junction “medium tunnel” (41st SW) option that the city is also supporting (as reported here earlier this week). While a Junction tunnel previously was expected to require “third-party funding,” this is now considered to be comparable in cost to an elevated option. As for Delridge, the “example” proposes the Andover lower-height option, aka DEL-6, which has been at the center of a lot of discussion lately because its displacement would include Transitional Resources, which provides supportive housing and behavioral-health services, and the Alki Beach Academy child-care center. TR’s CEO Darcell Slovek-Walker was among the speakers at the meeting-opening public-comment period, saying, “Not all displacements are created equal,” saying DEL-6 would take out two of their buildings housing formerly homeless people living with mental illness, as well as their headquarters.
Meantime, ST’s Cathal Ridge, while presenting the “example,” also made note of previously presented modifications that are still in play for cost-saving consideration, including eliminating the Avalon station, which he said could save $60 million:
Board chair Kent Keel took pains to stress that the “example” is a starting point for board discussion, not a fully shaped proposal awaiting approval or rejection. Some discussion ensued at today’s meeting, but rather than opinions on specific sections, it focused on the fact the board probably needs extra time before making a decision – so that may not happen at their July 28th meeting after all. Next discussion will be one week from today, when the board’s System Expansion Committee meets (1:30 pm July 14th). Whatever “modified preferred alignment” the board settles on, that still won’t be the final decision – that would follow the final Environmental Impact Statement next year.
Last December, the mixed-use project proposed for 9218 18th SW [map] got final Southwest Design Review Board approval (WSB coverage here), and today, after staff review, the city has published a key decision for the project, which is summarized as “a 5-story, 48-unit apartment building with retail,” with 28 offstreet-parking spaces. Publication of the decision opens a two-week appeal period; this notice explains how to appeal. The project still needs other permits/approvals before construction can begin.
BACKSTORY: The proposal for this site first appeared in city files in March 2020; it was originally envisioned with up to 76 units, but that number dropped as the project went through reviews. The triangular site was upzoned during the HALA process.
Here’s what’s happening (and NOT happening) in the hours ahead:
SOUND TRANSIT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Happening now (10:30 am-noon), this committee of the Sound Transit Board is having its monthly meeting; an update on the West Seattle/Ballard plan is on the agenda (which explains how to watch).
WADING POOLS OPEN: Partly sunny and warm today, so the city will open the pools that are scheduled for Thursday operations. In West Seattle, that means Delridge (4501 Delridge Way SW), noon-5:30 pm, and Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW), noon-7 pm. Highland Park Spraypark at 1100 SW Cloverdale is also open, 11 am-8 pm.
COLMAN POOL CLOSED: The outdoor pool at Lincoln Park is NOT open to the public today, because of a swim meet.
LIVE MUSIC AT OTTER ON THE ROCKS: Starting at 6:30 pm, enjoy solo piano music at Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way).
BOARD GAME NIGHT: Come try something new at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), 6:30-10 pm.
BATTLESTAR KALAKALA: Doors 8 pm, music 9 pm, for first-Thursday funk at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 21+, $15 cover.
Have something to add to our calendar? Email info to email@example.com – thank you!
The new school year is two months away but it’s time for donations to the long-running Pencil Me In For Kids school-supply drive. Several businesses are dropoff spots, according to this update from Judy Pickens:
Canine Casa Pet Salon owner Cherie Rahm and client Moose received materials this week from volunteer Doug Gunwaldsen as the Fauntleroy community kicks off its support of West Seattle Rotary‘s annual Pencil Me In For Kids school-supply drive. Salon customers are invited to drop off supplies through July 31 to equip students in need when they return to area schools.
Other donation bins are at Fauntleroy Church, West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA, Treo Organic Salon, and Wildwood Market in Fauntleroy, plus Keller Williams Seattle (5446 California Ave. SW). Cash donations are also welcome here so that drive coordinators may buy supplies in bulk.
6:03 AM: Good morning; welcome to Thursday, July 7th.
The forecast is cloudy but probably rain-free, high in the 70s.
Pavement reconstruction continues on California SW between SW Frontenac and SW Myrtle.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro buses are on their regular weekday schedule; watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.
The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.
Ferries: WSF continues on the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth – and WSF says that probably won’t change before next spring. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
837th 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.)
1st Avenue South Bridge:
South Park Bridge:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way (one of four recently installed cameras):
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.