West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Chris Frankovich for the beautiful dusk view, following a record-tying day – fifth consecutive day with a high past 90. If the temperature passes 90 again Sunday – as the forecast suggests it might – that’ll be a record-setting sixth day. But the Excessive Heat Warning alert is still set to expire at 9 pm Sunday, and Monday is supposed to be close to the upper-70s norm. The quest to keep cool led to a busy day at Alki Beach, as photographed by David Hutchinson:
If the forecast holds, next Thursday might not even get to 70.
10:04 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a “scenes of violence” response to the 5600 block of California SW for what the dispatcher has described as someone reported to have been “stabbed in the back with scissors.” Updates to come.
10:14 PM: The SFD response was downsized and then completely closed, indicating no serious injuries.
10:25 PM: Police are still in the area, though (but inside a building and unavailable for questions), and there’s indication a suspect may still be at large.
ADDED SUNDAY MORNING: Seattle Fire spokesperson Kristin Tinsley says their responders evaluated a ~20-year-old man who “did not want to go to the hospital.”
While awaiting marathon swimmer Alison Peterson‘s arrival at Alki Point, we got a glimpse of one of today’s other big events = the Seattle Outrigger Canoe Club‘s annual “Da Grind” races. Paddlers raced on one of two courses, four miles and 12 miles. The outriggers we saw were on the long course, which went to Blake Island and back.
One more human-powered boat-racing event is yet to come this summer off Alki – Sound Rowers’ Great Cross-Sound Race is set for August 27th.
6:56 PM: Earlier we noted orcas were off West Seattle, southbound. If you missed them then – you have another chance; Chris Frankovich just texted to say they are off Three Tree Point, headed northbound toward Seola/The Arroyos. Let us know if you see them!
7:43 PM: Kersti Muul says they’re passing Brace Point now.
This time it’s not a boat shortage but a crew shortage that has Washington State Ferries canceling runs on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. WSF says the #1 boat will tie up after the 7:35 pm Fauntleroy-Vashon run and will remain out of service for the rest of the night, which means: “This will cancel the 8:50 p.m. from Fauntleroy to Vashon, 9:15 p.m. Vashon to Southworth and the 9:35 p.m. from Southworth to Vashon on the #2 schedule.”
Less than an hour ago, Alison Peterson completed her first marathon swim in style – arriving at Alki Point about six and a half hours after leaving Bremerton. Her husband Erik and daughters Marcella and Eloise were on the beach to welcome her.
The 10.4-mile swim between Bremerton and Alki Point is known as the Amy Hiland Swim, after the woman who was the first known swimmer to accomplish it, on August 1, 1959. The Northwest Open Water Swimming Association – many of whom swim regularly off Alki – revived it in recent years, after no one tried it in more than half a century; we reported on Erika Norris‘s success in 2016, and others followed. One year ago, in one weekend, Melissa Kegler became the first to swim it round trip, and the Silver Seals – six swimmers over 60 – did it as a relay.
NOWSA’s Amanda Winans – herself an Amy Hiland Swim veteran – told us before Peterson’s swim today that “Alison has enthusiastically supported other Alki swimmers over the years by crewing marathon swims and making delicious baked goods, and the community is excited that it’s her turn.”
Busy day in central Puget Sound – southbound orcas are off West Seattle (as are outrigger canoes and a marathon swimmer). Thanks to tipsters including Gary Jones and Kersti Muul who have sent word of the whales – Gary says they’re just south of Alki Point now, southbound. Let us know if you see them!
In the wake of Thursday morning’s ferry crash (WSB all-day coverage here), the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is back to two boats, but the damaged M/V Cathlamet remains out of service, likely for months. We asked WSF some followup questions Friday afternoon. Little new information was made available, but here’s what we have learned.
The U.S. Coast Guard continues leading the investigation into whether the ferry hit an offshore structure because of mechanical problems or human error, but there’s “no new news” on that, said WSF spokesperson Dana Warr. They weren’t able to tell us whether any of the crew on duty at the time have been cleared to return to work – but the captain who was at the helm of Cathlamet was definitely not back to work yet because, Warr said, the incident happened on “his ‘Friday’.” Still no additional information available regarding the captain’s background or years of service.
Cathlamet remains at WSF’s Eagle Harbor maintenance facility on Bainbridge Island “for further inspections and we’re working to make a claim with our insurance company to begin repair in the future. It looks like the work can be done dockside but that could change based on more inspections.” WSF’s supply of backup boats was already tight with M/V Kitsap being summoned to replace Cathlamet, but another boat will be completing repairs and resuming service soon – the M/V Tacoma, according to what WSF’s John Vezina told the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s Thursday night meeting.
As for the damaged dolphin – the offshore structure the Cathlamet hit – Warr said, “Evaluations continue but could be a week or more before removal of damaged pilings begin.” At the WSTC meeting, Vezina explained that the dolphins are helpful for guiding the ferry into the dock and keeping it there even in rough weather, but not essential, and there’s even new magnetic technology in development that could change the need for them.
Finally, we wondered about the car that was caught in the crumpled section of the ferry. “It is likely the car won’t be able to be removed until it is taken to a shipyard.”
In the Very Odd Theft category, in the 3200 block of 44th Ave SW, a raccoon stole a fountain pump out of our water feature. It was gray with an approximately five-foot electrical cord affixed to it. They took just the pump, not other parts, so it’s of no use as is. If someone finds it we’d love to get it back.
We wouldn’t have believed it, but a piece of foam filter was left in the yard (as evidence), plus there’s been ongoing signs of a raccoon messing with the fountain & pump. It also became more believable after my brother told me that, while camping, they saw a raccoon drag their backpack into the river! Please let us know through the blog if it should turn up somewhere. We’ve already scoured our yard (though it could be stuck in a bush or tree).
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll connect you.
Here’s what you should know about the first half of July’s last weekend:
TRAFFIC ALERTS: In the morning and evening, you might encounter parade floats on Harbor Avenue SW = here’s why. Otherwise, here’s SDOT’s list of work:
Starting at 5 PM Saturday, we’ll close the on-ramp from eastbound SW Spokane St to the Spokane St Viaduct, along with eastbound lanes of the Spokane St Viaduct. A signed detour will be in place along S Spokane St. All lanes will reopen by 5 AM, Monday, August 1. The closure is needed to install signage, striping, and new bridge expansion joints, which allow the bridge to expand and contract during winter and summer months.
On Saturday, asphalt crews will be working in the vicinity of 37th Ave SW and Fauntleroy SW. We anticipate work to begin as early as 6 AM and conclude by 4 PM. There will be minimal traffic impacts; however, you may experience delays in the area.
Also Saturday (and Sunday), we will be working at 16th Ave SW and SW Cambridge St to update curb bulbs and curb ramps. Traffic will be maintained throughout the work zone; however, please anticipate delays.
HOT-WEATHER CLOSURES: Southwest and West Seattle (Admiral) branches will be closed again today. Reader tells us Tony’s Market (35th/Barton) expected to be closed because of the heat. (added) Milpa Masa is closed, per a commenter. Anyplace else?
SWIMMING TO ALKI POINT: The Northwest Open Water Swimming Association has a swimmer, Alison Peterson, trying the Amy Hiland Swim (Bremerton to Alki Point) today – planning to start around 6:30 am and getting to Alki Point noonish if all goes well. You can watch the tracking beacon here.
BIRDS OF ROXHILL PARK: Join master birders for a 9 am walk in the park. (29th/Barton)
BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG MEETUP: Earlier time – now 10 am to noon at Westcrest Off-Leash Area (9000 8th SW). –
MORNING MUSIC: Marco de Carvalho and Friends, 10:30 am-noon at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
WADING POOL/SPRAYPARK: With the heat wave continuing, the city will open the wading pools, so the pool in central upper Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) will be open noon-7 pm. Also, Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) will be open 11 am-8 pm.
COLMAN POOL: You can swim at the outdoor pool on the Lincoln Park shore today, noon-7 pm.
POSTCARDING POP-UP: Postcards to Voters has a noon-1:30 pm pop-up today at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor)
VIETNAMESE CULTURAL CENTER: Open to visitors noon-3 pm, as noted here. (2234 SW Orchard)
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society museum is open on Alki, and you can visit noon-4 pm. (61st/Stevens)
DARE TO DANCE: Dance and watch dancing during this one-afternoon free festival at Roxhill Park (29th/Barton), 1-5 pm.
WINE TIME: The Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) tasting room – selling wine by the glass or bottle – is open 1-6 pm. (5910 California SW)
CAKE TIME: Lovely and Dapper Desserts pop-up at The Nook (2206 California SW), 4-10 pm.
DRAG SHOW AT THE SKYLARK: West End Girls monthly drag siw, doors at 7 pm, music at 8, $15 at door, all ages. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
(added) AT KENYON HALL: Ryegrass performs at 7:30 pm. (7904 35th SW)
WEST SEATTLE OUTDOOR MOVIES: Second of this summer’s five free screenings is at Hotwire Coffee (4410 California SW), gates open at 7:30 pm, movie – “Never-Ending Story.”
DRAG SHOW AT ADMIRAL PUB: 9 pm, free drag show at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW).
(added) DRAG SHOW AT BOX BAR: Another edition of Out at the Box, 9:30 pm. $10 suggested donation. (5401 California SW)
Something to add, for today/tonight or beyond? Email email@example.com – thank you!