West Seattle, Washington
Ernie Norgard is such a good neighbor, his neighbors in an area west of The Junction got together tonight to wish him a happy birthday.
It’s a milestone birthday – Ernie is turning 90 tomorrow.
Sue, who told us about tonight’s celebration, explained, “He’s a inspiration & a helpful kind man who does yard work for some lucky neighbors (including me)!” Check out this mowing/edging job:
Ernie has lived in West Seattle his entire life, Sue tells us.
As reported here earlier, SDOT says the repaired West Seattle Bridge aced its “load testing” and remains on track to reopen Sunday after two and a half years. Here are some other miscellaneous bridge-related notes.
WHAT DID YOU PAY? The pie chart above is courtesy of U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell‘s office, breaking down the bridge-project price tag in a news release sent in advance of an event tomorrow at which she and other elected officials will discuss the reopening. “Of the project’s $66.94 million repair costs more than half – $37.65 million – came from federal funding sources,” Cantwell’s news release notes.
ABOUT THE WEBCAMS: The SDOT webcams on the high bridge stayed up for much of the closure – until the sign structures were replaced; they’ve been down since then. We asked if they would return in time for the reopening; SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson says, “Our traffic operations center has been working on restoring traffic cameras around the West Seattle area. If everything goes according to plan, they hope to have the West Seattle bridge deck cameras operational by the time the bridge opens.” A few others around the area have been down a while too, such as Highland Park Way/Holden, and those are also on SDOT’s list.
DELRIDGE LIBRARY BRIDGE WISHES: Beatriz Pascual-Wallace at Delridge Library sent this photo and report:
Just for fun: Delridge Library invited patrons and staff to share the first place they will go when the bridge reopens. These are the responses so far. Where will you go first???
(We asked about the PCC mention – she explained that was from someone who lives off-peninsula.)
BREWING THE BRIDGE BEER: As mentioned last week, local brewers teamed up to brew a special beer to celebrate West Seattle “reuniting” with the rest of the city, and you’ll be able to try it starting Sunday. The collaborators put together a short promotional video and sent us the link:
OTHER CELEBRATORY EVENTS: The West Seattle Junction Association says the week following the bridge reopening will be full of specials at local businesses and some other ways to commemorate the “reunion” – among the special events the first full weekend with the bridge are the Wine Walk on Friday, September 23rd, and the 8-Bit Brass Band performing at California/Alaska at 5:30 pm Saturday, September 24th.
With the help of that video, Seattle Fire investigators have now ruled at least one of Morgan Junction’s recent fires as arson. As reported last night, the video shows the start of last Sunday night’s fire along an alley off the 4300 block of SW Graham. We had been asking SFD about the recent fires and noted that the video had emerged. SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley told WSB today, “The video has been shared with both SFD fire investigators and SPD for any follow-up that may occur. From this footage, SFD fire investigators have made the determination that the fire on 9/11 was intentionally set.” But that’s the only one ruled as arson so far; Tinsley says the Monday fire at California/Eddy is “not being investigated as suspicious after all,” and last night in the 6500 block of California SW, though the initial dispatch was labeled “dumpster fire,” she says “no evidence of a fire was found by responding firefighters.” She also recommends that the property owners on Graham file police reports if they haven’t already – the block had Saturday and Tuesday fires as well as the one on Sunday shown in the video (for which a police report has been filed, 22-920094). We also asked her if there’s anything people can do to try to protect their property from fires, intentionally set or otherwise; she recommended this link on the SFD website.
4:48 PM: Thanks for the tips (and to Michael for the photo). Genesee between Avalon and Delridge is blocked by a jackknifed semi truck.
5:30 PM: Metro has issued reroute alerts for buses that usually use that section of Genesee.
5:50 PM: Next photo is from Mike, showing the other side:
6:09 PM: As of a few minutes ago, Mike says it’s not cleared yet.
7:05 PM: Cleared.
The countdown to the West Seattle Bridge reopening Sunday will continue uninterrupted. SDOT has just sent word that the load-test results have been analyzed, and the bridge passed the test:
Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has completed the analysis of strength tests conducted earlier this week on the West Seattle Bridge, and the bridge has passed its final safety test. This data confirms the bridge is strong, safe, and ready to reopen on Sunday, September 18. …
Earlier this week, SDOT conducted load testing on the bridge to confirm that it is structurally sound and able to reopen thanks to the repairs that have been completed over the past two and a half years. This testing process involved driving a dozen 80,000-pound trucks on the bridge deck, then actively measuring the bridge’s response to the added weight using sensors.
SDOT is confident that the repaired bridge will stand strong for decades to come, fulfilling its original intended lifespan.
The bridge is stronger and safer now that we have added nearly 60 miles of steel cable “backbone” to the bridge, 100,000 square feet of carbon fiber wrapping, and 240 gallons of epoxy to fill cracks in the bridge’s concrete.
The bridge now includes an extensive, sophisticated bridge monitoring system that can detect subtle movements or any growth of existing cracks. The safety system runs 24/7 and automatically alerts engineers immediately of any issues that would require further inspection.
Still no announcement of exactly when on Sunday the bridge will reopen after the 2 1/2-year shutdown. We have other reopening-related notes to bring you a little later today but wanted to get this announcement out immediately.
Two of Westwood Village’s vacant spaces have tenants on the way, one seasonal:
SPIRIT HALLOWEEN: Thanks to David for the first tip on this. The new banner heralds the seasonal Halloween store on the way to the former Bed Bath and Beyond space, vacant now for seven months. We’re inquiring with the company as to when they plan to open – the space still appears empty right now. We found a note on the door indicating they’re hiring. (Added: The website says “September.”)
GNC: The vitamin/supplement chain used to have a store in Jefferson Square. Now it’s coming to Westwood Village, according to city permit filings.
The site plan shows GNC to be planned for space B14, which is between the Xfinity store and the upcoming Pet Supplies Plus. The center used to have a vitamins/supplements store, Fresh Vitamins, which closed in 2018.
(WSB photo, this morning)
We’ve had a few-details mention of this in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for a while but now the city has just sent the full announcement:
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and the Morgan Junction Community Association invite the community to celebrate the renovation of Lowman Beach Park! Please join us on Saturday, September 24, 2022 from 10 a.m. to noon at 7017 Beach Dr. SW. The morning will be fun and filled with opportunities to learn more about the beach restoration and the animals that depend on it.
During the event, Seattle Parks and Recreation Environmental Education Team and the Seattle Aquarium will have naturalists on site to help the community explore the beach. Additional activities include stand-up paddle boards and tips for successful paddling from Alki Kayak Tours and an opportunity to learn from Whale Trail volunteers about the trail and the marine mammals that live along the trail. The celebration will offer an opportunity to meet your neighbors, explore the new beach, enjoy refreshments and West Seattle’s Original Bakery donuts.
This shoreline restoration project work began when the south half of the seawall failed in the mid-1990s. This recent project removed the remainder of the seawall and created an approximately 7000 sq. ft unobstructed shoreline benefitting the natural environment, the park and the visitors who can access the beach in a much easier way. The remnant of Pelly Creek that previously flowed under the seawall was daylighted as part of the project. The completion of this project now offers a shoreline park with a swing set, an open lawn area and a gradual transition a vegetated upland habitat to the nearshore habitat which together restore ecological functions, habitat connections, and allow the beach to develop and move more naturally.
SPR awarded the construction contract to Mike McClung Construction and work began in the fall of 2021. Construction was funded in part with grants from the State of Washington through the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account and the King County Flood Control District through the Cooperative Watershed Management fund.
The project fences came down, fully reopening the park to the public, in late June.
Three reports in West Seattle Crime Watch so far today:
CAR THIEF HITS VICTIM: This appeared in Tweets By Beat as a “carjacking” but here’s what police say they found out happened, according to the police-report narrative we’ve obtained. They were called to California/Walker around 4:15 am for a report of a stolen white pickup truck. The officer looked around the area for the stolen vehicle and then went to the original scene, discovering someone “lying on the concrete in a parking lot, bleeding from the back of his head.” The victim’s son said he and his father were out searching for the pickup (stolen “earlier in the evening”) after tracking it via an Apple Air tag. They found it and opened a door to confront the thief, who, the report says, “immediately put the vehicle in reverse to flee the area.” The victim was “hit by the open driver-side door as the vehicle sped in reverse. (The victim) was slammed to the concrete and one of his shoes flew off his foot. The vehicle fled northbound through the alleyway.” The thief, now also wanted for hit-run, was described as a Black man, early 30s, 6′ tall, heavy build, wearing a blue sweatshirt. If you have any information on this case, the SPD # is 22-246364.
GUNFIRE INVESTIGATION: Last night before 10 pm, people called 911 to report hearing gunshots near 18th SW and SW Roxbury. Officers found “evidence of a shooting in the roadway,” according to the summary, and also found that an “occupied residence” had been hit by gunfire. No injuries were reported. The gunshots might have come from a vehicle, as, police were told, “A vehicle was seen speeding away SB on 18th SW but was unidentifiable.”
STOLEN WAGON: Reader report from David: “Last evening our beloved Veer Cruiser Wagon was stolen from our front porch off Spokane and 44th.” David is filing a police report; we’ll add the number when it’s available. (Added) Here’s what the wagon looks like.
5:37 PM UPDATE: David says he went looking for the stolen wagon and got it back: “Just took a little drive on Avalon, near the encampments cause I thought it was worth a shot. Saw a guy pushing a Veer Cruiser Wagon across the street. Confronted him and he gave it back to me. Sometimes the good guys do win. There were also some confidential financial documents in there that were probably stolen from a car at some point. I have them and will return them to [the person named in them].” We asked where exactly on Avalon; he said where it meets Spokane, under the bridge.
Thanks to Kersti Muul for the tip – she said what’s likely a baleen whale has been seen in Elliott Bay, fairly close to Don Armeni Boat Ramp at last report. (Humpbacks and grays are the most-commonly seen baleen whales around here.)
Here’s what’s up in the hours ahead, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
SPRAYPARK OPEN: The extended season continues through Sunday for Highland Park Spraypark at 1100 SW Cloverdale, open as usual, 11 am-8 pm.
HISTORY HOUR: New series of presentations at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon), 11 am, starting with “The Murals of West Seattle.”
ULTIMATE AT WALT HUNDLEY: 6 pm, Thursday night summertime Ultimate pickup games have moved to Walt Hundley Playfield (34th/Myrtle).
BOARD GAME NIGHT: Go play at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), starting at 6:30 pm.
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: Attend tonight’s monthly meeting in person or online, 7 pm, at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds).
BENBOW GOES COUNTRY: Thursday “Nashville Nights“ continue at the Benbow Room (4210 SW Admiral Way), 9 pm. 21+.
Have something to add to our calendar? Email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Family and friends will gather in November to celebrate the life of Sandra Lynne “Sandy” Adams. Here’s the remembrance they are sharing with her community now:
Good things come in small packages, they say. And on freezing cold Wednesday, February 9, 1938, something especially good arrived. Sandra Lynne Chase entered the world in Butte, MT, and began 84 years of delighting, supporting and celebrating people.
Sandy loved West Seattle, and West Seattle loved her. It was her hometown, where she went to school, and where she would settle with her soul mate and husband, Jim Guenther.
Sandy loved people and people were inspired by it. She helped promote and manage innovations at Boeing, then working with Tom Forsythe of the King County Council, and as Deputy Director of King County Public Works. One example: she took an active role in transforming Johnson Pit 30, a former quarry, into a world-recognized art and recreation space.
West Seattle held her heart, and she served the community in many ways, including the West Seattle Chamber, leading the West Seattle Flower Show, and helping ArtsWest Theater become a nationally respected catalyst for new talent and stories.
Sandy was appreciated including recognition by Southwest Youth and Families and as Volunteer Extraordinaire of the theater. She shied away from credit , preferring that energies go into building community. She requested that any donations in her name go to the Resurgence Capital Program at ArtsWest.
She will especially be missed by her large family, including husband Jim Guenther, children Kurt (Deb), Kelly (Katie), and Gayla, and by her five grandchildren and also by the many interns she mentored over the years. Sandy’s smile will forever be missed around the family dinner table where she enjoyed so much life and love and playing Mexican Train.
Her Celebration of Life will be at 3 pm November 5th at ArtsWest.
(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)
6:03 AM: Good morning. The final \countdown to the West Seattle Bridge reopening continues as we start Thursday, September 15th.
BUSES, FERRIES, WATER TAXI
Metro buses are on their regular weekday schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations/reroute alerts. Remember that Saturday is the next twice-yearly service change – here’s our look at planned West Seattle trip cuts. Metro plans to return to the high bridge on Monday.
Ferries: WSF continues the 2-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.
The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
907th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. 3 days until SDOT expects to reopen it – on this Sunday, September 18th. Watch WSB for reopening updates all week. (As of this morning, no announcement yet of what time the reopening is expected on Sunday.)
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use until the high bridge reopens; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings.
1st Avenue South Bridge:
South Park Bridge:
Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way
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.