West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The idea of widening the Fauntleroy ferry dock over the small public beach to its north that’s known as Cove Park is no longer under consideration.
That was the biggest news from last night’s meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy dock/terminal-rebuild project, the group’s first meeting in four months.
WSF said the second level of screening had narrowed the options down to two – rebuilding the dock/terminal with its current footprint, or expanding it, mostly by building it out further over the water. Here’s how the meeting went:
Someone pulled down our PRIDE flag hanging in front of our home around 6:15 am (and banged on our door and woke us) Tuesday morning, and this morning (Thursday), the same two perps struck our neighbor’s home as well as multiple other neighbors (based on our own and our neighbor’s RING video and because the young men were holding multiple PRIDE flags this morning). We live in Roxhill. I figured we should let our neighbor’s know, and I figured you might be a good place to start. I reported to the Seattle PD hate crime detective, although they have not gotten back to me.
Two West Seattle Bridge post-reopening notes tonight:
TRAFFIC STATS: While speaking with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition at tonight’s WSTC meeting, new SDOT director Greg Spotts shared a few traffic stats from the first few post-reopening days. He said the bridge traffic on Monday and Tuesday was 66 percent of comparable pre-closure days. Low-bridge volumes are down by half. Detour-route traffic is down 30 to 50 percent. But some other streets have seen an increase, Spotts said, such as 35th SW – at 35th/Raymond, traffic rose 12 percent.
NIGHTTIME LANE CLOSURES: SDOT had said there’d still be some work going on post-reopening, and the past few nights, there’s been work that led to lane closures on the bridge. Joseph sent this pic while noting the inside lane was closed each way.
We asked what specifically is being done. Here’s the reply from SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson:
These nighttime single-lane closures are to allow crews to finish installing lighting for the inspection platforms inside the bridge. We won’t be doing any more closures this week, and expect to perform some similar overnight work next week.
Once we’ve completed installing the lighting, we’ll use these new inspection platforms for monitoring the structure over the coming months and years. Most routine inspections will not require a lane closure.
Family and friends will gather Saturday (September 24) to celebrate the life of Charles Van Valkenburg, and are sharing this remembrance with his community:
CHARLES VAN VALKENBURG
JANUARY 1930-AUGUST 2022
Chuck was born in Oneonta, N.Y., to Oscar and Marguerite Van Valkenburg. Chuck spent most of his childhood in an orphanage, yet upon graduating high school in 1948, he spread his wings and joined the Army. His stories of traveling west are those that books are made of, enjoyable and exhilarating. Chuck proudly and honorably served our country until 1952 and fought in the Korean War, receiving many service awards. Chuck then went on to earn his B.S. in aeronautical engineering.
Chuck again went west to Colorado, where he worked for Lockheed/Martin and met his wife, Garnette (Lupien) of Helena, Montana. They married in November 1959 and moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where they had 2 of their 4 children. Chuck and Garnette returned to the Pacific Northwest, where he worked loyally for Boeing for the next 27 years in the commercial and wind-tunnel divisions. They settled in West Seattle, had 2 more children, and lived in the same house for 56 years.
Chuck had an amazing life full of laughter, love, and family. He had a brilliant mind and was always thirsty for knowledge and spent many, many hours at the local library, reading and researching. Chuck also enjoyed bike riding and tinkering around in the garage and taking on any intellectual challenge. Traveling was also a passion for Chuck. He would use planes, trains, and automobiles to visit odd and exciting destinations. Chuck’s main happiness came from his children, which he filled with so many great times and memories and the importance of compassion, benevolence, and gratitude.
Chuck is reunited with his loving wife Garnette (2019) of 59 years and leaves behind 4 children: Diane (Allan), Chuck, Debbie (Mike), and Donna; 6 grandchildren; Christopher, Michael (Gina), Patrick (Amanda), Courtney (Riley), Braydon, and Ashlin; and 2 great-grandchildren: Atticus, Grant, and a baby girl due in October. Chuck’s 92 years of life had meaning, purpose, and value, and we know that future generations will be better because of his time on this earth.
We will all miss him dearly. Rest in Peace and Run Dad Run!!
In lieu of flowers, please smile every day and pay it forward to someone less fortunate, something Chuck mastered throughout his generous life.
His memorial is at the West Seattle Library at 2306 42nd Ave. SW on Saturday, September 24th, from 1 pm to 3 pm.
(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)
From Washington State Ferries – the Triangle Route is going down to one boat again:
Due to a lack of crew the M/V Issaquah will secure at 5:40 p.m. at Vashon. M/V Kitsap will become the #1 boat out of Vashon at 5:45 p.m. and will remain as the #1 vessel for the remainder of the service day. One boat service for the remainder of the service day.
We will continue to send updated travel information as it becomes available. Customers can check the online schedule for more information on scheduled upcoming sailings and also view the real-time travel map for live boat location information.
Issaquah was out of service much of yesterday with engine trouble.
Next week the City Council, meeting as the Seattle Park District Governing Board, will consider finalizing the district’s 2023-2028 funding plan. The district provides supplemental funding to the Parks and Recreation department (SPR). This week Councilmember Andrew Lewis, as governing board president, presented his version of the budget proposal, which adds more money and projects to what Mayor Bruce Harrell already had proposed. One of those added projects would be a second off-leash area (dog park) for West Seattle. Note the second-to-last line on this slide from a meeting earlier this week:
This was called to our attention by Alec Rodenhauser, who’s taken over the group that’s been lobbying for an added dog park for West Seattle, which currently only has the Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area. Where the new West Seattle off-leash area would be has yet to be determined – as we reported in February, the West Seattle Dog Park Coalition studied and proposed five sites – at four SPR locations, the West Seattle Golf Course, Hamilton Viewpoint, Lincoln Park, and inland Duwamish Head, and port-owned Jack Block Park. Rodenhauser says they’re still awaiting word from SPR on the feasibility of those possible sites.
Meantime, Lewis’s Park District counterproposal also adds funding for High Point Community Center and eight other community centers around the city, described as renovating and/or making the buildings “climate-conscious.” Here’s that slide from the presentation earlier this week:
Another key point from Lewis’s proposal – by the end of the funding cycle in 2028, all 129 city-park restrooms would be open year-round, while currently fewer than half are. His proposal also contains what the mayor had proposed, which includes funding to develop West Seattle’s three long-“landbanked” park sites, West Seattle Junction (40th SW), Morgan Junction Park Addition, and 48th/Charlestown. Like the mayor’s proposal, this plan would more than double what the Park District is costing property-tax payers and add a few dollars more beyond the mayor’s plan – the annual cost for the “median-value home” would range from $339 a year in 2023 to $446 in 2028. While the City Council/Park District Board has to approve the plan, there’s no further voter approval needed as this is within the range in what voters originally approved. Currently Park District funding covers about a third of the SPR budget.
1:43 PM: One of the questions remaining unanswered after the West Seattle Bridge reopening was whether the West Seattle Water Taxi would go back to limited service this fall/winter. In pre-pandemic times, the standard fall/winter plan was to reduce service to am/pm commute weekday service only, but last year the 7-day-a-week, all-day service was maintained through the chillier seasons. We asked recently what the plan was for this year and the answer was that it was still being finalized. Now, the announcement is just in:
On Monday, Oct. 17, the West Seattle Water Taxi will continue providing midday and weekend sailings between downtown Seattle’s Pier 50 and Seacrest Dock in West Seattle.
The seven-day-a-week service will run from approximately 6 a.m. weekdays (8:30 a.m. weekends) to 7 p.m. Weekday sailings leaving the dock every 35 minutes during peak commute hours and every hour during the midday, and on weekends. There will be no Friday or Saturday sailings after 7 p.m. …
During commute hours, riders can take the free Metro shuttles to and from the Water Taxi landing at Seacrest Park. Route 773 serves the West Seattle Junction. Route 775 serves the Admiral District and Alki. …
During the repair of the West Seattle High Bridge, the Water Taxi provided a choice for those not wanting to drive to and from West Seattle. There was enough ridership during the winter season that Metro has chosen to maintain service for riders who want to continue using the Water Taxi instead of returning to their vehicles with the reopening of the High Bridge. This pilot program for this fall and winter, which will also provide more consistent scheduling for Water Taxi crews, will be used to evaluate potential ongoing year-round service.
In preparation for the start of the winter sailing schedule, Water Taxi staff will be conducting vessel maintenance on Oct. 15-16, so West Seattle service will be canceled for that weekend.
Last year, the extra service was maintained with extra funding from the city; we’re checking on whether that’s how they’re covering the cost this year, as the announcement did not say.
3:16 PM: Metro spokesperson Al Sanders says this time it’s all Metro (county) funding.
1:01 PM: Thanks for the tips. Highland Park Elementary families got a message that the school had been sheltering in place due to “suspicious activity” nearby. We checked with SPD, which says police have cleared the scene, and said a responding officer summarized the incident this way:
“At approximately 1033 hrs (a witness) saw the subject to the north of the school walking in the attached park. (The witness) stated that the subject was wearing all camouflage and had on a small backpack and was carrying what appeared to be a small rifle type case. (The witness) stated that the subject was looking around nervously and appeared to be suspicious to him. (The witness) took a video of the subject. I reviewed the video and I did not see any weapon, but it was not possible to see what he was carrying on his left side. … The subject was last seen around the bathroom on the park. A check of the park by myself and other responding officers did not locate the subject. The surrounding neighborhood also checked clear.”
We’re checking to see if the school has lifted the shelter-in-place.
1:53 PM: Parents have received an update from HPE’s principal saying they’ll continue sheltering through day’s end, and that police and district security will be there at dismissal time.
ADDED FRIDAY: We’ve received the video showing the “suspicious person” from the person who recorded it:
Thanks to Tim for the tip and top photo. A tree on the southeast edge of the Gatewood Elementary campus has fallen onto the back of The Little Gym‘s building next door (California/Myrtle). But we’re told no one was hurt and, so far, it’s not believed to have caused major damage, either to the building or to a car that’s under the tree
Logistics of removing the tree were being discussed when we were there a little while ago.
Fall arrives tonight! Here’s what’s happening, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
COMMUNITY PLAY DATE: 4:30-6:30 pm at Community School of West Seattle, “open to all former, current, future, and prospective CSWS families.”
EQUINOX SUNSET WATCH WITH ALICE: 6-7:30 pm at Solstice Park (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW, uphill from the tennis court) – join Alice Enevoldsen for her quarterly informative/fun change-of-seasons sunset watch, a decade-plus-old tradition. Free, all welcome.
JOE DRAKE BOOK READING/SIGNING: Meet the local runner/writer tonight at West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor),6 pm.
ULTIMATE AT WALT HUNDLEY: 6 pm, Thursday night summertime Ultimate pickup games have moved to Walt Hundley Playfield (34th/Myrtle).
FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY: Free course in managing your finances, starting tonight at 6 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library (2306 42nd SW) – info and registration details are in our calendar listing.
WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: 6:15 pm online – the registration deadline has passed but you can try emailing to see if the link is still available. Contact info and other details are in our calendar listing.
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: New SDOT director Greg Spotts will talk with WSTC at tonight’s 6:30 pm online meeting. Also planned, a post-reopening update on the West Seattle Bridge, and a presentation about the city’s Art Interruptions program. Our calendar listing has info on how to participate/attend.
BOARD GAME NIGHT: Go play at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), starting at 6:30 pm.
BENBOW’S COUNTRY NIGHT: 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!
This year’s Southwest Artist Showcase is almost here – the art show open to everyone! One week until you can take your creation(s) to Southwest Library, September 28-30, for the October 2-30 show. Anyone who lives in the West/Southwest Seattle area can bring in up to two pieces of art. Library staffers set up the show, and then it’s open all month for everyone to see. After the show ends on October 30th, you have until November 4th to go retrieve your work. This is a non-juried show, no entry fees, in its 30th year at the library. If you want to participate, just bring your art to the library during its regular open hours on those three days. One caveat from the library: “Please note that some works may not be included if their size or construction prevents their effective display in the library.” Questions? Call the library at 206-684-7455.
9:06 AM: Crash reported in 5600 block West Marginal Way SW.
=6:00 AM: Good morning. It’s Thursday, September 22nd, fourth weekday with the reopened West Seattle Bridge, last morning of summer (fall arrives at 6:03 pm).
Here’s the forecast – partly sunny, high in the upper 60s.
-Just south of the city-limit line, King County is repaving Myers Way between 99th and 108th over the next two weeks.
-While out at midday Wednesday, we noted utility projects on Beach Drive north of Lowman Beach, with flaggers and alternating lanes.
High Bridge – here’s the lone reactivated camera atop the span.
Low Bridge: All restrictions were dropped with the high bridge’s reopening, so it’s open to anyone who wants to use it.
Highway 99: Whichever bridge you’re using to get to it, here’s a look at northbound traffic on 99 at Lander.
All currently functional city traffic cams can be seen here, many with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
If you see trouble on the roads/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.