West Seattle, Washington
“Let It Snow” was one of the first few carols tonight at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s “Light Up the Night” celebration – and snow was indeed falling, lightly, by the time the city’s highest-elevation Christmas tree was illuminated. You can see it in our video:
Emcee Brian Callanan led the countdown, followed by more caroling from OLG’s 4th/5th-grades’ choir – here’s a longer version, with the closing carols, including the crowd-participation fave “Jingle Bells”:
It was a perfect holiday celebration, including warm beverages.
And warm hearts led to donations for the food drive helping St. Vincent de Paul:
OLG has another community holiday event ahead – one week from tonight, at 7 pm December 9, the vocal ensemble The Starry Crowns, who sang tonight’s first few songs, present a concert to which all are welcome. Meantime, you can see the OLG tree – and the other lights outside the church – by driving, riding, running, or walking past 7000 35th SW.
For many years, Harbor Avenue/Alki Avenue residents have been asking that action be taken to deter reckless driving. In September, two sets of speed bumps were installed in the Alki business district. Tonight, SDOT tells us that more are on the way to the east Alki area. We got the news this evening from SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson:
We are planning to build safety enhancements along Harbor Ave SW and Alki Ave SW between the West Seattle Water Taxi and Luna Park in response to reckless and illegal driving incidents. We have received several requests from neighbors asking for safety improvements such as speed humps to help address this problem.
We will install about a half dozen sets of speed humps, as well as a raised center divider to prevent people from illegally driving the wrong direction to pass other cars. … We will prioritize completing this work as soon as we can. The work requires a few days of dry weather, so we will be watching the forecast closely and ready to mobilize our crews quickly if there is a break in the rain and snow. If the current forecast holds, there may potentially be an opportunity to complete this work within the next week.
Bergerson said they’re also talking with Parks about added speed humps in the Don Armeni parking lot (which already has some bumps). We’ll be following up Monday for more details, particularly where the “raised center divider” is planned.
The first of this weekend’s three holiday tree-lighting events in West Seattle happened on the north side of Neighborhood House High Point this evening – the second annual Fruit Tree Lighting. High Point community builder Ella McRae led a cheery countdown:
The tree lighting followed an afternoon festival that celebrated both the arrival of winter and High Point’s new community-designed salmon street murals.
Two days ago we reported on the arrest of a man found half-naked in a stolen pickup truck near Highland Park Elementary. When police searched the truck, they found drugs an a gun. Now three felony charges are filed against 25-year-old Ezequiel A. Lopez-Ortiz of Tacoma: Unlawful gun possession, possession of a stolen vehicle, and possession of drugs with intent to distribute or manufacture. The truck, a 2020 Dodge Ram, had been stolen from the Port of Seattle, according to the charging documents, and partially spray-painted red. Prosecutors also say Lopez-Ortiz has 10 felony convictions in the past 10 years, including three for unlawful gun possession, and seven current warrants from three counties – King, Spokane, and Kittitas. The gun seized from under the driver’s seat in the stolen truck is described as a 9mm SIG Sauer P320 pistol “with fifteen rounds in the magazine and one round in the firing chamber, under the driver’s seat.” Police also found “a backpack behind the driver’s seat containing .45 caliber bullets and an AR15 style magazine with 5.56 caliber bullets.” The drugs described in the previous report are what the charging documents list – cocaine, meth in baggies, and more than 100 suspected “blues” (fentanyl pills). Prosecutors are asking that bail for Lopez-Ortiz be set at $50,000 but as of the filing, there hadn’t been a bail decision yet because Lopez-Ortiz had been refusing to appear in court.
It has been a struggle and it has been a privilege.”
Those words will resonate with everyone who owns a small independent business.
And with those words (and others), Alair Gift Shop proprietor Shandon Armstrong announced this afternoon that as her shop marks its sixth anniversary tomorrow, that will be its last. She sent us the announcement she shared with customers in a heartfelt email – here it is in its entirety:
6 years on Dec 3.
6 years ago I got the keys to the original location. I started an LLC. I learned how to buy wholesale and how to love a community without holding back.
I am proud of Alair.
I am proud of how Alair has become as much mine as yours. I am proud of how this community handled a robbery. How we handled having our first landlord that was a cartoon version of a villain landlord. How we handled a pandemic.
I’m also proud of how we handled having a new landlord, that is the embodiment of everything good in the world. How we have been able to say thank you to this community that has given us so much.
We have won Emerging Business of the Year. I was a Top 40 Under 40 (back before I was 40). We won Business of the Year. We’ve been voted Best Gift Shop and Best Boutique in Readers Choice Awards for several local publications.
I have laughed harder than I’ve ever laughed.
I have cried harder than I’ve ever cried.
I have been lonelier than I’ve ever been, and I’ve also never felt less alone.
I’ve lost so many friends and I’ve gained more. It has been a struggle and it has been a PRIVILEGE.
It has been my pleasure. I love you. I appreciate you. I am so grateful.
It is also time for me to move on. It’s a different world now. The pandemic has changed so many things and is continuing to do so. I’m managing a website. I’m on a screen all day. I feel like I spend so much of every single day just sticking up for myself. I’m tired. The disappointment fatigue is real.
I sent y’all an email in September giving a state of the Alair union. One result of that was that someone reached out to me and offered me a new way to look at my future. Over the next 10 weeks, I figured out my path forward and what the future looks like. And last week, I accepted a full time position doing a job that I didn’t even know existed but is perfect for me. I don’t believe in soulmates and I don’t believe in one dream job. Alair has been my dream. Then, I was offered a position that is definitely my next dream.
So, right as we hit our 6 year anniversary, I am also announcing the end of an era.
Anything could still happen. Maybe one of you will want to swoop in and buy Alair. I’m still gunning hard to get Sam to take it over, because that lady loves this place as much as I do. Maybe someone will come in and buy all the insides and lease, but rebrand it and make it their own.
I hope so. The pandemic has taken a lot of small businesses.
The current plan is to operate as normal through the holidays. Then we will assess and see where we are and what needs to happen next. We have accumulated A LOT of stuff. I have no idea how to clear it all out in a responsible way. We will figure that out as soon as the holidays are over. I am aiming to have the doors closed by February 1st though.
And what I DO know that this is my last Alairiversary. And I’m so grateful for every single one.
Thank you. Thank you for letting me live my dream and also for helping me see a new one.
People are good.
My people are the best.
Alair originally opened in what had been a fitness studio, before moving a few doors down.
We’re now just one day away from an expanded Hometown Holidays street festival in The Junction, centered on the Night Market and tree lighting, also featuring the first-ever GLOWS (Glorious Lights of West Seattle) celebration. That includes artists promenading in light-decked costumes they designed – West Seattle Junction Association executive director Chris Mackay shares a photo she received showing one of the works in progress:
You’re invited to create your own costume of light to be part of a contest at the festival – the costumed artists will be judging the people they see promenading on California SW, which will be closed for the festival. The categories are Best Group, Best Individual, Best Pet; each artist will nominate one entrant in each category by handing them a light wand. If you get one, you’ll then be on stage at 6 pm for audience judging. Prizes are $500, $250, and $100 in Junction gift cards!
The festival runs 4-8 pm, with the Night Market and beer/hot-wine garden – sponsored by Elliott Bay Brewing and Darby Winery – open the whole time. You can also buy this limited-edition mug for your beverage (or future use) if interested:
For kids, Hope Lutheran will have free hot cocoa. Other things to know – here’s the festival schedule:
4:00 – Festival begins. Night Market and Beer & Wine Garden are open. Endolyne Choir, School of Rock, and Mode Music Studio perform on stage.
5:00 – G.L.O.W.S. Costume Promenade on streets. Elvis performs on stage.
6:00 – Costume Contest on stage.
6:30 – Lighting of the tree in Junction Plaza Park, followed by Santa reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and leading a carol sing-along.
7:00 – Dancer and Prancer perform on stage.
Community co-sponsors of Hometown Holidays include WSB. The streets will close in the morning, and a variety of other events are happening all day at and around The Junction (see our Holiday Guide!), so come down early and enjoy the festivities.
Back in 2016, after repeated problems with “brown water” in multiple West Seattle neighborhoods, Seattle Public Utilities carried out a major flush of local lines. Now they’re planning one for southeast West Seattle and South Park, in the areas outlined on this map:
That map is included in a letter SPU has just mailed to affected residents and businesses, saying the flush will start soon and continue into next year. Here’s what else the letter says:
SPU is performing this work to help maintain water quality and help reduce the occurrence of discolored water that can sometimes occur. Flushing won’t eliminate discolored water, but it will help decrease it.
What do customers need to do? SPU crews will perform the flushing at night by flowing water from fire hydrants. Residents and businesses do not need to take any action to prepare for this work. Customers will be able to use their water as usual. When crews are flushing nearby, customers may notice a slight reduction in their water pressure. They may also experience temporary discolored water, which should clear quickly once crews are done flushing the water main. Running the cold water for a few minutes can also help clear the discoloration.
Why does discolored water occur? Discolored water can happen when crews operate a fire hydrant, when there is a water main break or leak, or when the water in the pipes is forced to travel in a different direction than normal. When one of these events happens, sediment in the water and rust in the pipes get stirred up, causing the water to look discolored. Flushing the water mains will remove some of the sediment and rust that has been resting in the pipes. This will help reduce the level of discoloration and the time it takes for the water to clear when there’s a disturbance in the pipes.
Is the water safe? Yes. Every single day, SPU takes samples throughout the drinking water system that serves 1.5 million people. The water is tested for contaminants and is regulated by the Washington State Department of Health. Seattle’s water remains safe to drink.
See the full letter here.
That’s the notice that was posted this morning on the door of Pegasus Pizza (2768 Alki SW); we went there after a reader tip. The doors were chained and locked.
Court records indicate an “unlawful detainer” (eviction) case was filed against the business in July, and that the eviction order followed a hearing and ruling on November 16. According to case documents, the restaurant was ordered to pay its landlord, Alki 37 LLC, more than $146,000. We are working to reach Pegasus’s owners for comment. They moved into this building 15 years ago from a different location on the same block; the space underwent changes six years ago.
A year and a half after we first reported it was on the way, Pet Supplies Plus is now open in the center of Westwood Village. The store is operated by a regional franchisee of a nationwide chain with more than 400 locations. It offers grooming and a dog wash as well as merchandise; hours are 9 am-9 pm Mondays through Saturdays, 10 am-6 pm Sundays.
(Thursday photo @ Hiawatha, tweeted by @i8ipod)
Still just a little snow on the ground (and a little more possible) as one of the biggest weekends of the holiday season begins. So here’s what’s happening for the rest of your Friday, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and Holiday Guide (where you’ll find lots of other seasonal info too):
SOUTHWEST POOL: Normal operations today, (corrected) closed tomorrow, as announced last night.
POTTERY POP-UP: Shop work by artists from Rat City Studios and Rain City Clay during the first day of this three-day pop-up at California/Oregon, 11 am-5 pm,
CAT/KITTEN ADOPTION: 2-4 pm at Pet Elements (6511 California SW), Beloveds Animal Relief Rescue Foundation can introduce you to cats/kittens looking for their forever homes.
FESTIVAL AND FRUIT-TREE LIGHTING: Celebrate the season with a two-part High Point celebration, first a Winter Festival 3-5 pm, then the Fruit Tree Lighting at 5:15 – this year it’s all happening outside Neighborhood House (6400 Sylvan Way SW) and the Amphitheater behind it: “Join over 15 organizations with fun-filled activities for all ages. Dance to live music from West Seattle High School Band and stay for the fruit tree lighting.”
SCAVENGER HUNT BEGINS: At 4 pm, the hunt is on! That’s the official start time for the nine-day Winter Wander West Seattle scavenger hunt that Alice Kuder is presenting again this year – have fun exploring the peninsula, with a chance for prizes from local businesses. Register your team ASAP – all the details are in our preview.
WEST SEATTLE YULETIDE: Second weekend begins for thousands of lights synched to music outside a home on 38th SW between Genesee and Dakota – 6:30-10 pm,
‘LIGHT UP THE NIGHT’ AT OLG: 7 pm outside Our Lady of Guadalupe (7000 35th SW), the lighting of the city’s highest-elevation Christmas tree and thousands of other lights on the OLG grounds, plus a Christmas carol singalong and more. Bring nonperishable food if you can, to donate to St. Vincent de Paul.
HOLIDAY CONCERT: West Seattleite-founded Puget Soundworks, an all-gender, LGBTQIA+-centered community chorus, presents the first of three performances of their holiday concert “Menagerie,” 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) – tickets here.
THE PROFITS: Live at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), alternative/new wave/rock/funk. Doors at 7, music at 8, $10.
ARTSWEST HOLIDAY SHOW: Tonight at 7:30 pm, it’s your next chance to see “Q Brothers Christmas Carol” at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) – ticket info is in our calendar listing.
Have something to add to our calendar and/or Holiday Guide? Email info to email@example.com – thank you!
With the USA team set for a must-win World Cup match against the Netherlands team early Saturday (7 am), we’ve received some questions about who’s opening early for watch parties. So we’re again building a list in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar. So far we have five establishments on the list – Christo’s on Alki, Prost, The Bridge, The Westy, West Seattle Brewing. Anyplace else? Please let us know so we can add!
6:00 AM: Good morning. It’s Friday, December 2nd.
Very cold overnight – temperatures dropped into the 20s. But only a slight chance of snow this morning, with today’s high near 40. (Check the latest alert status here.)
TODAY’S TRANSIT STATUS
-The West Seattle Water Taxi is back to its regular schedule this morning.
-WSF’s Triangle Route is too – check here for alerts/updates.
–Metro buses are on regular schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations/reroute alerts. 7:15 AM UPDATE: Metro is suspending Routes 55, 56, 57 for the rest of the day.
Saturday’s big Hometown Holidays festival in The Junction means street closures on both California and Alaska most of the day and into the evening
High Bridge – here’s the camera at the top.
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (if SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way).
Low Bridge: Or nearby, depending on where SDOT points the camera.
1st Ave. S. Bridge: The south route.
Highway 99: Here’s the northbound side at Lander.
All functional city traffic cams can be seen here, most 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 a problem on the roads/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.
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