West Seattle, Washington
10:05 AM: As reported this afternoon, a Winter Storm Warning is now in effect for our area, and that could mean several inches of snow by morning. Many areas still have some lingering from the weekend; today’s high only reached 34 (12 degrees below normal) so there wasn’t much melting. With the anticipation of potential overnight snow, we have a few announcements in already:
–Senior Center of West Seattle will be closed Tuesday
–West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) plans to open late, at noon Tuesday
-If you have Tuesday solid-waste pickup, Seattle Public Utilities tells us they’ll be making their decision early in the morning, once they’ve assessed safety; if there’s a change, they’ll announce it here (we’ll have the info too)
–SDOT‘s out treating roads – this map shows where
-Citywide traffic cameras (with still image and video options) are here
–Metro is on regular routing as of right now
If you have changes, announcements, info, pics, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302 – thank you!
5:45 AM: We’ll launch the usual morning traffic coverage shortly, but first a note that the alert was downgraded overnight to a Winter Weather Advisory – less potential snow.
West Seattle’s Providence Mount St. Vincent was the venue today for a simple, urgent message delivered by federal Health and Human Services regional director Ingrid Ulrey and state Department of Health director Dr. Umair Shah: Before you spend time with senior friends and relatives during the holidays, be sure you’re not bringing them something unwanted as you bring gifts and good cheer – disease.
Briefing media after a private roundtable, they spotlighted the “tripledemic” that’s a factor right now – flu, COVID, and RSV – stressing that COVID in particular is not a thing of the past. It’s “not the disruptive force it used to be,” said Ulrey, but it’s still killing more than 300 people in the U.S. each day, and 90 percent of them are seniors. So, she urged, “show your love for your loved ones” – before gatherings, be up to date on vaccines and boosters, and take a COVID test. Here’s our video of the full briefing:
The other speakers were The Mount’s administrator Charlene Boyd, state AARP director Marguerite Ro, King County’s long-term-care ombudsman Pamela Williams, Mount residents’ son Chris Robert, and Public Health -Seattle & King County‘s adult-vaccine program manager Caren Goldenberg. In addition to urging everyone to get current on vaccines, the officials said that’s something long-term-care facilities nationwide have to work on, too, with only 47 percent of residents and 22 percent of staff up to date. Between the two sides of the effort, Williams said, it’s important to remember that care-facility residents have rights including “the right to be free of communicable diseases.” Indoor masking – as recently recommended by health officials – and good ventilation are important too.
The health officials also pointed out that federal and state programs offering free home COVID tests are still active. But some COVID-related resources have ended; we asked about their status. Dr. Shah called it a “complex issue”; Ulrey explained that Congress has failed so far to pass the White House request for resources including preparing for future pandemics. But in the short run, the bottom line of the briefing was that it’s time for you to do what you can and protect the people you love.
Thanks to Alice Kuder, creator of the Winter Wander scavenger hunt, for tonight’s West Seattle Christmas lights photo – this display is in the (corrected) 7900 block of 32nd SW [vicinity map], and was the solution to one of this year’s Winter Wander clues.
To see every display we’ve shown this year (and to explore years past), scroll through this WSB archive. And if you have a suggestion – with or without photos – please email or text us, email@example.com or 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Even before starting his job, SDOT‘s new director Greg Spotts (above left) invited people from neighborhoods around the city to ask him to visit for “listening tours” – and the Fauntleroy Community Association did just that. This morning, Spotts made good on his promise, despite the snow (he’d originally been booked to visit a few weeks ago, but even snowier weather forced a postponement). He and SDOT’s interim transportation-operations director Dusty Rasmussen spent more than an hour getting a firsthand look at some of Fauntleroy’s transportation challenges, which the FCA has long been nagging the city about. The tour started in the north Lincoln Park parking lot, where Spotts declared that he’s passionate about streets along parks, observing that this particular park entrance isn’t particularly welcoming to “non-vehicle arrivals.” FCA president Mike Dey talked about the ferry traffic that queues up in the afternoon and on weekends, and how some drivers flout the rules that are. supposed to keep the parking lane clear during peak hours. Others pull midblock U-turns and there was talk of whether a hardened center line might prevent that. Crossing Fauntleroy is a challenge at some spots along the park, too.
From the park, they headed southbound on Fauntleroy to the ferry dock, where the main challenge happens in bursts – getting 120 vehicles (the capacity of the ferries usually on the route) out at a time. A public-safety officer is there to direct traffic some of the time; there’s also been talk of a signal, though Dey noted that the FCA doesn’t support that. He also mentioned the planned terminal/dock replacement, and a quarter-century-old city resolution opposing expansion of the dock. Continuing south, next stop was the Endolyne business district.
There’s been some traffic calming here, after previous pushes by the FCA – more pedestrian features have been applied to the 45th/Wildwood intersection, and 45th has some speed humps. One remaining major point of concern – the hill to/from Marine View Drive and chronic downhill speeding. Spotts observed that it “looks like a ramp.”
After a stop at Wildwood Market for warm beverages, the group was planning to continue eastbound to the Fauntleroy Church/YMCA/Schoolhouse stretch of California SW – which can be perilous for pedestrians. We had to drop out before then, with another scheduled event to cover. We did hear Spotts make one commitment along the way – he promised to come back in January/February for a better look at some of the conditions Dey had mentioned.
P.S. If you’re in Fauntleroy and want to get involved with the FCA, they meet second Tuesdays at the schoolhouse (9131 California SW), 7 pm; you can watch via livestream, too – info’s at fauntleroy.net.
That video shows two shoplifters walking out the door at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) on Saturday with jackets they didn’t pay for. They’re also suspected of vandalism nearby. From WSR co-proprietor Tim McConnell:
They came into the store and said they were just looking around.
I assumed they were looking for a gift or something, so we went back to helping other people and checking back in with them like we do for every customer. Then they started focusing on our waterproof coats, which are the most expensive apparel items we carry. They checked the men’s and then the women’s, which seemed a little odd, but whatever. But then they started acting a little weird, looking around and seeing where the staff was. I’ve seen shoplifters before, so I am aware of the signs, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and kept helping the people I was with. Then we started getting busy again, so my attention got diverted for a moment. A few minutes later they left, and one of my staff said that one of the kids grabbed a jacket and walked out. I ran down the street after them, and I came up on a kid that hadn’t been in the store, but as soon as I passed him, he yelled “Run!”. I was about 20 feet behind the thieves, and they started running. I caught up to the smaller kid right in front of PCC and yelled at him to drop it. He turned and squared up, but realized I was much bigger than him, so he dropped it and ran. At that time, I was under the impression he was the only one who took anything, so I collected my item and went back to the store. After reviewing the security video, I realized both kids had grabbed jackets, so we are still out at least $200. The money is a concern, but the brazenness is the most alarming. I can almost understand an addict doing this, but a teenage kid acting with complete disregard is troubling. We hope that by sharing this the kids’ families will see this and deal with them appropriately. We need to make this community a better one, but these kids seem like they are headed down the wrong path.
Here’s a catalog image of the still-missing jacket (women’s large). Meantime, Westside Barber Shop proprietor Stormy, a few blocks south of WSR, sent this security image taken shortly before the WSR theft:
Those same kids were vandalizing my neighbor’s air unit. I had a verbal exchange with them that ended with the kid in the green hat threatening me with physical violence.
We’ll add a police report # when we get it.
It’s a tradition at West Seattle Thriftway (4201 SW Morgan; WSB sponsor) to feature Santa visits and live holiday music the week before Christmas. That all started today – Santa roamed the store 10 am to 1 pm, and Alex Baird is there playing holiday favorites until 3 pm.
Gary Benson also is performing at Thriftway – here’s the schedule for both musicians, as posted at the store:
And as noted in our Holiday Guide, Santa will be back 4 pm-7 pm Tuesday (December 20) and Thursday (December 22) and 10 am-1 pm Friday (December 23).
12:11 PM: We’ve been out all morning covering two stories outdoors (details later), but wanted to share one observation in case you’ve been trepidational about going out – our side street was snow-coated when we returned between events an hour and a half ago, and now it’s mostly clear, so there is some melting happening. The arterials have been clear all along. SDOT crews have been out the past few hours – here’s the map that shows you where they’ve been and when. Meantime, the National Weather Service now has Seattle (among other areas) under a Winter Storm Watch alert starting at 7 pm tonight and lasting through Tuesday.
2:53 PM: The alert is now upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning – up to 8 inches of snow possible, but it may not last long, as the alert also mentions a possible transition to rain “across King County.”
The new city budget raises the fee for Restricted Parking Zone permits by almost 50 percent. SDOT notes that one RPZ neighborhood in West Seattle might want to renew a bit early to save money:
Readers who live in the Fauntleroy neighborhood [should] know about an opportunity to save money on their Restricted Permit Zone (RPZ) permit renewal.
On January 1, 2023, the new citywide budget will take effect and the fee for a two-year RPZ permit will increase from $65 to $95. Fauntleroy (Zone 3) RPZ permits will expire on December 31, 2022. Anyone who lives in this zone and renews their permit (or requests a new permit) in 2022 will be charged the current fee ($65). After January 1, permit requests will be processed with the new fee ($95).
Permit renewals should be made through the Seattle Services Portal to ensure they are processed on-time before the fee increase takes effect. Any questions about permits can be sent to DOT_RPZRequests@seattle.gov.
RPZ permits do not guarantee a parking space – they just guarantee the right to park during restricted hours, if you find a space.
DONATION DRIVES: Many holiday donation drives have already wrapped up, but others continue! The list in our Holiday Guide includes warm clothing at Dave Newman State Farm Agency (3435 California SW; WSB sponsor), more info here; and a food drive at Canna West Culture Shop (5435 California SW), open 10 am-6 pm, with a bin across the street at Canna West Seattle (WSB sponsor) after-hours.
SANTA AT WEST SEATTLE THRIFTWAY: First of four appearances at the grocery store – 10 am-1 pm. (4201 SW Morgan)
MIDDAY MUSIC: Flute duo at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 10:45 am-11:30 am.
CITY COUNCIL BREAK: No briefing meeting today because the council is on winter break until after New Year’s.
HANUKKAH: Tonight is the second of its eight nights.
CRAFTING AND CREATIVITY NIGHT: 6-10 pm at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW), explained in our calendar listing.
6:02 AM: Good morning! It’s Monday, December 19th. After some snow last night, be careful when you head out, as the cold temperatures have kept it around this time.
Today’s forecast: Cloudy, high in the low to mid-30s, another chance of snow tonight, with a few inches potentially due tomorrow,
TODAY’S TRANSIT STATUS
–Metro is still down buses for repairs and is suspending some routes again today, but no West Seattle routes were on the initial list. Keep watching notification channels such as @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations and route suspensions.
-The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.
-WSF’s Triangle Route remains on its two-boat schedule- check here for alerts/updates.
High Bridge – here’s the camera at the top.
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when 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.