West Seattle, Washington
As of tonight, the West Seattle Bridge has been closed for 800 days. Next week, SDOT promises an update on the timeline for reopening it. And once there’s a date for that, the community coalition planning a reopening celebration will know when it can happen. In the meantime, the design contest has a winner:
The artist is Susie Perry. Full details are yet to come, but the party planners expected to use the logo on a variety of swag/merchandise, including T-shirts. The community-planned-and-funded celebration is likely to include a run/walk on the bridge plus a food festival. Plans are likely to solidify afterthe aforementioned timeline update is presented at the June 9th meeting of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force
More than three years after Payless Shoe Source closed its store on the south side of Westwood Village, its sign finally came down recently. Now we know why: A new tenant is listed for the space. the burgers-and-fries chain Five Guys. (Yes, right next to McDonald’s.) This is revealed via an update to the map and directory maintained by the center’s new ownership/management firm, Shopcore Properties (although the logo version used on the site map may not be the one they intended). Shopcore has also used the map/directory to announce other on-the-way-to-Westwood businesses including Pet Supplies Plus and America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses. This would be Five Guys’ 14th location in the greater Seattle metro area. According to a company factsheet, Five Guys started with a Washington, D.C.-area burger joint in the ’80s and started expanding nationwide in the early 2000s. We have an inquiry out to the company asking about the timeline for opening here.
Two followups in West Seattle Crime Watch today:
VAN-THEFT SUSPECT CHARGED: Last week, we published Stefan‘s report about a stolen work van, and updated it with news that it had been found. What we didn’t know at the time was that police arrested a suspect when they found the van. And today, we have word that the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed a felony charge, possession of a stolen vehicle, against the 27-year-old suspect, Lee D. Watkins, who was already awaiting trial in three other auto-theft-related cases. According to the charging documents, officers found the van in the parking lot of the West Seattle Health Club at 10:45 pm last Tuesday, just under 17 hours after it was stolen in The Junction. As officers approached the van, the documents say they “observed a male get out of the driver seat of the vehicle. (Police) immediately recognized the male as Lee Watkins from previous contacts. (Police are) familiar with Watkins and know him as a prolific auto thief who has been arrested multiple times by SPD and KCSO.” Watkins, the documents say, claimed he had been loaned the van by an acquaintance who just “showed up at his apartment” with it and told him to drop it off at the health-club lot. Asked how he had started it, Watkins showed officers a screwdriver. They found it inside the van, and found “over 20 shaved keys” in his backpack. The van’s catalytic converter had been stolen, as discovered when the owner came to pick it up. Watkins was arrested and booked into jail, where he remains, with bail set at $10,000 – though prosecutors had requested $25,000.
GUNFIRE-RELATED ARREST: An arrest made by police Monday is linked to one of the three West Seattle gunfire incidents they confirmed last weekend. Around 9 am Monday, officers noticed a car at 18th/Barton believed to have been involved in the 9th SW gunfire incident early Sunday. According to archived police-radio audio, people were asleep in the car; they woke them up and ordered them out. According to a police-report summary, they claimed “they were shot at (Sunday) during the shooting.” The person “in possession of the vehicle” was a convicted felon, and police found ammunition in the car, so he was arrested for a firearms-law violation.
Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor – Momentum Indoor Climbing SODO. Here’s their message for you:
MOMENTUM SODO is Seattle’s premier indoor-climbing gym. Hundreds of boulder problems and a robust cardio, weightlifting, and yoga space make Momentum SODO the best place to learn the exciting sport of climbing. This summer we are offering Five-Day Climbing Camps for kids age 6-12. These camps are the perfect place for your young ones to engage in active play while making lasting memories.
Each three-hour session will teach your kids new skills and self-confidence in an encouraging environment. Choose from morning (8-11 am) or afternoon (12-3 pm) sessions, each guided by a skilled instructor who will take the class to new heights.
MOMENTUM SODO is not only a place for your kids to learn and play, you can too. Bouldering is a great way to experience the thrill of climbing with minimal gear. The problem-solving physical fun of climbing is appealing for any age and MOMENTUM SODO is the perfect place to unwind with your friends. Visit us at 2759 1st Ave S. and get climbing today!
We thank Momentum Indoor Climbing SODO for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
POSTCARDS TO VOTERS: Drop-in advocacy, Tuesdays at 10:30 am at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
MAYOR’S HOMELESSNESS PLAN: He’ll be announcing it at Green Lake at 12:30 pm, streamed live via Seattle Channel.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING: Online at 2 pm, with the agenda including new city regulations, including minimum pay, for “app-based workers.”
DEMONSTRATION FOR BLACK LIVES: Longstanding weekly 4:30-6 pm sign-waving demonstration at 16th/Holden. Signs available if you don’t have your own.
BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!
See more on our calendar – and if you have something to add for the future, please email us the info at email@example.com – thank you!
For almost two decades, Lou Cutler has raised money to help grant kids’ wishes via a unique birthday-celebration run at Pathfinder K-8, where he taught PE before retiring. Most years, it was a giant group run throughout the day, with students joining Lou as he took one lap around the school field for every year he was celebrating. Then came the pandemic; in 2020, schools were closed, so Lou did a “lap” around the peninsula instead; last year, students joined him in small groups over two days. This year, when Lou takes to the Pathfinder field on Friday (June 3rd) in celebration of his upcoming 71st birthday, it’ll be a little more like the events of years past. He explained to us via email:
This year, rather having me communicating with everyone with a megaphone on the field, I will address the school from the office at 9:00 and then grade bands will come out in staggered time frames every 15 minute or so and I will take pictures with each class before they go on the field. All classes will stay out until the entire school is on the field at the same time and I believe everyone will stay on the field for 15 minutes or so and from that point some classes may go in while those who want to see how many laps they can run, will stay out and run to their heart’s content.
Make-A-Wish alumni are invited to join in the festivities, as are MAW staff and volunteers and Pathfinder parents, so I hope we have a tremendous turnout for the day.
As for me, I will be 71 on June 25th, so this year I will walk and run, though mostly walk, 71 laps, 11.8 miles, and add on a bonus lap to make it a full 12 miles because I love round numbers.
Over the previous 18 years we have raised $86,000 for MAW and as always, my hope is that we can raise as much money as possible, as I have seen the power of a wish in the boosting of spirits and hopes for wish kids and families over my 26+ years as a MAW volunteer!
You can support Lou’s Make-A-Wish quest by donating here.
6:03 AM: Good morning; welcome to Tuesday, May 31st.
Cloudy, but … the high could be around 70.
ROAD WORK AHEAD
*Seattle Public Utilities says that long-promised pavement-restoration work at California/Myrtle/Frontenac might finally start this week.
*The Highway 99 tunnel closes this Friday night for monthly maintenance.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro is on its regular weekday schedule; watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.
The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.
Ferries: WSF continues on the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
799th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)
1st Avenue South Bridge:
South Park Bridge:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way (one of four new cameras!):
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.
As the holiday weekend ends, here’s our weekly check of countywide and West Seattle COVID stats from the past week. Overall, cases are up countywide for a tenth week, but the rate of increase has slowed dramatically; hospitalizations and deaths are down. Here are the numbers, from the Public Health – Seattle/King County dashboard:
*1 percent more cases countywide in the past week than the week before
*Currently averaging 1,244 new daily cases countywide (up from 1,118 when we checked a week ago)
*14 percent fewer hospitalizations countywide in the past week than the week before
*Currently averaging 15 new hospitalizations daily (same as a week ago)
*16 percent fewer deaths countywide in the past two weeks than the two weeks before (the dashboard doesn’t offer a one-week increment)
*Currently averaging 2 deaths daily (same two-week average as last week)
For West Seattle, we have two-week comparisons (these are the combined totals from two “health reporting areas,” labeled West Seattle and Delridge):
*1,043 cases between 5/9 and 5/23, up from 730 between 4/24 and 5/8
*8 hospitalizations between 5/9 and 5/23, same as between 4/24 and 5/8
*No deaths between 5/9 and 5/23, same as between 4/24 and 5/8
VACCINATION: Boosters are now recommended for everyone 5 and up. Checking vaccination rates:
*81.2 percent of all King County residents have completed the initial series (up .1% from a week ago)
*85.9 percent of all King County residents ages 5 and up have completed the initial series (unchanged from a week ago)
*49.4 percent of all King County residents have had the initial series plus a booster (up .2% from a week ago)
*In West Seattle, here are the zip-code vaccination rates for ages 5 and up (reminder, 98106 and 98146 are not entirely within WS):
98106 – 88.2% completed initial series (unchanged from a week earlier), 53.4% have had a booster
98116 – 93,1% completed initial series (up .1% from a week earlier), 65.2% have had a booster
98126 – 83.8% completed initial series (up .1% from a week earlier), 55.3% have had a booster
98136 – 93.9% completed initial series (up .1% from a week earlier), 68.3% have had a booster
98146 – 83.2% completed initial series (unchanged from a week earlier), 48.3% have had a booster
VACCINATION AND TESTING, UPDATED HOURS: One pop-up clinic in the week ahead – you can get vaccinated at Loop the ‘Lupe, 10 am-3 pm Saturday (June 4th) at Walt Hundley Playfield (34th/Myrtle) – go here for an appointment, or just walk up. Otherwise, look for vaccination locations via this statewide lookup. … If you want to get tested and don’t have a kit at home, public testing sites include the city-supported site at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle, 9 am-5:30 pm Mondays-Saturdays except holidays) and the Curative kiosk at Don Armeni Boat Ramp (1220 Harbor SW, 9 am-3 pm Monday-Friday except holidays). … If you need to report self-test results, that’s explained on this page.
SPD published a roundup tonight of confirmed gun-involved incidents around the city this weekend. Three cases of confirmed gunfire – no injuries – were in West Seattle:
SATURDAY, 4:21 AM: Officers “found multiple shell casings” after 911 callers said they heard gunfire in the 6900 block of Delridge Way SW [map].
SUNDAY, 1:37 AM: Officers “collected shell casings and documented ballistic damage to a parked car” after getting reports of “two groups … shooting at each other” in the 1000 block of Harbor Avenue SW [map].
SUNDAY, 6:13 AM: Police found “ballistic evidence” after residents in the 8800 block of 9th SW [map] called to report suspected gunfire. Officers were told of “a male suspect chasing another man through back yards, including scaling a shed at one point.”
Two more West Seattle Memorial Day scenes:
FLAG CEREMONY: Many Scouts assisted with tributes this Memorial Day, including BSA Troop 282. Chad sent this photo:
Chad reports, “Troop 282 was on hand to assist Norman from Arrowhead Gardens with the Memorial Day flag ceremony.”
Yet another stolen vehicle to watch for. David sent the report and photo:
1998 Jeep Wrangler TJ. Stolen from West Seattle last night on the corner of 24th Ave. SW and Holden. Plate: BPM8757.
West Seattle has another Little Free Art Gallery. This one’s at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), “made by an awesome customer,” explains C & P co-proprietor Cameron Moores.
You’ll find it on C & P’s covered outdoor north-side porch. Cameron adds, “Anyone is welcome to contribute art or take some home.” P.S. If you’re in the mood for beverages and/or art, C & P is open today until 6 pm.
Another stolen vehicle to watch for – Marina sent the photos and report:
My black ‘99 Subaru Forester was stolen near the Farmers’ Market around Genesee and 40th yesterday while I was working. License plate CAU3434.
11:53 AM: The caller, James, also sent that photo of a few of them, to show how close to shore they were as they passed.
12:23 PM: Thanks to Chris Frankovich and Kersti Muul for word that transient orcas are headed northbound off West Seattle too, not that far behind the porpoises.
American flags line the heart of the West Seattle Junction again this Memorial Day, placed this morning by volunteers of all ages:
In the photo above is the Blunk family, who not only volunteered to help with the flags, but also are among the donors who covered the cost of a flag in the Junction Association‘s flag-funding drive.
Volunteers will gather again at 4 pm to start removing them – if you can help with that, the meeting spot is on the northeast corner of California/Alaska, outside the historic Campbell Building.
Good morning. Notes for the holiday:
Metro: Sunday schedule
West Seattle Water Taxi: Sunday schedule
Washington State Ferries: See today’s schedules here
Sound Transit: Sunday schedule
Our page highlighting local cameras is here
SDOT’s map with cameras and alerts from around the city is here
Usually not a big holiday for changed business hours but we’ve heard from two: Circa (2605 California SW) is open for breakfast/lunch today but closed for dinner; C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) is open 7 am-6 pm.
Junction flag help – 9 am and/or 4 pm, meet up with volunteers at the northeast corner of California/Alaska to help put up and/or take down the American flags commemorating the holiday.
Memorial Day poppies – Drive, ride, or walk up to American Legion Post 160 (3618 SW Alaska) 10 am-4 pm for your poppy, by donation, to help veterans.
Outdoor-gear sale – Next door to Post 160, new WSB sponsor Mountain to Sound Outfitters‘ sale continues today, 11 am-6 pm. (3602 SW Alaska)
Low tide with beach naturalists – Today’s -1.7-foot low tide at 11:39 am is not super-low, but Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists will be out again today. Find them at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park 10:30 am-12:30 pm.
The Clay Cauldron’s anniversary – 1-4 pm, shop, create, celebrate the pottery studio’s first anniversary! (5214 Delridge Way SW)
Anything else? Text us – 206-293-6302 – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Though the “zero” in Vision Zero is not yet in sight, the program’s coordinator remains hopeful.
Her presentation led off this month’s meeting of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, which also spotlighted a local bicycling group, and ended with some decisions about WSTC’s future.
VISION ZERO: Seven and a half years have passed since Vision Zero, envisioning an elimination of traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030, was announced. The program’s coordinator for SDOT, Allison Schwartz, was the meeting’s first guest, accompanied by SDOT’s mobility manager Sara Zora. Schwartz noted that this presentation is similar to the update she gave to the Pedestrian Advisory Board two weeks earlier. Again here, she somberly noted the 10 people killed in traffic incidents – on foot (including two West Seattle deaths), on bikes, in cars – in Seattle so far this year.
But they’re undaunted in efforts to reverse the trend: “Vision Zero is more than a slogan … it requires a paradigm shift … prioritizing the movement of human beings” rather than prioritizing vehicles, she said. To do that would take “decades of undoing” what led to this point, she said. Here’s how the program hopes to get to a safer place:
The District 1 Community Network – a coalition of West Seattle/South Park advocates – finally gets its long-planned visit from Mayor Bruce Harrell this Wednesday (June 1st). It’s an online meeting, all welcome; the group has questions lined up, but only gets half an hour with the mayor, so there won’t be much if any time for open Q&A, but the group has been discussing questions spanning a variety of topics, from public safety to transportation to land use to homelessness. (On that last topic, this appearance will be on the day after Harrell’s scheduled Tuesday announcement of his long-awaited plan to deal with the crisis.) The meeting is at 7 pm Wednesday; viewing and call-in information is in our calendar listing for the meeting.
Three and a half years ago, Mallika Siddiq took over the space at 4547 California SW that had for 50 years been home to Terjung’s Studio of Gifts. First she opened Lika Love Boutique in November 2018; then a year ago she added the speakeasy-style bar In The Heart to the back of the space. Today, she announced both will close in two weeks. Siddiq told WSB via email, “June 12th is our last day. Everything must go. We are selling our merchandise, fixtures, furniture, and bar ware.” As for why she’s closing: “The obvious reason – it has been very difficult to run a small business during and even after the pandemic, Financially it makes the most sense.” Before opening Lika Love as a bricks-and-mortar boutique – first in a brief previous Junction location, then in Morgan Junction, and then the current space – Siddiq was mostly mobile, with a Lika Love fashion truck. So what’s she doing next? “I honestly have no plans for the first time in many years. I am taking time off to do the things I love, spending quality time with the people I love, and travel.”
4:16 PM: If you’re heading to/from South Park, be aware of a big emergency response to the Highway 509 interchange at 1st/Cloverdale [map]. A driver is reported to have gone off the road. A “rescue extrication” response was being sent but the person is reported out of the vehicle, so that’s being downsized.
4:42 PM: WSDOT says the crash is partly blocking the southbound 509 ramp.
Just received from Taylor:
House was broken into on the lower half of Fairmount Ave SW between Friday and noon today.
2021 white Porsche Cayenne S
Heirloom and new jewelry.
Chloe small clutch purse, a few other purses and belts of value
Black bike (don’t remember the model number).
This bike was left next to the shed, likely abandoned after taking my bike:
No police report # yet but we’ll add it as soon as it’s available. (Update: It’s 22-135939.)
If the student(s) in your household don’t have summer plans finalized yet, here’s an invitation:
Hoops4Life is back in full swing with 4 sessions at Seattle Lutheran HS this summer!
Hoops4Life is a high-quality basketball/life skills camp in its 25th year here in West Seattle. 9 am-4 pm Monday through Friday for $199. Still room in Session 2 (July 18-22) for 2nd-4th graders and room for all grades through 8th in recently opened Session 3 (July 25-29). Register now!! hoops4life206.com/content/2022-seattle-lutheran-camp
The SLHS gym is at 4100 SW Genesee just north of The Junction.
Another veterans’ organization is offering Memorial Day poppies as a fundraiser. Here’s the announcement we received this morning from Keith Hughes, American Legion Post 160 commander:
The American Legion will have Poppies at the American Legion Hall at 3618 SW Alaska St on Sunday and Monday, 10 am to 4 pm. Drive up at the curb or drive in. Donations all go to direct support of Vets and their families for emergency financial support during these hard times.
Look for the canopy right out front on the westbound side of SW Alaska just east of 37th SW.