day : 05/01/2023 9 results

LOW-BRIDGE CLOSURE: No estimate yet for reopening; free-transit announcement expected Friday

Tomorrow marks two weeks since the West Seattle low-bridge breakdown left it out of service to street and path traffic. Here’s the latest:

(SDOT photo)

That’s SDOT director Greg Spotts visiting the low bridge today for a firsthand look at the repair work. (He chronicled his visit in this Twitter thread.) No new estimates of how long the bridge will be closed, though. We asked today if there’s a date yet for removing the leaky cylinder, which SDOT says has to be done before they can estimate a timeline for repairs; spokesperson Ethan Bergerson replied, “We’re continuing our preparations, such as securing all the necessary equipment, and haven’t scheduled the exact day and time yet.” (Back on Tuesday, he said they hoped to remove it within a week.) We also asked how long until they announced details of the plan to offer free Water Taxi and bus rides; Bergerson said, “We are currently working with King County Metro to finalize everything in order to offer free transit. We hope to be able to make an announcement tomorrow.” SDOT reps told West Seattle Bike Connections on Tuesday that the free rides – funded by city dollars – would be available to everyone, not just bike riders, whose only alternative to the low bridge is a lengthy detour about which riders have raised safety concerns.

The low bridge broke down on December 23rd, with SDOT blaming multiple issues, most significantly an “intensified” leak in one of the four 15,000-pound cylinders that open and close the 31-year-old bridge for vessel traffic.

ADDED 10:23 AM: While we await full details, SDOT wants to reiterate what we reported Tuesday night – that the free-ride offer will be available via the Transit GO app, so if you’re interested, you’ll need to download that in advance.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Theft in apartment lobby

The photos and report are from management at City Watch Apartments (4744 41st SW) in The Junction:

They report this happened between 7 and 8 am this morning: “This couple was caught on camera wandering around our lobby this morning and stole 2 boxes of food and a package that was left for a resident near our mailboxes.” The two are believed to be associated with a dark-blue PT Cruiser that has been seen in the neighborhood before. No police report # yet.

BIZNOTE: From driveway to storefront

Back a few years, when events were few and far between, Herbert Shepard set up rock and mineral shows under a tent in his Pigeon Point driveway.

(2021 photo)

Now he has a storefront, explaining, “After a long search we have found a location to open a retail and wholesale rock facility. It’s 1500 square feet, which is awesome and infinitely better than our one-car garage.” The World’s Fossils and Minerals is a short hop across the bridge in SODO, at 2700 4th Ave. South [map]. The proprietor adds, “Free 1-hour street parking. Entrance is up the stairs just west of the red and white Mallet Design Build sign. Open Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 am-4 pm, except Thursdays noon-6.”

SALMON IN THE SCHOOLS: Egg-arrival day in West Seattle

Almost 2,000 coho salmon eggs were distributed to local teachers from a Fauntleroy carport today, steps from the creek into which those that hatch will be released this spring. It’s an annual rite for Judy Pickens and Phil Sweetland, volunteers with the Salmon in the Schools program, picking up the eggs at Soos Creek Hatchery in the morning, then distributing them to program participants hours later. They, and other volunteers, took the eggs to schools pre-pandemic; now teachers come to their carport for the handoff instead.

(Judy and Phil with teacher Angie from [corrected] Arbor Heights)

Once at school, the eggs are placed into tanks where students care for them and learn about them as they grow. Our Lady of Guadalupe sent this photo taken after their pickup, as 1st graders watched the tank placement:

In the spring, salmon fry are brought to the creek and released – students participate in that too, as we show you every year. This year’s participating schools, in addition to OLG, include Alki, Arbor Heights, Gatewood, Highland Park, Roxhill, and Sanislo Elementary Schools, plus Louisa Boren STEM and Pathfinder K-8s, and Westside School (WSB sponsor), plus three local preschools. The Fauntleroy Watershed Council is raising 500 additional coho eggs as backups.

WEATHER ALERT: Coastal Flood Advisory for Friday morning

January 5, 2023 3:14 pm
|    Comments Off on WEATHER ALERT: Coastal Flood Advisory for Friday morning
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

With a fairly high tide – 12.2 feet – arriving amid somewhat unsettled weather, the National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory alert for Friday morning. The alert will span 3 to 8 am; high tide is at 6:06 am. The NWS explains, “A Coastal Flood Advisory indicates that onshore winds and tides will combine to generate flooding of low areas along the shore.” The current forecast predicts a windy night but it’s expected to calm down by morning,

FOLLOWUP: Coordinating South Park’s flood recovery

(WSB photos unless otherwise credited)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“We’re an environmental organization, not an emergency organization.”

Despite that observation, Duwamish River Community Coalition executive director Paulina López and staffers from her organization have been on the ground – and, at first, in the water – in the South Park flood zone, continuously, since the river overflowed its banks December 27th.

(Reader photo, December 27th)

We talked with her at the Resource Center, the nerve center of recovery efforts in north South Park at midday Wednesday, where South Chicago Street [map] is lined with trailers and tents – temporary office space, hygiene facilities – and storage pods for residents who had to get belongings out of flooded homes.

We went to South Park to find out more about what sort of help is most needed now, and will be needed in the future.

Our first stop was the Duwamish River Community Hub, in the heart of “downtown” South Park at 14th Avenue South/South Cloverdale, the former pizza joint converted into a community space by the Port of Seattle. Right now it’s serving as a dropoff and storage spot for donations, as well as a place flood victims can go get some of those donated items, like food staples. But food is no longer on the “most needed” list as of today’s update.

Back at the Resource Center, both López and DRCC’s Robin Schwartz told us that some of the larger items will be needed later, when families are either able to move back into their homes or into someplace new. Even finding places for flood victims to stay is a challenge – the city has arranged for lodging through at least January 11th, but these are families who in many cases have jobs and students and who want to stay in or near the South Park area.

DRCC is working to transition some of this assistance over to other community/social-service organizations whose missions better synergize with it – such as Villa Comunitaria and Khmer Community of Seattle King County. What DRCC wants to prioritize for its part, López says, is health and safety. They have been pushing for Public Health – Seattle & King County to come out and survey the homes that flooded to assess whether they’re safe enough to be reoccupied. And she has her eye on the big long-term “systemic” needs of which this situation has been a painful reminder.

Even balancing the recovery work with ongoing life in the neighborhood is a challenge. While we were speaking with López, someone from a nearby business came over to say cars – ostensibly belonging to people involved with the recovery work – were blocking their gate, and she had to go try to spread the word about that. We continued the conversation with Schwartz, who not only is a DRCC staffer, but also a resident of one of the flooded neighborhoods, though she said her home only took in inches of water, compared to others whose basements were swamped by feet of it.

As the recovery operation continues, there’s a looming concern about the next “king tides,” less than three weeks away – the basic prediction is slightly higher than December 27th, but the river may stay within its banks in the absence of atmospheric conditions such as those that intensified last week’s tides, Still, the city – and the residents and businesses – have to be ready. (We’re following up with Seattle Public Utilities to find out about their plans.)

For now, here are ways you can help:
-The aforementioned “current needs” list, updated again today, is here
DRCC’s crowdfunding page THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Financial donations are now directed to three community organizations – the two mentioned above and Cultivate South Park – find direct links on this page
-Two families have GoFundMe pages that were posted in this WSB comment thread

And if you’re offering help, patience is a plus too. Community organizations can get overwhelmed in situations like this, especially in the early going, but the needs will stretch on for weeks and even months, so if you reach out with an offer – maybe you have an appliance you could donate to someone who lost theirs in basement flooding – understand that you may not hear back immediately.

FYI: Flyover planned for Sunday’s Seahawks game

(November photo from Gene Pavola)

Since military flyovers for stadium events so often bring questions when the aircraft pass over here, this time we have a heads-up: Four helicopters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord are scheduled to fly over Lumen Field before this Sunday’s Seahawks/Rams game, which ends the regular season. We’re told the flyover around 1:20 pm will be preceded by up to three practice passes, which will likely include some time in holding patterns, The helicopters expected to participate are two UH-60 Black Hawks and two AH-64 Apaches, as seen in November.

Options for your West Seattle Thursday

(Black Turnstones near Duwamish Head, photographed by Ann Anderson)

Her are reminders about what’s up for the rest of today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

THURSDAY FOOD-TRUCK POP-UPS: 4-8 pm at Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW), the Home Bites truck will be visiting.

HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: Also at HP Corner Store, meet up at 6:30 pm Thursdays for a ~3-mile run.

OPENING NIGHT FOR DRIFTWOOD: The new restaurant/bar at 2722 Alki Avenue SW is scheduled to officially open tonight at 5 pm.

WESTSIDE SCHOOL INFORMATION NIGHT: Interested in preschool through 4th grade at Westside School (10404 34th SW; WSB sponsor)? 6 pm tonight is your chance to learn about it. Our calendar listing has the link for registering to attend.

LIVE MUSIC AT THE SKYLARK: David’s Van, Midpak, Mirabai Kukathas, all-ages show, doors at 6, music at 7 (3803 Delridge Way SW)

TAE KWON DO CLASSES: 6 pm at High Point Community Center (6940 34th SW), it’s the first class of the month for the West Seattle Tae Kwon Do Club – info in our calendar listing.

(added) JOKES IN THE JUNCTION: 8 pm, Great American Diner (4752 California SW):

You ever hear people say “I saw that comedian when he was just getting started?”
Coming to this show is how people get those stories. This is an audition show for our 10 other venues. These comics are vetted and have to submit tape to get a spot to wow our fantastic West Seattle crowd at the Great American Diner. The closer for this month’s show is Nesil Izil, an incredibly funny comic just coming off semi-finalist performance at the Seattle International Comedy Competition. Tickets are $5 online, $10 at the door.

WEST SEATTLE SILENT BOOK CLUB: C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) is one of four locations where the club will meet to read starting tonight at 7. See the full lineup here!

Have something to add to our calendar? Email info to – thank you!


6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, January 5th. 35th SW south of Avalon reopened three hours ago after a 10-hour-long closure following the fall of a big tree.


This is the 14th day the low bridge has been closed to surface traffic.

Here’s the latest update on repair needs and plans; the temporary bike lanes along a detour route for riders are supposed to be completed today.


-Watch for the aforementioned bike lanes being coned off along stretches of West Marginal Way and 1st Avenue South

Seattle Public Utilities has begun the lane closure in the 1400 block of Alki SW for the pump-station project


More rain expected today, breezy, high in the low 50s.


Metro is on a regular schedule today but still down buses for repairs – 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.


Delridge cameras: Updating this recent report, five are now live. Besides the one below (Delridge/Genesee), cameras are also up at Delridge/Oregon, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Orchard, and Delridge/Henderson.

High Bridge – the camera at the top.

High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way).

1st Ave. S. Bridge – the south route.

Highway 99: – 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.