West Seattle, Washington
8:21 PM: On their home court, the West Seattle High School girls’ basketball team has just won their opening game in this year’s state tournament, beating Central Kitsap, 48-37. Photos and details after we get back to HQ!
10:48 PM: Though the Wildcats led the Cougars by double digits for more than half the game. it was not a case of coasting to victory. They were behind 11-9 at the end of the first quarter, getting lots of shots but unable to convert many of them. In the second quarter, WSHS suddenly got prolific with three-pointers.
First one was by #0, senior Lauren Wright, then one by #4, junior Carmen Cruz, and then #22, junior Lucy Larson, netted three triples in the last two minutes before halftime – she was the Wildcats’ top scorer on the night, with 14 points:
Head coach Darnell Taylor‘s team went into halftime up 30-19.
First points of the second half came on a basket by Cruz, the night’s second-leading scorer with 13 points:
In the last minute of the third quarter, a triple by #11, senior Brooke Swanson (WSHS’s third top scorer tonight with 10 points), gave WSHS their widest lead, 42-22:
After that, though, Central Kitsap started a comeback attempt, with 10 unanswered points, halving West Seattle’s lead, until #21, sophomore Alyssa Neumann, broke the spell with a basket at four minutes to go. The Cougars answered with their own, but WSHS didn’t let them get any closer, and finished out the win in their home gym.
If you’re thinking about COVID vaccinations, either initial series or boosters, the next public pop-up clinic in West Seattle is this Sunday (February 26th). Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish is hosting the clinic at Walmesley Center (35th and Myrtle), 9 am-2 pm Sunday. All vaccines available for adults and for children ages (corrected) 5 and up, according to the announcement, all free, no appointments required – just show up.
From police summaries, two more Monday gunfire reports:
CAT OWNER SHOOTS AT DOG: Just after 3:30 pm Monday, a 911 caller reported that he had just shot at a dog that was charging at him and his cat (who, according to archived police-radio audio, was being walked on a leash) in the 4600 block of SW Maple Way. The dog had reportedly gotten out of its fenced yard. The report summary continues, “The caller said he was in fear for his safety and his cat’s safety, so he fired one round into the grass to get the dog to back off. The dog retreated, which allowed the caller to create space and return home safely.” The owner captured and corraled his dog (a German Shepherd, according to archived audio) and told police that the dog had gotten out of the yard because the wind blew the gate open. No injuries reported, human, canine, or feline.
SHOOTING INTO THE RIVER: Just before 1:30 pm Monday, two people working on a barge in the 7100 block of 1st Avenue South – on the Duwamish River along the 1st Ave. S. Bridge – heard gunfire. They told police they then saw someone “standing in an encampment shooting a handgun in their general direction with rounds impacting the Duwamish (River).” Then that person and someone else got into a vehicle. That’s where arriving police found him, also finding “evidence of a shooting in and around the vehicle associated with the suspect (and) other firearm-related items of evidence … inside the vehicle.” The vehicle was impounded and the 55-year-old suspect was arrested, booked into King County Jail for investigation of unlawful firearm discharge plus a court-order violation. According to the jail register, his bail is set at $3,000.
That’s the second “State of the City” speech by Mayor Bruce Harrell, delivered in the noon hour today from Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center. He explained the location as important to his vision – a place that, centered on the Space Needle, has always represented “the Seattle of the Future.” The largest but by no means only topic he tackled was downtown, promising a “Downtown Action Plan,” insisting that its “problems are not insurmountable.” But he also vowed that focusing on downtown would not be “at the expense of other neighborhoods.” His lone shoutout to this neighborhood was whene he touched on transportation, saying he was glad to have helped get the West Seattle Bridge repair to completion, and noting that light rail is on the way here. Regarding public safety, he announced that the city’s long-discussed third public-safety department will be the CARE Department – an acronym for Civilian Assisted Response and Engagement. He also mentioned both police hiring and police reform – for the former, increased marketing to find applicants, and for the latter, prioritizing de-escalation. Other public-safety initiatives that got mentions: The hiring of 26 new park rangers and a promised “public health order” next month as part of the downtown plan, relating to drug use, which he said “breaks my heart.” Regarding homelessness, he touted the previously announced regionalization plan for the Unified Care Team that deals with encampments and the forthcoming Housing Levy renewal. And if you want to get involved in helping the city, Harrell noted that the next One Seattle Day of Service will be May 20th.
As mentioned here last Friday, local business organizations organized a fundraiser for Turkey/Syria earthquake victims – you shop/dine/drink at participating businesses this Friday-Sunday (February 24-26), and they in turn will donate part of the proceeds to one or both of these relief groups: AHBAP and White Helmets. The West Seattle Junction Association sent this graphic with this list of who’s in:
The region has been shaken by another deadly quake this week, two weeks after the one that is blamed for more than 40,000 deaths.
Thanks to everyone who’s tipped us about activity seen at 4457 Fauntleroy Way SW, where Midas closed in 2019, including fencing that went up a few days ago. After three years on the market, the site was sold a week ago. It was originally listed for $3,250,000; online records show it sold for just over half that, $1.8 million. The buyer is an LLC linked to a Mercer Island real-estate investor/developer; no permit applications are on file for the site so far.
Multiple levels of transit-service updates were presented at s King County Council committee meeting that just wrapped up. In the big picture, transit executives and councilmembers alike observed that transit usage has changed in a big way, largely because of the pandemic-triggered change in work styles – only about half as many people as pre-pandemic commute five days a week, for example. Metro‘s new general manager Michelle Allison noted that the system will recognize this in its marketing: “We want transit to be your first choice” for all kinds of transportation needs. (It’s not just Metro – the councilmembers also heard from a Sound Transit executive who said that for one example, Saturday ridership on light rail has doubled.)
However, it was also acknowledged that the bus system is not yet back to full speed – “near-term delivery challenges” is how the ongoing problems were described. While the steering issue that took more than 200 buses out of service are “on track” to getting handled, a worker shortage is still a major factor. Allison gave the councilmembers the newest numbers:
-119 fewer full-time-equivalent operators (drivers) than needed
-36 fewer maintenance mechanics than needed
The first number is higher than a month ago, when Metro told us they estimated 99 more FTE drivers were needed. So trip cancellations aren’t going to go away any time soon.
Back to the big picture – the councilmembers also were asked to approve a “recovery plan” that basically acknowledges the current level of service – including reduced/suspended routes – and a new strategy for future planning. As explained in the plan’s staff report, one component of the strategy will be regional “restructuring” that will, among other things, review suspended/reduced routes. From the staff report:
To allow time to address operational capacity and staffing shortfalls and to coordinate service restoration with several significant high-capacity transit expansions, the Service Recovery Plan proposes that Metro will use service restructure projects as the primary means for reshaping service and reinvesting suspended hours back into the system. The Plan notes that Metro’s adopted policies would be followed in developing these service restructures. It also states that Metro does not plan to restore all suspended hours to the system in the same routes and times that they were removed, but that each mobility project would maintain service investments (service hours) within their geographic project areas, so there would be no net reduction in the total amount of service in an area.
As proposed, the service restructures would be organized into six geographically focused mobility projects:
•Seattle, Vashon Island Restructure and Restoration. For routes within Seattle and on Vashon Island that are not part of the other mobility projects described above, Metro proposes to pursue a new mobility project to consider service recovery options for routes that are currently reduced or suspended.
The Service Recovery Plan states that the following routes with reduced or suspended service hours would be included in this restructure, coordinated by geography:
o Central Seattle: 3, 4, 7, 9X, 11, 12, 27, 40, 43, 47, 48.
o Queen Anne/Magnolia: 19, 24, 29, 33.
o North Seattle: 15X, 17X, 18X, 31, 32, 45, 62, 79, 255, D Line, E Line.
o West Seattle/Vashon Island: 21X, 22, 37, 55, 56, 113, 116X, 118X, 118, 119X, 119, 120, 131, C Line.
o Other areas: 231, 631, 906, 914, 915.
Metro says 17 routes remain fully suspended – that would include West Seattle’s Route 37. Allison also noted at the meeting that, as we’ve reported, RapidRide H Line is launching March 18th – but rather than an addition, that’s a conversion, of the existing Route 120.
Here’s what’s happening today/tonight, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
METRO BRIEFING: As mentioned in our morning traffic updates, a County Council committee is hearing a status update on Metro service this morning, and it’s still ahead as of when we’re publishing this – if interested, watch live here.
POSTCARDS TO VOTERS: Long-distance political-advocacy group meets at 10:30 am at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
STATE OF THE CITY: Watch Mayor Bruce Harrell present this annual update, noon via Seattle Channel.
CHESS CLUB: Tuesdays 1:30-3 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon): “Are you looking for a new activity to keep your brain sharp and clear? The Senior Center Chess Club welcomes both novice and experienced players. Join us at 1:30 p.m. for lessons, short tutorials and chess for all levels of expertise. For more information, contact Conwell: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
FREE INDOOR PLAYSPACE: Toddler Gym weekday afternoons at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW), ages 2-6, 3:30-5 pm.
DEMONSTRATION FOR BLACK LIVES: Long-running weekly sign-waving demonstration at 16th/Holden. 5-6 pm. Signs available if you don’t have your own.
SCRABBLE NIGHT: 6-10 pm, you can play Scrabble at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW).
UNPLUGGED – A MUSICAL GATHERING: 7 pm, acoustic musicians/singers of all genres are welcome at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
OPEN MIC: 7 pm at Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way), hosted by Michael Pearsall.
TRIVIA X 3: Three places where you can play Tuesday nights – 7 pm at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), 7 pm at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW), 7:30 and 8:30 pm Sporcle Pub Quiz at The Lodge (4209 SW Alaska).
BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!
You can always see the future via our event calendar – if you have something to include on it, please email info to email@example.com – thank you!
The report and photo are from Lindsey:
2001 Toyota Tundra. Plate B12114G. Stolen Sunday night from 44th Ave SW between Dakota and Genesee – I would love help getting it back! I saw them drive it away and it was really aggravating. I have had it over 20 years and I earned those 245K miles on it. If you see it, let me know. lindsandsasquatch (at) gmail (dot) com
SPD incident # is 23-048590.
That’s the West Seattle Big Band in an outdoor performance last summer. But you don’t have to wait until warmer weather to enjoy their music – they’re guest stars at a benefit for the West Seattle High School music program in just a week and a half, with excellent student musicians featured too! Here’s the announcement sent to us:
West Seattle High School Big Band Dinner Dance
Friday, March 3, 2023 from 6-9 pm
West Seattle High School Commons
The community is invited to our Annual Dinner Dance and Benefit, in support of our High School Music Program. Tickets are available at this link, either with dinner provided by the West Seattle High School Culinary Department or Dance only.
Performance by our Special Guest – the West Seattle Big Band, under the direction of Jim Edwards. Earlier performances by all our music groups – Jazz I & II, Band, Choir, Orchestra and Percussion – under the direction of our music teachers, Ethan Thomas and Taylor Fritts.
Thank you to our wonderful sponsor, West Side Music Academy! Auction items will be available to bid on, and all donations will be gratefully accepted.
Visit our webpage to purchase tickets and find more information, as we update it regularly. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Tuesday, February 21st.
WEATHER & WATER
Midwinter break continues today for most, but note that some non-public schools resume classes tomorrow.
–Metro is on its regular schedule, but still canceling some trips, so check notification channels such as @kcmetroalerts. (A briefing on the status of service is expected at a King County Council committee meeting starting at 9:30 am – you can watch here.)
-Regular schedule for the West Seattle Water Taxi.
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):
Low Bridge – looking east to west:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – the south route across the river:
Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.
MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: See all working traffic cams citywide here, most with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if needed) – 206-293-6302.