West Seattle, Washington
The Chief Sealth International High School Seahawks’ baseball season is over. Playing Seattle Prep at Steve Cox Memorial Park this evening, they fell behind 5-0 in the first inning and couldn’t make a comeback. Final score was 6-1.
All afternoon and evening, Metro League softball-tournament contenders have been on the field at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex, including both local teams.
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL: The Wildcats blew out Ingraham in their first game of the day, at mid-afternoon, 19-0. That sent them forward to play Ballard tonight. WSHS lost that game 5-3, but gets one more try to stay in the postseason, with a 1:30 pm game Friday (May 12) vs. Lincoln, also at NCSWAC (2801 SW Thistle).
CHIEF SEALTH INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL: Lincoln is who brought the Seahawks’ season to an end this afternoon, 15-10. Chief Sealth finishes the year with a 10-8 record.
Toplines from last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting:
FERRY TERMINAL PROJECT: The FCA board’s liaison with Washington State Ferries, Frank Immel, had news. (corrected) A WSF community meeting is set for 6 pm June 7th. The plan to restore three-boat service on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run remains on hold because of vessel and staffing shortages. Immel also said fare increases are a possibility as legislators seek to have WSF cover more of its operating costs.
POLICE UPDATES: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Martin Rivera said the most dramatic trend is the one that’s been mentioned at many community meetings lately – auto theft is up dramatically. In the precinct’s jurisdiction (West Seattle and South Park), thefts are running 100 vehicles ahead of the total at this point last year; part of that, he attributed to the notorious “TikTok Challenge” that has spiked thefts of Hyundais and Kias.
FCA president Mike Dey reminded everyone that the Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Council meets at the precinct at 6 pm Thursday (tomorrow) and will include SPD’s Parking Enforcement Unit – with topics including RPZs, a special area of interest in Fauntleroy areas near the ferry dock. Capt. Rivera said Parking Enforcement, which is back in SPD after a turbulent time outside it, has a new leader.
COMMUNITY SURVEY: FCA will send one out this year, likely this fall. They decided not to send one out while the West Seattle Bridge was closed, feeling it likely would have been dominated by bridge-related issues that would soon be resolved.
FALL FESTIVAL FUNDRAISER: Last month’s fundraiser at Endolyne Joe’s raised $2,700 for the festival – which is entirely powered by donations and volunteers. $1,500 was from restaurant proceeds on the fundraiser day/night, and $1,200 was from the gift-basket raffle. This year’s festival is scheduled for Sunday, October 15th.
NEXT MEETING: The FCA board meets at 7 pm second Tuesdays at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, with community members always welcome.
If you haven’t finalized plans for Mother’s Day (this Sunday, May 14th) yet, Lily’s Salvadorean Restaurant proprietor Lily Anaya asked us to share this invitation:
On Sunday, May 14th, Lily’s Salvadorean Restaurant will be hosting a special Mother’s Day brunch from 11 am to 1 pm. There will be a Mariachi band performing during this time to add to the festive atmosphere. However, the restaurant will remain open throughout the day to continue the celebration of all mothers.
We are excited to invite families to join us for a delicious meal and a fun-filled day at Lily’s. We will be offering a special menu for the occasion, featuring some of our most popular dishes as well as some new creations.
We look forward to welcoming many families to Lily’s Salvadorean Restaurant this Mother’s Day!
Another pop-up shop has opened in the Senior Center of West Seattle‘s ground-level corner space at California/Oregon. Proprietor Sev Sengul, a West Seattle resident, is selling “handmade rugs, handmade antique decorative pillow covers, Turkish bath spa towels. and other unique stuff. Everything is handmade, from all over the world, very discounted price.” The shop is open daily 9:30 am-6 pm through May 29th. Purchases through Mother’s Day get a free gift of handmade jewelry.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
With three projects on the way – two of them long-delayed – Hiawatha was the centerstage topic at last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, facilitated by ANA president Joanie Jacobs:
HIAWATHA: Seattle Parks’ Kim Baldwin brought the latest information, though little has changed since our most-recent reports. She clarified that she’s with the capital division – the one that “gets projects built.” First, the Hiawatha turf replacement, which she noted is needed because it’s close to the end of its 10-to-12-year life cycle. The track also will be redone. The field striping will include softball. And a new batting cage is part of the project. Right now they’re awaiting contract execution (we reported the rebid results here) and later this month expect to issue a notice to proceed, so the project would be complete “by the end of August.” Baldwin said there’s no specific start date yet. A former West Seattle High School baseball coach voiced concerns about past problems with the site, including safety because of a light pole “that somebody’s going to run into.” He also wanted to ensure that the mounds on the field will be turf, not dirt. Baldwin said some of these issues might already be addressed in the project – she didn’t have the plans handy. The former coach also had concerns about limitations on the times that the school teams could use the field.
Regarding the renovations for the years-closed community center, which includes a wide variety of components, the FEMA grant has been received, Baldwin said (as noted here), and they’re hoping to go out to bid soon and start construction in late summer. Work will last “nine to 12 months,” she said – meaning they hope to reopen the center before 2024 is over. Total project funding is $3 million, including the ~$500,000 FEMA grant.
Regarding the play area – the current spot “beneath the trees” will be turned into a natural area, and the new site is just south of the wading pool. It will include a swing set, accessible pathways, picnic tables, basketball. That project has been delayed “and we’re still waiting to get our permit – we’ve come across stormwater issues” – hoping to bid summer or fall this year, with construction starting after that and they’re hoping it’ll be open summer 2024. When construction starts, the current play area is scheduled to be demolished; one attendee wondered if the timing could be altered. Baldwin didn’t know whether the wading pool would be open this summer or not, in response to a question. Another question was about the softball field near the wading pool; “no work is scheduled in that area,” Baldwin said. Why? she was asked. It’s not funded, for one, she replied. A neighbor said the area was “virtually unused because it’s in such poor condition,” and suggested some consideration of changing it. (Tupper said it was a Pee Wee field for years ‘and then the Park Department abandoned it.”) WSHS’s lack of a softball field forces them to travel to Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex right now, said another attendee identifying herself as a WSHS softball coach.
How do folks contact the project teams directly? Contact info is on the website, Baldwin replied, and the department is working with WSHS directly.
SEATTLE POLICE: Lt. Nathan Shopay, night commander for the Southwest Precinct (7 pm-5 am), who supervises 3 sergeants and 20 officers, said nothing much has changed since last month – everything’s down except auto theft, which continues to be way up. Summer planning and emphasis patrols at the beach are a big focus right now – “we will have more officers out on the beach coming up” – and yes, they’re still short on officers; special events mean call-ins for officers on their days off. He focuses on ensuring there’s adequate staffing and dealing with “community issues.” He also noted that the latest state laws regarding pursuits mean a lot of new training and “that’s not making anyone happy.” Back to the beach – “it comes down to us babysitting young adults,” who are gathering at the beach. They’re dealing with it most nights, not just weekends; he sends officers there when they’re available.
In Q&A, one attendee asked how you get something declared a “nuisance property” – Lt. Shopay noted that it’s important to have contact with the owner so they can give permission to boot trespassers. Another question: What helps prevent auto theft? His first advice: “Have really good insurance,” he said. That aside, he said, the best thing you can do is to make sure there’s nothing in your car – not just so it’s not tempting, but also because then you aren’t missing anything else if it’s stolen. Another officer in attendance suggested a kill switch, battery disconnection, fuse removal, to keep it from being taken. What about “air tags” to help you find them? asked an attendee. “We can find it, but if there’s someone in it and they take off, we can’t pursue them.” Another question: An attendee was troubled by people smoking cannabis in public at the Don Armeni parking ;ot. They could be cited – or it could lead to a DUI – Lt. Shopay noted.
UPCOMING EVENTS: Much of this was announced at the last ANA meeting, and plans are proceeding. For the Summer Concerts, coordinator Stephanie Jordan reiterated that these will be on the Lafayette Elementary playground – with partnership of Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Parks – July 13, 20, 27. They have sound handled, but they’re also looking for staging and a drum set, plus fundraising assistance. She’s not ready to announce the acts yet but there’ll be a youth-focused night, a jazz night, a retro party night.
An idea previously called Summer of Wellness has become Seasons of Wellness – they’ve applied to the city’s Small Sparks Fund for money to underwrite a series of free yoga classes. Two 5-week sessions, in fall and then winter – but they might do some summer one-offs such as Zumba classes. The venue will be Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill, where the ANA meets).
Admiral Junction Funktion – Though the Chamber of Commerce staged it last year, this year the ball’s in ANA’s court, and they’re partnering with Mission and Admiral Pub proprietors. Lots of volunteer opportunities ahead! August 26th is the date. It’ll be a street party again and area businesses will be invited to have booths. Some new features are planned including an art tent.
Adopt-A-Street – the new organizer couldn’t be at the meeting but the first one is scheduled June 3rd.
4th of July Kids’ Parade – ANA will have a booth and also needs volunteers.
Outdoor movie – Jacobs is working with Parks on a possible movie – the small park alongside Admiral Church, combined with the church grounds, is a likely site, and this would be in August.
COMMUNITY EVENTS: Thursday (May 11) is the next West Seattle Art Walk, and some venues have music as well as art – this month will include West Seattle Grounds (which Jacobs manages). West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day this Saturday (May 13) was mentioned too – Jacobs enthused that the day “feels like a party.” Support local businesses while you’re out – grab coffee and/or lunch. Also noted, Admiral Church has events coming up – see their website – and Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom keeps “office hours” in the community, 11:30 am-1 pm Wednesdays at Bebop Waffle Shop (California/Admiral). Also noted, the church has a shoe-donation drive under way.
ANA ONLINE: Dan Jacobs manages the organization’s website and social-media channels and is continuing to add content, including spotlights on local businesses.
WHAT’S NEXT: Watch the aforementioned ANA website, connecttoadmiral.org, for updates on events and future meetings. Joanie Jacobs closed with a reminder that it’s an all-volunteer group and more help is welcome – “as great as it already is, we want to make our neighborhood a better place.”
Love it or hate it, the Highway 99 tunnel is inarguably an “engineering feat,” as photographer/author Catherine Bassetti describes it. She was official photographer for the project and has published a behind-the-scenes book. She is sponsoring WSB to ensure interested readers know about it:
Discover everything about the historic deep-bore tunnel drive that changed the face of Seattle’s waterfront forever. Catherine Bassetti, the official photographer for the SR99 Tunnel project, introduces “Supertunnel – Journey from Light to Light.” This 190-page, hardcover book chronicles the engineering feat that broke records and beat the odds in the global tunneling industry. In a grand tour behind the scenes, the book offers a refreshing perspective on Seattle’s transportation project of the decade with commentary from key participants, civic leaders, and entertaining ‘On the Job Spotlights’ from laborers.
“After five years working above and below ground, photographing the six worksites, all events, and milestones of this giant undertaking, I realized that the public audience was not privy to more than reports of the setbacks and politics surrounding the project. By producing this book, my hope is that readers can sense the magnitude of engineering and dedicated labor that built Seattle’s new tunnel. There was no shortage of opportunity to make the innate come alive in the lens. I met skilled men and women whose energy was unstoppable. This book came to life as they shared their own experiences on the job. This was one of the most surprising, demanding, fulfilling, and thought-provoking assignments of my career.”
In an article for the Seattle Times Traffic Lab, Mike Lindblom, veteran transportation reporter wrote: “The Highway 99 tunnel has generated another milestone: a photo retrospective that’s a hefty three pounds and 190 pages. ‘Supertunnel – Journey from Light to Light,’ by Catherine Bassetti, celebrates the epic feat of building the 53 1/3-foot-diameter tube, two miles from Sodo to South Lake Union.“Photographing the tunnel was grand, even in the smallest detail”, she writes. The pictures will bring back memories for tunneling fans, or anyone explaining the giant tube to visitors. Bassetti underwent safety training and became friends with tunnel forepersons and laborers, gaining access deep inside. Many of them wrote short reflections for pages between the photos. The book provides some fresh images, such as close-ups of workers assembling the concrete rings, beyond areas available to local news media.
In a stunning image, Bassetti leaned off a catwalk over a 120-foot-deep vault, where Bertha’s damaged front end was being repaired and strengthened, to shoot straight down at the cutting disc and new steel teeth, tinged gold by some rare winter sunshine.
Another memorable chapter features construction divers working in four times atmospheric pressure. They replaced the 75-pound steel teeth, then rested for hours in the decompression chamber. “Even though you couldn’t see too far below, you knew it was 60 feet down. When something like a piece of rock fell, you could definitely hear it hit the water. It didn’t feel so high because it was so dark in there,” writes worker Cody Heck.
Control-room operators are pictured, taking pride in their post-repair success. Soil settlement was nearly too minute to measure beneath downtown buildings, the result of accurate steering and soil measurement.
But this book, focused on the dig, isn’t a place to learn about the litigation, nor Seattle’s political arguments about whether to build highway infrastructure during climate change, or the eight years of debate and advisory votes pitting a new viaduct vs. a tunnel vs. a surface road.
“As the machine came to a halt, the elated shouts and whistles of the crew from within the machine marked the end of Bertha’s arduous and triumphant journey,” she writes.
“Supertunnel” is a thorough account of all that went into the two-mile underground highway, including thirty separate topics, and hundreds of original photos and renderings. Rather than a fast read, the book is the type that will linger on the living room table for readers to continue viewing over time.
A Seattle native, Catherine Bassetti grew up in the eastern foothills, overlooking the city and Puget Sound. Her career began in Madrid, Spain, focusing on commercial work and photojournalism for fifteen years. Returning to the Northwest, she opened her business for corporate, public and private clientele. Documenting the tunnel was, in a small way, her own contribution to the city where her family has roots in its early urban growth and development. Catherine’s connection to West Seattle stems from her maternal grandparents, Joe and Marjorie Wilson, who built one of the first homes on Fauntleroy Ave., and her aunt, Jane MacGowan, who was a lifelong resident nearby.
For detailed information on the book and Catherine’s work, visit www.thesupertunnel.com
11:43 AM: Thanks to John for reporting, “Really brown water on 61st in Alki.” He says SFD was in the area a short time before, and since there are no emergency responses logged for that area, it could have been hydrant testing – nonetheless, if your water shows discoloration, in any area for any reason, be sure to report it to Seattle Public Utilities. The discoloration is usually “sediment” stirred up by unusual activity in the line, and that “sediment” is usually rust, but the utility needs to know – 206-386-1800 24/7.
2:25 PM: As Ray notes in comments, about an hour and a half after we published this initial report, a water-main break was mapped at 61st/Admiral.
10 PM: The SPU map does not show it resolved yet.
Just announced by Seattle Public Schools, a community meeting about the impending rebuild of Alki Elementary. It’ll be held in person and online at 7 pm Monday, May 22nd. The district flyer for the meeting says the purpose is:
• Meet the project team
• Learn the latest information
• Find out what we’ve heard from the community
• Ask questions
As reported here Monday, the city has just approved the district’s 9 requested zoning exceptions for the project, which will increase Alki Elementary’s capacity from 300+ students to 500+. The May 22nd meeting will be in the school lunch room (3010 59th SW); the district says the link for online attendance will be published here that day (we’ll add it to our calendar listing and daily preview list when available, too).
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
HISTORY HOUR: The Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon) presents, for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: “Hidden Histories: The South Vietnamese Side of the Vietnam War.” 1 pm, free, but please contact SCWS to RSVP.
SOFTBALL: The Metro League tournament is at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle), with both local teams playing this afternoon (and possibly this evening, if they win), starting with Chief Sealth IHS vs. Lincoln at 1:30 and West Seattle HS vs. Ingraham at 3:30.
LOW-LOW TIDE: Still good for beach walking – it’s out to -2.2 feet at 3:10 pm.
BASEBALL: Chief Sealth IHS plays Seattle Prep in a must-win postseason game, 4:30 pm at Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd, White Center).
TRIVIA x 6: Here’s where to play tonight. At 6 pm, Locust Cider (2820 Alki SW) now offers trivia … at 7 pm, you can play trivia at the West Seattle Brewing Mothership (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW); Larry’s Tavern (3405 California SW) hosts Wednesday-night trivia starting at 8 pm; there’s 7:30 and 8:30 pm Sporcle Pub Quiz at The Lodge (4209 SW Alaska); trivia starts at 8 pm at Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW); at 8:30 pm, trivia with Phil T at Talarico’s (4718 California SW).
JAZZ NIGHT: 6:30 pm at Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way).
LIVE MUSIC AT THE LOCOL: 6:30 pm. 21+. Rotating performer slate. (7902 35th SW)
34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: 7 pm online meeting, including an update on the legislative session with 34th District legislators and state Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, plus an update from King County Proecutor Leesa Manion – more agenda highlights plus the registration link are here.
MUSIC BINGO: Play weekly at The Good Society (California/Lander), 7 pm.
SKYLARK OPEN MIC: 7:30 pm signups @ West Seattle’s longest-running open mic – no cover to watch. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
KARAOKE AT BENBOW ROOM: 9 pm-2 am – info in our calendar listing. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
Planning an event – presentation, meeting, performance, reading, tour, fundraiser, sale, discussion, or … – that could be featured on West Seattle’s only comprehensive event calendar? Tell us about it! Please email info to email@example.com – thank you!
Family and friends are remembering Jon Paul Tharp; here’s what they’re sharing with the community:
Born in Hammond, Indiana, on February 25, 1938, Jon passed away in Auburn, WA, on April 21, 2023. Son of the late Daniel F. Tharp & Mary Gehring Tharp; brothers Daniel F. Tharp II of Florida & Charles W. Tharp, deceased.
After attending Hammond Tech High School, he moved with his parents to West Seattle and graduated in 1957 from WSHS. He was employed at Boeing for forty-three years as a machinist, retiring in 2000.
Jon met his wife Audrey Lowdon at West Seattle Christian Church, and they were married there in August of 1962. He lived in West Seattle from 1962 to 2005, then moved to Lakeland Hills in Auburn, WA. He enjoyed working in his “garage” and as a “handyman” at church in West Seattle and in his retirement community in Auburn.
Children: Bryan (Lori) Tharp of Kennewick, WA, and daughter Karyn Tharp Eklund (Terry) of Covington, WA.
Five grandchildren: Tyler, Curtis, and Payton Eklund & Brady and Evan Tharp; sister-in-law Judy Lowdon Russell (Alan) of Spokane, WA; three special nieces, Cari Sheppard of Tigard, OR, Lindy Mihata of Anchorage, AK, and Shelly Krasselt of Spokane, WA.
A private family graveside service is planned.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:01 AM: Good morning. It’s Wednesday, May 10th.
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Sunny today as the warmup continues, high in the upper 60s – still looking sunny and warm for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day on Saturday (and beyond)! Sunrise was at 5:39 am; sunset will be at 8:34 pm.
The ramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge to northbound State Highway 99 reopened early Tuesday. Here’s a look at the repair site, courtesy of a reader:
Metro – Regular schedule, but trip cancellations are still happening.
Water Taxi – Continuing the spring/summer schedule.
Washington State Ferries‘ Triangle Route continues on the 2-boat schedule but with the chance of sailing cancellations on short notice, so check here for alerts/updates and see Vessel Watch for boats’ locations.
SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
High Bridge – the main camera:
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
Low Bridge – east-end vicinity:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:
Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.
BRIDGE INFO: Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
If you see trouble on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities). Thank you!