West Seattle, Washington
Three years after the national chain Rite Aid acquired Seattle-founded regional chain Bartell Drugs, it’s closing some Bartell stores. And employees of the White Center Bartell store (9600 15th SW) are telling customers theirs will soon be among them. We’ve heard from multiple readers who say they’ve been told in recent days that the store will close at the end of the month, and a visit to the store reveals many items on sale at deep discounts. We have inquired with both Rite Aid and Bartell corporate spokespeople via email and phone, but have yet to receive a reply or acknowledgment either confirming or denying. As we reported on partner site White Center Now, the White Center store’s building changed ownership a year and a half ago, purchased for $5.1 million by an LLC associated with a California electrical contractor (we have an inquiry out to the owner as well). King County permit records show nothing on file for the sizable site. When the 4th Avenue Bartell store in downtown Seattle closed in July, The Seattle Times reported that was the fifth Bartell closure in less than a year; since then, one more has been announced. All this is unfolding against a backdrop of financial challenges for parent company Rite Aid.
Early heads-up, you may notice military helicopters over West Seattle this Sunday (September 10th) because of a flyover planned for the Seahawks‘ season-opener. We’re told helicopters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be in the area mid-morning and early afternoon; the game starts after 1 pm.
Thanks for the tip! That’s the sign now on the door at 1513 SW Holden in Highland Pari, former home of Wanna Teriyaki and Burger, future home of Chef Korea Miso. We published an update a month ago, after talking with one of the proprietors; she explained they’ll be serving “K-food” and that they were just awaiting final permits. Now they’ve announced they’ll open September 15th – a week from Friday.
Thanks to Manuel for the photos and report: “A tree fell from the Longfellow Creek area and is blocking the small Nevada Street bridge in Delridge. SDOT is on the scene.” (Here’s a map.)
This was about an hour ago, so it might be clear now, but still noteworthy; readers also reported a tree down earlier this week by Dragonfly Pavilion, but that one did not appear to be blocking anything.
Eastbound SW Alaska will be closed for one block in The Junction, between 44th and California, the next two weekends. SDOT is planning to replace several damaged concrete panels. The work is planned 8 am-6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, September 9th-10th and 16th-17th; the work zone will be open on the weekdays inbetween, and the westbound lanes will remain open at all times, as will the sidewalks. Bus rerouting will be forthcoming from Metro.
For thousands of West Seattle families, today’s biggest news is the start of the new school year. The traditional red-carpet welcome for students at West Seattle Elementary in High Point was paired today with a ribbon-cutting for the school’s newly complete expansion/renovation. Last month, we took you on a photo tour of the school. Now, principal Pamela McCowan-Conyers (above right), her staff, and their students are all back, after two years in temporary quarters at the former Schmitz Park Elementary (a “long ride” from High Point, the principal acknowledged). McCowan-Conyers hailed the project as “sorely needed” while offering a profuse round of gratitude for everyone involved, before leading the ribboncutting:
Among the dignitaries was district superintendent Dr. Brent Jones, who also enthused about the project, funded by the BEX V levy, passed by voters in 2019.
Once the ribbon was down, students headed for the entrance, under the new canopy, and were greeted by school staffers with high-fives and big smiles.
Shoutout to WSE staffer Akim Finch, who DJ’d the event, including a brisk early round of Earth Wind & Fire classics (“September” was especially appropriate):
The expansion added 12 classrooms, giving the school a capacity of more than 500 students; currently it’s around 400, assistant principal Ritchie Garcia told us when we toured for last month’s report. The school – which serves a community with a large immigrant population – is designed to support families as well as students, with areas where parents can access resources such as a job board.
P.S. With the reopening, West Seattle Elementary’s address has returned to 6760 34th SW – readers have noted that Google is still listing it with the Schmitz Park address, which is now the temporary home of Alki Elementary.
Two notes in West Seattle Crime Watch this morning:
BUSINESS BURGLARIZED 2X IN 2 WEEKS: The front of Global Smoke & Vape at 35th/Roxbury was still boarded up from the break-in on August 26th when crash-and-grab burglar(s) hit it early today. We went over to check after a reader tip. The store proprietor confirmed the burglary and said a vehicle had been used to break down the temporary door. The SPD call log shows an alarm response there just after 4 am. The store is open today, even as they clean up, again.
DUMPED IN DRIVEWAY CRASH: Even earlier this morning, a rude awakening at Jon‘s house near 20th/Holden:
Car thieves dumped that stolen Kia Soul in his driveway, after crashing it into his car around 1:15 am, still running (as is often the case). More than four hours later, Jon reported, “Police just left with the tow truck. The car owner didn’t even know it had been stolen yet. A great way to start the day.”
P.S. Today’s already seen at least one other stolen/dumped Kia, according to police-radio communication – another one left at Westcrest Park, also damaged and running.
9:57 AM: Thanks for the tip. Seattle Fire has responded to a natural-gas leak in the 5200 block of Delridge Way SW, and that has the southbound side of the street closed between Brandon and Puget. Updates to come.
10 AM: According to SFD radio communication, this happened because of a sewer-line repair.
10:06 AM: SFD describes this as a “minor leak,” because of a “nicked” line. They’ve been checking the air in neighboring houses for safety’s sake.
10:38 AM: SFD reports that Puget Sound Energy has “secured the leak,” so its units will be leaving, which means the road should be reopening.
Happy back-to-school day! Here’s what else is happening:
DRINK DEAL: $6 back-to-school “momosas” all day (until 3 pm) at Bebop Waffle Shop (2600 California SW) in The Admiral District.
TODDLER READING TIME: 10:30 am at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW).
TRANSPORTATION PLAN INFO: Today brings the last of four SDOT informational pop-ups at West Seattle libraries to get comments and answer questions about the newly released draft Seattle Transportation Plan, 12 pm-1 pm at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson). Here are other ways to get info/offer feedback.
PARTY AT THE BEER JUNCTION: Starting at 5 pm, tonight brings the celebration in honor of former owner Allison Herzog – previous coverage here. (4511 California SW)
TRIVIA x 5: Five places to play tonight. At 6 pm, Locust Cider (2820 Alki SW) now offers trivia … 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); Larry’s Tavern (3405 California SW) hosts Wednesday-night trivia starting at 8 pm … at 8:30 pm, trivia with Phil T at Talarico’s (4718 California SW).
ALSO AT WEST SEATTLE RUNNER: 6:30 pm injury-prevention clinic.
LIVE MUSIC AT THE LOCOL: 6:30 pm. 21+. Rotating performer slate. (7902 35th SW)
LIVE PIANO MUSIC: 7 pm at Otter on the Rocks. (4210 SW Admiral Way).
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)
If you’re planning a presentation, meeting, performance, reading, tour, fundraiser, sale, discussion, etc., and it’s open to the community, please send us info for West Seattle’s only comprehensive event calendar! firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Family and friends will gather September 24th to celebrate the life of Mike Nies. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with his community:
Michael Jay Nies (Mike)
October 27, 1959-August 11, 2023
After an extended illness, our beloved Brother, Uncle, and Friend passed away and headed to his eternal fishing expedition.
Mike was a lifelong resident of West Seattle, and a lifelong outdoorsman. Mike was an auto mechanic for his entire adult life, starting in high school at Tom’s Automotive in West Seattle and working there for over 30 years. Mike was also actively involved in the West Seattle Sportsmen’s Club; the annual children’s trout fishing was always a highlight for him. He could be seen sitting in a chair and baiting countless hooks for the entire day.
He will be missed by everyone whose life he touched. Michael was preceded in death by his parents, Marvin and Clara Nies. He is survived by his brother Jim, Sister-in-Law Kathleen, and his Nieces, Amanda Nies, Holly Wartella, and Jayme Nies. He is also survived by his great-niece Scarlett and great-nephew Cassius.
There will be a celebration of life on September 24th beginning at noon at the West Seattle American Legion Hall, 3618 SW Alaska Street.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
10 AM: Covering separately but also noting here – SB Delridge Way is blocked between Brandon and Puget because of a gas-leak response.
6:01 AM: Good morning! It’s Wednesday, September 6th, the biggest back-to-school day on the calendar.
WEATHER AND SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Becoming sunny, high near 70. Today’s sunrise will be at 6:34 am; sunset will be at 7:39 pm.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Schools that haven’t started classes yet start them today – be extra watchful on the streets, sidewalks, and paths:
Washington State Ferries – The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on the 2-boat schedule. Check Vessel Watch to see where your ferry is.
Metro – regular schedule; it’s the second weekday since the September “service change” – in West Seattle, Route 55 was suspended, and Routes 50 and 22 have changes.
Water Taxi – regular schedule.
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):
1st Ave. S. Bridge – alternate route across the river:
Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander.
BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges Twitter/X feed shows whether 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!