day : 11/09/2023 11 results

WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: Have you seen this heron? Plus, a plea

(Photo courtesy Dina F)

West Seattle-based wildlife biologist Kersti Muul is asking Lincoln Park-area visitors to watch for a possibly injured Great Blue Heron. She explains that it got tangled in fishing line:

The heron got caught up in a live line (active fisher). He reeled it in and untangled it. The combat fishing affords no room for wildlife. It also attracts a high number of species (gulls and other water birds, seals, sea lions, crows, and other scavenging sea life) that are at high risk of getting snagged and/or entangled.

The amount of derelict gear and trash down there is astonishing. A lot of snagging going on, especially when people cast into the kelp beds. They will often just cut the line; which means the remaining line with hook and lead weights or lures is in the water. *Lead poisoning is a risk to eagles and loons* both of which frequent the area.

Overall, she says, not just people fishing, but everyone visiting Lincoln Park – including those drawn to see the newly installed troll – needs to help protect wildlife:

I plead to Fisher-people and park visitors to be more aware of their impact, pack out their trash, mind their feet on fragile beach ecosystems… Also, seems like a good time to bring this up. Folks have been stripping the sea spray roses of their rosehips, and taking large amounts of driftwood off of the beach. This is illegal, unethical and destructive to the ecosystem and the species that rely upon these habitats.

Meantime, to try to reduce the risk from fishing line, Kersti also says:

I’m having a derelict fishing gear container installed at Pt. Williams soon. It’s a WDFW container that I will have a maintenance contract with. Others will be going in along Alki. I also do a post-pink season snorkel to look for derelict fishing gear.

Kersti has dealt with other wildlife that suffered injuries from stray fishing line/gear:

That gull eventually lost one of the legs that got bound together as shown in the photo. P.S. If you see the heron, she says, “Even if it’s flighted and ‘seems’ OK, I’d like to visually assess it just in case.” (Kersti’s at kersti.e.muul [at]

VIDEO: Governor visits Myers Way, declares: ‘This encampment has been eliminated’

One week after state and city crews started clearing the encampment site between northeast Myers Way and southbound Highway 509, Governor Jay Inslee visited this afternoon to see what had been done so far.

It’s one of 30 state highway/freeway-adjacent sites statewide addressed by the Right Of Way Safety Initiative, which Inslee declared “is working.” (Also cleared as part of the initiative was the infamous 2nd/Michigan encampment by the West Seattle side of the 1st Avenue South Bridge.) Before the governor’s arrival, we talked with reps from several departments and agencies to get some numbers.

First: Though outreach workers had previous said more than 50 people were identified as living at the camp, they ultimately revised that number to 36, saying the camp was often “very active” with visitors and they eventually settled on a lower number of residents after early-morning visits gave them a clearer picture. Of those, 30 have been placed in housing, according to outreach workers. Some of that is hotel-room-type housing, some is permanent supportive housing, some is temporary shelter – 1 person was even placed at Camp Second Chance, the (usually full) tiny-house village a short distance south on Myers Way.

The original vehicle count on the site was 43, and three of those were confirmed as stolen. About half the vehicles remain on site, now abandoned and – at least the ones we saw close-up – uninhabitable. We’re told notices have been sent to their registered owners, giving them 15 business days to retrieve them, or else they’ll be either towed or demolished on site.

Another number: 1,000. That’s how many hours the governor was told that workers have put in on the site. Regarding what’s going to be done to keep it from being re-occupied, we’re told the concrete barriers along Myers Way will be put back in place, and a fence will be put up from the north end of Myers Way down to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints property south of the encampment.

Aside from the abandoned, not-yet-removed vehicles (and boat), the site appeared mostly clear, except for small debris like screws and nails visible in the dirt as we walked around. The governor also paused during the tour to make a statement and answer media questions, during which he declared, “This encampment has been eliminated,” adding that the initiative isn’t just about getting “squalor” out of sight, but also about getting people into housing:

Among the next steps is a followup meeting with residents of Arrowhead Gardens, the senior-living complex across the street, which campaigned for many months to get action taken. Resident rep Diane Radischat was there to talk with Inslee:

The followup meeting is planned for September 25th.

FOLLOWUP: Contractor chosen. But long-delayed West Seattle play area projects won’t be done before next year.

(WSB photo, Lincoln Park South Play Area right after July 2017 closure)

Five weeks ago. we reported that a contractor had been chosen for the long-delayed Lincoln Park South and Westcrest Park play-area projects. At the time, Seattle Parks said the “best estimate” was that work would start in “late summer,” though they didn’t know which would be first. So we checked back, with “late summer” running out, and learned that work actually is now still months away. Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor tells WSB, “For the South Lincoln Park Play Area and Westcrest Play Area replacement projects, we will negotiate a start date with the contractor this fall. The contractor has other park projects under construction now that must be finished before these start. We have also learned the play equipment will be available to ship in March 2024. Construction will likely start in winter 2023/early 2024 to align with the availability of the play equipment.” By that time, Lincoln Park South will have been closed 6 1/2 years, while Westcrest will have been closed 2 1/2 years.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen white Silverado (update: found)

From Les via email:

Sometime last night, my white 2005 Chevy Silverado truck was stolen from in front of my house on SW Canada Drive. The truck plate # is C30524C. The truck is white in color with a regular cab and an 8-foot bed The truck bed contains some demolished white kitchen cabinets. Police report #23-263411.

THURSDAY UPDATE: Les’s truck was found in Gatewood, at 39th/Willow.

HEADED FOR HARBOR ISLAND: M/V Wenatchee, making state-ferry history

(Photo courtesy “Boating Motes”)

Also seen in Elliott Bay – Washington State FerriesM/V Wenatchee, under tow. It’s arriving at Vigor on Harbor Island to make history as the first WSF vessel to be converted to hybrid-electric. (That’s also where the ferry was built 25 years ago.) The Wenatchee’s propulsion system also will be updated during the conversion. When it’s complete next year, it will return to service on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route, and M/V Tacoma will head to Vigor for its hybrid-electric conversion.


(Photo sent by “Boating Motes”)

Thanks for the photos and tips! That big gray boat seen in Elliott Bay off West Seattle a short time ago is the Military Sealift Command vessel USNS Fisher (T-AKR 301). MSC ships like this are basically cargo ships for the military, though their crew is civilian.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Thief steals from fire engine

Seattle Fire crews sometimes have to call for police help. This morning at Delridge and Cambridge, it was because a fire engine was hit by theft. According to emergency-radio traffic, a chain saw was taken from Engine 37. The thief was described as driving a red or maroon GMC Yukon with chrome wheels. We’re following up with SFD to see if there’s any additional information. Earlier this summer, regional media reported on other theft incidents elsewhere in the city.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Another stolen/dumped car

(Reader photo)

Police have converged on another stolen Hyundai, crashed/dumped this past hour at 25th/Cloverdale.

(WSB photo)

Its occupants reportedly bolted and got into a white Kia that had been traveling with it, according to an earlier sighting on which police had been following up, a reported car prowl near 35th/Monroe in Gatewood. The white Kia was reported to be a different type from the white Kia in which Sunday’s Morgan Junction ATM robbers were traveling. No other descriptive details so far but be extra-watchful for suspicious activity, particularly involving those types of currently much-stolen cars.

Seeking calm? Fun? Health? 12 options for your West Seattle Monday

(Red-breasted Nuthatch, photographed by Jerry Simmons)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, highlights for the hours ahead:

FOR VETERANS: If you need help filing a disability claim, the DAV offers free drop-in assistance 9 am-1 pm. (4857 Delridge Way SW)

CITY COUNCIL BRIEFING: 2 pm, councilmembers talk about the week ahead. The agenda explains how to attend or watch.

RUNNING INJURY ASSESSMENTS: Free service at West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor), 4:30-6 pm.

SUMMER EVENING PADDLING: Monday nights all summer long, get out on the water with Alki Kayak Tours, 6 pm. (1660 Harbor SW).

GET CRAFTY: 6-10 pm, this is “Crafting and Creativity Night” at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW), info here.

D&D: Open D&D starts at 6:30 pm at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), all welcome, first-time players too. $5.

INTRODUCTION TO MEDITATION: The Alki Dharma Community offers this on the second Monday each month, 6:45 pm. (6115 SW Hinds)

MONDAY MEDITATION: Free weekly Zen sitting/meditation at the chapel at Fauntleroy UCC (9140 California SW), 7 pm-8:30 pm.

BEDHEAD OPEN MIC: Weekly BedHead Open Mic at West Seattle Church of the Nazarene (4201 SW Juneau), 7 pm (signups at 6:30) – info in our calendar listing.

MONDAY NIGHT TRIVIA! Three weekly events – 7 and 8 pm Sporcle Pub Quiz at Three 9 Lounge (4505 39th SW); 7 pm at The Good Society (California/Lander), 7:30 pm with QuizFix at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW)

SPECIAL ‘THE OFFICE’ TRIVIA: One added event tonight – special trivia event at Larry’s Tavern (3405 California SW) focused on “The Office,” hosted by Raised By TV. 7 pm.

MUSIC AT THE ALLEY: Live music with The Westside Trio, 8 pm at The Alley (behind 4509 California SW), 21+, no cover.

Have a West Seattle/White Center event to add to our calendar ? Please send info to – thank you!

Memorial planned Thursday for Donald J. Smith, 52

Family and friends will gather Thursday to celebrate the life of Donny Smith. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with his community:

Donald “Donny” John Smith, 52, a man who was deeply loved by many, passed away unexpectedly on September 3rd, 2023.

His larger-than-life, magnetic personality touched thousands of people. He is survived by the love of his life Megan, his two astounding daughters Sadie and Stella, as well as his mother Ann (Ward) Smith, brothers Garrett and Johnny Smith, sisters Maggie Downer (Brian) and Pauline Elam (Ethan), and his beloved dog Claire. He is preceded in death by his father Gary Smith and his grandparents.

Donny was born in Seattle and spent his childhood on Vashon Island, later graduating from Kennedy Catholic High School in 1988 with many lifelong friends and lots of great stories. After high school, his love of connecting with people led him to Alaska Airlines, where he was a devoted flight attendant for 34 years. Flying the skies also brought him to his love, Megan Blix, where they bonded over their shared interests of the Seattle Mariners, snow skiing, traveling, and gathering with friends. Donny and Megan were then blessed with their two beautiful daughters, who were the center of his universe. He had immense love for his family and was an amazing father. His passion for new adventures, whether it was bicycling, boating, or playing card games, always ended in great stories and laughs. He was the favorite carpool dad, and always involved with the girls’ schools and activities.

A true helper, he could often be found lending a hand to a neighbor, and was always generous with his time. Donny will be best remembered as having the unique ability to relate to anyone who crossed his path. Without fail, he would show them genuine interest and make them feel important, whether you were his close friend, family member, or stranger sitting next to him at a Mariners game. His magnetic personality changed the atmosphere in any room he stepped into, and you couldn’t help laughing even if his jokes were sometimes slightly inappropriate. Somehow, he was able to get away with anything. Donny forever changed the lives of those who were lucky enough to know him and the world will not be the same with him gone. He will be profoundly missed as a loving husband, a father his children adored, a devoted son and brother, a favorite uncle, and a genuine friend. “I lava you.”

A memorial service and celebration of Donny’s life will be held at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle on September 14th at 10:30 am. A reception will follow at 12:30 pm at the Alaska Care Retreat. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alaska Airlines Employee Assistance Fund or to support the continued education of his daughters through the following links.
Sadie Smith College Fund
Stella Smith College Fund

Service: Holy Rosary Catholic Church: 4139 42nd Ave SW
Reception: Alaska Care Retreat: 1555 4th Ave S.
Cards to: 5057 SW Stevens St, Seattle, WA 98116

Please share memories, photos & condolences of Donny on the Tribute Page at

Care & Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home – West Seattle

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to


9:04 AM: SFD and SPD are responding to a reported two-car crash at 24th/Barton. Minor injuries.


6:01 AM: Good morning. It’s Monday, September 11th.


Possible morning rain, sunny later, high in the upper 60s. Today’s sunrise will be at 6:39 am; sunset will be at 7:31 pm.

(Saturday sunset from Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook – photo by Mike N)


Today’s the first day for kindergarteners and preschoolers in Seattle Public Schools.


Washington State Ferries – 2-boat service on the Triangle Route. Check alerts for changes, and use Vessel Watch to see where your ferry is.

Metro – Regular schedule; check advisories here.

Water Taxi – Regular schedule.


Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Henderson), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Orchard, and Delridge/Oregon.

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 cam:

1st Ave. S. Bridge – alternate route across the river:

Highway 99: – 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.

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!