West Seattle, Washington
ORIGINAL TUESDAY NIGHT REPORT: This year, the West Seattle Junction Association plans to expand its celebration of light during the holidays – and you’re invited to help design the biggest event of all.
Starting in mid-October, WSJA will accept community submissions of AI-powered art that would be projected, in light, onto the big blank side of Alaska House that faces Junction Plaza Park. This will be the centerpiece of the Glorious Lights Of West Seattle (GLOWS) celebration on Saturday, December 9th – the night that also will bring the Christmas tree lighting, the Night Market, another light-costume contest, even an arch of lights down a Junction alley. WSJA executive director Chris Mackay has been dreaming of this for a long time, and this year GLOWS will really get going. Watch for more details in October about exactly how to contribute … and even if you don’t want to submit a design, set your calendar for December 9th and plan to spend that night in The Junction!
ADDED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: We asked WSJA’s Mackay if she had any comment regarding the discussion this announcement has generated, particularly voicing concerns about AI replacing human artists who might otherwise been used. Here’s the response:
The AI Light Show steering committee would like to express how we (a bunch of creatives) feel about this incredible AI Light Show for the West Seattle Community and why we are doing it.
GLOWS – Glorious Lights of West Seattle – is designed to show how we all glow as individuals and maybe first-time artists. Using AI is not limiting our creativity but expanding it. A machine does not create art on its own. People are creating this art with their ideas and prompts. By using AI, everyone can be involved, even if they have never created a piece of art in their lives. This is about the novelty of the technology and the opportunity to put it in the hands of people who enjoy the idea of being part of a light festival.
What we are doing with this event is all done by humans working together to create something wonderful and full of light and joy for the entire community. From creating the idea, to editing the presentation, and working with the accompanying music; it’s all human. Join in the JOY!
8:37 PM: In the midst of another wave of rain, there’s been another crash on the West Seattle Bridge. Two lanes are blocked on the eastbound bridge at 99 for what’s been described as a one-vehicle collision – the driver “hit the wall” (the jersey barriers, as best we can tell). So if you have to head toward I-5 any time soon, give yourself extra time or consider an alternative.
8:54 PM: No serious injuries reported, and the scene has just cleared.
Last year, when the City Council finished its budget work, we noted that it included Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s push to keep expanded Seattle Fire resources that were added during the bridge closure, Ladder 13 (added to Station 37 in Sunrise Heights) and Medic 26 (added to Station 26 in South Park). Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s original proposal then did not include them. But today, when the mayor unveiled his proposed budget adjustments for the coming year, it affirmed funding for the extra staffing – 24 full-time equivalents – required to keep those resources permanently. Here’s the mayor’s budget speech, given at “affordable high-rise” Blake House on First Hill (he starts speaking six minutes in):
You can read a summary of the budget toplines here. Several city departments have sent out their own lists of highlights. Regarding public safety, the mayor’s proposal notes:
With record-low numbers of police officers in 2023, the City must use technological support to boost the effectiveness of public safety strategies. Mayor Harrell is reinvesting $1.8 million of salary savings in the SPD into a new crime prevention pilot to implement automatic license plate readers, CCTV cameras, and acoustic gunshot locator systems to deter criminal behavior and hold offenders accountable. These technologies will be most successful when strategically integrated with SPD’s Real Time Crime Center to triage and coordinate patrol/emergency responses to crime events. These technologies will require an assessment to comply with the City’s surveillance ordinance and approval by the City Council.
There’s some hope for increasing those “record-low numbers” – the mayor said in his speech that applications for open police-officer jobs are at a two-year high, averaging 150 to 200 a month. Meantime, for housing and homelessness, the overview says you have a role to play:
2023 is the final year of the 2017 Housing Levy. The 2023-2024 Proposed Mid-Biennial Budget Adjustments assume passage of the proposed 2023 Housing Levy by Seattle voters in November 2023. Passage of the new levy would generate an estimated $88 million for affordable housing in 2024. When added to other funding sources, including $137 million from the Payroll Expense Tax, the proposed budget adjustments include $334 million for affordable housing in 2024, a 32% increase from the 2023 Adopted Budget.
And on transportation SDOT, meantime, would get $1.5 million more to fill potholes. But, according to this excerpt from the overview, some bridge maintenance would be deferred:
Facing reductions in bridge maintenance funding in the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) Fund, SDOT is prioritizing staffing investments now that can build SDOT’s capacity to implement complex bridge maintenance activities on improved timelines and realigning planned spending accordingly. REET budget and planning assumptions for the Bridge Painting and Structures Major Maintenance capital projects are reduced by $2 million in 2024 and $1.8 million in 2026, deferring some maintenance work in these projects. Even with these reductions, SDOT will meet maintenance work planning expectations without impacting service levels or commitments relating to any grant awards.
There’s a lot more in the mayor’s proposal, and City Councilmembers start digging into it when they meet as the Select Budget Committee tomorrow morning, 9:30 am – the agenda is here, including the slide decks that will be used for the overviews to be presented during this first of many budget meetings over the next month and a half.
Eight days after 86-year-old Jim Price was last seen, his family and friends continue searching, and today they got some help, Sharon Price tells WSB via email:
Today a detective from SPD and one from WA State Patrol met at our house, searched, then an “air scent” dog came with a handler and found nothing. After the impending storm, probably Thursday morning, they’ll take a helicopter to search Seattle and Vashon. They say spreading the word with fliers and holding organized and informal searches along with using various communications are the right thing to do.
Jim Price left his Pigeon Point home the evening of Monday, September 18th, on foot, possibly headed for The Junction, and hasn’t been seen since.
Two more traffic problems happening right now:
8TH/ROXBURY: A multiple-car crash – reportedly one driver hit some parked vehicles – has snarled traffic here, and police have called for four tow trucks. … 4:23 pm update: Cleared.
21ST/CROFT: Thanks for the tip. Tree limbs have fallen near this intersection uphill from/behind Louisa Boren STEM K-8. Emergency responders have been dispatched to this too. … 4:09 pm update: SPD tells dispatch they’ve “partly cleared” the street but are calling for SDOT crews with saws to get the rest.
3:05 PM Police are closing 42nd SW between Genesee and Oregon because of a gas leak at the 42nd/Genesee apartment-construction site. A 4-inch line was “barely nicked,” firefighters have told dispatch. Avoid the area for a while.
3:09 PM: Thanks to John for the photo. So far firefighters have not reported detecting any major levels of leaked gas.
3:45 PM: Firefighters have just told dispatch that Puget Sound Energy “has secured the leak,” so the emergency response is winding down.
We’ve received several questions about this in recent hours – people wondering if the Westwood Village Target is one of the two Seattle stores the company is closing, especially considering the recent expansion of locked shelving for many items in the store. Answer: NO – this store is NOT on the closure list. Here is the official Target announcement about closures – the Seattle stores it’s shutting down are in Ballard and the U-District.
1:53 PM: SPD and SFD are on their way to a reported “rollover” crash on the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, near the Walking on Logs pullout. The driver is reported to be safely out of her vehicle.
1:58 PM: Police tell dispatch “no lanes are blocked” by this crash.
Thanks to Murphy McCullough for the photo from Upper Alki! Amazing clouds this past hour or so as another storm wave sweeps through. The forecast calls for continuing unsettled weather – possibly some thunderstorms in the hours too.
ADDED TUESDAY EVENING: We also got a different angle from Dan Ciske:
650 homes/businesses in the mapped area of Morgan Junction, Gatewood, and Fauntleroy will be without water 9 pm Thursday, October 5th, to 4 am Friday, October 6th. Seattle Public Utilities just sent us the notice that will be circulated to affected homes/businesses:
WATER OUTAGE TO OCCUR AT 9 PM ON OCTOBER 5 AND LAST UNTIL 4 AM ON OCTOBER 6
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will be working on an upgrade of the drinking water system. SPU crews will install three new valves on a water main along California Ave SW.
This work will require a temporary water shutdown for about 650 customers in the area.
The shutdown will start at 9 pm on Thursday, October 5 and last until 4 am on Friday, October 6.
If you think you’ll need to use water during this overnight water shutdown, here are some ways you can prepare for the water outage:
Before the water outage:
• Fill pots on the stove with water for cooking.
• Fill a couple of buckets with water for washing.
• Fill potable water containers for drinking.
• Fill bathtubs with water and use buckets to flush toilets. A toilet will flush when approximately a gallon of water is dumped into the bowl.
During the water outage:
Try not to operate the water faucets. This will prevent air from entering your plumbing.
Discolored Water After an Outage
Water outages can sometimes disturb the direction or flow of water in the City’s drinking water system. When this happens, customers in or near the outage area may experience temporary discolored water.
Discolored water comes from internal pipe rust and sediment getting stirred up when the water is turned on after an outage. The water should clear on its own. If the water remains discolored, please contact SPU’s Operations Response Center at (206) 386-1800.
We’re asking some followup questions, such as where the work will be happening that night. Meantime, you can get a closer look at the map of the affected area by going to the SPU Water Outage map page, clicking on “planned,” and clicking on the 7111 California listing.
From the inbox:
STOLEN HYUNDAI KONA: Elizabeth reports:
My car was stolen this morning around 3:00 on 45th Ave/SW Wildwood Place, I didn’t see who did it but was awakened by a car horn going off, I looked out the window and saw it at the stop sign being driven off. There was a white SUV vehicle following very close behind it, blocking other vehicles from proceeding by, around the corner near the Fauntleroy YMCA/Church there seemed to be some kinda backup with a loud pop, lights, then this sorta gold color I believe a Kia vehicle made a U-turn around the vehicles and sped off. It was bizarre. I did report this to the police about my car, if anyone at that time 3:00 am seen or heard anything please report it to the police. My license # is CBM1164, 2019 WHITE HYUNDAI KONA, the passenger side has a missing handle on it, tinted windows, and the gas cover is black. Police incident # 23-278858.
STOLEN SCOOTER: Jeb reports:
Stolen 9/23-9/24 in the night. Stolen from the Westside Flats apartments. Black double motor fat-tire scooter. blue glowing ring when it’s on. Has front and back suspension. No Moter sounds. Bike cuffs are silver and black. Head/taillights w/ turn signals are built in.There are some modifications made since this photo was taken. A plastic Predator skull (from the Predator movies) is on the front light. Also a pair of industrial motorcycle bike cuffs are under the front wheel. A more aggressive handlebar set with review mirrors.
No police report # yet.
Family and friends will gather Friday to celebrate the life of Velia Lockett. Here’s the remembrance being shared with her community:
Velia Renee Lockett, age 68, passed away on Saturday, September 9, 2023.
She was born on May 13, 1955 in Seattle. She was a kind and compassionate person who always put others first. She possessed a fierce and magnetic presence with an energy and warmth that immediately brightened any room she entered. She was not one easily forgotten, even by strangers who were blessed enough to meet her only briefly.
Velia graduated from Roosevelt High School in Seattle, WA after which she embarked on a long and exciting career as a singer, dancer and entertainer that took her across the globe. Her musical theater performances ranged from starring roles in “West Side Story”, “Guys and Dolls”, and “Purlie.” She appeared in Ben Vereens’s “Get your Boogie Down” which inspired her to produce, direct and choreograph her own new wave shows in local clubs. She featured in Las Vegas revues, won awards for choreography and dance in the International Hair Shows in England and Switzerland. Then known exclusively as “Star,” Velia appeared on TV shows like Star Search, as well as in videos, commercials and the movies “Tap” (1989) and “Salsa” (1988). She also co-produced an award-winning TV show, “D’Maurice and Armageddon” before eventually finding her way back home to Seattle.
In Seattle, she continued to showcase her talents as a dancer, writer and performer. She choreographed the annual Miss Chinatown Beauty Pageant, and also maintained a long career in retail. She worked at Caché and then for the last 19 years at Chico’s in Bellevue Square. Every single day, she touched the lives of her colleagues and customers.
She is survived by her beloved family: her partner Darryl; her nieces Angelia and Elizabeth; and her siblings, Madison, Dorothy, Frederick, and Edric.
She was also deeply spiritual, as a devoted member of Mount Zion Baptist Church for over 30 years, and is also survived by her beloved church community.
We cherish the time we had with Velia and she is forever in our hearts. A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 29th at 11 am at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle. All are welcome.
(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)
6:02 AM: Good morning! It’s Tuesday, September 26th.
WEATHER AND SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Showery, windy, high in the low 60s. Sunrise today is at 7:01 am; sunset, 6:59 pm.
The low bridge will be closed to surface traffic October 7-14, SDOT announced Monday.
Metro – Regular schedule; check advisories here.
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!