West Seattle, Washington
Maybe you were a seller. Maybe you were busy doing something else. Or maybe six hours just wasn’t enough time to do all the shopping you wanted to do on West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 3+ weeks ago. So here’s another chance to shop till you drop – Shorewood on the Sound (within the Burien city limits) is bringing back its Streets of Sales this Saturday (June 11th), 9 am-4 pm. They are extending a special invitation to their northern neighbors (that’s us) to head a bit south and shop 30+ sales within a single square mile. Shorewood on the Sound has been doing this for 20+ years. This link will get you to their map.
1:48 PM: Thanks for all the tips. There’s a big fire callout just north of the 1st Av S bridge. SFD says the fire is in a boathouse. Updates to come.
2:11 PM: Update from SFD: “6300 block of 1st Ave. South: three boats and boathouse (housing two of the boats) have burned. One person reported to have sustained injuries; search of boats is still underway. Working to put out hot spots.” Here’s a map.
2:52 PM: SFD says that “one person reported to have been aboard one of the burned boats has not been located at this time.” Meantime, SFD investigators are working to figure out what started the fire. (And if you were wondering about traffic, cameras indicate the bridge is operating normally.)
7:33 PM: Molly points out in comments that SFD has since updated to say, “firefighters have unfortunately located a deceased individual inside the cabin area of one of the boats that caught fire. The Medical Examiner’s office has been contacted and is responding to the scene.”
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: SPD’s report summaries includes this additional information on the incident: “The Fire Marshal responded and determined the fire to be accidental. The boat had been occupied by the same elderly man for at least the past ten years. He was reported by witnesses to be in poor health, a heavy smoker, and on oxygen.”
3:47 PM: The 4th Avenue South bridge in SODO (south of Costco) is closed right now both ways because of “leaning poles.” No word yet how long repairs are expected to take. There’s also a power outage in the area – (added) reader Mary tells us, “No lights at Costco and no traffic lights working on 4th Ave.”
8:05 PM: The bridge is still closed, and buses are being diverted. Many of the customers involved in the original outage have their power back, but the SCL map still shows 140+ out.
If you look across Elliott Bay and see the Space Needle bathed in blue light tonight and tomorrow night, this announcement we just received explains why:
The Space Needle will be lit in blue tonight, displaying a message of Peace and Diplomacy, as we join landmarks around the world in lighting in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. We anticipate remaining lit in blue tomorrow evening as well.
Next door to the Needle, the Pacific Science Center was illuminated for Ukraine last night.
As more workers return to offices, downtown traffic will continue increasing, so the city will start turning on its new enforcement cameras. Here’s the SDOT map of their locations:
Today’s announcement says activation will start in March – first, the five cameras that will monitor bus lanes; then the four that will watch busy intersections where drivers tend to “block the box.” The locations were originally announced last November, and signs about them were installed, SDOT says. When they start ticketing, it’ll be a $75 fine, as with the cameras on the West Seattle low bridge. These, like those, were authorized by the State Legislature. More information on the plan, and what the revenue goes toward, is on the city website.
You’ve probably heard about that deadly fire Tuesday at a Tukwila apartment complex. Three people, including a small chlld, were killed, and dozens more lost their homes and belongings. West Seattleites are among those helping with relief efforts, and Maggie forwarded us this announcement from the church coordinating it all, in case you want to help too:
Riverton Park United Methodist Church today announced it is expanding its relief efforts in response to the tremendous needs of the 31 families displaced in this week’s Maple Crest Apartments fire. The majority of families were forced to flee the 5:00am fire, which claimed three lives, with only the clothes on their backs and the entirety of their belongings were a total loss. RPUMC
volunteers continue to gather donations from the community daily from 9:00 am-6:00 pm, including Saturdays at the church, 3118 S. 140th St., in Tukwila [map]. The majority of families are now living in hotels and have identified the following items as high-priority needs:
• Gift cards for restaurants, gas, groceries and general retails stores.
• New or gently used laptops, cell phones and cell phone chargers.
• Gently used or new luggage with wheels.
• New linens or “Bed in a Bag” kits (inclusive of sheets, comforters, etc.).
• Small kitchen appliances including rice cookers, hot pads, microwaves.
• Sets of boxed drinking glasses.
• Shelf-stable, nutritious foods that can be microwaved or eaten cold, including vegetarian options. These include soups, pasta, peanut butter, tuna, coffee, etc.
• Coats for men, women and children. No other clothes needed at this time.
• New or gently used shoes for men, women and children.
Donations of cash for fire victims are being accepted at all BECU locations.
RPUMCC Tent Village Members and Community Organizations Partner in Relief Effort
This relief effort is largely run by community volunteers, including members of the RPUMC Tent Village. These individuals are taking an active role in supporting key aspects of the relief operation including receiving and sorting donations with other members of the community. They also play a similar role in supporting RPUMC’s weekly food bank, which continues to serve local families.
RPUMC would like to give a special thank you to Pine Lake Middle School Leadership Class and to Rotary Clubs across the region who have been generous partners in this relief effort.
12:11 PM: Thanks to Jennifer for calling the WSB hotline to suggest readers who are airport-bound should know about a big problem at Sea-Tac – the lower arrivals drive is closed right now while a “suspicious package” is investigated. That’s led to a massive traffic backup. The airport advises via Twitter, “If you’re looking to use the lower arrivals drive, we encourage you to use the south entrance at S. 182nd St. Upper departures drive is open, but has heavy traffic.”
12:38 PM: The lower arrivals drive has reopened. But keep in mind that traffic backups take a while to dissipate.
Thanks to Chris Frankovich for the photo. That smoke visible from southwest West Seattle is from a big fire in Tacoma – “an exterior debris pile fire at a metal recycling facility in the 1900 block of Marine View Drive” [map], according to Tacoma FD.
— Tacoma Fire (@TacomaFire) July 9, 2021
If you or someone in your family graduated high school in 1971, this summer is the 50th anniversary. We’ve already published an announcement for the West Seattle High School Class of ’71 reunion. Now the John F. Kennedy High School Class of ’71 is casting a wide net for its grads – the school’s in Burien but has and had attendees from other communities including West Seattle. This was sent by ’71 alum Marcee Stone-Vekich:
The years 1967-1971 were transformative years in this country. The times they were a-changing. The Vietnam War protests, civil-rights marches, the Chicago Seven, the first Earth Day, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. We also witnessed the moon landing, Woodstock, the first black woman elected to Congress (Shirley Chisholm), and the NY Jets winning the Super Bowl. As the Buffalo Springfield sang “Something’s happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear.” What we do know is that it was a very interesting era.
These were the events happening outside of Kennedy High School, which certainly impacted us, but our high school years went on. We were only the second class to graduate from Kennedy, a newly built high school that grew from one class of freshmen to a full four-year school by the time we were Juniors. We showed up daily, the girls in their uniforms with pleated skirts, the boys in slacks and dress shirts. No jeans, corduroys, or T-shirts allowed. No long hair permitted on the boys and no short skirts for the girls. And a principal who roamed the halls enforcing these rules.
The teachers had high expectations and supported us in achieving those expectations. Some of us were involved in extracurricular activities such as drill team, debate club, drama, and athletics. Others went to school and at the end of the day worked a part-time job. Many of us attended the occasional dances on Friday nights, enjoying live bands such as Merilee and the Turnabouts, swaying to “Angel of the Morning.” Then there were the formal events. The boys wearing their rented tuxes, several with pastel-colored coats, and the girls in their gowns going to the Homecomings, Tolos, and Proms. And we can’t forget the occasional retreats. The way high school should be.
That was then, this is now. Fifty years later we are about to gather again. The old cliques will be gone, like the classmates who have passed on before us, and we will all share about our lives post-graduation and reminisce about those high-school years.
Service clubs/fraternal orders continue their work in the 21st century, quietly but steadily. In West Seattle, they include the Eagles, Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, and Masons. But West Seattle doesn’t have an Elks lodge. The nearest one is in Burien, and it’s having a membership-drive event to which they’re inviting neighbors including you. Here’s the announcement we received:
Burien Elks lodge is opening its doors to the public for a membership drive. This event will be held on Saturday, May 1st, doors open at 7:00 pm. Cost is $15 per person or $25 per couple; there will be live music by Soulstice, light hors d’oeuvres served, and beverages available for cash-only purchase. This event is open to the public and members with proper Covid protocol.
The Burien Elks Lodge is one of nearly 2,000 nationwide lodges that are part of the BPO Elks of the USA. B.P.O.Elks is a fraternal order with over a million members and a 151-year history of charitable giving, including millions in scholarships, an inspiration to youth, a friend to veterans, and more. The Burien Lodge alone has given over $2.5 million back to the community in charitable giving.
This event will allow both our current members to bring in non-members, and those in our community who have no associated
connection with the lodge, to come in and view the lodge, meet members, and hear about all the wonderful things that come from being an Elks member.
Tickets are available online. The lodge is at 14006 1st Avenue South.
Received tonight from Grace, who said, “I know it is not in West Seattle but I’m hoping that our community would like to participate”:
Solidarity Walk – United We Stand & Walk with our American Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Neighbors and Community.
March 27, 6 PM @ Green Lake (gather at the south end near the bleachers)
We will walk one loop.
Mask Up! Bring your signs, candles, glow sticks, flashlight, etc., whatever you choose to help shine the light as we walk together in solidarity.
We stand together with our AAPI community and are committed to be a voice against racism and as an advocate for a more just and humane world. We deserve and demand a better America – an America that is safe for all of its citizens.
Thanks to the person who just sent a tip on this: Not in West Seattle, but not far, and someone local is making it happen – Seneca Nguyễn, a 10-year-old student from Louisa Boren STEM K-8, has organized a Kids vs Racism rally to show support for the Asian American Pacific Islander community, noon-1 pm at Hing Hay Park (423 Maynard Ave. S.). The event is featured in a long regional list of AAPI-supporting community resources and events published by the South Seattle Emerald.
Local maritime-industry leaders and advocates have long suggested the region needs a maritime-focused high school to prepare more young people to work in the field – after all, they reasoned, there’s already an Aviation High School. Finally this fall, Maritime High School is becoming a reality, and a media briefing was held this morning to be sure the word gets out. It’s not in West Seattle, but it’s public, so anyone can apply – it will be based in Des Moines, affiliated with Highline Public Schools (the district immediately south of Seattle). Partners include the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition as a community-engagement liaison and the Northwest Maritime Center providing “guidance related to maritime education and fundraising support.” The school plan was developed with help from the Port of Seattle “convening industry and education leaders and identifying national best practices.” The announcement also says Maritime High School’s curriculum “will center on the environment, marine science, and maritime careers, including maritime construction, vessel operations, and other careers working on or near the water.” It’s opening this fall to 9th graders and will grow each year. Applications are open through January 31st, and there are three online information sessions coming up – two tonight (one in English, one en Español), one on January 21st. The Maritime HS website has full details and links.
If you feel like going off-peninsula now and then, without having to cross the river, ‘Say Hello to Burien.’ That’s the new invitation from the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, sponsoring WSB right now to get the word out. Here’s their video and announcement:
The Seattle Southside Chamber announced the public launch of the “Say Hello to Burien” campaign, which is focused on inviting people from throughout the Puget Sound region to experience the best this small, diverse city on the sound has to offer.
“As a life-long resident of King County and a transplant to Burien from Seattle, I definitely had my own preconceived notions about Burien,” offered Andrea Reay, President/CEO of the Seattle Southside Chamber. “However, once I took the time to “say hello” personally to this amazing community, I fell in love. I am so proud to live in and work for a community that is rich in both culture and opportunity.”
The campaign is an open invitation for all to “Say Hello to Burien” and come experience the best Burien has to offer. Whether it’s dining and experiencing authentic cuisine from around the world, shopping in family-owned boutiques and independent bookstores, or getting outside for a hike in Seahurst beach or kayaking on the sound, you’ll be glad you made the trip. Come say hello to Burien—just south of Seattle and miles from ordinary.
If you would like dining, shopping, or activity suggestions, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at Staff@SeattleSouthsideChamber.com or give us a call at 206-575-1633 and we’d be happy to help you say hello to Burien.
We thank Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Particularly if you’re in east or south West Seattle, air traffic is a daily reminder of the proximity of King County International Airport, aka Boeing Field. So we’re sharing this announcement from the county:
King County International Airport – Boeing Field wants your input to help shape the airport’s future! The airport is updating its master plan to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. You’re invited to any of three virtual open houses to learn more about the airport’s draft preferred alternative. Save the date:
Wednesday, October 28th
8 – 9:30 a.m,
12 – 1:30 p.m.
6 – 7:30 p.m
If you would like to receive an email with meeting details, please contact us at KCIACommunityOutreach@kingcounty.gov. For more information on the Master Plan, see kingcounty.gov/KCIAMasterPlan
You may also send your feedback about the master plan update via:
Phone: 206-296-7380 and/or
US mail: King County Airport 7277 Perimeter Rd. S. Seattle, WA 98108-3844.
King County International Airport is primarily an airport for commercial, cargo and private aircraft. The FAA requires an update to the Airport Master Plan every five to seven years. The Airport Master Plan is a formal planning document based on financial forecasts, travel forecasts and infrastructure needs that helps identify potential construction projects to meet future needs.
After the Airport Master Plan is adopted, any construction project or change is required to go through traditional project process, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), before being constructed.
10 am-2 pm Saturday, 8/29/2020 in Georgetown at 3R Technology
5511 1st Ave South [map]
Finish up that house-cleaning you started during the lockdown. Bring those old household electronics you haven’t laid hands on in years, and the bundles of power adapters to things you don’t own anymore…
Almost all electronics will be accepted: TVs, computers, laptops, printers, cell phones, pretty much anything with a power switch! We will also provide free, confidential data destruction, battery disposal, media shredding, and office furniture disposal.
A few guidelines to keep us all safe:
-Please have all the materials you wish to recycle in your trunk or backseat.
-Please wear your face covering while materials are being retrieved from your vehicle.
-Please stay in your vehicle, unless otherwise instructed to do so.
-Please do not attend if you are sick.
5:26 PM: Thanks for the tips and photos (the one above was sent by Garrett). Many questions about that big plume of black smoke visible looking east from West Seattle. It is from a fire call in SODO, 3800 block of 9th Avenue S. Not a huge callout – the address on the log checks to a commercial site [map], but the address on the log is not always accurate, so we are waiting to hear from SFD. (Radio communication so far has mentioned a “debris pile.”)
7:58 PM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells us that “this was a fire that involved a RV, a pick-up truck type camper (without the truck), a tent, and debris. Four adults were displaced. American Red Cross was notified. The cause is under investigation.”
12:48 PM: This has been discussed in comments on our morning traffic post but afternoon is here and it’s still not resolved, so we’re mentioning it: NB Highway 99 is still closed at Des Moines Memorial Drive just south of South Park [map]. Information is scant but witnesses on Twitter say it’s a standoff with a person on the overpass there, and it’s been under way for four hours. So if you’re headed this way from points south, you’ll want an alternate route.
12:53 PM: Moments after we published that, WSDOT sent an alert saying the highway has reopened.
11:29 AM: Thanks to the WSB readers who have pointed this out: On the other side of the continent, a concrete bridge spanning a river has been closed because of cracking, and there are warnings that it’s in risk of collapse. This bridge is even newer than the closed-since-March West Seattle Bridge. It’s the southbound span of the Roosevelt Bridge, a mile-long, state-owned bridge that carries U.S. Highway 1 across the St. Lucie River in Stuart, Florida [map], and this webpage suggests it has a lot in common with our bridge – it’s a concrete “box girder” bridge, for example. Local media there report some concrete has fallen but the nature and risk of the crack is still under investigation; they also report the bridge was last inspected two years ago, with no problems found. It was built in the mid-’90s. The cracked span is closed to traffic, so the separate northbound span is currently handling both directions. P.S. This bridge also, like ours, replaced a drawbridge, and had a somewhat tumultuous backstory.
5:49 PM: Now both sides/spans of the Florida bridge are closed TFN.
8:23 PM: A couple other datapoints we found – the Florida bridge has about half the over-water clearance of ours, 65 feet, and more volume – 120,000 vehicles a day.
One of the things we’ll be missing during this season of pre-empted parades: Marching bands. So this made us smile when it arrived in the WSB inbox today. The school isn’t in West Seattle, but the band director points out his local tie:
My name is John Aguilar, Director of Bands at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School in Seattle, WA and a PROUD alumnus of Chief Sealth International High School (class of 2012).
I just wanted to share with you a virtual performance that my students did recently of “Juice” by Lizzo. As you know, we have been out of school for two months now, and along with that comes numerous concerts/festivals/competitions/parades that the students will no longer get to experience this school year. It is with that in mind that my students decided to come together “virtually” during these uncertain times, as we try to send the message that music truly is one of the best medicines for the soul and that we can still make music together, although physically apart. I am writing to see if you can help us share our message in hopes of inspiring the community through our music. I hope you enjoy!
Robert Eagle Staff MS is in North Seattle, and opened in fall 2017.
Several people emailed us Tuesday to point out this story – a construction milestone for a new bridge in Genoa, Italy, replacing one that collapsed 20 months ago (as shown in this video, which also shows the demolition of what remained of the old bridge):
Wrote Elisabetta Povoledo in the New York Times story on the bridge nearing completion and the disaster that brought down its predecessor:
When it was built, in the 1960s, the Morandi bridge was widely celebrated for its artistry and innovative engineering. Its collapse 20 months ago, when a section of roadway fell 150 feet onto a riverbed, became a source of national embarrassment.
An investigation into the causes of the collapse revealed shortcomings in the day-to-day maintenance and in public oversight of Italy’s aging infrastructure. The disaster left Genoa effectively split into two, throwing the lives of its residents into disarray.
The new bridge is being paid for by the private company that operated the failed bridge and many such road facilities in Italy; the project was overseen by the mayor of Genoa. This short video report says the main part of the construction took just 7 months:
There are undoubtedly many differences between the situation there and here; the most important one is that our bridge’s damage was caught before catastrophe, while the collapse in Genoa killed more than 40 people. Also, we don’t even know yet if our bridge will or will not need immediate replacement. But what attracted the attention of those who emailed us was more the Genoa timeframe. Wrote one, “If Italy can do it, why can’t we?”
P.S. If you can’t see the New York Times link, try this paywall-free story from The Guardian,
Lots of questions on Thursday about that smoke visible from West Seattle, looking across Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountains’ foothills. Some were sure it was an early wildfire, but we and others searched for info, to no avail. We finally inquired with the Olympic National Forest and got a reply this morning: Pile-burning, from clearing of private land.