West Seattle, Washington
Thanks for the tips and photo! Seven weeks after it headed out for training, the Bremerton-based aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) returned home this evening, visible from West Seattle before it turned into Rich Passage.
You couldn’t hear them, but if you happened to be looking at the sky a few hours ago, you might have seen those five jets’ high-altitude flyby. Several people asked us about it, and our photographer at the Seafair Pirates’ Landing saw it too. No airshows or scheduled flybys, but one reliable source – Woody’s Aeroimages – says those were “fighters returning home from exercises in Alaska.” The Air Force has indeed just wrapped up the Red Flag 22-2 exercise, primarily flying from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska (near Fairbanks – here’s a map).
Thanks to volunteer help, the West Seattle Junction Association‘s rainbow Pride flags are flying today.
They’re scheduled to be in place until 6 pm. Other Pride events continue at various West Seattle venues throughout the month – see this section of our Event Calendar. A highlight will be 2-4 pm next Sunday (June 26th), the third annual Pride March in Morgan Junction.
On what just might be the warmest day of the year so far – if it does get into the mid-70s – the West Seattle Junction‘s hanging flower baskets have finally arrived! A few weeks later than usual this year because, well, spring itself has been running late. Installation began early this morning. The baskets are partly funded by annual “adopt-a-basket” donations; they’ll be up until blooming season runs out in late summer/fall.
From superheroes on wheels, to rock ‘n’ roll nostalgia …
… this busy day on Alki included the participants of the revived Alki Daze costumed bike parade along the beach. Ringleader is Alki resident Guy Olson:
Guy (who described his costume as “Burt Reynolds in ‘Smokey and the Bandit'”) sent out an open invitation; here’s who showed up by parade time:
We got some to pose for a group photo, too:
Guy says the costumed bike parade is meant in the spirit of the “car-free day” events the city used to present on Alki every spring/summer from 2008 until 2014.
Congratulations to Sounders FC and their fans – the team won the Concacaf Champions League championship tonight, first Major League Soccer team to win that title. The 74 in lights on the Russell Investments Building downtown – seen in a photo sent by a reader who wondered about it – is a tribute to the team’s original founding in 1974. Above the numbers are the words “born in,” as also seen in the photo we published back in November 2017,
The photo and report are from Ray:
Saw this dumped bag at Thistle and 17th. Lots of student material (pens,note cards).
Ray says the strewn material also included a piece of paper with an email address that he’s notified about this too, but if the bag’s owner sees this first, here’s where it wound up.
The photos and report are from Sean:
First, I saw this chair fall out of am moving truck around 10 am today on Charlestown near 48th. I moved the chair to the sidewalk afterward. I then found this toolbox a block away on the side of the road. This does contain tools that the owner may wish to see again. If someone can properly describe the contents, I will get it to them.
If one or both of these items might be yours, email us – email@example.com – and we’ll connect you.
Wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day if we didn’t go check on the legendary green stripe down the middle of 41st SW north of Admiral Way. We just went over to look and yes, it’s there. The mystery leprechaun(s) who maintain it may have run out of paint and/or time, though, as it appears decidedly faded north of a certain point near SW Walker, but fresh and bright to the south of that point.
It’s been almost a year since first word of mysterious musings, labeled “Notes of Kindness,” turning up around West Seattle. Today, Stewart L. found two of them and sent us photos:
I came across two separate Notes of Kindness on my morning stroll through Don Armeni this morning. Each contained in a plastic sandwich bag. From the numbers on them, looks like there could be a many as 400 of them out there. Someone is making an effort to be kind, which is always appreciated.
These were numbered 173 and 181 of 400 – so if you haven’t happened onto one yet, there’s still hope.
Lots of questions this afternoon about a small plane that spent at least half an hour doing circles over north West Seattle – then headed over to do some loops over the Kitsap Peninsula before returning minutes ago to Boeing Field. Here’s the FlightRadar24 screengrab as it headed back in:
No answers yet about what it was doing. We tried tracing it but its most-recent commercial owner, a flight school at Boeing Field, said it was recently sold. The current registered owner appears to be a company that traces to a Seattle lawyer who is shown in the FAA database as a licensed private pilot.
8:31 PM: We’re hearing from multiple readers about an insect invasion in the Alki area. Stephanie said she went out for a walk and “was covered in” small blue aphid-type bugs. An earlier texter said they believe the bugs are smoky-winged ash aphids. So far we haven’t found history of them swarming in Seattle, but they seem to be a periodic problem in Eastern Washington – a recent report there points to this WSU website report from 2017, describing them as “hovering masses of puffy gnat-like bugs.” This time of year, the females lay eggs, and that’s the reason for the swarming.
9:47 PM: Commenters from all around the peninsula are reporting sightings, so we’ve updated the headline. We’ll be trying to track down an expert tomorrow to see if we can find out more.
For the second time this week, there’s a video/film crew shooting something off 35th SW in West Seattle. This crew is even bigger than the one that was at the Lucky 5 on Tuesday. But this crew had something in common with that one – they said it was a commercial video/photo shoot, but weren’t allowed to disclose the client. We couldn’t get further than the parking lot – but Dan sent this photo from earlier in the afternoon:
That was a smoke machine, Dan explained, adding, “They had what looked to be actor/football player doing exercises. Plus earlier a group of players in training uniforms doing group exercises.” We caught a glimpse of people in marching-band-type uniforms. Otherwise – a mystery so far.
A few people have asked about the production crew at the Lucky 5 gas station/mini-mart (35th/Henderson) earlier today. We stopped to inquire after a tip from Keith. They told us they were shooting a “commercial,” but they weren’t allowed to reveal the client because of a non-disclosure agreement. So all we can tell you is what we saw: A woman was seated in the car, a Volkswagen (with WA plates and a University Volkswagen plate frame), under the canopy. That’s scenic 35th SW in the background. Here’s a different angle, sent by Matthew:
The shoot was over and the crew gone when we went that way again abuut an hour and a half ago.
We don’t know any of the backstory on this – random cosplay? early Halloween party? – but thanks to Marc Milrod for the photo!
The photo and report are from Rosalie in Admiral:
This bike was thrown into our garden. Found this morning.
If it’s yours, email us and we’ll connect you.
Thanks for the tips! Another film/video crew was at work along Alki Avenue today, along Duwamish Head with the downtown skyline as a backdrop. Passing by, Brendan (who sent the top photo) noticed apparent performers/participants in workout clothing and wondered if it was a commercial for that type of gear. We went over to check a little while ago.
The crew was winding down when we got there but they told us it’s a commercial for Heinz Mayonnaise. No other details. (We’ll ask the company tomorrow.)
10:42 PM P.S. As implausible as “mayonnaise” sounds, perhaps it was – two commenters suggest that was likely a lie.
Recognize this bike?
This bike was left on the sidewalk in our neighborhood [Findlay/36th]. Wondering if it was stolen and left. If it belongs to someone, happy to give it to them. They can contact Dave at 206-459-0840.
So far, no turkey experts have come forward to offer opinions on whether the turkey who appeared in West Seattle recently is the same one who hung out here for a year before heading south in April 2020. So we’re not so sure about calling this one THE West Seattle Turkey. But this turkey’s newfound fans have named her anyway. Meredith, who sent the photo above, says, “We’ve decided to call her Henrietta. She’s been sleeping here for over a week so we thought she needed a name.” The turkey’s adopted area is just a bit south of the 2019-2020 sightings-rich area southeast of Admiral. Lisa D., in the short video below, described her as “neighbor turkey”:
Henrietta (or whatever you want to call her) is still drawing attention from neighborhood pets too – Alan sent this photo:
The state Fish and Wildlife Department notes that turkeys are more common in eastern Washington, but does say “small populations” pop up here west of the Cascades now and then,
Somehow we’ve wound up with three public-restroom updates this afternoon:
LINCOLN PARK BEACH RESTROOMS: The renovated restrooms toward the south end of the Lincoln Park shore are finally unlocked, reports Troy, who sent the pictorial proof. The renovation project started 10 months ago. We last followed up two weeks ago, when Parks told us the comfort station was close to reopening.
ALKI BEACH RESTROOM REBUILD: Two weeks ago we also looked into why this project had gone idle:
The construction of a new building at 57th/Alki started more than five months ago. The problem here: They were waiting for structural steel so they could add the roof and other elements. As our photo from this afternoon shows, that work is under way. The estimated completion date: End of this month.
JUNCTION PORTABLE TOILET: Seven months after fire destroyed a city-funded portable toilet in the 44th/Alaska spot that’s had one for more than 20 years, a new one has been installed, with a handwashing station too:
Pre-fire, this site did not have a handwashing station (though the short-lived one a block east in Junction Plaza Park did). Concurrently, we noticed the portable toilet and handwashing station that used to be in the Salvation Army parking lot in South Delridge are now gone. We have followup questions out to the city and will update with whatever we hear back.
ADDED: From SPU’s Sabrina Register: “In May 2020, the City partnered with The Salvation Army to site a hygiene station on their property on 16th SW. After careful consideration, the nonprofit decided that the unstaffed hygiene station did not align with its outreach goals for people experiencing homelessness and the hygiene station was removed. The Salvation Army continues to work with us to provide hygiene services and resources that better align with its goals. The City hygiene team will evaluate potential new sites across the City to replace sites that have been closed.”
When our hotline (206-293-6302, 24/7) got texts/calls this morning wondering about “a large group of soldiers” on Alki, we headed out to look. Here’s who we found:
That’s Lt. Stokes from the Washington National Guard unit based at Boeing Field. She said they go to various areas for group runs/walks and decided this time to head for not-so-far Alki Beach. (A Guard spokesperson tells us “physical training … is routine for all Guardsmen.”)
Two sightings in local parks, abandoned items that might have been stolen:
The photo is from Dave, one of multiple readers who’ve reported seeing those abandoned bags on a bench in Lincoln Park, where they’ve reportedly been for several days. Dave says the bench is “near the north end of the upper level of Lincoln Park, facing the water. Meantime, in Schmitz Park:
Theo sent the photo and reported seeing the bike “at the dead end of Hinds at the east end of Schmitz Park.”
For smaller, less-likely-stolen-and-dumped lost/found items, see this section of the WSB Community Forums.