West Seattle, Washington
This year’s official West Seattle Junction Christmas-tree-lighting event is December 1st – still seven weeks away, so some people did a double-take when they noticed the tree all lit up this past weekend, including Melissa, who sent the photo. We recalled early installation and testing last year, and verified today with Junction Association executive director Lora Radford that the same thing is happening this year – easier to get it done before the fall rains arrive. (Although the forecast suggests they’re not likely to get going any time soon!)
Three sightings of note, in case you wondered too:
CAMP LONG: We received multiple questions late today about a big gathering at Camp Long that has police directing traffic. Hundreds of members of Ethiopian Orthodox churches from around the region are at the park for the annual observance of Meskel (Finding of the True Cross). The city’s Special Events Committee agenda from August notes that this is an annual event that has “grown to require (a) Special Event Permit.” Erika J. Schultz of The Seattle Times photographed the celebration at Camp Long two years ago (scroll down this page).
BEACH DRIVE: Beach Drive Blog noted a sizable turnout of motorcycle riders at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook this morning. The occasion: The local edition of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, raising money and awareness for men’s health issues.
PUGET SOUND: Thanks to JayDee for this Saturday photo:
That’s the SS Cape Intrepid, a ready-reserve ship long moored in Tacoma, headed out on sea trials, last seen on the MarineTraffic.com tracker as it entered open ocean outside the Strait of Juan de Fuca last night. (JayDee also contributed a photo of this ship almost exactly nine years ago!)
Thanks for the calls/tips. Some wondered if that group of people seen walking with a flag in the Admiral/Alki area are protesting/demonstrating. No – we found out it’s the same thing that led to similar questions last December, as covered here – linked to goruck.com. As we wrote then, along with selling rucksacks and other gear, the company organizes/facilitates teambuilding-type long-distance walks; its founders include a former Green Beret, and some of its events raise money for the Green Beret Foundation.
Yes, flamingo flocking is still a thing! The photo arrived in the WSB inbox from Robin Bernard, who explains:
My wife had a major birthday today and 60 pink flamingos were â€˜depositedâ€™ in our front yard last night as a surprise to her this morning by Westside Flockers in the Fauntlee Hills neighborhood.
Thanks for the tips. We headed to Harbor Avenue after word of a 21-gun salute and a police presence at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). We discovered it was all part of a memorial for Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Timothy A. Ensley, 47, who died from dengue fever contracted while on assignment overseas earlier this year. He had been with DHS for 9 years, based in Seattle, and left behind his wife and four children.
Just got word from Seattle Mariners spokesperson Rebecca Hale that they’re expecting a flyover around anthem time before tonight’s game at Safeco Field, in the 7 pm vicinity. She says two Prowlers are expected. (Since we’re making note of this, we should also mention it’s Fireworks Night postgame.)
Someone texted us at sunset wondering if that was another movie crew at Don Armeni Boat Ramp, with bright lights and a luxury motor home nearby. Nope – just the setup for an “installation” by three “influencers,” to be open for viewing 8 am-8 pm tomorrow in honor of National Thrift Shop Day. Backstory’s in the preview we published after a PR person pinged us Tuesday.
From the “likely stolen and dumped” reader-report files:
That Sawzall turned up in the bushes just east of the Fauntleroy/California intersection, and the staff at Dr. Christine Kirchner‘s dental office suspects it was stolen and dumped. They took it in for safekeeping in hopes of finding the owner. Yours? Contact the dental office.
Meantime, Jeff spotted these two bikes:
He adds, “They are on the lower loop trail about 100 yards north of the 29th and Brandon entrance to Camp Long.”
Seen on our way back from low-low tide photos:
HARBOR/SPOKANE WORK BEGINS: As previewed earlier this week, work is now under way on the Harbor/Spokane project. That lane – westbound Spokane to north/westbound Harbor – will be kept open during peak pm commute hours, 3 to 7 pm weekdays, per SDOT, but remember that continuous work is planned this weekend.
ADDED THURSDAY EVENING: More info on upcoming Alki Trail closure/detours:
Starting Monday, June 18, crews will close part of the Alki Trail in order to remove sections of the sidewalk and road in preparation for the safety improvement work at the intersection. This phase of work is expected to take 3 weeks (construction dates and duration are subject to change). We wanted to share with you the Alki Trail detour information for people walking and biking.
People walking and biking will be detoured around the work zone as appropriate. The detour routes are:
Eastbound bikes on the Alki Trail
Continue south, past SW Spokane St, to SW Avalon Way
Left onto SW Yancy St
Left onto 28th Ave SW
Right onto SW Andover St
Continue east, across Delridge Way SW, and onto the trail
Detour signs will be posted along this route. A temporary crossing will be added for people biking to cross from the Alki Trail to the west side of Harbor Ave SW. Once on Harbor Ave SW, people biking will merge with traffic and continue following the detour to SW Avalon Way.
Westbound bikes on the Alki Trail
Detoured south toward 22nd Ave SW
Right onto SW Andover St
Left onto 28th Ave SW
Right onto SW Yancy St
Right onto SW Avalon Way
Continue north onto Harbor Ave SW to reconnect with the Alki Trail
Detour signs will be posted at the east end of the trail, directing people biking toward 22nd Ave SW.
People walking eastbound and westbound on the Alki Trail
A uniformed police officer will direct people walking at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St
Please note: Bikes will not be able to access the walking detour route and must follow the signed bike detour route.
(back to original story) Nearby, under the bridge, along SW Manning, we noticed this:
NEW SIGNAL-BOX ART: The rose-covered signal box is signed by Desmond (aka Graves) Hansen. It’s not mentioned on his Instagram page or elsewhere that we’ve found, so we don’t know yet if this is the finished work or, like the box at California/Graham, another tribute portrait might eventually be painted onto it. As mentioned here earlier this week, he’ll be painting a mural of and at the Morgan Junction Community Festival this Saturday, starting at 1 pm, at Morgan Junction Park [map].
When you launch a new event, you never know who will turn out. The first-ever ZwingRally for “supercars” promoted room for up to 120; we counted 15 as participating drivers swung through Alki this morning.
And there they go. pic.twitter.com/DEw0mWoO3U
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 26, 2018
After a stop on Duwamish Head, the drivers headed up to the Alki business district, then turned around and headed back toward the bridge.
Drivers in the rally, organized by local filmmaker Zach Wingfield (who is of course chronicling the whole thing), were scheduled to head to another beach – Seaside in northwestern Oregon – after their West Seattle stop.
Thanks to Brian Presser of TouchTech Systems in The Junction for the photo – the 7-11 at California/Erskine is finally getting its sign replaced. Particularly if you drive by at night, it has been an odd sight, rows of LEDs atop a pole. We’re not sure how the 7-11 lost its sign this time, but it wasn’t the first time.
MONDAY EVENING: Thanks to John LaSpina for this photo of a West Seattle photo-op by singers who are more than 3,600 miles from home. The FÃ³stbrÃ¦Ã°ur all-male choir, from Iceland, performed at the grand opening of the new Nordic Heritage Museum on Saturday and has a show tonight at Plymouth Congregational Church. John caught them in the Duwamish Head sunshine around 3 this afternoon.
ADDED TUESDAY: Thanks to Erla for sharing, in a comment, video of the choir singing on our shore:
Megan sent the photo, explaining:
I walked my dog this afternoon and came home to see someone had left a single tulip at my front door. Checked my camera and saw 2 little kids run up, drop it and then run off!
Maybe they are spreading the joys of Spring? Too cute.
ORIGINAL REPORT, SATURDAY MORNING: Some days back, we got a couple texts about someone with a full drum set, set up out in the parking area along Spokane Street under the West Seattle Bridge. We went by and saw the drums … but the drummer was nowhere in sight. Then we discovered via Twitter that Byron of BikeHugger.com had spotted the drummer one recent evening and recorded him. Byron gave us permission to use his video; he doesn’t know the mystery drummer’s backstory either. Do you?
ADDED MONDAY MORNING: Over the weekend, the “mystery drummer” identified himself in comments as Dakota Duran. In a followup chat by text during a break from his local grocery-store job, he told us that his band is Mad Culture, based in Admiral, and he drums under the bridge a few times a week so he doesn’t bother his neighbors.
12:00 PM: Thanks for the tips about the Seattle Police motorcade that headed westbound over the West Seattle Bridge a little while ago. They’re now at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) and we are told that they’re escorting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who just yesterday was on the East Coast meeting with President Trump.
1:21 PM: Our photographer went back over to await the departure and to find out the reason for the visit.
Salty’s proprietor Gerry Kingen told WSB that apparently the local
embassy consulate was asked for dining recommendations and his establishment emerged!
1:51 PM: Prime Minister Abe has moved on.
(Update: Photos added.) His jet, by the way, is a 747 – here’s Twitter video posted after it landed.
Seen in West Seattle on St. Patrick’s Day 2018:
We of course had to go see if the legendary green stripe on 41st SW north of Admiral Way had been refreshed for another year. The pictorial proof is above. (We’ve featured it many past years – including 2017, 2016, 2015, 2011, 2010 – and it remains a mystery.) The next photo is from Suky:
Suky explains, “No shamrocks at Lincoln Park this morning – Just clamrocks!”
Thanks to Al for the photo – Alki is one of the spots around Seattle where green pigs like those have suddenly popped up. Given the location, we first called Seattle Parks to see if the pigs were some sort of authorized art; nope, no one had asked permission to place them there, and Parks was working to track down who had, before having to spend crew time to take them down. They had heard of sightings elsewhere in the city, so next we went to Reddit‘s SeattleWA subreddit – and indeed, someone elsewhere in Seattle had already solved the puzzle: A real-estate company that has done this elsewhere.
We all know development is happening at a fast pace. And in some cases, it’s a bit repetitive – in the 5200 block of California SW, four side-by-side parcels are proposed for nine townhouses each. And we just noticed one parcel has this sign:
(Our favorite reaction on Twitter, where we shared this a little bit earlier: “When templates attack!”)
Do those books look familiar? Lost? Stolen and dumped? Or? Joy sent the photo, noting, “These books were in Bay 2 shelter at Junction” when she was there late this morning. We just drove by a few minutes ago and they are still there, on the bench in the covered shelter on the south side of SW Alaska just west of California SW.
Several people asked us about a group seen “marching” northbound on California, through The Junction and beyond, this morning, carrying a flag and some wearing what at least two observers perceived as military-style garb. One person caught the photo shown above. We caught up with the group north of The Junction; when asked what they were about, they directed us to goruck.com. In addition to selling rucksacks and other gear, the company organizes/facilitates teambuilding-type long-distance walks; its founders include a former Green Beret, and some of its events raise money for the Green Beret Foundation. Thanks again for the tips – on many things, so far today! – 206-293-6302 any time of any day/night.
From the WSB inbox today – two photos of bicycles that appear to be abandoned, both orange. This one, in The Triangle:
This one, off Harbor Avenue SW:
If either one is potentially yours, let us know.
Thanks to everybody who texted/e-mailed to let us know about that film/video crew at 46th SW & SW Stevens in the Admiral District. We went over to find out what they’re working on. It’s a TV commercial, according to the production-company manager who spoke to our photographer, and that’s all he said he could tell us, along with noting that they’re only expecting to be there through mid-to-late afternoon today.
The photos are from Keith, who spotted “what appears to be a dumped CD portfolio” while walking his dog in Gatewood: “Further inspection shows the CD carrier has been repurposed to house technical information. This was likely stolen from a truck and discarded. I bet the owner would love to get it back.”
If you recognize these, let us know and we’ll connect you.