West Seattle, Washington
Were they stolen and dumped? Or just lost? A reader is hoping to get photos to their owner:
They were in a torn-apart photo album (no cover or binder). They were strewn all along Admiral Way, sort of near Schmitz Park. I even crawled under a couple vehicles to get some. They were very wet and covered in debris. My daughter and I just spent hours cleaning and drying them one by one.
If these might be yours, email us – email@example.com – and we’ll connect you with the finder.j
Thanks to Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections for the photo and report:
Here is a 11/20/23 photo of driver Paul with SDOT’s electric compact street sweeper working on the SW Avalon Way bike lanes. He had to get out to remove some branches by hand. This is a welcome sight for people riding bikes, with all the fall leaves in the lanes becoming a little slippery when wet and hiding who knows what.
As announced in September, SDOT is in the middle of a six-month test of this sweeper, part of a larger look at how much of its fleet could go electric.
We didn’t hear about today’s Seahawks flyover in advance, but a couple people mentioned it afterward. And James Tilley sent this photo:
He notes, “Just after the flyover at the game, they made another pass over Alki, presumably on their way to land at Boeing Field, as they were dropping gear as they flew over the beach.” According to the Seahawks website, these were “two EA-18 Growlers from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.”
Thanks to everyone who messaged us about a film-crew sighting on the Lincoln Park waterfront today. According to the texter who sent the photo above: “Spoke to one of the organizers. It’s a short film. They are hoping to submit to Sundance. All local crew (Seattle-based).”
Today’s been a very aerial day … first the Guardian One helicopter, then the C-17 over Elliott Bay, then two fighter jets loud and low just before dusk (we were under the awning at the high-school football game so could only hear, not see, them, and they weren’t on tracker). People at the Mariners’ game confirm it was a pregame flyover (here’s a pic).
ADDED: In comments, Jason uploaded photos including this one, plus a link to video.
Thanks to the texter who just sent that photo (and to everybody else messaging us about the sighting). The jet is a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo jet, dozens of which are based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Pierce County.
ADDED: Another view, emailed by Jan Pendergrass:
PLUS: West Seattle skywatcher Kevin Freitas caught the flyby on one of his cameras:
Thanks to Shannon for the photo – and to John for the first word via a comment with a screengrab of the ferry-dock camera! That was NOT “our” troll being trucked out of West Seattle this morning – it was the future Ballard troll, after arriving via ferry from Vashon Island. It will be placed at the National Nordic Museum for an unveiling on Monday – the last of the six trolls that artist Thomas Dambo is placing around the Northwest.
ORIGINAL TUESDAY STORY: Probably not the first self-driving car tested in West Seattle, but it’s the first one we’ve heard about: Craig emailed to say, “Spotted a Cruise self-driving car on Harbor Ave today. It caught my attention for its ‘sudden stops’ warning.” He notes that GeekWire reported on Cruise beginning its Seattle testing on Monday; its story notes that Cruise is the third autonomous-vehicle company to get a testing permit from SDOT. The permit requires that a human ride along at all times just in case of trouble. So far, Cruise’s self-driving cars serve as “robotaxis” in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Austin. Autoweek says Cruise’s testing is a prelude to doing that here too.
THURSDAY UPDATE: We received this clarification today from SDOT spokesperson Mariam Ali:
Cruise did not submit a permit application and did not give prior notice to the City regarding their operations. The City became aware on the morning when Cruise’s operations commenced. Upon learning of Cruise’s activities, SDOT initiated communication with the company. During this communication, Cruise informed SDOT that they will be conducting manually driven mapping operations from August 28 to September 1. SDOT’s understanding is that following September 1, Cruise will withdraw vehicles from Seattle. SDOT intends to collaborate with Cruise to gain a better understanding of their forthcoming plans and the schedule for their testing activities in Seattle.
Cruise does not need a permit for manually driven mapping. Cruise will need to obtain a permit from SDOT prior to testing their autonomous driving system, and will also be required to obtain a permit if they choose to self-certify with the Washington State Department of Licensing’s autonomous vehicle registration process.
Someone asked us early this evening on Twitter/X, “There are a bunch of women in the Junction dressed in Lucille Ball wigs and dresses. A few men too, what is up????” Well, no, not Lucille Ball. Actually – Helen Roper.
This is, as featured in our event calendar and daily preview list, the West Seattle Roper Romp, a pub crawl for which participants were encouraged to dress up like Helen Roper, a TV sitcom character from the shows “Three’s Company” and “The Ropers,” which aired 1977-1980 but live on in Gen X hearts.
As Hollye Bondurant, who sent the above photos, pointed out, Roper Romps were featured earlier this week in a New York Times story. We suspect there’s been a run on caftans and auburn wigs ever since. If you have some standing by, you still have an hour to get in on the West Seattle Roper Romp – the 10-11 pm stops are in our calendar listing.
We’ve also had questions this weekend about aircraft flyovers beyond usual patterns. Here in south West Seattle, we were just seeing general-aviation aircraft, but further north, a far more memorable sight. Commenter Jeff solved the mystery (and this morning, Kathleen sent a photo): Historic aircraft flying out of the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field, from the Commemorative Air Force. Scheduled rides (aboard a B-17 or B-25 bomber) ended at 1 pm but ground tours continue until 6 pm – info here.
The photo and report are from Jordan, who works at Sky Printing (35th/Fauntleroy), and thinks this is more likely to be a dumped/stolen item than merely lost, because of what’s not in it.
I found this Coach wallet outside of our shop, along with a bunch of business cards and receipts, but no cash or credit cards or IDs. The wallet is in good shape; we’re keeping it in our lost and found.
Contact the shop if it’s yours.
You had to be at Seattle Center to hear the music – but otherwise, last night’s All-Star Drone Show was visible from across the bay! Thanks to Carolyn Newman for the photos. The Center said 600 lighted drones flying up to 400 feet above ground were used for “stunning baseball-themed visuals and iconic Seattle scenes … set to a soundtrack of baseball classics and summertime music.” The “iconic scenes” included the Pike Place Market sign:
And even a “twin” for the Space Needle:
4:18 PM: Thanks to everyone who mentioned this sighting around 3:30 pm – two Air Force C-17s passing West Seattle’s north shore, as seen in Nate Miller‘s video above (Nate says, “We’re celebrating the promotion of Lafayette’s 5th graders, and convinced the kiddos that the flyby was for them!”), and Stewart L.’s photo of one of them:
We can’t say with absolute certainty that these were from Joint Base Lewis McChord, but JBLM is home to 40 of these aircraft.
5:02 PM: One more view, from David Hutchinson at Alki:
From Ben, in the Westwood area:
Some items were dumped on my property this afternoon.
If all or some of them are yours, email us – firstname.lastname@example.org – and we will connect you with Ben.
It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without a look at the mysterious green stripe that leprechaun(s) refresh every year along 41st SW north of SW Admiral Way. This year, the photos are courtesy of a reader who got an aerial view via drone.
Who does this? That remains a mystery – and some have suggested over the years that it’s not a bad thing to have a few mysteries remain.
From the “in case you wondered too” file – several people have mentioned a film crew at Don Armeni Boat Ramp today. We haven’t been able to get there to check but the reader who sent that photo reports that they’re working on a “Taco Time commercial.” Taco Time has shot in West Seattle before – here’s our mention of a shoot 14 years ago.
Even if you don’t work for Boeing, you’ve probably heard a lot about the last 747 to be built. Today, Steve Rice photographed the above view of the jet after it left Everett for Cincinnati and delivery to Atlas Air and shared the photo with WSB. Here’s the Boeing take on its takeoff:
And she's off!
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) February 1, 2023
Molly sent the photos from a sunny Saturday sighting at Jack Block Park, noting: “Looks like E32 firefighters were doing diving training at Jack Block Park. They kept having one of the firefighters throw the cone into the water and the diver would run into the water and find it as quickly as possible, and then swim back to shore as well. It was awesome to watch (my 3-year-old wanted to watch them all day).”
We don’t have official information on exactly what kind of training/practicing was happening there – but we do know some SFD firefighters are trained as Rescue Swimmers (this Seattle Channel video shows what that program’s all about).
12:47 PM: We’re exploring the theory that the two military jets that have been circling the area for about half an hour arrived early for a flyover at the Mariners playoff game, which doesn’t start until 1:07 pm. More info as we find it.
1 PM: Via Twitter, a military-aviation watcher says these are “2 EA-18G Growlers from VAQ-137 ‘Rooks’ out of NAS Whidbey Island.”
1:12 PM: Also via Twitter, here’s a visual representation of all that circling, and then the downtown flyby.
Thanks to Troy Adams for the photo. The light beaming up from Lumen Field has drawn a lot of questions this past half-hour, and the answer seems to be that it’s in advance of The Weeknd‘s concert there tomorrow night (Thursday, August 25). Haven’t verified that, but it does bear a resemblance to the art on his webpage for the tour, which is titled After Hours Til Dawn.
P.S. Past sky-high beams of note include a Microsoft promotion in 2009.
A block of gleaming custom cars drew attention along Alki Avenue this afternoon/evening. Thanks to Rachel for the tip; we checked out the cars while covering the Alki Beach Sunset Run. This was part of Eazy Duz It Car Club‘s summer barbecue; while club members and their families gathered in the picnic area along the promenade, their cars attracted appreciative attention:
Eazy Duz It also organizes community events including a holiday-season toy drive in South Delridge.
Speaking of which – we don’t know which if any of these cars and their owners will be there, but we’re now one week away from the second annual Lowrider Block Party, noon-6 pm next Saturday (August 27th) on 17th SW between Delridge and Roxbury.
Thanks for the tips, and to Nate Miller for the video! That jet’s low flyby over northwest West Seattle this past hour was courtesy of Boeing – Flightradar24 identifies it as the “ecoDemonstrator” jet, a 777-200ER with its underside painted with POWERED BY SAF – short for Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Here’s a closer look in a photo tweeted by Bill Schrier:
(The smaller plane accompanying it is not identified on the tracker – possibly for photography.) You can read about the ecoDemonstrator program on Boeing’s website.
2:34 PM: We’ve received a few questions about what seems to be an increase in military flyovers in recent days, including one over the north end of the peninsula a short time ago. That one, like at least a few of the others, was a C-17 Globemaster cargo aircraft out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the South Sound, as shown on this screengrab from Flightradar24:
Given the base’s proximity, flyovers aren’t that unusual, and while we don’t so far have comment on this one, they’ve often turned out to be training, as explained here.
3:53 PM: Thanks to a lead from commenter Sven, we’ve discovered via Twitter that today’s flyover was in connection with a pregame event at the OL Reign match. Similar demonstration for Saturday’s Sounders match. (We’ve reported on many baseball/football flyovers in years past but not so many for soccer.)
4:45 PM: Thanks to Jennifer Moore for the photo of the C-17, just added above.