West Seattle, Washington
Utility-pole art and poetry turns up around West Seattle fairly often; thanks to all the anonymous creators who take the time to make it happen. This caught our attention while we were walking in Gatewood this week. While at first it might seem amusing – “lost mind” in the spirit of “lost pet” – it also holds a serious message. Check in with neighbors, friends, family – sometimes this “almost over but not over” pandemic period seems more unsettling than the pre-vaccine “hunker down” days. And if you need someone to talk to – the state set up Washington Listens as part of the pandemic response.
Kathy sent the photo and question. Maybe you know the answer?
Saw this fabulous salt-and-barnacle-encrusted bike on a walk yesterday near the water taxi dock. Would love to know the story behind it – I assume some divers brought it up and left it as urban art….
Consulting the official state Living With Wildlife page about bobcats – it’s not out of the realm of possibilities. Or maybe a hybrid cat?
Three months since Christmas, but if you drive past 35th/Myrtle after dark, you’ll notice that Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s big tree – the highest-elevation Christmas tree in the city – is still awash in light. Today OLG asked us to share this explanation with you:
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE CHURCH IS KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON! As many of you can see, we have kept our Christmas lights up on the our large spruce tree in front of the church as a sign of hope not only in the midst of a pandemic but also as a beacon of light to the injustice of racism. Let us all strive to be a light to all we meet!
It’s not St. Patrick’s Day for us without a trip to 41st SW north of Admiral Way to check on whether the mysterious green stripe has been renewed for another year. And yes, it has.
We say “renewed” because last year, someone noted that it is visible year-round, and voiced skepticism that it had actually been repainted. So we went by yesterday too for a pre-St. Patrick’s Day frame of reference. Verdict: Definitely refreshed in the past ~20 hours!
From the WSB inbox, two more tales of welcome surprises:
MYSTERY MUG: The photo and report are from Robin:
About two weeks ago, this completely fantastic mug was left on the hood of my truck outside my home between 4 and 10 PM. I questioned friends and neighbors, but no one has yet fessed up to leaving it for me, so I wanted to thank whoever did. I live right on the Duwamish bike trail, so maybe it was someone traveling by the house who happen to see my unicorn sticker on the truck and thought I would enjoy it? I do, and I wanted to thank to thank my Anonymous secret Santa!
THESE ROCKS ROCK: The photos and report are from JD:
Someone is leaving beautiful hand-painted rocks in random flowerbeds around West Seattle. These were spotted in beds on Alki Ave. What a sweet surprise!
In the early weeks of the pandemic, we received so many reports of neighborhood joy – bears in windows, chalk art on sidewalk, signs in yards – glad to see it’s still happening a year later!
The photo is from Gretchen, co-proprietor of Admiral District restaurant Circa. She emailed us today to say, “Got to work today and someone had painted our 3 huge recycle, compost & garbage bins in their bright, fresh, original colors. They’d been tagged with graffiti many times and looked terrible. No idea who did this, if it was the city or an amazing Good Samaritan??? Did it happen anywhere else?” Since Seattle Public Utilities crews do indeed do some painting over graffiti vandalism, we asked SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register if that includes solid-waste containers. She replied, “Our contractors will paint out graffiti or replace the dumpster entirely. They do this on a rotating basis throughout the City.” (Contractors = Waste Management and Recology.)
Recognize this bicycle? Andy found it “stuffed under the trees on the corner of 45th and Hemlock Way. Still has a lock on it. It’s awfully nice and I’d hate to just leave it out there, so I figured I’d bring it in my garage for now.” Andy has checked the serial number with police, and they said it hasn’t been reported as stolen; he’s going to turn it in to them if possible but for now is circulating the photo in case the owner is in West Seattle and just hasn’t reported it yet. If it’s yours, contact us and we’ll connect you.
Looking across Elliott Bay from Seacrest tonight, T-Mobile Park was the brightest sign of the Inauguration Eve vigil, coast to coast, in memory of the 400,000+ people lost to COVID-19. Some lit candles at home – Steve sent this photo:
Steve wrote, “In honor of all those who have lost their life to the Covid-19 virus … and the hope of a better time ahead. I think the sign says it all.”
Finally, fiddler Dawn Hepburn with the National Anthem, for an audience who truly knows the pandemic pain:
Dawn explains that this was “Zoom ‘virtual volunteering’ for Providence Mt. St. Vincent. I play familiar tunes for the residents with dementia. For today, the eve of the Presidential inauguration, I played ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ lyrics by Francis Scott Key and music by John Stafford Smith. Kudos to Suzanne Gollhofer, Activity Program Supervisor, who set this up and is working so hard to keep the residents enriched. I hope this video encourages everyone to reach out with love, how we can, where we can.”
P.S. Tomorrow’s official schedule is here.
Two more bicycles found by readers:
Above is the bicycle John found in The Junction: “Abandoned bicycle left in the street on 46th Ave SW between Alaska and Oregon. This one is pretty beat up, looks to be a ’70s Schwinn painted several times. Might be a White Bike (white paint on frame and rims).” If it might be yours, let us know and we’ll connect you. Below is a bike Theo spotted:
Says Theo: “Not sure if it’s that a child forgot their bike or it was stolen/abandoned, but it seems like someone would care about missing this bike. At Lafayette playground near the west gate.” Again, since bicycles are less likely to be simply lost/misplaced than stolen/dumped, we publish these reports here in the main news stream, but most other lost/found items are posted here.
Christine is still looking for the owner of a pink Huffy kid-size bicycle found in Puget Park – and now she’s looking for the owner of this bicycle, too, found in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Well, more like a bicycle frame, but it’s in good shape, Christine says. She has this black and blue Schwinn for safekeeping, too, so if you recognize it, let us know and we’ll connect you.
P.S. For smaller items likely to have been truly lost/misplaced, you can post/look in our Lost/Found (nonpets) Forum.
Like the bicycle and stroller shown here yesterday, this isn’t the kind of item you just “misplace,” so we’re featuring it here instead of in our Lost/Found (non-pets) forum. The photo is from Rosalie:
I initially saw this wheelchair not far from Charlestown and 39th SW. Yesterday, it was in the middle of Hiawatha playfield at 8 PM at night. I suspect it was stolen … It is a Tracer SX5. It’s in safekeeping right now.
If you recognize it, let us know and we’ll connect you.
We took that photo along Alki Avenue SW after a reader tip that those yellow bags had appeared on multiple bus stops that served Route 37, suspended since March. Do they represent a permanent shroud for the route? We asked Metro. Spokesperson Jeff Switzer says sign-covering started last weekend and is part of a bigger project:
Countywide, we have 7,800 bus stops. Beginning with the September service change we planned a several-fold approach for handling stop level information for suspended routes.
*At suspended stops with bus stop information holders, we have replaced the stop schedule strips with a suspended route information strip.
*At large information kiosks with suspended routes, we have installed a large information strip with suspended route information.
*At suspended stops without information holders, but with more than one route, but only one suspended route, we have installed a decal on the post indicating one or more routes at this stop are suspended (this work is about 85% complete.
*At suspended route stops serving only one route, we have begun covering the flag with a “suspended” cover. Facilities crews began to install them over the past weekend. As of Tuesday morning 200 have been installed out of about 800 planned locations. The work will be ongoing.
While we realize most customers were able to figure out their route was suspended using other tools and information between March and September 2020, we decided to take this additional step to inform customers under the assumption that we potentially would see rider demand grow back over time.
So if you see these at other stops solely serving suspended routes, that’s why. The suspended routes’ ultimate future has yet to be determined. (Here’s a September recap of which routes countywide remain shelved.)
Though their future has not been finalized, the no-through-traffic “Stay Healthy Streets” around our area and the rest of the city are getting new signage. Where they intersect with busy streets – like SW Webster at 16th SW, shown in our photo – it’s full-sized barricades, while less-busy spots will get barrel-top signs. The new signage is explained here, along with an update on the program’s status, indicating final decisions on where to make SHS permanent aren’t expected until next year. The West Seattle SHS stretches are mapped here and here; the Alki Point/Constellation Park stretch remains designated a “Keep Moving Street” and the city says those are “temporarily closed to thru-traffic, likely until parking lots start opening up again in Phase 3 of the Safe Start Plan.” A major update on the program is anticipated at next month’s Bicycle Advisory Board meeting.
11:02 AM: The WSU-Cal game‘s not until 1 pm, but tailgating of a sort started early today for Cougar superfan Paul Twibell and friends. He sent the screenshot and report:
This morning ESPN’s College Gameday was live from Alki, if only for a couple of seconds. Paul Twibell’s Cougulance was featured with friends waving WSU flags to keep a streak alive. Today was the 256th consecutive episode that a WSU flag has been waved during the show. Paul, who owns the Cougar-themed ambulance frequently parked on Admiral Way, was joined by Cougar friends Stacey Ellingson, Collin Cejka, Darren Case, Barb Harrington, Chloe Woodward, Makenzee Jundal, and Wagz. ESPN has modified their normal “Fan Pit” to be virtual, featuring fans from across the nation. Twibell was up at 5 am this morning to set up a camera and lighting for the 7:30 am two seconds of fame. GO COUGS!
(The onscreen “West Point” reference was because ESPN’s featured game this week is Army vs. Navy, Paul explains.)
1:03 PM: Side note, no WSU game today after all – canceled at the last minute due to COVID concerns in the Cal program.
The (distanced) line stretches north along California to the corner of Oregon as of our visit a few minutes ago.
The truck is here as one of its first five stops because of an online vote – it’ll be here until 2 pm.
6:31 PM: After the truck left, we emailed Dick’s to ask how many burgers and shakes were sold today. The reply: “We don’t actually provide those specific numbers but I can share that we sold completely out of shakes and burgers today in West Seattle.”
Thanks to Susan Weir for the photos and report from atop Genesee Hill:
You’re never too old to clown around! That’s the motto of Patricia (Pat) Nelson, age 93, and Elaine Katz, age 68. If you’re out in the sunshine and happen to be driving by the intersection of Genesee and 55th Ave. SW, you may see these ladies waving, smiling, and putting smiles on the faces of those who drive by. Pat and Elaine routinely clown around on this corner. Please smile, honk, and wave back!
Stewart L. photographed that portable neon sign at Don Armeni Boat Ramp last week. We couldn’t figure out what it was for, but tonight we caught up with its minders after Mike sent word it had shown up late today in the parking lot at 44th/Edmunds. They explained that it’s promotion for the Gates Foundation-led initiative PowerOf, encouraging volunteering and donating to help people affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The sign is scheduled to move on shortly; the online schedule says it will be in Columbia City the next three days.
Two recent parking changes in West Seattle:
RITE-AID LOT ADDS PAID PARKING: When we reported recently on the new contract-holder for vehicle licensing in West Seattle, he mentioned that one strike against the old location (he’s moving into Westwood Village instead) was that paid parking was going in at Rite-Aid across the street (5217 California SW). We hadn’t confirmed that until noticing this past weekend that it’s now in place. While there are still free spaces for customers in front of the store, and some on either side, the rest are now controlled by Diamond Parking, $2/first hour, $1 subsequent hours, and they’re selling monthly parking too ($30). The free spaces are marked 60 MINS. in white paint, while the paid spaces say PAY, in yellow paint. Diamond’s other lots around West Seattle (and elsewhere) are mapped here.
DUWAMISH HEAD GOES BACK-IN: Stewart L. sent this photo recently, noting the “back-in only” sign was new:
We asked SDOT about it. While they didn’t explain why they decided to add the signage now, spokesperson Ethan Bergerson explained why the department prefers it for angled parking:
All back-in angle spaces follow the guidelines outlined in the Institute of Traffic Engineers Handbook. Traffic safety and crash data analysis showed a 3-1 ratio of collisions occurring with head-in parking spaces as opposed to back-in parking spaces. Back-in angle parking is safer than head-in for several reasons:
· Traffic is already stopped when the driver is backing into a parking space, rather than backing out into a moving traffic lane when visibility is limited.
· When leaving a parking space it is easier and safer to drive into a travel lane than back a vehicle out of a space into a travel lane.
· People on bicycles are better able to avoid a vehicle backing into a parking space than a vehicle backing out of a space into a cyclist’s path.
· The time required to back into an angle space requires less time than to park parallel or to back out of an angle stall, therefore traffic delays are reduced.
For these reasons, it has been the preference of SDOT to install back-in angle parking since at least the late 1960s. The only locations where we continue to consider head-in angle parking are on one-way downhill streets.
As mentioned in our morning preview, the Planters “Nutmobile” visited West Seattle this morning. Didn’t get much advance notice on this, so you might have missed it, but we have since gotten word of another West Seattle stop: It’ll be at The Sanctuary @ Admiral (42nd/Lander) on Friday (October 30th), 9 am-2 pm, in conjunction with a Bloodworks Northwest donation drive. If you come visit, there’s swag, like these stickers:
Today’s stop was in celebration of Meals on Wheels volunteers at the Senior Center of West Seattle, which is led by executive director Amy Lee Derenthal:
She says 65 people are (corrected) receiving Meals On Wheels right now, from volunteers delivering frozen, ready-to-heat meals to seniors around the area;.
From the WSB inbox:
Super exciting news. The USPS collection box has just been installed after months of being on hiatus. It is at the corner of 63rd Ave SW and Hinds. I have attached a picture of the new box with cross streets amd information on address and official collection times. The people of Alki are going to be so excited.
(The 4412 California SW location is the Post Office in The Junction.)
Angelina sent the photo, explaining: “I found a walker with a wonky wheel on 31st Ave SW. I put it in my yard, but it seems like a weird thing to lose. So if someone’s walker was stolen, I might have it.” If it might be yours, let us know and we’ll connect you.
SIDE NOTE: For items that are more likely to be simply lost/found and not stolen, we have a West Seattle Lost/Found (Non-Pets) section here.
Just in time for Wednesday’s half-iversary of the West Seattle Bridge closure – am announcement and photos, sent by Lars:
The Delridge Maritime Historical Society in conjunction with the CFGA is pleased to announce the erection of a memorial shrine to West Seattle and Delridge’s most unsung hero: Rolf Neslund. Located on the lovely bike trail, beneath the small Pigeon Point park at the North end of 22nd Ave SW,
Rolf gazes out towards the now unused Delridge onramp with steely Viking intensity – pondering his legacy. When in picturesque Northern Delridge, please consider a brief pilgrimage to the memory of a true West Seattle legend.
Just don’t run into it.
P.S. Squinting at the plaque, we note that CFGA = Center For General Annoyance. (If you don’t know who Rolf Neslund is and what he has to do with the bridge … HistoryLink can educate you here and here.)