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FOLLOWUP: Beaches reopened after 2 weeks of sewer-leak closure

Thanks to commenter Bryan for reporting that the signs came down today on the South Alki beaches affected by a sewer leak from the Harbor West condos on Beach Drive. Seattle Public Utilities confirmed to WSB tonight that “Samples show acceptable levels and in consultation with Public Health-Seattle & King County, Seattle Public Utilities staff have removed the warning signs and reopened the beach. It’s been almost two weeks since first word of the leak.

California/Charlestown 7-11 customers’ outpouring in memory of Victor Henley

(Texted photo)

Both outside his California/Charlestown 7-11 and inside, memorials are growing for Victor Henley, who died suddenly on Friday.

(WSB photo)

Thanks to everybody who’s tipped us about this. Victor was much-loved by customers – one person who emailed us described him as “a human that could reach out and make you smile,” His page on the Emmick Family Funeral Home (WSB sponsor) website has a message from his family:

Victor’s celebration of life will be a public event and will take place in West Seattle, the community he loved very much. Our family appreciates the outpouring of kind words and memories of Victor that you have been sharing. The love you have shown is immeasurable; there are no words to describe how special you have made us feel.

Victor was 50 years old.

King County Public Health shuts down 5 food sellers at Alki

In our report on this month’s Alki Community Council meeting, we noted a Seattle Parks manager mentioning a problem with “illegal food vendors” at the beach. Some readers wondered why King County Public Health hadn’t done anything about that. Now the agency has, according to an announcement we just received:

A Public Health food inspector found 5 food establishments operating at Alki Beach in Seattle without a valid food establishment permit on Saturday, July 24th and were directed to immediately cease food and beverage services. These establishments include:

Botanas Locas closed July 24, 2021 at 12:20 pm
Chopped N Skewed closed July 24, 2021 at 1:55 pm
Marco Morales Stand closed July 24, 2021 at 1:55 pm
Nieves De Garrafa closed July 24, 2021 at 2:10 pm
Ivonne Pineda’s Stand closed July 24, 2021 at 2:40 pm

These establishments will be allowed to reopen once the person in charge of each business completes the 3-Step Plan Review process to secure a mobile food services permit (which also applies to food carts and stands) per the instructions online at kingcounty.gov/foodsafety/mobile

This came in too late for followup questions tonight but we’ll be pursuing a few tomorrow.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen e-bike – without battery! – and related advice for bike owners/buyers

In West Seattle Crime Watch, the topic is bicycle theft:

STOLEN E-BIKE, MINUS BATTERY: Tom‘s Rad City 4, black with orange trim, no battery, was stolen from West 206 Apartment’ cyclone-fence bike cage overnight last night. He says it was last seen there last night; then early this afternoon, he noticed it was gone, and found the cut lock and cut fencing, plus “a box that may have been a package theft from up the street.” A large black aluminum basket, also manufactured by Rad Power Bikes, was mounted on the front of the bike; Tom says it had a dog bed inside.

DON’T BUY A STOLEN BIKE: About the same time Tom emailed us, we got this note from Jay:

Last night I spotted a teenager riding my wife’s bike, which had been stolen from our apartment’s bike storage. I chased him down and verified that it was in fact the stolen bike. After a confrontation and intervention from SPD, I recovered the bike. The owner was unaware that purchasing stolen goods doesn’t give the buyer ownership.

Bike theft, particularly from bike storage areas, is really prevalent in West Seattle right now. Thieves often store bikes for a year or more before selling them, so that the owner isn’t actively looking. This is what happened in my case. The bike was stolen on April 20, 2020, and the person riding it had purchased it from the thief on OfferUp two months ago.

OfferUp is the most popular website for selling stolen goods. A large portion of bikes on the app are stolen. But there is a way for honest buyers to tell if a bike they’re buying is stolen. Bike Index is a site where people register their bikes and report them as stolen. If the buyer had checked, they would have found my wife’s bike there. They could have looked it up by make and model or serial number and then contacted me.

That site’s been mentioned here many times before, but not in the context of checking there before you buy a bike.

STATE FERRIES: Crew shortage cancels some Triangle Route sailings; followup on Cathlamet problem

Two Washington State Ferries notes this afternoon:

CREW SHORTAGE: WSF says one of the Triangle Route (Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth) ferries is going out of service for at least the next few hours:

Due to a shortage of Coast Guard Documented Crew, the #2 Issaquah will cancel the following sailings on July 26:

3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. from Vashon to Southworth
3:55 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. Southworth to Vashon
4:35 p.m. Fauntleroy to Vashon

(Added: As of 10:15 pm, no official updates from WSF. But the VesselWatch tracker shows the Issaquah back in service.)

CATHLAMET FOLLOWUP: On Saturday, we reported on one of the Triangle Route ferries, M/V Cathlamet, going out of service after a mechanical problem caused a smoky scare.

(WSB photo of Cathlamet and emergency-response boats, seen Saturday from Fauntleroy dock)

On Sunday, Cathlamet was seen headed from Vashon to the WSF maintenance facility at Eagle Harbor. Today we asked WSF a few followup questions. Spokesperson Justin Fujioka tells WSB that Cathlamet was scheduled to go there for regularly scheduled maintenance starting today anyway. “That maintenance layup was scheduled for four weeks through the weekend of Aug. 21-22. It is unknown yet if Saturday’s incident will extend this scheduled layup period.” As for what went wrong, Fujioka says it was a problem “with the clutch on the #1 end reduction gear overheating, which caused smoke, but no fire. There were no injuries reported.” That is the same part that had trouble July 9th, taking Cathlamet out of service for about six hours.

POWER OUTAGE: 100+ customers out in West Seattle after pole hit

2:41 PM: Police are responding to a report of a driver hitting a pole, with downed wires, at 37th/Charlestown, and the City Light outage map shows 123 customers out as a result. Updates to come.

3:10 PM: We found the pole and wires, but no police and no car. There was no SFD callout so apparently no injuries.

3:38 PM: Thanks to Carolyn for texting to report that the Genesee/Avalon signal is flashing red.

4:36 PM: For some reason police have just been re-dispatched to this; this time the dispatch described the vehicle as a “white flatbed crane.”

4:45 PM: Commenter Linda, in the neighborhood, says the vehicle in question has stayed on scene since the incident 2+ hours ago.

5:17 PM: Commenters report the power’s back, and SCL’s map says the outage is down to 21 customers.

10:34 PM: Those 21 customers are still out.

ROAD-WORK UPDATE: SW Thistle finally reopens east of Delridge

After more than four months, SW Thistle east of Delridge has finally reopened. This is one of the side streets that’s had work done as part of the repaving/utility project in preparation for next year’s conversion of Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line. But now there’ll be another east-west pinch point – SW Trenton was scheduled to close east of Delridge as soon as Thistle reopened. The southbound Delridge closure is also moving southward, to Trenton-Henderson (with SB Delridge reopening Holden-Trenton), but that hadn’t happened yet when we checked Thistle at noontime; we’ll be making a full corridor check later this afternoon,

WHALES: Orcas off West Seattle

Thanks to Kersti Muul for the tip – transient orcas are back in central Puget Sound, southbound, passing the mouth of Elliott Bay at last report. She says they’re mid-channel. Let us know if you see them! (Note: Most-recent updates are in comments below.)

Delridge wading pool closed today for repairs

(Added: WSB photo)

Seattle Parks says the Delridge wading pool – the only one scheduled to be open in West Seattle on Mondays – is closed today for repairs. Parks says it needed “an emergency concrete repair that requires a day to set.” They expect it to reopen tomorrow. If your kid(s) need somewhere else to cool off, Highland Park Spraypark is open until 8 pm as usual (1100 SW Cloverdale).

TONIGHT: Planning the future of Seattle’s maritime/industrial lands

(Terminal 5 and vicinity, photographed by Long Bach Nguyen)

One major event of West Seattle significance is on the calendar for tonight: As previewed here earlier this month, it’s the next step in reviewing/updating Seattle’s policies regarding maritime and industrial lands. (See background on the process here.) West Seattle is home to a major stretch of those lands, from Terminal 5 and Harbor Island south along the Duwamish River. Before changing policies, the city has to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; tonight, it’s having what’s called a “scoping meeting” as part of the process, to determine what should be studied regarding four alternatives (including “no action”) for proposed changes. Here are three concepts they’re looking at:

But first, the question is – what should be considered before changes are made – and should changes be made at all? Tonight’s online meeting is at 6 pm; the participation/viewing link is on this page. Whether or not you attend the meeting, once you’re ready to comment, you can do that by email at PCD_Industry_And_Maritime_Strategy@Seattle.gov by August 9th. You can also offer input via this survey, which includes maps and toplines on the potential alternatives.

BIZNOTE: Enjoy the view and more at Lake Washington Physical Therapy’s West Seattle open house

One of West Seattle’s newest businesses invites you to an open house Thursday night (July 29th). It should be a beautiful evening to enjoy the newest Lake Washington Physical Therapy (WSB sponsor) location at 1309 Harbor Avenue SW. Mark Bouma and Laura Bouma lead the first business located in what’s now called the Denali building, across from Don Armeni Boat Ramp.

Come and celebrate Lake Washington Physical Therapy’s newest location opening in West Seattle! Stop by and meet the Physical Therapists and staff for a tour of the gym and rooftop views! Raffle Prizes will be awarded such as apparel, accessories, and a free golf-swing analysis by Laura Bouma!

Food and beverages too. The open house is set for 6-8 pm Thursday.

ROAD WORK, TRAFFIC, WEATHER: Monday notes

6:03 AM: Good morning, Today’s forecast – more sunshine and an 80-ish high.

ROAD WORK

Delridge project – Sometime today, SDOT says, southbound Delridge between Holden and Trenton will reopen – as will Thistle and Henderson east of Delridge – and then the contractor will close southbound Delridge between Trenton and Henderson, as well as closing Trenton east of Delridge.

SW Genesee – Genesee is scheduled to continue as one lane, alternating, between 26th and 30th, because of vehicles working on the nearby “pond.” The announcement said this should wrap up early this week (we’ll check on it later today).

TRANSIT

Buses are on regular schedules – except for the South Delridge reroutes. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of bus cancellations.

For ferries, be aware of possible impacts from the M/V Cathlamet trouble on Saturday, though as of very early this morning, it appeared three boats were on the run (Issaquah, Kittitas, Sealth). Watch and @wsferries for updates.

BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES

490th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the views of other bridges and routes:

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available for some categories of drivers.)

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

And the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):

For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:

Are draw/swing bridges opening for boats or barges? See the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed. (1st Ave. South Bridge openings also are tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.)

See all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also on this WSB page.

Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

PANDEMIC UPDATES: Weekly check-in #3, 7/25/2021

Every Sunday night, we’re publishing weekly pandemic updates. Tonight, the third one. First, the newest local numbers.

KING COUNTY CUMULATIVE NUMBERS AS OF FRIDAY:

115,479 people have tested positive – 1,250 more than a week ago (4,019 in West Seattle, up 44)
6,640 people have been hospitalized – 44 more than a week ago 201 in West Seattle, up 3)
1,684 people have died – 2 fewer than a week ago (67 in West Seattle, down 1) *data adjustment*

VACCINATION RATE:

74.5% of King County residents 12+ have completed their vaccine series (up .6% in the past week)
By West Seattle zip code:
98106 – 77%
98116 – 83.7%
98126 – 72.7%
98136 – 85%
98146 – 71%

THE WEEK’S HEADLINES

Briefing: “The Delta variant is a game-changer,” said King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin during his briefing on Friday. Watch it here:

He said Delta is identified in 56 percent of the sequenced cases in King County right now. This briefing is also where he recommended indoor mask wearing, even if you’re vaccinated. Not a mandate – but a recommendation, as an “extra layer of protection.” You can hear his explanation starting at 13:29 in.

‘Power of Providers’: The state announced an initiative to encourage health-care providers to proactively encourage patients to get vaccinated, and to encourage those who are to share their status with people they know.

NOT VACCINATED YET?

Go here to see where you can change that.

Single-family-zoning name change, Lowman Beach update, more @ Morgan Community Association

This Wednesday, a City Council committee will hold a public hearing on the proposal to rename what’s currently single-family zoning “neighborhood residential.”

Last Wednesday, a staffer from the office of citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, the West Seattleite who’s sponsoring the proposal, was at the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting to talk about it.

That was one of several major topics at the online meeting led by MoCA president Deb Barker. Our recap is ahead: Read More

BIG SWIM #2: Silver Seals’ cross-Sound success

The weekend’s second big open-water swim between Bremerton and Alki Point was a relay – but as the final swimmer approached shore at midday today, everybody jumped in to be part of the big finish.

Guila Muir, who organized the swim and a team of her fellow over-60 swimmers calling themselves Silver Seals of the Salish Sea, was first out to applaud them all (above right). More than a dozen well-wishers were on the beach at Alki Point for the grand finish.

This was the first time the 10.4-mile Bremerton-to-Alki route, known as the Amy Hiland Swim for the first person on record to complete it (in 1959), had been done as a relay, and the first by elder swimmers. Organizer Muir was all smiles, as her years-long dream came true:

As previewed Friday, she was joined by West Seattleites Scott Lautman and Greg Rolnick, as well as Rachel Price, Zena Courtney, and Michael Palmer. Their relay went faster than expected, and the swimmers arrived before 11 am, 4:24:33 after they began. This marked a big weekend for the sport espoused by the Northwest Open Water Swimming Association; on Saturday, we covered Melissa Kegler becoming the first to do the Amy Hiland Swim as a roundtrip

WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE: 7 photos

We’ve been waiting for a relatively quiet Sunday afternoon to feature non-bird wildlife photos received in recent weeks – and it’s here. Above and below, the first two photos are by Jerry Simmons, seen on the shore – a gunnel and crab.

David Hutchinson is often out watching, and photographing, sightings on- and off-shore. He shared the two photos below – a crystal jelly:

And a rabbit:

In the forest, Mark Wangerin, who often shares beautiful bird photos, spotted this raccoon:

Another raccoon was photographed by Rose De Dan of Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing, who has many animal-encounter stories to tell. She shared a few photos with us this summer too. She says this raccoon was in a cherry tree, inspecting whether the fruit was ready to eat:

Below, Rose’s photo of an opossum enjoying fresh apples:

She says the opossum is a frequent visitor, and tells a story – with video – on her website.

Thanks to everyone who shares West Seattle photos – wildlife, breaking news, more – westseattleblog@gmail.com or text 206-293-6302, any time!

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Ferry Cathlamet in transit, and the return of Silver Muse

Thanks to Tom Stoner for the photo. In the foreground, escorted by a tug, is Washington State FerriesM/V Cathlamet, the ferry that had a scare Saturday afternoon (WSB coverage here) when a smoky mechanical problem hit while it was between Vashon and Fauntleroy. It’s now at WSF’s Bainbridge Island maintenance site, Eagle Harbor. WSF hasn’t yet announced how long it’ll be out of service; two boats are on the Triangle Route today as has been standard lately, but a third boat – M/V Issaquah – is now tied up at Vashon. In the background of the photo is Silversea Cruises’ Silver Muse, which spent a while anchored off Manchester recently, then took off and sailed up Puget Sound, into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and off the Washington coast for a while before returning. Its first official cruise is scheduled to leave Seattle this Thursday (July 29th) for a 10-day Alaska cruise.

LAST CALL: Metro’s safety survey ends today

If you ride Metro – occasionally or often – but haven’t yet answered its safety survey, today’s your last chance. The survey is part of what Metro calls its SaFE Reform Initiative – safety, security, and fare-enforcement reform. The survey is available here in 13 languages. You don’t have to answer all the questions – you’re allowed to skip any you don’t want to answer. Once Metro comes up with recommended reforms, pilot programs will launch next year.

FOLLOWUP: What you might notice if you see the visiting elephant seal again

An update from David Hutchinson of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network:

Seal Sitters continues to monitor our visiting Northern Elephant Seal since he was first spotted in West Seattle waters on July 16. He had previously been sighted in the Des Moines/Redondo area in early June. The volunteers at SR3 (the newly opened Marine Mammal Hospital in Des Moines) named him “Ruckus” considering all the attention and excitement he was creating. To our knowledge, he has not hauled out on any public beach in West Seattle, but with the cooperation of property owners along the Sound, Seal Sitters’ first responders have been able to check on his location and condition.

While elephant seals vary somewhat in color through shades of brown and gray, they all go through an annual “catastrophic molt.” During this process they shed their top layer of skin and fur in chunks which results in a dramatic change in appearance and they remain on the beach for an extended period of time. This is normal, but can give the impression that the animal is sick or dying.

If Ruckus is still in our area when he molts, we hope he can find a quiet safe beach. If you should come across him while out walking our beaches, please keep a respectful distance and report his location to the Seal Sitters’ Hotline at 206-905-7325.

The top photo is of Ruckus on a private West Seattle beach on 7/18, while the bottom photo is of a molting female Northern Elephant Seal on a downtown Seattle beach back in April of this year. Female elephant seals molt in the spring while males molt later in the summer.

Remembering Dale Palella, 1937-2021

Family and friends are remembering Dale Palella and sharing this remembrance with the community:

Retaining his amazing inner strength and boundless sense of humor to the very end, Dale passed away peacefully, at home, with Sallie by his side, on July 18, 2021.

Dale was born in 1937 in Seattle to parents Pasquale and Mary. He graduated from Holy Rosary, Seattle Prep, and Seattle University.
He worked 30 years at Boeing (computing) and Emerald Downs (Mutuels). Dale took great pride in his Italian heritage and was an active member of the Italian Community.

Preceded in death by his parents, brother John, and son Anthony (muscular dystrophy). Survived by wife of 30 years, Sallie; former wife, Sharon Palella, mother of their children; son, Dominic (Lily), daughters; Pamela, Paula, and Deblyn (Julia), and granddaughter Michela.

In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Muscular Dystrophy Association, PO Box 97075, Washington DC. 20090.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

What’s up on your West Seattle Sunday

(Friday night paddlers, photographed by John Hinkey)

Welcome to Sunday!

ROAD-WORK REMINDERS: The Highland Park Way/West Marginal intersection is scheduled for 3 am-1 pm work again today, and southbound Delridge Way is closed between SW Holden and SW Trenton.

CHURCHES: Many continue streaming, in place of – or in addition to – in-person services. Here are the newest links for 20+ West Seattle churches’ services. (We’ll continue updating that list each Sunday for as long as a significant number of streaming services continue.)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm on California between Oregon and Alaska. Scroll down the page at this link to find the vendor list and map for this week. Food and drink, open-on-all-sides entry/exit, and busking are all back. (The market is a WSB sponsor.)

TODAY’S AQUATIC SCHEDULE: Open todayHighland Park spraypark (11 am-8 pm, 1100 SW Cloverdale); Delridge (noon-5:30 pm, 4501 Delridge Way SW) and Lincoln Park (noon-7 pm, 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) wading pools. Colman Pool is open noon-7 pm, not weather-dependent.

ART SHOW/SALE: West Seattle artist Linda McClamrock is having a second day of her driveway art show/sale at 5532 SW Lander Place, 11 am-5 pm

SUNDAY RUN CLUB: Noon at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW) – info in our calendar listing.

LOW-LOW TIDE: The tide is out to -2.8 feet at 12:26 pm today. Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists will be at Lincoln Park only, 11 am to 1:30 pm, for questions and exploration advice (skipping Constellation Park because of the recent sewage leak).

LONG-DISTANCE SWIMMERS: Around 12:30-1:30 pm, six open-water swimmers – all 60+ – calling themselves the Silver Seals of the Salish Sea are expected to reach Alki Point, on the first-ever relay version of the Amy Hiland Swim (Bremerton to Alki). You can follow the tracking here after they start around 6:30 am. (UPDATE: They arrived early, about 10:45. Story to come.)

OWEN’S LEMONADE STAND: Thanks to Dani for the tip! 2-4 pm at Beach Drive/Charlestown, a “budding entrepreneur” in action.

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK X 2: GreenStage presents a “Backyard Bard” doubleheader of short Shakespeare, “Twelfth Night” at 3 pm, “The Tempest” at 4:15 pm, both at Delridge Playfield (4458 Delridge Way SW), free.

LIVE MUSIC @ C & P: Sid Law and Alan Sobel, 3-5:30 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).

LIVE MUSIC @ WEST SEATTLE BREWING: Urban Achievers‘ Led Zeppelin tribute, plus Cory Wilds Band, 4-9 pm at West Seattle Brewing in The Triangle (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW).
.
Event listings welcome – westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

READER REPORT: Abandoned bicycle

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.

VIDEO: Flutes in the Forest @ Schmitz Park

Thanks to Jennie Goldberg for the video from one of today’s spotlighted West Seattle eventsFlutes in the Forest! She reports:

At least 40 people enjoyed the JBC Rose Trio at Schmitz Park today. Attached is a video clip of part of one piece from an hour of flute-trio music – Four Seasons by George Frederick McKay.

The trio plans another free concert in Schmitz Park this August or September.