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FOLLOWUP: Lincoln Park South Play Area completion timeline extended

When last we asked Seattle Parks about the Lincoln Park South Play Area timeline – with construction finally under way, seven years after it was closed for wood damage – they told us it was expected to be complete this month. We went over the other day for a look, and noticed that despite June having less than two weeks left, the play area did not appear anywhere near complete. As the top photo shows, the new play structure is in place, but otherwise, the site still looks fairly raw:

The project webpage hadn’t been updated since January when we looked on Monday before sending Parks’ media team an inquiry. They have yet to reply, but we noticed that our inquiry has led to a small update on the website, where the anticipated completion date has changed from June to July.

UPDATE: Fauntleroy incident leads to Arbor Heights arrest

(Texted photo)

3:52 PM: Lots of questions about this. Police have converged on a car in Arbor Heights, near 35th/Ocean View, to investigate whether it’s linked to an incident in Fauntleroy involving someone in a car with a gun. They’re questioning two people. So far as we’ve heard in monitoring, they’re still trying to sort it all out; the resident who sent the photo says officers told him it started as a domestic-violence incident. The car that was stopped was reported to have two children in it.

(WSB photo)

4:19 PM: One man has been arrested, police tell us at the arrest scene. The original incident, in which a gun was brandished, happened near 45th/Wildwood in Fauntleroy. We don’t know whether a gun was found but officers were bagging various items as apparent evidence. The aforementioned children’s mom was brought to the scene earlier so they are OK.

ADDED THURSDAY 11:18 AM: Here’s the brief initial SPD summary of the incident:

Multiple bystanders in the 9200 block of 46 AV SW attempted to intervene in an in-progress assault. The suspect assaulted the bystanders, then produced a handgun, pointed it at multiple people, and fled in a vehicle with the original victim. Officers located the vehicle and detained all occupants. The suspect was arrested and booked …

The suspect is 21 years old and remains in jail this morning, under investigation for assault and unlawful gun possession, the latter because of an assault conviction – we’re still looking into court records but the docket says he was charged in 2021 and resolved the case with a guilty plea in 2022. As for Wednesday’s arrest, there will likely be a probable-cause hearing this afternoon that would determine whether he remains in custody (an initial decision on charges would be later this week); we’ll be checking with prosecutors on what happens next.

ADDED 11:38 AM: The suspect has an extensive record going back to juvenile cases when he was 15 years old. The 2022 conviction involved a gunfire case in Kent, but he has other gun-related convictions, leading to this passage in the charging documents from that case, in a passage arguing for bail (which at one point in that case was set at $1 million):

The Superior Courts of King and Pierce County have repeatedly ordered the Defendant not to possess firearms and he has violated that order with impunity. There is no expectation that he would follow such an order if released. He not only possesses firearms, he endangers the public by his wanton use of them.

He was sentenced in January 2023 to almost five years in state prison for the Kent case, but that included credit for time already served in county jail. We’ll be checking with the Department of Corrections to see when he was released.

ADDED 12:56 PM: DOC says he was released from prison six weeks ago (and is on “community custody” aka parole currently).

ADDED THURSDAY NIGHT: We haven’t received documents from today’s hearing yet, but the jail docket shows his bail was set at $100,000.

SUMMER: Colman Pool’s 7-days-a-week season starts Saturday

This is the third-to-last day you’ll find Colman Pool covered in early afternoon, for a while – the historic heated-salt-water pool on the Lincoln Park shore goes 7 days a week starting Saturday (June 22), just in time for possible mid-80s temperatures! The season schedule is now online – noon-7 pm daily, broken into lap swim, rec swim, and swim lesson sessions. Also remember that the pool will be closed to the public five days for swim meets, June 27-29 and July 12-13. Fees are listed here; if you’re planning on going often, you might consider getting a pass. Colman Pool is scheduled to close for the season after Labor Day.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen white F-150 pickup truck (update: found!)

The report and photo are from Kristin:

Sometime between 8 PM Tuesday, June 18, and 8 AM Wednesday the 19th, my truck, a 1995 white Ford F-150, license plate B65426X, was stolen from the parking lot at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Delridge Way SW – I live in the Cooper apartments above the Arts Center. I would sure appreciate if the West Seattle community would keep their eyes out for it.

If you find Kristin’s truck, call it in to 911 – you can refer to SPD incident # 24-166604.

9 PM UPDATE: Found, thanks to tip from Spooled in comments – see below.

Brown water in Arbor Heights

Reported by AKM: “My neighbors and I are seeing brown water. We live in Arbor Heights on/near SW 106th and 40th Ave SW. My neighbor reported seeing the fire department at the fire hydrant on 106th, so this is likely fire hydrant testing. I saw no outages on the SPU map. I am running the tap, still seeing brown water. Hopefully, this will dissipate soon, but glad the fire hydrants are being tested.”

If you notice discolored water, it’s not always hydrant testing – it can also be the result of a pipe break or other system problem, reported or unreported, so it’s important to notify Seattle Public Utilities (the 24/7 number is 206-386-1800).

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Want to be part of this year’s Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show?

(WSB file photo)

On this almost-summer holiday, some planning is under way for almost-winter holiday events. The Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show, set for November 1-3 this year, has issued its annual Call for Artists. Applications will be welcome through August 31. The three-day show and sale is held at Fauntleroy UCC‘s Fellowship Hall, usually over the course of a Friday evening session, all day Saturday, and midday Sunday. Show and application information is on the church website.

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Juneteenth Wednesday

6:01 AM: Good morning! It’s Wednesday, June 19 – Juneteenth.


Last full day of spring. Sunny, breezy, high in the mid-70s. Today’s sunrise was at 5:11 am again – earliest of the year, not changing until Saturday – while sunset will again be at 9:10 pm.


-No school today, for those whose school year doesn’t end until later this week (Seattle Public Schools, for one).

Metro todayNo holiday changes; check for advisories here.

Water Taxi today – No holiday changes. Check the real-time map if you need to see where the boat is.

Washington State Ferries today – No holiday changes on the Triangle Route; check WSF alerts for last-minute changes. Use the real-time map to see where your ferry is.

Sound TransitNo holiday changes.

Parking holiday – Parking is free of charge today in neighborhoods with city-operated pay-station street parking.


Low bridge: Here’s the main view:

Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Orchard), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Henderson, Delridge/Oregon, and video-only (so you have to go to the map), Delridge/Holden and Delridge/Thistle.

High Bridge – Here’s the main camera:

High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):

1st Ave. S. Bridge:

Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander (sorry if it’s still malfunctioning – out of our control):

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: All functioning traffic cams citywide are here; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on X (ex-Twitter) shows whether the city’s movable bridges are open for vessel traffic.

If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/water, please text or call our hotline (when you can do that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if they’re not already on scene) – 206-293-6302. Thank you!

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle High School Class of 2024 graduates

By the time West Seattle High School‘s Class of 2024 tossed their caps in the air, the sun had set and the moon shone over Memorial Stadium downtown, following an hour-and-a-half ceremony launching more than 300 grads into the rest of their lives. ASB president Ruby Athan was the first of four student speakers; she spoke of learning to let things go, even as she also urged her classmates to take a moment to pause and appreciate who was surrounding them, one last time. Staff speaker Paul Savino provided comic relief, explaining, “If you can make somebody laugh, you got ’em … it’s a mutually disarming technique.” He and others made mention of the Class of 2024 entering high school in mid-pandemic. The first of two “Lessons of Life” student speakers, Ryan Whitney, talked about “the power of focus” and urged classmates to congratulate themselves because they “crushed high school.” Co-speaker Abdi Abdirahman declared, “We came as kittens and left as Wildcats!” Here’s our video of those first four speakers:

The class had nine valedictorians, and one spoke, Andy Hoff, also giving a nod to “the importance of focus,” specifically finding the “one thing that brings you fulfillment.”

The other eight valedictorians are Payson Gutt, Kamil Ignacio, Clay Kuran, Benjamin Lewis, Nina Lovre, Jackie Martin, Leah Morgan, and Sonya Purcell. After the speakers and a musical performance, WSHS principal Brian Vance presented the class to School Board director Gina Topp, who had joined him in the ceremony-opening processional:

The principal observed, “What a ride this has been,” and assured the new grads, “You’re ready for whatever lies ahead.”

We’ll add the district’s video of the entire ceremony when it’s available.

CONGRATULATIONS! Chief Sealth International High School Class of 2024 graduates

Chief Sealth International High School‘s Class of 2024 is celebrating their graduation after this evening’s ceremony at Memorial Stadium downtown – with abundant exuberance, including the grad shown above, carthwheeling from stage to seat after diploma acceptance.

And of course, the nearly 300 grads had their cap-toss moments later:

After Emma Charles – a fifth-great-granddaughter of the school’s namesake Chief Sealth – presented the land acknowledgment, principal Ray Morales told the grads he is looking forward to “being witness to all of your greatness.” Student speaker Jerome Quiambao noted that the class began their high-school years in the heart of the pandemic, and for a while only knew each other as initials on a screen. His speech captured the unique ambience of this moment in young adults’ lives: “The future beckons while the past lingers in our minds.”
Staff speaker Maha Giundi, who teaches Culinary Arts, urged the grads to “carry forth the spirit of pride” and to stay hopeful. (added) Our video of the speakers begins with the principal:

And tonight brought a first for one of the district reps present at the ceremony: The Chief Sealth Class of ’24 was the first class that Seattle Public Schools Board director Gina Topp of West Seattle formally accepted on the district’s behalf, since she took office less than a year ago.

This year’s valedictorian was Dan Nguyen; salutatorian was Joy Ohta.

ADDED 11:14 PM: We’ve added our video of the speakers above. And here’s the district video of the entire ceremony:

The just-over-an-hour graduation begins just before 4 minutes in, with student musicians playing “Pomp and Circumstance” for the processional entrance.

VIDEO: Belated groundbreaking celebration for South Delridge mixed-use project Keystone

Two years after having West Seattle’s first ceremonial apartment-development groundbreaking in eight years, the partnership of STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor) and Housing Diversity Corporation had another one today. This time, the project is already under way, but they decided to take a few minutes to celebrate anyway. The project they heralded in 2022, at 3405 Harbor Avenue SW, is almost complete; this one is at 9201 Delridge Way SW, and its foundation is taking shape.

The five-story building is going up on a former auto-shop site on the south side of Delridge/20th/Barton; on the north side, STS already has two properties, Blue Stone and Livingstone, both mixed use – the early-learning facility Bella Mente is in Blue Stone, while STS’s company headquarters are in Livingstone. The new project, Keystone, will have 4,000 square feet of commercial space as well as 74 apartments. All speakers at today’s ceremony talked about the challenges of getting a project going amid a difficult financing environment; STS Construction’s Craig Haveson said he and his wife Mara Haveson first invested in the area 17 years ago, and he’s always believed in its potential.

His parents Rena and Paul, wife Mara, and kids Scarlett and Colton were there to join in the celebration, including the ceremonial shovel-turning:

Speakers also included Housing Diversity CEO Brad Paddon, who has built more than 2,800 apartments in the Northwest and Southern California; he said the intent of this project, and the heart of his business, is to provide more middle-income housing.

Architect Michelle Linden of Atelier Drome echoed the dedication to affordability, saying that people who grew up in this area deserve to be able to stay in this area:

Too soon to say what the rents will be, as completion is more than a year away, but the goal is for the apartments to be affordable to people making 80 percent of the Area Median Income or less; 15 of the units will be rent-restricted via the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption program. Linden noted that the site on which attendees gathered for this afternoon’s ceremony will be a mini-plaza when Keystone is done. The site had proposals under earlier ownership, including a storage facility, but this is the one that finally went through. Meantime, STS and HDC are partners in other future West Seattle developments, including 4448 California SW in The Junction and 17th/Roxbury (which underwent some demolition recently, but that was for safety reasons, not because construction was imminent).

FINANCIAL PARTNERS: Since much was made of the challenges of securing financing for projects right now, here’s who is involved in this project, according to a project-overview infosheet – senior lender First Fed, with a $5 million loan; Nuveen Green Capital as Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency (C-PACER) lender, loaning $9.74 million; and Citizen Mint, raising $5.18 million of equity.

City Attorney proposes new fine for street racing, ‘takeovers’

Would a new city-imposed $500 fine discourage street racing and “takeovers” like the one caught on video in The Junction earlier this month? This announcement is from City Attorney Ann Davison‘s office:

Today, Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison introduced legislation to the Seattle City Council to address the growing incidence of illegal street racing and “street takeover” events in Seattle.

The legislation, which would adopt new state law expanding the definition of street racing to include drifting and street takeover events, also establishes a $500 civil infraction against the registered owner of a vehicle participating in these activities.

“This legislation responds to the recent rise in large street racing takeover events that pose a safety hazard to the public — pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers,” said City Attorney Davison. “The new civil infraction will give police a tool to hold vehicle owners accountable when their cars are used at these events.”

Over the past several years, Seattle has seen an increase in street racing events comprised of large numbers of vehicles and observers. The participants and spectators literally take over city intersections for drifting, “donuts,” and other dangerous driving techniques. In July 2023, a woman was shot at one of these events, and in May 2024, dozens of drivers continued to participate in a takeover, despite police presence and repeated warnings from officers.

In 2023, state legislators adopted a new state law expanding the definition of street racing. That law went into effect on January 1, 2024.

The $500 infraction proposed by City Attorney Davison is an additional measure which is not in state law.

The proposal will first go to the council’s Public Safety Committee for consideration.

P.S. Police said today that the crash on Alki Avenue early Saturday was preceded by this type of driving – donuts and high speed.

WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: Businesses’ new campaign for better relocation help – and more clarity

As the Sound Transit Board‘s decision on a West Seattle light-rail route draws closer, residents and businesses in its potential path continue looking ahead to what will happen when – and before – construction begins. The official Sound Transit timeline says that’s expected in 2027 – but even before the final route vote, it’s already been talking to some of those potentially affected. And some of the businesses in that category say that the relocation assistance for which they’re likely eligible is not nearly enough to cover the costs of finding and moving to a new site. So they just launched a new awareness and public-support-seeking campaign to ask Sound Transit for more, with an online petition drive and website.

We got first word of this from one of the businesses on the site that’s expected to hold the Delridge station, Ounces, the taproom/beer garden/community-events hub which has been at 3809 Delridge Way SW for almost eight years. We talked with co-proprietor Laurel Trujillo via email; she explains, “Relocation assistance in the financial form and transparency to the community is the big push here. Businesses don’t feel like the community is fully informed of which businesses will be forced to relocate and also on the details around the relocation assistance that is and isn’t provided.” They’ve already talked repeatedly with decisionmakers, she adds: “The sentiment from many of the businesses is that we’ve all had many meetings and discussions with the Sound Transit team, the Mayor, City Council, King County Council and so far nothing has resulted in any hint of a different outcome beyond the $50k max, plus moving costs in Relocation Assistance, nor has any consideration been given to our modification requests for shifts in route design. Because of this, our hope is that the collective voices of businesses and community members can help to ensure that the West Seattle businesses the community knows and loves are able to continue to thrive alongside light rail.”

The website has a rough list of potentially affected businesses, from the north end of Delridge to the proposed Avalon station site in the 35th/Fauntleroy vicinity to the proposed Junction station site at and around Jefferson Square. There’s also an extensive FAQ page which addresses these questions:

Do you support Light Rail to West Seattle?

Where can I see the route and businesses impacted?

Can’t these businesses and light rail exist together?

Don’t you get money to move?

How much do you get to relocate?

Is your relocation guaranteed?

Haven’t you known this was coming?

Can’t light rail just fly over you? Or go under you?

Do you have a choice?

Does Sound Transit cover 100% of your relocation costs?

When does this happen?

So you are just stuck waiting until Sound Transit buys your property?

Is the plan final yet?

Are you provided access to funding via grants or loans to help subsidize costs not provided?

Are you paid for your time/effort to relocate?

Have you started a go fund me?

Have you started to look for a new location yet?

Who makes the final decision to displace businesses?

How can I help?

What are the personal costs for business owners?

Many business owners invested life savings to start their business? Are you reimbursed for this?

Why might some businesses not survive?

On the FAQ page, you can click on any of those questions to see how it is answered. The campaign insists it’s not anti-light rail – the answer to the first FAQ is: “Yes! We support the value and access light rail will bring to our community. We just want to exist with it!”

WHAT’S NEXT: Sometime this summer, Sound Transit says, it will publish the Final Environmental Impact Statement; at some point at least one month (a mandatory period) later, the board will make final routing decisions. And for the businesses, they say they’re waiting in the dark. Trujillo says, “The outstanding question for all of us, is how much EXACTLY will ST cover. This is part of the issue –– many of us can only estimate, because we have to wait until our property is acquired before we can start working with an ST Relocation Agent and go through the exercise to actually know.”

CONGRATULATIONS! Statewide award for Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s Longfellow Creek exhibit

(Photo by Tom Reese)

The Log House Museum‘s Longfellow Creek-focused exhibit t?awi Creek of Hope is on display through the end of July – so your weekend opportunities to see it at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s headquarters are running short. Here’s another reason to see it if you haven’t already – today, SWSHS announced that the exhibit has won a statewide award:

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, the Duwamish Alive Coalition, and the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association were awarded an Award of Excellence from the Washington Museum Association for the exhibit t?awi Creek of Hope.

The exhibit installed at the Log House Museum last summer tells the story of West Seattle’s Longfellow Creek and features photographs from award-winning photojournalist and author Tom Reese. The exhibit was developed by the Duwamish Alive Coalition and Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and installed last year at the Log House Museum at Alki Beach. Together, the three organizations hosted numerous educational programs around the exhibit, including guided hikes along the creek and a sold-out panel discussion with local researchers, civic officials, and community advocates of the creek.

The exhibit closes at the end of July. Visitors can view the exhibit during museum open hours, Friday and Saturday 12-4 pm.

(Elizabeth Rudrud with Washington Museum Association president Brad Richardson)

The award was presented to Elizabeth Rudrud, Programs Director at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, during this year’s Washington Museum Association annual conference in Vancouver, Washington.

The museum is at 61st/Stevens, just a block inland from Alki Beach.

Here’s what’s ahead for your West Seattle Tuesday!

(Thanks to Karen for the photo of River Otters crossing a path in the Seacrest area)

Here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

TRANSPORTATION LEVY: Second-to-last scheduled City Council committee meeting about the proposed levy, including a public-comment period (the agenda explains how), 9:30 am, as previewed here. You can watch live via Seattle Channel.

POSTCARDS4DEMOCRACY: Advocacy from afar, 10:30 am-noon every Tuesday at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).

CHESS CLUB: Tuesdays 1:30-3 pm, also at the Center for Active Living (4217 SW Oregon). All levels welcome. (Questions? Email conwell@conwelld.net.)

CITY COUNCIL MEETING: Regular weekly meeting of the Seattle City Council, 2 pm. There is a public-comment period – in person or by phone – if there’s something you want to tell the council. The agenda explains how. You can go to City Hall downtown or watch live via Seattle Channel (and comment by phone).

GRADUATION NIGHT: Class of 2024 students from our area’s two biggest high schools graduate tonight at Memorial Stadium downtown (401 5th Avenue N.) – Chief Sealth International High School at 5 pm, West Seattle High School at 8 pm. If you can’t be there in person, both will be streamed live by the Seattle Public Schools YouTube channel.

DEMONSTRATION FOR BLACK LIVES: Long-running weekly sign-waving demonstration continues on the corners at 16th/Holden. 5-6 pm. Signs available if you don’t bring your own.

THE FUTURE OF HOUSING: As previewed here, all welcome at a free discussion about the future of “middle housing,” with architect/advocate Matt Hutchins, 6 pm tonight at West Seattle Realty (2715 California SW; WSB sponsor).

‘READY FREDDY’ PREP PARTY: Be ready! Learning how can actually be fun, if you attend Just In Case Disaster Preparedness Service (WSB sponsor) coach Alice Kuder‘s free “Ready Freddy” event, 6 pm at Whisky West (6451 California SW). Our calendar listing explains how to RSVP.

STATE FERRIES MEETING: 6 pm brings the second session of Washington State Ferries‘ periodic systemwide updates/Q&A meeting, online – register here to attend. (Here’s our report with toplines from the first one, held Monday afternoon.)

FREE ASL CLASS: The series of introductory ASL classes continues; you can start at any time. 6 pm at the West Seattle Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (4001 44th SW), info here.

SCRABBLE NIGHT: 6-10 pm tonight, play Scrabble at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW).

FREE TRACK RUN: Everyone’s welcome! Gather at West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor) for this free weekly run at 6:15 pm.

TOASTMASTERS 832: 6:30 pm online meeting to hone your leadership and communication skills! Our calendar listing explains how to RSVP.

MAKE POTTERY: 6:30-9 pm “girls’ night” at pottery studio The Clay Cauldron (5214 Delridge Way SW), sign up in advance to work on your project(s).

BINGO AT THE SKYLARK: Play – free! – weekly Belle of the Balls Bingo hosted by Cookie Couture, 7 pm. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

TRIVIA X 4: Four places to play Tuesday nights – The Beer Junction (4711 California SW) has Sporcle Pub Quiz with David at 7 and 8 pm … 7 pm at Ounces (3803 Delridge Way SW), free and hosted by Beat the Geek Trivia; 7 pm at Zeeks Pizza West Seattle (6459 California SW), hosted by Geeks Who Drink; 7:10 pm at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW).

BINGO AT TALARICO’S: You can play 8 pm bingo every Tuesday. (4718 California SW)

Event coming up? Are community members invited? Tell your West Seattle neighbors via our event calendar – please email the info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

From the dumped-likely-stolen file: Recognize this pink kids’ bicycle?

Sent by a reader:

Dumped/likely stolen? Kids’ bike on 32nd Ave SW, between Juneau and Raymond. Bike has been here for several days now.


6:01 AM: Good morning! It’s Tuesday, June 18.


Warming trend starts today. Clearing, high in the upper 60s. Today’s sunrise was at 5:11 am again – earliest of the year, not changing until Saturday – while sunset will be at 9:10 pm.


-Tonight is Graduation Night for both of our area’s Seattle Public Schools high schools – ceremonies are at Memorial Stadium downtown (401 5th Ave. N.) for Chief Sealth International High School (5 pm) and West Seattle High School (8 pm).

-By Friday – the last day of classes at Seattle Public Schools – everybody will be out for summer. For some, today (Tuesday) is the last day, including the Vashon and Highline districts.


*SDOT’s Delridge pedestrian-bridge earthquake-safety project continues, with narrowing at Delridge/Oregon:

*Beach Drive: Gas-pipeline work.


Metro today – Regular schedule; check for advisories here.

Water Taxi today – Regular schedule. Check the real-time map if you need to see where the boat is.

Washington State Ferries today – The usual 2 boats on the Triangle Route; check WSF alerts for last-minute changes. Use the real-time map to see where your ferry is.


Low bridge: Here’s the main view:

Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Orchard), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Henderson, Delridge/Oregon, and video-only (so you have to go to the map), Delridge/Holden and Delridge/Thistle.

High Bridge – Here’s the main camera:

High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):

1st Ave. S. Bridge:

Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander (sorry if it’s still malfunctioning – out of our control):

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: All functioning traffic cams citywide are here; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on X (ex-Twitter) shows whether the city’s movable bridges are open for vessel traffic.

If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/water, please text or call our hotline (when you can do that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if they’re not already on scene) – 206-293-6302. Thank you!

Washington State Ferries has moved from crisis to recovery, new leader declares at systemwide community meeting

(WSB photo: Ferry at Fauntleroy dock, Sunday night)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Shortages again factored into many explanations at today’s Washington State Ferries systemwide community meeting, first of two online sessions (the second is at 6 pm Tuesday), as they did during the winter meetings.

Shortage of boats and shortage of crew were just two of the shortages mentioned this time, but some things are improving, if slowly, insisted new WSF boss (aka assistant secretary of transportation) Steve Nevey:

(Zoom screengrab of new WSF boss Steve Nevey)

“A year ago, we were in crisis … (now) we’re in recovery.” One example: Two weeks ago, Nevey said, the system had an entire week with no sailing cancellations caused by crew shortages. Overall, according to stats he showed from the first five months of the year, compared to the same time last year, the cancellation trend is down:

Nevey suggested the improvement is likely to continue as extra state funding is about to kick in for scheduling extra crew on boats so that they don’t have to cancel a sailing if someone can’t make it to work. And starting today, while the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth officially remains on a two-boat schedule, they are adding a “bonus boat” (or “ghost boat”) on weekdays to make unscheduled sailings, helping the regularly scheduled boats stay on time. This is the plan for the “next several months.”

As for the two regularly scheduled boats – during the Q&A that took up more than two-thirds of the meeting, someone asked when the Triangle Route schedule would finally be rewritten, since it’s expected to take a few more years for the third boat to permanently return. That’s where another shortage came in: WSF executive John Vezina explained that WSF still hasn’t been able to hire a new service planner to work on writing a better two-boat schedule. First they opened a hiring proccess, he said – and they couldn’t find anyone. Then they tried again, found a qualified candidate – who was going to take the job but changed their mind. Now, Vezina said, they’re in the process of finding a “consultant” who can take on the schedule, and they’re supposed to get help from a WSDOT service planner. Even with that, Vezina said, it’ll probably be a year or so before a new two-boat Triangle Route schedule can be in place. He added that they actually have funding now for two service planners, so that if one leaves in the future, they won’t be entirely without one – but they still need to hire the first one before they can hire a second.

Two other personnel challenges affecting the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run came up: First, the Vashon dock cameras are currently down, because the WSDOT employee who works on cameras is “out on family leave” (and apparently has no backup), and second, traffic-control officers at the Fauntleroy dock aren’t consistently available because they’re generally area law-enforcement officers on overtime, and the short staffing at agencies including the Seattle Police Department leave few available and/or interested for those kinds of assignments.

WSF’s Nicole McIntosh talked about their efforts to recruit for other jobs, including work to increase maritime-career awareness among high-school students, plus a new effort called MITAGS in which they’re taking applications for a class of 12 recruits to start on the path toward becoming licensed deck officers. They’ve been to job fairs around the country, too, she said. In Q&A, someone asked if the system staffing is still hampered by the dismissal of employees who refused to comply with vaccination requirements during the pandemic. McIntosh said that WSF had lost 120 employees but in the past year alone has hired more than 180, so their overall staffing has more than bounced back; plus, it was noted, as of a year ago, those employees are eligible to return if they’re interested.

As for the boat shortage, introductory remarks recapped that WSF is in the process of seeking one or two builders for its new hybrid-electric ferries, two of which will be available in 2028 if the process proceeds as hoped, two more in 2029, and the fifth in 2030.

Meantime, the system keeps running with boats as old as 65, and some boats for which parts aren’t even made any more – sometimes WSF employees make their own parts, Vezina noted. The WSF manager in charge of electrification, Matt von Ruden, fielded questions including how much of an environmental savings the hybrid-electric ferries would really bring. 76 percent less greenhouse-gas emissions, he said. Twice, persistent questions about “wouldn’t it be faster to just build diesel ferries?” No, said WSF execs, because they have a design, funding, and directive to build hybrid-electric boats; even if the directive changed tomorrow, they’d be “a year behind.” Other questions about the future new boats included battery safety – that was explained in minute detail – and capacity (160 cars).

MISCELLANEOUS: If you’re interested in ridership trends, it’s not back to pre-pandemic levels yet (that’s the green line, while the red line is this year so far):

And here’s the by-the-numbers slide with which the meeting opened:

IF YOU’RE WONDERING ABOUT THE FAUNTLEROY TERMINAL PROJECT: It wasn’t mentioned in the presentation (though it got a brief mention in the winter meetings), and we didn’t hear anything about it in the Q&A (although we missed a few minutes in the last half-hour of the meeting).

TO ATTEND TUESDAY’S MEETING: It’s scheduled for 6 pm, online; go here to register for the link.

WEST SEATTLE MUSIC NOTES: Aurora Ave. on tour; rock royalty coming to Easy Street

Two West Seattle music notes for later this week:

AURORA AVE. ON THE ROAD: West Seattle-founded band Aurora Ave. hopes to entice you to leave the peninsula for their big show this Wednesday:

Aurora Ave. is so excited to have our biggest hometown show yet this Wednesday. We’ll be headlining at one of our favorite venues in Capitol Hill, Neumos, on June 19th! This show is our last show in Washington before the band continues our Origami Tour in California for the first time. Our tour includes a show at the famous Whiskey a Go Go in LA, so come out for our Seattle show before we leave! We would love to see our West Seattle community at the show. We began as a band in WS, so we couldn’t be where we are now without you! We’ll be playing alongside our friends WINEHOUSE and The Kerrys, so come out to this awesome show. This show is 21+. You can get tickets at auroraave.com or neumos.com

NOVOSELIC’S BONA FIDE BAND AT EASY STREET: Then on Thursday, you can stay right here in West Seattle and see/hear rock royalty. Easy Street Records‘ endless series of free, all-ages in-store performances continues Thursday with the debut perforance of Novoselic’s Bona Fide Band – that’s Novoselic as in Krist Novoselic, whose first claim to fame was Nirvana. Also in the band, Mark Pickerel from Screaming Trees, along with Kathy Moore (Brad, Star Anna), and, from 3rd Secret, Jillian Weiss and Jennifer Johnson. 7 pm Thursday, free, all ages!

Meet South Seattle College’s new president: Dr. Monica Brown

South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) has a new permanent president on the way. a year and a half after Dr. Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap moved up to become interim (then permanent) Seattle Colleges chancellor. Here’s the announcement from SSC:

Dr. Monica Brown, a higher education leader with over 18 years of progressive leadership experience, has been named South Seattle College’s next permanent president. After a nationwide search, Dr. Brown was named to the position by Seattle Colleges Chancellor Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap and will start on Aug. 1, 2024. Dr. Sayumi Irey, who led SSC as acting president over the past academic year, will return to her role as vice president of instruction on Aug. 1.

“Dr. Brown is a dedicated leader and comes ready to deeply engage in the work we have begun to evolve into an anti-racist college, and address issues of equity in all areas of the college community,” Chancellor Rimando-Chareunsap said. “I know she is looking forward to get to know the South community and our region.” 

“I am deeply honored by the opportunity to join the Seattle Colleges family,” Dr. Brown said. “I look forward to being part of a community of educators and learners who are passionate about student success. Anticipating my arrival at South Seattle College, I am excited to collaborate with the exceptional faculty and staff to propel our equity initiatives and achieve our student success objectives. Together, we will continue to create a vibrant and inclusive college experience – one that empowers every student to thrive academically, socially and personally. My commitment is to ensure that South Seattle College remains a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging.”

Dr. Brown brings nearly two decades of progressive leadership experience in the community college environment and eight years at the senior level to her new role at SSC. She has worked at four-year and two-year institutions with diverse student, faculty, and staff populations. Her eclectic background derives from her experiences in academic affairs, continuing education and student affairs.

In 2003, she started her tenure at Montgomery College, a multi-campus institution in the suburbs of Washington, DC, with a diverse population of 43,000 credit and non-credit students representing more than 155 nations, where she most recently served as the senior vice president for student affairs.

Dr. Brown earned a doctorate in higher education administration from Morgan State University, a master of arts in counseling from Trinity College, and a bachelor of arts from Georgetown University.

She will become South Seattle College’s eighth permanent president since the college opened in 1969.

SSC is about to celebrate this year’s graduating class – the commencement ceremony for all Seattle Colleges is set for 5 pm this Friday at T-Mobile Park.

UPDATE: Rescue response for car-on-side crash at 30th/Trenton

5:16 PM: Seattle Fire and Police are on their way – including an SFD rescue response – to what’s reported as a two-vehicle crash at 30th/Trenton [map], with one vehicle “on its side.” Updates to come.

(Added: WSB photos)

5:21 PM: Trenton is reported to be blocked both ways. One person, “stable,” was inside the sideways car, and firefighters are helping them get out.

5:32 PM: That driver was helped out via the hatch, and most of the responding units were dismissed. No serious injuries, so no one is going to the hospital; tow trucks are on the way and the scene likely will clear fairly quickly.

5:36 PM: Remaining SFD scenes are leaving the scene. Police were talking to drivers regarding the cause of the crash; apparently one vehicle was traveling on 30th, the other on Trenton.

6:14 PM: Police just told dispatch that 30th/Trenton is now clear.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Pond gunfire suspect charged, told not to ‘brandish firearms’

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed a charge of unlawful gun possession against the 16-year-old arrested after three people were reported to have been seen firing a gun into Seola Pond. We reported on the incident one week ago today; the 16-year-old was one of two people detained nearby. According to charging documents, the witness who reported this to police was unable to identify exactly who had been firing the gun. But police found a loaded 9mm gun – same caliber as the three casings found by the pond – in the backpack that was in the suspect’s possession. They say he told them it wasn’t his gun or backpack, claiming an unidentified person gave him the backpack. The police report also notes, “A records check of the gun was performed, but no information could be located about who the owner of the gun was.” The 16-year-old, who has no record, has pleaded not guilty and remains on electronic home monitoring (as ordered last week), with the judge adding this condition to stipulated rules of staying in that form of custody: “Respondent shall not brandish firearms or apparent firearms on social media.”

COUNTDOWN: 3 days until Alki Community Summer Celebration!

Along with everything else they’ve taken on, the new leadership of the Alki Community Council has organized a summer mini-festival – and it’s now just three days away!

Thursday night (June 20), 5-8 pm, be at Whale Tail Park/Alki Playfield (58th/Lander) for the first-ever ACC-presented Alki Community Summer Celebration. Free fun, plus food for sale. The plan (updated) includes:

Performances from:

Mixed Meta4
from Billy and the Dreamboats
Dylan Yuste
Michael Pearsall
Hayward Sun

Food for sale from Fire Tacos & Cantina

Also present will be:

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
Seattle Parks and Rec
A Cleaner Alki
Alki History Project
West Seattle Arcade
Seal Sitters
Alki Beach Pride
Starbucks free cold brew
SPD’s Courageous Lions and Community Service Officer program
Alki Community Council
Schmitz Park Preserve
Alki Elementary PTA

And you’ll have the chance to see and comment on the in-progress plans for the Alki play area between the playfield and the past-and-present school site. We’re expecting real summer weather that night, so set your calendar for a fun evening.

WEST SEATTLE ART: New mural suggests you ‘Take a Vet Fishing’

A new mural is up inside the building that’s home to American Legion Post 160 and the West Seattle Veteran Center (as well as the Westside Neighbors Shelter). The 4′ x 8′ mural was presented and hung by Jimmy Knapp and Heather Buggee from a New York-based organization called Splashes of Hope. The mural “is called ‘Take a Vet Fishing‘ and is part of a national campaign to encourage giving a helping hand to disabled veterans,” explains Keith Hughes, who leads the post/center/shelter. Look closely and you’ll even see him painted into the mural!

The donors also brought painted tiles, created by Vietnam veteran Gerald Fox:

Keith plans to take them to another local veterans’ organization, the DAV hall on Delridge, soon.