West Seattle, Washington
Part of West Seattle’s easternmost “major arterial” was out of commission for hours this afternoon because of a car-truck crash at Delridge & Orchard. The Seattle Times just posted an update saying one victim died. Here’s what tv channel 7 says about the crash; channel 4 has a few more details including police saying that red-light-running may have been to blame.
West Seattle’s Most Famous Politician may well be cursing into his coffee this morning. Since no voter verdict is pending, a paper & pollster decided to take The Pulse of the People another way regarding Viaduct Vs. Tunnel Vs. Neither. The best stuff is in the middle of the story — the Guv says she’s glad to have SOME kind of public feedback; Hizzoner says, in effect, never mind the people, he’s got the back of future generations; West Seattle respondents say (60%-40%) JUST REPLACE THE DAMN THING AND BE DONE WITH IT, ‘KAY? One thing about the story bugs me, though. It mentions that the first round of questioning to poll respondents included asking them about The Third Option. However, the story never gets around to mentioning exactly how many preferred it. (Maybe there’s a breakdown in the “dead tree” version of the paper? Speaking of dead trees, that’s one of our next topics.)
At least, it sounds like that’s what happened last night, per Save Seattle Public Schools. I can’t find a news story about the hearing online from either daily paper. Prior to the hearing, though, the WS Herald had comprehensive coverage, even including a new editorial sort of apologizing for the controversial “huge egos” comment in last week’s paper.
First the Alki Avenue crash that killed two young men … then the 35th SW/SW Graham bicycle-van crash that killed recent West Seattle arrival Susanne Scaringi … now the Times reports that two of the four USS Lincoln sailors who died in Saturday night’s South Seattle smashup had been renting a house in WS.
Sadness: Drove home just after 7 pm, headed up 35th (not our usual route) in hopes of seeing the gathering for Susanne Scaringi at 35th & Graham. Even more striking than the growing group we saw in that bleak lot (decorated earlier by mourners, as shown in this photo e-mailed to us tonight) was the line of bicyclists making their way after dusk, up the first big post-golf course hill on 35th, to get to the memorial. Learned even more about Susanne in this article today; a recent arrival in West Seattle, gone much too soon. Godspeed.
Hope: Another media account (video link here) brings us up to date on Cheryl Stumbo, the West Seattle woman who was among the survivors of the Jewish Federation shooting attack downtown two months ago. Good to hear about her recovery.
–Cool article from the latest Seattle Weekly (if the link doesn’t work for you, try it later; the SW site seems a little quirky this am) about an artist whose striking work we saw during breakfasts at Easy Street earlier this year. Seems West Seattle’s Most Famous Musician saw them too, and … the rest is history.
-WS gets a brief mention in a Times piece today by the guy we consider the funniest writer in the local newspaper world, Ron Judd. It’s an imagined Q&A explaining the NW to a non-local, including:
Q: What should I know about West Seattle?
A: It’s lovely, and sort of an island unto itself in a social sort of way. Unfortunately, after the next big earthquake, it very likely will be an island unto itself in a physical sort of way.
Well, at least we already have ferry service.
We might have forgotten to mention this West Seattle traffic tragedy if not for a note we got tonight. A woman riding a bicycle near High Point got hit during the morning commute. I hope the person who wrote me doesn’t mind me using this excerpt — she knows someone related to the victim, but I’ve excised that detail and another personal point:
Early this morning on 35th Ave SW, a 27 year old woman riding north on her bicycle hit a van headed north that turned onto SW Graham in from of her. As she had the right of way, the van driver either didn’t see her or thought he was faster. She’s in Harborview with “life-threatening” injuries. … I’m just thankful my (child) was so entranced by the sight of all of the flashing lights that he didn’t see her bicycle and helmet there on the road.
This makes us think about all the brave folks we see bicycling to work or school or the store, even though we are sadly lacking in bike lanes and other accommodations. Just this morning, Hizzoner stood up and talked about fighting global warming by encouraging more alternative forms of transportation, such as bicycling. Is this just lip service, or will he really make the roads safer for people like this lady who are already trying to do their part?
You may get a different ad when you click this link for a followup to the Alki Avenue crash, but I have to say that a “Henry150s.com” ad box in the middle of a story about a vigil for a kid who died driving drunk (and the friend who died with him) just sucks. Here’s the screen grab:
After thinking about it for a few hours, we realized this morning’s Alki Avenue crash that killed 2 teenagers reminds us more of the crash that killed 3 teens on the bridge three months ago, than the Alki Ave crash this past spring. We’ve all been that age; we all know how much you don’t want to listen to adult BTDT wisdom when you’re brimming with the impatience of youth … but if only we could make them listen. And if only we could all join together in protecting them. Who sold or gave them the beer that police were photographed hauling out of the water near the wreckage? Were they young enough that they could or should have had curfews, and been home long before the 5 am death plunge? Truly senseless, in every sense … of the word.
Have had this link sitting around a couple days, waiting for a chance to use it … so here goes.
Many mornings, if I leave too late, I am part of the sludging slough of cars oozing out of West Seattle toward downtown. I dutifully wait until the precise start of the broken lines on the bus lane before making my move to get into the queue for the 99 North exit. I predictably fume at those who abuse the lane, getting into it much sooner, or looking for their merging moment much further up the line.
Now the link … a Seattle Times column suggesting law enforcers still do keep an eye on that lane. Gotta keep gridlock from devolving into anarchy …
What’s with the disrespect for West Seattle in Times articles these days — particularly with regard to our high schools? First, the tale of the disgruntled house-hunters … now, the tale of the ferry-riding school-district jumpers, which begins with this passage:
West Seattle High School seemed too violent, and private school seemed too elitist, so Barbara Tippett looked across the water to find the right school for her son, Sky.
Too violent? What have I missed? Has something gone horribly wrong since this report showing two weapons expulsions in a school year? (Even one is too many, of course, but sadly I suspect a completely clean campus is impossible to find.) Exactly the same number as Vashon High that same year, by the way.
From a Times story today about Seattle house-hunting, an alarming paragraph that seems to malign our fair side of the bay:
They drove to West Seattle to see a house in their price range. In the neighborhood, they saw a sign posted outside a convenience store near the high school that said something like, “We know you students are thieves. Only one student inside at a time.”
They couldn’t see themselves living there.
OK, which high school would that have been? Neither West Seattle HS nor Sealth HS has a convenience store within a block or so, unless my memory is failing me. Perhaps a high school temporarily housed at Boren? Although I can’t think of any convenience stores adjacent to that campus either …
Well, the Yahoo! Alki group confirms informally what I saw on a tv-news report tonight — cops swarming Alki this afternoon, not for Cruisers Gone Crazy, but for Restaurant Owners Rumbling. Didn’t know till now that the Duke’s and Christo’s bigwigs had bad blood. And as of this writing, King County’s jail roster shows the Christo’s boss behind bars.
Regardless of what you think about this war, or any war, it is worthwhile to consider the unique humanity of everyone involved in it, on both sides, when you get the chance. Sadly, that sort of opportunity seldom presents itself aside from the death of a soldier, such as onetime Chief Sealth HS student Staff Sgt. Tracy Melvin, the latest local person killed in Iraq. His funeral is set for Friday in White Center; his life is outlined in Times and P-I stories this morning.
The Seattle Times says one of the five women who survived getting shot at the Jewish Federation downtown on Friday night is from West Seattle. According to the Times, Cheryl Stumbo is in serious condition.
On a related note, a few anomalies we noticed at the Seafair Torchlight Parade tonight might have been related to the shootings: Mayor Nickels, Police Chief Kerlikowske, and County Executive Sims did not appear in the parade. They’re part of it every year, but not this time. (Security concerns? Was there an evening briefing or other event related to the shootings? Or just coincidence?) Also, the Lake City Western Vigilantes (the guys with the bouncing truck) did a do-si-do for their street routine instead of the usual faux gunbattle.
This morning’s P-I sort of jumps into the “will we get a Trader Joe’s or won’t we” question … with a few slightly odd side trips, including grousing about what kind of materials will be used to build the Admiral project rumored to be TJ’s potential home. The other oddity about the P-I story is its inference that QFC is not already in West Seattle; the Westwood store’s been open for more than a decade.
One is good news, the other sad (at least for many of us old-timers).
Sad first: Just found out via the West Seattle Herald (in a letter to the editor from last week; we’ll admit we’re behind in our reading), the Charlestown Street Cafe has lost its lease. We went there a lot in our early years here; not too many WS restaurants back then, plus we enjoyed their breakfasts. Then along came Easy Street, and Endolyne Joe’s, and our tastes shifted. But CSC has given ample warning, so we’ll go back for another round of Montana Potatoes (if they’re still on the menu!) at least once before they go …
Now, happy: The long-awaited Alki Statue of Liberty super-spruce-up is finally under way. As promised, the statue was trucked away this afternoon; read more here about what happens next. And check out a slideshow of what the future might look like when the all-new Liberty 2 arrives.
Well, you know that, and I know that.
Now the latest Seattle Weekly confirms it. Love this quote. Guess WS Blogger Spouse and I aren’t the only Easy Street patrons with, um, a couple gray hairs (but really, just a couple):
But as much as we can play up West Seattle’s younger music community, it can’t be denied that an entire generation of older folks remains. How will they take to the same summer fest they’ve been attending for the last quarter-century being transformed into a rootsier version of the Capitol Hill Block Party? Vaughan has only to look at his Easy Street patrons to see the answer.
“A lot of the old folks out here are pretty hard- edged,” he says. “In a way, they’re kind of punk rock. When they come into Easy Street, they go for Johnny Cash, lots of rockabilly, just harder-edged older music.”
With that in mind, Summer Fest’s organizers couldn’t have found a better headliner than roots-punk icon John Doe.