West Seattle, Washington
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.
For everyone who thinks the city should have reopened The Bridge more quickly after the killer crash the other night — somebody at City Hall seems to feel the need for a moment-by-moment explanation; check it out here.
Meantime, we’re finally hearing who those three people in the Scion were. I just knew it would turn out to be teenagers. What heartbreak for their parents.
Some of the news coverage of yesterday’s Bridge Disaster unearthed long-buried memories of the olden days of the stretch between 99 and I-5. It used to be a barrier-free high-speed death trap known as the West Seattle Freeway (or its official name, the Spokane Street Viaduct), with endless official protestations of “sorry it’s so dangerous, but there’s no room for a barrier” — till “new technology” was found and deployed six years ago.
Meanwhile, as of this writing, all looks well on The Bridge (note that the “Chelan intersection” link on our cams page shows the approach to the low bridge, if you ever need to check that out before leaving home). Some interesting follow-up stories in this morning’s papers, including lots of gripes that clearing away the wreckage took way too long. Still don’t know who those three people in the mangled, burned car were, though.
The semi-final list of proposed Seattle Public Schools closures is due to change hands today from the ciitizens’ committee to the superintendent. This morning, the Times spotlights the one West Seattle proposal that seems to make no sense — “closing” High Point Elementary (but not the building, which Pathfinder K-8 would take over) even as hundreds of brand-new housing units pop up all around it. And this morning’s P-I asks the other tough question — will this plan really save much money? I can’t see how it will unless the closed buildings are sold, period. Pathfinder’s Genesee Hill land alone would make dandy townhouse turf, if zoning allowed.
Trying to find out more about a report I heard on radio news while we drove home tonight after spending the day out of town. Something about a shooting early this morning in the Junction. As of right now, not a shred posted on any local-news site I can find, even the one for the station where I heard the blurb (I suppose their Web producers all have the holiday weekend off) … but the Seattle 911 log does have an “assault with weapons” at California and Alaska at 12:53 am today.
(Monday update: Discovered a small eyewitness account on chasBlog … scroll down to the photo of flashing police-car lights.)
Some weeks back, as we walked past the front of Aaron’s Bicycle Repair in Morgan Junction, we saw a hand-lettered sign on the store door that said “Gypsie was hit by a car.” We’ve often stopped to look through the window at the store’s resident cats, so we quickly made the assumption that “Gypsie” was one of them.
How wrong we were. This article says “Gypsie” is one of the shop owners, who’s battling back from quite an ordeal.
(Though my bike’s been in the basement for years, I’ve long felt fondness toward Aaron’s, because even at the height of anti-monorail mania, they were among the few who proudly and prominently displayed pro-monorail posters.)
Sorry I didn’t know about this meeting ahead of time; sounds like a chorus in which I could easily have sung — I’m also in the “tunnel schmunnel” section, although, as I’ve mentioned, I’m more a fan of the “third option” at the moment. Not that I’ve done any scientific studies or anything, it just seems like something we can get done quicker and cheaper.
(Side note with calendar relevance: The only time each year I actually feel warm and fuzzy about the viaduct is when I get to walk on it. The WSB team always signs up for that event — WSB Spouse and I are both “adult orphans” whose moms died of cancer, and it’s become our way of paying tribute to them each summer.)
From the WS Herald: WSHS cancels 9th-grade honors program.
Seattle Public Schools leaders wonder why enrollment keeps dropping. That’s because they offer nothing for the people who have the resources to make a choice. Check out the 12th paragraph here — what in the world could an educator possibly have against spending some time working with bright kids? Practically right across the street from WSHS, the district’s “Spectrum” program manages to hang on, despite outright hostility and neglect from district leaders. You can bet the parents of those kids are trying mightily to save for private school in later years, now that the district has flown the “we’re not even going to try to keep your kids challenged in high school” flag.
In this case, it doesn’t even sound like a case of money trouble for the district. Just flat-out indifference to the very real needs of gifted kids, and other high achievers. Getting off my soapbox now, but my blood’s still a-boil …