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Alaskan Way Viaduct notes: Inspection tomorrow, closure Saturday

viaductphoto.jpgINSPECTION TOMORROW: The state Transportation Department just sent word that The Viaduct gets its quarterly inspection tomorrow, but NO LANE CLOSURES are needed. (Side note – the next Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee meeting re: the future of the Central Waterfront section of The Viaduct is June 26, 4 pm, City Hall.)

SHUTDOWN SATURDAY MORNING: FYI in case you would be driving that way – but also, it’s not too late to register if you want to take advantage of this every-June chance to walk on The Viaduct for a good cause — Saturday morning is the annual Race for the Cure. Still checking on the exact shutdown hours, but last year it was 7:45-11 am. The three of us do the 5K walk in R4TC every year; here’s our report on last year’s event, exactly one year ago. (P.S. You can also join in a cancer-fighting event right here in West Seattle in less than two weeks — Relay for Life at West Seattle Stadium, from 6 pm June 27 through noon June 28. We’ll have a detailed preview later this week, but for now, you can get involved by calling Karee Boone at 206-674-4105, Melissa Bazala at 206-281-3738, or Diane Redenbaugh at 206-937-2291.)

If the sunshine has you craving a post-work swim …


Colman Pool at Lincoln Park (photo above from our feature on its pre-season opening day last month, also gorgeously sunny) is now in 7-day-a-week mode, which means you can still go after work – it’s open till 7 pm (full Colman schedule here). And that’s your only city-run option, since Southwest Poolas reported in this WSB feature last Friday — is now closed for 3 1/2 months of renovation work. (There are some non-city-operated indoor pools in the area too – including West Seattle Family YMCA [WSB sponsor] and Allstar Fitness.)

Police confirm arrest in early-morning West Seattle HS burglary

Police confirm a break-in early this morning at West Seattle High SchoolVictoria tells WSB there was quite the commotion on her section of Walnut between about 3:30 am and 5:30 am, when a car apparently related to the investigation was finally towed; Lt. Steve Paulsen at the Southwest Precinct says one “adult” was arrested and they suspect “some seniors (were) involved as well.” Thanks also to Todd for pointing out this brief online citywide-media report, which suggests the burglars had targeted computer equipment.

West Nile Virus notices at Jack Block: Just raising awareness

June 16, 2008 9:59 am
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 |   Safety | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Michael from M3 Bodyworks (WSB sponsor) e-mailed to say he was walking his dog at Jack Block Park this morning when he happened onto a Port of Seattle employee putting up a notice about West Nile Virus. We just called the port to check whether there’s something specific to be concerned about – short answer, no; long answer, West Nile virus was first detected in King County in 2006 and health authorities suspected that would mean many cases the following year – it didn’t happen but they don’t want you to let your guard down, so local agencies are warning people to continue taking anti-mosquito precautions, reduce “mosquito-breeding habitat” (water left standing a long time – so for example, keep your bird bath changed out), and report dead birds (they’re not testing every bird, the port says, just tracking where the reports come in). The Port says King County’s website is the best info resource for West Nile (here’s the page on reporting dead birds; here’s the WNV main page).

West Seattle Gas Price Watch: Another week, another dime

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The highest posted price for regular in West Seattle is a dime higher as of late last night than it was exactly a week earlier – though a different station now holds the “honor” of having the highest price. The map above locates each station – click and you’ll see current and past prices from our surveys; or, read on for the full text list plus who’s gone up the most in the past week and who’s gone up the least:Read More

Car-motorcycle crash: Trenton blocked at 31st

crashedcar.jpgLooks like a fairly serious crash at 30th/Trenton involving a car and motorcycle; a fire official at the scene tells us the woman riding the motorcycle has just been taken to the hospital, and the injuries were serious enough that authorities will have to do a major investigation, though the people in the car (which is shown at left; the motorcycle was down in a separate spot) appeared to be OK — so avoid that stretch of Trenton, which is closed off for at least a couple blocks east of 31st (here’s a map; all this is not far from Westwood Village, so if you are heading there from the west, use the Barton entrance instead). Too soon for investigators to say exactly how/why the crash happened. 9:02 PM UPDATE: We just went by to check – the area’s still blocked off and the investigation continues. 10:22 PM UPDATE: The scene is now cleared and the road’s open again.

Providence Mount St. Vincent: Cars today, jobs tomorrow


Beautiful day to show off classic cars – the sun gleamed off every beautifully maintained participant at the Providence Mount St. Vincent Father’s Day Car Show this afternoon – these two VERY classic cars in particular:


The owner of this one told us he really does drive it. 20 horsepower though, so it’s not much for the freeway:


“The Mount” has another big event tomorrow – a job fair, 1 pm-6 pm. Find out more here; the hilltop facility just south of The Junction says it’s West Seattle’s biggest employer.

Potential park levy: What’s proposed in it for West Seattle

With the City Council-appointed Parks and Green Spaces Levy Citizens Advisory Committee — which includes three West Seattle members (and had a recent hearing in Alki; WSB coverage here) — two days away from its final public hearing, more details are out about the projects that a levy would fund. According to the documents linked to the council’s home page, the committee is looking at two options for structuring the levy – but the difference between them isn’t what they would pay for, so much as what percentage of the money would go to the proposed projects. The committee wants to hear from you at the Tuesday night hearing — 5:30 pm at Seattle Center — and/or by e-mail, so here’s our West Seattle breakout of what’s on the list:Read More

Time to think 4th of July: Heads up on Alki traffic restrictions

fireworksfreepic.jpgWhile visiting the Southwest Precinct earlier this week, we asked about plans for 4th of July traffic control, in hopes we could give you an early heads-up. Lt. Norm James, second-watch commander at the precinct, quickly provided that info; we will remind you about it several more times, along with other advance coverage of West Seattle 4th of July plans (we’ll have a special page up before the week’s out), but here’s first word from Lt. James:

Over the past several years, the volume of spectators using the Alki community to watch the fireworks over Elliott Bay has grown past the ability to safely handle. The increased vehicle traffic along Alki and Harbor Ave has become a hazard for responding emergency resources. While most spectators are well-behaved, the increase in large crowd disturbances has also been noted.

To alleviate most of these issues, vehicle traffic to the Alki community will be limited on the day of the event. This will commence at 6 pm and remain in effect until the fireworks commence. Vehicle access to the Alki community will be limited to residents living within the restricted area and their guests. The basic area affected will be north of Harbor Ave at Spokane Street, north of Hamilton Viewpoint on California Ave, north of Admiral from Lander to 63rd and all of the little side streets which have access to Alki Ave. Spectators are still welcome to park their vehicles outside of the restricted area and walk to the viewing sites.

The forthcoming 4th of July page will include a map for that, as well as other holiday-related info (if you’re planning an event, big and small, that you want others to know about, e-mail us!).

Chief Sealth graduation ’08: Special day for many reasons

As that clip shows, Seattle Public Schools superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson played photographer for a few minutes at this afternoon’s Chief Sealth High School graduation: West Seattle’s school-board rep Steve Sundquist handed the superintendent his camera as he prepared to greet one of the grads ascending to the stage to receive her diploma — his daughter Leslie Sundquist. We’ve reported many Chief Sealth HS stories this year, many congratulatory and some contentious, but this afternoon was all about celebration, like the classic cap-tossing moment, which we also caught on video:

Earlier in the afternoon, principal John Boyd — Sealth Class of ’82 — noted that this class was special to him because their first year at CSHS was his first year as its principal. He also pointed out that this year’s grads received scholarships totaling more than $1 million (the list of those scholarships and other awards took up half the 12-page program!). More video from today’s event – a rap, a poem, and a-cappella – ahead:Read More

West Seattle scenes: Saturday midday edition

June 14, 2008 11:43 am
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 |   Seen around town | West Seattle news


It IS indeed opening day for Lincoln Park‘s wading pool – the only one in West Seattle scheduled to open this weekend – despite the slightly chilly weather. We just dropped by to check for ourselves and as we snapped that pic of the pool getting filled, the person on duty told us it will be open both days this weekend “pretty much no matter what.” Till 8 pm today, 11 am-8 pm tomorrow, toward the south end of upper Lincoln Park, near the playground on that side. And speaking of water:


Till 4 pm, at Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor) on 35th, the West Seattle Thunder fastpitch softball team will wash your car to raise money for its trip to the national championships (more details here).


And thanks to SP for sending that photo of a house in the 7100 block of Othello, just north of 31st, high in the sky. “Something you don’t see every day,” SP noted. According to the online permit, it’s being “raised and remodeled.” More West Seattle scenes later – we’ve been out checking out some other happenings, plus we’ll be photographing the Chief Sealth graduation this afternoon (two other West Seattle schools had their ceremonies Thursday night – West Seattle High School photos here; Seattle Lutheran High School photos here).

And another reader report: Otter killed by car at Duwamish Head

This recent post from the WSB Forums, expressing concern for an otter known to cross Alki Ave., apparently was sadly prescient. This just came in a short time ago from Randy:

Yet another reason to drive cautiously along Alki: Around 9:00 PM Friday night, I watched as an otter attempted to cross the street directly across from the viewpoint at Duwamish Head. As it bounded across the roadway it was struck and run over by a Lincoln Towncar limo, which did not stop. All that could be done was to drag its body off the roadway.

Side note – the otters in Puget Sound are river otters, not sea otters.

2 reader reports: Smash-grab burglary; surprise sleeper

June 13, 2008 10:30 pm
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 |   Crime | Safety | West Seattle news

Two more reports to share from the WSB inbox:Read More

Gimme shelter: 35th/Webster “surprise”


Got this report from Anna and headed over to get photographic proof:

It’s not a major thing, unless you happen to live near the corner of 35th and Webster [map] and ride the bus. In the last week they have recovered the sidewalk at this bus stop and this morning, I was surprised that the (county) had installed a new bus shelter (previously no shelter from the rain at this stop) and provided us with a trash can. Before yesterday, this stop only had one small exposed bench, no trash receptacle and no covered shelter. A lot of people commute using this stop, so it was really nice to see some … amenities to make our commute a little nicer.

Myrtle Reservoir: Seeding today, Design Commission next week

June 13, 2008 12:32 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks


ADDED 10:10 PM: Thanks to Scott for that photo of the grass seeding at the future Myrtle Reservoir Park — apparently it was just done today. ORIGINAL REPORT: The Seattle Design Commission‘s agenda for next Thursday just came out, and it includes a return engagement for the Myrtle Reservoir park plan, which has been at the center of “skatepark or not?” controversy for quite a while, though that appears to be out of the picture with recent revelations involving other sites (first High Point, then Delridge). Myrtle’s on the agenda for 1:45 pm Thursday during the SDC’s all-day meeting at City Hall downtown.

Crime Watch reader report: Burglary with unusual loot to look for

Just out of the WSB inbox, from Susan, who hopes you’ll keep an eye out for the unusual items stolen from her:

Bummed to report that my house (off Charlestown near Schmitz Park) was broken into yesterday. Came home from work to discover a slashed screen, window popped out of place. They must have been on foot because all they took were the contents of my change jar and a little safe.

I’m bummed about the safe–and the burglars are going to be bummed, too–because it held all the spare change from my travels around the world. Which is to say, if the burglars thought they were getting another pile of
quarters, they are sorely mistaken, as they got a bunch of coins from around the world, coins that the bank won’t even convert back to U.S. currency. Sentimental value only.

The safe was a gift–it was made out of an old P.O. box. I’m picturing it on the side of the road somewhere; or perhaps dumped in Schmitz Park. If any of your readers find a small old PO box safe, please put them in touch! [WSB note: E-mail or call us if you see it]

And hurrah for my neighbors, who saw the commotion (three police cars responded) and came over to check in on me.

Update: New Fauntleroy/Dawson signal powers up


Thanks to Sean for that photo and the report that the new Fauntleroy/Dawson pedestrian signal (map) is just about ready for action, exactly a month after neighbors reported getting word the construction schedule had been moved way up – he says it was in “flashing yellow” mode when he went by. (We’ll check back on it in a few hours if we don’t get an update first.)

“Car-free” day on Alki? SDOT says it’s not a done deal

As mentioned in our Parks Board meeting report, Parks staffers didn’t say anything more last night about the line in their briefing paper saying there could be a “car-free” day on Alki in late summer — they mentioned it in passing as a city Transportation Department proposal. So we asked SDOT communications boss Rick Sheridan this morning about the status and what’s next. Here’s the reply that just came in:

“Car Free Days,” where some city streets would be open to bikes and pedestrians, is an idea that Mayor Nickels proposed as part of the campaign to “Give Your Car the Summer Off.” The effort seeks to combat global warming by encouraging more walking, biking, car pooling and taking transit. The closures would be similar to Bicycle Saturdays and Sundays along Lake Washington Boulevard.

Parks and Recreation jumped the gun as no definitive decisions have been made. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is still fine-tuning the concept and needs other departments (fire, police, etc.) to approve it. Outstanding issues remain about mitigating the impacts on nearby streets and finding city resources to support it. The three corridors mentioned are, at this point, only possible locations. As we move further along in the process, we are interested in hearing the public’s perspective on the idea itself and suitable locations. SDOT should have more information to share in the next few weeks.

Rick Sheridan

Parks Board details: Beach fires, carlessness, and … disc golf!


Right after the city Parks Board‘s meeting last night, we posted a quick update to say the beach-fire discussion hadn’t taken any startling turns. Lots more to say about it, of course, so here we go – and after our account of that discussion, we have a few other West Seattle-related notes from the meeting:Read More

Design Review details: 3811 California SW and 4532 42nd SW


Two nights after we told you about the sudden change in plans for 3811 California SW – once targeted for teardown, and once rejected for landmark status – the Southwest Design Review Board got its first official look at the new design shown above, which retains and raises the existing building’s front “wings” — this one and its south-side twin:


For our summary of board and public comments – plus what was said about the other project on the SWDRB’s agenda last night, 4532 42nd SW on the east edge of The Junction – read on:Read More

Groundbreaking tonight for Whole Foods (aka Fauntleroy Place)

(Archive note: Video clip lost to hosting service closure)

The formal shovel-turning is now in the books, and construction of the long-awaited Whole Foods/Hancock Fabrics (and residential units) project — Fauntleroy Place — will begin at 39th/Alaska; the existing Hancock/Schuck’s building will be demolished. About 100 people attended tonight’s groundbreaking bash thrown by developers BlueStar Management, who provided food, music, and of course, speeches — King County Councilmember Dow Constantine (at right in the clip above) said the area’s come a long way from the days in the mid-’90s when businesses were closing and people were telling him what a shame it was that the West Seattle business scene was ailing — other speakers included West Seattle Chamber of Commerce executive director Patti Mullen and West Seattle Junction Association president Dave Montoure (proprietor of West 5). A cameo appearance was made by the Seafair Pirates, who sailed, er, drove up about 15 minutes before shovels hit dirt:

(Archive note: Video clip lost to hosting service closure)

Maybe a coincidence, but BlueStar exec Eric Radovich, who emceed tonight, used to do publicity for Seafair. (Pirate side note – co-publisher Patrick says he gave a WSB business card to one of the pirates, who chided him for a misspelling, saying that it should be “West Seattle Flog.” Arrrrrrrrrrrrr.) BlueStar’s newest estimated date for Fauntleroy Place completion is February 2010.

Tonight’s second graduation: Seattle Lutheran Class of ’08

June 12, 2008 10:55 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools


Thanks to Bil Hood for getting us photos of tonight’s Seattle Lutheran High School graduation — one of two West Seattle schools with commencement ceremonies tonight (we posted West Seattle High School photos earlier). 32 seniors graduated this year; the total number of SLHS grads is now at 1,087, Hood says.


SLHS Class of ’08 valedictorian is Joseph Hwang, one of tonight’s speakers:


As we mentioned earlier, this leaves Chief Sealth High School awaiting its ceremony – 1 pm Saturday, Southwest Athletic Complex.

Parks Board meeting: Beach-fire discussion just concluded

June 12, 2008 8:57 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

We’re downtown at the city Parks Board meeting, where the discussion of the controversial “beach-fire ban briefing” has just concluded. City staff has backed completely away from the notion that a ban might have anything to do with climate change; “that was … weak,” one staffer said outright. Their focus is now entirely on the problems they say are caused by illegal beach fires at Alki and Golden Gardens, and wanting to “open a discussion” about how to address those problems. Absolutely no conclusions reached and no action is planned; interesting discussion and ideas along the way — full report a bit later, including a couple of other West Seattle items that have come up (meeting’s not over yet).