Happy birthday, Maxine Bundy! Longtime West Seattleite is now a brand-new centenarian

August 31, 2015 at 10:26 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | No Comments

Meet the woman who is likely the newest centenarian in West Seattle, Maxine Bundy. Today is the second day of her 101st year, and granddaughter Brietta Tatro shares the photo and announcement:

On August 30th, longtime West Seattle resident Maxine Bundy reached the venerable age of 100 years old. Born in Missouri in a small town on the Mississippi River, she moved to Seattle with her family, eventually settling in West Seattle as a young bride in the 1940’s; she has called our fair peninsula home ever since.

To celebrate this important milestone, family and friends gathered for a surprise birthday party this past Saturday afternoon and feted her with smiles, hugs, cakes, and song. The following morning, Maxine was honored at West Side Presbyterian Church by fellow church members. As a centenarian, Maxine is extraordinarily energetic and independent, enjoying lunch out with friends, shopping excursions to Southcenter, and trips with family members. Life continues to be a grand adventure for this remarkable woman. Happy Birthday, Maxine!

COUNTDOWN: West Seattle Car Show less than 2 weeks away at its brand-new home

August 31, 2015 at 9:22 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Puget Ridge, West Seattle news | No Comments

13 days until the first time you can enjoy the West Seattle Car Show at its new home at South Seattle College – Sunday, September 13th, 10 am-3 pm. Still time to register your vehicle if you want to show off, and there’s still time to sign up as a sponsor of the show, we’re reminded by the organizers at Swedish Automotive and West Seattle Autoworks (which, like SSC, are both WSB sponsors). They wanted to shout out to the sponsors who are signed up already – Advance Auto Parts, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Tom’s Automotive, WebCami, George Butterfield of Berkshire Hathaway Northwest HomeServices Real Estate, West Seattle Health Club, and us here at WSB. To inquire about sponsoring the show, e-mail wscarshow@gmail.com – to register your vehicle or motorcycle, go here for the application. And if you just want to make plans to be there, mark your calendar … no tickets needed, because the West Seattle Car Show is free to see. You’ll get to explore some of SSC’s signature points of pride, too, including its strong>Northwest Wine Academy and Automotive Technology program, which is the show’s beneficiary. See you there!

Join in! Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meets Tuesday night, with crime/policing on the agenda

August 31, 2015 at 7:54 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, Westwood | No Comments

August is going out as blustery as if fall were here already … and September starts with community groups resuming their regular meeting schedules. As the leaves fall, consider turning over your own new leaf and getting involved, if you’re not already. Tomorrow night is the first Tuesday of the month, which means the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council invites you to the Southwest Library‘s upstairs meeting room, 6:15-7:45 pm. Here’s the agenda:

6:15-6:20: Introductions & Community News

6:20-6:45: Committee & Neighborhood Council Updates

6:45-7:15: Welcome Back and Updates: SPD Officers Jon Flores and Kevin McDaniel will be with us to give us an update on the micro-policing plans. And how things looked this summer

7:15-7:40: Topics for Next Meetings: Brainstorm ideas for meetings and things to touch base on with the City.

7:40-7:45: Wrap Up: Break down the room; library locks up promptly at 8 pm.

Even if you just want to sit in the corner and observe/listen, all are welcome. The library’s on the southeast corner of 35th SW and SW Henderson.

UPDATE: Water-rescue call off 1200 block Alki, 4 kayakers brought in safely

August 31, 2015 at 4:57 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 7 Comments

4:57 PM: SFD and SPD are en route to the 1200 block of Alki for a report of paddlers in trouble. More to come.

(Photo by David Hutchinson)
5:06 PM: Scanner indicates 4 people picked up, kayaks being retrieved. An SFD boat is bringing them to shore for evaluation.

(Photo by Lynn Hall)
Some of the emergency vehicles are being dismissed but stay away from 1200 block Alki for a while.

(WSB photo)
5:15 PM: We confirmed, four people, two kayaks. SFD medic units are standing by at Don Armeni just in case.

5:26 PM: Talked to the medics. No one needs to be taken to the hospital.

(Photo by Steven Director)
The kayaks were being brought to shore.

West Seattle Crime Watch followups: Puget Ridge assault charges; North Admiral incident details

August 31, 2015 at 4:19 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

Two followups on three incidents we’ve covered in West Seattle Crime Watch over the past week and a half:

CHARGES IN PUGET RIDGE DOMESTIC-VIOLENCE ASSAULTS: The 17-year-old arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend twice in five days is now charged in both incidents. Both led to high-visibility searches, on August 21st and on the 25th; the first one involved the Guardian One helicopter, and both involved K-9s. He is charged with first-degree domestic-violence assault and felony domestic-violence harassment (court documents say the two had lived together off and on at the victim’s home for the past six months). The harassment charge carries the special circumstance of firearm involvement – he was alleged to have been armed and threatening to shoot and kill her. In the first assault, he hit her and pushed her down, court documents say; the second time, he choked her until she lost consciousness. While police couldn’t find him the first day, they found and arrested him after the August 25th attack. Police found three guns he was believed to have discarded, one checking as having been stolen in Renton in 2009. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says he remains in custody, in juvenile detention; since he’s being prosecuted as a juvenile so far, we are not identifying him by name.

DETAILS OF NORTH ADMIRAL CONFRONTATION: The police report finally became available today in last Thursday’s North Admiral incident involving a man who got away from armed youths he believed were trying to carjack him. For one, the report puts the address as the 1600 block of Palm Avenue, not California as we were told Friday and therefore reported in our first brief story. Ahead, the full narrative, minus names:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch followups: Puget Ridge assault charges; North Admiral incident details…

Know what to do if you see a seal pup? ‘Share the Shore’ banners now up at Alki, as reminders

August 31, 2015 at 2:43 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, Wildlife | No Comments

(Photo by David Hutchinson: Seattle Parks’ James Lohman installing a banner)

Along the heart of Alki Beach, near the Bathhouse, “Share the Shore” banners are up as a reminder – it’s peak pupping season and if you see a baby seal, keep clear and notify Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, 206-905-SEAL – Here’s how Robin Lindsey explains it:

The banners are hung annually during September and October to remind people that there is a good chance they might come across a harbor seal pup resting on shore. These Fall months are usually Seal Sitters MMSN’s busiest time and is considered the height of pupping season in West Seattle and surrounding areas. Some pups are now being weaned all across South and Central Puget Sound and have begun to strike out on their own, leaving the safety of the rookeries. They often end up on urban beaches.

So, it is a good time to remind folks that if you see a pup on the beach: please stay far back, keep people and dogs away, and call your local stranding network. Allowing a pup to rest undisturbed could truly save his/her life. Because seal pups are so vulnerable as they struggle to survive, it is especially important that dog owners respect the law this time of year. Dogs are NOT allowed on Parks beaches leashed or unleashed at any time. It is a fact that each year in Puget Sound, dogs injure and/or kill harbor seal pups.

For marine mammals on West Seattle shoreline, please call Seal Sitters MMSN @ 206-905-SEAL (7325); in downtown Seattle and areas north, please call Sno-King MMSN @ 206-695-2277; for beaches south of Brace Point to Redondo Beach, please call MaST Center Stranding Team @ 206-724-2687.

When in doubt for what network to call, you can always give the Seal Sitters’ hotline a call and we will refer you to the right network. Additionally, here is a link to a map with contact numbers for NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Networks in the Puget Sound region. There are links to maps for the entire states of Washington and Oregon here, as well.

We ask that boaters and kayakers be alert to the marine life around them. Seals of all ages will use often use offshore platforms, docks, buoys and marinas to rest. Harassment can have dire consequences. If you are out on the water and see yellow tape and cones on the beach, it means an animal is resting there. Please give seals (and sea lions) a wide berth so as not to disrupt their rest. Please respect NOAA guidelines and stay 100 yards away whenever possible.

It has been oddly quiet as far as marine mammal response the past two months, but we anticipate a big spike in responses soon. Seal Sitters is so thankful for the West Seattle community’s support in protecting wildlife!

Seal Sitters have been caring for local shores and sea life for eight years now – here’s our first story on them from September 2007, baby-seal video (via mega-zoom) and all.

West Seattle schools: Some local students already back in class; others are about to be

August 31, 2015 at 12:37 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 4 Comments

On this last day of August, it’s the first day of school for some local students – and others already have returned, or are about to, as listed below with each school’s name linking to its calendar:

(Thanks to Charlie for the photo: Holy Rosary students Audrey and Grace, back to school today)

HOLY ROSARY SCHOOL – First day today, and it’s a half-day, so students are already out for the day.

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE SCHOOL – First day is tomorrow.

HOPE LUTHERAN SCHOOL – First day Wednesday.

HOLY FAMILY SCHOOL – First day Wednesday.

SEATTLE LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL – In session since last Wednesday.

For local public schools, Seattle‘s first day of classes is Wednesday, September 9th, while Highline Public Schools (White Center and vicinity to our south) start this Thursday. Most local non-faith-based independent schools follow the public-school calendar.

West Seattle development: Next phase of public-comment process for proposed CVS store

August 31, 2015 at 10:13 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 21 Comments

(July ‘cover page’ image from project file on city website. Architect: Schemata Workshop)

After passing the first stage of Design Review on the second try earlier this summer, the project team for the proposed CVS drugstore at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW has applied for a land-use permit – and with the announcement in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin, that opens the next phase of the public-comment process.

As reported previously, the store is proposed as a one-story building on the site that now holds West Seattle Produce and Suite Arrangements; it would have 50 offstreet parking spaces (including 32 on an adjacent parcel) and a drive-through window. Here’s the official notice; here’s how to comment. At least one more Design Review meeting will be required, but there’s no date set yet, and this phase of the comment process is open to more than its design – you can offer opinions on environmental issues such as traffic and noise. The comment deadline is September 13th.

The store has been in the works for two years now; we first found an early version of the proposal in city files in July 2013.

MONDAY TRAFFIC/TRANSIT: Last day of August – updates & alerts

August 31, 2015 at 6:21 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:21 AM: Good morning! West Seattle’s last sizable power outage ended overnight, and that means the Highland Park Way hill should be open again; if you discover otherwise, please let us know – text/call 206-293-6302 (when you can do so safely & legally, if you’re not a passenger – thanks!).

ROAD-WORK ALERT: If not delayed by weather, today is the scheduled start of microsurfacing work in Arbor Heights – here’s the map and flyer.

10:18 AM UPDATE: SDOT says it has indeed delayed the microsurfacing work: “Due to the rain over the weekend and the rain in the forecast this week, we are postponing the work until dry weather returns to the forecast. The treatment is not effective when applied in wet conditions. Streets scheduled for Monday or Tuesday work will not be closed at this time. We will microsurface the scheduled roads within the next 2 weeks. Two to three days before the work begins, we will notify residents, businesses and organizations along streets to be closed and post ‘No Parking’ signs.”

VIDEO: Duwamish Tribe chair face-to-face with U.S. Interior Secretary in West Seattle, report #2

August 31, 2015 at 5:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 7 Comments

Story, photos, and video by Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Listening to Alaska Natives is the first thing on President Obama‘s schedule when he arrives in Alaska later today.

Listening to a Puget Sound Native leader is something his Interior Secretary probably didn’t expect to find herself doing in her West Seattle driveway while preparing to head north herself.

As first reported here on Saturday, Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen went to Secretary Sally Jewell‘s North Admiral neighborhood with local activists hoping to deliver a letter seeking a meeting about Jewell’s department denying the tribe federal recognition two months ago. “Ruined my Fourth of July,” Hansen said about that July 2nd decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

After gathering a few houses away on Saturday morning, Hansen and the group trouped up the front steps of where they thought Jewell lived (when not in DC).

A man answering the door told them that wasn’t the house they were looking for but wouldn’t say which house that would be. So they then semi-rallied on the sidewalk, reading statements, until one group member spotted Jewell – loading items into a car trunk in a driveway across the street. Over went everyone – including Hansen, surprised. Here’s what happened in the ensuing four and a half minutes:

Though the short encounter was more cheery than confrontational, as you heard, Jewell made no commitment – referring repeatedly to the “complexity” of the recognition issue and mentioning other tribes’ “difference of opinion.” Hansen, asked afterward what she thought, pronounced what she heard to have been “political runaround.” Days after the July denial of recognition, she told media at the tribe’s West Seattle longhouse that she felt especially let down by Jewell.

At the time, there also were suggestions of a grass-roots citizen lobbying effort. That might hold promise, if what happened on Jewell’s street a few minutes later is any indication. A neighbor emerged from a garage a few houses east – one still decorated for what apparently had been a luau the night before – to ask what was going on. Within a blink, Hansen and the activists were gathered outside the garage, making their case to the neighbor and several others sitting inside.

Petitions were circulated. Right after that, we took our leave – the windstorm was kicking up (as you can hear in our video) and people were starting to text about tree trouble. Hansen had said her council would be meeting this week, and that a conversation was due to happen with the lawyer representing them in an ongoing court attempt to force the recognition issue. Seattle’s U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott has tried to push recognition via legislation, but it has idled.

Hansen also hopes to hear from Jewell, who told her she would be back in D.C. after Labor Day, and said she at least would convey the message to Kevin Washburn, her assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, during the Alaska trip, which she noted would be followed by a visit to Eastern Washington tribes. Meantime, since the Saturday encounter, Jewell has made headlines with a gesture to Alaska Natives, announcing that Mount McKinley would be renamed Denali, the name by which it is known to them. The matter of recognizing a tribe – in, as she noted on Saturday, the face of opposition by others – is not as simple.

Chair Hansen reiterated that the Duwamish are determined. Even before the short chat with Jewell, she mused that maybe if the feds remain reluctant, she could take her case to Pope Francis, who is headed to the U.S. in three weeks.

AHEAD: THE LETTER – Read on to see the letter that the activists brought to Jewell’s neighborhood on behalf of Hansen and the Duwamish people:

Click to read the rest of VIDEO: Duwamish Tribe chair face-to-face with U.S. Interior Secretary in West Seattle, report #2…

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Nga Nguyen’s murderer sentenced to 26+ years

August 30, 2015 at 11:39 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

Two months after pleading guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend’s mother, 21-year-old Jose Gonzalez-Leos has been sentenced. His sentencing was on hold until September but then suddenly moved up to this past Friday, when, court documents show, King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts sentenced him to 320 months. That’s the top of the standard sentencing range, just over 26 1/2 years, counting time already served. He’s been in jail since his arrest in March of last year, more than two months after he killed 46-year-old Nga Nguyen at her home in High Point. Prosecutors say he strangled and beat her on December 14, 2013, after breaking in through a bedroom window, and that she had had trouble with him before, as had her daughter. Evidence linking him to the murder included a DNA match from saliva found on the victim’s body; that had led to a charge enhancement that the murder was committed with sexual motivation, but that was dropped as part of his plea bargain. According to a document filed by Gonzalez-Leos’s lawyer, he had been high on meth for a week at the time of the murder, and had killed the victim out of “sheer uncontrollable anger.” He had no prior felony convictions. (WSB photo, December 2013)

POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: Highland Park/Riverview outage finally off the map as of early Monday

August 30, 2015 at 9:14 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

(EARLIER COVERAGE: Saturday storm effects, here; Saturday night/Sunday updates on this outage, here)

9:14 PM: Going on 36 hours after the strongest gusts of Saturday’s windstorm, Seattle City Light has 252 separate outages left to fix, six of them in West Seattle, according to our check of its map a few minutes ago (screengrab above). The biggest, by far, is the one toward the lower right, 382 homes/businesses out in Riverview/Highland Park since about 11:45 pm Saturday night. Seattle City Light crews have been working along the Highland Park Way hill – which remains closed to traffic – all day:

(Photo by Alan Robertson)
That view is from a couple hours after our mid-afternoon check:

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
The tree-lined hill has long been a trouble spot; some who live along it put out a sign of frustration after six days without electricity following the December 2006 windstorm. SCL is not commenting on specific outages; its “estimated restoration times” remain a source of frustration for many because they continue to change – as of right now, for example, this one has an estimate of 1:30 am, but that’s moved back more than a few times. Around its service area, which stretches beyond the city-limit line in both the north and south, SCL estimated earlier tonight that it will have everyone back on by Monday afternoon, but it cautions in this online update that it had to focus first on major feeder lines in the hardest-hit north areas. Even before the windstorm arrived, authorities had said damage/outages could be worse because trees still have all their leaves this time of year, making them heavier and more vulnerable, especially in the kind of deluge that hit late last night, around the time Highland Park (and initially, beyond – 3,000 customers at its peak) went out.

REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER SAFETY: We know from experience too – four no-power days after the aforementioned 2006 storm – if you’re in the outage zone, you are wondering about what’s in your refrigerator/freezer. Here’s some info about that.

1:38 AM: The most recent projected restoration time for this remaining outage has passed and it’s now, 26 hours in, listed as “pending.” The two northernmost mini-outages, meantime, have fallen off the map.

2:42 AM: Alan reports in comments that his neighborhood is back on – and the outage map has lost the Riverview and vicinity splotch, so it seems the last of the Saturday night outage is finally fixed. Let us know if you’re in West Seattle somewhere and still out.

West Seattle sports: National Volleyball League pros wrap Alki play

August 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

(Added: Thanks to Sam Nizam for the photo of Zaun & Palm celebrating their victory)
Though beach volleyball is a fixture on Alki just about every summer weekend, it’s not always as big as the tournament that just wrapped up about half an hour ago: The pro players of the National Volleyball League have been here since Thursday night, for the NVL’s first-ever Seattle stop, seventh of eight on this year’s tour. In the women’s finals, Brooke Niles, head beach-volleyball coach at Florida State U, and Karolina Sowala from Poland won in three games:

(Photo by Paul Walchenbach)
The women’s championship match was followed by the men’s final, taken, also in three games, by Dave Palm from Florida and Eric Zaun from New Jersey. We photographed Palm earlier (center, with hand signal) during their semi-final match:

Palm and Zaun are now the only duo with two wins this season, after winning the Hermosa Beach tour stop earlier this month. The NVL’s 2015 tour concludes September 25th-27th at the league’s training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Skywriting, seen from West Seattle: BLACK LIVES MATTER

August 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm | In Seen around town, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

6:16 PM: Thanks to Jeremy Smith for that photo, and we’ll likely be adding a few more. In the patch of blue sky over downtown, clearly visible from north West Seattle, a plane has been skywriting BLACK LIVES MATTER. (There might have been a previous attempt- Brian Presser had tipped us to a skywriting attempt earlier this afternoon.) More to come.

ADDED 6:46 PM: Via Twitter, @joaquinuy put together photos of all three words:


FERRY ALERT: Bigger boat rejoins Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route

August 30, 2015 at 5:29 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | No Comments

After almost a week with reduced capacity on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route, Washington State Ferries announced this afternoon that M/V Cathlamet has replaced the out-of-mothballs M/V Evergreen State – that’s a 124-car vessel replacing an older, slower 87-car vessel. That’s expected to lessen some of the recent round of delays.

West Seattle Library in The Admiral District reopens tomorrow

August 30, 2015 at 2:49 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(WSB photo, Sunday afternoon)

After a two-week closure, the Seattle Public Library‘s West Seattle (Admiral) branch will reopen tomorrow as scheduled, SPL’s official announcement:

The West Seattle Branch and book drop, 2306 42nd Ave. SW, will reopen at 10 a.m. Monday, August 31. The branch was closed for two weeks while the front steps were being replaced as part of a project to improve access to the branch.

Improvements to the branch include:

· Rebuilding front steps
· Redoing ramp from rear parking lot to main front entrance
· Redoing ramp from rear parking lot to lower-level meeting room
· Adding lighted handrails to ramps and steps
· Resurfacing parking stalls on north end of the lot

The project is expected to be completed in late September.

The project’s $430,000 cost is coming from Real Estate Excise Tax funds, according to this fact sheet. The branch is 105 years old and is a historic Carnegie Library.

West Seattle whale watching: Alki Point sighting this morning

August 30, 2015 at 1:58 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 11 Comments

Thanks to Guy and Joy Smith for the photo and this report:

At 9 o’clock this am, we saw 2 marine mammals traveling south off Alki Point. They were exhaling big clouds of steam and we knew they were too large to be either Harbor or Dall’s Porpoises. We grabbed our handy guide, handed out by the Whale Trail organization at the Bath House this summer, and it indicates they were probably Minke whales. They are in the 20 to 30 foot range and that’s about what we guessed. Wikipedia says their dives can be up to 20 minutes. If we had known to wait that long we might have gotten another picture.

Obviously Guy and Joy saw more than just this photo, so they were gauging by more than what’s seen in the photo, but the fin also looks like it could have been a humpback. Anyone else see these whales?

West Seattle Sunday: Pro-volleyball finals; lighthouse tours; Farmers’ Market; more…

August 30, 2015 at 10:21 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

The most serious storminess is past. So, on with what’s on the calendar for Sunday:

(Saturday morning photo by Paul Walchenbach)
PRO VOLLEYBALL ON ALKI: Third and final day for the National Volleyball League‘s Seattle Championships at Alki Beach. Today’s schedule includes the finals (previewed by the NVL here):

(Now) – Quarter and Semi-Finals
1:00pm – FREE Clinic with the NVL Pros
2:30pm – Women’s Finals
4:00pm – Men’s Finals
*Finals times subject to change

See the brackets here. Check for live-streaming here. (Alki SW & 57th)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: What’s fresh? Go see firsthand, until 2 pm. (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE REOPENS FOR TOURS: Your chances to tour Alki Point Lighthouse this summer are dwindling – after today, Labor Day Weekend is it for the year. Tour today, free, 1 pm-4 pm (last tour starts at 3:40 pm) with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. (3201 Alki SW)

ALL-AGES OPEN MICROPHONE: 4 pm at The Skylark, all ages, free; details in our calendar listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

GUITARIST @ KENYON HALL: Jack Williams performs tonight at 7:30 pm; more info in our calendar listing. (7904 35th SW)

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATES: Car/pole crash on Olson curve; 35th SW reopens; Highland Park Way hill closed

August 30, 2015 at 7:36 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 8 Comments

7:36 AM: Thanks to Jason for the photo from an early-morning crash on a notoriously tricky stretch of road, the Olson Place curve at the east end of Roxbury. He reports it involved one car, whose driver crashed into a pole. Only one engine was dispatched, no medic unit, so it does not appear to have involved major injuries. It rained most of the night, so take extra care wherever you’re going this morning – we’re off to check on other potential trouble spots, including Highland Park Way, reported still closed at dawn, and the 35th SW/Avalon/Alaska tree situation.

8:31 AM: We’re out on rounds now.

35th SW is open again and the tree is out of the wires, in pieces on the ground (photo above). The sidewalk remains taped off.

(Photo from Margaret)
The Highland Park Way hill remains closed, with cleanup crews visible from the Holden intersection (photo above).

(Added: We also checked on Olson, scene of the crash at the top of this story, and it’s clear.)

PHOTOS: ‘Heading Home’ day at last for Westside School, celebrating new Arbor Heights campus

August 30, 2015 at 6:44 am | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 7 Comments

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
34 years after Westside School (WSB sponsor) was founded, it finally has a permanent home. “Heading Home” was the theme for Saturday’s celebration of the newly completed campus in Arbor Heights, as it has been for the process of making that dream come true, even before work began at the former Hillcrest Presbyterian Church 16 months ago. So no mere windstorm was going to stop the party, and the ribboncutting happened indoors.

Hundreds of the Pre-K-through-8th-grade school’s students, family members, staff, and other Westside community members present and past were there to see the new campus a week and a half before its first classes.

They heard from Head of School Kate Mulligan:

Westside’s founder, Alice Howell, was also onstage (second from left, below) along with, in our next photo, former head of school Jo Ann Yockey, teacher Claudia Ross-Weston, former head of school George Edwards, and assistant head of school Don Cunningham:

As “owner’s rep,” Cunningham supervised the renovations and construction with which Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects and general contractor Kirtley-Cole Associates LLC created Westside’s permanent home. To officially open it, Howell wielded the giant scissors for the ceremonial ribboncutting!

Click to read the rest of PHOTOS: ‘Heading Home’ day at last for Westside School, celebrating new Arbor Heights campus…

West Seattle power-outage update: Highland Park, Puget Ridge, and beyond go dark late Saturday night; some back on

August 29, 2015 at 11:45 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 74 Comments

(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN for newest info)

11:45 PM: We’re not sure of the extent yet, but power flickered here and apparently has gone out in at least part of Highland Park.

11:48 PM UPDATE: This is the biggest outage for West Seattle in this storm, by far. At least 2,100 customers, per City Light’s outage map. It’s stretching into parts of White Center and South Park. Adding a screengrab from City Light’s map. There are some reports of what looked like “explosions” so possibly a blown transformer in HP.

11:56 PM UPDATE: The map also shows Puget Ridge and part of North Delridge affected. And it shows what looks like two outages – one listed as 2,105 customers, another as 972, so more than 3,000 may be out.

12:54 AM UPDATE: If you have to do any early-morning driving, note that some stoplights are out – including 8th/Roxbury (which is dicey in even the best conditions) and 1st/Myers on the way to/from 509 – Roxbury had lights between those two spots, though.

5:45 AM UPDATE: As noted in comments, some of the 3,000 who were out have power back. Here’s who’s still out:

The map, however, is classifying these areas of West Seattle and South Park as three outages that started around 4 am, though if you compare you’ll see they’re part of the previous outage zone. The restoration guesstimate currently is noon.

6:46 AM UPDATE: Jeremy says in comments that Highland Park Way remains closed. We’ll be out checking on that when it’s a bit lighter – and will also be checking on a holdover from Saturday’s earlier problems, the dangling-tree-in-lines situation that had 35th SW closed between Avalon and Alaska.

7:47 AM UPDATE: SCL’s map has now adjusted the start time back to when the outage really started – about quarter to midnight last night – and the number of customers out now totals about 1,300.

9:40 AM UPDATE: We’ve mentioned the road updates in a separate story. And good news, more people have their power back – fewer than 800 are shown as being out now. Separate from the electricity, Comcast is reported to be out for some.

10:11 AM UPDATE: Now, about 443 still out.

2 PM UPDATE: Thanks to everybody for updating with comments! Tally’s down to 382 and the new guesstimate is 5:30ish – could be sooner (as were some of the restorations overnight) or later.

You can help! West Seattleites rounded up donations for firefighters battling the wildfires, and hope you will want to, too

August 29, 2015 at 9:04 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Have you been wondering what you could do to help the firefighters who’ve been battling our state’s massive wildfires? This group of West Seattleites wanted to let you know, you can do what they did:

The photos are from Rachel, who explains:

Yesterday West Seattleites collected, organized and packed care packages for fire fighters helping battle the fires in eastern Washington. We’re headed to Gold Bar today to drop them off to the volunteer group who then drives the donations into the most-in-need fire fighter camps. If other West Seattleites would like to have similar donation drives, pop onto the Wildfire Donation Round-up Facebook page and you can see what donations are needed as well as drop off points. These people are doing amazing work! Thank you to all of the West Seattleites who helped!

Here’s a direct link to the page Rachel mentioned; it also includes ideas for helping fire victims and evacuees.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen ‘old-school mountain bike’; condo-building mail theft

August 29, 2015 at 7:22 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

The weather has calmed and we’re on to other news. First, two quick West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:

STOLEN BICYCLE: Derek first posted this in the WSB Forums:

My bicycle was stolen from my yard at 46th & Charlestown. Let me know if you see it?

Blue old-school mountain bike. Gary Fisher Hoo Koo e Koo. Bike pump, rear mountain rack with fender, and cat-eye headlight & tail lights.

It’s not worth a lot of money, but it’s been my main ride since 1993.

He hasn’t turned up a photo to share, but says his bike looks a lot like this.

STOLEN MAIL: From Nathan:

I live in the condos at 3271 Avalon Way and it appears that someone broke into our mailboxes last night. I’m on the HOA board, and someone else on the board has already contacted police about it, so I assume there will be a police report about it eventually.

It appears that someone used a crowbar to pry into the mailboxes. Hopefully other condos/homes were not affected.

STORM COVERAGE: Windy in West Seattle; power-outage updates; downed trees; 35th SW closure

August 29, 2015 at 11:34 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 60 Comments

(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN for updates – most recent one, 5:53 pm)

11:34 AM: The wind has arrived – as the National Weather Service warned it would – and the first outages are on Seattle City Light‘s map: Both small, both blamed on trees, one on Seola Beach Drive in southwesternmost West Seattle, one in Westwood near 34th/Cloverdale. We’ll be tracking the storm here throughout the afternoon – if there’s tree, power, road, etc. trouble where you are, please let us know (after you’ve alerted the authorities) – thanks!

12:27 PM: As Taz just pointed out in comments, there’s a new outage by Constellation Park, south of Alki Point. Since the wind’s out of the south/southwest, that’s the side of the West Seattle waterfront feeling it the most – we’re further down Beach Drive by Emma Schmitz right now – see the short phone-video clip above.

12:43 PM: The Alki Point-area outage is now up to 138 customers, according to the SCL map, which has added a new West Seattle outage, in North Delridge.

12:51 PM: Along with a tree that’s been leaning against wires and a fence just north of West Seattle Stadium over the NB lanes of 35th SW for a while (added above: photo of that tree, sent by Chuck Jacobs – thanks!), we now have a report that a tree’s down on Highland Park Way.

(Photos from Sarahjean – [updated] Sylvan Way branch cleared by her husband, first photo, and bus riders, 2nd photo)
1:12 PM: According to MetPatrick via Twitter, the HP Way tree/branch is cleared out of the roadway. While we’re in a sunbreak, it won’t likely last – dark clouds heading up from the south/southwest and rain is still in the forecast.

1:36 PM: New updates in comments (thank you!) – a tree blocking Marine View Drive at California. By the way, in case you wondered, waves vs. shore action is not too bad because low tide was at 11 am and high tide – fairly high, 11.7 feet, since the moon’s full – isn’t until about quarter till 6 this evening. (added) Be careful wherever you walk/ride/drive – lots of tree branches and twigs down too – WSB’s Christopher Boffoli sent this from 35th SW by Our Lady of Guadalupe:

2:19 PM: The tree over NB 35th SW north of West Seattle Stadium, mentioned earlier, now has police blocking the outside NB lane and yellow tape closing the sidewalk from the south side of the stadium entrance:

Crews are stretched around the city, so it might be a while before this can be addressed, and it will be tricky because it’s on the other side of the fence along 35th. Elsewhere – looks like this tree did some damage to a vehicle – the texter described the location as North Delridge, near Pearls:

Newest outage on the map is near 28th/Holden, as of of less than 10 minutes ago, another small one, at least as gauged so far.

2:43 PM: The Alki Point outage has been upped to 190 customers, with restoration guesstimate around 7 pm (remember, those are really just guesses, but it’s what you’ll see on the SCL outage map); commenters have mentioned an outage east of Fairmount Park but that one doesn’t seem to be on the map. Look here for what IS showing; call 206-684-3000 if you’re out and not sure the utility knows already.

Above, a photo texted to us from 25th/Cloverdale – note the vehicle under the tree. The wind warning remains in effect until 6 pm.

3:21 PM: Drove the length of Marine View Drive, now all clear (aside from twigs, needles, stems here and there, like just about every road we’ve traveled today).

3:32 PM: Via e-mail, Chas says 35th is now closed at the scene of the tree mentioned earlier – we’ll head back out to check in a moment. West Seattle still has five outages on the map, the biggest one, the 190 customers out south of Alki Point.

And, via text, another tree-branch-on-vehicle, this time 24th/Holden:

If you’re wondering what happened to the predicted rain – showers remain in the forecast throughout the day, then potentially heavier rain tonight.

4:55 PM: 35th is indeed blocked off by police – though Metro’s getting through – between Alaska and Avalon, until the unsafe-tree situation is handled. We’ll be checking back. The wind, meantime, has calmed, even here in the southwest-exposed area where we are. For some, the afternoon’s weather was pure fun:

Thanks to Gary Jones for the photo from Alki Point.

5:09 PM: Kristin reports another dangling-tree-against-wire-over-road situation, this one over the west side of Sylvan between High Point and Delridge. She has reported to authorities. And Guy sent us this photo of one at 39th and Manning:

Do be sure to report these – start with City Light at 206-684-3000 – their crews are still slammed all around the city right now so you might not see anyone for a while, but it doesn’t mean you’re not on the list. Speaking of City Light, the map shows a new, small outage, this time in Seaview, near 45th and Findlay. That means seven pocket outages around WS.

5:53 PM: Thanks to Thom for the photo of crews working by Bar-S Field, in/by the Alki Point outage zone:

Meantime, the rain’s back, with the second intense cloudburst right now in less than half an hour.

6:58 PM: Checked while out a few minutes ago, and 35th remains blocked between Alaska and Avalon. One more traffic note – Dave warns that it’s slippery on the ramp from the bridge to NB 99.

7:25 PM: The SCL map shows the South Alki outage fixed – please let us know in comments if that’s not the case.

8:32 PM: In case you didn’t see this in comments – the “boat taking on water/minor” call that briefly brought a sizable SFD response to Beach Drive involved a boat with no one on board, according to a neighbor who says it belongs to someone who lives in the area and adds that SFD pumped some water out of it before departing. Now, a view from early this morning, before the wind kicked up – Ken Pendergrass made this serene time-lapse video from his Duwamish Head balcony:

Ken says the recording covers a time span from around 7 am to 10 am.

11:52 PM: We’ve launched a NEW story to cover the big new outage that just happened in Highland Park and beyond – go here.

Duwamish Tribe chair takes recognition fight to Interior Secretary in West Seattle: Report #1

August 29, 2015 at 11:14 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 16 Comments

(WSB photo by Tracy Record)

Quick first report on this, since we’re going into storm coverage: Within the past hour, Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen met U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell – whose department denied federal recognition to the Duwamish, again, two months ago – semi-unexpectedly. Hansen and representatives of two activist groups, the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites and Rising Tide Seattle, had gone to what they believed was Jewell’s North Admiral home to deliver a letter inviting her to meet with tribal leaders. (A representative of the groups, which issued a media advisory, told us last night they had no reason to believe Jewell was home from D.C., but they had decided to do this now anyway.)

At what they believed was the correct house, a man answering the door said it wasn’t. The group headed back to the sidewalk to read their letters of invitation anyway. Suddenly, a member of the group looked across the street and pointed to a woman loading items into the trunk of a car in a driveway, saying he was sure THAT was Secretary Jewell. Indeed, it was, and everyone trouped across the street. Jewell, a WS resident since her days as CEO of REI, stopped for a few moments to talk and listen, making no commitments on the issue, describing it as “complicated.” Hansen described that reaction afterward as “political runaround.” She says the tribe is taking their fight to court, again. We recorded this all on video and will publish it as part of a second report later.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Battery St. Tunnel reopens

August 29, 2015 at 8:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 2 Comments

8:59 AM: If you’re heading out of West Seattle, take note that you won’t be able to get past Seneca Street on NB 99 for a while: There’s a crash at Western, and the Battery Street Tunnel has been closed both ways because of “weather conditions,” according to SPD. We’ll update when this changes.


9:28 AM: No ETA yet for when this will be cleared, so if you have to head north, avoid the Viaduct/Highway 99. Here’s the closest SDOT camera – refresh our page to see the newest image:

10:06 AM: The tunnel has reopened.

West Seattle weather: ‘High Wind Warning’ in effect until 6 pm

August 29, 2015 at 8:52 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 2 Comments

The weather alert that started as a “Wind Advisory” has been upgraded to a “High Wind Warning,” in effect through 6 pm tonight. The National Weather Service says the strongest wind is expected 10 am-4 pm, out of the south at 20 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 45-50 mph. That’s a fall-strength storm, as the NWS points out.

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