UPDATE: Here’s why Junction TrueValue was unexpectedly closed this morning

11:41 AM: Thanks for the tip. We went to Junction TrueValue after a texter said it was unexpectedly closed for “a medical emergency.” When we got there, we found a responder from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, which handles death investigations. TrueValue staff told us that a customer came in this morning and collapsed; medics were called and tried to revive him but could not. That’s all we know so far; the store is expected to reopen at some point this afternoon.

11:55 AM: Just got word that the store has reopened.

2:40 PM: TrueValue clarifies that the person did not come into the store – he was found just outside before they opened, and they called 911; the emergency response kept them from opening until the ME responder subsequently completed their work. SFD tells us the man who died was 29 years old.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Drop-off recycling in Fauntleroy

No waiting in the lot at Fauntleroy Church when we went over to check on the early turnout at today’s Recycle Roundup. Just drive/ride/walk into the lot at 9140 California SW, and the crews from 1 Green Planet will assist you in getting your recyclables into one of their big green containers..

This is free (though you can donate to help them cover the costs if you want to). The list of what they’re accepting, and not accepting, this time is here.

WEST SEATTLE SATURDAY: 19 things to know

(Friday night sunset, photographed by Lynn Hall. Tonight the sun sets at 7:03 pm)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, and other previews, here are events and notes for your Saturday:

ROAD WORK: From SDOT:

-We’re paving a section of Sylvan Way SW between SW Orchard St and SW Sylvan Heights Dr from about 7 AM to 4 PM.

-We’re replacing concrete panels at the intersection of 34th Ave SW and SW Barton St. We expect to start this work around 7 AM and conclude by 3 PM.

-We’re also paving on California Ave SW between Admiral Way SW and SW Walker St, with work starting around 7 AM and ending by 4 PM.

RECYCLE ROUNDUP: 9 am-3 pm, bring your non-curbside recyclables to Fauntleroy Church‘s lot, for free (donations accepted) recycling with 1 Green Planet. Here’s the list of what will/won’t be accepted. (9140 California SW)

GARAGE/YARD SALES: See (and post) listings in the WSB Community Forums.

‘CARE FOR THE STRANDED’: 9:30 am-12:30 pm “walkshop” in Lincoln Park, explained in our preview.

LOWMAN BEACH CELEBRATION: 10 am-noon, celebrate and learn about the seawall-removal/beach-restoration project completed this summer. Activities plus a ribboncutting ceremony (10:15-10:40ish). (7017 Beach Drive SW)

SELF-DEFENSE WORKSHOP: 10 am-noon, Combat Arts Academy (5050 Delridge Way SW) hosts this workshop for women (ages 13 and up)_ Register here; pay what you can.

SALE AND BARBECUE: 10 am-6 pm, Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) is having a one-day sale to celebrate the bridge reopening, open 10 am-6 pm. TRG and co-housed The Bass Shop (also a WSB sponsor) are also hosting a barbecue noon-3 pm. (6400 California SW)

WESTFEST, DAY TWO: 10 am-10 pm, the festival on the campus of Holy Rosary School offers games, entertainment, food, and fun. Free admission. The entertainment lineup is in our calendar listing. (42nd between Dakota and Genesee)

SOUTH DELRIDGE FARMERS’ MARKET: The twice-monthly farmers’ market centered on BIPOC growers and makers continues into the fall at Hope Academy (9421 18th SW), 10 am-2 pm.

MORNING MUSIC AT C & P: 10:30 am-noon, Marco de Carvalho and Friends perform at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).

WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION SIDEWALK SALE: All day, shop The Junction to celebrate the bridge reopening – our preview includes some of the participants and what they’re offering. (Anybody else? Comment below!)

LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: Noon-4 pm, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society museum on Alki is open (61st/Stevens).

VIETNAMESE CULTURAL CENTER: Open to visitors noon-3 pm, as noted here. (2234 SW Orchard)

ADMIRAL STATION GRAND OPENING: The newly built mixed-use apartment complex at 2715 California SW invites you to visit 1-4 pm as they celebrate its grand opening. Husky Deli ice cream!

WINE TIME: The Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) tasting room – selling wine by the glass or bottle – is open 1-6 pm. (5910 California SW)

8-BIT BRASS BAND: See and hear the band live on the southwest corner of California/Alaska at 5:30 pm.

LIVE AT EASY STREET: In-store show at 6 pm, Ten Miles Wide. Free, all ages. (California/Alaska)

EVENING MUSIC AT THE COFFEEHOUSE: Citizens of Earth, 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). Free, all ages.

DRAG AT THE SKYLARK: West End Girls, doors at 7 pm, show at 8. $15 at the door. All ages. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

Something to add, for today/tonight or beyond? Email westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

FOOTBALL: Chief Sealth IHS reclaims Huling Bowl trophy from West Seattle HS

(WSB photos/video by Patrick Sand, unless otherwise credited)

10:09 PM: This year’s cross-peninsula bragging rights have just gone back to Chief Sealth International High School, after they won the annual Huling Bowl football game against West Seattle High School, 34-8. The Wildcats won resoundingly last year after four consecutive Seahawk wins, but tonight Chief Sealth had the upper hand on the field. Details and photos later.

3:10 AM: We’ve added more toplines and photos/video from the game, which drew a sizable crowd to Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex, bigger than we can remember in most years (weather might have been a factor – the game is often later in the season, and last year it was raining). Both schools had robust cheering sections:

Read More

SATURDAY: Self-defense workshop at Combat Arts Academy

Late add to the lineup for tomorrow: Combat Arts Academy (5050 Delridge Way SW) sent word that they’re hosting a self-defense workshop for women, 10 am-noon Saturday. Ages 13 and up, by donation, pay what you can. Sign up in advance here.

REMINDER: Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church on Saturday

(WSB photo from April’s Recycle Roundup)

Reminding you one last time because this is happening on Saturday (September 24th) instead of the traditional Sunday – tomorrow’s the day you can bring non-curbside-friendly recyclables to Fauntleroy Church. The fall Recycle Roundup is set for 9 am-3 pm in the church lot at 9140 California SW [map] – drive up, ride up, walk up to drop off your item(s). Here’s the list of what the church’s recycling partner 1 Green Planet will and won’t accept this time. It’s free, but if you want to donate something to help cover the cost, they’ll welcome it. And one more request, they hope to avoid a last-minute jam, so if you can possibly bring your recyclables in before the last hour, that’s appreciated too.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Charges filed in 4 cases

From the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, four West Seattle cases in which charges were recently filed:

UNLAWFUL GUN POSSESSION: 26-year-old Antonio E. Ortiz of West Seattle was already wanted on a half-million-dollar warrant for robbery and other charges when he was arrested for this. Police who knew he was the subject of that warrant spotted him in the Westwood area on September 10th, driving a red BMW near Westwood Village. They followed him to the Roxbury Safeway gas station. Police converged on him there and took him into custody. Inside the car, on the front passenger seat, court documents say, they subsequently found a “Glock handgun with a high-capacity drum magazine.” It turned out to have been stolen from Auburn. Ortiz was ineligible to possess any gun, stolen or otherwise, as he has a robbery conviction on his record. So a first-degree unlawful gun possession charge has been added to what he already was facing, and 13 days after his arrest, Ortiz remains in jail, bail set at $610,000.

ANOTHER GUN POSSESSION CASE: Earlier this week, we mentioned that police arrested a 28-year-old man, after he was found in a car on Harbor Island with a handgun, despite being ineligible to possess one since he is a convicted felon, Now John J. Kyllo of North Seattle is charged with first-degree unlawful gun possession. Court documents say he was found in the crashed car last Sunday, unconscious, with the loaded 45-caliber Ruger handgun in his waistband. It turned out to have been stolen in Tacoma. Kyllo has six felony convictions on his record, including robbery, burglary, and failure to register as a sex offender. King County Jail records show his bail was set at $10,000 and he was released the day after his arrest.

STOLEN CAR: An auto theft in Admiral factors into charges filed against a 26-year-old woman. Prosecutors say Destiny R. Sweeney of Bothell acknowledged driving a Nissan Sentra stolen from the 2600 block of 42nd SW sometime between September 11th and 13th. Court documents say this is what happened: On September 14th, state corrections officers noticed the car, without plates, in South Seattle, and tried to pull it over. Instead, it sped away. They lost it briefly but found it, unoccupied, nearby, and soon found the woman they had seen driving it, identified as Sweeney. She has a record including theft convictions and is now charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and attempting to elude. Nine days after her arrest, she remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $5.000 bail.

BURGLARY: 35-year-old Darius J. Thomas of South Seattle is charged with first-degree burglary for a September 1st incident at a home on Olson Place. Prosecutors say he broke down the door of the house and assaulted a 16-year-old boy, a friend of Thomas’s son, who had been visiting there a short time earlier. Thomas also allegedly held the victim at knifepoint and made threats. Court documents say he has a felony drug conviction and four domestic-violence protection orders. He was not in custody at the time the charge was filed and jail records show he hasn’t yet been booked.

SURVEY: Southwest Seattle Youth Alliance has questions for you

If you can spare a few minutes to answer questions about your views on youth substance use, the Southwest Seattle Youth Alliance would appreciate your help. Here’s the announcement:

The SW Seattle Youth Alliance, a school and community coalition formed to address the high rates of youth substance use in Southwest Seattle, would like your help in learning more about community concerns related to drugs and alcohol.

This optional survey asks about one’s perceptions of drug and alcohol use and abuse in youth and in the community. The data from these surveys will be used to implement evidence-based prevention programs in middle and high schools in the community. Adults ages 18 and over, who live, work or frequent the Southwest Seattle area are eligible to take this survey.

ONLINE SURVEY, ENGLISH

ONLINE SURVEY, SPANISH

SATURDAY: Here’s how to join West Seattle businesses in celebrating the bridge’s comeback

This will be the first full weekend since the West Seattle Bridge reopened, and businesses invite you to celebrate. Here’s what’s happening tomorrow (Saturday, September 24th):

SIDEWALK SALE: All day in The Junction, participating merchants will be having sidewalk sales on Saturday. That includes deals – according to the West Seattle Junction Association, for example, the American Cancer Society-benefiting Discovery Shop will have a 25 percent off sale, FJ Consignment will be offering 30 percent off. Fleurt Collective is participating and offering a free gift with purchases this week. CAPERS is in the midst of its Fall Sale and will add more specials, including scratch-and-dent furniture, under a tent on Saturday. Other participants include Carmilia’s, with discounts on summer apparel.

LIVE MUSIC, OUTDOORS AND INDOORS: Right about the time your day of shopping segues into evening dining, the 8-Bit Brass Band will perform live at KeyBank Plaza (southwest corner of California/Alaska), 5:30 pm. From the WSJA announcement: “Our music reflects our diverse fandom from Star Wars to Marvel to Pokemon — all while cosplaying and goofing off with our fans when we play.” Then at 6 pm, right across SW Alaska, Easy Street Records hosts Ten Miles Wide at 6 pm.

THUNDER ROAD GUITARS SALE & BBQ: In Morgan Junction, the reopening festivities are at Thunder Road Guitars (6400 California SW; WSB sponsor), open 10 am-6 pm with a one-day sale, featuring a barbecue noon-3 pm.

‘REUNITED,’ THE BEER: Don’t let the moment pass without trying the special collaborative beer we first told you about two weeks ago – tomorrow’s the last day it’s scheduled to be on tap at Good Society, Beveridge Place Pub, Ounces, The Beer Junction, and Best of Hands Barrelhouse. (Update – sold out in some places, per this comment from Allison at The Beer Junction.)

More festivities Saturday? Let us know so we can add to the list – westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you! We’ll be spotlighting other dates separately.

TRAFFIC ALERT: 99-cent gas promotion causes backup at 35th/Henderson

Thanks for the tip. Via text and tweet, we just heard about the reason for traffic backups around 35th/Henderson – the gas station is hosting a KZOK Radio promotion with 99-cent gas until 1 pm.

WestFest, Huling Bowl, Silent Disco, more for your West Seattle Friday

(Flower season hasn’t ended yet! Photo from Waikikigirl)

Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BLOCK DROP: DIY cleanup equipment is available at Camp Long (5200 35th SW) until 5 pm – that’s also where you can drop off what you clean up, as part of closing the Block Drop loop!

JUNCTION WINE WALK: Sold out so if you don’t have a ticket, this is just an FYI – 5-9 pm, Junction businesses are hosting local wineries.

SILENT DISCO: 5:30-8:30 pm at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, dance to music only you can hear – free!

WESTFEST: 6-10 pm, it’s the first night of Holy Rosary School‘s community festival of fun, on campus, off 42nd SW between SW Dakota and SW Genesee. Our calendar listing has the entertainment lineup for tonight and tomorrow.

(added) MUSIC AT WSG: Camille Watson performs 6-9 pm at West Seattle Grounds (2141 California SW). Free.

TEEN MOVIE NIGHT: Free screening of “Jurassic World: Dominion,” 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) – this flyer has info on advance registration.

HIGH-SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Tonight is the annual Huling Bowl cross-peninsula matchup for the Chief Sealth International High School Seahawks and the West Seattle High School Wildcats, playing at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle), 7:30 pm. Admission is $4 students/senior citizens, $6 adults, cash only.

LIVE AT EASY STREET: 7 pm at Easy Street Records (California/Alaska), Brittany Collins performs live, free, all ages.

MUSIC AT C & P: Alan Ehrlich performs at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm, free, all ages.

SPELLING BEE AT THE SKYLARK: 8 pm, as announced last month, Friday nights bring Spelldown After Dark – an adult spelling bee. Check to see if there’s room for participants/spectators tonight! (3803 Delridge Way SW)

Have something to add to our Event Calendar? Email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

BIZNOTE: Supply chain loosens for Alki Bike and Board

Alki Bike and Board (2606 California SW; WSB sponsor) in The Admiral District is sharing some good news for bicycle shoppers:

After seeing a huge impact on bike supply due to COVID, we are happy to say that we have and are getting some of our favorites back in stock! We received a large shipment of Surly, Kona, Salsa, Haro, and more! We are working hard to get them built up for you all. Come on in and take a test ride; we are here to help you find your dream bike!

The shop is open 10 am-6 pm today and Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday, noon-6 pm Tuesdays through Thursdays, closed Mondays.

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, ROAD WORK, WEATHER: First morning of fall, fifth weekday with reopened West Seattle Bridge

6:00 AM: Good morning. It’s Friday, September 23rd, approaching one week since the reopening of the West Seattle Bridge.

WEATHER

Here’s the forecast – clouds this morning, then partly sunny, high in the upper 60s.

TRANSIT INFO

Metro buses are back on the high bridge, and today is the last day we’ll remind you of trip cuts in the twice-yearly service change; watch @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations/reroute alerts.

No changes in ferries (check here for alerts/updates) or West Seattle Water Taxi service (which will continue at all-day/every-day levels through fall and winter).

ROAD WORK

TODAY: Just south of the city-limit line, King County is repaving Myers Way between 99th and 108th.

THIS WEEKEND: From SDOT:

*Paving on Sylvan Way SW between SW Myrtle St and SW Sylvan Heights Dr on Saturday and Sunday from about 7 AM to 4 PM. Traffic will be maintained in both directions.

*Replacing concrete panels at the intersection of 34th Ave SW and SW Barton St on Saturday from about 7 AM to 3 PM. We’ll still have traffic control on Sunday while the concrete is curing.

ALSO: Tree-removal work might happen this weekend at Morgan Junction’s future electric-vehicle-charging station (4118 SW Morgan).

BRIDGES

High Bridge – here’s the lone reactivated camera atop the span.

Low Bridge: All restrictions ended with the high bridge’s reopening, so it’s open to anyone who wants to use it.

Highway 99: Whichever bridge you’re using to get to it, here’s a look at northbound traffic on 99 at Lander.

All currently functional city traffic cams can be seen here, many with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.

If you see trouble on the roads/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.

AUTUMN ARRIVES: Equinox sunset with Alice

For the first sunset of fall, the sun glowed between the Lincoln Park trees, and Solstice Park‘s equinox marker sparkled.

These were all among the sights at Alice Enevoldsen‘s change-of-seasons sunset watch, along with Alice’s interactive explanation of what happens at the equinox moment (which this time happened less than an hour before sunset):

As a volunteer NASA Solar System Ambassador and professional educator, Alice has been leading these events quarterly for more than a decade. You never know who will show up. Kristina, an artist, was capturing the moment this time:

And with the sun fully visible, that meant a chance to view how it lined up with the designated equinox-aligned park path:

If you want to plan ahead for winter-solstice sunset watch, that’s already on Alice’s website – 3:45 pm December 21st, which will be about two hours after the solstice moment.

FAUNTLEROY FERRY TERMINAL: Two replacement alternatives remain; Cove Park spared

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The idea of widening the Fauntleroy ferry dock over the small public beach to its north that’s known as Cove Park is no longer under consideration.

That was the biggest news from last night’s meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy dock/terminal-rebuild project, the group’s first meeting in four months.

WSF said the second level of screening had narrowed the options down to two – rebuilding the dock/terminal with its current footprint, or expanding it, mostly by building it out further over the water. Here’s how the meeting went:

Read More

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Pride-flag thieves

From Anthony:

Someone pulled down our PRIDE flag hanging in front of our home around 6:15 am (and banged on our door and woke us) Tuesday morning, and this morning (Thursday), the same two perps struck our neighbor’s home as well as multiple other neighbors (based on our own and our neighbor’s RING video and because the young men were holding multiple PRIDE flags this morning). We live in Roxhill. I figured we should let our neighbor’s know, and I figured you might be a good place to start. I reported to the Seattle PD hate crime detective, although they have not gotten back to me.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: First post-reopening traffic stats; nighttime lane closures

Two West Seattle Bridge post-reopening notes tonight:

TRAFFIC STATS: While speaking with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition at tonight’s WSTC meeting, new SDOT director Greg Spotts shared a few traffic stats from the first few post-reopening days. He said the bridge traffic on Monday and Tuesday was 66 percent of comparable pre-closure days. Low-bridge volumes are down by half. Detour-route traffic is down 30 to 50 percent. But some other streets have seen an increase, Spotts said, such as 35th SW – at 35th/Raymond, traffic rose 12 percent.

NIGHTTIME LANE CLOSURES: SDOT had said there’d still be some work going on post-reopening, and the past few nights, there’s been work that led to lane closures on the bridge. Joseph sent this pic while noting the inside lane was closed each way.

We asked what specifically is being done. Here’s the reply from SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson:

These nighttime single-lane closures are to allow crews to finish installing lighting for the inspection platforms inside the bridge. We won’t be doing any more closures this week, and expect to perform some similar overnight work next week.

Once we’ve completed installing the lighting, we’ll use these new inspection platforms for monitoring the structure over the coming months and years. Most routine inspections will not require a lane closure.

Memorial gathering Saturday for Charles Van Valkenburg, 1930-2022

Family and friends will gather Saturday (September 24) to celebrate the life of Charles Van Valkenburg, and are sharing this remembrance with his community:

CHARLES VAN VALKENBURG
JANUARY 1930-AUGUST 2022

Chuck was born in Oneonta, N.Y., to Oscar and Marguerite Van Valkenburg. Chuck spent most of his childhood in an orphanage, yet upon graduating high school in 1948, he spread his wings and joined the Army. His stories of traveling west are those that books are made of, enjoyable and exhilarating. Chuck proudly and honorably served our country until 1952 and fought in the Korean War, receiving many service awards. Chuck then went on to earn his B.S. in aeronautical engineering.

Chuck again went west to Colorado, where he worked for Lockheed/Martin and met his wife, Garnette (Lupien) of Helena, Montana. They married in November 1959 and moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where they had 2 of their 4 children. Chuck and Garnette returned to the Pacific Northwest, where he worked loyally for Boeing for the next 27 years in the commercial and wind-tunnel divisions. They settled in West Seattle, had 2 more children, and lived in the same house for 56 years.

Chuck had an amazing life full of laughter, love, and family. He had a brilliant mind and was always thirsty for knowledge and spent many, many hours at the local library, reading and researching. Chuck also enjoyed bike riding and tinkering around in the garage and taking on any intellectual challenge. Traveling was also a passion for Chuck. He would use planes, trains, and automobiles to visit odd and exciting destinations. Chuck’s main happiness came from his children, which he filled with so many great times and memories and the importance of compassion, benevolence, and gratitude.

Chuck is reunited with his loving wife Garnette (2019) of 59 years and leaves behind 4 children: Diane (Allan), Chuck, Debbie (Mike), and Donna; 6 grandchildren; Christopher, Michael (Gina), Patrick (Amanda), Courtney (Riley), Braydon, and Ashlin; and 2 great-grandchildren: Atticus, Grant, and a baby girl due in October. Chuck’s 92 years of life had meaning, purpose, and value, and we know that future generations will be better because of his time on this earth.

We will all miss him dearly. Rest in Peace and Run Dad Run!!

In lieu of flowers, please smile every day and pay it forward to someone less fortunate, something Chuck mastered throughout his generous life.

His memorial is at the West Seattle Library at 2306 42nd Ave. SW on Saturday, September 24th, from 1 pm to 3 pm.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to westseattleblog@gmail.com)

FERRY ALERT: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth down to one boat tonight

From Washington State Ferries – the Triangle Route is going down to one boat again:

Due to a lack of crew the M/V Issaquah will secure at 5:40 p.m. at Vashon. M/V Kitsap will become the #1 boat out of Vashon at 5:45 p.m. and will remain as the #1 vessel for the remainder of the service day. One boat service for the remainder of the service day.

We will continue to send updated travel information as it becomes available. Customers can check the online schedule for more information on scheduled upcoming sailings and also view the real-time travel map for live boat location information.

Issaquah was out of service much of yesterday with engine trouble.

Second off-leash area for West Seattle dogs? Money’s in the new Park District proposal

Next week the City Council, meeting as the Seattle Park District Governing Board, will consider finalizing the district’s 2023-2028 funding plan. The district provides supplemental funding to the Parks and Recreation department (SPR). This week Councilmember Andrew Lewis, as governing board president, presented his version of the budget proposal, which adds more money and projects to what Mayor Bruce Harrell already had proposed. One of those added projects would be a second off-leash area (dog park) for West Seattle. Note the second-to-last line on this slide from a meeting earlier this week:

This was called to our attention by Alec Rodenhauser, who’s taken over the group that’s been lobbying for an added dog park for West Seattle, which currently only has the Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area. Where the new West Seattle off-leash area would be has yet to be determined – as we reported in February, the West Seattle Dog Park Coalition studied and proposed five sites – at four SPR locations, the West Seattle Golf Course, Hamilton Viewpoint, Lincoln Park, and inland Duwamish Head, and port-owned Jack Block Park. Rodenhauser says they’re still awaiting word from SPR on the feasibility of those possible sites.

Meantime, Lewis’s Park District counterproposal also adds funding for High Point Community Center and eight other community centers around the city, described as renovating and/or making the buildings “climate-conscious.” Here’s that slide from the presentation earlier this week:

Another key point from Lewis’s proposal – by the end of the funding cycle in 2028, all 129 city-park restrooms would be open year-round, while currently fewer than half are. His proposal also contains what the mayor had proposed, which includes funding to develop West Seattle’s three long-“landbanked” park sites, West Seattle Junction (40th SW), Morgan Junction Park Addition, and 48th/Charlestown. Like the mayor’s proposal, this plan would more than double what the Park District is costing property-tax payers and add a few dollars more beyond the mayor’s plan – the annual cost for the “median-value home” would range from $339 a year in 2023 to $446 in 2028. While the City Council/Park District Board has to approve the plan, there’s no further voter approval needed as this is within the range in what voters originally approved. Currently Park District funding covers about a third of the SPR budget.

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Water Taxi to keep all-day, every-day service again this fall/winter

(WSB file photo)

1:43 PM: One of the questions remaining unanswered after the West Seattle Bridge reopening was whether the West Seattle Water Taxi would go back to limited service this fall/winter. In pre-pandemic times, the standard fall/winter plan was to reduce service to am/pm commute weekday service only, but last year the 7-day-a-week, all-day service was maintained through the chillier seasons. We asked recently what the plan was for this year and the answer was that it was still being finalized. Now, the announcement is just in:

On Monday, Oct. 17, the West Seattle Water Taxi will continue providing midday and weekend sailings between downtown Seattle’s Pier 50 and Seacrest Dock in West Seattle.

The seven-day-a-week service will run from approximately 6 a.m. weekdays (8:30 a.m. weekends) to 7 p.m. Weekday sailings leaving the dock every 35 minutes during peak commute hours and every hour during the midday, and on weekends. There will be no Friday or Saturday sailings after 7 p.m. …

During commute hours, riders can take the free Metro shuttles to and from the Water Taxi landing at Seacrest Park. Route 773 serves the West Seattle Junction. Route 775 serves the Admiral District and Alki. …

During the repair of the West Seattle High Bridge, the Water Taxi provided a choice for those not wanting to drive to and from West Seattle. There was enough ridership during the winter season that Metro has chosen to maintain service for riders who want to continue using the Water Taxi instead of returning to their vehicles with the reopening of the High Bridge. This pilot program for this fall and winter, which will also provide more consistent scheduling for Water Taxi crews, will be used to evaluate potential ongoing year-round service.

In preparation for the start of the winter sailing schedule, Water Taxi staff will be conducting vessel maintenance on Oct. 15-16, so West Seattle service will be canceled for that weekend.

Last year, the extra service was maintained with extra funding from the city; we’re checking on whether that’s how they’re covering the cost this year, as the announcement did not say.

3:16 PM: Metro spokesperson Al Sanders says this time it’s all Metro (county) funding.

VIDEO: Here’s why Highland Park Elementary sheltered in place (updated Friday)

1:01 PM: Thanks for the tips. Highland Park Elementary families got a message that the school had been sheltering in place due to “suspicious activity” nearby. We checked with SPD, which says police have cleared the scene, and said a responding officer summarized the incident this way:

“At approximately 1033 hrs (a witness) saw the subject to the north of the school walking in the attached park. (The witness) stated that the subject was wearing all camouflage and had on a small backpack and was carrying what appeared to be a small rifle type case. (The witness) stated that the subject was looking around nervously and appeared to be suspicious to him. (The witness) took a video of the subject. I reviewed the video and I did not see any weapon, but it was not possible to see what he was carrying on his left side. … The subject was last seen around the bathroom on the park. A check of the park by myself and other responding officers did not locate the subject. The surrounding neighborhood also checked clear.”

We’re checking to see if the school has lifted the shelter-in-place.

1:53 PM: Parents have received an update from HPE’s principal saying they’ll continue sheltering through day’s end, and that police and district security will be there at dismissal time.

ADDED FRIDAY: We’ve received the video showing the “suspicious person” from the person who recorded it:

Close call as tree tumbles in lower Gatewood

Thanks to Tim for the tip and top photo. A tree on the southeast edge of the Gatewood Elementary campus has fallen onto the back of The Little Gym‘s building next door (California/Myrtle). But we’re told no one was hurt and, so far, it’s not believed to have caused major damage, either to the building or to a car that’s under the tree

Logistics of removing the tree were being discussed when we were there a little while ago.