BUS CANCELLATIONS: Here’s Metro’s explanation

If you were affected by bus cancellations, announced and unannounced, this afternoon and evening – we asked Metro, and here’s the reply:

Earlier Monday, Metro made changes to its trolley fleet operations as a precaution.

Articulated 60-foot-long buses are the workhorses of Metro’s fleet; however, the 60-foot-long articulated electric trolley buses were temporarily grounded due to the expected inclement weather – a regular measure for Metro with its trolley fleet due to difficulty operating in snow conditions. Some bus trips were temporarily canceled Monday morning and afternoon in order to shift buses to serve those electric trolley routes.

Metro will continue to evaluate when it is safest to return the 60-foot-long articulated electric trolley fleet to service depending on weather conditions in Seattle

That explanation is also included in Metro’s look ahead to more possible snow tonight and tomorrow. We’ll have a wider update later this evening about the overall forecast and how other local agencies are getting ready.

BIZNOTE: After 9 years, Atomic Boys’ Admiral store to close in January

(WSB photo: Parris and Kent Sadow, photographed in 2013)

The store with a rocket in its logo is going to blast off early next year. Parris and Kent Sadow have just announced that they’ll close their Admiral District toys-and-candy shop (Max and Quinn’s) Atomic Boys (Shop-o-Rama) early next year:

Since 2008, Atomic Boys has provided West Seattle with retro toys, games, novelties and an extensive selection of the candy “you grew up with”. It’s been our pleasure to see our customers, young and old, rediscover these things and introduce them to the next generation.

After much deliberation, we have decided to close our storefront on Admiral Way when our lease ends at the end of January. Along with our sons, whom the store is named after, we have enjoyed being an active part of the business community and watching the various generations of kids grow up from elementary school to college age by being that “local shop” they look forward to going to. And as all things grow and develop, we are also considering new opportunities and exciting ideas.

Atomic Boys has plenty of new merchandise for holiday shopping as well as great deals and will be closing out back-stock and any remaining stock in January in a blow-out sale!

Thank you, West Seattle, for a super cool, fab, outta-sight nine years….and stay tuned!

Your neighbors,

Kent & Parris Sadow
Max & Quinn’s Atomic Boys, LLC
4311 SW Admiral Way

The Sadow family opened Atomic Boys in early 2008 after buying out Hart’s Cards and Gifts.

FOLLOWUP: Liquor-license suspension, arrest after ‘drug-related warrant’ served at Corner Pocket

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

We know much more today about what led police to serve a “drug-related warrant” Friday night at two locations including the Corner Pocket bar in The Junction.

And we have confirmed what emerged in a comment following our story – that the state has suspended the Corner Pocket’s license for at least six months.

The Corner Pocket employee whose name is on its business license was arrested Friday night and is accused of selling heroin. Probable-cause documents from his weekend bail hearing say Seattle Police made undercover buys from him four times.

That’s what the Liquor and Cannabis Board cited when we asked about the license situation. Here’s how spokesperson Brian Smith replied to our inquiry:

LCB enforcement officers joined a Seattle PD enforcement action at the Corner Pocket. The LCB issued an emergency liquor-license suspension of the Corner Pocket for 180 days. During that time, the Board will seek permanent revocation of the license. Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the WSLCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable and legal in every way. The Seattle PD had done controlled buys of heroin on the promises.

Though the suspect is not yet charged, we are identifying him due to those “extraordinary” circumstances of the case, with a local business closed as a result. He is 38-year-old Michael Eugene Maine.

When a tip led us to find police at the Corner Pocket on Friday night, they would say only that they were serving a “drug-related warrant” at two “coordinated” locations. The other one, northeast of Morgan Junction, is described by police as Maine’s residence. He was booked into jail on Friday night for investigation of Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, then posted bond and was released after a judge set his bail at $25,000 on Saturday.

Today, we’ve obtained the probable-cause documents that allege Maine sold heroin to an undercover officer four times, three of those at the Corner Pocket. Read More

4 notes for your West Seattle Monday

Today’s featured bird is a bald eagle, captured in flight by a WSB reader who texted us the short video clip you see above – thank you! Now, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – where you’ll find these highlights AND more for today/tonight – and archives, four notes about what’s ahead:

HIGH POINT LIBRARY CLOSURE: Today is the first day of the High Point Library‘s closure for renovations. Its book drop also is closed. The reopening date has not yet been announced – get the newest information here.

‘FIGHT THE FEAR’: 3:30-6 pm at West Seattle High School, all local teens are invited to this training on self defense, sexual-assault awareness and relationship-violence education. Parental permission is required for those under 18; the form is in our preview with other details of the event. (3000 California SW)

WWRHAH MEETS: 6:15 pm at Southwest Library, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meets, with an agenda including the draft rezoning map for the WW-Highland Park Urban Village as proposed in the Mandatory Housing Affordability component of the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda. (35th SW/SW Henderson)

WEST SEATTLE HI-YU MEETS: 7 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library. Tonight’s agenda is focused on the budget, as this longtime community organization continues to figure out its future. (2306 42nd SW)

Nothing in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide for tonight – but we’ve continued to add more – Santa, light shows, bazaars, etc. – browse through when you get a chance! And if your event, service, giving opportunity is missing, e-mail us the info ASAP for inclusion – editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you!

Lynne Griffith retiring from Washington State Ferries leadership

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(October WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

Just announced by Washington State Ferries – Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith, who has led the system for two years, is retiring. Our photo above is from her appearance at the triangle-route problem-solving meeting in Fauntleroy back in October. Here’s the announcement we just received:

Lynne Griffith joined the Washington State Department of Transportation as assistant secretary for the ferries division in September 2014. Today, she announced that she will retire from public service at the end of January. Ferries division Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa, who has served alongside Griffith, will act as Washington State Ferries’ leader while the department finalizes its next steps.

During Griffith’s time at the helm of the nation’s largest ferry system, missed sailings due to lack of crew dropped nearly 70 percent over the previous 26-month period. She also secured funding for a fourth 144-car Olympic Class ferry, the Suquamish, and built a new high-performing management team from the ground up.

“Lynne has brought profound change to an organization which is a treasured icon of our great state of Washington,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Her dedication is an inspiration to the hard-working people of Washington State Ferries, and she has my heartfelt thanks for a job well done. I hope she enjoys a much-deserved retirement,” Inslee added.

WSDOT Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar echoed the governor and said, “The ferries division has made real progress in coming together as an organization. We are on the right course, going in the right direction thanks to Lynne, her management team, and the employees who make sure we sail safely each and every day.”

Griffith postponed retirement to serve as assistant secretary just over two years ago. “I had no idea how much I would come to love the work and the amazing people who make sure thousands of passengers reach their destinations safely every day.” Griffith told employees, “I am incredibly proud to have been your shipmate and will continue to feel a sense of pride whenever I see one of our vessels sailing the Sound. I hope you share that feeling with me. You have much to be proud of.”

Griffith intends to move to the East Coast to be closer to her sister, two sons and four grandsons.

Griffith is the first woman to hold the position of Assistant Secretary in charge of WSF.

ALSO AT WEDNESDAY’S OPEN HOUSE: City parking policy. Plus, another venue change

As we’ve been discussing, the multi-department city “open house” Wednesday night in West Seattle is offering discussion and comment opportunities on more than the biggest topic, the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda rezoning. (And we have just learned a NEW venue is being added – more on that at the end of this story.)

One of those topics is city parking policy.

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We photographed that easel on Saturday at the Bitter Lake Community Center, during the north-end version of the same type of “open house” that’s set to happen here Wednesday night. We went to get an idea of how information will be presented and how comments will be taken. The parking-policy info was on a lone board set up by the Department of Construction and Inspections and is related to this page on the department’s website. It’s been broadened to “residential transportation options,” including this:

We are working with SDOT staff to consider improvements for managing on-street parking. Our effort also includes clarifying the rules that relate to parking and frequent transit service availability in Urban Centers and Urban Villages. …

…Our recommendations will:

Provide integrated and accessible transportation choices that are readily available for Seattle’s growing population – such as ORCA passes, car and bike sharing and shared parking.

Support Comprehensive Plan goals to encourage growth in Urban Centers.

Retain and enhance Seattle neighborhoods’ walkable and livable urban qualities, which are essential and preferable to automobile‐oriented public places and buildings.

Prioritize housing affordability to preserve and enhance the ability of persons of all economic means to be able to live in Seattle. Parking is a significant cost factor for developers.

Help ensure that racial and socio‐economic equity is a key consideration in setting parking policies.

Manage on‐ and off‐street parking most efficiently.

Promote designs for better quality, more secure, and more comfortable bicycle storage facilities.

Achieve local and regional environmental objectives through sound choices to achieve air quality, climate change, and natural environmental protection goals.

It’s been four years now since a city “director’s rule” lessened the requirements for offstreet parking in new apartment projects, and the number of buildings without it has continued to rise citywide, according to a Seattle Times story published this weekend. So if this topic interests you, be ready to offer feedback on Wednesday.

THIRD VENUE: Just as we prepared to publish this, we got word from the city that they are adding a third concurrent venue on Wednesday night – Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. To recap, the city originally set the open house for an 80-capacity space at Shelby’s in The Junction (4752 California SW), despite community advocates warning the city that a bigger venue would be needed. Last week, the city added Uptown Espresso across the street from Shelby’s. And today, comes news they are also adding Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). We’re working to clarify whether all the same initiatives will be showcased at each of these venues during the drop-in “open house” time slot, 5:30-7:30 pm on Wednesday, December 7th – more later! (11:38 AM UPDATE: Now there’s word that Uptown is scratched, and Shelby’s and Youngstown are the official venues.)

P.S. If you missed our earlier reports on other topics that will be included – the best list we have so far is here (with further details on the Fauntleroy Boulevard component here).

TRAFFIC & WEATHER: Monday watch, as snow arrives

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:04 AM: As promised, we’re starting traffic watch – with weather added to it – early, just in case. So far, no snow reported. However, one texter says the West Seattle Bridge is slick. It and 35th SW have been treated, according to the SDOT winter-weather map.

5:35 AM: Still nothing out of the ordinary, except colder temperatures.

6:30 AM: Patrick reports a few flakes in Sunrise Heights.

6:59 AM: Bus alert just texted and tweeted by Metro:


Otherwise, Metro says, “buses are operating normally” so far this morning.

7:24 AM: @MetPatrick22 in Sunrise Heights is watching the incoming weather and reports, “Another “slug” of moisture inbound and heavier, could bring all snow down to about 300′.” That’s where we are. So far, everything has fallen as rain – we can hear it in the downspouts.

7:42 AM: Some missing buses beyond what Metro has announced – see comments (125) and Twitter (55).

7:55 AM: First snow sighting here. Also reports of snow in Arbor Heights and Sunrise Heights, snow/rain mix in South Delridge and Highland Park.

8:04 AM: Snow shower continues. Sticking on parked cars here, not on the road:

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Also, another West Seattle bus that didn’t run:


8:21 AM: Sticking on roofs and yards too, where we are. And from Patrick in Sunrise Heights, at 35th/Holden:


8:32 AM: Snowing more lightly here, still not sticking on the road. Photo from Jessica at 37th/Austin in Gatewood:

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And this video features snow excitement! Thanks to Ben on Pigeon Point:

Again, SDOT now has a map showing you where plows, de-icing trucks, etc. have been, and it also includes some cool features like road-surface temps (click a yellow triangle) – see the map here.

9:09 AM: Snow’s over here, for now. Thanks to everyone for sharing images/video/info! More likely on the way later…

3:45 PM: Metro has announced several more cancellations this afternoon. If you ride the bus, keep close watch on the trip planner, they’re advising.

UPDATE: Motorcycle rider seriously injured at 12th/Thistle

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10:49 PM: Seattle Police and Fire are on the scene of an incident involving a motorcycle rider at 12th SW and SW Thistle in Highland Park [map]. The rider will be taken to the hospital via Seattle Fire medic unit and is reported to have “significant trauma.”

11:34 PM: Just back from the scene. Photo added. The motorcyclist crashed on the north (westbound) side of SW Thistle between 12th SW and 13th SW. SFD medics were still working to stabilize him before leaving for Harborview. We weren’t able to talk with police but have learned more via the scanner – according to medics, the rider is reported to be around 50 years old, and believed to have crashed at high speed and been thrown at least 50 feet.

HALA REZONING: 2 neighborhood groups to discuss before city’s Wednesday open house

Wednesday, proposed rezoning for the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda is the biggest (but not only) topic at the multi-department city “open house” in The Junction. Before then, two West Seattle neighborhood groups are talking about it, and you’re invited:

MONDAY – WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS: 6:15 pm tomorrow (Monday, December 5th), the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meets at Southwest Library (35th SW/SW Henderson), and the central item on the agenda is the draft rezoning map for the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village.

(Direct link to draft Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village rezoning map)

Notes co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick, “We will answer questions as best we can, but all feedback should be directed to the City.” (Those three ways are via hala.consider.it, e-mailing halainfo@seattle.gov, or Wednesday’s “open house,” 5:30-7:30 pm at Shelby’s and Uptown Espresso in The Junction, on opposite sides of the California/Edmunds intersection.)

TUESDAY- JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION: The draft rezoning map for the West Seattle Junction Hub Urban Village also expands its boundaries.

(Direct link to draft West Seattle Junction rezoning map)

JuNO organized a much-attended presentation/discussion back on November 15th (WSB coverage here) and now plans to discuss the map as well as an action plan for communicating concerns during a 6:30 pm meeting Tuesday (December 6th) at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon). The agenda also includes updates on city lighting in the Junction, and discussion of a Residential Parking Zone application.

SIDE NOTE: Speaking of parking, our next planned story tonight includes the city’s ongoing review of parking policies and how you’ll be asked to comment on that topic, too, at the big Wednesday open house.

WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: 3 Alki notes – Cactus, Sunfish, ex-Subway

Three restaurant notes from Alki:

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CACTUS REMODELING STARTS TOMORROW: General manager Darin Kawabata sends word that Cactus at 2820 Alki SW will close for about a week starting tomorrow. The closure is tentatively scheduled to end December 13, but “it is mostly cosmetic, so we could reopen sooner than that, if things proceed quickly.” Cactus’s website and a sign on the door describe the work as a “10-year refresh and deep cleaning.” The restaurant opened in September 2006.

SUNFISH CLOSURE: Sunfish at 2800 Alki SW has just begun its annual holiday-season closure – a sign in the window says they’ll be closed through January 15th.

EX-SUBWAY FOR LEASE: One month after the Subway sandwich shop’s sudden closure at 2658 Alki SW, a “for lease” banner is up outside the space. While it names this agent, we haven’t yet found a corresponding listing online.

WEST SEATTLE SNOW? ‘Winter storm watch’ for Monday pm as well as ‘advisory’ for Monday am

2:40 PM: We now have two possible-snow alerts for Monday from the National Weather Service – as reported here early today, a “winter weather advisory” for 4 am-noon; added this afternoon, a “winter storm watch” in effect 4 pm Monday through 4 am Tuesday. They’re both covered in this NWS message, with this key component:

SNOW LEVELS…MAINLY NEAR 500 FEET MONDAY MORNING…RISING IN THE AFTERNOON. SNOW LEVELS FALLING TO SEA-LEVEL MONDAY EVENING THROUGH LATE MONDAY NIGHT AS COLD NORTHERLY FRASER OUTFLOW DEVELOPS.

As noted earlier, 500 feet is close to the highest point not only in West Seattle but in the entire city, by Myrtle Reservoir at 35th/Myrtle. We’ll be on weather/traffic watch extra-early because of the alert; and if/when snow starts, we hope you have our hotline in your contacts already – 206-293-6302, text or voice – thank you!

9:25 PM: The mid-evening “forecast discussion” is out now – see it here – not much change in what’s projected, at least for Monday morning, though Seattle does not look to be in line for the most snow, and if any falls here, “Hilltops will be most likely to get snow, and sea-level areas may not get any.”

5:08 AM MONDAY: We’re keeping watch on weather and traffic here.

Reader report: Driver takes out signs by Westcrest Park

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Thanks to Lauren for the photos of, and report about, damage done in a crash early this morning outside Westcrest Park: She reports a driver knocked down mailboxes as well as the street signs and park sign in the photos:

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She adds, “We spoke to a neighbor who was at the scene just after the driver drove over her mailboxes and ended by the edge of the Westcrest ravine with a head injury … she said the driver was taken to the hospital.” Today’s real-time 911 log shows a “motor-vehicle-incident/medic” response just before 2 am at 8th SW and SW Henderson [map].

West Seattle coyotes: Gatewood sighting

From Ina:

Just wanted to alert people that we just saw a coyote walking down our street on 37th between Willow and Myrtle. [map] It’s a busy walking area but fortunately no one was out at that specific moment. It was walking southward and into someone’s driveway towards the greenbelt area.

If you see a coyote, best thing to do, for your sake and the animal’s sake, is to do your best to frighten it away. Authorities advise yelling, waving your arms, even throwing rocks. They live among us (and vice versa); you can read the state Department of Fish and Wildlife‘s “Living with Coyotes” advice here.

SPORTS: Seattle Jam 2016 wheelchair basketball @ WSHS

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The final games are just under way as the National Wheelchair Basketball Association‘s Seattle Jam 2016 wraps up in the West Seattle High School gym. We caught part of the two games just before lunch break, Seattle Sonics vs. Albuquerque Kings, above, and San Diego Wolfpack vs. Rogue Valley Scorpions, below:

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Those four teams are among the six Division 1 wheelchair-basketball teams from around the West who are participating in Seattle Jam this weekend, along with seven Junior Division teams.

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Sponsors include Seattle Adaptive Sports, always looking for volunteers to help with events like this.

LAST CALL: Take the Delridge RapidRide survey that’s also about road reconfiguration

As first reported here three weeks ago, SDOT is circulating the “Delridge RapidRide Expansion Survey.” It’s set to close tomorrow (Monday). But it’s not only about buses – you’re asked for your thoughts on Delridge, featuring the graphics below, showing its current configuration:

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The survey wants you to prioritize transportation options on each of those Delridge Way sections – including transit, walking, biking, and/or parking. It’s meant to look ahead to the RR route expected on Delridge within the next few years; the survey intro says, “Delridge Way SW is one of the corridors on which we’d like to make bus service better. We also have an opportunity to make it safer and more comfortable for people walking, biking, driving, and delivering goods.” If you haven’t already taken the survey, go here ASAP.

From Santa photos to tailgating, here’s what’s up for your West Seattle Sunday

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(Photo by Alan Robertson. Red-breasted Sapsucker?)

The “winter weather advisory” doesn’t kick in until 4 am Monday, so don’t worry about snow for your Sunday. Here are the highlights of what IS happening – first, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:

SANTA AT CAPERS: 9 am-noon, CAPERS in The Junction is open early for bring-your-own-camera Santa photos. Free but a monetary donation to the West Seattle Food Bank is suggested. (4525 California SW)

HOLIDAY STUDIO OPEN HOUSE/ART SALE: At Brace Point Pottery in Arbor Heights. 10 am-5 pm. (4208 SW 100th)

HOLIDAY CRAFT BAZAAR: At Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), promising “a beautiful and unique selection of hand-sewn items, stocking stuffers, crafts, Seahawk, Cougar & Husky fan items, gift baskets, and baked goods available for sale at our Holiday Craft Bazaar. Sip on a hot beverage while you choose the perfect gifts for special people in your life: children, teachers, bosses, friends, family members. This event is immediately following the Worship Service and will be held in the Parlor from 11:30 am till 12:30 pm.” Enter @ the front entrance. (3940 41st SW)

HOLIDAY POP-UP: West Seattle Moms’ Holiday Pop-Up, 2-6 pm at Fit4Mom West Seattle. Handmade goods & more. (2707 California SW)

POP-UP SHOP: Featuring Lolly Clothing, Jillianmade, Twink Louise, 2-6 pm. (2932 Walnut SW)

WEST SEATTLE LIGHTS FUNDRAISER: Cash donations accepted again tonight, during the 5-9 pm light shows, for the family of fallen Tacoma Police Office Jake Gutierrez. (3908 SW Charlestown)

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And from our regular year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL: 9 am to 2 pm, the Seattle Jam Wheelchair Basketball tournament continues at the West Seattle High School Gym. (3000 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Year-round, 10 am-2 pm in The Junction. (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)

GAME DAY AT OUNCES: Noon-5 pm pre-game tailgating at Ounces; 5:30 pm, watch the game (TVs inside and outside); 2-8 pm, Anchor End Pretzel Shoppe food truck. (3809 Delridge Way SW)

FLAMENCO WORKSHOP: 12:30 pm-2 pm at West Seattle Performing Arts (WSB sponsor) – info in our calendar listing; check to see if there’s still room! (4210 SW Edmunds)

TRANSFORMING PAIN, FEAR, AND ANGER INTO ACTION: 1:30-4:30 pm at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation, this workshop is presented by Hate-Free Delridge with other organizations co-sponsoring. Full details in our calendar listing. (7141 California SW)

OPERA PREVIEW: Free lecture at West Seattle (Admiral) Library previews Seattle Opera‘s upcoming “La Traviata,” 2 pm. (2306 42nd SW)

FAMILY DANCE: You’re invited to this afternoon’s Family Dance at Duwamish Cohousing on Puget Ridge, 3-4:30 pm – info in our calendar listing. (6000 17th SW)

DENNY BOOKFAIR: Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village fundraiser continues through tonight for Denny International Middle School PTSA. Portion of proceeds will benefit Denny if you mention at checkstand – or buy online via bn.com/bookfairs and enter (UPDATED NUMBER) Bookfair ID 12049292. (2600 SW Barton)

Got an event to list on our calendar or in our Holiday Guide? Please send it ASAP – our regular guidelines are, at least a week in advance. Don’t worry about having a poster or “press release” … just send us the basic info, plain text in the body of your e-mail, so we can let everybody know. editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you!

WEST SEATTLE SNOW? ‘Winter weather advisory’ for Monday morning

The weather-alert level for tomorrow is now up to “Winter Weather Advisory.” While that was announced early this morning, it doesn’t take effect until early Monday morning:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO NOON PST MONDAY MAINLY ABOVE 500 FEET…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO NOON PST MONDAY.

* TIMING…MONDAY MORNING BETWEEN 4 AM AND NOON.

* SNOW AMOUNTS…UP TO 2 INCHES MAINLY ABOVE 500 FEET.

* SNOW LEVELS…MAINLY NEAR 500 FEET.

* IMPACTS…HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE ON MONDAY MAINLY ON THE HIGHER HILLS.

For an elevation check, note that the highest point in Seattle, 520′, is in West Seattle, near Myrtle Reservoir.

P.S. If you didn’t familiarize yourself with these links when we published them the other day – here’s SDOT info including a link to the snow/ice-route map; here’s Metro info.

VIDEO: New emcee Dolly Madison delights West Seattle Junction Tree Lighting crowd

That’s how tonight’s West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting ended – with the countdown and the switch-on. That’s how it ends pretty much every year. But the celebration preceding it is not always the same-old, same-old. This year brought a first-time emcee who lit up the stage more brightly than the tree – self-described “7-foot-4 drag queen” Dolly Madison:

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Dolly debuted with a show-stopping lip-synch of “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which you’ll see in our next clip, after a short introduction by West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Swift, followed by the Endolyne Children’s Choir and featured speaker Nancy Woodland of WestSide Baby:

You can help WS Baby assist local families by being part of this holiday season’s JOY campaign. Meanwhile, the tree-lighting celebration featured even more music – the West Seattle High School Marching Band took the stage at the start:

The WSHS musicians also performed a lively streetcorner set as the crowd dispersed. Also featured, cast members from “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the current production at ArtsWest:

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Aside from a few waves of light rain, the weather was reasonable (anyone remember the sub-freezing chill in 2013?), and the hundreds of tree-lighting-goers were still enthused by the time local entrepreneur Jack Menashe and his grandchildren ceremonially lit the tree around 5:30. That’s at the end of this next clip, which begins with jazzy duo Sundae + Mr. Goessl, and includes more of Dolly too:

Also new this year, along with emcee Dolly – who performs weekly at OutWest Bar – was a Night Market featuring local vendors in the street next to Junction Plaza Park (here’s our report on that). More photos to come. Meantime, this is just the start of Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB), with a long lineup of events you can see here (and in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide).

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen pickup; found bike; BBQ-and-beer theft; ‘white-glove car prowl’

Four reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:

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STOLEN PICKUP TRUCK: Above, that’s Paul‘s pickup, “from the alley behind my house in the Sunrise Heights neighborhood of West Seattle, presumably in the early hours of 12/1. It’s a Red/Burgundy 2005 Toyota Tundra V8 4wd, WA plate# C73302C. SPD Incident report #16-432136.” If you see it, call 911.

BICYCLE FOUND: G – whose recently reported stolen truck was recovered – contacted us today about this bicycle:

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G explains, “There was a car prowler arrested on our street last night; we found this bike on street dumped in the bushes. 7100 Block 47 Ave. SW.”

YARD THEFT: From Andrew: “Our yard was burgled overnight. We live just off Lander, as it goes down the street from Admiral to the beach. They took a BBQ propane tank and a cooler full of beer, in case anyone encountered any drunk kids that smell like steaks. Reported to police.”

“WHITE-GLOVE CAR PROWL”: And from Matt:

I just noticed this morning that somebody clearly went through my Jetta near 36th and Andover. No scratches anywhere or signs of forced entry, so I’m guessing I accidentally left the car unlocked or the intruder was a magician. The few things of value (registration, gloves, first aid kit) were left, with only loose change missing. Rather decent as far as these car prowls seem to go, but disconcerting no less. I’m in the process of filing my report with the police, and figured neighbors might want to know. I don’t drive all that often, so unfortunately all I know is that it happened sometime in the past week.

P.S. No West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting this month – we talked with president Richard Miller at an unrelated meeting two nights ago, and he is planning for the next one, January 17th (7 pm, Southwest Precinct).

NEW THIS YEAR: West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Night Market

4:07 PM: It’s on! The West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Night Market is happening on one closed-to-traffic block of SW Alaska – between 42nd and California – until 8 pm; the “live” traffic-cam image above shows the vendors’ tents. This is meant to enhance the fun of the Junction Tree Lighting (4:45 pm-5:30 pm in Junction Plaza Park, above right). See the vendor list, and the lighting-ceremony lineup, here. More to come!

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4:25 PM: Santa’s here too, by the way:

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Merchants/vendors include David Groves of Seattle Logo Pro (whose shop is in Morgan Junction):

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We’ll be checking with WSJA to see if they plan to do this again next year.

FOLLOWUP: Opening day for Alair

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That’s Shandon Graybeal, proprietor of Alair (“Latin for ‘happy’,” she explains), which opened today at 3280 California SW (part of the ex-Curves space). It’s been just under two months since we reported on her plan for a “neighborhood gift shop“; late last night, she sent word the shop would open today. We took a quick look around and noted an eclectic lineup of merchandise – she calls it “girly” but we noted some things that you could give anyone – mugs, for example. Stop in and see for yourself; she’s open until 7 tonight – 10 am-7 pm will be her hours Tuesdays-Saturdays for starters, 11 am-6 pm on Sunday, closed Mondays, re-evaluating depending on how things go.

WEST SEATTLE SNOW? What the forecast says now

The National Weather Service is still staying relatively low-key about the possibility of snow heading our way. The current alert level is “Special Weather Statement” – read it here. Topline: Late Sunday night, early Monday, Monday night are possibilities … but that could change. The NWS updates its “forecast discussions” four times a day, so the next potentially revised outlook will be at mid-afternoon.

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