Another weekend, another round of intense road closures. This weekend... now this is somethin' else. This isn't just a road closure, this has the opportunity to be paralyzing, if you ask me.
MERCER STREET: Mercer Street will be CLOSED between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter from 11pm Friday through 5am Monday.
SR 99: Highway 99 will be CLOSED from Valley Street and the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel from 11pm Friday through 5am Monday.
---> Because of these closures, traffic headed to I5 will be detoured to Denny, making that road a mess as well. Expect heavier volumes, and extremely slow traffic in the area. The cool thing is that come Monday morning, traffic will be able to travel eastbound on Broad for the first time in years near 99! Baby steps, I guess...
We've also got some pretty major events this weekend...
Friday, May 17th
- Seattle Storm vs. Tulsa Shock at Key Arena, 7:00pm
Saturday, May 18th
- Sounds FC vs. FC Dallas at Century Link, 7:30pm
-Seattle University's School of Law Commencement, Key Arena, 10am (this one will be tough!)
-WGU's Commencement Ceremony, Benaroya Hall, 3pm
Sunday, May 19th
- Beat the Bridge race, starting at Husky Stadium. (Route info here)
Here is info from the Beat the Bridge website about closures:
"On Sunday, May 19th, the race begins in front of the Alaska Airlines Arena and runners head south across the Montlake Bridge. The specific street closures and times are as follows:
- Montlake Boulevard south of Pacific - 7:45 - 8:45 a.m.
- 24th, south of Roanoke - no closure
- Boyer, east of Lynn - no closure
- Montlake Place, 19th and Lynn, west of 19th - 8:25 - 9:25 a.m.
- Boyer/Fuhrman, west of Lynn to Eastlake - 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
- Pacific Avenue, from Brooklyn to Montlake - 8:15 - 10:15 a.m.
- Montlake Boulevard, both directions, north of Pacific - 7:30 - 10:00 a.m.
- 45th Ave NE - no closure
- Burke Gilman Trail from 44th to University Hospital - extremely congested 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Please note that, throughout the event, two-way traffic along NE Pacific Avenue will be controlled by Seattle Police, with only one lane available in each direction. Because of the closure on Montlake Boulevard, it will be quite congested in this area and residents should allow plenty of time if using Pacific. On Thursday, May 16, you'll find "No Parking" signs posted along Boyer, West Montlake Place, and Fuhrman which will inform drivers of street closures during the event."
Be safe out there, and PLEASE try and be patient... we'll get through this!
About a week ago, the conversation on Softy's show turned to the Mariners, as it so often does. Softy was talking about the changes in demand for Mariners tickets over the past 12 years. In 2001, Softy said, it was impossible to hold on to Mariners tickets, the phone lines would light for any giveaway involving a pair of tickets; that's understandable, they set a MLB record for most wins in the regular season; who wouldn't want to see that?!? Softy then compared that time to the current situation and lamented that now we can barely give away tickets, a bit of an exaggeration, but the point was understood. Perhaps, in our profession, it's easy to become jaded to the opportunities available to us, perhaps many of us take things for granted that others would be thrilled about. I know that I still enjoy going to a Mariners game and I watch them on TV every night, but I understood what Softy was saying.
As I scrolled through the text messages on the topic, one stood out. So many texts come in complaining about the local teams, annoyed by the topic or the host; you name it, we get it; this text, from Mark Fowler was different. Mark wrote in to say that he had an opportunity for us for the next time we couldn't get rid of tickets. Mark told me that he has a family of six, he and two of his sons are disabled and all of them are die-hard Mariners fans and it's very difficult for all of them to be able to go to a game. I sent Mark a text back and told him, if we ever had an extra pair or two, we would let him know. Mark is a long time listener of the station, and the fact that he was reaching out, and was still optimistic about the Mariners was a breath of fresh air! What happened next is proof positive that our jobs provide us with some really cool opportunities; I sent an email over the Kevin Martinez, PR guru for the Mariners, and explained the text I got from Mark. I asked Kevin if he could help me send this family to a game. He responded immediately and asked if Mark and his family would be able to go to the game on May 11th. I gave Mark a call and told him who I was, which surprised him, then asked if the Fowler family would be able to go to a Mariners game the following Saturday. The emotion in Mark’s voice is something I will never forget, he was so surprised and so grateful. It was apparent that Mark sent in his text as a true Mariners fan and KJR listener and didn’t anticipate much coming from it; to be able to give them the opportunity to see the Mariners was the best feeling in the world.
Kevin emailed me tickets, which I sent on to Mark and the Silver Cloud Hotel hooked them up with some parking for the game. I emailed Mark the tickets and parking info and asked him to send me a photo of the family at the game; he responded with this- “I'm speechless and my wife is literally in tears. I would be honored to take photos for you. I can't thank you enough. You have now replaced Softly as my favorite KJR personality. Thank you so much!! The Fowler family.” Yeah, I liked the part about replacing Softy as his favorite as well! I thought about the Fowlers all day on Saturday and couldn’t wait to hear how it went and when I came into work today I had this waiting for me-
Good morning Ashley;
Wow what a game, even though the outcome wasn't what everyone hoped for. My family had a wonderful time, and we owe it all to you and Kevin. But mostly you. It's not often that a person comes along who genuinely cares about others.
We took photos with our phones which I'm trying to get from the kids, however they are nothing compared to the one I'm sending.
I spoke to one of the mariner photographers ( Ben Van Houten) and he took the photo that I am sending.
In the photo are from left to right- Me in my wheelchair, my wife of 29 years (Shelley), my youngest son Nathanielle, his best friend Elliott, my oldest son Tony, and on the far right is our miracle son Andrew. Tony and Andrew are both disabled. Tony from an accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury and Andrew, from birth. Missing is my 16 yr old, Nicholas. He had a rugby playoff game and was unable to attend.
My family will never forget what you did for us. Thank you so much.
To Mark and his family, I say Thank YOU! Thank you for reminding me what it’s all about, family and sharing special moments with loved ones. Thank you for being a diehard Mariners fan, I too am a Mariners fan to the core, but it’s sometimes hard to remember that, given the often pessimistic attitude of sports fans. Optimism can be difficult to maintain when everyone around you is driving the bitter bus. Thank you for reminding me why I love the Mariners and why I love this city.
Sincerely, Your #1 fan,
May 9, 1999, it was a Sunday. I was with my USC Women’s Water Polo teammates in Davis, California. The day before, we had beaten UCLA to make it to the NCAA Championships; Sunday was about to be one of the most memorable days of my life.
Allow me to give you some background, I was born and raised in Washington, and was finishing up my first year at USC. I had spent a year at Whittier College before transferring, I swam and played water polo there, made the Dean’s List, was named an Academic All-American, the Rookie of the Year for water polo and 2nd team All-Conference. It was a successful year by all accounts, but I didn’t feel challenged, I wanted something bigger; hence, the transfer to the University of Southern California.
I remember being at home during winter break from Whittier, my best friend Megan and her boyfriend wanted to set me up with his brother, so I agreed, nervously. We all went out and ended up at Snoqualmie Pass playing in the snow in the middle of the night. I couldn’t be 100% sure, but it seemed like David and I hit it off. I came home after the school year ended and got in touch with David. We talked for hours on the phone about absolutely nothing, well that’s not entirely true, I recall a rather thorough conversation about toaster strudels vs. pop-tarts; it may not have been romantic, but a friendship was quickly forming. Needless to say, we had decided we were going to hang out after he got back from a camping trip that weekend, that was, if he even went; he thought he was coming down with a cough. Monday came around and I didn’t hear from him, I thought, maybe we weren’t as compatible as I thought; it wouldn’t be the first time…..I played the tuba in the High School band, for crying out loud…..the boys weren’t exactly knocking down my door. I got a phone call from Megan the next day, she told me that David had broken his leg during a game of flag football and had to have surgery, but before they could do surgery, they did a chest x-ray, they needed to rule out pneumonia; they were worried about his cough. Needless to say, the x-ray came back negative for pneumonia, but showed spots on David’s lungs.
David was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He had his leg set, a shunt inserted into his brain and began chemotherapy treatments right away. I went to the hospital and visited, called regularly and tried to be as good of a friend as I could be given our limited history and the situation. On the 4th of July, David was in a room with the windows blacked out because of the headaches caused by his treatments, he was sad he was going to miss the fireworks. I drew fireworks on a poster board and delivered it to his room; ghetto, I know, but what can you do. David had planned on going to Hawaii Pacific University, he had just graduated high school, and now he was spending his summer in the hospital. He underwent a stem cell transplant, and during his recovery, I sat in his room while we watched Jerry Springer and kept him stocked on ice chips. The transplant was a success, David was released from the hospital and things were looking up.
7:15am; I sat up in bed, the room was dark. My alarm hadn’t gone off, in fact, we didn’t have to be awake until after 9. I looked around the room, shrugged it off, laid back down and drifted back to sleep a few minutes later. That morning was like any other game morning, team breakfast and meeting in the hotel, before we headed to the pool. The atmosphere at the pool was amazing, the crowd was fired up and the nerves were at an all-time high. We were playing Stanford for the National Championship. The game was an all-out battle and at the end of regulation, we were deadlocked. Overtime began and the intensity continued, as we all hung on every shot, every turnover. The details of the game are fuzzy; in the moment, it all became a blur. We were in the 5th overtime, sudden death, my roommate, Christine had the ball and then it happened; she scored from about 7 meters out to end the marathon and give us our first National Championship. We all jumped in the pool and mobbed each other, it’s safe to say, it was the highest, high I have ever felt. There were tears, laughs, hugs and then more tears, laughs and hugs.
After every tournament win, our coach took us to In-n-Out for burgers; it was our tradition. We pulled the vans into the parking lot and everyone headed inside. I decided to give my parents a call to let them know we had won, this was 1999, there was no live streaming, and let’s face it, TV coverage of women’s college water polo wasn’t even close to happening. My Mum picked up the phone, they had been following along on the computer, so they had seen the score update. My Mum’s voice sounded off, she asked me to call when we got back to LA. I asked her what was wrong; she said everything was fine; she would talk to me later. I wasn’t having it; I knew something was wrong, so I asked her again to tell me what it was. That next moment was a blur, again, it was a theme that day; she told me that David was gone. I collapsed against the pay phone and a stranger walking into In-n-Out told my coach that something was wrong. The next thing I knew my Coach had grabbed the phone and was talking to my parents and someone was holding me up, although to this day, I couldn’t tell you who it was. It didn’t make sense, David was fine, he was in remission; people in remission don’t die, this wasn’t how this was supposed to go. We had become close friends, he was going to Hawaii; I had just won a National Championship, we were on top of the world. I got back to my room that night and had a voicemail, it was from Megan, left the Thursday we went to Nationals, David had gone back to the hospital;, she was crying, his kidneys were failing, it didn’t look good. As I soon found out, things had gone downhill quickly from there and four days later, on Sunday, May 9th, surrounded by his family, David died, at 7:15am.