TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Crash cleared on eastbound bridge

March 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

3:45 PM: Thanks to the texter who just alerted us to this (206-293-6302 any time), noting that it’s compounded by the fact 99 is closed: A three-car collision is blocking two lanes on the eastbound bridge, described by SDOT as “west of 4th Avenue S.”

4:02 PM UPDATE: Adding the WSDOT camera that’s currently pointed westward, looking at the collision scene. Here’s the view looking eastward over the upper and lower bridges – the latter seems a better option right now.

4:44 PM: SDOT says the crash has cleared. The backup will take a while longer.

West Seattle weekend scene: Three Tree Point yacht race

March 28, 2015 at 3:36 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo by DLBJ)
Thanks to everyone who’s shared photos of the yachts seen today off West Seattle’s west-facing shores … it’s the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle‘s Three Tree Point race. We’ll be adding a few more photos shortly. Results from today’s race will eventually be posted here.

Mayor Murray’s 2 1/2-plus-hour West Seattle visit: Roll call, walking tour, coffee chat

March 28, 2015 at 2:23 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 5 Comments

(WSB photo: David Groves of Seattle Logo Pro presents the mayor with a hometown T-shirt)
Within the past half-hour, Mayor Ed Murray wrapped up more than two and a half hours in West Seattle – including second-watch roll call at the Southwest Precinct, a walking tour of The Junction and Triangle, and an open-to-all coffee chat that drew more than 20 people. Talking with WSB for a few minutes after all that (we were along for the walking tour and coffee chat), the mayor said he was inspired by the “positive, can-do attitude” of the people he talked with – the “most upbeat … neighborhood” he’d visited. We’ll be adding more photos and the full story over the next few hours.

VIDEO: The Whale Trail’s first Orca Talk of 2015, with researcher Brad Hanson

March 28, 2015 at 11:34 am | In West Seattle news, Wildlife | No Comments

The Whale Trail‘s first Orca Talk of 2015 drew a good-sized crowd to C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) on Thursday night – but in case you couldn’t be there to hear Brad Hanson from the NOAA Fisheries Science Center talk about the Southern Resident Killer Whales and his recent research trip – which included the discovery of the newest SRKW orca calf – we recorded it on video. Two parts – above (with TWT’s Donna Sandstrom introducing Hanson) and below.

Watch TWT’s website for word of the next event!

Six weeks until West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day on May 9th; registration starts next Wednesday

March 28, 2015 at 9:31 am | In Community Garage Sale Day, West Seattle news | No Comments

On this springtime Saturday, thoughts turn to … garage/yard/rummage sales. We call it “person-to-person recycling.” Six weeks from today, for six hours, sellers and shoppers will turn the peninsula into an epicenter of that activity, during the 11th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – 9 am-3 pm on Saturday, May 9th. We’re coordinating it for the eighth year; this is another alert that registration opens this Wednesday (April 1st).

If you’re new to West Seattle and/or WSB – this is NOT one big garage sale, but instead, many sales of all sizes, all over West Seattle. If you don’t have enough room for your own sale, Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) proprietor Lora Swift has announced they’re again offering courtyard spaces (including the lot at Ginomai across the alley to the east of her shop, which is at 4410 California SW).

Again, registration will open on Wednesday – we’ll link the form from WSB and from the official WSCGSD site at westseattlegaragesale.com when it’s ready to go!.\

West Seattle Saturday: Viaduct/99 closure reminder, and what you can do without that being a problem

March 28, 2015 at 7:33 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

We start with a traffic/transit reminder:

HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE: It’s a two-phase closure – from the West Seattle Bridge to the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel, 99 is closed until 6 pm tonight (and then scheduled to be closed again 6 am-6 pm Sunday) for the twice-yearly inspection; from the tunnel north to Valley Street, it’s closed until Monday morning. Also, westbound I-90 has lane closures that will likely slow I-5 just north of the West Seattle Bridge, too. It’s all summarized by WSDOT here. Looking for bus-reroute info? It’s on the Metro website.

Now, highlights here on the peninsula:

FAIRMOUNT RAVINE CLEANUP: Meet at 8:30 at Fairmount/Forest south of the ravine, and give whatever time you can to this annual cleanup along a route used by many to get between Alki and Admiral. Here’s our original preview with more details.

GOOP BREAKFAST: If you know what that means, you’ll want to be there. 9 am-noon at Fauntleroy Church. (9140 California SW)

COFFEE CHAT WITH MAYOR MURRAY: 12:30 pm at Chaco Canyon Organic Café in The Triangle. Here’s our original preview. (38th/Alaska)

WSHS BASEBALL AT SAFECO FIELD: You can get there without the Viaduct, and the weather’s looking better than forecast, so go cheer the West Seattle HS Wildcats in a FREE game ($5 garage parking is all you’ll be out, or take the bus) at Safeco Field vs. Sedro Woolley in the annual High School Baseball Classicpreview here. (1250 1st Ave. S.)

WATER TAXI CELEBRATION: You can also get to this without the Viaduct – just walk onto a Washington State Ferry from Fauntleroy, and when you get to Vashon Island, walk next door to the foot-ferry dock. 1-4 pm, the new Water Taxi, M/V Sally Fox, will be dedicated/celebrated, with King County Executive Dow Constantine and Councilmember Joe McDermott on hand; Sally Fox is a twin to the under-construction West Seattle Water Taxi, M/V Doc Maynard. (10800 N. Vashon Highway)

THRIVE 9: Youngstown Cultural Arts Center‘s don’t-miss-it birthday party! 5-9 pm – details here. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

KIDS’ NIGHT IN: Part of the West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) Annual Campaign – drop off your 4-10-year-old at 6:30 pm, pick her/him up on Sunday morning, details here – check to see if there’s still room! (36th/Snoqualmie)

‘A NIGHT TO REMEMBER’: 7:30 pm, performed by the Olio Players at Westside Unitarian – details here. (7141 California SW)

MARKET STREET DIXIELAND JASS BAND: 7:30 pm at historic Kenyon Halldetails on the KH website. (7904 35th SW)

LIVE MUSIC AT WEST SEATTLE EAGLES: Members and guests are invited – live music at 8:15 pm (doors open 7:15), $5 cover. Tonight, it’s Quarter Past 8.

High-school baseball: West Seattle Wildcats over Cleveland

March 28, 2015 at 7:29 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

As they look ahead to today’s High School Baseball Classic game at Safeco Field, the West Seattle High School baseball team is celebrating a win. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the report on Friday’s game:

Under beautiful skies at Hiawatha Field, the West Seattle Wildcats hosted the Cleveland Eagles Friday afternoon. West Seattle started Junior Jamie Maples on the mound. He pitched two full innings, striking out 5 of the 7 batters he faced. Freshman Cameron Paskett and Senior Daniel Kemp came in to pitch the rest of the game holding the Cleveland batters to just 2 hits and 5 runs.

Junior Morgan McCullough started the West Seattle bats will a Home Run blast to center field. He would continue to pile up the hits with another Home Run in the 2nd, a triple and a double. Jamie Maples and Sophomore Jack Page each had three hits. As a team, West Seattle had a total of 18 hits, producing 15 runs, 9 of which were earned.

In the end, West Seattle won in 5 innings, 15-5. Next game is this afternoon at Safeco Field at 12:30. Come on out to cheer on the boys at this free event. The next conference game is scheduled for Monday, vs. Nathan Hale at Meadowbrook, at 3:30.

West Seattle schools: Community performance planned for ‘Wizard of Oz’ featuring Gatewood first-graders

March 27, 2015 at 11:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

The book is 115 years old. The movie, 76 years old. But “The Wizard of Oz” as a story is ageless and timeless .. as evidenced by the Gatewood Elementary first-graders’ production. It was staged the past two mornings, but if you didn’t happen to be in the audience, there’s good news – a performance has been added, in the evening on April 7th, with the community invited to see it! More on that shortly. First, parent Jena Inghram shared photos and information about the production:

Their amazing veteran teacher, Mrs. Donna Schwendeman, has spent the last month helping her first-graders prepare for their own musical production of “The Wizard of Oz”. This has been a huge labor of love for our kids and she has put in many many hours of her own time.

A little bit about what they learned along the way…

In preparation for this play, Donna read aloud The Wizard of Oz while the students drew mental images of the story to share out each day. They viewed the movie and discussed the characters in depth. Each student received a full script that was read aloud in class. Students were asked to list 3 characters that they were interested in playing and were cast accordingly. Donna arranged for a field trip experience to see a production of Cinderella…they discussed and critiqued it. A professional actor was invited to Room 2 to discuss his experiences and to teach theater technique (voice projection, etc.). Students and families came together and assisted in set and costume design.

Parent comment: These first graders are amazing- all of them! They sing a capella solos…And read, memorize, and follow along with a huge script. They remember props and cues better than the adults and remind us when we mess up! And especially to the kids who aren’t in as many scenes, they have had to wait patiently during the many hours of rehearsals supporting their peers who had more speaking parts. These kids proposed creative ideas about the set and the costumes and they helped manifest them. What an amazing experience, Mrs. Donna Schwendeman​​ has given this lucky class of first graders. We are all so grateful for the creativity and the exposure to the arts that she brings to Gatewood.

Now, about the community performance, added, Jena says, after so much great feedback about the play: 6:30-7:30 pm Tuesday, April 7th, in the cafeteria at Gatewood (4320 SW Myrtle), with $5 admission at the door, a donation to start an arts fund at the school.

Taste of West Seattle celebrates its 10th anniversary this year!

March 27, 2015 at 9:49 pm | In Fun stuff to do, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

It’s a celebration of West Seattle food and drink, a vital lifeline for the West Seattle Helpline, and something people line up for, as our 2013 photo above shows. This year, the Taste of West Seattle celebrates its 10th anniversary, and your ticket gets you a delicious evening that’ll leave you with the afterglow of having done a good deed.

Once again this year, the Taste of West Seattle opens in two stages – a VIP head start at 6 pm, and then doors open for all at 6:30 p.m. It’s happening on Thursday, May 21st at The Hall at Fauntleroy, on the south end of historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse.

Not sure what West Seattle Helpline is, or does? It’s a low-overhead nonprofit – one staff person! – that helps West Seattleites facing one-time financial emergencies. Help from Helpine can help someone keep their gas, electricity, water from being cut off, can help keep a roof over their head, a way for them to get around, can literally keep a shirt on their back.

The first two Taste of West Seattle events were hosted by Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), which closed its doors so this could be a private function. Metropolitan Market remained a supporter, but in 2007, the Taste moved its location to The Hall at Fauntleroy so there would be room for more to attend.

The number of attendees (above, part of last year’s crowd) has multiplied in a big way – from 50 to 600; the number of vendors has grown to 40+, from fewer than 10. And all this has equaled a bigger haul for the Helpline, to help cover the costs of its programs – from $1,000 at the start, to $28,500 last year. Its success comes from the generosity of community business sponsors as well as that of the participating food/beverage purveyors and of course, that of the ticket buyers.

Never been? Here’s what you should know: You have to be at least 21 to attend. To add to the fun, you get to vote on your favorite tastes, giving participating food/beverage establishments bragging rights when the votes are all tallied. It’s sold out in past years, so buying early is a wise strategy. You can get your ticket(s) right here, right now.

The food/beverage-provider lineup isn’t finalized yet, but you know it’ll be good – see for yourself in our stories from each of the last five Taste of West Seattle events:

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010

TOMORROW: Help clean up Fairmount Ravine; enjoy free treats

March 27, 2015 at 6:38 pm | In Environment, How to help, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo from 2012 Fairmount Ravine cleanup)
One more reminder before tomorrow morning arrives: The more the merrier at the annual Fairmount Ravine Cleanup, starting at 8:30 am Saturday – meet at Fairmount/Forest (map). John Lang says, “Met Market, Starbucks, and Zatz have all graciously agreed to participate in supporting the nourishment portion of the project.” Wear boots and gloves; if you’re interested in helping remove ivy from trees – which is part of the cleanup – please bring a pruning saw and/or large loppers. Whatever time you can spare, the folks of Fairmount will appreciate it. (And if you have a question first, call John @ 206-932-5151.)

FOUND: Teenager no longer missing

March 27, 2015 at 5:15 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

SATURDAY UPDATE: Elvis was found at a friend’s home. Thanks for being on the lookout.

EARLIER:
Click to read the rest of FOUND: Teenager no longer missing…

UPDATE: Amanda Knox’s conviction overturned by Italian court

March 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 31 Comments

2:47 PM: The Associated Press reports that the much-awaited verdict is finally in from Italy, and that the murder conviction of Amanda Knox, who grew up in West Seattle, has been overturned. We’re told paparazzi have been staked out in Arbor Heights, where much of her family lives, so you may see unusual media-type activity in the hours ahead. (Photo added – some of the photo/video turnout we saw there around 3:30 pm)

More to come.

3:04 PM: The British newspaper The Guardian is live-chronicling the verdict’s aftermath on both sides of the Atlantic and says Knox supporters are celebrating at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), where, their reporter writes, “When news of the verdict broke, the sound of fireworks briefly echoed triumphantly over the water.” Knox has remained stateside during this legal proceeding; The Guardian says her lawyer told her about the decision, and she told him she was “very happy.” The decision also exonerated her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in the 2007 Perugia, Italy, killing of Knox’s then-roommate Meredith Kercher.

4:46 PM: The Guardian’s ongoing live chronicle includes a statement from Knox, including: “I am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court of Italy. The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal. And throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers. To them, I say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness has sustained me. I only wish that I could thank each and every one of you in person.” In a separate statement, her family says they are “thrilled” and “grateful” and “want to express our profound gratitude to all of those who have supported Amanda and our family.”

8:37 PM: Just before 8 pm, Knox made a short statement to the crews who had been staked out outside the Arbor Heights house. KING5.com has the video up.

Woman hit by driver at Westwood Village, taken to hospital

March 27, 2015 at 2:32 pm | In West Seattle news, Westwood, WS breaking news | 6 Comments

(WSB photo)
Thanks for the tips – we just checked out an incident that drew fire, police, and a private ambulance to Westwood Village, outside Marshall’s. SFD spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl tells us the initial report was that two people were hit by a driver. We were told at the scene that one was being taken to the hospital by AMR, a woman who apparently had just been shopping at the store; her injuries were not major – she was talking with emergency personnel as they took care of her.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Suspect in SE shooting arrested here; Guardian One visit; recognize this gutted truck?

March 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments

Today’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup starts with two incidents from last night:

SOUTHEAST SEATTLE SHOOTING SUSPECT FOUND IN WEST SEATTLE: Last night at 23rd SW/SW Brandon, police made a “felony stop” – guns drawn, as is SOP when someone in a pulled-over vehicle is suspected of a felony. We thought we heard, via scanner, the word “shooting,” but couldn’t find evidence of any West Seattle gunfire incidents last night, and couldn’t reach police for information.

After we contacted the Media Relations unit this morning, Det. Drew Fowler looked into this for us and discovered it was related to an incident in Southeast Seattle that was already on SPD Blotter; they’ve as a result just updated it to include the West Seattle angle: The original incident involved gunfire from three cars in the Rainier Beach area around 7:45 last night; nobody was hit. The car then pulled over at 23rd/Brandon matched the description of one vehicle seen speeding from the scene. Gang detectives arrested its 21-year-old driver, a Federal Way resident and convicted felon who police say they saw “ditching a gun at the original shooting scene,” for felony weapons possession, and booked him into jail. (The car was impounded.)

IF YOU HEARD GUARDIAN ONE OVER THE JUNCTION LAST NIGHT: It was NOT related to the incident above, so far as we know. They were in the area and helping SPD check out a report of “a large fight” in The Junction. The King County Air Support crew subsequently reported via Twitter that nothing was found.

ABANDONED, GUTTED TRUCK: Scott shared the photo, in case you recognize it:

An abandoned Chevy stepside pick up truck was discovered on SW 104th at 38th this morning next to AHES construction site. No plates, no engine, and the interior is gutted. City of Seattle notified through their Find it, Fix it app.

Five highlights for your West Seattle Friday night

March 27, 2015 at 12:22 pm | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 4 Comments

Thanks to Mark Wangerin for the Steller’s Jay photo. If you’ve seen/heard these feisty birds, you know they don’t really sing … but tonight in West Seattle, music is on the menu at several spots, as well as other forms of fun, as you’ll see in these calendar highlights:

DENNY/SEALTH MUSIC NIGHT OUT: 5:30 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, as detailed in our calendar listing. Ticket sales have ended but just in case you wonder who’s making that great music … now you know. And you can still support Denny/Sealth’s music by going here. (9131 California SW)

DUWAMISH ROWING CLUB MOVIE FUNDRAISER: Doors at 6:30 pm, movie at 7:30 pm, tonight at the Duwamish Longhouse – it’s the Duwamish Rowing Club‘s annual movie fundraiser, screening “The Seal Who Came Home.” More info in our calendar listing – tickets available at the door. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

GARY BENSON: Live at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. No cover. (5612 California SW)

FINAL FRIDAY NIGHT FOR ‘CHINGLISH’: 7:30 pm curtain tonight at ArtsWest Playhouse (WSB sponsor) – third-to-last chance to see the comedy! (4711 California SW)

WEST COAST BUMP BAND: Classic dance grooves at Feedback Lounge tonight, 9 pm, no cover. (6451 California SW)

Pine Lake Cellars: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor

March 27, 2015 at 11:22 am | In West Seattle news, WS beverages | No Comments

West Seattle is a wonderful place for wine lovers. Adding to that reputation: A tasting room that is one of the newest WSB sponsors, Pine Lake Cellars, whose wines await you at 3400 Harbor SW on Saturday afternoons:

That’s Pine Lake Cellars owner/proprietor Rob McCall, who explains how they got started: “Our long-standing passion for wine and wine history got the best of us. Knowing the high quality of vineyards in our state and wine being produced here fueled our desire to see what we could do with it ourselves. We thought, ‘why not us’? So, what began as an idea to make a little bit of wine for ourselves quickly grew into a much bigger endeavor. Now we are driven by the desire to make wines that show unique expression of the vineyards from which we source fruit. Our goal each harvest is to produce both age-worthy and immediately approachable wines that are structurally balanced, concentrated, and aromatically complex. And given our shared love for Bordeaux, our varietal focus right now is on traditional grapes of the Bordeaux region.”

Once customers have tried Pine Lake Cellarsaward-winning wines, what keeps them coming back? Rob says, “This industry relies heavily on word of mouth, not to mention making good wine. Not only are we crafting something we love, but we are in turn providing a product. When we get a customer coming in to the tasting room saying they heard great things about our wines, that’s the best feeling a winemaker can get. And it’s the repeat customers that helps legitimize this. Also, being a total wine nerd, I love geeking out about wine with my customers and I think the conversations and info about wine that they leave our tasting room with makes their visit even more enjoyable.”

You’re invited to visit the Pine Lake Cellars tasting room tomorrow and/or any other Saturday, noon-5 pm, at 3400 Harbor Ave. SW. Their wines are online, too, at pinelakecellars.com. P.S. Pine Lake Cellars is one of the 20+ wineries comprising the Seattle Urban Wineries group.

We thank Pine Lake Cellars for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

In case you wondered: State ferries still on test runs off West Seattle

March 27, 2015 at 10:51 am | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | No Comments

10:51 AM: Two notes about ferries that appeared to be “dead in the water off Alki” this morning remind us that we should mention this again: Washington State Ferries has two vessels in testing/sea trials in and around Elliott Bay right now, and if you see something unusual, it’s probably one (or both!) of them. The Tacoma is still on sea trials after months of repairs, before returning to the Bainbridge Island run; the Samish, newly built at Vigor on Harbor Island, is testing before officially joining the fleet.

ADDED FRIDAY NIGHT: Turns out M/V Tacoma is officially going back into service tomorrow (Saturday, March 28), according to this announcement from WSF.

Good luck to all in the State Geographic Bee today, including one more West Seattle competitor, Devin Graves

March 27, 2015 at 10:29 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

The Washington State Geographic Bee is just getting under way at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. We’ve already featured three West Seattle competitors – and just learned about one more. At right, Devin Graves of Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) was crowned EWMS champion and then, as did the other competitors in Tacoma today, scored high enough on a written exam to make the state Bee. It’s the third consecutive year that EWMS has been represented in the statewide competition. Good luck to Devin, and also to Jack Crowley from Madison Middle School (featured here March 13) and Aiden Houlette from Schmitz Park Elementary and Jean-Pierre Dufour from Westside School (WSB sponsor), both featured here Tuesday. We hope to know by late afternoon who’s advancing to the national Bee in Washington, D.C., in May!

West Seattle Veteran Center reopening in The Triangle

March 27, 2015 at 9:27 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

Just announced by American Legion Post 160 Commander Keith Hughes:

The West Seattle Veteran Center, an outreach of American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary Post 160, will reopen on Monday, March 30th.

The Center is located in the American Legion Hall at 3618 SW Alaska. Hours of operation will be:

Mondays 9 am-4 pm
Wednesdays/Thursdays 2 pm-8 pm
Fridays 9 am-4 pm
Closed Tuesdays/weekends

The West Seattle Veteran Center is an all-volunteer operation, and is here to serve all Veterans and their families, regardless of what branch of service or what time period they served.

If you are a Veteran living in the Southwest Corridor, you can help support the Center by joining American Legion Post 160. Membership is only $35 per year.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday watch; weekend 99/Viaduct closures; the last big lift for ‘Bertha’

March 27, 2015 at 6:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
We start today with one big reminder – the Highway 99 closures this weekend (and westbound I-90, too). From the Battery Street Tunnel north, it’s an all-weekend closure, late tonight until early Monday; from the Battery Street Tunnel south to the West Seattle Bridge, the twice-yearly inspection closure is scheduled for 6 am-6 pm each day, Saturday and Sunday. Those closures plus the westbound I-90 lane closures are all detailed here; for bus reroutes, check Metro’s site. We’re on duty 24/7 so if there’s any change in the plan (early reopening, etc.) you’ll find out about it here.

Speaking of Highway 99:

We noticed while checking the “live” camera that that the big red frame that’ll lift the tunnel machine’s cutterhead has moved into place right over the access pit – looks like it happened in the 5 pm hour yesterday (we went back through the stored images to find the one above). No word yet, though, when that mega-lift is expected to happen.

12:56 PM UPDATE: WSDOT has since published an update about the aforementioned impending Big Lift.

High-school baseball: Chief Sealth IHS off to 2-1 start

March 26, 2015 at 11:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Thanks to Howard Chilcott for this report on the Chief Sealth International High School Seahawks‘ first week of baseball:

Our Seahawks are off to a nice start to their Metro schedule, posting a 2 win/1 loss record over week 1. That includes strong wins over Ingraham and Franklin and a heartbreaker yesterday vs. Lakeside. Highlights have included strong pitching, increasingly solid defense, and big hits as the team is developing nicely early in the season.

The schedule includes a rematch with Lakeside away on Friday, then Ballard on Monday, 4 pm at SWAC! Also, please join us in supporting the boys at their Annual Spaghetti Dinner & Auction Saturday 4/4 at the School Galleria, 6 pm.

(Sealth is at 2600 SW Thistle.)

Numbers @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition: 35th SW, Vision Zero, $900 million levy…

March 26, 2015 at 10:03 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 21 Comments

(From left, WSTC’s Joe Szilagyi & Amanda Kay Helmick, SDOT’s Scott Kubly & Jim Curtin)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition stuck with its agenda tonight, hearing from and talking with SDOT leaders about the proposed Move Seattle levy and two safety projects – Vision Zero citywide and 35th SW locally – instead of digressing into a discussion of Tuesday’s 9-hour Highway 99 blockage.

Co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick said WSTC would be writing out its concerns/questions for SDOT to consider regarding the incident. Otherwise, here’s how the meeting unfolded:

Click to read the rest of Numbers @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition: 35th SW, Vision Zero, $900 million levy……

Congratulations! 2015 Westside Awards for Nucor Steel, Meeples Games, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, James Jackson of Jackson, Morgan & Hunt PLLC

March 26, 2015 at 5:15 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has just announced its 2015 Westside Awards winners, in advance of the presentation at the awards breakfast next Thursday (April 2nd):

Nucor Steel Seattle, Meeples Games, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and the founder, James (Jim) Jackson of Jackson, Morgan & Hunt are the winners of the 2015 Westside Awards, presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Click to read the rest of Congratulations! 2015 Westside Awards for Nucor Steel, Meeples Games, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, James Jackson of Jackson, Morgan & Hunt PLLC…

West Seattle development: Project possibly ahead for PCC site

March 26, 2015 at 4:50 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 53 Comments


(WSB photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Will the PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) location in West Seattle be the next Admiral District supermarket site to be redeveloped?

Making a routine check of city permit applications, we discovered a very-early-stage plan suggesting a new building is being contemplated for much if not all of the 2749 California SW site, where the current store and its main parking lot are.

But what it will be is too soon to say, as well as how/whether it will proceed.

One of the two documents in the public city online files so far suggests that the proposal is coming from Madison Development Group, the developer that is currently finishing Spruce at the Fauntleroy/Alaska corner once known as, when it stalled under previous ownership, “The Hole.” Kirkland-based Madison bought that site at auction and is completing a project with about 200 apartments plus an LA Fitness gym. Madison also built Element 42, the mixed-use building on the east side of the redeveloped Admiral Safeway property.

As for the PCC site:

We’ve been researching this for several days now. Before we found the document listing Madison as the prospective applicant, we inquired with PCC’s media-relations department, asking whether an expansion might be in store for the market, which opened in 1989 and underwent interior remodeling four years ago.

The reply came from Cate Hardy, the West Seattleite named CEO of PCC back in January. “We recently became aware that our landlord is in discussions about the possibility of selling the site where our store is located. We do have a current lease that is in effect for the next several years.”

We hadn’t realized that PCC didn’t own the property at California/Stevens; records show the landlord is Development Services of America, another of the companies owned by the late Tom Stewart, who had been headquartered in the West Seattle Corporate Center before moving to Arizona.

We continued rooting around for info and contacted PCC CEO Hardy again to clarify that whatever is in the works so far, it wasn’t a PCC-proposed project. She subsequently told us, “At this time, we have not been brought in to any conversations with the potential future owner, so do not have any real insight in to their plans or timing. Our lease is in place through most of this decade, and we would certainly hope and expect to be part of West Seattle well beyond that. We anticipate an introduction to the new owner in the near future, and will look forward to conversations with them about how best to ensure that West Seattle is well-served by PCC Natural Markets for years to come.”

We’ve reached out to Madison’s principals for comment; no reply yet. The “site plan” page in the online file shows only the most rudimentary of outlines for a possible new building covering the footprint of the current one plus most of the parking lot; Hewitt Architects is the firm listed as applicant, and the online file carries notations about a request for “paid zoning coaching” plus an expectation that any resulting project would require Design Review. The site is zoned NC2-40, mixed-use development with a four-story height maximum.

We’ll continue to keep watch.

Seen off West Seattle: Two helicopters, boat marked ‘Tunisia Navy’

March 26, 2015 at 2:47 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 16 Comments

2:47 PM: An unusual sighting, shared by Gary Jones, who photographs from Alki Point: Seen in the noon hour, a boat marked “Tunisia Navy,” with two helicopters nearby.

Their markings match what we saw on two helicopters passing overhead, westbound, one behind the other, as we arrived at HQ in Upper Fauntleroy after a noontime trip.

Backstory? We don’t know yet. At first, we wondered about a movie shoot (Seattle wouldn’t seem to be much of a stand-in for Tunisia, which is on the Mediterranean Sea in North Africa, but you’ll recall Alki doubling for Florida) – then a bit of Googling revealed that the U.S. donated two similar types of patrol boats to Tunisia seven months ago and was planning to donate more. Still checking around. Know anything? editor@westseattleblog.com as always.

8:44 PM: After a couple of e-mail tipsters suggested we check with local boatmakers that build military-style patrol boats, we sent out queries around 5 pm and just received this reply from sales manager Kevin Rowlee at Bremerton-based SAFE Boats International:

Yes, that was a boat built by SAFE Boats International. It is a “65 Full Cabin – Inboard” destined for the Tunisia Navy. The boat you saw was the second of two boats purchased under the same contract.

Commenter Brian confirms the photo-shoot angle.

Mayor puts a number on ‘affordable housing’: 20,000 units in 10 years

March 26, 2015 at 1:52 pm | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 40 Comments

Will runaway rents chase (more) people out of the city? With heartbreaking tales like this one emerging, and discussions like this one ongoing, Mayor Murray has stepped up While his affordable-housing advisory committee continues to work on its recommendations, Mayor Murray has just given them a goal with a specific number:

Mayor Murray today directed the Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee to meet his new goal for both income-restricted affordable and market-rate units to be created over the coming decade.

Mayor Murray asked the committee to develop specific proposals that will allow the building and preservation of 50,000 housing units over in the next 10 years within the city limits. 20,000 of these must be income-restricted affordable units for individuals and families making 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) and below. 30,000 units would be market rate.

“Seattle is facing a serious lack of affordable housing options that displace families and people in this city,” said Murray. “Next week, Seattle’s minimum wage workers are getting a raise as a part of our broader affordability agenda. We need to make sure that those who work in Seattle can afford to live here.”

The increase in income-restricted affordable units is nearly a tripling of the current rate of units being built for those at 80 percent of AMI or less. Currently, income-restricted affordable housing is being built at a rate of around 700 units per year.

“As the HALA enters the last stretch of analysis and discussion of strategies, this target will sharpen our focus,” said Faith Le-Pettis, co-chair of the advisory committee. “No matter your perspective, the target we’ve been given by the Mayor is an enormous number. We’ll need determination, long-sightedness and civic commitment to meet the challenge.”

The Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee was formed by Mayor Murray and city councilmembers in the fall of 2014 to develop policy recommendations for the city. The committee is made up of 28 housing experts, activists and community leaders. They will issue their recommendations to the Mayor in May.

Right now, the Multi-Family Tax Exemption is one incentive the city has been offering developers for some years – if they agree to keep a certain number of units in their projects in certain areas (including West Seattle’s urban villages/centers) at a certain percentage of the area’s median income, they get a 12-year tax break, no property taxes on the residential portion of their buildings.

When we talked to Mayor Murray at his neighborhood-press availability last week, he mentioned he would be announcing an affordable-housing goal and that it would take “a series of tools – not just one tool” to make it reality. He said in that interview that it would be vital to build units for people who will “never qualify for subsidized housing” but are being priced out of the “market” nonetheless.

Think summer! Application time for 10th annual Morgan Junction Community Festival

March 26, 2015 at 12:51 pm | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo from 2013 festival)
Not trying to rush you, but it’s already planning season for summer festivals – including the 10th annual Morgan Junction Community Festival. From Susan Madrid:

Applications are now available for local businesses and organizations to participate in the Morgan Community Association (MoCA) 10th annual festival. This year it will be held on Saturday, June 20th, from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm. As in previous years, participant booths will be located in open areas and parking lots near Morgan Junction Park. The festival will feature live music and entertainment throughout the day, as well as the popular Bite of Morgan and Bark of Morgan events.

The booth charge will be the same as last year; community groups and non-profits will be asked to make a $10 contribution and businesses to make a $20 contribution.

Contact Cindi Barker at cindibarker@gmail.com for an application form and further information. The deadline for applications is June 5. Announcements and applications are also available on the MoCA website www.morganjunction.org

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