West Seattle, Washington
That’s a quick video pan of the lively crowd tonight at South Seattle Community College‘s Brockey Center, where almost 300 people gathered for the annual ArtsWest Gala. We dropped by just in time to hear the big news – AW is “debt-free” for the first time since opening in fall 1999. And its newest capital campaign is already three-fourths of the way to its goal — “Full Speed Ahead” has received more than $460,000 from city/county/state government and foundations, and just needs $166K from the public – here’s the slide shown to the crowd:
The money will go toward capital improvements like new seats, infrastructure improvements like a full-time box office, and “artistry” endeavors — in particular, ArtsWest leaders said, “a living wage for artists.” If you want to help ArtsWest reach its goal, you can make a donation through this page on the AW website.
That’s the sign on the sidewalk outside Skylark, which is throwing itself a 2nd-anniversary bash tonight (live music started at 9; we’ve always got the acts listed on each week’s West Seattle Weekend Lineup). Also worth noting, Capers in The Junction (which joined the list of WSB sponsors this week) is celebrating its 23rd anniversary with a major sale that kicked off yesterday.
(the street view of some of the townhomes that are almost complete on the ex-Guadalajara Hacienda site)
… if they can evolve from the form shown above. By most accounts at this morning’s townhouse forum, an official meeting of City Councilmember Sally Clark‘s Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee held at the Capitol Hill Arts Center, townhouses themselves are not inherently evil. “There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with” them, Clark said in her opening remarks. However, the current form so many of them take — and if you think West Seattle has its share, it’s nothing like some of the photos shown of sprawling blocks of them in the North End — is primarily blamed on the city code, which as reported here and elsewhere, may soon be changed. Clark half-joked that the topic was a sneaky way to engage citizens with those upcoming revision proposals, saying at the start, “this is a way to keep people from getting narcoleptic about the Multifamily Code.” Definitely not a sleep-inducing event. Our full story, ahead:Read More
Till 3 pm today – those are some of the adoptable heart-stealers King County Animal Services has brought to the Furry Faces Foundation plant sale at 3809 46th SW (map). The sale’s continuing till 4 and is running again tomorrow, but the critters are only there today, and only till 3.
We’re at the Capitol Hill Arts Center for the “Townhomes: Can the Patient Be Saved?” forum. Glad we’re here, definitely some West Seattle-related players on the roster — local architect and Design Review Board member Brandon Nicholson, developer Dan Duffus (whose name has appeared on many a townhouse permit in WS), several councilmembers including of course Sally Clark who called the event and West Seattle-dwelling Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. Not planning to liveblog it – will add a complete report later – but if anything incredibly newsworthy happens, we’re online and will add here as it happens. 1:52 PM UPDATE: The forum wrapped up around quarter past twelve; we are working on our article – no stunning revelations but quite the range of viewpoints about how to “save” the “patient” (and a couple suggestions to “kill” it, as Clark joked at the start of the session), including thoughtful and thought-provoking proposals for what Townhouses, The Next Generation might and should look like. More in a bit.
(WSB photo taken on Alki, November 2007)
Two more notes this morning on the still-smoldering re-emergence of the notion of banning beach fires on Alki (and at Golden Gardens) — First, City Councilmember Sally Clark has posted a blog entry panning the prospective ban, writing in part:
Let me just say that if there’s one thing I believe it is that we have a God-given right to have bonfires on the beach. Yes, I care about global warming and I believe that we all must make changes small and large in our lives to keep the planet alive. However, I cannot support extinguishing beach bonfires. Beach bonfires are not killing the planet. Hummers, coal-fired power plants, routine air travel, and single-occupancy car commutes are killing the planet.
Second, we’ve now read through the document that’s part of the “briefing” that park commissioners will get this Thursday (read the full document here). Here’s one point that didn’t get much play before Superintendent Tim Gallagher‘s “clarification” announcement late yesterday saying “no action this year”: The list of possible restrictions includes the idea of requiring people to pay for permits to have beach fires. The memo says Parks spends $60,000 a year to manage the beach-fire program and didn’t expect much immediate cost savings even if a ban were implemented: “Even with the cessation of the beach fire programs, park resources maintenance staff will still need to respond to illegal fires with cleanup until the public understands and accepts a no beach fire policy as a logical element of the CAN Initiative.” We sent a note late last night to Superintendent Gallagher to double/triplecheck that his “no action this year” statement meant NONE of these changes would be put in place this year, meaning COMPLETE status quo — he e-mailed back early this morning, “No change this year.” As for what happens for next year and beyond – we’ll keep watch.
Full list in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup; couple of highlights — Freedom Church (35th/Roxbury) is throwing a party 10 am-4 pm and you’re invited — there’s a lot percolating at the ex-Safeway-turned-church site as it builds a “Village of Hope” that eventually is envisioned to include housing and community services; today’s event celebrates their ownership of the site and vision of the future. Meantime, another notable event happens outside West Seattle — City Councilmember Sally Clark (whose recent Junction walking tour was covered here) convenes her “Townhomes – Can the Patient Be Saved?” forum on Capitol Hill at 10 am today (original WSB report here; details from Clark’s site, including location and map, here). Our favorite excerpt from the description on her site — “The morning will start with a few examples of the good, the OK and the fatally wounded.”