After a long weekend of strategy planning, PTSA leaders at Arbor Heights Elementary have announced a special meeting for 7 pm Tuesday at the school. That’ll be exactly a week after Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson proposed ending the AH Elementary “program” so that its building can become the new home of Pathfinder K-8, long headquartered in the badly deteriorated Genesee Hill Elementary building. PTSA leaders are hoping for a big turnout Tuesday night from the entire community, not just those with direct ties to the school — one of the major arguments of the “Save Arbor Heights” campaign is that it is truly a community school, with more than half its students coming from the immediate neighborhood, a much-higher percentage than many other area schools. (Another note for everyone in West Seattle affected by the new school closure/change proposal – tomorrow morning is when the district starts taking signups for speaking slots at the Wednesday night School Board meeting – the closure/change proposal isn’t officially on the agenda outside of the “superintendent’s report,” but the public comment period is open for any subject. Starting at 8 am tomorrow, people interested in speaking that night need to either e-mail email@example.com, or call (206) 252-0040.)
That’s the top of the flyer that volunteers have been distributing around Fauntleroy and Morgan Junction to continue getting the word out about this Thursday night’s community meeting to discuss The Kenney‘s $150 million redevelopment proposal (all WSB coverage, going back to our first in-depth report in August, is archived here). Click the image (or click here) to see the entire flyer – if you live in the area, Morgan Community Association and Fauntleroy Community Association volunteers request that you print it out and be sure your neighbors have seen it (or share it by e-mail – right-click the headline of this post to get the direct link, or right-click the image for the direct link to the flyer) – they’ve already distributed more than 100 copies in just a few hours today, before running out of daylight and flyers; this is a big chance to get answers about the project and find out what happens next in the process. 7 pm Thursday, Fauntleroy Church (WSB sponsor) Fellowship Hall. (If you missed it last week, here’s a link to the project FAQ just published by The Kenney.)
Some of the displays we featured last year (here’s last year’s map; this year’s is in the works) are back in business after some weekend work, like this one near Seacrest (1600 block of Harbor; map)- it’s a quick clip rather than a still because it twinkles! We also noticed that West Seattle’s biggest and brightest light show, the Menashe Family‘s Beach Drive display (in the 5600 block of Beach Drive; map), is up tonight – although perhaps not entirely finished, as we saw folks still working when we drove by shortly after 5 pm, so we haven’t photographed it (yet). Our spotlighted Christmas light pix from this year and last are all archived here, by the way. (Got a great display, and/or seen one? Send us the address, or better yet, a photo – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!)
This online obituary published today announces the death of Larry Kingen, a longtime West Seattle community volunteer and activist, former president of the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association board. According to the obituary, Kingen died in his sleep, on a trip to Maui, at age 57. A memorial celebration is planned at his brother’s restaurant, Salty’s on Alki, at 1 pm Friday. (Thanks to Parks Board vice chair Jackie Ramels of Alki for the tip; she notes that Kingen was also involved in the ’90s efforts of Greater Harbor 2000, which helped pave the way for some later improvements such as getting the Alki Bathhouse renovations onto the 2000 ProParks Levy.)
Thanks to “Alkidude” for pointing out in a new comment on last week’s update that Prost West Seattle‘s website says it’s opening day after tomorrow (Tuesday 12/2), just in time to toast the holiday season. (This page lists all 10 beers you’ll get to choose from.) We interviewed proprietor Chris Navarra two months ago for this preview; it’s been less than seven months since our first report Prost was coming to town – a relatively short amount of development time for this type of business, in our recent coverage experience. Prost West Seattle is in the 3400 block of California (map), in the space that was previously Basic Green Box, just south of The Bohemian, two doors south of Spiro’s Pizza and Pasta.
Bradley5 sent photos of an upside-down dead seagull in a Lincoln Park tree, noting he debated whether to share it, but is curious about what happened earlier – did anyone see it, tangled, before it died? What would you do in a case like this? Click ahead to see his photo (not particularly gross but we don’t want to put it right on the main page) and read what he has to say: Click to read the rest of Reader report: Seagull’s sad fate – anyone see it sooner?…
(the Fauntleroy stretch targeted for restriping, “dashcam” view heading northbound)
Drivers and bicyclists had a lot to say when we first reported two and a half weeks ago that Fauntleroy Way between Alaska and California is up for restriping – reconfiguration – as part of next year’s planned repaving, and after our Q/A followup two days later with the project’s SDOT point person. Now – it’s almost time for you to go get information, and offer comments, in person, on the proposal to change it from two lanes each way to one lane each way plus a center turn lane: Tomorrow night is the SDOT “open house” about the proposal, 5:30-8:30 pm at High Point Community Center (map). When we spoke with department reps earlier, they said it would be a true “open house” – no formal presentation planned, just drop by, get info, offer feedback – we will reconfirm that tomorrow with SDOT. Comments offered in person mean a lot, so if you have strong feelings about the proposal one way or the other, we suggest you go to the event at some point during that three-hour window. If you absolutely cannot – the e-mail address for your comments is: email@example.com – the sooner the better, though the timetable for the project is uncertain, since some of the Fauntleroy Way repaving money was redirected in the city-budget process (WSB coverage here) and SDOT director Grace Crunican told us they would be working to figure out how much they have and what they can do with it (also the case with 16th SW, as reported here last week).
Its name may technically be West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival, but the volunteers who are part of it don’t come close to slowing down during the winter. Above, we photographed Hi-Yu Junior Court Queen Zoe and Princess Elyse selling fundraiser ornaments at Thriftway last weekend – beautiful blown-glass creations:
And they’ll be doing the same thing today on the east side of the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, noon-2 pm at the booth for Kiwanis Club of West Seattle (where you can also find out more about next Saturday’s big pancake breakfast, 7-11 am at the Masonic Hall - also of course on the Holiday Happenings page too). Now, the part about “your ideas tomorrow” — Hi-Yu leaders hope you can join them for their Christmas reception and meeting, 6:30 tomorrow (Monday) night at Merrill Gardens on 35th (map) – Hi-Yu’s Deena Mahn tells WSB, “We will be voting on the 2008-09 theme for our float; this year West Seattle Hi-Yu is celebrating 75 years so it is extra special. We want to hear ideas and all are welcome … we are also having a Christmas Reception with refreshments following the meeting.”
Time for the weekly Ripe ‘n’ Ready list from the West Seattle Farmers’ Market — and the “wild mushroom” category includes black truffles. WSFM is open 10 am-2 pm. 44th/Alaska (same place where we hope to see you at the West Seattle Tree Lighting at 5 pm next Saturday!).
Thanks to Eric Baer for sending word — and photos — from Saturday’s Seattle Kids Marathon, held the day before today’s Seattle Marathon (which by the way will affect traffic in parts of the city – here’s the alert again). He photographed Pathfinder K-8 and Westside School reps flying their flags, so to speak, and also reports a Highland Park Elementary sighting. For the Pathfinder group, Eric says, “17 students plus David Dockendorf (Principal) and Lou Cutler (PE teacher) completed the marathon at the Seattle Center along with several parents. The Kids Marathon has the participants run 25 miles in November and then finish off with a 1.2 mile race to complete the 26.2 miles. This is the 9th year for Pathfinder’s participation.” Here’s Elizabeth Baer finishing the run:
Read more about the Seattle Kids Marathon here.
Our camera followed Holy Rosary‘s Father John Madigan up and down a few rows during the annual “blessing of the trees” on the Holy Rosary Tree Lot’s opening day today – a mostly silent blessing, as he was having some hoarseness trouble. This was just hours after volunteers spent the morning setting everything up:
As always, Holy Rosary donates a portion of its proceeds (15%) to local charities (all listed here); the tree lot’s been an HR tradition for 20 years (and it has its own info-laden website too). Now that Holy Rosary’s open, here’s the West Seattle Christmas tree lineup as it stands tonight:
Holy Rosary (behind Admiral Safeway; map)
Home Depot (just west of Delridge between Webster and Orchard/Sylvan, map)
QFC (southeast side of Westwood Village, map)
Rite Aid stores (SE side of Westwood Village, map; 5217 California SW, map)
Tony’s (35th and Barton, map)
TrueValue (44th and Edmunds in The Junction, map)
West Seattle Bros. (on Alaska just west of Howden-Kennedy, map)
West Seattle Nursery (WSB sponsor; 5275 California SW, map)
We haven’t yet finished compiling our price-check data, but hope to add that tomorrow. (Looking for a cut-it-yourself lot? None in WS, but here’s the list of our state’s Christmas tree farms, county by county, including one in not-too-distant SeaTac.)
Clearly this was a busy day for holiday decorators around West Seattle – we’ve just driven a few sample neighborhoods and noticed many more displays than we saw this time last night. The one above is on the east side of 39th just south of Hanford (map) – with motorized features including a merry-go-round and ferris wheel! We’ll start creating one cumulatively updated map for these tomorrow (last year’s map is here but no guarantee they’re all decorating again this year!). If you’ve got a particularly festive display, or see one, please e-mail to let us know!
Just out of the WSB inbox from Doug:
Wanted to let folks in the Seaview neighborhood know that it may be time to ditch your pumpkins if you still have them on the porch. Looks like some vandals had one heck of a night smashing pumpkins in the streets from 46th Ave SW to 49th Ave SW (basically from Graham all the way down to Brandon; map). I counted at least 7 during a morning walk. While that seems pretty tame, it appears the same group managed to destroy a couple of “For Sale” signs in front of some homes as well.
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“Minxie” first posted about this in the WSB Forums – looking for more people with stories to tell about that beautiful 82-year-old brick apartment building in Gatewood, at 7101 California SW. (If you’ve been to Caffe Ladro, or Gatewood Elementary, you’ve probably noticed this at the California/Myrtle corner. That’s the Google Street View above; conventional map linked here.)
Your memories, thoughts and history are needed! … It is an amazing group of folks that live here & we treasure our building and little corner community. Almost everyone I meet knows our building as well, and has stories to share. I’m gathering everything I can about the building’s past – personal memories, pictures, history, rumors, former residents, any contribution at all. Nothing is too minute or inconsequential. For instance, I recently met someone from outside Seattle, and when conversation turned to where I live, he exclaimed “I know that building! I would walk past it every day on my way to school. I loved it!” He had lived in WS 20+ yrs ago and still remembered. So cool.
My request to y’all is twofold 1) Of course, to preserve history, and 2) Holiday gifts! I’m compiling everything I can to make memory books for my fellow neighbors and landlords (who rock!) this holiday season.
The building has its own page in the city historical archives, but it has only a black/white photo and little more. (We originally found it when writing about a change on that corner in summer 2006.) In a followup exchange, Minxie also told us:
The owners, Galina and Lance Betz, have done a *phenomenal job* in not only preserving the building’s character but in fostering the community we have here. They really are West Seattle heroes IMO. Plus, they are doggie friendly, and I can’t tell you how great it is to have impromptu doggie meet-ups throughout the day, where we neighbors chat and the pups play.
If you have any stories/info/memorabilia to share about 7101 California SW, please e-mail Minxie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We got to West Seattle Bowl in time for the celebrity introductions at this afternoon’s Turkey Bowl – not to be confused with the Beer Church‘s recent Turkey Bowl, though both are in the “have a good time for a great cause” spirit. We picked up on Mike Brown‘s introductions starting with rocker Chris Ballew, moving on through Dennis Bounds and Rich Marriott from KING5 TV, to hydro legend Chip Hanauer, and ending with the local sports world’s most famous peanut-tosser. As they all lined up, so did the camera-wielding spectators:
There’s a silent auction of sports memorabilia too:
Proceeds benefit Seattle-area nonprofits helping homeless people and homeless pets.
That city-made map shows your West Seattle fire stations — Station 29 in North Admiral, Station 36 in North Delridge by The Bridge, Station 32 in the Triangle, Station 37 in Gatewood/Westwood (the city calls it Roxhill!), and Station 11 in Highland Park. They’re all collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots (along with the city’s other fire stations) — drop your donation(s) off by December 18th.
From the latest edition of the West Seattle Weekend Lineup:
If you started to sing along with that clip – then you might consider cruising to the Admiral Theater tonight for the sing-along edition of “Grease” – girls’ lyrics in pink, boys’ lyrics in blue. Also on the agenda today/tonight, more holiday mania: West Seattle’s most famous Christmas tree sellers, the volunteers of the Holy Rosary Tree Lot south of Admiral Safeway, open their doors today, so we’ll be publishing our West Seattle tree-lot list/price survey by day’s end. Noon-4 pm, you’re invited to drop by the Log House Museum to help decorate – bring an ornament or something else to make the home of West Seattle history just a bit more special this season. Same hours, Santa arrives at Westwood Village … hmm, didn’t we just see him downtown Friday morning?
He’s making a lot of West Seattle appearances this holiday season (in The Junction starting next weekend), so he’ll have no excuse not to hear what’s on your list. Two more notes: Southwest Youth and Family Services continues its holiday plant sale 9 am-1 pm, and the White Center Swap Meet and Flea Market (WSB sponsor) celebrates its official grand opening with new hours, 8:30 am-4:30 pm. Lots more in the Saturday section of the Weekend Lineup (hop to it directly from here).
We’re featuring another home from the inland side of the south end of Beach Drive, where we found our last featured display – because we’re just not seeing many light-draped homes around West Seattle, yet. (What is it about Beach Drive, anyway? Perhaps inspired by the Menashe family – whose legendary display isn’t done yet, but the cherry-picker’s parked across the street …) When you do see — or create — someplace particularly bright and festive, let us know — meantime we’ll be wandering around, watchfully.
We were on our way to a behind-the-scenes view of the Westlake tree-lighting downtown tonight … when downtown gridlock caught us in its clutches (we should have heeded the SDOT warning we published). We did make it to the edge of the crowd in time for that video clip of the lighting itself (note the many people in front of us also capturing the scene, on their phones); no fireworks – too windy. West Seattleites participating in the ceremony were to include Alki’s Shauna Causey, on behalf of sponsor Comcast (and reminding us all to support nonprofits, especially this holiday season), and Mayor Nickels, though an audio glitch apparently truncated the speeches before we got there. Earlier, we photographed the mayor in the downtown parade this morning as he walked with wife Sharon and fire chief Gregory Dean (dignitaries walked this year instead of riding in cars – Seattle Climate Action Now, perhaps?):
Back to the topic of tree lightings – hope you will join us in The Junction (your WSB co-publishers will be helping with the event) next Saturday night (12/6), 5 pm, Farmers’ Market parking lot behind Key Bank, for the West Seattle Community Tree Lighting – one jampacked hour of fun, including free entertainment, and the first drawing for some of the $5,000 worth of gift certificates that West Seattle Junction Association (WSB sponsor) merchants are giving away as part of Hometown Holidays (enter for free at any participating store). Also coming up – Our Lady of Guadalupe lights its Christmas tree (the highest-elevation one in Seattle!) at 7 pm December 12th (see the event flyer here).
It’s the city’s best-known holiday show – and Lynn Ogdon just e-mailed WSB this photo to let us know about four West Seattle girls featured in the Pacific Northwest Ballet production of “The Nutcracker” (which opened tonight and is celebrating its 25th anniversary): Left to right, as Lynn lists them: Katie (“Chinese”), Flynn (“Small Servant”), Jelly (“Tall Servant”), and Lisel (“Prologue Nutcracker”).
While checking out a major fire-unit call that didn’t pan out, WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli happened onto a sizable police search nearby. A neighbor told him someone spotted a man looking into windows of homes; no word yet of any arrests (or any actual burglaries). Christopher took the photo on SW Nevada between 26th and 30th (map).
Got word from Southwest Youth and Family Services that they’re open till 7 pm tonight and 9 to 1 tomorrow for their holiday plant sale, with poinsettias, wreaths, rosemary trees, and more. 4555 Delridge (map). SWYFS has a big new job ahead, in addition to what it already does – it’s this area’s lead agency for the city’s new youth-violence-prevention plan, so helping SWYFS can ultimately help make this a safer place to be.
Returning home from the downtown parade, we spotted the Walking on Logs sculptures decked in Arbor Heights Elementary School T-shirts, with signs like the one you see above (a bit soggy in the rain). Handmade signs are nearby (with identical ones across the northeastbound Fauntleroy Way end of The Bridge):
As evidenced by those displays – and other less-public actions — many members of the AH Elementary community are working frenetically through this “holiday” weekend, days after hearing Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson propose to end their school’s existence so the building could be given to the Pathfinder K-8 program (which has been stuck for years in the subpar ex-Genesee Hill Elementary building). The Arbor Heights troops are researching facts, crafting a battle strategy, planning a community meeting (date/time TBA), and preparing for the public-comment period at next Wednesday’s School Board meeting. They also are updating the Save Arbor Heights blog that was created even before the official announcement (as we reported Wednesday afternoon), with entries including this customized timeline of key dates/events between now and the final School Board vote in late January. From what we’ve monitored so far, it is clear they are taking to heart the advice offered by West Seattle board rep Steve Sundquist at his standing-room-only coffee hour on Wednesday – don’t bring the board raw emotion, bring research, ideas, alternative proposals – with the focus less on “don’t do that” than on “do this, instead of that.” Meantime, the holidays wait for no one, and the Arbor Heights Elementary community also is preparing for its long-planned holiday bazaar Thursday night, 4-8 pm — now juxtaposed with one of the school district’s “community workshops” (6:30 pm that night at district HQ in Sodo) on the citywide closure plan.
(photo by Matt Durham of MattDurhamPhotography.com)
Time for tidings of great … plaid … as in “Plaid Tidings,” opening tonight at ArtsWest; that, along with the Admiral Theater “Grease” sing-along, plus your chance to help deck the halls of the Log House Museum, as well as Santa’s arrival at Westwood Village and new hours for the White Center Swap Meet (WSB sponsor) — all part of the 36 West Seattle-and-vicinity events on our handy list ahead: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Weekend Lineup, post-turkey edition…
The Times reports today on the passing of West Seattle musician John Spalding, taken by cancer at just 33. Seattle Weekly told even more of his story in this report just a few weeks ago. There are tributes in the comments on his MySpace page, including one that says a series of benefit shows is being planned to raise money to help his family pay for his medical expenses, starting with one January 3 at Comet Tavern on Capitol Hill. Meantime, the Times says a Sunday night vigil and Monday morning memorial service are planned, both at Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Since nobody opens in West Seattle till 6 am, we decided to go see what the pre-dawn doorbuster rush was like in the Southcenter vicinity — one member of the family actually tried to shop that way a couple years ago, not realizing people line up hours in advance; said family member eventually straggled home, wild-eyed, muttering unspeakable stories of crazed crowds. Kinda quiet here, actually, but busy — here’s what we’ve seen so far: We drove by JC Penney just as the doors were about to open at 4; a line snaked around two sides of the building. (Added later – here’s our video – note the line-cutters running out of nowhere, about 25 seconds in)
Now we’re by Best Buy a mile or so south; what you see above is the end of the line as of 4:30, half an hour before BB opens – that’s the BB sign way off in the distance to the left. Police are even here just in case $400-laptop-hunting gets unruly:
Next stop, 6 am West Seattle shopping — we’ll see if anyone’s camped outside any of the Westwood Village stores scheduled to open early. 5:34 AM UPDATE: We’re here at WV. Nothing like Southcenter. About a dozen people each outside Target and Staples (both of which open at 6 am, along with some other stores which seem to be line-free):
5:42 AM UPDATE: Must be something good on sale at Target – we just went back around to the south side of WV and the line’s grown dramatically, more like 40 people now.
Funny thing is that the doorbusters seem to bring spectators as well as shoppers. At Southcenter, just before Best Buy opened the doors at 5, about half a dozen people suddenly showed up near the head of the line – to aim their cell-phone cameras at the doors as they opened, fishing for YouTube fodder, we suppose. Here in the WV parking lot, there’s a carload of teenage girls next to us just sitting there giggling at the goings-on.
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