West Seattle, Washington
There’s your new word of the night: “Rechannelization.” That vocabulary enrichment is just one bit of a pile of new information we brought out of the SDOT open house at High Point Community Center tonight. The sign-in sheets indicate more than 120 people stopped in at some point tonight, almost three weeks after first word that “rechannelization” of Fauntleroy between Alaska and California – changing it to one lane each way, plus a center turn lane and a bike lane – was in the cards along with repaving. We visited tonight’s open house in the final hour, to get a good sense of how many people had shown up during the course of the night and what they were saying about the proposal; SDOT reps told us that they had quite the crowd even before the doors opened at 5:30 – read on for everything else we found out, about the proposed “rechannelization” and the repaving project, including enlightenment as to why the same potholes keep turning up in the same spots over and over again:Read More
(Left to right, photographed 7/18/08, the Hi-Yu Junior Court: Princesses Elyse Mitchell and Anna Fuller, and Queen Zoe Mahn)
We were there for their coronation on July 18th (photo above) and tonight, a new distinction for the current West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival Junior Court — their proposal for the next float theme was chosen at tonight’s Hi-Yu meeting: “Awesome!” is how Princess Elyse said she felt after the Junior Court’s idea, “Hi-Yu 75 Years: How Sweet It Is” was chosen as the official theme of the 2009 float. The float will have a candy motif, featuring candy canes, lollipops, and dishes of ice cream. The girls’ presentation during tonight’s meeting at Merrill Gardens on 35th included single-sheet drawings from Princess Anna, who said she had worked on her drawing during a recent plane trip from Houston to Seattle. A poster board workup of the float was drawn by Queen Zoe, who also handled most of the presentation. In all, three ideas were submitted; only one other theme, “Diamond Memories,” received any votes. (Last year’s theme, if you need a refresher, was “Luna Park,” and it won an award in the Seafair Torchlight Parade [WSB coverage, with video, here].)
When we looked at the photo before reading the accompanying e-mail, we had a bit of a headscratch moment – but Keri‘s note explains why she sent it, and why we in turn are publishing this photo (sans location, but that’s not the point here anyway):
I’m sending you a photo that, when compared to the other seasonal light display photos, seems rather paltry. However – this display is in the alley that runs behind my house … it made me laugh out loud as I was coming home from the bus. I just think it’s so cool that these neighbors would decorate the ALLEY – it really cheered me up on this gloomy evening.
And after all, isn’t that what decorations are for – not just to dazzle, but also to cheer? Send us photos, addresses, etc. any time during this season – email@example.com – thanks! (All previous Christmas-lights pix, including the ones we ran last year, can be found here.)
We told you two weeks ago about Nic Plemel (left), when his wife Rachael e-mailed WSB to share the news that he’s planning to run 13 marathons in 12 weeks, to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Nic has just updated his “13 in 12” blog (as you may already have seen if you follow the automated updates on the WSB Blogs page, which picks up the feeds from 100 West Seattle-based blog writers) – now that he’s finished his first 3 marathons out of those 13, including yesterday’s big Seattle Marathon. He’s also more than a third of the way to his fundraising goal; you can make a donation via his site.
“It only took a year,” apologized one district official, ruefully, before tonight’s Denny Middle School Site Redevelopment Design Team four-hour “charrette” (which is just getting under way now that non-district and non-consultant participants have arrived) — but, elapsed time aside, they are happy to announce tonight that there’s finally an official website for the Denny-Sealth project and other district BEX (Building Excellence) projects. The start page is at bex.seattleschools.org – the Denny-Sealth-specific information starts here, and includes everything from a photo gallery to permit information to the meeting calendar (including non-district meetings at which the project will be discussed).
It didn’t happen in West Seattle, but it wasn’t very far away, and police are casting a citywide (even regional) net for a murder suspect on the loose, so we are helping distribute this photo and information: Shown at left is 39-year-old Jose Angel Blanco, AKA Jose A. Blanco-Naranjo, suspected of killing his ex-wife, 32-year-old Noemi Lopez, a mother of three, yesterday in the Rainier Valley. If you have any idea where he might be, call 911. Read more here about his description; read more here about what happened (as told by neighbor Amber Campbell, an acquaintance of ours because she runs the Rainier Valley Post neighborhood-news site in that area). TUESDAY UPDATE: Police say he has changed cars – latest information here.
Since last February, we’ve been updating you on the city’s plans for a “parking review” in The Junction – with the possibility that it could lead to a return to paid on-street parking (among other possibilities). Most recently, an SDOT manager distributed a handout at the Triangle brainstorming meeting (WSB coverage here) two weeks ago, saying the review would start shortly. However, SDOT has now pulled back on that (to “balance staffing resources”), and rolled the timetable back yet again, with “most outreach (to) take place after the new year,” according to our exchange with SDOT strategic advisor Ann Sutphin just before the Thanksgiving break. She tells WSB a flyer will go out this month “with a more detailed 2009 project schedule,” and that SDOT is “investigating interest in forming a project committee for West Seattle Junction to work with us throughout the year-long process.” One question that was raised with our last update – why are the proposed boundaries for the “Junction” parking review so broad (between Dakota and Brandon north to south, Fauntleroy and 47th east to west)? Sutphin explains, “We have heard some initial concern about potential parking issues further east of The Junction, so we we’ve put out a larger area to allow for comment and feedback. We’ll use stakeholder input we receive to inform what specific blocks we will collect parking data within this larger area. We will not collect parking data for the entire outreach area. The parking study and data collection will likely occur February or after.” You can track city updates on the parking program via this section of the city website (and of course, via WSB; our coverage is all archived here, newest to oldest). For feedback/questions, the city has set up a special e-mail address: JunctionParking@seattle.gov – as mentioned before, the city also expects to set up review areas in Admiral, Morgan Junction, and Alki/Harbor Drive (planning map here) in the next few years.
(added Monday night: one of the “Save Arbor Heights” campaign signs that are being printed)
The Arbor Heights Elementary PTSA has just finished a “fact sheet” about its school, which (to recap) is proposed for closure by Seattle Public Schools staff — not the building itself, but the school that’s currently housed in it. AHPTSA describes it as “being evicted”; SPS staff proposes dispersing AH students to other “West Seattle South cluster” schools, and moving the Pathfinder K-8 alternative program into the AH building (after closing the deteriorating Genesee Hill building where it’s long been housed). One of the points that AH reiterates on the fact sheet: In a time when SPS leaders have said they want to move back toward “neighborhood schools” (after years of “school choice” tending to scatter people) — buildings where a high percentage of the students are from nearby neighborhoods — AH already is succeeding on that front, with 50% of its students from the immediate area (described by SPS as the “reference area”). If that doesn’t sound like much to you, consider the stats for other West Seattle elementary schools (according to the “demographic summaries” available on the SPS website – you can choose any school from the “school reports” pulldown on this page):
21% for Alki Elementary
29% for Cooper Elementary
32% for Gatewood Elementary
47% for Highland Park Elementary
42% for Lafayette Elementary
26% for Roxhill Elementary
31% for Sanislo Elementary
51% for Schmitz Park Elementary (the only one higher than AH)
36% for West Seattle Elementary
(Thanks to Michelle for pointing out this info also is available in map form)
Here again is the new Arbor Heights fact sheet; next steps for the “Save Arbor Heights” campaign, a community meeting in the school cafeteria at 7 tomorrow night (as reported here last night). Side note: Tomorrow is also a big night for dozens of West Seattle parents affected by the proposal to move the citywide APP (top-level gifted) program out of Lowell Elementary in the north end and split it between two schools (West Seattle APP students would move to Hawthorne) – their advisory committee is having a meeting at Lowell with a briefing from district staff.
DENNY MIDDLE SCHOOL SITE REDEVELOPMENT DESIGN TEAM: 5-9 pm, Denny MS library, “design charrette” to rough out a proposed plan for the site, once Denny is torn down after its new building on the Chief Sealth HS campus is done. (WSB coverage of the previous meeting is here.)
FAUNTLEROY WAY LANE RECONFIGURATION OPEN HOUSE: 5:30-8:30 pm, High Point Community Center (map), go register your comments and get information about the proposal to change Fauntleroy between Alaska and California to one lane each way plus a center turn lane when repaving work is done next year. (Previous WSB coverage is linked from this post.)
WEST SEATTLE HI-YU FESTIVAL MEETING AND CHRISTMAS RECEPTION: 6:30 pm, Merrill Gardens on 35th (map). All welcome to share ideas as Hi-Yu chooses its float theme for next year, and celebrates the holiday season. (More here.)
(Jenny) has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2008 Teacher Recognition Awards Program sponsored by the SynapticMash Innovation Foundation. She is an absolutely outstanding teacher and has more than earned this recognition! Through compassion, high standards and model instruction, she helps her students excel.
Full details on the award, from the Seattle Public Schools School Beat newsletter, can be read here. We love to report what’s happening at West Seattle schools, so please e-mail us your school news any time. (Photos and video welcome too!)
Thanks to Brian for the tip on this: He spotted a crew and equipment (photo added 12:25 pm) from Archer Construction at the Morgan Junction park site (former monorail land immediately north of Beveridge Place Pub); we just confirmed with Parks Department project manager Virginia Hassinger that this is indeed the official start of construction – she says work should be done by mid-March. Here’s the official project page; this is the final design for the park:
As we reported earlier this fall, a sidewalk-art project also is slated to go in as part of walkway work next to the park site (that work is under SDOT‘s jurisdiction). Work was also supposed to begin today on Dakota Place Park north of The Junction – we’ll be checking on that shortly. 12:51 PM UPDATE: Went by Dakota Place – as of about an hour ago, no sign of activity yet. Meantime, we also checked with the Parks Department re: one lingering Morgan Junction park issue – its namelessness. Read on to see what we found out:Read More
Thanks to Steven D for spotting this: Garlic Jim’s Pizza in The Junction is for sale, $250,000 “furnitures/fixtures included.” Here’s the listing, which includes the line “there is no other gourmet pizza delivery or takeout in the same area” (Pagliacci, practically kitty-corner, isn’t gourmet?). We knew it had changed hands a few months back; its original owner, Ryan Reese, is a local real-estate broker who also just opened the “West Seattle Bros” Christmas tree lot on the east side of The Junction. Also currently listed for sale, north to south: Angelina’s Trattoria (still open), Blackbird Bistro (closed), Beato (closed – it’s listed for either standalone sale or entire building). And as reported here last Tuesday, Alki Homestead owner Tom Lin says he’s found new owners for that landmark restaurant.
For the first time since we started surveying West Seattle gas prices, every station in WS is selling regular for less than $2 a gallon. The price-drop rate was slower this past week than in previous weeks, but it did continue, and $1.83 (photo left) is the cheapest price in this area as of late Sunday night. Read on to see who’s where overall, as December begins:Read More
After a few hours out and about Sunday afternoon, we are convinced there is no better time to shop for a Christmas tree than a foggy afternoon, with the tree boughs glistening from the moisture left by the mist. Once again this year, we’re sampling prices. We don’t have an across-the-board comparison, since the various tree-sellers engage in different price-styles, from flat fees for a certain type in a certain height range, to per-tree labeled pricing, to per-tree “you gotta ask” pricing — but this might at least give you a little budgeting information, for starters. We intend to update this as tree season progresses in the next few weeks, and possibly to break out some side notes too (your options for living trees, for example). Anyway, here goes:Read More