West Seattle, Washington
The date is finally confirmed for the dedication celebration and public open house at new Fire Station 37 in Sunrise Heights: 11 am-1 pm Saturday, December 4th. You’ll be able to tour the new 35th/Holden building; kids’ activities are promised as well as free blood-pressure screenings and “life-saving door prizes.” The Engine 37 crew moved in a month and a half ago; the historic ex-Station 37 a few blocks north is expected to be sold, but since it’s a city landmark, it can’t be torn down. (Thanks to David Rosen for spotting the dedication invite online – no formal announcements have been sent around yet! ** Added 10:23 am Thursday – just got a postal-mail postcard with the same invite you see above.)
“Construction of our new park is almost complete,” says a brand-new update on the Seattle Parks webpage for the under-construction Myrtle Reservoir Park (map). Thanks to Heather for pointing out the update, which bears today’s date; we hadn’t checked with project manager Virginia Hassinger since she reported in early October that there was at least another month of work left. The new update says in part:
In the next several days we will be testing and commissioning our irrigation system and doing final cleanup work.
We also will be installing temporary protective fencing and signs within the park to direct people away from the newly seeded lawn and to protect SPU facilities. We are working closely with SPU to install fencing as soon as possible.
Once these things are done we will selectively remove construction fencing at the entry pathways, opening the park pathways and play area to the public. Our goal is to provide public access to the new park before the Thanksgiving weekend.
The park’s been almost four years in the making – we started covering the process when the second round of meetings began in early 2008.
A few nights ago, Bird on a Wire Espresso in Westwood tweeted a mysterious few words about an upcoming presence in Admiral. We e-mailed a follow-up question; the reply came tonight, with this announcement:
Our little Bird has spread her wings!
We are joining sweet forces with Heavenly Pastry in the Admiral Junction … opening soon at 2604 California Ave SW!
We will offer all the same things you have grown to love at the “Mamma Bird.” Beer and wine may not happen right away, but our offerings will include Heavenly scones,
MORE DELICIOUS PASTRIES they can provide to us, sandwiches, soups, smoothies and delights from our current vendors. We will continue to use Raven’s Brew Coffee.
And YES, we will continue to operate at 3509 SW Henderson St!!
Heavenly Pastry closed its retail storefront just four weeks ago, while saying it would continuing to bake at that location.
From SDOT, circulated by the city’s Junction-based Southwest District Coordinator Stan Lock:
SDOT is updating the Seattle Transit Master Plan and would like you to provide your input by completing a survey:
Want a better transit system? Tell SDOT what you’d like to see!
Getting around Seattle can be tricky — everyone has waited for a delayed bus in the rain, driven to work to save time, or needed room for just one more bike on the train. Maybe you wish the bus stopped closer to your house or was easier to get to on foot or by bike. We know you have ideas about how transit should be improved, so here’s a chance to share your take with the city.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is updating Seattle’s Transit Master Plan, which will help to determine the city’s future investments in transit. As part of this process, SDOT is conducting a short survey to figure out what’s working and what isn’t in Seattle’s transit system. The survey takes less than 10 minutes and asks some basic questions about how you currently use transit and what you’d like to see improved. Throw in your two cents at
seattle.gov/transportation/transitmasterplan/survey and check out
seattle.gov/transportation/transitmasterplan.htm for more information
about the plan.
When we first reported a week and a half ago that the former Café Revo in the Luna Park business district is being turned into a new restaurant called Avalon, we promised to pursue more information. And here it is; proprietor Deborah Breuler agreed to answer a few questions via e-mail:
BACKGROUND? “I was managing partner/Executive chef at Maggiano’s in Bellevue. I worked for them for ten years both here and L.A. Thomas and I both come from restaurant backgrounds. We met in Chicago while we were both working for Rick Bayless and Susan Goss in their American Regional Restaurant Zinfandel. I have opened 6 restaurants for other people; this will be my first as an owner.”
AVALON’S FOOD: “We will be focused on Pacific Northwest products with influences from the Mediterranean. I particularly love the foods of Morocco, Spain, France, and Italy. Some examples of that would be a Serrano ham, grilled pear with hazelnut mascarpone bruschetta, or lamb shank with prunes and almonds over blue bird grains emmer farro. Semolina lemon tart with whipped cream fraiche.”
Three years and nine days after the first word of a proposal to change the zoning of a full block of California SW on the south end of the Admiral District, the proposal has finally reached the City Council, which has the final say.
(Screen grab from Seattle Channel stream of this morning’s hearing)
Its Committee on the Built Environment has just concluded its first hearing on the proposal to change the zoning along a block-plus of California SW (Hanford to Hinds) from NC1-30 to NC2-40, enabling larger businesses and taller buildings.
Despite the time it has taken for the proposal to get to this point, council staffer Michael Jenkins noted to the committee, “You are pressed for time on this” – it’s now close to the end of the 120-day period allotted for committee action. It’s been pushed off this long because the city recommendation on the proposal came right before fall – which happens to be when councilmembers are focused on budget matters; they have wrapped those up except for next Monday’s final budget vote, so that’s why they were able to take it up today.
No one was there for public comment (on this issue or anything else on the agenda) at today’s meeting. The council spent about half an hour listening to Jenkins’ presentation, involving the issues on which we’ve reported many times before (here’s our coverage archive). Clark summarized that the main issues seemed to her to be the height analysis – how would the upzoning really affect the area – and interpretation of whether this fits with the Admiral Neighborhood Plan. There were some technicalities bandied about regarding the “adopted” plan versus the “recognized” plan; Clark said she has always felt the entire “recognized” plan should be considered as such. Councilmember Sally Bagshaw suggested a “field trip” to the site; no date was set but Clark said that certainly was possible. Clark asked for clarification of whether the property owners who proposed this (Mike Gain and Roger Cayce) owned all the parcels (they don’t, though Jenkins didn’t have that information handy) or had a special agreement with other owners supporting the proposal.
Bottom line: There will be at least one more hearing in this committee – they are scheduling November 30th for oral arguments, and the people challenging the rezone (six appeals, largely involving dozens of nearby residents) will get 15 minutes to split among themselves, while those seeking it (and, since it recommended approval, the city Department of Planning and Development), will get 15 minutes. After that hearing, committee chair Clark said, they will decide if the committee is ready to vote on the request – or if they will schedule one more meeting on December 8th. Once this committee makes its decision, a full council vote would be next. (One note, the graphic on the screengrab above is erroneous; though the term appeared throughout the meeting stream, this is not a CONTRACT rezone, which would involve a specific project; this is a general rezone – differences explained here.)
A “short-term forecast” alert is just out from the National Weather Service for the entire metro area (and then some):
A LINE OF SHOWERS EXTENDING FROM NORTHEAST OF THE PUGET SOUND REGION TO THE SOUTHWEST INTERIOR IS MOVING SLOWLY TO THE EAST. SOME OF THE SHOWERS HAVE BEEN HEAVY…WITH AMOUNTS BETWEEN A HALF TO THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH IN LESS THAN AN HOUR. SOME LOCALIZED PONDING OF WATER AND URBAN FLOODING IS POSSIBLE WITH THESE SHOWERS. THESE SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE INTO THIS EVENING.
(Tuesday morning photo by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
Since our Monday night report on the Alki Bakery closure, a few developments – a couple of which were added to that report, a couple that were not. First – if you missed that story, to recap, the bakery closed without warning Monday night, with a note posted on the door by the company, saying in part, “Our lease has run its course and it’s not viable for us to renew at a rate that works for both Alki Bakery and our landlord.” Our interview request to the AB owner Kevin Piper has gone unanswered, though Nancy Leson at the Seattle Times has just published an update, writing that he said in e-mail:
Simply put, our lease on Alki Beach is about to expire and the economics of renewing the lease at a much higher rate does not work … We will do our best to find positions for our staff members in other locations.
The landlord, however, has commented publicly. As noted in an addition to our previous story, the property owner of record, Joanne Richey, died last summer; her daughter Barbara Wuerth posted last night on the newly created Save the Alki Bakery Facebook page, alluding to critical comments, saying:
I am the evil landlord. My family has owned this building since 1920. The closing was mutual, he has become much busier with his bakery in Kent. I toured it and was really impressed. I will miss his coffee but things change. His baked goods are still available in many groceries and restaurants.
We are seeking further comment from her, too. We have also had online exchanges with Sarah Holmes, longtime café manager, who has also commented here and elsewhere. In a comment last night, she says she’s planning to stop by at noon today to check out the notes on the door; she also told us last night that she received word of the impending shutdown “less than an hour” before her staff, and that she was offered a position at another AB outlet. She also has written on Save the Alki Bakery:
Thank You everyone…for your beautiful words and stories. It means the WORLD to the people who actually worked there. We will all miss the Bakery greatly…both as a job and as a home…♥ DO NOT be rude to the owners of the building, please, they have lost so very much in the recent past months. They did NOT ask for this or I’m sure want it….
No public hint so far of what’s next for the 61st/Alki building.
Another busy night for West Seattle meetings: If you are interested in neighborhood traffic control, you’re invited to a city informational meeting, 6:30 pm, West Seattle Library … The Triangle Advisory Group that’s been talking about streetscape and zoning in the area’s future will talk tonight with Metro about RapidRide‘s potential effects – including parking removal – in the area, 6 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle … Delridge Neighborhoods District Council has its monthly meeting tonight, 7 pm, Youngstown Arts Center, with a wide-ranging agenda including a look at where Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association is now and where it’s going … For the 2nd consecutive day at Endolyne Joe’s, 20% of sales benefit a local school – this time, Pathfinder K-8 … The West Seattle High School PTA meets tonight in the school library, 7 pm … That’s also the start time for a winter fashion show at Shadowland, presented by Junction boutiques Sweetie and Carmilia’s. P.S. As previewed here yesterday, a City Council committee meeting that’s about to start (9:30 am) will include the first council discussion of the Hinds-to-Hanford California SW “upzoning” proposal. You should be able to watch live at www.seattlechannel.org; it’s the last item on the agenda.
We’ve received two reports that Highland Park Way is closed “at the top” because of a crash that is said to involve a school bus. Heading over to check – but in the meantime, so as not to panic anyone, we will note there is no such crash on the live 911 log, which would suggest no medics summoned because no injuries. Update to come. 8:50 AM: Checking the scene, and traffic is getting around in both directions, with the help of police, though the bus is still there. Adding a photo. Via Facebook, Erik said he was at the scene when it happened about an hour ago and a car and truck appeared to have been involved too. 9:18 AM: Scene clear, according to comments.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Though some categories of crime are down, that doesn’t mean local police aren’t busy. This is the seventh weekly installment of this new WSB feature, and now it has a name. If nothing else, some of the summaries may answer questions you had about police responses you saw in the past week or so …
By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
From reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers:
*Around 6 p.m. Saturday, a call came in to 911 about a man running near 35th and Juneau with a large knife. Officers quickly found the man, who was fairly easy to spot, seeing that he was dressed in fatigues and carrying a machete. He was handcuffed and taken to the SW Precinct. An investigation soon showed that he was part of a group of military aficionados engaged in a scavenger hunt through the neighborhood.
*After placing an online ad to sell her computer (a MacBook Pro), a woman agreed to meet a potential buyer on Saturday evening at a fast-food restaurant at 35th SW/Avalon. As she pulled the computer from her bag so that he could examine it, the “potential buyer” grabbed it from her grasp and fled in a large dark-colored sedan driven by a woman.
(8 more summaries ahead:)Read More