West Seattle, Washington
EDITOR’S NOTE: With a performance at Admiral Congregational Church this Sunday, the West Seattle Big Band celebrates 15 years on the local music scene. One of its mainstays, Jim Edwards, writes the story here of its history, and invites you to the concert.
(WSBB promotional video)
By Jim Edwards
Special to West Seattle Blog
The West Seattle Big Band celebrates 15 years.
In 1996, the Admiral neighborhood surrounding West Seattle High School decided to put together a fundraising event in cooperation with the music department at the high school, and the West Seattle High School Alumni Association< . It was to be a black tie affair with talented alumni returning to their alma mater, displaying their musical skills, and helping to raise funds to get the Foundation for the performing arts off the ground. Some members of the alumni association also mentioned that one of their class reps had put together an alumni band, and that it should be included in the concert.
That class rep was Jim Edwards from the class of 1979, and he had put the word out about forming an alumni band, in the alumni edition of the Chinook newspaper two years prior, only to have it cut by the editor. So no band had ever been formed. Now with 10 weeks to go he finds the band has been scheduled to play at this concert. After 3 weeks of phone calls, including a call to his former West Seattle high school band director, Donn Weaver, the band met for a rehearsal.
Thanks to Guy for the sighting and Tracy for the ID (both via Facebook), and JayDee for the photo via e-mail: That’s the USS John C. Stennis, CVN-74, heading northbound in Puget Sound, past West Seattle, on the way to Southern California. The Kitsap Sun reports this seven-week trip will provide the Stennis crew and members of its strike group with training for an upcoming deployment to the Middle East.
5:12 PM: Thanks to the WSB’ers who sent word of a big police response in the 37th/38th/Barton vicinity this afternoon. According to Lt. Ron Smith at the Southwest Precinct, the initial report was “burglary in progress” – he adds, “Officers arrived and observed numerous items belonging to the residence on the driveway.” However, no one was inside. They’ve since reached the resident, who will be figuring out what if anything is missing, so they can update the report.
ADDED 5:48 PM: We also received multiple calls in the past hour about a large police response in the 46th/Lander vicinity. The original call was about possible gunshots; police have determined, according to Lt. Smith, that NO shots were fired. They believe the sound that people heard was a bottle hitting a window – related to a dispute at a house. Apparently a man was trying to get into a house, and a woman inside – apparently NOT a stranger to him – didn’t want to let him in. Police tried to help her but say she didn’t want to cooperate with them. The bottle-throwing had something to do with their dispute.
Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor, Jim Monson, who owns and operates JGM Technical Services. Jim’s a full-service electrical contractor, which means he can handle all the high-voltage jobs in your home, like installing new breakers, plugs, or rewiring, as well as the low-voltage work like installing security systems, CATV and HDTV hookups, along with computer networking, phones,entertainment and media centers, or even programming your smart home. As Jim says, “There’s no need for multiple electrical contractors and the potential headaches that come from trying to coordinate when you need multiple contractors in your home. We make customer service a priority. We try to stay out of your way the best we can, we are very polite, and we meticulously clean up after ourselves when we are finished. We receive compliments about our work on almost every job! Electricity is a basic necessity. When some part of the electrical system fails, we are there to make it right, at an affordable price, and with our business/work ethic.”
Jim volunteers at the Museum of Flight as an electrician and general laborer on the 727 restoration project. He’s also volunteered at local community centers as an electrician, and he works with a couple of organizations that perform electrical work at at a reduced rate for seniors and disabled people. Jim is also a volunteer member of Seattle Emergency Communications. You can contact JGM Technical Services by e-mail or phone; all the info’s here.
We thank JGM Technical Services for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
(Updated 4:50 pm with addition of Mayor McGinn’s statement)
Governor Gregoire has vetoed parts of SB 5073, the medical-marijuana regulation/licensing bill, and reaction is starting to roll in. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes‘ statement says in part, “A rational regulatory framework, which the Legislature’s bill would have brought us, is even more necessary with the proliferation of dispensaries we’ve seen in recent years. Because of the governor’s actions today, these dispensaries will remain mired in a legal gray area …” Two dispensaries are promoting their operations in West Seattle right now, with a third on the way, and two medical-marijuana operations are opening in White Center. Read on for Holmes’ statement; we’ll add any more information/reaction that comes in:Read More
Ah, springtime. The time to clean up the yard, with the mower … the weed-whacker … the hand tools … and/or … the goats! Robin in Fauntlee Hills sent word that he was bringing in the munching machines, through a goatkeeper with Amazin’ Grazers, which is affiliated with Rent-a-Ruminant, but offers smaller-scale goat services. They arrived at midday and got down to work on Robin’s overgrowth. We’re sorry to say you can’t really see them from the street – and given the electric fencing (note the sign in our photo), you’re not going to want to wander around looking, either.
Big weekend for the West Seattle High School baseball team. Tomorrow afternoon, they play Highline High School at Safeco Field – the game is free and you’re invited, 4 pm. As a fundraiser related to the game, they’re still selling Mariners’ tickets, as noted here recently, and now they’re offering an alternative way to get them: This Sunday, 10 am-3 pm at Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor), 7901 35th SW, the team will wash your car, and for every $10 donated, you get a ticket to the M’s game for which the team’s been selling tickets, next Thursday (May 5th) vs. the Texas Rangers.
Who’s taking home part of what’s left from the now-closed Charlestown Street Café? Above, that’s Donna from Giannoni’s Pizzeria in Westwood Village, with son LJ – who picked up several items, including tables and a huge salad spinner – and they weren’t the only local restaurateurs we spotted. There also were souvenir-seekers, like one West Seattleite who told us she was hoping to find something small, maybe a menu, though after wandering around the offerings during the preview time, she hadn’t found anything fitting that bill just yet.
By 10 am, the restaurant was fairly full, and as scheduled, the auction began, legendary local auctioneer James G. Murphy himself led the calling, with Ron Hannon at his side:
Here’s a wider look at their portable-podium-with-PA setup, plus the assistant who has to go find each item that’s being bid on, lifting it aloft till the bidding ends:
As of about quarter past twelve, the auction had moved into the kitchen. We’re going back shortly to check on whether it’s still going. Backstory in case you missed it: The café closed April 3rd, with its owner citing economic reasons (as well as the difficulty of operating without a long-term lease). There’s a development proposal in progress for the site; we reported last Monday on the plan.
2:30 PM UPDATE: Just stopped by. The remaining Murphy personnel on the site say the auction finished about an hour ago, and everything went except for a few countertops.
Often in the realm of hiring, an organization will say it’s conducting a “nationwide search.” On Thursday afternoon, Westside School (WSB sponsor) invited families and interested community members to come meet the faculty for its new Middle School – and the team (listed here) displayed international flair, with Mandarin Chinese teacher Su-Chen Wang, who originally hails from Taiwan, and humanities/drama teacher Glyn Jenkins, with British roots. The Middle School will launch with sixth grade when the new school year starts this September; more on the faculty’s meet-and-greet ahead:Read More
Another event-packed weekend in West Seattle, particularly tomorrow, as you can tell with a look at the WSB Events calendar – but one of the biggest events is lasting all day, both days this weekend, so no matter what else you’re up to, you can make time to drop in. It’s the West Seattle Rock Club‘s annual Rock and Gem Show, which is sponsoring WSB this week to make sure everybody gets the news about how things are going to pan out – pun intended, because this year’s theme is “Gold Rush.” The club promises demonstrations by “real gold prospectors” – and a chance to “pan your own gold.” Other demos include jewelry and lapidary techniques, and as always, there are activities for kids.
While the show does have displays of rock and mineral specimens you can ooh and aah over, it’s far from a “just come have a look” kind of event (rocks, minerals, jewelry, and supplies are on sale too). It’s 10 am-5 pm both days this weekend at the Alki Masonic Temple, 40th/Edmunds.
A sight seen before at other notable shuttered businesses – the Corner Inn (2008 coverage here), the Gee/ex-Huling auto enterprises (2007 coverage here) – is outside the former Charlestown Street Café right now: The truck carrying equipment for James G. Murphy Auctioneers. In about half an hour, they’ll be taking bids on hundreds of items left over from the café operation, which shut down on April 3rd. The auction site opened for “previewing” at 8 this morning, and a few people were wandering through when we stopped by a little while ago:
12:49 PM UPDATE: We’re working on a separate story about the auction itself – which is still under way as of about 20 minutes ago (we went back to check)!
(Photo added 10:39 am)
A note from David about “lots of activity on Beach Drive” this morning reminded us that Beach Drive Blog mentioned this on Thursday – the movie “Ira Finkelstein’s Christmas” is back in West Seattle today. Same movie we reported on last weekend, with the palm trees placed temporarily so Alki could stand in for Florida; BDB says a house near Me-Kwa-Mooks is doing the same thing. (And we believe the palm tree in BDB’s photo has long been growing there.)
ADDED 12:45 PM: Beach Drive Blog is all over it – including photos of the stars. Here’s the latest BDB update.
Male harlequin ducks are so splendidly colored, you might think they are … royal, in the spirit of this day’s big whole-world-is-watching event. Thanks to David Hutchinson of Alki for photographing the harlequin-duck couple along the Harbor Avenue shore. Now, on to the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
RESTAURANT HISTORY GOES TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER: This morning brings the Charlestown Street Café auction (at the site of the 4-weeks-closed restaurant at California/Charlestown), 8-10 am preview, 10 am auction – details here; auction catalog online here.
STUFF THE VAN! Spring cleaning? West Seattle Girl Scouts want to turn your unwanted items into treasures! Help the Brownies of Troop 40890 – 2nd graders from Lafayette, Schmitz Park, Alki Elementary Schools – help critically ill children at Seattle Children’s Hospital and homeless families at Wellspring Family Services. 3:45-5 pm today, bring used children’s DVDs, gently used blankets, gently used children’s PJ’s to West Side Presbyterian Church (3601 California SW). Look for the black EuroVan!
MADISON’S SPRING FLING: Spaghetti dinner & family fun at Madison Middle School 6 – 9 pm, hosted by the Music Boosters and the PTSA. Live Music featuring the Madison Jazz Band, Senior Band and Orchestra. Cake Walk tickets available for 50 cents. Ice Cream Sundae Bar for $2.50. Fifth-grade reconnaissance opportunity. Tickets at door: $7/adult; $4/10 and under.
‘SHIPWRECKED’ IN THE JUNCTION: “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment …” continues at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, 7:30 pm.
‘FOOLS’ AT SEATTLE LUTHERAN: Seattle Lutheran High School Drama presents the comedy “Fools” by Neil Simon, tonight at 7:30 pm (and Sunday at 2:30 pm). At the SLHS Gymnasium, 4100 SW Genesee, $5 adults, $2 children 7-14, children under 7 are free
‘WOMEN, WINE, AND WELLNESS’: Roxbury Spine and Wellness Clinic is providing a night of free pampering as well as socializing and networking for local businesses, with food, wine, chair massages, beauty consultations, personal training, and even a DJ, plus giveaways! Register online!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
A new mixed-use development proposed for central Delridge finished making its way through the city’s design-review process Thursday night, with the minimum number of meetings – passing “early design guidance” in one Southwest Design Review Board meeting last year, and the “recommendation” phase in one meeting tonight.
(2010 WSB photo of the site)
The project includes apartments, houses, and a small amount of retail, all on a site to be carved out of what is currently a green hillside on the north edge of the mid-Delridge commercial zone (the Delridge/Orchard area with The Home Depot, two gas stations, the Tug Inn, and a storage facility, among other things).
Spring concert lineup announced in our email today from the Westside Symphonette and String Ensemble –
Save your next two Tuesdays, May 3rd and May 10th, for wonderful evenings with refreshing, relaxing, and fun music.
First, on May 3rd, the Westside Symphonette and String Ensemble will present music ranging from Bach to Disney to contemporary. Plan to tap your toes and even enjoy some singing along!
The String Ensemble, our entry-level group, including students in grades three through six, will play hoe-down style music and “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.
The Westside Symphonette, our intermediate group, will perform music ranging from Bach’s “Sleepers Wake”, to an energetic contemporary piece, to selections from Mary Poppins!
The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Chief Sealth International High School auditorium. Suggested donation $5 for adults, $1 for students.
Then on May 10, come hear our Symphony perform orchestral classics, including Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, two movements from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and Lecuona’s Malaguena!
Our resident woodwind ensemble will present its premiere public performance of local composer Jeremiah Oliver’s “A Forest Lines the Banks”, Vaughan William’s gorgeous Rhosymedre, and a quirky Shostakovich Polka round out the program.
Same venue (Chief Sealth International High School auditorium), different time (7:00 p.m.), same low, low suggested donation: $5 for adults, $1 for students!
For more information contact Toni Reineke & Rob Duisberg, Co-Conductors
West Seattle Community Orchestras