West Seattle, Washington
Two more West Seattle Crime Watch items tonight:
First: Police say they arrested a driver for suspected DUI in The Junction early this evening. WSB contributor Katie Meyer talked with officers at the scene, and took the photo above. Katie reports that, according to police and witnesses, the driver was headed westbound on SW Edmunds from California and made a too-wide right turn onto Edmunds, hitting the front of an occupied vehicle waiting at the stop sign, then continuing up over the curb and grass into the parking lot on the south side of the TrueValue store. No serious injuries reported.
Tonight we also have an “alert neighbor calls 911” report. Though this one didn’t end like the one from Puget Ridge earlier today, the person who e-mailed us about it thought you might want to be on the lookout for the people, and MO, they saw:Read More
(October 2011 photo courtesy Mike Dady)
What started as a seed of an idea in North Delridge last fall – turning 26th SW into a “neighborhood greenway,” an idea that drew City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw to the bicycle tour in the photo above – is now sprouting into something bigger, involving more of West Seattle, and you’re invited to a gathering this Sunday to help the idea keep growing. The announcement comes from local bicycling activist Stu Hennessey:
The neighborhood greenway movement in Seattle has been gaining a lot of momentum lately. Neighborhood greenways are routes which provide safe connections for bicyclists and pedestrians between neighborhoods, and to schools, parks, shopping and other destinations. Often they are located on quiet streets parallel to busy arterials, and include traffic calming measures, protected crossings, pocket parks, and other elements that make the route safer and more pleasant for everybody.
The city of Seattle has committed to funding eleven miles of greenways in 2012, and twelve new miles per year thereafter. Because of the work of several local advocates, two West Seattle routes are under consideration for 2012: 21st ave SW between the West Seattle Bridge and White Center, and 26th Ave SW along the Longfellow Creek Trail through North Delridge. This is just a beginning: we hope to form a vision of bicycle and pedestrian connectivity through West Seattle as a whole, and prioritize greenway routes for future development.
Please join us at Pearl’s Coffee this Sunday, Feb 19 at 3 pm (Pearl’s is located at 4800 Delridge Way SW). We’ll meet with neighbors from around West Seattle to begin discussing our vision for bicycle and pedestrian routes throughout our part of the city. Hope to see you there!
If you have something to say about Metro‘s latest revision of West Seattle route restructuring, as announced February 1st, your best opportunities are this week: Metro will be in West Seattle for one briefing and two open houses; the briefing is at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, 7 pm Wednesday, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center; the open houses are 6-8 pm Wednesday at Madison Middle School and 6-8 pm Thursday at Chief Sealth International High School. Metro had an info table today at South Seattle Community College, a hotbed of concern over the new plan (as voiced at this month’s Southwest District Council meeting) because it would leave SSCC with no direct weekend service to and from downtown. The college is circulating a petition – which you can sign here – and president Gary Oertli also has sent the school community a memo. Read it, ahead:Read More
While the biggest spotlight in Olympia today on the marriage-equality signing, we just got word of a children’s-health bill, sponsored by this area’s State Sen. Sharon Nelson, that’s advancing despite what her announcement says is heavy industry opposition. Read on for the latest on the Children’s Safe Products Act:Read More
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Thanks to everybody who e-mailed us about what turned out to be another case of a watchful neighbor tipping police to a burglary. It happened in the Puget Ridge area; police at the scene near 18th and Brandon told us they had five people in custody. Here’s how SPD says it unfolded: A neighbor called around quarter till noon to say two people who had arrived in a car were kicking in a door, then while police were on the way, the neighbor called back to say both suspects were in the house. Police got there and wound up taking five people into custody, all apparently headed to the precinct for questioning. Too soon to know if there’s any chance they are connected to other break-ins, but we’ll follow up.
ADDED 3:10 PM: A little more info from Lt. Pierre Davis at the Southwest Precinct, who declares this, “Our West Seattle community and police partnership at work again” – He says, “Our officers, upon getting the info via 911, was able to locate and make the stop of the suspect vehicle. Upon the stop of the vehicle, two of the suspects fled on foot but were later apprehended by investigating officers. The witness was able to ID the subjects and their vehicle.”
(Photo by KING 5’s Drew Mikkelsen, via Twitter)
Minutes ago in Olympia, Governor Gregoire signed the marriage-equality bill. West Seattleites there to witness history included King County Executive Dow Constantine and Anne Levinson, who shared this photo:
Constantine’s official statement:
This is an historic day for our state, as we finally recognize the equality and protect the rights of all the people of Washington.
We can all take pride in our status as the seventh state in the U.S. to recognize that marriage is a basic civil right.
This legislation has been fully and fairly debated. I congratulate Governor Gregoire for signing it into law.
No doubt this law will be challenged. I will work in whatever capacity I can to ensure its approval by Washington voters, just as I fought against the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” more than a decade ago.
I look forward to the day when I can sign King County’s first marriage license for a same-sex couple.
A referendum petition drive is expected, which would mean no weddings until and unless voters upheld the law in November. Meantime, other reaction includes this from West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen: “”This achievement is the result of decades of tenacious and courageous work by people throughout Washington. I especially want to thank Sen. Ed Murray, who has worked tirelessly for fairness and equality for the passage of this landmark law.”
ADDED 2:11 PM: We’ve also heard from West Seattle’s King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who shared the photo above:
“Arriving at today’s bill signing was a long road. It took almost three decades to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals had the same basic civil rights and protections as every other Washingtonian.
“But that hard work and years of debate brought us to today.
“Business, faith, civic and labor organizations, straight allies, and gay and lesbian advocates worked together and demanded equality. This morning their applause echoed through the Capitol.
“I commend Governor Gregoire for sharing her own personal journey and championing this historic legislation. She, like many people, realized marriage equality is about fairness and justice.
“Washington now joins only six other states granting lesbian and gay couples the same legal right to a marriage license as straight couples. And I look forward to marrying my partner, Michael, in the great state of Washington.”
He and Michael are in this photo with Executive Constantine and Anne Levinson (who were also shown above):
More details on today’s signing, and what’s next, in this Seattle Times (WSB partner) story.
We got a note over the weekend saying that Trader Joe’s has set April 13th – two months from today – as opening date for its long-awaited, long-under-construction West Seattle location (4545 Fauntleroy Way SW). The sender did not want to be identified, but we did some checking and have multiple reasons to believe they’re reliable. Before mentioning this, we wanted to give the company a chance to confirm/deny, but as with other inquiries in recent months, no reply. (They tend to go into quiet mode at this phase of the game, we’ve heard from others covering under-construction stores, as they assemble the staff and go into the final work phase.) We reported back in December that another source gave us a guesstimate of early spring, and this is in line with that. Plus – most other regional openings have been on Fridays – and April 13th is, yes, Friday the 13th – so we’re sharing this info with you with the caveat that, as with many things on projects like this, it may well change. (You’ll recall that when work began at the site last year, the store was expected to open in late 2011; the last time we got a company reply to an inquiry was in September, when they confirmed it would not be open till 2012.) As for when a formal announcement of the opening date might come – hard to say – when TJ’s opened in Ballard, for example, it simply appeared as a sign on the window one day.
Along Fauntleroy Way just across from the central Lincoln Park parking lot, a contractor working for SDOT is tearing up the sidewalk concrete as the first phase of work to put in RapidRide-ready stops and stations begins. We just talked with SDOT’s Mike Ward at the site for more details beyond the traffic-alert advisory issued last week.
The first phase of work will move from Fauntleroy/Rose (map) moving north to California/Findlay (map) over the next two weeks or so – but NOT simultaneously; this crew will do concrete-demolition work one zone at a time in all six zones along that stretch, and once the demolition work is done over the next few days, another crew will follow to put in the foundation for the RapidRide stops/stations. (So if you see a torn-up spot, with no one there working to fix it, don’t despair, that’s a separate crew and they’ll be following up in a matter of days, Ward says.)
Along the Lincoln Park-vicinity stretch – Fauntleroy/Rose, Fauntleroy/Webster, Fauntleroy/Myrtle – on the outbound (northbound) side, the work will result in new shelters, benches, and signage; it’s all being done in the sidewalk/planting-strip zone, not in the road. On the inbound (southbound) side, they’re generally paving over a section of planting strip for placement of a bench and signage. There’s no real-time bus-status info planned on this stretch (that requires a separate type of signage as well as wiring).
Effects in the work zones, which again, are generally about a block at a time (Fauntleroy/Rose demolition work may be done as soon as noon today, and the crew will move north): Traffic is reduced to one lane each way. The sidewalk is closed where the demolition work is being/has been done, so if you’re walking in the area, you may have to cross to the other side, and then cross back again outside the work zone. There may be short-term temporary bus-stop and no-parking signage. No night work, no weekend work in this phase, Ward says. He also says the work schedule is not yet set for the next phases further north, which will go beyond stations/stops and bulbs when it gets to SW Alaska, where rechannelization (to create a transit lane) and signal-timing work also are part of the plan. He also says King County is handling the station/stop work on the southernmost part of the lane, south of where SDOT’s contractor started today; we’ll be checking on their timetable. RapidRide, replacing Route 54, is scheduled to launch in September.
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, added 10:30 am)
As of about 9:30 am, our crew estimated the crowd at the rally by the fishing bridge north of the West Seattle “low bridge” at about 100 people. Police are there to monitor in case of
traffic road effects, but none are reported so far. The rally is a show of support for independent port truckers who are off the job in protest of safety and other concerns. More to come. (Added) Turnout was up to about 200 by 10 am.
EARLY TUESDAY: Here’s a closer look at the rally and the ongoing dispute, from our partners at the Seattle Times.
“We have a standing joke at Fleurt that we would be wealthy if we collected a penny for every ‘ooh and aahh’ we hear when customers walk through the store. The saying ‘stop and smell the roses’ is alive and flourishing at Fleurt,” says Sam (left), proprietor of the Junction store we’re welcoming as a new WSB sponsor on this Valentine’s Day eve.
Sam explains, “Fleurt is a full-service flower shop. We specialize in weddings, events, funerals and deliveries. We do business a little different to most other flower shops out there. I have built strong relationships with local flower growers. Most of our flowers come from washington farms, direct to Fleurt. We don’t belong to any network which means we create flowers that are not so generic and cookie-cutter. We also have the flexibility to buy from who and what we want to best serve our customers. In turn, our customers value and appreciate our style, ethics and philosophy. Every customer that walks through the door or calls to place an order inspires me to grow and be persistent in spite of a very difficult and competitive marketplace where flower shops struggle everyday.
But, she says, Fleurt is more than a full-service flower shop. “Customers love the Fleurt chalkboard out the front where we announce new product arrivals and special events and Fleurt happenings. Customers are always surprised to find that Fleurt not only sells gorgeous flowers, but I carry many unusual gifts and home decor items that are not found elsewhere. Seattle Magazine named Fleurt one of the ‘best new shopping finds’ in Seattle 2011. People are always amazed by our visual presentation and merchandising within the store. We are a great source for creative decorating and gift ideas and I strive to change up the store every few weeks with new product arrivals. We are always adding and switching things around to keep things exciting and fresh. Many of our products are created by local designers and artisans, as well as vintage finds that have been re-purposed.”
Fleurt is at 4461 California SW. Fleurt will be open special extended hours for Valentine’s Day, 8:30 am-6:30 pm Tuesday, and is still accepting Valentine orders – which you can place online 24 hours a day.
We thank Fleurt 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. (Photo by Donna Ryan Photography)
(Click for larger view)
Gatewood photographer/pilot Long B. Nguyen shares that view of the Lowman Beach area – in the news tonight with another design meeting for the sewer-overflow-control project that will be built where you see a block of residences across from the beach park now. Here’s the full list of what’s on the schedule today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
BRIDGE CLOSURES AND OTHER ROAD WORK: There’s LOTS going on. If you drive through the Morgan Junction/Lincoln Park area on Fauntleroy Way SW, crews are starting work on the “transit corridor” project to facilitate this fall’s launch of RapidRide bus service. They’re scheduled to work in the daytime, with some lane restrictions expected; details here. … Avalon Way is scheduled for restrictions/detours today, 9 am-4 pm, explained here … Two West Seattle Bridge closures overnight tonight: The eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct is closed east of the 1st Avenue South offramp, 9 pm-5 am (details here); the Fauntleroy Expressway (southwest end of the bridge) has an overnight closure those same hours, detailed here (and remember – NEXT SUNDAY, IT’S CLOSED ALL DAY).
PORT TRUCKERS RALLY: Just east of the east end of the “low bridge,” port truckers and supporters are scheduled to rally at 9 am by the Spokane Street Fishing Bridge (here’s our Sunday preview).
ZUMBA FUNDRAISER AT WSHS and other dates: West Seattle High School ASB fundraiser for the Class of 2012 – Zumba classes open to all, 5-6 pm today, Thursday, Feb. 28, and March 1 in the WSHS gym, $7/class or 2 for $10.
DESIGN MEETING FOR OVERFLOW-CONTROL PROJECT: Fourth meeting of the Design Advisory Group for the Murray combined-sewer-overflow control facility project across from Lowman Beach. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fauntleroy Church, 9140 California SW.
WEST SEATTLE TEEN IN NATIONAL COMPETITION: Andrew Borracchini represents Admiral Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) – and the entire state! – in the grocery-bagging national championships in Las Vegas (see most recent WSB story here).
NIGHTLIFE: Trivia with Brian Calvert at Christo’s on Alki, 7 pm … Karaoke with Kelli at Skylark Café and Club, 9 pm … Also at 9 pm, the “Flat Earth Society” weekly vinyl DJ’ing at West 5 features Eric Eagle … Talarico’s has karaoke @ 9:30 pm.