West Seattle, Washington
Just so you’re not surprised if it happens this time – after today’s flurries … weather experts are talking about the possibility of up to an inch of snow in the morning-rush-hour vicinity tomorrow, before things finally warm up a bit. This has been mentioned in a few places; for one, comment-section fans know Patrick the meteorologist, who brought it up on the WSB Facebook page an hour ago; it’s in the late-night National Weather Service “forecast discussion,” too.
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Moving toward the citywide semifinals in two weeks, Global Reading Challenge events continue at participating Seattle Public Schools, and today, it was Arbor Heights Elementary School‘s turn to gather its teams to compete, share their reading knowledge, and decide who’s moving to the next level.
This time, it took what was described as an “unprecedented” tiebreaker!
In the past day or so, we’ve received announcements about three local schools’ upcoming auctions. These events are always your chance to help local kids – so here’s the first of three standalone shoutouts: Madison Middle School‘s “Class Act” auction event is coming up March 10th, with just two days left to buy tickets. Here’s the announcement:
Calling all Madison Middle School Alumni and auction fans everywhere!
Madison Middle School is holding its annual Class Act Auction on March 10, 2012 at 5:00 at the Hall at Fauntleroy.
We have some incredible donations just waiting to be bid on and taken home.
Madison has won a number of prestigeous awards this year and would like to continue to keep the bar high by raising money to fund up-to-date technology and curriculum to challenge and engage students.
Auction tickets are still available. To purchase tickets, sponsor a teacher or make a donation to the auction, go to madisonmiddleschool.schoolauction.net/madisonauction2012/ and click on the “purchase tickets” or “make a donation” buttons. Ticket sales end Friday, March 2, so get them soon!
(Easy Street owner Matt Vaughan onstage with Damien Jurado after the February 18th in-store show)
Worried about too much change in “Downtown West Seattle”? Here’s something that’s not going to change for a long time: Via Twitter, Easy Street Records proprietor Matt Vaughan announced he’s signed a deal to keep his iconic music store/café at The Junction’s iconic corner for another 16 years. Thanks to Steve for telling us about the tweet; we e-mailed Matt to ask for more details, and he replied with what he called a “quick press release,” though it’s more a tale of looking back and looking ahead:
WM Management and the Yen Family have struck a longterm agreement with Easy Street Records/Cafe. Easy Street moved to the corner of California Ave and Alaska St in 1989. We had been at 4537 California (where Leisure Books is) for a couple years prior to the move.
During those late 80’s, The Junction was going through a lot of changes. It was regentrifying. The WS Bridge had only been up for a few years. The real estate boom was beginning to hit WS, but still the Junction had a lot of vacancies and had a few challenges ahead. I can recall ordering sandwiches from Jack Miller, yelling my order down the street. There was less activity, less people walking the street.
During the late 80’s and 90’s, the Seattle music scene was burgeoning and a lot of that was happening here in little West Seattle.
A reminder for King County Water Taxi riders – tomorrow (March 1st), fares go up. The new ones are listed here. As also noted on that page, Vashon Water Taxi riders will be riding a different vessel starting tomorrow, for at least three weeks – the Victoria Clipper III. In case you’re wondering – the West Seattle Water Taxi’s 7-day-a-week spring/summer schedule starts April 9th, and is detailed here.
Got confirmation today that the rescheduled Arbor Heights crime-prevention/Block Watch-organizing meeting is happening tomorrow – Thursday, March 1, 6:30 pm, at Arbor Heights Community Church (41st/102nd). The announcement invites Arbor Heights residents to:
Meet with your neighbors to:
¨ Get information on the recent area crimes
¨ Strategize on actions to reduce area crime
¨ Get printed material on improving home security, enhancing personal safety, and reducing car-related crimes
¨ Learn what WE can do, working together, to reduce neighborhood crime
Come prepared to share your experiences about recent crime and public safety concerns in the neighborhood.
Come ready to become an active participant in reducing area crime and improving neighborhood quality of life.
1:22 PM: The fire response in the Alki area, 3300 block of 59th SW, is described as a “small fire” – but we’re en route to check it out anyway.
(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
1:51 PM UPDATE: Crews are already gone. WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli was there a few minutes after the call opened and says he was told it was a “small kitchen fire.”
First sighting of signage at the almost-ready West Seattle Trader Joe’s (4545 Fauntleroy Way SW) – ‘now accepting applications’ and ‘now hiring’ banners. Though neither wants to be identified, two sources reiterate to WSB that April 13th continues to be the target opening date.
12:51 P.S. – The jobs are NOT yet listed on the TJ’s website (though you can download a generic company job application) – driving by a second time, we noticed a small posting next to the banner, so we’re going over to see what it says. (If anybody from TJ’s sees this – the WSB Forums offer free listings for West Seattle jobs – available to any business, as long as the job is IN West Seattle – go here.)
2:40 PM UPDATE: The smaller sign says they’re taking applications Mondays-Fridays, 7 am-5 pm, and a hand-lettered sign next to it adds that you should apply at the trailer in the parking lot by the future main entry. Phone number is also posted: 206-496-9884.
By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
As always, the WSBeat summaries are from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers, incidents of note that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
*A woman was able to get help at an Alki restaurant after she was chased down and jumped by a man near 58th and SW Marine Drive early Saturday. He shoved her from behind, and from the ground she began screaming and managed to kick her assailant in the chest. He ran off toward Alki Ave. SW. The report says restaurant staff mentioning they had recently heard people talk about being jumped in the 2600 block of Alki Ave. SW. The attacker was described as a white man in his late 20s or early 30s who smokes. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled tight around his face, with “a large nose” visible. He wore blue jeans and was approximately 5’9” with a medium build. The victim initially encountered him sitting in the patio area of a business in the 2600 block of Alki, where she was supposed to meet a friend, and he followed her to the location where she was assaulted.
*The sounds of a violent domestic disturbance led a citizen to call 911 Thursday night. When officers arrived at the Avalon Way address, the male suspect was immediately hostile and uncooperative. He ended up punching one officer in the head and another in the chest before being taken into custody. The home was in complete disarray, with broken cell phones, overturned furniture and shattered computers. The officers were treated at Harborview for lacerations, swelling, and abrasions. The suspect is being held in King County Jail for investigation of unlawful imprisonment (of the girlfriend) and assault on a police officer.
*When a woman legally parked her car in the 2800 block of SW Yancy, a little girl came out of a home and told her not to park there, as that was her dad’s parking space. When the woman didn’t move the car, an older girl came out to repeat the warning, and warned, “My dad will deal with you.” When the woman returned to the car an hour later, her right front tire had been flattened. The report describes this as an ongoing problem at the home. Officers left a business card there (there was no answer at the door), requesting that the resident get in touch.
9 more summaries ahead (busy week):Read More
(Photo by Curtis Cronn from the WSB Flickr group pool)
A few flakes here, a few flakes there, as the day gets going. We’ll be watching the weather in case anything gets more serious (right now, the forecast suggests it’ll stop soon). As for the Wednesday events – which are more predictable – we have:
‘ZUMBA WITH MOMMY’: “Zumba with Mommy” class at Seattle Civic Dance Theater (north side of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 9131 California SW), today and every Wednesday at 10 am. Toddlers/babies welcome, as are daddies. $5 per adult.
IMAGINE THE FUTURE OF DELRIDGE’S ‘BRANDON NODE’ COMMERCIAL DISTRICT: Brandon Node Visioning event, hosted by the North Delridge Neighborhood Council and Delridge Neighborhoods District Council @ Martin’s Way (Delridge/Findlay), with a focus on business-community members 5:30-6:30 pm, then a general public open house 6:30-8 pm. More details here.
SANISLO OPEN HOUSE AND PTA MEETING: Prospective families are invited to an open house at Sanislo Elementary, 6 pm, followed by PTA meeting. From the announcement:
We look forward to meeting our new families with children who will be joining us for the 2012/2013 school year. Our 2 Kindergarten teachers (Ms. Parker and Ms. Goethe) and Principal Ernie Seevers will be here to welcome you and describe our program at 6 pm. Please join us and plan to stay for our PTA meeting, which will follow the open house session. We highly encourage all new families to meet the other families by joining PTA and this is a wonderful opportunity to meet teachers, fellow parents, and other PTA members!!
HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING AND SPRAY PARK UPDATE: The Highland Park Action Committee meets at 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden). A major part of the meeting is the next official city briefing on the project to convert the HP wading pool into a spray park (more on that here).
BACKYARD COTTAGES: Not in West Seattle, but a WS-based company – NCompass Cottage Company (WSB sponsor)’s next Backyard Cottage workshop is 7-9 pm tonight at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Avenue North. To see if there’s still room, and to register if there is, call 206.783.2244.
We’ve mentioned before that this was in the works, as it’s come up at community-group meetings in recent months – a new way to honor volunteers in eastern West Seattle. Now, organizers are asking for nominations, and support:
The Delridge Neighborhood District Council is hosting an Unsung Heroes Banquet on April 20, 2012 at 6 pm to award one Outstanding Unsung Hero. Nominations are open for anyone who volunteers in the Delridge District. Do you have a neighbor who tirelessly serves the neighborhood picking up trash or fixing bicycles? Someone who works with seniors, or organizes for the neighborhood is an example for who would qualify. Any volunteer who serves within the Delridge District is eligible, whether working with an organization or as a neighbor. They must not be doing so in a paid position. The Delridge District borders are Spokane Street to the North, the Duwamish River to the East, Roxbury to the South and 35th Avenue to the West.
To nominate an Unsung Hero, please review the criteria on the application: Apply online (here).
The deadline for nominations is March 23rd. The top eight nominees will be invited to the Banquet on April 20th. One Outstanding Unsung Hero will be named at the event. They will be nominated for the following year’s Washington Jefferson Award, a Nobel Prize for public service..
Will you help make this event a success? The Unsung Heroes Planning Committee is still looking for financial support to create this first annual event. To help support the Unsung Heroes Banquet, we need $2,000.00 for us reach our budget of $2,500.00. Please contact Mike Shilley to become an event sponsor at email@example.com or by phone at (206) 762-7111.
3:38 AM: Heard the wind, looked out the window – and saw it was accompanied by snow. Light at first, but a bit more serious at the moment.
3:44 AM: Minutes later, it’s over. Still chilly enough to see showers like that off and on for a day or two, says the forecast.
7:20 AM: Just had another flurry. Nothing stuck, though.
Property-tax bills have all gone out, and King County Assessor Lloyd Hara is out making the rounds to explain why his office is more than just the place that sends you those bills. He visited West Seattle in the Monday morning sunshine:
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
In a chat with WSB, Hara shared some stats:
-Median assessed value in West Seattle for last year (half of the properties are worth more, half worth less): $448,600
-That’s down almost 7 percent from the previous year’s $481,300 median assessed value
-This year’s tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is $10.17, up from last year’s $9.66
-Breakdown of where your property taxes go: 53 percent schools, 27 percent “local government,” 18 percent King County, 2 percent Port of Seattle
That brings in the question “My property values decreased, so why did my property tax increase?” Hara’s office explains: “Washington is one of two states that has a revenue-based system of taxation: Taxing districts, such as fire, library and school districts, submit their annual adopted budgets to the Assessor, who has the responsibility to determine the “levy rate” that is necessary to meet the adopted budgets.”
His office has noticed trends including the resurgence in new construction, and the fact that “neighborhoods closer to the urban core have retained value better than outlying areas of the county.”
And as Hara makes the rounds – before our chat, he had met with the team at Windermere West Seattle – he’s highlighting some of his office’s changes, such as residential appraisers field-testing iPads, handy for a variety of reasons including the built-in camera and the fact they can synch up with the office – the more mobility, the more productivity, they believe. They’re also “developing a native iPad application for field-data collection.” Plus, the Assessor’s Office says iPad use “will save $250,000 in hardware-replacement costs.”
Also on the tech front, they want to be sure you know about all the online lookup tools they have available – starting here. (Personally, we’re partial to the Parcel Viewer, which can tell you who owns a particular piece of property, as well as other info such as its value, past sales, and more.)