West Seattle, Washington
What used to be a springtime late-night fashion-shopping event in The Junction has morphed this year into a wider definition of style – possibilities for your home, as well as for your clothes, shoes, and accessories. So on Thursday night (March 27th), you’re invited to the Spring Fling – Visit CAPERS, Carmilia’s, Clementine, and Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) between 6 and 9:30 pm and get a punch card entitling you to a free glass of bubbly at West 5 or Shadowland. They’re all within a block of each other, on California SW from just north of Oregon to midblock between Oregon and Alaska.
Two success stories tonight from this weekend’s “Scouting for Food” collections, door-to-door, drop-off, and outside grocery stores. From Troop 282:
Regina Arceo-Schulz shared the photos, reporting the troop collected more than 600 pounds of food and wanted to say, “Thank you, West Seattle!”
And from Pack 793:
Committee chair Brian Christenson shared the photo and message: “Pack 793 would like to thank the West Seattle Families that contributed to this event. Our Pack alone collected 391 pounds of food that went to the West Seattle Food Bank on Saturday.”
REMEMBER … Through the end of next month, donations to local food banks count for more, because of the Feinstein Challenge. You can give online – WS Food Bank here, WC Food Bank here. Next door-to-door drive will be Stamp Out Hunger, same day as West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day as usual, second Saturday in May (this year, May 10th) – leave a bag of non-perishable food by your door/mailbox and your letter carrier will handle it, that day only.
That’s the Seattle Police surveillance camera/wireless-mesh installation at 63rd and Beach Drive, not far from one of Mayor Ed Murray‘s boyhood homes. In our one-on-one interview with him Friday, we asked when he expected activation of that camera and the 30-plus others installed without notice early last year. WSB readers’ questions led to stories here, then in the citywide media, and eventually Murray’s predecessor promised a “thorough public vetting” before activation – a few public meetings followed (the last one was 10 months ago) – while City Councilmembers passed a law a year ago requiring a usage policy to be approved first too. That hasn’t happened yet. And that’s one reason, the mayor told us, he doesn’t expect them to be used for “a long time,” if ever:
The “money” to which he referred was a federal Homeland Security grant. As reported in another of our early stories about the cameras, councilmembers had voted in 2012 to approved the grant that funded the cameras, but the plan was described only as “port security,” without word the cameras would be installed in recreational and residential areas.
Tomorrow, two more stories from our conversation with the mayor, including his take on the alley-vacation controversy for the 4755 Fauntleroy Way development (archived coverage here), two weeks before it goes back to the City Council Transportation Committee.
(Installment #1, published earlier: Can anything be done about West Seattle Bridge traffic?)
Today we’re welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor, Equilibrium Fitness in South Admiral, offering a deal via this WSB coupon. Here’s what proprietors Dominick Viscardi and Thomas Alexander would like you to know about their business:
When you first come to Equilibrium Fitness, you’ll get a total evaluation. It can – but doesn have to – include an orthopedic check, and a general once-over. You’ll be asked questions including what your goals are and what medical history you have, and Equilibrium Fitness can create and adjust a workout program from there. They will be able to tailor your workout so it doesn’t stress out your system – they will see what kind of load your body can handle. The goal is to help you become more fit – not to “go for the burn” as is the case with some trainers and regimes, which can happen if they don’t do what Equilibrium Fitness does – get to know you and your overall fitness condition.
They will help you attain realistic goals based on their interaction with you. Have a past injury, an area of your body you want to make sure doesn’t get re-injured or overly stressed? Equilibrium Fitness will work to make sure it’s protected, as you work on getting more fit. They also offer massage therapy. And Dominick is C.H.E.K.-certified.
Use this coupon for 30 days of unlimited classes when you sign up for monthly membership at Equilibrium Fitness, a member of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, is at 3270 California SW, online at eqfitness.net, and on Facebook here.
We thank Equilibrium Fitness for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; see our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
In case you missed it – our Friday mention of those palm trees, just planted at Alki Beach Park (hat tip again to Connie), were the most-discussed WSB story of the weekend. We promised to follow up today with Seattle Parks, whose Joelle Hammerstad responded, first checking out the comments and then putting together this Q/A:
Q: Why are there palm trees at Alki?
A: The palm trees planted last week are part of a larger project to improve and beautify the landscape along Alki Beach. For the past several years, Parks landscape architects and plant horticulturists have been working to add interest to the landscape along Alki. Among the many projects undertaken include planting sea grass, arranging interesting and attractive and driftwood along the beach and adding an element of beach-y whimsy with the addition of palm trees in this location.
Q: How many trees are there?
A: There are 9 palm trees located in this landscaping area. The two most recent trees planted were by far the most mature. There are seven smaller palm trees grouped with the two larger ones. The addition of these last two trees completes the landscaping plan for this area of the beach.
Q: How much did the trees cost?
A: The trees were free. L & B Nursery in North Seattle donated the trees to Seattle Parks and Recreation. We received the donation last year, but only put them in the ground recently. After receiving the donation, we allowed their root system to mature a bit more before planting them. Mature palm trees are sold for around $125 a foot. We estimate that the donation for these trees is between $2,500 and $3,000.
Q: These trees are not native to the Pacific Northwest. Why did Seattle Parks and Recreation plant them?
A: These trees are native to China. They are a temperate species called Windmill Palm trees, and come from a region of China that gets colder than Seattle. Seattle Parks frequently plants non-native species in Seattle’s parks. When park visitors encounter a flowering tree in Seattle’s parks, they are usually seeing a non-native species. These include flowering cherry trees and dogwood trees, but also non-native ornamental trees, such as Japanese Maples. Nearly all the flowering annuals that bring bright colors to flower beds in the summer are non-native.
Q: The trees will impair the view.
A: Palm trees have an inherently small canopy. As they get more mature, they simply get taller. Their small canopy will grow higher and higher and impinge less and less on views. They will reach a height of about 35 feet.
The palms in our photo are near Alki’s 53rd Street Pump Station.
That image from Gatewood photographer/pilot Long B. Nguyen captures in-the-works and relatively-new apartment projects in The Triangle area – in the foreground, the former “Hole,” now Spruce, which you might have noticed has risen above street level; in the background, newer projects including Link, which opened in 2011, and at the top-center of the photo, Nova (WSB sponsor), which started leasing in 2012. Those represent just a fraction of the 3,000+ apartments (by our ongoing calculations) that are under construction/on the drawing boards/newly finished, and some wonder why so much – here’s one answer: The vacancy rate remains low. According to this new report from Dupre & Scott – who specialize in “apartment market research and advice” – forwarded to us by a WSB reader, the “gross vacancy rate” in West Seattle right now is 4.5 percent. That’s lower than the Puget Sound-wide rate Dupre & Scott found, 5 percent.
Bail is set at $1 million for the 18-year-old SeaTac man arrested Friday in connection with the Wednesday night shooting that killed 17-year-old Ruben Castillo of Burien. Probable-cause documents made available today, following his Saturday bail hearing, reveal more details about the incident:
“West Seattle has my attention.”
That’s what Mayor Ed Murray told us on Friday, when we had an opportunity to talk with him one-on-one for the first time since he took office two and a half months ago. In about 20 minutes, we touched on about half a dozen hot topics, and we’re breaking them up into separate stories, starting with this. First: His answer to our question about whether anything can be done to improve the traffic situation on the West Seattle Bridge.
In brief: The mayor says he recognizes that West Seattle, with the bridge as a chokepoint, does have a unique challenge, and, he says, “We can’t wait to find a West Seattle solution” long before any possible “mass-transit solution.”
What might that “West Seattle solution” be? Maybe reversible lanes? we suggested. Perhaps, the mayor said, or other “different ways we can control traffic.”
Next (later today, barring breaking news): Hear what the mayor has to say about the yet-to-be-activated – 14 months after our first report about them – Seattle Police surveillance cameras dotting West Seattle’s shoreline (and elsewhere in the city).
Thanks to Chris Frankovich for sharing his photo of an eagle in Friday night’s sunset. The beautiful view of our biggest waterway – and its wildlife – brings us to the start of today’s short list from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WORLD WATER WEEK: Today marks the start of the fourth annual “ideas festival” at Chief Sealth International High School – as previewed here – focusing this year on plastic pollution. The big public community event is tomorrow night’s keynote by Chris Jordan.
COUNCIL VOTE ON PARK EXPANSION: Last week, as reported here, a City Council committee OK’d the purchase of land to expand Dakota Place Park northward. The final vote is on today’s 2 pm council agenda. The meeting starts with public comment, if you have anything to say (here’s the agenda); if you want to watch from afar, it’ll be live via cablecast and web stream via Seattle Channel.
TRIVIA/PUB QUIZ: Three venues are on our calendar with trivia/pub quiz events on Monday nights – Christo’s at 7, OutWest at 7:30, Shadowland at 8.
ONE WEEK UNTIL WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY REGISTRATION: Signups start next Monday (March 31st) for the 10th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, coming up Saturday, May 10th, hundreds of sales big and small around the peninsula, coordinated by us here at WSB. Watch here and on the official WSCGSD website!
(WS Bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:07 AM: Good morning! First commute note today – the Saturday closure of Highway 99 concluded with all four lanes of the rebuilt Spokane St. Overcrossing open, on 99 just south of the West Seattle Bridge – we drove it on Sunday for this brief Instagram video clip:
No road-work closures today/tonight in our area, so far. Traffic updates to come, if/when needed.
7:29 AM: WSDOT just tweeted – from its perch watching the entire metro area – “continues to be a quiet, normal traffic day.”
8:19 AM: Downtown, though, there’s a problem – a crash at 1st and Spring has blocked all northbound lanes.
8:42 AM: Debris from a fender bender has a lane blocked on EB bridge. Thanks to Mike for the tip.
Once again this year, two local teams faced off for a citywide Parks & Rec championship – Mike Jensen shares the photo and report:
Two teams from West Seattle’s Hiawatha Community Center faced off again in the Seattle Parks & Recreation Girls U12 Competitive Division Championship game. The “Lil’ Storm” came out on top in a hard-fought game. Congrats to both teams on a great season.
Players, left to right: Ruby, Mikayla, Maddie, Jaeley, Jordan, Izzy, Madi, Hannah, Kelsey
Coaches left to right: Mike, Noel, Sharman
We also heard from Mike a year ago when two Hiawatha teams met for the U11 championships.
Sports are just part of the wide range of activities and programs you’ll find at local city-run community centers – all conveniently listed in one regional brochure you can see here.
Greg Slader shares photos and this summary of West Seattle’s 2-1 loss to Issaquah HS:
The baseball team played another pre-season game at Safeco Field, continuing the tradition of the High School Baseball Classic. Defense and pitching are still improving … Jake Magera and Larry Jensen held the Issaquah Eagles to two runs over six innings. Defense stepped up their game with a fantastic play @ home.
(Jimmy Mai tags out the runner at home)
The offense is still missing the clutch hits and left many opportunities on base.
This afternoon’s game is at 3:30. The WSHS softball team is at home today too, 3:30 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex vs. Ballard.
Rosies, unite! West Seattle’s Georgie Bright Kunkel is continuing to rally any and all Rosies she can find. Here’s news of the next get-together:
The next gathering of the newly organized Rosie the Riveter group will meet on Saturday, March 29th at 2:00 pm at the home of Georgie Bright Kunkel. Please call 206-935-8663 if you have not already RSVP’ed for this event.
Any woman who worked during the WWII years at any job that released a man to go to the service is a Rosie. You didn’t have to be a riveter.