West Seattle, Washington
No matter what size your garden, if you’re growing plants from seed, this is big news: The grand opening of the West Seattle Seed Library is set, one year after the original call to help make it happen. Here’s the cabinet where you’ll find the seeds at The Healing Tree (3225 California SW):
You can join the celebration 2-4 pm on (corrected) Sunday, March 13th, and it’ll be open to the public Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, 4-7 pm. Krista from Terraganics, who along with Katie from Seattle Farm School is making this dream come to life, says, “Access is free to public to take and receive seeds! No membership required. This is the 4th location of the King County Seed Library with more already in work. Types of seeds available are edible and flowering. We are so excited to have this resource available locally!”
In Crime Watch tonight – a stolen car to watch for. It belongs to Stacy‘s neighbor; Stacy says it was taken in the 9400 block of 18th SW [map] early Tuesday, just after midnight, a 1991 silver two-door Honda Accord with Washington plates AMF1330. If you see it, call 911 – the case # is 16-073069.
(Summer Fest ’14 from the air, photographed by Long Bach Nguyen)
Four months until West Seattle Summer Fest – and it’s time NOW for this invitation to artists, businesses, and organizations:
The West Seattle Junction Association is happy to announce opportunities for West Seattle Summer Fest, July 8-9-10, 2016.
Summer Fest is a well-loved community event with shopping, live music, sidewalk cafes, kids’ area, a beer garden, and more. But what makes this event exceptional is the opportunity to connect with our community.
While Junction businesses are well-represented at the event, we invite the greater West Seattle artist, business, and non-profit community to join the event and help showcase what’s special about our neighborhood. Their participation will help give the neighborhood what they want – strong West Seattle representation at Summer Fest.
We are now accepting vendor applications for Summer Fest, and the application deadline is April 1. We are also seeking sponsorship to help us produce the best event possible. Information on both can be found at westseattlefestival.com.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Pecos Pit Barbecue restaurant at 35th and Fauntleroy is expected to be open by mid-May.
That’s what representatives said at a meeting last night meant to address community safety concerns about the site, primarily stemming from its addition of a drive-through window.
“A lot of good solutions and ideas here tonight,” observed René Commons of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, organizer of the meeting, as it wrapped up. She stressed that the neighborhood is excited about the restaurant – whose plan for the two-years-closed teriyaki shack at 4400 35th SW was first reported here one year ago – but wants to be sure safety and traffic-flow concerns are addressed.
This was the second “community outreach meeting” involving neighbors and restaurant reps. Pecos Pit was represented by business-development vice president Nick Nordby, Jeremy McLachlan (a West Seattle resident) from operations, and Paul Krakow from real estate. Along with about half a dozen JuNO members and neighbors, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold sent rep Alex Clardy.
What was discussed answered some questions that have come up here on WSB in previous discussions:
Today’s theme seems to be history. Here’s some aviation history, which you might have seen in the sky a few hours ago. In case you didn’t, thanks to Doug Branch for sharing photos of the first Boeing 727’s last flight, as it ended this morning at nearby Boeing Field (mentioned in our daily preview). He says it appeared to fly low over Elliott Bay as it came in, so it might have turned some West Seattleites’ heads.
United donated this half-century-old jet to the Museum of Flight 25 years ago – it’s been undergoing restoration so it can join the museum’s collection. Read more about it on the MoF website (which explains it’ll be in the Airpark throughout the summer, then moving to the museum’s new Aviation Pavilion).
(WSB photo, taken this morning; remaining top half of vandal’s marking has been blurred – bottom half was painted over)
12 days after we first reported on this vandalized mural in The Junction, its future remains unsettled. Paint has been used to cover the lower half of the big black-paint markings with which it was defaced – the part that was not on the mural itself. But while West Seattle Junction Association director Susan Melrose was hopeful at first that a graffiti-paintout firm would be able to handle the rest, that turned out not to be the case. We asked her about it at today’s Junction Historical Survey event; she tells WSB she has called in a muralist to evaluate it. After taking a first look this past weekend, she says, the muralist concurred that it’s major damage without an easy solution – the mural already was too faded, and the vandal’s paint just soaked right in. They’re still talking to see what can be done, but in case you’re wondering why the tag is still partly visible – that’s why.
BACKSTORY: The mural is “The First Duwamish Bridge” by Robert Dafford, and is on the north side of 4740 44th SW, facing The Junction’s southernmost 3-free-hours parking lot. It dates back a quarter-century now, along with nine others noted here.
The Seattle Lutheran High School boys’ basketball team plays its first state-tournament game tomorrow in Spokane. This past hour, a regular all-school gathering in the SLHS gym ended with a special sendoff for the Saints.
Their first game is against the Almira-Coulee-Hartline Warriors at 2 pm Thursday.
10:14 AM: Seattle Fire has sent a full response to a possible house fire in The Arroyos, in the 4100 block of Arroyo Drive [map]. The first engines to arrive at the house are not seeing signs of smoke or fire so far. More to come.
10:19 AM: Per scanner, it was a small fire, already out, but they’re still doublechecking. Meantime, many of the units are being dismissed.
10:33 AM: Engine 37 (photo added above) is the last one here and wrapping up to leave.
9:02 AM: We’re at Husky Deli in The Junction, where the first-ever West Seattle Junction Historical Survey is being formally announced, with a gathering of local advocates, businesspeople, electeds, and more.
Gathering for WS Junction Historical Survey unveiling pic.twitter.com/VoZyU3aOoV
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 2, 2016
We’re recording video and will be publishing toplines live. (added 3:24 pm – here’s the video – the heart of the briefing starts 1:30 in):
For starters – the report and highlights are here. It’s in three parts: A survey of 58 Junction buildings that are 40+ years old; summaries of interviews with nine Junction building owners; summary of a public survey done last summer. As Clay Eals, executive director of the SW Seattle Historical Society, has just pointed out, it’s been almost exactly a year since this effort was announced. More to come!
9:07 AM: Community advocate Chas Redmond is opening the event with backstory – he was on the Southwest District Council when the idea first came up 3+ years ago. Current SWDC member Deb Barker (who also happens to be on the city Landmark Preservation Board) mentions that King County’s 4Culture helped fund this, and that the building survey was done by architectural historian Mimi Sheridan.
The buildings surveyed are between Genesee and Edmunds, mostly along California SW, some on 44th and 42nd. The survey categorizes buildings, primarily by whether they might be eligible for landmark status. Two wound up in that category (A) – the Campbell and Hamm Buildings in the heart of The Junction (NW and NE corners of California/Alaska – see them in the historical photo atop this story), built in 1918 and 1926 respectively. Six buildings are Category B – potentially eligible to be designated as landmarks, pending further evaluation – Hotwire/dental, Courtesy Accounting, JF Henry, ex-JC Penney, Curious Kidstuff, Technical Analysis. The rest of the 40+-year-old buildings were not considered eligible for potential landmark status.
9:15 AM: Susan Melrose from the WS Junction Association is introducing the building owner interviews – and she says the transcriptions are worth diving into; they often were the first time these owners had ever been asked about the buildings, how they came to own them, and more.
She’s followed by Eals, summarizing the public interviews done during events in the area last summer, on paper, with 260+ respondents who “were eager to share their observations and opinions – and every syllable of what they wrote is in the report.” The question included “favorite buildings” and Eals says they were named by their main tenants, Easy Street Records and Cupcake Royale, – the Campbell and Hamm Buildings mentioned above – were the leading answers. What’s worth preserving? History and small-town feel, he said – and 43 of the respondents had a one-word answer to that question: “Everything.” Eals says the logical question to all this is, what’s next? The Historical Society will answer that question in its own event at 11 am Saturday in The Junction, outside Key Bank if it’s not raining, at Husky Deli if it is. The interim time is in order for the survey to “be absorbed” and appreciated, he says.
9:20 AM: Now, the electeds (and an ex-elected). King County Executive Dow Constantine kicks it off, recounting The Junction’s century-plus history. (We’re recording video and will have it up within a few hours.)
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 2, 2016
With him, as you can see in our photo, are King County Council chair Joe McDermott, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, and former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. Constantine says The Junction is always “where the community came together.” And, he notes, the survey is meant to help this area “move forward by honoring the past” and to “learn more about what makes this place so special to the community.” (He is a native West Seattleite, if you didn’t already know that.) He says 4Culture’s support of this involved a $10,000 grant. He says he’s “excited about the proactive approach taken by (those who did and oversaw) this survey.”
Councilmember McDermott, introduced by Constantine as another “old-timey West Seattleite,” calls West Seattle “truly a unique community.” But he stresses that for historical preservation, something has to have “meaning,” and the new report documents “what’s going on here, not just what used to go on here” – although he subsequently recounts memories including an early job here at Husky Deli. He says the report will assist with “an informed and solid conversation about meaningful use and historical preservation.”
Councilmember Herbold brings this into the context of a current issue, affordability (housing and otherwise), saying that “not just about saving these buildings because of why we love them, but because of what we want to retain moving forward – the affordability of this community, the use of local businesses … a place that is an economic engine for our local businesses.” She chairs the community that oversees economic development and believes it will be “useful to bring these findings to the council” including as assistance to other communities in Seattle struggling with these same issues. “For me, what this survey represents is hope” – for West Seattle and elsewhere.
Now, Rasmussen, who left the council a few months ago after deciding not to run for re-election. “We’re not just here to talk about saving buildings … but also we want to save what’s unique about this neighborhood, including the small locally owned businesses.” He talks about working with other areas, including Pike-Pine on Capitol Hill, which is “now one of the most successful neighborhoods on the West Coast. … When you save what is unique about (a) neighborhood, then you also save the local businesses … when you bulldoze a neighborhood or block, it is very difficult for local businesses (to move back in).” He points across the street to two new apartment buildings in this block, which now primarily have chains occupying or moving into its spaces. Just arrived, it’s announced, deputy mayor Hyeok Kim.
9:33 AM: Next up, business owners – Lora Swift of Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) and Ann Walker of Curious Kidstuff.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 2, 2016
Swift says she is grateful and honored to have been part of this business community for 15+ years. “As I look around the room, I find that I’ve served coffee to most of you. … I hope to see everyone of you for the next 15 years.” Walker says the neighborhood “looked very different” when she opened her shop 18 years ago. She says she never realized when she started the store that it would go on so long, and she would have customers whose children are now customers with their own children. “It’s a lot of work, and it’s hard, but it’s so valuable,” she says, regarding running a small business.
9:37 AM: Next – two of the nine business owners who were interviewed, Menashe and Sons Jewelers (WSB sponsor)’s Jack Menashe, and Husky Deli’s Jack Miller.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 2, 2016
Menashe says he grew up in Seward Park but was brought to West Seattle as a child every Sunday to have Spud Fish and Chips, and the family would drive to The Junction. He went into business here when he was 25, he says, fulfilling a wish voiced by his parents. He thanks those who supported him over the years and hails West Seattle as a “very, very loyal community” – saying the thanks for that goes to everyone in the community. “With all the changes in business, from forms of advertising with the Internet and all the different things and everything that’s happened to our city … many people outside West Seattle have come into this area for the unique area it is and the unique shops … and they love this area, the uniqueness, the older buildings … we can go everywhere (they say) but ‘please keep this area a unique, loyal area’ and that has stayed with me all these years.”
Miller says it’s not just the businesses – “Lincoln Park is not just a park, Alki is not just a beach … The Junction is not just a place to shop … we’re lucky to be here … I’m lucky to have been born into a family that has been here for 84 years. … We’re not just selling sandwiches and ice cream, there’s community here. It’s dear to us, and I’m hoping .. we have some kind of vision to preserve the feel, and loyal people here.” He recounts the story of how loyalty led to a Ben and Jerry’s franchise (where Cupcake Royale is now) not lasting long.
9:46 AM: The briefing is wrapping up; we’re the only news media here, and we ask whether the owners of the two buildings identified as potential landmarks, without even further evaluation, think about the concept. Eals says the Campbell Building (Cupcake Royale & more)’s ownership indicated potential support for preservation, but they so far have not been able to reach the Hamm Building (Easy Street & more)’s owners. All building owners, adds Barker, have been notified of the survey’s results. And as mentioned above, Eals reiterates to us, the Historical Society will have more to say on Saturday.
We’ll be adding more photos, as well as the video, of this event, after we get back to HQ.
Thanks to Sean for the photo above – described as “‘mammatus clouds’ over our house on 49th/Graham” during the Tuesday storm – and thanks again to everyone who contributed photos and info during our coverage. Much quieter so far today, so it’s on to the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for our highlights:
EYES ON THE SKY FOR A SPECIAL FLIGHT: Around 10:30 this morning, the final flight of the first Boeing 727 will take it from Paine Field in Snohomish County to Boeing Field east of us (landing around 10:45 am); it will become part of the Museum of Flight‘s collection. Info here, and the MoF’s page is here – with info on streaming, too.
NETWORKING MEETUP: Noon-1:15 pm at West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) – working at home? at a coffee shop? or at a WS workplace? Drop in, bring your lunch, see who else shows up, network! (6040 California SW)
TRAINING RUN: 6:15 pm at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), meet up for a group training run to get ready for the St. Paddy’s Dash. Free, no need to pre-register, just show up! (2743 California SW)
FAUNTLEROY EXPRESSWAY PROJECT BRIEFING: During tonight’s 6:30 pm Southwest District Council meeting, SDOT will present a briefing about the upcoming closures for re-replacing earthquake-safety cushions on the Fauntleroy Expressway (west/southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge) – here’s our most-recent coverage. Other topics include reviewing local projects proposed for the Neighborhood Street Fund, and an update on the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) expansion project. The meeting’s at the Sisson Building/Senior Center. (California SW/SW Oregon)
TRIVIA FUNDRAISER: From Talarico’s trivia host Phil Tavel – 8:30 pm tonight, the weekly trivia night “is the 3rd annual fundraiser for the YMCA’s children’s education programs. $4 per person, gift bags, champagne, raffles, all for a very good cause. Please call Talarico’s to make a reservation if you plan on coming (206-937-3463). Trivia to help support after-school programs for kids.” (4718 California SW)
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:34 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported currently in or from West Seattle. Reminders:
BUS-LANE CRACKDOWN THIS MORNING: Today’s the day that SPD plans a bus-lane enforcement operation, 7-9 am.
VIADUCT CLOSURES THIS WEEKEND: The semi-annual inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct will shut it down Saturday 6 am-6 pm and possibly also Sunday; that day will begin, separate from the inspection, with a closure north of the Battery Street Tunnel for the Hot Chocolate Run. Full details here.
7:20 AM: One more reminder for tonight – if you’ve got questions about the upcoming Fauntleroy Expressway closures to re-replace earthquake-safety cushions (here’s our most-recent story), a briefing is part of the Southwest District Council meeting tonight, 6:30 pm at the Sisson Building (Senior Center) in The Junction.
7:54 PM: Thanks for the text (206-293-6302 any time)! If you’re noticing SFD at 41st/42nd/Alaska (SDOT cam here), it’s an automatic fire alarm call in the Altamira/QFC/etc. building.