West Seattle, Washington
An Alki-area resident called to tell us that while walking along the California Way hill today, he noticed a demolition crew at the vacant house at the top of the development site that also includes the former Alki Tavern (now 4+ years closed). We subsequently confirmed that indeed, the long-in-the-works project at 1307 Harbor Avenue SW is getting going. West Seattle architect Tim Rhodes tells WSB, “Chinn Construction has started a ‘soft’ demolition (pulling fixtures, toilets, etc.) and will have a preconstruction meeting with the City of Seattle next week. We are thrilled. The site will get cleaned up quickly and then you will see us transition into construction.” Rhodes had told us back in January that the project team was eager to get the vandalized structures cleared from the site but the city permit process has been bogged down. The project won final Design Review Board approval almost a year and a half ago.
It is planned as a six-floor mixed-use building with 15 residential units, office and “light manufacturing” space, ground-floor retail/commercial, 41 offstreet parking spaces, and a public hillclimb/breezeway between California Way and Harbor SW.
6:47 PM: Seattle Fire is calling out a “full response” for a possible house fire in the 9000 block of 12th SW [map].
6:50 PM: The response is already being downsized.
7:02 PM: Our crew reports that while there’s some smoke, there’s no sign of fire, and the SFD units there haven’t even rolled out the hoses. Photo added above.
7:28 PM: Firefighters tell us they traced the smoke to a kiln that was in use. No fire, no injuries; they’re ventilating so the resident can go back inside.
We mentioned at the end of our Highland Park Find It, Fix It Walk coverage that the convergence of city reps had yielded information on other upcoming events. Here’s one: West Seattleite Irene Stewart, who works with the Age-Friendly Seattle program, tells us that there’s still time and room to sign up for a free all-day event downtown one week from tomorrow, on Saturday, June 3rd, “Aging the LGBTQ Way: A Forum on Respect, Equity, and Inclusion.” You’ll find out about research; you’ll help develop recommendations for Age-Friendly Seattle; and you’ll learn about resources for aging well. It’s free to attend, with lunch and dinner provided, 10 am-5:30 pm at City Hall downtown, but they’d appreciate RSVPs – go here to sign up online.
4:59 PM: Just TV flying over the ferry dock, doing holiday-getaway traffic reports. 90-minute wait at Fauntleroy per Washington State Ferries.
6:03 PM: Finally got a chance to check out the ferry lineup. Not bad at all right now – ends south of the main Lincoln Park parking lot.
Last night’s Taste of West Seattle at The Hall at Fauntleroy raised more money for the West Seattle Helpline than any of its predecessors – that’s the word today from Helpline executive director Chris Langeler, who says the tally is $70,000 “and still counting!” We stopped by for a few photos. A highlight of The Taste is the chance to vote on your favorites.
The team from The Westy (photo above) won Best Pour; in the other two voting categories, Best Taste went to Fresh Bistro, and Best Sweet went to repeat winner Stuffed Cakes. Other scenes from The Taste:
This year’s title sponsor was Metropolitan Market, also dishing up tomato and freshly pulled mozzarella on garlic crostini for Taste-goers, who get unlimited food and drink for the price of admission, which goes to help Helpline provide emergency assistance that often keeps people from becoming homeless. The event of course is powered by volunteers – like Frances:
If you were looking for fine wine at The Taste, you would have found Viscon Cellars – below, Susan Viscon and Ben Viscon:
Back to the food – Christie, Ruth, and Leslie from Dream Dinners brought Gaucho Pork Tenderloin with peach salsa:
And from Endolyne Joe’s, Andrea and Jon-Paul were there with pulled-pork sliders:
Delia and Cheryl from Pecos Pit, meantime, were serving up Frito Pie:
More than 40 food and beverage providers participated this year. There was music, too – piano player Derek Richards:
Helpline director Langeler has words of gratitude: “”We are so grateful for the restaurants, the volunteers, our sponsors, and everyone who joined us last night for the 12th Taste of West Seattle! We raised enough funds to help more than 200 families stay safely housed while they recover from crisis. We are so lucky to be part of our wonderful West Seattle community–thanks to everyone for supporting the West Seattle Helpline! See you at Taste 2018!”
(Of the participants mentioned above, The Westy, Metropolitan Market, Viscon Cellars, Dream Dinners, Endolyne Joe’s, and Pecos Pit are WSB sponsors.)
Two reader reports to share:
CAR BREAK-IN: From Jessica:
My car was broken into (Wednesday night) in the Seaview area at 48th Ave SW and SW Juneau. The person used some sort of remote keyless device as there was no smashed windows/forced entry and the car was 100% locked. They rummaged around to find not that much: some loose change and a couple old gift cards with probably less than $15 left on them.
BICYCLE FOUND: Behind Charlestown Center (3727 California SW):
The finder, who sent the photo, says: “Some cobwebs and pollen on the bike lead me to believe it has been there a while.”
Reminder if you haven’t seen it in the calendar yet – you’re invited to start your weekend by helping clean up the Luna Park area tomorrow with neighbors, businesses, and city Tree Ambassadors. Organizer Roxane Rusch says it’s “another in a series of work parties to ready the site for the receipt of a Neighborhood Street and Park fund grant that your neighborhood councils, associations, and groups have generously endorsed. We are working with SDOT on final plans.” As the flyer says, meet at Luna Park Café (2918 SW Avalon Way) at 9 am Saturday. The work party is scheduled until noon, but even if you can just give an hour or two, your help will be welcomed.
Two aquatics notes since we’re going into a warm three-day weekend:
(WSB file photo)
COLMAN POOL OPENS TOMORROW: West Seattle’s only city-run outdoor public pool – on the shore at Lincoln Park – opens on schedule tomorrow for its first pre-season weekend, Saturday-Monday. The schedule each day: Noon-2:45 pm lap swim (8 lanes); 3-4:45 pm public swim (no lap lanes); 5-7 pm lap swim (4 lanes) and family swim (slide open). 7-day-a-week operations at Colman Pool start June 19th. You can see this year’s brochure with full season details by going here.
HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK DELAYED: With work continuing at Highland Park Playground, the spraypark’s opening is delayed until next month; the city website now lists the expected opening date as Saturday, June 24th. That’s the same day wading pools in West Seattle start opening, as we reported earlier this month.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
New hope that the Highland Park Way/Holden roundabout will get designed and built – that was the big news during last night’s Highland Park Find It, Fix It Walk, which brought Mayor Murray and an armada of city reps to the neighborhood. Most prominent among them, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who got to announce the roundabout breakthrough in her own neighborhood, when the 4th of 6 preplanned stops took walkers to the top of the HP Way hill: $200,000 to turn the “concept” you see above into a buildable design.
First, Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Michele Witzki recounted the long history of the intersection’s troubles:
There’s WSB coverage for all those incidents she mentioned – including the flipped-car-gas-leak incident in March 2016. We’ve also covered the years of HP trying to get the ~$2 million roundabout beyond “conceptual design” stage, efforts that left residents skeptical in advance of last night’s walk. Meantime, here’s Councilmember Herbold announcing the design funding, and SDOT’s Jim Curtin talking about a meeting with one group that could help the city get the money to build it:
Transportation was a big topic during the walk. A short distance west along busy SW Holden, site of preplanned stops #2 and #3, Alan Robertson had talked about the side-street speeding problem caused by people trying to dodge its backups:
SDOT says it’s working on more safety features – the 11th/Holden flashing-beacon crosswalk was just a start – including a raised crosswalk on Myrtle.
SDOT’s walk presence included a briefly fiery pothole-fixing demonstration:
Pothole demo during Find It Fix It Walk / fiery! pic.twitter.com/QD3CI4vDMn
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 26, 2017
Part of the purpose of the FIFI Walks is to tout the city’s app of the same name, which you can use to report problems including potholes (those can be reported via the city website, too). But the concerns and requests in Highland Park are much bigger, too – as are the aspirations and community-initiated work that’s already been going on for years. The first stop on the walk was Riverview Playfield, where Paul West talked about trail work and plans in the nearby West Duwamish Greenbelt as well as needs at the playfield itself.
You can find out more about the ongoing West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails work by going here. Also at Riverview, the city recapped the good news that we reported earlier this week – the arson-damaged restroom/storage building will be fixed and reopened this year – starting with roof work in July.
As with many of West Seattle’s hilly neighborhoods, Highland Park has stairways in need of TLC, and the one at 14th and Holden was stop #5. Then the group continued down Holden to the final stop, the former substation on the southwest corner of 16th and Holden. Its future remains in question – City Light intends to sell it; the community has asked that it be rezoned to allow commercial development, to enhance Highland Park’s business district – a nearby entrepreneur, Jenni Watkins of Dutchboy Coffee on the southeast corner, spoke briefly about the joys and challenges of running a small business:
Also at the final stop, Brennon Staley of the Office of Planning and Community Development, talking about the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) as well as site-specific information:
Mayor Murray picked up the growth/zoning topic:
He also closed out the walk there by declaring it to be the most positive one of the 23 that have happened so far (two others were in West Seattle – North Delridge in 2015, Westwood/Roxhill last year).
The event began with a mini-resource fair in the patio and parking-lot areas outside Highland Park Improvement Club, whose scrappy history was recounted by Julie Schickling:
The welcomes also included words of praise for Highland Park neighborhood advocates from Councilmember Herbold, who, as mentioned, is a neighbor:
The mayor gave opening remarks there too, explaining the purpose of the FIFI Walks, and introduced the highest-ranking city reps on hand, as well as giving shoutouts to the walk’s organizers:
Will there be a fourth Find It, Fix It Walk in West Seattle next year? Depends on which of the 21 mayoral candidates succeeds Murray, and whether they decide to continue the program. In the meantime, participants from this one have a group photo as a souvenir, taken near the site of the aforementioned roundabout announcement:
(We’ll substitute the official city photo if and when we get it. Seattle Channel was along for the walk, too, and we’ll be watching for their report.)
P.S. One more group view – we recorded this at the Riverview stop:
P.P.S. While at HPIC before the walk, we talked with some city reps about non-HP events/projects of interest – watch for those stories soon!
(Northern Flicker looking as if it’s ready to swoop into the weekend. Photo by Mark Wangerin)
Ways to spend this sunny, summery pre-Memorial Day weekend Friday:
LOW-LOW TIDE, WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: The midday low tide is even lower today, -3.2 feet at 11:56 am. Explore with a Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalist, 10 am-2 pm at Constellation Park or Lincoln Park.
VISIT THE HOME OF WEST SEATTLE’S HISTORY: The Log House Museum is open noon-4 pm today. (61st SW/SW Stevens)
COUNCILMEMBER HERBOLD’S DISTRICT OFFICE HOURS: 2-7 pm, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is holding office hours at the Senior Center of West Seattle. Drop-ins welcome. (4217 SW Oregon)
INDIE FOLK: That’s the music Tara Velarde makes, and you can see/hear her at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
WEEN-IVERSARY: For the 20th anniversary of Ween‘s “The Mollusk,” Boys Club will play the album in its entirety, 9 pm at Parliament Tavern. $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
7:06 AM: No incidents on the routes through/from West Seattle so far.
Looking ahead to Memorial Day:
WEST SEATTLE WATER TAXI: On Monday, the WS Water Taxi will run a Sunday schedule. (The Vashon WT won’t run at all.)
METRO BUSES: They also will be on a Sunday schedule on Memorial Day.
WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES: The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run will be on its regular schedule Monday.
And a reminder:
HARBOR AVENUE SPEED LIMIT CHANGE: As of today, Harbor Avenue SW is 30 mph, down from 35 mph. Signs were installed yesterday – briefly, the wrong ones.
8:05 AM: We’ve continued to hear from people about the port-truck backups – hearing on the scanner now that city and port police are checking out today’s situation right now.
It was a sweet night at West Seattle High School, in multiple ways. It was first and foremost a celebration of Career Tech, with students showing off projects in various disciplines, including culinary (above) and woodworking (below):
From the health program, Naomi Meredith showed the game she created, focused on talking about mental health:
Music was in the spotlight too, with WSHS Band members performing:
Career education ultimately is meant to get students along the road to their future, and in one year, West Seattle HS students will have a new option to help with that – as we’ve reported, the school is becoming part of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) 13th Year Promise program – one free year at SSC for any graduating senior who wants it. Thursday night’s event was a celebration of that too, and administrators from both schools talked about it:
Find out more about the 13th Year Promise Scholarship program here.