West Seattle, Washington
The journey of a thousand laps begins with a single stride, you might say. So Michele Pettinger of P3 | Running was happy to draw a starter-sized group to the first-ever West Seattle edition of Track Friday, a movement meant to meld fitness and fundraising on the day after Thanksgiving, which has been growing nationwide since 2012. She organized it with the help of West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), and set up alongside the Hiawatha track this morning to see who would show up:
Some hardy, giving-minded runners did!
Michele hopes Track Friday will grow as a tradition here as well as elsewhere. Her chosen charity was for the fight against Parkinson’s Disease, which her mom is dealing with, but participants could pledge to any nonprofit they chose. So make a plan to be part of Track Friday next year – Friday, November 23, 2018.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) November 25, 2017
Every holiday season since 2009, a humble house across from the city water tank at SW Charlestown/39th SW is transformed into a platform for West Seattle Lights – the music-synched Christmas-light show created by Jim Winder, a friend of the homeowners. This year’s show launched on Thanksgiving night; we stopped by on Night 2 tonight for a bit of video – a short clip above, longer clip below:
Those two songs are WSL classics, but the show has added new ones this year too. The season-long schedule is here; you can watch while standing along the street, though the music is relatively quiet, so if you want to turn it up, you can tune your vehicle or personal radio to 101.9 FM for the soundtrack. The show has nonprofit beneficiaries, including the West Seattle Food Bank, with a bin out front for nonperishable-food donations, which totaled a third of a ton last year; you also can donate cash – all of which goes to the nonprofits, none to the show itself – via this page on the WSL website, which shares space with info about Maple Valley Lights, the show Winder added in his own neighborhood.
P.S. Wonder how many lights in all? The answer is here (with other “fun facts”).
Late last night, we reported on a search and arrests following a street robbery in The Junction. Tonight, new details from SPD:
Officers arrested three people after they robbed a woman and a convenience store in West Seattle Thursday evening.
Officer Jesse Cahill was on patrol near California Avenue SW and SW Alaska Street at 11 p.m. when he saw a disturbance near a bus stop. He drove his patrol car closer and saw that three men were struggling with a woman over a purse.
One of the suspects threw the woman to the ground and the group fled as Officer Cahill approached. The officer checked on the 22-year-old victim who sustained scratches on her hands, as additional officers responded to search for the suspects.
Officers found one of the suspects, a 15-year-old male, at a nearby bus stop still holding the victim’s purse. The officers placed the boy into custody and the purse was returned to the victim.
A K-9 officer tracked the other two suspects, an 18-year-old male suspect, and another 15-year-old male, to the 4400 block of 44 Avenue SW, where they were taken into custody.
The officers investigating this robbery noticed that the three suspects’ descriptions matched a robbery from earlier in the evening. The three suspects entered a convenience store in the 4800 block of Erskine Way Southwest at 6:30 p.m. and began removing items from the shelves. The clerk remained behind the counter as one of the suspects implied he had a gun, allowing the trio to escape.
Officers booked the 18-year-old into King County Jail and the two 15-year-olds into the King County Youth Services Center for investigation of robbery.
This year’s West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays events officially begin tomorrow, with Small Business Saturday (also known as Shop Small Saturday), which has become a big day for holiday shopping at local independent businesses coast to coast. The West Seattle Junction Association has assembled a list of more than 20 businesses with deals and/or something else special going on – see it here. And if you would like to print it out to use as a checklist while you’re out shopping, here’s the printable version.
P.S. After tomorrow, the next big date for Hometown Holidays (which WSB is co-sponsoring again this year) is the following Saturday, December 2nd, including an expanded Night Market in the street (3-7 pm) by Junction Plaza Park, where this year’s Tree Lighting celebration will start that night at 5.
P.P.S. If your business is outside The Junction and you have something special going on for Shop Small Saturday or any other time this season, we would love to promote that too – e-mail us the info at firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
So many unique places in West Seattle to find unique gifts – such as the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse and Cultural Center, where this year’s Native Holiday Gift Fair is happening until 5 pm today and again 10 am-5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
This is your chance to buy directly from Native artists and craftspeople. Below, a crow figure by Peter Boome:
And Nativity figures by Ixtli White Hawk:
Snacks are also available so you can take a break in the Longhouse’s beautiful surroundings – including soup and hot chocolate. It’s at 4705 W. Marginal Way SW.
Two weeks after the city went public with its “preferred alternative” for HALA upzoning, as part of the final Environmental Impact Statement, a new citywide coalition has announced it will file an appeal. The community councils from three of West Seattle’s four “urban villages” are among the groups comprising the coalition: the Morgan Community Association, the Junction Neighborhood Organization, and Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition. From today’s announcement of the new coalition and appeal plan:
… The coalition is called Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity.
Jon Lisbin, small business owner and president of Seattle Fair Growth, said, “We are worried about affordability and displacement. Our neighborhoods are so different that one-size-fits-all upzones don’t work well for residents or small businesses. The Final EIS completely neglects the differences between neighborhoods that are ripe for multifamily development such as Lake City and Northgate, and other racially diverse neighborhoods, such as South Park and Beacon Hill, that are mainly of older single-family homes owned or rented by lower-income families. The city is leaving low- and middle-income families with no place to go.”
Said David Ward, a Ravenna renter and president of the coalition, “It will make Seattle far more unaffordable and also make it more difficult to live here due to more traffic, not enough schools, more pollution, fewer trees, and a loss of the diversity of residents we currently have.”
“I’m worried about moving out from my parents’ home because I know it’ll be hard to find an apartment I can afford,” said Beacon Hill Council Member and UW student Cacima Lee. “And the idea of buying a home in Seattle is almost a joke.”
“Instead of invalidating all neighborhood plans, the city needs to support and celebrate differences while maintaining intact communities,” Christy Tobin-Presser of the West Seattle Junction Neighborhood Coalition added. “These upzones are not needed to accommodate the growth that’s planned. The city already has the more than twice the capacity in multi-family zoning to accommodate all the growth that’s coming, so who’s driving this land-grab?”
Wallingford resident Susanna Lin states: “We have a school capacity crisis and the City is planning upzones without coordinating with the School District on a plan to build more schools. In addition, trees are disappearing at an alarming rate. What kind of future is this for our children?”
The Grand Bargain, or Mandatory Housing Affordability-Residential (MHA-R), is a one-size-fits-all proposal by former Mayor Ed Murray and City planners that would give developers increased height limits and profitability in exchange for either building affordable units in their projects or contributing a fee in lieu of including them. In fact, according to the City, most developers have said they will decline to include rent-restricted units in their projects. They prefer to pay the fee.
According to Lake City homeowner and affordable housing advocate Sarajane Siegfriedt, the
City Office of Housing then leverages the fees 3:1 mostly with federal, state and city tax funds to
build low-income housing in other parts of Seattle. Most of the required affordable housing will
be built in locations with cheap land, not in the neighborhoods where builders maximize profits
by replacing older houses with costly new market-rate housing. Then there’s the delay. It takes
four or so years for a nonprofit to receive City and state grants, assemble the rest of the funding,
and construct a building, assuming they already have the land.”
“We share the City’s goal of affordable housing for those earning less than 60% of Area Median Income, but it is simply not achieved by these upzones,” Siegfriedt said. “That’s why we are filing an appeal. The real impacts that destroy and gentrify our low- and moderate-income neighborhoods are loss of affordability, community and livability.” …
The new coalition plans a media briefing/Q&A event downtown next Monday, which is when they also say they’ll file the appeal. Read today’s full announcement here (it includes the list of 24 participating groups).
P.S. If you haven’t already checked on what’s proposed for your neighborhood (or anywhere else that interests you) in the HALA MHA “preferred alternative” – you can use the city’s interactive map to look up specific locations. Before anything becomes final, the City Council has to consider forthcoming legislation, isn’t expected to come to a vote before next summer.
It was a great morning for parade-watching downtown – no rain, not too cold – and we were there to see both local high school marching bands be part of this year’s My Macy’s Holiday Parade, which also spotlights inflatable floats, costumed characters, and even dog clubs. Above and below, the Chief Sealth International High School Marching Band appeared toward the start of the hour-plus parade.
A bit later, parade-goers saw and heard the West Seattle High School Marching Band:
(You’ll see the WSHS Band closer to home one week from tomorrow, on Saturday night, December 2nd, during the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting, 5 pm at Junction Plaza Park.)
One more West Seattle sighting – the nutcrackers from Salty’s (WSB sponsor) rolled down the route right before the WSHS musicians:
This was the 27th annual downtown parade, which, along with the 5 pm Macy’s star-lighting, bookends the downtown festivities on the day after Thanksgiving every year.
If you were looking forward to Alki Spud Fish and Chips reopening today, you have to wait a few more days. We checked with parent company Ivar’s, and regional manager Theresa Fallon replied:
Barring any more setbacks, Alki Spud will be opening on Wednesday 11/29.
We are excited to get back open and serve all those Guests who have missed their hometown favorite!
Spud’s been closed for more than a month for “much-needed repairs.”
NOVEMBER 27TH UPDATE: Now the date is Thursday 11/30.
(White-throated sparrow, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Shop local! Our highlights for today start with selections from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:
TRACK FRIDAY: Now through 11 am at Hiawatha Playfield – fun way to get post-Thanksgiving exercise and do a good deed. Run/walk on a drop-in basis or participate in one of the scheduled runs. Details in our calendar listing. (2700 California SW)
HOLY ROSARY TREE LOT: The Holiday Guide has the full list of Christmas tree locations, and among those opening today is the Holy Rosary Tree Lot, north of the school. 10 am-9 pm. Part of this lot’s proceeds benefit West Seattle Helpline, Hickman House (domestic-violence shelter), and West Seattle Food Bank. (41st/Dakota)
SANTA PHOTOS: They start today at Westwood Village (fee) – 11 am-7 pm. Lots of other opportunities coming up this season around West Seattle, too – see the Holiday Guide for a list of what we have so far. (2600 SW Barton)
THUNDER ROAD GUITARS ANNIVERSARY: Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) is celebrating its sixth anniversary all weekend “and offering 15% off most guitars, amplifiers, and pedals.” (4736 California SW)
OTHER SHOPS WITH SALES/SPECIALS include West Seattle Cyclery (4508 California SW), Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor); it’s Record Store Day Black Friday at Easy Street Records (California SW/SW Alaska) … it’s Free Gift Friday at Avalon Glassworks (2914 SW Avalon Way) … check out your favorite local, independent West Seattle store today, and on Shop Small Saturday tomorrow too!
WEST SEATTLE LIGHTS: The lights-synched-to-music show has its second night tonight, 5-10 pm (see the full schedule here). Bring donations for the West Seattle Food Bank – the bin’s right in front of the house. (3908 SW Charlestown)
And from the year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
TINKERLAB: 2-3:30 pm all-ages STEM crafts at Southwest Library. (9010 35th SW)
THE CASTAWAYS: Ukulele band that does NOT play Hawaiian music! Tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
GENTLEMEN OF LEISURE, HARPER CONSPIRACY: 8 pm at The Skylark. $8 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
7:33 AM: Quiet out there so far. But just in case you don’t have the day off:
*No Water Taxi
*Metro on “reduced weekday” service
*Sound Transit buses on regular schedule
*Some downtown streets closed for the Macy’s 9 am Holiday Parade (with local participants!) and 5 pm star lighting