West Seattle(ites) weekend scene: Local Hot Chocolate runners

March 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | No Comments

Thanks to Brenda for the photo. She reports:

11 of us women from West Seattle participated in and finished the Hot Chocolate 15k from the Space Needle. Beautiful day and a great race!

By the way, now that the race is over, the Highway 99 closure north of downtown is over too, and SDOT confirms that 99 has reopened both ways.

SIDE NOTE: Upcoming runs in our area (with online registration under way right now) include the White Center 5K on March 28th and the West Seattle 5K (co-sponsored by WSB) on May 17th!

What’s up for the rest of your West Seattle Sunday

March 1, 2015 at 10:30 am | In West Seattle news | No Comments

(Saturday morning photo by Lynn Hall)
Happy March! Nothing on your schedule for this sunny Sunday? Five possibilities from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar (which you can also browse for what’s up tomorrow and beyond):

‘UNTANGLING THE SENIOR HOUSING MAZE’: Whether you’re making the decision for/with your aging parent(s) or yourself, a little expert guidance can help. That’s what you’ll find in a free presentation at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library at 2 pm – details here. (2306 42nd SW)

JAZZ AT C & P: 3-5 pm, live music by Jazz Hands at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), no cover. (5612 California SW)

‘GODSPELL’ CLOSING PERFORMANCE: 3:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, your last chance to see the Twelfth Night Productions presentation of the 1971 classic “Godspell.” (4408 Delridge Way SW)

FREE ‘THRILLER’ DANCE CLASS: 3:30 pm, EQ Fitness (WSB sponsor), learn how to do it – details here. (3270 California SW)

SUNDAY NIGHT TRIVIA: Wrap up your weekend with trivia at West Seattle Brewing Company, 7:30 pm. (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW)

P.S. REMINDER IF YOU’RE RIDING THE BUS – today’s the day Metro’s fare changes start: 25-cent increase in “all current Metro fare categories”; 50-cent increase for Access paratransit trips; and the new $1.50 ORCA LIFT fare is now available if you qualify for it. Read about all the changes here.

Traffic alert: Highway 99 closure north of downtown this morning

March 1, 2015 at 5:13 am | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 2 Comments

One more reminder in case you’re heading north this morning: Highway 99 is scheduled to be closed both ways from the Battery Street Tunnel to N. 47th for the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K, 6 am-11 am.

Update: Fire response in 6500 block of 35th SW

February 28, 2015 at 10:31 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 6 Comments

10:31 PM: Big Seattle Fire response now in the 6500 block of 35th SW. Updates shortly.

10:37 PM: 35th northbound is blocked at SW Holly, according to the scanner. We’ve just arrived in the area; there’s also an engine in the southbound lanes at 35th north of Morgan.

10:42 PM: No fire, though alarms were going off, firefighters have determined (this is in the apartments next to WS Food Bank). So they’re packing up.

West Seattle Crime Watch: About the police search on Alki

February 28, 2015 at 10:13 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments

Thanks to everyone who texted/messaged about a big police response on Alki, centered at 62nd SW/Alki SW. We just arrived and have confirmed with police what one neighbor told us – there was a report of a burglary in progress in an apartment/condo. No one in custody so far; no other details yet.

PHOTOS: West Seattle HS girls’ basketball to state after big regional win over Sumner

February 28, 2015 at 9:25 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 3 Comments


(Instagram video of a moment from the game, basket by Emily Fiso, one of four Wildcats who scored in double digits)
9:25 PM: We’re at Renton High School, where a big win by the West Seattle High School girls’ basketball team means they’re heading to the state tournament next weekend in Tacoma. They beat Sumner in a win-or-go-home game, 56-18. Photos and details to come.

ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: The victory’s afterglow lasted a good long while. Walking back to the parking lot from the gym, we passed the WSHS bus, with its windows open and the cheerleaders on board, heard chanting, “WE’RE GOING TO THE DOME! WE’RE GOING TO THE DOME!”

That’s the Tacoma Dome, of course, where the state tournament starts Thursday. We’ll find out today (Sunday) when and who the Wildcats will play.

But first – the story of their resounding comeback after two defeats. The 38 points by which they topped Sumner represented the largest victory margin of any game in this weekend’s 3A girls’ regionals. Perhaps the ensuing eight days of rest were exactly what they needed. Or maybe it was just time to think. A season in which they had risen to #2 in the state and beaten last year’s state champs for the Metro League title was too good to end just yet.

While the Renton HS gym was intended to be a “neutral” site for the game, Sumner was the designated “home team” and its big, booming band added to that feeling. (The school’s marching band performed in West Seattle twice last summer – in the Grand Parade and the Band Jam.) The pregame songs included Macklemore‘s anthemic “Can’t Hold Us.”

But it was the WSHS girls who could have been singing that line.

While the Spartans scored first, the Wildcats answered fast, with Emily Fiso striking first. West Seattle dominated the boards from the start and made their own second (and third) chances over and over and over again. Even in the late going, with a big lead, they refused to relinquish the ball without a fight. Scenes like these abounded:

Head coach Sonya Elliott talks a lot about her players’ teamwork, and tonight they really showed it. Not just in the scoring, with four in double digits – Lexi Ioane with 13:

Lydia Giomi with 12:

Annalisa Ursino with 10:

And Emily Fiso with 10:

… but also in the clutch moments. Charli Elliott showed her knack for tearing the ball away from the opponents – or swatting in a save when the Wildcats were in danger of losing possession:

In her moments off the bench, Lani Taylor was tenacious:

By two minutes into the second quarter, the West Seattle lead was up to double digits. And that’s when they started to pull away. On one series, Fiso missed an outside shot but managed an inside basket that widened the lead to 18 points with a little over two minutes left in the first half.

Yet no one was taking anything for granted. The West Seattle fans were bemoaning the misses and holding their breath for the near-baskets as halftime approached. A sharp series of passes led to a basket for Taylor with a minute to halftime, and the score was 29-8. After a Sumner basket, a solo drive by Giomi had the fans chanting MVP! MVP! in a nod to her Metro League honors. And at 31-10, halftime arrived.

While the injury absence of Sumner star Jamie Lange had to be noted, that could not entirely explain the third quarter, in which the Spartans failed to score a single point. West Seattle just kept building on its lead, clearly taking nothing for granted. They built a 30-point lead by just under 2 minutes to go in the third quarter – which ended with WSHS ahead 46-10.

Sumner’s first points of the second half came at 6:47 to go in the game. By that point, coach Elliott was resting her starters, at least for a few minutes.

No matter who was on the court, the Wildcats remained in charge, drawing fouls as Sumner tried again to spark a comeback; what resulted instead were foul shots. Izzy Turk was at the line to bring West Seattle to a 40-point lead, 55-15. With 1:46 to go, more WSHS reserves came in to get a bit of playing time. By then, with a lead that big, even standing at the foul line with unlimited shots couldn’t close the gap, so the clock ran out and the Wildcats were able to bask in the realization that they’re state-tournament-bound.

We’ll publish an update when the first state game is set.

West Seattle weekend scenes: February’s final sunset & moonrise

February 28, 2015 at 8:46 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 2 Comments

Sights tonight, shared by community contributors – above, Danny McMillin caught sunset colors over Mount Washington toward the south end of the Olympics; below, the rising moon, photographed by Chris Frankovich:

By the way, Daylight Saving Time returns one week from tonight – 2 am Sunday, March 8th, we’ll spring forward to 3 am.

Log House Museum leadership change: You’re invited to farewell reception Thursday for manager Sarah Baylinson

February 28, 2015 at 6:21 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | No Comments

After two and a half years as manager of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum, Sarah Baylinson is heading south; you’re invited to a farewell reception next Thursday (March 5th). SWSHS executive director Clay Eals has announced that Baylinson is departing to become collections manager at the Bowman Museum in the Central Oregon town of Prineville. She joined SWSHS as a volunteer in 2010 and became museum manager in fall 2012. Her farewell reception is set for 3-4 pm Thursday, March 5th, at the museum (61st/Stevens). If you attend, you’ll also get a chance to meet new interim LHM manager Lissa Kramer, a Morgan Junction resident who started volunteering for SWSHS last year and has 15 years of experience in museums and public programs. Baylinson’s last day is Sunday, March 8th; recruitment of a new permanent manager is expected to start shortly thereafter. The full announcement with more information is on the Log House Museum website. (Photo of Sarah Baylinson, left, and Lissa Kramer, courtesy SWSHS)

UPDATE: Seattle Lutheran HS boys’ basketball team advances to state, will play Cusick first

February 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN FOR SUNDAY UPDATE: SeaLu’s first state opponent has been drawn)


(Our Instagram clip is from the final seconds of the game – photos a bit later)
We’re at Bellevue College, where the Seattle Lutheran High School boys’ basketball team has just secured a spot in the state tournament, defeating Yakama Nation Tribal School 52-49 in a regional playoff game at Bellevue College. More to come.

ADDED 7:24 PM: This was a close game most of the way, but Yakama was as much as 10 points ahead a few times, before the Saints finally clawed back ahead toward the end.

The first quarter was low-scoring, ending with the Eagles ahead by one, 10-9. Their crisp passing was a strong suit, as was rebounding, until they faltered in the final quarter.

Along the way, the Saints’ winning ways were the result of a team effort – no single player dominated, though Roberto Duenaz (below) finished as the top scorer with 19, including a trio of 3-point shots.

Xavier Turner (1st photo below) and Josh Meyer (2nd photo below) – recipient of the sportsmanship award given to one member of each team postgame – had 11 each.

A run-and-gun series of tradeoffs saw Yakama threaten to pull away by the middle of the second quarter, leading 19-9 until Lutheran started a comeback, including two foul shots representing Duenaz’s first two points of the game, and a resurgence in rebounding. By halftime, they were behind by just four, 25-21.

In the third quarter, it wasn’t yet clear that the Saints would be able to regain the lead. After they cut the Eagles’ advantage to two, they fell behind by 9. Another of Duenaz’s threes kept that margin from growing. His next one provided a few seconds of drama, swirling the rim what seemed like half a dozen times before finally dropping through the net.

Two successful foul shots by Turner brought SLHS to within three with a little over 3 minutes to go in the third quarter, and that’s where the tide really started to turn. Meyer was often there when the Eagles missed a shot, and the Saints would head back to their side for another chance. They were down by just one, 38-37, at the end of the third, and a foul shot by Ryan Okabayashi tied it up just seconds into the fourth. SeaLu went up by two shortly thereafter, 40-38. A three-pointer from Yakama gave them the one-point edge, and a short bout of see-sawing ensued.

The Saints’ defense got even more aggressive.

The Eagles seemed to lose their confidence a bit as Lutheran kept it close. Their last lead was with three and a half minutes left in the game, when a three-pointer by Joseph Sanchey put them up 46-44. DEFENSE! hollered the Saints’ fans, and they obliged, with a three by Garrett Ball putting them up by one, 47-46.

With the final moments still in cliffhanger status, both sides called multiple timeouts to strategize.

The lead seesawed again – Yakama had it one last time at 49-48, with Duenaz then scoring four points – a basket and two foul shots – for the final score, 52-49. The jubilant Saints now look ahead to the state tournament in Spokane, with their first game next Thursday (opponent TBA).

12:05 PM SUNDAY UPDATE: Just drawn – SeaLu’s first state opponent will be Cusick, 3:45 pm Thursday at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The Cusick district is 50 miles north of Spokane and serves the Kalispel Tribe as well as the towns of Cusick and Usk.

After-school pancakes with the Chief Sealth IHS Link Crew

February 28, 2015 at 3:04 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

The school year is about two-thirds of the way through, and what a relief for high-school freshmen, who have finally settled in. At Chief Sealth International High School, that feeling of belonging has been fostered by the Link Crew mentor/buddy program. This past Thursday, they invited us to the Sealth Galleria to stop by and check in again, as we’ve done a few times already this year. The occasion: “Hotcakes Hangout.”

Yes, that’s hotcakes, as in pancakes. Link Crew ambassador Lincoln Vuong explained it wasn’t just about the pancakes – they played games while cooking and consuming, such as pancake trivia, with the answers written and held up on whiteboards:

Link Crew brings the freshmen together with volunteer upperclassmen mentors. This is Sealth’s third year with the program; we first checked in with this year’s group on September 4th.

Traffic alert: If you are heading to the Eastside this weekend …

February 28, 2015 at 1:48 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

Even with our every-weekday-morning traffic watches, we somehow managed to miss the alerts about this weekend’s eastbound I-90 closure – explained by WSDOT here:

The resulting backup/slow going from the eastbound bridge to northbound I-5 to (and on) eastbound I-90 caught us by surprise as we headed out to Bellevue to cover the Seattle Lutheran HS boys’ basketball postseason game. All vehicles are routed onto the express lanes, and that added 15+ minutes until the logjam broke just past the Mount Baker Tunnel. So in short: Eastbound I-90 is not completely closed, but it’s constricted for the weekend, and you’ll want to allow extra time.

P.S. And remember one more alert we HAVE shared a few times – 6-11 am Sunday, Highway 99 is closed at the Battery Street Tunnel and northward because of the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K

You can help! Fairmount Park Elementary auction’s online encore

February 28, 2015 at 11:02 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

The Fairmount Park Elementary PTA is hosting an online auction as a followup to its recent “live” auction. You can support FPES students via any of more than a hundred items – among them, getaways for destinations such as Alderbrook Resort and Stevens Pass, unique items such as a Little Free Library or a 3-hour photo-booth rental, and/or theme baskets put together by classrooms, including “Family of Scientists,” “Northwest Craft Beer Sampler,” and “Jaunt in the Junctions.” The online auction is open until 9 pm next Friday night (March 6th) – go here to browse and bid.

11 ways to spend part of your West Seattle Saturday

February 28, 2015 at 7:20 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(WSB photo of Troop 45165 cookie-sellers Primavera, Maddy, and Shea at West Seattle Thriftway [WSB sponsor] on Friday)
Buying Girl Scout Cookies is one of many things you can do in West Seattle today – use the online cookie-finder lookup to see where and when. Here’s what else is going on:

RESTORE THE FOREST: Join South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) students in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, 9:30 am-2 pm, as previewed here, including information on meet-up location on the north side of the SSC campus. (6000 16th SW)

CHILDREN’S ACADEMY OF SEATTLE OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-1 pm, you’re welcome to tour the Spanish-immersion preschool Children’s Academy of Seattle (WSB sponsor) during its open house. (2401 SW Juneau)

PINE LAKE CELLARS WINE TASTING: New WSB sponsor Pine Lake Cellars invites you to its tasting room, noon-5 pm today. (3400 Harbor SW)

HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS: Both local high-school basketball teams that are still going in the postseason have games today/tonight, as first reported here last weekend: The Seattle Lutheran HS boys play Yakama Nation Tribal School at Bellevue College (map/address) at 2 pm; the West Seattle HS girls play Sumner HS at Renton High School (map/address) at 8 pm.

(added) LOVE SEAFOOD? 4-7 pm at Alki Masonic Center, fundraiser for WSHS/Sealth student-awards program – crab, clams, mussels, chowder, fixins for $30. (40th/Edmunds)

(back to original) COMMUNITY MOVIE NIGHT IN ARBOR HEIGHTS: Go watch “Wreck It Ralph” at Arbor Heights Community Church, 6 pm, only price of admission is three cans of food for the White Center Food Bank. Full details here. (10213 41st SW)

SECOND AND FINAL WEEKEND FOR ‘GODSPELL’: Twelfth Night Productions presents the Bible-story-based musical at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 7:30 pm. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

RONNY COX AND FRIENDS: He gained fame as an actor but now spends most of his time making music, and will be onstage at Kenyon Hall, 7:30 pm tonight with keyboard and fiddle friends – details here. (7904 35th SW)

TOM PRICE DESERT CLASSIC: Heading up a three-band slate, 9 pm, $5 cover, at the Benbow Room. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

KIRK DUBB AT THE FEEDBACK: 10 pm, live at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), no cover. (6451 California SW)

UPDATE: Man hospitalized after fire on 44th SW in The Junction; investigators blame ‘dried Christmas tree’

February 28, 2015 at 3:14 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

(UPDATED 10:15 AM with SFD announcement of fire’s cause)

(Added: Photo texted by Amanda L.)
3:14 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to what’s described as a house near 44th/Genesee (map) on the north end of The Junction, and first units on site are reporting flames. There’s also word someone is hurt. More to come.

(This photo and next by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
3:32 AM: We’re at the scene. The fire is under control, according to an update monitored via scanner. Very smoky here, and 44th SW is full of emergency vehicles starting immediately north of SW Oregon. Commenters who live nearby are saying they heard an explosion type of sound right before the fire. More firefighters are continuing to arrive, some pulling up just south of Oregon.

3:44 AM: For those asking, we’ve confirmed it’s the address on the SFD log, 4411 44th SW. It’s a multi-family, two-story building (update: property records describe it as a 4-plex).

3:50 AM: No word yet on the condition of the person who was being checked out, nor on the cause. But Lt. Sue Stangl is here as public-information officer and so we’ll be able to get a briefing before too long.

(On-scene command center; photo by Diakonda Gurning)
The fire marshal (investigator) is en route.

4:00 AM: Lt. Stangl tells us smoke/fire was visible from three of the four sides of the building when firefighters first arrived. The man who was hurt has been taken to Harborview Medical Center, with burns and smoke inhalation; he told SFD he was the only person inside when the fire started. We’ll add video of her briefing when we’re back at HQ shortly (update: it’s below):

She says firefighters have no information yet on what might have caused the reported “boom.”

4:25 AM: Some of the responding units are being dismissed as the operation winds down. People evacuated from a building immediately behind this one will be allowed back in. We’ve added a photo atop the story, texted by Amanda L. (thank you!), showing the flames.

4:55 AM: Still investigating, per the photo tweet below from SFD:


10:15 AM: Via Twitter, an update from SFD: “Early morning WS house fire determined accidental. $150K loss to structure, $10K loss to contents. Dried Xmas tree too close to fireplace.” We just went by for a daylight look:

47th/Admiral signal: Construction to start ‘as soon as the week of March 9th’

February 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

As mentioned here a week ago, SDOT director Scott Kubly told the City Council Transportation Committee that the 47th/Admiral signal was on the brink of construction – and now, a city alert says construction could be just days away:

As soon as the week of March 9, the Seattle Department of Transportation will begin construction of the project to build a new signal, crosswalks and updated curb ramps at the intersection of 47th Avenue SW and SW Admiral Way in West Seattle.

This project aims to improve the flow of traffic in this area and you can expect to see the following changes at this intersection:

Click to read the rest of 47th/Admiral signal: Construction to start ‘as soon as the week of March 9th’…

Curtain rises on Admiral Theater’s future: Agreement announced, renovations ahead

February 27, 2015 at 5:43 pm | In Admiral Theater, West Seattle news | 36 Comments

(WSB photo from 2013: Mural over The Admiral’s concession area)
After many months of uncertainly, finally a breakthrough for West Seattle’s historic Admiral Theater. The company that runs it has announced “an agreement in principle” with the building’s owner, clearing the path to its much-needed, long-anticipated remodel, which will turn it into a fourplex.

Though The Admiral’s announcement (read it in full here) says the “planned improvements (will) begin this fall,” it also notes “an immediate conversion from 35mm film to state-of-the-art digital cinema and Dolby Surround Sound.” That will be followed by “phased=in revisions of the interior floor plan, adding two auditoriums (with elevated stadium seating), all-new chairs with cup holders, new carpeting and curtains, new screens (including 3D capability), and improved heating, air conditioning and ventilation. Additional improvements will also be evident in the restrooms, concessions area and upstairs Crow’s Nest Lounge.”

The Admiral is a city landmark with protected features, and Jeff Brein, managing partner of Far Away Entertainment – the Bainbridge-based regional chain that has run The Admiral since 2008 – says the plan recognizes that: “The existing architectural features, nautical theme, original artwork of captains and explorers, and unique lighting fixtures will be retained. Additionally, and perhaps most exciting, hand-painted historic murals hidden behind curtains for over 35 years will be uncovered and with financial support from grants and the community restored to their original condition.”

The Admiral will continue to work with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which worked to save the historic theater more than a quarter-century ago. And it expects to stay open “with minimal disruptions to moviegoers” during the work, which management hopes will lead to phased-in openings as soon as this August.

The theater started moving to first-run films with the successful premiere run of “Interstellar four months ago. That followed a long-running concern about a “ticking clock” as they waited for the now-secured longterm commitment so they could proceed with renovations, including an upgrade to digital projection.

P.S. We’ve asked for renderings of the Admiral’s future; not available yet, but soon, we’re told. For its almost-century-long backstory – dating back to its opening in 1919 as the Portola – check this 2013 story by SWSHS executive director Clay Eals.

ADDED 7:42 PM: Thanks to Clay for the tip on the customized marquee at the theater tonight, announcing the news – we went over to photograph it:

We also just heard back on one of our followup questions, to clarify the timeline: “The finished project should be done by end of summer, but one theater (actually 2) will be done before that. Also, digital projectors will be in by the end of March.”

Good luck, Dolphins! YMCA swimmers start regional competition tonight

February 27, 2015 at 5:41 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

The West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) Dolphins Swim Team has 20 swimmers, ranging in age from 6 to 18, in the 2015 Pacific Region North YMCA Swimming Championships in Boise. They’ll be swimming in the 2-1/2 day competition starting tonight, competing against 29 teams from throughout the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to Carl Baber for sharing the photo and info, including:

The West Seattle Y Team offers open enrollment, swim instruction, and competition throughout the year (except for August). Swimmers are assigned to one of six groups based on ability. Each group is designed to assist swimmers to improve swimming skills, learn the values of sportsmanship and cooperation as a team member, experience competition, make friends, and have fun. These 20 swimmers have successfully achieved qualifying times and are now striving for personal bests and medals, so good luck to all of our Y Dolphin swimmers!

West Seattle Crime Watch: At least 1 arrest in Westwood Target robbery

February 27, 2015 at 4:25 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, Westwood | 16 Comments

(WSB photo taken on northeast corner of 35th/Roxbury)
If you’ve noticed the police activity at Westwood Village and/or the 35th/Roxbury bus stop – here’s what’s happening: Police have arrested at least one suspect in a case of shoplifting-turned-robbery at the Westwood Target. Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler says it was first reported as juveniles stealing liquor from the store, and one “sprayed” a security guard (that’s apparently why Seattle Fire medics were called to the scene). The police search included buses in the area and several possible suspects turned up on one at 35th/Roxbury; while we were talking to Det. Fowler, he confirmed a witness had positively identified at least one suspect. That’s all we know so far; more if and when we get it.

@ Highland Park Action Committee: From crime to campaigning

February 27, 2015 at 3:01 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Crime trends, a possible solution, and a campaign pitch comprised most of this month’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, Wednesday night at HP Improvement Club.

First, the crime trends, presented by Community Police Team Officer Erin Nicholson:

If you don’t have time for the clip, three notes:

Click to read the rest of @ Highland Park Action Committee: From crime to campaigning…

West Seattle/White Center traffic alert: 15th/Roxbury work next week

February 27, 2015 at 1:26 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts, White Center | No Comments

Followup on a traffic alert mentioned in our daily transportation watch: It started with a tip from Erika, after a sign went up on Roxbury warning of lane closures all next week, and led us to both the city and county transportation departments to get details. We finally have the full explanation from KCDOT: 200 feet of underground fiber-optic installation starting next Monday “will require the closure of one southbound through lane on 15th Avenue SW north of Roxbury and a northbound left turn lane on 15th Avenue SW at Roxbury. Work is planned 9 am to 3 pm weekdays March 2 through March 6.” That’s in addition to other installation work in White Center that’s not likely to affect traffic that much; those details are on our partner site White Center Now.

Followup: One fewer Alki otter – but ‘Otto’ is doing okay

February 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm | In West Seattle news, Wildlife | 9 Comments

Last weekend, we featured David Hutchinson‘s video of a river otter, now nicknamed “Otto,” who’s been in view lately on the Duwamish Head beaches. David – who is a Seal Sitters volunteer as well as an awesome photographer – says, “Quite a few passersby have stopped by for a look, and Otto is probably the most photographed wild river otter in Seattle.”

But there’s some sad news from the otter world, too. David and wife Eilene Hutchinson learned from a neighbor that an otter was “in the street near Salty’s. Eilene & I went down to take a look and found an otter dead in the southbound lane. On examination, this proved not to be Otto, who has a small growth on his left rear foot. We moved the otter off the roadway and contacted the city for removal.” He says it’s the second one they’ve seen in about two months, and so we’re reminding you again to watch for wildlife crossing along Harbor/Alki Avenues – river otters, for example, have inland dens, but go out into the bay to look for food, so they cross the road more often than you’d think. P.S. Thanks to David for also reminding us that you can learn more about river otters on the state Fish and Wildlife Department website.

Chief Sealth IHS launching WA Global Issues Network conference, to ‘bring youth together to share ideas for taking action’

February 27, 2015 at 10:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

After four successful years of World Water Week, Chief Sealth International High School is launching a new globally focused event this year instead, and it’s one week away. Here’s the official announcement:

Nearly 200 students and teachers from the Seattle area and participants from around the country will come together on March 6th and 7th at Chief Sealth International High School for the inaugural Washington State Global Issues Network (WAGIN) Conference. The aim of the conference is to bring youth together to share ideas for taking action on critical global issues. This year’s conference slogan is, “Our Future Is Now.” Most workshop sessions during the two-day conference are youth-led. The conference will also feature seven keynote speakers:

Christina Orbe is the Executive Director and co-founder of FEEST (Food, Empowerment, Education Sustainability Team).

Molly Freed is a Chief Sealth IHS graduate and is currently a senior at Scripps College. She created the school-wide local ideas festival, World Water Week, which has attracted national attention.

Chris Jordan is a world-renowned artist and activist best known for his large-scale works depicting mass consumption and waste.

Spencer Chumbley is a Washington DC-based producer and cinematographer whose work covering critical global issues has been featured by VICE on HBO, Al Jazeera America, and TIME.

John Delaney is a member of NSF’s Ocean Observatories Initiative and is leading a team building an underwater network of cameras and sensors that will turn our ocean into a global interactive lab.

Amy Benson is the co-founder of Nonfiction Media, a production company based in Seattle. She has created more than 25 films. She most recently directed and produced Drawing the Tiger, a film about the power of educating young women in developing countries.

Maketa Wilborn is a national organizational development consultant, trainer and educator. He will push the conference attendees to find ways to sustain their action projects.

Leading up to the conference, all 1,200 Chief Sealth International students will participate in a synchronous, lesson on global climate change on Wednesday, March 4th. All students will then attend an assembly with the group Protect our Winters on Thursday, March 5th. On Friday, March 6th, all CSIHS students will attend an assembly with conference speaker, Chris Jordan.

The WAGIN conference is organized by Chief Sealth International High School students Aisaya Corbray and Paloma Robertson, along with teacher and mentor Noah Zeichner. This core planning team has collaborated with a dedicated group of more than 20 Chief Sealth students and teachers. The conference is made possible through partnerships with several organizations and agencies including the Global Issues Network (GIN), Seattle Public Schools, the Foundation for International Understanding through Students (FIUTS), World Affairs Council, Global Visionaries, OSPI, the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington, King County EcoConsumer Program, IREX, and the U.S. Department of State.

West Seattle Friday: Dance, play, watch, listen, and … garden!

February 27, 2015 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(American Wigeon, photographed by Mark Wangerin, who says your best bet of seeing one locally is the High Point retention pond)
The weekend is within reach! Here are the highlights for today/tonight, as we edge ever closer:

WEST SEATTLE GARDEN CLUB: 10 am-2 pm, it’s the monthly meeting at Daystar Retirement Village, with the day’s schedule described in our calendar listing, including a morning presentation on becoming a Master Gardener and an afternoon presentation on roses. (2615 SW Barton)

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES: As previewed here earlier this week, this afternoon marks the start of the official cookie-selling season – you’ll find Girl Scouts outside more than a few local businesses as early as 2 pm today (our preview link includes the search tool you can use to find cookie sales near you).

LIVE AT SALTY’S: Start your weekend before the sun sets! The True Romans, 5-8 pm at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), no cover. (1936 Harbor SW)

BOTTLE RELEASE PARTY: Crux Fermentation Project brings Freakcake to The Beer Junction, 5-8 pm. (4511 California SW)

JUMPIN’ JIVE SWING DANCE: 6 pm tonight, it’s the Madison Middle School benefit that’ll get you up and dancing – details in our recent preview. Featuring student musicians AND the West Seattle Big Band; in the Commons. (45th/Spokane)

MOVIE ON THE WALL: 6 pm, free movie for families at the Salvation Army Community Center, “Dolphin Tale 2,” in the small gym. (9050 16th SW)

RAINBOW BINGO, MARDI GRAS EDITION: Doors open at the Senior Center of West Seattle and treats are available at 6, entertainment at 6:30, bingo at 7. Check to see if any reservations are left! Details in our calendar listing. (Oregon/California)

SWEET, SWEET MUSIC: 7:30 pm at Fauntleroy Church – details here. (9140 California SW)

SECOND AND FINAL WEEKEND FOR ‘GODSPELL’: West Seattle-based Twelfth Night Productions is back with this timeless musical

(Photo courtesy Twelfth Night Productions)
Curtain time is 7:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

ALBUM RELEASE SHOW … for the Rafael Tranquilino Band, 9 pm at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), no cover. (6451 California SW)

AND THERE’S MORE … for today, tonight, and days/weeks/months beyond, on our calendar.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates & weekend reminders

February 27, 2015 at 6:56 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning; watch for major puddles this morning after the all-night rainfall. Looking ahead to the weekend and beyond:

METRO FARE CHANGES SUNDAY: Explained here.

SUNDAY MORNING 99 CLOSURE: Just north of downtown, for the Hot Chocolate 5K/15Kdetails here.

Road work reminders, continuing/starting next week:

DELRIDGE/ORCHARD: The utility work on the east side of the intersection will bring traffic to a full stop for intervals, Seattle Public Utilities announced in an update yesterday.

DELRIDGE/ANDOVER: Monday is the newest start date for this work to boost safety at the north end of Delridge.

LANE CLOSURE ON ROXBURY EAST OF 16TH: Thanks to Erika for spotting the sign warning of a lane closure on Roxbury next Monday-Friday. By day’s end yesterday, we had heard back from SDOT, saying it’s a county permit issued for a fiber contractor, and we’re still tracking details of which lane(s) and when.

7:41 AM: Traffic alert for an aid call at 24th/Thistle, near Chief Sealth International High School. One SFD engine. No details so far.

7:57 AM: That call has closed. No current trouble spots around our area.

8:11 AM: And that has changed – thanks to the person who just called (thank you! 206-293-6302 any time, text or voice) to report a car stalled in the bus lane on Avalon Way.

Myers Parcels = Myers Park? Campaign to preserve as open space/parkland intensifies, as city prepares ‘sale strategy’

February 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(Click image to see city map of Myers Parcels as a full-size PDF)
The community campaign to preserve an open-space area in the southeasternmost corner of West Seattle is ramping up and drawing new attention to the so-called “Myers Parcels” (map). A widely circulated announcement of an upcoming meeting describes the land south of the Joint Training Facility as possibly “the last large, undeveloped piece of property that could become a major park in Seattle.” The original announcement of the campaign last September was reported here; word of the new effort, including an organizational meeting, led us to check on the parcels’ current status.

First: We noticed that the Department of Planning and Development files for the site suggested Seattle Public Utilities was evaluating it as recently as last fall for possible relocation of its Wastewater and Drainage operations center. But when we checked with SPU on Wednesday, spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin told us the department is no longer considering using the site. So we moved on to the Department of Finance and Administrative Services, which has responsibility for the site now. Spokesperson Julie Moore replied with background plus the status, and what’s expected to happen next:

The property was originally a gravel pit. At the time of purchase in 2003, the City intended to develop a portion as the Joint Training Facility and sell the remainder. The purchase was funded, in part, with a bridge loan for which the City now owes about $13 million. In 2006, the Seattle City Council, by ordinance 122308, declared 31 acres of the properties surplus and authorized a sale to Lowe’s, but that deal fell through. The sale transaction was not completed due to environmental and permitting issues. The subsequent downturn in the economy made a sale uneconomic.

As the recession eased, the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) obtained environmental studies to carefully document environmental assets such as wetlands and natural steep slopes.

In 2012, FAS circulated an excess property notice to City departments, and some have evaluated the site for potential City use, but have generally found it to be inappropriate for their operational purposes. FAS is now considering options for selling the undeveloped portion while preserving environmentally sensitive areas. The property is zoned for commercial uses, and sale proceeds will likely be enough to repay the $13 million bridge loan. FAS expects to make a recommendation on a sale strategy this year.

The 2012 “excess property notice” – see it here – includes that year’s total assessed value of the parcels, listed as $38 million.
Meantime, once FAS makes its recommendation, what happens? Moore’s explanation:

As with all property dispositions, FAS’s Real Estate Services (RES) follows the Seattle City Council-adopted policies and procedures for the review process. Once the process is complete, RES issues a final report, which includes RES’ recommendation regarding the property (typically to either retain the property for use by another City department or sell it), and presents it to the Mayor for review. If the Mayor concurs with the recommendation, the Mayor sends the report to the City Council, along with legislation authorizing the reuse or sale of the property. Only the City Council can make the final decision on reuse or disposition of City-owned real property. If the Council approves the recommendation for selling a property, the property is declared “surplus” and a sale proceeds.

You might recall that part of the site was on the list of potential city-jail locations back in 2008; ultimately, the city decided it didn’t need a new jail, and the entire plan was scrapped.

Back to the community campaign to keep the site as open space – here’s the meeting announcement:

You are invited to come to the first-ever gathering of SAVE MYERS PARK, on Saturday, March 14th, 10-noon, at the offices of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, 210 S. Hudson. Call or email Cass to confirm and for questions. 206-783-9093. Or email cassturnbull@comcast.net

The announcement, which you can read in full as posted to the WSB Facebook page if you haven’t seen it elsewhere, also suggests that messages be sent to the mayor and City Council.

You can help! Fauntleroy Children’s Center auction 9 days away

February 26, 2015 at 7:32 pm | In Fauntleroy, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

The Fauntleroy Children’s Center, headquartered in the historic schoolhouse, is nine days away from its annual fundraiser, and hoping to get a final attendance count within a few days – so it’s circulating a reminder that tickets are available online. The dinner/auction is at 5:30 pm Saturday, March 7th, on the other side of the schoolhouse at The Hall at Fauntleroy, $65/person. The theme is “An Evening in Paris” and you can read more about it here.

From New Orleans to White Center: Mardi Gras Donuts is all about the beignets

February 26, 2015 at 4:23 pm | In West Seattle news, White Center | 45 Comments

By Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog/White Center Now co-publishers

First word arrived via a tweet directed at us by Caffé Delia in White Center, with a photo of newly opened Mardi Gras Donuts and the message, “Donuts! In Rat City!” So we headed over to investigate.

More than the donuts, it turns out, Mardi Gras is all about the beignets.

That’s what proprietor Michael Williams (“call me Mike”) told us.

The donuts are a sideline to the beignets (ben-YAYS, as he pronounces it in his New Orleans accent – “New Orleans born and raised,” he says proudly).

He’s been open a few days at 9828 16th SW (a storefront that’s been a bakery before). Signage just went up yesterday. No decorations inside, and when we walked in, we wondered if he would tell us he’s not really open yet. But oh, he is.

His marquee item, the beignets, are 3 for $2.25. He says he’s making and selling other types of donuts because, well, that’s expected – cakes, glazed, honey buns, apple fritters, twists, donut holes.

He’s here as what sounds to be the latest stop on a cross-country journey of sorts. He worked in a donut shop in New Orleans that gained fame via a Food Network feature in 2011. Later that year in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, he opened his first Mardi Gras Donuts shop, featured in local news there.

Deciding to make a move, Williams said he almost wound up in Fargo, North Dakota, where he owned some property. The prospect of deep-freeze winter was a little much. Talking to a wholesaler, he heard Seattle didn’t have much in the way of beignets. So here he is.

6 am-8 pm for starters (Williams says he’s still figuring out the hours depending on how the customer flow goes), and during the morning, they’ll make hot glazed donuts while you wait. Cash only, by the way.

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