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/15K – details 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.

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 | 3 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 | 31 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.

Five possibilities for your West Seattle Thursday night

February 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

We missed our customary morning chance to look ahead to what’s on the calendar – but it’s not too late to mention five events of potential interest:

DINE AND DANCE: Dance for Joy is presenting a dinner, lessons, and dancing event tonight at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). Salmon dinner at 6, lessons at 7, dancing at 8. Reservations required – info’s on the Salty’s website. (1936 Harbor SW)

HIGHLAND PARK KINDERGARTEN NIGHT: 6:30 pm, prospective Highland Park Elementary kindergarten families are invited to dinner and a tour tonight at the school. (1012 SW Trenton)

WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. Agenda’s centerpiece:

Special guest Paulo Nunes-Ueno, the newly hired leader of our city’s new Transit Division within SDOT. We will discuss a variety of topics with him, including:

1. How the new money from the city Proposition 1 will impact West Seattle and South Park.

2. Plans that SDOT’s Transit Division has in mind and in the works to benefit our area.

3. Ideas that can be implemented to increase our local bus performance, including the idea for a dedicated bus-only lane all the way from the Junction to the West Seattle Bridge.

4. What will be the role of City District 1 in having a seat on the Proposition oversight commission, which was required by law in the Proposition 1 measure we passed.

All welcome. (6400 Sylvan Way)

CHARTER SCHOOL INFORMATION: Curious about the plan for West Seattle’s first charter school, first reported here in early January and updated in mid-January? 6:30 pm at Southwest Branch Library, its prospective operators, Summit Public Schools, have a public info session, as reported here. (35th/Henderson)

FREE BACKCOUNTRY & A/T CLINIC: 7 pm at Mountain to Sound Outfitters. RSVP requested – info’s in our listing. (3602 SW Alaska)

West Seattle development notes, from demolition to Design Review

February 26, 2015 at 2:32 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | No Comments

West Seattle development notes today include this demolition work:


TEARDOWN TO … ? That 1911-built house has just been torn down at 37th/Hinds; thanks to Diane for the tip.

What’s on file online with the city mentions both demolition and “additions and alterations to existing single family residence including attached garage,” rather than a teardown/rebuild, so we’re not sure exactly what’s going to follow.

OTHER DEMOLITION NOTES: A permit is granted for tearing down a duplex at 5917 Fauntleroy Way SW, one of two neighboring sites with rowhouses ahead … a permit application is in to demolish a house and commercial building at 4038 California SW, where the city notes say 7 units are planned, two of them live-works.

DESIGN REVIEW NOTICES: We’ve already published word of both of these reviews scheduled for March 19th, but in case you missed it, the formal notices are in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin:

****CVS drugstore project: This is filed at two addresses, 4722 Fauntleroy Way for the building and 4721 38th SW for additional parking, and both reviews will be held at 6:30 pm March 19th at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (Our most-recent story is here.)

****Junction apartment building: The 60-unit building proposed at 4528 44th SW will be reviewed at 8 pm March 19th, same location. We first reported on this plan last November.

Another baby born to Puget Sound orcas: New L Pod arrival!

February 26, 2015 at 12:00 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 6 Comments


Announced this morning – the third calf born to Puget Sound’s resident orcas in the past two months! First came the two babies born to J Pod – we learned about J50 in late December, and then two weeks ago J51 was spotted; and today, NOAA Fisheries announces a baby seen with L Pod as its scientists tracked the whales off the seacoast. “The calf looked very energetic,” NOAA’s Brad Hanson reported.

While whale experts warn that mortality rates are high even in the best of times, this is nonetheless yet another sign of hope for the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. As noted when we covered one of The Whale Trail‘s orca talks here in West Seattle last fall, the resident pods previously hadn’t seen a birth in two years, and that calf did not survive.

Speaking of pits: Get a better look at Highway 99 tunnel machine

February 26, 2015 at 11:38 am | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

The Highway 99 tunnel machine is back on the move, according to WSDOT. It’s protruding further into the repair pit as it moves forward; WSDOT says five more tunnel rings have to be built behind it before it stops short of the north side of the pit. What happens after that is described in today’s update on the Highway 99 project website. You can get the newest view by clicking the camera at center-left on this page (that’s where the image at left is from).

You’ll see firefighters at ‘the pit’ on Saturday – but it won’t be an emergency response

February 26, 2015 at 11:16 am | In Safety, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo of Murray CSO Control Project pit, from last week)
You’ll see a Seattle Fire Department presence on Saturday at the Murray CSO Control Project site – the million-gallon-tank pit across from Lowman Beach – but it’s just a drill. We mentioned this briefly last weekend, and now have more information, as promised by Doug Marsano from King County, who writes:

The Seattle Fire Department will practice safety drills at the Murray CSO Control Project site from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 28. The drills provide training for fire personnel to practice emergency procedures on construction sites. They are not part of the project work.

The drills are being conducted in cooperation with King County’s contractor. You can expect to see fire trucks and emergency personnel working at the site on Saturday.

For information about the Murray CSO Control Project, please contact the project information hotline available 24 hours a day, 206-205-9186, or visit the project web page.

You might recall that two years ago, firefighter trainees practiced at the residential buildings that were demolished to make way for this project – here’s our photo gallery.

West Seattle traffic alert: Delridge/Orchard work intensifies

February 26, 2015 at 10:24 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 7 Comments

Update this morning on traffic effects of the Seattle Public Utilities project at Delridge/Orchard – the next two weeks will see some road closures in addition to ongoing lane closures:

Seattle Public Utilities is continuing sewer improvements along SW Orchard Street between Delridge Way SW and Dumar Way SW. Excavation and installation work is underway and will take several months to complete. Work will occur from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday east of the intersection of Delridge Way SW and SW Orchard Street.

The work will require the closure of the westbound lane on SW Orchard Street (east of Delridge Way SW). The lane will remain closed Monday through Sunday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. through the end of April, and will be opened to traffic after non-work hours. During the closure, all westbound traffic will be diverted to the eastbound lane with the assistance of a traffic flagger.

Starting February 26th, and continuing for two weeks, SW Orchard Street between Delridge Way SW and Dumar Way SW will be fully closed to traffic intermittently for 15 minute intervals during work hours to allow for delivery of materials.

New city rules for encampments: Public hearing downtown tonight

February 26, 2015 at 8:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 16 Comments

If you have something to say about the city’s proposed rule changes regarding encampments for homeless people, tonight’s the night to say it. 5:30 pm at City Hall, the council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee will listen to comments during an evening meeting devoted entirely to a public hearing on the proposal (here’s the agenda).

The goal of the rule changes as they’re written now – see the legislation here – is to enable up to three encampments, up to 100 residents each, at city- or privately owned sites no closer to each other than a mile.

Since we first reported on the proposal a month ago, it’s been discussed at multiple committee meetings, and at least one more is planned. We listened in on the most-recent one, last Friday. These maps – further clarifying sites that might qualify if the new rules pass (adding overlays such as the mandated human-services and transit-stop distances) – were part of the agenda:

Many of the questions at last Friday’s discussion involved how a proposed encampment would be proposed, reviewed, and approved, including questions such as, what if more than one potential provider wanted to use a specific city-owned site.

There also was discussion of whether other types of property could be made eligible – right now, the proposed rules specify city-owned or privately owned, but, it was asked, what about other government entities, for example? (The West Seattle sites used by the encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville” had included state- and port-owned sites over the years.) Also asked – if an encampment “is working well,” could the proposal’s one-year limit be modified for a renewal or extension? And one housing organization, LIHI, had sent a letter expressing concern about the proposal ruling out use of parks and parking lots. A city staffer said in response that they expected they wouldn’t have trouble finding “suitable opportunities” among other types of properties.

Whatever other issues arise at tonight’s public hearing – which is for public comment, not a vote – the PLUS committee plans to discuss the proposal again next Tuesday (March 3rd). Meantime, signups for the 5:30 pm hearing will start at 5 pm – here’s the official notice. It’s in the council chambers on the second floor at City Hall, 5th/Cherry/James.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates/alerts

February 26, 2015 at 6:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Heading into the heart of the morning commute, no problems reported on West Seattle roads or the major outbound paths.

ROAD WORK: We don’t have a report from the area so far today but Don Brubeck reports work was under way Wednesday on East Marginal Way S, south of Spokane St., “to widen the street to make a short stretch of bike path through the narrow area under the Spokane St Viaduct ramps. Another step in SDOT’s interim traffic safety improvements for East Marginal Way S. Good for people riding bikes from south of Spokane St, and for people on bikes taking the left at the light at Spokane from the WS Bridge trail, where there is now a push button for the light.”

TALKING TRANSIT TONIGHT: West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s monthly meeting is at 6:30 pm, Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way), with SDOT’s new Transit Division head Paulo Nunes-Ueno.

8:06 AM NOTE: Just took a spin around the “live video” views via the city map (dropdown on the lower right, West Seattle and Greater Duwamish views). Things look to be moving well except for the usual chokepoints (exit lane to 99, exit lane to northbound I-5).

@ West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network: Protecting property

February 25, 2015 at 10:04 pm | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

What can you do to try to prevent/deter someone from stealing from you? An informal discussion with SPD was the spotlighted topic as the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network met last night at the Southwest Precinct.

Click to read the rest of @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network: Protecting property…

Robotics fan in the house? Sign up now for library event tomorrow!

February 25, 2015 at 9:22 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | No Comments

Kids 8 and up who are (or might be) interested in robotics are invited to an event 4-5 pm tomorrow afternoon at the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library (2306 42nd SW). They still have room, and it’s free, but advance signups are required, so they’re getting the word out one last time tonight. Participants get to program a robot to compete on an obstacle course! The official infopage has the number you can call for registration tomorrow – OR use this e-mail form right now.

Bowling for Equality: Human Rights Campaign fundraiser at West Seattle Bowl

February 25, 2015 at 7:50 pm | In Fun stuff to do, How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

You’re invited to go “Bowling for Equality” at West Seattle Bowl on Sunday, March 15th, to help raise money for the Human Rights Campaign. The invitation comes from West Seattle resident Al Griggs, who’s on the steering committee of the Seattle chapter of HRC, which he describes as “the nation’s largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender advocacy group.” The fundraiser is stretched out over three sessions that day, 1-3 pm, 4-6 pm, 7-9 pm. For $40 adult/$20 child, you get two hours of bowling, shoe rental, appetizers, and a yearlong HRC membership. Tickets are available now at hrc.org/seattlebowling = see the official flyer above for more info (including an afterparty for 21+ bowlers).

West Seattle biz-and-building notes, 35th Avenue SW edition

February 25, 2015 at 4:44 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

Three biz=and-building notes from along 35th:

NEXT DESIGN REVIEW FOR NEW EYE CLINIC LOCATION: The three-story building planned as the future home of Clearview Eye Clinic, currently at Westwood Village, continues moving through Design Review. The Southwest Design Review Board schedule now has a tentative date for what could be the final meeting (after two next year), 6:30 pm April 16th. (Part of the site formerly housed Red Star Pizza.)

PEOPLE’S CHOICE MARKETPLACE TO 35TH/ROXBURY: According to documents on file with the Department of Planning and Development, tenant improvements are in the works for the space at 9451 35th SW that’s been vacant since Jackson-Hewitt moved to Morgan Junction last year. The site plan for the space is in the name of People’s Choice Marketplace, a medical-marijuana access point currently located on the south end of Delridge Way SW. We have an inquiry out to ask if this is an expansion or a move; no reply yet. The corner has a medical-marijuana outlet, Northwest Patient Resource Center across the street, and the CannaHealth clinic, which specializes in patient authorizations, is to the north.

STUDIO NORTH OF 35TH/MORGAN: Driving by the (updated) storefront at 6531 35th SW next to Q & T Nails’, just south of SW Morgan, we noticed a big new banner, Barre Bohemian. It’s a fitness studio that’s chronicling its transformation online.

First Lutheran Church of West Seattle: Welcome, new WSB sponsor

February 25, 2015 at 3:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle religion | 1 Comment

We’re welcoming First Lutheran Church of West Seattle as a new WSB sponsor. Here’s what they would like you to know about who they are and what they do:

We are a Lutheran church that has been on the corner of California Ave. SW & SW Dakota St. for close to a hundred years – established in 1918. We don’t go in for gimmicks or the newly popular ways of modern Christianity. Our church is a historical Lutheran congregation which holds to the glorious Christian heritage that has been handed down through the centuries in our worship, theology, and rich tradition in church music.

We are also big champions of our community. We regularly give food and money to the West Seattle Food Bank. Our pastor has been on the board since 1996. He has recently written a history of the food bank for its 30th anniversary. We also are a big supporter of the West Seattle Helpline – which our congregation helped establish back in 1989. Each December we host the St. Nicholas Faire, which raises money for both the West Seattle Food Bank and Helpline. Helping our neighbors in need means a lot to us.

We are also a house of studies – working on the Biblical message every week in classes; reading regularly from Martin Luther’s vast body of writings from the sixteenth century; studying the Qur’an of Islam in order to better understand our geo-political situation; and taking up other discussions involving contemporary social issues.

At the center of our life together is worship on Sundays. This is our time to praise God for the gift of his Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, as revealed to us in the Holy Bible and preserved in the liturgies of the historical Christian Church. Everyone is always welcome to join us and we look forward to seeing you and getting acquainted. If you have any questions, check out our website or give us a call – 206-935-6530.

We thank First Lutheran Church of West Seattle for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

2 days until Girl Scout Cookie sales in West Seattle (and beyond)

February 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 16 Comments

1:45 PM: If you’re a fan of Girl Scout Cookies and haven’t already procured them some other way, you should know that the official cookie-selling season begins Friday (February 27th). This year the online cookie-finder tool is at a different place – find it here – but works the same way: Put your zip code in the search box and you’ll get a list of cookie-selling locations, dates, and times. Earliest ones we’re seeing outside West Seattle businesses are at 2 pm Friday. If you’re involved with a local Girl Scout troop, by the way, we welcome info and photos related to your sale (maybe somebody has a photo from the cookie-pickup event?) – e-mail editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks and good luck!

ADDED 2:41 PM: Thanks to Cheryl for obliging with the photo we’ve added above, from this year’s event in which troops from all over this area retrieve their cookies from a loading dock on West Marginal!

You can ‘Threadcycle’ instead of throwing out clothing & other textiles that are more than ‘gently used’

February 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

Seattle Public Utilities and King County are teaming up to announce “Threadcycle,” a new campaign to make sure you know that you can recycle more old clothing/textiles than you probably think you can. The official announcement points out that the average person in the U.S. throws away 70 pounds of used clothing/textiles each year, and that 95 percent of that could have been recycled. Right now, in fact, the announcement says, the recycling market for textiles is strong. So the city and county are partnering with eight organizations to get the word out NOT to throw away the items you don’t think can be donated. Find the organizations listed – along with drop sites – here.

Followup: Future West Seattle Water Taxi, M/V Doc Maynard, taking shape

February 25, 2015 at 12:14 pm | In King County Water Taxi, Seen at sea, Transportation, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(Click picture to see larger image)
With the county launching Water Taxi Watch and planning the debut of the new Vashon Island Water Taxi M/V Sally Fox for late March, we asked how construction is proceeding with West Seattle’s new vessel, the M/V Doc Maynard. In response, the county Department of Transportation shared the photo taken at All American Marine in Bellingham, where, KCDOT spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok says, “Last week the engines were inserted into the hull and the cabin was also attached to the hull. We are still on target for delivery of the vessel this fall.”

When the new vessels are both in service, the county plans to keep Spirit of Kingston, the current West Seattle Water Taxi, as a backup. It has already stopped leasing the SoK’s predecessor Rachel Marie – which went into service on the West Seattle run in 2010 – and will do so with the current Vashon vessel Melissa Ann. The two new boats’ cost will total $11.8 million, 80 percent of which is being covered by federal funding.

P.S. The Water Taxi’s 7-day-a-week schedule resumes April 6th.

What’s up for your West Seattle Wednesday, morning through night

February 25, 2015 at 10:03 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 18 Comments

Thanks to David Hutchinson for the head-on view of a male Anna’s Hummingbird, photographed at Jack Block Park, brightening up a back-to-gray day. Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

STORYTIMES: Busy morning for storytimes. 10:30 am preschool storytime at West Seattle (Admiral) Library; 10:30 am toddler storytime at Southwest Library; 11:15 am Spanish storytime at My Three Little Birds; 11:30 am baby storytime at High Point Library. (Click any of the preceding links for a full listing, including map.)

NETWORKING SOCIAL! Solopreneur? Home-office worker? Freelancer? Noon at West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor), it’s the weekly networking social – no charge, just drop in! You’re welcome to bring your lunch, too. (6040 California SW)

PATHFINDER K-8 BENEFIT AT MARINATION MA KAI: 4-8 pm, dine at Marination ma kai at Seacrest, and 20 percent of the food proceeds go to the Pathfinder K-8 Playground project! (1660 Harbor SW)

NEED HELP LOOKING AHEAD TO COLLEGE? 4 pm, free workshop at High Point Community Center – details here. (6920 34th SW)

WEST SEATTLE MONTESSORI OPEN HOUSE: 6-7:30 pm, drop in and tour West Seattle Montessori (WSB sponsor). Kids welcome too. (11215 15th SW)

WEST SEATTLE LAND USE COMMITTEE: 6 pm in the lower-level meeting room at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, with an agenda including Ethan Phelps from Seattle In Progress (the new app that shows development proposals/projects) and a discussion of Peter Steinbrueck‘s recent urban-village review (which pre-empted last month’s WSLUC meeting). All welcome. (2306 42nd SW)

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 6:30 pm potluck, 7 pm meeting at Highland Park Improvement Club. HPAC’s agenda includes a discussion of LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) and whether it could work in HP; also, informal Q/A with District 1 City Council candidate Amanda Kay Helmick. (12th/Holden)

POEMS AND STORIES: 7 pm, monthly poetry/storytelling event at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) – details here – tonight’s featured readers are Kerry Cox and Tito Titus. (5612 California SW)

LOTS MORE NIGHTLIFE … on the calendar!

You can help! Restore our forest and learn a little while you’re at it

February 25, 2015 at 9:00 am | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

See that long stretch of greenbelt in the lower third of the photo shared with us earlier this week via Twitter by Ron Creel? That’s the West Duwamish Greenbelt – the largest contiguous stretch of forest left in the entire city, and it’s right here in West Seattle. This Saturday, the forecast is for sunshine, and the request is for some help from you:

South Seattle College’s Landscape Horticulture department would like to invite the community to a Restoration Work-party in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. On Saturday, February 28, the Ecological Restoration class will be assisting volunteers in proper planting and mulching techniques for new plantings. The students, taught by the college’s Instructor and Arboretum Coordinator Van Bobbitt, are currently studying the recovery process of urban ecosystems.

The event is scheduled from 9:30 am to 2 pm and will begin at the red doors at the Garden Center, located at the North Parking Lot on campus. Interested? Sign up on The Nature Consortium website at naturec.org/volunteer or contact Diana at 425-463-8450.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates/alerts

February 25, 2015 at 6:40 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 8 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:40 AM: So far, nothing out of the ordinary on the routes through/from West Seattle.

7:59 AM: In the comments – some slowdowns on two Delridge spots this past half-hour. At Orchard, it’s the ongoing Seattle Public Utilities work.

ADDED 8:32 AM – TRANSPORTATION NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Three links from Tuesday – the dates are set for the next meetings on how 35th SW might be changed to be made safer; what SDOT’s director Scott Kubly told the City Council Transportation Committee about that and other projects of West Seattle interest; if you cross the bay by water, check out the brand-new Water Taxi Watch.

Election 2015: Campaign kickoff at Easy Street for Dave Montoure’s City Council run

February 24, 2015 at 10:08 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 29 Comments

One week after announcing his run for the new District 1 City Council seat, West Seattle restaurateur Dave Montoure debuted his “stump speech” to a crowd of supporters at Easy Street Records.

He joked that he never expected he’d be doing an in-store performance someday at Easy Street, whose proprietor Matt Vaughan introduced him:

Here’s Montoure’s speech, hitting the themes he stressed in his campaign announcement last week:

His key points: Bringing “middle-class jobs to the peninsula,” especially by “reinvigorating … underutilized manufacturing and industrial land.” He mentioned repeatedly that he wants West Seattle to lead the city in “sustainable business practices” such as the food-composting program launched by businesses in 2008 when he led the Junction Association, and stepping up community-based policing, which he described as “a different shade of blue.” He dinged current city leadership for having no “game plan” for West Seattle’s transportation challenges, and for allowing public infrastructure to fall into disrepair while private investment such as development booms.

THE BIG PICTURE: Montoure is among 9 candidates so far for the District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) seat. Filing deadline is in mid-May; the primary, from which two finalists will emerge, is August 4th, while the general election is November 3rd. In addition to enterprised campaign coverage, we also plan to cover as many open-to-the-public D-1 candidate speaking/Q-A appearances as we can, so that you’ll often see and hear from those vying for your vote in this first-ever election. Next one we know of is at tomorrow night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, 7 pm at HP Improvement Club, with candidate Amanda Kay Helmick on the agenda.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Looking for hit-run driver

February 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

Quick West Seattle Crime Watch reader report tonight – the search for a driver who hit a bicycle rider and took off:

Heading north on 35th SW, just north of SW Findlay at approx. 6:15 am. Driver took off in a black automobile of unknown model & make. Passenger side view mirror torn off during collision into bicycle and rider. If anyone witnessed this incident or has any information about the driver, please contact police.

Here’s the incident number to mention if you contact police with a tip – 15-62400. The person who e-mailed is the bicycle rider’s wife; no major injuries, she says, but he was hurt and had to be seen at urgent care.

How to make 35th SW safer? See the possibilities at March 10th, 12th meetings

February 24, 2015 at 6:14 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | No Comments

The dates are now officially set for two meetings at which you can see and comment on the proposed design alternatives for the 35th SW Road Corridor Safety Project, just hours after SDOT director Scott Kubly told the City Council Transportation Committee he expected an announcement within a few days. From the project website:

Please join us at our upcoming Design Alternatives Review meetings:

Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Neighborhood House, Room 207, 6400 Sylvan Way SW

Thursday, March 12, 3:15 to 5:15 PM
Southwest Library, Second Floor Meeting Room, 9010 35th Avenue SW

Here’s our coverage of the project kickoff meeting last October. Thanks to Chris Stripinis from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council for the tip.

Traffic alert: 2-week lane closure ahead at Fauntleroy terminal

February 24, 2015 at 4:00 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

Heads up for Fauntleroy ferry-terminal users and people who drive/ride/walk in the area: The wrapping-up-soon Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project just north of the terminal will close the north lane at the terminal for two weeks around the clock, starting next Monday (March 2nd). It’s “to enable construction on a retaining wall,” says Annie Kolb-Nelson from King County, adding: “Flaggers will be onsite during busy commute times to guide traffic.” P.S. Full details are on the newest flyer.

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