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West Seattle Crime Watch: Intruder awakens mom; suspect arrested

A terrifying close call for a Gatewood family early today: A woman tells WSB she was asleep with her 5-year-old child when a man broke into their home and tried to get into bed with them, attempting to molest her in the process. She is recovering from surgery. The intruder fled and the victim says police arrested a suspect. This happened after 3 am near 39th and Morgan. We’re working to find out more and will update with any further details.

10:26 AM: Police have just posted a few more details via SPD Blotter:

Officers arrested a man after a woman called 911 Saturday morning when she woke to a burglar in her bedroom.

The victim was sound asleep in her home in the 6500 block of 39 Ave SW around 3:30 this morning when she felt someone touch her face. The victim woke, and assuming it was her husband, asked what was going on. The the woman heard a reply that was not her husband and tried to turn on the nightstand light. The suspect fled out of the home taking the woman’s cell phone with him.

Officers quickly arrived and found the suspect in an nearby alley. The victim confirmed that officers had arrested the correct person. Officers determined the suspect entered the home through an unlocked back door before making his way to the bedroom.

Officers booked the suspect into King County Jail for investigation of burglary.

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West Seattle Saturday: Chocolate, chili, ballots, beach, basketball, more …

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(Male hooded merganser, photographed in High Point by Mark Wangerin – click for closeup view)

Happy Saturday!

FIRST, A TRAFFIC ALERT: Reminder that the tower crane at Aura (35th and Avalon) is scheduled to come down today, blocking four lanes of 35th SW most if not all of the day, as previewed here. We will be checking out the scene a bit later for an update. (Added: Traffic is using the two NB lanes.)

Now, from our calendar:

BALLOT DROPOFF VANS: Sent in your ballot for Tuesday’s school levies yet? If not, two King County Elections dropoff vans are in the area today – 10 am-5 pm at West Seattle Stadium (the crane takedown mentioned above might complicate things somewhat), 4432 35th SW, and Greenbridge Library, 9720 8th SW.

OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-2 pm, drop in to see the Community School of West Seattle (preschool). Adults only; details here. (9450 22nd SW)

FREE TAX PREP: 10 am-2 pm, another chance to drop in and get free tax-prep help via the United Way of King County @ West Seattle Food Bank – details here. (35th SW/SW Morgan)

SOUTHWEST LITTLE LEAGUE SIGNUPS: 11 am-2 pm at the Steve Cox Memorial Park Log Cabin in White Center:

All boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 16 are welcome. If your child lives or attends school between SW Juneau St. and 128th St. SW, you are probably within the Southwest Little League boundary! Divisions include T-Ball, Coach-Pitch, Minors, Majors, 50/70 and Juniors. Tryouts for Minor & Major divisions will be held Saturday, February 20th, 2016, at Steve Cox Memorial Ball Park. Please visit www.southwestlittleleague.org for more information about signing up for Southwest Little League.

(1321 SW 102nd)

VIETNAMESE STORY TIME: Stories, songs, and rhymes in Vietnamese, 11:30 am at Delridge Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

MERCADO AT HPIC: 1-5 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club: “Pop Up Mercado: Corazon Fuerte. … Music, Food, Art, Apparel, Handmade Gifts, and Jewelry. Buy something sweet for your sweetie(s) while supporting local artists and small businesses. This event is FREE and for all ages.” (12th SW/SW Holden)

WINE AND CHOCOLATE: 2-7 pm at Viscon Cellars‘ (WSB sponsor) tasting room, wines will be paired today (and next Saturday) with chocolates from Seattle’s own Intrigue Chocolate Co.. (5910 California SW)

HOME-BUYING CLASS: 3-5 pm, free but registration required – our calendar listing explains how. With HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) and RE/MAX Realty. (4727 44th SW)

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: As noted here on Friday, Westside School (WSB sponsor) has its varsity boys-basketball team in the CYO championship game at 4:30 pm today vs. St. Edward. The game’s at Bishop Blanchet. (8200 Wallingford Ave. N.)

NO CHILI LEFT BEHIND: Chili cook-off and auction fundraiser at Seattle Lutheran High School, 6 pm. Info in our calendar listing. (4100 SW Genesee)

LATIN JAZZ: Totiyo Y Amigos play C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

LOW-TIDE BEACH WALK: 8:30 pm, check out nighttime low tide at Constellation Park with Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists. Free. Look for the canopy. (63rd SW/Beach Drive)

MORE FOR TODAY/TONIGHT, AND BEYOND … on our complete calendar.

FOLLOWUP: Donation-delivery day for Southwest Seattle Strings Project

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(WSB photos @ Roxhill Elementary)

They asked for help – you gave it – and Friday was delivery day for some of the students in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras‘ Southwest Seattle Strings Project: Donation-funded supply baskets with practical and vital items such as replacement strings, chin rests, shoulder rests, rosin, and method books.

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Back in November, we published the call for donations to fund one basketfor each of the seven local schools with which SYSO partners – Arbor Heights, Concord, Highland Park, Roxhill, Sanislo, and West Seattle elementaries, and Denny International Middle School. The drive was a success, and today we were there as Roxhill got its basket.

Through SYSO, students can borrow instruments for free if needed, and they get expert coaching from professional musicians in free weekly lessons. But the supply baskets were just a bit above and beyond what the project could do, so the extra donations made sure the students can keep taking advantage of the gift of learning music.

West Seattle restaurants: Meander’s comeback in Morgan Junction, this time to Kokoras Greek Grill space

ORIGINAL REPORT, 8 PM: Earlier today, we noticed a liquor-license application for Meander’s at 6400 1/2 California SW in Morgan Junction – home to Kokoras Greek Grill, which has been listed for sale for quite some time. You’ll recall Meander’s closed in White Center last year; since then, proprietor Miranda Krone had mentioned she was working on a new venture, and at one point said it wouldn’t be far from her original location. We asked her earlier today for comment; she said she was awaiting word that Kokoras’s owners had talked to their staff. And now she’s just announced:

At last, I can let the cat out of the bag!

Morgan Junction, we’re coming home to you…

I’m working with Kim Depew, a longtime West Seattle resident and school teacher, to open Meander’s back on California Ave in what has been Kokoras Greek Grill.

We love Kokoras, but Spiros has decided that it’s time for him to return to Greece. I’m really looking forward to working with him next week, learning his recipes, and a few bonus family recipes, besides.

We’ll definitely be bringing back the breakfast you know and love, but I’m personally really excited about the evening menu. After five years of breakfast, I’m pretty eager to play on the dinner line and in the pastry kitchen. Look for old family favorites, some things I’ve picked up in my travels, and some collaborations with dear friends and talented chefs.

Oh, and? You know how you’ve been hassling us for mimosas and bloody marys for the past five years? All that, and more.

And yes, we’ll bring the waffles back, too.

This will be the fourth location for Meander’s, which originally opened five years ago in the former Jade West Café at 6032 California SW (now home to Harry’s Chicken Joint). A little over a year and a half later, the café moved to a big White Center space (now home to Noble Barton), then downsized to a spot about a block south in late summer 2013. That’s where the café remained until some tumult last year, followed by closure in November.

8:41 PM: Speaking of closure, Trickycoolj asked in comments when Kokoras will be closing. We asked Krone just now. She says it’s dependent on the aforementioned liquor-license change; they’ll know more on Monday. Also: “We plan to retain the current staff, and will continue running as Kokoras until about a week before the changeover.”

Water woes bring Seattle Fire response in Admiral

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(WSB photo)

7:17 PM: No, it’s not a fire that brought several SFD units to the 2600 block of 42nd SW, across from Safeway. We just talked with firefighters at the scene. A water-pipe break on the top floor of an apartment building sent water down through the building; firefighters are helping with cleanup. No fire, no injuries.

7:36 PM: In the few minutes since we left, the call has closed on the SFD 911 log, which means the units have all departed.

Virtual reality @ Chief Sealth IHS, via Google. Anybody else interested?

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Thanks to teacher Noah Zeichner and colleagues at Chief Sealth International High School for sharing that scene from today, when a Google rep was on campus to help students and teachers explore the company’s simple approach to virtual reality – something he says other schools can take advantage of, too:

Students at Chief Sealth International High School got to travel to far off places using virtual reality technology as part of Google’s Expedition Pioneers Program. Students looked through Google Cardboard viewers while their teacher controlled and narrated the expeditions from a tablet. Students visited Mexico, Japan, Dubai, India, Brazil, and several other countries around the world.

If other West Seattle schools are interested in bringing this program to their school, teachers or administrators can send an email to google-expeditions@google.com. They will be in the Seattle area during the month of February.

The photo is by Sealth librarian Katie Hubert, showing teachers trying out the systems; she also reported “hoots of amazement and delight” as students checked out what, as she described it, are “really just a cardboard box holding a cell phone.”

West Seattle whales: Orcas reported in Elliott Bay

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2:30 PM: Just got this report via text, and the Orca Network has a report too – orcas in Elliott Bay, likely closer to downtown than West Seattle. Let us know if you see them!

4:08 PM: We had no luck but Amy Shuster sent the photo we’ve just added, taken from the Bainbridge ferry – thank you!

West Seattle High School students take on the homelessness emergency, with a suggestion

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(WSB photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

While action on the homelessness emergency might seem to be mostly on the shoulders of adults – dealing with everything from encampments to taxes – homelessness has caught the attention of young people too.

We heard this week from Amy Ijeoma, a West Seattle High School junior who along with classmate Lexus Greenway made it the focus of a project they’re presenting in a regional competition tomorrow. We sat down with Amy after school on Thursday at WSHS to talk about it.

It’s the STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events competition as part of FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America). Their job: To come up with an action plan and present it to event officials, which they’ll do along with one other WSHS team and others from around the area, Saturday at Ingraham. They’re competing in the “advocacy” category, one of 15 categories.

As part of it, they are urging community members to do their part. They’re focused on Hope Place, which is a program for families experiencing homelessness. Amy says that volunteering is even more valuable than donating – “better to be there and see it yourself rather than throw some money and say that you’ve helped” – though Union Gospel Mission, which operates Hope Place, would be happy with contributions in either. You can tutor homeless elementary students, for example (volunteering info here; donating info here).

While working on the project, Amy says, she and Lexus have been going to Hope Place themselves “once or twice a month … to interact with the kids there.” It’s not just a shelter but also has a children’s activity center and continuing education for women, in areas from parenting to relationships and more, to help them successfully transition out of homelessness.

With us as we talked were two of the teacher/advisers of the program, Raya Klein and Brooke Huddleston, who explained that the students learned about Hope Place from WSHS’s new career specialist Helen Maynard, whose background includes nonprofit work. Visitors from Home Place presented at a WSHS assembly earlier in the year.

So tomorrow, Amy and Lexus have a 40-slide deck to present, about their goal, their plan, what kind of impact they’ve had, both through volunteering and through raising awareness on campus, including the poster with which Amy is posing in our photo above. “We want to get you thinking,” she says. They’re planning more posters, including some with statistics, and the causes of homelessness.

Teacher Klein adds that it’s an issue the school’s student-leadership ASB has embraced as well. And if more in the community are interested in helping – especially volunteering – that’s a win, regardless of how Amy and Lexus, and WSHS’s other team (also focused on homelessness, we’re told), do tomorrow.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Highland Park bust

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(Seattle Police Department photo)

Just in via SPD Blotter – a drug bust in Highland Park last night:

Police found a big bag of crack stashed away inside a Ford Bronco after arresting a dealer Thursday evening in West Seattle.

Members of the West Precinct Anti-Crime Team were able to call in an order to the 42-year-old dealer, who offered to meet at a convenience store in the 1600 block of SW Holden Street around 10 PM.

Police saw the suspect circle the block in his Ford Bronco before pulling him over and taking him into custody.

Officers got a warrant for the car and found a bag of crack rocks inside the vehicle’s console.

In total, police found 44 grams of crack, a not-insignificant amount, and another 3 grams of powder cocaine during the search. Police booked the man into the King County Jail for a narcotics violation.

We just verified with SPD Public Affairs and yes, as written, this was initiated by West Precinct investigators (downtown and vicinity), not Southwest Precinct (in whose jurisdiction it happened). The officers go wherever the dealer offers to meet them. You can see more photos on SPD Blotter.

FOLLOWUP: 30-mph speed limit starts Saturday for more of Fauntleroy Way

Four weeks ago, SDOT told us that Fauntleroy Way was likely less than a month away from the speed-limit cut first announced a year ago. And today, it’s official: SDOT crews will be out tomorrow placing signage to change the speed limit to 30 mph “for a 1.25 mile stretch of Fauntleroy Way SW between SW Alaska Street and California Avenue SW. The speed limit currently increases to 35 mph in this segment despite the presence of parks and schools adjacent to the corridor. This change will create a consistent 30 mph speed limit for the entire Fauntleroy corridor.”

As SDOT told us last month, today’s announcement reiterates that most drivers already travel “slower than existing 35 mph speed limit on this section of Fauntleroy so this should not be a significant change for people that drive this roadway often. However, the speed limit change will help reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions. This is especially true for vulnerable users like pedestrians since lower speeds significantly reduce the survivability of crashes.” In addition to new 30-mph signage, SDOT says it will deploy its Speed Watch Trailer along this stretch of Fauntleroy, which was repaved and rechannelized back in 2009.

Other West Seattle arterials, as announced last year, are in line for the 30-mph limit; SDOT told us last month that Delridge also would get a “fog line” when its turn comes up.

West Seattle Friday: Music, movie, marionettes, more…

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(Duwamish River photo by Jim Edwards, looking S/SE, with the 14th Ave S bridge in the distance – click for full view)

WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: Presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, 5-7 pm at Barnes and Noble in Westwood Village, meet local author Sonja Anderson and hear about her children’s book “Sophie’s Quest.” (2800 SW Barton)

WINE TASTING: You’re welcome at the tasting room for Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor), open 5-9 pm. (5910 California SW)

CORNER BAR: First Friday of the month means pop-up-bar night at Highland Park Improvement Club. Tonight, after DJ Dr. Lehl kicks things off at 6, it’s Marco de Carvalho at 7. More info in our calendar listing. (12th SW/SW Holden)

FREE FAMILY-NIGHT FUN: At the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), 6 pm – see the schedule here. All welcome; bring a donation for the West Seattle Food Bank. (4515 36th SW)

’80s MOVIE TRIVIA: 6:30-7:30 pm at Admiral Bird. (California SW/SW Admiral)

DUETS AND TRIOS … played by West Side Music Academy students at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE MEANINGFUL MOVIES: Special 7 pm showing (after 6:30 pm mingling/snacks) this month, at Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center – co-presented by West Seattle Meaningful Movies and West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice, the movie is “Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory,” a 2015 film co-produced by Katina Parker and Orlando de Guzman. Plus: “After the movie, Bobby Alexander, a local community activist and the co-chair of the Seattle Martin Luther King Day Celebration, will share his perspectives and talk about the struggle for racial justice here in Seattle.” (6400 Sylvan Way)

PUPPETS PLEASE MARIONETTES: 7 pm at Fauntleroy UCC Church, hosted by Little Pilgrim School. All welcome; $5 donation per family. More info in our calendar listing. (9140 California SW)

ALBUM RELEASE SHOW: Geist and the Sacred Ensemble “with Arrington de Dionyso, Magic Mirror (Corum) and God and Vanilla! We also have a special installation planned!” says host Society of Wonder. 9 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

AND THERE’S MORE! Go see all the listings on our complete calendar – for today, tonight, and beyond.

Highway 99 tunnel project: No digging yet; pier repairs to start; ‘upward movement’

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(WSDOT image)

After three weeks of tunnel-machine stopdown, still no restart plan, but WSDOT is just out with another project update, saying that work is about to start to fix pier damage done in the process of barging what was being dug out. Also: No new sinking – instead, some “upward movement”:

Seattle Tunnel Partners is set to repair damage that occurred at Terminal 46 during the Jan. 12 barging incident. STP will remove 22 damaged timber piles from the pier at the northern edge of Terminal 46 and replace them with temporary piles. Work is expected to begin in the coming days and could take up to 10 days to complete, according to STP.

WSDOT and STP continue to work together to address the “suspension for cause” that halted tunneling and barging operations on Jan. 14. STP crews are prepared to remove excavated soil by truck if tunneling resumes before the pier at Terminal 46 is repaired.

You can watch the pier repairs unfold on our construction camera. The labels on the image (above) call out some of the key elements you’ll see in the regularly updated time-lapse images.

Ground monitoring update

It’s been approximately two weeks since Seattle Tunnel Partners turned off the deep dewatering wells that were used to control groundwater near the access pit. There was some upward ground movement in the days following the shut-off, but the movement quickly stabilized. The degree of movement tapers off over several city blocks and is uniform in nature, which poses little to no risk of damage to the Alaskan Way Viaduct or buildings.

Some ground survey points in the vicinity of the pit show as much as 3/5 inch of upward movement since Jan. 22 when STP began turning off the wells. Some of the Alaskan Way Viaduct columns and buildings show similar movement.

STP had additional, shallower dewatering wells in operation during the tunneling machine repair effort. They turned off the final two shallow wells on Thursday evening. STP and WSDOT continue to monitor the ground, buildings, utilities and the viaduct.

When the digging stopped last month, WSDOT says, 1,280 feet of tunneling was complete, of the expected 9,270 feet.

Westside School history: 1st championship game

(Westside School photo from 72-70 victory over Holy Rosary)

Congratulations and good luck to the 8th-grade boys-varsity basketball team at Westside School (WSB sponsor), which is playing for the CYO championship tomorrow – a historic milestone for the school, says Westside’s Ted Holmes:

This was the first time a Westside School basketball team has played a varsity schedule, the first time a Westside School sports team has won a playoff game, and now the first time a Westside School team has advanced to the championship game.

Westside School defeated St Francis in the quarterfinals last Saturday 44-32, and then beat arch rival Holy Rosary for the second time this season last Sunday, 55-46. Westside School trailed to Holy Rosary at half 27-18, but scored 19 points in the third quarter and 17 more in the fourth, to come back and secure the win. Westside School will face St Edward in the championship.

The game is at 4:30 pm Saturday at Bishop Blanchet (8200 Wallingford Ave. N.).

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates, alerts; 14th/Henderson crash

(Click any view for a close-up)

6:55 AM: Happy Friday! No incidents in or from West Seattle so far. One alert, for tomorrow:

CRANE REMOVAL AT 35TH/AVALON: Here’s the alert we published Thursday. The contractor says four lanes adjacent to the Aura mixed-use project on 35th south of Avalon will be closed for most of Saturday as they remove the tower crane. Avoid the area. No bus rerouting announced.

7:24 AM: SDOT reports a crash blocking the left lane of the eastbound bridge at 4th Avenue South.

7:56 AM: SDOT says that’s cleared.

8:16 AM: Crash reported at 14th/Henderson is not affecting traffic. SPD tells us a drowsy driver hit a parked car; 2 people hurt.

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8:59 AM: Added a photo from 14th/Henderson scene. SPD says the truck at left was headed west on Henderson when the driver veered out of his lane and into the parked pickup.

1:10 PM: Added – another weekend traffic advisory, this one for the south side of downtown, but you might be interested:

The Seattle Department of Transportation advises travelers of weekend closure of 4th Avenue South (northbound one-way) between South Jackson and South Main streets. 4th Avenue South will be closed from Saturday February 6th at 1 a.m. to Sunday, February 7th at 11:59 p.m. for removal of a tower crane by a private construction company. Metro transit will be able to pass thru on the west side of the bus island, not general traffic.

UPDATE: 1 hurt in crash at 36th and Morgan

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(WSB photos)

2:18 AM: If you heard the sirens: A Seattle Fire “heavy rescue” response went out a few minutes ago for a crash at 36th and Morgan. It’s already been scaled back to some degree; we’re on our way to find out more.

2:40 AM: One woman has been taken to the hospital, police tell us. A car is on its side in the planting strip on the east side of 36th south of Morgan; what appears to have been a parked pickup (now pointed uphill, southbound) has major rear-end damage.

2:52 AM: Morgan is open again after more SFD units left. Tow truck is arriving.

Southwest Design Review Board OKs Aegis Living project at 4700 SW Admiral Way

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(Rendering from meeting “packet,” by GGLO)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Aegis Living assisted-living/memory-care complex planned for 4700 SW Admiral Way has won Southwest Design Review Board approval in the minimum number of meetings – two.

Giving unanimous approval were the three board members present for the second review tonight – Matt Zinski, T. Frick McNamara, and Alexandra Moravec. Joining them was the city’s assigned planner for the project, Holly Godard. The board members agreed that Aegis had listened and responded to the feedback given at the first review last July (here’s the official city report from that meeting).

This is a major milestone for the project set to replace the former Life Care Center of America, two years after we first reported that Aegis Living was buying this site.

Here’s what the project team, board, and community members said before the board made its decision:

Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Seaview prowlers; Westwood mail theft

Two more West Seattle Crime Watch notes:

SEAVIEW PROWLERS: Just got a call on our 24/7 line (206-293-6302) from a Seaview resident who says two prowlers were in and around his neighbors’ garage, between 47th and 48th and Raymond and Graham, about an hour ago, and took off running when they saw him – descriptive information included white males, beards, hoodies, dark clothing, flashlights. (His neighbors weren’t home at the time but are back now and have been informed, as have police, who he said were in the area looking around.)

MAIL THEFT: Via text, a Westwood-area resident reported: “At 6:45 am on my way to work I noticed mail along 26th SW and 25th SW by SW Thistle. Looks like someone made a spree in opening mailboxes and getting mail and I even saw a few packages open.” The texter was planning to file a police report, last we heard.

UPDATE: Police response on Alki

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(Photo courtesy @webcami)

9:31 PM: Thanks for the tips – we’re at 61st and Alki, where a double-digit turnout of Seattle Police cars has converged along the businesses on both sides of the intersection. A private (AMR) ambulance is here now too, and we’re waiting to talk to police to find out what’s going on.

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(WSB photo)

9:37 PM: Here’s what police tell us happened: An officer in the area was flagged down by someone reporting a belligerent bar patron at Celtic Swell. The officer came into contact with that person, who got even more belligerent, and the officer called for backup – that’s why the big showing. The situation is now under control, and most of the police have left. The suspect, we’re told, left in the ambulance.

FRIDAY MORNING NOTE: See the comment section for details from someone who was there as it happened.

Fun for 120 @ West Seattle Elementary’s Family Health Carnival

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(WSB photos)

For the fourth year, West Seattle Elementary School invited students and their families to a Family Health Carnival – “to increase families’ knowledge of and participation in physical activity and healthy eating,” explains school nurse Terri Helm-Remund, who got the grant that enabled the first one in the 2012-2013 school year. Since then, “the school has duplicated the event each year using volunteers (many from AmeriCorps) and grant funding from different sources.”

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About 120 people participated, The evening began with a round of Zumba, then dinner sponsored by the United Way, followed by games, activities, and informational tables featuring organizations including the American Lung Association, Cheer Seattle (top photo), First Tee, Girls on the Run, Seattle Fire Department (photo below), Seattle Parks Aquatic Program, Seattle Parks Scholarship Program, Camp Long (which brought the owl in the photo above this paragraph), Within Reach, WSE Parent Booster Club, High Point Neighborcare, and High Point Neighborhood House.

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About 120 people were there to enjoy the evening, Helm-Remund tells WSB.

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: What’s going on at ex-Feedback Lounge

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(WSB photo)

5:26 PM: It’s been the question of the day: What’s going on at the former Feedback Lounge space (6451 California SW in Morgan Junction)?

While plywood’s up now, the facade was all but removed earlier today. Building permits and other documents show a renovation plan that’s been in the works for a few months to add more glass – “reconfigure storefront glazing” – to the front of the building.

We went by late this afternoon to check on its status and found someone who identified himself as a prospective tenant there to take a look. The landlords had told WSB recently that the building remains available for lease – as this listing indicates – and that the “Sound Bar” plan with nearby restaurateur Dan Austin hadn’t gone through after all.

The Feedback Lounge closed six months ago, after more than six years as a rock-‘n’-roll bar and restaurant.

ADDED 5:46 PM: A representative of the building’s ownership tells WSB regarding the renovations, “The building is going to look beautiful … bigger windows and a skylight. More natural light will show off the original cedar beams inside,” and confirms no tenant finalized yet. If you look at the photo in this 2008 WSB story, you’ll note the building’s corner space, home to Zeeks Pizza (WSB sponsor), used to be short on windows, too.

FOLLOWUP: City says it’ll evaluate Pecos drive-thru traffic if it’s a problem

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Neighbors of the Pecos Pit Barbecue project at 4400 35th SW are asking for a meeting with city reps to show their concerns about its drive-thru exiting onto SW Genesee.

The concerns aren’t new – they’ve come up since the proposal (first reported here a year ago) was shown to include a drive-through, which will be the fourth in the 35th/Avalon vicinity (after KFC, Taco Time, and Starbucks). But as neighbors point out, they’re unique because the drive-through on the restaurant’s east side will have vehicles exiting onto residential SW Genesee to the north, where parking overflow from the apartments and condos along Avalon tends to result in one travel lane.

The city has approved the plan and said it didn’t require a wider review because it wasn’t a change in use for the building, owned by City Light and formerly a teriyaki restaurant. But that restaurant didn’t have a drive-through. Neighbors say they’re not opposed to the new restaurant but they think the city has underestimated its likely popularity and that will result in not just more traffic to Genesee but also a backup on the entrance to the drive-thru, which is from an alley to the south.

In an e-mail loop about the continuing concerns, city rep Bryan Stevens said that if there’s a “long-term problem” once the restaurant’s been open, the city can take another look:

When our staff reviewed the proposal, it was for the purpose of using an existing restaurant building for a new restaurant with the addition of a drive-in function. Based on the size of the new restaurant space and that it was a small local business (not a high-volume chain), staff did not see the need to require any additional queuing space beyond what was shown. While there are prescriptive queuing requirements for high-volume drive-in businesses such as banks and gas stations, restaurant businesses require staff to use their discretion based on what is known about the business and its operations.

While it’s possible upon first opening that there may be a pent up demand leading to queuing challenges, staff determined that for normal average operations, that the spaces shown on the plans would accommodate the demand and traffic flow. If queuing volume presents a long term problem after the business is in operation, then SDOT will have the business develop and implement an approved revision to better manage the vehicle queues.

Councilmember Lisa Herbold, also in the e-mail conversation, says she has already looked into “what types of streets a drive through service can utilize. The response from DCI was that only Pedestrian Zones (which begins at SW Alaska) limit curb cuts along certain streets and prohibit businesses which are car-centric.” Neighbors are now asking for her and city and project reps to meet at the site for a firsthand look.

Junction Plaza Park art installation: See the design options during Art Walk

During the next West Seattle Art Walk – one week from tonight – it’s your chance to offer your thoughts about the public art installation that’s on its way to The Junction. We reported last year about the plan for art in Junction Plaza Park, the greenspace at 42nd/Alaska where the community gathers for events including the annual Christmas-tree lighting and special features during West Seattle Summer Fest. As mentioned briefly in our report on last night’s Southwest District Council meeting – with a promise of this followup – the artist chosen for the project, Troy Pillow, will be at Cupcake Royale from 6-8 pm on Thursday, February 4th, showing proposed designs for the art installation, which is partly funded by a grant from the Department of Neighborhoods and partly with “public benefit” funding from the nearby Spruce development. So drop in while you’re visiting for Art Walk, evening shopping, dinner, etc. – here’s more info from the West Seattle Junction Association.

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