Think summer! 2nd annual bicycle parade planned for Summer Streets on Alki next month

April 16, 2014 at 5:11 pm | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(WSB photo from Alki edition of Seattle Summer Streets in May 2013)
We’re a month away from a big day on Alki – Sunday, May 18th, starting with the West Seattle 5K Run/Walk at 9 am, followed by Seattle Summer Streets (aka “Car-Free Day”) 11 am-5 pm. And today, Alki’s Guy Olson shares the news that he and the rest of the Alki Beach Creeps Bicycle Club are organizing a costume/bicycle parade again this year. Wear a costume and meet up at 1 pm that day, 63rd/Alki. (See video of last year’s edition in our 2013 Summer Streets coverage.) Skidding competition too, and prices are promised – full details on the Facebook event page.

See revised design proposals for 3824 California SW, 4505 42nd SW before tomorrow’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting

April 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Two projects return to the Southwest Design Review Board tomorrow night at the Senior Center of West Seattle, and the revised design proposals for both are now publicly previewable:

REVISED DESIGN FOR EX-CHARLESTOWN CAFE SITE: At 6:30 pm, it’s the second Early Design Guidance meeting for 3824 California SW; board members asked the team for the 30-unit (townhouses and live-work units) project to give it another try (here’s our report on the first meeting in January). The rendering above is the “preferred” option proposed by the architects, Caron, the third of these three “massing” options:

You can see the full “design packet” by going here – again, remember, this is the “Early Design Guidance” stage, which means they are just proposing size and shape, and that’s why you don’t see other potential design details.

REVISED DESIGN FOR 4505 42ND SW: At 8 pm tomorrow, this Junction project also is returning for a second round of Early Design Guidance (our report on the first meeting in January is here). The changes in this one involve size as well as shape:

On a site zoned for up to 8 stories, what started as a 7-story proposal is now down to 6, and 45 apartments (five fewer than previously proposed), with 17 parking spaces, and 4,300 square feet of retail. See the full “design packet” by going here.

P.S. Both of these projects are among the dozens on our finally-updated map of West Seattle development projects under construction/on the drawing boards/recently completed. See it here.

Ever wonder ‘who’s on those committees, anyway?’ Could be you! Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee looking for new members

April 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Lots of work in recent years on making the streets and sidewalks safer around West Seattle schools. Maybe you’d like to formalize that by being part of the Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee? The search is on for new members – read on for the announcement:

Click to read the rest of Ever wonder ‘who’s on those committees, anyway?’ Could be you! Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee looking for new members…

Building roadside raingardens in West Seattle: Barton CSO project progress

April 16, 2014 at 11:37 am | In Environment, Utilities, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

If you live in or travel through Sunrise Heights or Westwood, you probably know the “roadside raingarden” construction for the first phase of the Barton Basin Combined Sewer Overflow Control project continues to intensify. The King County Wastewater Treatment Division is building “green stormwater infrastructure” in eight blocks this year, seven blocks next year – 91 roadside raingardens in all. En route to a meeting last night, we noticed the activity on one block, 34th SW north of Holden (map), so went back today for a closer look (above). The county is now publishing weekly updates on its website – including what’s happening in which blocks:

For any residents who didn’t get block-by-block informational flyers, those also are available online. This project is part of state-mandated work to reduce combined-sewer overflows into Puget Sound; in this area, it’s called Barton because the wastewater ends up at the Barton Pump Station north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock.

P.S. The county is scheduled to present an update on its other in-progress Combined Sewer Overflow Control project, the Murray-basin-serving storage tank across from Lowman Beach, at tonight’s Morgan Community Association meeting (7 pm, The Kenney [WSB sponsor], lower-level meeting rooms, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW).

West Seattle Wednesday: DPD at DNDC; Morgan Community Association; more…

April 16, 2014 at 9:13 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts, WS miscellaneous | 6 Comments

Before sharing his Tuesday orca photo, Gary Jones sent another awesome round of eagle photos from Alki Point (thanks!) – all three of which we’re featuring throughout today’s calendar preview.

LIBRARY STORY TIMES: Home on spring break? Parental leave? THREE library story times this morning for kids of various ages – see our calendar page for details (mouse over any line’s right side to get the “plus sign” you can click to open the line for more info).

MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S QUARTERLY MEETING: 7 pm at The Kenney (WSB sponsor). The agenda, as also published at

7:05 Murray/Lowman CSO (King County)

7:15 California @ Fauntleroy Level of Service (SDOT)

7:25 Micro-housing Legislation Update

7:35 Morgan Junction Land Use Topics:

Pedestrian Zone Mapping, Low-rise zoning changes, West Seattle land use committee

7:55 Morgan Junction Festival Update

New Business

8:00 Solar Presentation

8:10 West Seattle Transit Coalition and Prop 1

8:15 CALSeattle Letter: Coalition for an Affordable Livable Seattle

8:30 Nazarene Church Residential Development

All welcome. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

DPD AT DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: The city Department of Planning and Development has three reps for three programs at tonight’s DNDC – as previewed here yesterday. And West Seattle neighborhood advocate Cindi Barker will be there too, with information on how you can track, and give feedback on, land-use issues. 7 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. All welcome. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

‘UNPLUGGED’ AT C & P: The Seattle Classic Guitar Society‘s open-microphone night for guitarists and other acoustic musicians, at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

And as usual, much more on the calendar!


April 16, 2014 at 7:32 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

(Latest bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
The rain’s back; also, a few problems along the way in the early going this morning but WSDOT says they’re all cleared now.

ADDED 8:19 AM: Some other notes, since it’s another quiet morning out there (so far):

COLMAN DOCK ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT: Use the downtown dock for the Water Taxi or Washington State Ferries? The state’s working on its future and is now out with an environmental assessment as an early step in the process. A public hearing is coming up later this month, and comments are being taken now. Details are here, including various outreach events – one of which will be at the Water Taxi dock (Pier 50) on May 1st during the afternoon/evening commute.

ADDED 8:59 AM: A incident at 5th/Roxbury is showing on the 911 log as having been briefly dispatched as a heavy rescue. Not hearing any scanner traffic about it so not sure of the circumstances – please let us know if you passed through the area and saw anything.

9:35 AM: As Dave reported in comments, it was a flipped car. The car was on 5th just north of Roxbury and a tow crew right-sided it moments before our photographer arrived. No traffic effects on Roxbury.

West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, report #1: Trends, updates

April 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 4 Comments

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
First of two reports from tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting: The Southwest Precinct’s second-in-command, Operations Lt. Ron Smith, had a long list of quick updates on crime trends and individual situations. Top of the list, the investigation of the death discovered at the scene of this morning’s 24th SW fire, barely a block southwest of the precinct. We had asked Lt. Smith about it before the meeting began, and he mentioned that in addition to SPD joining the investigation by mid-morning (photo above), ATF arson investigators checked out the scene a few hours later. Still no official word on what if anything they found in what Lt. Smith called a “full-blown investigation” – only that it’s “somewhat suspicious … it might not be (a crime) but … we’re at a very preliminary part of the investigation.” The victim has not been identified, nor has her cause of death been announced.

Other case updates/mentions and trends:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, report #1: Trends, updates…

Style ’14: Fashion, fun, fundraising to help cancer patients, 2 weeks away

April 15, 2014 at 8:01 pm | In Fun stuff to do, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(2011 WSB photo by Stephanie Chacharon)
Two weeks and two days until your chance to enjoy a fun and fashionable night and help Northwest Hope and Healing, the West Seattle/West Seattleite-founded and -run organization that helps cancer patients. Tickets are on sale now for “Style ’14,” which includes a runway fashion show that features models who are also breast-cancer survivors, as well as prize drawings, a fund-a-need event, and more. It’s on Thursday, May 1st; you can just attend the show, or you can buy a VIP ticket which includes a pre-event party, cocktail reception, “heavy appetizers,” reserved seats, and a thank-you gift. Doors open at 6:30 pm for VIP, 7 pm for general admission, and the show starts at 7:30 pm; it’s a 21+ event. Though it’s outside West Seattle, at Showbox SODO, not only does it involve NWHH’s West Seattle leadership, it also involves West Seattle businesses including West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), Carmilia’s, Coastal, Ola, Twala Intimates, and more, as well as West Seattleites who are on the volunteer planning committee. You can buy your ticket online here (see the left sidebar of that page).

Going to West Seattle egg hunts? Here’s the Saturday schedule

April 15, 2014 at 4:32 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Holidays, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(WSB photo from 2013 Thriftway egg hunt)
If you have one or more kids determined to have the most fun possible at the Easter Eve egg hunts in West Seattle and vicinity on Saturday – here’s where to go, and when:

9 am – West Seattle Thriftway (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan; WSB sponsor) egg hunt

10 am – Seattle Parks & Rec community center egg hunt of your choice:
*********Alki – 5817 SW Stevens – is billed as for ages 11 and under
*********Delridge – 4501 Delridge Way SW – for ages 3-11
*********Hiawatha – 2700 California SW – for 3-11
*********High Point – 6920 34th SW – for 3-11
*********South Park – 8319 8th Ave. S. – for ages 1-10

11 am – Eastridge Church egg hunt at Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) – bring donations for the diaper drive for WestSide Baby

We’re still adding other special weekend events to the calendar, so if you have something for Saturday/Sunday (including services), it’s not too late –

Face to face with DPD @ Delridge Neighborhoods District Council

April 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm | In Delridge District Council, Development, West Seattle news | No Comments

If you’re concerned about development, it might be “the city department you love to hate” – the city Department of Planning and Development. Land use, zoning, permitting, reviewing – all under the DPD’s umbrella. You’re invited to tomorrow night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting to hear from and talk with three DPD reps AND a community expert on grass-roots land-use research/activism. DNDC chair Mat McBride asked us to share the agenda :

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014 – 7:00 pm

7:10 p.m. Seattle 2035 – Patrice Carroll and Nicolas Welch, Department of Planning and Development

7:40 p.m. Pedestrian zones – Aly Pennucci, Department of Planning and Development

8:00 p.m. North Delridge Community Development Action Plan – David Goldberg, Department of Planning and Development

8:20 p.m. (What citizens should know, from a grass-roots perspective) – Cindi Barker

The DNDC includes reps from community councils and other orgs around eastern West Seattle, but you’re welcome no matter where in the area you’re from. If you are researching development in your own neighborhood, Cindi Barker’s information might be particularly helpful. Tomorrow’s meeting is at 7 pm in room 106 at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).

Congratulations to West Seattleites with awards, nominations

April 15, 2014 at 2:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | No Comments

Congratulations go out to three West Seattleites with recent awards/nominations:

(Image courtesy NK Woodworking)
STEPPING UP TO VICTORY: Alki resident Nathie Katzoff is proprietor of NK Woodworking, which has just won more awards in a single year at the Stairways Manufacturers’ Association national trade show than any company has ever won before. That’s according to a company spokesperson who sent word of the wins – for Most Unique Staircase, Best Straight Staircase, Best Balustrade, and Best Stair Part, and notes that Katzoff has ascended in his industry relatively quickly, at the age of just 26.. The company also works on wooden boats, from a yard in South Park, and has its woodworking studio in South Seattle. See more of NKW’s work here.

EMMY NOMINATION FOR ‘DIVER LAURA’: Seattle’s regional Emmy Award nominations were made public this past weekend, and the nominees include West Seattle advocate/activist/photographer/etc. “Diver Laura” James, who contributed photography to the public-TV story you see above, a collaborative piece about sea otters and climate change, produced for KCTS 9 (though the story page from which the video comes is hosted by another public TV station). She is nominated along with producer Michael Werner, photographer/editor Greg Davis, and coordinating producer Katie Jennings. The winners will be announced at an event in June; you can see the full list of Seattle/regional nominees via a doc linked from this site.

‘CELEBRATE WORLD MUSIC’ AWARD NOMINATION: West Seattle’s Tim Huling is one of eight composers who were part of “Celebrate World Music,” a world-premiere concert at Benaroya Hall in March 2013. The resulting album is up for an Independent Music Award. Here’s one of Huling’s contributions from the concert, “The Ballad of Sylvester Jourdain“:

“Celebrate World Music” is nominated in the Contemporary Classical category; winners will be announced next month.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Tonight’s your chance to talk with police; plus, two reader reports

April 15, 2014 at 11:56 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 2 Comments

Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes for you: First, we start with the one that is more often the side note – the WS Crime Prevention Council meeting. Since it’s TONIGHT, here’s your last reminder about this monthly chance to bring a concern directly to police. The meeting usually begins with their update on local crime trends, and quickly moves to an invitation for anyone to ask a question or air a concern. After that – and there’s usually plenty of time – it’s the featured guest speaker(s), this time from the Seattle Police Crisis Intervention Unit. Meeting’s at 7 pm, Southwest Precinct; enter from the parking lot along SW Webster west of Delridge [map].

Ahead, two reader reports – break-ins and a hit-and-run:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Tonight’s your chance to talk with police; plus, two reader reports…

West Seattle whale-watching: Orcas heading this way again

April 15, 2014 at 9:34 am | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 4 Comments

(Photo by Gary Jones, added 11:20 am)
9:34 AM: On Monday, we had a report of southbound orcas (and a photo too – thanks to the unidentified texter!); now, there’s word of orcas headed northbound along the east side of Vashon, which means they might soon be visible from here. Thanks to Alisa for letting us know about the report, which appeared on the Orca Network Facebook page.

9:46 AM UPDATE: Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail just called and reports “three to five” orcas in this group, approaching Lincoln Park.

11:20 AM UPDATE: Just back from a trip along Beach Drive and Alki – didn’t see the orcas ourselves, but Gary Jones saw them in the Alki Point vicinity and shared his first photo, above (thank you!).

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; closures now/ahead

April 15, 2014 at 7:02 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

(Latest bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
While we keep watch on morning traffic, closures to remind you about:

SW GENESEE ALL WEEK: The SW Genesee hill east of Avalon Way is scheduled to be closed for concrete-panel replacement work. Here’s the Metro Route 50 reroute info.

ALKI AVENUE SATURDAY MORNING: The Earth Day 5K on Saturday morning will close Alki Avenue until about 11:30 am – it’s been a while since we wrote about it, and it’s new to West Seattle this year, so we’re starting the reminders now.

Update: Woman found dead in burning apartment in 7500 block of 24th SW; police join investigation

April 15, 2014 at 4:34 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 11 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN for updates, including police joining investigation)

(Photos, video by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
FIRST REPORT, 4:34 AM: Big Seattle Fire response for an apartment fire in the 7500 block of 24th SW (map), just south of the Southwest Precinct/Home Depot area.

4:40 AM UPDATE: At least one person is reported to be hurt, and crews are calling for more medics.

4:47 AM UPDATE: It’s not a big fire – but especially for a multifamily building, it’s SOP to send a sizable response just in case. Per scanner, it’s tapped/under control. Our crew should be on scene shortly.

5:02 AM UPDATE: Our crew says the fire was in a top-floor apartment. Working to find out more about the person found, injured, in that apartment. (added) SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore will be briefing media at the scene shortly.

5:25 AM UPDATE: There’s a reason we hadn’t heard a condition for the person described as a “victim” – Moore says that person found in the burning apartment was dead. That’s the only apartment damaged by fire, but others were affected by smoke, and the Red Cross has been called in to help one person.

5:48 AM UPDATE: Moore describes the person found dead in the burning bedroom as an adult woman. As you’ll hear in the video of Moore’s briefing (above), SFD’s investigator is working to find out how and exactly where the fire started. The apartment had a sprinkler, Moore said, but it was in the hallway, not the bedroom. It will be up to the Medical Examiner to determine how the woman died – whether from the fire, or something else.

8:55 AM UPDATE: Police are now at the scene – including CSI investigators – and yellow crime-scene tape is up.

Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Renée Witt says SFD investigators asked SPD to check out the scene “out of an abundance of caution” just to make sure they weren’t missing anything.

So far, she says she doesn’t know what they have or have not found, but there has not yet been any ruling whether this was or wasn’t a homicide, and the cause of death has not yet been determined by the Medical Examiner.

4:33 PM UPDATE: We’ve been checking, but still no updated information from investigators in either department.

7:15 PM UPDATE: We’ve talked to SW Precinct Ops. Lt. Ron Smith at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council. He says ATF went to the scene today as well but that there is still no official finding about whether this was a crime or not, but it is certainly “suspicious.”

High-school sports updates: WSHS baseball; Sealth softball, baseball

April 15, 2014 at 4:27 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Great weather Monday afternoon for ballgames – and there were three locally, even though the schools are on spring break:

(Photo by Greg Slader: Spencer Elder, driving in WSHS’s only run)
West Seattle High School‘s baseball team played at Hiawatha, losing to Seattle Prep 4-1 (game stats here). From Greg Slader:

Kevin Cuddy pitched three good innings and held the Panther hitters in check, except one inning got away from the Wildcats as Seattle Prep scored three runs. Three double plays by the Panthers erased too many West Seattle base runners. Cameron & Spencer’s back-to-back hits scored West Seattle’s only run.

The Wildcats’ next home game is at 3:30 pm Friday vs. Ingraham.

Chief Sealth International High School‘s baseball team was home on Monday afternoon too, falling to O’Dea at Southwest Athletic Complex, 10-0.

(WSB photo: Evan Moe at bat)
Sealth’s varsity-softball team also played at SWAC on Monday:

(WSB photo: Sophia Bauer pitching for the Seahawks)
Sealth lost to Holy Names, 8-2 (game stats here);

Tonight (Tuesday), Seattle Lutheran High School plays at SWAC, 6:45 pm, vs. University Prep.

Remembering Barbara Jean Parker, 1954-2014

April 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

The family of Alki resident Barbara Parker, 60, shares this remembrance:

Barbara “Barb” Jean (Killian) Parker found peace on her way to heaven on March 29, 2014 to be with her sister Christine, her sister Darlene, her father Benny, mother Emily, her mother-in-law Jean, and her father-in-law Allan.

Born March 4, 1954, in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest sister to Chris, Debbie, and Cindy, Barb’s reputation as a fighter began with her premature birth. She grew up in Cleveland and graduated from James Ford Rhodes High School. She attended Renton Technical College and received CAD/CAM certification as well as the University of Washington Project Management certification.

She met Michael Allan Parker in the fall of 1972 in the Sohio computer center where they both worked. They were married on March 3, 1973, by his father, Father Allan Parker, at St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Their son Michael was born in Cleveland and then they moved to Seattle, where their son Matthew was born. After living in Dallas and Mission Beach, they returned to West Seattle to live in Alki.

Barbara was involved in the West Seattle community, and served as the Northwest Cavalier Rescue coordinator, adopting out 21 dogs. Barbara most recently worked for the Seattle Lighthouse of the Blind as a Technical Writer and Documentation Control. Previously she was an IT and ISO Internal Auditor. Barbara organized whomever she worked for, with a contagious humor.

Barbara will be missed by her husband Michael, sons Michael and Matthew, daughters-in-law Angie and Jessica, granddaughters Trinity, Emily, and Tess, sisters Deborah and Cynthia, the in-laws Edith and John, David, Janet, Ann and Dan, and Amy and Ken, plus countless nieces and nephews and cousins. Barbara was surrounded by family in her final days. To honor Barb’s wishes, there will be a private roast to celebrate her life on May 3rd in Alki Beach.

Donations would be made in the memory of Barbara Parker to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, PO Box 19023, Seattle, WA 98109 and be directed toward breast-cancer research. Online donations for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance can be made here.

Alternatively, donations can be made in Barbara Parker’s memory to the King Charles Cavalier Rescue. The information can be found here.

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home of West Seattle.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2014 update: 150 sales, with 9 days to register

April 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm | In Community Garage Sale Day, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

garagesaledaysmalllog5.jpgAnother awesome day of shopping, selling, and meeting your neighbors is in the works for the 10th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – 9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 10th, sales of all sizes, all around West Seattle. The lineup is now up to 150 sales, and as your friendly neighborhood WSCGSD coordinators again this year, we’re keeping registration open until Wednesday night, April 23rd, before it’s time to get busy making the guide.

Again this year, if you want to have a sale but don’t have much room and/or merchandise, Hotwire Online Coffeehouse and C & P Coffee Company (both WSB sponsors) are opening their courtyards/yards as group sites – please inquire directly with either one about space. And NEW THIS YEAR – if you love shopping but don’t really need anything, watch for a special shopping list from WestSide Baby, inviting you to shop for items the nonprofit needs, which you can deliver to their dropoff spot on sale day.

If you’re having a sale, but haven’t signed up yet, here’s where to do it (mobile version here) – thank you!

Sing so they can play: Karaoke Night to benefit West Seattle Community Orchestras

April 14, 2014 at 4:47 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

Brand-new fun(draiser), ready to launch – Karaoke Night to benefit the multi-age, multi-skill-level West Seattle Community Orchestras, 7 pm Friday, May 2nd, at historic Kenyon Hall. WSCO says they’re fundraising for a very specific purpose:

As the demand for music programs increases, WSCO continues to provide musicians in the community an artistic outlet. In recent years, their three orchestra groups have almost reached room capacity and many incoming musicians are placed on a waiting list.

Now in WSCO’s 12th season, the Board of Directors have proposed to launch two new music programs that will enable them to accommodate the increasing growth and continue to provide community musicians opportunities for mentorship, performance, and growth. The proposed new groups include a Wind Symphony and an Introduction to Music Class. This fund-raising event will help with startup costs for these new groups.

Join WSCO and DJ “J” for a fun and casual party time! Sing along with the karaoke machine, bring your instrument and music for our on-site piano accompanist, or sing with the piano accompanist.

Tickets at the door: Adults $20, Students (K-12th Grade) $10

Evening will include 50/50 Raffle, Appetizers, Beverages, Cash Bar, and “Cello Shots.” Awards for the Top 5 Performances of the evening.

For event information, please contact Maria Fisher,

Higher minimum wage? Proposed city-charter amendment filed

April 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 56 Comments

A member of the group 15 Now, supporters of a higher minimum wage, filed a proposed city-charter amendment today. It would go to voters if they gather at least 30,000 valid signatures. Here’s how they summarize the proposal:

On Jan 1, 2015, the minimum wage for workers at big businesses will be raised to $15/hour and raised each year to adjust for inflation.

For small- and medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations, the minimum wage will be phased in over three years starting with $11/hour on Jan 1, 2015.

Small- and medium-sized businesses are defined as having fewer than 250 Full Time Equivalents, the standard set by Seattle’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.

No training wages, no lower wages for tipped workers, and no “total compensation.”

Increased worker protections against wage and tip theft.

The Seattle Times (WSB partner) reports that supporters aren’t planning to start gathering signatures until they see what the mayor’s income-inequality committee comes up with.

Bringing a killer to justice: Stephen Jeffries, Jr.’s family plans reward fundraiser, vigil

April 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(Stephen Jeffries, Jr. and children)
A new effort is under way to try to solve one of West Seattle’s unsolved murders. 40-year-old Stephen Jeffries, Jr., a father of four and 20-year Seattle Public Utilities employee, died after someone shot him at a New Year’s Eve party in South Delridge. We just received this announcement of two events ahead:

The family will be holding a fundraiser to raise money for a reward toward finding his killer. This will take place April 26th, 10 am – 1 pm at the Puerto Vallarta in West Seattle Junction on California Avenue. The family will also have a candlelight vigil May 1st, which will be four months to the date of Stephen Jeffries, Jr.’s murder with no arrest. It will be held directly across the street from 9215 16th Ave SW, at 7:30 pm- 8:30 pm.

If you have any information, the Seattle Police Homicide Tipline is the number to call – even if anonymously – 206-233-5000.

(Mr. Jeffries was one of two West Seattle murder victims last year, both killed in December; a suspect was arrested and charged last month in the other case, that of 46-year-old Nga Nguyen.)

West Seattle’s first city-approved ‘parklet’ planned outside EQ Fitness

April 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 38 Comments

(Potential concept for the parklet – not an exact overlay – just a lengthwise comparison)
Until now, West Seattle wasn’t represented in the city’s pilot program turning a few street-parking spaces around the city into “parklets” – a program inspired by other cities including Vancouver (BC), San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

But today, SDOT confirms West Seattle’s first parklet is one of a dozen-plus in the works around the city (map added).

It will be at 3270 California SW, in front of Equilibrium Fitness (WSB sponsor) in the south Admiral area. Lora Swift of Swift Media Solutions is working with EQ Fitness on the plan, which is still taking shape, and, she says, will next go through “a couple of rounds of public comment,” as well as searching for a designer, and funding. With all that ahead for parklet plans, the approval is just the start – all the hosts around the city “will work with SDOT over the next several months to design, permit, and construct their parklets, with the goal of opening this summer,” according to today’s announcement.

The pilot program started with three test parklets, including a Capitol Hill bar whose parklet – open since last September – you can see here. If you’re curious about the rules and requirements, from size to mandatory insurance, you can read about that here.

Stand by for updates on how to have a say as the parklet plan takes shape.

West Seattle whale-watching: Orcas in the area again

April 14, 2014 at 11:20 am | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news, Wildlife | No Comments

(Thanks to the person who texted us this photo from the Bainbridge ferry this morning!)
Multiple reports this morning of orcas back in the area (thanks to Barb for the first report) – we’ve heard of southbound whales sighted near Bainbridge and Blake Islands. They’re reported to be closer to the west side of Puget Sound, so you’ll need binoculars. Please let us know if you spot them!

West Seattle Monday: Moon eclipse; Passover; North Delridge Neighborhood Council; more …

April 14, 2014 at 11:09 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 4 Comments

Another beautiful West Seattle bird – this time, a horned grebe in all his looking-for-love splendor, photographed by Mark Wangerin. On shore – and in the sky – highlights for today/tonight from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

PROPOSITION 1 CAMPUS RALLY: As previewed on Friday night, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) students are rallying in support of the Metro/roads proposal for which ballots are due a week from tomorrow. Clock Tower plaza on campus at noon. (6000 16th SW)

HIGH-SCHOOL SPORTS: Though it’s spring break for Seattle Public Schools, three local teams have home games today – West Seattle High School baseball is coming off a 5-0 win over Nathan Hale last Friday:

(Photo by Greg Slader: Pitcher Jake Magera, who threw six shutout innings Friday)
The Wildcats play Seattle Prep at Hiawatha this afternoon at 3:30 pm. Meantime, Chief Sealth International High School has two teams playing at Southwest Athletic Complex this afternoon at 4 – softball vs. Holy Names, baseball vs. O’Dea. (Schedule is per Metro League’s website.)

NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: Tonight’s monthly meeting at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (Room 103) is at 6:30 pm, with agenda items including a letter of support for the Pathfinder K-8 playground project and a conversation with Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council chair Amanda Kay Helmick. All welcome. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

FOOD BANK WORK PARTY: Part of the PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) Food Bank program, 7 pm at West Seattle Food Bank, volunteers welcome; details here. (35th/Morgan)

PASSOVER … The Jewish festival of freedom begins at sundown tonight and continues for eight days. (Seders are on the schedule later this week at West Seattle’s Kol HaNeshamah synagogue.)

LUNAR ECLIPSE: As detailed in our most recent edition of “Skies Over West Seattle by Alice Enevoldsen, a total eclipse of the moon starts just before 11 pm tonight and continues for more than three hours. The big question is whether the weather will cooperate; the forecast foresees clouds tonight.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Guilty plea for driver who deliberately hit two teens after dog dispute

April 14, 2014 at 9:22 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 31 Comments

(WSB photo from the aftermath of the incident in November 2012)
Another West Seattle criminal case of note has ended in a plea bargain. Checking the cases on our watch list, we just discovered that 38-year-old Amy Lynn O’Brien has pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and hit-and-run. She’s the woman arrested in November 2012 for deliberately driving her car into two Chief Sealth International High School students across the street from the school. According to charging documents, O’Brien was upset about the 17- and 18-year-old girls’ interaction with her unleashed dog, and came after them with a taser and then her car, hitting them while driving at an estimated 40 mph. Both were badly hurt; one girl’s ear was nearly severed. O’Brien turned herself in the next day and spent about a week in jail before being released on personal recognizance. Court documents related to the plea bargain say a six-month sentence will be recommended when she is sentenced May 30th.

West Seattle power outage: 77 185 homes in The Arroyos

April 14, 2014 at 9:18 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

9:18 AM: Seattle City Light estimates the power outage affecting a section of southwestern West Seattle might not be fixed until after 1 pm. SCL says “equipment failure” is to blame for the outage at 77 homes in The Arroyos. (Thanks to Susan for the tip.)

3:55 PM UPDATE: The estimates of power-restoration time have moved back, and we checked with Scott Thomsen of SCL about the status:

There is a crew working on this outage. We know that it involves underground equipment. We do not yet know what piece of equipment failed or where that failure took place. The crew is troubleshooting the system to locate the problem and identify it so they can make repairs. The … estimate for restoration of service is only an estimate and could change once the crew finds the damage and determines what is needed to fix it.

11:50 PM UPDATE: Looks like it’s finally over as of late tonight, after, as is pointed out in a comment, growing at one point to almost 200 homes. We’ll ask SCL again tomorrow what the cause turned out to be.

TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE: Turns out it was not entirely resolved – see comment below – so we checked with SCL’s Thomsen again this morning:

Yesterday crews found that an underground cable failed, which caused the outage. They switched around the damage to restore power. A permanent repair involving the replacement of the cable is being scheduled.

Today, crews are investigating an outage on that same circuit. This is limited to equipment in a single underground vault. They are working to determine what piece of equipment failed. It is possible that the two events are connected. If the vault equipment failed first, it could have caused a surge that the cable could not withstand.

When the crew identified the failed cable, they believed they had discovered the problem and restored service to all customers. In some cases like this, a customer’s call to tell us they are still out is how we learn that there is other damage that needs to be fixed.

Followup: City Council public hearing set for proposed microhousing rules

April 14, 2014 at 9:04 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Back on Friday, we reported on the official debut of the city’s proposed rules for (including a definition of) microhousing, when the legislation showed up on the City Council’s Introduction and Referral Calendar. Today, another online city publication, the Land Use Information Bulletin, brings news of the public hearing required before a vote can be held: 5:30 pm Monday, May 19th, in the City Council chambers at City Hall downtown. Here’s the hearing notice, including a summary of the proposed rules (which you can read in full here) and details on how to comment if you can’t make it to the hearing. The rules would not affect any of the projects already making their way through the city system. (WSB photo: First West Seattle microhousing project to open, Footprint Delridge)

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