‘Tis the season of the upside-down tree at Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village … which got a special visit Thursday night from Santa Claus, among others:
The occasion – the November edition of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce After-Hours get-together, which not only was a meet-up with Santa, but also a tour of Westwood Village businesses, including Giannoni’s Pizzeria:
At center is Giannoni’s proprietor Donna Burns, with daughter Georgia and friend Hanna. Back over at Santa’s Village (in the former Dress Barn space this year, as noted here), Rick Jump from the White Center Food Bank had a moment with Mr. Claus:
One update so far today in connection with yesterday’s attack on two Chief Sealth International High School students across from the school: Harborview Medical Center confirms that the younger of the two girls who police say were deliberately hit by a driver, the 17-year-old, is out of the hospital. The family of the other girl, 18, has asked Harborview not to comment on her condition. So far, there is no word of an arrest; we have a message out to Seattle Police to see if there is any other new information. (12:28 pm note: Just reached SPD by phone. Nothing new.)
Another update tonight on the Roxhill Castle playground project, almost complete after five extensive days of volunteer work: Volunteer organizer Mat McBride says, “We are targeting the first day of Winter Break, 12/22/12, for the opening of the Castle Park.” (The adjacent skatespot, still under construction, will open separately, at another date.) The finishing touches include a new treatment for the “castle roof,” McBride explains: “Cool as the metal surface is, that’s only the superstructure for a mosaic sculpture. Originally, it was set to look like all of the other crenellations, but local amazing human Mike Henderson was assigned to work it. Mike had other ideas, which he shared with Barry [from Leathers and Associates], and we decided to go with it, on the spot. Because of the unique nature of this park build, we could do that.” He added that other “sculpture elements” are under consideration.
One more hour to join the revelry at Barton Street P-Patch in Westwood, finishing its first full spring/summer season and still growing strong:
The Harvest Festival/Potluck is on till 3:30 pm. If you haven’t seen the garden yet, go check it out … this time last year, they were still in the midst of construction, and now, it’s down to the finishing touches.
If you followed the garden-design saga last year, you’ll recall the successful campaign to save the big tree in the background of that view. The garden’s at 34th and Barton, east of the 7/11 and biodiesel station, south/southeast of Tony’s Produce.
(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
2:25 AM: Big response right now to the 9200 block of 30th SW (map). Scanner traffic has reported someone with a gunshot wound to the shoulder. There’s a report of the suspect being in a silver van and having possibly been involved in a disturbance in the area earlier; possible physical description – white man, twenties, yellow sweatshirt, light-colored pants.
2:39 AM: The victim is now reported to be a 30-year-old man with one gunshot wound to the chest and is being rushed to Harborview Medical Center. A police K9 team is helping with the search.
2:49 AM UPDATE: Our crew has talked with Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams at the scene. He says they’re considering this a “drive-by.”
3:36 AM UPDATE: Word’s come over police radio that a suspect is in custody. Witnesses had provided a potential ID that was broadcast earlier – this was not believed to be random – but jail-register information can lag a few hours, so we may not be able to confirm till later today if that’s the same person they have in custody.
9:08 AM UPDATE: New information from police, via SPD Blotter:
A man was shot following a fight disturbance this morning. Just shortly after 2:00 a.m., the victim was walking with some of his friends in the 9200 block of 30th Av SW on the sidewalk in front of a house. Some of the people from the house, including the suspect, came outside. The victim began fighting with the suspect out in the yard/sidewalk.
One of the people from the house had a handgun on his belt. The suspect took the gun and shot the victim in the chest. The suspect then gave the gun back and drove off in his (suspect’s) car.
The victim was taken to HMC, where the doctors were able to stabilize him. His condition is unknown at this time.
The officers learned the name of the suspect, and were able to find his address on Queen Anne. They went to his house, and arrested him without incident. The suspect was booked into King County Jail for Investigation of Assault. It is unknown what precipitated the fight disturbance between the victim and suspect or if they knew one another.
Update on the Roxhill Playground renovation project: Mat McBride, who’s been organizing the “community build” for the new “castle” play structure to go on the site of the now-torn-down “castle,” says a new date’s been set: Friday, November 2nd, through Tuesday, November 6th. (It had been set for mid-October, but as noted here last week, preparation of the site – which is under way, along with construction of the neighboring skatespot – hit some snags that required the schedule to be pushed out.) McBride says they’re signing up volunteers again (and asking already-signed-up volunteers to re-check the schedule) – go here. And he reiterates, “We still need volunteers. Lots of them in fact.” For project updates and information, check out the community website roxhillcastle.wordpress.com – or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(County map – the larger, shaded area is the entire “basin” that feeds the Barton Pump Station)
After the latest round of research and feedback, King County says fewer bioswales (19, instead of the original 31) are planned for Westwood and Sunrise Heights neighborhoods where “green stormwater infrastructure” is planned to reduce combined-sewer overflows at the pump station the area feeds – and fewer streets will be involved. That’s part of an announcement they’ve just sent about an open house coming up a week from Saturday:
Neighbors are invited to an open house on Saturday, Oct. 13 to learn about design updates to King County’s Barton Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control project in West Seattle.
The open house is set for 10 a.m. to noon at Westside School, 7740 34th Ave. S.W., Seattle.
Combined sewer overflows occur during heavy rain when stormwater fills sewers to capacity in older parts of the city. To comply with state water quality requirements, King County will control CSOs from the Barton Pump Station through a system of bioretention swales and Green Stormwater Infrastructure in West Seattle’s Sunrise Heights and Westwood neighborhoods.
Project staff will share a number of design updates that reflect new technical information and community member feedback, including:
· A reduction in the number of bioswales and impacted streets.
· Fewer and smaller curb bulbs to preserve parking.
· Preservation of property access and tree canopy.
· Rebates and financial incentives for residents to voluntarily install raingardens and cisterns through Seattle’s RainWise program.
Additional information is available at the Barton CSO Control Program website, or by contacting Kristine Cramer at 206-263-3184 or email@example.com.
Area residents are receiving a flyer – if you haven’t gotten it already – that you can see here.
(Seattle Parks file photo)
2:34 PM: After 17 years, the wooden “castle” at Roxhill Playground is now closed forever – awaiting renovation of the playground site and construction of its successor. That word comes from Mat McBride, who is leading the “community build” plan for the new structure – which, like the old castle, will be made by Leathers and Associates. McBride says West Seattle-based Grindline, which is both building the adjoining Roxhill Skatespot and preparing the playground site for the new structure, will dismantle the old one soon; its plaques, he says, have been saved. The dates for the volunteer “community build” are now set for October 17th-21st, according to McBride, and you’re invited: “Still lots of opportunity to roll up sleeves for this park and community.” He is starting a website about and for the project – see it here; there’s history for starters, with information coming soon about other aspects including signing up to help build the new “castle.”
4:05 PM UPDATE: The dismantling already has begun; we went over for a photo and found that the north side of the play area had been taken apart, though the main part of the old “castle” is still standing:
Thanks to Colette for the tip: The women’s-clothing chain Dress Barn has closed its West Seattle location. The chain is owned by Ascena Retail Group, which made some recent acquisitions elsewhere in the women’s-clothing business and also announced it’s shutting down Fashion Bug (which is what Dress Barn used to be); we couldn’t find anyone at corporate HQ to discuss this closure, but Westwood Village management confirms that the store cleared out after deciding not to renew its lease. No one is locked in to take over the space yet, but they’ve had some interest.
(Scroll down for the newest updates/photos)
Bounce on over to Westwood Village, where we’re live at the Street Fair, and we’re actually seeing a bit of blue between the clouds to the west. Bouncy rides (FREE!), treats, live music (School of Rock at noon!), demonstrations – like this Zumba class:
… and the beer garden, sponsored by the West Seattle Eagles JUST opened.
And bring or buy school supplies to donate at the “stuff the bus” stop:
We’ve seen at least one school among the exhibitors here, too – Seattle Lutheran High School even brought a robot!
There’s a dog contest – says the emcee – coming up at 1:30, and the blue-sky spot keeps getting bigger to the west …
12:19 PM UPDATE: You’ll meet Westwood merchants here, too – above, Curt Keppler from Wyatt’s Jewelers (longtime WSB sponsor), with Evan. And in a booth that’s a few steps from her Eats Market Café, chef Toby Matasar is selling flavored popcorn:
There’s a fire engine for the kids (and grownups!) to check out, too, along the roadway between the central Street Fair zone and the Wyatt’s/Chico’s/etc. storefronts. More to come.
1:08 PM UPDATE: Chico’s is having a fashion show right now, and dogs are showing up for the 1:30 pm competition. We also just met a dog whose person thanked us for the WSB Pets page, which helped bring the little guy home recently:
Thank you to everyone who’s stopped by to say hi – even without bright full-on sunshine, it’s definitely nicer weather than last year, when we were all out here shivering … the temps are comfortable and there’s not a raindrop in sight. At 2 pm, there’ll be a special main-stage storytime with Melissa from Barnes and Noble (who usually does storytimes in the store on Saturday mornings).
1:41 PM: Bulletin – the sun has arrived. “Partly sunny,” to be sure, but it’s sun. Also forgot to mention, the West Seattle-based food truck A Lunch in Hand is here, on the south end of the street-fair area, north of the Taco del Mar/Giannoni’s Pizzeria lot. Here’s their menu:
Another pitch for the beer garden – the proceeds go to charity! It’s right by the stage, outside BBB/Eats.
2:07 PM UPDATE: Melissa‘s onstage with a picture book now (check out her regular Saturday readings at B&N at 11 am):
Among the people who’ve stopped to say hi so far are folks we’ve written about here the past week or two – Jason from “the ex-Petco site” (Sound Ad Group’s temp home) in his West Seattle Podcast T-shirt (here’s our story about the podcast plan); Ellen Bremen, the “Chatty Professor,” who has just published “Say This, NOT That, to Your Professor …” (here’s our story). Longtime WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli stopped by to say hi – his big New York City exhibition for his internationally renowned “Big Appetites” photos is coming up this week. And even as we type … a reader who has contributed photos, Diane, stopped by … the most famous one, she reminded us, showed the inflated plastic bag that protruded from a window during last summer’s demolition of the old Denny school site.
2:22 PM UPDATE: The Seattle Fire Department‘s back – an engine was here earlier (we believe 37 but couldn’t leave our post to look) and now a ladder truck (update: it’s Ladder 13, which is currently based at Highland Park’s Station 11) – same parking spot as earlier (which is also right alongside the inflatable obstacle course). Live music is scheduled to resume at 3 pm with Gunn and The Damage Done, and in the meantime, there’s been a heavy dose of classic rock – multiple Doors hits.
3:24 PM UPDATE: BOTH units from Station 11 are here.
And the band plays on:
4:17 PM UPDATE: The NW Rivals are playing now, and the beer garden activity looks to be picking up. Those blue-sky breaks from earlier are gone, sadly, but still no rain, and the temperature’s pleasant. The bouncy house, slide, obstacle course, etc., are still up and running, but some of the tablers are folding up, particularly near the stage, where the focus is fully on the music for the rest of the event.
5:27 PM UPDATE: We’re the last booth left, but the bouncy toys are still going, and live music continues, with RAF onstage now. Couple more visitors at the booth here, including the Full Tilt Ice Cream family, and Ruth from West Seattle See Dogs, the guide-puppy-raising club, here giving future guide dog Gulliver an idea of what a street fair with live music is like.
Just in case you saw/heard the big response – the fire reported in an apartment building in the 2200 block of SW Barton was a small electrical fire that was put out fast. No injuries reported. Building’s being ventilated right now.
Thanks to Alice Kuder for that photo and word that the fence is finally coming down from around the big open field at what some dubbed “Denny Park” – the former Denny International Middle School site that now holds playfields and tennis courts (and is technically just an extension of nearby Southwest Athletic Complex, all Seattle Public Schools-owned). It’s been four months since the site officially opened for public use.
(WSB photo from 2011 ‘Stamp Out Hunger,’ donation-sorting at Junction post office)
Since it coincides with West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day each year, so we always ask that you donate to the Stamp Out Hunger food drive before shopping/selling that day – your Postal Service carrier will pick up donations of nonperishable food left by your mailbox or (if you have a mail slot) door. But here’s another way to help Stamp Out Hunger this Saturday – Audrey from White Center Food Bank sends word that volunteers are needed at the Westwood Village Post Office to help with the donated food:
Help Food Lifeline and help the White Center Food Bank. White Center Food Bank gets thousands of pounds of food from this every year…..
Volunteer at the 2012 Stamp Out Hunger food drive! Stamp Out Hunger is the county’s largest one day food drive. With the help of the National Association of Letter Carriers, we at Food Lifeline are striving to collect over 500,000 pounds of non-perishable food in the greater Seattle Area.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Watch for the blue bag in your mailbox for the nation’s largest one-day food drive, Stamp Out Hunger on Saturday, May 12th. Fill your bag with healthy non-perishable food and leave it by your mailbox so your letter carrier, Food Lifeline and White Center Food Bank can make sure it reaches hungry people in your community.
Food Lifeline is recruiting 170 volunteers to serve at 17 postal stations around Seattle, Bellevue and Mercer Island. We’d love to encourage White Center folks to lend a hand at the Westwood Post Office – of all the remaining stations, Westwood is in need of the most volunteers – 14 spots!
Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to volunteer this May 12th (especially at Westwood Post Office) to help end hunger in Western Washington!
Food Lifeline told us last week that the Junction Post Office already has all the volunteers it needs. If you can help at Westwood – find out how by going here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After two community meetings in the past five days, residents of Sunrise Heights and Westwood know exactly which planting strips the county is eyeing for potential “bioswales” to keep rainwater from causing combined sewer overflows (CSO) at Barton Pump Station, miles downhill – specific spots along the 31 blocks identified in early March.
They also know how the county hopes to keep them from “ponding” during all but the heaviest rains – through a complex underground “underdrain” system.
The ghost of that problem-plagueed city project has long loomed over this county plan, despite reassurances, promises, and explanations of how the two situations differ. There were more of those Wednesday night at the first gathering inside Westside School (the second meeting was Saturday at High Point Community Center), even as project manager Mary Wohleb tried to keep Ballard from being the proverbial elephant in the room.
(7900 block of 30th SW)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tonight, Sunrise Heights/Westwood residents are expected to find out if the county thinks the planting strips in front of their homes are the best prospective sites for raingardens to reduce sewer overflows miles away.
The plan has been two-plus years in the making, as the county’s preferred solution to the problem of Puget Sound overflows from the Barton Pump Station near the Fauntleroy ferry dock – but only now is it becoming less abstract, more real, as final decisions get closer. And that is worrying the people who live in the 7900 block of 30th SW, who have asked County Executive Dow Constantine to stop the project.
After the county announced two meetings for tonight and Saturday morning, resident Sabrina Urquhart sent a “media advisory” to make sure the meetings would be covered.
We asked if she and her neighbors would be willing to talk in advance about their concerns. So a small group gathered in her living room Monday evening – joining Sabrina were neighbors Heather, Jim, and Kevin.
(WSB photo of test site at 34th/Trenton, March 2011)
Fifteen months after announcing its plan for “green stormwater infrastructure” to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) at Barton Pump Station by the Fauntleroy ferry dock, the county has narrowed down the potential sites where it might place raingardens and swales to keep stormwater from overwhelming the system. (It’s been testing in the neighborhoods – with equipment like the truck above, as well as drill rigs – for the better part of a year.) Here’s the map showing which streets (in green) have been identified for closer study:
(Sorry, the streets weren’t named on that map, but you can see a larger version, along with the accompanying letter and “fact sheet,” by going here.) News of the map follows King County’s announcement of two meetings, March 28 and March 31, promising status updates. Read the announcement in full, ahead: Click to read the rest of Where will ‘green stormwater infrastructure’ go? County reveals potential sites…
Joey Genzale is excited about all the improvements at his Westwood produce megastand, Tony’s Market, which just reopened at 35th/Barton a few hours ago after its traditional post-Christmas break. It’s a later reopening than usual, and here’s why:
That’s just part of the new 24-foot refrigerated produce case lining the north wall – which means the produce stays fresher longer – “Perfect lettuce! Perfect mushrooms!” enthuses Joey – and that’s good for customers as well as for the store’s bottom line. There’s also a brand-new cooler up front by the checkout stand, for non-produce merchandise. And even on the south side, the non-refrigerated items – such as tree fruit – is arranged up against the wall, improving traffic flow inside the store.
Something else new:
Joey says he’s been working on improving his hand-lettering sills for the signs that have long been a trademark of the produce market, run by his dad Tony Genzale till his untimely passing in December 2010. He had some ready to go last night – and then the rain swept in and undid his work. “My dad’s getting even with me,” he laughed.
When we were there in the 1 o’clock hour, they were still finishing setup, but almost done, and definitely open – and Joey is asking everyone what they think of the improvements (which include some fresh interior paint): “After 16 years, it was time.”
Just in from King County – your next chance to get an update on plans to reduce sewer overflows into Puget Sound by building “green stormwater infrastructure” like rain gardens in neighborhoods feeding the Barton Pump Station:
People are invited to learn about King County’s progress on a project to control combined sewer overflows (CSOs) from the Barton Pump Station in West Seattle through green stormwater infrastructure.
A public meeting is planned on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Westside School, 7740 34th Ave. SW. from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The announcement continues ahead: Click to read the rest of Community briefing February 8th for West Seattle ‘green stormwater infrastructure’ project…
Out of the WSB inbox, from Mary, who tried a simple tactic to stop would-be thieves:
About 2:00 (Tuesday afternoon) I heard a vehicle stop in the alley next to my home, (in the Westwood neighborhood) and looked out to see 2 men taking something heavy from my neighbors’ yard and loading it into their pickup truck. Just as I got outside and to the alley, they were driving off, but stopped when I spoke to them. I asked if they had permission to take “that thing.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As of yesterday, the city-owned facility at 2800 SW Thistle that was Southwest Community Center is officially Southwest Teen Life Center and the future Southwest Neighborhood Service Center.
Four months after the planned change was announced by city leaders during a West Seattle media briefing, the new budget mandating the changeover is officially in effect, so we asked the city about the transition process.
We’ve subsequently learned the dates and plans for closing the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center and opening its replacement at Southwest, and also some things you need to know about what’s NOT changing at the Southwest building:
If you’re following the progress of the two-part project to renovate the Roxhill Playground and build a Roxhill Skatespot: The city has just changed its plan for the final public reviews of the two design proposals, adding a new meeting to the calendar.
The process had started with an August meeting about both, continued with separate October meetings about each one (skatespot here, playground here), and then was supposed to conclude with a November 14th meeting about both. But according to a postcard just mailed by the Parks Department, they’re now going to have that meeting next Monday focus only on the skatespot design, while a November 30th meeting has been added, to focus only on the playground design.
Both meetings will be at 6 pm on their respective dates, at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson), same time/location as previous meetings.
Another round of business trick-or-treating is under way – this time at Westwood Village, where WSB sponsor Wyatt’s Jewelers‘ namesake Wyatt was handing out the treats when we stopped in (that’s dad/shop owner Kirk Keppler off to the right). Lots of kids out and about here too!
The new ownership of Westwood Village promised more candy this year; trick or treating continues till 7.
Giannoni’s Pizzeria on the south side of Westwood Village WILL be open on time at 11 this morning, owner Donna says – but that’s after some cleanup work they would rather have not had to do. What you’re looking at in our photo is a hole in the wall at Giannoni’s, cut by burglars who broke in and then went through the wall to get into Taco Del Mar next door. Donna tells us the burglars made off with quarters from the pizzeria’s Pac-Man video-game machine, among other things, so they’ve alerted the nearby QFC in case anyone turns up at Coinstar with an unusual amount of quarters. We’re checking with police for more details on the break-in, but in the meantime, Donna says the burglar(s) were apparently scared off while inside TDM, and it’s believed to have happened around 2:30 am, so please contact SPD if you were in the area and saw anything suspicious.
Now that Delridge Skatepark is up and running – the development spotlight turns to the next one in the wings, the “skatespot” (smaller version of a skatepark) at Roxhill Park, and concurrent playground improvements (the beloved castle, at right, is to be replaced). Here’s our report on the first public meeting; three more have just been announced (via postal-mail postcard from the Parks Department), all three at Southwest Library. The skatespot’s “schematic design” will be presented 6 pm October 12th; the playground’s “schematic design” will be presented 6 pm October 17th; and the final design presentations for both will be at one meeting, 6 pm November 14th. Project info’s here.
(Photo courtesy Barton Street P-Patch)
The “web” continues to take shape at West Seattle’s newest P-Patch (Barton/34th), but unlike spider webs, this is no solo effort – it takes a community of gardeners and helpers, and Terri Lindow sends word they’re looking for more assistance, even in simple ways:
The Barton Street PPatch is seeking more community to help build our community
garden! If you are interested in learning to build mortar and reclaimed chain link walls (a family-friendly “mud pie” activity), want to swing a sledgehammer, spend some quality time with a wheelbarrow and some wood chips, or would like to provide snacks for our workers, you are invited to stop by. Over the next 6 weeks we’ll be holding work parties Saturdays 9:30-3 pm and Sundays 11-3 pm. All are welcome!
1:16 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” – multiple engines and trucks, medic unit, etc. – to a fire reported in the 8600 block of 25th SW (map). The first crews to arrive saw smoke. We have a crew on the way.
1:21 PM: Via scanner, we’re hearing crews report they’re putting water on this fire through a hole they cut in the roof. The fire is just about two blocks south of the Chief Sealth International High School/Denny International Middle School campus. It doesn’t sound like a major fire, though – they’re canceling some of the units.
1:34 PM: Just talked with the incident commander on scene. This was a second-floor apartment, nobody home, no injuries. They’re still checking the extent of damage, and investigating the cause. (added) The fire was between the rafters and the roof, and SFD says the unit itself was the only one involved, and was not heavily damaged.
FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: We checked back with SFD re: the cause and damage, and spokesperson Kyle Moore provided this info: “A Seattle Fire Investigator determined the cause of the fire as an electrical short in the attic. The damage estimate is $14,000 to the structure and $1,000 to the contents.”
Both of King County’s West Seattle projects to reduce combined-sewer overflows (CSO) are proceeding, and we have updates tonight.
In the area of Sunrise Heights/Westwood where the map above is shaded – part of the “basin” feeding the Barton pump station north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock – the plan is to install “green stormwater infrastructure” including rain gardens, and another round of field work is imminent, according to spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson. She says residents in the affected area have been sent a letter (see it here), and will get more notification whenever something is happening on their block, but they wanted to get wider word out too. This is what will be happening, according to an online update about the project:
• Project team members conducting land and utility surveys, and looking at topography, stormwater and groundwater patterns, existing parking strip uses, trees, driveways, accessibility for residents with disabilities, and other physical features of the project area
• Geotechnical borings to better understand soil and groundwater conditions
• Infiltration testing to see how long it takes water to soak into the ground
• Parking and traffic pattern survey
• Potential installation of additional groundwater monitoring wells
• Examination of roof downspout connections/disconnections to the existing combined sewer system
All that will start over the next few weeks, Kolb-Nelson tells WSB. There’s also a map showing specific properties in the project area – you can see that here. The county says construction won’t start until 2013.
We also asked what’s new in the neighborhood that is going to be affected by the plan for the basin feeding the Murray pump station at Lowman Beach Park, where a separate pump-station maintenance project is under way right now. For Murray, you may recall, the county has decided to build a huge underground storage tank across the street from the park, which requires buying and demolishing the residential properties that are there now. Kolb-Nelson says, “We’re in contact with property owners and have begun making offers. We’re also notifying people about eligibility for relocation benefits.” She adds that community meetings are planned next month, but the dates aren’t set yet. This project also is set for construction in 2013; an aerial view is here.
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