West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle businesses http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 21 Apr 2015 07:22:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 HAPPENING NOW: Record Store Day 2015 rocks on into the night at Easy Street http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/happening-now-record-store-day-2015-rocks-on-into-the-night-at-easy-street/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/happening-now-record-store-day-2015-rocks-on-into-the-night-at-easy-street/#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 01:16:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307517

The biggest day of the year at Easy Street Records in The Junction started around sunrise, and it’s not over yet. It’s Record Store Day around the world, and that means specials and surprises at Easy Street, which is staying open well into the night for the occasion. Part of the fun – guest DJ’s, including one of West Seattle’s resident rock stars:

Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America and Caspar Babypants fame was the guest DJ at mid-afternoon. If you drop by between now and 8 pm, Troy Nelson of The Young Evils and KEXP is scheduled to be DJ’ing, followed by Kevin Cole (also of KEXP) until about 9. Then at 10 pm – a benefit for KEXP as announced on FridayThe Sonics, live (maybe you recognized them in the photo behind Chris B, above?). Online tickets have sold out, according to the KEXP website, which suggests calling ESR to see if there’s room. (Surprise guests are promised; ESR’s Facebook page says Mark Pickerel will be among them.)

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HAPPENING NOW: Tax-Free Day deals in The Junction http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/happening-now-tax-free-day-deals-in-the-junction/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/happening-now-tax-free-day-deals-in-the-junction/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 21:23:20 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307495

Ready to take a break from the yard, the beach, the dog park, wherever, and go shopping? As mentioned earlier, 30 West Seattle Junction stores are part of “Tax-Free Day” – basically an almost-10-percent discount so that they’re in effect picking up the sales tax. It’s become a tradition over the years, to boost shoppers’ spirits right around federal-tax-deadline time. Above, that’s Mary Ehlert at the AAA storefront on the interior east side of Jefferson Square – it’s a retail shop as well as a place to buy insurance and book travel (among other things). We also peeked in on Curious Kidstuff (4740 California SW), The Junction’s local independent toy shop – with, as you can see in our photo, a festive selection of gift wrap:

(Both aforementioned stores are WSB sponsors.) Today’s full list of participants is here – get out and explore what’s in store in “downtown West Seattle”!

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West Seattle biznote: Congratulations! Fleurt turns 5 years old http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-biznote-congratulations-fleurt-turns-5-years-old/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-biznote-congratulations-fleurt-turns-5-years-old/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 19:31:39 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307452

(Photos courtesy Fleurt)
If you’re going to The Junction for Tax-Free Day, stop by Fleurt (4536 California SW) and wish Sam Crowley and daughter Keonii (who runs both this shop and the expansion branch in Pioneer Square) a happy 5th anniversary! The party started yesterday, as Fleurt opened in West Seattle on April 17, 2010 (you might recall its first two years were on the NW corner of California/Oregon, where Funky Jane’s is now). Sam writes:

We reflect back on 5 wonderful years in our West Seattle community we call home. Fleurt has enjoyed 5 years of growth offering daily flower deliveries throughout Seattle, special events, weddings, and 2 gift shops filled with goodies ranging from candles to custom terrariums. … We want to thank everyone who are “Fleurt Fans” and we look forward to the years ahead.

During the five years, Fleurt has been featured on the cover of, and inside, numerous magazines, including winning two “best of” votes via Seattle magazine. Sam says they pride themselves on using local, sustainable flowers – this was created for a delivery yesterday and most of the flowers were grown in her West Seattle garden!

Stop in for snacks during today’s Tax-Free Day sale (and birthday celebration) and also note that Fleurt is again celebrating Earth Day (next Wednesday, April 22nd) by inviting you to drop off unwanted vases, pots, or jars – “We will repurpose at Fleurt or pass along to the West Seattle Senior Center. With each dropoff we hand over a free mini-plant.”

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Record Store Day in West Seattle at Easy Street: The Sonics, live! http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/record-store-day-at-easy-street-the-sonics-live/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/record-store-day-at-easy-street-the-sonics-live/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 21:26:56 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307379

(WSB photo, March 31)
Less than three weeks after their signing appearance at Easy Street Records in The Junction (WSB coverage here) … The Sonics will be back tomorrow night for a performance during Record Store Day. Just announced:

THE SONICS (& Guests) Live At Easy Street On Record Store Day 2015!

We’re thrilled to welcome Northwest Rock Legends The Sonics to Easy Street for a very special Record Store Day live performance at 10 pm! Our heroes will be joined by an amazing array of special guests personally invited by the band throughout the night – and believe us when we say you will NOT be disappointed!! The Sonics performance is a ticketed event with proceeds going to KEXP’s New Home Campaign. A limited number of tickets, priced at $100, are on sale RIGHT NOW at Easy Street. Another small allotment of tickets will be on sale from KEXP.org starting at 3 pm today. Check their home page for link at that time.

Limit of two tickets per person, CASH ONLY.

PLEASE NOTE: EASY STREET WILL NOT BE SELLING TICKETS TO THIS EVENT ON RECORD STORE DAY. Remaining tickets still available on Record Store Day must be purchased through KEXP.org. Ticket buyers will also receive this super-sweet event lithograph by Independence Printage, as well as a retro-style ticket for the event!

That’s not the only thing Easy Street has in store for Record Store Day … it’s opening at 7 am, staying open well into the night, and featuring guest DJs including Chris Ballewread the updates on the ESR website.

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VIDEO: West Seattle Trader Joe’s national spotlight, sort of http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-west-seattle-trader-joes-national-spotlight-sort-of/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-west-seattle-trader-joes-national-spotlight-sort-of/#comments Sun, 12 Apr 2015 16:22:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306876

Thanks to Scott for sending the link after noticing the West Seattle Trader Joe’s featured on today’s CBS Sunday Morning national newscast. Actually, it’s not about the store so much as one particular shopper – we’ve heard of him before, but had no idea his shopping took him this far south of the border. (For the record, the distance from his store in B.C. to TJ’s in WS is 147 miles.)

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BIZ ANNIVERSARIES: West Seattle Cellars celebrates 20th; Wyatt’s Jewelers has open house, sale for 10th http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/biz-anniversaries-west-seattle-cellars-celebrates-20th-wyatts-jewelers-has-open-house-sale-for-10th/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/biz-anniversaries-west-seattle-cellars-celebrates-20th-wyatts-jewelers-has-open-house-sale-for-10th/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 20:32:33 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306675 Two momentous West Seattle business anniversaries to note:

20 YEARS FOR WEST SEATTLE CELLARS: Last night during the West Seattle Art Walk, we stopped by West Seattle Cellars (6026 California SW) after hearing the shop is marking its 20th anniversary. Here’s how proprietors Jan Martindale and Tom DiStefano (above) announced it in the WSC newsletter:

20 years ago this month, Matt Mabus founded the shop, which at that time was housed in the little building next door. Some of you may remember that space, part of which is now our back room/office. In 2000 we partnered with Bear Silverstein to buy the shop, and in 2005 we moved into our bigger, airier new digs. And after 20 years (now sadly minus the Bear) we’re still going strong, thanks to all of our wonderful customers who continue to shop local!

WSC has also launched its annual West Seattle Helpline fundraiser, hoping to raise $1,000 for WSH by its Taste of West Seattle event on May 21st:

They’re donating 10 percent of the sales made during their regular (free) Thursday night tastings until then. And while at the shop, you can just make an outright donation to Helpline.

TEN YEARS FOR WYATT’S JEWELERS: Family-owned Wyatt’s Jewelers (longtime WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an open house today until 6 pm and again tomorrow (Saturday), 10 am-6 pm – “giveaways, refreshments, store specials, more.” It’s also the only storewide sale of the year, “everything 10 percent to 60 percent off.”

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Arguelles Therapeutic Massage: Welcome, new WSB sponsor http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/arguelles-therapeutic-massage-welcome-new-wsb-sponsor/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/arguelles-therapeutic-massage-welcome-new-wsb-sponsor/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 22:15:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306332 Today we’re welcoming Arguelles Therapeutic Massage as a new WSB sponsor. New local sponsors get the opportunity to share information about their business:

Jon Arguelles, LMP, says, “I take time and care to find out what each clients’ needs and wants are; where their trouble spots are, if they have any injuries, if they need more time spent on their neck and shoulders, lower back or feet. It’s so important to listen to what my clients are looking for, to really understand, and to deliver that to them. It makes the difference between a good massage and an OMG-what-a-good massage!”

What does he hear from Arguelles Therapeutic Massage clients most often? “Clients tell me, ‘Oh, I fell asleep there for awhile,’ that they feel, ‘so much looser,’ and, ‘You figured out my spots and got right to them’.”

Arguelles Therapeutic Massage (a member of the American Massage Therapy Association) is at 4843 California SW, on the south edge of The Junction. You can book your appointment online – just go here. Or, call 425-785-9192.

We thank Arguelles Therapeutic Massage for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

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BIZNOTES: Junction Tax-Free Day set; Tony’s Market soon; CSA at The General Store – Seattle? http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/biznotes-junction-tax-free-day-set-tonys-market-soon-csa-at-the-general-store-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/biznotes-junction-tax-free-day-set-tonys-market-soon-csa-at-the-general-store-seattle/#comments Sun, 05 Apr 2015 05:07:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306200 Three West Seattle biznotes tonight:

JUNCTION TAX-FREE DAY: Two weeks from today, the West Seattle Junction Association confirms, the day of sales dubbed Tax-Free Day will be back. That’s Saturday, April 18th, first Saturday after the federal filing deadline. Of course it’s not really tax-free – but participating merchants (see the list here – including WSB sponsors AAA West Seattle, Click! Design That Fits, Curious Kidstuff, Emerald Water Anglers, Hotwire Online Coffeehouse, VAIN, and Wallflower Custom Framing) will be offering you a discount by covering the sales-tax cost.

TONY’S MARKET: Worried fans of the seasonal produce store Tony’s Market at 35th and Barton have been messaging us with concerns that it’s already April and Tony’s hasn’t opened for the season yet. We’ve seen activity at the site off and on but hadn’t managed to catch up with anyone for formal comment yet – however, we’ve learned that he’s definitely gearing up to open for the season, possibly as soon as next week.

SPEAKING OF PRODUCE – CSA, ANYONE? Claire at The General Store – Seattle (WSB sponsor) wonders if you are interested in signing up for a CSA dropoff at her store (3400 Harbor SW). CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture, and Claire’s been working with Skylight Farms, which she says “showcases more than 100 varieties of produce” and has egg shares available too; the program runs for 20 weeks, June through October, with members having the option of choosing weekly or biweekly deliveries. Claire says only 10 subscriptions a week are needed for The General Store to become a dropoff spot. If you are – or might be – interested, please e-mail Claire at claire@thegeneralstoreseattle.com.

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VIDEO: West Seattle Chamber of Commerce honors winners of Westside Awards, hears Saltchuk chair tout Seattle/Alaska ties http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-west-seattle-chamber-of-commerce-honors-winners-of-westside-awards-hears-saltchuk-chair-tout-seattlealaska-ties/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/video-west-seattle-chamber-of-commerce-honors-winners-of-westside-awards-hears-saltchuk-chair-tout-seattlealaska-ties/#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 01:03:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305928

Story/photos/video by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

This morning’s Westside Awards breakfast was a celebration of West Seattle’s “thriving” business community, as WS Chamber of Commerce board chair Hamilton Gardiner put it, and of people/businesses making a difference here.

Nominations for the awards (announced last week) set a record, he said – more than 110. Also up: Attendance for Chamber events – 30 percent increase for the monthly lunch meetings, 15 percent for the monthly After-Hours gatherings.

The breakfast turnout was bigger than last year, too, with a wall-to-wall crowd in a waterfront banquet room at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), there to mingle as well as to applaud the winners and to hear a newsmaker keynote speaker – Mark Tabbutt, the West Seattleite who is chair of Saltchuk, parent company of Foss, whose two-year lease of nearby Terminal 5 has made national news, with Shell among its clients as the oil company anticipates resuming Arctic drilling.

But T-5 was only a small part of what Tabbutt talked about. Before touching on the Terminal 5 lease, Tabbutt went through a backstory of the company, described as now in its “third chapter.” Here’s our video of his entire presentation:

Its companies’ services include domestic shipping, air cargo, trucking, marine resources, trucking, petroleum distribution, international shipping. And he talked about Saltchuk’s status as a family-owned business: “That allows you to challenge yourself and your family to work out problems and try to do better for the company. We reinvest 90 percent of our earnings back into the company, and that has allowed us to grow.”

Tabbutt said Saltchuk has “a strong, long-term desire to protect the environment.” They’re converting vessels to run on natural gas, in a $100 million project: “We will reduce the amount of oil in (what equals) taking 38,000 vehicles off the streets of Puget Sound.” The company is also building the first two container ships in the world to burn natural gas.

A focus of his presentation was Seattle’s ties to Alaska, to which he attributed 113,000 local jobs, and “$6 billion in local labor earnings,” tracing back to the Gold Rush days. Then in the pipeline-building days, so many barges were on the water, “you could almost walk across Elliott Bay.” Now, “all freight bound for Alaska goes through the Pacific Northwest.” The pipeline traced back to the early ’70s energy crisis and was built in 4 years, he said, but “the oil coming out of Alaska is declining because there hasn’t been significant exploration.”

Then, to the Terminal 5 lease. “It obviously sparked quite a debate locally,” he said, while also thanking Port Commissioner Bill Bryant, one of the lease’s supporters, who was announced as being in attendance. He said that Shell “made many mistakes” in its first try, including relying on Gulf of Mexico contractors; this time, it’ll be local contractors, including Foss.

His slide deck switched to an image of the drilling platform Polar Pioneer, as Tabbutt said, “Here’s what’s coming to your neighborhood pretty soon … It’ll get a lot of notice.”


(Foss has not announced an expected arrival date for Polar Pioneer, being sealifted from Asia, but MarineTraffic.com shows an April 12th estimated arrival off Port Angeles; the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza is trailing it in the open Pacific and chronicling the trip here.)

He briefly defended the project as his speech wrapped up: “You can’t live here and not be an environmentalist. The debate can’t be on who’s a bigger environmentalist than anyone else. It should be who’s doing more to reduce oil consumption. But (in the meantime), where are we going to get our oil?” Tabbutt said Alaska oil is “the most environmentally friendly oil you can get,” and compared it to the current production boom in oil derived from fracking elsewhere in the U.S. “The environmental damage that’s being done by fracking (is sizable) compared to what we’ve been doing in Alaska.”

And now, the Westside Awards – each one accompanied by our video of the introduction and acceptance speeches:

EMERGING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: This time last year, Laura Schneider was getting ready to open Meeples Games at California/Charlestown. This morning, she accepted the Westside Emerging Business of the Year award, after Elizabeth Pluhta from South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) introduced her with praise for Meeples’ community collaboration:

Schneider said her gaming café has “accomplished what we set out to do – create a third place” for the community.

NOT-FOR-PROFIT OF THE YEAR: Past board chair Nancy Woodland joked that since Clay Eals took over as Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director, all of West Seattle has “become history wonks – everybody cares about history.” Eals accepted the award:

“History connects. When we are connected, we care,” Eals said, “We’re all here because we love where we live … It’s all about passion, and wearing it on your sleeve. With that passion and with your help, we’ve accomplished some amazing things” just in the past year-plus. He recalled the 1,000-plus turnout for the totem pole unveiling/dedication and looked ahead to events including historic-home tours as well as the ongoing Words, Writers, West Seattle literary event. “To do all this, we stand on the shoulders of giants,” he said, also recalling local heroes old and new, and supporters who were at the SWSHS table. And to spotlight what’s yet to come, the restoration of the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge and renovation of the Admiral Theater, Eals pointed out Dinah Brein, the “creative and energetic manager” of The Admiral, and the new owner of the Homestead, Dennis Schilling. This fall’s gala theme will be “Coming Home to the Homestead,” Eals revealed.

WESTSIDE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: Nucor Steel won this award, accepted by Matt Lyons:

Gardiner spoke of the recycled scrap metal on which Nucor’s work is based, as well as the plant’s status as an employer of 325 people and as a gateway to West Seattle, so prominent along the bridge. Lyons noted that Nucor has been in the same North Delridge/Youngstown location for 110 years.

WESTSIDER OF THE YEAR: Tenacious, a leader, visionary, dedicated – words that Josh Sutton of the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) used to describe Jim Jackson of Jackson, Morgan, & Hunt PLLC (also a WSB sponsor), honored as Westsider of the Year.

Jackson said the award was “a big surprise.” He paid tribute to the firm’s employees, his partners, and their hundreds of clients. Helping people “with their dreams and their aspirations” is a description of work that he heard some years back, and for him, Jackson said, “it stuck.”

Wishing the breakfast attendees a great day, Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis thanked them for being present to “share the best.”

SIDE NOTE: The Chamber has an all-new website that it promises will be updated frequently to share news from the organization and local businesses – check it out at wschamber.com.

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Last chance for tickets to tomorrow’s Westside Awards breakfast http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/last-chance-for-tickets-to-tomorrows-westside-awards-breakfast/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/last-chance-for-tickets-to-tomorrows-westside-awards-breakfast/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:59:58 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305793 Those smiling faces belong to Lynn Dennis, West Seattle Chamber of Commerce CEO, and Nancy Woodland, WestSide Baby executive director and past Chamber board chair. We photographed them last Thursday when the Chamber brought its monthly After Hours event to WS Baby – and we’re showing the pic this morning as a reminder that this is your last chance to buy tickets to tomorrow morning’s Chamber-presented Westside Awards – they need to have the attendee count locked in by noon today, and still had a few seats last we checked. The event starts at 7:30 am Thursday at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) and will feature award presentations for the honorees announced last week, as well as a keynote by West Seattleite Mark Tabbutt, chair of Saltchuk International. Online signusp are closed so call 206-932-5685 – before noon today! – to register for the breakfast.

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Next new place to eat/drink at Alki Beach: Gelarto expanding to West Seattle with gelato, espresso, more http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/next-new-place-to-eatdrink-at-alki-beach-gelarto-expanding-to-west-seattle-with-gelato-espresso-more/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/next-new-place-to-eatdrink-at-alki-beach-gelarto-expanding-to-west-seattle-with-gelato-espresso-more/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 22:04:37 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305589

Gelarto Italian Ice Cream and Global Arts, founded on Bainbridge Island, is expanding to add an Alki Beach location.

We discovered this in the city permit files over the weekend, with remodeling work planned at 2648 59th SW, former home of Alki Beach Dog. After sending a note to Gelarto’s proprietors, we went by the Alki site this morning to look, and found “COMING SOON – GELARTO” information already up in the window. We have since heard back from co-proprietor Jennifer Al-Abboud, who shared a detailed backstory:

We love West Seattle and considered moving there when searching for a home back in 2012. We were teaching overseas at the time, and there was very little inventory during our short search window so we landed in Poulsbo and ended up on Bainbridge where we now reside in a tiny 607 SF condo we share with our cat Jazz. We opened Gelarto in late August 2013 amidst threat of teacher layoffs, and we have since retired from teaching to pursue our gelato passion full time. We pride ourselves on having a strong owner presence, and we run the shop by ourselves with exception of the busy summer months.

Gelarto has been well received on Bainbridge Island, but our product offerings are limited due to a voluntary good-neighbor policy with the cafe next door. Despite strong community support, a seasonal product in a seasonal location proves challenging in the slow months when our small shop requires only one of us to run it. So in order to maximize our human resources and provide year-round sustainability, we decided to reach out across the water in search of a second location. While we intend to stay small and independent, we always felt West Seattle would be a natural fit for our family business if we ever decided to expand, so we started pounding the pavement in November.

We spent nearly every Tuesday exploring the area, and on our last day off for the winter, we took a long walk from Alaska Junction to Alki and back, and this is when we discovered the Alki Beach Dog vacancy. It was the perfect location, but the Seattle permitting process is indeed a challenge. It has been a short but intense roller-coaster ride, but with health and building plan approval, we hope to bring artisan-quality gelato to this unique beach neighborhood in early May.

Having tasted gelato all over the world, we are very particular about our product, and our research found the highest-quality Italian gelato right here in Seattle at D’Ambrosio’s Gelateria, a father-son operation based in Ballard. Following the Italian tradition, Marco and Enzo make gelato the way it was intended to be made: from scratch, in small batches with local organic dairy and natural ingredients. They do not use base mixes common in the frozen dessert industry, and their gelato and dairy-free sorbets contain no artificial coloring or flavoring. They use local ingredients where available, and they import their coffee, dark chocolate, Sicilian pistachios and Piedmont hazelnuts from Italy.

… The Alki location will allow us to offer a full espresso bar to complement our gelato, including D’Ambrosio’s decadent Italian hot chocolate. Additionally, we are exploring the possibility of serving waffles in the fall and winter. Gofres, as they are known in Europe, are often paired with gelato and would offer a warm alternative for the cooler months.

We are thrilled to become part of the West Seattle community and hope it is as welcoming as Bainbridge. The two communities share similar demographics with well-traveled locals and tourists from all over the world, and each shoreline is visible from the other, so we already feel connected.

You might recall that the building has been proposed for replacement with a mixed-use development. That project completed the first stage of Design Review last summer but hasn’t gone to the second stage yet. Al-Abboud says they have a lease running at least through the next two summers.

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Mayor Murray’s 2 1/2-plus-hour West Seattle visit, report #1: Roll call, walking tour, coffee chat http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/mayor-murrays-2-12-plus-hour-west-seattle-visit-roll-call-walking-tour-coffee-chat/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/mayor-murrays-2-12-plus-hour-west-seattle-visit-roll-call-walking-tour-coffee-chat/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 21:23:36 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305370

(WSB photo: David Groves of Seattle Logo Pro presents the mayor with a hometown T-shirt)
2:23 PM: Within the past half-hour, Mayor Ed Murray wrapped up more than two and a half hours in West Seattle – including second-watch roll call at the Southwest Precinct, a walking tour of The Junction and Triangle, and an open-to-all coffee chat that drew more than 20 people. Talking with WSB for a few minutes after all that (we were along for the walking tour and coffee chat), the mayor said he was inspired by the “positive, can-do attitude” of the people he talked with – the “most upbeat … neighborhood” he’d visited. We’ll be adding more photos and the full story over the next few hours.

MIDNIGHT: Took longer than we had hoped. Here’s how it unfolded:

(Photo courtesy Mayor Murray’s office)
The mayor’s visit to the precinct wasn’t pre-announced to the media, unlike the walking tour, so we don’t know what was said – we heard about it from an officer we were talking to about something else, somewhere else, then asked mayoral communications director Viet Shelton if a photo were available. The walking tour started from Elliott Bay Brewing, where Murray checked out EB’s new reusable takeout containers:

Meeting up with the mayor there were four community advocates – René Commons of the Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO), Susan Melrose of the West Seattle Junction Association, Josh Sutton of the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), and Vlad Oustimovitch.

/CONTINUES/

He stopped in several more of The Junction’s small independent businesses:

Walking north on California after the stop at Husky Deli with Jack Miller, the mayor stopped to reminisce about his West Seattle childhood, saying, for example, that Taqueria Guaymas had been a fish market. And he heard about the historical-resources survey just announced this month, intended to catalog what The Junction has that might be worthy of protection.

Further up the street, in a building often mentioned informally as a possible landmark, a stop to talk with Easy Street RecordsMatt Vaughan:

After that, a journey through one of the city’s few Walk-All-Ways intersections:

Then east down Alaska, with a stop at Junction Plaza Park, for the first of three short TV interviews he did – not about the West Seattle visit, but about an action he had just announced this morning, banning city workers from spending city money to travel to Indiana because of the potentially discrimination-enabling law just passed there.

Moving into the development-intensive zone along Alaska, the mayor heard from community advocates pointing out what was going on, and going in. That included, once they reached The Triangle, concerns about the low-rise CVS drugstore planned for a site where something denser would be allowed under the current zoning. And on the other side of Fauntleroy/Alaska, he got a quick primer on the almost-complete Spruce development, on the site that spent several years known as “The Hole.”


Also at that intersection, a brief discussion about West Seattle’s transit challenges, and the fact buses get hung up in traffic without grade separation or dedicated lanes.

With city employees along including Yun Pitre and Kerry Wade, local district coordinators from the Department of Neighborhoods, and employees from the Departments of Transportation and Planning and Development, including Susan McLain, a West Seattleite who had been the lead on the Triangle Plan a few years back, the mayor continued eastward. Another business stop: Greg Whittaker of Mountain to Sound Outfitters invited the mayor in to shop their clearance sale. (He did buy something; we missed seeing what it was.)

Before catching up with the group waiting inside Chaco Canyon Organic Café’s community room, discussion turned to pedestrian challenges across SW Alaska in The Triangle, which will intensify as its relationship to The Junction deepens. Sutton pointed out the development at 35th and Avalon that will have a hillclimb for people to head up into the business districts.

And the last point made to the mayor before the group headed into Chaco Canyon was about property crime and street disorder in The Junction; Melrose told the mayor they had had “beat cops” there for a while and would love to have them again. He pointed out the acknowledgment that enforcement and prosecution of property and drug crimes had dropped about five or so years ago and that the city and county were working to get back to that. Regarding people sleeping on the streets, he touted the in-progress legislation to facilitate more legal encampments, and plans to spend more money on shelter, though he also pointed out the city already spends plenty on trying to alleviate homelessness, and that it’s a “national crisis.”

Inside the café, the mayor was first greeted by Mary Fleck from the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition, who had a blown-up “job description” she said they wanted to present for the next CEO of Seattle City Light:

She explained to them that they’ve been working to get the city to save at least some of its former substations as open space. Murray acknowledged, “As we grow, we need more open space.”

Next to bring up an ongoing issue, Paul Haury from Seattle NERD (Neighbors Encouraging Reasonable Development). He didn’t go into the entire background of the appeal ruling his organization won relating to development proposals on SW Avalon and calculations regarding traffic and parking, but in relation to the recent turn that has taken – as reported here – he told the mayor they want to “make density reasonable” and they “appreciate the city abiding by the rules.”

The mayor, told the exchanges with the city had been “adversarial,” expressed regret and said, “We want to work with you.” He also told Haury that “you can’t be NIMBY with a name like (Neighbors Encouraging Reasonable Development).”

Next around the table, Amanda Kay Helmick, speaking as co-chair of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition (while also noting her leadership role with the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council and her candidacy for City Council District 1). She brought up the need for a bus lane to get transit through bridge traffic, not just the partial one that exists there now. Murray said, “We know we have to do something to get transit in and out of West Seattle before light rail. … We’re in the process of looking at that, we have to find something that works now.”

Other issues brought up:

*The Terminal 5 modernization “determination of (environmental) non-significance” – Murray said he wasn’t sure he saw the city’s path through this, since it doesn’t have an oversight role with the port.

*New standardized testing in schools, so controversial that some are opting out – the mayor says there has to be some standard of some kind. He moves on to briefly point out that Seattle Public Schools has long since regained its lost areas.

*Housing affordability. He was asked by a woman who later revealed herself to be Janice Harper, who wrote the wrenching “Dear Landlord” published by Seattle Weekly. The mayor defended Seattle as “producing affordable housing at a higher rate” than other cities, but also acknowledged that more needs to be done, saying it’s a “difficult” time. “I can see my way through almost every issue, but this is tough.”

*Transportation infrastructure in the face of densification. The man who asked about this said we’re adding housing, taking away parking, need the streets fixed. The mayor said the main way to deal with all this is to get more transit. And regarding density, he said, at least it’s happening in the places designated long ago – such as the Junction and Triangle.

In all, one theme emerged for much of what the mayor was asked about – “We’re playing serious catch-up” on a variety of issues, due, he suggests, to inactivity/slow activity in the past.

One more neighborhood issue brought up before the community chat concluded – an Alki man explained his concerns about cell-phone antennas planned to go onto the roof of an apartment building at 61st/Stevens, across the street from the Log House Museum, barely a block from Alki Elementary. (He has an online petition.) The mayor said he hadn’t heard about this but “You’ve got my attention – that’s the street I grew up on, 61st.”

After he left Chaco Canyon, we were allotted some time for a one-on-one conversation. We’ll be adding results of that in a second installment later this (Sunday) morning.

–Tracy Record, WSB editor

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Congratulations! 2015 Westside Awards for Nucor Steel, Meeples Games, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, James Jackson of Jackson, Morgan & Hunt PLLC http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/congratulations-2015-westside-awards-for-nucor-steel-meeples-games-southwest-seattle-historical-society-james-jackson-of-jackson-morgan-hunt-pllc/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/congratulations-2015-westside-awards-for-nucor-steel-meeples-games-southwest-seattle-historical-society-james-jackson-of-jackson-morgan-hunt-pllc/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:15:27 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305202 The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has just announced its 2015 Westside Awards winners, in advance of the presentation at the awards breakfast next Thursday (April 2nd):

Nucor Steel Seattle, Meeples Games, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and the founder, James (Jim) Jackson of Jackson, Morgan & Hunt are the winners of the 2015 Westside Awards, presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

The winners will be honored at the annual Westside Awards Breakfast on Thursday, April 2, at Salty’s on Alki, 1936 Harbor Ave. SW. The awards recognize success and innovation that contribute to the thriving economy of the West Seattle peninsula.

Keynote speaker, West Seattleite Mark Tabbutt, Chairman of Saltchuk, a Seattle-based diversified transportation company whose local companies include Foss Maritime, Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Carlile Transportation and Interstate Distributor. Mr. Tabbutt will speak about the region’s commercial and historical ties to Alaska, developments and opportunities in the maritime industry, and the exciting investments his companies are making in clean technologies.

The public is invited to the breakfast, which runs from 7:30 to 9 am. Tickets are $55 for Chamber members and $65 for non-members. Tables of 10 are $450. To attend, contact Lynn Dennis, Chamber CEO, at lynn@wschamber.com, or Dana Perreault, Board member, at red27engraving@gmail.com. To register online: wschamber.com/Awards

Selecting the 2015 Westside Award winners was a challenging task, says Dana Perreault, Board of Director and Awards Breakfast Committee Chair and owner, Red 27 Engraving. “We received more than 110 nominations for the 2015 Westside Awards, which sets an all-time record of participation,” he says “The decisions were difficult because we have so many truly outstanding businesses, nonprofits and individuals working in and supporting the West Seattle community.”

Here are mini-profiles of each recipient, including nominators’ comments:

Westside Business of the Year – Nucor Steel Seattle, Inc.
Nucor Steel, which has owned the Youngstown neighborhood plant since 2002, aims to take care of its customers by being the safest, highest quality, lowest cost, most productive and most profitable steel company in the world. The company is committed to doing this while also serving as cultural and environmental stewards in the community.

Challenging the rules of steelmaking, Nucor, the Northwest’s largest metal recycler, has moved away from the use of blast furnaces and has introduced arc furnaces and mini-mills. This allows 75 to 90 percent of its steel to come from recycled scrap metal. Nucor can transform 130 to 170 tons of scrap and iron into liquid steel in the time it takes to bake a cake.
Nucor contributes to many local organizations such as the West Seattle Food Bank, YMCA, Nature Consortium, South Seattle College, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, Highland Park Improvement Club and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

Prioritizing safety above all and promoting a culture that empowers its workforce to constantly improve business processes, Nucor also serves as a gatekeeper to West Seattle and community pillar, offering tours and allowing its more than 300 employees opportunities to volunteer for and otherwise support local organizations during work hours.

“I’ve worked for the mill for 25-plus years, and I’ve seen them do a lot of good in my community,” wrote nominator Gretchen Heiden. “Nucor has a vested interest in keeping West Seattle a desirable place to live and work that goes way beyond monetary rewards. I’m lucky to be able to commute round trip every day less than 10 miles and to work for such a conscientious company.”

Westside Emerging Business – Meeples Games
Open since May 2014, Meeples Games, a tabletop game store located between the Admiral and Alaska junctions, has created a space for people of all ages to hang out. With an extensive game collection that appeals to all levels and ages, Meeples also provides snacks and food for purchase at its café.

The idea is to serve families with a safe, fun place to play, compete, enjoy each other, meet with friends, drop by after school and connect with others in the community. From the youngest to the oldest, Meeples is a site for laughing, strategic thinking, competition and interaction.

“More than anything. Meeples Games is a place for families and individuals to gather and have fun,” wrote nominator Nicole McAllister. “Everything they do supports kids and adults having fun together, as a community. They are always trying to bring people together by hosting events — Pokémon for kids, Netrunner for adults and Nerd Speed Dating for singles, just to name a few. They are constantly working with the community, based on the needs of the community.”

Westside Not-For-Profit of the Year – Southwest Seattle Historical Society
The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which began in 1984 and has operated out of its “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum on Alki since 1997, is instrumental in the preservation of important West Seattle landmarks with an eye on making them relevant and important to a new generation. Examples include the Admiral Theater, for which the historical society led a successful landmark campaign in 1989, and Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead, whose new owner Dennis Schilling partnered with the historical society to forge and recently announce a restoration plan.

With last June’s unveiling of the 1966 Admiral totem pole at the museum and the most successful Champagne Gala Brunch for the organization last November, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society has had a great year, providing a foundation to cherish and preserve all things West Seattle so that local children can inherit a strong sense of community.

“The historical society has grown in members and volunteers, enabling more programs, exhibits and events that showcase West Seattle people and places that bring our unique heritage into the foreground for people of all ages,” wrote nominator Edie Neeson. “This kind of energy and dedication is infectious and makes our community stronger. It opens opportunities for disparate people and groups.”

Westsider of the Year – James (Jim) Jackson
Jim Jackson, who founded his CPA firm on Vashon Island in 1980, found he had so many clients in West Seattle that he moved to the neighborhood in 1987 and grew to become Jackson, Morgan & Hunt, PLLC. For more than 35 years, Jackson has been highly respected in peer reviews and among Seattle business executives, and his firm has been a proud employer of CPA professionals who demonstrate excellence.

In 1982, Jackson syndicated Royal Bluff Orchards in the eastern Washington town of Royal City, and as managing member and CEO, he developed more than 225 acres of farmland. Jackson joined the West Seattle YMCA board in 1995 and for 20 years has spearheaded its fundraising efforts and provided management guidance. He also helped create First Sound Bank, another West Seattle employer and respected financial institution.

Jackson, his wife, C.R. Hendrick, and his CPA firm have long supported community organizations such as ArtsWest and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

“These unsung accomplishments and demonstrated leadership efforts have helped West Seattle grow and prosper over the past three-and-a-half decades,” wrote nominator Josh Sutton. “Jim’s impact on our business community, along with countless people who are employed here, has been very profound and is much appreciated.”

Early registration for next Thursday’s awards breakfast ends tomorrow – go here to sign up.

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BIZNOTES: West Seattle Brewing update; EcoBeauty closes http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/biznotes-west-seattle-brewing-update-ecobeauty-closes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/biznotes-west-seattle-brewing-update-ecobeauty-closes/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 18:24:56 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=304801 Two biznotes this morning, the first one a followup on an item from our Friday mega-roundup of food/drink notes:

WEST SEATTLE BREWING UPDATE: After its abrupt, unexplained closure some days ago, we had inquiries out, as noted in the aforementioned Friday roundup. Early this morning, we heard back from West Seattle Brewing‘s Drew Locke, who tells WSB via e-mail that it will reopen:

I am working on implementing espresso to our offerings and closed while we use the opportunity to finish employing/testing our 7BBL brew system (quintuple the production capacity we’ve employed since our inception), prepping for the addition of wine/cider & food as well, and finishing some construction elements that have gone to the wayside as I’ve had to bartend 60 hours/week over the past year.

No timeline was mentioned – we’re asking in a followup.

ECOBEAUTY SALON-SPA CLOSES: Thanks to Rick for the tip that this salon north of Morgan Junction has closed after more than 4 years; its website confirms the closure, and “For Lease” signs are already up at the 6040 California SW location. Proprietor Christina said on Facebook that she’s joining CoCo and Co. and that other stylists are “going to fabulous new salons in West Seattle.”

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West Seattle Thriftway anniversary party revs up with Ladies Night http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/west-seattle-thriftways-anniversary-party-revs-up-with-ladies-night/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/west-seattle-thriftways-anniversary-party-revs-up-with-ladies-night/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 09:57:05 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=304461

As West Seattle Thriftway kicked off its 27th anniversary celebration this week, it brought back an event that was a huge hit last year – Ladies Night. Above, Thriftway’s Kolleen, Michele, and Gina played host for the throng who came to shop, sip, taste, and otherwise have fun:

Other local businesses and organizations were part of the party – below, Heather and Nancy from Illusions Hair Design:

Chris and Shelly from Sound Yoga:

Sandy and Danielle from ArtsWest:

The big basket of eggs was a reminder that Easter is just two weeks away – preceded as always by the big egg hunt at Thriftway:

This year, that’ll be Saturday, April 4th. Meantime, Thriftway’s anniversary sale continues through the end of March.

*West Seattle Thriftway, Illusions Hair Design, Sound Yoga, and ArtsWest are all current WSB sponsors.

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