West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle businesses http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 28 Apr 2015 06:32:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 BIZNOTE: Tony’s Market in Westwood will open this Friday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/biznote-tonys-market-in-westwood-will-open-this-friday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/biznote-tonys-market-in-westwood-will-open-this-friday/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:14:27 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308427

We finally have an answer to the question we’ve been asked most often these past several weeks: “When is the Tony’s Market produce stand at 35th and Barton opening for the season?” Since photographing the new tent almost three weeks ago, we’ve gone by every day, but no one’s been there. We finally spotted proprietor Joey Genzale outside the stand while driving by about an hour ago, so we changed course and stopped to ask him what’s up. First, the opening date: This Friday, May 1st. Second, why the delay? In addition to putting up the new tent, the parking lot needed some work. So if you’re a Tony’s fan, now you know.

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Congrats! International olive-oil award for West Seattle’s 11 Olives http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/congrats-international-olive-oil-award-for-west-seattles-11-olives/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/congrats-international-olive-oil-award-for-west-seattles-11-olives/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 00:45:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308352 You probably know West Seattle has a thriving wine and beer scene. Beverages are not all you’ll find bottled here. West Seattle also is home to olive-oil-maker Rick Martin‘s company 11 Olives – whose extra-virgin-olive-oil blend “Longevity” was a gold-medal honoree at the recent New York International Olive Oil Competition, which had more than 600 entries from more than 20 countries. “Longevity” is also a California Olive Oil Council medal-winner. Martin explains the process:

I travel to California each year for the olive harvest and source single varietal olive oil directly from the finest organic and sustainable olive growers in California. I begin crafting my blends from those olive oils in early spring here in west Seattle at a free-standing facility after the olive oil has settled and ready for blending. Creating a premium extra virgin olive oil is a tedious and challenging task while also being a labor of love that we all strive to perfect each and every year. There’s no resting on laurels in our field as olive oil producers face constant changing conditions and work tirelessly to provide the freshest and most flavorful olive oil with each new season.

P.S. Martin wanted to publicly thank West Seattle Produce owner Bruce McPherson: “It was through his kindness and willingness to offer us a chance to introduce our olive oils at his produce stand in April of 2011 that we have been able to grow.” That’s where you can buy 11 Olives’ olive oil.

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Glow [natural aesthetics] Medispa: New business, new WSB sponsor http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/glow-natural-aesthetics-medispa-new-business-new-wsb-sponsor/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/glow-natural-aesthetics-medispa-new-business-new-wsb-sponsor/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:39:05 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308158 We’re welcoming a brand-new West Seattle business as a new WSB sponsor today. Glow [natural aesthetics] Medispa invites you to its upcoming grand opening!

Glow [natural aesthetics] Medispa and Katherine Dee, MD, are proud to announce the grand opening of West Seattle’s first physician-run medical spa. We provide proven professional medical treatments, non-surgical procedures, and clinical skin-care products to optimize your natural glow. Dr. Dee works with each patient to design a personalized skin plan to enhance your natural beauty, preserve healthy skin and prevent premature aging.

Kate attended Yale for college and medical school, and training at UW and UCSF. She spent the past 16 years as a breast-cancer specialist, receiving Top Doc honors each year since 2011. Kate found her way to aesthetic medicine as a result of 2 intersecting passions: Science and beauty. In her 40s, she found her skin had finally caught up to her age. Active all her life and wanting to stay looking and feeling young, Kate began a dedicated education in aesthetic medicine. Armed with the skills and the knowledge, she decided to help others use the science for themselves. A board-certified physician, she is a member of the GSBA and the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine. Kate and her family have been a part of the West Seattle community for 15 years; she has long desired to practice in the area and is thrilled to be working in and with her community.

What Glow [natural aesthetics] Medispa hears most from our patients is that they want to “age gracefully.” They don’t want to look like they’ve had anything done, but they don’t want to look old! Our clients look refreshed, rested and rejuvenated, as if they have just returned from a relaxing vacation. We can successfully treat fine lines and wrinkles, sagginess, sun damage and pigment problems, spider veins and cherry angiomas, and skin tags. We do this with a range of tools: the right skin-care regimen, botulinum toxin treatment, dermal fillers, microdermabrasion, peels, radiofrequency treatment, microneedling, and PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) – this popular treatment has natural powerful growth factors that stimulate skin cells. Consultations are free!

Please join us for our big open house and to meet Kate (Dr. Dee) in person – there will be refreshments and opportunities to win raffle prizes! Saturday, May 2, 4-7 pm – 5400 California Ave SW.

We thank Glow [natural aesthetics] Medispa 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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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.


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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