Followup: Seattle, Tacoma ports ‘relieved’ by tentative contract deal

February 21, 2015 at 7:23 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

One day after the tentative contract agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association (terminal operators) was announced, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma have sent their official comment:

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are relieved to hear of the tentative deal between the ILWU and PMA.

Operations at our terminals will resume Saturday evening. We are uncertain how long it will take to move the remaining cargo on our docks and awaiting vessels, and to assess the effects this has had on our gateway.

Our combined ports support more than 200,000 jobs throughout the region, many of them depending on the freight moving through our terminals.

We will do everything we can to support our customers in getting this gateway back to our high standards of reliability and efficiency. shows no container ships at anchor in Elliott Bay right now, but three off Manchester, a holding zone for Tacoma. No word, meantime, when ratification votes will happen.

Dock dispute: Tentative contract agreement announced by union, terminal operators

February 20, 2015 at 8:26 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

(Prague Express, photographed by David Hutchinson on 2/13/2015, one of several days it spent at anchor)
8:26 PM: After more than half a year without a contract, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has reached a tentative agreement with the West Coast terminal operators, according to this joint announcement sent out by both sides (from the Pacific Maritime Association here and the ILWU here):

The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union today announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports. The deal was reached with assistance from U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh. The parties will not be releasing details of the agreement at this time. The agreement is subject to ratification by both parties.

“After more than nine months of negotiations, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry,” said PMA President James McKenna and ILWU President Bob McEllrath in a joint statement. “We are also pleased that our ports can now resume full operations.”

More to come. (Thanks to Verne for the tip.)

ADDED 10:48 PM: Mayor Murray‘s reaction, sent to us and other local-news organizations:

The agreement reached between the ILWU and the PMA is good news for our region’s economy and the tens of thousands of jobs and economic activity that depend on our west coast ports. I want to thank the work of Secretary Perez to help bring both sides together to find an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry. I also want to thank the tireless efforts of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti, who helped to organize my west coast colleagues over the last few weeks to support the negotiations. Together, we did everything we could to encourage the two parties to come to a fair agreement and get our ports moving again.

Biznote: West Seattle Runner’s new location opens this weekend

February 18, 2015 at 7:47 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(WSB photo, taken this afternoon)
The new location of West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) at 2743 California SW, about a mile north of its original location, is almost ready to go, and the grand opening is set for this weekend, 10 am-6 pm Saturday and 11 am-5 pm Sunday. WSR’s Lori McConnell says vendors will be on site – Asics, Adidas, Saucony, Mizuno, Superfeet, GU/Probar/Protec on Saturday, Hoka and Pearl Izumi and Goretex on Sunday. They’re also planning raffle prizes including shoes and activity trackers as well as gifts available with purchases, plus an 8 am group run set for Sunday (“complete with coffee and donuts afterward, and raffle prizes!” says Lori). The new ground-floor space – for which WSR is the first tenant – is being shared with Elite Sports and Spine, which will be opening early next month, with an open house of its own, but will also have reps on hand during WSR’s grand opening. We first reported the WSR move back in November; the new location has about a third more space than the Charlestown Center space in which WSR launched almost five years ago.

Local biznote: West Seattle Art Nest open north of The Junction

February 17, 2015 at 12:45 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

We’ve had big conversations in recent days (here and here) about businesses coming to the new developments in The Junction. Today, our biznote is about a new enterprise getting ready to open in an existing building just north of The Junction: West Seattle Art Nest. Its proprietor Karen Crane is hoping to be open at 4138 California SW by the first week of March.

(WS Art Nest proprietors’ kids “helping with the paint job” – photo courtesy Karen Crane)
West Seattle Art Nest will be the first drop-in art studio for children since Young at Art closed last June in Fairmount Springs (where it moved after its original location made way for the Junction 47 project), and Crane says Young at Art’s proprietor Theresa Anderson will be part of the new studio, “bringing her creativity and art expertise to WS Art Nest, as Art Facilitator Extrordinaire.” WS Art Nest will offer “drop-in-studio-style art, after-school art, specialty classes, camps, birthday parties … a paint splatter room, play area for the little ones, recycle crafting, and much more.” The website isn’t done yet but you can check this Facebook page for updates.

Dock dispute: Terminals closed again today; labor secretary plans meetings in San Francisco

February 16, 2015 at 11:16 am | In Seen at sea, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

Two notes on the ongoing contract-talks stalemate between West Coast port-terminal operators and longshore workers:

(Northeastward view over ships anchored off Manchester; photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
TERMINALS CLOSED AGAIN TODAY: Today is the fourth day (of the past five) that terminals remain closed to ship offloading by order of the Pacific Maritime Association, the umbrella organization for terminal operators on the West Coast. So far, they’re expected to reopen tomorrow; that could mean major truck traffic on roads to local terminals, such as lower Spokane St. and East Marginal, which backed up last Friday when terminals reopened after the first day of closure. Nine cargo ships are anchored off Seattle and Manchester today, as shown on (and in the photos with this story)

(Bulk-cargo ships anchored off Magnolia, seen from West Seattle; photo by Chris Panarello; [added Tuesday] note – commenter points out the grain terminal is not part of the current situation)
LABOR SECRETARY IN SAN FRANCISCO TOMORROW: There’s an update today on the plan for U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez to intervene by talking with the PMA and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union: The Bay Area’s NBC station reports via Twitter that Perez will meet with both sides in San Francisco tomorrow. No details yet.

Dock dispute: No ship unloading the next three days, as contract-talks stalemate continues

February 13, 2015 at 11:37 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photo, taken this morning from Seacrest)
Tonight the status of the contract-talks stalemate between longshore workers and West Coast terminal operators is as murky as the Elliott Bay fog was this morning, when we photographed the Prague Express (still anchored in the bay per, as are three bulk-cargo ships). After allowing offloading operations today, the Pacific Maritime Association‘s members say they will again close the docks for the next three days rather than pay weekend/holiday rates to International Longshore and Warehouse Union members whom they accuse of a deliberate slowdown. The ILWU, meantime, has made public a letter of support from three Seattle City Council membersMike O’Brien, Nick Licata, and Kshama Sawant – calling the temporary shutdown a “destructive negotiating tactic.” The Wall Street Journal reports that a federal mediator had separate meetings with both sides today. Also today, as noted in our morning traffic coverage, trucks backed up on streets approaching Seattle terminals, including S. Spokane St. and East Marginal, following yesterday’s one-day shutdown.

Nomination time! West Seattle Chamber of Commerce awaits your nominees for Business of the Year, Emerging Business, Not-For-Profit of the Year, Westsider of the Year

February 13, 2015 at 11:42 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Give some love to your favorite West Seattle business, nonprofit, and community leaders – nominate one or more for the 2015 Westside Awards, to be presented April 3rd by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. You do NOT need to be a member to make a nomination – nor does your nominee have to be a member to win. First, here are the categories, from the Chamber’s announcement today:

Westside Business of the Year – This nominee has been in business at least 3 years and demonstrated business excellence and success.

Westside Emerging Business – This nominee has been in business for less than 3 years but is meeting the challenges of a growing business through leadership.

Westside Not-For-Profit of the Year – This nominee Not-for-Profit is making our community a better place to live while contributing to community benefit through their mission.

Westsider of the Year – This nominee is making a lasting impact on our community and the lives of or is an up-and-coming community role model.

And here’s how to make a nomination (or, more than one!)

Nominations are accepted online through the Westside Awards Nomination Form.

A separate form must be submitted for each category.

Please take a few minutes before March 15th to submit the form and help us recognize the most outstanding contributions.

Here’s our coverage of last year’s ceremony.

Dock-talks update: Terminal operators shutting down ship offloading today, 3 of next 4 days

February 12, 2015 at 9:16 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 22 Comments

As the contract-talks stalemate continues at West Coast ports, the Pacific Maritime Association says terminal operators will do for four more days what it did last weekend – suspend offloading of ships. Those days are today, Saturday, Sunday, Monday – holiday/weekend days when longshore workers would be paid at a higher rate. The announcement from the PMA also takes issue with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union‘s claim earlier this month that the two sides are close. In response, the ILWU issued this statement alleging the PMA “grossly mischaracterize(d)” the union’s “current bargaining position” and saying the employers had canceled a negotiating session set for yesterday afternoon.

Followup: Port has signed Terminal 5 lease with Foss Maritime; Shell vessels expected as soon as April

February 11, 2015 at 7:19 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 17 Comments

(January 2015 photo of Terminal 5 by Long Bach Nguyen)
The lease is signed and Shell’s drilling fleet is expected to start arriving at West Seattle’s Terminal 5 as soon as April. That’s according to a spokesperson for Foss Maritime, who shared the letter in which the Port of Seattle announced its decision to sign the lease for 50 of T-5′s 156 acres, despite concerns voiced by a coalition of environmental advocates. The letter signed by Port CEO Ted Fick mentions the lease is for $550,000 a month for two years, with two one-year extension options. Here’s the letter (if you can’t read it embedded below, try the PDF version):

The coalition addressed in that letter sent a letter of its own after an event at Jack Block Park two weeks ago (WSB coverage here) that suggested possible legal action if the Port went ahead with the lease. In addition to environmental concerns, both for Puget Sound and the Arctic, other issues included the then-potential lease came to light only days before the Port Commission was briefed on it – as reported here January 13, that briefing included direction from three of the five commissioners for staff to continue negotiating the lease. Terminal 5 has been empty since the Port closed it six months ago in preparation for a modernization program (though its details have not yet been finalized). More to come…

West Seattle biznote: Thunder Road Guitars booming, seeking bigger spot – and suggestions!

February 9, 2015 at 12:37 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

(King County photo)
Can you help Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) upsize? Proprietor Frank Gross explains, “We are busting at the seams in our current location, looking for a larger storefront in West Seattle and are having a tough time finding something that suites our needs. We currently have 800 square foot and ideally would like double the size.” Maybe even a trade, Frank says: “If someone with a larger space is looking to downsize, we would be open to swapping.” Thunder Road Guitars opened at 3916 California SW more than two years ago after being online-only for its first year. If you have a suggestion (or offer!) for Frank, e-mail him at

VAIN, your ‘one-stop style shop’: Welcome, new WSB sponsor!

February 9, 2015 at 9:59 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 17 Comments

We’re welcoming one of our newest WSB sponsors, VAIN, a “one-stop style shop” in The Junction. New local sponsors get the chance to let you know what they’re all about, and here’s what VAIN wants you to know:

VAIN is a locally-owned hair salon and boutique located in the heart of the Junction. We opened our West Seattle doors in late 2011. Several of our employees are West Seattle residents, some born and raised! We love this neighborhood. We have two other locations- one in Ballard and one downtown. We have been a Seattle style-exploration destination since 1996.

If you’re looking for a great hair salon where style exploration is encouraged, VAIN is the place to go. We want every client to feel comfortable trying whatever look they want, whether it’s a basic, easy-to-manage haircut, new highlights, or having bright pink hair for the first time at 50 (it happens!). We love helping our clients love their hair and feel like it truly expresses their sense of personal style. We also carry great accessories, hair products, locally made items, fun jewelry and more. We’re a one-stop style shop!

Clients seek out VAIN for a lot of reasons – our talented and highly skilled staff of hairdressers, our reputation for being a creative environment, our active community involvement, and our boutique full of great jewelry, accessories, hair products and locally made items. All of that is also what keeps clients coming back; plus, our hairstylists create meaningful relationships with their clients. It’s wonderful to see people’s looks evolve over the years in the same stylist’s chair.

We hope that our clients’ interaction changes their lives by helping them feel great about their hair, safe to explore new styles if they want to, and good about supporting a local business that is active in its neighborhood and community. VAIN supports many local organizations, including Planned Parenthood Northwest and YouthCare (read here about VAIN’s “Week for YouthCare“). VAIN is open in West Seattle seven days a week at 4513 California SW, 206.535.2595.

We thank VAIN 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.

West Seattle biznotes: Pink Gorilla Games goes; Radio Shacks stay

February 6, 2015 at 4:24 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

Two quick biznotes:

PINK GORILLA GAMES: No longer in West Seattle, after 3 years at 6053 California SW in Morgan Junction. On the company’s Facebook page, they told a customer their landlord had sold the building and that they have no plans to look for another WS location. They’re still open in the International District, University District, and Bellevue. Thanks to Katt for the flag on the store’s disappearance. (WSB file photo from 2012)

RADIO SHACK: In case you were wondering (we were) – the company’s out with a list of locations that might close because of its bankruptcy, and the list does NOT include either of its two West Seattle locations, in The Junction and Westwood Village.

Dock talks reach pivotal point: Terminal operators make ‘all-in’ offer; ILWU says the two sides are ‘extremely close’

February 5, 2015 at 10:15 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 20 Comments

(January 2015 photo by James Bratsanos – cargo ships anchored off Manchester, a holding zone for Tacoma)
Depending on how you interpret what the two sides in the Seattle-and-beyond West Coast dock talks are saying right now, a deal – or a port shutdown – could be close. It’s been more than half a year since the International Longshore and Warehouse Union‘s contract with the terminal operators, under the umbrella of the Pacific Maritime Association, expired. The PMA says it made an offer Wednesday that it calls “all-in” – detailed here. The ILWU describes the two sides as “extremely close” and says it’s “dropped” some issues in hopes of a resolution. But the organizations’ respective statements indicate continuing disagreement over what’s led to loaded freighters waiting at anchor and trucks backing up from the docks – the PMA continues to allege “ILWU slowdowns” while the union alleges the problem is an “employer-caused congestion crisis.” In a video linked from the PMA website, its president James McKenna claimed West Coast ports are as little as a week from “collapse” and says the offer is “as far as we can go at this time.” ILWU president Robert McEllrath, meantime, says, ““Closing the ports at this point would be reckless and irresponsible.”

Happening now: School of Rock-West Seattle’s grand-opening party

January 31, 2015 at 2:43 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off

They’ve got rhythm! Our quick Instagram clip shows kids getting a demo drumming lesson from teacher Daisy at the grand-opening party for School of Rock-West Seattle (WSB sponsor).

Other demos and live performances are planned, along with door prizes and enrollment discounts, as the party continues through 6 pm at 4701 41st SW (outer east side of Jefferson Square, just south of SW Alaska).

P.S. If you’re a food-truck fan, the Cheese Wizards truck is there until 4.

West Seattle Chamber of Commerce: 2014 review, 2015 vision

January 30, 2015 at 11:47 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off

It was time for the changing of the guard at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual meeting Thursday at The Sanctuary at Admiral – in our top photo, with Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis (center) are outgoing board chair Nancy Woodland of WestSide Baby and incoming board chair Hamilton Gardiner of Holmquist & Gardiner, PLLC. 2014 achievements reviewed at the meeting include a 10 percent increase in membership, to 165; more than 20 events presented, including lunch meetings featuring topics from business strategy to transportation issues (with guests from Metro, Sound Transit, and the Port of Seattle) to networking; and even a community cleanup, in the Walking on Logs area alongside the southwest side of the West Seattle Bridge. After lunch, attendees brainstormed for the year ahead:

Chamber leaders say members have made it clear that business networking and mutual support is the major reason they join and participate, so that’ll be an increasing focus for 2015. If you’re a local business owner/supporter and interested in membership, find info – and the schedule for upcoming Chamber events, including the monthly “After Hours” mixers at local businesses – at

P.S. Other Chamber board officers for 2015 are vice chair Elizabeth Pluhta from South Seattle College (WSB sponsor); treasurer Ryan Letson from Jackson, Morgan & Hunt, PLLC (WSB sponsor); and recording secretary Paul Prentice from Prentice Design.

School of Rock-West Seattle: Welcome, new WSB sponsor!

January 26, 2015 at 3:51 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Grand-opening day is less than a week away for School of Rock-West Seattle, one of our newest sponsors. As a new local sponsor, they get the chance to introduce themselves to you, and here’s what School of Rock-West Seattle would like you to know:

Residing in a residential neighborhood, School of Rock is an ingenious concept that gets kids and adults rocking out to the classics and on stage performing with their peers. Music programs are designed to create a supportive environment where music students of all skill levels are comfortable yet challenged at every turn. In addition to individual private music instruction on guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards and/or drums, students also learn how to jam with their peers in a weekly rehearsal session.

West Seattle will be operated by former School of Rock instructor Phil Gustavson along with father Bob Gustavson and close friend Eric Muhs, each musicians, passionate youth advocates, and educators. Phil’s lifelong love of music began at an early age playing piano and falling asleep in the booths of clubs listening to his father’s bands. At age 12 he picked up a guitar, and his musical journey continued into adulthood as he produced small, all-ages concerts for local bands and played in various bands in his hometown of Richland, WA. After a horrific car accident in 2001, he lost use of his arm for a time and his ability to play guitar was tested. But from hardship came new dedication and he vowed to pursue his passion for music and education.

Following graduation from The Evergreen State College, Phil formed the Seattle area gypsy jazz group Hochiwichi and found a part time job teaching at The Seattle School of Rock. He rose the ranks from teacher to Assistant GM while earning two Master’s Degrees from Antioch University, which gave him the tools to become the operator of his own School of Rock.

“For the past six years I have had so much fun introducing students to music and I’ve seen firsthand how this place can impact kids in positive ways,” said Phil, “I’m thrilled to be bringing School of Rock to West Seattle families. It is such an enriching and creative environment that benefits not just the students but the community.”

All School of Rock programs are performance-based and emphasize the message that music is not just about playing an instrument; it’s about teamwork, building confidence, and creating leaders. The first stage is “School of Rock 101,” teaching basic skills through 45-minute private lessons and 90-minute group sessions. Next, students reach the main program, the heart and soul of School of Rock – the “Performance Program.” This stage consists of 45-minute private lessons and a final show. The students are cast in songs and rehearse them each week, preparing for a blowout concert in front of a real live audience.

Additionally, School of Rock also offers 5-day intensive summer, spring break, and winter camps, involving rehearsals with a big show at the end. These 5-day intensive camps are guaranteed to transform a wanna-be into a true rock performer.  School of Rock also recently launched an adult performance program and a preschool program called “Little Wing.”

Through School of Rock’s “Guest Performer Series,” students have the opportunity to learn from and jam with some of music’s most iconic names, including Matt Cameron, drummer from Soundgarden and Pearl Jam; Jon Anderson, lead vocalist from the legendary rock band Yes; Earl Slick, David Bowie’s guitarist; seminal post-punk bass player Mike Watt; and collaborator of the groundbreaking pop-rock duo The Eurythmics, Dave Stewart.

The grand opening for School of Rock-West Seattle is this Saturday, January 31st, 1-6 pm; pre-registration discounts are available now. Regular hours at 4701 41st SW will be Monday through Thursday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm. For more information, please call 206-294-3175.

We thank School of Rock-West Seattle 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.

What’s next for the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce? Annual meeting Thursday; early-registration deadline today

January 26, 2015 at 2:43 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off

What should the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce focus on in 2015? That’s one of the topics in the spotlight at the annual meeting this Thursday (January 29th), and the Chamber says both members and nonmembers are invited. The catered luncheon starts at 11:30 am at the city-landmark Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander); if you sign up by the end of today, you’re eligible for the early-registration discounted rate of $25 member/$35 non-member. Go here to register online.

West Seattle biznote: Happy anniversary, Fitness Together!

January 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm | In Health, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Happy 8th anniversary to Fitness Together-West Seattle (longtime WSB sponsor)! In the photo above, that’s FT-WS proprietor Bonnie Katz Sailors (center) and her team, based in a personal-training studio at 4546 California SW in The Junction. Announcing the anniversary on the FT-WS Facebook page, Bonnie and team said, “We started with a boom in 2007 and it’s been an incredible journey ever since. We always strive for an awesome team of trainers, and we are very proud of all the clients who make the big leap to come through our doors. We know it’s not easy!! A huge THANK YOU to all the clients and trainers who have made this studio a place to be proud of!!”

No port-truck backups today. So what happens now?

January 16, 2015 at 9:29 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

That more-routine lineup of trucks around 8:30 this morning, near the entrance to T-18, was the last one we saw today, after the city and port announced and took steps to head off any threat of a third day of backups onto the West Seattle Bridge and surface streets. By afternoon, when we checked again pre-commute, even that terminal-entrance lane was empty. So what now? No official updates from SDOT or the Port, but Councilmember Tom Rasmussen told WSB tonight, “SDOT has advised me that the Port and City will continue the work and changes that were implemented today through Thursday. Of course, I want to know the plans for after next Thursday.”

Earlier in the day, ILWU Local 19 sent a news release (read it here) saying it had an even simpler suggestion: “The terminal operators, including Stevedoring Services of America at T18, need to immediately address the daytime traffic problems in Seattle by shifting operations to service trucks at night as well as days. It really is that simple,” according to Local 19 vice president Jason Gross. The schedule changes were mentioned in this ILWU news release we linked in our Thursday coverage; the terminal operators announced the nighttime cuts in this January 2nd news release. And while their contract negotiations continue, both sides got a letter today from more than 170 business organizations, reports CNBC, urging them to reach an agreement. The letter – which you can see here – says in part:

… Sales of American exports remain clouded in uncertainty across Asia and our overseas competitors eagerly highlight the problems at West Coast ports as a reason not to purchase American made or grown products. …

Please consider allaying the growing concerns of the many thousands of businesses and millions of jobs which rely on West Coast ports for orderly and timely supply chain operations by working together to conclude the ongoing contract negotiations so we can then address the congestion issues at key West Coast ports. …

At least nine Washington state organizations are among the signers.

What you might see at West Seattle’s now-empty Terminal 5, as soon as March

January 10, 2015 at 10:21 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 25 Comments

(December 2014 photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
When the Port of Seattle‘s Terminal 5 in West Seattle shut down last July, the vast empty space visible from the bridge caused doubletakes for weeks – no ships, no containers, no trucks. The modernization project expected to put it back into use is still at least three years – and up to a quarter-billion dollars – away from completion. But the port had said it was looking for interim uses, and this Tuesday, its commission will be briefed on what is apparently its most-likely prospect: Leasing space to Foss Maritime for projects including homeporting and supplying Arctic-drilling and support vessels for Shell and handling components for an LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant planned near Prince Rupert, B.C.

The port’s been talking to Foss about this since before Terminal 5 closed last July, according to a memo by Seaport Managing Director Linda Styrk and Deputy CEO Kurt Beckett, published with the commission agenda that went online last Thursday – the T-5 details start on page 5:

The memo says the drilling support would involve homeporting eight vessels from fall through spring, until they head for summer work in Alaska, and handling equipment and supplies for the fleet.

(While the specific vessels are not mentioned, Shell vessels have come through Seattle before, for work at nearby Vigor – most notably two that had trouble later in Alaskan waters, the drill rigs Kulluk and Noble Discoverer, which were to come back in 2013 but were taken to Asia instead.)

In addition to the potential oil/gas exploration and LNG plant component work, the Port memo says, “Foss has identified additional prospects for breakbulk and bulk business” that it could add, possibly even including work for the port itself, involving helping get “… 100,000 tons of aggregates to Sea-Tac’s center runway repaving project. Vessels would deliver aggregates to T-5, where they would be transported to SeaTac International Airport over the road in a manner that would reduce air emissions and regional traffic congestion versus traditional routes.”

But to get any of this going, according to the memo, the port has to move fast, because Foss might need the space as soon as March and would need to start work ASAP on “tenant improvements” (though, as this Seattle Times report also notes, it has not yet won the contract for the LNG project). So this is all on the agenda for Tuesday’s commission meeting, 1 pm at the Sea-Tac Airport Conference Center. Commissioner Stephanie Bowman had told the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce in October that T-5 is “not going to be empty for long,” and now it appears that’s true.

P.S. The slide deck for Tuesday’s meeting also touches on the plans to deepen both waterways at Harbor Island; the timeline for that work is much further into the future, listed now as 2021-2025 for the West Waterway, which T-5 fronts.

Blue Dot Industries: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor

January 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Today we welcome Blue Dot Industries as a new member of the WSB sponsor team. Here’s what they want you to know:

Blue Dot Industries offers general contracting services, with affordable / competitive pricing, and with customer appreciation for the integrity in their business practices: “We ALWAYS guarantee our work.”

Licensed General Contractor Max Hewson and Interior Designer/Operations Manager Bernadette Stone are the Blue Dot Industries team. Max is a master carpenter and licensed electrician with 30 years’ experience building and renovating residential and industrial facilities.

Since they do most of the work, especially with the initial contact and discussions, their customers don’t also have to deal with a middleman – you’re always dealing with Max or Bernadette. While they have only been in West Seattle for a few years, Max is a Washington native, having grown up in the Grays Harbor area, then living and working in Snohomish County for most of his adult life.

Blue Dot Industries prides itself on referrals via word of mouth from happy customers who tell them that in the end, “we have built what they have imagined.” Read more about what they do here; see some of their work here. Call Blue Dot Industries at 206-948-9724, or send them a message by going here.

We thank Blue Dot Industries 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.

West Seattle biznote: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW expands into Pierce County

January 5, 2015 at 9:44 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Another expansion for West Seattle-headquartered Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (WSB sponsor): CEO Mike Gain will formally announce tomorrow that BHHSNW is expanding into Pierce County by acquiring Puyallup-based Prudential Contact Corporation, REALTORS. It’s a full-service brokerage founded in 1982. The acquisition means BHHSNW now has eight offices in the region, and is looking to expand further. Its West Seattle HQ is in the office building on the north side of Jefferson Square.

West Seattle holidays: Shop local! Special hours as Christmas nears

December 19, 2014 at 4:39 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Holiday-shopping procrastinator? (We are.) More than a few of your independent local West Seattle businesses are offering extra/special hours in these last few days before Christmas. Here’s what we’ve heard from stores so far – mostly sponsors, but we’re happy to share news from any local indie store with extra hours/etc. until Christmas – e-mail us, and look for updates this weekend!

*Thunder Road Guitars (3916 California SW) is adding extra hours in the days leading up to Christmas – 12-5 pm Sunday and 11 am-5 pm Monday. Offering “beginner instruments for the aspiring rocker” this holiday season for the first time, too.

*Click! Design That Fits is open until 8 tonight, and will be open Christmas Eve 10 am-5 pm for your last-last-minute shopping.

*Emerald Water Anglers (42nd/Oregon) has some extras this weekend – Santa will be “in the store tomorrow (Saturday) from 11-2 for DIY images, and donations are going to Wild Steelhead Coalition.” Then on Sunday, Edie is in-store with bluegrass 3-6 pm, “bring in a beverage and hang out a bit while you shop.” EWA has lots of outdoor merchandise, not only for, well, anglers.

*Curious Kidstuff (4740 California SW) – West Seattle’s only all-toy store is open until 7 pm tonight; other hours on the website.

*Wyatt’s Jewelers (Westwood Village) – Open until 6 tonight, added noon-4 pm Sunday.

*VAIN (4513 California SW) – This new addition to the WSB sponsor team is not only a salon, it’s also a shop for art and accessories. Open tonight until 8.

*JF Henry Cooking and Dining (4445 California SW) – Open until 6 tonight. Some of their hottest new items are listed here.

*Alki Surf Shop (2622 Alki SW) – Open until 6 tonight, noon-6 both days this weekend. Note the local-logo merch!

*Junction True Value (44th/Edmunds) – open until 7 pm tonight, gift ideas and hours online.


*CAPERS (4525 California SW) – Open daily through Christmas Eve (latest info here). Help fill all the wishes for the Hickman House domestic-violence shelter giving tree (above)!

*Atomic Boys – Open until 6 tonight, 10-6 tomorrow, plus 10-5 this Sunday and 10-2 Christmas Eve.

*Easy Street Records (California/Alaska) – Saturday 4-8 pm, come get your photo taken with Cocoa Cris Cringle during his annual visit – details on the ESR website. (added) ESR will be open 9 am-5 pm on Christmas Eve, with the café open its usual 7 am-3 pm schedule that day too.

*The Beer Junction (4511 California SW) – Will be open Christmas Eve, 10 am-7 pm.

(added) Avalon Glassworks (2914 SW Avalon Way) – Open regular hours until Christmas Eve – on that day, open 10 am-3 pm.

West Seattle Cellars (6026 California SW) – 11 am-7 pm daily through Christmas Eve, except for Sunday (noon-5 pm).

(back to original text) WHAT’S UP WITH YOUR SHOP IN THE FINAL DAYS OF SHOPPING SEASON? Let us know for our updates over the next few days, and for the shopping section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.

West Seattle holiday scene: Happy anniversary, HomeStreet Bank

December 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

HomeStreet Bank is celebrating its 1st anniversary at 40th/Alaska in The Junction, and Santa was the star of the party (pictured above, manager Melodie Van Houten with “Santa Al”). They’re just wrapping up three hours of free photos, photographed by longtime local pro Gail Ann. A decoration on the tree caught our attention:

We’re told that little Seahawks “piggy bank” is available if you stop by and show a ticket to a Seahawks home game – if you hadn’t already figured out from Melodie’s jersey (it is “Blue Friday,” after all), the ‘Hawks are big at HomeStreet – you can also get team-themed checks and cards.

P.S. Next place to see “Santa Al” – JF Henry Cooking & Dining (4445 California SW; WSB sponsor) 10 am-1 pm tomorrow (Saturday, December 13th), bring your own camera, or $5 without one.

Alki Surf Shop: Aloha, new West Seattle Blog sponsor!

December 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 44 Comments

Just in time for your local holiday shopping, we’re welcoming Alki Surf Shop to the WSB sponsor team. Here’s what they’d like you to know:

Ever since Alki Surf Shop opened, people have been asking, “What’s a surf shop doing at Alki Beach?” The standard answer is, “No waves, no worries.”* But there’s more to the story than that.

The owners, Kahuna Dave and Terri Nakamura, are both from Seattle. Terri grew up on Beacon Hill and Dave claims to hail from “the ancient Hawaiian kingdom of Burien.” Longtime veterans of the Seattle graphic design and advertising industry, they wanted to use their skills to launch a local business of their own – something fun. And what could be more fun than a surf shop, right in the heart of Seattle’s favorite beach?

Alki Surf Shop is a dream come true for us,” Terri says. “We’ve been able to create a unique, inviting experience to add to the Alki Beach neighborhood in West Seattle. People come in and say, ‘Wow, what a cute shop. How long have you been open?’”

The shop features their exclusive Genuine Alki brand tops, designed and produced in Seattle. A great selection of Alki gifts, including mugs, shot glasses, totes, cards, and wall art. Beach essentials, such as sunglasses, volleyballs and kites. Plus jewelry and cool new gifts for the holidays.

Kahuna Dave also wrote “The Alki Beach Song” and produced a short music video to go with it, which can be seen on YouTube:

It’s all part of the fun at one of West Seattle’s newest businesses, located at 2622 Alki Avenue SW (between Homefront Smoothies and Alki Beach Miniatures.) If you hear the sound of someone blowing a conch shell, you know you’re getting close. At the Alki Surf Shop, that’s how they say mahalo!

Alki Surf Shop can be found at and on Facebook at Or join them for a holiday Tweetup by following them at

We thank Alki Surf Shop 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.

*No waves, except…

Holiday biznote: West Seattle Fabric Company adds ‘gifts and goods,’ explaining ‘not everybody sews’

November 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
We hope you’re finding a multitude of reasons to shop at your local independent small businesses this holiday season (as well as the rest of the year!). Continuing our spotlight on many of those reasons, we stopped by West Seattle Fabric Company (in The Admiral District at 2210 California SW) this weekend after proprietor Monica Skov sent word that she’s added giftable merchandise “because not everybody sews” (you’ll see that on the sidewalk sign outside). The items she’s posing with are among the added lines – we found the beach-walking exhortation especially appropriate because we stopped in just after revisiting those wild waves at Alki. WSFC is open until 4 today, and expects to add more non-sewing “gifts and goods” in the days ahead, including West Seattle-themed merchandise.

P.S. Watch our West Seattle Holiday Guide for an ongoing list of shopping notes and highlights (including some local businesses’ online deals, too) as well as for the list of open houses still to come (if yours isn’t listed yet, send us info, plain-text e-mail at

West Seattle biznote: Happy anniversary, Thunder Road Guitars

November 28, 2014 at 2:31 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

On this extended holiday weekend, Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) is celebrating a two-part anniversary – three years in business online, two years in their store midway between Admiral and Alaska Junctions, at 3916 California SW. Proprietor Frank Gross shared the photo taken in the shop this morning and says they’re celebrating by offering you 15 percent off and (if needed) free shipping today and tomorrow. The shop’s open until 6 pm tonight, 10 am-6 pm Saturday.

P.S. We’ve been collecting shopping info for local stores – TRG and others – in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – just scroll until you see it!

« Previous PageNext Page »

All contents copyright 2005-2015, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^