Seattle Housing Authority not going ahead with ‘Stepping Forward’

December 16, 2014 at 8:20 pm | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

(WSB photo from High Point hearing on ‘Stepping Forward,” 9/29/2014)
Two and a half months after a High Point hearing dominated by vigorously protesting opponents, the Seattle Housing Authority is reported to have set aside its proposed “Stepping Forward” rent-increase plan. The Seattle Times (WSB partner) cites a letter from SHA director Andrew Lofton to Mayor Ed Murray (linked here), acknowledging “many questions and concerns about the availability of living-wage jobs for low-income people.” Lofton’s letter says SHA will work on a new rent-policy proposal that will “take at least a year” and likely won’t be ready before 2016.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car; Wyatt’s followup; package theft

December 16, 2014 at 7:13 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Three notes in West Seattle Crime Watch:


I’d appreciate folks keeping an eye out for my dark blue 2007 Saturn Vue SUV that was stolen last night. The license plate is ARD2720. There are Obama and Gonzaga stickers on the back window. It was stolen from my home near 38th Ave SW & SW Henderson between 7:45 pm (12/15) and 4:00 am this morning (12/16). A report was filed with Seattle Police.

WYATT’S BREAK-IN FOLLOWUP: As promised, we checked back with Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village, after a second break-in in nine days. Sacha sent a photo showing what they had to clean up:

No new info about the case yet – co-proprietor Kirk Keppler talked with a detective extensively this morning. And he talked with Channel 7 TV, who stopped by for an interview this afternoon.

PACKAGE THEFT: Bonnie believes a thief hit her house on Monday morning:

Possible package theft at North Admiral. As I drove away from my home to take my child to school, I noticed a UPS truck in front of my house. I was anticipating a package, so I thought it was for me. When I returned (maybe 7 minutes later) nothing was on my porch. Checked online to see if anything had been delivered, and sure enough at 9:15 my package was left. I’ve reported to SPD.

P.S. The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council is taking December off – tonight would have been the monthly meeting, as the third Tuesday – but expecting to be back next month, on January 20th.

Happening now: Craft sale, basket raffle, dining benefit at Angelina’s for young local athletes

December 16, 2014 at 5:23 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | No Comments

Haven’t decided what to do for dinner yet? Kathleen sends word of an option with a side benefit – literally:

Fundraiser happening tonight at Angelina’s Restaurant to benefit Washington State’s ONLY Sport Acrobatic Team! Proceeds will help our athletes represent Seattle and WA in competitions. Basket raffle and craft sale happening now!

Raffle basket items include Microsoft Office for Home & Business, a Kindle Paperwhite, wine, gourmet food, baking supplies and much, much more. Crafts, handmade by the athletes are also for sale. Angelina’s is donating 10% of tonight’s receipts. Come in for some great food and to help some great young female athletes! The Acro teams are part of West Seattle’s own West Side Gymnastics Academy. Open until 2 am!

You can even stop by to check out the raffle and craft sale without dining/drinking, if need be. Angelina’s is at 2311 California SW.

What do you think about growth? How can Seattle encourage affordable housing? These and other questions …

December 16, 2014 at 2:32 pm | In Development, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news, West Seattle online | 31 Comments

The city’s been running online surveys in abundance lately. This one, though, speaks to topics that we cover often here on WSB, and after going through its questions and open-comment spaces, we thought you might be interested, given its questions about everything from housing costs to your opinions of growth. It’s being presented as part of the mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda. It’s not the usual basic online-survey format; be forewarned, you’ll find some spots requiring scrolling, and some questions where you can check as many circles as you want, others where you have to settle on one. Start the survey here (and note the open-comment thread at the bottom of the start page, if you just want to say something without taking the survey at all).

Today’s Highway 99 tunnel-project update: Pit-digging to resume

December 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

(WSDOT photo from last week – assembly of what’s meant to lift tunnel-machine head from pit)
After Monday’s City Council session looking at the latest tunnel-related troubles (WSB coverage here), council president Tim Burgess declared it’s too late to turn back now. So, with no new settlement reported, onward it will go. WSDOT‘s tunnel update for today, just published here, says their contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners has the go-ahead to continue digging the pit from which they hope to pull up the tunnel machine’s damaged cutter head:

Excavation was stopped at WSDOT’s direction on Dec. 12. While no significant ground settlement had been observed since Dec. 5, we suspended excavation to give our team time to gather more survey data and review STP’s contingency plan for turning off the dewatering wells, should that become necessary. We have now reviewed STP’s plan and gathered additional data from the weekend that shows the recently measured settlement has stabilized.

The digging stopped about three-quarters of the way down to where they hope to reach the machine. The red lifting device is under construction (photo above) feet from the Viaduct, roughly parallel with King Street.

Election 2015: Now 4 in the running for West Seattle/South Park’s City Council District 1; announcing our February forum

December 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 7 Comments

2015 will make history in West Seattle for at least one reason: Our area’s first-ever District 1 City Councilmember will be elected. Today, there’s a change in the list of who’s in the running: According to the city’s election-information website, one of the five declared candidates, David Ishii, has moved his candidacy to one of the city’s two at-large seats, so that leaves four District 1 candidates so far (with other changes likely of course since the deadline for declaring is months away) – in alphabetical order:

*George Capestany
*Amanda Kay Helmick
*Tom Rasmussen
*Chas Redmond

checkbox.jpgAnd this gives us the chance to mention that all four candidates are confirmed for an early City Council District 1 Candidates’ Forum that we at WSB are presenting on February 5th – get it on your calendar now! It will start with mingling and refreshments at 6:30 pm, forum 7-8:30 pm, at Highland Park Improvement Club – we thank HPIC, one of West Seattle’s great historic community venues, for agreeing to provide the space for the forum!

Though West Seattleites will vote on three City Council seats in August and September 2015 – District 1 plus two at-large – we are focusing this forum ONLY on D-1, the one seat that will be accountable directly to this area. Stay tuned to WSB for more details as it gets closer. (P.S. If anyone else files to run in District 1 before then, s/he will of course be invited to participate too – contact us at if we don’t contact you first!)

West Seattle Tuesday: Hanukkah night 1; WSCO concert #2; school superintendent meets Native American community…

December 16, 2014 at 11:27 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

Thanks to Don Brubeck for the photo of Mount Baker, seen from here on Monday. Cloudier today but still festive. We start our calendar/Holiday Guide highlights with December’s first holiday:

FIRST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH: The eight-night Festival of Lights begins at sundown. See the Hanukkah section atop the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide for events that local Jewish faith communities have planned for later this week.

Also today/tonight:

PUBLIC HEARING ON FIRE STATION 32 REPLACEMENT: During the 2 pm meeting of the city council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee, a public hearing and briefing will focus on the plan to replace Fire Station 32 at its current location in The Junction. The city wants a waiver from Triangle development standards regarding street-level uses that the fire station won’t comply with. You can see various documents linked from the agenda for the meeting, to be held in council chambers at City Hall downtown. (4th/Cherry/James)

NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: Seattle Public Schools superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland will be back in West Seattle tonight for a conversation with Native American community members, 6 pm at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse – details in our calendar listing. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

WSCO’S SECOND WINTER CONCERT: West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ second of two seasonal concerts – WSCO Debut and Intermediate Orchestras, 6:30 pm, Chief Sealth International High School auditorium:

Presented by the Intermediate Orchestra, conducted by Rob Duisberg, and the Debut Orchestra, conducted by Rachel Nesvig, enjoy highlights from the very popular “Frozen” and “Phantom of the Opera.” Get toasty with some fireworks from Handel, and finish off with songs of the season!

(2600 SW Thistle)

LOTS MORE GOING ON … just browse the calendar!

West Seattle holiday giving: More food-drive success stories

December 16, 2014 at 9:35 am | In Holidays, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Still lots of time to expand your holiday giving to local food banks and other nonprofits – or maybe you already have, like the West Seattle neighbors who contributed to these successes:

(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW photo: Agents Michael Mallagh and Debbie Kerns)

ALMOST A TON FROM BHHSNW: The recent Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate food drive at West Seattle Thriftway (both WSB sponsors) brought in 1,860 pounds of food – almost a ton! – according to Don Bereiter, who sends out a big “thank you,” along with word that donors gave $682 for the West Seattle Food Bank as well as all that food. “It always amazes me how lucky we are to live in such a generous neighborhood.”

LETTUCE PRAY: The offseason for gardening is NOT an offseason for this food-collection program, explains Jane Taylor:

The food bank collection program Lettuce Pray collects fresh produce from home gardeners at West Seattle churches weekly during the growing season but also picks up non perishables once a month. (This past Sunday) we went to Alki UCC for the holiday food drive and were wonderfully overwhelmed with over 400 pounds of food and a great deal of TP, diapers, and other personal effects. Our thanks to Alki UCC for this hugely generous response! You can see that it took all of our engineering skills to figure out how to fit it all in Kristen’s Subaru!

For holiday-giving opportunities, check out the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; map that needs your help

December 16, 2014 at 6:12 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! As we start today’s traffic watch, a request for collaboration:

SAFER ROUTES TO SCHOOL? TELL THE CITY! As someone pointed out via e-mail, the West Seattle section of this new SDOT map, intended for crowdsourcing/visualizing your Safe Routes to School ideas, is a little bare. Someplace you would like to see a safety improvement? Use the map, as explained here, ASAP!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Morgan Junction robbery investigation

December 16, 2014 at 2:17 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

2:17 AM: Thanks to the texters who reported major police activity in Morgan Junction very early today. So far we haven’t been able to get full details, but we know police are/were investigating an armed robbery in the 6500 block of California SW, where one SPD car remained by the time we got there, and that it might be linked to a robbery elsewhere in the city. That’s according to radio communications, which described the robber as a black man in his early 20s, 6 feet tall, very thin, red face mask, red shirt, black pants, black handgun, with two female accomplices, and a possible silver getaway car. We’ll add any additional details we are able to get from police later this morning.

9:13 AM: Police confirm the Subway store itself was held up. No further confirmation, though, on whether it was involved to any other robberies, and no arrest(s) reported so far.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Shop burglarized for 2nd time in 9 days

December 15, 2014 at 10:35 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, Westwood | 59 Comments

For the second time in nine days, Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) at Westwood Village has been burglarized. It happened this evening – exactly when, the proprietors and police were still trying to figure out when we heard about it from a texted tip and went over a little more than an hour ago. Once again, someone broke the front door to get in, same way entry was made during the early-morning break-in on December 7th. We’ll be following up with them and police tomorrow.

West Seattle holidays: Clear night for Christmas Ship stop at Salty’s

December 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Last year, the Christmas Ship‘s West Seattle finale – serenading Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) – came on a night so foggy, the caroler-carrying boat seemed to emerge from nowhere. Tonight, you could see it headed here from miles away (after a performance at Manchester, sailing eastbound cross-sound, as we saw while headed down Charlestown Hill). And as the Holy Names Academy Choir sang Christmas classics, the beautiful downtown-and-beyond skyline was in full display, even the candy-cane-pattern lights atop CenturyLink Field. While the Christmas Ship won’t be back here this season (it made two stops on Saturday night), it continues sailing regional waterways – see the schedule here – until Christmas Eve-Eve.

ADDED EARLY TUESDAY: One more clip – the end of the performance, including the final song (“Jingle Bells”) and the Christmas Ship announcer’s always-festive farewell:

P.S. West Seattle’s own “Santa Al” told us he was scheduled to be “lead Santa” on tonight’s trips; check the WSB WS Holiday Guide to see where to find him here next.

Memorial on Friday for WWII veteran ‘Chet’ Neiswender, 1925-2014

December 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | No Comments

A memorial service is planned Friday morning for Chester “Chet” Neiswender, whose family shares this remembrance:

Chester E. Neiswender, 1/29/1925-11/25/2014

Chester (Chet) E. Neiswender passed quietly November 25, 2014. He leaves his loving family: Wife, Mary; stepchildren: Nancy McCreery, Rick Gay, Janine Cox; 8 wonderful grandchildren; and 5 beautiful great grandchildren. Chet is also survived by 3 sisters: Evelyn, Ester and Marji, who all had numerous children. Chet had 8 biological children, 11 biological grandchildren, and several biological great grandchildren.

Chet was a WWII veteran, driving big trucks like amphibious vehicles where he helped get soldiers onto the beach from the landing crafts at Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippine Islands. He was still in touch with a friend in Connecticut, the last surviving war buddy. We will all miss the wonderful stories from those exciting ,and sometimes horrifying, times.

Born in Hobart, WA, Chet was a lifelong resident of King County. He was a veritable wealth of historical information.

Click to read the rest of Memorial on Friday for WWII veteran ‘Chet’ Neiswender, 1925-2014…

Happening now: Skylark event for/with local author Sarah Fox

December 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Ten years of work … and now, Sarah Alisabeth Fox – who lives and works in the West Seattle/White Center area – has published her first book, “Downwind: A People’s History of the Nuclear West.” Getting it published is just the start – now, the task is to get the word out about it. To help support Fox as she does that, while also working a day job and raising a child, friends organized a benefit that’s happening right now at Skylark in North Delridge.

The event includes a silent auction, reading, and dessert grab (featuring a special flavor from White Center-founded Full Tilt Ice Cream).

Fox has tales to tell including what she experienced traveling to Vienna, Austria, recently for the International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. She attended with anti-nuclear-testing activist Michelle Thomas of St. George, Utah, who, Fox writes, “grew up immediately downwind of the Nevada Nuclear Test Site, where nearly one thousand Cold War nuclear weapons were tested between 1951 and 1992. … Conference organizers hope the event will help strengthen international support for the total abolition of nuclear weapons technology.” Fox’s book tells the stories of those who have struggled to be heard despite the effects of “the Cold War arms race as it played out in their backyards.” Fox hopes to continue to travel to speak about “her book and the environmental and health consequences of nuclear weapons,” but that takes money, and so this benefit was organized; more details are in our calendar listing – it’s on until 9 pm at 3803 Delridge Way SW.

Followup: Holy Rosary Gator-bots say ‘thanks!’ for your help with their research project

December 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle online, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

Last week, we shared a request from student researchers, asking you to take a quick survey for their project. Today – this followup, including the photo and a hearty “thank you”:

Thank you West Seattle Blog and all of your readers for your help with our research project. The Holy Rosary Gator-bots received over 680 responses to our survey in 3 days! The participation from so many readers was impressive, but what impressed us most was the level of detail provided by the readers. The Gator-bots spent a good portion of last Saturday going through the responses. Based on the responses, the Gator-bots realized that there are opportunities to enhance the way everyone learns about new Technology. So they modified their original hypothesis for the project based on your guidance!

Yesterday they presented their research and modified hypothesis to a panel of judges as part of the First Lego League regional competition in Auburn. Thanks to WSB and the survey respondents, the Gator-bots received a trophy for their research through crowdsourcing and were asked to continue their research because they were invited to attend the Semi-Finals in January! Look for an update on the Gator-bots in January!

Thank you WSB and West Seattle. We feel blessed to be part of such a wonderful community.

Gator-Bot coaches
Brian Christenson
Rise Pyscher
David Redenbaugh

West Seattle restaurants: Duos’ lounge closing, catering continuing

December 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm | In Luna Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 24 Comments

Two years after opening its restaurant/lounge at 2940 SW Avalon Way in the Luna Park business district, Duos announced today that it’s closing that part of its business, while continuing with catering:

Thank you for all the support and love you have shown to us here at the restaurant. We value the relationships we have built with you and we will truly miss seeing you. Our last day open will be December 20th, 2014 – Our two year anniversary.

The restaurant has become such a growing success for us and we were getting busier every day! It is such a great feeling to have a loyal support base and it made our decision that much more difficult. Unfortunately, we share this building with our catering department which has also grown substantially over these past two years. As a result, providing quality food for both the restaurant and catering has proven to be difficult and space has become limited.

Our business growth has been a blessing for us and it pains us to know the outcome of Duos’ success means closing the restaurant. We will still have an active role in the community and continue to support and donate to the wonderful schools and organizations in the area. We will remain in this building, producing our great catered food and we will keep the space open as an event venue. We will be holding events at the space offering special menus, date nights, cooking classes, and fun wine maker dinners!

This was an industrial and then retail space until five years ago; Café Revo was the first restaurant there, in 2009-2010, followed by Avalon for a year, early 2011 to early 2012, and then Duos, which opened its lounge/restaurant in fall 2012.

West Seattle holidays: Feliz Navidad & Merry Christmas @ Denny Posada

December 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for sharing photos from what’s become a holiday tradition at Denny – fifth year! – the Posada Navideña:

On Friday evening, December 12th, Denny International Middle School hosted our annual Posada celebration. The evening was filled with great food, dancing, and fun! Thank you to all of the families and staff who came to make this such a culturally rich and memorable time!

A special thank you to all of our volunteers, including: Ms. Salcedo, Ms. Amaral, Ms. Olsen, Mr. Garcia, Ms. Brown, Ms. Bowie, Ms. Rangel, Mr. Rodriguez, Manu, Sheila, Kevin, Sommer, all of the Proyecto Saber scholars, Mirabella and the Chief Sealth dancers, and the one and only DJ Vagos!

This is the last week of school for Denny and other Seattle Public Schools pre-winter break – after a one-hour-early dismissal on Friday, no classes for two weeks.

Another scam alert from Seattle City Light: Not just phone calls

December 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm | In Crime, Utilities, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Scammers are still at work out there, trying to steal your money by making you think you are at risk of utility cutoff. We’ve reported this before (including earlier this fall) and today Seattle City Light is out with another alert:

As temperatures continue to drop and the importance of keeping your home warm rises, scammers are taking full advantage of the situation by targeting utility customers; threatening to shut off power unless payment is made to a fraudulent bill collector.

Seattle City Light is receiving 25 to 30 reports per week from customers targeted by such scams, often some of Seattle’s most vulnerable residents. Scammers commonly target non-English speaking individuals, elderly, and small business owners.

Click to read the rest of Another scam alert from Seattle City Light: Not just phone calls…

Alaskan Way Viaduct & vicinity briefing @ City Council: ‘No continued settlement’

December 15, 2014 at 9:41 am | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news | 22 Comments

(ADDED: Video of this morning’s entire meeting, above)
9:41 AM: Ten days after concerns about “settling” related to the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project, WSDOT reps are briefing the Seattle City Council right now. Transportation secretary Lynn Peterson says there appears to be “no further settlement” since what was reported a week and a half ago, and no damage to buildings in the area. She says that while this is a “tense moment” in the project, WSDOT firmly believes it’s “less risky” to proceed than to rely on the earthquake-vulnerable Viaduct. She also vows that the contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, is being and will be held accountable for what they’re expected to do. And she says they can’t commit to any kind of timeline right now for completion, because the cutter head has to be retrieved for repair first: “This is a design-build contract and we have purchased a tunnel … the fix .. is the responsibility of the contractor. We do not own the machine nor the method” STP chooses to fix it.

WSDOT’s Todd Trepanier tells the council STP was asked to stop excavating, at least temporarily, on Friday, until getting a green light for resumption. He’s getting into more technical points; here’s the slide deck just added to the agenda.

You can watch the briefing live here. After WSDOT reps are done explaining, and answering council questions about, the “settling” situation, city reps are scheduled to talk about the status of plans in place in case a Viaduct closure was needed. We’ll have toplines of that later; you can preview the slide deck (which involves a 2005 plan centered on “what ifs” in case of an earthquake) here, plus a new city update on the “settling” situation here.

11:26 AM: The meeting, originally scheduled for about an hour, has now lasted for two and isn’t likely to end any time soon – again, it’s live at Councilmembers continue to press for more specifics on Viaduct safety – a moment ago, Councilmember Kshama Sawant was asking what size of earthquake would take the AWV down; WSDOT says it doesn’t want to speculate but notes they all believe the structure “is vulnerable.”

11:30 AM: City reps are now coming to the table to discuss the status of plans in case it was determined the Viaduct had to be closed – not just transportation, but utilities.

SDOT director Scott Kubly says the “unified command structure” has been meeting at least once a day to talk about the situation. Seattle Public Utilities says it’s been monitoring utility lines and pipes in the area – they’re using a hydrophone to “acoustically” detect water leaks, as well as using closed-circuit video to watch the sewer lines. The presentation embedded above this paragraph shows all the utility info they’re presenting, including what types of lines are in the Viaduct/tunnel-pit area, as well as the transportation plan that SDOT will discuss shortly.

11:46 AM: Now it’s SDOT director Kubly’s turn, after a council question asking SPU who covers the cost if there are utility problems – answer: the state. Meantime, he says that they are in “good shape” if a Viaduct closure was necessary, because the 2005 plan is updated each year. The “variable message boards” on paths to The Viaduct would be called into action, as would equipment like barricades etc. which he says are “pre-loaded” onto vehicles and ready to go at a moment’s notice, if needed. He is followed by Seattle City Light with its plans. Meantime, the Department of Planning and Development hasn’t heard yet of any buildings that would be deemed unsafe, but if settlement was “a lot steeper in areas,” they have authority to “do various things depending on how much damage we see … (including) ordering vacation of (a) building.”

11:58 AM: Councilmember Tom Rasmussen asks how Metro works into this plan if the Viaduct had to close. Kubly says Metro is “at the table” and they are looking at “how would we speed buses” and “what detour routes would be in place … how (to) add service would depend on length of the closure.” Could the plan deal with all 60,000 people/vehicles that would not be able to use the AWV? Kubly says it would address elements such as possible restrictions on “non-essential construction,” changes in deliveries, and looking at ways to get more people carpooling, using transit, etc. (The funding for extra transit is “already gone,” the council is told.) WSDOT’s Trepanier is asked to come back to the table to answer some questions, such as what if there’s a long-term gap between the Viaduct going out of service and the tunnel coming into service. He says the Legislature made the decision not to use any more project money toward “transportation mitigation” (such as transit).

12:13 PM: The Viaduct discussion is over and the council has moved into a preview of its 2 pm meeting, which will include the White Center annexation proposal. When the video of this meeting is available, we’ll add it to this story.

3:18 PM: Just added the video.

8:18 PM: Mike Lindblom of The Seattle Times (WSB partner) reports on the downtown water main that needs replacement.

West Seattle Monday: Viaduct; book benefit; Christmas Ship; more

December 15, 2014 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments

(Sunday photo by David Hutchinson)
Welcome to a new week! From the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and our regular calendar, here’s some of what’s up in the hours ahead:

CITY COUNCIL ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT BRIEFING: 9:30 am, the council is scheduled to have a two-part briefing on matters related to the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project and its tunnel troubles – 9:30 am, the latest on the “settling”; 9:50 am, the state of city plans for how to handle mobility if The Viaduct has to be shut down. This is the regular “briefing” meeting, so there’s no public-comment period, but it’ll be live on Seattle Channel (cable and online).

AFTERNOON BOOK GROUP: 2 pm at Southwest Branch Library, this month’s afternoon book group is reading Mary Shelley‘s “Frankenstein.” All welcome. (35th/Henderson)

CITY COUNCIL TALKS WHITE CENTER ANNEXATION: As first reported here on December 5th, the Seattle City Council is taking the first step toward calling for White Center and vicinity residents to vote on whether they want to be annexed (see the resolution here) – with the caveat that the city needs more help from the state in order to take this area on, so though they’re initiating the process, they might not follow it all the way through. This meeting does include a public-comment period at the start; it’ll also be on Seattle Channel (online and cable).

DANCE OPEN HOUSE: 3-7 pm at Kenyon Hall, meet dance teacher Vanessa Villalobos and find out about her classes. Free open house, followed by a dance party (admission charge – details in our calendar listing) at 7 pm. (7904 35th SW)

TAP TAKEOVER PARTY AT MARINATION MA KAI: 5-8 pm, kickoff party as Marination ma kai (WSB sponsor) starts a week with Stoup Brewing taking over all its taps. Meet the brewers; check out the special menu items; details in our calendar listing. (1660 Harbor SW)

‘DOWNWIND’ BOOK LAUNCH/FUNDRAISER: As previewed here on Sunday, local author Sarah Alisabeth Fox will be at Skylark tonight for a launch party and fundraiser as she gets the word out about her book “Downwind,” the result of a decade of research. More in our calendar listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

CHRISTMAS SHIP AT SALTY’S: 9:15-9:35 pm at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), it’s the final West Seattle visit of the Christmas Ship, this time with the Holy Names Academy Choir on board. (1936 Harbor SW)

MORE … for today/tonight, on our calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Welcome to a new week

December 15, 2014 at 6:57 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | No Comments

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! Nothing unusual on the routes we watch in/from West Seattle, so far.

TODAY’S BIG TRANSPORTATION STORY … is likely to be the City Council briefings from WSDOT and SDOT this morning, on the “settling” in the Viaduct vicinity and on plans in case it has to be closed. The meeting starts at 9:30 am (here’s the agenda) and will be live on Seattle Channel (online and cable).

West Seattle schools: National tutoring program Reading Partners now in action here, too – and you can help

December 14, 2014 at 9:19 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

Southwest Precinct Community Police Team officers are usually the ones you’ll call about a chronic problem or concern in your neighborhood, rather than seeing them show up in an emergency situation. On Friday, we caught up with two of them in a setting aimed at solving a different problem – literacy challenges.

Click to read the rest of West Seattle schools: National tutoring program Reading Partners now in action here, too – and you can help…

Remembering Bjorg Orlob, 1943-2014, who ‘died happy among loved ones’

December 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 5 Comments

Family and friends gathered this weekend to remember Bjorg Orlob, who died last week at age 71. Here’s the remembrance looking back at her life:

Bjorg Olea Orlob passed away on 12/5/2014. Born Bjorg Solheim in Andoya, Norway, in the midst of the Nazi occupation on 9/26/1943, she emigrated to the USA at an early age. She grew up learning both American and Norwegian cultures and values, and embodied the best of both. She attended school in Bothell, and graduated Bothell HS in 1961. She already began collecting friends she would keep for life before she got her dream gift – a one-way ticket to Oslo – for her high-school graduation.

Once in Norway, she continued to make friends. She spent time working in Belgium as well as Oslo, and always took the time to love the places she visited and the people who inhabited them. Her travels took her many places, including much of Europe and parts of Africa.

Once she returned to the USA, she was introduced to the cousin of a high-school friend, and quickly fell in love with Carl Orlob, a US Naval Aviator.

Click to read the rest of Remembering Bjorg Orlob, 1943-2014, who ‘died happy among loved ones’…

Happening now: Cartooning Santa at Luna Park Café

December 14, 2014 at 7:08 pm | In West Seattle news | No Comments

Just under one more hour to get over to Luna Park Café and meet Cartooning Santa – who will draw something for you, as he did for the young men in the photos Lindsay shared (thank you!).

The drawings are free, by the way! Luna Park is at 2918 SW Avalon Way.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Have you seen Ian’s car? (Update: WSB reader found it!)

December 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

4 PM: Ian reports an overnight car theft:

Just wanted to spread the word about my stolen vehicle this morning. It was reported to the police, wasn’t impounded. Vehicle is a dark blue, 1991 Honda Accord, License Plate #ABE3499. Last seen at the corner of 14th Ave SW and SW Kenyon Street at about 8:30 PM last night. Was stolen sometime between 8:30 PM last night and 7 AM this morning.

As advised by the SPD @GetYourCarBack Twitter feed, call 911 if you see it.

10 PM UPDATE: Ian confirms what Cynthia mentioned in comments – she found his car! He says, “It was found and is in good shape. It was found about two blocks away from where it was taken, around 13th and Elmgrove. No windows broken. I’m guessing that they must have had a key of some sort. They went through the glove box and the trunk but there was nothing of value in either of those. The audio deck wasn’t taken. It being a 1991 Accord makes it an easy target to a certain extent. I am lucky to have made a habit of leaving nothing of value in my car.”

3 changes on 35th SW: Red Star Pizza; JC’s Deli; Hallows Church

December 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 20 Comments

Changes ahead at three locations along a one-mile stretch of 35th SW:

‘NEW BEGINNING’ AT RED STAR PIZZA: Fans of the Sunrise Heights pizzeria have noted an inconsistent schedule for a while, and as first noted here back in May, the location’s future has been up in the air, with plans for the site to be redeveloped as the new home of Clearview Eye Clinic. Last week, the Red Star Twitter account announced closure until further notice, but possibly a “new beginning” ahead. Then today, co-proprietor Shannon Cross e-mailed WSB to say she now owns Red Star along with her West Seattle-native uncle Bill Bent, and that they plan to “rock 7514 35th until 5/31/2015, then we will move location to another part of West Seattle. Red Star is here to stay… Go, Hawks!” (Added: They expect next Wednesday to be their “grand re-opening,” with hours Wed-Fri 4 pm-10 pm, Sat. 2-10 pm, Sun. 12-9 for starters.)

JC’S DELI TO CLOSE: Jeanette Cummings says she’s closing her sandwich shop/deli at 35th/Henderson after this month. It’s been there for 2 years and 2 months. She cites slow business, but we note that this building also is up for sale, offered for $675,000 in a listing that touts “three well-established tenants” as well as redevelopment possibilities (it’s zoned for development up to four stories).

HALLOWS CHURCH: The church at 35th/Cloverdale – formerly Calvary Lutheran, then Gatewood Baptist, then Life Church, but idle the past two years – is now launching as Hallows Church, according to a postal-mail postcard that points to a website which shows that it’s branching off from a church of that name in Fremont. (Side note: Property records show the building’s ownership is still in the name of Gatewood Baptist, as it has been since 2006; court records show a lawsuit between people associated with GB, regarding the future of the property, was dismissed earlier this fall.)

West Seattle Sunday: Music, theater, gift-wrapping, Santa, carriage rides, more…

December 14, 2014 at 8:50 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(WSB photo from Alki, while we awaited the Christmas Ship visit Saturday night)
Happy Sunday! From the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and ongoing regular calendar:

ARTS/CRAFTS FAIR: C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor) Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair, 9 am-2 pm again today. Local arts and crafts!

Photo above shared on Saturday by Jen from Village Mouse. (5612 California SW)

CHRISTMAS MUSICAL: The youth of West Side Presbyterian Church present the musical “The Night I Heard the Angels Sing,” 9:30 am and 4:30 pm. Admission free, all welcome! (3601 California SW)

CARRIAGE RIDES: As part of Hometown Holidays in The Junction, 10 am-2 pm.

(WSB photo from last Sunday)
“Take a carriage ride down California Avenue pulled by beautiful Belgian Draft Mules. A treat the whole family and friends will enjoy. Stop off at the Farmers Market for complimentary hot apple cider.” (California/Alaska)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, fresh local food/drink year-round. (44th/Alaska)

PATHFINDER’S HANDMADE WREATHS: Right around the corner from the Farmers’ Market, it’s the last of three Sundays that Pathfinder K-8 is raising money for Outdoor Education Programs by selling holiday wreaths “handcrafted by our students, faculty, and parents with locally donated greens. 100% of what we make goes directly into the classroom.” 10 am-2 pm. (SW corner of California/Alaska)

SANTA PAWS Pet-photo opportunity at West Seattle Windermere, 11 am-1 pm, bring a nonperishable-food donation. (4526 California SW)

COAT DRIVE AND SANTA PHOTOS: Mountain to Sound Outfitters in The Triangle, noon-4 pm. (Photo added, sent by Greg @ M2SO:)

“Bring a coat to donate and get a picture with Santa Claus. We will be accepting donations of coats (any size) to benefit the West Seattle Helpline. There will also be hot cocoa and photos with Santa on our chair lift.” (3602 SW Alaska)

BRIDGE ANNIVERSARY: The Bridge is celebrating its first anniversary in its new location with door prizes and more, through today’s Seahawks-49ers game, which kicks off around 1:25 pm. (California/Graham)

GIFT WRAPPING: Furry Faces Foundation will “Wrap It Up” again! Gift wrapping for donations, first of several sessions is today, 2 pm-7 pm at Beveridge Place Pub. It’s a nonprofit fundraiser and they’re still welcoming volunteers – details are in this post in the WSB Forum. (6413 California SW)

FINAL PERFORMANCE FOR ‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: 3 pm matinee is the closing performance for Twelfth Night Productions‘ “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at Kenyon Hall. Buy your ticket(s) online at or an hour before showtime at the venue box office. (7904 35th SW)

‘JUDY’S SCARY LITTLE CHRISTMAS’: 3 pm matinee at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) in The Junction. Buy tickets online here. (4711 California SW)

HANUKKAH TASTING EVENT: 3-6 pm at Metropolitan Market-Admiral, including latkes and brisket. (41st/42nd/Admiral)

LADIES’ MUSICAL CLUB: Free concert at West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library, 3 pm, featuring the music of Schubert and Brahms. (2306 42nd SW)

FAUNTLEROY CHRISTMAS CONCERT: 4 pm at Fauntleroy Church: Choirs from Fauntleroy UCC and Peace Lutheran, plus local instrumentalists. (9140 California SW)

CARTOONING SANTA: 5-8 pm at Luna Park Café. Third year for the “Santa” who also happens to be the café’s artist/muralist. He’ll be there “in his Santa chair, drawing cartoon pictures of elves, snowmen, and reindeer, and he’ll even take requests! Personalized pictures signed from Santa. … There is NO CHARGE, and never a very long line! We play Christmas music, hand out Christmas cookies, and the staff dresses up in their red and green best.” Food and drink specials for the occasion, too. (2918 SW Avalon Way)

GINGERBREAD-HOUSE BUILDING: Annual tradition @ West Seattle Christian Church Activity Center, 5 pm. (4400 42nd SW)

WINTER/HOLIDAY CONCERT: Carmina Angelorum: songs for harp & treble voices, 7 pm at Holy Rosary Church: “An evening concert of elegant music celebrating winter and the holiday season, featuring harpist Juliet Stratton and the young women of Prime Voci and Cantamus of Seattle Girls’ Choir. Works by Benjamin Britten, Zoltán Kodály, James Bingham, and Paul Carey to be performed.” Details in our calendar listing. (42nd/Genesee)

‘THE CHRISTMAS POST’: Last chance to see The Christmas Post,” annual dessert theater at Westwood Christian Community. 7 pm. Admission free, as are the desserts. Child care for babies/toddlers. (9252 16th SW)

HOLY ROSARY TREE LOT’S FINAL WEEKEND: Until 9 pm tonight, or while the trees last, it’s the last scheduled day for the Holy Rosary Tree Lot (WSB sponsor), north of the school.

(WSB photo from this year’s first weekend @ Holy Rosary Tree Lot)
Part of this lot’s proceeds benefit West Seattle Helpline, Hickman House (domestic-violence shelter), and West Seattle Food Bank. (41st/Dakota)

LOOK INTO THE FUTURE … via the Holiday Guide and regular calendar!

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