West Seattle, Washington
On the east edge of The Junction, developers of the mixed-use project with the QFC didn’t waste much time after booting Hollywood Video. A reader e-mailed us late yesterday that demolition work was racing ahead. What you see behind the backhoe is actually a house behind the ex-store – by late last night, it was just a shell:
Just spotted this as we drove home from a produce trip to Tony’s: SDOT is putting up left-turn signals on 35th at Thistle. If you’ve never tried to make that turn (in either direction), you’ve never enjoyed the death-defying thrills of cars relentlessly racing toward you at what seems like freeway speed. This should save some lives, from reduced stress as well as reduced collision rate:
The cone zone stretches farther north this morning — all the way to Hinds. Pavement-chewing machine is currently busy on the west edge of the road.
-Make sure your calendar’s marked for the big meeting a week from Wednesday at Charlestown Cafe, which folks are trying to save from the fate of becoming future home to Soon-To-Be-Ex-Petco.
-Jumping back down to The Junction, we heard concerns a while back from the neighbors of 4515 41st SW, more “mixed use” creeping into a residential neighborhood. Its next Design Review Board spotlight comes up April 12.
-Now hopscotching back up toward Admiral, we got a note recently from a neighbor who wonders if anyone else cares about the phenomenon of creeping commercialism spilling further inland from Cali. This neighbor lives near the beauty salon across from the far corner of PCC’s lot, west of McDonald’s, and contends zoning only allows a home-based business, not a business-focused house with big signs. The neighbor says a zoning inspector ruled the signs could stay because they don’t have text — they’re considered “art.” They’re campaigning to get the businessperson to tone down the signs.
-Finally, another reader points out that the ex-Christian Science church north of the Hiawatha playground, east of Safeway Parking Smackdown Ground Zero, has relatively recently transitioned into something called Sanctuary At Admiral, giving The Hall At Fauntleroy (among other venues) a run for its money.
The city parks department has just issued an alert — it’s closing all grass ballfields around the city because they’re just too soggy, with rain most of the weekend and more on the way. That includes Alki, Fairmount, High Point, part of Hiawatha, Highland Park, Roxhill, and West Seattle Stadium, among others.
Cones and crews are out on Cali from just north of Spokane, south to the post office. (Photo below is from the north edge of this morning’s work zone.) The truck that’s chewing up the old pavement is making fast work of the eastern edge of the road, for starters. Things were moving fairly well when we passed through; but if you just need to get between North WS and South WS, certainly you could try alternate routes such as Beach Drive or 35th.
Our usual visitor volume was down by several hundred last night, so we rolled over to Alki to see if you were all at the Celtic Swell. The outdoor space was stuffed and the sidewalk too, almost as much of a backup as we saw outside Fado downtown as we approached the Viaduct from Columbia yesterday afternoon. However, the more interesting sight at Alki last night was the minus tide (new moon approaching); made for a nice flashlight-enhanced beach walk. Tide tables say no more minus tides at night for a while, but looks like some good ones at midafternoon next Thursday and Friday.
We had heard of the downtown demonstrations tomorrow and Monday, but not about “655,000 Steps for Peace” till we checked the WSNPJ site. Looks like the walkers will be passing through WS from the south tomorrow morning, scheduled to reach Harbor Ave, heading for downtown, by 2 pm.
A reader sent a (not gory) photo of a dead cat spotted while he was walking his dog, thinking maybe someone out there will know whose cat it was, for closure’s sake at least. The cat’s final resting place was next to a hydrant on Admiral, up from the bridge offramp. It’s an orange/white striped tabby with white chin, hard to tell how old; the reader confessed to not having the “presence of mind to check for tags.” If you think you know whose it is, we can forward the photo (honestly, it looks like the poor thing was just sleeping).
Our side of the city has an amazing amount of parks in progress … land is set aside, names are assigned or assumed, “development” is all that’s left. Much of this is around The Junction — Dakota Place Park to the north, Junction Plaza Park to the east, the Ercolini site to the west. Though some $ for acquiring the land came from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy, citizen assistance is required to finish the process of turning set-aside land into full-fledged parks. Right now, Ercolini neighbors are gearing up for a push to get its metamorphosis finished by summer; as one organizer wrote in a note to us, “After you cut through all the requirements, politics, and whatnot, the bottom line is that we need to find volunteers and $$$.” So they’re planning to doorknock and leaflet, and they’re working on a website (not much there yet except a link to the latest park plan).
Some commenters on our last post about 37th/Findlay shooting victim Dewayne West were discussing an online discovery of a violent criminal record for someone with the same name. Looks like they were on the right trail; the P-I posted an article tonight talking about the man having killed someone at a Torchlight Parade almost 20 years ago, when he was just 16.
-We’ve been watching the additional ballot counts roll in each day since voting ended on Tuesday. The tunnel option has held steady at 70% no, but replacement-a-duct has lost ground day by day … on election night, it was at 55% no; tonight, that’s up to 57% no.
-Speaking of the viaduct, we know a bit more about exactly when it will be shut down next weekend for the big inspection. At least it won’t be out of commission the entire weekend.
Besides talking about Summer Fest and the Hi-Yu Parade already … just got word that West Seattle Sidewalk Cinema will be back, on six Saturday nights in the heart of summer, late July through late August. We went to several showings last year and had a spectacular time.
-Counter person in a business with line of sight to the Admiral Theater marquee: “It BUGS me that the movie title misspells ‘happiness’.”
-Turning off southbound Cali, heading east on Admiral, with a bit of difficulty — A huge loaded dump truck, driven by a woman with one hand on the wheel … AND ANOTHER CLUTCHING HER CELL PHONE TO HER EAR.
Several people e-mailed us to ask if we had any info re: helicopter, police, all sorts of hubbubbery last night in the Arbor Heights area. Lt. Paulsen at the Southwest Precinct was kind enough to provide this report:
Last night’s incident was basically an unknown female suspect who was driving erratically. SPD chose not to pursue the vehicle given public safety concerns. The female fled from the vehicle. SPD was able to locate the abandoned vehicle. Fortunately, there were a number of available police including K9 and a helicopter who were able to check the area. We were unable to locate the suspect.
What better distraction on a murky, chilly day in late winter? WS Junction Association president Dave Montoure — who also happens to be the guy who runs ever-cool West 5 — is thinking summer, as the chair of the committee planning this year’s West Seattle Summer Fest in The Junction. And he asked us if we could ask you, what do you like or dislike about Summer Fest? What (within reason) could make it better? They’re planning this year’s event now and would love input … either in comments on this post, or e-mail Dave directly. (If you don’t mind, they’d like a little demographic info to put your comments in context too — family? single? how long in WS? etc.) Our biggest suggestion: Even more WS flavor. We go every year and it still seems to be pretty much the same street-fair vendors you find at all the stops all over the area. Don’t know how you get around that; gotta be a way.
-City DOT crews are putting out the “no parking” signs on Cali right now, south of Charlestown, blocking off street parking as of Sunday, looking ahead to the restart of repaving work next Monday.
-Mars Hill has unveiled more of its parking plan. It includes buses as well as the Hughes School (currently temporary home to South Lake HS) parking lot as overflow and “midweek programming” parking.
Let’s call it “try to knock Howard Schultz a couple spots back down the Forbes Billionaire List.” How, you ask? Drink as much as you can during the big 10 am-noon free coffee blitz today. You can make it to every Starbucks in West Seattle during that window — north to south, it’s Alki to Admiral to Admiral Safeway to Jefferson Square Safeway to 35th/Fauntleroy to Morgan Junction to Westwood to Westwood QFC to Roxbury Safeway — that would be 108 ounces of coffee, all on Howie’s dime!
This is mostly a message to the IDIOT who NEARLY KILLED US TODAY — but it’s a good reminder for all of us who drive: A FOUR-WAY STOP IS A FOUR-WAY STOP. NOT A FOUR-WAY “PRETEND YOU ARE STOPPING BUT THEN POWER THROUGH.” COME TO A COMPLETE STOP, LOOK IN ALL DIRECTIONS, THEN, ONLY WHEN YOU ARE SURE NOBODY ELSE IS CURRENTLY DRIVING THROUGH THE INTERSECTION, PROCEED. THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN (AND OURS). Thank you. Grrrr.