West Seattle, Washington
Wanted to get this info out before finishing the Sealth/Denny meeting report — we were gathering this at the Southwest Precinct when the Charlestown Cafe fire broke out, and from there, it was right off to the school meeting. Anyway, from the latest police reports — we start with a robbery involving teens: A local middle-schooler was at the bus stop by KeyBank at California/Alaska this morning, playing with his GameBoy, when another teen sat down next to him, said “Hey, that’s a cool game, I used to play that on Nintendo G4,” edged closer, then suddenly grabbed the boy’s game and ran. The victim chased him for a while; then the robber turned on him and pushed him into a fence before getting away. The victim wasn’t badly hurt; he continued on to school, where he told administrators, who called police. Next — the gas-pump hit & run:Read More
Much longer report to come. But here are the bullet points from the meeting in the CSHS cafeteria:
–Meeting lasted 2 1/2 hours.
–Big turnout; at least 150 people. School Board president Cheryl Chow and superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson were there for a while at the start; West Seattle’s School Board rep Steve Sundquist, of course, stayed for the duration.
–District Power Point presentation featured lots of sales points for Options 1 and 2 (current version, current version plus $10 million extra Sealth work) and the barest of bones for Option 3 (rebuilding Denny on its current site, doing the bare minimum of required safety improvements for Sealth).
–Lots of audience questions, zero answers. Audience was broken into 4 groups to ask questions for half an hour; the questions were written down by facilitators; audience was reconvened so that each group’s questions could be read to the entire audience. The answers? The district will try its best to get them posted online before the Westwood Neighborhood Council’s Denny/Sealth meeting on Feb. 12, one day before the district’s recommended option is “introduced” to the school board. Much more to come, including the presentation details, some of the audience questions, video, photos.
Went back to the scene a little while ago, and we caught up with Charlestown Cafe owner Larry Mellum. He told WSB that work will start tomorrow to get the cafe up and running again following today’s fire (above photo by Christopher Boffoli; see more coverage below; direct links here and here, video link here) — workers are already in there tonight evaluating things — he says it will be closed for “days” but it’s too soon to say how many days.
Recap and update from what’s in the post below: Fire reported at Charlestown Cafe just after 5 pm. No word yet on cause or extent of damage; the restaurant is needless to say closed TFN – City Light crews had to shut off its power. From what we could see at the scene, the building’s exterior is relatively unscathed, but neighbors told WSB at the scene that at one point, “huge flames” were coming from the roof, which firefighters had to cut into. No injuries reported so far. Thanks to everyone who texted and e-mailed us about this — especially WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli, who sent first word from the scene – he took the photo above and the ones below, more to come:
En route to Charlestown Cafe on California Ave to check out fire call – details to follow.
UPDATE 5:30 pm: Fire is out – exterior looks relatively undamaged. Firefighters had to ventilate the roof to let smoke out.
UPDATE 5:45 pm: California Avenue has reopened. Neighbors say big flames were shooting from the roof for a while.
Photos from Evan Baumgardner.
Last reminder: tonight is the last official Seattle Public Schools-sponsored meeting expected in West Seattle before school board members vote on whether to go ahead with the Denny/Sealth project as is, or change it to one of two other options — “Option 2” with extra money for more Chief Sealth High School renovation work, “Option 3” with a new Denny Middle School being built on its current site instead of next to Sealth. All three options are to be shown and explained tonight — a “gallery walk” with one-on-one viewing starting at 6:30 pm, presentation @ 7, Q/A expected to start @ 7:30, Chief Sealth HS Library. Also this afternoon, we have additional information about who’s on the panel for the Westwood Neighborhood Council-sponsored meeting Feb. 12, one day before a project “recommendation” is introduced to the school board. Here’s the full text of the WNC’s new announcement:Read More
For those keeping track (we will crunch the sightings onto a map sometime soon): Debra reports two coyotes seen running across the 5200 block of Jacobsen (just uphill from Beach Drive) today; Mary Ellen reported one Sunday morning at Juneau/46th.
Last week, we brought you a followup on the landmark-consideration status of these apartments at 3811 California (just south of Charlestown), proposed for demolition as part of a mixed-use project, which we have been tracking since last April. When we checked in a week ago, the city Landmarks Board told WSB that the required application for landmark-status review still was not complete. Now, this site has landed on the radar of the advocacy group Historic Seattle; preservation advocate Christine Palmer just sent a bulletin saying that 3811 is tentatively scheduled for Landmarks Board consideration on Feb. 20 (although the site is not on the “current nominations” webpage as of this writing), and advising everyone concerned about its fate to send the board a message expressing “concern about protecting this beautiful building and guarding against insensitive infill construction if it is demolished.” She suggests that messages be sent to Beth Chave, Landmarks Board coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First, from Harbor Avenue – this just out of the inbox from Jeff @ Skyline Secure Park:
We just wanted to let everyone know that the dangerous semi trucks that used to roar up and down Harbor Ave. between 7-11 and the West Seattle bridge are officially gone. The company who owned them has moved to a more appropriate home! I know a lot of people will be happy about this because there were hundreds of trucks crossing the bike/walk path every day, creating a safety issue.
And from Alki Avenue – Babs says she’s tired of risking life and limb:
I’m wondering if you can post a reminder that the Alki beach bike path is for bikes. Yes I understand other walkers/runners use it but maybe a reminder that large groups of people should not stand there and have “hi 5” meetings or discussions. I can survive a jogger here and there, a dog walker or two… but large groups blocking the path pose serious risk to all parties. I almost had to ride off the bike path [Saturday] because of a large group of rude woman joggers (who saw me coming) but continued their meeting which took over the entire path. I was rude in voice to them but it’s SCARY when people do not yield.
Happy 50th birthday, Mike, whoever you are; one of the few people to brave the “banner police” in the past few months has put up this banner on the Fauntleroy walkover bridge in honor of your birthday. (Caveat, yes, as has been discussed here many a time, these signs are illegal, and a sign by the overpass entrance says so.)
It hasn’t appeared in the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin yet – the next one is due out later today – but according to this webpage, February 28 is the date set for the revised version of Spring Hill (the mixed-use project at 5020 California, south of The Junction) to go before the Southwest Design Review Board. DRB members asked for significant revisions at the first meeting on the project last month, which drew dozens of concerned neighbors. (WSB coverage is here; project materials submitted to the city before that meeting are here.)