West Seattle, Washington
The libraries will be closed, The Viaduct will be closed 6 am-6 pm, but tomorrow, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market will be open just like every Sunday – southeast corner of 44th and Alaska — here’s the official citywide “fresh list”:Read More
Been gathering these most of the week, as other news kept getting in the way … So, it’s the Saturday “better late than never” collection of real-estate and land-use notes:
ANOTHER APARTMENT BUILDING FOR SALE: 9020 35th (map), $2,025,000 (here’s the listing). Right next door to the scheduled teardowns-to-mixed-use at 9030 35th. We always make a point of reporting apartment-building listings, because they’re often a prelude to some sort of future change, such as what’s happened here:
CONDO-IZED AFTER ALL: We’ve been watching the building shown above, West Aires at 6001 California SW (map), ever since it was up for sale last year for $2 million-plus. King County property records show it’s stlll owned by the people who bought it for under $1 mil in 2006, but they’ve apparently taken a new spin – selling individual units. Over the months, we’ve received several e-mails inquiring about West Aires’ status; each time we checked the city records for any sign of a condo-conversion application, but found none. Guess those aren’t always needed (or at least not always posted online), because as tipster Greg pointed out (thanks!), the shingle’s up and units are for sale. “Fabulous 2 & 3 bedroom condos,” says this listing.
Not far away, 2771 59th SW (across from Alki Elementary) appears in the latest Land Use Information Bulletin; comments will be taken till 4/2 on that teardown proposal for 2 homes and one 3-unit townhouse. Comments are also open till 4/2 for early design review on 4145 Beach Drive and environs; we mentioned recently that it’s getting an “administrative” review, which means no hearing — this page explains why (the developer wants a “departure” — exception — from setback requirements). And the same LUIB finally presents official notice of the upcoming 4/10 Design Review Board public meetings for the Harbor Properties proposal at 38th/Alaska and the Conner Homes proposal at California/Alaska/42nd, both hearings already mentioned here (with more details on the develelopments) when they appeared on the city website more than a week ago.
Not even noon yet, and so much has happened already. First, check out the throng outside West Seattle Thriftway in Morgan Junction just before its 9 am egg hunt (so big, we needed two angles – first the group on the south side of the storefront, then the north side):
Next stop, Delridge Community Center – one of West Seattle’s five city-run community centers, all of which had egg hunts at 10 am today – at Delridge, the crowd was broken into three age groups; here’s video of elementary-age kids on the run for their hunt:
Also at Delridge at 10 am, just yards away from the egg-hunt kids and their Easter baskets, older kids — a few dozen from Denny Middle School — were holding different types of collection containers: bright yellow bags for the Delridge Adopt-A-Street cleanup; the students joined North Delridge Neighborhood Council members in this morning’s effort:
Still more to come in West Seattle as the day continues; our West Seattle Weekend Lineup has the comprehensive list.
If you are thinking about attending church tomorrow and haven’t decided where yet – just wanted to let you know we’ve added updates to our as-comprehensive-as-we-could-make-it list of West Seattle Easter Sunday services; check it out here. (Thanks to Amy for the most recent addition – she noticed Freedom Church’s marquee at 35th/Roxbury had an added 6 am service tomorrow and e-mailed to let us know.)
Update on our previous promise to check the “Alaskan Way Viaduct Closed When Flashing” lights — the “test” promised by the city must apparently be an intermittent test, or else it’s not starting till later, because we checked on the lights along 35th, Fauntleroy, and Admiral between 7:10 and 7:45 am, more than an hour after the viaduct’s scheduled shutdown started, and none were on (photo at left is the one next to the West Seattle Golf Course entrance); the only notable orange light we saw was a lovely sunrise. Anyway, just so you know; if one of those signs isn’t flashing when you pass it today till 6 pm or tomorrow 6 am-6 pm, don’t be fooled, those are still the scheduled Viaduct shutdown hours. Also, at least as of early this morning, we also didn’t see the mobile signs that are usually set up at 35th/Fauntleroy and on Admiral. 10:35 AM UPDATE: OK, we have now seen flashing action – at least, the one on Harbor Ave just north of The Bridge was on when we drove by at 9:45:
VIADUCT REMINDER: The closure started an hour ago, continues till 6 pm today, then again 6 am-6 pm tomorrow. The Battery Street Tunnel is scheduled to be closed for the duration, all the way till 6 pm tomorrow. Inspection results are promised next Friday; we’re heading out momentarily to see how the “warning-lights test” is going.
EGG HUNTS: There are a multitude this morning around West Seattle, all listed on our Events page (which is also where you’ll find a link to our list of WS Easter Sunday services).
As the night ends – with the gutted shop now boarded up, as our sunset photo above shows (earlier photos are in our morning report) – no word of arrests so far in this morning’s arson at Puget Sound Key & Lock (6016 California; map). Call 911 or the arson hotline (800-55-ARSON) with any tips. As we reported this morning, business owner Michael Dein says he had no fire insurance; bighearted, fast-acting WSB Forum members have set up a bank account for donations (any Wells Fargo Bank, account #5358011681.) and are meeting Monday night to discuss plans for a fundraising benefit (get the latest here). Tonight’s second note – remember others were affected, with businesses on each side and apartment residents above – we checked with Eric Renn from West Seattle Digital, a new shop adjacent to PS Key & Lock, and he e-mailed back:
We did suffer minor damage mainly from water, smoke fumes, and broken glass from when the fire fighter’s entered through the front door. I will not know the full extent of damage until the power is turned back on.
Thanks to Arbor Heights Elementary School teacher Mark Ahlness for these photos from last night’s Art Fair and Auction (silent-auction participants shown below) — he says it was an “incredible success”! More fundraisers are on our Events page (including tomorrow night’s Chief Sealth Tamale Dinner for music $).
That spot at the west end of the Alki Beach Promenade is where anyone and everyone interested in the Alki Point sidewalk project is invited to meet at 10 am tomorrow, for a walking tour of the area to be involved in whatever proposal goes forward. To recap, the city approved money last year to do something about the pedestrian-unfriendly conditions on the north side of Alki Ave heading from that spot to Alki Point. Then neighbors who would be directly affected got concerned about what might happen (coverage here and here), and the city’s work took a new turn (coverage here). Tomorrow’s tour, to be facilitated by immediate past Alki Community Council trustee Gary Ogden, will be a prelude to the April 2 community meeting with the city presenting design concepts for feedback.
Just last night, we got a very thoughtful note from a WSB’er concerned that the prolific crime reports of late were leaving people feeling as if West Seattle is a hotbed of evil. Our philosophy is that we believe it’s important to give you the facts – sometimes the facts are that crime is up, sometimes that it’s down, but we believe that “knowledge is power” in tough times as well as good times. Seattle Police online stats only go back through December 2007, so we can’t give you the big picture for this month, or last month, or even January. But know that everything runs in cycles and the best way to keep those cycles down is to stay alert, as we’ve discussed lately. All that said — GOOD NEWS – we just reviewed Southwest Precinct reports from Tuesday through late last night, and there’s barely a burglary in the bunch. Could mean the recent arrests got the major culprits off the street — could be a coincidence — but whatever the case, we wanted to let you know. Here’s what else we found, including an arrest that solved some house/car window shootings:Read More
Drinking just plain water is great for your health. Drinking just plain water out of a plastic bottle can be a challenge to the environment’s health. See the bottle at left (shown off by Alki resident Shauna Causey at last night’s Alki Community Council meeting)? Imagine your disposable plastic water bottle a quarter-full with oll; a water-policy expert says that’s the equivalent of the average energy cost to make the plastic for the bottle, transport it to market, then deal with the waste. So Shauna and others are asking you to join in Water Without Waste Month — keep drinking water, but get it out of the tap, or filter it, and drink it from reusable containers. (This is separate from the mayor’s city-government order to bag the bottles, but same idea.) Find out more, see the stats that just might convince you to do it, and take the pledge, by going to the Water Without Waste website.
Updated information just in from the Fire Department: SFD investigators have finished their work on the Puget Sound Key and Lock arson (6016 California; map), and the criminal investigation is now in the hands of Seattle Police. According to SFD, damage to the structure is estimated at $50,000, damage to the business, $40,000. The arson hotline – as posted on the window in our video above and our photos in earlier coverage – is 800/55-ARSON, with a $10,000 reward offered, but you can also call 911 with any tips. In addition, the unstoppable WSB Forum members are already organizing a bank account for donations to help business owner Michael Dein (who told WSB this morning he has no fire insurance) — as well as a possible fundraising event — check here for the latest.
This out of the inbox from Tony, who reports both sightings in Arbor Heights:
1. Chevy Cavalier on 30th ave sw with a punched out door lock and a hack saw blade and a key on the floorboard. I notified the police of a suspicious vehicle at 12 midnight last night but apparently it was of low importance as it was still there this morning (And still is there) I notified the police again this morning. They stopped by and placed a 72 hour sticker on the vehicle since it was not reported stolen yet.
2. Chevy Suburban on 34 th ave sw . Police are on the scene investigating a possible stolen SUV. I know this because it was found in front of our friends house and we found it odd we would both find stolen vehicles in front of our houses on the same day. At this location my friend saw a couple males drop off the vehicle , jump into another vehicle. He jumped in his car and followed but the car pulled over and he just drove by since it appeared they knew they were being followed.
That’s what Puget Sound Key and Lock co-owner Michael Dein just told WSB at the scene of this morning’s arson (note the big red-and-white sign on the window, clearly marking this now as an arson scene). Dein says they had no fire insurance — just the required liability insurance for his business, which is now a charred mess:
He tells WSB they’ve been in this spot at 6014 California since last August, after moving from a location on 35th north of Barton, where he says they were repeatedly hit by vandals, though overall, regarding the fire, he told us he doesn’t have any enemies who would have wanted to do something like this. While we (and lingering TV crews) were there, a woman he described as his “property manager” showed up, and they went in to look at the damage (Dein is in the cap at right):
Just moments earlier, he had told us pleasantly, “You can tell your readers, if anybody has any idea who did this, I’ll come over and make them dinner!” Then, as we walked away from the scene while he got back to tending to the aftermath of this arson, we heard shouts of raw rage from inside the business, apparently as they got an even-closer look at how much they had lost. More to come later whenever new police/fire info is available; as noted previously, there is a chance whoever did this was burned while doing it (police are quoted as saying a “bottle with some kind of accelerant” is suspected), and so might be very obvious to family, friends, or medical practitioners if they seek help. 11:10 AM UPDATE: If you miss it in the comments section – readers are organizing benefit efforts to help the arson victims. Get the latest here; donations can be made at any Wells Fargo branch, to account 5358011681.
Police are reported to be looking for suspects in an overnight fire set at Puget Sound Key and Lock at 6014 California (map). Here’s tv news coverage for starters (also here). One report says “… Witnesses reported seeing two young men leaving the scene … two white males wearing red shirts and blue jeans,” who might also have been burned, so officers are checking with hospitals and clinics. Call 911 if you have any idea who’s involved; we’ll have daylight pix here shortly. 7:55 AM ADDITION: According to an update from the Fire Department, the people in the apartment above the businesses got out OK. This is right next to the relatively new West Seattle Digital store that we reported on three months ago (you can even see part of the pre-fire locksmith store in the photo); we’re checking on nearby business effects. The major fire and police units are long gone – no traffic impediments at the scene – just a clot of tv trucks.
Meet the new president of the Alki Community Council, just elected tonight, Jule Sugarman. He has a long history of nonprofit and government work — from running the nationwide Head Start program for its first five years, to serving as our state’s Secretary of Social and Health Services, to his current role as president of West Seattle Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (and lots inbetween). He succeeds Jackie Ramels, who’s leaving ACC leadership as are secretary Peter Stekel and trustee Gary Ogden; those jobs are now in the hands of new secretary Paul Carr (who you know from the Statue of Liberty Plaza Project, which just hit the $250,000 fundraising mark) and new trustee Lee Johnson. Re-elected officers and trustees are vice president Randie Stone, treasurer Larry Carpenter (an inaugural West Seattle Community Recognition Award honoree), and trustees Tony Fragada and Cami MacNamara (who’s also editor of the Alki News Beacon — which from now on, take note, will only be mailed to ACC members, so if you want to receive it, be sure your dues are paid up!).
Before any more time elapses – the rest of our notes from the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting last night (first report here, including an explanation of DNDC) – with events and initiatives we’re betting you’ll want to know about:Read More
After the malfunction involving the “Alaskan Way Viaduct Closed When Flashing” lights in West Seattle and elsewhere last month, the city Transportation Department said there would be a test before The Viaduct’s planned closure this weekend. Now, according to a news release sent out by SDOT this afternoon, it appears the “test” will be concurrent with the actual closure, and the system won’t be proclamed “fully functional” until and unless it works throughout the shutdown (6 am-6 pm each day, Saturday and Sunday; the Battery Street Tunnel will be closed for the duration, 6 am Saturday to 6 pm Sunday). Here’s the full text of the city news release:Read More
We are celebrating the first full day of spring with a new addition to WSB — a new section (note the “tab” link on our header) with selections from the popular book “West Seattle 101” by Lori Hinton (right). We’re committed to continually expanding the amount of West Seattle-related news, information, and discussion we can offer you, so when Lori contacted us to see if WSB might be an additional place for people to find her stories, it sounded like a no-brainer to us. “West Seattle 101” began as a series of columns Lori wrote for the West Seattle Herald and grew into a book. As we start this partnership by publishing three features from the book (they’re linked from the WS 101 on WSB “home page” here), we also have Q and A with Lori so you can get to know her better:Read More
Just in from the office of King County Councilmember Dow Constantine:
Service on the Elliott Bay Water Taxi is set to resume Sunday, April 27 as the West Seattle-to-downtown passenger ferry begins its summer season.
Last year was the busiest ever for the Water Taxi, as total ridership increased by 32 percent over the foot ferryâ€™s record 2006 numbers. A total of 161,331 riders took the taxi last summer, as compared with 122,650 in 2006. The extra revenues generated by this record ridership allowed King County to extend commute hour service through late October.
â€œIn the past decade, the Water Taxi has become a treasured community asset, as both a viable commuter option and an enjoyable â€œshortcutâ€ that takes West Seattle visitors out of traffic and on to Puget Sound,â€ said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Dow Constantine. â€œThe newly established King County Ferry District will finally provide a stable funding source for this vital service. In the coming years, we will be improving the boats, sailing times, and dock facilitiesâ€
A kickoff event is planned for April 27. Event details and Water Taxi schedules will be announced shortly.
We’re checking on the various components of this for a followup later today, but in the meantime, this is bigger than the More page roundup, so in case you haven’t heard – as reported (so far) in the P-I and on Q13 and at KING5.com, someone cleared a section of city-owned slope over the 1600 block of Harbor Avenue (area map), without authorization. Neighbors blame a homeowner trying to get a better view. Police are investigating, and the culprit could face criminal charges. ADDED 4:55 PM: Added the photo, which shows the general slope area where this happened (just below the hedge-ish plants at the bottom of the white draping); difficult to get a close-up shot of the stumps from where we tried. Just talked to the Southwest Precinct – no new developments in the investigation today; cases like this take a while to develop (everyone may think they know who did it, but you need evidence). A parks spokesperson tells WSB that once there is definite identification, they “will determine an appropriate fine for the perpetrator based on the economic value of the trees and damage to the area.” Still waiting for word on how, and how soon, the city might restore the damaged area – since there are certainly erosion and slide concerns on a slope like that. ADDED 10:15 PM: Did manage to get a closer view of the apparent slash zone earlier this evening: