day : 10/07/2008 11 results

Bubbly night in The Junction on the eve of Summer Fest

Right in the middle of California SW between Edmunds and Alaska, less than two hours after the street closed for West Seattle Summer Fest setup tonight (and the festival itself tomorrow through Sunday), we got that video in the middle of the crowd that gathered outside Elliott Bay Brewery, as Garry “Bubbleman” Golightly enchanted an all-ages crowd. Kids and even pets will find new additions during this year’s festival (highlights are listed here). Elsewhere, we found signs of impending fun at the West Seattle Junction Association-presented annual extravaganza:


That’s a dunk tank that was delivered next to Shoofly Pie Company, awaiting its assignment; almost directly across the street, next to Red Cup Espresso, cool treats — frozen Mighty-O Donuts! — are promised for what the forecast suggests will be a warm weekend:


West Seattle Summer Fest kicks off tomorrow morning. Hours are 10 am-8 pm tomorrow and Saturday, 11 am-7 pm Sunday. Live music runs a little longer Friday and Saturday, and starts at 1:45 pm tomorrow; here’s the music lineup for all three days. Meantime, the next photo shows where you will find us, and an all-star lineup of folks from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce:


That’s the official West Seattle Summer Fest Information Booth, right in the heart of the “Walk All Ways” zone at California/Alaska; at least one member of Team WSB will be there every moment it’s open, till at least 5 pm each day – please come by to say hi, and if you can spare a moment or two, we’ll have a few questions for you as we help the Chamber build an informal “community profile” – we’ll be posting them online too – everything from where you’re originally from (if you’re not a West Seattle native) to whether you think WS needs a hotel. By the way, the road closures for Summer Fest as set up tonight are as follows: Alaska from 42nd to 44th, California from Genesee to Oregon and then again from Oregon to Edmunds (west-east traffic is allowed through on Oregon). Temporary bus changes are detailed here. See you this weekend in The Junction; we’ll be posting numerous reports about the people, the events, the fun, the food, and more, as it all unfolds (and of course, other West Seattle news too!).

Alki pump-station project update: More trucks, noise ahead

For the first time in months, Metro sent out a major update on the year-and-a-half-long 53rd Ave. Pump Station expansion project that’s been under way along Alki since March. Major points: Next week, for a period lasting up to 36 hours (likely Tuesday/Wednesday), a particular phase of the project will require wastewater to be trucked away from the spot instead of channeled through pipes. Crews will work around the clock, but Metro warns people to expect “increased noise, more truck traffic on the road and potentially odor.” Here’s how the “Vactor” trucks will get to and from the site:

Trucks traveling to the West Seattle Pump Station will follow Alki Avenue Southwest to Harbor Avenue Southwest. Trucks traveling to the Alki Stormwater Treatment Plant will follow this route: Alki Avenue Southwest to 63rd Avenue Southwest to Beach Drive Southwest to 64th Avenue Southwest to Southwest Wilton Court.

Then in late July, four to five weeks of “sheet pile driving” will commence, to stabilize the site for excavation, and residents are warned this is likely to bring vibrations as well as more noise. You can read the entire Metro project update here; the project’s main infopage is here.

Reader report: Kindness of strangers

Marilyn sent this to us today:

I was riding my bicycle today and had a nasty fall. I want to say thank you to all the wonderful people that stopped to help me. Linda came right over to help, Brian came from his apartment with bandages etc. And even gave me a ride home. Many others came by to help as well as a police officer, it was just very wonderful how many people cared. So thank you so much to all the wonderful people.

Update: Fauntleroy ferry-idling signs are on the way

The Fauntleroy Community Association sends word from FCA members Sherry and Ron Richardson that City Council President Richard Conlin liked their suggestion of “please turn off your engine” signs for the Fauntleroy ferry-queueing zone (first reported here a month ago), and asked SDOT to make it so. So we checked with SDOT communications boss Rick Sheridan today regarding a timetable, and here’s what we heard back:

SDOT did receive the request from Council President Conlin. Following the mayor’s lead on climate change, SDOT is very supportive of reducing vehicle emissions whenever possible. We recently installed signs reminding drivers to turn off engines while waiting for city bridges along the Ship Canal.

SDOT will install signs along Fauntleroy Way SW, near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. (Though the signs will only be informational as there is no authority provided by the Seattle Municipal Code to force compliance.) We are working on the language and siting for them now, and expect that roadway users should see them within the next month.

“Flower Houses” tree tussle: Condo association responds


(photo courtesy Alma Taylor-Smyth, who lives in one of the “flower houses”)
Followup to yesterday’s story about the Alki Ave “Flower Houses” evergreen tree and the neighboring condo owners’ plan to trim it — which is getting attention in citywide media today (two TV stations and one newspaper counted so far) — the condos’ homeowners association has posted this response:

Hi, I’m Wendy, the president of the 1402 Condo Association. I’d like to make a comment in response to the tree trimming controversy. We have never talked about cutting down the tree, topping it off, or trimming it back so that it would die. In fact, we are willing to give up some of our view so that it can grow. We bought our units having been told by Randie that we had unblockable and wireless views, which is no longer the case for the lower units.

Since the tree has grown to this size in the last four years, the arborists have said that the tree could be blown down in a wind storm–on our building, her house, or the cars below. The root system is beginning to buckle the sidewalk, and will eventually pose a problem for the walkers.

Over the last three years, we have offered to move the tree to the back, which is no longer possible, and replace with a different tree, but Randie refused.

Recently, we tried to meet with Randie to discuss and come up with a solution that would work for both of us, and she refused. We have shared our arborist’s report as well as the legal research with her and her attorney, which we did not have to do.

It is our sincere desire to meet with her and find an amicable resolution.
– 1402 Homeowners Association

We have messages out to those who originally contacted us, seeking a response. 6:21 PM UPDATE: We have heard back from Randie Stone:

Here is the first paragraph of a letter that was left on my front door just prior to the Fourth of July weekend:

Dear Randie:

On behalf of the 1402 Alki HOA I’d like to give you the heads up that we will be trimming the limbs and foliage of the two Douglas Fir trees that encroach our property line as early as Monday, July 7, 2008. Although we are not legally required to do so, we are extending the courtesy of advance notice in hopes that we will be able to maintain a friendly, neighborly relationship.

My only goal is to maintain the health and integrity of my tree which was there before the condo was built. The safety of my tree was my only concern.

Please let the record show that I am acting as a private citizen and protecting my rights as a private citizen.

Randie Stone

Follow-up: Westwood WaMu drive-thru bank-robber description


Just checked with Seattle FBI spokesperson Robbie Burroughs to see if there are any photos of the Westwood Village WaMu drive-thru robber from yesterday — no pix, but the description of the robber (and vehicle) has been refined; here’s the latest:

What we know now is that an older white female dressed in black clothing, dark sunglasses, a fake beard and possibly a wig, robbed the Washington Mutual Bank drive-thru window just before 1pm. She passed a note to the teller saying there was a bomb planted in the bank that would go off in 90 seconds if she was not given money. The teller complied and the robber drove off. Her vehicle was described as a Jeep type SUV, burgundy in color. The exact plate # is not known but a witness saw a 4×4 inch sticker of a Boston Terrier on a window on the driver’s side of the vehicle toward the back of the car. No photos of the robber were obtained. She is still at large.

Another reality-show contender in West Seattle tonight (& beyond)

July 10, 2008 1:01 pm
|    Comments Off on Another reality-show contender in West Seattle tonight (& beyond)
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle video | WS culture/arts

Last night, we mentioned the viewing party set next Wednesday to cheer West Seattle barista Blayne on “Project Runway.” Tonight, there’s another reality-show viewing party in West Seattle — Comic/impressionist Marcus will be at Rocksport at 8 pm, where you can join him to watch the show on which he’s a finalist, “Last Comic Standing.” He’s also getting ready for his performances at Admiral Theater tomorrow night and Saturday, so Admiral management invited us to shoot a snippet of video with him this morning – it’s more of a plug than a comedy routine but if you have 40 seconds to spare, his Captain Jack Sparrow imitation is pretty dead-on:

The Admiral’s got a ton of live comedy shows coming up, all listed here.

2 non-West Seattle-specific notes that might interest you

PARKS LEVY PUBLIC HEARING TONIGHT: The City Council is getting closer to deciding whether to pursue putting a new parks levy on the ballot this fall, when Pro Parks expires. Next step – a public hearing tonight before the Parks Committee, chaired by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, 5:30 pm, City Hall. The final list of projects currently proposed for the potential levy is in this document.

BIGGEST ROAD CLOSURE OF THE WEEKEND: Besides the West Seattle Summer Fest road closures in The Junction kicking in at 6 pm tonight (mentioned earlier here), if you haven’t seen this in citywide media already, be forewarned the 520 bridge across Lake Washington closes for its annual inspection, 11 pm Friday-5 am Monday.

Update: Pursuing a playground at North Admiral mini-park

July 10, 2008 10:17 am
|    Comments Off on Update: Pursuing a playground at North Admiral mini-park
 |   California Place Park | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks


Two weeks ago, we reported on a proposal to build a playground at California Place, the mini-park shown above (California/Hill, next to Admiral UCC Church). Now we have word from Manuela Slye, who outlined the idea at the Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting last month, that a new group is forming and has just filed an application with the city Department of Neighborhoods to seek funding for the first phase of the project, including design work. As part of the process, you are now invited to the first community meeting planned by the new group, FANNA (Friends and Neighbors of North Admiral), to “discuss the status of the project, proposed timeline, and (seek) input and help from the community,” says Slye (who operates Cometa Playschool preschool). The meeting is set for 6:30 pm July 23rd at the West Seattle (Admiral) branch of Seattle Public Library; FANNA expects to hear from the city about its grant application by mid-August.

What’s happening today/tonight/beyond: Street closures and more!

SUMMER FEST STREET CLOSURES START TONIGHT: 6 pm tonight, California closes between Genesee and Edmunds, and Alaska closes between 42nd and 44th (thanks to Sue for pointing out in comments that involves bus changes too). And those street closures mean …

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK BONUS! You can stroll carless streets while visiting The Junction for the Second Thursday Art Walk tonight, 6 pm-9 pm. Of course, the Art Walk has stretched far beyond The Junction now; see the list of venues at the Art Walk website. Some have artist receptions tonight, including ArtsWest.

ALSO TONIGHT IN THE JUNCTION: Marcus from “Last Comic Standing” is at Rocksport @ 8 pm (more on this later today), looking ahead to an Admiral Theater show tomorrow.

WHILE YOU’RE IN THE JUNCTION: Seattle Tilth says Next to Nature is now selling maps for this Saturday’s City Chickens tour, including coops at West Seattle homes (more here, and at the Tilth website here.)

AND MIDDAY TODAY IN THE JUNCTION: We’ve mentioned that all three West Seattle Little League All-Star teams have won their district championships – first time ever! – and are going to state tournaments. One of those teams, the 9-10s, has travel expenses because they’re going to Vancouver (WA), and players will be fundraising in The Junction today starting at 11 am (look for the red jerseys), as well as having a car wash/bake sale in the PCC parking lot Saturday, 11 am-2 pm.

SPEAKING OF SPORTS TEAMS: Don’t forget that when it’s time to nosh at Summer Fest, the West Seattle High School football team will be serving up chicken sandwiches and chicken Caesar salads to raise money for badly needed new uniforms (as first reported here last month). What else is at Summer Fest, you ask? Come say hi to Team WSB at the Information Booth all three days, and get info ahead of time at the SF website.

Two Alki notes: New Beacon online; Liberty Plaza progress

NEW BEACON ONLINE: Editor Cami MacNamara has just posted the latest edition of the Alki Community Council-published semimonthly newspaper Alki News Beacon; you can get it here. We contribute to the News-Beacon sometimes and wrote up the beach-fire-controversy flareup for this edition. The ACC’s next meeting, by the way, is a week from tonight — 7 pm July 17, Alki Community Center. Also from Alki:


ALKI STATUE OF LIBERTY PLAZA PROGRESS: Thanks again to David Hutchinson for that photo and another update on the project, about to start its third day (see our extensive video/photo coverage of its momentous Day 1, plus the past year of what led up to it, archived here). He reports:

Virtually all of the rubble has been hauled away. (Today) begins the construction phase of the project with Patrick Donohue, Parks Department Project Manager, indicating that this would begin with surveying and grading. Then will come the construction of the forms in preparation for the first pouring of cement next week.