month : 07/2008 331 results

Wednesday afternoon links and notes

MERCURY FROM CEMENT PLANTS: They’re not in West Seattle but they (and other Duwamish-area industrial operations) affect the air quality here (and come up in discussions such as this recent WSB comment thread about a “mystery smell”). Today the Times reports an environmental group says the emissions from Lafarge and Ash Grove cement plants include up to 91 pounds of mercury a year. The Times story (at this moment, anyway) doesn’t link to the group’s report, but we found it here.

SHE’S A CHAMP: Think people tend to get weaker with age? 48-year-old Tamela Thomas of West Seattle is among those who can disabuse you of that notion. The Weekly writes about her historic martial-arts win.

MORE TIME TO ORDER ROTARY BLUEBERRIES: Another harvest delay is changing the Rotary Club of West Seattle blueberry pickup date – which means more time to order if you haven’t done so already – now pickups are projected for August 8-9. Raspberries will be here this weekend as scheduled, however. You can order blueberries from the Rotary website till August 5th; notes Rotary member Josh Sutton of the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor), “These sales support our annual Holiday Kids Shopping Spree, where we take about 100 kids to Sears and buy them new clothes, shoes and winter coats each December. And the berries are yummy.”

INTERESTED IN GOING TO INDIA OR FRANCE? This too comes from the Rotarians, but it’s a citywide announcement – “young businesspeople” who are NOT Rotary Club members are invited to apply for an exchange program to spend a month in India or France. Find out all about it here.

Chief Sealth HS construction/move: Portable-plan update

July 23, 2008 1:32 pm
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 |   Denny-Sealth | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools


Driving Delridge, we spotted work under way alongside that row of portables at Chief Sealth High School‘s new temporary home (the former Boren Junior High), a short time after getting a quick update on the start of the two-year Sealth renovation project. A doorhanger’s gone out to neighbors, says Pauline Sugarman, assistant to Robert Evans, the Project Manager for the Denny/Sealth construction process — but if you were expecting to see demolition of the CSHS portables, once expected to be among the first visible signs of work, you’ll be waiting a while longer. Sugarman says one portable has been moved and the others won’t be demolished “for quite a while” because another permit is needed. She adds, “Most if not all of the construction right now is happening in the inside of the existing buildings.” You can check this city webpage to track the various permits that have been applied for and granted; the Sealth website has its own page with info-links about the relocation to Boren.

West Seattle barista on “Project Runway”: Blayne talks tanning


Today is Blayne‘s second day back on the job at Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) since his return from taping “Project Runway 5” (don’t even ask him about the show, totally off-limits per all sorts of paperwork) so we had to go say hi and grab a photo, looking ahead to the viewing party his boss Lora Lewis is organizing again tonight at nearby Ginomai. Blayne says it’s a relief to be back – the taping schedule was hectic and intense – but he did get to see some of the New York sights. Direct quote: “I tanned in Central Park.” (His skin hue has been a major topic of media discussion.) He told us he’s got a conflict that’ll keep him from the viewing party tonight, but if he makes it to episode 3 (and of course he can’t even hint), he’ll be there. Ginomai is on the southwest corner of 42nd/Genesee, with a (free!) parking lot you can access from 42nd on the south side of the building; doors open at 8 pm, bring a nonalcoholic beverage to share, and a small dessert.

Sub sighting off Alki – and more Navy sightings on the way

July 23, 2008 11:00 am
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 |   Seen at sea


Cami just sent that photo of a submarine seen from Alki (some are stationed at Naval Base Kitsap, not all that far away) and it gives us an excuse to remind you that Seafair Fleet Week is just a week away. The list of visiting ships isn’t available online yet (we’re checking with Seafair PR) but the tour schedule is – July 31-Aug. 3. (Which of course coincides with the airborne Navy representation at Seafair, the Blue Angels – squee!.)

West Seattle wildlife watch: Latest coyote pix and sightings



We suppose photos like that MIGHT bore us someday when coyotes are in residence at all hours in all front yards, back yards, parking spaces … but that’s probably a ways off. At least a week. Vanessa sent the photos a few days back, saying she’d taken them at 46th/Willow (map) a few weeks earlier (believed to be the same coyote shown here). We’d been looking for a timely excuse to run her pix, and got one this morning when another sighting report came in, this time from Pat in Fauntlee Hills:

Late last night my wife and I saw a coyote trotting down 39th Avenue SW near Henderson St. [map] walking south. A good reminder to keep your pets safe!

Fauntleroy Place site demolition update: Interior focus today


From the sidewalk on the SW Alaska side of the building that’s coming down to make way for Whole Foods and the rest of Fauntleroy Place, you can still see into the ex-storefront, and beyond to the former parking lot. We’re just back from another visit to the demolition site, where Fauntleroy Place project manager Easton Craft from BlueStar told WSB that the crews are not expected to tear down the actual structural shell before tomorrow. They’ve been assessing as the work proceeds, he says, and there’s more clearing out to do inside the old Hancock Fabrics (which will have a new store in the new building) and Schuck’s (which won’t) building; if you go by the site, you’ll see the debris in almost-neat piles:


It’s being arranged this way because much of the debris will be taken away for recycling. As previously mentioned, demolition (to be followed by excavation) is proceeding even though a final design for the mixed-use building (including almost 200 apartments) hasn’t been approved yet — the most recent version will go before the Southwest Design Review Board three weeks from tomorrow, on August 14th; the site for that meeting now has been set — High Point Community Center. Fauntleroy Place will be reviewed at 8 pm, after the design for the 35th/Graham project is reviewed at 6:30 pm.

Happening today/tonight: Demolition; playground; party

Walking the southern side of the ex-Schuck’s/Hancock Fabrics building, future Fauntleroy Place, at Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th, we caught that little slice of demolition life toward the end of the Tuesday workday — note the shopping carts on the lower right. Demolition work is scheduled to continue today, starting around 8 am. (More background in WSB coverage from Tuesday morning.) Meantime, a milestone happens tonight in the life of another project:


6:30 tonight, Admiral library branch, you are invited to the first community meeting about a proposal for a playground at that mini-park (California Place, next to Admiral UCC church; backstory in previous WSB coverage here).

Last but by no means least on the list of tonight’s highlights — Viewing Party #2 for West Seattle’s own contender on “Project Runway” season 5 — barista Blayne from Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor). Again tonight, bring a non-alcoholic beverage to share, and a small dessert, to Ginomai (southwest corner of 42nd/Genesee), doors open at 8 pm, show’s on the big screen at 9, free offstreet parking lot.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Watchdog woes, and more

From reports filed at the Southwest Precinct in the past several days (downloaded last night so we haven’t seen the very newest ones yet): handcuffs_2.jpgWe start with somebody taking on trouble in his neighborhood – and getting trouble in return: In the 5600 block of SW Teig around 9:20 pm Saturday night, a man in his 50s told police he had seen teenagers using drugs and urinating in the street near his home, so he started taking pictures of them and their VW Rabbit with his cell-phone camera. They told him to stop; he didn’t, and he told police one of them “jumped on him” and scratched his face. The report says officers couldn’t see any visible injuries but a witness confirmed the attack; it also says they advised the man to call police next time rather than trying to take matters into his own hands, but he wasn’t very receptive to that advice. More summarized reports ahead, including a bartender attacked while working and an alert business owner helping bust up a possible underground burglary attempt:Read More

Double your fun: TWO outdoor movies in West Seattle this week

July 22, 2008 11:04 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | High Point | West Seattle parks

In addition to the next edition of West Seattle Movies on the Wall in the courtyard next to Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) — “The Goonies,” this Saturday night @ dusk (last Saturday the showing started around 9:20 pm, so definitely don’t be any later than 9, full info and entire season lineup here) — High Point Community Center has an outdoor movie this week too: “Peter Pan,” part of the next Thursday Night Family Fun event at HPCC (6-9 pm; if you want to check on an exact movie start time, call the center at 684-7422).

How to handle a masked bandit who’s not Crime Watch material


Susan on Gatewood Hill is looking for advice:

Does anyone have a good deterrent for raccoons? Obviously, having a water garden with tasty plants and potable water is an attraction, we admit. What we’d like to know is if anyone has had success with the predator pee, or cayenne powder, or other “scentual” deterrents. These photos were taken last night.


Postmortem on the 45th/Trenton tree: It was there first


We went back a little while ago to check on the 45th/Trenton (map) tree, finally taken down today (WSB coverage from this morning, including links to previous reports, here) after years of conflict with power lines and trimming work related to those lines. Looking at the circumference of its remains, we realized the tree obviously was there long before the power lines – how long, you ask?


Nearby resident Elise, who provided photos for this morning’s story, sent that one, and the one below, with the report that a neighbor had decided to estimate the tree’s age. On its rings, he marked a timeline:


Final estimate: About 140 years, dating back to about 1868, only 17 years after the Denny Party got here. One notable West Seattle event in 1868, according to HistoryLink: Doc Maynard sold his 320-acre farm on Alki Point for $450. The first electric service in Seattle was still 18 years away, according to Seattle City Light‘s history webpage.

“Stuff the Bus” countdown – and free car-seat inspections!

July 22, 2008 4:30 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news


We first showed you that bus in our coverage of Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade – First Student agreed during West Seattle Summer Fest to loan it to WestSide Baby for promotion of, and use during, the annual Stuff the Bus diaper drive this Sunday. You’ll see the bus again starting Thursday — Nancy Woodland from WestSide Baby, which is sponsoring WSB this week to give Stuff the Bus an extra promotional push, says it’ll be parked at the old Huling Buick showroom site as a reminder (with permission from BlueStar, which is developing Gateway Center at the site), till it moves on Saturday to the site where you’ll find it Sunday: Alongside the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, 10 am-2 pm. The diaper drive is vital for WestSide Baby because, as is scrawled on the promotional bus above, “food stamps don’t buy diapers” — and this year, WestSide Baby is expecting to donate 300,000 diapers to families in need — but they need your help first. More on this as the week goes on – but here’s first word of a new addition that might be of interest to your family: This year, WestSide Baby is partnering with the King County South chapter of the national SafeKids Coalition to offer diaper-drive donors FREE car-seat inspections at the Junction Wells Fargo Bank parking lot (right across from the bus you’ll be stuffing); note that the last car will be admitted at 1:30 pm. Find out more about WestSide Baby by going here.

Delridge Skatepark meeting reminder: Week from tomorrow

July 22, 2008 4:07 pm
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 |   Delridge | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

We told you on July 4th that the date for the first meeting about the proposed Delridge Skatepark was set for July 30. Now that’s just eight days away – and the city has issued its official announcement — saying, “at this meeting the community will focus on creating a vision for the park and will learn about scope of work for the design of the skatepark” as well as setting up an official page on the Parks section of (see it here). 7:30 pm, 7/30, Delridge Community Center.

West Seattle Crime Watch safety alert: Possible casing?

Just out of the WSB inbox – a question about a note left on a door, followed by an alert about a suspicious sighting – read on:Read More

Welcoming a new WSB sponsor: West Seattle Bowl (with a contest!)


Today we’re welcoming the newest WSB sponsor — West Seattle Bowl on 39th just north of Fauntleroy (map). Owners Andy Carl and Mike Gubsch have a lot to share about one of the most fun places in West Seattle: It’s 32 lanes with a full Chinese /American restaurant (Terrace West) and lounge, and it’s one of the few remaining bowling centers in the Seattle city limits. Though West Seattle Bowl was established in 1948, today it is arguably among the most innovative centers in the nation. They were the first center in the U.S. to have an online reservation system incorporated in its website and have had more than 1,000 online reservations since the system started in July 2007. Before that, they were one of the first centers to post league standings online back in the ’90s. And coming soon: Game night on Fridays. This will be a fun interactive contest using a variety of games tied to the scoring system that everyone can participate in while bowling. Winners will receive prizes. Plus, right now – you can win a free bowling party for 30 people valued at $1000. Go to and for each online reservation you make between now and August 31st you will be entered into a drawing for a bowling party for 30 people to include, a custom drill bowling ball and bag for the winner and a party for 30 people to bowl for 2 hours, catering by Garlic Jim’s (pizza and salads), and a $250 beverage allowance in our lounge. There’s even more to the West Seattle Bowl story, including special deals they offer, and other ways in which they’ve been trailblazers — read on:Read More

Another “demolition”: 45th/Trenton “sad tree” coming down


The Schuck’s/Hancock building (Fauntleroy Place) isn’t all that’s coming down today. Elise sent the shown-above photo of the tree on the southwest corner of 45th/Trenton — known at her house, she says, as “the sad tree” — posted last month for removal (June WSB coverage here) after utility-related tree trimming in the area (May WSB coverage here) left it in somewhat unsustainable shape:


City Light had told WSB that its owner agreed to have it removed (at city expense), with two “power-line-appropriate” trees to be planted in the spot. From one of our previous stories, Jenny had sent this photo of how what she called the “candelabra tree” once looked:


Though City Light said the work on this tree was done appropriately, and its demise can instead be blamed on the unfortunate fact it grew under power lines, the utility also told us in May that the trimming on another tree nearby was botched badly enough that the crew that did it was removed from the contract.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Health-care office hit

Busy morning so far. In addition to the Hancock/Schuck’s demolition and a notable tree takedown (report to come), we were going through a sheaf of police reports downloaded last night at the precinct – when something too new to have been in that stack arrived in the WSB inbox from Dr. Elise Mullen:

(At) Seattle Wellness Programs, 5617 California Ave SW: We had someone come through the office, at approximately 8:20 pm (last night), while the massage therapist, Leah Bowman, was working and stole her purse which was in a back room. A police report has been filed Please let police know if anyone saw someone at that time or recovers the purse. 206-388-2929

Demolition work starts at Fauntleroy Place (Whole Foods)


Those are two of the three backhoes working on the ex-Hancock/Schuck’s building. We talked with BlueStar‘s project manager for Fauntleroy Place, Easton Craft, at the scene a few minutes ago – he said the crews aren’t expected to take the entire building down today — just the facade and some internal work — though the plan could change. Though the official “groundbreaking” ceremony was more than a month ago, the building couldn’t come down until asbestos-abatement work was done; Craft tells WSB that went uneventfully, without anything unusual turning up in the building beyond some of the tile/ceiling asbestos routinely used back when buildings like this went up. He also says City Light crews are in the area today doing some preparation work for the utility undergrounding that BlueStar plans to do (including the poles along 39th). While we were talking with Craft, a woman came up to ask what’s going to happen to the old Hancock/Schuck’s sign:


Well, he began, we think it’s going to the dump. No! she said, alarmed, identifying herself as a longtime West Seattleite who wants to see the sign preserved as history – at least, the Hancock’s part. Craft said he’d see what he could do, though he’s worried the sign might be welded to its metal poles and hard to separate. We’ll let you know how it turns out. ADDED 10:39 AM: Demolition video:

We’ll check back on the progress a bit later. As for the project itself, its new design will be considered by the Design Review Board next month, but as BlueStar told JuNO two weeks ago, they planned to proceed with demolition and excavation work in the meantime.

King County Ferry District’s new website sets sail

The Elliott Bay Water Taxi schedules are still anchored to the Metro website, but you can now read all about the new-ish parent agency of the Water Taxi and the Seattle-Vashon passenger ferry – and in the future, maybe more foot ferries — on the new King County Ferry District website.

4 weeks from today: Election Day, already

July 22, 2008 6:43 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

The primary election, that is — August 19th, our state’s first “top two” primary since the court fight shook out. The candidates and ballot measures already are listed online; among the notables you’ll see on your ballot, Seattle’s 7th Congressional District Rep. Jim McDermott checkbox.jpg(now described on the ballot as “Prefers Democratic Party”) has five challengers (including perennial candidate Goodspaceguy Nelson); Gov. Chris Gregoire and Dino Rossi are just two of 10 people going for governor; all three of West Seattle’s state legislators (34th District Sen. Joe McDermott and Reps. Eileen Cody and Sharon Nelson; scroll down this page) are opponentless. On the ballot-measure front, you’ll only face one in August — King County Initiative 26, which seeks a November vote on a proposal to make the county executive, council, and assessor jobs all nonpartisan. If you’re not registered to vote, it’s too late for August unless you’ve never registered in WA before, in which case you have till August 4th (more info here)

Report #2, with video: Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu, princesses chosen

So you’re a festival queen at the end of your yearlong reign, about to turn over the tiara – and you tell the audience about your fondest memories:

Yes, as reported here before, the Hi-Yu float has needed help for a while, and even that will be a fond memory for good-humored Sivona Lingle. Last year, she was the only candidate for the senior court in the Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Scholarship Program, and therefore has served the past year as a one-woman senior court. Last night, quite a different scenario – she crowned her successor, and two princesses, from a field of five candidates, during a high-spirited event in the expansive (and warm!) sanctuary of Grace Community Church. Watch video of all three crowning moments – and a few other highlights, including the Talent Award-winning performance – as our story continues just ahead:Read More

Highland Park Action Cmte. tonight: Different city jail-talk team

hpac721.jpgIn its two-months-so-far fight against two proposed city-jail sites in southeast West Seattle, the Highland Park Action Committee has seen some of the same city reps more than once, particularly Doug Carey, the main person on the hot seat at the contentious South Park forum June 26th (WSB coverage here). But tonight, the city sent in a different team to represent its side of the jail-site story: Fleets and Facilities deputy director Mary Pearson (photo left) and Office of Policy and Management senior policy adviser Catherine Cornwall. They took questions for about 40 minutes, after opening remarks. Toplines ahead:Read More

New Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu just crowned

July 21, 2008 9:28 pm
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 |   West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news


(photo added 9:59 pm – the new Miss Hi-Yu posing for pix with her parents Ramona and Robert)
At Grace Church, the 2008 Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Coronation has just concluded with Margo Femiano, who graduated from Chief Sealth High School last month (as class president!), chosen as the new queen. The princesses are Alicia Watanabe and Katie Tarabochia. More on the big night (including video) later!