month : 08/2008 340 results

Server move update: Closing comments/forums @ midnight

August 31, 2008 11:17 pm
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 |   West Seattle online

As mentioned earlier, we’re moving servers/hosts tonight to increase capacity and reliability – to help ensure we continue to deserve your trust as West Seattle’s 24/7 real-time news source. As part of the process, we have to “freeze” the site at midnight for the database move – so you won’t be able to use our discussion features (comments and forum posting) overnight, and we won’t be adding new items here till we’re sure everything’s up and running on the new server. But remember that we’ve set up two other ways of publishing news/info during the transition if needed – besides our Twitter feed (accessible online at, we also have a backup site (which also would be deployed if WSB ever went down for a significant amount of time) at If you don’t see a Labor Day open/closed-info post here first thing in the morning, your ISP may not be seeing the new server yet, and we’d want to hear from you at – thanks!

1 week till Alki’s Car-Free Sunday – here’s how Rainier went today

August 31, 2008 8:28 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

One week from today, as officially announced 7/30, the city shuts down Alki SW from California Way (by Seacrest) to 63rd, noon-6 pm on Sunday 9/7, for its last summeroff.jpgCar-Free Sunday of the summer. Last week, Car-Free Sunday #1 on Capitol Hill was cut short by rain and roiled by controversy, but the first report we’ve seen about Rainier Valley today calls it “trouble-free.” We’ll add other links as we find them; meantime, here’s the city page with all the info you need about next Sunday – we’ll of course continue posting info in the week ahead. ADDED MONDAY MORNING: The P-I has a Rainier Car-Free Day blurb up now.

Something thrilling in West Seattle: Join the quest for a record

(The Michael Jackson original is unembeddable, so we’re showing the Star Wars version instead)
The summer may be over but a thrilling new round of fun has begun, per Lora Lewis from Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor), who just announced … she’s putting together a dance team to “join the Thrill the World Guinness Book of World Records event!” — thousands (millions?) of people doing the “Thriller” dance in groups, worldwide. The team’s already got a blog (check it out here; looks like Blayne of “Project Runway” fame is involved too) – plus the date for the first rehearsal: This Wednesday, 8-9 pm, Ginomai (southwest corner of 42nd/Genesee; that’s conveniently right before this week’s PR viewing party) — you’re invited — just RSVP by sending Lora a note at Subsequent rehearsals will be the same day/time each week; the Seattle event for Thrill the World, at which time this team will strut its stuff, is 11 am October 25. Lora’s already registered the team so as she puts it — “all you need to do is show up and dance!” (and she has a step-by-step video, so don’t worry if you’ve never done it before). More at the team’s blog (, and the official worldwide website is

West Seattle scenes: Westenders’ “Tour di Mari”


Spotted quite the lineup along California SW between Alaska and Morgan Junctions this morning, so we stopped for pix: The Westenders Scooter Club (mentioned here during the Sustainable West Seattle Festival in May) stopped at C&P Coffee during their weekend-long “Tour di Mari” rally — as the Westenders’ website explains it, this is “… the famous Water Ride … perfected during Amerivespa 2007.” (You might recall multiple scooter-group sightings during that mega-gathering.) Members told WSB they were heading toward Des Moines after the coffee-shop stop.


You can find out lots more about the club online at

WSB’er technical alert: Upgrade update

We mentioned this the other day; here’s another heads-up. **If** all goes as planned, tonight is likely the night we’re upgrading/changing servers (after 10 pm), computer.jpgto provide increased capacity and reliability, as we end the third consecutive month with more than half a million pageviews (and a new WSB traffic record). The server we’ve been using for the past eight-plus months has been RELATIVELY reliable but that’s not good enough for our commitment to be your 24/7 source of real-time West Seattle news. Once we point the site at the new server, there may be a lag before your Internet Service Provider (ISP) sees it, – most ISPs catch on within hours, but as we learned last December, not all – if you start to suspect you’re not seeing updated WSB content (between early morning and late night, we seldom go longer than a few hours without something new), please let us know ( will be the best address in this case) and also please bookmark, a backup site (nothing there right this moment) we will use to communicate any updates on the move as well as any urgent news that happens during the transition time (we’ll also post updates on Twitter – even if you don’t want to join Twitter, you can read our updates any time at – we’ve also added a Twitter-centric page here on the site, click the tab). Thanks for your patience – and for being a vital part of WSB.

Reader report: How to handle a neighborhood parking problem

Not too long ago, Elise wrote with a question/concern about a van parked in her neighborhood and whether it had the right to be parked the way it was frequently parked. We made a suggestion or two in e-mail; some of her questions had to do with the rules about Residential Parking Zones (city webpage here), and as Elise proceeded to do some research, she thought you might benefit from what she found out:

1) Even if you have a zone permit (or guest permit) you must move your car every 72 hours. Basically, having the permit does not exempt you from those rules. But, you are allowed to park anywhere in your zone as long as you
have your permit.

2) The city is considering changing the rules on the # of permits that can be issued per/household to only 2. I asked when this would be in effect and she said she did not know. City Councilwoman Jan Drago chairs the Transportation Committee, so she would be a good person to contact in order to express support of this proposal (

3) If you have complaints about habitual “junk” motor vehicles in the neighborhood it’s best to still call the abandoned vehicle hotline at 206-684-8763. This creates an electronic track record of the car(s) movements. Like the guy in our neighborhood with 8 cars – they refer to those people as “car ranchers” (anyone with between 5-30 cars) who constantly move their cars around on city streets to avoid getting tickets. The only way to have the city do anything about them is by creating the electronic track record. The person I spoke with at the Citizen Service Bureau (206-684-8811) also said the UW School of Law offers a free “Mediation Clinic” to help resolve issues between neighbors (obviously for extreme situations), but their # is 206-685-4140.

West Seattle Farmers’ Market: More tree fruit

August 31, 2008 6:21 am
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 |   West Seattle Farmers' Market

There’s more tree fruit on the citywide “what’s new” list for farmers’ markets this week, including today’s West Seattle Farmers’ Market (10 am-2 pm, 44th/Alaska). Check it out here (and let us know if you encounter any surprise finds!).

From the WSB Forums: Happy ending to a frantic search

gibsn.jpgMost days, we get at least two or three lost/found pet reports to add to the WSB Pets page. Often, we get word of happy reunions within a few days. Sometimes, the search is so intense that, after the original post to the Pets page, there are in-progress updates, which we lately have been directing to the WSB Forums – and in one such case, that of Gibs’N the Irish Water Spaniel (photo above), the latest update is a happy ending – forum posts indicate he’s back home tonight. Some West Seattle pets are still missing – and have been for a long time – if you don’t routinely check the Pets page, please have a look from time to time – you never know when you might see one of those long-lost critters and be able to bring her/him home. (We have adoptable pets, and West Seattle pet owners’ favorite photos, on that page too!)

New bike, new challenge for surfing-injury survivor Addie Killam


That’s Addie Killam of Highland Park, getting ready to ride her new hand-operated bike along Alki this morning. If Addie’s name sounds familiar but you just can’t quite place it – we first told you about her in this April report, when news came that she had become paralyzed after a freak surfing injury. Later, friends, family, neighbors, and WSB’ers worked to help fix up a house so she could come home to West Seattle this past June after weeks of rehab in a Colorado hospital. Now, Addie’s in training for a special Mike Utley Foundation fundraising ride coming up in about a month. Along the Alki bike path, we talked to her for a moment before her training ride this morning:

The Mike Utley Foundation raises money “to find a cure for paralysis”; Utley’s story is detailed here — he is a Seattle native who was a football star at Burien’s John F. Kennedy High School and then at WSU, followed by two years in the NFL, till the injury that paralyzed him in 1991. He underwent rehab at the same place in Craig, Colorado, where Addie spent time earlier this year. Now he lives in Wenatchee, where she’ll be riding her new bike in the 50-mile Dam2Dam on September 27:

Addie’s looking for sponsors for next month’s ride; to find out how to help, check out this post on the blog about her ongoing recovery – it’s got full details on what to do (you can also go directly to this page on the Mike Utley Foundation website – just make sure you fill in Addie Killam’s name).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Mail-thief alert

Out of the WSB inbox, from Don, who wants you to be aware of what happened to him:

In the neighborhood due south of Alaska Junction’s Jefferson Square, we discovered that mail had been taken from our box, opened, and gone through, in search of credit card information and anything else of value. The perps tossed the remainder in our yard, which was ironic, as one thing of value turned out to be some expensive train tickets for an upcoming vacation trip. The only thing we actually lost was one of those fake credit-card-like things on a junk-mail come-on from American Express, but we found pieces of the neighbor’s mail near our house as well. When we mentioned this to USPS personnel, they told us to call the police and file a report, and let the local postmaster know as well.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT. These creeps take advantage of unlocked mailboxes and have no problem committing local and federal crimes. They are probably working neighborhoods across the area.

In a later e-mail exchange, Don told us police would not take a phoned-in report because nothing of value was missing. We will be checking with local police leadership after the holiday to see if there is a baseline for reports to be taken in this kind of situation; Don’s filing a report online with USPS, in the meantime.

Ready to change your commute? Here’s a High Point proposal

wttuesday.jpgJust posted on the High Point Neighborhood Association website – a call from the HP Green Living Committee for High Point residents who work downtown to commute together via the Elliott Bay Water Taxi next Wednesday, and maybe weekly after that if it works out. (The EBWT season continues through 10/31.) To get in on this, start here.

Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, 1 week till dedication


While at Alki for another story this morning, we checked in on the Statue of Liberty Plaza — since the big all-day dedication ceremony is next Saturday, just one week away (there’s extensive coverage in our Alki Statue of Liberty archive, plus a full schedule of events is on the Plaza Project website). As you can see in the photos above and below, there’s not much still missing but the new pedestal and the statue itself (this 7/8 report includes video showing it “flying away” when temporarily removed for the construction); plantings are even in place now:


West Seattle Weather Watch: Early-morning rainbow

August 30, 2008 12:44 pm
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 |   West Seattle weather | Wildlife


Thanks to Imelda for that photo looking southwest from just south of Alki Point around 6:30 this morning. The latest forecast promises a “mostly sunny” holiday on Monday! ADDED 1:26 PM: Just found out that co-publisher Patrick got this great shot of a great blue heron near Alki Bathhouse this morning, so we wanted to share that too:


Never too young: 4 chances to learn about helping little ones read

One week from today is the first of four presentations at West Seattle-area library branches focusing on early literacy. They’re happening at four different branches, one day each month from September through December, and they’re geared toward parents, educators, and child-care providers. Free of charge, but you need to register; more info here.

Happening this morning: Bake sale for pets’ sake

August 30, 2008 7:02 am
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 |   Highland Park | How to help | Pets | West Seattle parks


That’s Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area (map) — West Seattle’s only off-leash park (featured in this West Seattle 101 chapter) — and in the north parking lot adjacent to it, you’ll find some “Westcresters” having a dog-cookie bake sale this morning, 9:30-noon, raising money for the upcoming PAWSwalk. (If you can’t go buy treats, but would like to find out about supporting them in the walk, here’s their page; the walk is a week from today in Magnuson Park.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Friday night miscellany

A few miscellaneous notes to share, including one from the scanner moments ago:Read More

West Seattle Weather Watch: Potentially windy night

(Short video clip of the brightly lit Royal Argosy under dark clouds post-dusk tonight, just south of Alki Point)
We were checking the ferry system’s website to see how Holiday Getaway Night was going, when we noticed the Port Townsend run was having trouble because of “high seas and wind”; checked our forecast and “gusts up to 30 mph” have been added to the city outlook for later tonight. Here’s the forecast.

West Seattle Weekend Lineup: So long, summer

August 29, 2008 2:39 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | WS culture/arts | WS Weekend Lineup


Where did it go? Let us know as soon as you figure that out. (Monday’s the last day for West Seattle’s 7-day wading pools, by the way, so in their honor we’re illustrating this with the photo above, from Delridge on the first Sunday it opened after a neighborhood campaign to change the schedule.) Meanwhile, if you’re not going away for the holiday weekend, here are your West Seattle options — 31 events and activities listed ahead (including Monday holiday schedule-changes):Read More

No surprise to Metro bus riders: The numbers behind SRO

New post on County Executive Ron Sims‘ blog: Charts showing this summer’s rise in Metro ridership. Previously, he notes, the trend was for lower ridership during warm weather. (Well, we haven’t had that much warm weather this summer, but never mind that. Some of the ridership-rise reasons seem obvious – hello, $4 gas.) 400,000 boardings per weekday, as of last month. Meantime, reminder: Metro’s on Sunday schedule for Labor Day; Water Taxi and its shuttle are on Saturday schedule. Here’s the official advisory.

Alaskan Way Viaduct future: Another West Seattle open house

August 29, 2008 11:50 am
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 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Transportation | West Seattle news

Just announced by WSDOT – another round of open houses to share the latest on what might happen to the Central Waterfront section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct (the part that Governor Gregoire vows to bring down by 2012; what will replace it, is still being worked out). SCENIC_Alaskan_Way_AWV1.jpgOne of them’s in West Seattle — 5:30-7:30 pm September 16th at Fauntleroy Church. This is from the latest AWV bulletin, which also reminds us all that the next weekend-long inspection closure for The Viaduct is set for October 18-19. (And if your head’s not already spinning from all these dates, remember that the first closure related to the Spokane Street Viaduct project kicks in on September 8th – we’ve got the WSB archive with the details permalinked atop the right sidebar to make sure nobody misses that news.) Back to The Big Viaduct – here’s the info page with all the latest on the Central Waterfront project, including the upcoming West Seattle open house.

Superintendent and mayor to open the school year in West Seattle

Seattle Public Schools‘ communication team has just announced the plan for Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson‘s appearances on the first day of school next Wednesday, and the biggie is right here in West Seattle, at Denny Middle School:

At Denny Middle School, Dr. Goodloe-Johnson will join Mayor Greg Nickels in a press conference, welcoming students back to school and encouraging middle-school students to start thinking about college. 10 am–11 am.

Her other announced appearances include Concord and Wedgwood Elementaries.

Crime/safety update for south WS, including some good news

August 29, 2008 10:32 am
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 |   Crime | Delridge | Safety | West Seattle news | West Seattle police | White Center

Some of what was discussed at last night’s South Delridge/White Center Community Safety Coalition meeting will be of interest to anyone living/working in south West Seattle – including some good news about ongoing issues in the area — so we’d like to point you to the full report we have just posted on partner site White Center Now; you can read it here.