day : 04/08/2008 12 results

Wildlife gone wild: Raccoons romp near Lincoln Park


Jenny Simonds included that photo with the pix we posted with her account of last Saturday’s Friends of Lincoln Park work party; this wasn’t another scene from said party, but rather from her L-Park-area neighborhood. Probably a LOLcat-style caption in there somewhere.

Night Out tomorrow: More than crimefighting and celebrating

By this time tomorrow night, dozens of neighborhoods all around West Seattle will be finishing up, or cleaning up after, their Night Out block parties – more than 200 registered for the right to block off their (non-arterial) streets, nightout.jpgaccording to what we heard from Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Benjamin Kinlow a few days ago. (And thanks to everyone who e-mailed us when we asked to hear from block-party-throwers who wouldn’t mind WSB showing up for a photo or two – we hope to see many, hopefully all, of you tomorrow night!) But one other thing worth noting – while the main purpose of Night Out is to get people together to celebrate neighborhood solidarity and raise awareness about safety and crimefighting, more than half a dozen areas of West Seattle are also participating in a test of radio communications in case of a disaster or other major emergency – they’ll be doing a relay of sorts using simple walkie-talkie-type “family radios,” to see how well information could be relayed neighborhood to neighborhood across the peninsula if necessary. This is a spinoff from some of the emergency-preparedness events we told you about a few months back; we’ll let you know how the test goes – and we’ll be posting in-progress updates on Night Out tomorrow as we travel around West Seattle! (Just found out it’s the nationwide event’s 25th anniversary.)

West Seattle High School alum to pilot next shuttle mission

johnson-gc-thumbnail.jpgNASA has chosen a West Seattle High School graduate to pilot the next space-shuttle mission: 54-year-old Gregory C. Johnson, a 1972 WSHS alum per his official online NASA bio. He’ll fly Atlantis to the Hubble Space Telescope this fall; the launch is scheduled for October 8, according to the news release issued today. You can track preparations for the mission on NASA’s website, which notes Johnson and his fellow mission-mates have had to take a training break as Johnson Space Center shut down in advance of Edouard.

Admiral Safeway rebuild details: Design Review meeting set

Just added today to the city’s Design Review/Upcoming schedule: The September 11th meeting of the Southwest Design Review Board now includes the first “early design guidance” session for the proposal to redevelop the Admiral Safeway site. This has been under discussion for a while, as we first reported last February (then in April, this WSB post asked for your thoughts about the site); the city’s official project page includes this overview of what’s being proposed:

Design review, early design guidance meeting for two new buildings; a one story, 58,750 sq.ft. grocery store (Safeway) with a four story, 34-unit residential structure attached and a one story, 7,000 sq.ft. retail building. Parking for 227 vehicles to be located on the roof and at grade. Project will require alley vacations and contract rezone. Existing 32,000 sq.ft. grocery store to be demolished.

The architects on the project page are Seattle-based Fuller-Sears; you can see some of their work at their website. The design-review meeting is set for 8 pm Sept. 11 at a TBA location in West Seattle; we’d mentioned earlier that the Spring Hill mixed-use building south of The Junction (5020 California) was already on the agenda that night (6:30 pm). We’ve got a message out to Safeway to see if any renderings for this proposal are available yet.

West Seattle air alert: “Smog Watch” in effect

August 4, 2008 3:17 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has just called a “smog watch” for all of King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, because the air is stagnating and hotter weather’s on the way. It’s expected to last until at least Wednesday evening. Here’s what the agency suggests you can be doing to help lessen the severity:

-Driving your most fuel-efficient car, and combining errands into one trip.
-Skipping gasoline-powered yard work and gas-fueled recreation.
-Carpooling or riding the bus to work, events and outings.
-Refueling your car in the cooler evening hours

Full details on this PSCAA page. (And you can check the current air quality here!)

Welcoming a new WSB sponsor: Fauntleroy Chiropractic Clinic

Today we’re welcoming the newest WSB sponsor, Fauntleroy Chiropractic Clinic, which has been in West Seattle for more than 25 years; wiebefamily.jpgDr. Bryan Wiebe and Hillary Wiebe took over the practice a decade ago. Fauntleroy Chiropractic Clinic sees patients for injuries and treatment, as well as for wellness and preventive care. FCC offers therapeutic massage onsite. They are on most insurance plans, and offer affordable cash plans too. You’ll find Fauntleroy Chiropractic Clinic at 4520 Fauntleroy (map), online at, and by phone at 206/932-6605. We appreciate the support of Fauntleroy Chiropractic Clinic and all our sponsors, who are listed on the WSB Advertise page, where anyone interested in joining them can also find out how (the latest toplines on WSB traffic growth are on that page too). Welcome, Fauntleroy Chiropractic Clinic!

West Seattle Gas Price Watch: Good thing we didn’t survey…

407price.jpg… because what we would have come up with last night, if we’d done the usually-weekly survey of all West Seattle stations, would have been way outdated by late morning today. See photo at left (California/Andover 76); while most WS gas stations were still in the four-dollar-and-teens vicinity over the weekend, so far today most of the ones we’ve driven by have dropped into the four-oh-somethings. Let us know if you see someone drop below $4 before we see it (posted price, that is; gas was available at $3.99 at Admiral Safeway this morning, for example, for those who qualified for the dime-a-gallon discount and applied it to the $4.09/gallon price there).

Update: Loud noise in eastern West Seattle explained

Followup on this item from this morning: Just got the scoop from Lt. Steve Paulsen at the Southwest Precinct — although this was a county investigation, he notes (so we will check with King County Sheriff’s Office to see if there’s a news release with more info) — as part of a multiple-location drug raid, a “high-risk entry” had to be made, involving the SWAT team and devices known as “flashbangs” designed to make noise catching the suspects/targets by surprise. Again, SPD doesn’t have full details since they weren’t the lead agency, but apparently all went well. 4:54 PM UPDATE: Just heard back from Sgt. John Urquhart, who handles media for KCSO. He says:

… there were two drug search warrants served simultaneously this morning shortly after 5:00 AM. One was a house in the 23800 block of 140th Ave SE, Kent. The other was in the 7000 block of 16th Ave SW. There were arrests made … SPD SWAT helped on the 16th SW house, and our SWAT helped with the house in Kent. Occupants of both houses were expected to be “armed and dangerous”, but no shots were fired and no one was injured.

Southwest Pool update: Why it’s not reopening till November

August 4, 2008 12:18 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

southwestpoolnov1.jpgAs reported here over the weekend, West Seattle’s only city-run indoor swimming pool, Southwest Pool — currently closed for extensive renovations and maintenance — has just changed its planned reopening date to November 1st, a month later than first expected. Project manager Garrett Farrell called us this morning to explain what happened, and how things are going overall. Bottom line: The Parks Department had to publicly bid the project; the original low bidder turned out to not have the proper qualifications, and re-evaluating, then awarding the work to the second-lowest bidder, cost three weeks. Why wasn’t the bidding done sooner, we asked? Because, as reported in our preview story about the project, the scope of the work had to change — and a quarter-million dollars extra had to be found — when it was discovered relatively late in the game that a big electrical vault hidden in a planter in front of the community center was complicating matters – here’s a Parks photo (this is where the raised planter was, on the northeast side of the building):


The old vault had to be taken out, a new, larger one installed, and that’s upgraded electrical service to the building; Farrell says the project is now on target to wrap up in late October; Parks has set November 1st as the new reopening time in hopes that gives a little bit of wiggle room – progress so far includes not only completion of the electrical work but also other demolition work and some water piping to adjacent Southwest Community Center. Farrell adds, “The roof has been removed from the boiler room and we are waiting on the delivery of two large mechanical units. The first will go in the basement, and then we can put the building back together. Roofing work will start in early August and continue for six to eight weeks.” (You can see the inner workings, pre-project, in the video we included in our preview story.) He says the construction company, TCM, is doing “a fantastic job” and also has kudos for the SWCC staff being “superflexible as we tear up their house and put it back together.” Note that the community center IS OPEN – you just have to enter through the back (south) side while the pool work has the front entrance blocked off.

RapidRide design gets a public review this week

For everyone watching RapidRide, the new Metro service scheduled to start in West Seattle in 2011 – its “schematic design” is scheduled to go before the Seattle Design Commission this Thursday (3 pm, City Hall downtown). Though it’s a county project, as a Metro service, the city is closely involved, as we mentioned a week and a half ago when a city delegation including Councilmembers Jan Drago and Tom Rasmussen van-toured the route.

Loud sound rattles eastern West Seattle – checking on it

We’ve received a couple notes about a very loud noise waking folks up early this morning in the Puget Ridge area. Nothing obvious on the 911 log and we’re checking other sources, but sometimes the best source of information is to just throw it out to WSBers, so if you know anything, please post a comment or e-mail us; thanks!

Jail-sites fight: HPAC plans its own low-rise-vs.-high-rise report

August 4, 2008 7:02 am
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle jail sites | West Seattle news

A followup in the controversy over the city’s search for the best place to build a misdemeanor-offender jail (with two West Seattle sites in the “final four”): The Highland Park Action Committee says it’s doing its own analysis of the city’s just-released report on whether a high-rise jail makes more sense than a low-rise jail, and will release its own report in 2 weeks. HPAC chair Dorsol Plants says, “HPAC’s members as well as its consultants in both the legal and civic field will be reviewing specifically the mathematical figures to insure they are both accurate and consistent.” WSB coverage of the jail-sites issue is archived (newest to oldest) here.