month : 08/2008 340 results

West Seattle Farmers’ Market gets wild and woolly

August 3, 2008 6:30 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Farmers’ Market gets wild and woolly
 |   West Seattle Farmers' Market | West Seattle news

It’s Farmers’ Market day, 10 am-2 pm at 44th/Alaska in The Junction, and the latest “ripe ‘n’ ready” fresh sheet — which we link to here every Sunday morning — says West Seattle is one of the markets that is now selling wool!

Blue Angels’ Seafair ’08 finale today (and scenes from Saturday)


Usually David Hutchinson contributes great Alki-area photographs – this time, he sent shots from the east side of Boeing Field, where he captured the Blue Angels post-show, pre-landing flyby (which we usually see from the Museum of Flight at the other side of Boeing Field) as shown above, and on the runway, as seen here:


(#6 is the one that, as we reported yesterday, came back a few minutes after takeoff, with a mechanical/operational problem requiring its pilot to switch to a backup plane.) As David pointed out in his e-mail to WSB, that view is as close as you can get to the planes on the runway. But if you want to see the pilots up close and personal, you have to be at the Museum of Flight’s far-south fence – right next to where the jets are headquartered during their Seattle visits – and even though you have to watch through a chain-link fence, it’s a front-row seat to the “walkdown.” Standing in front of Blue Angel #1, we caught the first part on video Saturday (listen very closely to hear the commands):

There’s one other element to the pageantry – watching the crew. A video clip of that, plus a few more Saturday photos, just ahead:Read More

West Seattle Movies on the Wall: Rabbit last night, fish next week

August 3, 2008 1:59 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Movies on the Wall: Rabbit last night, fish next week
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts


Yet another good turnout for week 3 of this summer’s West Seattle Movies on the Wall — above you see part of the crowd that filled the courtyard next to Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) last night for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” presented by WSB and co-sponsored by Click! Design That Fits (also a WSB sponsor). If you haven’t made it to Movies on the Wall yet this summer (3 more to go!), it’s powered by Sidewalk Cinema, on this very wall:


The full slate – which was chosen with your help (you may recall the nomination/”voting” process last spring) — is listed on this page. Next week it’s “Finding Nemo”; after that, “Ghostbusters” and “Galaxy Quest.” The movies are free but you’re encouraged to bring a few $ because of several fun ways to spend it for a good cause theguys1.jpg– every week there’s a raffle on behalf of a nonprofit suggested by the sponsor(s) – at left, from WSB, that’s Junior Member of the Team and Patrick the Sales Guy showing off the items we raffled last night to benefit the Nature Consortium (which restores the West Duwamish Greenbelt and is presenting the Arts in Nature Festival later this month) — a “big bag of West Seattle,” with the bright bag contributed by Click! Design That Fits, a $20 coffee card contributed by Hotwire, a T-shirt from West Seattle Bowl (WSB sponsor) along with an hour of bowling for up to six people, a copy of “West Seattle 101” (select chapters from which can be found in this special WSB section), and some West Seattle decorations (including the “Murals of West Seattle” poster JMoT is holding) courtesy of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Besides the raffle tickets, you can buy concessions at Movies on the Wall too, presented by West Seattle Christian Church (WSB sponsor) with proceeds benefiting the West Seattle Food Bank, and you’re encouraged to bring a nonperishable food donation for WSFB too. Movies start at dusk; tonight, that was about 9 pm, but we always suggest arriving early enough to stake out a good spot. See you there next Saturday!

West Seattle gardeners make history in 1st “edible” tour


That garden along SW Rose in Gatewood was one of 10 stops today on the first-ever Edible Gardens of West Seattle tour, presented by Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle. That view looks west down Rose, with Puget Sound in the distance – notice the garden’s in the “parking strip” (which is adjacent property owners’ responsibility to maintain). We talked with one of the gardeners, who tells us in this video clip that the garden’s good for more than food:

The tour was free (locations were listed on the online map). Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle is best known for organizing volunteer help to harvest fruit from trees where it otherwise might go to waste; to find out how to help with harvests, or how to “donate” the yield of your tree(s), check the CHoSS website.

Southwest Pool to be closed a month longer than expected

August 2, 2008 3:30 pm
|    Comments Off on Southwest Pool to be closed a month longer than expected
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks


Just saw that sign as we headed west on Thistle – per the sign and also the Southwest Pool webpage, the major renovation/maintenance work on West Seattle’s only city-run indoor pool will last a month longer than first expected. Just before construction started in June, we met with the project manager — for this indepth preview of the work they’re doing — and at that time it was still expected the pool would reopen in late September, as the sign showed at the time:


We’ll be checking with the Parks Department to find out why the pool reopening’s been moved back so far, and we’ll let you know what we find out. (Re-reading that story we published in June, we’re reminded that project manager Garrett Farrell warned at the time that the original 3 1/2 months was “a pretty tight time schedule.”)

Blue Angels, Saturday report #1: Plane swap midshow


That’s Blue Angels jet number six getting inspected after its participation in today’s Seafair airshow abruptly ended after just a few minutes: It wasn’t long after all six took off that this one came back in to Boeing Field to land; once it was parked, its pilot got into one of the two #7 backup jets, took off, and rejoined the show. More than a dozen people were last seen working on #6 after it was towed to a spot on the east side of the area where the jets are headquartered during their Seattle visits. For our fellow Blue Angels fans, more later on today’s Museum of Flight/Boeing Field sightings.

Baby seal season is imminent, and the Seal Sitters need you

August 2, 2008 11:00 am
|    Comments Off on Baby seal season is imminent, and the Seal Sitters need you
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | Wildlife

Late summer/early fall is prime time for baby seals on the beaches – that Alki clip above is from WSB’s very early video days last September — and when they show up, the volunteers known as the Seal Sitters spring into action. (And often … here’s proof.) Many people asked us at the time how they could help as official Seal Sitters volunteers, in addition to knowing what to do when you see a seal on the beach (answer, as reinforced on the Seal Sitters’ site: basically, nothing – its mom will likely be back after hunting, and if you get too close, that could jeopardize the reunion). Today, we have word the Seal Sitters are about to have two volunteer-training events, and they hope to see you there:

The West Seattle “Seal Sitters” are regrouping in anticipation of what could soon be dozens of baby seal “pups” gracing our shores. The pups “haul out” to get much-needed rest and warmth by sleeping peacefully on the beaches and rocks, often for long hours before mom returns for them. These pups are extremely vulnerable at this time and need our protection to help them survive; only 50% of harbor seals survive their first year.

Robin Lindsay, a freelance photographer, has been documenting the babies for the past few years. She urges as many West Seattle residents who can to join Seal Sitters, a group of dedicated volunteers who come together to guard the seal pups and educate onlookers on their lives and behavior. “It’s thrilling to watch wide-eyed seal pups grow and develop, and you meet incredible people!”

Seal Sitters will be holding a volunteer training session on Sunday, August 10th from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at Hiawatha Community Center (2700 California Ave SW). A second training will be held at Alki Community Center (5817 SW Stevens) on Tuesday, September 9th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Anyone with an interest in marine mammals is encouraged to attend. Those who complete a training session are eligible to join the Seal Sitters Intern Program.

Seal Sitters have created a website – – that features photos of seal pups, and provides additional information on seals and Seal Sitters. Please check this site for any time and location updates prior to attending.

1 month after Metro fare-hike proposal, the plan may be changing

August 2, 2008 8:10 am
|    Comments Off on 1 month after Metro fare-hike proposal, the plan may be changing
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

From the county website comes word that the proposal to raise Metro fares a quarter this fall (reported and discussed here a month ago) is getting a second look – because the bus system faces a worse money crunch than originally expected. Read the full news release here. Will it mean a new proposal for a higher rate hike? Or other changes? West Seattle’s County Councilmember Dow Constantine chairs the Transportation Committee and is quoted as saying, “”Every available tool that Metro Transit has to keep the buses rolling must be on the table. That includes cutting costs, postponing investments, innovating to maximize service efficiency, and increasing fares.” Here’s his contact info, if you have a suggestion for what should be done.

Today/tonight: Something old, something new, something Blue

August 2, 2008 6:03 am
|    Comments Off on Today/tonight: Something old, something new, something Blue
 |   Blue Angels | Fun stuff to do | Gardening | WS culture/arts


That represents the “new” … the photo was sent by Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle (photo credit: Jason of “The Shibaguyz”) to entice you to today’s first-ever Edible Garden Tour of West Seattle. This garden tour is free – go here to get the map – tour any and/or all of the 10 spotlighted gardens between 10 am-2 pm today (including the one that produce came from). Now, something “old” …

That’s another scene from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” the 1988 pioneering live-action/animation hybrid classic that we at WSB are presenting tonight (in conjunction with Click! Design That Fits [WSB sponsor]) at West Seattle Movies on the Wall, dusk (8:45-ish) in the courtyard next to Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) on the north edge of The Junction. Free, but in the spirit of Jessica Rabbit’s “Why Doncha Do Right” song in that clip – you can “do right” by bringing nonperishable food to donate to West Seattle Food Bank and $ for the West Seattle Christian Church (WSB sponsor)-presented concessions benefiting WSFB, plus a fundraising raffle (with the help of Hotwire boss Lora Lewis and some other fine folks we’ll tell you about at the movie, we’ve collected a bag of completely cool West Seattleness). Last but by no means least, something Blue …


As described in our “Seafair secrets” post, we always watch the Blue Angels at Lake Washington on Seafair Friday. But now, the weekend is here. You can watch them from the lake – or you can catch glimpses from West Seattle (WSB’er “Hopey” reports a great flyby at Westcrest on Friday) – and then there is our preferred method of viewing, at the Museum of Flight, their HQ while visiting Seattle. It’s a sort of “behind-the-scenes” view, when you stake out a spot on the fence that faces the area where the jets are parked (read our “On the Fence” post from last year, with pix), and spend the hour and a half or so before showtime watching first the maintenance crew’s arrival and activities, then the pilots themselves, leading up to the “walkdown” as they go to their planes – this 2007 photo is from their lineup pre-walkdown:


Once they’re in the jets, the sights and sounds include the whine of the cockpits closing, the engines roaring awake, then the groundshaking takeoff; the show is just over a ridge to the east, so you can see the high maneuvers from the MoF, and there are flybys – followed by the landing, and the walkdown in reverse, and your chance to applaud the pilots once they’re out of their planes. The practice show yesterday started around 1:45 pm, later than usual; wherever you’re going to watch from, you’ll want to be in place no later than 12:45 pm which is when the I-90 bridge closes. Full Seafair info on the official site; here’s our Blue Angels coverage archive.

Season’s first Mount concert: Multigenerational mingling

August 2, 2008 1:39 am
|    Comments Off on Season’s first Mount concert: Multigenerational mingling
 |   Fun stuff to do | WS culture/arts


One of the programs Providence Mount St. Vincent (WSB sponsor) is known for, in addition to its residential care, is its Intergenerational Learning Center, which brings the very young together with the, well, young at heart. In that context, seemed fitting to see kids having a blast with the Duwamish Dixieland Band at the season’s first Summer Concert at The Mount Friday night – along with not only some of The Mount’s residents, but also community members of all ages. We stopped by to check out the crowd on the way to our downtown destination mentioned in the previous post; snapped a couple pix but the ones we just got (above and below) from Karen are much better:


Looks like so much fun, next week we’re going for the duration. There are three more concerts, on the next three Friday nights; the show’s free, but you’re invited to bring some $ for the food and beverages (including beer/wine) that are on sale. Next Friday, Maia Santell performs; Friday 8/15, it’s the West Seattle Big Band (recently seen at the Hi-Yu Concert in the Park), and Friday 8/22 it’s Steve Rice and Big Squeezy. For all shows, “doors open” at 5, music starts at 6.

Went downtown for a show, and a West Seattle angle broke out

demento2.jpgTeam WSB is just back from the Triple Door downtown, which we were compelled to visit when we found out that longtime radio entertainer Dr. Demento (photo right) was coming to town for a live show. Both of your co-publishers have been almost-lifelong fans. (If you’re not familiar with Dr. Demento – he became famous for playing funny songs, mostly recorded by others, and once upon a time could be heard weekly on radio stations in almost every city nationwide, counting down the week’s Funny Five, taking requests, and so on. His most famous protege – Weird Al Yankovic, whose Nirvana-spoof video was part of tonight’s show.) ealsmug.jpgDidn’t expect to encounter a West Seattle angle – then suddenly, Dr. Demento introduced WS author Clay Eals (photo left), who appeared onstage to talk about Steve Goodman, whose definitive biography Eals penned (published last year), and to introduce a rarely seen video clip of Goodman in the stands at Wrigley Field performing “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request,” a funny song about his beloved and beleaguered Chicago Cubs. (You can read more about Eals and his Goodman biography at his website,

West Seattle Crime Watch reader report: Park car break-in

Out of the WSB inbox, from Michale:

Just thought your readers should know that my car was broke into at the Westcrest dog park yesterday around 5 PM. My passenger side window was smashed out and the door frame bent. This was in the North parking lot. A couple of days ago, there was glass from another car window that had been smashed out. I should have taken the hint and parked somewhere else! I just want to warn other readers that this is happening at the dog park lately and be advised to make sure there are no valuables in the car. This seems to be a smash and grab. The thief did not take the time to go through my car, but simply reached through and grabbed a saddle bag – luckily for me it was empty.

Junction development: Letter from Conner Homes’ president

When we published this WSB story yesterday afternoon about some Junction businesspeople circulating petitions opposing the alley “vacation” proposed by Conner Homes for its California/Alaska/42nd buildings, we promised to share any response from Conner Homes as soon as we received it. So here’s the entirety of a letter e-mailed to WSB a short time ago:

August 1, 2008

Dear Neighbors,

We are aware that some of you are concerned about our proposed development at the junction of Alaska and California Streets.

Please be assured that it has always been our intention to build a project that enhances the Junction. We have tried to keep the community aware of our plans and, to this end, have already had a number of group and individual meetings to update residents and merchants as they have progressed. We will continue to do so.

However, if any of you feel that we have been remiss on this score, we will be happy to meet with you either in a group or separately, so please feel to contact me or Project Manager, James Miller directly and we will set something up.

I understand that many of you are concerned about the impact of the development on overall parking in the area as well as the effects of our proposed alley vacation.

In terms of parking, we want to make it clear that our development will INCREASE the number of parking spaces available to the public. The number of surface spaces will remain roughly the same and there will be a considerable amount of new parking for retail created in our proposed underground garage. As a result the current parking congestion will be lessened.

We have also heard that there are worries that our development will somehow lead to the development of the public parking lots owned by the West Seattle Trustees Parking Association. We do not know how this rumor got started but it is completely false. Our development will have absolutely no effect on these lots and as a member of the Association we are not aware of any plans to develop these lots.

As far as the alley vacation we are confident that this will be a real plus for the abutting owners representing the majority of the properties along the alley have supported it. Still we appreciate the concerns of some merchants about possible disruption to their business and we want to assure them that we will work directly with them to come up with a solution (turnarounds etc.) to mitigate those impacts.

We do want to be clear that this is not a permanent alley vacation but only temporary to allow completion of the underground garage. Once this process is complete (in around 10-12 months) the alley will be restored to a much improved condition.

Specifically, the overhead wires will be under grounded, the alley will be widened and pedestrian friendly amenities will be added. These mitigations, along with a pedestrian walkway between 42nd Street and California will make the alley a real asset to the community overall.

As an additional mitigation we have also agreed to commit substantial funds to getting the proposed public park across the street from our property off the ground to the benefit of all residents and merchants in the area.

It should be noted that the two large developments underway in the area will be completed before we begin construction so that overall disruption to the community will not increase.

Finally, we firmly believe that a quality development in this location will improve the Junction, both in terms of housing and new retail opportunities for all West Seattle residents, as well as provide increased business activity for existing merchants.

As long term owners of the property we are fully committed to improving the Junction and welcome any opportunity to work with you to achieve this end.

Thank you for your attention and we look forward to working with you to make this a project we can all be proud of.

Charlie Conner
James Miller

Followup: Alki duplex fire cause to be classified “undetermined”


(7/24/08 photo by David Hutchinson)
Since the Alki duplex fire a week ago yesterday, we’ve continued to check with the Seattle Fire Department regarding their determination of what caused it. Just heard back from SFD spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen, who says investigators just couldn’t find enough evidence – so it will be permanently classified as “undetermined.”

Seattle Public Utilities asks for water/trash/recycling rate hike

Just in from the city, a request to raise rates for water and trash/recycling service. Much fine print in the proposal, but basically, Seattle Public Utilities says, the average household solid-waste bill would go up more than $6, the average household water bill would go up more than $5. City Council approval is required. Here’s the city news release with full details:Read More

West Seattle Weekend Lineup: More than Seafair

Those musicians are from the Duwamish Dixieland Band, recorded after the West Seattle Memorial Day event two months ago. Tonight, you can see them in a more festive setting, again absolutely free, as Providence Mount St. Vincent kicks off its monthlong series of Friday night outdoor concerts (and “The Mount” is joining WSB as a sponsor to make sure you know about it) … the first-ever Edible Garden Tour (free!) … a major beach-volleyball event … and the next West Seattle Movies on the Wall presentation, with WSB presenting this week’s movie … and the Delridge wading pool will start opening on Sunday (as first reported here) … more than 40 events ahead:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Ferry-line cutting triggers gun scare

Thanks to Anne at Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) and to Darren, who both e-mailed to ask about police action in Fauntleroy last night. handcuffs_2.jpgTurns out it was an arrest at the ferry terminal; thanks to Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen for a quick response with info: The call first came in around 9 pm as “a man with a gun menacing people in the ferry line. Police rushed to the terminal (5 or so cars, by both accounts) and found out it was actually a woman, who had a .380 in her car. According to police, it started “when (she) cut into the ferry lane and was kicked out of place by employees. The suspect then pointed her loaded pistol at a nearby car containing 2 adults and 2 small children. The victims feared for their lives and ducked. Nobody was injured.” Officers took the woman to the King County Jail, where she was booked for investigation of assault. (The jail register shows one person booked late last night for that potential charge, a 47-year-old from Vashon.)

Welcoming a new WSB sponsor: Fresh Air Body Fitness

August 1, 2008 7:40 am
|    Comments Off on Welcoming a new WSB sponsor: Fresh Air Body Fitness
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle online

Next Monday, Fresh Air Body Fitness starts a new outdoor-fitness “boot-camp-inspired” class at Lincoln Park; freshair.jpgthis morning, they join WSB as sponsors to let you know about that, and what else they are doing as they invite you to “Air Out Your Workout!” Photo shows Diana Smith (left) and Alex Haas, who write: “As the owners and operators of Fresh Air Body Fitness boot camp inspired classes in West Seattle, we are dedicated to helping our participants reach their fitness goals. As certified group fitness instructors with experience teaching a variety of formats, we believe that it is more motivating to have a group of energetic individuals working together than it is when we go it alone. We take pride in the challenging and balanced exercise programs we implement outside of the usual gym walls. Our beautiful city parks offer a varied terrain that ramps up any workout. The elements push us to work harder while at the same providing a mental boost that makes the time fly! We appreciate our partnership with community organizations such as the Parks Department and even area schools. In addition to holding classes in the West Seattle area, we bring our revitalizing exercise program to the workplace. We are looking forward to a bright future in reaching many individuals across all ages and fitness levels with the hopes of impacting their lives in a positive way.” The Fresh Air Body Fitness website has full details on the cost, time, location, and how to reach Diana and Alex. We’re glad to have them on board along with our other much-appreciated sponsors, all listed on the Advertise page, where you’ll also find a brand-new update on WSB traffic, and information on how to join the sponsors who help keep West Seattle’s 24/7 news source growing. Welcome to Fresh Air Body Fitness!