West Seattle, Washington
Posted tonight on the Google mail group for the homeless encampment at West Marginal/Highland Park Way: They’re planning to move again at 10 pm tomorrow, but they won’t say till possibly the “very last second” where they will be going. They also say the city has threatened to fine the state unless it gives the campers the boot from the WSDOT land they’ve been on since last Friday afternoon’s city sweep of the original “Nickelsville” site next door. Just an hour before this update was posted, we’d asked the mayor’s communications director Robert Mak if there were any new developments, and he had said no, aside from the city maintaining its stance that the camp was a land-use violation.
We showed you this mural while it was in progress on the south side of Cafe Revo (Italian restaurant taking over the ex-Murphy’s space on Avalon in the Luna Park business district); now artist Glenn Case is officially done, and Revo’s Sofia Zadra Goff tells us they gave the mural a name: Zetta, the middle name of Sofia’s greatgrandmother. We also peeked into the under-construction restaurant space, where the bar’s being built out of a single piece of wood:
Revo’s hoping to open around November 1st. Meantime, we got e-mail late today from Spring Hill in The Junction, wondering if we would share some news, and since we know how you all love restaurant info, we’re happy to oblige:
That’s the cover of the late-night happy-hour menu that Spring Hill is launching next Tuesday, according to the note from proprietors Mark and Marjorie Fuller, who add: “Also, beginning November 2nd we will be opening at 5:15 pm rather than 5:45 pm for fall/winter. One last note: Brunch is coming soon! We are hoping to start brunch the end of November/early December. We would like to extend our thanks to all the people who have supported spring hill restaurant and look forward to seeing you all soon!”
While down on Alki checking on Lady Liberty’s new plaque (more on that later), we happened onto that lovely sunset. Minutes earlier, we had snagged a nice pre-sunset shot from Don Armeni:
Then we came home to e-mail from WSB’ers kindly sharing their beautiful sunset shots, like this one from Hopey (featuring all three Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferries):
And this one from Greg (note the Seattle-Vashon foot ferry):
Greg’s accompanying brief note seemed spot on: “After a couple days of financial stress it is always nice to see the beautiful sunset from the Fauntlee Hills area.” Or, as we put it … thank heavens the best things in life are still free.
More trouble for the OTHER new store Whole Foods was supposed to be opening in Seattle … our friends at MagnoliaVoice.com just broke the story that the Interbay project has now devolved into a lawsuit. So before anyone could panic about the West Seattle project again, we checked immediately with Eric Radovich from BlueStar, which is developing “the Whole Foods project” aka Fauntleroy Place (final design rendering above), as we did the last two times questions came up, and here’s what he replied: “All systems go!” … On schedule for a 47,000 sf store with a completion date of February 2010 (only 17 months away!)…Digging as fast as we can before the weather turns …” He also adds that the BlueStar proposal across the street at the ex-Huling Buick site, Gateway Center, should have “updated drawings” available in about a month – here’s the one that was released when that project was announced in March:
We mentioned the event this morning, and it’s continuing till 9 pm – a Zapotec weaver from a women’s collective in Oaxaca, Mexico, is exhibiting and selling weavings at Cafe Rozella on Delridge less than a block south of Roxbury; thanks to Ricardo Guarnero at Rozella for taking and sharing a few pix (he posted more info on the event and the weavers at White Center Now).
It’s usually not as easy to get information on major real-estate sales when they’re complete as it is to get information when the listings go up. Today, though, we have closure on one major listing we told you about — in May, we reported that Garden Terrace, a 32-unit building on Fauntleroy just south of the “Triangle” area (map), was up for sale for $4,650,000; this short article says it’s been purchased for close to the listing price by MorGro Investments LLC, which – according to a quick online search – also owns Harvard Market. 3:41 PM UPDATE: A tenant tells WSB the new owners have announced the sale to the tenants and told them that there are no CURRENT plans to turn the units into condos.
Just in from the Parks Department via Southwest District Neighborhood Coordinator Stan Lock, an update on the process to seek proposals for renovating and operating West Seattle Stadium. Bottom line, the Parks Department doesn’t have the money to fix up the stadium, so it’s looking for somebody else to do that, in exchange for “a multi-year contract that allows (the operator) to recoup its capital investment and support its own business.” First step: A draft Request for Proposal (RFP) has just been issued, and the department’s looking for feedback before officially circulating it. A public hearing then is planned before the Park Board on Oct. 23; board members are tentatively slated to vote in November, which then would trigger the formal process resulting in a January decision on who will be chosen to run the stadium. Tons of details in this document, including the draft RFP, the timeline, and specifics on what the agreement would entail; we’re still reading it but wanted to get you the link ASAP.
ZOMBIES, AKA “THRILL THE WORLD WEST SEATTLE”: An update from Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) proprietor Lora Lewis and her Thrill the World/West Seattle corps of dancers practicing to join the world-record attempt on October 25th: For the actual performance counting toward the record, they’ve joined up with the Seattle Thrillers, and will be in the 200-plus crowd dancing that day at Westlake, with an encore to follow during Trick or Treat in The Junction the same day and at Admiral Theater later that night. You can still join the dancers at the next edition of what Lora calls the “newbie zombie” class – tomorrow (Wednesday), 8:15 pm, West Seattle Christian Church (the full list of rehearsal times and places is on the Thrill the World/West Seattle blog home page).
GHOSTS AND WITCHES: West Seattle-based The Anunnaki Project has announced its annual Halloween event: “The Ghost Game: Tales of 13 Witches,” 8:30 pm Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at Youngstown Arts Center, described as follows: “This year’s production, which focuses on tales of witches from world folklore and mythology, features performances by members of The Cabiri performance troupe along with several guest artists including aerialist and butoh dancer Mary Cutrera and Courtnee Papastathis (aka Zita the Aerialist). Steffon Moody, an outrageously engaging humorist, physical performer and songster who has entertained audiences regionally and nationally for the past 20 years, will be playing Guto, the horribly charming yet sinister master of ceremonies. Steffon is a founding member of the UMO Ensemble (Vashon) and is currently a performer with the Big Apple Circus (NYC). Guests at the event will be woven into the evening’s festivities as storytellers, soothsayers, and supplicants as a procession of witches both entrancing and terrifying is presented. On Halloween night, the performances will be followed by a costume contest and reception with the artists.” Dessert too. Age 16 and up. Tickets are being sold by tables of 5, online via Brown Paper Tickets.
Thanks to Sage K for e-mailing first word of this: We’re checking out the scene at Delridge/Juneau (map), kitty-corner from the north end of Chief Sealth High School’s temporary campus at Boren, where at least half a dozen police cars are in view. All police will tell us at the scene is that they were “asked to respond to a disturbance.” There are no aid/medic calls on 911, so whatever happened apparently does not involve injury. We’ll update with whatever else we find out. ADDED 12:24 PM: Photo above shows part of the police presence. We also have a reader photo taken looking over the scene, showing a fairly large group of officers and people they appear to be questioning, but we’re not going to post that until and unless we can blur/cover faces, because (a) we don’t know who’s accused of what, and (b) they appear to be juveniles. Meantime, we had checked with Seattle Public Schools‘ communications office to see if this was related to anything on campus, and spokesperson David Tucker checked for us – whatever happened, he says, took place off-campus, so information will have to come from police. ADDED 1:05 PM: Sage K blurred the faces in one of the photos she took (which wasn’t closeup on anyone to start with):
LATE AFTERNOON UPDATE: Mentioned this in comments and working on a separate followup, but bottom line, from a conversation with Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen – the big response was due in no small part to the fact that it was reported one of the participants (reportedly NOT a Sealth student) was believed to have a gun. No gun was found – one knife, though. And he confirms what we had perceived from the lack of an aid/medic call – no injuries.
As mentioned here before, the next scheduled weekend of Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection shutdowns is coming up October 18-19 (the reminder’s up continuously on the WSB Traffic page). The times are now set, too: 6 am-6 pm both days, with the Battery Street Tunnel staying closed overnight between the two days. Plus, the state Transportation Department is offering “short walking tours” the morning of Saturday 10/18. No one under 16, no pets. RSVP required – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888/AWV-LINE. (To catch up on what else is up with The Viaduct, check the WSB coverage archive and/or the official website at alaskanwayviaduct.org.)
WEAVERS: Special guests are visiting Cafe Rozella (which is on the southeast edge of West Seattle/north edge of White Center) this afternoon/evening — a women’s weaving collective from Oaxaca, Mexico, 3-9 pm. Read more here.
LAUNCH PARTY: Can’t think of the last time we heard a local business announce a “launch party.” But that’s what’s happening tonight at Beveridge Place Pub, 6-9 pm, to inaugurate Farris Law, PLLC, a new practice focused on small businesses. Proprietor Valerie Farris has planned the party as a fundraiser for Furry Faces Foundation and the West Seattle Food Bank through a fundraising raffle ($5/ticket, 4 for $20) for a variety of donated items including many geared toward her potential clientele, from a “PR startup package” to gift certificates for web design.
HANDBALL, ANYONE? Tonight (and/or any other Tuesday), you are welcome to join the open practice for Seattle Team Handball at Hiawatha Community Center, 7-9 pm. “All ages and genders,” according to the Seattle Team Handball website. (Tuesday afternoon note: Organizers say there’s a chance they might have to move to the West Seattle High School gym, so if you don’t find them at Hiawatha, head next door.)
SELF-DEFENSE FOR TEENS AND WOMEN: Tonight is the second of two “self-defense seminars” for teenage girls and women offered this month by Lee’s Martial Arts – open to ages 11 and up. More on the LMA website.
Those big white signs have been up for almost a year now along California between Hinds and Hanford (city map at left), the section proposed for “upzoning” (archived coverage here), and you may wonder from time to time what’s up with the proposal, so we keep checking to see when the decision’s due. Last time we checked, a decision was expected to be published around the end of August. It’s now the end of September, so we checked with the city’s Department of Planning and Development again. Now the guesstimate is “about another three weeks” till a decision will turn up in the Land Use Information Bulletin, according to Bryan Stevens at DPD. (A decision is not the final word – potentially a round of Hearing Examiner and City Council hearings would ensue.) You can keep an eye on the official city project page here.
One month ago today, we told you about West Seattleite Addie Killam‘s plan to ride her new hand-operated bicycle (photo above) in a Wenatchee-area ride presented by the Mike Utley Foundation, to raise awareness of and money for spinal-cord injuries — Addie is fighting back from paralysis caused by a freak surfing-related injury. Now she’s back from the ride, and telling the story, including: “I can’t believe I never did a ride like this as an able-body.” Read her story at her Caring Bridge site.
During his budget speech this afternoon (video and documents linked here), Mayor Nickels mentioned West Seattle a few times, notably when talking about the budget including money for artificial turf at Delridge Playfield (see page 10 on his “budget highlights” document). This raised a question for us, as we had just told you on Saturday about the Parks Levy campaign stopping at the field and noting that the levy would raise $3 million for the Delridge turf project (see it on the levy “project list” here). So which is right – Delridge turf $ coming out of the mayor’s budget if passed, or coming from the new Parks Levy if passed? We talked to the mayor’s communications director Robert Mak, who believed it was from regular city $ – but that doesn’t explain why it’s on the levy list too, so we’re checking with levy supporters to see what they have to say. TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE: Heard back from Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (who chairs the council’s Parks Committee). He says, “If the playfield improvements are funded through the 2009-2010 Parks budget and capital improvement program as recommended by the Mayor, then funds earmarked in the levy for the field can be redirected to other parks or athletic fields projects.” TUESDAY EVENING UPDATE: Robert Mak’s answer to our followup question is along those same lines. He says the mayor included it in the budget proposal “trying to guarantee this project gets done” – levy or no levy. (The levy was proposed and sent to the ballot by the council, you may recall, despite the mayor’s stated desire to wait another couple years before asking voters for more parks $.)
Look closely and you’ll see the broken window glass around the edges of that photo, e-mailed to WSB by Paul, who wanted to warn people in the area about what happened to him:
My vehicle was broken into at the corner of Fauntleroy Way SW and 35th Ave. The thieves broke my front passenger window and stole a portable GPS that was installed in the car.
10:06 PM ADDITION: Shortly after we posted this, we got a separate short note about a different wave of car-window attacks: “9/28 around 3 am, 4 vehicles had windshields broken on 13th Ave between Holden & Kenyon.” TUESDAY MORNING ADDITION: And one more report, this one from Melody: “On Sat, 9/27 between the hours of 12 am-3 am my neighbors on 13th Ave SW (between Holden and Barton) had a brick thrown at the back of their car. It dented the exterior (they missed the windows).”
One week ago, we were first to break the news (outside the company, anyway) that Microsoft’s Connector employee bus service had picked the date to expand into West Seattle; today, a tip from Sue led us to signs like that one in the parking lot by the Masonic Hall on the east edge of The Junction, one of several pickup/dropoff spots with which the service will launch next Monday (and we’re told it’s already full up!). Now, a seagoing sight from Alki:
During the heart of the summer cruise season, you don’t usually see the big ships in Elliott Bay on Mondays. But now it’s shoulder season and schedules are different; late this afternoon, Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas (left) and Celebrity Cruises’ Mercury both headed out. Serenade was the last non-Celebrity ship scheduled to visit this year (according to the schedule on the Port of Seattle website); Celebrity’s Infinity stops in tomorrow, and Millennium on Wednesday, then Mercury is in four more times (running a schedule of short Northwest cruises) until its departure ends the cruise season on Wednesday, October 15.
West Seattle is actually served by two food banks with distinct boundaries – and the one that serves southern West Seattle, the White Center Food Bank, is in urgent, immediate need of help. Just got this note from executive director Rick Jump:
I don’t want to be like the boy who cried wolf so I don’t ask for anything unless the situation absolutely warrants it. Our numbers are up (way up) and donations are down. We are currently experiencing critical shortages of food which will begin to impact services in the next week or two. Our inventories are shrinking fast and we need almost all types of non-perishable food. Canned fruits and vegetables, soups, tuna, cereal, dry variety foods such as Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni and Mac & Cheese are especially needed at this time.
Information on where to go and how to donate can be found at whitecenterfoodbank.org — at this page in particular (which also includes a link to donate $ online). Meantime, we’ll be checking with West Seattle Food Bank to see if they have any immediate needs as well.
Thanks to Sarah for posting this in comments following our coverage of the huge (1,000-plus participants!) Alki Beach Run for Northwest Hope and Healing (a West Seattle-based organization that helps local breast-cancer patients) — run results are now posted online.
Alki Bike and Board actually joined the WSB sponsor lineup about a week ago but now that the shop’s annual Fall Sale is just days away – this Friday, Saturday, Sunday – we’re rolling out the red carpet today. Stu Hennessey (pictured at left presenting a demonstration at the last Sustainable West Seattle meeting) says he wants people to see Alki Bike and Board as a resource for people to find out everything about bicycles, particularly as a form of transportation – yes, they’re recreational, but with high gas prices and environmental concerns, he invites people not only to stop by and buy a bike but also to find out how it can be a useful transportation device. Stu hopes that this will lead customers to appreciate and enjoy the time they spend in Alki Bike and Board, seeing it not only as a shop, but also a place to learn about what they buy, so they can get better use out of their purchase. One more note – even though Alki Bike and Board is in the Admiral District, its name comes from the fact that the shop opened on Alki in the 1970s; it moved up to Admiral, at a location on the west side of California SW, then to its current location several years ago. Snowboards were added to the shop’s repertory in 1998 because Stu’s kids were snowboard fans and it seemed like a natural fit for his customers – if you’re into bikes, you’re often into boards. During the winter months, Alki Bike and Board sells boards and does ski tuneups. Back to bikes – if you go to the AB&B website, you can find out how to get one free bicycle-maintenance class; note that the classes are limited, and by appointment only. Alki Bike and Board is at 2606 California SW, less than a block south of Admiral. There’s more info about the Friday-Sunday fall sale – including the hours – on this page of the Alki B&B website, including “20%-50% STOREWIDE DISCOUNT on all Clothing, Shoes, Parts and Accessories.” We thank Alki Bike and Board for joining the WSB sponsor lineup; you can see the current list of sponsors – thank you for supporting them! – plus our latest traffic updates (September has already set a WSB pageview record with two days to go – 525,536, 9/1 through 9/28), by going to the WSB Advertise page.
With thousands of new West Seattleites on the way, the forthcoming Metro RapidRide line (dubbed the “C” Line as of June) to West Seattle gets mentioned a lot in development and transportation meetings. Between those meetings, though, a few questions keep surfacing. For one, in a few of those meetings, we’ve heard the year 2010 mentioned for RR’s start, rather than 2011. For two, some have wondered if the plan was still on to have the RR line end at Westwood Village, rather than Fauntleroy or even Morgan Junction, the other two options. We took those questions to Metro’s Jack Lattemann, and here are his answers:Read More
If you want to watch live as the mayor tells the city council what he wants to do with city $ for the next fiscal year, his speech will be live at 2 pm on Seattle Channel (online here; on TV, cable channel 21). The official reminder from his office makes a point of noting it will include the youth-violence-prevention proposal he announced a few weeks ago (which focuses on three areas of the city, including ours, with major involvement from West Seattle-based Southwest Youth and Family Services, whose director spoke with us for a followup).
According to letters posted on the official website for the West Marginal/Highland Park Way encampment this morning – after a weekend spent on the state-owned site adjacent to the city land from which campers were rousted Friday afternoon – they’re promising to move “after midnight Wednesday,” but asking the governor for permission to set up at another state-owned site described as “500 yards southeast.” We just checked Parcel Viewer; the site most closely resembling that description is adjacent to Highway 99, parcel #5367202516. We don’t know for sure that this is the site they’re targeting, but whatever site they have in mind, if the governor’s office tells them not to use it, the letter says, they won’t, but they “will move together as a group … to another location,” though they aren’t saying where that might be: “It could be anywhere” (here’s their open letter to “property owners”). The letter goes on to thank the governor for treating the campers “like human beings” and invites her and her staff to visit, ending “… we will always have an open tent there for you.” We just called the governor’s office to ask if Gov. Gregoire has an official response to the request yet; they’re checking. 2 PM UPDATE: Talked with Ron Judd on the Gregoire staff a short time ago. He visited the site over the weekend but had not officially received today’s request yet. He also noted that the Wednesday deadline is not one set by the state, but by the city.