month : 01/2009 365 results

West Seattle weekend scenes: Admiral cleanup success

January 31, 2009 10:52 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

For the second consecutive weekend, West Seattle teens helped clean up their community’s streets – last weekend, during the North Delridge Adopt-A-Street (WSB photo included here), and today, during the Admiral Neighborhood Association Adopt-A-Street. ANA president Mark Wainwright shared the above photo of Madison Middle School students who joined the operation (shown clowning around afterward with some of the big yellow bags of trash collected in the cleanup), and this update:

The kids are Dallas Baker, Lindsay Vanderpool, Sita Ross, Anton Summers, Megan Antalan, and Alexa Antalan (not in that order in the photo). It was awesome to have them there – they were all satisfying part of their volunteer hours for school. The bags of trash are behind them in the photo – of note were a set of tire chains and “millions” of the lane marker/bumps (what are these things called?).

A very successful day all in all. A big thanks should go out to Metropolitan Market and Dave Weitzel of Admiral-based Weitzel Construction, our two wonderful Admiral Adopt-a-Street sponsors. Met Market provides the meeting point, tables, chairs and great food and coffee, and Dave coordinates the event for our group (he’s a long-time member) and takes care of moving the trash to Hiawatha CC afterwards in his truck!

A quick shout out to two FANNA founders, Matthew Slye and Ann Limbaugh, who helped out today and want everyone to remember to attend their first design meeting for California Place Park coming up soon [Tuesday at 7 pm].

Great stuff… and no rain! We’ll be doing it again in approx. three months.

Matthew and Ann are in this photo we took at California/Lander (map) during the cleanup, along with Catherine Barker:

Other local organizations do cleanups too, including the Junction Neighborhood Organization; if you have one coming up and you’ve got room for more help, be sure we know about it so we can include it on the calendar (!

Transportation notes: Metro fare hike Sunday; ferry plan updates

January 31, 2009 7:33 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

METRO FARES: Last warning, tomorrow’s the day they go up. Here are full details on new prices.

FERRY HEARING: Following up on the well-attended hearing in Fauntleroy a week and a half ago – next step for Washington State Ferries‘ long-range plan is a work session in the House Transportation Committee in Olympia, reviewing the plan at the start of the 3:30 pm meeting (agenda here), and a similar session at 1:30 pm Wednesday before the Senate Transportation Committee (agenda). WSF submitted its revised version of the plan today (linked here along with appendices; we are reading to see if any significant changes related to the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route). Meantime, the Kitsap County-based group Citizens Write Plan C, which is opposing both “options” in the WSF plan (A and B, ergo “C”), is organizing a rally for February 18 in Olympia; read about it here.

ADDED 11:40 PM: Looks like the draft plan DOES include major changes of relevance to our area, including removing the proposal to expand the Fauntleroy dock. Writing a separate item to publish shortly.

From partner site White Center Now: Another food find

In his new series of weekly White Center restaurant reviews – starting last week with the highly popular writeup about roasted chicken and more at El PaisanoJustin from Full Tilt Ice Cream has just written up Queen’s Deli, a new eatery promising “authentic Khmer food.” Go here to read his review.

Seattle school-closure vote: Two followup notes

Two notes in the wake of Thursday night’s vote approving a plan for closures and changes including the end of the Cooper Elementary “program,” the shutdown of the Genesee Hill building, and the Pathfinder K-8 move into the Cooper building:

MEETING VIDEO: Thursday night’s meeting in its entirety is archived on the Seattle Channel website. Note that the cameras don’t have full audience views, so most of the heckling, booing, and other tumult is off-camera, but it can be heard, as can the rest of the proceedings (in some cases, more clearly than it was heard during the meeting, since the audio feed for this recording comes through board members’ microphones, meaning the audience interruptions don’t sound as loud as they did for those of us who were in the room; our video clips are incorporated into our coverage from Thursday night).

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: Many questions remain, particularly for the families whose schools are involved in the plan; the district has promised an “updated FAQ” on its “capacity management” (closures/changes) page “within a few days.” Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson said at the Thursday night meeting that the families who would not be able to go to the same schools next fall will get “individual assignment letters” in the coming week. Those letters are supposed to stipulate whether Cooper students (outside those in the autism program, which will stay in the building) will be assigned to Gatewood, Highland Park, or Arbor Heights, per terms of West Seattle school-board rep Steve Sundquist’s board-approved amendment.

If the 60-year-old Genesee Hill campus closes this fall as approved by board members (the only remaining “if” would involve legal challenges, which have been mentioned by various citywide groups), that will be its second shutdown. The first one lasted from 1990 to 1994, according to this district-written article; 1994 is when it was reopened so Pathfinder, then known as Alternative School #4.

WSB site note: New page with info on our many RSS feeds

If you read WSB via RSS – or are interested in doing so – we apologize for having our various feed links scattered senselessly around the site – till now: We just added a page to the tab-navigation bar under the sunset header, labeled simply RSS – it’s got direct links to our main feeds and instructions on where to find the links to the many other ways you can use RSS to read WSB (you can get a feed on the fly for any individual comment thread or forum thread, for example). Not sure what RSS is? Here’s a pretty good explanation.

Have you voted for county Elections Director yet? 3 more days

checkbox.jpgJust a reminder in case you set your ballot aside when it arrived and haven’t gotten back to it yet: Next Tuesday is the special election for King County Elections Director, which is now an elected position because of a county Charter Amendment approved in November. Five people are running, including Sherril Huff, who’s in the job now; their names are listed here and linked to more information. This is an all-mail election, and you can’t send the ballot via USPS without a stamp; to skip the stamp cost, you can take your ballot to the drop box at the Delridge Neighborhood Services Center (5405 Delridge; here’s a map; here’s a list of other dropoff locations countywide). For people with disabilities who might have difficulty using the mail-in ballot, here’s information on “accessible voting centers” where the vote can be cast in person. If you’ve mailed your ballot, you can check here if it arrived. (To read the latest news reports on this race, go here.)

Winter “Movies on the Wall”: Here’s the lineup!


Earlier this month, you had the chance to suggest what you’d like to see at the first-ever Movies on the Wall Winter Series in The Junction, an indoor spinoff of the popular outdoor summertime series. Now, Lora Lewis of Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) sends word of the “winners”: First, at 7 pm March 4, it’s “The Mummy” – here’s the trailer:

(Lora says they’re planning a bathroom-tissue mummy-wrapping contest to go with that one!) At 7 pm March 11, it’s the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” where the wacky candymaker was portrayed by Gene Wilder:

Then, mark your calendar for 7 pm March 18, for “Napoleon Dynamite“:

All movies are free at the new activity center of West Seattle Christian Church in The Junction (which opens the center’s doors to the public for an open house tomorrow, 2-4 pm, by the way) – Lora promises, “All the fun of the outdoor summer series including concessions, cupcakes, charity raffles other great community activities. Bring your blankets and chairs and join us for the Movies on the Wall Winter Series.” (Doors will open at 5:30 pm with the movies at 7) WSB is proud to be among the sponsors; we hope to see you there!

Weekend Lineup reminder: Help clean up Admiral this morning

You too can enjoy temporary use of spiffy orange vests, yellow bags, handy picker-upper gizmos, and more if you spend a few hours today doing what the folks in that clip did on the day we video’d them one year ago – join in the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s quarterly Adopt-a-Street cleanup. Meeting place is the same, Metropolitan Market, 9 am, free coffee and “light breakfast” treats. That’s just one of a TON of West Seattle happenings today and tonight – here’s the direct link to the Saturday section of our latest West Seattle Weekend Lineup. 10:06 AM UPDATE: Admiral Neighborhood Association president Mark Wainwright sent a note that 14 volunteers have turned out so far and “tasty lunch bags” remain up for the taking along with more supplies – so there’s still time to get over to Met Market and fan out to help with the rest of the cleanup (till about noon).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Status reports on 2 cases

ADMIRAL BURGLARY: Much has been written – even more in the comments than in official stories – about 18-year-old Skyelar Hailey, charged with burglary after his Admiral arrest November 10. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has notified neighbors that after Hailey’s latest court appearance, he has chosen to proceed to trial (prior court documents had suggested a plea bargain was a possibility) and the date is set for April 21. Hailey, whose publicly viewable record includes 10 cases in which he is listed as “defendant,” spent 10 days in jail following the November arrest.

DELRIDGE SHOOTING BEFORE CENTRAL DISTRICT MURDER: reminds us (see the story here) that Friday marked one year since the rampage in which Rey Davis-Bell was arrested for allegedly shooting into his girlfriend’s Delridge apartment (WSB coverage here) and then killing a Central District restaurateur. CDN says Davis-Bell is not scheduled for trial until October.

National Gang Threat Assessment: Read it online

Just saw a KING5 followup about the FBI’s just-released “National Gang Threat Assessment,” but we don’t see a link to that actual FBI report on their website; we have the link from an FBI news release e-mailed today, so we wanted to let you know that if you want to read it, you can find it here. Page 18 focuses on the current/predicted Northwest gang situation, and names the gangs the FBI believes are most “criminally active”; information on those individual gangs starts on page 23. No Seattle specifics, but local law-enforcement agencies are listed as contributors.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Vandalism spree on wheels

Robert e-mailed to report that a carful of people went along 47th from at least Erskine to Raymond (map) about an hour ago, hitting cars with a hammer. Police were called; no word of arrests so far. 9:54 PM UPDATE: Checked back with Robert to see if he had a description of the car — “light/white-colored sedan. With a low rumble of an exhaust.”

OK, guess we can’t get away with not mentioning this one

We saw this earlier today and thought “yawn, we’ve seen that done before on other topics.” SCENIC_Alaskan_Way_AWV1.jpgBut more than a few people have sent it to us via e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook, so we’re thinking maybe it’s worth sharing in case you haven’t seen it yet. The site was just registered this morning so clearly a goofy reaction to the early-am earthquake. Let us be perhaps the last to introduce you to: (Please forgive us if at any point AFTER this it turns into a redirect to a scam, porn site, or RickRoll … ) P.S. Looks like ownership was claimed, here.

Suspected pet-theft alert: Shiba Inu missing

At left, that’s Butch the Shiba Inu, for whom Ray and Mary Eldridge are frantically searching right now. They e-mailed to say, “We believe someone stole our dog, a black and tan Shiba Inu … from in front of the West Seattle Library this afternoon. He looks like a miniature Malamute, weighs about 22 lbs. He has a microchip in him, and tags with our phone number. Please be on the lookout for him and call us if you see him. Our number is 206-914-1290.” They say they’re reporting it to police as well. UPDATE: They clarify, this happened outside the High Point library.

Current and former mayors at West Seattle High School on Monday

This just in from the King County Public Health department:

In the span of 20 years, Seattle’s School-Based Health Centers have grown from a modest pilot program at Rainier Beach High School to a system that now serves the health needs of 5,000 students every year across 14 Seattle School District middle and high schools.

On Monday, February 2, City of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, Former City of Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Public Health – Seattle & King County Director and Health Officer Dr. David Fleming will join health care providers and community partners to celebrate this 20-year milestone in providing high-quality, comprehensive adolescent health care that improves the health of our community and promotes school success for our youth. …

* Celebration: At 10:30 a.m., Mayor Nickels, local officials and community partners will meet in the school library for a celebration and remarks, including testimonials from current students who use the School-Based Health Centers.

The announcement also mentions that WSHS principal Bruce Bivins will participate in the event, along with Lib Kratz, a Nurse Practitioner from Sealth Teen Health Center.

West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Three “super” days

January 30, 2009 2:46 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | WS culture/arts | WS Weekend Lineup

wswllicon3.pngDrama! ’60s rock nostalgia! Yoga to help an ailing teacher! Free coffee and breakfast treats for everyone who helps with the Admiral Adopt-A-Street cleanup! And of course, West Seattle Super Bowl parties! All happening in West Seattle now through Sunday night, more than 40 events ahead in the Super Bowl weekend edition of the West Seattle Weekend Lineup (sponsored by Skylark Cafe and Club):Read More

From the WSB Blogs page: This might make you laugh too

As you probably know, for more than two years WSB has had a page (see it here) which points you to the latest updates from nearly 100 blogs by West Seattle-based writers. Among the latest links: This post by Ian Lurie, from his always-snappy site Conversation Marketing — geared toward marketing writers, but it made us laugh; maybe just because we get so much spam, it hit home.

Alki-based boutique Coastal closing University Village location

Out of the inbox: Coastal, the Alki-based boutique that expanded to the north end a couple years ago, just sent this to its e-mail list:

For the past two years, we have loved being a part of University Village; enjoying new customers and giving our Alki customers another place to shop Coastal on the north end of town. However, at the end of February, we will be closing the University Village Coastal and moving exclusively back to the beach.

A similar move was made last year by Capers, which closed its Fremont expansion location to focus exclusively on its flagship store in The Junction. ADDED 9:40 PM: We e-mailed Coastal’s owners to ask if they had any additional comment – here’s what Christy and Sarah wrote back:

While we are sad to be closing Coastal at University Village , we are very much looking forward to focusing our efforts on the Alki Beach store and bringing even more fun and energy to our West Seattle community. We intend to be on Alki for a very long time and appreciate the support we’ve received from our customers there for the past 5 ½ years.

During this time of economic instability, we’d like to encourage our friends and neighbors to continue to shop locally to ensure the success of the small businesses we all love and value.

Science+math=fun: Meet the Gatewood Elementary robotics team

(From left, students “Skate,” “Crash,” “K-Mart,” “Bubbles,” “Splat,” “Pie,” “Gears,” and “Panic,” with robots Trek, No Name, Wall-E, and Robo – the stuffed monkey at middle is Swinger)
One of the West Seattle schools scheduled to get a significant influx of new students as a result of last night’s closure vote is Gatewood Elementary. Just so happens, hours before the vote, we were visiting Gatewood at the invitation of Erik Christensen, who volunteers with its Robotics Team. What? You thought robotics was mostly for older kids? No way! These young creators are working with a Lego-based system, in a setup like this:

The Gatewood Robotics Team meets after school on Thursday afternoons; its members are getting ready for a big outing to the UW next week, so we stopped by in advance to meet the students (who wanted to be known by their “robot-building” nicknames) and their robots, and thought you’d like to meet them too. (If you’re school-shopping for next year, by the way, Gatewood has tours coming up in the next few weeks; dates/times are listed here; the full tour list for Seattle Public Schools can be found atop our Events page.)

Update: Post-earthquake bridge inspections – no problems

January 30, 2009 10:02 am
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 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Safety | Uncategorized | West Seattle news

From SDOT:

Responding to this morning’s earthquake, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is inspecting the city’s elevated roadway structures for any possible damage. The department has already examined the Ballard, Fremont, University and Spokane Street bridges and has found no indications of damage from the earthquake. The inspections will continue with assessments of the Magnolia, Emerson Street and Jose Rizal bridges, the 15th Avenue NW Interchange and the Spokane Street Viaduct.

Given the small size of the earthquake, the department is carefully examining a key number of its bridges, viaducts and overpasses. If any earthquake damage is discovered, SDOT will then escalate its inspection to all citywide elevated roadway structures.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is responsible for inspecting the Alaskan Way Viaduct and is already at work on that important elevated structure.

ADDED 12:16 PM: SDOT has sent an update:

Inspections of elevated roadway structures across the city
by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) revealed no damage
from this morning’s earthquake. … In addition to visual inspections, SDOT performed test openings on the four movable bridges and found all systems operating correctly. This testing covered the Ballard, Fremont, University and Spokane Street bridges.

Help Waunda get healthy: Friends seek auction donations

Friends and family are working to help raise money for a woman known to many who shop and do business in The Junction — Waunda from the Sports Junction (in the breezeway on the west side of California, south of Oregon). Lee Blanchette explains:

Waunda has been at the Sports Junction since the 80’s and is the epitome of West Seattle. She has done more things for more people than anyone you will ever know. On October 31st Waunda was diagnosed with TTP (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura): A rare life-threatening disease involving embolism and thrombosis (plugging) of the small blood vessels in the brain and has spent the last 2 ½ months at Swedish Hospital. She is finally home but has many months of rehabilitation ahead of her. We will be having a silent auction February 7th at the Rocksport from 7 to 9 pm, followed by live music throughout the evening. We are asking local businesses to donate to the auction to help with Waunda’s recovery. Please call the following numbers or contact her daughter Deanise at the Rocksport.

Tara 253 353-6622
Lee 206 898-6986

West Seattle stories from this morning’s Kitsap County quake

We have a few notes from people shaken up by the 4.5 quake this morning in Kitsap County; here’s its official page on the UW quake-tracking website. Dan Riley, in a 5th-floor apartment along Avalon, described it as: “Ripple ripple, Big Jolt, ripple ripple.” That area may have shook more than most: According to Talani from Stor-More (WSB sponsor), at least one TV station is roaming around here looking for quake stories; she posted on Facebook (where you’ll find us as WS Blog), “We just got interviewed by Channel 7 at the Alki Starbucks about the earthquake”; her original quake report was, “We rocked for a long time … lying in bed totally still and yet both moving and waking up…so wild! I know Luna Park is on pylinks, and it seems we rocked longer than others who just felt a boom.” LeeAnne Beres, near The Junction, felt it too: “Our whole house shook for 12-15 seconds and we had just enough time to figure out what was happening, look at each other and say “earthquake!” before it stopped. It was nothing like the rolling waves of the 2001 Nisqually quake, but definitely enough to make our 1915 house sway significantly. Lisa points out that the USGS is interested in reports from anyone who felt it; you can send yours in by going here and clicking the “Did you feel it? Tell us!” link. Since the last somewhat notable quake, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network has upgraded its “recent earthquakes” page – here’s where to go (worth bookmarking) if you ever think you felt something but weren’t sure if it was a quake. ADDED 12:02 PM: Cool page of web-based seismographs that show the motion pattern – like this one that’s at Vashon HS.

Junction parking review update: Want to take a tour?

New information from Dante Taylor, who’s managing the upcoming Junction parking review that may — or may not — lead to signs like the one at left. Our last update was January 13th, when Taylor appeared at the Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO) meeting and said the first phase would involve both informational mailers and walking tours. If you live in the area that’s being studied (Dakota to Brandon, 47th to 39th, plus the Triangle area) you should receive a mailer within the next week. As for the walking tours – Taylor would like to hear from you if you are interested in participating – it’ll involve scheduling a time to join a small group walking around the area and discussing the reality of the parking situation, good and bad, and whether any specific “tools” might be needed to improve the situation – e-mail him at ASAP.

National notice for Seattle Lutheran soccer standout

From Bil Hood at Seattle Lutheran High School:

Congratulations to Seattle Lutheran High School student Ashley Shaw! Ashley was featured in this month’s ESPN Rise Magazine for her achievements in this past soccer season. Ashley ranked #3 in the state for most goals scored and the SLHS Saints team took 3rd in state. Look for plenty more where that came from; Ashley is just a freshman and the team will be returning all but one starter next year.