month : 01/2009 365 results

Monkee-ing around: West Seattle teen to play the Admiral Theater

That’s Madison Middle School student Bazel Rivera, who’ll be in the Admiral Theater spotlight this Saturday night as a student of a different school – the Paul Green School of Rock Music. They’re presenting a salute to The Monkees – the TV rockers whose heyday was so long ago, some of the 8-to-18-year-olds heard about it from their grandparents. Or via a recent resurgence, as Bazel explains in a quick interview clip you’ll see ahead:Read More

DPD: California Ave “upzone” recommendation finally almost done

When we reported last week on Prudential Northwest Realty moving out of its California SW location, merging with the same-ownership office at Jefferson Square, we got a new round of questions about the “upzoning” proposal for the area in which the now-empty office sits (which also was invoked in the real-estate listing for the Shamrock apartment building, as we reported days before the Prudential story). That proposal to change the zoning along California between Hanford and Hinds (and a bit further south on the west side of the street) to NC2-40 has been in the works for almost 15 months (we broke the story 11/8/07), and it’s been more than half a year since the city started telling us the recommendation was almost ready. And that’s what the city says now; planner Malli Anderson tells WSB, “I expect to complete a draft of the rezone recommendation this week.” Two of her supervisors then review it, including Bob McElhose, who told us, “When we have agreed with the decision and the final edits, it will go to the Hearing Examiner for the open record pre-decision hearing and recommendation, for which there will be notice. Depending on the review of the draft, the notice could go out as early as this Thursday or possibly next week.” (The city’s Land Use Information Bulletin is published Mondays and Thursdays; you can see the latest one here.) Anderson said the notice will “be sent to those who sent comment letters and e-mails or signed the sign-in sheet at the public meeting.” (That’s the public meeting we covered in late November 2007; a month after that meeting, longtime local businessmen Mike Gain and Roger Cayce talked with us about their vision for the area.) No explanation of why it’s taken so long, although planners told us at one point along the way that it’s not unusual for rezoning requests to take more than a year; since the decision here will trigger hearings and comment periods, it’ll be months before anything’s final.

2 bus notes: Sound Transit changes, Metro fare increase reminder

SOUND TRANSIT: Route 560, which includes West Seattle, is one of the routes with changes to come, in part because of ST light rail, so a public-comment meeting has just been set for Feb. 25, 5-7 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction. Read more about it here.

METRO RATE INCREASE: This Sunday is the day that Metro Transit fares go up a quarter. See the new fare schedule in its entirety here.

Happening today/tonight: Appraisals; WSB on TV; Morgan meeting

APPRAISALS: Wondering what your treasures are worth? Merrill Gardens at Admiral Heights has an appraisal event today – just about everything but jewelry. 1-3 pm. Check to see if there’s still room to RSVP: (206) 938-3964.

WSB ON TV: Much discussion these days about the evolution of news media, in Seattle and elsewhere, particularly since the P-I’s plight came to light. Today, the topic is tackled by the City Council’s Culture, Civil Rights, Health and Personnel Committee, chaired by Councilmember Nick Licata (vice chair is West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen). Your editor here is on the panel, to discuss what local independent online neighborhood-news organizations like ours are bringing to the table. It’ll be live on Seattle Channel starting around 2:15-2:30 pm, after a few other agenda items when the committee meeting starts at 2 pm (cable channel 21 or online at Read the latest version of the news release, with the full list of panelists, here. (If you can come to City Hall, a public-comment period is scheduled during the meeting, too.)

MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: Lots on the agenda for the quarterly meeting tonight – 7 pm, The Kenney; see the agenda items at the MoCA website.

West Seattle business news: Martial-arts studio moving back

Got a note from Restita DeJesus, head instructor at Seattle Wushu Center (formerly Yin Yang Arts Center), who wanted to share this news: “My Tai Chi / Kung Fu studio was located at the old Graham & California building that was torn down. After being there for close to 8 years, (prior to that, on California and Juneau in the Nail Salon/Women’s fitness bldg for 6 years), it was very sad to leave West Seattle. Before teaching commercially, I taught at Southwest Community Center and Alki Community Center for a long time… after more than 20 years of being in West Seattle, I was crushed that I would have to leave …. However….I just want to notify readers of the West Seattle Blog that we will be moving back to West Seattle!! The owners of the Satellite Auto Glass building have agreed to lease the shop area to me. I was so overjoyed that I just wanted to … let everyone know we’re returning. Our plans are to move into the building the first week of February (cleaning, prepping, moving small items), and moving our big items in February 6th, 7th, and 8th. We’re looking forward to being back ‘home’ very soon!” (Her center’s new location is at 5659 California, which has been for sale for months.)

Operation Valentine: Show hospitalized veterans you care.

Julie Morelli sent that flyer, which says it all. If you can help make Valentines to distribute to hospitalized veterans, e-mail her at; check out her group’s site at

Softball signups: Tryout time for West Seattle Thunder Fastpitch

January 27, 2009 11:09 pm
|    Comments Off on Softball signups: Tryout time for West Seattle Thunder Fastpitch
 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

baseballclipart.jpgAnother youth sports team is getting ready for next season: We have word from 12U West Seattle Thunder Fastpitch Softball that they’re “looking for athletes with a good attitude and desire to play tournament softball this spring and summer.” To find out about arranging a tryout, call Coach Greg at 206-669-6881 or e-mail him at More team info is here.

West Seattle wildlife watch: Lincoln Park owl; sick Admiral raccoon

That photo is courtesy Minette Layne – who saw the barred owl in Lincoln Park just after 4 o’clock this afternoon. They’re relatively common, according to online info from the Seattle Audubon Society. (If you’d like to look for owls with an expert, West Seattle naturalist Stewart Wechsler is leading an event at Me-Kwa-Mooks this Saturday, 5 pm, $1-$20 donation, RSVP at 206 932-7225 or

A second wildlife note, from Mike in North Admiral:

Just wanted to let WSB readers know that Animal Control came to our house this morning to pick up an apparently sick raccoon. The raccoon spent the night in our dog’s kennel which we keep outside. This morning I discovered the raccoon and was able to close and latch the kennel. The raccoon was very lethargic and barely stirred when I approached.

The officer from Animal Control commented that every few years there is usually a widespread incident of the distemper virus that runs through and thins out the local raccoon population. The virus has two forms (canine distemper and feline distemper) both of which are deadly. This is a very contagious disease and unvaccinated dogs and cats are very susceptible to catching this. He suggested we discard the dog bed we keep in the kennel and spray down the kennel itself w/ a bleach/water compound to kill the virus.

So just a reminder to keep an eye on your pets and make sure their vaccinations are up to date.

That advice was also part of our coverage of the Living with Wildlife event at Camp Long last October (see the story here).

West Seattle High’s Aaron Grymes changes his mind

According to the Seattle Times, West Seattle High School cornerback Aaron Grymes has decided to sign with Idaho instead of UW, saying the Huskies had asked him to “grayshirt” instead of starting next season. ( reported the news earlier today; its story requires membership to read.)

Solicitor alerts: One at the door, one on the phone

Two notes we’ve received this afternoon that might be of interest – read on:Read More

Happening tonight: Teen-drinking survey; water-pollution review

Two one-time-only events to remind you about before the day is gone:

FAMILY SURVEY RESULTS: Back in November, we brought you the link to a community survey spearheaded by Renae Gaines , who’s based at Madison Middle School but has been working tirelessly community-wide to make sure that West Seattleites are aware of the true impact of underage drinking, and how to fight the problem. The survey results are out now, and will be discussed in detail at tonight’s meeting of the Southwest Healthy Youth Partnership, 6 pm at West Seattle High School. (Here’s a Power Point presentation of the results, if you want a preview.)

SEWAGE PLANT MEETING: Don’t let the title fool you: This is technically about the West Point Sewage Treatment Plant, which is in Magnolia, but it turns out the focus is also on the “combined sewer overflows” that result from pump stations all over West Seattle and elsewhere – so the meeting will feature information about potential pollution in our waters, both the open Sound and the Duwamish River. 6 pm tonight, South Seattle Community College‘s Georgetown campus, Building C (6727 Corson Ave. S.; map). Thanks to Liesbet for the tip; she points out there’s more info at

Vote on whether to build a jail? Opponents file “Initiative 100”

This apparently happened late last week but we can’t find any evidence of major coverage – just got a news release about it now. Opponents of the plan to build a new regional misdemeanor jail (with Seattle and several other King County cities partnering; they’re considering six sites including one in West Seattle) have filed Initiative 100, asking, among other things, for a public vote on whether to build a jail. (It’s also on tap for a forum tomorrow night, 6:30, Pigott Hall at Seattle University.) Here’s the initiative petition that will be circulated (note: updated that link late Tuesday to point to the copy finalized today). ADDED 4:46 PM: Just got a county news release about a County Council briefing today regarding the first drop in county jail population in five years – read on:Read More

West Seattle generosity update: Donations for puppy mill rescuees

That photo is courtesy Teri Ensley of Furry Faces Foundation, who first asked us last week to let you know (original report here) that West Seattle businesses are collecting donations for the hundreds of dogs rescued from “puppy mill” operations in the North Sound. Last night, Teri and others took a pile of donated items up to two of the organizations that are helping care for the rescued dogs, and she reports:

Both shelters are so grateful for everyone’s generous donations. They have enough food for now (but will not turn any down)–and what they are in desperate need for are the following:

1. Lots and lots of toys for small to sm/med sized dogs
2. Lots of wee wee pads/puppy training pads
3. Bedding—beds, blankets, towels, etc.

Here are the businesses where you can drop off items:

Admiral District:
Mud Bay; 2611 Calif. Ave SW (dog food & supplies only)
Muttley Crew Cuts Co; 3707 Calif. Ave SW

Alaska Junction:
Hotwire Online Coffeehouse; 4410 Calif. Ave SW (dog food & supplies only)

Petco: 4732 Calif. Ave SW

Alki: All the Best Pet Care; 2820 Alki Ave SW

Morgan Junction:
Pet Elements; 6701 Calif. Ave SW
The Wash Dog; 6400 Calif. Ave SW
(added late Tuesday afternoon) Stella Ruffington’s, 7003 California SW

Westwood Village: Pet Pros; 9033 25th Ave SW

Teri says any other businesses interested in participating — and anyone who can help make future deliveries of donated items — is welcome to e-mail her at Also, she says Muttley Crew Cuts staffers are heading north next Monday “to volunteer their grooming skills with some of the dogs,” and at least one other business owner is trying to help with grooming too. Teri also shared a link to this article about the whistleblower who touched off the investigation that led to the dogs’ rescue.

Want to be a West Seattle star? “Alki Idol 2” starts Thursday

As first featured here two months ago, that’s Lynda, who won “Alki Idol” Season 1 (and $1,000)! Now it’s time for the second round – here’s the announcement from organizer John McKenzie:

The Bamboo Bar and Grill on Alki will be hosting Alki Idol Season 2 starting Thursday, January 29th at 9:30 PM. Alki Idol is an eight-week karaoke competition set up for local amateur singers to compete for cash and prizes on a weekly basis, as well as a grand prize for the overall winner. Season 1 was a huge success and featured some amazing local singers.

The contest will include 6 weeks of auditions with 2 contestants qualifying each night based on voting by a panel of judges. The final field of 12 will compete in a semi-final competition on March 12th, reducing the field to 6. The 6 finalists will then compete in the finals for cash and prizes on March 19th. The Bamboo Bar and Grill is located at 2806 Alki Ave SW. Check for updates on Alki Idol at or

West Seattle Whole Foods update: “We are deeply committed”


You may have heard that the Interbay Whole Foods project is now back on track, as officially announced today. Our fellow neighborhood-news-site operators at covered the announcement and were kind enough to ask WF about its West Seattle status on our behalf. John Clougher, Pacific Northwest regional manager for Whole Foods, replied: “As far as West Seattle, we are on track and deeply committed to that project. It is a solid commitment and we can’t wait to get going. There is no opening date yet but it usually takes 5-7 months after the construction of the shell is complete and delivered to Whole Foods.” (We’ve had messages out to local developers BlueStar for a few days to find out when construction will be gearing up again at the Fauntleroy Place site, and will let you know when we hear from them.) ADDED 2:11 PM:‘s full story on today’s Interbay announcement is now up; see it here.

Leash, or else: Expensive enforcement at Hamilton Viewpoint

Just out of the WSB inbox, from Terry:

I was ticketed for $162.00 for having my dogs off a leash at Hamilton Viewpoint Park (map) this AM. I and many other West Seattle residents have been taking our dogs there for years. We all seem to use the hilly south end of the park as not to disturb anyone. I have never experienced people leaving dog waste there, and often leave with a handful of broken beer bottle glass and trash from the night before. In any case, the animal control explained dogs can’t be off a leash in a public park in Seattle. The only signs in the park ask for dogs to be kept out of the flower beds.

Not word yet if underage drinking parties are still “a go.”

The only official “off-leash area” in West Seattle is at Westcrest Park (map).

West Seattle snow: Now it’s sticking

(looking toward the SW Thistle stairs to Lincoln Park, west of California SW)
At least up here, and at least it waited till the commute was mostly over. SDOT sent a short blurb to assure you they’re on patrol:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has trucks standing by at various locations around the city including the West Seattle Bridge and the tops of hills, in case they are needed. Last night crews applied deicer to the high level West Seattle Bridge, the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and the Aurora Bridge.

Is it snowing where you are? 9:10 AM UPDATE: Via Facebook (where you can “friend” us as WS Blog), Becky reports that she’s seen one of those city trucks standing by at Westwood Village. While the ground is lightly covered up here at “higher elevations,” the road’s still bare/wet. Forecasters continue to all-but-promise it will turn to rain within a few hours. Here’s the bridge cam (refresh the page for the latest image; you can also see it any time on the WSB Traffic page):

9:45 AM UPDATE: We’re out driving around. Not much at all on the ground/roofs down at sea level, through Morgan Junction and Fairmount Springs. The “snow” itself is more like sleet. 11:33 AM UPDATE: En route back from downtown and it’s rain now … we can definitely declare fleeting snow panic over!

West Seattle yoga teacher in no position to work, but you can help!

The folks at 8 Limbs Yoga (WSB sponsor) are banding together to help popular teacher Denise Carrico (photo at left), who can’t teach – and therefore, can’t work – for a month because she “fell while hiking and broke both her leg and her arm,” says 8 Limbs’ Anne Phyfe Palmer. To help get Denise through this time of crisis, 8 Limbs is offering two benefit classes this Saturday – here are the details:

Please join yoga teacher Greg Owen on Saturday, January 31st for either of his morning classes:
10:30 am LEVEL I

Here’s how Denise will benefit:

Drop-ins ($16) will go directly to Denise.

If you are an 8 Limbs class card holder, consider paying drop-in for this class, otherwise $5 will be donated by 8 Limbs for each class card holder. 8 Limbs will donate $5 for each member who attends.

Additional donations are encouraged. Please pay cash or write checks directly to Denise Carrico.

Donations of any amount can be made by check at any time at the 8 Limbs front desk.

Thank you!

8 Limbs is in The Junction, right over JaK’s Grill (map), enter from the alley behind the building; find lots more information online at

Highland Park Action Committee: New leaders; jail deadline

That’s the Highland Park Action Committee‘s new chair Dan Mullins, presiding for the first time at HPAC’s first meeting of the year tonight. (New vice chair Nicole Mazza and treasurer Shawn Mazza couldn’t attend, but you can see them in this photo on the HPAC website; as we reported following the last HPAC meeting, the previous officers decided not to run again — former chair Dorsol Plants is about to kick off his City Council campaign – website in the works here.) Dan’s first report as chair revolved around plans to have a brainstorming session for the community to looking into getting city matching grants for various projects – such as replanting parking strips, doing cleanup in the greenbelt, maybe a kiosk in the Highland Park Improvement Club parking lot to distribute info about HPAC, the HPIC building, and the neighborhood. He also mentioned that Habitat for Humanity is doing a build-a-thon in September and they’re looking for people to sit on a steering committee (more info to come on that). On the hottest HP topic of the past year, Becca Fong says THIS FRIDAY is the deadline for comments on the potential environmental impacts of sites proposed for a new regional misdemeanor jail – including the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way site. More info on that at the jail-project website. Becca says any citizen concerns about air, water, soil effects will have to be followed up on by the city, so if you have them, send them. (She’s willing to answer questions about the process,

ArtsWest boss: Trouble? Not us

January 26, 2009 10:15 pm
|    Comments Off on ArtsWest boss: Trouble? Not us
 |   West Seattle online | WS culture/arts

You might have seen a citywide article or two suggesting arts organizations are struggling in these tough times. Not ArtsWest, retorts exec director Alan Harrison in this essay.

White Center/North Highline annexation: Initiative challenge

Just posted on our partner site White Center Now: Even as Burien’s city manager Mike Martin told council members (who had to cancel tonight’s work session for lack of quorum) he’s hoping for an August vote on the proposed North Highline annexation (in an area that leaves the majority of White Center available for Seattle to annex), a prominent Burien resident, former councilmember Stephen Lamphear, has filed notice of an initiative to stop the deal for separate annexations. See the document here. More as this develops. 9:51 PM UPDATE: Added comments from initiative sponsor Lamphear at WCN.

2 school notes: Sealth “groundbreaking”; closure amendments

GROUNDBREAKING: Work’s been under way for months now on the Chief Sealth High School upgrades that are going in prior to construction of a new Denny Middle School on the CSHS campus – and tonight there’s word of a “groundbreaking celebration” for the next phase of work, set for March 12th. More details later this week, according to the project-management team. The project website has some toplines about what’s been happening this month; see them here.

CLOSURE AMENDMENTS: As reported previously, if any Seattle School Board members plan to make amendments to the “final recommendations” for school closure/changes currently slated for a Thursday vote, they’ve been asked to turn in said amendments by noon tomorrow. We checked with the Seattle Public Schools communications office to ask if any such amendments would be then made available to the media before they’re published on the district website (which is supposed to happen Wednesday). Got the answer this afternoon: No.