West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The two most recent major meetings we covered both severely tested the perennial reputation of Seattle as Politeness Capital of the World.
Then, for a few minutes tonight at Alki Community Center, the first of three “design workshops” to plot the future of California Place Park had a lot in common with what we saw at school district headquarters five nights earlier.
In addition to shouting and disruption, the main common trait was that in each case, the 100-member-plus audience was dominated by people who would have preferred the meeting wouldn’t have happened at all.
**UPDATE – SINCE THIS WAS PUBLISHED, TALARICO’S EVENT TIME MOVED TO 1-5 PM**
We just heard again from Tanya Bushaw, sister of Steven Bushaw, whose shooting death in The Junction on Sunday night remains unsolved – she wants everyone to know about a benefit coming up this weekend, and she has an additional message:
A friend at US Bank is setting up a memorial fund at US Bank. It is supposed to be set up tomorrow afternoon for people to donate to. I believe it will be under Steve’s name…so people just have to mention Steve Bushaw memorial fund but I will find out the final details tomorrow.
(And) Talarico’s has offered to open their establishment for us to hold a benefit evening in memory of Steve. It will be this Sunday evening at 8 pm and it will be a $10 cover for each person and any other donations are welcome as well. They have been so kind to offer a band to play and the proceeds from the evening will be donated to the family. They also told us that kids are welcome to come from 8 until 9 pm. After 9 pm anyone under 21 will not be allowed.
Tanya adds a message that she feels is very important for you to understand:
This had nothing to do with Talarico’s beyond the fact that it happened in front of their business. The people that did this were not patrons of Talarico’s and people should not feel scared to go there. I myself have been there before, and it’s not a place to be afraid of.
(An earlier version of this story included the date/time for the memorial but the family decided they need to keep that invitation-only for now.) Again, as we reported earlier tonight, police haven’t released any new information on the search for the two men who opened fire on Steven Bushaw as he crossed the street late Sunday night, midblock between Alaska and Edmunds. We are continuing to check with them frequently and will let you know whenever there’s anything new to report. 9:37 PM P.S.: The tribute table with flowers and signs is back outside Talarico’s tonight.
That’s Southwest Precinct Officer Kathleen Graves sharing in the happy reunion that ended a minidrama that played out earlier this evening: We got e-mail and text messages from Officer Bruce Wind that Officer Graves had found that goat at 32nd and Elmgrove (map), and perhaps we could get the word out fast enough for the owner to claim the goat before Animal Control arrived. So we posted a note in the WSB Forums and sent it out via Twitter and Facebook. Someone who saw one of those posts called the goat’s owner, and she retrieved it from the precinct, where it had been hanging out in a holding cell:
As one of the e-mails received captioned that photo, “It’s gotta go real baaa-aa-aad” … and gone it has … gone home. Gotta love a happy ending now and then.
We’re at Alki Community Center, where more than 100 people have gathered for the first of three design workshops on proposals for possible “improvements” at California Place Park. Members of the audience have repeatedly interrupted landscape architect Karen Kiest, whose firm has the $15,000 contract to lead this stage of the design project (any proposal to actually change the park would require a separate funding process). Kiest reiterated that she’s not a Parks Department representative; some shouting from the audience contended they haven’t had a chance to express their concerns. More later. 7:33 PM UPDATE: The crowd did calm down and Kiest has proceeded with her presentation, which is to be followed with “small group” discussions about possibilities for the park. 9 PM UPDATE: The meeting ended as scheduled as 8:30, after representatives of each “small group” made comments – overwhelmingly against changes to the park. We will write a separate article shortly. No decisions were made tonight, by design (so to speak); two more workshops are scheduled, the next one at 10:30 am on Saturday, March 7.
JUNCTION SHOOTING INVESTIGATION: We just checked with Seattle Police, and Officer Jeff Kappel says there’s no new information in the search for the men who shot 26-year-old Steven Bushaw as he crossed the street in The Junction night before last (Sunday night coverage here, Monday morning followup here, Monday afternoon followup here). As for his family, we have exchanged e-mail with his sister Tanya, who says she will let us know when there is information to share about his memorial service. (As of this afternoon, the temporary memorial set up outside Talarico’s [left photo] was gone; people who knew Steven are continuing to leave comments remembering him in this thread.)
ATTACK NEAR PARK: Police also released information regarding an incident we checked out last night but at the time were unable to verify: The “assault with weapons” call near Riverview Park around 9:40 last night turns out to have been a stabbing. Officer Kappel says a man in his 50s was out for a walk in the 7200 block of 12th SW (map) and was attacked by a man who got away. There’s no information on how the victim is doing. His attacker is described as “a black male, 5-7, 130 pounds, large front teeth, dark coat, light T-shirt, light pants, fled in a white subcompact car.” 9:24 PM UPDATE: From the WSB Blogs page (thanks to “d” for the tip), Highland Park Action Committee chair Dan Mullins‘ blog has more information about the victim, identifying him as David Skinner and saying he’s still in the hospital with injuries including a punctured lung.
HIAWATHA PANCAKE BREAKFAST: This Sunday morning, chow down while beefing up the coffers of Hiawatha-based programs: It’s the 21st annual Pancake Breakfast at Hiawatha Community Center, raising money for youth basketball programs: All-you-can-eat pancakes, with side dishes including ham, sausages, bagels and fruit, PLUS coffee/juice, free for kids 4 and younger, $4 for 5-12 and 65-up, $5 for ages 13-up, 8 am-noon Sunday at Hiawatha.
ANTI-VALENTINE COMEDY SHOW TO BENEFIT PUPPY-MILL RESCUEES: The Cathy Sorbo/Rod Long show at the Admiral Theater on February 13th is now not just a benefit for West Seattle-based Furry Faces Foundation – it’s going to benefit the North Sound dogs rescued from suspected “puppy mills,” and you’re asked to bring donations along these lines. Tickets are available online.
NATURE CONSORTIUM’S FIRST-EVER BENEFIT BRUNCH: The Youngstown Arts Center-based organization that quietly works to restore West Seattle forest land is having its first Benefit Brunch, 11 am March 14th, at the Youngstown theater. As the Nature Consortium pitch puts it, “This is a free hour-long brunch for people to come and learn more about our organization. Yes, it is a fundraiser, too. You will be asked to consider making a contribution. There is no minimum and no maximum gift requested. Nature Consortium staff, volunteers, and program participants will produce an inspirational program.” RSVP to Lisa Corbin, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (206) 923-0853.
We just got e-mail as a “reminder” that the deadline is approaching for artists to apply “to develop permanent artwork in conjunction with the widening of the Spokane Street Viaduct” (basic project rendering above). The “call for artists” is dated December 18th — which happened to be THIS day — so it might not have gotten a lot of attention. The reminder explains:
The selected artist will develop a creative response to the expansive viaduct and its industrial setting. Possible locations for artwork include the underside of the viaduct’s elevated roadway, its forest of support columns, the spaces surrounding new traffic ramps, the lower Spokane Street roadway and its new sidewalk and/or other areas adjacent to the viaduct. Safety issues prevent placing artwork on the elevated roadway. The artist will determine locations for artwork in collaboration with staff from the Seattle Department of Transportation.
The city notice also says, “The budget for design (including travel costs) is $60,000. It is anticipated that $340,000 will be available for fabrication and installation, for a total project budget of $400,000.” Deadline is 11 pm February 17th; if you’re an artist, you can read a lot more about it here, including links for applying online, or see the “call for artists” page here. Before you say “What? $400,000 for art? Aren’t we having a budget crisis?” take note that the Seattle Municipal Code requires “1 percent for art” for projects like this; read the specific ordinance here. (As for the widening project itself, lower-roadway work continues as crews prepare to start on the first big component, the new 4th Ave offramp for the eastbound side; the city’s project page is here.)
Just in from SDOT:
Thursday, February 5, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will close the right lane eastbound on the West Seattle High Level Bridge from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. During the two and half hour closure, a SDOT crew will inspect the sign bridge, the overhead structure on which the directional traffic signs are mounted.
Side note if you routinely drive through South Park – SDOT also has sent word that 14th/Cloverdale (map) will be closed all weekend for pavement work, 6 pm Friday till no later than 10 pm Sunday.
It’s been more than a year in the making now, and the West Seattle Trails Alliance continues marching ahead, with a focus now on kiosks around the area to point out walking routes and their highlights. The flyer above is for the first of the “next steps,” a Fauntleroy gathering next week described by Chas Redmond at westseattlewalks.org:
The three kiosks to be sited in the general Fauntleroy area are the first to be designed and located for the 10 kiosks which are part of this project. The three kiosks are associated with up to 20 on-street wayfinding markers (think street pole and sign but for trails rather than roads).
One of the locations suggested in previous charrettes is in front of Lincoln Park – but exactly where and on which side of the street is undecided. Another recommended location is near the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal, but again the specifics are to be determined by the community. The last of the three kiosks in the Fauntleroy area is to be sited somewhere in the vicinity of Endolyne – by the bakery or by the church or by the school – again, where is to be determined.
The meeting at Fauntleroy Church will be the kick-off event for the design and determining the exact location of the three Fauntleroy-area kiosks. Each of the on-street markers must also be addressed – where and what should the marker blades say is one question. Thinking of the three kiosks as wayfinding beacons, the on-street markers are the guides from beacon to beacon. Where are these on-street guides and what do the blades actually say? As an example, the on-street markers between the Ferry location and Lincoln Park can point out shortcuts up Gatewood Hill to the Myrtle Street Reservoir – the highest point in the city. Other ideas are both sought and welcome at the charrette.
The Fauntleroy-area kiosks are the first in this series and will be followed by design and location charrettes for kiosks located in the Alki and Admiral areas later this Spring.
Second “step forward”: Chas also tells WSB that after 10 months of distributing the printed West Seattle Trails map (last year, WSB readers got a chance to comment on early versions), 19,000 copies – almost the entire 20K print run – are out there, placed in 64 locations (listed here), “almost one for every two households.” He adds, “We’re compiling changes and recommendations and are anticipating printing a new version by the end of this year” — once the final kiosks in the first round are up; a second city matching-funds grant is being pursued for the second round of kiosks, on the eastern half of the West Seattle peninsula.
CALIFORNIA PLACE PARK: While one group of neighbors has expressed intense opposition to making changes to this tiny park next to Admiral Congregational Church (map), the group exploring potential “improvements” is moving forward with design workshops, led by the landscape architect hired with a $15,000 matching-funds grant received for this process, and the first one is tonight, 7 pm, Alki Community Center, first public meeting on the proposal since this tense one last November. (Archived WSB coverage of the park proposal is here; the project organizers’ official website is here.)
ELECTION DEADLINE: Today is the official Election Day for a special election in which King County voters are choosing the elections director (and several areas outside Seattle have other issues on the ballot). All ballots are mail-in; they must be postmarked by 8 pm tonight, also the deadline for getting it to the drop box at the Delridge Neighborhood Services Center if you’d rather take it there. Full details and helpful links in this previous WSB report.
As West Seattle grapples with the grief and shock over the first murder in years to happen in an open, public place, many have suggested it’s time to step up the simple act of “looking out for each other.” In that vein, we got this note from Stephen, about Thomas the cat (photo left), and what he’s asking people to do:
Today (Monday) between 4-6 pm our youngest cat was hit by a car, directly in front of our house. My wife and I live on 26th near Dakota (map). Since we moved here we have noticed cars driving up and down the street at a very inappropriate speed. The houses around this area have pets and young children. It would be nice if you could post this to let people know that accidents DO happen, but something like could have easily been avoided by driving a slower speed. Thank you to whomever was kind enough to move him off the street and onto the sidewalk. The attached picture is Thomas, 05/05/04- 02/02/09.
Another update from the ongoing process of reviewing six potential sites for a regional municipal misdemeanor jail, including Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way (map) in West Seattle: The comments from the recent “scoping” hearings, including the one January 13th at South Seattle Community College on Puget Ridge (WSB coverage here), are now online (see them here). This is all part of the process toward assembling a “draft environmental impact statement,” which jail project spokesperson Katherine Schubert-Knapp says “is expected to be issued in the third quarter of 2009.” Some preliminary thoughts are posted here by Dan Mullins, newly elected chair of Highland Park Action Committee, which has been battling the idea of a jail in its backyard since the proposal first went public last spring. Final site choice isn’t expected till next year.