West Seattle, Washington
One of the headlines from tonight’s Alki Community Council meeting: President Jule Sugarman announced that management of the maintenance fund for the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza will move from Urban Sparks, which financially sponsored the Plaza Project Committee, to the ACC, with the Parks Department‘s blessing. “This does NOT mean we are raising money,” Sugarman stressed; instead, the council is creating a new committee — chaired by Plaza Project Committee co-chair Libby Carr — to oversee the extra maintenance, for which a $60,000-plus fund is already in place. Carr says that maintenance will include cleaning and staining the wood benches twice a year and washing and waxing the Statue of Liberty replica and its pedestal. Those jobs would be professionally done, but the new committee might rustle up volunteers for occasional work parties to do other kinds of cleanup, and would likely have regular meetings only a few times a year. Meantime, the additional bricks to be installed at the plaza are likely to be put in this spring, Carr said — along with the new time capsule — and replacements are in the works for the existing bricks that have had some deterioration problems. (Photo above left by David Hutchinson)
Tonight we welcome a new WSB sponsor: Seattle 911 Driving School is about to start classes at Southwest Community Center in West Seattle. New WSB sponsors are always offered the chance to tell you about their business, and here’s what Seattle 911 Driving School wants you to know: Seattle 911 Driving School is the driver-training program where all instructors are police officers. We hire only the finest police officers with knowledge and expertise to prepare you for the great responsibility that comes with obtaining your driver’s license. The most important aspect of driver education is SAFETY, and the best safety feature you can add to your car is a well-trained driver. With police officers as instructors, our students get the most current real-world driving instruction. At 911 Driving School, instructors are highly trained in every aspect of controlling a vehicle and can teach the latest in defensive driving techniques and current traffic laws. Police officers see firsthand the devastation caused by poor driving. That’s why we take an active role in bringing back greater credibility to driver’s education. Our friendly team at the Seattle 911 Driving School is committed to excellence and knows that you’ll find our instruction to be fun, interactive, and comprehensive – the training cars are pretty cool, too. Classes are held on both weekday and weekend schedules to fit your needs and are available in both our main office at the corner of Northgate and Meridian and at Southwest Community Center in West Seattle, 2801 SW Thistle (map). Whether you are a first-time driver, in need of a refresher course, or a new resident to the US, we have the driver-education training you need. Enroll today – we look forward to serving you. You can call Seattle 911 Driving School at 206-366-9111 to find out more about upcoming classes; schedules and class descriptions also can be found online. Welcome to Seattle 911 Driving School; find all WSB sponsors listed on this page, along with information on how to join them!
**NOTE – SINCE THE SERVICE’S NAME HAS CHANGED, STORIES NEWER THAN THIS ONE ARE CATALOGUED IN OUR “KING COUNTY WATER TAXI” CATEGORY, HERE**
Since our Water Taxi update this morning, its website has been updated with all of this year’s information, including schedules – and you’ll notice one big thing: It’s not the Elliott Bay Water Taxi any more; it’s the King County Water Taxi. Online info starts here; note that the KCWT will now run till late evening 7 nights a week, among other changes.
That house is at the far north end of Delridge, across the busy, bridge-approaching street from Skylark Club and Cafe (WSB sponsor). When someone broke into Skylark last month, all eyes turned there. Technically, the house is vacant. In reality, it hasn’t been — it’s been used by squatters and partyers, and Skylark proprietor Jessie Summa-Kusiak says it’s been a sore spot for that area for quite some time. It’s part of a problem that North Delridge Neighborhood Council co-chair Mike Dady brought to last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, out of abject frustration. After trying for a long time to get something done, he says, the city needs to take stronger action about properties like this one – and tonight, there may be some progress – read on:Read More
NO SCHOOL TOMORROW … for Seattle Public Schools (and other institutions that follow its calendar, as well as nearby Vashon and Highline districts).
TAKE A HIKE TOMORROW AFTERNOON … with the Nature Consortium. Great timing, for the no-school day. 1 pm, meet at the 14th SW/SW Holly trailhead for a not-too-tough hike through part of West Seattle’s wonderful West Duwamish Greenbelt. RSVP to email@example.com
FORMER WEST SEATTLEITES’ FOOD BIZ CLOSING: It’s making its way around food-focused media today, and we also received a copy of the letter (thanks to Edgar) – former West Seattleites Gabriel Claycamp and Heidi Kenyon announced they are closing down Culinary Communion (which is on Beacon Hill), and selling off its equipment this Saturday. We first heard about it on Twitter this morning from former P-I food writer Rebekah Denn, so we’ll point you to her new site for the story, including the couple’s letter explaining their plans for another business, The Swinery.
One more note added @ 5:14 pm — WestSide Baby is having a “sorting frenzy” tonight – can you help? Time, info, and directions here.
We reported this in the WSB Twitter stream when it happened but just got a bit more info now: Two children were slightly hurt when their school bus was involved in a crash on westbound Highland Park Way just east of West Marginal Way (map) at midday today – the bus and a minivan both had front-end damage; still checking on circumstances of the crash. Fire Department spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen says the kids did NOT have to go to the hospital. Meantime, at Alki Point, the first week of work on the sidewalk-extension project now has an alert sign up at 63rd/Alki (by Cactus), noting the westbound road is for “local access only.”
The actual work is beginning at the Beach Drive/Alki Avenue end, with survey work for starters:
And of course, the biggest traffic alert of all – remember, the Alaskan Way Viaduct is scheduled to be closed 6 am-6 pm both Saturday and Sunday this weekend for its half-yearly inspection, and the Battery Street Tunnel is to be closed around the clock from Friday night till Monday morning. (Plus, if you see this before Thursday evening and plan to drive through Sodo/Pioneer Square, remember the huge crowd expected for the Seattle Sounders‘ debut rally/march/game.)
At this rate, we may have to set up the subtopic West Seattle Car Crime Watch. First, from Susan:
Sometime last night all four wheels and tires were stolen off my (poor grad student) niece’s Honda Civic. The car was parked on the street in front of our home near the waterfront park on Beach Drive…it was left jacked up on a car jack and a brick. The car itself was not broken into.
Next, from Ashley:
My* foolish* boyfriend parked his car on Avalon Way and what he thought was a well-hidden snowboard in the backseat. Upon returning to his car this morning he found his GMC truck broken into and the snowboard stolen. It is a K2 Electra 167 snowboard that is brown with white bindings. If anyone has seen it or seen anyone attemping to sell it, I would highly appreciate it.
(WSB photo from December 18, looking north on California from Thistle)
We and the rest of the world have pointed to today’s Seattle Times story, and this afternoon the city Transportation Department has sent its entire media list a “statement on snow response.” It doesn’t particularly rebut anything in reporter Susan Kelleher‘s story, though. Read on for the text, and some handwritten log sheets the city sent along:Read More
A month after first word that the Elliott Bay Water Taxi‘s new season will start April 5th (WSB coverage here), a few more Day 1 details just arrived – along with a coupon – so watch your mailbox. As has become traditional on the season’s first day, you’ll be able to ride the Water Taxi free all day on April 5; the kickoff festivities will happen at Seacrest from noon-2 pm. And for use after Day 1, clip the coupon that’s part of a postal-mailed postcard sent by King County Council Chair Dow Constantine (ours just arrived).
(rendering courtesy Weber Thompson)
We reported after the last meeting last Thursday night that it was expected a special meeting date would be set April 2nd for the Conner Homes Junction megaproject to return to the Design Review Board – now that date is confirmed in the latest Land Use Information Bulletin – the meeting’s at 6:30 pm April 2nd, at West Seattle Christian Church (more room than the High Point Library where the last meeting happened, and no time limit). Here’s the notice; here’s our full report on last week’s meeting.
ALSO FROM TODAY’S LAND USE INFORMATION BULLETIN:
-Appeal hearing set April 24 for land-use decisions related to the Denny-Sealth project (here’s the notice)
-Official notices of two other Design Review meetings we’d already reported here – both on April 9, both at Madison Middle School – 2988 SW Avalon at 6:30 pm (here’s the notice), 4532 42nd SW at 8 pm (here’s the notice)
Over the past six days, we have brought you word of two lawsuits filed in connection with Fauntleroy Place, the idled development site east of The Junction, slated to include a Whole Foods store – if and when construction gets back into swing. Following our first report on the lawsuits last Friday, we shared the full documentation this past Tuesday for the suit filed by Christopher NeVan (here’s that story) against the other site owners, and now today, the full documentation for the suit filed by site developers BlueStar against the site owners has become available online (its lawyers had declined our request last week to provide the document shortly after its filing, but now it’s publicly accessible). The BlueStar suit alleges breach of contract; “unjust enrichment”; intentional interference with business relationships and expectancies; disparagement affecting business, trade, or profession; and defamation, and says BlueStar hasn’t been paid for its work since last August. Read the entire lawsuit here (33 pages); we’ll add an overview after we go through it. ADDED 3:30 PM: The toplines from this lawsuit:Read More
Just got a call from West Seattle-based orca expert Jeff Hogan, who says there’s been a sighting around Bainbridge and they’re headed south – so heads up if you’re anywhere near the West Seattle waterfront. Updates as we get them. 11:12 AM UPDATE: Jeff called again – says “they’re a mile off Vashon, heading south.” 1:45 PM UPDATE: The Orca Network has more details on today’s sighting near Bainbridge:
Orca Network received a call from the Ferry Kitsap at 10:50 am, reporting a pod of orcas 1 mile off Alki Pt, between Alki & Restoration Pts, near the Tango Buoy, heading south.
We are watching what looks like 4 Orcas in a line between Rolling Bay, Bainbridge Island and Carkeek Park, Seattle. They are close to the south bound shipping lane heading south. Looks like one male, two females and not sure about the 4th one. Saw the first one at 8am.
UPDATE 8:30am: The four came in by Skiff Point, Bainbridge Island still heading south. A mother and a juvenile are also out in the south bound shipping lane off of West Point. The juvenile is particularly frisky – jumping clear out of the water.
ADDED 4:15 PM: Here’s a link to KING5 aerials shot today.
Here on WSB last week, you met Heart On My Sleeve in this story – three men, working out of a Pigeon Point duplex, hoping to change the world for the better, with recycled-material fashion, design, and music: Navy veteran Johnathan Oliver, former UW football player Shelton Sampson (shown above), and musician Art B. They were hopeful their “big break” was just around the corner; in the week and a half since we met them, some new excitement has materialized, starting with Seattle Fashion Week next month. Johnathan wrote to say:
Seattle Fashion Week has invited us to show our line. They also want us to serve as visual graphic directors for the show. We will also have the opportunity to design a piece for Vitamin Water. They are one of the sponsors for the event. They will be providing us with the money to purchase the materials needed for the piece. We have so many great ideas and I’m sure we would be able to make quite a statement at this show. We feel that a successful show can and will catapult us in the local fashion scene as well as the global.
Johnathan later e-mailed to say fashion-industry insider BJ Coleman has agreed to come here for the show, if they can figure out how to get him here. And that’s not all. They’ve been asked to perform some of their songs at a Fashion Week promo event on March 26, plus:
We will be creating 10 pieces for the fashion show. Each piece will have a charity associated to it. Such charities as The American Heart Association, the glass-blowing program in Tacoma. We are also creating a piece for Fashion Week that will be auctioned off at the Community School of West Seattle to raise money to replace technologies in their preschool. The kids will actually be helping us construct the piece as well.
They’ve been getting by on something of a shoestring – so in order to make all this happen, they have a wish list that you might be able to help with – read on to see it, plus an easy way to help:Read More
Got notes and texts about a big police presence in the past hour-plus near Fairmount Park, including one from Stephanie, who saw what happened near 40th/Dawson (map): In short, she says, it appeared to be a dispute of some kind between a man and a woman – starting with the woman in a car stopped in the middle of the street honking the horn, culminating in a hit-and-run crash, when he reportedly hit the car she was in, then took off. The damaged car, Stephanie says, has been towed. No medic calls, so no apparent injuries.
(December 22 WSB’er photo, California/Lander, looking west)
For an article published this morning, the Seattle Times launched “a review of about 2,000 records, including e-mails and detailed reports on how the city deployed equipment and crews” during the December snowstorms. The article starts off by calling attention to two SDOT managers who made what Times reporter Susan Kelleher calls “questionable decisions,” then provides a window into e-mail exchanges that seem to run counter to the stern tone of some of the official hearings (like this one) — Kelleher writes that Councilmember Sally Clark e-mailed SDOT boss Grace Crunican in January to say her West Seattle-residing colleague Tom Rasmussen was “out of line” in asking whether Crunican was in Seattle for the entirety of the storm (as reported here, she wasn’t), and Christmas e-mail from Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis to Crunican and one of her managers is quoted as saying “SDOT has been magnificent throughout these storms.” Ceis and Crunican also live in West Seattle, as of course does Mayor Nickels, and yet another part of the story says city workers spent more time clearing “sidewalks, landings, and bus stops” here than any other part of the city. Anyway, just go read the whole story.
Seen during a walk on Alki as the tide was still going out late this afternoon. Sorry we couldn’t get a better angle without having been on a boat about 50 feet offshore.