month : 03/2009 366 results

West Seattle Weather Watch: Don’t put the shovel away yet

Seattle weather star Cliff Mass says the “models” are suggesting possible snow this weekend. The National Weather Service mentions it briefly too in the latest “forecast discussion.” We did get snow LAST March – found lots of photos in the archives, including this one shared by Karen in Westwood on 3/28/08:


Happening tonight: 1st meeting for Friends of Junction Plaza Park

It’s the rectangle of grass on the northwest corner of Alaska/42nd, at the foot of one tall building now, with more in the works across Alaska. Tonight, you are invited to share the next step toward turning Junction Plaza Park from future park to developed park: The newly energized Friends of Junction Plaza Park will gather at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, a block away from the park site. Recent reports here about the project have drawn comments wondering why the price tag to finish the park is $350,000; even if you’re among the skeptics, bring your questions and ideas – what’s needed even more than money is a pledge of volunteer time to get the job done. (Park-vision rendering, above left.)

Announced tonight: ArtsWest’s 2009-2010 season slate

March 2, 2009 9:55 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(video added Tuesday, Alan Harrison discussing AW’s mission)
Just back from ArtsWest in The Junction, where the 2009-2010 season was announced tonight with a first-of-its-kind onstage event. Four of the six productions are Seattle premieres (and one is a National New Play Network World Premiere). The six are: “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Carol Roscoe, 9/9/09-10/3/09; “Measure for Pleasure” by David Grimm, directed by Christopher Zinovitch, 10/21/09-11/14/09; “Plaid Tidings” returns for the 2nd consecutive holiday season 12/2/09-12/27/09; “Love Song” by John Kolvenbach, directed by Kate Witt, 1/27/10-2/21/10; “Sunlight” by Sharr White, directed by Vanessa Miller, 3/10/10-4/3/10; “Tell Me on a Sunday” (Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s one-woman show, starring Jessica Skerritt with Zinovitch directing), 4/28/10-5/23/10. ArtsWest executive director Alan Harrison told the announcement audience that despite the economy’s troubles, ticket sales for 2008-2009 are up 30 percent from a year earlier, and even art sales are up. (Meantime, ArtsWest’s next production of the current season, “History Boys,” opens this Wednesday.)

Monday night notes: From oil, to beer, to two kinds of building

March 2, 2009 9:46 pm
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 |   WS miscellaneous

fobesice.jpgWEST SEATTLE PHOTOGRAPHER REVISITS EXXON VALDEZ, 20 YEARS LATER: We’re having a tough time realizing it’s really been two decades since the Exxon Valdez catastrophe in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. But our memories, as a then-TV-news producer in San Diego, writing short stories from 2,000 miles away, are nothing like those held by Natalie Fobes (shown at left, photographed in Siberia), a West Seattle-based photographer who was one of the first on the scene of the spill in 1989 and spent three months chronicling how it affected wildlife and people. People for Puget Sound is sponsoring a presentation by Fobes and Cordova, AK, author-activist Dr. Riki Ott at 7 pm Thursday at REI’s flagship store downtown. In addition to looking back, they will look ahead to what’s being done, and needs to be done, to make sure nothing like this can happen again. More info, including how to get tickets, is on this page of the PPS website.

ORGANIC BEER: Elliott Bay Brewing Company‘s e-newsletter sent out today revealed another milestone in its organic brewing:

ORGANIC Beer NOW in West Seattle!!!

-On February 2, 2009 Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub became only the second brewery in King County to be awarded organic certification for its beers. While we’ve been brewing with organic grain for a number of years now, we decided to seek certification for our year-round house beers and a handful of our seasonal recipes.
-Look for USDA labels on the board above the bar and on our tap handles that will designate which of our current draught selections is certified organic.

COMMUNITY-BUILDING INSIGHT: Fauntleroy Church‘s “Re-creating Community in our Day” series continues Wednesday night, 7 pm, with Bill Grace, founder of the Center for Ethical Leadership. Simple supper by donation at 6 pm, presentation at 7. (Next week’s guest speakers are your WSB co-publishers, so we hope to see you there then too.)

FREE HOME-BUILDING/REMODELING WORKSHOP: Longtime WSB sponsor Ventana Construction is offering another one of its free, no-strings workshops for anyone and everyone thinking about remodeling or custom home-building. Call 206-932-3009 to have them save a spot for you. The event is at 6:30 pm Thursday at Ventana HQ north of Morgan Junction.

Welcoming a new WSB sponsor: Southwest District Council

Whenever a new sponsor joins WSB, we publish a special welcome with information the sponsor wants to share. This time around, we’re welcoming the Southwest District Council, with a special emphasis on one of its work priorities — emergency preparedness. The SWDC’s next meeting is this Wednesday night, so it’s a good time to share more information about it. First, an explanation: The Southwest District is one of 13 neighborhood districts in the city, created by City Ordinance in 1988. (The rest of West Seattle is in the Delridge Neighborhoods District.) Each district has a district council made up of representatives from neighborhood/community councils, business groups, a variety of other community-based organizations, non-profit human-service organizations, or arts/cultural groups. District Councils advise the city on services, initiatives, and programs, such as the Neighborhood Street Fund/Cumulative Reserve Fund and Neighborhood Matching Fund Large Projects applications, and provides a forum to inform, discuss, and encourage civic engagement and community-building. The Southwest District Council meets 9 or 10 times a year on the first Wednesday, at 7 pm – usually January, February, March, April, May, June, July (when needed), September, October, and November – at the President’s Board Room at South Seattle Community College on Puget Ridge (map). The District Council is staffed by the Southwest Neighborhood District Coordinator, Stan Lock with the city Department of Neighborhoods. Read on to find out about SWDC participants – and how the emergency-preparedness push (with a new website) can make a difference for your family:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Lightning no, car prowlers yes

Mandy e-mailed us from the 10000 block of 31st SW (map), where car prowlers have struck twice – read on:Read More

Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets finally “officially” announced

March 2, 2009 3:03 pm
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 |   Environment | Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news


(WSB photo from 9/7/08 “Car-Free Day” on Alki)
We first reported here in late January that May 31st had been designated as Alki’s “car-free” day this year. Last Friday, we brought you a few more details from the mayor’s office, plus a link to the full citywide list for what’s being called, this year, Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets. Today, the “official” citywide announcement is finally out, so if you want to read it – including an interesting choice of who was quoted on behalf of West Seattle – read on:Read More

Bird tale with a happy ending: Alki falcon hit, helped, released

Alki’s David Hutchinson sent three beautiful photos of that bird along with the story of how he and wife Eilene Hutchinson encountered and helped it:

A week ago on Thursday, my wife and I were driving home along Alki Avenue when something streaked in front of our car. It collided with a truck heading the opposite direction and tumbled to the street. Thankfully, there was not much traffic at that time and we were able to retrieve it, take it home, and place it in a pet carrier. It turned out to be a Merlin, a small falcon about 10 inches long.

David continues:

We called Woodland Park Zoo, and they referred us to the Sarvey Wildlife Center up in Arlington. Their purpose is to “help our wildlife population continue, and assure immediate medical attention, food, and shelter for injured and orphaned wildlife.” They operate with volunteers and are funded through donations.

We dropped the Merlin off and during the past week, they rehydrated it, started it on solid foods, and made sure it could fly and was in good health. This past Friday, we received a call that is was ready for release. We brought it back to Alki and released it at the playfield north of Alki Elementary which is only about 1 block from where we had rescued it. It immediately flew to one of the large trees that line 59th Avenue where it sat for a long time sunning itself and grooming before flying away.

Thanks to David for sharing the story and photos. You can find out more about Sarvey Wildlife Center, by the way, at or 360-435-4817.

Monday midmorning notes: 1 for now, 2 for later, 1 question

RIGHT NOW: Chief Sealth PTSA is asking for help getting the Chief Sealth-Cleveland basketball game chosen as channel 7’s “Game of the Week.” Take a sec to go to this page and vote (in the right sidebar).

TWO REMINDERS FOR SATURDAY: Daylight Saving Time kicks in Saturday night/Sunday morning, 2 am (set your clocks an hour forward). Third year it’s been this early. That happens hours after the first Winter Movies on the Wall showing: The next three Saturday nights, West Seattle Junction merchants (and other co-sponsors including WSB) present an indoor winter version of the popular summer movie series. Free! Inside the huge new West Seattle Christian Church activity center, on 42nd south of Genesee (map), doors open 5:30, “The Mummy” starts at 7; here’s the official site.

QUESTION (added 10:49 am): We’ve now received two reports of a “weird, loud whooshing noise” late last night – both from east of California, south of Admiral. No clue what it was but both notes are from quite reliable sources, so we’ve no doubt SOMETHING was heard. If you have any idea, please post a comment or e-mail us, – thanks!

Update: Accident near Chief Sealth HS this morning

In case you live nearby or drove by and wondered what happened: This is the accident that briefly led to a huge “heavy rescue” callout on the Longfellow Creek side of Delridge across from the Chief Sealth/Boren parking lot about an hour ago. That callout was closed fairly quickly because the person in the truck got out OK. Police at the scene told us that person was taken to the hospital to be checked out; no word on age or other identification, or on exactly how the truck wound up “offroad.”

Signing up for Seattle Public Schools? Open enrollment, day 1

Today’s the first day of “open enrollment” for Seattle Public Schools, later than usual because of the school closures/changes process. The district has forms, enrollment guides, dropoff spots, tour schedules, and much more linked here.

Followup: Mike Gain takes the Prudential NW reins with optimism

(photo at left, Mike Gain in his West Seattle office, next to framed drawings of Cayce and Gain’s past headquarters)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“Personally, I think the market’s bottomed out.”

Longtime West Seattle real-estate/development leader Mike Gain was careful to include the term “personally.” But it’s emblematic of his optimistic nature, which he is using to fuel what he calls the “run” to get up to speed as he takes over Prudential Northwest Realty, which he ran for two years after he and Roger Cayce sold their West Seattle-iconic Cayce and Gain real-estate firm to Prudential in 2002.

That “run” hasn’t stopped since at least Tuesday, when he prepared to tell the PNW areawide team he was coming back to run the company (as first reported here Thursday morning, once Gain confirmed it).

Even as I sat in Gain’s 3210 California SW office this afternoon – where I’d last visited in December 2007 to talk with Gain and Cayce about their rezoning proposal for the blocks surrounding it (more on that proposal’s status later) – signs of that “run” persisted.

Read More

Seattle City Council re-election races: Jan Drago says she’s out too

The Times reports tonight that City Councilmember Jan Drago has decided not to run for re-election this fall, after 15 years on the council. She was one of four whose slots are up this year: Councilmember Richard McIver already has said he’s out; Council President Richard Conlin has said he WILL run again; Councilmember Nick Licata hasn’t finalized his intentions yet. The list of others who’ve filed so far can be found here.

Update: Fire in South Delridge; prayer hall closed

(added 7:14 pm, photo by Tony Bradley, replacing our original iPhone photo)
ORIGINAL 6:16 PM REPORT: 9428 Delridge, commercial building. Here’s a map. Scanner says smoke from the second floor. Off to check it out.

6:31 PM UPDATE: (From TR at the scene) No visible flames, but smoke coming from roof of the Ty Ty Market building that is just to the north of the Cafe Rozella (etc.) building on the alley (which veers southeast from a driveway opening on Delridge). Flames were seen on the second floor, but seems to be out now. The fire engines have traffic blocked around the Delridge and Roxbury Triangle.

UPDATE 6:43 PM: No one was hurt and fire crews are mopping up.

UPDATE: 6:51 PM: Traffic is also blocked along 17th SW between Roxbury and Delridge as crews are still packing up.

7:02 PM UPDATE: The incident commander told us at the scene that fire investigators have just gone in to figure out what started the fire and how much damage was done. SFD spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen says nobody was inside when the fire started. Photographer Tony Bradley got to the scene shortly after firefighters and saw some flames behind a 2nd-story window; we’ll add his photo when we get it (7:13 pm, we subbed it out for the iPhone photo originally on top of this – and here’s a second one from Tony, beneath this update).

10:07 PM: Just in case you’re wondering, we’re still awaiting official word from SFD on the fire’s cause.

8:49 AM MONDAY: Our fellow White Center Now contributor Ricardo Guarnero at neighboring Cafe Rozella says the fire actually was in a Muslim prayer hall in this building. We are still awaiting word from Seattle Fire investigators regarding cause/damage. Ricardo adds that there’s a note on the door saying “MASJID is closed indefinitely,” and adds, “The sign is on the door where Muslims gathered to pray five times a day. Next door is the ‘Hope Academic Enrichment Center.’ Both were there for the Muslim community in White Center – mostly African immigrants from the horn of Africa.”

12:39 PM MONDAY: SFD tells WSB that “improperly discarded smoking materials … in a vinyl couch” were to blame for the fire, which has been ruled accidental. Damage is estimated at $25,000. A photo we took at the scene this morning shows a burned couch:

Traffic alert: Serious crash on West Marginal Way South

In case you are planning on heading east, you should know there is a serious two-vehicle crash not too far away — West Marginal South and South Holden (map) – at least three people reported to have major injuries, including a baby, per scanner traffic from medics rushing them to the hospital. Don’t know the circumstances yet; will add links as we find them, to anyone covering in person. 7:32 PM UPDATE: The P-I has published a short item that says West Marginal has reopened to traffic.

West Seattle traffic alert: Seaview sinkhole at 48th and Graham

Thanks to Nick for e-mailing to share the news that this sinkhole has opened in the middle of the Seaview straightaway section of 48th SW, at Graham (map). As you can see, it’s been blocked off, but this is right smack in the middle of a 2-lane, 2-way arterial, so best to be forewarned to slow down if you use that road.

Feedback Lounge update: A sign and a countdown clock

Just noticed that new sign in front of the future Feedback Lounge in Morgan Junction. The sign says “opening soon-ish,” but JenV e-mailed to point out an online countdown clock – which is not on the MySpace site that’s been the main source of FL info, but on this new website, which details FL’s forthcoming attributes:

West Seattle’s new place featuring full-service cocktails, food, music videos, in-house programmed music, the Tune-O-Matic Library, The Whammy Bar, the 40-foot outdoor Sunndeck (no, that’s not a typo), Harmonic Happy Hour, Rok Box, Front of House music videos/live concerts…and LOTS more!

The date the clock is currently counting down to is Saturday, April 4. Meanwhile, back at the MySpace site, you can see photos from the work that’s been going on inside to transform the former Beveridge Place Pub (also once known as the Full Moon Saloon) – which is between the new BPP location and the future Zeeks Pizza/ex-Corner Inn – into Feedback Lounge. (Want to be the first on your block with their T-shirt, featuring the slogan “We deal in volume?” Those are on sale on the MySpace site.) Morgan Junction side note — more big progress at the park just east of FL and BPP – tree installation and more benches:

The latest update on the park-naming process is here.

Checking on the Steve Bushaw murder investigation, 1 month later

(February 1 photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
One month ago tonight – Super Bowl night – the southern block of the heart of the West Seattle Junction business district, Alaska to Edmunds, swarmed with police collecting evidence in a sudden, shocking shooting. Though the victim, 26-year-old Steve Bushaw (shown at right in a family photo from last summer, holding his niece Ava), originally was described as having non-life-threatening injuries, he died within hours at Harborview Medical Center, and the search was on to find the two men suspected of West Seattle’s first 2009 murder. Police have had little to say since the shooting that night — they say both men opened fire, both were described by witnesses as black, and their getaway car was said to be a “white sedan,” last seen heading south from The Junction. We checked again with SPD’s media unit late Friday, and Detective Mark Jamieson told WSB there is ZERO new information to make public – no additional description, no hint at whether arrests are any closer than they were after it happened. Jamieson reiterated that the moment homicide detectives — who continue to call this “an active investigation” — have something new to release publicly, we’ll hear it.

Parades! Scholarships! Apply for West Seattle Hi-Yu Senior Court

March 1, 2009 12:15 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news

(WSB video of West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival’s award-winning appearance in 2008 Seafair Torchlight Parade)
Riding on a float, waving at hundreds of thousands of people during the Seafair Torchlight Parade – and tens of thousands during other parades in communities from West Seattle to Sequim – is just one of the side benefits of being West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival royalty. Scholarship money is another big attraction. To be considered for the Hi-Yu Senior Court to be chosen this summer, candidates need to apply by the end of this month – here’s the announcement one more time:

Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Scholarship Competition: Applications due

Young women who live, work or attend school in West Seattle are invited to apply for the Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu scholarship competition. There are several scholarship awards given out at the pageant, including, but again, not limited to: Athletic, Media Career, Community Service, Academic, Miss Congeniality, Creative Expression, and Hi-Yu Involvement. There are three titles awarded: Queen and two Princesses.

Each title winner receives a scholarship (Princesses- $1,000 each, Queen- $2,000), crown, and sash. The Queen will receive $1,250 at the end of her reign and $750 after completing the Miss Seafair competition. She will represent the community during the 2009-2010 festival year and travel to several Northwest parades with the Hi-Yu float. The Senior Court members must be available to participate in the Hi-Yu Summer Festival activities.

While there is some work involved, West Seattle royalty will have a lot of fun serving your community, making new friends, increasing confidence, and developing leadership. New this year, all candidates will have the opportunity to work with a local businesswoman as a professional mentor and spend a day with professional health & beauty professionals receiving advice on hair, make-up, and dress. Hi-Yu serves the West Seattle Community by providing fun and affordable entertainment for adults and children alike.

The application, found at, must be postmarked by March 30, 2009. Mail your completed application to Candidate Coordinator, West Seattle Hi-Yu, PO Box 16130, Seattle, WA 98116. If you have questions, call Shirley at 206-935-5224.

Again, here’s the direct link to the application. And another Hi-Yu reminder, from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: Three weeks from today, it’s the Hi-Yu Spring Tea and Silent Auction at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 2-4:30 pm March 22nd, $25/person. Make a reservation – 206-935-6517 or

3rd review Thursday for Conner Junction project “alley vacation”

March 1, 2009 10:03 am
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 |   Development | West Seattle news

(January 2009 rendering of Conner project alley area, courtesy Weber Thompson)
Will the third time be the charm for Conner Homes as it takes the “alley vacation” portion of its West Seattle Junction megaproject back to the Seattle Design Commission? That group has to sign off on such requests (as do SDOT and the City Council) and already has seen two presentations by Conner’s architects, each time asking for an encore (WSB coverage: January 2009 and November 2008). Now, they’re set to make another presentation at 2 pm this Thursday during the commissioners’ all-day meeting in the Boards and Commissions room at City Hall downtown (map). In this case, the “alley vacation” isn’t the classic case of a developer wanting the actual alley, but instead, requesting the right to use land UNDER the alley, to connect what otherwise would be two separate underground garages for the two buildings at California/Alaska/42nd. (Meantime, as mentioned here last month, the entire two-building project also is set to return to the Southwest Design Review Board on March 12 – 6:30 pm, High Point Library.)

Happening today: Farmers’ Market; produce co-op; get a pet

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm today in The Junction, 44th/Alaska; you can see the newest “fresh sheet” here – with greens, prawns, and mutton, among the newer offerings.

DELRIDGE PRODUCE CO-OP INFO AT THE MARKET: Galena White‘s been working hard to find and organize volunteers to make the co-op dream happen, and today she’s planning a booth at the Farmers’ Market, so look for her there. She’s also set up a new online site for co-op-related communication; find it here, and if you’re on Facebook, be sure to friend her there too.

GOT ROOM IN YOUR HOME/HEART FOR ANOTHER PET? Bernadette Cassidy of The Wash Dog in Morgan Junction e-mailed ( to share the news that the King County Animal Shelter will be there today, noon-4 pm, with adoptable dogs and cats. And if you adopt one, Bernadette’s got a bonus for you – a free self-serve wash.