West Seattle, Washington
(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand)
A family of Canada geese along Harbor Ave got their 15 seconds of fame this afternoon — catching the attention of media photographers (including ours) heading away from Seacrest after the diver-rescue incident. These little guys even turned up in a clip on the channel 4 news.
Yes, we know some consider geese a nuisance, but you know, they’re noble in their own way. Including lifelong fidelity.
Just received the official final list from Phillippia at DNDA, which is presenting the Gathering of Neighbors/Biz Expo with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. To see the full list, click here – we’ll be there along with more than 70 other local businesses and organizations, including — just to name a few — WSB sponsors Budget Blinds, Eagle Electric, Stor-More, Ventana Construction, and the West Seattle Family YMCA, plus lots of other folks you’re going to want to meet, including the West Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs volunteers, the community orchestra Westside Symphonette, WestSide Baby, experts to answer your questions about what’s up with the Alaskan Way Viaduct, we could go on all night. Just come by and say hi, 11 am-3 pm tomorrow, Chief Sealth HS at Boren (5950 Delridge; here’s a map), and remember that if you’re thinking about joining in this year’s West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day (May 9), sign up at our table tomorrow — the first day of registration — and get a one-day-only discount on the signup fees (which pay for mapmaking, posters, other fun stuff that gets WSCGSD on the regional radar). See you tomorrow!
, Better late than never, we present the West Seattle Weekend Lineup, with the return of the Water Taxi on Sunday, the Gathering of Neighbors tomorrow, the second and final weekend of “The Underpants” (all three events are WSB sponsors), and the final performances of ArtsWest‘s “History Boys.” Slower weekend than usual, what with Spring Break, but still more than 30 events in this edition of the West Seattle Weekend Lineup:Read More
Very belatedly finishing the West Seattle Weekend Lineup – if you see this before 8 pm, it’s not too late to catch night one of the West Seattle Lions‘ annual Plant Sale, happening at Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon St), tonight till 8. It continues tomorrow 9 am – 3 pm. Dahlias, rhodies, scented geraniums, tomatoes, and much more. West Seattle Master Gardeners on hand to answer your questions. Cash/check only. Proceeds benefit Lions philanthropic work (including eyeglasses and hearing aids for low-income WS residents, and scholarships for college-bound WS teens).
(July 4, 2008 photo by Susan Grossman of Singing Pixel Photography)
Thanks to Barbara for calling our attention to this: Ivar’s announced that it won’t have a 4th of Jul-Ivar’s fireworks show this year; read the story here; here’s the official Ivar’s announcement. That means fireworks-viewing opportunities from West Seattle will be inconsistent at best, since the Ivar’s show has been the one visible from Alki east/southward; some of the fireworks from the Lake Union show can be seen most years, along with scattered fireworks from other areas such as Bainbridge Island, but it won’t be even remotely the same. West Seattle fireworks fans are left mostly in the lurch; ironic given the circumstances of the show’s creation, as noted in today’s news release:
The 4th of Jul-Ivar’s fireworks show started in 1964 at Green Lake when (West) Seattle native and Ivar’s “flounder” Ivar Haglund was given a last-minute chance to save the town’s annual Seattle fireworks show from cancellation. Haglund funded the entire show. As the only fireworks show in town, its original pyrotechnic partner, Hitt Fireworks Company, created a thrilling display that drew attendance from King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap and surrounding counties. In its heyday, the 4th of Jul-Ivar’s had shows in Lake Union then moved to Elliott Bay
Thanks to the folks who called earlier this afternoon to say they saw a SWAT team around Delridge/Holden. We actually saw the vehicle go by (although not in any particular hurry) at the start of the aforementioned problem-properties tour – and noticed the vehicle quite clearly marked “Bellevue.” Checked with the media liaison at Bellevue Police, who would only say they were “serving a warrant” as part of an “ongoing investigation.” ADDED 8:23 PM: WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli points out it’s the same house from the second part of this recent story he covered.
ADDED FRIDAY NIGHT: Another photo, from Tony Bradley:
That’s a view through the open front door of the last stop on today’s tour of Delridge-area problem properties, organized by North Delridge Neighborhood Council co-chair Mike Dady. Though he’s been fighting to get something done about vacant/trashed buildings in the area for three years, this one just turned up on his radar the other day – and in fact, when the tour group arrived, it turned out a city notice was posted:
Because of “high hazard” of imminent danger, the notice warned, the premises needed to be vacated by next Thursday. Those notices come from the Department of Planning and Development, whose top brass was on the tour, including director Diane Sugimura. City Councilmembers Sally Clark, who chairs the Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee, and Tim Burgess, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, were there too — he’s in this photo with Dady, looking at the first stop on the tour:
So was City Council candidate David Bloom, who got involved after hearing about the problem during a West Seattle visit, plus Department of Neighborhoods director Stella Chao, Mayor Nickels’ public-safety liaison Julien Loh, and concerned neighbors — more than 20 people. The city leaders acknowledged that some of these problem properties are an “unintended consequence” of a city law meant to “preserve housing” — which instead has resulted in vacant, crumbling buildings left standing.
At the very end of the tour, when everyone else had left, Dady expressed cautious optimism that change might be coming; Burgess said he’s introducing a proposal to crack down on property owners who allow illegal activity on their land, and Sugimura expressed support for changing the code that prevents those owners from tearing down even their own buildings without a plan for replacement. More specifics, and photos, coming up later.
Just heard from Pete Spalding, who’s been helping lead the months-long community effort to convince the city Parks Department to name the new Morgan Junction park after longtime West Seattle Herald reporter Tim St. Clair, even though he’s been gone less than the three years the department lists as a minimum for such naming proposals. Pete says they have ONE MORE DAY to gather petition signatures supporting the park name – they will be at the Gathering of Neighbors tomorrow, 11 am-3 pm at Chief Sealth High School (at Boren), where you can sign in person, or if you can’t go, contact Pete at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll arrange to get your signature. (The park is scheduled for its official dedication at the Morgan Community Festival in June, but construction’s been proceeding quickly — including sidewalk work on the California SW frontage — and it will likely be done well before then.)
Got a note from Michelle today, saying she’d spotted a sign on part of the cleared-out Prudential property in the 3200 block of California SW, saying Cometa Playschool is moving there. School operator Manuela Slye confirms with this short news release:
Cometa Playschool has outgrown its home-based space and is moving to a new and bigger location at 3212 California Ave SW, in the Admiral District of West Seattle, just one block south of Hiawatha Park. The new facility enables a separate art room and expanded bilingual programs for children ages 12 months to 6 years, all led by native Spanish speaking teachers trained in Early Childhood Education. Cometa’s play based philosophy inspires children to learn Spanish through songs, games and artistic expression. Cometa is currently accepting applications for summer and fall programs. For more information please visit www.cometaseattle.com or email email@example.com.
(cameraphone photo from the scene)
ORIGINAL 12:53 PM REPORT: Checking out the water-rescue callout at Seacrest. Reports suggest there may be a diver in trouble. Avoid the area – as we arrive, we see a huge response of emergency vehicles (and media too). Details as soon as we get them.
(photo added 2 pm)
1:02 PM UPDATE: We’ve just learned at the scene that two divers have been rescued. One is in an aid car right now, another one is sitting up and being treated at the scene. We don’t know anything more about their condition or the circumstances of the rescue.
(photo added 2 pm)
1:12 PM UPDATE: All units are being cleared from the call except the two medic units (we’re told both divers will be taken to the hospital) and one engine, so traffic flow will be closer to normal shortly. There’s also a public-information officer at the scene so we should have more information soon on what happened. We do know both divers are men, and were diving just off the Seacrest pier.
1:36 PM UPDATE: Here’s what Fire Department spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen just told media at the scene: The two men, ages 35 and 39, were between 40 and 60 feet down, when they decided to make a “rapid ascent” – it’s not known yet why. A small private boat rescued the 39-year-old, who was in good enough condition to walk into the medic unit under his own power; the Coast Guard got the 35-year-old out of the water. Both are being taken to Harborview Medical Center, but Vander Houwen says neither has “life-threatening injuries.”
As you’ve already heard here and elsewhere what may seem like a million times, the King County Water Taxi (WSB sponsor) opens its 2009 season this Sunday, with free rides all day and a noon-2 pm party at Seacrest. Just got word that the fireboat Leschi is scheduled to “greet” the Water Taxi during the party, when it arrives around 12:45 pm. Always a sight (especially if you have little ones, although some of us kids-at-heart find the spray a riveting sight too)
(Skillet promotional video from August 2008, posted on YouTube)
We could almost hear the stomachs growling across West Seattle as enthusiastic reaction rolled in following our story yesterday about Skillet Street Food possibly heading this way. Just got a call back from Skillet’s Josh Henderson, who answered our plea for a few more details: As he wrote online, they’re targeting Sunday, April 19th, as a start date, and he reiterated he’s 99 percent sure of that date; now the question is, where? He’s hoping to be in The Junction and will be taking a look at the Key Bank parking lot today, with the hopes of being set up alongside the West Seattle Farmers’ Market on Sundays, “probably 11 to 2, we’ll see how it goes, and then probably expand to breakfast.” So why West Seattle for Skillet’s next stop, we asked? “During the week, we need to be near offices,” Josh explained, “but Columbia City was a pretty big hit on Saturdays … West Seattle seems like a good spot to hit on Sundays.”
SATURDAY UPDATE: Latest from Josh – April 26th is now the target start date.
Beyond the incident-by-incident crime reports, we work to bring you “big picture” context whenever it’s available. When we saw Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen at a meeting the other night, he mentioned he was about to brief the SWP Advisory Council on March crime stats for the area, so we asked for the same overview, to share with you:
Car prowls are up over February. Items stolen are purses, iPods, GPS, wallets, laptops … items that could easily be taken out of vehicles to lessen the probability of being prowled. Suspects are teenagers and drug addicts. We have seen a trend that teenage females are also being involved in this crime. It only takes a few seconds to enter a vehicle and take the items. Some vehicles have been left unlocked as well. The suspects are looking for opportunities and easy pickings.
Auto thefts continue to go downward. The flavor of the month for March is Honda Civics.
Residential burglaries are down from February – mid 40s [total number for the area], which is less then our normal average, 50 or so. Items taken are the same as in car prowls. Weekdays, between 10 am and 1:30 pm, is the hot time. We made 5 arrests in March which cleared several cases.
You can also get the latest on West Seattle crime trends in person — and ask key precinct personnel about concerns in your neighborhood – by attending the next WS Crime Prevention Council meeting, 7 pm April 21 at the precinct (Delridge and Webster).
“It’s like a modern, supernatural Jane Eyre.” That’s what West Seattle author Molly Ringle says about her paperback novel going on sale today, “The Ghost Downstairs,” also described as “a paranormal romance novel depicting an unusual workplace relationship in a house whose spirits refuse to rest.” Ringle’s inspiration: A haunted sorority house where she spent time during college in Oregon, though the novel is set in Seattle. Ringle says she’s published e-books before but this is her first paperback, issued by Wild Rose Press. It’s available online through Barnes and Noble or Amazon; you can read the first chapter online.
Notes from this week’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting: Hours after the meeting, NDNC co-chair Mike Dady sent around photos including the one above, as a hopeful note looking ahead to this afternoon’s tour of Delridge-area problem properties: That was the scene exactly three years ago, he noted, right across the street from what is currently the temporary home of Chief Sealth High School. Dady recalled spending months trying to get the property’s previous owner to clean it up; finally it was sold, and the new owner quickly moved to get rid of the blight and move toward the development that’s now gone up on the site. This afternoon at 2:30, starting from Delridge Uptown Espresso, Dady will lead a tour of current problem properties, expected to include two city councilmembers and two city department heads (you’re invited too!). As he said at Wednesday night’s NDNC meeting, he isn’t just looking for something to be done about these specific sites – he’s hoping city leaders can be convinced to take action to toughen the laws regarding vacant properties, citywide. “They’re causing a lot of grief,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be this way … We have a chance to get something done.” That discussion started Wednesday night’s meeting, but other big items were on the agenda, including a major change for the playground project North Delridge residents have been involved with — read on:Read More
WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli shares that low-tide look from earlier this week. Tides are back on the upswing but if you’re a low-tide fan, you only have to wait a few more weeks for the rocks and other secrets to be revealed (here’s the chart).