West Seattle, Washington
During our four fun hours at the Gathering of Neighbors on Saturday, we published a bit of news resulting from a chat with Pete Spalding, who (among other things) is on the new Parks Levy Oversight Committee: Pete told us a series of public meetings was about to be announced, giving you the chance to speak out about how you would like to see some of that money (particularly its $15 million “Opportunity Fund” for community-generated projects) spent. Tonight, we get word from Pete that the dates/times/locations of four open houses are now set, including, as he said, one meeting in West Seattle: 7-8:30 pm May 6, West Seattle Golf Course. (The other 3 open houses: 7 pm 5/4, Rainier Community Center; 7 pm 5/12, Green Lake Community Center; 7 pm 5/13, Parks HQ downtown.)
The WSB Twitter page is a snapshot at any given time of the most recent Twitter messages – “tweets” – from anyone anywhere mentioning West Seattle. We check it often because it offers WS tips and trivia beyond the people we get to interact with via the @westseattleblog Twitter stream. Interesting group of tweets at the moment – singer Lily Allen is still in Seattle after her Showbox show last night and put out a question a few hours ago to her 125,000+ Twitter “followers” – “Where’s good for steak in Seattle?” Among the replies, our WS-specific Twitter sampling shows, four people quickly recommended JaK‘s in The Junction (and this search shows a few more). Lily then tweeted an hour later “Bout to get my meat on” – no word yet (even via Twitter) whether she did that here.
It’s been almost a full month now since that pickup truck’s driver hit more than a dozen other vehicles in The Junction, and a few WSB’ers have inquired: What happened in this case? The night of the crash, investigators were looking into the possibility the driver might have been affected by a medical condition, but they also looked into possible “impairment.” We checked with the Seattle Police Traffic Collision Investigation Squad, which has eight detectives charged with investigating crashes citywide, and here’s what Detective Michael Korner tells WSB: The investigation of what actually happened is complete – there’s no question that one vehicle hit the other vehicles, and that police “contacted” the driver at the scene. So now it comes down to state lab test results on the blood drawn from the driver that night. Since the possibility of a medical condition was raised, Korner says, the lab will do a full analysis, and the results might not be back for two months, depending on the lab’s backlog. (If they analyze for alcohol only, he says, it takes up to one month.) Once the results are in, he then completes the case report, and it goes into the city prosecutor/court system for review and a decision on whether charges are merited. The driver was taken to the hospital the night of the crash, as was the driver of the first vehicle he hit, and some of the vehicles were severely damaged – this comment on our original report told one such story. (Photo credits: upper left, Mark Ammann; above right, Christopher Boffoli)
Five months after the demolition of that century-old house at 4532 42nd SW (map), the development that’s replacing it has what could be its final Southwest Design Review Board meeting this Thursday night — and the presentation is now available online, with images including this one:
The six-floor Golden Crest development is at left (at right, Capco Plaza/Altamira Apartments at Alaska/42nd). According to the presentation that’s now available (see it in its entirety here), its 35 residential units would range from studio to 3 bedrooms; they would be built over 3,000 square feet of commercial space and 54 “basement” parking slots. This project has already been through the “early design guidance” phase, so if board members give it the thumbs-up on Thursday, it’s done with design review.
Golden Crest is to be reviewed at 8 pm Thursday at Madison Middle School, following the board’s 6:30 pm “early design guidance” look at Transitional Resources‘ 4-story proposal for 2922 SW Avalon (no presentation online yet but here’s the city permit page).
Fourth day of registration for the 5th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day — one day, many sales big and small all over West Seattle, mapped and marketed by WSB — and three dozen are on the list already, including group and block sales. We extended this year’s registration period to 3 weeks instead of 2 so you’ve got more time to think about it, and hear about it. Today’s other updates: If you haven’t already seen this on the official Community Garage Sale Day site at westseattlegaragesale.com, we have two locations so far offering space to those who can’t or don’t want to have their own standalone sales — Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) and C & P Coffee. Space is limited at both so if you’re interested contact Hotwire proprietor Lora or C & P proprietor Cameron ASAP. Also – in addition to offering online signup/payment (go here) and the link to download a form you can mail in (here), preprinted forms are available for pickup at locations around West Seattle (let us know if your business is interested in having some forms on hand and we’ll drop ’em by): four WSB sponsors — Hotwire, Illusions Hair Design, Stor-More Self-Storage, and Brunette Mix — and two Seattle Public Library branches, West Seattle (Admiral) and Southwest (35th/Henderson). We’ll have contests again this year – including “Best Sign,” for which Val (photo right) was one of last year’s winners. By the way, West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day is the ONLY major communitywide sale day this spring — the “granddaddy of ’em all” in Greenwood moved to fall this year (at least one person told us they signed up for WSCGSD because of that – they’re looking forward to spring cleaning!) — and we’ll again be getting the word out regionally. Maps will be available earlier this year too – we’re planning to have them ready in time to start handing them out at the Sustainable West Seattle Festival on May 3 (the Sunday before WSCGSD).
While reporting a few notes yesterday about Fauntleroy Place (future Whole Foods/Hancock Fabrics/residential site at Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th), we mentioned we still hadn’t heard back from primary site owners Seattle Capital regarding the status of the pending sale they disclosed two months ago. Once it’s sold, Seattle Capital had said back in January, that would pave the way for construction to resume. So we put in another request for comment today – and just heard back from Seattle Capital’s John Huddleston:
Yes, there is still a sale pending. (currently in the due diligence phase of the Purchase and Sale agreement.) Closing of the sale is anticipated to occur sometime prior to the end of June, 2009.
Construction would most likely begin very shortly after closing. The site itself is currently being actively maintained by the original contractor, Ledcor Construction Inc.
The permit for the Phase II construction has been issued. This covers the underground parking as well as the Commercial floor space above it. The Phase III permit for the residential towers above the commercial space has been applied for and is currently being processed.
Active work on the site stopped last fall; developers BlueStar had repeatedly said the project was simply “between phases” — then, last month, the allegations in two lawsuits (reported here and here) gave the situation a new dimension.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: An article in today’s Daily Journal of Commerce (only available to subscribers) has some new information about the prospective buyers. We have a message out seeking an opportunity for comment; the article reiterates what Seattle Capital told us – construction is likely to resume midsummer (or later).
With one of Seattle’s community-college campuses here in West Seattle, we wanted to let you know about Governor Gregoire’s new proposal for raising education money — she’s proposing an up-to-7% tuition hike for community colleges, up to 14% for universities, and a levy-lid lift for K-12 public-school districts including Seattle – here’s the official news release:Read More
Out of the WSB inbox, from KEM … of particular interest if you think “not on OUR street”:
For the second time in as many months, our unlocked cars (shame on us, I know) have been prowled. We woke two months ago to my car doors left open, and a few items had been pilfered – a Polar heart rate monitor, and a few other inconsequential items. I assume I left my car door unlocked the night before, though I’m not totally sure. This morning we woke to my husband’s car having been rifled-through. We think his car was unlocked, too, and, as I said, shame on us for doing it twice. This time they stole a pair of iPhone earbuds, but nothing else. Risking getting caught for some iPhone ear buds? Seems sort of silly, really. Not a big deal in terms of loss of property, but we live on a quiet, dead-end street around 36th and 110th and it’s a little unsettling to think that prowlers are lurking around in the middle of the night and rifling through our stuff. Neighbors, beware! And keep your doors locked. (Duh.)
From the resource list at the bottom of our Crime Watch page, here’s the official advice on deterring car prowlers.
Looking for an egg hunt? Holy Week/Easter Sunday service? Our Easter page (see it here) can now be reached from the EASTER tab on the WSB navigation bar, beneath the sunset header. Not too late to add something – email@example.com – thanks!
During the City Hall revenue-forecast briefing we covered yesterday, city Finance Director Dwight Dively noted some reasons for cautious economic optimism. This morning, we’ve got more proof a long-idle site along California SW — cleared in 2006, and with townhouse permits issued one year ago (WSB coverage here) — is finally about to see construction work. First, Anne from Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) tipped us that a telltale sign (a porta-potty) had shown up at the site. Now, there’s a brand-new permit for temporary power to the site. The permits granted for the site span four addresses from 6021 to 6031 California (map), and if our math is right, they add up to 6 live-work units and 8 townhouse units. ADDED 9:36 AM: Just went by to check, and in fact, a backhoe is at work on the site right now:
“A very sad day for all of us involved with this school” is how this news is described by the WSB’er who e-mailed to let us know: Holy Rosary School‘s longtime principal Kris Brown just announced she is leaving after this school year to lead St. Catherine School in Maple Leaf. In a letter on the Holy Rosary website, Brown writes, “It has been exciting to be a part of Holy Rosary School during its time of tremendous growth. However, at this time in my life, I believe I can sustain the energy required in the role of principal for many more years at a smaller school.” (St. Catherine has 200+ students; HR has 400+.) Also on the HR website is a letter from School Commission president Terry Scanlan, saying in part, “It is difficult to imagine Holy Rosary School without Kris at the helm. … Change is never easy or smooth. But change also brings with it the opportunity for genuine growth.” Scanlan writes that the principal search will start immediately.