West Seattle, Washington
Catching a ferry from Fauntleroy (or someplace else)? Prepare to pay more starting tomorrow (Friday 5/1), the start of “peak season” for Washington State Ferries. One example: Full fare for car/driver from Fauntleroy to Vashon is $14.80 tonight, but it goes up to $18.50 tomorrow. Check fares here. (And if you’re going further than Vashon, take note – Friday also is when the Hood Canal Bridge starts a six-week shutdown.)
Couple of updates since the last addition to our ongoing flu story (we will launch a new one tomorrow for any updates during the day): The city of Seattle has added extra resources to its home page, including a special section about the flu; see it here. The city also has joined with Seattle Public Schools in the announcement of three schools (NOT in West Seattle) now closing for at least a week because of flu concerns, and asking that students from those schools be kept at home. Here are the latest announcements (and a map of those three schools’ locations):Read More
We just got half a dozen notes asking about a fire response on 35th at Andover (map). WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli (who sent the above photo) checked it out and reports, “Fire companies just wrapping up now. Was an appliance fire in a residence on 35th. SFD told me it was a washing machine motor that burned out and caused a lot of smoke.”
With Earth Month in its final hours, we have two stories to share with you tonight, starting with this one: Hundreds of volunteers swarmed Lincoln Park today in a huge EarthCorps-led event. Ron Richardson covered it for WSB:
By Ron Richardson
Special to West Seattle Blog
In a project coordinated by Liz White of EarthCorps and teacher Jenny Farrell of Burien’s John F. Kennedy High School (from right in photo above), the entire JFK sophomore class set out today to work on ridding Lincoln Park of invasive plants such as ivy and blackberry bushes.
(A sampling of young leaders of the Lincoln Park cleanup. They represent EarthCorps, AmeriCorps, Kennedy High leaders and volunteers from around the world)
White explained that the mission of the organization is to “create healthy habitats, empower young leaders, and build communities around local environmental services.”
This is not the first time the EarthCorps program has worked at Lincoln Park.
The Mater Matrix Mother website has been documenting artist Mandy Greer‘s creation of a crocheted art installation – she’s been visiting West Seattle libraries, too, and will be at the Sustainable West Seattle Festival this Sunday, as well as at Delridge Day coming up May 30th. Now there’s word her work her installation has found a future home, Camp Long’s Polliwog Pond – read the update just sent by Camp Long’s Sheila Brown:Read More
From WSB sponsor Eagle Electric – a West Seattle-based business run by a 5-generation West Seattle family – word of some big news. Here’s the official announcement of a big change:
Local Electrician Brands Business with Mister Sparky Name
Eagle Electric of Seattle LLC expands business into
Mister Sparky America’s On-Time Electrician franchise
David and Wendy Lind are ready to grow their business, now that they have transformed their residential electrical service division into a Mister Sparky America’s On-Time Electrician franchise serving the Seattle area.
“Being a part of the Mister Sparky family provides national brand awareness, superior training programs and customer service approaches that will benefit my customers and my business,” David Lind said.
More on the change, ahead:Read More
Yesterday, we brought you North Delridge Neighborhood Council co-vice chair Betsy Hoffmeister‘s report on a proposal that could bring a major improvement to the Delridge Community Center playground for a dramatically reduced cost – if the city would go along with an innovative proposal to get it done. Today, good news from Betsy – one important approval is in – but help is still needed — here’s what she just wrote about what’s happening and how you can pitch in:
We have a commitment from our AMAZING community neighbor, McLaughlin Brothers Construction, to prepare the site at Delridge Community Center for building a new playground – for FREE. This means we could get a new playground at Delridge Community Center on July 17. That’s only 10 weeks away!! Most amazing of all, we got approval from the Parks Department to allow the pro bono work in this special circumstance. One of the least-served communities in the West Seattle Peninsula could get a brand new playground with a less than $11,000 commitment from the community.
Here’s how it works:
a) The Community Center wrote a proposal to KaBOOM! This proposal included a promise of $7,500 in earnest money towards the purchase of playground equipment. With a yard sale, raffle, donations from neighbors from North Delridge, Nucor Steel, BECU, MacMillan Piper, Wick Homes, Cyclops Restaurant, and the Community School of West Seattle, we have raised $6680. The Community Center has come up with some cash of their own, too. So we were able to promise the $7500.
b) KaBOOM! loved the proposal. KaBOOM! then did two screening interviews.
c) The Community Center wrote a Small and Simple proposal to the City for funding for the site preparation. That decision doesn’t come down until mid-May, and KaBOOM! needs to know whether we can get the site prepared way before then, so we hustled out and found our fairy godparents, Paul and Sally of McLaughlin Brother’s Construction (seriously, if you need a hole dug or a driveway made, these folks are the ones for you! Support your neighbors!) So, we hustled REALLY hard and got the City to agree to this pro bono work. You’d be amazed at how much red tape is involved in allowing someone to do something for the City for free.
d) KaBOOM! will now go to its top-secret corporate partner and say “We think the Delridge Community Center is an excellent fit for your corporate dollars, and we think you should build a playground there.” The sponsor will ultimately make that decision.
e) When the corporate sponsor says “YES we want to build a playground at Delridge,” KaBOOM! representatives will come to the Community Center on May 12 to meet with children and their parents about their wishes for the new play space, and other improvements to make to the area as in gardens, painting a mural on the wading pool, planting fruit trees, and anything else that will beautify and improve the area. These are called “side projects.” We also rush and get the soil tested for lead and arsenic. If your business does this and you are on the approved list for the Parks Department, consider donating your services!
f) The designers come up with three proposed designs. After the Parks Department swiftly approves the designs, the community at large, but most especially the kids in the day care, preschool, before and after school, and neighborhood kids, gets to choose its favorite design.
g) McLaughlin Brothers prepares the site. We bake them lots of cookies.
h) We plan a huge party, including food, music, entertainment, and fun, and gather 70 volunteers. On July 17, over 100 volunteers from the corporate sponsor swoop in and we all get to build the playground, plant the trees, paint the wading pool, and have fun together!!
The wish list at this point includes:
1) Laminated sign at the playground saying “here’s what’s coming and here’s how to help.”
2) $4,000 to cover any miscellaneous expenses we haven’t foreseen like renting a Dumpster or putting up safety fencing. Please, keep those pledges coming. Remember, these are PLEDGES. NDNC doesn’t cash the checks until we get the grant from KaBOOM!
3) A city-approved soil testing company to donate their services.
4) Volunteer musicians and performers for the celebration day.
5) Lots of comments on the Blog to show KaBOOM how excited we are.
After three busy hours last Sunday in the Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) courtyard – a backup location after Diamond Parking told Skillet Street Food they couldn’t park next to the West Seattle Farmers’ Market after all – Skillet has been told they can’t come back for an encore. This is according to Hotwire’s Lora Lewis, who tells WSB that while the property owner gave permission for last week’s Skillet appearance, they have now canceled that permission. Whether Skillet will be anywhere in West Seattle this Sunday, therefore, is up in the air. We are making calls to see what else we can find out.
UPDATE 3:02 PM: Just talked to Josh from Skillet, who says, “We’ll be somewhere in West Seattle on Sunday, we just don’t know where yet.”
5:47 PM UPDATE: Regarding the West Seattle Junction Association‘s role in whether Skillet will be able to find a Junction home, we called Susan Melrose at WSJA to ask their position. Here’s her reply:
It’s great to see so much interest in the shiny silver Skillet! This is all very new to the Junction Association and we’re still figuring out a few things. There are factors which include that we’re a Business Improvement Area where each merchant is taxed and how does a mobile business fit into that model; the Junction Association has an agreement with the Farmers Market which addresses selling prepared foods; and also where might the best spot be? We are still waiting to get clarification from the City. Our mission is to make a fun, attractive and clean shopping district with free parking for West Seattle and once we get more information, we’ll figure out how Skillet can fit in.
Lots going on IN West Seattle this weekend — most notably, the Sustainable West Seattle Festival on Sunday, 10 am-3 pm (schedule here) — so why leave? Well, if you MUST – here’s the city’s official rundown on what’s happening and where things are going to get a little crazy, including a two-hour Alaskan Way Viaduct closure Sunday morning:Read More
(surveillance camera photo from FBI, added 12:36 pm)
(photo added 12:01 pm)
ORIGINAL 11:45 AM REPORT: Happened within the past half-hour. Officer Mark Jamieson of Seattle Police says the call to police said the robber was described as male, white, maybe 40s, 5-8 to 5-11, thin build, with a beard, wearing a purple sweatshirt and brown knit cap. No one hurt; no word of whether he showed a weapon. A search is still under way in the area. More from the scene shortly.
12:11 PM UPDATE: Police are searching on the northeast side of The Junction as well, which explains the reports that Holy Rosary School is “in lockdown,” per trustable source in comments. Tilden School north of The Junction also reports being in lockdown as well, as does Hope Lutheran.
12:33 PM UPDATE: Just received the official news release from the Seattle FBI office:
The Key Bank at 4701 California Ave SW in West Seattle was robbed today at 11:12 am by a white male, 35-45 years of age, 5’8″-6′ tall, thin build, full beard and mustache, dirty appearance, wearing a purple knit cap and a purple hooded sweatshirt. He entered the bank through the east doors, approached the teller and presented a demand note. He did not display a weapon or imply that he had one. He was given money and he left the bank through the west doors and was last seen running northbound up the alley past Wells Fargo Bank.
Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 206 622-0460.
The FBI also sent photos – added one atop this report; here’s the other one:
Meantime, as noted in comments, the school lockdowns are ending.
4:49 PM UPDATE: Just checked with Seattle Police. No arrest so far.
(WSB photo from fall 2008)>
What just might be the most teeth-rattling stretch of road in West Seattle, on 16th SW north of South Seattle Community College, is now back on the SDOT schedule for repaving. This was supposed to happen last year – then, as reported here in November, it was put on hold. But now it’s officially set for repaving and widening between Findlay and Brandon (map) this summer – this SDOT webpage has details, including:
* pavement removal and replacement
* drainage improvements
* curb ramp construction
* sidewalk repaving
Construction work is scheduled to begin in mid June and continue for approximately six weeks.
Note that the city’s page also says that while southbound traffic will continue during the project, northbound traffic will be detoured “via Dumar Way SW/SW Orchard St and Delridge Way SW.”
We just confirmed with Pathfinder K-8 that tonight’s Multicultural Night has been postponed until May 21st. We spoke with Principal David Dockendorf after getting a note about this — he makes it clear, they initiated the decision, just to be proactive, in the rapidly evolving flu-concern situation. He has informed the school district, and automated phone calls have gone out to parents, and Pathfinder has notified the scheduled performers as well. (We are reporting today’s other non-West Seattle-specific swine-flu developments in this ongoing story, which we’ll update as needed, but as we promised there, we will also publish separate stories – like this one – with any WS-specific news.)
That’s Link, the 200-unit apartment/retail building Harbor Properties (whose Mural Apartments sponsor WSB) is planning at 38th/Alaska (map). Today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin includes DPD decisions on the project (read them here), including final approval of Design Review (here’s our report on its second and final Design Review meeting last September) and “determination of nonsignificance.” If you are interested in appealing the decisions, this page has a link explaining how – the deadline is May 14. Link is to be built along 38th on a site currently occupied by West Seattle Montessori School (WSB sponsor) and a former Huling shop; WSMS is moving to a new location next school year.
Second one of the week, first one with a photo. Brian tells the story from 35th/Thistle (map):
Woke up this morning and let the dogs out to do their business and 5 minutes later I hear them barking like mad. Look out the back window and see this fella casing the joint. … While my dogs (and the neighbor’s too for that matter) would have turned this poor guy limb from limb, I guess I have to keep an eye on the cat! He looks hungry.
Last night, we covered the developing story of three “probable” Seattle swine-flu cases. While there is no specific “West Seattle angle” at this point, we plan to include major area developments here at WSB, knowing this is one of the places you come for news. Right now, our plan is to start with one story – today, this one – that will be updated throughout the day with what’s new, whenever there’s something more major to add. We start with:
THURSDAY MORNING: Seattle Public Schools has announced Madrona K-8, attended by one of the patients with a “probable” case, will close until next Thursday to be on the safe side. Here is the SPS announcement, including a message to all district families.
ALSO THURSDAY MORNING: The Everett Clinic is talking with reporters right now about the pediatrician who lives in Seattle and works at their Mill Creek clinic and was identified last night as one of the “probable” cases. They say she saw 22 patients on Monday and they are notifying them all. The doctor and her family, who also showed some flu symptoms, are all said to be “doing well.” Here is the clinic’s news release.
THURSDAY, 11:21 AM: Pathfinder K-8 has postponed tonight’s Multi-Cultural Night until May 21 as a school-initiated decision to be “proactive.” Separate story here.
THURSDAY, 4:47 PM: More new probable cases announced in King County – here’s a Seattle Times roundup.
Information resources (we’ll add more, and let us know if you have something to recommend):
Seattle/King County Public Health swine-flu page
CDC (federal) swine-flu page
Fast-breaking CDC updates via Twitter
State Department of Health swine-flu page
Any other Seattle/King County swine-flu news announced today will be added here, unless there’s something WS-specific, in which case we’ll publish a new, separate story.
7:02 PM THURSDAY: Here’s the news release about the additional probable cases announced today, and additional school closures (NOT in West Seattle):Read More
Roxhill Elementary School principal Carmela Dellino e-mailed to share this news:
Roxhill Elementary has been selected as a winner of the Terry Husseman Sustainable School Seed Award, sponsored by the Department of Ecology. The grant was written by one of our Kindergarten teachers, Elizabeth Owen-Twombley. A school representative will be presented with the award and $490 stipend in a ceremony in Olympia on May 21. This award has been granted to Roxhill to recognize and support our outstanding recycling and composting efforts. This year, through the outstanding leadership of our PTA President, May Ovalles, we have implemented a lunchtime program to compost all of our food waste and to enhance the existing recycling efforts. Our wonderful custodian, Eric Wong, and cafeteria staff, Marena Laing, have completely supported these efforts. Our 5th and 4th grade students serve as valuable “compost helpers.” This school-wide supported program is one more example of how the Roxhill community is committed to being responsible stewards of our environment.
Side note on a different form of “recycling” — Roxhill Elementary (map) is one of the schools having a sale as part of West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day on Saturday, May 9th. (Other school sales on WSCGSD – West Seattle High School Grad Night Committee, Chief Sealth High School PTSA, Hope Lutheran New Orleans Mission Trip, Alki Co-op Preschool, Lincoln Park Co-op Preschool, Bella Mente; you can get a map starting Sunday at the WSB table at the Sustainable West Seattle Festival, then after that, online at westseattlegaragesale.com or at a list of locations we’ll post there later today.)
Just heard from Anna, who wanted to share the news of a break-in at her house:
Just writing to report that my house was robbed yesterday afternoon. We live at 35th & Webster [map] and up until now thought our little area was pretty safe. It was done somewhere between 4:30 – 6:15 p.m. so a small window of time. This robbery doesn’t have the same feeling as some of the others I’ve read about on this site. No doors were kicked in, no broken windows, no ransacking – just a clean entry and all they took was my flat screen TV and a large tower cabinet containing close to 300 CDs. Decades of music collecting – gone. I’m a compulsive door locker so I’m still puzzled about how they got in without any damage. Of course, I have filed a police report and am talking to my insurance company today.
#1 — Since today is the last day of April, it’s also the last day that your donations – while appreciated any time of the year – pack an extra punch for West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank, because of the Feinstein Challenge (explained here). To donate online to WSFB, go here; to donate online to WCFB, go here.
#2 — Speaking of food, it’s Dining Out for Life day, with participating restaurants around Seattle donating part of the day’s proceeds to Lifelong AIDS Alliance. West Seattle/White Center participants: Skylark Cafe and Club and Ama Ama Oyster Bar and Grill (WSB sponsors), Coffee at the Heights, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Eats Market Cafe, Abbondanza Pizzeria, Buddha Ruksa. Take note of an extra element: If you donate $25 or more tonight, you get to be in the 20% Off Tuesdays club, which means 20% off your tab at a smaller group of participating restaurants (Skylark and Abbondanza, in West Seattle) throughout the year.
#3 — What to do after you Dine Out for Life? How about – enjoy a fashion show that’s raising money to help breast cancer patients? Tonight is the night West Seattle-based Northwest Hope and Healing (WSB sponsor) presents Style ’09 at Showbox SODO. Ticket info’s here.
#4 — This one’s a couple weeks away but the target audience might want to plan ahead. Cathy Cooper sent this announcement:
The junior-high youth group at Holy Rosary Parish here in West Seattle is planning a “Youth in Action” Benefit Concert for the West Seattle Food Bank. The public is invited, but we’d especially like to encourage junior and senior high school students from West Seattle to join us on Thursday, May 14 at 7 pm at Holy Rosary school.
Dennis Zender, singer/songwriter lead singer for Truce (a local Seattle rock band) will be performing. Dennis is music minister at Holy Cross Parish in Lake Stevens, and has been performing at Catholic high schools and youth groups in the Puget Sound area. You can hear music from his album, Walls, at www.myspace.com/denniszendermusic.
Admission is almost free! We¹re asking folks to bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the West Seattle Food Bank to gain entry.