month : 04/2009 382 results

Update: Toplines from Seattle City Council swine-flu briefing

You can watch live on channel 21 or online at We’ll summarize afterward but will also add any major toplines here as it happens. City Council President Richard Conlin opened by noting that the World Health Organization has just raised the pandemic-preparedness alert level to 5 on a scale of 6, so the briefing is “timely.” County public-health managers are leading the briefing, same ones who briefed the County Council earlier this week (WSB coverage here).

2:56 PM UPDATE: Briefing’s over. Here are the toplines:

-No local cases, not even any reports of increased absenteeism or severe illness of any kind that might point to something suspicious

-U.S. cases have acted more like typical flu, “on the mild side” (aside from one toddler death reported today)

-Northern Hemisphere less at risk right now than Southern Hemisphere since prime flu-spreading weather is ending here

-King County’s been prepping for a pandemic since 2004; its stockpile of antivirals – with more on the way – eventually will be enough to treat 25% of the county’s population if that many people got sick; would be distributed through pharmacies, clinics, doctors; what’s on hand now should retain its potency through 2013

-If you feel sick, STAY HOME – don’t expose others; face masks, by the way, are mostly good for sick people who can’t stay home trying to minimize spreading their illness to others – might have some protection use – two most important things you can do to keep anything from spreading: Wash your hands, cover your cough

-Symptoms would be sudden onset, high fever, achy joints and muscles, cough

-If you were immunized against swine flu in the ’70s, doesn’t help, this is a different virus

Here’s the county’s info page on the swine-flu situation.

West Seattle food: Sneak peek inside new Zeeks Pizza

If you remember this space at Fauntleroy/California as the Corner Inn, you probably won’t recognize it now that the work transforming it into West Seattle’s first Zeeks Pizza is almost done. We just got the chance to take a quick look inside, though crews are still working hard on finishing touches to get it ready to open Friday as planned (4 pm). Here’s a closer look at the counter in the background of the top photo, followed by a peek inside the kitchen:

Only thing we have for pre-Zeeks comparison is video we shot inside the day the Corner Inn fixtures were auctioned last July (less than two months before news broke of impending pizza):

Our full report on that July 2008 auction, including more video, is here. (Added 2:18 pm) Here’s a video clip from today, including a look at the roof/ceilings, quite different from the Corner Inn configuration:

While Zeeks does some franchising, this one is a company-owned store; for delivery, the chain offers online ordering, too. The new pizza restaurant is opening eleven months after the Corner Inn‘s sudden shutdown.

Update: Concord Elementary “shelter in place” over

April 29, 2009 12:06 pm
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 |   Crime | South Park

Concord Elementary is in South Park but it’s part of the West Seattle “region” of Seattle Public Schools, so some local families’ kids are there, and we’re sharing this: KIRO is reporting on a suspected “home invasion” nearby (800 block of South Henderson, kitty corner from the rear of the school; here’s a map), and because of the police investigation, the students at Concord are reported to be “sheltering in place.” Here’s the latest from KIRO, online.

12:19 PM UPDATE: Police are still searching the neighborhood, with K-9, according to live coverage that’s on right now. (Side note, South Park is part of the coverage area for police from West Seattle’s Southwest Precinct.)

2:16 PM: Seattle Public Schools spokesperson David Tucker confirms the “shelter in place” is over. We will work to find out the status of the investigation.

Red-tape trouble? Delridge playground plan may need help

At this month’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting (WSB coverage here), NDNC co-vice chair Betsy Hoffmeister reported a new development in the campaign for playground improvements in the area – instead of focusing on Cottage Grove Park, the attention turned to a proposal targeting the Delridge Community Center‘s playground. We got this update from her late last night – it includes some concern about the process, an offer of help, and the potential need for more:

Amazing things keep happening in Delridge! Kaboom, a national nonprofit organization, works with communities to help them build safe places to play. Occasionally, a corporate sponsor approaches Kaboom!, offering to fund a playground in a specific area. The organization helps the community group plan the playground, and comes in on one specific day and builds the whole thing.

In late March, Kaboom asked the Delridge Community Center to make a proposal to overhaul their 15 year old playground which, by the way, no longer meets federal safety standards. A donor corporation targeted the Delridge area, and the Community Center specifically and asked them to put together a proposal – by April 11. When the North Delridge Neighborhood Council (playground committee) heard this amazing news, we dropped our Neighborhood Matching Grant Proposal about Cottage Grove Playground, asked all the donors to switch allegiance to the Community Center proposal, and asked all the volunteers if they’d be willing to help out one mile north. Every single donor and volunteer agreed.

The Delridge Community Center whipped together a proposal which Kaboom really liked. Their advisory council recommended they apply to the City’s Small and Simple matching fund for additional resources, knowing they would need City oversight as the project is part of the Parks Department. They had less than two days to get a Small and Simple proposal together but managed to get everything together and get their proposal in.

On April 18, Kaboom had a conference call with the Community Center, representatives of the Parks Department, the SSCC, NDNC, and their advisory council. Kaboom was thrilled what they heard and asked for a second round which took place today, April 28. They as much as said as this proposal is the top contender. Unfortunately, the funding from the Parks Department, to cover the Parks Department oversight and the preparation of the site is far from certain. There are 74 proposals to the Small and Simple round from all over the City, with much less money available to spread around. The Kaboom folks were extremely worried to hear that the City wouldn’t be able to make a decision until after the Kaboom deadline. They called the NDNC (and basically said look, you are our top contender, it would be really sad if you didn’t get the grant because the City’s deadline is after ours) to ask if there was anything the neighbors could do … any way to come up with the site preparation/excavation without the city.

Amazingly, a neighbor who happens to be a licensed and bonded excavator volunteered to do the site preparation for FREE! We do not yet know whether the City will allow this company to volunteer their services to prepare the site. We also don’t know how we can pay the Parks employees to usher the playground designs through all of the reviews it needs to go through, and to oversee site preparation and installation. We are waiting extremely anxiously to hear from the City whether they will permit such an unorthodox approach. They have so many rules!

If you’ve read this far, you are a diehard Delridge Groupie. And you can ask yourself, how can I be helping make this amazing thing come true? And you might be feeling a little frustrated – why does the City tend to make things harder – here’s a golden opportunity to leverage a really big grant and upgrade a really needy playground really fast. So, what can you do? Approach any business that is not suffering horribly right now and ask them for a pledge – just a pledge – of $250, $500, $1000, or more. We don’t need cash in hand, we need pledges that folks will follow through on. Think about your tax return and see if you have a spare $50 (or $100, or $1000) to pledge. Go to the Community Center and sign a form stating you will pledge volunteer hours. Think if you know a licensed and bonded contractor who might be willing to donate excavation services. Imagine your vision of the Delridge Community Center with a new, safe, up to date, accessible playground for children of all ages, and respond to this with enthusiasm so I can send your responses on to the City, Kaboom, and maybe even our Councilmembers to ask for their help. Write to me with suggestions. If you are an artist or musician, think about how you could help hold an instant fundraiser for the playground to help us raise a few hundred or thousand bucks. (before you ask, we have a huge donation already from Nucor and from BECU).

Best case scenario – the people who need to respond, respond very quickly in the morning, and we have our answer right away, and they say “yes, of course the volunteer can do the excavation,” and then Kaboom is happy, and we’re happy, and it’s all good. But if Delridge needs help – and needs it fast – we need to know who is on deck to help out.

So far today, she hasn’t heard from the city – but you can e-mail her with offers of help, ideas, etc., at betsy (at)

Happening now: WestSide Baby car-seat inspections/recycling

April 29, 2009 10:12 am
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 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway | Safety

The photos are courtesy of WestSide Baby’s Nancy Woodland, who’s at IKEA in Renton right now for the car-seat safety event that her group is co-sponsoring till 1 pm – first photo, the cars lined up as it began an hour ago, photo below, the car seats that had been brought in for recycling. If you can make it to Renton and are interested, full details are in our original preview on partner site White Center Now.

High Point solar history, and a bridge-side sign you’ll see soon


(note: since original publication of this item, Neighborhood House has changed banner installation date to “approximately May 7”)

As previously reported, the Neighborhood Center that Neighborhood House is building in High Point will make solar-powered history. It opens in September, but days from now, NH just announced, a huge banner touting that fact will go up in a can’t-miss-it spot – on the Nucor plant, alongside The Bridge. The timing is aligned with this Sunday’s Sustainable West Seattle Festival in The Junction. Read on for the big news about the big banner:Read More

Lesson in giving: Painters and Allied Trades Union’s gift to SWYFS

April 29, 2009 7:52 am
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 |   Delridge | How to help | West Seattle news

That’s Southwest Youth and Family Services director Steve Daschle front and center, with students and staff from one of the high-school re-entry classes in the Southwest Education Center at SWYFS HQ in North Delridge. The photo op was to thank the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades’ regional council for a $10,000 donation to SWYFS. The money was raised by the union’s community-assistance effort PATCH, from the proceeds of an annual golf tournament (the next one’s coming up June 20 at Fort Lewis – contact Cara at SWYFS if you’re interested). SWYFS administers a variety of area programs, and is ramping up with its most high-profile assignment yet, managing this area’s section of the city’s new Youth Violence Prevention Initiative; Daschle says the city money for that work starts coming in July, but SWYFS already is well into its planning and preparation for components such as anger-replacement therapy work.

Another door-to-door alert: Read the fine print

Not related to our earlier report, so we’re running this one separately. Magazine sellers are apparently back at it – and one Lincoln Park-area resident says the story two of them told him tonight turned out to be bogus – though the fine print, when he looked very closely at the receipt, didn’t lie – Read on for his description of the two and the story they told:Read More

West Seattle food news: Changes for Endolyne Joe’s parent firm

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Chow Foods, parent company of local restaurants including Endolyne Joe’s (which raised $1,000 tonight for the Fauntleroy Fall Festival), has just sent out a news release confirming reports its owners were splitting the chain (here’s the Capitol Hill Seattle report from last Saturday) and explaining what happens next. Read on for the details:Read More

2 swine-flu readiness updates: Vashon plan; Seattle briefing

VASHON PLAN: The link was sent around by the Regional Public Information Network tonight (you can subscribe to its as-needed updates at, but since Vashon’s just a ferry ride away, we thought you’d be interested: Here’s the story of how the island’s fire department and volunteer preparedness group are joining forces.

COUNCIL BRIEFING TOMORROW: The Seattle City Council Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee will get a swine-flu update from county health officials (among others) during a special meeting at 1:30 pm tomorrow. You’ll be able to watch live via Seattle Channel, cable 21 or online here.

Door-to-door alert from Alki: Casing, or Comcast?

Alma on Alki wanted to get the word out about someone who came to her door tonight – read on for her story:Read More

Meet the Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Senior Court candidates

April 28, 2009 7:11 pm
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 |   West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

But first, a video flashback:

Last July, WSB was at Grace Church to capture that moment on video when Margo Femiano was announced as Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival for 2008-2009. With less than three months remaining now till Queen Margo’s successor is coronated, it’s time to introduce you to the six candidates in this year’s scholarship competition: Two Chief Sealth High School students, two Holy Names Academy students, one John F. Kennedy High School student and one Mount Rainier High School student. Read on to see their photos and brief bios, shared by Hi-Yu pageant coordinator Shirley Enebrad:Read More

New West Seattle summer-camp option – from local synagogue

April 28, 2009 5:31 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle religion

Less than two months now till school lets out, and local families are continuing to plan their kids’ schedules for summer. One brand-new option: Local synagogue Kol HaNeshamah is offering its first-ever day camp. We decided to take a closer look:

By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Synagogue Kol HaNeshamah, housed at Alki Congregational United Church of Christ, will be hosting Camp Kol — a two-week summer day camp for kids this August.

Tammy Kaiser, director of Education and Administration for Kol HaNeshamah, describes it this way: “We will concentrate on Tikkun Olam, which translates into ‘repair of the world,’ as well as Tzedakah which is ‘righteousness or social justice’ and usually takes the form of charity. Part of this will be teaching environmental conscientiousness, and West Seattle is a wonderful learning lab with its beaches and tidal pools.”

Read More

Photos: Remembering J.B. Webster – memorial at Alki UCC

There were smiles as well as sadness as J.B. Webster‘s fellow Seafair Commodores joined other friends, family and co-workers in celebrating his life during a memorial service today at Alki UCC. Mr. Webster’s family granted us permission to take photographs during the service; it’s been just five days since the first report of his death after a short illness. His daughter Tyler Webster played “Let It Be” during today’s service:

His son Logan Webster also played piano at the service (“Chimes“). More images from the memorial, and details of the service, ahead:Read More

Tonight: Endolyne Joe’s fundraiser for Fauntleroy Fall Festival

April 28, 2009 3:49 pm
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 |   Fauntleroy | How to help | West Seattle restaurants

It’s been on the WSB Events calendar for weeks, but we just got a request for one last reminder: Endolyne Joe’s is donating a portion of its proceeds tonight to the Fauntleroy Fall Festival. 10:08 PM UPDATE: Carrie from EJ’s says they “met (their) sales goal” so that means about $1,000 going to the FFF.

West Seattle coyotes: Lincoln Park neighbor’s alert


(the coyote we spotted a year ago at Thistle/Northrop, a few blocks from this latest report)
Also out of the inbox, the first coyote sighting reported to us in a while – this one’s from Alice:

Keep your cats and small dogs inside, or protected. Yesterday, in the middle of the day, as i pulled into my driveway, a coyote walked casually across 44th Ave SW, @ 8200 block (map), and went into the greenbelt. This is just a few blocks above Lincoln Park.

Previously, our neighborhood lost many many cats, and at least one small dog to a hungry coyote. I believe they are nocturnal, so she must be hungry to be out midday.

All WSB coyote reports (including some with photos and video) are archived here, newest to oldest.

ADDED 5:44 PM: Another note that came in after we published this:

My sister lives in Snohomish. Her cat was killed by a coyote in broad daylight. They are not just nocturnal hunters. This happened at around 2pm, my nephew heard the cat screaming, etc. So, don’t be fooled, keep your pets inside.

And that’s what the experts advise as well, but they warn against other dangers to outdoor cats (cars, raccoons, other cats, etc.) too.

City offers a partial break on unpaid parking tickets

April 28, 2009 2:08 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

Out of the WSB inbox, from the Seattle Municipal Court – starting May 1st, pay your unpaid tickets, and they’ll waive collection fees and interest:Read More

2 West Seattle food notes: Zeeks change; Dining Out for Life

ZEEKS PIZZA: We checked in with Zeeks Pizza‘s Dan Black to see if everything was on track for the grand-opening plan at the new Morgan Junction location (California/Fauntleroy) this Friday – he says yes, with one change: Instead of opening at 11 am, they will open the first day at 4 pm. (Here’s our story from last week about their delivery boundaries.)

DINING OUT FOR LIFE: Last week, we passed on the word from the Lifelong AIDS Alliance that it needed one more restaurant to match last year’s total of 155 participants (food/drink venues that will donate part of their proceeds this Thursday). Just heard back that two local establishments that saw the note here have signed up – and now, citywide, Dining Out for Life has a record 160 participants! The two local additions are Coffee at the Heights (whose proprietors mentioned in comments on that report that they were signing up) and Full Tilt Ice Cream; they join WSB sponsors Skylark Cafe and Club and Ama Ama Oyster Bar and Grill, as well as Abbondanza Pizzeria, Eats Market Cafe and Buddha Ruksa (full Seattle participant list here).

Video: Fire training continues at “Ivar’s House”

(video of “test burn” added 2:20 pm)

(photos changed/added 11:55 am)
Northbound 59th is blocked to traffic as the Seattle Fire Department continues training burns at a house south of Admiral Way that once belonged to Ivar Haglund. Here’s our story from yesterday with more background. More later.

11:55 AM: So far this morning, the crews have done two “burns” inside the house – in both cases, igniting hay and pallets, then extinguishing it, and using a large fan to clear the smoke from the house. Several fire engines and a ladder truck are there too, as is a large group of red-shirted firefighter trainees – they are simulating house-fire conditions as best they can, according to an informal briefing one veteran firefighter gave spectators across the street. The house itself will not be torched, he confirmed. He also said they can only have one fire going inside at a time, for safety reasons; then it’s extinguished, the hose is rolled out, and they start the setup again. Here are the photos shared by historian Paul Dorpat (who left an extensive comment on our story yesterday – first, a 2003 photo of the home; second, the tax-survey photo from the ’30s:

Picketing at Junction construction site

Just received a flurry of e-mails wondering about loud picketing at the Capco Plaza/Altamira Apartments site north across Alaska from Jefferson Square. Heading out to check; there have been short bursts of picketing at several West Seattle construction sites in recent weeks, and it’s previously been the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters targeting a subcontractor at a site (here’s our story from March; here’s our story with video from late February; we also saw and heard them, chanting via bullhorn, at an Alki remodeling site about two weeks ago). Often it’s a fairly short demonstration, although the one in late February went on for a few hours. (Added: Two e-mails say the signs indicate the target is K2MG.)

2:42 PM UPDATE: Went by just before 2 pm – unless they’ve come back since, it appears to be over.

2:10 PM WEDNESDAY: Just left in comments:

I am an owner of K2MG and I apologize to all of you who were effected by the Carpenter union protest at the Junction Construction site.

K2MG is an Open Merit Shop, which believes in allowing the employees the right to help in determining wages and working conditions. K2MG believes in the system of Free Enterprise and that, the employer must have concern for the general welfare of the employees and that there must be a fair compensation for work performed. Similarly, we believe that the employee has an obligation for satisfactory performance of assigned work.

The PNRCC claims they have a labor dispute with K2MG however; the description of a Labor Dispute is when the company’s employees are unhappy with their employer. K2MG can proudly say our employees are very happy with the wages they receive along with our benefit package K2MG provides. The Unions main goal appears to be to force our company out of business by their negative and untrue campaign to discredit our company and others like ours with intent to gain a larger market for the local and national Union drywall contractors.

Happening today: Memorial service for J.B. Webster

April 28, 2009 6:07 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

That photo of Seafair Commodore and West Seattle Realtor/community leader J.B. Webster is from the 2007 West Seattle American Legion Grand Parade, shared by fellow Realtor (and Fauntleroy Community Association president) Bruce Butterfield. Less than a week after Mr. Webster’s untimely passing, family, friends and colleagues will gather this morning at Alki UCC Church (61st/Hinds; map) to celebrate his life, at 11 am. Dozens of tributes have been left as comments on our original report — read them here; our followup story about a fund set up for his wife and children is here.

Highland Park Action Committee to tackle traffic trouble

Meet the new Traffic Committee for the Highland Park Action Committee – from left, Carrie Carroll, Blair Johnson, HPAC chair Dan Mullins, and Paul Morton (not pictured: Craig Rankin). They’re in place after tonight’s HPAC meeting, at which HPAC leaders talked with the city’s Neighborhood Services Coordinator for the Delridge District, Ron Angeles, about strategies for getting city Department of Neighborhoods money into HP for traffic-calming projects. A crosswalk right by the building where HPAC meetings, Highland Park Improvement Club [map], is high on the list:

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The committee will meet outside the usual HPAC meetings to determine what Highland Park’s traffic hotspots are, and will report back. Other meeting notes: As discussed at last week’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, Officer Adonis Topacio from the Southwest Precinct’s Community Police Team has been working with community members to keep closer watch on suspicious activity at Westcrest Park; it was reported tonight that he’s organizing park walkthroughs. One other word about crime – which won’t surprise you if you’ve been watching West Seattle Crime Watch reports here – car prowls and thefts will likely be up, when the month’s over. Also up: The need for Big Brothers and Big Sisters volunteers, per Erin Wenzel (you can find out about volunteering here). And HPIC is having a Tiki Dance at 7 pm Saturday (tickets $7.50 at the door).

The Highland Park Action Committee meets the fourth Monday of each month, 7 pm, at HPIC.

Seen on shore: Alki at low tide; Canada goose family revisited

Thanks to Mary T. and David Sheely for sharing that photo from this afternoon’s low tide at Alki; the tide will be just as low tomorrow right before 2 pm, but then we won’t see tides this low till late May. Down the shore a ways, David Hutchinson checked back with some members of Harbor Avenue’s semi-celebrity Canada goose family:

Bonus — just as we were getting ready to hit “publish,” Alma sent us a photo of tonight’s sunset:

Thanks again to everyone who shares photos via WSB – whether breaking news or beautiful sunsets – any time!