day : 26/05/2009 17 results

West Seattle wildlife: 1 more round of low-tide sightings

Yesterday and today saw the lowest tides of the year so far — but in four weeks, they’ll be even lower. Thanks to Charley Biggs for sharing another round of photos – above, a razor boring (according to Minette in comments) clam; next, a purple sun star:

Two more photos ahead:Read More

$250K for Delridge Skatepark gets Parks Levy Committee OK

Update from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee meeting downtown (the committee includes West Seattleites Neal Adams, Cindi Barker and Pete Spalding): The committee unanimously approved what the Skatepark Advisory Committee recommended earlier this month – moving $250,000 to the Delridge Skatepark project, from the levy’s designated funding for a future “skatespot” at the Myrtle Reservoir park site. City Council approval is needed next. The Delridge project originally was supposed to have $700,000 funding in this year’s state budget, but that got cut at the past minute; with community enthusiasm running high for Delridge Skatepark, though, the Parks Department has been trying to find the money somewhere else, and this will be added to $500,000 that materialized when the Hiawatha Playfield improvements came in way under budget. Lots of other interesting info here tonight about plans for the park-levy money: Parks executive Kevin Stoops says that the prices for acquiring land are so favorable right now, the department could move quickly to acquire more than a few sites around the city – from greenbelts to future neighborhood parks to garden sites. (Photo from last week’s Seattle Design Commission review of the skatepark’s “schematic design”; WSB coverage here.)

At Parks Levy Committee meeting: More possible P-Patches

View Larger Map

We’re at the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee meeting, awaiting a discussion of whether the committee will go along with the Skatepark Advisory Committee‘s recommendation to transfer money to the Delridge Skatepark project, from the unpopular-with-neighbors Myrtle Reservoir Skatespot proposal. In the meantime, we’ve heard some West Seattle news – starting with four possible P-Patches that might be funded with the $2 million “community garden” funds coming from the levy – including the site shown in Google Street View above, 34th/Barton. We reported three months ago that this 12,000-square-foot site at 34th/Barton, just east of the Exxon/Propel station, had been identified as “surplus” by the city, and comments were being sought regarding what to do with it. Many people in the comment thread following our report suggested using it as community garden/P-Patch land — and that’s exactly what’s under consideration now. The three other West Seattle sites mentioned for possible acquisition were the West Seattle Christian Church site that already is being turned into the Genesee P-Patch (which just won a Neighborhood Matching Fund $15,000 grant, by the way), a parcel in High Point, and California Place Park (we’ll be following up, but we believe they mean the “southern triangle” discussed in the recent design workshops as a possible garden site). More on these as they move through the process, and more from this meeting when the skatepark funding decision’s in. ADDED 12:52 AM: Read on for a few more details on these 4 West Seattle P-Patch sites, from the document made available at Tuesday night’s meeting:Read More

County Executive candidates’ forum on public safety

May 26, 2009 7:05 pm
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 |   Announcements

Just announced by the King County Police Chiefs Association:



Police Chief Organization Hosts Exec Candidate’s Forum

The King County Police Chief’s Association is hosting a County Executive Candidate’s Forum on Thursday, June 11th. The candidates running for King County Executive are invited to the forum, which is open to the public and press.

The Police Chief’s Association is comprised of the 34 King County police chiefs, the Sheriff, corrections professionals, as well as state and federal criminal justice partners.

The goal of the candidate’s forum is for each candidate to present their vision for public safety and the criminal justice system in King County. Questions from the chiefs will be asked of the candidates.

WHEN: Thursday, June 11, 2009
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

WHERE; Criminal Justice Training Center’
19010 – 1st Avenue South
Burien, WA

“Summer Streets” on Alki this Sunday: The practical details


(September 2008 photo)
Last year, it was “Car-Free Day” and it was in September; this year, it’s “Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets” and it’s in May (three weeks before summer technically kicks in). Whatever you call it, this Sunday is the day when most of Harbor/Alki will be closed to most vehicles – from California Way to 63rd SW – and there are some changes this year, so we checked with the city this afternoon regarding some of the practical details. Here’s our Q/A – the questions were asked by WSB, the answers are from SDOT:

Q (TR from WSB): Will there be robo-calls again this year?

A (Dawn Schellenberg, SDOT): To help make sure everybody knows about the Alki Seattle Summer Streets and invite them to participate, approximately 1,500 calls to businesses and residents in and adjacent to Alki Avenue SW between 63rd Avenue SW and California Way SW are scheduled to go out Wednesday, between 5 and 8 PM.

Q: When will no-parking signs go up?

A: No Parking signs are scheduled to arrive Wednesday. Cars parked along Alki within the event area will be fliered Wednesday evening notifying them of the event and making them aware of the parking restrictions.

Read on for yet more Q/A: Read More

Arbor Heights fire semi-followup: Cause still not known

(Monday photo by Tony Bradley)
In case you were wondering – we have checked with the Seattle Fire Department to see if investigators had determined the cause of Monday afternoon’s Arbor Heights fire (original WSB coverage here). Not yet, according to SFD spokesperson Helen Fitzpatrick – they need to speak with the 34-year-old fire survivor. We don’t know how soon he’ll be doing well enough for that to happen; without his name, media can’t get information on his condition, because of privacy laws. Fitzpatrick did add that the damage estimate is now up to $300,000.

Girl Scouts offer special summer-camp scholarships

Girl Scouts of Western Washington asked if we could help spread the word on this, even though it’s not West Seattle-specific, since the camps start running next month. Scholarships of any kind are always big news, so check this out:

Girl Scouts of Western Washington is offering a scholarship to girls in grades K-12 who are daughters of disabled military personnel. This applies to girls with one parent who is disabled in some way and was or is currently serving in the military. This scholarship covers any of our camps – one or two week programs, day or resident camps. Girls needn’t be a Girl Scout to apply. You can find more details on our website:

If you know someone who might be interested, please forward – remember that you can use the “Share This” link below any WSB post or page to forward a link in many ways, including e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Downtown traffic alert: Westlake protest over Prop 8 ruling

May 26, 2009 3:38 pm
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 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway

Just in case you work (or commute through) downtown and hadn’t heard about this already – or if you hadn’t heard and might want to attend – we’re the downtown bureau today as we’ve already covered two stories here with West Seattle ties and there’s one more to go (if you participate in this event, by the way, please consider sending photos –

Up to 2,000 protesters are expected to demonstrate this afternoon (May 26) in response to the California Supreme Court ruling on the Proposition 8 issue. The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Westlake Park. Streets adjacent to Westlake Park—Fourth Avenue and Pine Street—may be affected.

Here’s a Google News link to the latest stories from around the country regarding today’s ruling (upholding California’s anti-marriage-equality ballot measure) and reaction to it.

Update: Jan Drago joins the race for Seattle Mayor

Saying not only – as you can hear in that clip — “I’m ready,” but also that she wants to be mayor of “all of Seattle,” with shoutouts including one for West Seattle (and South Park, which had an excited supporter shouting back from the sidelines), Councilmember Jan Drago has officially kicked off her not-exactly-a-surprise run for mayor. We were at the announcement outside the Seattle Art Museum earlier this afternoon; two of her fellow councilmembers were there to show their support — Council President Richard Conlin and Councilmember Bruce Harrell – while Harrell joined the group flanking Drago at the podium, Conlin stayed on the sidelines (he’s in the white shirt at right, in this next photo):

We saw Councilmember Sally Clark shortly afterward at the Endangered Historic Properties announcement event and asked her if she’s endorsed a mayoral candidate yet — her quote, “I’m hangin’ back for a bit,” at least until the June 5th filing deadline passes. The latest list of candidates who HAVE announced so far is on this frequently updated city webpage. Drago and her husband live in Pioneer Square; here’s her official campaign biography. ADDED 3:17 PM: She took a few questions after the formal announcement – the setting was noisy but here you can hear her field a couple from tv reporter Chris Daniels, regarding the snow response and how she differs from the incumbent:

Update: Alki Homestead on new “Endangered Properties” list

Washington Trust for Historic Preservation has just officially announced its 2009 list of the “state’s most endangered historic properties,” which includes the fire-damaged Alki Homestead – one of four Seattle “resources” on the list, along with the P-I Globe. Washington Trust sent media organizations a preview of this for planning purposes last week and we honored its requested “embargo” of the list until this afternoon’s planned announcement, which explains:

Inclusion in our annual list is intended to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities facing historic resources across the state and to encourage collaboration with all stakeholders to develop preservation strategies. In numerous instances, Most Endangered status has worked to facilitate solutions that promote the historic significance of sites while retaining important resources as viable, functional components of our neighborhoods and communities.

So what else does today’s announcement mean for the Homestead? We are at the media briefing right now and will add more later. Meantime, it’s been 4 months since the fire — blamed on an accidental electrical malfunction involving Christmas lights — that closed the Homestead. City records do not yet show an application for repair permits, but they do show that the complaint filed because of roof and window areas “open to weather” was resolved earlier this month and the case is closed.

ADDED 2:30 PM: Video from this afternoon’s announcement – starting with a special sign noting the Homestead’s inclusion, then to comments from Andrea Mercado from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

Afterward, she told us the group has been in touch with Homestead owner Tom Lin through an intermediary, and is working with him to make sure he has all the available information regarding potential financial help for restoration. Also at today’s announcement, West Seattle-residing King County Council Chair Dow Constantine – who is on the Washington Trust board – with a few words about the Homestead and more about a Vashon property on the list, the Vashon Elementary Gym:

Read on for the full text of today’s announcement, including the complete list:Read More

June 13 concert Total Immersion concert at Youngstown

May 26, 2009 11:19 am
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 |   Announcements

Just out of the inbox:

EMC is proud to announce Total Immersion 2 on Saturday June 13th 2009, a
surround sound concert showcasing members of the Electronic Music Collective
LIVE with a unique performance by StringStation.

Total Immersion 2 is an adventure into the new world of downtempo
electronic and electro acoustic music by cutting edge Seattle artists
performing live surround-sound music to striking triple-screen visuals.

Special guest StringStation presents a futuristic new instrument that
involves 40 strings, digital sound modeling technology and adventursome
performance techniques . Played by its inventor, Jim Bartz, the
StringStation is sure to open eyes and ears to new music possibilities – an
amazing addition to the sound and melodic depth of this event.

EMC aims to support and work alongside the local community by providing
a very unique surround-sound experience. Part of the proceeds of this event
will be donated to MusiCares who provides a safety net of critical
assistance for music people in times of need. EMC is also working in
affiliation with ‘The Body Bar Day Spa’ who will be providing chair massage
during the performance and will be handing out $25 gift certificates to the
first 20 people through the door.

It is also part of EMC’s goal to educate the general public to the tools
and techniques involved in the creation of such an event. Artists will
therefore be introducing you to some of the behind-the-scenes technologies
that go into creating, experiencing and understanding surround-sound and
their individual crafts.

The EMC Artists performing at this event:

David Miles Huber (DMH) is a professional musician in the downtempo
dance genre, who has produced CDs that have sold over the million mark. His
latest music and latest collaborations can be heard on the 51bpm label and
his myspace page. He has authored numerous books on the subjects of
recording and electronic music. His most prominent book Modern Recording
Techniques is the standard recording industry text worldwide.

Henta is a singer/songwriter and recording artist, originally from the
UK, who works with a wide range of producers and writers. She released her
latest dream-pop/electronic album ‘Daisy Dancing’ in March 2008 which
recently became ‘Grammy Eligible’ and she is about to release her third
album focusing on relaxation/meditation and chakra activation.

Marcell Marias is a Hungarian-born musician, sound designer and producer
living in Seattle. His style could be described as visual electronic music
and includes ambient, downtempo, house, breaks, IDM, and drum & bass.
Several film and video productions feature music and sound design by Marias.
For his live performances, Marias uses several controllers hooked up to
Live, usually performing in surround with visuals.

Ludington GT a Seattle based DJ, Producer, Composer and Electronic
Artist who has been focusing in recent years on the production and
performance of his own original house music. Ludington GT is a regular
fixture on the west coast regional Burningman performance circuit where he
DJs and performs live PAs of his original music on laptop, keys, effects,
and vocals.

Concert details: Total Immersion 2 will be held on Saturday, June 13,
7-10 pm (with intermission) at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center 4408 Delridge
Way SW, West Seattle.

Event Tickets : $10 donation (includes a “free” EMC compilation disc).
‘The Body Bar Day Spa’ will also be handing out a $25 gift certificate to
the first 20 people through the door on the night. Advanced Tickets are
available through Brown Paper Tickets – Limited seating available so please
book early!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Skyelar Hailey back in jail

Side note to one of two incidents from last night that we reported thanks to WSB’ers’ notes (before the Alki car-in-water): We’ve now learned that one of the two men booked into jail after being caught inside a stolen vehicle on Harbor Ave is 18-year-old Skyelar Hailey. You may recall, he is the repeat offender most recently arrested and jailed last month after allegedly fleeing police who tried to arrest him on warrants. Days after all that, on April 24, he was sentenced (WSB coverage here) for a trespassing conviction resulting from an Admiral case last November, and received “community service” provided he stayed out of trouble; he was released from jail May 2. This morning, we are told he was a passenger in the stolen Ford Explorer stopped on Harbor Ave after 9:30 last night; just after 2 am, he was booked into jail, and the register shows he’s there on a “probation hold” (linked to the November Admiral case). We’ll be checking with prosecutors to see what happens next. (Photo by Christopher Boffoli, from Hailey’s April 24 sentencing)

Reminder: Parking restrictions for Fauntleroy work start today

Thanks to Sue for that photo of the no-parking signs up along the northernmost stretch of the Fauntleroy Way repaving zone, where the city had planned to start work today (we’re heading back out shortly to check what is or isn’t going on). While the entirety of the project will run from roughly SW Edmunds to SW Holly, the first round of restrictions is posted for Edmunds to SW Findlay, today through June 15th. Here’s our report from last week with details of the plan for the start of construction (with more details on the repaving and “rechannelization” that will happen as part of the project, as first announced by the city late last year).

Video: Car goes into the water off Alki Ave, driver survives

(video added 4:47 am, wrecked Porsche after it was pulled out of water and up over seawall)
ORIGINAL 2:32 AM REPORT: “Water rescue” call right now in the 1100 block of Harbor Alki Avenue. Here’s what we are hearing on the scanner: Somebody drove into the water and his car — a Porsche Carrera, unless what we are hearing on the scanner is a joke — is about six feet under; divers are going in to make sure the driver’s alone, which is what he has told them. More as we get it. 2:37 AM UPDATE: Divers have confirmed nobody’s in the submerged car. 3:10 AM UPDATE: We’re at the scene – the car really is a Porsche and really is less than 10 yards offshore, underwater; it went over the seawall in the condo zone.
(video added later, best shot we could get of the car, submerged:)

The driver’s been taken to the hospital – the medic unit passed us as we were arriving here about 20 minutes ago (TV crews are here too). Police have reopened the road; City Light’s also here because the car took out a power pole before going over the wall. Now police are strategizing with a tow crew how they’re going to get the car out. 3:54 AM UPDATE: Two police divers are in the water, where they will attach cables from a bigger tow truck that’s come in; we’re with TV crews awaiting the big pullout attempt – might be about 10 more minutes. If you’re seeing this “live,” KIRO does news at 4:30 am so that may be the first place you see video. Lt. Ron Smith has spoken with us at the scene, by the way, and says the driver, in his 50s, was taken to Harborview Medical Center for observation, and will be tested for possible intoxication. (Added later, clip from Lt. Smith’s briefing:)

(this clip also added later) Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen was at the scene for a while too — she explains what SFD rescuers saw and did upon arrival:

4:24 AM UPDATE: The mangled Porsche is out. We’re on our way back to upload video from HQ. 4:59 AM UPDATE: Adding clips, as promised. Atop this post, it’s the car right after pullout; here, the last haul up over the wall:

Also added a few clips in the middle. To fill in one of the blanks: The car was heading north/eastbound on Alki when it “went straight where there’s a curve,” as Lt. Smith put it. As for the driver’s condition, no formal word, but as SFD’s Vander Houwen said, he did NOT have “life-threatening injuries.”

10:28 AM UPDATE: SPDBlotter has summarized the incident briefly with a few additional details: The driver was 54 and is described as having ultimately determined to have been “uninjured”; the item says, “Investigators believe drugs and/or alcohol in addition to speed may have contributed to the collision” (pending test results). Plus, specifics on the car: A 1991 Porsche 911.

11:09 AM NOTE: A comment recalls a deadly crash in the area a few years ago. To be specific – according to this brief item from WSB’s first year – 2 people were killed in September 2006 when their car went into the water across from 1238 Alki, less than a block west of this morning’s crash site.

Jan Drago’s mayoral campaign: Already launched online

City Councilmember Jan Drago is planning to officially announce her run for mayor outside the Seattle Art Museum this afternoon. But it’s already “official” online. First, independent journalist Johnathon Fitzpatrick discovered over the weekend that the Twitter account @jandrago4mayor was set up. Then, the mostly-politics website PubliCola found Drago announcing her impending announcement on Facebook. And this morning on Twitter, Lee Therriault (@leetherriault) has just pointed out that Councilmember Drago’s mayor-campaign website is fully operational now too (see it here), fronted by what may be the speech she gives this afternoon (in which, among other things, she says she’s running to be the Mayor of West Seattle, and other neighborhoods).

Low-low tide again today; sea-creature sights from Sunday

Thanks to Greg Wright for sharing photos from his low-tide sightseeing on Sunday; just before 1 pm today, the tide will be just as low as it was around noon yesterday (chart here), and that’s the lowest tide of the month before the low tides start getting higher again. A few more of Greg’s photos, ahead:Read More

Another West Seattle church centennial: Tibbetts’ talent show

It’s been a big year for West Seattle churches with big history to celebrate. Fauntleroy Church (WSB sponsor) and West Seattle Baptist Church celebrated centennials within the past year – Alki UCC celebrates its centennial next weekend (and posted in the WSB Forums recently seeking wedding photos to feature) – centennial events are about to begin at Holy Rosary with a Homecoming Mass/Luncheon June 7 (details here) – and since Tibbetts United Methodist Church (left) has 100 candles on its birthday cake too, they’re inviting you to a big event coming up next weekend:

Tibbetts Has Talent!

Tibbetts United Methodist Church is hosting its Centennial Talent Show & Ice Cream Social on Sunday, May 31st at 3pm. This fun-filled celebration includes a variety of drama, music and more.. and will be held in Adams Hall, entrance by the reader board sign. There’s an ice cream social following the Talent Show featuring fantastic flavors from Husky Deli. We hope you’ll join us!

Tibbetts UMC is at 3940 41st SW (map).