day : 31/05/2009 11 results

Interview with the mayor, report #3: Why re-elect him?

Mayor Greg Nickels makes his re-election campaign official Monday. During our interview with him at Admiral Starbucks on Saturday morning, we asked some of the questions we solicited from WSBers, starting with the one you see answered in the top clip: Why should he get a third term? Meantime, if you’re just catching up after the weekend – we’ve already published three excerpts:
First: The park-trash-can phase out
Second: Getting hassled on Alki – can police do anything about it?
Third: (published on White Center Now) Will Seattle annex White Center (assuming the rest of North Highline goes with Burien)?

We had 25 minutes to talk with him, a blink of an eye in political interview time, but we squeezed in as many questions as we could, most of them from those offered by WSBers after we asked on Friday for suggestions. The very first one posted here on WSB also speaks to his campaign overall: Lillian suggested he and other politicians have a problem with inauthenticity, and asked how he would get people to believe in him and what he wants to do – in his answer, you will hear him acknowledge that he doesn’t always come off authentically and warmly in the media:

We’ve still got several answers to roll out, and we’re not going to jam them all into this third report, but we did ask about one West Seattle sore spot, the “Whole Foods hole” – can the city do anything to try to stop this sort of “big dig, followed by big stall” situation from happening? Go forward to see/hear his answer:Read More

Lincoln Park owlet: An update, and a name

New information tonight about the Lincoln Park barred-owl family’s owlet (previous coverage here and here), this time (along with that photo) courtesy of Trileigh, who says it even has a name:

The little owlet is getting better about navigating his way through the trees. He practices by walking out on branches, and hopping/flapping from one to the other, with his parents usually nearby. He likes to go sideways along branches to the very farthest end and sit at the tip, which probably makes his parents pretty nervous!

Recently one evening, we were watching as he lost his balance and fell about 30′. He bounced right up (I imagine he could flap his wings with enough strength to cushion his fall) and headed for a nearby tree to climb to be safer from potential predators. Fortunately, the good West Seattleites who witnessed all this stayed a respectful distance away so the little owl could climb without feeling too stressed by humans and dogs coming too close.

His parents flew in and checked thoroughly to make sure little Wollet (named after the owl “Wol” in Winnie-the-Pooh) was safe and sound. A happy ending!

I’ve attached one picture of Wollet tightrope-walking along a branch, and I’ve posted a number of other pictures of him, his parents, and other Lincoln Park birds on my Flickr site at

Coffee at the Heights contest winners, and changes

Grand-opening month is wrapping up at West Seattle’s newest coffee shop, Coffee at the Heights (WSB sponsor), and co-proprietor Paul sent a note tonight with a couple things to pass along: They’ve added air conditioning and more indoor seating; they’ve changed bakeries (to Little Rae’s); outdoor seating is on the way; wi-fi starts this week. And last but not least, they’ve drawn the winners — more than 30! — for the grand-opening month prizes. Click ahead to read them – if you’re on the list, they’ll be calling you tomorrow, and the prizes will be ready for pickup after 2 pm:Read More

Video: Alki Congregational UCC celebrates centennial with a parade

As noted here earlier in the week, several West Seattle churches are marking momentous anniversaries this year – including centennials. That was the occasion that sent members and leaders of Alki Congregational United Church of Christ on a special pre-service walk this morning: They gathered at Weather Watch Park for a “Centennial Parade” to the nearby site where their church was founded in 1909, at Chilberg and Carroll (map), and then to its current site. In addition to the video above, here’s a photo, with the parade headed by Rev. Diane Darling (carrying the staff) and the church’s longest-term member, Ada Hallberg, who’s been attending Alki UCC since 1941:

(You might have recognized another church attendee in that photo, King County Council Chair Dow Constantine.) When they reached the current church at 61st/Hinds (map), they entered through the sanctuary doors from 1926, on their way into the sanctuary built in 1958 after Rev. Darling discussed history and led song on the steps:

If you noticed that many parishioners were wearing red – that was in honor of this being Pentecost Sunday. Centennial congratulations also go out tonight to Tibbetts United Methodist Church, which continued its 100th birthday celebration with a talent show/ice cream social this afternoon.

Alki car-free day, aka “Seattle Summer Streets,” report #2

(scroll down for the latest photos/info)

Lots of bikes and skateboarders as we get into the heart of the afternoon, with Alki closed to most traffic. And there’s people-watching to do, as well:

When we interviewed Mayor Nickels on Saturday (check here for our first two reports on that, with more to come tonight), he mentioned that he’d be visiting Alki during today’s car-free event – and indeed, a few minutes ago, we spotted him and wife Sharon Nickels across the street (we’ve spent the past couple hours at Alki Tully’s but are about to head out) – so we scampered out for the photo op. Also caught on camera, Bill Reiswig, president of Sustainable West Seattle, and wife Tonya Hennen, at the SWS setup near the Bathhouse, where you too can pose for a photo like this:

A crowd’s gathering for the Ryan Leech bicycle stunt show that’s about to happen across the street so we’re heading out to get video of that and more on what’s happening further along the route. More as the afternoon goes on (if you missed it, our first report is here; our coverage of the West Seattle 5K [WSB sponsor] is here).

ADDED 2:02 PM: We’ve walked the western half of the route and are adding photos. One thing different from last September’s car-free day – MANY more food and beverage vendors – like Megan and Carmen selling lemonade, iced Thai coffee and more in front of the house at 56th/Alki:

At the same spot – Alki-made Teddy Quilts are for sale:

Other vendors include BeesNeez grilling “Alaskan reindeer sausage” by the Wheel Fun Rentals kiosk:

More recreational options too, though it’s not all free. A few bucks for a round of waterfront mini-golf, anyone?

Next up, this IS free — the “Learn to Ride” corral at the Cascade Bicycle Club setup:

And if you learn to ride well enough, maybe you can be like the aforementioned Ryan Leech – caught here in mid-air (note the crowd; we also have video of him we’ll add a bit later):

ADDED 2:45 PM: So how busy is it, you ask? Heart of the beach – very. Here’s a shot looking westward:

At Spud and Slices, the lines were out the door:

The coverage continues … the street closure lasts till 5. By the way – this may be the only dog that wasn’t on the walk route when we passed by earlier this afternoon:

4:09 PM UPDATE: Walking the east end of the route in the final hour – currently pausing just past Bonair/Alki, under a tree atop the seawall, watching the Norwegian Pearl sail off toward Alaska. Still a sizable crowd in the heart of the beach zone, where we found CoolMom volunteers painting faces and sharing information about how families can be more environmentally responsible:

East of the commercial zone, the crowd thins, but bike riders, skateboarders and walkers are still out in profusion. The closure’s scheduled to end at 5, but keep in mind it will take a while for cones and signs to be removed, so don’t expect to be out here at 5:01 pm zooming along as usual. Volunteers like Julian, up at the other end of Bonair, will appreciate it (thanks to Eric Bell for the photo):

5:16 PM UPDATE: We’re at the eastern end of the closure route, just past Don Armeni, and the police here have NOT been given the all-clear to open the road yet – apparently the police at the other end are waiting until all the booths and ramps and other special setups are cleared out, so it will be a few more minutes till westbound traffic resumes on Alki Ave. While we wait, a few more photos – Pam from Nerd’s Eye View caught the “blender bike”:

Pam also wanted to know “who we thank for making it so fab and who we contact to tell them we want MORE MORE MORE car free Alki Days.” We’d point you to the mayor’s office, which we are told has been in the driver’s seat on this, so to speak: Meantime, JayDee caught a “warning” sign of sorts at Alki Tavern earlier:

And David Hutchinson photographed artist Phil Jones with a sidewalk sale of sorts:

5:31 PM UPDATE: Alki is now officially open to traffic both ways – police here on the east end of the closure zone just removed the barricades and are riding off. (video added later)

We’ll have another wrapup sometime later with more photos and video from the day — we’ll be checking with police/others tonight/tomorrow but so far, appears no major problems at all today.

Gillian Gaar “Rough Guide to Nirvana” book signing at Feedback Lounge on June 25

May 31, 2009 12:01 pm
|    Comments Off on Gillian Gaar “Rough Guide to Nirvana” book signing at Feedback Lounge on June 25
 |   Announcements

From the Feedback Lounge newsletter that just arrived in our inbox this morning:

Thursday, June 25, 7PM – 9PM
We’re excitedly freaked out to host a book signing party for our friend and famous author Gillian Gaar as her new book, The Rough Guide To Nirvana, is released this month!

Gillian covers the world famous Seattle grunge band’s history through comprehensive biographies, discographies and more. Her previous books include She’s A Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll (Seal Press), Green Day: Rebels With A Cause (Omnibus), In Utero (Continuum) and has contributed to anothologies including Trouble Girls: The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock, The Nirvana Companion: Two Decades of Commentary, Goldmine: The Beatles Digest and Music: The Little Black Book.

A lifelong rock journalist, Gillian has also written liner notes for releases by Nirvana, Laurie Anderson, Judy Collins and Heart and has written for Rolling Stone magazine, Mojo, Goldmine and is a former senior editor for Seattle’s legendary Rocket magazine. A Rough Guide To Nirvana will be available to purchase at the Feedback Lounge, so come out and meet Gillian, buy her new book, get an autograph and listen a whole lot of Nirvana music!

West Seattle 5K: Runners, walkers swarm “car-free” Alki

UPDATE: Organizers say the final official count of participants was more than 1,000.

(top photo by David Hutchinson, added 10:48 am; next photo by TR, published when post 1st went live)

The West Seattle 5K (WSB sponsor) runners and walkers are still going past the window at Alki Tully’s, where we’re set up at the moment. The photo above is a sample from several minutes after the first runners crossed the line; Jordan Welling from Bellingham (Western Washington U track team member) was first across, at 15 minutes exactly, 1:21 ahead of the second finisher; (added 10:30 am) here’s the video:

First woman across the line was Vanessa Hunter at 17:33 (she finished first in last year’s Torchlight Run). We’ll be checking the registration totals with organizers a bit later, but anecdotally – as you’ll see in our starting-line video shortly – it was a sizable crowd. ADDED 11:09 AM: Here’s our video of the West Seattle 5K start, from the first runner to the last walker – the voice you hear leading the countdown is WS school-board rep Steve Sundquist:

We’ve got more photos of the 5K, including several sent by WSBers – we’ll add them shortly! ADDED 11:34 AM: As promised – more photos (and we’ll likely be adding more later today, so check this story again) – click ahead:Read More

Updates: Car-free “Summer Streets” day, first report

First report – California Way is open up and down the hill, but you have to turn right (toward Seacrest) at the bottom – that’s exactly where the road is blocked off to westward traffic. Off now to check along Admiral feeder streets to Alki. ADDED 8:37 AM: The Alki-bound streets along Admiral are marked LOCAL ACCESS ONLY starting at Lander – but at the bottom of the hill, neither 62nd nor 63rd has a sign right now; we turned beachward at 63rd but of course you can’t detour west at Alki because of the sidewalk work, so we turned east and then routed onto 61st to head inland.

Not sure if that will remain the detour the entire day but we’ll check later. Lots of folks already gathering for the West Seattle 5K (WSB sponsor) at 9:30; we’ll be covering that and more, as it goes.

10:27 AM UPDATE: We’re covering the 5K separately (see that story here) but also making a few more notes here about car-free logistics, till we launch a new report when the activities start in earnest about an hour from now. Parking enforcement officers on Segways are on patrol, as the 5K participants continue crossing the finish line (after almost an hour, it’s down to the walkers now). (added later – a pic of the Segway officers, pre-race):

10:44 AM UPDATE: The 5K is officially over- but remember, the streets are already closed for the day, so people are walking, biking, skateboarding already. High clouds have moved in so it may not be as baking-hot as yesterday seemed.

11:21 AM UPDATE: The tablers and demos are setting up, since activities kick off shortly. From the Tully’s window, we see Zipcar setting up right across the street – the Ryan Leech setup with Norco is just east of there (he’ll be putting on a mountain-bike-stunt-riding show a bit later; here’s the full schedule of bicycle-related events, courtesy of Cascade Bicycle Club). Around noon, we’ll be heading back outside to take a look at how restaurants are doing, since that continues to be a point of contention for some — whether the “car-free days” depress business. Things seem rather brisk here in Tully’s, though we have no point of comparison to a normal Sunday morning.

Happening today: “Car-free” Alki is just part of it

May 31, 2009 5:31 am
|    Comments Off on Happening today: “Car-free” Alki is just part of it
 |   Admiral Theater | Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

Full list on the West Seattle Weekend Lineup – here’s a direct link to the Sunday section. Highlights:

CAR-FREE ALKI, ER, WE MEAN “SEATTLE SUMMER STREETS”: We’ll be starting our coverage from Alki shortly after 8 am, when we’ll be out seeing where traffic’s being blocked off feeding into the beach. (First word likely via Twitter, so check here too.)

WEST SEATTLE 5K: At 9:30 am, it’s the walk/run that’s kicking off “Summer Streets” today, raising money for local schools. You can still register — just go to the Bathhouse, 8-9:20 am.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: In addition to many other activities planned on Alki, it’s the second day of Alki Volleyball Association‘s season-opener.

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in The Junction as always; here’s today’s “fresh sheet.”

WEST SEATTLE ROCK AND GEM SHOW: Second and final day of the annual extravaganza – FREE! – presented by the West Seattle Rock Club (WSB sponsor) – 10 am-5 pm, Masonic Hall (40th/Edmunds) – with kids’ activities (photo) as well as displays and vendors.

FREE YOGA! 11 am-12:15 pm at Sound Yoga (WSB sponsor). Just show up.

MAGIC AT THE ADMIRAL: Want to get out of the heat? 1:30 this afternoon, magician Phil Crosson (video) performs at Admiral Theater.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES: Not far from the car-free zone, Alki UCC church members plan to celebrate its centennial this morning by walking from the church’s original location off Beach Drive (by La Rustica) at 9 am, to its current location at 63rd/Hinds, celebrating the 100th anniversary. Tibbetts United Methodist Church has its Centennial Talent Show (and ice-cream social!) at 3 pm today. Kiwanis Club of West Seattle marks its 80th anniversary at 5 pm at South Seattle Community College; more here.

Interview with the mayor, report #2: Alki civility – enforceable?

We’re continuing to roll out chunks of our Saturday morning interview with Mayor Nickels, who’s doing the media rounds as he prepares to officially file his re-election campaign papers this Monday. To recap: We had about 25 minutes with him at Admiral Starbucks (they chose the spot, we chose the outdoor table); we asked WSBers (also via Facebook and Twitter) for question suggestions, and got MANY more than we could ask in that short time. The clip above is his answer to a question we asked as a followup to the recent Alki Community Council meeting following the May 1st Alki shooting – some in attendance (and, later, in WSB comments) voiced more concern about getting harassed at the beach, than about the threat of violent crime. Police in attendance noted there’s no law against, for example, standing around and saying something “vile.” So is there anything that can be done? we asked the mayor; reply above. Yet more from the interview to come (and we will be adding soundbite transcripts shortly to this story, and our 1st one – about the park trash-can issue – see that here). P.S. Ken, whose post-ACC comment we linked above, is the person who started the Alki Neighborhood Watch Facebook group – if you haven’t joined yet and you’re interested, find it here.

Delridge Day, final report: Dancing, music, playground success

Two more video clips with sights and sounds from Saturday’s Delridge Day at Youngstown Arts Center (our as-it-happened coverage was here and here): First, one of the afternoon’s biggest ovations went to the Vicious Puppies Crew breakdancers. We wouldn’t usually put up 7 minutes of video of anything, but those guys were mesmerizing. Next, just one sample of the wide-ranging musical slate, which ranged from intense rock during the Youth Showcase in the morning, to acoustical folk later in the afternoon – in this case, it’s the Seattle Fandango Project, featuring members of Quetzal:

Last but not least, an update from the Delridge Playground fundraising booth:

Left to right, Holli, Betsy, and (mostly hidden) Lisa, who reported via our WS Blog page on Facebook:

Good news: between the raffle, the plant sale and donations we made over $300 for the new playground, and over 20 more folks signed up as interested in volunteering. Thanks, Delridge! Design #3 seems to be generating the most interest, but we’re still looking for feedback.

That’s a reference to the three playground designs from which the community needs to choose. You can see all three designs in this WSB report; there’s a feedback address there, plus word of a public meeting this Monday, 7:30 pm, where you can offer your thoughts on the designs.