day : 04/06/2009 16 results

Update: West Seattle power outage, nearly 3,000 homes/businesses

(NOTE: As reported at the end of this story, the power was back on by 2-ish.)

(Admiral/California photo by Christopher Boffoli, added 12:46 am)
ORIGINAL 9:17 PM REPORT: Admiral District is out north of PCC, says Diane. We’re checking on it.

9:31 PM UPDATE: In addition to the reports in comments, Creighton e-mailed: “Karate class stopped, people standing outside of Circa. Traffic signals black.” Another phone caller says it started just after 9 as the wind really kicked in. Co-publisher Patrick is driving around the Admiral District to suss the boundaries – he says the southernmost point seems to be right between McDonald’s and PCC, across the street from West Seattle High School – McDonald’s is on, PCC is out.

9:41 PM UPDATE: Going west, we see the power on starting at 51st/Admiral. Seattle City Light says the outage totals almost 3,000 homes and businesses; their boundaries don’t jibe quite with what we are hearing, “cause and restoration are unknown as of this moment,” according to Scott Thomsen on the City Light media line; he’s also sent a news release that says crews are out working on the problem. This is one of three outages in the city right now.

9:48 PM UPDATE: Admiral is also out all the way down the hill to The Bridge, and Avalon is out too – till Genesee, when the lights come back on.

(photo by Christopher Boffoli, looking north from California/Admiral, added 12:53 am)
9:55 PM UPDATE: Patrick reports that parts of Harbor Ave are out, including Salty’s. Power comes on again at 1170 Alki building, he reports, and as he heads west along Alki Ave, no problems so far. (If anybody has an outage-related photo to share, please send, we’re out without a camera.)

10:10 PM UPDATE: Weather note – several people have called our attention to the fact that forecasting star Cliff Mass called the sudden storm turn, with this post headed “All Hell Is About to Break Loose.” Meantime, here’s video we happened to get right before 9 pm – we were on the ferry from Vashon to Fauntleroy, and the wind had kicked up, rain had blown in, all with a spectacular sunset as a backdrop:

No new update from the City Light media team regarding when this’ll be over. In comments, Garrett from the 1200 block of Alki says power’s on but cable’s out.

10:51 PM UPDATE: As discussed in comments, but in case you see this first and wondered, there was a very brief “fire in building” callout in The Junction, closed very fast, so no fire. No word yet of anyone getting their power back. We did get this photo from Colleen at 38th/Admiral – neighbors decided to have a backyard party:

10:58 PM UPDATE: Also among those out of power, so to speak, King County Council Chair Dow Constantine, who’s back home after his official County Executive campaign kickoff event tonight downtown. He says via Twitter re: the outage, “It’s great – for now.”

11:18 PM UPDATE: First, another great photo of the amazing sunset that arrived the same time as the wild weather – this is from Bonnie (taken around the same time as the video we added earlier in this story):

No reports yet of anybody getting their power out – it’s been two-plus hours now for many people – nor is there anything new from City Light on restoration estimate or cause.

12:35 AM UPDATE: Some reports in comments that the power’s back on in various spots. Adding some outage images by WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli (including the one below, showing Admiral Safeway). We will follow up later today with City Light re: what exactly caused the outage.

Thanks again to everyone who has shared information – particularly those who called, since this started in a rare moment when we were away from the computer (though always iPhone-equipped, which enabled a quick short initial report) – please keep the WSB # handy, 206-293-6302 – we do answer it 24/7 to make sure we never miss breaking news.

1:32 AM: More power just returned, per Tim in comments, 46th north of Admiral.

2:48 AM: City Light confirmed in a news release that the West Seattle outage was over by 2 am.

Next phase of Denny/Sealth construction about to begin

Now that the legal challenge to the Denny International Middle School/Chief Sealth High School site project has been settled (WSB coverage here), the project has its Master Use Permit, and project managers say that means the next phase of construction is about to begin. They’ve shared with us the doorhanger that they plan to distribute to nearby residents tomorrow, with specifics on how construction is about to ramp up. See it here. As the doorhanger notes, Sealth work is expected to be done by next summer, and construction of the new Denny is to be finished in winter 2011; here’s the project’s official website.

Video: Two celebrations for Holy Rosary School

First: A ceremony and assembly this afternoon as Holy Rosary School celebrated its certification as Seattle’s first “Washington Green School” (first reported here earlier this week). Parent volunteer coordinator Nancy Stillger and principal Kris Brown (center) accepted the certificate. The program will be available online in time for other schools to sign on starting this fall; recycling is just part of it, and Nancy posed with HR teacher Matt Seacrest at one of the recycling stations in the hallway on the second floor. Matt will be teaching an elective course next year about recycling and being environmentally sound.

Second celebration: Tonight, Holy Rosary’s 8th graders graduate. And it’s almost “graduation time” for principal Brown, who is moving on to a new job after this school year (as first reported here two months ago). She told us about a message she is sharing tonight, which sounds like it also is personally relevant:

Holy Rosary’s kindergarteners graduate tomorrow morning; then, a week from tonight at 7 pm, a celebration is planned in honor of Kris Brown. More details on the Holy Rosary website. (Brown is leaving to become principal of St. Catherine in Maple Leaf, a smaller school; her replacement at HR has not yet been announced.)

SIFF, Skylark: 2 big parties Friday night, and you can hit both!

More big news about the West Seattle SIFF gala at the Admiral Theater tomorrow night – a fun free party that you are welcome to attend even if you’re not going to the movie(s): Admiral entertainment director Dinah Brein-McClellan says Salty’s on Alki has just signed on to provide cookies and desserts. That’s in addition to Vertu Cakes‘ ship-shape creation, plus appetizers from Metropolitan Market, flowers/balloons from Sharon’s Westwood Florist, and a special appearance by the Seafair Pirates – who Dinah says have been mysteriously seen referring to this event as “Pirate Fest” – how will that go over with SIFF director Carl Spence, who’ll be there too? Be there to find out! Again, it’s all free, 5:30-6:45 pm Friday at West Seattle’s historic Admiral Theater – tomorrow’s also the first day of the week-long first-ever SIFF showings at The Admiral (schedule and tickets online here). If you’re not going to the 7 pm movie, or even if you are, head east to North Delridge, where it’s a party all night long tomorrow at Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor):

That’s The Apple War, who’ll be on hand as Skylark celebrates its third birthday tomorrow night, and in case you missed it the first time, here’s the heart of the party announcement from proprietor Jessie SK:

On June 5, the party commences at 8 pm with throat-singing, tabla-playing DJ Baba James, continues with the downtempo Deepsleep Narcotics Company, kicks it up a notch with westside country-punk heroes The Stevedore, and culminates with indie rock awesomeness The Apple War. The traditional third wedding anniversary gift is “leather,” but we don’t recommend wearing it to this show. You’ll overheat.

Jessie notes on Facebook that the A/C is back in business at Skylark and she has a few dinner suggestions – like barbecue ribs and grilled veggies – Skylark is on the north end of Delridge, south of The Bridge (click and pan this Google Street View to see exactly where):

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Neighborhood House High Point project hits $ goal

June 4, 2009 4:38 pm
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 |   Announcements

Just in (this is the project we toured recently):

Contributions of $250,000 from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and
$150,000 from Safeco capped a two-year $13 million campaign by Neighborhood
House to build a LEED Gold-certified neighborhood center in West Seattle’s
High Point community. The closing major gifts that brought the campaign to
its goal were announced today at a fundraising event for the nonprofit

The High Point Neighborhood Center will be an environmental learning center
in addition to housing social services and programs for low-income
individuals and families. Among its green features are 256 solar panels that
will cover 6,000 square feet of the building’s roof – the largest array of
solar panels in the state. The solar panels will light up Head Start and
English-language classrooms, heat a Family and Teen Center, fuel a community
kitchen, and save thousands of dollars a year – freeing up critical funds
that will go to services and programs instead of electrical bills.

“The biggest solar array in the state is not on a rich person’s house, but
on a community center for the people – everyday people,” Van Jones, White
House Council on Environmental Quality, told Neighborhood House supporters
last year. “This is an extraordinary, bold, breakout move that changes the
agenda for the country.”

The campaign’s final fundraising push will seek to raise an additional
$100,000 to purchase a second solar panel array that will then be expected
to power 100 percent of the building’s energy needs, making it one of the
very few energy-neutral structures in the state.

Neighborhood House officially kicks off the final solar panel fundraising
effort on the longest day of the year – the summer solstice on June 21.

West Seattle traffic alert: Gas-line work starts in Morgan Junction

If you happened onto the new street closure along Morgan just east of California, alongside West Seattle Thriftway (where the north driveway is blocked off too, as shown in photo below), you might have assumed it’s part of the Fauntleroy Way repaving project – but it’s not. This is actually gas-line replacement work ordered by Puget Sound Energy, same type of project that tore up roads for a while in Westwood, but not nearly as extensive – they’ve timed it to coincide with the paving work, though, so the roads won’t have to be repaved twice. They’re replacing four-inch-wide “bare steel” gas line with eight-inch-wide PVC piping along about 600 feet of SW Morgan, mostly between California and 42nd. No estimate yet of how long this will last – but the road-paving work continues to stretch southward anyway, so just expect it’s going to be slow going in this stretch for a while, and know that your main entrance point to Thriftway is its west entrance (you can get to its east entrance from the south, but not from the north).

Help clean up Alki Beach this Saturday – prizes!

Another big weekend ahead – and even before we get to the West Seattle Weekend Lineup tomorrow morning, we want to hit some of the highlights. Here’s one: Want to help clean up West Seattle’s most famous beach? The Alki Volleyball Association‘s inviting everyone – players or not – to join in a big cleanup (AVA photo above is from last year) this Saturday. It’s one of two volunteer beach cleanups the AVA sponsors every year, and Phillip from AVA says: “There will be refreshments and prizes! Free T-Shirts to volunteers. Look for the white tent and AVA blue AVA banner close to the Bathhouse side of the beach on Saturday morning between 9 am and 1 pm.”

What ever happened to … The Porsche-off-Alki case

That’s one of our video clips from early Tuesday 5/26, as a tow truck pulled a wrecked Porsche up over the Alki Avenue seawall (WSB full coverage here). Its 54-year-old driver survived the plunge, reportedly without serious injury. Angela just e-mailed to ask if he was ever cited, so we checked with Seattle Police; Officer Renee Witt tells us that’s still an open case, awaiting results of “toxicology tests,” since police had said intoxication was suspected as well as speed.

Got a middle-schooler? Get a college scholarship!

We’ve reported before on the College-Bound scholarship program – pitched in a huge event at Denny Middle School at the start of this school year — now Richard Brown at Technology Access Foundation e-mailed to suggest we share information on a citywide event this Saturday where families can go to get information and sign up:

The Seattle Public Schools, College Success Foundation, Seattle University, and Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) will host “Seattle is College Bound”, a free event for eligible Seattle Public Schools 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students to sign up for the College Bound Scholarship, this Sat., June 6 from 9:00 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Seattle University’s Campion Ballroom, 901 12th Avenue [map]. For more information go to the following links:

Also in court next week: Satterlee House front-lawn fight


The Cooper School closure challenge isn’t the only big West Seattle case that’ll be argued in court next week. Wednesday is the date that lawyers for the city and for homeowner William Conner will be in the Court of Appeals to make oral arguments in Conner’s appeal of a city ruling against his proposal to build three homes on the front lawn of Beach Drive’s city-landmark Satterlee House:


We have covered the case extensively here, including the Hearing Examiner proceedings that upheld the Landmarks Board‘s rule (here’s our coverage of that decision in April 2008; then the Superior Court arguments last October, and the ruling later that month which Conner is challenging in the Court of Appeals. The city contends that the landmark status of the property — which gives the Landmarks Board the right to approve or deny development proposals, remodeling proposals, and more — includes the front lawn, and Conner’s arguments say it doesn’t, among many other points. The city’s case does not say Conner can’t build anything on the lawn, however, but that this particular proposal would be detrimental to the landmark. The case is getting national attention – the National Trust for Historic Preservation has filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the city; read about it here. (Side note, since some have asked in previous coverage: Satterlee House owner William Conner founded Conner Homes, which is developing property at California/Alaska/42nd in The Junction, but it is now run by his son Charlie Conner.)

West Seattle Summer Fest: Art and music updates

June 4, 2009 11:34 am
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 |   West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news

Feels like July already, so it’s the perfect time for some West Seattle Summer Fest updates, since the three-day festival in The Junction is just five weeks away. We’re expecting even more updates later today but for starters, we actually got these last night, and wanted to share them now: First, that tent in the photo above is the Art Dive, which debuted at last year’s Summer Fest. The team at Twilight Art Collective is putting out the word now to get artists signed up:


Come ART DIVE @ Summer Fest July 10th, 11th and 12th!!

If you are a local artist interested in selling your goods at this year’s Summer Fest, ART DIVE is for you. Art Dive was hatched last year as a way of making participation in the festival affordable for YOU! For $125 you will be allotted an 8 x 2 foot table under one of the large tents that house Art Dive for the duration of our awesome 3-day community festival. You take home all proceeds! Twilight Artist Collective facilitates this portion of the festival but we do not curate it, what this means is EVERYONE making goods in the USA is welcome to be part of Art Dive, SO spread the word and get your spot in the tent!


This morning’s other Summer Fest note: You got first word here last month about the impressive list of music acts that are signed up to perform, topped by legendary grungesters Mudhoney. But at the time, most of the dates/times for the performances hadn’t been firmed up. Now they have, according to this page on the Summer Fest site.

Followup: School district response to Cooper legal challenge

As reported here earlier this week, there’s a key hearing next week in the legal challenge to the impending closure of Cooper Elementary School in Pigeon Point: The closure opponents have made a motion for “summary judgment” (read it here) and this week, Seattle Public Schools filed its document opposing the motion. The district provided us with a copy; you can read the entire 27-page document here. One of the main points of contention in the legal challenge is that there was not a formal “closure hearing” at and for Cooper, because the district considered it a “program” instead of a school; the district’s rebuttal to that includes:

Appellants claim that not treating a programmatic change as a school closure resulted in impacted persons not getting notice or the opportunity to be heard. What Appellants fail to acknowledge to the Court is that they all actually provided testimony at public hearings and School Board meetings related to the decisions they are challenging.

Appellants had not only ample notice and opportunity to be heard, they were actually heard. However, the elected School Board, after consideration of thousands of pages of documents and the input of hundred of citizens, made a choice that the Appellants dislike. That is not the proper basis for a legal challenge, particularly when considering the substantial deference that must be afforded to the School Board in making administrative and policy decisions.

…With respect to the recommendation to close the Genesee Hill building for instructional purposes, a site-specific hearing was held at the Genesee Hill building on December 16, 2008. … Numerous speakers at this hearing identified themselves as being affiliated with Cooper. … In fact, all three of the Appellants in this case, Shelly Williams, Charity Dumas, and Joy Anderson actually provided testimony at the December 16, 2008 hearing.

Their challenge also takes on board votes to change policies enabling both the relatively rapid adoption of the school-closure proposal last January and enabling Cooper to be considered for closure; the district’s document contends “legislative bodies like the School Board are always free to amend their own polic(i)es and procedures …” The hearing is scheduled for 10:30 am Friday, June 12, before Judge Greg Canova in King County Superior Court. Meantime, Cooper is having a “closing celebration” at the school at 2 pm this Sunday.

Give West Seattle “unsung heroes” a moment in the spotlight!

June 4, 2009 9:00 am
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 |   Delridge District Council | How to help | Southwest District Council

trophy.jpgAlong with members of the Southwest District Council and Delridge District Council, WSB is proud to announce this morning a new way to recognize people who make a difference in West Seattle. If you know someone who is one of those “unsung heroes,” who live, work or serve in our community, we want to hear about them. We’ve set up a simple application form online. You have till June 17th to nominate someone; then, after review by a citizen panel, the top three people will be selected in late June and they will be recognized at the July 14th West Seattle Hi-Yu Concert in the Park event. So take a minute and nominate someone – or more than one – by going here! Thanks!

West Seattle Weather Watch: “Heat advisory” still in effect

Previewing today’s forecast gives us an excuse to use these two spectacular Wednesday night sunset photos – first one shared by David Hutchinson, next one by Dan E:

Now, as for that forecast: Wednesday’s official high was 88; today’s forecast predicts “highs around 90.” The official “heat advisory” remains in effect till 6 pm.

Southwest District Council: 2 drafts; library shutdown; more

June 4, 2009 4:19 am
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 |   Southwest District Council | Transportation | West Seattle news

From Wednesday night’s Southwest District Council (WSB sponsor) meeting: 2 drafts, both with time running out for you to review them and have a say. First one is the city’s draft Pedestrian Master Planwhich you can see here – comment time running till June 15. SDOT‘s Barbara Gray was at the meeting to review its highlights and answer questions. One thing she was asked: Do too many advertising A-boards on sidewalks get in the way of pedestrians? Gray said the city used to have a staffer who worked on those types of enforcement issues, but the position was cut, so now neighborhood business groups need to work internally to handle any such issues. Next draft that comments are being taken on is a little wonkier – read on: Read More

North Delridge Neighborhood Council: All work and all play

By Kathy Mulady
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Park and playground updates filled most of the agenda at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting Wednesday night.

As we’ve been reporting, the anxiously awaited Delridge Skatepark is moving forward with a total of $750,000 virtually secured, and plans in the works for a 12,000-square- foot skate bowl with trimmings.

Some had hoped for a slightly larger skateboard park, maybe a little closer to 15,000 square feet, but there are also many advantages to the more compact counterpart:

Read More