West Seattle, Washington
One year ago – on June 11, 2008 – local preschool operator Manuela Slye stood before the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s monthly meeting and talked about a “dream” of a playground at little California Place Park, adjacent to Admiral Church. In that park today, she cuddled her six-week-old son while talking with us during the celebration organized by the group she co-founded, Friends and Neighbors of North Admiral, marking the end of the design process for which they procured a $15,000 city Neighborhood Matching Fund grant.
Moments before we spoke with Slye, we talked with FANNA’s Ann Limbaugh, after she announced to celebration attendees that there’s only one certain change in the park’s near future: An official sign, marking it as a park. “That’s something we wanted all along,” Slye told us, “something to let people know this is a park.” According to Limbaugh, the group then hopes to secure volunteer time and donations — “less than $2,000” — for one element of this design crafted by landscape architect Karen Kiest as her contract, funded by the city grant, ended:
Limbaugh says the design element that FANNA hopes to pursue involves “buffer plantings” in the parking strips along the sidewalk that borders the park’s east and north sides; the lack of a buffer between the park space and busy California Avenue SW was one concern that repeatedly surfaced during months of meetings about the park. But they’re not needed, according to the “No Change to Park” group:
Standing next to the easels displaying the park design proposals at the celebration, holding her often-seen “No Change to Park” sign, Jan Bailey told us she is opposed to those plantings because of the potential expense. She and ally Dennis Ross, a longtime community activist in the Admiral area — also displaying a “No Change to Park” sign — continue to advocate for the park to remain unchanged. As for whether FANNA might pursue any more components of Kiest’s design – which would require a new round of fundraising and grant-seeking – Limbaugh said they want to “take a break” so nothing is planned. No Parks Department rep was in sight at today’s event (not that one was expected, as it was a community gathering and not an official meeting), so we will be checking with them on Monday regarding their official view of the park’s status, and the timetable for the sign installation.
To catch up on the backstory regarding this park, you can read newest-to-oldest in our California Place Park coverage archive here.
After our update Thursday on the stalled Whole Foods project, we got a note asking what’s new with The Junction area’s other new grocery store – the one where construction is almost done, the QFC at Capco Plaza along Alaska between 41st and 42nd. Just talked with Kristin Maas at QFC HQ, and she tells us that while there’s no exact grand-opening date set yet, it’s looking like “early fall” – which she describes as “ahead of schedule,” because they’d previously expected to open in “late fall.” This will be the second QFC in a mixed-use (commercial and residential) development, she notes, after the Uptown store at 5th/Mercer, which opened two-plus years ago; she says, “We’ve been learning ever since” and that the special features of the West Seattle store will include hot “bistro”-style food for takeout (though there will be some limited seating) – and pizza ovens. The other major retail tenant announced for the building was Office Depot; we’ll check with them next week. Meantime, we just noticed the website for the residential section of the building, Altamira Luxury Apartments, has been upgraded – the building features it lists include a “chic Internet cafe.” When they open later this year, it’ll be the second new set of apartments to open in The Junction this year – after Mural Apartments (WSB sponsor), now renting barely two blocks away.
That’s the site of the new Genesee P-Patch late this afternoon – just a few hours after the big city-supported Clean and Green work party (first report here) that mixed mountains of Cedar Grove-donated compost into the soil:
Among the dozens of volunteers was John Legge, among those who received certificates today in honor of the plots they’ve been awarded in the new community garden:
(If you noticed some lighter spots in the compost pile in that photo – that’s actually where steam rose as the volunteers dug in — pungent steam, at that.) Among the others – Rahn Lee and her 9-year-old daughter Mei Lee Vandervelde, who are with a Girl Scout troop that meets in South Delridge:
The new P-Patch is on a spot of land along Genesee just east of West Seattle Christian Church, which donated the site (and has also been donating food grown on another patch of church land). In this video clip, you’ll hear WSCC’s Pastor Dan Jacobs talking about how the gardening sideline came to be:
As we mentioned in our first report, Mayor Nickels and wife Sharon Nickels volunteered today too. In his kickoff speech, the mayor mentioned this was the city’s 99th Clean and Green event:
And a shoutout to the organizational efforts of two more people who helped make today happen — Stan Lock, one of the city’s two Neighborhood Service Coordinators on our peninsula – he works out of the office in The Junction, next to Rocksport:
Plus, Erica Karlovits, president of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, which held its quarterly Adopt-a-Street cleanup in connection with today’s Clean and Green:
And these events do require planning down to the last detail, like treat procurement – Erica told us these cupcakes, with icing-drawn carrots and radishes, were donated by Coffee to a Tea with Sugar in The Junction:
Side note: In our first story on today’s event, we mentioned the three other West Seattle sites proposed for funding under the Parks and Green Spaces Levy. One is the “southern triangle” near California Place Park, the subject of a story you’ll see later tonight (because of the celebration in the park today); the other is in High Point; and we just noticed this brand-new sign up at the third, in Westwood (34th and Barton):
The sign makes it clear that the proposed disposition of that site (which we originally wrote about here) is as a “community garden,” and says you’ve got till July 20 to send comments to the city (same person that’s listed here).
First, the NOT HAPPENING NOW – this was tentatively scheduled as the first day for Lincoln Park‘s wading pool to be open, but since it’s not warm, sunny weather, that’ll have to wait at least another day. (We went down to check in person just to be sure, as we’ve seen the occasional digression from the “warm, sunny” requirement/s.) Remember – the wading-pool schedule citywide is different this year because of mandatory safety improvements (our coverage, with dates, is here). Now, as for what IS happening now —
That’s Full Tilt Ice Cream proprietor Justin Cline, photographed emerging from the prep room in the back, where he had been working on mint-chocolate-chip peletas. Full Tilt (9629 16th SW, White Center) opened at noon today and will be open late tonight because two bands are playing; the shop’s celebrating its first birthday by donating a cone or pint to the White Center Food Bank for every cone or print purchased today. (Another good reason to go to White Center tonight – the monthly White Center for the Arts open house, starting at 5 pm, enter from the 16th SW entrance to the old skate rink, a few doors south of Full Tilt.)
After the speeches and before the digging, there was of course a group photo op for everybody who showed up at the start of this morning’s city-sponsored Clean and Green event at the new Genesee P-Patch on a Junction site donated by West Seattle Christian Church. Right after the photo op, it was time to start digging into a mountain of donated Cedar Grove compost — which is made from the yard waste you put out every week – Mayor Nickels (who volunteered today along with wife Sharon Nickels) talked shovel-turning strategy with Aaron Hernandez, the almost-unsung hero who hatched the idea for the P-Patch:
Lots more coverage to add later – including the awarding of certificates to the 10 applicants (many of whom had been on a long waiting list) who are receiving P-Patch plots. If you’re still on the waiting list, no worries – as we’ve reported previously, at least three other West Seattle P-Patches are in the works, thanks to funding from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy passed by voters last year – including the 34th/Barton site east of the Exxon/Propel station. And if you see this story before 1 pm, you can still go grab a shovel and get involved, or join up with the folks you may see picking up trash along 40th, 41st and 42nd between Dakota and Hudson, as part of the Junction Neighborhood Organization Adopt-A-Street cleanup being held concurrently with today’s Clean and Green.
On the surface, it’s just a little sign outside a not-too-big church here in our unassuming corner of the city. But take a bigger look, through the prism of the world’s woes: It’s a Christian congregation and a Jewish congregation, finally declaring to the world that they share a building, and not in an “uneasy truce” sort of way. Listen through this video to the end of the Bible passage that Kol HaNeshamah president Eric Orlin read at last night’s dedication ceremony:
Also speaking at the ceremony, Alki UCC Board chair Gail Christianer (with the church’s Rev. Diane Darling at her left):
As we showed you last month, Alki UCC is celebrating its centennial this year; Kol HaNeshamah, as you heard Eric Orlin say in the first clip, is six years old. The synagogue’s sign was designed by artist Michael Dupille, who is a member of KHN.
(Thriftway electronic sign during the barbecue)
Just got word from the folks at Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) that all proceeds from the West Seattle Thriftway barbecues today and next Saturday (11 am-4 pm right out front of the store) will benefit Pencil Me In For Kids. As Heather from Illusions explains, “This organization (PMIFK) began in 1995 and they raise $$$ to purchase school supplies for kids in need at local grade schools (West Seattle to South Park).”
CLEAN AND GREEN: This morning at 9 am, 42nd/Genesee (map) is the epicenter of Seattle’s community-cleanup movement – as the newly funded Genesee P-Patch hosts a city-supported Clean and Green event. It’ll coincide with the Junction Neighborhood Organization Adopt-a-Street cleanup, including the Junction Plaza Park site (getting ever-closer to full construction funding). A mayoral appearance is scheduled to kick it all off.
PARK PARTY: After you’ve recovered from helping clean up The Junction, head north to California Place Park to celebrate all the work that’s gone into the process of designing potential park improvements. 3:30 pm, entertainment, treats and good company – and a chance to see what landscape designer Karen Kiest came up with in her final report to Friends and Neighbors of North Admiral.
ICE-CREAM DONATIONS: Go wish Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center a happy 1st birthday today, and your purchase will be a triple gift – a treat for you, more support for this vibrant small business, and a matching ice cream donation to the White Center Food Bank.
Lots more fun in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup!
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