day : 22/06/2009 15 results

California Place Park update: Watch for a survey

June 22, 2009 11:56 pm
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 |   California Place Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Two days after that celebration in California Place Park (WSB coverage here), marking the end of the “design process” funded by a city Neighborhood Matching Fund grant, looking toward possible additions to the park, there’s a P.S. – Friends and Neighbors of North Admiral has an update to share, with two items that were included in our report on the weekend event, and one that is just now being announced:

At the celebration this weekend we announced a few things we are working on and also forgot to mention another. In the interest of keeping people updated and informed, here’s what’s brewing:

A Park Sign
— We are working with the Parks Department to ensure a sign is installed in the park so that all who pass by know it to be a PUBLIC park, open and accessible to all. It has been ordered, and is just a matter of time before we see it in California Place Park.

Buffer Plants – Based on input and community concerns, we are working to plant “buffer plants” in the right of way area along California Ave SW. This will create a natural border for the park and California Ave and help to enclose park users. This is an element of the design that Karen Kiest created. Her team will help us with placement and plant selection. All plants will be from the list of approved plants for right of way areas to make sure visibility is not impaired.

We need your help to make this happen – we’re looking for community volunteers to help install these plants and also donations to help purchase plants. If you’re interested in pledging time, money or seek more information please e-mail us at We’ll post more details on this as we have them!

Community Survey — Look for a survey from “Friends and Neighbors of North Admiral” in your mailbox in the next day or so. We are seeking feedback from the community on outdoor community spaces. This survey was sent to most residents North of Admiral Ave SW – about 1,900 households and businesses. Please take the time to answer these questions and return the survey in the enclosed envelope either by using a stamp or dropping it off at Barnecut’s Admiral Service Station (the Shell station on the corner of Admiral Way SW and 41st Ave SW.) We’ll post our analysis of the feedback as soon as possible.

The deadline for returning the survey is July 20th; the money comes from that same original $15,000 Department of Neighborhoods grant that funded the design work done to date.

Coast Guard suspends search for missing ferry passenger

June 22, 2009 11:28 pm
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 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway

We know some folks off Alki noticed the search aircraft and vessels – so we wanted to note that we just got word from the U.S. Coast Guard, they’ve suspended the search for someone who may have disappeared from a Seattle-Bainbridge state ferry. The search started after the ferry arrived at Colman Dock with one car left on board, unclaimed, registered to a woman from Sequim; that was just after 4 this afternoon, and the search – with multiple agencies involved – was suspended about an hour ago.

West Seattle beaches: Summer’s lowest tide, tomorrow

Thanks to those who shared photos from today’s low tide – and tomorrow will be even lower, the lowest of the summer, minus 3.9 just before noon. The starfish above and the tide explorers below are both courtesy of Amy; the crab is courtesy of Jim. All three photos were taken at Lincoln Park.

If you can make it out to the beach at midday tomorrow, you will find volunteer beach naturalists (here’s Seattle Aquarium info on the program) south of Alki Point and at Lincoln Park south of Colman Pool, from 10 am till 2 pm. P.S. Kevin points out that if you’re on a downtown-facing beach, there’s another sight to see: The cruise ship that’s in port at Pier 66 till Wednesday is The World, which isn’t just a vacation vessel – it actually sells “residences” on board.

Awards! West Seattle’s Ventana Construction, Weitzel Construction

Those are the “before” and “after” photos from an Eastside project that won a REX (Remodeling Excellence) Award – presented by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties – for West Seattle’s Weitzel Construction (WSB sponsor) this past weekend. As Dave Weitzel explains …

… there were 64 entrants in 19 categories from best Universal Design to Major Rebuild over $500,000. Our entry was in the Major Remodel $300,000 to $600,000 and won in its category against 6 other entrants. Also, all the people attending the event have the opportunity to view all the entrants before the program begins and vote for their favorite entrant, called the People’s Choice Award, and we also won in that category.

Weitzel Construction has won REX Awards before – see the list on their website. Also winning a REX Award — this time for Kitchen Remodeling — another West Seattle builder and WSB sponsor, Ventana Construction – here’s their winning project:

Anne Higuera from Ventana explains:

Each year, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties and its Remodelors Council honor the best in local remodeling with the REX awards. Projects are judged on aesthetics, special or unique design solutions, quality workmanship, use of appropriate building material, budgetary consideration, and challenges and obstacles. Ventana was honored in the REX category for kitchen remodeling in the $75,000-$125,000 range, a category with 6 entrants. The project was part of a larger remodel on a 1923 home in Fremont.

You can read more about Ventana’s winning project here. Meantime, the full list of awards isn’t on the builders’ group’s website yet, but we’ll add it here when it is.

Why Fire Station 37 construction hasn’t started yet: It’s rebidding

That was the scene six weeks ago at 35th/Holden (map) as Mayor Nickels, Fire Chief Gregory Dean, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, local firefighters and many others gathered May 12th to break ground for West Seattle’s new Fire Station 37. At the time, we were told that bids were being reviewed, and we even got a list of the top three bidders (see the 8 pm addition). However, work hasn’t started yet, and we just noticed that the project is being re-advertised (see the call for bids here). So we asked the Fire Department what happened. Christina Faine, communications officer for the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy program (passed by voters in 2003) that’s funding the project, explains:

The city discovered a material defect in our specifications and rejected all of the bids. There was a problem with the original specification that resulted in project construction risk. After careful discussions with other departments, we found the only way to avoid this risk was to rebid the project. It is not unusual to rebid a project. Construction is anticipated to begin in September 2009 and last a little over a year.

Here’s the new station’s design, from Miller Hayashi Architects:

Once the new Station 37 is built and occupied, the old one (35th/Othello) is to be sold – although, since it’s an official city landmark, there will be restrictions on what can be done with it. The re-advertisement for bids says the architects think the project will cost about $3.6 million; in the most recent financial report, the Station 37 budget is listed at $6.6 million. Faine says any savings will go to help revive fire-levy projects that have been delayed because of city budget woes.

Westwood Village Street Fair update: Another addition

The next festival in West Seattle is the Westwood Village Street Fair, coming up this Saturday. Here’s the latest official flyer; we also got word from Stuart Crandall in WV management about an addition to the lineup: “We just added CHIPS (Child Identification Program) to come in with 500 free child-identity kits, which will include video, audio, DNA, and dental records of your child just in case kidnapping or other such incident occurs.” The festival is scheduled to run 11 am-7 pm; as with this summer’s other big events in West Seattle, we’ll be reporting “live,” so hope to see you there!

Want to learn beach volleyball from the stars? Your Alki chance


(2008 photo by Brian Todd, Aus der Traum Photography)
Just in from Seattle Volleyball Association – a clinic this Saturday with your chance to “learn from the best”:

By popular demand, the best players in the Northwest will be taking a day off from playing a tournament and running a beach volleyball clinic to allow anyone a chance to learn from the best. All levels are welcome, whether you’re just starting to play or wanting to brush up your skills. The Northwest’s professional and semi-pro players will help players with passing, setting, hitting and serving, then have the nets open for all players to practice their skills against other players of their same skill level. The event goes 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with open net play for all participants who want to practice their skills with instructors from 2 to 4 p.m. The cost for each participant is $25 per person.

For full details of the event plus contact info, read on:Read More

1 more reminder about 2 major West Seattle meetings tonight

June 22, 2009 1:55 pm
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 |   Delridge | Highland Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Both previewed here in recent days: 6:30 pm @ Youngstown, the third/final Delridge Skatepark design meeting (WSB preview); 7 pm @ Highland Park Improvement Club, Highland Park Action Committee‘s Westcrest Park “mini-summit” (WSB preview), with guests including City Council president Richard Conlin. Be heard – be there!

Traffic alert: Fauntleroy/California paving plan change

The gas-line work that’s been under way at Fauntleroy/California/Morgan already had things a little dicey at that busy intersection, during the day. But now we have a heads-up from SDOT that the plan for the forthcoming repaving work in that area – part of the big Fauntleroy Way repaving/”rechannelizing” project – will also mean major restrictions on traffic flow. Here’s today’s update from SDOT’s Marybeth Turner:

The configuration required to pave the intersection of California Ave SW and Fauntleroy Way SW is now one lane in each direction – without dedicated left-turn lanes. The change is necessary to allow for the turning radii of larger vehicles. As noted in a June 16th announcement, the work is expected to take five days in each direction, starting with work on the north side. A uniformed police officer will be present during peak hours to assist in keeping traffic moving. Crews will work to complete this segment as quickly as possible.

We’ve got a few followup questions out, including when this is likely to start (if it’s not already overlapping with what’s been happening in that area), and will add the answers when we get them. ADDED 2:15 PM: Here are those answers, also from Marybeth Turner @ SDOT:

Work around the California Ave SW / Fauntleroy Way SW intersection begins today. SDOT’s contractor is trying to work quickly to minimize traffic disruption, and they are currently ahead of schedule.

The crews will head west working on the north side of the intersection, wrapping up by June 26, weather permitting. The concrete work on the south side begins July 6, expected to be completed by July 10.

A uniformed police officer will be on site during peak periods to offer assistance with temporary lane configuration changes and to keep traffic moving.

I believe a flyer was distributed in the area last week, but what has changed since then is that we are not able to provide a turn lane during this work.

ADDED MONDAY EVENING: A construction clip from this afternoon, as the old pavement got jackhammered:

Got a Seattle Public Schools question? Ask your school board rep

June 22, 2009 11:57 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Though school’s out for Seattle Public Schools, hot issues take no break – like the Student Assignment Plan (which passed one vote last week but still has many details to work out, such as boundaries for schools’ attendance zones). If you’ve got concerns, questions, ideas – West Seattle’s School Board rep Steve Sundquist is having another public coffee hour, 9 am this Wednesday, Uptown Espresso in The Junction. (Hours after that gathering, by the way, the full board has a “workshop” to discuss the assignment-plan boundary-drawing along with “capacity” issues – public’s invited to sit in, albeit without a comment period, 4-8 pm Wednesday at district HQ.)

Update: Crash slows traffic on Harbor Avenue

Thanks to Vlad for sending that pic a short time ago from the scene of a crash on Harbor Ave, right by the home of West Bay Espresso, Pinup Salon and a few other businesses (here’s a map). The fire call is closed and no medic unit was involved, which means no major injuries; we’ll be checking to see if traffic is back to normal. (By the way, we’ve just added a bit of new info to the end of last night’s story about the 49th/Admiral flipped-car crash.) 11:34 AM UPDATE: We’re at the crash scene and traffic is still slow going – down to one lane right now – so avoid the area for a while.

Attention, White Center and South Delridge youth – need a summer project?

June 22, 2009 11:15 am
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 |   Announcements

Seattle Neighborhood Group says the deadline’s been extended for youth-project proposals – July 11th – meeting this goal:

White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition’s Youth Project goals are to equip, mobilize and support youth in our community to be agents of change. The youth-led community projects must address the priorities from the March 14 BOOM! youth summit. Each youth project will be assigned to work with one Community Safety Coalition member or a responsible community member, in addition to the youth project coordinator.

Find out more by checking out the application – download it here.

Park operating hours, more on Park Board’s agenda this week

June 22, 2009 10:04 am
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 |   Announcements

A reminder from the Parks Department that its Board of Park Commissioners – chaired by Alki’s Jackie Ramels – meets this Thursday (June 25):

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners will hold its next regularly
scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25 in the Park Board Room at
the Parks Administration Building, 100 Dexter Ave. N (the corner of
Dexter and Denny).

The agenda includes:

· Park Operating Hours * Board discussion and recommendation.As
established by City Council ordinance, most Seattle parks are open from
4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; however, the Parks Superintendent has the
authority to make exceptions. Many exceptions have been made over the
years in response to problems in some parks that include noise,
graffiti, and alcohol and drug use. As a result, Parks has a variety of
park operating hours. The Board, which heard a briefing on the issue on
February 26, 2009 and held a public hearing on May 14, 2009, will
discuss and make a recommendation on how best to create consistency in
park operating hours and to address actual and perceived neighborhood
safety issues. A briefing paper on park operating hours is at

· Use of Synthetic Turf Policy * Board discussion and
recommendation.After a staff briefing on April 23, 2009, and a public
hearing on May 28, 2009, the Board will make a recommendation to the
Superintendent on a proposed policy on the safe use of synthetic turf at
Seattle Parks and Recreation ballfields. A briefing paper and the
proposed Use of Synthetic Turf Policy are available for review at

· Associated Recreation Council (ARC) * Update briefing.Bill
Keller, ARC*s Executive Director, will present to the Board a
semi-annual report on the relationship between Seattle Parks and ARC, a
nonprofit partner that since 1974 has provided programming in Parks
facilities and advice on programs, services, facilities, and operations.
For more information on ARC, please see

West Seattle sports: D-Rays in championship game tonight

From West Seattle Little League, John MacKenzie just e-mailed to share this news:

The D-Rays, winners of the West Seattle Little League Majors Division, advanced to the District 7 Championship Game with a 1-0 extra inning game against the Rainier Little League champions yesterday afternoon. The D-Rays beat the South Highline American Little League champs 10-0 on Friday night to get to the semi-final game against Rainier. The championship game will be held tonight at 6 PM at Normandy Park City Hall Fields, located at 801 SW 174th St., Normandy Park.

Here’s a map. Good luck, D-Rays!

Raise puppies to help people: West Seattle event on Tuesday

When you meet a blind person with a Guide Dog – there’s someone in the picture who you don’t see, even if you are fully sighted: The volunteer who trained that dog from puppyhood for its life of service and companionship. In West Seattle tomorrow afternoon, at Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor), you have the chance to meet some of those volunteers, and their puppies in training. Ruth Oldham sent the invitation to share with you, plus the photo at left, and full details – read on:Read More