day : 09/07/2009 16 results

West Seattle door-to-door alert: “Refused to provide ID”

Out of the WSB inbox from someone who lives in the 5900 block of 38th SW (map):

A tall, young, dark haired Caucasian guy appeared at my front door this afternoon (Thursday) at 4:30 and said he represented “GE” but his uniform polo shirt said a different company name (“Pivotal” or “Pinnacle”?). He asked if I was the homeowner, which immediately irked me, and then asked if I attended the “community meeting at the school” about security in the neighborhood, etc. etc. He wanted us to post a sign in our yard advertising his security services; I never saw any signs though he did carry an official looking folio which he never opened. He refused to provide a business card or identification which made me suspicious.

City law requires ID and licenses for door-to-door solicitors – here are the rules (find them any time in the resource section at the bottom of the Crime Watch page).

West Seattle traffic alert: Road hazard near The Junction

From a cameraphone, but it still clearly told the tale of a dangerous spot in The Junction – which may see extra traffic during West Seattle Summer Fest this weekend – the photo came from Jim Edwards, as did this report:

You know the sign that says “motorcycles use extreme caution” — you better heed it here. Just north of Alaska on 42nd Ave SW. Part of the Capco site work. It is wide enough to catch a scooter or motorcycle tire. A bicycle will flip for sure. SPD non-emergency notified about quarter past nine. This is the detour route for the weekend too.

As mentioned here in a related context recently, if there is a major road hazard, the city also advises alerting 206-386-1218. UPDATE: Jim just called and was told the plate’s “already been reset.” Still – be careful in this spot.

New possibility for Admiral Safeway project: Flexible workspace

Is West Seattle ready for “flexible workspaces”? That’s what James Tjoa is trying to figure out, and he would love to know what you think. He is working on the residential side of the project that Admiral Safeway has proposed for redeveloping its site, and exploring an idea that came up in response to concerns voiced at previous Design Review Board meetings: Adding to the “density” of the residential section along 42nd (top-center of that rendering from last fall, which we use just as a reference) by turning part of that section of the building into workspace. The space in question involves about 18,000 square feet around what will be Safeway’s loading dock – Tjoa says they realized that having living units atop and alongside the loading dock wouldn’t be optimal anyway, with noise and other concerns. They took a look around West Seattle, and while there’s ActivSpace on Harbor Ave, there’s no flexible workspace of note in the business-district centers. The “flexible space” concept is very much in the roughing-out process, he explains — some of it might be small spaces for just one person (150 square feet?), some bigger (up to 700?). And he says they’re open to hearing thoughts on the concept of “shared space” too – one of those places where you pay a fee to have the right to use a desk on a drop-in basis. In addition to the density concern, Tjoa says this concept could solve another of the criticisms brought up during previous Design Review meetings – there was a “green wall” there by the loading dock, and now he says the workspace could come all the way down to the sidewalk and “activate” the area facing 42nd as a result. According to Tjoa, some additional parking would be added beyond what was previously envisioned – some underground parking on that side of the building, in addition to what’s proposed for the Safeway roof. As they continue roughing out this concept, they’re also wondering what people might want – a conference room? bike storage? or? If you’ve got some thoughts about what this kind of space would need, he would love to hear from you at or 206-726-6230 … or leave a comment on this story. As for the entire project’s official status – it’s been through two Design Review meetings (most recently in November), and the next one is not yet scheduled.

Happening now: West Seattle Art Walk, Summer Fest eve edition

July 9, 2009 6:01 pm
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news

Here’s the map – more than 50 venues (highlights here), one likely near you. Art everywhere, treats many places, music in some spots. Till 9 pm – have fun!

Admiral Neighborhood Assoc. concert series: Help needed tonight

July 9, 2009 5:03 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | West Seattle news

No, the concerts aren’t starting yet, but the promotion is: The Admiral Neighborhood Association invites anybody who can spare some time tonight to meet up at 6 pm at the Admiral Theater to fan out and put up posters for the concert series (which WSB is co-sponsoring) – first concert is two weeks from tonight, July 23rd! (Here’s the full lineup.) You can check out Art Walk stops along the way, too (map and more here).

West Seattle Summer Fest tomorrow! More previews, more parking

10 am tomorrow, West Seattle Summer Fest kicks off, with three days of celebration in the heart of The Junction. Just in — Steve Huling is opening up his site along Fauntleroy, south of the Shell station, for extra Summer Fest parking. Meantime: The beer gardens are in the works, including the one by Junction Plaza Park that’ll raise money to finish its construction (photo above). And tonight at 6, the street closures kick in, which means a fun time to walk in the middle of the street – during the monthly West Seattle Art Walk (6-9 pm) and afterward – but also means detours (and Jonathan French tells us parking-enforcement officers are on the prowl already). A few more notes: When you stop by to say hi at WSB Summer Fest HQ at the northwest corner (facing Easy Street) of the big tent in the center of California/Alaska, take a minute to fill out a survey (just one page, on a laptop!) about your Summer Fest experience, and that’ll get you entered in a drawing for a $100 Junction shopping spree. … See the T-shirt at right? You’ll be able to buy it from the Delridge Playground project volunteers at Summer Fest, $15. They’ll be in the “community tent” near Super Supplements, raising money to feed volunteers during the big playground-building day July 17 (a week from tomorrow!), also raising money by selling $1 lemonade and $2 raffle tickets (prizes including a sunset sail cruise and a walk-on role for a child in the national show “BizKid$”). You can stop by and see the playground design, too … Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) will be down from the Admiral District to have a Summer Fest presence. From the Click! website: “You can come to the Click! booth and get 20% off Smersh Design Jewelry and Orla Kiely Handbags, and take home a coupon for 15% off your next purchase at Click! Design That Fits.” … Junction retailer Capers sent word of Summer Fest deals too: Owner Lisa says, “Capers encourages everyone to ‘represent’ the neighborhood with their new shipment of West Seattle hats and t-shirts. They are featuring outdoor furniture at 50% off list, selected pillows $9.99, and ‘Mary’s Deals’ all weekend. Hope to see y’all at the Festival.” Hmm, there’s two T-shirt mentions so far. Ready for a third? We may have a T-shirt announcement of our own tomorrow. Stand by. Meantime, if you’re at Summer Fest late Saturday, hang around to check out the Home Alive! benefit at Rocksport (more details on Facebook). Keep sending the Summer Fest scoop – we’ll write more tonight and we will start previewing when the sun rises tomorrow, as well as packing up to be based on site from the moment it opens at 10 am Friday. Official Summer Fest website – with vendors, music, entertainers, maps, more — is here. P.S. Just as we were finishing this, we got a note about these folks:

Jessica sent the note, saying:

I wanted to send you a quick heads up about a unique West Seattle group that will be performing at Summerfest tomorrow on the California Stage at 3 pm. They’re called Pillow Army, and they are an avant chamber-pop group that includes cello, violin, and flute. They have unusual, complicated musical parts that would be of interest to anyone curious about the merger of classical and pop sensibilities. They also have somewhat daring and unconventional lyrical content, such as the song “Chicken Wants Her Beak Back”‘ which is a fun, upbeat song with a sneaky message decrying factory farming. They also do a mean cover of the Walrus, by the Beatles (which has beautiful string parts).

“Chicken Wants Her Beak Back” is the song in the video. Pillow Army’s MySpace site is here. Live music starts 2 pm tomorrow – all listed here (including Mudhoney headlining tomorrow night at 8:10!).

Swee Swee Paperie says its Junction store is “going on vacation”

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Just in via the Swee Swee Paperie e-mail list — its Junction store is closing:

Summer is the season filled with fantastic days of sun and fun to glorious nights of long dusks, watching the sun slowing go down only to begin again in just a few short hours…

Well that got us thinking.. we are a little tired and we could use a little relaxation too, so with a little saddness in our hearts, we wanted to let you know that swee swee paperie and studio is going to take a little vacation at the end of July. We are going to use this time to relax, rethink and re-evaluate. It has been the most amazing three years, and we wanted to thank you for all of your support and appreciation of fine paper good and wrapping.

Now, do not think we are leaving you high and dry for those necessary paper fixes…we are revamping our online store and will be offering a wonder selection of goodies there. Look for our e-store reopening in September. The corporate gifting and wrapping is still going strong. And any custom work that we can help out on will be available as well.

The e-mail penned by owner Ann Conway says a big sale starts tomorrow, including “the antiques and fixtures that have adorned our store.”

King County hiring freeze proposed

July 9, 2009 12:24 pm
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 |   Announcements

From King County Council Chair Dow Constantine‘s office:

Metropolitan King County Council Chair Dow Constantine today called for a County hiring freeze through the end of 2009, a step that could save an estimated $15 million, including approximately $1 million in general fund spending.

“We must cut spending immediately to offset costs for essential ‘lifeboat’ programs that were only granted partial-year funding in this year’s budget,” said Constantine. “Leaving positions vacant will provide funds to be used in next year’s budget, which has already been projected to have a shortfall of almost $50 million.”

Due to the public safety and public health nature of their positions, the proposed freeze would not affect the hiring of personnel in four key areas:

· The King County Sheriff’s Office,
· Corrections officers in county correctional facilities,
· Health care providers in county correctional facilities and county health centers,
· The King County Superior Court, King County District Court, or King County Prosecutor’s Office.

Although exempt from the proposed hiring freeze, the legislation encourages the responsible department heads or separately elected officials operating these agencies to consider suspending the hiring process for administrative positions not directly associated with the provision of public safety or public health services.

A provision is also included to allow hires by the County Executive in cases where the department can show that keeping a position vacant would actually increase costs to the county.

“The Council voted last December to ratify the Executive’s declaration of a budget emergency,” said Constantine. “With tax collections in decline and economic indicators showing more hard times ahead, we need to take immediate, decisive action to protect public services.”

West Seattle Eagles’ Make-A-Wish golf tournament

July 9, 2009 12:20 pm
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 |   Announcements

Just received this announcement:

West Seattle Eagles lodge is sponsoring the 13th annual Make-A-Wish golf tournament:

August 29, 2009
(In memory of Craig Wilkerson)
This year’s event will be held at Jefferson Golf Course, at 4101 Beacon Ave. S.

Those of you who would like to help, may sponsor a golf hole, play golf, or donate prizes for raffles.

For more information, contact Mary Lou Wilkerson at West Seattle Eagles -206-938-4426

Update: Eastside woes aside, Conner says Junction “makes sense”

ORIGINAL 12:04 PM REPORT: If you saw this report in today’s Seattle Times regarding an Eastside foreclosure on property owned by Conner Homes, the developer for the California/Alaska/42nd parcels in The Junction, you may have wondered about the status of Conner’s West Seattle plans. We have phone and e-mail messages out to company owner Charlie Conner requesting comment. We also are checking online land/court records and so far have not found anything unusual. The most recent official activity regarding the 2-building proposal was its final Southwest Design Review Board meeting April 23 (WSB coverage here). Note that the official owner of the Junction property is 4700 California LLC (for which Charlie Conner is the contact listed in state records), which bought it in 2000; county property records say $1.4 million was the price for the western parcel, $2.1 million for the eastern parcel.

1:30 PM UPDATE: Charlie Conner just called us back. Regarding West Seattle (where the photo shows him at a 2008 meeting for this project), he says, “Different project, different company. West Seattle very much still makes economic sense.” Why? conner.jpg“Anything that’s worth more than what you paid for it!” (Note the links above regarding these parcels having been purchased in 2000.) “The other (Eastside) projects don’t make economic sense,” though he is hopeful of getting one of them back. Conner added, “What I can tell you is, everybody that works for me is paid in full. Only people that I owe money to are the banks and a contractor i’m paying on a monthly basis … we delivered all the homes to the customers that had presales …I take my commitments pretty seriously.” So what’s the status of the Junction project? “The drawings will be resubmitted to the city.” And he says he’s hoping to meet “in the next couple of weeks” with “a few folks in The Junction” whom he says are still not happy “with the process … (I want) to talk to them about that and see what else we might do to make sure everybody likes what we’re doing, and then we’ll be moving forward with (Master Use Permit) approval and the alley vacation … so we’ll be ready to start next year.” We asked about financing? He says they “haven’t even looked” for it yet because of the market conditions. We also asked him about rumors that the site is or will be for sale. “Everything’s always for sale,” he said wryly. “Are there buyers out there who’d want to pay me what it’s worth? Probably not.” However, he reiterated, it is not currently listed for sale and they currently are “NOT marketing the property.” The city’s official project page for the current proposal is here.

Fauntleroy Way road-rebuilding update: Revving up again Monday

Manuel e-mailed earlier this week to ask if there was a reason major work on the Fauntleroy Way road-rebuilding project had slowed, leaving rough edges between lanes, among other difficult spots. We asked SDOT for the latest, and they’ve just issued a complete update, addressing those edges and also the California/Fauntleroy intersection’s status – read on:Read More

City Council to consider West Seattle Bridge name proposal

Almost half a year ago, we brought you first word (January report here) of a campaign to name the West Seattle Bridge in honor of the late former City Councilmember Jeanette Williams, whose efforts helped make it reality. williams1.jpgA version of this proposal is finally coming before the City Council next Monday (2 pm), according to the office of West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who worked for and with Ms. Williams for many years. Here’s the resolution he is sponsoring to give it the secondary name “Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge.” Rasmussen staffer Brian Hawksford tells WSB, “The resolution requests SDOT to install signage at all approaches to the bridge. It will be similar to the signage on SR-520 that honors former Governor Rosellini. The secondary naming will mean that no maps or freeway signage will need to be changed and the costs will be minimal. The official name of the bridge will remain the West Seattle Bridge. We expect that there will be a dedication in a few months after SDOT completes its work.” He says there’s no exact cost estimate yet, and also notes that there will be a proclamation next week noting the 25th anniversary next Tuesday of the dedication of The Bridge (July 14, 1984).

“Electronic reader board” proposed for Madison Middle School

From today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin – a public notice asking for people to be part of the “Madison Middle School Departure Advisory Committee.” Its purpose – to decide if land-use rules can be waived for this:

The Seattle School District is requesting a waiver (departure) to install an approximately 30 square foot electronic reader board sign on the east face of the gymnasium building wall at Madison Middle School, facing 45th Street, and approximately 12 feet 9 inches above the walkway. The purpose of the sign is to notify the school and neighboring community about school events and community items of interest.

For more details about who they’re hoping to have on the committee, and what its duties will be, here’s the full public notice. They want to receive letters from everyone interested by July 25. (The most recent school-related Departure Advisory Committee was set up to review components of the Denny-Sealth project.)

Tonight: West Seattle Art Walk — and Summer Fest eve

July 9, 2009 7:33 am
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news

The map for the monthly West Seattle Art Walk keeps getting bigger and bigger – now more than 50 venues are on the list – and tonight they’ll all open their doors to you, from Fauntleroy (where Endolyne Joe’s [WSB sponsor] has joined up) to California SW between Junctions (another WSB sponsor, Ventana Construction, joins the Art Walk starting tonight) to Alki (the Bathhouse) and beyond. 6-9 pm, here’s the map, and browse the WS Art Walk website to find out who’s showing what where. Many venues, as always, are in The Junction, where there’s something extra tonight: Streets close at 6 pm for West Seattle Summer Fest preps. And Elliott Bay sets up its outdoor “beer garden” early (as they reminded this morning via Twitter) – with family entertainment in the street, The Bubbleman expected around 7, like last year!

34th District Democrats’ endorsements, the shorter version

That’s one of the results getting all the citywide coverage in the wake of last night’s 5-hour 34th District Democrats endorsement meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy: While West Seattle-residing Mayor Greg Nickels got the most votes, it wasn’t the two-thirds needed for an endorsement, not even on the 2nd ballot when it was Nickels vs. Michael McGinn, who was in second place after the first ballot. So the group then voted for a “dual endorsement” (other option on Ballot 3 would have been “no endorsement”). Anyway, if you want a taste of the moment-by-moment drama, see our as-it-happened account from last night. Right here, it’s our wrapup with just the basics, plus a few more photos and video clips interspersed:

Dual endorsement: Greg Nickels, Michael McGinn (mayor photographed early in the meeting, back of the room)

Sole endorsement: Tom Carr (shown in this next clip after fellow West Seattleite, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, introduced him – our clips are lo-fi, shot on Flip)

No position

Dual endorsement: David Ginsberg, Richard Conlin – captured in the same frame during a lull in the action – after the photo, you’ll see how Ginsberg pitched for the vote:

Dual endorsement: Dorsol Plants, Sally Bagshaw

Dual endorsement: Nick Licata, Jessie Israel – got them both on video:

Dual endorsement: David Miller, Robert Rosencrantz (here’s Miller pre-vote)

NORTH HIGHLINE SOUTH ANNEXATION (an area including part of White Center voting whether to be annexed by Burien)

No endorsement

Rob Holland

Max Vekich

Official account online at Wondering why so many “dual endorsements”? A two-thirds majority was required for a sole endorsement, so most key races went to three ballots – first with all the candidates, then the top two, then “dual endorsement or no endorsement.” Made vote-counting intense for the groups working on the elevated stage – at tables or even on the floor:

Meantime, remember that this group made an earlier endorsement of King County Council Chair Dow Constantine for King County Executive – he was at last night’s meeting too, introduced with cheers and whoops:

Added later Thursday morning: As noted in our running coverage from last night, some additional endorsement proposals were brought before the group at the end of the meeting, though they weren’t on the original agenda. Results of those proposals: The 34th DDs support the “Decline to Sign” campaign (asking people not to sign petitions being circulated that would set up a public vote on the domestic-partnership-rights measure passed by the Legislature), and also endorsed state Court of Appeal Judge Anne Ellington.

What happens next: The primary election is August 18. It’s all-mail, however, and your ballot could arrive before July is over, since the county plans to start sending them on July 29.

Followup: Letter from Madison Middle School’s departing principal

July 9, 2009 2:33 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

As reported here Tuesday, Seattle Public Schools has announced that Madison Middle School‘s principal Dr. Jill Hudson is leaving to lead Nathan Hale High School (whose current principal becomes districtwide Executive Director of Special Education), and assistant principal Henterson Carlisle will move up, at least on an interim basis, to head up Madison. Thanks to Todd Crooks for forwarding the letter Dr. Hudson has sent to the school community, as well as the official district letter to families. Todd notes, “As a former PTSA President at Madison, I can speak for all when I say she will be truly missed.” Here’s the letter::

Dear Families,

“Success is a journey, not a destination.”
Ben Sweetland

And so I am moving along on my journey . Madison is a great school and will continue to be a great school. I have a new challenge in front of me, a high school. As most of you have heard by now, I am moving to Nathan Hale High School to be their principal. I am excited for this new learning experience. I am also sad to leave Madison after eight years as principal. I have grown so much during my tenure at Madison and will take many of the lessons I have learned from students, staff and families with me on this next adventure.

Madison is in a good place for an administration change because there are a lot of structures and systems already functioning well at this time. The school is filled with strong teachers and support staff as evidenced by our academic growth on the WASL. We have had significant gains in all areas and evidence of educational gap closing which has led to Madison earning the School of Distinction award from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state of Washington. Madison has an effective decision making process and uses budget dollars well to provide the best possible learning experience for students. Madison has recently increased family involvement and will need to continue those efforts to meet Madison’s motto, “Together We’re Better!” Madison has a well developed, inclusive learning environment where high expectations are the norm both academically and behaviorally. The ample after school and extended learning opportunities add depth and variety to this multileveled learning experience.

The administrative team is strong and Henterson Carlisle, current assistant principal, is ready to be principal. His charismatic leadership style motivates students to learn and do their best. He asks the tough questions and acts to make sure that all students’ interests are served. He will need your support during this transition. So please contact him often to encourage him with positive and constructive comments. Mr. Carlisle is a life-long learner and has been prepared for this transition. He is the right person to take Madison to the next level.

Thank you for your dedication to Madison and for always providing feedback to make Madison the great school that it is. I wish you and your families well and hope for a successful 2009-10 school year.

Take care,
Jill Hudson, Ed.D.

Click here to see the letter from the superintendent. (And thanks to David for also e-mailing to let us know the principal had sent a farewell letter.)