day : 15/07/2009 11 results

Duwamish Tribe recognition bill: What happens next

As previewed here last night, Seattle Congressmember Jim McDermott‘s bill proposing federal recognition for the Duwamish Tribe had a hearing today in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. We watched much of the half-day hearing via live webcast and spoke later in the day with McDermott spokesperson Mike DeCesare. Our question for him, after the committee listened to testimony from supporters (including Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen, whose written testimony can be read here) and opponents — while also considering similar bids from other tribes including the Southwest Washington-based Chinook — was: Now what? DeCesare confirms that there’s no guarantee the committee will vote on the bill, but he emphasized – repeatedly – during our short phone conversation that it was a “huge” step simply for a hearing to be held; McDermott himself had said during the hearing that it was “a long time coming.” (The Duwamish were briefly recognized in the waning days of the Clinton Administration; then, as was recapped during today’s hearing, that was canceled early in the Bush Administration, with a procedural error cited – missing signatures on paperwork. The Duwamish are fighting that decision in court.) We haven’t yet found anyplace with a detailed report on today’s hearing, and the video is not yet archived on the committee website; here’s a list of the witnesses who were originally scheduled — we know from the portion we saw that there were others, such as one of McDermott’s fellow Washington Congressmembers, Jay Inslee, who provided one of two West Seattle references heard in the early going, when noting that his father had taught at Chief Sealth High School, named after the Duwamish’s legendary chief, chair Cecile Hansen’s great-great-grand-uncle and our city’s namesake. The other reference came from McDermott, who quoted a letter from Holy Family School students saying they were shocked to learn the Duwamish had to fight for recognition. A good portion of the hearing was spent discussing the federal requirements and procedures involved in gaining recognition, and a contention that the process was admittedly “broken” and would soon itself be the subject of legislation. Meantime, if you want to watch what happens to the Duwamish recognition bill, it is HR 2678.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Neighbors scare off would-be thief

Just in from Regina, who says this happened early Monday morning:

We live on Gatewood Hill – 38th off of Morgan [map]. Around 3:45 I awoke to the sound of people talking in what seemed to be my yard. I woke from a deep sleep and thought maybe it was a dream. Looking out the window I saw a white male about 6 ft tall, dressed in a black tank top and black pants, muscular, pacing up and down the street. We all know the neighbors and this agitated person didn’t belong. Then I heard shots.

Turned out the shots were him smashing the glass to pieces on a neighbor’s car with nothing in it. Other neighbors who had just returned from the airport yelled and gave pursuit of him and his getaway vehicle. The car with his friend fled one way, the dressed-in-black thug the other.

We believe he was trying to steal the car as it was the cheapest on the block, clearly had no alarms and there was nothing in it visible to be stolen. Police tried to find him, but the thug is gone. Watch out. This happened between 3:45 and 4:10 am on Monday.

“Toast to JB” tonight – and Seafair Commodores’ special tribute

July 15, 2009 10:22 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

In Seaview tonight, a special gathering brought together family and friends of JB Webster – the West Seattle real-estate agent, Seafair Commodore and community advocate whose death after a short illness shocked the community back in April. The gathering was “A Toast to JB,” a private fundraiser for the new plaque in his honor at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza. The photo above shows (from left) Mr. Webster’s widow Christi Webster with tonight’s event hosts, Rob and Patricia Shiras. With Mr. Webster’s fellow Seafair Commodores — who turned out in force for his memorial at Alki UCC — due in The Junction this Saturday for the West Seattle Grand Parade, we asked if they are doing something special in his memory; Christi Webster says they’re wearing a special black/white pin with the initials JB, and that Seafair has a new membership award in his memory, since he was a prolific recruiter of new members. ADDED: Thanks to Edna Bishop for forwarding this photo taken by Jason Mercio, who donated his services for the event:

From MoCA meeting: Fauntleroy Way road-rebuilding update

First of several updates from tonight’s Morgan Community Association meeting: The most intensive phase of the Fauntleroy/California section of the Fauntleroy Way road work is on track to be done by the end of this week as promised, according to an SDOT update read by MoCA president Deb Barker. The update provided to MoCA by project manager Jessica Murphy also mentions the crews are using a “special fast-setting mix” that is enabling the rebuilt road sections to be used within 24 hours. Right now, according to Murphy’s update, the north access to West Seattle Thriftway and surrounding areas should be open again by Saturday afternoon. One thing that’s still up in the air – exactly when repaving will start in that area – could be as soon as late July. As for the rest of the road-rebuilding project stretch, SDOT says crews will “work their way north from Morgan Junction” starting next week, working on the concrete panels in the northbound lanes – the east side — just uncovered by grinding, and then that long stretch up to Alaska will be reduced to one lane in each direction “for the duration of the project” (into fall). SDOT also acknowledges the bumpiness between the patching on the edge of the redone concrete panels and the yet-to-be-tackled center section, but says that will be eliminated when the center section of the roadway is completely rebuilt. More updates to come: The Viaduct, the Spokane Street Viaduct widening project, RapidRide and the Lowman Beach pump project – and that’s just what we’ve heard so far, with even more on the agenda!

Update: Traffic back to normal after California/Graham crash

No other details of the crash but you’ll want to avoid that area north of Morgan Junction for a while – already tends to be slow, especially southbound, heading into the construction zone. 6:56 PM UPDATE: The crash scene is clear now. Adding photo(s). We have no official information on this yet but several witness accounts say a car and bicycle collided. ADDED 7:35 PM: Here’s a photo that Chas Redmond shares, showing medics firefighters tending to the bicyclist:

Update: Kenney’s Seaview wins vote for landmark consideration

July 15, 2009 3:44 pm
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 |   The Kenney | West Seattle history | West Seattle news


ORIGINAL 3:44 PM REPORT: We’re back in the city Landmarks Preservation Board‘s hearing room on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown as The Kenney presents its landmark nomination for part of the property, including the iconic Seaview Building (2008 photo above). See the photo-laden nomination document here. This is part of the process for its redevelopment plan, which at one time included a proposal to demolish The Seaview; that proposal has been scrapped and the plan now calls for saving it. Those on hand for the hearing include The Kenney’s CEO Kevin McFeely and Ron Richardson from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. We will update this item when the board decides whether to accept the nomination for consideration, which would then lead to a later public hearing and vote; landmark status brings some financial incentives (such as tax breaks) but also means restrictions on what can be done to the landmark in the future. 5:08 PM UPDATE: The Landmarks Board has just voted unanimously to consider the Seaview Building for landmark status. A hearing, at which the final vote will likely be taken, is set for the board’s 3:30 pm meeting on August 19th. No one spoke today against the proposal; those speaking for it also included SWSHS director Andrea Mercado and a representative from Historic Seattle.

Previews: Westsidewalk; Mater Matrix Mother …; “Real” benefit

That’s the Rev. Pat Wright, leader of the Total Experience Gospel Choir, at West Seattle’s Kenyon Hall (March 2008). Tomorrow night, you can see and hear Rev. Wright and her choir as part of Westsidewalk, three performances in three venues right across the street from each other in Fauntleroy, presented by the folks behind Kenyon Hall, Seattle Artists, who are sponsoring WSB this week to get the word out. Westsidewalk proceeds benefit that venue and its programs (including Kindermusik with Lou Magor, who works regularly at Kenyon with Total Experience and accompanies Rev. Wright in the video clip above). The performances at Fauntleroy Church and Fauntleroy Schoolhouse also include Sambatuque and the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band. 7 pm tomorrow, ticket info at Also tomorrow night:

That crocheted “fiber river” has been months in the making — artist Mandy Greer has installed it in the trees near Polliwog Pond at Camp Long (where we photographed it yesterday), and tomorrow night her city-funded “temporary public art” project Mater Matrix Mother and Medium culminates with a free art/music performance in the park. 6:30 pm tomorrow, more details here.

One more unique performance ahead: Saturday night at C & P Coffee, a benefit concert to support Real Change, which isn’t just a newspaper, but also, as concert organizer and performer Mike Buchman describes it, “an aggressive community organizing agency helping to create a more humane world.” He and Real Change director Tim Harris will perform; it’s free but donations will be accepted, and they have a match for the first $500 received. They’re performing 6-8 pm – early enough that you could drop in and still make it up the street a mile to the first Outdoor Movies on the Wall (“The Princess Bride,” dusk Saturday).

New job listing in the WSB Forums’ “West Seattle Jobs Offered”

July 15, 2009 2:08 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle online

Just posted – here’s the listing. Reminder that anyone who is hiring one or more employees in the West Seattle/White Center area is welcome to post the job in the WSB Forums – the listing is FREE – start here. (Another section of interest to businesses, as well as shoppers: Freebies, Deals, Sales.)

Update: “Suspect” released after questioning in Junction robbery

(photo added 12:33 pm)
ORIGINAL 11:29 AM REPORT: Police confirm they are investigating a robbery at US Bank, 42nd and Edmunds in The Junction. This would be the second West Seattle bank robbery in less than a week, after the Alaska USA branch in QFC was held up late Friday afternoon (WSB coverage here). This time, according to Seattle Police media unit Officer Mark Jamieson, they have a suspect in custody – less than 10 minutes after the robbery, about 15 minutes ago, someone was stopped at 35th and Avalon. More information as we get it. 11:47 AM UPDATE: We’re at the reported arrest scene – while several police cars are parked at the 35th/Avalon 7-11, the main investigative activity is focused on the east side of Beni Hoshi Teriyaki (the former Yasuko’s).

(photo added 12:22 pm)
No one at that scene will comment yet on how the person who’s in custody was tracked there. 11:58 AM UPDATE: Now we’re back at the bank – it’s still closed, with a note on the door to that effect, and investigators are inside.

(photo added 12:25 pm)
12:45 PM UPDATE: New note on the door at the bank – “please use drive-through” – so it’s at least partly open.

2:45 PM UPDATE: New information from Officer Jamieson: Though the man who was detained at 35th/Avalon “matched (the robber’s) description” and was “100 percent positively identified” by a witness who was brought to the scene – he’s been released because after interviewing him, investigators believe he was NOT the robber. Their search continues. Officer Jamieson describes the robber as “a black male, late 20s to early 40s, 6 feet, medium build, a ‘Jamaican hat,’ dreadlocks, wearing a white sweatshirt.” If you have any information, call 911.

Today/tonight: From Kenney to “Sweeney” to Morgan, and more

At left is The Kenney‘s CEO Kevin McFeely, when we caught up with him at West Seattle Summer Fest in The Junction last weekend. This afternoon he’s expected to be at the Municipal Tower downtown as The Kenney introduces its landmark nomination for the Seaview and Sunrise Buildings to the city Landmark Preservation Board (see the document here), a prelude to The Kenney’s redevelopment plan moving forward. 3:30 pm, board room on the 40th floor of the Muni Tower. The rest of the Wednesday highlights happen tonight:

(Photos by Matt Durham of
ArtsWest ‘s “Sweeney Todd” opens tonight. It’s a production of the Summer Youth Musical Theater Apprenticeship Program and plays through July 25; showtimes and ticket info can be found here. Also tonight — three meetings tackling an array of big issues:

NEIGHBORHOOD TRAFFIC CALMING: The traffic circle at left is just one example of the many tools that can be used to “calm” neighborhood traffic. If you have questions, concerns, ideas about your neighborhood, anywhere in West Seattle, come to an SDOT public meeting at 6:30 tonight in the South Seattle Community College board room. The Southwest District Council-presented event also includes a Backyard Cottages briefing at 7:30 and an 8 pm version of the briefing that will happen earlier at the next event:

DELRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL: Haven’t made up your mind yet on the bag-fee referendum that’s on next month’s ballot (official city voters’ guide info here)? That’s the measure asking city residents whether to approve or reject the City Council-approved fee for using non-reusable shopping bags. A pro-bag fee rep will speak to the Delridge District Council tonight, among other items on the agenda at 7 pm, Youngstown Arts Center.

MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: We published a preview last night (see it here); tonight’s MoCA meeting, 7 pm at The Kenney, includes a long list of hot topics from The Viaduct to RapidRide to future work at the Lowman Beach pump station.

West Seattle Volunteer Recognition at Hi-Yu Concert in the Park

This group gathered at Hiawatha last night includes the first-ever West Seattle Volunteer Recognition recipients — Tim and Carol Winston of West Seattle Hi-Yu, youth mentor Marcus Stubblefield, co-chair Mike Dady of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council, presenters Erica Karlovits and Cindi Barker from the Southwest District Council (which co-sponsors WSVR with Delridge District Council and WSB), White Center Food Bank (among other organizations) volunteer Beth Grieser, Sustainable West Seattle‘s Bill Reiswig, and WestSide Baby‘s Nancy McDonnell. They received framed certificates and spirited applause during the announcement, made while the West Seattle Big Band took a quick break at the annual Hi-Yu Concert in the Park. From hereon out, Volunteer Recognition will happen twice a year – there are so many amazing people out there (these six were chosen from among 40 entries) that the supply of nominees we’ll never run low! More information about the recipients shortly – first, moments from the concert, starting with video of WSBB music (and the crowd):

We estimated the crowd at more than 200:

Fittingly for a family-friendly event, WestSide Baby was on hand – with reminders that this Sunday is the day to “Stuff the Bus” with diaper donations (10 am-2 pm at West Seattle Farmers’ Market)

And during another break in the music, the crowd heard from Hi-Yu royalty – the current Junior and Senior Court members, and Senior Court candidates (next Monday is the night you can watch to see who becomes the next Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu; the Junior Court is chosen this Friday; schedule here):

Now back to the Volunteer Recognition recipients. Read on for photos of each and the excerpts from the nominations that were read at last night’s event:Read More