day : 17/07/2009 16 results

Election 2009 close-up coverage: Council candidate David Miller

checkbox.jpgPrimary Election Day is a month from tomorrow; your ballot will arrive in about two weeks. So we’re ramping up our close-up looks — with West Seattle-specific questions — at races including the three Seattle City Council contests you’ll find on the primary ballot, starting with Position 8, which Richard McIver is leaving. Six candidates are running; last night we looked at Robert Rosencrantz, who won one of the 34th District Democrats‘ “dual endorsements” in this race; tonight, the other endorsee, David Miller:

By Kathy Mulady
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Most people wouldn’t admit a fascination with land-use codes, but Seattle City Council Position 8 candidate David Miller, a 42-year-old Maple Leaf resident, doesn’t hesitate.

He has experienced its intricacies up close and personal as past President of the Maple Leaf Community Council, as a member of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Citizen Advisory Committee, and while working on several other environmental committees.

He helped develop the Parks and Green Spaces Levy that voters approved last fall.

Since he announced his candidacy, Miller seems to be at every possible gathering throughout the city, whether it’s an early breakfast meeting on Saturdays or waving to supporters at community events.

Read More

West Seattle Whole Foods site’s potential buyer drops out

(June photo looking into the Whole Foods site excavation from its southeast side)
E-mail this week jolted us into realizing a whole month had passed since our last official update on what has become known as the “Hole Foods” site, the excavated hole where Whole Foods, Hancock Fabrics and more than 100 residential units were supposed to be built, till construction idled last fall and lawsuits erupted (as first reported here). If you have been following along, you may also remember that news broke in January of a new deal pending for the site, and two months later, an entity calling itself Alamo Manhattan surfaced, led by West Seattleite Matt Segrest, confirming Alamo Manhattan was “under contract to purchase the site” (4/7 WSB report here). We subsequently checked in with Segrest periodically for progress reports; last month, he told us he was “still working on a deal.” So with four weeks having passed, we pinged him on Wednesday to ask if he’s still pursuing the project. The answer that came in today: No. Segrest’s exact quote, via e-mail:

At this time, Alamo Manhattan has chosen to not move forward with the purchase. (We maintain interest in the opportunity, though.)

That’s all the details we have. Since we found this out late on a Friday, we won’t be able to check with others – such as the site’s current owner – till Monday. Meantime, the lawsuits involving the site are still listed in court records as pending, and a check of online records regarding the parcel shows 12 liens in all filed since late last year. (We couldn’t check further into court documents tonight – the service that makes them available online shut down for the night earlier than usual.)

Followup: West Seattle High School cheerleader BBQ winner!

July 17, 2009 8:46 pm
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 |   West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

During West Seattle Summer Fest coverage last Sunday, we showed the West Seattle High School cheerleaders who were raffling off a barbecue while tabling outside TrueValue in The Junction. The winner — Matthew Mors, who sent that photo of the prize delivery, and this info:

The proceeds of this event will help the cheerleaders with their expenses for camp and uniforms. The cheerleaders would like to thank Junction True Value for the partial donation of the barbeque, and for allowing them space in front of their store for the three days of the street fair. The cheerleaders would also like to thank everyone that donated and really appreciate the support of the West Seattle community.

West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Parade! Movie! “Stuff”! Gardens!


The West Seattle Weekend Lineup was stuck in traffic today and just arrived here on the page tonight, but we’ve been talking a lot about the big events anyway (and much of it has been on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar for months) … First, tomorrow’s West Seattle Grand Parade (above, 2008 photo of a Seafair Pirate having a blast – they’re here tomorrow of course) and Rotary Kiddies’ Parade (more here with road-closure info too) … then a great chance to cool off tomorrow night:


Outdoor Movies on the Wall (co-sponsored by WSB) starts its six-week run in the courtyard between Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) and Dr. Wolff, with “The Princess Bride,” tomorrow night (doors open @ 7) … Then on Sunday during the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, it’s all about DIAPERS!


That’s how things went during WestSide Baby‘s “Stuff the Bus” one-day diaper drive last year but this year (also co-sponsored by WSB) you can do even better – get your donations to the bus parked at the Farmers’ Market 10 am-2 pm Sunday!!! And once you’ve dropped off those diapers, off to enjoy beautiful West Seattle gardens …

The West Seattle Garden Tour, which benefits local nonprofit endeavors, is all day Sunday and your ticket includes not only visits to all the gardens (like the Hailey Family Garden in Admiral, above) but also a chance to see/hear Ciscoe Morris at noon at The Kenney. But wait! There’s more! Like the Mediterranean Fantasy Fest, the Alki Classic Car Show and Shakespeare in the Park … more than 50 events in all, ahead in the slightly belated Friday night-Sunday night West Seattle Weekend Lineup, brought to you by Skylark Cafe and Club … here goes!Read More

Sales-tax increase for crimefighting, courts and public health?

That’s what interim King County Executive Kurt Triplett is proposing – a one-tenth of one-cent increase – though he says that still wouldn’t hold off all potential cuts. He’s asking the County Council to send it to voters in November. Read on for the full news release just sent by the county:Read More

Another “Nickelsville” showdown ahead? No new extension

(mid-June photo by Revel Smith)
We sent a note this morning to Revel Smith, asking for an update on the homeless encampment in eastern West Seattle that calls itself “Nickelsville” – since the last update two weeks ago had said their latest extension for staying at the state-owned 2nd SW/Highland Park Way site was only through this Monday. Smith has just sent out a news release saying there’s been no new extension:

Nickelsville’s State-granted 2-week extension to stay at the West Seattle site ends Monday 7/20/09. With understanding from the State of their dilemma, they’ve been able to continue their aggressive search for a place to relocate. Conversations continue as Michael Ramos of The Church Council of Greater Seattle and Rev. Paul Benz, Director of the Lutheran Public Policy Office, and others participate in the search for a new place for Nickelsville. However, nothing certain has been confirmed in this short time.

Nickelsville hopes The Governor and the State of Washington will extend the deadline beyond 2 weeks for this search. In absence of a permanent place to relocate to, they are committed staying at the West Seattle Site.

Nickelsville is calling on the help of friends and supporters to stand with them through the deadline. They ask everyone also contact the Governor’s office at (360) 902-4111 or e-mail:

The encampment returned to West Seattle six weeks ago, moving onto a site (map) just a stone’s throw from the one they briefly occupied last fall.

It’s done! Delridge Playground-building report #2

After less than five hours of work, involving more than 200 volunteers, after months of preparation, Delridge Community Center‘s brand-new playground is done! The closing ceremony for the day is moments away. More to come; our earlier coverage is here. (But remember, the playground isn’t immediately usable – its official opening will be next Thursday night, but we’ll be asking whether it’ll be put into unofficial use sooner.) ADDED 3:10 PM: Answer to that is “no,” so far. Meantime, the best shot at day’s end:

We asked the folks from North Delridge – the ones who’d been pursuing a better playground in other ways before this opportunity presented itself, the ones who keep working to improve their neighborhood bit by bit – to stop for a second and pose for a group photo. (After which, we hope they have all gone home for a big glass of ice water, or something.) Here, meantime, is a different angle on the brand-new playground they and other West Seattle families will be enjoying in a few days:

Yet more visuals from the day to be added later, including the big group shot of all the volunteers, and video of the ribbon-cutting, which actually involved some of the kids tearing up a paper chain! 3:43 PM: But first – the DJ, who kept high-energy music going and got a big shout-out at the end (and the loudest applause):

And the guy who led Team Elmo – couldn’t resist a closer look.

We were curious about exactly how KaBOOM! works, so we looked online for a third-party analysis. Found this, just in case you were curious too.

Congratulations to the new West Seattle Hi-Yu Junior Court!

July 17, 2009 1:56 pm
|    Comments Off on Congratulations to the new West Seattle Hi-Yu Junior Court!
 |   West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news

At Hiawatha within the past hour, the new West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival Junior Court was coronated — they’re seen here with their predecessors — with flowers, left to right (second, fourth, and sixth from left in the photo), 9-year-old Princess Isabella Carufel, 9-year-old Queen Kailin Jo Alexander Spencer, and 10-year-old Princess Kaitlin Morgan. We’ll add more info about them and a few more photos in a bit. Look for them at tomorrow’s West Seattle Grand Parade, and at the Hi-Yu Community Breakfast at the American Legion Hall on Sunday, as well as the Senior Court Coronation on Monday night at West Seattle High School. ADDED 4:05 PM: Another photo — the entire lineup of the previous Junior Court and all eight of this year’s candidates:

Forgive us for not having our left-to-right ID correct but we do want to give them all a shoutout: In addition to the newly crowned Junior Queen and Princesses, the candidates also included, in alphabetical order, Sadie Botuchis, Tess Carden, Jaeley Helmstetler, Caroline Rouse and Lindy Tongol. And of course a big congrats for a big year of excitement, to outgoing Junior Queen Zoe Mahn and Princesses Anna Fuller and Elyse Mitchell, and to Diane Szender, who coordinated the Junior Court process (and reminded everyone that next year’s applications will be out in May 2010, at the Hi-Yu website and here at WSB – thanks for the shoutout!).

Can you play host to a visiting teacher?

July 17, 2009 12:45 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

From the principals of Chief Sealth High School and Denny Middle School – they’re looking for a West Seattle-area family who can host the Chinese Guest Teacher who’ll be working at both schools this fall:

This is a great opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and pick up some Mandarin Chinese, while doing a great service for our schools. Hosting the Guest Teacher is much like hosting an exchange student, families are responsible for providing the teachers with a room of their own, including the teachers in family meals, and providing them access to things like a washer and dryer. The teacher will receive a modest salary through the Chinese Ministry of Education, and will be provided a car from the schools as transportation.

This year, our Guest Teacher is Mr. Yang Dawei. He will be arriving in early August. If you are interested in serving as a host family, or know of someone in West Seattle who would be interested, please have them contact the Chief Sealth Main Office at 252-8850.

West Seattle Grand Parade tomorrow: The route & road closures

View Larger Map

That’s our very simple Google Map showing (top) where the American Legion-presented West Seattle Grand Parade starts tomorrow at 11, (center) where the Rotary Club-presented West Seattle Kiddies’ Parade starts tomorrow at 10:30, and finally, where both end (California/Edmunds). Note that the streets (which are already posted for “no parking”) close around 9 am, according to police – and there are restrictions on a few side streets too, particularly 44th near the start and end of the route, and Lander on both sides of the route because of staging (as we showed last year, which was our first time ever walking in the parade – we’ll be doing that again tomorrow, in celebration of West Seattle volunteers, and some of the newly announced West Seattle Volunteer Recognition honorees have promised to join us) – here’s a staging photo from last year:


Also in the parade tomorrow, almost 80 entries, including three marching bands (Seattle All-City Band, led by Denny Middle School music director Marcus Pimpleton; Kennedy High School; Sumner High School), two motorcycle drill teams (Seattle PD and Vancouver, B.C., PD), more than a dozen drill teams and cheer squads, plus four good old-fashioned floats (including West Seattle Hi-Yu), and as we reported Tuesday morning, JP Patches is back! Other parade favorites on the list include Art and Gloria, “still married” (2008 photo):


If you want to get a taste of the past few years’ parades, here’s our archived coverage, newest to oldest.

Followup: Latest on the Myrtle (and Beacon) reservoir problems

When we broke the story on Monday night of hundreds of leaks requiring the waterproofing membranes to be dug up, removed and reinstalled at Myrtle Reservoir in West Seattle and Beacon Hill Reservoir, our story was cited and linked to by more than half a dozen citywide media sources, including (almost 4,000 people clicked from there to come see the story here). Now today, three days later, the Times has done its own followup, also appearing in the print edition – which (thank you!) again credits WSB for breaking the story – read the new Times story here. The reporter, Susan Kelleher, is the same one who just last weekend broke the story of SDOT do-overs (including ramps along Fauntleroy Way) – she also was unable, however, as were we, to pin anybody down on specifics of cost/blame re: the reservoir membranes – but SPU has promised some cost information next week, so we’ll bring that to you as soon as it’s available. Meantime, we had asked SPU’s Andy Ryan some other followup questions — read on for the answers:Read More

“It’s really happening!” Building Delridge Playground, report #1

At the center of that photo, joining a quick pre-construction stretch with 200+ other volunteers, is Betsy Hoffmeister, co-vice-chair of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. About 15 minutes earlier, when we first saw her here at Delridge Community Center (where we’ll be on site much of the day), she shouted, “It’s really happening!” Before the playground-in-a-day volunteer project that has just kicked off here, she spent many months working through the difficult process of trying to get playground improvements at another Delridge park not far from here. Then came the KaBOOM’s offer to redo the community center’s dilapidated playground, and Betsy and other members of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council threw themselves into organizing what it took to make this work.

What it’s taking for one is volunteers – Mayor Nickels, seen here between two of those volunteers, told the crowd during the kickoff ceremony that he’ll announce later this month that his stated goal of 10,000 new Seattle volunteers this year has been met. (Also at the kickoff ceremony, city Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher, as we noted with photo links and short updates via Twitter.) And it’s taking donated materials – which are coming from a variety of sponsors, particularly the Bank of America Charitable Foundation (this is the 5th of KaBOOM’s 1,651 playground projects that it’s funded) – we passed the shovel/rake station as we arrived at the site:

Right now, the volunteers have broken into small groups, each with a KaBOOM leader and a mascot/symbol, from Hello Kitty to Elmo to, in this group’s case, the American flag:

Theyre engaging in all sorts of assembly and carpentry tasks, spread all over the parkland around the community center, before, sometime in the next six hours or so, everything moves to the site itself:

More photos shortly – we’ll post several updates during the day, and we’ll add a few video clips from the opening ceremony, too. 10:12 AM UPDATE: The small group work continues – with an energizing soundtrack :

The work zone is for ages 18 and up only, but there’s child care on the nearby tennis courts – and all the kids there have been issued their own little hard hats:

The groups will be taking lunch breaks in staggered shifts starting around 11:30. Part of the playground site itself is already starting to take shape! 11:07 AM UPDATE: Some more pix. First, the playground!

Second, pieces of the playground as they were moved into place:

Third, we haven’t mentioned that some other work is being done here today for the community center – like new cubbies:

They’ve also just put a call out around the site for people who write “languages other than Spanish, French and English” to go write messages of peace on a section that’s under construction. Anyway, we’re leaving the site for a while to go cover the Hi-Yu Junior Court Coronation and Hiawatha Fun Festival (it’s almost lunchtime for the volunteers, anyway) but will be back here in early afternoon for a new round of progress reports on Delridge’s new playground (which will officially open with a ceremony next Thursday night).

Alki Community Council: Guns in parks, plus: Paper or pixels?

From last night’s Alki Community Council meeting (held at Alki UCC because the Alki Community Center‘s closed till July 25th):

PARK GUN BAN? The ACC has sent city leaders a letter urging support for a ban on guns in parks. Even if it’s not the city’s jurisdiction – if that would have to go through the state Legislature, as was suggested after the mayor proposed such a ban last year – ACC’s Paul Carr says they hope the city would lobby strongly for a guns-in-parks ban. The ACC’s support for this is a result of discussions that followed the May 1st Alki shooting (photo at left). Carr stresses that this is not a challenge to individual gun-ownership rights – but if firearms can be off-limits in a particularly vulnerable public place like a school, he asks, why not parks?

Ahead: Paper or pixels? And politics … Read More

Happening today: Playground, “citations,” Fun Fest, coronation …

July 17, 2009 6:48 am
|    Comments Off on Happening today: Playground, “citations,” Fun Fest, coronation …
 |   Safety | West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news

DELRIDGE PLAYGROUND-BUILDING DAY: As previewed here last night. It’s been less than four months since first word that a new playground at Delridge Community Center could happen largely thanks to donated materials, time and labor, and today’s the day, with hundreds of volunteers on site.

“SAFETY CITATIONS”: 10-11 am, firefighters from Engine 29 will be on Alki looking for kids wearing their helmets properly – and they’ll get “safety citations” good for free Subway sandwiches!

HIAWATHA FUN FEST: Noon-3 today at Hiawatha Community Center – games, activities, prizes.

WEST SEATTLE HI-YU JUNIOR COURT CORONATION: During the Fun Fest, starting around 12:45 pm, the new Hi-Yu Junior Court will be announced and coronated (look for the stage on the east lawn @ Hiawatha).

FREE GUIDED ECO-HIKE: Once a month, the West Seattle-based Nature Consortium< offers a free guided hike through the West Duwamish Greenbelt, where it works on forest restoration, and today’s the day – 1 pm, meet at trailhead at 14th SW/SW Holly (here’s a map; RSVP if you can to

Mediterranean Fantasy Festival, this weekend!

July 17, 2009 1:24 am
|    Comments Off on Mediterranean Fantasy Festival, this weekend!
 |   Announcements

More details on the festival that’ll be happening at Hiawatha on Saturday and Sunday:

The Mediterranean Fantasy Festival, July 18 & 19, 2009, happens at Hiawatha
Community Center, 2700 California Ave SW.

The Mediterranean Fantasy Festival features belly dancing and other dances from the
Mediterranean Area.

2009 is the 22nd annual Med Fest.

The festival runs two days, Saturday and Sunday, and has non-stop dancing on two
(indoor and outdoor) stages. Saturday from 11:00 to 9:00(ish) and Sunday 11:00 to

There are workshops in conjunction with the festival; Friday evening, Saturday
morning and Sunday morning. This year featuring the fabulous, world renowned Aziza.
Aziza will perform Saturday, just about 3 pm, on the outdoor stage.

There are also lots of vendors, selling a wide variety of belly dance related items,
henna artists and Middle Eastern food. Tons of glitz and glam and sparkle.

Med Fest is family friendly entertainment, with lots to see and shop. There’s even a
wading pool for the little ones (and sometimes big toes too).

The festival is FREE to attend. Co-sponsored by the Babylonian Ensemble and the
Hiawatha Advisory Council. Funds collected go to the park and city, and help sponsor
kids events.

For more information, visit

Curious Kidstuff class schedule

July 17, 2009 1:18 am
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 |   Announcements

Just announced:

Curious KidStuff Toy Store is offering Kids Art classes in the upstairs ART STUDIO now through end of August.

More Classes in the Fall!

Toddlers Age 1 1/2-2 1/2 with parents
Monday 10-11 am
Thursday 9:30-10:30 am
Thursday 4:30-5:30

Age 3-6
Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Friday 10-11 am
Thursday 11-12 noon,
Thursday 4:30-5:30

Age 7-10
$35/ 2 hrs
Tuesday or Thursday 2- 4 pm

Call or drop by the store to register a week in advance!
4740 California Ave. SW
West Seattle WA 98116

Class Schedule changes in the Fall for back to School!