day : 15/10/2009 18 results

Late-night traffic alert: Avoid the eastbound West Seattle Bridge

Just got a text and phone call that the eastbound bridge is blocked, all traffic stopped, around the Nucor plant. The 911 log shows a crash report a while ago, but the Fire Department involvement in it was “closed” – checking to see what more we can find out, but in the meantime, if you have to head east, don’t try to get on The Bridge before Delridge. 12:33 AM UPDATE: In comments, Diane says it now looks like things are cleared up. 7:46 AM NOTE: Unrelated crash that we didn’t get to before the call “closed” – a car went down an embankment on Pigeon Point in the 1 am hour – there’s a bit about it here.

Toplines: West Seattle candidates’ forum, minus mayoral hopefuls

Long-form story’s in progress, but here are a couple toplines from tonight’s West Seattle Candidates’ Forum at Youngstown Arts Center: Six of the potential 10 total candidates (mayor plus four City Council races) showed up – the no-shows were both would-be mayors (Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn), incumbent Council President Richard Conlin (who’d been invited to spend the evening with the governor in Olympia) and council hopeful Sally Bagshaw (whose campaign manager said she had committed to a “public-safety walk” in North Seattle long before getting this invitation). The most West Seattle-specific question posed by moderators Chas Redmond (photo right) and Pete Spalding (photo left) — of the co-sponsoring Southwest and Delridge Neighborhoods District Councils, respectively — involved how to tackle West Seattle’s transportation challenges – and it was clear few had closely studied the peninsula’s unique problems. No moments of major disagreement – the two opponents with the sharpest contrasts were council candidates Mike O’Brien and Robert Rosencrantz. We have short clips of all six participants plus highlights of their answers to the night’s questions, coming up in the long report. P.S. This report says Joe Mallahan skipped a forum earlier today too, on short notice.

Followup: Instrument-donation drive hits a high note

October 15, 2009 9:37 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | White Center

A week and a half ago, Eliza Junkerman, daughter of a staffer at White Center Heights Elementary School, shared the story of her campaign to get more musical instruments donated so more of its students could take music classes from a promising new teacher. Tonight, she shares a followup, and an invitation to those who donated:

We have had an amazing turnout and some extremely generous people from West Seattle, White Center and beyond. I just wanted to give you a quick recap of what we have collected so far (or have set a time to pick up):

26 recorders
1 flute
1 piccolo
2 oboes
1 Cello
4 guitars
1 set of Congo drums
1 Clarinet
1 Alto Saxophone
1 Violin
1 Trombone

This is really way more than we could have ever expected! Thank you to everyone who helped – spreading the word, donating, and just supporting!!

White Center Heights will be holding an Assembly to honor the donors and talk about what encompasses a community, on October 30th from 1:20-1:55. All donors are invited to attend!!

Thank you so much for your help!

White Center Heights Elementary is at 10015 6th Avenue SW; here’s a map.

Update: “Big Night” benefit a success, “Operation Chano” next

By Charla Mustard-Foote
Special to West Seattle Blog

More than 60 people braved a damp West Seattle fall evening to attend a benefit to help the family of Café Revo owner and Chef Sean “Chano” Goff – who died a month ago at age 43 – and to help maintain his dream of opening a great Italian restaurant in West Seattle.

At last night’s event at The Sanctuary at Admiral, Sean’s wife, Sofia Zadra Goff (left), and children, Forrest and Maya, mixed with the crowd of friends and family, and never stopped smiling (at least, publicly). The event was the celebration of a life and a dream — it gave people a taste of what drew Sean and Sofia to the town and food and culture of her family’s ancestral home, Revo, Italy.

The menu included a rich creamy Gnocchi (rumored to be a staple of the menu at Café Revo [a WSB sponsor]), Papperdelle (a tangy noodle dish), and topped off by an exquisite tiramisu, and generous amounts of an excellent Café Revo house red wine. The elegant and leisurely meal stretched over 2 hours. (Photos ahead!)

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Followup: Denny/Chief Sealth attendance-boundaries map error

October 15, 2009 5:21 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Tonight’s the first of 2 official Seattle Public Schools meetings in West Seattle to offer briefings and take questions/comments regarding the new proposed school-attendance boundaries – 6:30 pm at West Seattle High School tonight, 6:30 pm at Denny International Middle School tomorrow. This past Monday, West Seattle school-board rep Steve Sundquist acknowledged at a meeting at Schmitz Park Elementary that the Denny/Chief Sealth HS boundaries on the proposed maps were wrong and will be fixed (WSB coverage here). We asked him and the district how this would be communicated; just got word from SPS spokesperson Patti Spencer that it’s acknowledged in the FAQ regarding the proposed maps – see the short blurb here.

Followup: Sailboat freed from rocky West Seattle shore

Update and new photos from David Hutchinson regarding the sailboat situation he reported this morning:

The sailboat grounded yesterday on the rocks south of the Don Armeni boat ramps was successfully refloated a little after 2 PM. The rising tide and the assistance of a number of concerned passers-by who offered their advice, equipment, and a willingness to get personally involved led to this happy outcome. The owner of the boat seemed like a nice young man doing his best in a difficult situation.

West Seattle traffic alerts: Bridge work Saturday-Sunday-Monday

October 15, 2009 4:22 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

These are for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, all from SDOT. For the weekend:

Saturday and Sunday, October 17 and 18, The Seattle Department of Transportation will be removing and replacing markings in the bus lane eastbound on the West Seattle Bridge from the Avalon Way on-ramp, adjacent to the old steel mill, to the First Avenue S off-ramp, just past the SR99 exit. In conjunction with the pavement marking work, the crews will also be installing signs.

The work will be carried out between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day. Motorists should use caution and be watchful for buses needing to pull out of the bus lane in the work zone.

And for Monday – the westbound left lane will be closed 9 am-3 pm so the Seattle Fire Department can check the fire-suppression system – here’s that alert. Reminders will be on the WSB Events calendar page in case you need to check those dates again.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 graffiti-vandalism cases

First, an update on the recurring homophobic graffiti in the Morgan Junction/Lincoln Park area (same 3-word phrase that is too vile to post here). We reported its reappearance last month; then in the past few days, we’ve received three more reports, including the tennis courts near Lincoln Park and a business sign in south Morgan Junction. To recap – there was an arrest after the first wave of this vandalism last May, and a suspect was charged in Seattle Municipal Court, but the charges were dismissed because he was found mentally incompetent; an evaluation was recommended. What happened after that is not a matter of public record, for medical privacy reasons. Lt. Steve Paulsen of the Southwest Precinct tells us today that SWP officers are on alert to watch for the same suspect, to question him; their best bet (whether the vandal is indeed him or someone else) will be if someone catches and reports this vandalism as it happens.

Meantime, in a separate case, we also received a report of extensive tagging on benches, rocks and other facilities at Constellation Park south of Alki Point; no arrests reported. Investigators reiterate that if you see graffiti, please make sure that it IS reported: Graffiti at city facilities (such as parks) can be reported through this form. If you want to paint it out immediately, take a photo first – they are keeping a database in hopes of matching more crimes to suspects when arrests are made. Graffiti also is often discussed at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council‘s meetings; next one is next Tuesday, 7 pm, at the SW Precinct meeting room (Webster/Delridge).

Update on West Seattle Bridge name ceremony: Location set

Just got word from SDOT that the location’s now set for the ceremony to give the West Seattle Bridge the name “Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge” at 12:30 pm Friday, October 23: It’ll be at 3682 West Marginal Way (west side of the waterfront under the bridge). SDOT says Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and the family of Jeanette Williams — the former councilmember who died a year ago — will be there, and you are invited to be there too.

West Seattle outage followup: Sewage overflow at Lowman

Update on one effect of last night’s up-to-3-hours West Seattle power outage (WSB as-it-happened coverage here) – a spill at the Lowman Beach pump station, where WSB contributing journalist Christopher Boffoli took that photo last night (the light in the background was from a county truck at the pump station). This news release is just in from King County:

A power failure in West Seattle last night knocked out electricity at King County’s Murray Avenue Pump Station, causing a small sewage overflow near Lowman Beach Park.

County employees responded quickly Wednesday night and installed a portable generator to provide back up power during the outage. Crews stopped the overflow within 30 minutes.

It’s estimated that about 65,000 gallons of wastewater was discharged through the pump station’s emergency outfall into Puget Sound.

County staff took water quality samples and notified health and regulatory agencies about the overflow.

Utility power was back online within two hours and the facility is again operating normally.

We have followup questions out to Seattle City Light regarding the cause of the “underground cable failure” blamed for last night’s outage, which affected almost 2,800 homes and businesses at its peak.

West Seattle Helpline’s Clothesline expands – coats needed now!

West Seattle Helpline director Anna Fern sends news their Clothesline clothing bank is expanding its services:

The West Seattle Helpline is taking the Clothesline to Seniors. We have partnered with the West Seattle Food Bank to bring some clothing items to their waiting room on Tuesdays just before their distribution. Last Tuesday and yesterday, we gave away sweaters. (Photo above shows Liz, a Helpline volunteer, with the sweaters before we took them down to the Food Bank. Photo below shows a picture of the rack in the Food Bank waiting room after sweaters were selected by Seniors yesterday.)

Then next Tuesday we are going to give away coats. We need extra winter coats in order to have enough for next Tuesday the 20th and the following Tuesday the 27th . … We could use help gathering extra coats. They can drop off coats at the Helpline (6516 35th Ave. SW) during office hours Monday – Friday 7:00 to 8:30 AM or Monday – Thursday 4:30 to 6:30. For other arrangements, call 206.932.4357.

P.S.: As noted earlier today, West Seattle Helpline is the beneficiary of one of the upcoming WS Halloween events – Nightmare on Morgan Street at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) Oct. 29 (here’s the poster).

West Seattle scene: Sailboat sideways, on the rocks

Photo and info from David Hutchinson:

Noticed this sailboat aground just south of the Don Armeni boat ramp yesterday afternoon. I think it broke loose from where it was moored during the recent stormy weather. It was still there this morning. The owner was on site trying to free it from the rocks so it could be refloated at high tide (3:32 PM). I believe he was originally contacted by the Coast Guard and he could probably use some assistance if anyone has any expertise in this type of situation.

4:51 PM UPDATE: David sends word (with new photos) that the boat is off the rocks. Posting a separate followup shortly.

More West Seattle Halloween wildness: Rollergirls; pets

We’ve been adding Halloween events to the WSB Events calendar as fast as they come in – and here’s another: The Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) now has two bashes Halloween week – 6 pm Thursday 10/29 it’s the “Nightmare on Morgan Street” masquerade ball (poster) to benefit West Seattle Helpline; 8 pm Friday 10/30, it’s the “Zombie Dance Party” (poster) benefiting teams from the Rat City Rollergirls and Jet City Rollergirls. (Halloween-style fun starts heating up this weekend – if you have an event, make sure it’s on our calendar – – thanks!)

ADDED 12:33 PM: Another announcement has come in: 2:30-4:30 pm Halloween afternoon at Hiawatha Community Center, West Seattle Dawg, Muttley Crew Cuts and The Wash Dog are presenting a pet-friendly event, Halloween Howl, including a dog costume contest and pet psychics. Rex at WS Dawg says they’re selling tickets now – it’s a benefit for West Seattle Food Bank.

Neighborhood Plan status checks: West Seattle summaries online

October 15, 2009 10:30 am
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 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

As noted here, the followup to the big July Neighborhood Plan Status Check meeting is coming up November 5th. Today, Sharonn Meeks, who’s on the citywide Neighborhood Plan Advisory Council, sends word that the city’s official summaries are now online. You’ll find them in this document, interspersed with the rest of the city – alphabetical order – listed as Admiral, Delridge, Morgan Junction, West Seattle Junction, Westwood/Highland Park.

Alki Elementary student Vanessa Radke to be on national TV

10-year-old Vanessa Radke of West Seattle gets to “skip school on Monday,” as her mom Sara Satterlee put it, for what you’d probably agree is a good reason — she’s flying to New York to be on NBC’s nationally broadcast TODAY show. Sara says her daughter – an Alki Elementary School student and former West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival Junior Princess – has made it to the final 16 in the show’s “Kid Reporter” contest, and will be interviewed live on the show Monday. Contestants were asked to put together a video report and mail it in; we asked Sara about Vanessa’s entry:

Her submission was videotaped with her father a few weeks down at Alki Beach. She did a quick one minute bit on how to conserve water. The video starts out with her intro about water with the back drop being Puget Sound on the sandy shores of Alki Beach. She then cuts to her in her grandma’s kitchen telling her viewers that there are just three simple steps everyone could follow that could help everyone. Scene fades to her brushing her teeth, and her explaining the importance of tuning off the water while brushing It then fades into a dishwashing session and Vanessa tells her audience that they need to fill the sink, turn off the water, wash the dishes, and then rinse. For the final few scenes it is apparent from her wet hair and that she is wrapped up tight in a robe that she is fresh out of the shower. As she walks across the living room she describes to her viewer that by cutting your shower back by only one minute, saves water. As she wraps up her video she recaps how three simple steps can help so much.

Sara says a producer interviewed Vanessa by phone yesterday and then extended the invite to them to fly to NY for the show – they’re flying out Sunday, then returning right afterward on Monday. You’ll get the chance to vote for her to make it to the next round: Checking TODAY online, looks like this is the second week they’ll be featuring a group of four semifinalists on Monday, opening the voting by text message, then announcing the winner from that group on Wednesday; then in early November there’ll be another round of voting after the group of finalists is set. Besides getting to report for TODAY, the winner gets a Caribbean cruise. (Here’s the first group of semifinalists from last week; an Oklahoma girl got the most votes in that group.) TODAY airs on KING 5 here in Seattle, 7-11 am weekdays (we’ll be checking to see what time Monday you’re likely to see Vanessa).

From West Seattle Rotary: Students honored; free travel offer

Two items from the Rotary Club of West Seattle – first, honors for the smiling trio you see above. Irene Stewart explains, “Every month the Rotary Club of West Seattle honors outstanding seniors from West Seattle high schools. The October students of the month are (from left) Kelsey Shaw, Seattle Lutheran High School; Kaosio Saeteurn, West Seattle High School; and Dallas Rupnick, Chief Sealth High School.”

Also from the West Seattle Rotary, an invitation to NON-Rotarians:

Here’s an incredible opportunity for a young professional! Local Rotary clubs are looking for young business people from King County who would like to travel to Bolivia next spring. And the best part – Rotary picks up the tab!

Rotary group study exchanges develop professional and leadership skills and prepare participants to address global needs within their own communities. The month-long program provides an opportunity to travel to Bolivia, engage in professional discussions, and tour facilities that they would never see as a tourist.

All costs are covered by Rotary. Applicants must be age 25 to 40 and employed. Only non-Rotarians need apply — even Rotary family members are not eligible to participate. Applications are due on or before October 19, 2009. For more information, go to or contact the Rotary District 5030 GSE Committee Chair, Bob Kaercher, at 425-277-3114 or

That deadline may be a bit flexible, according to WS Rotary’s Steve Fuller, but the sooner the better.

What’s big today/tonight: From candidates to schools to pizza

checkbox.jpgWEST SEATTLE CANDIDATES’ FORUM: It’s been in the works for weeks, and tonight’s the night – come hear the candidates for Mayor and City Council take on West Seattle-specific questions. The forum co-sponsored by the Southwest and Delridge Neighborhoods District Councils starts at 7 pm at Youngstown Arts Center (4408 Delridge); reminder that you can come early and meet the artists chosen for the Delridge Playfield art project.

SCHOOL BOUNDARIES Q/A MEETING: The Monday night session with School Board rep Steve Sundquist at Schmitz Park Elementary was informal – now, it’s the big official meeting for those with questions and/or opinions on the newly announced attendance-boundary proposals as the district transitions to a system more based on neighborhood schools. 6:30 pm, West Seattle High School. (If you absolutely can’t make it, there’s one Friday night at Denny; here’s the full list.)

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm, Alki Community Center, with agenda including an airline program that could change flight paths, and an update on the Alki Homestead (big topic at last month’s meeting).

GIRL SCOUTS INFORMATIONAL MEETING: Tonight there’s one at Roxhill Elementary, 6 pm. Organizers note that girls will not be assigned to troops at this meeting, but they explain the organization and even how to form your own troop, as well as how to become a volunteer!

UPRIDGE TOWNHOMES’ GRAND OPENING: As noted here when we welcomed upRidge as a sponsor yesterday, the new development alongside Longfellow Creek (5957 Delridge) has its grand opening today, 4-7:30 pm, and you’re invited to come take tours and enjoy free pizza from Delridge’s own Olympia.

WSB guest opinion: “We can end homelessness, but …”

With comments after every story, plus the Forums section, there are many channels for your opinion here on WSB. But sometimes, as happened last year with the Alaskan Way Viaduct, you have something longer to say, in the style of the print-media “op-ed piece.” After we recently wrote that WSB is open to “op-ed” pitches from West Seattleites, we received this, about the touchy, urgent, difficult topic of homelessness, from Highland Park’s Dorsol Plants:

Opinion: By Dorsol Plants

Within the last couple of weeks, the issue of homelessness has been one of the things at the forefront of the political activities going on in the city. This is fitting, since last week seems to have been the first signs of a cold winter. Even before the economic crisis, there were over 2,000 men, women and children counted sleeping outside on a cold January night, and with the effect of the recession still being so profoundly felt, we can expect this January’s One Night Count numbers to be even higher.

With Seattle’s shelter system already turning away people at night, what are we going to do? Is ending homelessness viable and is it something the city can do in 10 years as promised?

So far we have heard two sides to this argument, each trying to explain why the problem of homelessness is getting worse and not better. The stance that many homeless advocates have taken has been that the City isn’t doing enough in the way of funding for shelters and permanent housing. They say that if we are truly going to make a go at ending homelessness then we need to place more money into affordable housing and the burdened shelter system. The city’s stance however is that they are already doing as much as they can afford, and it’s time the County and other cities began to step up and handle their share of the problem.

There is truth on both sides of the argument. The city should provide more funding for human services, and if they were to look through the budget they could find ways to more efficiently provide more shelter with the money already in place. Yet the city is also raising a valid point. It is well past time for us to begin to discuss a National Plan to End Homelessness.

When you get right down to it, homelessness is about a lack of housing. Yes, there are a number of issues surrounding why someone is without a home. Those issues may include mental illness, job loss, or unexpected medical expenses. But all those issues are more easily worked while not fighting for your survival every night on the streets. There is no inherent reason why people who are experiencing these problems should not have housing.

The real problem is that there is no congruent plan. When it comes to affordable housing, funding from city, county, state, and federal levels all tie in at different points and various ways. To actually end homelessness, we can’t just try to throw together enough money to build enough houses or subsidize enough existing apartments. Rather, we need a plan — including timetables from the top down — that outlines the strategy for dealing with homeless at all levels.

This has to start at the Federal level so that from the State down to the Cities, funding and resources can be focused around need areas lacking in the federal plan. By clearly outlining and defining each role from the top down, one specific plan enables those plans under it to fill in the cracks left behind. This starts with creating a national chain of communication that breaks down the walls between Federal, State, City, Nonprofits, Faith-Based, and other homeless agencies.

This very idea came to several cities, and each drew up their own 10-year plans like the one we have here in Seattle. But it is unreasonable to expect cities to be able to work out this problem on their own, and that can very evidently be seen through the city’s demands for more help. Much as we wouldn’t expect the city of Seattle to be solely responsible for stopping global warming, we can’t expect that any real end to homelessness could come without looking at homelessness as a regional and national issue.

The change has to start somewhere; Seattle is in a good place to initiate it. For starters, Mayor Nickels has placed Seattle prominently onto the national stage on the issue of the environment and the next Mayor can use that to generate a conversation on the need to end homelessness. We must also correct the mistakes in our 10-year plan, plug the budgeting gaps and make a commitment not to remove any more funding until the crisis has passed.

Finally, we should set an example by allowing the sheer humanity of the issue affect the decision making process. We can do this by admitting there aren’t enough beds for everyone and allowing for the basic survival needs of all human beings. In part, this means providing Nickelsville a permanent site that will allow Nickelodeons to remain as a community until the cities of the region and the county have a chance to create enough shelter and housing to allow everyone to come inside.

We can end homelessness, but the only way we are going to be able to do that is by honestly reflecting on where we are as a city, by acknowledging that we won’t be able to do this alone, and by calling for a national movement to address this national issue.

Dorsol Plants is Homeless Veteran Employment Case Manager with the Compass Center (and a U.S. Army veteran himself). He also is former chair of the Highland Park Action Committee, and ran for Seattle City Council in this year’s primary. He is also Field Organizer for the Northwest Progressive Institute as well.

Got an opinion you’d like to share in a longer format like this? Send a note to bounce the idea off us: