West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to all the people who sent us this news today: We hadn’t even heard of the annual Google Zeitgeist list — by that name, anyway — till receiving notes and tweets that WSB was in the Seattle Top 10. Background: Google compiles an annual list of top search terms – you may have heard news reports all day noting that Michael Jackson topped the overall list worldwide. But Google’s announcement also includes breakout lists – such as the top “uniquely local” search terms for major US cities. At right, the top 10 for Seattle – with Sounders FC (scarves up!) at #1 and West Seattle Blog at #5, the only news site on the Seattle list. Just another reason our second year as a business has been even more fun than the first – collaborating with you and the rest of the West Seattle community, informally partnering with the region’s largest news organization, and other highlights. WSB is on track for at least 8 million pageviews for 2009, a 33% increase from last year, 5+ times the year before that. This new way of reporting/sharing/discussing community news has attracted regional and national attention, and this quirky little Google shoutout is just one more bit of proof. Thanks again for being part of this adventure!
FOODISTA COOKBOOK CONTEST: The West Seattleites who run the website Foodista have just launched a contest for people who write about food on blog-format websites. Starting today, and running through the end of February, they’re accepting recipes, photos and links from people worldwide interested in competing for a spot in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. According to an announcement forwarded to us by Foodista’s Barnaby Dorfman, the idea was cooked up during a big event Foodista organized earlier this year – the first International Food Blogger Conference (which included sessions here at West Seattle, at The Sanctuary At Admiral). Find out more about the cookbook contest here
PCC’S NEW CLASS CATALOG: PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) stores don’t just sell food – they present popular classes teaching people how to prepare it – and sometimes those classes book up far in advance. So we’re sharing news that registration just started this week for winter classes – including the free Walk, Talk and Taste classes — here’s where to start.
Thanks to Tim McMonigle from West Seattle Soccer Club for another update on the Hiawatha Playfield renovation work – including that photo of workers on the job in today’s brilliant sunshine:
They have finished gluing the lines and have been waiting for a dry day to spread the rubber pellets. They are out there today spreading the pellets, so hopefully they should be done with that tomorrow, given the forecast for more sun. They spread the pellets with what looks like what you would use to fertilize your lawn, only much bigger and drawn by a tractor. Then the machines in the field have big brooms that help settle the pellets into the turf.
On the east side of Hiawatha (part of the same levy project), they have upgraded the field with long jump, pole vault and shotput areas. I believe the last thing then is to rubberize the top of the track, and it should be open.
We were hoping to use the field for our December games, but I don’t think they will open it up in time. But it looks beautiful compared to what was there before. We are looking forward to using the field next year, along with Delridge, which is supposed to give us two full-sized fields in fall of 2010.
City updates (through mid-November) on the $3.6 million Hiawatha project can be found here.
City reps made the rounds this fall to talk with various community organizations about proposed changes in the Neighborhood Matching Fund – which is relied on to help pay for a multitude of projects around the city, doubtlessly including more than a few near you. But one proposed change drew fire: The city had suggested a category in which citywide projects might be eligible for the money, instead of limiting the fund strictly to projects based in a neighborhood. That idea was strongly opposed at the October meetings of the Southwest District Council (here’s our report) and Delridge Neighborhoods District Council (here’s our report). Tonight, it looks like those concerns were heard loud and clear: The changes for next year have just been announced (read the news release here), and we confirmed with Department of Neighborhoods rep Lois Maag that they do NOT include the “citywide project” eligibility clause. She says that will be reviewed again in the future, but is not part of the changes for 2010. Still have questions? A workshop about the NMF – focusing on its Large Projects Fund – will be here in West Seattle on January 21 – 6 pm at Youngstown Arts Center.
The sun’s just set after a beautiful afternoon, during which we sneaked over to Alki for a bit of Vitamin D, and the photo you see above. According to the National Weather Service, we’ve got two more days of sun. If you’ve heard murmurings about much-colder weather early next week – the NWS doesn’t seem too worried, but then again, hard to accurately predict what’s a week away.
From Liz at the West Seattle Junction Association: They’re looking for donations totaling about a quarter-cord of “clean-burning wood like cedar” for bonfires at Saturday night’s Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting in The Junction. They’d be happy to get multiple small donations totaling a quarter-cord, or if anyone can donate the entire amount, that’s great too. They need it by 2 pm Saturday. Please call the WSJA office at 206-935-0904 or e-mail Liz@wsjunction.org. (The tree lighting is in the Farmers’ Market parking lot at 5 pm Saturday, emceed by Marty Riemer, featuring music by the Endolyne Children’s Choir.)
ADMIRAL SAFEWAY PROJECT: The agenda’s just come out for this Thursday’s Seattle Design Commission meeting, and the group’s 2nd review of part of the Admiral Safeway redevelopment project – required because they’re requesting an alley vacation – is set for this Thursday at City Hall downtown, 2 pm, Boards and Commissions Room. Here’s our report on the project’s last Design Commission review four weeks ago. (As reported earlier, the Admiral Safeway project also has its next Southwest Design Review Board date set – Dec. 17, 8 pm, Youngstown Arts Center.)
ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT/TUNNEL: Also just announced: After a few months off, meetings are resuming for the “working groups” looking at how the tunnel will tie in with the transportation systems at both ends . There are West Seattle reps on both the “north portal working group” and the “south portal working group”; the latter has the most WS-relevant work to do, and its next meeting has just been set for Thursday, Dec. 17, 4 – 5:30 pm in the Puget Sound Regional Council Boardroom, 1011 Western Ave.; the north portal group will meet at 4 pm tomorrow at the Seattle Aquarium. More info at alaskanwayviaduct.org.
WEST SEATTLE 5K: Half a year after the first-ever West Seattle 5K, organized as a benefit for local schools (masterminded by West Seattle High School PTSA but with three other schools participating and more than 1,000 people participating), the date is set for the sequel: Jo Bader sends word that they’ve chosen May 23, 2010. Registration isn’t open yet so the website still reflects last year – but you can set aside the date right now.
Eastbound SW Barton is closed at 26th – the east entrance to Westwood Village – because of an accident. Police at the scene tell us a pedestrian crossing Barton was hit by a car and has been taken to the hospital. 10:22 AM UPDATE: Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen tells us the victim is a woman in her 60s, taken to Harborview Medical Center “with life-threatening injuries.” 11:06 AM UPDATE: Police at the scene tell us they have spoken with the driver, who told them she had visibility problems – that “the sun got in her eyes.” History note – this is the same area where 55-year-old Teri Soike was hit and killed in February of last year (WSB coverage here); that crash happened at night, in the rain. 4:12 PM UPDATE: SPDBlotter has now published a summary of this incident with a few more details, including which way the car was turning and which way the woman was crossing – read it here.
ADMIRAL KIOSKS: Another meeting tonight about the wayfinding markers you’ll see in the Admiral District soon (part of the West Seattle Trails series around the peninsula). Chas Redmond reports, “We’ve made some headway with basic navigation and location of the on-street stanchions, and we’ve made some headway into the kinds of material to go on the historic/geographic/cultural/wildlife back side of the kiosks. There’s still a lot of work and ideas which are needed but the project is actually well along for the short time since we began.” Never too late to get involved, and in fact, tonight’s meeting is later than the last one, to accommodate more schedules. 6:30 pm at Hiawatha Community Center.
“DANGER”-OUS GIFT WRAP: Love to shop, love to gift, but just not into wrapping? Want to be able to say Rat City Rollergirls wrapped your packages? From the RCRGs’ newest e-mail newsletter: Grave Danger skaters will be at Westwood Village Barnes & Noble three nights this week – 7-10 tonight, 7-11 Friday, 8-11 Saturday – to wrap your presents. Their invite: “Come say hi! Tips are appreciated.” (Their sixth season, by the way, is getting closer, with the first bout at KeyArena on January 31st.)
On our way to a “fire in building” call at 7313 Fauntleroy Way (map). 5:08 AM: According to the scanner, the building’s a triplex. Fauntleroy is blocked because of the fire response – that’s significant for traffic to and from the ferry dock, which will have to detour. Everyone is reported to have gotten out of the building OK. 5:21 AM: The fire is under control; it’s in the “void space” between the first and second floors of the building, confirms SFD spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen, who’s now at the scene and confirms everyone’s out OK, nobody hurt. We’re adding a cameraphone photo. 5:31 AM UPDATE: One firefighter suffered minor injuries and will be taken to the hospital. The fire’s now been declared “tapped.” 5:37 AM: Some of the units are pulling out. Not sure how much longer Fauntleroy will be blocked. By the way, if you’re hearing sirens near Alki, separate incident – a few crews are on the way to check out a report of light smoke and detectors going off in the 3400 block of 60th. (Update: “Nothing visible” when they got there.) 6:09 AM: Confirmed, no fire there. Back to the Fauntleroy fire, here’s video of the smoke we saw after arriving at the scene:
Via Facebook, Robert says traffic is starting to get through at the scene. We’ll be heading down the hill to check on that momentarily. 6:37 AM: Fauntleroy Way has officially reopened in both directions.
9:15 AM UPDATE: Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen says investigators have ruled the fire accidental due to overheated electrical wiring. Damage is put at $250,000. Here’s a picture taken at first light this morning.
1:21 PM: Here’s how SFD summarized the fire on its Fireline site.
ORIGINAL 3:02 AM REPORT: Nothing is confirmed – it’s all scanner traffic [assault with weapons call] – but there are multiple indications this is related to the search for Maurice Clemmons, the suspect in the Pierce County police murders: Someone’s been shot in the 4400 block of South Kenyon, south of Beacon Hill, and there’s a huge police response. We’ll add details as we get them; the citywide media is just revving up on this too. (Thanks to the unidentified person who phoned and suggested we turn the scanner back on!) 3:19 AM UPDATE: Mark Rahner from the Seattle Times (WSB partner) reports on Twitter: “Law enforcement source confirms suspect arrested on 4400 block of S. Kenyon was Maurice Clemmons.” Next tweet: “Clemmons said to have challenged police who approached him and was shot.” 3:23 AM: Seattle Police’s media unit just tweeted: “Possible officer involved shooting in the 4400 block of S Kenyon” and noted that they have two people on the way there. 3:50 AM: KIRO and KOMO have both reported — on Twitter, and KIRO did a brief on-TV break-in — that Clemmons is dead, quoting law-enforcement sources including Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. (Added, KING has just confirmed it too.) 3:57 AM: The Tacoma News-Tribune has background on what he was doing in the area where he was killed. 4:14 AM: The citywide media is in full swing now so we’ll point you there for continuing coverage – seattletimes.com in particular; for the latest via Twitter, here’s everybody posting with the #washooting “hashtag” for related coverage.
5:38 AM UPDATE: Since we’re still up because of the Fauntleroy Way fire – a few more notes about this incident. Police are briefing the media now. Among other things, they say that a gun found on Maurice Clemmons when he was shot and killed this morning was taken from one of the Lakewood officers killed Sunday. 1:30 PM: Here’s the SPDBlotter summary of how it unfolded this morning.
Three reports to share this time – first one’s a case of watchful neighbors getting a suspect off the street:
Fairmount Springs coalition of Block Watchers (about a hundred on our list) had a success story last week by reporting a local known problem person who had no reason to be in the neighborhood. The ever-vigilant block watch captain on 41st confronted (the man), who had a very dumb reason to be in the neighborhood (Thanksgiving at a vacant house) and reported him to the police. Thanks to SPD, they showed up and arrested (the man), who is now in jail on numerous charges. This guy has been seen lurking in yards and slowly driving his red Merc down alleys in our neighborhood and is suspected of being the source of some local crime.
According to King County Jail Register records, this is the fifth time this year the man’s been in jail – this arrest came just three weeks after his most recent release. He’s being held for alleged failure to appear to face previous charges, including harassment, trespassing and pot possession. Meantime, we have two more reports to share – a car break-in, and suspected casing – those two reports, just ahead:Read More