West Seattle, Washington
Friday-Sunday, it’s the annual run of “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” presented by Twelfth Night Productions at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center – four chances to see the show. And this year’s run is a special anniversary for brothers Jeffrey and Michael Thoreson first appeared in Amahl and the Night Visitors 40 years ago this month. It was a production at First Lutheran Church of West Seattle at the time – then in the late ’80s, most of the cast reunited to do the show again, and the brothers have done it every year since – part of the Twelfth Night presentation for the past 13 years. It’s been a family affair in even more ways – early in their stint with Twelfth Night, their dad David played the third king; many other Thoresons have been onstage or in the orchestra over the past 20 years; and this year Jeffrey’s son Hans plays Amahl for the second year – though it’s his fifth year with the production, debuting as a shepherd at age 5. We asked about memorable moments for the brothers; they said, working with their dad, who really took to singing and to playing to the audience but retired from performing after a few years. He’s returned to see his sons over the years, and the brothers say he’ll be there this weekend. “Amahl and the Night Visitors” will be presented at 7:30 Friday and Saturday, 3 pm Saturday and Sunday, and there’s a special deal – go to the WSB Coupons page to print out the coupon for 20 percent off any adult admission at the box office.
An update tonight on the 2-year fight over what can be built on the expansive front lawn of the Satterlee House, the 103-year-old city landmark that’s also known as the Painted Lady of Beach Drive: The attorney for the Satterlee House’s owner says they’re taking the fight to the next venue – the state Supreme Court. This follows a series of rulings against the specific 3-home plan that Conner proposes for the land in front of the house: First, the city Landmarks Preservation Board rejected the proposal two years ago, saying the proposed homes’ size and scale would take away from the landmarked traits of the site. Conner appealed the decision to the city Hearing Examiner, who upheld it in April 2008; then he asked King County Superior Court to review the decision, where it again was upheld; from there it went to the state 1st Division Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments last June, and then announced on December 21st that it too upheld the previous decisions. Next potential step was asking the state Supreme Court to review the case, and tonight the lawyer who’s led the case for Conner all along the way, Richard Hill, confirms to WSB, “Yes, the Conners intend to ask the Washington Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals decision.” We’ll watch the court records and keep tabs on what happens next; as we reported after last month’s ruling, the case has drawn national attention.
Seeing more people than usual in the Alki area with binoculars? Here’s why. Thanks to Maurie for the photo and the explanation:
There are likely to be a lot of birders wandering around alki for the next few days. This morning a Black-billed Magpie (in the corvid/crow family) was seen moving back and forth between 61st and 63rd between Stevens and Alki Beach. This is a bird native to Eastern Washington but extremely rare for Western Washington.
It’s now on my yard list – and that’s one good bird to have on a yard list for Alki!
We’ve discussed the name and the menu, but before the new restaurant at California/Edmunds opens this Saturday, we thought you might want to meet the people behind it.
Story and photos by Mary Sheely
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Yaz Faour is so energetic he’s practically vibrating as he darts about his soon-to-open restaurant, Table 35, at the corner of California SW and SW Edmunds.
“Let me give you a tour,” he says in Montreal-accented English, a souvenir of his birthplace – he moved to the Pacific Northwest six years ago to help his brother run Salute of Bellevue, the Italian restaurant they sold several months ago. “We’re doing a facelift; we’re not changing the layout of the place.”
Table 35 retains much of the décor of the site’s former occupant, Ama Ama, but Faour points out a new row of metal beads that now separate dining and bar areas – the beads become a slow wave of glowing color when flooded with tiny lights. He motions toward a newly christened piano area: “Here there will be background music,” he says. He demonstrates how more colored lights (which TR Professional is installing) will accent an existing textured wall. The effect is rather swank, even a little dazzling. But though Table 35 will look beautiful, it’s obvious that Faour wants his restaurant to be anything but stuffy, especially when he explains how it got its name.
A few people have asked about the full-surround scaffolding around the easternmost water tank at Myrtle Reservoir (map), most recently Scott C, so we checked with Seattle Public Utilities for the latest. No, the water tank’s not coming down – though the nearby reservoir has been covered (with some of the newly created land to be turned into a park later this year), the above-ground tanks remain in service. We recalled a bit of info about the work at the water tanks involving painting, and indeed, that’s all that’s happening, according to SPU’s Elaine Yeung:
Yes, we’re repainting the inside and outside of Myrtle Tank #2 (i.e. the larger of the two above-ground water tanks). The final color of the tank will match the smaller tank which was painted earlier in 2009. Some of the work on the interior began back in November 2009 but as you noted, scaffolding is going up for the exterior work. Crews will enclose the structure within a temporary plastic cover during paint removal, priming, and painting to contain dust and paint overspray and protect the tank from inclement weather. At this point, the repair work is scheduled to be complete in April 2010.
From last night’s Southwest District Council meeting: First topic doesn’t directly affect West Seattle, but you’re invited to have a say on it just the same. The county is thinking about getting rid of Metro’s “electric trolley” buses and replacing them all with diesel-hybrid buses, explained on the county website, and covered last fall by Central District News. No electric buses run in West Seattle, but they’re seeking region-wide reaction; electric buses cost more to buy, but there was much concern last night that the costs are higher, and that electricity is more sustainable, in the long run. A survey you can take will be online shortly; Jim Del Ciello also booked presenter Jonathan Dong (of SDOT) on the spot for next Tuesday’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting. Item #2 is West Seattle through and through – a progress report on Sustainable West Seattle‘s plans to create a Tool Lending Library for the area. SWDC co-chair Chas Redmond made the presentation. Read on for those details and a couple other notes from last night:Read More
Twitter and Facebook were abuzz about this morning’s incredible pink-splashed sunrise, with folks sharing photos fast and furious. In case you missed them – this is the most beautiful West Seattle sunrise photo we’ve seen, tweeted by Scott from the peninsula’s southwestern shore. (Thanks also to Judy for offering a camphone pic.) Might be too cloudy tomorrow to see a similar sight again.
Bartell Drugs has announced it’s going to stop filling Medicaid prescriptions at 15 of its 57 drugstores as of February 1st, including the Admiral branch here in West Seattle, because, it says, the state is not compensating them adequately for those prescriptions. Here’s the Bartell announcement, in which it urges concerned customers to contact the state. So far, the other Bartell stores in West Seattle are NOT making a change. (Thanks to WSB contributing journalist Jack Mayne for the tip.) FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: We asked Bartell why this particular store (and the 14 others) but not the rest of the chain. Reply: “We chose stores based upon percentage loss on average script on the program, not geography.”
Today we welcome one of the newest WSB sponsors, West Seattle Community Clinic. The all-nurse-practitioner clinic opened three years ago at a different location, but moved last fall to 9001 35th Avenue SW (map). The clinic is open seven days a week, takes patients of all age, and always welcomes walk-ins. Nurse-practitioner Grace Grymes Chapman, ARNP, operates the clinic and says appointments are available almost every day. She says West Seattle Community Clinic is intended to be a place where you can get medical advice from people who listen closely and respond carefully. Grace and her fellow practitioners are active in the community; they have participated in West Seattle Summer Fest and at Healthy Kids Day with the West Seattle YMCA (also a WSB sponsor). She also does pro-bono breast and cervical cancer screenings for women over 40 who do not have health insurance. West Seattle Community Clinic is open 9 am-6 pm Mondays-Thursdays, 9 am-5 pm Fridays, 9 am-1 pm Saturdays and Sundays. They’ll make appointments any time the clinic is open – call 206-937-9722; you’ll find West Seattle Community Clinic online at ggcnp.com.
One major meeting on the calendar tonight: When voters approved the Parks and Green Spaces Levy more than a year ago, that included not only a list of proposed projects to be funded – it also included creation of a $15 million Opportunity Fund, for parks proposals citizens could envision/pursue later. Decisions about almost half the fund money will be made later this year, and applications will be accepted this spring; the first West Seattle meeting to help guide people through the process — starting with the proposal letters due Feb. 2 — is tonight, 6:30 pm, High Point Community Center (map).
Meeting last night for the first time in the new year, the Seattle School Board took on some of the remaining details of the transition to the new Student Assignment Plan; here are the highlights. The issue many parents have been watching closely involves “sibling grandfathering” – if a child currently attends a school different from the “neighborhood” one to which they’d be assigned otherwise, they are grandfathered to stay through its highest grade, but what about a younger sibling entering school this fall (or maybe beyond) – will they be able to attend their sibling’s school? A group of concerned parents rallied before the meeting last night; among them, West Seattle’s Fiona Preedy, who has been active on the issue. She sent around a summary last night of what happened from her viewpoint; we asked for permission to share it:
About a dozen West Seattle parents joined me at a rally tonight, at the John Stanford Center, regarding grandfathering younger siblings. There were a few reporters at the rally, notably, KPLU and King 5, with their cameras’ filming the children with signs, and there was a spot on King 5 at 11 p.m. The broadcast of the meeting will be repeated on the Education channel and you can watch online.
After a few speakers about the sibling issue, (superintendent) Dr. (Maria) Goodloe-Johnson did speak to the sibling families and stated that they are concerned and they do want to help. She gave the guarantee that if younger siblings can not get in the older sib’s school, the older sib is guaranteed a spot in the reference area school, which is in the transition plan. This is rationalized by the ability to spread those students over 5 grades, rather than the concentration in kindergarten. They are calling this a safety net.
For siblings of students with special needs, they are definitely grandfathering in. Steve Sundquist asked that the placement of Spectrum at Madison and Arbor Heights, specifically to ease the load on Lafayette, be sped up to the upcoming year. He also made reference to investigating grandfathering Spectrum siblings.
Several directors strongly urged Dr. (Tracy) Libros to speed up the modeling for school capacity, as surveys and enrollments come in, so they can identify schools where there will be no problem or, on the other hand, where there will be problems. They seemed noticeably concerned over the families’ stress. Regardless of their concern, it still seems the chances of getting the plan past one year are nil. However, if this year’s enrollment goes well, they will begin in the fall to make the next year’s plan early and might even be able to do a two year plan.
Dr. Libros did have a power point about the timeline for enrollment. They’ve extended early enrollment until Jan. 15, then open enrollment will be in March. With the “safety net”, you have through Sept. 30 to decide to move your older sibling to your reference area school with your kindergartener, so if nothing happens to get you in, you don’t have to make an early decision to hold your place.
A lot of the power will be directed to the principals and staff at the schools, so be nice to your principal!
Steve Sundquist will have another meeting at Delridge Library on Saturday, January 16, 1 to 2:30, so come with your questions and comments.
Other reports from last night: Here’s the KING5 coverage and the KPLU report that Fiona mentioned; A partial update from the community site saveseattleschools.blogspot.com is here. That site also points to this helpful link if you want to tour a school before assignments are finalized – here’s the list of open houses citywide.