West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to WSB’er “grr” for the tip – The Swinery has just announced online that they’ll be closing soon for at least two weeks of remodeling. They’re going to be closed tomorrow for related work, the post says, adding that they’ll reopen on Friday and then be open through Feb. 21st, closing 2/22 to start work to finish their kitchen and get it “licensed.” You can read the entire explanation here.
From left, that’s Grace Peer, Siena Jeakle, Sophie Baker and Colleen Donahue. Steve Peer shared the photo and explains they’re Holy Rosary 7th graders who’ve been going door to door seeking donated baked goods and distributing flyers for tomorrow night’s bake sale at The Kenney during the West Seattle Art Walk. Proceeds will go to Haiti quake relief. And there’s still time for you to help – you can bake something tomorrow (or, for our fellow night owls, tonight!) and drop it off at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way; map) right up until sale time (6-9 pm Thursday). This, by the way, fits in perfectly with something new that’ll be offered during tomorrow night’s Art Walk to get more people to The Kenney and other southern stops – Ron Sterling of Sterling Images Gallery, one such stop, at Lowman Beach, has rustled up a shuttle between The Junction and his side of town – read the full details about where and how to catch it, in this WSB Forums post.
Spring has almost sprung and West Seattleites are sharing beautiful bird photos. (Wait till you see the eagle couple tomorrow!) Katie sent this pic, explaining, “Today there were lots of robins in my neighborhood near the Junction. Dozens were all over two holly trees in my yard, eating berries and singing away!”
Cheerleading isn’t just for sports – this routine was part of a mega-pep rally this afternoon at Seattle Lutheran High School on behalf of the Lutheran Elementary School Tournament participants from sister school Hope Lutheran. More than 60 students from Hope’s fifth- through eighth-grade classes have headed south to Concordia University in Portland for the 48th annual edition of the tournament, where more than 1,000 students from around the West are competing in academic and athletic events. According to Bil Hood, Hope students are participating in 10 events including swimming, music, math, drama, Knowledge Bowl, science, spelling, chess, basketball, plus cheerleading – the students in the top video – and drill team – the ones you see here:
Read more about LEST here; we’re expecting updates from Portland over the next few days.
Got a note this morning from Pete M, who wondered about a sign (photo added 5:57 pm) he had seen while heading north on Delridge near SW Alaska (map) – he thought it suggested a big closure ahead, and wondered if we’d heard anything. We in turn checked with SDOT, whose Marybeth Turner has been investigating. She reports back that there IS a closure ahead, but not what the sign apparently implied:
A contractor for a private developer installed a misleading sign on Delridge Way SW. He is taking it down, and will replace it with a more accurate sign that indicates that SW Oregon Street (which turns into 23rd Ave SW) [map] will be closed. The developer is extending a sewer line for new homes.
Traffic going to South Seattle Community College coming from the north will be detoured to Delridge Way SW. The closure will start at approximately 9 a.m. on Feb 22 and is expected to reopen by Apr 5 (six weeks).
At Delridge, SW Oregon Street (which turns into 23rd SW) will be closed to all traffic. At the other end, 22nd SW (which turns into 23rd SW) will be closed to through traffic where 22nd SW meets 21st SW. 23rd will be closed to all traffic (including local) where it meets 22nd SW (this would be SW Alaska if Alaska cut through at this location).
Hope that all makes sense to area residents. She also included a word of thanks for the heads-up on the sign – so we’ve passed that on to Pete.
Of course we already have INCREDIBLE events in West Seattle every spring/summer – but a few new ones are in the works, and in case you hadn’t heard about them yet:
STREET SCRAMBLE: Just got the word on this. March 20th, get ready for Alki Street Scramble, the first in a series of Street Scrambles around the area this spring/summer. As explained on the official website, the concept is: “Thirty locations are circled on a neighborhood map. On foot or bike, how many can you visit in 90 minutes? In 3 hours?” The locations haven’t been chosen yet, but keep an eye on streetscramble.com.
(“I Feel Like Funkin’ It Up,” from 2009 Honk Fest West)
HONK FEST WEST: This raucous three-day music event is planning to spend its third day in West Seattle. It’s been mentioned briefly at some recent neighborhood-council meetings but now it looks like plans are beginning to solidify. Mark April 11 on your calendar – either for revelry or for earplugs. Here’s the official website.
We’re adding more springiness (and summer fun) to the Events calendar as we get it – we can also suggest you save May 8 for the annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, coordinated by your friendly neighborhood news site (us) – you can fan WSCGSD on Facebook! – and June 5 is not only slated as Delridge Day, but Sustainable West Seattle president Brian Allen confirms that this year’s SWS Festival is being planned in conjunction with the DD event.
With some of the facilities he manages visible right out the window from the Salty’s on Alki meeting room, Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani gave an upbeat speech this afternoon to the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. It wasn’t all about finances – he touted the new Workplace Responsibility Officer whose hiring was announced yesterday, after alluding to the “dark path” the port faced amid various controversies not too long ago. As for the port’s business, he says the cargo business “turned the corner” about half a year ago, and is up more than 20 percent since then — “none of the other West Coast ports are experiencing that” — though it was down 7 percent for the entire year. His overall report card for the port’s 2009 financial picture: “We were off 4 1/2, 5 percent … about 450 million bucks.” Cuts are hard to make, he said, “because most of our expenses are relatively fixed” – but they made cuts that “amounted to 31 million dollars” and “came in with net operating income at 98% of budget.” As a result, Yoshitani said, the port’s bond rating is strong, and projects are proceeding, including the restarted construction of the $420 million rental-car facility.
Other points of pride: Delta marketing Sea-Tac Airport as a “premier gateway to Asia,” with more news to come on that front in the next six months; Carnival running Alaska cruises from Seattle starting this year – the parent company to what Yoshitani estimates is at least two-thirds of the global cruise business – and some environmental programs, including compensating vessel operators for using low-sulfur fuel while in port instead of cheaper bunker fuel, plus the “Clean Trucks” offer to buy back old trucks for up to $5,000 each; Yoshitani says they’ve bought 59 in the two months since the program began, and a dozen more are in the works. In the Q/A period, Yoshitani was asked about his opposition – which he said was “personal” – to a proposed federal reform, F4A, that would allow local governments to regulate port trucks (which The Stranger‘s been covering). He said he took a “personal position” because he believes it would be problematic for “different states to have different laws” in this area, and says the Clean Trucks program is what the Port of Seattle implemented instead, with an expansion coming, he said, to encourage retrofitting of newer trucks.
Also from Q/A – he was asked about threats to the Port’s business as posed by Panama Canal expansion – allowing much-bigger ships to continue directly to the East Coast instead of docking in the West because the canal’s not big enough – and by other ports such as Prince Rupert, B.C. He says the West Coast (U.S.) ports are banding together to do their best, collaborating with the railroads, the Longshore Workers Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, to counter such threats. However – “How do we make our piece of the pie as large as possible? That’s the subject of another discussion,” he concluded.
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has monthly lunch meetings and other events. Next monthly lunch will be at the Southwest Precinct. The annual Awards Breakfast is coming up April 7, 7:30 am at Salty’s. Chamber membership info – we should disclose WSB is a member – and lots more is online at wschamber.com.
That’s Benjamin Kinlow, crime-prevention coordinator for the Southwest Precinct, with Admiral Neighborhood Association president Katy Walum at last night’s ANA meeting. He’s holding one of the flyers that he circulates in neighborhoods that have burglaries but no Block Watch groups. The one he’s holding is the “first burglary” alert; if there’s a second in the same neighborhood within 12 months, and still no Block Watch, there’s a pink flyer; a 3rd one, bright yellow; and he says he’s even circulated some “4th notices.” His point: Form a Block Watch. His page on the Southwest Precinct website explains how. Just last week, he told ANA, 40 people showed up for a Block Watch-organizing meeting he led. West Seattle has hundreds of Block Watch groups; almost 300 of them had block parties for Night Out last summer. He was asked how to tell if your block HAS a Block Watch; Kinlow’s reply, “If you don’t know if you have one, then you probably don’t have one” – in other words, a good Block Watch is an active one; communicating with neighbors can be a huge step toward fighting crime. ANA will work with him to invite area Block Watch captains to a future ANA meeting, date TBA. He offered a few more random crimefighting tips: If you have a ladder outside, put it away – they can be stolen (for either breaking in through upper windows, or for metal-theft money); he also suggested “No Solicitors” signs for entire blocks – so if someone is seen nearby, you KNOW they’re likely a caser. One other date he shared: Picnic at the Precinct will be 1-4 pm August 14 this year. More to come from last night’s Admiral meeting, non-crime topics, in a separate report; but first, we have a few Crime Watch reports to share – including someone who just got one of those “burglary but no Block Watch” flyers – read on:Read More
A reminder today from the family of Jade West Cafe proprietor Wah Wong (left), badly hurt along with son Jason Wong when a drunk driver hit them outside their Beacon Hill home two months ago: 5 pm today is the deadline to send a message supporting the toughest sentence possible when the driver, Rodney James, is sentenced Friday, two weeks after pleading guilty to vehicular assault. (Prosecutors are requesting a two-and-a-half-year sentence.) The request for e-mail support was first made by Wah Wong’s son Jimmy Wong, who spoke with us while visiting from California weekend before last. The family has sent three links for those interested in e-mailing their support: Guidelines for what to write, here; sample statement, here; archive of news stories (just for reference, no need to include in the letter), here. Their reminder e-mail adds:
– You can keep your message short (no need for a LONG essay – a paragraph or two is sufficient)
– You do NOT need to physically sign your letter (just name and date at the end will do)
– If you have any specific questions, feel free to call Diane Priest, our crime victims’ advocate (206-684-7702)
The future of the Jade West Cafe, which Wah Wong ran as mostly a one-man show, remains undetermined; he and Jason are now continuing their recovery at home in Beacon Hill. We plan to be in court to cover the sentencing on Friday.
(Photo in this story is from 2008, courtesy Paul Sureddin)
Seattle Parks (which just joined Twitter – @seattleparks) is out with a heads-up notice about what will be closed this Friday because of budget-related furloughs. Among the closures – Southwest Pool. The list also includes the reminder of closures for next Monday’s holiday. See the full list here. P.S. Parks’ Joelle Hammerstad tells us the Friday furlough/Monday holiday situation, akin to what happened in mid-January, should NOT result in a rerun of this – she says their new security vendor “didn’t get our message to leave the parking lots unlocked last time. That shouldn’t happen again.”
As mentioned on the Delridge Grassroots Leadership site on Tuesday and in a Youngstown Cultural Arts Center e-mail update sent out this morning, a group of local teenagers is in Washington, D.C., right now, “representing Seattle and creative young people across the country at the historic concert ‘A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement‘,” as the Youngstown bulletin describes it, going on to say, “This opportunity was granted by the Grammy Foundation through Kathleen Allen, community arts liaison with Seattle Public Schools, when she was moved by the students’ performance for the opening of their exhibit at the Frye Art Gallery.” They’re the founding youth of Youngstown Records, which recently launched. The exhibit, created in collaboration with Youngstown-based ArtsCorps, is titled “I Wish I Knew Who I Was Before I Was Me,” is at The Frye Museum – free to see – through the end of May. The DC concert they attended, hosted by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, is scheduled to air on PBS tomorrow night (read more about it here). Youngstown Arts Center, in North Delridge, is a hotbed of artistic exploration and talent – keep up with its classes and goings-on here. (Photo by, and used with permission of, Laura O’Quin) ADDED 6:26 PM: ArtsCorps just shared this update from the youth in DC:
Thanks to Rob for the call. May not be a big crash – no medic-unit callout – but he says it’s blocking part of the road at SW Holly (the 911 site lists it as Delridge/Willow) [map], so since it’s commute time, we’re sounding the alert. 9:09 AM UPDATE: In comments, LovingWS says the scene is clear. Thanks again to everybody who shares traffic-trouble updates as well as other types of breaking/nonbreaking news – here are all the ways to contact us (phone is the quickest/surest when it’s urgent – please consider putting our 24-hour line 206-293-6302 into your mobile ‘contacts’).
FORECAST: Doesn’t look like we’ll see an encore of the sunshine in Chas Redmond’s Tuesday afternoon photo of Gatewood blossoms: Cloudy with intermittent rain.
SOUTH PARK BRIDGE ALERT: Today’s the first of four consecutive days during which the bridge is scheduled to be closed 7 am-7 pm for testing related to potential future replacement.
HOPE LUTHERAN SCHOOL SENDOFF: More than 60 Hope Lutheran School fifth- through eighth-graders head to Portland this afternoon for the annual Lutheran Elementary School Tournament, a five-state competition including academic and athletic events. They’ll be cheered on at a 1:30 pm pep rally.
SCHOOL OPEN HOUSES: Two tonight — West Seattle Montessori/West Seattle Academy, (WSB sponsor), which is preschool-8th grade, 6-8 pm; Alki Elementary, 6:30-8:30 pm. (The full lists of Seattle Public Schools open houses/tours are linked here.)
Even more West Seattle events for today/tonight are listed here.
An update on one of the most recent “West Seattle Help for Haiti” projects mentioned here – Victoria Shaw of The Mural Project asked for art-supply donations (see the original request here). She now sends word that KeyBank in The Junction (California/Alaska) “has graciously volunteered to be the dropoff point for anyone wishing to donate new or used art supplies for the school in Haiti. There will be a box in the lobby through the end of February.” Meantime, we have news of an art project involving a local school, related to a natural disaster within our own borders:
From Madison Middle School art teacher Lisa Baker:
Students in 7th Grade Art at Madison Middle School in partnership with Eckstein Middle School designed Fundred Dollar Bills to help raise awareness about lead-contaminated soil in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina . The art project focused on contemporary artist Mel Chin who uses his artwork for environmental and social issues. The students learned about certain plants that can absorb chemicals from the soil to return it to safe levels. The bills will be collected in an armored truck from Eckstein Middle School on February 11th, 2010, and delivered to Congress to help raise the necessary $300,000,000 for clean-up of the soil in New Orleans.