West Seattle, Washington
Story and photos by Mary Sheely
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Jessica Creager understands that a lot of people are these days — for jobs, for money, or for food.
Her show “Craving,” featured during Thursday night’s West Seattle Art Walk and continuing on display at Wallflower Custom Framing (WSB sponsor), 4735 42nd Ave SW, is a response to that reality: her paintings are focused on the “little things in life that cause her to spontaneously smile,” like a pink-frosted cupcake or a pair of Swedish Fish. Some of the paintings themselves are tiny, too, and that’s intentional, to make them more affordable to people who are feeling an economic pinch.
In fact, Creager is one of those people, but she’s not a starving artist. Instead, she’s an artist who’s looking for a job in law.
Police had to help break up a melee that led to tonight’s boys’ varsity basketball game at West Seattle High School getting cut short. At the gym, WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, who’s covered numerous games around WS this season, says the game had less than five minutes to go when he saw two players, one from Rainier Beach HS and one from WSHS, get into a confrontation on the floor, then someone “came out of nowhere” to join the melee, police stepped in, someone in the stands was yelling at the refs, and others joined in the criticism of the refs. Police stepped in and started helping get things under control, but the game was officially called with 4:22 to go, score RB 58, WSHS 22, and we are told it will count. No word of any injuries. Patrick talked with WSHS principal Bruce Bivins as the gym was clearing; he said, “The students acted correctly – (but) the actions of hotheaded adults” are what resulted in the melee. 11:02 PM: Long before the game’s abrupt ending, this was Senior Night and Open House night at WSHS, and we’ll have a separate story on all that a bit later.
(Street-level rendering by Fuller Sears Architects, showing the middle of the new store’s California SW frontage)
We’re at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge, where a major development proposal has just reached a milestone: The Admiral Safeway redevelopment project has finished the Design Review process. The process is a two-meeting minimum for any project, but this was the 5th design-review meeting. Safeway plans to tear down the current store and moving a house on Safeway property behind it, building a larger new store, a small one-story retail building, and a residential/flex-work-units project on the 42nd SW side of the property. Only one issue remained for this last meeting – the new store’s California SW frontage – and it took less than an hour for the board to give its approval. Four board members were present, and only one was on the board when it started going through the Design Review process in September of 2008 (here’s our first report). They’re about to turn out the lights here in the Youngstown theater, as board members and development representatives wrap up post-meeting chat, so we’re moving back to HQ to finish the story. This isn’t the last review for the project overall – it still needs City Council approval for alley vacation (behind the current store) and partial rezoning. ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: Read on for the details of the meeting:Read More
The elementary-school science fair is nowhere near as common as it used to be – so Pathfinder K-8 is excited that it’s continuing to have one each year. Tonight, the cafeteria at Pathfinder’s new site was abuzz with projects by about 100 students, and most of the young scientists stood nearby, ready to talk about them – like Anthony Giomi (above), who enlisted the help of his brother Xavier and sister Lydia to study the performance of certain types of bubble gum. He wasn’t doing a demonstration during the fair, but others were – like the group with “Oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid” – cornstarch, water and coloring, firming up as it was squished hand-to-hand:
We got a whirlwind tour from longtime Pathfinder parent/volunteer Eric Baer, who’s a scientist himself and was judging tonight’s exhibits – those who get the orange certificates you see on this next one, get to move on to the state tournament:
Winners in the state tournament in turn get to move on to a tournament in Washington, D.C., according to Baer.
Thanks to Lora from Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) for that photo of one of the signs up for something that’s new this West Seattle Art Walk night – a shuttle between The Junction and four “southern” Art Walk venues, including shuttle sponsor Sterling Images Gallery (at Lowman Beach). Look for the pink signs. Info on spotlighted artists, plus two versions of the map – clickable Google, and printable PDF – all available at wsartwalk.com. ADDED 6:47 PM: From The Kenney – the Holy Rosary students having a bake sale to raise money for Haiti relief:
Here’s our preview about their fundraiser, as published this morning.
(Photo by Will, added 8:26 pm, taken at a Beach Drive necropsy scene today)
We’ve received a few notes this week about dead sea lions on local beaches. That’s not always newsworthy – usually we advise people to check the resources on the West Seattle-based Seal Sitters‘ website, regarding who to call with news of seals, dead OR alive – but it seems there’ve been more than usual this week. Robert sent us a Facebook note early this morning after happening onto the scene south of Alki Point where one had been found; he said that Parks employees at the scene told him there was another one further down the western West Seattle shore. Though Seal Sitters’ primary focus is watching over live seals, they are often “in the know” about other happenings with marine mammals, so we checked with them, and Robin Lindsey confirmed, “We had two dead male sea lions on the beach here. Also, one decomposed harbor seal that Parks buried this morning. And lastly (hopefully) a beautiful dead adult harbor seal at another small park.” She said state biologists were planning to do necropsies at the scene this afternoon, then tow the bodies out. We spoke with her a short time ago and she had not yet gotten word on official cause of the sea lions’ deaths; we have also left messages for National Marine Fisheries Service‘s media liaison. Lindsey said, “We usually have a lot of deaths this time of year, but four dead pinnipeds in West Seattle in one day is (unusual).” ADDED 8:28 PM: Added a photo that Will – who had e-mailed us about a dead sea lion earlier in the week – took today at a necropsy scene on the beach. He says those who were participating found a bullet – that’s something we plan to ask authorities about, since another person who e-mailed us said they’d heard talk of sea-lion shootings elsewhere in the Sound.
To follow up on questions raised following our Wednesday afternoon report on the impending closure of a significant section of 23rd SW in North Delridge, we took them to SDOT‘s Marybeth Turner first thing this morning. She’s just replied with what you might call a fact sheet – read on to see it in its entirety (note the part about parking restrictions on other streets):Read More
For the second consecutive week, West Seattle’s future RapidRide bus service resurfaced at a local community-group meeting. Last week, WSB’ers had a lot to say following our report on the Southwest District Council discussing a request to reopen the issue of its Triangle route. Today, a two-part update: First, the Fauntleroy Community Association got an update Tuesday night on how RR will travel through Fauntleroy. FCA is hoping to book a Metro rep for its March 23 all-membership meeting so that residents can take questions directly to the source.
Meantime, Susan Lantz-Day reported to the FCA board that Metro is still working on where RR will stop in relation to the ferry dock when it officially revs up in fall 2012, and addressing disability-access issues. The service, she says, will not lead to the addition of traffic lights in the area; a uniformed officer will still be on hand to direct traffic. The stops will use curb bulbs. FCA board members remain concerned about the east side of Fauntleroy, across from the dock, where the current bus shelter sits atop an access-challenged, taller-then-normal curb. Board president Bruce Butterfield said it’ll be vital for them to reiterate these concerns to the Metro at next month’s gathering (watch fauntleroy.net for more details). Now, part 2: We talked with Metro deputy general manager Victor Obeso re: some of the questions raised after last week’s RapidRide report – read on for our summary of that conversation:Read More
ORIGINAL 11:30 AM REPORT: Out of the WSB inbox this morning, from Gretchen:
We woke up to our car on cinder blocks, all four wheels stolen. We’re at 17th and Thistle [map]. Think it happened about 1 am. I woke up, feeling like I heard a thud, but don’t sleep well so kind of wrote it off. My 2 year old woke up as well. I went in to his room, fixed his blanket, everyone went back to sleep. Saw it at 6 am this morning. It’s a Honda Civic, so-so rims, 2 year old tires. Was parked in our driveway on Thistle, which gets traffic, but of course not much at 1 am. Our bedroom window is only 10 feet away from where the car’s parked. We have lights on in the backyard and on the front porch. We have dogs that bark at things, but they didn’t hear this. The people who did it were obviously very quiet. We reported it this morning and an officer came over. He said it’s the 2nd one this week in W Seattle. They didn’t leave anything behind, but the officer told me they often do leave tools. Car was still locked. Not sure how one can prevent something like this happening, other than listening to my gut and checking on things when I woke up. I had a feeling…damn. Wish I’d listened to it. Lesson learned.
(Last wheel-stealing reported here was 2 1/2 weeks ago.) Side note: Just half a mile directly east of where this happened, crime updates are part of the agenda for the Westwood Neighborhood Council tonight, 7 pm, Southwest Community Center (2801 SW Thistle). ADDED 1:42 PM: Betsey just e-mailed to say, “My neighbor directly across the street woke up to all four wheels gone and her car up on blocks. She did file a police report.” (This is on 11th SW near Thistle, blocks east of the first report, Betsey says.)
From the YWCA:
The YWCA Women’s Health Outreach Program and South Seattle Community College will conduct a mobile mammography screening Tuesday, Feb. 23rd, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at SSCC, 6000 16th Ave. SW, in West Seattle. The Washington Breast and Cervical Health Program provides no-cost pap tests, clinical breast exams and mammograms to income-eligible women over age 40 who are uninsured or under-insured. People with insurance also are welcome. Screenings are done in the Swedish (Cancer Institute) Breast Care Express, a full-service mammography clinic on wheels. For more information or to make an appointment, contact the YWCA at 206-436-8623.
And still another sign that what winter we had, appears to be in the rear-view mirror (knock wood): Thanks to Scott for the news that the Garden Center at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) is scheduled to open for the season today, 11 am-3 pm. It’s on the north side of the campus; here’s a map. (This is also where Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle will have its first annual Seed Swap and Sale a week from Saturday; more info here)
“MISSION: SUSTAINABLE” PREMIERE PARTY: Megan Hilfer and Martin Westerman, seen in the clips above, are two of the West Seattleites involved with a pilot project to create a reality show, “Mission: Sustainable,” about lifestyle eco-makeovers. They’ve produced a 45-minute pilot and it will be shown at a “green-carpet” party at Seattle Center‘s Fisher Pavilion tonight; you’re invited, it’s free, be there by 7 pm. Though the original RSVP site shows “sold out,” Megan – who co-hosts the pilot – says there should be room, just don’t be late.
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: That’s the tasty art of Jessica Creager, on view at Wallflower Custom Framing (WSB sponsor) – which is honoring the occasion with cupcakes and chocolates – during tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk, 6-9 pm, all over the peninsula. Other spotlighted artists are featured at wsartwalk.com; last night we featured Holy Rosary students with a Haiti-fundraiser bake sale during The Kenney’s Art Walk event, and remember the shuttle service that can take you there and other southern points, including shuttle sponsor Sterling Images Gallery, from The Junction (full details here). Your Art Walk walking/driving map is here.
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 6 pm tonight, the school known as “Westside” opens its doors to incoming 9th graders and their families, with an open house that includes presentations, performances, panel discussions, and even free admission to a basketball game. The full program’s on the WSHS home page, here.
ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY OPEN HOUSE: This school is also welcoming prospective families tonight, 6:30-8:30 pm. (Data point: AH is the only local public elementary we know of that’s on Facebook and Twitter [@arborhts].)
ADMIRAL SAFEWAY DESIGN REVIEW: 6:30 pm tonight, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. This will be the 5th time the project has come before the Southwest Design Review Board. You can see the newest design revisions here – the focus tonight is supposed to be on the California SW frontage (newest rendering above). Remember that public comment IS taken at these meetings – so if you have an opinion on this project, be there if you can.
Saturday will mark exactly two years since a man named Nicholas Francisco vanished, leaving behind his 2 kids and pregnant wife, sparking an intense, much-discussed search that even covered West Seattle, since he and his family had attended Mars Hill Church here. Now there’s one more coda to the story, 3 months after the King County Sheriff’s Office announcement saying the case was closed after he was found “alive and well, living in another state”: For a sweeps-month special report, KIRO TV tracked him down in Southern California, living under another name, and elicited a brief, chilling, chilly interview – followed by a look into why it’s hard to enforce orders against out-of-state deadbeat parents like him. The text version of their story is here; the video version, broadcast last night, is here.
(Marcee Stone, left, and 34th DDs chair Tim Nuse; photo by Dina Johnson)
The biggest news from Wednesday night’s 34th District Democrats meeting – the group’s State Committeewoman, campaign-reform advocate Marcee Stone, announced she is running for the State House seat currently held by Rep. Sharon Nelson (who has said she’ll run for the State Senate seat that Sen. Joe McDermott would leave if elected to County Council this fall). Stone talked about her local roots, including growing up in White Center and attending the University of Washington, and about her campaign pledge, which you can read here, as linked from a new writeup on the 34th DDs site. (Her announcement comes days after Triangle Pub‘s “Mac” McElroy declared he’s running for the seat as an independent.) Another big announcement: Seattle’s Congressman Jim McDermott will lead a community meeting in West Seattle on February 18, 7 pm at Youngstown Arts Center (that’s two days before the current 34th District legislative lineup presides over the Town Hall noted here). Other notes from the meeting, including a new push for extra school money from the feds, ahead:Read More
Tonight, around 11:30 pm, I saw a white pickup truck stopped in front of mailboxes on 40th Ave SW between 100 St SW and 98th St SW [map] heading North. The truck has loud exhaust and looked clean. Seattle Police have been notified, but also count on West Seattle Blog for a lot of important information.
Police have said repeatedly that if you see something suspicious happening NOW – even if you’re not sure it’s an emergency – go ahead and call 911, and leave it to the operator to properly route.