West Seattle, Washington
(7/4/09 photo shared by Gilbert, showing Lake Union fireworks as seen from West Seattle’s Hamilton Viewpoint)
Even without Elliott Bay fireworks last year – after Ivar’s canceled its longrunning annual 4th of Jul-Ivar’s show – West Seattle viewpoints still drew crowds for views of the Lake Union fireworks, rising high behind the south edge of downtown. This year, though, as of tonight, looks like no fireworks, after the company that produced the Lake Union show posted a letter saying it hasn’t found a sponsor (after taking over WaMu, the previous sponsor, Chase, only committed to last year’s show), and they needed to have one by now (although one company executive told KING 5 they might be able to pull it out IF a sponsor came forward immediately). Some are worried the lack of an “official” fireworks show will result in more illegal fireworks. According to our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times, the price tag for sponsoring the Lake Union show has been more than half a million dollars. If we indeed turn out to be fireworksless in Seattle this year, you’ll have options elsewhere – Bellevue has a show accompanied by a live symphony orchestra; some South King County cities like Des Moines, Renton and Tukwila have fireworks too, as does Vashon Island, just a ferry ride away.
Just got the word from Heartland Café proprietor Jay Wergin (who also provided the photo above) – the much-awaited restaurant (for which WSB’ers offered many menu suggestions just weeks ago) will open day after tomorrow. Here’s his announcement:
The buzz around West Seattle is that the Heartland Cafe will open its doors to the public this Friday, April 2. It¹s true: After a trial run with friends and family last Sunday, we are ready to welcome the public! There has been much anticipation of the food, fanfare, and a chance to set sail the old ship bar. We promise not to disappoint, as we have crafted an extensive menu of Midwestern delights and we are ready to pull up the anchor to the Benbow Room.
We will begin taking reservations on Friday for Easter Sunday Brunch. In celebration of our opening, we will be selling Leinenkugel’s original beer for $3 a bottle. Doors open at 3 p.m. on Friday and will stay open until the cows come home.
We are located at 4210 SW Admiral Way, near the intersection of Admiral and California in the heart of the Admiral district.
The phone number you can call on Friday for those aforementioned reservations is 206-922-3313. WSB Forums members have been buzzing about the friends-family preview last Sunday – which is when the photo above was taken – here’s a gallery link Wergin provided for more images from that event.
There are many special events at, and/or organized by, local churches for Holy Week – including the multidenominational sunrise service at Forest Lawn on Easter morning – but one this Friday is of special note: Even if you don’t choose to participate, you may see it in progress, so we’re publishing the advance word – plans for “A Way of the Cross,” starting at noon this Friday (Good Friday) in the heart of The Junction. Read on to see what it’s all about:Read More
We are at Lakewood Police HQ in Pierce County – home of the force that lost four officers in one murderous attack last fall, four of six officers around the region murdered in the line of duty within just a few months (including Seattle Police Officer and West Seattle High School graduate Timothy Brenton). Governor Gregoire is here to sign 19 bills into law, many of them closing loopholes that may have factored into some of last fall’s killings – but one of them, signed minutes ago, is the “Jason McKissack Bill,” renamed for the former West Seattle police officer viciously attacked while on duty in summer 2008. As the governor signed that bill, Jason and wife Kim were at the governor’s side – see the photo above, in which she was looking up at Jason, who is behind Kim (in pink). The bill makes sure that catastrophically injured public-safety personnel unable to return to work are no longer in danger of losing medical benefits for themselves and their families, as was the case here, and law-enforcement advocate Renee Maher has said it will retroactively cover the McKissacks. They met privately with the governor before the signings began, as did families of fallen officers; more than 200 people crowded into the room, and emotions ran high. The signing of the bill, HB 1679, was the end of a difficult political process as well as a victory in the McKissacks’ fight to help Jason recover; at one point this session, the bill appeared in danger of stalling, but support from the public, local law enforcers, their advocates, and local legislators helped get it through. We will add video when we’re back at HQ; you’ll see coverage of this overall event on TV tonight too, as all the local stations were here. ADDED 6:53 PM: Video of the actual signing – preceded by some of the shuffle that took place in the moment beforehand:
Look who’s just joined the project team at the Westwood site where Chief Sealth High School is being renovated and the new Denny International Middle School is being built: Goats from Rent-A-Ruminant. According to the project team from DKA, the goats are clearing blackberries and other undergrowth near newly planted evergreens on the west/north sides of the site, and will be there for about two weeks. We snagged a quick iPhone clip:
Meanwhile, landscaping work and other components of the current phase of the project may involve heavy equipment on nearby streets, so a doorhanger is being distributed to nearby homes; here’s what it says. Though the project website has a webcam, you’re not going to see the goats on it – they’re up on the slopes rather than down in the thick of the construction.
Some years back, the King County (then Elliott Bay) Water Taxi shuttle bus ran all the way south to Morgan Junction, in addition to the current route between Alki and The (Alaska) Junction. This year, according to word we just received from Susan Whitmore with the King County Department of Transportation, the shuttle will run to Morgan Junction part of the time again. Specifically, she says, it will include Morgan Junction in the midday time period on weekdays – a time when ridership otherwise is low. And it’s not so much about getting to the Water Taxi itself, Whitmore explains, it’s about getting people around the area: “We were able to extend service without increasing our current budget or impacting the shuttle schedule. This extension allows us to provide midday transit service to residents around Morgan Junction. Ridership on the route extension will be evaluated during the summer.” Exact details on the schedule aren’t out yet, but the route it will follow is shown on this map (partly shown at right). As previously noted, the Water Taxi starts its season next Monday, April 5, with a new West Seattle dock, different downtown dock, new vessel, and new fare structure – note that there have been changes in the passes that will be accepted, too. The season-opening celebration is planned for the following Sunday, April 11, with free rides all day. ADDED THURSDAY: Here’s the Route 773 schedule.
The Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s Crime Prevention Summit brought more than 50 people into a big circle at Hiawatha Community Center last night – among them, Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow, who shared crimefighting tips you’ve heard before, and some you haven’t. One thing we learned: If you’re going away, you can put in a “Request to Watch” (call or visit the precinct) to ask that police keep an eye on your house; Kinlow says they’ll go by each day. As for how best to protect your house, he repeated over and over again, your watchful neighbors are your best weapons – form a Block Watch if you don’t have one already. Also at the meeting, Community Police Team Officers Adonis Topacio (at left, in plainclothes since he’s currently on a temporary stint with the burglary/theft team), Kevin McDaniel and Jill Vanskike (who temporarily handling Officer Topacio’s western West Seattle sectors – map at right). They explained that Community Police Team officers are the ones you call to talk about non-urgent but troubling problems – like nuisance properties, illegal dumping, recurring noise problems. (Their contact info is here.) But if it’s something happening NOW, they stressed – as police do, over and over again – CALL 911. “You guys know your neighborhoods better than anyone, so if it’s suspicious, call it in, there’s no harm in that,” said Officer Topacio. Finally, ANA president Katy Walum announced the summit’s success sparked plans for quarterly meetings of a Safety Committee – first one, June 7th (time/location TBA), with a focus on Block Watch formation and networking.
SIDE NOTE: While police handed out the list of Admiral area crimes we linked here yesterday, they said they weren’t seeing any particular trends in Admiral – but regarding comparison to other neighborhoods, they mentioned a current burglary “pattern” in Highland Park. We’re following up with SPD to find out more.
(Hummingbird photographed by Tom Kelley near 40th/Thistle)
TRIANGLE TALK: As previewed here Monday, tonight’s the first meeting of the latest advisory group to look at a vision for West Seattle’s Triangle district. 6 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle.
“JASON MC KISSACK ACT” TO BE SIGNED: The former police officer who suffered brain damage when attacked while trying to break up a fight in West Seattle is the namesake for a bill that Governor Gregoire will sign into law today with other public-safety-related bills, 3 pm at Lakewood Police HQ (Pierce County). Here’s our preview.
ALCOHOL CRACKDOWN? On the West Seattle side of the White Center business district, WC-area business owners will gather tonight for a forum on “Options for Managing Homeless, Chronic Alcoholics in White Center.” Discussion topics include “possible ban of certain alcohol brands in White Center.” 6:30 pm, Triangle Pub.
OPEN HOUSE FOR NEW TRANSFER STATION: This is in South Park, but the facility will serve our area too – a new transfer station‘s being built, starting later this year, northwest of the existing one, and the city’s having an informational open house 5-7 pm. Details on the Sustainable West Seattle website.
LAST DAY OF “OPEN ENROLLMENT”: If you are enrolling a first-time student in Seattle Public Schools, or if you want to ask that a student attend a school different than the one to which she/he has been assigned, today’s the deadline – more info on the district’s website.
FINAL WEEK FOR “SUNLIGHT”: Tonight’s the first night of the final week for “Sunlight” at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor), with 7:30 pm performances nightly through Saturday, 3 pm matinee concluding the run Sunday.
DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR MISS WEST SEATTLE HI-YU: $2,000 scholarship money for the Queen, $1,000 for Princesses, and you get to represent West Seattle all over the region. Here’s info on eligibility and how to apply.
TWO WAYS TO HELP: This is the last day of the eyewear-collection drive at Keller Williams in The Junction (details here); also, as noted in this WestSide Baby report yesterday, they need donated boys’ clothes sizes 8 and 10 TODAY.
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports to share tonight – one neighborhood with at least three car break-ins in recent days, another car-prowl victim who wants to remind you of the lesson too many learn too late, and a case of gate vandalism – read on:Read More
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the second time in two weeks, King County Wastewater Treatment brought a team to West Seattle to explain and discuss proposed solutions for a problem that sends more than a million gallons of untreated wastewater and stormwater into this part of Puget Sound in the average year.
This time, at Monday night’s meeting about proposals for the area feeding the Murray pump station at Lowman Beach, the proposed trio of solutions drew even more concern than the trio explained earlier this month for the area served by the Barton pump station by the Fauntleroy ferry dock. (The entire meeting presentation, by the way, is now online – see it here.)
One of them would involve digging up most of Lowman Beach Park, including its unique beachfront tennis court and two century-old trees. Another would involve acquiring homes across the street from Lowman, through eminent domain if necessary. Read on for a look at all three and what the crowd of about 40 at the Southwest Community Center meeting heard and said about them:Read More
Catherine e-mailed that photo, saying:
I don’t know if you ever publish simple photos of the good life on Alki – but I took this on Saturday and thought you might have a chance to share it.
How could we resist?
We’re writing this as the Admiral Neighborhood Association Crime Prevention Summit wraps up – no big headlines but more than 50 people are here, connecting with each other to talk about Block Watches, and hearing police share lots of good prevention info you can’t hear often enough. There’s also a plan for quarterly meetings to keep the focus on crimefighting (separate from the regular monthly ANA meetings). More details later. First, we have several Crime Watch reports to share from around the area – starting with a vehicle break-in at a popular park – read on:Read More
That Seattle City Light crew was a welcome, and long-awaited, sight in North Delridge today. In addition to sharing that photo, Betsy explains why:
One year ago, we submitted our first report to Seattle City Light asking them to fix the light on the stairwell from High Point down to 26th ave SW. This is a major thoroughfare, with folks walking down from High Point through to the bus at Delridge Way and to the High School. At least twice, a young woman stopped at our house after midnight, too frightened to walk up the stairs to her mom’s house. With dark falling at 4:30 in the afternoon in winter, many young folks heading home from school faced a very long steep slog in pitch darkness.
After one year of complaining and multiple reports lodged, today the nice folks at City Light came out and installed the first of two light poles. We’re somewhat mystified why they installed one of the poles at the bottom of the walkway at the street, when there’s already a streetlight on that exact corner. But we’re grateful for a new streetlight. The other pole is due to be installed soon to light up the rest of the street. These photos may be boring, but we are excited to light up the staircase safely!
North Delridge Neighborhood Council
10:19 PM UPDATE: Here’s the latest from the Times, saying WM is now advertising for replacement workers.
PREVIOUS REPORT, 4 PM: For the first time, Seattle Public Utilities has sent a news release alluding to the possibility of a solid-waste-pickup strike that would affect West Seattleites and hundreds of thousands of others. They’re not a party to the talks, though; Waste Management is in talks with Teamsters Local 174, whose members’ contract expires Wednesday night. No updates on the union site (though there’s related coverage on the site for Local 117, which represents Allied Waste drivers) nor on the WM site, but the latest update from our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times says talks are continuing, with the help of a federal mediator; the company has said previously it would arrange for replacement workers if there’s a walkout. Meantime, the city’s news release boils down to “just keep doing what you’re doing” – read on for the full text:Read More
Following up on our weekend report that Westside School has reached a lease agreement with Seattle Public Schools to move into the former EC Hughes building in Sunrise Heights, we have updates on three other “closed” schools in West Seattle: First, SPS communications manager Patti Spencer says the district did not receive any lease proposals for either the former Genesee Hill or former Fairmount Park elementary campuses, which were offered in the same round as Hughes; Fairmount has been vacant since summer 2007 (photo left). As for the Westside lease terms at Hughes, in its second year of vacancy after two years of temporarily housing South Lake High School, Spencer says they’ll be made public when the agreement is signed and finalized. Meantime, we also asked about the Boren building‘s status once Chief Sealth High School moves out at the end of this school year – will anyone be moving in this fall? Nothing planned, but this is the future vision for the site, she says:
We are asking the School Board to designate BOREN as our Essential – Interim / Emergency building for the district – in case of a catastrophic failure at any secondary school (larger K-8 also) that we could move into with minimal costs.
The board’s next meeting is April 7th, but the agenda’s not posted yet.
Just in from WestSide Baby‘s Nancy Woodland – who will be honored next week as the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s Community Hero of the Year – these photos and the following report came with the subject line, “A good thing happened in White Center today too!”
While helicopters were hovering overhead, WestSide Baby was receiving a generous donation from Huggies! A truck loaded up with 288 bottles of Huggies Body Wash AND 158 New Baby Gift Baskets arrived at our facility this morning. WestSide Baby receives hundreds of requests each week and we can’t wait to provide brand new items to local kids. The Huggies Body Wash is particularly great because the older children we serve (up to size 12), rarely have anything here in that category. The Huggies Gift Baskets have diapers, lotion, wipes and wash too. We were even lucky enough to have a volunteer services offered for the truck!
If you happen to be a family with boys… Our shelves for both Size 8 and Size 10 boys clothes are completely empty for order fillers volunteering tomorrow. We’re open 9-1pm if you have time for a quick cleanout and drop off!!
WestSide Baby is at 10032 15th SW.
That’s Rebecca Hall, assistant coordinator at High Point Community Center, getting ready to give the starting signal to dozens of little ones (and parents) during the week’s 1st West Seattle egg hunt, part of the annual Toddler Eggstravaganza. So what did it look like when the toddlers (and parents) descended?
More egg hunts are coming up starting Friday (nighttime events for tweens/teens) and Saturday – see the list on our West Seattle Easter page.
ORIGINAL 11:19 A REPORT: We’ve received a few calls about the chopper over SE West Seattle/White Center. Officers are after a woman described on the scanner as having a shotgun; it started in the 10700 block of 18th. More to come. NOON UPDATE: We’ve just talked at the scene with King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. John Urquhart. He tells us this began when residents interrupted a burglary in progress. They’re OK but three suspects — including the aforementioned armed woman – are being sought. 12:45 PM UPDATE: Our video of Sgt. Urquhart’s media briefing is back in house; uploading now, but in the meantime, the newest details – one suspect was caught, two on the loose. He says all three are believed to be teenagers. (added) Here’s the video (you can hear the helicopter/s in the background):
ADDED 11:14 PM: Two more suspects have been arrested, after a raid on a South Seattle motel, according to this KING 5 report.
Just a quick note to say that we will open registration for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day at 8 am this Thursday, and it’ll be open for three weeks, till April 22nd. The big day is Saturday, May 8, second Saturday in May as usual, 9 am-3 pm – if you haven’t heard about this before, it’s one day with individual, group, organization sales all over the peninsula – last year we set a record with almost 200! The event was founded in the mid-’00s by a nonprofit called Megawatt; when they disbanded, they looked for someone to take over their most successful creations – we took on West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, and Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association took on Gathering of Neighbors (which is set for November this year). Stand by for full details about WSCGSD registration – just wanted to let you know Thursday’s Day 1. (A few eager garage-salers have already tried to sign up through last year’s form – please don’t, we’ll have a brand-new one Thursday. Thanks!)
TODDLER EGGSTRAVAGANZA: From the WSB Easter page: The first egg hunt of the pre-Easter week is for toddlers, during this morning’s Spring Eggstravaganza at High Point Community Center (map). Activities at 10 am, egg hunt at 11 am, activity fee $5.
FUN FOREST FUTURE: Not West Seattle-specific, but City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw mentioned it when Seattle Center‘s future – specifically, whether a Dale Chihuly museum might take over part of the phasing-out Fun Forest – came up at Delridge District Council earlier this month: The facility’s future is the topic of a public meeting tonight at 6:30 at Seattle Center House.
BREW DEBUT: Before tonight’s regular weekly 6 pm “Spin Your Wax” open turntables at Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor), Northwest brewery Ninkasi will be at Skylark at 5 pm to debut a new brew (details here).
That’s the official venue map, organizer David Stern tells us, for the West Seattle leg of HONK Fest West, the marching-band festival that will toot, honk and, well, march its way around the city April 9-10-11. The final day is when it’ll be here on the peninsula, with multiple venues in The Junction noon-5 pm Sunday 4/11, as the map shows – here’s the full schedule in text form (or click a marker on the map, and you’ll see the full slate for that particular venue). Part of California SW will be closed for the occasion.
On this second day of spring break (for most), hundreds of students are no doubt still buzzing about last weekend’s FIRST Robotics regional competition at KeyArena. West Seattleite Jim Edwards was there both days, Friday and Saturday, and provided these photos and info; he was there as proud dad to Kyle Edwards, an Aviation High School student who led the systems-integration team for Skunkworks, which competed:
Jim says Kyle “designed the scouting system for this year’s game.” The game, he explained, is not disclosed by FIRST until six weeks before the competition – that’s how long teams have to design and build their robot: “Once built, the robot is crated up and travels to events the team specifies. Other than limited pit times at regional events, no further work can be done on the robots.” This is animation of the game they had to play this year:
The competition’s workings are pretty complicated, but it all started with 66 teams playing 96 qualification matches all day Friday and early Saturday, Jim says; then Aviation was chosen to be part of the finals – as was the one West Seattle-based team that was there, Seattle Lutheran High School:
The Saints had a great run, making it to the semifinals, Jim reports; Aviation, meantime, got the prestigious Regional Chairman’s Award:
AHS also is going to the finals in Atlanta next month and was featured in this article from our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times. And watch closely for an orange-shirted Seattle Lutheran team member’s soundbite in this KING5 story:
FIRST’s Washington chapter has a website too – see it here.
KING 5 broke the story tonight: An assistant manager at the Admiral Jack in the Box is now charged with robbery in connection with the early-morning holdup at the restaurant last February. The station reports that police say 33-year-old Michelle Miesner confessed to having the robbery staged but claimed the “robbers” then made off with all the money, though she reportedly admitted she’d stolen more than $2,000 from the restaurant before. According to the King County Jail Register, Miesner was arrested last Tuesday afternoon and released from jail 25 hours later. (Thanks to Diane for the tip about the KING story.) ADDED 8:56 AM TUESDAY: We have the charging documents now. Read on for a few more details: Read More