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