West Seattle, Washington
During this Disaster Preparedness Month, we’ve mentioned the city’s preparedness activities before. Here’s a simple one that you can take advantage of: The monthly newsletter from the Office of Emergency Management. Not quite May yet but the May edition is out – see it here. It lists upcoming classes and drills, in addition to taking a closer look at a specific preparedness topic you might not have heard much about. This edition also has another reminder about the “3 to Get Ready” (WSB sponsor) promotion that’s under way now. Overall, the OEM website has plenty of resources – as does, of course, West Seattle Be Prepared, home of the Emergency Communication Hubs (know YOURS!) P.S. Still need items for your emergency kit? Might be something to look for during West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – 200+ sales around the peninsula, somebody’s bound to have something you need! (Oh, and don’t forget to join the WSBP Facebook group …)
(Photo by Briana Watts)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“This really, really, really sucks.”
South Park resident Lora Suggs summed up in five words the prevailing mood at tonight’s South Park Bridge draft-closure-plan meeting.
The meeting was supposed to be about explaining the newly released draft plan for helping people get around and helping businesses stay afloat once the deteriorating bridge closes June 30.
But when public-comment time kicked in, it was more like venting – both at the mike and from the audience, demonstrating the community’s indignation that the situation has even come to this.
One woman said she had bought her home in Boulevard Park in 1978, at which time, “I was told the South Park Bridge needed to be retrofitted and replaced. My (child) was 5. He’s 37 now. Why are we sitting here today and why wasn’t this taken care of sooner?”
King County Department of Transportation Director Harold Taniguchi had no easy answer. Besieged repeatedly by audience calls of “how did this happen? why did this happen,” he finally had to say, “We are at where we are at. If we had 32 years to put a funding plan together – we didn’t do it.”
Some community culpability was acknowledged in the middle of a fiery 5-minute speech by Christina Gallegos. Listen to it – as she addresses almost every topic that came up tonight, with clarity as well as fury.
Taniguchi’s response, plus highlights of the draft closure plan – including West Seattle effects – and the search for money for a new bridge, after the jump:Read More
Looks like that first short garbage strike was the last one. Our regional-news partners at the Seattle Times report there’s a tentative settlement in the contract dispute between Waste Management – which handles solid waste for our area among many others – and Teamsters Local 174. No details of the deal yet, but Local 174’s members will vote on it Sunday.
Severson Construction in the 3200 block of Harbor Avenue (map) was burglarized overnight. We received this report from Candace Severson, who is hoping you will be on the lookout for three stolen computers:
The Seattle Police Department called us at home this morning (April 27th) at 2:00 a.m. from the inside of our office on Harbor Avenue. The front window had been taken out and three desktops (one black Sony Vaio desktop and two iMac Desktops) were stolen.
Some tenants who live in the condos above saw two men in a dark vehicle carrying the stolen merchandise. We have filed a police report and serial numbers have been placed on Craigslist for any good citizen who is interested in helping us recover our stolen items.
Here are the serial numbers;
I Mac Desktop 20″ White – W 88284 JUZE 2
I Mac Desktop – W 94492 DOPP 7
Sony “Vaio” Desktop – 27504130 – 4 – 3000366 – 4
Reward for information concerning this theft.
SPD’s non-emergency number is 206-625-5011 – but if you think you see something suspicious happening now, don’t hesitate to call 911.
This year’s Sustainable West Seattle Festival is being held in conjunction with the Delridge Day celebration, June 5 at Delridge Community Center – and organizers are taking applications right now. Here’s the form – May 15 is the deadline for applications. (This is a change for the festival – it’s been held in May in The Junction the past two years – but this year, Delridge Day is a bigger-than-ever event, and the SWS Festival is part of it.)
From Paula at West Seattle Elementary:
The community is invited to attend our annual Literacy Night at West Seattle Elementary School. The event is Wednesday, April 28th, from 6:30-7:30. There will be games, poetry, readings, and a visit from literature characters, including Clifford the Dog! Our 4th and 5th grade students will be taking photos with these characters during the evening to earn money toward their annual trek to Islandwood on Bainbridge Island next month. In addition, there will be a raffle and our Scholastic Book Fair (credit cards accepted)! We hope the community will come and visit our wonderful school. Come and meet us! We look forward to welcoming you!
From the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance:
West Seattle Farmers Market Special Kids Event:
You are all invited to join us for special family activity devoted to spring planting. Kids can get their hands dirty planting various seeds, flowers and wheat grass for their own gardens at home. Folks can learn more about the growing cycle of seeds and have fun grinding eggshells to add nutrients to the soil.
Sunday May 2 10 am – 1 pm.
This event is free and open to the public. The West Seattle Farmers Market takes place every Sunday – Year Round- and is located in the Junction aka downtown West Seattle – outdoors in the parking lot behind Key Bank – off of the corner of California and Alaska.
“The Hole” on the Junction/Triangle border is far from the only stalled-development eyesore in West Seattle. This afternoon, we have new information about another one:
After receiving an e-mail inquiry about the status of the Shoremont Apartments site at 2464 Alki – at one point purchased by the development arm of an architect firm and slated for an ultramodern development, with a demolition permit issued – we’ve done some research the past two days, and have learned two things:
First – City records show repeated citations for violations regarding the building being unsecured, and overgrown. City inspector Michael Griffin – who laughed ruefully when we told him what we were calling about – tells WSB that the Shoremont’s (previous) owners wouldn’t even return phone calls, so it’s all been “an exercise in paperwork.” The city, he says, is doing its best to make sure that the building “is secure to keep transients out” – but even that has required repeat visits, and repeatedly replaced boards (we’ve retouched the tags out of this photo):
Griffin mentioned that neighbors had told him the building was to be auctioned off this month. Online county records show indeed, there was a foreclosure auction scheduled for April 2nd. Including delinquent interest, records say more than $3 million was owed on the site, which had been sold for $2.2 million two years ago. The inspector told WSB he was waiting to see the new ownership, if any, recorded before figuring out who next to start notifying of the violations at the site.
This afternoon, we found out who the “new” owner is: The federal government, according to Chris Sheehan, who is with Whidbey Island Bank, the new owners of what was CityBank of Lynnwood, which the feds closed a week and a half ago. Sheehan tells WSB the Shoremont was part of the CityBank assets seized by the FDIC when they closed the bank – beleaguered by bad real-estate loans. So – he didn’t disagree with our suggested assessment – it’s the feds’ problem now. As soon as we figure out who to talk to at the FDIC (it’s after-hours back East now, anyway), we’ll pursue further. (The site’s not yet listed here.) Meantime, as you can see from our photos taken this morning, the windows are broken, the grass is overgrown, and a once-stately apartment building continues to fall into disrepair.
Just two nights till the annual citywide Dining Out for Life fundraiser for Lifelong AIDS Alliance. Five West Seattle restaurants are on the list for this Thursday: Abbondanza, Buddha Ruksa, Fresh Bistro, Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor), and Talarico’s. Check the Dining Out for Life website to see whether they’re donating part of their proceeds for lunch, dinner or both – and also to see who else is participating around the city.
If you’ve seen police activity in Seaview the past couple hours, Doug‘s report explains it:
Our housekeeper spotted three people in an old light blue van pull into the alley behind our house this morning. Two of the people got out and came into our backyard. She scared them off and called me. I drove around and found them doing the same thing in the alley near 47th and Findlay [map]. I got the police on the phone and followed the van for several blocks throughout the Seaview neighborhood until police arrived and stopped them in an alley off Graham and 46th. They told the cops they were looking for scrap metal, but officers are running their names to check for any warrants. As always, please report any suspicious vehicles to police. There have been far too many home burglaries in the area lately.
Not long after Doug’s note, we also heard from Gary, who said that a tow truck has since shown up to take the van away. We’re checking with police to see if that means there were arrests involving the three people who were in it. SECOND CRIME WATCH REPORT: Bob at Seattle Integrated Martial Arts in The Junction says a sandwich-board sign for his business and co-housed Limber Yoga was stolen from 42nd/Alaska on Sunday night – if you’ve seen it anywhere, let them and/or police know.
(L-R: Craig Undem, Tyler Farrar [pro racer at grand opening], Kristi Berg, Brad Loetel, Ed Ewing)
Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor, Cycle University, located on Fauntleroy where the Huling Brothers Chrysler showroom used to be (4550 next to the 76 station; map). Here’s what Cycle U wants you to know: They are a bike shop and a training center with a full selection of bikes, for kids to adults, and a full-service center for repairs of any kind. The employees are coaches as well as mechanics and love sharing their knowledge. They specialize in helping new riders who are taking up sports like Road Riding, Triathlon, Mountain biking, Cyclocross, or just riding around West Seattle in style. They have teams you can join for each one of these categories if you want to get serious. Cycle University is unique because they not only sell and service bikes, they teach classes to improve your riding, like a ski school for bikes. The list of classes is extensive, but in a nutshell, they have an impressive indoor training center where you bring your own bike (or rent one of theirs) and do spin-type classes; they teach kids to ride without training wheels; and they have outdoor classes for adults on: Group riding, hill climbing, Triathlon, Cyclocross, and Introduction to Road Racing. Founded by Craig Undem on Gatewood Hill in 2004 (used to race against Lance Armstrong and coached at the Tour de France in 2002 and 2003), Cycle U has another location in North Seattle near Children’s Hospital. They carry the full line of Specialized bikes and have a friendly staff of folks who love bikes and endurance sports. They also specialize in Bike Fitting. Manager Brad Loetel is assisted by head mechanic Catherine Monroe, and Ed Ewing is the director of their indoor Cycling program. Hours are Monday – Friday 11-6, Saturday 10-6 (opening Sundays in May). Call 206-432-9982 or visit the website for the full scoop – www.CycleU.com. They have a bike swap this Sunday (May 2nd), where you can sell your cycling stuff or look for good deals!
The WSB inbox has brought questions lately about the status of two more of the new businesses we’ve previewed – so here are updates. HEAVENLY PASTRY: If you walk by their future storefront in the Admiral District – between Linda’s Flowers and Gifts and Alki Bike and Board – you’ve probably noticed the whimsical, oft-changing displays, like the Captain Kirk cutout above. Heavenly Pastry and Cake proprietors Allison Barnes and Michael Stein are working hard on the buildout and say they’re now hoping for a mid-May opening. Here’s our November story about their plans.
LOCOL: We mentioned in an early April comment thread that a followup was in the works regarding Locöl, the wine/beer bar planned for Westwood, between Sharon’s Westwood Florist and Kenyon Hall; then two people pointed out this week that it had never appeared! Oops. So we just checked back with co-proprietor Kyle Duce to see how things are going. He says they’re waiting on permits but still hoping to open “July-ish.” He adds:
So in the meantime we are putting together our wine and beer list and tasting options for our small food menu. We were able to talk with Tony’s Produce and are excited to get our fresh organic produce from the neighborhood.
Transportation tops the list for tonight: Still not sure how you’re going to get through a tangle of traffic-affecting work between here and downtown in the next several years? Drop by the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement open house, Madison Middle School, 6-8 pm … Or, if you are going to be more affected by the South Park Bridge closure June 30, that’s also the time window for tonight’s meeting to present the draft closure plan (Machinist Hall in South Park) … Tonight’s also the Fauntleroy Fall Festival Fundraiser at Endolyne Joe’s, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the big event – starts at 5 pm for dinner, followed by late-night happy hour with live music at 8 … Also: Two free classes for your health – a free “Intro to Yoga” workshop at SoundYoga (WSB sponsor) – 7 pm, but please call/e-mail to sign up … Westwood Curves offers “Healthy Fats,” a free class at 10:30 am or 6:10 pm (246-7900 to register).