West Seattle, Washington
For more than two years, we’ve covered the fight over whether the owner of the “Painted Lady of Beach Drive,” the city-landmarked Satterlee House (4866 Beach Drive), will be allowed to build 3 houses on its expansive front lawn – subdivided into buildable lots years ago. The longrunning fight began in December 2007, when the city Landmarks Board rejected the specific 3-house proposal that owner William Conner wants to build, saying the houses would overwhelm the Satterlee House itself and aspects of the site that made it a landmark (a designation sought by its previous owner in the ’80s). Conner appealed the decision to the city Hearing Examiner, who ruled against him in April 2008, then to King County Superior Court, where he lost, then to the 1st Division State Court of Appeals, same result last December, and then (as reported here in January) it’s before the state Supreme Court as a Petition for Review. We’re mentioning it tonight because tomorrow is the official date that Supreme Court Department 2 is scheduled to consider it – it’s one of two “motion days” in the court’s current session. The court may, or may not, agree to review the case; that decision is based only on written materials – no oral arguments are scheduled at this stage. The city has maintained all along that it has not prohibited Conner from building on the site – it has only rejected the particular proposal he brought forth and declined to change. We don’t have the actual petition – Supreme Court case documents are not filed online (though decisions are), and our request to get it from Conner’s lawyer went unanswered – but we do have the city’s 21-page answer, which they provided after it was filed in February (see it here).
(Photo courtesy Shaw Dixon)
More baked goods, anyone? First, Heavenly Pastry – now, meet Baked In Seattle. If you visit The Junction during the next West Seattle Art Walk – Thursday, June 10th – Shaw Dixon invites you to come in and help her celebrate the “grand opening” of Baked In Seattle, sharing “bake space” with Blue Willow Catering and Luncheonette in The Junction (4310 SW Oregon), as well as, Shaw tells WSB, “selling products at the gorgeous luncheonette (and) wholesaling to small, natural groceries around Seattle such as Ken’s and Ralph’s.” Between 6 and 9 the evening of June 10th, you can stop in for free appetizers, wine as well as her specialties – mini-cheesecakes and fruit-filled crumble pie. This is Shaw’s second career – she worked for FedEx for more than a decade, but after a bout with thyroid cancer, she decided to go into business doing something she loved – and that turned out to be dessert-making!
(Post 160 retiring the colors as the 40-minute service concluded)
Just an hour and a half after a ferocious rainshower, the sun finally made its West Seattle Memorial Day Weekend 2010 debut in time for the annual service at Dignity Memorial-Forest Lawn Cemetery and Funeral Home (WSB sponsor) honoring those who have served.
Seattle Opera mezzo-soprano Melissa Plagemann sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” (with attendees joining in the latter, as you can hear in our clip):
American Legion Post 160 Commander Chris Shea, a Navy veteran, reflected on the USA’s long history of fighting for our, and others’, rights: “We must remember, we are Americans. We do not give up – we value our freedom.” The dozens in attendance knew that firsthand – they included veterans as well as relatives of those who had served and are buried at Forest Lawn, crosses and flags marking their graves this weekend, like every Memorial Day. Shea acknowledged these are challenging times, but no challenge is insurmountable:
This was his fifth time speaking at the annual service. ADDED 6:39 PM: Kristen Rasmussen from the West Seattle Big Band (which you can see at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse celebration next Thursday) played Taps:
That photo is courtesy of Jim Edwards (who has played it in previous years) and whose Life son Kyle Edwards from Scout Troop 284 was photographed by WSB as he walked up the knoll to place the wreath at the Forest Lawn Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:
(Almost 400 of the 1,300+ crosses that are up at Forest Lawn this weekend are brand-new, thanks to Kyle’s Eagle Scout project, his dad tells us.)
(July 2009 West Seattle Grand Parade photo by Patrick Sand)
That’s just one of many scenes from last year’s West Seattle American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade (its official name, not “Hi-Yu Parade” though the West Seattle Hi-Yu contingent is a popular participant!). This year’s edition is coming up July 24, from California/Lander to California/Edmunds as usual, and, also as usual, it’s a massive volunteer undertaking, as are most if not all of the other community parades around Seattle. And since it’s a free event, its organizers don’t exactly have a big pot of money on which to draw for expenses – which is why a recent announcement sparked so much concern: The city had recently started notifying parades that effective immediately, they would have to pick up the cost for no-parking signs and other standard trappings.
We heard about this from local organizers, and checked with SDOT. Communications director Rick Sheridan replied:
Based on the significant budget shortfall that the city is facing in this and future years, SDOT is reviewing all of its programs. In an era of tight budgets, SDOT believes it needs to carefully focus its limited resources. In previous years, the department placed traffic controls signs for community events and the city covered the expense. This year SDOT proposed that events needing these services should be responsible for covering the costs.
However, based on concerns raised by organizers of several community events about their ability to cover these costs on short notice, SDOT has reconsidered this decision for 2010. Program cuts for this year will not include reductions in event support and we will look for alternative midyear reductions.
But, Sheridan went on to say, this plan WILL be in next year’s budget. So here’s the challenge for the West Seattle parade and others: WS Parade Coordinator Jim Edwards explains they are stuck in a conundrum. Just charge entries a little more to cover the cost, you say? Problem is, they cannot charge for entries at all, without sharply raising their costs: Edwards explains that any parade charging for entries has to pay five times the permit fee of those that don’t.
The West Seattle parade usually gets a few monetary donations, which help cover costs, but otherwise, because of the permit prerequisite, everyone who enters the parade – and watches the parade – does so for free.
(July 2009 West Seattle Grand Parade photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Edwards says parade organizers would like to have the right to charge a fee to entries that use the parade as a marketing opportunity – commercial and political entries – without Post 160 having to pay for a costlier permit. If the rules were changed to allow that, it would help them cover what they expect will be at least a $1,500 added cost for the signage next year, if the new SDOT plan goes through.
It’s not that the parade’s been draining resources over the years without compensating the city at all; Edwards explains that the West Seattle parade already participates in the city’s “cost recovery” process, and has taken steps over the years to use fewer city resources: “Our original permit costs were upward of $1,500. But because we have a good community who cleans up the roadway at the end of the parade, our costs steadily decreased over the years. We reduced costs further by downsizing crowd estimates slightly as well. We further cut costs at the request of (police) by moving the parade south of Admiral Way.”
(Photo from July 2009 parade by Tracy Record)
The “cost recovery” process, he says, had been multidepartmental on the city side – but now with SDOT’s announcement, he wonders, “Are we now going to have each department instituting its own cost recovery process? Our parade is 1.5 miles. If you include assembly, dispersal, Metro bypasses, Emergency routes. We have signage on about 3.5 miles of roadway…. Our costs will be much higher than say the 2-block-long Magnolia parade.”
So for now, it’s on with this year’s parade as usual, but American Legion Post 160 and those who run Seattle’s other remaining community parades will be watching the city-budget process, to see how this shakes out.
“Knowing that this increased cost may be a possibility next year doesn’t make it any easier to pay, but at least we have time to figure out how,” Edwards says. “It would be our hope that the Special Events Committee makes changes to the rules and allows the community parades to charge a small fee to commercial and political entries in the parade, while still maintaining the free status to everyone else. … I would also hope that the portion of the permit that is (already) considered SDOT costs, (then) be removed from the permit fee. These fees were established under what the city called a cost-recovery program some 15 years ago or so. It was determined that we needed to pick up some of the costs that the city departments incurred from all these parades, hence the massive increase in permit costs.”
Hard to believe the school year only has three weeks to go (June 22 is Seattle Public Schools‘ official last day) – lots of school events happening as the year wraps up; we have two reports to share today, sent along with photos recently by Jeanne Merritt of Madison Middle School:
On May 21 Madison Middle School had its annual May Day Bash. The evening included a spaghetti dinner, a sundae bar, a cake walk, and a silent auction. Funds raised will help support the school library, plus school and classroom activities.
Silent auction items included some truly fine art and craft items that were donated, classroom baskets (e.g. a gardener’s basket, a dog lover’s basket, etc.) and more. [Photo below] Ms. Myers’ math students did an artistic rendering of their name by using reflectional and rotational symmetry. Then the names were put together into a large work of art for another auction item. (If you don’t know what reflectional and rotational symmetry are, you will need to ask a Madison sixth grader!)
Madison staff are very appreciative of their PTSA for all their hard work putting together this fun event.
Madison also celebrated its Super Science Night this month – click ahead to see that report, and photos, plus the answer to an unusual question:Read More
WHAT’S OPERATING DIFFERENTLY TODAY? No school, no mail, no government offices (with a few exceptions), no banks, Metro on a Sunday schedule, Sound Transit Express buses on a Sunday schedule, most city-run community center/park facilities (including Southwest Pool) and libraries closed; if you go to a Seattle neighborhood with parking pay stations/meters, note that there’s no charge today (“parking holiday”)
WHAT’S OPERATING AS USUAL TODAY? Trash/recycling/yard waste pickup is normal, King County Water Taxi runs a regular weekday schedule (as do its shuttle buses), Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth state ferries running regular schedule, state liquor stores are open, as is Colman Pool
OTHER NOTES We don’t usually compile a coffee/restaurant list for this holiday – Thanksgiving and Christmas are the big ones for that – but we do know our coffee-shop sponsors, Hotwire Coffee and Cupcake Royale, are both open today. From our restaurant-sponsor ranks, Feedback Lounge is open and offering their new $5 Lunch and $1 Munchie Monday specials. And from the WSB inbox, West 5 sent word they “will be open (today), and we’ll have our delightful Weekend Fare menu available from 11:00 to 4:00.” Wondering about other West Seattle businesses? More than 120 are on the WSB West Seattle Businesses Twitter list – if you use Twitter, look to see if they’re tweeting today.
David Hutchinson shares that photo of a crow at Don Armeni while wondering if it too is grumpy about the gray/wet weather. On the semi-bright side, the forecast as of this hour suggests a rainy morning lifting to a chance-of-showers afternoon.
That photo was taken two years ago, overlooking what was then the Pathfinder K-8 schoolyard atop Genesee Hill, while P-E teacher Lou Cutler led students on his annual birthday run to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation. This year, as Pathfinder gets close to wrapping up its first year at its new campus on Pigeon Point, Lou’s getting ready to run again. June 7 is the day – one week from tomorrow – and he’s put up a link for pledges (go here – you can donate one flat sum or make a pledge for each lap). Lou traditionally runs one lap for every year he’s been around, so this year that means 59, according to the Facebook invite for his birthday run (you can also find more info on the school website).
Story, video and photos by Jonathan Stumpf
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
If the flora south of the Admiral District appears brighter and more productive these days, you can probably thank local artist turned beekeeper Gary DeBoer.
What started back in the summer of 2008 as a curiosity about the lack of honey bees in the his neighborhood has now turned into a passion to inspire others to become “a little more aware of our relationship to this spaceship we are on,” DeBoer explains.
After keeping fairly detailed charts about the insect activity in his yard, he decided to join the Puget Sound Beekeeper Association and quickly launched his hobby with beginner classes and regular monthly meetings.
But it’s not just the beekeeping for which he’s gaining renown – it’s the artful containers in which the bees live:Read More
Thanks to the tipster who let us know that what looked on 911 like a simple “motor vehicle accident” call resulted in a spill that has the Highland Park Way hill (Holden to West Marginal) shut down right now. We just verified at the scene that it’s closed at the top, and people are being turned around. No details on the crash at this point – but the level of call on the 911 log suggests no serious injuries.
3 weeks ago, we brought you the report of a car theft that hit a family dealing with cancer, among other difficulties. Many WSB’ers offered help; the outpouring continued as a couple of citywide media outlets picked up the story. But the car remained missing – till this weekend. Just got this followup note from Tina, the patient’s wife, who says it turned up about half a mile (blue marker) from where it was stolen at 44th/Hinds (red marker):
On Friday May 28 at 4 pm, while driving down 45th Ave SW at SW Dakota Ave, I spotted my car that was stolen sometime on May 8 or early morning on the 9th. It had been ransacked and a few things stolen out of it, but it had not been in an accident looked to be in good shape. One of the windows had been left open; the seat and carpet got wet and the car smells a bit musty. After 2 days of trying to dry it out it looks like I am going to have to replace the seat and carpeting in the car. I am glad to have it back home where it belongs. My three furry babies will now be able to go to the doggie park again and they are very happy about that.
New and improved Tow Ready Modulite Module which they cut out and destroyed the wiring from the front to the rear of the car, this is used for our utility trailer lights (was not visible)
Power Supply for my laptop (was not visible)
Small air compressor (was not visible)
2 new tarps
Large First Aid kit for both humans and dogs
Coins (not visible)
12 tie downs
Couple of doggie toys
Plastic storage container with miscellaneous items
Thank you for the story you did earlier this month – there were a lot of kind neighbors who wrote to offer help; I even had one offer to give me their car.
Three months after the purchase of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse and some of its surrounding land officially became final, the community celebration is just four days away – 6:30 pm Thursday (June 3) – and we have more details of how it will unfold. Kim Sheridan from schoolhouse-headquartered Fauntleroy Children’s Center says it will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring its founder Dr. Jack Pierce as well as Fauntleroy Community Service Agency – the nonprofit purchasing entity- board president Kevin Wooley, and Fauntleroy Community Association president Bruce Butterfield. The West Seattle Big Band is scheduled to perform 7-8 pm. And Kim says they’ve got RSVPs from city/state reps including State Sen. Joe McDermott and Rep. Eileen Cody, Department of Neighborhoods director Stella Chao, and former Mayor Greg Nickels (who has just returned from the East Coast). As noted in our first announcement of the event, schoolhouse-based Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering – which won the vote at the recent Taste of West Seattle – will provide treats. (Here’s the Facebook invite, if you’d like to track this event that way.) P.S. There just might be some other special “guests” nearby – a team of goats is due at the schoolhouse, possibly by midweek, to munch away weeds and invasives. MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: Kim Dinsmoor from Seattle Civic Dance Theatre, also headquartered at the schoolhouse, sent a note to make sure you know you’re invited to come downstairs on the building’s north side to see performers preparing for their next production, “The Tea Party” (they’re performing it at 2 pm next Sunday, June 6, at Highline Performing Arts Center).
For almost two decades of Sunday mornings, Seattle Times readers had the chance to take a humor break courtesy of columnist Steve Johnston. He’s now a resident of West Seattle – at Park West Skilled Nursing Center, because of health challenges – but has just achieved a milestone, three years after leaving the Times: He’s a published author. Johnston’s family has helped put together a collection of his 1988-2007 columns under the title “Tales of the Truly Unpleasant.” You can read more about it in this Times story; there’s also more info, including how to buy the book, at its official website. (Cover art used with permission)
(Photo taken on Saturday at Alki by David Rosen from SlickPix Photography)
Today’s low tide won’t be as low as the past few days, but it’s still a minus tide, and Seattle Aquarium (WSB sponsor) volunteer beach naturalists will be out at Constellation Park and Lincoln Park to offer information and guidance, noon-3:30 pm. Also at midday, it’s the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, 10 am-2 pm @ 44th/Alaska; note that the Farmers’ Market info table is selling reusable produce bags, $3 each – use less plastic! Then at 3 pm, it’s the second of two “Zen Tales” shows at ArtsWest – family friendly, they promise – by UMO Ensemble. More options? Check the West Seattle Weekend Lineup.
(February 2010 WSB photo)
From the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle:
Nancy Woodland, Executive Director of WestSide Baby, will be the guest speaker at the Noon meeting of the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle scheduled for Wednesday, June 9. The luncheon gathering will take place in the dining room of BE’s Restaurant, 4509 California Ave. S.W.
WestSide Baby is a nonprofit organization that collects previously owned items for children and babies and distributes them free of charge to South King County families in need. They work through local social service agencies already assisting low-income families. Agencies order items from WestSide Baby and deliver them to families who are homeless, living in transitional housing or simply in need of a little help during a difficult time.
The goal of the organization is to reach a day when all babies and young children in our community have their basic physical needs met – enough diapers, food, adequate clothing, appropriate toys, books, and safe equipment for their care.
Since opening in 2001, Westside Baby has distributed over $6 million worth of clothing, toys, baby gear, and other items. In 2009, alone they served more than 15,000 children!
The Kiwanis Club of West Seattle, now in its 82nd year, is an affiliate of Kiwanis International, a worldwide organization of men and women dedicated to changing the world one community and one child at a time.
Reservations for the luncheon may be made by calling 06-938-8032. The public is invited.
Just a few hours after Seattle Lutheran High School won the state championship in 2B baseball, the jubilant players were welcomed home just after 10:30 tonight – our first clip shows the honks, whoops and cheers as their bus rolled up outside the gym, where they, their coaches, and a spirited group of family and friends celebrated. They beat Colfax 10-6 in a late-afternoon game in Yakima. ADDED 12:51 AM: As the players joined well-wishers and coaches inside the SLHS gym, they first gathered for “one last prayer as a team,” before another burst of exuberance:
And a few words from the coaching/athletics team (Steve Meehan speaking, with – from left – Dan Imori, William Clowney, Mike Hay):
Bil Hood of SLHS tells WSB that two players also won individual sportsmanship awards over the past two days – Jordan Webb on Friday, Mike Register on Saturday. This is the school’s first baseball championship and its first state championship in 12 years – they have a boys’ soccer championship from 1990, boys and girls cross-country championships in 1992, and boys track in 1998.
From our regional-news partners at the Seattle Times: West Seattle High School‘s boys’ track team took second in the state championships with 53 points, two behind defending state champ North Central. WSHS won the 400-meter relay, and Markeem Adams won the 100-meter race. (Detailed results here.)
Several people have e-mailed to ask about a case that two TV stations are reporting: A 15-year-old says he was beaten up early Tuesday in Highland Park by attackers with a racist motive, near a staircase at 14th/Holden (map). This first appeared last night on Q13 (here’s their story). They reported that the boy was walking home at 2 am Tuesday when someone asked him for a light; he walked toward the person, and was jumped; the reports say the victim said his attackers told them they were beating him because he’s white. We have no independent information on this so far – police reports aren’t available over the weekend, this incident didn’t appear on the SPD Blotter log of noteworthy cases – so the best we can do, until we get more info (and we do have requests out), is point you to the TV stories: Q13 here, KOMO here.
(Photo added 8:11 pm, sent by Bil Hood of SLHS)
Congratulations to the Seattle Lutheran High School Saints baseball team – within the past half hour, according to the @seattlelutheran Twitter feed, the team won the 2B state championship, beating Colfax 10-6. The game was played in Yakima. More details later!
By early afternoon, the team at Dignity Memorial-Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Cemetery (WSB sponsor) had finished the job that volunteer Scouts had helped with the day before – placing about 1,300 flags atop the graves of veterans buried there. Tonight and tomorrow night, starting at 6, a bagpiper will play; we’ll add video of that later. (added 8:41 pm – here’s bagpiper Tyrone Heade)
People who stop by this weekend to honor someone’s memory also will find a hospitality table with coffee/tea, plus maps if they have trouble finding a specific gravesite, and Monday at 2 pm, the annual West Seattle Memorial Day Service, co-presented by American Legion Post 160, will be held near the flagpole on the cemetery’s south-central side.
2:52 PM ORIGINAL REPORT: From the state Department of Ecology, word of an oil spill in the Duwamish River:
The Washington Department of Ecology and U.S. Coast Guard are investigating the source of an oil spill on the Duwamish River about one half mile north of the South Park Bridge.
A sheen and diesel odor were reported to Ecology at 8:30 a.m. today and spill responders found an unknown amount of recoverable diesel oil in an inlet on private property at 7400 Eighth Ave. S. next to Boeing property.
A cleanup contractor called by Ecology and the Coast Guard has arrived at the scene and will begin work on recovering the diesel oil this afternoon. Further information will be released when it becomes available.
Here’s a map of the location, which is roughly across the river from the south end of West Marginal Way.
4:12 PM UPDATE: New information from Dan Partridge of Ecology:
There is no cleanup contractor working on site. A contractor hired by the Coast Guard arrived earlier and was about to begin work when the tide shifted. The diesel spill that was thought to be recoverable no longer was recoverable with the shifting of the tide so the contractor has left the site. There’s 100-by-3 foot sheen visible on the water but it’s expected to dissipate with the shifting of the tide. We still have not determined the source of the spill but Ecology will continue to investigate.
5:36 PM: Ecology estimates the spill at no more than 25 gallons. We went looking for, but didn’t find, any publicly visible sign of it.
Memorial Day weekend means barbecues, clouds or no clouds. They’re grilling at Southwest Community Center right now, as Southwest Family Fest continues till 5 pm. And for another taste of summer – how about palm trees:
A little quiet when we dropped in – c’mon, it’s guaranteed indoor fun if the little ones are bouncing off the walls, bring them down to bounce off the inflatables instead. Outside, some of the car-showcase participants left early, but we caught a few on cam:
Southwest Community Center is at 2801 SW Thistle (map). The festival’s presented by the Late-Night Teen Programs but it’s for all ages.
The Art Lending Library will be open for one night. Come check it out! Thursday, June 10th. 6 pm to 9 pm.
Reminder: The Library is based on a first come first serve basis. The earlier you arrive the more choices you will have. Also, all artwork that is checked out will be delivered at a later date by the Librarians.
Haven’t heard of the Art Lending Library before? It’s explained here; the concept first debuted two years ago during Delridge Day (which is coming up a week from today as part of the ReFRESH Southwest festival; the Art Lending Library opening isn’t till five days after that, though).