month : 05/2010 347 results

State out of the liquor business? Costco backing Initiative 1100

From our regional-news partners at the Seattle Times, word that Costco stores will start collecting signatures next week for Initiative 1100, which would privatize the liquor business in our state. But the Times says it’s not universally supported by those you might think would be behind it – some say large companies would have an unfair advantage. Here’s the official Costco news release about the initiative; here’s the state list of initiatives now in circulation, including this one (it’s not the only one seeking to privatize liquor sales); here’s the full text of I-1100. It’ll need more than 241,000 valid signatures by July 2 to make the November ballot.

West Seattle summer fun: Printable list of big-event dates

We made this for the West Seattle 5K participant goodie bags – sponsors got the chance to include collateral – but we wanted to share it here for anybody to print. It’s a one-page 8 1/2 x 11 list, printable, of dates for key summer events around here. By no means all-inclusive – we keep adding to the WSB West Seattle Events calendar page all the time, and that page has MANY more listed – but what most would consider “the biggest” are here. Here’s the 1-page PDF.

1 more festival note: Sign up for GreenLife at Summer Fest

May 25, 2010 10:41 am
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 |   Environment | West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news

The folks at West Seattle Nursery have just announced a new West Seattle Summer Fest event they are co-sponsoring with Sustainable West Seattle: It’s called GreenLife at Summer Fest. GreenLife is a sustainability and gardening expo to be set up in the Diamond lot south of the Chase drive-thru at Edmunds/44th (map) throughout West Seattle Summer Fest’s entire 3-day run (July 9-10-11). As the brand-new info sheet for the event says:

We are looking for local businesses to showcase merchandise, products and services related to the goal of this new special area – to raise awareness and equip our community with tools, knowledge and capabilities to create a more sustainable West Seattle.

There’s also room for organizations to showcase info/demonstrations/products on gardens, composting, permaculture, beekeeping, backyard chicken-raising, community fruit harvesting, and local waterways including Puget Sound and West Seattle’s creeks. Here’s the full info-sheet on the WSN website. Whether you’re a business or nonprofit, the deadline’s coming up fast: You must sign up by June 15th. Get the application here.

West Seattle festival notes: Walk to ReFRESH; schedule for Morgan

May 25, 2010 10:15 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle festival notes: Walk to ReFRESH; schedule for Morgan
 |   West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news

No big festivals in West Seattle next weekend since it’s Memorial Day – but here are updates on the first two in June:

WALK TO ReFRESH SOUTHWEST (DELRIDGE DAY/SUSTAINABLE WEST SEATTLE FESTIVAL), JUNE 5: The festival itself (info here) is 1 pm-5 pm, but other activities precede it, including a contest to encourage you to walk to Delridge Community Center to join the fun. Neighborhood District Coordinator Ron Angeles has forwarded the info:

You can win $50 and other giveaway items by forming a group to walk to the festival … It’s simple. Five categories to win:

Group with the largest number of walkers
Group taking the nicest photo of the Delridge area
Group taking photo of most distressed area needing special attention
Group that picks up the most litter on their journey to the event (we”ll provide bags and grabbers)
Group that visits the most Delridge “Points of Interest” (we’ll provide you with a location map, and bus passes if needed)
Bus passes will also be provided to participants to return to their original starting points.

You can sign your group up right now by going here (and you can sign up as an individual, too). Then, one week after ReFRESH …

MORGAN JUNCTION COMMUNITY FESTIVAL, JUNE 12: The schedule of major events is out, from bands to Bubbleman (he’ll be there 5:15-5:45; the festival itself runs 11 am-7 pm). Here’s the full flyer/poster; the start times for all the bands are listed on the MoCA website. Another popular feature returns, too – the Bite of Morgan, with neighborhood eateries participating. It’s all headquartered at and around Morgan Junction Park, which was dedicated before last year’s festival. (Here’s some of our coverage of last year’s event.)

West Seattle coyotes: The latest sighting reports

A couple to share this morning. Again, we don’t publish these reports (see our archive here, with some past photos, too) to promote hysteria, but rather to make sure you’re well aware that coyotes are among us (it’s pup season, too). First, from Karl:

This morning my wife chased a coyote away from the neighbor’s cat which was hiding in a fender well of a car. We live on 37th between Andover and Dakota [map]. I’m offering this to alert homeowners who let their cats (and dogs) outside and aren’t aware that we do have coyotes in northern West Seattle. This is the second time the coyote was seen in our neighborhood.

Further south, Scott C reported a double sighting last Wednesday:

… this morning at 2:45 AM I opened my front door and saw a couple of -large- Coyotes running down 36th Ave and turned down the hill on Othello [map]. They were both very quiet, and running very fast. Take appropriate measures given what I’ve seen. As they say, don’t leave food for animals outside. The two were large, which means well-fed.

Here’s the most valuable link we’ve ever seen on the topic: Coexisting With Coyotes.

West Seattle Tuesday: ‘College Night’ at SSCC; Blockwatch Captains…

(Photo by David Hutchinson, taken during Sunday’s ever-changing weather)
Among tonight’s highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: It’s College Night at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor), your chance to find out anything you want to know – from its “career-ready programs” to its partner programs in which you can finish a four-year degree on campus to college prep. 5:30-7:30 pm in Brockey Center (here’s a campus map). … The West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network meets for the second time, 6:30 pm at Southwest Precinct (Facebook event page here, and here’s a map to the precinct); this new group is working to promote communication and cooperation between neighborhoods, toward the goal of a safer, stronger West Seattle … The final closure plan for the South Park Bridge – what will happen after it shuts down June 30th, from bus routes to business support – starts at 6 pm at the IAM Local 751 Hall in SP (full details here, and here’s a map) … And regular Tuesday night diversions are on the calendar too, including open turntables at Skylark Café and Club at 6 pm (see the calendar here) and rock trivia at Feedback Lounge at 8 pm (both establishments are WSB sponsors). The full calendar’s here.

WSB late-night extra: JP Patches and the pugs

For all the Patches Pals – and pug fans – in WSB-land, one more photo from Saturday’s Westwood Village Street Fair, shared by Karen. She says, “My friend Kristi worked the Seattle Pug Rescue booth at Westwood Street Fair on Saturday. She got JP to pose with her pugs Viola and Suzy.”

Parks/Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund: 1st round of ratings

May 24, 2010 10:58 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

The Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee – citizen volunteers from around the city, including two from West Seattle – met tonight, and they’re getting closer to decisions on which citizen-proposed projects will receive money from the levy’s Opportunity Fund. Pigeon Point’s Pete Spalding is one of West Seattle’s reps, and tells WSB that the “initial staff ratings” on the proposed projects will be posted online tomorrow. In the meantime, he shares the news of the top 5 (again, in those initial staff ratings) projects in the southwest section of the city:

1. Puget Ridge Edible Park – West Seattle
2. South Park View Park – South Park
3. Morgan Urban Village Land Acquisition – Morgan Junction
4. Mini-Mart City Park – Georgetown
5. Highland Park Spray Park – Highland Park

We’ve reported on a few of those before – here’s our January story about the Highland Park proposal (the city plans a spray park in the spot now occupied by the HP wading pool, but admitted it’s underfunded, so community member Carolyn Stauffer spearheaded a proposal to enhance it with the Opportunity Fund); Puget Ridge Edible Park also appeared on the “Ideas for Seattle” website. In Morgan Junction, acquisition proposals have been described at recent Morgan Community Association meetings. Spalding also says two public meetings will be scheduled for June 14 and 28 – times and locations TBA – for those proposing Opportunity Fund projects to show them in an open-house format and to speak briefly to the Oversight Committee. The rest of the timeline’s spelled out here.

Planning a West Seattle Sunday Market in Highland Park: Want in?

“Much like the Fremont Sunday Market, in miniature.” That’s how Tiffany Silver-Brace describes the West Seattle Sunday Market she is organizing for the lot at the Highland Park Improvement Club, starting June 27th and continuing every Sunday, 9 am-1 pm, through the summer. She’s looking for interested vendors, explaining:

Items to be sold must be either locally grown or produced eggs/bread/flowers/fruit/veg, etc… Other items to be sold must be hand-crafted, and can be anything such as clothing, household items, art, health and beauty supplies, etc. Vendor tables will be $25.

I am really hoping that this will be successful, as it will be located on a street with high traffic volume and would be the only market of its kind in the area.

A Facebook page for the West Seattle Sunday Market is now up and running – you can see it here. If you are interested in selling at the market, Tiffany also can be contacted at 206-919-2758 or

Want to talk about the Water Taxi? ‘Town Hall’ set for June 9

That’s the view from top-deck aft on the way back to West Seattle aboard the Rachel Marie less than an hour ago (8-minute crossing!). Though it’s been running almost two months now, this was our first chance to ride the King County Water Taxi this season (we’d toured the boat at a Ballard shipyard while renovations were under way). Whether you’ve tried the new vessel/new dock or not, you probably have some thoughts about the service – and as we noticed in a flyer posted on board, a Town Hall is coming up in West Seattle to give you a chance to talk about it with King County Councilmember and Ferry District Board Chair Jan Drago. It’s set for 7 pm June 9 at Alki Community Center; here’s the official flyer, from the KCFD website.

Helicopter circling over West Seattle

Don’t yet know what it is – except it’s not TV news, and not Guardian One. 7:23 PM NOTE: No conclusions reached (we tried calling Boeing Field and couldn’t get a live person on the phone) – but do note there’s a disaster drill involving state ferries tomorrow.

Colman Pool to open Saturday – but Parks plans still in flux

This Saturday, outdoor Colman Pool at Lincoln Park is scheduled to open for the first of three “pre-season weekends” – with its full season scheduled to start June 19th. The operative word here is “scheduled.” There’s no question it will be open this weekend (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – Memorial Day). After that – same limbo as other programs, awaiting word of what midyear budget cuts Seattle Parks (and other city departments) will have to make, and what will and won’t be affected. As noted here last week, that also means that the question of whether city wading pools will or won’t open is also up in the air – even though a schedule has been published, the city website pointedly notes that the pools’ fate is pending Parks’ midyear-cut announcement on June 1st (one week from tomorrow). So in the meantime, if you love to swim, be sure to visit Colman during the three-day weekend – the special “preseason” schedule is on this webpage.

Also tonight: Diaper donations and “Mommypreneur” networking

May 24, 2010 2:49 pm
|    Comments Off on Also tonight: Diaper donations and “Mommypreneur” networking
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Local moms who are also entrepreneurs are invited to an event tonight at WestSide Baby, 5:30-7:30 pm, in conjunction with Help A Mother Out, described by WestSide Baby as “an organization dedicated to improving the lives of mothers, children and families in need one diaper at at time.” This event is a run-up to a big event coming up at The Little Gym in West Seattle (WSB sponsor) on June 5th (2-4 pm) as part of HAMO’s diaper drive to collect 20,000 diapers. So tonight, bring a box of diapers and/or products that you’d want to offer as a door prize at the June 5th event.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car found nearby – on its side

David Rosen from SlickPix Photography shared that photo of an SUV found tipped on its side, empty, just after 2 am today at 46th/Brandon (map). Police now confirm that was a case of car theft – Southwest Precinct Lt. Norm James tells WSB the vehicle was stolen from the same block where it tipped after hitting a parked car. He adds, “A male suspect wearing black was seen fleeing on foot after the accident to a waiting white van.”

Volunteers make the world go ’round! See how to celebrate them

May 24, 2010 12:52 pm
|    Comments Off on Volunteers make the world go ’round! See how to celebrate them
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

trophy.jpgThe next round of West Seattle Volunteer Recognition Awards – co-sponsored by the Southwest District Council, Delridge District Council, and WSB – is about to kick off. We’re giving you a week’s advance notice here so you can start thinking about the volunteer(s) you think need to be publicly celebrated – unsung heroes whose efforts make West Seattle such an incredible place to live, work and play. Nominations (using a simple online form) will open June 1st and close on June 21st. We’ll have the form linked here at WSB; but just so you know, we don’t have any role in judging – that’s handled by a volunteer committee with reps from the district councils. Once they’ve made their choices, the West Seattle Volunteer Recognition Awards will be announced and presented to the recipients during the West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival Concert in the Park on the Hiawatha Community Center east lawn, the evening of July 20th. (Wondering who’s already been honored? Here’s our report from the 1st round of awards last summer; here’s our report from the 2nd round, announced during last December’s West Seattle Junction Tree Lighting.)

James Vann at Axia Financial: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor

Today we welcome one of our newest WSB sponsors, James Vann with Axia Financial. As is customary, new sponsors are invited to tell you about their business: James is a licensed independent contracting Home Mortgage Consultant and grew up in West Seattle. James has been in the mortgage business for more than 7 years. He is a 4th-generation graduate of West Seattle High School, with immediate family still living in WS; James and his wife Andrea live with their 1-year-old son Jackson in Kirkland. His family used to own Vann’s Restaurant, which was located in the Junction, open for more than 60 years. James holds his mortgage license under the umbrella of Axia Financial LLC, based in Bellevue. Locally owned and operated, Axia Financial is a distinguished mortgage banker dedicated to assisting clients with their mortgage-financing needs. James prides himself in offering excellent customer service and adheres to the highest ethical standards. In today’s current marketplace, it’s imperative to have several different options for securing financing. The In-House mortgage platform that Axia provides makes for a smooth closing and streamlined process. To go along with In-House underwriting, doc drawing and funding teams, our correspondent lender list includes Bank of America, Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Flagstar, Suntrust, and Axia Financial. This list doesn’t include the long list of lenders that Axia can also broker out to if needed for a specific scenario that doesn’t fall within our In-House lenders box. He has an array of mortgage services that he can provide which include Conforming and JUMBO loans, FHA, VA, commercial loans, No Money and Low-Money down payment options, construction and Rehab loans, Reverse Mortgages and FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER strategies and financing. James adds, “If you or any friends, family members or co-workers are looking to buy a new home and/or refinance their current home loan, please don’t hesitate to call me to do a quick mortgage analysis. This only takes a few minutes of your time and could save you hundreds of dollars monthly. If you mention WEST SEATTLE BLOG, I’m offering a reimbursement of your appraisal fee through closing or donate $250 to a school of your choice.” (A loan constitutes any first or second lien residential mortgage. Loan completion constitutes funding and disbursement of the loan through a title company. The school of choice may not be affiliated with Axia Financial, LLC.) Here’s how to reach James Vann425-605-8507 or

We thank James Vann and Axia Financial for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our sponsor team, and info on joining, all here.

New King County tax idea to counter possible crimefighting cuts

Late last week, various citywide-news outlets reported the future was uncertain for County Executive Dow Constantine‘s proposal to raise the sales tax to avoid cuts in criminal-justice services. Today, there’s a new proposal, this time from the King County Council – involving property taxes. It would ask voters to reduce four existing levies and approve a new one specifically to pay for criminal-justice programs. Five council members are listed as sponsors, including Councilmember Jan Drago, who represents West Seattle; you can read the full proposal here. Read on for the official county news release:Read More

West Seattle Monday: Baby Story Time, SIFF @ Admiral, parks …

May 24, 2010 6:34 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Monday: Baby Story Time, SIFF @ Admiral, parks …
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Nothing huge on today’s calendar … but some events of note: At the Southwest Library, it’s Baby Story Time at 11:30 am (full details here) … The Seattle International Film Festival‘s week of screenings at Admiral Theater continues with films at 7 and 9 there tonight (here’s the schedule) … And if you want to find out the latest on how the Parks and Green Spaces Levy money’s being spent, its volunteer Oversight Committee meets at Parks HQ downtown tonight at 7. … More of tonight’s events, from bingo to live music, are listed here.

West Seattle 5K postscript: Sightings, results, acknowledgments

(Our main report on the West Seattle 5K, with video of the winners and of all starters, can be seen here)

Just crossing the finish line at Sunday’s West Seattle 5K – like any race/run/walk – is an accomplishment. From left, with the big smiles, that’s Irene Stewart (former School Board member), Sharon Nickels (wife of former mayor Greg), and Stewart’s husband Bruce Butterfield (Fauntleroy Community Association president). Just before the finish line, we also spotted Stroller StridesAthena Frederick (and, of course, kids in stroller), whose business includes workout classes that routinely meet on Alki:

More than a few kids crossed the finish line under their own power, like this little girl:

We didn’t see her number, but since we can see this next guy was 111, we know that’s 8-year-old Oliver, who finished in 29:33:

For everyone who wore timing chips, the results are available now online – see them here. For those too impatient to wait for that, there was quite the crowd around the posted result sheets immediately afterward:

We reported the top female and male finishers, and showed video of their finish-line crosses, in our Sunday morning coverage. Another note – according to the online results, the oldest finisher was 81-year-old Philip Norton of Seattle, crossing the line in 58 minutes. And last but not least – on behalf of the organizers, the West Seattle High School PTSA, Jo Bader sent out an acknowledgment note last night – including our fellow co-sponsors, dozens of volunteers, and more – click ahead to read it:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 stolen cars to be on the lookout for

2 stolen-car reports to pass along – who knows, one could turn up on your street. First, from Robert:

1997 Honda Civic EX stolen from driveway in Delridge/Puget Ridge neighborhood (21st Ave SW) Thursday approx. 12:30 pm-1:30 pm
586 XVC: white, 2-door, tinted windows, sunroof. If spotted, please dial 9-1-1- then text me at 206.462.2972

And from Amber:

Our 1999 Dark Green Chevy Suburban WA License Plate 117-SPU was stolen from our driveway last night 5/22/10 from 3200 block of 46th Ave. SW. Our other car was broken into the same night but not taken. I am hoping someone took it for a joy ride and has left it in some other neighborhood, It is not new so
not sure why they would want it; otherwise it is a gas guzzler, but came in handy for our use for carpooling.

West Seattle weekend scenes: A visit, a fundraiser, a rainbow

May 23, 2010 10:59 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle weekend scenes: A visit, a fundraiser, a rainbow
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle weather | WS & Sports

West Seattle Soccer Club players at Hughes Playfield in Sunrise Heights got to meet a pro this afternoon – that’s Seattle Sounders FC defender Zach Scott and son Kalei, who visited as WSSC’s spring season wrapped up. (WSSC’s Tim McMonigle previewed the visit and fall registration – which starts June 1 – in this WSB report on Saturday.) Also from this afternoon:

That’s part of the mini-bazaar set up inside the West Seattle Eagles‘ HQ in The Junction, for the season’s first big Pencil Me In For Kids‘ fundraiser. Creative Memories, Party Lites and Tupperware purveyors all were on hand, donating part of their proceeds to the nonprofit that raises money to buy school supplies for kids in need. Find out more about PMIFK here. Meantime, one last Sunday afternoon view:

If you were outside – perhaps at Seattle Summer Streets on Alki, as we were (here’s our afternoon coverage) – you probably got caught in the 4 pm-ish drizzle. It was a classic sun-rain mix, and as shown in Max’s photo, it brought along a rainbow. (The forecast for next week looks fairly mixed, so far, too.)

Followup: Memories of West Seattle restaurateur Neal Saffer

After publishing an item Thursday night about the death of former Beach Drive restaurateur Neal Saffer, we heard from his daughter Diane, who shared the photo you see at right, along with a little more history about the restaurant her father ran for a quarter-century (the second paragraph was her response to a followup question):

My parents first moved to West Seattle in 1950. My grandparents, Waite and Crystal Quesnell, originally owned and operated the restaurant, and my parents Neal and Marge Saffer took it over the year of the Seattle World’s Fair.- Century 21. Over the years, many teenage boys had their first job at Quesnel’s and many of those young men continued to be lifelong friends of my parents. All the many waitresses have also become lifelong friends of my parents. My parents closed in February 1986 and was converted to living quarters, where my parents resided until 2004 when they moved to Port Orchard. …

Quesnel’s restaurant was at 4703 Beach Dr SW – the tall tan building on the water side of Beach Drive, at the foot of Jacobsen road. The restaurant was on the main floor, with bathrooms and storage & prep room in the basement, and we lived upstairs from the time I was 12 yrs old. In her later years, my grandma Crystal lived in the little house next door at 4701 Beach Dr until she passed away. The restaurant had a great view of the water, and the islands. It was a small, family dining room with 12 tables, and my dad cooked steaks on a charcoal broiler. There was a window at the charcoal broiler and people would look in and my dad would say hi to them when they first walked in the door. My mom was the hostess, and I began working there at 12 as a bus person, and later a waitress. They also owned The Shack Drive-In on Harbor Avenue and the grocery store next to it. Some West Seattle residents will remember those as well.

(That’s the same Shack from which Java Bean Coffee‘s sign came.) Mr. Saffer died last week of heart failure at age 86 and was buried Friday at Dignity/Forest Lawn east of High Point.

Alki ‘car-free day’ aka Seattle Summer Streets, report #2

(Our first report on “car-free day” is here; our coverage of the West Seattle 5K is here)

(South/east end of the Alki closure; if you are trying to drive westbound, you’ll be detoured up California)
Back to the beach after a break for other news. Good news: Sunny! Not-as-good news: Admiral is of course taking the detoured traffic, and much busier as a result; parking is challenging too. Take the Water Taxi shuttle from The Junction (or elsewhere) if you can – but do come down; it’s a lot warmer and great weather for a walk, ride, etc.

2:52 PM UPDATE: The section of street across from Coastal is the busiest – with a skateboarding ramp, a tent-covered inflatable “surfing” zone, and other activities.

A short distance east, there’s live music outside at Christo’s on Alki (and a few blocks west, a band was playing outside at Bamboo Bar and Grill, too).

3:22 PM: Craziest thing we’ve seen so far actually looked crazier in the prep than in the execution – the “skateboard slingshot” in that short clip. Otherwise, just a steady stream of foot-powered folks going by, except for the Water Taxi shuttles and local residents’ cars in the eastbound inside lane:

3:46 PM UPDATE: Another clue it’s not completely balmy – the beach-volleyball players are wearing long pants:

Also notable, it’s the first car-free day/Seattle Summer Streets since the 53rd Avenue Pump Station project (which started in early 2008 – the first of these events was in September 2008, second in May 2009):

Still time to take a walk in the middle of the street – which doesn’t reopen till 5. The breeze is picking up, though, so bring a jacket/sweater. 5:36 PM UPDATE: All over now … couple more things to add, first, our video of the Dizzy Crabshaw Band outside Christo’s at mid-afternoon:

And the chalk art outside Coastal: