West Seattle, Washington
(May 17th photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Two weeks ago, Southwest District Council co-chairs Chas Redmond and Erica Karlovits, along with West Seattle Junction Association executive director Susan Melrose (photo second from right), hosted a visitor at “The Hole” – Natalie Quick (photo left), a spokesperson for Madison Development, whose owner owns the entity that holds the note for the stalled Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th project. The tour (WSB coverage here) was in response to the letter that Melrose drafted and the SWDC sent in April, pointing out safety and aesthetic concerns at the long-idle site. But a written response didn’t come till now: Melrose announced at tonight’s SWDC meeting that it had just been received, signed by Quick. Shortly after the May 17th tour, a few steps were taken – tagged tarp was replaced along the fencing, and “they did get out there with a weed-whacker,” as Melrose put it tonight. But now, she told the council, they’ve addressed other issues. For one, she said, they don’t have a solution for the issue of “The Hole” being right up against the sidewalk with nothing to stop, oh, say, a car from going in, but “they’re working with SDOT.” She says they have “agreed to remove the chain-link fence surrounding the park,” the small triangle adjacent to the site’s southeastern corner, and to maintain “the park.” And she says they will create a more aesthetically pleasing backdrop on that corner, including “a reinforced wood fence,” as well as making public the reports about the condition of the shoring on the north side of the site. Last but not least, they’re “committing to actually checking up on the site,” Melrose reported. We’ll add the letter itself when we get a copy. (More from the SWDC meeting coming up next – including the hour of discussion with Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith.) ADDED 8:55 AM THURSDAY: Here’s the letter – actually more like a memo – in its entirety, just forwarded by SWDC co-chair Karlovits.
(The chickens are reported to be back home, by the way.) Meantime, if you happen to see THIS critter hopping along the West Seattle shore sometime soon, here’s the story behind it: Maria says it showed up in her Seaview backyard, and isn’t sure whether it’s a frog or toad (we vote for the latter). The silver coin alongside it is a quarter, for comparison. She reports, “We lured the frog into a large paper bag and released it by Lowman Beach! He was a big fella, that is for sure! I’d say at least 6 inches square!!”
Just out of the WSB inbox, from Kevin:
Wanted to let people know of yet another car theft and give a huge thank you to the SPD for incredibly quick work recovering it.
We woke up Tuesday morning to find our one and only car missing from our parking spot – 5ft from our house in the Fairmount Park neighborhood. Last night, Tuesday, we got a call that the car was found on the other side of WS, very near the “lifeline vehicle” that WS Blog reported recovered a few days ago. While we were getting the car picked up, the very attentive neighbors around the recovery spot came out and told us that he saw the car Monday night at 11 and again today at 5 AM. He also saw the cops there 2x, the second time with a guy in handcuffs.
Another officer later told us there was a spate of car robberies last weekend. According to him the guy was caught Tuesday in one of other stolen cars and started “giving up the rest” so they found ours. They got a search warrant for the guy’s house and found 40 GPS systems from other stolen cars.
We’re really lucky and glad to have our car back, but wonder one thing, are Subarus the next Honda Civics? I’ve heard of many of them being stolen and ours was one.
We don’t know if that’s related to a similar-sounding case reported in this comment thread; police declined to comment on that because it’s an ongoing investigation.
Counting down to the next big festival – ReFRESH Southwest, combining Delridge Day and the Sustainable West Seattle Festival – this Saturday, 1-5 pm at Delridge Community Center – we’ve got new information tonight. First: SWS, which is handling exhibitors, has provided the map of who you’ll see where (hope you’ll stop by to say hi – WSB will be next to North Delridge Neighborhood Council, where, as reported here yesterday, the cool (Heart) Delridge T-shirts will be on sale, and we’re told you do NOT have to pre-order!). Here’s that map – we’re #26. Meantime, SWS Festival coordinator Christina provided the list of workshops during Saturday’s festival:
1:30 – 2 pm – Keeping Goats by Jennie Grant, Goat Justice League
2:30 – 3 pm – Electric Vehicles by Craig Vinton
3:30 – 4 pm – Keeping Chickens by Jenifer McIntyre, Seattle Farm Coop
4:30 – 5 pm – Keeping Bees by Puget Sound Beekeepers Association
One more new tidbit tonight – the flyer’s out for the city-supported Clean and Green cleanup that will precede the festival, 9 am-noon, centered around Southwest Youth and Family Services, whose HQ is south of Delridge Community Center. Here it is as a 1-page PDF. And you can still sign up online for Delridge Walks – as an individual or group – to walk to the festival from your part of West Seattle.
From the WSB inbox:
Senator Maria Cantwell will give the keynote address for Washington Public Campaigns Fourth Annual Awards Banquet June 19 in the Brockey Center at South Seattle Community College. The Rainier Chamber Trio will entertain for the 6:00 PM Social Hour and Silent Auction; dinner and program begin at 7:00.
Senator Cantwell was selected by The Nation magazine as “Most Valuable Senator” in 2009 for her effort challenging fellow members of Congress to get serious about financial services reform and as this year’s guest speaker will lend her voice to the call for fair elections nationally.
The Awards Banquet generates support for voter-owned elections (public funding of election campaigns) in Washington State. To purchase tickets or for more information go to www.washclean.org or call 206-283-6297.
Just sent in by the office of Terry Gangon:
West Seattle is having a community car wash benefiting the West Seattle Food Bank and Haiti through World Vision. The car wash will take place on Friday, June 25th between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are being presold for $10 each; you can purchase a ticket and get your car washed at Keller Williams Realty at 4452 California Ave SW; John L Scott Realty at 5242 California Ave SW and State Farm Insurance at 4727 44th Ave SW. Tickets may also be purchased at both Windermere locations, West Seattle Realty and Prudential Northwest Realty in Jefferson Square.
This idea was spawned by need! For just $1000 our local food bank can provide 300 bags of groceries delivered to the homebound elderly and disabled members of our community. The demand in our community for food has gone up during the recession. Some of you may have seen the report on Haiti that Frontline did last week on Public TV. The circumstances that millions are facing with respect to housing, food and clean water is mind numbing. In one tent city alone, there was only one bathroom available for every 1000 people. Our goal is to raise $2000 each for our community food bank and Haiti.
This idea started with the real estate brokers and agents in West Seattle, but has grown to include three locations for the car wash and there are many more sponsoring businesses and service groups behind it. Special thanks to Rich Bianchi and Jim Sansburn for making their locations available to wash cars and Bruce Davis of True Value Hardware for donating buckets and car washing mitts, a hose, etc.; plus buying the first 10 tickets! Also, a special thanks to the West Seattle Cheer Team for volunteering to wash cars.
There are three ways to help:
1. Buy lots of tickets or just one.
2. Call the businesses hosting the car wash to volunteer to help wash all those cars.
3. Bring non-perishable food to drop off at any of the three car wash locations.
This news comes not from a law-enforcement agency, but from King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s office: Someone has been arrested for stealing King County Water Taxi fare cash from a “locked safe” in the County Marine Division’s office; the theft was discovered last week. (King County Water Taxi refers to the Seattle-Vashon passenger-ferry run as well as West Seattle-Downtown Seattle.) We’ll be seeking more information, but for starters, here’s the full news release:Read More
The next meeting of the citywide Parks Board has only two major items – but one is a project that’s drawn a lot of attention in West Seattle: The county’s project to reduce combined-sewer overflows (CSO) at Lowman Beach’s Murray Pump Station. We’ve covered the controversy over the past few months; most recently, the county loosened the tight timetable it had set for itself to make a decision on how to proceed, and instead of announcing a preferred alternative this month (from among these 3), it’s having another public meeting (June 19, based at Gatewood Elementary but including field trips to Murray and Alki pump stations) and has extended the public-comment period TFN. Whatever is decided for Murray, it is likely to have a major effect on Lowman Beach, a city park, and so the board is scheduled to be briefed during its June 10th meeting – special location, Woodland Park Zoo, whose annual report is the only other major item on the agenda. (Briefing items do not involve votes or other actions, but there will be a chance for public comment. Agenda’s not on the Parks Board page yet but we’ve uploaded it from e-mailed PDF.)
Much symbolic breath is being held citywide to see what will be cut/closed/etc. when the city announces midyear budget cuts, requested by Mayor McGinn after it became clear this year’s budget needed some adjusting. The Parks Department is being watched most closely, after months of rumors swirling regarding all sorts of possible cuts. At one point, Parks expected news on or around June 1st; then, as we reported from last week’s Parks Board meeting, the acting deputy superintendent thought not before June 5-6; we checked with Parks communications today and they were looking toward June 4; a subsequent check with the mayor’s office revealed there’s no indication yet the news will come that soon, so we may not hear for at least another week. Therefore, today’s bottom line seems to be – we’ll find out, when we find out. (PubliCola reported last night that they are hearing the cuts “may not be as devastating” as feared.)
West Seattle Summer Fest 2010, brought to you by the West Seattle Junction Association, is quickly approaching. Do you belong to a dance, choir or martial-arts group? Or a group with another talent that you would like to share? There are some performing slots open for local youth groups at Summer Fest. July 9-11th. For more information or to request a time slot please e-mail Lashanna at firstname.lastname@example.org – Last year we had performances by West Seattle Karate and Pathfinder K-8’s performing troupe – it was quite the treat for festivalgoers. This year we would love to have more!!
After 30+ years in news, we finally get to use the old joke in a headline. Actually, Susanna Moore suggested it, sending these photos with this report:
Returned from a preschool pick-up to find these two in front of our house on Walnut Ave. in Admiral district. Who is missing these pretty chickens! Here are a few pictures – they’re still out there pecking at the grass and sidewalk….
Yes, we’ll add them to the lost-and-found Pets page too – but couldn’t resist; on a showery day, you would expect to see ducks wandering instead of chickens …
(WSB photo of the Satterlee House, 4866 Beach Drive, taken in 2008)
Just got word from the clerk’s office at the state Supreme Court that the justices have said “no” to the request that they take up the longrunning case of whether a specific 3-house development can be built in front of West Seattle’s city-landmark Satterlee House, aka the “Painted Lady of Beach Drive.” As previewed here Monday night, the court’s Department 2 took up the “petition for review” (along with dozens of others) yesterday, behind closed doors. This is a process that does not involve oral argument – the justices review the documents submitted in the case, and decide whether to take it on. And the clerk’s office tells WSB “the petition for review was denied.” They confirm that’s the end of the line as far as judicial review; we will be checking for comment from both owner William Conner‘s lawyer G. Richard Hill and the city’s lawyer, Judy Barbour; this case even had drawn national attention along the way. More to come. (We have covered this extensively over the past 2+ years, each step of the way through the system – our stories are archived, newest to oldest, here.)
2:33 PM: We’ve heard back from Barbour, who called the ruling “a nice retirement present for me! And I do hope that Mr. Conner will now give up the fight and let the old place be fixed up and returned to usefulness as a home.”
5:09 PM: Hill hadn’t seen the decision yet, so is reserving comment until he has. The denial has now been noted on the Washington Courts website, however.
When you visit Delridge Community Center for the ReFRESH Southwest festival this Saturday (1-5 pm, another update later today), you might wonder what’s up with Delridge Skatepark construction on the northeast corner of the DCC grounds. Though fall completion was the hope just a few months ago, that won’t happen – project manager Kelly Davidson tells WSB that skatepark construction is now expected to start in late summer, which would mean completion early next year. She says issues with groundwater and drainage at the skatepark site have meant it’s taking longer to completing the documents needed to send the project out for bid, but they’re getting closer – she’s hoping a meeting with engineers tomorrow will settle the issue of how they’ll deal with drainage.
Pending approval by Seattle Public Utilities, Davidson says “over-excavating” is likely to be the solution — digging a bigger hole, and surrounding the project area with fill that drains better than the existing clay. (She says a project team member has described it as “surrounding it with a sponge.”) Otherwise, groundwater could back into the bowls during heavy rain, and that would be a safety risk. She says this won’t change the skatepark design (by West Seattle-based Grindline), and doesn’t expect the water work to put the project over-budget, as they have a “contingency” to deal with this kind of issue. “Everything else [regarding construction] is ready to go,” she says, while acknowledging they would have liked to have known more about the drainage/groundwater challenges sooner, but geotechnical engineers didn’t get involved until the project’s “additional funding” was available at the first of the year. Once construction begins, she says it’s likely to take around 80 working days – based on a five-day workweek, that would be four months – meaning the skatepark isn’t likely to be open before next year. (If you’re looking for Parks info about this online – Davidson says the project webpage should be updated sometime later today.)
(WSB photo from March 16)
In March, the first organizing meeting was held for a brand-new West Seattle neighborhood association, the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council (WSB coverage here). Now organizers have scheduled the first official, general meeting and want to make sure people who live in the area know it’s coming up, one week from tomorrow! Click ahead for full details on the 7 pm June 10th meeting at West Side Presbyterian Church:Read More
(The white geese of Fauntleroy’s shore, photographed mid-May by Bonnie)
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Reps from groups/organizations around western West Seattle – the area the city considers the Southwest District – meet tonight at 7 pm, board room at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor). Deputy mayor Darryl Smith is a highlighted guest.
SCHMITZ PARK PERFORMS FOR SCHOOL BOARD: Just before tonight’s Seattle School Board meeting, around 5:45 pm, Schmitz Park Elementary students will present a preview selection from next week’s school musical, “Willy Wonka, Jr.”
NOT *IN* WEST SEATTLE EITHER, BUT … 2 chances today/tonight to see and hear the three finalists for Seattle Police Chief: You can attend (or watch a live online stream from) a special forum with them and the mayor at 6 pm, Rainier Room at Seattle Center – or, earlier, the City Council Public Safety/Education Committee hears from the finalists, City Hall, 9:30 am (agenda here; Seattle Channel will be live on cable and online).
More on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.
Your Seattle Public Library team wants you to know that the Summer Reading Program has officially begun, never mind whether the weather agrees. Ken Gollersrud from High Point Library says there are “many great free programs over the summer for all ages right here at several West Seattle branches including Duct Tape Mania, Bookmaking for Teens, Save Our Amazing Raptors, Electronic Gaming, Zinery 101, Paper Airplanes, 20,000 Volts Under the Sea, among others.” You can sign up, and track progress, online – details here.