West Seattle, Washington
The official vote isn’t until July 7th, but after their meeting tonight, the Seattle School Board has before it a recommendation to extend Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson‘s contract to 2013, after a mostly positive performance review. That’s according to reports from tonight’s board meeting – here’s what our partners at the Seattle Times wrote, and here’s a more detailed (and opinionated) take from saveseattleschools.blogspot.com. Read the full performance evaluation here, and the extension recommendation here. The board is recommending, however, no raise and no bonus.
1st report from tonight’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting: In the wake of today’s Trader Joe’s West Seattle confirmation, a semi-sore subject was inevitable: When is the east side of West Seattle going to get a grocery store? It wasn’t all lament – there’s news ahead from the King County Food and Fitness Initiative. But first, the numbers. With TJ’s, there will be three grocery stores in Admiral (temporarily 2 when Safeway closes for construction in September), three in The Junction (not counting the still-not-officially-dead Whole Foods, which tells us they may have something to say at month’s end), one in Morgan Junction, one in Westwood Village, one on Roxbury. As some at tonight’s meeting noted, there may be hope down the road if the Boren site is ever redeveloped (right now Seattle Public Schools is keeping it as emergency backup). But for now, Delridge Neighborhood District Coordinator Ron Angeles suggested that pragmatically, the best short-term tactic is working for better east-west transportation in West Seattle so that Delridge residents can get to the stores. Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association executive director Derek Birnie mentioned ideas some parts of the country are trying, like satellite stores, where big groceries in one part of a town send a truck a day to smaller stores.
(WSB photo of Super 24 mural from August 2009)
And then there’s the work KCFFI is doing – working to bring healthy food to Delridge on a smaller, immediate scale – Youngstown Cultural Arts Center‘s Randy Engstrom announced a date is set for the “night market” at the first Healthy Corner Store, Super 24, coming up July 10th – there will be farmers selling fresh food, plus entertainment. We’re waiting for official word on the hours. There’ll also be a weekly fresh-produce-market day at the store too starting as soon as next week. More details on these when we get them from Randy. 2:53 PM UPDATE: As promised: The weekly produce market at Super 24, starting up about the same time as the “night market,” will be Fridays 9 am-5 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 6 pm. Also on Saturdays, the Delridge Fresh Food Spot Team (DNDA staff and volunteers) will be at the Super 24 from 10 am-2 pm providing food samples as well as healthy-food info and kids’ activities.
(Photo courtesy Historic Seattle)
The city Landmarks Preservation Board has just voted 8-2 to grant city-landmark status to the North Admiral bungalow known as the “Bloss House” (4055 SW Holgate). It was revealed that the home’s longtime (but not original) owner Ruth Ward, who was too ill to attend the meeting at which the nomination was accepted back in April, died five days later (here’s her obituary). “She was just hanging on (to see that happen),” suggested Eugenia Woo of Historic Seattle, which prepared the nomination paperwork. (One of its leaders read a century-old poem, “Bungal-Ode,” bringing smiles around the room – read it here – in explaining the significance of bungalows in general.) The house is in the process of being purchased – pending some legal issues – by a couple who lives next door, who spoke at the hearing (photo right), hoping that the landmark designation wouldn’t get in the way of them making badly needed repairs; they intend to use it as a rental. (They were assured the board would collaborate with them.) It was proposed for landmark status not because of something remarkable about its history or its owners past/present – but rather because it was a rare still-standing example of largely unaltered Craftsman construction and trim. (West Seattle architectural historian Brooke Best also noted during the public-comment period that even though WS is not a place of “high style,” she feels more of its historic architecture should be recognized formally in this way.) First word of the landmark proposal came in early April (here’s our original story).
The Bloss House is now the third new city landmark in West Seattle designated in less than a year – the Seaview Building at The Kenney [WSB coverage here] and The Sanctuary at Admiral, formerly Sixth Church of Christ, Scientist [WSB coverage here] are the previous two. Landmark designation brings some tax benefits but also some responsibilities and restrictions, depending on what part of the structure is designated; in this case it’s the exterior and part of the interior. (That part of the deal will be worked out later, in an agreement containing “controls and incentives.”)
For the second consecutive day, hundreds of local teenagers are at Memorial Stadium downtown to celebrate the completion of their high-school education – and the start of the next phase. Tonight, it’s West Seattle High School Class of 2010. ADDED 7:49 PM: The ~275 grads are off to the long-planned-for-and-fundraised-for Grad Night – and we’re adding more photos and video. First, decorated caps:
Here’s principal Bruce Bivins, who is headed for a new job in California – he and other faculty members wore yellow roses:
(added 9:46 pm – clip from his speech)
In the crowd – signs to cheer the grads on:
But overall, a night for big smiles.
And after the turning of the tassels:
Student graduation speakers included student-body president Lisa Broadstone, co-class president Mariah Doll, and A.J. Franklin. The Class of 2010 motto: “Believe in the promise of tomorrow, but live this day to the fullest.”
Two notes from West Seattle Runner, the new running store at Charlestown/California. Right now until about 7 pm, WSR’s Lori McConnell tells us, the Mizuno Bus is there, for shoe fittings and analysis, plus giveaways. Then next Saturday, Northwest Hope and Healing‘s Alki Beach 5K has its official kickoff – or should we say runoff? – with an in-store registration party at West Seattle Runner, 10 am-3 pm, including prize drawings, free coffee, chair massages and training tips – here’s the flyer. This year’s Alki Beach 5K is August 29th.
Due to a water main break at First Avenue South and South King Street, southbound traffic on First Avenue South is being detoured at South Jackson Street to Alaskan Way, returning to First at Railroad Way [map]. First Avenue South remains open to northbound traffic. Seattle Public Utilities staff expects the repair work to continue beyond this afternoon’s peak commute period, into the evening.
5 PM UPDATE: This may not be reopened until noon tomorrow, according to an update from SDOT.
(Future long-awaited West Seattle Trader Joe’s)
We’ve just spoken to Steve Huling, owner of the property that this morning has been confirmed as a new Trader Joe’s – the one we told you in late April was worth watching, after a notation appeared on the city DPD website – and he says he’s finally able to talk about the project, since the company this morning officially confirmed it: “Now that it’s out, I can finally start talking about it! They’re going to create a lot of new activity in the area. I think this is a great deal for the community.” First, here’s the news release from the company:
Trader Joe’s, a unique, neighborhood grocery store with foods and beverages from the exotic to the basic, has signed a lease to open a new West Seattle store located at 4545 Fauntleroy Way SW. The store is scheduled to open in 2011 and is approximately 14,200 square feet in size.
Trader Joe’s was originally named in recognition of its distinct grocery buying process, because they search the world for great values and distinctive products. Crew members (store employees) consider themselves “traders on the culinary seas.” Crewmembers sport brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirts, adding to the light-hearted air of the store.
Many area residents after the store opens can expect to receive a copy of the Trader Joe’s “Fearless Flyer” in their mailboxes. The Fearless Flyer is a somewhat irreverent description of a timely selection of Trader Joe’s products. It’s been called a cross between Consumer Reports and Mad Magazine. Each edition highlights a selection of Trader Joe’s products that the company buyers believe are worthy of customer interest, including comfort foods and items that are organic or have other special attributes.
Trader Joe’s carries an extensive array of domestic and imported foods and beverages including fresh baked artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, 100% juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, and vitamins and supplements, as well as the basics, like milk and eggs – all at honest, low prices.
Trader Joe’s is truly a grocery store unlike any other. Trader Joe’s is a “store of stories,” meaning every item in the store has its own virtues — high quality ingredients, great flavor or simply an extraordinary price — many items often feature all of those qualities. Another significant point of difference, all of Trader Joe’s prices are everyday prices. Trader Joe’s doesn’t have “sales” for a few days, only to hike the prices back up again. Their prices change only when their costs change — there are no fancy promotions, discount cards or couponing wars.
So how does Trader Joe’s offer unique groceries at prices everyone can afford? By offering more than 1000 items under the Trader Joe’s private label, which includes Trader Darwin’s vitamins (For the Survival of the Fittest), Trader José’s salsas, Trader Giotto’s marinara sauces, in addition to specially purchased items.
Also, Trader Joe’s buys differently than other grocers – they purchase from manufacturers, not through distributors. They’ll take a brand name product, take out the preservatives and artificial colors and ingredients, and put it under their Trader Joe’s label to sell it at a real discount.
Trader Joe’s introduces approximately a dozen new items every week, heightening the store’s adventurous appeal. Our buyers travel around the world searching out unique products at great values. In order for an item to be sold in a Trader Joe’s store, it must pass the scrutiny of a discerning tasting panel. Thousands of items are tasted each year to find products that both appeal to the culinary adventurer and microwave aficionado.
Huling tells us it’s been tough to keep quiet until the company confirmed it publicly. He adds, “Since this has been announced, we’re hopeful there’ll be some additional activity in the area – I think this whole area (the Triangle) is getting ready to bust open. It’s nice, it’s a great community, and it’s nice to see all the growth and it sounds like it’s going to be done in a very respectful way.”
As for how soon construction will start – earlier this morning, we had spoken with Bryan Stevens at DPD. The construction permit has not yet been applied for – the “initial information collected” designation that remains on the DPD page means simply that conversations have been had, but no paperwork has been filed. ADDED 5:07 PM: This is the rendering provided by Trader Joe’s.
We spoke with the project architect before seeing it today and hope to speak with him again tomorrow to find out more about exactly where on the lot this is going, since the DPD notation was “minor exterior remodel,” and this would certainly go beyond that.
In the Seattle Police Southwest and North Precincts, a “pilot program” is under way to talk one-on-one with residents about crime and safety issues in their neighborhoods – by sending police officers door-to-door with a survey of sorts. We learned about this from a West Seattleite who messaged us about it via Facebook after an officer showed up at her door to ask some questions. Our request to precinct staff for more information drew a callback from Capt. Joe Kessler, who explained:Read More
(Tuesday photo of crows and eagle mixing it up, by Christopher Boffoli)
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar, which includes several events of WS note that are happening downtown – West Seattle High School‘s Class of 2010 graduates at 5 pm tonight, Memorial Stadium @ Seattle Center (followed by Grad Night) … The city Landmarks Preservation Board considers whether to designate West Seattle’s “Bloss House“ as a city landmark, 3:30 pm at the Municipal Tower downtown (public comment is welcome at the meeting) … City Councilmember Sally Clark is the guest at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at 7 tonight, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, following the Strategic Delridge meeting at 6 (tonight’s topic: “create or maximize places and events where diverse groups can come together to build trust and reciprocity”) … If you’re interested in the seawall component of the Alaskan Way Viaduct project, WSDOT has a public hearing as part of its environmental review, 5:30 pm at Bell Harbor Conference Center on the downtown waterfront (after a 4 pm open house) … The Seattle School Board‘s last meeting of the school year is at 6 pm at district HQ in SODO (agenda here), preceded by a 5:30 pm rally led by a group opposed to renewing Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson‘s contract (which is on tonight’s board agenda) … Even more, on the calendar!
(WSB photo from last month, showing where the top of the new ramp will be ‘fused’ to the old roadway)
SDOT mentioned it during the “media tour” we covered on the new 4th Avenue offramp in May – and now, they’re sending out a reminder: When they are ready to connect that new ramp from the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct to the existing roadway, they will have to close the right-hand eastbound lane for up to six weeks – meaning a traffic bottleneck between 99 and I-5. (On the bright side, they had said in May that it could last up to EIGHT weeks.) Read on for the advance warning SDOT sent around Tuesday night:Read More