day : 25/06/2010 16 results

SPD crime-prevention cuts? Latest sign it might really happen

The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council‘s been bringing it up at every meeting for months (as noted in reports such as this one) – the federal grant that currently pays for the civilian position of Crime Prevention Coordinator runs out next year, and that could mean the job will be cut. Benjamin Kinlow is the man who holds it in the Southwest Precinct, and he’s been busier than ever lately, responding to Block Watch organizing requests, and speaking at neighborhood-council meetings (he’s on the agenda for the Alki Community Council July 15th; photo at left shows him at the Admiral Neighborhood Association). Tonight reports on another indication that the handful of jobs like Kinlow’s – he’s even been helping another precinct whose coordinator was cut last year – may be axed: A meeting is reported to have been held this week, at which the coordinators were given a warning their jobs might end, as well as, one is quoted as saying, information on programs such as retirement benefits and COBRA. Read the report here; here’s the take on it. And here’s the flyer the West Seattle advocates have been distributing.

Tomorrow: Viaduct closure; reservoir park; Hands Across the Sand…

3 reminders tonight in case you forgot these were happening tomorrow:

ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT CLOSURE (AND HALF THE 1ST AVENUE S. BRIDGE): The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon closes the Alaskan Way Viaduct for much of tomorrow – both directions from 4 am to 1 pm, according to WSDOT, and the northbound deck stays closed past that, till 4 pm. Also, the northbound side of the 1st Avenue South Bridge will be closed 5 am-11 am tomorrow and Sunday for maintenance.

WEST SEATTLE RESERVOIR (WESTCREST) PARK MEETING: Tomorrow morning is the fourth public meeting to discuss design of the new parkland atop the newly covered reservoir at Westcrest Park in Highland Park. This time, the all-but-final design will be shown. The meeting’s 10 am-noon at Southwest Community Center. (Notes from past meetings, and other project info, can be seen here.)

HANDS ACROSS THE SAND: As first mentioned last weekend, Alki is one of the beaches around the country where people will gather to show opposition to offshore drilling and support for “clean energy.” Gather at the Bathhouse starting at 11; the demonstration starts at noon. Official info at

DELRIDGE ALLEY CLEANUP: They’re winning kudos – and fighting a war against trash, overgrowth and neglect. The alley cleanup crew will be back behind Delridge Library tomorrow, 10 am-2 pm. Here’s our story from their last round of work; you’re welcome to join them.

After 3 years, a thumbs-up for California SW ‘upzoning’ proposal

upzonescreengrab.jpgAlmost three years after it was originally proposed, the recommended zoning change for California SW between Hanford and Hinds (and a bit beyond, on the west side) is moving ahead. We got first word from one of the property owners who first proposed it in 2007, Mike Gain. It’s not reflected yet on the project’s Department of Planning and Development webpage, but DPD’s Bryan Stevens confirms to WSB that the notice is about to be published:

DPD’s recommendation on the rezone request will be published for public viewing on Monday. There will be a 14-day appeal period which initiates upon publication and a required hearing with the City’s Hearing Examiner to review the department’s recommendation. The date for the hearing has been tentatively scheduled for August 18th at 9 am. After the hearing, the Hearing Examiner will issue findings and make a recommendation to City Council to help inform their decision on the rezone proposal.

According to Gain: “The Director’s Report supports the rezone of the 3200 block of California Ave SW from NC1-30 to NC2-40. This essentially would return it to its previous zoning while allowing for one additional floor and increased flexibility in the size and/or type of ground floor retail.” He adds:

This rezone has undergone a lot of review and received substantial public comment. We are pleased with the decision. Several benefits to this that will occur over time are that it will:

· Help enhance the California Ave “corridor”
· Encourage job creation and business vitality
· Maintain and enhance neighborhood character
· Provide more and a better mix of housing options
· Increase the number of goods and services that allow people to shop locally

As you are aware, in the 1980’s this area was zoned for 40’ and is consistent with surrounding building heights. For some unknown reason and no notice the city down-zoned this area. Since that time there has been little reinvestment – many businesses have come and gone – while some storefronts remain vacant for lengthy periods of time. This rezone will help to change that.

When the proposal was first made, it stirred a fair amount of controversy, which we covered extensively – as archived here (reverse chronological order). Gain and partner Roger Cayce had not put forward a specific project proposal for the area, but at one point along the way, discussed their ideas with WSB. We will be continuing to follow this process, including any proposals they may bring forward in the future. MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: We’re writing a separate story, but in the meantime, here’s the link to the DPD page with the “director’s report,” officially published today as expected.

Update: World Harmony Run in West Seattle

The World Harmony Run — which “seeks to promote international friendship and understanding” — is in West Seattle this afternoon, and its journey along the peninsula began with a stop at Providence Mount St. Vincent, where King County Executive Dow Constantine presented a Torch-Bearer Award to Providence Senior and Community Services executive Charlene Boyd, a former administrator at The Mount. (They’re shown with Daulot Fountain.) On hand for the event – more than 100 residents and preschoolers – the kids are from the intergenerational education program at The Mount. They all were invited to walk/run/roll a relay around the building, and then the official torch runners are scheduled to run on to the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, starting around 3:30 pm.

ADDED 8:05 PM: Here’s video from the lap around The Mount:


Then, from photographer David Hutchinson, the official World Harmony runners arriving at the Alki Statue of Liberty:

Happening now: West Seattle Rotary Berry Sale behind Safeway

June 25, 2010 3:06 pm
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 |   Rotary Club of West Seattle | West Seattle news

Clouds? What clouds? Bring out the shades – and the strawberries – and we can all be in a summer frame of mind. Day 1 of the Rotary Club of West Seattle Berry Sale (WSB sponsor), and – from left – Melissa Haynes, Greg Whitney, and Ann Avery are in the lot behind Safeway till 6 pm; if you’ve preordered (which you can do online) this is the pickup spot, but walkup sales are available too, and Rotarians will be back 9 am-3 pm tomorrow (plus two more rounds of berries – raspberries and blueberries – later in the summer).

More money for the South Park Bridge

(Photo courtesy Paul Dieter – showing Langdon Cook, who writes Fat of the Land, pulling in pink salmon)
According to King County Councilmember Jan Drago‘s office, a state commission the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board has just committed another $10 million to the new South Park Bridge – meaning $80 million of the $130 million needed. 5:20 PM UPDATE: More details now in an official county news release:Read More

2 West Seattleites help raise rainbow flag atop the Space Needle

(Photo by Aaron Last)
As Pride Weekend arrives in Seattle, the rainbow flag is flying over the Space Needle for the first time. And as you see in the photo above, two West Seattleites helped raise it. The photo is courtesy of one of them, State Sen. (and King County Council candidate) Joe McDermott (right) – that’s West Seattle resident and Seattle Storm owner (among many other high-profile roles) Anne Levinson just left of Sen. McDermott, with City Councilmember Sally Clark and State Rep. Jamie Pedersen. Sen. McDermott adds, “People are welcome to email me at if they want to walk with me in the Pride Parade at 11 am Sunday morning in Downtown Seattle!”

From White Center Now: Popular Deputy Jeff Hancock leaving

The King County Sheriff’s Office storefront-deputy role in White Center is a huge one – spotlighted by the murder of Deputy Steve Cox. The community has been abuzz over rumors that his successor, Deputy Jeff Hancock, is leaving – and now they’ve been confirmed. Our partner site White Center Now broke the story last night and has new details today.

‘Holding Patterns’ idea for The Hole: Beer, dogs, movies, sculpture

The Seattle Design Commission has just announced its finalists in the Holding Patterns competition, first reported here two months ago – asking people citywide to pitch ideas for stalled development sites, such as “The Hole” at Fauntleroy/Alaska/49th. They received 83While nothing obviously from West Seattle made the finalist cut, there was one proposal we thought you’d like to see, after SDC’s Valerie Kinast pointed us to it. It’s a “Beer Garden, Dog Park, Outdoor Movies, Sculpture Mound” concept for The Hole – check out the entire five-page proposal here (with some even-more-whimsical drawings) – and you can see all the finalists and honorable mentions by going here. Kinast tells WSB that even though this wasn’t chosen as a finalist, the SC might still help try to make something happen with The Hole: “We are considering all of the major stalled project sites, so just because this didn’t make the cut doesn’t mean that the site isn’t still on our radar. We will be working through which sites have potential in the coming weeks.”

NOW: West Seattle Community Car Wash – 3 sites, 2 charities

June 25, 2010 10:59 am
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Under way right now – the three-location West Seattle Community Car Wash to benefit the WS Food Bank and World Vision’s Haiti relief work. Any time before 4 pm, you can get your car washed at the State Farm office at 4727 44th SW (that’s where West Seattle High School cheerleaders are helping out right now, as shown in the top photo; Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller will be among the volunteers on hand at 1 pm), at John L. Scott (5242 California SW), and at Keller Williams (4452 California SW), where we also stopped for an early photo:

Rain does NOT appear to be in the forecast today, so if you can make it to any of those spots by 4 pm, get your car washed for a good cause. They’re also collecting nonperishable food donations as well as packaged diapers.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 4 cases from the inbox

In West Seattle Crime Watch this morning, a few new reports from the inbox – for starters, first catalytic-converter theft we’ve heard about in a while. The victim says it was cut off their 2000 Toyota 4Runner on Avalon Way yesterday in the Luna Park business district “in broad daylight” and is upset that no one apparently called police while it was happening. Next, a car prowl, a burglary, and a bike theft (latter one added at 11:40 am) – read on:Read More

West Seattle Friday: Car wash; torch; Click! + Ruby Room …

David Ginsberg spotted that little critter in a big High Point-area maple tree earlier this month. If we had to caption it, we’d say “Hang on, Friday’s here.” As are its highlights: The West Seattle Community Car Wash, 10 am-4 pm at three locations, raising money for food banks and Haiti relief (bring nonperishable food donations too) … The World Harmony Run torch arrives at The Mount this afternoon and then runners take it to Alki – full details in our preview … Tonight, a give-and-get handbag event at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) – Click! is teaming up with Nyla from Cherry Consignment, president of the local chapter of The Ruby Room, a non-profit that helps teenage girls get formal wear for their special occasions. 6-9 pm tonight, bring a gently used handbag to donate and receive 20% off a new bag. … Also: Rainbow Bingo at the Senior Center … a barbecue and movie at Hiawatha Community CenterThe Swinery’s “grand reopening” party … the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s first berry-pickup day (and you can walk up to buy, too), 1-6 behind Admiral Safeway … Even more on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.

Anniversaries in The Junction: CAPERS = 25, Sweetie = 7

June 25, 2010 4:32 am
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

A night for anniversary celebrations last night in The Junction – above left, that’s CAPERSLisa Myers with Lisa Barnes, toasting her store’s 25th anniversary. It’s gone through changes over the years – we’re still nostalgic for the pumpkin muffins! – but the end result is that it’s still alive and kicking – you can keep up with what’s new through the CAPERS website as well as Twitter. And across the street, it was anniversary night for one of West Seattle’s popular boutiques:

Note the champagne bottle – it’s the 7th anniversary for Sweetie and owner Joeanna Purdie, pictured with Karen Krupp and Heather Kirk Riley. Sweetie’s updates are online here, as well as on Facebook.

Hundreds fill High Point Commons Park for ‘School’s Out Bash’

The “School’s Out Bash” is an annual tradition for High Point Community Center – but this year, they moved it to HP’s Commons Park, and what a perfect night: Hundreds came for free fun, including food, field games, and face painting:

That’s Laura Wilburn from High Point CC. Bounce houses drew a crowd too:

Wondering what else is up this summer, at HPCC and West Seattle’s other community centers? Here’s the summer brochure.

Highland Park Action Committee: 4th of July plan, and more

June 25, 2010 3:07 am
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news

The headlines from Wednesday night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting at Highland Park Improvement Club headquarters:

TAKING A STAND ON 4TH OF JULY: Announced by Laura Drake toward the end of the meeting, there’s a plan to try to prevent fireworks mayhem on the Highland Park Elementary School grounds on the 4th of July. Neighbors are going to stand at its closed gates from about 9 till 10 pm to try to get people to stay away – “Bring a camera and start taking pictures in case things get weird,” Drake advised. She also suggested brightly-colored shirts.

RESERVOIR PARK MEETING REMINDER: As HPAC attendees were reminded by chair Dan Mullins, tomorrow (Saturday), 10 am at Southwest Community Center, is the fourth public meeting about the West Seattle Reservoir park expansion at Westcrest – and the design is scheduled to be shown.

Several more items ahead, including a high-profile crime case and the new Sunday Market:Read More

West Seattle schools: Belated congrats to Madison’s 8th graders

(Riley Bunch at Madison Middle School’s 8th-grade promotion event)
Before the end of the school year gets too far in the rear-view mirror, we have one more story to share: Madison Middle Schools Jeanne Merritt shares a photo and the story of Madison’s 8th-grade promotion earlier this week:

Madison Middle School eighth graders were promoted Monday night in a well-attended ceremony at West Seattle High.

Four student speakers reminisced about their social and educational experiences at Madison.

The inspirational speaker was Jesse Hagopian, former Madison teacher. He spoke about his experience being in the Haiti earthquake. Also, when the graduating eighth grade students were in seventh grade, Mr. Hagopian became a father. At that time he assigned the students to write letters of advice to a father. At the promotion ceremony Mr. Hagopian then turned that good advice back to the students.

The story continues with more on the students who were honored – and some adults, too!Read More