day : 29/06/2010 12 results

West Seattle (Westcrest) Reservoir updates: A departure; a meeting

June 29, 2010 10:23 pm
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Just three days after the final design meeting for the new West Seattle Reservoir/Westcrest Park expansion, two updates tonight. First one goes with the video above, which was shared by Highland Park’s Deanie Schwarz, who explains:

At about four-thirty this morning, I was awakened by what sounded like giant chupacabra nails grating across a blackboard. I flew to my window, and what did I see? No chuppie, but the mammoth digger used for the deep pilings on the reservoir project.

The Mid-Mountain company, the behemoth’s owner, had till six AM to have the big digger out of the city limits. The trailer awaiting the big noisy tractor to sluggishly amble its way down a hill on Cloverdale was itself too lumbering and unwieldy to negotiate a loading location closer to the park. When the same trailer delivered the Big Digger to Westcrest two years ago to begin West Seattle’s own Big Dig, a bit of trouble ensued on that tiny hill wherein the trailer, to put it briefly, got kind of stuck. It was a problem the trailer driver and crew did not want to revisit, so today’s exit was on the flats of 9th Ave.

So, as the Highland Park neighborhood near Westcrest bid loud and amazing earthmovers adieu, the summer sun rose at dawn on a horizon, quiet, serene and awaiting a new era of a very lovely and much-improved park.

Speaking of said park …

NOTE #2: The newly unveiled design for the 20 added acres of parkland at the newly covered (and decreased-in-size) reservoir – shown in our story on Saturday’s community meeting – goes before the Seattle Design Commission this Thursday. The city-appointed, volunteer board reviews major projects like this, and is scheduled to hear at 10 am Thursday from project manager Susanne Friedman and landscape architect Mark Brands. The SDC meets in the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall downtown (map), and the meeting is open to the public. P.S. We didn’t include this in Saturday’s report, but here’s the concept for the new parkland’s art project, unveiled by kinetic sculpture artist David Boyer at the meeting:

West Seattle author Molly Ringle wins notorious nationwide contest

It wasn’t quite “it was a dark and stormy night” – we’d say it was even better. West Seattle author Molly Ringle came up with a real doozy (involving a kiss, a water bottle and a gerbil) to win this year’s nationwide contest for bad writing, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The Seattle Times (WSB partner) writes about it here; you might recall having read about Molly here on WSB before – in April of last year, when her paperback novel “The Ghost Downstairs” went on sale. Molly’s website reveals she’s publishing another novel this year, “Summer Term.” And you can read her entire Bulwer-Lytton-winning passage here.

Update: Junction Plaza Park ceremony – “It’s dedicated!”

(The grassy west half of Junction Plaza Park, just before the dedication ceremony)
ORIGINAL 5:35 PM REPORT: Quite the crowd at the corner of 42nd and Alaska, and the event is about to start, ceremonial ribbon-cutting at all. Lots of Junction luminaries are here – and other parks supporters – plus City Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Tom Rasmussen, present and past chairs of the council’s Parks Committee, deputy Parks Superintendent Eric Friedli, and Parks Board members including chair Jackie Ramels of Alki.

Todd Carden of Elliott Bay Brewery Pub is opening the ceremony, recalling how the vision dates back a decade, and how creating the park has been a true public-private partnership. 5:47 PM: Carden has just declared the park open – after the ribbon-cutting, and a series of short speeches – here’s our video of the ribboncutting:

With the big scissors, that’s Erica Karlovits, president of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, and Susan Melrose, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association, who co-chaired the final push for park completion. (Karlovits and Melrose walked away from the stage cheering, “It’s dedicated!” Right about this time last year, they were still collecting donations – in jars and barrels at West Seattle Summer Fest.) The young helper in the video is Mia Presser, daughter of Junction-based TouchTech Systems proprietor Brian Presser.

6:01 PM: Just talked with Steve and Sharon Huling – there’s a plaque in the “performance area” on the north side of the park bearing the inscription “The Huling Family/2010” – it’s in this photo with the Hulings and son Grant:

And of course, we talked about the forthcoming Trader Joe’s on one of his sites in The Triangle – we’d spoken to him shortly after the company made the official announcement earlier this month. (Steve Huling also tells us that brother Tom Huling and Tom’s wife Lori wanted to be there too to celebrate the park’s opening, but they’re on vacation.)

Meantime, violinist Pasquale Santos is playing “Don’t Stop Believing,” and that is a fitting anthem for the West Seattleites who worked so long and hard to make this park a reality.

(6:48 pm note – Event’s over, but we’ll be adding more photos and video!)

Tunnel tussling, as the ‘other’ Alaskan Way Viaduct project begins

It was all smiles for the ceremonial shovel-turning that concluded the kickoff event for the Alaskan Way Viaduct South End (Holgate to King) project this afternoon – but in the round of speeches that preceded it, some sharp words over the “next” AWV project, the one to replace the elevated structure along the central waterfront. The event included a long line of mostly elected officials on stage, with dozens of union-banner-displaying workers and a few sign-wielding tunnel opponents.

Mayor Mike McGinn alluded to his tunnel concerns but went on to say he didn’t think this was the time and place to talk about them; nonetheless, those who took the podium right after him – including Tom Rasmussen, one of seven Seattle City Councilmembers onstage – promptly proclaimed their strong support for the tunnel. (Hear them both in this next clip, with state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond – filling in for Gov. Gregoire, who had a sudden trip to D.C. – inbetween:)

Shortly afterward, Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant (below) went so far as to say the process that resulted in the tunnel choice had included hundreds of meetings and thousands of public comments, so, he all but shouted, “Enough already! We cannot wait another day” to build the tunnel.

That project, however, is still at least a year-plus out; south end work starts now. More video and photos shortly; meantime, click ahead for the official news release sent by WSDOT afterward:Read More

Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts: New WSB sponsor

(From left, Sean Miller, Kimberly Miller, Carlie Williams, Alexa Severtsen, and their assistant, Seamus)
Today, we welcome a new WSB sponsor: Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts, a massage school located at 2707 California Ave SW. Here’s what they’d like you to know about the school: Its director, Sean Miller, says, “The Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts has set the new standard for massage education in Seattle. As Seattle’s only independent massage school, Northwest Academy offers a personalized education that is unparalleled.” All faculty members have a minimum of five years clinical experience and hold advanced health-care-related degrees, all the way up to the doctorate level. Sean also says, “We offer the smallest class sizes in Washington State, allowing for an individualized classroom experience. Our comprehensive curriculum integrates the art and science of massage therapy with a well-rounded holistic approach to client care.” The academy’s programs are approved by the Washington State Board of Massage, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and the Academy is licensed as a vocational school by the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board. Sean adds, “We are dedicated to the success of our graduates. Therefore, we offer ongoing career services to all students and graduates to ensure professional fulfillment. Our career services department offers students and graduates support with career choices and assistance with job placement.” He said the one constant note of feedback he gets from his students is that the Northwest Academy offers a quality massage education as well as a supportive community. Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts is online at; you can also call them at 206-932-5950.

We thank Northwest Academy for the Healing Arts for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our sponsor team, and info on joining, all here.

West Seattle food: Jones Barbeque now open in The Triangle

(Photographed right after West Seattle’s new Jones Barbeque opened: Shyla Jones & Charelle Love)
ORIGINAL 12:30 PM REPORT: Just checked on Jones Barbeque in The Triangle – drove by and saw signs of impending business – they tell us they’ll be open in a few hours. Here’s our last update, from June 18th, mentioning their hopes for curbside service – we’ll ask about that once they’re open later today.

2:59 PM: Now open. Saw the sign while driving back from the Viaduct South End groundbreaking event (story on that, to come).

3:33 PM: Added a photo. Address is 4417 Fauntleroy, if you haven’t passed the storefront before. Couple notes: You can’t call in orders yet – the phone won’t be in until Thursday. Hours: 11 to 9 Monday through Thursday, 11-10 Friday and Saturday. They haven’t decided yet about Sundays (including the 4th of July) – we’ll check back in a few days. That curbside service WILL be offered, 11 am-4 pm and 6 pm-9 pm Mondays-Fridays, not during 4-6 because of peak traffic.

South End Viaduct groundbreaking today: Project, step-by-step

(Screengrab from the interactive simulation – be sure to note the upper-right area to choose perspectives)
In advance of this afternoon’s Alaskan Way Viaduct South End Replacement Project groundbreaking ceremony, we asked WSDOT for the newest images – some of which were shown at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce briefing we covered last week. Even better, we just received this link to share – it’s a new simulation you can use to walk through the next three years of south end construction (this is the mile SOUTH of the proposed tunnel), step by step. (Background info – and more “survive the construction work” links – can be found here.)

West Seattle food news: Marination Mobile away for 2 weeks

June 29, 2010 11:36 am
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 |   High Point | West Seattle news | West Seattle restaurants

Just got a note from Kamala with Marination Mobile, the food truck that’s been a hit in the 35th/Graham lot for months now. Next month marks a year since it’s been making Saturday visits to West Seattle – but it’ll skip the next two Saturdays:

We just wanted to let our W. Seattle peeps know that we will be closed on July 3rd (so that folks can prepare for the 4th), and July 10th as Big Blue will be at the Mobile Chowdown at the Seattle Center. We are already missing West Seattle, but look forward to seeing you all on July 17th. Wow, the 17th already seems too long to be away from West Seattle…

(So, those 2 Saturdays, go try something new for lunch in The Junction, or Admiral, or … On the 10th, in fact, you’ll want to be in The Junction at West Seattle Summer Fest, anyway. But if you’re looking for ideas, we’ve got a West Seattle Food-specific board in the WSB Forums.)

Out with the old, in w/the new: Fairmount Playground work starts

And now, just as a new park is being dedicated, there are two more Seattle Parks projects under construction in West Seattle: Work started at Pro Parks Levy-funded Myrtle Reservoir Park last week (as reported here), and this week – thanks to Mike and Kate for the tip! – construction is under way at Fairmount Playground (map). It’s a Parks and Green Spaces Levy-funded project, and it’s replacing some classic-but-old playground equipment — Mike and Kate’s note pointed out that a backhoe was “mangling the rocket” as they wrote; however, project manager Kelly Davidson says the merry-go-round will be reinstalled. The second and final community design meeting was held last January (here’s our report); you can see the final design here (PDF). The new playground at Fairmount is expected to be finished in August. ADDED 10:21 AM: We e-mailed Davidson to ask about the work – she mentioned she had some images of the old equipment. So for posterity’s sake, here’s “the rocket”:

West Seattle Tuesday: Park dedication; Spoke & Food; more

(Photo by Jillian Lenox)
Maybe it’ll be sunny later. Can’t even rely on the forecast any more. In case it isn’t, here’s a blue-sky photo to enjoy. Fun stuff going on later, clouds, sun, or rain – the long-long-long-awaited Junction Plaza Park dedication (previewed here) at 5:30 pm; a Senior Housing and Resource Fair at Senior Center of West Seattle, lunch provided, 10 am-1 pm (full details here); tonight at 6:30 at Jefferson Square (suite 600), Savvy Seattle Women present “How to Finance and Buy a Fixer” … Porterhouse is the lone West Seattle restaurant on the list of participants for the first Spoke and Food Event — raising money for Solid Ground’s Lettuce Link program if you bicycle to dinner … At 7 pm West Seattle Hi-Yu invites you to the 2010 White Rose Reception, a women-only event celebrating past and present Hi-Yu royalty and candidates at Fauntleroy Church Hall; past royalty are encouraged to wear or bring their sashes and memory scrapbooks … Another reception today, at South Seattle Community College, celebrates the artists showing their work in “This Old Piano,” 12 – 2 pm at the Art Gallery, more info here.

Not too late to join West Seattle summer music student program

June 29, 2010 7:54 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(Program brochure photo provided by Toni Reineke)
Among the many summer programs under way this week is a summer music program that’s in its 57th year, taught by Seattle Public Schools music teachers, and though it started Monday, its head teacher Toni Reineke sends word it’s not too late to join in. It’s for students who just finished 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th grades:

Designed for students grades 4-8 (student must have completed at least one year of instrumental instruction)
Students who attend Seattle Public Schools as well as private schools are welcome!
Band, strings, jazz band, solos, ensembles, improvisation—and more!
Daily field recesses!
Evening concert Thursday, July 15, 7:00 p.m.
Weekdays, June 28 – July 16 (except July 5), 9:00 to noon.

For more info, please call the Fine and Performing Arts Department at 206-252-0051 or 252-0050, or contact Toni Reineke at 206-243-6955 or

West Seattle Crime Watch: Man in yard; thieves on video

Two reader alerts to share this morning; both came in last night: One, a man who turned up in a family’s yard; the other, two men caught on a surveillance camera stealing metal including a wheelbarrow:Read More