day : 26/07/2010 11 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Suspect on the loose in ‘threats’ case

We’ve been talking with police for a few hours to try to find out more about a search this evening in the Admiral area – thanks to everyone who called about it. Details are now on SPD Blotter: Police are seeking a man wanted for “domestic-violence threats” in the 6300 block of 22nd SW, then spotted in Admiral. They found his car, but not him. Full story here.

Your new Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu, just crowned: Kelsey Bills

(All photos by Cliff DesPeaux; here, Queen Kelsey is in red dress at center, Princess Victoria two to the left of her in blue, Princess Rosemarie two to the right of her in aqua)
ORIGINAL 9:32 PM REPORT: Just crowned onstage at the West Seattle High School Theater: Queen Kelsey Bills and Princesses Victoria Ferrulli and Rosemarie Unite. (added – video of the announcements)

(All video by Tracy Record)
The two-and-a-half-hour pageant was the culmination of several judging sessions – the performance and speaking rounds tonight counted for 25 percent of the score. But the program featured much more, including performances by the outgoing Senior Court and Junior Court members, greetings from visiting past Hi-Yu royalty (including Funky Jane’s owner Angela Nichols, whose daughter Taylor Nichols is the newly crowned Junior Court Queen, 20 years after Angela was on the Senior Court):

The audience also heard from the current Miss Seafair (‘for five more days!” she smiled) and Margo Femiano, the 2008-2009 Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu who’s representing WS in this year’s Miss Seafair program – we’ll find out next Saturday night, before the Torchlight Parade, how she does!

Special scholarship-award winners, revealed just before the Queen and Princesses: Academic Achievement, Community Service, Creative Expression, Miss Congeniality Awards, all went to Victoria Ferrulli; Entrepreneurial and Technology Awards, both to Rosemarie Unite; Director’s Award, Kelsey Porter; Spirit of Hi-Yu and Hi-Yu Alumni Awards, both to Kelsey Bills; Athletic Leadership Award, Melanie Frey.

ADDED: More video, photos and details from the coronation – see it all ahead:Read More

BULLETIN: Whole Foods confirms its West Seattle deal is dead

On one hand, you’ll say, well, of course. On the other hand, it’s still an important official development in the ongoing saga of what might and might not happen at 3922 SW Alaska, aka The Hole, the stalled site that’s tied up in a big consolidated legal fight (the trial date for which – if no deal closes the case sooner – was recently moved to next year). You’ll recall that the original development plan there called for a Whole Foods Market and Hancock Fabrics store, as well as hundreds of residential units. We’d been checking periodically with Whole Foods since the project stalled, even pre-legal fight (to which Whole Foods is a party, though they did not initiate any of the legal action), and they insisted they still had a lease. Not any more, regional spokesperson Vicki Foley just confirmed to WSB when we checked again:

Yes, we have just terminated our agreement with the developer on the West Seattle site. We feel that it is very unlikely that the site will be built within a reasonable timeframe, if at all.

We are definitely looking into alternate sites, although we have not signed anything yet.

You’ll also likely recall that a Trader Joe’s is now set to go in (announced June 16th) at a site that is right across the street from the now ex-Whole Foods site. Tomorrow, we’ll check with Hancock Fabrics – headquartered a few time zones east, so we can’t reach them now – regarding their status on this long-stalled project. Also note, this does NOT mean that nothing will be built at this site – Whole Foods was supposed to be the “anchor tenant” to the original project, but was not the developer – we are also seeking reaction from the company that hopes to wind up owning and developing the site. (Data point: Looking into the archives, we are reminded that demolition at the site was under way exactly two years ago.)

King County Water Taxi: 2 months’ extra money for this year

From Linda Robson in King County Councilmember Jan Drago‘s office:

(T)he Ferry District Board of Supervisors today approved extending the West Seattle Water Taxi service through November and December this year. That’s about a $250,000 addition to the budget. This gets us one step closer to being able to offer year-round service for West Seattle residents, who are going to really start feeling the impacts of all the big road projects in that area, including the Spokane Street Viaduct work and the first phase of the Alaskan Way Viaduct work.

This would be, we’re told, for the “commute hours only.” Part if not all of the money would come from dollars set aside for maintenance that now will be funded from a federal grant.

Watch live: Council hearing on Viaduct/Tunnel agreements

(5:11 pm note – The hearing’s over; when we get code for the archived video, we’ll swap it out)

2:51 PM REPORT: Hit the “play” button to watch live – despite the slate you see, it IS in progress now. This meeting of the City Council’s Alaskan Way Viaduct Committee is the third of three events that we mentioned this morning. City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw just said about sixty people have signed up to speak in the public comment section, which has just begun, before the council discusses the proposed resolution announced this morning – which would say, the city intends to sign the tunnel agreements, but wants to see the bids (this fall) first. Here’s a photo sent by council staff via Twitter, showing the SRO crowd:

4:27 PM: The public hearing ended after about an hour and a half – primarily pro-tunnel – and has moved on into the councilmembers talking with a state team headed by Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond, who said, “Delay is not our friend” and insists that risk management is her team’s job. Meantime, Mayor McGinn’s reaction to the council’s “we’re passing a resolution but not signing yet” plan has finally come in – read on:

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All-Access Summer Institute – free classes at Youngstown!

Might just be the boldest, wildest, most artful summer program in West Seattle – and it’s free (participants even get free lunch). At Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, the All-Access Summer Institute is offering “brand-new intensive classes for the creatively curious that build serious skill while having fun and meeting other cool youth!” “Quick and Dirty Without Tha Drama!” mixing writing, performing and visual art just started its first four-day 1-week session today, but there’s another one Aug. 2-5, 10 am-3:30 pm, with Antasia Parker and Mikel Moss. Then for the two weeks after that, “It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop,” a dance class that “will be making movement on the dance floor while also looking at hip hop as a social movement.” The announcement from Youngstown’s Alberto Mejia also notes, “Other resident Youngstown programs like FEEST, Roots & Shoots, and the Youth Media Institute’s Youth Out Loud Summer Program will also be running all summer.” Find out more at

Road reminders: 16th SW closure; Admiral Way feedback deadline

Two road reminders today: FIRST: The photo was taken this morning along 16th SW, north of South Seattle Community College, where the Brandon-to-Dawson section is now officially closed as work begins on another section of road rebuilding/repaving work. The city’s webpage for the project has a schedule of what happens and when, with work scheduled to last about two months. Go here to see the detour map. SECOND: If you have something to say to the city about the proposed Admiral Way “road diet”/”rechannelization” (here’s our report on the city’s “open house” 2 weeks ago), be sure to say it before tomorrow. As pointed out in a WSB Forums discussion, the city has set July 27th – tomorrow – as the deadline for comments – e-mail or call 206-684-7583. (The city project page also says, “These changes, as modified in response to public comments, are scheduled to take place in late summer 2010.”)

Who will be the next Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu? Be there tonight!

(WS Grand Parade photo by Rhonda Porter; Senior Court candidates rode in convertibles)
If you’ve been to any of West Seattle’s big events this summer, you’ve seen them: The five young women vying to be the next Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu, usually in their white-on-red Hi-Yu polo shirts. Since their introduction two and a half months ago, the have been appearing at events, helping raise money by selling Hi-Yu buttons and promoting the festival. Tonight, at the Hi-Yu Senior Court Coronation, we find out which of the five will become the next Queen and Princesses, not only representing Hi-Yu, but also representing West Seattle as the float travels to events around the region. You are invited to the coronation program tonight at West Seattle High School Theater, 7 pm. Click ahead for photos we took of the candidates as they prepared to ride in the West Seattle Grand Parade this past Saturday – and for a bit more info about tonight’s event:

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Followup: Saturday fire blamed on water-heater problem

July 26, 2010 10:16 am
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 |   West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

(Saturday photo with from-above view of 36th SW firefighters, e-mailed by ‘Seattle’)
Following up this morning on two fires covered here over the weekend: Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen says the fire on 36th SW in South Admiral on Saturday afternoon (WSB coverage here) was accidental – “caused by a malfunctioning natural gas water heater that ignited nearby combustible material. The damage estimate was $20,000.” No one was hurt and the fire was out fairly quickly. (As for the smoke-seen-for-miles South Park fire covered yesterday – as just added to the original story, she says the cause is “undetermined” and damage totaled $2,000.)

Alaskan Way Viaduct’s future: 3 City Council discussions today

If you are following the ongoing almost-a-soap-opera-sometimes about the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s Central Waterfront Project tunnel proposal, and the City Council and Mayor’s conflicting opinions about whether amended agreements protect the city from the cost-overrun responsibility the Legislature wrote into the original bill – three things you’ll want to watch today (and of course we’ll be watching too). First, the Council gets a briefing from City Attorney Pete Holmes during its 9:30 am meeting; second, seven council members (all except Mike O’Brien and Bruce Harrell) and Holmes plan an 11:30 am news conference; third, the council’s special Alaskan Way Viaduct committee takes up the agreements at 2:30 pm. The folks at Seattle Channel tell us all of the above will be streamed live online, at 10:41 AM UPDATE: The 1st discussion has just begun (apparently delayed while city legal staff put “finishing touches” on documentation). Councilmember Sally Bagshaw says the council will propose and vote on a resolution indicating their commitment to proceed, BUT will not sign the agreements till early next year, after seeing the proposals (bids) to be opened this fall. 11:45 AM: The council’s media briefing is under way now. It was noted that the council’s resolution is not subject to mayoral veto; he can decline to sign it, but it doesn’t require signature to move forward, since it’s non-binding.

Vacant, but not neglected: Beautifying Genesee Hill’s ex-school

July 26, 2010 2:21 am
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 |   Genesee Hill | How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Newly hung murals are gracing the walls of the closed-again Genesee Hill Elementary School … ironically, relocated from another closed Seattle Public Schools building, the former home of Van Asselt Elementary on Beacon Hill. That’s part of what’s happening as the new Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council continues working with the district to keep the vacated campus from becoming an eyesore (or worse) – and they’re inviting you to join in a cleanup this Saturday, 9 am-1 pm: it’ll involve gardening, too, starting with the front beds and moving to the north playground as time allows. The GSNC also promises, “There will be free popsicles at noon!”