day : 27/07/2010 13 results

Spokane Viaduct lane closure: Construction can’t move any faster

It’s been one week since eastbound traffic on the Spokane Street Viaduct section of the West Seattle Bridge lost a lane to construction work. And while the eastbound bridge is seldom a picnic, some drivers say it’s become even more of a “parking lot” – the term Twitter user @allrachel used while sending the shown-above cameraphone photo Monday morning. All this brings us to a note we received from West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee. “I am concerned about the backups on the Spokane Street Viaduct. Recently I inquired whether SDOT would be able to speed up the work on the completion of the offramp from the Spokane Street Viaduct.” He attached the e-mail he got back – read ahead to see it:Read More

WSB notes: Time Magazine, Seattle Woman, Seattle Weekly…

(Photo via Facebook, used by permission – thanks, Carrie Ann!)
That’s the “thank you” sign on the back of the electric car we drove in Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade, in case you missed it. We do try to say thanks as often as we can, on the site, in e-mail, etc., because this is truly a collaboration. And one that continues to grow – which is part of the reason why WSB has gotten a few cool mentions lately … We hadn’t written about them here on the news page because, as we were telling one of the people who kindly wrote with congratulations, “WSB isn’t about us, it’s about West Seattle.” They e-mailed back, “Yes, but you’re part of WS too” and suggested we share the good news. So here we are. Most recently, if you read TIME Magazine, there’s a story about online neighborhood news, featuring WSB, on page 49 of the current (8/2/10) issue:

(Photo via Facebook, used by permission – thanks, Erik!)
You can read it online here. (Note a couple corrections: Our association with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies is as an advisor, not a teacher, and – you know this if you’re a longtime WSB’er – we didn’t have “years of donation drives” – only one, a “Pledge Day” three years ago). Meantime, the folks at Seattle Woman Magazine also included your editor here in the current issue’s cover story “Masters of Social Media,” along with West Seattleite Shauna Causey, Biznik’s Lara Feltin, and Monica Guzman of Intersect (formerly of That story is online here; the paper version, which is free, is available in boxes and offices all over the place. One other recent honor – two awards at the Seattle Weekly‘s first-ever “Best of the Web.” (Although the coolest awards we’ve been honored to receive remain the West Seattle Grand Parade Orville Rummel Trophy from the American Legion Post 160 parade team, and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year.) We have to stress, none of this is because we’re doing anything fancy or amazing. Somehow you have come to trust that this is a place to get, and share, news, and we try our best to mediate, facilitate, research, report, respond, process, whatever it takes to help get the word out. We hope to keep finding ways to do an even better job of that, with your continued collaboration. Thanks again. (Here’s how to reach WSB, any time, 24/7/365.)

West Seattle totem pole’s re-installation still on for tomorrow

(7/21/2010 photo by Christopher Boffoli)
As first reported here last week, along with photos of the newly repainted West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park totem pole, its reinstallation is set for tomorrow. The restoration experts from Artech who’ve been working on it tell WSB the trucks will arrive around 9, the activity will intensify around 10. The Rotary Club of West Seattle isn’t having the rededication ceremony till August 10th, but if all goes well tomorrow, the 34-year-old pole — stolen last Nov. 30th — will be back in place (35th/Alaska) by afternoon.

Pathfinder unicyclists among West Seattleites in Torchlight Parade

July 27, 2010 8:01 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

Our short clip shows unicyclists from Pathfinder K-8 in last Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade – and we got word today that they’re going to get to show off for an even-bigger crowd this Saturday, during Seattle’s biggest parade of the year, the Seafair Torchlight Parade through downtown (leaving Seattle Center heading south on 4th Avenue at 7:30 pm)! They’ll be riding along with the Communities in Schools of Seattle School Bus. Meantime, we just procured the parade entry list from Seafair, so we could scan for other West Seattleites. Obviously you’ll want to cheer for the multiple-award-winning West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival float; we learned recently there are West Seattleites on the Seattle Police Motorcycle Drill Team; Admiral-residing King County Executive Dow Constantine will be there; so will the Seafair Pirates and Seafair Clowns, which both include West Seattleites; regardless of whether she is chosen Miss Seafair, the West Seattle Hi-Yu rep in this year’s program, Margo Femiano (2008-2009 Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu), will be in the parade; so will the Rat City Rollergirls (many WS ties) with the White Center Ambassadors. Another Torchlight Parade entrant with peninsula ties – the All-City Band, led by Marcus Pimpleton from Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School.

(Side note: ACB is hosting the parade-eve All-City Band Jam for marching bands and drummers again this year – but while it was in WS last year, this time it’s at Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center. Doors open at 6 pm Friday, performances 7 to 8:30 pm, with ACB joined by groups including the Seahawks’ and Sounders’ bands/drummers as well as the Pacific Northwest Drumline, seen in last Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade.)

West Seattle biznotes: Hollywood Video, Wing Dome, Blackboard

HOLLYWOOD VIDEO: While over at Westwood Village this afternoon for an unrelated story, WV manager Stuart Crandall told us this is finally the last day for Hollywood Video, which has been having a going-out-of-business sale for more than 2 months. 10 pm tonight, that’s it, doors close. They’re selling some remaining stock for as little as 75 cents, we’re told. (No new tenant for the space yet.)

WING DOME IN THE JUNCTION: 10 months now since first word the Wing Dome was headed this way. So when are they opening? we’re often asked. As of June, they hoped for early August, but that’s apparently not likely; we checked today with spokesperson Colleen O’Leary, who says they haven’t set the date yet, as the permit situation is keeping things “fluid.” (If you missed the earlier stories, the Wing Dome is going into part of what used to be a larger space for CAPERS; the other part will be Romanza Floral and Tuscan Tea Roomhere’s our report on that.)

BLACKBOARD BISTRO: The new restaurant that’s replacing the short-lived Eness at 3247 California SW now has a website: It reaffirms they’re hoping to open next month.

New market in High Point seeks support for ‘change of use’

Shared by Sustainable West Seattle president Brian Allen – High Point community management is putting out a call for support on behalf of a man who wants to open a small East African food store in what was a storage space on the Hans VW site along Graham just east of 35th [map]. They say the would-be proprietor of High Point Mini-Market and Deli needs city permission for change of use at the location, though, and that’s why they’re looking for letters of support. We went over to Hans VW to check; they confirm that they’re renting a small structure on their site to the future market proprietor. DPD online files do not turn up an application regarding any part of this site so far, but according to what SWS’s Allen forwarded, support letters are being collected ASAP by Jeanette Fournier, who sent this letter as an example; you can e-mail yours to her at

West Seattle Crime Watch: 26th scare; plus, ‘popular apartment’

July 27, 2010 1:40 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

Two items in West Seattle Crime Watch. FIRST: A scare in the 5400 block of 26th SW (map) just before noon. A man claimed he had been shot. Police and fire responded, and determined he had not been shot, nor assaulted, though he was “scratched up.” According to Det. Mark Jamieson in the SPD media unit, investigators are still trying to sort it out, but the initial belief is that the man was either under the influence, or having psychological problems, leading him to make the false claim. SECOND: A wild night at a Fauntleroy/Raymond (map) apartment building, according to the couple who wrote with kudos for police, and an account of what happened – read on:Read More

Full City Council vote next for Admiral Safeway alley vacation

Update on an item from the WSB morning preview: City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s office confirms that the Transportation Committee (which he chairs) approved the Admiral Safeway alley vacation this morning, 4-0. The full council will vote on Monday. Safeway told the committee this morning they’re hoping to start construction in about a month; the site’s “contract rezone” was approved by the council in June. The project will include a new, bigger store, plus a small retail building along California SW on what is now the northwestern edge of the parking lot, and a building along 42nd SW with apartments and flex-work units. 3:21 PM UPDATE: Safeway’s Sara Corn tells WSB that they don’t have an exact store-closing date yet, but will be discussing it tomorrow, and information on that plus the construction schedule should follow. (They previously projected it would take about 10 months to build the new store – here’s our June update with details on a briefing by the project team.)

Swedish Automotive update: New tenant for ‘old’ building

Just checked on construction progress of the new Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor) HQ at 35th/Kenyon (above), while inquiring about the future of Swedish Automotive’s current building at 35th/Webster (map). Swedish proprietor Dave Winters tells WSB it just so happens he signed a lease this morning with a new tenant for the “old” building – but isn’t ready to identify them just yet. Meantime, if all continues to go well, September 2nd is the target completion date for the new building – that’s faster than predicted when we reported on the project as construction got under way in early March.

Video: Mayor’s response to council’s tunnel resolution

(1:08 pm note – clicking “play” for the video will now take you to archived video of the mayor’s media event)

ORIGINAL 10:57 AM REPORT: As noted yesterday when we published the embedded live stream for the City Council’s discussion of the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Tunnel agreements – and their new idea of passing a resolution stating their commitment to it, while not signing the actual agreements till after the tunnel bids are in – Mayor McGinn is scheduled to discuss his view on this in detail at 11 am. Above is the Seattle Channel‘s stream – click “play” and it should take you to the live feed. The mayor had issued a brief statement yesterday suggesting the council was mostly trying to avoid another public vote (last week in a media conference call, the mayor said he wasn’t opposed to a potential tunnel referendum, given that the public “is used to” voting on Viaduct-related issues by now.)

1:08 PM UPDATE: Seattle Channel has just provided the archived video from the briefing. The mayor’s main point: “The risk (of Seattleites having to pay cost overruns) remains.” To the council’s delay point, he says, “Seeing the bids doesn’t tell us if there are cost overruns.” He also says he believes the council got a “wake-up call” from the public regarding the tunnel, but believes that with this resolution, “they’ve hit the snooze button.”

Update: Sailor missing in Middle East is from West Seattle

ORIGINAL 10:05 AM REPORT: The missing sailor who is the subject of a search in Afghanistan, and may be a hostage, is from West Seattle, according to our partners at the Seattle Times. They are not identifying him at the request of the Navy, and they say his family is declining comment. He disappeared along with another sailor whose body has been found; that sailor has been identified as the son of the fire marshal in the Southern California town of Encinitas. According to the Times report, at least one member of the U.S. military has been held by the Taliban for more than a year, and he too is from the Northwest, a soldier from Idaho. 2:11 PM UPDATE: The Times has updated its story with word that the Department of Defense identifies the sailor as Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove. His family has declined media requests for comment. Here’s the DOD announcement; while they say he’s from Renton, various reports/sources indicate the West Seattle link. 3:06 PM UPDATE: Online records indicate that PO3 Newlove is a Chief Sealth High School graduate, class of 2003.

CityDog cover search: Will a West Seattle dog win again?

July 27, 2010 10:03 am
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 |   Pets | West Seattle news

Breaking news if there’s a photogenic pooch in your household: Brandie Ahlgren, the West Seattleite who runs CityDog Magazine, says this year’s Cover Dog Search is under way and the West Seattle date is now set – August 15 starting at noon at West Seattle Thriftway. $10 entry fee benefits the Doney Memorial Animal Clinic, and they’ll collect pet-food donations for the West Seattle Food Bank. Full details here. West Seattle dogs have won the past two years – Cohen and Murphy.

West Seattle Tuesday: Admiral Safeway alley hearing, and more

July 27, 2010 6:03 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

That’s one of our leftover getting-ready shots taken before the West Seattle Grand Parade on Saturday. Apropos to nothing today except we wanted to use it somewhere, and the morning preview is often a place we feature a nice, if unrelated, photo. Now on with the preview:

… Wait, that photo IS semi-relevant, in that it was taken outside Lafayette Elementary, across the street from Admiral Safeway. And this morning, the Admiral Safeway redevelopment project’s “alley vacation” is on the agenda for the City Council Transportation Committee (9:30 am, City Hall downtown, public comment WILL be taken; or watch Seattle Channel online or on TV). This “alley” isn’t something you’d really recognize as one – it’s part of the back lot, leading to the loading docks, but it is an official city right-of-way, so permission is required for it to be given up to the new development, and to get that permission, developers have to show what the city – and in turn, you, the citizen – are getting in return. That’s all been detailed in numerous hearings we’ve covered along the way, and in this document that’s part of the morning presentation. The city departments that have reviewed it say they have no objection. If the committee OK’s it today, and the full council after that, Safeway has said work could start in early September.

ALSO TODAY/TONIGHT: Deadline for feedback on the Admiral Way “rechannelization” project, as mentioned Monday (all the info’s in that link) … The 34th District Democrats‘ annual summer picnic, at Lincoln Park; check their website for details … Trivia at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction, 8 pm – where, if you missed The World’s Most Incredible Amazing Wondrous Guitar back on Saturday night, they point you to a photo … More? Yes – on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.