West Seattle, Washington
(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 seattlepi.com). 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.)
(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.
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.)
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 Room – here’s our report on that.)
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 Jeanette.Fournier@cdcmanagement.com.
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
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.)
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.
(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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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
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.)
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.
(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:
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 youngstownarts.org.
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 email@example.com 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.”)
(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:
(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.)
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 www.seattlechannel.org/councillive. 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.
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!”