West Seattle, Washington
Just in from Seal Sitters‘ Robin Lindsey:
Our first little seal pup nicknamed Primo has been hanging out on Alki off and on since last night. He spent the majority of today keeping Seal Sitters on our toes! He’s a gorgeous, but thin little pup. Please spread the word for people to be alert as they walk along the beach and to call us immediately if they come across a pup.
Here’s the number: 206-905-SEAL. Robin has Primo’s full story, with a photo, on the Seal Sitters’ “blubberblog” – go here.
It’s less than a week and a half till a public hearing is scheduled before the city Hearing Examiner downtown for anyone with something to say about the city’s 3-years-in-the-making recommendation to approve the zoning change proposed for a block-plus stretch of California SW (city map at left). The change from NC1-30 to NC2-40, which permits larger businesses and taller buildings (zoning classifications are explained here), was first proposed in fall of 2007 (we found it in the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin in November 2007). The city Department of Planning and Development, however, didn’t issue its recommendation until this summer.
First word of that came in June from local real-estate entrepreneur Mike Gain, who applied for the zoning change along with longtime business partner Roger Cayce. Then we followed up when the city’s memo was available. Since then, Admiral residents Dennis Ross and Stephen Levey have filed an appeal, under the name Admiral Community Council. (The group is separate from the Admiral Neighborhood Association, though ANA did send the city a letter in December 2007 [read it here] outlining why it did not support the rezoning proposal.) And residents near the proposed rezoning area have launched a new opposition group, organizing online via Facebook. Read on for more on what’s happening now, what happens next, and the key date for those with something to say about the proposal:Read More
Thanks to Aaron for the tip: A small power outage has affected several establishments on the east side of California, north of Admiral Way. He says it had something to do with a transformer problem behind Admiral Pub. Looks like that’s one of three businesses affected, along with Yen Wor and Brickyard; we just went in and checked – Admiral Pub is empty right now, Yen Wor is open, waiting for “an hour or two” to see what happens,” and Brickyard is open but, a Twitter tipster also says, serving drinks, not food, and “cash only.” They say they were told the power may not return before midnight; we’re checking with City Light. (The other side of the street is NOT affected.)
For the first time in months, there’s a West Seattle project up for Southwest Design Review Board consideration – as first reported here one month ago, it’s a mixed-use project at 7100 Delridge Way (map), north of the Shell station that’s kitty-corner from Home Depot and Arco. And today, you can get a very preliminary peek at the shape it might take: “Early design” renderings are now available online in the packet that’s posted on the city website in advance of the 6:30 pm Thursday DRB meeting (West Seattle Senior Center, California/Oregon). Keep in mind, the renderings do NOT include exterior finishes – they’re more for “massing” (size/shape) than anything else. As is required for Early Design, architect Warren Pollock proposes 3 alternatives, labeling #1 as the “preferred alternative”:
The Delridge Neighborhood Plan designates the site vicinity as the “South Node” and it anticipates the development of a walkable pedestrian-scale neighborhood center. The “South Node” is a transportation cross road. There is an important transit stop on Delridge Way SW at the Northwest corner of our site at the foot of the city stairway in the SW Myrtle R /.W. … Concept A locates the building at the sidewalk edge to engage with pedestrian activity moving to and from the transit stop. Commercial space is located at sidewalk level and is transparent to allow views into the space and pedestrian exposure for the business that operates there.
The massing of the building will create the “street wall” that is necessary to achieve a sense of defined space for the neighborhood center. Future development on both sides of the street is necessary to full realize this “goal” of the neighborhood plan, but this project is a start in that direction.
The north end of our street wall will be a green landscape wall that will function as a backdrop for seating for people waiting for transit. Leaning against a glass storefront is not a comfortable way to wait for the bus. Project parking is internal on level 1 behind the commercial space and it steps up to level 2 to respond to the existing topography. …
The several stories of apartments are configured to create an internal courtyard that will be an activity space for the residents. A large opening in the west façade connects the court yard to the street and to the emerging neighborhood center. … 3 rental houses will be build on the hillside to the east of the apartments on the edge of the Urban Forest. … The parking for the houses is in the apartment garage. Elevators will provide access to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over the courtyard to the house. The bridge also provides a connection to the Urban Forest and to the stairway in the SW Myrtle St R / W. …
Less than a week after police confirmed to WSB that they are investigating the recent spate of broken-glass business break-ins as an official “burglary pattern,” there’s been another one. Luciano’s Pizza next to Admiral Theater confirms someone broke their window – it’s hard to tell from the photo because new glass is already in – and took their tip jar. (Thanks to the folks at nearby Mission for the tip; they say police were going around checking with other businesses.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“The Delridge Way” – pitching in to get something done, rather than waiting for it to be done for you – needs to be “the Seattle way,” Mayor Mike McGinn declared during his North Delridge walking tour, especially in this time of crunched civic budgets.
Our video above includes the perfect example. Steps away from where the mayor’s Saturday morning walking tour began at Delridge/Brandon, he was introduced to the North Delridge neighbors who have spent their Saturday mornings all summer long cleaning up a much-used but long-trashed alley.
That’s Patrick Baer in the video, explaining the project to the mayor (who you see using his smartphone to tweet this photo), while his fellow volunteers – not on behalf of any group, organization, or government agency, totally ad hoc – continue weeding and cleaning.
It was just part of what McGinn saw during a tour arranged by Neighborhood Services Coordinator Ron Angeles to help the mayor learn more about this part of West Seattle – and in the end, he spent two hours, starting with a sitdown chat at Pearls coffee/tea shop, which included not only the mayor but also Department of Neighborhoods director Stella Chao, and also led to this photo op:
From left with the mayor, that’s Ron Angeles, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association executive director Derek Birnie, and too-many-involvements-to-list area advocate/leader Pete Spalding (who provided that photo; all others in this story were taken by us). Spalding told WSB that the sitdown included talk of the goals that Strategic Delridge (explained here) has been focusing on – and then, it was off to see the area in person – come along for more photos (think you’ve seen everything in Delridge? and the mayor’s comments on how all this may figure into the city’s big picture:Read More
The day’s off to a drizzly start, just like Saturday (sun later?), but there’s plenty to do. INDOORS: There’s a 3 pm matinee performance of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (right) by Twelfth Night Productions (WSB sponsor) at West Seattle High School Theater. Tickets are available online at Brown Paper Tickets, in person at Square One Books (WSB sponsor) or at the door … Tonight Alki Arts, the new gallery next to Cactus (2820 Alki SW), celebrates its “one-month anniversary” with a 6-9 pm wine/dessert reception … Sundays are always all-ages night at Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor), with three live bands scheduled tonight (listed on the Skylark calendar), starting at 7 … OUTDOORS: Volunteer beach naturalists from the Seattle Aquarium (WSB sponsor) program will be out 9 am-noon at Lincoln and Constellation Parks for one last low-enough-to-see-something tide (-2.0 just after 10 am) … West Seattle Farmers’ Market is 10 am-2 pm, 44th/Alaska; here’s the fresh sheet (from Gravensteins to garlic!) … Highland Park Sunday Market is happening at the HP Improvement Club parking lot again today too, 12th/Holden, 11 am-3 pm (see what’s in store) … And it’s the second day for the Festival of India on Alki, noon-7 pm (presented by Vedic Cultural Center – info here).
Darren in High Point caught a Blue Angels jet on video over his home in the 34th/Findlay area on Saturday, and tipped us via Twitter. For a while in the murky midday, many of us Blue Angels-watchers wondered if they would be able to go up at all, even for the so-called “low show,” but at 1:31 pm, off they went for 40 minutes of flight. This time, we watched from the lot just north of the Boeing Field tower, after two days in the lot to its south; this quick clip shows part of the crowd and also the folks who had the real front-row seat, on the balcony outside (and atop!) the tower itself:
That lot and the one south of the tower are both reachable from turnoffs along East Marginal Way; if you don’t want to watch through chain link and barbed wire, bring a ladder or prepare to sit atop your vehicle! But neither compares to watching from the Museum of Flight itself, where you can snag a spot along the southern fence to watch the pageantry from the maintenance crews prepping the F/A-18s to the pilots’ “walkdown” (check the WSB video by Cliff DesPeaux from Friday for a taste of what it’s like.) As for the performance over Lake Washington – David DeSiga shared this Saturday photo:
If you watch from the lake shore in the official Seafair zone – where you also can see the hydro races and other airshow acts – you’ll need tickets (info online). And one last traffic reminder, the I-90 bridge will again be closed approximately 12:45 pm-2:40 pm, and that invariably slows things up on feeder freeways, particularly northbound I-5 (and in turn, the West Seattle Bridge’s east end getting to I-5). On the downtown waterfront, this is the final day for fleet tours, which are free – the Seafair website has details on those. P.S. One last note – a source who wanted to be anonymous said, “Watch for a BIG airshow surprise between 2-3 pm Sunday.” That would be AFTER the Blue Angels. We’ll see! (8:33 AM: Looks like it’s the 787 … or maybe not a surprise? Seafair’s FB page lists airshow order as “Today’s Boeing Air Show Schedule: 10:00 Opening Ceremony – Sean Tucker, 10:10 USCG H65 SAR, 10:20 Sean Tucker – Challenger, 11:20 HFF – F7 and F8, 11:35 USAF C-17, 11:50 Boeing 787, 12:40 John Klatt, 1:00 USN – F/A 18F, 1:15 Clay Lacy – Lear 24, 1:25 Fat Albert – C130, 1:35 U.S. Navy Blue Angels, 4:15 E/A 18 Fly-Over, …4:20 Sean Tucker – Challenger, 4:35 Tim Weber — Extra 300, 4:50 John Klatt – Staudacher!“)
(Photos courtesy West Seattle Amateur Radio Club)
If you were out on Alki on Saturday and passed the Oldsmobile seen on the left in the photo above, you might have noticed it was no ordinary car: It served as an antenna for the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club, whose members set up a tent at Alki Beach Park, conducting a special operation in honor of the nearby Alki Lighthouse:
(By the tent, that’s Chris [KE7JBF], who we’re told brought the pink box o’ treats from Cupcake Royale [WSB sponsor].) The event’s goal: To “activate” the lighthouse via radio transmissions with the code USA005, in honor of International Lighthouse and Lightship Week (which concluded on Saturday). Club member Steve (K6US) sent the code before the Saturday rain really got going:
They weren’t able to operate from the lighthouse itself, according to club vice president Curt Black (WR5J), because, as an official U.S. Coast Guard installation, “it’s pretty busy during Seafair.” So they’re hoping to set up on its grounds in two weeks, on August 21st. (You can find out more about the club at westseattlearc.com.)
If you’re on Puget Ridge and wondering what all the police action is about, officers are responding to a report of a flipped car in the 5600 block of 21st SW (map), empty after two females were reportedly seen running from the scene.