West Seattle, Washington
By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Yvonne Belshaw is the president of a manufacturing company, an artist with a current show at the Fauntleroy YMCA, a gardener, the writer of a new musical opening this week – and she just turned 90 years old. When you ask people about Yvonne Belshaw, they stop you and say, “You mean the amazing Yvonne Belshaw.”
Yvonne married into the Belshaw family, which owned Belshaw Brothers Bakery Equipment, in 1941. She says, “If you’ve eaten a donut recently, it was probably made on a Belshaw machine.” She headed the advertising department, designing layouts and “writing copy for machines they hadn’t invented yet” including the “Donut Robot.” This is an automated donut machine, one of which is used by the Daily Dozen Donut Company in Pike Place Market. She enjoyed the creativity of her work, adding, “I loved watching the machinery.”
Though the Belshaw company was sold, Yvonne remains in the food equipment manufacturing business and heads Food Equipment Design, headquartered in White Center. They produce the “Pancake Chef” — an automated pancake dispenser.
Yvonne remembers the exact day she moved to West Seattle: August 1, 1942.
(Photos courtesy Michael Merta. Here: “Olson Place SW going up toward Roxbury”)
It’s easy to see a problem and gripe about it. Getting something done – doing it yourself – not so easy. Michael Merta says he’s figuring this out, as he tries to rally support to fight littering and other blight. He asked if we would publish his open letter and a few photos. He lives in White Center but is challenging folks throughout the West Seattle/White Center/South Park/Georgetown areas, and beyond:
I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed an increasing amount of graffiti and litter on our West Seattle and South Seattle roadways and public places lately? I have, and I decided to try to write to the appropriate departments to see what was happening. I emailed the city of Seattle and received a polite thank you and acknowledgement, though no specific reply stating that anything would be done.
I wrote to WSDOT about litter all along SR 509 which seems to have been accumulating for quite some time with no noticeable effort to clean it up. I have not had a reply to that complaint.
When I wrote to King County I received a very prompt reply from Dinah Day with the King County Illegal Dumping hotline, who wrote “I do have to warn you that there have been many budget cuts and how often and how much litter gets cleaned up has been significantly reduced in the last few years.” Those were her exact words, and at least they serve as confirmation that I have not been imagining things.
Personally, I feel at a loss to figure out where to go next. I’ve created a Facebook page where people can post photos, discuss the problem, and try to come up with some solution:
One person complaining probably won’t get much attention but if we all get together maybe we can make some positive change.
We all know there have been budget cuts but I don’t think it’s acceptable to just say “budget cuts” and not do anything. Aside from looking terrible, its a matter of public safety if you subscribe to the broken-windows theory of crime prevention. There are always going to be people that litter and paint graffiti; we pay taxes to assure that it gets cleaned up. If the city, the county, and WSDOT do not have the money to take care of it in a timely fashion, perhaps we as taxpayers need to remind them that for us, it’s a priority.
As we start building the annual list of where to watch the Super Bowl in West Seattle (got a public party? let us know!) next Sunday, we just got word of a benefit bash, presented by the Beer Church and Porterhouse Pub. Beer Church’s Kendall Jones explains, “We have three breweries participating – Georgetown Brewing, Port Townsend Brewing Company and Diamond Knot Brewing. A portion of the proceeds from those beers will be donated. Also, we’ll have big barbecues set up out front. Food in exchange for a donation. Drink beer, eat BBQ, watch the game, support kids. We’ll be setting up a projection TV outside. Weather permitting, of course. It will hopefully be an indoor-outdoor affair.” All this to benefit the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), particularly its after-school programs for at-risk youth. More details here!
(WSB file photo of P-Patch site)
Almost two years after first word the empty city-owned lot at 34th and Barton (map) might become a P-Patch, it’s finally close to reality. Barton P-Patch Outreach Committee Chair Terri Lindow just sent word of your chance to help design it:
BARTON & 34TH P-PATCH COMMUNITY GARDEN COMMUNITY DESIGN WORKSHOPS
Feb. 12th & March 1st
WHAT: You are invited to participate in creating a new P-Patch community garden at Barton Street and 34th Avenue SW (near Tony’s Produce)
Please attend these meetings to learn more about the new neighborhood project and participate in the design process.
At this first meeting we’ll start with big ideas and end up with a schematic design. Barker Landscape Architects will facilitate the public workshops to design the garden that best suits the Barton P-Patch community. Each session will build on the last so please try to attend all three.
WHEN: Meeting 1: Saturday, Feb. 12th 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Idea Generation and Preferences
Meeting 2: Tuesday, March 1: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Refine Alternative Plans
Meeting 3: To Be Announced
WHERE: The Southwest Community Center, 2801 SW Thistle St. Seattle, 91826
Interested? Questions? Call or email Randee at Randeef@comcast.net or 206-218-3320.
(Rear/side view of the building Les Schwab is seeking to turn into a sales/service center)
Another one of the former Huling (etc.) properties in The Triangle may be occupied soon. Les Schwab Tire Centers has confirmed to WSB what we had discovered by reviewing plans on file with the city online and at the Municipal Tower downtown: The tire company has applied to make “tenant improvements” to a West Seattle site. Plans on file with the city say the onetime Huling building on the southwest corner of 38th/Alaska (map) will be a Les Schwab “sales and service center.” The company won’t comment further – through a spokesperson, Schwab’s Jodi Hueske said, “We do not comment on applications that are under review” — but the plans on file with the city Department of Planning and Development are detailed:
The Les Schwab plans on file only cover the east section of that site, with the 65-year-old building that also previously housed Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The old Enterprise sign was finally taken down this month; observant WSB’ers also noticed the “For Lease/Sale” sign at Fauntleroy/Alaska had come down as well, and we’ve been working on the story ever since. The plan does NOT call for any new structures, just an estimated $1 million of improvements to the current structure; the site will have five regular parking spaces and one for the disabled, according to the plans on file.
This application is filed at 3801 SW Alaska instead of the corner address, 4700 Fauntleroy Way SW; the Fauntleroy Way address had a Les Schwab proposal in the online file last year, but when we looked into it last fall, the company denied that anything was in the works. The new application was filed on December 28th.
Again, we don’t know the timetable for the expected opening, since the company says it won’t comment further at this phase beyond confirming they have “applied … for a tenant-improvement permit,” nor do we know what if anything is immediately in store for the western half of the site. (By the way, though this site held part of the former Huling automotive businesses, the land itself is not owned by the Huling family.)
12:33 PM: Late this morning, we updated last night’s story on the Alki Tours group trying to get out of Egypt, after stopping by the local tour company’s offices and learning that their travelers had been able to get on board flights. Moments ago, we got one more update from Alki Tours president/founder Claire Nolan: “The Alki Tours group safely departed Cairo and are now at a hotel in Athens. They are safe and sound and being treated like royalty.” Nolan told WSB last night that 35 of their clients, including 12 from West Seattle, were wrapping up a 10-day tour of Egypt when they got back to Cairo and found themselves disquietingly close to the anti-government unrest that the world’s been watching.
8:42 PM UPDATE: The three tour members who left early are back home in Western Washington tonight – Douglas Prior from Alki Tours says none are from West Seattle.
The sun’s coming out and thoughts turn to … sports. Here’s your chance to sign up for three leagues.
WEST SEATTLE SOCCER CLUB: It’s registration time for the spring soccer season, which is a 6-game season with all games played on Sunday afternoons, from Sunday 4/3 to Sunday 5/15 (no games on Easter Sunday 4/24). Registration is open to players 5-11, $46/player, including a “Champions League” jersey. Lots more information on the West Seattle Soccer Club website – go here and follow the registration link on the left side of the page.
Meantime, it’s also signup time for two leagues through the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor):
YMCA INDOOR SOCCER: Thanks to West Seattle Y sports director Matt Schlede for sharing the photo. Leagues for this sport are 3-year-old coed, 4/5 coed, 6/7 coed, 8/9 girls, 8/9 boys, 10-12 girls, 10-12 boys. Practices start week of February 28; first games are weekend of March 12; season ends April 30 – one practice per week and one weekend game per week, with a 7-game schedule. More info and signup details are here, or you can inquire in person at the YMCA facilities in Fauntleroy or The Triangle.
YMCA ADULT 4v4BASKETBALL REGISTRATION UNDER WAY: Signups are also now being taken for this league, which has a season March 2-May 15, with two groups, 18+ and 40+, playing a 7-game season (plus playoffs). 18+ plays Sunday nights; 40+ plays Wednesday nights, both at Fauntleroy YMCA. You can register online at westseattleymca.org.
This morning’s photo is courtesy of Machel Spence, whose Coffee to a Tea with Sugar show of her natural photography – focusing on fungi – is wrapping up this morning with a sale. 8:30-11 am, she’s selling remaining prints half-price in hopes of taking fewer back home! Also happening in West Seattle today/tonight: It’s the start of the second semester for Seattle Public Schools, and West Seattle High School is switching to its new bell schedule (which is detailed online here) … It’s also the last day you can vote for Lafayette Elementary‘s “Play It Forward” project in the Pepsi Refresh competition (go here to see how) … Do another good deed by joining this week’s edition of fundraising Scrabble at Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor), 7 pm registration, 7:15 pm game (details here) – $5 to play … And at 7 pm it’s Family Story Time at High Point Library with children’s librarian Amy … More on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar!
Coming up at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in West Seattle next weekend:
The Heart of Islam
with Jamal Rahman, Sufi minister, teacher and author
at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California Avenue SW, Seattle, WA
Date: Sunday, February 6, 2011
Time: 12 noon Community Forum
Contact: Sally Carlson, Deacon
Free and open to the community.
In this time of unrest and confusion, the clear and compassionate voice of Jamal Rahman speaks to the heart of Islam. Come and join us at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church to listen and ask questions, and be part of a forum for learning, understanding, and clarity around the least understood (by our culture) of the Abrahamic traditions.
*Jamal Rahman is a Muslim Sufi minister originally from Bangladesh. He is co-founder and co-minister at Interfaith Community Church in Seattle, Washington, co-host of Interfaith Talk Radio, and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. Jamal travels often, teaching classes, workshops, and retreats locally, nationally, and internationally. He is the author of The Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam, and a co-author of two new books: Out of Darkness, Into Light: Spiritual Guidance in the Quran with Reflections from Jewish and Christian Sources, and Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi, and a Sheikh.
*Jamal’s passion lies in interfaith community building. He remains rooted in his Islamic tradition and cultivates a “spaciousness” by being open to the beauty and wisdom of other faiths. By authentically and appreciatively understanding other paths, Jamal feels that he becomes a better Muslim. This spaciousness is not about conversion but about completion. Since 9/11 Jamal has been collaborating with Rabbi Ted Falcon and Pastor Don Mackenzie. Affectionately known as the Interfaith Amigos, they tour the country sharing the message of spiritual inclusivity.
*Sheikh Jamal has an abiding faith in the power of heart-to-heart connections to encompass differences and dissolve prejudices. He enjoys programs that celebrate life and unity through delight, laughter, and food. He has a private spiritual counseling practice serving individuals and couples, and is available for interfaith weddings and ceremonies. Jamal offers a variety of classes and workshops, including the popular “Blush of the Beloved,” a course in spiritual deepening and discernment drawing upon the practices, insights, and wisdom within Sufism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.
*from website of Jamal Rahman
(Photo tweeted by @hopeseattle showing part of what was donated)
“We didn’t realize it could be so fun helping others.” That’s what Mike Jensen quotes his daughters as saying after they spent Saturday volunteering during the Hope Lutheran School donation drive to fill a school bus for West Seattle Food Bank. (Mike tells the story, from volunteers’ perspective, here.) The unofficial tally as of tonight is 40 boxes full of food donated from morning till night on Saturday outside the Jefferson Square Safeway; the official weigh-in is scheduled for tomorrow, so we’ll know then how many pounds of food were donated. More pix are on the Hope Lutheran Facebook page. (Missed the food drive? You can donate to WS Food Bank any time – here’s how.)
MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Mike sends word that the final tally was more than a ton and a quarter – more than 2,500 pounds of donated food!
(Photos by Deanie Schwarz for WSB)
One week after the candlelight memorial to remember Jeremy Peck, friends, family, and other community members were at the Chelan Café tonight for a potluck/karaoke/Jello shots fundraiser in his honor. WSB contributor Deanie Schwarz reports more than 75 people were there in the early going, with more continuing to arrive, and a spirit of camaraderie prevailing. Raffles were added to the night’s schedule, all to help pay for arrangements to lay Jeremy to rest. The questions about his disappearance and death are still weeks away from anything resembling answers; Deanie talked tonight with family spokesperson Cheryl Perry, who says she checked again with the King County Medical Examiner this week “and asked if they have anything they can tell us, because everybody wants to know. They don’t. They won’t even begin to have an answer for another seven weeks. … So many people, especially the younger people, want an answer. They want justice. But we can’t hurry the ME. They are going to do what they need to do. It’s due process and turn it over to the police, if there is something to turn over. We don’t know what the cause of death was.”
ORIGINAL SUNDAY 8:26 PM REPORT: As KING 5 reported tonight, a local tour group is trying to get out of Egypt, among the ongoing anti-government protests there. What the TV report (embedded above) didn’t mention is that the company that set up the group, Alki Tours, is based in West Seattle, with offices on Fauntleroy Way in Morgan Junction. We talked tonight with Alki Tours’ founder/president Claire Nolan, who says the tour manager whose phone interview you heard in KING’s report, Tyson Verse, is doing an amazing job keeping everyone safe and comfortable. The 35-member tour group includes 12 people who live in West Seattle, according to Nolan, who’s run the travel/tour company – now with clients worldwide – for 18 years.
She tells WSB the group’s 10-day tour was wrapping up when they got to Cairo, after activities including a cruise on the Nile, and found themselves caught in the heart of the protests, with “riots” around the station where they got off a train. No one was threatened or injured; after armed guards escorted the tourists to their hotel, Nolan says, “We were able to get everybody to the airport, and they’re in a secure location” – but they’ve been waiting to find out when the airport, closed because of the political upheaval, will reopen. Most recently, they’ve been told by the U.S. State Department that flights will be chartered to get Americans out of Cairo, and that those flights will start at 2 pm tomorrow Cairo time (about 4 am tomorrow morning our time) – they’ll be taken to Europe, and will connect to US-bound flights from there.
So with all the news about communications being cut off, you might wonder how Alki Tours has stayed in touch with its tour and manager. According to Nolan, incoming phone calls are working, but not outgoing. She says they send “about 100 people a year” on tours to Egypt (here’s next year’s itinerary), from among their 35,000 annual clients, and while they’ve had to deal with unpredictable situations before, having people “actually holed at the airport” is a new situation. She has words of praise for their tour manager, who has been handling “provisions and blankets for everyone.” They’re not sure how soon everyone will be home – depends on what happens once those evacuation flights begin.
1 AM MONDAY UPDATE: It’s now 11 am in Cairo, and that’s the time American travelers interested in those flights, including the local travelers, had been told to gather at a particular terminal (4) at the airport (here’s the State Department advisory). Alki Tours management here said their group was planning to move to that terminal ahead of time to beat the rush.
10:07 AM MONDAY UPDATE: We just stopped by Alki Tours, where they say everybody on their tour is headed out of Egypt, either via Lufthansa or Delta.
(Video from inside Zippy’s kitchen last month, by Deanie Schwarz for WSB)
Some new information tonight, more than a month after our first report about the unsettled situation at the Highland Park corner that is home to Zippy’s Giant Burgers. You may recall that, after the 16th/Holden building was foreclosed on, forcing its owner to close his store SeaMart last month, followed by the shutdown of neighboring JoJo’s Fine Espresso, leaving Zippy’s as the last business open at the site.
After hinting today in the WSB Forums that a breakthrough may be near, Zippy’s owner Blaine Cook confirmed to WSB contributor Deanie Schwarz that they’re working on a deal for a new “turnkey” location. They should know by the end of the week if it’ll work out. Otherwise, he explained, negotiations for a potential new lease at the current location are not yielding a “reasonable” solution, and talks about a possible purchase aren’t advancing at all. So where’s the potential new spot? Somewhere in the general West Seattle area – that’s as specific as he’ll get right now. One important note for customers in the meantime: Zippy’s will be CLOSED ON MONDAYS starting tomorrow and continuing through February (they’ll also be closed next Sunday, 2/6).
(Click photo to see larger version)
New photos in from Guy Smith, Alki wildlife watcher, who reports:
This am we saw 2 parent eagles and their yearling, fishing just off our stretch of beach. We noticed that the seagulls didn’t harass them as they normally do. We are guessing that when there is only one eagle, they can harass it from the back without fear. But with two other eagles close by, the gulls or crows become fair game themselves.
(Click photo to see larger version)
The eagles swooped down many times but never attempted to get a fish. Finally they made their way toward the bathhouse.
Among those crossing The Bridge to get to Saturday’s open house at Seattle City Hall – Holli Margell and Amanda Leonard from the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. Holli gave us permission to share her photos. Above, the aerial view of West Seattle’s own Caspar Babypants performing in City Hall’s huge open-space lobby; next, visitors gathered to hear Mayor McGinn speak – Holli says he told the crowd, “We need you to help us meet our vision for the city,” and urged everyone to be engaged:
And his office upstairs was open for tours, too – this is Amanda next to a whiteboard where visitors were encouraged to leave messages:
To the mayor’s theme of getting engaged – if you live in North Delridge, check out the NDNC meeting on Monday, February 14th, 6:30 pm at Delridge Library – here’s the agenda, from Holli:
The Feb. 14th NDNC meeting will provide free cookies! Our meeting will start promptly without the usual introductions to accommodate a presentation from the Fire Station 36 – looking at their Seismic and Expansion upgrades. This presentation is timely since our March meeting will focus on Emergency Preparedness.
The February meeting agenda will also include:
– A short discussion by Co-Secretary Kirsten looking at the Delridge Neighborhood District Council’s goals
– Discussion by neighbor Connie on “What Makes a Community”
– Reports from Chairs
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports from the WSB inbox today. First, what appears to be a random case of car vandalism (though the victim’s wondering if it happened to anyone else in the area); second, a report of garage break-ins. Both after the jump – plus a third report that *might* involve a stolen car:Read More
Changes for softball at West Seattle High School, with details from parent volunteer Denise Liftin:
With the departure of Coach Carrie Burr at the beginning of the school year to take on other opportunities as Athletic Director and Activities Coordinator at Ballard High School , WSHS Wildcats Fastpitch had to say goodbye to their very successful coaching staff (also including Chuck Albany, Gordon Hessel and Alicia Hill, who had assisted Coach Burr).
Although the former staff will be missed, the team is excited that stepping in to take over the Wildcat Fastpitch tradition are new Head Coach Jim Perkins and Assistant Coach Deavonnie Spadoni, both of whom were involved with John F. Kennedy High School Fastpitch (Deavonnie as a catcher and Jim as an Assistant Coach)
Photos, and some words from the new coach, as Denise’s report continues after the jump:Read More
The city has just put up its brand-new info-page about a road project that’s been in the works for a while but hasn’t been discussed much lately: Seismic retrofitting for the Fauntleroy Expressway, which is the southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge. Some earthquake-safetyproofing work was done in 1994; 17 years later, this is the followup. (This section of the bridge itself was built in 1963.) SDOT says work will start this spring; here’s how it’ll affect traffic:
The project is expected to be advertised for competitive bids in the spring 2011. The seismic work will largely require occasional lane closures to traffic, bicycles, and pedestrians during construction.
During the installation of the new bearing pads, traffic is expected to be impacted on some nights and weekends. Closure of the Expressway will occur intermittently and detour routes around the work will go into effect. For traffic going Fauntleroy Way SW to West Seattle the detour will be to SW Avalon Way either by the Delridge Way SW ramp or Harbor Ave SW/SW Avalon Way ramp. Traffic from SW Admiral Way is expected to be detoured either thru 38th Ave SW or further north.
The project cost is estimated at $2.7 million.
Holy Rosary‘s preschool teachers shared that photo along with an invitation to interested families to check out their open house today, 10 am-1 pm, northeast corner of 42nd and Genesee. And another preschool open house today is literally steps away – West Seattle Christian Preschool, right across Genesee, 1-3 pm. Also today: The first week of “Emilie” at ArtsWest continues with a 3 pm performance (tickets available online) … And one more event in The Junction: The West Seattle Farmers’ Market, 10 am-2 pm as always, 44th/Alaska (here’s what market managers say you’ll find) … Two remembrance events today: The celebration of life for Christy Tyson (see this WSB story), 3-6 pm at Camp Long Lodge (5200 35th SW), and the Jeremy Peck memorial and benefit potluck dinner, Chelan Café, 6-10 pm (3527 Chelan SW; more information on this Facebook event invite page).
Remember all the talk about “backyard cottages”? Now that they’re legal in Seattle – this city webpage explains the concept – local builders are starting to add them to their repertoire. In the photo above, you see the first one built by West Seattle-based NCompass Cottage Company. The cottage is in Ballard, but NCompass is West Seattle’s first specialist. And today, they are one of three WSB sponsors participating in an event that’s a must-visit for anyone considering not only a cottage but any other type of home project, even though the event’s not happening in West Seattle: It’s the 14th annual Home Design and Remodel Fair at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Avenue North (here’s a map), 10 am-4 pm. The three WSB sponsors among the 90 exhibitors are NCompass Cottage Company and Ventana Construction, as well as the landscape specialists of WEdesign. Detailed information is available here, including full lists of exhibitors and workshops (WEdesign is presenting a workshop on sustainable landscaping at 2:20 pm). There is a $9 adult admission fee.
Two sports notes from Seattle Lutheran High School:
(November 2010 photo courtesy Bil Hood)
First, belated congratulations to the SLHS soccer program for more honors following their state-championship season: In statewide voting, coach Jeff Norton (above) was chosen State Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year (2B/1B), Ashley Shaw won Player of the Year and All-State First Team selection, and Sam Depew and Natalie Pimblett were chosen for All-State Second Team.
Second – our coverage of Saturday night’s varsity basketball games with Seattle Lutheran hosting Bear Creek, ahead:Read More
By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
It’s been a busy week for real-time coverage, so this week’s WSBeat publication is a bit delayed. But there are still a few things to share from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers:
*Followup to a case reported on WSB earlier this week: Administrators say that a 16-year-old student suspected of setting two fires on Monday, several hours apart, in two West Seattle High School bathrooms, will be placed on long-term suspension.
Five more summaries ahead:Read More