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