day : 28/02/2011 8 results

WS Crime Watch: 41st/Edmunds drug suspect charged, sought

(February 8th photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
Ever since the police operation at 41st/Edmunds three weeks ago, we’ve been watching for charges to be filed against the man arrested that night, 40-year-old James Monroe Flowers, Jr. (At right is a photo of him that we obtained from the state Department of Corrections.) Those charges finally have been filed, and there’s a $100,000 warrant out for his arrest – he was out of jail within 24 hours of the bust. Prosecutors have filed two drug charges and one count of unlawful firearms possession. The first drug charge alleges that he “delivered [crack] cocaine” and the second alleges that he possessed cocaine with intent to manufacture or deliver it. The charging documents list a criminal history going back to 1990 and say he is a member of a known “street gang,” while also revealing more about what led up to the arrest and charges – read on:Read More

West Seattle biznotes: From demolition, to moving, to changes, to new yoga studio

Six West Seattle business notes to share this evening (and more in the works!) …

(Photo by Deanie Schwarz for WSB)
SOUTH DELRIDGE DEMOLITION: The former Circle K/gas-station property at 9061 Delridge Way (map), idle for several years, is undergoing digging/demolition work; the gas tanks will be taken out this Thursday, reports WSB contributor Deanie Schwarz, who spoke with the crew, apparently in preparation for potential sale. (County records show Circle K still owns the site.)

ON SAFARI MOVES ON: We’ve received a few notes from people who’ve noticed that catering company On Safari Foods has cleared out of its longtime kitchen location on 35th just south of Henderson. Our inquiry to its owner hasn’t been answered yet, but according to On Safari’s Facebook page, it’s just moved to a new HQ on 3rd Avenue South in SODO. That makes it the second catering company, after Herban Feast, to move to SODO from WS. (More on the former HF location later in this roundup … ) UPDATE: Minutes after we published this, On Safari’s Teresa Carew replied:

There were a few reasons for our move: we had outgrown our space, as our Google account and general business expanded; we also felt that for the sake of our customers and our business, we had to move before Hwy 99 came down.

I have been searching for a kitchen for a couple of years now, and this one became available. It is the old Organics to Go kitchen. We have moved from 2200 sq. ft. to 5000 sq. ft! Our cooks are in heaven.

At On Safari Foods, our main focus is on creating the type of experience that makes our customers come back time and time again. Our food is lovingly prepared, with fine, fresh, all natural and wherever possible, organic ingredients.

We are going to miss our old location. I really wanted to put a lovely gastro-pub in our location, but do not have the means to do so at the moment – there is not much in the way of a cool neighborhood pub in that area – any investors around?

May I brag on behalf of all our fabulous cooks? Every year Google does a survey of all its cafes to determine how the employees find their cafe operators. There are about 85 Google cafes around the world. Our cafe in Fremont ranked among the top four in the world for satisfaction with quality of food and service!

BIRD ON A WIRE CHANGE: On Safari’s now-former location included the original home of Bird on a Wire Espresso, whose Westwood location is currently around the corner on SW Henderson. Bird’s latest e-mail newsletter notes that they plan to cease beer/wine sales at that location, to focus on coffee. They also have a new initiative at the new-ish 2nd location in Admiral (2604 California SW) – “Bring a same-day receipt from any Admiral business and get a free sweet (with coffee purchase)!”

MEANDER’S: The cozy eatery that opened in the ex-Jade West space last month (6032 California SW) has received rave reviews and is starting to add lunch items, as well as looking at expanding into adjacent space – here’s the latest from its proprietor Miranda Krone.

COASTAL TO REOPEN: After closing for a winter hiatus, the boutique Coastal on Alki is reopening this weekend, first for weekend-only hours, then fulltime starting in April.

SPIRA POWER YOGA ON THE WAY: The former Herban Feast location across from Admiral Theater has a new tenant on the way – Spira Power Yoga. After a WSB’er noticed a sign in the empty storefront and pointed us to this website, we contacted proprietor Dora Gyarmati for more information. She tells WSB she’s hoping to open May 15th, and explains why she chose West Seattle for her studio:

I love the energy in West Seattle. It has a very loving, relaxed, vibe. Also, people tend to be very active, walking, biking. All of these make it a perfect audience for the type of yoga I will be offering. I have a lot of friends that live in West Seattle, and a lot of my students drive from West Seattle to Bellevue or downtown Seattle just to take my classes….They have been begging, it is time! West Seattle needs a Power Flow studio!

More on her new studio after the jump:Read More

The other transportation agreement councilmembers voted on today: South Park Bridge $

(King County rendering of new South Park Bridge design)
You’ve heard a lot about the Highway 99 tunnel today (we’ve added more to our ongoing coverage, with still more to come). But that’s not all the City Council did today – they also finalized agreements related to the new South Park Bridge, for which they’re forking over $15 million. Here’s their announcement. As reported here last month, the bridge-replacement project has gone out to bid; one week from tomorrow, on March 8th, the resulting bids are to be opened – construction then could start as soon as May, per the county’s website for the project.

Feedback meeting for West Seattle High School’s interim principal

Courtesy of the West Seattle High School PTSA mailing list, a chance to offer feedback before the district decides whether to make WSHS’s interim principal permanent:

Parents and community members are invited to meet with Aurora Lora, Executive Director of West Seattle Schools, to provide feedback on how the school year is going under the leadership of interim principal, Ruth Medsker. Ms. Lora will use feedback from a variety of sources to make a recommendation to the superintendent about whether to make Ms. Medsker’s role as principal at West Seattle High School permanent.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 2nd, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the West Seattle High School Library. If you are unable to attend this meeting, you may provide your feedback directly to Aurora Lora at Ms. Lora will be making her recommendation to the superintendent on Friday, March 4th.

As we reported when her appointment was announced last June, Medsker’s previous experience in Seattle Public Schools included working in central administration as middle-school director after serving as principal of Mercer Middle School. WSHS’s previous principal Bruce Bivins left after last school year for a job in California; the school’s two assistant principals departed as well, so WSHS has been running this year with all-new leadership at the top.

Birth of a P-Patch: Last chance to have a say on 34th/Barton design

(WSB photo from February 13th)
Tomorrow (Tuesday) night is the second and final community meeting for the design of the new 34th/Barton P-Patch – the public meeting after that will unveil the design that results – so the volunteers who are working on the project are hoping to see you tomorrow night, regardless of whether you were at meeting #1 (which drew a sizable turnout, as we reported two weeks ago). 6:30 pm tomorrow, Southwest Community Center.

Tunnel tussle: City Council votes 8-1 to override mayor’s veto

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Story now includes video of mayor’s reaction post-override, as well as other updates including the new referendum effort)

(Council meeting video from Seattle Channel updated 4:08 pm)
9:38 AM: Live now on the Seattle Channel (cable 21, online at, the City Council’s special meeting to consider overriding the mayor’s veto of tunnel-related bills. It’s starting with 30 minutes of public comments. First up: West Seattle Chamber of Commerce CEO Patti Mullen. The Chamber is on the record as supporting the tunnel, which she called “the best solution for Seattle … and for West Seattle.” Second up, also from West Seattle, Vlad Oustimovitch, presenting the letter you first read here 2 weeks ago, signed by him and other Stakeholders Advisory Group members from the original process that ended with the tunnel being announced as the “preferred alternative.” More to come; we’ll add notes of interest along the way, along with the vote when it happens.

9:49 AM: Council President Richard Conlin had noted that they had double the number of signups from tunnel opponents wanting to speak than from tunnel supporters, so supporters got 10 minutes, and tunnel opponents are now starting their 20 minutes. They include both elevated and surface supporters, as well as those who favor retrofitting the existing viaduct.

10:12 AM: Public comment’s over. Councilmembers are commenting, starting with President Conlin. “I understand some people don’t like the tunnel. It wasn’t my choice, for a long time,” he begins, going on to note that the contracts the mayor has vetoed “are in the best interest of the people of Seattle” and should be supported even by tunnel opponents because “they provide legal protections for the people of Seattle.” Councilmember Sally Clark says for her, it’s also about “protecting” the citizens, even as she acknowledges the city remains split on the subject of the tunnel itself. Councilmember Mike O’Brien is next to speak: “On this project, I am still baffled as to why all of you still support this.” He says the project itself will lead to increased “greenhouse-gas emissions,” even as a state law requires they be reduced in the years ahead. He then addresses the topic of jobs, which many speakers on both sides brought up: “This project isn’t the answer … 480 jobs for a $2 billion project.” He says money would be better spent on other projects including I-5 work. He then says he’s disturbed by a “lack of outrage” over “priorities on what we are spending our money on” and mentions state cuts in education and health-care funding. And he calls for a public vote, saying that it would cost $50,000-$100,000 to add a tunnel question onto the August ballot. He plans to introduce a measure later today asking for that vote and pleads for the five votes he says he needs for it to move on.

10:24 AM: Now, West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who says he appreciates that Councilmember O’Brien has been against the tunnel from the start, and clear about it; he then pokes at the mayor for allegedly not being consistent. For some, it’s jobs, says Rasmussen, but “on this 10th anniversary of the earthquake, it’s about lives … we have a responsibility to protect people’s lives,” regarding replacing the viaduct. He mentions the new automated-closure gates on viaduct entries, saying, “This viaduct is fragile and we can only prop it up for so long.” After him, Councilmember Nick Licata, saying that those who support the surface option “don’t have any leaders” and accusing them of subterfuge for not being clear that’s what they’re backing. “Yeah, (the tunnel) may go over, we don’t know, but we do have $2.2 billion (for it) … but we have zero (state dollars) for the surface and transit option. … It’s easy to be against this. It’s hard to be FOR something.” (He is the most fiery speaker we’ve seen yet.) He concludes, “If you think cutting off our nose to spite our face is a good strategy … it is a stupid strategy!” (PHOTO CREDIT: Erika Schultz/Seattle Times) The gallery gets heated, and then Councilmember Bruce Harrell stands up and chides, “Look at us with our signs disrespecting one another … This is not Seattle at its best.” He insists the city “is not liable” for overruns. “I would never support anything that would put us on the hook for cost overruns.” Harrell restates that he respects those who oppose the tunnel, but hopes they will know that regarding the council’s vote, “We’re doing it with conviction, integrity, and a (belief) that long after we are dust, we’re leaving something better for our children and grandchildren.”

10:38 AM: Councilmember Jean Godden says, after noting the longrunning debate, “Now we have had the Seattle Process and it’s time to make a decision.” Council President Conlin follows with the stats on that “process” – 700 public meetings, 15,000 public comments (after showing photos of the collapsed elevated freeway from the 1989 Bay Area quake, and AWV damage after the 2001 Nisqually quake). “The region has been engaged in a passionate debate … for 10 years. … We have come to a common solution, and the (city) has crafted a set of agreements that protect our residents and work for our state and regional partners. … As the anniversary of the Nisqually quake reminds us, this is not just a transportation project, this is about safety. … We were elected to make decisions … as stewards (of the city).”

10:46 AM: Veto overridden, 8-1 (O’Brien the dissenter). To read the full legislation – go here.

3:11 PM: The mayor is speaking with reporters now – watch it live here. He insists the public should be able to vote on the tunnel – either through the proposal that Councilmember Mike O’Brien is introducing this afternoon, or through the referendum announced to gather signatures to put today’s council vote on the ballot. (We’ll add video of the mayor’s Q/A event here when it’s available for embedding. Added – here’s the video:)

3:48 PM: The new “Protect Seattle” coalition of anti-tunnel groups that wants to put the council-approved agreements on the ballot as a referendum have posted their announcement online, here.

4:54 PM: West Seattle tunnel supporters Vlad Oustimovitch, who was the 2nd speaker before the council this morning (as noted above), and Pete Spalding co-wrote a pro-override editorial in today’s Seattle Times (WSB partner) – here’s the link. Also, here’s a written copy of Oustimovitch’s testimony for the meeting.

West Seattle Monday: Water Taxi schedule change, and more

(WSB photo from last month)
Topping today’s lookahead: The West Seattle Water Taxi‘s schedule changes starting this morning, as announced last week. (And that means its shuttle buses change too.) Here’s the new schedule; you’ll note the first run from Seacrest to downtown is five minutes earlier, and the last run from downtown to Seacrest is five minutes later.

Also on the “getting around” front – tonight is another scheduled closure for the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct, 10 pm-5 am, the section of the West Seattle Bridge that’s between I-5 and Highway 99. More highlights:

50-SOMETHING SINGLES: 4-8 pm event at the Senior Center of West Seattle – free to drop in (live music at 5 pm with Band Jam), or have dinner for $8 (strawberry waffles and sausage at 5:30 pm). More singles info – call Lee 206-938-5017 or Mary 206-935-2162.

LAST MONDAY NIGHT SKYLARK SCRABBLE: Fundraising Scrabble at Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor), 7 pm registration, 7:15 pm game (details here) – $5 to play, benefiting charity. After tonight, it moves to 3:30 pm Saturdays (karaoke is moving in on Mondays).

PARENTS’ ROUNDTABLE: 6-7 PM at Fauntleroy Children’s Center, a roundtable discussion for parents to share their experiences, questions, comments regarding making the decision for kindergarten. Child care is available with advance notice, 206-932-9590.

WEST SEATTLE SEE DOGS: Find out about raising a guide dog puppy! 6:30 to 7:45 pm
Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor) lobby. (Check out WSSD online via Facebook.)

FAMILY STORY TIME: High Point Library, 7 pm – songs, rhymes, games with children’s librarian Amy.

More on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar!

Followup: West Seattle’s Walker Rock Garden has a buyer

(Walker Rock Garden photo courtesy Lita Gill)
Just six weeks after first word it was going up for sale, West Seattle’s quirky Walker Rock Garden apparently has a buyer. We checked its website for word of upcoming “open” dates for the site, and discovered an undated “breaking news” item declaring: “The property is now under contract so do not wait to come and see the Walker Rock Garden. DO IT NOW!” No future “garden open” dates are listed as of right now, but the Walkers’ granddaughter Lita Gill had told us in a previous exchange that you can contact the listing agent directly to ask (Brad Cooper, 206-383-0197). She told WSB in January that while they hoped to find a buyer who would preserve her grandparents’ rock creations, they wouldn’t require it as a condition of sale. Earlier this month, the property, with a small home on a double lot, was listed for $392,000. We have an inquiry out to see if they’re commenting on the in-progress sale. Meantime, Michael tipped us this past weekend to a new online story with more details on exactly how the Walker Rock Garden’s stonework was crafted – you can read it here.