West Seattle, Washington
(Photo by Deanie Schwarz for WSB)
PORTSIDE COFFEE COMPANY MARKS FIRST ANNIVERSARY: Amid all the hubbub over Highland Park business changes at 16th/Holden, we almost lost sight of the fact that even with JoJo’s closed, HP still has coffee – Portside Coffee Company, in the big metallic ship-shape building, is down the Highland Park Way hill at 6720 West Marginal Way. Owners Sarah and Justin Awes told WSB contributor Deanie Schwarz that business in Year 1 exceeded their projections and continues to grow, as people continue to discover them: “I hear this all the time from people – they’ll tell me ‘I’ve driven by here a hundred times and never saw you,’” Sarah says. Her father built the custom “ship’s hull” coffee stand. She says they were the first espresso stand in Seattle to use coffee from Lynnwood-based Silver Cup; they’ve built business with “Two-Dollar Tuesdays,” charging that sum for a 16-ounce coffee drink (single or double) or 12-ounce fruit smoothie. Portside is open 5 am-5 pm weekdays, 7 am-noon Saturdays, closed Sundays.
LOCAL MARTIAL-ARTS ENTREPRENEUR LEADS NATIONAL ORGANIZATION: Lisa Skvarla, who owns LMA Martial Arts in West Seattle, is now the chair of the Association for Women’s Self-Defense Advancement, a national nonprofit organization. From the online announcement (which you can read in full here):
Skvarla has attended numerous AWSDA conferences over the years, in Toronto, Phoenix, Greenville, South Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina. “Those conferences were so beneficial and many of them changed my life,” she says. “Every time I came home I was pumped about the information I had received. Teachers and members from all over the world, including Germany, South Africa, England, Denmark, come to the AWSDA conferences.
AWSDA welcomes anyone who supports the growth and improvement of a woman’s ability to defend themselves. Membership and involvement is relevant to everyone – (including) housewives, teenage girls, self-defense instructors, law enforcement professionals, and rape-crisis counselors. All male teacher applicants are required to submit a brief resume plus a letter of intent explaining their reasons for applying for AWSDA. In conclusion, Skvarla advises: “I would encourage all women to get involved, empower themselves and improve their personal safety. It is a great honor to serve and to be a part of this organization.”
As you might recall, Skvarla is also an actor/stuntperson, recently featured in a cable-TV movie.
WEST SEATTLE AUTHOR WINS AWARD: Alki-based author Robyn M Fritz was honored recently by the Dog Writers Association of America with their 2010 Merial Human-Animal Bond Award. It’s a national award, sponsored by Merial, for “the work that best highlights the unique relationship between a dog and its owner and best brings to life the concept of the human-animal bond.” In this case, the work the award honors is Fritz’s book (cover at left), “Bridging Species: Thoughts and Tales About Our Lives with Dogs.” The award came with a $500 cash grant and a $250 travel stipend to attend the banquet. More information at www.alchemywestinc.com. Robyn is co-hosting “Crystals as Art” at Alki Arts next Saturday, 2-7 pm (more info here).
The din of reminders probably won’t start up before tomorrow or Tuesday, so we’ll mention it tonight, since things are quiet: Daylight Saving Time begins next Sunday morning (already!). At 2 am March 13, you set the clock forward an hour. Then on November 6th, you’ll turn it back (“spring forward/fall back”). Some history, from NASA.
Warm up for Fat Tuesday with a Happy Hour Monday! If you’re a local business owner, no matter how small (or large!) your business, the Westside Professionals (WSB sponsor) would love to see you at Avalon tomorrow night, 5-7 pm. It’s a chance to network, mingle, and meet other local entrepreneurs while checking out one of West Seattle’s most acclaimed new lounge/restaurants; here’s the event page on Facebook.
One of the topics that didn’t come up for extensive discussion at this afternoon’s mayoral visit, though an expert was on hand in case it did: The county’s ongoing projects to reduce “combined-sewer overflows” at two West Seattle waterfront pump stations. The county announced its “preferred alternatives” in December, and now there are two new developments.
First, a community meeting is planned to get into more details of the “green stormwater infrastructure” plan for part of the area feeding the Barton pump station next to the Fauntleroy ferry dock. The “infrastructure” means streetfront rain gardens and other ways to catch stormwater, and it’s being planned for the neighborhoods within the yellow boundaries on the map above. The meeting is 6:30 pm April 6th at Westside School (WSB sponsor), adjacent to the site on the map labeled as EC Hughes Playground; here’s the official flyer. People in the area also will be seeing some testing work in the next few weeks – that’s explained by this flyer.
Second, a big new document for both the Barton plan and the Murray (Lowman Beach) basin plan is now available on the county website – see it here. It’s explained on that page (from which its many sections are linked) as:
The Barton and Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Facilities Plan describes the reasons for these projects, the processes used to develop and evaluate alternatives, and the selection of proposed alternatives to advance for further environmental review.
The Murray plan that the county is pursuing would involve buying a block of residential properties across from Lowman Beach Park and burying a million-gallon underground storage tank for use in situations where previously the combined sewage and stormwater would have flowed, untreated, into Puget Sound. Both basins’ “preferred alternatives” are currently under environmental review.
(Mayor at 34th/Barton P-Patch site, last stop before walking to SW Library)
1:36 PM: Just wrapped up the mini-walking tour of Westwood, and Mayor McGinn is speaking at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson) – though it was billed as an event till 2 pm, he says he’s got till 2:30 pm, so if you’re interested, you have time to get here. The walking tour coordinated by soon-to-retire Delridge District Coordinator Ron Angeles went through Roxhill Park, including the bog (photo added, with neighborhood volunteer Mary Quackenbush explaining its history):
Then it was on to the 34th/Barton P-Patch site (where the tree controversy even came up, as you’ll hear in this clip):
1:48 PM: In his opening remarks, the mayor has a lot to say about the forthcoming Families and Education Levy – not just what it does, but stressing that the money doesn’t go to Seattle Public Schools, but to the city, which contracts with various providers (the district among them), since there has been concern that the SPS financial-mismanagement scandal might affect the levy’s chances of passing: “I’m saying all that because with all this news about the school district, I’d be concerned too … This money comes to the city … and we’re very transparent and open about it.”
2:05 PM: More tough issues have come up – a woman saying she’s the daughter of a police officer killed in the line of duty says she was offended by “John T. Williams Day” being declared in memory of the woodcarver shot by an officer; then the tunnel comes up, with the first questioner/commenter supporting McGinn’s position, and critiquing media as “biased.” We are recording video of the entire Q/A presentation, by the way, and will post it as part of the story after we’re back at HQ.
2:28 PM: The issue of White Center (etc.) annexation has come up, too, in response to a question from Delridge District Council chair Mat McBride. McGinn’s answer: “I’m torn”; he went on to say he is still leaning toward the sentiment that it’s just too expensive for the city. [The event ended a few minutes later and we’re putting together more information/photos/video to add to this story.]
VIDEO: First, unedited half-hour of the Q/A, which eventually amassed an audience of 40-plus:
The rest of it (37 minutes long), picking up exactly where the preceding clip left off:
ADDED 7:02 PM: A couple more interesting notes from the walking tour that preceded the library Q&A: While the group walked the paths in Roxhill Park, West Seattle Crime Prevention Council president Richard Miller talked with the mayor about safety concerns there, including last year’s murder (the suspect in that, by the way, has another court hearing coming up later this month). Here’s our photo of Miller with deputy mayor Darryl Smith (and in the background, longtime Westwood activist Pablo Lambinicio):
On the north edge of the park, along Barton, while discussing some of the improvements including the parking restrictions that eliminated the “used-car lot,” SDOT’s Jim Curtin told the mayor that the city’s Bicycle Master Plan eventually calls for bike lanes on both sides of Barton; the mayor, having just heard about safety concerns on that stretch of the road, suggested those lanes’ presence alone will have a traffic-calming effect.
About this time of year, we start getting notes asking if anyone is having a fundraising car wash on a particular day – so they can do a good deed while getting their vehicle good and clean. When one such question came in yesterday, we were able to reply, “In fact, the Chief Sealth Honor Choir will be washing cars Sunday at Alki Auto Repair to raise money for their upcoming trip to Carnegie Hall.” And there we found the fundraising car-scrubbers this morning – with choir members Tiffany and Hayley pausing for a photo. Just look for the sign at 57th and Alki (that’s the Shoremont in the background).
They’re planning to be there till 4 pm, suggested donation $10. And a WSB’er checked – yes, the water goes into a separate treatment system and doesn’t drain into Puget Sound.
(P.S. If you have a car wash or other fundraiser planned, we’d be happy to put it on the WSB Events calendar as soon as you schedule it – just send the info to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
(P.P.S. A comment reminds us, we need to add that if you missed this today, they’ll do it again same place, same time, in three weeks, March 27th, as mentioned in our preview.)
After the mayor’s visit this afternoon, you have at least two more chances to catch up with top elected officials in the week ahead, without leaving West Seattle. On Wednesday night, City Council President Richard Conlin is scheduled to be at the regular monthly meeting of our area’s largest political group, the 34th District Democrats (7 pm Wednesday, The Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California SW). Next Saturday morning (March 12), all three of our area’s state legislators – Sen. Sharon Nelson and Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon – have a “town hall” scheduled to discuss this year’s legislative session (10-11:30 am, High Point Community Center, 6920 34th SW). Sure, you can send ’em e-mail, but in-person questions/concerns/compliments tend to be high-impact, so be there if you can!
(Just 2 weeks to the spring equinox! Photo by Lisa Stencel)
Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
MAYOR VISITS WEST SEATTLE: Got something to ask/say to Mayor McGinn? Q&A at Southwest Library at 1:30 pm will conclude his Sunday afternoon West Seattle visit, which starts at Roxhill Park at 12:30 pm. (Here’s our preview from Friday.)
GET YOUR CAR WASHED, HELP SEND STUDENT SINGERS TO CARNEGIE HALL: 9 am-4 pm, rain or shine, Chief Sealth International High School Honor Choir members and friends are washing cars for donations to help fund their upcoming trip to sing at Carnegie Hall this Easter – you’ll find them at Alki Auto Repair (2504 Alki SW), $10 suggested donation.
RIDE YOUR BICYCLE WITH SPOKESPEOPLE WEST SEATTLE: Meet at Alki Bike and Board (2606 California SW) for the Spokespeople WS 11 am ride through West Seattle’s main business districts along California SW, including a stop at the WS Farmers’ Market. Details here.
SPEAKING OF THE FARMERS’ MARKET: Violinist Pasquale Santos is scheduled to serenade marketgoers today. There’s also a new farmer, Olsen Meat and Potatoes, per the West Seattle Farmers’ Market page on Facebook. The market’s at 44th/Alaska, 10 am-2 pm.
VOLUNTEER AT THE SEATTLE CHINESE GARDEN! There’s an orientation for volunteers today, 1 to 4 pm, including a 2-hour tour & presentation on Chinese gardens and 1 hour of volunteer training. Go to the Garden office at north end of South Seattle Community College (6000 16th SW). To RSVP for the training and to learn about different opportunities, please visit this area of the garden website.
‘HARRY POTTER’ EVENT @ THE ADMIRAL: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” showing at Admiral Theater, 3:40 pm, with prizes for costumed moviegoers and a special Harry Potter-themed Mini Cooper on display (it’s for sale too) – details here
More on the calendar!