day : 28/03/2011 15 results

Late-night history break: Found in a West Seattle attic

Heike shared that Admiral Theater ad from the January 23, 1942, “Seattle Daily Times.” We asked how the old paper was found. Reply: “We put a few can lights into the ceiling, and had to go up into the attic for rewiring. Pretty amazing that it’s been there all this time!”

West Seattle Garden Tour: Early preview of the gardens!

Longing for the warmer months so you can get out and garden? Here’s something to fuel your dreams: The West Seattle Garden Tour may seem like a long way off – three and a half months! – but tonight, you can preview the gardens on this year’s tour. WSGT’s website is now in full bloom, so to speak, and that includes the garden descriptions and photos. For example, check out the “Outrageous Waterfront Garden.” This year’s tour is July 17th, and there’s still a little time to sign on as a sponsor, too (we did) – proceeds benefit local nonprofits; sponsorship info is here.

Charlestown Café followup: Day after the closure announcement

West Seattle journalist Kathy Mulady has reported on the Charlestown Street Café‘s ups and downs over the past five years, for the Seattle P-I and for WSB. Following up on our Sunday report of the café’s imminent closure, she went there today to cover the first day since the bad news hit.

(Café owner Ron Hanlon and longtime staffer Shavaun Bartlett)
Story and photos by Kathy Mulady
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Ron Hanlon is done, and so is the Charlestown Street Café he has owned for more than 30 years.

Customers strolling in for their regular breakfast or lunch today were stunned by the note on the door announcing that the restaurant that has been so much a part of their lives will be closing for good at 3 p.m. next Sunday, April 3 (as reported here yesterday morning).

Hanlon said he will stay open long enough to serve a final meal to the after-church crowd, but that’s it. There will be no last-minute rescue this time.

“It’s very sad. This has been a community gathering spot for a long time. The landlord wants to move on,” said Hanlon. “A long-term lease for us is out of the question.”

The last four years have been a roller coaster for Hanlon and his regulars.

The business survived threats of demolition, a kitchen fire that closed the restaurant for four months, and was finally done in by a sour economy that refuses to rebound.

“The bottom fell out of the economy and we never recovered,” said Hanlon, who turned 65 this year, but insists he isn’t ready to retire.

Just a few weeks ago he bought new chairs for the restaurant, thinking that he would keep going.

Read More

West Seattle school news: Madison music; Arbor Heights greenery

March 28, 2011 7:59 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Three school updates tonight:


The Madison Middle School band, under the direction of Clark Bathum, performed at the All-District Middle School Band Concert at Eckstein Middle School, Thursday, March 24. They played “Into the Storm” by Robert W. Smith and listened to 12 other band performances. Select Madison musicians performed “Trombone King” by Karl L. King with the All-District Honor Band. This was the largest number of middle-school bands performing at the All-District concert to-date. Go Bulldogs!

ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY NOTE #1 – PLANT SALE! Thanks to Cori for sending word that the Arbor Heights Elementary School fundraising plant sale is under way. They’re taking orders through April 11; pickup will be April 30th. The plant list and order form can all be found at this link on the AH website. Another green tidbit:

Thanks to the AH parent volunteer who shared that photo of the school’s new Up-Cycling and Recycling Center. It’s the creation of second-grade teacher Angie Nall (shown with kindergartener Ella), described by our tipster as “the powerhouse behind the school’s composting and Up-Cycling programs,” several of which AH participates in. (There’s more about “up-cycling” here.)

West Seattle Water Taxi to resume 7-day-a-week schedule April 8

With the West Seattle Water Taxi resuming service today after several days off for repairs, some have asked when the 7-day-a-week spring/summer schedule will begin. We got the answer from the office of West Seattle’s King County Councilmember Joe McDermott: April 8th, one week from this Friday. The official schedule isn’t online yet but should be available soon. Councilmember McDermott, by the way, recently became chair of the King County Ferry District board, which oversees the Water Taxi.

Today’s City Council meeting: WC annexation, Admiral Safeway, Junction project

March 28, 2011 4:17 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle news

(VIDEO ADDED: This afternoon’s council meeting, in its entirety, from Seattle Channel)
Three notes of local interest from this afternoon’s Seattle City Council meeting (besides the major citywide headline, the Families/Education Levy going to the ballot):

WHITE CENTER/NORTH HIGHLINE ANNEXATION: We have been tracking this on partner site White Center Now. It took yet another turn today. End result: While the council is on record as saying it will make a final decision by the end of next February on whether to seek an annexation vote, amendments today make it clear that if Burien wants to start the ball rolling on annexing White Center and the rest of North Highline in the meantime, they won’t object. More here.

ADMIRAL SAFEWAY VOTE DELAY: As reported previously, City Council approval is needed for the change in one part of the Admiral Safeway project – doubling the number of apartments in the building on the site’s southeast side to 79, because the original plan for flex-work units could not get financing. After committee approval last week, the full council was supposed to vote today, but Councilmember Tom Rasmussen asked and received a 1-week delay, saying he wanted to review the public record.

HEARING SET FOR ‘ALLEY VACATION’ ON JUNCTION PROJECT: It’s been two years since the last notable public meetings related to Conner Homes‘ proposal for two buildings along SW Alaska between 42nd and California; the “underground alley vacation” that is part of the plan, facilitating the 2 buildings to share 1 parking garage, is just now reaching the council, which today agreed to set April 26th for the official public hearing on that part of the plan. (Council approval is needed since alleys, even just the underground sections of them – the aboveground section of this one would remain an alley – are considered public right-of-way.) SDOT’s street/alley-vacation specialist Beverly Barnett explained why this is coming up now (after the jump):Read More

Update: Initial tally from West Seattle for Japan – $3,665 so far!

Just in from West 5‘s Dave Montoure, organizer of Sunday’s communitywide West Seattle for Japan benefit:

Initial deposits are in: 7 of 28 participating businesses have collected $3665.11. This is an exciting number to report this early in the collection, and remember all these funds will be matched.

There are two remaining West Seattle for Japan posters at West 5 that can be had for a donation (in any amount), just ask the bartender on duty. We will be printing an additional dozen posters that will be available at the West 5 this week.

This Thursday, an informal “tweetup” will be held at West 5, with participants raffling items and donating proceeds to West Seattle for Japan.

Many thanks to Viking Bank West Seattle for providing the ³West Seattle for Japan² account and agreeing to waive account fees. They will even allow donors to this account use their coin counting machine at no charge (dig in the sofa!). This account will remain open for several weeks, and anyone can swing in to make a donation.

Thanks West Seattle!
Dave Montoure

Next public city review set for Alki Homestead renovation proposal

The architects who are working on the plan to renovate the Alki Homestead, closed since an electrical fire in January 2009, will return to the city Landmark Preservation Board‘s Architectural Review Committee this Friday morning. It’ll be the third time they appear before the committee, which doesn’t vote, but rather advises applicants on their project before they get to a vote of the full board – whose approval is required for an official city landmark to proceed with renovations/modifications. The meeting is open to the public and is scheduled for 9:30 am this Friday at the Municipal Tower downtown; here’s our report on the first review in January, and the second review last month. The proposal seeks to renovate the historic Fir Lodge as a restaurant, with banquet facilities, and an added structure to its rear (west side) that would house the kitchen among other things.

Help shape a new West Seattle transportation initiative!

March 28, 2011 1:45 pm
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 |   How to help | Transportation | West Seattle news

Just out of the WSB inbox:

King County Metro is hosting two transportation focus groups for West Seattle residents in April 2011:

King County Metro is bringing a new program to West Seattle in the Admiral, Alaska, and Morgan Junctions. The focus groups are designed to help shape a new program to increase the number of people walking, biking, taking the bus, and carpooling in and out of West Seattle. 

Two focus groups will be hosted on the following days/times:
Tuesday April 5th at Hope Lutheran Church, 4456 42nd Avenue SW, from 6pm to 7:30pm
Wednesday April 6th at Gatewood Elementary, 4320 SW Myrtle Street from 6pm to 7:30pm

Participants will receive a 2011 Chinook Book a guide to living well and having fun in the Puget Sound good for savings of up to $3,000 at local businesses. Food and beverages will be provided. 

Space is limited. Reserve your spot at or by calling Derrick Van Kirk 206-652-2310 or emailing

Much familiar, and much new, inside about-to-open Beachside Café

It was a big weekend for restaurant news in West Seattle – Charlestown Café announcing its imminent closure, A Terrible Beauty adding a Junction location, the Chaco Canyon Café open house, and the opening date set for the new Beachside Café inside what was until November the Alki Bakery‘s flagship retail location. After the latter announcement, we asked the Beachside’s owners – Sharon and John Bang of the across-the-street Alki Café – for a sneak peek inside. It’s undergone some freshening, but not a dramatic overhaul:

When Beachside Café opens at 7 am next Monday, April 4th, you’ll be able to get hand-pulled espresso (see the machine in the top photo) – the owners say their staff just received training from coffee provider Caffe Vita. (Other vendors are listed in their Friday announcement.) There’s lots of brand-new preparation equipment, including the soft-serve frozen-yogurt machine:

And the waffle machine:

Even the cash-register equipment is new; much of the equipment from the Alki Bakery was more than a decade old. A new menu board is on the way, hand-chalked by a local artist. And they’ve done some repainting, though they kept the burgundy color on the south side of the interior, while using a “khaki” tone for much of the rest. The tables and chairs have gotten a facelift too, and in addition to fountain drinks, you will also see a few coolers with bottled drinks. Meantime, back across the street at Alki Café, they’re launching some menu changes, too – more burgers and salads. (Next Monday’s opening of Beachside comes just two months after they finalized the lease.)

Worried about bright signs on the city skyline? Changes on hold

(February Alki Community Council meeting photo by Karen Berge for WSB)
Just in from the City Council: They’re shelving proposed sign-code changes that could have allowed large illuminated signs on downtown buildings. The changes had drawn concern from the Alki Community Council, which heard from President Richard Conlin about the proposal just a month ago (here’s our coverage) – and here’s a statement he just sent out:

“The Executive’s legislation of proposed revisions to the sign code is on hold for the rest of the year. When the Regional Development and Sustainability (RDS) committee first discussed the issue last December, many Councilmembers and stakeholders raised questions and concerns.

“Those questions were forwarded to Department of Planning and Development (DPD) in early January and they responded to our questions in late February. In light of the DPD’s detailed response and the need for ongoing public discussion about this type of signage, several possible amendments to the legislation must be considered by Councilmembers and various stakeholders.

“The proposed legislation combined with all possible amendment options would require a significant time commitment from the Council. As several major initiatives are already before Council this year, the proposed sign code changes will likely not come back to the RDS committee until late 2011 or early 2012.”

More to come.

ADDED EARLY TUESDAY: Here are more details in coverage from our partners at the Seattle Times.

West Seattle help for Japan quake/tsunami survivors: 5 notes

March 28, 2011 10:51 am
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

(Sunday night photo by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
WEST SEATTLE FOR JAPAN: Well into last night, WS4J organizer Dave Montoure and others were still making origami (folding-paper) cranes at West 5 – aiming for 1,000, a symbol of good luck and a wish come true. Since many are eager to know what their participation resulted in, for donations to Peace Winds and KnK, we just checked with Dave, who says he’s “getting the word out to all businesses right now, we should have an early tally later this afternoon, but anticipate a full tally at a date later in the week (some folks are still raising money!)”

And separate of the almost-30-businesses West Seattle for Japan unified effort, here are three more:

MACHEL SPENCE PHOTOGRAPHY FUNDRAISER: You’ve enjoyed some of her photos here on WSB, as well as in local shows and elsewhere online (including her own site). Machel tells us she is listing two photos to raise money for Japan:

There will be a limited edition of only 20 listings and I am donating every penny raised from either of these listings to Japan (minus shipping cost) … I will have these photographs up for exactly two weeks. These photographs are very special to me, the hands represent the idea that all people are equal and we are all part of the same big world and the lantern is a symbol of hope in Japanese. You will get a 20X20 professional archival print and it will be directly shipped to you. I have both in my house and stare at them all the time I just love them so much. All funds will go directly to UNICEF when the sales are over in two weeks and I will post on Flickr and Etsy how much was raised …

Here’s the link. One per person, Machel says, so please specify which one you want.

LA RUSTICA TONIGHT: As previously mentioned, La Rustica Italian Restaurant (4100 Beach Drive) is opening tonight – it’s usually closed Mondays – especially to raise money for Japan relief. 5-9:30 pm, no reservations, first-come, first-served.

GARAGE SALE THIS WEEKEND: Another reminder of the benefit sale planned by Admiral resident Shelley Lebert this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, 9 am-4 pm both days at 3014 45th SW – with anyone and everyone welcome to contribute items to be sold to raise money for quake/tsunami relief. Here’s our original report with all the details.

(Also one more reminder of the Japan candlelight vigil at Admiral Congregational Church, California/Hill, 7:33 tonight.)

Delridge Skatepark update: Construction expected next month

New information about the next big Parks project to be built in West Seattle, Delridge Skatepark: Project manager Kelly Davidson says West Seattle-headquartered Grindline has been officially awarded the contract (in the second round of bidding, they were the “apparent low bidder,” at $483,000, but nothing was final till a process, detailed in our previous report, was complete). Davidson says construction will get the green light once the Notice to Proceed is official, and the tentative date for that is April 11th. So far, no formal groundbreaking ceremony is planned – once they’re ready to start, they’ll start If that timeline holds, and summer weather is normal, she says the skatepark at Delridge/Genesee (map) should be ready to open in early September.

West Seattle Monday: Water Taxi, ferries, more Japan relief…

(Alki Lighthouse photo from Friday, by David Hutchinson)
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

WATER TAXI BACK: As announced by King County over the weekend, repairs on Rachel Marie are complete, and it’s back on its regular West Seattle-Downtown Seattle schedule for the first time since Saturday morning.

FIRST WEEKDAY FOR STATE FERRIES’ SPRING SCHEDULE: Washington State Ferries’ spring schedule began Sunday, and among other changes, it means Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth is back on a three-boat schedule.

JAPAN EARTHQUAKE/TSUNAMI VIGIL, BENEFIT DINNER: Two events announced last week are happening tonight: A candlelight vigil at Admiral Congregational Church (California/Hill), 7:33 pm, and dinner all night at La Rustica on Beach Drive with proceeds going to quake relief, 5-9:30 pm, no reservations required, first-come, first-served (the restaurant is usually closed on Mondays, but is open tonight especially for this).

TACKLING TEEN DRINKING: 4:30-6:30 pm today, West Seattle and White Center community members concerned about underage drinking and how to reduce its impact on the community are invited to a meeting at Greenbridge YWCA, 9720 8th SW.

WEST SEATTLE SEE DOGS: Got the love and time to share with a guide-dog puppy? Check out WS See Dogs’ meeting tonight, 6:30 pm, lobby of Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor), 2326 California SW.

PEARL JAM CD RE-RELEASE PARTY: 8 pm at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 8 pm

FOOD TRUCK DEBUT: Charlie’s Buns is scheduled to make its first appearance in West Seattle (4-7 pm at Jiffy Lube lot – more info here)

Think summer: West Seattle mom offering new camp YogaGirlz

Though three months remain in the school year, if you are looking for summer camp, it’s practically “the last minute.” One new option is offered in West Seattle this summer – a yoga summer camp for girls. YogaGirlz is the brainchild of Shana Hageman, who says, “As a longtime West Seattle resident, mother of two daughters, and a yoga instructor, I realized the community needed a program that provided a tool box for girls to navigate their world. I combined the benefits and elements of yoga with a framework to build self esteem and give them the opportunity to find their own voice. YogaGirlz strives to create a more authentic world, one girl at a time.”

In addition to her yoga work, Shana also spent eight years as a mental-health therapist specializing in working with girls 6-18. Along with yoga, she says her camps will include nature walks, collage, cooking, arts/crafts, and more. She is planning four weeklong day-camp sessions, one per age group (12-15 the oldest; 3-5 the youngest) between July 18 and August 12 at Kenyon Hall; you can check on registration availability at or 206-715-3213.