day : 03/04/2011 17 results

Preparedness Month, 3rd report: It’s the little things …

Once again this April – Disaster Preparedness Month in our state – we’re spotlighting preparedness every night on WSB, with a special focus on earthquakes. As noted here last night, one of the in-person training sessions you can check out in West Seattle this month is an earthquake-retrofitting workshop on Saturday, April 16, 11 am-2 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library. But realize that readiness is about the little things, too. One of the preparedness experts who responded to our call for resource suggestions shared a link to a quiz about how to make your living room safer – through earthquake-proofing for the everyday items it just might contain, such as a wide-screen video monitor, a bookcase, glass/ceramic art pieces, mirrors on the wall. It’s a simple quiz with graphics and multiple-choice questions; we’ll confess that we only got half the answers right, so we learned a lot. It’s from a California agency, but don’t let that stop you – the quiz starts here. Even if you only take away one or two things you can easily do in your home to earthquake-proof some of its smaller contents, that’s progress. Till tomorrow – we’ll close with another important reminder: Get to know West Seattle Be Prepared – especially your nearest Neighborhood Emergency Communication Hub.

‘Thank you, West Seattle’: Charlestown Street Café’s final day

(Earlier coverage: First customers on the last morning, here; midday update, here)

Story and photos by Kathy Mulady
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

At 2:45 p.m. today, the last meal was cooked and served at Webster’s Charlestown Street Café.

Hesper Guerra, a waitress at the restaurant for two decades, raised a little plastic glass of apple cider, tears sliding down her cheeks, and gave a toast. The staff gathered behind her raised their glasses, and dabbed their own tears.

The last customers of the restaurant left slowly, shaking hands with owner Ron Hanlon, sharing their thoughts on what the restaurant has meant to them.

“The food is great, but the love is better,” said Debbie Coscorrosa, who followed Hanlon from Webster’s restaurant to the Charlestown.

Read More

2 West Seattle neighborhood alerts: ‘Keep a lookout’

April 3, 2011 8:14 pm
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 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

Two notes from the WSB inbox might best be termed “neighborhood alerts” – one a warning of vandals on wheels, the other, a potential scavenger, at the very least – read on:Read More

West Seattle restaurant updates: El Chupacabra, Bang Bar Thai, Beachside Café

Even as customers mourn the closure of one longtime West Seattle restaurant, there are updates tonight on three new ones we’ve been telling you about. First, a peek inside El Chupacabra as it prepares to open on Alki (in the former Casa Feliz at 2620 Alki SW) this Friday. Owner Aaron Wright, who talked with us back in January for our first report on his West Seattle expansion, was hard at work again today getting everything ready, with just five days to go:

You’ll see some activity inside during a “soft open” night this week, but the official public opening is next Friday (April 8), 11:30 am. (For a taste of their menus – which Wright says include plenty of vegetarian fare – here’s a link from Facebook.) The original El Chupacabra has been in operation on Phinney RIdge for five years. Meantime, in The Junction:

BANG BAR THAI RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE: A banner is now up for Bang Bar Thai, at the site of the former Tom Yum Koong, next to the future A Terrible Beauty. It’s been a month and a half since we reported the TYK closure, followed by the confirmation of Bang (pronounced “bahng”) Bar moving into the space. With the banner promising “coming soon,” we checked in with its owner. Kay Fuengarom told WSB contributor Bill Hutchison that she’s hoping to open “around the beginning of May” – renovations should be done by the last week of April. In addition, Bang Bar Thai has a website up – still clearly a work in progress, but there’s some information of note, particularly on the “about” page, which says they plan to deliver (as did TYK).

Last but not least, back to Alki, where a grand opening is hours away:

BEACHSIDE CAFE OPENS TOMORROW MORNING: Just a reminder that the ex-Alki Bakery space will open tomorrow morning with new ownership and a new name, as Beachside Café, owned by Sharon and John Bang, who also own Alki Café across the street. Hand-pulled espresso (new machine, above) is one of the improvements they touted when we visited for a sneak peek one week ago, along with soft-serve frozen yogurt, waffles, and more. They’re planning to open at 7 am tomorrow (Monday) morning.

****FOOD/DRINK SIDE NOTE: Our friends at the Seattle Weekly just spotlighted a couple already-open WS venues – atop their subsite Voracious.

West Seattle Hi-Yu Spring Tea, featuring pirate and “pop star”

Seafair Pirate Chuck Marcoullier and “Justin Bieber” (the cardboard version) were among the star attractions at this afternoon’s West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival Spring Tea and Auction at The Hall at Fauntleroy. Before the day was out, “Bieber” was to be bid on – but not before Hi-Yu royalty got to share the stage as well:

There were many other things for the crowd to bid on, too:

Hi-Yu’s theme this year is “Sparkling Seattle,” as decided at the Hi-Yu holiday-season meeting (WSB coverage here) – and we’re told they’re still looking for a home for this year’s float, with parade season fast approaching: Got an idea? An offer? Hi-Yu contact information is online.

Happening now: Full house at Furry Faces Foundation’s ‘Catsino’

April 3, 2011 4:20 pm
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 |   How to help | Pets | West Seattle news

It wouldn’t be “Catsino” without cats, now would it? These two are part of the crowd at the Furry Faces Foundation fundraiser “Catsino,” under way at Beveridge Place Pub till 6. And F3’s Teri Ensley is ecstatic – she told WSB it’s a full house, all 85 tickets sold. And between the players and the hosts – some memorable sights:

More photos after the jump:Read More

West Seattle businesses: Gift shop on the way to ex-On Safari site

As first reported here in February, On Safari Foods has moved to SODO from its former headquarters at 9005 35th SW; the lettering across the building’s facade was just taken down the other day. Owner Jim Sullivan is leasing the building as three spaces and tells WSB contributor Deanie Schwarz that a tenant has just been signed for one – a gift shop selling handcrafted items, collectibles, and other gifts, expected to open later this month; the other two are still available. More to come.

Happening now: Marrow-donor signup party at Alki Arts

No rain so far – fine time to head to the beach (sun or no sun), and while you’re there, stop by Alki Arts (2820 Alki SW) and sign up for the bone-marrow registry (while also checking out the art that’s on display and on sale!). Nothing painful – just the one-in-a-million chance that maybe someday you would have the chance to save somebody’s life, maybe that of Christy Bemis, whose story is at the end of our report about Marnie Devlin (at left in top photo), who came up with the marrow-drive idea to celebrate her 25th birthday, and got community sponsors to donate prizes and treats (Alki Arts donated use of its space, too).

The event continues till 6 tonight.

7:56 PM UPDATE: Via Facebook, Alki Arts reports more than 100 people registered!

Reminder: West Seattle Preschool Fair tomorrow night!

If you’re still looking for a place for your preschooler – you’ll want to check out the second annual West Seattle Preschool Fair tomorrow night. Organizer Renee Metty of The Cove School says they’ll have it in January in future years – closer to the time when families make decisions about the next school year – but the new West Seattle Preschool Association decided to go ahead with it now since many new families are moving here, and it’s been tough to find out about all the potential preschool choices. Admission is free, and they’ll also have a fundraising raffle ($2/ticket, 3 for $5) with prizes including a gift certificate to Proletariat Pizza, a Birthday Bash at The Little Gym, and a music basket including a year membership to Soundbridge. Renee adds that they’ll have the NCAA championship game on a TV set, too! The WS Preschool Fair is 5:30-7:30 pm tomorrow, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (3050 California SW).

Memorial Saturday for Delridge community leader Vivian McLean

April 3, 2011 1:22 pm
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 |   Delridge | Obituaries | Pigeon Point | West Seattle news

The famous Pigeon Point community signpost along SW Andover has held a tribute to longtime community advocate Vivian McLean – painted by Jim Sander – since shortly after news of her death started circulating a week and a half ago. When we published our first report about Ms. McLean’s passing at age 90, memorial plans hadn’t been finalized yet, but according to Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council chair Brita Long and the Seattle Times (WSB partner) obituary published today, they have: A celebration of Ms. McLean’s life is set for 2:30 pm next Saturday, April 9th, at Delridge Community Center.

Update: Meals, tears, hugs during Charlestown Café’s final day

(Our first report, as the café’s doors opened one last time this morning, is here)

Story and photos by Kathy Mulady
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The scene at the Charlestown Street Café is dramatically different a few hours later as fans crowded through the doors for a final Sunday morning breakfast.

Servers swiftly seated customers, teared up while taking orders, and hugged their “regulars” goodbye.

Among those giving and getting hugs: JoAnne Morrison (pink vest), who picketed in front of the Charlestown a few years ago to stop the landlord from demolishing the restaurant, came in for the last breakfast and ordered a spinach omelette. “Everyone is so friendly and nice, I just got to know everyone,” Morrison said.

Morrison said she had breakfast every Sunday at the Charlestown, and often for lunch or dinner during the week as well. From now on, she will probably just make breakfast at home on Sunday, she said.

Owner Ron Hanlon was out getting more groceries, said waitress Tama Warrior, who was working her final shift, along with Hesper Guerra. We’ll try to catch up with him later as he prepares to lock the front door of the cafe for the last time today.

5:55 PM UPDATE: We’ll publish Kathy’s final update a bit later this evening; she says the doors did not close at 3 pm spot-on, nor for a while afterward, but we went back a little while ago and found the final sign on the finally closed door:

Happening now: Recycling roundup at Fauntleroy Church

Last time they were here, they recycled 20 tons of unwanted items – and you can help them aim for a new West Seattle record today. The trucks from 1 Green Planet are back in the Fauntleroy Church parking lot at 9140 California SW (map) till 3 pm. The church’s Green Committee has a flyer showing what they’ll accept – you can see it here (PDF).

FAUNTLEROY CHURCH SIDE NOTE: The next “Sweet, Sweet Music” show is this Friday night, April 8th – 7:30 pm in the church sanctuary, with a focus on choral music, opening with the church’s chancel choir and closing with the Chief Sealth International High School Honor Choir (still accepting donations to cover its Easter trip to sing at Carnegie Hall). Full details on the church website!

West Seattle wildlife: First Canada goslings of the season

Shared by Alki photographer David Hutchinson, who has also tracked local Canada goose families in seasons past, two photos and this report:

Spring seems to have arrived despite the cool weather. The first Harbor Avenue Canada Goose goslings have shown up right on schedule. If they manage to survive the bald eagles, off-leash dogs, and thoughtless humans, they should be making their first flight in about 2 1/2 months. Please keep an eye out for them as you drive along Harbor Ave as the grass always looks greener on the other side.

West Seattle Sunday: Marrow drive; Hi-Yu tea; Catsino; ‘Rumors’…

April 3, 2011 8:19 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

The view from Don Armeni about an hour ago hinted at the promise of sunshine later. Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar (got an event? e-mail – thank you!):

CHARLESTOWN CAFE’S FINAL DAY: Here’s our update from when the restaurant opened this morning; they’re scheduled to close forever at 3 pm.

WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY’S FINAL SSCC DAY: The West Seattle Tool Library‘s moving to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, and today’s its final day at the original South Seattle Community College location (north side) – drop by, borrow a tool, 1-5 pm.

FAUNTLEROY RECYCLING EVENT: 10 am-3 pm, the Fauntleroy Church Green Committee “is again offering to rid the neighborhood of tons of recyclable computers, monitors, appliances, bicycles, phones – pretty much you name it. Bring your stuff to the church parking lot [9140 California SW] and 1 Green Planet will take it away, break it down locally, and recycle everything responsibly.” Free (but donations accepted); full list of accepted items at

GARAGE SALE FOR JAPAN RELIEF, DAY 2: Shelley Lebert and friends welcome you to 3014 45th SW for a second day of garage-saling to raise money for Japan relief – 9 am-4 pm. (Here are our photos from Day 1.)

BIRTHDAY PARTY/BONE-MARROW DRIVE: 2-6 pm at Alki Arts, help Marnie Devlin celebrate her quarter-century birthday by potentially giving others the gift of life – or at least hope – sign up for the bone-marrow-donor registry. No invasive procedures. (Here’s our story about why Marnie’s doing this – and a first-person note from someone else who’s been waiting for the right match more than half her life.)

CATSINO! Furry Faces Foundation‘s fun-draiser with casino-style games and a silent auction is 2-6 pm at Beveridge Place Pub. Door prizes, hors d’oeuvres, a drink-ticket and more for $25 at the door.

WEST SEATTLE HI-YU SPRING TEA AND AUCTION: Also fundraising and having fun today – West Seattle Hi-Yu, with its spring tea and auction at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 2-4:30 pm (also $25).

FINAL PERFORMANCE OF ‘RUMORS’: Twelfth Night Productions (WSB sponsor) presents “Rumors” one last time at 3 pm today, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

ROXHILL ELEMENTARY GARDEN WORK PARTY: 9 am-noon – your help would be appreciated! – see our preview here.

MASTER GARDENERS RETURN TO WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Open 10 am-2 pm at 44th/Alaska as always – From market manager Catherine Burke, “Lots of plant starts including flowers, cool season greens, and hot crops. Also, this weekend marks the seasonal return of The Master Gardeners to answer all your localized gardening questions.”

WEST SEATTLE SOCCER CLUB SPRING SEASON BEGINS: As reported here last night, you’ll see WSSC players in action on eight fields around West Seattle today as the schedule of six Sunday-afternoon games gets under way.

Final day for the Charlestown Street Café: Open for business

Two people were waiting outside when the Charlestown Street Café opened moments ago for its final day in business after 32 years (and two more followed them in a moment later).

Everything’s up and running despite last night’s power problem. First in line, arriving about 20 minutes before 7, was Mike (photo above), doing a puzzle while he waited; he told us he had just decided he “might as well come here the last day.” We’ll be checking in during the day; the restaurant is scheduled to close its doors for good at 3 pm, with a note on the door sternly warning “last seating at 2:30 pm.” As we first reported one week ago, owner Ron Hanlon says the economy has done what first a development threat and then a fire couldn’t do – force the popular café’s doors to close.

Westside School celebrates milestone year at ‘Rocketing’ auction

(Photos by John McLellan for WSB)
The theme for last night’s annual Westside School (WSB sponsor) dinner and auction was “Rocketing to a Brilliant Future” – with a school year that’s already seen milestones achieved.

The brick walls inside Showbox SODO could have been seen as an echo of the year’s biggest milestone – Westside moved into its own building, the former E.C. Hughes Elementary in Sunrise Heights.

Under head of school Jo Ann Yockey, Westside also is expanding into middle school; she is at left in the photo above as Westside’s board president Mollie Jensen. More photos ahead:Read More

Preparedness Month, 2nd report: 3 chances for in-person training!

April is Disaster Preparedness Month in our state, and for the second year, WSB is committed to a nightly focus on preparedness, with a particular emphasis on being ready in case of earthquakes, given our area’s history and risk, as well as the heightened awareness and concerns resulting from last month’s quake/tsunami disaster in Japan.

Our first report gave a quick refresher on the Neighborhood Emergency Communication Hubs that are part of an amazing volunteer-led effort that has given West Seattle the preparedness edge so far – West Seattle Be Prepared. But the relatively small group of volunteers who have come forward to join in the planning and preparation this far won’t be able to do much in case of disaster without backup and help from hundreds, even thousands of others in the community. That’s why your participation in training is vital as part of Preparedness Month – and the good thing is, you don’t have to seek it out on your own. Here are 3 West Seattle opportunities coming up in the next two and a half weeks, all free – you just have to show up!

THIS THURSDAY (APRIL 7TH): West Seattle Be Prepared launches a new training/education series. 6-7:30 pm, be at the Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction (California/Oregon). An hour and a half is a small investment considering the potentially lifesaving information you get in return – here are full details from WSBP.

APRIL 16TH: Find out about retrofitting your home for earthquake safety, with a free workshop at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library Branchfull details here. (Though the class is free, registration is requested – 206-233-5076.)

APRIL 18TH: WSBP and the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network team up for a preparedness-training session, 6-7:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster).

Those are all from the West Seattle Be Prepared events calendar, where you will also find a reminder of April 20th – the day for a statewide “drop, cover, and hold” earthquake drill at 9:45 am. More here tomorrow night, and we’re still interested in your suggestions for what you most want to know about earthquake readiness (we’ll be working on the questions raised in last night’s comments!).