day : 02/05/2011 11 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Thieves targeting Acura Vigors?

Tonight in West Seattle Crime Watch, the saga of two Acura Vigors stolen and recovered – with certain parts missing. The first part of the story is a followup on the original theft report; the second part is a stolen-and-recovered, all in one – read on:Read More

Video: Pathfinder K-8 starts salmon-release season in Fauntleroy

A busy season of “Salmon in the Classroom” releases at Fauntleroy Creek started today – if you’ve been to a local school and seen a tank of baby salmon, this is usually the next step. Above, students from Pathfinder K-8 were the first to join creek steward Judy Pickens to learn about the little fish before setting them loose into the world. Here’s how the fish arrived:

Here’s how the students arrived – that’s Judy leading the way into Fauntleroy Park:

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Miss the West Seattle Big Band at Admiral Church? Now hear this!

May 2, 2011 8:37 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Ready for a music break? Jim Edwards from the West Seattle Big Band (which is now 15 years old and going strong!) shares a sample of last night’s performance during “Jazz Sunday” at Admiral Congregational Church – photos by Michelle Edwards, music with the help of a digital audio recorder. Next chance to catch them: June 3rd during the West Seattle High School All-School Reunion.

Council gives final OK to ‘alley vacation’ for Junction project

The underground “alley vacation” for the two-building Conner Homes project between Alaska/California/42nd (south side) in The Junction won final approval from the City Council this afternoon on a unanimous vote. The Seattle Channel video above shows the entire afternoon council meeting – this item is 30 minutes in; Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, whose Transportation Committee (with only one member, him, in attendance) presided over the official public hearing last week before recommending approval (WSB coverage here), spent several minutes explaining the project to his council colleagues. Then, they voted 9-0 in favor of it. Next step? The permits will finish going through the system, now that this component of the project (which facilitates a large underground parking garage) is finalized. Then, as developer Charlie Conner told WSB last month, he doesn’t expect anything to happen in terms of construction any sooner than the end of the year – the businesses now on the site have leases till then.

West Seattle traffic: ‘Slow Down’ rally planned for ‘I-35’

(WSB video from October 2008 rally on 35th SW)
Concerned about safety on 35th SW, a rekindled topic here after the deadly motorcycle-car collision last month, and speeder-targeting police patrols? One of the High Point-area neighborhood advocates who has been working on the issue for years, Denise Sharify, just sent word of a “Traffic Slow Down Rally” planned for Wednesday, May 11th, 4-5:30 pm (weather permitting) – 2 1/2 years after the last one, which followed a crash that sent a student to the hospital. All are welcome to participate in this one; we’re checking on the exact gathering place.

West Seattle businesses: New store for Nurturing Expressions

There’s no surer sign of a baby boom in West Seattle than a business boom in services for mothers with babies. Here’s the newest sign: Nurturing Expressions has just opened a store in The Junction. But owner Tracy Corey is no newcomer – she’s been running Nurturing Expressions since 2004, and is a board-certified lactation consultant (as well as a 20-year-veteran registered nurse). The store’s “we’re open!” announcement, however, says it’s not just a store for moms who choose to breastfeed their children: “Whether mothers choose to breastfeed, pump, bottle feed or do a combination, their team of consultants will support mothers and their babies through all stages of feeding.” For nursing moms, they have classes (here’s the current schedule), support groups, and merchandise, including breast pumps and nursing bras. And at the store, they have a private breastfeeding room where moms can get coaching and support. The store’s in Junction Tower – the same building as longtime WSB sponsor Westside Dermatology – 4746 44th SW (on the second floor). You’ll also find Corey and her coaching online – not just on the Nursing Expressions website, but also on Twitter as @theboobiecoach. (Photo courtesy Nurturing Expressions)

Followup: More details on looming Alaskan Way Viaduct squeeze

(See 2:06 pm update at bottom of story, with bus info from Metro)
New information about the Alaskan Way Viaduct lane reduction that starts May 16th, according to WSDOT’s announcement this morning (here’s our earlier story). The media briefing wasn’t a presentation type of briefing but rather a Q/A opportunity availability with Viaduct project boss Ron Paananen. Here’s what we learned beyond what this morning’s announcement included:

*KEY POINT – THIS IS FOR A LONG, LONG TIME: The “2013” mention in the announcement is NOT the actual expected end date for this. Barring something unusual like a project stall, 99 will be down to two lanes each way, at least for this stretch, till the Central Waterfront replacement opens. If that’s the deep-bore tunnel, possibly late 2015. (And if the tunnel is tossed, Paananen warned, that would add at least 2 years to the replacement process.)

*FEWER LANES, SLOWER SPEED: The speed limit will drop as well as the number of lanes – to 35 mph. Heading north, toward downtown, the lane reduction and speed reduction will kick in, WSDOT says, just as soon as you get off The Bridge and get onto 99. It continues until roughly Royal Brougham Way (the street between the stadiums) before opening to three lanes each way again. Heading back south toward West Seattle, approximately the same stretch – Royal Brougham to the north, until Lander (which is a bit north of Spokane, the street The Bridge parallels).

*TRANSIT LANE DOESN’T RUN THE ENTIRE STRETCH: The mentioned-earlier northbound transit lane will NOT be through the actual work zone – it will be a partial stretch enabling buses that use The Viaduct to get a bit of a jump on traffic, but once they get to the actual work zone, it will be two lanes for everyone. (See the map atop our earlier story.)

*WHY DO THIS NOW? The reason one lane is being lost – on the west side of The Viaduct, in both directions – is because a few pillars for the new southbound replacement structure actually have to go through the footprint of the current one. So there will be pile-driving work right next to the travel lanes. How will that affect Viaduct stability? Paananen says they will monitor it carefully – the southern stretch has not had settling trouble in the past, but on the other hand, it’s technically more vulnerable, since the “fill” that changed the area from tidelands decades ago is deeper than it is under the rest of the viaduct.

We have a few other notes to add shortly. And if you have a “how is this going to work?” question that neither our coverage nor the WSDOT website is answering – PLEASE ask in comments, and we will do our best to pursue answers; WSDOT has a large and responsive media-relations team who (regardless of your view of the actual project merits) whom we are sure will pursue the answer for us/you.

2:06 PM UPDATE: Checked with Linda Thielke at King County Department of Transportation regarding Metro and the upcoming AWV lane reduction. For one – she says they will be out later this week with some information specifically targeted for bus riders whose routes will go through the construction zone. In the meantime, here’s the latest on bus-service increases past and possibly future as part of the “viaduct mitigation”:

To date, WSDOT has funded an additional 31 trips on routes: 21X, 56X, and 121. These trips were added a while back to make transit a good alternative for folks during the construction. Metro has seen ridership increase 11 percent on those trips (fall 2009 compared to fall 2010).

Right now, there is a proposal (not finalized yet) that would add more trips in October 2011. This would increase trips on the Rt. 120 funded by WSDOT and the Rt. 54 funded by Metro. And, the additional trips on the 21X, 56X, and 121 would continue.

Also, we’re seeing an uptick in inquiries about vanpooling and vansharing from the West Seattle area.

Here’s where you can find out more info about that.

West Seattle scene: Renaming Beach Drive for its potholes

Just sent by Heath, with the observation, “How true.” (The structure on which the impromptu sign is duct-taped is along the Beach Drive waterfront, across from Me-Kwa-Mooks. It’s the framework for another of the wayfinding kiosks that are going up around the area – this one has been awaiting its permanent map and artwork inserts, as of our most recent drive past. A stretch south of this spot is in pretty good shape after a rebuild a few years ago, but further down, it’s arguably one of West Seattle’s ruttiest stretches.)

Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, longterm lane reductions ahead

As part of the south-end Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project – the major work that’s under way now and is proceeding regardless of whatever happens to the Central Waterfront section – weekend closures and longterm lane reductions are coming up starting in less than two weeks. They’ve long been part of the plan, but with two weeks to go, the alarm was sounded this morning by the state Department of Transportation, which is summoning media to a briefing in a few hours.

The closures will happen during the weekend of May 14-15. Longterm lane reductions kick in right after that. WSDOT announcement highlights ahead:Read More

West Seattle Monday: What’s happening today

May 2, 2011 7:59 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, photographed this morning)
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

CONNER PROJECT, TUNNEL MEASURES ON CITY COUNCIL AGENDA: When the City Council meets at 2 pm, it will consider final approval of the “alley vacation” for the Conner Homes two-building Junction project (Alaska/California/42nd), following last week’s hearing before the Transportation Committee (WSB coverage here). Also on the council agenda (which you can see here in its entirety) are two of the measures that might go to a public vote regarding the Highway 99 tunnel, as well as reappointment of Southwest Design Review Board members Rob Murphy and Norma Tompkins, among other measures. As always, the council meeting will be live on Seattle Channel, or cable channel 21.

HI-YU MEMBERSHIP MEETING: With festival season fast approaching, West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Festival membership meets at 6:30 pm, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church hall.

FREE DANCE CLASS WITH BALORICO: 6 pm, try a free dance class with Balorico at Kenyon Hall – more at

EVENING BOOK GROUP: The monthly Evening Book Group meets tonight at Southwest Library, 6:45 pm; this month’s title is “Cloud Atlas” by Liam Callanan.

MONDAY NIGHT KARAOKE: Karaoke with Kelli at Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor), 9 pm

FOOD DRIVE CONTINUES: All month long, you can drop off food donations at PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor). Details here

Unified Soccer League kickoff features Chief Sealth, West Seattle

It happened over the weekend in Interbay, but it was a big occasion for teams from both Chief Sealth International High School (above) and West Seattle High School (below):

They are making history as two of eight Seattle Public Schools high schools that have launched soccer teams for the new Seattle Public Schools Unified Soccer League in partnership with Special Olympics, which describes the international Unified Sports program as being for teams that include players “with and without intellectual disabilities,” training and playing together. On Saturday, all eight schools met for a series of round-robin games at Interbay as part of a special event dubbed The Kickoff. The games were preceded by opening ceremonies including a March to the Match. (Sealth’s band was originally scheduled to play, but it turned out that noise regulations didn’t allow that so early in the morning!) The other schools involved are Rainier Beach and Cleveland, in the “South Division” with WSHS and CSIHS, and Nathan Hale, Ballard, NOVA, and Ingraham, comprising the “North Division.” We also found the West Seattle area represented early Saturday morning by School Board president Steve Sundquist:

Joe Hampson, director of sports programs for Special Olympics Washington, explains that soccer is the pilot program for Unified Sports locally; elsewhere in the U.S., he says, basketball and golf are played too. They’re starting with soccer since it is now widely played by kids before they get to high school, it seemed like the perfect sport with which to begin. Competition for the new league continues next Saturday at Interbay.