West Seattle, Washington
Both the big downtown parade on Tuesday (reported here yesterday) and West Seattle’s own Admiral 4th of July Kids’ Parade on Monday (here’s our latest preview) are on the SDOT citywide-traffic-alerts list for the next five days – read on to see where you’re likely to find a lot of vehicles and people (oh, and zombies too):Read More
Getting ready tonight for the new drive-through West Seattle Coffee House‘s grand opening tomorrow (Friday), that’s Helen and owner Janel. A few more things have happened since our Monday report about the impending opening of the stand at Hans VW Repair (35th/Graham): They’ve decided on Little Rae’s as their bakery provider, and will have some wheat- and gluten-free treats too. They’ll use Ghirardelli chocolate. “And REAL espresso milkshakes!” Helen pointed out. Other key points we noted earlier – Zoka is the coffee, and they have a credit-card machine. Though they plan to start off with their regular weekday schedule, 6:30 am-5:30 pm, don’t make a special trip right at 6:30 – there’s one small hitch for tomorrow only, according to Janel; the city is doing some work in the area overnight tonight, and will be cutting their power for a while, possibly until as late as 8 am. But she’s hoping they’ll finish early, so if you’re driving by anyway, look for the OPEN sign, and if you don’t see it, check back later.
With just a minute to go till 5 pm, one last visitor went into the city’s Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction, which then closed quietly, permanently.
We dropped by about 10 till 5 to see what was happening in its final moments.
The customer-service rep didn’t want us to take his photo. He’s one of the people losing his job because of the midyear budget cut that shut the center down, less than a year after passionate lobbying by neighborhood advocates saved from a previous budget ax.
At 4:50: “I didn’t know this place was closing down,” a woman said, aloud but to herself, in the lobby’s corner.
4:52, another woman walked in: “Where’s the nearest pay phone?” The customer-service rep told her she could use the phone on the wall right outside his window.
4:55, another woman came in to pay a bill. Maybe two.
Another employee entered the lobby. Maybe we can photograph you closing the door one last time? we ask. He pointed out the door is power-assisted and closes automatically. So much for the potentially poignant shot; the NSC – “linking city government to Seattle’s neighborhoods,” as its webpage says – was just going to unlink one neighborhood without fanfare. As of tomorrow, you can transact city business in the one remaining NSC on the peninsula, in Delridge, north of the library.
Patrick e-mailed that photo after his neighbors’ driveway along the east stretch of Harbor Avenue SW collapsed into a several-feet-deep sinkhole: “My neighbor’s driveway gave out beneath a truck, and what we found was that there is nothing …. NOTHING below the pavement. … I’m afraid the same thing is below my house/driveway.” We went by for a quick look. The residents are renters, so they were going to contact their management company to figure out what to do next – it’s on private property, not city right-of-way, unlike the 3-story-deep sinkhole (blamed on a pipe break) on not-too-far-away Fairmount a few months back.
The future of the vacant, recently cleaned-up High Point site at 35th and Graham (map) is again a question mark.
Last December, High Point-area residents were caught off guard to hear that the original plans for a mixed-use development on the northeast corner of 35th and Graham had been scrapped (WSB coverage here), and that a 90-townhome development (described in this story) was on the way instead. Seattle Housing Authority executive director Tom Tierney even came to High Point for a meeting at which he apologized for not letting homeowners know about it.
But this afternoon, we’ve confirmed that plan is dead. After getting a tip from Matt, we e-mailed SHA spokesperson Virginia Felton to ask about its status, and she replied: “The would-be buyer, Intracorp, decided that the project (90 townhomes) was not feasible for them at this time. Consequently, we are once again entertaining proposals for the site. Developers interested in the site may contact Frank Bosl at CB Richard Ellis.”
We’re just out of the King County Jail courtroom again, waiting for a potential appearance by Gatewood arson suspect John C. Siegel. Again today, he didn’t appear (no reason given, but suspects do have the right to waive an appearance), and the judge ordered that he continue to be held without bail. King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe tells us that Siegel will only be slated to appear tomorrow if they have not filed charges by afternoon. If they do file charges tomorrow, his next appearance would be for arraignment. Here’s our original report on his arrest Tuesday night, which links back to our earlier coverage of the Tuesday morning fire that did $100,000 damage to the home he co-owns on 39th SW near Orchard Street Ravine.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One week ago, a sizable police response at Admiral Chevron caught a few eyes, and brought in a few tips. Getting info on what happened wasn’t easy, even though the topline turned out to be fairly simple: Police spotted a car that turned out to have been stolen, and arrested the man they found at the wheel. But it turns out there’s a lot more to this story, because of who that man is.
You might remember the name Skyelar Hailey (February 2009 mug shot at right), who first made news here for a burglary case two and a half years ago in North Admiral, downgraded to a trespassing conviction, with sentencing in April 2009 that mostly involved community service. That was by no means his first or last brush with the law. He is in jail right now, status “bail denied,” on three issues. Besides the arrest last week, there is a probation hold that traces back to the trespassing case, and a White Center stolen-car case from May that’s still pending. Read on:Read More
(Photos courtesy Museum of Flight)
As noted before, the Museum of Flight is so close, we consider it almost an honorary West Seattle institution. (And many of its visiting aircraft fly right over us.) We’ll be virtually embedded there again in a month for the Blue Angels‘ annual Seafair visit. But in the meantime – a big production there today: The museum’s “Flying Fortress” B-17 – which has quite a history – is on its front lawn today after being towed from a Boeing Field hangar early this morning:
It’s front and center for the “Heroes of the Homefront” event on July 16th, which also will include fly-ins by a B-25 bomber and P-51 flyer, and an evening “hangar dance,” and also celebrates Boeing’s 95th anniversary. More details here.
(Photos by Rebecca Orton)
Before the next round of serious news rushes in, anybody up for a wildlife break? Rebecca Orton shared photos of a river otter (yes, the ones in Puget Sound are “river otters,” not “sea otters”) catching and enjoying its dinner:
Sunday evening, Mr. Otter was visiting our backyard and lounging under and on the deck. I rarely get to see the otters in the day time so I quickly ran for my camera and zoom lens.
Leaving his lounge area, he made his way to the water, so I followed him down to the beach where he quickly found himself a flounder. He devoured it at the water’s edge, heartily crunching through fish bones he had his flounder finished in 4 minutes flat. Then off he went for another one. His fishing skills proved expert as he came up in no time with another juicy flounder. This one, he apparently intended to gorge on in the back yard and began making his way up toward the house. Though I hadn’t moved a muscle, he finally caught sight or wind of me and stopped dead in his tracks, did a quick double take, then turned tail and ran to the water swimming away with his dinner. We both had a treat, dinner for him and wildlife-watching for me!
This reminds us of a note received recently reminding people to drive carefully near the water – including Fauntleroy, as well as Beach Drive and Harbor and Alki Avenues – otters like these spend time inland, and have to cross busy streets to get there.
Often, we only find out about passing ships – particularly US Navy sightings to/from Bremerton – after the fact. For those who keep an eye on the water, here’s advance word of something heading this way: Via Puget Sound Maritime, we learn that the decommissioned frigate USS Jarrett will be towed to Bremerton within the next week or so. According to its Wikipedia page, the Jarrett made history as the first US Navy warship commanded by a woman (Captain Kathleen McGrath).
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICE CENTER’S LAST DAY: Last day for West Seattle Junction Neighborhood Service Center, 4205 SW Alaska, 9 am-5 pm, closing because of midyear city-budget cuts.
LAST DAY OF OPEN REGISTRATION FOR WEST SEATTLE SOCCER CLUB: After today, no guarantee of team placement, per WSSC – more details on their website, where camp info is available too.
SAFETY DAY AT LAFARGE: 10 am-2 pm, Lafarge‘s annual Safety Day includes tours (wear long pants and closed-toe shoes) and demonstrations, plus snacks and treats for the kids. 5400 W. Marginal Way SW.
SHOP LATE THURSDAY, SECOND EDITION: It’s the second week for Shop Late Thursdays in The Junction, till 9 pm – participating merchants are listed here, including WSB sponsors JF Henry Kitchen and Tableware (closes @ 8) and Click! Design That Fits.
ART ON DISPLAY: 35th Avenue Chiropractic invites you to an event showcasing the artwork of Stephanie Savidge, 6 pm, 9455 35th SW, Suite E.
‘RACE TO NOWHERE’: The much-discussed documentary about education in America will be screened tonight at Peace Lutheran Church (8316 39th SW), 7 pm. Tickets: $10 in advance or $15 at the door, available online here.
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM West Seattle history is there for the viewing at the Log House Museum (61st/Stevens), noon-4 pm today (and all Thursdays-Sundays).
WINE IN THE WOODS: Nature Consortium fundraiser – wine, hors d’oeuvres, and music in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, 7 pm. Here’s our preview from earlier this week. RSVP ASAP, to email@example.com or 206.923.0853.
BURLESQUE: Westside Burlesque Review at Skylark Café and Club (3803 Delridge Way SW). 21 and over. Doors at 9 pm, cost is $7.
Congratulations to the West Seattle Little League 10-11 All-Stars team for winning the District 7 All-Star Tournament, which sends them on to state-level play. WSLL president Mark Terao (who shared the photo) says that tournament will be in Cheney, July 16-24. The WSLL 10-11 All-Stars won the district title after beating PacWest 6-2; that followed their 12-1 win over Rainier and a tournament-opening 9-1 win over PacWest. Mark O’Neil manages the team and Terao coaches; players are Ethan Chen, Kevin Chen, Dylan Diggdon, Chris Drake, Austin Grambihler, Grayson O’Neil, Kai Osaka, Alex Pastrana, Gage Rowlands, Max Rubin-Stencel, Jacob Terao, Grant VanDerHijde. Between now and the team’s state-tournament games, WSLL has an 11-12 All-Star Tournament starting this Saturday at Alki’s Bar-S Playfield, and a Juniors/Seniors All-Star Tournament starting that same day at Rainier Playfield.
From Seattle Parks – news of the big party, plus what else you’ll find at West Seattle’s only city-run outdoor pool this summer:
Colman Pool celebrates 70th birthday on July 4; swim lessons are available for kids up to age 16
Colman Pool, West Seattle’s outdoor pool and Seattle’s only heated saltwater pool, celebrates its 70th birthday this year, and Seattle Parks and Recreation is holding a celebration from 1:45 to 4:45 p.m. on Monday, July 4.
The celebration at the pool, 8603 Fauntleroy Way SW in Lincoln Park, includes a swim at 1:45 p.m. and a program at 4 p.m., and food, music, pool games, prizes and special entertainment.
Summer swim lessons are available at Colman Pool, with openings still available in most classes, including Kinders (for 4 and 5 year olds) and Beginning and Advanced Youth (6-16 years old). Classes are half an hour long and run every day, Monday through Friday, for two weeks at a time. Please call the pool for more information or to register at 206-684-7494.
Colman Pool enjoys a stunning setting on the beach and features the Giant Tube Slide and one-meter and three-meter diving boards. The pool is Olympic size (50 meters long with eight lanes) and the water is kept at 85 degrees F. For more information, please see http://www.seattle.gov/parks/aquatics/colman.htm.
Two reader reports tonight – one a stolen truck to keep an eye out for, the other, another encounter that left someone “creeped out” – read on for both:Read More
(Walker Rock Garden photo courtesy Lita Gill)
Five months ago, the home whose site includes the Walker Rock Garden – a quirky labor of love – was put up for sale. Rather quickly, its listing showed a pending deal … but so far, there is no indication that has closed (the notation remains “pending feasibility“), and for those who have wanted advance notice of chances to see the rock garden, in case its days are numbered, here it is: From time to time we have checked its website, and just happened to find it has two tour dates listed: July 1st (this Friday), 10 am-noon, and July 16th, 9:30-10:30 am. The website also promises “more times to be announced.” (Our previous inquiries asking its owners and realtor for a status update have gone unanswered so far, but we keep trying.) The Walker Rock Garden is at 5407 37th SW; read its backstory here.
(New photo substituted July 7th)
Eleven months after its groundbreaking last August (WSB coverage here), Avalon Place will officially open on July 13th. The announcement came today from Transitional Resources, the nonprofit organization offering housing and other services to mentally ill people, headquartered on the west side of Avalon Way, south of the Luna Park business district; Avalon Place at 2988 Avalon Way will be its southernmost building. Transitional Resources says this is its first venture into the “Housing First” philosophy; it will offer 16 apartments to homeless people with mental illness “and co-occurring disorders” without requiring them to be stabilized first. (This is the same approach followed by Downtown Emergency Service Center, in the news in West Seattle right now for its plan to build a 75-apartment building in the 5400 block of Delridge Way). Read on for the Transitional Resources announcement:Read More
One week from Friday, West Seattle Summer Fest begins its three-day run – the peninsula’s biggest party of the year. WSB is a co-sponsor again this year, and as we count down to the festival, we’ll bring you daily infobits, like these:
FESTIVAL MAP ONLINE: There’s more being added to the Summer Fest website just about every day. We’ve already told you about the music schedule and the vendor/exhibitor list; today, there’s a map. (The vendor/exhibitor page also includes this zoomable PDF on which you will be able to cross-reference, by number, whose booth is where – handy for plotting your course ahead of time if there are particular vendors/groups you don’t want to miss.)
DO YOU TWEET? HERE’S THE HASHTAG: If you use Twitter, the Summer Fest-presenting West Seattle Junction Association hopes you’ll share Summer Fest tweets via the hashtag #wssummerfest – which you’ll see prominently displayed around the festival; it’s now on the website, too. (Hashtags provide a way to collect messages around a single topic.)
PARENTS’ REST STOP: Donna Ryan from City Mouse Studio and Store is providing a “parents’ rest stop” again this year in her storefront at 4218 SW Alaska, right in the heart of Summer Fest territory. Donna says, “We welcome families with babies and young children to drop in to the studio space to feed, change or get a little break from the heat (wishful thinking here).”
If you’re a participating organization/business/performer/etc., we welcome your Summer Fest preview info too, to include in our countdown – here’s how to share the news.
As of halfway through the city open house for the West Seattle Triangle draft proposals – which would rezone much of the area, including sites to the west, and put “streetscape” concepts on the record – about 40 people had stopped by. The lead planners on the project, Susan McLain and Robert Scully, are here, as are other city reps including Brian Hawksford from Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s office. It’s informal, with refreshments, and easels put up on two sides of the room for you to review, and to comment on if you choose – which some are doing with Post-It notes:
The open house continues until 8 pm. Your comments here count – as do comments sent by e-mail, postal mail, and phone; this Friday is the first deadline for comments on the proposals, and then, we’re told, there will be a second round. In the months ahead, the proposed Triangle plans will go to the City Council for review and votes, so if there’s something for which you want to express support or opposition, now’s the time. You can look at the plan online; major points include zoning changes that would allow higher buildings (85 feet) along the western side of the “planning area” and that would rezone what’s now “commercial” in much of the Triangle itself to “neighborhood commercial,” which means a future – if current businesses closed – that would look very different as it does now.
Once again this morning, notes and tweets reported that police were back out on the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the results, as reported on SPD Blotter – including a 74 mph citation and 46 more bus-lane-violation tickets.
In case you weren’t there, leaders of the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network are sharing tips on how to have a successful “Night Out” block party this August 2nd, as discussed at their meeting last night. One of those tips – you can apply for a city grant to help cover some of your expenses – but tomorrow’s the deadline! Find all the info in this update on the WSBWCN site. (And be sure to register your “Night Out” party ASAP, too – do that here.)
We’re on our way out of downtown, after a very brief King County Jail courtroom hearing in the case of 40-year-old John C. Siegel, arrested (as reported here last night) for investigation of arson in connection with the fire yesterday at the Gatewood home for which county records list him as co-owner. Siegel did not appear; lawyers told the judge he was “too sick” to come to court today, so the bail hearing is delayed until tomorrow, but they did need to ask the judge if she found “probable cause” to hold him till then. She reviewed documents containing the police report in the case, and said she did. According to those documents, he was found at the burning home, and told investigators he was asleep and woke up to find the house on fire. (His “last known address” is listed on the police report as Mercer Island.) The report says investigators determined the fire was “intentionally set with a hand-held flame to available combustibles,” started in the northwest corner of the house (shown above in our post-fire photo from last night). More details from the report after the jump:Read More
As popular as the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series (presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, with co-sponsors including WSB) has been, many have wished for dinner options, so you don’t have to haul in your picnic for the outdoor series. Today, there’s word there will be something new this year – the Beloved Mexico food truck, which has been a fixture at the West Seattle Produce lot along Fauntleroy Way, will be there, according to ANA president Katy Walum. Definitely for the five shows that will be at Hiawatha, and they’ll also try to be at the one show set for Alki (August 11), she says. Also booked again this year: The Full Tilt Ice Cream bicycle-pulled cart with ice-cream bars, for all shows. Missed the announcement of the Admiral concert lineup? Check it out here; six Thursday nights, starting July 28th, free, all ages welcome, BYO chairs/blankets!
West Seattleite Anne Levinson is at the White House today, and shared that photo with WSB – she’s second from left, and you probably recognize many of the others. She is there for President Obama honors the Seattle Storm for its WNBA championship; Levinson is a former co-owner of the Storm, as well as a former judge and deputy Seattle mayor (among other roles and ventures) – as you can see in the photo, those also at the White House today include the current mayor. (We’re watching the White House website for photos/video of the Storm celebration and will add when available.)
ADDED 2:56 PM: Here’s the White House video: