West Seattle, Washington
Story and photos by Christopher Boffoli
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
On a rainy afternoon last spring, I got my first glimpse at what was soon to become one of Seattle’s newest mobile food trucks, making its debut this Sunday in West Seattle.
Parked on a quiet side street in North Delridge, it didn’t look like much at the time. The boxy, aluminum truck – which at that point had only recently been plucked off of Craigslist – still bore signs of its previous use by a plumbing company. However, like most entrepreneurs, Damiana Merryweather had vision, not to mention a contagious enthusiasm for what the truck could be. Perhaps more significantly, she also had an abundance of patience, which she would discover, is second only to money when it comes to starting a street food business in Seattle. But above all, Merryweather’s focus was on the food.
“We become deeply human when we sit down to a plate of food,” she would tell me later, in drier, more comfortable conditions: ensconced in plush chairs at a local café, with mugs of hot coffee in our hands. She added, “Food is such a catalyst for community, family holidays, friends….it brings us together. There’s a comforting human connection.”
Merryweather is an Oregon native who began on quite a different career path. Though she worked in and out of food-related jobs when she was younger, for more than a decade she had enjoyed a successful career in political campaigns and lobbying. But at a certain point she decided to come back to food. She moved to Seattle in 2006 and a few years later, was hired on as a consultant to aid the launch of the Swinery. “Working there reminded me of how much I love customer service,” she said, “And I don’t mean that in a cheesy salesman kind of way, but truly helping people. Engaging their imaginations about meals. Making connections.”
We’ve added a new page to WSB that you’ll see on the line of “tabs” underneath the sunset header (each of which takes you to a different “inside section” of the site) – over to the right, by the Forum tab, it’s WS In Motion, for the West Seattle In Motion program that we’re co-sponsoring this summer/fall. WS In Motion invites you to sign up to get incentives for driving a little less and walking/biking/bus’ing/etc. a little more – free bus tickets, deals at local businesses, and more. Plus, you get to contribute to a communitywide progress report that shows the results of participants’ combined efforts and adventures; the first one is what you’ll see on the new page right now. Haven’t signed up yet? Go here!
This year, West Seattle Outdoor Movies (Saturday nights in the courtyard by Hotwire Online Coffeehouse [WSB sponsor] at 4410 California SW) have something extra – an opening act. Last Saturday, local comic/juggler Matt Baker wowed the crowd (our report includes video); tomorrow night, it’s magician Louie Foxx, who shows off one big, quick trick in the short video clip above. Oh, and of course, there’s a movie too: “Airplane!” (Here’s the trailer.) Weather looks good; show’s free (bring $ for concessions and raffle items that raise money for local nonprofits, and also be sure to bring a chair or blanket to sit on); gates open at 6:30 pm – last week the movie started about quarter past 9, so 9 pm is likely tomorrow.
In our first report from last night’s community-organized West Seattle Candidates’ Forum, you saw video of one of the two races for which all primary-ballot candidates turned out, School Board District 6. This time, the other race with full turnout: King County Council District 8. Onstage, from left, were incumbent Councilmember Joe McDermott, moderator Mike Hickey, Diana Toledo, and Goodspaceguy. Transportation was a hot topic, as you’ll see; McDermott said he supports the $20-for-Metro “congestion relief charge” that’ll come up for a council vote August 15th, while Toledo and Goodspaceguy said they do not. (This race also is spotlighted at SeattleTimes.com [WSB partner] right now.)
P.S. We forgot to mention this in our first report – the ice-cream social that preceded the candidates’ forum raised more than $200 for West Seattle Food Bank, according to board member Pete Spalding, one of a multitude of community volunteers/advocates at the event in South Seattle Community College‘s Brockey Center
Just in from People for Puget Sound:
Free “Rain Water” Tour Aug 13 in West Seattle Highlights Solutions To Polluted Runoff
When it rains, pollution like oil, grease, pesticides and pet waste washes off streets, parking lots and other hard surfaces into local waterways and Puget Sound, harming the health of birds, fish, whales and people.
People For Puget Sound invites West Seattle residents to a free, family-friendly tour on Saturday, August 13, beginning at 10 AM, at Chief Sealth International High School, 2600 SW Thistle St. The tour will be led by knowledgeable experts who will show how to reduce and eliminate the flow of toxic pollution into our waterways.
At the start of the tour, participants will learn about the ecology of the Longfellow Creek watershed and continue to The Home Depot site to learn about traditional polluted runoff management methods and the effect of polluted runoff on local fish habitat.
The tour will then follow the legacy trail along Longfellow Creek, up 150 stairs, to the High Point neighborhood to view sustainable development solutions to polluted runoff. An optional discussion will conclude the event from 1 – 2 PM at the High Point Community Center.
The tour is free and family-friendly and is limited to 30 participants. To reserve your place, contact Emily Fales, EMfales@uw.edu
Two Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon. The first one was a theft that happened in a flash; the second, a car break-in that led to a garage break-in. (And we added a third at 4:04 pm – all are ahead:)Read More
Looking for something to do tomorrow? The Vietnamese Cultural Center at 2236 SW Orchard (north of Home Depot; here’s a map) reminds us that it’s open to the public noon-3 pm every Saturday. The center shared photos from last weekend’s sunny Saturday, including the next one featuring visitor Don Atwood, a local architect who helped draft an addition to the center:
Director Ducly Bui summarizes the center’s mission:
Vietnamese Cultural Center is operated by the free South Vietnamese since April 1975 to promote Vietnamese culture and heritage to their children born in US and introduce the country’s history and arts to the local community.
Admission is free. Our previous coverage of the center includes an overview in July 2008 – after many had wondered about its large statue (General Tran Hung Dao) – and last year’s Lunar New Year event, which also celebrated recognition of the Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom Flag.
In the two and a half weeks since we first told you about Village Green Perennial Nursery owner Vera Johnson‘s fight against potential foreclosure, she’s gathered thousands of electronic petition signatures, and rallied dozens of people in similar straits, so they can all learn about – and exercise – their legal rights. If you are facing default or foreclosure, the next support-group meeting is at 5 pm Sunday at Community School of West Seattle (9450 22nd SW). Vera says lawyer Edgar Hall will be in attendance to answer questions and offer “resources for pro-bono services,” among other things, and she invites attendees to “bring laptops, so we can look up our info and search for fraudulent docs – wi-fi available.” Then on Tuesday, she has an appointment with Bank of America; next Friday (one week from today), she’s planning to deliver to BofA the signatures from her petition on Change.org (not too late to sign – go here), which now total more than 8,300. A benefit is also in the works; you can follow the progress by “liking” this Facebook page.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The process of discussing with the city how to restore/reconstruct the fire-ravaged landmark Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge is so far as painstaking as the actual project itself eventually may be.
This morning, in their fourth informal appearance before the city Landmarks Preservation Board’s Architectural Review Committee downtown, Alloy Design Group architects Mark Haizlip and Greg Squires presented the three options they’re discussing.
All three options assume that the Homestead’s roof and foundation must be replaced – though committee members indicated they’re not all convinced about the former.
Before we get to the weekend, it’s the end-of-week summertime tradition – SDOT‘s list of areas around the city where big events are guaranteed – or likely – to have big traffic effects. The two-part Alaskan Way Viaduct closure (northbound Saturday night for the Seafair Torchlight Run, then southbound early Sunday through early Monday for construction) is part of the list. Read on!Read More
County, city, port, and School Board candidates were all part of last night’s community-organized West Seattle Candidates’ Forum at South Seattle Community College‘s Brockey Center. One of two races for which all August 16th candidates participated, the School Board Position 6 faceoff, provided the most sparks, and news. For one, incumbent board member Steve Sundquist revealed that he believes two West Seattle schools will be reopened; public discussion to this point had focused on one (likely Fairmount Park, as reported here last month). The discussion also touched on some recent district controversies including the plan for some Seattle Public Schools to get trainees from the “Teach for America” program. We recorded the entire forum, in segments, and the clip above is the entire school-board discussion with (from left on stage) Sundquist, Marty McLaren, moderator Mike Hickey, Joy Anderson, and Nick Esparza. (Upcoming reports will include the other forum segments – city, county, and port.)
(Photo by Machel Spence)
Five highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
GOLF WITH YOUR FELLOW COUGS: 8th annual King County Cougar Open at West Seattle Golf Course (4470 35th SW). Starting at noon, the WSU Alumni Association invites you to share an afternoon of fun with fellow Cougars. Players of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. Sign up by yourself or with friends. Registration info here.
AT THE LONGHOUSE – FREE! Johnny Moses presents Medicine Songs of the Pacific NW at Duwamish Longhouse (7405 W Marginal Way SW), 6:30-8:00 pm. Johnny Moses is a noted native NW storyteller and introduces two new CDs that preserve NW Salish Culture for future generations. Free event!
‘FLAVOR’: 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, “a unique night out showcasing the music and art of immigrants, to benefit OneAmerica and our community.” Tickets: $20, available online (includes snacks). Featured Artists: Music by Abyssinian Creole, Owuor Arunga, The Heartfelts, and The Seattle Fandango Project; comedian Solomon Georgio; Poet, Rapper and Cultural Carrier dakóta; photography by Carina A. del Rosario, Geo of Blue Scholars, Thig Nat of The Physics; jewelry by Marissa Esteban.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK, FREE! 7 pm at Camp Long, GreenStage‘s 23rd season of free Shakespeare in the Park presents “Antony and Cleopatra”, directed by Patrick Bentley. Follow the crowds through the woods to the open field by the climbing rock.
SWEET, SWEET MUSIC: 7:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW): Sarah Ackers, Betsy Boyer, and Bronwyn Edwards will entertain with soulful, folksy, bluesy music for all. $5/person or $15/family at the door; includes dessert.
(Harbor’s Denny Onslow talking to SW Design Review Board about Nova; photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Toplines from Thursday night’s two-project meeting of the Southwest Design Review Board at the Senior Center of West Seattle: Harbor Properties‘ 62-apartment Nova, proposed for a 36th/Snoqualmie site north of The Grove/West Seattle Inn motel in The Triangle, won unanimous approval.
Board members said the design brought before them (here’s the presentation “packet”) addressed the concerns/suggestions they had brought up during Nova’s “early design guidance” review earlier this year (WSB coverage here). You can track Nova via its city webpage here; we’ll be following up with Harbor regarding expected construction timetable. (P.S. For those wondering how much demand there is for new apartments – Harbor’s Onslow noted that its recently completed Link Apartments [WSB sponsor], two blocks from the Nova site, is now 70 percent leased.)
For the “early design guidance” review of the 117-apartment 3247 Avalon proposal (“packet” here), to cover what are currently five single-structure lots (one vacant) overlooking the West Seattle Golf Course: Board members asked the project team to give it another try and come back. They expressed comments similar to two members of the public who spoke – that all three design options bring the proposed building too close to its neighbors on both east and west sides; the latter sparked the most concern.