day : 11/08/2011 14 results

OutWest Bar opens: ‘Welcome to your gay and lesbian bar …’

(At OutWest Bar: Holly, bartender Josh, co-owner Bob)
Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Though butcher paper is still on the windows, the sign on the front door of OutWest Bar reads, “Yes, we’re open!”

By 4:00 today, patrons such as Glenn Bafia were already seated at the copper-topped bar and in the booths for OutWest’s “soft open” in the former Westside Pharmacy space at California/Brandon. He said, “I’m very excited that the gay and lesbian community has a bar in West Seattle that we can hang out in.”

Co-owner Bob Lunke greeted guests with “Welcome to your gay and lesbian bar in West Seattle!” and then proceeded to figure out how to use the cash register.

Another patron, who followed OutWest Bar’s journey via Facebook, said he came “all the way from Magnolia” to check it out.

Neighbor Lisa Laughlin says she’s been watching it “come to life. I’m very excited that it’s now open—it’s good to have a bar I can walk home from!” while Dawn Leverett, West Seattle Windermere agent, added, “West Seattle loves to support restaurants and bars and we’re excited about new venues. In this economy it’s great to see a small business open — these are the backbone of the economy. We’re very happy to have the OutWest Bar in West Seattle.”

Co-owners Lunke and Chad Gabelein still anticipate a grand opening sometime in the next two weeks. (Per their FB page, Happy Hour is 4-6 pm, Tuesdays-Fridays.) For more backstory about OutWest Bar, see our stories from May (here) and December (here).

Happening now: West Seattle Art Walk; Alki ‘Admiral’ concert

A sunny summer evening in West Seattle, and there’s plenty to do. Till 9 pm, you can wander the dozens of venues participating in this month’s West Seattle Art Walk. We’ve stopped by two – above, we went to Mural Apartments (WSB sponsor) to check in on Glenn Case‘s mural, begun last month. He says it’s close to completion. (While you’re at Mural, you can also stop by Wallflower Custom Framing on the ground floor and see work by Amy Bengston and Urban Guy Allen.) On the south end of the map, we visited The Kenney (WSB sponsor), where Anita West is the featured artist:

Her Middle East-inspired work is hanging in The Kenney’s halls. This one is titled “Turkish Coffee”:

You’ll also find refreshments at The Kenney (among other stops) – while we were there, CEO Kevin McFeely was playing the role of bartender. And just before we published this, we got word of a live band outside Windermere Fauntleroy in Morgan Junction – photo to come. You can browse the Art Walk venues at the official website (and if you go to The junction, remember it’s Shop Late Thursdays night too). If you go to the beach – Alki Arts is on the Art Walk map, and not far from free live music. Yogoman Burning Band is performing at the beach courtesy of the Admiral Neighborhood Association’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series (co-sponsored by WSB), on the road for this night only.

The music continues till 8; we’ll have a clip in a bit.


Next week, the concert is back on the east lawn of HiawathaLeRoy Bell and His Only Friends, 6:30 pm Thursday, August 18th.

More video/photos: Admiral Safeway grand-opening day

(Our grand-opening coverage from earlier today is here and here)

The Admiral Safeway grand-opening celebration continues, with The Toucans playing till 7 pm – we went back to get them on video. The store is still crowded with shoppers/visitors. If you couldn’t make it to the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:30, we recorded it all on video, 19-plus minutes with a few speeches from Safeway officials and longtime Admiral neighborhood advocate Dennis Ross, who helped cut the ribbon:

Other Admiral community leaders we bumped into included Admiral Neighborhood Association president Katy Walum:

And Rev. Peter DeVeau from nearby St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church:

Rev. DeVeau told us he had toured the store earlier in the morning – and they accepted his offer of a pre-opening blessing.

Many more photos ahead, including perhaps the most famous Admiral-area resident we spotted:Read More

West Seattle ex-school site updates: Denny demo; Boren murals

Two notes this afternoon from sites that used to hold Seattle Public Schools middle/junior-high campuses:

That’s the northwest corner of the former Denny International Middle School site, where the last standing section of structure came down today. Lots of cleanup ahead now before the site will be transformed into fields and tennis courts; it will remain district-owned, as they have said a new elementary school might be built on the site someday. (If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s our report on a recent tour of the new Denny, nearby.) Meantime, at the former Louisa May Boren Junior High School along mid-Delridge:

Those are four of the volunteer-painted murals meant to deter vandals from tagging Boren’s boarded-up buildings. You’ll recall that they were completed in two recent work parties at Boren; Pete Spalding, who organized the work parties, shared the news that a district crew put them up this week. Besides the ones above, they are in other areas around the sizable campus, including the Delridge-facing courtyard. As of this writing, Boren will be empty again this school year; the district is keeping it for potential “emergency” use.

Traffic alerts: Edmunds reminder; Spokane St. Viaduct heads-up

August 11, 2011 3:46 pm
|    Comments Off on Traffic alerts: Edmunds reminder; Spokane St. Viaduct heads-up
 |   Spokane St. Viaduct project | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

First: A reminder that until 8 tomorrow morning, SW Edmunds is completely closed for road repairs between California SW and 44th SW on the south end of The Junction:

Thanks to Karen for the “birds-eye view.” SDOT says eastbound will reopen tomorrow morning at 8, but westbound will remain closed until 8 tomorrow night.

Second: The city has just announced another round of westbound Spokane Street Viaduct closures for next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights:

The contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation to widen the Spokane Street Viaduct will close the structure’s westbound lanes just west of I-5 for three nights: August 16, 17 and 18. On August 16 and 17 crews will start work at 11:30 p.m. and on August 18 work will begin at 10 p.m. In each instance the roadway will re-open by 5 a.m. the next morning.

During this work, southbound I-5 traffic will be directed to the S Forest Street exit to access surface streets. Northbound I-5 traffic and westbound traffic from Columbian Way will be detoured to surface streets at 6th Avenue South. Motorists will still be able to access West Seattle from southbound SR-99.

Also, on August 15 the right lane of the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed overnight, from 11:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning. The I-5 westbound ramps will remain open.

And another reminder, as previously noted here, the next Alaskan Way Viaduct partial closure is scheduled right after that – late night Friday, August 19, through early morning Monday, August 22nd.

West Seattle scene: In pursuit of pink salmon at Lincoln Park

Thanks to Shelley for sharing that photo from Lincoln Park early this morning – the second day in a row that she reported seeing dozens and dozens of people fishing on the beach. We asked our fellow neighborhood-news publisher and Lincoln Park fishing aficionado Justin from what’s hot right now; he explained it’s the every-two-year pink-salmon run. Turns out our partners at the Seattle Times previewed it recently.

Steve Bushaw murder trial in recess until Wednesday

August 11, 2011 1:23 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

gavel.jpgKatie Meyer at the King County Courthouse comes word that the Steve Bushaw murder trial is recess till next Wednesday. As noted at the end of our report on the Wednesday proceedings, Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque already had agreed to a defense lawyer’s request to end early today, – but due to witness availability, “early” moved back a few hours, and that meant at lunchtime, they were done, since the trial’s not in session on Fridays, and was already off the calendar for next Monday and Tuesday. A King County Medical Examiner staffer was on the stand this morning; we’ll have details in a full report from Katie later. WSB is the only news organization covering what is the first West Seattle murder case to go to trial in three years (it’s also a rare multiple-defendant trial); our coverage is archived, newest to oldest, here.

‘Barb’s bench,’ & other Admiral Safeway grand-opening notes

(12:15 PM UPDATE: The store’s now open. Ribboncutting video added to this story; separate full report later.)

10:57 AM: If you visit the new Admiral Safeway, which opens its doors to the public a little more than an hour from now (noon today, after an 11:30 am ribboncutting), take a moment and check out “Barb’s bench.” It’s on the landing of the stairway to/from the rooftop parking (which of course has an elevator nearby), and as noted on a it’s in honor of longtime Safeway employee Barb Fuda, a 41-year West Seattle Safeway employee who’d been looking forward to working in the new store – till cancer claimed her life two months ago. The store has other seating areas too:

This one is also on the west side of the store, to the right of the Starbucks kiosk, and includes a TV – Safeway’s Sara Osborne joked this morning (or maybe she wasn’t joking) that the Seahawks game would be on tonight. (Like other local Safeways, this one has wi-fi.) Then outside, as promised while the project went through an exhaustive series of design reviews, there’s a seating plaza at the southwest corner (California/Lander, across from Hiawatha):

We’re on our way back to the store right now – they’re offering a tour to show off the features of the store that Safeway says racked up enough points to potentially qualify for LEED silver status. Besides the 11:30 ceremony, special features today include a shopping-bag giveaway (limited quantities) and the Toucans steel-drum band playing 4-7 pm (that’s expected to be outdoors). More to come.

ADDED 12:16 PM: The ribboncutting, with longtime Admiral neighborhood leader Dennis Ross and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen wielding the scissors:

We’ll have a separate report later with more video and photos, including the entirety of the grand-opening ceremony.

Infamously vacant North Delridge property now up for sale

(WSB photo from April 2009)
Almost two and a half years ago, it was the first stop on the “problem properties” tour organized by then-North Delridge Neighborhood Council chair Mike Dady (at left in our 2009 photo, with City Councilmember Tim Burgess) – a long-empty, vandal- and squatter-targeted, often-reported-to-the-city house on a slope facing the northeastern end of Delridge Way. Its address is officially 3804 23rd SW, and this morning, a tipster e-mailed us to point out that it’s just gone up for sale, with its 7,700-square-foot lot, for $100,000; public records say its owner bought it for half that 22 years ago. There’s a note on the listing (see it here with a variety of related details on Redfin, though the listing is credited to ReMAX): “Tear down. Value in land. View with caution.”

Video: MSNBC interview with Village Green’s Vera Johnson

Last night, we reported that Village Green Perennial Nursery owner Vera Johnson had been booked for an MSNBC TV interview this morning regarding her foreclosure fight against Bank of America. MSNBC’s Veronica Delacruz interviewed her live a little over an hour ago, and we just found the clip online; it’s embedded above.

West Seattle Thursday: Admiral Safeway opening; Art Walk; Alki concert; more

The largest development project in the Admiral area in years, the Safeway redevelopment, opens its first and biggest phase today – the new grocery store. (The photo above is from our sneak peek inside the store early this morning, looking toward the wine section in the store’s southeast corner.) That’s one of the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

ADMIRAL SAFEWAY OPENING: More details ahead in a separate preview, but as announced last week, 11 months of construction are over for the store itself, and it opens to the public at noon. (2 other buildings on the site are still being completed – a small retail building, and an apartment building.) You’re also welcome at a ribboncutting at 11:30 am along the main entrance; dignitaries will include City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. And the Toucans (steel drums) play live music 4-7 pm. 2622 California SW.

NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY SUMMER WINE EVENT: Noon-4 pm at South Seattle Community College (6000 16th SW), featuring wines of Spain, available for tasting and purchase.

SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA – AT ALKI, TONIGHT ONLY: Yogoman Burning Band plays by the Alki Bathhouse as the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s “Summer Concerts at Hiawatha” series takes the show on the road, just this time, to Alki Beach. 6:30 pm, free, bring your own chair/blanket.

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: It’s the second Thursday, and that means dozens of West Seattle businesses and studios are welcoming you to come enjoy art, and what should be a mild summer night. 6-9 pm – preview some of the artists on the official Art Walk website.

SHOP LATE IN THE JUNCTION: It’s also another edition of Shop Late Thursdays in The Junction, till 9 pm; participants’ list here.

SOUTHWEST SEATTLE BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL WOMEN MEMBERSHIP SOCIAL: Not in West Seattle, but the organization’s turf includes WS, so you’re invited! 6-8 pm, Vino Bello, 636 SW 152nd in Burien, $15/door, includes 1 glass of wine or other beverage of your choice and light appetizers. Winning raffle tickets available! Bring business cards or promotional materials for your business, a happy attitude, and meet and network with other successful women in your neighborhood. The first two people to arrive get in free, BPW says.

WINE TASTING AT C & P: C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor) wine club meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month. Everyone is welcome to join (21+), and feel free to bring an appetizer. $5.00 tasting fee or wines by the glass or bottle. 5612 California SW, 6-8 pm.

Update: North Admiral trailer fire was 1 of 2 ‘set fires’

6:36 AM: A rude, and fiery, awakening for a North Admiral neighborhood this morning. In the 3700 block of SW Grayson (map), firefighters are mopping up after a fire on a trailer parked along the street. WSB’er Meredith shares the photos.

No injuries are reported. Investigators are trying to find out how the fire started.

We’ll add an update later when the cause is determined.

8:57 AM UPDATE: According to SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, both the trailer fire and a fire in a nearby recycling bin “are being called Incendiary or set fires. A suspect or suspects set fire to a utility trailer and a recycling bin within minutes of each other. The damage estimate is $1550.”

Summer school, out of the box: West Seattle YMCA’s ‘Level 9’

(Photos by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
Summer school can be something to cheer about. Just ask the Z Unit, one of ten groups formed from among more than 100 students for a section of the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) “Level 9” program, six weeks of academic enrichment for students going into ninth grade this fall at Chief Sealth International, West Seattle, and Franklin High Schools. We caught up with them on Wednesday at South Seattle Community College‘s Brockey Center, where, as part of a Level 9 project, there was a trade show-style event to showcase “inventions” by the groups, which had to develop business plans and solicit “investors.” More ahead:Read More

Steve Bushaw murder trial: Enter the cell-phone records

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It was an educational day at the Steve Bushaw murder trial on Wednesday, as testimony took a turn for the technical.

As prosecutor Jeff Baird continued to call witnesses in his case against Brandon Chaney and Bryce Huber, accused in the February 2009 West Seattle murder to which two others already have pleaded guilty, there was much for observers to learn.

Today’s witnesses were two Seattle Police homicide detectives, Paul Takimoto and James Cooper, and a state-employed expert in analyzing cell-phone records, Valentine Luu.

First, from Det. Takimoto, we learned how the SPD homicide unit is set up, as questions focused on his background and role, before moving on to his part of the Bushaw murder investigation.

Read More