West Seattle, Washington
Two more door-to-door alerts have come in, apparently from the same block – another report of solicitors saying they’re representing Comcast, but raising neighbors’ suspicions anyway. The Seattle Municipal Code restricts door-to-door sales to between 8 am and 9 pm (read the code here), and this all happened shortly before the end of that window. Read on:Read More
With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 just a few days away, the West Seattle spot that became a regional touchstone is ready for candlelight-vigil visitors on Sunday night. David Hutchinson shares a new photo of the Alki Statue of Liberty, with this update:
The Alki Community Council would like to thank Seattle Parks & Recreation for completing the fall maintenance of the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza in time for this weekend’s 9/11 10th anniversary memorial. This afternoon, Tiffany Hedrick, of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, completed cleaning and waxing the statue and hung the flag provided by the SW Seattle Historical Society.
As previously noted, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society/Log House Museum is hosting a candlelight vigil at the plaza starting at 7 pm Sunday night. Our partners at the Seattle Times have just published a preview, noting that the museum plans to bring to the plaza, just for the occasion, some of what it collected from the hundreds of tribute/memorial items left there in the days/nights after the attack. Several other tribute/memorial/remembrance events are planned in West Seattle/White Center; we have just added two more to the list (see it here, and please let us know if you have something to add – thank you).
(More photos added 9:36 pm; this one was substituted for previous cameraphone pic)
7:44 PM: Police and fire units are at the scene of a reported shooting in the 9400 block of 11th SW in Highland Park (map). We have a crew on the way. According to WSB contributor Katie Meyer, scanner traffic says the victim is a 20-year-old man, gunshot wound to the back but “conscious and alert.” Early description of the vehicle they’re looking for is a “late model blue Pontiac” last seen going east on Cambridge.
8 PM UPDATE: The victim is being taken to Harborview Medical Center. WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand is at the scene and says Gang Unit officers are there helping investigate.
Neighbors say they heard four shots; officers/detectives are looking for casings among other evidence.
8:17 PM UPDATE: SPD Blotter has just published essentially the same info we’ve already reported – noting that it’s “preliminary and subject to change.”
8:28 PM UPDATE: SPD Capt. Neil Low just briefed media at the scene. The victim is described as in “serious condition” as he was transported. According to Capt. Low, the victim was standing outside a car, when another car went by and fired shots; the driver of that car discovered the street was a dead end, and made a U-turn to get away. The victim is believed to be from “nearby.” Though as we noted earlier, there’s Gang Unit members at the scene, they’re not confirming whether this is believed to be gang-related.
7:48 AM UPDATE: Police have added a few more details to that same item on SPD Blotter (linked above):
The victim sustained a single gunshot wound to his back, it was considered serious, but not life-threatening. Officers and Gang Unit detectives located one .40-caliber shell casing in the street and a bullet hole in a house in that block.
The forecast is for clear skies, as far as the eye – or at least the forecaster – can see. Including Thursday night, which will bring the next West Seattle Art Walk, 6-9 pm. Three dozen venues (from Shanti Salon and Spa in the north to The Kenney in the south [both WSB sponsors]) – all listed on the official map, which is here. If you want to plan your stops in advance, you can find some of the venues’ previews on the official WS Art Walk site. The Kenney, for example, spotlights artists Martha Hicks and Cyndy Jensen, along with local framer Fred Madrid bringing a collection of historic West Seattle photos (available for purchase), plus live music – details here. Shanti will show photography by Laurie Z. In The Junction, Nature Consortium e-mailed a special invite for you to stop by its office at 4210 SW Oregon – where Kathleen McHugh‘s art will be on display:
McHugh is a Seattle painter who, NC notes:
… has been featured in exhibits locally, nationally, and internationally in places as near as Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and as far as Slovakia and the Museum of Modern Art. Kathleen’s work explores humanistic themes and serve as ‘visual allegories about identity and relationship[s]’.” She also teaches eco-art classes with Nature Consortium and has been working as a teaching artist in the Pacific Northwest since 1994. On Thursday, she is offering prints from her Banff suite at the West Seattle Art Walk. Local Latin-folk band Ama Trio, featured at this year’s Arts in Nature Festival, will also perform at the office 7:30 – 8:30 pm.
See you tomorrow night along the Art Walk!
Just out of the WSB inbox, the latest newsletter from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon. And this one’s full of news you can use – first, the latest burglary-method trends; second, if you still don’t believe us for all the times we’ve quoted police as saying “It’s OK to call 911 – please do! – when you see/hear something suspicious” – here it is, direct from the source. Plus: Advice on how to make sure someone who looks official (non-law-enforcement), and turns up on your doorstep, really IS official. Read on:Read More
If you were looking forward to holiday food shopping at the new West Seattle Trader Joe’s – sorry to report, that apparently isn’t going to be possible. When construction at the 4545 Fauntleroy Way SW site started more than three months ago, the company told us it expected to open the store in the fourth quarter of this year. With that time frame approaching, some asked for an official update – including the WSB Forums member who started this thread, with one commenter subsequently posting that the opening had been delayed till first quarter of 2012. We renewed our inquiry to Trader Joe’s, and after a bit of confusion, got the answer back today from corporate HQ: “We are set to open sometime in 2012. We have not confirmed a date.”
Back-to-school week is big for everyone involved, from families to students to school employees … but there are three people in the latter category for whom this is an especially big day: Three new principals for Seattle Public Schools in West Seattle. This morning, we stopped by Arbor Heights Elementary to say hi to new principal Christy Collins, whose appointment we reported here back in June. She’s keeping the Arbor Heights school community up to date with her own new website (see it here), complementing AH’s longtime site. Collins succeeds Dr. Carol Coram, who is now an assistant principal at the newly dedicated Denny International Middle School. We checked in with West Seattle’s other two new principals yesterday – Chris Kinsey at Chief Sealth International High School (during the Denny dedication) and Jo Lute-Ervin at Lafayette Elementary (during her school’s playground dedication).
The demolition work under way today at 5020 California SW, the future mixed-use development site known as “Spring Hill” (no relation to the popular restaurant), is a mixed blessing for at least some of its neighbors.
On one hand, the multiplexes on the site have been eyesores – plagued with squatters, tagging, and other vandalism – for the past few years. The project was once on a faster track, back when original developer BlueStar was also developing what’s now known as “The Hole” and even looking at developing what’s now being remodeled as the future West Seattle Trader Joe’s. If you don’t live nearby, you might not even have noticed how badly trashed the site had become, since from California SW, it’s hard to see – even now with demolition under way:
(The top view is from the alley on the site’s east side.) On the other hand, the neighbors fought hard, during the original round of design review 3 years ago, for development guidelines that might somewhat minimize the future apartment/retail building’s effects on nearby residents. Then the site went into foreclosure and was idle till the project was revived under new ownership earlier this summer (as first reported here and here), with an increased number of apartments – 101, instead of the original 91. The city did not require the reopening of design review for the change, but did offer neighbors reassurance that the increase would not result in any notable change to the building’s size or appearance. The developer, Burien-based F & M, has not responded to our requests for comment, so we don’t know their timeline, but we do know the city’s online files show some necessary permits are not yet finalized, and also show a recent complaint (demolition may be rendering it moot).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“It’s the end of the world as we know it …”
In the West Seattle High School library last Friday morning, one of about four dozen students gathered for a special training session observed how appropriate that hook from REM’s classic 1987 song seemed.
Freshman year, which feels to so many 9th graders just like “the end of the world as (they) know it,” will never be the same at WSHS, thanks to a program called Link Crew.
The students we watched on Friday morning were getting ready to use it to accompany, mentor, reassure, entertain the 250 (or so) members of the WSHS Class of 2015 – on Day 1 today, and throughout the year – starting with a special freshmen-only assembly this morning (top photo).
This is the first time that WSHS has used Link Crew – a transition program that’s been deployed nationwide for more than a decade. (Read more about it here.) We were invited to sit in on the Friday morning coaching/training session, as the participating juniors and seniors got ready to roll:
As expected, City Councilmembers voted on Tuesday afternoon, quickly and with little discussion, to authorize the sale of West Seattle’s former Fire Station 37. The process of getting to this point – including collecting public comment – has taken months; the ex-station at 35th and Othello (map) has already been vacant for almost a year. So, we asked the city, what happens now? The reply is from Katherine Schubert-Knapp of the city’s Finance and Administrative Services department, which helps other departments with “property disposition” (among other things):
Now that the Council has authorized the sale of the property, our next step will be to select a real estate broker to help the City market it publicly. We are preparing a Request for Proposals … After the broker is under contract and we have developed a marketing plan, we’ll be going out to the public with a goal of casting a wide net for potential buyers. We’ll have a better idea of the timeline in a few weeks. Everyone who has previously expressed interest in this property will be kept up to date.
And even if you’re not formally on that list, you will too, as Schubert-Knapp promises media updates on the process. (We’ll be keeping watch between news releases, too.) The station is in a single-family-zoned area, and it’s expected someone will buy it for just that purpose. P.S. If you never got the chance to visit the 86-year-old landmark – there’s a video tour in this WSB story from last year.
From SDOT (and the WSB Traffic page), that’s a “live” look (refresh for the latest) at the east end of the Spokane Street Viaduct, aka the West Seattle Bridge between I-5 and Highway 99. It’ll be half-closed overnight for the next three nights, and that’s part of today’s preview, from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
BACK TO SCHOOL! That’s today’s big news, and it’s likely to affect you even if you don’t have a family member who’s a student or school staffer. While many independent schools started classes yesterday, today’s the first day for several of the biggest ones – including Westside School (WSB sponsor), which is debuting middle school this year, Explorer West, and West Seattle Montessori (WSB sponsor) – as well as the first day for all but one local Seattle Public Schools campus (West Seattle Elementary started its new year yesterday). The district has changed its transportation plan again this year, with most buses serving more routes than before, by the way, so what you see on the roads, and when, will be different from last year (this means many schools’ starting/ending times have changed, too).
HIGH POINT MARKET FARM STAND: 4-7 pm, 32nd SW/SW Juneau. Buy seasonal fresh organically grown produce from a stand right next to the mini-farm where it’s grown.
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Local community meetings are getting back to their regular schedules, starting with the Southwest District Council, 7 pm, South Seattle Community College board room (6000 16th SW – central building on the west side of campus) – agenda includes a project update on the Fauntleroy Expressway Seismic Retrofit (scheduled for this fall).
ARTSWEST’S NEW SEASON BEGINS: “Amy’s View” opens the new season at ArtsWest Playhouse in The Junction, 7:30 tonight, continuing Wednesday-Saturday nights and Sunday matinees through October 1st. (Here’s our preview from earlier today.)
OVERNIGHT TRAFFIC ALERT: Westbound Spokane Street Viaduct closed for construction work tonight, tomorrow night, and Friday night, 10 pm-5 am, details here – note that 1st Avenue South at Spokane St. is also closed the same nights, and that the westbound SSV closure means that you will not be able to get to the WS Bridge from I-5 or Beacon Hill.
6:06 AM: Just in case you heard the sirens and wondered – there’s been a big response in the past 15 minutes or so to a “pier fire” call at Vigor Shipyard (1801 16th SW) on Harbor Island. Scanner communication indicates it’s NOT a major call and that it’s already “tapped,” so all but a few of the responding units have been canceled. 6:12 AM: Also per scanner: The small fire was on or near a “Navy vessel” that’s at the shipyard and has its own “shipboard firefighters,” who are getting help from Seattle Fire crews in making sure it’s completely out.
(Photo courtesy ArtsWest)
Despite some changes in the off-season, the show must go on at ArtsWest, and tonight it does exactly that, with the first production of the 2011-2012 season, “Amy’s View” by David Hare. One review from back east describes it as “about the lure and pitfalls of materialistic society, about whether love and faith and perseverance will prevail over hedonism and greed…” and more. During the run, through October 1st, showtimes are 7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays, 3 pm Sundays; you can buy tickets online here.