day : 23/10/2011 14 results

West Seattle Water Taxi: Different boat Monday morning

(Melissa Ann, photographed Friday by Donna Payne)
If you’re taking the West Seattle Water Taxi, you’ll be riding Melissa Ann on Monday morning instead of Rachel Marie. The regular WS boat has broken down, the county just announced – BUT they say there will be NO CHANGE in the special, increased schedule:

Mechanical problem to the Rachel Marie causes change in vessels for Monday morning sailings-

A mechanical problem to the Rachel Marie will keep her out of service this Monday, October 24. The Victoria Clipper III will service the Vashon Island Route. The Melissa Ann will be servicing the West Seattle Route. Both routes will run their regularly scheduled sailings (including additional West Seattle service) and neither route’s capacity will be impacted.

The Melissa Ann and Rachel Marie are “twins.”

West Seattle weekend scene: John Doe at Easy Street Records

You never know when you might see a star at Easy Street Records in The Junction. Of course, John Doe‘s appearance was announced two-plus weeks ahead of time, so this was no chance encounter, but still. Easy Street proprietor Matt Vaughan waved a copy of Doe’s newest CD “Keeper” while at the mike for the intro:

John Doe was warming up for an acoustic show scheduled a few hours later at the Tractor Tavern on the north side of town.

Next, he and his longtime band X hit the road, starting in New Orleans later this week, then joining Seattle’s own Pearl Jam for a swing through Central and South America (schedule here).

Viaduct-closure update: Quiet weekend, but 1st weekday looms

(Video courtesy Mike Cohen, from about 9 am today)
The weekend has passed without any major traffic problems attributed to or related to the South-End-demolition closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. But tomorrow’s the first big test. We’ll be covering it throughout the day – including the pm commute, which just might be more of a challenge than the am commute, since there are only two ways to get onto the westbound bridge. But before that, here are a few reminders tonight:

*From 5 am to 7 pm, the northbound Viaduct will be OPEN from Royal Brougham – the stadium-zone onramp – northward, probably most helpful for those who are heading to the north end of downtown or beyond. The southbound Viaduct will remain closed in its entirety, from the Battery Street Tunnel to the West Seattle Bridge.

*During the pm drive home, the “low bridge” is supposed to remain open to traffic except for some kind of maritime emergency, between 3-6 pm. And Burlington Northern is supposed to try to avoid “train-building” during that time frame in the SODO vicinity, to avoid

*Using the Water Taxi? Its schedule has some additions – see the Monday-Friday schedule FOR THIS WEEK ONLY, here. And if you are trying to park-and-ride it, more than 100 spaces are supposed to be available at Don Armeni Boat Ramp, which is off Harbor Avenue a short distance west of the WT dock at Seacrest Pier. (6 am-8 pm are the parking hours, according to the Don Armeni webpage.)

*Riding the bus? Remember there are some reroutes – listed along with other closure-related bus info, here.

*Riding a bike? Cascade Bicycle Club will have a station set up on the west side of the “low bridge” – and a “bike train” ride will leave from there at 7:30 am, while another ride (geared for new or rusty riders) will leave from Alki Bike and Board in the Admiral District at 7 am (as previewed here on Friday). Also, WSDOT has a “bike route page” with closure-related info/recommendations.

*Couple more reminders: The “Viaduct Closed” flashing-lights signs are NOT on – the city says the batteries couldn’t take nine days of flashing – but trust us, the Viaduct IS closed; GPS and online maps most likely will not reflect the closure and detours; Airport Way construction is on hold for the duration, so it won’t be too much of a mess (1st/Spokane intersection also is supposed to be more accessible than usual).

*We’ll be covering the commute morning and evening, but as in all extraordinary cases – whether it’s a snowstorm or a traffic jam – the most important information comes from you. Please DON’T be texting/tweeting/Facebooking/commenting in traffic, but when it is safe for you to do so, let us know how your commute went … or, if you live somewhere with a view of a major route to the bridge etc., what you are seeing. Photos of course are welcome too. And questions! Thanks in advance for your help!

*Direct info-links of note:
WSB Traffic page (cameras and other links)
KING 5 Viaduct Crunch page (we’re partnering with them during this week’s special coverage)
Seattle Times (WSB partner) “Viaduct closure guide”

‘Greenway’ for 26th SW in Delridge? Letter follows ride

(Photos courtesy Mike Dady)
What started as a discussion on the North Delridge e-mail list quickly turned into something bigger – a bike ride with a visiting City Councilmember, to explore the possibility of a big change for 26th SW, a future as a “greenway” – a street-use concept the city is exploring (as detailed in this recent story from the Seattle Times [WSB partner]). Jake Vanderplas, who first brought the idea forward, CC’d us on a followup letter he sent to the entire City Council, recapping the ride and the concept. We asked for his permission to republish it here – so more people hear about the idea in the early stages:

On Saturday, October 15th, a group of Delridge neighbors met with Sally Bagshaw for a bike ride through the neighborhood to talk about turning 26th ave SW into a neighborhood greenway.

It was a diverse group of neighbors: there were “fast and furious” cyclists who are comfortable mixing with cars on Delridge, there were “willing but wary” cyclists who have rarely strayed beyond the Alki bike path. There were mothers riding with their kids in tow, and 26th ave residents concerned with speeding cars. There were members of the North Delridge Community Council, representatives from a local construction project, and a couple greenway advocates from other neighborhoods around the city. During our two hours of riding and conversation, we discussed a wide range of exciting ideas.

Read More

Video: Singing, drumming, haiku to bring Fauntleroy salmon home

Making up for blustery weather that canceled the event last year, late-afternoon sunshine graced this year’s edition of the Fauntleroy Creek gathering to call the salmon home. Above right, creek steward Judy Pickens confers with young salmon fans just before the start of the event, which she has organized for more than a decade. We counted at least 75 people of all ages at the overlook by the time the drumming, singing, and poetry began. Our video clip starts with Kevin Finney leading a round of the latter, call-and-response style, and continues with Bronwyn Edwards Cryer leading the singalong of “Habitat” (to the tune of the oldies classic “Lollipop”):

Will Fauntleroy Creek see coho spawners this year? Volunteers will start officially watching for them right after Halloween, and will continue for most of November. This past spring, Pickens and husband Phil Sweetland helped local schools with raising and releasing almost 2,000 coho fry; they plan to continue those efforts even though (as reported here last spring) the state has cut funding.

Batter up! Here’s the pitch for a new youth-baseball team

October 23, 2011 6:24 pm
|    Comments Off on Batter up! Here’s the pitch for a new youth-baseball team
 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

From the WSB inbox: Fred Jensen is taking a swing at forming a new youth-baseball team:

I am trying to form an AA American Legion Baseball team for this year’s High School Juniors and Sophomores for the Spring/Summer 2012 Baseball season based out of West Seattle.

West Seattle hasn’t had a Legion Baseball team in a long time although there are many teams throughout Washington State. Interested people can contact me at either or 206-310-9397.

Alki Community Council: Landslide prevention, community-center cuts, Art Fair’s future

Three major items from this past Thursday night’s Alki Community Council meeting:

(WSB photo of November 2009 slide behind Alki Avenue building)
LANDSLIDE COMMITTEE UPDATE: Jerry Smith told the ACC that Mayor McGinn‘s office has acknowledged the letter sent by the council’s Landslide Committee, asking to form a “joint task force” to help tackle the recurring slide problem. (We reported on the request, and an accompanying petition drive, here.) They expect to hear from Council President Richard Conlin once he’s back from traveling. Smith emphasized that they know nothing can be done to stop slides, but they are hoping to find ways to reduce the threat – such as “drains at the bottom of hillsides.” The committee also is interested in a city vegetation survey they found out about (the city owns much of the land on the slopes behind Alki Avenue residential parcels); Smith pointed out that the trees on the Harbor Avenue slope now are not “natural vegetation,” describing them as “basically weeds” that “fall over when the ground gets wet” and “don’t hold the soil.” They expect this to be a “very, very long-term project,” but are encouraged by the acknowledgment. ACC vice president Randie Stone, leading the meeting, noted that her famous “flower houses” on Alki had been hit by slides this year, back in March. Property owners are not “asking for money,” the ACC summarized – they just want to “be vigilant and proactive so we can minimize the damage.”

Ahead – toplines from the Alki Art Fair and Alki Community Center discussions:Read More

Followup: ‘Nickelsville’ encampment revisited, 5 months later

EDITOR’S NOTE: West Seattle Forum members have taken a special interest in the encampment that calls itself Nickelsville, since its return last May to the West Seattle site where it was founded three years ago, volunteering and donating. Among them are Joanne Brayden and Kevin McClintic, who have reported previously on events at the site. It’s been a while since their last story, so for those who are interested in what’s happening with that site – including two City Council meetings this week that may decide issues of importance to the encampment – here’s their newest contribution.

(One of the new “simple, sturdy structures” at Nickelsville)
Story by Joanne Brayden
Photos by Kevin McClintic
Special to West Seattle Blog

If you have driven by Nickelsville lately, in southeastern West Seattle, you may have noticed some changes. They have added a second gate on West Marginal Way, expanded into a second in-camp “neighborhood,” built a few more living structures, and this week, thanks to generous gravel donations from West Seattle residents, they have begun work on common pathways, to make them safe and as dry as possible this winter.

Like all communities, they are having a few growing pains as they figure out how to make their expanded neighborhoods work, but the contrast between the tents dumped in an open field in May and the community they have created is evidence that their process is producing results.

Read More

Tasty way to avoid Monday commute home: Eat Local Now!

(Photo of 2009 event, courtesy Eat Local Now!)
If you still haven’t bought a ticket to Eat Local Now! – the annual local-food dinner celebration that also serves as a fundraiser for local groups including Sustainable West Seattle and CoolMom – here’s one more reason: Getting home from West Seattle tomorrow, the first Viaduct-less weekday, is likely to be more of a challenge than actually getting out of WS in the morning. But if you attend Eat Local Now! at Sodo Park at 6 pm tomorrow (Monday), you should have a much easier time finding your way home in the mid-evening without traffic-jam entanglements (it’s on 1st Avenue South, so you can either head to the “low bridge” afterward or to the 1st Av. S. Bridge). We’re told tickets remain (buy online here) – read on for some highlights!

Read More

West Seattle food: Blue Willow moving, making way for ‘new café’

Just out of the WSB inbox, from Blue Willow Luncheonette and Catering in The Junction:

After almost five years of serving West Seattle , the Luncheonette is being passed to new local ownership. Blue Willow Catering will continue at a new commercial kitchen location. We would like to celebrate this positive transition by offering discounted lunch specials on Tuesday, October 25th, our last day for lunch business.

Thank you to everyone in the Junction and West Seattle community for your continued business and support. We are excited to introduce this new café which will continue to be a warm, welcoming meeting place for the neighborhood.

Be assured that all catering events will remain unaffected by this transition. We will also do our best to honor any unused gift certificates and donations; please contact us to discuss options. You can continue to reach us at our Junction location until November 1st.

Thank you again for your loyalty and support.

Chef/owner Patty Carow and Blue Willow Staff
Phone: 206-938-0988

We’re following up to find out more about the “new café.”

New date for Schmitz Park Elementary craft fair: Vendors wanted!

October 23, 2011 9:45 am
|    Comments Off on New date for Schmitz Park Elementary craft fair: Vendors wanted!
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

The second annual Schmitz Park Elementary Holiday Craft Fair is now rescheduled for Saturday, December 3rd, a little further into the shopping season, and fair organizers are recruiting local artists/craftspeople right now. It’ll run 10 am-3 pm that day, with a $35 table fee to benefit the Schmitz Park PTA General Fund, but no other commission. Interested? Know someone who might be? Contact Shana Allen at

West Seattle Sunday: Today’s reasons not to need The Viaduct

(Saturday demolition photo by Ian Molee)
No notable problems getting around on Viaductless Day 1 of 9 – but of course, it’s still the weekend. Tomorrow, we’ll be tracking both morning and evening commutes (and everything inbetween). But till then – once again today, there’s no reason to leave. From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am – 2 pm, The Junction (44th/Alaska). Today’s highlights from market managers:

Which is better — Cake or Pie? Contestants will be featuring their favorite pie or cake recipe featuring luscious local pears. Dessert entries will show up at 10 am. Judges will taste and judge between 10 am and noon. Once the judging is complete, YOU CAN TASTE THE PIES AND CAKE in exchange for a donation to the West Seattle Food Bank. … ALSO, please welcome new and returning vendors: Jonboy Caramels, Lantern Brewery (sampling local beer), Lyall Farms (sweet potatoes, grapes and horseradish – of course!), Golden Glen Dairy (butter!), Millingwood (EGGS), Sea Breeze Farms and Bloom Creek CRANBERRIES!

WHILE YOU’RE IN THE JUNCTION: Friends of the Animals Foundation will have volunteers on site at Next to Nature from 11 am – 3 pm to help you find the perfect rescued feline companion.

TODAY’S WEST SEATTLE FOOD TRUCKS: Snout and Co. food truck scheduled to debut, 11 am, at 35th/Graham … also Damiana’s Blue Truck is scheduled to be back by West Seattle Convenient Care in The Triangle (3623 SW Alaska).

LIVE MUSIC AT C & P: Jonathan Nicholson performs, 3-5 pm, at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor).

JOHN DOE AT EASY STREET: As first previewed here earlier this month, John Doe will play in-store, live, free, Easy Street Records in The Junction, 4:30 pm.

CALL THE SALMON HOME: 5 pm, at the Fauntleroy Fish Ladder viewpoint. Bring a drum of any kind and your singing voice to call in our coho spawners. If you’d like to help put together the salmon story to be acted out, call 206.938.4203. More details on the Fauntleroy Community Association website.

‘FAMILY MATTERS’: Two “Family Matters” presentations/events at Fauntleroy UCC Church – full lineup here; today, “Understanding Suicide,” 5 pm, and a conversational with/about nontraditional families at 7 pm.

FOOD DRIVE: Food drive at Mars Hill Church-West Seattle to help replenish what was stolen from a Salvation Army storage container, continuing all day till 5 pm, donation bins in the commons area of the church, details on this Facebook event page.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Three cases of vandalism

First one, early this morning:

Two loud booms rattled people in the heart of The Junction around 1 am, including WSB contributor Katie Meyer, who checked it out. According to what she learned at the scene and what we heard via scanner – somebody set off fireworks in the portable restroom by the bus shelter on the south side of SW Alaska, just west of California. Police and fire checked it out; the latter reported, there was certainly smoke, but no real fire and no significant damage.

Ahead, two other vandalism cases:Read More

Update: Electrical problem blamed for Sunrise Heights fire

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
12:48 AM: On our way to a house fire that’s being fought in the 7100 block of 29th SW (map). The scanner describes “significant fire damage” on the home’s second floor.

1:08 AM: We have two crews there. Smoke is still coming from the top floor but via scanner, we have heard crews declare the fire “tapped.” No report of injuries so far.

1:27 AM: SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore just briefed us at the scene. Neighbors called the fire in after seeing flames shooting out of the house. No one was sure for a while if anyone was inside but the house has been thoroughly searched and no one was there.

Too soon to say what caused it. A “fire watch” will be kept all night, just in case of flare-ups. (added) Here’s our video from the briefing:

Adding more photos too. And we’ll update this story when there’s information about the cause.

8:50 AM UPDATE: Moore says SFD is ruling the fire “accidental caused by electrical in the attic. The damage estimate is 80,0000 to the structure and 5,000 to the contents. The family is staying at a motel because of the damage and the power being turned off to the house.”