West Seattle, Washington
One week ago, the heart of the West Seattle Junction again brimmed with trick-or-treaters for the wildly popular two-hour event in which businesses welcomed kids to stop by for treats. Lots of smiles, lots of fun. No problems reported. But every year, some have wondered afterward, can’t the street be closed for this event as it is for other successful Junction events, like West Seattle Summer Fest and the West Seattle Junction Car Show (among others)? One local mom is doing more than wondering – she has started a dialogue with the West Seattle Junction Association, and is asking now for your thoughts. Here’s the open letter she asked us to publish:
Dear West Seattle Residents:
We are a family of 4, with two young children living in Belvidere. We are longtime residents of West Seattle and love it here mainly for the sense of community. Each year we look forward to the various Junction events where we can visit with our neighbors, patronize local businesses and roam the streets at Summer Fest, the Hi Yu Parade, WS Junction Car Show and even the Mobile Chowdown food-truck festival. The other big event we truly love is the Junction Trick or Treating, but there is one major drawback to this event.
Each year hundreds of parents, children, relatives, strollers & dogs flock to the Junction in full Halloween costume to trick-or-treat the Junction shops for only 2 hours. The streets are NOT blocked off and everyone is left crowding the sidewalks. Inevitably, there’s a logjam which leads people to step off the sidewalk either in the way of a parking car or right into the street. While I’m thankful there have been no accidents to date, it’s simply a matter of time. There has to be a better, safer way to celebrate the day.
If the Junction can close the streets for all the wonderful events I list above, then they can certainly close the streets for the safety and enjoyment of families. Understanding there are permitting costs (around $3800, I believe) and time and energy in coordinating with the City and Metro (which I’m willing to take on), there is also the benefit of bringing additional business to the Junction shops and bringing our community closer together.
Here’s what I propose…..we rally as a community, raise the money for permits, close the streets and delight in a day of trick-or-treating from 10 am to 3 pm (to capture the kids who nap early, the ones who nap late and folks who want to grab lunch at a Junction eatery!)
Here’s what I need now…..I know WSBlogers are great at commenting and speaking their minds. I’m counting on you to voice your support for closing down the streets for Trick or Treating in the Junction 2012. That’s all I’m asking…for now. Once I’ve garnered enough community support from residents and businesses, I’ll be back again for fundraising!
I’m committed to seeing this process through and count on your support!! Let’s make Halloween 2012 spooky and safe!!
Your neighbor, Behnaz Nelson
So – what do YOU think?
The city has set a tentative date for the first Southwest Design Review Board meeting on the Downtown Emergency Service Center‘s 75-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project: Thursday, December 8th. That’s according to the list of upcoming meetings on the city’s website. If that date holds, it’ll be at 6:30 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Design Review meetings are held before a city-appointed all-volunteer regional board that evaluates projects strictly in terms of design and whether those elements of a project conform to zoning (if not, “departures” have to be requested). Projects for which design review is required, like this one, will go before the board at least twice, once for “early design guidance” (the purpose of this meeting), then, for a formal recommendation to the city.
In the meantime, the project proposed for the 5400 block of Delridge (official address on city records, 5444 Delridge) has been recommended for two public-funding grants, $500,000 state and “up to $4.45 million” city, while the county-convened Joint Recommendations Committee meets November 17th to consider a request for $538,000. Other funding for the $14 million project is proposed to be raised through a tax-credits program.
Local residents researching the project continue to post information and documents obtained through public-records requests at these two sites: Delridge Community Forum and A Concerned Delridge Neighbor. The volunteers working on the DCF site say that the county staffers working on the Nov. 17th presentation suggest public comments be sent by this Wednesday; the contacts are listed in this post on their website
At the Service Dog Academy north of Morgan Junction, today was Graduation Day for the newest class of diabetic-alert dogs – specially trained to alert their owners to a potentially dangerous drop in blood-sugar levels. Six dogs graduated this time around, two from West Seattle, and that’s who you see above – Ron with canine companion Spencer, Heather with Stella. Both Spencer and Stella are pit-bull mixes. Academy owner Mary McNeight says this is the fifth class of diabetic-alert dogs they’ve graduated since she launched the program.
Timely items in the big spread of silent-auction offerings at the “Hope for Jan” benefit at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) till 5 pm – something to keep you warm. (It was below freezing by 4 am today.) Or how about this one – Meander’s Kitchen proprietor Miranda Krone cooks for your party of up to 10 people? $500 value but they were taking bids as low as $100. It’s all to help out longtime WSB’er Jan Seeley – aka “JanS” – who’s there with daughter Jessica Diamant:
They’re asking for bids by 4. The Feedback is also donating profits from food and drink specials (spicy chicken teriyaki skewers, $7; Feedback Cape Cod, $6) while the event lasts till 5 – and while you’re there, you can play pinball, meet cool people, admire the wall of 45-rpm record jackets (small slice of the abundant music memorabilia at The Feedback):
Feedback Lounge is at 6451 California SW (in another benefit effort, it’ll be epicenter of the Whale Tail Ale release parties coming up at 6 pm this Wednesday).
Tonight at Locöl (35th/Kenyon) – Belgian musicians, and Belgian ale. West Seattle trumpeter/composer Chad McCullough is in the clip above (from a jazz festival last January) with Belgian musicians including the two who will join him tonight at Locöl – Bram Weijters (piano) and Piet Verbist (bass), both from Antwerp. Chad explains, “Both are really fine players, and are top-call jazz musicians in Belgium. Bram and I met in Canada at the 2009 Creative Music workshop at the Banff Centre. We’ve been playing together as much as possible for the last 3 years.” They released an album last year, “Imaginary Sketches,” on Seattle’s Origin Records, available via iTunes. Joining Chad, Bram, and Piet tonight will be Seattle drummer Matt Jorgensen. The event starts at 7:30 pm. Oh, and then there’s the beer – they’re pitting Westmalle Trappist Ale vs. Odin Belgian Strong Ale, and the publicity poster says “You can decide the winner!”
DONATION DEADLINE COMING UP FOR TOY SWAP & SALE: We’ve mentioned before that CoolMom‘s Toy Swap ‘n’ Sale is coming up November 12th (Fauntleroy Church, 9 am-2 pm) … and if you’d like to get a credit to apply toward whatever you buy, the deadline for donations is this Tuesday. Donation locations, and more info about the Toy Swap ‘n’ Sale, can be found on the CoolMom website.
WEST SEATTLE BARTER FAIR: A unique way to find gifts – and share potential gifts – right after Thanksgiving. The date is set, 4-8 pmNovember 26th. From the Sustainable West Seattle website:
Join us for a fun and unique “money free shopping spree” geared toward the holiday shopping season on ‘Green Saturday’, the day after “Black Friday”. We’ll be enjoying a potluck at the same time, so bring a gift to share!
This unique event will be held in an equally unique setting — The Lodge at Camp Long. The object of the Barter Fair is to promote more meaningful gifting of products through exchanging services, or items made from raw materials
The “Money Free Shopping Spree” is gift trading. Categories include: Services, Art Crafts, Home Crafts, Food Crafts and Salvaged/Refurbished Items.
If you know what you will bring to trade, they would love to hear from you in the comment section on the SWS site.
(Fall colors on the beach, from Mannie79 via the WSB Flickr pool)
Got any non-automatically-set clocks to turn back? Welcome back to Pacific Standard Time. Here are some of today’s highlights, from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
CHEFS AT WS FARMERS’ MARKET: At the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, 10 am – 2 pm, The Junction (44th/Alaska), you’ll find cooking demos today: 11:00 am- noon – Jeremy McLachlan of Salty’s on Alki demonstrates his favorite seasonal holiday recipes; 12:30-1:30 pm – Laurie Pflazer of Pastry Craft shows how to make desserts using local, seasonal ingredients.
BOARD GAMERS: Strategy board game group that plays games like Settlers of Catan, Carcassone and Dominion. New players who don’t mind some complexity and strategic thinking in games are welcome. Uptown Espresso, California and Edmunds, 1 pm. E-mail Gene at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, and join games.groups.yahoo.com/group/wsgamers/
HOPE FOR JAN: Benefit for Jan Seeley (longtime WSB’er “JanS”) to help her as she awaits a kidney transplant. Silent auction, food/drink specials, and more, 2-5 pm at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 6451 California SW (more in this WSB Forums thread)
STOCKBOX GROCERS’ FINAL DAY: The prototype micro-grocery in Delridge (24th/Holden) must shut down after today (though its founders say they’ll be back!) – having a sale on remaining inventory, too (here’s our previous report).
DRUMMERS TRY FOR A RECORD: Not in West Seattle, but presented by West Seattle drummer Donn Bennett: The Woodstick Big Beat 2011 world-record attempt, hundreds of drummers at Juanita Field House, Juanita HS, 10601 NE 132nd, Kirkland, 2:00-4:00PM. Doors open 10 am. Raising money for Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and Camp Korey. $12 for participants, $10 for spectators. More info at BennettDrums.com
AT KENYON HALL: Sousa Birthday Bash with the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Tilden School fifth-graders have contributed to WSB from time to time. Here’s a report about their environmental education in action.)
By Tilden School’s Fifth-Grade Class
Special to West Seattle Blog
If you help the West Duwamish Greenbelt, you also help the Duwamish River and the world. A nonprofit organization called Nature Consortium led us, the Tilden fifth-graders, in the right direction to reforest the West Duwamish Greenbelt, which helps a lot more than just this West Seattle forest.
On October 7, we went to the West Duwamish Greenbelt to spend the day with environmental educators from Nature Consortium. We wanted to learn about the Greenbelt’s ecosystem and work toward improving its health. Our class removed invasive species like Himalayan blackberries, and planted native trees and shrubs.
Did you know that you can never step out of a watershed? Indeed, West Seattle is one big watershed. The point is, all watersheds affect the health of our waterways and oceans. Healthy green space in a watershed controls water yield, sediment levels, and water quality, providing cleaner runoff for nearby waterways. Thus, if more volunteers help reforest the Greenbelt, many unwanted pollutants will be removed.
Save the West Duwamish Greenbelt and get one step closer to saving the world. To volunteer for Nature Consortium, go to www.naturec.org.
WSB SIDE NOTE: One big event ahead for the Nature Consortium – its forest-restoration work party in the College Street Ravine in honor of King County Executive Dow Constantine’s birthday on November 15th from 10 am-2 pm. Volunteers can sign up by calling our office 206.923.0853, e-mailing email@example.com or going online, here.