month : 02/2012 311 results

West Seattle Weather Watch: One more chance of snow

February 29, 2012 10:54 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Weather Watch: One more chance of snow
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

Just so you’re not surprised if it happens this time – after today’s flurries … weather experts are talking about the possibility of up to an inch of snow in the morning-rush-hour vicinity tomorrow, before things finally warm up a bit. This has been mentioned in a few places; for one, comment-section fans know Patrick the meteorologist, who brought it up on the WSB Facebook page an hour ago; it’s in the late-night National Weather Service “forecast discussion,” too.

Global Reading Challenge @ Arbor Heights goes to a tiebreaker!

By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Moving toward the citywide semifinals in two weeks, Global Reading Challenge events continue at participating Seattle Public Schools, and today, it was Arbor Heights Elementary School‘s turn to gather its teams to compete, share their reading knowledge, and decide who’s moving to the next level.

This time, it took what was described as an “unprecedented” tiebreaker!

Read More

West Seattle school auctions ahead: Madison on March 10

February 29, 2012 8:48 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle school auctions ahead: Madison on March 10
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

In the past day or so, we’ve received announcements about three local schools’ upcoming auctions. These events are always your chance to help local kids – so here’s the first of three standalone shoutouts: Madison Middle School‘s “Class Act” auction event is coming up March 10th, with just two days left to buy tickets. Here’s the announcement:

Calling all Madison Middle School Alumni and auction fans everywhere!

Madison Middle School is holding its annual Class Act Auction on March 10, 2012 at 5:00 at the Hall at Fauntleroy.

We have some incredible donations just waiting to be bid on and taken home.

Madison has won a number of prestigeous awards this year and would like to continue to keep the bar high by raising money to fund up-to-date technology and curriculum to challenge and engage students.

Auction tickets are still available. To purchase tickets, sponsor a teacher or make a donation to the auction, go to and click on the “purchase tickets” or “make a donation” buttons. Ticket sales end Friday, March 2, so get them soon!

West Seattle businesses: ‘Easy Street should be here for good’

(Easy Street owner Matt Vaughan onstage with Damien Jurado after the February 18th in-store show)
Worried about too much change in “Downtown West Seattle”? Here’s something that’s not going to change for a long time: Via Twitter, Easy Street Records proprietor Matt Vaughan announced he’s signed a deal to keep his iconic music store/café at The Junction’s iconic corner for another 16 years. Thanks to Steve for telling us about the tweet; we e-mailed Matt to ask for more details, and he replied with what he called a “quick press release,” though it’s more a tale of looking back and looking ahead:

WM Management and the Yen Family have struck a longterm agreement with Easy Street Records/Cafe. Easy Street moved to the corner of California Ave and Alaska St in 1989. We had been at 4537 California (where Leisure Books is) for a couple years prior to the move.

During those late 80’s, The Junction was going through a lot of changes. It was regentrifying. The WS Bridge had only been up for a few years. The real estate boom was beginning to hit WS, but still the Junction had a lot of vacancies and had a few challenges ahead. I can recall ordering sandwiches from Jack Miller, yelling my order down the street. There was less activity, less people walking the street.

During the late 80’s and 90’s, the Seattle music scene was burgeoning and a lot of that was happening here in little West Seattle.

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Reminder: King County Water Taxi fares go up tomorrow

A reminder for King County Water Taxi riders – tomorrow (March 1st), fares go up. The new ones are listed here. As also noted on that page, Vashon Water Taxi riders will be riding a different vessel starting tomorrow, for at least three weeks – the Victoria Clipper III. In case you’re wondering – the West Seattle Water Taxi’s 7-day-a-week spring/summer schedule starts April 9th, and is detailed here.

West Seattle crime prevention: Arbor Heights meeting tomorrow

Got confirmation today that the rescheduled Arbor Heights crime-prevention/Block Watch-organizing meeting is happening tomorrow – Thursday, March 1, 6:30 pm, at Arbor Heights Community Church (41st/102nd). The announcement invites Arbor Heights residents to:

Meet with your neighbors to:

¨ Get information on the recent area crimes
¨ Strategize on actions to reduce area crime
¨ Get printed material on improving home security, enhancing personal safety, and reducing car-related crimes
¨ Learn what WE can do, working together, to reduce neighborhood crime

Come prepared to share your experiences about recent crime and public safety concerns in the neighborhood.

Come ready to become an active participant in reducing area crime and improving neighborhood quality of life.

Update: ‘Small kitchen fire’ at Alki-area home

1:22 PM: The fire response in the Alki area, 3300 block of 59th SW, is described as a “small fire” – but we’re en route to check it out anyway.

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
1:51 PM UPDATE: Crews are already gone. WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli was there a few minutes after the call opened and says he was told it was a “small kitchen fire.”

West Seattle Trader Joe’s: First ‘signage’ sighting

First sighting of signage at the almost-ready West Seattle Trader Joe’s (4545 Fauntleroy Way SW) – ‘now accepting applications’ and ‘now hiring’ banners. Though neither wants to be identified, two sources reiterate to WSB that April 13th continues to be the target opening date.

12:51 P.S. – The jobs are NOT yet listed on the TJ’s website (though you can download a generic company job application) – driving by a second time, we noticed a small posting next to the banner, so we’re going over to see what it says. (If anybody from TJ’s sees this – the WSB Forums offer free listings for West Seattle jobs – available to any business, as long as the job is IN West Seattle – go here.)

: The smaller sign says they’re taking applications Mondays-Fridays, 7 am-5 pm, and a hand-lettered sign next to it adds that you should apply at the trailer in the parking lot by the future main entry. Phone number is also posted: 206-496-9884.

The WSBeat: Alki attacker; officers hit; parking problem

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

As always, the WSBeat summaries are from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers, incidents of note that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports:

*A woman was able to get help at an Alki restaurant after she was chased down and jumped by a man near 58th and SW Marine Drive early Saturday. He shoved her from behind, and from the ground she began screaming and managed to kick her assailant in the chest. He ran off toward Alki Ave. SW. The report says restaurant staff mentioning they had recently heard people talk about being jumped in the 2600 block of Alki Ave. SW. The attacker was described as a white man in his late 20s or early 30s who smokes. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled tight around his face, with “a large nose” visible. He wore blue jeans and was approximately 5’9” with a medium build. The victim initially encountered him sitting in the patio area of a business in the 2600 block of Alki, where she was supposed to meet a friend, and he followed her to the location where she was assaulted.

*The sounds of a violent domestic disturbance led a citizen to call 911 Thursday night. When officers arrived at the Avalon Way address, the male suspect was immediately hostile and uncooperative. He ended up punching one officer in the head and another in the chest before being taken into custody. The home was in complete disarray, with broken cell phones, overturned furniture and shattered computers. The officers were treated at Harborview for lacerations, swelling, and abrasions. The suspect is being held in King County Jail for investigation of unlawful imprisonment (of the girlfriend) and assault on a police officer.

*When a woman legally parked her car in the 2800 block of SW Yancy, a little girl came out of a home and told her not to park there, as that was her dad’s parking space. When the woman didn’t move the car, an older girl came out to repeat the warning, and warned, “My dad will deal with you.” When the woman returned to the car an hour later, her right front tire had been flattened. The report describes this as an ongoing problem at the home. Officers left a business card there (there was no answer at the door), requesting that the resident get in touch.

9 more summaries ahead (busy week):Read More

Update: SDOT cancels weekend 1st/Spokane closure

Just in from SDOT – the planned closure this weekend of the 1st Avenue/Spokane St. intersection, and the 1st Avenue South offramp from the bridge, is CANCELED.

West Seattle Wednesday: What’s happening today/tonight

(Photo by Curtis Cronn from the WSB Flickr group pool)
A few flakes here, a few flakes there, as the day gets going. We’ll be watching the weather in case anything gets more serious (right now, the forecast suggests it’ll stop soon). As for the Wednesday events – which are more predictable – we have:

‘ZUMBA WITH MOMMY’: “Zumba with Mommy” class at Seattle Civic Dance Theater (north side of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 9131 California SW), today and every Wednesday at 10 am. Toddlers/babies welcome, as are daddies. $5 per adult.

IMAGINE THE FUTURE OF DELRIDGE’S ‘BRANDON NODE’ COMMERCIAL DISTRICT: Brandon Node Visioning event, hosted by the North Delridge Neighborhood Council and Delridge Neighborhoods District Council @ Martin’s Way (Delridge/Findlay), with a focus on business-community members 5:30-6:30 pm, then a general public open house 6:30-8 pm. More details here.

SANISLO OPEN HOUSE AND PTA MEETING: Prospective families are invited to an open house at Sanislo Elementary, 6 pm, followed by PTA meeting. From the announcement:

We look forward to meeting our new families with children who will be joining us for the 2012/2013 school year. Our 2 Kindergarten teachers (Ms. Parker and Ms. Goethe) and Principal Ernie Seevers will be here to welcome you and describe our program at 6 pm. Please join us and plan to stay for our PTA meeting, which will follow the open house session. We highly encourage all new families to meet the other families by joining PTA and this is a wonderful opportunity to meet teachers, fellow parents, and other PTA members!!

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING AND SPRAY PARK UPDATE: The Highland Park Action Committee meets at 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden). A major part of the meeting is the next official city briefing on the project to convert the HP wading pool into a spray park (more on that here).

BACKYARD COTTAGES: Not in West Seattle, but a WS-based company – NCompass Cottage Company (WSB sponsor)’s next Backyard Cottage workshop is 7-9 pm tonight at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Avenue North. To see if there’s still room, and to register if there is, call 206.783.2244.

1st-ever ‘Unsung Hero’ awards in Delridge: Nomination time

We’ve mentioned before that this was in the works, as it’s come up at community-group meetings in recent months – a new way to honor volunteers in eastern West Seattle. Now, organizers are asking for nominations, and support:

The Delridge Neighborhood District Council is hosting an Unsung Heroes Banquet on April 20, 2012 at 6 pm to award one Outstanding Unsung Hero. Nominations are open for anyone who volunteers in the Delridge District. Do you have a neighbor who tirelessly serves the neighborhood picking up trash or fixing bicycles? Someone who works with seniors, or organizes for the neighborhood is an example for who would qualify. Any volunteer who serves within the Delridge District is eligible, whether working with an organization or as a neighbor. They must not be doing so in a paid position. The Delridge District borders are Spokane Street to the North, the Duwamish River to the East, Roxbury to the South and 35th Avenue to the West.

To nominate an Unsung Hero, please review the criteria on the application: Apply online (here).

The deadline for nominations is March 23rd. The top eight nominees will be invited to the Banquet on April 20th. One Outstanding Unsung Hero will be named at the event. They will be nominated for the following year’s Washington Jefferson Award, a Nobel Prize for public service..

Will you help make this event a success? The Unsung Heroes Planning Committee is still looking for financial support to create this first annual event. To help support the Unsung Heroes Banquet, we need $2,000.00 for us reach our budget of $2,500.00. Please contact Mike Shilley to become an event sponsor at or by phone at (206) 762-7111.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Early-morning snow shower

3:38 AM: Heard the wind, looked out the window – and saw it was accompanied by snow. Light at first, but a bit more serious at the moment.

3:44 AM: Minutes later, it’s over. Still chilly enough to see showers like that off and on for a day or two, says the forecast.

7:20 AM: Just had another flurry. Nothing stuck, though.

Tax facts: County Assessor Lloyd Hara’s West Seattle visit

Property-tax bills have all gone out, and King County Assessor Lloyd Hara is out making the rounds to explain why his office is more than just the place that sends you those bills. He visited West Seattle in the Monday morning sunshine:

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
In a chat with WSB, Hara shared some stats:

-Median assessed value in West Seattle for last year (half of the properties are worth more, half worth less): $448,600

-That’s down almost 7 percent from the previous year’s $481,300 median assessed value

-This year’s tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is $10.17, up from last year’s $9.66

-Breakdown of where your property taxes go: 53 percent schools, 27 percent “local government,” 18 percent King County, 2 percent Port of Seattle

That brings in the question “My property values decreased, so why did my property tax increase?” Hara’s office explains: “Washington is one of two states that has a revenue-based system of taxation: Taxing districts, such as fire, library and school districts, submit their annual adopted budgets to the Assessor, who has the responsibility to determine the “levy rate” that is necessary to meet the adopted budgets.”

His office has noticed trends including the resurgence in new construction, and the fact that “neighborhoods closer to the urban core have retained value better than outlying areas of the county.”

And as Hara makes the rounds – before our chat, he had met with the team at Windermere West Seattle – he’s highlighting some of his office’s changes, such as residential appraisers field-testing iPads, handy for a variety of reasons including the built-in camera and the fact they can synch up with the office – the more mobility, the more productivity, they believe. They’re also “developing a native iPad application for field-data collection.” Plus, the Assessor’s Office says iPad use “will save $250,000 in hardware-replacement costs.”

Also on the tech front, they want to be sure you know about all the online lookup tools they have available – starting here. (Personally, we’re partial to the Parcel Viewer, which can tell you who owns a particular piece of property, as well as other info such as its value, past sales, and more.)

Seafair Commodores want to bowl with you in West Seattle

February 28, 2012 11:34 pm
|    Comments Off on Seafair Commodores want to bowl with you in West Seattle
 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | West Seattle news

The photo of Miss Seafair and young fans is shared by Kathryn Bohot of the Seattle Seafair Commodores. They’re inviting you to be part of the Commodores’ 20th annual Bowl-A-Thon, raising scholarship money in West Seattle on St. Patrick’s Day. Kathryn writes:

Once again the Seattle Seafair Commodores will host their Annual Bowl-A-Thon, their largest fundraiser of the year, at West Seattle Bowl. What better way to start your St Patrick’s Day! Come on out and bowl for a cause. The bowl-a-thon begins at 9:30 am on Saturday, March 17th, ending at 11:30 am.

The West Seattle Bowl has supported the Seafair Commodores and the Seafair Scholarship Program for Women for 20 years. Because of their dedication and commitment, we continue to host the Bowl-A-Thon in West Seattle. Ms. Hi-Yu and many young women across the greater Seattle area become participants in the Seafair Scholarship program for women and compete for a chance to be the next Miss Seafair. The Seafair Commodores and the Seafair Foundation together provide over $20,000 in scholarship funds to these young women each year. There was a slogan once that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. We agree and will continue to diligently support and raise funds for the Seafair Scholarship Program for Women.

In the past, they’ve usually had about 14 teams – this year, they’re going for 20. You can sign up as an individual for $50, team of 5 for $250, $20 for kids 12/under. That includes shoes, two games, and a ticket for a prize drawing. Not to mention, says Kathryn, you can compete for the titles of Best Bowler or Worst Bowler. You can register by contacting her at – and you can download the registration form here.

‘Becoming Us’: West Seattle students’ history exhibit to open

The scene at left was likely replicated in many family histories … a journey at sea to a new home far away. Some come by sea, some by land, some by air, and the stories are told in “Becoming Us – Through Immigrant Eyes,” produced by students from two West Seattle high schools, Chief Sealth International High School and St. Christopher’s Academy (which is on the Seattle Lutheran campus). Gary Thomsen (who shared the photo) sent news of the exhibit’s opening this Saturday, 2-3 pm, at History House of Greater Seattle, 790 North 34th (map) in Fremont; no admission charge. It’ll be on display for about a month; the announcement says the project “documents how Immigration has helped make Seattle the city that it is today. … from the unique perspective of those who have immigrated into Seattle and details the challenges immigrants face when moving into a new country.” It includes a documentary clip, a historical timeline dating to 1850, a photo display, and an exhibit of photos and arts by students.

Followup: Marination’s Seacrest transition starts in 2 weeks; Alki Kayak Tours staying

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Usually, word of a new restaurant operator coming to town is met with excitement.

When we learned in December that food-truck stars Marination would be taking over Seacrest as their second bricks-and-mortar … what ensued was something of a mini-uproar.

Granted, this is not your usual restaurant transition. Instead of a seamless sale – or a shutdown, followed by a period of vacancy, followed by someone new moving in – this was a Seattle Parks concessionaire contract, with longtime operator Alki Crab and Fish seeking to keep it, but Marination getting it instead.

With the transition just a few weeks away, we asked Marination’s owners for a chance to sit down and talk about their plans. Co-owner Kamala Saxton came to West Seattle – where she used to live – to talk with us over coffee last Friday.

Of the uproar, she says, after being a little startled at first, she and co-owner Roz Edison (who was out on deliveries Friday and couldn’t join our chat) realized it was ultimately a good thing. “I was thrilled that people cared. It meant that people were interested, vocal about what’s happening in their community. It’s now our job to work at building those relationships with people who were upset at the decision that was made – this is what they were accustomed to for ten years, and we can spend the next ten years winning them over.”

One big thing won’t change:Read More

West Seattle traffic alert update: Junction crash cleared

February 28, 2012 3:44 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle traffic alert update: Junction crash cleared
 |   West Seattle news | WS breaking news

It’s not on 911 – no injuries, apparently – but a multiple-vehicle fender-bender crash is blocking SW Oregon between California and 42nd. So avoid that area for a while, if you’re heading that way.

4:05 PM UPDATE: WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli has just been at the scene and says traffic’s flowing fine now (aside from the usual afternoon backups) while the drivers exchange info.

West Seattle meeting March 29th for public schools ‘arts plan’

West Seattle will be the site of one of five meetings just announced regarding creating a “comprehensive arts plan” for Seattle Public Schools. The local meeting is at 6:30 pm Thursday, March 29th, at Chief Sealth International High School. Read on for the full announcement of what the district is hoping to do:Read More

West Seattle scene: Tagging cleanup at Boren campus

Driving northbound on Delridge this afternoon, we noticed the Boren campus, which the district is reopening this fall for a new elementary school, had been hit again by a particularly prolific wave of tagging. Then we spotted the district paint-over/cleanup crew, so we stopped for a photo. Community volunteers painted the bright mural panels that cover the school windows, which were boarded up a year and a half ago, hoping to discourage taggers, but a drive around the school suggests the vandals have hit most of the non-mural surfaces.

Got $1.4 million? Get a West Seattle gas station!

Next chapter in the saga of the shuttered, fenced-off gas station at a very prominent spot, Fauntleroy/Alaska in The Triangle: It’s now officially up for sale, asking price $1.4 million. Back in August, its former owner told us – months after closing it while in the process of changing brands – that he expected it to be taken over by a bank, and the new listing confirms that (“property is being sold as-is through receivership”). They’ve put out a “call for offers” with a March 21st deadline. (Here’s the brokers’ website, photos and all.)

Dr. Susan Enfield to move from Seattle Public Schools to Highline

Last night on partner site White Center Now, we reported that Highline Public Schools had offered its superintendent job to Dr. Susan Enfield, who’s been serving as interim Seattle superintendent but didn’t want the permanent job. This morning, Dr. Enfield announced she’s taking the job in Highline – the district that includes White Center and Burien – pending contract finalization. Details from our partners at the Seattle Times.

West Seattle schools: Easy ways to give a little, matter a lot

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Fauntleroy-based writer and community advocate Judy Pickens is not only a local school volunteer, she also kindly gathers information about volunteer help needed at local schools, to share here, in hopes you can pitch in too. Here’s her latest list.)

By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog

Because of the generosity of a West Seattle Blog reader, students in after-school reading and math clubs at Highland Park Elementary are receiving extra help that wasn’t available just a few weeks ago. I can guarantee that they are benefiting from the tutoring, enjoying a fresh face, and learning that how well they do at school is important to a total stranger.

Students at other area schools are having a similar experience as ordinary folks volunteer a few hours every week or once in awhile to reinforce classroom teaching. Read on for timely volunteer opportunities at three local schools – ones that would appreciate even a sliver of your time – and it’s not just for tutoring!Read More