West Seattle, Washington
The biggest news at last night’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting came from guests: Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association reps told the council they may have to sell the three DNDA-owned units in Brandon Court because they won’t be able to make the next mortgage payment. (They’re already listed.) One of those units is empty – DNDA itself vacated last year, consolidating its offices in Youngstown Cultural Arts Center a mile away – and the other one is about to be vacated by the City of Seattle, moving its Neighborhood Service Center to the former Southwest Community Center (as finalized in last month’s budget vote). DNDA’s Patty Grossman and board chair Willard Brown told NDNC – meeting in the Delridge Library, near the units under discussion – that they were hoping to convince the city to change its mind, and that they believed they were getting at least a few months reprieve.
However, our followup conversation with the city today indicates otherwise. More on this, and other topics from the NDNC meeting, ahead:Read More
As far as we can tell, it’ll be this year’s earliest campaign forum in West Seattle: Democratic candidate for governor Rep. Jay Inslee is coming to High Point for a community Q/A session next month. The High Point Neighborhood Association says they also invited Republican candidate state Attorney General Rob McKenna but he “is unavailable.” The forum will be 5:30-8 pm March 15th at High Point Community Center, with refreshments, interpretation, and child care available. (If you’re interested in either or both of the latter two, Shukri Olow would love advance notice at email@example.com or 206-696-3148.)
Just shared with us by a Lafayette Elementary parent – a letter today to the school community from first-year principal Jo Lute-Ervin, saying she will not return for a second year next year. Text after this:Read More
By Deanie Schwarz
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The foreclosure more than a year ago of the Seamart building in Highland Park had neighborhood folks wondering whether this “food desert” area would ever again see the life-giving sustenance and high-voltage energy of the previous tenants Zippy’s Giant Burgers (WSB sponsor) – since owners Blaine and Rahel Cook ended up moving to a larger space in White Center.
A bank took over the property at 16th/Holden, and for the year-plus since, anxious eyes have kept watch, wondering, hoping, waiting. Then, last weekend, eagle-eyed tipsters scrambled to let WSB know that apparent tenants were actively on site, so, we were asked, WHAT did we know? We dashed over and were lucky to meet one of two future tenants who will split a three-way triple-net on the property: Athena’s owner Nick Parisi.
Nick, his wife, and their two kids are Highland Park residents, and are stepping up to bat at the charmed former Zippy’s location to bring his road-proven, Greek-themed venture home to the people of West Seattle and beyond – and you will be able to get food there sooner than you think.
Could the King County Water Taxi – for both West Seattle and Vashon – wind up with no place to land downtown? Right now it’s using a dock that the state originally built when it offered passenger-only service (including the Seattle-Vashon run that the county took over). But County Councilmember Joe McDermott says the downtown dock’s future may not include a replacement for Pier 50, and he says the time to speak out about that is now:
I started Valentine’s Day by showing some love for the Water Taxi! At 6:30 this morning I started meeting Passenger Only (PO) Ferries arriving in Downtown Seattle to pass out fliers encouraging people to offer comment on the Washington State Ferries plan to replace the aging Colman Dock. While the project is very much needed, the current plans for the project do not include passenger-only facilities.
With 31,981 riders using the water taxi each month in 2011, the current PO dock at Colman Dock, not including the Port of Kingston service or the service Kitsap Transit is about to begin from Bremerton, a well-located and viable passenger only dock is essential to strong transit options. Express your opinion at a public meeting sponsored by Washington State Ferries:
Thursday, February 16, 2012
3:30 – 6:00 PM
Puget Sound Regional Council
1011 Western Ave., Suite 500, Seattle
If people can’t attend the meeting on Thursday, they should provide their comment online at:
or via US Mail:
Washington State Ferries
Attn: Marsha Tolon, WSF Project Environmental Manager
2901 3rd Avenue, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98121
I thank everyone for sharing their love with the Water Taxi and taking the time to provide their comments to WSF! Happy Valentine’s Day!
That rusty industrial building at 28th and Yancy often pronounced an “eyesore” is about to come down, we’ve learned, after noticing a demolition permit was granted Monday for the building, and silo, just south of Allstar Fitness. A few years back, it was supposed to come down as part of a development project that was shelved; there’s no active development plan now, so we went over to find out more in person. A worker at the site told us the building and silo will be razed – probably within days – for a “parking lot.” (Whose parking lot, we’re still checking – certainly parking can be a crunch in the area, with Allstar, Nucor, and Longfellow Creek in the area.) A crew is doing prep work at the site right now.
While in the area, we followed up on a story from earlier today:
The big construction crane is indeed going up right now at the 193-unit Youngstown Flats project. 26th SW will be blocked between SW Yancy and Dakota till the work is done at some point this afternoon. We talked with developer Maria Barrientos at the site; she said it’s scheduled to be done by day’s end (only one piece remained when we left around noon, in fact). The crane is expected to be on site for four months.
We’ve received some love-ly photos so far this Valentine’s Day, to share with you. First two are from Betsy Hoffmeister in Delridge, who writes of the photographed “yarnbombing,” “Some lovely neighbors did a good deed to cheer up a person very close to me who wishes to remain anonymous.”
That second photo – a little yarn creation springing up in the garden like a fungus – is the perfect segue to the photo Machel Spence shares:
Machel writes, “Slugs have been munching on the stipe and have managed to leave the shape of a heart…my kind of Valentine’s Day!” (The photo was taken in Machel’s favorite image-hunting grounds – Lincoln Park.)
Got a call today from an Arbor Heights resident – near 44th SW and SW 102nd – who wanted to get the word out about someone who came to her door around 5 pm Monday. She told us he claimed to be raising money for Chief Sealth International High School – but she checked with the school today, and it does NOT have anyone doing door-to-door selling. She also called the police, explaining that after she told the solicitor she wasn’t interested, she watched him for a while, and when he noticed her watching, he started running, catching up with a car that was driving up and down the block. (Sorry, no descriptive info, she mainly wanted everyone to know that any such Sealth soliciting claim was bogus.)
On this day full of sweetness, we welcome Peekaboo Cupcakery as a new West Seattle Blog sponsor. Here’s what Peekaboo Cupcakery would like you to know about their business:
Peekaboo Cupcakery is a delivery cupcakery in West Seattle. Baker and owner Julia Lee noticed back in 2009 that there weren’t any bakeries in Seattle that offered cupcakes with truly exotic or different flavors. “Most cupcakes I’ve seen and tried are either just chocolate or vanilla with the flavoring being only in frostings.” Julia knew that not only did she have to have the flavors in her cakes, but it had to be in the frostings as well. Her cupcakes’ flavors are influenced by her Chinese and Latina background. To make it extra special, Julia specializes in filled cupcakes with fruit preserves and creamy spreads. Hence, the name Peekaboo Cupcakery.
Julia launched her website in September 2011 and is excited to embark on this new journey in her life. “I love the feeling when someone is experimenting with new flavors,” she says, adding: “I hope my cupcakes will make people happy and open their minds to something new.” Please visit Peekaboo Cupcakery at www.peekaboocupcakery.com, or call 206-388-3690. Mention this article and receive $3.00 off your dozen cupcakes!
We thank Peekaboo Cupcakery for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
On the day before an informational meeting for West Seattle’s new public school, opening this fall, Seattle Public Schools interim superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield has announced a principal has been chosen for K-5 STEM at Boren. She’s moving here from Tucson. Here’s the announcement:
I am delighted to announce that I have appointed Dr. Shannon McKinney as principal for the new K-5 STEM at Boren, which will be opening in September 2012 in West Seattle
Dr. McKinney comes to Seattle Public Schools from Tucson, Arizona, where she spent the last three years as Turnaround Principal for Hohokam Middle School, an ethnically diverse middle school in the Tucson Unified School District.
She will oversee our new school focused on STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Starting in September 2012, the Louisa Boren Building in West Seattle will be reopened as a STEM Option School for grades K-5. Any interested student in Seattle who will be in kindergarten through 5th grade in September 2012 can apply to attend. School bus transportation will be available for students who live in West Seattle. Open enrollment is from Feb. 27-March 9.
With more than 22 years of educational experience, Dr. McKinney has a decade of classroom teaching, service as an Assistant Principal and Principal in two Tucson-area school districts, and impeccable credentials, including a doctorate in education from the University of Arizona. She is also deeply knowledgeable about STEM subjects, as she served as her district’s Mathematics Coordinator, and was responsible for facilitating the vertical articulation and subsequent curriculum development of K-12 Mathematics for the district.
I selected Dr. McKinney not only for her STEM expertise and her demonstrated record of improved student achievement at the schools where she has been a leader, but also for her enthusiasm for our new STEM school. She describes the opportunity to work collaboratively with families and staff to build a new school from the ground up as “a dream come true.”
Dr. McKinney will be starting at Seattle Public Schools on April 2. She will spend the spring and summer working with families and colleagues to develop a mission and vision for K-5 STEM at Boren, hiring staff, and coordinating the planning and logistics needed to ensure a smooth start to the 2012-2013 school year.
Dr. McKinney stood out as an excellent candidate for this position. I am thrilled she has agreed to accept it, and I am looking forward to introducing her to you once she moves to Seattle.
A reminder: Interested families are invited to attend a K-5 STEM at Boren Family Information and Input Night, 7-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Schmitz Park Elementary (5000 S.W. Spokane St).
If you have any questions about our new K-5 STEM school, please visit http://bit.ly/K5STEM
ADDED 10:45 AM: We asked district spokesperson Lesley Rogers whether Dr. McKinney would be flying in for tomorrow night’s meeting. Her reply: “She is not able to attend tomorrow, but Aurora Lora [executive director of SPS’s West Seattle schools] will run the meeting and communicate with Dr. McKinney on what transpired at the meeting and next steps.”
(Via the WSB Flickr group pool, by “Chroni,” who says the trees are on Pigeon Point, near Pathfinder K-8)
The list of official events is a little shorter than usual today, as some organizations/businesses made calendar changes this month to facilitate Valentine’s Day celebrations. (For example, the Fauntleroy Community Association met last week (WSB coverage here), and the Admiral Neighborhood Association delayed its meeting a day, to 7 pm Wednesday.) Here’s what IS on the list for today/tonight:
BRIDGE CLOSURES AND OTHER ROAD WORK: An especially intense week continues. If you drive through the Morgan Junction/Lincoln Park area on Fauntleroy Way SW, it’s the second day of work on the “transit corridor” project to facilitate this fall’s launch of RapidRide bus service. Here’s our on-scene report from Monday, with more details. … Avalon Way again will have restrictions/detours today, 9 am-4 pm, explained here … Two West Seattle Bridge closures overnight again tonight: The eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct is closed east of the 1st Avenue South offramp, 9 pm-5 am (details here); the Fauntleroy Expressway (southwest end of the bridge) has an overnight closure those same hours, detailed here (and yet another reminder that this coming Sunday, THE FAUNTLEROY EXPRESSWAY WILL BE CLOSED ALL DAY).
LIBRARY STORY TIMES: Two this morning – Toddler Story Time at 10:30 am at West Seattle (Admiral) Library and Baby Story Time at Southwest Library at 11:30 am; links and info reachable via the Seattle Public Library Calendar of Events.
‘HAVE A HEART DAY’ AT ILLUSIONS: As of last report, a few spots were left for Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor)’s “Have a Heart Day” – half the proceeds from all services today go to Pencil Me In for Kids, noon-8 pm. Call ASAP to see if any spots are left: (206) 938-3675
VALENTINE’S NIGHT NATURE WALK: Naturalist Stewart Wechsler‘s “Salamander Love Night” nature tour at Camp Long, 6:30 pm (more info here)
NIGHTLIFE, WITH SOME VALENTINE CHANGES: Special Valentine’s dinner at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) – call to check if there’s still room … Skylark Café and Club also has a special dinner menu tonight … Rock music/pop culture trivia at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 8 pm … “Geeks Who Drink” pub quiz at The Wing Dome in The Junction, 8 pm … Trivia at The Bridge, $2 registration beginning at 8 pm and play starting at 8:30 pm. … Free pool at Beveridge Place Pub, plus discounts on bottled Belgian beer … Starlight songwriter showcase at Shadowland, 9 pm.
To be able to read well is a gift so many of us take for granted. You can celebrate that gift by sharing it with local students — become a literacy volunteer. Jennie Morrison e-mailed us with news that she is facilitating volunteer training tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon/evening, 3:45-6:15 pm at Concord International School in South Park – part of Seattle Public Schools‘ greater West Seattle service area – along with district literacy coach Dan Coles and Washington Reading Corps member Laura Rodriguez. They’d love to see you too. Jennie explains, “The goal of the training is to support community volunteers at local schools with resources and best practices to use as they work with struggling readers. We are doing outreach to our existing volunteer pool, but would also like to connect with the West Seattle community about this opportunity.” If you have the time and inclination, here’s the flyer with more information, including how to RSVP.
The biggest construction project under way in West Seattle right now is scheduled to move to a new phase this week with the arrival of its crane, possibly as soon as today. We talked recently with Maria Barrientos and Steffenie Evans from the Youngstown Flats project at 26th/Dakota for some quick updates, including the crane status. The 193-apartment project’s general contractor, Absher Construction, created animation showing the order in which sections of the building are going up (the crane’s arrival is noted at 26 seconds in):
As discussed previously, art plays a big role in the project. The biggest pieces are about to be commissioned – sizable sculptures to be displayed in a prominent spot yet to be finalized. The project team also is still awaiting its date with the Seattle Design Commission to review its plan for improvements on the undeveloped street end immediately west of the site. Youngstown Flats is in its fourth month of construction and due for completion in spring of next year.