day : 19/04/2012 10 results

What/who you’ll see at Gathering of Neighbors on Saturday

Just before WSB became a full-time news service, we learned a LOT about neighborhood organizations – nonprofits, community councils, and more – by attending the first Gathering of Neighbors events years ago. The GoN idea was the brainchild of Megawatt, the now-defunct nonprofit that also dreamed up West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day. When they closed up shop in 2007, we took over WSCGSD (coming up May 12th this year!), and others took on the Gathering of Neighbors. This year, a new group of volunteers, VIEWS, is putting it together, and you can enjoy the result of their work – and lots of community groups’ ongoing efforts – this Saturday at the Chief Sealth International High School Galleria, first GoN in a year and a half. From the draft program for the day, here’s who you’ll find there:

Performances between 1 and 3 pm are scheduled to include Aikido of West Seattle, an ensemble from Twelfth Night Productions, Wise Orchid Martial Arts, and Denny/Sealth music students. But first, an area with a special focus on preparedness, 11 am-1 pm, featuring:

plus Preparedness speaker sessions every 15 mins.
City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management
King County Public Health Reserve Corps
West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network
West Seattle Amateur Radio Club
Seattle Auxiliary Communication Service
Washington State Animal Response Team
City of Seattle Home Retrofit Program
Red Cross

Other organizations who’ll be represented at tables/booths during the overall resource fair 11 am-3 pm, with lots of info and people happy to chat with you, include:

34th District Democrats
Admiral Neighborhood Association
Artisan Electric
Cascadia Solar Project
City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
Delridge Produce Cooperative
Highland Park Action Committee/Highland Park Improvement Club
North Delridge Neighborhood Council
Roxbury Spine and Wellness Center
Seattle Neighborhood Group
Seattle Fire Department
Seattle Police Department
Seattle Public Library
South Seattle Community College
Southwest Seattle Historical Society / Log House Museum
Sustainable West Seattle
West Seattle Blog (hey! that’s us!)
West Seattle Community Orchestras
West Seattle Democratic Women
White Center Chamber of Commerce

If you’ve never been to Sealth, the parking-lot entrance is off SW Thistle, and the Galleria entrance is the central building with the angled roof, set back and to the north of the lot. No admission charge, but there will be food for sale, scheduled to include Giannoni’s Pizza and a dessert fundraiser put on by Sealth students. See you there!

West Seattle development: 7-story proposal for ex-Petco site

In every story we’ve published about the ex-Petco site in The Junction (4700 block of California), it’s been noted that the quirky Sound Advertising Group setup there – an office staff and ex-pizza-place animatronics! – isn’t there for the long haul. So why didn’t the owner seek someone who is? many have asked. Here’s the likely reason: A development proposal.

Even before the north side of the block – the future Equity Residential (ex-Conner) project – starts construction, a potential project is emerging further south. A few details are on the city’s Department of Planning and Development website:

New construction of a 7-story mixed-use building with approximately 80 residential apartment units, 18 L/W units, approximately 5,000 gsf of commercial space at ground level, and two level subgrade parking.

L/W is “live/work,” an increasingly popular development component – dozens of live/work units are open now on the north side of Morgan Junction, for example, with a variety of small businesses at ground level (some have moved there from elsewhere in West Seattle, like longtime WSB sponsor John Moore and his Northwest Insurance Group). Other details on the DPD page note that this is for “Lots 10-14,” which county records identify specifically as the ex-Petco building, so – pending further research – it doesn’t appear other parts of the block are involved, but we’re investigating further.

There’s not much other detail on the DPD webpages yet – not unusual for an early-stage proposal, and it should be noted that sometimes proposals appear and never come to fruition. There is an architect listed – Weber Thompson (which worked on the California/Alaska project) – and “ownership” is listed as The Wolff Company, an Arizona-based, Spokane-founded firm whose website is currently down but does have a cached description: “Acquiring, developing and managing investment real estate with a focus on multi-family properties.” They’re not currently listed in county records as owning the site, but we’ll be contacting them to try to find out more. (Looks like they have a sizable project going in Snohomish County.) Followups to come.

4:47 PM: Thanks to Peter, in comments, for pointing out that The Wolff Company is in the early stages of a Capitol Hill project, and actively seeking neighborhood feedback there. Here’s the story from our fellow community-collaborative neighborhood-news site, Capitol Hill Seattle. ::minutes later:: Taking cues from something mentioned in the CHS story, we have found a fledgling website for this project – – which includes a contact link and the slogan, “West Seattle Authentic.”

West Seattle (and beyond) history: Aerial views from 1962

Last night, e-mail came in from Terry Hammonds, a Florida resident who was visiting Seattle for the World’s Fair in 1962 and took the photos during a helicopter ride. Terry was a “Texas college student on my first road trip” at the time. Terry offered the photos, available via Flickr, if we were doing a ’62 retrospective (as so many are, in honor of the half-century anniversary). We thought you might be interested in the view of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and even this one of West Seattle and Harbor Island, from a distance:

Of course the big news at the time was the brand-new Space Needle:

(Click any of the photos to see the largest size via Terry’s Flickr feed.) Thanks! We love receiving photo surprises to share. P.S. Did you know that West Seattle (Duwamish Head, in particular) was one of seven sites considered as a possible World’s Fair site for that year?

Time-travel with the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council

Well, in lieu of actual time-traveling, envisioning the future is the next best thing. And that’s what the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council – which hasn’t had a general meeting in a while – is getting ready to do, with the help of as many interested neighbors as they can find! One week from tonight, the journey begins:

What would make our neighborhood a great place to live in 2020?

The GSNC is embarking on a neighborhood Vision 2020 planning process, and we want YOUR input and involvement! Please come to our next meeting and share your ideas with us:
• What do you like about our neighborhood now?
• What short- and long-term changes would you like to see?*

Thursday, April 26, 2012
6:30-7 p.m. Social Time (refreshments will be served)
7-8:30 p.m. Meeting (with lots of time for input and perhaps a speaker or two)
Howell Auditorium, West Side Presbyterian Church, 3601 California Avenue SW

* Some areas to think about:
Social events, parks, communication, traffic improvements, beautification projects, education and support, crime prevention, emergency preparedness, gardening, policy, shared interests/resources, volunteer opportunities

For more information (including a map), please visit our website at If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please send your name and email address to

1 week till Dining Out for Life; 4 West Seattle/WC participants

Your next chance to make a difference with your fork/knife/spoon/chopsticks is just one week away: Dining Out for Life, to benefit the Lifelong AIDS Alliance, is next Thursday (April 26th). According to the Seattle DO4L website, three West Seattle restaurants are participating, and one in White Center: Buddha Ruska (info here), Company (info here), Skylark (info here), and Talarico’s (info here). All are listed as donating 30 percent of their dinnertime proceeds that night.

Who’ll be Seattle Public Schools’ next superintendent? 3 finalists

(From left, Dr. Sandra Husk, Steven Enoch, José Banda)
Just in from Seattle Public Schools, the three finalists for superintendent (you’ll recall that Dr. Susan Enfield, acting superintendent, is going to run Highline Public Schools starting this summer). The finalists – two men from California, one woman from Oregon – will be in Seattle next week. You can see the district’s official news release on its website. P.S. More background and context from our partners at the Seattle Times, here.

LD Arch Design: New WSB sponsor (and Green Home Tour site!)

Welcome to another new sponsor, LD Arch Design, a green architecture firm focusing on residential additions and remodels. Their message for you: The mission of the firm is “thrifty and thoughtful design for a small planet,” and architect Parie Hines works to sensitively transform existing homes – maximizing reuse and keeping any added spaces compact and efficient.

Parie is sitting on the porch of her family’s home, which doubled its space with an addition built in 2009 on a very tight budget. Featured as part of the Seattle Green Home Tour on April 21st and 22nd (this Saturday-Sunday), it’s an example of Parie’s “less is more GREEN” design philosophy, showcasing affordable green strategies for people who are interested in making their existing home greener.

The “less is more GREEN” design concept is simple – it uses less space, less new stuff, less toxic stuff, less energy, and less water – which often leads to less money spent on your home. You can read more about it at the “less is more GREEN” blog, and specifically about the green strategies of the LemonDrop Addition at the NW Ecobuilding Guild site page. And, of course, you are invited to stop by to see it in person on April 21st and 22nd.

LD Arch Design also reserves time for pro bono or reduced-fee design for community projects, using Parie’s background in public architecture, affordable housing, and community development. LD Arch Design is one of the resources available at the WS Tool Library DIY Ask an Expert event every 2nd Thursday at 6 pm at Youngstown. Parie also serves as co-chair of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council and chairs its Community Design and Land Use committee.

Reach LD Arch Design online at, by phone at 206-229-8923, and via its Facebook page.

We thank LD Arch Design for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

West Seattle Thursday: Story times; wine; Alki council…

April 19, 2012 8:31 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Thursday: Story times; wine; Alki council…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Thanks to Michael Brophy for the aerial photo taken as he flew over WS last Sunday; click pic for larger image)
Highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

3 LIBRARY STORY TIMES THIS MORNING: They happen several days a week, every week, but every so often we like to remind you here in the daily preview, too. Today’s story times at West Seattle library branches are Toddler Story Time at Southwest Branch, 11 am (35th/Henderson); Preschool Story Time at Delridge Branch, 11:15 am (Delridge/Brandon); Toddler Story Time at High Point Branch, 11:30 am (35th/Raymond).

WEST SEATTLE CELLARS’ WEEKLY TASTING: Austrian wines are in the spotlight tonight at the free weekly tasting at WS Cellars (WSB sponsor), 5:30-8 pm. Full details are in the calendar listing (6026 California SW).

LIVE MUSIC AT C & P COFFEE: Sid Law performs 6-8 pm. From the C & P (WSB sponsor) event calendar: “Real-time (no loops) one-man band of original arrangements from the 1920s to present day (as well as my own originals), all styles.” (5612 California SW)

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: Monthly meeting, 7 pm at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds) – agenda highlights here.

A GLASS OF WINE, A TUBE OF PAINT, AND THOU … Painting on the Vine is offering a class tonight at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 7 pm. Details/link in the calendar listing (4408 Delridge Way SW).

NIGHT 2 AT ARTSWEST: Second night for “Exit, Pursued by a Bear,” 7:30 pm; ticket info on the ArtsWest website (4711 California SW).

Explore the calendar for more – including previews (like the VERY BUSY Saturday ahead)!

Cupboard runneth over? Sustainable WS collecting mugs, glasses

Spring cleaning? Sorting through things in preparation for WSCGSD? Maybe you have mugs and/or glasses you never use, just cluttering the cupboard. Sustainable West Seattle would be happy to put them into service:

Sustainable West Seattle is excited to announce that we are creating a reusable dish collection. Our goal is to create a large collection that can be used for events, like parties, so that disposables will not need to be used. We are currently accepting donations of mugs, drinking glasses and wine glasses. Donations must be in good condition and not have any chips or sharp edges. Our current goal is to collect 100 mugs, drinking glasses, and wine glasses.

Donations can be left at the following locations:

*West Seattle Tool Library – 4408 Delridge Way SW – Thursdays from 6-9 pm, Saturdays from 9 am-2 pm and Sundays from 1-5 pm
*Think Outside the Car event on Saturday, April 28th, from 10 am-2 pm at Westside School playground – 34th and Holden Street
*Sustainable West Seattle table at the West Seattle Farmers Market on May 6th

After the collection has been established, we hope to lend it out to other groups in West Seattle to reduce the amount of disposables used in West Seattle.

Parks’ leader talks safety @ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council:

(Parks boss Christopher Williams, left, and WS Crime Prevention Council president Richard Miller)
How safe are West Seattle’s parks, and can they be made safer?

Those questions – stirred by last month’s unsolved murder of Greggette Guy, who police have said they believe was killed at Emma Schmitz Viewpoint – led the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council to invite acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams to its April meeting. (Here’s our separate update on the murder case itself.)

Williams, who grew up in West Seattle and is a Chief Sealth graduate, spoke and answered questions – as did two Parks managers who accompanied him – for more than 45 minutes in the Southwest Precinct meeting room on Tuesday night.

No big announcements, no “aha” moments, not even any extensive discussion of (nor questions about) Schmitz Viewpoint – but here’s how it unfolded (including video, if you would like to see and hear for yourself): Read More