West Seattle, Washington
(Click to see full-size plan, including added text)
You can help beautify a key gateway to West Seattle. The volunteers who have been working for years on an improved landscaping plan – as reported here last summer – for the area around Walking on Logs have a plan, and two dates, and are asking for help. From Nancy Driver:
After much planning and a few hiccups, we are excited to announce that the new landscaping for the Walking on Logs site will be installed later this month on Saturday, April 21st, and Saturday, April 28th. Walking on Logs Landscape Restoration Group [WOLLRG] obtained final sign-off from SDOT for our landscaping plan in November 2011 (planting plan is attached).
On April 21 we will be at the site laying out the planting diagram and using augurs to dig the holes for the trees and shrubs that will be going in on the following Saturday, April 28. We are seeking additional volunteers to help with the work. For Saturday, 4/21 we need a dozen or so very able bodied volunteers to work in two hour shifts to handle the two-person augurs; we will also need volunteers for blackberry removal, trash pick-up and bagging up green waste for disposal. For Saturday 4/28, we will need volunteers, again in two hour shifts, for additional blackberry removal, putting trees and shrubs into the ground, applying soil amendments, staking trees, and collecting and bagging green waste for removal.
Safety goggles and ear plugs (as needed) will be supplied as well as safety vests for all volunteers. Anyone willing to help with blackberry removal will need to bring their own sturdy leather gloves. We have a small supply of cotton gloves for use in other tasks. All volunteers should be aware that the site is not easy to negotiate. In addition to the steep slope, the ground is uneven and will be quite muddy. If you are interested in volunteering, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know which date(s) and time(s) you are available and which tasks you are able to help out with. We will get back with you to confirm dates/times and provide additional details. Thanks!
P.S. This project is funded in part by a Neighborhood Matching Fund award from the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Funding was also provided by the West Seattle Garden Tour and numerous West Seattle residents. WOLLRG is very thankful and amazed by the support we’ve received for this project.
Cheryl from Twilight Artist Collective in The Junction, on SW Alaska just west of Easy Street Records, wants to make sure you know that despite the sign, their business (and the others to the west) IS OPEN while the neighboring bus shelter gets its RapidRide-related makeover.
(WSDOT photo of work to build the northbound 99 bridge south of The Viaduct. *Not* why it’s closing this weekend, but cool pic)
It’s Good Friday and the first night of Passover – and the Alaskan Way Viaduct is scheduled to close for the weekend at 11 pm. Here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar listings for today (see the full set here):
ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT CLOSED ALL WEEKEND: Scheduled for 11 pm tonight through 5 am Monday (and of course we’ll let you know IF it ends sooner) – they’re doing work to reinforce The Viaduct in advance of future tunnel construction; this work started during the previous weekend-long closure last month.
TOUR THE C-SPAN ‘ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE’ BUS: It was at Chief Sealth International High School yesterday, and today 2:30-4:30 pm it’ll be at High Point Neighborhood Center, open to anyone (particularly youth) interested in touring it. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
CHEER STATE-RANKED LOCAL STUDENT ATHLETES: Speaking of Sealth, its undefeated, #9-in-the-state boys’ varsity soccer team hosts Rainier Beach at 4 pm today at Southwest Athletic Complex. (2801 SW Thistle; watch for our closeup report about the team later today)
SEDER AT KOL HANESHAMAH: A “family-friendly, interactive” Seder marks the first night of Passover at Kol HaNeshamah, 5:30 pm. Details here.
HI-YU BRU DEBUT: The newest West Seattle/White Center charity-fundraiser beer debuts at multiple venues tonight, 6 pm. Details here.
SHAKESPEARE DINNER THEATER: 6 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, dinner and a play! Details here.
‘THRIVE THROUGH CANCER’ FUNDRAISER: A new support organization to help young adults through their battle with cancer, started by West Seattle cancer survivor Rose Egge, has a kickoff fundraiser at Bin 41 in The Junction tonight, 6-8 pm. Details in our calender listing.
HIGH POINT NEIGHBORHOOD NIGHT: 7-8:30 pm at HP Neighborhood Center, resource tables, refreshments, and West African music and dance by Gonsango. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’: Madison Middle School‘s first musical has the first of two performances tonight, 7 pm – details here.
WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY REGISTRATION CONTINUES: Into the fifth day of registration, and we have about three dozen sales so far – join the fun 9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 12th – details here, including the link to the registration form.
7:33 AM: Developing story on Harbor/Alki – someone described by police as “suicidal and armed with a gun” is in a standoff with them just north of Don Armeni and at least part of Alki/Harbor is blocked off. SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson says negotiators are on the way as is SWAT. We will have reports from the scene shortly but needless to say, avoid the area. Det. Jamieson says nobody has been hurt so far.
7:39 AM UPDATE: Multiple reports narrow the area down to Luna/Anchor Park. Buses are being turned around.
7:53 AM UPDATE: Traffic is being allowed through the area again, according to our crew at the scene – the person apparently followed through with his threat, according to a witness who lives across the street. A photo she sent shows a yellow tarp where the person had been standing on the northwest corner of the Luna/Anchor Park pier. (She also sent the photo shown atop this story.)
If you or someone you know is thinking of or threatening self-harm, the 24-hour Crisis Clinic hotline for King County is 206-461-3222.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
All this had unfolded over the course of less than an hour – police first got the call just after 7 am, Det. Jamieson had told us during our original call.
ADDED 9:46 AM: There’s no information beyond what we have already reported, but for those interested, here is the official police summary on SPD Blotter.
ADDED EARLY SATURDAY: David DeSiga shared this photo from sunset Friday at the spot where this all happened:
Just getting Arbor Heights Elementary rebuilt isn’t enough, community members told Seattle Public Schools officials during the BEX IV levy community briefing/comment meeting Thursday night at Denny International Middle School – it needs to be rebuilt sooner than the possible 2018 date mentioned in draft proposals. “We can’t wait,” said one mom. (District officials acknowledged that capacity issues are taking precedence over school-condition issues in planning of this levy.)
If you’re looking for touchpoints in the video – the first 26 minutes were taken up by procedural points and backstory; then there were 8 minutes of presentation about the 3 currently proposed options (see them here), bringing the video to the 34-minute mark, at which point the district officials on hand began answering questions, first written, then, at 48 minutes into the meeting, open-mike.
Following up on the Tuesday night meeting at Arbor Heights (WSB coverage here) at which AH and Roxhill Elementary‘s principals expressed surprise that two of the three first-draft “options” call for closing Roxhill and “merging” it into AH, assistant superintendent Pegi McEvoy acknowledged that what started as an idea in casual conversation was “moving fast.”
Tonight at West Seattleite-owned SODO Park, the nonpartisan civic-engagement nonprofit Municipal League of King County presented its 52nd annual Civic Awards – and one of the biggest awards of the night went to County Executive Dow Constantine, the James R. Ellis Award for Regional Leadership. “We work best when we work together,” he said, talking about some of the highlights of his two-plus years leading county government, including getting the push for a new South Park Bridge over the final hurdles. He was accompanied by parents Lois and John Constantine and partner Shirley Carlson, and quipped he wanted to thank them for making “the 8-minute drive from West Seattle” to be there for him.
Another political leader who grew up in West Seattle, State Sen. Ed Murray (at right in the next photo), shared the Warren G. Magnuson Award with State Sen. Steve Litzow (photo left) for their bipartisan leadership in getting the marriage-equality bill passed this past session:
And we were humbled that WSB was among this year’s honorees (full list here), for Government News Reporting of the Year. City Council President Sally Clark, who had nominated WSB, introduced your editor here (accepting the award solo because co-publisher Patrick Sand was covering the BEX-IV meeting – video and notes up shortly). She spoke of the ever-growing role that online-only neighborhood news services like this one play in informing and engaging their communities. Since WSB is a community-collaborative news service, this belongs to you too:
A few other West Seattle notes – County Councilmember Joe McDermott was one of a dozen or so other West Seattleites who said hi (you can see him in this photo we took from the stage)
And we want to thank our table captain, West Seattleite Clayton Graham, a Municipal League board member. Tonight’s event coincided with a day we celebrate each year, the anniversary of our arrival in Seattle in 1991; back then, it took us only days to determine that West Seattle was where we wanted to live, and we are so happy to be, with you, part of a beautiful, inspiring community. Thank you.
From a crime-trends update to a thorough Downtown Waterfront/Seawall briefing to updates on two city-led environmental projects (and how you can get involved with them), it was another info-packed Southwest District Council meeting last night:Read More
Just announced – April 21st is the day you can plan on shopping The Junction and saving 10 percent, during another edition of The Junction’s Tax-Free Day for All, as merchants offer you discounts equivalent to the sales tax you’d pay. As in years past, you’ll be able to identify participating stores and restaurants – yes, there will be food/beverage deals as well as other merchandise! – because each one will have a red balloon outside. See the full list of more than 40 participating businesses by going here.
The local family-oriented sustainability group CoolMom has been working on this for months, and now it’s about to launch – its Think Outside the Car project. They’re planning an event at Westside School (WSB sponsor) on April 28th that will have a festival flavor, with a kids’ bicycle rodeo, live music, and even food trucks. Read on for the announcement:Read More
3:26 PM: Two traffic alerts – one RIGHT NOW, one for overnight tonight. First, southbound I-5 is blocked at I-90 because of a truck crash. Here’s the current webcam view of the scene:
WSDOT says backups stretch all the way to Northgate. So if you are headed this way from anywhere NORTH of I-90, do NOT use southbound I-5 – use 99 or surface streets.
3:51 PM UPDATE: Tow trucks are at the scene on I-5. However, note that southbound 99 is reported to be slow going – here’s a webcam:
AND also slow, according to one commenter, 1st Avenue South. So the best advice might be, for now, just stay put till this has a chance to get straightened out.
4:24 PM UPDATE: Southbound I-5 has been cleared and reopened. Our standard caveat, though – remember that backups don’t clear instantly, so things may still be slow through the commute.
(back to original report) Second, SDOT just announced the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed overnight tonight after all, 10 pm-5 am, for the fourth consecutive night – and again, that means you will not be able to get onto the West Seattle Bridge from I-5 or Beacon Hill during those hours (access from 99 will NOT be affected). They are still working on plans for this weekend and next week. (But remember, the Alaskan Way Viaduct is already scheduled to close from Friday night till Monday morning.)
Next Monday, the City Council is scheduled to get a briefing on the U.S. Geological Survey‘s latest scientific analysis of earthquake hazards in Seattle. The briefing slides have just been published along with the meeting agenda – see the presentation here. It’s part of an every-six-years process to update the hazard maps so that building codes (etc.) can take the conditions into account. Here’s the big headline:
That said – the Seattle Fault is the one closest to West Seattle, and the presentation says the chance of an earthquake stronger than magnitude 6.5 on that fault in the next 50 years is about 5 percent. The rate of that kind of earthquake anywhere around Puget Sound in the next 50 years is about 15 percent. As for a mega-quake on the coast somewhere, around 9.0 magnitude (akin to the one last year in Japan)? 10 to 14 percent chance of happening in the next 50 years. But don’t get complacent … if a 7.0-ish quake happened on the Seattle Fault, we’d be in the “extreme shaking” zone, per this scenario:
We’ll await Monday’s briefing (9:30 am at City Hall) for more context. But in the meantime, be sure you’re prepared – westseattlebeprepared.org can help (including the “Emergency Communication Hubs” – memorize the location of the one nearest you!).
Prudential Northwest Realty, led by West Seattleite Mike Gain, now has something in common with household names such as Dairy Queen, See’s Candies, GEICO Insurance, and Fruit of the Loom: It is now owned by a company that belongs to Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway. Ahead, the news release announcing that HomeServices of America is buying PNW Realty – which will not be changing its name, according to the announcement:Read More
In case you haven’t heard (we’ll admit, we hadn’t) – the Seattle School Board voted unanimously last night to NOT ask the state to waive two makeup days looming because of this winter’s snow. That means the last day of the school year will be June 22nd (one day was made up on January 27th).
P.S. Here’s the district news release sent around this morning.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes this morning:
THE CASE OF THE PEPPER-SPRAY-ARMED SHOPLIFTING SUSPECT: Seattle Police put this one on their SPD Blotter website this morning. Last night around 8:30 pm, they say, a shoplifting suspect at Admiral Safeway pepper-sprayed store security and a bystander, and then took off running. He allegedly tried to spray police too, when they caught up with him in a nearby alley, eventually using a Taser to stop him. All this, SPD Blotter says, over $32 in merchandise. You can read their full summary here.
BURGLARY INTERRUPTED: At last night’s Southwest District Council meeting (full report to come), SW Precinct operations Lt. Pierre Davis said burglaries, auto thefts, and car prowls are still down. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t happening at all – in the Fairmount Park area, Donny came home Monday evening to discover his home had been ransacked – he sent this photo as police investigated:
From Donny’s e-mail:
I arrived home near 37th and Findlay, interrupting a burglary. Two of my doors were severely damaged when pried open; every room in my home had been ransacked with many valuables missing.
He says it’s believed there were several burglars involved, including someone “acting as a lookout,” and his neighbors had noticed an “older, rose-colored long vehicle” in the area.
A holdover photo from Tuesday evening’s memorable rainbow sightings – Jessica caught the rainbow over the totem pole at West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park (35th/Alaska). Whatever today holds weather-wise, we do know some of what’s on the schedule. From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
No bridge closures scheduled tonight, but some ramp and surface changes around the bridge – detailed here. ***Updated at 4 pm, SDOT now says the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct WILL close overnight again tonight.*** And we’ll be checking on the progress for the paving work south of The Junction.
TODDLER EGGSTRAVAGANZA AT HIGH POINT COMMUNITY CENTER: Activities start at 10 am, with an egg hunt at 11 am (“sharp”!) – details on the event-calendar page. (6420 34th SW)
TOWN HALL AT SSCC ON TRAYVON MARTIN CASE: Noon-1 pm at Brockey Center on the south side of South Seattle Community College‘s campus, it’s a Town Hall on race and social-justice issues evoked by this nationally discussed Florida case, with “an open forum followed by small-group discussions.” (6000 16th SW)
WINE TASTING AT WEST SEATTLE CELLARS: Thursday is “free tasting” night at new WSB sponsor West Seattle Cellars, 5:30-8 pm. Tonight, Italian Wines from Vias Imports (details here), with Chris Zimmerman, who according to WS Cellars’ newsletter is bringing “food tidbits” to enhance the experience. (P.S. If you’re a first-time visitor to WS Cellars, check out this offer.)
BEX IV SCHOOL-LEVY COMMUNITY-INPUT MEETING: The first draft of possibilities for next February’s ballot levy – which could range from half a billion to more than three-quarters of a billion dollars – includes a proposal that would close Roxhill Elementary and “merge” its “program” into Arbor Heights Elementary, one and a half miles away. (Here’s our coverage of a Tuesday night meeting at AH.) Other West Seattle possibilities include building a new Schmitz Park Elementary at closed Genesee Hill, as well as reopening Hughes Elementary (now being leased by Westside School [WSB sponsor]), and possibly renovating and reopening Fairmount Park Elementary. One option also includes an addition to West Seattle Elementary. What do you think – about these ideas, or something you would rather see instead? The only West Seattle meeting about the first draft of district options is 6:30 pm tonight, Denny International Middle School. Preview the meeting materials with links on the right side of this district page. (2601 SW Kenyon)
MUNICIPAL LEAGUE CIVIC AWARDS HONOR KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE AND WSB: The 6:30 pm event’s happening in SODO – at West Seattleite-owned Herban Feast/SODO Park – but we’ll be there to represent because WSB is an honoree: The Municipal League of King County is presenting its 58th annual Civic Awards tonight. The big-name West Seattleite on the list is King County Executive Dow Constantine, who’s receiving the James R. Ellis Regional Leadership Award. We’re honored to accept the Government News Reporting of the Year Award, explained on the Muni League website as being for “comprehensive coverage, high-quality reporting and strong commitment to covering important local government issues.”
RELAY FOR LIFE WEST SEATTLE: From organizers, via the R4LWS Facebook page: “Our next team captain meeting is (tonight), April 5th, 7 pm at Bridge Park – ALL team captains, team members, and prospective participants are welcome. Come out and get your questions answered and learn more about relay, and help us plan the event of the year! Questions? please ask! Hope to see you all there!” The cancer-fighting-fundraising relay is June 15-16. (3204 SW Morgan)
MAUNDY THURSDAY: Holy Week services continue at many local churches; Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) sent us word of their Maundy Thursday service tonight, 7 pm (details on the event-calendar page; 3940 41st SW).
8:48 AM: You can’t miss it along busy SW Thistle outside Chief Sealth International High School right now – a bus wrapped with C-SPAN ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE cable-channel promotion. We stopped and went into the school office to ask why. No, not there to cover a candidate visit – the bus is there for social-studies students to tour today, as a lesson about the election process, as they approach (or reach! for many seniors) voting age.
11:41 AM UPDATE: After publishing this photo, we got word of a chance for anyone and everyone to tour it tomorrow in High Point:
Hi all, we are fortunate to have the C-SPAN bus at High Point Center tomorrow, April 6th, from 2:30 until 4:30pm. The bus is equipped with the latest interactive technology, including Touchsmart computer kiosks to access C-SPAN resources, a public affairs quiz, and equipment needed to create television programming and web content. We are excited to invite all youth to come tour the bus!
HP Center is at 6400 Sylvan Way SW.
This is the fifth spring that Alki photographer David Hutchinson has kindly shared his wonderful Canada geese images with WSB. This one, taken today along Harbor Avenue SW, arrived tonight, with the observation “Despite the cold blustery weather, spring must be just around the corner”; we checked back in the archives, and we’ve been lucky enough to have his gosling (and grownups) photos going all the way back to 2008 … scroll through this newest-to-oldest archive to see them (with a few other wildlife photos along the way).
The scene from the Arbor Heights Cooperative Preschool class of “Teacher Karen” may look like your everyday “kids dyeing Easter eggs” class – but there’s more than meets the eye. It starts with the story published here last week about Paul West and his request for people to give them their hard-boiled Easter eggs post-Easter so he could turn them into fertilizer for an “urban nitrogen project. That resonated with Karen, who explained via e-mail:
I have been wanting to dye eggs with my preschool class but I don’t want to “waste” the eggs, although they will not be edible after a day in a class full of three-year-olds. Then I read your story about Paul and gardening with urban nitrogen. I contacted Paul and talked to him about it. He very generously donated 5 dozen eggs to our class, and our class agreed to return at least double that many after we’d colored them.
So this morning, she invited us to drop by her classroom as the kids worked studiously on the task at hand.
P.S. If you’re interested in donating Easter eggs to the fertilizer project, Paul explains it on his website.
More than 20 sales of all sizes are already signed up for this year’s West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – the eighth annual edition (and the fifth one coordinated by us here at WSB), coming up 9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 12th. It’s become more than a shopping-frenzy kind of day – it’s become, with more than 200 sales all over the peninsula each of the past two WSCGSD’s meaning that most areas have a sale within walking distance (if you’re not hosting one yourself), a chance to get out and meet more of your neighbors. And it’s also a chance for yard-saling fans from around the region to come enjoy and explore West Seattle (including lunch and refreshment stops at local businesses). Plus, of course, it’s ultimately person-to-person recycling! If you’re considering being a seller this year, don’t procrastinate … sign up now. If you’re not sure, you do have time to make up your mind – registration will continue for three more weeks. It’s an all-online process – here’s the form!
Story and photos by Katie Meyer
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
It’s been two months since we first reported on the mysterious happenings inside the former Petco storefront at 4732 California SW – and now, the brand-new window-painting work has brought a new round of questions.
So we stopped by to see what’s up with Jason Rudolph, who told us back in February about his plans for the space – running his Sound Advertising Group and restoring some legendary animatronic characters.
First – Jason tells us he’ll open the space during the April West Seattle Art Walk next week – 6-9 pm Thursday, April 12th – to showcase work by Jason Sinclair Astorquia and host some live music by Willow & The Embers, so you’ll get to take a look inside for yourself.
While the restoration of the “Rock-afire Explosion” animatronic characters set up at the front of the space continues; Jason adds that most of his staff has moved their workstations from the company offices on 44th SW into this new space.
Painting over the windows with a mural – with just a few intentionally see-through spots – gives the the employees more privacy:
Once finished, the mural will be a colorful creative, original work hand-painted by Japhy Witte, known as “the Sign Savant.”
Petco vacated the space last November to move into its new spot in Capco Plaza at 41st/Alaska.
Every time the Fauntleroy Church Green Committee brings 1 Green Planet to West Seattle for a “Recycle Roundup,” they head out with tons of stuff to be recycled rather than thrown away. So we’re giving you advance warning – another one is in the works for April 29th, 9 am-3 pm, and the church’s website already has posted the list of what you can drop off that day to be recycled – see it here. Last “Recycle Roundup” in October (WSB photo at left) set a Fauntleroy record – 14 tons of recycled items! (P.S. Yes, it’s free.)
Family and friends around West Seattle and beyond are mourning 48-year-old Lisa Mills, the motorcycle rider killed in the crash that closed southbound Highway 99 for hours last Sunday night. We are reporting her name now that the county Medical Examiner has finally formally released it. Ms. Mills, who lived in Sunrise Heights with her wife, was well-known as lead singer of Swamp Mama Johnson, a Northwest-based band that was popular in the ’90s (see a 1997 clip here).
She worked as a hypnotherapist and life coach, with her own business, Heliotrope Hypnosis Services. A friend shared the photo at left, showing Ms. Mills with her dog Ruby, who until Ruby’s recent death assisted her in volunteer therapy work, according to her website. Another friend of Ms. Mills tells us she also was studying to become a mixologist, adding, “Lisa lived life to the fullest and loved riding her motorcycle with her friends.” The preliminary report from Seattle Police says investigators think she “failed to negotiate a curve” at the Viaduct’s south end.
We have no information yet on a celebration of life or memorial fund, but have asked friends who contacted us to please let us know if and when those details become available, so that we can share it with the WSB community. (This mention on a news site in Bellingham, where Swamp Mama Johnson often played, says memorials will likely be held there and in Seattle.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The principals of Arbor Heights and Roxhill Elementary Schools say the emergence of a proposal to merge the two into a rebuilt AH was as much a “big surprise” to them as it was to their schools’ communities.
That’s part of what they told a gathering of more than 50 people last night at a quickly organized community meeting, less than a week after the merger proposal debuted in the package of possibilities that district staff is circulating (as reported here) as the first round of community meetings begins about what should be in next February’s 4th edition of the every-six-years BEX (“Building Excellence”) levy.
The meeting, led by AH principal Christy Collins, with Roxhill principal Carmela Dellino speaking from the audience, unfolded while the first of those meetings played out across the city at Eckstein Middle School (West Seattle’s school-board director Marty McLaren had sent her regrets to AH and Roxhill, saying she had to be at that meeting instead of theirs). West Seattle’s version of the levy-input meeting is set for 6:30 pm Thursday at Denny International Middle School, and the meeting materials are now on the district website, if you’d like a preview – PowerPoint overview here and “the 3 options” here (which includes the merger proposal).
In addition to answering questions, the two principals sought to explain their side of how this idea might have sprung up, and Collins explained in a show-and-tell why it’s imperative that a new building replacing the 64-year-old AH becomes part of the levy, some way, some how.
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