month : 04/2012 332 results

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car ‘ransacking’; theft/casing

Two car-crime notes in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon – first, from Erin:

I just wanted to share that my car was ransacked over night. We are (on 31st) between Myrtle and Othello. It seems as if they were just looking for money or valuables as all the contents of the center console were strewn about. Fortunately I didn’t have anything in there worth taking. Oddly, they left their gloves behind – one in the car and one next to the car on the ground. Just want to let everyone know so they remember to take all valuables out of their car.

And we have a car-theft report from an apartment resident at 9th/Kenyon in Highland Park; it was another resident’s car, so no description, but the person who e-mailed us about it says someone was seen potentially casing the area the preceding two nights.

Traffic alert: Backup on northbound Highway 99

In case you are headed out of West Seattle and toward northbound Highway 99 – there’s a notable backup right now, blamed on a stalled vehicle. (Thanks to Debora for the original tip; SDOT just tweeted an alert, too.)

O’Neill Plumbing: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor

Today we welcome one of West Seattle’s longest-running businesses, O’Neill Plumbing, as a new WSB sponsor. Here’s what proprietor Tim O’Neill (pictured) would like you to know:

O’Neill Plumbing was founded here in West Seattle in 1917, adjacent to Husky Deli in The Junction.

95 years later, 4th-generation owner Tim O’Neill has 28 years of experience and employs 25 hard-working, talented people and a fleet of trucks to serve not only West Seattle but also the Greater Seattle area as well as the Eastside. O’Neill Plumbing serves residential and commercial properties, including “Emergency 24-Hour Service,” drain/rooter cleaning, water-heater repairs and replacement, whole-house re-pipes, and state-of-the-art “Trenchless” underground pipe repairs and replacement.

We are proud to be longtime members of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Master Builders Association, Better Business Bureau, and are “Top Of Class” on Angie’s List with more than 450 positive customer referrals.

O’Neill Plumbing customers can visit us @ and take advantage of our online coupons. To reach O’Neill Plumbing by phone, call 206-932-5283.

We thank O’Neill Plumbing 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 Elementary: Council president’s visit; Olympia praise

April 25, 2012 12:51 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Elementary: Council president’s visit; Olympia praise
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Likely just a coincidence, but on the same morning that the Seattle City Council invited citizens to come talk with them next month about the budget process, its president was reading a storybook about financial smarts to a group of local students. Council President Sally Clark visited West Seattle Elementary this morning as part of “MoneySmart Week” (explained here) and read from “Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock,” by former FDIC Chair Sheila Blair, about twins with very different savings habits.

And this gives us a chance to mention that West Seattle Elementary has just received some noteworthy praise from Olympia. The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction recently audited schools and visited WS Elementary, 2 years into its improvement plan, on April 12th. As a result of this visit, WSES received this “exit note”:

West Seattle Elementary has done a stellar job of transforming not only the school but the neighborhood as well. Not only has this staff and community dotted all the ‘i’s’ and crossed all the ‘t’s’ in terms of compliance, they have made a positive impact on student learning and the community at large. They have moved from compliance to commitment. Students are learning (the school moved from Level 1 to Level 3 in one year) and families are engaged in their students’ academics.

This visit was part of the Consolidated Program Review, explained here.

Northwest Center’s West Seattle dropoff site to go 7 days a week

Speaking of West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day (coming up May 12th) – Northwest Center has long been the official WSCGSD partner for those interested in donating items they don’t sell, either by dropping them off afterward or scheduling Big Blue Truck pickups for the following week. Today, NW Center has big news: Starting next Monday, its Friday/Saturday/Sunday Junction dropoff location at 44th/Edmunds (next to the Chase drive-thru) will expand to 7 days a week, 9 am-5 pm. (That means West Seattle will have two options for daily staffed dropoff spots, since Goodwill just opened one, as reported here earlier this month.) Here are the lists of what NW Center takes, and what they don’t take. (WSB photo from 2011)

How should the city spend its money? Speak up in May

April 25, 2012 10:49 am
|    Comments Off on How should the city spend its money? Speak up in May
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

We KNOW you have something to say about how the city should spend its money. So even though none of these meetings is in West Seattle, we’re sharing the heads-up about a three-meeting invite from the City Council for the first round of community conversation in the process of hashing out the next budget:

Join the Seattle City Council for one of three conversations in May about the City budget and community priorities. Participants will engage City Councilmembers and neighbors in conversation centered on five thought-provoking questions about the future of our City.

North Seattle
Monday, May 7, 2012, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
North Seattle Community College, 9600 College Way North, College Center, Room 1161

Central Seattle
Monday, May 14, 2012, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Seattle Central Community College, 1701 Broadway, Broadway Edison Building, Room BE1110

South Seattle
Monday, May 21, 2012, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave South

All sorts of city budget background is available via this council webpage.

Last call to register for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day

April 25, 2012 10:14 am
|    Comments Off on Last call to register for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day
 |   Community Garage Sale Day | West Seattle news

garagesaledaysmalllog5.jpgJust before midnight tonight, registration ends and mapmaking begins for our 8th annual edition of West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day (fifth year that WSB has coordinated/presented it). Just a few sales away from 200 right now – all sizes, all neighborhoods, all on Saturday, May 12th, from 9 am-3 pm. The map will be available a week in advance, but if you don’t get your sale signed up by tonight, you won’t be on it, so if you’re planning to participate and haven’t yet registered … here’s the form. (P.S. One more reminder for people who want to be part of a group site because they don’t have the room or the volume for their own sale: Check with Hotwire Online Coffeehouse or C & P Coffee Company [both WSB sponsors] to see if they have spaces left!)

West Seattle Wednesday: Feedback turns 3; schools; open mikes…

From the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

VIADUCT/99 CLOSURE TONIGHT: Again tonight, Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct will close overnight SOUTHBOUND between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge. 9 pm-5 am.

METRO CHANGES ON COUNCIL COMMITTEE AGENDA: Following last week’s public hearing, the proposed Metro changes for September – many of them affecting West Seattle routes – are back before the King County Council’s Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee, 9:30 am, council chambers downtown (agenda here; more info here).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FEEDBACK! Tonight’s the 3rd anniversary celebration at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor). From their website:

We have the Balloons of Mystery, cake, music by DJ Hairball, and a one-night only Fresh Sheet sneak peek of our new spring/summer menu courtesy of Chef Wade, and a few surprises!

Dinner, drinks, revelry, stop by for one or all of the above, 6451 California SW.

K-5 STEM AT BOREN DESIGN TEAM: We’re told some big decisions are expected at tonight’s meeting of the community/district team working on the new public school that’s opening in West Seattle this fall. 6:15 pm; the meetings are now at Madison Middle School (45th/Spokane).

COLLEGE FUNDING WORKSHOP: Whatever age your child/ren are, it’s not too soon or too late to plan for how to pay for college. A free workshop at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) tonight, 6:30-7:30 pm, might help. More details and RSVP info here.

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: Monthly meeting for HPAC, 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club (whose Julie Schickling, just honored as Volunteer of the Year, will be celebrated, among other agenda items), 12th/Holden.


OPEN MIKE #1: At C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), the monthly PoetryBridge event features an open mike for poems and stories after readings by Cara Mbaye and Tom Nivision.

OPEN MIKE #2: At Mind Unwind in the Admiral District, Wednesday night is open-mike night, 9 pm (2206 California SW).

More on the calendar!

West Seattle schools: Sanislo PTA ‘Benefit Bash’ Friday

April 25, 2012 7:08 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle schools: Sanislo PTA ‘Benefit Bash’ Friday
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

School fundraiser season isn’t over yet – we have word of one happening this Friday on behalf of the PTA at Sanislo Elementary, “the small school with big ideas.” Matt shared this invitation:

Sanislo Elementary is a small, culturally diverse West Seattle public school that likes to have a good time. This Friday we will be hosting a Benefit Bash at the Highland Park Improvement Club.

*Admission is free (any donations will be gratefully accepted), and doors are open to the public (21 and over).
*Live music by Seattle’s own Roy Kay Trio
*Doors open at 6:30, music starts around 8:30
*There will be a very small silent auction, games and prizes, a 50-50 raffle, and a wine raffle.
*Proceeds will support education enrichment programs at Sanislo.

HPIC is at 12th/Holden.

Seattle Public Schools superintendent finalists visit: José Banda

The three finalists for Seattle Public Schools superintendent are visiting this week, each one in the spotlight for a day, including group media interviews. The first spotlight came on Tuesday, for José Banda, from Anaheim, California. Above, unedited SPS video of one of his 3 quarter-hour-long group interviews (partly conducted in Spanish, in which he is fluent); here are reports from two of the participants in today’s interviews, Seattle Times (WSB sponsor) reporter Brian M. Rosenthal, here; Seattle Schools Community Forum writer Melissa Westbrook, here. (The Times also profiled Banda, here.) Today, finalist Steven Enoch, from San Ramon, California, will go through the same routine, and we hope to have video and links here again late tonight or early tomorrow. To tell the School Board what you think about any of the candidates, you’re invited to e-mail

Providence Mount St. Vincent triples ‘transitional-care’ capacity

Providence Mount St. Vincent administrators past and present were there this afternoon to celebrate the dedication of The Mount’s newly expanded Transitional Care Unit. At left is Sister Rita Ferschweiler, who gave the blessing at this afternoon’s ceremony, photographed with current administrator Tom Mitchell. Sister Rita has been a Sister of Providence since 1944, when she was in her mid-20s, and came to West Seattle in 1977 to become administrator of The Mount. This expansion means the facility now has 58 beds for “transitional care,” explained as what’s needed by some people who are out of the hospital after surgery or treatment but still need time to recover, rehabilitate, and go through therapy before they can transition back into their regular lives. The services are now headquartered on The Mount’s 5th floor, where today’s ceremony happened:

From left, Providence’s Laurie Corrington, Renee Fowler, and Ken Wolcott; Kees Cusveller from Graham Construction, and Steve Anderson from Providence. Previously, The Mount had 20 beds for this kind of care, so its capacity is tripled. A fact-sheet provided by Providence says it’s the only part of The Mount where they have “patients” rather than “residents.”

Followup: West Seattleites sue over Highline urgent-care fee

Last month, we followed up on a long-running discussion in the WSB Forums – about a $100 fee charged by Highline Medical Center‘s Urgent Care Clinic in West Seattle, not covered by all insurance companies, with prospective patients required to agree that they’ll pay it if their insurance doesn’t.

As we reported in that story, Highline’s administrator told WSB the fee is “for the higher costs of operating an urgent care facility during weekends and evening hours, when there is irregular demand for services. …” Adam and Gabrielle Kramer, who first surfaced the complaint, contend that the charge, which they say she had to agree to pay before she could be seen at the clinic for a neck problem last December, violates our state’s law against “balance billing,” and that is the root of the class-action lawsuit they have filed in King County Superior Court (see it here). After Adam Kramer sent us word of the suit this afternoon, we requested comment from Highline, but did not hear back; if and when we do, we will add their response here.

High-school sports: Sealth soccer team now 11 wins, 0 losses

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
After a 2-0 win over Ingraham at home this afternoon, the Chief Sealth International High School boys-varsity soccer team remains undefeated, with a record of 11-0-1, two-thirds of the way through the regular season. Their next game is also at home, this Friday vs. Bainbridge Island.

West Seattle schools: Waitlists, including ones that NEED more

This time of year, the term ‘waitlist’ is a source of angst for hundreds of families around the city, once they discover that a spot wasn’t immediately available at the school of their choice. Today, WSB’er Kathleen pointed out that information on the length of waitlists around the city is finally available online. And the waitlist for West Seattle’s newest public school is NOT what it seems, it’s been pointed out to us. More on that in a moment. First, we’re not going to list all the waitlist numbers from West Seattle schools (you can see that here), but here are the ones with double-digit wait lists:

67 for 9th grade at Chief Sealth International High School
46 for kindergarten at Pathfinder K-8
26 for kindergarten at Alki Elementary
23 for kindergarten at Schmitz Park Elementary
20 for 6th grade at Denny International Middle School
17 for 10th grade at Chief Sealth
17 for kindergarten at Gatewood Elementary
11 for 1st grade at Gatewood Elementary
11 for 11th grade at Chief Sealth
11 for kindergarten at Highland Park Elementary
10 for 3rd grade at Pathfinder K-8
10 for 2nd grade Spectrum at Lafayette Elementary
10 for 3rd grade Spectrum at Lafayette Elementary

(Longest waitlist in the city is for Franklin High School 9th grade – 104.) Then there are waitlists that are unlike any others – the ones for the new K-5 STEM at Boren. Today we heard from two parents who both said, if you are even contemplating enrolling your child in the new science/tech/math/engineering school for this fall, PLEASE get on the list now – because (as we reported last week) the district has said that it could add extra classes IF there are enough kids to fill them. Right now, according to that same district data set, there are 8 waiting for kindergarten, two each for 1st and 3rd. Enrollment information is here.

Heads up! You might wind up behind a road-striping crew

(WSB photo from April 2011)
As discussed here last Saturday, the city was out striping the West Seattle Bridge without advance warning – but today, they are issuing a blanket traffic alert pointing out that you might find yourself in the vicinity of a painting crew sometime, somewhere, between tomorrow and late September:

Now that the rainy season is winding down, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is revving up to begin its annual five-months of road striping work covering 1148 lane miles. The majority of work begins tomorrow, April 25, and could continue through September 26, depending on weather and accomplishments.

The work will primarily involve slow moving paint trucks, averaging about three to six miles an hour. Drivers may encounter slight delays as a result. There will be no lane closures required, unless extensive lay-out (measuring) is needed to delineate lane markings that have been totally eradicated by traffic and snow removal. In which case, warning signs will be posted.

The road striping, which requires dry weather, could start as early as 5 a.m., but will likely take place between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. mainly on secondary arterials Tuesdays through Fridays. Arterials, the Downtown Core area (First through Sixth avenues), and known high-volume traffic areas will be striped early Saturday mornings to minimize the impact on motorists.

Funding for the work is provided by the Bridging the Gap voter-approved transportation initiative and the General Fund. Drivers are asked to drive cautiously through the work zones allowing the crews plenty of room to do their work safely.

Besides the bridge, we saw freshly painted markings on Delridge Way SW yesterday, too. If you happen to spot a painting crew and can safely call or text (you’re in the passenger seat, on a bus, noticing from your window at home, etc.), please consider letting us know so we can share the traffic alert, however shortlived – 206-293-6302 voice or text, any time.

Another state-ferry deal for Harbor Island’s Vigor Shipyards

April 24, 2012 2:37 pm
|    Comments Off on Another state-ferry deal for Harbor Island’s Vigor Shipyards
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

(WSDOT photo from March 29th keel-laying event for 1st 144-car-ferry project at Vigor)
Less than four weeks after that ceremony at Vigor Shipyards marking the start of work on a new 144-car state ferry, WSDOT and Vigor just formalized paperwork for the next one, with construction set to start in December. Total costs for the two ferries are expected to total $277 million, according to WSDOT’s announcement today. The first one is due to start service in early 2014, the second one, a year after that. Up to two more may follow. They’ll be replacing Evergreen State-class ferries (two of which are often on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run – Klahowya and Tillikum).

Alki trash followup: More cans added in the park

Though the sun is gone for now, it’ll be back, and so will Alki crowds the size of the ones that left behind the weekend litter/overflowing can problem shown/discussed here yesterday. As a result, Seattle Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter told WSB this morning, more cans would be set out – and as the photo we took around 10 am shows, they’re already there. (Compare to the photo in Monday’s story – today, two cans are side by side in each of the two spots east of the Bathhouse that previously had one apiece. Don’t have any comparisons for the rest of the beach, though.) Potter also says that contrary to her first reply, some Parks employees WERE on duty over the weekend, but they had some pickup challenges with the larger “in-ground” cans – a special cable-equipped truck used for emptying them broke down (they have a loaner replacement now).

More person-to-person recycling: High Point clothing drive

If you have clothing you don’t need any more, but you don’t already have other plans for it such as a yard sale – the Neighborhood House High Point Center has a clothing drive under way and asked us to share this call for donations:

n the spirit of reducing, reusing, and recycling, we are celebrating Earth Day by holding a clothes drive for the residents of the High Point community. We are asking the wider West Seattle community to contribute any new or slightly used clothing. Please bring clothes clean and no undergarments. Clothes donations may be left with the High Point Center front desk, 9 am-5 pm Monday-Friday of this week, April 23-27. Our address is: 6400 Sylvan Way SW. We thank you in advance for your generosity! If you have any questions, please contact High Point Living Green Project Manager, Rochelle Saedi at or (206) 588-4900 ext. 612

(And though it’s not related, we can’t resist a reminder that a whole variety of NON-clothing items can be recycled via the Fauntleroy Church event this Sunday.)

‘Opted out’ of phone books? City says 1 in 5 already has

Approaching the first anniversary of its opt-out-of-phone-books program, the city says more than a fifth of Seattle households are using it. According to a news release this morning: “More than 75,000 residents and businesses have stopped nearly 420,000 individual unwanted phone-book deliveries – saving 375 tons of paper.” Another round of deliveries looms, so they’re getting the word out now – you can opt out online by going here – do it by May 22nd, Seattle Public Utilities says, or the next round of Dex books will be on your doorstep (you can opt out of others, too). If you don’t want to opt out online, do it via an automated phone service, (206) 504-3066. (P.S. To stop junk mail, go here – note that you’ll be asked to opt out by name of company whose mailings you get, so it’s not as streamlined a process.)

West Seattle Tuesday: Crime prevention, Route 120 changes, & more

(Photo by Machel Spence – fern season!)
From the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

VIADUCT/99 CLOSURE TONIGHT: Again this week, nightly through Thursday night, Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct will close overnight SOUTHBOUND between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge. The closures are scheduled for 9 pm-5 am.

WEST SEATTLE CHAMBER ‘LUNCH AND LEARN’: The ongoing series focuses today on learning how to use LinkedIn “like a pro.” 12:30-1:30 pm at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), $25 Chamber members/$35 nonmembers (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW).

COMMUNITY CONVERSATION WITH MARTY McLAREN: Want to talk to West Seattle’s school-board rep about the BEX IV levy, the new K-5 STEM at Boren school, the superintendent finalists, anything else? She’ll be at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson) 1-2:30 pm today to meet with anybody interested in talking.

AFTERNOON PIANO MUSIC AT PARK WEST: You’re invited to come see/hear Eric “Two Scoops” Moore perform, free, 2:30 pm at Park West (1703 California SW).

UNBEATEN SOCCER TEAM BACK IN ACTION: Public high schools’ spring-sports teams are back on the field, the court, etc., this week, and today is the first game in more than a week for the Chief Sealth International High School boys-varsity soccer squad, 4 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex, vs. Ingraham. (We have ongoing sports schedules for CSIHS and WSHS throughout the week on the WSB Events Calendar.)

METRO ROUTE 120 CHANGES – AND IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT BUSES: An open house 5:30-7:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center tonight is meant to gather comments on, and share information about, big changes ahead along this popular route. That includes “rechannelization” for part of Delridge and changes in the spacing of stops along the route. Here’s our preview from Monday, including a link to a survey, if you can’t make it tonight.

‘CRIME PREVENTION THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN’ AT WSBWCN: Community Police Team Officer Jonathan Kiehn is scheduled to bring the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network an updated encore pre about multiple ways to make your home less attractive to criminals – in ways you don’t routinely hear about. 6:30 pm, Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster).

SANISLO PTA: New families are invited as well as families who already have students at Sanislo Elementary, 6:30 pm tonight (1812 SW Myrtle)

FREE ‘INTRO TO REIKI’: Tonight at Highland Park Improvement Club, 7:30 pm. Details here.

More – for today/tonight, and far beyond! – on the calendar.

Northwest Hope and Healing’s ‘Style ’12’: Days away!

April 24, 2012 12:12 am
|    Comments Off on Northwest Hope and Healing’s ‘Style ’12’: Days away!
 |   Health | How to help | West Seattle news

One week from Thursday, it’s the most fashionable fundraiser on the West Seattle calendar – Style ’12,” the 10th annual “Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good!” fashion-show benefit for Northwest Hope and Healing. Though it’s not happening IN West Seattle – it’s not far, at Showbox SODO! – there is so much West Seattle involvement, both NWHH leadership – including executive director Shari Sewell – and local businesses (as well as participating breast-cancer survivor/models!), that you might say the peninsula honorarily stretches that far for the night. For example: West Seattleite and three-time breast-cancer survivor Tracy Dart, known even more widely as a fundraiser extraordinaire, is keynote speaker. Participating boutiques/businesses include, from West Seattle, Carmilia’s, Coastal, Ola Salon, Sweetie, and West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor). Proceeds go toward helping NWHH assist women fighting breast cancer – though diagnosis and treatment may have turned their lives upside down, everyday life must go on, and NWHH assistance is geared toward helping make that happen. Find out more – and buy tickets – online, by going here. (Photo credit: Sarah Halston)

Another West Seattle 1962 view: The Mar-Lyn Motel

(Click for larger image)
When Lynn Sweeney Pedersen accepted “Emerging Business of the Year” at last Wednesday’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Westsider Awards, for her family’s The Grove/West Seattle Inn (WSB coverage here), she noted its history – opened as the Mar-Lyn Motel 50 years ago for the Seattle World’s Fair. Today, The Grove shared this 50-year-old postcard view of the Mar-Lyn. While the motel’s configuration hasn’t changed much, if you look closely, you’ll see some fun details (phone booth, drink machine, cars)…

Why police and firefighters were at Roxhill Park this evening

A “brush fire” call this past hour at 29th and Cambridge wasn’t major – but it did bring police to Roxhill Park along with two fire engines; officers were looking for witnesses. Here’s the damaged patch:

Nobody was hurt; the fire was called in quickly enough that the fire crews made fast work of it.