day : 24/05/2012 12 results

Update: New setback for Marination at Seacrest

(UPDATED 3:55 pm Friday, with information from Seattle Parks)

At first, it looked like possible progress for Marination‘s Seacrest Boathouse restaurant project when today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin arrived, with word that the land-use permit had been approved. But when we checked in with Marination owners Roz Edison and Kamala Saxton this morning, we found out that instead, they’re dealing with a new delay, and facing a fall opening, at best, compared to the mid-to-late summer estimate when they visited the Alki Community Council last month (WSB coverage here).

“Although Land Use has issued its decision, we just recently heard that we are still nearly 2 months away from getting a building permit,” Edison replied. She explained that the decision announced today will require the city to “inform the Department of Ecology in Olympia,” which then has up to a month to review and make its own decision. Even if it gives thumbs up, she continued, “then there is another mandatory period for public comment, 21 days. Only after this public comment period – again assuming no objections – will the Seattle DPD issue a building permit.”

She says Marination was “not informed of this secondary level of review when all this began.” And it’s not a promising timetable: “Our estimates, with this newly revealed process and our most hopeful build-out timelines, would have us opening in mid- to late September – just in time to watch the leaves turn color.”

So are they considering abandoning the project? We’re waiting for a reply to that followup question, and will also be checking up on where the city Parks Department believes everything stands. If you are just coming in on this ongoing story – the city chose Marination’s bid to operate Seacrest, over a bid by the previous concessionaire, Alki Crab and Fish. Then it was revealed that the site had never been formally approved for restaurant operations, and the city Department of Planning and Development was initiating a separate review on that.

ADDED 3:55 PM FRIDAY: We took our followup questions to Karen O’Connor in the Seattle Parks communications department, and she tracked down the people who could answer them. First, she confirmed that they have not yet finalized a lease with Marination, but said they are “close to a final lease agreement.” O’Connor said Parks has a more optimistic view of the timetable, while affirming what Marination’s Edison told us, that the state now has to issue its approval, with “a 21-day public involvement period that follows that. Then it goes back to DPD who issues the final permit. We hear that DOE often rules pretty quickly. It is still possible for a mid- to late-August opening, if things move along as we hope.”

Finally, we asked about the status of an official community meeting with an update on where things said, which Parks had previously promised for “late spring.” O’Connor says, “We will have some signage on the building by the end of next week and still plan to have a community meeting when we have definite dates that we can share with the community.”

West Seattle development: 4724 California clears 1st round of Design Review

(WSB video of tonight’s entire Design Review meeting)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Not much drama in the first Southwest Design Review Board meeting for the 7-story project proposed on the ex-Petco site, 4724 California.

After an hour and 20 minutes and just four members of the public commenting, board members gave their approval for the proposal to move on to the next review round, which also means the project team can apply for a key city permit.

Two of the commenters were a resident and manager from Mural, the three-year-old building immediately east of this project’s site; the board also heard from Rich Koehler, whose thoughts on the project were featured in this WSB story, and from Rene Commons, a community advocate and Junction Neighborhood Organization member who had also been active in speaking out during the Design Review process for the ex-Conner/Equity Residential project on the boards for California/Alaska/42nd, north of this one and Mural.

Key points of discussion: Whether the building’s upper stories will be set back enough that, from the California SW streetfront, it will not appear to be a 7-story building; also, the width and character of the “midblock crossing” on the north side of the building, envisioned to connect with the passageway alongside Mural, and to the crosswalk on California.

ADDED EARLY FRIDAY: Full details, ahead:Read More

Spokane St. Viaduct update: 4th Ave. ramp to reopen May 30th

The good news is, the city expects to reopen the 4th Avenue S. offramp from the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct next Wednesday, May 30th. The not-so-good news is, as previously warned, that means the 1st Avenue S. ramp will close temporarily, as rehab work continues on the old deck of the widened SSV. Here’s the latest about that and other project-related changes/closures for next week (plus another warning about the June 9-11 westbound closure) from project spokesperson Paul Elliott:Read More

Stand-up paddleboard rentals at Alki Beach, starting Saturday

Just announced by Greg Whittaker, proprietor of Mountain to Sound Outfitters and Alki Kayak Tours, a new venture right on the beach!

Mountain to Sound Outfitters has finalized a permit for Stand Up Paddleboard Rentals on Alki Beach with Seattle Parks and Recreation.

The concession will be located off of 55th Ave SW and Alki Avenue at the human-powered launch area of Alki Beach. This Saturday, Mountain to Sound Rentals will be open and renting Stand up Paddleboards (SUP) for the sunny weather and to start setting up the season’s program.

Mountain to Sound Rentals will also be providing sit-on-top kayaks, skates, and longboards as the season progresses.

Come by and check out the new expansion Saturday, and hop on a Stand Up Paddleboard, or just swing by and say hi.

West Seattle food/drink: Charlie’s plan changes; Chaco’s $2.50 Tuesdays

Two food/drink notes this afternoon:

CHARLIE’S BUNS CANCELS DELRIDGE PLAN: Veronica Weaver of the Charlie’s Buns ‘n’ Stuff food truck confirms she has scrapped her plan for a bricks-and-mortar burgers/cheesesteaks location at 5214 Delridge Way SW. We checked in with her after a new coffee stand opened in the complex (more on that, to come) and a WSB’er asked us if the coffee place was the space Charlie’s was supposed to be taking. No, says Weaver, she had signed a lease for the space next to that one – but she says she canceled the lease because things weren’t working out – “There were issues having them do the improvements necessary to have the space be a restaurant.” But, she says, “We are currently still looking for a space to occupy, hopefully in West Seattle. We will see, what may come our way.”

$2.50 TUESDAYS AT CHACO CANYON: Just got word from Chaco Canyon Organic Café (WSB sponsor) proprietor Chris that they’re starting something new next Tuesday – “organic beer, wine and cider only $2.50 from 3 pm to close!” Chaco Canyon is the vegetarian/vegan café at 38th/Alaska, on the ground floor of Link.

Lafayette Elementary’s new principal announced: Shauna Heath

Just in (thanks to those who forwarded it), a letter from Seattle Public Schools to families at Lafayette Elementary, whose first-year principal Jo Lute-Ervin announced three months ago (long before the investigation that has made news this week) she would not be returning for a second year:

Dear Lafayette Elementary community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Shauna Heath as your new principal, effective July 1.

Ms. Heath comes to Lafayette from the Kent School District, where she served as principal of Sunrise Elementary for the past two years. Ms. Heath is not only a great educator, but she lives in West Seattle and will be an excellent fit for the Lafayette community.

Ms. Heath started her career as a special education teacher in King Salmon, Alaska and then as a special education teacher for the Shelton School District in Washington. She was the assistant principal for Tillicum Middle School in Bellevue from 1998-2002, served as an elementary school principal in Clinton, Tennessee, and was a middle school principal in Riverdale, Georgia. Before moving back to Washington state, she was the pre-kindergarten through 5th Grade Instructional Services Director for City Schools of Decatur, Georgia.

Ms. Heath holds a Washington State Administrative Certification from the University of Puget Sound, and a Master of Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts from Evergreen State College. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in K-12 Leadership through Walden University.

Ms. Heath was selected following an interview process that included a school-based screening by members of the Lafayette Building Leadership Team and family community. She was interviewed by the school-based hiring team and also completed an instructional school walk through with Executive Director of Schools Aurora Lora. The selection team was particularly impressed with her knowledge of curriculum and instruction, her years of experience as a school and district administrator, and her dedication to the West Seattle community as a resident and parent.

I know you are all eager to get to know your new principal. She will be available to meet staff and families before the end of the school year. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Heath to the Lafayette community!


Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent

(The website to the new principal’s current school is here.)

Remembering West Seattle civic activist Margaret Ceis, 1925-2012

(Photo courtesy ArtsWest, whose Kongsgaard-Alhadeff Award honored Ms. Ceis in 2005)
Friends, family, and political/civic leaders around the area are remembering longtime West Seattle activist Margaret Ceis today. She passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Her community service included being a founding member of the ArtsWest board, serving on the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners – for which she was honored in this 1996 City Council resolution – the Alki Community Council, the Harborview Medical Center Board of Trustees, and more.

Her leadership skills and perseverance were legend; when former mayor and current Secretary of State candidate Greg Nickels spoke at the memorial last year for another longtime community activist, Vivian McLean (WSB coverage here), he mentioned Ms. Ceis as, along with Ms. McLean, one of the local activists “you never say ‘no’ to.” Ms. Ceis was the mother of former deputy mayor Tim Ceis. We asked King County Executive Dow Constantine, one of many local leaders that she inspired, for his thoughts:

Our community lost a genuine champion with the passing of Margaret Ceis.

A lifelong community organizer and political activist, Margaret led the 34th District Democrats, the Alki Community Council and the League of Women Voters, among many other groups. She helped to create and promote the landmark 1989 King County Open Space bond issue, chaired the Seattle Parks Board, co-founded ArtsWest, and co-chaired the Three Projects/One Community campaign in Delridge.

It was Margaret who introduced me to grassroots Democratic politics. Her endorsement was without question the most coveted in West Seattle. In 1996 she was the co-chair of my successful campaign for the State House of Representatives. Without the coaxing and mentorship of Margaret Ceis I might never have sought or been elected to public office, and I will be forever grateful to her.

My condolences to Margaret’s family and friends, and to the entire West Seattle community, which she changed time and again for the better.

No word of memorial arrangements for Ms. Ceis yet, but they are expected to be made through Howden-Kennedy. We expect to add more to this story as the day goes on.

ADDED 11:38 PM: The Seattle Times (WSB partner) has published a story tonight about Ms. Ceis, for whom a memorial is planned at 2 pm June 2nd at The Hall at Fauntleroy.

Springer the orphan orca: Alki anniversary party planned

(Springer, photographed in 2002 by West Seattle-based researcher Mark Sears)
It was a wildlife drama with a happy ending, and much of it played out just outside West Seattle waters, in 2002. Now the 10th anniversary of the rescue of Springer the orphan orca will include a celebration on Alki, led by West Seattle-based advocacy/education group The Whale Trail. Read on for details!Read More

West Seattle Thursday: Development; music; art; wine …

Thanks to Bob Bussman for sharing photos of an eagle getting takeout at Lincoln Park. (Several WSB’ers have sent photos lately of eagles dining; a few were a bit gory.) We’ve added one more of his images at the end of this story. But first – here’s what’s on the events/activities menu today:

WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: The WSDW monthly meeting is at midday today – starting with the 10:30 am discussion group. Full details on discussion and lunch, here.

SCHOOL CONCERTS: More orchestra concerts at local schools today, as previewed in our report on Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras‘ coaching program: According to the SYSO list, Arbor Heights Elementary concerts are at 1:30 and 6 pm, Gatewood Elementary concerts are at 2 and 6 pm.

ARTIST RECEPTION AT THE MOUNT: 4-6 pm, Providence Mount St. Vincent‘s Intergenerational Art Show and Sale continues with an artist reception. Details here. 4831 35th SW.

2 WINE TASTINGS: At West Seattle Cellars (WSB sponsor), 5:30-8 pm, German wines are in the spotlight – and the bottles, and the glasses. Free. Full details in our calendar listing; 6026 California SW … At Bin 41 (4707 California SW), 6-8 pm, it’s all about Chardonnay tonight – details here.

4724 CALIFORNIA PROJECT, 1ST DESIGN REVIEW: Five weeks after our first report on this 100-unit project proposed for the former Petco storefront, it goes to the Southwest Design Review Board for “early design guidance.” Public comment is welcome. 6:30 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). Our preview from last night is full of info-links, including our previous reports and even the “Community Guide to Design Review” if you haven’t been to a DRB meeting before.

And now, another eagle-with-fish photo from Bob:

Thanks to everyone who shares photos for potential WSB publication! You can e-mail us any time – or share via the WSB pages on Facebook or on Flickr.

West Seattle Bridge traffic alert update: Ramp cleared

May 24, 2012 8:27 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Bridge traffic alert update: Ramp cleared
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

8:27 AM: Thanks to Todd for the text: He says a bus/car problem on an I-5 ramp is backing up the eastbound bridge, and it took about 40 minutes to get across.

8:53 AM UPDATE: SDOT also has issued an alert about this, via Twitter. It’s not on the 911 log so apparently not an incident involving injuries.

Followup: Taste of West Seattle brings Helpline $30,000

(WSB photo of the Metropolitan Market [WSB sponsor] team at Taste of West Seattle 2012)
One week after the well-attended Taste of West Seattle (WSB coverage here), we have the tally from Tara Byrne, executive director of West Seattle Helpline, which organizes and benefits from the ever-bigger event:

At the Taste of West Seattle we net profited about $21,500.

Aside from funds raised by the Taste of West Seattle, Metropolitan Market presented a check for $7,500 and West Seattle Cellars presented a check for $775. Those proceed all came from the generosity of their customers. The West Seattle Helpline feels truly blessed that West Seattle business community and West Seattle residents believe in supporting their fellow neighbor during times of need. Thank you, West Seattle!

Overall, we brought in close to $30,000 on May 17th. These proceeds will help approximately 190 families stay in their homes or keep their utilities on while regaining self-sufficiency after facing an emergency.

You can, of course, help the Helpline any time – here’s how.

West Seattle gardens: Seed-swap time at the library

May 24, 2012 5:04 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle gardens: Seed-swap time at the library
 |   Gardening | West Seattle news

The annual seed swap is on at the West Seattle (Admiral District) branch of the Seattle Public Library. They want you to know:

If you have seeds you would like to share with your neighbors, bring them to the West Seattle Branch. Small envelopes will be provided. While you’re at the library be sure to take some seeds to try out in your garden and browse our collection of gardening books. The Seed Exchange is free and will run through Saturday, June 9. Happy spring!

Find the branch’s hours and location here.