day : 12/07/2012 10 results

Another epic West Seattle sunset! Followed by lightning…

Laura “Diver Laura” James sent that first photo (by the way, you have a few more days to vote for her and help get a grant for Sustainable West Seattle) …Then, Annika got this view as the colors intensified further:

We got a text a few minutes ago saying lightning was visible from Alki. Then, we saw some in the northwest distance from here, just now – nothing in the forecast so far, but as we learned a few days ago, anything can happen, so let us know what you see/hear!

Hot night! West Seattle Summer Fest eve & July Art Walk, report #1

July 12, 2012 6:44 pm
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 |   West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news

6:44 PM: We’re starting the night in The Junction, where the party is on, as the streets are now closed on the eve of West Seattle Summer Fest. Above, Lora Swift celebrating the 10th anniversary of her Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (north end of The Junction, close to where the Summer Fest music stage will be set up shortly) – West Seattle-created Venom Vodka is here, with owner Mark Miceli:

Also at Hotwire, DJ Lunaglow is mixing on the patio – more details on the party here. We’re roaming both West Seattle Art Walk stops and Summer Fest prep, and in many places, like here, it overlaps. Summer’s also in full swing at Twilight Artist Collective:

The new West Seattle Art Walk buttons are here, and that’s made Erin smile! Come to the info booth at Summer Fest tomorrow (where you’ll find us, too) to get yours, free. Back to what’s up tonight – it’s bazaar time at Easy Street Records:

The Art Walk fun goes on till about 9 – it’s Shop Late Thursday in The Junction too (some of the sidewalk sales are already under way – at WSB sponsors J.F. Henry and Click! Design That Fits, to name two where we’ve seen merchandise outside the storefront).

And we’ve got a crew roaming elsewhere in WS too!

7:18 PM UPDATE: It is not Summer Fest Eve without the now-West Seattle-residing Bubbleman:

His traditional show filled the street with cheering kids – and now we’re a few steps away in the ex-Petco, current Sound Ad Group HQ pending the 4724 California development – the crew in here is working on another edition of the West Seattle Podcast, as we speak … and making sure those crazy animatronic creatures still work. (added) They do! Center of attention, lip-synching Justin Bieber‘s latest …

(There’s also AIR CONDITIONING in here, you should know.) Live music ahead in the street – Yada Yada Blues Band outside West 5, and there’s a troubadour outside the boutique zone on California south of Oregon. More to come.

9:15 PM: Your editor here wound up on the WS Podcast with Jason, Tao, and Celeste (and our son). Drop by sometime – they’d love to put lots of West Seattleites “on the air”! We then wandered out to check out the Yada Yada Blues Band outside West 5 (under the appropriately blue tent):

(added) A minute of video from their set:

West 5 is one of several Junction restaurants where you’ll find short-term sidewalk café setups during Summer Fest – sure, there are the standard street-fair food vendors, but you can also enjoy your year-round faves in new ways. Speaking of vendors, they are all working into the evening to get ready for tomorrow, when WSSF begins at 10 am:

We’ll add a few more photos… we also have a separate report from stops in North Delridge and the Admiral District. But tomorrow, all eyes are on the festival … we’ll start the day with some don’t-miss highlights,and you can browse music/community stage/vendors/everything at

West Seattle businesses: Suite Arrangements’ new home – and a domino move for WS Produce

We’re continuing to keep you updated on new homes for the businesses that have to leave the future Equity Residential development site at California/Alaska/42nd – and today, we have another move confirmed, plus a “domino effect” of that move:

The furniture-consignment store Suite Arrangements is moving to 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW, just south of Alaska, the former rental-outlet site where West Seattle Produce moved late last year (2011 WSB photo at right) – and in turn, WS Produce is moving into another part of the same building, just to the north. (The Beloved Mexico food truck is staying in the parking lot.)

West Seattle Produce is making its move this weekend, and plans to be open in its new space on Monday. Suite Arrangements says it’s having a sale right now to get ready for closing its Junction location on July 29th and reopening in the new Fauntleroy Way storefront on August 1st. (added) SA owner Geoff Abadian says in his formal announcement, “With all the development planned here in the next several years, the only way West Seattle can retain a good part of its distinctive charm going forward will be for existing small businesses to be more creative and more diligent about providing their distinct offerings, and for local residents to continue patronizing them, as many are committed to doing.”

Our most recent story with updates on all the other affected businesses is here, including reminders that Rocksport Bar and Grill and Rubato Records both shutting down after this Sunday (July 15th). Rocksport does not plan to reopen (and is having an auction July 24th); Rubato is still looking for a new location. Meantime, Super Supplements, which closed in The Junction last weekend, will reopen in its new Morgan Junction location tomorrow.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Guilty plea in Alki gunfire case

While checking WSB archives in relation to this morning’s “automatic gunfire detection” story, we noticed we had lost track of the case of 26-year-old Nicholas J. Bowman, arrested for allegedly shooting at a man behind Cactus on Alki late one night in March (WSB coverage here), after pointing and waving his gun at others outside nearby Bamboo. No one was hit or hurt; witnesses called 911 and described Bowman and his vehicle, which was stopped by police on Harbor Avenue. Investigators at the gunfire scene found one 45-caliber shell casing in the area; Bowman was charged days later with one count of second-degree assault. Online records say he pleaded guilty to that charge two weeks ago and will be sentenced July 27th. As part of the plea agreement, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recommends a sentence of 3 years, 3 months – with 3 years of that being the mandatory sentence “enhancement” for use of a deadly weapon. He has no felony criminal history, but five misdemeanors, including three drug charges, larceny, and a driving violation. Bowman’s been in jail since his arrest 3 1/2 months ago. (March WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)

‘Apparent low bidder’ for Roxhill skatepark: West Seattle’s Grindline

Following up on our report from last month, we checked today with Seattle Parks‘ project manager Kelly Davidson, and she says that West Seattle-based Grindline is the “apparent low bidder” for the Roxhill Skatepark (skatespot)/play area project (the playground equipment itself will be installed by community volunteers after the site is prepped). There were three other bidders but in reviewing the proposals, the Contracting Department, Davidson says, deemed the other three “unresponsive.” Grindline (whose bid was $572K, about $30K over the estimate) designed and built Delridge Skatepark, which opened last September; construction at Roxhill is expected to start next month.

Automated gunfire detector? Part of West Seattle on recommendation list

This afternoon at 2 pm, the City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee, chaired by Councilmember Bruce Harrell, looks at a high-tech solution to a recurring problem: How to tell when reports of gunshots are really gunshots – and how to find out about gunfire if no one reports it. The committee will see a presentation for a system called ShotSpotter, which involves acoustic sensors – a media advisory for today’s meeting summarizes it this way:

How will the Automated Gunfire Locating System work? When gunfire occurs outdoors, acoustic sensors will activate instantly and software will triangulate and identify the exact location of the gunfire. A gunfire and acoustic expert analyzes and validates the audio data and routes the alert to the police dispatch center. Within minutes, the police will receive critical information and arrive at the exact location of the gunfire knowing how many shots were fired, the original shooter’s position, speed and direction of travel (if shooter moved) and exact time of gunfire.

The company’s PowerPoint is online as part of the committee agenda, so we took a look, and noticed the map above – labeling part of West Seattle as an area recommended for the sensors, because it’s one of three areas in the city that together represent 55 percent of the shots/shootings/weapons calls (the West Seattle area mentioned is described as representing 8 percent of the calls), while only comprising 18 percent of the city’s acreage. Today’s meeting is a briefing – no specific proposal is up for a vote; too soon for that, and note that the slide deck says the cost of this is $40,000-$60,000/square mile annually – but if you’re interested in watching, Seattle Channel will have it live, on cable 21 and online at

ADDED EARLY FRIDAY: Our partners at The Seattle Times covered the hearing; here’s their report.

West Seattle Thursday: Summer Fest Eve; WS Art Walk; more…

July 12, 2012 10:30 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Thanks to Don Brubeck for the photo! Forecast says the fog will clear away as it has the past few days – it’s peeking through even as we finish this roundup – and we should have sun for Summer Fest Eve/Art Walk/everything else happening tonight. Highlights:

JUNCTION STREETS CLOSE AT 6 PM: That’s when the West Seattle Summer Fest setup begins – since the peninsula’s biggest party of the year happens the next three days, it’s a big night of work to get ready. But also …

SUMMER FEST EVE IN THE STREETS: The setup is usually fairly low key, and that’s why fun stuff happens in the street on the night before Summer Fest, too. Bubbleman will be outside Elliott Bay, 6 pm; the Yada Yada Blues Band plays outside West 5as previewed here. AND …

SHOP LATE THURSDAY IN THE JUNCTION: Wander the streets AND the shops, till 9 pm, at participating merchants (listed here).

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: In The Junction, in the Admiral District, on Alki, and other locations around West Seattle, tonight is the monthly Art Walk night, and even outside the Summer Fest zone, the spirit is more festive than ever on the July Art Walk night. Preview some of the venues and artists via the official Art Walk website; get your walking map/venue list here. Among the highlights: “Summer Lovin’,” themed John Travolta (!), group show opening at Twilight Artist Collective. 6-9 pm.

WINE CLUB AND LIVE MUSIC: At C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor; 5612 California SW):

Relax with a glass of wine and feel the warmth of Choro Tocando and the music of Brazil. Wine club meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month. Join us as we explore a new theme each month and feel free to bring an appetizer! $5.00 tasting fee or wines by the glass or bottle. 21 and older please.

BIG NIGHT AT THE WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Ask an Expert, *plus* the Tool Library’s mobile-unit debut, and a visit from Spark Truck, all happening tonight, 6-8 pm, at the Tool Library’s Youngstown Cultural Arts Center headquarters (4408 Delridge Way SW)

WHITE CENTER (ETC.) ANNEXATION INFO MEETING: If you’re on the county side of the line and want to know more about the Burien annexation measure coming up on the November ballot, the next informational session is tonight at 6 pm, Dubsea Coffee in Greenbridge (8th SW, a block south of Roxbury).

DRUM CIRCLE ON ALKI: Second edition of this new weekly tradition. 6:30 pm, meet near the Alki Statue of Liberty. Details here.

DESC DELRIDGE PROJECT ADVISORY COMMITTEE: 6:30 pm at Youngstown – agenda details here.

34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: Their agenda tonight includes a resolution related to the SODO arena proposal (read the text here). More meeting info at; meeting’s at 7 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW).

GENESEE-SCHMITZ NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: Outdoor meeting tonight, on the upper playground of the Genesee Hill School campus, 7 pm.

West Seattle traffic alert: Eastbound bridge STILL backed up

The northbound I-5 backup that’s caused trouble all morning is still not totally cleared out yet, and the eastbound West Seattle Bridge looks more like 7:30 am right now than 10 am. If you are used to getting out quickly this time of day or later, check the cameras first.

Happy 70th wedding anniversary to Carroll and Connie Blackman!

A happy milestone today, shared by the couple’s family:

Today, the family and friends of West Seattle residents Carroll and Connie Blackman want to wish them a wonderful 70th wedding anniversary!

Out of this amazing marriage, the Blackmans produced three children, nine grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren (with another on the way), and two great-great-grandchildren.

Having lived most of their adult life in Arizona and California, Carroll and Connie moved to West Seattle in 2007 to be near family. Upon their arrival, they lived in the Diplomat condominiums in the Junction – making friends with their neighbors, Holy Rosary parishioners, and Husky Deli proprietors.

They recently moved to Merrill Gardens at Admiral Heights, where they are now making friends with the other residents and sharing their love with great-grandchildren who stop by unannounced for an ice cream bar or cookie. The West Seattle portion of their clan is thrilled to have the opportunity to share this wonderful milestone with them.

Congratulations, Grandma and Grandpa Blackman!

Ncompass Construction: Video venture; Summer Fest spotlight

Way back when so many West Seattle homes were built (WSB HQ dates to 1941), one bathroom was fairly standard. Somehow, the hectic life of today just isn’t too compatible, as longtime WSB sponsor Ncompass Construction‘s first-ever promo video illustrates. As Ncompass gets ready to participate in this weekend’s West Seattle Summer Fest, they’re also using that video – and two more on the way – to tell the world what they can do. Ncompass co-proprietor Stefan Hansmire says, “One of the things we are especially proud of is that several of the talent and many of the production staff are West Seattle residents including Westsider Meli Alexander, who will be moving back to LA this fall to pursue her professional acting career. Other WS talent includes Brian Gaynor, Reed Stannard, Kate Stannard and Erin Neal.” Right now, the vignette is showcased on this page of the Ncompass website, which also notes that their backyard-cottage workshop at Summer Fest is set for 1 pm Friday (July 13), in the GreenLife zone at the south end of the festival area.