day : 28/09/2012 11 results

West Seattle development notes: Demolition; design review

Two development notes tonight:

DEMOLITION DONE: At 5247 California SW, the former home of (among others) “Psychic Barber” Rick Cook (who is now at The Classic Barber Shop) and other businesses is now rubble. We had noted previously that the house behind the commercial building was taken down first; then a plywood facade went up along the California SW street front,and finally yesterday the one-floor building came down. A three-story mixed-use building with underground parking is planned, according to online city records.

DESIGN REVIEW MEETING FOR VESSELIYE: The third Southwest Design Review Board meeting about a four-story mixed-use building at 9051 20th SW in South Delridge, is now on the schedule. 35 apartments and four live-work units are now proposed for the project called Vesseliye (described at the 1st Design Review as a Slavic word meaning “joy”), which was originally two buildings, as noted in this WSB report from June, but was changed into one and so went back for a second round of Early Design Guidance. Its third and possibly final review is now set for October 25th at 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle. P.S. For those interested in fine-point details, the developer of this project has documentation online including the floor plan from its master-use-permit application.

1 more reminder: Metro changes & RapidRide debut, hours away

It’s been almost five years since the term “RapidRide” first appeared on our site (in this story). Now, it’s a matter of hours before the new bus route hits the West Seattle road. Shelters and lit-up signboards are in place – and they do look a lot like what was shown in renderings way back at the start of 2008:

But tomorrow’s changes go far beyond RapidRide’s debut. Some routes have been changed, some dropped, some added, and those changes happen tomorrow too.

*All bus riders, all routes, will pay when entering the bus (and remember,there’s no more downtown Ride-Free Area) – info here
*For the list of which routes have been dropped and added – and new schedules for others – see the links here
*For the changes on the new Route 50 – until two road situations can be resolved – see this story
*For Metro’s answers to more than 20 specific questions asked by WSB’ers in a special Q/A, see the two links in the WSB Forums

Tomorrow, 11 am-4 pm, Metro will be at Westwood Village for a special RapidRide C Line launch event – here are the details:

The C Line gets going with the start of morning service on Sept. 29. It replaces the Metro Route 54 and will offer frequent all-day service between Westwood Village and downtown Seattle.

Residents can learn more about the new service and its amenities from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday (Sept 29) at Westwood Village. A RapidRide coach, Metro staff and RapidRide Man will be located in the parking lot in front of Barnes and Noble bookstore to share information about the new C Line and provide trip planning advice.

The C Line will offer 10 to 15-minute service most of the day – so frequent riders won’t even need a timetable. Metro has nearly doubled the number of trips provided in this corridor; half of the new trips began in 2011 and the other half will be added when C Line service begins.

New RapidRide buses will come equipped with low floors, three doors for easy boarding, environmentally-friendly hybrid technology, on-board WiFi and security cameras.

As many residents have already seen, 34 RapidRide stops have been added all along the C Line corridor. The stops include well-lit shelters, extra benches and a light beacon that riders can turn on to let bus drivers know they are waiting for the bus at night.

Larger RapidRide stops are called stations and will feature real-time “next bus arrival” signs and provide off-board ORCA card readers. The C Line corridor will also have a transit-signal priority system that gives buses the green light through busy intersections. The majority of these features will be in place for the launch of the new line.

We’ll be covering the launch and route changes throughout the day – and for the first commute on Monday. We’ll be interested to hear from you on observations not just from RR, but from other services too. Here are all the ways to reach us (besides commenting on stories and posting in the Forums!) 24/7.

Roxhill Park playground renovations: ‘Community build’ postponed

While work has begun at the Roxhill Skatespot/Playground site, there’s now a change in plan for when community volunteers will be at the site building the new “castle” play structure. Here’s what Mat McBride, who has been coordinating the project, has announced to those already signed up to help:

We just learned from the Seattle Parks Department and playground contractor that the build dates have been moved back due to certain materials being unavailable. We are working with Seattle Parks right now to identify a new build schedule. We are still building a park, but we will not be working October 17-21. The sign-up sheet will be closed and those of you who had the opportunity to confirm your shifts (thank you!) should receive additional notification.

McBride says he’ll have an update when more information is available about new dates, and you can watch the community website at We’ll be checking with Parks on Monday for more specifics on the situation.

West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival: Last call for activities!

Exactly one month till the first-ever West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival – combining the traditional business-district trick-or-treating with a close-down-the-streets dose of FREE family festival fun, AND a special California SW edition of the West Seattle Farmers’ Market. One big component of the festival (10 am-2 pm October 28th) is an array of activities sponsored and presented by local groups, schools, and businesses. Susan Melrose from the WS Junction Association is putting out one last call for ANYONE interested in organizing and presenting an activity for the festival. Here’s what’s planned already:

Sustainable West Seattle – Cider Pressing
Westside Baby – Face Painting
Delridge Food Coop – Pumpkin Walk
Hope Lutheran Church and School – Games
Community School of West Seattle – Mini Farm and Games
West Seattle Christian School and Hotwire Coffee – Cut-out wood frame photo booth (take your own), photo frame craft project
Guide Dogs For The Blind – Puppy Origami
American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 160 – Fishing for rubber duckies
Young at Art – Art Project
WS Blog/WS Bowl/WS Baby (WSB x 3) – Pumpkin Bowling
City Mouse Studio – Kooky Spooky Costume Comp’
West Seattle Eagles Hall – Fishing for fun in kiddie pool
Fitness Revolution with Jill – Win a treat for doing a fitness activity
West Seattle Music Studio – Music Listening activity (by students)
West Seattle Montessori School – Make your own bookmarks

Any other organizations/businesses/schools interested in offering a fun activity to make the first-ever edition of this festival unforgettable? E-mail Susan ASAP at

West Seattle High School: ‘Big gains’ in test scores, and more, revealed @ PTSA meeting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Tonight is West Seattle High School‘s homecoming game – and it caps off a big week that included the first 2012-2013 PTSA meeting.

“It’s the first meeting of the year and we are really revving to go. I’m excited to be here because I think West Seattle High School is really turning a corner” – especially in terms of parental involvement -began the new PTSA president, Tracy Burrows. “Now, we’re just building on the foundation … of the last couple of years.”

The theme of moving forward and upward recurred throughout the meeting. Principal Ruth Medsker shared promising academic news; PTSA leadership spoke about goals for the year.

Read More

If you wondered why those Seattle Police motorcycles went by…

A procession of Seattle Police motorcycle officers through the Admiral District drew some attention this morning, and brought in several inquiries.

(7/21/2012 photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
We’ve confirmed it was one final sendoff for the former leader of the SPD Motorcycle Drill Team, Officer John Bernasconi, retiring after 43 years with SPD. We covered the ceremony honoring him (above) during this past summer’s West Seattle Grand Parade – he chose the WS Parade for his final ride (instead of Seafair Torchlight) because he’s a native West Seattleite. SPD explains that this was Officer Bernasconi’s last official workday; in appreciation for his service and camaraderie, his now-former co-workers escorted him home after he turned in his equipment, motorcycle included.

Arbor Heights water-main work: October 8th set as starting date

September 28, 2012 11:21 am
|    Comments Off on Arbor Heights water-main work: October 8th set as starting date
 |   Arbor Heights | Utilities | West Seattle news

(August 2011 photo – what the water-main improvements are meant to prevent)
If you’re in the Arbor Heights areas where the city will be replacing water mains and adding fire hydrants as part of the project sparked by the August 2011 house fire – watch your mailbox. Seattle Public Utilities is sending you this one-sheet, now that the date has been set for work to start on October 8th. They’ll move from south to north, starting on SW 105th between 37th and 39th; Award Construction is the contractor, and the city says crews will work Mondays through Thursdays, completing construction by mid-December, with road restoration to follow. As the flyer says: “When completed, these water-system improvements will increase firefighting capabilities, resulting in all properties in Arbor Heights being within 1,000 feet of a 1,000 gallon-per-minute fire hydrant.”

P.S. In case you missed it – one month ago, we researched and published a one-year-later followup on the fire and these planned improvements; see it here.

Fun event in West Seattle on October 6th – IF a venue is found!

Heard about the Caine’s Arcade Cardboard Challenge (inspired by the now-famous video above)? West Seattleite Marie, who publishes Make and Takes, is hosting one as part of the worldwide event on Saturday, October 6th, but needs to find a venue! She says:

The location would need to be indoors and large enough to host up to 30-40 people with room for cardboard creations, multiple tables preferred. Children, and adults, will bring in their pre-made cardboard creations to display and for others to play with, cardboard-arcade style. This event is also in need of cardboard, scissors and tape donations as well, for those who want to create while they are there. If you have any information that would help, please e-mail Marie at

If she gets a place set up for 10/6, we’ll add a followup with where you can go to be part of it!

West Seattle Friday: WSHS Homecoming, and more

(From Dan Murphy: The sunrise, from a bus, through a fence, over WS Stadium. Plus: Rainbow photos here!)
It’s a turbo preview today – much news in the works, even before we see what else the day brings – so for the COMPLETE roundup of what’s up today/tonight, we point you to the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar. For a preview of what’s behind each line, mouse over its right side and click the “plus” sign; then, to see the full entry, click “READ MORE” and the page will open, usually including a map. Here’s the big event for tonight:

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL HOMECOMING: Barbecue at 6 pm, game at 7 pm, vs. Rainier Beach, at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle). WSHS fans are asked to wear white. Details in the brand-new edition of the Westside Weekly newsletter.

Much more – from gardening to music, and beyond – on the calendar.

Video: SPD ‘here to listen’ at Safe Communities gathering in West Seattle

What do West Seattle and South Park residents want from their police? That was one of the key questions as the first Safe Communities Initiative gathering brought more than 100 people to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge last night. Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen told those gathered, “We’re here to listen.” While much of the meeting was held in small-group conversations – like the one in our top photo – Capt. Paulsen and Mayor McGinn spoke for a few minutes at the start, and we recorded that on video:

Among the police there to listen – out of uniform – was Community Police Team Officer Jonathan Kiehn, at left:

Each group recorded its requests and ideas, and the pages of notes were collected after about an hour. Here’s one representative page:

If you couldn’t get to the meeting – scroll down this page for a form you can use to tell SPD your top safety concern. That same page lists the “Safe Communities” meetings to be held in SPD’s other four precinct areas later this fall.

P.S. The mayor’s office also points out that SPD is still offering “Living Room Conversations” if you’d like to get your neighbors together for a face-to-face with local police – we covered one in Arbor Heights last spring.

P.P.S. The Vicious Puppies Crew – local breakdancers – performed at the event, and we recorded that too:

West Seattle weather: Rainbows to start the day

7:23 AM: Thanks to Don Brubeck for sharing the photo – rainbows to start the day, and a shower!

7:38 AM: Thanks also to everyone else who has sent photos! Jason Axley says he “caught this on my way to the bus”:

This one’s from Kari:

The forecast calls for high clouds, and then another chance of showers tonight.

ADDED 10:03 AM: Click ahead for more photos shared by WSB’ers: Read More