day : 24/10/2012 11 results

Learn about landslides: West Seattle meeting on Saturday

October 24, 2012 10:18 pm
|    Comments Off on Learn about landslides: West Seattle meeting on Saturday
 |   Safety | West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

Though we haven’t had enough rain yet to run the risk of landslides, the city wants to get the word out about the risks, and how to reduce them. October through April is landslide season, and 20,000 properties are in landslide-prone areas – if your property is among them, you’ll want to be at South Seattle Community College this Saturday morning for the first of two free landslide-awareness meetings presented by the city:

The landslide-awareness meetings will include a presentation that discusses the causes of landslides, proper drainage for sloping sites, and vegetation maintenance on slopes. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session and time for one-on-one discussions with professionals in the field, including the City of Seattle, and volunteers from The American Society for Civil Engineers, The Association of Engineering Geologists, The International Society of Arboriculture, and Associated Building Contractors.

Join them 10 am-noon Saturday (October 27) at the Judge Warren and Nobie Chan Education Center on the north side of the SSCC campus on Puget Ridge (6000 16th SW).

West Seattle development: New Alzheimer’s care facility?

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
That’s 4515 41st SW, which has gone through several development proposals in recent years, and is now the subject of a new one, according to city online records. The Department of Planning and Development page for the site now has an early-stage filing described as follows:

Proposing construction of a new 50-60 unit Alzheimer’s care community in West Seattle. Questions relative to use in the L3 zone, setbacks, parking requirements, permit timeline, and where any other Alzheimer’s communities have been proposed and or are under development in West Seattle.

The second line appears to be a note about issues brought to the DPD in early discussions; the only date on the DPD page involves a fee payment on September 18th. One contact is listed for the potential project; we tracked down a phone number and have left multiple messages seeking further comment on the proposal and what stage it’s in, and will update whenever we hear back from them. The site is in the process of being sold, according to pages like this; we had reported back in June that it was on the market. Two years ago, it was the subject of a short-lived proposal for a 7-story apartment building; in 2006, it was envisioned as 70 apartments over a park-and-ride.

Video: 2nd-to-last public-comment round before School Board’s levy vote

(Vicki Schmitz Block speaks to board on behalf of Schmitz Family – see 4:24 pm below)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:04 PM: We’re at Seattle Public Schools headquarters in SODO as the School Board starts an hourlong public-comment session on the two levies it plans to send to voters next February – including the BEX (“building excellence”) levy to raise money for construction/renovation/improvement projects. Right now, it includes plans to renovate/expand and reopen Fairmount Park Elementary in 2014; to build a new Schmitz Park Elementary on the old Genesee Hill campus, opening in 2015; and to build a new Arbor Heights Elementary to open in 2018. Most West Seattle discussion has centered on trying to get the timeline for AH moved up, as the school is in bad shape; in the past week, West Seattle’s pioneer Schmitz family, which donated the current SP Elementary site to the district, has voiced opposition to the possibility that building might be closed when the new GH school opens, though they do support a new school at GH.

We’re recording the session in its entirety but also will note West Seattle-related speakers as they come up. Twelve people are signed up – the session was scheduled for a minimum of 20. The final public-comment period will be at the November 7th board meeting, but that will be the same night as the board’s scheduled final vote. Board members are listening today but the district says they will not be commenting. More to come.

4:14 PM UPDATE: Five speakers so far, and none about West Seattle. Everyone who’s speaking signed up right before the meeting – unlike regular board meetings, there was no two-days-in-advance signup procedure.

4:21 PM: Longtime district watchdog Chris Jackins is the first to mention West Seattle BEX IV projects, saying he believes AH should be renovated immediately rather than replaced, and that he is against closing SP:

He is followed by someone talking about the proposed downtown school. Spokesperson for the Schmitz family, Vicki Schmitz Block, is scheduled to speak next.

4:24 PM: She thanks board members for replying to the letter sent several days ago and says it was a surprise to the family to hear there was a possibility SP might be closed, just as she guesses the board may be surprised to hear that some members of the Schmitz family are “still alive and living in West Seattle.” She says the family wants to keep it open in some form. She also notes that her father-in-law Dietrich Schmitz served on the board for 32 years, “a record that I don’t think has been broken.”

4:37 PM: The entire list of 14 speakers has been run through; no one else from West Seattle. They’re throwing the floor open, since the meeting technically has 23 more minutes.

4:50 PM: Six more impromptu speakers came forward, all talking about issues elsewhere in the district – including Rainier Beach High School students who said their school needs TLC even though it’s not addressed in this levy at all. At quarter till 5, the meeting recessed just in case anyone else came forward to speak – technically the floor’s open till 5. (Final note – nobody else turned up, and they moved on to an unrelated work session.)

WHAT’S NEXT: The board is scheduled to vote on BEX IV’s project list at its next regular meeting, November 7th. We may or may not see another revision between now and then. E-mail comments are still being taken at West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren – among those present for the comments today – has her next community-conversation meeting before then: 9:45 am October 31st at Concord International School in South Park.

‘The Hum’: Another noise-control update from CalPortland

(WSB photo from last Wednesday)
Last night, a couple more scattered reports of “The Hum” came in, though nothing like this past Sunday night (as reported here Monday). The shipping terminal on the Duwamish River that’s believed to be the source, CalPortland, has sent another update on how its noise-control work is going. From CP’s Pete Stoltz:

I am writing to provide an update regarding ship-offloading operations at CalPortland’s Seattle Cement Terminal and our on-going effort to control noise at the machine.

Ship-offloading operations have been delayed periodically during recent rainfall events. Our crew has used the time during these delays to install additional panels, blankets and insulation materials in an effort to reduce noise from the machine. We continue to monitor posts to the West Seattle Blog and are in regular communication with the City of Seattle’s Noise Abatement team. We know that, while noise from our operation technically complies with the noise regulations, people are still hearing, “the hum”, and are continuing with steps to reduce noise from our operation.

We are also checking regularly with the manufacturer on the status of the second silencer currently scheduled for completion and shipment on November 9th. We are assured by the experience and opinions of noise professionals from the City’s noise abatement team and independent consultant hired by the Company that installation of the second silencer will make a substantial difference in the noise from the machine.

Offloading operations are presently delayed because of rain. Crews estimate that it will take approximately 48 hours of continuous operation to finish offloading this ship. Based on that estimate, we hope offloading of this ship will be completed on October 26th. No ships are scheduled for offloading at the Seattle Cement Terminal in November, and we expect to have the new silencer delivered and installed before the next ship arrives in December.

CalPortland, and especially those of us who work at the Seattle Cement Terminal, appreciate the patience, understanding and support expressed by the West Seattle Community. We will provide additional updates if things change or new information becomes available.

We know CalPortland also has been staying in touch with the Highland Park Action Committee leadership; HPAC’s next meeting happens to be tonight, 7 pm, at HP Improvement Club (12th/Holden).

Former West Seattle property owner Mastro no longer a fugitive

Thanks to Mike for pointing us to this story on The Seattle Times (WSB partner) site: After more than a year on the run, Michael Mastro has been arrested. His numerous property holdings – before he was forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009 – had included two West Seattle development sites, one on Harbor Avenue which remains undeveloped, and one that was sold and is finally almost complete, under its new ownership, as The Residences at 3295 (southeast corner of 35th and Avalon). He also held a company involved in a canceled condo conversion south of Morgan Junction. The Times’ story says Mastro and his wife were arrested in France.

West Seattle restaurants: Inside Meander’s new White Center space, with public previews ahead

(THURSDAY UPDATE: The first preview day has been changed to Saturday 10/27, 8 am)
Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog/White Center Now

About Meander’s in White Center (opening the next two weekends for sneak previews):

First things first: the ventilation is AMAZING. See for yourself:

(Miranda even turned on the vent so I could feel the rush of air into the hood.)

With her forthcoming opening in the former Papa’s Pub in White Center (here’s our original report from 6 weeks ago), owner and chef Miranda Krone continues the evolution of what has become a favorite diner of people on our fair peninsula and beyond: Meander’s — with breakfast served all the time except weekend nights, when it turns into a gourmet bistro.

With evolution comes change, and the first change you’ll notice is all the space:
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Salmon homecoming! Drumming Sunday; creek-watchers ASAP

(2011 photo from Fauntleroy Creek, courtesy Dennis Hinton)
This Sunday is the day set for the annual Fauntleroy Creek community drumming session to call the salmon home. (5 pm, creek overlook at Fauntleroy/Director, across and uphill from the ferry dock) But they don’t seem to be waiting for an invitation – they’re approaching, and we just got word that volunteer creek-watchers are needed:

With the spotting of two coho spawners in the tidepool at the mouth of Fauntleroy Creek, Salmon Watch 2012 is getting under way a few days ahead of schedule. If you’ve thought about being a salmon watcher, this could be the year to see a lot of action. Volunteers schedule themselves for half-hour shifts when spawners are most likely to be present at the fish ladder (SW Director and upper Fauntleroy Way SW). Training on your first shift for adults and youth; children welcome with a parent. Sign up on the porch at 4539 SW Director Place; more information from Judy Pickens at 938-4203 or

West Seattle Wednesday: Highland Park Action Committee; school-levy comments; poetry/storytelling …

(Thanks to Lise for this morning’s view from Seacrest – fuzzy but we also like the Needle ‘halo’ she points out!)
From the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

DROP-IN SUPPORT GROUP FOR NEW PARENTS: Early Days meets at Nurturing Expressions (WSB sponsor) in The Junction every Wednesday, noon-2 pm. Details here.

BEX IV PUBLIC COMMENT: This is the last scheduled chance for public comment on the BEX IV levy before it goes to the School Board for a final vote Nov. 7th. Board members will listen (but not respond) to public comment, 4-5 pm at district HQ in SODO – sign up before the meeting (but they’ll take a finite number of speakers, at least 20). Here’s our preview story.

GRAND OPENING: The Technology Access Foundation‘s Bethaday Community Learning Space in White Center’s Lakewood Park is celebrating its grand opening, and you are invited to visit 5-8 pm tonight. Details here.

ART LENDING LIBRARY RETURNS! Tonight is one of its periodic checkout nights, and it’s back in West Seattle! 6 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) – details here.

POETRY AND STORYTELLING: Larry Crist and Christine Marie Clarke are the featured readers tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 6-8 pm, for the monthly stories/poems event, which includes open-mike time.

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: Monthly meeting at 7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club at 12th and Holden.

More for today/tonight (and far beyond) on our ongoing calendar – and preview Halloween events for the next week-plus on the WSB Halloween page!

West Seattle music lessons with Kelli Corrado: New WSB sponsor

October 24, 2012 9:40 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle music lessons with Kelli Corrado: New WSB sponsor
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor, Kelli Corrado, who teaches guitar, voice, and songwriting. Here’s what she’d like you to know: Her band Kelli’s Starlight Wishes released an album on Aphonia Recordings, a Pacific Northwest label. She says this experience is why people come to her for music lessons: “Again and again, my clients tell me that they seek me out because I am a working and active musician who has been successful as a songwriter and performer. The reason families stay with me is not only do I teach music theory and aural skills but also encourage the students to be creative and find their own original voice.”

Kelli says of her approach to teaching: “What makes me unique from other teachers is that I create a specific lesson plan for each student based on achieving two goals- a creative one and a technique-based one. I believe that art and music knows no age. Everyone is creative, everyone has a voice. I have taught 4-year-olds and I have taught 50-year-olds. I have a student right now whom I have taught for four years. She is getting ready to record her first EP of original songs. When I met her, she had never played the guitar, let alone sing or write a song. Also, I am told I have a special knack for working with young people. I think that’s because I make sure kids learn, but I also make sure they have fun while they learn. That’s why I am a longtime member of the Rock Camp faculty and am often asked to run workshops for young people throughout the Seattle region.”

In addition to touring and recording, Kelli teaches at the Rock School/ArtsCorps at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, Musika (a nationwide teaching association), and at Ballard Music Academy. In the summer, she teaches at various camps; this past summer, she was the artist in residence at Camp Sealth on Vashon Island. More information about Kelli is on her website at, and you can contact her by e-mail: Also see her coupon on the WSB Coupons page.

We thank music instructor Kelli Corrado 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.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday roads, buses, boats

(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:40 AM: So far, “wet roads” are the only warning regarding traffic as the day gets going. If you ride the 120 or 55 buses, there was big news late yesterday – Metro says it’s adding capacity starting Monday.

8:03 AM UPDATE: Trouble on Highway 99 south of the 1st Avenue S. Bridge, according to WSDOT, which tweeted: “A lane in each direction blocked due to a collision on SR 99 south of the 1st Ave S. Bridge.”

9:01 AM UPDATE: If you follow the online 911 log, note that it’s down for maintenance all day. So we are listening to the scanner even more intently than ever. Right now, there’s a report of another southbound Battery St. Tunnel crash – second one this morning – so if you are heading toward WS from north of there, get over to I-5!

5:25 PM UPDATE: If you are encountering any slow-going in mid-downtown or north of there on southbound I-5, the 911 log lists a crash at Yesler as of about half an hour ago. Can’t quite tell from the camera if it’s still a factor.

7 West Seattle proposals vying for Parks Levy Opportunity Fund $

For the second time since voters passed the Parks and Green Spaces Levy in 2008, a share of its Opportunity Fund is awaiting allotment to community-proposed projects. This round of the process – with $8 million to be spent – started a year ago (here’s the timeline) with draft criteria, and is now starting the review phase for the 53 formal applications submitted from around the city. We’ve obtained the application-summary list from Pete Spalding, the West Seattleite who chairs the levy’s Oversight Committee; seven of the 53 proposals (full list here) are from West Seattle. From the list, their names, locations, proposed price tags, and summary descriptions, ahead:Read More