day : 08/11/2012 13 results

Quick update after Design Review doubleheader: 4724 California done; 4755 Fauntleroy advances to next stage

We’ll have separate full-length reports later on both parts of tonight’s Design Review Board doubleheader, but since it has just wrapped up after more than 3 1/2 hours, we have toplines: The board gave its final blessing to 4724 California, the building planned for the ex-Petco site in The Junction, and allowed 4755 Fauntleroy Way – the megaproject that we now know will include Whole Foods – to move on to the second phase of Design Review. 4724 California still has other parts of the permit process to go through, but now that this stage is complete, they’re expecting to start construction – with demolition first – around April 1st. A fair amount of public comment was provided on both projects, mostly positive for 4724 California, some negative for 4755 Fauntleroy Way – “South Lake Union next to West Seattle” was one vivid phrase. Again, full coverage coming up later.

Roxhill Castle update: Grand opening planned for December 22

Another update tonight on the Roxhill Castle playground project, almost complete after five extensive days of volunteer work: Volunteer organizer Mat McBride says, “We are targeting the first day of Winter Break, 12/22/12, for the opening of the Castle Park.” (The adjacent skatespot, still under construction, will open separately, at another date.) The finishing touches include a new treatment for the “castle roof,” McBride explains: “Cool as the metal surface is, that’s only the superstructure for a mosaic sculpture. Originally, it was set to look like all of the other crenellations, but local amazing human Mike Henderson was assigned to work it. Mike had other ideas, which he shared with Barry [from Leathers and Associates], and we decided to go with it, on the spot. Because of the unique nature of this park build, we could do that.” He added that other “sculpture elements” are under consideration.

County sets meeting about South Park Bridge construction delay

November 8, 2012 6:49 pm
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 |   South Park | Transportation | West Seattle news

(Recent aerial view of bridge construction, by Long Bach Nguyen)
One week after first word that the South Park Bridge would not be complete until next year, King County has announced a meeting to update everyone who’s interested:

King County will host a community meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15 to update residents on the status of South Park Bridge construction. The meeting will be held at the South Park Neighborhood Center, 8201 10th Ave. S., Seattle.

During the meeting, County engineers will review construction progress, including efforts to excavate new piers. The contractor, Kiewit Massman JV, has informed the County that this phase of work has taken longer than expected, which will shift the timeline for opening the bridge. The County and the contractor are now working on a revised construction schedule. The updated timeline for bridge completion should be announced in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, other elements of the project are moving forward. Major steel components for the new bridge have started arriving. Later this month demolition of portions of the old bridge will get underway.

During the meeting, engineers will provide more details about construction activities currently underway, share photos of recently completed excavation work and answer questions.

For more information about the meeting, contact Ashley DeForest, (206) 684-1154 or email her at

West Seattle scene: ‘Locked up’ to help fight muscular dystrophy

Around West Seattle today, there was an unusual number of “arrests” – and an unusual number of smiles associated with them. The occasion: The “lockup” fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Above, environmental health/safety specialist Christa Colouzis getting “arrested” at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) at noontime today. That photo was shared by co-worker Marcia Mitchell; next photo, we went to the lock-up site – Talarico’s in The Junction – to see who we would find “behind bars”:

That’s Lora Swift from Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) – Lora tweeted the actual “arrest” – and David Groves from Seattle Logo Pro. Firefighters made the “arrests,” and then the “arrestees” were supposed to get MDA donations from friends, family, colleagues, whomever, to make “bail.”

West Seattle power outage: 2 ‘customers,’ but one’s a school

November 8, 2012 4:00 pm
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 |   High Point | Utilities | West Seattle news

4 PM: We’re checking with Seattle City Light about what at first glance might look like a small power outage in High Point – two “customers,” per the SCL outage map – but affects many more people, because one of those “customers” is West Seattle Elementary School, according to tipster Odetta, who says it happened right around dismissal time, just before 3. The city map projects restoration around mid-evening, but says the cause is being investigated.

4:07 PM UPDATE: SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen tells WSB the problem isn’t with their system, but rather “the customer’s panel.” So now we’re checking with the school district.

ADDED: Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Teresa Wippel explains:

(The) power outage was from 2:50-3:47 pm, caused by a boiler malfunction that blew the circuit breakers. Students left school about 10 minutes early to wait for the bus since there was no power. They were able to bring the power back on and City Light came out to inspect and ensure there were no safety issues. So school is on as usual for (Friday) but I’m told it may be a little cool at the school in the morning since the boiler still needs repairs — the building also has a heat pump, which will be used as a backup until the boiler is fixed. (They need to get some parts to do that.)

Crime Watch: Warning for bus riders; gratitude for bystander

This didn’t happen in West Seattle, but the choosing-to-be-anonymous victim – and the person who helped her – were both headed this way:

Last night I had the unfortunate experience of being robbed while waiting for the Rapid Ride C line downtown. I was at the stop on the corner of 3rd and Pike at 9 pm after my evening class let out when a man grabbed my iPhone right out of my hands and ran away with it before I could even get a good look at him.

I was shaken and upset and I want to warn other bus riders of this danger. The stop really didn’t feel unsafe, even at that time of night because the corner is so well-lit and there were LOTS of people around. The officer that took my report said that this crime is very common in that location.

A very nice young woman stepped up to loan me her phone to call 911. She missed her bus to West Seattle in order to let me place my call. I’m trying to focus my mental images of the night on her good deed rather than the jarring experience of being a crime victim.

Followup: New slide in place & in play at Myrtle Reservoir Park

Thanks to Amy for sharing the photo from the Myrtle Reservoir Park playground and this report:

Eleanore and Mimi (were the) first kids to use the new slide after they removed the yellow tape about 12:45 pm today.

Checking the WSB archives, we are reminded that the Myrtle slide was taken out nine months ago after a nationwide recall following at least 16 injuries involving that particular type of slide.

Octopus followup: Dylan Mayer advocates for protection in Olympia

12:36 PM: There’s a postscript today to last week’s big controversy over a 19-year-old diver removing an octopus from popular Cove 2 at Seacrest.

West Seattle environmental advocate “Diver Laura” James – the first person to tip us last week – monitored the proceedings in Olympia before state Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting. In our coverage last week, we focused on plans to push for protection of wildlife at Cove 2, since otherwise, the octopus catch was completely legal. The state explained that public comment was welcome at commission meetings (today and tomorrow are the first ones since the incident). James reports that the octopus catcher, Dylan Mayer, spoke during the public-comment period of today’s meeting, “on behalf of closing Cove 2 for octopus and putting up clear signage.” She adds, “Massive props go to Craig Willemsen, the owner of Silent World Diving Systems, who met with him on Tuesday and discussed it as an option.” Mayer had defended his action in various discussions, including the WSB Forum, with several posts including this one. This morning’s meeting was webcast by TVW, and video will eventually be online here.

ADDED 6:37 PM: The official state news release about what happened today, including Mayer’s comments:Read More

West Seattle Thursday: Art Walk; Design Review doubleheader

(Photo by Doug B, whose work you can check out on Flickr)
Beautiful morning! And the Olympic Mountains’ snow frosting reminds us it’s getting colder – tonight’s low is expected to drop into the 30s. But no rain is expected today/tonight, so it’s still a great chance to be out and about, with the following highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar:

LIBRARY STORY TIME: 11:15 am, it’s Preschool Story Time at Delridge Library (Brandon/Delridge).

MDA FUNDRAISER ‘LOCKUP’: At midday today, as part of a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, various local business/organization leaders/reps will be “arrested” and “locked up” till they are “bailed out” by pledges/donations to MDA.

NEXT ELECTION RESULTS: King County plans to release new vote counts at 4:30 and 8:30 pm today/tonight. They say about 3,300 “on-time ballots” arrived with this morning’s mail.

BIKE MASTER PLAN WORKSHOP: Downtown last night, on Beacon Hill tonight – it’s your second chance to speak up for West Seattle’s needs in the city’s Bicycle Master Plan Update. 5:30-7:30 pm at NewHolly Gathering Hall, as explained here.

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: 6-9 pm tonight at dozens of venues around West Seattle! Here’s the list/map. Some highlights:
-Longtime WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli‘s internationally famous “big food/little people” work is part of a group show at ArtsWest in The Junction, and he’ll be there for the reception, 6-7:30 pm, as will Kristen Reitz-Green and Jere Smith, whose work also is part of “A Feast for the Eyes.”
West Seattle Cellars (WSB sponsor) has its weekly free tasting 5:30-8 pm and is showing the work of Glenn Brewer.
Heidi Horwitz DDS-Orthodontics for All Ages (WSB sponsor) at Genesee/California is participating, with jewelry designer Katherine Dancer.
-In The Admiral District, participants include Heartland Café featuring Nicole Melchior, and Zatz A Better Bagel (WSB sponsor) featuring
Rachel Austin (whose work is featured on this quarter’s WSAW poster, above) is back at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) in The Junction
-Also in The Junction, Kari-Lise Alexander is featured at Wallflower Custom Framing (WSB sponsor).
-Find lots more spotlights on the official West Seattle Art Walk website

DESIGN REVIEW DOUBLEHEADER: Two major West Seattle Junction projects go before the Southwest Design Review Board tonight for the second time. Both meetings are at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon – enter on the Oregon side and go upstairs); both will include public-comment periods (regarding design issues). Here’s the lineup:
6:30 pm, 4724 California. This is the project proposed for the ex-Petco, now-Sound Ad Group site. The project passed Early Design Guidance back in May (WSB coverage here) and is now up for potentially final approval. Here’s our most recent report.
8 pm, 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW. This is the megaproject which, as first reported here yesterday, will include a Whole Foods Market. It did NOT pass Early Design Guidance at its first meeting (WSB coverage here), so it’s back for a second round.

GENESEE-SCHMITZ NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: Live in the Genesee Hill/Schmitz Park area? This is your neighborhood council, and they’d love to see you at their meeting tonight, 6:45 pm at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library (2306 42nd SW).

Music and more in our other listings for tonight – and for many days/weeks/months ahead – on our calendar.

Election 2012: West Seattle voter reports odd phone message

Just out of the WSB inbox, from Helen, who wonders if anyone else got a call like this:

I got a most peculiar message on my land line last night. The message was from a young woman claiming to be with the King County Republican party, and she was calling to report that my ballot could not be counted because of a discrepancy with my signature. I didn’t listen to the rest of the message, but I found it very odd, especially since this came the day AFTER the election. I checked to ensure my ballot was received and counted here:

My ballot was indeed received, verified and counted.

This morning I called the King County elections office and reported this. The number that my caller ID caught was 425-679-9085. According to the person I spoke with, the elections office is getting a pretty good number of complaints about this number.

The point of my message is this: If you got a call from these people, PLEASE report it, I don’t care what your political affiliation is. What they’re doing is a federal crime.

We have a message out to King County Elections to ask about this. We also called the number Helen mentioned – and it went to a voicemail greeting that self-identifies as the King County Republican Party, saying they are “currently reminding voters to return their ballot” as part of a “Get Out the Vote” effort, though a crossreference via Google does not list the number as anything official. We left a message. The official number for KC GOP is listed on its website as (425) 990-0404, and we’re also contacting them through official channels to ask about it. We’ll update this later as we find out more.

10:38 AM UPDATE: No replies yet to any of the aforementioned inquiries, but commenters say they received similar inquiries from someone claiming to be with the Democratic Party. As Helen notes above, you can check the county Ballot Tracker – but note that if you didn’t drop off or mail your ballot until the last minute, it may not have shown up yet.


(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Wednesday turned out to be a busy day with traffic/transit effects … today is starting quiet but we’ll see what’s ahead.

West Seattle Bike Connections members speak out @ city workshop

November 8, 2012 2:59 am
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

The first of two city workshops for the city’s Bicycle Master Plan Update included plenty of input from members of newly organized West Seattle Bike Connections. And if you missed it, there’s another workshop tonight. WSBC’s Don Brubeck shared the photo with this report on how things went Wednesday night at City Hall downtown:

West Seattle was well represented at City Hall! We provided, and the SDOT planners sincerely welcomed, our input. Due to representation from neighborhoods all over the peninsula, and all types of bike riders, our contingent had incredible local knowledge of the streets and routes people need to travel. We were able to give SDOT feedback on their preliminary draft routes, eliminating some due to steep hills or potential conflicts with vehicle traffic or parking, and adding other possible neighborhood connecting routes on lower traffic streets. A bunch of us also sported new West Seattle Bike Connections shirts.

City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen (from West Seattle) and Sally Bagshaw were present, along with the whole Seattle Bike Advisory Board and a large contingent from SDOT and their bike planning consultants, Alta Planning & Design.

The meeting tonight (Thursday) is 5:30-7:30 pm at the NewHolly Gathering Place, 7054 32nd Avenue S. on Beacon Hill (map).

Dedication next week for artwork under Spokane Street Viaduct

If you have driven the newly reopened lower Spokane Street, westbound under the newly widened Spokane Street Viaduct, you have seen the designs painted on the columns – city-commissioned art that’s part of the project. The city has just announced plans for a formal dedication:

After three years of construction, the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project is nearly complete. At a public dedication scheduled for 9 a.m, Friday, Nov. 16, a unique set of artworks will be unveiled, along with new sidewalks and landscaping in the lower roadway reconstruction. Santa Monica, Calif. artist team merge conceptual design’s (Claudia Reisenberger and Franka Diehnelt) artwork, SODO, is a vast visual narrative that catalogues more than 200 years of SoDo’s history. Created in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the artwork consists of stenciled and barcode designs painted on the concrete columns that hold up the existing and new portions of the Spokane Street Viaduct between Sixth Avenue South and East Marginal Way South. Nine different color and image schemes create separate zones that recollect the natural and cultural history of the area, the industries that flourished there, and wildlife that inhabited the site. In total, more than 500 column faces were painted.

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