West Seattle, Washington
Back in November, we reported on West Seattle Office Junction – local entrepreneurs Christine Bartels and Stefan Hansmire (above) working to find a space on the peninsula to set up a co-working enterprise, someplace that at-home/telecommuting, or otherwise office-less, workers could use, not just as a working space, but as a place to collaborate with and enjoy the workday company of others.
The Junction space they were close to leasing at the time didn’t work out – but after an extensive search, they have locked down a brand-new multi-level unit just south of the Junction, and tomorrow (Monday, April 1st) is opening day. It’s a space with a view:
We photographed Stefan, Christine, and the view from West Seattle Office Junction’s rooftop deck during an open house they had last Thursday night for those who have been participating in co-working meetups and other events while the quest for a permanent location has been under way.
For opening day tomorrow, you are invited to drop in – for a few minutes, or even a few hours – free, to give the space a try. It’s a free day for everyone. West Seattle Office Junction is at 5230 California SW, unit B (map). See many more photos in their gallery here – the WSOJ website also includes information on amenities, membership levels, and rates here, chronicles of meetups and other events along the path to WSOJ becoming reality, and more.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Crowded buses on busy routes, service cuts on non-busy routes.
But what’s happened with Metro since last fall is nothing compared to what is looming if politicians can’t get the money mess straightened out, with two sources of funding about to expire.
Tomorrow (Monday) morning, Metro’s general manager Kevin Desmond plans to meet the media to offer specifics on what the transit service believes it will have to do if its next big budget shortfall isn’t solved. The briefing will come in advance of a Metro report going to the King County Council tomorrow “outlining routes at risk of cancellation or reductions … unless Metro can obtain a stable revenue source.”
The specifics will go beyond what Desmond told two groups of politicians earlier this month – politicians who say it’s up to the Legislature to empower them to rustle up more money.
The first problem is the scheduled end of “mitigation funding” – $32 million the state gave the county to make up for the transportation complications posed by the Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct projects.
What is believed to have been stolen from a Fauntleroy porch today wasn’t a package – just something left for friends, by friends. David is just hoping to get the items back:
Some friends left a Trader Joe’s paper grocery bag on our front porch this afternoon (in the 8400 block of) Fauntleroy Way SW (directly across the street from Lincoln Park, just north of the southern parking lot) and the bag was stolen from the porch. It’s terribly frustrating because the bag didn’t contain much except a couple of kids’ books and kids’ sunglasses (both Easter presents), and my prescription glasses (which I have no backup for). Nothing of value to anyone but me and my family. Hopefully someone might come across the contents (maybe dumped in the park?) and could return to them to us. My phone number is 206-349-5477.
When we first reported two months ago on the new Seattle Police surveillance camera/wireless-mesh-communication system – after readers noticed cameras installed, unannounced, along Alki – SPD had expressed hopes of activating the system by March 31st – today.
Now that the date has arrived – in case you were wondering, we’ve verified it will come and go with no decision yet on when the system stretching from Fauntleroy to Ballard might be activated.
Mayor McGinn first said on February 11th, in a response to WSB, that “the system will not be operated without a thorough public vetting …” While he did not set specific criteria for that “vetting,” so far it has consisted of a briefing before the Seattle City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee on February 20th (WSB coverage here), a briefing at the Alki Community Council‘s February 21st board meeting (WSB coverage here), an SPD-led briefing/Q-A session at Alki Bathhouse on March 12th (WSB coverage here, with video of the entire meeting), and a similar session one week later at Belltown Community Center.
We were not at that March 19th meeting, but privacy/technology activist Phil Mocek, who has closely followed and researched this, recorded and published its audio:
Grant/equipment-related documents he had sought through a public-disclosure request also are now available online.
With no updates since the March 19th meeting, we checked with the mayor’s office at week’s end to see the status of a possible decision. Spokesperson Aaron Pickus replied, “SPD is still putting together additional public meetings.”
The system was described as “port security” in the original May 2012 City Council discussions of the $5 million federal grant that’s paying for it, but in interviews and discussions over the past two months, police also have talked about other ways they, Seattle Fire, and others plan to use the camera system in developing public-safety situations. They also said for the first time at the Alki meeting on March 12th that images from the cameras would be made available to the public online – likely with a frame refreshing every two minutes or so.
For now, along with awaiting SPD word on the “additional public meetings,” we also are awaiting the department’s documentation of protocol for the cameras’ operation, as mandated by new city rules the council approved earlier this month. SPD had said those rules were being drafted by a “steering committee.” Its membership has not been disclosed; Mocek’s public-disclosure request regarding its membership is still awaiting fulfillment.
(Photo by Robin Lindsey)
It’s a beautiful day on the water and a beautiful day for wildlife watching – if you keep your distance, and that’s a required-by-law 100 yards. Robin Lindsey from Seal Sitters shared the photo and asked us to help get that reminder out – please don’t get so close to those sea-lion-laden buoys on the bay:
It was like a flotilla out there yesterday and lots of watercraft around them today, too. While it is tempting to get closer, people need to remember that all marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Sea lions and seals need to rest and regulate their body temperature. That is exactly what a huge Steller sea lion bull and a jostling gang of sea lions, mostly male California sea lions, are doing on the buoys. Our Eastern stock of Stellers are considered “threatened,” while the Western stock that lives in Alaska and Russian waters is indeed “endangered.”
Watercraft violating this federal law are being photographed and the images are being sent to NOAA’s Office for Law Enforcement. A Steller bull is a huge animal, weighing up to a ton, and if provoked could leap off and injure someone. It is only common sense that a kayaker not get within feet of the buoy as they were doing yesterday. Alki Kayak Tours is doing a great job of informing their renters to steer clear of the buoy, but others may not be aware that getting too close not only causes undue stress on the animals, but is a violation of the MMPA and punishable by fine.
We want people to get out on the water and enjoy wildlife – from a respectful distance.
Want to know more about marine mammals? Here’s the Seal Sitters’ resource-links page.
Around the town on Easter, from your cameras and ours ….
Every year, somebody gets Peeped – last year, a home near Lowman Beach; this year, it’s the Lorentz home in North Admiral! They shared the photo of what the Easter Bunny did after he came in through the chimney …no, wait. 1900 block of 41st SW, if you won’t believe it till you see it firsthand.
On Alki, the Easter Bunny seems to have an engine along with the bunny ears and bunny nose:
Thanks to Lisa Ruiz for sharing that photo. Whatever form the Easter Bunny took, s/he was busy at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor):
The annual C & P Easter-morning egg hunt drew dozens — little kids went first. Over at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, the egg hunt was ongoing, but we did drop by the info booth as participants recycled the plastic eggs:
Steps away, the crew from Blue Geisha Tattoo painted faces, and arms:
And then there’s the Easter Weasel – featured on the WSB Facebook page.
Thanks to “Diver Laura” James for sharing video of researcher John Calambokidis‘s harbor-porpoises presentation from the latest in The Whale Trail‘s series of talks, this past Thursday night at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor). Another good turnout – click the image to see a larger version of this panorama:
This was the third in TWT’s new series of events, also featuring other local advocates (such as Laura, for tox-ick.org and Puget SoundKeeper Alliance, and Seal Sitters – whose David Hutchinson is in the panorama, standing by a camera, of course). We’re checking with TWT’s Donna Sandstrom to see what’s next on the schedule; you can also watch the Whale Trail calendar for future additions.
Though the West Seattle/South Seattle expansion of Car2Go‘s car-sharing service wasn’t supposed to start officially until tomorrow, its white-and-blue Smartcars are already here. Thanks to everyone who reported sightings; WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams found this one in the Alki area early today. And if you check the company’s Seattle availability map (thanks to Sue for sharing the link), you’ll see them listed from Duwamish Head to Lincoln Park. Car2Go’s expanded “home area” does not include all of the peninsula – that map is part of this update we published earlier this week. P.S. If you have questions, Car2Go tweeted that it would have reps at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market today – we haven’t been there yet to check but will be stopping by shortly.
(Photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
This Easter Sunday began clear and cool, with early services including the traditional joint sunrise service on the sands of Alki Beach, organized by West Seattle’s three UCC churches – Admiral, Alki, and Fauntleroy.
(Photo we tweeted Saturday from the corner of Delridge and Dakota)
Happy Sunday! Today is Easter; tonight is the seventh night of Passover. Calendar highlights:
Easter begins with two 6:30 am outdoor sunrise services, and continues at churches all around the peninsula. Here’s the list we’ve put together.
Many churches precede or follow today’s services with Easter-egg hunts, and our list includes three others:
LIBRARIES ARE OPEN: Regular Sunday hours, at your friendly neighborhood Seattle Public Library branch.
LIVE MUSIC AT C & P – Kaley Marie, a Denny International Middle School 8th grader, will sing country songs at the coffeehouse 3-5 pm – her own as well as others. Her proud grandma Polly says this is Kaley Marie’s first big public performance.
LIVE MUSIC @ SKYLARK – Multiple bands @ 3 pm, Holly Figueroa at 8 pm. Both shows are all ages; schedule and cover/no cover info here.
The new West Seattle Water Taxi vessel Spirit of Kingston has arrived on the downtown waterfront and is docked alongside the county’s new maintenance barge. (We noticed it late Friday via MarineTraffic.com, though it’s now listed as “out of range.”) This is the only view we could get today, but you’ll surely see it out and about soon, since it’s scheduled to take over the West Seattle-downtown run by the time the 7-day-a-week schedule kicks in on Monday, April 8th. Spirit of Kingston’s capacity is slightly less than the run’s current vessel, Rachel Marie, but based on ridership averages, that won’t be an issue till the heart of summer, if then. The 8-year-old catamaran was originally purchased for its namesake town with the help of federal grants, and that’s why it could be transferred here basically for free, since Kingston cut its passenger-ferry service and didn’t need it any more. King County, meantime, will use federal grants to pay for two brand-new boats that will start construction soon.
Today was gloriously similar to summer – minus ten degrees or so – all the way down to the photo just shared by Debra Salazar Herbst, sunset traffic along the beach. P.S. Debra is co-founder of the Facebook page Alki Beach Daily Sunsets, and with the sunsets headed back north, the views there keep getting better.
(WSB photo of fire scene, 2/13/13)
Six weeks ago, we reported on an early-morning arson at that home at 25th and Roxbury – on the county side, but affecting drivers from both West Seattle and White Center as the investigation continued into the morning commute. Today, we have learned that 43-year-old Hung Minh Pham (right) is charged with domestic-violence arson – and that KKing County Sheriff’s Office is seeking him with a $1 million arrest warrant (that’s the amount his bail will be set at when he’s caught). Word of the search comes from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West, who also says that Minh is believed to be homeless and known to hang around the White Center area.
Since we first published word of the search on partner site White Center Now earlier this afternoon, we have learned more about the case from court documents obtained online: Pham is charged with first-degree arson/domestic violence, third-degree assault, and second-degree assault/domestic violence. The court documents say the victim is a 20-year-old woman described as having been in a “dating relationship” with Pham for two years. The information about the fire – said to have started when he set the victim’s clothes on fire – apparently emerged after an incident in West Seattle, in the 9000 block of 16th SW, a week ago, detailed in the second paragraph of this excerpt from charging papers:
(The victim) has been assaulted by the defendant throughout their two-year dating relationship. As recently as January 2013, the defendant attacked the victim with a baseball bat while she slept sending her to the hospital. In early February 2013, the defendant held a knife to her throat and struck her in the head. On February 13, 2013, the defendant was angry because he could not locate the (victim) at the house she was staying. After searching the home, he gathered her belongings in her bedroom, poured paint thinner on the items and essentially attempted to burn the house on down. The fire spread through the lower structure and rendered the home unsafe and uninhabitable.
On March 22, 2013, the defendant pummeled another victim … in her own bedroom with a detachable wooden wall shelf just because she asked him to be quiet one late night. During the same incident, the defendant went on to attack (his girlfriend, the first victim) as she came out of the bathroom, knocking her to the floor, climbing on top of her punching her repeatedly in the face then finally strangling her to the point of unconsciousness. (She) awoke to the defendant kicking her repeatedly as she laid on the floor. The victim was only able to escape when (the second victim) intervened. (Both women) were both later treated by SFD and taken to Harborview for treatment.
If you see Pham, call 911.
During our first 2013 round of egg-hunt coverage this morning, we also checked out the scene at Hiawatha Community Center – photographing the youngest hunters as they swarmed the tennis court. This egg-hunt site featured royalty:
From this year’s West Seattle Hi-Yu Junior Court, that’s Princess Olivia, Queen Madison, and Princess Emily – by the way, Hi-Yu still could use more volunteer help with this year’s float and events, and would love to see you at their meeting this Monday night (April 1st; details here). Ahead – four more scenes from Hiawatha’s hunt:
It’s a first-of-its-kind benefit and celebration at Seattle Lutheran High School – and it’s exactly two weeks away. Have your ticket(s) yet? Here’s the official announcement:
Alumni, students, families and friends are invited to attend the Seattle Lutheran High School Booster Club’s inaugural Ring of Honor Award Dinner & Celebration on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm at the SLHS Menashe Gymnasium in West Seattle. Dinner ticket proceeds will raise additional funds to promote and enhance the school’s athletic programs.
Current funding needs include: investments in a new sound system; scoreboard and timer equipment for the gymnasium; renovated locker rooms; and portable bleachers.
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
It’s West Seattle Thriftway‘s (WSB sponsor) silver-anniversary year – but the annual Easter-egg hunt was pure gold once again – from the smiles to the prizes, and beyond:
The many young egg hunters included 4-year-old Aiden Sol:
Ten more photos from WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams, ahead:
12:19 PM: Out of the WSB inbox, from Cathy in the 39th/Morgan vicinity:
Shortly after 11:00 AM this morning I saw a guy in my neighbors yard, looking towards my window with some kind of binocular. As he was leaving the neighbors’ yard I yelled out to him asking him what he was doing. He said reading my electrical meter. He did have on a Seattle City Light shirt or vest, and a yellow hard hat. It didn’t seem right and I called the police (they still aren’t here 11:42). I called Seattle City Light and they confirmed, they DO NOT have anyone working in West Seattle today. They also had a similar call from someone on Ambaum earlier. I did not see a City Light truck in the alley or on the street. Keep your eyes open for this (person) and call 911. Black guy, early 30s, 6 ft or so, fit.
1:01 PM: See the comments, in which it’s noted that regardless of what the city said, there IS apparently meter-reading going on today …
After West Seattle’s city-run community centers tried one big regional egg-hunt and spring-festival event last year, it was back to individual egg hunts for 2013, and this morning at 10, they happened simultaneously at four centers. We visited two, and this is our first report – two and a half continuous minutes during the egg-hunting festivities at Delridge Community Center. The littlest kids were sent out first, onto the tennis court; then three subsequent groups got their chance to search specific areas of the big grassy park as well as the wading pool.
APRIL 16TH BENEFIT: Big season thus far for West Seattle High School baseball fans, cheering on a winning team. Kim Gearon sends word that fans can take the next step – helping raise money during the first annual West Seattle Baseball Night at Christo’s on Alki, April 16th. A percentage of any purchase from 5 pm-closing, food or beverages, will go to the West Seattle Baseball Booster Club to help cover operating expenses. Christo’s is at 2508 Alki SW.
BIG FRIDAY WIN: The second straight shutout victory over Ingraham, and first game of the year at Hiawatha:
The final score: WSHS 16, Ingraham 0. The photos and report are courtesy of Greg Slader (thank you!):
The season opener @ Hiawatha was a beautiful day for baseball. The student-filled stands were not disappointed by the offensive output of the Varsity Baseball team. Spencer Elder hit the team’s first home run and Bobby Swamy added the Big Blast with another home run in the First Inning (top photo). Rex Lackey (photo below) pitched very well (three innings, no hits) as West Seattle cruised to its fourth league win.
West Seattle’s next game is Wednesday, 3:30 pm @ Nathan Hale.
(Added 9:04 am: Easter Bunny and friends just before West Seattle Thriftway egg hunt)
Happy Saturday! It’s the start of what forecasters promise will be a weekend full of sunshine. (And one traffic alert: lane closures on northbound I-5 just south of the West Seattle Bridge.) Here are the highlights, starting with the egg-hunt info (from our updated list):
SEATTLE PARKS AND REC COMMUNITY CENTERS’ EGG HUNTS: 10 am at Alki, Delridge, Hiawatha, High Point, South Park Community Centers (addresses in calendar listing), ages 3-11
BARNES & NOBLE EGG HUNT: 11 am, first-ever egg hunt in the Kids’ Department, in conjunction with the regular weekly storytime. “Little ones are encouraged to bring Easter baskets to hold their goodies,” says Melissa from B&N. (Westwood Village Shopping Center)
PIONEER COFFEE’S LAST DAY: The Alki coffee shop is closing after losing its lease, as first reported here in January; per Facebook, it’s an all-day goodbye party.
FRIENDS OF SCHMITZ PRESERVE: 9 am, join them at the Admiral/Stevens entrance for the monthly work party – details in our calendar listing.
WEST SEATTLE FIGHT AND FITNESS OPEN HOUSE: This new WSB sponsor welcomes you to come check out its facilities at 5050 Delridge Way SW – just drop by any time between 11 am and 3 pm.
CENTER FOR MOVEMENT AND HEALING OPEN HOUSE: This new business is on the second floor of 7901 35th SW, right next to Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor), and you’re welcome to stop by 4-6:30 pm (street parking only, they ask). Performances and mini-classes of tai chi, nia, yoga, dance.
LIVE MUSIC: C & P Coffee, La Romanza, Feedback Lounge (all WSB sponsors), Kenyon Hall, Benbow Room ALL have individual listings on the calendar for tonight!
In the rare instant when West Seattle Elementary counselor Laura Bermes paused amid her frenetic activity this morning making the first of two big assemblies happen, we photographed the sticker on her back so you could see it: Promising to “Stand Up to Bullying” was a big part of what today was about at WSE. A pink flag flew outside, and many staff and many students wore pink:
Bermes explained it’s part of this movement -and told us, “The idea is exciting. We have an anti-bullying policy, ways to report bullying, and really a very nice school; but we’d be naive to think that bullying doesn’t happen in schools. We need to be vigilant in how we address it, and this is one clear way for students to send a message to one another and to the community – WSE is a school where students and adults treat one another with respect. We hope that message spreads into our larger community.”
We were there for the morning assembly, for which the youngest students – kindergarteners through second graders – gathered not just for that rally, but also for awards and rewards. New shoes donated by Brooks were part of the latter:
Two classes won them as part of a Healthy Husky Challenge that Bermes and school nurse Terri Helm-Reymund led – “a 2 week long healthy challenge where students logged the number of minutes they exercised, or participated in some physical activity, every evening. Parents had to sign off on the log.” Bermes said the school was slated to get 35 pairs to give away, but two classes won and she requested, and received 44. One more special prize was announced at the assembly – Bermes got a Seattle Education Foundation grant to help with programs to boost attendance, and with part of the money, she bought a bicycle and gear, prizes for a drawing into which students with low absenteeism and tardiness were entered. Here’s the big announcement:
2nd grader Santiago is the first bicycle winner in the new incentive program:
Drawing entries are given to students with two or fewer absences per trimester and less than five tardies; perfect attendance gets a student five entries. Other prizes included basketballs and hula hoops.
The always-hot topic of transportation is at centerstage for the third meeting of the new Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights community council, next Tuesday (April 2nd) night. (Our coverage of meeting #1 is here; meeting #2, here.) The full agenda is here; the transportation item is described by facilitator Mat McBride as:
Seattle Dept of Transportation – Safety, Collaboration, and Q&A
This community has a couple items in particular to discuss with SDOT – 35th in Arbor Heights, the Roxhill Speedway, sidewalks, and the new fleet of Metro busses. Jim Curtin, great guy, W Seattle resident, and SDOT employee will take these questions, answer any others you have, and talk about how to work directly with SDOT in the future. Presented by Jim Curtin, SDOT.
(Thanks to Joe Szilagyi for sharing the news the agenda’s up.) Leadership decisions are also on the agenda – the group has no officers yet. Come help shape this new group and help your neighborhood – 6:30 pm Tuesday in the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson).
Two updates in our ongoing coverage of the West Seattle encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville”:
FOOD LIFELINE SITE DECISION DELAY? Though some word from the city was expected any day now by both Food Lifeline – which wants to buy the public land that currently houses the encampment – and the Highland Park Action Committee, which says the encampment has overstayed its welcome and wants a move-out date (as first reported here Thursday), Mayor McGinn‘s office says the next move may still be a few weeks away. Spokesperson Aaron Pickus answered our query this morning with: “We expect to have a report from our Finance and Administrative Services department in early to mid-April regarding the possible property sale to Food Lifeline.”
SENTENCING IN APRIL 2012 ‘FIREBOMBING’: It’s not in our coverage archives, but the U.S. Attorney reports that not only was there a firebombing at the encampment almost exactly a year ago – related to an “eviction” – but the repeat offender arrested for it and another crime two days later has just been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. The U.S. Attorney’s Office sent a news release about it today – saying 37-year-old Shane Anello had pleaded guilty to charges stemming from having thrown a Molotov cocktail at the car of someone who had evicted him from Nickelsville on April 1 (a “car fire” is shown on the 911 logs for that day at 6:10 pm), and to shooting at a car in Beacon Hill on April 3rd. Read the full news release here.