West Seattle, Washington
Might get windy tomorrow – the National Weather Service has a wind advisory in effect for our area from 9 am to 11 pm, with wind out of the southwest that might gust to 45 miles per hour. Rainy too, tapering off in the afternoon, when thunderstorms are possible. If that’s not wild enough – check out the outlook for Thursday, the forecast says rain and snow showers are possible – with a snow level around 500 feet, the elevation of Seattle’s highest hills (including the Myrtle Reservoir area).
Story and photo by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Sustainable West Seattle is taking a new approach to its monthly member meetings by focusing on a particular theme each quarter. Last night kicked off this quarter’s “gardening with nature” theme with a focus on soils.
Due to our region’s glaciated geological history, our soils can be challenging to work in, and often take time, energy and amendments to create an environment where plants can thrive. Stu Hennessey (right) demonstrated the work that has been done at the Community Orchard of West Seattle – site of part of the meeting – to improve the soil, taking it from a compacted lawn to a healthy, nutrient-rich soil supporting edible plants and fruit trees. Much of the resulting produce will be shared with the Delridge Grocery, announced last night as one of three SWS Green Grant Recipients (we reported on the grant recipients here, before last night’s meeting was over).
The healthy soil was created using a method called “layering” which is also known as “lasagna gardening.”
Following up on last week’s much-discussed preview of Bada Bistro, the new identity for the 61st/Alki SW corner restaurant that previously was Beachside Café and before that, Alki Bakery: Co-owner Sharon Bang confirms they will open tomorrow night, which was the target date when we last heard from her. She wants potential patrons to know that it’s a “locally owned and operated beachside restaurant on Alki Beach. We are dedicated to providing excellent food and beverages, and highest-quality service to our guests. Everything from our kitchen is scratch-made, as well as many of our bar items including bitters, spirit infusions, and our signature syrups. We offer many gluten-free options on our menu.” The menu is now online, including prices. They’re planning to start with dinner this week, add Happy Hour next week, then lunch and brunch when they’re ready; the hours for opening week are on their website at badabistro.com.
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
HAPPENING NOW: Thanks to those who texted/e-mailed about a big police response in Highland Park a short time ago. Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis tells us that officers were after somebody who bolted into an apartment complex near 16th and Holden after reportedly stealing somebody’s cell phone. Not an armed holdup, but “a crime of opportunity,” he explains.
SEPARATE CASE – RECOGNIZE THESE SUSPECTS? SPD has just gone public with video from another case:
Per SPD Blotter, this video shows two suspects from an armed street robbery in The Junction on February 2nd. It doesn’t show the actual holdup but does show suspects on a store surveillance camera afterward. Can you help detectives identify them? Call the SPD Robbery Unit at 206-684-5535.
In less than two weeks, it’ll be quite a spectacle along West Seattle (and other) shores, so you might as well get ready now. The ship above, the Jumbo Fairpartner, set sail hours ago from Osaka, Japan, carrying “Bertha,” the Highway 99 tunnel-boring machine. WSDOT says it’ll arrive around April 1st – no foolin’! The machine is in 41 pieces as it begins its 5,000-mile journey across the Pacific, bound for Terminal 46 on the downtown waterfront, where it will be unloaded and reassembled before it starts heading north from the launch pit just south of where what’s left of the Alaskan Way Viaduct ends. WSDOT is already tweeting about the trip at @BerthaDigsSR99.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: On Sunday night 3/24, it was announced this appearance will be on Tuesday 3/26 instead)
(National Grocers Association photo from last month’s competition)
Just in from Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) – Andrew Borracchini, the Admiral store staffer who is the national champion “Best Bagger,” will show his skills on “The Late Show with David Letterman” next Monday (March 25). It airs on Channel 7 in our area, just after 11:30 pm. Andrew won the title during the National Grocers Association’s convention in Las Vegas last month, the second year in a row he has gone to the competition as our state’s “Best Bagger,” the first time he’s won the national title.
(Jacques Nawar with business partner Mike Look)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Jacques Nawar wants you to know that Pizzeria Credo, likely open by month’s end, is “not just another pizza place.”
He noted the “another pizza place?” concern was raised by a commenter after our first report last November about his new Junction restaurant – which you’ll find in the long-shuttered ex-Garlic Jim’s spot at 4520 California SW.
Not only will the pizza be out-of-the-ordinary, Nawar promises, so will the rest of the menu.
(Lincoln Park beach; photo from last Sunday, by Nick Adams for WSB)
Busy day/night! Classes, meetings, performances, and more are listed in full on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, but we’re highlighting five events for tonight:
FAUNTLEROY FOOD FEST AND MEMBERSHIP MEETING: It’s the annual membership meeting for the Fauntleroy Community Association – become a member or renew your annual membership, while enjoying samples from local food-and-beverage establishments (including WSB sponsors Bird on a Wire and Endolyne Joe’s – full list on the FCA website), 6 pm.
WORLD WATER WEEK RESOURCE FAIR PLUS ‘MR. TOILET’: The highlight of World Water Week at Chief Sealth International High School is something you are invited to be part of – a resource fair to learn about water issues (with participants including “Diver Laura” James on behalf of the runoff-fighting tox-ick.org campaign) at 6 pm, then at 7 pm, the keynote speech by Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization, who’s come thousands of miles to help you understand what’s at stake and how to help.
GEORGIE BRIGHT KUNKEL @ SOUTHWEST LIBRARY: The local activist, writer, and nonogenarian will be at Southwest Library at 6:30 tonight for a presentation about her brother, 1930s track star Norman Bright, featured in the book “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, for which Georgie was interviewed. More details in our calendar listing.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT GRAFFITI VANDALISM? That’s what the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council is scheduled to talk and learn about tonight, with the help of the Seattle Police graffiti detective. 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct meeting room (Delridge/Webster), as previewed here. Crime trends will be discussed too, and you’ll have a chance to bring up neighborhood concerns; all welcome.
SEATTLE POLICE SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS MEETING: Last week, Alki; tonight, Belltown is the site of an SPD meeting to answer questions about the surveillance-camera system that started going up unannounced in January (here’s our ongoing coverage archive, newest-to-oldest, since then). All welcome – 7 pm at Belltown Community Center; there’s a map and more preview info in this story we published earlier today.
While the Seattle Police surveillance cameras first noticed by WSB readers two months ago are often referred to as the “Alki cameras” – the system includes other neighborhoods north from here, as far north as Ballard. And that’s why tonight, SPD’s second questions/answers meeting – following up the one we covered last Tuesday on Alki – is scheduled for the Belltown Community Center (415 Bell Street; map), 7 pm.
SPD reiterated last week that there would be others, but none have been announced yet. So thus far the public discussion, which started three weeks after media coverage, has consisted of:
*Public Safety, Civil Rights, Technology Committee briefing February 20th (WSB coverage here)
*Alki Community Council briefing February 21st (WSB coverage here)
*Alki Bathhouse meeting March 12th (WSB coverage here)
The system is the result of a Homeland Security grant sought by the city and originally approved by the Public Safety Committee last year (as reported here January 31st) – described at the time only as a “port security” system, without any mention of cameras in residential/recreational areas such as Alki.
Yesterday, the full City Council approved a new set of city rules that among other things, they say, will prevent that from happening in the future – as co-sponsor Councilmember Nick Licata put it, the controversial camera-equipped “drones” were also part of a grant that the council apparently approved two years before they suddenly turned up.
Co-sponsor Councilmember Bruce Harrell, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, gave the topline description: “The legislation basically requires all city departments to obtain City Council approval prior to acquiring surveillance equipment” as well as Council approval for how the equipment, and the data it gathers, will be managed. It has been said that this will cover the Alki-to-Ballard cameras, even though most of them have been installed, with the “protocols” to be proposed for that system and any other surveillance equipment in place “no later than 30 days after this takes effect.”
The bill also requires “public outreach conducted in each community” where surveillance equipment would be installed.
Harrell also noted that the bill had been changed between committee discussion and vote two weeks ago and yesterday’s full Council vote.
Phil Mocek, a local activist who has been closely covering the surveillance-camera situation and related issues, points out on his website that major changes were reviewed at yesterday morning’s Council briefing meeting, hours before the afternoon vote. As he writes, and as can be seen in Seattle Channel video of the briefing meeting, Harrell mentioned SPD leadership sending the council a letter last Friday expressing a concern about “somehow … inhibiting Seattle Police ability to use surveillance equipment in certain criminal investigations on a temporary basis.” Harrell said a paragraph regarding that exemption was “already in the bill” but that they added further language SPD wanted. Licata expressed concern “about how large a loophole it was”; Harrell at that point noted more changes were made at the Seattle Police Department’s request. Licata said his concern was the definition of “criminal investigation” and whether a broad definition would open everyone to surveillance. Harrell said he didn’t think there was “ambiguity” in the definition. There was talk of maybe holding the bill – but in the end, they didn’t.
The version now online includes this paragraph:
Notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter, City departments may acquire or use surveillance equipment that is used on a temporary basis for the purpose of a criminal investigation supported by reasonable suspicion, or pursuant to a lawfully issued search warrant, or under exigent circumstances as defined in case law. This exemption from the provisions of this ordinance does not apply to surveillance cameras mounted on drones or other unmanned aircraft.
Back to the cameras installed along West Seattle’s shores – including Harbor and Alki Avenues, Beach Drive, and Fauntleroy Way near the ferry dock, with one planned for Admiral (map) – the next steps to activation remain unclear; Mayor McGinn first told WSB on February 11th: “The system will not be operated until a thorough public vetting of the system has been completed and the public has provided input.” That “vetting” continues with the Belltown meeting tonight.
With the Alki Elementary School centennial celebration a little more than one week away, Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals shares this reminder about something you don’t want to leave till the last minute:
Did you ever attend or teach at Alki Elementary School? Are you coming to the school’s 100th birthday on Thursday evening, March 28? Make sure to dig up photos of yourself and your school for sharing at the event!
The Alki PTA and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, co-sponsors of the celebration, are planning a variety of activities to engage students and community members of all ages. One is a sharing area, where people can share stories from their time at Alki with others. We’ll also have a video booth so we can capture memories on video.
“This will be a fun way to tell the stories and preserve the rich history of our school,” says Amy Bannister, who chairs the event for Alki PTA.”
The event will start with a group shot outside the school at 5 pm. You can stay connected with other event updates through this Facebook event page.
(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: Spring arrives early tomorrow. Today’s major traffic alert so far: Drainage work is planned on the high bridge 9 am-3 pm, today and tomorrow.
6 PM UPDATE: It’s raining, and it’s a problematic evening commute – Nicole sent these alerts:
UPS truck vs. car at Fauntleroy and Edmunds. Fauntleroy backing up heading toward bridge. Not quite enough room to go around.
Two cars (that I could see) eastbound on bridge right around 4th Ave exit. Two fire trucks had left lane closed down.
(added – thanks to BB for the photo of the UPS truck crash – no serious injuries reported:)
But – thanks to the tip in comments – there’s one bright spot; the Phase 1 zone of the Delridge repaving project is now open again, Trenton to Henderson, both ways – we took this photo near Henderson a short time ago:
Thistle-to-Trenton Phase 2 work is scheduled to start tomorrow – providing the weather doesn’t get too bad.