West Seattle, Washington
(With the mayor at 47th/Admiral, Alki Mail’s Don Wahl at left, Karl de Jong at center)
From transportation to development to education, Mayor McGinn‘s one-hour-plus visit to Admiral today, organized by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, touched on most of the hottest topics in town. No big promises, but during the finale of the visit, a sitdown conversation with attendees who had followed him to Alki Mail and Dispatch, he promised to take another look at the status of the longstanding request for a signal light right outside, at the 47th/Admiral intersection where Tatsuo Nakata was killed more than six years ago. Jerry Whiting from Jet City Orange video’d the group crossing the road:
The tour started on the California SW side of Admiral Safeway, with initial remarks by both the mayor and ANA president David Whiting as well as development discussions – including concerns about the proposed 400-foot-long apartment building at 3210 California SW, which goes to Design Review next month:
Next stop, the Lafayette Elementary playground, where Sean Reynolds explained the proposal for Phase 3 of playground (and vicinity) improvements that have been years in the making:
As you can hear Reynolds explaining to the mayor, the project has not made the draft cut for the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund; the mayor suggested the next Parks Levy (being readied for 2014, according to what City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw told the Delridge District Council this week) might be worth aiming for.
The tour proceeded westbound through residential neighborhoods and made two stops – first, to talk about bikeability in the area, with ANA president Whiting yielding the floor to Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections formed after, as ANA’s Whiting prefaced, it was noted that West Seattleites hadn’t been providing much input for the revision of the city’s Bicycle Master Plan:
Not too far west of there, the group paused for another development topic – the changing face of neighborhoods, with old houses coming down, and big ones, sometimes more than one per lot, going up:
And then it was on to the 47th/Admiral intersection, where ANA has been trying to get a stoplight, but has been told both that it’s very low on the SDOT priority list – and that it should try for an SDOT grant. Toward the end of the subsequent roundtable discussion inside Alki Mail’s coffee-shop area, ANA past president Katy Walum (who helped lead a demonstration/tribute at the site in November 2011) eloquently made the case. You can hear her at 11:41 into this next clip, after other issues – starting with the recent cuts in bus service, and continuing with a question about West Seattle and light rail:
The conversation continued past the scheduled 2 pm cutoff, and as the mayor acknowledged, it could easily have run much longer, but he was past due at his second West Seattle stop of the afternoon, Southwest Pool (WSB coverage here).
Meantime, as the mayor (a former neighborhood-council leader) said more than once during the tour, getting involved with your neighborhood council is the best way to have a say in what’s happening and what’s being planned; if you live or work in the Admiral area, ANA meets the second Tuesday of each month, usually at 7 pm in the lower-level meeting room of Admiral Congregational Church (California/Hill).
7:53 PM: Just got last-minute word from expert skywatcher Alice Enevoldsen that the prospects look good for Comet PanSTARRS viewing again tonight, so she’ll be at south Lincoln Park beach around 8 pm. If any comet photos result, we’ll add them here later. Here’s WSB coverage from last night, with infolinks that might help even if you’re watching from elsewhere.
11:12 PM: Thanks to John Hinkey for the photos (above and below) of Comet PanSTARRS from tonight.
He says they watched from a northwest West Seattle home, but “Could not have found it without Alice Enevoldsen’s directions!” Meantime, as for the Lincoln Park watch, we got to Lincoln Park minutes too late for the comet – Alice says it vanished behind the cloud shelf over the Olympics around 9:10 pm. We arrived around 9:15; thanks to Alice and husband Jason for sticking around for a little guided stargazing with one of their telescopes – Jupiter and star cluster Pleiades, If there’s a chance of visibility again tomorrow, they’ll be back, but that might be the last time for a while, so if you’re interested, make (tentative) plans to be there!
(Click image for larger view)
As noted in our Friday coverage of the hearing in which U.S. District Court Judge Karen Overstreet approved the sale of West Seattle’s Allstar Fitness, the court-appointed trustee promised a notice would go up at the club ASAP with an update for members. Above is a photo of the resulting notice signed by trustee Richard Hooper, taken by a member and shared with us via e-mail. If for some reason you can’t read even the larger size of the photo, here is a key passage regarding the status of memberships:
If you are a member who signed and paid for a long-term, prepaid membership contract or prepaid personal training contract dated on or after August 27, 2012, that contract will be honored under its terms by the Buyer.
If you are a member who signed and paid for a long-term, prepaid membership contract or prepaid personal training contract dated before August 27, 2012, your contract will be rejected and terminated as of today. However, the Buyer is in the process of reviewing these contracts and is willing to discuss your continued membership with you. Please bring copies of your signed contract to the club for these discussions. You may have a claim in the bankruptcy proceeding and will receive notice of any deadlines related to the filing of claims.
If you are a member who signed and prepaid for a long-term, prepaid c membership contract dated before August 27, 2012, but the contract renewal date was not until after August 27, 2012, your contract will be rejected and terminated as of today. However, the Buyer is in the process of reviewing these contracts and is willing to discuss your continued membership with you. Please bring copies of your signed contract to the club for these discussions. You may have a claim in the bankruptcy proceeding and will receive notice of any deadlines related to the filing of same.
… West Seattle Athletic Club LLC has asked me to inform you that you are welcome to use the club, regardless of your status above until all of the contracts have been reviewed and it has had an opportunity to meet with you and discuss your individual situations.
West Seattle Athletic Club is what new owner Sam Adams told us, in a March 10th telephone interview, he would rename the club. He also spoke with WSB this past Thursday, and our report on that conversation is toward the end of this story. All of our coverage, dating back to our first report on the bankruptcy last fall, is archived here, in reverse chronological order.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTE: We received multiple messages this morning from people who said the club did not open at its usual 8 am Sunday time and that they waited for quite a while and finally left. We were about to start investigating this when commenter Kate posted just after 9 am that she called and the club IS open now. (Please let us know if at any point later in the day you find otherwise – we always welcome news tips by text or voice, regarding any West Seattle/White Center/South Park news, at 206-293-6302, 24/7, the fastest way to reach us.)
“A dream come true” is how a new Southwest Pool women-only swimming program was described at a special event this afternoon thanking Mayor McGinn for supporting it. It was his second stop in West Seattle, after an hour-plus walking tour and roundtable in The Admiral District (coverage of that, coming up). Above, the mayor received a thank-you photo from Denise Sharify of Neighborhood House, which has long supported women’s-only swims (including some held as private rentals), to support women whose culture prohibits mixed-gender swimming. A new program of women’s swims on Saturday afternoons, followed by women’s swimming lessons, starts next month. The staff will be all-female, and the pool windows are covered, as was in evidence today
The lesson component is an important addition – so that more people can learn how to swim, vital, as the mayor noted, in a city surrounded by water. (We’ll add video later with his comments and those of three of the women who advocated for the program.) Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams and other dignitaries including former 12-year State Rep. Velma Veloria were among those on hand for the celebration, which included refreshments.
Here’s a flyer with the schedule for the SW Pool programs as well as two other pools in the city that plan to have it on Saturdays, beginning April 6th. And yes, today’s visit was the reason for this sign outside the pool and neighboring SW Teen Life Center:
P.S. Neighborhood House issued a news release with more background on the event and its pioneering involvement with the swim programs:
Neighborhood House’s Be Active Together (BAT) program and swim participants would like to thank Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle Parks and Recreation officials for offering single-gender swim programs in 2013. In the spring of 2013, the City of Seattle will begin to offer single-gender swim programs at Southwest, Medgar Evers and Meadowbrook community pools, following BAT’s model of affordability and meeting community needs. A fourth single-gender swim program will begin at Rainier Beach Pool in the fall of 2013.
Neighborhood House’s Be Active Together (BAT) program explored single-gender swim programs at local pools beginning in February of 2010 to help expand exercise opportunities for women who cannot swim in a co-ed environment because of cultural, religious or personal reasons. BAT’s Women of the World Swim has provided access to swimming to over 400 women ages 12 to 70 and who come from diverse cultural backgrounds. The program has greatly contributed to water safety, as a majority of participants didn’t know how to swim when they joined. Some have also registered their children for swim lessons for the first time. BAT’s funding ends in 2013 and this popular program was at risk of being canceled. In response to the need to continue to offer this important program for Seattle’s women, Mayor McGinn decided to adopt it at four of the city’s pools.
No arrests reported so far in a reported burglary attempt at the closed Genesee Hill School today. Police and Seattle Public Schools security responded around noontime to a report of a possible break-in; police told us at the scene that it appeared to be an attempt. Scanner traffic later indicated that witnesses saw two suspects, both female, but no other description, heading northbound on 51st SW.
West Seattle’s own Officer Lumpy from the Seafair Clowns was among the familiar faces – well, OK, familiar costumes – making an appearance at West Seattle Bowl this morning for the annual Seafair Commodores Bowl-A-Thon. Even with Seafair season a few months away, it’s never too soon to raise money for the Seafair Scholarship Program for Women – one of its many beneficiaries, 2012 Miss Seafair Veronica Asence, posed with the Commodores’ Commandant Paul Davis and Chief of Staff Kathryn Bohot:
It’s only three months till the official Seafair kickoff on June 21st; the Seafair Pirates‘ landing on Alki is just about two weeks after that, July 6th; you can see this year’s full Seafair schedule here.
One more option for tonight besides all the cool things we already previewed in our “West Seattle Saturday” roundup – the World Dance Party, held periodically around the area, is in nearby South Park, and WSB, along with our partner site The South Park News, is co-sponsoring. Here are the details:
The party of parties, the World Dance Party (WDP), is happening tonight! The WDP is a FREE multigenerational and multicultural potluck and dance party. I truly hope you can join us. Here is some more information:
World Dance Party is a fun, FREE event designed to get neighbors to interact and to celebrate each other’s culture and diversity. Everyone from all backgrounds and ages is welcome. It’s a potluck! Several multicultural dances are taught by volunteer instructors in 20-minute mini-lessons, then everyone dances. That’s it. There’s no other agenda. No fundraising. No lectures. Just food and dancing and community.
WHERE: South Park Community Center: 8319 8th Ave. South, Seattle,
WHEN: Saturday, March 23rd, 2013; 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
WHO: Dance Instructor lineup at the World Dance Party 8 includes:
• West African Dance
• Hula Dancing
• Senior Sliders Line Dancing
• Harlem Shake
• Laotian Dancing
• Jarabe Tapatio/La Raspa
• Salsa Dancing
• And more
12:05 PM: Till 1 pm, you can drop by Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way) and enjoy a light lunch while joining in on preparations for West Seattle’s new Delridge Grocery. You knew the organizers originally as Delridge Produce Cooperative – now, meet them under the new name as they get ready to open a grocery store in the under-construction DESC Supportive Housing building (5400 block of Delridge) next year. You can talk with DG board members, check out their business plan, enjoy fresh local food, and sign up to start your membership – look for the table in the corner of the room, where we found Casey and Ariana:
If you’re out and about with kids today, bring them too – there’s an arts-and-crafts table. To connect with Delridge Grocery online, here’s their Facebook page. No online signups yet for membership, but DG tells us that’s part of the plan. P.S. While you won’t have to be a member to shop there, membership will have its benefits – as well as being an investment in the neighborhood – organizers say.
ADDED 12:48 PM: DG has shared a drawing of the grocery store’s floor plan (click the image for a larger view):
Also, you can read the “executive summary” of their business plan here (PDF).
Sunrise Heights residents who thought they heard gunfire around 4:30 this morning have found proof, and police have gone back for further investigation. The report we received mentioned a yellow or light-colored “muscle car” at the time shots were fired near 32nd and Kenyon (map) – police got there fast, we’re told, but the car was gone. Then this morning, our tipster found spent casings (including the one shown above) and a needle in the gutter, across the street from the east wall of the Westside School campus:
They counted five, but just texted us to say that while police were there a short time ago, a sixth was found, all 9mm. No reports of injuries or property damage.
In a separate incident, we have a report from Tom in Highland Park, who reports three shots fired from a car last night around 10:30 pm at 15th and Holden (map), by the apartments that drew a major response back on Tuesday. The call is noted in an SPD auto-tweet but as with all auto-tweets, no further details.
One more Crime Watch note that does NOT involve gunfire – an Arbor Heights resident reports a house in the neighborhood was broken into during the day Friday, 39th and 106th (map), and urges “vigilance,” observing that it went unnoticed until the resident discovered it later.
(Red-breasted sapsucker, photographed by Trileigh Tucker)
Welcome to the first Saturday of spring! So much going on; the following is only part of what’s on the calendar:
TRAFFIC ALERTS – RAMP CLOSURES AND DELRIDGE DETOURS: Two traffic-alert reminders this weekend – from the east end of the West Seattle Bridge, the ramps to Northbound I-5 and Beacon Hill are closed all weekend as part of the I-5 Spokane St. Interchange Special Bridge Repair project. Also, if you aren’t a regular Delridge Way driver and therefore might not traveled this way since Wednesday, a reminder that the Delridge repaving project has moved to Phase 2 and southbound traffic is detoured around the Thistle-to-Trenton work zone.
FAIRMOUNT RAVINE CLEANUP, THE SEQUEL: Two weeks after their annual cleanup, Fairmount Ravine neighbors and friends are returning this morning to do what they couldn’t finish. You are invited to join them; meet at Fairmount and Forest (just east of the east side of Hiawatha) at 8;30 am.
SCOUTING FOR FOOD: Reminder that Boy Scouts might be in your neighborhood today leaving door-hangers about the Scouting for Food drive – details here.
SANISLO BOOK SALE: 10 am-2 pm, Sanislo Elementary has a book sale – and bake sale! – to raise money for its annual 4th-grade field trip to Camp Sealth on Vashon Island. 1812 SW Myrtle (map).
BOWL WITH THE COMMODORES: 10 am-noon, the Seafair Commodores raise money for the summer festival’s scholarship program, with their annual Bowl-A-Thon at West Seattle Bowl. Here’s our preview story.
SPRING SKI/GEAR SWAP: 10 am-6 pm, at the VFW Hall (3601 SW Alaska), sponsored by across-the-street Mountain to Sound Outfitters.
SPRING PETTING ZOO: 10:30 am-noon, drop by Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (2326 California; WSB sponsor) for “Zoo for You!”, a spring petting zoo with bunnies, chicks, chickens and guinea pigs. All welcome!
DELRIDGE GROCERY MEMBERSHIP LAUNCH/LUNCH: 11 am-1 pm, drop by Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) and find out more about the Delridge Grocery co-op – including buying a membership!
STORY TIME AT BARNES & NOBLE: From Melissa at Westwood Village B&N –
Just wanted to let folks know that everyone’s favorite aardvark, Arthur, will be joining us for our storytime Saturday at 11 am! We’ll be reading “Arthur’s Pet Business” and “D.W. the Picky Eater”, as well as having treats and fun with Arthur!
MAYOR TOURS ADMIRAL DISTRICT: Mayor Mike McGinn has accepted the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s invitation to tour the district, and is scheduled to be here 1-2 pm today. The tour is set to start from Admiral Safeway (2622 California SW) and end at Alki Mail and Dispatch (47th/Admiral); see the detailed schedule here.
EAGLES’ BENEFIT DINNER FOR MAKE-A-WISH: Pot-roast dinner at the West Seattle Eagles‘ HQ to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation, 5:30-7:30 pm.
JAZZ WITH YOUR DINNER @ LA ROMANZA: Live jazz starts at 6 pm for music during dinnertime at La Romanza Bistro Italiano in The Junction (4521 California SW; WSB sponsor) every Saturday night.
DOUBLE FEATURE: Repo! The Genetic Opera and The Devil’s Carnival, Episode 1, one night only at The Admiral Theater (2343 California SW), 7 pm – details and ticket link here.
TWILIGHT HOSTS apertureSTOP! A night of spoken word and photography at the gallery/boutique in The Junction (SW Alaska next to Easy Street), 8 pm – details in our listing.
LIVE MUSIC AND OTHER NIGHTLIFE: Follow these links to individual listings –
*Gary Benson at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW, WSB sponsor), 6 pm
*The Kings of Mongrel Folk, in concert at Kenyon Hall, 7:30 pm
*West Side Glory variety show @ Skylark, 8 pm
*Dead Sonics, Weird-Ons at Benbow Room, 9 pm
*A Leaf, “melody-based indie folk-rock,” at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 9:30 pm
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
Another beautiful night for comet-watching at Lincoln Park. This time, WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams was watching the comet-watchers – like Donovan Huhner, above. He and others came to south Lincoln Park in hopes of spotting Comet PanSTARRS:
The park’s south beach is where Alice Enevoldsen of Alice’s Astro Info and WSB’s monthly Skies Over West Seattle has been holding court on clear(-ish) nights, along with her husband Jason Gift Enevoldsen:
If you can’t make it to Lincoln Park, Alice has an online guide for where/how to look for Comet PanSTARRS, which she calls a “cute little comet.” As she wrote on WSB earlier this month, this is considered to be the “Year of the Comet,” so there’s a lot more viewing to come.
Keep an eye on Alice’s Twitter feed (and ours) for updates on viewing opportunities while PanSTARRS is still in sight. (Here’s how it looked last weekend.)
Nine turbulent months after leaving Harbor Island’s Vigor Shipyards, the Shell drilling rigs Kulluk and Noble Discoverer have both been loaded onto giant Chinese ships to be taken to Asian shipyards. They both were set to head back here late last year when trouble struck in a variety of ways, including the Kulluk running aground on an Alaskan island. The video above, from Earthjustice, shows Kulluk being loaded onto the Xiang Rui Kou at Dutch Harbor, Alaska (still there as of this writing, per MarineTraffic.com). Shell is quoted as saying it’ll be heading to Singapore. Kulluk was here more than a year before departing last June; the Noble Discoverer, which spent less time here (though they left the same day), was loaded aboard an identical Chinese “dry tow” ship, the Xiang Yun Kou, earlier this month, headed for Korea (here are photos and backstory on its previous trouble). Alaskan news organizations quote Shell as saying it won’t try again to drill in the Arctic before next year.
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