day : 18/07/2013 12 results

Alki Art Fair this Saturday & Sunday: Preview the artists

(WSB photo from 2012 Alki Art Fair)
One of the marquee events in what looks to be West Seattle’s biggest weekend of the summer is the Alki Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday (July 20-21) – two days of arts, crafts, live music, food, and (if the forecast holds) beautiful weather at the beach. Here are the basics:

*Hours – 10 am-6 pm for the artists’ booths both days; music till 9 pm Saturday, 8 pm Sunday
*Transportation – If you’re not coming by bus or bicycle, or on foot, park at West Seattle High School (3000 California SW) and take the free shuttle bus!

And fair organizers have shared the artist/food-vendor lineup – always subject to last-minute change, but here’s where things stood as of this morning:

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Two burglary reports

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight – first one from a Gatewood resident who interrupted a burglary at her home near 44th and Othello:

Despite having protective film on our basement windows, intruder punctured window to unlock and slide open. He didn’t get anything and drove away in his own car parked right out front. He didn’t injure me and wasn’t armed. I got plate number. SPD says plate matched car I described and car owner matches my physical description. A known burglar on probation just arrested a few days ago.

She says it was a red ’92 Toyota sports car, first three digits AHZ. The other report comes from a Highland Park resident

I live on the 7500 block of 15th Ave SW, between Holden and Webster. During the day on Tuesday July 16th, someone (or two) broke into my house, through a small and high “back of house” window I had stupidly left unsecured. I’ve talked with the police and filed a report. The thieves entered my house and grabbed small items (sentimental to me) they probably thought might be worth something, and emptied a container of pennies. They could only exit through the same small window so that was all they stole, thankfully. When I returned home, it took me an hour of feeling like something was “off” before I finally realized I had indeed been burglarized. It pisses me off that my house was invaded/violated by little s—heads (clearly wee s—heads due to the size of the window), and they stole things my deceased family had given me over the past 55 years, but they also put my indoor cat at risk. I’m extremely angry right now for multiple reasons.

Side note from the crime-prevention department: Is your neighborhood signed up for Night Out (two weeks from Tuesday)? If not – go here.

West Seattle bike-counter glitches: Manufacturer explains ‘unique factors’

More than a few local bicyclists have noticed that the new bike counter at the east end of the Spokane Street Swing Bridge (aka the West Seattle “low bridge”) seems to have glitches. West Seattleite Russ Walker caught multiple instances in a real-time video (above; in the first minute alone, four riders go by, but only one is counted). Russ’s video drew a comment this afternoon from an executive of the manufacturer, Eco-Counter:

…Eco-Counter and SDOT are still working to adjust the counter. We know it is not performing as well as it should. A couple of unique factors at this specific location are causing the problems you documented very well. …

After Russ shared news of that comment, we e-mailed the executive, Jean-Francois Rheault, with followup questions, especially regarding the “unique factors,” and the error rate. He replied quickly:

At this point, we are still investigating the cause of the problem. Some cyclists register two counts while some cyclists are not registering any. Therefore, it is hard to evaluate the error rate and I would prefer not guessing an error.

Not sure it is of interest to your readers but we think the problem may be caused by a combination of 3 factors (fast-moving cyclists, presence of high-voltage power lines, and potential problem with configuration). Separately, those factors do not cause any problem but together, they are reducing the accuracy of the counts.

I would like to mention that SDOT staff have been very responsive and professional helping us to solve the issue. Sensors sometimes need to be calibrated and we are in such a case. We are sorry the counts are not as good as they should, but please know that we are committed to making this work as soon as possible. A technician will visit the site in the next week or so.

All in all, we know there is a problem. We are doing our best to solve it as soon as possible.

The counter was purchased and donated by Cascade Bicycle Club, along with money to underwrite its first year of operation, so public funding isn’t the issue here, except for future public funding that might not be spent or planned appropriately if the usage numbers aren’t accurate.

Landmark status for old Genesee Hill school? City hearing set

Does West Seattle’s 65-year-old Genesee Hill Elementary School – slated for demolition and replacement – meet the criteria to be a city landmark? A hearing on that question is set for August 7th, according to an announcement from the city:

The Landmarks Preservation Board will consider landmark nomination for Genesee Hill Elementary School at 5012 SW Genesee Street. The meeting will be on Wednesday, August 7 at 3:30 p.m. in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue, 16th Floor in Room 1600.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board by 5:00 p.m. on August 6 at the following address: Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods, P.O. Box 94649, Seattle WA, 98124-4649.

A copy of the nomination is available for public review at the West Seattle Branch Library, 2306 42nd Avenue SW (206-684-7444); and at Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Office in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700 (206-684-0228). The nomination is posted on Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website (in three files on this page).

This process is a routine part of projects like this, and also was done for the old Denny International Middle School, torn down and replaced by open space and recreational facilities when the new one nearby was ready to occupy. Seattle Public Schools expects to start building the new school at Genesee Hill next year.

West Seattle Grand Parade countdown: 2 chances to participate

July 18, 2013 4:16 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Grand Parade countdown: 2 chances to participate
 |   West Seattle Grand Parade | West Seattle news

(Sustainable West Seattle in 2012 Grand Parade; both WSB photos in this story are by Nick Adams)
We’re counting down to West Seattle Grand Parade day on Saturday, and there are two chances for kids to participate if they’re not already part of an entry.

NEW – KIDICAL MASS: Just announced:

Kids on bikes are invited to ride in the West Seattle Grand Parade July 20th as part of the Kidical Mass this Saturday. Riders of all ages are welcome and kids and families are encouraged to join in the fun.

Kidical Mass is a grass-roots movement to get more kids and families excited about bike riding. Escort your child on their decorated bike as you join Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle Spokespeople and West Seattle Bike Connections in the parade for this family-friendly ride.

Meet at Alki Bike and Board, 2606 California Ave. SW, to ride in the parade. For more details, contact

The parade starts at 11 am, south on California from Lander, and stages along side streets in advance – so we’d advise meeting at AB&B with plenty of time to spare. Meantime – one more reminder about the other opportunity for kids to participate:

WEST SEATTLE ROTARY KIDDIE PARADE: On foot or on wheels, kids are invited to parade down part of the route, from SW Genesee to SW Edmunds, right before the big parade, with the Rotary Club of West Seattle. Details (and contact info if you have questions) here.

‘What’s that ship?’ USNS Montford Point anchored off West Seattle

We’ve received several questions about that unusual-looking ship anchored in Elliott Bay, not far from the West Seattle shore. It’s a U.S. Navy vessel, USNS Montford Point, a brand-new, first-of-its-class Mobile Landing Platform, christened this past March, delivered to the Navy in May in San Diego, where it was built. Its name is in honor of 20,000 African American Marine Corps recruits who trained at Montford Point, North Carolina, in the 1940s, according to the Navy announcement that says the other two MLPs will be named USNS John Glenn and USNS Lewis B. Puller (after the most-decorated US Marine). The Montford Point is not expected to go into operation for another year or so.

Yes, but what’s it doing here, you ask? According to this wire report, it’ll be berthed temporarily at Naval Station Everett while getting ready for a major inspection this fall. (More details in this Navy news release.) If we find out anything more about the Seattle side trip, we’ll add it.

‘It’s been a privilege’: Now-retired West Seattle service-station proprietor Dick Barnecut tells his story

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The end of an 83-year-old business happened fast.

Too fast to say goodbye to everyone.

But now-retired service-station proprietor Dick Barnecut tells WSB he’s hoping to fix that – with a goodbye get-together sometime soon.

It was just five weeks ago that reader tips led to our first report of the sale and changes on the way for the Admiral Way service station founded by Barnecut’s father.

About two weeks after our report, the sale of the service station closed, and it changed hands. Admiral entrepreneur Marc Gartin owns it now; it’s still in business – as a gas station, but not the same way the Barnecuts ran it for decades, and city files indicate another change is in the works.

To follow up on the sale – which drew more than 50 comments here, some as simple and heartfelt as “You will be missed” – we interviewed Dick Barnecut at his home, less than a mile from the station.

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Seattle Public Schools chooses a calendar – but it’s not fully finalized

You might recall that Seattle Public Schools had board approval for two versions of the 2013-2014 calendar – because they were waiting to see if the state would approve a waiver allowing three professional development days (which would be off-days for students). The state denied the waiver, so the district just announced it’s going with its “Option B” calendar. However, it’s still not completely finalized, the district announcement explains:

Seattle Public Schools is now working with its labor partners, as part of ongoing contract negotiations, to determine when professional development will take place during the upcoming school year. More information will be communicated to families as soon as it is available.

Key dates for next year’s school calendar include:

First day of school: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013
Winter break: two weeks, from Dec. 23, 2013, to Jan. 3, 2014
Mid-winter break: Feb. 17-21, 2014, including the Presidents Day holiday
Spring break: April 14-18, 2014
Last day of school: yet to be determined (June 18 or 19, 2014)

The calendar also builds in four snow make-up days, including Jan. 31, 2014, May 23, 2014, and the two days after the last day of school. It’s important that staff and families plan for students to potentially be in school during these days, and to note that the last day of school could be Monday, June 23, 2014, if snow days are not used.

The Option B calendar can be seen here.

Friday reminder: Caspar Babypants & Hiawatha Fun Fest

Even before we get to the summer’s busiest weekend – we’re reminding you that Friday brings a hot ticket: The second West Seattle concert in a week by kids-music superstar Caspar Babypants, who drew hundreds last Saturday at West Seattle Summer Fest (WSB video here). CB’s performance kicks off this year’s Hiawatha Fun Fest, noon-3 pm tomorrow (Friday, July 19th) on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center/Park (Walnut Avenue side). The concert’s free; bring money for carnival games, sno-cones, and/or hot-dog lunch.

West Seattle Thursday: Birds; bees; singles; acrobats…

That’s one of our holdover photos from last weekend’s West Seattle Summer Fest – chickens at the Sustainable West Seattle-presented GreenLife zone – and yes, they have a role in what’s happening tonight!

BACKYARD CHICKENS: Miss Christina Hahs‘s presentation at GreenLife during Summer Fest? She’s part of Ask an Expert tonight at the West Seattle Tool Library, 6-8 pm. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

Also happening today/tonight:

‘BUSY AS A BEE’ STORY TIME: At the new West Seattle Bee Garden at High Point Commons Park, a special event for kids 6 and under, 11:30 am. (Lanham/Graham)

VOLUNTEERS AT ROXHILL ELEMENTARY: Noon today, you can help sort books! Here’s our original announcement. Meet at the main office. (30th/Roxbury)

SINGLES’ POTLUCK: The Senior Center of West Seattle‘s 55+ singles group plans a potluck at Lincoln Park tonight, 5 pm at the picnic tables by the swing set. Questions? Contact info’s in our calendar listing.

ACROBATS PERFORM: It’s another week of performances by The Acrobatic Conundrum with “The Way Out,” 7:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Centerdetails here. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

LOTS more for today and tonight (and far beyond) on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar!

You can help! 2 beach/water cleanups ahead: Sunday with Puget Soundkeeper; August 3 with Seal Sitters

West Seattle’s waters, beaches, and marine life need your help – so here’s heads-up on two cleanups with which you can help:

THIS SUNDAY MORNING: 9-11 am next Sunday (July 21), Puget Soundkeeper Alliance will be teaming up with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering to clean up any fireworks debris found following the Saturday night fireworks show off Beach Drive. They are looking for help from kayak AND shore-patrol volunteers, and will be removing “summertime trash” along the way. It starts at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook (4503 Beach Drive SW). Just show up – with or without a kayak; Puget Soundkeeper Alliance will be providing staff, trash grabbers, and bags; Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes will have pastries, coffee, and fruit for volunteers.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3RD: Seal Sitters, along with the Alki Community Council and Seattle Parks, is organizing a cleanup in honor of the marine mammals killed or otherwise harmed by trash at sea – from Sandy the seal pup (strangled in April 2012 by derelict fishing line; archived Seal Sitters updates here) to the Arroyos gray whale (whose necropsy in April 2010 revealed a stomach full of trash) and many others. This cleanup will be on Alki Beach, 9 am-noon on August 3rd, as part of Seal Sitters’ “Year of the Seal: Sentinels of the Sound.” They’re requesting RSVPs so they know how much supplies to bring – e-mail More information here.


July 18, 2013 7:33 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Live view from the west-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
7:31 AM: The roads are OK so far. If you take Sound Transit 560 all the way to Bellevue, there’s some rerouting there because of a police operation. Speaking of buses – another reminder of West Seattle reroutes this Saturday morning into early afternoon because of the West Seattle Grand Parade and White Center reroutes on Sunday for the Jubilee Days Parade. The info is all linked from this page on the Metro Transit website.