day : 13/12/2013 14 results

6917 California SW developer meets neighbors; see the future no-offstreet-parking building’s ‘identical’ twin

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The developer planning to build a 30-unit, no-offstreet-parking building in Morgan Junction says it will be a duplicate of a 30-unit, no-offstreet-parking building the same architect designed for a North Seattle site.

After Mark Knoll explained that last night to about 30 people who came to hear from and talk with him about 6917 California SW (map) – the plan first reported here two months ago – we took a field trip today for a firsthand look at the “duplicate” building.

Ironically, we discovered, that building (same architect but different owner/developer) in Roosevelt is directly across the street from a big parking lot.

The lot has more than 150 spaces open to the public (but not free), and its streetfront is in turn lined with free public parking (mostly diagonal). The Roosevelt building also is a few blocks from a planned station for Sound Transit light rail, something West Seattle currently can only dream of.

More on that building and its context later in this story. First, what Knoll told, and heard from, those in attendance last night at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center:

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West Seattle Transportation Coalition ‘listening tour’ dates set

December 13, 2013 8:57 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

Our coverage of this week’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition board meeting included word that WSTC members planned a tour of sorts to meet with interested community members. Just found out it starts tomorrow! Here’s the announcement and schedule:

Got a rant about transportation in West Seattle or maybe a rave to share? If so, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSTC) wants to hear from you. They plan to begin a series of “Listening Tours” to learn about transportation and mobility issues that affect the West Seattle Peninsula. The first of the ‘tours’ starts this weekend.

At each ‘Tour Stop,’ Coalition members will take your comments about transportation and the peninsula. “We’d like you to tell us what works and what doesn’t work about transportation in West Seattle; what do you think can be improved, or what do you think is needed,” said WSTC Outreach Chairperson Deb Barker. Transportation methods such as car, bike, bus, ferry, scooter, skateboard, rollerblade, wheelchair, or walking are included. As a newly formed grassroots group dedicated to advancing and improving all transportation modes in order to benefit the West Seattle Peninsula, the WSTC will tabulate all of the comments they receive to determine ongoing transportation goals and objectives for all of the people of the peninsula.

The “Listening Tour” schedule is:

December 14, 2013 from 12-2pm at Barnes & Noble Coffee Shop, Westwood Village, 2600 SW Barton
December 15, 2013 from 11-1pm at Cupcake Royale, 4556 California Ave SW
December 21, 2013 from 12-2 at The Feedback Lounge, 6451 California Ave SW
December 22, 2013 from 12-2 at Zatz a Better Bagel, 2348 California Ave SW
December 29, 2013 from 12-2 at Uptown Espresso, 3845 Delridge Way SW

If you can’t make it to one of the “Listening Tour” dates, send your comments to the WSTC at their website Additional “Listening Tours” dates will be announced in January 2014.

West Seattle holidays: Christmas song from local band Faintly

December 13, 2013 8:23 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Most years, we’ve featured locally created Christmas music. Tonight – a song with a bit of a story. We heard from Ian Fetterer, who is lead vocalist/keyboardist and audio engineer for a band called Faintly. They are living in a West Seattle house while writing and recording an album they hope to finish by next year. He sent us the link to a Christmas song that he explains was written “a few years back, and somehow it has now become one of my traditions every year to remix the song to see if I can get it sounding better than the year before, and I’m really excited about this mix!” If you like the song – which you can preview above – Ian invites you to download it here – for free, or “pay what you’d like.”

Busy West Seattle holiday weekend for Santa Claus!

(2012 photo – Santa at the Menashe Family Lights)
Santa Claus is truly magical. He can be in many places at once – that’s really the only way you can explain all that worldwide present-delivering on Christmas Eve. This weekend, you’ll find him making some special stops around West Seattle; they’re all in our all-season-long Holiday Events/Info Guide – here are highlights, including one-time-only visits:

SANTA PAWS … as in, pet photos! Saturday, 11 am-2 pm, at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest Real Estate (WSB sponsor) offices at Jefferson Square, 11 am-2 pm. Please sign up ahead of time by going here. (4700 42nd SW, Suite 600)

SANTA AT CAPERS: DIY photos with “Ex-Westwood” Santa at CAPERS continue this Saturday/Sunday from 1 to 5 pm. Suggested donation per sitting $10; all donations benefit the West Seattle Food Bank.

‘COCOA CRIS CRINGLE’ SANTA AT EASY STREET: Saturday and Sunday evenings, come meet Easy Street Records‘ Santa for photos/donation drive benefiting the West Seattle Food Bank.

(2012 photo)
Saturday 4-9 pm; Sunday 4-7 pm. $20, or $15 with donation of 1 nonperishable food item or toy, includes 3 photos sent to you and 1 printed on site. (California/Alaska)

SANTA AT THE MENASHE FAMILY LIGHTS: 6-10 pm Saturday, “Santa Al” is available for DIY photos at the legendary light show; bring a can of food to donate for Northwest Harvest. (5605 Beach Drive SW)

SANTA AT DAKOTA PLACE PARK: Sunday 1-4 pm at Dakota Place Park, with a food-bank fundraiser/foodraiser, sponsored by My Seattle Realty, which is donating one digital photo free – 2-can West Seattle Food Bank (or $) requested – others available for purchase from photographer Gail Ann. Reservations requested: Specify 1-2, 2-3 or 3-4 pm in e-mail to (California Ave SW and SW Dakota St)

CARTOONING SANTA AT LUNA PARK CAFE: 5-8 pm Sunday, come meet Cartooning Santa at Luna Park Café, 5 to 8 pm, drawing free cartoons for the kids, with drink specials for all ages. (2918 SW Avalon Way)

That’s just part of the Santa-visit lineup for this weekend – for more details and Santa appearances beyond this weekend, not to mention a long list of other West Seattle holiday events and info, go here!

West Seattle Whale Watch: Northbound orcas passing by

Thanks to Trileigh Tucker, wildlife-watcher/photographer extraordinaire, for a note about what apparently are two groups of orcas headed northbound past, and approaching, our shores – parallel with Southworth and with Seahurst. Please let us know if you see/have seen them!

FASTSIGNS in West Seattle: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor

(8/14 note: To check whether a business is still a current WSB sponsor, please go here)

Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor, FASTSIGNS West Seattle, now open. Here’s what they would like you to know about their business:

(FASTSIGNS’ James Pike, Christine Greene, Steve Sharp)
We are excited to be part of the FASTSIGNS® family, which is a multi-national franchise and recognized as a leader in the industry. After researching several business options, the owners, James Pike and Jessica Lee, determined that FASTSIGNS® would be a great addition to the business community, serving West Seattle, Burien, and the surrounding area.

At FASTSIGNS® West Seattle, we care about our customers and we make it as easy as possible for the customer to achieve all of their visual communication goals, needs, and desires. With over 50 years of collective experience in graphics, production, sales and business development and architecture, our team is ready and excited to serve the community and build relationships with our customers. Every business has a story to tell, and we look forward to having the opportunity to help tell your story.

As residents of West Seattle, the owners of FASTSIGNS® West Seattle are very involved within the West Seattle community as members of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and Jessica, who grew up in West Seattle, is the Treasurer of the West Seattle Food Bank. She is also an alumnus of Seattle Lutheran High School as well as Seattle University and the University of Washington. James, originally from London, UK, is active in various soccer leagues and also a diehard Chelsea football supporter!

FASTSIGNS® West Seattle is located at 6323 35th SW and online at FASTSIGNS West Seattle. Please call 206-577-4077, or request a quote online.

We thank FASTSIGNS® West Seattle for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

West Seattle development: Charlestown Café site project gets first Design Review date; other projects now on schedule too

(EDITOR’S NOTE: In mid-January, the 1/23 Design Review meeting was pushed back to 1/30)
Four more projects have been added to the Southwest Design Review Board‘s calendar for early next year.

Most notably, January 23rd 30th is tentatively scheduled for the board’s first look at 3824 California SW, the 30-unit project proposed for the two-and-a-half-years-vacant Charlestown Café site, first reported here six months ago. The 30 units are now described on the city website is now outlined as 17 live-work units and 13 townhouses. The tentative date for this review is 6:30 pm January 23 30, followed by, at 8 pm, the first look at 4505 42nd SW (here’s a map), 50 apartments over 4,500 square feet of retail and 16 parking spaces. That’s a change from our first report back in October.

Then, tentatively set for 6:30 pm February 6th, 4400 SW Alaska (map) goes back to the SWDRB; it is now described as 36 residential units, 4 live-work units, and 5 parking spaces. (Here’s our report on its July review.)

We’ve already mentioned that 3078 SW Avalon Way (map) is on the calendar to go back before the board at 6:30 pm January 16th; now a second project is added for 8 pm that night, 4433 42nd SW (here’s a map), 78 residential units, 2 live-work units, and a 52-space underground parking garage. It’s been reviewed twice previously.

All of the aforementioned reviews are penciled in for the Senior Center of West Seattle, which is where all the board’s meetings have been held for some months now, after several years of bouncing between various community-meeting rooms.

P.S. The city’s page explaining the Design Review program is here.

You can help! White Center Food Bank needs time, turkeys, hams

December 13, 2013 12:23 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | White Center

It’s an even-more-frequent question than usual during the holiday season – “how can I help?” Here’s the latest answer: The White Center Food Bank, which also serves southern West Seattle, needs volunteers and donations. Specifically, according to WCFB’s Audrey Zemke, they need help passing out holiday food next Thursday (December 19th), 3:30-6:30 pm. If you can volunteer for that time – please contact Audrey, 206-762-2848 or Meantime, there’s one type of holiday food they especially need – turkeys and hams for larger households. You can take them to the WCFB at 10829 8th SW during its regular hours 8:30 am-5 pm Mondays-Fridays, or other times by arrangement.

City raising speed limit for Spokane Street Viaduct on east end of West Seattle Bridge

(WSB photo, taken – from the passenger seat – midday Friday)
One year after the city officially marked the end of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project, a speed-limit change has just been announced by SDOT:

This weekend the speed limit on the Spokane Street Viaduct is increasing to 40 miles per hour (mph) between I-5 and First Avenue South. While the speed limit was 35 mph based on the structure’s original design, the Spokane Street Viaduct Project widened the roadway, which allows for a 40 mph speed. The project officially concluded last December, but the lower speed limit remained in place while the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) monitored operations. SDOT has concluded the Spokane Street Viaduct is functioning well and that the speed limit can be safely increased.

Last weekend SDOT replaced aging and worn overhead signs on the structure. The new signs are made of a reflective material that works so well the electric lighting associated with overhead signs is not needed. The Washington State Department of Transportation currently uses this material and we are taking this opportunity to review its use in Seattle.

The Spokane Street Viaduct Project doubled the viaduct’s width, and refurbished and seismically reinforced the older portion. The additional width allowed for wider travel lanes, shoulders and deceleration and merge lanes to be installed. The project also added a new eastbound off-ramp at Fourth Avenue S and fully reconstructed the lower S Spokane Street in concrete, including a sidewalk on the south side and multi-use trail on the north side. Finally, artwork was added to enliven the area below the viaduct with color and images that recollect the natural and cultural history of the location.

West Seattle Friday: Gift wrapping; handbell concert; ‘Hour of Code’; lots more


(Snowberries & boom on the Duwamish east of T-107, photographed by Don Brubeck, shared via Flickr)
Another big holiday-season weekend begins! Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Event/Info Guide are below, along with events from our regular year-round calendar:

TODDLER TREE PLANTING: Join the Nature Consortium in the West Duwamish Greenbelt starting at 10 am. Details in our listing.

KNOW SOMEONE IN NEED? West Seattle-based Skate Church offers a food bank at noon on Fridays; details here.

HOUR OF CODE: Ages 5 and up are invited to Southwest Branch Library to learn about doing more with computers and technology than simply reading or playing – details in our calendar listing. 3 pm. (35th/Henderson)

GIFT WRAPPING AND CAROLING: Emeritus at West Seattle is teaming up with Girl Scout Troop 43769 to support the West Seattle Food Bank tonight, hosting gift wrapping and caroling from 5 – 6:30 pm. Bring a nonperishable food item for each package OR cash for a suggested donation. Emeritus-WS has a giving tree you can check out while there, too. (4611 35th SW)

LAFAYETTE CRAFT FAIR: Tonight’s the annual Lafayette Elementary Craft Fair in the cafeteria. 5 pm -8 pm. All welcome to come shop! (California/Lander)

HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Playing at home tonight are Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle) hosting Bainbridge, with boys’ JV at 4:45 pm, girls at 6:15 pm, boys’ varsity at 8 pm, and Seattle Lutheran High School (41st/Genesee) hosting Mount Vernon, with boys’ JV at 4 pm, girls at 5:30 pm, boys’ varsity at 7 pm.

CHRISTMAS BELLS ARE RINGING: Bells of the Sound holiday concert tonight at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor): This holiday season finds Bells of the Sound “Making Spirits Bright“! Join Puget Sound’s premier handbell ensemble as they present a program of traditional and modern holiday classics like Blue Christmas, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, The Holly and the Ivy, and Jingle Bells. 7:30 pm; suggested donation of $10/adults and $8/youth & seniors will be collected at the door. Children under 8 are free. (3940 41st SW)

LAST WEEKEND FOR ‘MIRACLE ON 34TH’: Join Twelfth Night Productions for “Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Radio Play,” based on the holiday-movie favorite of the same name, presented as a live 1940s radio broadcast. 7:30 tonight at Kenyon Hall. Tickets can be purchased at or an hour before showtime at the venue box office. (7904 35th SW)

‘LITTLE WOMEN: THE MUSICAL’: Haven’t seen it yet? Next chance, 7:30 tonight, ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) in The Junction. (4711 California SW)

Two more holiday notes:

SOCK DRIVE: Second-to-last day for the holiday sock drive at Java Bean Coffee in Luna Park. Drop off pairs of new white socks. All donations benefit Operation Nightwatch. (2920 SW Avalon Way)

FINAL WEEKEND FOR HOLY ROSARY TREE LOT: This Sunday is the last day of the season for Holy Rosary Tree Lot (WSB sponsor), north of the school. Part of this lot’s proceeds benefit West Seattle Helpline, Hickman House (domestic-violence shelter), and West Seattle Food Bank. (41st/Dakota)

Schmitz Park Foxes over Lafayette Leopards in first-ever West Side Flag Cup at Hiawatha

(Photo courtesy Lorie Bennett)
Thursday afternoon rain didn’t stop students from Lafayette and Schmitz Park Elementaries from playing the first-ever West Side Flag Cup – Leopards vs. Foxes, respectively. We’re told it started with the Lafayette after-school football class and coach – third- through fifth-graders – challenging their Schmitz Park counterparts. Above, the two teams before the game (thanks to Lorie for sharing that photo!); below, action on the field at Hiawatha:

(This and next 2 photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
We stopped by for a bit of the early action. According to the Schmitz Park Facebook page, the Foxes won. Lots of family and friends out to cheer for both teams.

The SP page also notes: “The score ranges from 49 to 42, 42 to 35, it was a close game with back-and-forth touchdowns. We forgot to assign an official scorekeeper.”

But you know the saying – “it’s not whether you win or lose …” The Foxes and Leopards are hoping to make this a tradition, trophy and all, with another faceoff as soon as late spring.

West Seattle schools: Explorer West theater award, book fair

December 13, 2013 8:55 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS culture/arts

Two notes from Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor):

(Photo courtesy Explorer West Middle School)
AWARD-WINNING, AGAIN: EWMS has again scored big in local theater honors:

At an awards ceremony on Monday (12/9), Explorer West students walked away with top honors in the Young Playwrights Program at ACT. Annually, ACT, a professional equity theater in downtown Seattle, hosts more than 200 high school and middle school students from across King County in the Young Playwrights Program. Explorer West 7th-grade students were two of the eight students selected to win the top prize, a production of their play with professional actors at ACT. Two additional 7th-grade students each received one of the 22 honorable mentions in the contest. Explorer West is very proud to be part of this program and for our students to be recognized for the third year in a row.

More details are on the school’s website.

THEATER TONIGHT DURING BOOK FAIR: EW students will be performing live theater, both classic and original works, 4:30-5:30 pm today at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village, which is hosting their Book Fair tonight. That’s also an opportunity to have part of your purchase proceeds support EW (the third local school this week with a Book Fair at B&N); they’re raising money to expand the school library.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; weekend 99 closure

December 13, 2013 6:59 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(More area traffic cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: Happy Friday! No major incidents reported on West Seattle outbound routes so far. One update on the weekend closure of Highway 99 from the Battery Street Tunnel northward to Valley Street – it will begin at 3 am Saturday, according to SDOT, a few hours later than first announced.

7:08 AM: There’s an incident on the Admiral Way hill at City View, north of the high-rise bridge approach. A texter says a bicycle rider is down; the 911 log describes it as an aid response. We’re heading over to see what we can find out.

7:13 AM: Per scanner, the bicycle rider “just fell off,” no collision, so police are clearing that scene.

7:35 AM: Fire is clear too – Admiral Way traffic appears normal, both ways. Meantime, WSDOT tweeted about a stall by the eastbound West Seattle Bridge ramp to northbound I-5; the Incident Response Team is already on scene clearing it.

8:30 AM: There’s word of a sign down in the road, possibly with sharp edges that might be a “tire hazard” (as the dispatcher put it), at Delridge/Spokane. Police are responding but if you’re headed that way, slow down and look to see what you might be about to run over…

ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: One highway closure of note for next week:

Tuesday, Dec. 17

Crews will close all lanes of northbound I-5 overnight between South Dearborn Street and Spring Street. The first lane will close at 9 p.m. and the second lane will close at 10 p.m. Crews will close the remaining lanes by 11 p.m. and reopen all lanes by 4:30 a.m. During the full closure, traffic will be diverted to the northbound collector-distributor lanes.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car theft, prowl reports

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch, starting with another stolen car to watch for. Colleen says it was taken from her home in the Genesee area:

Sadly, woke up (Thursday) morning to see that my car had been stolen from garage (yes, I accidentally left the door open). It’s a gray 2011 Audi Q5 license plate AFV4367. The police indicated that it’s likely it will be abandoned on a side street so would appreciate my neighbors keeping an eye out. Interestingly, when I went to pick up a rental car, I learned that they have seen a 3x increase in rentals from WS residents dealing with stolen cars!

And from Gretchen:

Our Honda was parked on the street (Wednesday) night and someone cleaned out the middle console and glove box. Took sunglasses, cassette tapes, registration, car manual and the controller that disables the alarm to let us start the car. The only one. Ugh. We’re at 17th and Thistle. It’s been reported.