West Seattle, Washington
Joan Mraz “was the ultimate volunteer,” recalls Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which he says she co-founded as “the catalyst who crucially transformed founder Elliott Couden’s dream into a reality when we got our start 30 years ago, based at South Seattle Community College (13 years before we opened the Log House Museum).” Ms. Mraz died this week at 78, and a memorial gathering is planned March 9th. Here’s a remembrance shared by her family:
Joan Bailey Mraz, beloved mother, grandmother, sister and lifelong West Seattle resident, passed away peacefully on Feb. 24, 2014, at Providence Mount St. Vincent. She was the firstborn twin of Ruth and Glen Bailey on July 29, 1935.
She was senior-class president and graduated in the class of 1953 from West Seattle High School. Joan won an art scholarship to Seattle University, from which she graduated with a bachelor of arts. She went on to teach art and art history at South Seattle Community College and was co-founder and former president of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
Joan was a fighter. She received a kidney transplant in 1989, which lasted the rest of her life.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband Elemer Mraz in 1996 and son Steven Roger Mraz in 2008. She is survived by her twin sister Diane Tice of Seattle, daughter Kristina (Graham) van Etten of Sydney, Australia, son Oscar (Nicole Devine) Mraz of Seattle and Mark (Bridget) Mraz of Edmonds. Joan was a proud grandmother to Lauren, Jordan and Nathan van Etten of Sydney, Australia, Marguerite Devine-Mraz of Seattle and Lukas and Kellen Mraz of Edmonds. She will always be remembered for her smile, caring attitude, love and deep affection for others.
The family asks that remembrances may be made to Northwest Kidney Centers (PO Box 3035, Seattle, WA 98114) or Southwest Seattle Historical Society (Log House Museum, 3003 61st Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116).
A celebration of Joan’s life will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 9, 2014, at St Paul’s of Shorewood Lutheran Church, 11620 21st Ave S.W., Seattle, WA, 98146. Please sign Joan’s online guestbook at www.becksfuneralhome.com.
The SWSHS website will have an extended obituary of Ms. Mraz sometime this weekend, and we’ll link to it here when it’s available. Meantime, anyone wishing to honor her through volunteer work with the SWSHS has an opportunity to do so almost immediately – the next volunteer-orientation session is 11 am-1 pm tomorrow (Saturday) at the LHM (61st/Stevens).
ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: The aforementioned SWSHS appreciation of Ms. Mraz is now published – see it here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The first full week of testimony in the murder trial of Lovett “Cid” Chambers is over.
Before court adjourned Thursday afternoon, jurors spent a second day hearing from just one witness – Jonathan “Jamie” Vause, who was with Travis Hood the night of January 21, 2012, when Hood was shot and killed by Morgan Junction Park.
Vause’s second and final day on the stand was something of a followup to Wednesday, and even more contentiously so, as it began in the middle of his cross-examination by defense lawyer Ben Goldsmith, focused on inconsistencies in his story dating back to his first statement to police, given in the back of a squad car at Providence Mount St. Vincent, where he had driven Hood after the shooting, thinking it was a hospital.
6:18 PM: Police and fire are at a crash on Harbor Avenue near the 7-11. A report from the scene says three vehicles are involved and “debris everywhere” – avoid the area TFN.
6:25 PM UPDATE: Our tipster says traffic is getting through, one lane down the middle.
7:03 PM UPDATE: At the scene, police confirmed no injuries. Traffic indeed is getting by, with the damaged cars on the side.
(Photo courtesy Michael Riedel)
5:47 PM: Seattle Fire is on a “fire in single/family residence” call in the 9000 block of 16th SW. More to come.
6:18 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Mike for updates in comments while we were en route. 16th is blocked by the Salvation Army building. No reports of injuries; we are told it was a very small fire in a boarded-up structure on the alley. Some of the SFD units are now leaving.
6:39 PM UPDATE: Mike reports 16th SW reopened (shortly after we left).
(8/14 note: To check whether a business is still a current WSB sponsor, please go here)
Going out for dinner? drinks? brunch? this weekend and/or beyond? New WSB sponsor Duos Lounge in Luna Park would love to see you. Here’s what Duos would like you to know:
Duos Lounge works with a variety of small and large farms throughout the Pacific Northwest that provide specialty meats, seafood, and produce, making Duos the perfect place to enjoy local products.
On our menu you will find 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised beef, handcrafted pork, and sustainably raised free roaming poultry; all of which contain no steroids, hormones, coloring, or antibiotics. We celebrate these authentic and natural products by pairing them with our handmade breads and pastas, from-scratch sauces, and great Northwest produce.
The most common reports from Duos clientele usually revolve around people showing gratitude for our atmosphere, craft drinks, local music, and our use of local, sustainable foods. We often hear from our clients how great it is that they can dine at Duos and enjoy its offerings without having to drive over the bridge.
A large reason for our guests’ visits to Duos is that we offer daily events like our “Wino Wednesday,” where you can enjoy 1/2 price bottles of wine; “Throwback Thursdays,” where you get discounted classic cocktails; Fridays, when we have our “Dress to the Nines,” where our staff and guests dress in their Sunday best; and Saturdays, with ’80s music and dancing after our dinner service.
Duos simply offers a great neighborhood spot to unwind, relax, and dine. We do not pressure our service staff to quickly turn tables or to up-sell items to increase ticket sales, and we think that really shows when you dine here. It really makes Duos unique in the sense that we really do care about the food we serve and how our guests feel when coming here. We want this to be that small-town place in a big city.
Duos is involved in the community, too, and after just 10 months in West Seattle has already had the opportunity to support many great local schools, firefighters, and other great small businesses in the area. We look forward to building more great relationships with local organizations as we grow.
Duos is at 2940 SW Avalon Way, open 4-10:30 pm Fridays and Saturdays, 10 am-2 pm for weekend brunch (Saturdays and Sundays), 4-9 pm Tuesdays-Wednesdays-Thursdays. You can make a reservation, see menus, and check the music schedule via duoslounge.com.
We thank Duos 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.
(King County Assessor’s Office photo of 4041-4045 California SW)
One week ago, we reported that the city was moving forward on buying a 5,750-square-foot site north of Dakota Place Park so the park, dominated by its remodeled, landmarked ex-substation building, can be expanded. One key piece of information was missing at the time, however: How much the city will pay. That information is available today, along with other details of the city’s plan for the site, now that the legislation is officially in the council’s online files. From its “fiscal note” document:
… The City presented several offers to the previous owner; however, there was never any agreement on price. A developer acquired the property, subdivided it into two parcels, each now owned by a different limited liability company controlled by the same managing member. Both limited liability companies are willing to sell to the City. The two parcels will be acquired under separate purchase and sale agreements and conveyed under separate deeds. It is anticipated that after the acquisitions close, the City will manage the site until park design/construction funding becomes available by demolishing the three residential cottages and two small outbuildings on one parcel and managing the lease in the commercial building on the other parcel until it is time to develop the park, depending on the terms of the lease and the condition of the building. …
The current budget for this project is $795,087. The costs of negotiations with previous owner were $20,087. The current purchase price is $477,000 for one parcel and $238,000 for the other for a total purchase price of $715,000. The additional budget of $60,000 is for appraisals,administrative time, title insurance and closing costs, environmental testing, survey, and demolition of the residential structures and outbuildings. The acquisitions are scheduled to close at the end of March 2014 with demolition of the structures happening at the end of 2014. …
We checked on the site’s history; its longtime owner sold it for $550,000 last October, according to county records. The subdivision mentioned in the city “fiscal note” above was not actually a step taken by a developer, but a confirmation they sought from the city that the site could be considered two separate lots, since there is currently a commercial building fronting California and three homes behind it. The city issued a confirmation letter last December.
If you’re a fan of Matador in The Junction, mark your calendar: They just announced plans to close for remodeling starting Sunday, March 9th, until a scheduled reopening at 4 pm Friday, March 14th. The announcement says, “The interior will be redone with reclaimed barn wood accents and new metalwork will be added to the decor. There will be more seating added, including several new booths and an expansion of the fire-pit area, and a completely new floor. Owner Zak Melang will be hand-crafting all new tables, and a new bar top.” Matador will mark its 9th anniversary in West Seattle this summer.
If you run, walk, rollerblade, skateboard, ride, etc., along Alki Beach during the day, you might have to change your plans next Tuesday, according to this alert just out of the WSB inbox:
On Tuesday, March 4, a King County crew will perform maintenance to the 53rd Avenue Pump Station, a below-ground facility near the corner of Alki Avenue Southwest and 53rd Avenue Southwest, on the west side of the street next to the sidewalk and waterside walking path.
Work will take place between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., and will involve opening a hatch to replace the pump station’s carbon filter. The crew will need up to three vehicles for this work, and while the replacement work is under way, there could be some increase in noise and odors.
We have the city’s approval to close off the work area, including closing the sidewalk and walking path, but we’ll try to maintain access for walkers, joggers and bicyclist as much as possible. It’s possible that the work will require us to detour foot and bicycle traffic to the other side of the street.
This is the pump station that was expanded over a 2+-year period between 2008 and 2010.
A memorial service is planned in April for Richard Ware Lantz of Fauntleroy, gone after what his family describes as “a full life,” and you’ll likely agree after reading the remembrance they’re sharing:
Ware Lantz, 97, died at home in his sleep on February 16, 2014, following a short illness. He lived up to his teenage nickname “Gadget,” for he was forever inventing, dissecting, conducting studies, diagramming, exploring new technologies, going wherever his curiosity took him. He was a consummate storyteller, and loved to read.
Ware was born in 1917, in Kearney, Nebraska. His earliest years were on a dry wheat farm in eastern Colorado. At the beginning of the Dust Bowl, his family moved to Hoquiam, Washington, where he grew up working in his father’s auto service/repair business. He put himself through college during the Depression, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 1940.
Early in the Second World War, he went to work at the Seattle Pacific Shipyard. He was immediately smitten with his new draftsman (appropriate term at the time), Ruth Immel, and they married eight months later.
They moved to Boston when Ware took a position at the Radiation Lab at MIT, working on development of radar defense systems. After the war, they relocated to California for work with North American Aviation, and in 1949 they moved to Seattle, where he worked for Boeing. While at Boeing, Ware was a supervisor on the Bomarc and Minuteman missile systems. After 30 years, he retired and began a second career, building architectural models, and picture framing.
Tacoma has one, and now it looks like Seattle voters will be asked if they want a Metropolitan Park District too. The citizens’ advisory committee that’s been working on the next parks-funding measure to send to Seattle voters is recommending creating a district with its own authority to raise money via new taxes, instead of sending voters another multi-year levy (the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy was the last one). The committee’s vote last night was 11-1. Our partners at The Seattle Times have meeting details here; you can read the rationale behind the recommendation in this document from the meeting, starting with Item 7. If this proposal had been in effect this year, it would have cost the owner of a $400,000 home about $168, according to the document.
WHAT’S NEXT: The City Council will be asked next month to approve the district, and then it would be up to voters, likely in August, to give final approval. If a district is created, councilmembers would double as the district’s board.
The song’s been out a while but the video is brand new from West Seattle entrepreneur and nationally touring country musician Brent Amaker (and his band The Rodeo). He shared it with WSB because it’s built around Alki scenery; it’s described as a “karaoke video come to life,” which explains the onscreen lyrics. (Note that it might be a tiny bit NSFW, with some saucy dancers in the back half of the video.) P.S. Amaker’s also promoting his 50th Birthday Gala, coming up in April.
Thanks to Gary Jones for another close-up look at eagles on Alki Point – just as we get ready to fly into the weekend! Ahead, just part of what you’ll find on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
GIRL SCOUT COOKIES: Starting today, you’ll see Girl Scouts around West Seattle (and other parts of the metro area) starting their annual fundraising cookie sale. No new flavors this year – just six tried-and-true types, Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, Trefoils, Savannah Smiles. You can find cookie-selling venues by using this online locator. Sales continue through March 16th.
OPEN HOUSE: IT Headquarters/PC Mobile Help recently moved and is having an all-day open house, until 6 pm, at its new location; details in our listing. Free computer recycling, among other things. (5631 California SW, Suite B)
WEST SEATTLE GARDEN CLUB: Drop by for some or all of the monthly meeting, 10 am-2 pm at Daystar Retirement Village – details in our calendar listing. (2615 SW Barton)
BIG BAND DINNER DANCE: If you don’t have your tickets to tonight’s West Seattle High School Big Band Dinner Dance, featuring WSHS student musicians as well as the West Seattle Big Band, you can buy them at the door. Here’s a video invitation shared by parent volunteers:
For $17, you get dinner 6-7 and big band music/dancing 7-9 pm (plus dance instruction, dessert, beverages, and a chance at door prizes). A special $8 music/dancing-only tickets for students is available. It’s happening at WSHS, and benefiting WSHS band, orchestra, jazz-band members raising money for this spring’s performance and competition trips. (3000 California SW)
MARDI GRAS RAINBOW BINGO: Fat Tuesday is days away, and you can start the revelry tonight at the Mardi Gras edition of Rainbow Bingo at the Senior Center of West Seattle (WSB sponsor). Call fast to see if reservations remain. Food at 6, entertainment at 6:30, bingo at 7. (California/Oregon)
WEST SEATTLE, FAUNTLEROY Y ZUMBATHONS: 6:30 tonight, the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) raise money for its annual campaign with an “all-star lineup” of Zumba instructors leading a Disco Party. It’s at the WS branch; details here. (4515 36th SW)
(More cams, and other info, on the WSB Traffic Cameras page)
Good morning! One note for the Friday morning commute – a crash investigation on 4th Avenue S. at Bennett in Georgetown (map); our friends at KING 5 say the closure is between Dawson and Lucile. Otherwise, one major weekend reminder:
HIGHWAY 99/ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT WEEKEND CLOSURES: Saturday and Sunday, 6 am-6 pm both days, the twice-yearly inspection will close Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel. But if you drive 99 north of there, you need to know that both directions will be closed from the tunnel north to Valley Street from 10 pm tonight to 6 am Sunday for more work – and then from 6 am to 11 am Sunday, the closure will stretch further north for a 5K run. WSDOT explains it all here. For Metro reroutes resulting from the closure – go here.
9:06 AM: From the scanner – stalled/broken-down vehicle blocking the bus lane and part of another lane on northbound 99 at Lander.
10:26 AM: And now from the scanner, a stalled vehicle blocking at least one lane on the eastbound West Seattle Bridge near/at the Delridge onramp. Also, Debora mentions a stall on the northbound Viaduct’s right lane in the stadiums, causing a backup; not sure if that’s the same one we mentioned at 9:06 am, but you are now forewarned, if you’re heading that way any time soon.
(Empty artifact case post-removal; 2013 photo courtesy Duwamish Longhouse)
The Duwamish Tribe says it’s still trying to get its artifacts back. Last August, news emerged that the Port of Seattle was deciding the fate of artifacts found on historic tribal land that it now controls. Today, according to this news release sent by the tribe tonight, they received official confirmation their artifacts will be given to a tribe that unlike the Duwamish has federal recognition (something the Duwamish have long fought for). The news release is followed by the text of the letter to which it refers.
The Duwamish Tribe would like its cultural artifacts back. Last July, the Burke Museum was paid by the Port of Seattle to confiscate $800 worth of Duwamish cultural artifacts on display at the Duwamish Longhouse & Center. The artifacts were from the Duwamish #1 Archeological Site, an old Duwamish camp and village site across the street from the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center.
The tribe received a call from the Burke Museum today that the artifacts will be given to the Muckleshoot Tribe in Auburn.
Unknown to the Duwamish Tribe, 2 years ago the Port of Seattle declared that it wanted to surplus its archeological artifacts including those from the Duwamish Archeological Site #1 bordered by the Duwamish River and W Marginal Way SW.
How did the Port come to own the archeological artifacts? In the early 60’s, the Port declared eminent domain, and bought out the interests of area residents to make way for the building of Terminal 107. Because of environmental issues, the terminal was never built. The area was also the site of the last original shoreline of the Duwamish River. As the land was being cleared, the Duwamish #1 Archeological Site was discovered and dug in the 1970’s. The archeological site is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been set aside as a public park. The Port retains ownership of the site.
The Duwamish Tribe has sent a letter to the Port proposing to buy back its culture artifacts for display at the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center.
“It would seem that best public good & cultural value would be to continue to display the artifacts from this site at the Seattle location where they were found.“
Ahead, the text of the letter mentioned above, included in tonight’s e-mail to us from the tribe, carrying today’s date:
One month ago, we published the saga of two Little Free Libraries turning up almost simultaneously on Rutan Place SW. Tonight, West Seattleite Jim Dever told their tale on Evening Magazine – it’s the first story on the show, embedded above if you missed it on TV. Thanks to Kerry, who e-mailed to mention it, pronouncing the story “pretty cute.”
Last one didn’t pan out – the one before that did – so hey, who knows what’ll happen this time! The National Weather Service has another Special Weather Statement in effect; see the entire alert here. The scenario is similar to last weekend, when the North Sound got a big blast of snow (and we didn’t), but there’s also a chance the cold air and moisture could push this far south. Stay tuned.
SIDE NOTE: Only one more week until we “spring forward” into Daylight Saving Time – Saturday night/Sunday morning, March 8-9.
West Seattle High School is also fondly known as “Westside,” but it’s not easy to get safely to the west side of Westside on foot. A new project called Steps at Stevens will fix that – thanks to a city matching-fund grant. Here’s the official overview:
The Steps at Stevens project proposes a safe non-vehicular route from 3000 California Avenue SW, at SW Stevens Street, to West Seattle High School. Stairs, an accessible pathway, and a walkway to the school building’s primary entrance will promote everyday safe transit. Landscape and wayfinding will further enhance West Seattle High School’s primary entrance and strengthen community connections.
The first major step toward Steps at Stevens is happening right now – the West Seattle High School PTSA, one of the project sponsors, has issued a Request for Qualifications, seeking those interested in design/consultant work for the project, made possible by the $20,000 matching-fund grant. The deadline to get in on this is March 24th,and you can read all about it here.
ADDED 9:51 PM: If you’re interested in even more information, project organizers forwarded text of a story that is in a recent edition of the WSHS student news publication but is not otherwise available online. It’s republished with its writer’s permission.
No-longer-needed kid stuff around the house? West Seattle Co-Op Preschools are taking signups right now for a Kids’ Consignment Sale to help raise money scholarships for families in need. From the announcement:
We invite anyone to consign at our sale. As a consignor, you can set your own prices, and you will make 65% of the asking price, while the host will make 35%. You will be paid for your sold items when you pick up your unsold items at end of the sale on March 29th.
The Kids’ Consignment Sale will be a great event for everyone involved:
· Helping families earn extra cash selling gently used baby and kids’ gear, clothes and toys
· Offering low-cost, quality baby and kids’ items for sale
· Enabling West Seattle Co-Op Preschools to provide scholarships for families in need
· Bringing our community together!
For more information, visit our website: www.westseattlepreschool.org</blockquote>
You can sign up now – and the earlier the better, so there’s time to tag and price items – but the sale itself is on Saturday, March 29th, from 9 am-1 pm at the West Seattle VFW Hall (3601 SW Alaska). Sneak peeks are planned at facebook.com/WSCPkidsale and they’re on Twitter at @WestSeaKidsSale. (Dropoff for tagged items will be 5-7 pm March 28th at the sale site.)
(Past students @ DCC cooking class)
Want to expand your repertoire in the kitchen? Delridge Community Center is highlighting two upcoming classes: Make your own hummus and pita bread, this Saturday (March 1st) 11 am-1:30 pm, $25/person, info/registration here – and on March 18th, learn how “to make some staples of a Indian food such as dahl soup, samosas, cauliflower with potatoes, and chicken in a sweet red pepper sauce,” 5:30-8 pm class, $27/person, info/registration here. (Or sign up by calling 206-684-7423.)
(WSB file photo of future site)
New details just in from Áegis Living about its plan for the former Life Care Center site at 47th/Admiral. We first reported the purchase last November; we also talked that month with Áegis Living CEO Dwayne Clark; and in December, we reported the land deal had closed for $3,650,000. Today, a formal announcement from Áegis, including a projected completion date and specific number of units:
Áegis Living, a national leader in assisted living and memory care communities, is pleased to announce the recent purchase of a property in West Seattle.
The West Seattle location is the latest addition for the company, which has implemented a growth plan to serve the increasing need for senior housing throughout the West Coast. Set to open in 2017, the new community will offer assisted living and memory care for seniors.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes this morning. From Dave:
Sometime last night between 10 pm and 6 am, our car was stolen. It was parked directly in front of our apartment complex near the intersection of 61st and Beach Drive. We had just purchased the car about a month ago. It is a silver 1996 Honda Civic hatchback. There are stickers on the back in the shape of the states NJ and CA and also a blue W sticker on the back window. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
We also have a report of a car break-in in the south lot at Lincoln Park – a window shattered, items taken from the trunk, including a Toshiba laptop computer in a maroon slipcover and a bag with cards, phone, etc. The victim got the bag back – it turned up “stuffed in my mailbox with a police officer’s business card attached” – but the laptop remains out there somewhere. Let police know if you find one.
SIDE NOTE: Car prowls were described as Lincoln Park’s most-common crime problem when the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council sponsored a safety walk at the park last year.
WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: Today’s meeting looks at Initiative 1329 and more – details in our listing. 11:30 am, West Seattle Golf Course. You would have had to RSVP for lunch (watch our calendar and the WSDW website for advance notice of future meetings), but you’re still welcome to sit in. (4470 35th SW)
BLUE ANGEL VISITING: Yes, the Blue Angels really are returning to Seafair this year. Latest proof: The #7 jet visits Seattle today for Seafair’s winter meetings. It’s scheduled to arrive at Boeing Field between 1 and 1:30 pm. This year’s air show, Seafair reminds us, is scheduled for August 1st-3rd.
RETURN OF THE WIENERMOBILE: 2-5 pm, the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is back at Roxbury Safeway, where it was last seen back in December. Photo op!!!! (28th/Roxbury)
THE FRATELLIS, RESCHEDULED: 6 pm at Easy Street Records, The Fratellis perform the show that was rescheduled from last November. Free, all ages; details here. (California/Alaska)
THE WHALE TRAIL: Saving salmon is key to saving the orcas. Find out how salmon are doing, at tonight’s talk presented by The Whale Trail, C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. (5612 California SW)
PARENTING SEMINAR #1 – PARENTING WITH PAUSE, LETTING GO: Free parenting seminar presented by Renée Metty at The Cove School, 6:30 pm. Free child care if you RSVP – use this form, ASAP. (3430 California SW)
PARENTING SEMINAR #2 – GOODBYE, DIAPERS! Free parenting seminar for parents of kids who are making, or about to make, the big transition. Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), 7 pm – details in our listing. (3940 41st SW)
DELRIDGE GROCERY BENEFIT AT SKYLARK: Every Thursday, Skylark Café and Club has a benefit for a local nonprofit, and from here on out, the fourth Thursday will benefit the Delridge Grocery cooperative – details here. 7-11 pm, with music starting at 8. (3803 Delridge Way SW)