day : 28/02/2014 14 results

Remembering Joan Mraz, 1935-2014: Southwest Seattle Historical Society co-founder

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

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.

Second, final day for key prosecution witness in Morgan Junction murder trial

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.

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Update: Missing West Seattle man found, safe

9:27 PM UPDATE: Frank has been found safe, reports his family – see this comment.

Original story after jump:Read More

West Seattle traffic alert: Crash on Harbor Avenue

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.

Update: ‘Small fire’ in 9000 block 16th SW, no injuries

(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).

Duos Lounge: Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor

(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

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.

Followup: What the city will pay for Dakota Place Park expansion

(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.

West Seattle restaurants: Matador to close March 9-14 for remodeling

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.

Alki Beach sidewalk/path alert: Pump-station-work closure Tuesday

February 28, 2014 2:19 pm
|    Comments Off on Alki Beach sidewalk/path alert: Pump-station-work closure Tuesday
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

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.

Remembering Ware Lantz, 1917-2014: Story of ‘a life well-lived’

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.

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Will you support a Metropolitan Park District to raise extra tax $ for city parks, instead of a levy?

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.

‘Country Sky,’ city beach: Alki scenery in Brent Amaker’s new video

February 28, 2014 10:10 am
|    Comments Off on ‘Country Sky,’ city beach: Alki scenery in Brent Amaker’s new video
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

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.

West Seattle Friday: Cookies, gardening, dancing, bingo, yoga…

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)

RESTORATIVE YOGA: 6:30 pm with Milo Minnis at SoundYoga (WSB sponsor) – details here. (5639 California SW)

RONNY COX AND FRIENDS: He performed to a capacity crowd at Kenyon Hall last year, so he’s back, tonight (and tomorrow), 7:30 pm – details here. (7904 35th SW)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; weekend 99 closures

(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.