day : 20/03/2014 12 results

Watching the first sunset of spring at West Seattle’s Solstice Park with Alice (and Vera)

March 20, 2014 10:32 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

The seasons have officially changed – West Seattle’s NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen has carried off yet another successful sunset watch, something she’s been doing for 20 equinoxes and solstices – that’s 5 years of season changes. At Solstice Park, she showed young attendees how to practice telescope/microscope techniques on tissue tubes. And when it was time to demonstrate what the equinox means to our planet, she had an even younger helper:

That’s Alice’s almost-3-year-old daughter Vera, who made a few orbits of the globe that Alice uses as a prop. The sunset, meantime, cooperated, and put on its own show:

Those, Alice explained, are crepuscular rays. The ~20 people who showed up tonight just got lucky with the sunset show.

In addition to her own website Alice’s Astro Info – where the summer-solstice sunset-viewing event is already scheduled for June 21st! – Alice is also our Skies Over West Seattle correspondent, with periodic updates on what to watch for, from comets to eclipses and more.

West Seattle scene: New ferry Tokitae christened at Vigor

(Vigor photo)
That’s state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson breaking a bottle against the new Washington State Ferries vessel M/V Tokitae, during its christening ceremony today at Vigor Industrial on Harbor Island. The $137 million ferry is 362 feet long, the first vessel in the 144-car Olympic Class; the second one, Samish, is also being built at Vigor, and a third one is being planned. Tokitae is expected to start service on the Mukilteo-Clinton route in June. The announcement of today’s christening notes that building Tokitae meant 500 jobs at Vigor and subcontractors in the state, adding that it’s “on budget and on schedule,” as is Samish.

Update: Police serve drug warrant at High Point home; helicopter assistance earlier

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB, added 9:37 pm)
8:32 PM: On the way home from a meeting, we have spotted Guardian One circling north of High Point. Not sure yet what’s going on, but we’re checking.

8:40 PM: One commenter reports what appears to be a search in High Point.

8:45 PM: Tweet from Guardian One confirms it.

9:18 PM: Found the house on which police had converged, along SW Juneau a couple blocks east of 35th; added a photo. Commenter “Soul Cat adds some context.

9:33 PM: New information via WSB’s Christopher Boffoli and Katie Meyer: Christopher confirmed at the scene that it was a narcotics warrant – adding his images shortly. Katie reports that scanner traffic indicated at least two people in custody.

West Seattle HS String Orchestra wins festival award

Congratulations to the award-winning West Seattle High School String Orchestra! WSHS music teacher Ethan Thomas shares the photo and report:

The West Seattle High School String Orchestra traveled to Bellingham on March 14th to participate in the Western Washington University Orchestra Festival. The Orchestra had a chance to perform for a panel of college professors and received a personalized clinic by renowned violinist and educator Dr. Chung Park. Our students performed very well and received a silver category award for their hard work.

New city survey about SDOT: Director search; how it’s doing

Lots of city surveys these days, and today there’s another one: This time, it’s focused on the search for a new Seattle Department of Transportation director. It’s a short survey and includes questions about how you think SDOT is doing – what’s going well, what could be better. Here’s the survey link; here’s the info page with more ways to get involved in the process.

Break it up! Help Highland Park ‘de-pave’ this Saturday

Having a rough week? Saturday brings a volunteer project that might be a way to get out your frustrations. It’s happening at Highland Park Improvement Club, where a “greening” is under way, as envisioned in the plan above. Here’s what’s happening Saturday, for the next step toward that “greening”:

We’re building an oasis in the asphalt – a courtyard, replacing a portion of the parking lot with permeable pavers and more gardens. So we have some asphalt that needs to be ripped up and taken away. Bring your muscles and whatever you need to vent this Saturday and help us hoist chunks of asphalt outta here. The asphalt will be prepped, scored and ready to rumble into a big Dumpster that will cart it away.

We will start at 10 am till however long it takes. Lunch will be provided and activities for all ages. And yes, there will be beer and other refreshments after all that hard work.

HPIC is at 12th/Holden.

5:10 PM UPDATE: A little advance depaving is going on today – Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Carolyn Stauffer just shared this photo:

Just a start!

3210 California’s revised design: One less story on one side

(Renderings courtesy Nicholson-Kovalchick Architects)
Here’s your first look at the newest changes proposed for one of the most-scrutinized development proposals on the table right now in West Seattle. 3210 California SW is the 134-unit, 152-parking-space, ~450-foot-long mixed-use project proposed for most of the east side of a block-plus area upzoned in 2010. Intracorp‘s project has been before the Southwest Design Review Board four times, and board members are scheduled to consider it again on April 3rd, as reported here four weeks ago. Today, the project team has shared three new renderings and a summary of changes – including reduced height for part of the building, a key request by nearby neighbors, who have continued to challenge the city rules that wound up allowing a 5-story building in an area upzoned to a theoretical 4-story (40-foot) height limit:

Summary of Proposed Changes:

§ Reduced the north building by one floor. It’s now under the allowed height and zoning. This is also a reduction of 10 apartment units.

§ Reduced the quantity and the height of the stair and elevator penthouses.

§ Set back the top floor of the middle and south buildings by 4 feet from the three residential stories below.

§ Widened the gap between the three buildings to a minimum of 25 feet to allow for more natural light and reduce the massing. (formerly the minimum gap was at 19 feet)

§ Removed all the balconies facing the single family homes. Replaced them with Juliet balconies to allow the doors to open for natural ventilation. (Juliet balconies do not allow a person to step onto the balcony.)

§ Made the bridge more transparent to allow for natural light.

§ Varied the color of the window frames to further differentiate the three buildings, creating a tapestry rather than a uniformed look.

(North retail, street level)
§ Carried the brick material (in a different color) from the northern building to the middle building. This gives the middle building a finer, masonry look and resembles more of the California District character.

§ Added finer scale, smooth masonry face on the retail side of the south building and varied the storefront and other street level materials in order to compliment the character of California Avenue and the Admiral District.

(South residential, street level)
The project team will be submitting the full “design packet” for the April 3rd meeting (6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle, California/Oregon) before the week’s out.

2:16 PM UPDATE: The full packet is now linked from the city website – see it here.

West Seattle Thursday: Community meeting for 24th SW subdivision; Alice’s sunset watch for spring equinox

(Pileated woodpecker, photographed at Camp Long this week by Mark Wangerin)
Spring is here, as of about half an hour ago. Our highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar include two ways to celebrate:


Celebrate the 1st day of spring at the Community Orchard of West Seattle. Spring arrives at 9:46 Thursday morning, and Health and Harvest at the Community Orchard is from 5 pm to 7 pm. We will be demonstrating blueberry bush and fruit tree pruning. Healthy activities with a Harvest of spring tonic greens.

COWS is on the northeast side of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. (6000 16th SW)

PELVIC HEALTH AND AWARENESS CLASS: West Seattle/Highline Physical Therapy is offering this class to women for a nominal fee benefiting nonprofit Open Arms Perinatal. It’s advised for women who “want to improve bladder control, reduce back or pelvic pain, or get help in recovering from childbirth or abdominal surgery.” More details in our calendar listing; class starts 6:30 pm. (4700 42nd SW, Suite 510)

SUNSET WATCH WITH ALICE ENEVOLDSEN: For five years, NASA Solar System Ambassador Alice Enevoldsen has been leading fun, educational sunset-watch events on equinoxes and solstices at West Seattle’s Solstice Park. Since spring has just arrived, tonight is the vernal-equinox edition. Arrive around 6:45 to get some quality time with Alice, who usually demonstrates exactly how the equinox works, and leads Q/A. All ages welcome; toddler-friendly activities planned as part of it. (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW)

COMMUNITY MEETING FOR 24TH SW SUBDIVISION NEAR LONGFELLOW CREEK: Tonight is the community-requested meeting for the proposal to split one lot into eight in the 6500 block of 24th SW, first reported here in December and then again in January when neighbors pointed out flooding/drainage problems. City Department of Planning and Development reps will preside and take comments as part of their review of the subdivision proposal, envisioned as a precursor to building single-family homes on the lots. The meeting is at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center at 7 pm. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

‘MINOR DIFFERENCES’ SCREENING: The community’s invited to tonight’s screening of this award-winning documentary at Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor). From the EW website:

Explorer West’s Parent Community Network is hosting a screening of this poignant documentary about juvenile offenders in maximum security lock-up and their lives 18 years later. There will be a post-screening Q&A session with Explorer West parent and producer of Minor Differences, Caroline Cumming, and three of the men from the documentary. Last month, the film won “Best Documentary” at the Spokane International Film Festival.

The screening is at 7 pm at EW and will be followed by a Q/A. $5 tickets are available online, and at the door. (10015 28th SW)

Morgan Junction murder trial: Prosecution rests, defense begins

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

gavel.jpgWhen the Morgan Junction murder trial resumes this morning, it will be the first full day of testimony in defense of 69-year-old Lovett “Cid” Chambers, who doesn’t deny shooting and killing 35-year-old Travis Hood on January 21, 2012, but says it was self-defense.

Defense lawyers began presenting their case after the prosecution rested on Wednesday, four weeks after jurors were seated and started hearing the case. It was the first day of proceedings this week, after court was called off Monday and Tuesday due to illnesses.

The first defense witness, expected to spend most if not all of today back on the stand, is forensic psychologist Dr. Mark Cunningham, who evaluated Chambers and concluded his actions were affected by post-traumatic stress disorder.

But first, Wednesday began with Seattle Police Homicide Detective Tim DeVore, the final prosecution witness, finishing his time on the stand:

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TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Spring arrives! Thursday notes

March 20, 2014 6:16 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(WS Bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:16 AM: Good morning. No road trouble in the area so far. Spring arrives with the vernal equinox just before 10 am today. Daily reminder of a major upcoming closure: 4:30 am-7 pm this Saturday (March 22), Highway 99 will be closed for the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s “followup inspection” and, now added, remaining work on the Spokane St. Overcrossing just south of the West Seattle Bridge.

7:16 AM: We doublechecked to confirm – Roxbury IS open again at 15th SW, where it was closed for several hours overnight as deputies investigated a deadly shooting (ongoing coverage on our partner site White Center Now).

Delridge Neighborhoods District Council: Grant-pitching; councilmember listening; more

(Delridge District Council chair Mat McBride & City Councilmember Sally Clark)
Wednesday night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting featured a special guest – but first, the centerpiece: Pitches on applications for the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund – one big responsibility for district councils is to review applications like these and decide which ones to recommend the city fund. Here are the presentations made, in chronological order:

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From White Center Now: Roxbury closed for shooting investigation

That King County Sheriff’s Office sergeant is one of several KCSO investigators walking Roxbury between 14th and 15th, looking for evidence in a shooting. All we know so far is that one person was shot and is at the hospital. When we get new information, we’ll be updating the story on our partner site White Center Now. (Early-morning note: The victim died overnight, KCSO confirms.)