West Seattle, Washington
Patti McCall sent the photos, and tonight Karen sent a tip about it too, saying one side showed up yesterday, the other today. (Thank you both!) Backstory, anyone?
Until 9 pm, it’s West Seattle Art Walk night around the peninsula! Above, artists and spouses Kate Endle and Chris Ballew are at CAPERS, as previewed in our daily highlights list earlier today. South to Morgan Junction:
— OfficeJunction (@OfficeJunction) November 14, 2014
— OfficeJunction (@OfficeJunction) November 14, 2014
Office Junction (WSB sponsor) is at 6040 California SW. And back in The Junction, wearable art is part of the new group show at Twilight Gallery:
Adding more when our crew gets back!
10:17 PM: Click ahead for three more views from our two stops:
With at least half a dozen dispensaries in West Seattle, this might be of interest: The city has announced a public symposium one week from today, November 20th, “for those concerned about access to safe medical marijuana and the location of marijuana-related businesses in the city.” This comes as the mayor and council work on “a common-sense regulatory framework to govern where and how these businesses operate in Seattle.” If you’re interested in attending the 5-7:45 pm event at City Hall next Thursday, full details are here.
(WSB video by Patrick Sand)
FIRST REPORT, 2:22 PM: With ice axes digging into dirt near the southwest corner of Fauntleroy and Alaska, ground has just been ceremonially broken for The Whittaker, ~400 apartments, ~600 parking spaces, and Whole Foods Market (the anchor, and lone announced, retail tenant). A two-year construction process now ensues; demolition and site clearing has just concluded, and excavation/shoring is expected to start in a few weeks. It’s been almost two years since we broke the news of an ‘early’ proposal for the site. We have the by-invitation ceremony on video and will add it, along with photos and more details, after our return to HQ.
ADDED 6:12 PM: We’ve substituted a slightly longer YouTube version of the actual “groundbreaking” video above, in place of the short Instagram clip (which you can still see here). And here’s our video of the speeches that preceded it:
Most of those on hand for the event, held near the northeast corner of the project site – just south of where the gas station used to be – were affiliated with members of the project team – residential developer Lennar Homes, retail developer Weingarten, Whole Foods, local communicators, general contractor Chinn Construction, whose owner Kevin Chinn was there:
(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand)
With him at left above is Josh Sutton from the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor). Sutton was on the community advisory group that worked with the city on the Triangle Plan a few years ago, as was West 5 restaurateur Dave Montoure of the West Seattle Chamber/Junction boards:
That’s Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals at right above with Montoure. Speaking on the Chamber’s behalf, its board chair Nancy Woodland (leaning to the left and smiling in photo below):
She mentioned the community’s strength and its many “opinions,” the only overt allusion to the controversy that beset the project for months, including former Mayor Mike McGinn’s instruction to SDOT in July 2013 to not approve the project’s “alley vacation” and a standing-room-only City Council hearing last March, followed by the council’s 6-3 approval vote in April, the last major hurdle the project had to clear.
That was three months after the development team had announced the project would be named for climbing legend and West Seattle native Jim Whittaker. He and wife Dianne Roberts were at today’s ceremony:
In his honor, mountaineering metaphors were plentiful. The groundbreaking was described as “base camp,” but with a long climb ahead – two years of construction, to result in this:
And even as today’s celebration continued, so did site-prep work on the south side of the site.
Development manager Kelley Kohout told WSB the excavation work will start from that side, and head north. The project is so big, two tower cranes will be required; he says they’ll arrive sometime in the first quarter of next year. It’s already been a month since the start of demolition/abatement.
As construction ramps up, Whole Foods will continue planning its store; VP of store development Tee Ayer promised the market will reflect the community’s spirit and personality, saying, “you will see West Seattle” in it. (Just a week ago, WF announced plans for another new Seattle store, on Capitol Hill.)
As for what else you’ll see in The Whittaker’s retail space – Weingarten executive Lance Sherwood told WSB today they have nothing to announce yet, but “lots of interest” and an expectation that they’ll “have no problem” leasing it all.
Our archive of coverage on this project is here, newest to oldest.
SIDE NOTE: The last ceremonial groundbreaking for a major development was in 2008, across the street at 3922 SW Alaska, then known as “Fauntleroy Place,” to be anchored by Whole Foods. After excavation, the project was stopped by legal and other problems, no fault of WF, which was just a planned tenant; terms of its lease, for store space to be available, never were fulfilled, which left the chain free to mull other WS possibilities – finally landing with this one. Meantime, after a foreclosure sale leading to an ownership change and name change to “Spruce,” that development re-started a year and a half ago and is close to completion, now with its entire commercial space to be taken up by an LA Fitness gym.
Tomorrow afternoon, the man who viciously attacked and raped a 58-year-old woman near 22nd/Roxbury will be sentenced.
Her daughter called us today to ask us to ask you to be there, if you possibly can – “to make a statement that we, as a community, want justice.”
We reported here on October 24th about 25-year-old Christopher A. Brown‘s guilty plea, four months after he was arrested in Oklahoma; he had been visiting here when he committed the crime. His plea hearing happened unannounced; we just happened to find the court documents a week later.
His crime itself initially came to light after we were asked about a helicopter search in the early morning hours of March 7th; we followed up with the King County Sheriff’s Officeand learned what happened: The victim had been walking to catch a bus; Brown asked her for a cigarette, which she gave him, and then offered her money for sex, which she declined, at which time he grabbed her, dragged her into the bushes, choked her until she was nearly unconscious, punched and kicked her in the face and body, raped her, and then before getting away, robbed her and threatened to kill her family – pointing out he had her personal information, in her purse – if she reported it.
In subsequent weeks, as deputies worked to solve it – including door-to-door contacts, trying to find information, showing a sketch, and a photo of the purse Brown stole from the victim – the intensely brutal attack continued to draw regional attention.
Brown – found via DNA match – pleaded guilty in mid-October to rape, assault, and robbery. Prosecutors are recommending that he be sentenced to a little over 14 years.
The victim’s daughter says her mother will speak at tomorrow’s hearing. So will she. And so will – her voice caught a little as she told us this – her 9-year-old daughter.
They hope, it goes without saying, that Brown will pay a heavier price. And they hope that community members can show their support, to show the good and caring in the world. They want the judge to know this wasn’t just a crime against one woman – this was a crime against the community, affecting people’s sense of safety, raising suspicion, increasing fear.
The sentencing is scheduled for 1 pm tomorrow in Judge Julie Spector‘s courtroom, E-815 (eighth floor), King County Superior Court in the County Courthouse downtown (516 Third Avenue). It is open to the public; if you can go, allot time for the security check (our advice, try the 4th Street entrance, where there’s usually less of a wait).
There’s your walking map/venue list for the West Seattle Art Walk‘s November edition tonight, 6-9 pm – click the image and you’ll get an even-bigger version. WS Art Walk leads off our list of highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar. A few Art Walk highlights, from the official website:
(added) ALSO AT CAPERS – WEST SEATTLE WILDLIFE CALENDAR: We’ve told you before about Mark Wangerin‘s calendar with wonderful WS wildlife images (we showcase his work here often and are grateful to be able to), being sold as a benefit for programs/students at Chief Sealth IHS, where he used to teach. He says Sealth students will be at CAPERS tonight too, selling it.
GROUP SHOW AT TWILIGHT: The gallery just west of California/Alaska features “Our Daily Armor.” The description includes: “Evidence in history, anthropology, art, and mythology of women as warriors, knights, soldiers, heroes, protectors also exist as stories, remembered by those who want to remember.”
OTHER PREVIEWS … please check out the official site! And a shoutout to WSB sponsors with artists tonight (click their names for the previews on the WSAW website) – Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW), Wallflower Custom Framing (4735 42nd SW), West Seattle Office Junction (6040 California SW).
DENNY PARTY ANNIVERSARY: Historical datapoint … the Denny Party landed on Alki, 163 years ago today. HistoryLink tells the tale.
SALUTE TO VETERANS LUNCH: If you’re a veteran, you get in free, 11:45 am at the Senior Center of West Seattle, including entertainment – full details here, including how to RSVP ASAP to see if there’s still room! (Oregon/California)
CRUISE ALASKA WITH SWSHS AND DUKE: As announced at last Saturday’s Southwest Seattle Historical Society gala (WSB coverage here), you’re invited to join SWSHS and restaurateur Duke Moscrip on the Alaska Totem Pole Cruise next year. First informational meeting about it is 3-5 pm at the Log House Museum. (61st/Stevens)
HAPPY 3RD ANNIVERSARY, OLIVIA’S! Today marks the third anniversary of Olivia’s Consignment 4 Kids in The Junction, and you’re invited to the party, 4-9 pm, including refreshments. (4140 California SW)
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
STORE BREAK-IN: Thanks to Alison for the tip that the Sprint store in Jefferson Square was burglarized. They got in by breaking the door glass; our photo shows the repair crew that was just wrapping up its work. A store staffer told us that the burglar(s) didn’t get away with much.
ALSO IN THE JUNCTION … Linda reports that a package dropped into a UPS dropbox near the post office was stolen. She knows this because: “It had a check to a bank in it that was altered and someone tried to cash” (plus, they weren’t able to track that it had been picked up).
ARBOR HEIGHTS MAIL THEFT: From CS in Arbor Heights:
I just went out to check my mail (last night), found the mailbox door open, and nothing in it. I know there was mail in there as there were some junk mail flyers that came Monday that I’d left in there, plus I was due to get a DVD from Netflix. So, definitely stuff in there. I’d avoided getting a locking mailbox because I liked being able to get packages in there, but now, I’ll clearly have to. Last winter, the Tukwila police found some of my checks in the possession of some crook who was trying to use them.
P.S. Next scheduled meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council is next week – 7 pm Tuesday (November 18th) at the precinct (Webster/Delridge)
Following up on Tuesday’s “town hall” meetings (WSB coverage here) for community comment on whether the Senior Center of West Seattle should go independent or be absorbed into the citywide nonprofit Senior Services – we went to last night’s meeting of the SCWS board, which will ultimately make the choice. Toplines ahead:
Family and friends are remembering Lori Hobby, who died last week at age 57. Here’s the remembrance they wanted to share with the community:
Lori Lynn Hobby, a born-and-raised West Seattleite, was brought up by parents Ann and Jim Hughes, with siblings Dana, Jimmy, and Steve. She attended Jefferson Elementary, James Madison Middle school, and graduated from West Seattle High School as an Indian.
Married to Doug Hobby, together they raised three wonderful kids, Keith, Anna, and Tim. November 5th, 2014, the two-year battle with breast cancer and liver cancer ended in her beautiful home she made.
A private memorial for Lori will be held at Forest Lawn Cemetery on Saturday, November 15th. Anybody wishing to send flowers, please reconsider donating to your favorite charity instead.
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Off to a better start this morning – nothing of note in our area so far but the chilly temp. Other notes:
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: Bridges and buses were a big part of the discussion Tuesday night, and by the time we finished writing about it Wednesday night, we had yesterday morning’s woes to address, too. Here’s the story.
WEST OF THE LOW BRIDGE … Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections caught this scene on Wednesday:
He wrote, “BNSF was replacing the train crossing signal at Chelan/West Marginal/Spokane/Delridge … on the little safety island by the Chelan Cafe. Second time this year that someone has driven into it.”
7:39 AM: If you’re headed for northbound I-5, there’s a bit of trouble just north of the West Seattle Bridge, blocking the right-center lane before I-90, per WSDOT.
8:48 AM: That cleared fairly fast, and no added trouble’s been reported in our vicinity (or the main outbound routes) since. The low bridge is now closed for vessel traffic, though, per @sdotbridges.