West Seattle, Washington
Late-night extra – another peek beneath the surface, courtesy of “Diver Laura” James. This is likely the first in a series of glimpses into the undersea world beyond the most-popular dive spots near Seacrest; in this short video, she shows you around at Cormorant Cove, the city park off Beach Drive by the Harbor West condos-on-pilings.
P.S. While you won’t see them because they were tucked away in crevices, Laura says “some surviving Ochre Sea Stars (the purple ones) and some young Mottled Stars (the orange ones)” were in view. She also calls our attention to South Sound U.S. Rep. Denny Heck‘s reintroduction of a bill to provide federal help to try to solve marine-disease emergencies like sea-star wasting syndrome – read about it here.
Three daytime coyote sightings have been reported in the past day and a half, starting with the one texted with that photo along SW Rose in Gatewood. Then this afternoon, in the span of half an hour, Vanessa e-mailed word of one in an alley between 36th and 37th and Findlay – “thin, scared-looking,” she said – followed by Christine‘s note, saying, “Just wanted to let you know that there have been two coyote sightings in our neighborhood (38th and Morgan) on Saturday, Feb. 14th and today, Monday, Feb. 16th. Both sightings occurred around 1:30 pm.” It’s mating season for coyotes, and experts say that tends to increase their daytime activity. Find out more about coyote behavior – and how to help ensure they and we keep our distance from each other – via this state Department of Fish and Wildlife webpage; if you don’t have time to read through it, short version – if one gets too close, scare it away. And don’t leave food out.
(Photo by Chris Frankovich)
6:19 PM: Today’s temperature set a record (59 at Sea-Tac) – and as we hope you got to see firsthand, was followed by sunset beauty. We’ll be adding a few more photos soon – thanks for sharing!
ADDED 7:19 PM: Thanks to Megan Jasper for this one:
And from JayDee:
One more sunny day tomorrow, and even warmer, says the forecast.
One of the most-frequently asked questions we’re getting these days is, “What’s going into the commercial space in the new Junction buildings?” While the developers aren’t making formal announcements yet, we’re continuing to find the answers, one by one. For the second week in a row, we’ve discovered permit applications suggesting a major national chain has snagged one of the new spaces. Last week, it was Chipotle Mexican Grill in the files for almost-complete 4730 California; today, we’ve found documents in the city files naming Starbucks as a tenant for Junction 47 (the two-building project at California/Alaska/42nd). Screengrab:
In addition to that mention, a “site plan” in the city files shows this roughed out as a 1,734-square-foot store set for the prime California/Alaska corner, with a covered patio on the California side. Starbucks already has stands in the Junction QFC and Safeway stores, and had a standalone store in Jefferson Square for one year (2007-2008). Online listings suggest this is one of three commercial spaces in Equity Residential-owned Junction 47 with deals in the works, so we’ll keep watching to see what else is on the way.
City Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner has made her ruling on the third appeal filed against decisions relating to the Arbor Heights Elementary School rebuild. The appeal was filed by the Committee to Save Seattle Schools and three area residents; we covered the hearing downtown on February 2nd. Tanner promised a written ruling within two weeks; we found it in the city files today, dated February 9th. Read it in its entirety below (or here, as a PDF):
Toplines: While the appellants had argued that aspects of the decisions allowing the project, including four zoning exceptions, were “clearly erroneous,” Tanner found that was not the case. Her decision notes that two points of contention in the appeal, filed last November, had already been remedied by the district before the case was argued – the matter of two large Douglas firs on the northeast side of the site, which at one point were to be moved, will be left in place, and the issue of contacting the Duwamish Tribe before excavation work starts at the site; district testimony indicated that the Duwamish and four other tribes will be advised and invited to observe the work, in case of “inadvertent discovery” of cultural relics. But Tanner did decide to modify the conditions of the zoning exceptions’ approval, including the possibility of a four-way stop sign at 35th/104th – an intersection which will by fall of 2016 lie between the rebuilt AHES and the new home of Westside School (WSB sponsor) – provided SDOT approves. She also ordered a provision requiring any mitigation ordered for the project’s removal of what was considered an “exceptional” madrone tree.
BACKSTORY: We also covered the previous two appeals, both of which were argued and decided last year – May 2014 WSB coverage here; August 2014 WSB coverage here. The new AHES is being built in two phases, with the first – demolition and site clearing – now complete, and the second to start this spring; it’s still scheduled to open in fall 2016.
Two notes on the ongoing contract-talks stalemate between West Coast port-terminal operators and longshore workers:
(Northeastward view over ships anchored off Manchester; photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
TERMINALS CLOSED AGAIN TODAY: Today is the fourth day (of the past five) that terminals remain closed to ship offloading by order of the Pacific Maritime Association, the umbrella organization for terminal operators on the West Coast. So far, they’re expected to reopen tomorrow; that could mean major truck traffic on roads to local terminals, such as lower Spokane St. and East Marginal, which backed up last Friday when terminals reopened after the first day of closure. Nine cargo ships are anchored off Seattle and Manchester today, as shown on MarineTraffic.com (and in the photos with this story)
(Bulk-cargo ships anchored off Magnolia, seen from West Seattle; photo by Chris Panarello; [added Tuesday] note – commenter points out the grain terminal is not part of the current situation)
LABOR SECRETARY IN SAN FRANCISCO TOMORROW: There’s an update today on the plan for U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez to intervene by talking with the PMA and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union: The Bay Area’s NBC station reports via Twitter that Perez will meet with both sides in San Francisco tomorrow. No details yet.
(UPDATED TUESDAY with Starbucks reply on what’ll change at the Alki store)
3 food/drink notes:
TEMPORARY CLOSURE FOR ALKI STARBUCKS: Jackie tipped us that a remodeling closure was ahead for the Alki Beach Starbucks. We tried to find out more from Starbucks corporate, which didn’t respond to our inquiry. But a WSB Forums post pointed out Sunday that the closure has begun, and we verified that by checking the sign on its door. It says “see you in March.” No online hints at whether the remodel will include anything dramatic, but looks like furniture replacement is included – a city-required form related to recycling/reuse says Starbucks will send interior furniture from this store to “other stores in need.” **TUESDAY UPDATE** Finally heard back – a company spokesperson replies:
We can confirm that the Starbucks on Alki Ave is currently closed for renovation, and will reopen in March. The renovations will focus on updates to the interior furnishings and an updated bathroom and also will include a Clover Brewing System. In addition to our core coffees, this store will offer Starbucks Reserve(r), a special collection of rare, exquisite coffees which are selected from small farms all over the world by our experienced coffee team. It is delivered each week from the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room to ensure maximum freshness and flavor, available for limited times at select stores. We are excited to share that customers at this store will be able to order these Starbucks Reserve(r) coffees brewed on The Clover(r) Brewing System, which lets customers discover new layers and dimensions within a coffee’s familiar aroma, flavor, body and acidity, brewed fresh by the cup.
Additionally, store partners (employees) will be handing out free coffee outside of the store on Friday mornings during the renovation. We’re proud to be a part of the Alki neighborhood and we will continue to serve the community in this way during the store’s closure.
RED STAR PIZZA GONE FOR GOOD: After months of irregular hours and then a declaration of semi-new ownership, Red Star Pizza (7514 35th SW) is now apparently permanently closed, several readers have pointed out, with evidence including equipment being moved out, a sign saying in part “Thank you, W. Sea,” and the disappearance of its website and Twitter accounts. The site has been slated since last year to be demolished when the new Clearview Eye Clinic is built, but the owners had been saying they’d find a new location.
TAKE OUT WITHOUT THROWING OUT: Yes, many restaurants offer takeout food in compostable containers. But Elliott Bay Brewing in The Junction (4720 California SW) has gone one step beyond. You can pay a one-time $5 charge to get into its reusable takeout container program – then every time you pick up an order, bring it back, clean or not.
(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
It’s Presidents Day, so we have some notes to start:
*Water Taxis are not in service today
*Metro is on regular weekday schedule (plus “no UW”)
*Sound Transit Route 560 is on a regular schedule
*School’s out today and tomorrow for Seattle Public Schools