day : 20/03/2015 12 results

Early alert: Aircraft carrier John C. Stennis to sail by on Monday

FRIDAY NIGHT, 9:59 PM: For West Seattle water watchers who appreciate advance notice of significant sail-bys – the U.S. Navy sent word today that the carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) will be heading back out from Bremerton on Monday (March 23rd), for at-sea training exercises. No specific time yet.

MONDAY MORNING, 9:19 AM: The Stennis may already have gone by – we checked a few minutes ago and there is an unspecified “Navy unit” already north of Elliott Bay. (9:45 note – yes, it’s passed, and we’re publishing reader photos.)

Update: Semi-soggy spring equinox sunset watch with Alice

6:26 PM: If you were wondering – yes, the spring equinox sunset watch is on, says Alice – Solstice Park, starting around 6:45 pm.

(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand)
8:32 PM: No sunset, but, as promised, Alice was there for a handful of skywatchers.

Those two were the youngest attendees – Alice’s daughter Vera (left), and Cameron.

If you’re new here, by the way, Alice (Enevoldsen) is a NASA Solar System Ambassador and, among other things promoting astronomy and sky-watching (such as writing Skies Over West Seattle for us, and publishing info at Alice’s Astro Info), has been hosting educational sunset viewings on equinox and solstice dates for going on six years! (Last year, the sun DID make a welcome-to-spring appearance.)

VIDEO: Crane-cam view as 1st tunnel-machine piece is lifted, moved

You paid for it, you might as well get to see it: WSDOT has just put together that time-lapse video of the action on Thursday lifting the first big piece of the Highway 99 tunneling machine, plus some activity involving that piece today (with a West Seattle cameo in the background). WSDOT says it was taken “from the view of the cab operator of the crane that lifted the segment.” Two more pieces will be lifted before the mega-lift of the huge cutterhead.

West Seattle food/drink notes: Alki Starbucks, Blue Moon Burgers, Mioposto in Admiral, Terra Cole Butchery, WS Brewing, and …

Updates and mysteries from the world of West Seattle food and beverages:

ALKI STARBUCKS REOPENS AFTER REMODELING: This morning’s reopening was confirmed by one of the 2742 Alki SW store’s biggest fans, Cami MacNamara of WebCami, who also sent the photo. The store shut down for just over a month for upgrades explained in this February report.

ALKI BLUE MOON BURGERS – ALMOST THERE: Also on Alki, you’ve probably noticed the new Blue Moon Burgers location at 2504 Alki SW has finally undergone major exterior transformation:

As happens with so many restaurant projects, it’s taken lots longer than expected, but a spokesperson tells us it’s no more than a few weeks away. It’s been exactly a year since we reported first word of the plan, confirmed in this followup. We’ll report the official opening date as soon as we get it.

MIOPOSTO ADMIRAL UPDATES: Speaking of taking longer than expected, some permit delays for the new Mioposto restaurant at 2141 California SW in The Admiral District kept work from starting in earnest before this week.

We checked in this week with proprietor Jeremy Hardy, who says that now that the work is under way, he’s guessing “mid-summer.” And there’s other news: “We have changed plans, however, and, due to requests and hungry looking people in the afternoons that we’ve been in Admiral, we will be opening for lunch as well.”

Now, two mysteries:

MYSTERY #1 – TERRA COLE BUTCHERY: We’ve received numerous inquiries about the status of Terra Cole Butchery in The Junction, which has been closed for at least a few days, and appears to be devoid of inventory. No note on the door nor any updates online, but the shop has been up for sale for four months and the online listing is still open. We have voicemail and e-mail messages out in hopes of hearing something about the store’s status. It opened a year and a half ago.

MYSTERY #2 – WEST SEATTLE BREWING: Questions have also come in over the past few days about the status of West Seattle Brewing at 4415 Fauntleroy Way SW in The Triangle, which too hasn’t opened for at least several days. Its website is offline, but it still has a Facebook page, on which the “what’s going on?” question has gone unanswered. As with Terra Cole, we’ve gone by, left voicemail, and sent e-mail, but have not heard anything definitive. (MONDAY 3/23 UPDATE: WS Brewing’s Drew has replied and says they will reopen. Look for a separate update in biznotes later today.)

One more note – just discovered while writing this story:

ANOTHER BEACH DRIVE RESTAURANT? No details yet but an early-stage DPD permit application says 4029 Beach Drive SW, the waterfront brick building north of Weather Watch Park, is seeking a change of use to first floor restaurant, second-floor residential. It’s right across the street from what’s currently the only restaurant on Beach Drive, La Rustica. We’re working to find out more.

SPEAKING OF LA RUSTICA … ABOUT THE FORMER LA ROMANZA: The new mosaic tilework in front of the former La Romanza Bistro in The Junction keeps catching eyes, and inspiring questions. When we went by one day to ask, we encountered La Romanza’s Aimee Pellegrini (whose family runs La Rustica, if you weren’t already aware), who declined comment at the time, but has since told us that whatever they’re working on is “a family project” and being pursued at a leisurely pace – details when they are ready to announce them.

Followup: Judge allows legal action challenging Terminal 5 lease to proceed; Port, Foss reaction

1:02 PM: King County Superior Court Judge Mariane Spearman has ruled that the environmental-coalition lawsuit challenging the Port of Seattle‘s interim lease for Terminal 5 can proceed, one week after hearing arguments on a motion in the case. We’re still reading the ruling, but for starters, here’s what the coalition says in a news release this afternoon:

Seattle-area groups are challenging the Port of Seattle’s lack of public process and failure to assess the environmental repercussions of becoming Shell’s Arctic drilling homeport.

On March 2, 2015, the environmental groups pushed for swift review of their legal challenge in King County Superior Court.

Today Judge Mariane Spearman ruled that the case can be heard and directed the parties to negotiate the record for her review. The coalition is asking that the court vacate the Port of Seattle’s lease based on violations of the State Environmental Policy Act and the Shoreline Management Act. The Earthjustice lawsuit explains that the Port violated its long-range sustainability plans and its shoreline permit, which designate Terminal 5 as a cargo terminal and not a homeport for a drilling fleet. Both Shell and the Port were not forthcoming in specifying when the oil giant’s drilling fleet is expected to arrive in Seattle’s waters.

IN RELATED NEWS: A new public records release shows an intensive industry and labor lobbying effort to urge the Port of Seattle to enter into the lease. The Port lease was made known to industry long before any public disclosure. See document here.

The first public disclosure of the lease was in the agenda released days before the January 13th Port Commission meeting at which it was first publicly discussed and at which three of five commissioners affirmed letting staff proceed with it. On February 11th, in a letter to the environmental coalition, Port CEO Ted Fick announced he had signed the lease on February 9th. At the commission’s March 10th meeting, the open-public-comment period spanned more than three hours, with most of the speakers expressing opposition to the lease (WSB as-it-happened coverage here). The commission’s next meeting is next Tuesday (March 24th), with a semi-related item on the agenda.

ADDED 1:21 PM: We’ve just read the ruling. Among key points related to what was argued in court last Friday, Judge Spearman says the “Washington State Constitution recognizes the right to seek discretionary review of an administrative agency decision under the court’s inherent constitutional power” – so the decision to enter into the lease without a separate environmental review is in her jurisdiction. While the port contends that Foss hosting vessels from the Shell Arctic-drilling fleet would not be a change from the long-permitted use of Terminal 5 as a “cargo terminal,” the judge noted the coalition’s quoting of “Vessel Berth Moorage and Provisioning” in the port briefing memo for the aforementioned January 13th commission meeting, and wrote in today’s ruling, “These activities appear to be qualitatively different than Eagle Marine Services’ previous use of Terminal 5 as a marine container terminal.” (That was the terminal’s tenant before T-5 was shut down last summer in anticipation of the modernization project.) So the judge has granted the coalition’s request for a “writ of review” – a type of legal procedure explained here.

ADDED 4:36 PM: We’ve received comments from the Port and from Foss. First, from the Port via spokesperson Peter McGraw:

The ruling today is only a preliminary step in this matter. The judge’s ruling does not prevent Foss Maritime from continuing to use the terminal as described in the lease. Nor does it conclude that the port or Foss have failed to comply with any law. It does direct the parties to prepare a record so that the court can review the port’s compliance with SEPA. We look forward to providing this information to the court. The port continues to be committed to fully comply with any and all requirements and regulations.

And from Foss via spokesperson Paul Queary:

We are confident that our use of Terminal 5 will be in compliance with its current permit, and we will show that in court.

According to Foss, 101 people are currently working “on various jobs” at T-5, and 63 more are doing related work at Vigor Shipyard. (We noted the latter in our coverage of last week’s Port Commission hearing.)

Traffic alerts for NEXT weekend: Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closures, Highway 99 to the north, I-90

A week and a half after first mention, the official alert about next weekend’s Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closures is out, including details of other Highway 99 work PLUS another westbound I-90 constriction (a similar closure a few weeks ago backed up I-5 just north of the bridge, so beware). Read on for details from WSDOT:

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You name the school! Community suggestions sought for new elementary on Genesee Hill

(Rendering envisioning the new school’s interior)

As construction continues on the new elementary school at the site of the former Genesee Hill Elementary, the process of deciding what to call it has just expanded to include you! Here’s the announcement:

The West Seattle community, along with Schmitz Park Elementary families, staff and Genesee Hill School alumni, are being invited to submit suggestions for the name of the new school building being constructed to replace the old building on the Genesee Hill school site.

This Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) project was approved by Seattle voters in February 2013. The Schmitz Park Elementary program is scheduled to move into the new building at the Genesee Hill site in September, 2016.

“We hope to select a name that honors our legacy as Schmitz Park Elementary, while building a new tradition, in a new location, on Genesee Hill,” said Gerrit Kischner, Principal, Schmitz Park Elementary.

If you wish to nominate a name, including the current Genesee Hill School name, please email it to All nominations need to be received by March 31, 2015. Please include the criteria for why the name should be selected. Seattle Public Schools’ School Board naming procedure states that the naming of new buildings should be selected based upon: (a) geographical location or local community name; or (b) distinguished individuals who have served the local community, state, or nation, whether in education or other fields.

Once names have been received, a committee that includes a representative from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society will compile the names. The community will then be asked to vote for their preferred name. The results of the poll, along with other submitted information, will be used to make a recommendation that will be sent to the Seattle Public Schools superintendent for review and consideration. The superintendent would then make a recommendation to the School Board for approval. For more information, please visit

No significant environmental impacts from Terminal 5 upgrades? Days left to comment on decision related to long-term plan

(From Port presentation last year regarding T-5 modernization)
While the Port of Seattle‘s interim lease for West Seattle’s Terminal 5 has been in the spotlight lately, a comment period quietly opened for your chance to have a say on a decision related to its future beyond that or any interim use. A nearby neighbor flagged us on this, wanting to make sure you know before it’s too late to comment.

Here’s what’s happening:

The Port says it has decided that its modernization plan for Terminal 5 (first covered here last June) does not need an environmental-impact statement, and for those who have something to say about that, it’s accepting comments until 4 pm Monday (March 23rd). Read the Determination of Non-Significance notice that neighbors received, here or below:

This 42-page Port document, the State Environmental Policy Act “checklist,” explains why they don’t believe a full environmental review is needed. It also says the work is expected to start early next year.

Some neighbors say they plan to comment about expected impacts including increased carbon emissions and noise, especially the long-running issue of train noise, which they expect will increase as “more trains will be needed to offload the super-container ships.”

As noted in the document embedded above, you can comment by e-mailing by the Monday afternoon deadline – but be sure to include a postal-mail address. Again, this is separate from and not related to the “interim lease” for part of T-5, except that some of this work – which could cost up to a quarter-billion dollars, the port says – would overlap with that lease, which covers a third of T-5.

West Seattle schools: Best-selling author coming to Madison MS

March 20, 2015 9:48 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle schools: Best-selling author coming to Madison MS
 |   West Seattle books | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

From Madison Middle School librarian Stacia Bell, word of a big event next week:

Next Tuesday, March 24th, popular young-adult author Marissa Meyer will be visiting Madison Middle School to talk with students about her Lunar Chronicles dystopian series and her experience being an author. There will be two author talk assemblies in the Madison cafeteria—one at 9:40 and the other at 1:30 — and parents and families are welcome to attend. Marissa will also be selling and signing her books after each assembly for interested students. Paperback copies of the books will be on sale for $10.95 and hardback copies for $19.70. Students and families can pay with cash or check (make checks out to University Book Store). Students are also welcome to bring previously purchased copies of her books to get them personally signed by Marissa. And as always, all of the books in this series will be available for checkout in our Madison Library. Contact Madison Librarian Stacia Bell at if you have questions. Hope to see you out!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday, with spring just hours away

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Happy end of winter! Spring arrives at 3:45 this afternoon (and Spring Equinox Sunset Watch with Alice Enevoldsen is three hours later). One weekend note: Washington State Ferries starts its spring/summer schedule on Sunday.

UP, UP, AND AWAY: The first big piece of the Highway 99 tunnel machine to come out of the repair-access pit achieved liftoff on Thursday – see it here.

TWO SURVEYS FOR YOU: Both about transportation – the West Seattle Transportation Coalition is focusing on parking, and the truth of what we do and don’t use and why; take that survey here. And the city is asking your thoughts related to its big levy plan – take that survey here.

West Seattle Thriftway anniversary party revs up with Ladies Night

As West Seattle Thriftway kicked off its 27th anniversary celebration this week, it brought back an event that was a huge hit last year – Ladies Night. Above, Thriftway’s Kolleen, Michele, and Gina played host for the throng who came to shop, sip, taste, and otherwise have fun:

Other local businesses and organizations were part of the party – below, Heather and Nancy from Illusions Hair Design:

Chris and Shelly from Sound Yoga:

Sandy and Danielle from ArtsWest:

The big basket of eggs was a reminder that Easter is just two weeks away – preceded as always by the big egg hunt at Thriftway:

This year, that’ll be Saturday, April 4th. Meantime, Thriftway’s anniversary sale continues through the end of March.

*West Seattle Thriftway, Illusions Hair Design, Sound Yoga, and ArtsWest are all current WSB sponsors.

Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader, report #2: 44th SW Studios advances to 2nd round

March 20, 2015 2:11 am
|    Comments Off on Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader, report #2: 44th SW Studios advances to 2nd round
 |   Development | West Seattle news

(‘Character rendering’ of design option 3 – in the full-size version, the red lines point to text boxes)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The first West Seattle microhousing project to go through Design Review made it out of the first stage of the process in its first try on Thursday night.

Most of the concerns voiced about the 44th SW Studios project at 4528 44th SW in The Junction had to do with whether the building could be shrunk a bit in order to more creatively inhabit its site. (See the design “packet” here.)

In the end, the board voted unanimously to let it advance out of the Early Design Guidance stage:

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