West Seattle, Washington
(Renderings by PB Architects)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The planned Clearview Eye Clinic at 7520 35th SW won approval from the Southwest Design Review Board last night, after major design changes in response to previous critiques.
“They listened, hard,” observed fill-in board member Jill Kurfirst, who also had filled in during an earlier meeting on this project, “and hit it out of the park.”
The board still had suggestions, of course. Here’s what they saw, and how the meeting went:
4 options for tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, starting with theater:
(Photo by Barbara M. Fuentes)
‘PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE’: Twelfth Night Productions opens its new production, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” by Steve Martin, an “Off-Broadway absurdist comedy (that) places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904.” Curtain time is 7:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Tickets are available online. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
FREE MOVIE NIGHT AT HPIC: Doors open 6 pm, children’s short at 6:15 pm, main feature at 7. More info plus movie hints here. (12th/Holden)
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP AT SEATTLE CHINESE GARDEN: Two sessions, first one 7 pm tonight – see our listing for details and how to check if there’s still room! Seattle Chinese Garden is on the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. (6000 16th SW)
ALBUM RELEASE SHOW: Michele D’Amour and The Love Dealers, 9 pm, Feedback Lounge, “high energy, danceable blues with a touch of funk and R&B,” marking the release of their new album “Ante Up.” (6451 California SW)
Just posted on SPD Blotter:
Two masked men forced their way inside a Seattle marijuana shop owner’s West Seattle home early Friday and tied him up at gunpoint, before making off with tens of thousands of dollars in cash, a half-dozen pistols and a high-powered rifle.
The 47-year-old owner was walking up to his home in the 8600 block of 35th Avenue SW around 12:30 AM when two masked men approached him. The suspects grabbed a puppy the victim was carrying, and forced the man inside his home at gunpoint.
The suspects forced the victim to open two safes inside the home and then tied him to a bed while they took a large amount of cash, six different handguns, a rifle, four watches, and the victim’s surveillance system.
About an hour after the incident began, the victim got free and began searching for his puppy. When he found the dog, he called police.
The victim wasn’t able to provide much of a description of the suspects: he told officers both men appeared to be in their 30s, one was white, the other Hispanic.
Robbery detectives are investigating the case, and asking anyone with information to contact police at (206) 684-5535.
An update on the Morgan Junction Park expansion topped a busy-as-ever agenda for the quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting on Wednesday night:
(WSB file photo)
The city has owned the commercial site north of the park since last year and, according to MoCA president Deb Barker, hopes to have the current tenants, a mini-mart and cleaner, out by the end of May. A week or so of “remediation” (cleanup) work will follow. Development money was part of the plan for the Park District ballot measure, but design/development is still a ways off. One new possibility: Designating SW Eddy, which goes through the site, as a “festival street.”
Speaking of streets …
Saturday, May 9th, is the 11th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, coordinated by WSB, and we have updates:
LESS THAN A WEEK TO REGISTER: The registration deadline is next Thursday, April 23rd, so if you’ve been procrastinating, it’s time to decide if you’re having a sale. More than 170 of all sizes, all over the peninsula, are signed up so far! Register your WSCGSD sale here.
MULTI-SELLER SITES: The Hotwire Online Coffeehouse/Ginomai courtyard/lot space (4410 California SW) is booked up, we’re told, though you can get on a list in case of dropouts (contact Hotwire directly). The other site for those who need just a little room is C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW) – check in to see how they’re doing. (Our standard disclaimer, Hotwire and C & P are both WSB sponsors.)
THE MAP: If you’re new to WSCGSD as either a seller or shopper, reminder that the map of sales will be available one week in advance (watch for the announcement here and at westseattlegaragesale.com on May 2nd) – we produce it in two formats, the clickable online version here on WSB and on westseattlegaragesale.com – click on a marker and a bubble will open with its address and sale “ad” as sent in @ registration, and the printable PDF version including the numbered list of sale addresses/”ads.” The map’s free, and you’re encouraged to share it with friends, family, co-workers from all over the region to be sure they know that this is the day to come shop WS (checking out our restaurants and stores while they’re here, too).
So again – six days to register, 15 days to map day, 22 days to sale day!
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! No trouble spots so far in or from West Seattle. Of note: It’s the last weekday of spring break for Seattle Public Schools and the independent schools that follow its calendar, so traffic volumes will invariably rise on Monday.
WEEKEND NOTES: Biggest traffic alert for the weekend – westbound I-90 lanes have more work this weekend just east of the city, so vehicles will be diverted into the express lanes. Also on the lookahead, SODO notes – the Mariners are at home this weekend, evening games tonight and Saturday, afternoon game Sunday (which is Salute to Armed Forces Day, and that could mean flyovers).
4:37 PM: A crash on the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct this past half-hour has cleared, but some residual backups are reported.
Thanks to Nicole for the photo – this caught some eyes on the water off West Seattle’s western shores early this evening. Reminds us of the photo shoot last month involving a boat built for the Tunisian Navy. But according to our friends at Beach Drive Blog, who had a front-row seat this time, the helicopter clearly had a camera mount and the name on the yacht began with Endurance. BDB wondered if it might be one of these yachts. (Maybe the E720?)
Traffic trouble and green spaces top the toplines from this month’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting.
(WSB photo from March)
GREEN SPACES: The push to keep the surplus substations (including Brace Point, above) and some other city-owned properties as open, green spaces continues. From what’s now the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition, FCA’s Marty Westerman said he and SGSC’s Mary Fleck will be outside Fauntleroy’s The Original Bakery on Sunday morning at 10 am for at least an hour to gather petition signatures, urging the city not to sell off these pieces of public land.
Just a little more than a week until “Art for Food” at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, benefiting White Center Food Bank, which also serves part of West Seattle. The event is 6-8 pm on Friday, April 24th, WCFB’s Kristina Dahl explains: “Not only does it benefit the food bank, but it’s a fun after- work event with live music from West Seattle jazz trio The Ellis Brothers, held in the wonderful Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, with art from many West Seattle artists (including Peggy Abby, who is co-hosting this event with us). There will be wine (21+) and cheese available also, but the event is open to all ages. We are still welcoming art donations, volunteers at the event, and of course hope that many people from our community will buy tickets and come join us in the fun.” Buy your ticket right here, right now.
Mayor Ed Murray was back in The Junction today, less than three weeks after his walking-tour/coffee-conversation stop. His stop at the Senior Center of West Seattle wasn’t an official speech/town-hall type visit, just an informal lunchtime conversation, though he took the microphone for a moment. Below, that’s center director Lyle Evans at left:
P.S. The Senior Center has a big series of classes coming up for people who might not think they are Senior Center-age yet … “Things to Know Now That You’re 50.” See the summary and sign up here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
ADMIRAL WAY SAFETY PROJECT: This was the marquee presentation of the night, led by SDOT’s Emily Ehlers. A few hours earlier, we had published a preview with information and maps the city had sent – see that here. Much more information was contained in the slide deck that was presented during the meeting – you can scroll through it atop this story.
What was said, and asked:
We’ve reported before on the achievements of Taryn Smith, the West Seattle High School senior who is the reigning Miss Seattle – and this Saturday (April 18th), you can help her with her next community-service endeavor: A book drive for local kids.
Taryn will be at Merryweather Books in The Junction (4537 California SW) collecting donated children’s book to give to the kids at Mary’s Place, which helps homeless women and children with shelter and other needs. Bring your book donations to Taryn at the shop between 9 am and 1 pm on Saturday.
Six quick reminders for the rest of today/tonight, before it’s too late:
WEST SEATTLE TIMEBANK: Also at the Senior Center – 6:30 pm potluck, 7 pm meeting; details here.
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm, Alki UCC, with a Homestead update. (6115 SW Hinds)
11:21 AM: Thanks to David Hutchinson for the photo, and to others for the tips: The first vessel in Shell‘s Arctic-drilling/support fleet has arrived in Seattle, and has docked at Terminal 5 (per MarineTraffic.com). It’s the Aiviq, mentioned here just last night in connection with the U.S. Coast Guard’s announcement of “safety zones” around the vessels expected here as part of Foss’s T-5 lease. The Aiviq is a three-year-old icebreaker that was among the Shell-related vessels that spent time here in 2012 before the company’s most-recent Arctic drilling attempts.
ADDED 11:52 AM: And for the first time in the weeks we’ve been watching for it, the Blue Marlin, carrying the drilling platform Polar Pioneer, is in MarineTraffic.com range, approaching the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca off the northwesternmost tip of Washington state, on schedule with its announced arrival in Port Angeles by tomorrow.
(Image captured this morning from construction-site webcam)
Remember the call for suggestions about what to call the new school being built on Genesee Hil, for the program currently housed (and overflowing) at Schmitz Park Elementary? A letter has just gone out listing four finalists, and launching a vote. The finalists are:
*Genesee Hill Elementary School: Genesee Hill is the name of the original building, which opened in 1949.
*Genesee-Schmitz Elementary School: Genesee-Schmitz recognizes the shared identity and history of the neighborhood and the two schools.
*Dietrich Schmitz Elementary School: Dietrich Schmitz was the longest-serving member of the Seattle School Board in history, serving 32 years and multiple times as President.
*Thelma DeWitty Elementary School: Thelma DeWitty was the first African-American teacher in Seattle, working first in West Seattle at the Cooper School.
The four potential names are not the only points of interest in the letter from Schmitz Park principal Gerrit Kischner. It’s been pointed out that the new school, with capacity around 650, might be not be big enough to hold SPE’s continuing-to-swell population, and Kischner’s letter includes this mention of one way that might be addressed:
… Please note that while we would like to move forward to finalize the naming of the new building, we are also continuing to watch enrollment numbers that could affect the long-term plans for both our current and future school sites.
The Building Leadership Team made a point of requesting that we ensure that the Schmitz Family legacy, which has inspired Schmitz Park Elementary School to be a flagship elementary program in the Seattle School District, will continue to be recognized and honored. If enrollment trends continue to the point that our program could be needed to operate at both sites, we will recommend to the Superintendent that the new building be opened as Schmitz Park School at Genesee Hill.
Regardless, we will not change the name of the school building we currently occupy, which is officially named by the School Board as “Schmitz Park School.” This is a promise made by the District to the Schmitz Family, who donated the land for the Schmitz Park Preserve and school site. Important Schmitz Park traditions and our fox mascot and logo will continue at the new building. …
We’re following up with the district regarding the “both sites” possibility; meantime, you can read the entire letter here.
Now, back to the name poll: Make your choice online here; if you’d like to vote another way, the letter mentions you can postal-mail or drop off your choice to/at SPES (5000 SW Spokane, Seattle 98116). Deadline is April 26th – one week from this Sunday.
Never give up – always do your best. That was the message Our Lady of Guadalupe students heard on Wednesday from an OLG alum who’s made it into the spotlight, James McGrath, who’s been a featured competitor for the past few seasons of the TV show “American Ninja Warrior” – here’s a clip of him in action last year:
McGrath was the special guest at an assembly looking ahead to the annual OLG Jog-A-Thon.
McGrath attended OLG through 8th grade, back in 2001. His PE teacher Susan Sutton is still at the school, so we caught a pic of both of them:
Also noted: McGrath worked for a while at Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center; now, in addition to his TV exploits, he works as a personal trainer. Students had lots of questions for him about “American Ninja Warrior,” which airs on the Esquire Network, and he says you’ll see him again on the show in late May. (Thanks to Jog-A-Thon chair Sarah Housknecht for the tip about his appearance!)
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Nothing of note on the roads so far but we do have a major problem on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry run. Most recent update from WSF:
The Issaquah is out of service for necessary repairs. The 7:05am sailing from Fauntleroy to Vashon and Southworth is cancelled. The following sailings may also be affected until repairs can be made: 7:30am Vashon to Southworth, 7:55am Southworth to Vashon and Fauntleroy.
Please check the online schedule to view sailing times. Updates will occur as information becomes available.
8:01 AM: Aside from the ferry trouble, no incidents. So it’s on with our Throwback Thursday Traffic photo of the week, from the Seattle Municipal Archives. You’ll probably recognize this spot in what’s now The Triangle:
The date: November 1957. The intersection: Fauntleroy/37th. Click the image to go to the Muni Archives page with a larger version of the photo, so you can take a closer look.
8:42 AM: Ferry update – M/V Issaquah is still out and runs are still being canceled – keep watch on the WSF website for the latest.
9:26 AM: WSF says the Issaquah is fixed and is returning to service with “a late 9:20 am departure from Southworth to Vashon and Fauntleroy.”
He’s been on the job a few weeks, but in case you haven’t met him yet, West Seattle Helpline is officially announcing its new executive director, Chris Langeler:
West Seattle Helpline, a nonprofit social service agency offering emergency assistance for West Seattle residents, is pleased to welcome Chris Langeler as the new Executive Director. Mr. Langeler comes to West Seattle Helpline with years of experience in fundraising, social services, community development, management, and working with underserved individuals and families from diverse backgrounds.
Most recently, he managed the political campaigns for Washington State House of Representatives Speaker Frank Chopp and State Representative Brady Walkinshaw of Seattle during the 2014 election cycle. He is on the Board of Directors for the Delridge Neighborhood Development Association and volunteers at Southwest Youth and Family Services and at High Point Community Center.
Mr. Langeler earned his Master of Science in Community Research & Action at Vanderbilt University in 2013 and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington in 2015. Previously, he served as the Director of Research for the National Mobile Market, an organization dedicated to providing access to affordable, healthy food to food insecure neighborhoods nationwide. Prior to that, he worked in Portland, Oregon at the Boys and Girls Aid Society, a program to support youth transitioning out of the juvenile justice system.
“We are so excited to have Chris on board! With his solid experience and passion for our mission, Chris is going to have a huge impact on West Seattle families in need”, said Brooks Riendl, President of West Seattle Helpline’s Board of Directors.
(Photo credit: WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Want to make your house more earthquake-resistant? Two chances to learn about retrofitting are coming up in West Seattle as part of the Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) program. They’re free, but you do have to register. First one is next Sunday (April 19th), 2-4 pm, at the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library – full details here; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested. After that, another one is set up for 2-4 pm May 2nd at the High Point Branch Library; same registration address.
With the platform and vessel that Shell hopes to use for Arctic drilling getting closer to Western Washington waters, opponents of their expected stay at Terminal 5 have announced a schedule for protests, while the U.S. Coast Guard has announced “temporary safety zones” as well as a “voluntary First Amendment zone” worked out with potential waterborne protesters.
First, here’s where it all stands:
Two months have passed since the Port of Seattle announced it had signed a lease with Foss for a third of the idle-since-last-summer Terminal 5 expanse in West Seattle, with Foss expecting to host Royal Dutch Shell offshore-drilling equipment that would eventually head to the Arctic if Shell gets final federal approval.
Since then, as reported here and elsewhere, there have been protests, legal action, and preparation, and more in the works.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT TERMINAL 5 NOW: Foss and the port have said preparatory work is already under way.
WHERE ARE SHELL’S DRILL RIGS? The Polar Pioneer, crossing the Pacific on the deck-cargo ship Blue Marlin, is expected in Port Angeles on Friday, with a two-week stay there before moving on to Seattle, reports The Peninsula Daily News. The Greenpeace activists who climbed onto it and camped out for five-plus days came down last Saturday, citing stormy weather; a federal judge in Alaska later granted Shell’s request for a court order against them. Their boat the Greenpeace Esperanza is still tailing the Polar Pioneer/Blue Marlin as far as we know.
The Noble Discoverer, the drilling vessel that was here in 2012 before it (along with the now-scrapped Kulluk) got into trouble in Alaska, is still crossing the Pacific too.
(2012 photo by Long B. Nguyen)
It stopped a week ago in the Marshall Islands port of Majuro, and then was reported to be Hawai’i-bound. Majuro to Honolulu is 2,300 miles; then it’s another 2,600 miles to get here.
OTHER SHELL VESSELS: The Coast Guard’s announcement today mentions the Aiviq:
That’s a photo we took while the Aiviq was here with other Shell-related vessels in 2012 (MarineTraffic.com shows it currently moored in Everett).
PORT COMMISSION: Its public meeting yesterday afternoon at Pier 69 was the first in three meetings that did not include dozens of speakers on the subject of the Terminal 5 lease. Four people did speak, all voicing opposition to the lease and concern about Arctic drilling and climate change. The bulk of the comment period was spent on other Port of Seattle business, primarily plans for a new international-arrivals facility.
COAST GUARD ANNOUNCEMENT: From the full announcement published today, which you can read here:
… A 500-yard safety zone [above] will be in place around the Noble Discoverer, Blue Marlin, Polar Pioneer, Aiviq and other Arctic drilling related vessels while underway. A 100-yard safety zone will be in place around the same vessels while moored or anchored. …
…The Voluntary First Amendment Area [above] is a regulated navigation area in Elliott Bay, developed following discussions with several special interest groups, where the Coast Guard recommends, but does not require, those desiring to express their views on Arctic drilling assemble. It is a no wake area where individuals can congregate without compromising their personal safety or jeopardizing the safe navigation of maritime traffic around them. …
As you can see from the map, that zone will be off the West Seattle shoreline north of T-5. As for when it might be used …
‘RESISTANCE’ PLANNED FOR MAY 16-18: In addition to the already-announced downtown waterfront rally on April 26th, opponents have announced “three days of creative, people-powered resistance to Shell and the climate crisis” for May 16th through 18th, including a kayak flotilla on the first day. Their plan detailed on this website vows to “transform … Terminal 5 and Harbor Island into a festival of resistance that will nonviolently block Shell’s preparations for Arctic drilling.”
(First three photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
3:39 PM: Avoid California SW south of Morgan Junction – a fire response has closed California in the 6900 block (map), south of Fauntleroy. It’s reported to be a car fire inside the garage of an
apartment condo complex. Firefighters on the scene report heavy smoke and they’re having trouble getting to the source of the fire.
3:45 PM: Firefighters report they have “water on the fire” now.
3:50 PM: Fire’s still being fought; people in the building have been evacuated.
Though it’s a garage fire, lots of smoke is still coming out, and that’s being seen for a long ways around. No word of any injuries.
The big MVU ventilation unit is on the way to help.
(Updated photo: MVU in action)
4:01 PM: Again, California is blocked between Mills and Willow, lots of SFD. Investigators are on the way, to be ready to go in when it’s safe. Firefighters just reported by radio that they have searched upper floors of the building to make sure everyone got out OK.
(Added: Photo courtesy Diana Phelps)
We haven’t heard yet if the fire has spread beyond the garage at all, but as you can see in our photo, the smoke has been heavy. While it’s been described as apartments, county records show this is actually a 28-unit condominium building called Cinnamon Ridge.
4:20 PM: The MVU is being dismissed. Meantime, Metro has sent an alert that Route 22 is rerouted because of the fire. (Use stops north of Fauntleroy or south of Myrtle.)
We’ve just gotten briefed by SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says: A VW Bus about 70 feet inside the garage is what caught fire. It was just underneath some of the building’s major electrical conduit, so the building has no power right now – they asked City Light to shut it off – and they’re evaluating the situation. A few residents were evaluated for possible smoke inhalation because of smoke in the lobby but no one needed hospitalization, we’re told.
4:50 PM: More units are being dismissed from the scene. We’ll update when the road reopens – for now, if you’re headed this way, you’ll want to access California south of Myrtle via Holden or Thistle from 35th. Meantime, our crew is back at HQ and we’re adding more photos.
5:19 PM: Adding video of SFD briefing mentioned above. California has now reopened both ways.
6:02 PM: Fire’s cause determined, we found out while revisiting the scene and talking to Moore, who had just tweeted it:
California AV SW fire caused by electrical event in VW van. Damage estimate $55k damage pic.twitter.com/qmtxcAlFv2
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) April 16, 2015
The last units are just now leaving the scene. Moore also told us no major damage to other vehicles in the garage because the van’s owner pushed it out of its space for more separation.
11:02 PM: We’ve learned that the building’s residents were advised to stay elsewhere tonight as the building management brings in private crews to assess damage and make repairs, especially to the electrical system. They’re expecting an update from building management tomorrow.
Mayor Murray‘s visiting The Junction tomorrow for the second time in three weeks. This time, he’ll be at the Senior Center of West Seattle, circulating during lunchtime in the upstairs Junction Diner café, noon-12:30 pm. You’re invited, but if you want to have lunch, the Senior Center asks that you call ASAP for a reservation — 206-932-4044, extension 1 – so they know how much food to make – 60 or older, suggested donation of $3; if you’re under 60, $6. The menu: Jambalaya, mustard greens, corn bread, fresh fruit.
P.S. Looking ahead to the following Thursday (April 23rd) – City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and (departing) Sally Clark will be at the Senior Center for a forum on senior housing issues including affordability, 12:30 pm-2:30 pm – details on this flyer.
(File WSCGSD photo, Hotwire courtyard)
Quick update on West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2015, coming up 9 am-3 pm Saturday, May 9th, all around the peninsula:
*More than 150 sales registered – individuals, blocks, schools, businesses, clubs, teams …
*Registration deadline is one week from tomorrow (Wednesday night, April 23rd)
*Ready to sign up YOUR sale? Please go here!