day : 21/07/2015 10 results

Mayor’s housing plan: First council discussion; plus, clarifying what’s proposed for single-family neighborhoods

The week after Mayor Murray went public with his housing proposals – concurrent with release of a report by the advisory committee appointed to examine the issue – the City Council got its first official briefing:

The Seattle Channel published video today of Monday’s first meeting of the council’s Select Committee on Housing Affordability – the creation of which was announced last week, at the same time as the mayor’s proposals and the Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory committee (HALA) report.

For this update on the plan, we also sat down with a West Seattleite from the HALA committee, Cindi Barker, to talk through a few of its more-confusing points. (She was not on the committee as a West Seattle representative, but as a member of the City Neighborhood Council.)

First – some toplines from Monday’s council meeting. Early on, a city staffer offered an understatement, saying it will be a “long conversation” because “some of the suggestions do step outside of the comfort zone.”

Much of the briefing focused on the backstory of how this all happened.

One major issue of interest brought up by Councilmember Tom Rasmussen was the oft-quoted contention that the city has enough “capacity” for all the new housing it needs, without any upzoning.

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AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Official state hearing for what would be West Seattle’s first charter school

SUMMARY: Twenty people spoke tonight at the only local hearing the Washington Charter School Commission will have for Summit Public Schools‘ proposal to open West Seattle’s first charter school in a supermarket-turned-church building in Arbor Heights. Only one was a charter-school critic. Another voiced some skepticism. The other 17, including Summit employees and even a recent graduate from a Bay Area Summit school, voiced strong support. The speakers were chosen in a drawing; when they were done, time remained, and many more numbers were called, but almost all those ticketholders seemed to have vanished. Meantime, the commission will make its decision in mid-August and is still taking written comments.

Below, our as-it-happened coverage of tonight’s meeting:


6:12 PM: We’re at what will become, if the state Charter School Commission approves, the home of the first charter school in West Seattle, where three commission members are in attendance for an official public hearing/forum on the proposal. Summit Schools, a California-based charter operator, wants to open a middle-/high-school campus at 9601 35th SW, just purchased by a charter-development firm from Freedom Church (which is leasing back the space until the project gets under way). We’ll be reporting live as the hearing goes.

Joshua Halsey, executive director of the commission (whose members include West Seattleite Steve Sundquist, former member of the Seattle Public Schools board), has just welcomed attendees and explained the process, that the commission will vote to approve or reject Summit’s application in mid-August. Two other commissioners are here, including Trish Millines Dziko, who leads the Technology Access Foundation, which has its headquarters in White Center.

Halsey says speakers will have up to 2 minutes each (longer if they need translation services). A stenographer is here to record the comments. A rough estimate of the crowd? Maybe 100 people, seated in the Freedom pews. Written comments are being accepted, by e-mail and postal mail, between now and July 31st, Halsey says.

And with that, Jen Davis Wickens, Summit’s chief regional officer for Washington, begins her presentation. (We spoke with her for our most-recent story on the proposal, which we’ve been covering since the first of the year, after finding out about it via an application in city Department of Planning and Development files.)

She first shows, on the big screens here in the cavernous former supermarket, a shot from “signing day,” a celebration of college acceptance among Summit schools.

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West Seattle Urban Farm Tour: See whose homes rule the roost!

That painting by JoEllen Wang will soon be a familiar sight – it’s on posters for the West Seattle Urban Farm Tour that’s just been announced by WS-based Seattle Farm School, whose Katie Stemp shares the news:

I’m organizing a one-day tour of urban agriculture sites all around West Seattle. It will be Saturday, August 8 from 10 am – 3 pm and include more than 15 locations including private homes, community gardens, school gardens, and organizations that promote and support urban farming here in our community! It’s only $12 for adults and FREE for all kids under 18! Very family-friendly!

Buy your ticket online here, where you’ll also find more info about the tour.

FOLLOWUP: City goes public with its new development map

Three weeks ago, we noted the city Department of Planning and Development‘s announcement that a development-tracking map was in the works. Today, the map has gone public.

(Screengrab from DPD’s ‘Shaping Seattle’ map)
It’s called “Shaping Seattle,” and you can click any dot on the map to see aspects of a project that’s in or has gone through Design Review, including the most-recent design proposal, a timeline of meetings and decisions, and how to comment on the project. We just spun through what it shows for West Seattle and noted a few glitches – a project you see on the map might be active, or stalled, or even already built, and that won’t be readily obvious unless you follow the development files day in and day out (one example of “stalled,” 2310 California SW), so be sure to read the fine print and check the dates. But take a look for yourself by going here. This comes eight months after a private technologist, Ethan Phelps-Goodman, created something similar, Seattle In Progress; we talked with him recently and he’s continuing to refine and add on to what he’s created.

U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian lineup set for Seafair Parade of Ships past West Seattle, plus tours

July 21, 2015 2:11 pm
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 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle news

(US Navy file photo of USS Boxer)

One week from tomorrow, it’s the next Seafair event you can watch without leaving West Seattle – the Parade of Ships, sailing past our shores on Wednesday afternoon, July 29th. And today, we know which ships are participating: Comprising this year’s Seafair fleet are the U.S. Navy’s 844-foot amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4 – it looks like an aircraft carrier) and guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley (DDG 101) and USS Dewey (DDG 105), plus one U.S. Coast Guard vessel – 378-foot CGC Midgett – and three Royal Canadian Navy ships, 440-foot HMCS Vancouver, 181-foot HMCS Whitehorse, and 181-foot HMCS Brandon. (Read more about them on the Seafair website.)

The ships will pass West Seattle in the 1 pm vicinity on July 29th, then past downtown around 1:45 pm, and circling back to their docks. Then the following day, tours start. From the Seafair website:


U.S. Navy:
Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Gridley
Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Dewey

U.S. Coast Guard:
High-Endurance Cutter CGC Midgett

Thursday, July 30 – Saturday, August 1
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 2

12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.



Royal Canadian Navy:
HMCS Brandon

HMCS Whitehorse

Thursday, July 30 – Saturday, August 1
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 2

12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.



U.S. Navy:
Amphibious Assault Ship USS Boxer (LHD 4)

Royal Canadian Navy:
HMCS Vancouver

Thursday, July 30 – Sunday, August 2
12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

See the Seafair website for important info before you go take the tours, which are free. For the Parade of Ships – just find a spot along the shore, from Alki to Jack Block (or of course downtown).

West Seattle food: Pellegrini Italian Market now open in The Junction

(Customers Shelly and Casey, sitting at the window in Pellegrini Italian Market)

By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

For months, people have been asking what’s going on at the former La Romanza Bistro site at 4521 California SW in The Junction – especially once mosaic tile started to cover the facade.

Finally a sign went up. And then, Pellegrini Italian Market opened for business quietly during the recent West Seattle Summer Fest, just in time to take advantage of the additional pedestrian traffic traveling casually along California Avenue.

The venture is brought to you by the Pellegrini family, proprietors of Beach Drive restaurant La Rustica. Aimee Pellegrini – “official daughter,” as well as the marketing arm of the family’s business operations – says the Pellegrinis took into consideration the changing face of the neighborhood when deciding on their concept for the space.

“We thought, ‘What’s missing in West Seattle? Well, there’s not really an Italian market in West Seattle,’ explains Pellegrini.

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Design Review: Junction, Admiral projects to be reviewed this Thursday; plus, our report on last week’s reviews of 4532 42nd SW and 5414 Delridge Way SW

July 21, 2015 10:48 am
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 |   Development | West Seattle news

This Thursday, the Southwest Design Review Board meets again in West Seattle, just one week after its last meeting – a two-week gap is more common, but the recent schedule’s been tousled. We have toplines from the two reviews at last week’s meeting, but first, a quick look at the projects on the agenda this week:

6:30 PM Thursday – 4801 Fauntleroy Way SW. 21 apartments, 7 live/work units, 950 sf of retail space across from the south side of The Whittaker. Previous WSB coverage here.

8 PM Thursday – 4700 SW Admiral Way, the Aegis Living proposal for an 80-unit assisted-living center on the site of the former Life Care Center. Previous WSB coverage here.

Both meetings on Thursday night (July 23rd) are at the SWDRB’s usual meeting spot, the Senior Center of West Seattle (entrance on Oregon SW just east of California SW); both have public-comment periods. Design packets are not yet posted for the projects (though they are supposed to be by now, this close to the meetings) – check back at the pages we’ve linked to each address above.

Last Thursday (July 16th), we covered the board’s reviews of two projects, in reverse order of how they had been listed on the DPD website, 4532 42nd SW first and then 5414 Delridge Way SW, because of what a DPD rep said was a mix-up involving notices sent by postal mail. Ahead, summaries and results of the two reviews, both of which were for the Early Design Guidance phase, which means the board looked at characteristics such as size and shape, NOT a finished look for either building:

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West Seattle Tuesday: Something to say about the proposed charter school? Say it tonight! Plus 6 more events

July 21, 2015 9:45 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Never got a chance Sunday night to share one of Lynn Hall‘s lovely images of the sunset painting the then-approaching clouds after that 95-degree day, so … better late than never. And now, we look ahead to what’s up today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BABY STORY TIME: 10:30 am at Southwest Library, bring your baby up to 1 year of age and enjoy stories, songs, and rhymes, free as always. (35th/Henderson)

STOP ‘N’ SHOP OPEN HOUSE: 3-5 pm, the thrift shop at street level in the Sisson Building, also home to the Senior Center of West Seattle, invites you to come have treats and see the newly air conditioned shop. Details in our calendar listing. (4504 California SW)

CHARTER SCHOOL HEARING: Six months after we first reported on the plan for what would be West Seattle’s first charter school – a middle/high school hoping to open for 2016-2017 – members of the state Charter School Commission will be at the proposed location tonight, 6 pm, for a forum/hearing including community comments as well as a presentation about the school; the commission will decide next month whether to approve the charter. Dinner and child care available. Official announcement here; our most-recent coverage of the proposal is here. (9601 35th SW)

FREE TRACK RUN: 6:15 pm, meet at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) for a free group run! (2743 California SW)

I THINK THAT I SHALL NEVER SEE … (something) as lovely as a tree … workshop, for free. 6:30 pm at High Point Community Center. Find out how to choose the right tree for the right spot. Details in our calendar listing. (6920 34th SW)

WEST SEATTLE QUILTERS: 7 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, all welcome – details in our calendar listing. (Oregon/California)

FAMILY STORY TIME: 7 pm, bring the toddlers and preschoolers along for stories, songs, more at Delridge Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

NIGHTLIFE AND MORE … our daily highlights are just a sampling of what you’ll find on the complete calendar.

Remembering ‘Big Steve’: Celebration of life Saturday for Stephen B. Murray, 1944-2015

A celebration of life is planned in West Seattle this Saturday for Steve Murray, whose family is sharing this remembrance with the community:

Stephen B. Murray, 70, passed away on July 6, 2015 at the UW Medical Center in Seattle, with the love of his life, Linda Mae, by his side.

Steve was born in Chicago on December 28, 1944 in the elevator at the hospital.

He left Chicago and moved to Seattle in 1968. Steve began his 40-year career in the natural gas industry in 1969 at the Washington Natural Gas Company, later to become Puget Sound Energy. The last 9 years of his career were spent at Pilchuck, a gas service provider.

Steve was an easy-going, very likable man, always quick with a clever quip, or a smart remark. His sense of humor could defuse many a situation. He never realized how many friends he really had.

Although a devoted Seahawks and Mariners fan, he never masked his love for the Chicago Blackhawks, and was an avid Chicago Cubs fan. When asked about the Cubbies, he used to say “someone’s gotta love ‘em.” He followed up his Cubs devotion with a bright blue and red tattoo on his arm of their logo. Watching hockey was a favorite pastime, and he always enjoyed golfing, and took more than a few golfing road trips.

But the true loves of his life were his family. And it was an extensive one, spread from coast to coast.

Steve is survived by wife and best friend of 34 years, Linda; his daughters, Jennifer (Johnson) and her husband Mike, Amanda (Mason) and her husband Doug, and son Spencer and his wife Jessica (Sutyla), as well as 7 grandchildren.

He leaves behind his siblings, brother Mike and sister-in-law Judy, sister Mary Pat (Arostegui) and brother-in-law Vince, brother Mark, brother John and sister-in-law Connie, sister Maureen (Carlson) and brother-in-law Mark, and brother Matthew and sister-in-law April (Cody). Stephen also leaves many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Steve was preceded in death by his parents, John and Patricia, and his oldest brother, Jerry, in 2014.

A Celebration of Life will be held in West Seattle on Saturday, July 25th, from 12 – 3 p.m. at 6040 California Ave SW.

Please come, share your condolences, share a story, share your favorite Steve(ism), and share a laugh.

If we could all be as nice to people as Big Steve was, the world would be a better place.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Showery Tuesday edition

July 21, 2015 7:22 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:22 AM: It’s raining for the first time in a long time, so be careful out there. That’s the big commute news so far this morning.

7:29 AM: Via Twitter, Liz says traffic’s backed all the way up the hill on Fauntleroy. We’re not seeing any reports of an incident or stall, so might just be the rain.

8:28 AM: If you head toward Top Hat, Boulevard Park, and beyond to Burien for work/shopping/etc., be aware of a power outage involving almost 8,000 homes and businesses – shown on the Seattle City Light map here.

8:52 AM: Trouble on the ramp from the eastbound bridge to southbound I-5: