day : 03/01/2017 9 results

YOU CAN HELP: Support outdoor education for Highland Park Elementary 5th graders

Outdoor education at IslandWood is a tradition for many local students – but some need help to get there. A Highland Park Elementary teacher asked us to share this request with you:

IslandWood is just around the corner for our fabulous fifth graders, but we are in real need of funding this year! I’ve created a GoFundMe to subsidize the cost for students, but we need help raising the money. Please consider donating and/or sending the link out to your networks. Every dollar matters!

Here’s the GoFundMe link you can use to help.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 1 car stolen, 2 prowled

Another auto theft in North Admiral – Heather says it’s one of three crimes overnight near California SW and SW Hill:

This morning 2 cars in a apartment parking lot were ransacked. Nothing of value was stolen (that I’m aware of. I only know what was taken out of my car).

My boyfriend’s 1997 Honda Accord [photo above] was also stolen from the side street (Hill St). License #AGV3163.

If you see it, call 911.

HALA REZONING: 3 more meetings planned in West Seattle

January 3, 2017 5:37 pm
|    Comments Off on HALA REZONING: 3 more meetings planned in West Seattle
 |   Development | West Seattle housing | West Seattle news

It might take until next year before the City Council finalizes a rezoning plan for the Mandatory Housing Affordability component of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda. That’s what Councilmember Lisa Herbold told us during an interview about her first year in office (full story on that here tomorrow). Meantime, her office has confirmed that three more “community design workshops” are planned in West Seattle in connection with the rezoning proposals. We’re sharing the dates so you can at least set your calendar:

*For Morgan Junction – January 23rd, 6-9 pm, Gatewood Elementary (4320 SW Myrtle)

*For West Seattle Junction – January 26th, 6-9 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon; final location confirmation pending)

*For Admiral – February 11th, 9:30 am-12:30 pm, West Seattle High School (3000 California SW)

The fourth “urban village” in West Seattle, Westwood-Highland Park, had a workshop in November.

The workshops are organized by the office of Councilmember Rob Johnson, who chairs the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee, which is the lead on consideration of HALA-related items. Here’s how his office explains the design workshops:

The goal of this workshop is to help inform City Council about your community’s vision of how our Urban Villages should look, feel, and function in support of important citywide goals for increased affordability, design quality, and housing options in neighborhoods throughout the city.

We welcome a lively interchange of ideas and opinions on the recently proposed zoning changes for your neighborhood, including where the boundary for urban villages should be drawn, what mix of zones best support the context and conditions of local areas, and how to encourage more housing options and elements of livability (including neighborhood amenities such as frequent and reliable transit, community-serving businesses, parks and schools). Our goal is to increase choices for more people of all incomes to benefit from working and living in urban villages across the city. More information on other methods to provide input one the proposed draft urban village boundary, draft zoning changes, and building types can be found at

We look forward to hearing from you. To RSVP, please e-mail Spencer.Williams@Seattle.Gov or call (206) 384-2709. Please inform us at that time if you require accommodations for accessibility or interpretation services.

While the rezoning proposals are mostly focused on the “urban villages” around the city, they also involve multifamily/commercial property everywhere. Check this citywide map to see if/how your neighborhood would change under the current draft proposals, for which the city is still taking comment at and via this website.

P.S. If you are just catching up on all this – our coverage of a neighbors-helping-neighbors briefing a little over a month ago will probably be helpful. It includes all four West Seattle urban villages’ draft maps, with current and proposed zoning.

West Seattle restaurants: Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery closes after less than 6 months


FIRST REPORT, 2:46 PM: It was only the middle of last summer – mid-July – when Shelby Varden and his parents cut the ribbon to officially open Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery at 4752 California SW in The Junction. Less than six months later, a sign on the door today announces that Shelby’s is closed. After a reader tip (thanks to Jason), we just went over but couldn’t find anyone there to speak with; nothing about the closure is on any of Shelby’s online channels yet. We’ve also left voice and e-mail messages, and will add anything more that we find out.

The corner spot has undergone a lot of turnover in the past decade. We had first reported on the plan for Shelby’s last April. That was five months after Westside Public House abruptly closed following a year in operation, preceded by three years of A Terrible Beauty, and before that, less than a year for Table 35 and less than two years for Ama Ama. Before that, Ovio Bistro had been in the space for almost five years.

ADDED 3:18 PM: We just received this news release:

Today, Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery regretfully announced they will be closing effective immediately. Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery, commonly referred to as “Shelby’s”, was opened by Shelby Varden on July 19, 2016 in the West Seattle Junction at 4752 California Ave SW. Shelby’s was a full-service sit down restaurant serving appetizers, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, entrees, and ice cream. Shelby’s patrons dined at the restaurant for the delicious food, cleanliness, friendly staff, and happy “feel good” environment. Many guests said it was a place that made them smile despite whatever else was going on in their lives.

In a statement provided by Shelby, he stated, “While we had some of the normal mishaps any new restaurant experiences, I am exceptionally proud of our achievements and the experiences we were able to provide our guests. We were recently recognized by the 2016 King5 Evening Best of Western Washington as the #1 Best New Restaurant in Seattle (#3 in Western Washington) and #5 Best Kids’ Menu in Western Washington. In addition, we received an average of a four star rating or above on all social media review platforms and had a loyal following of regular guests. I am especially proud of my incredible staff and thank them for all of their hard work, support and dedication.”

Shelby concluded by adding, “I would like to thank West Seattle and all of our guests for their patronage and fond memories. My staff and I will miss you! The restaurant’s controllable costs were all good although other expenses out of my control and lower sales for such a large space resulted in this regrettable closure. Despite that, I want to focus on the successes, our community contributions and holiday celebrations, school Dine Outs, thanking our wonderful regulars, and celebrate the many wonderful memories we created for those who visited or worked at Shelby’s.”

UPDATE: Firefighters rescue dog, cat from South Admiral house fire

(UPDATED WEDNESDAY with suspected cause, damage estimate)

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)

1:30 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a “full response” to a possible house fire in the 3600 block of 42nd SW [map].

1:35 PM: SFD units have arrived and are assessing. They’re reporting “heavy smoke.”

1:44 PM: Our crew has just arrived. Also, per scanner, firefighters have rescued a dog from the house.


And if you see/hear a helicopter, it’s just a TV crew checking this out.


1:50 PM: SFD has declared the fire to be under control. Our crew at the scene tells us a cat also was rescued – photo added.


1:55 PM: SFD’s investigator has arrived to look into how this started. The people who live there were not home at the time but they have now arrived too, and SFD is starting to dismiss some of its units.

4:18 PM: No word yet on the cause.

WEDNESDAY, 11:29 AM: Here’s what SFD believes happened:

Fire Investigation Unit concluded that the fire was most likely caused by a natural gas-powered stove. The fire ignited surrounding combustibles and adjacent cabinets in the kitchen. The estimated damage and loss is $200,000.

UPDATE: West Seattle’s Terminal 5 to be almost-last stop for Matson’s Lurline


12:14 PM: The Port of Seattle says the long-idle Matson cargo ship Lurline will soon be at West Seattle’s Terminal 5 – as one of its last stops. The 1973-built, 826-foot roll-on-roll-off vessel has been laid up for years, currently at Terminal 25, and now it’s set to be scrapped. But first, port spokesperson Peter McGraw tells WSB, it’ll be towed to T-5 today. The Lurline will remain at T-5 several weeks, McGraw says, before it’s towed away to “a scrap yard in the Gulf.” We’ll update later when the ship shows up here.

1:20 PM: The Lurline has just arrived at T-5. Photo added above.

Highlights for 2017’s first West Seattle Tuesday


The early bird gets the … grass. Sea-growing grasses are the preferred food of brant, the shy migratory geese seen along West Seattle shores this time of year. Thanks to Mark Wangerin for the photo! Now, on to our daily preview for the first non-holiday weekday of 2017:

BABY STORY TIMES: 10:30 am brings these free story times to two local libraries: Southwest Library (35th SW/SW Henderson) and West Seattle Library (2306 42nd SW). Recommended for babies up to one year old.

EARLY DAYS: Speaking of babies … the Early Days drop-in support groups have two days/locations in 2017. Today – and every Tuesday – 1-3 pm, you’ll find Early Days at Nurturing Expressions (WSB sponsor) in The Junction – details in our calendar listing. (4746 44th SW)

TALK POLITICS: Drinking Liberally‘s monthly gathering is tonight, 6-7:30 pm at Pizzeria 22 in The Admiral District. (4213 SW College)

SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BUDGET GAP: Not in West Seattle, but not far, and the subject could affect every SPS-involved family in the district. 6:30 pm at Franklin High School, the third of three Seattle Council PTSA-sponsored community conversations about the district’s potential $74 million budget gap. What are YOUR priorities for the SPS budget, if cuts have to be made? Come hear and talk about it. (3013 S. Mt Baker Blvd.)

AND THERE’S MORE for today, tonight, and beyond, on our full calendar! (Something to add? Please send it as early as possible – at least a week before the event – with info in the body of your e-mail, not as an attachment – – thank you!)

RATS! City’s new requirement for demolition projects

Now that government offices have reopened, you’ll be hearing a lot about what’s new for 2017. We took a look at the city’s portal, and this one caught our eye, from the Department of Construction and Inspections website:

On January 1, 2017, the updated Seattle Building Code takes effect. The updated code requires all applicants to complete a rat eradication program as a condition to getting a demolition permit. Only projects that apply under the 2015 Seattle Building Code will be subject to this new requirement.

The rat eradication program must be in place on the project site at least 15 days prior to the start of any demolition or any clearing or grading on the site. Applicants must provide proof to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections that a licensed pest control agent successfully completed the eradication. You can find licensed pest control operators at the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s website. (Search for commercial applicators with a CA endorsement of PCO General within King County.)

We are updating our demolition permit process and accompanying forms. During this transition, applicants can submit a letter from a certified pest control agent that includes the planned eradication method and a statement that they will continue eradication until the demolition begins.

Also spotlighted by SDCI: Street-use permit-fee changes and new rules for tree-protection signage on construction sites,

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Post-holiday-season Tuesday

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:56 AM: Good morning! The holidays are over, school’s back in session, and it’s in the 20s this morning – watch out for ice, especially outside the major arterials; “Near- or sub-freezing temperatures will continue through Thursday,” the National Weather Service says. Traffic-wise, no incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.

THANK YOU: As we all get back up to speed for the still-new year, we want to thank you in advance for your help during what’s now our 10th year of community-collaborative news coverage via WSB … if you see traffic/transportation trouble that your West Seattle neighbors should know about and we’re not already on it, please let us know *if and when you can do so safely/legally* … if you’re a passenger, or when you get to where you’re going. (We monitor many infostreams but some things just don’t show up in any of them.)

7:39 AM: Via Twitter, @dneidorff reports seeing a C Line bus being towed from the Westwood area.

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