West Seattle, Washington
Five weeks from tonight, you’ll likely have your ballot for the November election. The marquee local race is for State Senate in the 34th District, which includes West Seattle, White Center, Vashon and Maury Islands, and part of Burien. The two West Seattleites who finished the primary atop a field of 11 – Joe Nguyen and Shannon Braddock – went head to head last night at the monthly meeting of the 34th District Democrats, who endorsed both before the primary.
The format, billed as Lincoln-Douglas-style debating, meandered a bit, so you’re just going to have to watch. It started with a topic both tackled in the WSB interviews we published earlier this week (Braddock here, Nguyen here), taxes. Moderator Chris Porter also asked about gun laws and about the candidates’ respective 34th Districts-specific priorities, should they get sent to Olympia.
The debate had its moments. Before it was all over, each candidate had used the f-word once (no, it’s not bleeped out, we run event video unedited); and each had gotten in at least one direct dig at their opponent. Nguyen also complimented Braddock at one point for a “fantastic” answer to a particular question. If you missed this, there’ll be other opportunities to see the two side by side, including the October North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting and a date-TBA West Seattle Chamber of Commerce forum.
ALSO AT THE MEETING: A standing-room-only turnout had gathered by debate time. The 34th DDs voted to endorse three state initiatives – 940, 1631, and 1639 – plus the city Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Levy, though the latter was not without some pre-vote controversy, as Leslie Harris, the longtime local activist who currently leads the Seattle Public Schools Board, said Mayor Jenny Durkan had yet to respond to requests for information on whether any of that levy’s money would go to charter schools. … The 34th DDs also heard pitches for help with the November vote in swing areas outside the 34th.
Special delivery at Denny International Middle School this afternoon – school supplies from a donation drive involving dozens of businesses around the city, organized by PEMCO Insurance. Denny is one of six schools in the city – the only one in West Seattle – receiving supplies from the drive dubbed “Supply Surge.” The six were chosen to benefit because they have the district’s highest populations of students experiencing homelessness.
7:03 PM: Toast the end of summer by visiting the Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor) tasting room during tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk – not only can you have a glass of wine, you can also admire Debbie Bianchi‘s paintings. The tasting room will be open until 9 pm. You can also wander through The Junction, where WSAW venues include Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor):
Erik Railton is there, showing paintings. He describes his recent work as “based on nature being made into geometric shapes and colors.” Read more about it here.
9:04 PM: We made one more stop:
That’s Michelle Salazar with work from her show “Last Dance” at Wallflower Custom Framing (4735 42nd SW; WSB sponsor). If you missed getting out on the Art Walk tonight, you can still enjoy most of the displays all month long during participating venues‘ regular business hours!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As military equipment was unloaded at West Seattle’s Terminal 5 today, the long-underutilized dock’s future was discussed nearby.
One of the newest members of the Port of Seattle Commission, Ryan Calkins, was the guest speaker at the annual “State of the Port” lunch presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce at port-owned Jack Block Park.
He was introduced by the Chamber’s board chair, Pete Spalding of Verity Credit Union (WSB sponsor), extolling the attributes of the park (whose namesake, the West Seattle-residing former port commissioner, was in attendance).
Calkins described himself as a small-business owner – saying that he used to own a business in Georgetown, sold it before running, but still has an interest in a business in Wallingford. He acknowledged that West Seattle is in the heart of both the benefits and impacts of the port. His wide-ranging speech, followed by Q&A, touched a variety of topics, including T-5.
In case you haven’t peeked ahead to the weekend via the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – Saturday brings a big late-summer parade: This year’s Fiestas Patrias parade in South Park. The parade and festival afterward are presented by Sea Mar Community Health Centers, which explain:
Seattle Fiestas Patrias commemorates the independence of Latin American countries, many of which celebrate their national independence day in the month of September. Sea Mar Community Health Center festivals are held at both Seattle Center and the South Park neighborhood of Seattle to celebrate the Latino community living in the Pacific Northwest.
Fiestas Patrias is an expression of Latino culture: music, dance, food, folklore and many other traditions that have accumulated over the centuries. This is a fiesta to celebrate our history while taking pride in the new generations of Latinos that now call the United States home.
The parade starts at 11 am Saturday (September 15th), with Chief United States District Judge Ricardo Martinez as Grand Marshal. See the route here (PDF), leading from Sea Mar to the South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave. S.), where the community festival begins at 1 pm.
Though the fall quarter at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) doesn’t start until September 24th (one week from Monday), many of this year’s 13th Year Promise students are on campus today as part of their 3-day Summer Bridge orientation. Though the count isn’t final until classes start, the school tells us they have about 100 students enrolled in the 13th Year program for the coming year. This is the first time that West Seattle High School graduates have been eligible, joining their counterparts from three other schools including Chief Sealth International HS. Mayor Durkan wants to expand the program, to all of the Seattle Colleges, with all students from Seattle public high schools potentially eligible for two years of free college. Funding for this will be part of a levy on the November ballot.
Hoping to get some helpful eyes out for our white 1994 Toyota Corolla, license plate AEV0208, stolen overnight from the street near our home in the Roxhill neighborhood. We’ve notified police and would really like to find it – it’s got our toddler’s only car seat in back!
Call 911 if you see it.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Alki Homestead‘s neon sign is back atop the landmark log building by the beach.
Among those there to watch as Western Neon returned it this morning were Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive directors present and past, Jeff McCord and Clay Eals:
And the couple who just announced they will open the restaurant Il Nido at the Homestead, Chef Mike Easton and Victoria Easton:
The return of the sign – which Western Neon says it will illuminate tonight – is the latest milestone in the restoration of the former Fir Lodge since Dennis Schilling bought it in 2015. The sign came down in July 2016. SWSHS helped Schilling obtain a grant to partly fund the restoration.
Work to restore the building, which was operated as a restaurant until a fire did major damage almost 10 years ago, continues. After news that the Eastons would open a restaurant – sibling to their popular Il Corvo in Pioneer Square – we talked with him to get more details.
To be sure you’re clear, Schilling will continue to own the building – Il Nido will be its major tenant. Easton explains that he and his family have lived in West Seattle for three years, near Lincoln Park: “We are so happy to live there.” Ever since moving here, the Eastons have been looking for a WS location to open a restaurant. “There’s not a whole lot of commercial real estate [suitable for a restaurant] and whatever does come up is always sort of a handshake – none of the good spots never really hit the market. I had the good fortune of someone mentioning the Homestead was getting restored and would eventually be looking for a restaurant.”
So he found Schilling and introduced himself about a year ago, and the rest is history. It wasn’t an immediate click, though. “It initially seemed to be such a big project, just how much restoration needed to happen – I wrote it off as more than I wanted to do. But the building sort of has a haunting effect on you. Ever since the first time I looked at it, I was unable to stop thinking about doing a restaurant there.”
After meeting Schilling, Easton walked through the Homestead. “As striking as the outside was, the inside was what really struck me – the look and feel.” He’s seen some of the old photos “and the burned remnants.” As noted in the first coverage of his plan, the famous stone fireplace will be restored.
On to the restaurant itself. Since Il Corvo downtown – which has been open for seven years – is lunch only, and Il Nido will be dinner and brunch, he will be involved with both. But Il Corvo “needs less and less of my attention,” he says. “We have an incredibly good team,” led by Chef David Crutcher, and, says Easton, he primarily just checks in.
He’s looking forward to being able to do more and different things at Il Nido, since Il Corvo is so focused on chuning out “well over 300 bowls (of pasta) a day in four hours – we make almost 100 pounds of pasta every morning.” There are “handmade shapes” that he looks forward to making for dinner at Il Nido without having to hit the scale of Il Corvo; “we’ll be able to invest more” at the new restaurant, with a price point higher than Il Corvo’s “selling a bowl of pasta for just under 10 dollars … we can’t have an army of people making tortellini” at that rate.
Another difference: While Il Corvo has something different daily, Il Nido’s menu will change a little less often. As previously mentioned, seasonal produce will heavily factor into it.
In case you were wondering about parking – the lot adjacent to the Homestead will be available for the restaurant, Easton confirms; the SWSHS Log House Museum will continue to use it too, and since its hours are noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays, that’s mostly a non-overlapping time, but “we’ll negotiate how to share on the weekend” when Il Nido is open for brunch.
Now, it’s on with restoration and preparation, in hopes of a spring opening. We ask what’s left to do inside. “Everything!” laughs Easton. “It’s still quite a bit of a construction site. Dennis and his son Matt are doing an outstanding job on the restoration,” which includes bringing it up to all current codes – sprinklers are included.
“My wife and I are just very excited to take this on – she is a very big part of our business. I’m not the solo talent.” She handles “everything that isn’t cooking,” he adds.
As for him – this will be the next exciting development in a restaurant-industry career that goes back to his very first job at age 16. So Chef Easton brings a long history to a new venue in a building with history.
The transformation will be chronicled on Instagram at @ilnidoseattle.
ADDED THURSDAY NIGHT: The sign, lit!
(Our favorite bird! Steller’s Jay, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
What’s happening – and NOT happening – for the rest of your Thursday:
SEATTLE PARKS 1-DAY CLOSURES, + SOUTHWEST POOL 1-MONTH CLOSURE: Just a reminder, as previewed last week, today’s the day many Seattle Parks facilities are closed for staff training. And Southwest Pool starts a monthlong closure for work including accessibility upgrades.
ROBOTS, ROBOTS, ROBOTS: 4 pm at High Point Library, a fun and free Library Lab session! (3411 SW Raymond)
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Second Thursday of the month means it’s Art Walk night, 5 pm “until late”! Here’s the map/venue list:
Some participating venues have artists, some have food/drink specials for Art Walk-ers, some have both! Some of tonight’s spotlighted art and artists are featured in this preview on the official WSAW website, including WSB sponsors Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW, with Erik Railton tonight), Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW, with Debbie Bianchi tonight, and tasting fees waived for Art Walk-ers), and Wallflower Custom Framing (4735 42nd SW, with Michelle Salazar tonight).
SECOND THURSDAY OUT! LGBTQ community members and friends gather at the Senior Center of West Seattle starting at 6 pm. No registration – just show up! (4217 SW Oregon)
WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society/Seattle Public Library author series continues with Shirley Enebrad, 6 pm at Southwest Library:
Shirley Enebrad will talk about her book, “Six-Word Lessons for Surviving a Devastating Diagnosis: 100 Lessons to Help You Navigate a Healthcare Crisis,” which is a useful road map, of sorts, to the newly diagnosed patient and his or her family and friends to make their journey easier. The fewer surprises one has, the more confident and empowered one feels. Fear must be controlled as much as possible to help create a positive outcome. Six-Word Lessons for Surviving a Devastating Diagnosis offers practical tips to help calm fears, give hope, and to promote health and healing.
(9010 35th SW)
South Seattle College’s Aeronautical Technology department, including the Aviation Maintenance Technology degree program, will be holding an open house from 6-7 p.m. in TEC 127. Meet with Aeronautical Technology department staff and faculty, learn more about the application process and discover funding resources for college!
(6000 16th SW)
TALK/FIND OUT ABOUT SCHOOL LEVIES: Last major chance to comment/learn before the Seattle Public Schools Board finalizes the six-year BEX V levy that it will send to voters early next year along with the three-year Operations Levy. 6:30-8 pm at West Seattle High School – here’s our preview looking at which local projects are under consideration. (3000 California SW)
OPEN MIC, OPEN TO ALL: All genres welcome at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) for the monthly open-microphone event, 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
LOTS MORE ON THE LIST! See it all on West Seattle’s only comprehensive event calendar.
Two car-prowl reader reports, including one in which somebody else’s suitcase was left behind:
FROM DUSTIN: “We live on 9000 block of 8th Ave SW. Our car was prowled (this week). Our neighbors car was prowled 2 nights (earlier). Both vehicles were unlocked. Shortly after I opened our recycle can this morning I found a Samsonite suitcase full of women’s clothes. (Presumably from the culprits who were in our vehicle). I wanted to see if someone else was robbed of these items to get them back to the proper owner. I filed a police report, but they did not want the suitcase and clothes.” (If these might be yours, contact us and we’ll connect you.)
FROM ALICE: “Just want to report a car prowl that likely happened between 11:45 pm on 9/12 and 8 am on 9/13. This happened near the intersection of California Ave SW and Bradford St SW. My car was parked on Bradford adjacent to Belli Capelli. My car door and trunk were ajar this morning. They stole a bachelorette gift, rollerblades, and sunglasses.”
7:06 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far.
HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE REMINDER: WSDOT now plans to start the SB 99 closure (between the Battery St. Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge) at 11:59 pm Friday night and end it at 11:59 pm Sunday.
8:10 AM: WSDOT reiterates that the SB 99 closure is still on but a lot of work it planned on other routes is off, including the ramp/lane closures on NB I-5.