West Seattle, Washington
6:58 AM: Good morning. So far, no incidents or alerts in our area.
STADIUM ZONE: Mariners host the Angels, 7:10 pm, so the West Seattle Water Taxi runs late tonight.
A statewide award was a highlight of Wednesday night’s Chief Sealth International High School spring-sports banquet. Above, football standout Dontae McMillan received the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association‘s True Spirit Award, created three years ago in honor of an Eastern Washington student-athlete named Jace Malek. At Dontae’s left is Sealth athletic director Ernest Policarpio; at his right is Pat McCarthy, WIAA executive board president, and on the other side of the photo, WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese. Dontae is headed to Weber State in the fall. Also college-bound, a Sealth student-athlete whose signing was celebrated at the banquet:
Basketball player Nohea Morrison is headed to Missouri Valley College. Other awards included Seahawk honors for:
Benie Bahati, girls’ track
Dontae McMillan, boys’ track
Sabrina Burgess-Garrett, fastpitch softball
Jake Webster, boys’ soccer
Shelzy Juta, tennis
Thang Huynh, baseball
Plus recognition of:
2019 Metro Baseball 1st Team All-League Catcher Jesse Brown
2019 Metro Baseball 2nd Team All-League Pitcher Nestor German
And a very special coach was also among the night’s honorees:
At right with AD Policarpio is Sealth soccer coach Ron Johnson, retiring after 25 years at the school. Congratulations to all!
12:09 AM: Police have closed a block of Delridge Way SW, near the precinct at Webster, while they investigate a crash. We don’t have details but radio communication describes the crash as at 21st/Delridge and has also resulted in a closure of the switchback hillside road between there and 20th/Holden.
12:59 AM: The closure is going to last a while, as the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad has detectives at the scene.
That downtown baseball team breaking your heart? The Highline Bears (WSB sponsor) are ready to win you over.
The summer collegiate-baseball team has 24 home games at Mel Olson Stadium in nearby Steve Cox Memorial Park this season, starting Saturday night, and they’re hoping to open the season with their first-ever sellout. From the team’s announcement:
The Bears aren’t just your normal baseball game; they make sure that every person who enters the ballpark has a night they will never forget. From the music over the PA system, between-inning contests, give-aways, games, and races, the Bears take a baseball game and turn it into a circus. The first batter of the Bears season will actually be a fan (18 or older) who is chosen at random through a raffle before the game. The Bears will have a fan batter of the night two times a month during non- league games.
Don’t forget to save your appetite for the ballpark as the Bears concession stand provides some of the best value you’ll find at a baseball game. With affordable prices, the concession stand offers all beef 1⁄4 lb hot dogs, Seattle Dogs, Ivar’s Clam Chowder, loaded baked potatoes, pulled-pork sandwiches, loaded nachos, and even a pulled-pork sundae.
The Highline Bears are giving-a-way magnet schedules to the first 250 fans through the gates just like the Mariners do. The unofficial Mayor of White Center will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and Shorewood Elementary choir will be singing the national anthem.
Adult tickets are $8 or $5, youth/seniors $5, kids 8 and under free with a paying adult. You can get yours in advance of your trip to the ballpark (1321 SW 102nd) for Saturday’s 7:10 pm game vs. the Laces – the highest ticket price at $8 for adults, youth and seniors are $5 and kids 8 and under are always free with a paying adult. Just go here!
Two students from our area will continue their college studies next school year with extra assistance from a local organization. Here’s the announcement:
The Seattle Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has awarded college scholarships of more than $5,000 each to two West Seattle students.
Kelli Youngs graduated from West Seattle High School in 2018 and will graduate from South Seattle College in June. She plans to major in Political Science/Pre-Law at Western Washington University.
Anna Nguyen will graduate from Chief Sealth International High School and South Seattle College in June. She will be attending UW-Seattle in the fall, studying public health and eventually pursuing a career in health administration.
The mission of AAUW is to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy.
Find out more about the organization here.
Exactly one year after we first reported that The Habit Burger Grill would take over the ex-KFC at 3501 SW Avalon Way, the full grand-opening plan has just been announced. Last week we had word that it would be open by June 2, as the West Seattle Food Bank announced it would benefit from sales during part of that day; now, a news release reveals the rest of the plan:
Free Burger Day – Saturday, June 1, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5 – 7 p.m.
Get a pre-opening sneak peek of the newest location and enjoy a free 100 percent fresh ground beef, chargrilled burger that is made-to-order, plus French fries and a regular beverage. Offer is limited to the first 200 people.
Fundraising Event with West Seattle High School’s Varsity Volleyball Team – Sunday, June 2, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The West Seattle High School’s varsity volleyball team, coached by Abby West, is made up of a variety of high school students, ranging all grades. Money raised during their Habit Burger Grill fundraising event will be used for equipment and uniforms for the team to utilize during the upcoming season.
Fundraising Event with West Seattle Food Bank – Sunday, June 2, 5 – 7 p.m.
The West Seattle Food Bank is committed to providing food security and community connections to its neighbors in need. It envisions a strong and connected community in which all people have access to safe and nutritious food and the essential necessities of living.
Free Habit Day – Monday, June 3, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The first 200 guests in line will receive a delicious chargrilled meal from one of our preset menus.
During the fundraiser events, the specified beneficiary gets 100 percent of the sale proceeds. Next Wednesday, June 5th, is the official grand-opening date. Also from the news release:
The Habit Burger Grill currently operates more than 250 restaurants across 12 states, coast to coast, and welcomes the newest 1,933 sq. ft. West Seattle location, which seats 24 guests. The restaurant is the eighth of the Washington franchise, with several additional locations set to roll out across the state before 2020.
The Habit Burger Grill West Seattle dining room is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the drive-thru is open from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday – Saturday. On Sundays the dining room and drive-thru are open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
P.S. As a followup, we asked the company’s spokespeople if the above-specified windows were the only times the restaurant will be open on those pre-grand-opening dates. Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: If they hit 200 giveaways on the “free” dates before the two-hour windows are over, that’s the end for that day. And they will be closed June 4th, getting ready for the official June 5th opening.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Though its marquee name involves a bus route, the RapidRide H Line conversion starts with a big road project that will affect everyone who uses the street: Repaving and reconfiguration for much of Delridge Way SW.
Tomorrow (Thursday) night you’re invited to see the updates and ask questions during an SDOT/Metro open house (5-7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW). But rather than try to absorb it all at the drop-in event, you can preview it all right now. We went to SDOT HQ downtown to talk to project leaders, who have also provided the full plans you’ll see rolled out at the open house:
That’s the plan for Delridge reconfiguration, block by block. Below, the plan for paving, so you can see which sections are getting a full rebuild and which are getting a new top layer:
Ahead, what else you should know before the open house – including what community feedback’s been incorporated and what has not:
Vacant buildings have long been a concern – that photo above is from a neighborhood-organized tour in Delridge 10 years ago, and you’ll probably recognize that decades-vacant building from its prominent site on the street’s north end. If there are vacant buildings near you, you might be interested in this city Department of Construction and Inspections reminder that city rules for monitoring vacant buildings are about to change:
New processes for inspection of vacant buildings take effect on June 1, 2019. The changes add a wider range of properties to the City’s Vacant Building Monitoring program, including all properties with active development proposals containing a vacant building. The frequency of inspections will increase from once a quarter to once a month. We estimate that this will add approximately 1,200 new properties to the program this year and can reduce the risk of vacant buildings becoming a blight on the community. In the past, SDCI monitored around 100 properties each year with consistent vacant building violations.
In 2016 and 2017, we experienced a dramatic increase in complaints about vacant buildings including unauthorized entry, accumulation of junk around structures, and public safety issues such as fires, rodent infestations, and criminal activity. Legislation passed in 2017 imposed stricter maintenance standards and removed some regulatory barriers for demolishing vacant buildings.
During 2018 and early 2019, we provided City Council with information about how other cities monitor vacant buildings and what challenges we might face in expanding the monitoring program. As part of the budget process in November 2018, the city adopted Council Bill 119407, which made significant changes to our Vacant Building Monitoring program. Council Bill 119497, signed in April 2019, refined the proposal to help us manage the dramatic increase in the frequency of inspections and number of buildings to be monitored under the program changes.
The new legislation also raised the vacant building monitoring fees by three percent. Fees are charged in three levels:
Vacant but no violations: $261.40
Vacant with violations but not open to entry: $435
Vacant and open to entry: $521.75
To accommodate the increased number of inspections required by the monitoring program, we hired three new inspectors. Our case tracking software was also updated to accommodate enrollment, tracking, and billing for this expanded version of the monitoring program.
Starting June 1, properties in development that include a vacant building will be enrolled in the program during the permit application process. They will be inspected at least three times under the program. If inspectors find no violations, the owners will be charged at the lowest monitoring fee rate. Properties must have no violations for three consecutive monthly inspections in order to be removed from the program.
We encourage owners to explore ways to keep buildings occupied during the permitting process. This extends the use of existing housing and maintains a better property condition for the community. Strategies might include working with non-profits to place caretakers on the property or, for commercial properties, coordinating with the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture to house an art space.
Our complaint-based system to respond to vacant buildings is still available. Neighbors who see a vacant building that is not properly secured by the owner may call 206-615-0808 or visit our Seattle Services Portal to file a complaint.
Maintenance and security of vacant buildings continue to be the responsibility of the property owner. Vacant buildings unto themselves are not illegal but do require a consistent level of oversight and maintenance to discourage trespassing or other criminal activity.
One of the bills mentioned above was sponsored by District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, whose update on the vacant-building issue from last year includes a map of complaints in this area.
That 70-year-old duplex at 5051 Fauntleroy Way SW is planned to be replaced by a project described as “3 townhouses and 4 rowhouses (with) one parking spot available for each unit.” That’s according to the project’s new entry on the city’s Early Design Outreach website. No date posted yet for the community meeting that’s usually part of that program, but if you’re interested in the project/site and want to be sure you’re notified, the developer contact listed on the city site is email@example.com. The site plan on file with the city shows the four-unit rowhouse building fronting Fauntleroy, with the parking spaces to the west, and the three other units west of that.
Two updates on the murals in the West Seattle Junction:
Junction Association executive director Lora Radford sent that photo with word that the tagging damage done to that mural, “The Old Mud Hole” (south side of the 44th/Alaska lot), has been repaired by muralist Bob Henry. It still is in need of restoration, but the repair work is a band-aid, for now. Meantime, Radford adds, Henry starts work tomorrow on the next one to be restored, the West Seattle Ferries mural on the west side of the building at the southwest corner oF California and Alaska.
(WSB file photo)
Crowdfunding to cover the cost of restoration continues, and Radford says every bit helps – through June 30th, there’s a bonus for donations of $50 or more, inscribed mural-fundraiser keychains. Here’s where to donate.
The photos are from David Hutchinson, one of several people we heard from who wondered about the signage at Jack Block Park. Since the park is owned by the Port of Seattle, we asked port spokesperson Peter McGraw about the situation. He replied: “We believe a vessel hit and damaged the pier recently. We’re hoping to have the required permitting in the next few weeks, then begin repairs and have it back open as soon as possible after that.”
We asked if they’re trying to figure out which vessel did it. McGraw says, “It will be very difficult to ascertain who exactly was responsible, unless someone witnessed it, unfortunately.”
(Western Tanager, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Something of a quiet day/night on the calendar but a few things of note:
FRANKIE & JO’S OPENS: “Soft open” noon-11 pm today for the vegan-ice-cream pop-up on Alki. (2758 Alki SW)
BIG TOOTH: Soulful sounds at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
LOOK AHEAD … on our complete calendar.
The papered-over windows at Carmilia’s in The Junction (4528 California SW) have startled some passers-by, even though if you look up close, you’ll see this message:
Carmilia’s proprietor Linda Sabee provided the photos and tells WSB her boutique WILL reopen Thursday after its first “facelift” in almost 17 years: “Fresh paint, new furniture, fixtures, and rugs.”
6:58 AM: Good morning. No incidents or transit alerts in our area so far.
STADIUM ZONE: Mariners have a day game against the Rangers, 12:40 pm.
7:03 AM: Scanner mention of a crash involving a Metro Route 120 bus at/near Delridge/Elmgrove, but described as “non-blocking,” and there’s no accompanying SFD dispatch.
Thanks to Byron and Marty for the tips and photos. We’ve confirmed with Washington State Ferries what citywide media first reported: A helicopter search in Elliott Bay followed a ferry apparently striking a whale. A WSF spokesperson tells us it happened just a few minutes after the M/V Wenatchee’s departure from downtown, bound for Bainbridge Island. Passengers saw what they believed was a gray whale surface just a few feet from the bow – too close for the ferry to avoid hitting it. The spokesperson says as far as she knows, no one felt the collision – the witnesses got word to the crew. The ferry continued on to Bainbridge Island; the U.S. Coast Guard searched for the whale, which wasn’t seen again:
The WSF spokesperson says the USCG thinks it might have spotted something near Pier 66 but darkness has complicated the search. No whales – gray or otherwise – had been reported in the area earlier, so that’s made this a bit of a mystery. WSF has, meantime, also notified NOAA.
It’s gardening season. And … gardening-related-theft season. Two reader reports:
STOLEN SOIL: Sue e-mailed to report, “Someone stole 2 large, Costco bags of soil from the alley behind us. They were right next to our garage. If you have them, please bring them back. If someone shows up near you with them, please let me know.” This was in the west Admiral area. Blue bags with the Costco logo.
PILFERED PLANT (AND MORE): John sent these clips recorded last week in the 7700 block of Delridge Way SW. First – a pot of flowers:
Then, something bigger:
Got something for Crime Watch? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Breaking news: text or call 206-293-6302
If you haven’t seen The West Seattle Turkey in person yet (we haven’t!), these photos sent by Monica Zaborac just might be your clearest view yet. So, for all The Turkey’s fans, we are publishing these pronto:
Monica explained, “The Turkey was spotted hanging around 39th and Hanford. A dog got loose and started chasing it and it is the first time I have seen a turkey fly! He is still hanging around in that area. Also 2 houses away, a bunny rabbit.”
It’s been a month now since first word of The Turkey.
Mayor Jenny Durkan is visiting nearby South Park for a town-hall-style meeting this Thursday, around 6:20 pm after a pop-up city resource fair starting around 5:45 pm. The event set for the South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave. S.) was just announced today, according to South Park reps at tonight’s District 1 Community Network meeting in West Seattle. The announcement says the departments to be represented include Finance and Administrative Services, Office of Economic Development, Seattle Police Department, Parks and Recreation, Human Services Department, Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Transportation, Seattle Public Utilities, Office of Planning and Community Development, Office of Housing, and Seattle Fire Department.
Though the sign outside Southwest Pool still says its closure was to end today, the sign in the lobby tells a different story: Two more weeks until a “partial reopening.” The pool’s liner is being replaced, part of a package of improvements that one contractor is making at Seattle Parks pools around the city. The pool website elaborates:
The pool’s opening is further delayed due to unforseen complications. Drop-in programming will resume Wed. June 12 and the full schedule for summer resumes on June 24. All remaining spring lessons are cancelled. Accounts will be credited for the missed lessons in the near future, and affected registrants will be contacted via email addresses on file. The Teen Life Center is OPEN.
Southwest Pool also has had other recent improvements, primarily for accessibility – some are in view outside:
Those included, Parks told us recently, “accessible upgrades to parking, building entry, bathrooms, locker rooms, kitchen, and other areas of the facility.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
A “neighborhood-y” taproom is what Locust Cider plans to bring to Alki.
We mentioned Friday that the Woodinville-headquartered company is the new tenant for the ex-Alki Urban Market space (2820 Alki SW). This morning, we talked by phone with co-founder Jason Spears to get details on the plan.
He and brother Patrick Spears founded Locust Cider just four years ago. They already have expanded to add taprooms in Ballard and Tacoma, plus Colorado and Texas, but “we’re actually a pretty small company,” Jason insists. “The taprooms we operate are all super-small, neighborhoody, and cider-irst, plus beer and wine.” (They brew the beer, too.)
They’re expecting to have about 50 seats in the Alki taproom, with something their others don’t have: A larger kitchen, so they can serve more food, rather than it being an “afterthought” as is more typical for taprooms. Jason says “cool things are in the works,” details to come, though he offers one: They plan to build on what they’ve been offering with a “really cool gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread,” which is used as the base for “a little hand pie” among other things.
They plan to open with 16 cider and beer taps (and a few by-the-glass wines) in a space that’s more like a coffee shop than a bar, he explains, “a little different” than the stereotypical taproom. Locust offers a cider/beer club for which you can buy a membership, he adds, called “The Swarm”; he says club members “turn into a family,” with everything from special events to an online discussion group. But even if you don’t sign up for that, “the vibe” at the taproom is meant to be a “casual place to hang out and build community.”
He hopes the Alki taproom will be open in July – “we’re not doing much construction, just a facelift inside, shouldn’t take too long.” Hours will be in the noon-9 pm vicinity.
And yes, children will be welcome. Jason is a dad himself. And one of his two kids is inspiration for something else that’s important to Locust Cider – “our cause,” as the company website describes it. His four-year-old daughter Lucy was born with hydrocephalus. Brain surgery is the only way to treat it – Lucy’s already been through it multiple times, as is typical for patients, and Locust raises money for research, through donating part of its proceeds, as well as a $25 donation from each Swarm membership.
Overall, Jason says Locust Cider’s goal is to “become part of the neighborhood, not a big destination place.” He says he’s well aware that West Seattle is “one of the tightest communities” around and he hopes the new taproom will enhance that.
As reported here multiple times last year, West Seattle-based Transitional Resources plans a new supportive-housing apartment complex in the 2800 block of SW Yancy. The next step: A community open house as part of the city Early Design Outreach program. Here’s the announcement from TR:
Transitional Resources (TR) has been delivering behavioral health services here in West Seattle since 1976. With our main office, small residential treatment facility, and two apartment developments located on SW Avalon Way, we have been a part of the local neighborhood for many years. TR is a licensed provider of behavioral health care services and supportive housing, offering a continuum of behavioral health treatment, housing, and vocational services to those who are most in need in our community. We are intentional in our small scale and high staff-to-client ratios. As a result, TR produces some of the best outcomes in King County.
Over the past year, we have been keeping the community apprised of our plans to redevelop three shared houses at 2811, 2821 and 2827/2829 SW Yancy St into small apartment buildings, providing studio apartments for people with behavioral-health needs who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. We are pleased to report that we have secured the necessary funding from the City of Seattle, King County, the State of Washington, Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, and are now proceeding with the next stage of design for the project.
As part of the City’s design review process, we are inviting interested stakeholders to an open house, where attendees can provide input to the design team from SMR Architects. Please join us:
Wednesday, June 5th from 6 pm – 7:30 pm
Avalon Place Community Room
2988 SW Avalon Way
All are welcome. No RSVP is necessary.
The Yancy Street project will be similar to our other permanent supportive-housing buildings on Avalon Way. Each of the 44 residents will have their own studio apartment facing an interior courtyard that includes a community living room and laundry room. Staff will be on site to offer support for the residents 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Additional support will be available at our drop-in center and behavioral health program offices ½ block away on Avalon Way.
We look forward to sharing more about our organization at our open house next week. We will continue to post project updates on our website at www.transitionalresources.org. I also invite you to contact me directly by phone at 206-883-2026 or via email at email@example.com.
ORIGINAL TUESDAY REPORT: Cool treats are a hot commodity in summertime, and this summer you’ll have another option on Alki. The plant-based (aka vegan) ice-cream purveyors Frankie & Jo’s are opening a “pop-up” shop in the ex-Sushi Samurai spot at 2758 Alki SW, starting with a soft-open day tomorrow (and official grand opening Thursday). From the announcement:
This pop-up shop is reminiscent of their other scoop shops with a few exceptions: tons of purchasable plant life provided by friends at Glasswing Greenhouse and an exciting photo booth provided by Hello There You that includes an incredible custom backdrop installation built by DISCO NAP. They will also have their pint cooler filled to the brim for neighborhood passersby that want to pop colorful pints into their f&j *hello sunshine* reusable cooler bags and stroll over to the beach for summer picnics.
And don’t fret! The shop will have all of their everyday flavors: brown sugar vanilla, chocolate date, salty caramel ash, gingered golden milk, mint brownie, beet rose sorbet, chocolate tahini supercookie, date shake, california cabin, as well as their three aggressively seasonal monthly flavors. They will continue to make their gluten-free maple vanilla waffle cones in house, and have activated charcoal caramel sauce, Moon Goo, and their vegan chocolate sauce, Dark Cocoa, to top the scoops.
They’re planning to be open through Labor Day, “with the potential of a long-term location in the future.”
ADDED WEDNESDAY: They’re open! A look inside:
Also note, as a commenter mentioned, they are not taking cash. It’s an experiment at this store only, they tell us.
12:38 PM: Four days after heading out, the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz is inbound again, just about to pass West Seattle on its trip back to Bremerton. Thanks to Benjamin for the tip!
1:14 PM: Photo added (thank you, Jim Borrow). The Nimitz is entering Rich Passage. (added) Another view – thanks to David Hutchinson:
According to the Kitsap Sun, the Nimitz was out on a training mission after maintenance.