West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Voting begins this week in the general election, with three major open seats in our area – Seattle City Council District 1, King County Council District 8, and Seattle School Board District 6.
At its monthly lunch meeting this past Thursday, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce hosted two half-hour mini-forums with the candidates in two of those races. We’ve already published our coverage of the Q&A with the County Council candidates (see it here). Here’s what happened when City Council D-1 candidates Maren Costa and Rob Saka shared the stage to answer questions asked by local journalist/broadcaster, and Chamber board member, Brian Callanan. (The Chamber’s new executive director Rachel Porter made it clear first that the organization does not endorse candidates and was presenting this as an opportunity “for our business leaders to hear from those who wish to represent us.)
Below are brief summaries of the questions and responses; as with our usual coverage format for events like this, these are paraphrases except for any words/phrases inside quotation marks.
10:06 PM: SFD has sent several crews to Westwood Village for what’s reported as an “exterior fire” at the Target loading dock They’re checking to see if it’s having any effects inside the store.
10:31 PM: This did not turn out to be major and two of the four units were dismissed quickly, with only one still on the scene, We’ll follow up with SFD.
ADDED: Here’s what SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo told us: “Crews responded to a rubbish fire outside of a retail strip mall. A bystander was able to knock down the fire with an extinguisher, then our firefighters fully extinguished it. The fire did not extend to any nearby buildings, and no injuries were reported.”
Rite Aid announced tonight that – as long expected – it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Its announcement says it’s arranged for $3.4 billion in financing, but expects to close “additional underperforming stores.” Rite Aid has two stores in West Seattle – California SW south of The Junction, and Westwood Village – and the company owns Bartell Drugs, which has two West Seattle stores, in Admiral and The Junction. As first reported here, the Bartell store in White Center was closed just two weeks ago. The announcement does not list stores planned for closure, and this “fact sheet” says, “While we do not yet know which stores will be closed, we will keep you informed as decisions are made.” No timeline is listed for those decisions. Meantime, if you’re interested in legal documents, a sheaf of them related to today’s filing can be found here. They include “first-day motions” on which a hearing will be held tomorrow before a federal bankruptcy judge in New Jersey, where the case was filed.
Thanks to the texter who tipped us about this today. The owners of West Seattle’s most-visible vacant house – 3804 23rd SW, along the Delridge onramp to the West Seattle Bridge – are under an “emergency order” to seal it up by tomorrow morning. The texter noted this order tacked up at the property:
It orders the building to be “closed” by 8 am tomorrow. We went by late today and didn’t see any sign of work to do that. We’ve mentioned this house many times over the years, most recently half a year ago, when we discovered a plan to remodel it. That plan does not appear to have advanced past pre-application stage so far. Meantime, the violation that has led to the “emergency order” to seal the house by tomorrow is related to at least four prior violations of the city’s Vacant Building Standards. Here’s the full notice; it says that if the owner doesn’t comply by the deadline, they can be fined up to $1,000 a day, and: “the [Department of Construction and Inspections] Director may take corrective action and recover the costs of that action (and) the City may file a lawsuit against you to collect the penalties and costs.” We’ll watch to see if anything comes of it; the house has been a problem spot for many years, even called out on a community-organized tour of problem properties in 2009, with city councilmembers and department heads in attendance.
Thanks to Jerry Simmons for contributing tonight’s featured Halloween-decorations photo. Somewhere in West Seattle, the spirit of the soothing-voiced TV painter Bob Ross is haunting a garage door! (Got a display to suggest, yours or someone else’s? We’ll be featuring at least one nightly through Halloween. email@example.com is the best way to let us know – and thanks to everyone who’s already sent suggestions!)
2:14 PM: The Fauntleroy Fall Festival is on! You have until 5 pm to get to the 9100 block of California SW for free festival fun at venues on both sides of the street – the activity list and schedule can be seen here. (And if you’re worried about the weather – many of the events/activities are under a canopy or indoors.)
2:43 PM: Bunny visits are immensely popular. Here’s the line:
That’s happening behind the schoolhouse, where you’ll also find pumpkin bowling:
And music – the Brews Brothers are playing until 3:
Walking from that area toward the schoolhouse, you’ll find West Seattle photographer Holli Margell‘s decorated photo booth:
One change in plan – no birds; The Falconer had to cancel because of illness.
3:30 PM: Before the cakewqlk (video above), the cake judging – Josie and her Dia De Muertos cake won big:
(added) Kathryn sent the next photo – explaining, “Cora was so excited to win the beginners category with her first cake!”
Heading outside, to the Fauntleroy Church parking lot, a variety of festival classics – like pumpkin-decorating:
Little ones can make salmon hats to wear to the salmon-drumming event one week from today:
Or get up and take a look inside Seattle Fire Engine 37 (nearest one to Fauntleroy):
Along with activities, you’ll also find booths with local organizations, including the Fauntleroy Community Association:
And the Emergency Communication Hubs (a good thing to get up to speed on – it’s just been a week since that North Sound earthquake shook some here, and the statewide earthquake drill is ahead this Thursday):
And as we’ve been noting in previews, this is volunteer-powered, including the crossing guards helping people get safely between the venues:
The rain has remained light, but again, there’s plenty to do indoors too – the West Seattle Big Band, directed by Jim Edwards, has just started its set inside The Hall at Fauntleroy on the schoolhouse’s south end!
Festival’s only half-over – still time to get here and have fun until 5.
7 PM: Adding more photos and video above. The festivities were best summarized by someone we passed while there, remarking to someone she was with, “This is a delightful fall festival!”
Opponents of Seattle Parks‘ plan to convert former Lincoln Park tennis courts into six pickleball courts gathered today for what you might call a pre-protest. 16 people met up by the park’s main lot, some with signs, before standing along Fauntleroy Way to wave them.
They were strategizing for what they hope will be a sizable protest at the park at 11 am next Saturday (October 21st). They say they’re not opposed to pickleball, just opposed to this location for courts. Their flyers to publicize the upcoming protest are headlined “We Love Pickleball! But Not at the Expense of Seattle’s Biodiversity and Human Respite.”
The biodiversity reference is in relation to birds in the park, who court-conversion opponents fear will be chased away by the loudness of pickleball and by court lighting (which may or may not be installed following the conversion, Parks has told us). Opposition organizer Kersti Muul says she has an appointment to meet with the City Attorney’s Office to discuss her contention that the court conversion is not exempt from State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review; the city says it is because pickleball is not a change in use from the site’s previous status as tennis courts. This is a photo texted by a reader, showing Parks already has cleared the ex-courts of materials that had been stored there:
The conversion plan announced a month ago surprised people because local pickleball players were expecting Parks to make good on a promise to add pickleball striping to three of the six tennis courts at nearby Solstice Park when it’s resurfaced (which was supposed to have happened by now but is on hold until next year because of weather, Parks told us). Parks says it scrapped Solstice striping and came up with the Lincoln Park plan because both tennis and pickleball players preferred separate facilities.
Earlier this week, at the on-site meeting about the West Seattle Junction “landbanked” park site, we asked about its counterpart in Morgan Junction – the future “addition” site to expand the existing park north of Beveridge Place Pub. Parks’ Kelly Goold, who was at the Tuesday Junction pop-up, also happens to be point person on the Morgan project. He said the next step at that site remains the soil remediation (cleanup) required because a dry cleaner used to be on the site. Newest timeline for that, possibly next spring – he says they’re still struggling through the permit process. The design for that park, unlike the one in The Junction, is expected to evolve beyond its original plan, because of the community interest in adding a skateable area, sparked when community members turned the long-idle site into an unofficial skatepark next year. For a more-detailed update on where the site stands, attend this Wednesday’s Morgan Community Association meeting, 7 pm October 18, online – this is part of what’s on the agenda.
In 15 years of publishing the only all-West Seattle lost/found-pets webpage, we’ve heard a lot of stories about how pets find their way home. This week, we heard from Shelley, whose cat is home four months after vanishing, and her story carries a reminder for everyone who shares their life with one or more pets:
Almost four months ago we placed a Lost and Found notice in the West Seattle Blog for our kitty, who went missing on June 19th.
The good news is, a kind man named Dale brought her into West Seattle Animal Hospital in Jefferson Square and Dr. Quincy examined her and found she was chipped. A big thank you to the West Seattle Animal Hospital and especially to a West Seattle resident named “Dale” for bringing Natasha back to us. Surprisingly she doesn’t seem to remember us, but I’m sure we can love her back to the way things used to be.
We asked Shelley how Dale had found Natasha: “She had been living near the Sunset area behind his house down in the wooded area, and she would come up and eat his cat’s food. He fell in love with her and thought she was one brave, beautiful kitty, but his own cat was crabby with her. he is an elderly man and so kind to try to catch her and bring her in to the vet to get her checked out.” So the reminder is – be sure your pet is chipped! And be sure the chip information is up to date – we heard recently from another reader who got her dog back because the finders posted here, but might have had a faster reunion if the chip info had been updated – they’d moved over the years.
Here’s what’s happening as the weekend continues!
NO WATER TAXI: The West Seattle Water Taxi is out of service this weekend for maintenance going into the fall/winter seasons.
WESTIES RUN CLUB: Now they’re running on Sunday mornings too – meet at 9 am at Dough Joy Donuts (4310 SW Oregon).
SOUTHWEST ARTIST SHOWCASE: Community art on display at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW), open 10 am-6 pm.
WEST SEATTLE SKI SWAP, DAY 2: Skis, snowboards, boots, gloves – get everything you need to start preparing for the winter-sports season at this big community sale!
It’s presented by Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor), happening 10 am-4 pm at the VFW Hall (3601 SW Alaska).
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, the market is open as usual between SW Alaska and SW Oregon on California, offering fall fruit and vegetables as well as flowers, cheese, fish, meat, baked goods, condiments, fresh-cooked food, beverages (from cider to kombucha to beer/wine), nuts, more. Here’s today’s vendor list.
CHALLAH FOR ISRAEL: Torah Learning Center of West Seattle is demonstrating challah braiding at the Farmers’ Market today, 10 am-2 pm.
ART-GLASS PUMPKIN PATCH: Seasonal specialties at Avalon Glassworks (2914 SW Avalon Way), noon-4 pm.
FAUNTLEROY FALL FESTIVAL: Everything you can see and do during this free 2-5 pm celebration is listed in our most-recent preview, which includes the map of the festival grounds on both sides of the 9100 block of California SW. To list some of what’s happening – see birds and bunnies, decorate pumpkins, make a salmon hat, play and climb on inflatables, listen to live music, judge decorated cakes and win them during an old-fashioned cakewalk! (And remember that if you’re entering/donating a cake, drop it off at The Hall at Fauntleroy by noon.)
SEATTLE BRIDAL RACK GRAND OPENING: 2-4 pm, you’re invited to the grand-opening celebration at this new shop in North Admiral, as previewed here. (4304 SW Walker)
COFFEEHOUSE ART: Jennifer Carrasco leads figure painting/drawing at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 6-9 pm. Contact her to sign up.
EARLY HALLOWEEN PARTY: All invited, 6:30-8 pm at Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill):
HALLOWEEN BINGO, PIZZA, AND COSTUME PARTY!
FREE! Great costume and Bingo prizes! Community warmly welcomed!
Grand Prize: 3 nights in Scenic Leavenworth!
Something for our calendar – one-time or recurring? Email us the info – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Just received the report and photo from Lisa:
Stolen from West Seattle – police report #23-298094
1998 Nissan Sentra XE
Washington license plate: BVA9630