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Monday evening miscellany

-Following up on the process of choosing a new State House Representative for West Seattle (and the rest of the 34th District), now that the King County Council has formally appointed ex-Rep. Joe McDermott to the State Senate: The 34th District Democrats now have the date, time, and place set for their meeting to make a recommendation: 7 pm November 1st, Hall at Fauntleroy. That will be eight days after their candidates’ forum.

-For everyone who helped out with the Prudential NW Realty food drive at three local supermarkets a week ago, Bill Barna sent the final numbers and a big thank you: 2,575 pounds of food donated, $1,805 cash donated. By the way, you can donate to the West Seattle Food Bank online any time here.

-If you happened to see the tv story about public sex at Westcrest Park, you may be interested in the Slog take on it today. (Also, we received a note from a WSB reader who has written to the city about the Westcrest situation twice and hasn’t even received a reply.)

-Speaking of Slog, our favorite citywide news blog, we are honored to have finished right on its heels in a contest we didn’t know was happening till a reader wrote to tell us WSB was among the winners – the Evening Magazine Best of Western Washington “Best Local Blog” category. WSB is the only neighborhood site, and the only not-owned-by-a-bigger-media-business site, on the BoWW list (along with Slog, which is run by The Stranger, the other winners were a blog by the Seattle Times and Citizen Rain, which is a production of KING5.com). If you were among those who voted, THANKS!

Fauntleroy Church talks about possibly helping Tent City 3

This is a sensitive issue, obvious since we first heard about it Wednesday. Within the span of a few hours, we received several notes from WSB readers asking if we had heard a rumor about Tent City 3, the rotating-site church-sponsored homeless camp, possibly coming to Fauntleroy Church (UCC) later this year. Our first stage of research quickly turned up a mention on the church website, saying that it was under discussion. Knowing the movements of other Tent City camps have led to community concern and questions elsewhere around Western Washington, we decided to seek comment and context rather than just slapping something up here on WSB. We left messages Wednesday afternoon for leaders at Fauntleroy Church, and also contacted the Church Council of Greater Seattle. While the Church Council did respond to our queries and after some discussion ultimately decided to take an official “no comment” position, we still have not heard back from Fauntleroy Church. Yet this is clearly being talked about in the community — yet more local residents have contacted us to inquire; one has forwarded a letter that the church-based Little Pilgrim preschool has sent to its families; another has forwarded a letter that was sent to the church on behalf of concerned neighbors. So in hopes of helping calm rumors, we want to share what we have found out so far:Read More

Two Tuesday night notables

October 9, 2007 6:07 am
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 |   How to help | West Seattle people | West Seattle schools

JUNO MEETS AGAIN: If you live in or around The Junction, it’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of a great group — tonight’s the second meeting of JuNO (Junction Neighborhood Organization). They’re gathering at the Senior Center (Cali & Oregon) at 6:30. Click for the updated meeting agenda flyer.

DENNY/SEALTH CONSOLIDATED CAMPUS – WHERE’S IT AT? Find out from school district reps at tonight’s meeting in the Chief Sealth HS Little Theater (also 6:30). Will anything have changed from the intense schedule laid out at the summer meeting organized by the Westwood Neighborhood Council? Will the website mentioned on the district flyer be up and running any time soon? These and many other questions about this nine-digit project will hopefully be answered.

Several other noteworthy gatherings tonight too, including the Fauntleroy Community Association and Admiral Neighborhood Association; these and many more listings are always accessible on our ever-growing Events page.

Wet walkers, warm hearts

October 7, 2007 3:09 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle religion | West Seattle weather

Caught up with some of the Seattle CROP Walk’ers in the rain and the wind a little while ago just south of Alki Point. Hundreds of people from churches all over the area are braving the 3-mile Alki-area route today to raise money and awareness to fight hunger, locally (benefiting agencies include the West Seattle and White Center Food Banks) and worldwide.

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And two more late-breaking weekend haps

October 6, 2007 9:33 am
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 |   How to help | West Seattle religion

FOOD DRIVE TODAY: Bill Barna from Prudential NW Realty tells us the company’s collecting donations around West Seattle for its food drive today as part of Global Volunteer Day. You can drop off donations 10 am-2 pm at Metro Market, PCC, and Morgan Junction Thriftway, or throughout the weekend at boxes set up at both PNW offices (Jefferson Square, 3221 Cali). Bill adds, “The usuals are asked for: Canned: veggies, meats, soups, tomato sauce, chili, etc. Peanut butter, mac & cheese, pasta, rice, beans. Don’t forget items like: diapers, baby food, toilet paper, toothpaste, tooth brushes, soap, detergent. Of course, cash donations are always appreciated by the food banks.”

ALUMNI EVENT TOMORROW: It’s Alumni Sunday at Holy Rosary, for the grade school as well as the high school, with special honors for the Classes of ’57, ’67, ’77, ’87, and ’97, but the invitation is extended to alums from every year. They’ll be planning for future reunions as well as for HR’s Centennial in 2013. You can RSVP for the alumni gathering online.

West Seattle Weekend Lineup: First weekend of October

October 5, 2007 10:32 am
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 |   How to help | WS culture/arts | WS Weekend Lineup

You can check our new Events page any time to see what’s happening any day of the week (and thanks to everybody who’s sent us additions so far; keep ’em coming) but we’ll still bring you the West Seattle Weekend Lineup list every Friday morning too – with full weekend details (such as music acts at the major WS venues). Here’s this week’s edition; more than 30 items this time around:Read More

Happening later today & tonight

October 3, 2007 11:29 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | West Seattle housing | WS culture/arts

A few highlights from the Events page (additions welcome; let us know!):

4:30 PM: Celebration scheduled to mark the start of construction phase 2 @ High Point; park at West Seattle Elementary, event at 31st & Holly (hope the weather clears!)

6:30 PM: North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting @ Delridge Library

7:00 PM: Southwest District Council meeting @ South Seattle Community College

7:30 PM: Opening night @ ArtsWest for “Bat Boy” (through November 10th)

Not entirely nameless

October 2, 2007 6:09 am
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 |   How to help | West Seattle parks

The park-in-progress west of The Junction is already known, albeit unofficially, as Ercolini Park, so you might wonder if you read the second item here today (or saw the original city press release), what’s up with the “name search”? The neighbors whose time, toil, and $ have gone toward making the park a reality, Friends of Ercolini Park, plan to submit their own proposal before the November 1st deadline and are hopeful the final official result will honor the land’s previous owner, as does the park’s current unofficial name.

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Beverages with a mission

TONIGHT: A Drink for the Kids, a rolling-location fundraiser for the Vera Project, stops in West Seattle tonight, 6-10 pm @ West 5. Famous WS-residing participants promised: Mark Arm of Mudhoney and Dow Constantine of the KC Council. More on ADFTK here; more on Vera here.

LATER THIS MONTH: We mentioned Friday that the Gee situation had forced West Seattle Helpline to find someplace new for its Oct. 18th winetasting/auction event. The new location has now been revealed onlineTuxedo and Tennis Shoes Catering is hosting the event @ The Hall at Fauntleroy.

Next weekend on Alki: Think global, run/walk local

September 30, 2007 11:33 pm
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 |   How to help

In the final half-hour of this weekend, we look ahead to the next one … which will bring two events to Alki involving both exercise and fundraising/awareness-raising. Next Saturday, the first-ever One Race/One Village 5K run benefits the Agathos Foundation, a faith-rooted organization working to build farming communities to sustain children and elders left adrift by the AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa. (Registration, route, and time info here.) Next Sunday, churches from around the city are participating in the Seattle CROP Walk to help fight hunger globally and locally (according to this site, which includes contact info if you want to participate, part of the proceeds will benefit the West Seattle and White Center Food Banks). The CROP Walk will start at Alki Congregational UCC, which also is inviting everyone to its annual “Blessing of the Animals” service the same day. (Post-closing pitch: All of the aforementioned is linked from our new Events page, which we will continuously update with major events happening in the weeks and months to come; if you have something to add, e-mail us!)

Side note to the Gee announcement

We won’t call it the “Gee closure” until and unless it actually happens – somehow we keep thinking about Idaho Sen. Larry Craig and his “I *intend* to resign September 30th …” (so much for that one) announcement. That aside, the Gee situation has led to some inconvenience for the wonderful folks at West Seattle Helpline — their winetasting fundraiser on October 18th was to be hosted at Gee. Don’t worry, the big bash is still on; Helpline tells WSB that a new location should be confirmed shortly. (Tickets by the way are $5 cheaper in advance; buy them online at the Helpline website.)

Your neighborhood needs you

We’ve talked about West Seattle’s neighborhoods; their largely unsung heroes are the WS neighborhood associations. With a new month starting next week, October monthly meeting time is rolling around, and two groups have e-mailed us to let you know they’re getting together soon and to invite everyone in their areas to come check them out: Wednesday (October 3) @ 6:30, the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meets @ Delridge Library; Tuesday, October 9, 6:30 pm @ WS Senior Center, it’s the second-ever meeting of the Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO). Click here to see JuNO’s flyer with full meeting details. We’re listing these and other neighborhood meeting dates, as we receive/find them (e-mail us yours!), on our brand-new Events page – check it often from the handy tab above!

Seal Sitters mourn another pup

Received late last night from Brenda Peterson of the Seal Sitters:

     After heroic efforts by Robin, Joanie, Jane, Marci and many others, the seal pup on the boat ramp these past two days was rescued by NOAA and taken off the beach by Animal Control who promptly delivered him to PAWS rehab workers to stabilize her. The plan was to take her to Wolf Hollow rehab in Friday Harbor by a plane donated by someone. But upon examination at PAWS they realized this pup had terrible systemic infections and abscesses throughout her body and would never recover. Mercifully, she was euthanized. But PAWS said we did the right thing to campaign so hard to get her removed from the beach and medical attention because her infections would have meant a long, slow death. This is the second pup in a week we’ve sat over and lost and it is very difficult for us all.

There is consolation in knowing that out of the 30-odd pups we’ve watched over on Alki, we’ve only lost about 4 that we know of  and so we’ve helped launch a whole new generation of pups this season. There was also a seal sitter this morning who wondrously witnessed the birth of a pup; and the pup we’ve been watching for the past week is still robust and healthy.

As the rains begin, there will be fewer risks to these resting pups on the beach from people, though dogs off leash are still a big concern. Thanks so much for all of you who have given your energy, time, and compassion to these fellow creatures who share our shores. Somehow I do think the seals realize that Alki Beach is full of good neighbors.

Brenda also attached a Seal Sitters flyer. We’ve uploaded it so you can take a look. Worth your time even just for the photo; click here.

New way to find out what’s coming up

Just launched: Version 1.0 of our brand-new Events page, stocked with a variety of events coming up in West Seattle (and a select few elsewhere, but of WS relevance) over the next three months. If you are involved with an event of public interest and you don’t see it there yet, please send e-mail to tell us about it. One of the events on the page already is the October fundraising dinner/auction for West Seattle’s only private high school, Seattle Lutheran HS; WSB readers sent us full details too, including a call for more auction donations:Read More

Last reminder – happening tonight

VIADUCT MEETING: “Scoping meeting” regarding the project that the state says will replace the south end of The Viaduct no matter what’s decided about the rest of it — 5-8 pm tonight, with the official presentation starting at 6, Madison Middle School.

DINING FOR LITERACY: A portion of tonight’s proceeds at three WS restaurantsAngelina’s Trattoria, Garlic Jim’s Pizza, Talarico’s — go toward a literacy campaign, as part of Page Ahead’s area-wide Dish Up Literacy campaign.

Looking for love – and literacy

September 24, 2007 5:08 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle people | West Seattle restaurants

Two flyers up on the window at Garlic Jim’s Pizza in The Junction suggest that Wednesday will be a night to remember at GJ’s: Part of Wednesday’s proceeds will go toward a literacy campaign, as part of the Dish Up Literacy promotion involving restaurants around the area. (Also participating in WS on Wednesday, according to the Dish Up Literacy website: Angelina’s Trattoria and Talarico’s.) The other flyer at GJ’s announced that also on Wednesday, there’s an Under 40 Speed Date event there, 7-9 pm. Checking the website for that event’s organizer, The Professional Dater, we discovered an Over 40 Speed Date event in WS tonight — Alki Starbucks, 7-9 pm. So for anyone out there in WSB-land who’s looking for love — you’ve got the chance to find it fast this week, whatever your age.

Good riddance

Relief for Delridge residents — the burned-out car that had been sitting in front of a house across from Delridge’s northernmost Shell station is gone.

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We took that photo over the weekend after a reader e-mailed us about the car; Mike Dady from the North Delridge Neighborhood Council told us action was under way to get it out of there, and that the person whose home it happened in front of, a longtime resident, was chagrined to have had this sort of thing happen outside his home. Mike reported it to SPD on Saturday after their Adopt-A-Street neighborhood cleanup (just too big to have picked this up and stuffed it in one of those yellow bags, unfortunately) and reminds us all that there’s an online form for reporting abandoned vehicles, especially helpful now that city codes allow for faster removal of junk vehicles (more here). Mike says Community Police Team Officer Brian Ballew (honored by the Seattle Neighborhood Group last week with a Community Builder Award — congrats) had this on his to-do list; looks like things moved fast. By the way, this gives us an excuse to mention one loose end from last week’s West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting — what to do about neighborhood nuisances. SNGi has tons of resources, including this “Take Action” brochure. (Here are other ways they can help you learn what you’re empowered to do to make your neighborhood better.)

Latest from the Seal Sitters

First, sad news: Seal Sitters organizer Brenda Peterson tells WSB they buried their second pup yesterday, “a newborn, who was very thin, probably only about 4 weeks old.” sealfile.jpgOverall, Brenda says, this has been a “very intense pup season” (photo @ left is from earlier in the season) and they appreciate all the new volunteers who are helping out, including some who came forward after our recent video-enhanced update; if you are interested in volunteering, e-mail WSB your name and phone number, and we will forward it to Brenda (it’s easier for them to make phone calls while keeping watch on the beach). She says there are a few other things the Seal Sitters need:

“We are looking for sponsorship or some Alki Beach businesses to help us out with T-shirts, public education, and training. We would also like to see some very large signs along the beach as there are in Oregon and CA beaches telling the public to stay 100 yards away from the pups as recommended by federal law and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.”

Anybody ready to step up on that count? These little guys and their human protectors need all the help they can get.

Dig in

September 21, 2007 9:00 pm
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 |   Gardening | How to help

Even as we prepare to step into fall, one of the most beautiful events of every WS summer needs you – and asked us to share this one more time:Read More

Making the connection: Alki Point sidewalk proposal

sdwlk.jpg

Not far past the spot shown above (west end of the public Alki waterfront), the sidewalk on the north side of Alki Avenue mostly stops, and to keep walking west to Alki Point, you have to cross the street and stay on that side till you get south of Alki Point. But for the first time in years, there’s hope that might change, according to what we heard at last night’s Alki Community Council meeting. After years of trying, Alki community leaders have gotten the sidewalk proposal onto the list of potential Neighborhood Street Fund projects, and the more “votes” it gets, the better its chances of happening. The sidewalk project is one of the Bridging the Gap projects shown at the WS meeting this past Wednesday night, but if you didn’t attend the meeting to “vote” in person, you can do it online: Go to this site, choose South Sector, then rank projects on the list (which includes other WS proposals). This project is sixth from the bottom of the list. Deadline to “vote” in this survey: Next Thursday (September 27).

Call it a trade-off … they’ll keep helping, if you help too

Often, readers tell us WSB has helped them learn something they didn’t know about our community, what’s happening around WS, or the services available. We have to say, it’s been educational for us too. Only after 15 years in WS are we beginning to learn about the full scope of what’s out there. The West Seattle Community Safety Partnership is one of many groups that just weren’t on our radar, for whatever reason. But it should have been on ours, and allow us to be so bold as to say it should be on yours. Long ago, the WSCSP was known as the “anti-crime council” — but its scope goes beyond crime. mug-lois.jpgAs demonstrated at Tuesday night’s meeting, the group is there to gather and share information about how to pro-actively protect yourself and your family and improve your neighborhood. Its officers are volunteers, but the group is assisted by a regular allotment of time provided by the Seattle Neighborhood Group for one of its staffers, Lois Grammon-Simpson (SNGi photo of Lois at right), who lives in WS. The room all but gasped Tuesday night when Lois revealed that SNG might stop providing the group with her services, as has already happened for a similar group in Southeast Seattle. But it’s not too late to change the course …Read More

News from the streets

From our first visit to a West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting last night: First thing on the agenda, an update from WS-based Seattle Police officers, with inside info about what’s happening on our streets. Overall, crime-wise, they say things are relatively “quiet” right now — certainly doesn’t mean no crime at all (as evident here), but no huge problems. One new trouble spot mentioned by Southwest Precinct Community Police Team Officer Adonis Topacio: Reports of transients camping in Lincoln Park; if you encounter this, he said, send him e-mail with the specific location (his contact info is on this page). Also mentioned last night: Despite scattered problems, the police verdict on the just-ended summer season on Alki is “it was a great year”; recent speeding crackdowns deploying the Chargers in areas such as Highland Park Way and the 1st Avenue South Bridge have netted dozens of violators, including drivers going past 60 mph in 30 mph zones. Still lots more to tell you from last night’s meeting, including how to fight blight (such as drug houses and trashy properties) in your neighborhood, and how to keep the WSCSP group from losing a vital resource — check back this afternoon.

Community crimefighters

September 18, 2007 11:01 pm
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 |   Crime | How to help | WS miscellaneous

Checked out the monthly West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting tonight and came away with some eye-opening info which we will process for you by morning. Headlines include: Lincoln Park visitors should watch out for transients camping in the greenery; neighborhoods with nuisance properties have an amazing amount of guidance available for dealing with the problem; and the WSCSP needs an infusion of new community involvement or else the Seattle Neighborhood Group  may have to stop providing the services of staffer Lois Grammon-Simpson to help oversee and facilitate its vital business of helping us all stay safe. This would be a big loss. More on that in a few hours.