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YOU CAN HELP: Here’s how to ensure West Seattle’s only emergency cold-weather shelter is ready for the next time it’s needed

(WSB photo, December)

During our recent run of snowy/freezing weather, we reported multiple times on the only emergency cold-weather shelter in West Seattle, not operated by the city, not operated by a homelessness nonprofit, but instead operated by Keith Hughes, commander of American Legion Post 160 and manager of the co-housed West Seattle Veterans Center. The shelter is closed for now, as reported here, but winter has two more months to go and it’ll likely need to open again. So what can you do to be sure it’s ready? Here’s a new webpage set up by supporter Tomasz Biernacki with the backstory and two ways to help, as follows;

Now in his 4th winter of giving care to those struggling in the cold, Keith needs our help. He’s in his 70s and is exhausted. In addition to the folks he is serving, he’s been remodeling the building to meet code requirements for the kitchen and bathrooms, often dipping into his own 401K. To meet the growing need, he needs us now. He needs volunteers and funds.

If you can help with either or both, please do. Keith is a doer, but he can only do so much.

If you want to get involved, please email pecharalala@gmail.com. There is lots to do so please let us know time availability and what you would like to offer in terms of labor and services. Tomasz will get back to each person to pre-screen them for Keith.

If you would like to donate funds, you can do so here – https://gofund.me/1daf9797. We are hoping to raise $6,000 to help cover utility bills. Contributions are tax-deductible, as the West Seattle Veterans Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization

The city committed to cover what it would otherwise charge the center for December’s bills, but that’s just a fraction of the building’s costs.

GRATITUDE: West Seattle shelter’s ‘call for help’ answered, dozens kept warm

(WSB photo, December)

The snow has melted and the temperature has risen into the 50s. West Seattle’s only emergency cold-weather shelter has closed its doors, for now. Its operator wants to share these words of thanks:

To all the true Neighbors of the West Seattle Community – thank you so much for your rapid and generous support to the call for help for the American Legion Post 160 and West Seattle Veteran Center Cold Weather Shelter. With your donations and help, we were able to stay open throughout the cold weather event to serve more than 50 individuals in their time of need. This is a grass-roots all-volunteer operation, only possible through your generosity.

The shelter has now suspended operation with the temperatures in the 40s and 50s. We will be prepared to re-open when the need arises. Winter is not yet over. Thank you.

Keith Hughes, Commander
West Seattle American Legion Post 160
President, West Seattle Veteran Center

As mentioned here in our coverage last month, the only city help for the shelter was a promise to cover the utility bills. Community members donated everything from cots to food to socks, plus volunteer hours.

FOLLOWUP: What West Seattle’s only cold-weather shelter needs most

“The phone will not quit ringing.”

That’s what Keith Hughes told us – between phone calls – when we stopped by American Legion Post 160 (3618 SW Alaska) this afternoon to see what he needs to keep running West Seattle’s only cold-weather shelter.

12 people slept there last night, and he was expecting more tonight. So he needs more cots, and blankets for the people who will sleep on them. Socks and gloves, too – those go fast, dozens of pairs so far.

And of course, he still needs more volunteers to help keep the doors open, as a daytime warming center – some people drop in for a cup of coffee, maybe a pair of socks, and then go back out – and overnight shelter.

He is serving two meals a day, as the whiteboard outside says:

But he says they have plenty of food – including six 5-pound pans of frozen lasagna – so they don’t need more food right now. And please don’t bring clothing – that takes more volunteers to sort and wash, and that’s more than he can handle. Socks and gloves, he can just keep on a table by the door to Pershing Hall, the event room that’s doubling as a shelter.

Running the shelter is more than a matter of just keeping the doors open. Hughes has also been kept busy handling logistics for the people who show up, or who are brought there; some of the phone calls he took while we were there had to do with someone dropped off there who really needed to be in a hospital instead.

Since the last time we talked with him, the city has started including Post 160 on its resource list of emergency shelters. And the new King County Regional Homelessness Authority has someone calling twice a day to check in. But the only government help he’s getting, says Hughes, is a city promise to cover the utility bills for December – running two furnaces, doing laundry, and providing showers adds up.

If you have questions, or are interested in volunteering, call Post 160 any time between 8 am and 6 pm at 206-932-9696, or call Hughes directly at 206-941-6654.

WEDNESDAY NOTE: Please see the comment discussion below for updates. In short – volunteers still needed, everything else is good for now, thanks to some fast-acting generous people!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Mountain to Sound Outfitters burglarized, again

You would think this snowy weather would make it a memorable week for Mountain to Sound Outfitters, a West Seattle business that specializes in part in snow gear. But instead, for proprietor Greg Whittaker, it’s memorable in a bad way.

His shop at 3602 SW Alaska was broken into early today for the third time in a week. We heard about it from a reader who was passing by early this morning and saw SFD on the scene cleaning up broken glass. We then obtained the police report and followed up with Whittaker. The police-report narrative says officers arrived to find what the photo above shows, as well as a “large amount of ski equipment lying on the ground outside of the business along with several display hangers.” An audible alarm was sounding. The burglar(s) were gone; SFD was called for help “to secure the damaged door.”

When we contacted Whittaker by email, he said this was the third burglary this week at the shop, and added: “This is completely disheartening. We buy the gear to help West Seattle enjoy the winter and now key items are gone from our store. Keep an eye out for kids’ jackets, skateboards, sunglasses, gloves, goggles. I’d like to ask the community to keep watch in our block, as it seems like they are getting bolder.” If you have any information, the SPD incident number is 21-340896.

YOU CAN HELP: West Seattle’s only winter-weather shelter needs volunteers

Once again, American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle is opening a winter-weather overnight shelter – but we just learned this afternoon that volunteers are urgently needed. Post commander Keith Hughes says they are required to have two people on site at all times while open as a shelter, and they need help filling those slots. Ideally a volunteer could be there either 6 pm-midnight or midnight-6 am, but if you can only give a few hours, they’ll take the help they can get. If you have questions, or are ready to volunteer, call Post 160 any time between 8 am and 6 pm at 206-932-9696, or call Keith directly at 206-941-6654.

BIZNOTE: Alki Lumber sold, after a century

(Historic photo courtesy Lynn Sweeney)

Finally an answer to the question of where Alki Lumber will move when its West Seattle Triangle site is redeveloped: South Park. The Sweeney family, which has owned the lumberyard for a century, has sold the business to South Park-based Marine Lumber. We talked late today with Lynn Sweeney, after learning via a tip that Alki Lumber was notifying customers about the change. The Sweeneys have been looking for a new site for the lumberyard for two years, after deciding to redevelop its current site and some of their other properties; the two-building megaproject has just finished going through Design Review (as covered here and here). She says they were focusing on South Park as a likely new home when, independent of their search, Marine Lumber reached out to them. After discussions, Sweeney said, “we just decided to combine” – something, she said, has been happening a lot in their industry. The deal closed this week.

Here’s what it means in the near future: Alki Lumber will continue operating at its current West Seattle location, with the same staff, under the same name, until it’s time to clear out (which is not imminent, given the time required for permits and other preparations). We’ll be following up with Marine Lumber about their future plans – this news came too late in the day to do that immediately. Sweeney says all this is “exciting” but also, for her family, “bittersweet.” Alki Lumber was founded by her great-grandfather James A. Sweeney in 1921. The family maintains ownership of the land, so for now, they’ll remain the lumberyard’s “landlord,” as Sweeney put it. It’s been almost three years since the Sweeneys announced they were studying “alternatives” for their property’s future.)

BIZNOTE: New restaurant tenant for ex-Chaco Canyon Café space in West Seattle Triangle

More than a year after Chaco Canyon Organic Café closed at 3770 SW Alaska in The Triangle, there’s word of a new tenant for the space. While looking through city permit files, we found a renovation application in the name of West of Chicago Pizza Company, the pizzeria that’s been operating out of the KBM Seattle Commissary Kitchen in Delridge. The specialty: Deep-dish Chicago-style pizza. West of Chicago proprietor Shawn Millard tells WSB he’s not ready to disclose details of the plan for the Triangle space, but he’s looking forward to starting work on the overhaul, with the hope of being open in February.

DEVELOPMENT: New look at 2-building Triangle project as next design reviews approach

That’s a new rendering of the concept for 4406 36th SW and 4440 Fauntleroy Way SW, the properties that the Sweeney family is planning to redevelop on and near the site of their legacy business Alki Lumber. Family spokesperson Lynn Sweeney sent the rendering today, as architects Ankrom Moisan sent the city the full design “packet” for 4406 36th SW, which will go back to the Southwest Design Review Board on November 4th (as reported here previously) The building is proposed for 8 stories, 284 apartments, 10,000 square feet of retail space, and 162 offstreet-parking spaces. Here’s the packet:

You’ll also find it on the city website. ]Sweeney says regarding the 2-building plan, “Our design team has been hard at work responding to the Design Review Board guidance and collaborating with the city to develop an outstanding project for the West Seattle Triangle Neighborhood. The focus of this project is to create a unique and engaging streetscape experience for the community while providing housing for more than 500 new residents. The project is well positioned with proximity to the proposed Avalon light rail station. We are excited to go before the board on November 4th (East Block) and November 18th (West Block).” Both are 5 pm online meetings; viewing/listening/comment info for the November 4th meeting is here. The Sweeneys have said they’ll look for a new location for their lumberyard; Sweeney told us today there’s no update on that yet, nor do they have a target date for groundbreaking.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Boy Scouts’ big benefit sale, with last-hours deal

From skis to toys, camping gear to housewares, the Boy Scout Troop 284 megasale at West Seattle American Legion Post 160 (3618 SW Alaska) still has “lots of great stuff left,” reports Karen, with three hours to go. Even a cedar chest:

And for the final two hours, at 2 pm, you can “fill a grocery sack for $5!” As noted in our daily preview, the sale is to raise money for the troop’s activities. The Scouts are active in community service, too, as we’ve reported in the past (examples here and here).

Another West Seattle YMCA job fair Tuesday

August 22, 2021 11:59 am
|    Comments Off on Another West Seattle YMCA job fair Tuesday
 |   Triangle | West Seattle news

A second round of job fairs is planned by the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) and 11 other regional Y’s. This time you’re invited to drop in between 4 and 7 pm Tuesday (August 24th). You’ll find, the Y tells us, “on-the-spot interviews, prizes, food, and fun” as well as the opportunity to “take advantage of our limited-time sign-on incentives of up to $600!” The Y says the work offers your chance to “be a changemaker.” Job openings at regional Y’s range from fitness instructors to managers; the West Seattle HQ is at 36th and Snoqualmie [map]. If you can’t go to the hiring fair, you can also browse the listings and apply right now at seattleymca.org/jobs.

JOB-SEEKING? West Seattle YMCA hiring fair Saturday

August 10, 2021 1:00 pm
|    Comments Off on JOB-SEEKING? West Seattle YMCA hiring fair Saturday
 |   Triangle | West Seattle news

The West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) is one of six regional Y’s with hiring fairs this Saturday. You’ll find, the Y tells us, “on-the-spot interviews, prizes, food, and fun” as well as the opportunity to “take advantage of our limited-time sign-on incentives of up to $600!” The Y says working with them is your chance to “be a changemaker.” The local hiring fair is at the main West Seattle branch in The Triangle, 36th SW and SW Snoqualmie, 10 am-1 pm this Saturday (August 14th). Job openings in the region include Day Camp Counselors, Resident Camp Counselors, Lifeguards, Swim Instructors, Early Education Teachers, more. If you can’t go to the hiring fair, you can also apply right now at seattleymca.org/jobs.

ROAD-WORK UPDATES: 36th/Oregon repairs end early; new detour map for SW Genesee closure

July 8, 2021 8:34 pm
|    Comments Off on ROAD-WORK UPDATES: 36th/Oregon repairs end early; new detour map for SW Genesee closure
 |   Delridge | Triangle | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

Two road-work updates:

36TH/OREGON: Repairing this heat-damaged stretch of street was expected to take up to two weeks, but instead, it was done in one. The closure continues tonight while the new concrete finishes drying, but SDOT plans to reopen the street “as soon as crews have verified that the concrete has finished hardening, which will likely be tomorrow morning.”

SW GENESEE CLOSURE: Reminder – this closure west of Delridge Way (previewed here) starts at 7 am tomorrow. SDOT sent a new detour map today:

The street is expected to remain closed until early Monday, the first of two consecutive weekend closures, for “street upgrades” related to the RapidRide H Line preparation project. SDOT says that during the closure, “For people wishing to travel between Delridge Way SW and SW Avalon Way, we encourage them to detour to SW Orchard St during this closure. The streets marked in black will be open to local traffic only.”

BIZNOTE: Big availability expansion for Rebellyous Foods

From the “eat local” department: A year and a half after we brought you first word that Rebellyous Foods had moved to the West Seattle Triangle, it’s just announced a big new deal that will make its plant-based nuggets, tenders, and patties available in hundreds more stores, including three more in West Seattle. Rebellyous says its products will be available starting this week in 200 Safeway stores in the Northwest. In West Seattle, you can already buy Rebellyous products at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction and Wildwood Market in Fauntleroy. Rebellyous also notes that its nuggets are now award-winning, honored last month with the New Product Award in the Plant-Based Protein category as part of the Specialty Food Association’s 2021 sofi™ Awards. The company – which also focuses on food-manufacturing technology development – notes that the plant-based food industry is now a $7 billion-per-year retail market, with 27 percent growth in just the past year.

SATURDAY: 4th annual West Seattle Boat Swap – sell and/or buy!

Thinking about getting out on the water? And/or – got gear to sell? Mountain to Sound Outfitters in The Triangle is presenting the 4th annual West Seattle Boat Swap this Saturday (May 1st). This is for “human-powered watercraft” such as kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and related gear. You are welcome to drop off your watercraft and gear 9 am-11 am that morning; shopping hours are 10 am-4 pm; pickup of unsold items is immediately afterward, 4 pm-5 pm. Along with whatever community members bring in, M2SO adds, “We will have used kayaks and SUPs from Alki Kayak Tours‘ rental operation, as well as scratched and dented SUPs and kayaks from Mountain to Sound for sale at amazing summer steal prices!” To register to sell, go here. It’s happening at Mountain to Sound, 3602 SW Alaska.

ROAD-WORK ALERT: SW Alaska repaving

(SDOT image from Community Task Force meeting slide decK)

In addition to the big news about low-bridge access changes (WSB coverage here), Thursday’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting also yielded a few other announcements we’re reporting today. First: Repaving is ahead for part of SW Alaska. You might recall that the SW Avalon project also included one block of SW Alaska, west of 35th. Now SDOT plans to repave the westbound curb lane between 36th SW and 38th SW. This will be done in three phases, starting with “asphalt-base repair” on the weekends of April 17th and 24th, continuing with some curb-ramp work and concrete repair in May/June, and grinding/resurfacing this summer.

SHELTER: West Seattle Veteran Center offers a warm place to sleep

(Photo courtesy West Seattle Veteran Center)

Tonight and every night for the rest of this week, temperatures are expected to drop into the 30s. If you know someone – or see someone – who needs a place to get in out of the cold, the West Seattle Veteran Center has opened its doors. From Keith Hughes:

The West Seattle Veteran Center Cold Weather Shelter opened this evening and will remain open at least through Friday night. The Center is open to all that need a warm place to sleep, veteran or not. It is beautiful with the newly painted walls and newly refinished maple hardwood floors.

The center is in The Triangle at 3618 SW Alaska (here’s a map).

FOLLOWUP: After weekend gunfire, Legion Hall operator says no more event rentals

West Seattle has seen three confirmed gunfire incidents in the past four days. The first one, early Saturday in The Triangle, didn’t leave anyone with gunshot wounds, but did raise other issues, and we followed up.

First – the police report, with more details on what officers were told happened.

Read More

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Triangle gunfire investigation

1:09 AM: Police are in The Triangle right now, investigating reports of gunfire involving vehicles near 37th/Alaska. The vehicles are reported to have left the area but one person at the scene is reported to be hurt, with an injury described as a “laceration,” not a gunshot wound, so far. Officers just told dispatch they’ve found shell casings at the scene.

1:14 AM: Alaska is closed between 36th and 37th while police continue investigating. They also are looking into a report that an injured man might have walked away from the scene.

DEVELOPMENT: Next step for two-building West Seattle Triangle project

From the latest city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin: Now that both halves of the Sweeney family’s West Seattle Triangle project have applied for land-use permits, a new comment period has opened.

(Renderings by Ankrom Moisan)

4406 36TH SW: The first Southwest Design Review Board meeting for this building was in early August (WSB coverage here). It’s planned as an 8-story, 273-unit apartment building with retail and 163 off-street parking spaces. The application notice is here.

4440 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: The first SWDRB meeting for this building was in mid-August (WSB coverage here). This is planned as a 7-story, 217-unit apartment building with retail and 153 offstreet parking spaces. The application notice is here.

Deadline for this round of commenting on both projects is November 25th; both notices linked above include information on how to comment. Each building also will have at least one more SWDRB meeting, at which more-complete designs will be presented (what you see above are just the “massing” concepts – size/shape), dates TBA.

West Seattle Ski Swap next weekend, just in time!

That’s what the summit at Stevens Pass looked like before nightfall – snow has arrived in the Cascades, and if the weather cooperates, ski season won’t be too far away. And that means the timing is perfect for this year’s West Seattle Ski Swap, which Mountain to Sound Outfitters is presenting next weekend. If you have gear to sell, Friday (October 16th) is your dropoff day; Saturday and Sunday (October 17-18) are the sale days, at VFW Post 2713 (3601 SW Alaska, right across the street from M2SO). It’s an annual event for community members to “buy and sell skis, snowboards, boots, clothing, winter accessories, and more!” Sale hours will be Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday 10 am-4 pm, after sellers drop off their items 3-7 pm Friday. Sellers can register here.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Triangle response; stolen rollerblades; abandoned bicycle

Three notes this afternoon:

TRIANGLE POLICE RESPONSE: Thanks to the reader who sent a tip about that big police response in the alley between Link and Lien Animal Clinic a short time ago. We went over to find out what was going on; police at the scene told us they had detained a suspect they had been seeking in relation to an assault on an officer. No other details so far.

STOLEN ROLLERBLADES: Tracey emailed this report this morning:

Reporting a car prowl at 30th ave SW and Holden evening of 9/13. Hoping readers could keep an eye out for my stolen rollerblades. I imagine they will get dumped. Sunglasses and prescription glasses too.

ABANDONED BICYCLE: From Amy:

I found this ditched bike near my apartment (Alki area) this morning.

Yours? Let us know and we’ll connect you.

Second half of West Seattle Triangle megaproject passes first phase of Design Review

(Renderings by Ankrom Moisan)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Though Design Review is supposed to focus on buildings, the streetscape occupied much of the attention as the Southwest Design Review Board got its first look at the second half of the Sweeney family’s West Seattle Triangle proposal.

The first half, 4406 36th SW, got first-phase approval (Early Design Guidance) two weeks ago (WSB coverage here). Thursday’s meeting was about the building to its west, 4440 Fauntleroy Way SW. Four of the five SWDRB members were present – chair Crystal Loya, John Cheng, Alan Grainger, and Scott Rosenstock (all West Seattleites serving on the all-volunteer, city-appointed board) – along with the city planner assigned to the project, Sean Conrad. The meeting followed the long-standard format, in four segments:

Read More

TODAY: Design Review Board looks at other half of West Seattle Triangle megaproject

(Rendering by Ankrom Moisan; 4440 Fauntleroy is the building at right)

Two weeks ago, the Southwest Design Review Board gave first-phase approval (WSB coverage here) to 4406 36th SW, half of the two-building Triangle megaproject planned by the Sweeney family, longtime owners of Alki Lumber. At 4 pm today, online, the board takes its first look at the other half of the project, 4440 Fauntleroy Way SW, described as “a 7-story, 209-unit apartment building with retail (with p)arking for 136 vehicles.” The meeting packet is here; information on watching the meeting, and/or commenting during/before/after it, is here.