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Shoremont update: Building may be moved instead of demolished

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The design/build firm that recently bought the Shoremont at 57th/Alki (map) — and the neighboring house, which it’s reselling — is looking into saving and moving the building. That’s according to Chris Pardo at Pb Elemental. He tells WSB, “We have been in discussions with two building-moving firms; one is looking at the possibility of moving the existing building to Whidbey Island. The Shoremont has a brick facade rather than structural brick, so it seems feasible for them to move the building.” Pardo says that’s what Pb Elemental would prefer to do, but if the move doesn’t work out, he says, “We also have a few firms, including ourselves, interested in reusing the brick on the new project and nearby developments.” In addition, he sent us this rendering of the five-unit development they’re proposing at the Shoremont site (more details in this previous report):

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Pardo says his firm hopes to start construction by “late spring” and finish by early next year.

Beach Drive “Painted Lady” hearing under way

March 10, 2008 11:11 am
|    Comments Off on Beach Drive “Painted Lady” hearing under way
 |   Development | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

We told you last week about the first testimony in the hearing about whether the owner of the Satterlee House, aka the “Painted Lady” of Beach Drive, can build three houses on its expansive front lawn. Since the property is a city landmark, the Landmarks Board had to grant a Certificate of Approval – but last December said no, and this hearing is about the property owner’s appeal of that ruling. Last week’s testimony involved the previous owner of the property, David Satterlee. Today, both sides are presenting the bulk of their case, with time scheduled on Thursday for continuation. The major witness so far this morning has been the staffer for the Landmarks Board, who revealed one reason this is significant beyond West Seattle:Read More

Countdown’s over: High-school WASL, Day 1, is here

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When we interviewed Chief Sealth High School principal John Boyd two weeks ago, that sign and others were displayed prominently around campus, and there was even a countdown clock on the Sealth home page. Now, for CSHS and West Seattle HS and other high schools, the countdown’s over and the big test is here – reading/writing this week, math/science in April. The testing window for lower grades starts in mid-April.

Do we need another Pro Parks Levy? (and other park issues)

As the P-I reminds us this morning, the Pro Parks Levy is about to expire, and the mayor and council disagree on whether to ask us if we want a new one. What did Pro Parks do, you ask? Here’s the city map of the West Seattle parks projects the money’s gone toward, for starters:

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The clickable version of that map, and the list of specific projects, can be found here. It’s all unfolded over the 8-year life of the levy, passed by Seattle voters in 2000, and some of the West Seattle projects aren’t done yet — Junction Plaza, Myrtle Reservoir, Ercolini Park, and Morgan Junction, which incidentally has a public meeting this Wednesday for comment on this final schematic design:

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Back to Pro Parks in general: Are these all the parks we need, or is there more to be done, meriting a new Pro Parks Levy? Some councilmembers say yes; the mayor says no, focusing instead on proposals to bolster Pike Place Market and Seattle Center; public meetings on both are coming up shortly, including two West Seattle gatherings (Seattle Center, this Thursday @ Youngstown Arts Center; Pike Place, 3/18 at West Seattle Library). The council’s Parks Committee is chaired by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who is quoted in the P-I as saying:

“We really have to gauge what the public wants and what they would be willing to accept.”

Sounds to us like that means, speak up now. The council’s contact info is here; the mayor’s contact info is here. (Last side note, uncovered as we researched links for this post — remember the meetings last year working toward a Strategic Action Plan for the Parks Department? Another round of meetings is coming up in April and May, including half a dozen in West Seattle, all listed here and also added to the WSB Events page.)

Egg vandalism: Not so victimless

Bernie posted this over the weekend as a new comment on an old report, so we’re reposting here:

This is a week after the events. Last Friday Feb 29 and Saturday March 1 our house was egged. After Saturday evening that makes the 5th time in just over 4 weeks of being egged. We live in the Seaview neighborhood. I have a cedar sided house and I can say at this point we are not able to undo the damage. Our back door is destroyed. Is there any easier way to remove it without taking the paint and the wood?

Most events have happened while there were 3 day weekends and an occasional 2 day weekend. We are not the occasional hit but rather this target of a bitter person or someone playing a ‘joke.’ I realize that having two boys 11 and 15 makes us even more of a target. We have had several ‘come to Jesus’ sessions about this and no clues as to who. What I find absolutely frustrating is that every kid in the ‘hood’ is accounted for at the time of the event.

I called the police to report the event. They are not much interested in reporting eggings but I think we’re beyond the one in a blue moon event. They suggest just leaving all the yard lights on. The other thing that has happened along with this is someone has opened our gate and walked through the yard at 3:00 – 4:00 a.m. The only clue I have to this is that the gate opens and then closes (We have wind chimes attached the yard gate and we can hear the latch) – then when jumping up from bed we find the yard motion lights all on.

I am happy to share any other info that I may have discounted with anyone who has other info or similar events happening to them.

Fauntleroy Schoolhouse future: District policy-change vote

At its first meeting after the big Denny/Sealth vote, the Seattle School Board has something else of West Seattle (and beyond) interest on next Wednesday’s agenda: Changes in its policy on how to deal with what the district now considers “surplus properties” no longer being used as schools. fauntleroyschool1951.jpgThe Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (1951 photo @ left), home to Fauntleroy Children’s Center among other businesses/facilities, is now on that list, and many people have been working hard to figure out how to keep the district changes from resulting in dramatic neighborhood changes. The proposed new policy is now posted online as part of the Wednesday school-board agenda (find it here), spelling out details such as the plan to end the renting of these properties at “below-market” rates and a multiyear transition in certain cases to the full charging of the new rent, while also making some provision for reduced rates at sites like this that are home to “youth education” programs. The new districtwide policy is scheduled for introduction this Wednesday and a final vote two weeks later; as always, the district takes sign-ups for public comment (on any topic, not just what’s on the agenda) starting first thing Monday morning – the online agenda explains how to sign up. Also, the Fauntleroy Community Association is scheduled to discuss the situation at its Tuesday meeting, one day before the school-board meeting; its webpage about the schoolhouse effort, including last April’s gathering, is here; West Seattle State Senator Joe McDermott briefly outlined the situation here – but of the bills he mentioned, neither one appears on this list of bills that survived the most recent cutoff before the Legislature ends its regular session this week.)

On the West Seattle horizon: Fashion, passion, lashin’

March 9, 2008 2:24 pm
|    Comments Off on On the West Seattle horizon: Fashion, passion, lashin’
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle Art Walk | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

fashionpostcard.jpgFASHION: Four days to go till what one organizer dubbed “The Catwalk Meets The Art Walk” — wearable art from Clementine, Sweetie, and Carmilia’s, modeled at Twilight Art in The Junction as part of the next monthly West Seattle Second Thursday Art Walk. This month’s list of participants hits another new record high — 23, stretching from Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) to the north, to West Seattle Nursery in the south! See the map here.

PASSION: One of the city’s most passionate musical and humanitarian leaders will spend four nights in West Seattle during a unique showcase starting a week from tonight patwright.jpgat Kenyon Hall. Total Experience Gospel Choir leader Pat Wright (TEGC photo right) will be there March 16-19, getting ready to open a new chapter in her post-Katrina humanitarian efforts. Each night includes a choir performance and more; this page on the KH website has full details including an “open rehearsal” March 18 with the choir joined by Pearl Jam (and ex-Soundgarden) drummer Matt Cameron. Just a few days after the KH events, Wright and the choir will travel to Mississippi; the Kenyon Hall events are free of charge, with donations accepted for the relief effort.

LASHIN’: OK, so we’re stretching for the rhyme, but you could take that a couple of different ways with regards to “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” rockylogo.jpgThat wild classic, with the Vicarious Theater Company, usually screens at the Admiral Theater the first Saturday night of each month, but there will be midmonth madness April 18-20 as NW Rockypalooza — the Northwest regional convention of “RHPS”ers — time-warps over to West Seattle for two screenings/shows. (The rest of the convention will be HQ’d at the Quality Inn on Aurora. Not like we really have a hotel over here anyway.)

Review set for Beach Drive teardowns-to-townhome/houses

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On the same date (4/10) that the newly revealed California/Alaska megaproject gets a Southwest Design Review Board hearing, the project on the site of those old Beach Drive waterfront homes will also get an “administrative” design review. The proposal calls for two new single-family homes and one duplex townhouse. The project pages are filed on the city site under the street numbers 4143, 4145, and 4147. (The architects listed for the project built this, next door at 4141 Beach Drive, as well as this Alki house and these Alki condos.)

West Seattle reps split on store beer/wine-tasting bill

The State House has given thumbs-up to the grocery-store beer/wine tasting bill, discussed here last month after e-mail from concerned Admiral resident Liz Wilhelm. At the time, she wrote “thank goodness none of our 34th District legislators support this bill” — but in addition to State Sen. Joe McDermott having voted for it in the State Senate (before Liz’s note), one of West Seattle’s two State House members, Rep. Eileen Cody, voted for it Friday. The other one, Rep. Sharon Nelson, voted no; roll-call links are on the bill’s official status page. A few interesting excerpts from the legislative staff report on the bill:

The pilot project is for 30 stores with at least six tastings (but no more than once per month) at each location between October 1, 2008, and September 30, 2009.

The pilot project locations must be equally allocated between independently-owned and chain grocery stores. To be eligible, the primary activity of the store must be the retail sale of grocery products for off-premises consumption and the store must have a fully enclosed retail area of at least 9,000 square feet. …

Control of sampling will be by hand stamps. Tastings will not be a party event.

P.S. If you’re wondering about another bill discussed here — the speeder-cam bill – it doesn’t appear to have moved out of State House committee-land.

What’s fresh at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market tomorrow

March 8, 2008 11:13 pm
|    Comments Off on What’s fresh at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market tomorrow
 |   West Seattle Farmers' Market | West Seattle news

10 am-2 pm, year-round, 44th/Alaska – here’s the “fresh sheet” for tomorrow:Read More

Pegasus makes the move next door

pegasussign.jpgAlmost six months after it closed as Coyotes, the restaurant on 62nd/Alki’s eastern corner is back in business in its first weekend as the new home of Pegasus. (The old location is targeted for demolition, with a new 2-story building to rise on that spot.)

16th/Barton crash

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WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli sent that photo of cars involved in a crash that caused some trouble in the 16th/Barton vicinity (map) around midafternoon. No word of any major injuries, so far.

Another option for a farm-produce fix between Sundays

Somebody forwarded us another newsletter we weren’t signed up for (until we found the “subscribe” link moments immediately after reading it): the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center update. Plenty more is happening there than “just” arts — like this announcement of a West Seattle Farmers’ Market fixture making midweek visits:

Tiny’s Organic 2008 harvest season CSA program is coming to West Seattle, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center!! Pick up your weekly share of the best hand-picked organic fruit and vegetables from Tiny’s Organic family farm starting right here Wednesday, June 18 for 22 straight weeks.

Not only will you enjoy quite possibly the best tasting selection of fruit and vegetables ever but you’ll also receive a newsletter complete with storage tips, recipes, news from the farm and much more.

Tiny’s Organic is a local, family-owned and operated, 100% USDA and WSDA certified organic farm and orchard located in Wenatchee, growing more than 100 delicious varieties of organic fruit and vegetables. By becoming a CSA member, you’ll be feasting on Rainier cherries, Saturn Donut Peaches, Dapple Dandy Pluots, Apriums, Heirloom tomatoes, Fresh herbs, Arugula, Sweet Rainbow Carrots, a great selection of Mixed Greens and much more while enjoying only the most superb, organic, fresh-picked produce all season long.

Sign up early to reserve your harvest share! To learn more go to www.tinysorganic.com or call 206.762.0577 for more information or complete the online member application today.

The Youngstown newsletter subscription link, if you’re interested, is here. Also mentioned in the latest edition, the falafel truck that’s visiting Youngstown 11 am-1 pm Mondays (more here).

Fauntleroy salmon surprise: All is not lost, after all!

March 8, 2008 7:02 am
|    Comments Off on Fauntleroy salmon surprise: All is not lost, after all!
 |   Environment | West Seattle news | Wildlife

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(2007 view of Fauntleroy fish ladder)

Heartening news from Judy Pickens — the worst-case fears about Fauntleroy Creek‘s salmon season apparently are not coming to pass:

We DO have home hatch in Fauntleroy Creek! We had thought that all the eggs from last fall’s spawning surely washed out in the December 3 storm but not so. Several coho fry were sighted March 6 above the fish ladder and more may show up during a thorough survey. The ability of redds to survive the scouring of a major storm is remarkable and truly heartening for the future of salmon in our urban creeks.

If you’ve never been to the Fauntleroy fish ladder, it’s directly east of (and up the slope from) the ferry terminal. Read its history here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Alki window culprit(s) update; more

From the reports at the Southwest Precinct: Remember the car-window shooting on 61st SW reported by Mark two days ago? handcuffs_2.jpgA day later — yesterday around 3:30 pm — a passerby spotted “two juveniles” on the roof of a house in the same area, 3000 block of 61st SW, with suspected pellet/airsoft handguns. One of them was believed to be a 15-year-old boy who lives in that same house, but nobody was home when police arrived minutes later; no arrest yet but it’s a high-priority case. Now, the rest of the stories, including a drunken teen on the run, and stolen donations at a local school:Read More

Alki Ave paving next week

This announcement just in from the city Transportation Department:

Next week SDOT paving crews will work on Alki Avenue
Southwest between 1732 Alki Avenue Southwest and Bonair Drive Southwest.

From 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. one lane will be open, shared by northbound
and southbound traffic, assisted by traffic flaggers. Once the asphalt
surface is ground down, until new asphalt is laid, the roadway surface
will be rough and there will be raised castings.

The crews plan to begin on Tuesday, March 11, and complete the project
by Friday, March 14.

That explains all the extra “no parking” signs we saw this afternoon east of the 53rd SW pump-project site — we THOUGHT that was a little too much to be blocking off.

Next new Junction megaproject: Details from developer

Just talked with Alison Conner from Conner Homes, the company that — as we reported last night here and here — is now going forward, again, with plans to redevelop close to half the east side of California and west side of 42nd between Alaska and Edmunds in The Junction. No renderings yet – but she did supply many other details that the bare-bones city online filings don’t get into:Read More

Alki pump station update: Major work set to start next week

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You’ve probably seen the NO PARKING signs now up along Alki Ave (thanks to Angela for sending the photo) for the major project that’s about to start to expand the 53rd SW (underground) Pump Station. So how soon will the major work start in earnest? We just got another update this afternoon (after the first version of this post was published) from Erika Peterson from the county Wastewater Treatment Division; she says excavation work is likely to start next week, and work crews are in and out for “limited activity” between now and then, including some work in the street today. This project is going to last more than a year and a half, so it will be a fixture on Alki for not just this summer, but summer ’09 as well, with traffic effects along the way; you can find lots of details online, including this “what to expect during construction” page with a 24-hour hotline to call. (By the way, the pump-station project at Lowman Beach north of Lincoln Park is scheduled to start work next year.)

West Seattleite’s “Exile Project” opens tonight @ WSHS

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This weekend and next weekend, you have two live-theater options in West Seattle. One is ArtsWest‘s continuing “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball” (WSB sponsor); the other is “The Exile Project, opening tonight at the West Seattle High School Theater. (Shown in the photo above, Wendy Woolery and Gary Reed.) It’s billed as “an original Seattle musical-theater production” about “one man’s efforts to build a life after prison.” It’s produced, choreographed, and co-written by West Seattle’s Holly Eckert (and the music is by another West Seattleite, Amy Denio). We asked Holly if the tone of “The Exile Project” is as heavy as the subject matter could be – her reply: “This is a human story, and human stories are always filled with both light and dark sides. Remember, this man has just been RELEASED from prison, that’s a pretty happy moment for him filled with fantasies about pretty girls and cold beers. He returns to his mother’s house where he finds comfort as a middle-aged man in the arms of his mommy. This is a story that also penetrates this man’s subconscious and as we all know, that terrain is full of irony, satire, wisdom, humor and sadness. This play travels through both light and dark moments to tell a human tale. It’s that diversity of emotional territory that make it entertaining and engaging. Often, as we all know who have walked through it ourselves, tragedy is scattered with satire and humor. If you love a good story, great music, and terrific dancing, you’ll enjoy The Exile Project.” The production has its own website here with tons of information including performance times and ticket info; it plays at WSHS this Friday-Saturday-Sunday and the same three days next weekend.

“Sustainable Storm” gathers at West Seattle Chamber

If your mental image of a Chamber of Commerce resembles something centering on a tight-knit clique of good ol’ boys in leisure suits, boozing and schmoozing in a back room somewhere, you should know that bears no resemblance to what’s going on with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce these days. Just the other day, in fact, West Seattle Chamber executive director Patti Mullen facilitated the latest edition of a semi-regular gathering that was the antithesis of that old stereotype — a casual event reaching toward the traditional goal of a healthy business community in a largely nontraditional way:Read More

More of these on the way to The Junction

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WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham sent that photo — showing spectators looking up at the crane that’s on the 41st/42nd/Alaska megaproject — just before we turned up details of the new proposal kitty-corner to this site. As promised atop the original post below, we’re ending the night summarizing what we’ve learned (pending attempts on Friday to find out more from project participants):

*An “early design guidance” Southwest Design Review Board meeting is set for April 10 for two projects proposed to span roughly half the Alaska-to-Edmunds block in The Junction, from California to 42nd

*The west-side project, with the parcel stretching from 4700 California (Super Supplements) southward to 4710 California (Rubato), is described as 12,000 square feet of ground-level retail with 5 floors of apartments and 2 underground levels of parking

*The east-side project, stretching from the current Rocksport/Neighborhood Services Center frontage south to the site where Harbor Properties is building Mural, is described as 21,500 sf of ground-level retail with 6 floors of apartments and 2 underground levels of parking

*Both filings list Weber Thompson (architects) and Conner Homes (builders)

*The Design Review Board meeting on April 10 will be at 6:30 pm, location not yet listed online (meetings are usually at Denny Middle School or the Southwest Precinct)

*City records show previous proposals here in 2002

*The current owner bought the 1925-built west-side site for $1.4 million in 2000, the 1922-built east-side site for $2.1 million that same year

*Side note: Nothing in The Junction business core is on the list of official city landmarks, though the city Department of Neighborhoods has signaled some interest in certain sites like the Campbell Building (Cupcake Royale/Swee Swee, etc.), the Hamm Building (Easy Street et al), and the the former Kress building (Matador/JaK’s) – you can search the DON survey archives for any property (WS or not) here