West Seattle, Washington
As of right this moment, it’s preview time for the items that the ex-Gee dealerships are auctioning this week as part of the process of getting cleared out by the end of the month. The preview (till 4 pm today) and auction (10 am both Wednesday & Thursday) are likely to be quite lively; the official auction webpage mentions “food service available at auction site” (personally, we’d just walk over to The Junction, so many tasty options). If you’re curious, here are full lists of what’s on the block: “day 1” is here (from item #1, a battery charger, to #814, miscellaneous plants), “day 2” is here (from #831, a pneumatic fuel tank, to #1145, whiteboard and cabinets), downloadable PDF of the whole catalog is here.
You can watch/listen in online (or on cable) on King County TV. (The levy to pay for Elliott Bay Water Taxi operations and other passenger-ferry routes is the main topic of discussion right now.)
We first told you five days ago about the new proposal to rezone both sides of a stretch of California Ave south of Admiral Junction. Right now it’s zoned NC1-30 (latter number is maximum height); the proposal, brought by a representative for area property owners, is to change that to NC2-40. (“NC” stands for neighborhood commercial; other Seattle zoning designations explained here.) Here’s the area in question, in a screengrab straight from the city “notice of application” page:
Some of those commenting on our original post suggested new development in that area will be an aesthetic improvement. Then there are concerns like this one:Read More
A camera-wielding WSB’er headed out to look for signs of storm trouble — and returned with the photo you see above. If there’s anything more dramatic happening around WS, we haven’t seen or heard about it yet. We went down to Beach Drive south of Alki Point, where the tv reporters have been trying their hardest this midday to look windblown, but it wasn’t much different from the conditions we captured on video yesterday afternoon. Nonetheless, we won’t get complacent yet, as the National Weather Service’s High Wind Warning remains up till 4 pm. Here are a couple links we mentioned earlier, repeated by popular demand: City update on power outages here; current Alki Point windspeed here. 2:15 PM ADDENDUM: Traffic notes – there’s a Seahawks Monday Night Football game tonight, so beware if you have to drive through downtown/Sodo (at least the traffic is reduced with many people being off work/school today); also, traffic at the Fauntleroy ferry terminal might be heavier today because the Bremerton-Seattle run is down to one boat.
The vehicles are off the lots, and now the next chapters in the Gee/Huling saga will unfold this week: Tomorrow is the preview day for the auction that Gee plans this Wednesday/Thursday, to sell parts and other equipment from the now shut-down dealerships along Fauntleroy, which Gee has said it will finish vacating by the end of this month. (You can preview the auction items online at this website.) Meanwhile, the trial is under way for Paul Rimbey, one of the suspects from the criminal case that is at the heart of events that have led to all this; nothing is happening today because courts are closed for the holiday, but this article says the victim is expected to testify this week. The other two former Huling employees charged in the case, Adrian Dillard and Ted Coxwell, are due back in court later this month. And it’ll be a while yet before any trial in the Gee lawsuit against the Hulings; most recently, the Hulings filed a motion saying the dispute should have to go to arbitration, mostly because of terms in the original dealership-sale agreement; the Gees filed a response saying they disagree.
Thanks to Lou for pointing out the upgrade in the Weather Service alert: Our area is now under a High Wind Warning till 4 pm today. For anyone interested in the hyper-geeky detailed meteorological information, here’s the link for the Weather Service’s latest Forecast Discussion, usually updated four times daily (mid-morning, mid-afternoon, mid-evening, early morning).
Hope you are able to stay home and stay safe on this Veterans’ Day just in case the wind does indeed kick up as the forecast suggests: High Wind Watch up from 10 am-4 pm in the metro area (latest forecast here), right now projecting south wind 30-40 miles per hour during that time with possible gusts to 60. There’s been a power outage already, according to the city’s updated list (link here): described as fewer than 100 customers, North-South boundaries are Edmunds to Brandon, East-West is Beach Drive to 49th, start time 5 am. Let us know what’s happening where you are as the day goes on – photos welcome too. 8:45 AM ADDENDUM: Greg sends this link for current wind speed at Alki Point (usually the gustiest in WS). 10:10 AM UPDATE: The power outage link above no longer lists any West Seattle outages; an extensive Burien outage from earlier is described as “100% restored.” Timely reminder — this Thursday night, the city has a SNAP (Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare) class at Alki Community Center, 7 pm, with lots more info to help you get ready for power outages, earthquakes, you name it (read more here).
Driving on Harbor Ave last night, we almost thought we’d flashed ahead a few weeks (and back a few miles) to the legendary Menashe display on Beach Drive … Salty’s on Alki has a big bright outdoor light show:
Another seasonal sign: First word of a poinsettia fundraiser! The Chief Sealth High School Band is selling poinsettias to, as Tim Winston explains, “pay for some extras that aren’t in the school budget – uniforms, marching equipment, music, a bit of travel, and loaner instruments.” Here’s full ordering information:Read More
Just out of the inbox, from Teresa P:
Just wanted to everyone know, the West Seattle coyotes are back!
I live at the end of 44th Ave SW @ Portland and had two young adults on my property Saturday morning. They awoke me by their “talking” to each other which at times can sound very disturbing, almost scary at times. However, it is simply the way they communicate with each other. But in the middle of the night it can sound horrendous!!
Coyotes will usually return to their mating den every winter, however they did not come back last winter. I can’t say I was sad because by that spring, not only did we have two adults, we had three pups playing at the lower portion of my property. As amazing as they are to watch, it is important to remember they are wild and are not to be treated lightly. I have not had any issue with them getting into garbage or coming up to the house, however, my cat is no longer allowed any outside time after sunset or early in the morning. During the day, only when supervised.
There is sometimes a misconception that coyotes will not approach domestic animals or even humans but that is simply not true. If they are hungry and see something they think they can catch or take from your yard, they will.
So be safe!
Here’s a map of the intersection Teresa mentions. Meantime — we have written about West Seattle coyote sightings like these before, and our caveat is, don’t panic – we need to co-exist with these guys (as this excellent Humane Society page notes) – but do be forewarned, as Teresa writes, you need to keep your pets indoors. A good idea in any case, given there are even more serious threats (cars, for example).
Think the wind’s been a little wild the last 12 hours or so? Forecast says tomorrow will be even windier — with a high-wind watch now up, and talk of possible gusts to 60 mph in late morning — though here’s hoping the sustained winds will not be October 18-like. (By the way, while the mental image of a blown-into-the-street garbage-can lid is flying by, it’s a good time to note that recycling/trash/yard waste picks up as usual tomorrow even though it’s a government/bank/parking holiday tomorrow.) 5:55 PM ADDENDUM: For those who didn’t make it down to the water today, here’s a little video from the waterfront stairs on the north end of Schmitz Viewpoint along Beach Drive — nothing spectacular but you can hear the wind and see some spray:
In the past few days, two of the bloggers on the Other Blogs in WS page, Rhonda and Alice, have mentioned the schedule for one of our favorite holiday highlights, the Argosy Christmas Ship Festival. Its West Seattle stops have been listed on our Events page (along with many other WS holiday happenings; please let us know if yours is missing!) for a few weeks now, but in case you hadn’t looked that far down, here are your choices:
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8: With Northwest Girlchoir Vivace on board, the Christmas Ship and its accompanying vessels will be at Seacrest 5:15-5:35 pm; with Canterbury Belles on board, it will visit Lowman Beach 8:50-9:10 pm, then sail along Beach Drive and around the point for an Alki stop 9:40-10 pm.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9: With Soundwave on board, a Don Armeni stop is planned 7:10-7:30 pm.
If you haven’t gone out to see the Christmas Ship before, the sounds and sights are always splendid: the brightly lit boat pulls close enough to shore for the choir on board to serenade landlubbers with holiday songs. (Here’s a Seattle Channel video from the 2005 season, featuring a West Seattleite — the announcer shown early on in this ’05 video, Dano Beal, is a teacher at Lafayette Elementary.) All the West Seattle stops are planning bonfires again this year as well (the flames roaring up from a burning pile of pallets are sometimes a more dramatic sight than the Christmas Ship itself!).
If you are going to The Junction for the Farmers’ Market (or anything else) today and have time to stroll a block east — check out how massive the excavation for the Capelouto megaproject (announced as Office Depot/QFC/apartments) has become (above photo was taken looking through the fence from the west side, along 42nd). Downtown, big digs like this are old hat, but in West Seattle, not so much.
The Farmers’ Market folks didn’t send the usual big long list this week – just this short list of what’s “new and notable” at tomorrow’s WSFM (10 am-2 pm) in The Junction:
Dozens of winter squashes
Fresh Chicken, Duck, Lamb and Goat
Also remember handmade holiday ornaments to benefit the West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival (see and read about them here) — $25 each, cash/check only, at the West Seattle Kiwanis booth at the market’s northeast corner.
The city Parks Department is out with its full list of upcoming public meetings as part of the department’s creation of a Strategic Business Plan — and no fewer than half a dozen of those meetings will happen here in West Seattle, over the course of eight days starting November 28th. According to the Parks Department webpage about the plan and the meetings, they want to hear your answers to these questionst:
-In what areas does Parks and Recreation do well?
-In what areas does Parks need to improve?
-What are the key policy issues Parks will face in the next five years?
-What are the emerging trends that will drive how Parks does business over the next five years?
That same page has times and locations for all meetings citywide, including the ones in West Seattle: Southwest Community Center on 11/28, High Point Community Center on 11/29, Delridge Community Center on 12/1 (the only weekend meeting in WS), Hiawatha Community Center on 12/4, Camp Long and Alki Community Center on 12/5. (We’ve added them all to the WSB Events page, for handy later reference.) For those who can’t make it to any of those meetings, the Parks Department is promising an online survey will be available soon (doesn’t appear to be up yet but we’ll let you know when it is). After these meetings, the Parks Department will come up with a draft plan, take it around to another series of meetings, and finally submit the end result to the City Council in mid-March.
It’s one of the hottest topics we’ve discussed here in the past few weeks, and it’s bringing the entire City Council here next Tuesday. While covering Council President Nick Licata‘s High Point visit last night (here’s our report, including video of Licata stopping a child from crossing 35th before the light changed), we heard council members were coming to Sanislo Elementary; now the official city announcement is out, and it explains that they will gather Tuesday morning at Delridge/Myrtle, along the walking route to Sanislo (a few blocks away), to “hold a press conference about their proposed Strategic Pedestrian Safety Initiative for the 2008 City Budget.” Notably, this will be happening just one day before the first anniversary of a West Seattle pedestrian death that shook the council as well as the rest of the city — the 47th/Admiral accident on 11/14/06 that killed Councilmember David Della‘s chief of staff, Tatsuo Nakata.
-Two store openings in The Junction today: Craze Clothing in the ex-mortgage space @ the NW corner of California/Oregon (thanks to Keith for the sighting!); Starbucks in the ex-Infinity Espresso space at Jefferson Square.
-Congratulations to a Junction business on its 20th anniversary! Square 1 Books is celebrating with a 20th-anniversary sale through tomorrow.
-Orca fans, be on the lookout again today – We just signed up for the Orca Network e-mail notification list about local sightings (you can sign up here), and not only is there a new photo of the baby orca we mentioned this morning (not linked on the web yet but we’ll put the link here when it is), there’s also word of orca sightings today around Three Tree Point south of West Seattle, and off Maury Island.
-The pirate radio station we mentioned last night seems to be up and playing its promised “warmup music” prior to the FCC media ownership audiocast starting around 4 pm. We heard it (calling itself “Radio 33”) at 93.7 FM.
The full set of documents about what is being proposed for King County Ferry District operations, including service levels and a tax levy, is now available. Some discussion erupted overnight in the comments on our Thursday afternoon post, including a detailed response from Chris Arkills on KC Councilmember Dow Constantine‘s staff. Here is everything available that you can read about the new Ferry District plan now — the “briefing paper” is the biggie:
–Overview “transmittal letter” from King County Executive
–32-page briefing paper on the full scope of the county’s passenger-ferry proposals
–Proposed sailing schedule for next year’s Water Taxi (and Vashon-Seattle foot ferry)
The King County Ferry District board (KC Council) vote on this is now set for 9 am next Tuesday; if you have comments on the specifics, the online testimony link is still up.
We started the week by welcoming the first-ever WSB advertiser, Hotwire Coffee in The Junction (read our explanation of “why ads?”), and we’re concluding it by welcoming two more — Garlic Jim’s Pizza in The Junction and West Seattle-based Prudential NW Realtor Bill Barna. Like Hotwire’s proprietor Lora Vickrey, Garlic Jim’s proprietor Ryan Reese and Realtor Bill B are both very involved in the community — when we put out a call a few weeks ago for WSB-land to help the West Seattle Food Bank this holiday season, Ryan came up with a plan for delivery drivers to collect donations at customers’ doors. Bill’s extensive community involvement includes Friends of Ercolini Park, which within months will finally be able to throw one heck of a bash on the corner of land that’s becoming a park west of The Junction thanks in no small part to his efforts and those of everybody else in FoEP, plus other community members who donated time and money. We thank these West Seattle businessfolks for their support of 24/7/365 West Seattle news, information, and discussion here at WSB, as well as the others with whom our WSB Sales Guy is working; info on how to reach him is on the WSB Advertising page. And as we like to say frequently, thanks to everyone who visits WSB — just knowing so many people are there, keeps us in high gear working on ways to serve you better.
Just a few simple words from the Arbor Heights family of Amanda Knox — but they had to put it out on a public relations press release service (PR Newswire), since the European media in particular is in a frenzy over this case. A judge in Italy ruled a few hours ago that Knox would remain in jail, along with the other suspects, while investigators continue to sort the case out. Interesting side note from this Times article on logistics assistance for Knox’s mother, who is now in Italy, to deal with what’s going on.
Seattle City Council President Nick Licata came to High Point last night to meet with the HP Neighborhood Association. His evening began with a walking tour led by neighborhood reps Denise Sharify and Miranda Taylor showing him what they consider the hot spots for pedestrian danger and explaining what they want the city to do. Our videographer recorded much of it — but nothing underscored the point as well as this bit of unexpected suspense, when a little boy on a bicycle showed up nearby, needing to get across 35th SW:
One week ago tonight, West Seattle bicyclist Peter McKay was shot while riding on Delridge, not far from his home. No one is under arrest yet, but local groups are doing what they can to change that: Read here and here about Seattle International Randonneurs and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington raising more than $5,000 so far to give somebody the impetus to bring the culprits in. (If you want to donate, all three of the links in the preceding line will send you to the right place.)
We monitored some of this afternoon’s King County Ferry District hearing on the water taxi and other proposed foot-ferry operations. The district board members, aka King County Council members, had just received the proposed operations plan/budget (which we are awaiting to pass on to you) — they have a lot of decisions to make, and the next meeting is Tuesday morning. One thing we were glad to hear — toward the end of the meeting, West Seattle’s KC Councilmember Dow Constantine talked about the excellent in-person turnout (we saw some known WSB readers at the podium!) and also the fact more than 50 people submitted “online testimony” — for which the specific link was created after a WSB reader asked about it. Way to go for public participation, and stand by for more details on the decisions to be made and how it will affect you, both in terms of transportation and taxation. 4:15 PM UPDATE: Here are those details, contained for starters in the County Executive’s “transmittal letter” (read the full text here) — we’re still reading through it ourselves, but one topline is the proposed funding plan (quoting from the document now): “a property tax levy of 5.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value over ten years.”