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Quick update: Jail meeting wrapped up

The jail meeting has wrapped up aside from “individual conversations” for which city reps have stayed, and Highland Park residents among others are busily engaging them in those conversations. The meeting got very emotional at times, particularly in the last 15 minutes or so during which the city reps were supposed to be addressing the concerns raised by small groups – but meeting attendees became very frustrated with the lack of specifics. Bottom line is that the city held this to gather public comment and notes that the final decision is still about a year away – a key point on the timeline will be a consultant study due next month that supposedly will show whether the city is on the right track in pursuing a low-rise option, or should perhaps pursue a high-rise option, which could send the whole thing back to the drawing board. Also ahead – the County Council is reportedly going to talk Monday about the proposal to extend its jail agreement with the cities. More to come.

Jail forum under way: Here’s the agenda

dinawithsign.jpgWe’re at the Machinists’ Union Lodge in South Park for the first of two city-organized public forums on the two proposed West Seattle sites in the running for a possible city misdemeanor jail. The Highland Park Action Committee has a big presence here, of course – that’s HPAC’s Dina Johnson above, in the lodge hall with one of the signs group members have brought (cameraphone photo, sorry it’s not clearer). We’re NOT currently planning to liveblog the meeting – but if you are interested in occasional updates, follow us on Twitter, where we probably will post a few updates (twitter.com, and sign up to follow westseattleblog) if the wireless signal holds – a little spotty so far. The actual meeting doesn’t start till 6:30 – right now folks are milling about chatting; some citywide media crews are here. The agenda will include a “brief background presentation” at 6:40, small-group sessions to gather public comments and report back to the full group; at 8:40, it’s “city responses to issues raised,” closing comments at 8:55, meeting scheduled to end at 9 pm. (If you missed this one, the second city-organized public forum is July 26 at South Seattle Community College, 9 am, and HPAC will meet again 7 pm July 21.) 7:39 PM UPDATE: Highland Park Elementary teacher Laura Drake brought down the house with a speech full of fury and heartfelt emotion – some people are actually crying – we have it on video and will post it as soon as we get home when this is over; we can guarantee you’ll see part of it on the 11 pm news (though tv self-limits to about 20 seconds – we’ll show you the whole 2 to 3 minutes).

Traffic/parking alert: Road work in The Junction Friday night

June 26, 2008 4:57 pm
|    Comments Off on Traffic/parking alert: Road work in The Junction Friday night
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

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We took that photo in The Junction this morning, then checked to see what the signs were for — a little sealing work tonight, we were told, no big deal. Well, now the city has issued an advisory because the work’s been pushed back, so if you’re planning on Junction nightlife late tomorrow night, you should be forewarned – read on:Read More

Viaduct update: New “scenario” renderings now available online

We’re still working on our summary of the briefing we liveblogged earlier – where state/city/county reps presented the 8 “scenarios” now under consideration to replace the “central waterfront” section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct – but in the meantime, we wanted to let you know the meeting materials including artist renderings have just been posted online; find them here (look for Scenario A through Scenario H).

Update: 35th/Morgan turn signal now up and running

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Update on our post from this morning … here’s what we saw as we just passed through 35th/Morgan headed southbound on our way home from the Viaduct briefing downtown (liveblog notes here; summary still in the works, along with images of the options – if WSDOT doesn’t put them online soon, we’ll take pix of the printouts we have).

Street safety: New flags, new lights

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Thanks to Erin for the tip on this – she spotted that new basket of pedestrian flags at Avalon/Yancy (map) – while out and about this morning, we spotted two others on California SW, one north of The Junction, one south. The basket says they’re from SDOT and bears the slogan “Grab, Walk, Wave” – we’re checking to see if more are on the way (we checked some previously flag-bearing intersections around WS like the notorious 47th/Admiral, and it still has the old orange flags). Also seen while out and about:

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The signal at 35th/Morgan is off at the moment (see the temporary stop sign at lower left) and a new configuration of turn lights appears to be on the way — this view is facing south on 35th.

Happening today/tonight: Jail, Viaduct, campaigns, safety, more

June 26, 2008 8:06 am
|    Comments Off on Happening today/tonight: Jail, Viaduct, campaigns, safety, more
 |   Transportation | West Seattle jail sites | West Seattle news

JAIL: Tonight is the first of two city-organized public forums about the two potential jail sites in West Seattle. This one’s in nearby South Park, 6 pm, 9125 15th Place S. (Archived WSB coverage of the jail-sites fight map). (is here.)

VIADUCT: This afternoon, city, county and state officials will discuss where the search for a “central waterfront” Viaduct replacement stands, before the Viaduct Stakeholders’ Committee has its next meeting. We’ll be at the briefing downtown at 2 pm; the public is welcome at the committee’s meeting, 4 pm, City Hall.

SAFETY: If you’re in southeast West Seattle or White Center, the South Delridge/WC Community Safety group meets tonight, 6 pm, St. James Place (9421 18th SW). As with the nawly renamed West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, this group focuses on crime and other safety issues and gets updates from law enforcement – with free dinner as a bonus.

CAMPAIGNS: West Seattle’s three state legislators – Sen. Joe McDermott, Rep. Eileen Cody, and Rep. Sharon Nelson – are having a joint reelection-campaign kickoff event at Youngstown Arts Center, 5:30 pm.

Those are just four of today’s highlights – see more on our West Seattle Events Calendar.

Ercolini Park updates: Playground tweaks, and a parade plan

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Bernicki sends two updates from Ercolini Park west of The Junction – first one explains the two photos above:

We spent the afternoon at Ercolini Park. The kids were spinning around on the merry-go-round while three parks dept. guys stood by. Once the kids all got off, the parks guys moved in to adjust the “governor” (the big doohickey that regulates the speed) around the merry-go-round’s base. The kids were sidelined for about ten minutes, and then whirling resumed, at (presumably) a safer speed, as the parks guys admired their work. I was impressed at just how thoughtful these guys were: instead of throwing everyone off the toy, they waited for the kids to finish.

Bernicki also reports there’s a “Parade around the Park” at Ercolini at 11 am on the 4th of July, with neighbors invited to decorate strollers, bikes, trikes, whatever, and join the fun. We’ve added it to our West Seattle 4th of July page, where you will also find links to info about the Admiral 4th of July Kids’ Parade that morning and lots of other holiday happenings (as well as the practical stuff like bus, ferry, and Water Taxi schedules).

Cafe Revo: A progress report, as we meet the owners

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That’s how the exterior of Cafe Revo – at the former Murphy’s site on Avalon – will look soon, compared to this:

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and if you want to go back further (almost 60 years), here’s a blast from the building’s past:

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We got those pictures while talking last week with Chef Sean Goff and wife Sofia Zadra Goff, who are happy to report they now have the liquor license and electrical-work permit – which means work can accelerate on the Italian restaurant they are creating in the space (first reported here on WSB early last month) – Read on to learn more about their plans (and to see a video tour of the space before construction really revs up):Read More

Reservoir tour: Myrtle milestone revealed during Beacon Hill visit

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That video clip shows something we might never get to see again – the underground view of a 50-million-gallon reservoir before it’s filled. (That’s 250 times what it takes to fill Southwest Pool.) This is Beacon Hill Reservoir (map), one of four reservoirs the city is putting underground — two of the other three are in West Seattle, and when we joined various city officials including Mayor Nickels for the Beacon Hill underground media tour this morning, we learned about a milestone happening today at Myrtle Reservoir here in West Seattle:

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You can’t see it from that above-ground photo, of course, but “final acceptance testing” has begun at Myrtle today – testing all systems together for about a week, after a period of testing each system individually – and if that goes well, the reservoir could be filled as soon as next week. We also got some info on the Highland Park project to put West Seattle Reservoir (map) underground – read on for that, other views beneath Beacon Hill, and some words from the mayor:Read More

From the comment files: Update on crash victim

Since few people check comments on posts more than a few days old, we wanted to highlight this here – an update this week on the motorcycle rider hurt in a West Seattle crash 10 days ago. “Sarg” wrote:

Visited Derby [Sunday], she was in very good spirits but not very hungry yet. Her foot, ankle and facial orbital surgeries are this week. She is very optimistic and talkative … that is a very good sign. Keep your prayers coming as our dear gal has a long road of recovery ahead of her. I would like to mention that she is in a room with another gal who incurred a m/c accident. Her name is Zoe and she is in much worse shape than Karen. Say a few words for her too. Thank you

2 playground proposals: Admiral dream; Delridge architect search

The popularity of new Ercolini Park is a reminder of just what a playground, and park, can mean to a neighborhood. Neighbors in two areas of West Seattle are working now to make similar dreams come true, and we have updates on both: The first one’s a dream for this Admiral park that you might not even recognize as a park:

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Just beyond the tree in the foreground, that triangle of land at California/Hill (map), immediately southeast of Admiral Congregational UCC Church, is indeed a park, called California Place (official city page here). Manuela Slye, who also happens to be opening the new Spanish-language preschool Cometa (as mentioned here), spoke to the Admiral Neighborhood Association at its last meeting about her dream of creating a playground there. She is in the very early stages of trying to figure out what that would involve, but already has a touching presentation (as read to the ANA) with children’s art and words about what it would mean to have “a place to play” there.

Second, in North Delridge, the “tot lot” project (previous WSB coverage here) for Cottage Grove Park is now seeking an architect. They are hoping to find a landscape architect that can donate her/his services for this small playground project, but there’s a possibility their grant-seeking could include some money for fees, so they want to hear from anyone interested. Read on for a full description of the work and who to contact:Read More

Crime Watch reader report: Burglary on 35th

Just out of the WSB inbox, from Karen:

I wanted to let you know that there was a burglary in our Blockwatch area today, in the 5000 block of 35th Ave SW, mid-block, on the west side of the street. It occurred sometime between 7:00 AM & 5:30 PM while the owners were gone. The burglars entered through a window & took small electronics & other things that are easy to carry.

Our Blockwatch area covers a two block area just south of Providence/Mt. St. Vincent, between Dawson & Hudson streets. It is called the Hansen View neighborhood, which is part of Fairmount.

Thanks for getting the word out!

Rock royalty and West Seattle book duo @ Easy Street tonight

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At center, it’s R.E.M. co-founder Peter Buck, flanked by West Seattle residents David Belisle (L) and Corianton Hale (R), at the launch party for their new book R.E.M.:HELLO tonight at Easy Street in The Junction. (Read more about it in our original report.) Here’s some video looking over their shoulders at the crowd for the signing during the first hour of the party:

Tuesday notes: Berry delay, boat trip, shoe drive, coffee talk

June 24, 2008 5:08 pm
|    Comments Off on Tuesday notes: Berry delay, boat trip, shoe drive, coffee talk
 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | West Seattle news

BERRY DELAY: This afternoon’s weather is picture-perfect typical June, but we all know what a weird year it’s been otherwise. As a result, the Rotary Club of West Seattle won’t get the first delivery for its berry sale — the strawberries — till next month, so the pickups originally set for this Friday and Saturday are postponed till July 11-12 – when raspberries will be available too. You can order berries through the Rotary Club’s website.

BOAT TRIP: If the forecast holds out, this is going to be spectacular: The Northwest Environmental Education Councill and Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition have a two-hour boat trip on the Duwamish this Saturday, 10 am-noon. It’s $20/person and you can sign up online here.

SHOE DRIVE: If you have any “gently used shoes” you’re thinking of getting rid of, save them for next month – Edie’s Shoes in The Junction sends word of a drive to benefit Soles 4 Souls – they’ll offer $10 discounts to customers who bring in “gently used shoes” to donate to the drive during July.

COFFEE TALK: Every Thursday night starting this week, 6-8 pm, special “coffee hours” are planned at Cafe Rozella as part of the King County Food and Fitness Initiative — looking for your thoughts about the availability of activity opportunities and healthy food in Delridge and White Center. Read on for more info:Read More

Proposal to speed up permits – for sidewalk cafes

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Perhaps timing this announcement with perfect sidewalk-cafe weather, the office of West Seattle’s Most Famous Politician (gotta use that term every so often just to keep the search results high) just sent this:Read More

Reader report: 3-car crash in Jefferson Square parking lot

Just out of the WSB inbox from “k” (thank you!) – we are en route to check it out:

just returned from safeway at jefferson square. 3 car accident right in front of the starbucks in the lot. close call for them! the cars were on the curb. not sure what happened, but police are there directing traffic and tow trucks are on scene. saw one fender on the ground and a lot of damage.

this lot is truly a mess always. this just made it even worse.

1:25 PM UPDATE: Don’t worry about trouble if you have to go to J-Square – the scene is now clear.

Crime Watch reader report: Where the rubber meets the vandal(s)

Just out of the WSB inbox from Kendall:

I feel somewhat silly reporting this. It seems so trivial compared to the serious crime reported on the blog, but my wife and I both had flat tires this morning. Apparently, we have some “harmless” vandals in the neighborhood-the north Admiral neighborhood. This is the second time it has happened in the last two months. The perpetrators flattened one tire per car and were even so kind as to replace the valve stem caps before scurrying off into the darkness. We do not know if these have been random acts or if we are the targets of someone’s ill will.

The first time it happened, my wife assumed (as anyone would) that it was a flat tire and not merely a deflated tire. She took it to Barnecut’s to have it repaired. Of course, they could find no leak. The young man working that day mentioned that there had been other people in the neighborhood with the same problem and suggested that it was some bored kids. Other than his saying so, we have no idea if this is the case.

The first incident happened several weeks ago and we imagined it an isolated event. This morning we were surprised to find both of our cars with flat tires. We park in the alley behind our house. Although it is just one block off California Avenue, it is a quiet, dead end alley. To the best of our knowledge, our nearby neighbors are not experiencing this problem.

It’s not the end of the world, but it is not fun to come out to your car in the morning and find a flat tire. Luckily, we have an air compressor so the vandals are not creating as much trouble for us as they imagine. I am sure our neighbors don’t appreciate my need to run the compressor at 7:00 AM, but at least we can solve the problem without putting on a spare.

Of course, we are thankful that they are not puncturing the tires, breaking into the cars, or engaging in some more seriously damaging activity, but it is a nuisance.

We don’t really have a clear understanding of whether the architects of this annoyance are targeting us directly or if this is a rash in our neighborhood. We’d like to think that we are random victims. We’re nice people and have done nothing to warrant this kind of special attention.

We are just wondering if anyone else in the neighborhood has experienced the same problem.

Junction coverup: Bus shelter finally back

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Thanks to Chas Redmond for that photo and word that the shelter on the southwest corner of California/Alaska in The Junction is back. When it was removed nine months ago (WSB report here), the county said it was going away so KeyBank could do some work on its building. (That same post had a long list of other shelter changes that were in the works at the time.)

Jail-sites fight: Highland Park strategy session

With three nights to go till the first of two city-organized public forums on the two potential city-jail sites that are in southeast West Seattle, the Highland Park Action Committee got together again tonight to strategize in advance. Part of their plan is to research and counter some of the documents the city is citing as reasons why a jail wouldn’t be detrimental to this community (or either of the other two with potential sites). In particular, they are poking holes in this study posted on the city’s jail-info website, taking issue in particular with whether that federal study has any relevance to effects a jail might have here:

That’s HPAC’s Kathleen Voss, saying that trying to apply the findings of that study to the situation here is a real case of apples-and-oranges. HPAC chair Dorsol Plants also noted that even where there might be economic activity tied to a jail, the money from jail workers buying lunch in Highland Park, as he put it, would not outweigh the money lost by families that wouldn’t buy homes in HP because of a jail nearby. HPAC continues its activism on a variety of fronts, including an online petition that’s linked from its jail-info page, but the next big focus is Thursday night’s city forum, 6-9 pm at 9125 15th Place S. in South Park (map). HPAC will hold its next monthly meeting July 21 (7 pm, HP Improvement Club), so members will have a chance to confer before the city’s second public forum (July 26, 9 am, South Seattle Community College). But as Plants warned tonight’s 50 or so attendees, “It’s going to be a long fight.” To catch up with all WSB coverage on the jail-sites fight, check out the newest-to-oldest archive page here.

Pulling an all-nighter that could help save your life

June 23, 2008 9:04 pm
|    Comments Off on Pulling an all-nighter that could help save your life
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

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At center stage in that photo from a few summers ago is Kevin Wooley (with Jim Dever and then-Hi-Yu Court members). You may know Kevin and wife Tammy Wooley, who are Fauntlee Hills residents – among other things, he chairs the Fauntleroy Community Services Agency, currently working to save the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, and she volunteers at local schools. This Friday night into Saturday morning, we know where you can find them, and hundreds of others – at West Seattle Stadium, during the Relay for Life of West Seattle. It’s different from some of the other “walkathon” type fundraisers that happen each summer (like last weekend’s Race for the Cure) – and there are a variety of ways you can be part of it, with or without becoming an official participant. Read on to hear how Kevin and Tammy – a 10-year cancer survivor – describe it:Read More

West Seattle Summer Fest music lineup: See it here!

Just in from the West Seattle Junction Association — the program for West Seattle Summer Fest, coming up July 11-12-13 — and it has first word of the music acts you can expect to see. It’s not on the Summer Fest website just yet, so download it here (the music lineup is on page 7, with performer info starting on page 10). The program has other Summer Fest details too; click ahead for a few additional notes of interest:Read More

Charlestown Cafe: Sneak peek inside, pre-grand reopening

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Tama and Sacha are two of the Charlestown Cafe team members working hard today to get the beloved restaurant back in shape for its grand reopening, now just days away, as first reported here last Thursday. It’s been a long and bumpy road to get the restaurant reopened after the February fire that at first left cafe co-owners hoping they’d only be closed for “days”; here’s one reason it took so long:

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That’s the new hood system required as a condition of reopening. But as our photo shows, it’s in place and ready to go, and the place was abuzz with work when we stopped by earlier today:

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Our Charlestown Cafe coverage — not just the fire, but also the development controversy that unfolded in preceding months — is all archived here.