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Deadline Day: Where to get your return postmarked by midnight


That’s a West Seattle scene from earlier this tax-preparing season; in February, WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham caught Megan Legua and Irine Rodriguez strolling through The Junction in their Liberty Tax Service-provided costumes. For that firm, for the local H&R Block (WSB sponsor) offices, and for countless CPAs and other tax experts — plus those who choose to go it alone — this is crunch day. If you’re sending your return by postal mail, the Postal Service says there is a grand total of ONE Seattle-vicinity post office where you can get it postmarked all the way up till midnight: 15250 32nd Avenue South (map). (Other Western Washington locations are listed here; listed hours for West Seattle’s two post offices are till 6 pm @ Westwood, till 5 pm @ Junction.)

Road worrier? 2 meetings of interest tonight

April 15, 2008 9:54 am
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 |   Crime | Safety | Transportation | West Seattle news

HOW’S THE CITY SPENDING YOUR MONEY? The Bridging the Gap Citizen Oversight Committee is having its quarterly meeting tonight in West Seattle, 6:30 pm @ Youngstown Arts Center. Read more about the committee and the meeting here. They keep an eye on how the city is spending the money from the BTG levy.

“TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT” QUESTIONS? IDEAS? Luke Korpi, senior engineer with the city Transportation Department, is the guy to ask/tell – and tonight, he’s the guest at the West Seattle Community Safety Partnership monthly meeting, 7 pm, Southwest Precinct meeting room (Delridge & Webster, east of Home Depot). This is also the monthly meeting attended by key police personnel from SWP with briefings on West Seattle crime trends and opportunities for you to tell/ask them about concerns in your neighborhood.

Junction Association updates: It’s not just about development




It’s no secret that entering West Seattle, Junction-bound, from the “Fauntleroy Triangle” area, you’re not exactly greeted with an inspirational view (photos above were taken as we drove westbound on Fauntleroy during the Saturday-afternoon sunshine). But you might be interested to hear that in this time of transition (related topic below), there’s a move afoot to change that — spearheaded by local leaders including West Seattle-residing Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and West Seattle Junction Association president Dave Montoure. They’re strategizing a way to beautify the “gateway to West Seattle,” and working on a strategy meeting to be held later this month. In a recent chat with WSB, Montoure — proprietor of West 5 — also talked about a new way that his establishment and the Junction’s other food businesses are going green — and making history in the process:Read More

Hiawatha floor fumes foil park meeting

April 14, 2008 7:05 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Seems the floor-refinishing work that closed Hiawatha Community Center for the past week left lingering fumes in the upstairs meeting rooms (and the gym), so tonight’s Parks Department Strategic Plan public meeting was canceled at the last minute. Four more to go in WS; next one’s at Camp Long on Wednesday – here’s the list.

West Seattle Crime Watch: About that Sat. night search

Lots of e-mails asking about this one — after an intense helicopter/ground search over part of east West Seattle on Saturday night — finally got the info: Lt. Norm James at the Southwest Precinct says it started with a domestic-violence call, one person threatening another with a knife (in a situation where there already was a restraining order) — the victim was not hurt, but it took about an hour to find and arrest the suspect (Lt. James says the K-9 team made the capture in the 5300 block of 21st SW).

Want free trees? New offer from the city

April 14, 2008 1:11 pm
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 |   Environment | Transportation | West Seattle news

As discussed here a week and a half ago, not everybody wants a free street tree from the city. But a few people in that comment thread DID say “hey! we do!”, so in that spirit, we are passing along this SDOT announcement that just landed in the WSB inbox:Read More

What the Denny site might look like, post-Denny


In the months preceding the Seattle School Board vote to tear down Denny Middle School and build its replacement on the Chief Sealth High School campus (archived coverage here), one big question was, “what would happen to the Denny site?” The Westwood Neighborhood Council is watching that especially closely, and the sketch you see above is courtesy of WNC president Steve Fischer; he got it from Robert Evans, who’s working with Seattle Public Schools on the Denny/Sealth project. Fischer explains: “The graphic, as it was described to me by Mr. Evans, shows a ‘tennis center,’ parking lot, and softball field where the current Denny Middle School is situated. Mr. Evans informed me that this was the graphic that was to be sent out with the SEPA determination for the project and only shows the worst case scenario in terms of impervious surface area. Mr. Evans informed me that they intend to still work with the neighborhood on the development of this site.” Reminder, the city Landmarks Preservation Board considers the landmark nominations for Denny and Sealth — submitted as part of the required process in this project — this Wednesday afternoon, 3:30 pm, 40th floor, Municipal Tower downtown. (More details here.)

Now there are 2: How to see Alki’s original Statue of Liberty

April 13, 2008 3:29 pm
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 |   Alki Statue of Liberty | West Seattle history | West Seattle news


When the recast Alki Statue of Liberty was triumphantly unveiled at Alki last September 11th (WSB coverage, with video, here), we all knew the original statue would eventually take up residence in the nearby Log House Museum. We kept checking for a while and eventually lost track of when it would arrive — till a recent e-mail exchange with museum managers enlightened us to the fact it’s on display now in the Carriage House gift shop adjacent to the Log House Museum, where we took the photo today, as well as this pic of related tchotchkes you can buy in the Carriage House:


The gift shop has many other offerings too, including several copies of the quintessential West Seattle history book — published 20 years ago (but still endlessly fascinating) — West Side Story. You can check it out, and see the original Alki Lady Liberty, during Log House Museum hours, Thursdays-Sundays, noon-4 pm, southwest corner of 61st and Stevens (map and other info here) – and don’t miss the silent auction with baskets, gift certificates, and more, in the LHM’s main room, now through April 27. P.S. Our most recent update on the “new” statue’s plaza/pedestal project is here.

Follow-up on status of Myrtle Reservoir skateboard feature

April 13, 2008 3:01 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks


Two things to report in the ongoing question of whether an area for skateboarders will be built into the Myrtle Reservoir park, an issue of great interest to both skateboarders and park neighbors: First, a postcard has arrived, promoting the next public meeting (May 1), and the postcard says: “An area on the site will be reserved for a future skate feature.” Second – after the April 3rd city Design Commission review of the latest Myrtle design proposal (an electronic copy is not yet available but you can see our photo of it in our report about that meeting), during which Parks Department reps made statements conflicting with what they had told us for this report we published in February, we asked Colleen Browne (who manages the department’s project managers) for further clarification of its status, and this is what she has e-mailed in respnse:

The [citywide] Skatepark plan calls for a skate feature at either this site or High Point. At the present time we have a ProParks project at Myrtle. Therefore, we propose putting a skate feature into the park. We are looking for ways to fund it because it would likely be cheaper to build the entire park at one time.

So what’s next? Come hear/ask for yourself at the May 1 meeting, billed as the third of four public meetings on the project; it’s at 7 pm, High Point Community Center.

West Seattle Crime Watch reader report: Same burglar?

This just came in as a comment following the “bra-scattering burglar” West Seattle Crime Watch report five days ago; since most people won’t check in on comments from older items, we’re reposting it here:

He hit us too, we came home Friday night and found our house had been broken into as well (13th and Trenton) and I would guess it’s the same guy based on how he operated. The underwear drawers were all ransacked (but no underwear turned up in the driveway) and smaller electronics and such were taken. The weirdest thing was that he looked through our fridge and ate some leftover pizza while he was here (we’ve started referring to him as the Pizza Bandit). He was clearly in no hurry. He also had a coke and the police took the can with them to look for fingerprints. We can only hope he gets caught soon as obviously he is quite brazen. We’ll be installing security cameras this week in the event he decides to come back in the future. All in all a bad weekend!


We’ll be checking on this one with the Southwest Precinct tomorrow. Speaking of which, we posted a note on the Crime Watch page, but in case you were wondering (as were about half a dozen people who e-mailed us), we don’t yet have official information on what was at the heart of last night’s helicopter-accompanied search in Pigeon Point and environs – will let you know when we do.

New burger place on the way to eastern West Seattle


Thanks to Karol I for e-mailing this tip, which we confirmed via business-license records as well as this spot on MySpace:

Just a few words on a new business is coming to a part of Seattle which has few food places. Blaine and Rahel Cook are in the process of changing that.

Zippy’s Giant Burgers is coming to 16th and Holden about May 1, 2008. They are busy cleaning, painting and arranging the new furniture which they have carefully selected for their new venture. I am sure that they will be doing well, in particular since I will be one of their first customers.

Here’s a map of that location (street address 1513 SW Holden).

Another D event @ WSHS this weekend, with a twist

donkey5.jpgEight days after the 34th Legislative District Democratic Caucus at West Seattle High School (WSB coverage here), the King County Democratic Convention happens there Sunday. Interesting sidenote found online – notable non-Democrat Tim Eyman is hoping to speak.

Reader report: “More kids throwing stuff at cars”

Just out of the inbox from Tippy, whose e-mail carried that subject line. We don’t condone anyone hitting their kids (or adults for that matter) but we’re leaving in Tippy’s last line because it’s a rather clear summary of his feelings:

While traveling up Fairmount with my wife and kids around 4:00 p.m. today I was hit by a water balloon just before the intersection of Forest. I had my window open and it missed my head by mere inches. I stopped the car and gave chase. Being young and spry they escaped. I subsequently called the police (which showed up within minutes). I did find a stash of water balloons (black) and a pile of dirt clods and rocks. I also took and handed over to the police one brown shirt that was housing the water balloons. So, if parents are reading this and one of their lovely progeny is missing a brown shirt, whack them upside the head.

Now, if you’re wondering “so what? it was just water balloons,” from our coverage of some of the recent cases of rocks being thrown at cars (and BBs being shot at them) — which could have resulted in serious injury or worse — we recall some of the perpetrators having started their sprees by throwing more benign objects (Christmas lights, in this notorious case), and moving on to the potentially injurious ones. And one more note, coverage coming up just a little later tonight of West Seattle kids doing GOOD things, never fear.

Public-school popularity list – of sorts – goes public

Linked from the P-I education blog this afternoon: A Seattle Public Schools spreadsheet showing how many families listed each school in the district as their “first choice” for next year, and for comparison, the numbers for the previous four years. (Iif you haven’t been through this process before, the “school choice” system in SPS asks you to list and rank the schools you request that your child/ren be admitted to; the process is under review for possible future changes.) Take note that the elementary numbers are for kindergarteners, the middle-school numbers for 6th graders, the high-school numbers for entering 9th graders. West Seattle schools that were listed as “first choice” by more students this year than last, according to this document, are Arbor Heights, Cooper, Gatewood, Lafayette, Roxhill, Schmitz Park, and West Seattle (still listed under its old name, High Point) elementaries; Denny Middle School; and West Seattle High School. (See our Schools page for direct links to all WS schools’ websites.) Among those, the most dramatic jumps were at Denny, with 132 first choices this year, 87 last year; Gatewood, with 61 first choices this year, more than double the 26 from last year; Lafayette at 116, up from 75; and Roxhill, almost doubling, 31 this year after 16 last year. As the P-I also notes, a wide variety of factors play into how parents list choices, so this isn’t a completely clear-cut popularity poll, to be fair. (Here’s the spreadsheet link again; note the third page shows how many kids are currently waitlisted for each school.)

Police newsletter: More advice about staying watchful

April 11, 2008 10:35 am
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 |   Crime | Safety | West Seattle news

Just got the latest newsletter from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow. The big highlight is something that’s often discussed here: the importance of staying watchful. Read it here (Word doc).

1st Design Review meeting for 2 precedent-setting projects


That’s a “design concept” Baylis Architects showed last night on behalf of Harbor Properties, for the site at 38th/Alaska where Harbor wants to build what its presentation noted would be the first mixed-use building in the “Fauntleroy Triangle” area. (See updated clickable WSB map of Triangle/Junction development and real-estate offerings.) The presentation spent more time discussing the characteristics and future of that area than of the proposed building itself, but Southwest Design Review Board members were impressed enough to advance the project to the next stage. Different results, though, for the other project on last night’s SWDRB agenda in the Chief Sealth High School library, the Conner Homes proposal for California/Alaska/42nd. Here’s what happened on both:Read More

Dig in, and help finish turning Ercolini Park into reality

April 10, 2008 11:56 pm
|    Comments Off on Dig in, and help finish turning Ercolini Park into reality
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks



Those are photos from May 2007 (top) and March 2008 showing Ercolini Park, years in the making at a storied site west of The Junction (48th & Alaska), and now maybe less than two months away from completion. Donated money and time have been key to getting it this far – they just finished fundraising last October — and now Ercolini Park volunteers have put out the call – it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get the job done, by signing up to pitch in for whatever time you can give Saturday 4/26 and/or Sunday 4/27. Here’s their request:

The time has finally arrived to put on those work gloves and help complete our park. As you may have seen, we now have grass and are ready to install the play equipment. The play equipment supplier has scheduled construction to take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 26th and 27th. We need approximately 25 volunteers for each day. There will be additional work to be scheduled later that will include: spreading the wood chip play area surface, cleaning up the walkways and spreading beauty bark in the landscaping. We are setting up shifts starting at 9:00 am on each day. Please e-mail mkhjorten@comcast.net with your commitment of when you can volunteer and for how long. Please include a contact phone number so we can reach you if we need to. We have a neighborhood group (SNAP) that has volunteered to help with refreshments. This is also an area where you can volunteer. We will need sandwiches, snacks, beverages and assistance in providing lunch. Children are welcome to come and help but will not be able to play in the grass area or construction zone.

Each volunteer needs to come with a pair of work or garden gloves. Other items that will be needed:

-Shovels and rakes
-Rachets, sockets and wrenches (9/16” and 5/16”)
-Cordless drills
-Several utility knives
-6’ step ladders
-Several wheelbarrows

Tasks will include: unpacking and moving parts into place, play equipment assembly, moving dirt from post holes, clearing construction debris.

Each volunteer will need to sign in and out with the Volunteer Coordinator at the site to insure that we get credit for your time. If you provide refreshments, please submit a receipt to the Volunteer Coordinator, so we can get credit for your in-kind donation. We need to match $12,000 of our Dept. of Neighborhood Matching Fund Grant. This all goes toward that effort.

There will be a tent erected in the center plaza area, but the construction area will not be covered so dress accordingly. Hopefully, we will have beautiful weather. Let us know if you have any questions. Pass this on to your neighbors.

After the grass has had time to mature we will have a dedication ceremony, probably at the end of May or first part of June.

Sign up to help by e-mailing this address: mkhjorten@comcast.net

Another pet note: Junction Association announces Pet Fest

April 10, 2008 10:56 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | Pets | West Seattle news

The West Seattle Junction Association has just announced details of its first-ever Pet Fest, planned for Sunday, April 27, in the Wells Fargo parking lot at the northeast corner of 44th and Alaska. It’s for people who are seeking pets as well as people who already share their lives with one (or more) — two groups will have adoptable pets on site all day. Also on hand: Artists specializing in “pet portraits,” local animal-relief groups, pet-health experts, and more. An “Ugliest Dog and Ugliest Cat in West Seattle” contest also is promised (you can sign up now at Next to Nature in The Junction). This is all part of a really big day in The Junction — though the West Seattle Farmers’ Market is now officially year-round, it’s still celebrating “opening day” that day with wagon rides and music. More info on the Junction festivities at the WSJA website.

2 dog followups: Pit-bull shooting aftermath; lost Akita

April 10, 2008 6:34 pm
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 |   Pets | West Seattle news | Westwood

We have been checking in periodically with Seattle Animal Shelter director Don Jordan to find out what was going to happen to the dog that survived the police shooting in Westwood on February 26, and to the owner of that dog and another that was killed after attacking a man and his Chihuahua. In early March, Jordan told us the owner faced more than $1,000 in fines from citations. Today, he says his investigator is almost done writing up a report recommending that the owner face a criminal charge, “negligent control of an animal.” As for the surviving dog, it’s still in Animal Shelter custody, and its future depends on what happens with the criminal-charge recommendation. If a charge is filed, the dog will remain with the shelter TFN as evidence. If the prosecutor decides not to charge the owner, Jordan says, the dog would likely be returned to the man, because there was no prior history of violations involving this dog (though the owner did have a history of violations with other dogs). We’ll keep checking to see what happens. Meantime, an update on this elusive dog:


That’s Kit the Akita, who’s been in the Lost/Found section of our Pets page for almost three weeks now, with a particularly heartwrenching story: He got away just a week after starting a new life following rescue from an abusive situation. He’s apparently been spotted around Westwood but is hard to catch, according to Lynn, who e-mailed with this update:

There was another attempt to catch Kit April 3rd by a woman who lives in the area … I hope many people are watching out for this boy and trying to catch him. He has been seen crossing busy roads and is very vulnerable out there, if he is still alive at this point. I spoke with the woman who lost him the other day and she has tried very hard to catch him and is very, very sad. Animal Control tried live trapping, but apparently didn’t have a tranquilizer gun; it looks likely they could have got him that way since they were near him for quite some time, according to what I was told.

As the Pets page post says, call (206) 518-1611 if you find or see this dog – not the number on his old tags, which were from the previous owner and hadn’t yet been changed..

Update on ActivSpace fire cause: Incense

April 10, 2008 5:43 pm
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 |   West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

First: Jerry from JetCityOrange, who (as mentioned in the original report) works in the building, has now uploaded some video. Now, the cause: Helen Fitzpatrick from the Seattle Fire Department says some incense was left too close to papers, which caught on fire. The reported “explosion” was actually a can of shaving cream exploding, according to SFD, which also says nobody was hurt; no other units were affected; damage estimate, $25,000.

More repairs on Fauntle-rut Way


In the wake of our Pothole From Hell experience the other night (reported, and then deeply discussed, here), this was one of three SDOT trucks we saw working in the suspect lane (southbound, left, Fairmount Springs area) this afternoon.

McFreebie: Free McDonald’s espresso (you heard it here first)

During the Starbucks freebie discussion the other day, WSB frequent contributor/Forum Community member JanS mentioned in comments here she’d heard McDonald’s would offer free espresso on Friday. Now, 3 days later, the official announcement, and a cutesy website to accompany it. (Not nearly as amusing as this new website, though.)

Denny-Sealth updates: Landmark nominations; dot votes; meetings


Thanks to Westwood Neighborhood Council president Steve Fischer for sending word that as part of the process in the Denny Middle School rebuild/Chief Sealth High School renovations shared-campus project, Seattle Public Schools has submitted landmark nominations for Denny and Sealth. (This is a required part of the process because of the buildings’ age; before significant work, or teardown in the case of DMS, occurs, the city must determine whether they merit landmark designation.) The Landmarks Preservation Board will have a public hearing on both nominations during its meeting at 3:30 pm next Wednesday (40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown; other West Seattle items are on the agenda including approval of the Hiawatha Playfield project and Fauntleroy Church window work, since both involve landmarks). Also, there’s word of a SPS-sponsored public meeting April 22 at CSHS cafeteria, 6:30 pm, to review the “environmental checklist” for the Denny/Sealth project. Meantime, we were at Sealth today and noticed easels are up in the commons, with “dot voting” going on to prioritize 30 possible projects that could be funded with the money the school is slated to get beyond safety-related renovations. Last update — As we first reported a week ago, the legal challenge to the Denny/Sealth project is proceeding, though SPS confirms it has filed to have the complaint dismissed, because it “believes that the case is without merit.”