West Seattle, Washington
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. The 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.)
FASHION: 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 at 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.” That 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.)
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.)
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.
10 am-2 pm, year-round, 44th/Alaska – here’s the “fresh sheet” for tomorrow:Read More
The updated CL listing makes it clear “just the business” (not the building) — but however you slice it, the Homestead is for sale, two years after it last changed hands. $495,000, according to this version of the listing.
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.
(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.
From the reports at the Southwest Precinct: Remember the car-window shooting on 61st SW reported by Mark two days ago? A 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
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.
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
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.)
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.
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
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
*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
(this post is a work in progress, as we continue to research details available online on this major Junction project that’s just gone public; we’ll put it all together into a more coherent update once we think we’ve found everything there is to find online tonight)
Twice a week, the city sends out its Land Use Information Bulletin, Mondays and Thursdays. Today’s came fairly early. It did not include a rather newsworthy project that made its debut later in the day on the Design Review Upcoming city page (maybe just a coincidence, but we notice this sort of thing every so often — major new proposal appears on the city website hours AFTER the latest biweekly bulletin goes out). Anyway, enough backstory. This one, scheduled for an Early Design Guidance meeting of the Southwest Design Review Board on April 10, is listed for 4706 California SW, which is the address currently held by Funky Jane’s. It’s described as a building with 12,000 square feet of ground-level retail and 5 floors of apartments above , two floors of parking beneath – so that would be a dramatic change for the block (though Mural will be rising high almost directly behind it). County records show the parcel stretches all the way north to Alaska (Super Supplements corner) and south to 4710 California (Rubato). The same owners, “4700 California LLC,” also own the neighboring parcel (Rocksport etc.). According to a project number on the Design Review Upcoming page, a proposal for that site will be discussed at the April 10 hearing too; this page for the project at that address, 4203 Alaska, mentions a building with 21,500 sf of retail and 6 floors of apartments over that. We are still researching right now to find out more online, since it’s after business hours and we won’t be able to get ahold of any of the listed contacts before tomorrow. Contacts listed on the official city project page include Weber Thompson (architects) and Conner Homes. This obviously has been in the works a while, as the history on the “fees and receipts” tab of this page goes back to August.
West Seattle Cellars owners are continuing to work on finishing the neighboring space they once hoped would become a wine bar. It’s been a while since our last update, and signs of construction are more noticeable outside the building, so we dropped by today to check on how it’s going. Turns out that work will be done next month; Tom and Jan are showing the available space to anyone interested in opening a “compatible food store” – but only by appointment, no drop-ins (and no other wine vendors) – they’re setting appointments by phone at 937-2868.
That’s a cameraphone photo of bogus bills snapped by a WSB team member who says they don’t look much better in person — badly defined imagery on back, for example — fake $50s that have turned up so far at Funky Jane’s Consignment and Many Moons Trading Company in The Junction (3-4 pm this past Monday), according to those businesses’ owners. We’re awaiting suspect description to share, but wanted to get the word out first to anyone who hadn’t heard.
(photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
As reported here earlier this week, West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s campaign for rush-hour restrictions on the opening of the “low bridge” is making some headway. We told you yesterday that the Coast Guard’s regional bridge commander was quoted in a newspaper story as saying the proposal was about to be published for public comment and that we had a call out to him for further elaboration. He called back this morning and indeed had more details than were included in that newspaper article:Read More
Last year, they did “Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr.” (above, ArtsWest photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham) – this year, “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.” – and signups for ArtsWest summer camp start this morning. Here’s the full scoop from AW (WSB sponsor):Read More