West Seattle news 55018 results

Admiral Safeway: Looking ahead at its future

More future West Seattle development news, this time from Admiral Neighborhood Association president Mark Wainwright: He says a representative from Safeway has contacted the ANA because, according to Mark, “They would like to start the process of redeveloping the Admiral store, and want to talk to the community. … No specifics at all right now, but it’s great that they’ve reached out to us early on.” It is indeed considered ideal for neighborhood associations to get first word of something major like that, and it’s another good reason to be involved with the association that represents your neighborhood — to see if there is one, check the WEST SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS list in our sidebar.

Motorcycle crash at 35th/Graham

Just saw a major medic call at 35th/Graham on the 911 log and got a simultaneous reader report — “terrible accident, motorcycle hit by a car and destroyed.” Heading over to check it out. 4:17 PM UPDATE: Got there within minutes of the original post; the motorcycle was upright but clearly damaged (will add a photo in a minute); no car in sight, except for two police cars bookending the motorcycle, before a tow truck arrived moments later. The road was open. Our original tipster said the motorcycle rider appeared “hurt” but “was moving around.” 4:21 PM UPDATE: Photo added:

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Harbor Properties buying West Seattle’s only motel – and more

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As we briefly reported yesterday afternoon, Harbor Properties not only is building Mural in The Junction and proposing a residential/commercial building on the ex-Huling land it’s just bought at 38th/Alaska, it’s also “under contract” to buy West Seattle’s only motel — the former Travelodge, now Seattle West Inn and Suites. This morning, we have more details — on all three — after talking with a Harbor Properties executive:Read More

Hey, bidder, bidder: School-surplus auction tomorrow

Thanks to Eddie for the tip: Seattle Public Schools is raising a little extra cash by auctioning a lot of stuff off at Boren tomorrow, starting at 9 am. More info (list, photos, etc.) here.

5020 California, 9030 35th advance through Design Review

February 28, 2008 11:59 pm
|    Comments Off on 5020 California, 9030 35th advance through Design Review
 |   Development | West Seattle news

springhilld.jpgAt left is design option D for 5020 California, aka Spring Hill (not the restaurant), which got the best reviews from the Southwest Design Review Board tonight at Denny Middle School during a semi-rare second round of “early design guidance,” mandated because the first round didn’t go well (WSB coverage here). One of the main concerns that architect David Hewitt was asked to address with this 6-story, 90-unit apartments-and-retail building was the fear it would leave the single-family neighborhood behind it with their alley-facing back yards staring at a big hulking wall. Board members’ consensus tonight was that the revised proposals removed that concern, and also moved more of the building’s “mass” onto the California SW street front, as they also had asked. The dozen or so neighbors who attended tonight’s meeting voiced fewer concerns than the larger group who showed up last month; one outspoken neighbor, Nancy Woodland, noted that reps from the developer, BlueStar (which is also handling Fauntleroy Place, aka the Whole Foods project), had even come to her house for a first-hand survey. Next step for Spring Hill will be the “recommendations” Design Review meeting. Before re-reviewing Spring Hill tonight, the SWDRB got its first look at 9030 35th SW, smaller but not without controversy:Read More

Alki’s spectacular sunset

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Thanks to Marybeth for sharing that sunset photo from Alki, and this one:

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Basketball playoffs update: West Seattle HS boys win

February 28, 2008 9:59 pm
|    Comments Off on Basketball playoffs update: West Seattle HS boys win
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

Thanks to Paul Cozens for the latest update:

In a hard-fought battle which went down to the last second, the West Seattle boys beat Cleveland 56 – 53 Thursday night at Bellevue Community College (BCC.)

West Seattle now plays Seattle Prep for third place in the Sea-King District. The game is at 3:00 PM on March 1 at BCC. Win or lose, the Wildcats are going to the state tournament!

Let’s see how many fans we can pack in the BCC gymnasium Saturday.

Go West Side!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Latest report roundup

Postponed from last night: the latest reports from the Southwest Precinct:Read More

West Seattle rabbi sentenced for 47th/Admiral crash

Per KOMO website: Ephraim Schwartz, the West Seattle rabbi who hit and killed city council aide Tatsuo Nakata at 47th/Admiral in November 2006, must pay a fine and do community service, and loses his driver’s license for 2 years, but no jail time. 10:36 PM UPDATE: Many more details in this P-I story, including City Attorney Tom Carr calling the sentence “outrageous” and the judge calling Schwartz “a lousy driver.”

About the Westwood pit-bull case, and dogs on the loose

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That’s a photo sent to WSB by a man who lives in the Westwood neighborhood where police shot two dogs, described as pit bulls, night before last. (Original WSB report here.) The neighbor believes those are the same dogs – even if not, he says there’s a dog problem — irresponsible owner problem, maybe more like it — in his neighborhood: “I have called Animal Control AND Police on these dogs NUMEROUS times. I have photos attached of the dogs hunting/stalking during the day right in a neighborhood where children play outside all day and walk to and from school. … I have many, many photos of these and other loose dogs stalking my neighborhood day and night.” On the night of the police/dogs confrontation, we heard scanner traffic indicating a history of previous trouble with the dogs that police shot. Now we’ve seen the full police writeup of what happened Tuesday night, and thought you might be interested in additional details:Read More

Three Thursday afternoon notes

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5 months after we reported townhouses are planned for the site of that 95-year-old house at 5232 California (across from West Seattle Nursery), the demolition permit has just been granted.

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A few blocks north, 5020 California — the “Spring Hill” mixed-use proposal — gets its next Design Review Board hearing, featuring the new design options shown above (full details reported here), 8 pm tonight @ Denny Middle School Library (after the 6:30 pm review of 9030 35th).

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1 month after that new paint job went onto Slices on Alki – it’s applied for a new liquor license; the applicant is “Cocktails Inc.” and the category is “snack bar.”

New info today about Harbor Properties’ Junction-area plans

Harbor Properties — currently developing Mural on land including the ex-Petco lot along 42nd, across from Jefferson Square — is going public today with more info about its Junction-area plans. First, as reported here earlier this month, it’s proposing a 6-story mixed-use building (mostly residential) along 38th, south of Fauntleroy, on parcels including a former Huling Bros. service facility and West Seattle Montessori School, and Harbor Properties has now closed the deal for the Huling-owned portion of that land. The other bit of new info: Harbor is also “under contract” for the site of West Seattle’s only motel, the ex-Travelodge, now Seattle West Inn and Suites (site of a headline-making crash last week), and other nearby sites. What will go there? We’re scheduled to talk with a Harbor Properties executive a little bit later this afternoon, and you’ll see a full report here later tonight.

Beat the gray-sky blues: Think Summer (Fest)!

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Nothing like a blue-sky photo from last summer to chase the gray-sky blues away if you have ’em … that’s from West Seattle Summer Fest 2007, and we’re rerunning it as we share the news that the dates are set for Summer Fest 2008, as published on the SF site: Friday-Sunday, July 11-13. West Seattle Junction Association executive director Susan Melrose tells WSB that the first planning meeting of the year happened just last night, so look for more details to come; they won’t start taking applications for table space till April.

Change at the top at the Southwest Precinct

fann.jpgBefore we post an overdue Crime Watch roundup plus a followup on the Westwood pit-bull-shooting case from the other night, we have news about the Southwest Precinct itself: As part of a leadership reorganization involving several precincts and divisions within the Seattle Police Department, Chief Gil Kerlikowske is moving the SWP’s commander, Captain Mike Fann (official SPD photo @ left), to lead the Traffic Unit, and moving Captain Joe Kessler to head up the SWP. Capt. Fann has led the West Seattle-based precinct for almost three years. (P.S. The semi-nearby South Precinct is also getting a new commander, Captain Les Liggins.)

Memorial planned Saturday for Herald reporter Tim St. Clair

As reported earlier this week, longtime West Seattle Herald reporter Tim St. Clair died Monday night after battling cancer. (His obituary is on the Herald site.) This morning, we just received word that his memorial is set for Saturday on Alki:

A celebration of life for Tim St. Clair, Mr. West Seattle, is being held on Saturday, March 1st, at the Alki Bathhouse, 2701 Alki Ave. SW., from 4 PM to 7 PM. It is open to the public, Tim’s family would love to hear stories about Tim and his time in West Seattle as a reporter for the Herald. Please post this on your site at the request of his family. There will be photos of Tim from his life as well as mementos and awards and memories of a wonderful man who contributed so much to the community.

Video wrap-up of Denny-Sealth vote: “It’s not over”

So said one Option 2 (shared campus) opponent, right after the school board vote. You’ll see that clip at the end of this post. First, let’s backtrack:

There, you see the opponents of the Denny-Sealth shared campus who stood silently throughout much of tonight’s Seattle School Board meeting (WSB liveblog archived here), until and during board members’ 5-2 vote in favor of the project — here’s the roll call:

Ahead: More clips including West Seattle’s board rep Steve Sundquist explaining his support for Option 2 and board member Harium Martin-Morris explaining why he opposed it, plus public comments before the vote (including one FOR the shared campus), and that “it’s not over” vow:Read More

Crime Watch reader report: Police chase burglar

Out of the WSB inbox, from Trissa:

Just wanted to let you know that someone tried to break into a house on the 4000 block of 23rd Ave SW tonight at 8:00 pm. There was a lot of police activity and they brought dogs to try and catch the person or persons. So a thank you to our police and hopefully they will catch the person(s)!

Side note, we were at the Southwest Precinct reviewing police reports, including last night’s pit-bull shooting incident, just before going to the school-board meeting, and will be writing that all up after the Denny-Sealth wrapup report.

ArtsWest announces lineup for next season

We’re monitoring other news while liveblogging the School Board meeting; ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) just sent the lineup for its next season:Read More

School-board vote on Denny-Sealth: Continuous meeting updates

9:50 PM: Back at WSB HQ now. Processing video for a separate wrap-up post on tonight’s School Board vote.

9:10 PM: Just back from wading into reaction interview central in the foyer outside the board room. Talked to Sealth staffers Delfino Munoz and John Wright, both of whom spoke against Option 2 tonight. Munoz quote: “It’s not over.” But what’s next – he says it’ll take some time to step back and reassess. (The board meeting continues, by the way; we will continue monitoring in case of anything WS-related.) P.S. The opponents were clearly disappointed as they cleared the chambers after the vote, but were classy about it – no loud boos or other disruptions – in case you were curious (and didn’t happen to be watching on TV). The board’s now discussing future transportation plans for students; high-school students are scheduled to stop getting “yellow bus” transportation as of next year, and are to be given Metro passes instead. WEST SEATTLE-SPECIFIC NOTE: District staff confirms this is the last year that Spectrum kids (one of the district’s gifted programs) from West Seattle who go to Washington Middle School will have the opportunity to ride regular school buses; that ends next year, though Metro passes would be made available for them too. (Meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm.)

9:05 PM – The vote is 5-2 for Option 2. The no votes are from Mary Bass and Harium Martin-Morris.

After the jump, the rest of our liveblogging of tonight’s meeting, in reverse chronological order, exactly as we filed it during the meeting:Read More

Crime Watch reader report: Kids shoot window

Steve lives in the 2400 block of 44th SW and just sent this (we’ll be looking for the official police report during our forthcoming trip to the Southwest Precinct):

Yesterday (Tuesday 2/26) we were disturbed to learn that our next-door neighbors’ house was shot at by a group of five young boys. There is a sizable bullet hole in their front picture window, and police who responded to the incident confirmed that the hole was made by something larger than a BB gun. According to our neighbor, she was returning home from walking their dog when she noticed the boys congregated on the landscaped parking strip in front of their house. The boys appeared to be of middle-school age. One of them was holding a gun pointed at the house. The gun holder tucked the weapon into the front of his pants took off running south down 44th Ave SW with the rest of the boys when she called out to them asking what they were doing. She began to pursue them but pulled up short when one of the boys called out to the others “She’s after us!” followed by something about using the gun.

When she returned to her house she noticed for the first time the large bullet hole in her front window and called the SPD. The bullet passed through the main living room where the family often spend time. Fortunately no one was home when the shooting occurred.

This happened around 9:30 am on Tuesday.

Real-estate updates, Beach Drive and beyond

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That’s yet another new sign on the big lawn in front of the “Painted Lady,” SatterleeHouse2DON.jpgaka Satterlee House (inset right), in the 4800 block of Beach Drive, this time for Ewing and Clark, at least the third time it’s switched listing agents since we started watching it a year and a half ago. Current price, $2.2 million. As we reported earlier this month, the proposal to build three houses on that lawn is going before the city Hearing Examiner in a few weeks; the Landmarks Preservation Board has a say because the Satterlee House is an official landmark, and its ruling is what’s being appealed. One more Beach Drive real-estate note: The fourplex at 4131 Beach Drive is up for sale, $3,050,000, and the listing says it’s in the process of condo conversion. And regarding real-estate in general – it’s been reported that prices are falling more slowly in Seattle than the rest of the country; if you want to track West Seattle real estate, WS realtor (and WSB sponsor) Bill Barna is now offering a regularly e-mailed “market tracker” report. Click here to e-mail Bill for the Market Tracker; or you can see a sample version here. (He also has an automated “new listings e-mail” service that we find useful to monitor for local listings which might be worth noting here.)

“Viaduct Closed” lights surprise: It was a failure, after all

As reported here about this time yesterday, at least a few eastbound drivers heading out of West Seattle were startled to see those semi-new “Alaskan Way Viaduct Closed” viaductsign.jpglights flashing yesterday morning –considering The Viaduct was wide open at the time. We called the city Transportation Department and were told it was a test. Why no warning, then, some commenters sensibly asked. We had a followup question out and didn’t hear back till SDOT communications chief Rick Sheridan just called with new information: It was a system failure, after all. He says SDOT was confused when we first asked yesterday morning because some testing WAS actually happening elsewhere along the chain of warning lights — a crew was out in the north end along Aurora, where similar lights are set up for southbound drivers, testing individual lights; Sheridan says that was at the same time a “field communications device component” failed here in West Seattle, turning on the whole system. The faulty component has since been replaced. We asked why there was no advance public alert about the test that WAS going on; Sheridan says there wouldn’t be one for a “one light at a time, quickly off and on, with a crew standing there” test like the one on Aurora, but he promises there will be one for a systemwide test he says is planned in about three weeks. (Which would be right before the actual scheduled inspection closure of The Viaduct March 22-23.)

Denny-Sealth vote tonight: New Sealth staff petition for Option 3

Tonight, the Seattle School Board is scheduled to make its decision on the Denny Middle School/Chief Sealth High School shared-campus proposal. (All WSB coverage is archived here.) What board members specifically are being asked to approve or reject is a resolution to move $10 million from elsewhere in the budget to support Option 2 (district rendering below), the option recommended by district administration — going ahead with building a new Denny on the Sealth campus, but adding money to the required renovations CSHS was already scheduled to get:

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WSB will be there tonight with live online updates; as the day goes on, we’ll report any late pre-vote developments, starting with this: Sealth teacher John Wright forwarded a petition signed by staffers who support Option 3 (building a new Denny on its current site; renovating Sealth with the basic upgrades it is scheduled to get no matter what). Here’s the petition text; Wright says of the 93 CSHS staffers contacted yesterday, 83 signed it (they hadn’t yet reached 16 staffers):

We the undersigned staff at Chief Sealth High School strongly urge the School Board to vote for Option 3 to keep the campuses separate. We strongly urge all available funds be utilized to build the absolutely best possible Denny Middle School to support our entire community.

There have been multiple admissions of community and staff engagement flaws in this entire process, some accidental, some intentional. Ultimately, however, we request Option 3 be chosen as there has been no evidence towards academic benefit for any co-location campus model.

1. All or almost all of the existing 6-12 models in the country referred to by the school district are either private, charter or magnet schools with self-selecting application processes. The models of 6-12 schools which exist were pre-planned projects, not mergers of existing schools. Successful 6-12 models had staff heavily involved in every phase of the development of the school and, in many models, the schools were created gradually (ex. one grade level at a time).

2. There is no academic plan for a 6-12 co-location model. Vague affirmations from the district that it “could work” as well as the Facilities Department website’s Academic Benefits (actually just copied from the Denny principal’s letter) do not constitute an academic plan. An academic plan requires considerable deliberation and intensive wide-ranging input prior to construction according to best practices.

3. Any large-scale educational program change absolutely needs teacher support for it to be successful. Combining the campuses without an educational plan for shared programs, shared planning and collaboration time for teachers, will lead to a lack of support and poor implementation.

Ultimately the reason why Sealth staff cannot find a single research study to clearly refute the proposed 6-12 model for Sealth & Denny is because something like this appears to have never been tried before. Never before have two existing schools with a significant FRL rate and no self-selecting application process had a building built prior to the development of an educational plan with the expectation that it would somehow work out. There are no studies to support or refute this exact model because it is a massive experiment on our kids – it has not been tried elsewhere and we believe it has not been done because it is an inadequate model.

Wright says Sealth principal John Boyd (WSB interview from yesterday morning is here) was presented with this petition late yesterday afternoon, before it was sent to the School Board. He also notes “this is a staff petition because the district still maintains that all of the other ‘Sealth staff polls’ were unofficial. So to avoid charges of ballot stuffing or any other classic attempts to discredit the integrity of the staff’s position, the original petitions will be given to the Board along with the staff list so they can verify the accuracy by contacting anybody they want.” He says that will be done at tonight’s meeting.