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Good luck, Saints and Wildcats!

Some big games ahead this week for three of West Seattle’s high-school basketball teams — first, thanks to the proud Seattle Lutheran High School families who e-mailed WSB to say the boys and girls teams are both en route to the tournament in Spokane – here are comprehensive details from Mike and Stephanie Jensen:

On Saturday, both the boys and girls basketball teams from Seattle Lutheran High School qualified for the State 2B Basketball Tournament. This is the first time since 1987 that both boys and girls have qualified for the State Tournament in the same year. The boys team is coached by alum Jack Menashe while the girls are coached by longtime coach Bruce Carlson. The entire SLHS community (faculty, staff, students, parents and alum) are excited to have our teams headed back to the tournament representing the school and our West Seattle community.

The tournament starts this Wednesday in Spokane, and concludes on Saturday. It is a double elimination tournament. Here are links to the boys and girls brackets.

We also wanted to mention again that the West Seattle High School boys play Rainier Beach at Bellevue Community College tomorrow, 3 pm, after their big defeat of Bellevue last Thursday. (And if we’re missing any other WS schools in big tournament/playoff action right now, our apologies; please let us know and we’ll add to our coverage!)

Also from the follow-up files: Charlestown Cafe fire repairs

As of this afternoon, it’s been exactly three weeks since the Charlestown Cafe fire. ccfiresmall.jpgWe just checked back in with restaurant owner Larry Mellum, who says he regrets to report he has no update on a time estimate for reopening; according to Larry, “The stumbling block is that the City is requiring we replace our hood system” — but since that’s considered part of the building, fixing/replacing it is up to the landlord, and “all we know is, they are discussing it.” He is hoping to hear a decision this week; he knows it’s frustrating for customers, as it is for him and his business partner, and their staff of 35 “wondering what they should be doing, and we have no answers to provide them.” If/when the hood work is approved, Larry says, it would take at least three weeks to be completed — “at least two weeks to fabricate the ‘hood’ and another week to install it.” (All of our archived Charlestown Cafe coverage, including fire reports and the ongoing site-development issues, can be found here.)

From the follow-up files: California Ave “upzoning” status

February 25, 2008 1:12 pm
|    Comments Off on From the follow-up files: California Ave “upzoning” status
 |   California Ave upzoning | Development | West Seattle news

upzonescreengrab.jpgAlmost three months have passed since the big public meeting on the proposed “upzoning” of both sides of California Ave between Hanford and Hinds (plus a bit further south on the west side of the street), and two months since we talked to major property owners Mike Gain and Roger Cayce about it, so it seemed high time to check in with city planners. The lead planner on the proposal, Malli Anderson, just told us by phone that the official recommendation isn’t likely to be out for at least another month — two main reasons: 1. it’s an especially important proposal and they don’t want to rush, and 2. they’re swamped with other concurrent projects. She says she has “a ton” of citizen feedback to review as she works toward a recommendation, which will also have to go through Department of Planning and Development management; once that recommendation is out, several steps will remain, including a public hearing before the city Hearing Examiner, and then a City Council vote would be required before any zoning change could be approved. (Previous WSB coverage is archived here.)

West Seattle graffiti, and what can be done about it


We had a spirited discussion here a month ago when that cat (above left) turned up on a utility structure along Admiral Way, along the lines of “is graffiti EVER a good thing?” John pointed out the cat’s been painted over but its sibling under the Schmitz Park bridge was still there this weekend (above right). As of our drive-by an hour or so ago, the cat paintover already has been painted over by some entirely non-ornate white tagging. All this coincides with a note we received from Mark, who thinks it’s high time for a reminder about what to do when graffiti hits. Here’s what he writes:

Now that warm weather is returning, so is graffiti already. The Key Bank building right there at Alaska and California, the heart of the Junction, is a perfect example. Also, nearby 1st Ave. has become a prime target — I drive it daily and it’s getting worse every day there. The nature of the graffiti “culture” is that graffiti attracts more graffiti. It’s not just a hobby with these kids — it’s a lifestyle that’s a big part of their identities as they “stay up” to acquire “fame” within the graf scene. I know some kids (teens to twentysomethings) who live in West Seattle and are big into the Seattle graf scene. If they see their home turf as welcoming, they will keep on tagging it up like dogs marking their territory.

Anyway, Seattle city government has a Graffiti Prevention & Removal website (click here). You can report graffiti there, and there are tips for removing and preventing it. My experience has been that the city crews do respond to this input pretty quickly.

I’d hate to see our beautiful Junction and Alki areas — and the rest of West Seattle — be seen as even more of a ripe “canvas” for these spray can punks.

(Photo credits: Admiral cat, from last month, courtesy of Jerry at JetCityOrange; bridge cat, from this weekend, sent by John.)

West Seattle weekend scenes: Canine, cookies


CANINE: That’s Mo the poison (and hurricane) survivor at his party at Beveridge Place Pub tonight (backstory here), posing with one of the baskets donated for a fundraising raffle.

COOKIES: West Seattle Girl Scouts announce … they’re here:


Here’s the official GS announcement on where and when you’ll be able to buy them:Read More

Crime Watch reader report: Alki car break-in

From Patricia:

My neighbor let me know his car parked in his driveway was broken into Friday early morning. We’re at 64th & Hinds. He had left an I-Pod Nano visible in his sportscar, the thieves busted the side window to get in. Guesstimate on break-in, most likely early morning between 2-4 am.

New “West Seattle Walking Trails” map: Ready for its closeup


That’s a new map that could change your life, for the better: the draft of the first-ever West Seattle Walking Trails map, whose creators want to hear your take on it, before they draft the final version. (Click the image above, or this link, to download the whole thing as a PDF so you can zoom in to your neighborhood, your favorite walking route, or just to get a closer look at all of it.) One of the project ringleaders is the tireless West Seattle activist Chas Redmond, who explains what it is and how you can help with it:

Feet First, in partnership with Morgan Community Association, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, the Southwest and Delridge District Councils, The Southwest Historical Society, every community association here in WS and other organizations such as the West Seattle Junction Association and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, present the first draft of the now-Climate Action Now program grant-funded walking trails map.

This is the first public review – folks should examine it, suggest changes – both additive and subtractive. There will be a second draft based on the comments of the first draft. SDOT will have the final review and there will probably be some changes from that resulting in a – final – third draft.

In the meantime, the back side of the map – which will include write-ups on every neighborhood and organization and signature interest point – will hit the streets. Probably two weeks from now we’ll have the text draft, which will coincide with the closing of comments for the first draft. The back side review will also include a second review round.

Folks should comment not only on the trails, the evolution of which can be learned by reading the contents of westseattlewalks.org, but also on the use of symbols, the correct location of schools and parks (we’ve checked, always helps to triple check), the color scheme (we’re limited to two colors to get max number of copies), and anything else.

Within a month or so we’ll have 20,000 copies of this map, which will be folded to a size about like a Metro route schedule. We have a complex and involved distribution scheme which should allow everyone in WS to at least have access to a copy. Eventually we’ll reprint in larger numbers, but want this first version to not only serve the neighborhood, but serve as a learning tool for what an urban wayfinding system and info tools about such a system might be like and how they might be better. A year of using this map will teach all of us – including the users – a whole new dimension in getting around – we hope, anyway.

Here’s the link again to take a close-up look at the map as a PDF (using zoom if you choose). As Chas mentioned, there’s a lot of backstory on the parent site for that link, westseattlewalks.org – once you’ve reviewed the map, Chas asks that comments be sent to him (credmond@mac.com) and Feet First’s Seth Schromen-Wawrin (seth@feetfirst.info).

‘Tis the season … to have your bid bash for kid cash


Not only is it school-choice season (Seattle Public Schools‘ deadline is Friday), it’s school-auction season. The photo above is from the Our Lady of Guadalupe GAIN auction last night at SSCC, courtesy of a mysterious correspondent calling himself “Rock Steele, Man About Town.” Before showing you a few other pix he sent, we want to note that at least five other local schools have auctions in the next month: Schmitz Park Elementary at the Hilton downtown on March 1 (flyer here), Arbor Heights Co-op Preschool at Youngstown Arts Center on March 8, West Seattle High School PTSA dinner/auction at SSCC on March 14, Gatewood Elementary (kicking off a centennial celebration) at The Hall @ Fauntleroy (also on March 14), Pathfinder K-8 at SSCC on March 15, Madison Middle School PTSA at The Hall on March 22. Again, that’s just the next month; others are on the WSB Events Page, and if yours is missing, please let us know so we can add it. Now, those other photos from last night’s OLG event:Read More

Crime Watch reader report: Mail stolen from Westwood box

If you mailed any checks using the box outside the Westwood Village post office earlier this week, you might want to keep a close watch on your bank account. Just got this report from Jim:

A check we wrote to Time magazine for $19.00 on the 19th, and dropped in the mail box at the Westwood station (verified it dropped in the box) showed up at Moneytree in Seatac, about 2:45 this afternoon, made out to a Hispanic man for $600.00, for lawn work.

Moneytree called the house for verification, we were not home, so they refused the check. I was able to verify the draft number and the style of check, and confirmed it was the same draft.

The mail was put in the drive thru box Tuesday night.

Jim confirms this is being reported to authorities, both by him and by the check-cashing business where it turned up. Here’s an online form for reporting it to the US Postal Inspection Service.

Denny-Sealth: Final vote now 4 days away

In case it’s fallen off your radar — the Seattle School Board‘s final vote on the Denny-Sealth project is four days away, at the board’s next regular meeting on Wednesday night. The agenda for the meeting is now posted online (including information as always on how to sign up to speak at the meeting – you can call starting Monday); find it here. There are two items on the agenda regarding Denny-Sealth:Read More

Updates from land-use land (and real estate too)


FIRST, THE REAL ESTATE: Yet another West Seattle apartment building is up for sale, with listing copy suggesting it might make a good condo conversion (though the pace of those seems to have slowed in the wake of the Strata and West Ridge conversion reversions). The photo above is from the listing, which is for the Siberay Apartments west of The Junction at 4546 45th SW (map), 17 units, $2,100,000.


LAND-USE UPDATE – 4502 42ND: The preliminary plan for this 7-story project on the site of several old houses (photo above) at 42nd and Oregon didn’t get a good reception at its first Design Review Board meeting in October (WSB coverage here). Developers have now applied for the official land-use permit to build it, and the city webpage says they’ve paid for the notice and public-room rental required for the next Design Review meeting — but that’s not listed on the city website anywhere, yet. Keep an eye out for that to be scheduled shortly; we’ll let you know when we see it.

LAND USE REMINDER — 5020 CALIFORNIA (AND 9030 35th): The California Ave project is Spring Hill, the mixed-use building, not to be confused with Spring Hill, the restaurant. Its next Design Review meeting is coming up this Thursday, 8 pm, Denny Middle School (following a 6:30 meeting about 9030 35th SW, a smaller project first reported here). Recent WSB coverage is here (first Design Review meeting) and here (follow-up “open house”).

Crime Watch reader report: Genesee Hill car break-ins tonight

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Just out of the WSB inbox:

Our car was just broken into in the last hour. We live by 53rd and Andover . Our friend’s car was also broken into several blocks away.

10:55 PM UPDATE: After talking with police, the reader also reports the dispatcher said the thieves appear to be “looking for ID info, car registrations and anything with your photo on it (like work ID’s). We only lost a CD and a video game … I think.”

Harbor Island spill update

February 22, 2008 2:19 pm
|    Comments Off on Harbor Island spill update
 |   Environment | West Seattle news

Updated information from the Seattle Fire Department is that up to 600 gallons of dimethyl carbonate got into Elliott Bay after the Terminal 5 spill early this morning involving a punctured container being offloaded from the Hyundai Patriot. SFD was “wrapping up” its role in the operation as of early afternoon, with other agencies still involved in containment and cleanup. The fire department says no one was hurt.

Myrtle Reservoir park process: Skateboard-feature update

With the next public meeting set for the Morgan Junction park design, seems like a good time to update the Myrtle Reservoir park project, since it’s on a similar timeline. Virginia Hassinger from Seattle Parks tells WSB the next public meeting for Myrtle is not set yet because “we have several site specific details we are still discussing with Seattle Public Utilities.” However, according to two other Parks officials, Colleen Browne and Kevin Stoops, when the final proposed Myrtle design is presented, it will include some sort of skateboard feature. That’s what so much discussion has centered around in previous public meetings (WSB coverage of last month’s meeting is here). The schematic option below, from the 1/23/08 meeting, shows the area of the park proposed for the potential skatepark feature):


The City Skatepark Plan had earmarked either Myrtle or High Point for a skateboard feature, and Browne says it makes sense to proceed with proposing it at Myrtle because that’s the “bird in hand” — a project under development now, while in comparison, there is no new park development of any type currently on the drawing board at the High Point site. Another question had been where the money for a Myrtle skateboard feature would come from (also discussed at last month’s meeting), since the Skatepark Plan did not come with funding of its own; Stoops tells WSB it would come out of the Myrtle park’s budget. “It’s a million dollars,” he noted, referring to the budget, saying this would be just another feature to be budgeted in, “like landscaping (etc.).” Hassinger says comments on all aspects of the project continue to be welcome; her contact info is on the official project webpage.

Emergency shelter moves back into West Seattle

A shelter for up to 20 men that was located in West Seattle until a year ago just moved back, according to a flyer received by neighbors (read a scanned copy of it here). The Calvary Lutheran Shelter, operated by SHARE, was at the church of that same name at 35th/Cloverdale from 1999 till last year, when CL sold the site to the former Gatewood Baptist Church (now Life Church). nazarene.jpgNow, as of last Friday, it’s located in the Church of the Nazarene building at 42nd/Juneau (photo left; map here), according to the flyer, which says there’s an informational meeting “for immediate neighbors” this Sunday night. The flyer includes info about how the shelter is managed and notes that the church has “temporarily hosted several other SHARE shelters in the past 5 years.” We have a message out to SHARE to ask a few followup questions; if you are interested in more information about the need for places for homeless people to go, the recent One-Night Count results are enlightening, as are pages from other groups such as the Committee to End Homelessness in King County. 11:18 AM UPDATE: Just talked with a rep from SHARE, and here’s what else we found out:Read More

Denny Middle School: Break? What break?


No, that’s not a file photo of kids in class BEFORE the midwinter-break week that wraps up today for Seattle Public Schools; those are kids in class DURING the break, photographed at Denny Middle School on Thursday, getting math coaching from teacher Gary Lai as part of a reading/math camp that’s been under way since Wednesday — with free lunch every day plus a bowling party when it’s all over today. It’s one of two midwinter-break camps wrapping up at Denny today — the other is 4th-8th grade music camp, where we videotaped participants on Thursday getting ready for a casual concert they’re planning today. Denny’s well-known music director Marcus Pimpleton is leading this first-ever program, with help from some student assistants, such as 11th-grader (and Denny grad) Chloe seen here helping a breakout group improvise a drum riff:

Another set of drummers worked indoors – the steel-drum players; what a lovely sound, even in short practice bursts:Read More

More parking news: Mars Hill-WS announces a change

Starting a week from Sunday, the megachurch branch on 35th says no more shuttle buses – it’s asking all its attendees to park in the lots at the old Hughes (South Lake) school. Here’s the announcement (which doesn’t explain why the shuttles are going away; perhaps they’ll be needed for the new Belltown branch opening in March, plus their WS holding lot is slated for development).

Congrats to the ‘Cats: West Seattle HS wins again


That picture just in from Paul Cozens (thank you!), with this news:

The West Seattle Wildcats defeated the Bellevue High Wolverines in boys’ basketball today 82-76, in overtime. West Seattle will play for the District Championship next Tuesday at Bellevue CC, opponent to be determined.

2:15 AM UPDATE: Here’s what the Times wrote about the win; the Wildcats’ next opponent is now set – Rainier Beach.

Tony’s opens tomorrow

For the second time today, we have good news for fans of fresh fruit and veggies — tonysredwhitegreen.jpgA few WSB’ers asked when Tony’s Produce will reopen for the year – so we just called & spoke to Tony himself, who says tomorrow is opening day, “8 to 8, 8 days a week, as usual.” He adds, “Just wait till you see the stuff I’ve got!” (If you haven’t been there before, it’s at 35th/Barton — map here — under the new red/white/green canvas installed before the holidays.)

Pay stations in The Junction? Everything’s on the table


WSB EXCLUSIVE: The city Transportation Department invited reporters to a briefing downtown this morning announcing a new program to evaluate and potentially revise parking in several Seattle neighborhoods, including The Junction — and those revisions could even include a return to paid street parking. Other media invitees were no-shows, so your editor here got an exclusive briefing and a chance to ask SDOT all the questions we could think of. Most important thing you need to know: SDOT says the process of assessing the Junction parking situation, coming up with recommendations, and implementing them, will take a full year, and the clock on that doesn’t start ticking till later this year — but you can start having a say NOW. (Other West Seattle neighborhoods will get the same sort of review within the next few years; more on that ahead too.) Read More

It’s official: West Seattle Farmers’ Market going year-round

We told you this was in the works, and now it’s official: Following a vote of approval by the West Seattle Junction Association board, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market is now clear to go year-round (otherwise, it was set to close for about 2 months after this Sunday). Seattle Neighborhood Farmers’ Market Alliance director Chris Curtis says, “The market currently is about 17 vendors. It will get a little bigger toward the end of March and should be close to 25 vendors in April and over 30 by the first of May.”

Mystery cameras/cables on 35th SW explained, sort of

We have answers this morning to yesterday’s questions, thanks to Marybeth Turner of SDOT:

Our traffic engineers are counting traffic volumes on 35th SW and Thistle, and at several other locations on 35th SW. This is a follow-up to traffic counts done last year. I understand that results will be available in several weeks.

12:07 PM ADDENDUM: Now we’re told the cameras are NOT part of this, nor part of the red-light cam program. So they remain a mystery.

Crash aftermath at Seattle West Inn and Suites




The clerk told one tv crew the crash sent a soda machine flying right by him. (It’s in one of the photos in the coverage we linked to below.)