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West Seattleite’s “Exile Project” opens tonight @ WSHS


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.

“Sustainable Storm” gathers at West Seattle Chamber

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

More of these on the way to The Junction


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

*Both filings list Weber Thompson (architects) and Conner Homes (builders)

*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

Major new apartment/retail construction proposed in The Junction

(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.

Food that goes with wine? West Seattle Cellars wants you


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.

West Seattle Crime Watch alert: Bogus bills at businesses


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.

New Coast Guard info on the low-bridge-restrictions proposal

March 6, 2008 11:26 am
|    Comments Off on New Coast Guard info on the low-bridge-restrictions proposal
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news


(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

Time to start thinking about (theatrical) summer camp

March 6, 2008 9:24 am
|    Comments Off on Time to start thinking about (theatrical) summer camp
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts


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

Update on Nucor permits for crane changes

March 6, 2008 8:42 am
|    Comments Off on Update on Nucor permits for crane changes
 |   Delridge | Environment | West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news


Two months ago, we covered a hearing in West Seattle about permits the Nucor mill (Delridge/Andover) requested to modify a crane so it can add operating hours. (The red arrow in the photo above points to where that will happen.) For anybody keeping track, the official decisions are starting to roll in – just got a note from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency that it’s issued a permit required for this; you can read the associated fine print by following four links here.

Wildcats lose, but move on to the consolation bracket

AdamOnAlki reported it in the comments late last night:

74-43 in favor of Squalicum. Great season, boys. You surprised and impressed us all!

And as David went on to add, the West Seattle High School boys’ first trip to the state basketball tournament in more than 30 years isn’t quite over yet:

(Today) they play Auburn (22-3) … They have the potential to finish in 5th place, if they can win 3 straight games. It’ll be tough but it’s not over.

Today’s WSHS-Auburn game is at 2 pm at KeyArena.

Southwest District Council tonight: Quick updates

conlin.jpgSat in on tonight’s monthly meeting of the Southwest District Council and brought back lots of quick updates on West Seattle goings-on plus heard new and interesting things from the group’s guest speaker, City Council President Richard Conlin (left), who also spoke to the Alki Community Council’s last meeting (WSB coverage here):Read More

Another Crime Watch reader report: South Admiral break-in

We’re overdue for a Southwest Precinct report review but today it seems most of the reports are coming directly to us, too, anyway – like this one just out of the WSB inbox:

SW Stevens and 46th Ave SW Break-In

Today, Wed. March 5th, our high school son came home for early dismissal and found our house ransacked. After giving the police a report, we are realizing we were lucky no one was hurt. After kicking in our back door the thieves had time between 9 and 11:30 am to go through, search and make a mess of 6 different rooms in our house. They took coins, cash, cameras, and I-Pods. If you saw anything suspicious in the neighborhood 2-4 blocks west of PCC today please call the police.

One side note, thanks to everyone for clearly describing their location when sending in these types of reports. It really helps alert your West Seattle neighbors to exactly where things are happening so they can be on the lookout too.

First round in “Painted Lady” front-lawn development fight

It wasn’t criminal court, but at times it felt almost that contentious — with occasional interjections of OBJECTION! — as the city Hearing Examiner heard the first witness today in the fight over whether homebuilding will be allowed on the expansive front lawn of Beach Drive’s “Painted Lady.” The home — an official city landmark — is also known as the Satterlee House, and its former owner David Satterlee was the first witness to testify, several days before lawyers on both sides will present the bulk of their cases. We went to the Hearing Examiner’s windowless room on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown to see how this would unfold:Read More

Crime Watch reader report: Admiral firewood thieves

Just out of the WSB inbox:

I would like to report the following incident that occured around 5:10pm today:

I noticed 2 cars speeding down our alley between Lander & Stevens while I was working in the backyard. I looked up and saw the male driver of the first car (not sure if there were others in that car) who evidently noticed me. The second car was driven by a female and had 4 people in it.

I heard the cars stopping by my neighbor’s house. I looked to see what was going on and saw the people taking firewood from a stack by the garage and throwing it into their cars.

I told them to stop stealing the wood and they just stared at me. When my husband came around the corner, they got back into their cars and left.

One car is a white sedan, the other one is is a beige sedan with a license plate number (ending in) TQW. I’d guess the age of the people high school age to early 20’s.

The SW precinct told me to call 911, which I did.

“Tree massacre” brings neighbors’ questions


The removal of a whole row of big evergreens along two lots lining the east side of 41st between Rose and Southern (take your pick whether this is south Gatewood or north Upper Fauntleroy) had several people e-mailing us today — one calling it a “tree massacre” — to ask “can they DO that?” We checked it out and the answer appears to be “yes,” since the trees were on private, already-developed property with older houses – if that defines your property, you can cut down trees without a permit. Both lots on the block appear to be real-estate listings no longer on the market; the site shown in the photo still has an aerial-photo map that gives you an idea of how many trees were there before. The parcel now likely has a major view, as it’s on the west-facing slope, looking toward the Sound, Blake, Vashon, Olympics, etc. No development permits filed for either lot so far.

Crime Watch reader report: Car window shattered on Alki

E-mailed by Mark, who then promptly headed off to get the glass replaced:

At around 1:30 this afternoon, I was driving down the 3000 block of 61st Ave. near Alki when my car’s front passenger-side window exploded. Apparently it had been struck by a really fast rock, or else shot with a pellet gun or something similar. I phoned in a police report on the spot, and they responded quickly by showing up and taking down details. Didn’t see the %$#*$@ who did it, although after I pulled over and went to the impact spot to see what I could find, I caught a glimpse of at least two people running behind the houses there, with a male voice shoutingsomething as they ran. The two police officers who responded mentioned that four youths have been caught in connection with the recent similar incidents in the Admiral neighborhood, and although the punks have some little bit of time in juvenile detention coming up, they are currently not being held anywhere. Whether or not this incident is connected to them is anyone’s guess, but the officers did say they were going to check out the nearby streets to see if they could find out anything more.

So that’s that. The good news is that neither my wife nor anyone else was in the passenger seat, otherwise they would have been sprayed with glass.

Update: Progress reported on low-bridge restrictions


8 o’clock sharp this morning, we took that photo from Spokane/Marginal, with truck traffic backed up three ways while the low bridge was open about a mile ahead. Two days ago, we told you West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen was intensifying his push to restrict bridge openings during AM and PM rush hours, in hopes of cutting down on situations like the one you see above; today, there’s word of progress on the proposal — according to the Times, the regional U.S. Coast Guard district plans to publish a notice that will start a 60-day period for comment from the marine industry, after which another 30-day review period would be required before the restrictions (7-9 am and 4-6 pm) would potentially take effect. We have a call out to the USCG to find out more.

Good luck tonight to the West Seattle High School Wildcats

The state boys’ basketball tournament starts tonight, and West Seattle plays Squalicum (from Bellingham) at KeyArena at 9 pm. (Here are the brackets.) If you can’t go to the game but you want to follow closely online, it appears that’s possible through this site ($10 for tournament-long access).

Late-night followup file: Fauntleroy Place status

For everyone who wonders when construction will finally start on Fauntleroy Place, aka “the Whole Foods development” at the current east-of-Junction site of Schuck’s/Hancock Fabrics, we check in periodically with its developer, BlueStar Management. Today, BlueStar’s Eric Radovich told WSB it’s looking now like groundbreaking will be in “late April or early May” — a little later than last estimate — “due to a handful of minor details being wrapped up this month.”

West Seattle Gas Price Watch: First $3.50-plus regular

351gas.jpgThat’s the sign at 35th/Holden Chevron, about an hour ago. This may not be the only West Seattle station where regular is posted at $3.50 or higher, but it’s the first one we saw (and we did pass about half the other West Seattle stations in the 20 minutes before this sighting). We’re not planning another full roundup till the weekend — in the “baseline” one we did two nights ago, this station was at $3.46/regular, $3.69/super (the two grades for which we noted prices at all WS stations) — but we did want to make note of first $3.50 (higher than regular ever reached in WS during last year’s spring run-up).

West Seattle Crime Watch: School-zone patrol progress

From the Southwest Precinct Public Safety Newsletter just sent out by SWP Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow – don’t miss the last paragraph:

The T9 Traffic Squad focuses on aggressive drivers. They drive the Dodge Charger Police cars. The T9 Squad, along with other members of the Traffic Section, issued the following school zone citations between September 01, 2007 through February 11, 2008:

* Arbor Heights – total – 94

65 Speed, 1 Pass School Bus, 28 other –

* Highland Park – total – -540

363 Speed, 4 Pass School Bus, 1 R/W Ped, 172 other

* Holy Family – total – 245

189 Speed, 1 Pass School Bus, 55 other

* Sanislo – total – 56

47 Speed, 9 other –

* Total – 935

Last week the T9 Squad started working the school zone at Gatewood Elementary in 7000 block of Fauntleroy. Yesterday Officer Cavin stopped a driver traveling 45 mph while using the center turn lane to pass 6 other cars in the 20 mph school zone. The driver said he was late getting to the Ferry Terminal. He was cited for Reckless Driving.

Give to local food banks now, and it counts for more!

For the next two months, donations to either or both of the two food banks that serve areas of West Seattle — the West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank — will bring the agencies and their clients an extra boost. This news release explains why:


March and April donations to West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank will qualify for Feinstein Challenge

The West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank are encouraging community members to make donations between March 1st and April 30th so they can be submitted for matching funds from the Feinstein Foundation’s $1 Million Challenge.

For the past 11 years Rhode Island philanthropist, Alan Shawn Feinstein, has made $1 Million available to help anti-hunger agencies. For every cash and food donation received by the end of April the Feinstein Foundation will add a financial contribution.

“It may be hard for many to believe,” said Fran Yeatts, executive director of the West Seattle Food Bank, “but more than 3,200 families visited the West Seattle Food Bank in 2007. That’s 10% more than the year before. And the White Center Food Bank served 3,812 families, a 16% increase from 2006. So it’s obvious that the threat of hunger is very real in both our communities.”

“The more we receive during the challenge period,” said Ms. Yeatts, “the greater the match we’ll get from the Feinstein Foundation, which will help us provide for the babies, teens, adults and seniors who depend on our two organizations .”

For the West Seattle Food Bank, donations may be mailed to 3419 SW Morgan, Seattle, WA 98126. For information about the West Seattle Food Bank’s programs benefited by the $1 Million Challenge, visit www.westseattlefoodbank.org or contact Fran Yeatts at (206) 932-9023, or email wsfb@teleport.com.

For the White Center Food Bank, donations may be mailed to 10829 8th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98146. For information about the White Center Food Bank’s programs benefited by the $1 Million Challenge, visit www.whitecenterfoodbank.org or contact Rick Jump at (206) 762-2848, or email wcfb@drizzle.com.

Information about the Feinstein Foundation and the $1 Million Challenge, visit www.feinsteinfoundation.org