West Seattle, Washington
BURGERS: Looks like Zippy’s Giant Burgers (16th and Holden; first reported here two weeks ago) is on track for the expected opening tomorrow. For one, it says so on their MySpace! For two, we went by earlier this evening and saw not only activity inside, but also a sign on the door, “Cash Only.” We’ll of course go by to check at lunchtime tomorrow if we can’t reach them by phone sooner.
FURNITURE: Driving through the Burien business district a few days ago, we noticed a big storefront with papered windows and the website address for Village Woodworks, the furniture store on California north of Alaska in The Junction. Checked to see whether that meant they are moving or expanding; Junction store management tells WSB it’s the latter — adding a second store, in Burien.
TERVO’S UPDATE: One week after we reported the sighting of a “New Ownership” sign and its temporary closure, the Fauntleroy Triangle convenience store has received a new paint job in the past several days:
You’ll notice the sign is painted out as well; new name to come, perhaps? Not according to the liquor-license application; click the button on this page and scroll down the results lists a ways — you’ll see the new owners’ names but not a store-name change. (As mentioned in that same update a week ago, there’s now a mixed-use development proposal in the works for this site too.)
Or should we say, cases and casings … Just spent some time on the phone with Detective Nick Bauer from the Southwest Precinct, and he provided updates on some recent cases reported here, as well as a new one for which police could use your eyes and ears:Read More
CONGRATULATIONS! Southwest Youth and Family Services, based in North Delridge, just got word today that it’s the winner of the city’s 2008 Seattle Human Services Coalition Outstanding Organization Award. SWYFS will be honored at City Hall on June 5th.
FASHION, ANYONE? The West Seattle-based organization Northwest Hope and Healing, which helps newly diagnosed breast-cancer patients with some of the practicalities of life, still has tickets available for its gala fashion show at Showbox SoDo tomorrow night. Not only is NW H & H based in WS (its founder, Christine Smith, is a West Seattle mom and breast cancer survivor), but most of the fashion-show models are from West Seattle, and local boutiques are participating including Clementine, Sweetie, Carmilia’s, and Coastal. You can find out more about the show, including how to get tickes, at the NW H & H website.
RUMMAGE SALES THIS WEEKEND: Want to get in the mood for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day on May 10? We just heard about another big rummage sale this weekend, Highland Park Elementary, 9 am-3 pm Saturday. The school explains that “proceeds will go towards buying a cargo container for the school’s Emergency Supplies to keep Highland Park students safe In the event of a natural disaster.” (If you have anything to donate, drop it off at the school by 3 pm Friday; 206/252-8240 if you have questions.) The rummage sale at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church continues this weekend too, Friday and Saturday.
SPEAKING OF WSCGSD: Turns out that WSCGSD, May 10, is also the day of the big food drive you can participate in without leaving your house – the National Association of Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” door-to-door food drive, where all you have to do is put a bag of nonperishable food out by your mailbox (or door if you get your mail there), and your letter carrier will pick it up. All donations stay local.
SPEAKING OF FOOD DONATIONS: One more mention, tomorrow night (6 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy) is also the first-ever “Instruments of Change” fundraiser for the West Seattle Food Bank. Find out more at the WSFB website. (4:10 PM UPDATE: Eve Holt at WSFB tells us the event’s sold out and they’re thankful to everyone for their support!)
While over near High Point a short time ago, we detoured to see if the 34th/Morgan crosswalk promised by the city — after a long fight by neighbors and pedestrian-safety advocates — was in place yet. As the photo above shows, we discovered the SDOT crew is on the scene right now painting the stripes. This is the same spot where our video report in January documented the dangerous situation for kids headed to West Seattle Elementary (a few blocks south on 34th) and for their crossing guard. The city noted in this WSB update 2 weeks ago that this is a “temporary” crosswalk, but those who have long wanted it are cheering for it nonetheless. Perhaps no coincidence, it should be done just in time for a walk-to-school event later this week. 4:05 PM ADDITION: City Councilmember Nick Licata, who visited High Point a few months back to look at some of the pedestrian-safety concerns, has just launched a website devoted to the topic, although if you’ve got any of the types of photos he’s talking about, send them to us too, since our turnaround time’s an awful lot quicker.
Thanks to John Cashill for sending us that photo of the backhoe that’s in action on the future Fauntleroy Place site (Schuck’s/Hancock Fabrics, south of West Seattle Bowl) as of this morning. We checked with Eric Radovich at BlueStar – developer for FP as well as Gateway Center on nearby ex-Huling land and the Spring Hill mixed-use building – and he says that while the backhoe has broken ground, so to speak, this is NOT the official groundbreaking for the project: It’s “there to dig a trench for geological testing.” Before FP can officially begin, Radovich tells WSB, there are a few more approvals and decisions required, including word on an official closing date for the current Hancock store (the company will be one of two retail tenants in Fauntleroy Place – the other, you are probably well aware, is Whole Foods).
Just the other day, we showed you early design proposals for the wayfinding kiosks along the newly mapped West Seattle Walking Trails; two months ago, project leaders asked for your thoughts on the first-ever map of those trails, and today they are looking for feedback on the text proposed for the back of the map. Quick turnaround – they would like to get comments by this Sunday night. The image is too big to efficiently show you here but you can look at it as a PDF by clicking here. Comments can be e-mailed to Seth Schromen-Wawrin at Feet First, email@example.com – he’s going to start incorporating the feedback on Monday.
WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham, who broke the story of the homeless encampment at Camp Long (original report, with photos — and now 100 comments — is here), was there Tuesday afternoon as that city team visited to strategize the forthcoming clearing of the site. Matt reports:
Left to right, truck driver Brian Johnson, Southwest District crew chief Carol Baker, and Jason, all Seattle Parks employees, investigate the abandoned homeless encampment at Camp Long. They walked the littered trail to plan the logistics for removing the refuse efficiently. Baker said the delay in the removal of the encampment allows an outreach staff from the Human Services Department to contact the campers and offer social-services resources. Presently the Parks Department is waiting for the weather to break in order to roll in heavy equipment without bogging and rutting the trails.
Two citywide-media reports you can find in the More page roundup include stories first reported here a while back:
TOWNHOUSE “MICROPERMITTING”: Discussed here extensively in January (original report here; followup here) as well as in many previous individual development reports. Featured in today’s Times, including a spotlight for local activist Vlad Oustimovitch. The project he talks about is the one across from the former Gatewood Baptist Church (now Seattle International), which we documented here as it unfolded starting in November 2006, including the intensifying controversy when work began in February 2007, and the last chapter in the fight (plus a last look at one of those historic buildings behind the project) in July 2007.
So acknowledged City Councilmember Sally Clark this afternoon during her Junction walking tour (first brief WSB report here) with nearby resident Sue Scharff, who invited the Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee chair to come see a neighborhood on the brink of major change. Here’s what else Clark had to say — plus video, including Scharff’s thoughts after the tour:Read More
Our state’s official Disaster Preparedness Month may have only one more day to go but the West Seattle neighborhood readiness campaign we’ve been telling you about will continue a few more weeks. To refresh your memory, the map above shows the West Seattle locations already designated as neighborhood gathering places for information and help in case of disaster — somewhere you’d be able to go, if the regular lines of communication weren’t working — and it’s important to memorize where your nearest one is, and to make sure your loved ones know too. (Some areas of south West Seattle are still a work in progress.) To help make it easier for you to know your gathering place, and to get info about how to be ready for the unthinkable, each area has set up a time for a drop-in event — Alki, (Alaska) Junction, Morgan Junction, and Pigeon Point have had theirs already; Olympic Heights (1-4 pm Saturday @ Hughes Playground) and Admiral (1-5 pm Sunday @ Hiawatha, new time) are coming up this weekend; the Fairmount event is coming up in 2 1/2 weeks. Click the spots on the map above for exact locations plus event dates, and keep watching here for updates. One more important thing we want to mention again: a checklist of supplies you can purchase right now to have on hand “just in case” – it has helpful specifics, not just the generalized lists you often see. We’ve uploaded it here so you can take a look and print it out for yourself for use in building a kit you can get to if you need it (and if you don’t have MS Word — here’s a PDF version).
ORIGINAL REPORT FIRST, THEN SEE 9:40 PM UPDATE BELOW
This just out of the WSB inbox:
Just to let you know that I think my house just got “cased.”
While I was upstairs rocking out with my headphones on, my dogs went nuts (which would usually happen in response to the doorbell, but I didn’t hear it). I didn’t go downstairs, but I looked out the front deck from the second floor.
About ten minutes later it happened again. This time I saw a white guy climb into a cream and darker tan colored older Monte Carlo type of vehicle parked in front of my neighbor’s house. It was being driven by another white guy. I think they were both wearing bandana-style headgear.
I went downstairs and found a (pizza) flyer on my “no solicitors” porch and, more disturbingly, discovered that a large plywood board (that keeps my dogs blockaded into the back yard) had been moved and not put back in place. To get to this board, someone would have had to walk clear alongside my house–between my neighbor’s house and mine. If they DID come into the back yard they would have seen the open door to the house proper, and that might have made them skedaddle, realizing that someone likely WAS home.
In any case, be on the lookout.
This happened around 5:50 tonight, around 37th and Admiral.
A reminder that the Southwest Precinct has reiterated repeatedly, if you see or hear anything suspicious, don’t hesitate to call 911. 9:40 PM UPDATE: The original e-mailer just sent an update saying it was a definite casing – read on to see why:Read More
That’s what Junction-area resident Sue Scharff (left) did. The intense wave of development proposals currently rolling through The Junction has her so concerned, she called the City Council to see who she could talk with. She was pointed toward the office of Councilmember Sally Clark, who chairs the Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee. And today, at Scharff’s invitation, Clark (photo center) and assistant Dan Nolte (right) came to West Seattle to walk The Junction with her and her friend Andie Nauss, and listen to their concerns, while taking a realistic look at how this all fits into the city’s big picture. What did Clark say, and what did Scharff think afterward? We’re working on detailed coverage to publish later tonight.
Two things about that photo of the south side of Barton, alongside Roxhill Park across from Westwood Village, are notable — what you see, and what you don’t see. What you do see: Shiny new “4-Hour Parking” signs, as promised to the Westwood Neighborhood Council and other activists (here’s our report from earlier this month; there also had been an update last month when we covered the West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting). What you don’t see, as a result of the new signs: The makeshift used-car-sales lot (and RV park) eyesore and safety risk that this stretch had been (note the empty space in our photo – we pulled over just past the Metro bus parking zone on the west edge of the block).
(photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
We just checked in with Austin Pratt — regional bridge commander for the U.S. Coast Guard — to find out why the proposal to ban most openings of The Low Bridge during rush hours still hasn’t gone to official publication, and therefore public comment. We first told you about this last month — West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s push for the restrictions to ease traffic troubles (March 3 WSB report), then the Coast Guard’s role in proposing and reviewing it (March 6 WSB report). As Pratt explained at the time, the proposal must be published in the Federal Register, and that launches a 60-day formal comment period and 30-day review period before a decision can be made; he was hoping that comment period would have started by now, but getting to the FR publication stage (which also will be reported in the USCG’s “Local Notice for Mariners“) required a series of approvals, and he told us a few minutes ago, “It’s on the Admiral’s desk today.” Barring any further delays, that means the comment period should finally open within a couple weeks; we will keep watch and let you know when it starts and how to make sure your voice is heard (which, as we reported last month, will require including the official “docket number” in your comment).
THIS IS A 2008 POST – FOR INFO ON 2009 MOVIE SERIES, GO HERE
We’ve talked about Hi-Yu, we’ve talked about The Parade, we’ve talked about Summer Fest, and now, another West Seattle summer tradition is getting ready for its closeup: Movies on the Wall next to Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor). This summer, it’ll be outdoor movie night every Saturday, July 19-August 23, with WSB as a co-sponsor; as part of that, we’re teaming up right now with Hotwire proprietor Lora Lewis to gather suggestions for what movies you would like to see shown! You’ll find ballot boxes at Hotwire and other Junction spots, and an online voting option right here on WSB – find it from the Cinema tab across the top of all pages – or just click here. You have till May 15 to get a suggestion in; we’ll post periodic updates on how it’s going and whether we’re seeing any trends!
Quick update on today’s hottest topic, the photos/report from Matt Durham on the Camp Long homeless encampment: Parks Department spokesperson Dewey Potter returned our e-mail inquiry this afternoon, saying the clearing would not happen today, because “the crew was still waiting to hear from the outreach staff from the Human Services Department about whether they had made contact with the people to provide information about programs and services.” We’ll keep checking.
Just received a copy of the decision issued this afternoon by city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner after several days of testimony we covered last month: The Hearing Examiner affirms the Landmarks Preservation Board‘s denial of a “certificate of approval” for Satterlee House owner William Conner to build three houses on the Beach Drive landmark’s front lawn (photo above). That doesn’t mean he can’t build on the front lawn, but the particular proposal he had put forth – which required Landmarks Board approval because of the property’s status as a city landmark – will not be approved. WSB was the only news organization to cover the hearing that stretched out across almost three weeks last month (you can find the previous stories in reverse chronological order by looking here). 5:15 PM UPDATE: We have messages out to Conner’s lawyer Richard Hill seeking comment; this is the city’s final decision in the matter, so any further challenge would have to come in court. Also, here is a link to the full 16-page decision if you would like to read it yourself. 5:20 PM UPDATE: Quick reply from Hill: “Mr. Conner respectfully disagrees with the Hearing Examiner’s decision. He will be reviewing his options.” No decision on that expected for at least a week. Meantime, we’re still working on the summary of the decision. 6:39 PM UPDATE: As promised, here’s our full writeup on the Hearing Examiner’s decision, with excerpts:Read More
Those are two early design concepts presented to the city recently for the first 10 proposed wayfinding kiosks related to the trailblazing (in more ways than one) West Seattle Walking Trails project we first told you about 2 months ago when local activist Chas Redmond was looking for map feedback. Read on to see what kind of feedback he and the local pedestrian-advocacy group Feet First got, and to find out what happens next with this project:Read More
Those are photos of an encampment in a not-easily-accessible section of Camp Long. WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham has taken those photos — and others you will see later in this post — while monitoring the site on an almost-daily basis since happening onto it at Camp Long more than a month ago. His captions, counter-clockwise from top left: “(The) encampment … has grown in size along Camp Long’s northernmost boundaries as human waste layers thicken; Robins and other wildlife sift along the garbage to gather food as winter breaks; A sign posted no earlier than the afternoon of April 22 claimed its posting occurred April 17. (I have) been staking out the encampment since March 5th and found no posting as late as Tuesday morning on April 22.” More of Matt’s photos, a closer look at its location, and what the city told us about this, ahead:Read More
This time, though, arrests are reported, thanks in part to alert neighbors. The report comes from Scott, who was away from home when the burglary happened on Sunday, but says he’s just across the alley from this burglary (7300 block 35th SW) reported here 3 days earlier:
So, from what we’ve heard someone (4 of them) attempted to break into our house today.
They backed their vehicle up our driveway and went around the back to break into a door on the backside of the house, first attempting to get into the side garage window first. While this was happening -3- of our neighbors were already on the phone calling 911 !
The police caught 2 of the guys, both in their early 20s. Obviously our house is being watched!
I’m really surprised that they attempted to hit our house; it’s a lot more open than the house across the alley from us! No trees to block the view of our house, wide-open driveway, and obviously LOTS of neighbors watching!
We got that photo from Seacrest less than an hour ago as the Elliott Bay Water Taxi headed over from Pier 55 on its first official run of the season. Upon arrival, a loudspeaker announcement from the crew thanked their inaugural group of passengers — five in all (you can hear the announcement in this clip:
As mentioned earlier, the kickoff ceremony, emceed by West Seattle’s King County Councilmember Dow Constantine and featuring music by West Seattle’s Bronwyn Edwards Cryer, is happening noon-2 pm. Water Taxi rides are free all day (here’s the schedule), and remember the free shuttle is now back in business too (here’s its schedule) – taking it will be a really good idea today, given the limited parking at and around Seacrest. The Water Taxi’s season is set to continue all the way through Halloween this year, with the full 7-day schedule all the way till the end.
Just west of The Junction at midday today, those kids played in a space that is taking shape as their future neighborhood playground, at Ercolini Park, while dozens of adults labored just feet away to install the playground equipment that just arrived:
Here’s video of both aforementioned groups in action:
The volunteers’ work at Ercolini continues 9 am-3 pm tomorrow, and is a major milestone in a transformation that’s been years in the making. Around this time last year, the park site was still a large grassy lot – former family homestead, sold to the city Parks Department:
In the ensuing months, neighborhood volunteers received a city grant — matching funds for cash and volunteer-time commitments that they worked hard to procure; now they’re cashing in on that volunteer help – and looking forward to a grand-opening celebration within a matter of weeks. By the way, if you live in any of the areas around The Junction, stop by Ercolini tomorrow to not only see what’s happening, but also to familiarize yourself with the site’s new status as your neighborhood gathering place in case of disaster – between 10 am and 2 pm, a table with safety info will be set up like the one last weekend in Morgan Junction (and other events that have happened in Alki and Pigeon Point; check the map in this post for other upcoming events – we’ll have updates soon for additional neighborhoods).