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Update: Power trouble at Westwood Village

May 29, 2009 8:21 am
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 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

Thanks to the tipster who called us about this; last night, after a “transformer fire” call nearby, we heard from one person who was without power for a while, but they got it back by 9:15 pm and we heard no further reports. However, this morning Starbucks is closed (expecting to open 10-ish, per a note on the door), the QFC is open under generator power, and some other businesses are closed. Checking with City Light to see what’s going on. Checking at WV, it only appears to be the building with QFC etc. – Target and McDonald’s are unaffected. 9:29 AM UPDATE: Peter Clarke from City Light tells WSB the power should be back any time now, adding:

The problem was a transformer outage. The crew worked through the night to replace the transformer which originally was reported out at 7:38 p.m. The boundaries of the initial outage were on the north: SW Trenton St; on the south SW Barton St; on the east 25 Ave SW and on the west 27 Ave SW. Initially City Light estimates there were 133 customers without power, however, 80 % were restored power by 9 p.m.

Happening today/tonight: They throw, you (get ready to) run

The lion’s share of tonight’s activities – plus Saturday and Sunday – will be in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup later this morning. But we wanted to mention a few things early on: First, two local high-school softball teams are in state tournament play starting today – Seattle Lutheran High School vs. La Salle in Yakima, West Seattle High School vs. Columbia River in Tacoma. (See coach Carrie Burr‘s extensive report in the WSB Forums.) Second, it’s the last day for online registration for Sunday’s West Seattle 5K (WSB sponsor), which kicks off “Celebrate Summer Streets” on Alki (aka “car-free day”) on Sunday – you can sign up online till 6 tonight, or register in person Saturday or Sunday – full details on both options here. 1:09 PM UPDATE: West Seattle lost to Columbia River this morning, 4-2, but is playing Sedro-Woolley right now (1 pm start). 7:07 PM UPDATE: As rockergirl points out in comments, SLHS won the first game, and is playing a second game right now. WSHS lost its second game.

West Seattle Democratic Women: Tribute & candidates’ forum

In the hat, it’s West Seattle writer and former “Rosie the Riveter” Georgie Bright Kunkel, who spoke briefly at Thursday’s West Seattle Democratic Women luncheon as the group paid tribute to her husband Norman Kunkel, who died earlier this year (as noted here). (Georgie revealed she’s doing open-mike comedy at Comedy Underground on June 8th, by the way.) The group also presented a check to an organization for which Mr. Kunkel did a lot of work, the Sightline Institute (whose Alan Durning is shown above with Georgie) in his honor. The centerpiece of the luncheon at the West Seattle Golf Course clubhouse, however, was a candidates’ forum – one of several in West Seattle in the coming weeks. The field won’t be set till after the filing deadline a week from today, but three candidates each for two City Council seats – the open Position 4 (which Jan Drago is leaving to run for mayor) and Position 6 (with candidates including incumbent Nick Licata) spoke to the group – read on for video highlights and a few other notes:Read More

West Seattle scene: Turning road work into art

The digging-up of the old, about-to-be-replaced pavement on Fauntleroy Way has started in earnest, we noticed today. But that’s not all that’s happening on the road. Brianna sent the photo within the past hour, explaining:

just thought i would pass these pics along of a local artist making the most of the fauntleroy street closure.

andy smith has been out on the street painting for the past hour or so working on some pollock inspired pieces.

looks great!!

We have a followup question out to ask exactly where this is happening – the construction zone currently stretches from Edmunds to Findlay.

Fewer trash cans in parks: A student’s perspective

That’s the BigBelly solar-powered trash compactor west of the Alki Bathhouse, a demonstration project of sorts for the city, which is reducing the number of trash cans in local parks (as reported this week by the Times). When the trash-can-reduction campaign came up in the WSB Forums, member Que mentioned that her 8-year-old daughter had an opinion on the matter, after deciding to practice her reading by perusing the aforementioned article. We invited Que to offer her daughter the chance to practice writing by elaborating and sharing it with us (and you). Here’s the result!

I read the newspaper and there was an article about how they were taking the trashcans away from the parks. I don’t believe that they should take the trash cans away because then people will litter. Everyone uses the parks. People use them for playing and having fun and having picnics. We need to have trashcans because people will leave all their trash in the parks. This will make the parks disgusting. Then the parks will be full of trash and bags of poop. That will make the parks not fun anymore and the Moms will not want to take their kids there for picnics because they will be gross. I don’t think that the city is going to save enough money to make it worth having yucky parks. How much money would we all give to have nice parks? The city should find a different place to save that money.

– Rosemary A.
age 8

Health care for all? Fauntleroy gathering airs, shares concerns

May 28, 2009 10:54 pm
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 |   Fauntleroy | Health | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

By Jonathan Stumpf
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

In advance of this Saturday’s Seattle march and rally for health-care reform, members of the Health Care for All – Washington (HCFA-WA) organization presented a community screening of the PBS documentary Sick Around the World Wednesday night at Fauntleroy Church (WSB sponsor).

The hour-long Frontline documentary, hosted by former Washington Post and NPR correspondent T.R. Reid, examines the successes and problems of health care systems in five countries, looking for alternatives to what many see as a failing health-care system in America.

Twenty West Seattle residents attended the event. The discussion afterward hosted by HCFA-WA board member Chuck Rogers and committee chairs Paul and Mary Margaret Pruitt (photo above) stirred up myriad issues and concerns among attendees, ranging from emergency rooms serving as clinics for the uninsured to some residents being disgusted with insurance company’s control over America’s health-care system.

Read More

Countdown to Alki “Summer Streets” day: Plea for volunteers

May 28, 2009 10:18 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news

If you’ve been on Alki tonight, you might have noticed a brightly colored flyer attached to many of the “no parking” signs that are up for the “Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets” event that’s closing Alki Ave (from Harbor/California Way to Alki/63rd) 9 am-5 pm Sunday. Take a closer look, and it’s a last-minute plea for volunteer help; we got a phone call about it while en route to Alki, where we subsequently saw the flyers. We asked the caller to send us the request so we could share it with you:

All Volunteers will receive a Summer Streets T Shirt and Eligible to WIN Free REI Gear and a BIG Prize.

Keep the streets safe by being a block watch and letting staff know of any emergencies while you enjoy the sun and meet your neighbors. You are needed for this event to happen.

BE A HERO, BE A NEIGHBOR! SHIFTS: 10:30 am – 2 pm and 1:30 pm to 5 pm.

Kerry Bischoff

Here’s the city’s official page about the event; here’s our report from last night with more details on the activities and performances planned during the day, which kicks off with the first-ever West Seattle 5K Walk/Run (WSB sponsor; tomorrow’s your last chance to register online – but there’ll be registration in person Saturday and Sunday).

Followup: End appears near for “Ivar’s house” in Upper Alki

One month ago, we covered the training fires at the 59th SW (on the slope south of Admiral Way) house once owned by West Seattle’s legendary Ivar Haglund (yes, if you’re just joining us, THE Ivar). The owner had offered the house to the Seattle Fire Department because of its impending demolition. If you want one last look, time appears to be running out — it looks like the rest of the demolition work is not far away; we noticed the shown-above backhoe while driving by yesterday, and went back this evening for a photo (this is taken from the west side of the house). A new, larger house is planned for the property; here’s one more look at the photos sent to us last month by Seattle historian Paul Dorpat (first, the house in 2003; then, its official survey photo from the ’30s):

Last call: Your ideas for West Seattle Summer Movies on the Wall


We’re proud to be co-sponsoring the West Seattle Summer Outdoor Movies on the Wall series again this year – and part of that means helping gather suggestions for what movies will be shown during the six-week series (Saturday nights starting July 18th, in the courtyard between Dr. Wolff and Hotwire Coffee). The decisions will be made soon, so we’re putting out one more call for suggestions, if you haven’t already made one or more – family-friendly movies, but that doesn’t mean they have to be G-rated.Here’s our original call for suggestions, which includes links to lists of the movies shown the past two years, plus suggestions already made (you can also e-mail suggestions to westseattlemovies@gmail.com – or leave a comment here – plus we’ve put the call out on our WS Blog page on Facebook). The movie series’ official site is here. Deadline for suggestions – this Sunday night.

New look for West Seattle HS website – student-designed!

Congratulations to Jacob Miller and Ross Monroe, from the West Seattle High School Class of ’09 and Damp Flame Design: Their redesign of the WSHS website has just gone live tonight — follow the link here to see it. Damp Flame has been in business since 2005, with other projects including redesigning the Husky Deli website. If you want to compare the new WSHS site with the old one, there’s a screengrab on the “About This Site” page on the new site, where you can read more about the project. Side note, Jacob is the son of veteran Seattle journalist Kathy Mulady, who has been reporting recently for WSB as well as for the Seattle PostGlobe.

Seattle jail-site search: New information on “scoping” process

May 28, 2009 6:27 pm
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle jail sites | West Seattle news

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Haven’t heard much lately on the jail-site search – aside from the City Council asking the county to reopen the issue of whether they can keep handling the misdemeanor inmates for a few more years, therefore delaying the potential need for this jail – but the process continues, and a West Seattle site (Highland Park/West Marginal Way, Google Street View above) remains on the list of six sites under regional consideration. Just got an official update late today from Katherine Schubert-Knapp, noting that new information is now available in the “scoping” process – which identifies what the Environmental Impact Statement for the project will have to look at. The announcement notes that the timeline has slid:

Based on the feedback received during the EIS Scoping period, the NEC will be adding the following items to the scope of the EIS: air quality; populations and housing; and an analysis of the possible impact of a jail on property values and public safety. These additions, along with the complexity of some of the analyses, have impacted the EIS schedule. The NEC now plans to release the Draft EIS in early December 2009, and hold Public Meetings in January 2010. The NEC plans to release the final EIS in the second quarter of 2010.

Documents including the EIS Scoping Summary are now posted on the website set up for the jail-site-search project.

Admiral church-turned-events-venue seeks landmark status

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It was once the Sixth Church of Christ Scientist, built in 1929 at the corner of SW Lander and 42nd SW – what you see in the Google Street View image above is the south side, immediately across the street from Hiawatha (more photos in this Vintage Seattle post). Now, it’s an events venue called The Sanctuary at Admiral, and city landmarks coordinator Beth Chave confirms to WSB that the city has just accepted a nomination this week proposing Seattle landmark status, submitted by The Sanctuary’s owner (and months in the making), which means this is one of two West Seattle buildings currently under consideration — the other is the Seaview building at The Kenney (as noted in our coverage of the ongoing Design Review process for its proposed redevelopment). Landmark status can bring some economic benefits, like tax breaks, though it also brings restrictions – if the city Landmarks Board decides to designate the building as a landmark, that means that any changes to it (remodeling, etc.) would require their approval. Chave says neither this nomination nor that of the Seaview is listed on the city’s “current nominations” page because the applications are still being reviewed for completeness; once that’s determined, hearings will be scheduled for the board to review the proposal, and public comment will be part of the process (as explained here). You can find a list of West Seattle sites that already have landmark status by going here; meantime, here’s more on The Sanctuary’s history, from its website. The venue, by the way, hosted an event of worldwide note earlier this month – the International Food Bloggers’ Conference (podcasts available on the IFBC website).

Mega-wine-tasting coming to South Seattle Community College

Knowing how many people are wild about wine, this one seemed even bigger than the Announced page – a huge tasting event coming to South Seattle Community College in July, with 40 Zinfandel wineries conducting tastings at the event — read on for the details:Read More

Tour the West Seattle building that’s going to make solar history

May 28, 2009 10:03 am
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 |   Environment | High Point | West Seattle news

You’ve seen the big green banner on Nucor – now, a closer look at the building that it’s touting, as it finishes taking shape. Early Wednesday morning, we joined a rare hard-hat tour of the construction site for the High Point Neighborhood Center, which will be — among other distinctions — the biggest solar-powered social-services building in the nation, with its roof holding the biggest solar array in our state. (Construction started with groundbreaking last August; here’s our coverage.) The solar panels on its roof are not the only aspects that have the $13 million Neighborhood Center angling for LEED Gold certification, however – it’s got a geothermal component too. Note the pipe in this photo, which is a LOT more than it seems:

Also in the photo, our tour guide, Ray Li from Neighborhood House, the Seattle-based nonprofit that’s building HPNC. He explained that pipe goes 300 feet underground – where the temperature is a constant 56 degrees — as part of a “ground-source heat pump” system to keep the building’s temperature equalized. So what else is making this building a model of environmentally minded construction? Read on, and we’ll show and tell you what we saw and heard:Read More

Reminder to Metro riders: Saturday is schedule-change day

May 28, 2009 9:32 am
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

For the complete reminder from Metro of what’s changing this time around (including downtown bus-tunnel hours), read on:Read More

Seattle Public Library rule changes win approval

The rule-change proposal noted here last week won Library Board approval last night: The story’s up at the Seattle PostGlobe, the citywide online-news organization created by former P-I journalists after the newspaper’s print edition was discontinued (the site’s got a new look as of this week, by the way).

Countdown to almost-carless Alki on Sunday: Flyers, activities

If your car is parked along Alki tonight, you’ll likely find a flyer like that on it by morning. SDOT tells WSB they’re being distributed tonight as part of the outreach to make sure everyone knows about the Seattle Summer Streets Spectacular – sequel to Car-Free Day – on Alki this Sunday. We reported “practical details” last night, including the impending arrival of the no-parking signs, which we confirmed tonight are up now:

A few other notes, counting down to Sunday’s 9 am-5 pm shutdown from Harbor Ave/California Way to Alki Ave/63rd SW:
–The day begins, of course, with the first-ever West Seattle 5K (WSB sponsor; you can still register online)
Cascade Bicycle Club now has its full schedule of events for the day online (including kids’ bike parades at 1 and 3 pm); see the schedule here.
Coastal has announced its “Rockin’ Surf Stage” lineup, with a mini skate ramp and live music; see the poster, with band names and times, here.
CoolMom will have a booth offering face painting and a puppet show
Sustainable West Seattle will be nearby, with bike-maintenance demos and more
Full Tilt Ice Cream tells us they’ll have a special bike out and about – one of many small surprises we expect to see on shutdown day
–Informational displays are planned too – including the King County Wastewater Treatment Division planning a display near the site of the 53rd Avenue Pump Project, with updates on how that project is going (now in its second year and scheduled for completion this fall).

We’ll keep the daily updates going through Sunday, at which time we will of course report “live” from the shutdown zone as we did last year. If there’s information you’re looking for and not finding, please write a comment (or e-mail us: editor@westseattleblog.com) – after last night’s report, for example, there was a question about how those with disabilities would be accommodated – here’s the comment, followed by the reply we obtained from the city.

West Seattle wildlife: Lincoln Park owl-family followup

After we published Kim‘s photos last weekend of a barred-owl family in Lincoln Park, Minette wrote a comment with a link to her gallery of the same owls. Tonight, she’s sharing two more recent photos, along with word that, as of a couple nights ago, they were spotted again, doing well. The photo above is the male owl and the baby; below, the baby by itself:

Here’s what the Seattle Audubon website BirdWeb has to say about barred owls.

West Seattle scene: “Drive-by” preaching on Alki

Of all the Alki sights and sounds noted and discussed in recent weeks, this is the first report we’ve gotten of “drive-by” street preaching. Ben Hutchinson sent the photo and his account of what he saw from his apartment near Alki Bathhouse, so we’re sharing:

Just a couple minutes ago, there was this guy standing on the back of a pickup truck that went by. He was standing there with a microphone and big amplified speakers (like those used at a rock concert). And it sounded like he was preaching the Christian gospel. Now I’m a Christian myself, but I don’t think it’s right to be so disruptive. The pickup was driving slowly and holding up traffic.

Then he sent a second note, with the photo above:

Well, they came back again, so I was able to get a picture of them on their way back. This time I also was able to see a bit more too (they went right in front of my apartment this time). This time nobody was standing up (all were just sitting), and I was able to see 3 people in the back of the pickup truck this time (probably were there before, but I just had a better view this time, because it looked like only 1 the first time). When they were not preaching they were playing rap music.

Anybody know who this was?

Morgan Junction graffiti case not being prosecuted as hate crime

As promised, we followed up with the City Attorney’s Office regarding the status of Ryan Joshua Cox, the 31-year-old man arrested last week in connection with the anti-gay graffiti that had appeared in several spots around West Seattle, most notably and repeatedly a Morgan Junction couple’s garage door. Assistant city attorney Beth Gappert, who prosecutes cases in this area from her base at the Southwest Precinct, confirms that Cox is charged with six misdemeanor cases of property destruction-graffiti. He will not be prosecuted for malicious harassment, the felony that would indicate a hate crime; Gappert tells WSB, “The detective assigned to the case and I reviewed the evidence that was gathered as part of this incident. Based upon that, we determined the evidence was insufficient to prove that Mr. Cox acted ‘because of his perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap’ per RCW 9A.36.080 (the Malicious Harassment statute).” So the case was not referred to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Cox is still jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail (upped last week, as reported here), according to the King County Jail Register. The Municipal Court website indicates another hearing is scheduled in his case tomorrow.

West Seattle gets another Alaskan Way Viaduct/Tunnel meeting

If you want to know more about what’s happening with the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Tunnel project – and/or if you’ve got something to say about the way things are going – mark June 10th on your calendar. That’s just been announced as the date for the next “scoping” meeting for the project in West Seattle, 6-8 pm 6/10 at the Madison Middle School commons. The specific purpose of the meeting is explained as follows: “(Y)ou will be able to ask questions and share your thoughts on what environmental elements and mitigation measures should be studied in the supplemental draft environmental impact statement on the proposed bored tunnel alternative.” If you can’t go, SDEIS2ScopingComments@wsdot.wa.gov is the place to e-mail your comments.

Delridge playground designs unveiled: 3 to choose from

Betsy Hoffmeister from the North Delridge Neighborhood Council has just shared these three designs from which the new Delridge Community Center playground (recent WSB coverage here) will be chosen. She also says community fundraising that’s needed for the project only has $350 to go. Here’s the full specs for the design above; here are the full specs for the design below:

And here are the specs for this next one:

We’re checking on the proper pathway for public feedback; meantime, feel free to comment here for starters! And remember there’s a plant-sale fundraiser for the playground project at Delridge Day, Youngstown Arts Center this Saturday (WSB story here – by the way, we’ll be reporting live from Delridge Day throughout the event, so hope to see you there!). ADDED 9:09 PM: More info on what happens next, sent by Holli:

Cast your design vote – you can e-mail helpdelridgeplay@gmail.com with your pick, or attend a public meeting at the Delridge Community Center on Monday, June 1 from 7:30pm-8:30pm. The designs will also be on display this Saturday, at Youngstown Arts Center as part of Delridge Day which runs from 11 am-5 pm.

We’re looking for all the help we can get to build the playground on July 17th. We’ll have the equipment, breakfast, lunch, water and free exercise! Registration starts at 7:45 am, building begins at 8:30 am and ends around 2:30 pm for some fun.

Anyone interested in being a Build Captain on Build Day needs to attend an orientation on Prep Day, July 15th. All are welcome to help on Prep Day.

Food Committee: We also need someone to lead the Food Committee! A few volunteers are doing double-duty on the Food Committee and have done some preparations, but we need a leader.

To volunteer contact Chris via email at helpdelridgeplay@gmail.com or call (206) 499-3733.

Also, we’d love to put the spotlight on some local musical talent to entertain our volunteers at a closing ceremony that afternoon around 3pm, and at a grand opening the following week. Please contact Holli Margell via e-mail at holli.margell@gmail.com if you would like to perform.

Design note: We can only chose from these three designs. Changing any element is no longer an option – it is too far along in the process.