West Seattle news 55668 results

Alki Statue of Liberty plaza fundraiser tonight: $57K to go

More than 50 people attended a cozy fundraiser upstairs at Duke’s on Alki tonight for the Seattle (Alki) Statue of Liberty Plaza Project. It marked the start of one more big push for the $57,000 that SSLPP leaders Libby and Paul Carr say they still need to pay for their group’s full vision of a plaza to surround the recast statue and its future new pedestal. They’ve already raised more than $100,000, including $50,000 from the city and other donations including this one announced by Walter Reese from Delridge’s Nucor steel mill (introduced by Libby Carr) at tonight’s event:

Here’s part of the opening remarks by KIRO Radio talk-show host Dave Ross, who emceed the evening, telling a story about appreciating the US – and its icons such as the Statue of Liberty and replicas like the one on Alki – after a trip in Eastern Europe long ago:

Other dignitaries who attended (but didn’t make speeches) included West Seattle-dwelling Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, his newly elected fellow Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Tim Burgess, new city Parks Superintendent Timothy Gallagher, and West Seattle’s County Councilmember Dow Constantine. Here’s one more clip, as Paul Carr explains the state of the SSLPP finances:Read More

Upzone update: Cayce & Gain explain their vision

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As mentioned earlier, Mike Gain and Roger Cayce granted our request for an interview about their proposal to upzone a stretch of California Avenue south of Admiral, and sat down with us for an hour and a half at midday today. Here’s our long-form writeup:Read More

Congratulations to Delridge Neighborhoods Development Assoc.

West Seattle-based DNDA is receiving a $2.4 million award just announced in this King County news release, going toward the Strength of Place Village project in White Center. (Here’s some of what DNDA already has done; we have a message out to DNDA executive director Derek Birnie in hopes of finding out more about Strength of Place.)

Upzone update: Cayce & Gain talk with WSB (more to come)

December 27, 2007 12:25 pm
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 |   California Ave upzoning | Development | West Seattle news

upzonescreengrab.jpgAfter last month’s contentious public meeting regarding the proposal to upzone both sides of California between Hanford and Hinds (and a bit further south on the west side), longtime West Seattle real-estate/property-management partners Mike Gain and Roger Cayce offered to talk personally with anyone who has questions about what they hope to do. So we took them up on it, and they just spent an hour and a half talking with us. First headline: It was suggested at the last Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting (WSB coverage here) that they withdraw the proposal and start over again; they told WSB today they’re not going to do that. But they had plenty more to say (and info to offer) — much of it, we think, that provides previously unreported context for what they want to do and why; we are writing up a full-length report that you’ll be able to read in a separate WSB post later this afternoon.

T(ea) Gallery closing its Admiral location

West Seattle’s sole tea-only shop is shutting down – 2 months after opening a downtown location, T(ea) Gallery proprietor Tracy Shafer is going to focus on that store. Here’s the announcement she just sent out:

To my friends, neighbors, supporters…

I want to let you know the T(ea) Gallery’s Admiral location will be closing as of the end of January, 2008. The past 2 years have been wonderful. I’ve gotten to know so many of my neighbors and have made some wonderful friends. The location has always been “challenged” for this type of business, but it was truly a labor of love for me and a wonderful learning experience. I hope to re-open a West Seattle shop sometime in the not too distant future, but there are some circumstances that warrant closure at this time.

I plan to offer delivery service to my West Seattle customers and I’m in the middle of working out the logistics on that. Please keep an eye on my website for details …

The T(ea) Gallery’s downtown location (at 5th & Columbia) is doing well due in large part to all of you!!! Spring will bring some wonderful events and I hope you can visit soon.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all of your support.

The website Tracy mentions is here, and includes a blog page where she talks more about the shutdown decision here.

Next move for Fauntleroy Place

Here’s the latest on Fauntleroy Place, the mixed-use megaproject with the future Whole Foods Market that’s been in the works almost 2 years for Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th. Eric Radovich with BlueStar Management, the FP developer, tells WSB today that they’re still hoping for groundbreaking by April, as reported in our last update in September. But first – the project has to get through one more key public meeting, for which the date has just been set — the Southwest Design Review Board “recommendations” meeting for Fauntleroy Place has is now on the city schedule for February 14. As noted on the BlueStar site, the architect on the project has changed to CollinsWoerman, but Radovich says the rendering above from the previous architect is still fairly true to the plan — 5 stories, Whole Foods and a new Hancock Fabrics store at ground level, more than 150 apartments above, parking garage with room for more than 500 vehicles (city project page here). We also asked about BlueStar’s more-recently revealed West Seattle mixed-use project, Spring Hill (no relation to the future restaurant) at 5020 California just south of The Junction (as reported by WSB here and here) — the first Design Review Board meeting for that is listed on the city site as January 10th, but Radovich says that might be changed to later in the month. He also says there’s no publicly available rendering for Spring Hill just yet.

Coming soon to West Seattle: “Enhanced” driver licenses

This Tacoma News-Tribune article reminds us that West Seattle’s Department of Licensing office will soon be one of only 11 in the state (full list here) where you can get the new “enhanced” driver licenses and ID cards that can get you into and out of Canada by land or sea. They’re supposed to be available starting January 22nd, and you’ll have to make an appointment if you want to get one. The state DOL website has a sheaf of info about how these new licenses/cards work.

Another sign sighting: Spring Hill in The Junction

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Thanks to Bill for e-mailing us with news this sign had gone up in the window at the future Spring Hill restaurant (the sign says “restaurant & bar”) next to Seattle Fish Company on the north edge of The Junction; we subsequently snagged this photo while Christmas shopping (very busy in The Junction, watch out for crazy drivers like the 3 who almost ran us down). We have been following the progress of Spring Hill for more than a year now, since first word of its impending arrival came in the form of a liquor-license application; most recently, we noted a building permit last month, five months after the architects’ sign went up in the corner of the window.

Christmas what’s open/what’s closed update

Finally finished surveying almost all the West Seattle coffee shops – so far, we’ve found six that will be open on Christmas; johnny_automatic_christmas_wreath.jpgthe list is on the Holidays page, as is our list of West Seattle Christmas Eve/Christmas Day church services (still a few more phone calls to make but even at this point we have Christmas Eve services for 15 WS churches), as well as our supermarket survey. And in the new WSB Forums, we’re still looking for West Seattle restaurants that will be open Christmas Day; jump in on the topic if you’ve found one.

December 3 Deluge: New help for flood victims

December 22, 2007 10:16 am
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 |   December 2007 flooding | Delridge | West Seattle news

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(Dec. 3 photo along Longfellow Creek was taken by Tim, originally featured here.)
For those of us who made it through the December 3 Deluge without much if any damage, it’s just a soggy memory (albeit one reopened easily by new rounds of rain like the one we’re having right now). But some people in areas including right here in West Seattle are still working to clean up and fix up, like Gary in North Delridge, who e-mailed WSB to ask us to share with you that individual property owners in King County are now able to apply for federal assistance (governor’s press release is here — instructions on how to apply are here).

Memorial service today for Mars Hill pastor’s wife

We recently mentioned that Jeanne Clem, wife of Bill Clem – a Mars Hill-West Seattle pastor after leading Doxa, the church that had the space previously – was losing her fight with cancer. Now there’s word she died this week, and a memorial service is set for 3 pm today (more on the Mars Hill website, which says the church will be running shuttles from the Chief Sealth HS parking lot for attendees).

Design Review Board on 2 projects: 1 OK, 1 needs work

2 sizable projects in the south half of West Seattle got a second look from the Southwest Design Review Board tonight. One will be the new home of Swedish Auto Repair, at 7901 35th, currently home to the ex-Adventist church building and a Mars Hill bus pen; concerns from board members and neighbors have sent it back to the drawing board for one more round of revisions, particularly regarding the need for its 30-plus-foot-high L-shaped building fronting 35th and Kenyon to be more streetfront-friendly. However, city planner Holly Godard did laud the project for its voluntary “green” features such as solar panels and rainwater-collecting barrels. So that one will be back for one more SWDRB meeting. This next project, though, got the green light:

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That’s what you’re going to see in a year or two at California/Graham, kitty corner from the almost-condos of Strata, north of the ex-Chuck and Sally’s. We knew this would be “live/work units” as well as townhouses, but now we have even more details:Read More

Denny/Sealth consolidation controversy: Next steps

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The main questions left for us after the Denny/Sealth discussion at last night’s Seattle School Board meeting (which we covered with in-progress reports here and here) were, what now, and when? We got some new info today from West Seattle’s school-board rep Steve Sundquist. But first – we wanted to let you know, if you want to watch the meeting, particularly the testimony on this project during the public-comment period near the start, the video is now available online at the Seattle Channel site. (Regardless of where you stand on the project, you have to agree it’s particularly heartening to see students show up and speak to the board.) Back to “what’s next” — Sundquist says the Denny/Sealth “work session” at 4 pm January 9th will be open to the public; he tells WSB its format and participants are not all set yet, but he’s expecting there to be “some element of presentation” as part of it. He thinks it’ll last an hour to an hour and a half, since it’s before the board’s regular meeting at 6 pm that same night. As for any sort of a deadline to decide whether the Denny/Sealth project will proceed, change, or be scrapped altogether, Sundquist acknowledges that West Seattle families’ enrollment decisions make this time-sensitive as well as the oft-cited construction-cost factor, so he hopes it will be settled “within the first couple months of the year.”

Happening tonight: 2 projects @ Design Review Board

December 20, 2007 12:33 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle news

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Tonight, the Southwest Design Review Board is set for its final recommendations on the project planned for 6053 California, currently home of the former Butcher Block Espresso/martial arts/butcher shop/etc. building shown above (future townhouses and “live/work” units), and 7901 35th (ex-church, future auto repair). The meeting starts @ 6:30 pm in the library at Denny Middle School (different location than usual).

West Seattle trees: SDOT today, City Light soon

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As announced by the city Department of Transportation, crews are out on the repaved stretch of Admiral right now, planting trees in the medians.

In a separate project, we have word from Seattle City Light of major tree work coming to West Seattle early next year: The utility is ramping up its tree trimming, so that it can work toward a cycle of ensuring that every tree near its lines citywide is checked every four years for proper clearance – 10 feet from the wires. We were downtown at the Municipal Tower yesterday talking with City Light’s Scott Thomsen, who tells WSB that the next big round of trimming work will be here in West Seattle. Here are some details:Read More

More Denny/Sealth updates from school board meeting

Meeting’s in a 10-minute break right now. Since the previously mentioned public comment against the project (no one spoke in favor):

-District superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson and West Seattle school-board rep Steve Sundquist both reiterated (as he had told us would happen) that the scheduled votes later tonight would not commit the board to the Denny/Sealth project as it now stands. It also was announced that the board DOES have the authority — last week, Sundquist said they were awaiting a legal answer on this — to “modify the project if we see the need.”

-Board president Cheryl Chow asked members to clear time on their calendar the afternoon of January 9, before the next board meeting, for a work session on the Denny/Sealth project.

Susan Harmon from the Westwood Neighborhood Council, speaking during the public-comment period, asked the board to delay Denny-Sealth votes until after a meeting WNC is working to organize for late January or early February to examine both the potential impacts of the shared high school/middle school campus concept, and the future of the current Denny land if the project proceeds as currently planned.

More details as they happen, plus a full all-in-one wrapup by night’s end in the morning (we have a followup question out). 8:46 PM UPDATE: The meeting is adjourned. The matching-funds item involving the Denny-Sealth project passed unanimously, after yet another reiteration that it does not commit the board to the project as it now stands. One other note of interest, Sundquist will chair the board’s Finance Committee next year.

West Seattle crime watch: “Peeper” update

Just back from the Southwest Precinct, where Lt. Steve Paulsen kindly made time to talk with WSB about West Seattle, its neighborhoods, its crime and safety challenges, and how all of us can work together to be safer, etc. While there, we took the occasion to ask for a followup on the “peeper” reports from a few weeks ago. Background — the first reports emerged on November 26 (our coverage here); then Dec. 3, we ran a reader report about another sighting, and on Dec. 6, another reader reported a police search with K-9 officers in the same general area. Lt. Paulsen confirmed for us this afternoon that those were all part of the investigation — not only did they bring in the K-9s after a “suspicious person” sighting on the night of 12/5, but they also assigned officers to patrol the neighborhoods on foot after those first reports in late November. Lt. Paulsen notes that no new reports have come in during the past couple weeks and says they have identified a potential “person of interest” but don’t have probable cause to make an arrest at this point.

Tree replacement in Admiral medians starts tomorrow

This just hit the inbox, from the Seattle Department of Transportation – tree replacement starts tomorrow. Here’s the full text of the SDOT announcement:Read More

Chelan Cafe update: Photos

As mentioned earlier, somebody smashed into the Chelan Cafe overnight. Here are two angles – first a WSB photo, second photo thanks to JenV:

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Remember the one about the Santas and the cab?

No, that doesn’t refer to some old joke – rather, to that 35th/Avalon crash that Creighton told us all about on Sunday morning. Last night, that post drew a comment from “lara7,” who included a Flickr link to the following photo:

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Explanation from “lara7”:

I was one of the 3 Santas in the Cab- lady ran the red light by the KFC and plowed into the cab and another car. No one was hurt. But if you want coal in your stocking, hitting Santa’s cab is a sure way.

Now, you ask, what was the deal with all those people in Santa suits who didn’t exactly look like they’d just been spending their evening listening to tiny tots’ wish lists? Following a link from lara7’s photo, they appear to have been part of Santarchy 2007 (explained here).

West Seattle High School 4-period-day supporters take it to the Web

The kerfuffle over the decision to change West Seattle High School‘s unique 4-period-day schedule is apparently far from over. WSB has received announcements of the creation of two pro-4-period-day websites — “West Seattle Parents and Citizens for 4 Period Day” has just inaugurated a blog (find it here) with a post titled “Why Arguments for the 6 Period Day Don’t Hold Water,” and “Students for Democratic Process” has set up a site titled “Less Is More – Go for 4.” If there are any pro-6-period-day websites, we would be happy to mention them as well; meantime, the WSHS website continues to post transition updates on this page.

Chelan Cafe crash

December 19, 2007 9:19 am
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

Thanks to everybody in WSB-land who e-mailed about this after seeing the scene while passing by this morning – the Chelan Cafe confirms that a truck crashed into the building overnight, and “took off” after taking out the front wall of the lounge. However – the cafe is still open; just has quite the mess to clean up. We’ll have a photo up later.